“We sure got a lot of stuff,” Eryk says, carrying an oversized backpack filled with loot of all sorts on his back. It is so heavy it would break a normal man’s back just by putting it on. However, Eryk has trained his whole life for this sort of job. He is a North Spiran whose job was the public service of all the farms in the town. with the Destiny Deck System inside of him, his power is even greater than ever before. He is strong enough to carry all of it. He could carry even more if he wanted.
Malia is very good at treasure gathering, it turns out. She has so many talents. It’s quite incredible, Eryk thinks.
“Yeah, we found more junk than I ever thought some random grassy plains would ever have. I wonder if there was a war here long ago, or even a small village. These golden coins... I don’t recognize the insignia on them at all.”
“We’ll hopefully fetch a lot more coins than those once we trade in all these items to the Guild office, right?” Eryk tries to look back and catch a glimpse of all they have found, but fails to move his neck far enough back.
“The Adventurer’s Guild always offers a bad rate for rare items,” Malia says. “Especially for the kinds of things that aren’t in their yearly catalog. Regular treasure and monster loot, yeah, the flat rate is probably better than hawking your wares around to every shopkeep you encounter, but I’d never sell, say, that stone tablet we found, to the Guild office and get the generic ‘ancient artifact’ rate.”
“The Guild offices are convenient, but not optimal. I see,” Eryk says. “I am still a novice at all of this. Thank you for informing me of it.”
“It’s not a problem at all. Team Fanghook is one of the savvier teams, you know, so it’s good we found you first.” Malia inserts another item into Eryk’s bag. “We’re not exactly SUPPOSED to be selling our loot to third-party vendors in large amounts, but hey, as long as we’re a little discrete about it...”
“What was that that you put in my bag?” he asks.
“A plant root I found a moment ago. The flower looked pretty. I want to take it to an herbalist and have them [Generate Seeds] on it.”
“Are you thinking of starting a garden? As a travelling [Adventurer?]”
“No,” Malia laughs. “I’m just starting a seed collection. Whenever we stay somewhere long enough, I like to plant some of the seeds and tend to them until we leave. Maybe the seeds sprout, maybe they die, I don’t know. Either way, I’ve left my mark and if The Goddess wills it, a pretty flower or two may grow.”
“You know, Eryk, if that bag is too heavy for you, I can put it in my open inventory slot.”
“Oh!” Eryk shouts. “I have one of my own, actually!” He poofs the large backpack into his inventory slot. It disappears with its only trace of existence being a tiny cloud of smoke that dissipates in seconds.
“What is your hand like, anyway?” Malia asks. “I don’t think we talk shop all too often so I don’t know.”
“That means talk about our work directly. About the Destiny Card and system stuff. I mean, how far along are you?”
“I’m still F-Rank, so I only have five cards in my hand right now...”
“What are they?”
Eryk pulls up on his HUD the list of Destiny Cards he has in his hand right now:
Super Hearing: Rank 1. Increase sonic perception abilities dramatically for five minutes. Cost: 70 LP.
Blaze Up: Rank 3. Creates a flame aura around the user. Cost: 300 LP.
Fireball: Rank 1. Shoot a fireball. Cost: 10 LP.
Inventory Slot: Rank 4. Store an item here to retrieve for future use. Current item: Backpack (Large).
Skill Check: Rank 1. Examine the variables around you. (There is a small chance that your next action will go exceedingly well or exceedingly poorly.) Cost: 50 LP.
“...and that’s all of them,” he says after he finishes listing them all off.
“Wow, you have a long way to go, don’t you?”
“I very much do. But for someone with only 5,000 LP, using Destiny Cards at all is quite dangerous for me.”
“But aren’t you like Level 55 already?” she asks. “Why don’t you just rank up and get double the Life Points?”
“I’m trying to gain better stats while I can. Leveling up is very easy still, and I’d like to keep it that way.”
Malia shrugs. “Whatever works best for you.”
“Say... isn’t that large mollusk thing supposed to be a day’s journey away from us or something?”
Malia looks off in the sky and sees what Eryk is referring to. “Yes... Um, that’s not supposed to be coming that quickly.”
“How long do you think it will be at this point before it arrives over here...?”
“It’s looking like...” Malia gulps. “Maybe ten or fifteen minutes. It’s coming kind of quickly.”
The creature looms in the distance, but now with more of a grasp on it, Eryk can see just how massive the sky mollusk is.
And how tiny he is in comparison.
A battle is about to begin.