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 Sugar Song and Bitter Step [quest_002;open]

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Echo
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PostSubject: Sugar Song and Bitter Step [quest_002;open]   Sat Apr 15, 2017 10:44 pm

Rush hour.

It was the hour where business and traffic in all areas was at its peak, where the pub was booming with customer after customer coming in to enjoy the refreshing appetizers or a drink to relax. Everyone that came in all looked different from one another in physical appearance, but the differentiation between player and NPC was very minimal outside of the label coming up once someone got into their general vicinity. In the end, all of them were simply customers to satisfy and get the job done. For a side quest, it had a lot of upsides, at least.

Whether it was a CPU or a breathing person, the conversations that one could eavesdrop for information were innumerable. Gathering intel was ideal for a game to figure out the most efficient way to beat it; by default, however, clearing out every request available was common sense if a player wanted to maximize their chances at buying valuable equipment later on. Rumor had it that gaining access to the next floor required purchasing a ticket as well. Perhaps listening into what the next people that came in said would be ideal to affirm whether that gossip was a tall tale or not.

But, for now, to focus on the cataclysmic madness presented. The door opened, and in came another customer. Jotting down the current orders adeptly, the supposed waitress gave a few nods before continuing the routine with the newcomer, who was seated at a vacant table that one of the staff NPCs had led them to. ”Welcome to Watcher’s Pub,” he said daintily, giving a slight bow before he prepared the notepad and pen. "What can I get you today?”

Wearing the female uniform wasn’t going to give the correct impression if a player found out he was a boy, but he didn’t care. He could pull it off just fine without anyone being suspicious about it.

It was only a glitch in the system anyway.
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PostSubject: Re: Sugar Song and Bitter Step [quest_002;open]   Sun Apr 16, 2017 5:11 pm

Ansley was led to her table by one of the NPCs, taking in the chaotic mess around her as she walked. She couldn't help but wonder how many of the people crowding the place were actual people and how many of them were just more NPCs. She tried to keep an eye out for anyone else who was dressed similarly to her to no avail, at least for the time being. Sitting down, she kept taking in the surroundings until an apparent waitress approached, a notepad in hand.

"Uh..." She'd just come here to observe; not to actually get anything to eat. At least it was as good a time as any to see how the NPCs reacted to the unexpected. "Nothing. Just here to listen."
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PostSubject: Re: Sugar Song and Bitter Step [quest_002;open]   Sun Apr 16, 2017 11:21 pm

From previous NPC customer reactions, most of them would be very quick and polite with their orders. A few had been a bit more forward with it, and to add to the challenge of the quest, there were a good number of player and NPC customers who had tried to make things very difficult. They were dealt with quickly. While a player or two had mentioned they wanted to listen in for information, they would at least order something first. Callum blinked, pushing on the end of the pen to retract the tip, crossing his arms. "I can't let you stay in the pub if you don't order something," he replied with a smile. "I'll write down something random then." Before allowing the dark-haired girl to respond, he stepped away to the back.

It only took a few moments before he came back with a plate, placing it gently on the table. On top was a square slice of raspberry mousse cake, the red frosting decorated with a bouquet of red berries and leaves. A strawberry was expertly placed off to the side. Pulling out a chair, he took a seat and continued with the same smile plastered on his features.

"Could you share with me what you know about this game?"
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PostSubject: Re: Sugar Song and Bitter Step [quest_002;open]   Mon Apr 17, 2017 1:42 am

Gabriel had taken upon himself to gather information, and there was no better way to do that than to spend a long time in the tavern. Working there allowed him to do that, people would drink, and when they did some of them would talk their heads off. Even if it wasn't super relevant any information could be useful in the future.

Gabe smiled as some customers after they had told him they were enjoying their food. Even if he didn't care in the slightest it was still part of his job and he needed this job to get information. He was about to walk over to someone else when he heard two other players talking. His yellow eyes looked up at them before walking over to join them. "Are you two talking about the game?" He asked to confirm what he heard.
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PostSubject: Re: Sugar Song and Bitter Step [quest_002;open]   Thu Apr 20, 2017 12:37 am

Ansley began to raise a hand to stop the waitress as she left, but suddenly found herself glad he didn't stop when she returned with cake. Then surprise came over her features when she sat down and asked about the game. So much for her being some random NPC. "Oh crap, you aren't an NPC. Sorry for trying to break you by not ordering anything." Ansley recomposed herself,  getting comfortable in the seat. She opened her mouth to speak, when she heard a third voice. "Yeah, we are." She turned back to the waitress. "I dunno a whole lot yet. I'm still trying to figure out the weird UI thingy. What've you got?"
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PostSubject: Re: Sugar Song and Bitter Step [quest_002;open]   Thu Apr 20, 2017 1:22 pm

"Heh, now you're just offending me," Callum said, propping his arms on the table to give his chin a resting place. Up close, the customer had been a dark-haired girl with honey brown eyes; she had an American accent to her voice. Objectively, a few others could have found her rather cute. Or so the players at the very furthest table from where they were seemed to be mumbling about in the sea of voices. That jealousy of theirs only grew further when another person had approached their table. A native Korean, from the sound of the voice. Interesting.

In this proximity, the players' names appeared over their heads. They could skip over the introductions. Listening to what Ansley was saying, he closed his eyes. "Ah, now this is just disappointing," he noted with a heavy sigh. This late at night after the meeting, he would've expected every player to come in to have some sort of useful tidbit of information, but that didn't seem to be the case. He didn't think he would learn anything new from these two. His eyes glanced upward at the ceiling before leveling itself back down towards the customers. "I'm not exactly an expert on the game, but I have learned quite a bit."

Flicking his fingers, he pulled up the UI. Pointing at the available tabs, Callum continued, "The first thing you see when you pull up the interface is the character profile, which is most useful for finding out where you're injured and your HP." He quickly glossed over the tabs. "Inventory, teleportation, equipment, messages, class skills, and wildlife compendium - all relatively self-explanatory." The UI dissipated with another flick.

"I'd recommend mastering your class skills and looking at the compendium." Can't beat a game if the player is unwilling to master the content, after all.
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PostSubject: Re: Sugar Song and Bitter Step [quest_002;open]   Sun Apr 23, 2017 1:21 am

Gabe crossed his arms when there wasn't too much new information. "The UI does take some getting used to, but its not to big of a deal." The brown haired boy stayed standing, while the other two sat. "I haven't heard much myself running around this place aside from a couple rumors. They probably don't hold any weight.."

The boy let out a small huff, and opened up his UI taking a look at it real quick. It was the same thing, nothing had changed since he last looked at it. He closed it shortly afterwards. "How are we supposed to learn anything when everyone else is just as new as we are?" He pondered aloud.
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PostSubject: Re: Sugar Song and Bitter Step [quest_002;open]   Mon Apr 24, 2017 7:50 pm

Ansley mimicked the other two, opening the UI. She smiled and nodded slightly as she scrolled through it. After continuing to fiddle with the UI for a few more moments, she looked back over at Gabe. "We're probably supposed to just figure crap out as we go, I guess. It probably isn't gonna be too hard. Just like any other RPG kinda game, right?" Ansley's voice carried a rather optimistic tone as she spoke. Things should be fine. Even if she got attacked by monsters (something like this obviously had to have them) she'd still be fine; she had magic now.

Ansley looked over at Callum now. Specifically, she looked just above him, looking at the name floating in the air above him, before looking back at his outfit for a moment, and then back at the name. This was probably not the nicest thing to ask, but... "Isn't Callum a guy's name?"
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PostSubject: Re: Sugar Song and Bitter Step [quest_002;open]   Mon Apr 24, 2017 8:27 pm

His eyes continued to move back and forth between the two speaking, keeping it level without seeming particularly interested in what they were discussing. Whether they took the predicament they were stuck in seriously or not was up to debate. When Gabriel mentioned how they were supposed to learn anything new when it was scarcely into the game, Callum only laughed gently for a brief moment, his hand covering his mouth to muffle the sound a tiny bit. "You'd be surprised at how quickly someone can master a game in a short amount of time." He didn't make any attempts to clarify what he was talking about. "This isn't your average RPG, after all."

For a few moments, he smiled a little wider when Ansley questioned about his name. "Actually, it's a unisex name in the current time and age, Ms. Mage," he started calmly. "Though it started off as a pet name for the male name, Malcolm, it's risen in popularity by 16% in the past decade for females because the name means 'dove'. Doves are associated with love and peace, which are considered more feminine qualities." Quietly, he sighed. "Of course, it's still pretty uncommon, but some parents like to use it as an alternative."
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PostSubject: Re: Sugar Song and Bitter Step [quest_002;open]   Mon Apr 24, 2017 10:00 pm

Gabe shrugged. "I know people can master games pretty quickly but they don't have the riskiness associated with out situation. We can't really just go into something with out considering the risks or else we will lose lives and possibly end up dead." He knew people usually beat a game within the first 24 hours of it coming out, he had seen it done but there wasn't really any permanent dangers with those games.

He wished it was just like any of those other games then he would be recklessly flying though this game and getting out as soon as possible, but he had his life hanging on the edge of three lives. He couldn't gain more that he knew of, and he didn't know how tough things were going to be.
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PostSubject: Re: Sugar Song and Bitter Step [quest_002;open]   Mon Apr 24, 2017 10:25 pm

Ansley blinked at Callum. Wow. Okay... maybe Callum wasn't exactly a boy's name. She opened her mouth to speak a few times, only to pause and close it again. She... probably wasn't going to be continuing the mini conversation about Callum's name. So she looked over at Gabe again. "Pfft, so what? We have more than one life, and we can fight back. What's the worst that could possibly happen? Hell, we can even stick together and watch each other's backs, y'know?" Ansley's words were joined by a confident grin as she brought up the UI, scrolling around and tapping on it, going to her inventory and causing a spellbook to appear a foot in the air and land on the table with a thud.

Ansley began to flip through the book, nodding as she did so. Seriously, she had magic. What was there to be afraid of?
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PostSubject: Re: Sugar Song and Bitter Step [quest_002;open]   Mon Apr 24, 2017 10:37 pm

It was amusing that she actually believed that explanation. It'd be a bit of a shame if he ruined the fun at this point, and thus, he decided against it, allowing the conversation to take its own flow as Gabriel had ignored what was said. The other boy seemed much more focused on grabbing information and the wealth of knowledge available for the game. He was a bit of the cautious type. That was fine. Ansley on the other hand, had a different approach. "You two can stick together, but I have no intentions on joining anyone," Callum replied as soon as Ansley brought up the notion in the first place. "Getting all buddy-buddy with others isn't my thing." Her spellbook had plopped onto the table, and it appeared that she was reading it, for some odd reason, he wasn't sure. If she wanted to work on spells, a public area was the least likely place to do so.

"I'd expect the worst from a game where we're prisoners, Ms. Mage." He wouldn't stop smiling, even as he detailed out various instances and accounts on the game. "You never know what the game master could be doing. He could be watching us while we sleep or, if he doesn't like us, he could amp up the feeling of pain or outright steal one of our lives. Other players can have their appearances drastically altered to resemble a monster if he wanted."
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PostSubject: Re: Sugar Song and Bitter Step [quest_002;open]   Mon Apr 24, 2017 10:42 pm

"I wouldn't mind assisting either of you if you need the help, but I don't know how I would go about sticking with someone. I'm kinda all over the place." He didn't mind the offer but he couldn't get information out of others with someone following him around.

On the better side of this offer though, if he got close to this girl he could use some personal information against her if needed.

"Who knows what that game master would be thinking? Or who else has access to his abilities and stuff.." The boy trailed off. If someone really didn't like them they could easily pull lives without a care.
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PostSubject: Re: Sugar Song and Bitter Step [quest_002;open]   Mon Apr 24, 2017 11:14 pm

Ansley's overly confident grin began to waver. So much for the three of them taking on everything. It didn't matter too much though; there'd definitely be other people she could team up with. And while Callum didn't seem too keen on things, at least she could get some help from Gabe if she really needed it. Then Ansley's grin faltered even more at the mention of just how powerful whoever was in control of things could really be. He was basically God in here. At least, he was if there was any merit to what the other two were saying. But maybe there wasn't. "Maybe he isn't that powerful. Even if he is, he probably won't do anything to screw with us as long as he don't start trying to piss him off. I'm not about to go trying to piss him off." Ansley looked at her two companions, expecting them to say roughly the same thing.
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PostSubject: Re: Sugar Song and Bitter Step [quest_002;open]   Mon Apr 24, 2017 11:31 pm

"I'm not sure in what world I would accept your help, but it's not this one," Callum said plainly without so much as a hint of remorse. The comment about Gabriel being all over the place was a peculiar one, but he didn't try and say anything about it, nor did he respond to the rest of it. It didn't quite matter if he did or not, seeing as Ansley was still trying to go on with her optimistic attitude. How she could be so energetic or determined about everything, he wasn't sure and he didn't care enough to find out about it. Her life was her own problem, and it wasn't any of his concern in the first place.

Implying the game creator wasn't all-powerful in the universe he created? That was funny. "You're not very bright, are you?" With a complacent smile, he continued. "He could be listening in to this conversation right now, and you could have a target on your back for saying that. Or he could have a thing for cute girls, and killing you allows him to embrace his necrophiliac side that he has to hide from the public."
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