MMORPG: Rise of the Peerless Pumpkinmancer

Chapter 31: This Forest Is a Little Too Peaceful!
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Chapter 31: This Forest Is a Little Too Peaceful!

At the New Leaf training camp, a young man suddenly appeared in a flash of purple light.

Jack’s gaze was instantly attracted to the many players who were shouting. They were violently striking wooden training dummies with their hard sticks.

Igor was a man who had a passion for woodworking, and it showed! Not only had he slightly modified the palisades to give them a nicer look, but he had supplied the players with their training equipment.

Getting a weapon involved “playing tag” with some foxes and making trips to the village to sharpen the NPC’s carving knife. Every time a player would receive one, they would beam in profound happiness. They would forever remember their first!

Jack searched for his minions, finding them amidst the sea of players. They seemed to be competing as they showcased their combos. Jack appreciatively nodded, for they had already familiarized themselves with their new weapon.

“Alright, this should be enough training for now. Are you guys ready?” He hollered at them.

“Teacher! You’re back!”

“Alliance Leader!”

They all turned toward him with their faces glowing in excitement. They were getting tired of such dull training and happily followed his lead toward the forest.

There, many players were causing a ruckus trying to complete the training camp questline. This, of course, attracted some foxes. How could they resist when their next meal was so nicely announcing itself?!

They proceeded deeper, leaving the riff-raff behind. The Mighty Wolves were looking all over the place in wonder. The glowing trees really were a sight to behold! However, this magical scenery was bound to be dangerous.

“We’re in fox territory now. Be on your guard at all times and keep your eyes open.” Jack instructed.

Instantly, they all looked solemn as they observed their surroundings warily. They walked for a few minutes until Jack suddenly gestured them to stop.

They all hurriedly adopted defensive postures with their sticks raised in front of their chest. This would allow them to either parry or attack in one fell swoop. The tension was high as they observed their surroundings.

“Who here can tell me what’s wrong with this scene?” Jack inquired while frowning deeply.

But, the more they searched and the more perplexed they became. Everything was peaceful, too peaceful! Seeing Jack’s reaction, there was bound to be peril, but what?!

“So, do you guys know?” Jack asked again.

“Not at all.” They lowered their heads in shame. It seems like they were failing his first test.

“Remark the absence of monsters. This is because the area between territories is usually a no monster’s land. Be ready to face a new creature species whenever this happens.” Jack explained.

They all nodded in understanding as they couldn’t help but ponder this concept. Both danger and the lack of it had to be noticed equally! They looked at Jack with barely veiled admiration in their eyes: this NPC was so wise!

They resumed their progression, only for the same process to repeat. They went on high alert, didn’t find anything, and then thought hard about what it meant.

“We’re still in the no monster’s land but also have been for a while. This means that we should be reaching the end of it soon, right? Ah, now would be the time to sneakily proceed forward, right?!” CPR dude tentatively said.

“True, but there is something else too. Look right there!” Jack pointed toward a beautiful tiny red flower. It was growing hidden between a few exposed tree roots.

“This is a New Bloom’s Begonia that one can only find in the New Leaf forest. It can notably be used to craft healing potions. Being alert doesn’t only mean being wary of dangers, but also to look for opportunities.” Jack patiently taught them.

“Is it as expensive as it is pretty?” Seraphine asked, her eyes glowing.

“This is the beginner village, so it’s only worth a few coppers at best. But, coppers add up to silvers and silvers to golds.” Jack replied as he crouched on the ground. Using his gardening spade, he carefully scooped the flower out.

The players couldn’t help but grin. They were so lucky to have their own guide NPC! While others were fighting over the training instructor’s attention, they were receiving a VIP forest tour! This tour kept going, with Jack sometimes stopping them to ask his usual “What about now?”

Every time, they had to use all their wits to answer this very simple question of his.

Sometimes Jack would point out various plants:

– New Bloom’s Brachyschome (Pink)

– New Bloom’s Poppy (yellow)

– New Bloom’s Begonia (red)

Jack even talked about two more flower types that could only be found in the wolf region further ahead:

– New Bloom’s Chicory (blue)

– Last Bloom’s Darkrovias (black)

Some other times, Jack would make them stop near the trail of a fox. Whenever they found such traces, they would change direction instantly. After all, the foxes were extremely deadly.

He had also stopped them at some random moments only to troll them. He was a firm believer that only stopping when there was something noteworthy would hinder their learning process. It would have made them rely on him way too much.

Still, they didn’t mind it one bit. They were all just soaking in as much knowledge as they could. Jack was a goddamn living encyclopedia!

Jack couldn’t help but give a wry smile as he saw how impressed his companions were. They still had so much to learn!

At some point, he asked once again: “What about now?”

“No precious plants, no fox traces, and nothing out of the ordinary! We’re clear to go, Sir!” One confidently replied. They were used to the exercise by now.

“Nope, look again.” Jack calmly uttered, his arms behind his back akin to an experienced scholar.

They tried their best, but the wolf crew really couldn’t figure it out. Luckily, Bubblegum came to the rescue! “There’s an enemy in the bush right there! Am I right, Teacher?” She pointed to the vegetation a mere 10 meters from their party.

“There is?” One remarked flabbergasted.

“Oh my god! It’s moving but not following the wind! There’s a fox in there?! This is huge! How did I not notice it?!” One excitedly shouted.

Jack nodded, giving her a thumb up before eagerly introducing the lurking monster:

“In there awaits a fluffy and cuddly fox. One so friendly that it will hop toward you, wagging its tail in joy. Well, it does have the slightly annoying habit of devouring humans, but at least it’s cute, am I right?!”

Many unconsciously took a step back, gulping in fright. They didn’t fear the foxes themselves or even dying, but this trap was way too pernicious! What a crazy world: even the bushes could kill! What was this, Vietnam?!

They could already picture how disappointed they would have been at having to walk back from the spawn all the way to their current position!

“How do we bypass it this time?” Seraphine asked.

“We kill it. There are 20 of you, with each hitting for about two damage. This fox will have 50 HP and will be incredibly fast. We gang up on it while it’s still in the bush, and we violently smack it. Do you guys all understand?” Jack smiled at them.

“Yes, Teacher!”

“Yes, Boss!”

Boss? Were they a mafia now?

Without waiting any further, Jack gave the assault signal. They charged toward the bush with power in their steps, courage in their hearts, and a shitload of adrenaline! Then, they swung like madmen.

— Shlack! Shlack! —

— Shlack! Shlack! —

— Shlack! Shlack! —

But suddenly, an orange flash darted out straight at a player’s throat! It took 3 seconds for him to be mauled to death! Blood splattered on the soft-looking fur as the victim disappeared in a gargle of his own blood….and blue light!

“Revenge!!” The others instantly screamed, their eyes now blood-red with fury.

In theory, they should have been done with one attack each if they went all at once, right? No, the reality was different. The fox was relatively small and extremely slippery. It would dodge most of their attacks!

It even seemed to be playing with them. It would suddenly sidestep as they sometimes ended up hitting their own allies. They couldn’t remember the last time they had shown such an embarrassing sight!

Jack stood a distance away as he watched them die one after the other. In the end, it took 16 deaths for them to finally manage to slay the beast. As soon as the fox breathed its last, they all fell like puppets with their strings cut off. They panted heavily as their tried regaining their bearings.

“What the fuck! How is a single level 4 fox so strong?!” CPR dude complained.

“You’ll get used to it,” Jack reassured with a small smirk, one that seemed to promise them countless deaths. Was he the Devil?! Luckily he was on their side, but even then they were trembling.

Jack then kneeled above the corpse of the creature, taking out a butcher knife. “Now, it’s imperative not to be wasteful.” He offhandedly commented as he began skinning the beast with frightening precision.

They could only watch baffled as he proceeded very methodically:

1. He created an incision at the joints behind the paws before snapping each off cleanly.

2. He turned the creature, ass upward. In this grotesque posture, he began cutting at the legs all the way toward the middle, following the line where the fur became slightly paler.

3. He worked on the tail, removing the fleshy appendage out of its fur coating.

4. Then he pulled on everything, turning the previously majestic creature into a grotesque flesh abomination, with its blood-red muscles out for the world to gaze upon.

Seeing this, a few players with weak stomachs turned livid. Then there was Bubblegum. She approached the carcass and began poking it with interest. “Where’s all the blood? You didn’t even drain it!”

“What can I say. It’s still a game in the end.” Jack could only shrug before he kept going. This time, he dexterously hacked the entire body into pieces, separating it into all its smaller portions.

Then, he grabbed everything, storing it in his inventory. The others could only stare in shock. How long had it all taken him? One whispered in shock “34 seconds!”

Jack gave a satisfied smile as they waited for their colleagues to make it back from spawn. When everyone was assembled, he addressed them all.

“Great! Now, how about you guys die a few more times so I can get some more pelts and meat?” He formulated it like a question, but it wasn’t one.

They could only sigh. After dying over and over to chickens, they would die over and over for his sake. He had taught them so much, and now he was collecting payment.

Perhaps he really was the devil…

Creator’s Thought

I was so lucky to have met such driven people! They could have easily backtracked and farmed XP against chickens…Yet, they chose to train with me. They even allowed me to grab all the loot! Talk about boundless generosity!

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