Point of Return

First Blood


”How are you always late Shin? ” Nightingale poked at my shoulder as he walked up from behind me.

From the last time I saw him, I noticed that he changed to a new higher level codex and he also upgraded his armor to a golden trimmed chest plate. He sat down beside me kicking up one of his legs over the other and playfully put his arm around my neck and pulled me closer. I lightly pushed him aside to make a little distance between us.

”Nice coat man! I see you visited an armory already. ” Nightingale retracted his arm.

”I was late because of this thing, ya know? Right, also Im kind of broke again. Also, because of the coat… ” I said reluctantly.

”Well thats beside the point, I wanted to disclose some secret information with you. ” Nightingale switched to a more serious tone.

”Im sure youve noticed by now but your basic skills have upgraded at level 10, I got my artificer upgrades when I hit level 10 as well. I think if we wanted to start abusing the game economy we should grind. Like hardcore. ”

”Yeah, I figured as much but do you have any idea where would be most efficient to spot to level at? ” I asked.

”Well, when I was digging through the game files I found the experience formula. ” Nightingale said with a thumbs up.

Nightingale explained it to me thoroughly. Monsters grant a set amount of experience but as you level past the level of the monster, the amount of experience you gain from each kill decreases as your difference in level increases. This was pretty standard for MMORPGs. Furthermore, players gain increased experience when defeating monsters in a party. This bonus increases with each member you add to the party up to a maximum of three. At that point, the experience begins to split between four people at a diminishing return. Nightingale also found that the highest possible level you could achieve in the game files at the moment was 500.

As for a location, Nightingale found there was a hidden dungeon within the mining ravine found surrounding the city. The path to the ravine is blocked off by NPC guards that won let you pass without permission from the royal knights. After examining the game files, he found some lines of dialogue that came from an NPC at the far corner of the industrial district in Freila named Rodgier. Apparently, there was a prerequisite quest that players must accept to gain entry to the ravine. That was our next move.

Nightingale sent me a party invite as he finished explaining.

The streets of Freila were always busy. It wasn too different from the streets of the CJP before the pandemic aside from the obvious difference in setting. The streets were covered by a thin layer of snow but were swept away into large piles at street corners by NPCs. I took passing glances inspecting the players that we came across. A majority of them were levels 15 to 20. Many of them were also in guilds.

Armored Legion, Stormwatch, and Drakos were among some of the most prominent guild names from the looks of it. Guilds weren available in Levendale as far as I could tell. There was only a guild hall to give players quests and early game progression.

”They look rather menacing, don they? ” Nightingale pointed out as he noticed my observations.

”Maybe we should make a guild. ” I said without much thought.

”We could. I heard it costs a large sum of silver though and we can really spare that at the moment. ” Nightingale added.

We made it to the far corner of the industrial district.


[Freila Industrial District]


The buildings got progressively more fortified as residential buildings became a rarity. This district was primarily inhabited by NPCs roaming around. The NPCs in this world seem to handle most of the menial labor when it comes to sustaining the cities. NPCs in this area typically wore brown leathered shirts and jackets, dark brown work pants, and hats that look like they came out of a noir movie.

Our next step was to look for Rodgier. Luckily for us, all the NPCs have their names above their heads but that won help the sea of NPCs that walk around up and down the streets. We experimented with asking them directly.

”Do you happen to know where we could find someone that goes by the name Rodgier? ” I asked a middle-aged man in his work clothes.

”Weve worked together before. Hes been put off of work recently due to an accident in the mine that injured him. You can find him in the housing section of the industrial district. Its by the mines entrance. ” The man responded flatly.

It seemed like NPCs in Freila aren too different compared to Levendale when it comes to the stiffness of conversation. Navigating to the housing section, we found Rodgier quickly as he was sitting on a rocking chair outside one of the housing complexes. There were hardly any other players in this part of the city as there were no shops or interesting sights to see.

”Aaaaaah, its over for me! Won someone help me? ” he repeated at what seemed to be a timed interval.

”Ah, you there! Could you help me out? he asked while pointing to us.

Upon closer inspection, we found that Rodgiers arm was partially missing. He went on about how the mine collapsed and his arm had to be amputated to separate himself from the rubble and risk further mine closures. He spoke about the harsh working conditions and the number of monsters that came from the bottom of the ravine.

”We don have enough protection from the royal guards down there. ” he looked down sounding defeated.

”Those damned royals don know what its like for one of us down here do they?! ” finishing his series of complaints while raising his voice.

”Could you escort my cousin Adam from the lower levels of the mine back to me? I won let him face the same tragedy that I experienced.

Ill reward you handsomely… Please. ” He pleaded.

A prompt appeared before us in the usual space.


[Accept Quest: Rodgiers Final Request? Y/N]



Upon accepting the quest, we opened our quest logs to examine the rewards. Nightingale immediately looked at each other. The quest log previewed the experience rewards we could gain from the quest.


[Unique Quest: Rodgiers Final Request]

Escort Adam, Rodgiers cousin, out of the mines while defeating all monsters on your path.

Adam can not take damage for the duration of the mission.

If Adam takes damage, the quest will automatically be abandoned and cannot be accepted again.

(?) – Unique quests can only be completed once and will no longer be available to other players once the clearing party turns in the rewards.


350 XP, 10,400 silver coins


The experience was already good enough as the previewed gain would give us both four levels. Furthermore, I purchased my coat for 9,800 silver coins so this was more than enough to offset the cost.

The problem was that we only had one chance to complete this quest. Nightingale understood the circumstance and was prepared.

”This is what Ive been waiting for. I actually haven put in my skill points yet except for [Fireball], [Wind Slicer], and [Heal]. I only allocated skill points to the skills I needed to kill monsters at a decent pace. I still have five points that I could spend on barrier magic to prevent Adam from taking any damage. ” Nightingale said smugly.

”As expected from Nightingale the wise. ” I said sarcastically.

”Hey, come on! You know you can do this quest without me. You wouldn even be here without my help!. ” He responded sharply.

”Yeah, yeah, thanks. Lets plan our strategy. ” I stated while slapping Nightingale on the back.



Nightingale and I head towards the mines entrance when we were met with similar guard NPCs that blocked the entrance to Freila. As expected, their spears were drawn and pointed at us until the game processed that we met the prerequisites to enter the mine.

Leaving the castle walls for the first time since I stepped foot in Freila, I stood atop a wooden walkway supported by stone beams that connected the walkway to the cliff edge. The wind was howling and the harsh snow made it difficult to look into the distance. When we took a look down the ravine, the lights of workers beneath us continued to move despite the occasional sound of rumbling and clashes between royal guards.

We stood by the edge on standby as the elevator rose to the top. As it reached the top, the metal grates swung open and an NPC wheeled away a cart full of blue crystals into the warehouse near the castle walls.

Nightingale and I stepped onto the elevator and signaled for the guard to begin lowering us down the ravine.

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