This is an isekai in which the main character is completely useless and relies on women to live. Spoiler: Chapter 1 Chapter 1 *bing!* Paul Marks’ phone alerted him of a new text. It was Julie. She is leaving work. It was just past 3pm so she should be able to avoid rush-hour traffic and be back in around 20 minutes. Paul finished the chapter of the isekai web novel he was reading online with his iPad while seated on the sofa. It was about a Japanese senior high school class which was transported to another world; the theme was “survival”. A harem romance was present as well. Paul liked this kind of isekai; the sense of danger added a sense of emotional investment into the characters and their love affairs. When the time came for Julie to come home Paul reluctantly put down the iPad. That was a Rule: when his girlfriend was home, complete attention must be paid to her. He got up and loitered around the front door area next to the kitchen. The door lock rattled. Paul stood at attention: quickly patted his head in case there was a stray hair sticking out and put on his usual smile. That was the First Rule: always greet her with a smile. Julie entered the door. Paul immediately moved forward and seized her in a hug. “Hey babe,” he said. “I’m home,” she said, also smiling. However, he noted that she didn’t respond physically to his embrace. He’d have to figure out her emotional condition. Paul was very sensitive to physical responses, that was a skill which had been hard-learned. He immediately rejected pursing further physical connection. He’d hold off until he could figure out the problem and correct the mood. “Was your manager on your case again today?” “No, no, she’s been friendly recently,” she responded and moved into the kitchen, dropping her purse onto the table. “Anyway, what do you want for dinner?” “Ohh, chicken!” He responded enthusiastically. “Your chicken pasta dishes are the best!” It was the normal discussion. He hung around the kitchen and watched her taking ingredients out of the freezer to thaw. They chatted. He thought that Julie wasn’t responding normally to him. They spent the rest of the day together like that. Paul couldn’t find the right entry point to discuss what’s been bothering her. He couldn’t broach the topic until he felt confident it wouldn’t result in a worsened mood. When it was time for bed, he reached out to her but she demurred. “Sorry, I’m dead tired I just want to sleep.” “Buut I’m horny for Julie…” he fake-whined. That was another Rule: always show desire towards the girl. She didn’t giggle or push him or anything like that. Instead she just told him “later, later…” and turned over in bed. Paul frowned this time when she wasn’t looking. Girls don’t need to have sex every day, but the reaction was off. Next morning they went through their normal working day ritual. Paul got up extra early so that he could use the shower first. The reason for this is because he wanted to always see Julie off while smelling and looking good. That was, of course, a Rule: women were sensitive to this, and he must never cause her to be disgusted with his grooming. He had a lot of Rules. He developed them over his 30 years of life to help him live. Paul is completely dependent on women to live. He didn’t work, didn’t have a car, and his ability to cook amounted to microwaving a burrito. The thought of having to support himself and live alone filled him dread. His current relationship with Julie has lasted for close to a year. He had been in many relationships in the past, but he thought that this one would be the keeper. He’d learned a lot over the years, and he was diligently applying those lessons every day. He was committed to making his relationship with Julie work long-term. Naturally, the small condo he lived in was Julie’s. He didn’t own much. Just some clothes. He had a phone with a plan he paid for with a little bit of money he got from Julie as a sort of allowance. The iPad was also a gift from her. While Julie was at work that was his “alone time” when he could just do what he wanted…which wasn’t much of course. He liked reading web novels and playing gacha. He wouldn’t touch Julie’s PC unless it was specifically searching for something she asked for. He focused on going through his daily gachas and picked up reading his current web novel where he left off yesterday. He started to think about how to approach the problem with Julie’s mood towards the end of the work day; he was careful only to spare quality time in thinking about it as constantly agonizing would lead to a negative result. That was his experience. He knew that peoples’ emotions were largely chemical interactions in the brain, and over time the chemical state will naturally change. There was no need to rush things or put himself into a destructive spiral. With those thoughts he continued his normal life with Julie, keeping an eye out for the problem area. After several days he had become seriously concerned. He didn’t know why Julie wasn’t responding to him normally. They didn’t fight — he’d never, ever allow the mood to deteriorate that much — but things weren’t getting better. One night she called to let him know she’d come home late at night. Normally anyone would think “cheating!” Paul was no exception. However, for him, that would actually be a positive development — if she was cheating, he’d absolutely know it and it would give him a way forward to fix whatever it was she felt he was lacking in. He could deal with that. What worried him most was a festering problem that he couldn’t get a handle on which would in time destroy the relationship. If he knew what was happening he could deal with it. One day, Julie texted him from work. She asked him to go shopping for some things. Paul really disliked being asked to go shopping, something which Julie normally took care of. It ate into his “alone time”. He would do it, of course, and never complain even jokingly. He didn’t like it but he knew this was a way in which Julie could be satisfied with the appearance of equality in the relationship. Not volunteering for the chore was the maximum level of push-back he would consider; if asked he would accept immediately while projecting a good attitude. Julie sent him text messages about things to pick up. As long as he was told exactly what to get he could at least do light shopping. With his phone he could text her directly and send images of products and she’d pick out what to get. This time turned out to be a pretty long trip. He didn’t appreciate having and hour and a half taken from his personal time, but if doing this occasionally helped solidify the relationship he’d gladly sacrifice. On his way back he walked past his usual salon. Price was a little on the high end but the stylist there was good and it was in walking distance of home. He visited the salon every month. He judged his appearance to be a solid 7/10, but that was only because he paid an enormous amount of attention and effort to it. Without that he’d be barely average — actually, below average. He considered this to be the absolutely most critical aspect of his ability to get a girlfriend and build a relationship. He often envied hot guys; he’d have absolute no problems in life if he had their faces and builds. His one and only advantage over other guys in general is that he spent much more effort in presentation. A natural 7/10 guy who didn’t pay attention to maintaining himself could drop to a 6 or a 5. Coming up to his floor — he stopped. There were two police standing in-front of the door to the unit. Paul instantly thought there was a break-in. He immediately thought of his iPad laying on the coffee table. He really loved that iPad, it was the best gift he had ever gotten from a girl. “Paul Marks?” “Y-yes…” “Do you reside at this address?” “Yeah, with my girlfriend.” “Put the bags down.” Paul did as he was told. He couldn’t think straight, this was seriously frightening him. He desperately wished Julie was here. “Do you have a key for the door?” “Um…yes…” Paul hurriedly fished out the key to the condo. The officer put his hand out, and Paul numbly handed it over. The cop was looking at Paul straight in the eye. The other cop behind the one Paul was speaking to also came up beside the first one and took up a stance of holding onto his belt with both hands. Paul was intimidated. “Paul Marks. You have been barred from entry to the residential unit 336 Armilo Avenue number 202. You may not enter the premises for any reason. Do you understand?” Paul just looked at the cop. His mind had blanked out. “Do you understand?” Paul snapped out of it. He had to call Julie, he couldn’t deal with this situation on his own. “Put the phone down!” Paul could only comply. “You are are barred from residence and may not enter for any reason. Do you understand?” “Y-yes, I understand…” was all he could reply. He understood the words of the police. They were just too ridiculous and unexpected. “You may not contact the owner directly, including telephone calls or text messages. You must keep a physical distance of at least 500 meters from the owner of the premises. Do you understand?” “…yes…” “You may arrange for the removal of any personal property in the residence through an intermediate party such as family or friends. This document will explain your rights and restrictions in detail. If you have any questions, call the number on the bottom.” Paul numbly took the pamphlet. The cop who had been doing all the talking took on a different tone. “Sir, this isn’t a court order, don’t worry you’re not going to jail or anything. This is just a way some women use to kick out a guy; we see it all the time. If you obey these restrictions I guarantee nothing will happen to you legally.” Paul mumbled something. He couldn’t think. All that was on his mind was getting away from the police so he could call Julie. Outside of the building he immediately dialed Julie’s contact. The cop has told him he can’t call her, but he ignored that — that was like telling him not to breathe. “This user is unavailable, please leave a voice message.” Was she somewhere outside of reception? But, it wasn’t her voice mail message. Paul tried texting her; he used the existing text window so there’s no possibility of somehow using the wrong contact. “Are you there?” The text seemed to have went out, but Paul noticed the little received icon didn’t appear. He was at a total loss. Paul walked to a small local park where there he knew was a bench and sat down. After some time his brain started working. “First of all, I need to talk to Julie.” But no matter how many times he called or texted there was no response. Paul finally came to the conclusion that he must have been blocked. Why? He hadn’t the slightest idea. He knew that there was something wrong with Julie’s mood. They had nothing even remotely like a fight. He would never allow for their mood to deteriorate to the point they would actually fight. No matter how hard he wracked his brain he couldn’t think of anything that would cause such a dramatic shift. Was there something going on behind the scenes which she had covered up from him? Was it really another guy, pushing her buttons? Was she influenced by someone to get rid of me? As the hours went by, Paul’s stomach alerted him to his hunger. He was dragged back into the current reality by force. The fact is, he is now homeless. He didn’t even have a car to sleep in. He had a few dollars in his pocket. He didn’t have parents; mom was dead and dad was estranged for years — he had heard that dad re-married and had left the country. He had ex-girlfriends of course…but he didn’t have their contact information anymore. He would never ever keep the contacts of other girls in his phone while he was in a relationship. In fact he had frequently left his phone within easy access by Julie basically inviting her to snoop through it. He would be completely clean, not even the slightest hint of other girls. With one exception: his sister Pamela. In fact, he had been in a relationship with Pam before hooking up with Julie. It lasted almost 6 months. Being his sister he really wasn’t attracted to her. He’s perfectly normal in that regard. She was 1 year older than him. At the time, he had hoped that Pam would finally be the answer to his long-term problem of finding a woman who could support him for life. He wasn’t attracted to her, but he still did his best to perform. But…she wasn’t comfortable with the arrangement. She ended up getting with another guy; Paul was actually pretty jealous and would have tried hard to take her back but she was clear that she wanted to end it “for both our sakes”. He didn’t understand that logic. Whatever that guy could do for her, Paul could do better. He was sure. It wasn’t to be. She let him stay at her place until he could find another girlfriend — Julie. Pam had since become engaged and had moved, but he still had her number. He dialed Pam’s contact. “Paul?” His relief was dizzying. She had answered. “Pam, thank God! Do you have a minute??” “Um, sure? What’s going on?” “I’m…I’m, uh, in a lot of trouble. I was…thrown out of Julie’s place…” Silence. “Pam?” “Are you serious?” “I just came home from shopping and some cops were waiting for me. They told me I can’t ever go to her place again. I can’t reach Julie either…” More silence. “Okay, I got it. I got it. Look, can you call me back in an hour? I seriously can’t talk about this right now.” “An hour?” “Yeah, give me an hour. We’ll figure this out, okay?” “…okay.” He ended the call. Paul’s sense of relief was profound. Pam was there. Pam would take care of everything. He thought about it. Even though Pam was currently with another guy, she should still be able to let her own brother stay with them for a while. With his immediate needs taken care of, he could figure out how things could be repaired with Julie. Could he possibly take Pam back? Looking back on it, maybe the reason why he lost her to begin with was because he wasn’t sexually aggressive enough. He wasn’t particularly attracted to her, so perhaps that made it so that he wasn’t being passionate enough. Not letting her feel loved enough. This time, he could perform. Could he get Pam to take him to a hotel with the excuse of not getting in the way of her and the other guy? There he could definitely perform. He could show her what he could do for her. He thought about various scenarios getting Pam back. He knew deep down he was just running away from facing the fact that Julie dumped him. Once he was safe with Pam he was sure he would think about how he would fold up into Julie’s sofa happily reading on his iPad waiting for her to come back home. He would probably start crying. As he continued dreaming up scenarios and strategies for getting back Pam his despair turned to anticipation. He watched the phone’s clock, painfully waiting for the hour the pass. The very moment an hour had passed, Paul immediately called back. “This user is unavailable, please leave a voice message.” Paul stared blankly into space. He tried again. “This user is unavailable, please leave a voice message.” Paul decided that she must be out of reception. In an elevator or something. “This user is unavailable, please leave a voice message.” No matter how much he dialed, the response was the same. Texts weren’t answered either. The hour turned into two hours. Then three hours passed. In the first time in his life, Paul felt that he was done for. His last lifeline, his sister Pam, has abandoned him. All his work building himself into the perfect boyfriend. Developing the Rules. Dieting and exercising. Going to the salon every month without fail. All useless. Worthless. How much of a fool was he? How much of a sucker? He was a complete failure. A man who couldn’t remotely be called one. “Julie…” He began walking back towards the condo but stopped himself. He couldn’t believe how easily he could deny reality. Now that he could finally think, he realized that Julie had gone through significant effort to arrange for his exile, which means nothing would change if he went back. In fact he might even end up in jail. He didn’t know where Pam lived now. So now what? He had a few dollars left. At least he could go get something to eat. Not knowing what to do in the future, Paul could only think of what to do at the moment. As he left the park and walked slowly down the street, for the first time in his life he considered suicide. His life was over. Paul wasn’t pessimistic normally but if he looked at it rationally he was done for. He needed someone to support his life, and to that end he had built himself up to be a desirable boyfriend. There was no way he could keep that up as a homeless; his grooming and looks would hit rock bottom. His options to meet women would be severely restricted. Paul also considered wether or not he was actually as desirable as he wanted to believe. It’s true that he was successful at meeting and hitting it off with women, and he had entered multiple relationships. Perhaps those early success blinded him to a fundamental flaw in himself. In fact he knew what that flaw was, and occasionally he admitted it to himself: he was flawed as a man. He couldn’t take care of himself, let alone others. At this point in his self-reflection, Paul would normally escape reality. He would assure himself that he just needed to be a better boyfriend. If he looked good enough, if he was passionate enough, if he was considerate enough, if he control the mood in the home enough, that he could overcome any other flaw. He would curse not being gifted with superior genetics. Paul walked down the street. He felt an acute stab of anxiety in his stomach. Where would he go now? Maybe a police station? Hospital? Maybe he should try to get in touch with Julie after all. Mentally exhausted and afflicted by anxiety symptoms, Paul looked at his phone while he crossed a street. *BANG*! A loud metallic crashing sound snapped Paul into reality. He whipped his head around… …what he saw didn’t register immediately. A large bus was tipped over precariously on one set of wheels. Behind it was multi-trailer truck lurching to a stop, its trailers splayed out over the road in an unnatural configuration. He could perceive a spray of debris rising from the scene. The next moment it registered. The bus, tipping over, was headed straight for him. He noticed that the driver’s seat of the bus seemed to be empty. Paul thought that was strange. Then, Paul Marks thought nothing at all.