Chapter 28 – The Four Arts
Sponsored by Ahmed Shahidh.
(Also, a humble request from me, if possible, could you guys not bash on Icarus’ translations, I’d rather not see the majority of the comments be negative instead of positive. Thanks!)
A turbulent night passed.
The next morning, the entire school was abuzz like one large frying pan. There were rumors circulating around. The gist was that last night “Handsome Liu”, the spoiled rich kid, was caught passing the night with a prostitute and arrested by cops. His actions had disgraced his entire family.
Even though I triggered last night’s events, I didn’t speak a single word of what happened and kept a low profile. My revenge was carried out without a hitch, and no one could connect Liu Ying’s fall to me. Probably in the eyes of the Liu Hua University students, I, Li Xiao Yao, was a weakling who did not dare to raise a hand against the person who trampled over his dignity. But, that didn’t matter; how others looked at me was of no significance; rather, what concerned me was…. today, September 1st. Classes started today!
Looking at today’s class outline, I scratched my head. Why did I choose to enroll in the Chinese Department, I wondered?
The 2 classes in the morning required us to look over the [Complete Library of the Four Treasures] (The largest collection of books in Chinese history) and selections from Mencius. Reading these 2 books, it was all Greek for me; I couldn’t even finish a single page before my eyelids started to droop! How would I survive these classes? I hated Mencius now…
On a small path in the school garden, hauling a small mountain of books, I was walking next to Wan Er and Cheng Yue. A sweet fragrance of osmanthus flowers invaded my nose. The environment in the school garden was refreshing to say the least, and the amount of pretty girls in the university was as plentiful as the clouds. But then again, students who came to this university were usually very well off, so they would have the time and money for makeup, and would generally have a better beauty sense. Compared to the company women that I met, they looked like heavenly angels. (Chapter 1 – Company Girls)
First period was about the [Complete Library of The Four Treasures]. The class took place in a huge classroom, with a few hundred people all having class together. Wan Er and Cheng Yue were both straight A students, and so like a dutiful body guard, I braced myself and sat with them in the first row. At soon as they sat down in the first row, huge shuffling sounds came from behind. Apparently a lot of boys forced themselves forward, hoping to get a glimpse Liu Hua University’s number 1 and 2 beauties.
I felt a chill down my spine, the result of envious stares behind my back. But, the professor was smiling merrily, thinking that his teaching was what caused the class to be overflowed with students. Little did he know that it was the power of the two beauties, or else this boring class would never have over 100 students participating…
I propped up my face with my hand, and I started to doze off, looking forward to the afternoon when I could play again. I hadn’t logged on for a while, hopefully the level gap didn’t get too big….
Amidst the muffled sounds, Wan Er nudged me with her elbows a few times, and smiled sweetly at me while the professor said, “This student in the front row, can you tell me what are the four books that are in the [Complete Library of the Four Treasures]?”
I jumped up, and with full confidence, answered, “Is it Guqin, chess, books, and paintings? (Four Arts)”
The professor froze for a moment there.
Wan Er clenched her teeth, and muttered under her breath, “Idiot, it’s politics, history, philosophy, and writings!”
I suddenly understood what the books I was reading were about, and shamefully I sat back down with my cheeks burning red. Then after a few more minutes I fell asleep again.
After painfully enduring the painful morning classes , I quickly ate something for lunch, and returned to the dorms. It was game time!
I appeared back in Ba Huang City, and looked at my level. It was still level 22, and the player who was at the top of the Ba Huang City’s leaderboard, Yan Zhao Warrior, had already risen to level 27. That crazy guy, he probably wanted to rush to level 40, and become the first person to be promoted the second time. I had heard rumors that if you got to level 40, every occupation could learn a new damage skill. It was a clear divider for players, so it didn’t matter how good a equipment a level 39 player had, their potential couldn’t be compared with a level 40 who has been promoted. Or so the rumors said.
Looking at the pet window, I could see the Bee Overlord sleeping peacefully, waiting for me to summon him. Hm, if I hunted strong monsters now, there shouldn’t be too many problems. At least my damage output wasn’t be too bad, and with this 97% excellence Super Saiyan bee helping me, my damage output had to be way higher than any swordsman’s who was the same level as me!
I repaired all of my equipment, and packed dozens of potions in my inventory, enough to last me through a couple hours of intense monster hunting. Hmmm, I needed a goal when I started hunting. I couldn’t just mindlessly kill monsters, that’d be stupid. Okay, let’s go find the level 4 herbs! I could already make level 4 potions and pills. Level 3 [Seven-Star] pill could only recover 200 mana, while the level 4 [Chilling Wind Pill] could restore 300 mana, so there was quite a big difference.
Most of the players right now were over level 20. For mages, their level 20 AOE spell——[Rock Spikes] costed 30 mana at level 1, and 90 mana at level 3. Even if one used it meaningfully, one [Rock Spikes] spell costed 90 mana. Looking at the consumption rate, in order to maintain a careful use of [Rock Spikes], one would have to use the [Chilling Wind Pill], which recovered 300 mana, or else there was a chance that a mage’s mana pool would be completely depleted, and a mage that couldn’t use spells was a sitting duck..
Opening my ability window, I checked the recipe for the level 4 pill——
[Chilling Wind Pill] – Recovers 300 MP. Chilling Wind Herb x3, Seven-Star Herb x1, Alchemy Furnace x2.
Hmm, I still had quite a bit of Seven-Star Herbs left, so I just needed the Chilling Wind Herbs instead of the Seven-Star Herbs. I opened up the forums, and seeked their whereabouts. After searching for 10 minutes or so, I got a hit; a wandering level 22 assassin found traces of the Herb growing in a forest north of Ba Huang. However, he didn’t have the picking skill and returned empty handed. The forest, called “Chilling Wind Forrest”, has snow along its borders.
I checked the minimap. Though I knew the forest’s general direction was north, I couldn’t pinpoint its exact location. I guessed it would be an hour from Ba Huang by foot. So after considering it for a while, I clenched my teeth and bought a Ba Huang City return scroll, to save an hour of walking on my return.With my level 4 alchemy, I could definitely earn 1 gold coin in an hour!
Preparations were finished, time to go!
Holding my Bramble Thorn Sword, I walked out Ba Huang City’s bloodstained entrance. It seemed that like the name city, its inhabitant were filled with bloodlust. There were plenty of players with dark classes such as Barbarians, Moon spirits, Undeads, etc., and almost every moment, someone got PKed in the vicinity of Ba Huang. The competition between the many guilds was ferocious. But for me, a lone player, my only goal was only to quickly level up and train my skills.
Stepping on the grass, I reached a forest outside of Ba Huang City. I didn’t pay any attention to the weak monsters under level 20, and entered the forest by myself. After walking for almost half an hour, I suddenly entered a blood-red area in the map. Going further ahead, i saw there were monsters that had levels exceeding my own, which explained why the system set the area ahead as a blood-red color; to warn me that the following area was not recommended for me, and that I would most likely die there.
I raised my hand and a golden hexagram appeared beneath it, and Baby Bobo came flying out flapping his wings. The level 15 Bee Overlord with 291 attack damage; the system definitely didn’t factor that in!
Bobo spun around and looked excited, without a worry in the world.
Continuing on, there was a damp and dark shrubbery area. Looking further ahead, I saw an undead soldier loitering about, wearing a beat-up broken chain armor holding a rusted crossbow, and making some heavy breathing sounds. Was it wailing?
I inched myself forward, but that zombie was 5 levels higher than me, so I couldn’t check its attributes.
[Undead Hunter] (Normal Monster)
Description: An undead hunter, occupying the cold forest in the wilderness. They are humans that lost their life, relying on the weak-minded dead spirits to hang on to life. They will slaughter any intruder that steps into their territory mercilessly. Ba Hang City has posted numerous bounty posters, but no one has dared to collect their heads…
It was quite the problem charging in without knowing its attack and defense, and disadvantages with the level gap was quite big. Seemed like tackling this would be a headache. But, according to rumors, killing a monster that was at least 5 levels above you granted increased drop rates and extra experience gain, but only applied if you soloed it, like me; a party wouldn’t receive an experience bonus.
Seeing Bobo dancing and flying on my shoulder, I smiled a bit. Yep, I would use this guy to hunt this zombie while training my own his level. If all went well, there would be no problem at all.
I pointed with my sword, and with a Sha sound Bobo rushed forward, as quick as lightning. Damn, that was the result of 4.5 agility and 97% excellence. The beauty of high agility!
I thought the buzz was very annoying at first, but now it was like music to my ears. Bobo’s stinger lit up and with a golden hexagrams, stung the chest of the Zombie. With the attack, the tattered leather armor got ripped away. With the pieces of armor, some of the rotten flesh of the zombie also fell off. With just one combo, the zombie had already lost a huge chunk of its health——
Despite the level difference, (the monster is level 27 and Bobo is level 15) for Bobo to deal this kind of damage was unbelievable..
The hunter raised his crossbow, and fired an arrow at Bobo. With a Pa, the arrow landed with a sickening crunch. Instantly, a large portion of Bobo’s health dropped——
I stared at it, as if I could feel the attack falling on myself instead of Baby Bobo, and quickly waved my hand to cast [Heal]. That quickly pulled Bobo’s health back up, and at the same time, I drew my sword, and [Turmoil Sword] automatically activated. I struck thrice, and followed up with a [Hemostasis] for Bobo. With our harmonious attacks, we would be undefeatable throughout the world!
After being attacked by me and Bobo, the zombie finally fell with a cry. It died!
A golden stream of light fell over Bobo. My own experience had increased significantly and Bobo leveled up to 16! I put all of its points into strength. Anyways, killing monsters with a higher level was indeed more efficient.
Our duo continued forward, and after nearly 2 hours of hunting, I had made 47 silver coins! Wow, what a fortune!
During this time, my level also rose to level 23, and Bobo to level 20. His leveling was pretty fast, and his attributes had risen significantly as well——
[Baby Bobo] (Bee Overlord)
Abilities: [Combo LV-2] [Stinger LV-2]
System Note: The equations for the attributes for Bee Overlord after level 20
Attack = LV * 10 * (0.97 + 1)
Defense = LV * 5 * (0.97 + 1)
HP = LV * 12.5 * (0.97 + 1)
AP = LV * 5 * (0.97 + 1)
Baby Bobo’s attack of 388 would probably be a hack-level attack at this stage in the game. In addition, his 194 points of defense weren’t too far off from some of the weaker monks’ defense, and 485 HP was enough so that Bobo wouldn’t get insta-killed by same level monsters. Mm, I thought this was pretty good!
With Baby Bobo, a name that would fill anyone with warmth, we continued to cut through the forest. In the distance, I saw some snow laying on the ground. We had finally reached the colder areas! The map declared: Attention! You have entered the [Chilling Wind Forest]!
Involuntarily, a chill spread over my body. I was finally here, [Chilling Wind Forest]!