There wasn’t much on the list yet, just her starting skills. She had selected Fire Mage from the list of possible starting classes, although from promotional materials she had learning that your choice of starting class didn’t do anything other than determine your starting skills.
She closed the screen and turned back to the fanged rabbits. This time surely, she was going to defeat them using magic.
“Fire Shot” she called out and the ball of fire strecked toward the rabbit. This time however it successfully hit the animal. As the rabbit began bouncing toward her she tried shooting it again with another ball of fire. While the ball was on target to hit the rabbit, it was dodged by the rabbit.
The first fire shot however hit the rabbit, causing the animal to die. It has been easier to hit with the third shot because it was much closer. Shooting spells was turning out to be much more complicated than she had expected.
Considering she opened up her spell list. “Show Spells”
As she expected the only thing on the list of spells was “Fire Shot”. It was a weak spell with low mana cost which was why she still hadn’t needed to worry about her mana uses. She wasn’t really certain if she got more spells by leveling up her fire magic or by learning them from the NPCs back in town.
Still “Fire Shot” was sufficient for fighting fanged rabbits and she could basically cast it as much as she wanted without running out of mana.
At least that is what she thought. Ten minutes later she had managed to get surrounded by five of the fanged rabbits and was teetering dangerously close to running out of mana.
Even if “Fire Shot” took very little mana it still took some time about a battle to recover that mana, especially for a starting character like her.
However she hadn’t taken that time and had just gone after one rabbit after another. Soon she was taking on two rabbits at a time. That was how she managed to get into this situation.
She called out “Fire Shot”, spending the last of her mana to defeat one of the fanged rabbits. After that she only had her rod to defend herself from four more rabbits, it seemed hopeless.
“Don’t worry, I am here!” Came a voice from nearby.
Gardenia turned to see a short girl standing on a rock nearby. The girl was wearing the same plain looking peasant clothing that Gardenia was wearing however she had long blond hair that was tied up into pig tails.
The girl jumped off the rock and drew the dagger at her waist. She began running to Gardenia’s aid but half way between them she tripped and fell face first into the grassy underbrush of the forest.
“Owwww....” called out the girl as she began clambering to her feet.
Gardenia had already been forced to stop paying attention to the girl and instead focusing on fighting the rabbits with her rod.
By the time the girl managed to scrambled to her feet there was already a rabbit upon her, however unlike Gardenia her weapon was a melee weapon rather than a casting implement.
She was able to quickly stab the rabbit that had reached her. It managed to bite at her ankle before the second stab of her dagger finished off the rabbit.
Meanwhile Gardenia was doing her best to fend off the rabbits that surrounded her. She had managed to beat up one of them with her rod but the other two had bite her several times and there were red stands on her peasant clothing.
She could feel the mild discomfort in her legs but that could only broadly be discerned as pain. Since players were expected to fight monsters and potential get defeated by them any pain that was caused was reduced to manageable levels.
Dispite their bad situation things quickly turned in favor of the two women, after all these were just beginner opponents which were not intended to be difficult.
Even though the rabbits bite them that amount of damage caused was negligible and even Gardenia was able to beat them using her rod in only a couple of hits.
Gardenia managed to beat another one of the rabbits just by hitting it enough times while the other girl was able to dash in with her dagger and finish off the last one.
With everything finally calm the blond girl finally said, “At you alright? They didn’t hurt you too much did they?”
Gardenia couldn’t take it any more and suddenly broke out into laughter, “Are you trying to be a knight or something? That was clearly over the top.”
The girl turned her face, hiding the embarrassment that was clearly showing on it. “No need to make fun of me. I just saw you in danger and decided to come to your aid. Is there anything wrong with that?”
“No, nothing wrong. We are just trying to have fun here right? However you want to have fun is fine, you just might want to work on your running.”
“Yeah... well, I didn’t realize how different things would be and I’m having trouble adjusting. I’ll be better next time, I promise.”
Gardenia held out her hand and said, “Nice to meet you, I’m.... uh.... Gardenia, right, that was my name here.”
The blond girl gave her own little smirk, “It looks like I’m not the only one flubbing stuff up. I am Iyrandrar Norra.”
“… That is quite the mouthful. Should I call you Iyan or maybe Norra maybe?”
“Well…. suppose Norra will be fine.” Said Norra with a rejected look on her face.
“Sorry you had to come and help me. I was doing all right until I ran out of mana.”
Norra pounded her arm across her chest and said, “Do not worry, I was just looking for somebody to protect. From here on out I will protect you and you do not need to worry.”
“Um… I don’t really need somebody to protect me for that long.”
Norra looked up at the much taller Gardenia will a pleading look on her face, “Please let me play with you. All of my other friends joined a different starting zone and by the time I tried to join the zone had filled up. Now I don’t have anybody to play with.”
“You know you are really flip flopping on that character of yours. Plus your choice of such a small character also seems at odds with your chosen persona.”
“Now you are just teasing me. I’m being serious here.”
Gardenia nodded, “Alright I’ll let you play with me. With two people we can go deeper into the forest. I think I see some wolves deeper in. With the two of us we can probably handle it.”
“Are you still teasing me? Didn’t you say your mana was all gone. Plus..” Norra looked over her and Gardenia’s bloody clothing. “We are both pretty injured. If we continue like this we are going to quickly die. It would be better to head back into the town to recover.”
Gardenia nodded, “Yes, that makes sense.”
“Have you played a MMO before?”
Gardenia cocked her head and said, “A little, but just casually.”
“I see, this will be a long journey. And I will be your wise mentor tutoring you on many subjects” She stroke her imaginary wise man’s beard.”
Gardenia was finally beginning to understand Norra’s personality. Mostly it just seemed that Norra was ditzy.
The next day when Gardenia logged in she found Norra waiting for her. The two looked differently then they had the pervious day. Gardenia had a brown robe equipment, still novice equipment but better looking and more useful than peasants clothing.
Norra was wearing a set of simple leather armor. Defensive gear that allowed for easy maneuverability. Their expedition into the forest to fight wolves had gone well enough that they were able to buy these clothing with some of the profit.
“So, have you figured out what skills you plan on learning?” Asked Norra.
“Yes, I did some research and came up with the few options.”
“Call me master.”
“If I am instructing you on the ways of the MMO then it is only proper for you to call me master.”
“But…” Gardenia looked down on the small girl before her, “I just can’t imagine calling you that Norra…. It just doesn’t fit at all.”
Norra let out a long disappointed sigh, “Fine, fine, just Norra is fine then.” She looked around. “However we should get out of the plaza it looks like things are going to start getting busy here again. It is about prime time for logins.”
Gardenia nodded and Norra lead her through the small town and into a building labeled, “The Muddied Horse”
“And this place is?”
“A tavern, haven’t you ever seen one before?”
“Only in video games.”
“This is a video game.”
“Yes but it seems more real seeing it like this.”
Norra could only shake her head and lead Gardenia into the tavern where the server showed them to one of the seats. The Tavern was basically deserted. Just the server and an old man eating alone in the corner.
“Alright, let us hear it. What skills are you planning on taking?”
“The first skill I think I should take is Life Magic. Potions were expensive yesterday and I think having some healing magic will up up. Since I am already a mage it is better for me to take it then for you to learn magic.”
Norra nodded, “That is a good choice. I hear a lot of mages are learning Life Magic. What else?”
“I wanted to pick up a weapon skill. Monster kept getting to me and I only had my casting rod to defend myself. From what I could learn casting rods make bad weapons so I could carry an actually weapon in my other hand so I can fight off monsters if needed.”
“Hmmm, not a terrible strategy.”
They were interrupted by the server returning with some water. The waitress placed down the water and asked in a pleasant voice, “What would you like to eat?” There was something a bit stiff about her sentence but that didn’t bother Norra or Gardenia.
“Rabbit stew. I’ll get that.” Said Gardenia.
Norra hummed and hawed for a moment before eventually saying, “Steak! It has to be steak!”
The server nodded before heading leaving them alone again.
“I hear a lot of effort has been put into making food taste correct. Steak is usually well… not something I have very often so I wanted to have it here.” Said Norra.
Gardenia had some questions but realized that would be pushing too much into personal issues, something that would be better to avoid.
“Now, back on topic, your skills. While a weapon would be good I think that might be a bit too much. You would need to also learn duel wielding since you would have your rod too. I think getting a buckler would be better. That would be used to block attacks while casting your spells. It would also be used to protect yourself from ranged attacks.”
“A shield then?”
“It is a small shield but yes.”
“Alright, if you think that is a good choice I will go with that. The third skill would be either skinning or plant harvesting. That way fighting animals could get some extra profit.”
There was a contemplative humming before, “Rejected. No gathering skills.”
“What, why not?”
“If you think it is interesting then do it but if your only desire is save a little bit of money then I wouldn’t bother. Money made here will quickly be eclipsed and if you don’t plan on putting serious effort into becoming a gatherer then it will just be wasted effort.”
“Would I really need to put that much effort into it?”