Chapter 10

Boot camp was finally over and I was feeling pretty good about my prospects. If I continued to kill monsters and absorb that black mist, I would become stronger. It wasn’t the traditional way of leveling up but it would do. It might even be easier this way since I just needed to kill a steady number. The only thing I was concerned about was when my threshold increases, will there be diminishing returns.

I was lined up with the other new recruits and Orban gave another one of his famous speeches, “When you all came to me, you were like mewling babies sucking off the teat, but now you are ready to take on the world…..”

You don’t need to know the rest, it was the usual insults mixed with an occasional compliment. After Orban finished his speech, we all went into the guild hall to have a few drinks. There was no such thing as a drinking age here so even the teens in the group were drinking. I wasn’t really in the mood, but I had a few myself and went back to the inn where I had been staying. I was sure that the others would continue their revelry well into the night. I wanted to get to bed early, tomorrow would be the day I finally became a full-fledged adventurer and I would be able to get my copper medallion.

There were several different types of medallions representing ranks in the guild and they also acted as a kind of passport when traveling to other towns. The Adventurers Guild had representation in every town and city throughout the continent. Larger towns and cities would have larger branches. The types of medallions were copper, iron, silver, gold, platinum, mithril, diamond and elementium.

I wasn’t really sure what elementium was, but it was the highest rank, and was only for the greatest of all adventurers. Only countries of significant size and authority were allowed to have an elementium ranked adventurer. There were only two on the entire continent. Even diamond ranked adventurers were extremely rare, but there were no restrictions on nation power for diamond ranked. So, while elementium rank was just about impossible to reach, diamond rank was attainable if you became powerful enough and acquired enough fame and prestige.

Since higher ranked adventurers were extremely powerful, they were also considered to be a nation’s trump card in times of war. They were even granted titles of nobility, and given land. I had high hopes for my first day as an adventurer, but the main reason I became one was to find a way to make a living and also to find any information about returning to Earth.

When I awoke the next day I did my usual routine of saying a few words to my daughter in another world. After that I wiped myself down with a cloth, changed into my equipment and headed out. There was some time before I needed to show up at the Guild so I decided to take a walk around town.

I walked from the inn, through the town center, to the blacksmith. There were about seven thousand people living in the town and in addition to that there were adventurers from other places and traveling merchants. The town, which is called Enrein, was on the border between two kingdoms and served as a trade center. I had heard the entire population of the kingdom of La’gun was only about seventy thousand, so having seven thousand in one town was significant. Only the capital of La’gun was larger with thirty thousand living in it and there were two other towns with approximately four to five thousand each. The rest of the population lived in rural villages and farms scattered about.

The citizens of the town were beginning to congregate around the town center. The morning bell had already rung throughout the town and people were opening up their shops or looking to get some early deals. I needed to get my armor refitted so I headed over to the blacksmith. He was already busy at work when I arrived and was happy to take my measurements. I was instructed to come back later in the day to pick up my armor. It wouldn’t take long to refit it since it was leather and it only needed slight readjustments to fit my body. It was finally time to head to the Guild.

I made my way over to the Guild and it was busier than the previous days I had visited. Many adventurers were sitting at the various tables, most likely preparing parties or discussing their plans for whatever requests they had accepted. I went over to the receptionist counter and there were three receptionists working today. Two of them were young women who I heard were very much admired in the Guild.

Adventurers didn’t usually have the time to socialize with women other than female adventurers. They often tried to flirt with the receptionists. I didn’t think the receptionists minded too much, they seemed to enjoy the attention and the adventurers never got out of hand with them since they were each watching the other. I had met them a few times already when I was training, but never had time to really converse with them.

I walked up to one of the girls and greeted her, “Good morning Jill, I am here to receive my copper medallion.”

“Oh, aren’t you one of the new adventurers? You must be excited to get your first medallion!” Jill was polite and professional.

“By the way, what is your name again? Sorry, I forgot.”

“It’s Peter” I had introduced myself to her once already, but I guess it wasn’t that strange she forgot since she probably met a lot of new people on a daily basis.

“Well, you need to fill out some information on parchment first. Can you write or do you need a scribe to fill it out for you?” There weren’t too many people who could write in this world so a scribe was a necessity. Each Guild Hall would have one for just such an occasion. They also handled other types of paperwork related jobs, like accounting records and such.

“I’ll need the scribe.” Learning how to write wasn’t one of my top priorities right now but it was something on the to do list.

“One second.” Jill left me there and went to inform the scribe. She returned moments later.

“The scribe will come soon, in the meantime let me explain what you need to put down.”

She pointed to the top of the piece of parchment, “Here you write your name or alias, whichever you prefer. Many adventurers like to be known by an alias of their choosing. You can also list any skill or abilities you want people to know down here.” Jill proceeded to instruct me on what information was needed to fill out the parchment.

While I waited for the scribe I thought about what I wanted to include on the paper. My name was quite out of the ordinary for this world so an alias would be best. How about ‘Fayde?’ ‘Fayde’ sounds like a good adventurer’s name! Okay, my alias from now on is Fayde! Fayde of the Void! I like it.

Once the scribe arrived I informed him of what I wanted to be put on the parchment.

Alias: Fayde of the Void, Fayde for short! That was all I put other than swordsman and Intermediate level sword skill. I wasn’t about to inform the whole world about my abilities.

Done. The scribe finished filling out all the information on the sheet for me. Jill gave me a look when she heard me say what I wanted my alias to be, but she didn’t comment out loud. I could understand, the name was a little extravagant and I was only a new adventurer.

After finishing up with the paperwork, Jill handed me my copper medallion and I hung it around my neck. I felt quite accomplished! It was now time to head over to the request board, can’t wait to see what quests I can partake in.

I took a look at the area designated for copper medallion rank adventurers and was sorely disappointed. Most of the requests were for basic manual labor type jobs. I guess copper medallion adventurers were basically glorified day laborers.

I took a look around and noticed that instead of taking a quest from the board, I could just hunt monsters for their parts which could be used as ingredients for potions, equipment and other things. Killing monsters was the best option for me since I could gain strength by absorbing the ‘Dark Matter Contamination’ from them. I didn’t have my armor yet so I wasn’t about to leave town, instead I took one of the manual labor requests off the board and figured I would do that for now.

The person who had made this request was one of the merchants who had a stall in the center of town. It was mostly just carrying cargo back and forth from some caravans that were arriving today. The reward was one silver coin and a small discount for future purchases. It wasn’t much, but the discount might be useful.

After grabbing the request paper and turning around to hand it over to the receptionist, I smacked straight into the chest of an overly large man.

“Ah! Sorry!” I apologized and looked up and saw it was Orban, “so, the runt is finally taking his first quest eh?”

“Yeah, I grabbed a labor quest, nothing special. I’m waiting for my armor to be refitted.”

“Labor requests are important! Remember to look at the big picture…..” Not another speech, ugh.

To sum it up, these kinds of requests were important for the town and helped new adventurers gain contacts with citizens and merchants and such. I just nodded and didn’t bother to say anything. It wasn’t like he was wrong, I just found his lectures to be long and tedious.

“So make sure you do a good job and take it seriously!” I gave him a sarcastic salute and he seemed satisfied.

I was finally left alone to complete the quest. I left the guild hall and headed to the town center to meet with the merchant. The merchant was friendly and welcomed me, even offered me a drink which was nice. I guess he felt bad that he could only offer a silver for the work, but it was enough.

He promised to give me a ten percent discount at his shop if I ever needed anything from him. Since he sold various things like potions, I thought I would be a frequent shopper, assuming I remained in this town. What I really wanted from him was information though. I asked him about the price of goods, good trade routes, etc. I wasn’t expecting him to reveal all his secrets, but some basic info would suffice. If I couldn’t return to Earth and had to make a living in this world, it was necessary to learn as much as possible about it.

It took a couple of hours to move all the merchandise. The roads were all muddy from the rain the previous night and maneuvering the cart from the city gate to the merchant stall was a nightmare. Lugging the heavy crates and barrels off the cart ended up being the simpler task.

As I was finishing up the work, I started wondering when Reia would show up in town. She still hadn’t come back yet but that was to be expected. It took a couple of days to get to the forest and she would probably spend a few days at home and then return. She could be back any day now. I hope she’s okay. If she runs into another monster like the last time…. I started getting wild ideas in my head, like what if she was attacked by slavers or a powerful monster or who knows what.

I had no way of knowing whether something had happened and no means to contact her, other than to sit here and wait. It really sucked not being able to use a cell phone. I always had taken modern communication for granted! Maybe there was some magical equivalent I could buy.

After completing my work as a day laborer, the merchant was pleased and told me to come buy his goods anytime. He gave me my reward and I headed towards a food stall to buy some meat on a stick. That was the name I gave it anyway since I had no idea what it was. For my own sanity I pretended it was chicken, ignorance is bliss as they say! After my meal, I found my way back to the blacksmith and still had to wait thirty minutes before he had finished adjusting my armor. Once I had my armor on, I finally felt whole again.

With all my equipment ready, I headed out to kill monsters. This was a momentous occasion for me, well maybe my expectations were just a little too high. It was still early afternoon so I figured I would head out of town to hunt some small monsters. I wanted to increase my ‘Void’ threshold as much as possible. Gathering monster parts would also earn me some money so it was a good way to kill time while I waited for Reia.

I left the town without much fanfare and headed towards the Iendal hills to hunt some goblins. There were always plenty of goblins to hunt in the area and they were weak enough that I could probably kill all of them before I ran out of ‘Void Power’. It was also a good opportunity to test out my powers a bit. There were different uses I had it mind. For example I wondered if I could stop a metal weapon with my defensive flames, or if I could somehow enhance my sword with my ‘Void Power’. The ‘Void Flames’ were flexible so I felt it was possible.

It was simple finding a group of goblins and I took my time testing out the various uses of my ‘Void Flames’. Manipulating the flames, I was able to enhance my sword which give it properties of the ‘Void’. The flames circulated around the blade and caused additional damage to the monsters and would even sometimes ignite them. As for the normal ‘Void Flame’ attack, I could send out two at once, one from each arm. They used up a lot of my VP though and I had to rest quite frequently since my regen was very slow, it took 10 minutes just for 1 VP.

Most of my tests were successful, but metal proved to be a deterrent for my ‘Void Flames’. For some reason, metal seemed to deflect them, but at the same time, my ‘Void Flames’ could indeed stop an attack from metal weapons. This basically meant I could use my arm as a shield, or even a weapon depending on the situation. A nice punch to the face while my flames cover my fist was effective.

By the time I returned to town, it was approaching evening. I was slightly tired from the fighting but wanted to check my status first before heading back to the inn. There were plenty of adventurers sitting around the Guild Hall this evening. Many of the adventurers had returned to town from one request or another and I even saw Orthus and Arin drinking together. I greeted them briefly before exchanging the 12 goblin ears I had collected. I received 1 silver and 2 coppers for my trouble. The exchange was completed and then I checked my status using the divination crystal.

[Level: -1   EXP: 0/0]

[HP: 15/15]

[Health Regen:  0.01/min

[VP: 30/30] [Void Threshold: 38 Next level 60]

[Void Regen: 0.1/min]

Strength: 9 ( Modifier 0, Representation of your attack power as well as your physical strength)

Dexterity: 9 (Modifier 0, Representation of your reflexes, movement, agility, and evasion)

Constitution: 10 (Modifier 0, Representation of your resilience and affects health/health regen)

Charisma: 10 (Modifier 0, Representation of how others perceive both your physical appearance and personality as well as your skill at social interactions)

Intelligence: 137 (Represents intellectual capacity, Affects Skill Growth)

Wisdom: 165 (Represents an accumulation of life experience and common sense)

Acquired Proficiencies: Sword (Level 3/10 Intermediate)

Blessings: Blessing of the Void (?)

Special ability: Molecular absorption (Absorbs dark matter contamination strengthening host)

Inherent status: Immortality (Immortality grants agelessness, your body and soul will no longer age)

Affinities: Void (Your natural and innate magical affinity, Void Element)

Void Element: Void Flame (5VP – 1VP/min) (Manipulate flames from the Void for both attack and defense)

Not much changed here. I killed 12 goblins but only received 8 Void Element so there are diminishing returns. I guess goblins no longer provide a 1 to 1 ratio. Also, it seems nothing changes until I hit the threshold. My wisdom continues to increase, I did learn a lot of new information about the world of Aergan so that makes sense. Alright, that’s enough.

I was definitely getting the hang of things and I could understand most of the different aspects of my status. Not everything was clear yet but I was satisfied with the results so far. There was nothing more to do at the Guild so I decided to head back to the inn to sleep. When I opened the door I bumped right into Reia.

“Reia, you’re back! You look exhausted.” She looked like she didn’t sleep again.

“Yeah, I just arrived now, I looked for you at the inn first and then came here.”

Seeing as how she probably hadn’t bathed in a few days, I thought it best to take the conversation back to the inn so we headed over there while she told me about her trip.

“I told my father about you. He wants to meet you, he gave me permission to bring you to the village.”

“You know, you didn’t tell me exactly who your father is, is he someone important?” From the way she was talking it was obvious he was but I had no idea how important.

“Right, I forgot to tell you. My father is the chieftain of our tribe, but our tribe isn’t very large so it isn’t really all that big of a deal.”

“Your father is the chieftain? So you are a chief’s daughter eh? Well aren’t you so important.” I gave her a sly smile and she punched me but she knew I was joking and laughed playfully.

“It’s nothing, really. Our tribe is too small to even mention.” Her words were somewhat melancholy when she talked about her tribe. Must be a bad history there, I thought.

“Well, that’s fine with me, but first you need a bath. You stink.” That earned me another punch. I pretended to be hurt, dragging it out for sympathy but she didn’t fall for it.

“You deserved it!” All I could do was laugh.

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