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AN: Lots of conversation in this chapter. It's ... a lot of explaining about game mechanics neatly hidden overly forced in a dinner conversation.

Have fun with it.

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Zaran's capsule opened, his sister already waiting for him in front of it.

"Need help?"

"Give me a second. Need to get used to NOT being able to move now..." Zaran said in a sad tone. It took him a half a minute to get used to the lifeless feeling in his legs. While it was easy to start moving, running and jumping about in the game, he always had trouble when logging out of a VRMMO. It was the same for this one. As he sighed while thinking about it, he grabbed his crutches, which lied neatly next to him in the pod and got out of it.

Seeing as Zaran didn't need help, Sylphie already darted towards the kitchen. Although Sylphie was older by 3 years and would be 21 this year, she had a surprisingly childish attitude. She didn't often show this side of hers to the outside, only a Zaran and a few close friends knew about it.

Zaran made his way to the kitchen and saw that his sister had made spaghetti. He sat down and filled his plate to the brim with it, added some of the bolognaise sauce and ate hurriedly.

"Geez slow down! The game is not going to run away!" Sylphie scolded.

Zaran slowed down his eating pace. Because of his eagerness to play the game he forgot how much these little moments of eating or playing together meant for Sylphie. Even though he was raring to go back, he couldn't just ignore his sister. She virtually did everything for him, wash, cook, clean, ... On top of that she was the sole earner in the house.

Even though she was an accountant she had a really good salary and was easily able to afford the house. She had even told Zaran that he doesn't need to find a job or go to college if he doesn't want to. He should find something he really enjoys doing and do that instead.

"Hey Zaran... want to go to the cemetery next week?" Sylphie suddenly asked in a weak tone.

"Y...yeah" Zaran replied. "It's been five years huh..." He looked outside of the kitchen window lost in a daze... remembering what happened a few years prior. While his mom was on her way to pick up Zaran from school, and his dad was rushing over to pick up Sylphie from school, both their parents had a fatal car crash. His father got rear ended by a truck, which caused him to get sandwiched between the truck in front of him and the truck that hit him. His mother had to do a sudden evasive manoeuvre after an idiot threw a wriggling brown bag out of the car in the middle of the motorway. 

He had experience with some brutal things in his past lives, but somehow losing his parents still made his heart grew heavy. While there was no lack of blood in any of his previous lives, he had been saved of it this life. Technology made humans grow somewhat peaceful and less savage as they were before. In the end Zaran felt they had grown weak. How many know how to survive alone in the woods? What it is to fight for survival every day with every second being a battle for survival? Barely any. 

So as humans grew weak with technology, so did Zaran. It at least felt like he was growing weak. He was more considerate towards others, had more emotion in this life compared to his other lives, solely due to his reliance on others because of his disability. Long lost emotions were finding their way to him again. This made him feel somewhat conflicted. If it was kept this way for his current life it would be an advantage for him but... what about the next? Would he still be a able to become a cold blooded killer after a life of safety and peace? If he couldn't kill someone anymore to save even one life, this life would have been an utter waste of time.

Sadly enough he had barely any control over this. Any action instigated by himself that resulted in losing his life early or without meaning was linked to suicide. Committing suicide carried a heavy price for any who reincarnated with their memories still left intact. It would result in their soul being destroyed. All their hard work to try and obtain an immortal body would be lost instantly.

Zaran let out a weary sigh and focused on his food again. Sylphie was still watching Zaran's stream and occasionally let out excited and surprised squeaks, Zaran was surprised to see her act this way. He knew that she hadn't quite accepted their parent's death yet.

After a little while Sylphie asked "Hey... What's up with your in game looks? Who did you base yourself off?"

"Someone who appears sometimes in my dreams... I've told you about it." Zaran said. He often had nightmares of a traumatic experience long past. Sylphie asked him every time what was wrong, but since he couldn't possibly tell her what really happened, he started recounting other gruesome stories from one of his previous lives.

"Oh... yeah... I forgot." Sylphie said and shifted her eyes away from Zaran for a bit, embarrassed that she forgot. " So uhm.. what level did you get before logging off?"

"Just got 6 after killing the boss of that dungeon." Zaran said as he pointed at the TV screen. "Got an animal companion too afterwards."

"Eh? For real? What kind? Wait... where's the trainer?!?" Sylphie asked excitedly. She had wanted to pick up the beast master skill but hadn't found the trainer yet.

"One of them." Zaran said as he pointed towards a Hellweaver he was beating up on the TV. "And the trainer... I really think it's better if you don't learn it in this city. He doesn't really have any 'normal' monsters for you to learn the skill with. You're honestly better getting it on your own or learning it in another city sis."

"Eww, a spider..."

"Hey she's really cute though!" Zaran rebuked angrily.

"Eh... how can a spider be cute?"

"Come see for yourself?" Zaran said as he rolled his eyes.

"Ok i will... by the way, have you found a class yet for once you reach level 10?" Sylphie asked before she ate another mouthful of spaghetti. It was public knowledge that you could get your first class at level 10. Many of the guilds offered basic classes, which you could switch for another at any point of the game. Only when you get towards level 50 would the first permanent classes start to appear. This however did not count for sub-professions and they were permanent from the start. If you didn't like your sub-profession you just had to deal with it. Although there might be a way to get rid of it, this early in the game that knowledge wasn't available yet. This caused many people to be extremely careful about the sub-professions they picked.

"No, none of the guilds are taking me in remember? Unless I can get a class by myself or something I don't think I will be getting one soon... Neither will I get the basic skills for the foreseeable future. Unless I can create some more custom skills, I'll be extremely lacking in that department. Talking about custom skills..." Zaran stopped speaking for a bit as he tried to find the right words.

"I had over 50.000 mails in my inbox earlier, due to streaming and creating the custom skill. People were swarming me with all kinds of questions in them. I just made it so that only friends can bother me with messages. You should probably do the same seeing as we share the last name and that we'll be playing together often. Same counts for friend invites and whispers by the way. Don't forget or they'll end up harassing you in taking them to me or something." Remembering the ridiculous amount of friend requests and mails he had gotten in such a short time Zaran couldn't help but let out a sigh. Before creating a custom skill or streaming he should've thought about disabling all those options, yet he forgot which made him end up in this mess.

"Oh they're already off for me. I got harassed by a few guys and I just turned everything off. By the way Zaran, what was your viewer count as you stopped streaming?" Sylphie suddenly asked.

"About 10K... why?"

"Well, it has increased to over 20.000 viewers, people are going crazy about how you fight! Could you teach me too? please? please?!?" Sylphie said excitedly.

"What is there to teach? You dodge and you attack. Just fight more. Anyone with battle experience could do that." Zaran said. It was true that at this level of the game, there really wasn't anything special about being able to move like that. You just had to have a good sense of how your virtual body is able to move and how the opponent would move. Seeing as your virtual body already had an easier time moving than the real one seeing as it was more athletic, basic movement like he did was very easy to accomplish. Even in previous VRMMO's that was the case. But as levels got higher and enemies got stronger, only relying no your own movement wasn't as easy anymore.

"There has to be more to it than that... what are you hiding little brother?" Sylphie said as she came over and tickled Zaran.

"Hey, stop.. hahahaha stop! no stop!" Zaran begged as his sis was tickling him. As she stopped he started explaining why he couldn't teach her. "I just told you sis... I don't really do anything special, I react to what the enemy does and then dodge appropriately. You should be able to do it too if you try hard." Zaran said.

"Really?"

"Yep, you can't be with someone else in a party though. I don't think you would be able to concentrate enough to pull it off. You have to be one hundred percent focused on the battle and not let anything else in." he said as he lectured her. While he wasn't originally planning on giving advice he hoped that Sylphie would let him off with this.

"I'll try that! You'll see, when we do a dungeon together next time I will move around just like you!" Sylphie happily said.

"By the way, couldn't you get one of those really wanted streaming contracts the game company is offering? Seeing as you can attract 20.000 viewers just because of how you fight and the custom skill, you should be eligible right?"

Zaran thought about it for a second before replying. "We shall see about that. If they would be interested in giving me a contract I wouldn't say no, although I doubt they will. It all depends on if I can keep drawing viewers towards my channel."

"Well just keep streaming then? If you stream cool fights like... OH MY GOD WHAT IS THIS MASSIVE SPIDER?!?!" Sylphie exclaimed as she saw the Hellweaver king on the tv screen. Once she saw that the fight had started her focus had instantly shifted away from the conversation to the screen. Her eyes glued to Zaran's every movement. Zaran watched the fight as well and tried to see what he could've done better.

Once the fight was done Sylphie just casually resumed her sentence like nothing had happened. "See, if you stream cool fights like that you'll easily keep viewers attracted. that was A-MA-ZING. Especially when the king walked over towards you when you were hiding behind that rock. That hit to his face and then stabbing him with the greatsword to get on his back!"

Zaran laughed and coolly replied. "It wasn't much. I was really lucky there that the king was so stupid to come over there and actually looked over the rock. If he had tried to impale behind the rock I wouldn't have been able to win the fight. I would've literally been in a sticky situation."

"... that's such a lame joke." Sylphie let out a deep sigh. "You're such an idiot."

"Sis... mind if I log in again?" 

"Sure, I'll come too after I do the dishes."

After Zaran took a quick bathroom break he got in the pod again and connected to the Myth Online servers. Soon, his consciousness was fading away...
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NianKaraz

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