The Primal Hunter



Chapter 318 - Treasure Hunt: Spatial Storage & Parting


A note from Zogarth

This: - Did you know you can Boost! once a week and that it helps the author? Pretty cool.

And as always, have a great weekend. The last before Christmas!

”I want the staff.”

The moment the kind people who gave them stuff were gone, the elemental mage spoke up.

”Didn’t you already swipe the loot from that asshole earlier?” the shadow assassin said with an accusatory tone, adding on. ”Also, could I perhaps see that mask one more time?”

”The guy didn’t have much, man, just a big fucking rock collection. Shiny rocks, sure, but ya ain’t gonna take an old man’s rocks, are ya?” the elemental mage guilt-tripped the rogue. ”Unless ya really want it?”

The last part was spoken towards Jake. He just shrugged. ”Keep it. But… can you even use the staff?”

Jake summoned it from his inventory to check himself and saw the level requirement on the staff as well as giving it one more look-over.

[Staff of Elemental Confluence (Ancient)] – A wooden staff with a mounted gem at its head. The gem is a merged product of the orbs of powerful earth, air, fire, and water elementals, condensed into a single gem amplifying all elemental magic. The wood is likewise a merging of different elemental-affinity woods and is enchanted to be durable and further amplify the user’s mental abilities and casting capabilities. The gem passively absorbs fire, water, earth, and air-affinity mana, and this stored mana can either be used as a supplementary mana reserve or released all at once as a quad-elemental blast. Enchantments: Elemental Confluence. Quad-element blast.
Requirements: lvl 125+ in any humanoid race.

Jake didn’t have any need for it himself. Could he possibly find a use for it? Probably. As far he knew, every single human was bound to have at least one of the four elemental affinities, if not several of them. However, Jake had his arcane magic, and that was good enough.

He then compared the staff’s level requirement to the elemental mage who was standing there and admiring it.

[Human – lvl 118]

”Dude, he’s right; you can’t even use it,” the shadow assassin very accurately pointed out.

“So? I will be able to soon. Why do you want it or what? You know what, you can have it, but only if I can shove it up your arse,” the elemental mage shot back.

“Fuck off, I’m just saying,” the assassin shrugged dismissively.

“Ya lucky I’m not as petty. I fully support giving this bastard the mask to cover up his ugly mug,” the mage said.

“Oh yeah, real mature. At least I can actually put it on. What do you plan on using the staff for? A walking stick?” the rogue fired back.

Jake had also summoned the mask and checked that again too.

[Mask of Shifting Faces (Epic)] – A mask created to change the wearer’s appearance. Allows the user to store a set number of humanoid appearances that can be freely changed between. This is an illusionary technique and not actual morphing. Changing appearance will also hide the user’s mana signature and aura. This effect can also be applied without changing appearance. The mask itself is incredibly durable. Enchantments: Appearance Change. Presence Masking.
Requirements: lvl 115+ in any humanoid race

Both the staff and mask were interesting, and especially the mask surely played with some interesting concepts to allow someone to change the appearance and even hide or change their presence. Not that Jake wanted it. His mask was already infinitely better, even if it did probably have a Unique Lifeform slumbering within that may or may not cause issues in the future.

Jake just stood back, ignoring the two men who kept acting rather childish as he checked out the stuff. He exchanged a glance with the rogue woman, who just sighed. The two mature men kept arguing for a while before she finally cut in.

“As I mentioned before, I didn’t contribute much, so I’m leaving now,” she said, getting the attention of the two bickering men.

“Now ya making me feel bad, lass,” the elemental mage said, scratching his beard in embarrassment.

Jake decided to finally make his own position known. “I am fine with giving the staff and mask to you two, and I assume you are fine with me keeping the cube?”

He got nods from both of them.

“Great,” Jake said as he took out an item. It was a ring he had previously held in his normal storage on his neck. Newly acquired from the healer guy and not something from the Treasure Hunt. One had to remember that while he got the stuff from the Insignia from all those who fled, he got everything from those who died.

Well, besides what he broke. Jake’s arcane-affinity liked to destroy stuff, so a lot of defensive gear was broken, and of course, all Soulbound items were lost. But he had still gained a lot, the ring one of them.

“Since I get the cube, take this,” Jake said as he tossed the woman a ring.

[Protective Spatial Ring (Rare)] – A ring created from a very durable metal by a very talented crafter from the newly initiated 93rd Universe. The ring has been affixed with a gem with powerful space-affinity mana that has been transformed into a spatial storage. All items within the storage are frozen in time. Latent space-affinity energy not consumed by the storage can be activated to create a temporary barrier of space-affinity mana around the wearer. Enchantments: Spatial Storage. Protective Barrier.
Requirements: lvl 110+ in any humanoid race.

Jake had noticed that the woman wielded her blades at her hips and didn’t appear to have any storage. She probably had a skill for her smithing-related stuff, but not for everyday one. Jake was also fully aware that spatial storage items were quite hard to get for those unaffiliated with larger cities or factions too.

Making a storage item wasn’t actually that difficult. Jake had heard that even Neil could do it, despite not being very talented at creating equipment. The system was very happy offering skills specifically made to create those storages and gave it out left and right. Heck, Jake had a feeling that if he really tried, he could get it offered to become able to create spatial storage items the next time he could choose a profession-skill.

However, like elixirs, it required one to at least be D-grade to make them. Additionally, the required materials and ingredients weren’t that easily acquired, and even with the System Store, the demand simply outweighed the supply by magnitudes. Who wouldn’t want spatial storage, after all? Shit was just so damn convenient.

With how factions worked, they naturally prioritized themselves first. As an example, the first spatial storage Neil crafted was given to Miranda because she was the City Lord, so for the healer-guy to also have a spatial storage only made sense. Naturally, Jake didn’t need it, hence why he handed it off to the rogue so she would at least get something.

“I can’t take this,” she said after looking it over and realizing it wasn’t even from the Treasure Hunt.

“Too bad because it’s yours now,” Jake waved her off.

“If ya don’t want it, I can take it?” the elemental mage happily offered.

It was entirely possible he didn’t have a storage either. Jake had seen the man summon a staff out of thin air, but that might have been from a skill and not a storage. As for the shadow assassin, Jake had seen him summon a chair at one point, so he had one for sure, which again only made sense as he was from the Court of Shadows, and as far as Jake could tell, not an insignificant member either.

“Fine,” the woman relented, clearly wanting it from the beginning. Seriously, who wouldn’t like a spatial storage? She bound the item and put her two swords in it, happily seeing it work. After that, they distributed the staff and mask to the elemental mage and shadow assassin, respectively. As for the seven rare items, they also distributed those evenly. Jake, the shadow assassin, and the elemental mage got two each, with the last one going to the rogue. She didn’t even try to argue that one.

Jake himself claimed the Rubik’s cube, also known as the space-magic box. He identified it again as the three others admired their own newly acquired items.

[Safebox of Perrinial Sustainability (Legendary)] – A cube containing a spatial storage within, specially made to store items of high value safely. The cube can be manipulated and a password set. Due to the construction of the cube, it is near-indestructible by anyone below S-grade, and if the item is destroyed, a space storm will be released. The time of all items will be frozen within, and mana leakage will be severely alleviated. Mana leakage is nullified entirely for lower-value goods. The difficulty of the password is determined by the user.

He had to admit he wasn’t entirely sure what to use it for personally. It was a spatial storage no doubt better than anything else he had and was nearly indestructible. The thing is, Jake’s necklace already did all he wanted… but that didn’t mean the cube would be useless because items like this did have value.

Now, one may ask, why not just use normal spatial equipment like the ring or his necklace over the cube? The reason for that was actually simple: all of those were bound to the user. The thing about spatial tools was that things always got a bit dicey when it came to sharing stuff. Personal spatial storages were incredibly hard to switch around, and often the only way to get it off someone would be to kill them as Jake had done with the healer. Unbinding them wasn’t like usual magic tools, but it often took a long time - way too long for it to be convenient.

Yet, there were many situations where one might want a shared spatial storage that didn’t rely on a single person acting as a bank. The person acting as the bank had to be powerful and able to keep things safe and be easily accessible at all times if someone needed anything. To put it simply, it was highly impractical. One could say that the way Haven did things currently, with Lillian acting as the bank most of the time, they were conducting themselves in a highly insecure way. It put both her and anything she carried at risk.

That is where something like the cube came in. The cube wasn’t a piece of equipment but an unbound item. It was one opened simply through a puzzle of some sort and not through owning the item. This meant several people could unlock it and use it at the same time. At the same time, Jake had a feeling the actual password one could set would be borderline impossible to solve for most anyone. Because when Jake twisted the cube in his hand, he saw that it had changed slightly.

While it was still fifteen by fifteen by fifteen as he held it, he felt that he could change it. Not just through some subtle manipulation, either. For when he poured a bit of mana in, a screen appeared before him:

Welcome to the default menu of the Safebox.

Options available:

1. Choose a compartment to access.

2. Choose cube composition.

3: Choose password layout.

4. Claim Administrator role (once an Administrator is set, only the Administrator can assign others with the role. If the Administrator dies, a new one can be assigned after (please set time) amount of time).

Jake stared at the options for a bit. It wasn’t a system message, but ones directly given by the item. It was also a message only he could see based on no one else reacting. So, without further ado, he claimed the Administrator role.

After that, Jake just looked it over a bit more before tossing it into the Hunter Insignia. He knew he could play around with the box a lot but now wasn’t the time or place. Also, he kind of wanted Miranda and Lillian present. Based on how the cube worked, it likely wouldn’t be Jake using it much in the future. It seemed like this item could serve as Haven’s vault of sorts after the Hunt.

He also saw that the others had put away their items. The rogue now stood without her swords out but everything in her new ring. The elemental mage had put away the staff somewhere, with the shadow assassin now wearing his mask. Jake looked at the guy and saw he now looked exactly like the elemental mage at first glance.

”Oh no, which of you are the right person!?” Jake exclaimed with fake confusion. He looked at the shadow assassin and squinted his eyes a bit as he saw the flaws in the illusion, courtesy of his high perception. Well, he also had his sphere and instincts telling him the guy was faking it, so he really wasn’t gonna fool Jake.

”Ya daft cunts will neva figure it out!” the assassin yelled, trying to sound like the elemental mage.

The elemental mage responded by flinging a fireball after the guy.

”Whose the daft cunt now, eh? Come in, little shadow boy, use your fire magic!”

Jake chuckled a bit beneath his mask as the assassin dropped the illusion and laughed himself. ”Anyway, it works quite well, eh?”

”As long as you shut up, I guess it does,” the rogue answered back.

The three of them stayed to talk a bit more before the time finally came to part. They had spent over a full day together, just chatting and solving puzzles. If there was anything those escape rooms back before the system had demonstrated well, it was that these puzzle-solving events were great bonding experiences.

”What do you guys plan on doing now?” Jake asked them.

”Heading back to the Court,” the shadow assassin answered first. ”I got a message the moment we solved the puzzle about a new rendezvous point, so I’m going there to check up on things and report in.”

”I’ll just keep exploring as before,” the rogue answered with a shrug.

”Ay, me too. We should team up lass; two is better than one and all that. Also, it’s way fucking easier to cast spells when things aren’t chasing or hitting me,” the elemental mage said.

”Sure,” she agreed without hesitation.

”I’ll head out too,” Jake finally said. ”More Vaults to open, puzzles to solve, and things to kill. You know the deal.”

”Before ya go, I been wondering… that city of yours still looking for fresh meat? Ya know, recruiting?” the elemental mage ended up asking. ”I usually just drift around, ya know? Figured I could stop by.”

”Not sure recruiting is the best word, but sure, just stop by. Just ask for me if you ever make it,” Jake agreed.

”Nice,” the mage smiled. ”Name’s Roman, by the way.”

That is when Jake noticed an oddity… throughout it all, they had never exchanged names. Jake had never volunteered his as sharing names just wasn’t that usual. The shadow assassin guy hadn’t either, likely out of habit, and besides that, it just never came up. They had just been too busy.

”I’m Jake,” he responded. He felt close enough with these people to share his name, and he couldn’t really see any harm in it. In fact, he had a feeling the shadow assassin likely already knew or could easily find out from Caleb or the Court of Shadows.

”We don’t really use names much in the Court, so everyone just calls me KL,” the shadow assassin called KL shared.

”Felicia,” the rogue woman answered before also asking. ”Would it be fine if I also came by Haven?”

”Sure,” Jake once more answered. ”I’m not really in charge of stuff like that, but just ask for me when you come by, and things should be all fine and dandy.”

She nodded with a smile as the four of them stood there for a bit.

”Take care, people,” Jake finally said in farewell.

”Don’t die!” the elemental mage chuckled to them as he headed off with the rogue.

The shadow assassin stayed behind as he looked at Jake. ”Want me to give any message to the Judge or something?”

He was clearly aware Caleb was his brother – again, not a secret – so Jake just answered.

”Nah, I’ll see him soon anyway. See you around,” Jake answered as he waved to the people in the distance and the assassin both. He got a big wave from Roman, and a more muted one from Felicia as the assassin KL nodded in acknowledgment.

With that, Jake turned around as he headed onwards to open more Vaults and get some more of that good shit – better known as loot.

A note from Zogarth

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