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37 Hidden Quest?

 Marni Wilf was standing before his convoy. His face was contorted in complete anguish as he gazed upon the starter village.

"Damn it. If I hadn't received that warning from Silver Chimes to report in, no way I'm going back so early!"

Then, when Marni saw the young lord Angora leading Edward and the other Players to see him off, his expression became somber at once.

He shook Angora's hand and kept holding on to it, ignoring the latter's efforts to free himself while saying seriously, "Be rest assured, my lord, I shall submit my resignation on this trip to the guild. I'll be back as soon as I can!"

"Is, Is that so...."

Angora, who had just recently had his coming-of-age ceremony and would still be a child by Earth standards was aware that he must stay stoic as a superior in any given moment thanks to his noble birth. Still, being clutched by a well-rounded uncle left him very uncomfortable, and he could just flash a smile that did not reach his eyes. "I'll be waiting."

On the other hand, the other Players were quite willing in parting, even raising a ruckus behind them, shouting out things like 'Marni, you just want to play the dungeon!', 'Take your time, let us have a shot too!' or 'Marni, did you get trashed by a skeleton again?' and leaving Marni's eyes twitching.

"Shut up, you lot and your goblin moms! Don't forget that you're escorts I hired! One more word and I'll have you return with me!"Find authorized novels in Webnovel,faster updates, better experience,Please click www.webnovel.com for visiting.

He spat back fiercely, and the Players who were formerly his escort at once pretended to be looking away and jeered no more.

With the presence of the gods in this world, every contract would usually be signed in holy sites such as temples or churches where the divine beings were watching. Therefore, in a certain manner of speaking, this world was better than Earth when it comes to the contractual spirit.

In other words, if Marni insisted on having them continue their jobs as his escorts, they would have to go along no matter how reluctant they were.

After all, Edward's party had just accomplished the first phase of the 'Outskirts-Valley of the Tragic Dead' quest. Having gained a role model, the other Players could not wait to enter the valley as well to have an adventure, earn XP and game coins. Why would they be willing to waste time and escort Marni back to the Silver Chimes guild headquarters?

And Marni himself did not hope that the other Players would return with him.

If it was just him, he would get to hog all XP and loot dropped from any monster or enemy he encountered in his journey. He would have to share if the others came with him, and in the least cost-effective manner... the return trip was already dull in his mind, and it would not do to not have something that he could be entertained with.

Either way, he would be revived in the unnamed town even if he died. Having gotten very used to dropping dead, Marni thought that he had nothing more to fear!

Now, having seen that the other Players could not retort with a single line from him, Marni freed Angora's hand and prepared to leave town stylishly.

Edward and the others had only intended to see him off. Being comrades who have fought alongside each other for some time, they did share some comradeship.

Then, they saw Marni suddenly pause, his eyes staring into thin air while he mumbled, "Wow! There's a hidden quest!"

"What'd you say?! Hidden quest?!"

Aside from Angora who had a different System, the other Players were at once excited.

"Wh-wh-what hidden quest? I... ahem, I don't know what you're talking about!" Marni played dumb as he recovered from his surprise.

"You dog fart! You were going to keep it all to yourself!" Even Edward, who had always been mild-mannered and polite could not hold back from cursing.

"It's a hidden quest the God of Games gave me as repayment! Don't even think about getting a whiff!"

Marni shot back boldly when he realized that he was not going to keep it a secret.

"Mother-I never expected someone with your spunk is so useless! You pain in the butt, come fight me one on one!"

"Let's go! I, Marni never submits to anyone my whole life!"

***

Although he was in the Divine Kingdom, Xi Wei had been spying in the world below with his Divine Eye, and watched in astonishment as a bunch of Players started to duel each other in the unnamed town...

At first, it was only Marni and Edward fighting, but as the fight continued, the other Players who had been nursing an itch started to duel each other as well.

If Xi Wei had not set duel rules when he first designed the System so that Players would be forced to withdraw from a duel when their HP dropped to half, the free-for-all would have ended up with half of the Players losing their XP.

"What the hell are that bunch of monkeys doing? That hidden quest is just having Marni get in town and preach to some refugees... And didn't I give Edward and the others the same quest before?"

The reality was that Edward and the others who had not seen much of the world would still maintain their advantage in terms of XP compared to the adult escort mercenaries, even after they had obtained their System. It was also partially why they were rewarded with an Epic-class item like the Ring of Gospel when the youths had completed their quest.

Meanwhile, as the Players were still dueling away, two knights riding chocobos1 approached town.

"Why would command have us confirm that the town is wiped out? It's just useless! With that sea of skeletons bearing down upon them, even a small city would fall, much less some little town in the wilderness?" A figure in leather armor complained impatiently. "I didn't join the Secret Eye for this!"

"What would you know? The town's fate means nothing. We are here really just to check if the youngest Faust boy is dead!" Another figure who was wearing a cloak and appeared much larger replied. "In the end, the Bone Incense that the alchemists had concocted only lures any nearby skeletons-it can't be used to target someone specific."

"That's what I'm saying! Wouldn't a horde of those skeletons crush some useless noble... Huh? Hold on. Isn't that place looking a little unusual?" The man in leather armor narrowed his eyes as he approached the starter village.

"Tut. It looks unharmed, and there seems to be more people around... but why are they fighting each other?" The cloaked man added in confusion.

That was when two Players incidentally approached the pair.

Both of them paused at once, looking at the two men who came out of nowhere.

"Who are you people? Could you be divine messengers, here to assign us hidden quests?"

"Divine messengers my ass! Can't you see the HP bar on their heads?! They're monsters, so kill and ask questions later!"

The pair from the Secret Eye then watched blankly as the two Players who were at each other throats just a second ago started towards them...

Yes, the mounts of Final Fantasy >.>