SPO Chapter 24: Skill Evolution
This time however, the quest introduction wasn’t done through reading the quest system, but listening to Chen Zi Han speaking directly to him through the dialog box.
Inside the screen, Chen Zi Han bristled and said, “The Zhao Army had suddenly disappeared ever since that last offense three months ago. However, the invisible pressure that the Yue Village endured has only grown larger and larger. Today, we shall see if the children of Yue Village can protect their own homes!”
“Our people have made many preparations for this day, and you, Yue Qiang, what you will need to do is to hold a deserted mountain path that leads to the village alone. This mountain path has been abandoned a long time ago, but our enemies have also been making preparations for quite some time. We cannot rule out the possibility that they have discovered it. We are lacking in manpower, so the ones who will defend this abandoned mountain that leads into the village will be you alone.”
“When this is over, if you and I are still alive, then I will give you… two slivers of refined energy as your quest reward.”
Yue Qiang turn delighted. I guess this is how an NPC describes quest reward. Two slivers of refined energy is two free distribution stat points. Good stuff.
It took him three months of hard practice to finally increase his Strength and Stamina by two points each. Now, if he completed this quest then he would get two stat points, and they could be freely distributed too.
He suddenly recalled that the last time he earned a stat point from this old man was because he completed a hidden quest. So if he had completed this quest ‘perfectly’ as well; such as pushing back the enemy and keeping everyone alive; would it still be possible for him to acquire the hidden rewards? Yue Qiang asked Chen Zi Han the question in gaming language.
“The enemy is too strong. It is nearly impossible for all of us to survive.” Chen Zi Han said, “If we really can overcome this crisis, then what will be the harm if reward you all available refined energy?”
System Message: If the quest is completed with all villagers surviving, acquire twice the amount of stat rewards!
I like this message!
After some effort, Yue Qiang finally found the abandoned mountain path mentioned by the quest message. The foliage here was a bit thick. Just as Yue Qiang had hidden himself behind a tree, he saw two men equipped in the look of a Zhao Soldier sneaking over.
These two fellows’ facial muscles were extremely stiff. It was practically incomparable to the expressive and lively appearance of the NPCs in the village.
The first thing he should do was of course, right click his targets and check their status.
Character Name: Zhao Soldier
Strength: 18 (12+4+2)
Vitality: 18 (12+4+2)
?? : ??
There was a new Training stat as compared to the injured Zhao Soldier last time. The system did not give out any textual explanation except the number 60%.
In terms of skills, both soldiers had five skills. Other than the four that he already knew, there was also a new skill:
Cooperative Combat LVL 2: Military middle rank skill. Able to coordinate well with friendly forces. When nearby a friendly force acquire +2 Strength, +2 Vitality.
This was basically one of the various buffs inside the game.
The mobs were full of buffs, but he, as the player, was completely ‘naked’. Yue Qiang stared at the various parentheses and plus signs behind the enemy soldiers’ stats and sighed helplessly.
However, before he could lament about anything, the two soldiers actually started running towards the location he was hiding in.
How was it possible? They were so far apart and he had hidden himself so well. There wasn’t nearly enough aggro to trigger a combat okay. How did they find him out? Could it be the act of checking one’s stats would be discovered by the enemy?
Yue Qiang ran right out of his hiding spot. He had been found out anyway, so he might as well come out and fight.
Aiming at the soldier that had rushed slightly faster, he pressed the key of his newly learned skill and unleashed it at the enemy.
“Killing Style, One!”
His character immediately threw out eight punches in an instant with his bare hands. After getting hit by his first punch, the soldier that had rushed out prematurely backed away in a slump. The rest of his seven punches had struck nothing but air.
A tiny red text popped out. It had only taken off not even one tenth of the soldier’s HP.
The might of his newly learned skill was surprisingly weak. Yue Qiang could hardly believe it. He chased forwards and unleashed yet another ‘Killing Style, One’. This time, other than the sixth punch, all remaining seven had missed.
The damage was actually even lower than the first time.
Naturally it was impossible for the two soldiers to just stand there like a post and get beaten, so they began attacking from both left and right sides. Yue Qiang hurriedly activated Run LVL 2.
I run, I run, I run run run!
But this self-learned Run skill was extremely useful. His stamina depleted very slowly, but the evasive effect was top notch. Both Zhao Soldiers’ attacks had only slashed thin air.
Seeing that the both of them couldn’t hit him, Yue Qiang attempted the skill again a few times out of disbelief. Each time he could only hit a single punch, and the remaining seven would completely whiff and hit air. There was a time when the two enemies were too close to him, and his one skill attack had actually hit both of them as they dropped 11 points of health respectively.
This wasn’t scientific! (T/N: The chinese way of saying this doesn’t make logical sense)
The Run skill he had trained for three days was this useful, and yet not only the skill he had trained for three months was extremely niche, it was… it was even lousier than that attack-less Blackish Iron Rod the blacksmith had gifted him!
Since Yue Qiang had placed the utmost expectations on this skill, he had not equipped the iron rod. Of course couldn’t bear to throw it away either so he had left it inside his bag. Seeing that the situation was going badly, Yue Qiang had no choice but to reassume his old trade.
While he attempted to click open item window, he was too nervous that he clicked open the character status window instead. He saw the skill ‘Pure Heart LVL 1’ that still did not have any skill description above the skill ‘Killing Style, One’.
This skill could not be used at any time, but it kept giving Yue Qiang an enigmatic but powerful feeling. It was at this moment that an idea suddenly flashed across his head, and he dragged that ‘Pure Heart LVL 1’ above ‘Killing Style, One’. But this almost charade-like action had brought forth a surprising change.
While controlling his character to continuously dodge the attacks, he saw two encouraging lines of text beneath the screen.
System Message: Under the effects of ‘Pure Heart LVL 1’, ‘Killing Style, One LVL 1’ has completed a skill evolution! You have lost the skill ‘Killing Style, One LVL 1’.
System Message: You have learned a new skill ‘Break Fist – Killing Style, One LVL 1’.
Normally speaking, a skill which name had been separated to two parts had pretty powerful effects.
That Yue Qiang suddenly had the idea of dragging a skill to another skill wasn’t groundless. While he was practicing Killing Style, One at the fitness club, he had always been troubled at the part where he had to unleash the eight punches continuously. The fist style was obviously powerful, and yet when he used it it felt very strange, so that meant that there must be a step or two that he wasn’t performing correctly. So when he suddenly saw the skill ‘Pure Heart LVL 1’, which was useless but gave him the feeling that it was pretty powerful, he came up with this crazy idea.
Speaking of which, when he got the chance, he should try modifying ‘Run’ with ‘Pure Heart’ as well. Moreover, he should use ‘Pure Heart’ to modify any new skills he might learn in the future.
As for now, naturally he should test out this newly acquired skill ‘Break Fist – Killing Style, One LVL 1’.
Yue Qiang dragged the skill over to a hotkey and pressed it with anticipation.