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Mint

[SP-F1] Little Trinketry <<EAL>> Complete!

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“Don’t worry Aris, we’ll be back by daylight. You can just stay here all by yourself and wait because that’s fUN.” The sudden collision of Aris’s shoe with a nearby rock followed up quickly, sending the innocent virtual object flying forward before coming to a halt once again. Aris kept walking forth, both of his hands tightly stuck as fists that moved back and forth as he moved further along the path. Aris was no stranger to these dull areas, hiding a large grudge against his fellow ‘survivors’ for keeping him within the walls of the starting city while they participated in some fun fights outside. They always managed to make it sound like a chore, something they wanted to avoid at all costs. Meanwhile, Aris was so insanely bored that he would rather risk fighting ‘for his life’ against some dumb boar instead of looking at the same darn buildings each and every day. He, quite frankly, felt absolutely useless for a very good reason, and he hated it. Hence why he was now seemingly marching angrily towards a place that he had been keeping an eye out on for an extended amount of time. Aris had already visited said place several times, each and every time for the same reason. Sadly, he somehow managed to fail consistently, much thanks to his overprotective allies. The blond haired boy didn’t really understand the fuss about leaving the safe-zone. He was treated as if he would instantly die the moment he would leave the floor 1 prison. As if he would just freeze in place and let something kill him. Besides, Aris didn’t really find death all too scary anyway. Surely the whole fuss about dying in real life as well was nothing but a lie. And if it wasn’t, the smart people back in the real world would’ve surely found some way to interfere by now. It just felt surreal, similar as to how he didn’t understand a fear of ghosts. Some people claim they’re real, but there isn’t actually solid evidence of their existence.

Col was obviously a big deal, and Aris didn’t actually have a source of income yet. Running after others did keep him alive, but it wasn’t exactly the ideal way of living. That's why it was now time for renewal, time for him to actually start doing things.

Edited by Mint

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“Welcome!~” a female, familiar voice moved through the room as the jingling of bells announced his entrance into the Artisan’s shop. Aris wasn’t very fond of this particular NPC, but he did like her profession and that was enough for him to come back to her. She just came off as very.. unnatural, which arguably wasn’t something and NPC wasn’t allowed to do. They were merely a bundle of data anyway, just as real as the rest of the entire pretty picture. Besides his disliking of the fake individual, Aris still replied to the kind welcome. “Hi, again. he spoke up, his eyes aimed directly at the female while he made his way towards the wooden counter. “Oh, it’s nice to see you again, Mint!” the cheery, upbeat tone of voice somehow managed to hit a nerve, Aris raising an eyebrow at the NPC who was currently busy hurriedly walking back and forth behind the counter to grab some of the materials she needed to finish her current project. Aris couldn’t really see what she was up to, but that didn’t really matter. “You forgot my name, didn't you?” Aris replied, resting his hands as he leaned over the counter in an attempt to spot the woman’s new ‘masterpiece’. “It’s Mint. she replied, looking over her shoulder for a second before returning to the apparently more important task. Aris quickly snapped back, saying “It’s Aris.” “Oh right, Aris it is then!” the girl then lifted her hand, reaching out to grab a smaller hammer on the desk before aggressively slamming down against the still not visible project. A creepy, unfitting smile was stuck to the brunette’s face, slight uneasiness making its way into Aris as a result. The young boy simply waited for the deafening sound to stop, his fingers impatiently tapping on the desk to reveal his lack of patience.

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Merely seconds before Aris could swear he would actually go deaf, the Artisan stopped hammering away and turned around, releasing a sigh of relief before dropping her tool and looking at her customer in a questioning fashion. Aris would expect her to ask a question, but instead, he was granted with silence. Was she malfunctioning, or just given a really odd personality? After clearing his throat quickly, the blonde haired noob spoke up again “I was wondering if we could do that quest thingy again, please.” Desiree’s, the NPC’s, face didn’t even barely change, sticking to the initial happy expression. A nod was quickly sent into his direction, followed up with a reply that made grumpy little Aris happy. “Sure thing, let’s get started right now.” Aris’s face lit up as he saw the notification manifest in front of him, his finger seemingly instantly moving forward to press accept without even slightly hesitating. It was time to start, again.

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Aris eagerly waited for his task to be vocalized. What would he have to do? Perhaps going out into the field to collect flowers or items used for sculpting? Maybe they were already going to take a jab at jewellery! He would be completely fine with anything really, as long as he would achieve the darn profession. “Alright, let’s start simple. Desiree stated, moving to the side of the counter to open the small gate which prevented Aris from simply walking into the workplace. The level 1 mace wielder made its way behind the counter, a smile on his face as he looked around the slightly messy area. That smile would sadly sink down to another slightly disappointed expression once he heard what he would be doing. “We won’t be able to work in such a mess. Please clean the place a little for me.” Aris offered Desiree a slightly annoyed look which caused confusion to overthrow her initial smile. “Cleaning?” Aris stated, receiving a quick reply in the shape of a simple “Yup!”. The blond haired boy pouted, his eyes still aimed at Desiree, who didn’t seem to care at all. The NPC simply went back to work, seemingly annoying Aris’s protest against the given job. Knowing that he wouldn’t be able to finish the quest by standing around and whining, the young boy decided to get to work quickly.

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Storing Materials, sorting out cabinets and collecting tools hidden within the piles of failed projects was the majority of Aris’s first hour of work. Desiree quite clearly wasn’t very good at keeping things neat, which kind of fit her chaotic personality. Aris really couldn’t understand as to why someone would make an NPC so odd, but it wasn’t like thinking about it would somehow change it. It was his choice to come back here after all, although he didn’t expect her to actually make him clean up. The last few times he had to quit the quest for not being able to leave the city, but that wouldn’t be the case this time. His friends had decided to just leave him alone for a ‘little while’, so there was enough time for him to secretly get his hands on the Artisan title. After roughly 60 minutes passed, Aris was finally finished with cleaning up. “I’m done!” He said, increasing his volume slightly to allow the NPC to hear him clearly.

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He was proud of himself for making the place look so clean, and, luckily, Desiree also found his work sufficient. “Good job, I’ve got another job for you before we start, though!” Aris let out a sigh as he made eye contact with the NPC, not even having to express his feelings considering his body language already did. Still, Desiree did not care. “You need to collect some materials for me. We’ll use them to make some trinkets once you come back.” The latter sentence caused excitement to rise again, and Aris was now more than happy to collect whatever he needed. A small list popped up in front of him, showing that he only needed to get together 1 simple item to complete this part of the quest. “Good luck!” the woman stated while Aris turned around and headed towards the door at a somewhat fast pace. “Thank you, bye!” he replied, his former frustration having seemingly disappeared. For once, Aris felt like he was actually achieving something in SAO.

Edited by Mint

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His trip to the outer walls of the starting city was most certainly a rapid yet unusual one. He had seen the large extravagant exits plenty of times, but the thought of actually going through them somehow scared yet excited him. It kind of reminded him of a rollercoaster, something that he would reluctantly go in yet enjoy through adrenaline. For most people leaving a safe-zone wasn’t much of a big deal, let alone on the first floor. However, when you haven’t even left once in the entirety of one’s time spent in Aincrad, it does become a big deal. Still, Aris was determined to go through. There was no one there to stop him. Besides, finishing this quest was the most important thing to him right now. He wouldn’t have to worry about anything because obviously nothing would happen to him! All he would do was swiftly obtain some materials, and that wasn’t dangerous at all, right?

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Though his mind spoke confidently and positively, Aris still found him stuck in a nervously slow pace once he actually reached the eastern exit. All those months of being told not to go alone made it feel as if there was a barrier around him, one that he could not escape much like Aincrad. Taking a deep breath, Aris raised his left hand to make the options pop up in front of him, cycling right down to his almost empty inventory to grab the simple mace light armour. He wasn’t planning on fighting, but having a weapon with you outside of the safe-zone made sense, even to someone as stubborn as Aris. "Come on Aris, you can do this." he muttered to himself, holding the mace in front of him while he thoroughly inspected it.The heavyweight weapon wasn’t something he was particularly familiar with, but he wasn’t so stupid that he didn’t even know how to swing it around. Aris just hoped the boars, wolves and potential insects would completely ignore his existence, just to keep going as if nothing’s happening while he peacefully collects the necessary materials.

Edited by Mint

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It was quiet in the eastern region today. For some reason, there weren’t many people walking along the NPCs that travelled the same path on almost a daily basis. The mood was a bit.. eerie, but Aris wouldn’t have that discourage him from leaving. In some way, it made the decision to go out in the sunny field easier. Another deep breath left the boy’s mouth before he started moving again in his former confident pace. Before he knew it, Aris found himself standing on the other side of the arch, a sudden smile appearing on his face as he looked around, the sun shining directly into his eyes which made him use his still empty hand to create some sort of makeshift suncap. It was simply beautiful, and Aris didn’t understand the supposed danger at all. Optimistic and Confident as usual, Aris started making his way into the grassland, searching for his first material.

On first glance, Aris didn't manage to spot anything yet. Luckily, it was just the start of his search, so he still had plenty of time!

Spoiler

ID: 95707 LD: 5  fail

 

Edited by Mint

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For quite a while Aris just kept walking in a straight line, not catching the sight of anything moderately useful. He had yet to have spotted the notorious boar that, according to his ‘caretakers’ would take him down in a couple hits. Aris wasn’t sure if he should believe the people that described the seemingly peaceful grasslands as evil and something to avoid, but the blond-haired boy would still be cautious around the somewhat adorable creatures. If it came to a confrontation, Aris would most likely attempt to run away to prevent his eternally green HP bar from turning orange for the first time, but he wasn’t exactly afraid of fighting. If he really had nowhere to go, Aris would proudly wave around the virtual weapon to slowly but surely slash away at his opponents, despite knowing all too well that he could barely deal any damage. Thoughts about fighting circled through his mind while he kept observing the area in hopes of finding materials. Sadly, he wasn't blessed with an easy find.

Spoiler

ID: 95708 LD: 7 ;-; fail

 

Edited by Mint

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Only roughly 10 minutes had passed after he entered the grasslands before being blessed or cursed with the sight of a boar, specifically a very tiny one. Aris’s immense intelligence allowed him to understand it was, in fact, a little baby, making the young boy release a muffled “aww” while he looked at the creature from a safe distance. His reaction felt slightly unnatural, probably because he was taught that such creatures were nothing but walking bags of col that would try to kill you regardless of circumstances. Aris had never actually killed a boar before, and he wasn’t planning on doing so anytime soon. For now, he’d just enjoy the sight of them.

The baby boar did manage to distract the mace wielder for a minute or two, but Aris hadn’t magically forgotten about his job. He still had some materials to find, and simply standing around wouldn’t result in him achieving his goal. Catching a final glimpse of the baby boar, Aris walked to the right to further his search for materials.

Spoiler

ID: 95710 LD: 2 Faill

 

Edited by Mint

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So, Aris's attention span wasn't all that long. When he really wanted to achieve something, but that didn't just get rid of the potential rising of boredom. The grasslands were luckily a new and spectacular find for the young boy, so he wasn't feeling any annoyance about his lack of success yet. He was too busy enjoying the view, despite it not being something completely out of the ordinary. There were most definitely more spectacular views in real life than a simple grassland, but it somehow still managed to feel so interesting. It was just really refreshing to see such a piece of nature after having looked against dull walls and buildings for so long. 

Although he hadn't even found a single material yet, Aris was already thinking about his return to the shop. He really couldn't wait to actually become an artisan, to actually start earning col for himself. The thought of being able to open up a shop at the age of 16 was simply surreal, but Aris wasn't complaining. This did mean he would have to quickly come up with a name, which hopefully wouldn't be all too hard. 

Spoiler

ID: 95711 LD: 2 I might be cursed.

 

Edited by Mint

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Aside from thinking of a name, Aris would also have to consider whether or not he would specialize himself in a particular craft. He was aware that Artisans had access to three particular creations namely trinkets, jewellery, and sculptures. The SAO noob wasn't much of a fan of sculpting so he probably wouldn't spend all too much time on it unless there was some sort of special buff to achieve from it. He would definitely give it a try once he gained a sufficient rank to do so, but he just expected it to be something that wouldn't occur very commonly in his workshop.  Jewellery and trinkets, on the others, did sound quite exciting. Aris didn't really have all too much experience with making either of the two things but, considering the game's system simplified the crafting process, he was pretty sure he'd succeed eventually. Aris still couldn't spot any materials, but he was sure he would soon.

Spoiler

ID: 95712 LD: 4

 

Edited by Mint

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The young boy had walked quite a long while by now, the mace still stuck in his hand while peacefully moved through the grass. Any mobs that he caught a sight of, were carefully avoided for aforementioned reasons. Aris would simply walk around them in a wide circle, guaranteeing his and the mob’s safety, although he did care a bit more about himself than some virtual creation.

Once he reached a certain point, Aris was gifted the sight of a large lake that looked much more appealing than the regular and simple field. Taking another quick peek at his material list made him understand why he had been sent east, namely to collect various materials found alongside the lake. This is why Aris would swiftly make his way towards the beautiful lake, quietly observing the still water by kneeling down beside it. The young boy carefully put his hand into the water, the odd yet real sensation taking him by surprise like it always did. He could never really get used to the fact that all his senses worked seemingly perfect in such an environment, though it was probably a good thing that they did. Having been distracted by the lake did cause his detailed search for materials to come to a halt, although he did quickly glance over the area to see if there was anything usable.

Spoiler

ID :95763  LD: 8 ;-;

 

Edited by Mint

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After having started aimlessly into the water for a short while, Aris changed his position, laying down partially on the grass and the stones surrounding the lake. His eyes were aimed directly up as he let out a sigh, seeking after the light clouds that slowly made their way through the skies. It probably wasn't a good idea to extensively rest in such an open place, but Aris wanted to enjoy the moment for even just a short while. A smile was stuck to his face while he looked up, eventually turning his face to the side as a response to a noise he heard from the left. He couldn't see anything that worrisome, causing him to return to his initial position. Laying down wasn't all too comfortable, but Aris didn't really care that much.

5 minutes passed before the young boy decided to reluctantly get back up again. Aris rubbed his eyes before bending down to grab his mace, moving along the lake once he did so. "Where are you hiding," he mumbled while he searched the ground for the possible glimmer of the object he was searching for. He still couldn't see anything.

Spoiler

ID: 95764 LD: 14 ;) whaaaa

 

Edited by Mint

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Truthfully, Aris had expected to find at least something more than fancy pebbles after searching for an hour. The mace wielder kept searching as well as he could, though, looking over every spot on the ground twice in case he missed anything. It was rather annoying that the particular item he was searching for had to be so small, but it would hopefully be worth it. He wasn't going to return back to the shop with empty hands, not like that was an option anyway.

Having found nothing hidden between the pebbles for a rather obnoxious amount of time, Aris decided to try the other side of the lake. Perhaps the materials only spawned on one side, despite that not really making sense to him. He had never actually had to search for materials, let alone outside of the safe-zone. It was a whole new world to him, causing it to feel more complicated than it actually should be. 

Spoiler

ID: 95765  LD: 6

 

 

Edited by Mint

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The way to the other side of the lake wasn't particularly special. Nothing much changed in terms of surroundings (nor did he find anything), though the sighting of some sort of weird insect did cause him to be a bit more careful on his way there. He paid close attention to the creature while he glared at it, moving at a slightly faster pace in the hopes to get past it swiftly. Luckily, the creature didn't seem to have noticed him, or it was just not interested in him. Maybe it was just not interested in fighting, much like Aris, but he doubted that was actually possible for such a creature. He didn't really believe all the stories his acquaintances had told him anymore, but Aris was pretty sure that monsters only existed to make the life of players harder. At least, that's what his experience in MMORPGs taught him.  He still had vivid memories of the games he played before SAO happened, preferring them over this prison. Aris wished he would've had the magic and acrobatic skills his characters had in other worlds, but sadly that would only remain to be a fragment of his imagination. All he had here was an iron object of which he had no clue how to use properly.

Spoiler

ID: 95766 LD: 6 aaaaaah

 

Edited by Mint

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It didn't take very long for Aris to realize there was literally nothing different to the other side of the lake. He walked around, his eyes constantly aimed at the ground while he occasionally kneeled down to dig at some promising areas. Aris found literally nothing, nada, zero. It almost felt like he had been sent into the wrong direction by the lovely NPC which, frankly, wouldn't actually surprise him considering how messy Desiree had proven to be. He didn't exactly trust Desiree, or the quest, or anything else that wasn't 'human' and alive in SAO, and that, for something whose trust is easily gained,  was pretty unusual.

Getting nice and close to the ground once again, Aris used his killing tool to push aside some of the pebbles after thinking he saw something shine within the mess of rocks. Not finding anything, Aris kept going for quite a while due to being too stubborn for his own good. 

Spoiler

ID: 95767 LD: 2 ;-;-;-;-;--;-;

 

Edited by Mint

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Nothing once again. Releasing a groan, Aris got up and released his frustration by kicking several pebbles forward. Why couldn't he just be lucky like he usually was? Having lost his interest and hope for the newfound 'promising' land, Aris decided to walk further. He was pretty much walking in a circle right now, reaching his original starting point eventually which most definitely wasn't good news. Had he perhaps misunderstood the directions, or were all the materials looted by other players before he even reached the lake? Aris could make up all kinds of reasons as to why that stupid object was nowhere to be found, but it wouldn't somehow distort reality and make it appear. All he could do right now was follow after his own steps, hoping that he had looked over the little thing by accident. It would've been very useful if he could find the quest item soon because Aris felt his temper slowly rise. He didn't really enjoy feeling extremely annoyed, so avoiding would be appreciated.

Spoiler

ID; 95768  LD: 12 AAAAHH

 

Edited by Mint

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