MMORPG: Rise of the Peerless Pumpkinmancer



2In the New Leaf Village, a young man was walking humming happily. "I've got money in my pocket. This is fucking awesome!"     

Following behind Jack was his new sidekick Bubblegum, with her eyes full of wonders. What would happen next?! "Teacher, what's our next stop?" She enthusiastically inquired.     

"Food." He curtly replied.     


"You'll see." He gave a mysterious smile.     

Soon, a relatively big wooden house appeared. What made this one special was that it actually had a vitrine! There was a small pouch symbol on the double doors:, aka a general shop.     

Inside there was a slender middle-aged man with grayish hair and a little goatee. He was busy cleaning a corner of his shop, one that was full of delivery crates that remained unopened.     

Jack observed the walls, but they were empty. Then, he noticed a small metallic trinket near the register that reeked of "ancient", a coin necklace. He smiled in satisfaction, for he was at the right place.     

That's when the doors were slammed open as a party entered. Jack instantly noticed the cause of the trouble: an aggrieved-looking woman was leaning in the embrace of a brave-looking youngster.     

"Is the asshole here?!" The boyfriend shouted.     

"Yes, it's this guy! I helped him clean a few crates up, and he didn't give me any reward, like none at all! Can you believe it?!" She complained about the injustice.     

This instantly rendered the NPC Steven flustered and confused: "What? I allowed you to access a new selection in my shop. This should be reward enough. I don't understand…."     

"Reward enough?! Are you shitting me?! Show me the money and keep that crap for yourself! That so-called VIP shop of yours is all useless fruits!" She rebuked!     

"No-no! All are fresh, juicy, and delicious, I can assure you! That's why they are in the VIP shop!" Steven defended his products proudly.     

"Tch— Nice scam! Do you think such things are useful in combat at all?!" She shrieked.     

"What? Of course not! Why would anyone try to use fruits in a fight? That would be dumb!" Steven seemed puzzled. How would anyone misunderstand this?     

"YOU!" The boyfriend became impatient, charged at the NPC, and began beating him up!     

"Should we help him?" Bubblegum whispered uncertainly, looking at the NPC on the floor, trying its best to protect its head.     

"Nope, he'll be fine. In the meantime, help me clean this up." Jack began sorting the boxes.     

"Hey, you two in the back. Didn't you hear? This guy only unlocks useless fruits if you do his quest!" The girlfriend called out to them.     

"Oh, don't mind me. I have a food blog. I'm just checking out the ingredients in Infinity. Ah, but I heard that the NPCs are pretty strong….so maybe you should tell your boyfriend to fall back." Jack sagely advised.     

"Please, as if! Look at him go, my guy's a hero!" The troublesome girl declared with sparkles in her eyes.     

Jack couldn't help but shake his head. Said hero was beating up the poor NPC over and over….but not for long. It was just a matter of time before he slipped up. After a few minutes of beatings, it finally happened. The boyfriend's hand slipped and hit a shelf.     

One quick way to die in Infinite was to trash a shop. Some shopkeepers could be assaulted all day long, insulted, anything….But! Never. Ever. Touch. Their. Shop!!!! Steven cried out in emotional pain: "My shop!"     

The dumb boyfriend was still chuckling when the NPC rose up, grabbed him by the neck, and raised him up high up in the air. He then slowly carried the poor player outside before repeatedly slamming his head on the ground…     


"Pweeaassee stooooppp!" The victim cried out with blood already coming out of his temple.     

"Let him go!!!" The girlfriend begged.     


"ARRRGGGG!" He cried in agony.     

"Murderer! Murderer! Help!!" She tried getting help— how cute!     



"You killed him, AH!" She screeched like a banshee.     

Steven turned toward the girl, who ran as if the devil was after her. The NPC slowly returned back in and assumed a demure appearance once more. He even smiled at them:     

"Ah, you guys are helping sort the merchandise?! I really can't pay you for it!" He deplored.     

"No worries, we're just doing this for fun. Just do your stuff, man." Jack reassured.     

Seraphine couldn't help but glance at her teacher. He was still calmly working! How?! Hadn't he been affected by what had just happened?! No, he knew about it! The weird part was that there hadn't been a Beta test as far as she knew….so how?!     

Anyone normal would have given up after hearing that earlier testimony. What was the angle here? He had said food, right? Did they require fruits for some reason?! They worked in silence for a few hours until they were done.     

"Wow! You've organized it all! Thank you so much! This is so helpful, but how can I repay you?! I can sell you fruits from my stash if you want…but that's about it…." Steven showed happiness but also slight shame.     

"Bubblegum, get the unknown item out," Jack ordered.     

She had to sacrifice this too?! In the initial chests, there had been a small wooden statue. It was one of a goat, a very bland one for sure! She could hear him whisper, "Oh, it's a statue."     

"I'll trade you this unknown statue for fruits and a backpack. What do you think?" Jack offered.     

"Deal! This is perfect! Haha!" Steven instantly agreed to the stupefaction of Bubblegum.     

The backpack could enter the system inventory when unused and reduce the weight of items placed in it. It served to carry heavy objects. As for the fruits, there were so many of them: apples, oranges, pears, and others.     

As soon as they were out, Seraphine couldn't help but query: "Why didn't you bargain this time around?"     

"He was already feeling bad for not directly paying us for the help. This feeling of guilt actually gave us more rewards." Jack remarked.     

"I see…then why did we have to get all these items?" She sounded skeptical.     

"To progress in the Village's Quests, why else? Use your head!" Jack reproached.     

"Right...where are we going now?" She curiously asked.     

"It's time to meet an expert killer, one that has slaughtered thousands in his life." Jack sounded so ominous!      2

"What?!" She couldn't help but jump in surprise.     

She could feel her tension rising. Why was it that each of their stops seemed to become more and more violent?!…     

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