KRISSU - Floor 2
A fisherman sat calmly by a lake on Floor 2, the artificial sunlight making his bald head shine and the surface of the water glimmer. The temperature on Floor 2 was always pleasant. He closed his eyes and leaned back, almost hoping that he wouldn't get anything hooked right now.
Suddenly, a splashing noise brought the fisherman back to reality. Someone suddenly shot up from the water, swimming as fast as they could towards the shore. The player's hair was red and flowed behind her like a stream of fire in the water. There were some seaweed there as well. Before the fisherman could ask himself why the other player was in such a hurry, another splash came and a huge, angry frog face broke through the surface right behind the red haired swimmer. It chased her. Oh.
Krissu had no time to think about fishermen on the shores. She was currently cursing herself for not having taken the time to improve her Swimming skill before going underwater to search for a special plant for her Alchemy. The lengths she would go for good ingredients... The frog let out a strangely croaking noise right when Krissu was close enough to the shore to feel the lake's bottom under her foot. Intuitively, she tossed herself to the side, down into the water again. A great thing to do, because the next second, a stream of hot bubbles shot past where she had just stood. She turned around and got up, backing away as she pulled out her Broadsword. That frogdemon wouldn't just give up, it seems. Krissu's hiding skill had easily gotten her past the schools of minor frogdemons in the lake; those designed for players of lower level than herself. But this one was apparently tougher. So she'd have to fight.
The frogdemon, thankfully, closed in on her and came to the shallow waters near the shore. That would make things so much easier; Krissu wasn't as good as she'd thought with holding her breath underwater. She raised her sword with both hands and took a deep breath, feeling the simple but effective Sword Art [Swing Down] activate. Shooting forward, she did just that. But the frog was too quick and leaped aside.
"How can you even do that! I used a Sword Art!" Krissu blurted out.
Her opponent didn't reply. Instead it croaked again and sent another stream of hot bubbles straight at the girl. She screamed when she got hit in the belly. But the next second, when the attack was over, she didn't feel any pain anymore. That was a great design of the game; if people had been bleeding and feeling pain, a lot more of them would have just stayed in Starter City.
She saw her health bar go down in front of her. But not much. This floor was designed for people who hadn't been journeying around Floor 3 as much as she had. Or Floor 4, for that matter, even though Krissu hadn't been there much yet. And Floor 5... She shook her head, forcing away thoughts of people clearing the game. She needed to clear this frog.
Letting out some kind of battle shout, she used [Swing Down] again. Once again, the frog leaped aside, but this was according to Krissu's plan. When the frog turned around again after its jump, it couldn't see her. Narrowing its eyes, standing in the shallow water, it looked around closely. Out of nowhere, Krissu came out with another Sword Art, [Lance of Will]. Also fairly basic, but devastating with the right hit. And this one hit. The Broadsword went straight through the frogdemon, piercing a hole in its chest. Not another croak came out before the enemy dissolved into a thousand pieces of glimmering data.
Krissu panted and went down on her knees in the water. That frog must have been at least level 8 or 7. The Hiding skill had worked in the heat of the battle! That was a quite interesting piece of fact. Perhaps she could develop this trick and use it more often? Then again... the best tricks are the ones they won't expect you to do. Smiling, Krissu got up again, content with having found a way to be good that differed from most other people's ways. And yet was quite fun. She examined her inventory and put back her Broadsword. The Kelp she had come for was still there. No frogdemon snatch technique had stolen it or anything. Good.
She should probably get back to her friend's shop in Celedona now. She had been out for quite some time and if she wanted to keep any customers in the Alchemy department, she'd better make sure to actually be available once in a while. She squinted her eyes and looked towards the stone walls of the town. A player practicing his Fishing skill met her gaze, standing some 30 meters away on the shore. She waved with a casual smile and he waved back as if in a daze. She shrugged.
Back in Celedona, her friend Architam scolded her from having been away.
"Did you know we had three customers asking for your Alchemy this day? THIS DAY ALONE?"
"So I'm popular! Can't help it," Krissu smiled as she made sure her digital clothing had dried again, and put the ingredients out on her preparation table.
Architam sighed and shook his head. He had become much more responsible and worrying after this month than he had been in the beginning, when he and Krissu had met by chance and slain boars together to grow to Lv3. His dark skin and rigid armor gave him an intimidating look. As a good blacksmith should have, he'd say.
"Whatever. Just... I'm worrying, alright?"
Krissu paused in her work and looked up at the other person standing in her little lab. It was one of the rooms in back of the shop; they had had to split them up and build some more walls to accommodate for Krissu's need of a place to make her Alchemy and Architam's need for a forge in the backyard. Their other friends shared other stores next to this one. The couldn't afford their own place alone.
"Thanks..." Krissu said. She meant it. Back in her real life, people hadn't exactly cared about her and been worried about her. Or maybe they had, but she just hadn't noticed. All she had thought about was being the best. Not failing her family. She had just assumed that they expected her to work nonstop. Of course, Architam would be glad if she worked nonstop too. But here, she was allowed to live too.
"I'll go put up a sign saying that you're here," he said with a calmer look and walked towards the shop's main hall.
"You made another sign?" Krissu raised an eyebrow.
"I figured you'd need one!"
The sign on the front door now read:
Embers & Bubbles
- Trustworthy Blacksmith available -
- Exotic Alchemist available -