When Steve had finally stormed off—after being teased mercilessly by his ‘friends’—Chris checked his gains. He’d gotten two additional levels from the fight with the trolls, and he’d completed the quest. Sadly, there was no First Completion title to be had, if it even existed. It was irritating, but not unexpected; having to hobble all the rock trolls in the glade made killing them extremely slow. On the other hand, given how irritating they were to fight, and how powerful they were, there would probably be a quest to take them out somewhere in one of the tutorial towns.
He’d also received a reward screen for completing the quest. He checked it over now.
Kill 5 Monsters (5/5)
Reward: 125 System Coins, Random Reward
Chris checked his new total of System Coins. He’d gotten 60 for each rock troll he’d killed, for a total of 300, for all five. Given the difference in the quest reward, versus the per-kill rewards, it was safe to assume that the rock trolls were probably a way harder enemy than the quest intended to be fought. He now had 565 System Coins just sitting in his balance, and he still had no idea on how to spend them.
He selected the random reward, hoping that it wasn’t friendship. It wasn’t.
Rank F-1 Skill Token
So… what did that do? He tried to activate it.
“This is meant to be a damn tutorial,” he muttered under his breath.
He walked back to the bush, looking for the mace he’d hidden. Then he ran off, looking for some less annoying monsters.
“Hey, you, wait!”
Chris slowed. “Yes?”
A pudgy teenager holding a katana walked up to him. “Are you Sir Christopher?”
“I am, noble adventurer.” He grinned. “How did you know?”
“Phil’s group said you were giving out epic quests.”
“Why, yes,” Chris puffed himself up, “yes I am.”
“Can I have one?”
“Indeed you may, noble adventurer. I am looking for a squire.” He eyed up the overweight teen. “But my compatriots must be in peak physical condition. You will find a glade full of rocks over yonder. Do not enter it. Find a stone outside of its bounds, and, not entering the glade, cast a stone against the boulders inside. Only when you are able to hit the innermost boulder will you be a suitable companion.” Chris stooped down and picked up a pebble off the floor and handed it to the teen. “This is the first stone you shall lose in your journey to become a knight.”
The teen narrowed his eyes suspiciously. “I didn’t get a quest screen.”
“Tis a hidden quest. Wait! Tarry a moment longer, adventurer. Pray tell, what is your name, noble adventurer?”
“Farewell, Bruce, we shall meet again. Find me when you have completed your quest. Great treasures await you!”
Bruce waddled off.
Chris waited for a while, hopefully Bruce didn’t spot the dead rock trolls, they still sort of looked like rocks—even when dead. There was a roar from the direction of the glade, then screaming.
“The real treasure was cardio,” Chris murmured to himself. “God bless you, Phil.”
He tossed his… Steve’s mace into the air and caught it again. If there was a First Quest title, or whatever, he wasn’t too broken up about it. Giving out his owns ‘quests’ was more than worth it. He continued to wander—his high dexterity allowing him to travel at high speeds.
Huh? Was there more than one tutorial town? Come to think of it, it made sense. The barrier that had blocked him at the last town had said it was number seven-hundred thousand and something.
A large stone wall enclosed houses with thatched-roof houses. The wall was manned by humanoids with pallid gray skin, hollow cheekbones, and bright eyes. They were dressed in dull metal armor and many of them wielded bows and they continually launched volley after volley of arrows at the swarm of monsters below.
At least he knew where all of the generic wolf mobs had gone. The swarm was almost entirely composed of wolves, although he spotted several rock trolls among their number, pummeling the walls with their rocky fists, soaking up arrows with ease.
Chris stepped forward to get a closer look. The trees grew close to the defensive stonework and some of the more agile wolves clambered up the sides of them, launching themselves onto the wall, where they bowled through defenders before being defeated.
Moments later, the vanquished monsters rose, lights burning in their eyes. They hurled themselves off the wall, tearing through their former allies. Undead.
This was an Undead tutorial town, which meant that the gathering of monsters below was a Beast Horde. Confident he wouldn’t be blasted back by one of the golden barriers; he strode forward intending on joining the horde. One of the wolves near the back turned and looked at him, baring its fangs; it sniffed as him, once, twice, then turned back to the Undead on the wall.
Join a Beast Horde (1/1)
Reward: Beast Horde Protections
(Optional – Monster) Conquer Tutorial Town #409008 (Nathak) (0/1)
(Optional – Monster/Human – Variable Reward) Defeat Enlightened (Undead) (0/X)
Chris looked at the quest reward first, it didn’t seem like much, but he supposed there was an advantage in being able to attack something in one concerted effort and not having to worry about your fellow monsters stabbing you in the back.
He moved down to the two new quests. The first wasn’t going to be completed any time soon. The second was more interesting, but until they got past those walls, things would be difficult.
It was surprising that a Beast Horde was attacking now, the human tutorial town had a grace period of fourteen days, give or take—its walls were also only made of wood, unlike the walls of the Undead town. He supposed different species’ tutorials started at different times. It was as good a guess as any.
What was really surprising was that the Undead were considered Enlightened. That really threw him for a loop. He’d played so many video games for which the core premise was killing zombies and defeating necromancers.
He crept forward, pushing past and between two wolves. He cringed as he did so, but the monsters ignored the jostling. Chris tried not to breathe too deeply, up close the Horde smelled of dirty carpet and wet dog. The smell was pure murder with his boosted perception.
He pressed forward, but was forced to halt when arrows smacked into the wolves all around him. He looked up at the wall, the Undead were aiming at him. He crouched, hefting one of the downed wolves onto his shoulder.
He continued advancing, using the corpse of the wolf as a shield. More arrows slammed into its side as he walked. As he got closer to the wall he wondered what he was actually going to be doing. There were no ladders and no holes in the wall—although the rock trolls were slowly carving out chunks of the fortification. The only way to get up top were the trees which grew too close.
Chris shrugged. It was as good a plan as any. Certainly better than getting needlessly pincushioned with arrows.
He veered to the right, toward one of the larger trees and buried his mace into the trunk. The Undead noticed what he was doing and soon more and more arrows rained down on him. Some flew past him, hitting trees in quick succession with a steady tock, tock, tock sound.
The tree began to groan, so Chris moved behind it and began pushing it forward. The tree collapsed with a shriek of rending wood. It toppled over, its peak wedging itself in between the crenellations. Wolves raced up the side, exploiting the impromptu ramp and flooding the battlements.
Chris smiled and was about to follow them up and join the carnage when new shapes appeared on the wall. The Undead had brought out their big guns.
Four Undead Knights with blazing eyes and thick bone armor emerged, pushing their way toward the breach in their defenses. Two came from each side, converging on the fallen tree that spilled monsters into their town. They wielded spears and shields of polished bone, laying into the wolves around them, or simply bashing them off the wall.
They clustered around the tree, plugging the gap as an axe was brought forward. One of the bone knights set aside its spear and, in two strokes, broke of the top of the tree. The tree slipped, wedging farther down the wall; it was still serviceable as a rampart, but the wolves now had to leap up onto the battlements, which made them vulnerable to the Undead spearmen that fended them off with a hedge of sharpened points.
One of the Undead on the wall pointed Chris out to the bone knights. The bone knight with the axe scowled, then hurled the hatchet at him with blistering speed.