The moment I was about to come out to disrupt Huroi, Khan restrained me.
"Leave it to me."
Khan sent me a thankful look before approaching Huroi. Then he nodded.
"Your words are right. It would be good for our future to coexist with a large company."
What was he saying?
The people were disturbed once Khan, who was more resentful of the Mero Company than anyone else, supported Huroi's claim. Naturally, all eyes and ears focused on Khan. Then Khan spoke, "If Winston didn't belong to Earl Steim, we would've chosen to coexist with the Mero Company as you advised."
The words were meaningful. Huroi was puzzled.
"If it didn't belong to Earl Steim…?"
"Yes. The important thing is that this village belongs to Earl Steim. I don't know where you come from, but there is a local statute called the 'Rights of the People.' It is a law that Earl Steim himself imposed because he treasures the people. This is one of the provisions of this statute. 'The residents of Earl Steim's territory have the right to be informed more quickly than anyone else about their area of residence.'"
Khan explained the meaning of this provision.
"How you heard about how it is the pioneering age of the north? The north has a bad climate and many monsters. At this moment, numerous pioneers are struggling. What happens when a new land is pioneered?"
"… By default, it will have a large impact on the nearby cities and villages."
Khan nodded with satisfaction at Huroi's words.
"Yes, that's right. Then what is responsible for Winston's current development? The roads were improved and transportation supplemented. Why were the roads improved and the transportation supplemented? It is because a new land was pioneered not far from here. Winston will be the bridge between this new land and the capital. Do you understand? The north is changing every moment. The people of the north might be damaged by the sudden changes."
Khan cut to the chase.
"This is the reason for the stipulation that Earl Steim's residents have the right to be informed about their area of residence sooner than anyone else. It is so that people can be prepared for the sudden changes. We can minimize the damage or maximize the profits."
Huroi figured out the point of this explanation. "Winston's residents were supposed to benefit from the development, not the Mero Company. You suffered a loss and this is contrary to Earl Steim's will. You have the duty to fight against the Mero Company's tyranny, as well as the Winston lord who gave them the information instead of the Winston residents… Is my interpretation correct?"
"That's right. We must not compromise with the Mero Company. It isn't for our benefit alone. As his people, we also don't want to betray Earl Steim's will. We must accuse Winston's lord and the Mero Company, who are going against Earl Steim's will."
Indeed, a perfect justification. The people cried out with excitement at Khan's words. They cheered. Everyone was united in their determination to confront the Mero Company.
Huroi exclaimed in a loud voice.
"The evil deeds of Winston's lord and the Mero Company must be reported to Earl Steim! But you are under the lord's supervision and can't raise an appeal with Earl Steim. Leave it to me! I will do my duty and inform Earl Steim of the happenings in Winston! For Winston! For you! For the honor of Earl Steim, I will accuse Winston's lord!"
"Thank you. I will believe in you and wait."
Eh? It was clear. Huroi had just received a quest from Khan. But wasn't it strange? Usually, a NPC gave a user a quest. The user would passively receive the quest. However, this didn't give the impressive of a passive quest. Rather, it felt like Huroi induced Khan to give him the quest.
I hurried after Huroi, who had left the smithy. "Hey!"
Huroi looked at me with an extremely cynical expression. It was inconsistent with his enthusiastic appearance in the smithy, so I thought I had the wrong person for a moment.
"Weren't you a folding screen in the corner? What do you want with me? I am busy."
Folding screen in the corner?
'Ah, that's right. I look like a complete beginner right now.'
Unless the person had a very good nature, it was common for ordinary users to be reluctant to deal with beginners. Beginners didn't know anything so they were always asking questions, sometimes even begging.
I immediately cut to the chase so that Huroi wouldn't ignore me and leave.
"Didn't you come to this place because you received a quest from the Mero Company? Your original plan was to convince the Winston residents to work with the Mero Company. But what is this development?"
"Hoh?" Huroi showed an interested response. "You inferred that I have a quest from my actions? You, are you not a beginner? Well, I just aimed for the larger benefit. Share the quest information."
[The player 'Huroi' wants to share the quest information. Would you like to accept?]
I accepted and Huroi's quest information appeared.
[For the Residents of Winston]
Winston's residents have been greatly damaged by the selfish lord and the Mero Company.
Originally, you were commissioned by the Mero Company. However, you couldn't turn away from the poor residents, so you betrayed the Mero Company.
Now you must avoid the pursuit of the Mero Company and head for 'Frontier,' the capital of Earl Steim's territory. Be sure to arrive at Frontier and tell Earl Steim of everything that is happening in Winston!
Quest Clear Conditions: An audience with Earl Steim.
Quest Reward: The title 'Apostle of Justice.' The affinity with the Winston residents will rise to the peak. Reputation in Winston will rise to the peak. Earl Steim's gift.
*Apostle of Justice: The 'Courage' stat will be opened. All stats +10. The skill 'Unbreakable Justice' will be generated.
Quest Failure: Level -1. Affinity with the Winston residents will decline. You can't enter Winston until the Winston lord is changed.
"W-What is this enormous compensation?"
Having the greatest reputation and affinity in a village meant that the user could buy goods cheaply and receive hidden quests. In addition, a gift from a senior nobleman would be at least an epic rated item.
Furthermore, the new stat and skill that were generated from the title were so rare that their value couldn't be converted into money. It was definitely a hidden quest. It was even better than the hidden quest I received!
'M-My stomach hurts…'
My jealousy caused dizziness, and it felt like my insides were burning. I was frustrated, while Huroi smiled at me complacently.
"Isn't it amazing? This is a hidden quest. I'm happy, since this is the first time I've seen one."
H-How annoying. But I didn't show it because of my pride.
"Hmph? This is amazing? Hidden quests are no big deal! Shit! It isn't amazing. I don't feel envious of any of those rewards. I'm not envious!"
"…Ah, is that so?"
"Yes. I'm not envious! So stop boasting about it and tell me what you did. If I'm not mistaken, you induced the NPC to give you the quest. Right?"
"You noticed quickly. Well, a lot of people know about it, so the information will spread soon. There is no value in keeping it secret and I received a hidden quest, so I will tell you."
Then I was told something shocking.
"The degree of freedom in Satisfy is infinite. I received the quest by taking advantage of that freedom. I don't wait until NPCs give me quests. I try to speak words that will make the NPC give me the quest. Here is a simple example. If I say 'I am quick and diligent when it comes to deliveries' in front of a restaurant owner, it is highly likely that the restaurant owner will give me a delivery related quest."
"A-Amazing… I didn't know that until now… Has anyone else received a quest like this? If so, those who don't know how to play the game have received damages?"
"Don't be discouraged. Unless you are an early player who has been playing Satisfy for a year, most users wouldn't have enough understanding of quests to apply this concept. Except for the early users, most people will be passive towards quests like you. You haven't receive any large damages. Only a small number of early users have benefited from it. Well, this information has already started to appear on various sites, so soon everyone will know about it."
"Hey, why are you pale all of a sudden? Why are you sweating?"
"…I am one."
"I… I have been playing Satisfy for one year since it opened…"
"What? Pff! Puhahaha!" Huroi grabbed his belly. He laughed until tears fell, then raised his thumb as he barely managed to stop. "That is one of the funniest jokes I have ever heard. Isn't this a good gag? Ah, are you perhaps a comedian in real life? Do you want to be friends? Friends?"
It wasn't a joke. I really was an early user who had been playing Satisfy for one year. I even took a leave of absence from school to play Satisfy. But I had no idea about such a tip. Did I ever obtain my own know-how while playing Satisfy for a year?
No. I relied on the mundane information that anyone could get from websites. My understanding of Satisfy was so low, I couldn't believe I was an early user.
'I am pathetic… I am very ashamed of myself.'
Tears flowed down from my eyes.
"Damn! Damnnnn!! Daaaaammm~nnnnnn! Logout."
"H-Hey! What, why are you acting like this?"
Huroi was baffled after I left so suddenly.
"What is with that person?"
Huroi was stunned when the person called Grid suddenly logged out. He was an Asian user and had a good sense of humor, so it would have been nice if they could be friends.
He chuckled when he thought about it again. Grid declared himself an early user while not even knowing about how to induce a quest.
"Why did he feel the need to impersonate an early user? He truly has an unusual personality. Then, shall I go?"
Huroi thought it was just a passing relationship. After meeting Grid, Huroi didn't feel anything special. It was just a funny story that he dismissed lightly.
But the two men were already approaching the whirlwind of destiny.
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