Volume 10 - Prologue
Prologue - Exchange Items and a Small Problem
OSO's winter event which used time-limited quest as a theme had been ongoing.
In the game in question, OSO, inside a store named 【Atelier】 which handled potions and consumables, I was checking the store's stock in the workshop part.
"As the event progresses, there's lots of people who came to purchase items necessary for delivery-type quests and I need to make sure the stock doesn't run out."
As I muttered so and checked the stock of items whose number of daily sales was restricted, I saw the sales had temporarily increased compared to usual.
"Since I still have a stock of materials, there should be no problems during this event. As for other problems... hm?"
After checking the item stock, I checked the stock of crafting materials and raised my voice in doubt.
The materials used for crafting in 【Atelier】 were either grown on my own field or purchased from other players, as well as left to Kyouko-san the NPC to purchase from NPC vendors and stalls.
In the stock of those materials, the amount of some items harvested – mainly those cultivated on the field – has slightly decreased.
"What does this mean? Let's ask Kyouko-san."
Finding Kyouko-san store-tending, I called out to her.
"Kyouko-san, can I ask you something?"
"Yes, what is it?"
The owner of a charming face, Kyouko-san had tilted her head lightly. I asked her about the changes in harvest I have found earlier.
"Yield for some cultivated items has decreased a little over the last few days, do you maybe know why?"
"Yes. It's because the growth of the plants has been delayed by the changes in temperature."
Hearing Kyouko-san's words, I realized that the reduction in the amount harvested has to do with the recent update introducing environmental 【Cold Damage】.
"I see. So 【Cold Damage】 not only affects players but also things like that."
I was absorbed in taking measures against the 【Cold Damage】 before the update and later, I was concentrating on the winter quest, so I left 【Atelier】's management to Kyouko-san, which was why I was late to notice this.
"Herb-type materials are strong against cold and heat so they can be harvested steadily over the entire year without a difference, but any kind of material that has flowers blooming requires insects to carry pollen, so their growth is slowed down during winter."
Saying so, Kyouko-san lowered her eyebrows apologetically.
"It doesn't cause a big influence, but having the amount decreased is a little troubling."
While I held my head in my arms, Kyouko-san proposed a few countermeasures.
"The best way to improve yields is to cultivate plants in a warm place. For example, by transplanting them into a planter and relocating to a warmer area."
"I see, got it. I'll think of those countermeasures, please work as usual Kyouko-san."
"Yes, I understand."
Seeing Kyouko-san lower her head slightly I smiled and with the store's stock check completed, I headed to the location I have promised to meet with an acquaintance.
"Ryui, Zakuro. We'll be going out, come."
When I called out, Zakuro, the black fox's young beast who was warming himself up by the stove installed at the store section of 【Atelier】, had ran up to my feet then climbed up over my body to snugly enter the hood of my winter clothes.
While I smiled bitterly at the fact that it has already become Zakuro's special seat, my other partner, Unicorn Ryui quietly stood up and walked up next to me.
I stroked Ryui's mane which was placed in perfect position under my hand and walked out.
;Well then, let's head to Lyly's store."
Today, a crafters' tea party was held in Lyly's store.
Taking Ryui and Zakuro with me I headed to 【Lyly's Woodworking Shop】 located on the Eastern side of the main street which connected Eastern and Western sides of the town.
The inside of the store was bustling as usual. When I slipped beside other players and headed to the counter, a clerk NPC had guided us towards the back.
Based on the store's appearance, the black door I was guided to was installed in a place where it should lead to nowhere. When I opened the door without any hesitation and entered inside——
——There was a wide plain and a plantation far in the distance. I could also see a big building that functioned as a shipyard.
The plain created with the 【Ownership of a Personal Field】 Lyly acquired during the summer camp event was filled with warmth and there was good weather. Feeling hot in winter clothes, I loosened them a little by the chest.
"It's soo warm in here."
At the same time I murmured, Zakuro who was completely hidden inside the hood had come out and Ryui has turned into his adult form, releasing his restricted abilities.
"Heeey, Yuncchi, over heere〜!"
I must have been seen as I stepped out of the black doors as I saw a figure in front of the shipyard's building wave its hand and walk my way.
Lined up on top of the table handmade by Lyly were tea and sweets. First, I said greetings towards Cloude and Lyly who were here first.
"Cloude, Lyly, did you wait?"
"No, it's no problem. However, today Magi suddenly cancelled her participation."
"Eh?! Is that so?"
I felt a little disappointed hearing Cloude's words. Just the other day I exchanged information with Magi-san so there was no information I wanted, but I was looking forward to everyone participating.
Seeing my reaction, Cloude softened his expression and spoke the reason Magi-san's absence.
"Well, the reason Magi isn't participating is because Ricœur has turned adult.
"He?! That's great news."
Surprised by the sudden report, my voice turned comical. But after hearing in more detail, my mood was uplifted.
I wonder how does the young wolf look as an adult. Did it turn to look like a normal wolf? And it might also turn cool with fangs and nails turning long and sharp.
Imagining that, I looked forward to seeing him.
"So, that's how it is. Magi is absent because she's now verifying Ricœur's adult form. Now, let's begin the tea party."
The tea party where unusually one person was missing has mainly focused on consultation over adult Ryui's armour, winter quest event soon reaching the turning point and the newly acquired information.
"All right, since our tamed mobs are growing adult one after another, I'll make equipment for them..."
Feeling the heat of this space I took off the winter clothes and folded them on top of my knee, furthermore on top of which Zakuro lied down. Hearing Zakuro's sad voice, the three of us looked towards him.
"Mm, my bad."
"You don't have to worry, Zakuro. Take your time growing."
When I comforted him like that, my feelings were relayed and Zakuro settled down a little. Ryui who felt like they were in the way of the conversation, took Zakuro, Cloude's Lucky Cat Socks and Lyly's tamed mob, Phoenix Neshias, into the plains to spend time playing.
"...Back to the subject. My Socks and Lyly's Neshias remain support-type mobs even after growing adult, so I think that accessory-type equipment would be good for them. However, Yun's Ryui is a mob that can be mounted. Isn't it more important to make something that will make you ride him in more stable manner, rather than focus on defence?"
Just as Cloude said, previously when I rode Ryui without equipment it was quite unstable and there was a large burden on my body. Whenever I rode him, I clung to his neck and was unable to do anything, which was troubling.
"You're right. I think it's important that I am able to use the bow while I ride Ryui."
"It's decided then. Do you have any detailed request?"
Asked by him, I put my index finger on my chin.
"Not in particular, I guess. Although I would be happy if you kept decorations in moderation."
"I see, then let's immediately measure Ryui's adult form and decide on the design."
Cloude grinned and turned to look towards Ryui running lightly on the plain.
That moment, probably feeling his stare, Ryui accelerated all at once as if to run away. However, that movement had seemed to have stimulated Cloude's inspiration even further as he pulled out a measure and started the pursuit after Ryui with a fearless smile.
"Hahahahaha! Let me measure your adult-turned body!"
While I stared with a cramped expression as Cloude chases after Ryui, Lyly changed the subject with a wry smile.
"Oh right. Yuncchi, did you decide how to use Quest Chips yet?"
Just the other day the first week of three-week long winter's quest event had passed and information on new events has been announced.
I operated the menu and displayed the official event information.
"Even as I look at this, there's nothing that catches my attention."
What appeared in front of me, was a list of items you could exchange chips for.
Quest Chips collected during the event could be exchanged for items at the end of it, but there were various item types you could acquire.
An individual player could exchange each chip for 30kG, and a guild could exchange over 300 chips at once to acquire, for example, a 【Huge Field's Ownership】.
Other than that, there were unique items and 【Random Box】 that dropped items at random. Other than that, among the rewards there were items that have been rewarded to winners of summer camp event before.
However, there was nothing in particular that I wanted.
"I have 25 chips on me now, so I can exchange them for 3 of 【Random Boxes】, but I'm not really interested in those."
"Is that so. But the event will continue for two weeks longer, how about you aim for higher prizes, Yuncchi? For the time being, I aim for 50 chips."
If I reached that many, the number of things I could acquire would grow to the point where I'd have a hard time checking all of them, but it was a good place to aim for.
"What are you aiming for with those 50 chips?"
"Me? Hmm. Actually I didn't decide on anything yet, either. For the time being I want to collect 50 and exchange the ones I don't use for items the 【Crafting Guild】 requires."
"I see. But I'm a solo-player so I can't really exchange chips for items aimed at guilds. Hmm, what should I get..."
While drinking tea I stared at the list of exchange items in the menu, and recalled the conversation I had with Kyouko-san before leaving 【Atelier】.
"Speaking of which, because of 【Cold Damage】's implementation, some of herbs I cultivate had their yield decreased."
"Hmm. It didn't affect my forestation though."
"Yun said that it's just some of his herbs that had yield decreased, that must mean there are some that are easily affected by cold. In that respect, Lyly has an advantage since his personal field is not influenced by seasons."
Finishing to measure Ryui, with his clothes completely dishevelled by full-speed dash yet with a satisfied expression, Cloude had come back and joined the conversation.
"Welcome back, Cloude. So like I said, I was wondering if there was an item that could reduce the changes in temperature, but..."
To acquire 【Ownership of a Personal Field】, 100 Quest Chips were required, it was beyond my level of skill to acquire that much during the duration of the event.
"Hmm. Although it's not one of the items on the exchange lists, from methods I can think of, it would be creating a new base in a warm place. For example, how about 【Demonfolk Resort】?"
The higher part of the Volcano Area where demihuman mobs created a dungeon town——the 【Demonfolk Resort】.
What Cloude was proposing here, was purchasing a home for players inside that dungeon.
"Certainly, that might work as one of the countermeasures, but it's much more expensive compared to buying a home in the First Town."
The 【Demonfolk Resort】 was a place where the cheapest home had a cost of 10mG. Converting that to Quest Chips, it would be over 300 chips, which made it unrealistic.
"Sigh, there is no really good countermeasures. In the worst case, I will place them inside planters and in the room despite the fact the cultivated number will be small, or buy a new field in order to increase the amount of cultivation that way."
With that said, I didn't want to decrease amount of space inside 【Atelier】 with planters, nor wish to increase the amount of trouble with management of the fields.
"Well, there's still over two weeks of the event, I'll look over the list of items again before it ends. Thanks for the tea."
The tea party with Cloude and Lyly had ended, I stood up from the seat and thanked the two.
"Mm? You're leaving earlier than usual, do you have something planned for now?"
"Yeah, after this I'm going to learn new recipes from 【Mixing】 Sense's event quest."
"Then, do your best. I'll prepare equipment for Ryui on my side. I'll contact you once it's ready."
"Okay, see you then, Yuncchi. Let's have another tea party later!"
When I put the winter clothes back on, Zakuro had slipped back onto his special seat. I stroked Ryui's back who had tired himself out by running away from Cloude and returned back to young beast form. Taking the two, I left 【Lyly's Woodworking Store】.
Afterwards, instead of returning back to 【Atelier】 I entered a certain shop in a back street, a street away from the main street.