I wake up to the first light of dawn, the orangey glow projected on to the buildings outside is pretty comforting to look at. It also has great effect on calming my eager, teenaged little brother.
Honestly, I would've definitely scouted the night scene already if my experiences aren't constantly reminding me how bad of a decision that is. I don't think they will even have condoms, who knows what diseases I can get with the working girls of this world.
With this world being dependent on potions and healing magic, I bet the medical development here is really backward compared to modern medicine.
Yep, in conclusion, it isn't worth the money on girls who probably served dozens of middle-aged uncles, just to relieve some hormones. If my past had taught me anything, I'll end up feeling empty if I have mechanical sex with no feelings behind it. As cheesy as that sounds, feelings are important.
I head for the adventurer guild after having the same breakfast as yesterday, but there was something off about the city today. The expressions of the people as they hurry about made the entire atmosphere of the entire city tense.
I enter the guild and it became obvious something must of happened, the usual cheerful atmosphere from the adventurer chatting and drinking was gone. Adventurers are still huddled in groups, having discussions among themselves, but instead scattered around sitting down as per usual, they formed a crowd around the request board.
Seeing how I won't be able to make my through a crowd, I head toward the person I'm most familiar with within the guild, Lawrence.
"Hey Lawrence, don't know if its a bad time, but what's going on?"
Lawrence turns to me and seems to be lost in thought for a moment.
"...Aster was it?"
Now that I think about, I don't think I've properly introduced myself, I guess he found my name either from Elena or from reading my registration form.
"That's right, I'm Aster Estrea, sorry for the late introduction."
"I'm Lawrence, though you already knew that, anyway, nice to meet you Aster."
I return the handshake that Lawrence offers me.
"And as for your question, it seems a party of rank fives got taken out last night while escorting the Count's second son back from the Greens Filth dungeon. To make things worse, the criminals who did it sent a note to the guards at the gate, asking for ransom for the Count's son."
Good thing I can back early yesterday, getting caught up in this shit would be the end of me.
"...Wow, those kidnappers must be really strong or must be a lot of them if it's causing such a disturbance to the city."
"...Hmm, the problem is no one knows who they are, and just because they took out rank fives doesn't mean they are strong, even rank ones can do the same with properly executed traps or surprise attacks."
I guess even the strongest people aren't superhuman.
"Well, this sure is starting to sound like something I don't want to be involved in."
Lawrence grins at my words.
"You're right, it isn't something beginners would be able to meddle in, but I doubt the other adventurer will realize that. Especially not after a reward of one platinum coin has been issued to rescue the young lord and a bounty of the same amount for the kidnappers."
Platinum coin? That's probably a hundred gold coins! I haven't even gotten a gold coin yet, not to mention platinum...
"Don't let greed take your life kid, the Count is rewarding anyone with information pertaining to their whereabouts as well, so even if you see the kidnappers, just run and report it and let the Count's knights deal with it. Not worth your life."
As if seeing through my moment of greed, Lawrence warns me with a serious look on his face, prompting me to nod back at him. He's looking out for me, he's a nice guy after all.
Seeing Lawrence put his focus back on his work, I walk up to the line for selling crystals, well there is no line as everyone is still crowded around the request board.
I walk up to a counter with a pretty lady wearing glasses with a classic round frame; made of metal. First time seeing anyone wearing glasses in this world, but it looks nice on her.
I hand over a pile of magic crystals that I collected yesterday and placed them together with my guild badge on the counter. The lady lays them out so she has a clear view of all the crystals and pushes up her glasses, as I feel mana being emitted from the glasses.
"Total of 19 low-quality crystals, that would be worth 19 silvers."
Magic glasses huh? I guess they quickly inspect crystals for their authenticity and quality.
She brings my badge and scans it on something I presume to be a magic item, records something on a piece of paper, before putting the money and badge back onto the counter.
I quickly retrieve my badge and place my money into my purse and move to the side to make way for the next person in line, who happens to be no one as the line is empty. Embarrassing, let's just pretend we are in a hurry and leave.
I make my way outside and see people all moving toward the same direction towards the north gates. Curious, I join the crowd as well.
It didn't take long to find out why the crowd gathered, as the sound men moving around in plate armor, and hooves of horses become louder as we near the main road by the gates. People filled the side of the road, letting what seem to be an army of knights riding out of the city.
Not all the knights wore the classic shining full plate armor, as I spot some wearing a mix of cloth and leather armor, holding spears. Do mages not use staffs in this world? I don't remember seeing any staffs at all in the blacksmith shop.
Being too lazy to investigate my thought further, I start heading south, to the opposite direction of the knights.
I am heading to the dungeon, Elemental Slime Nest today, the first floor of this dungeon will have easier targets for me, perfect for testing out how to utilize my spells. In exchange, Elemental Slime Nest is twice the distance of Greens Filth, 15 km away.
It would take too much time and energy to get there on foot, but with the dungeon being a popular spot, they are carriages transportation services going back and forth a few times a day.
I find the carriage station and paid one silver to board a wide 12-seater with a grey canopy, drawn by four horses. I'm joined by a merchant and his workers, and a group of 4 adventurers who are rank 3 judging from their badges.
We all remain quiet during the ride, except for the merchant who is questioning his associates regarding some numbers on a piece of paper.
I take scan the adventurer party in detail with identify to see what composition a normal party is made of.
The leader seemed to be a lanky guy in all leather armor with two short swords hanging on his waist. Dexterity enhancer, so pretty much like a rogue.
Beside him was a big man with wide shoulders, wearing an incomplete set of plate mail on top of his chainmail. No question here, obviously the tank.
Almost didn't even notice his ears as he had his hood on, but this guy's your standard elven archer. He even has the signature elven blonde hair, green eyes, and that prideful look on his pretty-boy face. Elves do age slower in this world huh.
I already don't like him.
He's got the first unique magic I've seen with identify, though I don't see what exactly diagnosis does, but the name sounds self-explanatory enough to guess most of it.
Moving on, I can't stand to stare at the pretty boy any longer without feeling pissed off.
Fire Lv. 16
Staring at the shoulder-length brunette washed away my agitation. She wasn't the most beautiful but got a cheerful, innocent vibe that would make her a perfect girl next door.
Their levels weren't particularly impressive, but it seems like having level 1 fire and water magic is the norm. For mages, the norm may be even level one for all standard element types.
Level one magics are easy to learn, so learning fire and water may help in emergency with starting fire and drinking water. There seems to be no harm to learning them. So with that discovery, I spend the rest of the carriage ride learning the rest of the elements.
Of course, the other people would look over from time to time to see what this idiot is doing, making a fireball inside a carriage, but I quickly dismissed it and moved on to the next element.
After a little over an hour, the carriage finally comes to a stop, God cars are so much more comfortable with springs and whatever shit that makes it shake less.
I just to walk off my sore ass as I approach the encampment area surrounding the dungeon entrance, the black statue of the tree. The only difference with this statue is maybe its size which is slightly larger, and the plaque with the name, "Elemental Slime Nest".
I waste no time and head straight into the dungeon.
Before I knew it, I find myself in a gloomy cave with faint blue light shining from the ceiling. They were rocks, that seemed more like crystals stuck on the ceiling everywhere in the cave, providing the only light source.
I'm presented only two paths to take, as I pick one at random and move slowly while my eyes adjust.
I move faster as I start to getting used to the dim lighting, and I quickly find my first training dummy.
A red slime slithers toward me silently at almost jogging speed. It is one meter tall and one meter wide, like a giant moving red pudding.
I spot the black sphere within its translucent body, it's the size of a bottle cap, and the only way to kill a slime.
I shoot my a stream of water at it, attempting to freeze it into a spear before it reaches the target. With my level up yesterday, I can feel that my magic is slightly more powerful and I can generate more water for the mana cost.
Unfortunately, the slime was moving too fast towards me and it ends up freezing inside the slime, barely slowing it.
I fire a stream of electricity at it, and this time the slime definitely felt that, as it completely stops moving. I throw a constant stream of electricity at it and walk closer to avoid having my attack weaken from the electricity dissipating.
By the time I got within five meters of the slime, the core visibly cracks, and the slime implodes on the core, leaving only a mana crystal behind.
I grab my loot and continues searching for my next prey. I optimize how much mana I spend to perfectly freeze my targets, and practiced my new electric spell that was basically to constantly electrocute my target. Not going to lie, did feel like I was an antagonist in star wars or something.
On my fifth slime, something looked strange as I stare into its translucent body. There was a shadow person curled up inside, freely floating around.
This slime was moving a lot slower than any other slimes, barely at walking speed, so I managed to successfully form my ice spear before it penetrated the slime so hard that it made a satisfying spluuush sound.
It looked like the ice lance popped a bubble, but then the slime started to gather at one spot and implode like the others, guessed I hit the core straight on.
As the slime popped, the contents inside were also released onto the ground.
I walked closer and found a skull with half a spine attached, while the torso which was a little further away still had some half-melted flesh and organs by the rib-cages. The only other thing that was left was small metal arrowheads, a small short sword, and scattered coins laying around.
I guess the slime couldn't digest metals that fast and the poor guy was probably practicing his archery and failed epically, dying to a slime.
I loot the sword, and gather the coins, he won't have any use for these anymore anyways.
I salvaged 46 silver coins and 1 gold coin, the guy was pretty rich.
Now I have 1 gold coin, 74 silver coins, and 70 copper coins. Not bad considering I have only been here for a few days.
I continue to hunt for slimes, while training my magic control in the process, before being alerted by my stomach that it was past lunchtime.
"Fuck I'm stupid."
I forgot to buy any rations with me before entering the dungeon, so I have no choice, time to exit the dungeon and buy something at the camps outside.
The people waiting around outside at this time were mostly non-combatants. Most were healers and caretakers for supplies and carriages. It's probably a good idea into looking to get a carriage myself some time in the future.
I easily find stalls that people set up with mobile carts and picked one that seems to be making some noddles that reminded me of ramen. Though the spices used were different, the rich soup and noddles had at least a seventy percent semblance.
With my stomach filled, I head back into the dungeon and started another round of hunting.
The slimes I encountered this time were all light blue, a contrast from the red slimes that I've been fighting until now. I guess the slimes have different elemental affinities seeing the name of the dungeon, Elemental Slime Nest. Thankfully the slimes on the first floor are so weak, any elemental resistance is useless and they won't be able to cast spells.
Thanks to my continuous practice, I'm able to form my ice lance before impact most of the time now, gaining me a solid offensive spell. No pun intended there.
I lost track of time and only have my senses reawaken when I find myself in a spacious clearing within the cave.
When I was still looking around, a huge shadow falls from the ceiling right behind me, blocking my exit.
Though it scared me for a second, I read about this boss of the first floor in the reference room before, so the information quickly calmed me down.
To be blunt, this boss is just an extra-large version of the slimes until now. Standing at 3 meters tall and 5 meters wide, the giant blue boss slime's core can barely be made out within its body. I mean it is the same size as the other slimes, size of a bottle cap within that huge body.
This boss is really only a challenge for enhancers, well this entire dungeon really. That's why I chose this dungeon, it's a much easier time for mages.
I fire a large stream of water at the feet of the slime, well it doesn't have feet so the part where the slime touches the ground.
As soon as the water enters into the slime and makes contact near the ground, I freeze it, hoping it binds the slime to the ground.
The slime easily shakes it off, and abandons the frozen part of it and continue my way.
But that was enough time that it bought me, as I was channeling my mana into a huge ice lance for the huge guy over there.
The slime mechanically charges straight at me, like the dumb monster it is and takes my ice lance straight on.
A familiar scene appears, accompanied by much louder noise of impact this time. The entire passageway behind is covered in slime juice, before it gets sucked into the damaged core, and softly imploded into a mana crystal.
I collect the mana crystal that is slightly bigger and looks higher in purity.
Well, that actually used quite a bit of my remaining mana, it's about time to call it a day anyways.
I head back to the other end of the spacious room and find a similar black teleport statue after passing through a narrow corridor. The ground where the statue is placed, patterns of some complicated rune is drawn.
This is the teleportal down to the second floor of the dungeon, but it can also be used to return to previous levels. I can also start on the second floor right away next time too since I have reached here before.
I place my hand and recite the word to leave.
While there was nothing to do on the carriage, I counted my harvest for the day, 41 normal slimes and the 1 crystal from the boss slime.
Next, I inspected my growth for the day.
I make it back to town after a bumpy carriage ride before sunset. I'm going to keep selling my crystals in the mornings, but now would be the perfect time to buy some supplies and daily necessities. I still only have two sets of clothes and underwear, and I want to purchase my own toothbrush among other things.
I ended up spending 15 silvers by the time it was starting to get dark.
After dinner, I go through my routine before bed, I couldn't stand it any longer and spent a whole silver on a tiny piece of soap for one-time use. I felt relieved, being able to wash my hair and felt particularly refreshing, I thought to myself as I was laying the bed.
As I start to think abo----------- Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
Just another random guy you'll come across on the internet who decided to write something on a whim.
Currently writing my first story, ever.
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