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As Kyle walked into the Adventurer’s Guild a few heads turned towards the door. A few of the Adventurers greeted him quietly and he nodded in reply as he walked up to the counter where a young woman was waiting for him.

“Hey Caley,” he greeted her. “I have a letter for you from Galdon.”

He had met Caley a few times when she had visited the school to explain the

“I take it this is about you reaching Level 5?” she asked him. “I’m sorry Kyle I heard about what happened in Farholt.”

“Thanks Caley,” Kyle replied quietly.

Caley actually knew Kyle relatively well since she had visited the Adventurer’s School multiple times to teach the students about different things. The main thing that she had taught the students about was how representatives of the Adventurer’s Guild and Adventurer’s interacted. Mostly this involved explaining how Quests worked and the rewards that were usually available when the Quest was completed.

“Anyway, give me the letter and we can get you signed up as an Adventurer.”

Kyle handed over the letter and after reading it she nodded happily and passed her hand over a crystal that had been set into the desk in front of her. A blue screen similar to the ones that the System used popped up in front of her and a smaller one appeared over the desk that she started pressing on with her fingers.

“Alright, do you have any idea what the contents of this letter are?” Caley asked.

“No, actually I figured this was just for you guys,” Kyle replied with a shrug. “I’m sure it’s just a recommendation anyway.”

“It is,” Caley agreed as she pressed a few more buttons causing a faint blue field to form around them. “But there’s more to it than that.”

“What do you mean?” Kyle asked as he and Fi looked around curiously.

“This is just a privacy screen to keep people from eavesdropping on us while we talk about sensitive matters,” Caley explained. “We need to talk about some private information.”

“I take it this is about me being a Divine Champion?”

“And your Unusual Class, yes,” Caley agreed. “These are both very interesting to the Adventurer’s Guild.”

“Understandable,” Fi nodded. “Would you like to talk about my status as a Divine Beast-type Companion as well?”

“Yes, Galdon did mention something about that in the recommendation letter,” Caley agreed. “As I understand Nemesis is a new goddess and you actually named her yourself.”

“That’s correct,” Kyle nodded. “I am her first true follower as well as her Champion.”

“Alright what can you tell me about her?” Caley asked. “I know you don’t know much right now but every little bit will help us determine how useful you will be as an ally later on.”

“Hmm, well I can tell you that she is the Goddess of Vengeance and her School of Divine Magic has spells similar to those that can be found the Schools of Light and Darkness. My new Class was given to me by her but as it is basically just an upgraded version of my original Class I think we can assume that she was the reason that I got that one as well.”

“Are you sure?” Caley asked carefully as she started taking notes. “Do you have anything that can back that up?”

“When she helped him kill the soldier one of the things that she gave him was a special chain,” Fi explained. “Does that count?”

“Alright, I’ll make a note,” Caley replied. “You also get more Stat Points when you Level Up right?”

“Yes, I get two extra points per Level,” Kyle nodded. “If I recall correctly that’s normal right?”

“It is,” Caley agreed. “There are a few exceptions though, so we have to make sure.”

“Alright, could you tell me about the affect this will have on my relationship with the Guild?” Kyle asked interestedly.

“Well we will be giving you a higher Adventurer Rank than normal, and you will Rank Up faster than normal,” Caley replied absently as she continued to type.

Kyle nodded happily at this. Having a higher Adventurer Rank allowed you to take on more difficult Quests which had better rewards, so this was a good thing as far as he was concerned. The lowest Rank was F-10 which as one might expect was given to the weakest rookie Adventurers. In fact, to receive this Rank you had to mess up your Stat and Skill build pretty badly to receive this Ranking and an F-10 couldn’t even take on the simplest Quest by themselves and it was extremely difficult for them to find a party to join so that they could fix the problems with their build. To get an idea how weak someone who was Ranked at F-10 was the average student was considered to be at F-7 even before they reached Level 5. Adventurer Ranks went all the way up to Rank S-1. There weren’t very many S-1 Ranked Adventurers but the ones that did exist were considered to be able to take on the entire military of smaller countries by themselves. Even Galdon was only Ranked at S-10 when he was younger, but he had gotten weaker as he aged so he was probably only Ranked at about A-9 at best.

Each Quest had a rank of its own that corresponded to the Adventurer Ranks. To accept a Quest of a certain Rank you had to have a Party of at least three people of at least that Rank. If you had Adventurers with a higher Rank in your party, you could go on higher Ranked Quests even if you had a lower Rank than the Quest did, but a Guild Rep had to sign off on that. When it came to solo Adventurers the general rule of thumb was that you had to be 5 Ranks higher than the Quest you were planning on taking but occasionally there were exceptions.

“Because of your special circumstances I’m going to set you up as a VIP. That means that you will be able to go right up to the counter of any Guild office and the Rep there can bring up a list of Quests that will be available for you to take,” Caley continued. “That’s what Galdon recommended and I agree that will be the best method for us to deal with your particular situation. Especially considering how tense things are with the Empire right now.”

“Ah, yes that would be helpful,” kyle admitted as he rubbed his head awkwardly. “But isn’t becoming a VIP normally really expensive

“It won’t fix all of the problems that you will have but people might be less likely to mess with you once they know that you’re a VIP,” Caley replied giving the young man a smile. “And you’re a Divine Champion that has been fully endorsed by one of the most powerful Adventurers in the kingdom. Trust me when I say that either of those things would’ve been enough to at least lower how much it would cost you to become a VIP.”

“Ah, I see,” Kyle nodded. “Fi could you remind me to thank Galdon and Nemesis the next time I see them?”

“Sure,” his companion replied with an amused snort.

“Alright the last thing to do is formally check your Ranking,” Caley said opening up a special panel in the desk to reveal a large blue crystal with Inscriptions all over it. “This is the Ranking Crystal; as you already know it can scan your body and display your current Ranking.”

“Yeah I was wondering about that,” Kyle mentioned. “Why did I need a letter from Galdon if you’re just going to use the crystal to check my Rank?”

“An excellent question,” Caley replied with a pleased nod. “Because if you were Ranked as high as Galdon is estimating that you will be, and we hadn’t gone through all of this it would’ve created quite a stir and possibly more problems than we can deal with while Alistair is still absent. Besides these things malfunction on occasion so it saves me checking the Inscriptions which would take quite a while.”

“Okay, that’s fair,” Kyle admitted. “I just need to hold my hand over it right?”

“Yes, that’s correct.”

Nodding Kyle held his hand over the Crystal and Caley sent a pulse of Mana into it to activate the magical device which flashed brightly as it scanned Kyle’s body learning everything about him. His Stats, Skills, magic as well as his connection with Fi and the abilities that she had. Once it had done this it flashed once again before projecting Kyle’s current Rank above it as he pulled his hand back.

“F-1, that’s about what Galdon expected,” Caley nodded. “I know that it doesn’t sound too much higher than normal for a graduate of the Adventurer’s School but there is a much bigger gap between the F Ranks and the E Ranks than there is between F-2 and F-1.”

“Yeah I know,” Kyle nodded. “F-1 is higher than I thought that I would be Ranked anyway.”

“Well then would you like to pick a Quest out right now or do something else?” Caley asked.

“Yeah that would be great,” Kyle agreed. “Let’s start with an easy one though. F-10 if possible.”

“Good choice,” Caley nodded. “If you had asked to take on a higher Ranked Quest, I would’ve refused to give it to you. Even if you have a high enough Rank to do so there’s no need to take risks for your first Quest.”

“Yeah, that’s what we were taught at the school,” Kyle agreed. “Our teachers always told us to take the simplest Quest that we could get for our first one even if we were in a group.”

“I can set you up with a party if you want,” Caley mentioned. “It’s not like you don’t know anyone here.”

“No, it’s fine,” Kyle sighed. “I need to get used to fighting by myself anyway remember. Besides I’m never really on my own since I have Fi with me.”

“Fair enough,” Caley agreed. “Alright with your current Skill set there are three Quests that would suit you; The first two are fairly simple Quests where the client wants you to kill a few monsters that are damaging their property and the other client wants you to get some alchemical ingredients for them. Personally, I recommend the last one for you. The alchemical ingredient they’re after is something that you’re quite familiar with; Scorprat Poison glands.”

“So, they want me to go into the Dungeon and get them?” Kyle asked and Caley nodded. “Well the Dungeon was cleaned out pretty thoroughly after the siege, so I guess I won’t be swarmed like we had been during the test.”

“Right,” Caley agreed. “I’d estimate that if you went through the same entrance that you went through for the test, you’d encounter somewhere between 15 and 30 Scorprats on the whole first floor which is a bit less than normal.”

“Okay that’s definitely a good option,” Kyle nodded, “Can you tell me a bit more about the other two Quests though?”

“Sure, I can do that,” Caley nodded. One of the Quests is from a farmer who wants you to kill some Fanged Rabbits because they’re destroying his crops and attacking his livestock and the other is from a merchant that wants you to kill some Mutant Spiders that have taken over one of the smaller roads through a nearby forest.”

“I see, how many do they each need me to kill?”

“As many as you can find,” Caley responded. “The minimum number or each one if 10 but you get a bonus for anymore that you kill after that and you get to keep anything you can loot from the corpses.”

“Okay and what about the Scorprat Quest?”

“You need to get 15 poison sacs,” Caley replied. “There is a bonus if you get more but it’s not quite as large as the one you would get for killing more of the monsters for the other Quests. This is because of three reasons; the first is that the reward is slightly larger for this Quest. Secondly there is there is no immediate danger from the Scorprats since they are in the Dungeon. Thirdly Scorprat poison sacs don’t retain their usefulness for very long so they don’t really want to pay more than is necessary.”

“Okay and the rewards for each Quest are?”

“3 Silver for both of the Kill Quests,” Caley replied. “You will get an extra 2 Copper for killing extra Rabbits and an extra 3 Copper for killing more spiders. As for the Scorprat Quest the reward is 7 Silver for all 15 poison sacs with an extra Copper per sac.”

“Hmm, what do you think Fi?” Kyle asked his companion.

“I think we take Caley’s advice,” she replied immediately. “Visiting the Dungeon will give us more Merit Points to work with as well. Besides there’s nothing stopping us from taking one of the other Quests later if we really wanted to.”

“I was actually planning on taking a higher Ranked Quest after finishing the first one up though,” Kyle sighed.

“Don’t rush we still need to get more armour for you and some accessories before moving on to more difficult things,” Fi pointed out. “Not to mention travelling gear. Like a tent and cooking equipment.”

“Yeah you’re right,” Kyle agreed eventually. “Let’s take the Scorprat Quest then thanks Caley.”

“Sure,” the young woman replied happily. “Here’s your Guild Marker, it serves as proof that you are a certified Adventurer and can even be used to show what Rank you have if you need to show someone. It also tracks what Quest you’ve undertaken and can even be used to locate you if you get in trouble. Don’t use that function too much though; there is a charge involved to retrieve you. Especially if you’re in a dangerous area.”

“Okay thanks,” Kyle nodded as he took the strange item from her hands. Not only could a Guild Marker be used for the things that Caley had mentioned you could also pay to have it modified to do things like clear weak Status Effects and even have a small Inventory similar to the one that Companions had to put emergency items like HP potions or antidotes in. The Marker itself just looked like a flat piece of metal with the Adventurer Guild’s insignia on it that could be attached to any piece of armour. Once attached it could only be removed by the person who put it on or someone who had a specific tool that was only provided by the Adventurer’s Guild itself. It was nearly impossible to counterfeit a Guild Marker but that didn’t stop people from trying every now and again.

“Let me just register you for the Quest that you have chosen,” Caley said as she quickly typed something out on her floating blue keyboard. While she was working Kyle placed it up against the sleeve of his coat just below his right shoulder. The Marker flashed briefly as it stuck to his coat then again immediately after as Caley finished up.

“Right, that’s done,” Caley said. “Be careful while you’re out there Kyle”

“I will, thanks Caley,” Kyle replied as the field that had been surrounding them vanished. “I’ll see you in a bit.”

His business completed Kyle turned around and walked out of the Guildhall. Now that he had become a registered Adventurer, he was going to sort out a place to sleep for the night at one of the local inns before heading out to start his Quest. He already had a place in mind. It was a reasonably priced inn called the Adventurer’s rest that was run by a former Adventurer who understood what it was like starting out as an Adventurer, so he only rented rooms out to Low Ranked Adventurers. As such it was the favoured haunt of a lot of Lower Levelled Adventurers. Every now and again a higher Levelled Adventurer would show up and buy the weaker Adventurers a round of drinks to show them that things get better and repay the innkeeper for all the things that he was doing. The food was pretty good as well.

Renting a room for the week was pretty simple and the innkeeper was a pleasant older man who nonetheless looked like he would kick the ass of anyone who attempted to start trouble. He only charged 2 Silver for a fairly decent room and offered two meals for another 8 Coppers for a whole week.

“Well that was easy,” Kyle remarked as he walked down the street towards the city gate that lead to the Dungeon.

“Indeed,” Fi agreed. “And that’s a good thing we don’t have that much money so things moving along pretty quickly means that we can start making money.”

“Yeah my savings really aren’t going to hold out for that long,” Kyle sighed. He had made some money by making Inscriptions for the other students but since he had taken so long to unlock the Skill, he hadn’t been able to make that much money off of it. He’d bought quite a few new clothes recently because he didn’t really have a lot of good travelling clothes, so he only had about 1 gold and 3 silver’s worth of saving left over.

All the countries in the area used the same denominations and they were relatively simple; 10 Coppers was worth 1 Silver and 10 Silvers was worth 1 Gold. There were other denominations called ‘bills’ which were all worth 50 coins. For example, a Copper Bill was worth 50 Copper or 5 Silver. Bills were actually more commonly used than coins by most traders since receiving piles of coins for larger purchases was extremely inconvenient.

He was met at the gate by a guard who quickly checked his Guild Marker to make sure that he was qualified to exit the city from this gate. Normal civilians couldn’t exit via this gate because monsters could occasionally be found roaming the area of the destroyed city. However now that he was a registered Adventurer with his own Guild Marker the guard let him through immediately after checking that the marker was real.

“Be careful out there, son,” the guard told Kyle as the young man made his way out into the ruined city that was right outside the gate.

“Don’t worry sir,” Kyle replied as he clipped the bracelets that were attached to his two chains around his wrist just in case, he encountered a monster before entering the Dungeon. “I will.”

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bkwrm196

  • Dunedin, New Zealand

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