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Chapter 004
The restrictions




Ren could only spend a few hours a day logged into Flow due to his health, but he didn’t mind, the doctor had said that if he can improve his health he’ll let him spend more time in game which perked up Ren’s eagerness to attend the rehabilitation sessions to build up his physical strength to a normal level. The nurses were delighted as well having never seen Ren so happy before though they did scold him a little after he logged out for the first time, telling him to stay away from the clinging assistant women he met when he first logged in. He doubted he would see her again anyway as he settled into his bed and slipped his V.R helmet on.



“Flow Login Start.”



The login was quicker than last time now, perhaps because the system had adjusted to his brainwave patterns or some such he figured as he found himself standing in the street of the artesian district, as soon as he took his first step his stomach growled and a small indicator appeared in his vision showing his character’s hunger level was almost empty. He hadn’t touched his starter items yet and quickly summoned his inventory “Open inventory.”



A window popped up before him and he selected one of ten bread rolls he’d started with, shoving it in his mouth and chewing as he scrolled through his inventory to see what he’d actually started with.




Inventory
Coin Pouch (60c/0s/0g/0p)
9 Bread Rolls
Water skin (100% Full)
Crude Iron Dagger
Set of basic villager clothes (equipped)




“That’s it huh… hmm there are four different coins? Show coin pouch inventory.”




Coin Pouch

This is your basic coin pouch, it holds no protective enchantments to prevent theft, coins will automatically change to the next grade when enough are collected

60 Copper
0 Silver
0 Gold
0 Platinum






“Hmm.. if it’s anything like other games it’ll be 100 of the previous coin to make a single coin of the next grade, if it goes into a coin past gold then I guess things will get pretty expensive in time.



Closing the windows he looked around the street, he could see a few people that looked like players but it still seemed the artesian district was being rather ignored by most. With a shrug he decided to head for the smithy to see if he could learn a bit from there.



Upon entering the forge he was greeted by a large burly man wearing only pants gloves and a heavy duty apron “Oi kid, don’t be poking your nose around me forge, you’ll burn yourself.”



“Ah, sorry sir.. I didn’t mean to get in your way.. I was actually hoping that you might have time to teach me a little about using a forge?”



The man gave a grunt and looked Ren over for a moment “No chance kid, you’d barely be able to lift a hammer let alone swing it enough times to forge a blade.”



Ren felt his anger rise at this “First of all I’m not a kid, I’m Ren and I’m an elfling, second of all don’t you think it’s rude to base someone’s abilities just from a glance?”



The smith’s brow rose at the sudden outburst “That may be so kid, but this is my forge and what I say goes.”

At his words a window appeared before Ren




Attention!

Higher affinity with the artisan district npc’s is required for this quest.






Ren sighed at this and politely excused himself from the smiths forge and stepped back out into the street “Guess I need to find one of the other workshops to get a quest and raise my intimacy with the local npc’s.”



He spent the next hour roaming the street, poking his head into various workshops from which all he still received the message that he wasn’t liked enough until he came upon the apothecary. He stepped upto the counter with a smile and introduced himself to the man that sat behind it grinding herbs with a mortar and pestle “Hello sir, my names Ren, I’ve just recently arrived in this city and I’ve been going door to door hoping to pick up some odd jobs to earn a few coppers and maybe pick up some skills along the way.”



The old man at the counter pushed up his glasses to glance down at Ren “Ho oh, is that so young man? It’s good to see the young ones being pro active in seeking out a living, even more so to be looking for proper work in the city rather than those that go gallivanting around the country looking for adventure and getting themselves killed in the process. It just so happens that I could use the help of strapping young lad like yourself, I’ve an order of  healing potions I need to get made before the end of the day but I’m nearly out of one of the herbs I need, if you can go out and gather twenty of them for me I’d be much obliged.”




Quest!

The old man in the apothecary needs herbs to finish making his potions

Difficulty – F

Requirements

Collect twenty of them and deliver them to him before the end of the day
Bonus rewards may be gained if you deliver more than the requested amount

Rewards
50xp
15 Copper
Affinity gain with the artisan district npc’s






Ren nodded happily “I’d be glad to assist you sir, could you show me what the herb looks like and where I might find them?”

The old man nodded and picked up a small bundle of herbs handing him a small almost weed like plant from it “Take this one with you so you can recognise it, they grow often around the base of the trees in the open plains just outside the west gate of the city, be careful not to wander into the forest though lad, I hear wolfs often lurk along the tree line waiting for easy prey to get close enough.”



Ren took the herb and examined it closely before putting it in his inventory and nodded to the old man’s words “I’ll be careful sir, I’ll be back soon.” He smiles and waves before heading out into the street and dashes off to the west gate.



The western plains were packed with players hunting the beginner level rabbits and foxes, Ren though wasn’t interested in combat just yet and since the rabbits and foxes only attacked if you hit them it was a safe zone for people that wanted to gather recourses like he did, wasting no time he made a bee line for the trees that were scattered across the plains, searching around the base of them for the herb.



At first he was finding it rather hard to spot them as they blended in with the grass rather neatly, but after picking his tenth herb a message appeared.




New Skill!

Herbal Aura Level 1 (Beginner 0%)
(Passive)

Herbal Aura is a passive skill which makes any herbs within a certain distance of your vision give off a slight glowing aura making them easier to spot
Increasing the skill lets you see further and makes the aura brighter
This skill can be turned off if the auras become too distracting






Ren let out a whoop of glee “Yes! Herbal Aura On!”



Instantly as he looked down around the tree he could see several small glowing aura’s coming from several plants at the trees base “Oohh, there’s other herbs here as well aside from the one the mister wants.. may as well grab them to.” Eagerly he scooped up every plant that held an aura and put them in his inventory before heading towards the next tree. “Mmm.. only trouble is I can’t identify them yet…”



He shrugged and continued to pick every herb he could spot and soon enough he had almost double the amount of herbs that had been requested “Yes, just a couple more and I’ll head back.”



He looked around for another tree but it seemed the only area he had not yet plundered of its herbs was along the tree line of the forest “…. I only need a couple I’ll grab them quick and run back to the gates.” With a nod he headed to the tree line of the forest, while he found plenty more herbs along the outer line of trees they weren’t the ones he needed and so he edged a bit deeper into the forest.



A few minutes later he’d found the herbs he needed and was about to head back out of the forest when a growl from behind caused him to freeze. Turning around slowly he could see a couple of wolfs sniffing the air and gradually heading in his direction, luckily he hadn’t been spotted yet though. He was getting ready to make a run for it but just in case he opened his inventory and got his dagger out for the first time just in case they caught up with him. As he tried to firmly grip the crude iron dagger it suddenly vanished from his hand and a message appeared before him.




Attention!

Standard weapons cannot be equipped by your class






Ren blinked at the message “Ehhhh!?!?” His cry caught the attention of the wolves instantly as they let out growls and pounced at him “Ahh!”



***


The peaceful western plains were a nice spot for characters to hunt and gather loot from the low levels mobs for a few easy coppers, players went about facing off against the rabbits and foxes with ease and the only cries that could be heard was that of players casting their skills and magic’s as well as the occasional victory cry from new players…..



“WAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHAAAAAHHAAAAAAAAAA.”



Dashing from the tree line of the forest the cry of a small elfling caught almost everyone’s attention as the small boy raced like his life depended on it towards the city gates, tears streaming from his eyes as a pair of hungry wolfs gave chase, nipping at his heals.



***




Just an hour before his time was up Ren jumped into the apothecary workshop and handed over a bag of herbs to the old man containing twice the amount he’d asked for, the old man looked at him dumbfounded at the sight of the young elfling covered in scratches and his clothes torn and missing bits as though something had been trying to eat him. With a shake of his head he inspected the herbs and nodded with a smile “Excellent work my boy this will keep me going for several days. You seem to have a passion for herbs, why don’t you take this as an extra bonus.” The old man produced a book from under the counter and slid it across to Ren along with the promised 15 coppers.




Quest Complete!
Though you only just made it on time the extra herbs you delivered were much appreciated by the old man
Received
50xp
15 Coppers
+Affinity with artisan district npc’s
Book of Herb Lore






“Wow, thanks mister!” Ren scooped up the coins and picked up the book to take a look at it excitedly.




New Skill Available!
Book of Herb Lore
This book on herbs will unlock the sub skill of Identify ‘Herb Lore’
As you don’t have the main skill ‘Identify’ you will only be able to identify herbs until you gain the main skill
Do you wish to learn this skill?






“Yes!” Ren had no hesitation in claiming the skill to add to his slowly growing collection “This is awesome mister thank you very much!” He beamed up at the old man who chuckled.



“I had a feeling you’d like it, now run along and enjoy the read, I need to hurry up and finish these potions, but do come see me again another time.”



Ren tilted his head curiously then as he thought of something “Maybe I could help you make them?” He smiled up at the man

“Hmm? Oh? Hmm….” The old man seemed to think for a moment “Well you did gather all those extra herbs so even if you fail a few it won’t hurt any, alright my boy let’s see if you’ve got what it takes to be an alchemist.” He showed Ren around to a desk where he placed out some herbs and a mortar and pestle “Right then, this is just a simple weak healing potion so you just need to add one of each herb I’ve placed down and grind them together carefully, once they are down to a paste just pour it into a bottle with water and shake it up to mix it, see if you can make about ten for me.”




Quest!
Thanks to your affinity and successful overachievement of the previous quest the old man in the apothecary has let you help him make some potions

Difficulty – F

Requirements
Successfully make ten weak healing potions before you run out of herbs
You must start crafting immediately or the quest will fail

Rewards
100xp
Large affinity gain with the artisan district
Weak healing potion recipe






Ren set to work straight away, taking one each of the two different herbs that had been placed before him and started grinding them together, at first he wasn’t sure he was doing it right he looked to the old man and tried to copy the way he ground the herbs but he just didn’t seem to get the same results, he tried to mash the herbs then grind and twist the pestle down onto them, his arms began to hurt just from making the first one.




Attention!
Due to working your arms repeatedly your Strength has increased by 1






Ren blinked at this and grinned, his grinding become a little easier after that and soon enough he finished two potions, setting them neatly in a row on the desk, in his eagerness though as he ground the herbs for the third potion he bumped the desk knocking one of the potions he’d completed onto the floor where it smashed open on the ground “Eep!” he glanced to the old man and could see his brow twitch in slight annoyance.



Doubling his efforts to be careful Ren continued to grind and pour, his strength increased a couple more times as well as his dexterity, almost instantly he noticed he was able to make his grinding motions slightly more easily thanks to the increases, after his seventh potion he received a new sub skill.




New Skill!
From diligently making potions you’ve learned the Alchemy sub skill
Heal Potions Level 1 (Beginner 0%)’
The higher your ‘Heal Potions’ sub skill the more potent your healing potions will become






Once he acquired this he made the last three potions a lot more easily than the first seven and soon he was done, looking back to the old man it seemed he was still busy with his batch of potions so Ren decided to take out the other herbs he’d found and began to identify them.




Health Weed
This weed has very weak healing properties, combining it with another herb may bring out stronger results when making potions







Mana Weed
This weed has very weak mana restoration properties, combining it with another herb may bring out stronger results when making potions






Weed
This is a weed… Just toss it







Weak Potency Berry
Combining this berry into a potion mixture will increase the effects of the potion slightly







Weak Poison Berry
This is a poisonous berry, eating it is not recommended
Can be used to make weak poisons







Antidote Weed
This weed has slight anti toxin properties and can be used to make weak poison antidotes






Ren looked over the herbs “Mmm.. to be expected I’d only find very basic ones in the starting area, and why’d I get a bunch of normal weeds? …. Probably need to raise the aura skill to stop them from showing up.” Looking back to the old man again he spoke softly “Sir, I’ve made the ten potions, would you like me to use up the rest of the herbs I still have? Or do you want to save them for later?”



The old man looked up “hmm? Oh, done already? Let me see.” He stepped over and inspected the potions Ren had made, swirling the bottles looking for any sediment then taking a tiny sip to taste them “mmm, not bad at all, a few of them are a little weak but that’s to be expected from using such low grade herbs, why don’t you go ahead and make more with what you’ve got left there, and keep them for yourself.” He smiles and ruffled Ren’s hair like he would a child.



Normally Ren would object to the treatment but since he was getting some free potions he didn’t say anything and happily went about making potions from what was left.



At the end of the day Ren was left with five weak healing potions of his own which he slipped into his inventory, he thought it was a good bonus along with the extra skill he picked up since he wasn’t getting any coin from this quest.



The old man turned to Ren after having handed a crate of potions to someone at the door “All done then my boy, thank you very much for your help, please come visit again when you’ve time, I think you’ve talent as an alchemist, I’d be happy to teach you when I have the time.”



Ren grinned up at him “Thanks mister! I’ll gladly learn anything you’ll teach me about alchemy!” With a wave Ren headed out of the workshop and down the street to find a spot to logout.



***

An uproar of laughter was occurring across the Flow forums once a player that happened to be recording at the time posted a clip on the BBS labelled ‘Newbie chased by wolfs (Funny as heck LOL)’



***





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Mythran

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