“All right, I'm counting on you guys.”

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Silver took hold of the object given to her by the NPC in Town of Beginnings.
She had a lot of cargo in that cart of hers — she gave me a nervous smile.

Ah, I remembered that feeling of trepidation running through me when I went through my first quest.

“Heh,” she said, not hiding her smile as she started pulling the cart behind her.

She looked like she was having a good time.
I wasn't even exaggerating — just walking around like that in and of itself seemed to make her happy.

…It was times like this that I definitely couldn't burst her bubble with what was actually going to happen.
If we actually finished the quest…
If we got to the end, then I'd tell her everything.
If we failed, well, then she'd figured things out for herself from there.

“Okay!” she declared.
“Time to get things started!”

“Sure thing.”

[The Party Leader has initiated the peddling quest.]

[Teleporting to the quest location.]

[Commencing the quest.]

As we were hearing the announcement, the people around us disappeared, leaving us on our own in a different area.
Like this one, there were other areas specifically built for certain quests, depending on its stipulations.

“Okay, you ready?” I asked her.

“Totally! We've got this!” she responded enthusiastically.

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She's speaking a lot more loudly now that it's just the two of us…

Anyway, our starting point was Town of Beginnings, and we're supposed to head to the next town over, called Green Solde.
The area we were sent to was basically the same as if we walked from one town to another normally — the only difference here was that we were by ourselves entirely.
It was probably going to take us around thirty minutes to reach our destination.
Then again, I'd never cleared the mission before, so I didn't really have a clue.

Silver hummed a melody as she pushed the cart forward.
Seeing how happy and excited she was, I could tell she'd never once done one of these missions before.
I'd been the same way at first…but then I got my ass kicked by PKers.

This time was going to be different though.
Even if I died, I was definitely making sure she and that cargo got to its destination and clearing this quest for my last run of RL.

“What's wrong?” she asked.
“You're looking kind of scary.”

“Huh? Oh, hey, sorry.”

She was looking at me with concern written all over her face.
Hah, did I really look that dark and scary right then?

“Ah, there's an enemy!”

“What?! Where?!”

“O-over there!”

I ended up raising my voice at the word, “enemy”.
In my experience, the PKers didn't usually make their appearance until around halfway through, so this was new.
Still, there was always the off-chance that they might come out earlier…

[Lv1 Slime]

“…A slime.

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I rubbed my chest, feeling relieved.
Other players wouldn't come around in this area, but enemies that weren't players made a frequent appearance.
If we only had to kill the monsters to beat this quest, then man, I'd do these missions all day long.
Then again, this girl didn't know a thing about PKers, yet.

“Heh, yeah, it's just a slime! Ah, but, would you mind showing me how it's done? I'm not really good at fighting…” she said, bowing her head with a grimace.

…Well, she was probably telling the truth with that.
This game was not kind at all to newbies, especially if they were traders.
This thing might have only been level one, but it sure put up a fight.
It didn't go down after a few hits, ensuring that you'd figure out how to really fight in RL.
Even so, I'd been with a party my first time around, so it hadn't been too arduous of a battle…


I faced the slime and used one of my one-handed axe martial arts skills, Slash, against it.
Martial arts were learned from increasing the levels of weapon skills, and were techniques that could only be utilized when equipped with that specific equipment.
I was able to use Slash because I had a one-handed axe equipped at the time.

A bluish light emanated from the axe, curving straight at the slime and slicing through it.

[Slime is defeated.]

[Experience gained.]

It only took one hit to kill it, but then again, if I considered the difference in our levels, that only made sense.
We might be in production, but some of us can still dish out some powerful attacks.

“Wow, you were so amazing!” Silver screeched.

All I did was beat down on something lower-leveled than me, but she was making me feel self-conscious.

“Why don't you give it a try, Silver?”

“Okay, I will!”

I doubted that she'd been taught a single thing about combat before now.
It was just too bad that traders were ill-suited for combat.
I should do what I could to guide her in the right direction.

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While we walked to our destination, I watched from afar and gave her instructions on how to fight slimes on the way.
We'd gone quite some way once I took a look around myself.

“S-Slash! Yes, I did it!”

The slime's HP fell to zero when she let loose her technique.
I'd say it was a bit too early to count my chickens, but she was probably going to be fine on her own if it was just level one slimes we were talking about.
With how absolutely excited she seemed to be, I couldn't help but crack a smile myself.

“Um, I just wanted to thank you so much for all you've taught me so far.
I didn't have anyone to show me how things worked before this…”

“Hah, no problem at all.”

“To be able to go on such a fun quest together and even learn how to fight from you, I –“


A loud warning rang in my ears, drowning out her words.

It was them.

It was a fortuitous skill to have.
She didn't hear a single thing — I was the only one who could hear it.

“Hey, sorry, but, uh, h-hang out here for a sec.”

“…What, why?”

She looked worried.

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It was just that there were two PKers that were popping up in the field and that I needed to go face them personally.
That was something I just couldn't tell her.

Don't worry about it.
Just gotta check something out,” I told her, pasting on a fake smile for her benefit.

“…If you say so.”

“Yeah, no sweat.
I'll be back in a flash.”

She nodded reluctantly.

Silver seemed like a good kid.
Just watching her look so happy pushing that stupid cart made me feel a little giddy myself.

I feel like if she hadn't become a trader, RL would have been a lot more fun to play for her.
She could've joined a party, been beloved by her guild members, and had the time of her life, but she was about to learn how cruel and cold a world this really was.

There was nothing I could do to change how the game worked, nothing I could do about the PKers, nor about the sorry situation that being a trader brought about.

The only thing I was capable of doing right now was ensuring this quest was finished successfully, no matter the cost.

That was it.

It was her first quest, and I wanted to make sure she enjoyed it from start to finish.

“Okay,” I told her.
“I'll be back soon.”

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