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Several gunshots made Randidly pause, considering his options. Although he had gone solo thus far, he had to admit that was mostly out of necessity. If he could obtain some assistance, it would likely make searching the surrounding areas much easier. At the same time…

Randidly wondered what he would say to people, to explain to them what to do. Should he teach them the spear? Would anybody listen to him…?

Suddenly feeling a bit leary, Randidly turned away from the gunshots, and spared the stroller a glance. The gore there reminded him that this wasn’t a nice world. With a hardened heart, he walked away from from the town and headed into the wilderness.

****

Randidly settled down on his haunches, rubbing his chin and surveying the area. He picked a spot around two miles outside of town to set up. Having searched for a few hours and seen no sign of the rare bosses, he had decided to start a small base. Eventually, he had chosen this spot for several reasons.

First, there were no people in the area. The valley that Randidly was looking at had a small cabin, but it appeared to have been abandoned rather hastily when the strange wolverine creatures moved into the area. Randidly mopped the wolverines up without a thought. Most people seemed to have the crazy idea that fleeing to the city was the right answer, so the wild places like this were completely devoid of other souls.

Second, this was around the spot that 4 different types of enemies intersected. The wolverines were the big presence here, but Randidly had killed dozens of them without finding any rare mobs. Also present were strange, komodo dragon sized lizards that belched thunder and those imps that Randidly had encountered when he had arrived. And while Randidly was searching, he noticed small, sharp goblin eyes watching him from the brush. All enemies were confounded by his Mana Shield, and fled from his Mana Bolts, so the exploration nearby had gone smoothly.

Third, the cabin and nearby farm. If he was going to spend some time here, Randidly wanted to experiment. First to see if plants would grow as quickly as they did inside the dungeon, but also to try experimenting with different combinations of farming. Randidly had found some strange plants deeper in the dungeon, and was itching to see what they could do.

So Randidly began taking stock of the area, clearing out wolverine bodies, Randidly found a relatively clear track of land and looked at the supplies he had brought in his satchel. Some were poisonous, that he wanted to experiment with in making potions, but Randidly had brought several food stuffs.

The first two were the banana style fruit and the Halnuts. In addition, he had seeds for Stal Berry Bushes. Much more interesting was a plant that grew up almost like bamboo, but where the stock could be eaten, and tasted like radishes. His ultimate find were tiny, red potatoes.

Randidly supposed he would need to learn how to clean and dress an animal, maybe even these wolverines, for meat, although they looked quite stringy. For now, he planted his five crops in the areas around the wooden cabin, and then sat and meditated while practicing his control with Root Manipulation.

His progress from where he started was impressive, because he could now transform tiny grass roots into knobbly things the size of caterpillars by flooding them with his mana. They extended upwards, waving softly at him, and Randidly’s mouth curved in a grin.

Then the sound of someone approaching made him look up. Slowly, Randidly stood, keeping his spear within his satchel. Briefly he considered hiding, but he was sitting in the middle of the field, between his precious plants.

An extremely skinny looking teenager stumbled out of the woods, glancing warily around. He had small, beady eyes and thin brown hair. Randidly’s eyes narrowed when he noticed that the kid was using what looked like gloves with claws attached, which he had seen drop from some of the wolverines he had killed. But after inspecting it, it was only a level 1 equipment, that simply gave +1 Strength, so Randidly hadn’t bothered to collect them.

But he supposed that to a person who started with 2 or 3 strength, +1 was quite a lot.

The kid gave him a surprisingly frank look, then narrowed his eyes. “Oy, you think you can move in on my spot while I’m away?”

Randidly was honestly taken aback. Was this really the right time to quibble about a spot…? Wasn’t the human race in jeopardy?

Swaggering aggressively forward, the kid gave him a dismissive look. “Weakling. If you must, you can hang around and do odd jobs for me, but get in my way, don’t be surprised if I- hmph, hmph, well-”

The kid was interrupted twice by screeches coming from the nearby forest covered hill. Stumbling forward, the kid ran to Randidly’s side.

“Haha- as my f-first o-o-order, investigate that noise!”

Sighing, Randidly was considering what to do when he heard a high, human yelp of pain. Picturing that eviscerated hunk of flesh in the stroller, Randidly slowly walked forward, removing his spear from his satchel. Although he didn’t want to purposefully seek strangers out, that didn’t mean he was willing to just let them suffer right in front of him.

In a second, he had accelerated forward into the treeline, leaving the stunned kid behind.

At the very least, hopefully he would keep wolverines away from digging up the seeds that Randidly had planted.

As he raced through the trees, the sounds of combat grew more loud. Deciding that timing was more important than stealth, Randidly burst out through a bush onto a mountain road. Immediately he saw that a truck had been forced to swerve to avoid a falling tree, and was now swarmed by goblins. Several hooded figures  huddled in the bed of the truck were the source of the screams, batting at the approaching goblins, while a man near the front of the pickup truck was swinging a wood cutting axe. A shotgun and empty casings lay at his feet, as well as several moaning bodies of wounded goblins.

Still, there were at least 4 dozen of the goblins still living, and only 4 or 5 turned to face Randidly as he arrived. His lip curled upward in derision.

He immediately activated the skill he had learned when he had maxed out the Phantom Thrust Path, Phantom Onslaught. Instantly his spear blurred, dozens of lightning quick stabs ripping forward, goring the goblins that noticed him to pieces, and plowing through several of the ones that weren’t paying close enough attention.

As they all slowly turned to him, Randidly raised his hand and poured mana into his palm, launching a large Arcane orb, which slid forward into the thickest concentration of goblins and exploded with a wave of concussive force.

Those nearest were torn to pieces, while the remainder fell back stunned.

And Randidly, wielding a spear like a god of death reaping lives, moved among them.

After he had dispatched most of them, Randidly noticed that the man wielding the axe, who Randidly now noticed had short grey hair and seemed about 50 years old, had taken the opportunity to kill several of the nearby goblins, his axe crushing their smaller bodies. But several more crept up behind him, stone weapons in hand.

“Grasping Roots.”

Instantly, huge roots sprung from the ground, slithering up the goblins and gripping their necks. Then they squeezed, shattering their spines.

Looking around at the mangled body and the few scared survivors, even Randidly was slightly surprised at his own strength. He supposed that these enemies really were designed for it to be possible to overcome by the average person, but still…

As the old man chased away the last goblin, he turned and met Randidly’s eyes. Both were silent for several seconds.

And then several more.

Randidly’s eyes flicked to the side, and he noticed that the figures in the bed of the pickup truck had pressed themselves down, out of sight. His eyes slid back to the old man, who had noticed the shift in Randidly’s attention, and had narrowed his own eyes.

As the old man opened his mouth to finally speak, Randidly threw something at him, and he reflexively raised his hand to catch it. When he looked at it, the old man was surprised to find a small bottle filled with red liquid.

“Health Potion.” Randidly said shortly. And then after a second of thought, added. “The world is like a game now. That will help you heal faster.”

“I’m uninjured.” The man growled.

Randidly looked at the truck bed, and the shrugged, tired of the conversation. Honestly, this was too much of a hassle. “...then in case of future injuries. I’m leaving.”

“Wait.”

Randidly paused, his back to the old man, his senses sharpening.

But the old man just sighed, and asked. “...where are you staying… The town…. Is there anywhere safe…? Did you get a class at one of those… Newbie Towns…? Is that why you are so strong?”

Randidly turned back around, his tongue feeling abruptly thick. What to say. “I’m staying in a cabin in a nearby valley. I have avoided the town, but I doubt it’s safe. I don’t have a class… I was just… lucky.”

It made Randidly want to laugh, calling what happened to him luck. 7 months of agony and strife. But he supposed it paid dividends. Then, seeing the old man’s thoughtful face, Randidly fled, returning to the cabin and his planted seeds.

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