Spectator - Chapter 15: Scarlett
As the message faded away, I noticed a sparkling trail leading to a house. It had a wooden fence around it, seemingly made up of roughly chopped wood.
I followed the sparkling trail towards the house. I thought perhaps it was where I was meant to go to complete the quest, and I was correct.
When I walked closer I noticed a name had appeared on top of it, just like that of NPCs and Players.
I got closer to the house before stopping at the fence gate. I looked in and saw multiple traps laid on the lawn, possibly to dry. Most looked like they were meant for small animals but there were some much larger traps too. As I was about to open the fence gate, a middle-aged man walked out of the house.
He had a worried look on his face, by the looks of it he wasn’t very pleased to see me.
“Please excuse me. I have some important work I must attend to.”
“Sorry to intrude but I am here on the behalf of Mr Jim, the Inn owner.”
“Oh! Sorry for my rude behaviour. What is it that Jim sent you here for?”
“I was asked to deliver this parcel”
I handed him the parcel which he accepted with a courteous smile. He had calmed down a bit now so I thought of asking where he was hurrying to.
But another window popped up.
[+10 experience gained.]
I quickly minimized those and tried to continue the conversation.
“Sir, you looked worried, is there any problem?”
“My son, Reed, stormed out of the house after I scolded him. He has been out for too long.”
“Oh. Is there any way in which I can help?”
The hunter stopped and looked at me, almost measuring me from head to toe with his gaze.
“I shouldn’t be troubling you with my problems young man. Run along now.”
It seemed that I had to persuade him to get the quest.
“No, no not at all. I would be happy to help you out if it’s within my abilities.”
“Alright then, since you insist, then could you go catch a rabbit from the forest while I go look for Reed? He adores them.”
As soon as he said that a sparkling window popped up.
[Hunter’s Worry (1).]
[The Hunter wants to make up with his son. Find a rabbit that he can gift.]
[Reward: +20 Exp, Increase favour with Hunter, Toy Wooden Sword.]
[Failure: Hunter’s favour declines]
Considering the ‘(1)’ in the title, I concluded that there must be a follow-up quest coming after, if I were to complete this one.
I pressed accept.
I looked up at the Hunter and asked-
“Where can I find the rabbits?”
“There is a small clearing in the forest. You can find rabbits there.”
I opened the map which had a new location with a golden border.
As I closed the window, I heard a faint cry. I turn around as Hunter walks a few steps ahead of me.
A child, maybe five years old ran towards us. Behind her was none other than Scarlet, arms crossed smiling.
Hunter knelt down as the kid embraced him.
“I am sorryyyy!”
“It’s ok kiddo, why did you run away?”
“I thought you hated me for breaking your trap…”
“Silly boy…I scolded you cause you could have gotten badly injured.”
The father and son embraced each other and cried for a while. Scarlet had already walked over by that time.
She nudged me with her elbow.
“Awww… So adorable…”
The hunter stood up straight, Reed held his hand firmly.
“Thank you, young lady! How can I repay you for this?”
Scarlet laughed and got down to Reed’s level and pulled his cheeks.
“How could I ever leave such a cute boy crying under a bridge alone? It’s sufficient if Reed promises to be a good boy.
You will listen to Papa from now on, right Reed?”
Reed nodded his head and hugged his father’s leg.
“Haha. You are too kind, may I know your name?”
“It’s scarlet. I came here from Mr Jim’s Inn.”
“Ahh. Then perhaps you are acquainted with this man.”
“Oh, right. I have already met James. He is the one who suggested that I should visit Marter. If he hadn’t done so I would have never found Reed.”
“Is that so?”
During this entire conversation, I stood there pondering. Had I ever suggested to Scarlet that she should visit Marter? As far as I remembered, we just had a short conversation.
What kind of trick was she trying to pull right now? I wanted to interfere but I decided against it. I chose to stay silent and see what came next.
Suddenly Reed ran inside the house and came out with a bow and quiver.
“Here take this, big sis!”
“What? No Reed, I can’t take that!”
The hunter took the bow and quiver from Reed’s hand and offered it to Scarlet.
“Please take it. I insist. You have earned it.”
“Ok, Fine then. I will put it to good use.”
Marter handed the bow to scarlet and headed inside with Reed. Scarlet tucked the bow and quiver in her bag pack.
So you could get the items required for the completion of the quest before receiving the quest. The quest was possibly something along the lines of ‘Bring Reed back’ or ‘Go look for Reed.’
Scarlet showing up with the kid inevitably triggered the quest, even if she didn’t formally ‘accept’ the quest.
“So you are still on your first quest?”
Scarlet asked, tucking her hair behind her ear.
“Yeah, but I didn’t see anyone else with a bow around here. How come you are the only one who got one?”
I asked. It was nothing extraordinary, but a bit odd.
“Also, how did you know that carrying Reed here was a quest?”
Scarlet laughed and nodded.
“You are quite an interesting guy, nice observations.
The answer as to why I bought the kid here, is that I heard you speak to the Innkeeper. He spoke of some hunter who lived in Marter.
So, when I interacted with the kid crying under the bridge and he said that his father was a hunter. I had a rough idea of where I should take him.”
“So I had a small part to play here.”
“Yes, and about why I got a bow. Many people aren’t aware of how interacting with NPCs in a certain way can create different scenarios that play out differently than usual.
Simply bringing Reed back to his father would trigger what I assume is a normal quest. But since I tore off my sleeves to bandage his wounds, I showed sacrifice and goodwill.
That triggered a special scenario, and thus the special reward.”
I looked at her tunic and sure enough, its sleeves were jaggedly torn. I hadn’t noticed it before.
“I see. So showing kindness gets you better rewards. Like the old fairy.”
We both burst into laughter.
“Haha so true.”
She continued to chuckle.
“Even so, the probability of getting a bow was around 50%.”
Scarlet would probably be a ranker if things play out well.
After all, she has a deep understanding of the game’s mechanics even at such early levels.
The bow was a considerably better beginning weapon when compared to the toy swords that most players had.
“Thanks for the help, you helped me put the clues together.”
“It’s nothing, so where are you heading to now?”
“Haven’t thought about it yet. What about you?”
“I haven’t decided either.”
“Ah, well, I will be on my way now. Hope to see you around, James.”
She smiled and walked away…
I waved her goodbye and started walking towards the forest but then I heard her yell back at me.
“Don’t be so bottled up! Have fun!”
I smiled and waved as she walked away, out of my sight.
She was awfully friendly to me. Was it her nature or was she treating me like an NPC?
I couldn’t tell just yet but it’s better to be careful around her. Despite all the tales I heard from Taejin before the regression, he had never mentioned the names of the rankers.
If she was a ranker-to-be then I should keep an eye on her too. I would like to lend my support to her if she was a good person in real life.
Even if she wasn’t a ranker before the regression, having a few allies to back me up if the time came would be nice.
This tattoo won’t stay hidden for long.
There are a few important quests that are normally handled directly by the company. Same goes for large-scale events.
If I am not careful I might end up attracting unwanted attention from the likes of chairman Shin Jin-Kwon.
This is one of the reasons I went for the cheap capsule.
They will spend much of their attention catering to the players that play with high sensitivity and have a super expensive capsule.
I should be able to go unnoticed even in large events if I keep my sensitivity at 1%.
‘-All this to mask my scent from the devil.’
I ran into an orc in the forest. At first, it was easy, but when it’s health dropped below half, it went into a frenzy.
I barely survived after taking multiple blows.
Luckily, I had a low-level health potion. It healed me enough that I was able to take the orc down after taking two more blows.
After it had collapsed, a beam of light from the sky fell on me. My HP went back up.
A window then popped up.
I decided that I would put the points in stats later, and looked at what the Orc had dropped.
It dropped its weapon [Oak Dagger].
It also dropped a few coins. I put the dagger in my inventory and continued walking.
I planned to visit a nearby village and grind up some levels. I also need to buy better weapons and armour.
Not before long, I found the clearing; It was the outskirts of the village. I could see the wooden houses from there.
As I walked inside the village boundary I saw a small crowd gathered near a well.
I looked at one of the NPCs and his name flashed on top of his head.
‘-Jack, is it?’