Amalgamation: Endgame/Data Hexlyia
"Why are you reading that dusty old thing anyway. Books are for dweebs!" Paper rustles as the book is snatched from her hands with little resistance. She knows by now not to hold it too tightly, lest another worn paperback be torn by one of the unruly bunch she usually travels with. That this engine has the power to make books realistically worn and old, but not to avoid catastrophic glitches, asks serious question about either the priorities of the creators, or the nature of the reality. "Knowledge is its own virtue, Dahlia. I don't need any other reason."
The ripped blue demoness towering over her growls in frustration, her performative exasperation in stark contrast to Hexlyia's cold, dead stare at her confiscated book. "Come on, you're not 'Hexylia, the boring fucking human nerd who files taxes for a living'. You're the Soulless Slaughterer! The unstoppable monster! The brutally efficient mercenary hired by the rightful heir to the 8th circle of hell to crush all resistance! Come and scrum with the gang, train for the next battle! What does the Soulless Slaughterer need virtues for?"
"Sure." Dahlia rolls her eyes, and Hexlyia uses the opening to make an attempt to grab the book. Rather predictably, it's lifted out of her reach. "... Listen. Having no emotions isn't the same as having no beliefs or identity." Her gaze is still fixed on the book as she speaks. "And I am a human, not a monster."
"Bullshit, Slaughterer! Humans are brainless losers who do nothing but do taxes all day!"-
"You really have a thing against taxes tod"-
"And also, everyone I know is a monster! That's not a bad thing! It's the best thing! Why would you even want to be a human?!"
While her expression doesn't change an inch, she turns her head away from the pages dangling over her and sets her gaze dead center against Dahlia's. "I can guarantee that Humans are equally as capable of performing atrocities as your kin. Not that it affects my decision to be - or not be - a human." With a smug grin Dahlia delivers what could only be described as a chuckling roar of victory. "So you made a decision, huh? Real autonomous, huh? So you do have a soul! I knew something was off when I got you, a real soulless being should just follow orders! You're always just acting hoity-toity instead! What's the point in lying about not having feelings?"
The last sentence hangs dead in the air as Hexlyia tries to work out what the fuck she's going on about. Eventually, she shrugs. "Feelings? Look mate, you know who has a lot of feelings? Blokes that bludgeon their wife to death with a golf trophy."
"It's something my older self would have found funny."
Hexlyia sighs, not out of frustration, but to signal to Dahlia to end this conversation sooner so she can get back to her book. After failing to make another swipe at it, she continues. "Look, I know I can't convince you. Particularly given this is the... 17th time we've had this conversation. At this point, my understanding is that your insistence that I am a Monster, and actually do have feelings, are both related to you and your tactician's strange obsession with dating. This fact can be attributed to the origins of your world in the engine. While I am characteristically ambivalent to your instincts and these accusations, your continued attention of me prevents my devotion to greater virtues, and dissuading you from these notions represents more time I could use to, for instance, read my book. These frequent attempts to expose a nonexistent lie or force me to engage in camaraderie have only been an obstacle, and were it not for the ludicrous exchange rate of your money stat to other currencies, I would have left long ago."
The demoness smirks down on the mercenary, declaring her own victory regardless. "Well well, it looks like I've annoyed you. I'll prove it sometime, so you'd best be ready to drop the act!"
The book drops down onto Hexlyia's lap as Dahlia walks off to declare her victory to her tactician. Usually, it's useful to pretend to have emotions, but not when doing so will pull you into endless date-related shenanigans, consuming every free moment of time you have. Hexlyia has the sense that the past minutes of her increasingly pointless life have been spent as an auxiliary part of the shenanigans of a main character and their date. But like everything else, that doesn't phase her.