The crystal before him had a multitude of colors that swirled within its sphere. From the orb, Jake could feel a sense of pressure on his soul. This pressure mad Jake wary of the last option that was presented to him. But the thought of never growing stronger pushed him to suppress those feelings.
Softpelt watched the reactions of the boy before him, amused a slight smile grew as he waited. Most tended to run when they felt the pressure on their souls. Jake was different though he frowned at first, Softpelt could see the determination grow.
This only caused the cat-man to drive the bargain home, with hopes of the rewards he would receive.
"Well, Jake this is our guilds last option for joining. Meow. It is a simple option, meow that will allow you to join before reaching level five. This is what we call the 'Soul Contract Orb' with it you will become a contract member of the adventurers guild."
"A contract member? That doesn't sound so bad what's the gimmick?"
On Earth, there were plenty of people that were contractors and was just a different form of employment. There was a difference in employment but you would still earn your pay.
But it was better safe than sorry to find out what the catch was in this option.
"Well, the gimmick is that unlike a normal adventurer meow who gets certain privileges. Those under contract do not receive them meow."
"Certain privileges?" Jake was not liking the way this conversation was going. Though he needed to know more before accepting.
Jake did not have to fear since Softpelt was all too willing to explain. Pretty much those who contracted with the guild were straight up robbed before reaching level five. This meant that unlike E-Rank adventurers and those higher up in the ranks. When completing a quest instead of keeping all the loot it was instead divided with the guild. This was not something regular guild members needed to deal with. Whatever they acquired on quests was theirs unless it was a special quest item.
Softpelt when on to explain when he saw Jake's worry in the condition.
"Think of it like this, you receive a quest to kill spiderlings and collect fifty of their fangs. Instead of just showing the fangs for the proof you will also have to turn in seventy-five percent of them to the guild. Of course, though you will have all rights to keep any extra ones over the quest amount along with any other drops."
Hearing the explanation helped to ease Jake's disinterest though it still sucked. But in the grand scheme, it was bearable for Jake.
Also, regular members started with a minimum allowance of five gems per month. As long as they completed their quota each year of twenty-five quests. This was of course not earned the first year of their membership since they needed to reach the quota. However, for contract members, their allowance would stay at one gem per month each year. While they also had a requirement of completing thirty quests in a year at a minimum.
This was not the end of the world for Jake since a single gem was all he required to survive each month. The real issue was that he found that he would lose out on fifty percent of the rewards total. Meaning no matter how much the quest offered he could only receive half of it. This was true highway robbery at its finest for sure, but at the same time, it was understandable.
Even normal members would lose a percentage though theirs was drastically different. With them only losing fifteen percent as a fee to the guild.
So in the end, though it sucked it was the way the cookie crumbled and there was nothing you could argue about at the end of the day.
Jake listened closely to ensure he did not miss any important information. In the end, it only took a moment to mull it over before deciding. With the decision made Softpelt passed the odd color crystal toward Jake to have him sign the contract. The crystal stored your data along with the contracts info. This would technically bind your soul to the contract. Other than that it held no purposes.
With the contract signed a blue screen popped up in front of him.
|Attention: Contract Member
Welcome to Spiritborn's Adventurers Guild your member status will be bound to this contract until you reach level five or you die. You will receive your new set of gear and be assigned a room should you desire one. You will have a week to ready yourself before having to set off on your first quest.
This is optional and if you so desire you may choose to begin before your free week is finished. Remember after completing your first mandatory quest you will have a year to complete the other twenty-nine this will be up to you to finish.
Should you fail to complete your quota during your contracted membership your status will be revoked. While future employment will be unavailable for the next ten years. Thank you for choosing our guild to join we wish you great adventures and happy hunting!
The giant wall of text scared Jake at first as it flooded his eyes, though he read it none the less. Closing the window Jake was assaulted with yet more screens that followed.
|Attention: Job Change!
|Job: F-Rank Adventurer
|Attention: Exp Reward!
|Attention: Guild Rep Increase!
Reading the popups Jake felt a slight headache brew, collecting himself Jake reviewed what popped up. The first one was understandable since it was just a reminder of what he just signed. Though the part about not being able to rejoin should he fail to keep his part of the contract was kind of harsh. But in a world where you could live a very long time, ten years was sort small in the grand scheme of things.
The next pop up was also understandable since he had seen it once before when he had been hired at the bar. It had scared him when it appeared out of know the first time.
The third and fourth window where pleasant surprises for Jake as he read them. The experience window was a sight for sore eyes to Jake. Now he would at least know how far he was from level two. With a glance, it seemed that he had not gained so much as a single point before this moment. Jake now could understand why it took so long to level naturally and was glad he would not be relying on that option.
As for the last window, Jake was a bit confused on the matter, not sure what purpose it held and what it meant for him. Though before Jake sat the perfect person to ask, "What does guild rep mean?"
Softpelt smiled at Jake's question he had patiently waited for this exact question. New adventurers would ask the similar questions in each situation. For Softpelt it had become a sort of game he played each time he helped a guest.
Figuring out what questions would be asked each time brought him a bit of joy to his daily life.
"It is very simple. Meow. This is a system that tracks your reputation among our guild. By completing certain tasks while also doing quests, you will increase your reputation with us. Meow. Once you have reached tier one or those above it you will unlock certain perks that will be available for you. Meow."
The word perks caused Jake's heart to beat fast he couldn't wait to find out what they were. Asking a few more questions to the cat man Jake bid a farewell. It was time to talk with Argus before deciding what to do about his living arrangements.
Of course, he also wanted to check out what quests he could do for his mandatory quota but that could be done later.
Since Jake had other things to do like check out his starter gear and possibly find some people to party with.
||Home World: Earth
|Age: 16 Years
||Soul Gems: 1
||Soul Energy: 68/100
||Gold: 0 / Silver:2 / Copper:50
|Job: F-Rank: Adventurer (Contract Member)
|Guild Reputation: Tier 0 - 10/100
Back in his room, Jake enjoyed the warm rays of sunlight that blanketed him as he sprawled out on his bed. The warm embrace caused Jake to yawn and fight to stay awake. While looking at his status window, it amazed him every time he pulled it up.
But seeing the new bits of information added had made the experience more enjoyable. Though reading the F-Rank status still brought him some discomfort. He tossed those feeling away since they were useless, he planned to change his rank fast. So there was no reason to fret about it now, everyone had to start somewhere on the road to greatness. His so happened to start at the very utmost bottom and as the saying goes, 'one can only go up from the bottom!'
Closing the status window Jake sat up so as not to doze off. Turning to look out at the city many thoughts flew around his head.
The first thing was to let Argus know about his new job and decide whether to stay or move out. Since Argus was his first friend here he felt torn from the idea of leaving. But wanted to see what Argus's decision on the matter would be.
Clearing that thought out of his head for the time being Jake opened a brown leather bag the size of a coin purse. This was a unique item that every successful adventurer needed and to his luck he received one. It was the most exciting item that Jake received in his contract. This small bag was called a void pouch, though in Jake's case it was the cheapest of the type.
Even so, this was his most cherished item with an internal space of ten feet by ten feet. To Jake, it was like he had a small storage unit from Earth that hung from his hip.
"I can't believe they have these here!" With a shout of joy in his heart, Jake sent looks of love at the simple bag.
In his previous life, Jake had read a few books with space rings and bags in them. Not just once but every time would he wish he could own one himself.
Now his dream came true and all it took was dying which was a small price to pay. Since back then he even joked that he would die to get his hands on one.
Pulling on the drawstrings Jake reached his hand into the small opening and pulled out a short sword.
The short sword in his hand was one of the items given to new contract members.
Focusing his gaze on the sword a blue pop up appeared before him.
|Beginners Short Sword (Common)
|A poorly made sword mass produced for those starting out as adventurers.
||Lvl 1 - 7
| 10 - 15 Damage
Letting out a sigh Jake put the sword away, he had been excited when he got the sword. But Softpelt had dashed his excitement once he explained the important information.
"This is a basic short sword we give out to all the contracting members. Its stats are at the bare minimum required to venture out into the wild. Though it has a low requirement needed in level, strength, and agility. The damage along with durability make it less than desirable. Once able I do recommend you upgrade to something a bit better in stats for your safety."
These words replayed in Jake's mind as he let out another heavy sigh. But what could he do? When he looked around town after leaving he found that gear was pretty expensive. There was definitely no way for him to afford something better.
Especially if he wanted a weapon that was above a grey item or otherwise called a common weapon. The grading system for gear had only caused his gear to look worse. From his point of view, his gear looked more like a Halloween costume than real equipment.
"The ranking for gear is simple, starting at the bottom you have grey items they are also known as common items. The term iron comes from the designation that shows up in the items name whereas the color designation is shown in the coloring of the name..."
Softpelt had explained the basics and though he explained that there was better gear. He chose to only explain up to unique items which were three tiers higher than his gear.
He remarked that there was no need to delve deeper since the best Jake could hope for at the moment was rare items. While he would be lucky to even find unique items or be able to afford them.
"For now that should be all you worry about, most likely you will never see the higher tiers. So, for now, I won't burden your heart with that info. Instead, you should focus on what is within your reach! Meow!" Jake had felt frustrated at the hidden info that Softpelt left out. But he could not deny that his words made sense and so he had let the subject end there for time being.
As for the rest of Jake's gear to no surprise, it was all common items. With just enough stats in them to keep him from dying by strong winds.
Sighing again in his heart Jake shook off his distraught feelings. For those who wanted power no amount of setbacks would hinder them. To reach the top he must struggle and fight against all the odds, and low-level gear was just one of many struggles to come.