Hello anyone interested, I'm releasing chapter 2 now, huzzah. Also editing chap 1 slightly. Again some feed-back would be real great, I'm a little worried about my pacing and some input would be great.
A very merry christmas to you all for tomorrow.
Chapter 2: Rabbits of Caerbannog
Divus and his new allies turned off the road and headed down a far less well maintained track towards a small forest. Numerous parties of other adventurers were entering before them or sat nearby, apparently taking a rest. A few odd shaped stone statues stood upright along the path and around the forest. They really didn’t seem natural. Though roughly humanoid, they lacked any distinct features or body-parts. Even as vague as they were though, there was a sense that each was somehow unique. Finally curiosity won out of his inherent social ineptitude.
“W-what are those statues all about the place?” Divus asked.
“Ah that’s what happens when you log out.” Dash called back, “You just turn into stone until you log back in. It’s a bit weird but at least they’re pretty much indestructible.”
He turned back to quietly pondering to himself. What would happen if they were destroyed? Would a new Divus figurine appear back at a shrine? Maybe they had infinite health… How do the NPCs react to them? Wait, thinking of NPCs…
“W-why don’t you just level up through NPC quests?” he innocently inquired.
An embarrassed silence spread through the group. Eventually it was Trevor who answered. “We don’t know how.”
“Whenever we ask them about getting a quest they just look at us funny, and talking normally to them just ends with gossip about the weather…” Dash added, this time without turning around.
Sensing the discontent Divus resolved to not ask any more questions. They continued in silence until the trees began to loom above them. Although not a particularly deep or thick wood it was big enough for hundreds of adventurers to run around without constantly getting in each other’s way.
“Here we are, ok let’s get organised guys!” Dash declared, his cheerful enthusiasm returning to his voice. The rest of the party drew their knives and crept into the woods leaving Divus to quickly follow suit. Even with Dash’s injected optimism the group had taken a dour air.
“Ok we’re looking for rabbits; you guys see a wolf we run, you guys see a fox we run. Got it?”
“We know.” Beauty complained.
“Newbie doesn’t.” Trevor countered, “What about rats?”
“…We can take them” Dash decided after a pause. Not sure why they were so tense about rats and foxes Divus decided to just follow their lead and keep low.
“Listen up Newbie, combat in New World is nothing like any game you’ve ever played; even the rabbits won’t go down easy. It might be because we’re low levelled but they’re tough to kill and fast little buggers. We need to co-ordinate our attacks, ok?”
With no other option he just nodded, the dead serious atmosphere stealing his words. They might be low levels, and New World was a completely new style of game, but a single rabbit couldn’t cause that much damage surely?
Seeing his confusion, Dash grinned a little. “Yeah, sounds a bit silly right? Tell you what; I think there’s one up ahead. You take the lead and experience it yourself. That’ll be the best lesson.”
“Hey Da-“ Trevor tried to cut in, but Dash held up his hand.
“There it is, you sneak up on it, we’ll surround it. OK?” Without waiting for a response beauty and he crept off. Trevor paused briefly before heading in a different direction.
Abruptly left on his own Divus had no choice but to advance on the rabbit. It was just a little bunny, he told himself, there was nothing to fear. A small, white ball of fluff appeared up ahead. It seemed to be munching away at a carrot, though where it had procured the vegetable was anyone’s guess. There was absolutely nothing to be afraid of. Telling himself that one last time he tightened his grip on his knife and made his move.
Careful to make as little noise as possible Divus swung his weapon at the bunny. Yet it easily hopped to the side.
A message appeared at the top of his vision. The rabbit was now stood staring him, as if to mock his pathetic strike. Annoyed, Divus launched another cut towards the furry fiend. But this time not only did it dodge; it leapt head first into his knee.
Rabbit had dealt 12 damage.
Pain blossomed where the rabbit had struck. Real pain. Letting out a pathetic yelp Divus fell over onto his backside while wildly striking out in the general direction of the bunny.
“Let’s go!” Came a shout from the trees.
It took a moment for Divus’ panicked mind to realise that it was the rest of his party dashing to his aid. They all appeared from different directions and rushed towards their tiny foe. It would have been the heroic scene of a daring rescue, if they were not facing off against a bunny. Being attacked suddenly from three directions was too much for it and under the flurry of blows it rapidly lost health. Another message appeared as they final slew the creature.
Rabbit killed, 1 experience has been shared amongst the party.
Having just recovered his composure at his rescue Divus’ face paled once more at the screen before him. “That bunny was just one experience point?!”
“No it was five, just shared between all of us.” Dash explained, “Oh yeah, sorry about not telling you about the pain, I was worried you’d chicken out! It’s much less than in real life but it still stings don’t it?”
Although slightly annoyed, he decided to let it go. Without these party members he’d of probably died in his first fight. Instead he felt a bit invigorated. The shut in Nevil hadn’t had this much excitement for years. The adrenaline buzz still lingered, pumping him with energy. Now was not the time to be annoyed with team mates, now was time for vengeance!
“Let’s find more varmints!”
Taken slightly aback by this change in attitude Dash and the others could do nothing but follow as he led them onwards.
When the found their second rabbit it was agreed they’d use the same formation as before. Divus snuck towards the rabbit to keep its attention while the others spread out to surround it. This time however, he was determined to land at least one hit on it. He was aiming for the strongest in the game. No, he had to become the strongest in the game! No mere bunny would get in the way of that!
This time he carefully watched the rabbit as he launched his strike. As it jumped to the right Divus tried to twist his arm to follow it but his reflexes were much too dull and it easily dodged again and launched its own attack. He’d thought himself ready for it this time, but when the rabbit struck his legs he unwillingly recoiled in pain. At this point his allies rushed in to kill it, giving the same result as the last time.
The bunny had barely fallen before Divus dragged the party to the next one. When the third time ended in much the same way Dash called for a halt.
“Come on, let’s take a break. We’re probably all getting hungry.”
Hunting rabbits in such a careful way had proved to be more tiring and time consuming then he’d of ever imagined so he stifled his complaints.
Trevor patted Divus on the shoulder and took a seat on a nearby rock, while Beauty and Dash sat on a tree trunk opposite. Small loaves of bread were produced from there pouches, reminding Divus that he’d also built up an appetite. Eagerly opening his own small bag he pulled out a piece of bread and began to chew into it. Amazingly enough it really did taste like bread, he had to silently marvel to himself about just how impressive this game was once more.
The party relaxed and began to chat about this and that; it quickly became apparent that Beauty and Dash knew each other in real life, though they’d met Trevor when they first logged on. They were all uni students, studying various subjects. None of them were hugely studious, so they had no problems missing a lecture or two to play this hyped up new game.
“Where are you studying Trev?” Beauty asked, using a lazy nickname of her own design.
“Exeter, you guys?”
“Ooo a red brick! We both go to Bristol, inseparable me and Dash are.”
“What do you do Divus?” Dash asked
“I-“ Play video games, was a bit pathetic wasn’t it? But what else could he say? “I was living off playing Neverwhere.”
Trevor raised an eyebrow, “Really? I’ve heard that’s really hard to do. You need to find lots of rare items for them to sell.”
“What was your character called? Anyone we’d know?” Excitement filled Beauty’s voice at the slight possibility that they might be talking to someone vaguely famous.
The others were silent for a second, and then Dash and Beauty started to burst out laughing.
“You got me there Divus! I thought you might have been serious!”
He was about to angrily retort but stopped himself. He was well aware of the enigmatic flair people associated with Devil, a pasty 20 year old claiming to be that near legendary figure would seem like a joke. He didn’t need them to believe him anyway.
Swallowing the last of his bread he stood and faced the others“Let’s get back to catching rabbits!”
The party killed another two rabbits with their strategy, but Divus had yet to land a blow as the bait. He had briefly considered asking to swap out with someone, but that would be admitting defeat! He stoically continued to tank for the team while failing to strike the enemy.
As they approached the sixth rabbit morale was pretty high, while it was slow progress they were confident that it would be easier when they levelled up. Dash, who had been dealing the most blows, had even created the knife mastery skill. While still at level 1 Novice, it boosted his attack by 10%, and as he improved it that bonus would increase. Divus could only look on in jealousy. Though he still suffered stinging blows he could not allow himself to change his role till he landed a hit.
This time he would definitely do some damage! As the bunny came into sight he launched himself with as much force as he could muster in an attempt to take it by surprise. Predictably the bunny saw him coming and hopped away. Divus span round to chase after it, only to see it disappear down a hole. He angrily stamped to where it vanished as his team mates appeared.
“This is new; did it run away from me?” Dash asked
Trevor snorted and took a look down the burrow. “Do you think it’ll come back out?”
“Excuse me,” Divus said, pushing past Trevor. He then shoved his entire arm down to try and reach after it.
The rest of the team were still a bit put off at the 180 in his personality when it came to hunting so just quietly watched him. After a few seconds of rooting around he yelped and fell over backwards as he hurriedly withdrew his arm.
“Are you OK?”
“The bugger just bit me!!”
The party turned to stare at the hole. Suddenly the rabbit reappeared, strutting arrogantly to the entrance. Divus was just about to lunge at it when something else came up behind it. Another rabbit exited, sneering alongside the first. Then another joined, and another, and another. Soon over a dozen bunnies were staring angrily at the intruders in their territory. The two sides stared off for what seemed like ages, adorable little black eyes glaring with venomous wrath. It was Dash who acted first. He decisively and heroically took charge of the situation.
They all fled, running as fast as they could to escape. The small horde of cute little bunny rabbits were in hot pursuit. Rushing through the woods was harder than they expected, the party would have to keep their eyes on the ground so they didn’t trip on roots, while looking ahead to avoid the trees. The rabbits didn’t have to worry so much and were rapidly gaining ground.
It was Divus who slipped up in the end, in spectacular fashion no less. His foot got entangled in some weeds and he was launched face first into a nearby tree.
Tree has dealt 23 damage.
The abrupt end to his flight left him sprawled on the ground. Trevor tried to turn to help, but it was much too late. The bunnies swarmed atop of him, biting and kicking all over. The head-butts he’d suffered earlier had been affectionate greetings compared to the agony he was now subjected to, you try being ripped apart by blunt bunny teeth. He could not help but let out a scream as he futilely tried to throw his tormentors off him. The only small mercy was that it was brief.
Rabbit has dealt 17 damage.
Rabbit has dealt 23 damage.
Rabbit has dealt 27 damage.
Rabbit has dealt 26 damage.
Rabbit has dealt 30 damage.
Rabbit has dealt 22 damage.
Rabbit has dealt 34 damage.
His vision turned black and the forest disappeared.
You have died.
Level has decreased by 1, random skill mastery has decreased by 1.
As no re-spawn point is set you will revive at Richmond
The darkness gave way to light, surrounding him on all sides. When the light vanished Divus found himself back in Richmond city centre. A few people in the same leather garments as himself spared him a pitying glance before returning to their own business.
Divus slunk towards an alley where he rested against a wall. The excitement and adrenaline of the hunt had dissipated leaving only an annoyed feeling in the pit of his stomach. Killed by rabbits! He had started his new legend of greatness by dying to the most harmless rodent in existence! He drove his fist into the wall beside him and let out a growl.
“Wow do you seem angry.” Someone spoke from nearby. Divus jumped a good 2 feet into the air as he span around towards the stranger.
“S-sorry, I didn’t realise anyone was there.” He stuttered.
The stranger stood up and turned to face Divus in turn. It was a middle aged man, he had a weathered, handsome face, scraggly beard and an open smile. “I did nae expect the man who’d vent his wroth so aggressively against that wall to answer me so politely!” He laughed with a slight northern accent, “What’s eating ya lad, to get someone so well-mannered so riled up?”
“…I was killed by rabbits…” Divus quietly confessed.
“Rabbits?” The man looked at him seriously for a moment, then audibly choked back another laugh. “Wait what do you mean killed, you look fine? Ah, you’re one of ‘em foreigners ain’t ya?”
Foreigner? It was then that Divus realised he was talking to an NPC. He talked and responded so naturally that he’d only just noticed.
“Y-yeah, that’s right. I’m Divus, n-nice to meet you.” He said, his mind racing back to the terrifying merchant from before
“Divus eh? The name’s Peter. So tell me how you got killed by rabbits? I just so happen to be a… seasoned hunter, I can offer some pointers” he suggested, bringing a hand to stroke is stubbly chin.
This might just be a good opportunity, the others had mentioned they hadn’t been able to get a quest from NPCs earlier, but maybe he could learn a skill… Divus began to describe his short adventure, explaining his difficulties hitting the rabbits and the tragic end when happening upon a burrow full of them.
Peter stroked his chin thoughtfully throughout, occasionally nodding as if understanding something new. When Divus had finished his tale he declared jovially, “I see, so you’re a complete novice then!” And proceeded to laugh heartily.
Divus winced but could not refute him. While he could be considered a pro at video games his recent experiences had proven quite emphatically that New World was a whole new kettle of fish.
Peter than gave him a mighty clap on the back, rocking him forwards. “No worries lad! Everyone starts off somewhere! I can sort that out for ya if you want!”
Having steadied himself against the wall Divus turned around with a new hope in his eyes. “Really? But I’m a stranger, and I’ve no money to pay you…”
“Don’t sweat the small stuff! I’m stuck in this town for another week at least so I needed something to pass the time!”
So he was an interesting way to for Peter to amuse himself? Wait do NPCs even get bored? Oh well, if he’s helping me for free I won’t complain.
“So what will you teach me? A new attack? Or basic mastery of a weapon?”
“No no no,” Peter laughed, “I’m going to teach you how to fight!”
They walked swiftly through the city, Divus soon finding himself lost in the myriad of streets and alleys they passed through. As they went through another market place Peter stopped now and then to greet a trader or traveller he knew. Eventually a pattern appeared within his seemingly random acquaintances. Not once did he stop by a normal stall or shop, the only goods his friends seemed to sell were far more exotic. There was a dealer of rare and dangerous monster parts, available as trophies or use in advanced potions. Another man sold expensive pieces of enchanted equipment, Peter had poked his head into the well furbished store. The only merchant who dealt with normal wares was the head of a huge trade guild at the centre of Albions economy, or so Divus would learn at a later date. What he did remember was the man disappearing into a huge and ornate building after his brief exchange with Peter.
Not only did he know various traders, Divus was quite surprised when they were stopped by a small group of soldiers.
“Ho there, if it isn’t Peter! I didn’t realise you were still here!” Exclaimed the leader of the troop, distinguishable by his plumed helm.
“Well met Captain, how goes the watch?” Peter replied in a familiar tone.
“Very well, though a huge influx of foreigners seems to have occurred they’re no trouble. The great forest is all quiet as well, thanks to yourself.”
“No, I was just doing my job. You lads are the ones that have to keep it that way!”
“You are too humble, your people are invaluable to the land. I shan’t keep you any longer, but thank you once again for your great service.” The rest of the patrol nodded from behind.
“Shucks fellas, well if you have a free night then you can buy me drink!” Peter suggested, then broke into a hearty laugh as they parted.
“That was Guard Captain Donavan. Good lad he is, if still a little wet.” He confided in Divus after they gained a little distance.
As they slowly eventually approached their destination the questions piled up. Even those Peter didn’t greet himself seemed to recognise and respect him. Although he seemed a well-known and popular figure in Richmond, it didn’t seem like he was a local. Even so, officers in the city’s guard were indebted to him. Just who had Divus unwittingly gained as a teacher?
The streets began to get less populated and poorly maintained as they walked, proud wooden and stone houses slowly giving way to what was barely better than a collection of shacks. As the quality of the buildings deteriorated Peter finally stopped before an ancient, rotting warehouse. He pushed open the battered door and strode to the centre of the decrepit storeroom. Turning to face Divus he immediately launched into his lecture, leaving no time for him to gather his bearings.
“Right! Let’s just get started! The reason you couldn’t hit your target is simple, you just blindly swung at it. Hunting’s no game lad; you can’t expect to stand still trading blows against a monster. Just as you react to him, he’ll react to you. Against a fast moving opponent that’ll never work unless you’re far quicker! And even against slow opponents it’s the most inefficient way of attacking! What all warriors and hunters must learn is how to read your foe!”
Peter’s booming voice echoed throughout the empty storeroom. Divus was unsure as to why he needed to be so loud…
“Now I’ll level with you laddy, others can teach you what you need to know to fight rabbits and their training will be miles easier. Because I’m not just going to teach you how to fight, I’ll be teaching you how to dominate. But be very aware, this nae be easy. I shall be pushing ye to ya limits, and beyond, jus’ so you can kill a bunny.”
Unknown to Peter, this was exactly what Divus wanted. If he was being offered to learn far beyond just the basics then he’d readily agree. He had to become the strongest; nothing would stop him from reaching that goal. Turning his lips into a fierce grimace he stared resolutely ahead, there was no way he’d be quitting here.
With a satisfied nod Peter brought out a large gem and muttered some words into it. A green glow spread out from the stone and a shape began to materialize in the centre of the warehouse. In a matter of seconds a demonic beast was brought into existence; thick threads of saliva hung from wickedly pointed teeth and ferocious yellow eyes latched onto Divus. All of a sudden the option of quitting didn’t seem so unacceptable. Being bitten by those rotted fangs would be incomparable to the nibbling to death he’d received earlier.
“The goal is simple, kill this beast. When you’re wounded I’ll heal you. You have as long as it takes.”
There was no need to go through that, surely? Yes there was. He needed to succeed in the New World no matter what, for the sake of his sister. After so many years as a recluse, getting a normal job was impossible, and it sure wouldn’t be enough to send his sister to university. He needed to become the strongest. There was no other path left for Nevil Thompson to take.
“If ya wanna flee, then now’s the time lad!”
The Hellhound rushed towards him.
Peter had noticed the change in the boy’s eyes as soon as he’d gripped the knife. What could possibly drive such an innocent looking youth forward into the maw of a beast so inexorably? The truth be told, Peter had expected the boy to turn tail as soon as the Hellhound took shape. That he was forced to wait in this town and was looking to relieve his boredom was true, but he’d had no intention of actually training Divus. It was meant to be a rather cruel joke to kill a few minutes, then he’d take him to some other trainer to learn the basics. Yet now Peter watched an amateur face off against a monster he stood no chance in beating.
To make matters worse he was now completely unable to stop them. Though reluctantly, Peter had to recognise the young warrior’s spirit. To stop now would be an insult. And so he found himself doing what he’d deceitfully promised.
Divus struck again, completely missing the hound and taking a vicious clawing in return. He let out a short scream, cutting it off by clenching his teeth tight. A ball of light struck him and the wound knitted neatly back together.
“You’re striking blindly! You swipe at where you see your foe mindlessly. You’re not playing a game boy! The enemy does not want to be hit! Watch him, follow his every motion, learn to read where he’ll move and strike there!” Peter bellowed from the side.
And so the lesson began.
The deaths of Nevil’s parents had broken him. After they had died in a car accident when he was 15 Nevil had fled from the world. He stopped attending school, or even going outside, eventually just holing himself up in his room. Both his he and his sister had been taken in by their uncle, but he was never around due to work so other family members tried to assist the siblings. He couldn’t take Clair’s accusatory stares when he exited his room, and eventually stopped going out altogether. While they’d initially been understanding, the various extended family began to give up and left him alone, which suited Nevil just fine.
Confined alone in his room, eventually Nevil started playing online games. Whether he was looking for companionship in the virtual world or whether it was just another way to pass the time, even Nevil couldn’t say. But he never even talked to his team-mates. When he found Neverwhere he quickly became hooked. He’d sometimes go days without sleep and before he’d realised it himself he reached the top of the game. As strangers began to tell tales of his virtual adventures something was rekindled in Nevil.
For the first time in years people were praising him. Though they never said it out loud, he knew everyone blamed him for the accident, after all he blamed himself. But online nobody did, nobody even knew who he was and now they even celebrated his achievements. So he set about cementing his role at the top. He actively took on the famous dungeons and bosses. After a while he even began to talk with other players on rare occasions.
It was during one of these conversations that he heard about selling items online. When he began to participate in the auctions, sometimes selling for hundreds of pounds, he truly began to feel as if he’d achieved something. He felt that maybe his sister could be a little less ashamed. Maybe he wasn’t so worthless.
Around this time the uncle he was staying with began to get into some financial trouble. He took on loans to stay afloat. Unable to handle the repayments and interest eventually he skipped town, saddling Nevil and his sister with the debt. This wasn’t a tragedy however, this was a chance. A family meeting was held to decide what could be done for the siblings, but unexpected by all Nevil appeared and said he’d take care of everything. At 18 he was legally an adult, so he could take in Clair. Without a stable income, though, it was a pipe dream. However when Nevil showed them the money he was making online everyone dropped all their complaints and quickly consented.
He realised they just wanted someone to take care of it who was not themselves, but that was just fine with him. Nevil could finally support his sister himself, he could lose himself in the world of Neverwhere, he could be more than a simple screw up. However the only way to achieve these goals was to never lose his position at the top. To always be the best. You could say that this became his reason to carry on.
“He’s too quick for you too dodge! Absorb the blow, move back as he drives forward!” Yelled Peter.
It had been a few hours since they began, but Peter had yet to call a break and Divus had yet to ask for one. The wolf struck again and, following his teachers instructions, he rocked his body back in time with the claws.
Hellhound has dealt 118 damage
While the timing was imperfect and the motions amateurish the scratch was noticeably lighter than before, he was almost at the point where he could survive 2 hits in a row. There was no time to idly marvel at the worlds physics engine, but it was truly wondrous that such details could be factored in. Divus struck back in retaliation, scratching the hide of the Hellhound who’d unbalanced itself with its lunge. Numerous other nicks and cuts had appeared on the beast as the training progressed, a testimony to Divus’ advancing skill.
The hound leapt back and began circling the young fighter. It had grown increasingly wary of Divus as it began losing stamina in the prolonged duel. They each stared keenly, waiting for any sudden openings, the Hellhound looking for any weakness in his guard while he kept his gaze locked on the wolf’s eyes. That was one of the first things he’d learnt, the eyes were almost always the precursor to an attack.
“If your foe shows no openings to you, then you show an opening to him!” Peter shouted, “In your current state you can aim for a counter!”
As they’d progressed Peter had been calling out many different strategies for Divus to try, they’d then continue until he’d succeeded in carrying it out once and then try a new one. Still, this next move was risky. If he mistimed his strike then the Hellhound might well kill him outright with a critical hit. Holding his knife ready Divus broke the stance he’d forcibly gained through the life or death training.
Immediately sensing an opening the Hellhound bounded towards him, this time coming with its jaws agape. Just as it got within range Divus swung his blade at its head, but only managed to graze its side. The hound ripped into his arm and he screamed as he tried to shake it off.
Hellhound has dealt 197 damage.
Divus’ eyes widened as he finally shook the wolf off. That was only 3 health points away from being insta-killed. A ball of healing energy hit him again as he recovered his stance.
“You idiot! Have you not learned anything?!” Peter cried, “You struck at where the wolf had been, a counter is about knowing exactly where the enemy will attack! Time it right!”
Due to receiving constant life threatening attacks Endurance and Vitality have increased by 1.
The message window that popped into being in front of him caused Divus to drop his stance in surprise, which the wolf immediately tried to capitalise on. The slashing claws snapped him immediately back into the battle and he rolled to the side, barely avoiding the blow. So that was what it meant by in world actions boosting your stats.
He brought his mind back to fighting the Hellhound. As they resumed their staring match Divus made another intentional slip. The hound leapt at him once more. Not yet. It reached out with wicked teeth, its lips peeled back in a mad mockery of a smile. Not yet. It jumped into the air, claws and jaws outstretched, determined to finish this troublesome human in one blow. Now. Its entire body in mid-air the beast was fully committed to its head on attack. While it was still feet away from him Divus swung his knife towards its face. The Hellhound saw the blade cutting through the air towards it, but could no more dodge than a mound of dirt.
The impact of the collision threw Divus off his feet, his back slamming into the ground behind him as the Hellhound landed heavily atop of him.
You have countered the Hellhound for 560 damage.
You have defeated a foe many times stronger than yourself in a prolonged battle;
Vitality has increased by 2
Endurance has increased by 5
Extra experience has been gained
You have learnt a new skill: Counter Attack
Divus climbed sorely to his feet and grinned at the torrent of messages. Not only had he learnt how to fight properly, he’d also gained a good number of stats and levels, these few hours had certainly not been wasteful.
“Status screen,” He said to himself, opening another blue window.
Unspent stat points: 35
· Counter attack (Special): Beginner Level 1 (0%)
The boost in health was tremendous! He knew he’d risen 7 levels but his health tripling was a lovely surprise.
“Very well done lad, I’ve taught you well!” Peter boasted walking towards him. Divus hurriedly closed the tab and turned to face his brief mentor.
“Thank you very much sir,” He said without a stutter. After that lengthy fight his nervousness had disappeared.
“Haha, no not sir, just Pete is fine,” he coarsely laughed, “So what are you going to do now lad? Back to hunting rabbits? Those will be small game for you now!”
“I suppose so, maybe I can find out how to get a class, do you know where you can get a class Peter- Pete?”
The rugged older warrior stroked his chin thoughtfully for a moment, as if carefully considering his reply. “It varies on the profession you want, but most people who are experienced in their craft can teach it to others.” He paused, his eyes lighting up as if he’d just thought of something great. “I could even teach you my profession if you want; I’ve been meaning to take on an apprentice.”
“Really? That would be great! What is your class?” Divus asked excitedly. Peter was an obviously experienced combatant. Not only that but he seemed to be able to use healing and summoning magic. If he was lucky Divus may have just stumbled onto a rare class.
Chuckling to himself once more, Peter gave him a scrutinizing gaze. “Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here, my class is not something you can walk into. Also, it may not be the path for you, other jobs will offer greater initial benefits, and there are many areas you will not be able to master. The path to becoming strong will be long and incredibly hard, but if it is sheer strength you seek, there is no equal. Do you wish to continue?”
Swallowing his saliva Divus managed a nod. Peter gave a satisfied nod and then continued. “First of all you need to pass a test, a very difficult and time consuming test. I suggest that you rest a while, take care of any business you may have. Once you start you will not be able to stop until you succeed or you fail. I’ll wait for you here until you return, unless you plan to take over a week I shan’t be going anywhere else.” Without waiting for a response Peter turned to sit against a wall.
Divus decided to take a brief break from New World, he could log out, eat something and get some sleep. Though a few hours in reality was almost a day here it would not do to rush.
“Then I’ll return later.” He said to his watching benefactor. Just as he was about to log out Peter spoke again.
“Remember lad, you’ll only get one chance at this.”
With those ominous parting words Divus returned to reality.
Peter watched as Divus turned into the weird stone doll form all foreigners seemed to take when they communed with their homeland and gave a rare bitter smile. The others had been telling him he needed a protégé for years now; their ranks had been thinned by far too much in recent years. Still, he felt guilty. The boy was in for many hardships if he were to join their ranks, he had not exaggerated the harshness of the path he’d offered. If anything it would be even worse.
However even with the constant strife his fellows waded through Peter couldn’t help but think that maybe Divus could handle it better than any of his predecessors. Although he’d been constantly healed and advised by Peter, there should have been no way for Divus to come out on top of the Hellhound. The result had only been achieved by ridiculous amounts of stubborn effort, innate talent and sheer luck. His instincts were telling him this boy could handle anything thrown at him.
That is, if he passes the test. Many incredibly promising individuals had failed at the last hurdle. Having faced the test himself Peter was aware that even the seemingly indomitable young Divus could be crushed.