Alana’s demands were simple, and fair: establishing a small base within Franksburg that they could use for trade, a share of the various supplies that Franksburg had access to due to its size prior to the system, specifically of tools and clothing, and the chance to appeal to the populous, seeking more people to move up and settle within Donnyton.
Although they were more well equipped and highly trained, Alana explained, there were far fewer of them. Donnyton was about 3,000 people; Anthony informed them that Franksburg had a population of 42,000, at last count.
Anthony, with the Blonde Senator’s bemused support, were only to happy to agree to provide these things for their services in obtaining the golden coin.They were less willing, however, to listen to Alana’s recommendations on how he Newbie VIllage should be constructed.
“You should wait,” She advised. “Or at least limit the amount of people you allow to receive a class. A monster horde will come based on the amount that have a class… also, we believe, based on the population, but that is more of a 1 to 1 ratio. The number of classers multiplies the monsters by 10-”
“Look,” Anthony said in a very smooth voice, a smile on his face. “I appreciate your concern. But I assure you that our deficiencies are primarily in assault; in terms of defense, we are more than capable. Snipers, machine gun nests, walls… we have it all. We really appreciate your concern, but will take it from here.”
Devan frowned, and moved to step in, but before he could speak, both he and Alana saw something that made their blood chill. The golden coined turned to powder and disappeared, and a small scorpion flashed into existence on the ground. It was red, with a crimson stinger.
But as the two of them watched it flickered, and sudden an unassuming looking human stood and its space, her hair long, to her shoulders, and black. The pupils of her eyes were crimson.
“You’ve made an excellent choice,” The woman purred, making the Senator and Anthony blink and turn around. “I will be the spirit of your Newbie Village, Helen. Without Classes, you cannot find power. But with them…”
“Well, you can rule this world… and others…” She said, with glittering eyes.
Randidly frowned up at the notification about the Newbie Village, and then looked up towards the pillar of light. This would certainly… accelerate their timeline for recruitment. This time here…
Randidly hesitated. It had been a chance to relax, which had helped clear his head and let him think again about potion ingredients, making this breakthrough on Potion Making. He had gained a lot of skill levels in random activities, which were useful for PP, but didn’t have the opportunity to lead to useful higher tiered skills.
It was almost a mini-vacation. After the frustration and inaction of the previous 4 weeks… it was exactly what Randidly had needed to rediscover his drive. Without the constant threat looming, he had felt somewhat lost. But now his goal was clear. Randidly needed information, and reach. He would do his best to grow and insulate these villages from the growing threat of the system. Ease their transition into this new world.
He would not baby them, but he would do his best to keep the unknown from crushing them.
They might need to weather their monster hordes, but he would not let an tribulation break them. Once these villages expanded, he could gather more information, using Donnyton as a base. Information both on the system, concerning skills, classes, and survival… and on location of other survivors.
So for now…
Randidly looked at the pillar of light thoughtfully, but then turned away. There was something that Randidly wanted to experiment with, but first he had a few other… errands.
First things first… Randidly recalled the notification he had received earlier, as the PP he earned for Potion Making was enough to finish the Fireball I path.
Congratulations! You have completed the The Fireball I Path! As you tread down the path of fire, the ground may be hot beneath your feet, and your hair is wet with sweat, but strength fills your limbs. The path may stretch ever onward, but your pace accelerates. Mana +50, Mana Regen +10. You have gained the skill Circle of Flame Lvl 1.
Circle of Flame: Conjures a circle of flame that moves outward from the castor. Costs 150 mana. Size of flames determined by Control and Skill Level. Heat of Flames determined by Intelligence and Skill Level. Speed of spread determined by Wisdom and Skill Level. Duration of circle determined by Focus and Skill Level.
Randidly nodded at the nice boost in mana and mana regeneration. He would need to experiment more with the skill, but now it seemed he had an area of effect spell and a single target spell in fire, which would keep his options open during an extended fight. Even though the cost was again, debilitatingly high, improving the skill level would do a lot to increase the effectiveness of the spell, making the mana cost worth it.
Or at least Randidly hoped so. After all, it was possible that it was already extremely powerful. It just didn’t seem like a good idea to check while strolling down the street towards Tessa’s apartment.
Sidestepping around a mom and 5 kids staring up in wonder at the pillar of light, Randidly looked at his possible paths.
Watcher: 0/??, ?????, Heretic IV 0/???, Oathbreaker 0/25, Initiate of Ash I 0/75, Potion Making II 0/35
Randidly was slightly curious about why Heretic continued to increase, but wasn’t willing to invest his PP into it to find out when there was such an attractive option as Potion Making II. There might not be very many stat points, but it would likely end with Randidly learning a skill that he would use for crafting.
He put the remaining 5 points into Potion Making II and earned a point in Focus.
Right afterwards, Randidly looked up to find himself standing in front of Tessa’s apartment building. Since returning from the dungeon, Randidly’s sense of time had become somewhat fuzzy. The first week out, the arrival of the monster horde had done a lot to help with that, giving a standard time, but since then he had noticed that his lack of normal sleep hours made him commit several… interpersonal oversights.
After all, he had brought Tessa back from the concert two days ago, and hadn’t really bothered to check on her in the intervening day. Randidly didn’t even know when she had to leave for work…
He didn’t know her apartment. Should he just go up…?
Even though it had been so long, in his mind, since he broke up with her, he still felt some lingering feelings. Since he had already struck out on the clues about Sydney and Ace, she was probably the person he was closest too. He wanted her to move to Donnyton, where she would have a larger measure of protection.
Although, depending on the results tonight during the monster horde, perhaps Franksburg would turn out to be a relatively safe place…
Randidly wouldn’t mind some time focusing on Meditation, but there would probably would be more fruitful times to do so. Better to just head up.
Randidly decided to just head up.
What was surprising was the state of the hallways in the building. Trash lined the walls. People lined the walls too, laying on piles of trash, and sometimes bundled up blankets. It seemed that the elevators weren’t working, so Randidly had to climb the stairs, which luckily were clear, but nervous people who wouldn’t meet his gaze hurried past him in every direction.
That was nothing compared to the surprise that awaited Randidly when he left the stairwell and headed into Tessa’ floor. A tall, scarred man with long grey hair pulled up into a ponytail blocked his way and held out his hand.
“Rent.” The man grunted, seeming bored.
Randidly blinked. “...I don’t live here.”
“Then scram.” The man flicked his fingers and turned away. Several other well-muscled men, chuckled, leaning against the walls farther into the floor hallway. Looking around, Randidly thought things were… slightly off with this floor. Besides the strange grouping of thugs, there weren’t any of the other grungy hall tenants that Randidly had seen on the other floors.
Still, Randidly didn’t really care. As he smiled lightly at the guys hanging around, he activated Pollen of the Rafflesia. It was a skill that he hadn’t really worked to improve recently, mostly due to the long amount of time it took to affect the enemies. After all, much faster just to stick a spear down a monsters throat. But while in Franksburg, Randidly supposed he should be more… subtle, in his approach.
Content to stand under their harsh eyes, Randidly just remained in the doorway, waiting for it to take effect.
Apparently Mr. Ponytail had a decent amount of Vitality. Because his bored expression swiftly descended into a frown, his eyes remaining clear. “Why the fuck are you-”
His words were interrupted by the sound of one of the guys vomiting behind him. The man spun, clearly more concerned about this new occurrence than Randidly’s continued presence.
“Come the fuck on, if you knew you were sick, why-”
Another man swayed, and then collapsed, his face pale, his mouth foaming. Another man backed away from Mr. Ponytail, his eyes wide, shaking like a leaf in a storm.
One man began to vomit, spewing more bile over the floor.
Randidly’s smile widened as Mr. Ponytail seemed dumbstruck by this turn of events. It seemed his Intelligence of 96 did a lot to speed up the time it took for these people to fall under the Pollen’s influence.
And to Randidly’s pleasure, he gained a skill level in Pollen of the Rafflesia.