"So this is the stunt man himself? You're looking pretty cool for a level zero character, I must admit it, taking down a Viper Bear practically single handedly and carrying its head like a trophy." She patted Zack on the shoulder while laughing heartily, some of the players turning their heads to see what the commotion was.
Choosing to stay silent, he nodded his head and gave a casual thumbs up. "Oh right, I forgot to mention that he lost a tooth while fighting the thing. He doesn't want to speak until he gets his hands on something that'll fix it." Diz said, quick to ensure things didn't get awkward.
She nodded, humming to herself. "That so? Well, seeing as he was walking this way before going to the meeting spot, I'd guess he knows where the apothecary is. Anyways-" She then snapped her fingers to make a physical menu appear, quickly sending a friend request to Zack.
"I'll see you two around, I need to go to that dungeon I mentioned, Diz. Best of luck with your tooth problem, Valerio." She then turned after winking at him, and began jogging, taking a turn into an alleyway between the building they were in front of and another, heading northward.
"Alright, so this stone and wood building here is the place to sell our goods, but I assume you want to head to the apothecary first, right?" Diz asked, already beginning to walk. With a nod, Zack began walking as well.
As the two continued their casual pace, Zack's eyes began wandering again, and soon his focus was caught by the shapely behind of a woman walking in front of them, the starter gear unable to hide her glorious assets the same way higher tier equipment would have.
He stared without reserve as he walked, uncaring of what other players nor NPCs would think. Zack was an unashamed pervert in real life, and he wouldn't hide it at all as Valerio. By the time they turned onto another street, Zack's character completion gauge had gone up by another ten percent.
Then, Diz pointed up and got Zack's attention before speaking. Zack followed to where he was pointing and saw a metallic sign that reflected the moonlight beautifully, outlining the bottle and herbs depicted on it.
"So Sarah told me this earlier. Depending on the quality of a shop, their sign outside will be made of materials of varying expenses. A basic sign standing on the ground is like the lowest quality, a wooden sign hanging off the side of the building is the next rank in quality after that, rusted iron after that, stainless steel after that, so on and what not."
Zack nodded. "Tho, thith place mutht be pretty good, to have a thtainleth thteel thign," he said in response, making sure to keep his voice down. Diz nodded, and when they were in front of the shop, Diz opted to sit outside and practice with magic, taking the beast head so Zack could rest his arm while he was inside.
Going inside and closing the door behind him gently, Zack found himself inside a moderately sized room. The first thing he noticed though, was the mechanical whirring and loud sloshing sounds coming from the door behind the counter.
The building was pretty large on the outside, but the shop strangely seemed to consist of only the room he had entered.
As he looked around, Zack saw that the store's stock of medical consumables were neatly organized within shelves on the wall and two display tables set in such a way that the room was split into three rows of space you could move through. The store seemed empty at the moment, and he couldn't help but assume it had something to do with the prices
Walking down the middle row, he went up to the unattended counter and rang the bell sitting there next to a small crate. He heard hurried footsteps coming from behind the same door the mechanical sounds were coming from, and out came a young fair skinned brunette that couldn't be more than seven years old.
"Hi there! Daddy and Grandpa are busy brewing potions right now, is there anything I can help you with, mister?" she said, pulling out a stool from beneath the counter so she could see above it. Choosing his words carefully, Zack spoke, saying "Yeah, I need help fixing my tooth, I broke it on my way to this town." He then bared his teeth so that he could point at the missing one, earning him five percent on his completion gauge.
"Sorry to hear that sir, but luckily for you we've actually had an increase in demand for things like this lately. If you come back in around ten minutes, the next batch of High Grade Bone Refinement Potions should be ready."
Zack raised an eyebrow at that, carelessly saying "How ith a reinforcement potion going to help regrow a lotht tooth?" The little girl giggled when she heard his lisp, and another five percent was added to his completion gauge. He sighed, but the giggle was infectious, thwarting would-be negative thoughts.
"Well, I don't really know, I'm just here to help tend to the counter. Do you need help with anything else, mister?" Zack nodded in response, before saying "Yeah, I'd like to know how many copper cointh thuch a potion would cotht."
"The price you'd be looking at is around five hundred copper, or one silver, mister! You can get a discount if you donate some herbs or certain monster parts though. Right now, the enchanted list of raw materials you can donate costs ten copper."
Zack hummed and nodded as he listened to the little girl, regretting his carelessness even more than before when he heard how much it would cost to restore his tooth. Deciding to save his additional questions for after he got ten copper, he thanked the young lass and turned around.
Walking out of the building, he saw Diz on the ground practicing magic, small orbs of water forming and dispersing every now and again. He seemed extremely focused, and Zack was surprised to find that no one dared to steal the poorly attended items.
Looking around, he actually saw a few players, and even a few NPCs eyeing the goods. The NPCs wore simple clothes, and Zack could surmise that they were being kept at bay by Diz's display of magic capabilities. And the looming threat of being reported to the town guard was likely keeping the higher level players at bay.
With a sigh, he tapped Diz's shoulder, interrupting his practice. With startled a jump, the orb of water Diz had just finished forming splashed against his shoes. "Come on, be a little more subtle next time would you? I don't want to walk around looking like I've pissed myself!"
Diz then got up, picking up the makeshift bag and slinging it over his unoccupied shoulder. "So, is the place as pricey as they say?" Zack nodded, sighing. "Yeah, theemth it might take awhile to fix my tooth."
Without asking any questions, Diz began walking for the store they had been at a few minutes ago. As they walked, Diz piped up and told Renzo about how his character development completion gauge had risen by twenty percent while he practiced magic.
Zack was still unsure how his new friend had managed to figure out magic so quickly, but he felt the strong urge to figure it out on his own.
Zack's eyes began wandering as he thought about magic, and the trip felt as though it were instantaneous for him.
Looking at the sign outside the building now that he knew what to look for, he saw that the sign hanging off the building was made of rusted iron. The images it depicted were that of a chestplate, with a sword to its left and shield to its right.
With the clang of a cheap bell, the two entered the building and Zack could hear the crackling sound of fire and metal striking metal coming from the curtain at the back of the store, hanging over an oddly oversized door frame.
And he was surprised to find that this store was much more spacious than the apothecary. Though, as he scanned the surroundings, he understood the space was necessary for the unorganized display of weapons.
Blades and axes sprawled about on aged display tables throughout the store, barrels with pole-arms sticking out of them, and various types of arrows and quivers hung on the wall near a table of carelessly placed bows. Hanging from the walls much like the quivers and arrows, were shields of various types, as well as different mismatched armor sets.
Even the counter had a few weapons sprawled about on it!
Zack was about to sigh when he noticed the curtain at the back of the shop being pushed aside, revealing why the door was so large. A beast of a man walked out, with bulging muscles the likes of which only competitive athletes could ever have in the real world. His exposed skin was covered in scars and burn marks.
"Welcome, journeymen hunters, how can I-" he said gruffly, stopping abruptly and going wide eyed. With the shake of his head, he sighed. "-forgive me, calling someone capable of slaying a Viper Bear a journeyman is quite rude of me. How can I help you, my fellow Adroits?" the man said, earning the two twenty percent towards their character development completion gauge.
Diz stepped forward, saying "Me and my friend here wish to have some equipment made and earn a few coppers. We've collected a handful of raw materials from the beast as well," while pointing to the makeshift bag slung over his shoulder with his free hand.
"Ah, is that so? Well, come to the back with me. Seeing as I've never seen the two of you around Fair Winds before, it'd be for the best if I explained a few things to you."