Chapter 3: Wise and Lovely NPCAfter wasting a lot of time questioning Miss Muay, Sila walked out of the Card Shop in the next hour.
Sila gained a vast knowledge about card from Miss Muay. For example, cards selling in the Card Shop were all supporting cards. Every cards of this type ranging from F to D Grade could be found in the store. As for cards in C to A Grade, they only dropped from monsters. However, few C to A Grade cards could be up for sales in some shops in limited quantity, the selection of cards also change daily. Unfortunately, Card Shop in Beginning Town didn't have any of those.
S Grade card was mostly given by participating in special events or obtained through the hidden quests. Not every card in S Grade are powerful, though, since card's Grade was classified by 'rarity' of the card. Player should be cautious of this fact. There were time that one player successfully bade on S Grade card for 300 gold coins in auction, but the result was horrible, it appeared that the card's effect was only to make user's height decreased by half.
Moreover, only a limited number of cards of the same kind could be put in Card Window. Same F to D Grade cards can be put up to 3 duplicates, C to A Grade can be put up to 2, while player can put only a unique S Grade card.
Sila bought 2 cards that increased his attack by 1% while fighting bare-handed, 500 silver coins for each. He inserted them in Card Window together with 3 Pink Slime Cards even if he did not plan to hunt slime anymore, only to make his Window to be fully used.
Beginner Building was not far away from Card Shop. There was a small signpost in front of the entrance saying, "We, wise and lovely NPC, welcome all new players."
Sila stepped inside. He took a look and found that atmosphere here was pretty much like a financial bank. There was a queue ticket machine, which was very contradictory to the traditional Chinese atmosphere of the town. There was no bank counter and line of customers, though. Instead, there were five doors serving player privately and individually. When the player stepped out, there would be a sound to call out player in next queue.
'It's designed like this for privacy purpose, I guess?'
Sila panicked a bit when he received the queuing ticket number 1856 as he presumed that he must wait for a long time. But he afterward signed in relief when he heard an announcement.
"Number 1849, please enter room number 4."
Sila noticed that time taken for each player in each room wasn't the same. Player who went in door number 4 still didn't go out, while players who entered the room number 1 to 3 usually took about 5 to 6 minutes. As for room number 5, players took less than 1 minute before running out of the room.
Sila waited around 15 minutes till he heard:
"Number 1856, please enter room number 5."
'Lucky. It's room number 5, this is the fastest one.' Sila stood up and went straight into the room. The door opened automatically, conflicting with the town's atmosphere again.
If Sila thought atmosphere outside was contradictory, the inside was even more than that. Inside the room was very dark, only the faint light from the lamp on the table in the middle of the room made the surroundings visible. There were two wooden chairs located at the opposite side of a table. One of the chairs was currently taken by an elderly man with white hair and bushy beard. His face had a line of the scar on left cheek, and his eyes looked very brutal.
"Ermm ... my apology. It seems like I got into the wrong room."
Sila turned his back, wanting to go out. But the door was completely locked.
'What? Why can't it be opened? And it doesn't have a doorknob too.'
"Sit down first, boy," bass and intense voice came from the mouth of an old man, "that door won't open until I finish my business with you."
Hearing that, Sila was forced to sit down on the chair, thinking, 'what did his word 'finish' mean?'
"First of all, my name is Crow, wise and lovely NPC of Beginner Building."
Silence was there for a while, and the voice of Crow broke that silence.
"Don't look at me like that. That was the sentence that Beginner Building forced every NPCs working here to say, I don't really want to say it myself. I just recently and temporary work here because my niece, Lucy, is taking leave for one day. Actually, the rooms here were arranged by the popularity from room number 5 to 1, just so you know."
Sila didn't know what to say, but his stomach then suddenly rumbled at such a wrong time since he hadn't eaten anything yet.
"Are you hungry? Take this rice with fried pork then. We provide one free meal for new player anyway."
Crow put rice with fried pork bowl on the table. It's a mystery for Sila that, although he observed every old man's movements, he still couldn't follow where this rice bowl appeared.
"Eat it and listen to me. I don't know what happens to newbies this day, they are all arrogant. When they saw me, they kept saying 'let me out,' without listening anything."
Sila nodded, not because he understood Crow's feeling, but because he understood the reason why they wanted to go out.
Well, due to martial art training since childhood, Sila didn't feel afraid of people's face much. He silently ate rice bowl while listening to Crow. However, the things that Crow said were all irrelevant to what new player should know. It's just pure complaints.
Sila could summarize what Crow said that; Crow was a real person who actually acted as a NPC in a place name 'Madmen's Valley'. But today, his niece, Lucy, had an urgent business in her real life, so she begged him to act her role for one day.
One day in real life is about 4-5 days in game. So Sila asked if Madmen's Valley was okay since NPC in charged would disappear for days. Crow answered that it would be fine, since there were not many people who were able to reach there, most of them usually die before entering. His day normally would just pass by him killing time by slaying dragons. This request for his granddaughter was actually good for him since now the dragons' spawned time was too slow for him to hunt.
Sila put chopsticks down after finishing his meal. He then went straight to main topic.
"I am a new player. I come here as NPC in avatar creating process suggested."
"Well. Take these." Crow gave items to Sila.
Player Sila has gotten Liquid Bottle (500 ML capacity) 1 EA.
Player Sila has gotten Hotel Coupon (free 1 night stay) 1 EA.
Player Sila has gotten Small Health Potion 10 EAs.
Player Sila has gotten Small Magic Potion 10 EAs.
Player Sila has gotten Small Bento1 EA.
Player Sila has gotten 2,000 silver coins.
Small bento was full of rice and fried pork inside; it could store food for 3 days. In the bottle was filled with fresh water. Crow told Sila that, if he wanted bento or water bottle that better than these; such as one that had more capacity or could keep food fresh for longer; Sila would have to buy them himself at the store.
After that, Sila asked many things, which Crow answered only few questions. Crow, most of the time, gave out the sentence that very conflict to the title of wise and lovely NPC: "I don't know too. Go find out about that yourself," though Sila didn't feel bother much.
"Okay. You can go out now, kid. Don't forget to pay me a visit at Madmen's Valley; I will cook dragon soup for you."
Sila promised he would do so if he can. Crow then pressed the red button on the table. But nothing happened.
"Hmm? That's strange." Crow pressed the button once more. But nothing still happened.
"What's going on?"
"It's this button. I pressed it but the door didn't open." Crow kept pressing it again and again.
"Is it broken?"
Now Sila felt a little uncomfortable. It would be okay if he struck inside the room with someone else, not the old man with a savage face like this.
"God damn it! Take this!"
Crow's hand was glowing with red aura. He used it to slap the button on the table very hard. Table then broke into pieces and spread around. A piece of table debris flew toward Sila.
Sila raised his left hand to parry, but it seemed that the debris had some kind of inner-energy within. So it slashed Sila' arm, creating a long wound.
Sila felt numb at first, but later the pain sensation came. Blood flowed out from that big wound. Sila gritted his teeth while drinking two health potions that he just recently acquired. Crow saw Sila bled so he stepped closer.
"Health potion increases only health point. For painfulness, you will have to wait for the wound to disappear."
Sila, who still gritted his teeth, nodded.
Crow somehow felt guilty, so he signed, and put his hand on Sila's shoulder.
"Stay still and try to focus your thought toward the wound."
Sila felt as if something flowed into his body. He then quickly concentrated it on the wound.
His pain sensation immediately had gone. Sila also saw his wound recovered gradually.
Player Sila has learned a passive skill: Recovering Qi - Level 1.
Player Sila has learned a passive skill: Qi Circulation - Level 1.
Sila stared at his left arm which now had only blood strain remained without any wound, then said, "what's just happening?"
"Oh. That's "Recovering Qi." It cannot generate blood cells nor increase your health point, but it can make wound and painfulness disappear faster. It will be more effective if you concentrate it solely on wound."
"Thanks for your help, sir." Sila put his palms together to show his gratitude. He started to have a thought that qi is very convenient.
"It's nothing. For me, it's the same as helping some insects."
Sila paused. But he couldn't say anything because Crow's next sentence quickly interrupted.
"More importantly, why did the door still not open?"
"Normally, in which case that the door would not open?" Sila tried to help.
"It shouldn't be broken; it has never been broken before. Else ... maybe I still didn't give you all the items."
"Then, beside water bottle, bento, health potion, magic potion, hotel coupon, and money; is there anything else?"
"No, that includes all of them, unless you already have a race."
"Oh, I do have a race." Sila felt glad since he finally found out what the problem was.
With that sentence, Crow stunned for a while.
"Hmm? Let's me see then." Crow put his hand on Sila's shoulder again. "Inspect."
Crow paused shortly, "you really have one. Strange enough, it was hard to find people selecting slime race nowadays."
"I've heard that it's very weak, isn't it?" asked Sila.
"I don't think so. Personally, I think that, in this world, there is no being that is the weakest or the strongest. I also believe that nothing is useless; it's just that we still haven't known its value. If we believe in the path we have chosen, we then just have to keep moving forward. By waiting to follow someone else's footprints, you will never be able to create your own path."
This statement alone made Sila delighted. He always found information telling him that slime race was weak. Crow was the first person ever who said that it's not weak; it's just that he still didn't know its true capability.
When Sila asked did Crow know what is the good point of slime race, Crow then replied: "I don't know too. Go find out about that yourself."
Crow picked something out of thin air again. This time Sila still couldn't follow Crow's movement as well.
Crow opened the palm of his hand. There was an emblem. Strange enough, there was only half part of it.
Sila extended his arm to obtain the item. But Crow moved his hand back, making Sila slightly baffled.
"Be careful. Do not let darkness swallow your mind. I can only tell you that, otherwise it will break NPC's law," said Crow with serious face, and then extended his hand to Sila.
Sila could only reply with, "I will," as he didn't know what exactly the situation. Sila didn't ask for more information since Crow himself said that he couldn't tell Sila more than that.
Sila touched the emblem.
Player Sila has gotten half piece of an Emblem to Mansion of Seven Deadly Sins.
Since the other half piece is already possessed by another player; the condition then was completed. Player Sila will be immediately teleported to Mansion of Seven Deadly Sins.
Black light appeared below Sila's feet before sucking him into the ground, made him completely disappeared from the room. Crow was left standing alone; he murmured, "good luck, kid."
The door was now open. Crow went outside since the red button somehow had been lost, then shouted: "Next person, come in!"
Many new players were shocked to see the brutal face old man came out of the room that the loveliest NPC, Lucy, usually stationed.
One amateur male player, with white and chubby build, sweated a lot. That's because the next person in queue was him. He slowly walked to the room number 5 unwillingly. His two feet also suddenly felt very heavy as he walked.
During the walk, he, by chance, happened to overhear the conversation between two other newbies.
"Hey, the player who previously went in still didn't go out, did him?"
"Oh right. Is there a back exit?"
"Hell no. there is only one entrance."
"Then maybe..." the two whispered lightly, but no matter how lightly it was, the chubby player could hear it clearly,
"... he was killed!"
His already pale face went paler. Eventually, he entered the room. In the room, the dim light shone from the lamp on the floor, enough for him to see the wood debris, that should be a table before, scattered. There was an old man stood alone with dim light on his savage face, making him looked just like a devil.
*Slam* Sound of the door closing behind made the chubby guy shuddered. He wanted to turn back but the door didn't open. He then sensed the viscosity on the floor with his feet.
He looked at the floor and shocked even more.
The young man looked up and accidently made eye contact with the old man who slowly walked toward him. The old man grinned with the reaper-like smile.
Suddenly, an old man spoke with a hoarse and intense tone:
"My name is Crow, wise and lovely NPC of Beginner Building."
Young man almost lost his consciousness. He turned his back and hit the door repeatedly while shouting, "let me out!!!!!" to the point that he crazily screamed and finally fainted.
Crow was confused. He wondered what had happened to new player these days to make them want to go back out before listening to any information. He inspected the boy's condition. Then he thought that, if he waited until this boy regains consciousness, someone would blame him for taking too much time. Thus, he decided to call next person himself.
Outside of door number 5, many players' faces went pale as they heard the shout, door hitting, and screaming sounds came from within. After all these, the door opened, and the one who come out was not the player, but an old man.
"Next person, come in!"
The players hurriedly began to escape from the building, to the point that there was completely no player in the building, none at all.
Crow shook his head and complained.
"They are indeed very arrogant, new players nowadays."