2. A Tranquil Forest

“Ugh… they really need to fix this transfer method. I haven’t felt this bad since I rode that rollercoaster seven times in a row…” Simon, or rather Q closed her eyes and waited for the throbbing in her head to fade. Once it did she looked around and found herself in a room made of cut stone with a single door. Glowing pebbles dotted the ground and walls which illuminated the area. Just as she was about to pick one of them up her attention was taken by a glowing window in front of her. 

Welcome to the Tutorial!
Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with your new body before moving on. Once you have done so you may access the icons in the ‘toolbar’ on the bottom right side of your vision. Further explanations will be given if requested.

“Nice, a tutorial that doesn’t bombard you with windows. Right then, let’s take a look at what we have here…” At the bottom right of her vision she could make out a faint outline of a blue bar and when she focused on it it became clear. “Let’s see… icons for status, inventory, social… yup, all the basics are here. Is it touch activated?” Q eagerly began customizing her interface, wasting no time in eliminating unnecessary elements, leaving her only with the bare-minimum of things to look at. Once she was satisfied she called out “[Status]” and a large window appeared.

Q – Level 1

Myth: N/A

Class: N/A

Professions: N/A

Health: 201/201

Spirit: 267/267

STR: 21

CON: 18

DEX: 32

AP: 27

SL: 24

Skills:

Spells:

“I can’t tell if this is good or not… but what do these stats mean?” Her question was answered with yet another window.

Health: A representation of your total life force. Taking damage reduces your health, and when your health reaches zero you die. Additionally low health levels often result in debuffs that last as long as your health remains low.
Spirit: A representation of your spiritual energy. Casting spells or using arts consumes spirit, and when your spirit reaches zero you may no longer cast spells. Additionally low spirit often results in debuffs that last as long as your spirit remains low.
(STR) Strength: An overall measure of your power, athletic training, and the extent to which you can exert raw physical force. Generally affects damage dealt with physical actions.
(CON) Constitution: An overall measure of your health, stamina, and vital force. High CON can also lead to a resistance against poisons and diseases. Affects maximum health.
(DEX) Dexterity: An overall measure of your agility, reflexes, and balance. It is also a factor in spell casting times and travel speeds. 
(AP) Aptitude: An overall measure of your skill and capability at manipulating energy (both magical and physical). Affects the potency of spells and arts.
(SL) Soul: An overall measure of your attunement to the world, concentration, and magical capacity. High SL can lead to a resistance against magical debuffs. Affects maximum spirit.

“Thanks tutorial,” Q grinned and closed the window. “I suppose I should get used to my new body first… right? Actually speaking of my body, I’ve got a new voice entirely!” Far from her real life voice, her current one was high pitched and child-like. She silently admired the sheer amount of work it must have taken to achieve such a feat while doing stretches to get used to her body. Though her new body was hard to get used to she fortunately had a lot of physical practice in real life and got the hang of it… besides her tail.

Her tail was a completely new sensation and felt similar to a third arm, not that it had anywhere near the same level of articulation. As Q decided to swish it around a little she suddenly realized she hadn’t even had the chance to touch it yet! Immediately following this train of thought she began to stroke her tail… and then collapsed onto her knees.

“I can’t believe it… to think that this level of softness could exist!” She wiped away the tears forming in her eyes and continually ran her fingers through her fur. “This game is sooooo worth it~” She found herself in a soft paradise and didn’t snap out of it until a while later…

*****

“Okay, I’m full of motivation now! Let’s head out and do this tutorial!” Q pushed open the door and found herself in the middle of a forest. The trees looked similar to willow trees but instead of the yellow/green colors they were known for, these ones were vibrant shades of orange and red. The ground was littered with countless leaves that swirled around, following the cool breeze. Off in the distance Q could spot some large stone structures so she decided to head that way.

“Man, this game is way too nice. To think my tutorial level would be during autumn. This is awesome!” Q walked with a skip in her step, taking in the sights. Unfortunately her little trip was interrupted by a swirl of leaves that revealed a pair of red wolves that seemed to come out of nowhere. 

[Red Spirit] – Level 1

[Red Spirit] – Level 1

Tutorial: Analyzing Enemies
With your power as an Astralite you can vaguely understand the overall strength of an enemy which is represented by their levels. Please note that the numbers are not an accurate representation of the creatures true power, and should be taken as an approximation.

“Aaack! I trusted you tutorial!” Q screamed as she barely rolled out of the way of the wolves’ pounce. “Don’t show any windows while in battle!” 

Are you sure you want to disable windows during battle?
You can change these settings later.(Yes/No)

“Yes!” Q pushed the yes button and managed to avoid another pounce. “Alright, now that’s out of the way it’s your turn.” She narrowed her eyes and let out a low growl from her throat. The wolves seemed to take it as a sign of aggression and pounced once more, but this time Q was ready for them.

She dived down low beneath the one coming from her left and gave it a quick scratch (with her somewhat sharp nails) as it passed over her. The one on the right followed up with a pounce of its own and went right for Q’s neck. With a surprising level of flexibility Q managed to twist her body to avoid the attack and grabbed onto the wolf’s back fur in return, resulting in a yelp of pain. Just as she was going to continue her attack the previous wolf recovered and instead of pouncing it relied on a tackle to hit her.

Q responded by kicking off the ground and flipping herself around to the other side of the wolf she was grabbing, resulting in both wolves colliding with each other. She wasn’t unscathed though as the wolves also crashed into her, sending them all tumbling through the vermillion forest. The first to recover was Q, but instead of trying to take down the wolves that were tangled with each other, she turned around and began running down a slope she found in the corner of her eye. As for why this was…

[Red Spirit] – Level 1

[Red Spirit] – Level 2

[Red Spirit] – Level 1

More wolves began materializing from the swirls of leaves and began to chase after her. “This is bullshit! Five on one isn’t fair at all, and this is just the tutorial damn it!” Although Q was confident in her ability to defend herself against two enemies, this many was too much for her to handle, especially when she had just started out in the game. Not to mention more wolves might suddenly spawn. A situation such as this calls for a fool-proof plan… Run away!

Not even two seconds after she began a mad dash down the slope, the group of wolves gathered up and began to chase Q in a frenzy. Their fierce growls and ragged panting sent chills down Q’s spine. Her heart was pounding out of her chest and cold sweat ran down her cheeks, yet she couldn’t suppress the grin on her face. “Sure this is dangerous… sure this is deadly… but this sure is fun!” She felt extreme amounts of adrenaline pumping through her veins as she pushed her body to run just a little bit faster. 

Though for a moment it seemed like she might pull away from the wolves she knew that this wouldn’t last for very long. She kept her eyes open for anything that could help her and noticed a willow branch hanging at just the right height for what she was planning. Once she got close to the branch she crouched down as low as she could and sprang forward with all her might. The wolves, upon seeing this made a pounce of their own in an effort to catch Q before she escaped their grasp.

Luckily Q was faster and managed to grab the branch, avoiding the wolves. Using her momentum, she made a full rotation on the branch and swung back around, kicking the weakest looking wolf. The wolf saw this and tried to move out of the way but Q swung her tail and altered her direction, allowing her to kick it directly in the snout. Surprisingly this resulted in a direct kill as the wolf exploded into red leaves. The other wolves were whipped into a frenzy upon seeing one of their own killed and ferociously snapped their jaws in anger.

Of course Q was already prepared for this and used the remaining momentum she had to swing herself to the closest branch and jumped over, continuing her journey above the wolves’ heads. The wolves all followed her closely, and though their jumps couldn’t reach Q it didn’t stop them from trying. In fact, they had gotten close quite a few times but Q was able to evade them by pulling up her legs or moving to another branch. 

Good lord Tarzan, how do you keep this up? Despite swinging around for less than a minute Q was already beginning to feel tired. I can’t keep doing this. I have to either climb up a tree or find a safe place to go… Speaking of which… Q’s gaze focused on the stone structures a few hundred meters ahead of her. “Yup, as good a plan as any. Keep going, you can do it!” She encouraged herself to keep going.

A few more heart-pounding seconds later she managed to reach the outskirts of the stone structures while at the same time the willow trees ran out. With one last mighty swing she launched herself forward, but one of the wolves was waiting for her below. Q wouldn’t just wait to get chomped on though, so with a flick of her tail she began to flip forward and hit the wolf directly on the head with a crushing axe-kick, severely wounding it. She didn’t waste time finishing it off as the remaining wolves chased after her with increased vigour, prompting Q to make her way to the stone structures as quickly as possible. 

Upon approaching the stones it turned out they were some sort of ancient ruins. Broken down and collapsed buildings which resembled houses could be found all over the place, and there were also stone pillars covered in strange markings as well. Q didn’t have time to admire them though as the wolves were just about to catch up to her. Her eyes darted to and fro, trying to find something, anything, that she could use to help her in this situation. Just as she was about to resolve herself to fight to the death with these wolves she noticed a still intact house with a slightly open door.

Changing her course, Q immediately dashed towards the house and practically bashed the door down, though lucky for her it didn’t break as she turned around and slammed it shut to prevent the wolves from coming in. Obviously this wouldn’t be enough to stop them so she took a quick glance behind her and found a simple table and some chairs to block the door with. Even as she pushed the furniture to the door it was already starting to crack under the attacks of the wolves, so she redoubled her efforts and pushed with all her strength to keep it from breaking down. 

It took a very long time, but it seemed the wolves eventually tired of trying to break in from the front. Q finally let out a huge sigh of relief and sank down onto the floor. “That was… intense.” She panted and simply let her body lay flat in a comfortable position to regain her stamina faster. While she did this she noticed that there was a  flashing light on top of her toolbar. Focusing her vision on it, she found it was a summary of her rewards.

The rewards consisted of a high amount of experience and some miscellaneous items from defeating the two wolves. Q found it slightly strange that they dropped their pelts, claws and fangs despite initially being made out of leaves, but  decided not to question it as part of video game logic. Besides, it’s not like I took the time to loot them right? I should be thankful that I got any items at all from that fight. 

The rest of her rewards were new skills, which were [Running], [Jumping] and [Kicking], which she realized must have been generated during the whole chase. She closed the window and let out a deep breath as she calmed down from the chase. “I guess that’s an appropriate reward for such a hectic first fight. It’s interesting that severely wounding something counts towards experience,” Q pondered aloud for a moment, “Would that mean that battle experience is based on contribution to the battle rather than just defeating enemies? That’s an interesting way to get players to actively participate in combat, but the production classes might have a hard time with it… Well, not my problem. Now what’s in this house?” 

Q picked herself up off the ground and began looking around the house she decided to hide in. While the wolves had backed off for now there was no guarantee they wouldn’t come back, and finding something she could defend herself with would be greatly appreciated. Besides the table and chairs she used to block the door there were also a few shelves and cupboards around the area. There was also a stairwell that led to both an upper and lower floor, but Q decided to search the shelves first. Just as she suspected there wasn’t anything of interest besides a rusty spoon and some round objects that vaguely resembled coins. Since her inventory didn’t actually affect her carry weight she threw those items in there for fun and then headed upstairs. 

To no surprise there was nothing left in the upper floor as the roof was completely gone. “Still though, this is a nice bird’s eye view of the place.” Q nodded in appreciation as she looked over the large expanse of red trees. She kept an eye out for any wolves but couldn’t find any, so she finally relaxed a little. With more luxury to look around she noticed that the whole area was once a battlefield. There were tons of skeletons on the ground with crushed weapons and equally crushed bones that littered the area. There was even a large expanse of flattened buildings that looked like something had rolled over them. “There’s got to be some more explanation to this… in the basement!”

Q made her way downstairs and into the basement and to her joy she actually found something useful down there. There was a skeleton leaning over a table holding a dagger, which she gingerly pried off of its hands. “Sorry buddy, but I sorta need this. Take this instead.” She took the rusted spoon out of her inventory and put it in the skeleton’s hand. Though nothing happened, Q felt satisfied for some reason. 

Returning her attention to the table she found that the skeleton was leaning over a book so she grabbed it and began to read. A large majority of the book was covered in red and illegible, though a bit at the end was still intact. “I think I have an idea of what happened here…” Q’s gaze shifted from the book to the skeleton which was previously holding the dagger. Shaking her head, she began to read what little she could.

Orvix, 1-4

    As usual the harshest time of year brings its trials and tribulations to us yet again. The snow fall makes it hard for us to do anything, but thankfully we are prepared this year. With the new hunting grounds we found a few months earlier we have enough supplies to……… Also, father said he would train me when he’s not…

Orvix, 3-5

    There has been a fight with the Urka clan. Our hunters found them while searching for food……… things look bad. The Urka clan has never been so aggressive before though. What could have caused them to change?

Orvix, 4-2

    The Urka clan has openly declared war on us! Father told me about it while mother healed his wounds. They have a new……… can’t believe it. Though we have had rivalries in the past, it’s never been this bad before.

Orvey, 1-1

    The Urka clan has driven us back. Our hunting grounds, herb fields, even some of our houses on the outskirts of our territory have been taken or destroyed………. Hold on for much longer. The Elders say they have a plan. I hope it works.

Orvey, 1-2

    The plan is…………..

Orvey, 3-5

    So many are dead. What little is left of our clan fights amongst each other while the Urka close in on us. Father has told me where he keeps the weapons hidden… just in case. Of course it was under the rug in the basement. I always wondered why he’d spend so much time down there. I hope I don’t have to use them.

Orvey, 3-7

    Father has died.

Orvoz, 1-1

    This will be my last entry. The Urka have killed everyone I know, including my whole family. I survived only because of my cowardice. While our last warriors met death with a dignified face, I hid in the basement. I could hear the fighting above, and even that horrible crushing sound whenever the elders would call upon that power. I even heard those… things turn on the elders eventually. How fitting, for the beginning of the darkest month to signal the end of our clan. I’m sorry father. Forgive me for being weak…

“Ouch,” Q grimaced and put down the book, “Rest in peace skele-bro.” She patted him on the shoulder and looked under the rug for that hidden stash. “Hope you don’t mind if I take this stuff. I mean, I don’t think you’ll need it anymore right? Right.” Reaching deep inside Q found another sheathed dagger which was slightly smaller than the one the skeleton held, a long staff, and also a book. The moment she picked up the book a window appeared.

Obtained: ★[Book of Spark]★
Would you like to learn the spell [Spark]?
(Yes/No)

“Uhh, yes please.” The moment she pressed the yes button a flood of information filled her head and she somehow intuitively knew how to cast her new spell. There was no need to chant or even ‘gather up energy’, all she needed to do was hold out her hand and call out the spell’s name. Upon reading the description of the spell it turned out it could evolve upon use, which was very much to Q’s liking.

Looking at the other items she found out that the small dagger was part of a set with the one the skeleton was holding earlier, while the large staff was something this tribes warriors used to do battle. She immediately equipped the daggers (using the sheathes that were also inside the hidden stash) and it apparently increased her stats, not that she felt anything different. What she was really bothered by was the staff though. 

“What the heck? The staff boosts strength, but requires you to be strong enough to equip it in the first place? Video game logic I guess, but I can still keep it for later. It’s a big help since i’ve learned mainly staff techniques back in my dojo days.” Q put it in her inventory and started to get excited. “You wolves better prepare yourself. It’s time for round two!”












Skill Details
[Running]: Allows you to move at faster speeds while running
[Jumping]: Allows you to jump higher
[Kicking]: Increases the power of your kicks
Spell: Spark
Cost: 5 Spirit
Cooldown: 1 second.
Deals [weak] lightning damage.
Unlac Ceremonial Daggers (Common)
These daggers were meant to be given as a gift from a father to a son, the father holding the small dagger and the son holding the large one, to represent their mutual love and respect for each other. While they were meant to be used as decoration, they are surprisingly effective in battle – especially when used together.
+5 STR, +5 DEX
Unlac Warrior Staff (Refined)
This staff is the traditional weapon of the Unlac warriors. Its metal core surrounded by a wooden exterior compliments their fighting style incredibly well, serving them both as a weapon to attack and defend. It is very heavy though, and an Unlac tribesman could only be considered ‘of age’ if they could wield this staff.
+10 STR, +15 CON, -5 DEX
Requires 30 STR to wield properly



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A/N: I wish wordpress would accept copy-pasta stuff easier. I always have to reformat when I move stuff from google docs over.

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