Chapter 56: Survival Training
Later that in-game evening, I’m sitting around a campfire with Barry Guss, survivalist NPC.
His dog yips a bit as Barry Guss tosses it some grilled meat off the deer.
I’m also eating venison, yay~.
No idea if this is how it tastes in real-life; even though I like watching survivalist videos and stuff, you can’t be a hardcore hobbyist AND a hardcore gamer AND a hardcore survivalist.
There just isn’t enough time in the day.
Huh? University? Yeah, I go (sometimes).
“I see. So Sasha sent you. I don’t mind you spending a day following me around. How about it?”
At Barry Guss’s words, a notification popped up:
You are about to start a Timed Quest, [In the Forest with Barry Gus]
Logging off before the completion of this quest will cancel the quest.
“Ya? If you don’t mind me hanging around.”
Instead of postponing the quest, I accept it.
When Barry Guss says ‘a day,’ as an NPC he’s most likely talking about 3.5 hours.
I got that time.
In the evening, Barry Guss taught me about what sites make the best shelters for this cold northern weather, how to keep a fire going, all the basic camping stuff.
The obvious difference between in-game camping and real-life camping seems to be the step-by-step, 1+1=2 way that in-game setup goes.
In other words, as long as it’s set up right, it won’t possible fail.
… I guess that kind of works in real-life too, just that there’s a lot less variables to worry about in the game, maybe?
Maybe I didn’t set things up right, but being buried under a lean-to took the newb ‘I-can-do-anything’ness out of me pretty fast.
… Yeah, I was such a cringy teenager who wanted to prove that I could conquer the elements, so what?
Anyway, I use a tent and a sleeping bag these days … not that I go all that often or anything, but y’know.
Since I don’t have that much time to camp in real-life, I’d rather just lug some equipment around rather than spending hours setting stuff up.
I know, I’m totally not a survivalist, but when you have a lot of hobbies you have to prioritize, and for me, VRMMOs and my bike are my mains.
Besides, like right now, I can get a fake-glimpse of what bushcraft is like in VRMMO.
I’m glad that the fire’s a lot easier to catch in-game; I totally prefer to use a lighter in real-life.
I mean, I smoke.
I tend to have a lighter more often than not having one.
Late at night, while Barry Guss and I take turns to watch (he’s apparently a light sleeper so he and his dog are usually enough for keeping watch; peh. NPC logic), I take a look at the quest log.
In the Forest with Barry Guss
Sasha from the Wayfarer’s Society has suggested for you to learn some survival skills from Barry Guss in the foothills of the Claw Ridge Mountain.
Prerequisite: Recommendation by Society Head Sasha
Learn shelter building
Learn water detection
Learn hunting and tracking
Reward: [Bushcraft] (Requires 2 TP)
Well fuck, it’s another Talent acquisition quest!
I’m starting to get the feeling for these acquired Talents.
Most of the acquisition quests for combat related Talents aren’t for acquiring the Talent itself but a skill that belongs to a specific Combat Talent.
In contrast, these Talents that are acquired by quests seem to be … occupation-style Talents.
If this was a normal RPG, my ‘Job’ would be ‘Scribe’ and ‘Apprentice Bushcrafter,’ I guess?
Even though my ‘Class’ is probably ‘Warrior’ or ‘Berserker’ or something, lol.
OriSto is REALLY putting an emphasis on non-combat abilities.
I really wish I knew where this game was going.
After morning came, I followed Barry Guss around and learned how to track animals, how to kill and dismantle them, how to determine the cardinal directions from basic nature, and a whole bunch of other stuff.
It really did take over an hour to complete.
That 3.5hour estimate is probably for the people who’d have some trouble picking up the skills, I guess.
Anyway, I’m just glad that I managed to finish the quest pretty efficiently.
And also… [Bushcraft], get!
Before I could even check the Talent,
You have triggered the conditions for the quest, [Dismantling Master]
I quickly check my quest log
Prerequisite: Must have [Hunter], [Butcher], [Buschraft], [Hawker], or advanced Talents thereof
You have proven yourself capable of hunting prey and must now master the art of dismantling.
Reach Dismantle Mastery 100 by dismantling non-humanoidal prey
(common prey=5 points, elite prey=10 points)
*It is recommended to read the tooltip for <Dismantle> prior to attempting this quest.
Current Dismantle Master: 0
… So this is a skill quest now.
What the – haa.
Under [Buschraft] is a grayed out skill, <Dismantle>.
This is one of those quest Talents that just keeps on giving…
Sensing my (mild) annoyance, Barry Guss asked,
“What’s up? Not satisfied with my teaching?”
He said it in a joking manner, so luckily, he’s not actually feeling offended about anything.
“Nah, that’s not it… …”
How do I say it…
“… I’m inexplicably interested in improving my dismantling abilities.”
“Oh, I see. That’s the spirit! It’s always good to want to improve your skills!”
Barry Guss slaps me on the back.
Hahaha… yeah, well, with quests, you kind of just have to do it~.
I’m just not that thrilled about the grindy-aspect of this quest, but honestly, it’s not THAT bad.
100 sounds like a lot, but it’s only 20 common prey or 10 elite prey, so …
“Since you’re eager for it, how about I give you a task to complete?”
Barry Guss catches me completely off guard as I’m calculating amounts of animals to kill.
Waitwaitwait – I already have a quest!
“Bring me back a pristinely dismantled rabbit, wolf, bear, and deer. If you can do that, I can guarantee your abilities as one of the best!”
You have triggered the quest [Perfect Corpse]
Eh… it seems like they soft-updated the quest triggers to pop up at some point.
It’s a lot more convenient, but I wonder when that happened?
I mean, I guess I didn’t do that many quests, soo… dunno.
As for this new quest from Barry Guss…
To prove your abilities as a dismantler, bring back the pristine meat and pelt of a rabbit, wolf, bear, and deer for Barry Guss
Reward: <Superior Dismantle>, <Superior Tracker>
Well fuck, yeah. Okay, I’ll do it.
“Any ideas where I could go practice dismantling?”
“Hm… well, I won’t help you track them down, but I’ve been hearing wolf howls to the northwest, while bears, deer, and rabbits …. well, they show up anywhere in the woods.”
“Got it. Thanks, Barry. I’ll do my best to not let you down.”
Waving to the yipping foxhound, I take my leave from Barry Guss and his dog as I head off in search of prey.
It’s only after I killed it that I realized… how do you keep your mobs from turning into drops?
They just dropped as corpses when I was with Barry Guss… … … I feel like there was a notice I forgot about from earlier.
Scanning through all of my recently acquired quests, I found it.
Check the tooltip for <Dismantle>, huh?
It’s grayed out, but I can still select it to check it.
When activated, all applicable, non-humanoidal kills will drop as corpses with a possibility of 100% material acquisition. Depending on the user’s skill in dismantling, the user will receive 100%-50% of the possible materials acquired.
*Upon completion of Dismantling Master, a +20% accomplishment and +5% Pristine Quality probability will be added to dismantle attempts, and the skill will also provide a passive of +15% material acquisition when it is not toggled on.
Oooooooh… I totally get it now.
I thought it would be like some other games where you can use it as an active skill and get a few more drops from an already looted corpse … but that’s right, the mobs here don’t drop as corpses… anyway, I didn’t think it would be a skill like this, that encourages actual hands-on abilities.
I would assume you could improve the skill to give you some correction if you’re complete shit with your hands, but … this is actually a pretty gutsy way to do it.
Anyway, the passive makes it so there’s no loss in acquiring it even if you don’t want to get your hands dirty and actually take apart animals, so it’s fine just as a 15% bonus to material drops.
… 15% is a lot, though.
I wonder if it’s actually difficult to get the Talents required to get the <Dismantle> quest.
I mean, Sasha-san was the one who recommended me for the [Bushcraft] quest, but I had to have [Spirit of the Wild Hunt] and have an opportunity to talk to her at least to get her recommendation.
It might even involve joining the Wayfarer’s Society or something… I dunno.
I’m not good with game analyses; that’s the Chibi’s field.
Since I’m hunting to finish the <Dismantle> quest, I toggle <Dismantle> and go at it.
I move in the north-westerly direction that Barry Guss suggested earlier, and pretty soon,
It’s funny how an MMO conditions you to immediately prepare to fight with a wolf howl.
Even the grunt of a bear or the yowl of a wildcat doesn’t put you immediately on guard with the assumption that you’re going to be surrounded soon.
Goblin grunts and squeals are another freak-out and get-ready-to-get-swarmed sound.
As I get closer, I can hear the sounds of multiple wolves more and more clearly, and before long, I reach a clearing.
Four pure white wolves the size of bears and two pitch black wolves the size of … well, wolves, lay in front of a cave.
Shiiit… my gamer senses are tingling as I look at the wolves.
You can tell these aren’t normal wolves just with the luster of their fur.
Before I can move in for a closer look,
You have discovered The Snow Crystal Wolf Cave
You are the first to discover this area. +50% Exploration ExP.
If you report this to the Wayfarer Society, you will get extra rewards.
I mean, I guess this is a LITTLE far from the northern beginner’s village, but no one’s found it yet?
… This isn’t also my fault for steering people towards Nortius, is it?
More ExP for me.
I’m not a scout, so there’s no point in sneaking in.
Besides, they’re so close together that there’s no way I’ll be able to lure one out….
Slash, swish, crack!
These fast mofos; they’re also kinda tanky, dammit.
I mean, they’re not really tanky, but they’re not really NOT tanky either.
They do about medium damage as well, so I think I’d be fine with a 1v1 or even a 1v3, but six?
This might be a party area.
I flop on the blood spattered ground after I finally finish them off.
Damn, the Raid was another level, but at least I had heals!
But now I have a good idea of what the wolves are like.
They’re definitely supposed to be tougher than a normal wolf.
The white ones are fairly balanced in attack and defence, and the black one are more speed than anything else.
The white ones have a chance of giving magic DoT damage when they attack.
That’s what tipped the battle from totally doable-ish to a bit risky.
I chug a Rare Potion just in case of a sneak attack, but I think it’s fine.
Anyway, I had a good 1/4 of my HP left, so with the Rare Potion, I should have over half, maybe even 3/4s of my HP bar.
I dismantle the wolves with an axe, because I don’t have a skinning knife.
I do have a penknife in the Wayfarer’s Kit, but something tells me that’s totally not going to be useful.
Thanks to that,
You have dismantled a Snow Crystal Wolf at 45% Accomplishment.
You have received 72% of the possible drops and 0% Pristine Quality Materials.
You have dismantled a Snow Crystal Wolf at 35% Accomplishment.
You have received 67% of the possible drops and 0% Pristine Quality Materials.
You have dismantled an Obsidian Wolf at 50% Accomplishment.
You have received 75% of the possible drops and 0% Pristine Quality Materials.
I quickly open my Friends List and send Chie a message to bring me a skinning knife if she can find one.
Luckily, the Dismantling Master quest doesn’t require Pristine Quality or any specific percentage of Accomplishment, so when I look in the quest log, my Dismantle Mastery is already at 60.
These are all elites?
No wonder they’re tougher than bears.
I sit there and think for a moment before heading back to Barry Guss’ campsite.
“Barry, can I borrow a knife?”
Elite materials are going to be wasted away…. I feel like crying when I look at the pelts in my inventory.
Barry Guss raised an eyebrow.
“Well, I don’t mind selling you my spare skinning knife, but it’s a bit on the fragile side. I bet it’d break in about 30 more uses.”
After asking him a few more questions… hahaha, so he had a beginner’s version of a bushcraft kit.
Of course he would.
Once again, I didn’t ask the NPC enough questions …
This Magic Bag is designed to hold tools useful for survival living
☑Skinning Knife (inferior)
☑Flint and Steel
☑Sewing Needle (inferior)
… Honestly, I feel like the Magic Bag is way more valuable than what’s in there.
Anyway, I have some useful items now.
If I want the full kit, I’ll have to purchase (and replace) items within it, I guess.
While I’m here, I decide to ask Barry Guss about the wolves.
“Snow Crystal Wolves.”
The almost reverent way Barry Guss said the name of that wolf species told me all I had to know.
Tough to fight, rare to find, and expensive to sell; my top three adjectives for mobs!
Barry Guss raises an eyebrow as a slow grin comes across my face.
“… I won’t stop you, but most people hunt these with a party, you know?”
I mean, I’m not expecting to beat the Alpha if there is one, but I survived a group of six of them…
Barry Guss looks a little conflicted about letting me solo a pack of these elite wolves by myself, but I patted him on the shoulder and reassured him that I’d come back immediately if things get tough.
Although, I’ll probably come back via respawn, but y’know.
“Alright. You be careful.”
… Something tells me Barry Guss is entirely unconvinced that I’ll act prudently.
I wonder why.
Although I wasted a somewhat substantial amount of time, the six wolves upfront hadn’t respawned by the time I returned.
… Okay, now I’m a little worried.
This better not be another Raid-starting quest…
Even as I’m thinking that, though, there’s no quest notification, so …
… … well, there are also quests that auto-complete without triggering the quest beforehand, so who knows what I’m getting myself into.
The inside of the cave is narrow, so I’m saved from 1v6 from before.
No more than three can swarm me at any time, so it’s a lot easier.
They’re also a lot more spread out, so I can take my time dismantling wolves while letting my HP recover.
I’m careful with using the skinning knife; you have a chance to avoid reducing the durability if you handle your weapon or tool carefully, but since I’m not 100% sure what the parameter for ‘carefully’ is, it’s inevitable that the durability of an inferior quality tool is still reduced as I use it.
Still, I think I can get a few more uses than predicted out of it as long as I continue to be ‘careful.’
With the knife, I’m regularly getting around 75%-80% accomplishment, so it’s going MUCH better.
I even got one Pristine Snow Crystal Wolf pelt.
Oh yeah, and I finished the Dismantling Master quest, so …
I guess technically I could go back now, but where’s the fun in that?
[Spirit of the Wild Hunt]Lv31
[Inheritance of the Forest Guardian]Lv37
Avg Lv: 29
<A/n: An outdoor gamer type… well, that’s Naru for you.
also comic extras:  
Got in a car accident, so writing took a little while. I always kind of pooh-poohed the headache/neck ache from a car crash… but it’s actually true. No major injuries (except for the car), but my back was a tad messed up, and with the whiplash, it was just hard to sit down and write.
Also, if you’re driving a fire engine or police car, don’t flip on the sirens just to bypass a red light. That’s how accidents happen. (lady in front of us slammed on her brakes at a green light due to the sudden sirens, we couldn’t react, and the suv behind us barely managed to swerve into the turn lane. But for the providence of God we might have ended up pretty badly, honestly. As it was, we had slowed down enough that the air bags didn’t even go off, so it was worse than a fender bender, but not that bad.)
That said, if they learned from this incident and don’t do it again, then we as a society are probably going to benefit, because no one had to go to the hospital this time, and everyone could drive home. (although my car was only just capable of limping it home). Everyone makes mistakes, and no one died, and the firefighters were horrified themselves and stopped to help, so I feel like they will take the incident to heart and not do it again.
And as an author, it was a pretty good reminder that not everything is under my control. I feel like I sometimes get a god-complex because of writing stories.
Anyway, I’m actually feeling pretty chill about the whole thing. Just kind of miffed I couldn’t go to the gym or sit in hard chairs for a week.
Also the insurance payments are going to go up, but that’s just life.
No ticket~ The firefighters left behind a witness so the cop wrote it off as a series of unfortunate events.>