It was the next day.
The morning was pretty early in Remut, so I decided to start early too.
I logged in when the sun wasn’t even completely out and as I thought, stalls were already opening in Remut.
There were also some parties, getting ready to start hunting.
If they’re logging in this early, they’re probably students who’ve just finished their schoolwork.
The time in AnotherLink Saga Online was exactly twelve hours different from the real world. If it was evening in the real world, it was morning in the game.
Well, to a video game addict, who could log in and log out at will 24 hours a day, that wouldn’t really matter.
It didn’t really matter.
In fact, this world was the only place where a video game addict like me wouldn’t be considered a cripple. 1
I left the inn and summoned Helix and Zangetsu.
I wonder what today has in store for me.
The lights were still on in the Adventurer’s Guild.
It looked like they were open 24 hours a day.
In the item purchase counter, a line of people looking for potions had already formed.
I headed to the quest counter, where I didn’t have to wait as long, but even then I had to wait for about 10 minutes.
At the counter was a young girl I’d never seen before but after speaking to her, like it was a usual occurrence, she let me through to the Guild Leader’s room.
The Guild Leader was waiting there.
No, it was just his translucent spirit form again. He was standing stock-still in the centre of the room.
I didn’t know whether to call it useful, or to call it corner-cutting.
「You finished the quest in just one day yesterday. You worked hard, didn’t you.」
「Hmm. I was going to give you the same quest I gave you yesterday, but for some reason a lot of adventurers are looking to take the same quest all of a sudden.」
Oh is that so?
I posted the info onto the forums at a pretty late time yesterday. Looked like some parties jumped at the opportunity.
Pretty smart of them.
「Well then, I’m having a bit of trouble with something here. I’d like for you to come help out. Is that alright?」
「Yeah, that’s fine」
The conversation continued without him mentioning where I should go. Well to be fair, I didn’t ask either.
He looked kind of disappointed.
「Won’t you ask what you’ll be helping me out with?」
「No, I think that helping out those in need is just part of being an adventurer.」
「Ye- Yes, Of course.」
What’s up with him?
He looked like he couldn’t quite find the words to tell me. I wonder if he’s in some actual trouble.
Not like he really needed to go out of his way to tell me right now.
「Actually it’s about potions. We’re running out of bottles. I’d like for you to help out at the glassmaker’s shop with making empty bottles.」
「Huh… Guess it doesn’t interest you?」
「No, I was just there two days ago.」
The look on his face told me time had stopped for a while for him.
「So you’re experienced, yes?」
「I’m not very good at it, though.」
Time froze for a second time for the Guild Leader.
Looked like he didn’t expect that.
「Al- Alright. If you could go, that’d be great. Keep in mind the compensation is based on the total number of bottles you make.」
《You have been assigned a quest by the Adventurer’s Guild. Do you wish to accept it?》
《You have accepted a quest from the Guild! After finishing work, please accept the proof-of-work chip from the glassmaker’s shop and hand it to the guild counter.》
Yeah, that I’m familiar with.
I’ve done this quest before so it should be relatively easy.
「Once you finish this quest, you can spend the rest of the day the way as you wish. Just show your face again tomorrow morning」
「Alright, I will.」
Well, as the leader of the guild, he would be pretty busy. I was pretty much being left alone, but he was doing his best.
I took the parchment memo from the staff and after a bow, headed towards the glassmaker’s shop.
A nice smell is drifting over from a nearby stall. It’s inviting me.
I bought a random meal from the stall and finished it quickly.
I knew that the glassmaker’s shop provided food, but I felt asking for food before even starting work would be too shameless of me.
Speaking of the glassmaker’s shop.
Outside, a line of workers with expressions of complete exhaustion were sitting like they were at a funeral. They were probably on night shift.
They looked like they had just finished their work, and were getting ready to go home.
I wonder what made them look so tired.
The veteran craftsman Nils was standing outside the shop.
Looked like he was bickering with an important-looking person.
Looking closer, I found out I was right.
No matter how great you are, there’s always someone greater than you.
It’s tough being middle management, huh?
「Oh, it’s you again!」
At some point, Nils walked up to me.
His tone had taken a drastic shift from when he was arguing with that person earlier.
And pretty quickly too.
「Well, could I ask you to start right away? For real, they increased our workload without even consulting us first. We’re really in a pinch now.」
Were the people earlier doing overtime?
In the workshop’s extreme environment?
The heat would get a little better at night I suppose, but nowhere near enough to give you peace of mind, I bet.
The workplace seemed almost exploitative.
「I’ll do my best.」
The first bottle I made today was… Alright, I guess.
I didn’t make any serious mistakes, would be a more accurate way to describe it.
Grade D+. Just a little collapsed in some places.
I managed to iron out my mistakes in the next one and got a Grade C- to show for it.
As expected, a Grade C was still out of my reach.
Of course, I used【Physical Enchant: Aqua】to increase my DEX stat.
But even then, responding to the strange sensations my fingers were giving me required absolute concentration.
I talked about it a bit when I met Fay yesterday.
Player’s Skill, he called it.
A skill, rooted in the ability of the player themselves, which you could show off in this world.
Some parts were automatic, but a large part of the glassmaking process depended on the skill of the player, he told me.
Yeah, that made sense.
If I had to compare potion-making to bottle-making, potion-making was several times easier.
「Give it another try. You need to gain a feeling for the amount of air you’re blowing in, and then keep that amount consistent. You’ll get better results that way」
Nils came and gave me a few words of encouragement, while pointing out the places I could improve at.
I’ll have to work on the amount of air I blow in, huh?
What does ‘blow’ even mean?
The process of expelling air, in this case into a metal tube.
I wonder if I had some spell to help out in that regard.
After I came upon the idea, I immediately tried it out.
I selected the spell【Air Current Control】and used it.
I focused on setting the rate to a constant amount, and directed the air into the mould.
After I completed the bottle, I used【Appraise】on it and got a Grade C.
The spell lasted for 10 minutes. I would have the time to make another one and then some.
Another Grade C.
The spell ran out while I was working on the one after that, and I got a Grade C-.
Looked like the limit for the spell was two bottles.
No, if I were more skillful, I could maybe do three. I’ll aim for that.
I set my goal.
Now all that’s left to do is work hard towards reaching it.
During the worker shift, Fay walked into the workshop.
While we were switching, I noticed him wave at me.
Next to Fay, someone who looked like a player was following him around.
Probably the newcomer Fay talked about yesterday.
Unfortunately, since it was a shift, Fay couldn’t make the time to chat.
Well, there was nothing we could do about that.
This glassmaker’s shop was a warzone.
I licked some salt off a plate I was given and drank some water out of a bottle to wet my throat.
I’m told it’s a way to cope with the extreme heat that would build up in the workshop.
But even with those countermeasures, there would still be people collapsing from heatstroke.
In fact, one of the men that I had my shift with fainted on the job.
Looks like everyone was being rushed by the delivery deadlines.
For someone like me who’s just coming out to help from the Adventurer’s Guild, the stakes weren’t as high and I could afford to be a lot less tense.
But I assume it would be another story for a workman here.
The atmosphere was quite brutal.
The sole saving hand they had would come from the manager Nils.
He was quite skilled in keeping up everyone’s morale.
I imagined myself in Nils’s shoes.
I would surely get kneed in the stomach at some point.
Let’s leave that thought aside.
I’ve gotten used to using【Air Current Control】.
The spell’s effect would still often fade in the middle, giving me a Grade D+ or a Grade C-, but over half of my work was now a Grade C.
It would be great if I could time my work so I could finish one right as the spell stopped. It would allow me to chain the spell and work much more efficiently.
Of course, casting a spell with a metal tube in my mouth was impossible.
There really was nothing to do but get more skilled and cut down the time it took to make each bottle.
Carefully. Quickly. Accurately.
Carefully. Quickly. Accurately.
I managed to get a Grade C three times in a row.
I squeezed in a break before continuing.
I stopped getting anything under Grade C-
I was getting into a groove and my results were getting a lot better.
《【Heat Resistance】Level Up!》
At last, my skills leveled up.
I was going at a nice pace.
Let’s keep going.
I wanted to try out a new way of cutting down time.
And finally, I started getting Grade C+.
I pulled up the Alchemy Making List in a virtual window.
It was to note down the steps for what I was going to do next.
As well as to find out what grade I would get if I used【Quick Recreate】to make the bottles.
I noted down the process for making a high-quality potion, but using【Quick Recreate】usually resulted in a lower grade product.
It was probably the same for potion bottles.
But there was a lot to be gained from shortening the time taken too.
Well, I won’t know which method is more effective until I try.
Up to this point, I’ve been focusing on doing things carefully, quickly and accurately.
My results were three Grade C+ bottles.
The best I’ve ever done.
I took the process and noted it down.
Now, for the next step.
I checked to make sure the workmen around me were focusing on their own work.
I took and divided enough molten glass for three bottles and held my hands over them. It was hot, but I had to put up with that for just a second.
I used【Quick Recreate】.
The molten glass turned into three empty bottles.
All three of them were Grade C-.
Just like I expected.
【Quick Recreate】costed a lot less MP than last time.
The effect of my level-up, perhaps.
「Oh! Good work today! That’s all for today!」
After another break, I was going to get back to work, but it looked like I had reached the time limit.
I realised when I was stopped by Nils.
I started pretty early in the morning so there was still some time until noon.
It was going pretty well too, so it really was a shame.
「Man, I’m really glad you showed up today. Here’s your compensation.」
「Thanks for having me.」
「Lunch should be prepared about now. Why don’t you eat with us?」
「Thank you very much, I’ll take you up on that offer.」
I received another glass lump from Nils.
Last time’s was green, but this time it was translucent and yellow.
I wonder if it made a difference.
I gratefully accepted Nils’s invitation and ate lunch at the glassmaker’s shop.
There were a few other workmen who ate their lunches as quickly as I did.
It was probably their time up after this.
I didn’t see a drop of sweat on them, was how I knew.
When I showed up at the Adventurer’s Guild the familiar middle aged staff member was there.
I handed over the lump of glass at the counter and got a 100 Dyn coin and five 10 Dyn coins in exchange.
《Adventurer’s Guild’s Assigned Quest Clear!》
《1 Bonus Point awarded! You now have 18 Bonus Points!》
One point, huh.
Well, thinking about the amount of work I did today, I should be grateful that I got any points at all.
It was still before noon and my whole afternoon was free after all.
I was told to do spend the day as I wanted to, but I didn’t really know what to do.
Well, maybe I’ll roam around a bit until my MP bar is close to full.
After that I guess I’ll go hunting.
When I told Helix to watch the outskirts of Remut, I found out something pretty amazing.
There were almost no Wild Dogs in sight.
I mean, there were a few, but there were a lot of players who were exclusively hunting Wild Dogs.
It was obvious that even parties that didn’t accept the Wild Dog kill quest were participating.
This much from just one post. You guys are pretty scary.
Well having said that, I joined everyone else in hunting Wild Dogs.
I ignored all Horn Rabbits.
I saw some parties taking advantage of the situation and focusing solely on rabbits too.
Hmm… Opportunistic players, nice.
No, I suppose ‘clever’ would be a better word to use here.
Including my count from yesterday, my 128th enemy was another Wild Dog Leader.
Looked like the count wasn’t dependent on the quest, or the day. As long as you hunted nothing but Wild Dogs, the Wild Dog Leader would appear.
Following that logic, my next Wild Dog Boss would be enemy number 160.
It was a strong enemy, but I wanted to test that theory in person.
Let’s continue hunting.
Helix could easily spot Wild Dogs from far away. It was a massive help.
And with Zangetsu’s speed I could get to them quickly too.
If I were alone, I would probably be too slow to catch up to them, and my Wild Dog kill count would be half of what it is now.
I defeated my 159th Wild Dog.
Next was number 160.
My 80th enemy yesterday was a Wild Dog Boss.
If my prediction was right, my next enemy would be a Wild Dog Boss too.
The sun was about to set.
I guess I’ll stop my hunting spree after killing this next Wild Dog.
The time had come.
Looks like Helix saw a Wild Dog some distance off, running towards us.
While it’s approaching, let’s prepare with some buffing spells.
I cast【Physical Enchant: Aqua】on myself.
I won’t have to worry about it running out on me in the middle of the fight I think.
I cast【Physical Enchant: Wind】on Zangetsu and Helix.
I cast【Physical Enchant: Earth】on Zangetsu, Helix, and myself. All three of us.
The Wild Dog was getting steadily closer.
Looked like it finally spotted its target. It jumped out in front of us.
It was the start of a fierce battle.
I realised that right after I used【Identify】.
It had a different size.
A different fur coat.
A different speed.
And most of all, the oppressive aura it was emitting was unlike anything I’d ever seen before.
【Identify】told me it was no Wild Dog Boss.
Wild Dog Mutant Lv.4
Monster Enemy Target Active
Some kind of variation on a Wild Dog?
Well, at this point there was nothing to do but fight.
I really wish I used more magic to strengthen myself beforehand.
The Wild Dog Mutant attacked me with no mercy. Seeing my fading HP bar, I had no choice but to take a Recovery Pill.
This Wild Dog Mutant was focusing entirely on me.
Zangetsu’s and Helix’s attacks hit it, but it didn’t seem to care at all.
Really persistent, I think annoying would be a better term.
The Boss was powerful, but this guy was on a completely different level.
It was kind of scary.
You could feel the madness radiating off of it.
The Wild Dog Mutant rammed into Zangetsu and I was knocked off unto the ground.
It happened yesterday too. No reason to panic.
I chose【Aqua Heal】from my spell list and used it.
At the same time, I got up and pulled out my Kaya Wood Rod.
Immediately after, the Wild Dog rushed at me.
I cast the spell on myself, preparing for the impending attack.
Its jaws opened to an alarming width.
Inside I saw many, sharp teeth.
I was bathed in a fierce howl.
It was aiming for my windpipe.
Come if you dare.
I’ll get you before you can lay a finger on me.
The Wild Dog bit down, not on my throat, but on my Kaya Wood Rod.
I guessed that it would go for my throat, and it looked like my prediction was right.
I jumped behind the Wild Dog’s back, and pulled the Kaya Wood Rod into its throat.
I’ll get you to eat this whole.
The Wild Dog Mutant started waving its head back and forth in resistance, but it was useless.
I held down its body with both my legs, and knocked it down with its back to the ground.
Maybe that was a mistake, after all, I thought it couldn’t attack me while I was stuck to its back.
However, It struggled desperately, scratching at my arms with its forelegs, and my legs with its hind legs.
I saw my HP bar start to fall.
I had both my hands locked around the rod holding its head to the ground. All I could do was cast attack magic.
I used【Water Needle】and【Wind Cutter】over and over, hitting it from close range.
Helix was also using his beak to attack the Wild Dogs exposed stomach.
In that situation, there was nothing Zangetsu could do. I’d get blown away along with the Wild Dog.
But that was alright.
The Wild Dog Mutant’s HP bar was dropping.
I recast【Physical Enchant: Earth】on myself. It was to keep my VIT high.
Its effect faded again, but after some time the Wild Dog Mutant finally went limp.
The fight lasted close to 30 minutes.
It was definitely tougher than a boss.
《You have acquired the Title【Livestock Protector】!》
I got a rather strange message.
What a bizarre title. Livestock Protector? What?
By the way, I dug my survival knife into the Wild Dog Mutant, but it didn’t drop anything.
Race Human Male Racial Lv4
Job Summoner Lv3
Bonus Points Remaining 18
Staff Lv3 Punch Lv2 Kick Lv2 Joint Lock Lv3 Throw Lv2 Evade Lv2 Block Lv2 Summon Magic Lv4
Light Magic Lv2 Wind Magic Lv3 Earth Magic Lv2 Water Magic Lv3 Alchemy Lv3 Pharmacy Lv2 Glassmaking Lv2（↑1）
Cooperation Lv4 Appraise Lv4 Identify Lv4 Cold Resistance Lv2 Grab Lv3 Horsemanship Lv3 Precise Manipulation Lv3 Jump Lv1 Heat Resistance Lv2（↑1）
Kaya Wood Rod Wild Rabbit Breastplate+ Series Snow Ape Armguard Cloth Shoes Rucksack Item Box x2
Old Summoner’s Temporary Pupil
Volff Wolf Lv3
Zangetsu Horse Lv3
Helix Hawk Lv2
Obsidian Owl Lv2
- TL Note: The word for “Video Game Addict” in Japanese is a combination of the word “Game” and “Cripple” ↩