Sitting on the couch of a luxurious yacht was sure a new experience for Natan.
There wasn't a single moment in his past, streaming career, where he could afford even a single day trip on such a boat, not to speak about fully-fledged, all-inclusive and over week-long travel from the coast of the northern sea, all the way to the private island somewhere near Madagascar.
"Are you in need of something, sir?"
"Would you like a cup of ice tea for your breakfast, or would you maybe prefer a glass of fine, wine?"
With the level of the crew attentiveness, he couldn't even know where to look, not to speak about responding in any normal way.
He hasn't seen such care since the time he left his mother womb!
"Who could've thought that this letter would end up granting me such a life, even if only for a week..."
Speaking to himself, Natan continued to stare motionlessly through the window, while gazing along the endless expanses of the Atlantic ocean.
They have yet to reach the Gibraltar strait, but he already couldn't help but recall the events that lead to this moment.
"We are done with you" - Those were the words, that broke his past life. Only nineteen years old, he would seem to be in the best age of his life, but with past five years spent in streaming the Eurasia Universalis 4 only to barely scrape by thanks to the various donation platforms, when the VR technology finally broke through its infancy stage and entered the wide markets, there was no way that such an old game would stay afloat.
Within just two weeks, all his sponsors withdrawn their support, leaving him with nothing but just a handful of loyal fans.
All his years of passionately learning about mechanics, tricks, cultures, geography, schemes... Turned into a worthless waste of time. All the in-depth knowledge that he carved from the game with his own strength and wits, turned meaningless when the developers of the game announced the discontinuation of the support for it.
When all seemed lost, "The World Universalis" appeared.
No matter how many others saw this game as true, open-world MMO with endless opportunities and own imagination being the literally only limit, upon learning who was behind the production of this new golden egg of gaming industry, he dropped everything to give his best shot.
After all, how different a game from the studio known from creating grand strategies only could be from the rest?
Sadly, the reality is often disappointing.
When a mass public enjoys something because of the reasons, it's stupid to expect that in fact, the game would be vastly different.
Sighing deeply, Natan finally decided to move out of the cabin.
'Even if I won't be able to play what I want anymore, I should at least enjoy this trip!'
Trying hard to motivate himself, he went outside and toured the yacht once more.
No matter how many times he walked around it, it didn't cease to amaze him how wealthy this once small company has turned with their new game, if they could allow themselves to use such luxurious boats, just for the sake of fetching some no-name nerd from the past age of gaming.
"Stop mopping around and join us!"
Drowning in his melancholy, the young man got forced out of his stance by a familiar voice.
Looking to the shaded part of the open deck, he saw a small group of his online friends he met when he still cared about the game.
"You know what does this trip means to me. Give me some leeway!"
Despite how negative he was recently, it didn't change the fact of how usefull his presence in the holy conclave was. With no way of returning to the past, Natan could only use his past skills in the new reality of "The World Universalis" working with this bunch of nerds, who unlike him, managed to move on.
"Oh, stop it before you will drown us in your tears! Forget about the games and have a beer with us!"
This time, the exception from the rule in their group spoke up. The only one to have any real social life and a real, flesh girlfriend! Just this fact alone was enough to earn him some brownie points with the rest of the company who still lived in delusion that someday, they will reach his level of not-being-a-loser.
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"Ahmed... You piece of... Great treasurer."
Not standing a chance against the charming smile of his Arabic friend, Natan caved in, approached the group and sat down.
As if by the touch of a magical wand, a servant dressed in the butler's clothes from the past age appeared, placed a big cup filled to the brim with beer on the table, and left just as magically as he appeared.
"What do you actually think about this whole thing? It took me a while to realise that stunned by this unexpected grandeur, we never actually talked about this matter at all!"
Gabe, the military commander of the Supremae Sacrae Regni, or in short, Holy Cross dominion, pointed out quite an obvious matter.
"As if there is even a point in doing so. If they wanted us to know or understand something, they would just explain things in advance."
With the initiative back at the Ahmed side, he looked at Natan, as if asking for the support for his theory.
"Don't ask me, I'm just as clueless as everyone else. It's just that..."
It wasn't simple to open to those people at first, but after three whole months of working together to please both the players in the server designated for the Holy Cross dominion and the corporations that already swarmed all servers like vultures, forced him to bare himself a bit.
"... I can't understand why did they make this kind of game in the first place! When something as unexpected as this invite happens, I can't help but wish for some kind of miracle!"
Despite being the second oldest person in the entire group after their mentor-like figure who so far just silently sipped on his drink in the corner of the round table - despite how it was mathematically impossible to achieve something like that - Natan had the greatest problem with himself.
He was the overseer of the entire country as the most elusive figure in the conclave, but despite all the powers he had over the gameplay of millions of people, he couldn't feel the thrill that used to be part of his life back in the times of the previous game from this studio. Even if his current pay guaranteed by the corporations that made deal with them for the sake of promoting their products was far more than enough to live a comfortable life, he believed to trade his dreams for a comfortable and easy job, something not easily accepted by such a young person like him!
"I don't think sharing the information will be a problem anymore."
Out of nowhere, the head of the crew appeared and pointed at the cabin that so far, remained closed for them.
"As all the participants boarded their respective transports, the director will now explain all your doubts during the videoconference. Please, make your way in!"