It's been a week since that event happened and now that I'd given up on RL completely, I was…
“Hey, I told you these documents had to be in by noon today, didn't I?”
I was in the same office like always, and like always, getting chewed out for something by my boss.
I had mountains and mountains of paperwork I couldn't finish in time even if it killed me.
There was nothing I could say to appease him.
“Well? What are you looking at me like that for? Do you feel the least bit sorry now?”
I didn't, at all.
But, it wasn't like I could tell him that.
“Is that the only thing you know how to say, idiot?! You listen here: those documents had better be done by tomorrow! Capisce?!”
…His rant was over.
Well, if nothing else, I wasn't finishing up this much work before we shut down, which meant I had to put in some overtime.
“Hello?! Am I talking to myself here?”
“…Yes sir, I understand.”
I didn't care about the deadline itself, but the paperwork was a major pain in my ass.
It was just a shitty job that stole away every ounce of time I had.
It wasn't that I had bad luck today — every single day was exactly like this.
The supervisor from earlier was the chief clerk for my department.
And, I don't remember this happened at all, but at the welcoming party for new employees, that guy forced me to drink one glass after another of alcohol as some kind of practical joke.
I got piss drunk and, for whatever reason, picked him up and carried him around during the party.
Ever since then, it's been an absolute hell.
We were in the same department, and with me being directly under his control, he couldn't stand the very sight of me.
He already had a terrible personality as it was, but it got a hell of a lot worse.
The office returned to its normal level of quietness.
There was no one around who could help me, because even if anyone tried, or if I tried asking for help, my boss would flip out.
“…Yeesh,” I sigh.
Anyone who wasn't me would've quit already, but I didn't have the courage to step into the unknown when I didn't have any new job prospects lined up.
Besides, I liked taking the easy roads, skirting by challenges, and choosing the safest options available to me.
The idea that this was my price to pay for the life I've lived until now struck a chord in me today, too.
“Phew, that's everything…”
My concentration dying down, I drank down the rest of my black coffee.
The pile of documents I'd had on my desk were all dealt with now.
There was no one else in the office with me.
It might have been because I was concentrating so hard, but I never noticed everyone had left for the day.
The hand on the clock told me it was already ten o'clock.
Well, if nothing else, at least I didn't have to catch the very last train.
“That's enough for today…”
I grabbed my briefcase that was filled to the brim with all kinds of papers and headed out of the office.
Today wore me out, too.
I'd normally head home and do a round of RL, but I didn't have that going for me anymore either.
I wondered how that one girl was hanging on, and if she was still having a safe, and fun, time.
…Mm, not that any of that had anything to do with me anymore.
It had already been a week since I'd played, after all, and I hadn't found a single new thing to preoccupy my time with.
“…I made a clean cut from RL, didn't I?”
For someone who ran from every little issue, I'd finally stood up against adversity for once.
Not only that, but I'd actually won, and helped that girl complete her mission safely.
It had been fun to play my very last run as a trader.
It was deep into the night on a weekday when I made my way home.
I was the only one walking down along the darkened road with only the streetlamps to light my way.
When I let my mind drift away, the only thing that came to mind was all things concerning RL.
I'd been playing all this time, so why is it now when I'd quit for real, that it was the only thing I could think about?
I really had zero hobbies.
The only things on my mind were my job and how to live my life, typically.
Maybe I couldn't get RL out of my mind because for the first time in the longest, I'd thought it was fun.
“Dang, the supermarket's already closed for the night…” I said, muttering aloud the most obvious fact.
I must've been tired since every thought just slid out of my mouth without a filter.
Not that it really mattered, since there wasn't a single soul out tonight except for me.
“Should I hit up the convenience store instead?”
The convenience store in front of the train station was a place I'd always go at this time of night.
There was nothing special about it — it was just your average convenience store.
…I took that back.
“K-knock it off…”
“C'mon, why not? Let's have a little fun.”
“Look at what time it is? You must be here to do that, right, lady?”
It just had to happen at the place I wanted to go.
I saw the unhappy figure of someone with their head bowed, hiding their face behind their food, and two young men surrounding them — one with his hair dyed blond, and another with brown hair.
It was your textbook definition of getting involved with the wrong types.
I didn't think crap like this happened outside of a novel.
“…Shit like this actually happens?” I murmured as I headed towards the store.
“Oh come on, you're gonna enjoy it.”
“I-I don't want to…”
From the sound of the voice, it seemed like it was a young girl hiding behind that bag of food.
What was she doing walking around this late at night?
“You know you want this, so let's go.”
The man's voice lowering a bit, he grabbed her arm roughly.
She was trying to get away, but I wasn't so sure she'd be able to with how thin her arms seemed.
“The fuck you shouting for, Taku? Whoa, who the fuck are you?!”
I guess I surprised them when they turned around to see me right there.
I was so tired I couldn't even think.
They weren't the only surprised ones here.
…Why was I standing right here in front of them in the first place?
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