A Farmer's Troubles, Book 1 Changing Times

Book 1, Chapter 1-The Bloody Return

Chapter 1, Day 3 of the Bloody Return

As I write this, I think back on what had occurred in the past 48 hours, when the exodus ended and hell itself opened its gates upon Earth, and found it unprepared. It wasn’t like there weren’t any signs, but who in this age would have believed any of them? Every other day there were new people waving different signs, all with the same basic message; “The end is coming, so prepare your souls!” S0, can you blame us for being surprised when the doomsayers were proven correct? It seems so ridiculous, what has been wrought upon this world by the return of the monsters. Before, if you said that the goblin outpost had gained a watchtower, you would be thought of as a lunatic. Now, the leaders of your group would thank you for the useful info. Heck, they might even grant you some extra meat for your meals, or a chance to enter the instance and gain some easy points.

Ah, I should explain what truly happened, so that some liars and egotistical pricks can’t lie and say that they were able to defeat all of the monsters that they faced. The truth was, we got destroyed, man got destroyed, and decimated would be a false term, as decimation means that we lost a tenth of the population. Now, I don’t yet know the total destruction caused to mankind’s numbers, but I know that it lost more than a tenth. Perhaps, when the gods returned, we had lost an eighth, but I know that these losses only ramped up with the influence of the gods’ return. After all, most people still alive saw the gods as benign beings who would not hesitate to save them, and went around fearless. This, was the greatest mistake that those people would make in their short, short lives. They were quickly slaughtered by the low-level monsters, which the gods couldn’t waste their time on. 

The gods were strong, to be sure, but the monsters were not weak, either. The gods were only able to do two things for man, which was the removal of the strongest monsters that dared to infest the cities and towns, and return the method our ancestors had used to fight the weaker monsters. This method is the so called ‘System’ that many stories had used to allow their protagonists great growth. However, the gods had miscalculated. Despite their warning, stating that the monsters were too strong for untrained mortals, many idiots thought that they would be able to be like these book protagonists, and defeat the monsters, gaining a head start. Now, I’m sure that there were some people, master martial artists, who had trained to the old limit of humanity, who were able to fight the monsters and gain some serious benefits, but most people were not able to do this. Now, the System  doesn’t only have the classic stat sheet that most people grant it. It also comes with a store, skill creation lab, recipe book that needs to be filled out by us, coming equipped with either a health potion or mana potion, depending on the path that best suites you. Another function that is useful is the notepad, which is where this ‘diary’ of sorts is being written. I am recording this in the hope that it could help someone else, and, if I manage to survive long enough for the gods and monsters to leave on yet another exodus, I hope my experiences would be helpful for another generation. 

Now that the background info is complete, I should introduce myself. My name is Richard Mills, 30 years old, and I live alone on in a small 1 km farm in Pennsylvania, with an apple orchard and a 10 acre field of wheat. I am one of the 5 people in a 100 km radius who were smart enough to train following the introduction of the System, granting me the skill ‘Training’. The Training skill, at novice level 1, grants a 5% increase to the growth of any of my attributes, while also granting me the ‘Trained Body’ trait, that makes debuffs 5% less effective. This bonus grows with my Training skill, granting me an excellent boost. Due to my past experience from the farm, I also have the ‘Farmer’ trait, allowing for any plant that I care for to survive in this apocalypse, and making the harvest 10% greater. Thankfully, the monsters have ignored my crops for now, as they are mostly carnivores. I suppose I should transcribe my status, if as nothing but a way to check my growth.

|Name: Richard Mills | Class: Cultivator | Experience: 0/100 | Level: Apprentice 1/20| |Strength: 12 | Vitality: 11/11 | Agility: 15 | Qi: 20/20 | Wisdom: 15 | Talent: 20| |Skills: Training, Cultivation, Fire Snake’s Blade | Affinity: Fire| |Traits: Trained Body, Farmer|

As I look at my status, I realize that I forgot to explain the class system, and the affinity system. First off, the class system grants the class that you have the best affinity to. It seems that I was best suited to be a cultivator. The affinity system aligns with the traditional five elements from China, with Fire supporting Earth, losing to Water, and defeating Metal; Metal supporting Water, losing to Fire, and defeating Wood; Wood supporting Fire, losing to Metal, and defeating Earth; Earth supporting Metal, losing to Wood, and defeating Water; and Water supporting Wood, losing to Earth, and defeating Fire. As far as I can tell, cultivators can choose which element they wish to align themselves to, gaining an evolving cultivation method that fits them. I gained the Fire Snake’s Blade method, which is an Agility focused Fire method that can evolve, when both it and I reach Apprentice level 20.

Ever since the re-entry of the Gods, I’ve been training in the basement gym that my dad used up to his 4th year of chemo, hoping to enhance my survival chances. I believe that soon I will have to exit my safe home and clear my farm. After all, the system even issued a quest for me to entice me into clearing the farm.

|Quest: Farmtown Tutorial|
Welcome, Partner, to your new farm out here in sunny PA! 
Unfortunately, before we can begin farming, we have to 
take care of these pesky monsters infest'n the farm!
I'd love to help ya, but ma hands are full dealing with
some far fiercer critters that'd love to eat your flesh.
|Goal: Clear the farm of all 1st level monsters 
blocking the progress of the farm.|
|Progress: 0/7|
|Reward: Ownership of [---] Farm, Lord trait, 
enough exp to increase level once, x2 loot 
from slain monsters|

The monster number used to be 10, but the strongest one decided that he was hungry, so the number dropped. Anyhow, I believe that this is good enough for today’s entry.

Sleep Well, and Pray for a bloodless exodus once more,

Richard Mills, Fire Snake Cultivator