[Congratulations for completing the secret of Goblin Forest. Thank you, and happy spending!]
Dustin closed the message silently, watching as the life in the Mantae faded, her eyes losing focus. He held the sword in her chest and kept her company until she passed.
It was difficult to see facial expressions on something that looked like an insect, but Dustin could tell she was happy to rest, her mandibles chittering softly as she departed from her cruel existence.
It took a while for Dustin to leave the cage, angry at not only himself for his lack of guilt, or sadness, but at the system for allowing such a thing to happen.
Nobody knew what the Dos shop was, or how it came to be. He had talked to other races briefly before they tried to kill each other, but neither side had any more information. It simply came into being, like it had been biding its time, and demanded the races to comply.
Despite the friendly conversations, it always devolved into killing each other. Neither race could leave the dungeon until the other side had been killed. Those that became part of the dungeon's secret needed to kill other pioneers to regain their status. Pioneer's that entered a dungeon couldn't leave until the pioneer-turned-secret had been eliminated.
Dustin had tried to negotiate with them, as quests were sometimes given in place of killing. It seemed Dos did not agree, and any agreements were nullified if it did not involve killing, always ending with the same fucking thing.
[Thank you, and happy spending!]
It pissed Dustin off the most, as if everything was fine because it provided them with Dos to spend.
When he turned to leave, he saw the goblin bodies littered among the floor and felt disgusted. He didn't want to leave the Mantae in its place of torment, and left it in the forest outside instead, making a small burial for it under a nearby tree.
Whilst he could have harvested it for loot and goods, he had no urge to desecrate the dead. To blow off some steam, Dustin ran along the remaining trails that the goblins patrolled, slicing them into pieces, shouting at them in anger as he did.
Some of the were terrified and tried to scramble away, but met their end as he shot the survivors full of arrows.
[Congratulations, you have fully cleared the Goblin Forest. You will be teleported out in 10:00 minutes. Thank you, and happy spending!]
Dustin took one of the knives from the dead goblins at his feet and slashed at his own armour, making it look like he had been in a tough fight. He also took one of the arrows from his quiver and unwrapped his wound, sliding the arrow back in.
He shivered from the pain, but grit his teeth until it rest in the previous cavitation, limiting the movement of his arm. He icily ignored the notification and mentally prepared himself back into a 'regular' state of mind.
The rest of the time counted down slowly as he spread some dirt over himself and the armour, as well as coating the sword in some fresh blood. He needed to look the part of barely escaping with his life.
[Goblin Forest is closing. Teleportation commencing. Thank you, and happy spending!]
Dustin shuffled backwards slowly as the forest fell away, pieces of the classroom slowly appearing in his vision. When he felt his feet on the ground again he stumbled backwards, falling to the floor and pretended to be breathing heavily.
He looked up to see one of the students looking down at him with wide eyes. After a couple of seconds Dustin sat up and looked around. There were staff members looking at him as they tended to the terrified students, but it seemed that Sam and the two injured students were gone.
"Where's Sam?" He asked.
One of the staff members came over and winced, looking at the arrow that stuck out from Dustin's shoulder.
"Don't mind me, I need to find Sam, I've got an anti-dote for the injured girl!"
The staff member next to him looked up at the others.
"She took them to meet the ambulance outside. Just stay seated, they've got it covered, I heard the sirens earlier."
"No, I got one from inside the… thing, it needs to be this one!" Dustin persisted, holding up a vial of liquid that he had taken from the dungeon.
The liquid was merely some sap from the tree, mixed with a bit of crushed herbs.
The staff tried to keep him sitting, but he pushed them off and took off towards the exit, ignoring the shouts from behind him. He spared a glance at his dirtied watch as he ran. They had spent a couple of hours inside the dungeon, and Dustin probably exited about thirty minutes after the others.
He burst through the faculties doors to see a bunch of students looking at him, frozen at the blood and dirt staining his leather armour.
The sounds of a siren on the other side of the adjacent building drew his attention, so he headed that way, yelling for people to move out of the way.
[Welcome back Dusty.]
[Common Weak Anti-venom.]
A weak anti-venom that removes venom applied by those under level 10.
Would you like to purchase Common Weak Anti-venom? [Y/N]
[Purchase confirmed. Thank you, and happy spending!
Remaining Balance: 1400 Dos.]
He was still holding his unsheathed sword, which had been covered in blood, giving him clear space as people screamed, running away like he was crazy. He changed the bottle of sap and blood in his other hand for the actual anti-venom.
The ambulance officers were loading the near paralyzed student, whose arm was turning purple into the ambulance with haste as Sam looked on from the side.
"Wait!" Dustin yelled, scaring Sam who looked up to see the filthy man running towards her. The ambulance officer closest to her tried pulling her away, but she broke out of his grip and ran over.
"Dustin, you made it out! What happened?" She asked frantically, scoping him out from top to bottom.
"That's not important right now, I picked up an anti-venom inside, look!"
Dustin shoved the bottle towards Sam and made her hold it. When it entered her hand, a small display popped up, showing her the details. She looked up from the bottle at Dustin before dashing over, popping the cork herself to feed it to the student.
The paramedics blocked her off, doing their duty of care to protect the patient. Dustin let Sam take their attention as he snuck the bottle from her hand, pulling around the wandering arms to dump it into the students open mouth.
He only managed to get half of it into her mouth before he was tackled to the ground, his sword falling underneath the ambulance.
The rest of the bottle had shattered and spilt the anti-venom onto the floor, but it was enough to bring life back to the students eyes.
She sat up on the stretcher and took a deep breath in, colour returning to her body and the purple skin that bulged around her arm slowly shrunk.
Dustin couldn't see behind him, but heard her take a gasp. He sighed in relief before groaning as the arrow in the shoulder was pushed around, tearing the tissue near the original entrance.
The paramedic holding Sam turned to the stretcher and started questioning the patient, holding onto her wrist as he took her pulse.
The man pushing Dustin down let up, but kept a hand on his back to keep him sitting. He looked incredibly angry and asked Dustin what he had given her.
He merely chuckled, and quickly opened the display, ignoring all the notifications that forced their way into his view, and threw something from his inventory out. He tapped yes on the confirmation that he wanted to drop the item.
A dead spider, identical to the one that had caused the bite in the first place appeared beside him, furry legs folding up the sky.
The paramedic holding him jumped, hitting the ambulance with the back of his head. The spider was almost as wide as the ambulance wheels.
"Doubt you would have had any anti-venom for that thing, so I gave it to her."
The female student, who Dustin finally learnt was Amelia, answered the paramedics questions until the dead spider appeared, then she promptly fainted.
Dustin eventually got the paramedics to treat him as other crews showed up. Amelia was taken off to a hospital that had the best options for anti-venom, though she had definitely improved already.
Multiple police cars accompanied the ambulance as well, questioning Sam and Dustin as they sat on the curb, letting the paramedics treat them. If it wasn't for the fact that the police could open up their own Dos shops and check out some of the information that Dustin told them, they would likely have been ignored.
He left the giant spiders carcass on the road as added proof, and let them take his sword as evidence. The other students who had stayed inside the faculty were brought out, questioned separately, and taken to hospital.
The media had begun to show up by the time Dustin finally got into the ambulance, pain medication from the IV in his arm taking away the pressure from the arrow. They had cut off the shaft and left as minimal as possible in the shoulder, surgery would remove it in hospital and they took great care to immobilize him.
He didn't want to do anything stupid like buy a health potion from the shop, and draw even more attention, so he let them take care of it. He could always repair the problems later on.
The ride to the trauma center was nice and quiet as he lay on the stretcher, fiddling with the menu whilst he had the time to. The first thing that caught his eye were not the notifications, but the welcome message.
[Welcome back Dusty.]
When the Dos Shop first opened, users were prompted to set a name for themselves. This would be used when interacting with other pioneers. If one did not set their name, they wouldn't show up in the party interface, and couldn't use the friends list.
Dustin hadn't set a nickname, and when he had first opened the shop after the dungeon closed to buy the anti-venom, it had said the same thing.
He didn't know whether it was some twist of fate, as his nickname was previously Dusty, and he had planned to set it to that, or if it was carried over from his previous life.
Nothing else from that time seemed to have stayed, his current balance was the basic amount given at the beginning, and his inventory only possessed what he had gained in the dungeon.
In fact, despite having cleared the dungeon, he was missing several rewards. It was the ton of notifications that blinked incessantly at him that contained them. Notifications had a different colour border for the type they matched.
Some gave a list of loot from the slain monsters he could choose from, some notified him that he had leveled up, and some were there to grant him titles.
He started the list from the bottom, where the earliest notifications began.
[Early Exploration. You were one of the first pioneer's to enter a dungeon on XQB51 and return successfully. +5 Agility. +5 Charisma. Increased health regeneration outside of combat by 10%.]
[The First Encounter. You were the first pioneer of XQB51 to slay a creature and survive. Strength +5. +5 Constitution. +5% Movement speed during combat.]
[A First for Leaders. You were the first pioneer of XQB51 to slay a dungeon boss and survive. Each party member with an attribute higher than yours grants +1 to that attribute. +5 to all stats when facing enemies 10 levels higher than you.]
[First Completion. Your party, ???, were the first pioneer's of XQB51 to complete a dungeon.+5% to all Dos gained. +5 Intelligence.]
[No man gets left behind. Your party, ???, were the first pioneer's of XQB51 to complete a dungeon without losing a party member. +5% experience gain. Party members who do not own this title gain +5 of your highest stat.]
[Level up! You are the first pioneer of XQB51 to ascend to the next level. +5 Wisdom. Penalties applied when partying with members of a lower, or higher level, are halved.]
[First Contact. You are the first pioneer of XQB51 to slay a member of another race competing within the Dos. +5 Intelligence. Increases experience gained from non-human pioneers by 10%.]
[First Detective. You are the first pioneer of XQB51 to complete a secret within a dungeon. +5% Dos and experience gained from completing secrets. Each secret completed raises this by 0.1%.]
[Full Clear. You are the first pioneer of XQB51 to fully clear a dungeon. +5% increased damage. +5 Agility.]
[Green Menace. You are the first pioneer of XQB51 to fully clear the Goblin Forest dungeon. +5% chance to cause nearby goblins to flee. +5% movement speed in forest terrain.]
[Generous. You are the first pioneer of XQB51 to gift a Dos item to another user. +5 Charisma. +1% Dos gained from all sources. -5% Items purchased as gifts.]
Dustin could feel a headache coming on from the flurry of achievements that spewed out of the display, covering him in numerous bonuses. He opened up a notepad in the display and copied the text from the notifications into it so he could read over it later.
[Level up! +5 available attribute points. +200 Dos.]
[Level up! +5 available attribute points. +210 Dos.]
[Level up! +5 available attribute points. +220 Dos.]
[Goblin Forest completion. +500 Dos.]
[Goblin Forest boss. +200 Dos.]
[Goblin Forest secret. +200 Dos.]
[Goblin Forest full clear. +200 Dos.]
[Goblin Forest monsters. +375 Dos.]
[Uncollected loot stored in inventory, please apply loot filter to reduce amount in further collections, inventory limit exceeded. Remove only mode activated.]
[Error. Please return inventory to acceptable limits before continuing.]
Dustin watched the value of his Dos skyrocket as the currency flowed in, more than doubling the original amount he had been given.
He couldn't open anymore of the notifications without sorting through his inventory first. Without a loot filter, the leftover goods, from the rags the goblins wore, to the fur on the back of the rabbits, it was all placed into his inventory.
Thankfully he could offload most of it to the Dos shop since it was a lot of trash. He would need to make a loot filter later to stop the influx of worthless goods, lest they take up the space of something more valuable.
[Confirm the sale of selected items? [Y/N]]
[+400 Dos. Thank you for shopping with Dos, happy spending!]
More than three quarters of his inventory disappeared in an instant, sold at the basic price to the Dos shop. The extra slots that had been added to hold everything were deleted, and it allowed him to access the displays functions again.
[Goblin Forest completed, please choose a reward.]
- Uncommon Archer's Cap
- Uncommon Red Bow
- Common Weak Health Potion x 3
- Common Weak Mana Potion x 3
- Perception: Tracking.
Goblin Forest was one of the lowest tier dungeons opened on Earth, so the rewards were calculated suitably. The first items listed were always drops based on the dungeons boss, ranging from a full tier set, to barely related.
After that were generic items one could select if nothing else was appealing. The bottom of the list were rewards available based on the dungeons terrain. The tracking spell would have been vital in now only seeing what monsters roamed the forest, but tracking them down.
Dustin looked at the bow and cap he had taken off the boss monster, and compared them to the ones available as a reward.
His items were common, whilst the rewards were uncommon, an obvious distinction between their value. The red bow had a higher fire rate and damage than his, and the cap provided minimal protection from projectiles, whilst his was a generic leather cap.
Both were not suited to what he wanted to do, but might have fetched a fair price if he could sell it to others. Unfortunately by the time he could sell it legally, it would be vastly outdated.
The Dos shop would take it for a base price, but it was akin to be voluntarily being ripped off. Therefore Dustin skipped out on the first two options, looking instead at the remaining three.
Both the health and mana potions were useful to him, as he would be use plenty of mana as a mage, and health was never irrelevant. For the last item, Dustin searched the price of the tracking upgrade in the shop before deciding.
Become in tune with nature. Increased perception of signs, tracks, and distance of living creatures.
Taking the tracking spell would save him 500 Dos. Alternatively, the health potions or mana potions were about 150 Dos each, meaning he saved an extra 50 for the tracking spell.
[Perception: Tracking learned.]
It wasn't a noticeable upgrade at first unless one knew to activate it. Even in the back of an ambulance, Dustin could smell the paramedic that was sitting in the back of the van with him.
The notifications that had plagued his screen were thankfully nearly over, and he could progress through the rest of the shop and status freely.
[Goblin Forest secret completed, please choose a reward.]
- Ymma's Diary
- Uncommon Mantae Carapace Shield
- Common Weak Paralysis Poison
- Common Rusty Knife
- Uncommon Goblin Poison
Dustin didn't hesitate in choosing the first option once the list finished, disregarding the other choices.
The carapace shield unnerved him, he had not collected the Mantae body, who he could guess was named Ymma, for Dos. He wasn't going to change that decision now and take a shield made out of her body. The paralysis poison and rusty knife were both inexpensive and common drops, making them a poor choice.
Finally, although the goblin poison was uncommon, it was easy to make. Goblins used their own feces and blood to create it, speeding up the infection process when wounding someone.
The diary offered no immediate benefit, but it was information that he didn't already possess. He was curious about the other races and their involvement in the Dos. Similar items had dropped in the past, some proving more useful than others.