It was around 2 o’clock in the afternoon when Glendel followed Regina and the rest of their group, driving their convoy down the road towards Donnyton. While it had been cleared by some enterprising individuals, in preparation for Donnyton’s expansion, but it hadn’t been very professionally done, and the road was quite bumpy.
But still they made it to the town, and slowly headed up, a group of 60 some women and Glendel, following after Regina.
To their surprise, the attitude at Donnyton was grim as they arrived. Almost the entirety of the village, almost 1200 hundred people, gathered around a tall pole that was erected on the slope between the NCC village, and the Classer Compound.
Through the crowd, they saw Mrs. Hamilton, and Regina walked over. “Miranda, what’s going on?”
Miranda Hamilton turned to the group of new arrivals and smiled. “...I apologize, this has just been a very intense morning. The kept dungeon was improved to level 10, and when it reached that level, there were some changes. Increased difficulty, but also increased time compression. So you needed to spend more time there. Apparently up to a week. The first group to go in, when they realized they weren’t going to be kicked out after 24, started rushing for the boss, to escape before they ran out of food.
“Ultimately, they were able to make it, but… “ Mrs. Hamilton’s eyes were slightly wet as she looked to the monument, where three names were being carved into it by a serious faced Sam. “Their squad leader died defeating the boss. He was…. He was one of the original 12 or so that received a class from Donny, on the first day. It’s just… a sobering experience.”
Regina nodded slowly, a sympathetic expression on her face. “Death is always difficult-”
“Especially when it comes so cheaply.” Mrs. Hamilton said bitterly. But then she wiped the tears from her eyes and turned to the group. “But I won’t trouble you with the details. Come, I’ll take you to Donny and Nul.”
When they got to Donny, Daniel was also there, and Daniel took the time to explain a little in regards to classes, what little they knew, about the three options, and where they came from. He also explained the mentor system. Then he proceeded to talk about why some individuals were currently just raising their skill level, in the hopes of getting a better 3rd option.
“Actually, Ma’am.” A voice interrupted, “If you would like to wait a few minutes and let us ahead of you in line, we can finally test this hypothesis.”
An older man with short, grey hair and two axes strapped to his back walked up with a portly, bearded man.
“What do you mean, Sam?” Daniel asked.
But Sam didn’t respond. He was just smiling slightly at Regina. Who, in fact, was smiling back, her mouth creeping ever wider.
“As long as it’s no trouble,” Sam said slowly.
Regina controlled her face, her smile fading to twitching lips. “No, be my guest.”
If Glendel didn’t know better…. Were these two flirting….?
“Ah…” Sam said, turning to Daniel. “Well Jerry just insists, he has to know whether this means anything, raising skill level. I’m telling him patience, it’s only been a week, but-”
“Someone has to be the first.” Jerry interrupted, and stepping forward towards a blandly smiling Nul.
Everyone was quiet for several seconds. Then Jerry swore quietly.
“Well shit. Now I feel like an idiot. The current power option. It’s Leatherworker. This shit fucking works. Fucking hell man, why didn’t you stop me?!?”
But Jerry wore a wide grin as he turned around and faced Sam, who slapped him on the back.
As the two left, Sam glancing over his shoulder towards Regina as he walked away, Regina’s group discussed their options. By the end, everyone had decided to wait, working their skill level up by helping out around the village.
Everyone except 1 person.
“Are you sure?” Regina asked her eyes curious.
Glendel nodded. “...Yes. If we are going to be here, I want to get strong, as quickly as possible. I know I might be able to find something more suited to me if I work at it for a while but… I’m just going to go for it.”
Alana seemed dissatisfied, probably because she also wanted to take this option, but just folded her arms. Nervous, but feeling hot with emotions, Glendel went up to Nul and asked for a class.
Again, there was a long silence. Finally, Regina asked, “Well?”
Glendel just shook his head slowly. “My first option is Lackey, my third is Assistant. But my 2nd, random option…”
Feeling almost embarrassed to say it, Glendel finally stammered out. “I’m, uh, p-probably taking the 2nd option. And it’s… it’s called… S-s-s-s-sovereign of G-Ghosts.”
Randidly looked up, surprised that someone had knocked on his door. He set aside his ingredients, giving up on figuring out how to craft the next tier of potions for now. He supposed just under 200 was still a lot health or mana, even though his mana pool was over double that.
When he opened it, he found all of the important figures of the village: Sam, Donny, Daniel, Decklan, Dozer, Mrs. Hamilton, Annie, and even Lyra, who was walking over and poking an unnerved Thorn. To his surprise, Regina was also there, the surgeon who recently had her group join Donnyton, and that tall, pale man Glendel, who always seemed to be lurking around.
Dozer was hefting a large package over his shoulders, but Randidly turned his attention to Sam, who had been the one who had knocked.
“You’ve done a lot for us kid, no two ways about it.” Sam said gruffly. “So we thought we would give you something in return. To show our appreciation. You said your spear had been broken by that monster, right?”
Randidly nodded slowly. Dozer lowered the large package and unwrapped it, revealing a towering, 8 foot tall spear, made entirely of bone. As Randidly looked, his eyes widened further. He stepped forward and took the monstrosity from Dozer, feeling its significant weight. Without a strength of at least 30, utilizing this was impossible. Even now, Randidly made a mental note to invest a few more points in strength, so he could control it better.
The shaft appeared to be made entirely of linked vertebrae, grafted and shaped somehow to flow smoothly together. A sharpened spike of bone ran sideways across right before the head of the spear, itself a beautifully fanning bone, sharpened to a razor edge.
Randidly stepped past them into an open space, and performed several simple spear moves, marveling in the power he felt behind every movement. Then he looked at its stats.
The Spine-Spear of Ep-Tal Lvl 30: Agility +2, Strength +10. If you crave something, take it.
Randidly looked for a long time at the sentence that followed the stats, then slowly nodded.It would take a while before he raised his equip skill high enough that he could make use of those bonuses… but still….
“You made it from that monster’s spine…?” Randidly asked wonderingly.
Sam nodded, seemingly pleased. “Heh, don’t think you are the only miracle worker, kid.”
“Thanks. Thank you all.” Randidly said, truly meaning it. It was a beautiful weapon, and would help him make up for his previous lack of power. His mouth curled up in a grin. The next tribulation would be that much easier.
As everyone began to drift away, chatting with each other, some with rather pressing matters to attend to as Donnyton continued to swell like crazy as more and more people attracted to the pillars of light, Randidly walked up to Regina and Glendel.
“....I apologize if I was short with you. Having that inside my chest…. Wasn’t enjoyable.” Randidly said.
Regina nodded calmly. “I apologize as well. Perhaps I am just too used to dealing with hot-headed young men, I didn’t even consider that you might know what you are talking about. Although most of who we dealt with were people from the hospital, right after the system came, a lot of injured people from Rawlands University came, demanding treatment-”
“Rawlands….?” Randidly said slowly.
Regina blinked, and then nodded. “Oh, yes, portions of Rawlands’ campus were teleported down there, mixed with Franksburg. Do you know it?”
Randidly’s gaze sharpened, as he turned away from Regina and looked to the South.
“Yes,” He said, his gaze unwavering. “I used to go there.”
And so did Ace and Sydney.