Published at 2nd of April 2024 01:23:00 PM

Chapter 69

If audio player doesn't work, press Stop then Play button again

The journey to the village commenced as soon as the players were fully equipped and ready. The headmaster also told them a specific list of items to collect prior, including a wooden cart, five hundred kilograms of dried smoked giant boar meat, two hundred kilograms of dried magical beast meat, various beast furs, sharp thorns from Thornback Boars, and dozens of the spider monster’s carapaces among other things. Similar to how he had previously stored the magical beasts’ corpses on the hunt, all the things except the cart were gone with a simple wave of a hand.

The magic that the headmaster used had been in the minds of the players for a long time. After all, this game had been so realistic in how it forced players to carry stuff just like they normally did in real life, and this magic was like an “Inventory” feature in a lot of RPG games, so of course players were interested.

Returning to the journey, the players traversed through the forest southward while pulling the wooden cart. Alfred, as the leader of the second hunting team, naturally assumed the role of the group’s leader once again. Yet, something was bugging his mind as he made his steps forward, distracting him from his surroundings.

Mike noticed this and stared at him strangely, quipping, “Why are you gazing at nothing? You sick or something?”

“No, it’s just… I’m pondering over why the headmaster specifically chose us for this task,” Alfred replied, rubbing his chin thoughtfully. Do we have qualities that others don’t? Well, I’m pretty confident that I’m more level-headed than most of everyone, but is that enough of a reason?

As he glanced around at his fellow players, he noted that each possessed a certain skill or talent. Be that in the game or real life. Whatever the case, they were all those who wouldn’t act out of line when things get curious, with the possible exception of Aphrodite.

“Who knows?” Mike burst Alfred’s thought bubbles. “Maybe we’re just the ones who’ve got the highest amity with the headmaster. Remember that guy Gladius when he was punished by the headmaster? Haven’t seen him around here, have you?”

“Mm, that might be it. Anyway, I guess there’s no point in overthinking it.” He set aside his musings and refocused on their path ahead.

After trekking the dense and perilous forest for over two hours, the players were beginning to feel the strain of the journey. The hunting that they had done the days before was nothing compared to this, and they finally understood why only first-stage Initiate Attunement players were eligible for this mission. Since if not for their enhanced stamina from their physique and robe, they would have taken countless breaks. Furthermore, The vastness of the game’s map also dawned on them… It was extremely large, and there were no signs of decreased graphic quality and glitched-out areas!

Luckily, there were no ferocious beasts that attacked them midway. It appeared that the headmaster was releasing mana force to scare away these creatures from approaching, which made Alfred more than sure that their mission was important.

Suddenly, as the trees around them gradually became sparser, the headmaster paused, turning to address the group with a serious demeanor. “In a moment, we are going to arrive at a nearby village where we’ll engage in trade and conduct other important dealings. No matter what happens, you must listen to my command and remember — this one especially — not to recklessly cast your spells at will or make hostile behavior without authorization.”

His gaze was stern as he scanned the faces of each player and continued, “We are the representatives of the esteemed Sanctum of Interdimensional Magi, and this village is under our protection. Do you understand?”

Alfred stood upright and responded. “Understood! Respected Headmaster!”

On the other hand, Mike, brimming with excitement, offered an enthusiastic, albeit slightly awkward, salute. “Absolutely! I will absolutely obey your command!”

The other players were a beat slower in their reactions but quickly mimicked Mike’s salute.

““Yes, sir!””

The headmaster offered no verbal response, simply nodding in acknowledgment before resuming his lead, signaling them to continue their march toward the village. He also instructed them to hide the wooden cart closer ahead.

Soon, they emerged from the final stretch of dense forest, and a vast expanse of grain fields unfurled before them. People clad in modest farming clothes were diligently working the fields, hands wielding sickles as they harvested the abundant wheat. Despite the apparent success of the harvest, there was a noticeable lack of joy in their movements. Be that as it might, they were obviously NPCs in the game!


Victor led his entourage toward the center of the village to rendezvous with Eleanor and the village head. The players trailing behind him peered around with wide-eyed wonder, their curiosity palpable as they took in the new environment, much like children stepping into an amusement park for the first time. Everything must have been so novel for them.

“One, two, three, four…” Locktekei murmured and began counting the houses, pointing at each brick and wooden structure around.

“What are you doing?” Thunder, walking beside him, questioned curiously.

“…Seven, eight. Oh, I’m counting the houses,” Locktekei responded without breaking his count.


“To help me estimate the village population. So that when I come back again, I can immediately tackle more tasks efficiently and raise my reputation among the villagers.” Locktekei made a strange smile as he whispered and shared a mischievous thought in a low voice, “Plus, who knows? Maybe there’s a chance to interact more... intimately with the NPC girls here. Imagine the possibility, dude.”

“…” Despite the low volume of his voice, Victor overheard the comment.

“Whew! Look at this place!” Mike strutted about while eyeing the local villagers, particularly the women doing their jobs. “A handsome acolyte like me must seem quite the sight to them,” he boasted, striking a pose.

“Can you keep it down?” Zero reprimanded, “People are watching us… It will not be ideal if our first impression is bad from the get-go.”

These players… Why are they always thinking of hitting on chicks and looking cool before the villagers? Don’t they have more important things to care about? Then again, they were gamers, each with their own motivations and personalities. For some, the game was an opportunity to stand out or fulfill fantasies they couldn’t in the real world. It was just human nature, after all.

Anyway, his plan here was to meet with Eleanor to give her time to prepare before he proceeded to discuss matters with the village head. Along the route, Victor noted an influx of unfamiliar figures, likely peddlers and merchants, bringing wares with carts.

At last, Victor arrived at Eleanor’s home, which was pretty much a blacksmith workshop. He was sure that this was the place because they had met here once when Victor was taking the newly made tools, so he knew where to look for her. Even from outside, the air was thick with the scent of metal.

As Victor was about to knock, a voice called out from behind, drawing the group’s attention.

“Whoa! If it isn’t Sir Magus!” A girl with flowing dark brown hair approached them. Her attire was striking — deep brown leather shorts paired with a reddish-brown suit that extended into a mantle-like long sleeve, an outfit that exuded a sense of adventurous spirit.

Eleanor’s sudden appearance quickly captured the players’ attention, their eyes lighting up with excitement and anticipation.

“Wow! We’ve got our first pretty human girl encounter!”

“Is this game finally taking a turn for the better?”

In addition to Mike and Locktekei’s enthusiastic hush remarks, the other players chimed in with their own comments, all similarly captivated by Eleanor’s appearance.

“Ahem.” Victor, needing to maintain decorum, cleared his throat pointedly, and the other players immediately kept their mouths shut.

Eleanor’s gaze swept over the group. “Who might these fine folks be?” she asked with a hint of playfulness in her tone.

“They are my acolytes,” Victor explained. “But let’s discuss inside; I have a proposition for you.”

Eleanor was quick to catch on to Victor’s meaning, and her eyes sparkled with intrigue. “Ooh, a proposition? Sounds like serious business! Well, don’t keep me waiting. Come on in!” she exclaimed with a lively chuckle.

Victor nodded, and he instructed the six players to wait outside before he followed her into the workshop. As they entered, the players left outside began to speculate among themselves.

“I wonder what the headmaster’s up to with her…” one of the players whispered.

“Maybe she’s a new key NPC,” Zero commented. “Looking at her attire and this place, we can assume that she has a blacksmith profession or something. It’s pretty similar to what the guy on the official forum said.”


Victor brushed off the players’ whispers and focused on surveying the workshop. It was a modest space, a blacksmith’s area melding seamlessly with a living house, only divided by a rudimentary wall. He idly wondered if anyone sleeping would even get a good night’s sleep if someone was hammering an anvil on the room next door. What was more—

“That’s quite the furnace you have there.” Victor gazed upon the towering seven-meter-tall furnace at the back of the room. This thing practically took most of the space here.

 “Hehe, isn’t it something? This type of furnace is a rare find, even in the nearby towns.” Eleanor beamed with pride, her hands resting confidently on her hips. “By the way, my pops is busy trading with the merchants, so no one’s here except us.”

Though some small-minded Magi might take offense at such brazen behavior, Victor was neither petty nor a full-fledged Magus. Moreover, he already treated her as an equal because of her Artificer’s inheritance — incomplete as it might be — so he chose to overlook her bold demeanor.

Eleanor led him to an oak table cluttered with various tools and components. She quickly wiped down the surface with a cloth before inviting him to sit. “Sorry if it’s a bit messy here, but do have a seat.” She smiled wryly. Well, he had come unannounced, so he couldn’t blame, nor was that within his intention.

“No worries.” Victor sat on a stool nearby. “So, what I wanted to discuss with you is—”

“Is it finally time to move out?” Eleanor interjected excitedly, standing up abruptly.

“R-Right… Guess you’re already expecting that. Additionally, what I’m about to tell you next is something you must keep confidential, even from your closest relative. Can you do that?” Victor asked, his tone becoming serious. If she wanted to become a key NPC in the game that he made up, then this part was most important, and it was absolutely non-negotiable.

After all, Victor couldn’t allow any mishap to happen and risk any slip-ups that might arouse the players’ suspicions. Not this early, at least. While a magic contract was an option, he felt a certain level of trust toward Eleanor; she didn’t look like someone who would betray him. Besides, he planned to implant the Shadowlink Mark as a precautionary measure to monitor her actions anyway.

Hearing what Victor had emphasized, Eleanor’s expression turned serious, erasing the outgoing persona that she had exhibited earlier. She thumped her chest and declared, “On the Faulkner name, I swear my discretion. Whatever you share with me today, I’ll keep it from everyone, even my closest relative.”

“Faulkner”? For some reason, this sparked a flicker of recognition within him. He was sure that he had come across this name in a history book at the grand library of Arcane Radiance College, though the details were hazy. It was likely a family of some historical significance.

Whatever the case, he was content with her response. He took a brief moment to mentally organize his thoughts, filtering what needed to be shared and what should remain unsaid. “Very good,” he began. “So, I am actually…”


Jokes aside, do consider rating my story 5 star!

Thank you!

Please report us if you find any errors so we can fix it asap!