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969126 No. 969126 ID: e7703b


The guild test was simple, as all I did was provide answers from examples in the books reviewed yesterday. It was late morning when the result was released to me.

The guild lady, Cynthia, attaches a small tag to my id bracelet, it flashing brown before fading out.

“And with this, you’re registered as a rank F adventurer.
You are entitled to most of the F related missions on the board, and allowed to buy and sell materials to the guild. For now, you’ll be put under observation until it’s proven than you can be reliable enough to be on your own, or else we’ll provide you with alternatives, such as joining in a party, or shadowing a more experienced member.
The colors go from brown, red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet, according to your rank. There are a variety of criteria for someone to rank up, including peer reviews and achievements. You could also always refuse to rank up, whatever the reasons, but doing so would limit what you can do or benefits you can get. There are many reasons to do so, and the rank within a guild hold little relation to how powerful a person is, so please, don’t think you’re strong just because the person next to you have a lower rank.” She sighs, “There are a few people who have a sense of enjoyment grouping with lower ranking people, only to feel dismay as their party ranks up above them, or even worse, obstruct their achievements. That’s why we have strict guidelines and rules on how people conduct themselves.”
She reaches up to rub my head.
“Any questions?”
186 posts omitted. Last 50 shown. Expand all images
No. 974881 ID: e7c7d3

Follow. They probably have multiple stashes of mana crystals. Surely they won't notice if one goes missing. Keep out of Nick's business.

Ask Chako what she's doing here if not to make money?
No. 974883 ID: fa2754

We'll follow at our own pace. Which would be at a distance. There's no harm in tossing them a bit of ore and building up some rapport. But nothing more than that.
No. 974884 ID: bf0653

Let's see if we can help Nick and the others get a big haul, it's not much of a bother for us and it'll help Nick a little bit.
No. 974885 ID: b1b4f3

Yeah, I agree, so long as they keep to the deal.
No. 974886 ID: ba56e6

No. 974887 ID: e19a40

Cooperate with her. Ignore Nick's problems.
No. 974911 ID: 977456

Ask how valuable Chako is. It would be good to have an evaluation of her abilities if she is going to be available.
No. 974924 ID: 0cb682

Offer them a sample of your services. Ask what they can give to you.
No. 974927 ID: d2da5a

Doesn't hurt to make friends, so long as we're keeping crystals I don't see why we wouldn't help.

"Sorry Nick, you're stuck with me for today."
No. 974932 ID: 6c9030

That's reasonable. We keep the mana crystals, she can take the ore.
If she tries to break the deal, then we can break one of her arms like a twig and say the new terms are that she can keep whatever ore she can manage to carry out on her own, and we're keeping the mana crystals and whatever she can't carry.
No. 975162 ID: 4286b4

While following Chako, ask Nick how working with her benefits him. Also, tell him that you're here for a guild mission so it's not like you're getting particularly involved or anything.
No. 975306 ID: fde50b
File 159878699551.png - (60.23KB , 600x400 , FC750AA4-BBE8-4784-A969-6083F8EB9341.png )

“You sure you don’t wanna join? There’s a bunch of us so you don’t have to be too concerned over money.” Chako suggests.
“I will reserve my judgement for later.” I respond, walking behind her. Nick stands as far away from me as possible, making talking to him privately difficult.
“So what do you do here?” I ask her, “other than mining.”
“Eh.” She scratches her head, “I mostly keep an eye on people. I ain’t got the strength to be a miner, but I can navigate these tunnels like the back of my hand.” Chako says as she lifts the back of her right hand into view. I can see small scar marks on her hand, less rougher than the other scars on her body. “I mostly help the others carry news across the tunnels, and Nick here is shadowing me as a porter so he don’t get lost again. Even with the markers, it gets disorienting where to go sometimes.”

We enter a rest area with a sleeping man inside. Nick walks to a corner and sets down the stuff he’s carrying while Chako puts down her lamp and hard hat aside before walking to the sleeping man.

“Uncle.” She nudges him awake.
The man stirs awake, “Ah. Chako, you’re back. How are things?”
“Tunnels 3f and 4c are closed down. The kids are in 3h and 4a, so there probably won’t be much on their end. Albert went to 5d to try his luck, and Eliza to 4b.”
The man frowns at the news of “Albert,” sighing. “That boy would probably miss lunch again. Please do remind him. And tell Eliza to focus more on the others. She needs to keep the others in line.”
He then spots me.
“Oh, hello.” The scruffy man smiles, “I’m Allan, a boss of sorts to these kids. Who might you be?”
“I’m Emils.” I grab an ore chunk from my bucket. “I heard I can exchange these for mana crystals.”
The man grabs the cube from my hand, and inspects it. “Azurite. Copper to exact. Rich in mana too. It’s a common ore here, but mostly from the lower regions. With cuts like these, it doesn’t seemed mined. Where did you get it?”
“From 1g.” Chako says, “Found her digging it out of the walls there.”
Allen scratches his beard. “Huh. Wess said the tunnels were clear...”
He shrugs. “Well, something this size could certainly be worth trading for, but you’d have to wait for the rest to come back. We need to wait for the others to come back to see what they got if you want to exchange with them for anything.” He hands me back the ore.
“In the meanwhile, what do you need crystals for? A word of warning, it’s better to declare if you’re carrying out any goods from the mines than it is to smuggle stuff out of here. Less legal troubles that way.”
No. 975310 ID: 4c882c

Mined it with the basic amount of magic I know.
but it's also draining, which is why I need a steady supply of mana crystals.
No. 975313 ID: b5d7a5

Thank you for your discretion.
I need them for bait. It's been a while since I killed something with my own two hands.
No. 975327 ID: 8fab7a

>What do you want crystals for?
1 - Tap your blue helmet. You've taken on a mana crystal collection task. You want it fulfilled properly.

2 - You have an avid interest in magic, mana and things related to both. You want your own mana crystal collection. Enough to experiment with, maybe even start to stockpile for later use. For example, could one, with enough processed crystals, enable safe expeditions into mana-dead zones? Could they be used to distract Mana Beasts from attacking people in a pinch? ((or actually, trade with them)) Would it be useful to keep a reserve in case more Towers other than the Drac Kingdom's fail?

While they're processing that, ask Allen - with animated engagement - if there are different types of mana crystals. Do more 'transportable' high-density crystals exist? Has he ever seen mana crystals somehow different from the 'normal'? ((i.e. artificial mana crystals vs 'real' mana crystals)) Does he know how mana crystals are typically refined? Are there any long-term effects to removing mana crystals from an area that he's noticed?

>Wot next
Lean into how unusual it was that you mined something from a supposedly tapped section (and ignore comments or questions on the weirdness of how you mined it) and propose a deal. You have a trick that might help point Allen's kids at an untapped vein or two, assuming it's better than whatever this 'Willis' was doing. So, if you find them any, you get a reasonable cut from the daily profit of these areas until tapped. You will want those credits turned around to buy the mana crystals recovered straight from the mining company, and have them reserve for you to pick up or sent to town.

This way everyone can contribute and profit, and you get a potentially ongoing supply of what you want without having to visit the mine every day. Your only requirement is that they not tell anyone what the trick is - because only you can do it and you don't want every miner or manager trying to get you to quit being an adventurer and start being a surveyor. You have bigger dreams.

You're Emils, by the way.

(sketch an introductory bow)

Ward of Sir Victor. Foundling. Adventurer. Magical girl. 'Dangerous.'

Glance at Nick at that last one, and then shrug.

"According to some. I prefer 'Talented'."
No. 975329 ID: 0cb682

I'm a magical girl who is interested in magical things. I mine the same way I fight. I have several talents which aid me in magic and want to learn more.
No. 975331 ID: 8fab7a

Gah missed that she’d already introduced herself.
No. 975332 ID: ba56e6

No. 975335 ID: e7c7d3

Yeah, our quest is to gather crystals. Seems like it'd be more expedient to trade for more with ores we don't need.

Ask if they have much trouble with people smuggling things out.
No. 975337 ID: e7848c

Learning, mostly.
No. 975346 ID: b1b4f3

Tell them you use mana crystals as fuel, and you need a lot of fuel. Let them assume you mean you have magical devices at home.
Is there a fee for keeping materials rather than handing them over to the foreman? If so you're going to have to keep some ore to sell to the foreman in order to make up for the fee.

Ask them what kind of exchange rate they'll give you, and also where they'd like you to help mine. Maybe you can help Albert, since he'll be having trouble?
No. 975655 ID: 6aa114

Tell them that you're here for a guild mission. Hmm, are we waiting here then? I suppose we have some time to ask questions then. For instance:
A) How they work, tips on efficient mining?
B) Dangers of mining, how often do injuries occur?
C) What to look for, mineral types?
D) What else is in these mines, only ore/crystals?
E) What's up with Albert? And who's Eliza?
F) What do these tunnel numbers mean?
G) What is the highest tunnel number and how to get there?
H) Can you reach a special place called "Hell" through these tunnels?
I) Do they know of any other guild missions that can/had to be accomplished in these mines? (if so, we could pre-emptively bring back stuff for those missions as well)
No. 975675 ID: 735fa3

Hmm, he just told us we aren't allowed to take mana crystals and will be expected to turn them in.

We can smuggle some of them out since Emils can absorb them into her body, but they'll be expecting some mana crystlas if you are pulling out big buckets of ore from the wall and making lots of money.

Really, it strikes me that since they thought that area was tapped and a short while cutting ore out of the wall filled the bucket, Emils will probably be better of going somewhere in the wilderness, finding a cave, and doing the same thing.

But we are trying to get guild promoted here so it only makes sense to change our mind, work with these kids, and impress the hell out of everyone here. Not just for the general reputation boost, but also because the point of this is to get merits with the guild.
No. 975757 ID: fde50b
File 159939819475.png - (29.17KB , 600x400 , FD3FF2B6-B105-4BF8-B838-1DBACF5C09A3.png )

“I am in need for large amounts of mana for energy.” I state, pulling out a cube of mana crystals, polishing off the stone fused into it. “I have a deep interest in mana and am looking for all kinds, as well as ways to use them. Plus, I’m here to do the collection mission.” I tap my helmet.
Albert scratches his chin, “Well, we only low quality crystals thus far. Maybe there’ll be richer yields lower down, but we haven’t hit any yet.”
“Do you know how to tell the difference?”
“Oh yeah.” He grabs a lamp, unscrewing the cover and sliding out a mass of dark blue refined crystals shards and dust pressed into the shape of a cylinder. Dark, near black dust falls off as he shakes it.

“This here is a low quality crystal battery. How much power in it is determined by how bright it is, and by running a bit of your own mana though it. It should be a slight feedback depending on how strong it is.”
He hands me the crystal to test and I try pushing some of my mana though it.
I can feel the energy in the battery, not quite full but still capable of running. I can inject my own mana into it to refill it, or drain it, but Albert pulls the battery away, sliding it back into the lamp.

“How do you number the tunnels? And how do you know each other?”
Albert smiles, setting down the lantern. “Well, we start off with the main hubs, lettered. Clockwise from the entrance, each tunnel is numbered with 1 leading back.
As for us, I knew Chako’s dad. He was a miner too, but he passed s long time ago. Been taking care of his family since. The other kids are orphans from the war a few years ago. No one to take care of them, so the new owner of the mines looked into providing an offer to the guild to sponsor an orphanage in exchange for labor. When Foreman Jason was put in charge, he set about improving the place so it’s a lot safer for everyone, including putting me in charge of the kids. I invited Chako to help, since I’m growing old and she can keep up with them.”
Chako is with Nick, preparing a few bags to haul.

“So,” I say focusing on Albert. “What if I can provide you with a way to detect where to mine? I can point you where to dig for ores and in exchange, I would like to be paid in mana crystals.
Albert scratches the back of his head. “Unfortunately, I can’t decide for that. If you really need mana crystals, you’d have to ask Jason or the owner. They have final say in here. Besides, not only are you a kid, you’re also from the guild. You will need to discuss such offers with the guild since this mine is owned tangentially by the kingdom.”
He shrugs, “Politics.”
Leaning forwards, whispering, “However, we can’t really stop you if you work with the orphanage instead. It’s outside our business who they bring in to help, and is part of the guilds.”
“I see.”

“Anyways,” he sits upright and winks at me, “if you’re interested in mana crystals, I suggest looking for Malcos in Warren street, crafting district. He’s the best crystal refiner I know. As for enchanters,” he scratches his chin, “I don’t know. Most of them fled when the old king was in rule. He had some weird project he wanted done and got rid of people who didn’t live up to his expectations. Bad news all around.”
Leaning back, he sighs, “Lots of people tried to leave but many more had nowhere to go. Real glad things are better now.”
“Anyway, if you’d like to keep those crystals, I’d suggest getting more ores. Jason would probably let you do a proper exchange with our stores, but it would be cheaper to get it on your own. Do an exchange with ores you mined with crystals you mined. You’re not the first one around to do so, and you won’t be the last.”
No. 975764 ID: e961a7

Inquire as to whether there’s any way to tell different forms of ore apart through differences in density; You don’t know the differences between them yourself, but it seems likely that the limiting factor is knowledge here, and not a lack of ability.
No. 975765 ID: 0fae41

An orphanage?! It's like Christmas morning.
Eat all the ores to learn them by taste. Perhaps you'll be able to produce them in liquid form, like iron. Then to 4b!
No. 975768 ID: bf0653

Let's mine some ores then.
No. 975769 ID: b1b4f3

Looks like D is real deep. Why don't we go down there and see what Albert is up to. Grab some ore out of the walls when nobody's around, take some liquid samples.
No. 975810 ID: ba56e6

Got to go [D]eep.
No. 975888 ID: bf0653

Can we join the kids?
We can show them where to mine with our mana sense.
No. 975889 ID: 094652

Find a dark hole, then slime yourself and crawl into the cracks, feeding on the mana until you have the strength to pull a large chunk out.

Pretend it fell out naturally.
No. 975906 ID: 4286b4

Eat all the orphans!

No. 975929 ID: 8fab7a

Sounds like the done-est deal.
No. 976050 ID: 0cb682

Ask for an example of what they want most and you'll look for it.
No. 976813 ID: f2320a

No. 979523 ID: fde50b
File 160365619416.png - (45.53KB , 600x400 , 656A0C8B-4E9A-4030-AEE0-E53071C7E8C3.png )

Making my way deeper, I’ve decided not to rely too much on a bunch of children. If they are unable to take care of themselves then they can’t be of much use to me. I can privately smuggle out higher quantities of mana on my own, for my own use without having it noticed by others.
Seeking deeper depths does sound like a good idea however, as I feel a stronger source mana deeper.

Following Chakos directions, it takes me to a place where I can feel the ground shaking and I can already feel a strong source of mana already... and it’s moving. Fast.
No. 979524 ID: fde50b
File 160365622649.png - (54.38KB , 600x400 , E43C44E3-B415-451E-A096-BC6B0B9D1558.png )

I enter the deeper cavern to find a mana beast fused to a beast. It reminds me of the corpse in Strixs lab.


Well that’s interesting.


I can see a few bodies in front of the beast, and more bodies scattering deeper into the mine.
No. 979525 ID: 0fae41

If you're quick, maybe you can absorb those bodies before the creature does.
No. 979528 ID: 8fab7a

Step 1: Say hi. You are Emils. Ask it to identify itself back, and ask what it's doing here.

Step 2: If it determines you to be hostile and attacks, determine whether anything you can do can harm or subsume it by testing out various abilities on it. Do not exceed max outputs of the current shape.

Step 3: Failing having an ability to easily harm it without sacrificing your current form, pick up one of the shapes if they're not dead, and run away with it.

Alternatively, see if you can take cores from any of the dead people in front of the Mana Beast and run away.
No. 979531 ID: e7848c

Hi Gaping Dragon. Be ready to step back into the tunnel where it won't be able to reach you should it choose to attack
No. 979534 ID: b1b4f3

Uh, I'm having a hard time making out the scale, how big is it compared to you?
Ask it whose territory this is.
No. 979553 ID: 1bf5fd

Time for a boss fight!
Are any of the bodies in the cave still alive?
No. 979568 ID: 6e6f32

My primary designation is [Primordial Slime], with secondary designations Emils and The Hybrid.
Current long-term directives are study natives and expand capabilities.
Current short-term directive is collect mana-crystal.

What is your designation? What are your directives?
No. 979615 ID: ba56e6

Identify self and association to LUST core.
No. 979618 ID: 094652

Yeah this
No. 979676 ID: 83ff48

[WARNING!] [Large/Aggressive/Intruder detected approaching along your previous course.] [Advise immediate reorientation towards rearward-facing.]
[Absorb] when its back is turned.

Normally I would be against absorbing first and asking questions later, but this poor fellow seems to be warped and confused by mad science. I am not convinced that there is a peaceful solution without extensive surgery.

>I'm having a hard time making out the scale
I think that we are in the top-left corner of the image, and that the little grey splats around its feet are corpses. Which would make its eyes about as tall as a full-grown adult.
No. 979877 ID: f2320a

You see that tiny opening with the cone with a spere that is us
No. 979880 ID: a9af05

You know what? This seems like something that one of the miners should've warned us about. So I'm guessing that they don't know about this and they don't know how dangerously close to it they are.
No. 979944 ID: 57bd40

No. 979963 ID: 0cb682

Say hello and identify yourself. If it gets uppity, walk away and tell someone about it.
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