Realism was all well and good but Britta couldn’t see the need for actual corpses. The bodies could just vanish and leave behind their gear like every other game in history.
Britta checked for money or small items as quickly as she could while not looking. They weren’t dead and they weren’t bodies, she told herself. She found nothing.
They did have swords and armour, neither of which looked like high quality merchandise but Britta had no weapon of her own.
Not particularly informative. She tapped the tag and learned it did 2-4 HP worth of damage. Not the greatest weapon but it would have to do for now. She tried to put on a helmet but it refused to stay on her head.
“That should be okay for your class,” said Tal when she saw Britta put the helmet down again.
“It’s a bit too big,” said Britta. “Keep falling over my eyes. Can we sell them?”
“Yes, but you won’t get much. A couple of coppers.” That sounded okay to Britta. “The problem is carrying them. It’s all kind of bulky and there’s only so much room in your inventory. Help yourself to whatever you can carry.” She put away her daggers which she’d reclaimed from their temporary new owners.
Britta opened her inventory and took out the box the cloak had come in. It was bigger than her other boxes and she managed to fit all the swords and three helmets into it before returning it to the inventory.
Tal watched with her mouth hanging slightly open. “I didn’t know you could do that.”
“Oh, I just thought it made things more efficient. It’s a bit of a pain if you want to get something out quickly, though.”
The people at APE had to know about her little trick since they watched her all the time. They were probably watching her right now. But they might fix the convenient bug (assuming it wasn’t intentional) if lots of people started doing it, so she felt a bit anxious sharing it with someone and tried to play it down.
Tal just nodded and then picked up the torch she’d dropped. She didn’t look like she really cared about inventory space.
Britta looked around to see if she’d missed anything. The only body she hadn’t checked was Derik’s. Tal held up a brass key she had found on him but the ring was still on his finger and his staff was lying beside him.
“This will get us into the vault,” said Tal. “But we need the second one the King Kobold has. He’s the end boss.”
“So this is normal, the attack and everything.”
“Sure,” said Tal. “Doesn’t usually happen so soon unless you make a lot of noise, which I guess we were. I should have warned you, but at least we won. That was fun. We use the key on the next level.”
It actually was fun if you ignored the murdering part. Just a game.
“You were amazing with those daggers. You looked really cool.”
Tal grinned. “I don’t usually get so many backstabs. Nobody turns away in a fight so it’s usually only if I can get the jump on them, and usually only the first one. Five’s a record. Plenty of juicy experience points for me.”
Britta hadn’t thought about the XP she’d get. She opened her status screen to check. Her XP bar showed a slight increase but she still had a fair way to go until hitting the next level. To be fair, she hadn’t actually killed any of the kobolds so it wasn’t surprising there was no great gain. It still felt a bit unfair. It wasn’t like she didn’t play a part in their victory.
But the game was built around killing things. Until she got into doing that regularly, or found an alternative, she was going to get stiffed on experience points, that was just how it was.
“We should move the bodies so the next patrol doesn’t find them.” Tal grabbed one of the kobolds by its feet and dragged the body into the tunnel they’d come from. Britta gritted her teeth and followed suit. Once they finished they returned to the chamber.
“What now?” said Britta.
“Oh, hey,” said Tal. “Where are you?”
Britta was confused for a moment and then realised Tal wasn’t talking to her, she was talking on group chat. Britta opened her status screen and toggled group chat on.
“We just got the first key,” said Tal.
“Already?” said a male voice. It sounded like Lord Jim. “We’ll be there in a minute, don’t go too deep.”
“We’re still in the first room,” said Tal.
“Oh. You pulled them by accident?”
“Yeah. Worked out though. New girl’s got some moves. Shield-bashed the shaman right in the face.”
“Nice!” said Lord Jim.
It was odd being part of a team. Having people to back you up, help you, rely on you. For the first time since starting in New World, Britta felt like a real gamer.