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[F1-SP] The First Lessons


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After months or aimlessly lulling around the town square in the Town of Beginnings the women had grown tired. Every day was the same. Wake up, find breakfast, and then nothing. The women with long, luscious moonlit locks frowned as squinted eyes searched for any sigh of familiarity. Before this game has turned into one of survival the plan had been to meet up with friend in the town square. It had been two long years but hope still lingered on the edges of her mind as she continued to search. Then again, maybe this was a joyous situation. Maybe her friend, Misha, never made it into the game and was safe back in the real word.  Maybe, just maybe, she was lucky enough to have not logged on. As that thought lingered there was movement to the right that suddenly gain her attention. A man, definitely an NPC, wandered from the crowd and straight toward her. This man had approached her on more than one occasion. Previously, she had flat out declined the man's request to assist finding out who he loaned money too, but this time felt different. This time she was itching for something to do - even it was a quest.

"Fine," The women sighed, annoyance laced in her tone, "What do I need to do now?"

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Seraphina | Lvl: 1 | HP: 20/20 | DMG: 0| MIT: 6 | ACC: 1 | EVA: 0

 

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With passive interest the women had listened as the NPC, now known as Dorian, discuss with her the contents of the quest. Once the worried NPC was done talking a swift turn of the heel was made and Sera was off. At some point during the wandering she had seen the alchemist shop that Dorian was discussing with her. It wasn't long until a wandering gaze landed on the solid oak door that provided entrance to the shop. Casually, she walked over and opened the door. As she stepped past the threshold a "chime" echoed through the shop. Ruby eyes were immediately drawn the shelves of the store. It appeared as if Zackariah had found the end of a rainbow and managed to bottle it's contents. Every color that could think of was sitting upon the thick wooden shelves. 

This is amazing, Sera thought while reaching out and allowing a finger to hover over the bottles. 

Before another thought could be had a voice brought her back to reality. Turning a curious gaze away from the bottles ruby orbs landed on an older man behind the counter. Stark white locks and beard framed a wide jaw and wrinkled forehead. Kind, yet focused, azure eyes were studying the maroon and orange liquid in front of him. Again, Sera found herself mesmerized as the colors swirled and danced together in a never ending waltz. With a twist of his hand the potion then turned a bright, ocean blue. 

“Hello again, " Zackariah  greeted warmly, this time turning a curious gaze to the new customer, "Are you here to order something? I’m sorry, but I am currently swamped with orders, and I’m running out of supplies."

 

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How had she ended up here again? Oh yeah, it was because if she gathered the materials that Zackariah had asked for then he would teach her how to make her own potion; and that is what made this worth it. Not getting col or experience but learning to make a potion. For the first time in two years excitement had started to bubble and brew - all due to a couple potions. This thought caused determined steps to slow, and then eventually stop. What had she been doing the past two years?  Memories of standing in the square surfaced but nothing differed. Reflecting on the past two years feelings of guilt, shame, fear, and confusion started to rear their ugly heads.  Thoughts like, "how have you been helping complete the game?" and "what have you been waiting for?" bounced around frantically. What happen to her pride and worth ethic? The simple answer was right in front of her, fear. She had been scared. Scared to live. Scared to fight. Scared to survive. A feeling of content suddenly washed over her as a decision was made. No more feeling scared and unsure. No more standing still. It was time to fight. 

It was time to survive. 

Standing straighter and strides confident Sera made her way into the wilderness to find material for Zackariah. The assault spear that had always been stored safely away in her inventory was brought out. The blue pixels materialized in front of her producing the basic assault spear. Sera had always unsure as to why she had chosen the spear for a weapon but as a small hand wrapped around the hilt if just felt right. Testing the weight of the spear a tentative spin was then made with it. It spun and then fell on the grass in front of her. Sighing Sera reached down to pick up the spear and continued.

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It had been several minutes since Sera had stopped and reflected on her life since beginning Sword Art Online. The decision made still felt good. She was going to survive and fight - even if it meant death. Finding herself getting distracted by her thoughts again the white haired women shook her head and slapped both hands on her cheeks. Focus Sera, she willed. A now alert gaze scanning the horizon landed upon a patch of strange, speckled flowers.  More curious than anything Sera approached the flowers in awe. The closer she got the smaller they got. Once she was standing on top of them the flowers were not bigger than a pinky. Squatting down to get a better look Sera noticed that they also had purple on the side. 

"Hum," The women mused to herself while studying a few of the flowers, "I wonder if these are something that he can use?

Thinking that this was better than having nothing a couple flowers were placed in the inventory before standing. Humming gently to herself a soft smile highlight the young women's features as she started off to find more materials. This is fun! 

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197632 6 11 15 9 Seraphina   Quest materials search 2021-07-19 13:30:08

LD:15 [Success]
Materials collected: 1/5

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There was no time limit on the quest and no sense of urgency. Therefore, when Sera felt like it was time to take a small break after walking around most of the morning she allowed herself. Finding a large, sturdy tree the young women maneuvered herself up so that she was sitting on one of the branches lowest to the ground. Nestling into the crevice between the tree and the branch she lounged back and let out another breath. It was a beautiful day out. The wind blew across the waves of grass and tussled the white locks. It was peaceful out here in the middle of the plains. In the distance, players could be seen fighting boars and other monsters. Intrigued by the fights Sera watched on. Although a new resolve had been made she was not quite ready to take on a monster yet; however, based on what had been heard about this quest it was guaranteed that she would have to fight at some point. Let's just cross that bridge when we get there...Sera thought to herself. 

As she attempt to further get comfortable her hand slipped and touched something fuzzy and soft. More confused than anything a gaze was cast around the tree trunk. There, on the shadiest side was a patch of light pink moss. Feeling lucky Sera collected some of the moss and then proceed to get further comfortable. 

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197633 6 1 18 4 Seraphina   Quest Materials Search 2021-07-19 13:56:06

LD: 18 [Success]
Material collected: 2/5

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It had been several minutes since Sera had settled into the nook of the grand, old oak. For those several minutes a stare so intent had been focused on a player across the field. Although from this distance the shape was a blurry humanoid figure she could tell that they were wielding an assault spear - just like herself. In obvious admiration an attentive gaze watched as the spear wheeled and jabbed at the attacking boar. It was like watching someone preform an intricate dance. There a grace - and intention - behind every jap and swipe. That was how she wanted to fight. With a sense of purpose, effortlessness, and skill. 

With a new wave of inspiration the women slid off the tree and landed on the ground with a soft 'thud.' What better place to practice than here; where there were no enemies and more importantly where there was no one to watch. Removing the spear from the harness on her back she again tested the weight and balance before intentionally placing her hands on the shaft of the spear. 

"Okay," She breathed, a sense of overwhelming starting to bubble up, "Let's see if I can test my spear skills and get a material."  

Spear highlighted a florescent green Sera thrust forward. For a moment, nothing happened. Then, nothing continued to happen. A long sigh pushed past lush lips as the butt of the spear was placed on the ground. 

"Well," She murmured to the shadows, "That was not how I anticipated that would go."

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197644 8 2 1 9 Seraphina   Quest Material Collection 2021-07-22 09:46:37

LD: 1 [Fail]
Material collected: 2/5
 

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Feeling a twinge of defeat at not being successful the first time around the ruby eyes women placed the spear away and then continued on. There were lots of materials that could be picked up and potentially used; however, none of them were interesting. If this quest was going to be done she wanted to find interesting materials to pick-up and bring back. Perhaps materials that she could use later on too. After all, being an alchemist was more than appealing.

Wandering further and further away from the city Sera found that it got quieter and quieter. Sera had always thought that the beginner floors were teeming with players and familiars. However, she was finding the opposite to be true. Maybe players moved up to the other floors...or more players than realized had died in the game. The latter was a sad thought indeed. Players all over the world logged on to embark on amazing quests with friends and an infinity of other reasons. Yet, they were stuck just like herself. In an attempt to distract herself she found more strange colored moss. Gliding up to the tree Sera attempt to pull the moss off and collect it but as soon as the moss was detached it disappeared into pixels. Mesmerized by the pixels floating by Sera watched as they floated higher before disappearing.

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197645 4 3 1 4 Seraphina   Quest Material Collection

LD: 1 [Fail]
Material collected: 2/5

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  • Seraphina changed the title to [F1-SP] The First Lessons

Again, Sera tried for the moss but just like the last one it faded away as it was unlatched from the trunk of the tree. For several minutes narrowed eyes were fixated on the spots where the blue pixels disappeared. Had she ever witnessed something of this world "die?" The simple answer was no. After being in the town of beginnings for the past two years Sera had witness minor object disappear - food, dishes and the like - but never something that was suppose to be alive. It was a strange feeling. While it was just a plant, and not even a real on at that, Sera felt a ping of sadness. She had just witnessed the end of life for a plant end and the thought of that being another human being was too much. It was all starting to hit at once as reality of the situation hit home. People were dead. Gone. They would never see family or loved ones again. The thing was, she could be one of them. She would never be able to see her dad or friends ever again if she died; but she would never seem them again either if she did nothing. 

For anyone watching that moment they would have seen a young, small women standing under one of the grand oaks in the field of Town of Beginnings. Her magnolia colored locks being gently caressed by the swirling winds that swayed the grass as a locked gaze was fixated somewhere far away. 

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197647 9 5 6 3 Seraphina   Quest Materials Collection 2021-07-25 11:19:20

LD: 6 [Fail]
Materials collected: 2/5

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That moment would forever be stuck in Sera's mind like a picture. A moment that allowed her to honor those who are fallen and those that were still fighting. At first, this quest had been nothing more than a way to pass the time and to switch up the mundane. As an unsure gait turned more confidence the lean women felt that this journey was suppose to happen. This was how it was suppose to be. This was designed so that a player could find themselves and that is what she was doing. Finding herself. Thinking about what had happened was important, but it was also important not get get stuck thinking about the past either. If one is stuck in the past they can't move forward. It was something her best friends father use to say, mainly pertaining to her dad but that was another story. 

Feeling that moment wash over her like a wave and then disappear the women moved on. It was time to continue on this quest and see what kind of person she would become. A few more steps into the open revealed some sort of flower that had what appeared twenty-thousand petals. Kneeling, it was placed in her inventory for the quest. With pride overflowing a grin made it way to her face as she saw that she was more than halfway done with the quest. 

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197648 6 9 16 8 Seraphina   Quest Material Collection 2021-07-25 16:29:58

LD: 16 [Success]
Materials collected: 3/5

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Unfortunately, there were no other flowers around like the twenty-thousand petal one that has just been found. Shrugging off that fact the young women stood and started off again. It was amazing to her that everything felt so real. The flower stems were stiff while the petals felt like velvet. The wind, although warm, left a sight tingle on her skin as it dusted kisses across fair skin. If she didn't know any better this was the real world. At this point, it might as well be her "real world." 

Seeing a spot of blue in the green Sera meandered toward the oddity only to discover a blue spotted mushroom peeking up through two rocks that lay haphazardly on the ground. Bending to move the rocks the women found that the blue spotted mushroom was...fluffy? Reaching down she plucked the shroom from the ground and then brought it up for a closer look. It appeared to have a thick layer of fur on it; which was soft to the touch. Almost like running your finger's through silken fur. After investigating the mushroom for just a second longer and was then added to the inventory. 

"What a strange place this is..." Sera mused, extending her legs and standing once again.  

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197649 3 4 17 2 Seraphina   Quest Material Collection 2021-07-25 16:59:09

LD: 17 [Success]
Material Collected: 4/5

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With one more material left the excitement was overflowing. Rapid steps were taken to find another interesting material to bring back to the Alchemist. Recognizing that only one more material was needed Sera had turned around and started back toward The Town of Beginnings. Ruby eyes were peeled for anything out of the ordinary - and then there it was. A spec of bright pink in the dim shadow of a tree. Approaching the tree trunk cautious orbs appraised the moss that grew out of the side of the tree. The last two had disintegrate after being detached...but maybe the third time was the charm. Cautiously reaching out a gloved hand closed around the cluster and pulled. This time, nothing happened. Bringing the moss close to herself she grinned, "I did it," Sera muttered joyously to herself, "I really did it.

Now, it was officially time to head back to the Town of Beginnings and learn how to make a potion. 

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197650 2 5 19 7 Seraphina   Quest Material Collection 2021-07-25 17:36:47

LD: 19 [Success
Material Collected: 5/5

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Nearly skipping with delight Sera made her way back to town to turn in the materials for the quest and learn to make a potion. Wandering back through the gateway a beeline was made toward the little shop. It didn't take long to locate. Finding the familiar solid oak door a gloved hand pushed and it swung open. In wonderment the young women entered the shop to find none other than Zackariah - who was doing the same action as when she left; which was making potion. This potion was a florescent yellow unlike the previous one. Seeing Zackariah's eyebrows knitted together in concentration Sera silently walked toward him. It appeared that this time  realization had not even dawned him that another player had entered the shop. Leaning on the counter ruby orbs watched in fascination as experience hands swirled the potion once, and then again. Instantaneously the potion change from florescent yellow to a dark, muddy green. 

"Aaahh, that's a good potion." Zackariah murmured to on one in particular, not even acknowledging the company. 

Now Sera was starting to feel that inkling of annoyance as the desire learn how to make a potion spilled over. Drumming long, gloved fingers on the counter she attempted to get his attention. When that method did not work she proceeded to clear her throat. The gaze of the older man suddenly shot up at the noise. He then smiled warmly at her. "I see you've returned. Did you bring me what I needed?" 

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"Yes," Sera grinned, opening the menu, and proudly displaying the five items that were brought back for the potion master. Continuing to grin the young women waited for the praise that to come. After all, this quest had been hard work and one expected to be praised after hard work. Only, that praise never came. Zachariah simply examined the items with a watchful gaze and then placed them to the side one by one. Slowly, the frown that decorated beautiful features slowly started to sink and then a lip was jutted out. Well, at least she proud of herself. After the last item was placed to the side the older man's gaze traced up back to hers. He was smiling a soft, knowing smile. 

"Nice job,Zachariah stated matter-of-factly, "Now you get to make a potion."

There it was. Feeling herself flush Sera continued to grin. After being in the Town of Beginnings for the last two years, and then heading out without another player to complete a quest the women felt proud. It was the first step to becoming who she wanted to be. Unknowingly, the journey of self-discovery was only just beginning for the moonlit haired women. 

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The white locked old man invited the younger women around the shop counter. Sera maneuvered around the wooden surface and joined Zackariah on the opposite side of the counter. From this point of view, it felt like she was the owner of the shop, not the man standing beside her. For just a moment time seemed to freeze as a blank gaze was fixated on the players that walked by the door. Naturally, if one walked in Zackariah would answer the request but Sera silently asked herself if Zackariah would let her. Well, she never knew until she asked. As pink lips opened to the asked the question a warm, but stern voice interrupted. 

"Now," Zackariah started, turning a warm gaze to the women, "we start. Turn around and pick out a bottle. They may all appear to be the same but listen to what your heart is telling you. All bottles are different in the way they feel. Go with the one that feels right." Eyebrows knitting together in confusion Sera slowly turned around to face the wall of bottles. How the heck do I know? Sera questioned herself and no one else. 

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The silence was deafening as it rang through the empty shop. Since being told that to find the right bottle based on a feeling - whatever that meant - the white-haired women had not moved. Wide-eyed and mouth slight agape Sera stared at the wall of bottles in utter confusion. Each bottle was identical to the one next to it. There was no special feeling that any bottle invoked, nor was there a bottle that caught the confused gaze. Zachariah must have sensed the confusion radiating off of her as she stared blankly at the wall because he placed a leathery hand on the slim shoulder. 

"You're overthinking it," Zachariah's withered voiced interrupted, "Take a breath and close your eyes.

Following the instructions of the potion master composed, Sera felt the air fill her lungs and then exit. Suddenly the mind was clearer. Taking another breath in wandering eyes closed. As the breath was let out a soft glow radiated in the distance. Slowly, a step was taken forward and narrow finger's clasped the neck of a glass bottle. 

"Nicely done.

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With the bottle now picked it was time to move on to the next steps. Together the duo stood at the counter. While Zackariah proceeded to explain the tools at the table and what they were used for Sera was taking mental notes. There was a lot of information to take it; however, the young women had always been studious and excellent a retaining information. It was not different from the classes attended at higher education. Finally, the white-haired man placed down the last tool and peered at the new student expectantly. 

"Did you get that?" He question, voice bordering on stern. 

With slight hesitation, Sera nodded. For an older man he had talked quick and without hesitation; however, it also made sense because he was a master of his craft. Picking up the grey speckled bowl and matching piece Zachariah then held them both up at eye level. "What are these called and used for?" Eyeing them Sera attempted to recall the had been shared about the tools. "Oh," Sera starting, starting to remember the information in tidbits, "Those are used to grind materials for potions. They're called the... mortar and pestle? Right?"

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For several seconds the old man eyed the young player. Technically, that answer had been correct; however, since it had come in the form a question Zachariah was unwilling to accept the correct answer. "I'm not sure," Zachariah spoke, uncertainly threaded in his voice, "Are they called that? You know I am an old man and can't remember too well." His purposefully confused gaze was now on the tools in his wither hands. Out of the corner of his eye the watched the young women hesitated at the question. Once this was out of the way they could move on the actual potion making, but this had to be done first. Zachariah had seen many talented, young players wander through his door and the ones that he found had potential to be alchemist were the ones he challenged the most. This young lady before had the all the makings of an Alchemist and it was his job to plant the seed in inquiry about the profession. 

While Zachariah had been stuck in his own thoughts Sera had been going through hers. She was 99.5% positive that the tool being displayed was the mortar and pestle; however, when questioned about her sureness the doubt started to kick in.  Deciding that the answer had been correct Sera tried again, only this time without any hesitation. 

"It's called the mortar and pestle." Sera repeated, making direct eye contact with Zachariah. 

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This time, it was Zachariah’s turn to respond without hesitation. With a simple nodded the tools were placed back on the table and gentle smile spread across his wrinkled features. "Correct," He confirmed while turning away to grab the ingredients, "And now we continue on with making the potion. Picking the bottle and learning the tools are the first two, and easiest, steps. Now were going to move on the ingredients."  The five materials that had been collected and then displayed where moved in front of her person. As the next sentence left his mouth Sera found herself beaming. 

"You've found excellent materials in the wilds of the first floor," He praised warmly, "Now take the small flower you've found, pick off the petals and place them in the pestle. Once you do that, you'll start to grind until it is fine dust." Slowly, as to try not to mess up the pitch-black gloves on her hands, the ruby eyed women picked the petals and started to grind the ingredient. It was a tedious, but mesmerizing experience. As the petals were grinded into a fine dust, they started to have a luster like finish. Several minutes of silence past as diligent hands worked at grinding stone again stone. Finally, when it was done Sera tilted the bowl so that Zachariah could see the result. "Nicely done," Zachariah praised, "Now add the moss...

For the next twenty minutes Sera listened intently to the instruction provided and followed them to a "t". 

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Everything had been done precisely the way Zachariah had instructed. Three turns to the right, pause for 30 seconds, and then turn once to the right. During the interaction Sera found it hard to remember that the old man beside her was an NPC. For at least the second time during this adventure the average size women found herself marveled at the amount of detail that went into making this game - including the NPC's. Zachariah was so life-like in his interactions with her that it felt like she was engaging with a normal human being. 

As all the ingredients were added to the bottle it began to shimmer and shine with a murky grey light. Almost intrinsically she took the bottle and whirled the materials around twice and then stopped. The murky grey swiftly turned a brilliant ocean blue. "Ah," Zachariah breathed before his eyes softened, "I didn't have to even tell you the last step." Grinning like a puppy that had just be given a new toy Sera placed the bottle down on the counter. The joy of her success brought waves of excitement. 

I did it, I really did it, Sera thought to herself while staring the bright blue bottle. 

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197666 2 9 20 5 Seraphina   Craft healing potion 2021-08-02 07:24:31

CD: 9 [Success | Rare Quality]
 

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After successfully making a potion it was time to head off to the complete the rest of the quest. With the newly transformed bottle of healing potion in her inventory Sera lingered at the door of the shop while she explained what brought her to his doorstep to begin with. Upon hearing that the mayor had loaned money to someone, but could not remember who, he laughed.

"Leave it to Dorian to forget something so important," Zachariah's voice then turned to a more serious note, "No, I'm afraid it wasn't me that borrowed the col. You might try Lyle, the blacksmith. I've seen him talking with the mayor frequently the past month or so, and he's just up the road. I wish you luck!"

Feeling a slight tingle of sadness Sera waved to the older man before setting off. While still an NPC Zachariah had showed her warmth and kindness; and that would not be forgotten. Turning to wave goodbye to her new found friend the ruby orbs watched as the old man returned back to the counter before swishing a potion around twice and watching it turn bright, ocean blue. 

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Quest Rewards: 

  • 450 Experience Points (+200 EXP [page rewards])
  • 500 Col (+400 Col [page rewards])
  • An Assortment of Potions:
    • (5) T1 Uncommon Health Potions: Heals 5% of Maximum HP.
    • (1) T1 Uncommon Damage Potion: +1 DMG for an entire thread.
    • (1) T1 Uncommon Overhealth Potion: Adds 5% of Maximum HP to users Maximum HP for a thread.
    • (1) T1 Health Potion, rare quality
  • Unlock <<The Second Lesson>> Quest
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