Rydel looked out the window and noticed the sun climbing through the sky. He sighed, "Fine, but we will talk about this later. What do you suggest we do about the toxin and curse, kid?" Though it wasn't 100% confirmed that Jack was an ancient hero, Rydel followed his gut and accepted it as fact. But regardless of that, the current Jack was just some low leveled kid and that wouldn't change overnight.
"I've already written up a list of ingredients for the walking death antidote but I'm not yet sure what to do about that curse," stated Jack with a solemn face as he handed a small sheet of paper from his within his cloak to Rydel.
The lanky man scanned over the list and chuckled in disbelief. "Good luck finding these, it's going to be near impossible."
"I've already become a patron for a merchant in the town square, so I think that will help. But I'm too unfamiliar with the modern Kartonia, most of my former knowledge was rendered useless with the passing of time," said Jack.
"Well, we've got some time before we head out. I'll grab a drink and meet you in town square later, so go talk to your merchant and get yourself some basic supplies. I'm sure you already know what you need, right?" asked Rydel sarcastically.
"Yeah, yeah." Jack nodded as he got up and exited the room.
Rydel stared at the empty doorway and took in a deep breath. He couldn't help but chuckle to himself. "An Ancient hero, huh? Looks like we got lucky this time."
Jack was already outside and raring to go. First, he stopped at Jezelle's to grab some breakfast on the go but wasn't able to find her. With food in hand and a few less copper in his purse, Jack ate his way towards the town square. Once he got there, he saw Zarris opening up and greeted him. "Morning Zarris. You open?"
"For you, of course," Zarris was a little surprised to see Jack again so soon but welcomed him all the same.
"I've got a list of things I need, mind taking a look?" Jack didn't wait for a response before handing him the list of antidote ingredients.
Zarris glanced at the list and went wide-eyed. "These things... what on earth are you doing to need so many high-level items?"
"It's not for me, I need to help a friend. Do you have a way to get any of these?" asked Jack.
"Well, I don't personally have any of these, but I might be able to get my hands on some refined cleansing powder. As for the other three main ingredients, I don't think I can help you. Death rattlers aren't very common and are extremely tricky to deal with. I don't know anywhere in the city where you can get some of its poison or blood. And the life tree's dew, you can forget about that completely. A life tree only gets spotted once a century," explained Zarris dejectedly.
"Then forget the dew and please ask around about the death rattler blood and poison. Maybe some of the night merchants have some on hand?" said Jack, quickly adjusting to the circumstances.
"Fine, I'll ask around, but I won't make any moves to get these things until you can get me something worthwhile. These items you ask for aren't cheap, you know," stated Zarris.
"Then I must thank you," said Jack as he bowed his head. "Also, I need some kind of spacial storage. Do you have anything for eight gold?"
Zarris smirked as he led Jack into the back. "I have some that might interest you. Take a look at these three."
An open chest showed many items and treasures, with the three Zarris mentioned near the top. Jack pulled out all three and set them on the table. There was a ring, an armband, and a necklace. Using the system to quickly scan the three, Jack grabbed the one he wanted off the table and held it up in front of Zarris. "I'll give you five gold."
"Why the necklace?" Zarris asked. In his opinion, the necklace was the lesser of the three items and he would typically sell it for half of what Jack offered. Knowing Jack's character, it was clear that the necklace was special.
"Eight gold. It's rumored that the necklace in your hand is ancient, just look at how worn and dull the coloring is," argues Zarris.
"Five gold going once," said Jack.
This tactic caught Zarris off guard. Rather than argue and haggle for a price, Jack blatantly offered a price a little higher than the norm and stood firm. It was obvious them both that only someone like Jack would offer more than three gold.
"Five going twice," Jack continued counting.
"Sold for five gold," said Zarris as he shook his head.
"Wise choice. And rest assured, I'll make sure to bring you plenty of goodies from my missions," said Jack as he put the faded, pale-purple necklace around his neck.
"You aren't going to get too excited and leave without getting supplies again, are you? I'll add three potions and three elixirs for another three silver," said Zarris, raising his hand like it wasn't difficult at all. Another chest was opened and six glass bottles were pulled out, three blue elixirs and three red potions.
Jack grabbed and stored them all easily before he turned and bowed again to Zarris. "Thanks, friend. Please let me know as soon as you get news on anything from that list."
"Will do. I'll see you soon enough, I'm sure," said Zarris who waved him off in a friendly manner and showed him out.
Since he still had about an hour before noon, Jack found a seat within the ancient rock garden in the center of the town square. Instinctively, he opened his menu and made his way to the achievement list.
With all the drama over Zariff, Jack had never found time to explore the new achievements and skill points. The five unread achievements from the night before had now become seven unread achievements.
[Win Jezelle's challenge: in progress]
[Reach lv. 10: in progress]
[Reach lv. 20: in progress]
[Reach lv. 30: in progress]
[Remove Zariff's curse: in progress]
[Travel to Trodar: incomplete]
[Find the tomb: incomplete]
The first four new achievements and the sixth new achievement were the result of his talk with Jezelle and only offered skill points. After speaking with Zariff the night before, the fifth new achievement had appeared and offered a varied reward based on how long it took him to remove the curse.
At the bottom of the list was an achievement activated by his newest soul-piercing, "Hidden Agenda."
This "Hidden Agenda" had the passive ability to unlock hidden achievements upon interacting with something related to the achievement. Jack was very familiar with items like this and they helped him tremendously when he was playing the game. Now that he had to live and survive based on the achievements he discovered and completed; this item became invaluable to him.
[Find the tomb: incomplete]
[Find the tomb of PleasantLilly98 near the outskirts of Reinolt City. Reward: 10 skill points, access to her saved data.]
Jack smiled as he read the achievement's description. This achievement was activated when he had grabbed the necklace for the first time. The previous owner of the necklace was labeled as PleasantLilly98, the same person mentioned in the new achievement. What Jack liked, even more, was the reward of this fallen hero's saved data. He was extremely curious about what he could do with that.
There were no other clues besides it being near the outskirts of the city, but that was way too general. Jack guessed that she was a new player since her necklace was so low leveled and imagined that her tomb wouldn't be too dangerous. The biggest problem was finding it.
Reinolt City was massive; to comb over its outskirts would take weeks for the current Jack, and he wouldn't want that. For the time being, he didn't investigate the catacomb and made a mental note to get around to it.
He closed his achievement list and opened up his skill tree, which continued to offer new branches and skills with every new interaction he had. Seeing the unused thirty skill points brought a grin to his face.
Jack took his time to upgrade and divvy up the points. Two points upgraded persuasion to lv. 1, ten points upgraded bow to lv. 2, and ten points upgraded evasion to lv. 2. With eight points left, he eventually upgraded perception and deposited the last three points in stealth.
Seeing the sun high in the sky, Jack knew that Rydel would come find him pretty soon. In the meantime, Jack took his time reading and memorizing the map of the modern Kartonia. He paid extra close attention to the nations surrounding Trodar and those he'd have to cross to travel there. With a mountain range and a massive lake in the way, he knew that the journey wouldn't be easy.
Jack thought back to his many missions and accomplishments in Trodar with his former guild. This inspired him to press forward the best he can and to do whatever it takes to level up.
Thanks for reading and voting! Let me know what you think in the comments.