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65 What’s Normal

 As Wandering Sound walked quietly next to Drifting Cloud and Roaming Wind he felt a sense of adventure that he hadn't felt in a long time since playing this game. This game has always been a source of income for him ever since he had begun playing it.

He had always dreamed of becoming a famous singer and after winning an online competition his dream came true. A well-known company signed a contract with him and at the age of eighteen, he became a famous virtual star.

The company he was with wanted to expand their market so they sent some of their more popular stars inside different vrmmo's. He was one of the stars that got chosen, but on the upside, he got sent to one of the most popular vrmmos.

All he had to do was to become popular, the company would set him up in a town and promote him. His songs were all in a digital format, so if a player liked his music they could download it after the first time they heard it.

There are three ways a player can perform in a town, one is a street performance, where a player can rent a designated place in town to perform for an hour or more if they want to continue to pay for the spot. Secondly, there are wooden stages, around 2-3 depending on the size of the town. The stage can only be rented if player popularity reached a certain amount. Basically it comes down if the player's digital album has the right amount of sales.

Lastly, there are concert halls and stadiums, these are only reserved for players whose album has reached the top 10 in sales and popularity. Wandering Sound had sold out stadiums every other week, but he wasn't happy.

Becoming famous sounds easy on paper, but the reality is that it's extremely hard. The company didn't understand how many people wanted to be famous in this game by becoming a singer. The town the company chose to settle him in was the capital of Ziam, it was a good idea, a lot of people all over the region always wandered in and out of the capitol.

It's too bad that other people also had the same idea, once he entered the capitol there were sirens everywhere, trying to get popular. Although he was a great singer and songwriter, his music wasn't mainstream, so he didn't have a lot of fans at first but the company hired a songwriter that was popular for his mainstream songs. Using those songs he became extremely popular. He had money, fame, endorsement deals but he wasn't happy because he didn't earn it himself using his music.

Wandering Sound couldn't help but be upset when his songs were turned down by the company because they didn't fit his image. At most, they would let him put his song on the album but it would always be as a bonus track. Although his fame grew the more unhappy he became, and if he tried to talk to anyone about it they would say he was being ungrateful. This went one for five years until it was time for his contract renewal.

Deciding not to resign, he decided to quit being a singer for a while and wander the game making money in other ways. He had always been interested in discovering new places, so he decided that he wanted to be an explorer. He already had enough coin that would allow him to travel wherever he pleased, so he decided to be one.

Since he was already a bard, he could make explorer his secondary class. To get a second class one must become friends with the class instructor of their choosing and once they gained that instructor trust, they will be given a chain quest that pertains to the second class they want.

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For example, Wandering Sound's quest was to find evidence of the Forgotten valley of Ensworth. After searching for the last two weeks he finally found a clue that pointed him in the direction of Errinisworth. Excited he packed up his stuff, sold his house in the capital and left town.

He had been on the road for about a week, he finally realized how lonely he was. In the capital, he was always surrounded by people and he always had his fans to talk to, but as he walked he realized how much the silence was getting to him.

Since the competition was high in the capitol he was never really familiar with anyone, because he knew the person you call friend could become an enemy in the blink of an eye. He watched it happen to so many of the other singers.

Now that he was out of the capitol and no longer a singer but a normal player he wanted to try to make friends, but finding someone who didn't know him would be hard, that is why when he heard Roaming Wind scream he paused for a bit before running to help.

Who knew he would run into players that don't follow the normal conventions. As he saw the Treasure Hunter getting dragged by Floret Buns and her Dryad friend trying to help her by throwing potions. A smile appeared and all he could think was, 'Interesting.'

Taking out his flute he began to blow, and as he did he watched the faces of the two players look at him with no recognition, 'Maybe I can just be a normal player around these two.'