Emerging into the warm sunlight, Eric stretched widely, slightly unsure of what to do next. Checking the time, he saw that he still had just under two hours in game before Mark and Griffin were due to arrive. Opening his inventory, Eric took stock of his current funds. His coin pouch was significantly fatter than it had been before he’d met with Alistair, ten shiny new Sricks gleaming from the interface. Adding these coins to what he’d already had, Eric now possessed just over fifteen Sricks, with a few errant Cirts that would hopefully be enough to pay for the repairs to his sword and armour.
Thinking back, Eric seemed to remember Lucy saying that magic lessons would cost five silver Sricks from her, although Alistair had laughed at this and remarked that she taught the villagers for far cheaper. Debating briefly upon the merits of haggling with the mage, Eric decided against it for now. Although, he was fairly poor, and would certainly go broke quickly spending five Sricks a lesson, Alistair had made it clear that this was still considered fairly cheap compared to the price in the city, and also that Lucy was by far the most accomplished mage in the surrounding area. It would do him no good to alienate such a powerful teacher over a few coins, Eric thought, deciding against haggling for a lower price. Closing his inventory, Eric first made his way towards Tom’s smithy. While he definitely wanted to learn magic from Morningstar, it would do him no good to neglect his equipment for what could turn out to be a minor increase in his magical abilities.
Arriving at the smithy, Eric greeted Tom, withdrawing his sword from its sheath and handing it to the man. Staring at the sword for a moment, Tom flashed his gaze towards Eric disapprovingly.
“The hell did ye do to this blade?” inquired the smith. Staring intently at the many notches and chips in the iron of the blade.
Eric shuffled his feet awkwardly. “I encountered a hobgoblin. It didn’t go well for me,” he explained.
Tom nodded at this. “If ye encountered a hobgoblin, it’s a wonder yer alive! I’ll fix ‘er for ya. But ye got te be more careful with yer blade. Any more stress and this sword would’ve snapped in twain.”
Smiling awkwardly as the blacksmith took his sword and began to repair it, Eric was relieved to be able to pay the man and escape from the judgmental smith’s presence. Despite his jovial tone, Eric swore that the man had glared subtly at him every time he fixed another notch in the sword.
“It’s not my fault we weren’t taught how to deal with hobgoblin attacks,” Eric muttered, kicking a rock in the path as he scurried towards Doreen’s shop. There, the entire process repeated itself, though Doreen seemed far happier to see his damaged equipment than Tom had been. She was practically vibrating as she began to sow the tears in the leather back together, chatting incessantly the entire while.
“- and that’s why I told him that if he wants to pursue Aileen then he needs to gain her father’s approval! There’s just no way that a man that strict will look badly upon someone doing things the old fashioned way. But if he pursues her in secret and Conn finds out?” Doreen shuddered at this, though strangely enough the shudder did not impede her fingers which danced across the final tear in his armour, sewing one last stitch in.
“And done! There ye go, dearie. That’ll be thirteen Cirts,” Doreen informed him pleasantly.
Nearly dropping the coins in his rush, Eric paid the woman and escaped. Listening to Doreen was like having a crash course in the local gossip from a dozen chatty hairdressers. The woman never shut up! Still, she did nice work, Eric thought as he observed his leather armour that was now gleaming in the sunlight. Admiring his armour briefly, Eric checked the time once more. Confirming that he did indeed have enough time, he began to trot towards Morningstar’s house. This time, he experienced no explosions or sudden attacks from xenophobic mages, making the journey much more pleasant than the last time he’d ventured through this part of the village.
Standing in front of Morningstar’s house, Eric let out a small sigh. Gathering his courage, he reached out and gave the door several quick knocks, stepping back quickly just in case she’d rigged some magical trap to fry anyone foolish enough to knock on her door.
Glancing around warily, Eric watched as nothing happened. A soft breeze caressed the grass, rustling the stalks of the plants in the garden. A tiny chipmunk scurried across the top of the fence, its cheeks full of something or another. The door itself remained still, without a sound emerging from within the house. Waiting a full minute, Eric was just about to knock once more when the door swung open. Standing in the doorway was Lucy Morningstar, the annoyed scowl that seemed to have permanently graced her face being directed towards him at full force. Thinking of a saying his mother loved to parrot, Eric suppressed a giggle as he stood straight.
“I’m here for some magic lessons. Did I come at a bad time?”
Lucy’s eye twitched at this, glaring up at the half-elf standing on her front porch, “Do you have the money? I’m not teaching you on credit,” she said flatly. Eric took out a handful of silver Sricks, which glinted in the sunlight as he rolled them between his fingers.
“I’ve got enough for three lessons, is there a discount if I buy in bulk?” he asked in a playful manner.
“Alright, well would it be possible to have a lesson now?”
Lucy ran her fingers through her slightly tousled hair, her eyes losing focus as she appeared deep in thought. “I can give you one lesson. But you’ll have to wait until I finish my experiment.”
Eric nodded, “That’s fine. I understand that you’re busy.”
With a slightly miffed expression, Lucy nodded, opening the door wider to allow him entry. Following the mage inside, Eric was led up a series of stairs towards the tower he’d seen from outside the house. Emerging from the stairwell, he found himself in a circular room made of stone. The walls gleamed with dozens of runes, some barely visible against the grey walls, while others shone with brilliant colours.
The center of the room was dominated by a large plinth, which supported an enormous multi-coloured orb. The inside of the orb swam with various colours, though red seemed to be the dominant hue, overwhelming the rest. Various bookcases occupied spots along the walls, obscuring some runes with their enormous bulk. The shelves of the bookcases were filled with all sorts of interesting items, from books with interesting titles such as, ‘Principles of Explosion Magic’, ‘Flameblade Enchanting’, and ‘A Collection of Theorems on Spatial Magic’, to jars full of strange liquids, bowls of glittering dust, and even the skull of some exotic creature with a rune stamped in the middle of its forehead that glowed with a sinister grey colour.
An enormous set of windows at the top of the room allowed sunlight to stream in, illuminating specks of dust floating in the air. There was a suspiciously large amount of dust, Eric thought as he followed Lucy towards a ladder that lead to a platform that hovered above, taking up a third of the upper story of the tower. Climbing up the ladder, Eric found himself on a platform next to the windows, overlooking the first floor below. Looking out, Eric could see the entire village spread out before him.
“I didn’t realize just how high up your tower was,” Eric commented offhandedly, his palms glistening with a thin layer of sweat which he wiped absentmindedly on his tunic.
“It serves a practical purpose in troubled times,” replied Lucy, sitting down at a desk overlooking the first floor of the tower. Peeking at the desk, Eric saw a scroll with a large number of overlapping runes inscribed upon the surface of the parchment. Sensing his gaze, Lucy turned around with a scowl.
“If you’ve got nothing to do, then use the spell you’re most confident in to strike that orb down there,” Lucy said, pointing towards the orb in the middle of the first floor.
Eric gave her a confused look. “Won’t I break the orb if I do that?”
Lucy rolled her eyes. “You otherworlders really know nothing,” she huffed, a wand appearing in her hand as she drew a dizzying series of runes in front of her. With a roar, an enormous ball of flames appeared, hurtling towards the first floor.
The guiding light for gamers lost in the sea of online games.
Hey guys, I'm Lighthouse, a gamer from Canada who loves helping others in games. I've been a gamer for almost two decades and learned about LitRPG and webnovels a couple years ago. I finally decided to write my own novel in 2018 and Fate was the result.
I mainly enjoy fantasy and LitRPG novels and as a result my own novel is a fantasy LitRPG with a competitive gaming twist. Hopefully everyone enjoys my work ^.^