I was on my way to the Jobs Office when I suddenly though about the place I will be staying for a while in the village. Obviously, it’ll be in a rented apartment with reasonable cost for a single person, like me, to live in. So, I diverted my steps away and headed towards the Renting Complex, which is where available apartments and bookings are made.
As I entered the building, people kept looking at me with funny looks on their faces. Some even put their heads together and whisper about something. This did not surprise me because I had witnessed the same behaviour from outside as I walked along the streets.
“Did you hear? He went out alone to save Serina all by himself.”
“Yeah, but it seems that he couldn’t save her mother. Poor Erina.”
They were whispering, but since many of them were whispering basically the same thing, it echoed in the building. I got seriously annoyed by it and I wanted to brutally tell them that I could hear them. Instead, I headed towards the counter and asked the lady behind the desk for information on cheap apartments for a guy like me.
Why? It’s because I was worried about my chances of finding a place to live and finding jobs if I cause a scene here.
“Please wait a moment, sir,” the lady said with a smile on her face.
She left me for a few minutes with the whispering people to keep my company. I wished she came back sooner because their nonstop whispering and staring is causing me a great deal of annoyance. Thankfully, she returned quickly with a book in her hand, which seemed to hold information on the apartments with daily cost less than 1000 Zen.
“Here we are,” the lady said as she opened the book to list them out for me.
I was a little appalled by the range of prices for the apartments she listed out for me. All were in the range of 1000 Zen per day and I began to recalculate the amount needed for my living expenses. Getting the apartment is one thing, but my living expenses will cost more and the part where I save money doesn’t seem to be included. That’s troubling.
“Is there an apartment around or below 500 Zen?” I asked hopefully.
The lady gave me a strange look upon my request and replied, “Yes, sir.”
I only have 400 Zen on me right now and if I managed to procure an apartment for 400 Zen, I’ll be set for today. If not, I’ll have to try and book an apartment after I earn some money. I originally came to find out the prices, so either way can work to my advantage anyway.
The lady looked through the book for a moment before tapping a spot on it with her finger as if she had hit the mark.
“There are two apartments available at the moment, sir. One is from 400 Zen per day and the other is for 500 Zen per day.”
“Okay,” I said with a puzzled look on my face. “Can you explain to me the differences between them?”
“Certainly,” said the lady brightly. “Both apartments are old and are run by old people. The services might not be great and comfort wouldn’t be the best, but it’s reasonable for a low living. The key difference between them is that only the 500 Zen apartment provide free breakfast, lunch and dinner.”
“Eh?” I said in surprise while blinking my eyes at her. “the 500 Zen apartment provides food? Does that mean they provide food for all three times of day?”
The lady nodded and said, “It certainly does, sir.”
“Okay,” I responded with a nod of my head.
Right. Both are old and are managed by old people with only 100 Zen of cost difference. The 400 Zen looks inviting because of the low cost range, but the free food provided by the 500 Zen apartment feels welcoming. Eating outside costs, at least, 10 to 50 Zen and with that in mind, the 500 Zen sounds like a better choice, but I do wonder what kind of food they will put.
Anyway, I don’t have the money with me right now, so I said to the lady, “I’ll come back later to get booked in. Is that alright?”
“Sure, sir. You can book at your leisure,” said the lady and she beamed at me.
“Good,” I said and turned around before exiting out of the building with eyes following me leave.
I arrived at the Jobs Office several minutes later and the atmosphere within the building was heavy with busyness. There were people walking around with papers in hand, others checking out the papers nailed to boards and several standing in a que behind the front desk. I thought it might be an quick way of getting jobs, but it looks like the process is time consuming in any world.
So, I decided to check out what’s been pinned on the wall where most usually go to. It took me a moment to get myself up to the front because there were others a little taller than me and possess more muscled body than mine. I decided to use minimal force to push my way to the front because I’d hate to aggravate those meat heads who only think of how to grab money at every given chance.
I looked up at the papers on the board and thanks to my Translator III, I managed to read them easily. It looks like most of them were requests made by clients who want items after searching in the Dungeon or procuring certain kind of Monster Drop items after defeating required monsters.
The reward money was alright, but each were different on the kind of Difficulty Stars given for each assignment. Difficulty Stars are given one to five stars per request or mission. Each of them are described like:
One Star – Easy
Two Star – Effort
Three Star – Average
Four Star – Difficult
Five Star – Hard
The ones on the board are mostly with Two Difficulty Stars and there a few with Three Difficulty Stars and Four Difficulty Stars. As I’m just beginning to start my carrier as an Adventurer, I decided to take on a Two Difficulty Stars mission for the moment.
The mission I decided to take on was to collect around fifty crystals on D1, which stands for Dungeon Floor 1. To represent the floor of a dungeon, a D and the floor number is given after the letter. I don’t think I ever heard such a term in my world, but I like it because it makes it easy saying Dungeon Floor One with D1.
I take the paper off the board and head towards the line formed behind the front desk. It didn’t dawn on me until I noticed the crowd that it had increased since I had entered the building. Thanks to that, I had to wait for almost half-an-hour before being able to reach the front desk.
“I would like to receive this mission,” I asked the lady behind the desk.
She took the paper from me and asked, “Please give me your Adventurer Card.”
“Um… I’m newly joining,” I said slowly and she smiled at me reassuringly.
“Not a problem. Please give me your details and I will register you into the system so you receive a card from us,” she said patiently in a cool voice.
She seemed energetic despite having to deal with so many people that came before me. This is my first time registering into the Adventurer System because I had worked by partnering up with a friends The Elder and Erina knew. It was thanks to both of them that I earned so much at that time, but it’s time for me to set a path for me to walk with my own strength.
The lady quickly took out a piece of paper and began to note down my name, my age and my height, my weight, my date-of-birth and the names of my parents.
Once that was over, she rolled it up round and picked up a wand before she waved it at the paper.
She said, what sounded like, a magic word because, in an instant, the scroll vanished into a thousand particles of multiple colours. The next moment, the very same particles gathered together on her palm and solidified into a card. I had always seen such a thing happen in magic tricks, but that was amazing to witness first hand with virtual life magic.
“Thank you for waiting, sir,” she said calmly with a smile on her face. “Now, I will ask you a few questions and please respond by saying Yes or No.”
“Okay,” I replied with a nod of my head.
“The job you’ve chosen is from the Adventurer section. Is that okay?”
“The criteria for the job is for you to collect fifty crystals from D1 and come directly to us. Is that okay?”
“The difficulty for this is set to Two Difficulty Stars. Is that okay?”
“The reward money for this is 500 Zen. Is that okay?”
“Very well. Thank you for patiently answering the questions,” the lady said courteously and I nodded silently at her in response.
She took out a pen from her desk and scribbled what appeared to be her signature before placing a stamp of approval on it. With that done, she handed my Adventurer Card and the Job Letter over to me.
“Is there anything else I can help you with?” she asked politely with a never fading smile on her face.
“Just a sec,” I replied while glancing down at the card and letter.
I glanced down to check my Adventurer Card. It was a white card with my name, age and rank embossed on top of it. It looks like my starting rank is at D, as expected. I suspect it’ll increase over time as I defeat more monsters and go down more levels in the dungeons. No matter, I’ll still rise to the top.
I took a glance at the letter and saw that it had my name on it with the heading “Taken by.” Looks like the job’s been officially given to me so that it prevents anyone from stealing it. Looking at the Job Letter did raise a question and I decided to ask the lady for an answer.
“Can I take more than one job at a time?” I asked her curiously.
She shook her head and replied, “Not possible with your current rank, sir. You’d have to be Rank C to take on two jobs, Rank B to take on five jobs at the same time and Rank A to take on ten jobs. After that comes Rank S and it becomes unlimited from that point onwards.”
“I see. Thank you for the explanation,” I replied curiously and I smiled in relief because it was what I had expected it to be. “Well then, I’ll take my leave.”
“I wish you best of luck on your first mission,” she wished me while bowing her head down respectfully.
“Thanks,” I replied before heading out of the building and headed off on my quest.
Entering the dungeon, defeating monsters, procuring the fifty crystals and leaving the dungeon took more than two hours. I didn’t even know it took that long until later when I arrived at the Jobs Centre to get my reward money. Throughout the dungeon, I was just looking constantly for the crystals while defeating any monster that got in my way.
Here’s a list of creatures that I ran into so far on D1.
|Bug Hammer||It’s a monster that holds a large hammer|
|Tri-Horned Dog||A dog with three sharp horns on its head|
|Fanged Rabbit||A rabbit with really sharp fangs, but with slow movement speed.|
|Fiend Dogs||Monsters with strong bodies and a challenge to defeat for beginning adventurers|
I didn’t manage to find any other monsters since I managed to find all the crystals I needed in a pile. Navigating the dungeon was the hardest part because it was a like a maze once you enter it. I kept heading in the downward direction to find more monsters along with a few adventurers that were already there. I didn’t talk to them, just minded my business and went on my way.
Anyway, I received my reward money and checked the time to see that it was a bit after noon. Deciding to eat, I went out to a nearby restaurant and ordered a plate for 50 Zen. It took a few minutes before a place of rice, curry and three side dishes was placed on my table.
There were no spoons and everywhere I looked, people were eating with their hands. It was my first time eating outside in public after entering this world, so it looked unusual for me. Back when I ate with Erina and The Elder, they used spoons and even in my world, I ate my food with a spoon. So, it felt pretty strange to try and eat food directly with my bare hands.
“Is there a spoon I can eat with?” I asked them hopefully.
“No,” replied the waiter curtly and I scowled at him before managing to eat a bite.
It tasted okay, but wasn’t brilliant enough to get five out of five in a taste department. It was probably because I was used to eating my mother’s and Erina’s wonderful cooking. That very thought made me feel a pain sting in my chest at the thought that I could never see either of them again. Still, I forcefully stuffed the food into me, paid for it and left to do another mission.
The next mission I took was to collect fifty Fanged Rabbits as the customer seemed to be asking for their skin to make clothes to sell. Since I’m not in the business of doing such bloody work, I simply chopped off their heads and stuffed them into the Item Bag that I received from the Item Box that The Elder gave me a while back.
I forgot to mention that I managed to defeat all the monsters with my newly bought sword. Why I didn’t use the spear? It’s simply because I wanted to get accustomed with the sword. I am already proficient with the spear as it seems to be easy to use, so I want to focus on honing my skills with the sword and then later with the other weapons.
It was evening by the time I exited the Jobs Centre and I sighed heavily due to tiredness from working hard all day. Just then, I heard a sound in my head followed by a window that popped up in front of me.
“You have earned a total of 1200 Zen today.”
“Your Constitution, Strength, Dexterity, Intelligence and Luck has increased by 5 points.”
Oh. It finally showed up. I was wondering why it didn’t show up until now while I was defeating monsters and completing my missions. I guess the messenger thing didn’t want to distract me from my mission, so it waited until I was completely done before notifying me of the results.
Looking at my stats, I realised that it will take me more effort to try and up my stat points. Even my Adventurer job hasn’t increased from LV2. That’s okay though because not everything can be achieved in one day. Every step takes me closer to achieving greater results of success.
So, I took my leave and returned to the Renting Complex to speak with the same lady behind the desk. She smiled at me in recognition from remembering my face and easily remembered the kind of apartment with a reasonable price range I had been looking earlier.
“The 400 Zen and the 500 Zen apartments are still available for you if you’re still interested.”
“I’ll go with the 500 Zen apartment,” I said to her and she smiled widely at me.
“Very well. If you please provide me with your name, age and how many days you’ll be staying there, I can complete the paperwork for your stay.”
“Um… How long I’ll be staying…?” I asked uncertainly.
Truth be told; I hadn’t thought about that. I thought I’d just stay at an apartment until I earned a decent amount of money to save. I decided to think about what to do once I reached that point. So, her question suddenly left me feeling a little confused about how to answer it.
“So… You will be staying indefinitely?” she asked me curiously.
“Only until I earn a decent amount of money,” I replied while feeling grateful for her response.
“Okay,” she said and smiled at me once more. “Please wait a minute. This won’t take long.”
The lady behind the counter understood the situation I was in and I also believe she knows about me. A lot of people in town do and it doesn’t surprise me if she does know about what happened. Still, I look around and I see very few people present at this time of day. Not a single one was paying any attention to me like they did in the morning.
“I sure am glad I’m out of the spotlight,” I thought happily.
It took the lady a bit more than a minute to complete the paper work. Once that was over, she picked up a wand and waved it at the paper.
In an instant, the paper vanished into several multi-coloured particles and they formed again into a card after gathering on her palm. Smiling, she handed the card to be and began to explain how it worked.
“That card is your Renting User Card and it enables you to stay at the designated renting place written on it. If you want to change places, you simply bring the card here and we will apply the change. Also, please don’t lose this card because replacing it will cost you 1000 Zen.”
“1000 Zen?!” I exclaimed in shock.
“That’s right,” she said with a nod of her head. “As this is your first time renting at our place, we registered you free of charge. In the cases where the card was lost, stolen or destroyed, we charge you 1000 Zen for replacement.”
“Sheesh… I think the Adventurer Card has a similar fee for replacements,” I muttered.
“That’s right,” she replied thinking I had asked her a question. “Now, is there anything else I can help you with?”
“I’m fine,” I replied and the lady smiled widely at me.
“Well then, please head in that direction and show the card to the person stationed there. Follow his instructions and you will arrive at the apartment you will be renting at.”
“Thank you,” I said and she bowed to me respectfully.
I headed off in the direction she pointed, which lead me to a back door that I didn’t notice until then. I pushed it open and I walked out to find myself standing at the entrance of a pathway leading to the apartments.
A man sat next to the door with a desk in front of him and he looked very bored.
“Hand me your card,” he said in a bored voice.
I raised my eyebrow in surprise and handed him the card, which he took and examined it for a moment. Then, he took out a pen and noted down my name and the apartment I will be staying at. Once he had a thorough check of the card, he handed the card back to me and aimed his hands at me.
In an instant, a magic circle appeared underneath my feet and I was surrounded by a yellow glowing light. The next moment, I felt myself moving at an incredible speed and I felt my head ring violently with a high pitched sound. It lasted a second as the light warped away from me and I found myself standing outside a tall, but old building.
“Ah…! That hurt…!” I muttered as I rubbed my ears to clear the sound. “I thought teleportation was easy, but I never expected its sensation would be like this!”
At that moment, I heard a sound in my mind and a window popped up in front of me.
“You have acquired the skill: Teleport.”
“Huh?” I said that out loud in surprise.
The message looked right and it’s telling me I got Teleport skill now? What? Is this thing serious? I acquired it just by seeing that guy us it on me just once? Wow… That’s amazing… Still, I better check if it’s telling me the truth or it told me that because of a glitch in the system or something.
So, I opened my status window and selected the skills button to see a window of all the skills I have acquired so far. Teleport was right there with a cool down of 5 minutes, cast time being immediate and a length being none.
How did I acquire it? I don’t think I have a copying type ability, other than, the Identify II. I think that’s probably it because the new increase in its level is allowing me to copy skills used by others. Then, why isn’t The Doctor’s Healing Harmony in this list? Mmm… It’s probably because I didn’t focus on it. That has to be it because I wasn’t paying attention when he used it to heal my wounds.
Well, I can focus on this later and figure out how to use the skill later because it’s getting late. So, I head into the old building in front of me and got greeted by an elderly looking man. He appeared to be pleasant as he wore robes and was using a stick to support him in standing.
“Welcome to our apartment; Xteria Apartment,” the old man said as he greeted me in a pleasant voice. “How may I help you at this time, boy?”
“I… I came here to rent,” I said and the old man’s smile widened.
“Wonderful. It’s been some time since our last visitor stayed here with us. I am overjoyed.”
“Um… You say it’s been some time since your last visitor. Was there a problem here for there to be no one willing to stay here?” I asked wearily.
If there was trouble with this place, I plan on getting out of here. I totally dislike staying at a place with troubles because it’ll eventually trouble me. It’s what I learnt so far throughout my life in my world and this world.
The old man chuckled and said, “I suppose you’d think like that. Unfortunately, our rivals disliked our popularity and started spreading rumours that a ghost is haunting a room in this hotel.”
“Huh?” I asked incredulously. “People believed that nonsense?”
“Boy, people will believe anything unusual if you just spoon feed them the way they’ll believe it,” the old man said in a sad voice. “A few years ago, an adventurer woman died of illness in that room and they used that as a rouse to scare people away from this place. Now, it’s just me and my family that runs this place.”
“I’m sorry,” I said with a heartfelt apology for the pain he was facing. “Well, I’d like to stay here for a while if that’s okay with you.”
“It’ll be our pleasure, boy,” said the old man and he smiled warmly at me.
He turned around and called in a loud voice as he could muster, “Sarah! We have a new resident.”
There were hurried footsteps from upstairs and an old woman walked down the stairs quickly. She took one glance at me and beamed brightly with her face lighting up with energy. At the same time, two woman came from the kitchen because of the utensils in their hands and a man appeared to come out of the bathroom because he was holding a mop in his hand.
“A new resident?!” the girls asked and they smiled happily as they looked at me.
“Excellent!” the young man said excitedly and he gripped his mop so hard that it snapped. “Crap! I broke it!”
“You broke it again?! Just how many do you plan on breaking, Nuk?” the old woman said sternly and she headed over to him. “You young ladies return to cooking! It’s almost dinner time!”
“Yes!” the girls said sharply and returned to the kitchen, but not before taking one last glance at me.
I stared at them with my mouth hanging and my eyes widened slightly because I was stunned. The old man saw my expression and he chuckled happily once more.
“That’s my family. Please, don’t mind them. They’re just happy we have a customer after so long,” said the old man and I turned to him while raising an eyebrow. “We feared that we might have to shut down the apartment with a lack of customers.”
I was surprised and I asked him, “There’s a law that shuts you down if you have no customers for a certain period of time?”
The old man nodded and said, “Yes boy. What you said is true.”
“I see. Taking out useless things and replacing them with useful things is always a business strategy. I understand that well, but it sure doesn’t do you and your family any good if that were to happen.”
“Yes and that’s why, we are happy to have a customer,” the old man said and he smiled at me warmly.
I smiled at him as well and I somehow felt that the old man reminded me of The Elder. They are two different individuals, but their mannerisms are very similar. So, I suddenly felt very welcomed into the apartment run by a happy and energetic family.
The old man walked around the main desk and pulled out a drawer with keys in it. He rummaged through them briefly before pulling out the key to the room I will be staying in. With the key in hand, he walked over to me and placed the key into my outstretched hand.
“The room you’ll be staying in is at the top floor right side. So, please go ahead and freshen up because dinner will be ready in a few minutes.”
“Right. Thanks, old man,” I said and he nodded silently in response with a smile on his face.
Like that, I walked up the stairs and reached the top of the building. All rooms were vacant and I used the key he gave me to unlock the door to the right room. Once it unlocked, I opened the door and walked in just as the wall lamps lighted up, surprising me momentarily.
If it were a haunted house, I would’ve thought it was done by a ghost, but I forgot about the functions of the lights. They were set so that they turn on or off depending on the command we use. If I said “Lights On,” the lights get turned on and if I said “Lights Off,” then the lights go off. It’s fairly easy to use and understand. Believe me.
So, I locked the room and checked out the room I was going to stay in. It was large enough to incorporate a bedroom, a hall and a kitchen. In one word, I can describe the room as being spacious for one person to life comfortably. With such a low cost, I expected it to be not so comfortable, but this is much better than what I expected.
With my inspection complete, I went straight into having a bath and getting dressed into my old clothes again. I seriously need to buy new clothes if possible because wearing the same clothing is starting to annoy me. Working hard today caused me to sweat a fair bit and caused the clothes to stink, but I hope to buy two pair tomorrow morning if possible with my earnings.
So, I locked my room and walked downstairs to see a young woman standing near the stairway. Upon seeing me, she smiled and said, “Your dinner is over this way. Please follow me.”
I shrugged my shoulders and followed after her silently. A few seconds later, we arrived in what appeared to be a large dining room fit for everyone living in the apartment. Since it was just me, I was joined by the family running the apartment. Once again, it was rice and curry, but I didn’t complain since I was happy to be eating with a family again.
“Wow! This is good!” I said out loud in amazement and everyone smiled at me.
“My daughter, Wendy, is an excellent chef,” said the old man and the girl called Pena turned red with embarrassment. He pointed towards the woman that lead me here and said, “My elder daughter, Pan and that’s her husband, Peter.”
“Nice to meet you,” I said and I shook hands with Peter, who smiled in return.
“My wife, Rose,” said the old man as he pointed to his wife last. “She gets angry very quickly.”
“I do not!” the old woman snapped with an annoyed look on her face.
“Okay, but what are you doing now? Getting cranky?” Pan asked with a smile on her face.
“No,” said the old woman and she glared at her daughter, but Pan didn’t seem to care. The old lady turned to me and smiled warmly as she said, “Please feel free to ask us anything if you need something. We’ll try and help out if possible.”
“Thank you,” I replied appreciatively before returning to eating my food.
The food was excellent, but most importantly, the people here were wonderful. They were having fun in each other’s company and it made me feel like I was back with my family. I and my mother always argue about the food, the taste and anything else we could argue over. It’s usually dad that came to try and break us up, although, he always laughed at how silly we were to argue over food.
Anyway, once I was done eating, I paid the old man 500 Zen and headed into my room. Once I locked the door, I headed into the room and I fell on the bed that they provided. The mattress was warm and comfortable, making me go straight to sleep without a second thought. I had no idea that I would find something very surprising the next time I open my eyes.
Hello everyone ank you very much for reading the chapter. i hope everyone is healthy because I’m not as I was sick the last three weeks with a severe cold. Still, I managed to write the chapter and am posting it now for you all to read.
Okay. I’ve noticed people raising questions about this story being tragic because of earlier events. I’ll make it clear that I don’t write stories with tradegy in them and Erina’s death was inevitable. I’m promising people that there won’t be tragedy in this story from this point onwards. As for Serina’s fate, just wait and see what happens. I’ve never disapopinted my reader’s expectations before and I’m not planning on changing that now.
So, with that said, I’ll take my leave to recover while you hopefully anticipate the next chapter! Till then, everyone!