Jake climbed inside of a plain carriage, this one was a daily transport that took adventurers to the forward operating base. The base was a strategic outpost used by all adventurers regardless of level. It acted as a place of rest and allowed those who were out on a quest to restock and sell their wares. For new adventurers, it was also a place that allowed them to find a team to party up with. This was a goal Jake wanted to achieve if possible. Though some brave souls would go out on their own, Jake was no such soul. Though he had enough guts to go out and fight he did not want to find an early death.
Some of the people from other worlds grew up as fighters. So for them becoming an adventurer was just a matter of fact. They had the knowledge and skill to go out on their own and grow stronger in this new world. Jake, however, had the luxury and fortune to live in a world that did not revolve around the notion of the strong will survive. But that also meant he was unskilled in survival and combat. Even though he had taken some boxing classes he knew he was still an amateur fighter.
Since that was the case Jake knew he needed to find a party that could teach him the ropes or at least for them to watch his back. Else this first quest would probably be his last one which was not part of his plan. As these thoughts ran wild through Jake's mind the wagon took off and bounded out the city gates. A world straight out of a high fantasy novel was presented to Jake. Of course, this was no story but reality which made Jake grow more in awe of the beauty throughout this world. The scenery around him was nothing magical yet the trees and hills created a picture that caused Jake's heart to beat fast.
While lost in the beauty, those around him seemed less in awe. But for a boy who grew up in a metal jungle, Jake could care less if he was laughed at. This was a world filled with wonder and danger and that added to the beauty of the woods around him. It caused his breathing to quickened as he thought of what hid deep in the dark parts of the woods.
But uneventfully the trip had no issues as it made its way to the base. Jake assumed it was because of the proximity to the city and that was why the quests all took place further out. This would also explain why a base was built out so far. If the quests were in the immediate vicinity of the city, adventurers could just head back each night. Though the trip was a calm one it was also a long and boring trip which gave Jake time to organize his thoughts and plans.
He had let Argus know where he was going two days ago and after a short conversation, he decided to leave and take up residence in the guild. He had to let him down easily the first break up was tough though it seemed it was tougher for Jake then for Argus. In the end, this was for the best now that he was in the guild barracks rent was no longer an issue. Which was great since he was pretty much broke and probably for the foreseeable future, unfortunately.
Looking through his new space bag Jake inventoried his new items.
|Small Health Potion x5
||Small Stamina Potion x5
|Lessar Teleport Scroll x1
||Basic Food Rations x50
|Basic Leather Flask x1
||Fire Starter Pack x1
||Basic Skinning Knife x1
After moving into his new room Jake had made his way to the local market to pick up some items. He heard he could also buy some at the base but the prices were a bit more expensive. He spent his last two pieces of silver to buy his starter gear, this meant he was truly broke. But in the end it was all worth it, he was not sure what he would encounter out in the wild and to the best of his ability, he wanted to be prepared. Luckily the majority of items were reasonable in price. What really hurt his wallet was the teleport scroll it had cost half a silver coin on its own. While the rest of the items together add up to around ninety copper. These were cheap here due to the fact most people did not need these items and they were all of the lowest tier available. The teleportation scroll was pricey due to its function and manufacturing cost plus anyone could use it.
He knew the potions would be more expensive out at the base so he was happy he could get a few now. Jake knew he needed to save wherever he could if he wished to survive in this world.
After getting his gear Jake had stared at the quest board for like half an hour before choosing his starting quest. These were all F-ranked quests but even so, the difficulty could still differ a bit between one quest to the next. Out of all the quests, three had piqued his interest the most, one of them was to kill F-ranked slimes. The quest asked for a total of fifteen slimes to be killed with the slime nucleus's turned in. This was a tempting quest since slimes were for the most part weak monsters. The issue was that for the most part, they were immune to physical damage. At the moment he was lacking in the magic department.
He had looked for some items that could cast basic spells but they cost way to much and so that was out of the question.
The other quest was equally interesting it was to gather three hundred and fifty stalks of Devil's Redweed. The issue with this was equally troublesome. The plant despite its name was not red from what he gathered around the guild. Unless he was able to afford an index on herbology he would most likely not be able to identify it. On top of that, there was a herb container needed to store and preserve them. Plus one needed a type of gathering spell that coated your hands with mana. It allowed you to harvest the herbs without much loss to the mana in the plant. This spell was acquired from a herbologist trade teacher and was a costly endeavor.
Though these were all F-rank in nature most F-rank adventurers had been in this world for a while before they became an adventurer. So for them, the prices needed to allow them to accomplish some of these tasks were not out of their reach. For Jake who had to use an alternative way of joining he was lacking in many areas. This caused him to have fewer options available to him when it came to choosing a quest.
In the end, Jake had to choose the last quest that had caught his attention. This one was more in his range of ability to complete.
|Quest: Rabid Dogs
Description: The area around the FOB has always had an infestation of rabid dogs these F+Ranked beasts repopulate at an alarming rate if unchecked. Due to this, they are kept as a constant quest for low-level adventurers. If unkept though they are weak their numbers can become a threat. They are a nuisance to the farmlands out of the city limits and must be kept to low numbers to decrease their danger level.
Traits: Slightly larger than house pets with a bite that can cause poison effects to targets. They are pack oriented and usually roam in groups of 3-5. Their teeth can be used in many concoctions and are a common material sought after.
Tasks: Kill 50 rabid dogs within two weeks. These beast repopulate very fast. In order to keep them from overflowing the farms and villages, they need to be weeded down in a short amount of time. Collect 25 infected canine fangs.
Progress: 0/35 Dog teeth
Progress: 0/50 stray dogs
1. Soul Gem x1
2. 15 Silver
3. Antidote Cream x3
This quest was a favorable choice in Jake's mind since he would gain a bit. Even though he had to turn in half of the teeth into the guild. The real gut wrench thrown into the situation was losing half of the silver to the guild. Others would only have to pay around 15% while he would have to pay 50%. This about made him cry since out of the fifteen silver he would only get to keep seven silver and fifty copper.
"I must endure, I must endure," whispering the mantra Jake stifled his agony and straightened himself out. Crying over spilled milk would not help the situation. In the long run, it was not a horrible circumstance anyways.
Pulling his head out of his thoughts Jake took in the group of people sharing his wagon. They were all for the most part adventurers like him, and from what he could tell they were low-levels too. Though he was not sure if they were brand new like him or not. It was not uncommon for the lower level adventurers to travel back and forth from time to time. That was how these carriage drivers earned their livings.
In his carriage sat seven other people there were two men and surprisingly five women. It was not an uncommon sight for there to be female adventurers. Jake was just shocked that the guys were outnumbered in this carriage.
Sneaking a peek at his traveling companions Jake noticed that the two guys seemed to be solo adventurers. While it seemed that three of the five women were a team. The other two sat quietly neither talking to each other or anyone else. That made it hard for Jake to know if they were a team or not. One of the two was decked out and pretty good gear compared to everyone else. She was most likely the highest ranked of the bunch.
She had a set of dark leather armor that hung to her shapely body, laying across her lap was her short sword. The sword had a curved blade from what Jake could tell from its sheath. The grip was unadorned and wrapped in strips of dried leather. There was no cross-guard to the sword and the pommel was just a solid piece of metal with no engravings or jewels.
Though it looked simple Jake had a feeling it was much better than his short sword. Other than the sword Jake could see no other weapons, but that did not mean she did not have any. As he snuck glances at her he noticed her skin was a pale white color with a tint of blue to it. This was obviously not a normal shade of skin and caught him off guard. Jake could not deny that even with her skin tone she was a beauty. Her crimson eyes were especially pretty, they bore through him as he made eye contact with her.
"Shit!" mumbled Jake as he flashed a friendly smile before looking away. His cheeks blushed in embarrassment though he calmed down shortly after. With his head clear the sound of a conversation near him drifted into his ears.
"I am telling you its true, I really did hear it!" Whined one of the girls in the all-girls party.
Around her, she garnered looks of amusement before a tall girl next to her spoke. "Come now Lily it's not that we don't believe you... But you are known to make up things from time to time. Your imagination tends to fill in the gaps when you hear something interesting."
Lily stuck her tongue out at the taller girl before her tiny face scrunched up into an unamused frown. After a short pause she resumed her chirping. Jake turned towards her and this time he noticed that she resembled the stereotype of a loli!
Lily pointed a finger at her friend before puffing up her nonexistent chest and declaring. "I swear Jacqueline you're insufferable." Lily paused and said, "This time I am being serious I am not imagining anything!
With that final sentence, she stomped her tiny boot on the carriage floor as she pouted.
"Fine if it will make you happy tell us what this big scoop is you heard." Said, Jacqueline, as she rolled her eyes in surrender.
Lily who was pouting just a second ago suddenly did a three-sixty and turned into a cute bubbly persona. Not a missing a beat she launched right into her gossip.
"He... he! So apparently about a week ago a bright light fell in the outer forest!" She paused to check if her friends had grown curious. When she noticed their eyes were glued on her she continued with a slight grin as she spoke. "They say it is probably a legendary item or ancient artifact..."
The two girls took in gasps of breath at the words of legendary and ancient, the taller girl interrupted her friend at this point.
"Did anyone find it yet?"
At this question, even Jake seemed to lean forward as his curiosity had spiked.
The loli thought for a second with her tiny pointer finger pressed up against her lips before she spoke again.
"Well like I said this happened a week ago and apparently so far no news has come out about its whereabouts. From what I heard those who went out to find it either disappeared while others searched with no results."
At that everyone seemed to calm down if the ones at the levels high enough to go search for them came up empty there was not much to say about them. Though it was interesting to think that something so amazing had fallen close to them. If only they were lucky enough to get the item their lives would change.
Though Jake had thought that most likely if any of them had come into contact with the item their lives would probably be forfeited.
One must have the strength to hold on to things like that else it was just the same as signing your life away.
With that thought, Jake took another glance at the geared out chick and wondered if that was why she was out here.
The girls began to discuss normal topics and so Jake decided to lay back and relax the rest of the way. As he closed his eyes thoughts of home drifted into his mind.
Two days passed since he left the city and today was the day he arrived at the base. Large wooden walls greeted them as they drove through the front gates. On the walls were many archers that kept a watchful eye on those who entered.
As they went through the gates Jake noticed adventures coming and going. Some that came back looked worse for the wear while others smiled and laughed.
A little ways outside of the gates down the road opposite of where they were coming from Jake noticed a large field. There were many adventures fighting against mobs of dogs and some other beasts. This gave Jake an odd feeling like he was living in a real-life video game. This would be the starter area in those types of games.
But this was also good news since it seemed those were the ones he needed to kill and since it was not far from base Jake felt more confident.
Soon his sight was obstructed after passing through the gates. Once inside the carriage came to a stop near a wooden building with the words Crappy Inn. This caused Jake not to know if he should laugh or cry but never the less he and the others got off and headed into the inn. Jake though had no coins to pay for a room and so after looking at the prices he headed back out to look around.
The little base was slightly crowded with all its accommodations. Though it did not have everything you could find in the city. It had enough that those that wanted to could live out here for some time with the need to return back to the city. There were a couple of places besides the inn that served food. Other then the inn there was also a few building that could be used to house adventures. These were larger and offered more privacy and or luxury for a higher price.
There was also a blacksmith and some weapon/armor stores that offered pretty good gear. Many more accommodations littered the streets causing the small base to feel cramped but full of life.
"There is still quite a bit of day time left, I need to seize the moment to gather some funds." Of course, he also wanted to find a team to help him but along his stroll, he had tried his luck and fell empty. No one was in need of a new adventure and so, unfortunately, he would have to risk his neck fighting solo.
Without delay he set off for the open field of mobs, thankfully it was not too far away from the base.
"If I need to I can just make a mad dash back to the base, there is no way in hell I am going to die on my first quest!"
Jake closed in on the field and paused to watch the movements of the others that were spread out across the field. Though he could see many people the field was very large. There was enough room that no two groups were within fifty yards of each other. As for the dogs, they wandered all over the field either looking for food or for some other unknown reason. They seemed to have a certain distance that they became aggressive. Because though he assumed the dogs could see adventures all over they never went out of their way to attack.
Apparently, they only grew aggressive when they entered ten yards of one of the teams. This was important information for Jake and so he spent a few more minutes verifying if that was the case. To his luck, it seemed that unless he purposely aggroed them he would only have to deal with one group at a time.
Through his observation, he also picked up some tricks to taking the dogs down and this was the other reason for his stalling. Jake never had to fight with a wild animal before especially not one that would kill him given the chance. Jake wanted to gain any advantage he could before throwing himself into the lion's den or in this instance the dog's cage.
Taking a deep breath Jake reached for his sword and unsheathed it. With a fire in his eyes Jake marched into the field his eyes zeroed in on a pair of dogs closes to the edge. His first quest would begin with these two and then he would become a real adventurer.