Felt weird, waking up in another man’s body.
Maybe I should just be thankful it wasn’t a woman’s. Then it’d be really fucking strange. Still, man or not, this was still a gigantic slab of muscle and for whatever fault the previous inhabitant had possessed, it was built like it could toss most cars overhead.
I had somehow met the prerequisites for the System to grant me the Farmer class. For now, I had no Skills to go with that. If my general knowledge was correct, those would come later. I was excited, sure, but had other things to dwell on. Like supplies and praying for some rain.
Kept that in mind as I trudged down the road towards the only town in any decent distance. Hullbretch was the same old one-stop little town he had passed through a dozen times between here and the frontier. At least that was how Garek remembered it. Inn and tavern were the same building, the village head probably heard complaints and cases once a week, few dusty stores, hovels and houses scattered along the path, and big old Castle Ironmoor up the road to keep it relevant.
A few farmsteads along the roads broke up the plains, and wetlands dotted with forests made up most of the view. Lovely. My own farm was back towards Mount Redtip, so I descended downwards the entire way.
The scenery wasn’t on my mind, however. Garek’s skills were. I had briefly glanced over them before, but with little to do, I sunk back in again.
Plethora was the only word that came to mind as an apt description.
He had skills for damn near anything that involved bloodshed, making it happen, finding the nearest source of it happening and prolonging it happening.
Case in point: Relentless Charge. Merely being focused on the Skill showed me a vague mental image of its application. Using it would cause me to charge in a perfectly straight line at increasing speeds up to a threshold and keep charging until I reached the enemy. Useful for a lot more than marathon running.
The entire list of what Garek possessed was actually staggering.
Brutal Swing, Relentless Charge, Head Smash, Thickened Fur, Shed Coat, Cloven Crash, Scream of Fury, Blood for Blood, It Will Not Die, Berserk, Ironhide, Gold is Power, and Brazen Bull Behemoth.
Brutal Swing came as advertised. An almost instant transition from any regular attack into a near-unstoppable swing meant to cleave anything in two.
Funnily enough, Head Smash didn’t involve bashing something’s brains in, but ramming my skull into something. Given the glossy obsidian horns atop my new head, that could very well be fatal. To them, not me.
Thickened Fur and Shed Coat looked to be defensive utility skills. Some of the very few he had the sense to possess. Very: offense is the best defense vibe here. His fur already felt like a heavy wire brush at times. Didn’t take a genius to see where these two were going. Thickened Fur puffed it up even further, Shed Coat trimmed it down for faster movement.
Cloven Crash was interesting, If any of the gore skills could actually have that effect on me. It locked the target in place until Garek fullbody crashed into them. No stated duration on the effect.
Scream of Fury looked like a self-buff. Once wounded, you could trigger it and gain advantage against whatever or whoever inflicted said wound on you. Gained a bonus after they had been killed.
Blood for Blood was that but on hyper-steroids. Every wound you took for a single opponent would be paid back exactly as received. I didn’t linger over the mental picture of two people horrifically bleeding out and mentally scampered on.
I blinked and realized why he had felt confident enough to take Blood For Blood. It WIll not Die was exactly as described. The wielder simply refused death while it was active. Why had I expected any nuance in the naming department of this System? Still, great skill, probably the best one he possessed. Should have activated it before overdosing. Okay that was dickish.
Berserk needed little explanation. Go rage, get stronk, soak damage and hit hard. Friends steer clear while active.
Ironhide made hide iron. What a surprise. Great potential combo with Berserk, Thickened Fur and Reckless Charge though.
Aside from It Will Not Die, Gold Is Power was the skill I immediately took interest in the most. A straight boost to every other Skill I had depending on how much gold I possessed at the time. This had my undivided attention and interest. Copious amounts of money really did make everything easier.
Brazen Bull Behemoth had no description aside from being marked at Garek’s Level Thirty class-race Skill. Garek was Level twenty-nine. The system’s way of teasing him -and me- by dangling the next Skill in front of the bull’s nose? Clever. I was interested in knowing what it was, even though I had no intention of pursuing more levels in his Bloodstained Berserker class.
This was, however, not his only Class. Abandoned long ago, he was also a level three Mason. Only a single skill, and I could see the proverbial dust on it. Stonecarve was a minor skill, something that merely gave you an edge at hewing rock. But it spoke something about his past that foggy, bloodstained memories did not. The Minoatur had been a person, someone with a past, connections and maybe even friends. And I was being a dick for judging him.
Wasn’t much further up the road when I noticed the dust being kicked up. Didn’t quite feel like reaching to draw the axe on my hip, so I just kept on walking. Hills on one side of the road and plains on the other didn’t make for a great escape route.
For them, not me. I was the eight foot tall minotaur, they weren’t.
A tanned human, jade-skinned orc, and furred beastman rode around the corner. Pale red armor with the crest of a purple sun on their chest was what I noticed first. Second fact was that they were armed for bear. The riders fairly bristled with weapons. They rode on thick, wide warhorses covered in armor, armored themselves save for helmets. Stupid idea, that. Bandits announced themselves with arrows, not by giving time to get your gear on.
Even I could make out lances, a few maces, a sword or two, and greatbows as they drew close. These men carried enough weapons to make Garek envious. Wasn’t particularly excited to find out how deftly they could use them, either.
They slowed at the sight of me. Talked, I imagined. Didn’t blame them, to be honest. Minotaurs weren’t a common sight in these lands, I had learned. And those that were usually proved to be renegades.
Still, they had no reason to be confrontational. In an ideal, peaceful world, they’d just mind their own business and keep riding. But this was not an ideal world, and people were rarely reasonable. They approached where I could make out individual features. The human’s bushy ginger mustache, the orc’s painted fangs, and the beastman’s quilled beard.
I stayed on my side of the road, they on theirs. Only when they had pulled close enough to pass did the lead human stop.
“Hail, traveler.” He called. With no one else around, I stopped and turned toward him. ‘We seek only directions.”
I smiled painfully. I was new to the area and didn’t feel like giving away that information.
“Ask, then. Where are you headed?”
“Redtip peak.” The orc grunted. “People from the town weren’t might helpful, given that we’ve come to solve their problem.”
The only trail I knew of that led to the mountain ran right past my farm. And I was loathe to direct these men anywhere near my home.
“We are riders under the banner of the Verdant Dawn.” The human spoke after a moment of silence. They expected the name to mean something to me. It did not. My shrug implied as much.
“Monster hunters.” He sighed. “Our order specializes in culling overleveled monsters who have moved into lower-level areas and keeping the citizens safe. I had thought we were decently well known, at least.”
“Redtip peak has seen a recent migration of monsters driven out of other areas who have congregated here. Left unchecked, they will spill down the mountain, wipe out the lower-leveled monsters, establish dens and begin to permanently entrench themselves in the area. We are here to pre-empt that.”
“Or try to.” The quilled man grumbled into the confines of his neck guard.
I blinked as the information digested itself. Monsters would be disastrous for my farm. Crops torn, animals slaughtered, the stuff that nobody back on my homeworld had to deal with, but was just a matter of fact here.
To my genuine surprise, they simply thanked me and rode on once I had given directions. No sideways looks, no hidden jabs or threats. Maybe I’d read too many books that dramatized medieval life.
Even at a brisk pace, it took several hours to reach the town of Hullbretch. To my surprise, I found a decently large, walled settlement. Bustling didn’t describe it, but there was traffic about. This being late spring, people toiled away in damp croplands, seeding the land. There were a few late planters still plowing their fields, in no rush thanks to the long seasons. Yeah, the seasons here were twice to three times as long as back home.
I had randomly pieced that together by circumstantial information gleaned from Garek’s memories. Mostly how ungodly long the winter was.
Gate guards were, well, guards. Bored, paid to be suspicious, and on the lookout for anything outside the usual. I expected them to stop me and wasn’t surprised when it happened. What did surprise me was that they just waved me through after a few questions.
What surprised me more was the stone streets, neat layout, and overall niceness of the town. Then I remembered levels and skills were a thing and that I wasn’t the special messiah who only got and used them. There were trees between the houses, double-story buildings, wagons, and even gardens. Everything was a tad dusty, sure, but people here lived well, at least on the surface.
My small list of things I needed had simple destinations. A blacksmith, carpenter, seed-seller, butcher, and grocery shop. Maybe a tavern as well. The blacksmith was the easiest to find. Being a large forge right on the main street had that effect. A large, gruff man with equally sturdy apprentices looked up as I stooped through the doorway.
Human-sized everythings were quickly becoming my least favorite thing about this new world.
To his credit, the man didn’t bat an eye at my request for a minotaur-sized, steel plough. Just took my coin and told me it’d be done in a few hours. Of that, I actually had little doubt. While ploughs were usually made up of mostly wood, that was a little too frail for what I had in mind.
For the carpenter, I did end up having to flag down several people to acquire directions. Mostly because several ignored me out of fright. The young lad behind the desk carefully informed me that his master was out of town on a job and would only return after several days. A hindrance, to be sure, but such was life. I could get my wood another time.
It ended up being the town stables that sold me a wagon, although he seemed insistent on selling me some horses to go with it. I didn’t need them. After securing a promise to keep the wagon there until I was ready to leave, I was on my way again.
Being this big and beefy made the vague, implied threats of what would happen if the cart went missing all the more effective. This body was actually growing on me.
Next was the seed-seller. I was late in the planting season, so the unfortunate reality was that I would have to make do with crops nobody really wanted. Oats, barley and a few meager sacks of wheat were all that remained. I took them all. The woman behind the counter was best described by the product she sold, but tactical looming convinced her to hold onto my stock until I returned. Who knew intimidation could inspire such honesty in others?
A bronzed woman leaned against the butcher’s shop, covered in furs and thick with the scent of blood. A single eye stared me down, the other blank and scarred. The greatbow on her back, quiver of arrows by her side and knife in her hands revealed her as a Huntress. What set her apart was the lack of any sort of fear-scent as I approached the shop. She knew what I was, and didn’t care.
I was the one who looked away first. My excuse being that I had to stoop to get inside the place. A man best described by stubble and gut turned away from the hanging carcasses and to me. Surprised as he was at me wanting meat, he was more than happy to sell me large quantities. A raucous laugh informed me it wouldn’t be going anywhere anyhow when I requested he hold onto it until I returned.
From the dry goods and general store I bought every conceivable item I could make use of. I needed storable food, actual utensils, cooking implements, rope, steel wire for fences, everything. This time I provided some gold instead of threats to keep the items in wait. They were still there when I trudged back up, the wagon pulled behind me. Heavy stuff on the bottom and crushable stuff on top was what I remembered while loading it.
I wanted to leave the butcher for last, because meat in the sun was no one’s idea of fun. But straw and burlap provided some decent, if temporary insulation. The huntress watched me all the while, sharpening a knife in her hands.
The bags of seeds went in the front, away from any sharp corners that could tear the bags open. My plough was finished by the time I had returned, no doubt the product of a decent level and good Skills. I got several looks of surprise and even an impressed nod as I grabbed the mass of steel, hauled it up on my shoulder and carried it from the open forge area. That too got deposited onto the wagon.
Hell, it was most of why I got the wagon in the first place. Everything else I could probably carry, but walking home with a steel plow on my shoulder would suck. Even for Garek.
Everything I needed save for wood in the wagon, I grabbed the handles and began to haul. It was a long way back home, and I still had things to do.
Support "One Moo'r Plow [Minotaur farming LITRPG]"
Mister Bill ago
Tom English ago
Wait a minute.
Does the Minotaur in the picture have 7 fingers on one hand?
WHAT! WHY! WHERE!
Do all minotaurs have 7 fingers? Is that a skill?
Dead Dragon ago
I think it might just multiply there bad stats to allow them to lift the equivalent of a fridge, while the buff a minotaur would be better
North Wind ago
It WIill not Die was exactly as described.
‘"We seek only directions.” I smiled painfully. I was new to the area and didn’t feel like giving away that information.
I blinked as the information disguested itself.
Even at a brisk pace, it took several hours to reach the town of Hullbretch. To mey surprise, I found a decently large, walled settlement.
From the dry goods and general store I brought every conceivable item I could make use of.