D.E.H Chapter 2: Outskirts and Harsh Life

Editor: Hakuchi


“This is it”

I was crawling on the grass Metal Ge*r style. The grass was barely covering me.

Just a few meters away from me, a creature that didn’t exist in my world stood there moving his whiskers. A mouse with a horn on his head and white fur. If I didn’t read that it was a mouse I would have mistaken it for a rabbit with a long tail.

The horned mouse was eating the bait I left there. An apple I got from the food store.

As the mice eats the apple, I get closer, biting my lower lip to suppress my frustration.

‘That bastard is eating my 15 coppers’

The 20 cm mouse was finishing my mon- I mean apple so fast it was making me cry, but I had to endure it as this was a necessary sacrifice.

Unsure of my own strength, I had to first engage it in the safest scenario possible.

The moment I was in a suitable range, I sprang from my position and slash at the horned mice with my sword.

*Swish

The sword sliced the horned mouse but the strike was shallow. The horned mouse noticed me at the last moment and moved, evading a fatal strike.

‘I knew this wouldn’t be easy’

Blood was dripping from the wound I inflicted on the horned mouse. I did damage it, so that proved my attacks were effective.

I readied myself again and with a step I close the distance, but the horned mouse was faster and jumps straight at my face, slashing me with its claws.

I duck and the horned mouse lands a few feet behind me, looking back with his front teeth showing. I don’t know how but I knew that face was a mocking one.

Readjusting my stance, I prepare for a second strike this time. Going for a counter, I get bitten on my arm.

I try using the shield this time, but since I’m not used to defending myself with one, I clumsily put my shield up too early or too late, letting the horned mouse attack me easily.

It didn’t take long for my body to be full of scratches.

The horned mouse only had one single wound and it was the one I inflicted at the very beginning. It should have slowed its movement, but I still had difficulties dealing with it.

The mice in my world were indeed very troublesome creatures, but they weren’t as forward as this one here. They were mostly stealthy.

‘Is the one here not escaping because he thinks I am weak?’

Just thinking that pisses me off and I take my sword and shield again. At that moment, I knew what was wrong.

‘What am I doing?’

Thinking about my movements just now, I couldn’t help but laugh. I got too hung up in this game-like setting that I forgot my real life experience. My 4 years of idling must have really gotten to me.

Throwing the shield to the ground, I correct my stance. Using both hands to wield the sword, I eyed my enemy.

The horned mouse seeing me throw the shield away, used this opportunity to lunge at me with its horn.

In all this fight it didn’t use its horn at all because of my shield. The horned mouse was using this chance to finish me off.

It was indeed the strongest attack the horned mouse had, but it was also the most predictable of them all.

“Sei!”

Shouting out of habit, I swung the sword horizontally not willing to clash my sword on its horn at all. It would be troublesome if it chipped.

The horned mouse received a second hit, this time a clean one.

Blood sprayed the area. Falling to the ground, the horned mouse no longer moved.

Confirming that the horned mouse was dead, I sprawl on the ground.

“Damn it! That was hard!”

Stretching all my limbs a series of cracking sounds come out. My body was sore after that fight.

I am incredibly weak.

Fighting against this horned mouse made me realize how weak I am.

It took my all to beat a single one. Even if I approached it with a different style, it shouldn’t have been an enemy that caused me the trouble to even switch back to my old style. I read in a bestiary that horned mice are the lowest of the lowest and beginners would be able to handle a group of 6 at the very least.

Horned mice are famous for attacking in groups. I specifically went to a secluded area and waited until one got separated. Using an apple instead of cheese to attract a mouse was because I didn’t want to use something with a pungent smell. It would most likely call more than I could handle.

“Well, no use feeling down at the very beginning.”

‘Let’s consider this as selecting the hard difficulty’

I get up and pat myself. The body I have has a high regeneration ability. The cuts the horned mouse gave me were already mostly closed, though my fatigue didn’t recover that much.

Walking up to the dead horned mouse, I take out a knife out from my belt and began retrieving the “loot”.

Taking the horn and cutting the tail off, I felt a bit nauseous but it was something I had to do. The horn is material used to craft and also a proof of me slaying a mouse. The inn keeper told me that if I get this and sell it I would be able to get proper compensation, though he didn’t tell me how much, saying: “Finding out is part of the fun.”

After “looting” the necessary parts, I stare at the dead body of the mouse. His body didn’t disappear like in games, it was a living being like me. It’s impossible not to feel anything as it was my first time killing something with my own hands.

I decide to steel my mind. I stopped here because I thought it necessary to do this sooner than later to prepare myself mentally.

The “mana beasts” as they call it in this world, are monsters that roam this world. They attack people and sometimes even destroy human settlements. It is what you call, the staple mob. Of course, aside from the mana beasts there are also animals who can coexist with humans and are docile.

They say that mana beasts originated from a mass of mana that went mad and mutated the fauna in this world. That is why the guild pays money when one of them is hunted down as it stabilizes the ecosystem. Though no matter how much one hunts, the mana beasts just keep on increasing, and some of them are so fierce that even a number of experts are unable to take them down.

Anyways, holding the body of the dead horned mouse I open my inventory and stuff it in.

The [inventory] is another perk I discovered. It’s an option in the menu that opens a dimensional pouch that can store objects. I couldn’t really test what was the maximum amount I can stuff in it as I tried storing my whole room and it still had space. Of course, I returned all of it to their original places after trying it. I’m broke so I don’t have much to test with.

The name of the “item” appears in the menu of my inventory, it says [corpse of horned mouse]

Closing the menu, I proceed with my plain hunt.

On the second horned mouse, I lured it with an apple again. This time it was easier as I used only the sword and the shield was placed in the inventory to decrease my weight.

It didn’t take that long against this one. Using my experience with the first, I evade and counter more effectively. The second fell and I proceed to the third one with the mindset of not using any more apples.

***

After my 5th horned mouse.

[Level Up], a notification pops up in front of me.

My stats were now:

Name: Youma

Age: 21       Gender: Male

Class: Villager         Race: Human

Alignment: None

Guild: None

Lvl: 2

Stamina: 54/151

Mana: 134/134

Stats:

Strength: 18

Dexterity: 13

Vitality: 17

Magic: 17

Luck: 9

“Finally got my first level” (Youma)

With this it’s confirmed that I can level up by killing monsters. It took me 5 horned mice to level up.  If we go by the standards of “I can handle 6 horned mice at once” then yeah it was a fast level, but my reality is different.

The battles were pretty harsh on my body. 2 hours were spent luring the mice and fighting them, 30 minutes in recovery and 30 coppers in expenses for this level.

“It’s my first level! That means my hunt will become easier as time goes by!”

In this world there is an actual numerical value to your efforts, meaning it is not an invisible number. It’s like someone was patting you on the back every time you increased your stats.

“Yosh!” Psyching myself up, I decide to spend the rest of the day hunting damn mice.

As the day ended, I hunted a total of 31 horned mice. Reaching level 4.

My hunting speed increased, hunting 8 of them at level 2, at level 3 I actively engaged them in pairs and trios, getting me 19. The moment I leveled, I commemorated this by slaying 4 of them at once.

“I must admit this is quite fun” Seeing my levels increase was a joy in itself. Opening the stat window I nodded with a satisfied expression.

Name: Youma

Age: 21        Gender: Male

Class: Villager      Race: Human

Alignment: None

Guild: None

Lvl: 4

Stamina: 87/166

Mana: 138/138

Stats:

Strength: 25

Dexterity: 19

Vitality: 22

Magic: 19

Luck: 11

“This is my first step to clearing the game.” (Youma)

My objective in this world right now is to travel the dangerous dungeons filled of pure mana that are scattered in this world. From what I read, there exist extremely dense places of mana and corrupted atmospheres that are impossible to traverse without fearing for your life.

I want to explore those kind of places with my own two feet. Feel the scorching heat, or the numbing cold, fight those feared monsters and see sights no one would be able to gaze upon.

Though right now I haven’t even moved further than these plains. Hell, I haven’t encountered anything besides these horned mice.

As my thoughts drifted to a distant future, I return to the inn where I trained until sleep.

***

The next day I decided to change my jogging route. I am now heading to the adventurer guild with a bag full of horned mice loot. Specifically, horns, tails and a few teeth.

When I arrived, I was momentarily stunned at the sight.

I knew that the adventurer guild is located in all major cities and has one of the strongest foundations in the history of this Eledea (the world). Numerous adventurers would come from the various guilds to look for quests, sell their loot, collect information or look for adventuring partners.

But the structure in front of me was grand. Its design was intricate and it practically took up the whole area. The stores at its side were small compared to this building with quite a number of strong looking people going in and out of it constantly.

I take a deep breath and shift my bag. With a “Humph” I enter the guild with rigid steps.

“Can I help you?”

An assistant looking person with very neat appearance greets me at the counter. Her smile seemed fixed in place.

‘It must be a hard job’ I thought as I laughed internally.

“I am here to sell the goods I have gained from my monster hunt” adjusting my bag while I say this.

“Ah yes, then, can you please give me that bag and your id card?” The smiling assistant stretches out both of her hands.

I take off my bag and take out my id card, handing both of them to the assistant. With mechanical movements the assistant checks my id card and types a few things in the air.

‘Is she using a menu like me?’

I couldn’t help but question this action of hers. I thought only heroes had access to menus but she clearly has something invisible there.

The assistant finished with the ID card and lets out a small giggle while stealing a glance at me.

‘Hey, hey that hurts. What kind of “service” is that?’

Then heads to a room with the bag.

After a while she comes out again with a paper in hand.

“Sir Youma, this is the estimated amount for the materials you have brought.”

Handing me the paper, I check through it.

It’s the list of items I brought here with the values of it at the side. The moment I look at those values I couldn’t help but let out my disappointment.

Mice Horn – Mice tail                     x31                                       4 copper * set

Mice teeth                                        x12                                       6 copper ea.

Total                                    1 s. 96 c.

The s. and c. must stand for silver and copper respectively. When I saw the amount I got for my day of hard work, I could only sigh. With this I could live for 2 more days, but… I was really expecting more out of my blood, sweat and tears. Not that this amount was surprising though, the horned mice were roaming around in great numbers at the plain and they were the easiest to hunt out there. If they gave a high amount in compensation it would bring issues in the future.

“Is it fine with you sir?” The assistant urges me on as she sees my troubled expression.

“Yeah its fine. I would like to sell these materials.”

“Thank you for your patronage. Please do continue providing your services to Eledea in making it a better place.”

With a prefixed farewell, the smiling assistant gives me my bag and a pouch with the money in it.

Confirming the contents, I head to another section of the adventurer guild. The quests section.

The moment I arrived, the atmosphere instantly changed. The change was so abrupt I stood in place just to adjust to it.

People around were chatting, sharing a couple of drinks, checking the quests and eyeing each other out.

If we had to compare the sections, the attendants section would be the formal and the quest one would be the social one.

Everyone was either mingling or checking their quests with their teammates. The place was filled with strong people that one could tell just from seeing.

I check out the people here. They were all wearing heavy armor, dresses with intricate designs, or even daring costumes that barely covered anything. Seeing the last one I thought ‘that must be some high level armor.’

Everything this people wore seemed incredibly expensive. Just from the smithy, I could infer how expensive equipment in this world costs.

Placing my hand on the sheathed sword at my waist I take in the environment around me.

“I need to check out the quest board”

I head over to the giant board where numerous adventurers like me were inspecting. This board is filled with papers requesting assistance in some kind of job. These jobs could span from cleaning dishes, finding lost pets to slaying beasts and finding treasures.

As I was checking through the quests I noticed that all of them have a thing called ‘rank’ as a part of it. Some were 1 while others 4. Anyways, they all had single digit numbers.

“Hey man, troubled looking for a job?” a voice called out from the side.

Turning to check out who it was, a teen with short spiky hair and cheap looking armor that even though I say cheap I can’t afford, was standing there with a spear resting on his shoulders.

The spiky haired teen leaned closer to me and whispered to my ear.

“You are right now on the side of the rank 5 dude. You better watch out.”

He was way too friendly for a total stranger. I grab his face with my hand and push it back.

“Umm… yeah, I was checking out the jobs around this place so I thought it would be good to know the difference between the ranks.”

I could already infer that the ranks had something to do with the difficulty of each quest, but there were still too many variables.

I don’t know why this guy approached me but I will try to get as much information out of him as I can.

“Oh, so you are new in this place too. I knew it!”

The spiky man with a face full of joy became even friendlier and tried to hug me, but I evade cleanly to the side. His face hits the board and a number of papers fall off.

“That’s mean dude! I’m also a newb here, aren’t we brethren? Shouldn’t we be friendly?”

No, no how on earth would I even know that you were a newbie until now? And don’t call me your brethren it makes me feel pissed for some reason.

The spiky man collected the fallen requests, sticks them back in their place and gets back to me.

“My name is Ryan. I am a spearman in training and I’m looking for a partner you see.”

The man called Ryan presented himself while swinging his spear clumsily. A number of people watched, laughed at that poor display of skill.

I could only sigh at that.

“Umm, ok Ryan. Why are you looking for a partner?”

“Hm, good thing you asked!” Doing the same motion as before, he gets close to my ear again and whispers. “Actually, I found a great place for training and I’m looking for a partner to train with me there.”

Suspicious.

That was the first thing I thought of as I heard this proposition of his.

“I don’t know why you want me as your partner for that as there are plenty of strong people around. I am here to take quests so I won’t be able to accompany you”

I try to push off this suspicious proposition of his. But the response I got from him was a surprised face and a,

“No way, you can take quests here?” his gaze assesses me once again while having a look of disbelief.

‘Wait, I can’t?’ I thought but kept silent.

“That’s weird I thought you were a newbie too. I myself am level 9 you know and I can’t take requests from here.” (Ryan)

His expression was filled with a pride a mysterious pride I didn’t understand.

Though what got me in question marks was another thing.

His level is higher than me and he can’t take requests? There’s a level requirement for them? Even for cleaning and pet searching? Are you serious?

“Well, I already got my request so I will be leaving now. I wish you good luck on your partner searching.” (Youma)

I cut off my investigation the moment I learnt this. It was pointless to stay in this place anymore and that fishy individual would probably pester me more if I don’t cut off him now.

I have already been victim of scams and this one reeked of it.

With hasty steps I leave the guild, ignoring the calls of the one behind me.

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15 thoughts on “D.E.H Chapter 2: Outskirts and Harsh Life

    1. When it comes to naming your chapters, don’t be lazy like me and name them after songs on your iPod that you were listening to while writing. As I made that a theme in naming chapters in my story, I’m kinda stuck doing it now.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. haha
        not to worry on that front
        I just number them: Chapter one, Chapter Two
        No my problem are the characters
        They drive me up the ****ing wall
        (their personalities I have down, and some of the more complex stuff)
        BUT
        the thing that is chaining me.
        Are.
        Their.
        ****ing names.
        Their NAMES.
        ARGH.
        (Main characters name has been “Mc” for the past hundred words, and the second characters has been nicknamed “Cap”)

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It’s all right, I have had the same problem in the past. There are two protagonists technically in “Let’s Go Devil King” (my web novel), and it was hard to find the name for the male protagonist (the Hero). Because he’s pretty much part coyote, I ended up naming him Coy. As for the female lead (devil king), she goes by two names. her original name which is Yuki Sengoku and the name in her other form Sea Green. She was actually easier to name.
        Trust me, I know your pain in this matter. I say take another look at his personality and how you imagine his appearance. Also remember race and all when coming up for the name too.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. No problem. Believe it or not, I used to be an author of many fan fictions. “Let’s Go Devil King” is actual my first original work that’s not a sort story. All I can really say is good luck with your story. Be sure to tell me when you start posting, I’ll even read it.

        Like

      4. I guess for now I won’t name the Mc or the second character
        because one: too influenced by my fav works
        Two: Can’t think of a good name that suits the characters

        Like

      5. Yeah… I know how it is to be influenced. Sadly I couldn’t hide the Fallout influence in the current arc of my story to the point where I out right admitted it. Still, it’s up to you whether or not you name the characters any time soon. Hell, I love puns and couldn’t think of any good pun names for any of my characters.

        Like

  1. “I check out the people here. They were all wearing heavy armor, dresses with intricate designs, or even daring costumes that barely covered anything. Seeing the last one I thought ‘that must be some high level armor.”

    I like his gamer logic😀

    Like

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