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Alter World chap Thirteen Update

July 23, 2015

We walked out of the gnoll dungeon and headed toward the city. The gnoll workers that had only yesterday seemed so tough and dangerous kept lunging at us from everywhere, only to face Teddy the Bodyguard. The enormous level gap didn't leave the suckers half a chance. Groups of low-level players watched us walk past, although admittedly Hummungus was the center of their attention. I didn't mind. On the contrary, I made sure to showcase him at his best, making him bellow and lunge as I played with "Attack!" and "Off!" We even did our good deed for the day by tearing apart an impressive train that some over-eager ranger had dragged to his group. Taali gave everyone a quick heal, handed out some buffs and off we went. As we walked, she demanded to know every detail of the Drow quest. She'd probably decided to do it herself. She looked really funny when she asked, stern-eyed, if a Drow leader absolutely had to be a woman or whether a male prince or knight could also be accepted?

Isekai mahou wa okureteru

I had to put on a serious face and tell her that indeed a knight was okay, why not. On a white charger, yeah right. She was still a child. Shame I couldn't give her the keys which turned out to be non-transferrable. When we were a few hundred feet away from the city, I slowed down. The forest ended there. "That's it, Taali. I'm afraid I can't go any further. The guards will start aggroing Teddy. I'm too close already. I've seen a couple of patrols here before." "Never mind. Thanks for your help. For everything..." she paused. "Stop it, will ya? You think I'd leave a girl in trouble? I'd kick any amount of ass for a friend." She raised her head and looked me in the eye. "A friend?" I took her slim hands in mine. "Whassup? Sure we're friends. Why would you doubt that? Is it because of that Drow chick?" "It's the way you looked at her." "Oh. How can I explain," I hesitated. "Body chemistry, you know? Game designer magic plus pheromones in combination with abstinence, a new fitter me and tons of naked bods walking around." I didn't think she understood all of it but her face lit up. Much better. I hated to see her sad as a panda without bamboo. "Could I ask a favor of you? I'm like a walking Fort Knox at the moment, lugging around over a hundred gold. You think you could pop it into the bank for me? I can't go to town myself, you see." Taali gave me a serious look as if searching for an answer to some unasked question. Then she nodded. "Thanks." "What for?" "For trusting me. Come on, where's your money? I really need some cash to get that Versace robe." She could still joke, which was a good sign. At least I hoped she joked. I handed her the money and nodded at the looming tower tops. "Off you go, then." She wasn't in a hurry to leave, though. Devils danced in her eyes. "Did you say abstinence?" She stepped toward me and gave me a firm kiss—artless but passionate and uncompromising as youth itself. Then she swung round, her mane of hair lashing the air, and strode toward the city. I shook my head, flabbergasted. What kind of day was this? The amount of adventures, conflicts, emotions and beautiful women had exceeded the yearly real-world quota. I liked it. Finally I pulled myself together and took the familiar trail back into the woods toward Grym's cave. I had barely fifty paces left to cover when I heard Hummungus' fierce roar behind my back, followed by a scream. "Die, you spawn of the Dark!" I turned around just in time to see my pet being attacked by two of the city guards. A bit further, a mage was whispering something into a radiant crystal. A patrol. Talking of the devil. Probably, the best thing would be to smoke the pet myself and make an inconspicuous exit. But either my affection for Teddy or the mob-respawning, bear-bellowing instinct that I'd acquired in the last twenty-four hours got the better of me. Both, most likely. The guards weren't much to write home about, both level twenty-five. The mage was level thirty. The further away from the city one went, the weaker patrols became: not so much combat force as a rapid report system. But I had a bad feeling about the mage, apparently on a hotline 

to somewhere. You've received experience! Warning! You've killed a guard of the City of Light! The Sun King doesn't approve of those who kill his subjects! Your relationship with the Dark Alliance has improved! Your relationship with the Alliance of Light has deteriorated! Bad, too bad. I remembered reading that it was never a good idea to attack allied NPCs. Reputation could plummet and it could take you a lot of time and drudgery to restore it. Actually, I could understand the Admins. I'd had some experience with certain servers where the players butchered quest characters and bankers, even slaughtering entire trading towns. I'd once watched the server's top clan raze a biggish city. This, of course, tended to ruin the gaming experience and could potentially alienate the average player. This I knew but I couldn't do much about it now. The second guard died, too. The remaining mage wisely chose an escape route. He cast a slowing spell over my pet and, while Teddy tried to kick away some roots entangling his legs, he popped a portal open and disappeared in a blue haze. Not good. You didn't have to be a mind reader to know that the place would soon be crawling with guards. I frisked the corpses. Nothing special, just some silver and a few gamers' badges. Now I had to get to the cave double quick. The passage was too narrow for Teddy: he was bound to get stuck halfway through, but as long as no one could see him from the outside, it had to do. A couple steps down was good enough. This time the cave was brightly lit, just for a change. A dozen makeshift candles oozed wax. Grym the Hermit in rolled-up sleeves was busy pounding some pungent ingredient in a mortar. When I stumbled down the steps into the cave, he glanced over at me but continued with his work. Then his eyebrows rose. He set aside his bowl filled with some shimmering powder and walked over to me. "You're surely full of surprises, young warlock. You've gained strength fast. Probably a bit too fast. In the Dark Lands you'd still be a green newb, but here, right under the High Ones' nose..." Grym shook his head in disbelief. I had too little time for subtleties so I grabbed the bull by the horns. "Thank you, Sir Hermit. Would you be willing to teach me something new?" Grym nodded and made a magician-like gesture. "Absolutely. You're long overdue your reward." Congratulations! You've received 3 Talent points! You have 23 Talent points available! Excellent. We'd sorted out all the old odds and sods. Time to look forward to new heights. Grym put an end to my reverie. "Have you managed to demonstrate your loyalty to the Fallen One?" Jeez, what did he want from me? It's not as if he'd given me any tips, was it? What was I supposed to do, spit on the altar in an Elven temple? Maybe hand out some anti-Elf leaflets printed by the Darks' underground? Or even fly the Fallen One's colors in the dark of the night from the watchtower's spire? Having said that... I started rummaging through my bag, found what I was looking for and brought a jingling bundle of the players' badges to Grym's eyes. "Will these do?" The old goblin studied the offering. Then he grinned and nodded. "Excellent. You'll get a gold piece for each High scumbag you've offed. I'd rather you brought me their ears but the badges will do nicely. If ever you come across more of such loot, remember old Grym." Quest completion alert: Demonstrate your loyalty to the Fallen One II. Quest completed! Reward: Gold Grym rummaged through the folds of his robe and produced seven coins. I liked this job. Wonder what he'd give me for the guards' badges? I slapped my pockets and produced my remaining booty. The hermit started and leaned forward. His face sharpened, vulture-like. He examined every badge, stroking and bringing them close to his nose. Then he nodded, satisfied, and emitted a hoarse laugh. "You've made my day, young warlock. Old Grym hasn't seen this kind of loot for a long, long time. What can I give you in return?" I paused for a moment, thinking. Another handful of gold wouldn't help me much. Asking for some unique gear was rather stupid. Having said that... "I'd like you to answer a question." Grym looked interested. "Oh, really? Spit it out, then." "I'd like to know how I could find the Dark Guild of the City of Light. I've been meaning to have a talk with their master.

Skeleton knight

He might have some secret quests for me. Or he could share some ancient lore to help me on my chosen path..." The goblin saddened, shaking his head. "The Dark Guild's secrets are too much for a newb to bear. Go and find yourself some easier quests first, and one day we might come back to this conversation." New Quest alert! Knowledge Breeds Sadness! Keep Grym and his cave a secret for a minimum of ten days. Reward: Access to quest: Knowledge Breeds Sadness II! I nodded, accepting the quest. What a pain. They seemed to arrange quests in stages. You'd be old by the time you got to the bottom of it all. "I'll be back in ten days," I said by way of goodbye and headed for the exit. I didn't want to wait till he blew me out like the first time. Teddy was still stuck in the corridor and I didn't want to be smashed in mid-air against his fangs. "Go," the hermit heaved a sigh. Was it my imagination or had I gleaned some compassion in his voice? Teddy was waiting for me, doglike. I patted his neck and walked up the gnarled steps out into the fresh night air. Where to now? Back to the caves? Level 1 and 2 mobs were all highlighted in gray now—they wouldn't bring any loot or experience. Level 3 gnolls were mainly green: I got the loot but virtually no XP. The Throne Room mobs' names were highlighted in blue, which meant that they were slightly below me. And still, in another hour or two I'd have nothing left to farm there, with the exception of the King. It would take too long. I needed to find a new hunting ground. But not now, in the middle of the night. Should I maybe curl up under some tree or other and have a nap until sunrise? I walked along, musing, when the flapping of wings added to the night forest sounds. A large gryphon crashed onto the trail in full flight and hissed at Hummungus. I stopped dead in my tracks. A Lieutenant of the Royal Guard jumped off the gryphon's back. I tried to leg it. Too late. The Lieutenant uttered a short spell, pinning my feet to the ground. Teddy lunged to my defense. The Lieutenant waved his hatchet in the air, and the bear cartwheeled back, his life halved. Another assault sent Teddy flying like a lapdog, his life blinking in the red zone. And still he wobbled back toward the Elf. I hurried to open the pet control panel and pressed 'Off.'. Immediately I noticed a rabbit nearby, selected it as target and ordered Teddy to attack it. The chase could take him away from the guard while I would try to talk my way out of it somehow. But what was that? Had Teddy just ignored my commands? Head shaking, one wet eye glancing at me, the bear kept advancing toward the guard who was watching the beast with a lazy curiosity. Then the Lieutenant whispered a spell and flung a drop of fire from his hand. The flames consumed Teddy. The pet's status icon closed and disappeared. No! Something got into my eye so I could barely see the Elf raise his staff sending a wide beam of light up into the sky. Like a beacon, it attracted another dozen gryphons which descended onto the narrow trail like a murder of crows. Strong gauntleted hands grabbed me. A voice thundered over my ear, "Laith the Warlock, you're under arrest for worshipping the Fallen One, for summoning the beings of the Dark, for Elves-targeted assaults and for the murder of City of Light guards."

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