Chapter 13: The Shabbiest Weapon
After the warning, the system provided an explanation regarding the quest difficulty.
There were five kinds of quest difficulty. In ascending order, they were: Green, Yellow, Brown, Dark Red and Skull. Among them, Dark Red difficulty meant that said quest’s completion difficulty was incredibly high and will greatly challenge the player’s ability and control. As for Skull level difficulty, the explanation provided by the system was: Impossible to complete.
On the surface, the categorization of quest difficulty was a little similar to ‘World of Warcraft’. In this incredibly popular game, Yue Qiang remembered that brown color already represented a very high quest difficulty, and with exception to solo-classes and certain rare cases, red level difficulty was practically impossible without a team.
It was unexpected. The game had only just begun, and it already issued him such a difficult quest.
Out of curiosity he clicked the next page button. To his surprise, the quest actually had a continuation. Besides [Assist in the Defense of Yue Village], there were two follow up quests. They were: [Defend Yue State (Yue Village)] and [Face off the Enemy General]. Defending Yue Village was also a Dark Red level quest, and behind ‘Take Down The Enemy General’ was a huge skull.
What a terrifying difficulty.
He hurriedly typed inside the dialog box and asked, “What would be the punishment for failing to complete the quest?”
Tan Xiong said angrily, “If you fail your quest, then of course you die. If the country itself cannot exist, then why else will its subjects need to exist.”
Death upon quest failure, is it? Yue Qiang was thoughtful as he typed inside the dialog box at the same time, “In that case, can I not accept this quest?”
But the blacksmith Tan Xiong’s tone turned somewhat strange, as he said, “In truth, it is absolutely impossible to defend Yue Village whether or not you decide to join us. The only difference it makes is the time of our demise. However, to know the futility yet do it anyway (T/N: line from Confucius) is a warrior’s spirit, so let us fight until the very end.”
The NPC’s explanation of the quest raised a huge alarm inside Yue Qiang’s heart. His cursor had hovered between the two options ‘Accept’ and ‘Decline’ for a very long time, and yet he still couldn’t come to a decision.
This was because he had not been able to figure out one thing to this day, and that was the death penalty of this game.
If this followed the pattern of online games, then he would be revived at a nearby resurrection point after death. Then there might be a few minutes of debility (T/N: referring to temporary debuff similar to say, ‘Resurrection Sickness’ in WoW) or loss of equipment durability. However, the key issue was that Yue Qiang had not found a place that looked like a ‘Resurrection Point’ anywhere in the village.
The other possibility was that, if he treated it as a single player game, then the greatest characteristic of a single player game was the ability to ‘load and try again after you die’. That was how the infamous Save (Shame) / Load (Less) Method was born.
But he had tapped every button on the keyboard and still could not find the save game interface!
Screw it, I’m going all out! It’s just a Dark Red quest, isn’t it?
Yue Qiang gritted his teeth and selected ‘Accept’.
System Message: You have accepted the quest – Assist in the Defense of Yue Village. You have ten minutes to prepare. The quest will begin when the set time is up or the Blacksmith Tan Xiong is officially informed. Please ensure that you are fully prepared.
The system had actually made an exception and gave him some tips because of this quest. It appeared that this quest really would match the difficulty represented by its color.
As he stared at the quest reward – A Weapon, Yue Qiang suddenly had a brainwave and typed inside the dialog box, “Brother Tan, this junior has nothing but himself, so how am I to resist the enemy? Why don’t you pay the quest reward ‘A Weapon’ to me in advance?”
The blacksmith Tan Xiong let out a hmph, and just as he was about to say something Yue Qiang quickly added, “This is all for the sake of our Yue State man. Who knows, maybe I’ll be able to kill a few more enemies with a weapon in hand.”
Yue Qiang had already seen through this blacksmith Tan Xiong’s ‘character setting’, and that would be he was ‘very nationalistic’, or should he say, ‘very village-istic’. With this information in hand plus this incredible dialogue system, he might be able to do something about it.
As he expected, after the blacksmith Tan Xiong supported his head with his enormous fist and thought for a while, he said, “Your words stand to reason.”
Then, a trading window appeared, and the blacksmith Tan Xiong traded a weapon into Yue Qiang’s inventory.
Yue Qiang hurriedly moved his mouse to check the item description.
Weapon Name: An Iron Rod.
Description: This is an iron rod (T/N: fireplace poker) used by the blacksmith Tan Xiong to poke at the furnace. It is blackish and covered in thick deposits of of black charcoal.
Equippable Weapon Requirement: 13 Strength.
And that was it.
Yue Qiang froze for a moment before he gave it another read carefully. That really was the extent of the weapon’s stat description.
What’s going on? Where the attack value? Could it be that this weapon didn’t even have attacking power? Right now Yue Qiang’s heart was filled with a long string of ellipses. Discontented, he right click the blacksmith’s avatar and checked his character status.
He wanted to know exactly how big of a difference the other party’s weapon as compared to his own.
Sure enough; maybe it was because he had equipped a weapon, he could now see the blacksmith’s equipped weapon.
Weapon Name: An Accurate War Hammer.
Attack: 8 – 15
Damage per Second: 4.7
Equippable Weapon Requirement: 24 Strength, 16 Accuracy
Note 1: This is a double-handed weapon, but its maker Tan Xiong can wield it skillfully with one hand.
Note 2: Accuracy + 3
Note 3: There is a chance to trigger the Skill ‘Mad Demon’s Hammer’ when hitting an enemy with this weapon. Mad Demon’s Hammer: Swing the war hammer five times rapidly like a mad demon with additional accuracy effect. Accurately strikes at the enemy’s weak spots, and thus with each swing inflicts damage based on the enemy’s maximum health. If the wielder also has the Skill ‘Mad Demon’s Hammer’, + 1 Skill Level.
Immediately Yue Qiang became inflicted with speechlessness. His weapon was practically thrash compared to this blacksmith NPC.
“Brother Tan, can I exchange for a slightly better weapon? This weapon you gave me doesn’t even have an attack value…”
The NPC very candidly agreed, “Sure, you can also choose something else.” Then, a trading window appeared.
There were three additional equipment inside the blacksmith’s inventory. They were:
Blackish Wok. Note: The wok used by the blacksmith to cook. There are still uncleaned grease on it.
Blackish Shovel. Note: The blacksmith’s kitchenware. It is chipped very badly due to a bad knock.
Blackish Brick. It was actually characterized as a concealed weapon. Note: The brick used to pad the furnace. A thick layer of charcoal dust is accumulated on the surface.
Yue Qiang very decisively turned off the trading window and said, “I suddenly don’t feel like changing weapons anymore. That blackish iron rod is pretty easy on the hand.”
The blacksmith Tan Xiong said, “Since you have a weapon now, you can start fighting.”
Yue Qiang held the blackish iron rod in his hands. The system very realistically adorned a ring of black charcoal mark on his character’s hand. He secretly made up his mind: Let this attack-less weapon be the witness of my true power as a hardcore single player gamer.