"Let's refleeect! Bambam pompom!"
"What's with those sound effects, they're lacking motivation..."
"I just wanted to say it."
Seeing Lyly say so and smile wryly, I also made the same smile.
Thanks to the drops we got from the Fluff Clouds when we escaped from a group of them, we somehow managed to satisfy the requirements for materials to improve equipment.
For now, I'd like to leave the materials with Cloude and hope the winter clothes are made even if a day earlier.
I decided that until they are, I won't take a single step inside areas that had enemies attacking with cold air.
And currently, Lyly and I were sitting in the 【Commonest Café & Clothier】 with a table between us.
Since we were in a very cold environment because of the Fluff Cloud attacks, reviewing what happened in a warm café felt like heaven.
Both of us called our tamed mobs and ate sweets together.
"First of all, what I should reflect on is the fact I allowed the Thorn Plant to surprise me. I couldn't find it despite having the 【See-Through】 Sense. Also, I underestimated 【Cold Damage】. That thing is seriously dangerous."
As a result of receiving 【Cold Damage】 in my summer clothes, I received endless slip damage like that of poisons.
"In this case Yuncchi's 【See-Through】 Sense must have had lower level than Thorn Plant's Concealment-type Sense. Also, couldn't you use your 《Element Enchant》 to raise water resistance?"
"...I totally forgot."
Because it was too sudden of an event, I forgot about the application of the enchant that I have tried on Magi-san before.
"In that case the points to reflect upon is my low level of 【See-Through】 Sense and lack of ability to match all means I have available to ongoing situation."
Haa, I sighed.
Even though we were right before the event, I got depressed by my own no-good parts.
"I'm next, right. If I beat the first Fluff Cloud that appeared, the others wouldn't have gathered in such numbers. I only survived their attacks thanks to having winter clothing that were processed in a way to resist cold."
"Also, we should have switched positions earlier."
Lyly didn't have any skills allowing him to take on multiple opponents so he should have fought against the Thorn Plant instead of Fluff Clouds.
Moreover, since I had the 《Zone Bomb》 that could attack all mobs within the range of my sight I could do better against Fluff Clouds that had low defence, rather than fight very thin Thorn Plant.
Unable to assess the situation like that made me feel like I'm still lacking player skill.
"But, I actually am happy that we failed this time."
"Yup. I was able to find out how does Shiacchi's 【Revival】 work."
I listened to Lyly explanation on his tamed mob's, the phoenix Neshias' 【Revival】.
"When Shiacchi uses 【Revival】 a lot of my MP is taken, it made me understand I can't use it randomly."
"Well, no wonder, since the tamed mob skills use the summoner's MP."
I didn't check Lyly's MP back then, but considering the way he spoke, it must have consumed quite a lot of it.
"Even with my MP being full, I could use it at most twice in a row."
"I see. Twice... then, what about when you yourself were defeated?"
"That part is important too. In fact when I was defeated, before the 'Use of Revival Medicine' menu, a menu with 'Auto-Revival by using Shiacchi's skill' had appeared first, but I didn't have enough MP for using that."
In other words, to use Neshias' 【Revival】 the summoner Lyly needs to consume a large amount of MP, and in case of Lyly's auto-revival it uses the MP he had remaining.
Moreover, the menu displays revival using Neshias as a priority, but in this case it ended with shortage of MP.
"Hey, isn't Neshias a tamed mob for rearguard players?"
"You're right. Moreover, his qualities make him more appropriate for parties."
Thinking of that, with Lyly's fighting style that's very close to that of a vanguard scout he had nowhere near enough MP to use Neshias' abilities to the fullest.
Because of that, Lyly's and Neshias' sense builds could be said to be have poor compatibility.
"Well, since I normally don't use much MP, as long as I'm alone it's not a bad idea to use MP on Shiacchi."
"Right. But if it triggers faster than a Revival Medicine and you can't control it by yourself you might get revived in a state without MP and disadvantaged."
"Let's think a little bit more about that."
Neshias was a rare young beast that had a revival skill, but it didn't mean it was something easy to use.
"I need to do my best as well as not to lose to Shiacchi, right."
Lyly took out the berries he collected in the dark forest, put them on his palm and held out to Neshias.
Seeing Lyly happily feed Neshias who pecked the berries from his hand I though that for Lyly, rather than ease of use, the hard work as partners was more important. Such a vague thought crossed my mind.
I want to do my best with Ryui and Zakuro as well, I felt and looked towards the two. Ryui ate the cream puffs I bought from the 【Commonest Café & Clothier】 in one bite, while Zakuro had his nose covered in custard cream.
"Good grief, I'll clean you up."
With Lyly's and my review over I sighed and drank some tea, at that time a black shadow came from the back of the store and jumped on my lap.
"Woah?! Socks, what happened?"
Even though just the other day he was a kitten, he turned big all at once. Socks curled up after jumping on my lap.
Ryui also often put his head on top of my lap, is my lap really that nice? I wondered.
Then, with a delay after Socks, Cloude has made his appearance.
"Kurocchi, good joob〜. Were you able to collect materials?"
"It took a while but we gathered the expected number by repeating the Arachne boss. But with the 【Heat Damage】 changes it was too difficult to advance into the Volcano Area without prior preparation."
He said and sighed deeply.
The reason Magi-san wasn't here, must have been because she left the materials with Cloude and went to the Volcano Area alone.
"So, how long will it take for Magi-san's and my winter clothes to complete?"
"I also have request from a lot of players, so. At fastest it'll be just before the event's update."
"I see, in that case you can get my winter clothes after the update. At first I'll deal with 【Cold Damage】 to some extent by using items and skills."
"If you say so then I'll finish them up during event, but why?"
Hearing me say that Cloude furrowed his eyebrows.
"Well, I thought of trying to make some Christmas cakes first."
My little sister Myu seemed like she wanted to eat a strawberry cake and a fruits roll cake, is what I was too embarrassed to say, so I'll just say some mundane reason.
"Mm. Well, I bet it's some reason like your little sister wanting to eat some."
"H-how did you know?!"
Hmph, Cloude snorted at me.
"We know each other for nearly half a year now. I can tell you're really soft on your little sister."
Is that really so? I wondered after hearing Cloude's words and turned towards Lyly, who nodded with a wry smile.
"Well, I understand your reason for wanting to make cakes. But you'll feel cold if you make it in your summer clothes. I'll give you some substitute armour."
"Yuncchi, if you agree before asking Kurocchi for details——"
"Fufufu, let's start by having you wear these clothes."
While saying so Cloude took out clothes with a white base, a chocolate-coloured apron with a skirt and a hat of the same colour.
These clothes somewhat resembled cook uniform and I knew similar clothes.
"This is... what Fior-san is wearing..."
This equipment was very similar to that of 【Commonest Café & Clothier】's crafter in charge of kitchen, Fior-san.
"Exactly, it differs from Fior's patissière dress in colour. The kitchen is surprisingly cold y'know. Treatment against cold is perfect on this."
"Hey, aren't there any oth——"There aren't."——yes sir."
Cloude interrupted with a satisfied smile.
I understood I couldn't change Cloude's decision and slumped. As long as I lock myself in the 【Atelier】's workshop I won't be seen in these clothes by too many people.
Thinking it might be nice to use a patissière's clothing to make cakes, I swallowed my tears, bearing with it.
"If you're making cakes, give us some to eat as well."
"Yaay, Yuncchi's cake!"
"Your place is a café, you eat those all time don't you."
"Fior is doing her best on Christmas cakes, but unfortunately they're all for customers and there are none left for us."
"Good grief. Then it'll be a cake instead of rental fee for this armour."
"I look forward to it. In that case, let's exchange the Christmas cake for the completed winter clothes."
"Yes yes, got it."
I receiver the patissière's clothing from Cloude, then on the way back to the 【Atelier】 I purchased materials required for making the cakes.
After returning to 【Atelier】 I locked myself in the workshop part and changed into patissière uniform.
The stone workshop was very cold, and since I felt chilly in Ochre Creator the moment I changed clothes the cold had subsided.
I started preparing the cake.
"Hmm. Is this temperature on the oven fine?"
I carried over the oven from the store part back to the workshop, lit the stove up and raised the temperature inside the oven.
In the meantime, I prepared generous amount of sponge dough and whipped cream.
With round sponge dough I could make the strawberry cake, with a square one I could make the fruit roll cake.
While calculating the time the dough needs to grow I mixed the beaten eggs with sugar and flour, then poured in a mould. In the meantime I prepared the whipped cream and fruits I acquired in the dark forest.
"The whipped cream has become the base, but how's the sweetness?"
I added some sugar making it modestly sweet. Since wild fruits were just as sweet and delicious as the ones sold in the store I went easy on the cream's sweetness, bringing out the sweetness of the fruits themselves.
"All that's left is to bake the dough and wait... hm? What is it, Ryui?"
Then I noticed, Ryui and Zakuro were looking up pleadingly.
Ahead of their line of sight there was my hand holding the eggbeater with whipped cream remaining on it.
"Geez. Just a little, okay."
When I put a little of whipped cream and cut fruits on small plates, Ryui and Zakuro ate it right away, they even licked the plates clean.
Ryui must have been satisfied as he returned to the back of the workshop.
But Zakuro continued to lick the plate time after time again.
"You really love sweet things, don't you."
"Right? Ah, of course I love them too."
I thought I was alone in the workshop, but hearing a voice I looked behind me.
"One cake for fairies please."
When I turned around, I saw the Mischievous Fairy that often came to play in the 【Atelier】.
"Haa, an order from someone else again huh. Good grief, fine."
"Yaay! Then please!"
Saying just that, the Mischievous Fairy suddenly disappeared.
Seeing just a few cut fruits disappear as well I smiled bitterly at that mischief and once again started cutting the fruits I had remaining.
After that, I started with the strawberry cake I was already experienced in making of.
I sliced the baked sponge caked from the side, put whipped cream and strawberries inside.
Then, after covering the entire cake with cream I decorated it with more cream and strawberries. Although the strawberry cake was completed, the way I squeezed the whipped cream wasn't too good and it looked awkward.
"Mm, I don't like it."
However, it was still the first one, I thought and finished another one which looked a little better, but still didn't look nice.
Afterwards, in order to make a satisfactory cake I repeated that. After a few days I ended up making twelve whole cakes.
Because of that, I didn't have enough ingredients for the fruit roll cake, having to purchase them after a few days. Then I made six roll cakes.
Since making cakes required that much concentration, my 【Cook】 Sense went up to level 14 all at once, which was a big gain.
And, since I immersed myself in making cakes over a few days I totally forgot.
"Speaking of which, I didn't do anything to prepare for the event."
That said though, I had consumables such as potions in the 【Atelier】 so there was no need to hurry.
However, to form a party you need other people to agree on it.
"I don't know any details on the event, but maybe Magi-san and others will party up with me?"
I put away the finished cakes in the inventory and made a friend call to Magi-san.
"Magi-san, can you talk now?"
『"Yup, it's fine. What is it?"』
"Uh, how about we form a party for the event? Is what I wanted to ask."
『"Aww, sorry. This time I have a lot of requests for equipment I need to deal with, I was also supposed to party up with 【Crafting Guild】's members at first but I'm too busy."』
"Is that so. So you're with the guild..."
『"Yup. Cloude and Lyly are also acting alone, but we intend to party up at times for the event. If we had more time we could party up with you, Yun-kun but... I'm really sorry."』
"Please don't mind it. As someone who hasn't joined the 【Crafting Guild】 I'm not in a position to complain about not partying together."
"Please don't mind it, although it is a shame."
Hearing Magi-san apologize in a regretful voice I told her not to mind it too much.
The 【Crafting Guild】 was a guild that acted as central management for material trade for crafters and auctions. There was no need to join it in order to use their services, so even though I didn't join the guild I helped out a little bit in establishing the guild.
Of course it wasn't just me, there were other players involved in founding the guild, and there were also members who maintained it. That's why I don't think I, an outsider should be prioritized and the guild members be neglected.
"So Lyly and Cloude are no good either."
『"Looks like it. The two have their crafter acquaintances to play with. Speaking of Cloude, earlier an NPC delivered my winter clothes."』
"Is that so, understood. I see, so this time I'll have to participate solo, huh."
『"Don't you have any other acquaintances? You're well known, right?"』
"I wish that was the case."
Taku and Myu, Sei-nee and others were playing mostly in fixed parties, it might be possible to join them temporarily, but it's hard to imagine that could be the case during the event.
It wouldn't be too bad to invite Emily-san and Letia who were about as strong as me, but I don't know if they'll accept...
"Well, I'll do my best solo at first."
"Yes, do your best in moderation as well, Magi-san."
『"Same to you, Yun-kun."』
Although it was a friend call where I couldn't see her face, I imagined Magi-san wink and smiled wryly.
After that, the call ended and I went outside to the field in the back of the 【Atelier】 for a change of pace.
In there, was the Wisteria Peach Tree blooming in cold winter and leaning towards the wooden deck.
Despite how cold the air was, I was healed by the pink flowers reminding me of spring.
I stretched under the open sky and relaxed my shoulders.
"Well, it'll work out somehow this time as well."
Thinking optimistically about the winter event, I logged out of OSO.
When I log in again, it'll be probably after the event update has finished.
A bustling square. I stood among the players who gathered right after OSO's update and engaged in light conversations.
It was my first time logging in after the update.
I finished my preparations all alone and matching my log in time with Myu and Taku I gathered together with acquaintances before we start playing.
Myu, Taku and others also made preparations for this day.
Not only they did leveling and procured items, but also had 【Cold Damage】's countermeasures.
Taku's looks didn't change much, he only got long sleeves that reduced the exposure to cold. There was however, a large change to Myu.
"Onee-chan, you look cold, will you be okay?"
"Actually, it's okay since I'm using items for countermeasure against 【Cold Damage】. Rather than that, I see your armour changed, Myu."
Myu's armour had a long white dress covering her legs below her knees, was equipped with silver plate armour and felt like it had much higher defence than the one she had used so far.
Also, her armour up until now had the back, arms and legs exposed making it seem cold, but the new equipment had very low exposure. The only part exposed were the shoulders, but the person herself seemed fine with that.
"Right?! It was just finished! I asked Magi-san to maintain the defence as she added countermeasures against 【Cold Damage】 and she made it using metal of fire and light element! Although the exposure is smaller than that of previous armour's, this is cute in its own way!"
As her brother I was relieved that the exposure had decreased, I also understood the reason why Magi-san was so busy right before the event.
"I'll go talk with some other people about the event."
After boasting of her new armour to me, Myu entered the circle of players elsewhere.
Until the official event's announcement starting, Myu and others went around speaking with various people. Unable to keep up with everyone I shut my eyes and waited for the announcement to end.
For the event this time I'm going solo.
Since I was a crafter, I felt a little uneasy and nervous.
If possible, I'd like to do the mini-events I can do alone, while I thought that——
Hearing my own name spoken loudly from up close, I held down my ear and turned around.
There, a little displeased, stood Taku.
"?!! W-what is it Taku?"
"I've been calling you for a while now, but you ignored me with your eyes closed."
"Sorry. I was lost in thoughts."
"Nervous? Are you okay alone?"
"I'm fine alone... I hope so, at least."
"We have one empty slot in our party, it's still not too late, wanna join?"
Taku's party members turned towards me and waved their hands with smiles, so I lightly waved back and answered.
"I don't know what kind of event it'll be, but well, I'll go at my own pace."
"Yun, are you refraining yourself from something with us? We don't mind at all! So why don't you join our party?"
"No, simply speaking it's that I'd have hard time matching your pace."
When I answered looking straight into his eyes, Taku seemed to have had an idea what was it about as he gasped.
It certainly did seem like he worried about me, but on my side – I already decided to go at my own pace.
"Well, thanks for worrying about me."
"Sure, come rely on us any time!"
Seeing him put on a pretence of a big bro, I muttered "good grief" and laughed quietly.
And the official event's announcement had started again.
『"I shall now explain the winter event. This explanation can be also looked up through the menu in a video or text form."』
The announcement was spoken in female voice and a huge three-dimensional image was projected on the First Town's sky.
It was the same situation as that of the camp event last time. And, the person who appeared was——"
『"Dear players, it has been a while. Also nice to meet all of you who see me for the first time. I'm Yoshino Kazuhito, the chief of 【OSO】's development department."』
The boss of the development department appeared in person.
Similarly to the previous event, Yoshino Kazuhito started explaining the event.
『"This time's time-limited event has been adjusted so that it can be enjoyed by new players as well. This event will be in short—— a 【Quest】!"』
When he said that and waved his hand, NPCs with troubled expressions appeared.
『"Ever since forever, games and quests were inseparable. And quests here, are the troubles of the town's inhabitants. And so, we'll have you players resolve the problems in the First Town that have taken form of 【Quests】! "』
That's a really classic event. While I thought so, I was relieved knowing that aside from the mob subjugation quests there will also be collection and errand quests I will be able to do alone.
『"The event spans over three weeks until Christmas, during this time you have to resolve the quests all over the town and reclaim its peace!"』
Declaring that, the development department's chief raised a coin between his fingertips.
『"And during the time-limited event quests this time, we have prepared special Quest Chips that will be awarded in addition to normal quest rewards!"』
The Quest Chip he had raised must be an important item for this event, everyone thought and looked up at the 3d image.
『"The Quest Chips are rewards for clearing event's quests, if you acquire large number of these you can exchange them for a variety of items on the last day of the event! You will be able to choose the rewards accordingly to the amount of Quest Chips you have acquired. All of the event's participants will receive two types of special rewards depending on the total percentage of quests resolved."』
There, he interrupted for a moment before speaking the last part.
『"You're free to resolve large-scale raid quests in large groups! Act out an ally of justice and defeat the great evil lurking in the town! Improve the atmosphere of the town by fulfilling multiple of little requests of the townspeople! Although there's no prize this time, you will receive a reward corresponding to the amount of chips you gather, you can even get the same rewards there have been last time. Either aim for large amounts of chips by challenging highly-risky quests, or diligently collect chips by doing low-risk quests. There are various ways to enjoy yourself!"』
That explanation had excited all the players that have gathered.
My mood has also grown merrier as well.
After that there were additional explanations on the event, but few players listened to those.
Quest Chips are not transferable. After the exchange period of chips for items ends, they will be automatically exchange for 30kG per chip. It was possible to take multiple time-limited quests from the quest boards installed all over the town. There were few important explanations like that.
Other than that it was said that there were quests you could take directly from the NPCs. The quests that have been resolved at least once by others and the quests that were not have differed in colour.
『"Well then, dear players! I wish you luck!"』
Along with the voice resounding, the 3D image in the sky cracked apart, turned into particles of light.
The particles of light transformed into snow and descended upon the entire town as white powder.
The snow had gradually covered the town dyeing it white, at the same time NPCs who weren't in the town have appeared from inside the buildings.
"So it started——the winter quest event."
I muttered quietly and confirmed that I can watch the video from earlier through my menu. Meanwhile the players in the surroundings have started moving.
Everyone rushed towards the quest boards installed all over the town in order to get a good quest ahead of others.
"Chaaarge! First for the event queestt!"
Sprinting in in the lead of all that, was Myu.
Myu and others who listened to the event explanation together with me, had split up from the group the moment explanation had ended and rushed to the quest board.
From time to time she kicked off walls and ran on top of the roofs as she aimed for the quest board, so I quickly lost sight of her.
"We'll be going to take a look at the quest board as well, but..."
Taku said, and hesitated for a moment.
"I'll... take my time."
Thinking of this number of people, even if I headed over there now I probably wouldn't be able to reach the quest board. In which case, there was no need to rush.
"I see. Then we'll match your pace."
"Is that fine? Um... Myu and others rushed over there already."
"Rather than hurry and take the first quest there is, we'll look for a good subjugation-type quest. What about you, Yun?"
"I'll do some errand-type quests."
"You can do some subjugation quests as well, don't you? Why would you do the quests anyone can do? Won't it be more efficient if you join the party and we take subjugation quests together?"
"I just want to do those. C'mon, we arrived in front of the quest board."
As we spoke, we arrived in front of the quest board.
In front of the board there was open space that fit me, Taku and his party. Hurry up and pick your quest, I pointed my finger at it to relay so.
"I see, got it! We'll be going then, do your best as well!"
"I'll be questing in moderation."
I lightly bumped fists with Taku and sent him off to the quest board.
Well then, I'll probably only be able to check the quest board leisurely only after some time passes, I thought and avoided it heading towards the edge of the road. That's when something suddenly caught my eye.
"...where is this? I want to go home."
By the edge of the road there was a boy who squat down and held his knees. I could hear him mutter quietly.
The boy who spoke in very quiet, subtle voice was probably not a player, but an NPC.
Still, pretending not to see the child NPC's sad expression would leave a bad after-taste, so I approached him and spoke.
"What happened? Why are you in a place like this?"
"...I was separated from mom."
The boy looked up at me with tearful expression, so I made a smile as to reassure him.
"Then let's look for her together. I'll help you."
"Really? Thank you, Onee-chan."
I was relieved seeing him make a wonderfully cute smile. I'm a man though, I thought on the other hand.
That's when a message appeared in my menu.
——You received the quest 【Looking for Lost Child's Parent】.
I somehow felt that to be the case, but the boy really was a quest NPC.
And it was a quest one can receive by speaking directly with NPC, one that was explained a while earlier.
At this rate it seems like I'll get involved with various NPC quests in the town, I thought as I held the boy's hand and started to look for his mother.
After that, we searched around for his mother for a while.
I asked the boy for his mother's characteristics and then asked NPCs in surroundings for a woman looking like her, collecting fragmentary information.
It took us thirty minutes to arrive at location the boy was shopping with his mother when they separated, and were finally able to find her.
"Thank you, Onee-chan!"
"Really, thank you very much!"
The youthful mother in her early twenties lowered her head deeply.
She continued to bow so I stopped her in a hurry. I'm an Onii-san though, I muttered in my mind meanwhile.
The two held hands and left mixing into the crowd, that's when the quest completion message appeared.
——You completed the quest 【Looking for Lost Child's Parent】.
And a single Quest Chip was added to my inventory's list of important items.
Although there was no reward other than the Quest Chip, thinking that it has the value of 30kG, it seemed quite good reward for an errand quest.
"Still, finally got one. Its merely the start huh."
When I thought about heading to the quest board, I saw one of the NPCs I have asked for information when I was searching the lost boy's mother, sitting on a bench by the roadside.
"Yeah, she was by the fruit and vegetable shop."
"That's great. So, do you need anything of me?"
The old woman with a purple shawl covering her shoulders asked, making me wonder on how to answer.
Should I ask flat out "give me a quest?". That sounds bland, I don't think that's it.
The goal of this event is bringing back the town's peace, so——
"Umm, do you know any people in trouble, or have any trouble to resolve?"
"Oh my, are you a handyman?"
The old woman opened her eyes wide with surprise.
"There's been lots of these recently. Monsters grew even more rampant making hunters and miners unable to progress with their work. Because of that there isn't enough goods in the town. The prices of meat and vegetables is on the rise, everyone is having a hard time."
Oh, so that's the problem that arose in the First Town.
Rather than some impending crisis, incoming horde of mobs, it was a pretty plain problem.
Then, housewife NPCs started gathering around the old woman to hold a gossip meeting.
"Did you hear? My daughter dropped a vase and hurt her leg. Because of that the bag I wanted her to deliver wasn't delivered. But maybe a handyman would do that for me?"
"My, good idea. I want to send some clothes to my son and his wife as well, but there's too much of it for me to carry."
"I want to send a potted plant I raised as my hobby to my hobby friends."
Unable to slip out of the gossiping circle I listened to all of that, and then the old woman in purple shawl had spoke to me as the representative.
"Hey, you're a handyman aren't you? Could you undertake everyone's delivery requests?"
"Well, if possible then——"
The moment I said that, a menu with a message had appeared in front of me.
——You received the quest 【Postman】.
I received the quest, as well as the NPCs quest items and a map with delivery destinations marked.
"Thank you for undertaking it. Deliver it directly to the people that are located on this map."
When I agreed, the gossip circle NPCs had spread apart and left.
"But well, speaking to that NPC triggered the quest."
Not completely understanding, I received the quest and started walking towards the delivery location marked on the map.
On the way I passed by the quest board, it seemed to have calmed down after the first dash to it and there were few people standing in front of it.
A little further, a group of players gathered and was calling out.
"We're recruiting for raid quest 【Wyvern Subjugation】! We want to go for it with a well-balanced parties! Twenty to go!"
"I want to complete a potion delivery quest so please sell me potions you have on hand! I pay 1,5 times the original price!"
"Won't anyone join us for the quest? The reward's good!"
I listened to the voices of the people near the quest board, and it seemed like it was related to raid-level subjugation and delivery quests.
The delivery-type quests require you to bring various materials ranging from crafted items to materials, I need to check them out later, I thought and passed by the quest board.
For the moment, I headed to the delivery destination to clear the 【Postman】 quest.
"Oh my! Such a slim girl doing delivery! You sure did your best!"
"There was nothing really perishable there, you didn't have to hurry and deliver it today! But cheers for good work!"
"But look! She's got a splendid donkey! It must have carried the luggage for her so it's all right!"
"Aww no! That's not a donkey, but a horse!"
Right now, I was surrounded by middle-aged women with strong physique who laughed loudly.
I was unable to find the delivery destinations for the 【Postman】 quest for all of yesterday, and it took me two days to pass the quest items to the target NPCs.
While at it I summoned the two tamed beasts Ryui and Zakuro, and in the very end of the quest I was dragged into the gossip circle again by the old women. Suffering slight convulsions, I had to wait until all of it was over.
Ryui sighed seeming to want to go home as soon as possible, Zakuro was surprised by the womens' loud voices and hid in the hood of my clothes, only his two tails sticking out.
"Well then, I'll write you a note saying that we properly received it!"
Once the rambling was finally over, the old women said so and wrote their names on paper and gave me the note. I received the quest item called "Delivery Certificate".
With this, I had delivery certificate of all recipients, what was left was to return to the quest-giver NPCs to finish the quest.
Since the last location for delivery was adjusted so that it's near the quest-giving NPC, I was able to return quite fast.
"Oh my, is the delivery over? Here's your reward then."
——You completed the quest 【Postman】.
"If we need something else we'll count on you again, miss handyman."
I received the reward from the old woman NPC in purple shawl, bowed lightly and left.
The delivery quest's reward were two Quest Chips and a little bit of money. So just three Quest Chips so far, huh. Still, there's been other things I gained.
I didn't take two days just to deliver the items to NPCs.
I checked out the quest boards installed in various parts of the town.
There was one in the town's centre, and on in the North, South, East and West each making five in total. The quests posted in each place were slightly different.
Although there were subjugation-type quests on each board, the errand and delivery types had their special characteristics that differed by the quest board location.
For example, the quests on the board on the East side were weapon delivery quests and on the West there were potion delivery quests.
Also, when I talked to the NPCs I delivered the quest items to, I was able to learn a lot about the problems happening in the town.
Where and who, in what situation they are, and what help do they need. Since I noted down all such information I heard, it took me two days to finish the quest.
And I was able to learn that those quests were hidden and not posted on the quest boards.
"I investigated, but the lost child quest from yesterday, as well as the delivery quest weren't on any quest board. Which means that they were hidden quests that are not put up on boards."
I muttered to myself and received a quest posted on the South side's quest board.
"There are the potion delivery quests on the West side, but it's not like I need to do them now, so let's start with this."
On the South side by the wide fields and the internal side of the outer walls, there was the so-called unpopular quest board, not many of its quests were completed.
From among the quests on it I took——【Help With Farm Work】.
I went to speak with the Farmer NPC who previously helped me with herb cultivation and 【Atelier】's construction work.
"Oh, it's you. What's up today?"
"Actually I came to undertake the quest, could you explain it to me?"
"Oh, that's great help."
The Farmer NPC who stood there with his arms folded, pointed at the field in the corner.
"Then I'll explain your work. Plough this unseeded land here. You can mix the weeds together with soil, they'll become fertilizer."
Since I had experience from when I prepared the field with herbs from nothing for the 【Atelier】, the designated work felt very limited.
"Got it. I'll get it done real quick."
I headed to the specified location, let's do it, I thought motivated and stood on the field with the hoe I use in the 【Atelier】.
I pierced the hoe into the ground that had weed growing up to my ankles, then fighting with heavy resistance I flipped the ground along with the grass roots.
"Ghh, as expected of soil that hasn't been cultivated by people before, it's hard. 【Enchant】——Attack!"
In the middle of work I used the ATK stat enchant and continued doing the plane work.
From time to time I found potion materials such as herbs and poisonous plants, detoxification grass mixed in together with weeds so the work extended as I collected those.
As expected, Ryui couldn't do anything to help out with the field, but Zakuro tried to help and continued to dig a hole in the corner of the field watched over by Ryui. Glancing sideways at that, I proceeded with work.
Finishing three fields took me longer than when I was looking for the lost child's parent.
——You completed the quest 【Help With Farm Work】.
When I reported completion of the quest, the Farmer NPC looked at the field and nodded with satisfaction.
"You did well. Here, your pay. Also some fresh vegetables, take them."
I received a single Quest Chip and a basket with assortment of vegetables, then my back was strongly tapped.
I looked at the basket filled with carrots and onions, cabbage, potatoes and others and thought that they are great materials for making a pot-au-feu, that would warm me up and protect from 【Cold Damage】. Personally, I thought this was quite tasty a quest.
"Now, let's finish one more quest and then start preparations for the other quests I picked up."
I raised up Zakuro who looked like he's gonna fall into the hole he dug by himself and moved in front of the quest board.
This time I headed to the quest board to the East and received the 【Rubble Removal】 quest.
And, when I arrived in front of the pile of rubble I heard the details from the quest NPC.
"Hey, you came to help with rubble removal right? This work is more fit for a group of people, you sure you'll be okay?"
"For a group of people, meaning it's a quest for parties, huh?"
It should be fine if it's isn't too difficult, I thought and listened to the headband-wearing NPC's full explanation.
"We were building a building on master carpenter's orders, but we're having really hard time post-processing the rubble after demolition of the previous one. So, could you move the materials from here to the vacant land nearby? Also, burn the trash that can't be used as materials."
Told so I looked towards the rubble of mountain and saw beams, brick, and well-shaped stones.
"If it's too hard for you alone, you can invite some more people. I will pay everyone's share. Well then, I leave the rest to you."
After saying so, the headband NPC left.
Left behind, I folded my arms in front of the pile of rubble and started thinking of what to do.
Moving gravel, stones, bricks and wood would be hard to do alone, impossible even.
That's why I applied strength-in-numbers tactics without involving other players, using items to do that.
"Come, there's work to do first time in a while! ——《Summon》!"
I summoned the synthetic mobs from the 【Nucleus Stones】 I made the other day with 【Synthesis】.
Aside from the Heat Gels I made as countermeasure against cold there were Aqua Gels, Earth Gels and wind element's Wind Gels to act as leaders of the gel troops.
Although basically they were just disposable slimes for acting as a living wall and stalling the enemy, the synthetic mobs have been helping me out in the 【Atelier】 for a long time now, and were simple workforce.
"Heat Gels, collect trash and incinerate it inside your bodies. Earth Gels, collect gravel and sand then transport it to the specified location. Other gels are to carry bricks and stones one by one, sort them in the vacant lot. Well then, begin!"
When I gave them simple instructions, the synthetic mobs started to move.
Just like when they were ploughing the 【Atelier】 fields, the earth element slimes swallowed sand and gravel inside their bodies leaving wood and bricks behind.
The slimes that carried bricks and sand have been going to and from the vacant lot.
Although bricks were messily stacked together, they could be properly distinguished from stones, stones were also placed in easy to distinguish place.
The slimes that were carrying gravel had entered the provided sand bags and discharged the gravel inside them before crawling out of the bag.
Also, slimes spat out bent nails into a small wooden box.
While the slimes worked, I focused on the detailed work such as placing bricks in order, preparing new sand bags and tying the full ones.
Then as the mountain of rubble was gradually removed——
"Ohh, they were hidden beneath, but that's a big. These might be a little difficult."
Hidden beneath gravel, stones and bricks there were beams and columns.
How do I carry those, I wondered. Meanwhile, a group of slimes have started carrying a large rubble.
While I watched what are they trying to do, the big piece was lifted.
"WOAH?! No way, that's how they're gonna carry it?!"
Unable to believe my eyes, I saw multiple slimes lift up a large piece of rubble from below and move by rolling their gel-like bodies.
Then once the slimes finished carrying it, they moved back to the demolished building, entered below rubble and started rolling again.
Worried about the slimes and possibility of them being crushed I watched them carry another piece safely.
In the end they carried a large beam, Heat Gels took in small remaining wood and wooden chips and burned them.
And thus, the strength-in-numbers plan using slimes was over.
During the work Zakuro caught small nails in his mouth and helped carrying them to the wooden box.
"I guess it's over? Cheers for good work——《Dismissal》"
After I sorted out useful materials out of the mountain of rubble I returned the summoned slimes to Nucleus Stones.
And, picking up the large number of Nucleus Stones was personally the hardest part of the entire job for me. After all, there were quite a few of them.
After the rubble removal work was finished I sat down at the edge of the vacant lot. Emily-san would have an easy time with this quest, I thought as I sipped tea.
A while after, the headband NPC returned.
"Wow, this is a surprise. How did you remove all the rubble in such a short period of time? Well, whatever. We can move onto dismantling another building now! Thanks, here's your reward."
——You completed the quest 【Rubble Removal】.
A message saying that appeared and I received a little generous amount of money from the NPC, as well as three Quest Chips.
The fact it was a higher amount then the one I saw on the quest board surprised me.
"That's more than the reward specified on the quest board."
"Oh, that's a reward each person gets when you finish it with a few people. Since you achieved it on your own we don't have to pay several people. That's why you get extra."
"So it's a bonus for completing the quest solo?"
I muttered to myself. So they added that too, I thought.
If I were to clear this quest all alone it might have taken me over three days. While thinking that I counted the chips I gathered so far. I had seven in total now.
I decided that tomorrow I won't be taking any new quests, instead I'll focus on preparing for delivery quests.
On a side note, my rubble removal work using slimes was seen by multiple players who had taken screenshots and videos of it.
The slimes working were evaluated as cute, the troublesome rubble removal quest was also re-evaluated seeing as one could it solo by using synthetic mobs. However, I wasn't aware of such things happening.