It was still the middle of the day when Michael arrived at the outskirts of “Ariel’s Meadow.” Between himself and Inari, they were able to kill the white-rabbits surprisingly fast, and within an hour, the adorable fox finally ate the fourteenth level-one, rank-G mana-core.
Race: Triple-Tailed Fox
Mana Regen per minute: 10
Health Regen per hour: 20
Attack Rating: 12.5
Defense Rating: 1]
This time, instead of only a single stat-point, he was able to invest two. He muttered “Hmmm, if ‘G’ is one per level, and ‘F’ is two, then ‘E’ would either be three or four… probably three. Otherwise, at rank-SSS it would end up being like five-hundred and twelve, so it’s most likely only one more per rank, to keep it relatively balanced.” Michael’s guess was correct, but he wouldn’t be able to know for certain, until he tested it out himself.
After storing the fourteenth rabbit’s carcass, he sighed and glanced at Inari, who was using her paws to dig-up something out of the ground. It took a few seconds, but she managed to find a mysterious ‘item’ that had been buried there for many years.
Michael’s initial response was “Oh hey, a legendary ring…” but when she proudly used her mouth to ‘hand’ it to him, he received a pop-up message: “New Quest: You have found an unidentifiable ancient artifact. If you bring this to the Lorekeeper in Riverside Village, you will be able to receive some compensation. Reward: One experience point and one copper coin.”
He couldn’t help but complain “Well, that actually makes a little more sense, since this is the starting zone. I mean, any dumb-ass that died to one of these fluffy bunnies, probably didn’t have any decent equipment in the first place. Hmmm, yea, this thing looks like it’s made out of tin… Although, I’m pretty sure it’s still a rip-off. This thing is a fucking antique, one copper coin is probably worth less than a penny.”
However, the reason why the quest reward was so ridiculously low, was because those ‘artifacts’ were so easily found. While he was talking to himself, Inari had managed to find an old, broken, bronze necklace-chain, only a dozen meters away from where she found that ring.
The vixen quickly brought it over to Michael, and when he touched it, his quest was updated. When the reward doubled, he realized that if a person at level one found ten of them, they didn’t even have to strangle or crush a single adorable bunny to death.
Unfortunately, in order to finish the quest, he would have to return the items to a place called “Riverside Village.” Even though, when he opened up his full map, the location was marked with a large yellow star, he could tell that it was at least five-miles to the northeast.
Considering that he was barefoot, and wanted to completely avoid ‘Human’ contact, he didn’t think that it would be worth the effort. When Michael tried to put the ring in his inventory, he noticed that his bag-slots had doubled.
On the left side, all of the boxes were black, while on the right, they were golden. It wasn’t difficult for him to understand that he had unlocked some sort of special, Quest-Item Storage.
It didn’t only operate as bag-space, but also allowed him to open the quest’s details and progress. Unlike the regular bag, he was able to place both the necklace and the ring inside of the same slot.
Even if he didn’t particularly care about the quest, Michael still crouched down and pet Inari’s fur while praising “Good girl, you’re such an adorable foxy~.” She was filthy and covered with dirt, but he didn’t waste any water trying to wash her off, because it would have been pointless.
While they were distracted, a small finch swooped down and embedded itself in the left side of his neck. He quickly grabbed the bird’s body with both hands and squeezed, until its head literally popped off; the fox immediately chased after the level-two, rank-G mana-core, leaving Michael’s side, as he was swiftly bleeding to death.
A second after he collapsed onto the ground and died, he respawned and quickly stored his corpse in bag-slot one: It had actually become a habit. Michael breathed out a long sigh, as he saw a large white “+2 Exp” pop-up in his peripheral vision.
His stamina had almost been depleted, but his new body wasn’t even slightly tired. Unfortunately, Inari was exhausted and wanted to rest. When she returned to him, the three-tailed vixen looked like she was going to pass-out, so he was about to call it a day; until he remembered that he could just dismiss her.
Once the adorable fox was stored in companion-slot one, the lone Human began trudging southward. Preparing for the inevitable he took out a fist-sized, smooth-stone, and listened to his surroundings carefully.
The two-foot high grass was rustling all around, and he could constantly hear various animal cries, screeching, the chirping of giant crickets, and plenty of other irritating noises. He could even see in the distance, large birds and insects flying around in the sky, slaughtering each-other.
It was definitely not a peaceful location; since all the magical-beasts were constantly fighting to survive, level-up, and evolve. Only a small number of the animals actually targeted Michael, compared to the vast amount of little monsters that were hiding in the grass.
There was a quiet hissing, as he felt something smooth rub against his right foot. With a loud “Holy shit!” he quickly jumped backwards, narrowly avoiding a horrible and painful death.
Poison was definitely one of the worst ways to die, so he sincerely wanted to avoid it. Suddenly, a rather large brown cobra, popped its head out of the grass and sprayed a decent amount of mana-infused venom towards his face.
Even though he was able to block it with his left arm, the skin started sizzling and melting off, as he received a ‘corrosion’ debuff. While yelling “Oh, for fuck’s sake!” he pitched a stone towards the relatively large head, and used telekinesis to make sure that there was enough force behind the blow, to kill the snake in one shot.
Unfortunately, his attack was avoided, due to the fact that the creature could clearly tell what he was going to do. After the rock missed, the serpent slithered up his left leg and bit down on his groin, sending a terrible poison surging through his whole body.
As soon as Michael fell onto his back, the snake slithered up to his face and sprayed some more of that acidic venom into his left eye-socket. The level-three ‘Spitting Cobra’ was a rank-G magical-beast, so when it plunged into the hole that it melted through his skull, and devoured his mana-core, it evolved.
However, he had learned from his experience with a certain ‘Vicious Sparrow,’ that while they’re evolving, that’s when magical-beasts were the most vulnerable. Respawning the moment that he died, Michael reached down and grabbed the rapidly growing serpent around its relatively large head and yanked it up towards his face, before using his teeth as a weapon and biting down into the creature’s smooth scales.
He didn’t target the head, but the spine, so that it wouldn’t instantly die. After paralyzing the snake, its body became twice as large, and turned a dark-red color; it was called a ‘Blood Cobra,’ and had its maximum health increase from ten to twenty.
Once he was sure that it was finished changing, Michael squeezed down on its neck with both hands, and nearly twisted the head completely off. The moment it died, he immediately placed it into bag-slot three, and then stored his core-less corpse with the others.
Slot-1: Michael’s Human Corpse(F) Level 1(Core-less): 3; Level 2(Core-less): 3; Level 3: 2; Level 3(Core-less): 1
Slot-2: Field Mice Level 1: 6; Level 1(Core-less): 1
Slot-3: Blood Cobra Level 3(F): 1
Slot-4: White Rabbits(G) Level 1: 1; Level 1(Core-less): 24
Slot-5: Small Jagged Rocks: 20 lbs
Slot-6: Leather Strips: 6
Slot-7: Freshwater: 1000 gallons
Slot-8: Smooth Stones: 50 lbs
Slot-9: Sabertooth Cougar(G) lvl 5(Core-less): 1]
After sighing dramatically, he muttered “I wonder if I’ll get another title after dying four more times?” while walking eastward.