333 Chapter 8: The Importance of the Power Rankings
After their little trip around the city to see all the new attractions, Joshua and Grace spent some time just talking back and forth over different things that came to mind. Grace asked a lot of questions about his guild and its future plans so that she would know what she was getting into. The reason she had decided on Joshua's guild over other guilds was because it had gained a great reputation after the large town subjugation. A small guild with a good reputation had a great future in her opinion and the fact that it was still small would make it easier for her to integrate herself into it while getting to know the members. With a large guild she'd just be another applicant that might be rejected for not having a combat role.
Of course Joshua's mother recommending his guild in the first place was a big reason why his guild was Grace's first choice. Joshua on the other hand asked tons of questions about how things were going in the medical field. He had always wanted that experience of working to save people's lives in such a way and Grace could tell he was genuinely curious. They spent the rest of the afternoon discussing such things while checking out all the new sights that were more normal in comparison to the ones they had found earlier. For the most part this consisted of new guilds, restaurants, and stores that people had set up.
At the end of the day they went their separate ways with Grace promising to come over to the guild hall when they started their recruitment. He had already decided to make her a part of the guild, but it was the perfect chance for her to get to know the others. After separating Joshua decided to go back to his training area and wait for the arrival of a certain someone.
Over the past few months Joshua had taken notice of the fact that Thoren would appear at his training ground at just about the same time every week at this point. Today just happen to be the day that Joshua knew that he would show up and he was going to be there waiting for him. The reason Thoren had started arriving on a scheduled time whether Joshua was there or not was because it was the only time in the week where he was able to get away in the past few months.
When Joshua got to the training ground he made sure to get a few drinks set aside for them to share. Although Thoren usually brought along his own far more potent alcoholic beverages, Joshua knew that Thoren liked to try out new drinks all the time. Joshua didn't have to wait all that long for the old dwarf to show up. It had only been a little over half an hour since he had gotten to the cottage. He just spent the time waiting going over some of the medical notes that his mother had given him so that the next time he had a conversation with Grace he'd be able to keep up with her pace in regards to things outside of aura.
The moment Thoren arrived through his little portal Joshua was able to tell right away. He could sense the powerful aura outside of the cottage approaching. When Thoren entered the cottage he seemed a bit surprised to see Joshua there waiting for him, but simply grumbled a bit before taking a seat on the couch and filling himself a glass of whisky that Joshua had set out on the table in front of him. Joshua found it funny how hard people in the city were finding it to create some sort of entertainment, but they had absolutely no problem creating all types of alcohol.
Thoren drank down the entire glass of whiskey in one long swig before refilling it and turning to look at Joshua. "So what's got you here waiting for me this time? I know you've been up to a lot lately with the whole new territory you guys have taken over so I thought you'd be quite busy for a while." Thoren said before taking a more regulated sip of his new glass. "This is some tasty stuff, just not quite strong enough."
Joshua just smiled at the dwarf's antics before bringing up the reason he had been waiting for him in the first place. "I've noticed that there have been a lot of things changing around the hub city that seemed important. I just don't know what the exact cause for this is." Joshua said with a frown. "I know it can't have anything to do with us taking over the large town since it would have happened around the time when that had occurred and not in the past few days. So why is this happening? What are all of these places that are popping up?"
"Straight to the point. You don't seem to ever change in that regard." Thoren said in a low grumble that was barely audible. "Well then I can tell you that you are wrong when you say that it has nothing to do with your Alliance clearing out the large town. That's what started the changes after all. The only reason it didn't happen right away is the fact that the system was waiting for another group to take over the second large town scale territory. The system won't usually push things forward when just one group accomplishes something, but the moment that another group does soon after the system will believe it isn't a fluke."
"I see so the system basically doesn't want to change things just based off a single anomaly." Joshua said nodding in understanding. If the system did just jump forward the second the first person ever accomplished something then if one person was so far ahead of everyone else it could end up spelling disaster for that species.
"Yep, so although your group wasn't what started the timer the fact that you lot cleared a large town and inspired other groups to do something similar just kicked things off ahead of schedule a bit." Thoren said while chuckling. "Don't worry though, this time around it isn't something outlandish or difficult to handle."
"So then I'm guessing you know what the three places that popped up around the city are all about?" Joshua asked the dwarf as he thought back on the three places he had visited earlier. "The screens at the auction shop and near the job center didn't seem all that special, but the one near the large open area had to be for something big."
"You're right about that, but let's start off with the first two you brought up first since the last one is particularly important for you in the near future." Thoren said peaking Joshua's interest. "Well first off let's start with the auction house. It should be rather obvious, but the setup there is for a new type of auction. The screen will show off goods that will not only be from guilds and people in your city, but from other cities around the world as well. I think this will be the first way for you guys to have interactions with humans outside of your own hub city."
"That is rather interesting, but it won't give us any clues to what people around the world are up to." Joshua said with a shrug. It would be good to gain access to more types of raw materials that can���t be found in dungeons in their area, but at the same time they wouldn't get to really know much about the situation around the world. "Plus I highly doubt that we will get any of the high level resources from other guilds around the world if they keep the best stuff to themselves like we do for the most part."
"True, but there are ways to see how far along other guilds are based on the type of materials and other items they put up for auction. Certain materials can only be found in higher level dungeons while you already know that to be the case when it comes to blue prints. I can assure you that duplicate blue prints will most likely be placed on this type of auction. After all who would you rather sell such blue prints to? Would you rather it go to some far off powerful guild that can't even effect you for years to come or a neighboring rival guild that out bids everyone at the local auction?" Thoren said with a smirk.
Joshua hadn't thought about that fact, but smiled in realization of all the different types of blue prints and powerful equipment they could get through this new auction that the local guilds wouldn't be willing to put up. He could do the same with some of his unneeded gear that he wouldn't want to go into the hands of some of the guilds in the local area. "I see your point. I'll be keeping my eyes on it."
"Alright, the next screen near the job center is far more important for you personally. It is a screen that will be showing off your power rankings in the local area. In the future when you've conquered a small city at the least it will change to world scale power rankings, but for now you need to focus on climbing to the top of your local power rankings." Thoren explained.
"What's so important about the power rankings outside of the reward you get at the end of the current phase? I know I got a lot from being ranked first in the first phase, but I don't see how that's as important as you're making it out to be."
"Well let's just say your involvement in the third phase will be highly dependent on your rankings at the end of this one. Right now you're behind by quite a bit because you started three years behind the others, but you've been making up solid ground in that department."
"Outside of taking out dungeons and clearing more territories I don't see how you can expect me to gain ground at a faster pace." Joshua said with a frown.
Thoren smiled at that comment before take another swig of his drink. "That's why the last new area is so important for you. It is an entertainment district that the system will be adding as a prize for getting so far so quickly. Such a district will have all sorts of things in it and space for you humans to come up with your own forms of entertainment. The most important part of the entertainment district however will be the arena. It's a place where you can participate in system regulated duels that will reward you with all sorts of things, but most importantly the better you do in the arena the higher your power ranking in the phase will go. It's a way for loner explorers to catch up with guild backed explorers in the power rankings so no talent is left behind."
"That sounds useful. Are the duels all one on one situations?" Joshua asked a bit pleased at the new area that would soon be arriving in the hub city. It was something that he knew he would enjoy every minute of with his love for fighting. Hunting monsters was great and all, but he didn't want to get rusty at fighting against other people. That was especially the case now that he knew that he was going to be involved in a lot of territory wars going forward.
"No there's all types of combat in the arena. One on one, guild vis guild, hell they even simulate beast that have already been discovered on the planet for matches to give it a bit of a gladiator feel. Of course there is no death involved just like territory wars, but it often brings out the strongest competitors. If you want to recruit people to your guild then I'd advise using arena rankings as a hint to how strong they are." Thoren explained.
Joshua smiled a bit in response and thought of how much more interesting recruitment was going to be with all the changes.