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The Day We Gathered Here

"What does it mean... to be an adventurer in our world?"

Nero was waiting at the train station, wondering about a weird question that popped into his mind out of nowhere. He had always been fascinated by anime and stories about heroes, that have to overcome ordeals to find themselves, their family, their raison d'etre.

He looked around: many people were waiting to depart from there, as much as him. Some of them must've been going to work - he discerned that by the suits they had on - others were students.

"To school... to work". He reminisced about his own experiences: learning technical skills, trying this and that job for a while. Nothing seemed to fit for him, though.

"What is it, that I'm lacking?", he wondered. "No, that must not be the right question."

He was distracted by the group of students, laughing about something. They looked much more cheerful than the office workers.

"Right. The question is: what is it, that I need."

He had a few friends himself, but they all felt a little different. All content with their lives, their jobs, their choices. Him, though? What was the problem? Then, he reminded of a character from some anime he liked to watch: "I want to be an adventurer. To help other people."

"Is there a thing about being an adventurer... in this life?" He couldn't think of one. The train whirred, a huge noise filled his ears. Then it stopped. People quickly moved to board.

"Where am I going again?", he asked himself. It was a job interview for a company he received an email from. He stared at the train, as if it was a movie. The train closed its door. Then, slowly, left.

"I'm still here, huh?", he told himself. Now the station was empty, he was the only one still waiting.

"I don't want to be an office worker.", he told himself. Or, was it him? The voice in his head sounded more decisive than the one he was used to.

"I want to find my family. My horizon. Our story."

Was it just a romantic moment, on the spur of the light shock of having skipped the job interview for no apparent reason?

Then, in that very moment, he looked at the blue journal he was holding in his hand: it was dark blue, with a metal ship wheel hanging down as a bookmark.

"I want to write stories." He was still staring at the journal. "Real stories. How do stories happen in this world?" His internal voice had a different tone now: it felt young. It reminded him of when he was a kid. At that time, each travel was a story, he was always happy, his eyes shined, looking at his friends, at what they were doing together.

"A story... needs people that can dream with you. Doesn't it?", he concluded. "People can't dream of something they're not used to. That's true for me, as well as anyone I may meet."

He stood from the bench he was sitting on, at the station. "How could I convey that dream? After all, I just like playing videogames, and daydream. My skills aren't even close to what I dream to do."

He walked up the stairs of the station, and, outside, a warm, bright summer light was waiting for him.

The station was almost empty, but his imagination ran away for a moment: all around, there were young people laughing, talking, sharing their experiences. Some were talking about new characters, and another group was dreaming about creating a new game. Others were planning a field trip somewhere. Then, one of them approached him.

"So, Nero, what's the next step?" He knew that voice: it was Rise, his friend. It was a question she often asked him. He always did his best to answer to that question, even if sometimes he didn't have a clue about it. So he came up with an idea, and they would discuss about it. He never told her they were out of the blue... but he had the feeling she already knew.

And yet, with them talking, those ideas took shape. She had the imagination and the good will to share that kind of voyage.

So then..? Where are we going?

Nero smiled. The many people talking all around the station vanished. The summer light, though, was still there. The answer was easy, and was there all along.

An adventure is not a project: both were impossible to repeat, but the big difference was that an adventure comes from many hearts, while a project comes from a person's mind.

"We start by playing games. Games where there are heroes, wonderful characters that can achieve many feats. Characters that can inspire us, resonate with something we have in our hearts. From there, we thread our own path. We definitely will end up meeting other people, that, like us, feel drawn to heroes, and, among them, there will be some that want to share our voyage."

It was just an abstract idea, but, in his mind, it sounded nice. "I'll learn many things, so that I can help." He sounded like the character he was thinking of before. "I'll trust my friends. We'll build our home, and define our next steps together."

"Much like the Adventurers Guild."

"We'll found the first real-life Adventurers Guild: a place of people that want to be characters of their own stories, that share our passion for creativity, other worlds, and heroes." He imagined his friend's face about that idea. He was thinking about her daydream about that long voyage. He also felt like she was foolish enough to trust him. He also realized he was an ever bigger fool, to be fully convinced it was a road they could thread together.

Then, something popped into his mind.

"I was waiting for this guide!" "Thanks bro. It was fun"

"This helped a lot." "Not sure I got here, but this is what I was looking for!" "Could you make a new guide about the new mechanics?" It was comments on YouTube: he reminded a flame lit in his heart, each time a new one popped up, new determination to work with more dedication, and to improve.

"I'll push forward with being a creator: my technical skills will come in handy, and we're going to make of it a good story! I also hope we'll step on the stage together!" He was still talking to his friend Rise, in his head. Then, he imagined the people that commented his videos.

"Maybe some of you will even want to come on stage and discuss about games together, and, most of all, we could even become friends! Meet in real life at some station, and make my daydream happen." He looked outside the station: the Sun shined bright: it was summer break.

"This is the job application I want to accept. It's from you all to me. I'll do my best to not disappoint you."

He smiled. "I'll be coming to... our Guild! From the 1st of July, and work hard every day! Let's make this story happen!" And with that, he pivoted towards his home. Albeit, for each step, he knew he was going towards uncharted territory, that the screen would've been a window to many landscapes... he'd be sharing with everyone that wanted to come with him.

"I sign this contract: I'll become an adventurer!"


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