Chapter 17 - 17. Ambush In The Night
"Cool, right?" Ogre commented beside him. "It's just like the other VR RPG games, you should be able to do Blacksmith activity with this Forge. You have unlocked your Auxiliary Skill page, haven't you?"
"I have," Jack answered.
"That's good, save me the time from explaining. Now this Forge corresponds to the Blacksmith Job. If you check the interface, you need a recipe to craft stuff. But it also has a function that allowed equipment repair."
Jack studied the interface, he saw the repair option and clicked it. A hammer materialized on the workbench, a text description showed it as Basic Blacksmith Hammer. A demonstration video appeared and showed the process of repair using the hammer. Some complementary texts were shown beside the video, saying that he would need to pay 1 copper coin for 1 Durability of Common equipment and 5 Copper coin for 1 Durability of Uncommon equipment.
"I need to pay coins for the repair?" Jack asked.
"Yes, nothing is free, mate," Ogre answered. "1 copper for 1 durability, you should have gotten some from killing the monsters, right?"
"Yes, but not much. I will save the repair for later." He closed the interface and the hammer vanished. Ogre only mentioned 1 coin to repair, it was possible that he didn't know that uncommon costs more because the workbench only displayed options of repair for equipment that the user possessed. Or he probably assumed that Jack only had common equipment. Jack didn't want to show that his sword was uncommon, if he performed the repair now, he would have to display himself spending 5 coins for each hammering process.
"Your choice, mate." He said with a shrug. "It's getting dark now, you should spend the night here. There is a bunk room at the opposite of this hall. You can spend your night there."
"I am grateful for your hospitality."
"No problem! We have to look after each other in such time, right?" He exclaimed with a laugh.
It was in the middle of the night, the sky was clear and it was a full moon, so it was a sufficiently bright night. In one of the rooms inside Rick's workshop however, it was dim because its windows were murky, so the light didn't enter sufficiently. The door to this room opened silently, its hinges had been recently oiled to make sure it produced no sound when turning. Two shadows entered through this door and approached the person who was fast asleep inside the room. The sleeping person was fully covered by a blanket.
The two shadows stealthily sneaked up the bedside. One of the shadows used one of his hands to make a countdown sign. When his last finger curled into a fist, they simultaneously swung their arms which were wielding weapons, and struck the figure who was inside the blanket.
They repeated the attack multiple times, afraid that their target would make a move before his health bar expired. But when one of the attackers realized there was no damage number appearing after all those hits, he made a gesture to ask his partner to stop. Then he reached out and pulled the blanket away. Underneath it was wracked-up pillow and bolster.
Both attackers were baffled and dismayed by this finding. The one holding the axe had a sudden epiphany and was just about to turn around. But he was too late, a tram-like force slammed onto his back and sent him flying. A red number of 42 followed him as he crashed onto the wall beside the bed, another red number of 6 appeared and replaced the previous number.
The attacker's partner was shocked but didn't stay still, he made a duck as he felt his shoulder barely missed a swing of a sharp object. He continued with a frantic roll on the floor before reaching a table with a bed lamp and turned on the light.
As the room brightened, three people were at different positions of the room staring at each other. Jack was standing in the middle of the room. The two silent assailants were Ogre and Mouse, Ogre was gasping for breath as he tried to bear the pain on his back, while Mouse was crouching on the floor next to the side table.
"Ho– How do you know?!" Ogre asked between his clenched teeth.
"You have been waiting for us?" Mouse added.
Jack stared at them with disgust. "I've had a bad feeling about you two from the start. I reckoned I was not the first person you guys ambushed? Apart from the woman whose dress was on the pile of clothes out there, how many guys had been your victim?"
"What? Why do you pick out that dress among the other clothes? And I never saw you touch that dress. How do you know it belongs to some other Player?"
Jack was not going to explain to them that his God-eye monocle could identify items without touching them.
"So, you have been hiding and waiting for us all this time?" Mouse repeated his question.
Jack was also not going to explain to them that his God-eye monocle could detect their positions. He had indeed stayed up all night due to his suspicion, but he only hid after seeing them moved towards his room on his radar.
"What have you done to the others? You killed and robbed them?" He asked instead. No wonder these two guys had way more equipment than him.
"Same way we are gonna rob and kill you also!" Mouse retorted as he lunged forward with his dagger.
Jack sidestepped to evade the attack. His assailant followed and tried to use his speed to overwhelm his prey, but to his surprise, Jack matched his speed. In his confusion, he was slashed by Jack's sword. He would never imagine that his opponent's Dexterity was higher than him who was a ranger, due to the double class feat. 31 damage appeared above his head. He quickly retreated to avoid further damage.
As Jack intended to chase after Mouse, Ogre jumped out and made a fierce overhead swing onto his head. Jack backstepped towards the door as he avoided that fierce attack. He continued out of that room and into the more spacious hall. Although he knew his attributes were higher, fighting in a cramped space against two opponents would be disadvantageous. It would end up with pure blow-exchanging inside there, and he would get hit twice for each attack he made. And besides, he could use the doorway as a chokepoint.
The first one that came towards the door was Ogre. Jack met him head-on at the doorway. Jack's sword clashed with his axe and the impact threw him backward. Jack could saw on his face the confusion at the disparity of their strength. Taking advantage of his imbalance, Jack did a thrust which added another damage to his brawny assailant.
Mouse came forward but his thrust was easily parried. On his second thrust, his arm became a blur and Jack felt pain in his abdomen. The little guy managed to hit him. That fast second thrust must have been a Skill! Jack moved back due to the hit which allowed his two enemies to come out the door. Jack used his Swing skill and it hit both of them.
"You are level 5?!" Ogre exclaimed in shock.
Jack didn't bother to reply as he executed several consecutive slashes to keep them off balance. His opponents were freaked out by his relentless attacks. They were the ones that were supposed to be attackers, but now they were more like victims.
They frantically tried to put some distance. Ogre still managed to block some of the blows using Parry, but Mouse was more miserable as he could only rely on his speed which turned out to be slower than his opponent. By the time they escaped to a safe distance, Mouse's HP bar had reached a dangerous low.
"Quick, drink a medicine!" Ogre reminded him while he used Swing on Jack to keep him occupied.
Jack evaded the poorly executed Swing and brought out his staff. While Mouse was about to drink the Medicine, he cast Magic Bullet and the spell took out the remaining of Mouse's HP before the Medicine entered his mouth. He fell to the floor.
Ogre's eyes almost bulged out when he saw this. "What's that!? How come you could use Magician's spell?"
"Find out in your next life!" Jack told him grimly as he dashed forward.
Ogre made a desperate slash with his axe but his weapon hit a hard glowing surface. He stared at the Magic Shield in disbelief as Jack's sword with the full power of Power Strike skill landed on him. His vision went blur as he dropped to the floor. He still couldn't believe how the table had been turned on them on this planned ambush.