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Zella smiled and pointed towards the back room, "Go ahead and pick up eight more pieces of various colored cloth and make me some purses from that." She shakes her head and laughs, "Many otherworlders come to the shop for a new purse. It's like you all have never met a pickpocket before!"

Thomas blinked in surprise at the new piece of information. Some games did implement pickpocketing skills so that wasn't too much of a surprise. What was a surprise is it seemed like the pickpockets stole the whole purse instead of just some coins out of it. Thomas made a note of that and surreptitiously tucked his own coin purse into the waistband of his pants, better safe than broke. Seeing Thomas's action Zella laughs, "Alright, get to work."

System Notice: New Quest!
Zella has requested that you make 32 purses for her.
Rewards: 100 Exp and 10 gold per 4 purses completed
Time Limit: 8 hours
Failure: -50% Exp and Gold Reward

Thomas examined the quest for a moment, he needed to process each sheet into a set of four purses at a rate of one sheet per hour. It took him around twenty minutes per purse to make the previous four purses. Fundamentally, this quest seemed impossible. If he factored in the growth in his Tailoring skill though, it just might be possible. Thomas nodded to Zella and went back into the workroom.

Without wasting time he picked out eight different colors of cloth and their matching thread. He traced out the pattern on all eight sheets first and then used the scissors to cut them all out. While he was cutting he was also contemplating drawing out a design for Rock to work on to make a small knife similar to a scalpel or x-acto knife for him to use to cut cloth quicker and easier in the future. It would probably take Rock a bit of practice to get it right so it was unlikely he would be able to use it tomorrow. He would make it himself, but he felt like he didn't have the time to spare.

After cutting out all 32 pieces of fabric Thomas began the long process of sewing each purse up. To save some time Thomas made the length of the thread extra long, saving him a tiny bit of effort by not having to rethread the needle between each purse. He wasn't sure if it was more efficient or not having to pull the extra long thread all the way through. It was definitely less annoying to him though. The first purse took him almost nineteen minutes to complete, and unfortunately for him, its quality was only above average earning him the same 23 experience at the last time.

With the first purse done his Tailoring increased to rank four letting him complete the next purse just a little bit faster taking him just over eighteen minutes to complete. It was only a little time saved, but it would add up as his Tailoring grew higher and higher. Over the next two hours, Thomas completed another seven purses, though none of them surpassed above average quality. He was starting to wonder what it would take to get the quality to perfect. With the influx of 161 experience to his tailoring from the purses, his Tailoring rank increased to rank six further increasing his production speed.

His current speed was putting him behind on his time limit, he was nearing two and a half hours and had only managed to complete two of his eight required sheets so far. He focused on his work to the point where he even skipped lunch. In another two hours, he managed to complete eight more purses netting himself a total of 184 tailoring experience. Which increased his tailoring rank from six to eight with only three experience needed to hit rank nine.

While he continued to sew a purse he got a bit distracted as he did some math in his head. He needed a total of 3,240 experience to get any profession from rank 1 to rank 25. If he always continued to get 23 experience per purse he made then he would need to make 141 purses over the course of a week. That came to about 20 purses per day. Seeing as how he was pushing to make a total of 32 purses on just his first day, didn't that mean he could complete Hekrin's quest with two days to spare?

Could it really be that easy though? Thinking deeper Thomas realized there was no way Zella would want him to make so many purses. It was highly unlikely she would let him make so many purses and waste the material making a product that could take a very long time to sell out. Just the 32 he was making would probably take quite a while to sell out! Making bigger more complex things would take more time but grant more experience. All this thinking only brought him to one conclusion, he had no idea what to expect.

While distracted by his thoughts he pushed the needle through the cloth of the purse he was working on and directly into the tip of his finger. As most people are aware, the fingertip of a human is packed with nerves to make the sense of touch more sensitive. When the needle plunged into the tender and soft tip of Thomas's finger he yelped loudly and hissed. The other girls in the room looked at Thomas as he lifted his finger to his mouth to suck on the tiny drop of blood that had appeared. Knowing what must have happened they all let out bell-like laughs at his expense. Ignoring the girls laughing at his misery, Thomas finished the purse in his hand.

System Notice: You have created a Normal cloth purse. Quality: Above Average. You have gained 24 Tailoring experience.

Thomas came to a stop, yet again, and reread the system notice. Why had the experience increased? The quality was the exact same as before. Frowning Thomas opened his character sheet and took a look through it to see if there was something he hadn't noticed before.

Looking at his character sheet he eventually noticed that his 'Quick Learner' had increased to rank ten. Looking back at the experience he earned he soon came to a conclusion. Four experience was twenty percent of twenty experience. It seemed like each rank of 'Quick Learner' gave him a bonus of two percent experience when he crafted something! Excited to have finally uncovered what 'Quick Learner' did, Thomas went back to work with gusto. In less than two more hours Thomas finished another two sheets earning 192 Tailoring experience.

With a new tailoring rank of ten, his work became just a little bit faster. He had just under two hours left to his deadline and just eight more purses to sew together. He was now completing the purses in a little bit over thirteen minutes. Thomas dug deep to find the concentration necessary to ignore the tedium of doing the same thing over and over again. The process of making the purses was driving him a bit batty, right now he would kill to do something different after just a little over six hours of this crap!

Time seemed to crawl to a standstill as Thomas pushed and pulled the needle through the fabric over and over again creating neat little stitches that were marginally better than when he had begun his work. Stitch by stitch Thomas completed one purse after another, falling into a bit of a mental funk along the way.

Five purses left...

Three purses left...

One purse left...

When Thomas finished the final purse his hand automatically reached for where he'd placed the pile of cutouts previously only to find nothing there. Feeling the bare table instead of another piece of cloth that needed sewing some light finally returned to his eyes. Turning his head to check he was relieved to see that there was nothing left for him to pick up. With an exclamation of joy, Thomas lept to his feet and started to throw the purses into a small basket he picked up. Counting each and every one as he did so the total came to exactly 32 purses. With just a couple of minutes to spare, Thomas left the back room and presented the basket of completed purses to Zella.

Zella, for her part, was actually surprised when Thomas handed over the basket full of purses just a few minutes before the shop was due to close. If she were being honest she would have to admit that she'd given him the job fully expecting him to fail it. It's not that the job was impossible, she herself could sew up the 32 purses in a couple of hours. But someone who just started that morning with no ranks in tailoring? It should have been extremely unlikely, but here she was holding a basket of purses.

Zella took her time pulling each and every purse out of the basket and examining them closely for any flaws. It took a bit of time, but every single purse had a quality of above average so she had nothing she could complain about. With a sigh, Zella looked at Thomas and nodded, "Well done." She opened her coin box and counted out 80 gold before handing the coins over to Thomas.

System Notice: Quest Complete!
Zella has requested that you make 32 purses for her.
Rewards: 100 Exp and 10 gold per 4 purses completed
Time Limit: 8 hours
Failure: -50% Exp and Gold Reward
System Notice: You have gained 800 experience points.

Thomas sighed with relief. With the influx of 80 gold, his fortunes had improved slightly giving him a total of 227 gold. He wouldn't have to worry about not being able to afford to stay at The Swans Nest for the time being. He was completely certain there were cheaper places to stay, but he was used to The Swans Nest and liked spending time with the motherly Martha. With a polite nod to Zella, Thomas exclaimed, "Thanks for today Zella. I'll see you tomorrow morning alright?"

Zella nodded and saw Thomas off as he headed for The Swans Nest for a much-needed meal and some rest. He hadn't worked his body much, but the tedium of sewing purse after purse had left him feeling like his brain was turning into mush and about to leak out of his ears. Combined with skipping lunch he found himself starving and mentally exhausted. 


After spending 27 gold, eating a delicious hot meal to fill his empty stomach and a bit of conversation with Martha, Thomas retired to his room for the night and pulled up his character sheet. He now had a massive 2,113 experience points to spend on his attributes. Tonight he intended to spend it all. Currently, he had no specific playstyle in mind for himself in AoG. Given the attitude that Hekrin had shown he expected he would need to do several more profession quests before it was all said and done. Given that each attribute helped with certain things he felt like he couldn't ignore any of them.

He hadn't used magic in the least, but if he had to learn enchanting, alchemy, or both he was likely going to need it then. As for power and endurance, they couldn't be neglected either. He fully intended to continue to blacksmith after he learned Magitech Engineering so he couldn't just let those attributes fall to the wayside. Until he had a very specific reason to change his mind about it, he would continue to increase his attributes evenly. With that thought in mind, Thomas began to spend his experience like it was going out of style.

Thomas dumped the majority of his experience into his attributes to bring all of them up to fourteen each. As soon as the increase was confirmed an electric shock swept through every nerve in his body. Feeling the familiar sensation again Thomas grit his teeth to stifle the groan that was trying to rip out of his throat. The pain wasn't as bad as the previous time, but it was accompanied by a brand new sensation. He could feel the mana inside of his body churning furiously as it grew in strength. It made him feel nauseous and just added to the discomfort caused by the pain.

Once again his body began to reform causing sweat to pour from his pores. Though his bones didn't crack this time his muscles, tendons, and ligaments once more ripped themselves to shreds before slowly putting themselves back together in a new way. The overwhelming pain eventually knocked Thomas completely unconscious, though his body continued to spasm for significantly longer.


Spoiler
: Character Sheet
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A note from thomasdarkrose

Just for the record, before anyone starts saying how OP Quick Learner is for a grade C ability, Thomas is COMPLETELY wrong about Quick Learner. It does NOT grant a 2% bonus to skill exp per rank.

Just a few fun facts. With his current attributes Thomas can:

  • Power: 644psi punch, lift 1,568lbs (full body strength)
  • Endurance: Run for 616 meters at a full sprint
  • Agility: Run at 35mph/56kph

Support "Age of Gods - A VRMMO Story"

About the author

thomasdarkrose

  • Georgia, USA

Bio: Just your average self-employed American with some spare time that enjoys reading, and now writing.

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