News of Kashi : the painter with a love of money spread around Kerta like wildfire. Users and residents alike flocked to the strange elf who spent his days at the gate with his little pet to get a portrait of themselves or purchase one of his figurines or paintings. His flora paintings were the most sought after of all his goods, and by the end of each day, when he finally closed up shop, he was racking in profits of three gold and a few silvers.
Early in the morning, he could be seen going into shops to buy several raw materials for his crafts, and when he opened shop in the afternoon, the cycle would begin anew. His monopoly on the products could have given him a larger profit, but his politeness and kindness made him give fair and cheap prices to everyone. (At least that was what they thought).
Despite this success, the elf in question was not pleased. Due to the popularity of certain products, that was all people asked for. Hence, even if he was making profit, his skills had all ceased improving. His handicraft skill was stuck at level nine, refusing to enter the intermediate level. His painting and sculpting skills had halted at seven because of a lack of any true inspirational work.
The only skills with real progress were his repair skills which had reached level seven and his first-aid skill which had reached level six – bandaging Kira’s injuries after her hunts proved to be quite helpful.
To combat this stalemate, the elf closed shop indefinitely. There were rumors of him going in and out of the textile and blacksmith shops, but no one had any official sightings.
A month after his stall was closed, the adventurers were quite pleased to see their favorite merchant opening up shop once more.
“My apologies for closing up so suddenly. I am pleased to announce a new line of products, for the beautiful ladies and strapping gentlemen of Kerta.” Kashi greeted his customers, and the adventurers went wide eyed when they saw the products he laid before them.
Kashi had spent the last month learning and mastering three new crafts: Smithing, armory and tailoring, logging out only to sleep and workout. His high handicraft skill made it quite easy for him to create low-level products. Using this to his advantage he devised a strategy to upgrade his crafts as quickly as possible.
First, he needed to buy the necessary tools. His old ones were terrible and his high handicraft skills enabled him to use advanced tools. With this in mind he went on a shopping spree and bought everything he would need from a blacksmith’s hammer to a tailor’s spinning wheel. These purchases cost him a lot of money, especially since he did not really belong to any of those classes.
For smithery and armoury, he bought three gold coins worth of iron ingot, which was roughly about three thousand of them. In regular games it took only a few seconds to change a piece of ingot into a desired item. Live no Evil was nowhere as forgiving.
Crafting a single dagger took close to a minute of striking the ingot with his hammer. The good thing was that as he increased his skill, the time it took to convert the ingots to daggers reduced sharply. After several strikes, and a rising hatred for the craft later, he finished the thousandth dagger.
When he was done with those, he crafted a thousand helmets. His handicraft skill did not rise at all, but the smithing and armoury skill rose to level five just from his continuous hammering.
He sold all the finished products to the local blacksmith shop and gained his gold back, along with a few extra silver coins. He bought a new set of iron ingots and repeated the painstaking process over and over until he hit level nine of both blacksmithing and armoury where his stats ceased to improve any further.
The entire process took him close to a week. This was annoying and boring work; it was no wonder craftsmen were so few among players. He would have quit if he were not so stubborn, refusing to lose to the crafts.
Next on his list, he went to the tailor shop and bought several yards of hempen cloth, along with some leather strips. He then spent the entirety of the day crafting different hempen products, ranging from hempen hats, to hempen pants to slippers. This also did nothing to raise his handicraft skills, but raised his tailoring skill to three, at which point he unlocked the leatherworker skill.
Like the daggers, he sold the finished goods back to the shop, regained his gold, then bought the hempen cloth and leather strips and repeated the process. This continued for a few days until he also halted at level nine.
Satisfied with his tailor progress, he chose to level up his newest skill; Leatherworking.
To get the required materials, he went hunting with Kira who had grown quite a bit. Their prey were all the foxes they could find and he looted them for all their pelts. After the hunt, he went straight to the leatherworker’s shop where he tanned the pelts from his previous hunt, converting them to leather.
The process for raising leatherworking was even more annoying. He was forced to create several of the only leather recipe that did not require him to buy materials from other crafts: Leather hats.
With absolutely no variety, the skill took even longer to hit level nine. He did only this for close to a week, until his stats rose to nine. When he ran out of leather, he would go hunting with Kira to gather some more pelts.
When he was done, Kashi took a look at his skill window.
Identification (Lv7 0%): Enables you to learn the true value of unidentified items. Mana consumption: 30.
Sculpting (Lv7 45%): Enables you to carve or engrave various types of materials. Artworks of a high artistic value are worth a fortune. Easier to win a girl’s heart.
Painting (Lv7 76%):Enables you to draw or paint various forms materials. Artworks of high artistic value are worth a fortune. The ladies love a good self-portrait.
Blacksmithing (Lv9 4%): Enables you to bend certain metals and other materials to create weapons.
Armourer (Lv9 2%): Enables you to bend certain metals and materials to create armor.
Tailoring (Lv9 13%):Enables you to create various forms of clothing. Creations of high artistic value will send the continent rushing to your doorstep.
Leatherworker (Lv9 11%): Enables you to craft leather from the pelts of slain monsters. Enables the creation of leather products.
First Aid (Lv6 56%):Enables you to restore an amount of health points. Higher levels can cure ailments such as poison and blindness.
Cooking (Lv5 0%): Enables you to make exquisite meals or drinks. Beyond level 8, your dishes can give certain stat boosts.
Repair (Lv9 0%): Enables you to repair weapons and armors. Beyond Lv. 5, you can forge new weapons and gears.
Handicraft (Lv9 88%): Has extra effects on various types of craft skills, and archery mastery.
Archery (Lv5 0%): Increases attack power, range and hit rating for bows.
Silent Feet(Lv5 54%): Muffles movement. Mana Consumption: 30
Rapid shot(Lv3 13%): Releases a host of arrows in quick succession. Mana Consumption: 30
Multi Shot(Lv3 23%): Releases a number of arrows in one shot. Mana Consumption: 50 MP
Keen Sense(Lv1 5%): Enables you to focus in on a target, increasing accuracy and range of shot. Mana Consumption: 70 MP
Homing Arrow(Lv1 0%): Releases an arrow that chases your target it hits it. Mana Consumption: 100MP
Keen Eyes(Lv1 0%): Allows you to zoom in on a target, increasing your firing range. Mana Consumption: 30MP
Dark Eyes(Lv1 13%): Improves your sight in darkness.
With all his crafting skills at nine, he was prepared for the final phase of his plan. For this stage, he bought a lot of raw materials required for each respective craft.
He already had the recipes for generic weapons and armor, but he was not one to do things the easy way. He separated the materials into two: one half to be used for clothing or armor, and the other to be used to craft weapons.
With his high handicraft and weapon skills, he could craft weapons for users up to level 100. However, he chose to start small, and crafted several high quality swords for users ranging from one to seventy. His leather working skill allowed him to craft comfortable hilts and well designed sheaths. The comfortable hilts granted users more grip, which increased their dexterity. On higher level swords, he used his sculpture skill to engrave designs onto the hilts and blades of the swords, giving them a unique look from the bland weapons that could be bought at the store.
After his first sword, all the crafts he had used jumped into the intermediate level and though it did not
increase as fast, subsequent creations helped increase his stats.
Using the same process, Kashi created several high level armor which ranged in materials from iron to
silver. Rather than craft an entire armour through one hit, he decided to craft them piece by piece, allowing him to carve designs onto certain parts before joining them together. Using his leather working skill, he padded some of them to make them more comfortable and increase the users mobility.
For those who would not want heavy armor, he took a page from the costumes used in Chinese folklore.
Using dyed cloth, he crafted several eye-pleasing armour. He reinforced their protection by crafting greaves, armguards and thin layers of breastplate armour.
His aim was to make them as aesthetically pleasing as possible while increasing their stats in comparison with other works. In this regard, he was quite successful and he spent the remaining two weeks making several products, making sure to alternate the designs after a number of creations.
It was time to see how his hard-work would pay off. After crafting himself a small stall in his usual spot outside the gate, he put the items on display and waited for the adventurers to give their verdict.
Their reaction was much better than he could have ever anticipated.
Users rushed to his stall, clamoring to buy the gear he had crafted, and who could blame them. For a level one, a sword that required very little strength dealt as much damage as an average level ten’s sword.
Before the sun dropped, his shop was wiped clean and he had made a profit of five hundred gold for all of his troubles. This was far more than he knew what to do with and he had already increased his crafting skills to satisfactory levels. Honestly, he was just tired of anvils and needles and wanted to do something different.
With only one more game month to go before he could see Fladnag, it was time to increase his mana which was embarrassingly low compared to his health. There was only one known way to increase one’s wisdom and intelligence outside of stat points and that was through reading.
It was going to be difficult for him to gain wisdom by reading because of his level, but it would
be even more difficult to gain wisdom naturally due to his race.
Kashi’s new path took him to the Cat’s Glass, the largest tower in all of Kerta; it was actually quite odd he had never gone there before. It served as a bank, library and housed the various guild rooms.
He had no business with any guilds, so after depositing four hundred gold coins in the bank, he went to
the library. It was quite large, housing several books neatly arranged into sections.
Out of curiosity, he checked the magic section and was appalled to find only books on fire, ice and healing spells on the shelves. If one wanted to learn sophisticated magic, this was definitely not the city to be spawned into.
He left the magic row and took several books from different crafting sections; encyclopedia; and guides.
The library charged him five gold to rent the books – he would get four gold coins back if the books were returned in fine condition.
He placed the books into his inventory and left the library, where three humans were waiting for him. Two of them were male warriors, sporting very large intimidating weapons, while the third was a female rogue.
“Are you Kashi?” Warrior#1 asked. He was rather tall, with blue spiky air and wore a full set of heavy armour.
“Who’s asking?” Kashi glared at him, and Kira must have felt his discomfort because she growled with clear menace.
“The name’s Nyte. My partner is Blade. The rouge’s Asha.”
“Nice to make your acquaintance.”
“Wow, he really does talk like that.” Blade chuckled. He was skinnier, and wore lighter armour
compared to his friend. Judging by his spear, he was a Lancer.
“We would like you to join our guild, Silver Hand.” Nyte said.
“Why would I do that?” He did not mean to be overly rude, but something about the way they
ambushed him raised alarms.
“There are currently one hundred and thirty two members in our guild. We are the strongest in Kerta, and have cleared several high level dungeons.” Blade boasted proudly.
“I am not looking to join any guilds.” His polite speech was beginning to slip, caused by his irritation.
“You would benefit from your co-operation. We can offer protection and high level items.”
“Like I said. Not interested.” He brushed past them, choosing to leave, but Nyte grabbed his arm and held him in place. “Let go,” he warned.
“You misunderstand. This is not a request. You will join Silver Hand.” Nyte abandoned all pretense of diplomacy, opting instead to threaten the weak merchant.
“If I refuse?” Kashi’s glare intensified as he shrugged off Nyte’s hand.
“If you refuse to join, then you must cease all crafting or turn in a percentage of your profit to our guild.” Asha answered. She had one of those deep, wise lady voices commonly used in movies.
“I rather enjoy crafting. It earns me a lot of money and I have no desire to give you a single coin. What do we do?”
“This city cannot have craftsmen that do not work under Silver Hand. It will upset the balance we
Kashi finally grasped the reason for their ambush. Their guild most likely held the monopoly on crafted products before he came along. Since there were little to no painters or sculptors, they had not bothered with him before. But with his huge success on only his first day selling armour and weapons, and the uniqueness of his designs, he had become a huge threat to their income.
“Then tell your craftsmen to step up their game and chase me out the right way. I will never concede to those who bully others to get what they want.” The icy hatred in his eyes chilled the assailants down to their bone marrow.
“The plains can be very dangerous.” Nyte looked at the growling wolf, to him. “To both you and your pet.”
“I’ll take my chances.” Kashi left them, knowing they could not openly attack him inside the city. The act of murder within a city was punishable by several years in prison or execution.
Player killing outside settlements resulted in infamy and a temporary ban from cities. Even better, if there was no one to witness the crime, then they would receive no penalty.
“I told you it would be a waste of time to talk to such a weak player.” Asha laughed at Kashi’s retreating figure. “Just look at his gear. I bet he chose to upgrade his crafting skills because he was afraid of dying.”
“It does not matter. Since he chose to defy Absalon-sama, we will have to tech him a lesson the next time he leaves the city.”
Ignoring the glares from his ambushers, Kashi walked to the Archery Practice hall, to devise a plan on how he would spend his remaining month.