Many Worlds Chapter 20

After Jules had noticed the lack of any infrastructure connecting the cities, he had shrugged it off as just a feature of Uesmeth. Perhaps the inhabitants had no desire to cover the entire planet, but chose to live modestly. Either way, he hadn’t really thought about it after that. However, he noticed a feeling throughout the city of Fesmoilia. The citizens were preparing for something. It wasn’t immediately obvious, because they didn’t seem particularly worried. This meant that whatever event they were preparing for wasn’t particularly momentous, or it wasn’t soon.

Jules asked around town, and soon discovered that he had underestimated what people can get used to. There was certainly an event coming, a month and a half away, but Jules still felt that the natives were far too calm compared to the magnitude of the event. However, it completely explained why they only had cities in certain places, and no roads. Calling what was coming a “major geological event” would be an understatement.

It wasn’t a secret, but it was impressive. Every few years to a decade, the land would shift. This wasn’t something small, like an earthquake. Instead, it was just as the words used, a shifting of the land. All of it. At least, in a large area around a city. The cities themselves were built in regions that, for whatever reason, were stable. However, outside the city borders, the ground would move violently. A part of the area would shift around in something like segments, rearranging locations, though not quite as gracefully as one would imagine. In addition, similar events caused pieces of land to merge together into new hills, or possibly mountains, and others to pull apart and cause ravines. As of yet, there was no way to predict what would happen, except for massive earthquakes. Although for several miles from the borders of the cities the ground wouldn’t shift, any structures in the area would probably be destroyed by the intensity of the earthquakes. In the city, it wouldn’t be as severe, but it wasn’t something that could be ignored either.

The reason for the walls of the cities, besides denoting what was considered a safe building distance, was because of these “landshifts”. Although there weren’t many dangerous animals that lived on the surface, underground and in caves there were more monstrous things. These creatures would become agitated, and leave their homes before the landshifts started, only returning sometime after they settled down. That would not have been a problem, but they knew the only stable areas, seemingly by instinct. These areas, of course, were the locations of cities. Thus, upset, dangerous beasts would approach the city, followed closely by and coinciding with large earthquakes. Of course, it was also possible that such creatures would come out at other times, which explained why the walls were manned by guards all the time, though not very many.

This meant that if Jules wanted to participate in the coming events, he would need to be competent in battle before then. He could just stay out of the battle, of course, but the worst thing that could happen is he would die in Many Worlds. Though it came with some penalties, he would come back to life. Meanwhile, it was likely some native Uesmethi would die, and they would stay dead. Other players probably wouldn’t have the same sense of that as Jules, but they would be interested in participating in a “game event”. In fact, as soon as he thought about that, he noticed a pop up window.

You have received an area quest!

Landshift:

Help the citizens of Fesmoilia prepare for the landshift. In addition, contribute to the defense of the city from the monster attacks.

Time Remaining: 44 days

Rewards:

Based on contribution

Jules was surprised at the timing. Had thinking about it in some way generated the quest? The answer, of course, was yes and no. It was probably just waiting to be discovered by someone. Jules looked around, and noticed that other players were reacting as well. It seems they had received the quest too, thus it being an “area quest”. All quests so far had been related to the natives. This was probably to foster the idea that helping them was a good thing, and likewise would give them good will toward otherwise strange “adventurers”. In a real game, the fact that npcs gave quests would just be a given, whereas here the quests were actually part of the system given to the “players”. It wasn’t particularly different from a practical standpoint, which is what allowed people to still believe Many Worlds was a game. After all, it was fantastical and had game elements, at least from their perspectives, and they had no reason to believe it wasn’t a game.

Obviously, the announcement of the area quest involved a flurry of activity from players. Of course, there wasn’t actually all that much that was immediately obvious they could do to prepare for the landshift. There were already perfectly good walls in place, and soldiers to defend them. However, some players took the chance to find officials from the city, and started a list where they could sign up to help defend the city. Although it already had defenses, more wouldn’t hurt, especially relatively cheap, seemingly fearless help such as the adventurers. It ended up being a rather strange contract, though, that didn’t fit standard ones. After all, normally the money that would be paid to deceased members of a combat force would usually go to family… instead of being paid to the deceased themselves, when they came back to life later. Of course, this also meant there wasn’t any bonus pay going towards those who died. Meanwhile, Jules still had the intentions to become capable of fighting such creatures, because he hadn’t experienced death yet in this world. And, although he knew that people respawned, he wasn’t particularly interested in trying, since this world was still real. Would it even be him that came back? Was it even him now? Well, perhaps more importantly in the short term, he didn’t like pain, and thus would try his best to avoid it.

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