“I have many questions but first let us get out of here. Also” I looked her up and down. “We need to get you cleaned up. The inn had a bath option for a little extra so we will need to use that. Also clothes. Wearing rags is totally unacceptable.”
I turned and began leaving the dark moldy dungeon and Lanette followed me, “Wasting such money on me is pointless.”
This was going to be tough, “There are so many reasons that you are wrong I don’t know where to begin. Mainly I suppose it is because every girl deserves to look cute.” Not that I had really cared about my appearance outside of games but this was basically a game so it qualified.
“Ccc… cute?” She stammered. “Are you some noble’s daughter or something playing adventurer?”
“While I admit you might find me rather eccentric I can assure you that I am not a noble’s daughter. We are going to be adventurers because without that we would run out of money and starve.”
“Then why are you wasting money on clothes for me?”
I spun around and pointed my finger at her, “Because we are not going to starve. We are going to get you clothes and be successful adventurers. What would people say if we become successful adventurers and you were still wearing rags”
“I think you may be insane. You could have just joined a party. There was no reason to buy me.”
“Ah, the important question. The short answer is that I have a secret that I can’t afford to let other people know about. As for what that secret is, you will have to wait until we have left Tortburg for me to share it. People my accidentally overhear it. For now just answer any weird questions I might have and I’ll explain everything later.”
“Oh, and dream big. I intend to make us the best heroes that have ever existed.
I was pretty sure that my new master was insane. She used strange words that I had never heard before. While she denied being a noble’s daughter she seemed well educated although a bit out of touch. So far she hadn’t used any of the slave contract features which made her significantly better than the previous master who had owned me.
Her name was Veronica and she had brought me to a clothing store. Her choices of clothing for me were somewhat questionable. She had asked what kind of weapon I preferred and when I had said short sword she had quickly picked out some pants and a shirt. Not too strange, certainly more easy to move in than the robe that she was wearing.
I questioned the completely useless decorative belt but she had just said, “It is very important.” She then went on to getting some cheap leather armor however she paid extra to have the armguards dyed purple. Such a useless waste of money.
When looking at shortswords she asked whether I had any appraisal skills and seemed disappointed when I said that I didn’t have any although she didn’t say anything about it.
With that done she lead to the inn that she was staying in, a rather upscale one. She spoke with the innkeeper for a bit before they shooed me off to the bathroom. In this one way I did appreciate how she seemed to care about appearances. The dirt and grime had been a near constant presence for a long time and it nice to be free of them, at least for a while.
I made sure to control myself and not break the mirror in the bathroom. It was difficult.
With the bath done and wearing clean clothes I got fussed over by she as she adjusted the belt. The belt wasn’t that important was it? She the showed me the new room she had moved into, one with two beds. An inn bed was a luxury for a slave but I didn’t question it since she already seemed to be rather odd.
“I’m going to go out back and do some training. You can join me if you want, or do whatever you want to do.” She said.
“Whatever I want to do?”
“Yup, enjoy.” And she was gone.
She continued to baffle me. Let me do whatever I wanted? Who bought a slave and then told them that. Although it wasn’t like I could just run away. The slave contract could paralyze me from anywhere. It wasn’t like I had anything to do anyways so I just followed her out into the back.
Given that Tortburg was close to Dungeoncity a fair number of the inns catered to adventurers it wasn’t surprising that there was a place to train. There was some target dummies which had been setup which she was using.
I had expected Veronica to be a mage because of her clothing and I was not wrong she was an elementalist. She was practicing casting spells against the target dummy which seemed to have been treated to resist magic. I watch her for a few minutes before noticing something strange.
I couldn’t stop myself from asking. Normally I would consider it inappropriate but Veronica had never preventing any of my question, “How much mana do you have?”
She turned around and finally noticed me, “Oh, you were watching. Was there something strange about my casting?”
“You have just been casting a lot for somebody who was only level 6.”
“Oh, yeah, I have 138 mp.”
“138?! Are level 6?”
“Elementalist gives me the Mana Reserves skill which adds to my maximum mp.”
“I know about that. Most casting classes get that skill. But still, 138 is extremely high, that would me you have somewhere around 18 ranks in it.”
“Only 14 actually. My innate mp is fairly high.”
“How did you get it that high while still only being level 6? Mana Reserves is notorious for being difficult to rank up.”
“Ah, yeah, about that. That is another one of the questions I’m going to have to wait until you have left Tortburg before I answer. Sorry. Part of the secret.”
What sort of secret did she have. It must be pretty important to hide it this much while in a town. Maybe she had a skill which let her hide her level, that was possible. If she was level 15 or so her rank in Mana Reserves would make sense. I had heard rumors that such talents existed.
“Although..” She said, “There is important things we need to talk about. What our jobs and skills are that are useful in combat. If we are going to fight together then we need to know each other’s strengths and weaknesses.”
She was right but it had not been my place to mention that.
“As you probably just saw I’m an elementalist.” Then then proceeded to explain what her different abilities and skills did as well as how she planned on using them in battle. I was suprised how thorough she had thought this out.
She finished with, “And I’m been trying to study life magic to add healing capabilities but that hasn’t yet born fruit. Other than my secrets which isn’t relevant to combat tactics that covers everything. Oh, I also have the Traveler job but that also isn’t relevant to combat.”
“Then I guess I should explain what I can do.” I said taking in a deep breath and resigning myself to having to explain.
“First I have the Quick Blade job. As it sounds it specializes in quick movements and usually uses light weapons. It is a pretty generic combat job. I am rank 5 in that job. It gives me Short Sword, Quick Movements, Feint, Dodge, Parry, Footwork, and Improved Reflexes. Plus a few other weapon proficiency skills which I am less good at.”
She whistled, “That is quite a lot of skills. I guess job rank really does make a big difference. However do you think you could explain what each of those skills do since I’m not to familiar with how martial jobs work.”
I nodded, I had left some of that out since most of it was not too uncommonly know but I went through the motions of explaining what each of them did, along with how I could use them in battle.
“However Quick Blade is not my only combat effective job. I have the rare Cursed Blood job.” She looked excited, please don’t look excited about this job. It is kind of a spell casting class. It allows be to apply curses to opponents. The curses provide a variety of negative effects and they last around half an hour each however the mana cost of each of them is high so I can only apply around two before running out of mana.”
“Oh, a debuff class. And one that specializes in bosses as well. Awesome! I assume your debuffs stack?”
“Your curses. A debuff is a generic term for bad effects you can apply to the enemy that don’t involve damage. And stacking mean whether you can apply more than one of your curses to the same target.”
“Oh, yes, I can do that. Against a single strong opponent the curses are quite effective however against multiple opponents it is not very useful.”
“That is why I said bosses. Ah, when I say bosses I mean single strong opponents or a very strong opponent with weak ones supporting it.”
“I guess that makes sense.” Her words were always strange. There was also another aspect of the curses that I needed to mention. If I didn’t and she later found out I could get in a lot of trouble. “Another feature of the job is self cursing.”
“That doesn’t really sound useful. Why is it?” She said. Like she expected there to be some compensation for it, which there was of course.
“I can apply my curses to myself to regain the mana cost of the curse. However the duration of such curses lasts round six hours so it isn’t something I can do very often.”
“Ah, very risky and the extended duration prevents you from using it to regain mana quickly between battles. Everything is really stingy about giving mp recovery. I can see why mp potions are so expensive. Can you explain what each of your curses do.”
I nodded, “Yeah, I’m rank 7 in that job so I have quite a lot of curses.” I then proceeded to explain what each of my curses did, in detail after some prodding.
“However there is a disadvantage about the job. It gave me the Cursed talent. Terrible bad luck is bound to befall me and those around me.”
“Really? Is that what the talent actually says.”
“Might as well. It actually says, ‘Inescapable Curse. Those bound by this face cannot escape their destiny’”
She paused like she wanted to say something but thought better than to say it. Finally she said, “Any other jobs that I should know about?”
“I also have a Noble job and a Farmer job but those aren’t useful in combat.”
“Noble? Does that mean you used to be a noble? How did you end up becoming a slave like that?”
“Adopted only. Some noble had high hopes in me but the curse was too much for them and I was thrown out. Mainly it just gives me some knowledge skills.”
“Ah, interesting. Well that is probably enough of a break from practice. Thanks for sharing. Tomorrow I’m going to get the remaining supplies needed for the journey to Dungeoncity and then we will be leaving the day after that.” She pulled out a silver and handed it to me. “Use this to get anything else you think you will need. Although try to be frugal since I’m getting rather low on spending money.”
I looked at the coin, surprised that I had been given money.