Thursday. Week 1. Year 1.
Clyde found himself up early despite last night's near-death dilemma. He willed the log to show up in his mind's eye then selected the printer quest.
[Congratulations, you have unlocked access to Sacred Store I-D. You can only access the interdimensional store once a week and if you have the money. You must also meet hidden requirements. This time will be a freebie due to the quest. The store will provide you a list of items, which change every week. You will only be able to purchase one non-quest item, so choose carefully. Would you like to view the store?]
Clyde selected yes, smiling wide as a new menu appeared. Then he frowned.
[Items available: Zelt's Printer (300). Lightning gun (3300), Super Magic Book (65,000), God's Sword (94,000,000,000,000), Health Potion (200), MP Potion (350), Book of Fire (900), Nooby equipment set (550), Mystery box (100).]
"These prices are ridiculous," he said. "What the hell, system? First, you're pushing annoying anime tropes onto me, now this?"
He especially glared at what apparently was God's sword. How in God's name was he supposed to get that kind of money? The system even kicked him while he was down by making the store's inventory one hundred percent RNG. With a defeated sigh, he decided to just get the important thing first.
[You have purchased Zelt's Printer. Item class: Rare. You can now print out area maps that will sync to your mental navigation system. You may upgrade it with free points to unlock additional features. Currently, is it level 1/25.]
Clyde nodded as the item appeared in his inventory. Five hundred thirty-three dollars remained in his inventory. A health potion would be nice, but how much did it revive? The system seemed to have read his thoughts and displayed a retractable description beneath it.
[Health Potion: revives 25% of your HP and continues to restore a small amount over a minute.]
He decided to pass on this. Only one purchase per week. Harumi's healing would have to do. Then he saw something—an obvious trap. The mystery box. Everything else was just too expensive—yet this turned out to be dirt cheap. Well…dropping one hundred dollars wasn't—but it was by far the most ridiculous item on the list.
[You've purchased the Mystery Box. Thank you for purchasing! Bye!]
The menu vanished but his box did not appear. It also wasn't on the menu. A knock on the door briefly stopped his anger. When he opened it, there it was, a large cardboard box addressed to the wrong person. He shook his head at the lack of a delivery guy to confirm things then pulled the box inside.
Clyde's mouth dropped when he opened it. There was a little anime girl inside the box, sleeping. A loli in a box.
He pulled out his phone to call the police when another knock caught his attention. Another box addressed to him this time. When he turned around, the one containing the little girl was gone. His eyes widened as he pulled in the real box.
Just to be sure, he checked his apartment. Completely empty. The douchewads running the game had played a joke on Clyde. Great.
Inside the box was a bunch of junk. Random metals, screws, bottles of glue and even Gorilla glue, and crap Clyde didn't feel like identifying. One hundred dollars. Gone. He nearly had an aneurism until realization struck him like the back end of a slap. Crafting materials.
Clyde accessed the crafting menu. Selecting a ruler, a spike, and glue, willed the menu to show him the item.
[Would you like to create the Enemy attracter?]
Clyde shrugged then selected yes, curious.
[You have received Enemy attracter. Item class: uncommon. Consumable. By waving this item around like an idiot, you have a 25% chance of attracting a small force of enemies, eager to kill you.]
A brief shimmer of intense light covered the room. The ingredients fused into his new item, which appeared in the inventory. The low item class was probably why it crafted so fast.
The attracter looked like a wooden wand of some sort with a spiked tip made of metal. Clyde couldn't understand for the life of him why it attracted enemies.
[Your crafting skill has reached level 2!]
Clyde nodded, deciding to craft one more thing. He planned to obtain better objects afterward. The next fights needed to be smooth, easier, and contribute to leveling him up, faster. He willed the system to reveal all possible items.
[A list cannot be shown. You are the inventor. You must utilize trial and error.]
Clyde shook his head, selected a few items and his sword. Nothing.
"Are you fucking kidding me?" he barked. "I have to do something with this sword. Help me out here, system! Please."
The system didn't respond. He eyed some of the metals and a bottle of weird gray powder.
[Would you like to create Natzo hand bomb?]
Clyde gulped, hoped the SWAT team wouldn't burst into his apartment, then selected yes. Like before, all three materials fused into one intense glow before the item appeared in his inventory, all in the span of a full minute.
[You have received Natzo hand bomb. Item class: rare. A horrific mini explosion of death that causes fire and metal damage on enemies caught within the blast. 40% chance to cause burns, 20% chance to deafen. 30% chance to stun.]
Clyde nodded then closed the crafting menu. First, he plugged in the printer. To his surprise, he saw its interface through his mind's eye. There were several maps, grayed out except for Libado Grasslands. He selected it and watched as the map appeared in his inventory.
[You have received Map of Libado Grasslands.]
He rode the city buses to several stops, buying a few cheap trinkets and snacks, but with his low funds, he really couldn't get much. He'd have to grind it. Grinding in real life—what a mess. Maybe Clare could offer him a decent discount on a useful item.
Clare glared, her blue eyes seeming to peer right through him. Clyde did his best to keep eye contact. Don't look at her boobs. Don't look at her boobs, Clyde. Don't do it.
The shopkeeper smirked, possibly catching onto his resolve. She leaned over the counter, revealing cleavage that made the young man happy to be alive.
"Maybe I can show you some daggers," she said. "In the back."
Clyde felt the buzz of his phone, signaling the text from Chika. He ignored it, following the busty anime girl into a back room, the door closing behind them.
"These daggers are for the hardcore collectors, said to have blessings of ancient deities," Clare said as she led him to a large, gold-framed glass display. In it were daggers that looked expensive enough to make Clyde turn around. Only Clare pressed against him with enough boob to make the young man melt.
He accidentally analyzed her in a feeble attempt to compose himself. To bang or not to bang, that was the question.
Relationship: Curious- teasing.
Stats: Relationship isn't high enough. Idiot boy.
Special abilities: See above, see-see, above. Idiot boy.
Skills: see above. Idiot boy.
Magic abilities: see above. Idiot boy. Idiot-idiot, boy.
He didn't know what to make of her level. He supposed she was skilled with every blade or practiced some kind of self-defense. Or…maybe she also had power. Note to self, get Clare in his party, he thought.
"Let me give you a starting recommendation," Clare said as she unlocked the gold display. "You're the first collector I let back here in a long time."
"I mean I like the daggers, they look amazing," Clyde said, "but I won't have much use for them…" he paused realizing his big mouth. The shopkeeper had his eye contact.
"It's fine," she said, "if I hadn't made it obvious enough that I know you have the gift, then I'm dropping the ball here."
"How strong is the demon lord?"
"Very," Clare answered in a deadpan voice. "And I hope my adorable customer isn't planning to undertake a foolish mission to get himself killed. Collectors are a hard sort to keep interested. Don't go throwing your life away."
"If I get strong enough, maybe, but it's going to take some time," Clyde said. What he really meant was that this demon lord thing wasn't his problem. Only killing the Viper and getting the fuck out of this dimension mattered.
Clare gave him a look of pity then picked up a dagger that had a shiny steel blade and a leather-like handle. It took Clyde only a second to notice a tiny outline of blue aura surrounding it.
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