Chapter 19: The Bug-Infested Room
The evening ended with Jo sing-song drunk and humming merrily and Chie red-faced drunk but not really feeling that tipsy.
I rode my bike, so I had one beer at the beginning and spent the rest of the evening sobering up.
I really hate dealing with paying parking tickets, see.
And if I’m REALLY unlucky and get it impounded, the troubles that comes with that are … ah, I mean, what are you talking about?
Of course I never got my motorbike impounded (that my parents know of).
“Oh, Nee-san, back from the offline meeting?”
“Un. It was just Jo and Chie, so we weren’t going to stay too long.”
It’s questionable if you can actually call it an offline meeting, na.
I stare at Toru thoughtfully.
“Nah, I was just thinking you should get out more too, chibi. Go have an offline meeting with Yoh and the other guys or something, haha!”
“… If you’re talking about Yoh and Sayaka, I see them offline all the time. It’s called school.”
He hmphed off, grumbling about never having time to play because he was always in school.
Uh… Chibi? I have to go to classes too, and meet up with colleagues and hobby-friends … and all sorts of other stuff?
I always feel like a fake-gamer compared to the extent the chibi does things.
And yet I’m a super gamer compared to Chie.
It’s all about the perspective.
Logging back in … un. Fen isn’t back yet.
The drowning a few hours ago was really taxing, so I’m not surprised.
Besides, I said something like, “Let’s meet back here in a few hours,” so it’s not like we made concrete plans or anything.
So let’s see, what should I do while waiting~.
Well, first of all…
I dig through my bag and pull out a crystal.
The Map Crystal.
“Uh, yeah, so how do you work?”
I ask the crystal, but it’s shy so it doesn’t reply, huh? Lol.
Haa… I touch it gently with my other hand to flip it over, and a notification pops up.
You are attempting to use Testing Map Crystal.
The conditions [Specified Area], [Relevant Active Quest] are fulfilled.
The first mapping of this area will be bound to character.
Would you like to start mapping this area, [The Hidden Ruins]?
The crystal glittered, then disappeared, and the notification changed to,
You have begun mapping this area.
To observe your progress, use the Map Interface.
Heh… so this is how it works.
I open the map interface, and at the top there’s a tab with [The Hidden Ruins: 2%].
Opening that tab gave me a mostly blank map, with just a tiny speck of underwater tunnel and the spot Fen and I beached ourselves on.
Somehow, it feels like this will be a relatively small area…
After starting the beginning of the [Scribe] quest, I turn my attention to the next thing I intended to do.
Although Toru is downstairs, I send him an in-game text.
I could have just told him while I was talking to him earlier… but I completely forgot.
He’s still connected, just AFK, so the text still works.
Otherwise I’d have to send him mail, and I’m kind of not in a convenient location to go looking for a mailbox.
Area Boss? See ya in Nortius.
I’ll have my revenge, mini-hydra! Kukukuku…
Ok~, well next order of business!
I throw all my hesitation out the window and take the Talent [Mine]!
Kukuku, I just need to raise it and bring back mining materials … eh?
I suddenly realize a slight downside to my nefarious plans.
I … don’t have any tools to use with [Mine].
Dammit, I should’ve bought a pickaxe!
I sullenly poke the hard dirt with my finger.
Can’t be helped.
You are not Mining at a Dig Spot
You are not Mining at a Dig Spot
You are not Mining at a Dig Spot
You are not Mining at a Dig Spot
You are not Mining at a Dig Spot
You are not Mining at a Dig Spot
“…What are you doing?”
‘Uoo-! Damn, you’re always sneaking around. Can’t you tell, I’m grinding.”
“It looks like ‘digging’ to me.”
Appearing out of nowhere as usual, Fen looks down at my activities like he’s looking down at trash.
I’m on my knees, digging holes furiously with my hands.
Around me are about 10-some holes dug about 2 meters deep … ish.
“Maa, I had nothing to do while you were taking your sweet time… The area has already respawned twice, na.”
“… Exactly what are you doing…”
Hm, how sad. Fen’s already tired of over-reacting to things I say, and now he just sounds tired.
Well, I guess he doesn’t want to think about how much I’ve been digging in the last hour.
It’s over 50 holes~.
Seriously, it would be an impossible feat without the game STR and END boost.
It’s the first time I really sat back and thought, wow, VR is amazing.
Ah. It looks like he just thought about how many I’ve dug. What an amazingly dismayed face.
I have no complaints about the dull work myself.
Even with 70% ExP reduction, I still leveled [Mine] to Lv2 by digging random holes.
I’ve started picking up random items, too.
They’re trash items, but what can you expect from a place that isn’t a designated resource node, and with my Talent at such a low level?
“…You know, even if you don’t use it directly, if you defeat something, ALL your Talents get a LITTLE bit of experience…”
Just what was all my hard work for…
The crude rock tunnel’s floor became smoother as we left the water’s edge and climbed up the slope.
I activate <Enhanced Hearing>.
All my <Enhanced “”> Skills have powered up when [Sharp Senses] reached LV15, so I can even hear the drip of water down some dark and dusty corridor far into the distance.
“Ha… it seems this entire area is a damp and gloomy place.”
“It’s your fault for dragging us down here. No, for all the events from that area boss until now.”
Achya~, Fen still seems bitter about the whole thing.
“Well, it ended up all right, so don’t worry about it!”
I slap him on the back and go on ahead, ignoring his half-hearted glare in my direction.
It feels like I can’t get a real good reaction out of him anymore, so I guess I’ll give it a rest.
I pause and narrow my eyes, straining my ears to pick up the soft sliding sound up ahead.
“…What is it?”
Fen automatically lowered his voice, preparing to melt into the shadows at my unnatural quietness.
“There’s something up ahead. A sliding sound … a snake or something?”
It seems like Fen can’t hear it.
Anyway, before I could say anything else, he disappeared into the dim murkiness.
Without minding it too much, I creep forward a little.
A blue glow comes from around the corner, and as I poke my head forward, I see a floppy, cylindrical creature lying in the middle of a room that looks like it was widened out of a natural cave.
On one side of the room are stairs going upwards. On the other are stone box-like things piled up.
In front is another passageway.
But I don’t have time to observe the room too much.
In just a few seconds, that cylindrical creature noticed me, and
It screeched and shot across the room!
Even while I was startled, I grinned and stepped forward, unsheathing my axe.
I cleaved it into the ground.
As if there was a motion sensor, crystals embedded in the walls grew brighter, lighting the area, when I entered the room.
Hm. It’s … a worm. What I had stuck an axe into was a giant worm, now a slightly twitching corpse lying on the ground.
I quickly look up at the sounds coming from above.
I have a bad feeling about this…
“Er… well hello. There’s quite a lot of you, huh?”
On a ridge above the room, squishy, cylindrical bodies squirm and peer over the edge at me.
And then they all jumped.
“Gyaa, what the-!”
Even though my brain froze from the sheer mass of worms that launched themselves into the air, my reflexes kicked in and my axe hums through the air.
Splotches of yellow slime fly through the air … but I take damage.
THERE’S TOO MANY!
I can only see worms as they hurl themselves at me, bite down, and attack.
It’s a blizzard of worms!
Even if he was within range, I have no doubt that Fen has sneakily removed himself from the situation.
Mm. Hang on. This situation is perfect for testing out my new Skill.
For the next 10 seconds, anything that attacks me will have 50% damage reflected back at it.
Uuun, at first I thought it was a complete miss, but it looks like this Skill might be useful in a pinch.
The worms are leaping through the air like streamers shot from a party cracker.
I try to cleave through them length-wise, like I’m completely bisecting them, but … un. An axe-blade doesn’t seem to be enough.
I give up and aim to cleave their heads(?) off as they come flying by.
The ones that I miss crash into me, then recoil as their damage comes back on them.
Some unlucky ones die right away from the reflected damage.
This Skill really is perfect against high Atk, low Def monsters.
Ah, they’re beginning to jump out even faster-!
“Oi oi oi, are you rabbits or worms?!”
The tension’s rising-!
Like I’m facing a tennis-ball shooting machine, I whack at them.
Their slimy, yellow insides spurt through the air, and all I can see are worm bodies, yellow goo, and the teeth inside the gaping mouths as they leap at me.
Worms with teeth… truly a fantasy setting.
“… I think you got them all.”
Fen’s voice breaks through the sudden silence after the worm-cutting frenzy.
I take a breath and look around.
Aside from my head(?)less and partially bisected worm corpses, there are also ones with several throwing knives embedded in them.
Looks like Fen wasn’t just standing around, eh?
I suddenly realize that I’m covered in yellow worm slime.
I shake my hands and yellow slime comes flying off them.
“Uwa-! Keep away…”
Fen dodged the splatters of yellow slime, and stood at a distance, averting his head.
Yup. It smells a little… yuck.
“SO glad I didn’t use <Enhanced Smelling>…”
I don’t really have anything to wipe the goo off with, so I just do the best I can with my bare hands.
There’s still a bit of a thin film left, but the smell thinned out when I got rid of the excess.
After a bit, the remaining goo dried and I could peel it off of me.
The fact that Fen showed a disgusted face can be left alone for now.
While doing that, I approached the center of the stone chamber.
On the ground, remains of woven carpets lay strewn about in crumbling pieces.
In front of them, numerous stone coffers lay in a somewhat organized manner.
When I approached them,
You have discovered the Storeroom of the Eldar.
You are the first to discover this area. +50% Exploration ExP.
“A storeroom, huh…”
I’m already beginning to dig through the stone coffers.
“Oi, Fen. You take that side- Uwoo-!”
“- And watch out for scorpions,”
The black scorpion, about the size of a small dog, popped out at me from within the coffer I just opened and hissed angrily, and I bashed it with the lid of the coffer.
They’re pretty weak if I could kill it with an improvised weapon…
“You … do you seriously have no sense? You have detection skills like <Enhanced Hearing>, right? Why don’t you use that to figure out which boxes have scorpions and which ones don’t?”
“Iyaa, well, even if there’s a scorpion in the box, that doesn’t mean there’s not other things in the box, right?”
Fen just sighs heavily.
We dig through the coffers, and every once in a while there would be a Bang! or a “Naru-san, please open this one” as we found the boxes with scorpions in them.
For the record, Fen took to leaving the scorpion-boxes for me to open. How very kind of him.
The crowning event was the big coffer right in the center.
We left it for last, and when I opened it,
I let out a yell as tiny baby scorpions went everywhere!
“Oi, Fen, get –“
… How did he get all the way over there? WHEN did he get all the way over there?
I could only squish two of the baby scorpions with the stone lid, because they scattered.
Looking like a fool, I attempted to chase them here, and then there, and then …
A dark spot like an oil blob emerged from the ground in a hazy circle, and all the baby scorpions within it were stuck, as if they had run through tar.
Slam! Bang! Wham!
“Haa, haa, haa… dammit. These fast fckers…”
“Isn’t it fine? You’re too obsessed with killing everything. Only 2 of them got away.”
“Hmph. You were also trying to keep them getting away, right? That was [Shadow Magic], huh?”
I straightened up and flipped the stone lid I had been using to squash scorpions with into the air, catching it.
Un, since they already got away there’s no use worrying about it, huh?
“That’s … I was worried they’d call a bigger one or something.”
“Ah… there was that kind of template too. Maybe I should’ve let some more get away~.”
I flash him an impish grin, and he just shakes his head and sighs.
But he has [Shadow Magic], huh… that’s one of the higher grade magic Talents that only shows up once you hit AvgLv10.
It must not be very high, since he still prefers to use throwing weapons. Or maybe it’s a support-type magic and it doesn’t have much offensive capabilities?
“So what all did we find?”
Instead of finders-keepers, I prefer to pile all the loot, unidentified, together and divvy it up that way.
Fen doesn’t seem to have a problem with it, since he willingly plops the things he found in with my pile.
All in all;
3 weird looking gold coins
15 weird looking silver coins
5 circular stone ‘coins’ with square holes in them,
2 rusty keys
6 unidentified ores
4 bundles of dried plants
2 pots of ointments(?) with something written on them
I can almost hear the disappointment in Fen’s silence.
“Uh… well, the keys are bound to character, so there’s one for me and one for you. Um… do you … want anything else?”
There’s also the matter that he can’t really carry too much.
“… I have no idea how I would even begin to decide what’s useful…”
“Guess we can appraise ‘em. There’s no armor or weapons, so there shouldn’t be anything we’d fight over…”
“But I don’t know what to do with ores, plants, and mystery pots…”
I appraise them.
[Mine] Lv too low (x2)
Well, rather than the contents of the pots, I’m more interested in the markings. The markings on the coin-like things are similar, but they look far more ornate.
“Well, I’ll probably just sell the ores and plants. How about I sell them, and we split the money?”
“? Well, I’m okay with that, but why do you insist on selling them yourself instead of splitting them up?”
“Because I don’t know the prices yet. You might be able to sell a group for more than a single. Also, I have some crafter friends…”
“I see. I probably would have just sold it on the auction house.”
“The AH referral fee is too expensive, and it’s only a 2 hour posting, you know?”
Although the time limit probably won’t be a problem if supplies are running so short for the crafters.
I glance over at Fen.
“You’re pretty trusting. There’s no guarantee that I’ll be honest about the money.”
Without even a moment’s hesitation, Fen replies,
“Because you don’t seem capable enough to be a con-man.”
Showing such a smug grin. Cheeky bastard.
Nmaa, anyway, I tuck them in my Item Bag.
As for the coins, they’re items, not currency, so they go in the Item Bag instead of automatically being counted as money. Fen doesn’t seem too happy about them either.
This guy… rather than saying he has no greed, it’s more like he hates stuff.
Anyway, he got the odd gold piece, and I got the odd silver and stone coins after dividing them evenly.
Although the casual way we did it made me feel like, if either of us found uses for them, we could ask the other person for the remainder.
We really don’t know what they’re for, lol.
“Hurry up and get [Scribe] so you can read those markings.”
He said lightly, in a jokingly commanding tone.
I returned lazily.
Hm? Is he warming up to me?
What is this feeling, like I’m charming a stray cat?
Somehow, I feel like it’s actually because he was laughing at my appearance while I was hitting out at worms and squashing scorpions with rocks.
“So, which direction do you want to go in?”
I ask after settling my inventory.
I only have 12 spots left in my bag… iyaaa, don’t mind it, don’t mind it.
“I don’t know. Should we go straight or up the stairs?”
No, well I asked you because I didn’t know.
I pull up the incomplete map of this area.
“Uh… let’s see. There’s more empty space in the direction of the stairs than there is in the direction of the passageway ahead, so…”
“Somehow it feels like cheating, using the empty space on an incomplete map…”
“Maa, just call it taking advantage of the situation. So? More space? Less space?”
“Hm… let’s start with the less space and work our way up.”
‘The less space’, as we called it, is better called ‘the trap lair’.
I ruefully pull the spike out of my foot.
“… Don’t you want to practice dismantling this crap?”
Fen smiles a tiny smile as he says,
“I can’t dismantle them right now. It’s only about detecting them, and as long as I don’t trigger them myself it should be fine, right?”
“Heeh, heeh. I’ll go be your pincushion.”
I grumble a bit as I walk quickly ahead.
Mm. I’d rather get the painful bits over in a flash.
“Alright, you just stay right there.”
Motioning for Fen to stay back, I sheathe my axe onto my back, crouch down, and then,
I sprint through the narrow, uneven passage.
Stk tk tk tk tk
Shing shing shing
Various disconcerting sounds come from behind me as I run heedlessly through.
I turn around and look at the chaos that was left behind me.
“Umu. Done. I found all the traps-!”
I called back.
“… Yes. Yes you did.”
I hear Fen’s voice call distantly.
It’s probably not my imagination that it’s tinged with complete disbelief.
I turned back around, ignoring him, as I surveyed the tiny room I had entered.
If the storeroom looked like a natural cave that had been widened, this room looked like a tiny cave roughly hewn out of the stone.
There’s only a single light crystal that casts a dim blue light right at the mouth of the passage I had emerged from. The other side of the room was completely covered in shadows, so although I had said it was a small room, it might just be narrow and long if it continues into the shadows.
And there’s a scuttling sound coming from within the shadows.
I grin as beady eyes stare out at me.
“Oi, Fen, if you don’t hurry it up, I’m going to take all the good parts!”
I ignore the disinterested call from behind me and prepare myself for battle.
[Spirit of the Wild Hunt]Lv17
[Inheritance of the Forest Guardian]Lv17
Avg Lv: 14
About the Game
CRAFT TALENTS: Talents that allow for Repairs, Identification, and creation of finished Products. It is not necessary to specialize, but you will be limited for higher quality items, not only for creating them but also identifying and repairing them.
However, depending on what you wish to do with the Talent, it can be more beneficial to never specialize.
[Metalsmith] – Deals with Chain Armor, Plate Armor, and Metal Weapons
Specializations at [Metalsmith]Lv25: [Armorsmith] [Weaponsmith]
[Tailor] – Deals with Cloth Armor and Leather Armor
Specializations at [Tailor]Lv30: [Cloth Armorer] [Leather Armorer]
[Woodworker] – Deals with Wood Weapons, Furniture, and Buildings
Specializations at [Woodworker]Lv10: [Carpenter][Weaponcrafter]
[Tinkerer] – Deals with Ammunition, Accessories, and Special Gear
at [Tinkerer]Lv15: [Fletcher] [Jeweler] [Outfitter]
[Alchemist] – Deals with Status and Appearance Changing Consumables
Specializations at [Alchemist]Lv30: [Poisoner] [Potioncrafter]
[Cook] – Deals with Consumables that increase Satiety (among other things)
Note that only the information that was available to the players at the official launch of the game is listed, and further specializations down the Talent tree are not listed.
<a/n: For the record, OriginStory is written completely ‘no-plan’. A true slice-of-life (lol)>