15 Restless

'Fuck, at this rate I'm not going to be able to complete the raw materials objective. I still need another twenty types of materials. . .'

With a wince, the final splinter came out from within his arm, and the female cleric at his side breathed a sigh of relief. She then moved the bloodied water orb off his arm and dropped it into the bucket on the ground.

"Alright, just give me one minute to get the health potion and then you should be good to go, Valerio."

Zack was currently in the town of Fair Wind's public hospital. It had been around fifteen minutes since his fight with ShortFuse22 had ended, and he was slowly becoming more restless as the timer for The Basics reached ever closer to zero.

Diz had been brought to another room, but they had been conversing through the message function.

[So, if we make a mad dash for the woods, we might be able to complete the objective.]

[Sent At 10:17 P.M.]

[Disappeared2.5]

[Who's to say we won't run into more Cruel Blood cronies?]

[Sent At 10:17 P.M.]

[WiseBro and DarkMatter went towards the West, so if we go East, we should be fine.]

[Sent At 10:18 P.M.]

[Disappeared2.5]

[Fair enough, but I wonder if we can really make it in time…]

[Sent At 10:18 P.M.]

The cleric then returned through the door with a bottle in hand, the red contents within the signs of a decent health potion. "Alright, drink this, and then you'll be free to go. Remember, you need to show up to the Town Hall tomorrow at around noon."

She then handed Zack the potion, who drank the contents, eager to heal up and finish the tutorial quest. "You don't need to remind me, Hailey."

He got out of the chair after handing her the empty bottle, and put his shirt back on. "Alright, I'll be leaving now." With a wave, Zack was quick to leave the building, sending Diz another message before he departed.

[Who knows, but I just got out. I'll meet you in the wilds.]

[Sent At 10:19 P.M.]

Having now sent the message, he ran towards the Eastern border, propelling himself forward using his newfound power over the wind element. He zoomed through the sparsely populated streets, occasionally sidestepping to avoid colliding with another player.

The streets were empty of NPCs right now because of Cruel Blood's attack on the apothecary, so it wasn't too hard to maneuver through the streets. The sights of houses became scarce as he entered Fair Wind's outskirts, and soon the sight of farmland disappeared as well as entered the wilds.

His legs and lungs burned, but he paid no mind to the pain and kept going for the sake of completing the tutorial quest.

He was quick to use his movement technique and travel through the treetops, avoiding the watch tower so that he wouldn't have to be stopped by another guard and listen to that lengthy list of information again.

After a while, he stopped, jumping down and landing on the ground to look for useful materials. He found five types of herbs almost immediately, and raised his completion gauge to fifty percent complete when he stashed them in his utility belt.

Seeing this, he was quick to look for more herbs of different types, and was thankful that he was able to find five more. Though to his dismay, he couldn't find any more types of herbs. Zack looked around frantically for raw materials.

'Only six minutes left right now, I'm fu- Wait!'

Had he turned his head any faster, he might have broken his neck. Not too far away was a cave, and what caught his eye was the metallic glint coming off a few exposed ore deposits. Thanking the random number goddess, Zack ran over.

As he walked up, he suddenly realized that using his sword to bust it open was likely a bad idea. He unsheathed it and realized it had certainly seen better minutes. There was a small dent where his sword and ShortFuse22's had met, and it had many more scuff marks than before.

Even the sharp edge seemed dull now. He sighed, but he couldn't just pass up the opportunity to get these valuable raw materials. Ore deposits, regardless of quality, could still net him more coppers than any run of the mill herb.

He scratched at his beard as he thought, before pointing at the rock.

He began focusing on a large area of Ardor within the air, and began compressing it into a small point in front of his finger. He felt a headache as the large sphere became smaller and smaller, and it grew in intensity the more he compressed the Ardor into that small point he desired.

His nose began bleeding, but he had gotten it to the point he wanted it to be at. The Ardor had long since become visible, and Zack could see the instabilities compressing that much Ardor had created.

The sphere shook and shuddered, but Zack was quick to put it to use, firing the condensed Ardor at the ore deposit. It shot right through the surface, going through the somewhat weak sedimentary rock, before hitting a more durable material within.

With an unbelievably loud pop, the sedimentary rock burst open and flew off, leaving behind some large ores. He could only recognize Iron, but the rest were still discernable from the sedimentary rock that encased them before.

He then repeated the process for the rest of the ore deposits, and felt a wave of relief wash over him as he saw the raw material gauge reach completion. He couldn't actually carry everything away, but it counted as collected, so he didn't care.

With a sigh of relief, he listened to the robotic voice speak. "You have now completed the tutorial quest, The Basics. You must collect the rewards through the menu."

Zack set down all the ores in his arms, and quickly jumped to the top of a tree to ensure he could access the menu safely. Getting as comfortable as he could on the thick branch, he closed his eyes.

[Equipment] [Quests] [Forums] [Chat] [Options] [Logout]

[Quests]

[Accept rewards for completing The Basics?]

[Yes]

[You have received 500 experience points for completing The Basics.]

[You have received the Postulant Tier Inspect Ability for completing the Raw Material Collection Objective.]

[You have received the Postulant Tier Scan Ability for completing the Hunt and Forage Objective.]

[You have received the Postulant Tier Appraisal Ability for completing the Copper Collection Objective.]

[You have unlocked the AP bar functionality of the Heads Up Display for completing the Introduction to Magic Objective.]

[You have unlocked the character sheet and ability tabs in the main menu.]

[You have received 10 attribute points for completing all objectives for The Basics.]

[You have additional rewards available, do you wish to accept them?]

[Yes]

[You have received 800 experience points for slaying the Young Viper Bear, and have received a revenge bonus, for a total 1,040 experience points.]

[You have received 300 experience points for completing Retrieval.]

[You have received 1,000 experience points for slaying ShortFuse22, and have received a level gap bonus, for a total of 3,000 experience points.]

An intense feeling overcame Zack as he went from level zero directly to level four. He felt his muscles bulge, and he suddenly had a much clearer sense of the Ardor both all around him and within him.

After that intense feeling subsided, he was quick to check his character sheet.

[Valerio] (Swordsman)

[Level: 4] (851 / 2,195 EXP)

[Ardor Attribute: Wind]

[Title: None]

[Available Attribute Points: 18]

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[HP: 6 ] (300/300)+

[STR: 5]+

[DEF: 4]+

[SPD: 4]+

[CON: 1]+

[AP: 6]+

[WIS: 9]+

[NPC Impression: Valerio will appear as a stoic individual at first glance, and is known for skillfully slaying a Viper Bear. Women are quick to notice his perverted gaze, and children find it easy to approach him. His peers view him as a rare genius.]

Zack read through the descriptions of each attribute type, humming with intrigue as he read over constitution's description.

[Constitution enhances your pain tolerance, making it easier to shrug off powerful blows.]

'That must be why ShortFuse22 was able to shrug off getting stabbed through the stomach. . . It makes for a useful intimidation stat against other players, but we evolved to have pain receptors for a reason.'

He pondered on how to properly allocate his attribute points, before hearing rustling in the distance. As he got up, Zack got a message notification.

[Disappeared2.5]

[I just found some cracked open ore deposits!]

[Sent At 10:28 P.M.]

Zack opened his eyes and watched as Diz arrived from the left, landing by the ore deposits and quickly picking up as many as he could. It seemed that Diz also managed to finish his objectives that way, as he became enveloped in a golden aura.

Zack jumped down to meet him while laughing. "Made it by the thkin of your teeth, aye?"

Diz flinched at his friend's sudden appearance but was relieved that it was only him. "Yeah, my quest timer was about to run out. I was really starting to worry in all honesty." Diz wiped the sweat that formed on his head, happy to have completed all of the objectives.

Zack patted Diz on the shoulder in a congratulatory manner, glad to have completed the first quest with him. "So, what are we going to do about all these ores?" Diz wasn't sure what most of these ores were, but he figured such an abundance would net them a hefty amount of copper.

"I got it." Zack unwrapped the sheet from his scabbard, and collected all the ores in his signature makeshift bag. He slung the bag over his shoulder, surprised at how light it felt despite the bag being filled with so many ores.

"Alright, let's head into town again and get this stuff sold then, yeah?" Diz waited for the usual nod, but then noticed Zack's gaze towards the cave.

"No rithk, no reward, am I right, Dith?"

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