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Most of the named NPCs in Murph Village either sold goods or offered quests. The merchants bought and sold items related to farming, but nothing else.

NPCs in GoVe were picky about trading, they didn’t mindlessly buy whatever was shoved into their faces. As such, Murph Village was a great place to get rid of the seeds Erika collected from Windfloras. After all, there was no telling whether anybody would care to buy seeds in a city like Zelin.

The average price she could fetch for a single Windflora Seed was 4 pieces. It was a decent trade for an item which was completely useless for her. Nonetheless, the RPG veteran in her whispered:

“Keep the seeds until you check every corner of the village. You can always sell them later.”

Heeding her own advice, Erika only surveyed the different merchants; she neither bought nor sold anything. She wrote mental notes on all the information she gathered and moved on to do quests.

NPCs who had quests for Erika were marked with a letter icon above their heads. It was a standard MMORPG mechanic, but in GoVe these icons were only visible with a Lv.2 [Communication].

As she suspected, the quests in the village were still aimed at beginners. “Deliver these apples to another NPC”, “Fetch some potatoes from that NPC”. These were the types of quests available to Erika.

This is as generic as it gets.

Such fetch quests were hardly engaging. Nonetheless, Erika wanted to finish all the four quests she spotted. Even if they were shallow and straightforward quests, there was a chance one of them would lead to another quest, which would lead to another quest and so forth.

Fetch and delivery quests were easy in Murph Village. Erika was asked to go from one end of the village to another, but that took just a couple of minutes in such a small village. She had to carry big packages of food, but the Dimension Vessel was the perfect place to store everything.

It doesn’t seem I can do more than one serious delivery at the time. If this inventory can’t be expanded, then I’ll be having a very bad time

Erika frowned at the small floating island as she unloaded a bag of potatoes for her delivery. Her inventory had roughly the area of one square meter; it was nowhere enough for a hoarder MMORPG player. One bag of potatoes was enough to cover the whole space.

“Say, Mini. Can I upgrade my inventory somehow?”

“Yeah, ya can expand it in the cities. They give ya a quest and stuff.”

“I see. This is great.”

Erika sighed in relief. The future of this RPG hoarder wasn’t as bleak as she feared.

Erika finished two fetch quests and only two more available quests were left. She thoughts they’d be a breeze, but...

Wipe Out Water Blobs

Erika glared at the NPC through the message box. It was a standard quest to hunt weak mobs, but Erika couldn’t possibly go through with it. How could she possibly bully the baby blobs!? It’d be blasphemy!

This was one quest Erika had to decline. Instead, she went on to the final available quest. After a short stroll through the village, she arrived at a big farming field.

“Heya, wanna buy anything, girlie?”

The caretaker of the field was an old, tanned man named Jeff. Erika was greeted warmly, and a shop screen popped up in front of her. Jeff was both a merchant NPC and a quest NPC in one.

The first options in the shop were plain: carrots, apples, potatoes and so forth. However, there were also oddly named fantasy products, such as: Wind Carrot, Fire Apple and Water Potato.

“These are sure... peculiar names.”

“Haha, them simple names are just easy for my business.”

Jeff explained that the straightforward names existed for the God Vessels. Namely, for the players.

“They sure sound bizarre. I can’t even imagine how they taste.”

“Haha, here ya go. Give it a taste.”

Jeff threw her a red apple.

“W-wah!”

Erika masterfully caught it... with her face.

【Obtained Fire Apple.】

The red apple was very warm, as if installed with a heater. Its red hue was brighter than the deep red of a normal apple, reminding a flame.

Truly, the simplistic name “Fire Apple” may have been well-placed. It was literally just an apple, recolored to resemble a flame.

Fire Apple.】

【A nutritious apple infused with the element of fire. Spicy.】

The word “spicy” made Erika frown. She already had a fun experience with a certain “sweet” chocolate. She carefully, really carefully, brought her teeth toward the small apple.

“Mmm...! My, it’s very peculiar.”

It had the core taste of a juicy apple, yet it felt like pepper somehow slipped inside. It was an unusual mix of light sweetness and light spiciness, which brought about a dual flavor.

TIP】【The food you consume will affect your body’s development. It’s advised to regularly intake nutritious food.】

Erika pondered about the message as she munched on the sweet-spicy apple. Silveria explained how the properties of the food greatly affected the growth of baby animals. Same as the little animals, Erika’s child avatar wasn’t going to stay that way forever.

Sadly, GoVe’s system made the player grow up and develop their body over time. Eating food must have been one type of action to shape an avatar as it matured.

Perhaps, same as baby critters, young God Vessels could improve their affinities by eating elemental food. She tried to confirm this theory with Jeff, but he drew blanks on the topic. As far as he was concerned, the element was used purely for flavor.

“If ya interested in learnin’ more, maybe try asking yo Vessel fellas? Some of ‘em grow their own fields.”

Jeff directed Erika to the corner of the village, where God Vessels could manage their own farming fields. Gathering information from more experienced players sounded like a good idea.

“Thank you very much for the treat.”

Erika enjoyed the freebie food, but she didn’t plan to carelessly spend money. Before emptying her pockets, it was important to establish the benefits of various food types. Jeff must have tried to lure Erika into buying more with that free Fire Appeal, but her businesslike attitude ruined his schemes.

Erika closed the shop menu and Jeff suddenly changed the subject.

“There’ve been lotta Windfloras hangin’ around lately.”

“Oh, yes. You’re right.”

Erika smiled and encouraged the old man to continue. The RPG veteran already knew that this was heading toward a quest.

“Could ya hunt down a bunch of ‘em? Bring me 15 of ‘em Windflora seeds, I’ll make it worth yo while.”

“Gladly.”

Erika accepted the quest and checked the details. The reward was 120 pieces for 15 seeds, which meant 8 pieces per seed. It was lower than Silveria’s pay ratio, but it was still twice the amount that other Murph merchants offered.

Good thing I wasn’t hasty selling these seeds, huhu.

Erika smirked and brought up her Dimension Vessel. Thanks to her earlier killing practice with the Silver Knife, Erika had the 15 Windflora Seeds that Jeff requested.

“Oh! Ya’re a fast one, girlie!”

Jeff was pleasantly impressed and received the seeds. He was about the hand Erika the reward, but she interrupted him.

“May I please pick myself which piece types I’ll be getting?”

“Haha, sorry, girlie. Can’t do that. Ya see, it’s a taboo to hand ‘em specific pieces.”

“A taboo?”

“Yea, not sure why exactly though.”

Erika made a face in response. Her guess was: “Because the game tried to be harder than it should.”

Yet again, Erika’s reward was a mixture of different pieces, expanding her variety with [Power], [Synthesis] and [Ice] pieces. Luckily, she also received 10 [Water] pieces, which brought her closer to paying for Lakya’s pool.

“Do you need me to hunt anything else?”

“Haha, bein’ young is such a bliss! Come back another day, I may have more work for ya. And make sure ya buy something too!”

Judging by the Jeff’s words, his stock of quests could refresh. It was either one of these infamous “Daily Quests”, or Erika had to satisfy some conditions, to receive the next quest in line. Either way, she could only try another day.

“Seeya around, girlie.”

The two of them parted ways and Erika headed to the far corner of the village, where players managed their personal fields.

I hope these flowers are harmless.

Erika was on her guard as she walked along Jeff’s long field. One portion of the field was occupied by big sunflowers, some of which bore striking resemblance to Windfloras.

Luckily, the【Windflora】tag didn’t appear above these flowers; this assured Erika that the flowers were harmless. They must have been normal flowers, which grew from Windflora Seeds.

“Hm...?”

There was a suspicious rustling sound coming from the field. It was almost unnoticeable under Murph’s background music, but Erika was so cautious, that she noticed every moving atom.

“Who’s there~?”

Erika approached the field to take a closer look. She hoped to find a cute, fluffy animal stealing food.

“E-eh?!”

Blackness erupted from the ground. Erika jumped back in shock, nearly tripping.

“Whoa! The fuck’s this shit?!”

Even Mina was startled. She was bored with Erika’s village exploration, but this sudden development shook her awake.

?????

A black sunflower emerged on the field. Its black petals were sharpened like blades, and eerily thin arms stretched from its dark stem.

I-isn’t this a safe zone!? This shouldn’t be happening!

A fight. In a village. Why? How!? Even the creature’s identity remained an enigma. Nobody and nothing bothered to explain this sudden development.

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About the author

DarkClaymore

Bio: A programmer who writes Light Novel-esque fics and occasionally other things too, like Visual Novels and reviews.

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