As Thomas stood in line and waited his turn at the bank, he realized there was one more thing he needed to do. He still had that god awful kobold hide quest. Even after killing hundreds of the things he'd only managed to collect a total of four. This left him one short of completing the quest and annoyed him greatly. It wasn't the fact that the quest was incomplete that annoyed him, it was because of how miserable the drop rate had been for it. He didn't feel like going back into the dungeon to hunt kobolds until he got the last hide drop, who knew how long that would take? Instead, he had a very simple plan. He was just going to find someone to sell him the last hide he needed!
After withdrawing 5,000 gold from his bank account, Thomas made his way toward the adventurers guild. Thankfully, he knew exactly what to do when he got there. At the adventurer's guild, he went to the wall where people could put up posts asking for help with their quests. The guild was still rather busy at this time in the morning and was bustling with noise and excitement as people got their quests for the day. Using the provided paper and quill he quickly penned a simple notice.
|Seeking 1 Kobold Hide. Reward: 1,000 gold. Find Thomas Darkrose to receive the reward.|
Honestly speaking, the kobold hide was really only worth 200 gold since the quest reward was 1,000 gold for five. However, Thomas didn't want to have to sit around and wait for very long and decided that giving out 1,000 gold for the hide was fine. He would break even when he turned in the quest. It wasn't about the money really, or the experience, he just wanted to get rid of the frustrating quest and never think of it again.
Thomas had barely been waiting for five minutes when he heard a boisterous feminine voice yelling out his name and asking where he was. Thomas lifted his hand and called out, "Over here!"
He watched as a familiar figure shoved her way through the group of people crowded inside the guild building with another familiar figure behind her. Victoria and Janice walked up to him. Victoria had a huge grin on her face as she held up the notice he'd penned, "Still looking for a kobold hide eh?"
Thomas sighed and nodded, "I am, so can you put that back? I'd like to get the last one so I can leave this city with peace of mind."
Victoria let out a deep belly laugh then gestured to Janice. The ever quiet Janice stepped forward and pulled a kobold hide out of her inventory. Victoria grinned smugly as she held up his notice, "That'll be 1,000 gold."
Thomas sighed and pulled out the gold while asking, "When did you guys pick this up?"
Victoria's smug grin grew even smugger, if that was possible, while she explained, "Oh, we just happened to have six of them drop over the course of a few hours yesterday."
Thomas's mind fumbled to a stop for a moment before he felt a crushing despair. They had found six kobold hides in a few hours?! How the fuck was that fair?! He'd spent four days, FOUR FUCKING DAYS, looking for kobold hides and only found four of them! That was an average of one per day! Feeling depressed at the ungodly luck of Victoria and Janice, Thomas spoke with a completely flat an emotionless voice, "That's just not fair."
Victoria laughed again while Janice took the 1,000 gold from Thomas and handed over the hide. With the transaction complete, Victoria slapped Thomas on the back, "Pleasure doing business with ya! We had no idea what we were going to do with the spare hide."
Thomas felt like the words 'spare hide' were a dagger to his heart. With his shoulders slumped, and dead fish eyes he said goodbye to Victoria and Janice while making his way to the guild's receptionist counter to turn in the quest. Sometimes, life was just really unfair.
After waiting in line for a bit while in a daze, it was finally his turn. He set the five hides on the counter along with his guild card. The rather attractive female receptionist accepted the items, did her examination, and then left to get his reward. Once she returned and set down the sack of gold coins, Thomas finally returned to his senses a bit. She smiled at him as she held out his guild card, "Thanks for your hard work."
Thomas accepted his guild card back and picked up the sack of gold coins.
|System Notice: Quest Complete!|
|Head into the Reykhoten City Dungeon to defeat Kobolds, Elite Kobolds and the Kobold Chief within! Collect 5 of their dropped hides and turn them in at the Adventurer's Guild. Be warned, all kobolds rarely drop their hides on death!
Rewards: 500 Experience, 1,000 Gold for each batch of five hides turned in
|System Notice: You have gained 500 experience.|
Thomas had broken even financially and gained 500 experience so it wasn't all bad. Feeling slightly better about his shit luck, Thomas left the guild to finally make his way to the docks. Now, more than ever, he just wanted to leave this city and get back to Ulvstad. Even Hekrin's harsh personality was better than having to face his own luck.
It wasn't hard to find the dockmaster's office at the docks so he quickly approached it. The dockmaster was an older gentleman with some gray in his black hair and thick handlebar mustache. Thomas smiled at the man and asked, "Is 'The Wren' in port?"
The dockmaster stroked his mustache as he thought for a bit and then shook his head, "Afraid not son. 'The Wren' just left a few days ago so they wouldn't be back for at least a few more depending on the winds."
Thomas nodded. He'd politely said he would use 'The Wren' again after the ship brought him to Reykhoten, but only if they were in port when he wanted to leave. Since the ship wasn't here he wouldn't be breaking his word by taking a different ship. So he asked the dockmaster, "Are there any ships that are heading to Ulvstad?"
The dockmaster continued to stroke his handlebar mustache, almost like he was trying to draw attention to the magnificent bit of facial hair, "Aye, there's a ship leaving for Ulvstad tomorrow morning and another scheduled to leave the day after that."
Thomas asked out of curiosity, "Is Ulvstad really that popular to stop at?"
The dockmaster nodded, "Aye. It's about halfway between here and the port at Kjel in the Kjersia Kingdom. Lots of ships like to stop there on the way to do some smaller trades before getting to Kjel for their larger hauls. It's only been a few years since the peace treaty with Kjersia was signed so I suspect that in a few more years Ulvstad will be as big as the capital. After all, it was just a little fishing village a few years back and look at it now!"
Thomas found that rather enlightening. Thinking about the bustling city of Ulvstad and imagining that it had been a little fishing village just a few years ago showed just how far it had come. Thomas smiled as he thought about Hekrin. As far as Thomas could tell, Hekrin had been in Ulvstad for quite a while. Hekrin probably moved there when it was a small village so Thomas couldn't help but wonder how grumpy Hekrin was over how populous the village had become to turn into a city. It was like someone moving to the country to get away from the bustle of the city only to have a city spring up around them in a few years time.
Thomas addressed the dockmaster, "The ship leaving for Ulvstad tomorrow morning, does it have passenger cabins?"
The dockmaster nodded, "Aye. If you're looking to book passage to Ulvstad then 'The Windbird' is a good ship. That's the one leaving tomorrow."
"I'd like to book passage for one on 'The Windbird'. Mind showing me where it is so I can get that done?"
The dockmaster nodded and stepped out of his little shack while setting up a sign saying he would 'Be right back!'. Together they made their way down the docks to a rather large boat that was used for ferrying cargo from the bigger ships that couldn't dock directly at the pier. The dockmaster looked down at the half dozen men sitting at the oars, "My friend here is looking to book passage on 'The Windbird'. Still got any cabins open?"
One of the men spoke up, "Yeah. Where you wanting to go kid?"
Thomas bit back a snarky reply about not being a kid and said, "Ulvstad."
The man nodded, "No problem. A private cabin is fifty gold while a shared cabin is half that."
Thomas nodded and pulled out fifty gold, "I'd prefer a private one."
Thomas didn't hand over the money just yet, he only wanted to show that he could afford it. Seeing that Thomas had the money the man nodded and said, "Alright. We're leaving at first light tomorrow. You can board now and wait or come back in the morning before we leave."
Thomas checked his inventory to see his food situation. Seeing that there wasn't much left he asked, "How long before you return to your ship?"
The man thought for a moment then said, "We've got a few more trips to make so at least a couple of hours before we're done for the day."
"Alright. I just need to pick up a few things. If you're not done by then I'll join you to head out to the ship. Otherwise, I'll see you in the morning."
"If you want to make sure to have a private cabin I suggest being quick. We only have a few left and they book pretty fast."
Thomas gave the man a polite nod before quickly making his way back into the city to purchase some food and drink. He planned to log out during the journey but he wanted to make sure he had enough to eat for dinner and when he logged back in. Thomas quickly went around to various food carts and bought different kinds of monster meat to eat. Getting water to drink was easy enough but he also grabbed a few fruit drinks. He had no idea what they were but some were sweet while others were tart. When he was done picking up enough food for a few days only an hour had passed. He quickly made his way back to the docks.
He had to wait for a bit at the pier. The small ship used for transferring cargo was absent from the pier but he could see it in the distance coming back from a large galleon ship. After the ship docked the workers got busy unloading a large crate that disappeared when even more workers from the dock came to take it away. Once all their cargo was unloaded the man Thomas had spoken to previously approached him, "You all set?"
Thomas fetched out the fifty gold and held it out to the man. He shook his head, "You need to give that to the captain. I'm Jessup by the way."
"Nice to meet you Jessup, I'm Thomas."
Jessup gestured to the cargo boat as he said, "Hop on board. We're just waiting for the dock hands to come back with some cargo to take out to the ship. Once we're loaded up we'll head out and you can board while we unload. I'll take you to the captain so you can pay your fare."
Thomas climbed aboard and waited patiently. It didn't take long for the group of workers that retrieved the unloaded crates to return with a different batch of crates to load onto the boat. Everyone worked in an efficient and practiced manner. Just half an hour later the six men were rowing the boat out to 'The Windbird'.
When they arrived at the ship there was already a rope ladder waiting for them as a simple crane stretched out over their boat. Jessup gestured for Thomas to follow him before making his way up the rope ladder. Once they boarded the ship, Jessup led Thomas to the aft section where the captain's cabin was located. Thomas steeled himself and kept a completely neutral look on his face. Just in case.
After Jessup knocked on the door a deep and distinctly male baritone came from the other side, "Enter."
Thomas relaxed a little but still kept the neutral look on his face. Jessup opened the door while saying, "Captain, I've got a passenger here for you. Wants us to drop him off at Ulvstad and requested a private cabin. He's got the money."
The captain was a middle-aged man with burly muscles and his arms completely covered in tattoos. The captain looked Thomas over then gave a nod, "Set the gold on the desk and Jessup will lead you to your cabin."
Thomas did as instructed and placed the fifty gold coins on the desk. Jessup then led him to an area of the port side on the aft section of the ship that contained the passenger cabins. The one he led Thomas to was actually rather large and had a very comfortable looking bed in it. Jessup turned to Thomas, "This will be your cabin. If you get seasick be sure to get on deck and let it out over the rails. No one here is your maid so if you make a mess you get to clean it up. As long as the wind is good we'll be at Ulvstad two days after we depart in the morning."
Thomas laughed and nodded, "Got it."
After Jessup left the cabin, Thomas closed and locked the door before making his way over to the bed. It felt like forever since he'd last logged out and he was looking forward to the break. He climbed into the bed and relaxed before willing himself to log out.