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Zajcica

Earning a Living[SP]

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Earning a Living: Cook

Yuki's next challenge in this world was food. It wouldn't be like the real world with cooking. She already knew how to cook, learned it from her mother, but her food wouldn't be any good without practice and profession in the skill itself. She knew it would take time, but she was determined to make her own Izakaya here in SAO. It would be a good way to earn extra money and get people useful consumables for their battles in the field.

She needed to go into the field herself to collect materials herself. And if there was a single thing that she hated so far, it was collected materials. She always had awful luck with it, even with her rings that boost the luck a player had when it came to drops and loot. She equipped her rings while it was on her mind, trading out her weapon and shield for them since you can only have so many actively equipped slots of equipment. This was going to be annoying as hell, but she was happy to finally start this quest for herself.

General
Level: 9 | HP:  180 | Energy: 18 Hate: 1/3/4(M/H/C)

Stats
DMG: 1 | EVA: 0 | MIT: 9 | ACC: 0 | Thorns: 18 | Regen: 5

Skills
R1 One Handed Straight Sword; Fighting Spirit

Equipment(In use)
Regal Cuirass(Heavy Armor): 1MIT, 2 Thorns
Silver Serpent Ring: +2 LD
Covetous Gold Serpent Ring: +1 LD

Equipment(Standby)
Aegis(Shield): 
2MIT, 1 Regen
White Spear - Lux(OHAS): 2 Bleed, 1 Taunt

Consumables
3) Starter Healing Potions(50HP)

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Out of the safe zone and into the frying pan that was the wilds of floor one. Yuki hadn't spent much time out here yet, but even still she'd had some pretty eventful adventures. Fighting wolves and looking a complete idiot in front of handsome men. That encounter with Life continued to haunt her memory. She'd never felt that kind of feeling when she was interested in a woman. Is that what it meant to truly be captivated or charmed by someone else?

Her train of thought was distracting her from actually looking for materials. She tried to shake those thoughts out of her mind and look around for anything useful. Too bad she couldn't just use the materials she already had in her inventory, but on the bright side that would save her the materials for later when she is practicing. Nothing useful just yet but she only just started looking. Hopefully her luck wouldn't suck this time.

Spoiler

image.png.6809dfbd7f86ab4a40f6af00f985f4d6.png

LD: 11+3=14 (Failure)

 

Edited by Zajcica

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Yuki looked around in a new area for anything else. Still nothing came up as useful for crafting and she was already becoming annoyed again. She wished that her current materials would have sufficed for this process but the quest insisted that she go and find her own materials after activating the quest. Her luck continued to leave a lot to be desired. 

Even with bonuses to her luck she couldn't find much of anything to use. Did she really need that much bonus just to find some useful materials for crafting? She knew there was a skill that would let her farm materials more quickly by investing some skill points. She might have to consider dipping into it if she wanted to take crafting seriously in the future. She really did, but she didn't know if it would be smart to invest skill points into non-combat skills just yet. She would wait awhile before doing such.

Spoiler

image.png.99e6ec2d2fc9b5ef7f06c748538f8796.png

LD: 7+3=10 Failure

 

Edited by Zajcica

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Finding materials would probably be the bane of her existence for the foreseeable future. She was already pretty good at combat for being so inexperienced at it, but she would still have to change her weapon skill to using a spear rather than using a sword. She seemed to favor the spear more than she did the sword. It felt more like a tank weapon to her. A few more minutes of searching allowed the first successful pick of materials she had gotten in quite some time. She looted the node and added the materials to her inventory.

Thank god she actually found something without spending an hour in the field for a single one. Maybe she was taking it overboard, but she had spent quite a bit of time searching for materials before and her luck was easily below 50%. It didn't seem like she had an bonus from the quest, like extra nodes spawning, so that was pretty annoying too.

Spoiler

image.png.d3418268d352281d2be6c6067e1a63f4.png

LD: 15+3=18
1/5 Materials Found

 

Edited by Zajcica

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Yuki sighed in relief that she was able to find something pretty quickly. She had only been in the field for about ten minutes, much quicker than any of her other attempts at finding materials. She hoped she could find more just as quickly. 

Just as she was thinking that, she came across another piece of material. She quickly gathered it up and the quest updated showing that she only needed three more pieces of material to finish this part of the quest. Once she was done with this task, she had to go back to the kitchen of the quest giver and make something there. She hoped her first craft would be something amazing. From what she knew, there was luck involved with crafting too and that scared her. If her luck was based on her ability to locate and collect materials, she could only imagine what her cooking was going to end up like in that respect.

Spoiler

image.png.354bcde08dd9fba311ec4b047d82b05a.png

LD: 17+3=20
2/5 Materials found.

 

Edited by Zajcica

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Her luck ran pretty dry after getting two in a row so quickly. In her initial, quest where the spawns for materials came more frequently, she got three spawns in a row and since then she hadn't had a much better time finding anything useful so this seemed more like bad news to her. She used up all her current luck getting those two in a row and now she wasn't going to find anything. Would getting her profession take her hours to complete?

She continued to look around for materials, even so. She wasn't going to let her bad luck stop her from getting the profession she wanted so badly. She would really have to work for it too. Even when she collected the skill she'd still have to gain experience to improve her ability to make better food. She would make tons of bento boxes for everyone in all of Aincrad!

Spoiler

 

image.png

LD: 9+3=12 Fail
2/5 Materials found.

 

Edited by Zajcica

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Although finding materials seemed to be her weakest trait in this video game, she had been having much better luck lately with this specific quest. Maybe the quest boosted your luck to find materials since they were required for progression. It would make sense, or else you would be out here digging up materials for hours. That wouldn't stop her from searching for hours, but she was sure others who wanted to get things done as quickly as possible would hate this kind of menial task.

Another node of materials came into view. She reached down and harvested it from its stationary position in the grass. That was half of the materials that she needed to finish her time outside the safe zone, then she would have to go back to the cook's restaurant and make something with her materials. Shouldn't be much longer now if her luck continued to see her bountiful.

Spoiler

image.png.1c057883c779efd1915aca8ab3384ec2.png

LD: 15+3=18
3/5 Materials found

 

Edited by Zajcica

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She rose from her squatting position only to look back down and find the node had spawned a new set of materials just as she had backpacked the ones just before it. It was somewhat shocking that an event like that could happen. Materials likely had a random counter on nodes to discourage camping on them, or the nodes were placed randomly around the map. She reached back down and pocketed the extra set of materials for herself. Watching the node's empty spot, quietly hoping another set of materials would just rise out of the ground for her and make this easy.

Waiting her for a moment wouldn't hurt her. What sort of things would be good to put on her menu when she got her shop made? Bentos, snacks and desserts and big yummy Japanese traditional feasts? It was only limited to her imagination. She would have to make Mari some Mochi filled onigiri so she would stop judging her already.

Spoiler

image.png.d875999b4b217446e77d0c4776c922c9.png

LD: 15+3=18
4/5 Materials found

 

Edited by Zajcica

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The green grass of the first floor was so expansive. Mobs ran wild around, spawning in and out of virtual reality, coming and going as quickly their existence allowed. Maybe that was the same way as the material spawn nodes, which is why she had decided to stand around and wait if the spawn node happened to grace her with another blessing yet again.

Several moments later, a little node popped out of the ground. If this were a manga, she would have been depicted with a sweat drop over her head. Quickly she reached down and plucked the node from it's cozy spawn point before it went as quickly as it came. It made so much sense now. Better player probably know some spawn locations of where materials can be gathered and her dumb ass was running around trying to look in the stupidest spots for them. Lesson learned.

Her quest updated. Time to return to the kitchen with her ingredients in tow and learn how to cook from the NPC.

image.png.3cdd8e27db5c3bee6a17be25b79ca26c.png

Spoiler

LD: 17+3=20
5/5 Materials collected!

 

Edited by Zajcica

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The trek back to the Town of Beginnings wasn't a long one. She never really preferred to travel too far from a safe zone if a quest didn't require it. Made it easy to retreat if anything went wrong in the field, after all. Luckily that had not been necessary since she began her conquest of Aincrad.

The stone road of the Town of Beginnings met the pink paladin's leather boot with a clonk. Even though the field areas on floor one were less than a threat to her at this point, she somehow found relief in walking through the safe zone barrier ever single time she did it. It took some time to travel back to that specific building though. The Town of Beginnings was a massive city to navigate, though not impossible. Sooner or later, her nose was graced with the smell of cooking food in a kitchen. Time to get her title to cook!

Edited by Zajcica

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As she entered the kitchen with Maggie, the waft of the amazing smell of food scintillated the paladin's nostrils. Cooking was a very passionate hobby for her for reasons like this and it was amazing how the Nervegear was able to replicate such sensory abilities to the tee. Without further ado, she set the ingredients down on the preparation table next to one of the many stoves where other players worked on their crafts the same way she did. Maggie gave everyone encouraging advice as she passed by.

"You'll ace it, I'm sure. Go ahead and give it a try." She said to Yuki, once all her stuff was on the counter.

"I'll never be as good as Kaa-san, but I'll do my best!" She said as she began preparing the food. Unfortunately, this try wasn't her best work. It wasn't bad, but unusable by the terms of the game. It would have to be trashed.

image.png.8375a6904745af907e99a6130a065bb2.png

Edited by Zajcica

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When it came to cooking, failure was the wonderful journey to perfecting the destination of a satisfied stomach. The more she failed, the better she would get, the more she would learn. Her first work wasn't anything amazing, however, she noticed that the materials she had gathered were not consumed upon use. The game was nice enough to give her more tries if she failed then. Thank god.

The food she made went to the trash and she again made the same prep, paying attention to the nitty-gritty details to perfect her destination. It was only now that she remembered just how hard cooking could be. Even with SAO's over-simplified method, you still had to know how to mix and prepare ingredients for the food, of course. She was pretty rusty, admittedly. She hadn't done much cooking in the last two years. Her second meal was much better, it came out even eatable.

"Not bad," Maggie said over her shoulder. "But, it won't benefit you for your adventures. Keep trying!" 

image.png.f35b7669bf35c42f712388c5a51cabae.png

Edited by Zajcica

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Fixing a mistake was always much easier than improving the standard. Her first meal was unusable, her second one could have sufficed anyone's appetite, but her third try wasn't much better than the second. She did everything the same exact way, expecting that perhaps luck had some necessary factor and there was no reason to tread outside the norm for cooking. Was she wrong.

For the third time, she prepped her food as she had, and cooked it as need. It came out the same. Usable, but of no benefit beyond satisfying someone's hunger.  Outside of Aincrad, she didn't think anyone would complain about her cooking. She learned from her mom, there was no way she could screw up that bad. She only really burned or under-cooked something when she first started cooking for herself. Third time's the charm is apparently only applicable to respawning material nodes, not when it came to cooking. At least a science existed for preparing food, though.

image.png.d94ad227af588a01aecc347d6c01af5f.png

Edited by Zajcica

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The problem lied somewhere outside the base of the cooking. The meal itself was made perfectly, the problem was that she had not given the dish it's flavor. Of course, she had been using the base ingredients, but there was always more that you could add to a basic dish as she had made with a little bit of seasoning and added ingredients that the prep didn't call for. It took her three tries to see that!

Chopped onions, carrots and a few other vegetables were added into her bowl. With another attempt, success came. She found it fitting to create not just some random dish, but to make something special to her. The first thing she learned how to cook and her favorite meal: Oyakodon chicken and egg rice bowl served with a side of miso soup. It wasn't anything intricate or fancy, but it was nostalgic and homely to her.

"Well, done!" Her consultant congratulated from behind her. "That's pretty good, I'd say it do more for you than you might think it would."

image.png.595d0ad6cb63d4ec99f7168c700992dc.png

Edited by Zajcica

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Yuki looked over her meal. It was almost perfectly made according to the game. In the real world, this would have been prefect enough for her taste and really surprise her mother's expectations for her level of cook. A prompt appeared over the meal asking her to give it a name and entail what benefit it would give the consumer upon, well, consumption. It was pretty cool that the effect of the buff was not left up to randomization, though, it made sense in this scenario.

She titled her meal, "Yuki no Yasuuri" and gave it a very fitting effect to buff her ability to tank even further. It would increase anyone's health points for a time if they were to eat it before battle. Weird that food itself could give her similar benefits that armor could, but it made sense for an MMO video game. Those types of benefits could even be reaped from potions if she recalled that correctly. She wasn't too familiar with how alchemy worked.

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Her quest ended here. The food she made was sent to her inventory, ready for use in a future battle. It would be savored for sure when she got the chance to eat it. Even if it wasn't the best it could be, it was still an indication of her growth in Sword Art Online. Another step to get her closer to the power that front liners have. If she truly wanted to see her family again before she passed on, growing stronger was the only choice.

So soon, she left the kitchen with Maggie. Looking back on the massive kitchen filled with other players practicing their craft, she wondered how many of them had been there for hours still figuring out how to use a knife correctly. I reminiscent tingle of sensation bothered her fingers as she recalled how many times she'd cut one of one of them with a - thankfully duller than normal - knife.

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"I'm impressed with how quickly you picked that up without much failures." Maggie commented as they walked out of the kitchen.

"My mother taught me how to make sure I didn't melt every dish I made. Her culinary wisdom serves me even still." The pink paladin said with a big smile painted on her face. Her hands sat triumphantly at her sides with pride. "My passion for cooking stems from her. It was a bonding thing." She knew that Maggie was an NPC, and wondered if she would even remember who she was if she returned tomorrow, but it was still cool to be praised for something that she loved doing. Even if the praise was coming from a program following it's coding.

"She taught you well, probably better than I could have. With your new skill, make sure you show every one the delight of a good meal!" Maggie's enthusiasm almost bested Yuki's. Almost.

"Yoshi!" The pink haired woman returned as she turned to leave the restaurant.

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Now officially able to create beneficial meals and foods for players to use to keep themselves alive in this dangerous world, Yuki would help the higher level players through her culinary success. It would be a good way for her to earn some extra col on the side as well! Question was now: Where would she set up her shop? Floor four was a beautiful floor to visit for the snow, but she had heard the snow literally never stops there and she wasn't sure if she could deal with living in eternal winter.

When she first decided that she wanted to join the front line, she traveled to all the floors' primary safe zones to see what they all looked like. She remembered that floor 22 seemed to make the Japanese aesthetic more than any other in her own opinion. That would probably be the best choice for thematic a approach, but was it safe for her to make her shop on that high of a floor? Well, she wouldn't be weak forever right?

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This brought up another great question, actually: Where would she even put her house? Likely it would reside in the same place as her shop, a connected section from her house to add to the homely, welcoming atmosphere. Aesthetic was important to her after all. She would not be satisfied with a dingy little stand in the Town of Beginnings. Go above and beyond and share her cooking skills with the best Aincrad had to offer. Of course, she would still have to increase her cooking skill and eventually max it out to maximize her output, but that should not take her long considering how much she loves to cook. In a few weeks she could easily master it.

There was a limit to how much someone could craft daily, she knew that. It made sense so that craftsmen can't just push out hundreds of commissions in a day if they had the materials to do so. Otherwise she would be able to just farm a ton of materials and maximize her skill as quickly as possible.

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It was settled then. Her shop would be located on Floor 22 with her home. One thing that worried her, though, was her inability to serve Mari if she located her shop outside of a safe zone. Mari would probably spit her concerns back into Yuki's face thinking like that, but she would put her house outside of the safe zone of the town. If she did that, Mari would be allowed to visit without aggravating the games system with orange crystal players and safe zones. She also wanted to make special meals for Mari and Life to surprise them!

She would have to spend time to try and prepare amazing meals for the both of them. Promises were made to both Mari and Life that she would supply them with meals for their benefit of leveling and getting stronger in Aincrad. There was no way she was going to break that promise for either of them.

Spoiler

Rewards

SP: 1 for Quest completion + 1 for 1 page of rp + 1 for the quarantine bonus event = 3 total SP
Crafted Item: Oyakodon with Miso(ACC 2)
Standard Cook Shop Available
5 Tier 1 crafting materials
400 col for quest completion

 

Edited by Zajcica

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