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Randidly walked towards Donny, annoyed that he stepped forward and was forced to deal with the cop, but glad that it had turned out simply. He was slightly worried about making sure that the town honored the deal and brought him glassware, but if they dragged their feet, he started actively taking it, and they wouldn’t be able to say anything about it.

Mostly, Randidly just wished the system included some skills that helped with interpersonal skills… at this point it was halfway between something he didn’t want to deal with, and half something he didn’t know how to deal with. He had been a quiet gamer before the system came. He wasn’t equipped for this...

Still, once he had all those containers, he could really up his potion production, which would benefit the whole village.

But for now, Randidly went to speak with Donny, who appeared to be still glaring after the police, and Daniel, who had walked out of the Chieftain's House and was speaking rapidly. Awkwardly rubbing his neck, Randidly approached. After today, he was done interacting with people.

***

After a short discussion, Randidly believed he had made himself clear.

The first building they would buy was the Recycler building, which would buy certain parts from the corpses of monsters in exchange for currency they could spend at other Shops. This would build excitement for the eventual shops to come, and give the people an immediate goal, which would keep them satisfied.

These justifications were Daniel’s, and Randidly agreed. He in fact agreed so much that he directed Donny to concentrate solely on leadership, leaving Daniel to make the bland decisions about construction.

When framed as construction, Donny seemed to agree, whimsically smiling as he recounted his heroic stand against the police to himself.

The final order of business Daniel wished to discuss was food. Specifically, they had meat, but were any of Randidly’s crops able to be eaten…?

Annoyed, Randidly dumped most of his first haul onto the ground, the non-potion making items, and returned to his fields and watch stand, exhausted mentally.

But just as he settled down into his spot to train, he saw the corpse of the cat he had killed in the cracked plateau, and groaned at the memory of one more discussion he had to have before he could focus on training.

Grumbling, he walked over towards Sam’s campsite, the cat laying across his shoulders. He thought about the three crouching bodies of who he assumed were Sam’s daughters. Unbidden, the words of the teenager rose to his mind.

‘It looked like fireworks.’

Randidly looked down at his hands as he crossed the clearing. He hadn’t even stopped to consider the beauty of his magic, just its utility. He had come into this world with the system an inch away from death. It was hard to see these skills as anything but tools of survival, and survival meant killing others for strength.

But his strength remained insufficient. Outside of the safe zone, he was once more an inch from death. This small cat was enough to force him to go all out.

Sydney…. Ace….

Randidly’s hands tightened into fists. It was hard to realistically think that he could find them before they were forced into a situation where they would die. Without Randidly here, the group probably wouldn’t have had a village for several days, or a week, tops. The police probably would have made a concerted effort to hunt down the goblins at some point.

If they were out there now, without classes...But there was no way to find them in the huge area of the map. It was better to operate on the assumption that they would survive. They both were strong. Far stronger than Randidly had been, prior to his experience in the dungeon. They would live.

The logical conclusion was that they would group up with people to survive. So his best bet would be to find other Newbie Villages, looking for rumor of them.

Randidly stopped.

Honestly, he hadn’t even thought to ask around here, or in the area the policeman controlled. They might even be there.

Feeling a small flame of hope for the first time in a while, Randidly walked into the area of Sam’s fire. As he did so, a glowing blue butterfly floated up towards him.

Instinct took over, and Randidly’s spear appeared in his hand, a Phantom Thrust ripping through the thing, dispersing it into glimmering motes of light.

“Told you it was a bad idea.” Sam stood over the fire, slowly rotating some wolverine meat. Next to him stood two figures. To Randidly’s surprise, neither were cloaked nor hooded, but instead wore strange dresses made from stitched together wolverine pelts.

“How was I supposed to know he would freak out and attack it? What was up with that anyway?” The smaller figure spoke, tilting her head to the side and regarding Randidly. She had medium length blonde hair pulled up into a ponytail. Her cheekbones were sharp and her lips were expressive. She was honestly one of the most beautiful women Randidly had ever seen, in a girl next door kinda way. And it did seem like she was the same figure who spoke to him last night.

What was more intriguing was that it seemed like she had created that strange butterfly… it was a construct of mana….? But what sort of skill could it have been… Perhaps some sort of scouting…?

Randidly put his spear away, still regarding the girl thoughtfully. She was starting to glare at him, and Sam looked up from the meat and was also regarding Randidly coolly. Randidly opened his mouth to speak.

“What sort of skill was that-”

“Like what you see?” The second figure spoke tartly, and then froze, hearing Randidly’s words.

Randidly turned to regard the second woman, who stood six inches taller than the first, almost as tall as Randidly himself. Full-figured with golden skin that looked like honey, this woman was also beautiful. Her heart shaped face was of the style that modern culture found most attractive, where the other girl’s features were too sharp and impish. Even as she blushed, she looked incredibly attractive

Turning to Sam, Randidly said. “I assume you made these clothes to ugly them up a bit? Really great effort. But I can see why they would prefer not to just walk around.”

Sam gave Randidly a wry smile, and Randidly turned back towards the first woman. “The skill?”

“Oh, this?” She said shyly, raising her hand, producing a glowing orb. It instantly sputtered and disappeared, and she shook her head in annoyance. “Fuck-shit, out of mana. It’s just called Mana Manipulation. I can basically do anything, if I have enough mana. Cool, right?”

Mana Manipulation…? Was mana something that was really that easy to manipulate? Randidly basically just focused on the skill and it would occur. He couldn’t tell without looking at his status what his mana was at, there was no sensation of loss, just a weird sensation of inward movement. Even when his mana pool was empty, he didn’t really feel it, just noticed based on the ease of skill use.

Setting that information aside for now, Randidly just nodded and placed the cat at Sam’s feet. “You’ve been working on making clothes right? Make me something with this. It should be much higher quality than the wolverines.”

Sam grunted, and then said. “Alright, I’ll work on it for tomorrow. For now, did you bring any food? You don’t eat for free around here.”

Helpless, Randidly produced more of his farmed fruits and nuts, making a mental note to make a 4th field.

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