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[F1|PP]Starting off... slow <TFL:1>


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The two silver-haired friends would find themselves in their normal venue of the first floor's main city: The Town of Beginnings. The place seemed to be thinning out more and more as the floors were cleared out above, but there were still quite a few people that had decided to stay behind and hope other could win their way out of here. All things considered, Mei was not happy about how long she had taken to get motivated to join them, but given the situation, who could really blame her? Even the brave could be afraid to die.

Her and Setsugekka (Setsu she called him for short) would get to work on leveling up their characters. Skill would not be enough alone to get her through these floors, after all. The two would soon be stopped by the mayor of the town, as the quest would start for just about everyone. He pleaded that they help him collect some loans from people he lent the money. "Is it not weird to entrust such a delicate transaction to a stranger?" Mei would question out loud, not offering much response from the NPC. "We should still help him Mei." Setsu would say as he accepted the quest. Mei didn't really argue with that.

They just had to go to Zack's shop and ask him for the money, right? It couldn't be so simple.

Spoiler

Meikyo Gekko,
Level: 1
Paragon Level: 0
HP: 20/20
EN: 20/20

Stats:
Damage: 2

Equipped Gear:
Weapon: 
Armor: 
Misc: 

Skills:
1HCS R1

Active Mods:

Inactive Mods:

Active Extra Skills:

Inactive Extra Skills:

Battle Ready Inventory:
1: 2
2: 3
3: 4
4: 5
5: 6
6: 7
7: 8

 

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Zerix knew he had been in the Town of Beginning far too long. Progress on the frontline was steady, but slow. They needed all the help they could get. There was nothing Zerix wanted more than to help, but he didn’t know anyone. He didn’t know anything. How could he even help? He couldn’t. So, every morning, he went out, planning to do something, but he ended up frozen. Really, what he needed was a little push. 

As he wandered out today, there came a push. The mayor himself strode up and addressed him. Zerix turned around, blinking, and pointing to himself as if to say ‘who me?’, but not actually saying anything at all. At this acknowledgement, the NPC went on about his problems, as NPCs were wont to do. It was a quest, of course, an opportunity. He’d run into them before, but following them through to fruition was another story by himself. 

The quest sounded simple enough, but they rarely were. Zerix was apprehensive about accepting, until the mayor said just one more thing: “I already recruited a couple others to help me with this. I think they are already on their way. Why don’t you party up? More heads are always better than one after all!” The man declared jovially. Zerix nodded in response. That… was good. A party. He needed a party. Since this was the Town of Beginnings, that also meant they were probably also on or around his level. He had to do this. 

“Okay.” Zerix replied simply, and pressed the green circle to accept the quest. He could do this. Now, it was off to Zachariah’s shop in order to meet up with the party! 

Spoiler

 

Zerix | Lv. 1 | HP: 20/20 | EN: 20/20 | DMG: 4 | ACC: 0 | EVA: 0 | LD: 0

Equipped Items: 

Starter Polearm | Vanity 

Battle-Ready Inventory: 

Starter Healing Potion (3) | Heals 50 HP

Skills: 

Polearm | Rank 1

 

 

Edited by Zerix
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Spoiler

Lessa, The Empress

Level: 31
Paragon Level: 37
HP: 820/820
EN: 114/114

Stats:
Damage: 21
Mitigation: 122
Battle Healing: 41
Loot Dice: 6
H.M.: 8
HLY: 8
THRNS: 72
ACC: 1

Equipped Gear:
Weapon: Arcael's Might (T4 THSS - DMG DMG DMG HLY)
Armor: Violet Ribbon (T2 LA - 3LD)
Armor: Empress Armor (T4 HA - HM HM THNS THNS)

Skills:
2HSS R5
Heavy Armor R5
Battle Healing R5
Energist
Fighting Spirit
Charge

Active Mods:
Impetus
Iron Skin
Emergency Recovery

Active Extra Skills:
Parry
Ferocity
Stamina
Precision

Battle Ready Inventory:
Berry Crumb Bar (+3 LD) - Consumed
Teleport Crystal

Housing Buffs:
Well Rested: -1 energy cost for the first three expenditures of each combat
Clean: The first time you would suffer DoT damage in a thread, reduce damage taken from DoT each turn by 20% (rounded down)
Relaxed: Increases out of combat HP regen by (5 * Tier HP) and decreases full energy regen to 2 Out of Combat Posts.
Col Stash: +5% bonus col from monster kills and treasure chests
Advanced Training: +10% Exp to a thread. Limit one use per month [1/1]
Multipurpose: Gain +1 to LD, Stealth Rating, Stealth Detection, or Prosperity to one post in a thread. Can be applied after a roll

Guild Hall Buffs:
Helping Hand: Lowest-leveled guild member receives +10 bonus Exp at the end of the thread. At least half of the thread's participants must be guild members. Limit one use per month, per character. [1/1]

Lessa

The first floor never changed. One might assume that it would, given the sheer volume of Players in the Town of Beginnings. Even half a decade into the game, the population still pressed against the protective walls like an overstuffed suitcase. Of course, instead of dirty laundry or obscenely over-priced souvenirs, Starting City was filled with frightened level-ones, orphans, shopkeepers, and battle-hardened Players who looked to lose themselves in the crowds.

Then there were the oddballs, who wandered the busy streets without any real motivation. They had no destination in mind, nor reason to be on the first floor, but found themselves there anyway. That morning, Lessa fell in that category. As she strolled, she sipped at the can of grape pop that she'd found in the depths of her inventory. Others nursed steaming to-go cups of coffee, which she supposed was the more normal morning beverage. But what did she know of normal? Besides, the magic bean juice never appealed to her.

While Lessa appeared quite at-ease with the current situation, her familiar gave a low huff of disapproval. Though she smiled into her fizzy drink, the woman let her eyes roll skyward. "It's not that bad," she informed Riker. Aincrad's most opinionated companion hated crowds, along with most everything else, and he made his dislike painfully obvious. But he seemed to like her well enough, and she adored him, so the wolf and the Player made a pretty solid team. Furthermore, Riker and Lessa had saved each other on numerous occasions, and that sort of bond held incredible value.

As she went to turn down another street, a sudden shout drew her attention. “You there!" Caught entirely off-guard, Lessa pressed a finger to her chest, as if to ask what, me? "Yes, you. One more person should suffice. Will you join us in our task?"

The woman stared dumbfounded at the NPC, but understanding dawned when the quest window populated. This is a beginner quest, she caught herself thinking. Like, beginner beginner. But she hadn't done it before, so it would offer some sort of reward. And besides, maybe the other people the mayor mentioned could use her help.

"Sure thing," she answered, then let her gaze jump to the other two players. "As long as you guys are okay with me tagging along."

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The duo of players had hardly gotten feet away from the quest giver before being stopped by by others. First, a boy probably not much younger than her and Setsu. Given his short response, Mei could already tell he wasn't well versed with strangers. He seemed like someone who wouldn't offer much to a conversation unless given something to go off of. The other woman, quite the beauty from what she could tell while blindfolded, her armor suggested she wasn't such a new play like they were. At least by comparison.

"Hey guys!" Setsu would speak up before the girl offer a polite wave to them. He was always a better talked than her, so she would stand next to her best friend with a slight smile. "You'll be joining us on the quest? Cool! We look forward to working with you." Opening her menu, Mei would find the party list and send invites to the others so they could all be in the same party. Of course, they could ignore it if they wanted, it wouldn't really change the outcome of the quest.

"Let us continue." Mei would say quietly, turning to take the group towards their quest location. "Since he refrained from introducing us, allow me. My name is Meikyo Gekko - Mei for short. My friend here is Setsugekka - Setsu for short. We're both still level one, but looking to change that."

Soon after, the group would find themselves at Zachariah's hut. A medicine place for low level players it seemed. Upon entering, the kindly man would speak up. "I'm sorry younguns but I'm out of supply with all the orders I need to fill. If you want something, you'll have to go get the materials for me. I could use a little extra if you're willing to help me out."

"Ah, we just came to-" He would cut the girl off before she had a chance to explain their situation. "Yes, yes. You need some potions but I can't help you without proper ingredients. You can find herbs and such outside of the city walls. Come back when you've gotten some and I'll happily make you some."

The Samurai's expression might have been hidden behind a blindfold, but even still one could tell she was feeling somewhat exasperated by the situation. Considering the update to their quest, she assumed that they would have to do this task before they asked him about his debts. "Don't worry Mei, we get a little extra for helping him anyways. It can't hurt to go along with it."

"Potions would be useful for leveling up I guess. We can't rely on our skills outside the game to carry us the entire way." Despite never having played a video game like this before, she was aware that the digital world wouldn't always work like the real one. They would have to follow it's rules. "Well, shall we everyone?"

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Just as he was getting used to the idea of partying up with two whole new people, a third appearance. Zerix turned his head to see who she was and was surprised by her myriad of equipment. She was almost certainly not level one, that much he could tell. Why was she going on this quest? It made him a little uncomfortable, but she had given him no other reason to suspect her, so he just nodded his assent. 

From there, the guy of the blindfolded duo spoke up. Zerix almost jumped at his enthusiasm. He was pretty friendly, which was good even if a bit startling. When the party invite came up, Zerix quickly accepted and gave a bit a nervous smile. He followed along when the blindfolded girl began to lead and it wasn't until she made the introductions that the quiet boy spoke up. 

"Zerix… Level 1…" He replied and refrained from pointing out that he could already read their names on the Heads Up Display for their party. Their third was called Lessa, he saw. It hadn't told him their nicknames at least and people seemed to like introducing themselves besides. It was only polite to reciprocate. 

Once they arrived at the quest location, Zerix was happy to let Setsu what little talking was allowed to be done. Guess it was pretty typical for a tutorial level quest to be so very on the rails. Zerix didn't mind that. Direction was a good thing. So he just nodded to confirm he was ready to go pick some herbs. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Grinning, Lessa regarded her newest groupmates. It had been a long time since she'd teamed up with strangers, especially those who were so low-level. Once, she had spent most of her days leading level ones through beginner quests, and training them to survive in Aincrad. But many of them hadn't taken the training seriously, or taken advantage of her kindness in one way or another. When one of her young pupils was killed by a boar, Lessa found herself withdrawing from the social scene. While she still tutored young Players, it was in social studies and English, not swordplay.

So much had changed since her hermit days, and the woman found herself coaxed from her shell. So she threw up a gauntleted hand, and gave a quick wave to the three people gathered around her. "Nice to meet you all," she began. "I'm Lessa. Not a level one anymore, but I've never done this quest, so we're all in this together." Even as annoyingly peppy music from a teen musical played in her head, she motioned to her wolf familiar. As always, Riker sat dutifully by her side, his bushy tail rhythmically slapping the ground. "And this is my familiar, Riker. He looks a little scary, but he's a good boy." As if to demonstrate, Riker yawned widely, revealing razor-sharp teeth. Then he let his tongue roll out of his mouth, panting like a puppy.

"I'll follow your lead," she told them. "I have some items to help me find hidden materials, so I'd rather you guys get the first crack at the more obvious ones."

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