15) I used to like grinding quests.

Sunday, September 13th, 2015

I woke up to the sound of bubbles popping at 10am. Surprisingly I woke up before the dog, who was still dreaming while curled up beside my head. Her barks sounded like bubbles popping interspersed with normal barks.

I had no real plan except getting my arm fixed so I waited for her to wake while I tried to think of some training I could do at the hospital. According to a couple quick web searches I’d done the other day, it would take a few hours wait in Emerg, x-rays, maybe breaking it again, and a cast. That meant I’d be at the hospital most of the afternoon.

While I waited on the dog to stop dreaming I made my plans. I’d go to the hospital by noon, start a diary of everything that had happened from the start to raise my English, and practice memorization whenever that got boring.

Trying not to wake the dog I said, “Help English”.

{English}
Novice – Can understand a number of core concepts like ‘help’, ‘toilet’, ‘buy’ through listening or reading.
Beginner – Can understand a number of core concepts through both listening and reading. Can communicate them too by either writing or speaking.
Intermediate – Can understand simple sentences and communicate them back.
Advanced – Can understand complex concepts and mostly communicate them back.

Looking ahead at Advanced it seemed fairly easy to reach if I had the time. I figured I should be able to reach Master if I could write down all my experiences in the last two weeks. Even if I wasn’t the best writer I should be able to communicate what happened. After I reached Master in English maybe I could start writing my experience in other languages to reach Master in them.

The dog had stopped barking and was sleeping normally so I decided to check on the {Regeneration} ability but it was still at Intermediate. It hadn’t leveled during the night. There was no sign of injury on my left forearm except a small bump where the bone was pushing up my skin. All the bruising and the wound were gone. With all visible signs healed the {Regeneration} ability could only speed up my healing, not directly fix it.

Reaching over to the bed side I grabbed my phone and started scrolling through the apps to make sure I had things ready. Either my movement, or the sound of pressing the home button, woke the dog.

I had a good note app that I could use for the diary. A memory testing app. Two Japanese language apps. And a map app which gave an interesting idea.

A standard in dungeon RPG games was automatic mapping. It wouldn’t be that helpful in a city I knew very well but in a place like Toronto it could make a huge difference.

Looking at the other apps I tried to think if some of them could be turned into skills. Likely I could learn to schedule things with a mental calendar skill. Take still shots or videos, though I’d likely need a drawing skill to show anyone else. An accurate clock ability might prevent me from being late. Mental calculation is always useful when sorting bills. Maybe memorization of music would let me play songs for myself? The possibilities seemed nearly endless if I had weeks of uninterrupted time to test things.

The rest of the apps seemed unlikely to be useful. I doubted I could create skills to browse the internet or social media sites for example.

With the dog staring at me I gave up, took her out, made breakfast, took a shower, and got ready to head to the hospital around 11am. I didn’t bind my left arm since there was no visible problem with it anymore.

Opening the map app I entered in the new regional hospital at my destination and started following the instructions.

After 30 boring minutes of staring at my phone I reached the hospital parking lot. As I closed the app and looked around for the Emergency entrance a window popped up and the first headache of the day started.

Due to your actions you have gained a Skill.
The skill {Mapping} (Novice, Active) EXP: 4.9%, has been created.
You have gained 1 Intelligence.
You have gained 1 Mental Stamina.
You have gained 50 EXP.

I was a bit surprised by the name. I wasn’t creating a map, just following it, so I thought I’d get {Orienteering} for a skill.

As the window faded I was about to check the help on the {Mapping} skill but another far more surprising window popped up.

You have unlocked the Explorer Class.

I stood at the edge of the parking lot, staring into space for quite a while after the window faded. Yet again I felt dumb for not going through every possibility as I gained information.

After shaking off my self criticism I decided to get myself registered at the Emerg desk before starting to figure things out. I had hours of waiting and pain to go and sorting things outside wasn’t going to speed that up.

A good 10 minutes of filling out paperwork, explaining I didn’t trust my doctor, and a stare down with the nurse later, I was sitting in a corner of the waiting room. With no one paying particular attention to me I quietly started muttering keywords.

“Help Class”, was the keyword I found eventually.

You have unlocked 3 classes. Class can be changed at any point.
Explorer
Spy
Warrior

“Help Warrior”

Focuses your power into reinforcing your combat capacity at the expense of other skills and abilities.
Increased rate of experience for combat related skills and abilities.
Reduced rate of experience for non combat related skills and abilities.
Increased Hit points gain per level.
Decreased Mental Energy gain per level.
Requirement: 2 combat skills, {Pain Tolerance}, {Regeneration}.

“Help Spy”

Focuses your power into reinforcing your evasive and stealth capacity at the expense of other skills and abilities.
Increased rate of experience for stealth or combat related skills and abilities.
Reduced rate of experience for non stealth or combat related skills and abilities.
Requirement: {Hiding}, {Sneaking} and {Knife fighting}.

“Help Explorer”

Focuses your power into reinforcing your survival and language capacity at the expense of other skills and abilities.
Increased rate of experience survival and language related skills and abilities.
Reduced rate of experience for combat related skills and abilities.
Requirement: 1 pet, {Sneaking}, and {Mapping}.

I really didn’t want to go the warrior route. Even if I was now fairly strong and healthy for my age from the stat gains I didn’t think combat was quite right for me.

Spy seemed interesting. It would improve my chances of living and escaping. However the reduced rate of gaining EXP in many of my skills seemed to cut down on my growth in the short term. Since I planned to create a number of new skills and level them to Intermediate for stat gains the Spy class didn’t make sense.

That left Explorer. There was a reduction on how fast I could level combat skills but other than that it seemed fine. The part about 1 pet was a bit weird but hopefully would make sense eventually. I quietly a few commands.

“Help change class”, “Change Class”, “Change Explorer” with no luck until I said “Change Class Explorer”.

Pain my brain so hard I felt my vision grey out immediately. Within a second after that I was unconscious.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I woke up on a bed in one of the examining rooms. A passing nurse was kind enough to explain I’d passed out almost 5 hours earlier and that they had taken X-rays of my left arm, a blood sample, and were thinking of an MRI.

Using {Acting} I explained my way out of the MRI by saying I hadn’t eaten that morning and just passed out from hunger. Happily she eventually bought it and let me buy some food from a vending machine. She had wanted to start an IV drip which I was happy to avoid.

As soon as she was gone I was able to have a snack and check “Character Window”

Class Explorer
Level 0
EXP 0
Next Level EXP 1000
Title
Agility 16/16
Hand-Eye 10/10
Intelligence 27/28
Luck 6/6
Mental Stamina 16/52
Physical Stamina 24/24
Strength 21/21
Vitality 19/19
Wisdom 22.5/22.5
Titles available
Slightly Masochistic, Not So Slightly Masochistic, Moderately Masochistic

My class, level, EXP and EXP to next level were all changed. The fact that it reset my level made it obvious that even if I could change classes at any point there were clearly reasons not to. The hit to my Mental Stamina must have been huge though, even 5 hours later I hadn’t recovered much.

The doctor on duty came by a bit after I finished my snack and window browsing. He’d checked the X-rays, noticed the bone out of place, and approved of resetting it.

It was the most intense pain I’d ever seen coming and I prefer not describing how I dealt with it. The nurse didn’t press charges is all I’ll say.

By 7pm I was out of the hospital and on my way home with another useless title and no skill gains in {English} or {Memorization} like I had planned. {Pain Tolerance} though was at 59.3% and would possibly hit Master before I went to sleep so that was good.

I took the dog for a quick walk before it got dark and then started making supper. While the oven heated for baking my chicken burgers I started browsing the news. There were now thousands of people who had shown their powers across the world. Fights between some of the more combat orientated had destroyed city blocks. Most though were just living their lives and trying to help others with their new powers.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

After a few hours wasted browsing the news while eating and I felt a bit better about my situation. A number of people had been killed or crippled. I was safe, mostly whole, and slowly improving my power.

I started writing my diary of how things had happened. I had 16 Mental Stamina so I couldn’t gain too many skills but leveling up {English} would only take 3.

After finishing the first two days I started day 3 when I felt the headache and saw the window pop up.

Through use of the skill {English} it has reached Intermediate level.
{English} (Intermediate, Passive) EXP: 1.3%.
You have gained 0.5 Wisdom.
You have gained 1 Mental Stamina.
You have gained 5 EXP.

Which reminded me I was so caught up in the class stuff earlier in the day I had never looked at {Mapping}.

“Help Mapping.”

{Mapping}
Novice – Ability to locate and orient yourself on maps.
Beginner – Ability to review and mentally mark maps you have recently seen or memorized.

It was already fairly late at that point, my headache was fairly bad, and the distributed body pain was still intense, so I decided to take the dog out and head to bed early.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Trying to find a position where I could sleep without the cast bothering me was hard. I was thinking of different ways to position it so I wouldn’t move it overnight when a window popped up with a *DING*.

A quest has been created.
Capture!
You quest is to ‘Capture Your Enemies’ before 3pm Wednesday, September 16th, 2015.
Rewards:
500 EXP, +1 to all Basic Stats per enemy captured
Failure:
Possible death.
You cannot refuse this quest.

I stayed up hours trying to think of various plans or ideas until I drifted off to sleep with the bedside light still on.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Author’s note: Here’s what the dog does occasionally when sleeping. This video isn’t her, just one that shows the bubble sound.

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