The young lady woke up abruptly, the NerveGear still on her head.
Apparently, she had dozed off in the game world, and the device automatically disconnected her in response.
Well, at least today's a free day.
The young lady sighed, took off the device, and walked toward the bathroom.
. . .
Now refreshed, the young lady changing into a far more comfortable cotton dress, she took up the NerveGear once more.
I can't really leave my progress hanging.
Logging in. . .
Mirrel woke up nearby the lake of beginnings, still lying on her back. That wasn't too bad. As she moved to stand up, however, she suddenly felt a sudden wave of uncomfortable numbness from her backside. It came to her: she had been sleeping on her tail. That was not good. Not good at all.
She groaned, and rose back to her feet.
Ensuring her poor tail isn't permanently damaged or anything, she began to ponder about what to do next.
Oh yeah. I need to deliver these to the leatherworker.
Her body relatively rested, she began her trek back to the town of beginnings. She certainly had gotten used to it, as she crossed the distance without tiring.
"Miss Milanna? I have returned", Mirrel said, opening the door to the leatherworker's store.
"Oh, come in! Mirrel, was it? Well, you sure took your sweet time. Got the furs I wanted?"
"I'm sorry about that... But I do have your furs. Here you go, three wolves' worth", the cat-girl replied, taking a sack of wolf pelts from her inventory.
-3 Soft Fur Pelts
"Oh, don't worry about it! I still got my stuff, and you're still alive. Well then, a job well done deserves a reward, and I got the reward right here!" the leatherworker said, producing a pouch of gold from her wares.
"Thank you, miss Milanna. Now, please excuse me..."
"Right. Come again, you hear me?"
Mirrel nodded in response, graciously smiling.
As she left the leatherworker's store, Mirrel then realized she had leveled up from the quest rewards, and with it obtained one skill point - a relative rarity in the game world, or so she had been informed, as it is only obtained every five levels.
Well then, what skill should I choose?
I know, I'll go with... This!
As she decided on her skill, Mirrel suddenly found herself in a different place entirely, an empty room of stark white. No; to call it a 'room' would not be entirely correct. Rather, it was an entire space of empty white, a void stretching as far as the eye can possibly see.
And while the sudden change in her surroundings surprised her, what followed soon after astonished her even more.
"Welcome to the Skill Initiation Zone", she heard, a voice of unknown origin, but distinctively feminine.
"This is the place where you will learn and test skills. On this occasion, you have chosen: Crusader Path [Sacred Arms]. This skill is an active personal buff that grants your attacks additional magical damage according to your wisdom, and infuses it with the [Holy] element. Additionally, this skill will create a mystical medium to attack with if you are currently not wielding any weapon. A test dummy will be generated shortly; please utilize your new skill, [Sacred Arms]".
As the digital voice stopped speaking, a training dummy appeared. It was a humanoid, human-sized doll, not unlike a cross between a scarecrow and a crash test dummy.
"So, I need to utilize my new skill, then...", Mirrel mumbled to herself.
She brought her arm in front, and concentrated for one second, visualizing a weapon she would like to use, subconsciously.
With a muted schnick, like a blade being drawn out of its scabbard, Mirrel found herself holding a slim, straight sword, almost identical to a rapier that has a cutting edge - or a silhouette of it, at least, made out of a bluish-white light. It features a simple cup hilt, providing protection to her hands, and a large cylindrical pommel that features three seemingly out-of-place rings.
Amazing. The details are just as what I would like. The length, the balance - it's perfect. Or at least I think it's perfect.
Shaking away her amazement for now, Mirrel took up her stance, and attacked the practice dummy.
She could feel her attack connecting in a slightly different way that before - aside from physical trauma, she felt something else, something not mundane, that took part in damaging the dummy.
She viewed the glowing light-sword again, and saw that one of the rings in the pommel had disappeared.
Shrugging, she struck again, and saw the second ring had disappeared.
I see a pattern.
She stepped back, and lunged once more. This time, as the attack connected, the last ring disappeared - and with it, the weapon vanished into thin air.
So I guess it's on a three-hit limit.
As she gazed at her new ability's results, the voice rang again.
"Congratulations. You have now learned [Sacred Arms]. You will be returned to your previous location shortly. Until we meet again".
Mirrel felt a bright flash of light, and all of a sudden she was back again - right in front of the leatherworker's store.
I'm gonna have to get used to this, she thought.