Chapter 74 – She was here first
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The buff elven lady ignores Jason’s surprise and continues her introduction. “Welcome to the Scratchy Pinecone! I am the owner of this fine establishment and you can call me Fern. A room for you and your companion there will run you a silver a night including breakfast and dinner. Though only if you have that cute little bundle of fluff with Her permission. I’ve been running this place here longer than there has been a town and I don’t want to leave quite yet.” Jason is about to ask who she is talking about when Fern holds up a hand and continues. “Yeah, yeah, you don’t know who I am talking about. If you did, I wouldn’t have to ask in the first place. Just a quick bit of magic”, she swishes her finger in the air and boops Lily’s nose. “Will tell me what I need. Good for you though, I can sense her mark in the rabbit here so your fine. Don’t ask, cause I won’t tell. Anyway, how many nights do you want to rent a room?”

Jason stands still for a moment to collect himself before responding. “You do know that asking me to not ask makes me want to right? Meh, sign me up for 7 days and we can see where I am after that. Anyway, since you’re from around here, I have some questions about the area.”

Fern nods, “Sure, you can ask me a couple question. In fact, how about a question for each day you signed up for? Though of course you need to pay for your room first.”

After Jason hands over 7 silver he considers what to ask. 2 things stand out. “What is a good place nearby that is not the Wasteland to fight monsters around level fifteen and do you know of any bosses around for me to breakthrough after I hit my bottleneck?”

“Good questions to start. Anyway stand still so I can get a feel for you.” Then Fern steps back and stairs at Jason. All around the room the various conversations die off as an intangible pressure builds. Everyone turns to look at what is happening though they don’t linger on the scene for long. After having seen what is up they now avoid it. Jason feels as if the world is pressing down on him and as the seconds tick by, he breaks into a cold sweat. Then after about 5 minutes the pressure disappears. Time passes as she considers what to say and the chatter returns to the room. She nods to herself, “Okay, first let’s set you up with a room. Follow me!”

Fern turns around and walks over to a door in the back wall. When she opens it the sight shocks Jason. This building is not what it seems because the door does not lead to a staircase up. Instead, it leads into what looked like a separate building from the outside. Even if this is the only surprise this building has, it will triple the number of rooms available. Fern giggles at his thunderstruck look, “I own everything around my inn. When this place developed in to an actual town, the other innkeepers that moved to the area complained about my original building. Nevermind the only reason anything developed here in the first place was because of my inn. They did not want buildings that stood out so much. I didn’t care, so I just split it up a bit. Now your room it right over here. Because of your circumstance I am giving you a good position though with it comes some limitations. Though what it boils down to is, don’t go past your room. Let’s step into your room for a moment so I can actually answer your questions.”

Once they are both inside the room, a rather plain affair with a simple bed being the only furniture, Fern waves her hand then a pulse can almost be seen emanate outward to the edges of the room. “You are in an odd circumstance. Your core technique is unlike any I have seen before in a sentient. Except for a rare few high level Energy based monsters what your doing is unheard of. However you didn’t ask about that. Instead, you currently want to know about how to get through to level 10 with this town as your base. Beyond that you clearly don’t want to fight some weak monsters to grind it out. I will use another of your question allotment to give you a proper answer to the boss question. After all you would have asked anyway if I only told you about the newborn ratking in the nearby alchemist’s basement. You don’t want to just fight some level 10 boss with a clear weakness. First though is what to fight for that last bit of experience you need. Your best at fighting humanoid enemies so I am not going to suggest one of those. Even if the enemy is a much higher level the System will still gimp your xp gain if you have too easy of a time. I am thinking you should kill about twenty Snarltails. They live on the opposite side of the town from Wasteland. The terrain is loosely forested with sections of clear ground and trees in an almost checkerboard. Not the most normal place but you spent time in the Wasteland so you should be fine. Anyway the Snarltails stick out like a sore thumb. About as tall as your hips with four legs and they are a brilliant shade of blue. Their name however comes from the unique part, the tail. It snarls at you. There is a tiny mouth on the end of it which is constantly looking for food. Those who care about such things have figured out that mouth is an adaptation to a past problem they faced. Some other monster would attack them anytime they let their guard down to eat. So in classic monster style adaption, instead of just gathering in larger packs to hunt they grew a mouth on their tail to eat for them.”

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