A night of tears, apologies, and promises to do better.
But then it was morning and the second day of the Expo began.
Now with lighter hearts, the father and daughter duo headed out back into the convention center hand in hand.
"Whoa! Mintendo's doing their showcase today?!"
...Meggie immediately ran off and left John behind.
He chuckled and walked after her.
Before she got too far though, Meggie paused and walked back, embarrassed. "...Sorry, Dad."
John patted Meggie's head and said, "Don't worry. I'm just glad you're enjoying things. Now, let's go see what's new."
Meggie smiled and then walked beside John.
People stared at them, but John didn't mind. And it seemed like Meggie had gotten over her cringe... Ah, no. She just didn't care since she was with John.
That realization warmed John's heart and he stood up a bit more.
Meggie noticed though and laughed. "What are you showing off for, Dad? Don't you think you get enough attention already?"
"I can't help it, Meggie." He let out a soft smile and said, "I'm the happiest Dad alive right now."
Meggie's eyes widened and then she looked away, her face red. "...Weirdo."
"And proud of it."
Meggie rolled her eyes, but she still smiled in response to John's words.
John walked Meggie over towards the Mintendo exhibit. As he did, he took a quick look around.
The convention hall was packed today. But that was to be expected. Unlike yesterday where the main attractions were game studios and themed exhibits like the Creature Hunter cafe, today was where the heavy hitters showed up. Companies like the ones behind the big three gaming consoles.
It also seemed to be the year that the prototypes of the newest consoles were revealed before a full demo was released to the public in the summer electronics entertainment expo in the United States later on.
Because of that, there were a ton of people around. Not just businessmen, but a lot of foreigners and streamers.
And also a lot of people who stared at them. No, at Meggie.
While John was objectively handsome and gave off a natural celebrity aura by just walking around, Meggie completely stood out.
First of all, she was definitely dressed like a gamer. Because it was cold, she was wearing her CapsuMon beanie. And because she didn't want to end up like yesterday where she couldn't take anything back, she grabbed her CapsuMon bag with her. Paired with her casual black hoodie, boots, and thigh-high tights, she looked like the gamer girl every guy wanted to meet.
But then there was the fact that her hair was a light green with golden streaks, making it looked dyed. And the fact that her irises were gold...
She looked like a super pretty and really bigtime gamer girl. Maybe even a streamer or cosplayer. Not to mention she was objectively more beautiful than every girl in the room...
"Dad! Dad!" Meggie tugged John's arm and said, "Look! They're demoing the new CapsuMon on the Mintendo Switch!"
John looked away from the crowd and smiled at Meggie. "Really now?"
"Yeah!" Meggie pointed towards a long line at the Mintendo stand and said, "It says you can play the game and keep your save file for the full release if you log in with your Mintendo account! Can I go try it out?"
"Sure. Let's go take a look." Saying that, John pointedly placed his hand on Meggie's shoulder and walked her forward.
It was definitely the appearance of an overbearing father. But Meggie didn't notice, too excited at the thought of being one of the first to play the new game.
Other people did though. Especially when John decided to play the part just a bit by letting out some spiritual pressure.
It wasn't anything serious like killing intent. If anything, it would just be as if there was a high EMF field in the area making people uncomfortable and queasy.
Something that would increase exponentially if they stared at Meggie too long.
...Hm. Maybe it was a good thing that John came back to Earth before Meggie grew up. Considering that she was definitely more wild than her sisters, he had a feeling things would get messy.
He didn't think he'd be that type of father, but now that he was here...
An awkward silence. Meggie idly humming various CapsuMon tunes to herself while waiting in line. People nervously looking at John and Meggie before looking away.
And then eventually it was time for Meggie to play.
"Finally!" Meggie ran forward and picked up the console. "Let's see... just have to log in with my ID and password..."
John glanced at Meggie while keeping an eye out for any guys that decided they wanted to be bold before saying, "Don't forget to log out after you're done."
Meggie rolled her eyes. "I'm not dumb, Dad. I'll make sure."
"Just reminding you."
"I know. And thanks."
Meggie peeked at John and smiled back before turning her attention to the game console.
Which meant John was on Dad duty to make sure she had a good time.
Fortunately, that didn't take much. The moment that John folded his arms and straightened to look out at the crowd, a giant space opened up around him and Meggie.
Even the few other people trying out the consoles nearby cleared out.
Because of that, some Mintendo staff looked over... but they quickly backed off too.
John couldn't be like Akira and make people instinctively back off just by going about his business, but it looked like all those years reigning as one of the strongest in the Three Realms paid off.
...But was he really that much of a pushover when he relaxed? Did people seriously think they could just do whatever?
Hm. Maybe he should start displaying his tattoos- Ah, wait. That'd be bad press for the girls. Dang.
Well, it seemed like he could still pull off that intimidation factor when push came to shove.
"Holy crap! A shiny starter!" Meggie tugged John's arm and said, "Look Dad! I'm so lucky!"
John looked at the screen and then blinked. "...Huh."
He didn't recognize the CapsuMon. Well, he barely recognized any of them considering that they were really different from the pocket sized monsters he grew up with. But the pok- CapsuMon Meggie showed was really different.
Mostly because it looked like it was a dragon/grass hybrid starter.
Tiny branches for wings. A cute spiky head and stubby round paws.
And then there was the signature star on the status screen showing it was shiny... which would explain why it was pink.
"Good job Meggie?"
Meggie grinned and said, "I knew bringing you along would help! Dad has super good luck! Some of it's bound to rub off on me if you're here!"
John laughed. "Well, glad to be of help."
Meggie nodded and went back to playing the game.
John stood guard, making sure no one bothered his precious baby girl.
But eventually their time was over.
"Aw." Meggie sighed. "The demo cut me off. And I *just* got to the first gym too..."
John blinked and said, "They're still doing timed demos in this day and age?"
Meggie saved her game and then logged out of her account. "Looks like it. I'm not complaining though. That just means I get to keep my save file later, right? And my shiny starter!" She adjusted her bag around her shoulder and walked beside John.
John smiled and said, "That is good. It's annoying to lose something like that."
"Hm?" Meggie looked at John and said, "What, don't tell me you've reset on a shiny starter before, Dad."
"Then what are-"
"It was a shiny legendary."
Shiny Rayq**za. You were the dream...
...Though since John actually caught a few legendary dragons over in the Three Realms, maybe he shouldn't complain too much.
"W-Well..." Meggie spun around and said, "What should we do next...? Ooh!" She pointed to one of the exhibition rooms and said, "I saw a sign saying they were doing a cool AR thing over there! Let's go take a look! Maybe it'll be something we can play together!" Saying that, Meggie tugged John's arm and started walking over.
John chuckled and said, "Planning to humiliate your old man in public now, huh?"
Meggie rolled her eyes. "You're not that old dad... But maybe?"
As always, there was a crowd of people in the way. And they turned to look at John and Meggie as the pair passed by.
Meggie huffed and shouted. "Coming through! Stop standing around blocking up the aisle!"
John looked at the people scrambling to get out of the way and laughed. "That's pretty rude, Meggie."
"Hmph." Meggie's ears turned red and she said, "They're in the way. Besides, we don't have much time to spend together, right? Tomorrow Dad's going to be busy. ...I want to at least do something fun together before you have to work again."
Meggie's last words came out in a soft mumble.
John smiled and patted Meggie's head.
"Hey! Stop that! You're embarrassing me!"
John laughed. "Fine, fine... Now let's see."
They arrived at the door to the exhibition room. A fancy stand with a placard by the room listed out the name of the company doing demonstrations inside. And as to the company there...
"Hm?" John frowned and said, "Mirror Corporation?"
Wasn't that the name of Titor's company?
Meggie nodded and pulled John along as she walked towards the door. "Mmhm! It's supposed to be a super promising start up company for VR and AR. People online are super excited about it after their demonstration on the first day."
John took the lead and pushed the door open. As he did, he said, "You do realize that it's run by Titor, right?"
A sudden blast of music and cheers. A roaring crowd pumping their fists in the air as they surrounded a stage set up in the center of the room.
Meggie flinched and moved close to John. But then she huffed and then said, "Well, if that guy's in charge... Let's cut in line! Coming through!" Without any sense of shame, Meggie started shoving people aside while pulling John with her.
He sighed and wanted to reprimand her for that.
But then he remembered that both him and Yue did the same sort of thing when it came to crowds, so he really wasn't in a position to talk.
People grumbled as they passed by, but as always, they stopped complaining when they saw Meggie.
The privilege of being beautiful.
But anyway, the father and daughter pair eventually broke through the crowd to reach the center. And once there, another father and daughter pair were on the stage.
"P-Princess, I think that this is a bit too-"
Meggie blinked. "Is that...?"
"Kai and Tsuki?" John nodded. "Looks like it."
A giant screen was set up on the stage. Standing in front of that were Kai and Tsuki, each in front of one half of the screen. Both of them wore a thin visor over their eyes and held a controller in each hand.
Tsuki giggled and said, "You've gotta be faster, Daddy!"
Kai flailed his controllers around and said, "I-I'm trying, Princess!"
It was a rhythm game. Each half of the screen showed what each person was seeing.
On Tsuki's side, a pair of glowing swords rapidly swung across the screen, cutting down glittering diamonds in a continuous flow and racking up an insane four digit combo.
And on Kai's side, a pair of glowing swords rapidly flailed about... completely missing every diamond in his path and filling the screen with a bunch of red X's.
"...Wow." Meggie muttered and said, "Tsuki's dad sucks."
"...Yeah. Can't really deny that statement."
Meggie looked to John and said, "You won't be that bad, right?"
"Of course not. Unlike him, I was a gamer when I was younger, you know?"
The game came to an end, flashing the results screen for Kai and Tsuki.
Kai lost by a huge margin, finishing with an F rank and a longest combo streak of 5.
Meanwhile, Tsuki finished with an SSS rank and a full combo perfect clear.
"Yay!" Tsuki pumped a fist in the air and said, "I win, Daddy!"
Kai chuckled and pulled off his visor. "You certainly did. ...And you certainly have a flair for blades..."
Tsuki took off her visor as well and said, "That's because I learned it from you!"
"...I'm not sure I should be proud of that statement all things considered..."
The crowd laughed, enjoying the small back and forth.
Meggie laughed as well and then cupped her mouth to cheer.
But before that could happen, the lights dimmed and a figure appeared from the screen in a shimmer of lights. A familiar man with a white lab coat and slicked back black hair.
Titor stepped onto the stage. As he did, he looked to the side and said, "Our volunteers did a wonderful job, did they not, my better half?"
Another shimmer of light appeared beside Titor before resolving into Amadeus. She stuck her hands in her white lab coat and then shook her head, causing her crimson hair to scatter. "I still think we should have done the VR demo today."
Titor laughed. "It would be a wonderful sight... but we have to save the best for last. Now, please give our volunteers a round of applause, everyone!" After saying that, he turned to Kai and Tsuki and started clapping his hands.
With that as the cue, the crowd burst out into applause and cheers.
"Whoo! Go Tsuki!"
Meggie cheered as well, but it got drowned out by the rest of the crowd.
On the stage, Tsuki blushed and then let out a happy smile before bowing.
Kai rubbed the back of his neck, embarrassed.
After that, Titor grinned and said, "Sir Kai, our cute Moon Princess... Thank you for your help. Ah, you may keep the visors and controllers. However, I'm afraid I must ask you to exit right while we bring up our next volunteers."
"Aw..." Tsuki sighed.
Kai smiled and pulled Tsuki into a hug. "Come on, Princess. There's plenty of other things to do."
With that, Kai and Tsuki left.
Meggie sighed and said, "Darn. I wanted to play with Tsuki..."
John patted her head and said, "You can play together some other time, Meggie. Besides, Tsuki's dad has to make up time spent away from Tsuki. We don't want to intrude on their precious father-daughter bonding time."
"Oh yeah." Meggie frowned. "I forgot that Tsuki's dad is a worse father than you were."
John cleared his throat and said, "Kai isn't *that* bad. He just... wasn't prepared to be a father."
Meggie huffed and crossed her arms. "Then he shouldn't have become a father in the first place. Didn't you mentally prepare yourself before having Big Sister Betty and Alphy nee-chan? And me too, right?"
"Well, yes. But my situation is a bit different from his..."
Meggie frowned. "I don't think so, but if that's what Dad says..."
Titor swept his arms out, causing his white lab coat to flutter. "Now then! Moving onto our next demonstration... We have a battle royale! And for our lucky volunteers..."
A floodlight kicked on before scanning the crowd. But before it got too far, it stopped on John and Meggie.
"What's this?" Titor walked forward and said, "Why, if it isn't my other half and his cute baby girl!"
John facepalmed. "This shameless-"
Meggie jumped up and waved. "Hi Uncle Titor! Can we play?"
Titor laughed. "Of course! But only if your father agrees." He looked to John and said, "What do you say, Mister Smith?"
Meggie turned to John and clasped her hands together. "Dad! Please?"
John sighed. "...I've got a feeling this is going to be a trainwreck... but if that's what you want, Meggie."
"Yes!" Meggie grabbed John's hand and then pulled him towards the stage. "Let's go!"
Well... Let's hope he at least embarrassed himself less than Kai did...