“…Hey! Did you check out the SB? There's a Peddler's Quest on it!”

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“Wha? Nothing on RL is that appetizing right now!”

“Right? But, I'm telling you I saw it! And it's just one person doing it, too! Dude's insane!”

There was a darker part to the world of RL, and within that space were a certain kind of people.
They were people that only had to fulfill a specific condition to change to something under the header of the hidden class of PK: “Dark Knight,” “Thief,” “Lunatic,” “Black Priest,” “Assassin,” and many other classes out there.
Regardless of whichever one you became, you gained an advantage in PvP (Player versus Player) combat.
PKing someone else granted you experience and you could take their items.

Real Life Online — its more normal approach was for you to defeat monsters and carve your way through a savage world, but it also welcomed a more unconventional path.
It even had things you could outright call “evil”…

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“Hah, when you say one dude, you aren't talking about that one trader guy that goes around without an escort, are you?”

“Oh man, that's just asking for trouble…”

“Whatchu mean? If you're not in, I'm heading there before the quest fills up.
You gotta love a golden goose.”

“You cheap ass! I'm the one that found out about him!”


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There was a message board out there with quests specifically for those within the PK class: the shadow board, otherwise known as SB.
Those of that class were able to search for intrusive-capable quests.
By definition, those of the PK class could interject themselves into a quest as another player is shifting towards their specialized quest location.
Each quest was randomized, so each PKer would submit a ticket for entry.
If they won the lottery, the person, or party, could intrude into the quest.

Trader quests…were one of the many quests they could jump into.
To put it lightly, those particular quests were the most popular to invade.
While it was true there was a lot of gold on the line, the difficulty level was what enticed people the most.
It could've been because traders had packages they had to transport, but even one PKer was considered overkill.

[Matched with Peddler's Quest II.
Teleporting to quest location.]

The announcement rang through everyone's minds.

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“YES! It's my turn now!”

“No way!”

“Hey, man, all's fair in love and war! Time to rake in some moolah!”

“Damn it, that's totally not fair — I found it first! I want 10%!”

Out of the bickering duo, one was teleported away.

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His expression gave off no sense of failure or defeat.
That might have been because the only achievement he'd had with trader quests was the one time he'd succeeded just a week prior.

“Phew, first things first: Keen Ears.”

His class was “assassin”.
It was a class dependent on quickly sighting the enemy and launching a sneak attack to kill the other player.
With the Keen Ears skill, his hearing was amplified and he could hear every footstep of other players aside of himself.

“Over there?” he thought to himself.
“Closer than I'd thought.
Eh, doubt I need to tread too carefully here anyway.”

The target was approximately a hundred meters away.
He headed in that direction without too much caution…

…And without realizing the hunter had been the prey all along.

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