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Mar 28, 2023 1:36 AM
The System welcomes all to the Tutorial, even isekai'd catgirls
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The sheer Impact of it knocks the Glutton Pig flat, legs buckling. Her claws dig deep, driving through matted fur and soft eyes and into the skull with a crunch and a spurt of blood.

It's obviously a Critical Hit. She just knows this, as easily as she recognizes the pig, even though no blue box pops up to inform her.

One does pop up a bit later though, just as the pig stops breathing.

Glutton Pig defeated.

Your contribution: 100%

100 Experience gained!

Loot the Enemy?

 

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Awesome! (...Don't get used to it, her real body isn't this powerful.)

There doesn't seem to be anything worth taking from the pig, but just in case there's something she's missing: Loot the Enemy, please.

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The blood and gore and mass of fatty flesh dissolves into little blue motes of energy over a few seconds. In its place is a bundle of neatly wrapped fatty pork, and a small strip of off-pink leather.

Her leaping crash made quite a bit of noise, though. Is that the sound of something else shuffling in the back rooms, coming to investigate?

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Woah, cool.

Uh oh. She tosses the meat and leather on top of the fridge, jumps up again, grabs her items, and - oh the broken ceiling tile here stands out - walks to the far end of the row and climbs into the ceiling there. She puts the tile back and breathes carefully, moving only her ears to follow the new sound.

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The new sound is a pack of new sounds, skittering claws and chittering squeaks. They pour through the door in a huge rush and scatter all around, running around the floor and climbing shelves. It sounds like... Three... No, four of them in total. They calm down somewhat after the initial rush, but are still hanging around and squeaking rattishly. There's the noise of them combing through the shelves, exploring them.

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Sounds like mice speaking a mouse language. More "enemies"? Does she have to look at someone with her eyes to get a box identifying them?

She reaches to pull up a ceiling tile, and pauses. She has two points left and is saving one for "Dancing Claw". Should she use the last one on "Inconsequential Presence" or "Wouldn't Hurt a Fly"? Arguably "Inconsequential Presence" is more suitable right now, but...Class Upgrades. One Wouldn't Hurt a Fly, please. It just feels right.

And now she slowly peeks out.

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Points spent! 1 point remaining.
Lv 2 Pack Rat
This quick little rodent is obsessed with collecting trinkets, parts, shiny things, and other items of dubious worth.

The Pack Rat she sees is about a foot and a half long, and has bits of trash stuffed into the long bristles of fur on its back. A keychain, a toothbrush, part of a shiny chips wrapper. It's trying to pry open a plastic box of batteries at the moment, but keeps glancing around warily.

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Aw, that's adorable.

The box didn't say that they're enemies. Presumably she could have a box saying "Lv 1 Cat (Infiltration Bard)" or something - well, there's no one else to see her, unless the telepath can do this to multiple people, but in the logic of this game world, yeah. (She's heard of couples going into a Romance/Adventure Nexus together, but never multiple people in a Torment Nexus.)

She fully lifts the ceiling tile and steps down to the refrigerator, slowly but not particularly quietly.

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The Pack Rats notice her! This one grabs its half-chewed box of batteries and runs away squeaking. Its fellows also scatter, ducking under shelves, behind the cash register, and so on.

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Hmmm. She retrieves the leather strip from the ceiling and drops it in the floor.

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The rats have gathered up together near the far end of the convenience store, perched on shelves, and are watching her. Maybe gauging their odds against her?

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Intelligent organization!

Can she tear anything shiny out of the bundle of tubes and wires? See, "Pack Rats", how useful it would be to have a friend to reach things for you?

(Her clothes are colorful and easy to tear, but if this works, she doesn't want to give them ideas and wake up naked tomorrow morning...)

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The bundle itself is pretty bundled, but there's some shiny copper tubing exposed on the upper part of the bank of fridges? Looks pretty easy to unscrew. They're not working anyway, the stuff in there is obviously getting soggy. There's a length of bright blue ethernet cable sticking out of a dusty unplugged router box, leading nowhere?

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Okay, the blue wire first, and drop it down. Then she tries unscrewing the copper pipe, looking down but listening closely to follow the movements of the Pack Rats.

Hm, "Dancing Claw" is an upgrade on "Pounce" but doesn't mention Pouncing, does that mean she can use it without Pouncing first? She should test that in a fight where she can get away, like here if the Pack Rats attack her.

Class Upgrades. One Dancing Claw, please.

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0 Points remaining.

All four Pack Rats cautiously move up closer to the fridges, running along the sides of the shelves and making sure to stay under cover. One darts out and grabs the short cable before dashing back to the dubious cover of the metal shelving.

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Yes! Come on, fellow mammal, we can do this! She drops down what she's managed to get of the copper tubing, then slices a ceiling tile into smaller squares and drops those too.

She wants to get closer to them, but jumping down will scare them and if they attack she wants to keep the high ground... not worth the risk.

Is there anything shiny above the ceiling?

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A Pack Rat grabs the copper tubing, too.

It's really dusty up there, but there's shiny light casings, metal vents, and wiring going back and forth.

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She spends five minutes salvaging what she can, and then goes down to drop her findings to the Pack Rats.

Is there any way to get to the room above, if there is such a room?

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It looks like the place is a single-story building.

The Pack Rats accept all her offerings. Eventually, one of them squeak-squeak-squeaks to get her attention and shows her a weird sort of soft grey trapezoidal gem. It drops it in the same place she's been dropping stuff, and then all four Pack Rats head for the exit, the bristles on their back laden down with lots of junk.

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She meow-meow-meows in acknowledgement!

Are they trading with her? That's even more intelligent than she was expecting from natural animals! (Maybe this is a common behavior they do with other people?)

She grabs her pork, jumps down, and picks up the trapezoid. Does any description box automatically come up?

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Pack Rat Essence (x1)

Rare material. Raw potential. You can use this for crafting things. Particularly effective for items related to storage, salvage, and gathering. Only gained from Critters willingly.

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Aaah so many questions, and if the box disappears she won't be able to ask any of them. She focuses on the word crafting. Is there an explanation box? Does it displace the Pack Rat Essence box?

And she follows the Pack Rats at a respectful distance, peering around the box to see where she's going.

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The box disappears and a new one replaces it.

System Inquiry Detected

Remaining Tutorial Duration: 9 Days, 23 Hours, 38 Minutes

Crafting is the process of combining Loot and other materials to create useful objects. Crafting may be attempted without a Class Skill, but for best results, a Crafting Class with an appropriate Class Skill is recommended.

Would you like to learn how to Craft?

The Pack Rats push through an unlocked 'Employee Only' door, and then stand on top of each other to open the push-bar door at the rear of the store. They go out the back door into a small loading bay. They look around cautiously, and look up into the sky, before running for the treeline across a small driveway.

"Shit, I saw something!" Someone shouts from off to the left.

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The boxes are going to stop working in 9 days?

She doesn't have any more points, so learning to craft can't cost anything, right? Yes.

If she runs after the Pack Rats, she might scare them, and draw whoever that was after them. Hopefully the Pack Rats will come back later. In the meantime, the morally right thing to do is to be Cute and Harmless and distract that person from them. Wait no, not morally right, since none of this is real, but - personally virtuous.

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Direct Infusion Granted. Please wait.

A rush of information hits her head, creating an instant headache and probably making her stumble.

It's - obvious, now that it's been shown to her. Crafting is taking the weird energy inside her - the stuff that entered her when she Levelled to 1 - and pulling it out like this and working it into Loot and/or Essence and/or mundane stuff like this and- Actually constructing something like a pouch or bag out of her leather Loot would help improve the result a lot, but she could do it without, and- And then she will have a Magic Thing.

The way of pulling Mana out like that is very mind-twisty and weird, though. It doesn't flow like any of her intuitions would suggest - not like air or water, expanding one moment and sticky the next. Clearly something that will take practice. If she even understands that much, having been hit with all of this information in just a fraction of a second.

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