An elderly man is standing in front of the small house.
In his right hand, he's holding a staff that's commonly used for casting spells.
The owl is now perched on the top of the staff.
There's a yellow marker on top of its head.
I still can't get any information out of it even when I stare at it.
It looks strong.
「Bah. Is the Adventurer's Guild having a shortage of labor now?」
As I take a step forward and greet the elderly man with a polite bow, Volff does the same as well. Wow, he's smart.
「I am pleased to meet you. I am Keith, a novice Adventurer. This is my partner Volff.」
Clothed in robes, the elderly man is tall and slim.
His short, white beard is trimmed neatly.
His facial features look gentle, but he's not smiling at all. He's giving me a sharp look.
「Although I am embarrassed to say this, I approached the Guild to seek guidance from a more knowledgeable Summoner. That was when they kindly introduced you to me.」
「Mm. I've already confirmed that.」
「Your face is revealing your thoughts.」
He's laughing at me in enjoyment.
「I'm acquainted with the Guild member you talked to. I could tell it was him the moment I saw the handwriting on the note.」
He takes a step closer and looks into my eyes.
「So, for what reason do you need guidance?」
This old man knows when to put the pressure.
「This Wolf here is the only companion I currently have, due to my inexperience as an Adventurer and as a Summoner.」
「That I can see.」
This old man is scanning my surroundings for some reason.
「Average build, black hair and eyes, and with the appearance of an average person. Poorly equipped for an Adventurer, though it looks like you know a basic summon.」
He isn't praising me at all.
I remember leaving my appearance as it was when it was randomly generated during character creation.
I wonder if I should have experimented with it a little.
「Oh well. Since the Guild has introduced me, I shall take care of you for a while. However…」
The old man takes a huge step back and looks away from me.
「You will beg for guidance from me, Aurnier the Summoner. Are you willing to do that?」
Just as he said that, an info popup appears in my head.
《The event『Becoming an Apprentice Summoner』has been triggered. Do you wish to proceed?》
A small virtual window appears in front of me at the same time.
The《Yes》and《No》options are presented to me.
My answer is obvious.
「Please impart your years of wisdom to me.」
The system automatically selects the《Yes》option for me.
The《Yes》button flashes while the《No》button disappears.
《The event『Becoming an Apprentice Summoner』has started.》
「Very well then. There is something I must tell you first.」
「Yes, what is it?」
Maybe he has instructions of some sort, or so I thought.
「Would you be willing to help me with my work? The Adventurer's Guild sent me a request to deliver some magic potions to the town of Lemut. You will be helping me make them.」
「It was a last minute request yesterday, and it seems that I don't have enough potions to deliver.」
Ah. It's probably because of the sudden spike in novice Adventurers like me, buying all the potions they could.
Does this old man make potions too?
The Adventurer's Guild probably sent me here so that I could help him.
I wouldn't say that the Guild set me up, but they do have some dirty tricks up their sleeve.
His house may be small, but it has everything essential for anyone to stay in.
But it's the bare minimum.
I get the feeling that the furniture was also made using materials of the lowest quality possible.
Does he really make potions in such a shoddy place?
I don't see any items that look remotely related to Alchemy.
「We'll be collecting the materials first.」
Saying that, he went to the center of the room, where he's mumbling something.
Part of the floor sinks to the floor, revealing a spiral staircase that leads underground.
「As of now, I don't have enough herbs to make the potions. We'll go gather the herbs together.」
I follow him downstairs.
Volff seems interested and follows along as well.
There's a huge space at the end of the spiral staircase.
Wait, it's a deep hole that continues downwards.
Upon closer inspection, the spiral staircase actually continues all the way down the hole.
Even though there's lights here, I can't see the bottom because it's dark down there.
I wonder how deep it is.
I don't think we need to walk all the way down, right?
I didn't need to worry about that.
After about thirty steps down, a landing appears around the perimeter of the hole, with many doors on it.
The old magician enters one of them.
Volff and I follow him into a warehouse of some sort.
「We'll need this as well.」
There are various objects piled up on the only desk in the warehouse.
They consist of a few jute bags, scoops, gloves resembling work gloves, a wide leather belt, and a pouch.
「These are for you. Do you know how to use this?」
He's pointing at the pouch.
「It's an《Item Box》. You will need it to gather herbs. I'll lend it to you.」
He gives me the belt and pouch.
I thread the belt at the back of the pouch and wear it on my waist.
「That's it. You just have to wear it. It can't contain too much, so you will be using your rucksack as well.」
I test it out by putting the jute bags inside it.
It became full when I put in four of them.
「I can't put in more than four of these jute bags.」
「Mm. I suppose it's only natural for a novice Adventurer.」
Left without a choice, I put in the remaining two jute bags, scoops, and work gloves into my rucksack.
…I can't fit it all in.
That's because I still have item drops inside.
「I can't fit everything into my rucksack.」
「Hm? Did you already have something inside?」
「In that case, store them here.」
He gave me a bag.
「This is my spare《Item Box》. You may move the contents from your rucksack and leave it here.」
As soon as I transferred the items from my rucksack, they disappeared in the box.
It's just like a magic trick.
I put in the jute bags, the scoops, and the work gloves into my rucksack once again.
「Shall we go then?」
The moment we step outside, the old man begins whispering another spell.
The area around the house seems too wide for it, but even that looks small compared to the giant creature that appears on it.
It's a bird, right?
I'll【Identify】it just in case.
Rock Bird Lv.???
Monster Summon Standby
Honestly, it's frightening.
Volff looks scared too.
「The gathering spot is far away. We'll be riding it.」
I didn't know you could ride monster summons.
Also, I think this Rock Bird is a little too luxurious of a ride.
I don't doubt that this old man is rather strong, but I wonder how strong he really is.
To a beginner like me, his strength is immeasurable.
I want to call him Master.
The old man totters toward the Rock Bird and climbs up its back.
Volff and I follow him up.
「Shall we go then?」
Little did I know I would regret it.
The lower half of my body is covered by the Rock Bird's feathers, but the upper half of my body isn't protected.
I wanted to take a look at the ground while we're flying, but it's impossible in this cold.
I'm burying myself in its feathers as much as I can.
Even then, it's so cold that my teeth are chattering.
Isn't there anything that can ease the cold?
「Oh, that won't do. You're not used to the cold. We'll fly lower, so hang on for a while.」
That's good, but I can't bear it anymore.
Anything is fine.
I silently call on the help menu and search using the keywords『Cold』and『Skill』.
【Support Skill】Cold Resistance Not Yet Obtained Obtainable Bonus Points Required 2
A support skill that raises resistance against the cold.
Penalties suffered from the cold may be greatly reduced upon Lv up.
《You currently have 21 bonus points remaining. Do you wish to obtain this skill?》
It may be a waste of bonus points, but I can't bear it anymore.
I choose to obtain it.
《Do you wish to activate the skill?》
The confirmation box may be a good design, but I'm in a tight situation here.
I don't care if I'm picked on again. I choose the《Yes》option.
It's gotten easier after some time.
Maybe it's because the Rock Bird is flying at a lower altitude now.
「Thank you very much. I feel a lot better now.」
「My apologies for not putting myself in your shoes.」
「Don't worry about it. You are taking your time to teach me, after all.」
「Oh, speaking of which, I have much to teach you.」
The old man looks like he's deep in thought.
「You will not be able to travel with other companions. Is that alright with you?」
「Your only companions will be your monster summons.」
「Then, have you been assuming the role of rear support with your monster summons taking the front line in battle?」
That's a little different from how I've imagined it.
「I thought that would be best at first, but it's different now.」
「I think I want to fight alongside them.」
A moment of silence.
The old man's face looks a little sour.
「Even if it proves to work in combat, you know that adventuring isn't just about fighting, don't you?」
Combat is just the easy part.
Players have delegated roles in parties. I would have to do everything alone.
To a certain degree, I would have to become even more reliant on items.
「You will have to be able to perform other tasks alone, but even that notion is nothing more than an ideal.」
「I am somewhat prepared for that.」
After that, I explained my strengths to him.
To be more precise, I was describing the skills I had learned so he could understand as an NPC.
And now the time has come for his advice. The simple version, please.
The first is weapons.
Even though I can hit enemies with a staff or a rod, it's better if I'm able to use another weapon.
It's possible that some monsters will try to disarm me, and it's also likely that my weapons will break during combat.
The next is magic.
It's unwise to specialize only in wind magic.
My first priority should be either light or dark magic, followed by at least one of the other basic elements of fire, earth, and water.
It's advisable to use light or dark magic in order to travel in dungeons or at night.
Also, I should have other elements at my disposal when I'm facing enemies with resistance to wind.
After that is production.
There's no guarantee that adventurers can survive and earn income purely based on spoils and item drops.
One should always have a means of making money.
Alchemy is a necessary skill for Summoners, so I can and should use that to my advantage.
Next on the list is support.
Support skills are nothing like weapon artes or magic spells, but they do work.
I just have to obtain the skills that I really need, but the important part is deciding what I want to do.
Also, since Summoners are also magicians, I should always be seeking knowledge, even as an Adventurer.
And finally, a few words of caution.
I should imagine what kind of style I want to adopt from here on out.
And I should never stop thinking.
「We will arrive soon.」
It looks like we're almost at our destination.
I wonder what skills I should learn.
The magic skills are pretty straightforward, so I quickly made my choices.
I'm getting light and earth magic.
I used 3 bonus points for light magic and 2 for earth magic. That brings my remaining bonus points to 14.
I can still learn dark magic for 3 bonus points as well as fire and water magic for 2 bonus points each, but I'm ignoring them for now.
The weapon skills are what's bothering me.
For some strange reason, I need to spend a lot of bonus points on them.
This is what it looks like.
Punch（2）, Kick（2）, Two-Handed Spear（5）, Club（5）, Hammer（7）
Shortsword（6）, Sword（8）, Hand Axe（6）, Knife（6）, Katana（8）
Bow（9）, Dagger（8）, Flail（8）
The less expensive ones are Punch and Kick, but the price for everything else is much steeper than magic skills.
Two-Handed Spears and Clubs are a little tempting because they're on the less costly side, but I just can't imagine myself using these weapons.
Maybe I should settle for Punch and Kick.
In the worst case scenario where I fumble and drop my weapon, I can still put up a fight.
Just as I obtained and activated Punch and Kick, the Rock Bird stopped to land on the ground.
「There are herbs growing inside this forest.」
We landed on a plateau.
I can see mountains in every direction.
The air is a little thin here too.
There's a forest right in front of me, and a mountain beyond it.
「Healgrass is the most common ingredient for potions. We can gather some of it here.」
「Mhm. I can also gather them in the forest next to my dwelling, though they are less in number there.」
Master is making his way into the forest. Volff and I are following him.
「The herbs grow in places like this forest. This is one of my best gathering spots.」
The Rock Bird flies away after letting us off.
The wind caused by its movements is hurting my face.
There are a lot of tall trees in this forest.
It's hard to walk around with all the fallen trees, but it doesn't seem to be a problem for Master.
I try picking up a fallen tree branch that's long and thick enough for me to wield.
It's quite heavy. I【Appraise】it to see its details.
【Material】Sugar Maple Branch Raw Material Grade E Rarity 2 Weight 2
The branch of a sugar maple. Relatively thick and heavy for a piece of wood.
I can see that it's starting to rot, which probably explains its low item grade.
I don't think it's a good idea to use it.
And I remember seeing the name somewhere.
Wasn't it used for extracting maple syrup?
The fallen leaves resemble maple leaves too.
I remember seeing them as the identifying characteristic of the Canadian flag.
There's a certain type of grass growing around the roots of the trees. Master is using his scoop to uproot the entire plant.
「This is a Healgrass.」
He hands me a blade of grass with long, sharp leaves. It resembles a cycad.
I'm using【Appraise】on it.
【Material】Healgrass Raw Material Grade C Rarity 2 Weight 0+
A herb commonly used for health recovery.
Effective even if consumed whole, but possesses side effects that decreases AGI.
「There's one thing you should keep an eye out for. Look at this.」
He hands me another blade of grass.
It looks just like the Healgrass.
「Take a good look at the back of the leaves.」
I flip it around and see purple veins on the leaves.
I【Appraise】this as well.
【Material】Paingrass Raw Material Grade C Rarity 3 Weight 0+
Poisonous. Not lethal, but causes breathing difficulties when consumed.
Resembles Healgrass. Be careful not to mix them up.
What a troublesome grass!
「It's Paingrass. Someone may take it by accident, so don't discard it. Keep it separately.」
「Keep it separately?」
「Mhm. It may be poisonous, but it has its uses.」
「Well, if you were to gather it anyhow, it would be about 1 in 10 Healgrasses.」
「That's a scary thought.」
Master begins chanting a spell.
It's a summon magic.
A magic circle appears on the ground for a split second, then disappears.
In its place are 2 monster summons.
Monster Summon Standby
There are 2 humanoids about the size of a human.
I can't tell them apart.
They have heads, but no faces.
They look like slim humans, but their skin is made of a dark brown material that resembles wood and metal.
Their joints are simple spheres.
They're dexterously moving their fingers. It feels creepy somehow.
Their movements are too smooth.
「Well then, shall we start gathering herbs?」
By the time I filled up half of a jute bag with Healgrass, the humanoids had already filled up their bags.
They're using their own hands as scoops to dig up the herbs.
Master is sitting next to Volff, watching us perform our work.
Yup, we're working hard!
When I finally filled by first bag, the humanoids had already filled their second bags.
「Well, this should do.」
I hear the following information in my head.
《Racial Level Up! Please assign 1 point to a desired stat.》
I've decided to raise my STR.
《2 bonus points have been added. You currently have a total of 12 bonus points.》
《You may learn the Defensive Skill【Evade】.》
《You may learn the Support Skill【Transport】.》
《Do you wish to proceed to the skills selection menu?》
I'll pass for now.
《Appraise Lv Up!》
My Appraise skill has gone up to Lv.3.
I made sure to【Appraise】every herb I gathered, so I could say it's only natural.
《Cooperation Level Up!》
Wasn't it a support skill?
When did I use it?
「Oh, right. I want to see how you perform in a battle.」
「You want to see how I fight?」
「I don't know how else I should advise you.」
He does have a point.
「Is that alright?」
I withdraw my rod from the《Item Box》.
I obtained some magic skills earlier. I should take a look at them again.
I bring up the list of spells.
Summon Monster（Summon Magic）
Recall Monster（Summon Magic）
Force Bullet（Universal Offensive Magic）
Sense Magic（Universal Perception Magic）
Mental Enchant: Light（Light Magic）
Control Air Current（Wind Magic）
Physical Enchant: Wind（Wind Magic）
Physical Enchant: Earth（Earth Magic）
I'm looking at my weapon artes list too.
I didn't know there were Staff weapon artes.
The weapon artes for Punch and Kick seem rather basic too.
「Who will I be fighting?」
「I'm calling one now.」
He's casting a spell.
There's a spell like that too?
「Oh, right. You can't use this one, okay?」
I thought I was fighting with Volff?
「Don't worry. You're only fighting against a single monster. If things look bad, I'll stop the fight.」
That's good. I'm a little relieved.
I place my hand on Volff's head and tell him to wait.
Volff assumes a standby position.
I hear a sound coming from within the forest. A monster appears.
It looks like a monkey and a human. Its hair is in a complete mess.
It's just a little smaller than me.
I use【Identify】to see its stats.
Snow Ape Lv.4
Monster Enemy Target Active・Guided
Whoa. It looks strong.
Race Human Male Racial Lv3（↑1）
Job Summoner Lv2
Bonus Points Remaining 12
Staff Lv2 Punch Lv1（New!）Kick Lv1（New!）Summon Magic Lv2
Light Magic Lv1（New!）Wind Magic Lv1 Earth Magic Lv1（New!）Alchemy Lv1
Cooperation Lv2（↑1）Appraise Lv3（↑1）Identify Lv2 Cold Resistance Lv1（New!）
Equipment Beginner's Rod Simple Clothes Cloth Shoes Rucksack Item Box
Items Survival Knife
Volff Wolf Lv2