Chapter 40: Progress Points
Yue Qiang opened his character stats and checked the description for the Rage Gauge.
Rage Acquisition: When a character is attacked or when they are attacking, Rage will be generated. Besides that, when HP is below 30% Rage will be generated continuously. The closer the character is to death, the faster the generation of Rage.
Rage Gauge: A gauge that is acquired only through a special method. The initial value of Rage is 0, and the maximum value is the character’s Strength * 10. The usage of the Rage Gauge is differentiated into 2 types. The character could deplete rage to either use a special skill, or increase the power of a skill. The more Rage is depleted, the bigger the effect.
The first usage method was not too different from the Rage in the other games he had played. He hadn’t learned any skills that depleted Rage yet, it wasn’t something he could use for now.
The second usage method was a little rare. Increase the power of a skill by injecting Rage into it… This one’s very practical. It provided him a way to combine multiple gauges and maximise his combat strength.
Rage was very powerful, and it had greatly increased his power. This was the conclusion he obtained after a simple analysis.
And yet, Yue Qiang had a bad premonition.
Normally, it was very difficult to increase one’s power even in a game that didn’t put much emphasis into game balance, and hard didn’t even begin to describe the level of obstacle he had to surmount to increase his strength in this game. Super hard was more like it. It had taken him three months of practice in real life for him to obtain a fist style that could only be described as slightly stronger inside the game.
But now, he had obtained this Rage Gauge without paying any price whatsoever.
Although there was foreshadowing and Chen Zi Han’s explanation, but he still felt that this increase in ability was a little too easy.
This was the Rage Gauge we’re talking about!
In other games, only a warrior could own this gauge, and only it. The warriors who had Rage – especially those whose meter was completely full – had extremely terrifying close combat abilities. Going by this logic, there’s no way this game’s Rage would be too lousy.
But in contrast to this logic, the process in which he obtained this skill was too easy.
He had only read a book and spent a very short amount of time.
Not only that, Chen Zi Han had specifically clarified that with Yue Qiang’s current abilities, he would not be able to learn this book. And yet he did through Chen Zi Han’s assistance.
There were two possibilities. One was that something was off with the game balance. The chances of this possibility was infinitely close towards zero.
The other possibility was that the quest he was about to face, the quest to head towards Mo’s Family Great Camp and summon reinforcements was far from just delivering a letter. This was after he had increased the chances of the quest’s success after stealing the Ring of Earth.
Yue Qiang clicked the item ‘Chen Zi Han’s Letter’ and triggered the quest.
System Message: You have accepted the quest ‘Request Aid’.
Quest Background: Yue Village has fallen completely, and as captives the Yue Villagers wishes for you to ask for reinforcements from the Mo Family’s Great Camp.
Quest Objective: Bring ‘Chen Zi Han’s Letter’ to the Mo Family’s Great Camp to request aid. Bringing along plot-related items or other valuable items could increase the quest’s chances of success.
Quest Reward: Already obtained.
The question description consisted of only a few lines, and very simple. He had already obtained the quest reward, namely the Rage Gauge he had acquired under Chen Zi Han’s assistance. But there was a problem. Yue Qiang did not discover the difficulty indicator relating to this main quest. The font color of the text was white; the same as the average text color.
The system could not provide a quest difficulty. Does this mean that its difficulty is… uncertain? Or does it mean that the risks of this quest is incredibly variable?
Seeing that he had triggered the quest, Chen Zi Han walked forwards and said, “Since young sir has already accepted the quest, then we may get ready for the departure now. This old man wishes young sir a smooth escape and good journey.”
The time was almost up.
Yue Qiang pushed opened the door, exited the house, and discovered that the quarter pump chump Ai Qian was already waiting for him outside the door. The two Zhao Soldiers who were guarding the entrance lifted their halberds as if it was part of their routine, “Prisoners are not allowed to go outside!”
Ai Qian walked over all smiles and cheers and used the same ‘I am taking this captive to witness our Zhao State’s rigorous military discipline’ excuse and led Yue Qiang away with ease.
The duo, one at the front and one at the back, walked past the house of the blacksmith Tan Xiong, the house of the village elder Chen Zi Han and also the temporary residence of the general Zhao Yan, and the northern entrance of the village. Along the way they did see many patrolling Zhao Soldiers, but none of them came forwards to stop them. Yue Qiang had gotten out the village so easily that it was as if he was on a road trip.
A few hundred feet away from Yue Village’s northern entrance, Ai Qian felt that they had come far enough and came to a stop first. He stared at Yue Qiang’s backpack as if his eyes could see through it.
There seemed to be only two things in Ai Qian’s eyes. One was women, and the other was backpacks. Moreover, his eyes were incredibly sharp. Yue Qiang always felt that he could see through his backpack and read the items inside it.
He walked over and came very close to Yue Qiang. He even patted his shoulders and said, “You seem to have a lot of books with you.”
Yue Qiang’s backpack really did have quite the number of books. Other than the few books that he could not learned yet, he now had an additional handwriting from Chen Zi Han titled ‘Shi’. He now fully understood exactly how useful books were. It was definitely beneficial for him to collect as many of them as possible.
“Are you interested to buy one more from me?” Ai Qian said mysteriously, “Remember that market I told you before? I got a great book from that place. Come, trade with me.”
Once finished, he brought out the trading system and quickly put a book inside.
Yue Qiang hovered his mouse over the item and read:
‘Alluring Melody in Lady’s Chamber’?
Yue Qiang went blank for a moment. Although this book wasn’t as famous as ‘The Story of the Western Wing’, ‘Erotic Ghost Story 3’ and so on, it was still of the most well written eroticas among ancient texts. While he was zoning out, Ai Qian had already withdrawn the book.
“Excuse me, I accidentally grabbed the wrong one since I had too many.” Without looking embarrassed in the least, Ai Qian calmly put up another book and said, “This is the book that I want to trade with you.”
This time, the book title was even more bizarre: ‘The Philosophy of Cockroaches’.
He clicked into it and gave it a rough look. Its contents were huge; there were a few hundred pages in total. In general, it was something like an inspirational babble (T/N: Or fortune cookie comments for the sarcasm). It mainly talked about how the lovelorn, contemporary women should fight back with a will as tenacious as a cockroach blah blah blah so on and so on. Such books could be easily found by the buckets at stalls and rental bookstores.
“So? It’s useful, isn’t it. This is yours for only 50 progress points.”
“But why would I need such a book?” Yue Qiang was completely uninterested in the book’s comments, but he was extremely interested it its origin. He pretended that he did not want the book, but in truth he was already sure that he would buy it for himself.
The reason was that this was a modern book.
Ever since he entered the game, every book he came into contact with were ancient books. Maybe it was coincidence or something else, but the authoring of every book he came by were either during the Warring States Period or earlier. There were no exceptions.
As the saying goes, there is no fire without smoke. Even if he couldn’t research anything for the moment, there’s nothing wrong with keeping it in his backpack. As for the ‘progress points’ Ai Qian mentioned, this was the third time he brought it up already. Yue Qiang saw that there were two types of trade currency at the bottom of the trading window. One was Knife Coins. He had a dozen of them; taken off the bodies of the Zhao Soldier. The other was progress points. He had 97.
Progress points… should be very easy to earn. I think. While Yue Qiang thought, he selected to confirm trade.
Ai Qian appeared very satisfied and said, “Alright, you have now shaken off the identity of a captive, and wherever you go from here on out has nothing to do with me. I still need to get back to my girls. Speaking of which, that great supplement you gave me is seriously useful. It increased my time by over tens of seconds, haha…”
The fellow walked towards the direction of Yue Village while speaking. It wasn’t until he was sure that Yue Qiang couldn’t see him that he withdrew the smile on his face.
“50 progress points. This is definitely a great haul.” He soliloquised, “Should I save it to exchange more information, or should I use it directly… let’s just use it directly and unlock some memories.”
“50 progress points can unlock 5% Unlocked Memory Rate. So my current Unlocked Memory Rate will be 8%.” Ai Qian gradually closed his eyes, and when he opened them once more, there was a trace of realization in his eyes, “I see… I see…”
Inside the room of the village elder Chen Zi Han.
Zhao Yan, who was lying on the bed had sitted himself up a long time ago.
He grabbed the dim candlestick with one hand, while the other remained on the woman’s body. The woman’s expression was terrified, whereas Zhao Yan’s expression was calm.
“I am curious.” He said, “Why didn’t you scream? Logically speaking, when a human shadow suddenly appeared from the darkness, it should at least frighten you womenfolk, shouldn’t it?”
“Why would I scream? Why would I want to wake you up? If you’re awake, then you will kill him!” The woman said.
“You know him?” Zhao Yan put on a surprised look.
“He is a person of Yue Village. He is someone who protects us, whereas the whole lot of you are invaders! Invaders!” The woman’s voice was extremely shrill due to her fear.
“He is a person of Yue Village alright. But he seems to be a little different from others.” Zhao Yan said seemingly to the woman or himself, “The people of Yue Village all had the basic cultivation of the heart under the prolonged influence of the Ring of Earth. This, I know. However, the Ring of Earth most definitely could not give birth to a cultivation of the heart like Pure Heart. This, I am very curious about. Also, why did time seem to stop for a moment when I was going to kill him on the battlefield? It seems that something has happened while I raised my great sword.”
One of Zhao Yan’s hands continued to hold the candlestick, but his other hand had left the woman’s body. From the bottom of his pillow, he took out a rusted ring. This ring was about the size of an arm, and its shape and appearance was shockingly identical to the Ring of Earth Yue Qiang had stolen.
The woman said in fear, “What’s going on? The ring he took was a fake?”
“No, the Ring of Earth he took was real. However, so much time has passed that all the spirit energy inside the ring were practically exhausted. What I have here is a replica.” Zhao Yan smiled and explained, “After all, the ratio of certain components could only be known after comparing to the real goods.”
The woman was so shocked she could not say anything already.
“Come to me!” Zhao Yan’s voice abruptly turned loud.
A person gradually exposed himself. Shockingly, he did not come from outside the house, but from within. He had been hiding at a corner inside the house all this time until this very moment.
“There are two things that you must do immediately. The first thing is to track down the person who just entered this house by following to the clues that I have left on the Ring of Earth. But do not kill him. Just keep a tight watch and report anything amiss at any moment. The second thing would be to send some men to scout out the Mo Family’s Great Camp and that hill, and tell them that we have accomplished our mission here at Yue Village. Only by performing all three plans at once that we are in line to achieve our ultimate goal.”
That human shadow answered in acknowledgement before turning around to head outside.
“Wait.” Zhao Yan said lazily, “Do help me do just one more thing.”
He pointed to his side, “Take out the corpse.”
The woman’s corpse was dragged out of the house. Before anyone realized it, a pitch black palm mark had appeared between her breasts.
Zhao Yan had already killed her.