Spectator - Chapter 19: Village Elder
As I was about to leave, he turned his body back to normal and spoke.
“It is a warrior’s unique ability to grow larger. Instead, other jobs are tattooed elsewhere; the thief in his clothes, the wizard in his staff.”
“It sounds really cool.”
“Of course. But there are some things to be careful about.”
The points to note in what he said were as follows:
A warrior must eat more as his body grows, a thief must pay attention to his equipment’s durability and lastly, a wizard must keep an eye on his staff since it becomes heavier after casting a high-level spell and decreases his movement and attack speed.
By principle, the degree of damage dealt with skills and weapons increases with the player’s level.
But so do the side effects.
“It’s a double-edged sword.”
“If you are wary then you can avoid most of the shortcomings.”
Having learnt the skills I needed, I was able to purchase a club with 40 pens of money.
Pens being the currency of [New Century]
This club was roughly made but worked fine as a weapon. +7-11 attack depending on the intensity of the swing.
I examined the club and was trying to estimate how much stamina I could save by using it when the shopkeeper offered me a quest.
“Would you like to run some errands? If you do three of them then I will give you one of the extra swords I have stashed in my storeroom.”
“Is there a big difference between this club and that sword?”
“How can you compare a club to a sword! Besides, look at that rusted club. Does it look nice? Just do three of my errands and I will give you a good sword for free. What do you think?”
“This club is enough for me. Thank you”
I nodded and tried to head somewhere else, only to run into the blacksmith.
“Hey! Warrior wannabe. Here’s some advice.”
Looking back, I was confused as to why he had such a hostile tone.
“If you want to become a real warrior, don’t laugh like an idiot and greet people properly.”
“You, from the beginning until now, All I have seen is you laughing and greeting people like a clown. Are you on drugs or deceiving people so that they lower their guards?
Whatever it is, it is used by thieves. Warriors have to be confident. Don’t forget this!”
It seemed that he was pissed about my overly enthusiastic interaction because of 1% sensitivity.
But I wasn’t very angry.
Not because my senses still told me that this was virtual reality and that he was an NPC, but because I had long learned to only segregate facts and intentions from someone’s speech.
Thus I took his advice and prevented being offended by his tone.
“Thank you for the advice.”
“Ugh. Yes, it’s your life, so live it. I shouldn’t poke my nose into it.”
Fortunately, we parted before things took a sour turn. Since I am done with both the hunter and the blacksmith, next in line is the village chief.
You could find the Geron near the well, next to the fruit tree in the centre of the village. He loved to bask under the sunshine.
Unlike the previous two, his face shone brightly as I approached him.
“Ah, a young man with a natural smile. How may I help you?”
This is Geron, who welcomes everyone with a wrinkled yet smiling face.
“I have been wondering if there is any skill that can be learned at my level.”
Geron took the scroll out from his sleeve and handed it to me.
“Hey. These days, whenever I’m bored, a traveller talks to me. It makes me very happy. If you have any questions, please ask.”
This was the third time so I already knew what to do. Like the others, there were multiple skill trees but right now I could only unlock a few
[Magic Power Cohesion: passive(Lv1)
Keep your mind clear with magical power.
Effect: Wisdom +2
Acquisition condition: 1 Spell Power]
[Silent Spirit: passive(Lv1)
It can be interpreted by thinking of an image and engraving the language and text of the object.
Effect: Reading. Able to have conversation with a similar race
Acquisition condition: 1 Spell Power]
[Wizard Instinct: passive(Lv1)
Increase the effectiveness of techniques by grasping the movement of Spell Power..
Effect: 2% increase in skill success rate
Acquisition condition: 1 Spell Power]
At this point, I had learnt all of the skills available to me. A total of nine, three from each category. Despite that, all of it felt underwhelming. These were basic skills but I was expecting something more direct, rather than a bunch of stat boosts.
The guy with the taekwondo kicks showed outstanding combat skill even at level 1. What kind of skills was he using? Surely it wasn’t one of these…
But my disappointment was short-lived. Geron suddenly shouted out loud saying,
“Ohh! Congratulations. You are the first to learn conditional skills in the village of Galen. You have achieved the initial conditions of a magic warrior.”
“What do you mean by that?”
“First, look at this. You will understand what I mean.”
He handed me another parchment and a different coloured window appeared.
The skills displayed had a different hue, something that I was seeing for the first time.
‘Accepted parchment’, according to Geron’s words. In the newly opened window, there were some skills that I had not seen before.
[Shock wave: Active(Lv1)
The technique of dealing with magical power by colliding the same amount of blood and energy
It modulates the shape through the image and sends a shock wave.
Effect: Push 1 target 3m away.
Learning conditions: Concentration of blood power. Use your energy. Spell Power cohesion. Those who have the spirit of silence, those who have the same level of blood and energy]
[The joy of Pain: Active
Maximize the effectiveness of training through extreme pain.
Effect: Burning blood and energy improves the skill level by 100.
The extinguished blood and energy cannot be restored.]
At a glance, they were not something that would be great in combat. All that shockwave did was push enemies away without causing any damage. As for Joy of Pain, I don’t really understand what it does.
[The extinguished blood and energy cannot be restored.]
‘-What does that even mean?’
But since these were available, it wouldn’t do any harm learning them for the time being. After confirming that I wanted to learn them and closing the window, I asked Geron, who responded with a laugh.
“These my boy, are conditional skills derived from the combinations of skills from different professions. For example, the two skills that you just learnt are that of a warrior who mainly uses magic.”
‘-Huh…well, I am going to put points in wisdom later on. A warrior who uses magic might be a close enough estimate of what I plan to be.’
I scratched my head as I slowly took in the new information. I did know about certain skill combinations but I didn’t think they were literal ‘Combinations’ of skills.
“While you are the first in our village, there are plenty around the world. It is quite the profession I must say.”
“All magic warriors who master the skill ‘Joy of Pain’ are regarded as masters and have great tales of glory attached to their names.”
He then put his hands deep into his sleeves, almost as if he was looking for something. After that, he pulled out a blue parchment.
“I don’t think you know but we three are placing bets among us about ‘Who will be the best amongst all the travellers training in our village.
We hadn’t considered you but now, you just exceeded our expectations and became the first magic warrior.
So I am thinking of registering you as one of the ‘Brighter’ trainees.
After all, it’s about time we paid proper attention.”
“Sir, you are overly kind.”
He went through his sleeve with the other hand and pulled out his feather pen.
“If you register here, you can get 200 pens of incentives and weapon vouchers.
How it works is that you are awarded each time you learn or manifest a new skill.
And since I am registering you, I can brag about having a good eye for talent if you progress well. Hohoho!”
Damn it! So that’s what all of this was about.
It was a damn ranking.
Suddenly his sweet old man smile looked menacing despite not having any malice behind it. At Least for now.
I wanted to find a way to get away from him. But I couldn’t leave right now because that would create bad blood by not only refusing his offer but also leaving mid-conversation.
Who knows, I might need his favour later.
I looked over my shoulder looking for something I can use as a distraction to avoid signing up for the ranking.
All I saw was a black man approaching us from a distance.
‘-Good, I can use him to divert his attention from me. I just need to avoid signing up for a while.’
I continued the conversation.
“Please lend me some of your wisdom”
“Hahaha. All I can say is use Joy of pain well, unlike other skills, you can maximize its utility in several ways. Even if it’s a basic skill, it accumulates power and helps your other skills grow.
It is very powerful.”
“So you are saying that I should concentrate on mastering one skill instead of trying to master multiple skills at the same time?”
Geron sighed before scratching his beard and explaining.
“That is one of the many ways one can approach it but I mean, what do you think is better- Wielding a cotton bat fiercely and skillfully against your enemy or using an iron rod poorly?”
“I get what you are trying to say, these skills are nothing but stepping stones to more advanced skills. Spending too much time on them is a waste as they will inevitably pale in comparison against higher tier skills.”
“What you say is true but it’s too early to be frustrated. You can unlock new conditional skills by learning multiple beginner level skills. It’s an odd phenomenon and can only be explained as trial and error. For example, The skill that may look completely useless in secret could be a key to unlock a powerful conditional skill.”
I knew that in [New Century] anyone can unlock a certain skill if the conditions for the acquisition of said skill are met.
It was the player’s job to pick out the specific skills of various classes and find out which sets that complimented each other.
Geron turned around to face the tree. He lifted his hand, pointing his index finger towards it and said:
“Right now you are relatively inexperienced, and to gain experience you can do either
Take a specific exam. If you were to do well in it and show potential, you will get official recognition and the perks that come along with it.
Register here and make your way up the ladder by doing quests.
Personally, I think the second option is a much better choice. I am not saying this to make you register your name here, it is because while the exam allows you to get official recognition, it does not highlight your capabilities. In short, after passing the exam you will find it difficult to find jobs as people will not be aware of what you specialise in.
But if you register here and keep doing quests, not only will your skills get recognition but you might land yourself a title.”
The man was making a legitimate argument. I decided to stick around a little longer and see if I could extract some more info from him.
“Are you referring to titles such as ‘Slayer’? I heard that you can get such titles by killing a specific amount of monsters. Is it that not how it works?”
“You are correct, the title of ‘Slayer’ can be acquired by slaying a certain amount of monsters or creatures but you are also required to be registered to earn such titles.”
“Hahaha….Young man, you are a bright one but you still are naive about how the world goes round. No matter how heroic your actions are, to be called a hero; witnesses must be present. If no one knows what your deeds are, no one will consider you as their hero.
Likewise, you can only get recognition as a master of a craft if you have participated in competition against others. If not, then no matter how skilled you are, you will receive no recognition.”
Even with all that explanation, the undertone remained the same.
‘-If you don’t join the ranking system, you cannot receive any benefits.’
A collar cleverly placed on the players while offering them ‘Complete freedom.’
Geron turned around again. He opened his mouth to continue speaking but stopped when he noticed the black man approaching.
“Pardon me, young man. It seems some else wishes to speak to me.”