- The name of this quest is alternatively translated as Herbs of the Forest (Yen Press, Progressive) or Forest Elixir (Yen Press, volume 8).
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The «Secret Medicine of the Forest» (森の秘薬, Mori no Hiyaku?) is a quest available in the village of Horunka on the 1st Floor of Aincrad in Sword Art Online. The quest rewards the player with an Anneal Blade.
A Horunka village missus's daughter was stricken with a severe illness that was completely unfazed even when treated with medicine from the market. The only other way to cure her daughter was to have her drink medicine procured from the ovules of predatory plants inhabiting the forest further to the west. However, plants of that particular type were extremely dangerous and those that actually bloomed were rarely seen, resulting in her complete inability to obtain any. Thus, she offered a long sword handed down in her family to the swordsman who would obtain the ovules for her as an expression of gratitude.
When the player enters the missus's house, the Non-Player Character (NPC) offers the player a cup of water, saying that she does not have any food at the moment, despite something simmering in the pot, which is meant to be a slight hint to the player that something was wrong. If the player accepts the offer for a cup of water, the steady sound of a child coughing is soon heard from the other side of a door to the next room and the player can then offer their help to the NPC.
After accepting the quest and hearing out the NPC's story to the end, the player needs to travel to a forest to the west of the village, where they must find a plant monster called a «Little Nepenthes» that has a flower blooming atop its mouth, and kill it to get the item required for the completion of the quest: a «Little Nepenthes's Ovule» (リトルネペントの胚珠, Ritoru Nepento no Haishu?). However, as the spawn rate of Little Nepenthes possessing the flower is rather low, the player may boost their chances of encountering this specific Little Nepenthes by killing regular Little Nepenthes in the area and thus forcing the Nepenthes to re-spawn. Once the player has found and killed a Little Nepenthes with a flower and obtained the required quest item, they need to return to the village missus to turn in the quest item and receive their reward.
- One month after the start of Sword Art Online’s official service, it took a week on average for three people to complete this quest due to the amount of players aiming to complete it.
- Kirito assumes that the spawn rate of the Little Nepenthes with a flower is less than 1%.
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