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WillyFourEyes2011-01-27 11:16:21

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4: From the Dash Circuit to the Forest

Back at the voxellated ranch, Frum takes a trip to the blacksmith and decides to beef up his sword a bit. He asks the blacksmith to give it the Piercing property, allowing it to slice through solid objects.

He then goes next door to the weapon shop, where the Dash Circuit Guy is now ready to open his course up to the masses. As he's a newcomer to Dash Circuit, he asks to have the rules explained to him. All one has to do is dash counter-clockwise along the selected track for three laps, and try to finish in the fastest time. There's a hard time limit of two minutes, so he has to complete the race before then in order for his time to count.

On his first time through the course, he finishes in 29.19 seconds, and wins 100G for finishing in less than 30. The scoreboard next to the Dash Circuit guy notes that some guy named "Sipumaru" holds the fastest Block Circuit time with 25 seconds. It took King Tezro 35 to complete. Frum offers to try again and again to beat Sipumaru's record, since there's no cost to play the game.

During his second race, he learns that the Dash Boots slowly ramp up the wearer's speed, making it hard for Frum to round the turns on later laps. The bruises are well worth it, as he sets a new record of 24.72 seconds, earning him a Small Block and making him the Block Circuit champion. Frum purchases some candles, as he has a feeling that he'll need to use them in the next temple.

Frum's road map tells him to go west past the Grass Temple. He spots a wall in the southeast corner of this map that looks flimsy, but without any bombs, there's nothing he can do about it. He goes back up the stairs and into another nearby cave that looks like it might hold something. There's a large "F" on the ground, and the sign next to it reads "From Cave". There are only about a half-dozen programmers walking around, so whatever it is they're working on, it must be pretty small. As he's walking around, he steps on some Sticky White Stuff (That's 13...unlucky). The lady standing in front of him says that there was something sticky in her hair...maybe it was the white stuff that Frum just stepped on?

Speaking of weird From-related stuff, a message on the floor behind her reads, "I'm in trouble...please recommend this message!" (14...surprised?) Another message on the opposite wall reads "It's safe here..." (15.) He examines the corpse on the wall and nabs a Hero's Soul from it (16; and four alone from Demons Souls in this room). The Sticky White Stuff and the Hero's Soul don't appear to do anything special, but are nevertheless tucked away in Frum's "Key Items" pouch in his inventory.

One of the "programmers" tells him "Come on, guys, this game isn't THAT hard..." Another one is interested of making a mech game in a 3D environment, and the guy next to him says that "it'll be more fun if it has lots of parts you can combine! Yeah!" (17) The guy standing near the open well/bottomless pit says "The adventure begins! So...to look back, do I press down?" (No sure about this one...might be a King's Field thing, so 18).

At the top of the western hill, he finds himself outside the house of a guy named Wardna. There's a boy, um, "searching the bushes", who gets mad at Frum for spooking him and getting some "sticky yellow stuff" on his feet. The nearby guard isn't really paying any attention to him; all he's interested in is warning Frum that he'll need to use his shield to block the attacks of the enemies up ahead.

Wardna's house is a pretty popular place, as far as RPG standards go. The guy standing by the furnace fancies himself the Sign Master, and an apprentice of the great sign maker Sir Signe. He challenges Frum to find all of the signs that Signe left behind so that he can inherit the title of the new "Sign Master". T He old lady across from him is engaged in a stirring game of Block Defense, but doesn't want to share with him right now. The guy behind him says that he learned of the temple in the Forest of No Return, and advises Frum to bring along a light source of some sort.

The merchant has a bow that he's willing to give away for only 40G. He speaks in a strange draaaaawl where he stretches his vooooowels, like thiiiiis. Frum takes the bow and hurries over ot the Arrow Lady so that he can expand his meager arrow quiver from 20 to 30. He now has a weapon that can be used against the bees while they're flying. Arrows sell cheaper in Raejack Village than they do out in the wild, so Frum goes back there to fill his quiver before entering the Forest of No Return (one place whose title he hopes to prove wrong).

Lee spots a giant tablet near the entrance and asks Frum to see if he knows a way to reveal its secrets. Frum casts the Shader Magic spell "Parallax", and the Tabula Rasa shows him the way through the forest. There are a few sidepaths that can be safely traversed, but straying too far from the path or going in the wrong direction sends him back to start. One path to the north contains a Small Block, while another in the south carries a chest with a Magic Up container. It probably doesn't taste like fermented green apples like the standard potions do, but Frum can feel his magic increasing just by holding it.

An old man sees Frum and Lee walking about wondering what they're doing in such a dangerous forest. When Lee tells him about their mission, he apologizes, and tells them that he's Sage Indigo. He can't get anywhere near the forest because the monsters have taken it over. He promises to give Frum something good if he is successful.

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