I’ll admit, a part of me was tempted to use my remaining lottery ticket after seeing my ‘prize’. What’s the worst that could happen, I get another ten silver worth of paper? I… hope that there’s not actually a worse prize than that. Vivi… out of morbid curiosity, how many prizes are there worse than what I just got?
There was a light, amused laugh when she heard that question. In all honesty, Dale, you were in the worst ten percent. There are only a few items that rate less valuable than the stack of parchment. I was genuinely expecting you to get something better as well. However, considering your purpose, this could actually be quite beneficial to you.
Okay, that had me curious. Go on?
Once you master the use of chakra, talismans can turn into a disposable armory for you. If the ink used to scribe them is enhanced with ki to become chakra ink, then the items created will have the same properties as the talismans themselves. That’s why I had initially recommended you taking this skill, as it has the best synergy with chakra usage.
“Then I should get started on that.” I muttered, standing up and moving towards the door. It was going to be a long, slow grind for a while.
As the days passed, more and more people began to join the game. Whether it was those who hadn’t been able to preorder their copy, or simply those who did but didn’t have the chance to connect right away. Every night, the main cities would be crowded to capacity, before players were forced to slowly funnel out to find appropriate hunting grounds.
This trend continued for several days, some players even deciding to build small outposts outside of the cities in order to house more people. However, they had not gotten the clearance to build within the kingdoms. Soldiers were immediately dispatched every time the construction began, tearing down the work of the players and reminding them that there were proper channels to go through in order to handle construction.
Finally, late into the fourth night, news echoed through the world, prompts appearing before every single player. News that a fourth city had been found, the kitsune kingdom of Lyrea. It even announced the name of the individual that had discovered it. The kitsune character Nuado.
Only a few hours later, and a fifth city was discovered. This one belonged to another demon kingdom, the Falanel Republic. And then a few hours after that, a human kingdom, the Crimor Empire. Six cities now split the burden of the players, opening up new lands for them to explore. New space for them to spread out.
Standing at the gate of Lithryal, the capital city of Lyrea, Nuado had a proud smile on her face. This was the result of her hard work, of pushing herself to the limits physically and mentally. She did not possess any special skill to increase her travel speed, yet she had still been the first to reach a new starting area.
This was because she had studied the maps in the library. She had learned the shortest routes. She was willing to run at a full sprint for hours until her feet began to bleed, just to train herself up a level to heal and run some more. Even the other members of Life’s Dream weren’t able to keep up with her, instead choosing to wait at different cities along the way to act as guides for future players until it was time to gather again.
The Empire and its subordinate kingdoms were militaristic in nature, which felt stifling to her. But she had chosen Lyrea as the target for her marathon. It was the kingdom of bards. Where wealth of knowledge meant more than strength of arms.
“Fairy, send a message out across my entire friends list. From now on, I want everyone to start in Lyrea. This is going to be where we call our home.” She spoke as she smiled up towards the worn city. Like all others, it had suffered from isolation, its people hungry and lacking. But these were things that could be fixed. These are things that would be fixed.
Nuado, what about Tebor? Jessex’s voice responded only a few moments after the call went out. If we leave him here, Beholden is going to set their sights on him again, thinking that we abandoned him.
Nuado’s brows furrowed at that. Honestly, she was somewhat more worried about what would happen to Beholden if they targeted him. She knew what kind of person Terra was. And if they tried to defame him or hurt him, either emotionally or psychologically, she might just snap at them. She did not particularly like Beholden’s practices, but that did not mean that she wished such a fate on them.
How many people do we still have near Xanjafar? She sent out the question, knowing that there wouldn’t be any kind of true fast travel system yet. The kingdoms were too poor to properly feed their people, so building magical gates to connect to far-off places was out of the question. There was likely a system in place for that, but it would have to be unlocked through city repairs.
As it turned out, there were only eight people left in the vicinity of Xanjafar, most having already moved at least two days away on their trip towards Lithryal. So, she once again had her fairy send messages to everyone. Okay, here’s the plan guys. Anyone that’s close to Xanjafar, return to the city. For the rest of this month, that place is going to be your base of operations. We paid for that workshop, and I’m not going to waste Jess’s efforts like that. After the month is up, we’ll run a migration to Lyrea with him and everyone else.
Is he really that important? There was an honestly curious tone to Jessex’s voice when she responded. I mean, any of us could learn inscription, right? I think Nail even started with it.
Thankfully, the communication was only two-way, so the person in question was unable to back up her statement. Just… trust me, this is important. Call it my one little cheat here. If we can manage to rope Tebor in, Life’s Dream will have a guaranteed future. He has skills that none of you realize yet, and no I don’t mean in the game.
There was a pause as Jessex considered that, before seeming to give in. He must have left quite an impression on you in your last game together, if you kept such a close eye on him. But… you know how it is. We’ll follow your lead, Nuado. I just couldn’t help asking.
It’s fine, Jess. I like it when you ask. It reminds me that you really think of me as a friend. A genuine, warm smile was plastered on Nuado’s face as she sent that reply back, before she shook her head. With this, it should be enough to make sure that Tebor was taken care of, and things wouldn’t get out of hand.
The next several days, I spent ten hours in the game, every day. Most of this was while I was sleeping, with the rest being either just before or just after. The rest of my time I spent training my divine soul, and keeping a close watch on Tsubaki’s army.
There were times that I thought about spending more time in the game, grind my skills up even further. But honestly… there was only so much that I could handle sitting in front of a desk, drawing the same pattern over and over again. I mean… sure, I unlocked a second pattern and ink when my skill level hit five. And I got another burst of proficiency when I had crafted a hundred scrolls.
For the second pattern, it was the lightning scroll and shock talisman that Jessex had previously told me about. A single shock talisman could be purchased from a magic vendor for fifteen copper coins, so it was definitely worth learning… but the ingredients weren’t locally available.
Even with the ember ink, there was only a limited supply that they had stocked up before I had been forced to start making my own. Thankfully, when I offered to pay Life’s Dream for help in procuring the ingredients, they were happy to oblige. And due to that, I was able to practice infusing ki into my ink… turns out you can only do that during the creation process, which would have been nice to know before I wasted five vials on experiments.
Either way, I was eventually able to succeed, infusing my ki into the ink as it boiled. The normally red ink turned a burnt orange with the infusion. Finally, when I used the ink to draw out five talismans, I saw that their name changed from ‘Embertouch Talisman’ to ‘Firebrand Talisman’. It still used the same recipe, but the result had changed after adding ki…
Speaking of, I had managed to learn two new skills between my repeated inscriptions. The first was naturally Mana Control, as that was a basic skill that everyone would eventually need. Then, finally, I learned Appraisal. Getting others to appraise my items every time to check their quality had become an annoyance, so it seemed like a skill that I would need to learn myself.
While I was working on all of that, I didn’t neglect to continue my ki training. By the end of the second week, I had managed to create a basic ki path that ran through my entire body. And by the end of the fourth week…
You have drawn your 1000th Firebolt Scroll! You are nearing the level of mastery in this design, and have gained another increase in proficiency. You have been awarded 1 Scribe Ticket.
I’m going to be perfectly honest… I felt like crying when I saw that I had gone through my entire bundle of parchment, only to be awarded another ticket. A thousand scrolls… the very thought of it made me want to claw off my hand. And that wasn’t even counting the ones that I made into talismans!
On the bright side… I had not only earned a significant amount of silver, but had even gotten myself a single gold coin. If I wanted to, I could rent a workshop like this for ten years just on a single month’s profits. But… that was under the assumption that I was able to devote so much time to scribing, leaving the resource gathering to everyone else. I might have only made a tenth of that if I had to do everything myself.
Still… I decided to bite the bullet again. Like Vivi had said, I got an incredibly poor result with my first lottery. I could afford to suffer a bit of a loss at this point, so it was worth it to aim for the jackpot.
Activating Scribe Lottery
Congratulations! You have won the Scribe’s Compendium(Basic Edition)!
Vivi… is that a jackpot item?
Unfortunately, no Dale. However, it is the downgraded version of a jackpot. The Basic Compendium is a slightly below average result, but still considerably more valuable than what you received the last time. With it, you can copy the enchantments of different items onto the pages, and those enchantments will become inscription patterns.
Hearing the potential behind this item, I instantly grew excited. Even if it wasn’t a true jackpot, this was something that would unlock many possibilities for me. At least, until I heard the rest of her explanation.
The basic edition is limited to the simple scrolls such as Firebolt or Lightning. Similarly, while it will use color coded ink to give you hints on what you need, determining the recipe for the inscription ink is still up to the user. If you take the compendium to a professional scribe, they can analyze the color and pattern to give you the recipe for a fee, but it is the same as buying a new ink recipe.
I gave a small nod when I heard that. Still, it was far better than a stack of papers. With this, I could expand my inscription crafting options. And all I’d need is sample objects to copy from. Maybe one of those healing items that Hela mentioned...