Chapter 4 – Another Title
To become a hacker, what does one most need?
Of course not.
Almost all of Chen Mo’s fellow hackers would answer: Imagination!
Technical ability is just the basics – without tech, it’d be a joke to try to become a hacker. However, if you have the tech but no imagination you wouldn’t get far as a hacker.
As a fairly famous hacker, Chen Mo could think of scenarios that a regular person could not.
After determining that the setting was done on purpose by the game designers, Chen Mo immediately reasoned that the designers were perhaps hoping that players would use skills independently from the system commands.
He would know if it was true once he tried it.
When using the skill to set the trap, Chen Mo’s character automatically bent and faint light would appear on his fingers and palm as they moved continuously across the surface of the ground. In just a second, a trap appeared out of thin air.
Chen Mo committed the movements to set a trap to memory and waited for the skill cooldown. This time, he did not use the system command but copied the movements with his fingers and palm on the ground.
There was no change in his palms when Chen Mo touched the ground but when he made a movement similar to the movement for setting a trap, his palm started emitting a faint light.
This was the light that would shine when setting traps!
His faintly shining palm flew over the surface of the ground, executing one action after another.
System prompt: Failed to use skill!
Chen Mo completed all the movements but a trap did not appear on the ground. Instead, he received a system prompt.
“I knew it!
Chen Mo was not disappointed. Conversely he felt a burst of excitement.
He knew he might have guessed right and only failed to use the skill because his movements were too different from the system movements, resulting in a failure to use the skill.
The skill he was using was the basic trap technique – the lowest level of skill. It wasn’t complicated at all. His try resulting in failure proved that the system was quite strict on the requirement of accuracy of movements. So, for his second try, Chen Mo deliberately slowed down the speed of his movements and focused on accuracy.
System prompt: Failed to use skill!
The second try was also unsuccessful but Chen Mo knew he was close to succeeding.
Though the speed had decreased, his palm was still exuding light. This showed that as long as his movements were accurate, he could release his skill even though he slowed down.
Chen Mo took stock of which movements he did imperfectly in his second try and started on his third attempt.
His shining palm stroked across the surface of the ground. This time, Chen Mo spent 3 seconds to complete the movement set. He had tried his very best to be accurate in every movement.
When he lifted his hand off the ground, a palm-sized trap suddenly appeared in the middle of the cave passage.
Basic trap technique! Success!
System prompt: Free-skill System unlocked!
System prompt: You are the first player to unlock the Free-skill System. You have gained the achievement “Freedom Leader”!
System prompt: You have gained the achievement title “Freedom Leader”!
Sure enough, the game designers were hoping that the players would discover the existence of this system themselves. That was why the trap arrangement was so similar to the settings of a traditional game.
Getting an achievement title after unlocking the new system was an unexpected bonus for Chen Mo.
The “Freedom Leader” title was several times harder than the “Lightspeed Death” title to obtain so the attributes should also be much better. If it adds more to his attributes, he would have a higher chance of leaving this place.
Chen Mo inspected the contents of his backpack with interest.
Title: Freedom Leader
Description: Only attainable by the first player to unlock the Free-skill System. A symbol of honour. Effects are passive. Does not need to be equipped.
All Human NPC favourability +5
Special effect: Skill cooldown reduced by 10% when using Free-skill System to cast skills.
Chen Mo expected something else. The title did not increase any of his 5 attributes but he knew he had struck gold.
This title was passive so this meant that as long as he does not discard the title, it would be able to take effect in conjunction with other titles!
The attributes for this title wasn’t too shabby either.
Chen Mo wasn’t sure what value Luck had but NPC favourability – this was something common in lots of games. Increase in NPC favourability is definitely a good thing. The special effect’s use was much more evident.
His cooldown time for the basic trap technique was 10 seconds. If he used the Free-skill system to set the basic trap technique, the cooldown time would be reduced to 9 seconds.
The effect may not be obvious for one skill but when one has multiple skills, a cumulative cooldown of 10% will have a visible effect. Compared to other players, his advantage was obviously greater.
Chen Mo opened his attribute window. A Free-skill system tab had appeared on his skills page. Chen Mo took a look in it and found nothing special. It was similar to the normal skills page but where the normal page showed the level and skill proficiency, the Free-skill page displayed the frequency of use of the Free-skill system and high degree of completion of skills.
Chen Mo currently had the basic trap technique. Frequency was, of course, 1. As for completion… he took a look and found that it was just 42%.
He wasn’t too sure what these numbers could be used for but he knew it was absolutely not insignificant – the degree of completion in particular should be very important.
He was in no hurry to find their use – he would find out sooner or later. What was most important now was for him to improve his movement accuracy and set a trap in the spot he wanted so he could get out of the valley.
The movements were not complicated. Chen Mo’s memory, learning and reaction is top-notch. After focusing his attention and practicing twenty or thirty times, he could set a trap in over a second with a maximum completion of 78%.
Chen Mo gradually figured out the use of degree of completion.
All traps set using the system can survive on the ground for 60 seconds. Chen Mo discovered that it was different for the traps he’d set with the Free-skill system. The traps with a low degree of completion did not last long – the worst one he set didn’t survive 20 seconds. Traps with a high degree of completion survived for much longer. The trap with 78% completion lasted for 55 seconds.
Chen Mo estimated that if his skill reached 80% completion, his traps would have the same survivability time as the system traps.
If he gets more that 80%, he might even have a higher survival time than the system!
Additionally, he believed that the degree of completion affected the destructive power of the trap.
He came to this conclusion because of a simple thing. When the trap with low completion went off, the sound it made was not as loud as the trap with high completion.
Though the difference was not obvious, Chen Mo could tell that it was different.
He would know for sure once he tried.
This was important, after all, if the degree of completion really affected the power of the trap, the disabling effect would undoubtedly also be affected. The odds of the disabling effect taking effect would probably be lower the lower the degree of completion. In order for Chen Mo to increase his chances of pulling the aggro of the White Goblins out of the cave, he must have a trap with a high degree of completion to get the job done.
With his life on the line, Chen Mo deliberately set two traps with very different completion degrees and baited two Black Goblins in the valley to step on the traps.
The result was as he had thought. The gap in destructive force was obvious. The trap with 70% completion dealt close to 30 damage while the trap with 40% dealt 10-plus damage. The difference was significant. With his attributes, if he used the normal system traps, his damage wouldn’t go over 10.
Improving his skill movement proficiency had become a necessity.
The movements were not complicated so Chen Mo was not too worried. He decided to spend more time on raising his proficiency.
Grinding an axe will not delay the work of cutting firewood – as long as he keeps from dying, he could make up for lost time.
While practicing the strokes, Chen Mo was hit by a sudden thought.
Mimicking the system strokes, bending over to set the trap… This isn’t freedom! Real freedom should be him able to do what he wanted to do, like… standing up and setting a trap in the air!
Chen Mo’s heart skipped a beat at the thought.