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A note from puddles4263

Whew, trying to write and keep ahead of those double chapter days is tough.

Luckily I have off work tomorrow, so I should get back to 20 above here. But I also want to get 20 ahead of Patreon too...

THE STRUGGLE IS ENDLESS.

Razor Fleetfoot hopped to and fro, feeling quite timid and overwhelmed. The elders had tasked him, one of their brightest young warriors, with a very specific, and possibly dangerous, mission. He had followed their instructions, but to his surprise, nothing of what he found was what he was told to expect.

Everyone here just seemed to be rushing around in every which direction. Seeing a friendly looking female, Razor hopped over to her.

“Excuse me…”

The female looked him up and down, sighed, and then looked down at her clipboard. “...Are you still looking for housing?”

“Um no, I-”

“Well then I can’t help you.” The clipboard returned to her side, and she walked away, calling for any people from Franksburg in need of housing.

Razor tried the same thing with 3 more people, and every time, he was given a conflicting answer. He simply wanted to find someone in charge of this village.

First he was told to find the scary looking woman with her hair up in a bun, but this was rather useless advice, because Razor didn’t rightly know what having “hair up in a bun” meant. So that was disregarded.

Second, he was told to find a Classer, who would point him in the right direction. Razor assumed a Classer was someone with a class, but he had no idea how to tell whether people had classes. Did this village have a way to see that….?

He filed that information away for later.

The third advice was pointing him towards a low, squat building, from which a lot of banging and screeching was emanating. Razor’s sensitive ears were already twitching, but he had a mission. So he steadied his resolve, and walked towards the strange building, trying his best to ignore the horrible noise.

****

As the light of dawn filtered through the window, Sam smashed downwards with his hammer, finishing the iron breastplate. As he did so, some of the light in the air seemed to stiffen and congeal, then settle onto the armor. For a second it glowed, but then it faded, leaving nothing but the dull sheen of metal.

Annoyed at his new sleeping habits, but somewhat mollified by the fact that his need for sleep was drastically decreased, Sam examined the armor.

Quality Iron Breastplate Lvl 25: End +3, Resistance +2, Health +30. Possesses the attribute Dawn Touched I.

Dawn Touched I: Wearer has regeneration increased by 10 per hour for Health, and 1 per minute for Stamina.

Sam’s face simply twitched, stuck somewhere between a smile and a frown. Sure, the extra attribute was useful. And if he could manage to mass produce this, giving almost everyone an extra 3 End, 2 Resist, and 30 Health, the strength of the average squad member would rise.

It was simply made with common ingredients, as well, which meant that it was certainly… possible to mass produce. The problem was that the results from most of the other smiths would have only 2 End, No Resist, and 20 Health. His class conferred on him some definite advantages, so it was irksome that he therefore wanted to make every piece of armor.

There simply wasn’t enough time. Especially because he wanted to focus on Bone Shaping, or his other new skill.

Extremely carefully, Sam removed a Needle, covered in runes, that they had purchased with quite a bit of SP, and a book from their newly acquired library. In it, were the basics of engraving.

Still moving with the utmost cautious, Sam produced a small hammer, and began to etch a rune onto the breastplate. Not only did the shape of the rune have to match almost exactly, but he had to insert mana into the needle, letting it flow into the lines he was carving. The amount wasn’t even, but was based on how straight the line was. The straight portions required very little mana to sustain.

A small curve would require addition mana, adding depth to the rune.

A abrupt twist was like a deep well of mana, as Sam sweated bullets, pushing more and more mana into the line.

The needle needed to remain near the breastplate constantly, because it was “sewing” the mana into the correct shape, and the connection could not be broken, or it would all go to waste. So Sam’s hammer hand intermittently needed to set down the hammer and raise a mana potion to his lips.

Even the small breaks weakened the connection, lowering the quality of the engraved rune, but Sam simply had no choice; he didn’t have a large enough mana pool to do an entire rune yet.

Luckily, he finished without a hitch, and leaned back. From the book Sam was able to purchase, he had only learned 3 runes, which translated roughly as Bear, Fish, and Dragonfly. Sam’s current attempt was on a Bear rune, which he now examined.

Engraving of Bear 19% (P): When struck, this armor will have a small chance of resisting stunning and knockback effects.

Sam spat in the corner, his mood sour. Especially after he clicked on the P. After all, he had never seen the rarity P. It turned out it stood for poor.

He had just taken a quality breastplate and practically scratched the word poor onto it.

Adding to his foul mood, there was a knock at the door.

“What?” Sam spat.

One of his assistants poked his head through the door. “Someone is here to see you.”

“Oh. Mrs. Northwind?” Sam said, his expression brightening. They had taken to having a morning walk every day, or at least they had before this most recent trouble in the village. So perhaps she wanted to start that tradition up again…

“Uh, no.” The assistant seemed to squirm. “It’s uh…. A talking rabbit.”

“Hahaha,” Sam laughed, slapping his knee. Who knew that this guy was such a jokester…? Normally he would hit him with a wooden 2 x 4 for such a flippant comment, but violence in front of Regina was a bit… “Well, let’s not keep her waiting then-”

“No, I think the rabbit is male.” The assistant interjected anxiously.

Sam froze, and then turned slowly to look at the man.

******

“Setting aside magic for now,” Mrs. Hamilton said, glancing at Lyra. “The training will be split into 4 areas: Physical Fitness, Attack Accuracy, Footwork, and Perception. Randidly, you already have skills for all 4 of these, correct?”

Randidly nodded.

“Then we will begin immediately. You have taken a sip of the potion?”

Randidly nodded again.

“The goal is to always be working two of the 4 areas at once. We shall start with Physical Fitness and Footwork. Please put on the jacket.”

As well as her notes, Mrs. Hamilton had brought over a wagon pulled by a very large, and very well behaved wolverine. Even as she was speaking to Randidly, the wolverine was nosing towards Mrs. Hamilton’s pockets, looking for treats. Exasperated, she removed a banana from her spatial ring, which the wolverine lumbered over to and began to eat with gusto.

On the wagon was a sizable looking vest. Randidly picked it up, and his eyebrows rose. This vest… was likely around 200 pounds. Although he probably wouldn’t notice the extra weight initially, especially after carrying around a spear for so long that was just over 250, it would still begin to drag on him as the exercises dragged on for a while.

Putting on the jacket, Randidly turned back to Mrs. Hamilton, who was now looking at Lyra. “Although we eventually plan on setting up a mechanical apparatus, the details are still being hammered out. As it is, Miss Silver will be handling the… footwork portion of this activity.”

With a snap of her fingers, 12 glowing blue birds came into being. They began to fly in lazy circles, criss crossing one another, the group of them slowly drifting towards Randidly.

“I didn’t hold back, you know.” Lyra added. “With how low your resistance is… I wouldn’t recommend letting them touch you. It would be so tragic to have to patch up that nice vest that everyone worked so hard to make for you, now wouldn’t it?”

*****

Depressed, and thoroughly shaken, Razor Fleetfoot stumbled away from the incredibly loud building run by the incredibly loud and angry hairless male. Sighing, Razor ignored the weird looks that everyone kept giving him and walked over to a strange tree with burning leaves next to a watchtower.

Feeling profoundly tired, he sat under it, and leaned back against it. Why were things so different than what the elders had anticipated…? It was all just so…

So….

Abruptly, Razor felt like the world was swaying softly around him. He shifted, enjoying the leisurely movements, a smile coming to his face.

Perhaps he had just become too obsessed. It might be good to take a small break here….

All at once, the stress of being yelled at faded away, and Razor relaxed, falling asleep against the tree that moved evenly, slowly rocking him to sleep.

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puddles4263

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