TL: Edited 30 Oct 2017
Chapter 31 – Aftermath of the battle.
The golden lights gathered in mid-air to form a stream that steadily flowed into Brendel’s body. As he looked at the ruined battlefield, he sat down weakly on a boulder.
[That was a Level 22 monster. Even if I add in my militia and commoner level, I’m only level 6. Crossing a difference of 14 levels, I wouldn’t do something as crazy as this even if I’m back in my world playing the game.]
He was forced to fight it in order to survive. His original plan was to lure that monster to the area below the boulder, wait till Freya was done with her task until she was able to come over to fight together and find a chance to escape. This chance was almost non-existent, and very few people in the game would attempt something like this.
He did not feel that it was a big deal when he decided to fight the monster, but now that the battle was over and he had the time to reflect on it, his back was drenched in cold sweat.
He used his utmost effort to reply some of the girls’ questions calmly in order not to make them worry, but he knew precisely what sort of situation it really was.
He felt he had exhausted all his courage, but he did not realize that people matured quickly in strenuous circumstances. Freya was also another person who changed. She was only a simple militia a few days ago, but she was becoming more decisive.
He slowly regained his composure. This battle was an incredible reward to him at the eleventh hour. He needed to level up to level 5 so he could unlock the second class skill.
[Level 4 requires 70 XP, level 5, 130 XP, level 6 220 XP.]
– Mercenary Level 4 (0.3 Strength, 0.2 Physique, 0.2 Agility, 0.1 Perception)
– Mercenary Level 5 (0.3 Strength, 0.3 Physique, 0.2 Agility, 0.1 Willpower)
– Mercenary Level 6 (0.4 Strength, 0.3 Physique, 0.2 Agility, 0.2 Perception)
When he leveled up, the character window reflected the changes as it displayed in his eyes. His current stats were displayed in front of him:
2.5 > 3.5 Strength
2.3 > 2.9 Agility
2.4 > 3.2 Physique
[My stats are three times a normal person, and my Overall Power Rating is 25 times above them. Just based on my stats alone, I can even handle the entire Bucce militia all by myself. And if I factor my own experience into the mix, I should be able to handle ten of the guards. I definitely got the status of an Iron-ranked fighter.]
If Bannett got onto a battle horse, he would barely reach the Iron-rank status, Marden had already considered him as a genius. He was only twenty years old, and with his talent, he might become a Centurion Knight, and from a certain point of view, he was considered to be someone of important value to the country.
And Brendel was younger than him by a year.
Nearly half of the entire continent would not be able to reach Iron-rank their entire life, and only one out of ten could accomplish it before the age of twenty.
[Well, it’s still not enough. Many babies who were baptized at the Holy Cathedral of Fire were gifted with the status of an Iron-rank. They have a status of ‘Enlightened’. There are even rarer cases where they actually broke the barriers of a Silver-rank fighter to reach Gold-rank with the status of ‘Chosen’.
There are many people who are talented in the ‘Knight’ profession. This world favors strength greatly, and I need to utilize my advantages to stand out from the crowd.]
A Mercenary would unlock the skill ‘Power Break’ when he reached level 5, his next action would consume 3 times the stamina and add 1 OZ Strength to the attack.
This was the most important offensive skill in the early levels, and Brendel generously added AP to the skill. At level 6, ‘Power Break’ would only use 55 AP altogether, while it added 4 OZ Strength to the attack, instantly reaching an intermediate Iron-rank fighter’s strength.
He added the rest of the AP into ‘Aouine’s Military Swordsmanship’ and ‘Brawling’. Finally, he added 6 XP into the militia to make it Level 3, and added another 0.2 OZ to his Strength and Physique.
This was why so many people in the game took on secondary professions even if there was a penalty to XP gain. It was simply better in the early stages compared to focusing on one profession.
[But I’m certain that there has to be a line drawn here. The players who took on countless professions paid the price later on.]
When one entered the intermediate Gold-rank, their Element power would start to unseal, and the advantages of taking multiple professions would gradually disappear.
With his overall level of 10, Brendel closed his eyes and exhaled quietly. The Rotten Beasts were practically XP in his eyes now. If he did not need to go to Fortress Riedon in such a hurry, he would have grinded here to level 15 with just half a month. Time was not on his side.
He opened his eyes and squinted at the distant valleys. Some signs of Rotten Beasts appeared to move towards to their direction. The earlier commotion had alarmed them.
Brendel took up the sword on his side. He was not afraid of them, but it would not be good if they were tied down by them. Romaine’s aunt was still in the city, and they were fighting against time to reach Fortress Riedon before the Madara’s undead army did.
He suddenly recalled the Seal Ring that Marden gave him, took it out to look at it, remembered something as he studied the patterns of the black pine leaves and smiled coldly.
The old veteran soldier from the November War did not understand this point. Bucce was Stronghold Vermeire’s most important buffer since its establishment from the ‘Year of the Thunderbolt’.
But politics was not as simple as it looked on the surface. Because of the lack of sufficient funds and various things that were omitted, constructing both Fortress Riedon and Stronghold Vermiere was Aouine’s limit at that time. These nobles did not consider creating a warning system in these buffer areas at all.
As long as they had their fortress and stronghold, they would get by very well. As for the countryside villages, Madara did not attack every year right?
It was a fact that Aouine was on the verge of collapse. Even if there were loyal citizens like Freya, Bannett, and Marden fighting for this country, the corrupted upper echelons were destroying the country at the very foundations. Bucce was somewhat of a special exception, but Brendel knew that he could see the signs where the country was heading into destruction from other regions.
He sighed again as he looked to the south. The sky was covered by layers of clouds and dimmed the afternoon sun. In that direction, a dark kingdom was about to rise.
“Brendel, your ring.”
He turned back and saw Freya gazing at him with burning eyes. He involuntarily joked: “Doesn’t it look nice on your finger?”
“You—” The ponytailed girl immediately blushed, averted her head, and saw Romaine giggling at the other side of the hill.
“Romaine, you idiot!”
“What did I do again?” The merchant girl was stunned for a moment.
Brendel chuckled. He knew that she was just venting her anger. He wore the ring back on his finger and felt the Card of Fate. Even though he had never seen it before, it had undoubtedly become his trump card.
[Ten minutes worth of a Grade 2 Magic Artifact’s power. Many things can be done, and killing the Golden Demonic Tree is one of them.]
He decided to change his plan. The loot from the Golden Demonic Tree was just too tempting. With every bit of strength gained from here, he would have more confidence in Fortress Riedon. Killing the boss would not take too much time as they would pass by it.
He estimated for a while. He had approximately eight hours left. It was more than enough, but he hoped to get another Soul Gem to make things more reliable. The attacks from the card relied on Earth EP.
He was even planning to unlock his Elemental Pool. But it was not very advantageous to take on a side profession like an Elementalist or Magic Swordsman for a 40 OZ or so item. It was best for professions to be related, so it complemented each other. Elementalist, Sun Knight, Magic swordsman were professions that were independent and hardly added anything to a warrior profession.
He treated the Mercenary profession like a Warrior, as they had the same skills and looked roughly the same in the early stages.
And even if he did want to unlock the Elemental Pool, he needed to take on a mission to unlock his Soul Element, and he was not certain whether he could even find or trigger a quest.
He stopped thinking about it after a while as he had to plan his way into the Forbidden Garden. If he went straight to it, he was able to save two hours. He also wanted to seek out another Elite Rotten Beast.
He stood up and patted Freya’s shoulders. She was glaring at him.
[Alright, we rested enough, let’s move on.]
Unfortunately, his action that was well-intended, combined with Freya subconsciously stepping back at a terrible timing, patted onto a very bad place, The feedback from his touch felt nice with a soft and elastic feel to it, even though the golden scaled armor was covering it.
The atmosphere turned in an instant.
Brendel watched as the future Goddess of War turned scarlet, then white and finally dark. He wanted to explain himself, but a sword swung mercilessly at him in response.
“Wait, I didn’t mean to do that, gahhh!”