Boundless Wanderers: Shield and Dragon - Part 4

Submitted by Nel on Tue, 11/19/2019 - 18:01

Norra nodded, “Groups tend to snatch them up pretty quickly. Still, with the temptation of a special quest field boss we can probably tempt one of them. There are two other problems that I can see as well.”

“Which are?”

“First, we aren’t currently strong enough to fight the Boar King. More training and raising our skills will be needed. I believe a full team with nearly mastered basic skills is needed to beat a boss like that. However this requirement is just an estimate.

“Second, you have heard about the Gwiazda dungeon correct? The path into the city is shut, guarded by a powerful monster. We need to defeat the Boar King before that monster is defeated.”

“Why?”

“This is because the elites have begun to gather to defeat the monster and open up the tunnel to Gwiazda. There are several large groups leveling and gathering gear to defeat that monster. Once it is gone they will be able to go to Gwiazda. However… we are attempting to beat a foe of similar strength, once they are finished they might set their new sights on the Boar King. Even if they done then our quest is mostly a bust, whatever allies we might recruit will have their own goals and staying in the beginner town is probably disadvantageous to them and us.”

Gardenia nodded in understanding, “Alright. Do you know how long we are going to have?”

“At least three more day, probably five. That is my estimate about how long it will take the elites to max their basic skills and become properly equipped. This starting town wasn’t part of the beta so we have the advantage there, that means the dungeon and the boss will need scouting. We should plan to start making attempted on the Boar King on day four.

“For the rest of today we need to find team members. The more the better. If we can’t get at least two more core members this whole thing is a no-go.”

“Just two more? Didn’t you say we should get a full six party members.”

“That is the goal, however if we can get two to commit now and then train to near basic mastery we can probably convince a couple of elites to join us at the last minute. Still if we can get more earlier that would be better.

“To continue… days one and two are just grinding days. On day three we need to purchase the best equipment we can afford and make sure we can properly use them. That is all.” Norra finally finished her detailed explanation, when she wasn’t trying to role-play too hard she was certainly competent at the game.

“Roger, I got the plan.” Said Gardenia.

“Alright, now we should split up and scour the town for potential party members. Since it is beginning to become morning all the players will be returning to town to logout. Remember we are searching for a tank but anybody who will join is good. I would suggest scouting players who are solo since they are less likely to already have a party. I’m going to leave checking the market area to you and we need to get some emergency consumables so buy them while you are there.”

With the plan made the two of them split up.

——

Gardenia was wandering the market stalls looking for players to join their team. She didn’t really know how to begin. While Norra had given her instructions on what kind of people to look for Gardenia was not really skilled at doing that. Her joining with Norra in the first place was more of a coincidence than anything else.

Eventually she decided to just keep an eye our for people while doing the needed shopping. Not only was she in charge of buying the consumables they needed but she had also been given the items drops from all the creatures the two of them had fought.

Enemies didn’t drop money but rather ingredients. Rabbits and wolves provided things like meat and hide while the monster trees dropped wood. While neither of them had the skinning or butchering skills it was still possible to get good drops from monsters.

Gardenia had found a market stall owned by an NPC and was about to sell there accumulated materials when a voice called out. “Wait wait wait! Don’t sell that!”

Gardenia turned to see a woman running toward her. The woman was a bit shorter than Gardenia but definitely an adult, unlike Norra. She had silver hair which was braided and hung behind her. She was also quite the beauty and was unusually endowed. Such looked weren’t that uncommon though, partially normal. The character editor let you build your character practically however you wanted.

The woman had clearly been playing the game a bit since she was wearing a set of leather armor like Noora rather than the starting peasant clothing. She has a bow attached her her back.

She was panting when she finally stopped in front of Gardenia, “Don’t sell those.”

Gardenia was a bit stunned, “What do you mean? Do you want to buy them instead?”

The woman shook her head, “No, no, no, just that if you sell them to that merchant you will only get 60% of their actual work. You can get much more if you sell them to the right people. If you let me help you I can get you much more money. Just… pay me a 10% commission.”

“Commission?”

“Yes, you will get 90% of the value of the item and I will get the other 10% and since it will be more than you would get from this seller you have nothing to lose.”

Gardenia looked to either side trying to decide what to do before finally saying, “Sure, that sounds good.”

The woman nodded, “But we need to do it quickly. I need to logoff in an hour.” The woman pointed and started walking through the market. Gardenia followed and continued to listen to the woman who said, “I saw you have rabbit meat and hides. Anything else?”

“Ummm, wolf meat and hides. Also monster tree wood.”

“What kind of wood? Dark Birch or Dark Oak?”

“I don’t know.”

“Alright, we can have Sanderman look at it. Eternal Baking will wand the meat and Neverland𝜶 will will want the hides.”

“And those are?”

“Crafting players. Selling to the NPCs will always get you less money then selling directly to the player that needs the item. The NPCs living here do not have much use for the items so they buy them for cheap and resell them at a significant markup. This means the crafting players prefer to buy directly as well since they too save money.”

Gardenia could only nodded at the explanation. It seemed that everybody knew how to play games better than her. All the previous games she had played had just been for fun and she usually dropped them after a while, she had never been very hardcore. It seems that she would need to step up her game.

“Umm.. I’m Gardenia, it is a pleasure to meet you.”

“Likewise, I am Evening Wanderer but you can just call me Eve.”

“Everybody’s names are so strange. I’m just having trouble getting used to them.”

“You haven’t played many MMOs then have you? Strange names are pretty common, I don’t believe that this one has name uniqueness but many players just can’t let their old handles die and keep bringing them from one game to another. I am not that different, although it has been a while since I have had a chance to play anything. The sleep play feature really is something. Without it I wouldn’t be able to find time to play a game like this.”

Gardenia nodded, she had plenty of free time but even so getting an additional eight hours of play time was the reason the game was so populated.

Eve led Gardenia through the market to meet the different players. Each of them called out to Eve who was apparently well know among them. With her aid Gardenia was able to sell all the materials in her possession. Each of the different crafting players was unique in their own way.

Sanderman was a tall bald man who practiced woodworking and didn’t talk very much. Eternal Baking wanted to open their own sweets shop and was currently level up her cooking skill until the opportunity presented itself. Neverland𝜶 was a short boy who was the leatherworker and tailer.

After selling all the items Gardenia paid Eve her portion before thanking her, “Thanks for your help. Without it I certainly won’t have this much money.”

“No problem. But it is getting early and I need to log off soon.”

“Before you go…” Gardenia has spend all the time she had been allotted selling materials and not searching for allies so she certainly wasn’t going to let this opportunity go, “Me and a friend are trying to gather some players to train and then fight a field boss. I was wondering if you wanted to join us.”

“A field boss… I only really have time to play during sleeping hours. Is that alright with you?”

“I think that is fine. The most players the better. I’m sure you would as least be more competent than me.” Said Gardenia.

Eve nodded and said, “Alright then, I can give it a try. Here, I’ll send you a friend request. You can send me the details later. I’ll contact you again tomorrow night. However I really have to go now.” She waved and then disappeared into a sparkle as she logged out.

With that taken care of it was time to meet back up with Norra. They were to meet at the tavern that they had eaten at before. When Gardenia arrived Norra was still not there so she took a table by herself but big enough to seat a few more people if Norra brought a new member of the team.

Gardenia had to wait for fifteen more minutes before Norra showed up. She was followed by a tall man wearing a very sooty apron. Despite the mess on the apron the man’s face was very clean and he bore a very wide and spectacular red mustache. His hair was red too but that was barely noticeable because of his mustache.

Gardenia waved toward Norra and Norra brought the man over to the table. She held out her hands and motioned at the man, “Tada, I have brought him. The man, the myth, the legend, Equinox!”

There was eye contact between Gardenia and Equinox but neither of them spoke. It was hard to speak after an introduction like that.

“Come on you too. Don’t get starry eyed. Equinox, this is Gardenia, our spellcaster and healer.. Gardenia, this is Equinox, our tank.”

“A pleasure to meet you my lady.” Said the man in a refined voice.

“Me as well. Please have a seat, we can have some food while we talk.”

“Very well.” The man took a seat across from her and Norra took another one of the seats.

“Well, aren’t you impressed? That I found a tank.” Said Norra.

“Good job, although I must admit you look more like a Blacksmith.”

“That is because I am a blacksmith. However little Norra here has convinced me to join in your quest. Since I can make my own tanking equipment it seemed like a good way of testing the gear that I can make. Business is currently rather slow and I expect to need the training in the future so I though it would be good to go alone with the little lady’s idea.” Said Equinox.

Norra nodded with a pleased expression on her face like everything happened because she wished it. “Indeed, that is how it is. How about you Gardenia, it doesn’t seem like you found anybody but I can assume you managed to sell all the materials?”

“Oh, but I did find somebody. Well, maybe. They can only play during sleeping hours but they did agree to give it a try. She is called Evening Wanderer and I think that she is an archer.”

“Not bad!” Said Norra giving a thumbs up and then she paused, “Evening Wanderer you said…” There was a long paused before Norra said, “Naw, it couldn’t be…”

Gardenia cocked her head and said, “Couldn’t be what?”