Chapter 4 – Determination

Joelle and Shari were gone, the torment inside me continued to escalate even after Caroline and Julius left. I can feel an insurmountable amount of self-loathing over the fact that I couldn’t do better.

I logged onto End Online shortly after that, returning to the bazaar in Iceridge where I logged out. Keeping the hood up on my cloak I ran through a world of mud, the effect of running with a 50% slow effect. It was quite the sight for all the players as while running past considering I would be appearing to be lightly jogging, despite the fact I was running with all my strength.

I refuse to remove the hood of my cloak and allow anyone see this pitiful expression, never again can I show this face to anyone else. I will keep this hood on at all times!

Running through the east gate I enter a territory of wolves, the hood makes it difficult to avoid attacks but I’m acting like a berserker and taking them head on anyway. I also notice ‘Aggravation’ appears to still work on taunting enemies perfectly fine even if I have the hood on.

The suicidal battles rage on and my health is flashing red, I could not stay still however, so I began running further east. I come across more wolves but I avoid them before getting too close, at least until my health recovers.

Dragging my weary legs I do laps around the area of wolves while regenerating health slowly. I could simply wait but I can’t rest, I must keep moving, I can’t afford to stop. A small turn of luck prevailed and the ‘Slow’ effect of the cloak has the most fantastic use for weight training, my agility is rising faster than ever before, as is my strength.

I forget about my health and continue running as hard as I can, flanking a few wolves from time to time to get stronger when my health was full. I ran for about thirty hours straight, or four days in game. During that time my agility increased by thirty and my strength by fifteen, exactly half of my agility.

I could run at the speed of a normal person thanks to all my agility training. I ran through wolves’ territory to continue to train myself while fighting wolves at the same time, my new weapons slaying a wolf in a single hit.

In twelve days I have reached level twenty three. My agility is still increasing, as is my strength, but mostly agility. Fighting while running had some great effects on my dexterity as well. My mind stat increased a bit from the sheer concentration I had to put into the training, and luck showed some progress that there was no clear explanation for.

All my skills are showing significant improvements as well, ‘Aggravation’ reached skill level fourteen and ‘Advanced Military Arts’ skill level thirteen. Once they went over skill level ten I noticed that even though ‘Advanced Military Arts’ gave an upgraded stat boost they both started giving less bonuses per level.

It also came to my attention that the damage boost and proficiency only applied to the weapon in my right hand, the wakizashi in my left hand did a lot less damage but it still came in handy. The difference in the blade length was incredibly difficult to get used to but enough practice allowed for fluid motions.

This continued for another half month, my daily routine becoming eating, playing End Online and sleeping, often in the game. Levelling got slower and slower, eventually getting to a point where it seemed to no longer progress, but I continued my practice. Wolves died in one hit, and despite how futile it became to even try raising my level further through wolves, I just could not stop myself.

Nearly all my Stats seemed to stop increasing after some point in time, agility being the only one still showing progress. My agility has increased an enormous amount. I could now run faster than the wolves, at a speed that seemed to glide over the snow when I ran my hardest. I fear what would happen if I removed my hood, It would surely be a disaster.

Name: Lost
Health: 354/354
Stamina: 181/181

Lvl: 27
Lvl UP: 31% 

Str: 47 +6
Agi: 109 +8
Dex: 41 +6
Int: 9
Mnd: 27
Lck: 15

Fame/Infamy: 0
Alignment: +0
God: -
Belief: 0

Equipped Skills:
Aggravation (SLvl 21, 81%)
Advanced Military Arts (SLvl 19, 35%)
[Empty]
[Empty]
[Empty]
[Empty]
[Empty]
[Empty]
[Empty]

Reserve Skills:
[Empty]
Aggravation (SLvl 21, 81%) -Passive    
 People you interact with will naturally be more hostile to you 
 and monsters will also be more inclined to attack you. 
SLvl 21: 
- 27.5% less intimacy with NPC's. 
- 22.4% chance every 30sec nearby monsters will get the 'Agro' 
  status towards you for 2min. 
- This ability is Soul Bound, cannot be unequipped.
Advanced Military Arts (SLvl 19, 35%) -Active
 You have completed the training course at Iceridge Military 
 Academy showing your determination in the face of death 
 itself, learning the highest proficiency of short swords.
SLvl 19:
- Fighting Prowess + 2
- Short sword proficiency.
- Short sword damage bonus 2.55 X base damage.
- +8 Agility.
- +6 Strength.
- +6 Dexterity.

I had used my sacred arts a lot during this time and now they mostly only used 80% of the original cost, but the decrease was slowing down at an unimaginable rate, I doubt it would ever go lower than 70%

‘CrossX’ was the second sacred art that I learned, an attack using both weapons to slash in a downward angle, crossing the blades to strike an ‘X’ on the enemy

***************************************************

Leaving the game my body feels like it has had a massive crash after a sugar high, I could not seem to muster any energy from within myself.

Sitting in the kitchen I stare into an empty fridge with eyes of a dead fish, a slow groan emanates from my stomach craving sustenance. A clock hanging on the wall shows me the current time is 11:04pm, just past the time that the supermarket closes.

A glance around shows filthy dishes piled up in the sink, crumbs and other bits of food still on the table. I have also been reusing the dirty dishes each day for my food, barely even rinsing them in between use. I couldn’t even grab new dishes from the cupboards, I had no way of reaching them.

I am currently an absolute slob, completely unlike myself from just a month ago. I am more than aware of that fact, even as I continue looking the other way.

There is no food so I begrudgingly decide I will go to bed, conserve my energy and go food shopping tomorrow.

With my eyes closed in bed I recount once again the events of the past month. The memories roll by and my mind begins to grow darker and darker, giving me the feeling of being trapped in a nightmare.

***************************************************

I woke mid-morning sun falling through the window, lighting up all the loose dust in my room, creating miniscule fairies floating around in the sunshine. It would have been perfect short of the cold sweat I was covered in.

For the first time in a month I don’t put the VL on and enter virtual reality. I had gradually numbed to the pain of loss and failure, but it was time I had to do something. Half the money I got from selling my car is now gone, and I am going to be in considerable trouble if I don’t do something.

My first task is to raise money, I will do that by selling items in game, I haven’t been back to collect more apples but its time I did that and make some more money.

If I am to make something of my life and get my sisters back I will need to go to university, considering I dropped out of high school I will have either take a competency test to get a pass from high school or wait until I am 22 before applying to university, to be considered a mature age student and not require a high school graduation certificate.

All this is going to require money, and a lot of it. The high school competency test will only require about $500 but university can easily cost $20,000 a year, plus the cost of books, transport, and everything else.

I don’t care how I have to make the money. I will even sell my organs if it comes down to it! No matter how low I have to act or how many people I have to scam, I will make this money!

Steeling my resolution I go to the kitchen to clean, it is a battlefield in here but don’t hesitate, starting with the dishes and ending with dusting everything up to as high as I can reach. The rest of the house was relatively clean, and only needed a light dust. The girls’ room however was different, it was a mess, and I planned to leave it that way and make them clean it up when I got them back!

It was at this moment I remembered my quest from the apothecary that required me to collect materials for her.

“Hmmm, I have no idea even where to get these materials,” I mumble to myself as I finish cleaning, “I had better look up the location of them on the internet.”

On the wiki I am surprised to find that both the materials that I need can be found in the city, although in order to be able to correctly identify and harvest them you require the skill ‘Herbalism’ which not many people choose considering in order to make use of the herbs you harvest you need even more skills such as ‘Alchemy’, ‘Potion Creation’ or ‘Distilling’.

Even if I cannot harvest them properly at least I will make an attempt as long as I can bring the old lady twenty of each.

Logging in I returned to the wolf hunting ground, in the midst of a considerable amount of players hunting here. When I was here while I was the only one in the hunting area, there were other players who passed by, but seeing me hunting in such an embarrassing way caused them to hunt elsewhere.

My pouch contains a little over ten gold coins at the moment, I had made some money selling an enormous quantity of cheap wolf pelts and spent a little on weapon and armour maintenance but I never ended up spending much so most of it was left over.

I am quite close to the den of the great white wolf so I decide to go collect some apples before I return back to Iceridge in order to complete my quest. The cave’s location is still familiar to me so it doesn’t take long to find it. Wolves attack me in the narrow corridors as soon as I enter, but I am a lot stronger than I once was and with a quick dash through the wolves, well places slashes reduced their numbers one by one.

The whole process of the wolf attacks and my speed overwhelming them continued until I reached the cavern in the deepest parts of the cave, I still had full stamina and my health was at 87%, no reason to wait.

Just inside the cavern a familiar howl reaches my ears, followed by an even more familiar wolf looking down on me from about twenty meters away. It emanates a low growl for a moment before sniffing the air, catching my scent. The hood I am wearing does nothing for preventing it from recognizing me by smell.

All of a sudden the wolf becomes a little more wary, a snarl creeps onto its face that could either be from anger or happiness of seeing me again, either way I have the feeling revenge is the only thing on the wolf’s mind right now.

Being fully aware of its speed and given that I was only able to win last time due to being able to land two incredibly effective critical hits at the start, hindering its movements speed. I doubt even with my current speed I could beat it now that it’s more cautious of me and treating me quite seriously.

If I removed my hood my speed that is already tremendously fast would double, and I should easily be at least as fast as the wolf. But I have already decided to keep the hood on and nothing will be changing that.

The wolf took off in a flurry of white, directly towards me in front of the entrance. I had already anticipated this, and the moment the wolf began to move so did I, sprinting off to the left towards the closest bunch of apple trees.

The wolf with a single powerful bound changes its trajectory to intercept me right before I reach the trees. A race against time, it is a test to see if I can reach the trees first, or if the wolf can reach me.

My adrenaline is pumping. The wolf trying going to intercept me right before the trees, its jaws opened to deliver the greeting of our reunion. It made a low lunge at me to grip me in between its teeth. Deciding that this was all or nothing, I ignored the distance and jump as hard as I can.

Narrowly escaping the wolf’s jaws, I feel its hot breath passing across my feet. The trajectory of my jump followed a parabola, fortunately I manage to get my hand on a lower branch just after the height began to drop, this kind of jump would have shamed most basketball players. Swinging myself around the branch I climb up slightly higher in the tree, out of the reach of the great white wolf and into safety.

For the next two hours I travelled through the trees and collected apples, the amount I can carry has exploded enormously since my strength is now a total of fifty three points, along with the fact that my armour is rather light I can carry an enormous amount of small items such as wolf pelts and apples.

The wolf followed underneath me the entire time carefully, waiting for the moment I would drop down. And I did, after slowly collecting a total of 160 apples, I could not find any more so there was no more reason for me to be up here. Falling down to the ground the wolf jumps back a few meters to put a little distance between us, clearly remembering what happened last time.

Fortunately for me, the exit was behind me. Turning and running I hear a pounding noise following me, I don’t even need to turn around to know that the wolf was gaining ground on me. Ten meters away from the exit the wolf proved its dominance as a sharp pain overcame my back as a solid blow from behind caused me to catapult into the ground in front on me, luckily bouncing and sliding through the exit and out of range of the great white wolf.

Truly scary, that is my thought when I look at my health that has dropped by a quarter. To think that I beat a wolf that can do this to a me in one clean hit, despite how much stronger I am now, terrifying.

The sun started to sink over the horizon, the game entering the night stage. At night monsters became about 1.5 times more powerful, the experience you got also increased a little, but not really enough to make up for the increased difficulty of monsters.

Back in town all the merchant shops are closed during the night, so I log out.

***************************************************

The trip to buy groceries and come back was incredibly dull. It took me half an hour to get there, and once I was there I was too embarrassed to ask other customers to get things for me from the upper shelves. The the trip back took twice as long due to being held down by the extra weight of the shopping. A two hour round trip to a nearby supermarket just to buy food had completely worn me out, especially my arms.

After my lunch it is time to go back to End Online. With the morning sun it was time to search the city for the herbs I needed, but the bazaar was calling me first.

“Good morning, Peachstar.” I approach the small girl at her usual spot

“Mooorning! how can I help youuu today?!” Still as irritating as ever I see.

“I’m fine. Also I have more apples for you to sell,” A couple of heads turned at my voice and Peachstar seemed to light up.

“Oh reaalyyy? That’s great! The last ones sold the saaame day!”

“Haah, well that’s really good to hear.” These apples were surprisingly popular!

“Nowww, this time you don’t get any money until their sold though, kayyy?”

I was aware the normal situation of when it comes to real money transactions, you generally leave the goods with the merchant and don’t get any money until they are sold. But seeing her shaking a finger back and forth across her nose, I can feel unimaginably violent urges rising from my stomach.

“It’s okay, the money will automatically be deposited into my wallet when you do finally sell them.”

I always try keeping my conversations with Peachstar as short and on topic as possible, she is without a doubt an incredibly nice person. But, talking to her always leaves me feeling angry for no particular reason.

With our conversation over I walk to another vendor that specializes in animal pelts, I had been to this man a few times in the past.

“Hey, Mr Hood, how can I help you today?” He was a very down to earth person, as a matter of fact he was so normal that he could stand in the middle of a crowd and nobody would notice he was there, not even the crowd themselves.

“Morning James, I have a few animal pelts to sell today, 2 silver each as usual.” Pulling out a stack of 74 wolf pelts, James was no longer surprised at the amounts I’ve been giving him.

“No worries, I’m glad to be able to buy it off you,” James had the ‘Sewing’ skill, and in End Online you use that skill to create clothing and some light armours out of various animal and monster hides.

I also learned from him that I can sell just about anything directly to other players too. What Mouse told me about only being able to trade with merchants who paid the higher subscription fee only applied to real money transactions.

Two silver for a wolf pelt is quite a cheap sale, I could potentially get three if I haggled or five if I sold them directly to customers, but I wanted to sell them quick and James always bought them all then and there.

Next on my to do list was to gather the herbs that the old lady from the apothecary requested. Travelling around Iceridge I searched for parks and relaxation areas, to be completely honest the guide I found with information on the herbs was from Grenton, the starter city and capital of the Kingdom of Forste, which wasn’t covered in snow.

It wasn’t exactly recent news, but each starter city was the capital of its own kingdom. My territory is the Kingdom of Glace, while Swordbreak is the capital of the Dalbe Kingdom. Each kingdom has a specific symbol, which can be seen as your inventory icon at the bottom-right of your vision and once you hit level fifty it will appear as a tattoo on the back of your right hand, until then you are not allowed to leave your kingdom.

The symbol for Glace is a wolf, Dalbe is two swords crossing each other, and Forste is a tree. All these symbols are a simple solid shape in a ring, creating three perfectly round symbols representing the kingdoms.

Bringing my mind back to topic, I enter a small park area which has a few benches and trees around but probably the most important issue would be all the snow, it is about half a foot deep and covering everything.

If my instincts are not wrong then this city should be the same as the others and have novice level herbs in its parks as well, one only need brush the snow out of the way that is hiding the herbs. I try in between the trees and use my hand to brush some of the snow aside, only to find soft dirt underneath.

My second location I try however revealed two green medicine herbs, jackpot! A quick sweep of the area revealed eleven more green medicinal herbs and nine antidote herbs. The next issue that came to me was the harvesting of them. While I identified them by memory off the picture that they look like on the internet, I do not have “Herbalism” to harvest them.

Pulling them out of the ground breaks them at the stem, which was especially difficult with the antidote herbs considering I need the roots of them. Some diligent work and practice allowed me to be able to quickly dig the dirt around them and remove them. Only I still kept breaking them.

In half an hour I had thirty six green medicinal herbs and twenty antidote herbs with the roots still attached. Despite them all being withered and damaged, I had them.

Walking into the apothecary the old lady behind the counter gave me a somewhat angry look and spoke.

“About time young’un! Where are those herbs you were s’posed to bring me!?”

“I’m terribly sorry for the delay! No matter how many times I tried to harvest the herbs I just couldn’t do it right and kept damaging them, these were the best I could manage!” A complete lie I know, but I will need to be good at fooling people if I’m going to make a lot of money!

“They are absolutely terrible!” She gawks at the herbs I placed in front of her, “You are also incredibly lucky that my first grade skills with herbs ‘ill still allow me t’ use these however if you had any less dexterity these herbs would have been completely ruined.”

Oh, so dexterity is related to harvesting herbs huh, that is a useful piece of information that may prove useful later. It was possibly also required to clear this quest without the herbalism skill.

Your quest has been successfully completed

“Allow me to show you the correct method for harvesting herbs such as these while you are here too, t’ do something like this t’ nature tis a heinous crime.”

She made some hand motions as if digging around a herb and began forcing me to copy her movements. Five minutes of this old lady grabbing my hands and forcing me to dig out the air before a notification appeared in front of me.

You have successfully learnt 'Herbalism'!
You have empty skill slots so this skill will be automatically 
equipped.

Herbalism (SLvl 1, 0%) -Active
  You have a strong affinity with herbs and you are capable
  of identifying and harvesting them, however you will not be 
  able to identify a herb that is higher than you skill level.
SLvl 1:
- Capable of identifying novice herbs and their effects.
- Capable of utilizing a herbs effects, can be used on others if 
  you do the application of the herb.
- +3 Dexterity.

Incredible, I may have been short changed when I started this game but I have now gained two free skills, even if ‘Herbalism’ probably won’t be very useful to me.

“Good, now you’ve got the hang o’ it,” The old lady nods her head to herself a few times and continues while squinting at me, “But someone like you ‘ill only forget if you don’t practice it prop’ly. Go get me fifty more o’ each herb! An’ each one has t’ be in perfect condition!”

Quest: Practice 'Herbalism'
The owner of the Apothecary has requested you to get another
50 Green medicinal herbs and 50 Antidote roots,
+ all have to
be in perfect condition when harvested

Failure or refusal will cause you to lose the 'Herbalism' 
skill.

Grade: White

What a horrible quest.

“It would be my pleasure,” I put on the best business smile I can imagine, “I will be back with the herbs as soon as possible.”

Excusing myself I left the apothecary, I didn’t even get the potions I was supposed to for the first quest. It was still early afternoon in the game so I may as well do this quest now and finish it before it gets dark.

Picking herbs with ‘Herbalism’ was incredibly easy, to the point where I was abusing my high dexterity by kicking the ground around the herbs with my feet, and flicking them out with the toe of my boots, even though that ruined two in three herbs. Carefully picking herbs will raise dexterity, but that was useless while I was busy digging up chunks of earth with my feet.

I spent a full hour on the task and ended up with about a hundred of each, only due to losing count of how many I had collected and ended up with double the amount required

The old lady is giving me a stern face as I hand over the herbs.

“Hmm, I assumed you woul’ do a better job than this. Well, tis still a pass nonetheless. You ‘ill get better the more you do it.”

“Thank you, I really did my best!” Not even faint remorse that I hardly put any effort in at all, “Although I don’t really have much use for these herbs right now, I can’t do anything productive with them.”

If I was to directly consume one of the green medicinal herbs I would only recover a single health point a second for ten seconds, and the antidote roots have a ten percent chance of curing minor poisons.

“He he he. ‘Herbalism’ has many great benefits t’ it that you jus’ need t’ explore. You ca’ use them in cooking t’ give your food productive bonuses, or negative depending on what you use.”

“Also, in regards t’ these herbs you’ve brought me. If you don’t know what you ca’ do with them, instead of providing you wit’ some potions allow me t’ teach you how t’ create them instead.”

I would have preferred the potions!

Your quest has been successfully completed
You have successfully learnt 'Potion Creation'!
You have empty skill slots so this skill will be automatically 
equipped.

Potion Creation (SLvl 1, 0%) -Active
  The art of using all materials to create potions, you can
  use everything from herbs to monster parts. In order to use
  this skill you require the right equipment, plus empty vials
  to place the concoctions within.

SLvl 1:
- Capable of using a Mortar & Pestle.
- Created potions will have 0.5X potency

I can’t exactly complain about the turnabout, I did get another skill for free, however I still have somewhat of a sour taste in my mouth.

“So where can I buy these empty vials?” If I have the skill I may as well use it.

“He he, why you can buy them here o’ course! Five silver each.”

“Come again? That’s a bit too expensive don’t you think!”

“Cheapes’ you will get ‘em,” The old lady’s grin deepened, the aura of a predator exuding from her frail body, “You could always go find someone who knows how t’ blow glass otherwise, but you can’t buy ‘em anywhere else.”

I give some serious consideration to scavenging through the bazaar, there should be without a doubt some player selling empty vials.

“Fine, I will buy twenty.”

“That ‘ill be one gold coin, than’ you for your business! he he”

“Considering I’m buying in bulk, can I get some kind of discount or extra vials.”

“Twenty isn’t considered as bulk, maybe two hundr’d if you’re interested.”

This old lady probably couldn’t fight a troll, yet she knew how to truly murder a person’s finances. Handing over one of my precious gold pieces, my inner self is conflicting over whether or not to just simply grab the vials and run.

“Now tha’ you have the vials, you still can’t make anything, you ‘ill need a ‘ood mortar and pestle!”

“Oh no! I had completely forgotten! Please a set of those too!”

The aura of her killer instinct got stronger in the room, thickening the atmosphere and making me feel incredibly pressured.

“That ‘ill be six gold” She even managed to speak that as if she was daunted by the price. Me on the other hand could feel her hand around my heart draining me of my life.

“Haah.. There is no helping it.” Handing over more gold pieces, a bid farewell to the face of some noble or king that was pressed onto them.

At least I received all the equipment that I need to make use of the skill, it was useless equipped if I didn’t use it. I need to make as much progress as possible and start earning some proper money, apples generated a little bit of income however it was hardly a considerable amount and I don’t know for how long it would sustain me.

I also need to get more skills so the church is my next stop. Secretly I hope I run into the guide with a new player.

About a hundred thousand people from my city played End Online, and the number just kept on growing. Right now an astonishing one in ten people from the city of Taile play this game.

I climb the steps up to the church and approach its front doors. It occurs to me that I don’t even know how to purchase new skills. I simply know that it is done here.

The doors to the church refuse to budge as I attempt to heave them open and even crash myself into them, these doors must be a one way exit for the new and revived players.

Off to me left I spot what appears to be an outdoor confessional box, a small wooden box with an entrance on either side but only one of those was open. I enter inside and sit down in the cramped space, as the voice of an elderly gentleman addresses me.

“Welcome adventurer, to the place where you can define your destiny by yourself as you strive to become stronger. Under the light of the sun goddess Verde, speak your name.”

“My name is… Lost.”

There is a brief pause on the other end, but the old man replies before I get a chance to ponder it.

“I see… It appears to be a name full of much wisdom.”

Wisdom? What a perplexing word he has attached to my name.

“As a follower of the sun, a devotee of the Radiant Church. Allow me to hear what it is you wish for.”

He is really throwing out some pretty words, and minced them together quite well. Being lost in thought I take a moment before noticing the window that appeared in my view, a full list of all basic skill I can purchase with my levels.

The amount of skills to choose from was immense, scrolling down all the way to the bottom the must be at least a few hundred. Some more useful than others, like various weapon type proficiencies, passive stat boosters, and crafting skills. However there are apparently useless ones such as “‘Ghost Telemetry’ – The ability to converse with ghosts” which while being incredibly tempting to have for some fun, it is completely against my goals of making money.

I have learned even more that it is very possible to learn skills from NPC’s, they react in accordance to your words and have their own personalities compared to speaking predetermined lines. How I would obtain something like ‘Ghost Telemetry’ from them however was completely beyond me though.

My first goal is to be able to attack from a distance, the best way to do this would be either a bow or magic. If I choose a bow it would be quite difficult and expensive to buy arrows or even make them, you need both ‘Smithing’ and ‘Craftmanship’ to make arrows and using three skill slots just to effectively use a bow would be pointless.

Arrows also cannot be retrieved, which threw a blanket over my temptation.

Magic also is not my forte, in all the previous games I played I could not bring myself to be dependent on it. Not that I disliked it, I simply have difficulty battling with it.

My eyes spot a particular skill that I may be able to use for distance fighting. Pressing on it, a pop up appeared in front of the skills list.

You have bought 'Throw' for 1 Level!
You have empty skill slots so this skill will be automatically 
equipped.

Throw (SLvl 1, 0%) -Active
 The ability to accurately throw weapons as an attack,
 unlike most projectiles thrown weapons can be retrieved
 and used again.
SLvl 1:
- Thrown weapon damage 0.7 X weapon damage
- A critical hit will do 3 X damage, requires high dexterity
- +5 Dexterity.

It should be a good skill for me, and a thrown weapon is supposed to do more damage than a bow. Browsing through the list what I need is skills related to speed and combat, which I currently specialize in.

Choosing from the list, I did go with two skills that should help my throw skill, ‘Smithing’, and ‘Mining’, but the rest were skills to make my speed build even stronger.

You have bought 'Smithing' for 1 Levels!
You have empty skill slots so this skill will be automatically 
equipped.

Smithing (SLvl 1, 0%) -Active
 Through understanding metal you can use it to craft weapons
 and armour, with a higher proficiency you can create more 
 complex weapons with different materials. 
 Requires at minimum a forge and hammer.
SLvl 1:
- Able to refine basic metals
- Able to craft weapons and armour out of basic metals
You have bought 'Mining' for 2 Levels!
You have empty skill slots so this skill will be automatically 
equipped.

Mining (SLvl 1, 0%) -Active
 You always have had an affinity with the pick, by swinging it
 at a wall you feel joy whenever a new vein of ores or 
 crystals is discovered. 
 Requires a pick.
SLvl 1:
- Capable of digging through the earth in search or ores and gems
- Has a 1.2X chance of finding ores and gems
- Mining speed 1.0X
You have bought 'Speed Up' for 3 Levels!
You have empty skill slots so this skill will be automatically 
equipped.

Speed Up (SLvl 1, 0%) -Passive
 Your years as a child were spent running away from bullies, 
 as a result your body is trained in speed and can move faster.
SLvl 1:
- Movement speed +5%
- Agility + 5
You have bought 'Hunter's Eyes' for 3 Levels!
You have empty skill slots so this skill will be automatically 
equipped.

Hunter's Eyes (SLvl 1, 0%) -Passive
 In the wilderness only two kinds of beast survive, the strong, 
 and the wary. You are of the wary kind, your eyes are capable 
 of picking up the slightest movements and see better in the dark.
SLvl 1:
- Can see further the more proficient the skill
- Can use the sacred art 'Perceptual Sight'

'Perceptual Sight'
 Through the power of your eyes you can view the world at slower 
 pace to capture a beasts movements. Becomes stronger as you gain
 more experience with 'Hunter's Eyes'.
 WARNING: This does not speed you up, your movements will become 
 slower, exactly as everyone else.
- Last for 60 seconds
- Can be used twice a day

Despite spending fourteen of my levels I now had a full list of skills, I was currently level seventeen and my entire fortune consists of five gold and thirty silver coins.

Now with a full set of skills, next I need to regain my spent levels and make some money. Tomorrow I will have to do another raid for apples in the great white wolf’s den.

Leaving the confession box, I walk away from the church before logging off.

I didn’t notice it at the time but the other side of the confessional box opened while I was walking off. What appeared from the door was the anxious face of a short old man, the Guide.

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19 Comments

  1. Another good chapter 😀

    Just some minor points I thought about:
    1. On consuming herbs, is there a possibility someone can get “overdosed” by going over a certain quantity. (something like, getting a boatload of bonuses but they degrade quickly).
    2. On the throwing skill, I think players could grind that using objects from the environment, more commonly, rocks.

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    1. oh wait. the skill said specifically weapons. but is it possible to use environmental objects that can be designated as “weapons”.

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      1. oh just remembered lol! a little tired!

        You can throw environmental object without the skill. but damage is tiny, I originally had environmental weapons in there but changed it because anyone could throw a rock or chair! XD
        No damage bonuses or any considerable damage, unless you somehow have the strength of hercules and throw large boulders.
        p.s. I’m talking about an unfathomable 1000+ strength stat to be able to effectively launch something of that size ^.^

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    2. well, overdosing probably won’t happen, right now there is only the time of effect gets added, but the MC may find that the more he consumes the less the effect is, limiting the ability to stack up and make an effect last longer.

      Lol yes I have been planning rocks, but small rocks do near minimum damage and it would be the same as shooting arrows into a target for practice. Would be a great aggro effect for a normal player though ^.^

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      1. hmmm. the strength stat should play a part in increasing the damage of any thrown object simply by the logic of the harder you throw, the faster the object gets, and by physics, the greater the force on impact.

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  2. I’m not sure if it’s a mistake or not but isnt his level suppose to be 27?… and in the last 3rd paragraph he mentioned 17 there

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  3. Hi I’m back. Finally, taking a break from my finals.
    As usual I’m gonna comment on certain aspects of the novel:

    1) Your writing skills have been improving. Which is cool. I really liked this part:
    -My adrennaline is pumping, the wolf was going to intercept me right
    -before the trees, its jaws opened to deliver the greeting of our
    -reunion. It made a low lunge at me to grip me in between its teeth.
    -Deciding that this was all or nothing, I ignored the distance and jump
    -as hard as I can.

    There are some parts I wished you elaborated more on though. Like the situations he faced when he fought the wolves.

    2) This is the part where you introduced the countries:
    -It wasn’t exactly recent news, but each starter city was the capital of its own kingdom. My territory is the
    -Kingdom of Glace, while Swordbreak is the capital of the Dalbe Kingdom. Each kingdom has a specific
    -symbol, which can be seen as your inventory icon at the bottom-right of your vision and once you hit level
    -50 it will appear as a tattoo on the back of your right hand, until then you are not allowed to leave your
    -kingdom.

    -The symbol for Glace is a wolf, Dalbe is two swords crossing each other, and Forster is a tree. All these
    -symbols are a simple sold shape in a ring, creating three perfectly round symbols representing the
    -kingdoms.

    I think it’d be more helpful to expand on the countries though. I mean, it’d be cool to understand the layout of the countries and understand what sort of terrain surrounds each of them.

    3) Just a question: Uh will tere be any further explanation as to how his sisters could be taken away from him by force. I feel that there has to be some legal procession if you wanna do that. I understand the world he lives in has dystopian values but it just feels unreal to have somebody show up and pick up his sisters without the family members’ approval.

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    1. Welcome back!

      Yes I have indeed been working on my writing skills. Keeping the action parts more suspenseful when I can, but trying not to throw out too much details.

      I have been doing less on the wolves battle scenes just to keep the story moving along, I am starting to pick up the pace more but I want to do everything I can to avoid “describing every potato I peel individually.

      As to his sisters, there was some discussion in the animesuki forums about it as well and there will be more to it, just not for a while as of yet.
      There is a little more information coming soon about the kingdoms, but the MC himself is unaware of most details himself and considering it is a first person novel I can’t spoil to much.

      I did however throw up a couple of little teaser bits of info about them on the information page though, which will give you a little idea of them but right now it will depend on how you imagine them until the we move on from our winter wonderland ^.^

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  4. Hello 🙂

    I’m kind of average in english (not being my native language and mostly learning it from manga/game and lately novel ^^) but there was a sentence i found ankwards, maybe it can actually be said … or maybe it’s a typo … dunno 😦 i’m just pointing it out in case …

    When explaning the mining skill you said ‘have had’

    “Mining (SLvl 1, 0%) -Active
    You always have had an affinity with the pick …”

    Found this site as a link (from a site than translate a novel) and i must it was a great find, i’m happy to have randomly clicked on the first link 😉

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    1. Thanks for the comment!
      It is not a typo. Well, being an native english speaker I don’t exactly know how to explain it. But I did find somewhere that has some sort of explanation that may help.
      http://english.stackexchange.com/questions/4870/when-is-it-necessary-to-use-have-had

      Although, there are a lot of my international friends who do question my english. Apparently, I speak “Australian”, which is close to what they refer to as “Lazy English”. lol ^.^

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      1. It was feeling ankwards mainly because of how it sound to me and as far i can remember, i don’t remember seeing ‘have had’ in a sentence together but for what it mean for me and my red fish memory …. :p

        I understood with the site but what helped me is we actually use the same wording in french … but it’s kind of weirds … the translator either don’t bother with it or both way are fine to it, lol i mean, ‘have had’ mean ‘Ont eu’ in french. So while we can say …

        (random french sentence) : Ils ont eu des chiots.

        While a words to words translation give me “They have had puppies.” The reverso translator (online translator) doesn’t bother and give me “They had puppies.”

        Anyways, being french allowed me to understand what glace (as in kingdoms of glace) mean lol. x)

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        1. Ah yes. Well, in the end, translators always come down to interpretation. That’s interesting, I have a french friend so I wonder if they ever got confused at first.

          Lastly, this is yet another amazing coincidence. The word Glace was actually taken from the word Glacier. The fact that it is French for ice (Yeah, I looked it up!) is absolutely amazing!

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  5. >“Oh no! I had completely forgotten! Please one of those two!”
    Since he is speaking about the mortar and pestle, he should say “…Please one of those sets too!” instead of using “two”. Normal speech also allows saying “…one of those too!” to mean the mortar and pestle set, but since this is a game where some NPC might interpret his speech literally and in a bad way due to his handicap, he should be sure to indicate he wants the set. You can also take advantage of this situation to further emphasize that he is aware of his Aggravation skill’s problem causing nature by having him reject saying “…one of those too” and instead saying “a set of those too”. That would help reinforce in the readers’ minds that the MC is growing in his thoughtfulness of his situational use of skills.

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    1. Hmm, yes I get where you are coming from. I think I agree on that one. Although… ‘two’ was in fact a blunder and it was meant to be ‘too’ in the first place lol ^.^

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