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Chapter 3: Chapter Three: Teamwork

"Ah, wait a moment. Let me rest." I said to Ace, sweating.

We were heading from the forest back to town to turn in the quests we had just completed. During the sprint, I realized I was running out of breath more quickly than I had anticipated. My stamina bar was regenerating slower than it should be, only going up by a couple of points every few seconds instead of refilling almost instantaneously. I didn't know if the stamina bar actively reflected my physical condition, or if my physical health restricts my stamina bar.

Either way, I wasn't ready to continue sprinting for another three minutes. Eyeing a patch of grass nearby, I move over and plant myself down. We had left the Ashur woods and traced our way back to the Ashur woods trail, with a system notification pointing out that we had arrived in the zone. There wasn't a restriction on zones, meaning that the only to tell if you entered a new region was that your minimap would update.

Usually, in games, there are invisible barriers that prevent you from moving to a particular place or getting past a zone. Obstacles would deter people from wandering where they shouldn't be or interacting with things that wasn't supposed to be accessible until you were a higher level. This game honestly felt like a fully developed open-world product, because there weren't any barriers I had to deal with.

"What's up, man?" Ace said, stopping next to me.

"I don't know man. I'm feeling more tired than I should be."

"Ah, I know what up." He said. "Game is harder, so they set your stamina lower than it should be early level. You start with stamina sort of like twelve-year-old. It so everyone start with fair stats. You also.. ah.. regenerated? Yea, you regenerated slower when you use stamina too much in short time."

That made a lot of sense. Since people of all ages were playing this game, people that were older or stronger naturally had better stamina, so to balance it out they made everyone start with the same amount. I had never noticed in other VR games i'veplayed because they usually set your stamina high off to begin with.

"I get it. Does that mean I have to level up to increase it?"

"Yea yea, exactly man! The higher your level, the more Stamina you have." He said, laying down close to me. "Now you mention it. I'm kinda tired as well."

It was decided then. We were going to take a short break. Looking around, I see several players fighting mobs, collecting items, taking and just moving around in general. We were at a place where we started to see players appear again, but peering around I could also see several NPC's in the form of guards clad in iron armor. They moved around helping the players destroy mobs.

"How come we didn't see any people in the woods?" I asked. I did find it somewhat amusing that we didn't find a single soul in the woods even with this amount of people playing the game.

"Game only come out for like three hours, man!" Ace shouted, turning towards me. "They probably not stupid enough to go into the woods just yet."

"Doesn't that mean we're the stupid ones?" I said, chuckling.

"I don't know, man. Are we?" Ace said with a small laugh.

"That was pretty close, not gonna lie though. I thought you ditched me."

"Nah, you got it, man. You the best Knight I ever seen in the game bro!" He blurted out.

"I'm the only Knight you've seen in the game." I snickered.

"True that true that." He said. "But, you still good. I tried same strategy with other player earlier though."

"How did that go?" I asked.

"Ehh, not too good." Ace said, scratching his head, wincing. "Guy die too fast, not good enough to kite the mobs."

"I see."

Kiting, in gaming terms, surprisingly had nothing to do with kites. It was the person's ability to gauge the range of their attacks, always staying at the maximum distance to use skills. It was a term used to describe a persons ability to dodge incoming enemy attacks while dealing damage of their own.

"Yea, anyway, you a lot better. You play a lot of MMO as well?" Ace inquired.

"Yea, I'm also a top player. Conviction Online though."

"Ah, damn. That game super popular, what name you use?"

"Do I really have to tell you?" I asked.

Usually revealing my real identity in games caused players to treat me differently. I was a pretty favorited player with a lot of fans so some people would treat me like I was someone raised on a pedestal.

The more I thought about it though, the more I didn't mind Ace knowing, as he was another pro player. I could tell that skills and decision making were top notch, something that hard to fake.

"Yea bro! We friends now right?" He said. "I also might know your name. Give me the spicy detail."

"I use the name Aaron in that game. You might've heard of me."

"Same one that won that big ass tournament?"

"Yup, that's me."

"No way bro!" Ace said in disbelief, his eyes widening slightly. "Your team hella good, I watch the final match."

"Thanks, man," I said.

"How it feel to win that five hundred million though? You a rich man!"

"Feels good I guess?"

"I see, I see." He said, bumping my right shoulder. "Why'd you quit the scene, bro?"

"That... I can't tell you." I said. "I had my reasons."

"Aight, I gotcha. No worries man." Ace said, giving a hard thump on my back. "Let get back to town then, don't want to waste too much time. Time is money, my friend."

"Let's go then."

We stood up fully refreshed and started sprinting back towards the town. Heading into the town, we go to turn in our quest. After getting the rewards which were a fair amount of experience points that increased my EXP from four percent to twenty-seven percent, I was steadily leveling up to level seven. I also received some small health potions and a few silver coins.

It also looked like we had new quests we could get underway, as more yellow marks appeared on the minimap. I've also come to realize that yellow marked quests indicated side-quests, while orange marked quests had to do directly with completing the main storyline quest. It only took a glance at Ace for us to get the same idea, as we spent the next few minutes jogging around town to start more quests.

"So, what now?" I asked Ace, waiting for him to finish interacting with an NPC.

"I got to do something for thirty minutes, after that we meet back and finish quests?"

"Sure, sounds good to me."

"Remember though, make sure it is in-game time. Not real time, my friend."

"What's the difference?" I asked, intrigued.

"You know how the game run two time faster than real time?"

"Oh, yea," I said. "I got it now."

Since the NeuralDive helmet augments your sense of time, the time in the game is disproportionate to the time in the real world. One minute in the game still feels like one minute - sixty seconds, but it takes forty-eight hours in the game to reflect a full day in the real world. That means that you get double the amount of time playable, but it also implies that you have to plan out dates and times in a different manner.

"Ok good. Remember, thirty minute in-game time. I see you later, my friend!"

Ace waves to me goodbye and goes on his way, his figure disappearing in the background. What to do now, I thought. There wasn't particularly any places I was interested in going as I already had a moderate understanding of the town's layout and structure. I also found out the city was named Arumn. I could explore around and talk to NPC's to pass the time, but usually, that's on the back of my mind because progressing through the game is more important early on, especially with a massive game like this.

My initial plan was to level up as fast as possible while completing the in-game storyline and then go from there, learning about the game as I went along. But, with the skill curve so high, I was already struggling handling mobs that were only around four to five levels above me. I could just imagine what it felt like for entirely new players of the MMO genre to go through the encounter the first time. Maybe I should try to form a bigger party or recruit more players to help me along the way.

Strength in numbers, as people like to call it.

Before I could do that though, I had to address two concerning issues at hand. First, my health was still low. Your health regenerated only a small amount at a time, so although it wasn't entirely in the red zone, I wasn't fit to fight anytime soon. The other concern was my shield! Ace ran off before I could persuade him into buying me another shield.

Both of the issues weren't large, as I could resolve them in a matter of moments. To get my health back up, I would only have to go to the towns nearby church, and buying a better shield would be as easy as going to a weapons shop.

I guess that's the plan then.

Maneuvering myself around town, I check my minimap to see where the church was. The church wasn't too far away, situated at the west side of town. The church looked like a standard church building; something that you would imagine it to look like. Arriving at the church, it had a logo located at the top of the building, a rough carving of the games logo etched in the stone bricks — a circle with intricate designs inside of it.

Entering the church, I found out that there wasn't a lot of people inside. Sure, there were some, but it was vastly different compared to the people that were currently occupying the town. At the far back of the church stood a pedestal, and behind that, I could see a tall goddess statue figure. I walked up the pedestal, and an interactable message popped up.

「Would you like to restore your health and remove all debuffs」 「Yes」「No」

Clicking yes, another message shows up.

「You may do this only once per twenty-four hours. Would you still like to restore your health and remove all debuffs」 「Yes」「No」

Was it a good idea to use it now or wait for a better time to activate this?

Pondering the question some more, I think it would be better for me not to take the risk of dying and go ahead with accepting. So that's what I did.

Pressing yes once again, a faint ray of light from above hits directly on my location, surrounding me in a glow of yellow energy. My health quickly increases to one-hundred percent along with my Spirit, Stamina and any debuffs I would have had on me was removed. Now with that over, there was no other reason for me to stay in the building, so I hastily exited.

The first problem solved, now onto the second.

There were three weapon shops around the town; each had a different set of icons. I assumed the images with a wand, staff or a bow were weapons for ranged attack classes, while the ones that had a sword and shield were for short melee classes. I guess I was right because when I entered a weapon shop a few blocks away, the inside of the building filled with only swords, greatswords, hammers, and shields. All weapons meant for close ranged classes.

Looking around, I didn't know where to start. I had initially meant only to acquire a shield, but with a wide selection of different items, I couldn't resist myself from looking at the vast amount of weapons and whatnot positioned around the store. Some swords had interesting designs of hilts and pommels along with various arrays of sword lengths. Some had shining jewels contained at the pommel, while others at the chappe.

The amount of shield variety was no different. Some were in the shape of parmas, others were bucklers, some were in the heater and kite shapes, but all of them were made with hard iron laced with excellent quality leather. I couldn't contain my excitement as I rushed around, inspecting everything I could lay my hands on.

"Greetings boy, what can I help you with." A person sitting at the counter asked, noticing me. He was a stout, short man.

"I'm looking to buy a shield," I replied, walking to the front of the counter.

"Ah, got it." He said, standing up. "Look to the shield corner at the back. If you have something you wanna buy, grab it and come up front and we'll talk prices."

"Sounds good." I nodded.

Walking around, it didn't take long for me to find a shield that called out to me. Although it wasn't anything fancy - it was a heater shield crafted out of hard iron with a simple design and blue colors, it looked interesting and unique. Quickly bringing it back to the man at the front of the store, he inspects the shield and gives me a quick look.

"Ah, this is a fine one." He twirls the shield around and locates a small mark at the bottom right. "This is forty silvers."

I only had seventy-two silvers on hand, so I was hesitant to be spending almost all of my currency at first. It was a small price to pay, however, as I needed a shield to fight. I had no other choice on the matter, so I set my thoughts aside and continued through with the trade.

"Sure," I said, hastily opening my Personal Interface and sending him a trade request. I found it a bit interesting trading with an NPC. Usually, in video games, there would be a trade menu built-in the NPC's as they only had one purpose, but this man seemed like a lifelike human. I wasn't too sure if he could see the visual trade menu that popped up on his screen, but it seemed like it must've registered because the Interface expanded.

On the left frame was the items that he was willing to trade, and on the right was the money I was going to give him. I entered the value of forty silvers, and then pressed the Confirm button. Moments later, he pushed it as well, and the trade was complete. I got a notification that I acquired the item, and the shield was bound to me.

「You have gained Iron Shield (Common) x1」

★✩✩✩✩✩✩✩✩✩

Iron Shield +1 (Common)

✧✧

Socket Attributes: None

One-Handed Shield

Requirement: Level 5

14 - 17 Defense

+2 Strength

A finely crafted shield with simple designs but grandiose colors.

Although small, the shield is sturdy and robust, fit for a warrior.

Enchantment Effects:

Primary: None

Secondary: None

Bonus Potential: None

Going over the stats of the shield, it was already a better upgrade than my previous wooden one. I didn't completely understand all of the things displayed on the shield, but I could take a gander. I equip the shield, and the item materialized on my back, signifying that I had the shield equipped.

"Thank you," I said to the man at the counter.

"Pleasure doing business with you." He replied with a quick smile.

Exiting the shop, I looked at the time. Only fifteen minutes had passed, so I had another fifteen to do whatever I wanted before meeting up with Ace. Looking at my options, I realized that I had yet to put any points into my skills! I had just leveled up, so I gained a brand new skill point. Looking at the skill menu, I saw the skills I had already obtained such as Shield Bash, but there were new skills that I could see that weren't there previously.

[Dual Wielding Mastery]

「With your skill at the sword and shield, you have gained the ability to equip one-handed swords and shields. This passive ability is always active and obtained while selecting your class. No Spirit Cost.」

[Knight's Resolve]

「Increases your Defense by 2% every ten levels acquired. This passive ability is always active and obtained when selecting your class. No Spirit Cost.」

It seemed like these skills were passive skills that I acquired when I picked my class. I hadn't noticed them before, so they must've appeared when I got transported to the town. Unlike active skills, passive skills are always on. This meant that these skills would still be running in the background no matter what I was doing, giving me a slight boost in my potential ability.

Excited to learn about the skills I acquired, I completely forgot about allocating my current skill point. Looking at the skills once again, a new one popped up that I had never seen before. This must mean that the level required to learn this skill was level six; the level that I just hit.

[Cross Slash]

「Quickly slash your sword in a direction twice, dealing 62% damage. If both slashes connect, Cross Cut can be re-used immediately with no cost before going on cooldown. Consumes 15 Spirit.」

There were two options I could take. I could allocate my skill point into this new skill, or I could upgrade a previous skill I obtained from level one to level two. Both options had their merits. While I could increase the damage and stun duration of [Shield Bash] if I upgraded it, I would be missing out on this new ability. In the end, I chose to allocate my skill point to the new ability, as it looked too promising to wait on.

Confirming my choice, I closed my Personal Interface and looked at the time. I still had a bit of time left, so a thought suddenly struck me and I went to check out the Adventures Guild in the town. If I wanted to become the best, I needed individuals to back me up along the way. A guild was a perfect way to find talent united under a single banner.

Heading to the Adventurers Guild, I found out some interesting things. There was an initial fee to create a Guild, and the expense consisted of one-hundred gold coins. It was a pretty hefty fee, so I didn't have the money on hand; one-hundred silver coins amounted to one gold coin, so I was at a complete loss. It seemed like I had to revisit at a later time.

The Aventures Guild itself looked pretty nice though so I couldn't stop admiring the architecture. It was grand for its size, and there were a lot of beautiful women handling peoples various requests. There were a fair amount of people just sitting around in groups situated at tables; it seemed like this was a sort of hub spot for people to gather.

I found out you could do a lot in more the Adventurers Guild as well. Some of the options were borrowing weapons and munitions, setting up your very own missions so others can fill the request, and acquiring guild quests once you created a guild. Since no one was in a guild right now, people were mostly checking the building out as I was.

I didn't have much time left to explore the remaining parts of town thoroughly, so I quickly went to the rendezvous point to find Ace. It was close to the Blacksmith, the location that we got one of our quests the last time we met. It was hard to pinpoint Ace's position through the crowd of people, but someone was yelling my name, so I immediately knew where to look.

"Yo! Winta!" Ace yelled somewhere amongst the crowd.

"Hey, what's up man," I replied, spotting him near the Blacksmith forge. I walk up to him and give him a fist bump.

"Where you been man?" He said with a curious smile.

"I got a new shield, and I went to the Adventurers Guild."

"Shiii, how that go?" He asked, surprised.

"Pretty good. The Adventurers guild looks nice, but I didn't do much there. I wanted to make a guild, but the fee was way too much. No way in hell I'm paying one-hundred gold coins for that right now, man!"

"You already thinking about making a guild? Damn, haha!"

"Of course man! You should join when I make it."

"Maybe. I go guildless right now though." Ace admitted.

"Fair enough," I replied. "My offer's always up though."

"Don't worry, I gotchu man."

I could understand where Ace was coming from. Usually, good players wait for top guilds to establish before looking to join one. It saves a lot of heartache in the future because new players would join a guild aiming for the top without knowing what they were getting into. Nothing would feel as guilty as regretting joining a guild because you realize that your guildmates were holding you back.

"So man, you ready for hunting again?"

"Of course, I'm always ready."

"I got a friend to help us this time." Ace said, waving at a person close to us. The person noticed Ace and started quickly heading towards our direction.

"Hiya!" The person said, jumping next to Ace enthusiastically and making a V formation with her hand along with posing exuberantly.

It was a cute girl with light pink hair along with pretty and dainty features. Her flowing hair was medium-sized with straight-cut bangs that extended slightly above her eyebrows. She had lightly tinted green eyes and a small pink tattoo in the shape of a diamond situated below her right eye.

She was wearing black leather gloves, long black kneesocks and a black flare dress with magical inscriptions laced throughout the clothing. She has also had a wooden staff that was shaped intricately containing a purple gemstone at its tip neatly placed behind her back.

"Oh, hello," I said, shaking my head in surprise.

"Hello, Ace's friend!" She said, beaming with joy. " My name is Yoona, very nice to meet you!"

"Likewise," I reply, extending out my hand so we could exchange handshakes. "My names Aaron."

She readily shakes my hand with both of hers in a wildly eccentric manner. Her quick enthusiasm was almost contagious as she contained a sort of clumsiness that could be seen exuded in her actions. It was kind of cute in a way, so I couldn't help but stifle a small laugh.

"Don't worry too much about her," Ace remarked, "She one of those crazy Koreans."

"Ehhhh, what do you mean!?" She pouted. "You're just jealous because we haven't seen each other in a long time!"

"Nope." Ace shook his head, flatly denying it.

"Meanie!" She exclaims, hitting Aces shoulder gently.

"So you guys know each other?" I questioned, interested in their relationship.

"Yuppie! I was in his guild from a while back."

"Let me guess, Retribution Online?" I inquired.

"That's the one!" She replied, "How didja know?"

"Ace told me about it earlier."

"Oh? Did he now?" She gave Ace a quick but meaningful glance, her eyebrows raising ever so slightly.

Ace just shrugged and pretended it wasn't a big deal, but Yoona looked at me with newfound interest. Furrowing her eyebrows and getting close to me, she starts circling me and examining all of my features. It felt a bit awkward at first for a girl to be checking me out, but I didn't mind it. She was a bit shorter than me, so she had to get on the tip of her toes for both of us to see eye-to-eye.

"Ace doesn't look like it, but he doesn't trust a lot of people." She says curiously, placing her hand over her head and trying to compare our heights. "It's weird that he would mention about our guild."

"Is it?" I asked. "He didn't say much, but he said it was one of the top gui-"

"Not one of the top guilds," She interjects, "The top guild! The top guild!"

Yoona says it matter-of-factly, proud of the accomplishment. I couldn't help but admire her drive, because being part of a top guild wasn't something easy to do. Players had to invest a lot of hours into the game, sometimes even giving up real-life duties and missing important events to help with the guild.

"Oh, so you're a competitive player then," I said. There weren't a lot of females that play video games compared to males, and there were even fewer females that spent the time to play video games competitively.

"Mmhm! I was Co-Leader of the guild." She said, putting her hands in a cute salute, and smiling brightly.

"What about Ace then?"

"Ace?" She said, tilting her head. "He was an Officer."

"Woah, really? Does that mean you're better than Ace?" I asked, awestruck. I didn't know if she was kidding or not, but if she wasn't, I had gained more respect for her skill.

"Kinda ~ He could've easily become Co-Leader, but he didn't want to handle guild management stuff." She said, "He just wanted to have fun, so he became an Officer instead."

"I see," I reply, putting my hand over my chin.

"Alright then, enough talk." Ace chimed in, "Everyone ready to continue?"

"Yup!" Yoona exclaimed.

"Same here," I said, nodding.

After finishing the conversation, Ace sent a party invite to Yoona, and all three of us started to plot out our course to the Ashur Woods. After finishing up some small errands that Yoona and Ace had to complete in the town, we start heading outside of town to continue where we previously left off. I still had some quests to finish in the Ashur Woods, along with some new quests that I recently just took.

"What's with the fancy look?" Ace asked.

"You like it?" Yoona replied, "I just got it from the premium shop."

"You spending money on this game already, damn." Ace replied, shocked.

"It's super cool though!" She said, snapping at Ace. "Don't tell me this doesn't look cool."

"I think it looks cool," I reply, joining in the conversation.

"See, Aaron gets it!" She says with a contempt smile, twirling around and showcasing the dress.

"Do it give any buffs though?" Ace inquired, his interest piqued.

Yoona rolled her eyes at Ace; it seemed like she knew exactly what he was thinking. "Come on, Ace. They don't give you buffs for buying stuff with real money! That's unfair to everyone else!"

"Ah, damn." Ace replied looking disappointed.

"Haha, I get what you mean man," I said to him, giving a slight pat on his back to cheer him up.

Some games would let you buy essential in-game items with real money to gain a slight edge over other players. It wasn't frowned upon in the gaming world, but some people would ironically say that a game was "pay-to-win" because spending money gave you an advantage over other players. Ace was Chinese, so he must've played a fair amount of Chinese games that subscribe to that pay-to-win model.

"Maybe I spend money on this game too." Ace said. "Those clothes look hella nice."

"You should!" Yoona declared. "Then we can look cool together."

"What class are you by the way, if you don't mind me asking," I ask Yoona, the thought suddenly appearing in my mind as we continue walking through the map zones.

"Arcana!" Yoona exclaimed, showing off her staff.

"Is it fun?" I wondered. "I wanted to try it out, but I don't think ranged classes are for me."

"I think its fun!" She replies. "I've always liked ranged classes over melee classes though, so I couldn't tell you which one is better."

"Haha, I see what you mean." I chuckled. I've always preferred melee classes over ranged classes because it suits my style, so I could understand where she was coming from.

Arriving at the entrance of Ashur Woods, there were a few groups of players that were hanging around in several areas. We weren't gone for very long, but It appeared the players had the same idea as us and were hunting the Grey Wolves in small parties as well.

"Look like we got some company." Ace observed, his eyes scouting out some of the players.

"Mmhm!" Yoona replied, "Looks to be interesting."

"Should we go in deeper then?" I ask them. I didn't want to get into any disputes with other party members so heading deeper into the Ashur Woods was probably a good idea.

"Yea sounds good." Ace agreed. "No need to KS any mobs."

KS stood for kill stealing. It was the act of raiding an area and stealing a parties hard earned work. Since you could attack other players in territories outside of towns, kill stealing usually resulted in one party getting ticked off at the other and equating to an all-out battle to control the zone. It was especially deadly if the area was a sought out one.

Moving deep into the Ashur Woods, we found an area that was unoccupied and started setting up a plan to deal with the Grey Wolves. Going over our plan of attack, it didn't take long for the wolves to show up. This time, however, we were more than prepared to take them on.

"You know the plan." Ace said, brandishing his greatsword.

All three of us nodded and positioned ourselves in a triangular formation, covering all of our sides. The forest contained thick trees, but there were some spots where the foliage wasn't as prominent, so we used that to our advantage to spread out the size of the formation.

"Focus Seal!" Yoona yelled out, raising her staff in the air and casting a spell.

A faint purple circle of light appeared below Ace and me, and we got showered with particles. I realized what she cast on me was a buff skill, because I could feel my strength moderately increasing. Ace could feel it as well, as he was getting more and more excited.

That yell also caught the attention of more wolves because several others appeared from behind the trees. Their necks were lowered and their eyes were directly set on us, waiting for a perfect opportunity to pounce. They didn't get to wait long, because Ace was the first one to move.

Without giving the wolves a chance to react, Ace quickly engages one of them with a cleave of his greatsword. The action put the wolf tumbling back, but it didn't stop it from standing right back up. The other wolves seeing what had just happened, they start closing in on us; becoming more aggressive.

Three other wolves dive at Ace. He was able to knock back two of them, but the third one landed a clean bite on his left leg. I quickly cover him, using my shield to bash the third wolf away as he was preparing for another attack. It was going to take a while to deal with these mobs.

"Are you good, Ace?" Yoona says with a worried look on her face. She was preparing her staff, ready to cast a spell on any other incoming attackers.

"I'm fine. No need to worry about me." Ace replied. "Make sure to back me up if other come, though."

Looking around, I counted a total number of twelve wolves... No, make that thirteen. It was absolutely a lot, but it wasn't outside the realm of mobs that we had anticipated. We might have to burn a few potions, but it was do-able with three people.

Repeating the same steps as before, Ace would initiate a group of wolves as Yoona and I would back him up. The formation was working quite nicely, as we were able to subjugate the wolves one by one. They were hesitant to attack us all at once because every time they wanted to, I would disrupt their rhythm with a [Shield Bash]while Yoona sent out small icicle projectiles that would freeze some of them in their place.

"Ice spear." Yoona chanted, creating several sharp blocks of ice and hurtling it towards a wolf that was trying to close in on us. The icicle pierces the wolf, applying a freeze debuff. Using that moment as a chance to counterattack, me and Ace chained our abilities together in quick succession to subdue the wolf.

It took steady and methodical thinking to take down each of the wolves, but after several minutes of learning each other's abilities and playing around our weaknesses, we managed to kill eight out of the thirteen wolves. Most of the grey wolves had their health reduced to either the yellow or red zone, so the remaining few started to back off into the woods.

It seems like these wolves even know when to retreat.

We were still alert, but it looked like the danger was quickly fading. Each of the wolves started retreating one by one, accepting that they weren't going to be able to kill us. All three of us had health in the yellow zone, so we were relieved that we could get a break to restore our health points. While hunting the wolves, I also managed to level up to seven.

"Phew." Yoona sighed, exhausted. "I thought I was going to run out of mana."

"Mana?" I asked, confused. "Don't you mean spirit?"

"Nah bro," Ace interjected, "Mage use mana instead of spirit to cast ability, it different from us melee classes."

"Oh, that's interesting."

"Ya, she has to use Mana Potion to regenerate her mana quick, because it not like our Spirit which regenerate fast."

"Speaking of potions," Yoona recalled, "We should probably use them before we lose any more health."

"Good idea." I nodded, taking out a small red potion from my Inventory.

You could use potions anywhere, but it was hard to use a potion in the middle of combat, so usually, people would use them after the fighting was over. There were some limitations because you couldn't immediately restore your health in any situation, so if you couldn't deal with the threat at hand, you wouldn't be able to restore your health.

Quickly drinking the potion, it tasted a mix of cold medicine along with a hint of strawberry. At least, that's what I thought it was because I couldn't exactly place the distinct taste. It didn't taste bad by any means, but I wouldn't be too excited to drink a lot of it either.

After everyone finished recovering their health, we started picking up the wolf furs and dividing them equally among the three of us. Ace gave Yoona some of his wolf furs so she could complete the quest that we had completed earlier so she could catch up. I felt a little guilty that Ace was giving almost all of his furs away, so I pitched in a bit as well.

We were about to continue finding more Grey Wolves to hunt until we spotted a group of players hurtling past us at a quick speed heading deeper into the Ashur Woods. At first, I didn't think about it much until a few seconds later we could see another group doing the same thing. What was going on?

"What are they doing?" I asked Ace and Yoona, dumbfounded. Why would they be going deeper into the woods?

Ace and Yoona was just as confused as I was, Ace started frowning to a slight extent.

"Not sure. Wanna check it out?" Ace said, looking in the direction the players were running in.

"Sure, what about Yoona though?"

"Sure!" She replies quickly, "I'm down to go wherever you guys are going."

It looked like the consensus was that we were going to go deeper into the woods to find out what was going on with the players. It seemed whatever was going on was something big because I could see several other groups behind us start to barrel their way through the woods as well.

"Yo, what's going on?" I ask, stopping one of the people whistling past me abruptly. He turns around and yells a quick sentence before quickly sprinting once again to catch up with his main group.

"Field boss, there's rumors of a field boss!!"


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