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Gacha Fail and New Acquaintances
It was insane. So this was the real early morning struggle for quests…
We pushed our way through the Adventurers, who had all but turned into beasts, as we targeted the hunting quests, trying to grab the notices as if grasping at straws. I was able to s.n.a.t.c.h a few of them. I would have wondered where all of the civilized behavior had gone, but there was no time. In fact, I learned from them as I lunged for the sheets. For once, I was very jealous of Gardo's huge frame.
Later, I would hear that this was quite the famous sight in Replant. The blitz struggle. A time for Adventurers to turn into monsters. I'm not sure I liked it.
"Hah…d.a.m.n it, that was tiring…"
Daniela had willingly dropped out of the race and was waiting on a chair by the wall. I sat down next to her and inspected the three sheets as I rested.
"Let's see what we have here…? Goblin Hunting…nope. Blood Ape Hunting…double nope. Investigation of the Southern Valley…this one isn't even hunting. d.a.m.n it…"
They were all bad. This was worse than those gacha machines.
"Hmm…Asagi, what is it…?"
Daniela opened her eyes and looked at me with a sleepy expression.
"Uh, it's just that the quests I tried so hard to get were awful… I don't even know what to do."
"Hmm…hhhhaahhh…hmm… Alright, let me see."
She yawned, finally allowing herself to stay awake. Then she inspected the quests I had brought.
"I see. You wanted a hunting quest, so these are no good."
"Right? We can't go hunting goblins at this point, and I'm sick of those blood apes. And investigating a valley? What for?"
"It says, 'increasing sightings of mysterious shadows.'"
"Mysterious shadows, sure."
It would be fine if it were monsters. But it could also be bandits.
"What do you think we should do?"
"Well, doing nothing is not an option. And this investigation quest comes with a hefty reward. I think we have little choice, we must accept this one."
"Hhhhh…well, if you insist."
I guess I won't be able to test my new tricks using ice and speed any time soon… I wanted to test them before I forget. But I wasn't likely to get a chance, if we were just investigating some valley. Unless there was trouble, anyway.
I got up from the chair and stuck the blood ape and goblin quests back on the board. It was just like all the other notices that were still stuck to it. Wrinkled and messily returned. All these unwanted quests…
"Yes, so you want to accept this quest?"
I slid the sheet and our status cards onto the counter. We had done this so many times that it felt like second nature. I guess I had really gotten used to this life now.
"'Investigation of the Southern Valley.' Thank you. Recently, there have been multiple sighting of something strange moving in the valley. We want you to confirm whether it is a monster or bandits."
"Yes, just the investigation. But you can never be certain that you will not be attacked, so you must go fully prepared."
"Good. You have now accepted the quest. May you have luck and protection on your adventures."
I put away my status card and handed Daniela hers. Now, it was off to investigate. I was b.u.mmed that it wasn't a hunting quest, but perhaps this was one of the charms of being an Adventurer. Encounters with the unknown. Will it be a demon, or a snake…
I separated with Daniela and went out to buy the supplies necessary for our investigation. I was to meet her at the southern gate when I was finished, but until then, it was a rare solo excursion.
First, I go to the clothes store. I needed to restock on sc.r.a.ps of cloth after we used them all during the bandit attack. Cloth could be used for anything. You could sit on it or use it to wipe away dirt. It could be used to bind wounds if you are hurt. You could never have too much clean cloth. I had gone around to a number of shops, buying these in Spiris, but we were almost out of them now. So it was a good time to buy them so we'd be prepared during an emergency. And so I entered a random clothing store.
I called the clerk in the back. A friendly looking elderly woman appeared.
"h.e.l.lo. Oh, what is it, young man? Those are fine clothes you are wearing. I hope that I can find something that suits you."
"Ahaha. Well, the Paw Clothes and Accessories shop make some great stuff."
"Oh, this is from that store? I've heard rumor of this place in Lambrusen. Let me see!"
The old woman crouched and looked carefully at my clothes. Well…I was trying to buy strips of cloth here. But then again, I had to advertise for Nick, just a little.
"Hmm, yes…Ahh, dragons. That's quite impressive, young man."
"I got it on sale."
"Well, if that's your story! Sorry, for coming at you so suddenly. Alright, so what were you looking for?"
"I want extra strips or sc.r.a.ps of cloth. As much as you can give me."
"Ah, well, I have plenty of that, don't you worry! Think of it as an apology!"
She winked. A very charming old lady. And very nice.
She came back with a whole armful of cloth. But it fit right into the hollow bag without any trouble. My lovely vintage bag.
"That's a nice bag you have there. And what a cute decoration."
"Yes, they are from a man and young girl who helped me a lot."
"Hehe. You must be a very kind Adventurer, then."
Well, this was embarra.s.sing. I wasn't used to being complimented. But I didn't hate it either.
"Here's the money."
"Thank you! Have a good day!"
"Thank you, and you too."
I bowed before leaving as the old woman waved. It was a random store I found, but things had gone well. Somehow, the streets seemed more beautiful as I walked now, remembering the compliment. This must be because of all my good deeds. I will continue to do what I can.
Next was food supplies. I could cook simple dishes, but it would be good to keep things simple for this little investigation, and so I went to the street stall district. I wasn't being lazy! I swear.
"Now…what should I choose…"
"Hm? If it isn't Asagi."
As I scanned the stalls, a voice called from behind me. I turned around to see the arrogant child. The Adventurer, Penrose was standing there with meat skewers in both hands. Hm, deja vu.
"Ah, Penrose. That looks good. Give it here."
"Get your thieving hands away from me!"
How stingy. But I suppose Adventurers should not take meat from children. It was positively criminal.
"Yes. I accepted a herb gathering quest. I am setting out as soon as I finish this."
"No. I formed a party as well!"
Oh… Who would want to party with… Well, yes, he did have a change of heart. It was not surprising that some might have seen the promise in him. And really, I was happy for him.
"We scattered for now, while we eat."
"I see. What kind of people are they?"
"Close to my age. I did want to fight with adults before, but then I realized something when I was with you and Miss Daniela. It is too early. I slowed you down, and was very nervous… And so I wanted to team up with people my own age."
Hmm…so that's what he was thinking. But, he was actually quite good. Still, a children's party, huh? Young boys and girls who dreamed of becoming Adventurers… That sounded fun.
"That's great. But don't go anywhere dangerous, alright?"
“Oh, and here's some advice from a veteran. They like it when you pick the herbs carefully by digging up the roots. It's pointless if you just tear them out of the ground.”
Ah, he was such a good kid now…your father's proud of you. I thought amusedly to myself, when a group of boys and a girl in leather armor gathered around. There were five of them including Penrose. So this was Replants boy scouts. Well, there was a girl too, but she looked a little tomboyish…
"Hey, Pen. You still eating? Let's go already!"
Oh, this girl was quite spirited…
"Hm? What's your problem old man? Is there something on my face?"
"What did you call me?"
"He-he-hey-hey! Kikka, that's Asagi's forbidden word…!"
"What? Hey, wait…Asagi? The Asagi?"
I heard that unpardonable word, but I suppose I'll ignore because of Penrose's intercession… I sigh and move on.
"I don't know what other Asagi's are around, but I'm Asagi, yes. Nice to meet you."
I offer my right hand and she grips it tightly. Surprisingly strong. And covered in blisters. She must practice with the sword a lot.
"Silvergreen! Wow! Nice to meet you!"
"The real one? Really?"
"Woah, but he looks so average."
"Asagi is amazing. He can fly."
"Okay, you're exaggerating now."
The children crowded around me excitedly. Their unreserved opinions flew in the air, and I looked up awkwardly at the sky. Ah, the weather was nice…
"Ahaha, excuse us. We surprised you."
"No, it's fine. I wasn't expecting to be recognized so much."
I brushed it off as the children bowed apologetically. I could only chuckle uncomfortably at the thought of all the bad rumors they must have heard.
"Ah, we need to complete the quest!"
"Oh, right. I forgot!"
The kids remembered that they were supposed to be going on a quest after eating, and they frantically picked up their belongings. I was supposed to be preparing for ours as well. Oof…I stand up heavily. Maybe I was an old man.
"I've got a quest to be going to as well. You guys be careful now."
I nodded at their reply, and walked away with my veteran aura. So those little runts were working hard. I couldn't laze around then. Alright, I needed to hurry up and buy some food, then head for the south gate!
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