Because Nul begrudgingly admitted that the village would take up a fair amount of space, and have an indeterminate effect on the previous geography within its zone, Donny proudly marched about half a mile along the valley, up from their original spot with the cabin.
Curious, Randidly and the old man followed. When Donny finally indicated a spot, a blinding light immediately robbed them of their vision. Acting on instinct built on months of struggle, Randidly dropped into a crouch and drew his spear, his senses sharpening. But when no attacks came, and after several seconds, the light slowly faded, resolving itself into a clearing with several buildings.
Perhaps the strangest feature was the pillar of light that rose from the center of the village. But as Randidly saw the notification that had appeared in front of him, and everyone elses, based on their expression, his visage darkened.
Congratulations! A Newbie Village has been founded near your location. A pillar of light has been placed there and will remain there for 7 days, so it may be conveniently found. Due to the founding of a Newbie Village, the starter protections in the surrounding area will disperse in exactly 7 days. At that time, monsters Level 20 and over will begin to appear. It is recommended that you proceed to the Newbie Village and acquire a class as fast as possible.
But it seemed the implications of this notification did not worry Donny, instead, he was laughing.
“Haha, This is so cool! Because I was the first one to found a Newbie Village, I get an extra 500 Soul Points towards upgrading it! I’m fucking first! This is so awesome!”
“Soul points…?” Tera asked, looking at Donny. But he just continued to giggle to himself. Instead, Nul stepped forward, his bland smile in place.
“Yes, Soul Points, which are used to strengthen and upgrade your Newbie Village. Besides turning in other golden coins for 500 Soul Points, you gain Soul Points for your village anytime you level up. And eventually, the Newbie Village too can expand, giving greater benefits for the people who choose to have their class based here.”
“How much would it take to upgrade a Newbie Village into a…” Randidly hesitated, then went with his gut. “...a Trainee Village.”
“10,000 Soul Points.” Nul gave Randidly a strange glance. There was something there. It was not fear but…. Almost annoyance. But then the bland smile returned, more blanketing and numbing than ever. “However, a Trainee Village possesses the possibility of allowing you to reclass, increasing your growth rates monstrously with the stats and skills you have gained by leveling.”
‘And instantly, he shifts what he is saying, trying to sway me to get a class… Well, I will be thinking this over very carefully.’ Randidly thought, nodding calmly, and walking away, towards the treeline.
Casually, he looked over his shoulder and said. “You all should rest now and prepare. I suspect that we shall have a lot of company soon. Donny… you are going to need to decide about who you want to let into your village.”
Then, Randidly walked away, wanting a bit of insurance, for later.
Almost exactly three hours later, Randidly returned, having gained quite a few things. The first was a skill point in Running and a skill point in Pathfinding, which was enough to finish off Spear Mastery, netting him two new skills: Sweep and Spear Deflect. Sweep was a powerful area of effect attack, a wide swing of the spear, while Spear Deflect was effectively spinning the spear in front of oneself, knocking away smaller projectiles, and reducing the strength of magical attacks.
Both skills had Randidly excited. First for their utility, but also for their ability to be leveled. The higher a skill got, the harder it would be to level, which had become especially clear since he had left the dungeon and came here, where monsters were quite weak in comparison to himself.
Even just a few minutes previously, when he had searched and found the Mother Wolverine, which was level 13, it had been able to withstand several of Randidly’s attacks, but was ultimately killed rather simply.
As Randidly walked back to the cabin area, and the nearby obnoxious pillar of light, he considered his path situation. He had used all of the paths he had gotten by leveling skills, and was now left with two… similar options.
????: 0/???, ?????
One included the zero, but they were essentially the same. Rather than over think what was happening, Randidly just chose the one with the 0 showing.
Monster Slayer I 0/1.
But the 1 point that Randidly had put into it was enough to instantly finish it off.
Congratulations! You have completed the Monster Hunter I Path! +1 stat(s). Sometimes the path you walk is stained by the blood of those who would stand against you.
Immediately,Randidly went back and checked the path screen again, even though there was no more PP to spend at the moment, and sure enough, waiting for him…
Monster Slayer II 0/3, Watcher: 0/??, ?????
Looks like Monster Slayer would be another chain series of paths, and cheap ones, too. What was interesting was that he now also had the Watcher path, in addition to the question mark option.
Shaking his head, Randidly walked out of the tree line and towards the cabin.
The second group of things he had brought back were various fruits and vegetables that he had been able to find wild in the area. There wasn’t anything exceedingly strange, but he had found a new variety of nut and a mushroom that he was quite sure was poisonous. Still, growing it under the influence of the mana crystals would hopefully result in new species with interesting effects.
Included in that group was a large quantity of Red and Blue energy shards that he had found in the local area, often guarded by more comically weak imps or wolverines.
As Randidly continued to think, be brought out a large stick he had found and began to crudely till the surrounding area by his first fields, which were beginning to grow upwards at a shocking pace. He wanted to get all of his seeds down and growing as soon as possible.
What was slightly disturbing is that goblins had all but vanished from the surrounding area, and wolverines were also currently in the decline. The lizards and imps were growing stronger, both in numbers and in levels, and were able to force Randidly to be wary of large groups.
Not needlessly so, but he now paid attention to his surroundings, where his guard had begun to drop previously. After all, as far as he could tell, he was the strongest thing for quite a few miles, and honestly, Randidly could get used to this feeling.
But at the same time, he never forgot it. The edge of death that he had danced next to in the dungeon. Nul’s bland smile and subtle directions.
Frowning, Randidly looked up towards the pillar of light. This Newbie Town… was not what he had hoped it would be.