“That sounds fine by me,” Aki said with an agreeing nod she fall into step to Rugaki’s right. As they walked she couldn’t help to have creeping doubts as to whether heading out like this was a good idea. The only way to escape has been to beat the game, but still wasn’t it far more likely that experts from outside would be able to find a way to extract them from the game before then? Aki also couldn’t help but feel that others shared this thought given how quickly the crowds thinned as they drew close to the main gate.
"It'll just be beginner's enemies, no challenge even for one person. With an experienced two-man party of us, we'll do just fine." Rugak said.
“Yeah, yeah.” Aki said, more in an attempt to convince herself than anything else. They slowed as they approached the gate, a grand archway of stone flanked by a pair of watchtowers.
"So how do we do this? Should we work together on the same quest or?.." Rugaki asked.
“Well, as long as we are in the same party our progress is shared,” Aki said with a frown. There was some merit to it, they would be able to breeze through the lesser quests quickly enough, and enemies would be weak this close to the city, but. “We don’t know what mobs are around the city, so we should probably stick close for now so we don’t get taken by surprise.”
If they were stuck in this game for the long haul, would it matter if they took it slow and safe on their first day?
She drew in a breath, held it for a moment, before blowing it out her lips. “Well, if we’re going to do this, let’s get going.” She said, taking a step towards the gate. A pair of NPC guards dressed in matching leather and chain armor perked up as the two approached.
“Good hunting, Travelers.” On said with a baritone ring and a tip of his head, a motion which Aki found herself matching unconsciously. The two guards settled back down into their posts once the duo past through the gate and the protection of the city’s safety zone.
Aki came to a sudden stop as she looked out at the scenery beyond. The land stretched outwards into slow rolling hills and gentle slopes, the land covered in long stocks of a silver grain which shifted and shivered with the push of a cool autumn wind. Here and there the silver of the land was broken up by sudden jagged splotches or black and ash gray as if the land had been brushed by fire. The stone path below her boots snaked out into the countryside, disappearing around the curve of a nearby hill before appearing again further on crawling up the slope of another.
Aki looked back to Rugaki and smiled, “it’s pretty,” She said, before flicking a thumb back over her shoulder pointing towards one the the burnt patches of land, “what do you think, check that out first? We needed to find charcoal for one quest.”
Overhead lightning streaked between two gray clouds, followed soon after by the low rumble of thunder.
//… under her weight, the floorboards gave, and she fell into the dark...// Fall of the Aelir Isles, Vol. III