OriginStory 027: New Equipment and Dungeon Diving

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Chapter 27: New Equipment and Dungeon Diving

“… Calling me over like this… we’re not forming a party, right?”

“Although we ARE in a party right now~.”

Achya.

Fen’s glares are sharp as usual.

I know what he means, though. To be fair, I’m a solo-er too… no, well, more like I’m a ronin who hops around from party to party.

But basically, Fen doesn’t want this partying up to become a habit.

And so, to pacify him, I say,

“Nah, I was going down my friends list. Technically I wanted to take some crafters along before I took you along, but…”

“Haa… I see. There are too many unknowns to take people who aren’t combat-spec-ed.”

“Yup. It’s like that.”

“Which is why you asked me.”

Yah, you aren’t combat spec-ed either, but it’s funnier this way.

When I said so, Fen gave me a dirty look.

Tehe.

“…So, why aren’t we going immediately? And who is the third person?”

Fen seriously recovers too fast.

“We JUST found it, man. Without knowing how long it’s going to be, we need to make preparations.”

“… And the real reason?”

“It only opens at certain times, and I’m getting new equipment made.”

Chie messaged me saying her experiments are already done, and all she needs to do is make the final thing.

Since it’s like that, it didn’t make sense to plunge right in when she was going to finish the new equipment in less than an hour.

But she’s fast, naa. It’s only been 3 hours.

“Speaking of equipment, maybe you should get some new ones made. Since there’s that raid.”

I say as I look Fen up and down.

It’s not the beginner armor, but it’s also not player-made or equipment with good rarity.

Is it gear from a quest?

While I’m appraising his equipment, Fen sighs and looks away.

“That raid that you signed me up for without asking, you mean.”

“As if any player would give up such a great chance~.”

Ah. He waves off my hand poking his cheek like he’s waving off a fly and quickly changes the subject.

“Even so… New equipment, huh? It’s hard when the economy hasn’t been decided yet. The auctions are still mostly empty and full of mediocre things.”

“You’re the type who prefers to shop autonomously, huh? Too bad. Most of the good crafters and drop items are monopolized before they get to market. Although a merchant player I talked to said this unnatural situation is on the brink of collapsing.”

“So that’s the situation…”

As we talked, I made my way back to where I left Chie.

Ooooh, she has an audience. It’s like they’re watching an artisan candy-crafter at the festivals.

“Ooh, Chie. You done?”

“Ah, un. I’m done with Naru’s. I’m drawing up Kiriri’s now. Come here.”

“What about Kiriri’s?”

“It’s fine. I have to go over the design with her later, so let’s finish up with yours.”

“Oh, right. It doesn’t have to be unique or anything, but do you have any extra stuff lying around for this guy?”

I jab a thumb at Fen behind me.

Oh, he’s startled, he’s startled.

“Hang on! What are you deciding for people?”

He protests.

“Nah, Chie? Just an outer or something? He’s cc, melee… ish. Speed based.”

“Like I said, what are you doing, just deciding for people…”

Fen heaves a huge sigh.

Chie laughs.

“Fufufu. Well, it’s up to the person himself, but if it’s outerwear the best one should be this one I made while testing what range of stats I could get with just cloth and embroidery. Although the embroidery is very subtle, since it’s just a test item. It would be 800 silver, though.”

Even though he was showing signs of like the gray, hooded vest, Fen seems a little shocked at the price.

Uuuun…

“That’s the price of the highest-ranking equipment right now, right?”

I say, just to be sure.

“Why do you think this is priced like that? Just so you know, Naru, although it’s on the small side and not so elaborate, this is technically made with materials that aren’t really on the market. If I was taking all of that into account too, I’m fairly confident it would sell at over 1 gold.”

“So she says.”

I look over at Fen.

“… Just to be sure, what are the stats?”

He asked, reluctantly.

“Here, [Display Mode]. As for the special effects… *whisperwhisperwhisper*

Before I knew it, money and equipment changed hands.

It must have been really good.

Or like, she said effectS? That’s plural, effects.

I’m amazed she’s such a monster of a crafter.

“Anyway, here’s Naru’s.”

“Right, I’ve certainly received it.”

Equipping clothing is convenient~. You can just equip directly without having to find privacy or go through the motions of getting dressed.

…tte.

“Oi. Chie. This is a corset. Why?”

“Eheheheh!”

Shit. She’s so damn proud of herself.

What I found after I equipped the new gear was a barbarian-styled outfit with lots of fur and a short jacket, complete with fur-trimmed gauntlets and boots.

But somehow, there’s a corset. And a weird metal collar-looking thing.

Doesn’t this look like bondage gear?!

“Tsk, tsk, I properly made it according to your specifications, didn’t I~?”

My slightly murderous impulses are squashed down a little because I’m honestly impressed with how much guts she has.

It’s true that my breasts won’t bounce much, but I was expecting them to be strapped DOWN, not pushed all up in my face.

“And I spent a lot of time designing that corset, but if it’s not someone with Naru’s size, it won’t look impressive at all…”

She’s fake crying now.

“Cheh.”

Chie’s face lights up as I click my tongue. Damn her, she knows she’s won.

Well, hopefully I’ll either out-level it or something soon…

“By the way, that corset has a higher defense rating than Toru’s entire equipment set, you know? And it has CC resistance. Because of all the parts that went into it, I could raise it that much.”

Holy-

“Aaaand, I can save equipment appearances, so even if I make you better equipment, I can just apply this appearance to it-!”

“… You’ve been planning this.”

“Ehehehe!”

…Well, fine.

I kind of like the outfit, except for the corset. It really looks well-made, compared to the other equipment I’ve seen.

And she didn’t give me a skirt. In VR, the corset doesn’t feel as bad or restrictive as it does in real life. A skirt, however, still maintains all its dangers in VR.

And although I wouldn’t have chosen it if it were up to me, maa, fashion is fashion.

And by that, I mean it doesn’t matter all that much to me.

Un.

After all, Chie wouldn’t have done this if she didn’t know I’d stop caring in the end.

As for my Defense…

“… It’s not really necessary to say it, but now I’m wondering what kind of guts I had to continue running around in beginner armor.”

Both Chie and Fen look away.

Mu. Yeah, yeah, I get it. I’m just that crazy.

“Thanks, Chie, for the discount too, but are you going to be okay? There’s no weird bugs around you, right?”

Ah, the discount bit is about Fen’s equipment. Instead of selling it at current (predicted) market price, she lowered it to cut out the inflation due to materials that are currently hard to get.

After all, we’re expecting a sudden influx of next-area materials within the week.

As if making light of my worries, Chie says,

“Fufu, you don’t need to worry about me.”

I seriously wonder about that

As Fen and I begin to head back to the library, I shake my head.

Sharing my sentiments, Fen says,

“… She’s optimistic towards how greedy people can be.”

“Well. Yeah. But I wonder what you can do when the person is unaware herself.”

—-

Standing in the library, we’re just a few minutes shy of 2 pm.

“A mage, a tank, and cc? A standard party.”

Ellis nodded with a smile as she looked us over.

“Standard party, huh?”

I smirk a little.

If we broke it down, Ellis uses magic but also uses the rapier, so she’s more likely to be a front or mid guard rather than a rear guard. As for me, I’m more of a barbarian than a knight, even if you call me a tank. And I call Fen a cc user, but… I wonder exactly what he’d be classified as.

Maa, if just by looks we’re a standard party, I guess.

Fen is looking around the library’s basement curiously.

“First time down here?”

I ask.

“Yes, well.”

Hoothoot! Hoothoot! Hoothoot!

“Alright! Let’s go!”

Ellis excitedly approached the door.

“Whoooooah-! Hang on, let ME go through first!”

Although dungeons don’t usually jump monsters at you right at the entrance, because of loading zone reasons, it’s still better to be careful!

“Alright, confirmed we’re all set to party. Fen, you have the quest?”

“Yes.”

“Right. Onwards!”

The usual disorienting feeling of changing zones occurs, and then the scent of murk and dust hits us.

“Shit, this is stuffy as hell.”

I cough while waving away a cobweb.

There’s no real collision with the cobweb, so it won’t get stuck on you at least.

“Hmph.”

Fen makes a disapproving sound.

I think this time he’s actually upset at the muskiness, not at me. Rare as it is.

Ellis on the other hand –

“Kyaa! It’s so old! This is so exciting.”

I chuckle a bit, then activate [Enhanced Hearing].

Out of all the senses, I use [Enhanced Hearing] the most, huh?

“Oya?”

Ignoring Ellis who is somehow giving off excited sparkles in this kind of environment, Fen notices me tense and subtly lowers himself into a battle-ready stance.

“What is it?”

He asks quietly.

“You, immediately getting ready for stealth… maa, it’s fine, though. There’s a weird humming … no, like… something heavy beating the air? It’s flying close, but it’s not coming here… I think.”

“Hm…”

“It’s probably something that won’t trigger until we go down the steps, right?”

‘Uwoh! You scared me!”

Ellis stopped her fangirling at the atmosphere.

Un. We came out through that “door” onto a little landing.

Although there were torches that gave some dim lighting, the light doesn’t go very far.

The stone stairs riddled with worn carpeting, which are the only way to move forward from the landing, look infinite since the light ends before the ending is seen.

“Ambient light… won’t work here.”

Fen checks his settings and confirms that our player ambient lights are deactivated for this area.

“…Oh. Righ~t, I completely forgot. Ellis, hang onto this, okay?”

I take my lantern out of the Item Box and hand it over to Ellis.

Since it’s a Tool item, your party members can use it without requiring you to transfer ownership. Although if the party is disbanded it’s instantly put back into the owner’s Item Box.

Or like, taking a Tool item out from your Item Box doesn’t remove it from your inventory, so it just dematerializes if the party disbands.

“Oh, a lantern! Although it’s not really rare, I haven’t found a use for it yet, so I didn’t buy one.”

Ellis takes it excitedly.

“… Why aren’t you carrying it, since you’re in front?”

“It’s a pain to fight with a lantern, you know? Even if I know it won’t get smashed in… anyway, I upgraded to a long-distance light stone, so it should be sufficient even if the rear guard holds it. Besides, you have night vision, correct? It shouldn’t matter for you.”

“…”

“Yes, yes, your non-answer means I’m right.”

Fen rolls his eyes and looks away.

No well, he’s so fussy that it would be weird if he didn’t carry a lantern himself while not having night vision, right? He wasn’t making any moves to bring one out, anyway.

Kon. Kon. Kon. Kon.

Our steps echo through the silence. And I mean, they’re ECHOING.

Is this a large, stone hall?

As we proceed down the long flight of stairs, the air goes from mustiness to a damp, coldness.

It’s like we’re entering subterranean caves.

Although, I think I can just barely see the end of the stairs… we’re about midway down?

… Mou.

Ellis is *waku waku* looking all over the place in silent excitement and Fen is the brooding type, so there’s nothing breaking up this monotony.

If I weren’t listening for that weird sound, I’d do it myself!

…Ah. Just when I was letting my mind wander…

“… The sound stopped.”

So I informed the two behind me.

Fen, of course, disappears without a sound.

Damn sneaks.

Ellis gives a funny look at the spot he had been, but nervously ignores it and positions herself so she’s directly behind me.

“… That is certainly discouraging.”

She says.

Cautiously, the two of us finish descending the stairs.

Probably three of us, but, meh.

Up in front, there’s a square, open space. In each corner of the square is a stone pillar. Up on top of each stone pillar is…

Gigigi

I hear the sound of stone grinding, and instinctively I swing for the thing on top of the pillar closest to us.

Kshaaaah-!

The angered gargoyle bares its fangs and attacked!

It was a little too high up, so all I could do was graze it.

Kapah-!

From each of the other pillars, cracking sounds come from the other three gargoyles as they unfurl their wings violently and took to the sky.

“<Water Lance>!”

Ellis calmly snipes at the ones that are farthest away as she leaves the others to me.

Good girl-!

I launch myself at the closest one.

Kshaah-!

It hissed at me again, fangs bared… ung!

“Fast fuckers, ain’t ya?!”

It chomped down on my shoulder, and I took the opportunity to bash down on the part where it’s wing was connected to its back.

A good crack runs along it, and as it tries to fly away it breaks off.

“Seems like it won’t matter if I get damage reduction from using a slashing weapon, ah?!”

With that yell and a grin, I close in on the downed gargoyle –

“Uotto-!”

Spinning to one side, I dodge the pins of wind magic the other gargoyles loose at me.

Hm. If I stay here, I feel like Ellis will get wrapped up in the aoe attacks.

“Then… DASH-!”

I charge straight at them.

—-

—-

TALENTS

[Axe]Lv23 (+1)
[Bolstered Endurance]
Lv25
[Sharp Senses]
Lv22 (+1)
[Scavenge]
Lv22
[Spirit of the Wild Hunt]
Lv21 (+1)
[Inheritance of the Forest Guardian]
Lv22
[Discovery]Lv18 (+2)
[Bolstered Dexterity]Lv18 (+1)
[Counter]Lv16 (+1)
[Mine]Lv14 (+1)
[Scribe]Lv8 (+7)

Avg Lv: 18
TP: 18

—-

—-

EXTRA

About Races:

The player races are:

Human
STR〓, DEF〓, DEX〓, END〓, WIS〓, INT〓
Appearance options are:
Skin: Any type of ivory, russet, peach, tan, brown colors
Eyes: Any color
Hair: Any color
Elf
STR↓, DEF〓, DEX↑↑, END↓, WIS〓, INT↑
Appearance options are:
Eyes: Iris or no iris
Hair: glow or no glow
Ears: adjustable and pointed
Normal Elf:
Skin: human skin tones
Wood Elf:
Skin: human skin tones with a green/yellow tinge
High Elf:
Skin: pale, iridescent colors of human skin tones
Eyes: Glow or no glow

Siren
STR↓↓, DEF↓, DEX↑, END〓, WIS↑, INT↑↑
Appearance options are:
Skin: Pastel colors of any type
Eyes: slit pupils or regular pupils
Hair: any color
Wings: 2 or 4
Fish type:
Ears: fins or no fins
Bird type:
Ears: feathers or no feathers
Construct
STR↑, DEF↑↑, DEX↓↓, END↑, WIS↓, INT〓
Appearance options are:
Too many to list
Appearance categories:
Doll
Homunculus
Marionette
Armor
Golem
Robot – steampunk
Robot – space
Mecha
etc.

Beastkin
STR〓, DEF↓, DEX↑↑, END↓, WIS↑, INT〓
Appearance options:
too many to list.
Appearance categories:
feline
canine
rodent
hooved mammals
primate
Werewolf
STR↑↑, DEF〓, DEX↑, END↑, WIS↓↓, INT↓
Appearance options are:
Skin: Any type of ivory, russet, peach, tan, brown colors
Eyes: Any color
Hair: Any color

Sorry, there are no reptilian or amphibious animal people races. Such a feat was attempted in development, but later they were scrapped.
All beastkin have normal human legs, but currently in development are…[omitted]


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<A/n: There’s two Cursed updates, this time, which… might… be the last time Cursed is updated with another story… no, I don’t know what kind of schedule it will be yet… >

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21 comments

  1. Nice chapter and new equipment Yes Naru’s OP again. Also is the new race a naga cause it was hinted in the extra that a race without legs will be comin out and the most common one I can think of is a Naga.

    Like

      1. My guess, going by the attempt, is that people know how to breathe. Gills throw a wrench in that. For a game going for realism, I assume it wouldn’t recognize the normal autonomic response as filtering water, so while breathing in real life, the game would have you breathing water. Meaning you drown. Consciously trying to do it any other way would likely result in hyperventilation or who knows.
        But of course the author will explain later!

        Like

  2. The stone stairs riddled with worn carpeting, which are the only way to “more” forward from the landing, look infinite since the light ends before the ending is seen.
    The stone stairs riddled with worn carpeting, which are the only way to “move” forward from the landing, look infinite since the light ends before the ending is seen.

    Good job and thank you.

    Like

  3. “Sorry, there are no reptilian or amphibious animal people races. Such a feat was attempted in development, but later they were scrapped.”

    That made me acutally sad, kinda.
    I still remember my first time i was in a big city (Berlin) over 16 years ago i was shopping with my dad and found a “Games Workshop”.
    Captivated by all the fine painted figures in the shop-window i went in, walked around and marveled at all the shiny things there.
    Until i came across this guy: http://whfb-de.lexicanum.com/mediawiki/images/2/25/Carnosaurus.jpg i was immediately fascinated by him and my attention from then on was focused on him and all the other lizards around him. Sadly 10-12 years old me didn’t had the money to buy him at that time.

    Anyway that was the moment when Lizardman, Lizardfolk or whatever you want to call them became my favorit race in any game (board, tabletop, video or otherwise) even to this day.

    Still love this story, though 😀

    Like

    1. Aw. Yeah, this was something I was debating over for a while. There will probably be an extra at a later date explaining why, but it’s not a very good reason. It has to deal most with too much deformation for the avatar.

      Like

      1. Yeah no worries ^^ that extra just reminded me of that story so i wanted to share it. (also Lizardfolk are generally under represented in any kind of fantasy storys)

        I think i remember you talking about this avatar problem in some of the early chapters, somewhere around the character creation (or rather after it).

        Maybe the tail would be a sufficient explanation as it has to be stronger and usefull in fight, but that would disconnect the users feeling to his body? (5th limb and all) Whereas Beastkin(and Werewolf) just have an ornamental tail which is basicly on autopilot and not user-controlled ?

        Like

  4. Just looking at the contents and saw the pictures. So Naru finally has her official outfit? And Chie is inflicting corsets on others while in that outfit…

    Like

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