Translator: SaltyTank Editor: SaltyTank
Under the dim light of a candle, Soran and Vivian faced each other as they sat in front of a table full of white bread, smoked meat, lettuce, and a pot of fish soup.
People of this time period were mostly poor and did not have access to a wide variety of food. As a matter of fact, people in this world, which was similar to the Middle Ages in western countries, did not place their focus on the quality of food in the first place, as there were more important concerns. True cuisine could only be found in Elfenland and places where halflings lived, especially the latter as halflings were pretty much master chefs.
However, the dishes in front of Vivian were already a luxury to her.
“Brother,” Vivian gulped and continued, “isn’t this a bit too wasteful?”
Meat, bread, and soup; these were luxurious foods which they only ate once a year on New Year’s Eve.
Soran did not reply and gently reached his hand out to pat Vivian’s head. He flicked his fingers with his other hand, and a shiny Gold Derahl appeared on the back of his hand. The gold coin shone brightly under the candlelight, and Vivian could not help but become awe-struck at the sight. She then smiled brightly, showing her tiny white teeth and asked with a small voice, “Brother.
“Did we just get rich?”
She couldn’t care less about how Soran got the money; it was theirs the moment the coins ended up in Soran’s pocket.
Soran laughed as his sister spoke in a meek voice. He pinched her cheeks and took out a small wallet decorated with embroidery, producing clinking sounds as he shook it.
“This is Vivian’s share of the bonus!”
The young girl could not understand what Soran meant, but she still knew that it was a gift from her brother. She received the decorated wallet which only noble ladies could afford to use with glee. A pair of strings protruded from the opening of the wallet and were used to close it when pulled tightly. Vivian loosened the strings and was immediately blinded by the shiny coins inside; there were plenty of Silver Derahls along with a few Gold Derahls.
“We’re rich!” Vivian exclaimed as she happily placed the wallet in her pocket. “Thank you big brother!”
Those were Gold Derahls! Vivian had never seen, let alone been given, so much money; it was enough for her to buy pretty clothes and have plenty of delicious food.
“Let’s eat now,” Soran said as he placed pieces of meat into Vivian’s bowl.
It bothered Soran a lot when he first realized there were no chopsticks in this world, but it was not a big deal now that he had been living here for a while. He might have to use his hands to eat in the wild, as adventurers usually do, in the future, so being stubborn about chopsticks was pointless.
Vivian happily ate the meat and showed a satisfied look on her cute face. She scooped up a spoonful of soup and placed it in front of Soran’s mouth while saying, “Hehe, open your mouth!”
Soran, with a tired smile, opened his mouth, but Vivian retracted her hand and drank the soup instead. With a smug look, she looked at Soran and said, “The soup is really tasty!”
“Such a bad girl!” Soran replied with an annoyed yet happy look.
It had been a while since he could relax and be a caring brother instead of a thief and cold-blooded murderer. It was a peaceful day for him, and the turmoil in the city did not seem to affect the siblings’ merry mood at all.
Soran got up early in the morning to train his swordsmanship. The fundamentals of the sword consisted of hacking, slashing, and thrusting, and the techniques could be used with other weapons as well.
Soran could still remember his past battles, and he swung the sword according to the sword forms in his memory. He was familiarizing himself with the new weapon as well as his own body.
Sword Form—Heavy Hack; it was an extremely practical combat skill as it focused on gathering all the power in one’s body into a single hacking attack.
Using punches as an example, a punch would lack power if the attacker only used the strength in his arms. A punch using merely arm strength was a weak attack which used less than one third of one’s full strength. Utilizing the hips was the next step to mastering punches, but it was still only at the level of delivering a strong blow, not a fatal one. To deliver a fatal punch, one must use the strength of his entire body, not just the hips and arms.
Sword Form—Heavy Hack was such a skill. One must be able to use every ounce of his strength to deliver the strongest and fastest hack in order to master the skill. It could be used with all sorts of other weapons as well.
Commoners had around 10 Strength, and even they could easily cut through a twenty-centimeter-thick wooden block when using Sword Form—Heavy Hack, as the strike was multiple times stronger than attacks their Strength could usually produce. Numerically speaking, the skill could boost your damage output by several times when using it.
It was somewhat similar to the more advanced warrior skill Kai, with the difference between the two being the duration of the buff. Kai could grant the user a thirty-second buff by enhancing the body of the user, while Sword Form—Heavy Hack only strengthened a single strike. Sword saints could even double their attacking power after using Kai at the expense of their own HP.
This was a skill many were wary of—the one-hit kill which did not require a critical hit.
Sword saints had powerful attacks, but that was not without its drawbacks. They could only equip light armor, or else their agility and damage output would decrease significantly. Similarly, Soran only equipped leather armor and never wore metal armor as it would lower his mobility, making him open to attacks as he could not dodge freely. It was a deadly drawback considering that rogues relied on their mobility to dodge incoming attacks with their nimble bodies during combat. On the rare occasion where they chose to wear heavier armor, they would equip full-plate armor, gaining high defence by forsaking mobility.
Time passed bit by bit as Soran trained his swordsmanship. After swinging his sword the entire morning, he read the books he had retrieved from the treasure cave. He could read the words in the books, but it still took time to read through and memorize the contents. Perhaps due to his Personal Ability Eidetic Memory, things were proceeding rather smoothly and quickly.
As he finished reading a book about the fundamentals of magic and wizardry, a data log appeared in his view:
“Finished reading a book.”
“You have successfully read and memorized a book!”
“Literacy +1, Spellcraft +1.”
Without the basic profession Sage, Soran could only increase his Literacy through reading books. As these books contained knowledge regarding spells and magic, his Spellcraft also increased.
Spellcraft reflected how familiar one was with spells and magic. For example, one could judge what spell the enemy was casting through observing his hand and mouth movements, allowing the person to take corresponding measures against the spell. It could also be used to identify rare or special magic devices and enchanted items.
There was no way an enemy would shout the spell they were casting in battle. Whether or not one could predict the spell the enemy was casting depended on his level of Spellcraft. Obviously, having many points in Spellcraft was useless when facing melee combat professions, but it was a life-saver when facing spellcasters; it had saved Soran several times before. He managed to avoid large scale Area-of-Effect spells by predicting what spell the caster was chanting.
For example, say you were up against a wizard who was casting Fireball. By predicting that the enemy would cast Fireball, you could dodge the incoming attack and receive at most fifty percent of the full damage of the spell from its Area-of-Effect damage, while taking it head on would end up with you becoming a splatter of roasted meat paste.
Anyway, it was now noon, and Soran entered Amber City together with Vivian. They were heading to the commerce district to purchase daily necessities such as camping tools and other handy items. Of course, the cute girl needed some new clothes as well now that they had the money to buy them.
As they would be travelling long distances, fancy, impractical dresses were out of the question. Soran wanted to buy sturdy and durable clothes which could at the very least protect them from scratches and cuts from twigs and thorns.
Next came shoes; they were one of the most crucial items for adventuring. They had to be tough and durable, but most importantly, warm. Soran unhesitatingly bought a pair of top-class boots made out of deer skin for 3 Gold Derahls, causing Vivian to complain about the price, but she was glad nonetheless.
Even though she kept saying they were way too expensive and a pair of thick cloth shoes would do, her face said otherwise as she showed a joyous smile.
Just like her newly acquired wallet, the pair of new shoes was also something only nobles could afford. As none of the sizes suited her tiny feet, Vivian ended up buying a pair which was slightly larger.
_It’s okay, I’ll grow up quickly. It would fit me soon enough, so I can just stuff something in to fill the space for now,_ Vivian thought to herself. _New clothes, new boots, and a new pink ribbon for my hair! I’m really really happy!_
It was a joyful day for Vivian. She did not mind leaving Amber City as she had no lingering feelings for it; her sense of home and belonging was vague. More importantly, everywhere could be considered home as long as her brother was with her.
Her concept of ‘home’ was simple—wherever Soran went, she would follow him as he was her ‘home.’
* * *
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*[advantage]: by having their erection in contact with her
*[ cent bills]: China has cents in bills called jiao
*[Guoshu]: Guo here means country and shu means technique
*[ 190 centimeters]: Over 6ft tall
*[Lake Cui]: Cui Hu, also means Green Lake
*[hundred dyuan bills]: 100yuan is their biggest bill
*[Daoist Fierce Tiger]: The author of this novel
*[Noodles]: made of wheat
*[Rice Noodles]: made of rice
*[Zhang Tian Tian]: Tian means sweet
*[Bajiquan]: Also known as Eight Extremities Fist, but Bajiquan sounds nicer to me
*[Long Taos]: side characters in Chinese operas who perform acrobatics and fight scenes
*[12.47 to 13.07]: don’t ask me about the tree sap