Inside a dimly lit room, where a furious and heated battle had just ensued, Jun Long and James Tarker could be found hovering over a pile of random items that a certain exterminated goblin tribe had stockpiled. James Tarker was happily picking up gold coins one-by-one, humming a tune to himself, while Jun Long had walked over and picked up a glass case that contained a single glass monocle in it.
Jun Long opened the glass case, needing to use a little bit more strength to do so than he originally thought he would, and the case started trembling. He was so surprised by the sudden movement, as if the case had come alive, that he nearly dropped the case - monocle and all. There was a windforce that spread throughout the storeroom, making even James Tarker stop what he was doing to look at Jun Long, which was strong enough to blow Jun Long's hair into a mess. Jun Long stood where he was, stunned by the small gust that came out of the glass case, and James Tarker made his way over to him in a few quick strides.
"Did that wind just come from that?" he asked Jun Long, pointing at the glass case.
"..." Jun Long nodded at him, forgetting how to talk for a moment.
"What is that? Half a pair of glasses? I've never seen something like this before."
"It's a... it's a monocle," Jun Long explained to him. "It does the same thing as glasses do, but you only wear it over one eye."
"Eh?" James Tarker was a little surprised. "So you don't know much anything about magic and stuff, but you somehow know about this?"
"Ah.. haha..." Jun Long forced a laugh to try dispel the unease.
James Tarker went back to picking up the gold coins, and even eying some of the weapons, leaving Jun Long standing there with a half-opened glass case with a strange-looking monocle sitting inside it.
After recovering from, once again, being astounded by James Tarker's shamelessness, Jun Long lifted the glass off the case. Out of habit, from knowing just how expensive glass displays could be back on Earth, he carefully placed the glass so as not to shatter it. Taking a deep breath, Jun Long reached for the gold rimmed monocle in front of him. He could feel a pulling force coming from the monocle. It was becoming stronger as Jun Long's hand got closer.
Finally grasping the monocle, Jun Long raised it to his face to get a better look at it. If it weren't for the lens being unnaturally foggy this small eye-wear would be just like any other of its kind. Giving in to curiosity, Jun Long tried to fit the monocle on his face. He fumbled a little, nearly dropping it a couple of times, but managed to get it to sit nicely without falling off his face. By the time he had finished getting the monocle to fit, Jun Long had already bent and shifted his body into a weird pose.
Jun Long noticed James Tarker looking at him funny, even though James Tarker was the one that looked like some kind of gremlin, then went back to tending to his treasures. Seeing this scene made Jun Long snicker. In the next moment, as though he had entered some sort of visual novel game, a User Interface-like screen popped into this vision out of nowhere!
The sudden appearance of icons and numbers made Jun Long jump back in fright. This new world had shown him something surprising, yet again. As strange as it felt to be seeing all these slightly transparent icons and numbers in front of him, their presence felt right at home - familiar, even. It had already been a whole day, and half a night, since Jun Long had arrived on this world, and this was the first time that he really felt safe enough to really relax.
Using logic to put 'two' and 'two' together, Jun Long quickly figured out that these floating icons and numbers in his vision actually came from the foggy monocle. Having calmed down, Jun Long looked to James Tarker, to ask how things were going over on his side, but was stunned into silence by a new change to the icons and numbers!
Jun Long was able to see as clearly as he normally would, however he was now able to see lines, words and numbers sticking to James Tarker's figure.
[Name:] JAMES TARKER
[HP:] 567 / 610
[MP:] 221 / 240
[SP:] 487 / 530
What was this?! It was so much like an RPG user interface! Jun Long's trembling hand reached to remove the monocle from his eye. When he took it off, everything went back to normal - no floating words or numbers - but when he fitted it back on, he was able to see the numerical values associating with James Tarker's body.
Half confused, half intrigued, Jun Long spun on the spot and looked at the burnt up Goblin Shaman.
[Name:] ? ? ?
[HP:] 0 / ?
[MP:] 0 / ?
[SP:] 0 / ?
Jun Long was amazed! This monocle he was wearing was able to tell the statistics and physical state of whatever he focused his eyes on! It must be a magic item, something that Jun Long had heard James Tarker talking about during their walk to Jovial Town.
Magic items were usually objects, without any specific special points about them, that had been imbued with magic properties. There were many different types of magic items, some could be imbued with physical enhancements to the wearer's body, some could be used to summon controllable monsters. Going by what James Tarker had told him, the most powerful magic item in this area belonged to the Adventurer's Guild guild master, it was an amulet that gave the wearer the strength of a giant when activated!
"Hey, James!" Jun Long called to his seedy-looking partner. "Come check this out."
Jun Long walked up to James Tarker, who was reluctant to leave his treasures alone, and handed him the monocle. James Tarker took it from him and looked through it at Jun Long. Within a few seconds of putting it on, James Tarker's eyes widened, and he ripped the monocle off of his face. This action startled Jun Long, making him a little worried.
"What happened?" he asked James Tarker. "Did you see something?"
"Well," James began to explain. "When I put it on, I started feeling a little weird, but it wasn't anything to really worry about - magic items always feel weird when you first use them - but then I started feeling the same way I do as when I use too much mana!"
"You mean mana strain?" Jun Long looked puzzled.
"Yeah," James confirmed, nodding his head. "Have you been wearing this thing since you opened the box it was in?"
"Pretty much. Yeah. Why?"
"What does it do? What do you see?"
"Huh? You mean you didn't even see anything? It didn't show you anything?"
"That's what I'm sayin'," James said, he returned the monocle to Jun Long. "What did it show you?"
"Ahh.." Jun Long once again fitted the monocle on his eye. "It's showing me your name, how much health you have, how much mana you have, and how much... 'SP'... is that 'Energy'?"
"Is it for real?"
"Let's try it out!"
James Tarker pulls his dagger out of its sheath, twirling it a few times on his finger, then stabs his other arm with it.
"Tsss... That hurts," James complained. "What does it say, now?"
"Your health's gone down to 500 out of 610," Jun Long answered. "It's still going down, probably from the bleeding."
"I'm gonna use a 'Cure Wound' spell," James said. "See if my mana changes, too!"
"Yeah! It changed! It's dropped down to 186 from 221."
"This is pretty insane!" James had taken a vial of red potion out of his pouch. "Is my health still dropping?"
"Not anymore," Jun replied, seeing that James' HP had stopped moving. "It's stopped at 456, right now."
"What about after I drink this?" James downs the entire contents of the vial he was holding, then looks at Jun Long with anticipation. "How's it look, now?"
"Ah! Your health is going back up into the 500s really quickly!"
"Jun!" James excitedly shouted, shaking Jun Long's arms. "That magic item is fuckin' awesome!"
The two adventures laugh joyously inside the dimly lit cave room, holding each other and jumping up and down.
Outside of the goblin's cave, taking in deep breaths of fresh, clean air, Jun Long and James Tarker had walked out after they finished packing all of the treasure that had been stolen by the goblins into Jun Long's interspatial ring. Jun Long was looking at it thinking that it was such a handy tool to have on an adventure like this. Once something was sucked into the interspatial ring, no matter how heavy it was, there'd be no feeling of weight at all!
Jun Long watched as James Tarker patted himself all over, it reminded him of how he used to check that he had his phone and keys before leaving home every day. James Tarker wore a small pouch, which was hanging from his belt, and also carried a medium sized backpack-looking thing behind him. Jun Long recalled seeing him put a horned rabbit's horn in that bag, earlier that day, when they had just met on the fields.
"I'm all set!" James Tarker hollered. "Let's make our way back into town."
"Is it safe?" Jun asked him, the skies had already turned to a curtain of stars. "Shouldn't we just camp out?"
"Aye? No way! It doesn't take long to get back to town from here. Let's just hoof it!"
Jun Long and James Tarker had made their way back to Jovial Town's outskirts, all the while James Tarker had talked about what kind of magic items he would want to find. Jun Long was happy to have met such a talkative person, in this world, as James Tarker had really helped out where it mattered the most. He couldn't imagine the despair and suffering he would've had to go through just to get the most basic of informations.
As the two neared Jovial Town, Jun Long and James Tarker came to a sudden stop at the same time. The ground had started to shake violently, so much so that even some of the magic stone lamps lighting up the road had been knocked out of place, causing the area that the two adventurers were standing in to become completely dark.
James Tarker looked towards Jovial Town, whose stone gates were just a couple of stone throws away from the hill they were standing on, and saw a dust cloud rising over the town center. He walked closer and strained his hearing to try to find out what was going on. Jun Long saw that James Tarker looked distressed, so he didn't make a sound, but looked toward the town also.
Muffled clanging sounds could barely be heard, with cries of anguish and grunts of fighting flying all around, and James Tarker instantly knew what he had to do.
"Jun! We gotta go help the town!"
Jun Long watched James Tarker's back, as he ran off towards the sounds of fighting.
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