Fortune smiled on my village during the night. I had feared with the creation of the wall, we would alert something hostile to our presence. When I woke in the morning, no alarm had been raised and everyone got a decent night’s sleep in the new cabins. That was all the report I needed as I teleported up to the Immigration Gate.
Munching on some cold jerky, I waited for the timer to end. With the Gate activating every twelve hours, I was able to divvy up my day easily enough. For the first half, I planned to gather resources. Which mainly implied that I would be cutting down trees with Spatial Tear. I also wanted to check out the mining and quarry nodes. If I could speed that up even a little, it would help out greatly.
“Could really use a mana stone,” I mumbled tearing a piece from the jerky. I knew that jerky was the most common travel food in this world. Rowena had several inventory slots worth since it was so cheap in the city. Still, I wanted something with a bit more taste. The meat soup that the village served every meal right now was good, but again after four meals of it, I had wanted a change hence the jerky. In this case, I decided I would have preferred the soup.
A lot of the buildings that I wanted to construct required mana stones. I had a feeling that was due to the nature of Magic-Works. One of the cons, as it were. I had discussed it with Rowena this morning, but like she said yesterday, she wasn’t too familiar with the lord and village building mechanics of the game.
The Gate started to activate as I took my last bite of the jerky. I stood up from the boulder I was sitting on and walked over to welcome the newest members of our community. There were only three portals this time. Two women and a man. When I asked their stories, they were much the same as the last group. Mainly consisting of wanting to leave their current location or lot in life. Either way, I welcomed them before teleporting us down to the plaza as I was starting to consider it. I directed them to get some food and help out where they could.
“Welcome back,” Rowena called as I watched the group leave.
“Thanks. Only three this time. The Gate appears random.”
“What can you do?” she replied with a shrug. “Just be glad we are getting new members at all. Twenty-five would have made this whole operation nearly impossible.”
I chuckled and nodded in agreement. “I’m going to head over and start cutting trees down. Are you going to commune?”
“Yes. I can sense when a place will work. Luckily, there are a few inside the wall, so I don’t have to be quite on edge today.”
“Don’t forget about him,” I remarked pointing to the giant blue bird that was casting a shadow over us. Greavefeathers was seemingly enjoying his freedom from the cave.
“Yeah. He will make things so much easier for me.” She left waving as she did so. I turned toward the area where we were cutting trees down yesterday. The workers were standing by with their tools. Looking closely at the items, I saw they were quite beaten up. A few more days and they would be nothing more than trash. The blacksmith was moved to the top of my priority list. Sadly, it also required a mana stone.
I nodded to the workers before beginning my work. Soon, the sound of trees falling continuous echoed through the area. I had a lot more mana to play with even after the two teleports this morning. In no time, there were nearly a hundred trees downed and ready to be processed.
“I’ll be heading to the iron nodes. Try not to overdo it with the tools,” I ordered the workers and they saluted. I moved off back toward the village than along the mountain face. A few minutes later brought me to an open pit area. The greyish white stone that was acquired for the village made up the walls. The ten workers were hammering away at the wall to carve out a chunk that then had to be transported up the incline. Every aspect of the work was back breaking.
Watching the unofficial quarry at work, I tried to figure out how I might help. Players could place the blocks in their inventory, but that was only after it had been removed from the quarry. Since the quarry was in my territory, the blocks didn’t have to be moved from there in the first place. Meaning that fact was useless.
My Spatial Tear spell might be able to speed up the process of cutting the blocks from the wall much like the trees. As I didn’t know the first thing about actually quarrying stone from the earth, I had to assume some game logic went into the ability for the workers to just cut the sides to then be able to harvest the stone.
Looking up from the quarry, the iron mine was literally right next to the pit. It was a stretch to call it a cave, but a small indent on the mountain was playing host to several workers. Outcroppings of grey stone were being worked over with pickaxes. The dropped ore was then collected in sacks.
I looked between the two jobs then pulled up my construction menu. Everything that I could build required just about even stone and metal. The deciding factor for me finally came down to the tools. My people’s gear was slowly but surely degrading. When Rowena and I went hunting later today, I planned to hit up the Gergs. If we netted even one magic stone, it would be going toward a smithy.
With my decision made, I walked over to the indent. When I reached it, a ntoificaiton snapped into my view that declared this a mineral rich location and would be ideal for a mine. Iron might just be the surface mineral. If we got a mine going and upgraded it enough, other metals might be found deeper in. I swiped it away and took a closer look.
There were at least twenty outcroppings of the grey-ore just on the surface. I motioned for the workers to clear a few then aimed carefully. I didn’t want a repeat of the tree. There was a good chance the ore deposit might explode or something. When everyone was clear, I used my spell and the tear ripped through the ore. The material did go everywhere, but not as violently as I feared.
I checked the deposit but failed to get any sort of reading on it. “Does anyone have the ability to see how much is left?” I asked the workers.
“I do, my liege,” A young man, well young for a dark elf, stepped forward. He made his way to the ore deposit and almost seemed to glare at it. Maybe he was near-sighted. “There is ninety-seven percent left in it.”
“And about how much did I harvest?”
He checked the site quickly. “About four units worth.”
“Final question, is that good or bad?” I’d rather not waste my mana on it if I wasn’t getting results.
“Very good. It takes us about thirty minutes to get that many units individually.”
“Really?!” I mean. Trees were one thing. Once you felled them, they gave a set number of units after processing. But to be able to get so many units with one spell. That really felt like cheating to me.
“If we had a mine, this amount would be just a drop in the ocean,” the elf said shaking his head. That was when I had a horrible feeling. I quickly opened up the construction menu. The buildings had levels but it only showed me the level one construction fee. I moved over to the wall and manor that I had constructed.
Manor Level 2 – 200 Wood, 400 Stone, 750 Metal, 4,250 Mana, 4 Mana Stones
Wall Level 2 – 50 Wood, 500 Stone, 1,000 Metal, 7,500 Mana, 10 Mana Stones
I sucked in a deep breath realizing just how expensive it was going to get. Resource production was going to be a very important investment going forward. I really needed to find a sustainable way to get mana stones. Perhaps there was a way to create them. Alchemy perhaps?
Since the thoughts weren’t helping me at the moment, I cleared them away and focused on the iron outcropping. We needed every drop of resource we could, I pointed at the ore and started blasting it with my Spatial Tear. I had four hours devoted to resource gathering. After that, it was leveling and hunting. More importantly, it was mana stone hunting.
Rowena came to find me when it was time to head out. In the four hours, during which I spent some time in the quarry as well, I managed to gather, with the help of the workers, just about seven hundred units each. Couple with the nearly thousand units of wood, I would have thought the day was going excellent had I not checked the next level values.
Either way, it was time to head into the forest for a bit of hunting. First, however, we stopped by the village and grabbed a bite to eat. After having jerky for breakfast, I was not inclined to enjoy it for lunch as well. While I drank my soup, I checked what food options there were. There were a few options that needed a few other buildings to operate correctly.
The restaurant, for example, worked best if there was at least one processing building in the village such as a butchery or bakery. For now though, I settled on and constructed a Kitchen. It brought to mind a soup kitchen from Earth, but it suited our needs and followed out current eating habits. Plus, they could take what few food resources we had and start experimenting to unlock dishes. I assigned a Miss Freida Orfen to the cook job. She had already gained the skills while cooking for the settlement this entire time.
“You ready?” Rowena asked after we returned our cutlery to the basin where all the dirty dishes were being gathered.
“Yeah. Let’s get some mana stones,” I exclaimed punching my palm in excitement.
“Don’t get those hopes too high. These monsters have a chance to drop them, but that doesn’t mean they will.”
I waved her off. “I’d rather have high hopes then go in expecting nothing.”
She chuckled before she turned and led the way. This would be the furthest from the village we’d ever gone. After today, when we went hunting, I planned to teleport us to a starting point to save some time. Even just five kilometers of forest was time consuming to cross. The further out we ranged, the longer it would take to travel.
Rowena held up her hand and motioned for me to crouch as she did so herself. “There,” she whispered pointing through the trees. We were still a good distance from the pack, but I could understand her caution. These beasts had obvious guards posted around what appeared to be several deer carcasses. A few of them ate at a time and even with the blood in the air, they didn’t frenzy.
“This is going to be challenging,” I commented but inside I was actually excited. This hunt would elevate my village further. I just knew it. That meant I had to succeed. Looking around, all the trees were old and thick. The branches were easily large enough to support a grown man… elf. The only problem was how to get up there without being eaten alive.
“Greavefeather will handle about half the pack. We just need to deal with the other half until he’s done.”
“You got some ear plugs?” I asked. She pulled out what looked like a jar of honey. I noticed that it was sap from a few of the trees around the village.
“Not going to last long or feel great, but it will do the trick.”
I nodded then pointed to a branch above the wolves. “I’m going to teleport up there. If my new spell doesn’t work, we’ll make a break for it.” These wolves were in the teens. I was only sporting level seven while Rowena was eleven. It would be too dangerous to engage without a strong advantage.
“Alright. I’ll keep watch.”
I nodded then focused on my targeted branch. Casting my spell, I was soon standing on the branch. The usual few centimeter drop happened, but I was a pro by this point. I reached out and grabbed a branch with either hand and steadied myself. My actions didn’t go unnoticed though as barking and growling echoed up at me.
“Bad dogs!” I shouted down at the Gergs. It would appear they understood my language or at least that I was insulting them as they grew even more furious. I took a deep breath then used my new spell, Void Discourse. I felt something click in my head and started talking about whatever. Even though I was speaking of the weather, the wolves below began to go crazy.
At first it was whimpers of pain while they rolled around in the dirt as if trying to get something off them. Then they began to attack each other. Blood, fur, and soon guts started flying all over the clearing. With a pack of twenty, the fighting looked furious and beyond violent.
I decided to try my luck and used Spatial Tear while keeping Discourse going. The mana cost nearly tripled but the Tear in space that leapt from my hand was two or three times as big. It tore through three of the wolves before it lost its power. I gulped at the increase in power. Wow.
Two minutes and most of my mana later, the wolf pack was mostly dead. A few of the beasts had managed to avoid death when they suffered an injury that was more or less fatal and they were thus ignored by the still strong members. Rowena walked into the bloody scene and whistled. “This just looks gruesome.”
“Yeah. I didn’t quite expect them to go that insane.” I had been thinking it would be something like a slight confusion or a deliriousness. Not full-blown murder rage. Rowena walked through the pack checking each of the injured beasts for something.
“This one,” she said finally. I walked over and saw that it was the alpha of the pack. He had lasted the longest and had only succumbed when I struck him with a triple-powered Spatial Tear. Even with that, he managed to survive.
“What about him?” I asked curiously.
She didn’t answer as a stream of smoke came from her hand and washed around the wolf. I recognized it as the binding magic she used with Greavefeather. She didn’t even have to convince the wolf as he shifted his head and then was sucked into her hand. When the smoke vanished, she made a fist. “And that’s all my slots until a higher level.”
“Congratz,” I said giving her a high-five. We spent the next few minutes looting the monsters. I was soon giddy with excitement. The hunt had yielded three magic stones! That had only been the first encounter of the afternoon. We fought three more groups of monsters and netted a total of seven magic stones. After my mana recovered a bit, I grabbed Rowena’s arm and teleported us back to the village.