Many Worlds Chapter 37
Heading out to fight monsters once more, Jules had expected more nervousness from the group based on what had happened the last time. However, what he saw instead was confidence. Isaac had new armor, and it looked quite nice, if not top-quality. Douglas just looked like he wouldn’t be afraid of anything anymore. Robert’s confidence, meanwhile, didn’t seem to come from anything in particular.
Jules, meanwhile, had an advantage of significantly more levels than he previously had. There were too many different factors involved, but he felt he was about 50% stronger. Whatever that meant, because obviously none of his attributes had increased by 50%. On the other hand, if they had all increased by 50%, he wouldn’t have been just 50% more effective in any way. Thus, Jules was just left with the feeling that he was about that much better.
The actual results were clear in their fight with the first monster they encountered. It was another spined horror, which would let them compare themselves to before. There seemed to be a large amount of these monsters, yet there would theoretically be more terrifying ones coming out of the caves in the future.
The battle started, as usual, with the group opening fire from a distance. There weren’t any game mechanics that would prevent them from doing that, though natural terrain still was a hindrance. Because of the armored spines, they were unable to kill the monster before it got close, but they did manage to give it a few more wounds than they would have before. Isaac moved up to take the vanguard position. However, he still kept his assault rifle as his weapon. Jules presumed he knew what he was doing.
Spines were shot out, but Jules relatively easily deflected the ones coming toward them. He wouldn’t say he could maintain such indefinitely, but it wasn’t too tiring. Robert and Douglas both managed to score some good hits. Robert seemed significantly more accurate, while Douglas’ laser somehow felt more powerful, even though it was the same laser pistol. Thus, it wasn’t too long before the defeated the spined horror. The finishing blow was done by Isaac, who just placed his assault rifle (almost) directly next to an exposed flank, and pulled down the trigger.
Jules thought about the experience they gained for killing the monster. It wasn’t as much as he thought it should be, really. Jules had a feeling that experience was partly rewarded for how useful it would be to the natives, and he felt like this was something that would be helpful to them, even if they could handle it on their own. Jules decided to ask Herbert about it, expecting no response. Instead, the answer came shortly.
“The experience is currently accumulating interest.”
“How does that work?”
There was a long pause. “I have decided that I cannot adequately explain it in the way that I want to. However, as for what you actually are interested in, yes, they are not giving particularly glorious amounts of experience, and also yes, it is worth your time beyond just the fact that you are helping people.”
“That’s good to know, but can you give a reason why you don’t want to and can’t explain? Of course, you can always just not answer.”
“I am aware of that. In this case, it has to do with the inner workings of the system, which are quite complicated, and it would not do them justice to explain simply. In addition, I do not feel the information would be beneficial to distribute at this time, and may even cause harm.”
Jules and the group continued to hunt various monsters, some which had eight or more legs but otherwise were like giant rats, some more spined horrors, and many other strange things. There were even a few batlike creatures, which made them glad for the forested terrain and the fact that they all had guns of various types. However, as battles continued on, the inevitable got injured from mistakes, or just not knowing what to expect. None of them died, but they needed to return to town to rest both their bodies and their minds. Being in combat situations for any period of time was extremely stressful, even with the knowledge that they would not (permanently) die.
Instead of just logging out of the game, they decided to head to a restaurant in town. They really hadn’t had many chances to sit down together over a meal in recent years, since they lived in different places. The food was different from what they were used to, but everyone found at least one thing they liked. Jules got something like a cheeseburger, at least it was meat that was cooked and had some kind of cheese melted on top, then was placed in something like bread bread. Jules didn’t try to find out what kind of creature the meat was from, because the animals he had seen here were strange looking, and he didn’t want to influence his thoughts of the food. His thoughts were that it was good. Everyone else also enjoyed their meals, and also the chance to just hang out. Normally, they would have talked about up and coming video games, but currently they just talked about life. For one, they were in something that acted like a game, but it was also that there really wasn’t going to be anything good coming out soon. However, each of them still spent time doing other things than adventuring in Many Worlds. Not as much as they had before, but they also had more time to use since they no longer slept. It was a strange thing to get used to, and Jules had taken to sleeping at least once a week anyway, even though he didn’t feel “tired”.
For the next few days, they rested their wounds and did various work around town, as they had done before. Jules found that he could work more rapidly to make the various toys and puzzles, but this just left him with more time, since having an unlimited number of them wasn’t going to be helpful to the shop owner. Thus, Jules just found himself wandering around the city, exploring it… and enjoying its beauty. Especially the fact that there weren’t solar panels everywhere. Jules did wonder where they got the power for the city though, since they didn’t use solar, and he hadn’t seen anything like a power plant anywhere. Well, based on the quality of the air, it probably wasn’t coal or something similar. Jules was glad for that.