I wake up slowly, rolling onto my side in the bed. That was worth every copper not to worry about getting eaten. Letting loose a yawn I open my eyes. I soon wish I hadn’t. Carved into the wall of my room was a chilling sentence that left me reeling with the implications. Dont Die.
It was deeply engraved in the orange walls, and revealed what must have been redwood underneath the paint, giving it a measure of added foreboding.
A message like this… It had to be the GMs trying to contact me, but why would they send such a short message?
Likely it came back to that communication impossible error I received two days ago. It dawned on me that maybe help wasn’t coming anytime soon. My caution with using the revival system seems to be warranted.
Worst case scenario I’ll die in real life as well if my hp hits zero. Meanwhile the best case (considering the severity of the warning) is that I’ll be stuck in limbo until I’m rescued.
Depending on the timeframe that could be tantamount to torture. I could even face mental traumas or damage to the cerebellum from such an experience.
This all means one thing. If I’m to survive I have to stop thinking of this as a game. From now on until I’m rescued, Fuzion, was life.
Letting that soak in for a few minutes I climb out of bed and slowly put on my armor. It’s loose because I still needed to purchase clothes to go under it. Stretching I take a deep breathe and leave my room.
“Ivan!” I shout to the innkeeper I met last night. He’s dressed in a grubby apron and a stained shirt that used to be white.
“Why hello. If it ain’t our industrious new hunter.” Ivan responds genially. He has a large grin on his face and looks energetic despite the early hours. “Breakfast will be ready in a half hour. Bread and mead are free, but the ham’ll cost an extra two copper if you want any.” He holds out his hand as I walk by. I stop to retrieve two copper from my inventory and give it to him.
“Don’t be stingy. It’s enough you actually force people to eat this crap, at least give them all they need.” I rib Ivan as I contunue on my way out the door.
“You should be one to talk.” He snorted ” I heard you went crazy looking for more of my fried chicken at dinner yesterday. We would have had to have the guard haul you off if you hadn’t booked a room we could carry your sorry ass off to.”
I chuckle. “What can I say. Your food sucks but your mead is good.”
I leave the inn with a giant grin plastered on my face and a wave of my hand. The village which had made me feel such dread just a few days ago has become a truly welcome sight. Sleeping in the village enabled me to receive outside communication, and left me extraordinarily refreshed, despite the bad news.
Waving to the villagers I start searching for a general goods store or tailor. It doesn’t take long before I find a tailor nestled between the forge I visited yesterday and a bakery already selling fresh bread. The inside of the tailors is not very big, really nothing more than a 40’x30′ room filled to the brim with dresses, robes, and plainsclothes. Theres a small rack with more opulent cloth, but clearly that’s for custom made finery.
“Welcome to Celeste’s.” A toothy old man greets me. He has wrinkles as deep as canyons and is dressed in a classic black and white vest suit. Brass buttons adorn his vest along with matching buckles on his shoes. He leans heavily on a carved wooden cane of great intricacy as he welcomes me into his shop. “Looks like I won’t have to try very hard to sell to you. You could use some underclothes at least, or that leather will start to chafe.”
He wallops me in the back with his cane and i fall forward into the shop, barely keeping my balance.
“How much silver do you have?”
“J-just under two silver” I stammer, shell shocked by the sheer audacity of this cantankerous old man. I’m completely unused to being railroaded like this, but he was quick and relentless, already measuring me.
“Tsk, not nearly enough for a good suit. How about you make daily deposits with me until you reach a full gold and I’ll make you something to really show off. Good now that that’s settled lets get you into something more practical.” He finishes measuring me and grabs a thick roll of cotton from a nearby rack. He sets it aside and quickly strips me to the nude, not even putting up a privacy screen. “Looks like you need something a little roomier than normal down below” He chuckles.
The tailor takes a second set of measurements and slaps my ass as he walks away again, this time with a sheet of wool cloth. Wordless i just watch as he quickly measures and cuts a pair of breeches from the wool, sewing them closed and adding a waistband. He does the same with a pair of trousers and a loose tunic. They clearly are of much superior quality to the beginners clothing I was using prior. The whole process takes only six or seven minutes, during which I was slowly regaining my composure while standing in the nude of his shop.
“Here you go, a full set of inner clothing for a real steal at just under 2 silver.” He smirks as he hands me a bill for 1 silver, 85 silver. Leaving me with a mere two copper to my name.
I sigh and pay him, they were good clothes. “Thank you, I don’t really appreciate being rushed like that but…”I say, while putting on the new clothes.
He turns on a dime and pushes me onto my back with his cane as I’m putting on my trousers.
“Listen here whelp. You may be used to being respected and groveled to for providing food as a hunter, but I do something much more important. I stitch civilization together one piece of clothing at a time.” He snarls.
“Get out until you learn proper respect!”
I inspect my new clothes while holding my armor as I find myself outside his shop suddenly. Sighing in relief I’m pleasantly surprised to find they have an additional effect.
I walk to the smithy nearby. “Good morning!”I shout.
A short woman with a black pair of coveralls and a stained apron appears from behind the forge. She has blonde hair and a fairly petite figure.”Welcome back hunter! I suppose you want the spear you purchased yesterday?”
“Actually I was just nearby and thought I’d say hello before breakfast. How is the progress though?”
“A welcome greeting it is! The blade is nearly finished being sharpened and rehardened. The shaft however is in worse condition than we thought. It should hold for now, but I would suggest getting a new piece of hardwood as soon as possible.
I frown. “That’s less than good… But I’ll make it work. Thank you for your hard work.”
“As apology I’ll reforge the blade onto whatever wood you being me of course. I’m not one to cheat a customer.” I genuinely smile at that. Not just because it was a freebie, but because the earnestness she shows feels genuine. It’s odd that you find such quality npcs all near one another.
I thank her once again and leave the forge to go eat breakfast.
Arriving back at the Lucky Night Inn I am assaulted by a scene of complete carnage. A group of six men are attacking a whole roasted pig with everything from a rapier to an ax. They quickly take what they can as I leap into the fray. Shouting I manage to hack off a leg with my dagger as I slide clear, nearly getting impaled by the rapier which was descending for the same piece.
I hear mutters of not bad as I begin to chew on the leg.
“Haha! Let it not be said that you don’t fight for your food hunter.” Chuckles Ivan as he carries in a basket of bread and a tray of mead. He places one loaf and mug in front of each person, serving me last. “You fit in here well, I take it you’ll be spending the night again?” I begin to nod, but stop before I finish.
“If I manage to make enough money of course, but some old tailor somehow managed to rob me blind with my permission.”
“I take it you went to Celeste’s?”
“Well that old man is eccentric to say the least. Most people around here avoid his shop for that reason.”
I wince, I really should have asked.
“We tend to get our clothing from old lady Mara, the owner of the general store. Of course we get our dress clothing from Celeste’s, you can’t beat Gavin’s skill with a needle and shears. You look good lad.”
“Thanks Ivan. And next time can you not butcher a meal?”
“Only if you take a bath hunter. You spoil the food with your smell.” After throwing those casual insults I eat and Ivan starts to clean his kitchen. I can say this, he sure knows how to cook. Setting down my plate after it’s finished I call out to Ivan.
“Save me a plate of whatevers for dinner. Coins are on the dish.”
“Hey food is for paying customers you bastard!”
I leave the inn and don my armor. It fits snugly with the new clothing, which is good. It will help reduce chafing from the long day ahead.