28. Back in the Black Bear Inn
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Meanwhile in the market square of Haligrad.

 

A man wearing heavy plate armour was walking towards the adventurer’s guild accompanied by a large group of players. His tall and imposing figure was adorned with a face hiding a hint of contempt for those around him.

 

[[System Announcement: The Raid Party led by Immortal Warrior Astaria is the first group to kill a Raid Boss. All party members have been awarded the unique title: Raid Pioneer]]

[[System Announcement: The Raid Party led by Immortal Warrior Astaria is the first group to kill the Mutated Goblin Raid Boss: Square Jaw. All party members have been awarded the unique title: Slayer of Square Jaw]]

[[System Announcement: The Raid Party led by Immortal Warrior Astaria is the first group to kill a Raid Boss with no deaths. All party members have been awarded the unique title: Stalwart Warrior]]

 

The man stopped in his tracks seeing the announcement, gritting his teeth with an audible noise.

“What the fuck, how can players beat raid bosses within 2 days?”

Hearing the man speak, one of the players wearing leather armour with a bow slung over his back also commented. His face held an expression of surprise and disdain.

“Yeah, this twat must be using some kind of hack or exploit.”

A skinny player wearing a robe also comments. His expression remained neutral as he spoke.

“I don’t think that is the case, to be honest, I saw online that some people tried to hack into the game’s servers and the game's internal files but got absolutely nowhere. The security on this game is beyond insane.”

With a growl, the man in plate mail spun around to face the group behind him.

“Whether they used questionable means or not, the fact is that they are ahead of the rest of us, and that’s unacceptable. Ripper, go find out who this group is. Deadshot, go find out about this boss and how we can kill it. Lucian, go recruit more high-level players.”

Hearing this, a short cloaked man, the leather clad archer, and the skinny man with a robe all gave their affirmation and ran off in different directions.

“Astaria huh, you better join us or I’m going to make your fucking life hell.”

 

 

Meanwhile on the other side of the market square inside an inn with a sign featuring a bear standing on its back legs hanging outside its front door, a number of casual players were enjoying the tavern's drinks while chatting.

Suddenly the players burst into an uproar as consecutive announcements appeared in their vision.

A man with bulky muscles and a beard sat up straight,

“Oh my god, someone has completed a raid already!”

At the same time, a player who had chosen to become an Elf also shouted out.

“Seriously, that’s insane.”

An overweight dwarven player heavily put down his mug of ale as he tried to clear the confused expression off his face.

“Wait, what are raid bosses?”

The elven player looks over as he starts to explain, a clear look of bafflement on his face.

“Raid bosses are extremely tough enemies that require a large number of players to kill. I assume however that since new players killed it, it is likely quite weak compared to others, maybe like a tutorial raid.”

Hearing this explanation, the bulky player commented.

“Aren’t raids supposed to be hard though?”

Nodding to confirm, the elven player explained what he was thinking with his arms crossed.

“Yes, definitely. I imagine that the raid boss was still quite strong. It's probably a guild that has beaten it.”

The bulky player shook his head as he leaned his back against the chair.

“A guild? I guess that’s plausible. However, I guess it would have to be led by one of those professional players. The group leader's name was Astaria, right?”

The elven player nodded his head as the other nearby players all leaned in listening to the conversation of the three at the table.

“Yes, that’s correct, although I don’t recognise any professional player that goes by that name. However, it might be someone we know but under a different name.”

Hearing the players getting all excited, the barmaid, Anna, walked over with a curious hint in her eyes.

“Oh, what’s this commotion going on here?”

Seeing Anna walk up, the elven player slightly turned his chair so he could talk to the barmaid that has shown an interest in their conversation.

“Ah, well you see, us players got a message that one of us has managed to take down some big raid boss called Square Jaw.”

Anna opens her eyes wide upon hearing the hobgoblin's name.

“Someone finally took down that goblin?! He is notorious around this area, and because he is so strong the kingdom does not do anything about him.”

Shaking her head, Anna continued to explain the situation.

“Since the kingdom does not want to waste lives trying to kill it alongside the issue that it revives within a month to lead the goblins again, trade has been continuously hindered. Just last week the goblins attacked a carriage that was carrying goods for this inn.”

With a nod of understanding, the elven player went to reflexively push his glasses up before realising that he was not wearing any.

“I see, I guess it’s a good thing for the kingdom that us players are around now, we don’t need to worry about getting killed, not to mention it’s the kind of activity lots of players enjoy.”

Hearing the strange term, Anna asked the burning question that was on her mind.

“What do you mean by player? Is that another name you use instead of Immortal Warriors?”

Hearing Anna's question, the dwarven player re-joined the conversation with a look of confusion on his face.

“What’s an Immortal Warrior?”

Seeing his dwarven friend confused, the elven player sighed as he explained.

“Dude, did you seriously not look at the basic information about the game? The setting is that the Players descend into the world as the god's Immortal Warriors.”

Hearing this, the dwarven player let out a hum in understanding, bringing his ale mug back to his mouth while Anna asked another question.

“I was a little confused by some of the things you said, but it’s good to know you guys are Immortal Warriors. I met one earlier called Astaria, she was a kind girl and gave me a very good impression of you all.”

Hearing this, all the player's conversations immediately stop as they all turn to look at Anna.

“W-what, did I say something wrong?”

Hearing Anna’s stammering, the elven player immediately exclaimed as he rose to his feet in excitement.

“Wait, you met this Astaria?! She is the one who led the raid party that killed Square Jaw!”

Clasping her hands over her mouth, Anna gasped.

“No way, that pretty little thing went and fought that horrible brute! Do you know if she is alright?!”

With a face filled with shock at Anna’s instant change in tone from dominant barmaid to worried maiden, the bulky player answered with a thoughtful face.

“I don’t actually know her, but one of the announcements said that she had managed to kill Square Jaw without anyone in her party dying, so I assume she is alright. Besides, since she is like us it’s not something you need to worry about. We don’t feel pain all that much.

With a pause of hesitation, the elven player asked a question as he slowly sat back down.

“Would it be rude for us to ask about Astaria?”

Resting a hand over her heart, Anna let out a sigh hearing that Astaria was fine, then standing a little taller as she started to speak.

“That’s fine, I don’t mind. She came and stayed here last night, guided by one of the guards. She was barely able to stand, completely tired and covered in blood.”

Realising that she had said something that may be misinterpreted, she hurriedly waved her hands as she tried to clear up any misunderstandings from what she had said.

“You see it was because she had apparently killed a bunch of goblins yesterday, and she was apparently alone. Anyway, apart from being strong, she was a very kind girl. Very pretty too I might add, I can’t help but want to look out for her.”

Putting her hands on her hips Anna leaned forward in quite a menacing posture as she looked down at the drunk players.

“But don’t get any funny ideas, or I will set Jorn over there on you. Immortal or not, I won’t tolerate any harassment to that girl.”

Hearing Anna’s words, Jorn stammered a response from behind the bar as he heard his wife use his name.

“W-what? Oh! *Ahem*. Yes, it is exactly as my wife says.”

Glancing between the two, the dwarven player couldn’t help but laugh and make a comment.

“Damn, I can’t believe that you’re acting like Astaria’s mother. And Jorn, don’t worry, I feel your pain, I’m a whipped husband as well. I’m making the most of being able to get drunk here in this world to avoid my wife’s wrath!”

Hearing this both the local NPC’s and players burst into laughter, easing the slight tension from Anna’s warning.

Throughout Haligrad, similar conversations occurred as the players heatedly discussed the new person who was now on four consecutive server announcements after completing a challenging raid.

 

 

 

Proof Reader: Aegis_Of_The_Void

 

 

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