“Miasma  Miasma is a dense concentration of negative energy and dark magic. As a Relic Meister you have limited resistance to this. In addition, you can purify small amounts of miasma - converting it into mana. Large amounts of miasma can be poisonous--even fatal.”
Takuma stared at the alert for a few seconds attempting to process why it suddenly appeared. Normally tutorial alerts only appeared when prompted by some sort of action. Was he currently in a miasma dense area?
“Is there something I can help you with?” A young woman with long blonde hair and beautiful blue eyes asked as she came around the counter. She was dressed in a blue dress which ended just above her knees,a leather belt, a blue vest which matched the color of her dress, a white short sleeved undershirt and calf high leather boots. Her blonde hair stretched down to the middle of her back and was done in a simple, neat ponytail bound by a baby blue string.
“Oh.” Takuma replied, he was caught off guard somewhat as a feeling of intimidation creeped over him. The sight of so many cursed items had completely jarred him and he feared his reaction warranted suspicion.
“Yes, I have some items I’d like to sell. But, I’d like to take a look around first.” Takuma said, attempting to recover from his strange reaction.
The twenty something year old woman simply smiled and nodded before returning to her place behind the counter. A bead of sweat had already formed along Takuma’s brow and he could feel the woman’s eyes on him as he moved around the store.
“This is ridiculous.” He whispered to himself as he walked over to the nearest display case. The items were laid out on what appeared to be silk pillows and arranged for optimal viewing. There were many items in each display case, sometimes as many as a dozen. All items were enclosed behind thick glass, no doubt to prevent theft. If Takuma had to guess they were probably protected by enchantments as well.
Brass Bangle(Quality : 35) [Cursed Rank 1] [Armament] - A poorly crafted brass accessory.
Curse Effect: Stamina Sap - Slow stamina recovery by 3x. Bless Chance: -300%
Curse Duration: Constant
Mana Rewarded: 25
Experience Rewarded: 5
Secondary Effect :N/A
As Takuma inspected the Brass Bangle he noticed quite a few things. First was the color of the aura surrounding the item. He remembered a new listing in his Lore menu that described ‘Curse Ranks’.
“0.11 Curse Ranks - There are seven ranks of curses each more potent than the last. Grey (the least dangerous) and Black (the most deadly).”
This must be what the entry referred to. A faint grey aura surrounded the item, no doubt indicating the Curse Rank of 1. Next to the Bangle was another accessory, a small copper ring and he noticed a green aura encompassing it.
Copper Ring(Quality : 23) [Cursed Rank 3] [Armament] - A ring you’d find anywhere. Perfect for minor enchantments.
Curse Effect: Archer’s Bane - Arrows and other projectiles will veer from their intended target occasionally by 3 to 9 degrees.
Curse Duration: 30% Activation Chance
Mana Rewarded: 50
Experience Rewarded: 5
Secondary Effect :N/A
After a minute or two of viewing nearby items Takuma felt the Curse Ranks went a little something like this; Grey Rank 1, Yellow Rank 2, Green Rank 3, Orange Rank 4, Red Rank 5.
The final two ranks he couldn’t be certain of, he knew only that they existed. Thinking back to the Goddess Statue he felt that a black aura might be one of the most powerful. Considering that a rank four cursed item rendered him bedridden and nearly became fatal, Takuma felt his survival a small miracle in itself. It wasn’t a stretch to believe that a statue which could trigger lightning strikes might be insanely corrupted by curses and therefore among the missing ranks. He made a mental note to return and inspect the statue later on now that his appraisal was more advanced.
Of the sixty something cursed items in the general shop Takuma noticed that most were between rank one and three. In addition to this there were quite a few items with a white outline, when he looked at these the information was normal - a simple name and description. What’s more he noticed a new addition to the information displayed as well
Simple Dagger(Quality : 65) [Armament] - A used dagger. Still sharp enough for its purpose.
The last line of the description, “non-equippable”. Takuma vaguely remembered learning about this during a tutorial prompt the day prior.
“Relic Meisters can only equip relics hmm?” He thought to himself. He wondered what could be considered a relic? If he had to guess the answer would be cursed items. He then remembered that he’d already obtained his very first relic. He’d been so happy to get rid of the curse effects that he forgot to check out the purified Goddess Amulet!
He turned his back towards the counter of the shop and opened his Inventory menu. There were three slots for equippable items on this screen along with a visual display of all items in Takuma’s current possession.
Goddess Amulet (Quality : 321) [Bless Rank 4] [Armament] - An amulet crafted by those faithful to the Goddess. Imparts powerful protection to the wearer.
Blessing Effect: Blight Absorption - Each negative ailment or magical effect received will allow the user to build a matching resistance.
Activation : 50% Chance on Effect
Secondary Effect : Goddess Aura - Create an aura of protection around the user for a short time.
“This is...really nice if I understand this properly.” Takuma mouthed to himself, covering the lower half of his face as he read the description. The amulet’s ability would allow him to build resistance to magic and status ailments he was afflicted with. He hovered over the Amulet, hoping for additional info. He was pleasantly surprised when a new tooltip appeared with additional information.”
“Lesser Miasma Resistance - 5%”
This was the only current resistance the item had listed.
“Lesser Miasma Resistance - 6%”
“Is that from being in this room?” Takuma wondered. He thought back to yesterday as the thick orange fog filled the room during his purification attempt. If he had to guess, that was definitely a type of miasma.
“Rank four miasma.” He whispered as sudden realization dawned upon him.
“Um--excuse me. If you’re not going to buy…” The shopkeeper’s voice rang out across the store. It seems all of his mumbling had an adverse effect.
“Oh, I’m sorry. Yes, I have a few things to sell. Then I’d like to buy some things.” Takuma said with a start before walking towards the counter. He pulled each item out of his inventory and placed them before the blue eyed woman. She was very pretty however Takuma couldn’t help but notice something strange. Her skin was smooth and fair, but her face looked drained. She was almost as white as a sheet.
He noticed a faint blue color to her skin as well, suggesting that perhaps she was currently sick. The longer he stared at her the more a foreboding feeling began to overcome him. It was a strange, familiar sensation though he couldn’t quite place it.
“It’s not often that we see someone with storage magic. That’s really rare!” The young woman said as she handled Takuma’s wares. The uncomfortable sensation had now become more defined for Takuma. It was as if the hairs on his neck had begun to stand on end and he could feel his blood beginning to run cold.
“I’m Takuma.” He asked, extending his hand to shake. The shopkeep seemed caught off guard but she smiled and nodded.
“Excuse me. My manners are shot. I’m Dorothy Hemsbrook. You can call me Dot.” Dot said as she accepted Takuma’s introduction and handshake. And that’s when he felt it--the same sick sensation as the cursed amulet. It was just for a moment -- the cold, oppressive feeling traveled up his forearm and settled on his chest. Takuma carefully watched Dot’s face for a reaction but she seemed oblivious.
“Are all of these items….causing her to be sick?” Takuma’s mind wandered as he looked at the nearby display case.
“+1 Mana.” The alert appeared again. Takuma was now sure of it. Though he couldn’t see it with his eyes, this area must have trace amounts of miasma within it. It made sense considering the staggering number of cursed items in the store, they had to be giving off a decent amount of miasma on their own.
Takuma wasn't particularly a sucker for a pretty woman but he felt inclined to do something about the situation. It wasn’t as if he could pass up experience and the risks were non-existent as long as he made sure to use Partial Purification effectively. The only question was how would he be able to gain access to all of the cursed items? As a newbie adventurer there was no practical way he could afford to buy and purify all of the items in the store. Perhaps befriending her would work in his favor.
“You have some really nice items to sell. Especially these potions, are you sure you want to sell these?” Dot asked as she lifted one of the small vials, the red liquid sloshed to and fro. This one was a Vitality Potion whipped up by Chloe and while Takuma wanted to hold onto it, he felt the best start to his adventure would be to quickly collect some coin.
“Oh-- yes. I’m sure.” He remarked as her question pulled him back to his senses.
After a few more moments Dot then said, “ That will come up to 350 silvers. In truth, these things are worth much more but it’s all I can afford right now. I also don’t have any gold coins, just silvers and coppers. Is that okay?” Dot explained, her smile seemed pleasant but forced.
Something about the contrast of her smile and her sickly “aura” rubbed Takuma the wrong way. He didn’t see an aura surrounding her as he did with the items, but rather she “felt” like an ill person. Terminally ill, he thought, based on some of his past experiences.
“That’s fine. Thank you Dot. Say.. I was wondering.” Takuma began as he took the small pouch of coins from her, “ Could I perhaps take up the difference in one or two items of equal value from the store?” It was a risky proposition but there were a few things Takuma wanted to test for himself now that he had a better idea of how purifying curses worked.
After a moment of thought Dot sighed and a few seconds later she agreed. She didn’t seem too keen on the idea but ultimately Takuma assumed she wanted to cultivate a new customer for future sales. She’d proven herself to be flexible which in turn would prove useful later on.
“Which ones did you have in mind? Depending on the price and the item, we can come to an arrangement.”
Takuma pointed out two relics he’d noticed just minutes before. One was a rank three cursed ring, the other a rank two cursed cloak.
“Are you sure? These don’t cost very much. It still wouldn’t be a fair trade.” Dot asked. With that in mind Takuma pointed to another rank 3 item. He wasn’t entirely sure what the item was, after all he could read the description but that wasn’t of much help.
Dream Gourd(Quality : 222) [Cursed Rank 3] [Type Zero] - A magical tool said to trap nightmares.
Curse Effect: Sandman - Restful sleep only lasts two hours.
Curse Duration: 15 days.
Mana Rewarded: 325
Experience Rewarded: 125
Secondary Effect : Lullaby - Inflict Slumber (Lvl 2 Sleep) on any within a three meter radius.
Uses : 5
“By the Goddess.” Takuma thought to himself. “Only being able to sleep in two hour increments for fifteen days? These curses are just evil.”
“Okay, that works.” Dot said with a nod as she pulled all three items from the display case and bought them to the counter. Takuma got the distinct impression that Dot’s mood lightened. Perhaps she thought he would go for more expensive items. Luckily “worth” is relative. These three items would allow Takuma to learn more about his capabilities as a Relic Meister.
“Oh, no need to package them.” Takuma said, instead he took the items from her and placed them directly into his inventory.
“Thank you. Have a nice day.” Takuma said, nodding his head as he turned to leave the shop.
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- Fantasy Writer
I've been on the fence for a while about creating a profile here. With that said, I obviously gave it a try! My genre of preference is fantasy. Within that genre I like to explore 'Isekai','System', 'LitRPG' , 'Horror', 'Magic' and 'High Fantasy' sub genres usually -- preferably a mix of one or more sub genres at any given time.
My focus is story telling as a priority and I like focusing on unique ideas or original spins on popular concepts.