Under the gentle light from the monitor, Roland typed on his mechanical keyboard quickly. Soon, he finished his article and uploaded the videos. After he posted them, he was going to rest his fingers for a while, when his phone rang.
He glanced at the number on the screen and accepted the call. Without any formalities, he simply asked, "How's it going?"
"Not bad. I'm already promoted to Saint Samurai," said a young man with a magnetic voice. "What about you? According to the forum, the future of Mages doesn't look good."
Roland replied, "It's fine. I've already got my feet under me."
"You're good," said the young man sincerely. "You don't need to work today, do you? Let's meet at the old spot. I've called Raffle. This game is too complicated and astonishingly huge. It's hard to talk about it over the phone."
"All right, I'll meet you there."
Roland hung up the phone and found a T-shirt in the closet. Then he said goodbye to his parents in the living room and left on a bike.
Roland was in a southern city, and it was a hot summer. The sun was scorching, although it was only morning. Roland tried to ride in the shadow of trees and avoid the sun, but he started sweating heavily very soon.
The air in this city was usually humid, and there were few heavy industries within, with trees everywhere. So, Roland's hometown had great air quality and a clear sky. However, Roland felt that there was a strange smell in the air. He wondered if it was his imagination.
Ten minutes later, Roland came to a cold drink bar. The official hour of opening had not arrived yet, but the door was already open. Roland secured his bike and walked in.
The air conditioner was on in the cold drink bar. The moment he came in, Roland felt that he was revived from the heat. The decorations of the bar were mostly in warm yellow. He greeted the pretty woman at the counter and went straight to a booth on the second floor that had the plate of a panda on the door.
Soft music was being played inside the booth. A young man was sitting on the yellow chair. He was handsome, with fair skin, dark eyes, red lips, and bright teeth. He was enjoying a bottle of Red Bull, a watermelon before him.
Roland sat down on his opposite and chuckled. "Red Bull and watermelon… You're having such aphrodisiacs so early in the morning? Did you have too much sex last night?"
The handsome young man was named Schuck. They were best buddies and neighbors and had been in the same school from elementary school to college. They were not brothers but closer than brothers. So, they were most direct with each other.
Schuck put down the can in his hand and said helplessly, "I have no choice. Marriage is the tomb of love. Now, all the sex is compulsory. If I hadn't worked hard to feed her first, I wouldn't have been able to join the game in time."
Handsome guys were always pursued by a lot of girls. Schuck was good-looking even compared to superstars. Besides, he was a decent man who didn't smoke or drink. Playing games was his only hobby. So, many girls were after him.
Schuck's wife was his classmate, and naturally, Roland's classmate too, from middle school. Her name was Chen Hongdan. Of all his pursuers, she was the most beautiful and audacious.
She had been pursuing Schuck since middle school. She even threatened her family so she could be sent to Schuck's class in high school. She also applied for the same college that Schuck went to and volunteered to do laundry for Schuck in college.
After they graduated, they naturally got married.
Schuck was the owner of this cold drink bar, but Chen Hongdan was actually running it. She loved her husband and did not want him to work hard.
The panda booth was a special place reserved for him and his friends. It was never open to the public.
"You're talking like married life is hard."
Roland knew that Schuck's life was comfortable. The guy had an easy job. He was not earning plenty of money with his cold drink bar, but his life was definitely above average. Besides, his wife was very nice to him. Most men would envy him.
"According to the official announcement, Saint Samurai is one of the three OP classes. How were you promoted so fast?"
Schuck replied, equally puzzled, "At first, I thought it was hard. My character was a Bard. I ran to the Temple of Light and prayed before the statue of the goddess with Language Proficiency, and then I was promoted. I found it odd, too."
"How does the class feel?" asked Roland curiously.
Schuck picked up a piece of melon and said, "I haven't fought anyone yet, but the privileges are quite good. People in the Temple of Light were shocked when I became a Saint Samurai. They offered me weapons and armors and twenty gold coins, claiming that they would give me money regularly every month."
Roland sighed helplessly. Their experiences were too different. He had worked hard yet couldn't really cast one complete spell, and his friend was already making money. Most upsetting of all, Schuck didn't really do anything. How lucky was he?
While Roland was bummed out, the booth opened, and two young men, one fat and the other slim, came in. They wiped their sweat and sat on the long chair without greeting Roland and Schuck. They didn't start talking until they had some watermelon.
"Today is too hot. I feel that my fat is being squeezed out."
It was the fatty, who was named Raffel, who said this. He was not too tall and had an amusingly round face.
"It's because you're too fat. I don't sweat as much at all."
The slim guy replied to him. He was about 1.83 meters tall. Because he was too slim, he looked like a pole. He was called Brazil, because he loved watching the Brazilian national team play football and wore their uniform all the time.
He went by the same name in the game.
Roland looked out and asked, "Where are Li Lin and Husseret?"
Schuck waved his hand and said, "They're working and won't be free until nighttime. Let's talk first. Tell me your locations in the game."
Raffel and Brazil both shook their heads, because they could not speak the local language. Raffel was a Shield Warrior, and Brazil was an Archer. Neither of them could cast a spell, so they did not know what the NPCs talked about. All they knew was that they were in different towns.
Schuck said, "I am in a city named Isnas. I don't know its specific location yet, but it should be a fairly large city with its scale."
Roland told his friends his location, Red Mountain Town. Then he remarked, "This game is outrageously huge. It seems that we are scattered. So, we might as well work on our own for now and make other plans later when we re more familiar with the game."
Schuck nodded and said, "That's all we can do for now."
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