Becoming a woman
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Michael sat on his giant grey leather chair and stared into his television screen, which he used in place of a typical computer screen. He reached into a bag of his favorite chips, "Unhealthy brand." Other than the flavor, what Michael loved the most about it, was that it had a label like cigarettes.

"Warning consumption of these chips leads to an awesome death."

Michael tossed a large chip into his mouth and snapped it in half with his front teeth. Michael sighed because some flavor of the chips would remain on his fingers. As a self-proclaimed professional gamer, he could not use dirty hands to perform. It would lower his in-game move speed, and worst of all, it would cause inconsistency in his mouse movement.

Michael sighed. There was no towel nearby, and if he used his shirt, it would stick to his flesh, and that discomfort would affect his gameplay. Michael's jeans soon had an improvement, a red smear. A pair of jeans is perfect for gaming; they're thick so that nothing could bypass them and their ripples can clear away the sweat on his hands because of the additional friction. A gamer that wears shorts is not a real gamer.

Michael, an actual keyboard warrior, jumped into action. He raced into an unexplored city, Milton. It appeared to be an influential city but worn down. Its massive stone wall was unmanned, and its mine seemed to be empty.

If it was because of poor management, Michael could sell the location of the city to a guild and obtain a share of the profits from the mine or keep it for himself, but, if he kept it, he would have to deal with raiding players and the guilds themselves. It was not cost-effective for him.

Michael paid a small entrance fee and walked into the city. While he knew the city likely did not have an entry fee, it was better to pay it and enter the city right away. He considered it a processing fee. Otherwise, he would have to deal with a side quest which often gave a small reward. At best it can obtain him favor with any unfavored nobles after the quest chain ended, but he did not know if he would remain in this city for long and the nobles in this game were too smart.

Michael approached the mines and asked for a job. Anybody could work in the mines; it appeared it was a dead-end job in the city. Michael felt it was stupid to disdain miners if this mine had ore, it could become very profitable. Once Michael entered the mine, he was floored. Iron ore was everywhere, and while it was useless for combat players, it is for general construction. The land with the most iron would almost always be the strongest.

Michael trembled if the mine was this promising, it might be worth dealing with the guilds. Many everyday players might sell this information directly to the guilds and obtain a small fortune, but Michael was a 'professional gamer,' which means if it's too easy, it's not worth doing. This mine must become his.

A smith would have some information on the mines, after all, they needed information on the status of supplies and because it was so run down. They should be pressuring the current owner of the mine. There should be a quest here somewhere Michael needed to trigger before another player could.

Michael walked into the marketplace and met with one of the smaller smiths on its outskirts. In Michael's experience, the ordinary people are easier to deal with in this game, but that could be because he is from a lower-class family. Michael removed his high-end sword and swapped it out for a typical iron sword before he entered the smith's workshop.

The smith greeted Michael with a smiled. "Hello good sir, looking to upgrade your sword or repair your armor?"

Michael mumbled, "Fuck, what is the point of swapping to a shitty sword if I am going to walk in with high-end armor!"

However, in the game, Michael waved at the smith and replied, "Hello good sir, I recently lost my blade to an orc in combat and wished to purchase a new primary weapon."

The smith smiled. "You're in good luck; I recently mastered how to work on rune ore!"

Michael trembled if this town has a smith that can work on rune ore working in the outskirts district, what could he find in its center?

"Quit trembling boy, of course; I am the only smith in town who can work with rune ore."

Michael took a deep breath. "What type of rune swords do you have?"

The smith took out a rune Katana and a long sword. Michael inspected both swords and grinned. This smith is a true master with rune ore, these weapons nearly rival his own, but they made it with demon horns, while the smith was a common one. Once Michael read the stats of the weapon, he bought both instantly. He even swapped them out for his primary weapon. Demon horn was better, but it's a pain to maintain. With this level of rune sword, he could afford better potions and farm more effectively.

The sword was expensive; he spent nearly fifteen gold on it which is around half of what an average player earned in a week, but he would make the money back and thousands more if he could get the rights to the mine.

"How come the mine is so run down?"

The smith squinted and said, "It's no secret around here. You did not have to buy my swords for the information."

Michael shook his head and showed the smith his old primary weapon. "Your skill is godly compared to the old smith I used. Also, the fact that I found a wonderful smith, is a blessing for me and the world of swords."

The smith grabbed Michael's old sword and sighed, "It's truly a waste of good horn. I could repair some flaws for you, but at my level, it's impossible to turn waste into gold."

Michael nodded. "It would be an honor to have you work on my blade." Michael presented some raw demon horn to the man which he carried around for maintenance and said, "I hope this can help with repairs."

The smith shook his head and said, "While it might not be the best blade if I broke down your current one and used it for parts with the raw horn you have here I could make it into a decent piece."

Looking at the smith's confidence, Michael grinned and took out some purified rune ore. "If you're willing to craft a blade for me, can you make it out of this?"

The smith rushed toward the ore and grinned, "How did you get such an ore!"

For players, getting pure ore was simple, however, when guilds or other players find these smiths, who can work on pure ore, they never share details with anyone. Michael shook his head and took out one hundred gold coins and placed them on the smith's counter. "Such an ore finds a smith not the other way around."

The smith saw the coins and objected, "Sir, that is too much!"

Michael smiled. "No, sir if you are making a great blade for me, you need to have your belly full and the best tools."

The smith sighed while Michael pointed toward his worn down forge, "It still has a soul."

Michael's father was a smith, so while he could only make a basic blade, he knew how to maintain a forge. "You have maintained it well if you feel it can maintain the temperature needed for melting pure rune, I won't question it, I hope you can forgive me. Also, I have yet to ask for your name."

The smith laughed and said, "Millea. Don't worry; I know your not a real smith I won't take offense."

Michael bowed, "My life is in your hands."

Suddenly, Michael was hit with a massive migraine and fell into the ground. Thunder crashed around him. He trembled. A woman appeared before him and said, "Hello princess Michelle."

Michael gazed at the woman who was floating in the air and gulped seeing her attire, after all, she had jade skin. Michael sighed if that woman's skin was not green she could be a supermodel.

Anyway, if there was a princess nearby, Michael needed to find her. Perhaps, he would get lucky and obtain a quest in the future. He's a professional gamer, and a professional knows all the cliches in hopes that the writers of the game will use them in any quest.

Suddenly, a woman floated toward Michael and lowered her gaze. "Princess, are you ok? Did my descending affect you?"

Michael rubbed his forehead and exhaled, "Do I look like a woman to you! Least of all, I am not a stupid princess."

"Hmm, sorry, I'll cast some mental recovery magic."

A blue light appears around Michael's head. "Reflect!"

Michael reflected the girl's spell and laughed at her while he drew his rune sword and charged while casting his opening spell, "Embrace of the night."

The girl yelled, "You dare," Then she lifted her arm and chanted, "Oppression."

Once the girl commanded, Michael's body crashed into the floor; his armor broke apart, and his weapon fell onto the floor. He sustained injuries. Impossible, with a single spell the girl forced me into the ground.

Michael yelled, "Fuck," while blood ran down his arms.