“Trader” was the worst class known to man.

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To start off, there were two different types of existences within RL: one was based around combat, and the other around production.
For example, an alchemist would fall under the “production” header, but that wasn't to say they couldn't fight as well.
They reigned supreme for production-related activities, but could more or less throw some punches as well.
They just couldn't compare to combat-specific classes.

Now, a warrior was categorized under the combat specialty.
Combat was its end-all-be-all and the warrior was excellent at combat, but couldn't produce anything to save its life.

Either way, that was how the two different roles differentiated themselves.

The trader, however, was a production-based class best with all matters related to gold in any way.
Traders received discounts whenever buying from NPCs, would receive more gold than usual from monsters they've defeated, and would receive a higher reward upon a successful quest completion.

When the game came online, they were a handy member to have around as having just one trader around would yield the party a hefty amount of gold more than without.
As time went on though, the introduction of rare items and higher quality weapons caused an inflation with gold, the game's currency.

As far as combat was concerned, though, a trader's battle skill proficiency was hardly anything to speak of.
Did you want someone that would yield you a bit more gold, or someone who knew how to fight? The answer wasn't exactly rocket science.
Taking that into consideration, the need for a trader drops dramatically, and trying to make it through the game solo was asking for trouble.

The reason why was because the trader was neither an alchemist, nor was it a blacksmith — traders couldn't produce something from nothing on their own; without support from other classes, battle wasn't up for conversation either.
As such, traders were considered to pretty much be parasites, and were avoided like the plague.

RL was a character customization game that allowed a selection amongst a high variety of classes based on different choices made along the way.
Of course, providing your first choice was not available at the time, you had the option of choosing a class that was fairly similar and, in turn, morphing it into the class you were originally hoping for.

Characters were lifelong though, and couldn't be changed to anything else.
I couldn't say whether it was to relieve server load or not, but you couldn't start over with a new character once you'd already made one.
I hadn't found any information regarding transferring data to a different class, either.
Once you made your choice, you were stuck with it.

There was no point in regret either.
After all, there weren't any second chances.

“Guess…it's time to log in again.”

After finishing my meal, I put the VR helmet on.
I mean, the very idea of going back into that game filled me with dread, but it would've been a complete waste of all the money I'd spent on it if I didn't.

It was a habit at this point, but with the way I was going, I might as well be as good as dead.


I rode into the game through a sea of electronic waves.

[Welcome to RL, Nishiki!]

I logged into the game, hearing those very same words the AI has said who knows how many times before.
I'd used my real name as my login: Nishiki Hanatsuki.

“Good evening, Nishiki~”

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I started getting messages from the guild chat after logging in, and this time, it was the guild master, Nine, contacting me.
This was the person who'd invited me into the guild “Once in a Lifetime” from the start.

A guild was essentially composed of a guild master who acted as the boss, and then all the members were like a team the guild master had assembled together.
I came to the guild in pretty much the same vein.

This was, when I first joined the guild, I was invited for quests or hunts with other members a lot, but as our guild grew bigger, the invitations started dying down.
That said, being part of a guild was a huge deal.
It made me happy that I could be a part of something, even if only in a game.
If a party was short a member, I'd do my best to jump in for the mission.

[BangBangMaru has logged on!]

“Heya, BangBangMaru~”



“Hey, BangBang!”

Just as I was about to greet Nine back, another member popped on and the reaction was completely different.
It was so striking of a difference that I was beyond feeling sad about it.

[You have a new message from Nine.]


I hadn't heard that email sound effect for a good minute.
I only ever received a message from Nine every once in a blue moon…

[Nishiki, there's something I'd like to discuss.
Please meet me at the guild HQ.]

Only two sentences…
Huh, I wondered what he wanted to talk about.

[Roger that.
On my way.]

After sending the message through, I headed towards our HQ — a place where all guild members convene for guild-related issues.

“Hey, how's it going?”

“Hey, Nishiki.
Sorry for making you come all the way over.”

When I walked inside the HQ, a middle-aged man — Nine's avatar — was waiting for me.
I couldn't see any other members aside from him.

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“I'll make this quick: I just wanted to thank you for all of y

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