“Is Tamaki a secret gamer like me?? Wow! I would not have picked it! He must really like the game too, writing down moves to use and stuff…”
You smiled to yourself thinking about how you two were similar in that regard.
That afternoon back at home you logged on to RFO as quickly as possible so that you might happen to catch Butterfli3 before he left to go back to the front lines but he had gone.
The spot on the bed beside you was empty and your heart sank when you realized you were alone. You were going to log out but then remembered that he said he would come back go see you when he had finished taking on the boss of that level.
“I want to show him how far I’ve come when he comes back, I’d like to have a shop by then too. I know how to grind it out for EXP now so I have no excuse.”
Setting your face with determination you hopped off the bed and picked up the dagger in the rat fur pouch that was on the bedside table and headed for the door.
Over the next few weeks you farmed rats, vipers and even moved on to wolves, crocodiles and these giant Venus fly trap looking plants that had unfortunately gotten a taste of human flesh and wanted more.
You actually liked taking on the Venus fly traps because although they didn’t give a huge amount of Mahi or EXP they gave really cool item drops and you had a decent stash of paralysis poison potions, teleportation crystals and a few other items that you did quite know how to use so you kept them in case they came in handy in the future.
Sometimes you would find yourself researching things about the game in your spare time at school or home and decided to follow advice from an ex-SAO player, named Kirito, who said to keep a teleportation crystal on board when taking on a new monster so you can get out quickly to avoid being killed. You took his advice and always had a one handy. If you used it you would be sent straight back to the city square.
Another piece of advice you found was to watch the monsters health bar and your own during a fight and if your health bar was depleting faster than the monsters. Get out!
Soon you had reached level 10 and proudly got your merchant license and bought a small shop down a back alley that had a small apartment on the second floor.
“This is perfect because I can live here now and not have to pay 95 Mahi a night!”
You moved yourself, your wicker basket, fishing pole and dagger into the upstairs part of the shop and smiled happily.
There was a bed but no other furniture, but you had enough Mahi now to be able to splurge a little and you did a happy dance when you swiped your menu bar open and looked at your savings.
“Yaasss bitches look at me go! If only I could use this money in real life.” You thought sadly as you compared this Mahi to the money you had in your savings account in real life.
That afternoon you went to a few shops nearby and bought yourself a lounge, chair, a few small cooking essentials, plates, cutlery etc…
Just enough to get by for the time being.
Funnily enough when you had bought stuff you thought of buying things that would be appropriate for 2 people, a lounge big enough for two, 2 plates, 2 bowls, 2 sets of cutlery etc. Butterfli3 was still heavily on your mind obviously.
Over the next week you opened the shop and placed a few of the items from your own storage stash out on the shelves for people to buy.
No one came.
You were disappointed.
You went next door and made friends with the other shop keepers, who were also fellow players, so that you could get your name out there and slowly but surely people ventured to your shop.
Some came to have a look and others bought one or 2 items.
Each day in the afternoon you would go out and farm some more monsters to get items for your store and each day your business built.
It was mid afternoon one day around a month and a bit since you opened, that a masked man appeared in your doorway.
“Hello!” You called cheerfully, although he looked a bit suspicious. “Can I help you?”
“I’m assuming you’re O/N?” The male player said.
“Yep, that’s me, why?” You asked.
He walked in and handed you a small 3D diamond crystal.
“This is a message for you,” he said, “you’ll know who it’s from when you listen to it. I’ve been sent especially to drop it to you. If you wish to reply, I will return tomorrow and pick it up so you can get a message back to them.”
And with that the player turned and left the shop.
You looked down at the small item and turned it over in your hand before you saw the red button.
Curiously you pressed it and the diamond glowed and floated up from your palm.
“H-hi O/N, this is Butterfli3.” The voice recording said. “I umm… I really miss you and you’re the reason I’m fighting so hard on the front lines so I can finish up here and get back to you as soon as I can. I hope all is well, I would love to hear from you. I…I’d better go now. I haven’t forgotten you, I’ll be back soon.”
And then the recording clicked off.
A little icon popped up that asked if you would like to reply and you pressed yes.
“PLEASE RECORD YOUR MESSAGE AFTER THE TONE, THERE IS A TIMER THAT WILL COUNT DOWN THE LENGTH OF TIME LEFT FOR THE MESSAGE, ONCE THE TIMER HITS ZERO THIS DEVICE WILL STOP RECORDING.” The automated voice dictated.
Suddenly a tone beeped and a timer flashed up above the recording symbol.
“Oh! It’s recording! Umm hi Butterfli3 I’m not gonna lie, I miss you too and I can’t wait to see you again. I HAVE A SHOP NOW! It’s called [whatever you would call your shop] inside Dawn City. I live in the upstairs part…umm…I’ve got plenty of room for you here if you want to stay with me when you get back?” You cringed. “Umm ok sorry that sounded needy and weird I’m sorry I said too-.”
Suddenly you were cut off by the timer hitting zero.
“THANK YOU FOR YOUR MESSAGE.” The automated voice said then the diamond recoding device shut down.
“God damn it!”