Light Novel – Zectas – Volume 01 – Chapter 02

The Birth of a Legend

Nash busted open his game pod.

BAANG!

His body was covered in cold sweat, both hands were uncontrollably shaking with anger. He felt like he was going insane. Why would anyone subject a human being to that kind of torture?

Nash relived the past few hours in his mind. It was his first time meeting other players in Zectas. They looked like a group of decent individuals. They spoke to him in a friendly manner, they even offered to take him to Coatl City using a supposed faster route. Nash believed everything they told him. How could he have suspected that they would just use him as an escape goat?

Nash tried lying down on his bed. He tried looking for something that could take the pain, the anger, the humiliation away.

There was no way to stop the emotions that filled his heart. He wanted to kill every last one of them. He wanted to make them suffer a hundred times more than he had. He swore he would make them pay!


Originally, Nash didn’t want to read too much information about ZECTAS since he was hoping to explore everything by himself. However, due to recent events, he decided to look up the forums.

There he found out that a player couldn’t leave a main city until they got a basic job. There were also NPCs all over the city that would give quests to guide you on how to play Zectas. Basically a player would be level 15 with a basic job in order to step out of the city.

As Nash read the forums he noticed that there was no talk about the abilities displayed the horned rabbits. The forums even stated that the armored armadillos were used as sequential target practice. How could that be? Even when Nash hits the armored armadillo for critical damage it was still always 1.

Nash decided to upload his latest video feed from Zectas but decided to end it as soon as he killed his 10,000th horned rabbit. For some reason something in him decided to skip the part about acquiring the ability: Agility of the Horned Rabbit and the loot: Lucky Bunny Ears (Head Gear).

After uploading the video feed. He noticed that there was an insanely high number of hits on his video blog about Zectas.

The video feed on his ‘first attempt of attacking a horned rabbit’ but instead turned into ‘trying to run for his life from a horned rabbit’ had 523,365,872 views and had around 62,341,786 comments.

This discovery distracted his angry heart for the moment. With this many views there could be a bonus waiting for him from the Manager. He decided to read some of the comments.


    ZectasChampion: This guy is hilarious! I don’t know how he manages to take more than 1 shot at the horned rabbit but it’s really funny.
    Dark_AvEngER: He could be using a cutting edge video editing tool, but it looks exactly like ZECTAS video feed. What ever it is this guy is doing its still hands down funny.

    mRuleUAll: Pfft… I thought this would be a useful strategy guide or something what with all the views and all, turns out to be just some joker trying to get hits…

    FastInFastOut: Mmmmeeee….

    cutey4you: I like it, I didn’t know that horned rabbits could move that fast. I’ll try it out if I can somehow manage to hit one and not kill it as what usually happens.

    CrazyKillaZ: This guy is the bomb! I’m not sure how to do this myself. Wish he would share how.

    Dark_AvEngER: I think this guy is just using some video editing tool. I tried using the lowest attacking weapon possible and even had my friend cast curse on me to have a negative attack damage. But I still killed the horned rabbit.

    cutey4you: Uh uh, I think so too, tried hitting the horned rabbits too still killed every last one of them. I tried up to a hundred times, but nothing…

    TriTank: What an Idiot!

Nash’s angry heart snapped out once more! The comments continued on and on about how funny he was.

“These idiots think that I’m some kind of a joke?! I’ll show them. I’ll show all of them!”

Nash made a mental list. A list of people to kill. He realized that they may have different user names in the game. So he changed his mental list to EVERYONE in Zectas.

Nash logged off from his desktop and paced around his room. His tiny room couldn’t hold such a fast-pace pacing. He decided to go out for a jog at two in the morning.

Nash was trying to run his anger away. Being so angry didn’t sit well with him. He kept running and running until he noticed that it was already 5am. He ran 40km but strangely enough he didn’t feel tired at all.

He just felt guilty that he missed his work at the diner and failed to give them any form of notice.

Still bursting with energy from all the anger and the hate inside him. Nash jogged towards the diner. When he got to the diner he spoke with the owner and the cook and explained to them the situation. The situation being that something came up that has riled him up so much that he totally lost control of himself, that was why he didn’t notice the time. Seeing as this is the first time that this had happened. The owner and the cook didn’t have any problem with it.

Relieved of the fact that the owner wasn’t mad at him, he headed home to clean himself up a bit before going to work at the construction site.

His coworkers did their usual bit of assigning him the task of going to the top and expected the usual smile and nod from him. Instead, Nash snapped at them saying that they should do their own work. The other construction workers were shocked to hear Nash shouting. He felt the stares of everyone at the construction site. He proceeded to the secluded cement mixer instead trying to get away from everyone.

Nash felt guilty once more. Those guys didn’t do anything wrong. Sure, they were passing on their jobs to him, but he didn’t really mind. He loved working at the top of the skyscraper, but something in him was definitely off. Staring off into the twirling cement mixer. He thought of ways on how to become stronger in Zectas.

‘If only I could play 24/7 I could grind that new passive ability: Agility of the Horned Rabbit to increase my dodge rate and attack speed. I don’t think that there are a lot of people who has that ability. I haven’t seen it in any of the forums.’

The possibility that someone else may have discovered the same ability did pass through his mind but it was highly unlikely. Was it a bug that made him start outside of a main city? Was it a special game event? Well, what ever the reason maybe he was gonna exploit it.

If after killing 10,000 horned rabbits he gained their ability. Maybe, just maybe it would be the same for the rest of the monsters on the field. He wanted to jump right into Zectas right away and start killing those armored armadillos.

It took him almost 2 weeks to kill 10,000 horned rabbits then, it would most likely take him more than a month to kill 10,000 armored armadillos. Of course, this was at the rate of him only playing Zectas for 6-8 hours a day.

His train of thought on planning to improve his character always came down to him needing more game time. Maybe I should quit working at the diner. However, the pay was just right for the number of hours that he spent working there.

‘Maybe I should quit working here at the construction site. My salary here is definitely lower than the standard rate, but it still pays more than the diner.’

Nash usually earned a total of $7,000 a month. This was the minimum amount that he needed in order to pay for their essential expenses. He also needed to save up for his brothers’ college fund.

DING DING DING DING DING!

It was finally quitting time at the construction site. Nash grabbed his stuff and dashed off towards the game arcade center. He wanted to ask about the ‘potential bonus’ that he would get from the insane amount of views on his ZECTAS video feed.

As soon as Nash reached the building of the Game Arcade he received a text message.

~I have great news. please come to the office as soon as you can. I would like to tell you the news in person.~

Nash ran up the stairs to the third  floor. He took two steps at a time wanting to hear the great news ASAP. He knocked on the door.

“Sir, It’s me. Can I come in?”

“Come on in, Nash. Didn’t I tell you that you don’t have to knock. Sit down, sit down.”

“Thank you sir. I just got your text.”

“Nash my boy, you did it! I had no idea that you were such a comedic savant.”

The manager stood up, extended his arm and congratulated him. 

“Since the launch of Zectas almost everyone started making FAQS and Walkthroughs, but you…. Oh, you genius you… You thought out of the box.”

Nash awkwardly smiled as he didn’t know what to reply. Then, his manager went on to say.

“You’re the new internet sensation. You know, like those cats playing the piano or doing something else funny.”

Nash smiled and nodded, but deep down inside he just wanted the manager to get on with it. He wanted to know his first video earned him . While having such thoughts, guilt overcame him once more.  

‘When did I become all about the money?’ He shrugged such idle thoughts away.

All of that didn’t matter because right now his focus was solely on that bonus. After all, he had big plans for that paycheck.

“Well, I’m sure you want to ask about the bonus right?”

“Yes sir. I remember you said something like that before.” Nash hid his excitement, but his wide grin was a dead giveaway.

“Right, the higher ups are very pleased with all the traffic that you’ve brought to our site. Not to mention the other associated sites to ours.”

He saw the manager reach down into the desk and took out a check.

“They told me to give you this and also to tell you to keep up the great work.”

Nash reached his hand out and took the check. His smile reached from ear to ear when he saw the figures printed on his paycheck. His bonus for being ridiculed on the web was a dazzling $20,000!

This was exactly what he needed in order to proceed with his plan for vengeance. Doing a quick calculation this would almost be three month’s worth working his three jobs. With this he can now fully devote his time to Zectas.

“It’s really amazing right? This will be a great help to your two brothers’ college fund.”

Nash felt guilty once more. The reason why he was working so hard in the first place was for his brothers, but then something in him convinced him that this was an ‘investment’.

After all, this was the highest paycheck that he has received in his entire life. In this day and age, there were professional gamers all over the world. Surely he could join that ‘noble’ profession.

“Nash the great news doesn’t end with that paycheck, the management of ZECTAS Online would like to add your video blog on the official website of ZECTAS. I presumed that you wouldn’t have a problem with this and said yes on your behalf.”

Most companies would want to monopolize the opportunity of gaining such a unique web content, but his manager wasn’t like that. Nash was teary eyed. He was so happy that his boss sincerely thought only about his well being.

‘That’s right, there were still people in this world who were good after all.’

He almost forgot this simple truth. Somehow all his anger was pacified, but his drive for vengeance is a totally different matter.

“Have you had the chance to visit the official ZECTAS website?”

“Yes, sir, I have. I’ve read the basics and browsed around their forums.”

“Good, did you also use their in game trading system as well as their in game auction system?”

“I’m afraid I haven’t had the chance to try those out.”

“Well you really should because the deal from ZECTAS was that they would pay you in zecs. Of course I know that you can’t convert zecs into dollars, but only dollars into zecs. You could also use those zecs to buy better equipment and other stuffs in the game right? But the real reason why I agreed on their terms was because I found a simple loop hole.”

Nash raised his eyebrows. It wasn’t obvious to him what the loophole was but he was curious to find out.

“There is a way for you to convert zecs into dollars. By using their auction system! You could buy expensive items inside ZECTAS using the zecs in game and then auction those off for real dollars. Simple, right?”

Nash couldn’t believe how simple it really was. Maybe he was also hindered by the fact that his real experience inside ZECTAS was just fighting the ‘training’ monsters on the fields.

Nash’s meeting with his manager ended. He thanked him again for everything that he has done for him and assured him that he will keep those views in the millions. He thought that if they think his fight with the horned rabbits was funny then they better watch out for his coming fights with the armored armadillos.

Before going home he decided to call the construction site to inform him that he would no longer be working for them. The foreman at the construction was sad to hear this, he was losing his best and cheapest worker after all.

Next, he called the owner of the diner to tell him the same news. The owner asked him if it was because of what happened earlier that day. Nash replied with a yes. He then went on to explain that he needed to do this in order for him to move on and grow. The owner understood and wished him the best of luck.

However, someone didn’t like Nash’s decision. The cook was upset when she heard. The two of them had gotten really close, but they only met at the diner. He felt that the cook was his best friend as well, but Zectas was his top priority.

Nash turned on his desktop and decided to check out the trading system and the auction system that his manager mentioned. He used the login information that was given by his manager. In all the excitement the manager failed to mention just how much Zectas was planning to pay him for his videos.

He tried looking for his zecs credits as he explored the user interface of the trading and auction system. Finally, he saw it. It was in the upper right corner of the screen. He couldn’t believe the amount of 10,000,000 zecs displayed on his screen. This must be the fate’s way of encouraging him to get his vengeance.

From what he understood in order for you to trade or auction an item. You would need to go to any of the main cities and look for the trade or auction NPC. Once you give them an item there will be a menu that would contain the specifics of the item.

For trading you could input the name of the user and also include a zecs amount if that was what you wanted. You could also easily do this face to face, but they made this feature so that you could do asynchronous transactions. Also, if the other user was located in another kingdom.

For auction you could indicate the minimum amount of money to be placed as their bid. You could also list an item for auction under zecs or under real money currency and the game would convert the money to their localized monetary equivalent.

All the items that were put up for trade or auction could be viewed from their website. Bidders and traders could also use the website to browse all of the items put up for trade/auction, and trade/bid from there as well. All trade/auction actions were immediately reflected to your character in Zectas.

As he continued reading about these two systems he thought that there was one crucial thing that was stopping him from utilizing this feature.

‘Hmm I guess I can’t use it until I enter a main city. Too bad because I don’t plan to enter any of the main cities any time soon.’

Now that he is officially a professional gamer, he needed to utilize the maximum amount of game time he could manage.

Nash researched about a unique sleeping pattern and wanted to try it out. It was called the ‘UberMan’ sleeping pattern or the Polyphasic sleeping pattern. This sleeping pattern indicated that you would only need to take a 20-minute nap every 4 hours. In other words he would only be sleeping for 2 hours in a day. He decided to use this sleeping pattern from now on.

* * * * * * 
Smoke opened his eyes and saw the very familiar fountain. He was in Nanahuatl Village once more. This time however, he wasn’t alone. He saw another familiar scene. It was the old man that greeted him on his first day of playing Zectas.

“Why hello again young DarkElf. Last time I saw you, you were hastily heading for Coatl City. You left without even saying a proper thank you.”

Smoke was confused. Sure, he ran immediately towards the village exit, but he surely thanked the old man. Were the NPCs in this game senile? He would have ignored this old man if his anger wasn’t soothed by the abundance of good news.

After all, the only targets that deserved the full wrath of his anger was Tristan’s party. It would be unwise to channel misdirected anger.

“I’m sorry if I’ve offended you, sir. Thank you again for guiding me on the safe route towards Coatl City.”

“You’re welcome young DarkElf, but I was thinking more along the lines of…”

For dramatic effect the old man opened his palms and slowly reached out to Smoke revealing his bony arms. This old man’s body looked like a skeleton just with skin on it.

“Something to eat, perhaps? You see I haven’t eaten for… Oh, I don’t remember how long my last meal was.”

Smoke pitied the frail old man. He knew that they were only NPCs, but he still felt their hunger. He took out a loaf of bread and gave it to the old man.

“Here, sir, you can have this. I’m sorry,  I didn’t notice that you needed food. If I did, I would have given you something to eat immediately.”

The old man quickly grabbed the loaf of bread and practically swallowed it whole. He looked like a contestant in an eating contest. He swallowed that big loaf of bread in less than five seconds.

The Old man then drank some water from the fountain. Smoke stood still watching the amazing feat that was just displayed before him.

“Thank you for sharing your loaf with me, young DarkElf. However, at the risk of sounding too presumptuous, I was hoping that you could spare another loaf? Perhaps even two or three?”

Smoke wanted to see the feat performed once more. He gave him three loaves of bread. The old man took one loaf of bread and swallowed it in less than four seconds, then the next in three seconds. It seemed like he was trying to lower his time after each attempt.

“Thank you once more my friend. I am called Darius. If you could perhaps give me your name so that I could call you that instead of calling you DarkElf?”

“Right… I’m called Smoke. I’m still a novice at the moment, but even legendary heroes were once novices themselves.”

“That’s true. I like your optimism, Smoke. So, were you able to reach Coatl City?”

Smoke suddenly remembered the traumatic experience of being tortured by the Maneator he also pictured Tristan laughing at him instead of just running away. With clear anger in his voice he answered.

“Unfortunately not. I met a couple of snakes as I was about to reach the city.”

“Odd, I thought the snakes stayed within the forest and not in the fields. Oh, did you try entering a forest, then?”

“Yes I did. I really should have listened to your advice and stayed on the safe route that you gave me.”

“Yes you should have. Although I can sense much potential in you Smoke but at the moment you’re not strong enough to face the monsters inside the forests.”

Smoke only nodded in agreement. True, at the moment he wasn’t strong enough, but someday he would be, as long as he stuck with his plan.

Through the tedious process of grinding every possible ability that would put him at a greater advantage. He knew that having high levels were great and all but abilities were the real deciding factor.

“I’m aware of that too, but I don’t plan to stay this powerless forever. By the way you’re familiar with the monsters on the plains and the fields right? Can you tell me something about their abilities? Like the Agility of the Horned Rabbit ability? Or if the armored armadillo also has an ability that you can learn?”

Darius looked troubled. He fidgeted as he answered.

“I’m afraid that I’m not familiar with that ability that you have mentioned. I didn’t even know that you could learn abilities from monsters.”

Smoke was sad. He had hoped to get some kind of confirmation about his theory that if he kills 10,000 armored armadillos he would learn a new ability.

Well, there was no other way to know for sure, but to try it out himself. Smoke bid farewell to Darius as he told him that he needed to start his training.

* * * * * * 
Smoke spotted his target. With his knife in hand, he dashed towards the armored armadillo. He noticed that his movement speed was significantly faster than before. Once he reached the monster he let out a barrage of attacks.

+ Attack hit armored armadillo. CRITICAL HIT. Damage 1.
+ Attack hit armored armadillo. CRITICAL HIT. Damage 1.
+ Attack hit armored armadillo. CRITICAL HIT. Damage 1.

– Attacked by armored armadillo. Miss damage. 0

+ Attack hit armored armadillo. CRITICAL HIT. Damage 1.
+ Attack hit armored armadillo. CRITICAL HIT. Damage 1.
+ Attack hit armored armadillo. CRITICAL HIT. Damage 1.

– Attacked by armored armadillo. You’ve taken damage. Health -2

Smoked noticed that he managed to make three attacks for one of the armored armadillo’s. The monster’s misses had now increased as well. His Agility of the Horned Rabbit ability showed its true splendor.

Smoke’s initial estimate of needing a month needed some recalibration. Since he could now devote more than twenty hours a day into the game, it would probably be less than two weeks before he manages to kill 10,000 armored armadillos.

As he continued slaughtering the armored armadillos at a rate of three minutes each, something unexpected happened after just four hours into his hunt. He notification message popped up.

– Beginner knife’s durability has reached 0. Beginner knife is broken!


+ Learned Ability: Knife Mastery
    Passive
    Level: Beginner Level 1
    Experience: (0/1,000)

    By exhausting the full durability of your beginner knife in battle you have grasped the truth about knives.

    Knife Damage: +1% Increased Damage 

The armored armadillo kept on attacking Smoke, as soon as he stopped attacking the beast. It took this as an opportunity to dish out more damage. Smoke simply evaded them as much as he could.

Unable to attack with the broken knife Smoke did what naturally came to him. He clenched his hand and started using that to hit the armored armadillo.

With just his fists, Smoke managed to make a single damage point on the armored monster. Once he saw this, he continued to pummel the armored armadillo. Whether he used a knife or his fists, it didn’t really make any difference since his damage on the monster was always one anyway.

After fourteen hours of repetitive armored armadillo hunting, he felt hungry and thirsty. Since he didn’t move far away from Nanahuatl Village, he couldn’t see any rivers or stream. He then remembered that there was a fountain inside the village. Smoke turned around and headed back to the village.

* * * * * * 
As Smoke ate beside the white soothing fountain, Darius casually strolled out of his house and sat beside him. Smoke laughed as he knew the old man’s intention. He gave Darius a loaf of bread and watched as the old man gobbled up the bread.

Smoke gave his last loaf of bread to Darius. Without any bread left, Smoke now ran out of food. He decided to try his luck with the old man. Whether he knew some useful information.

“Darius, do you happen to know how to use this piece of meat?”

“Meat? Well, obviously you cook it and eat it.”

Smoke knew that much, but he wasn’t sure if this was possible in the game. Since he didn’t have any cooking tools that he could try to use in the first place.

“You do need to have cooking utensils and cooking abilities in order to cook edible meat though. Would you like to come to my house I can cook that meat for you?”

Smoke was relieved that Darius was somehow useful aside from his entertaining act of swallowing his bread whole.

As they entered the house, Smoke found it to be somewhat decent, even if it looked a bit on the shabby side you could clearly see that the house was clean and organized.

“While I whip us up some yummy grub just sit down and watch this master chef cook. Just how many pieces of meat do you want me to cook anyway?”

“Well you can cook these five pieces. I have over a thousand pieces of rabbit meat on me anyway.”

Darius suddenly stopped preparing the cooking utensils. He slowly turned around and faced Smoke.

“I know that we’ve only just met, but maybe you could give me all of those rabbit meat? You see, I desperately need it.”

Smoke was already a little annoyed at how Darius kept begging for his bread, but it crossed a line when the old man wanted to take his entire food supply.

“I’m sure that you’re hungry, but are you sure you can finish all of this meat by yourself? Can’t you settle for ten pieces of meat?”

“Ten pieces of meat? Well, that would be too little. Can you please increase that amount to maybe a hundred?”

He thought that a hundred pieces of meat were already a high amount, but then again, he wasn’t going to run out of meat anytime soon anyway so he decided to agree with giving him a hundred pieces. Smoke decided to think of it as a payment for Darius’ cooking the meat.

Smoke and Darius ate the delicious barbecued rabbit. With Smoke’s satiety satisfied, he decided to resume his hunt, he still had that unbelievable quota of 10,000 armored armadillos after all.

This arrangement continued on for five days. During meals Smoke and Darius would usually share in some idle chit chat. Smoke noticed that Darius’ body was starting to gain some meat. Actually Smoke was expecting him to be really fat now. After eating a hundred pieces of rabbit meat each day. However, today Darius was silent.

“Smoke, it has been a couple of days that you have provided me with meat. That is why I feel like I can trust you with this secret.”


    + Intimacy with Darius has risen to ‘Trusted Friend’

    You have gained Darius’ trust by continuing to give him food without asking for the reason.
    You can expect that Darius will share some useful information with you.

After seeing the system notification, Smoke smiled. He was hoping that something like this would happen. He was curious as to what this useful information could be.

“First, I’d like to teach you the ability of cooking.”

Smoke was glad he had the opportunity to learn the ability. He had read in the forums that you would need to pay an NPC 5,000,000 zecs in order to learn the ability. Some users use this as their source of income, they would open food stalls in the main city.

Both Darius and Smoke stood up and headed for the kitchen. Darius showed him how to use the utensils and how to prepare the rabbit meat.


    + Learned Ability: Cooking
        Passive
        Level: Beginner Level 1
        Experience: (0/1,000)

        The taste of your meals and the satiety it gives would depend on its level.
        There could be possible effects depending on the ingredients that you use.
        Vitality + 1

What Darius was making wasn’t the usual barbecued rabbit. Instead, the old man made rabbit stew. He took out some form of herbs and added them into the pot. He then motioned for Smoke to follow the same process.


    Cooked: Medicinal Rabbit Stew

      A stew made out of rabbit meat and green herbs
      Effects:
      * Increased HP regeneration for the next 20 minutes.

‘So this is what it meant that it could contain certain effects. The HP regen is not that long,  although that must be because of my low ability level.’

“Now that the stew is done, I’d like you to bring the pot and follow me.”

Smoke placed the pot inside the cart that was prepared and followed Darius outside of his house. They walked five doors down from Darius’ house. Darius knocked on the door and they heard a faint, ‘Yes, come in.’

The sight before Smoke crushed his heart. There was a family of skinny people waiting for them. Darius then proceeded to feed them. He motioned for Smoke to do the same. While feeding them Darius introduced Smoke.

Darius told them that it was Smoke who has been providing the rabbit meat these past few days. Everyone smiled at him. They gave him praises and thanks. It took all of his will power to stop himself from crying at such a scene.

‘These people are only NPCs, but why does it feel so real?’

He told them that he would continue to provide them with food and asked if there was anything else he could do to help them improve their health.

As they stepped out of that house. Darius faced Smoke and told him that they would still need to do this at least four more times. As there were still four families in this similar situation. Smoke readily agreed and continued to follow Darius from house to house.

“This was the reason why I asked you to give me a hundred pieces of meat. Truth be told, after the last five days I’ve seen the improvements of their conditions, but I think it would be faster if you could provide some more.”

Smoke nodded his head in agreement.

“I still have around 500 pieces here. I’m gonna give that all to you right now. I will also continue to hunt for horned rabbit meat as well.”

As Smoke said those words he recalled his current problem. He doesn’t have a weapon anymore. It didn’t matter when it came to attacking the armored armadillos, but the damage that he did on the horned rabbits was now also 1 because he was only using his bare fists.

His troubled face caught Darius’ attention and asked him if something was wrong.

“Well, I don’t mind hunting for horned rabbit’s meat, it’s just that my knife broke and now I can only do a damage of 1 on the horned rabbits.”

“Why didn’t you say so? Aside from being a great cook, I’m also the village’s best blacksmith. Since the real blacksmith left the village I’m the only one left that could do some smithing. HEHEHEHE.”

Smoke was shocked to know this. He thought that Darius was just a cook, but now he learned that Darius could also do blacksmith tasks.

‘What’s up with this old man? He sure has a lot of abilities.’

“I didn’t know that you could also do iron works. If I’d known I would have asked you to fix my knife days ago.” Smoked asked.

He took out his knife and showed it to Darius. As Darius examined the knife he concluded that it was beyond repair.

“I can no longer fix this knife as its beyond help. I do however have this.”

Darius took out two shiny knives, one was shorter and stouter (DAMAGE: 6-8) while the other was a little bit longer it sort of looked like a short sword (DAMAGE: 4-10). Both knives had a level restriction of 9.

“You can have your pick with these two knives. Or you can use them both if you like?”

“True, having two of them would be better, but I think it would be confusing to switch between two knives.”

“Switch? Why not use both of them at the same time? You can dual wield them. Here, let me show you how.”


    + Learned Ability: Dual Wield
        Passive
        Level: Beginner Level 1
        Experience: (0/1,000)

        With this ability you can use 2 single handed weapons at the same time.
        Mastering this ability gives you a slight boost in attack speed.
        Attack Speed: +1

Smoke was ecstatic. He had gained another ability and this time it was dual wield! He thought that characters with dual wielding ability looked cool.

Smoke took both knives and started trying out moves on an imaginary opponent. He felt that he totally looked like some bad ass assassin right now.

Darius chuckled as he saw Smoke doing such exaggerated movements. He then told him to also look for some green herbs. There were some in the plains and in the fields.

Killing the horned rabbits with a single blow was to be expected now that he has a much higher attack. He was now able to kill the armored armadillos in one minute. All thanks to the increased attack speed that he got from Dual Wield.

Amidst slaughtering the horned rabbits and armored armadillos, Smoke pondered on who in the world Darius was.

‘He has a high level ability of cooking, he knows how to do metal works, and he even knows how to teach Dual Wield. Just what kind of job does Darius have?’

Three days after Smoke received his Dual Wield ability, he finally reached his 9,999 armored armadillo. He was too excited to find out what would happen on his 10,000th kill.


    + Learned Ability: Armor Break of the Armored Armadillo
        Active
        Level: Beginner Level 1
        Experience: (0/1,000)

        After killing 10,000 armored armadillos you have discovered how to penetrate an armor as hard as a diamond.
        Effect: Ignores 2% Armor
        MP Consumption: 20 MP

+ You’ve dealt a fatal blow to the armored armadillo.
+ You’ve killed the armored armadillo.
+ You’ve gained 1 exp.

Finally, all his hard work has payed off. It had been a total of eleven days of non stop armadillo hunting. His theory about killing 10,000 armored armadillos was confirmed to be true.

‘Too bad there was no item drop like last time.’

Even if there was no item drop Smoke’s spirit was still high in the clouds. It was time to move on to his next monster, the dire fox. With all his new abilities and stats, he was confident that he could take on a dire fox now.

These were the results of his last two weeks with the armadillo hunt and with helping out in Nanahuatl Village


    Abilities List
    —————————————————————————————
    [Passive]

    Agility of the Horned Rabbit          
      Class: Intermediate
      Level: 5
      Effects: Agility + 200

    Knife Mastery
      Class: Intermediate
      Level: 1
      Effects: Knife Dmg +11%

    Dual Wield
      Class: Intermediate
      Level: 1
      Effects: Atk Spd +11
     

    Cooking
      Class: Beginner
      Level: 9
      Effects: Vitality +9

    [Active]

    Suicide Attack
      Class: Beginner
      Level: 1
      Effects: 5x your maximum Critical Damage

    Armor Break of the Armored Armadillo
      Class: Beginner
      Level: 1
      Effects: Ignores 2% Armor

Smoke had also increased his intimacy with everyone in Nanahuatl Village to that of a close friend.

After such an accomplishment Smoke headed towards his new found home in Zectas the village of Nanahuatl. The villagers even gave him a house. It was the biggest house in the whole village it faced directly in front of the fountain.

He already considered himself as one of them. Lately, he noticed that the villagers were going out more, even if it was only just to sit in front of their houses. Then out of the blue he thought of something fun to do for the villagers.

He called everyone in the village and asked them to gather in front of his house. Slowly the villagers went to his house and saw that there were a lot of tables and chairs outside Smoke’s house. When everyone was gathered. Smoke and Darius came out pushing a long grill.

Smoke stood in front of the crowd and started the celebration.

“Everyone I think its about time that we start having some fun. I know for a fact that you recover faster when you’re happy and laughing. So let’s all enjoy our BBQ feast. Don’t worry, I’ll still be the one to do the cooking just sit back and enjoy the show of this master (beginner) cook.”

He dazzled the Nanahuatlanos with his fast movement speed, it almost appeared like he was in four places at once. One second he would be putting the meat on the grill. The next he was chopping them up into bite sizes and then in almost two blinks he was already at their tables serving the BBQ.

This was the first time in a long time that Nanahuatl Village had a celebration and it was all thanks to Smoke.

With the BBQ bonanza over, the residents helped with the clean up and afterwards slowly headed home.

After those notifications Smoke felt a sense of belonging. These people were more than just NPCs, they are already like his own family. Then a sequence of system notifications came up.


    + Intimacy with the Nanahuatlanos has risen to ‘Trusted Friend’

    After your selfless acts of kindness everyone in the village has complete faith in you.
    The villagers are prone to give favor to any of your requests.


    + Intimacy with Darius has risen to ‘Blood Brothers’

    You have gained the complete TRUST of Darius and now he treats you like you’re his real brother.
    Darius may share all of his knowledge with you.

Darius then asked Smoke if he could speak with him privately.

“Smoke, do you remember the time when you asked me about gaining abilities from killing armored armadillos. Well, truth is you do gain ability after you’ve killed 10,000 of them.”

“Oh, that? I already know that. I just recently got my 10,000th kill.”

“What? It should have taken you more than a year to kill that many, but you’ve only been here for around five months.”

Since time inside Zectas was four times faster than in the real world, Darius counted it as five months. To the residents of Nanahuatl Village he had been staying with them for almost half a year now.

“Did you also manage to kill 10,000 dire foxes? I’m sure that would be more challenging considering how rare they are in the fields and plains.”

“They are pretty rare aren’t they? I’ve only defeated it once, but I wouldn’t really call it a win.”

“Alright, let me tell you about this secret fox hole then. It is a bit further away it would take you around forty days to reach there. Let me indicate it on your map.”

Smoke’s map became visible and a dot started blinking in the part of the unexplored territory. Good thing that there was a route indicated towards the dot. If he followed this route he was sure that he would be able to avoid any dangerous monsters beyond his level.

“If you do head there now though everyone here in the village will start to run out of food again.”

Smoke did a quick calculation and it turned out that he needed around 8,000 pieces of rabbit meat in order to feed the people from the time that he was away. 8,000 pieces of rabbit meat meant like killing more than 10,000 horned rabbits at the very least.

“Yes about that problem. Do you think there is another food source that we could procure. I don’t think that the horned rabbit’s meat is really effective to feed such a lot of people.”

“Well, you could go try to look for seeds inside the Mandragora forest? But then preparing the land and raising the seeds until they are ready to be harvested would take at least six months.”

“How about if I hunt big game animals, like a stone deer or something similar?”

“Have you hunted a stone deer before? Even level 40 adventurers would have a hard time dealing with them. Ah, but you’re right the stone deers high defense shouldn’t be an issue for you. Now that you have the ability from the armored armadillos.”

“No, I haven’t hunted one, but I just happened to see one and thought that it should feed more people. After all, it’s way bigger than a rabbit.”

The two of them were walking around the village while they were talking about other potential food sources. Then near the entrance of the village Darius noticed a hill that he hasn’t seen before. He asked Smoke if he knew something about that hill just outside of the village.

“Oh, that. That’s just the carapace of the armored armadillos that I’ve been hunting. They were getting too heavy to carry around and since there was no merchant in the village. I just decided to throw them into that pile. I thought they could be useful for something someday.”

“With this many carapaces we could make a Fishing Weir, wherein we could trap the fish in the river.”

“That’s great to hear. Leave it to wise Old Darius to come up with solutions.”

“Hey, I’m not that old. I’m only 150 years old.”

The two of them proceeded to make the dam. It was estimated to take at least two weeks to finish the dam or around four days in real time. Smoke didn’t mind it all. With this dam finished it would mean that he no longer needed to hunt those pesky horned rabbits anymore.

After completing the Dam a system notification popped up.


    Constructed: Simple Fish Catching Weir

      A simple dam made to trap the fish from the river.
      Effects:
      * Provides fish, good for 40 persons.
      * Increases culture of Nanahuatl Village by 10

Assured that everyone would be able to eat fish until his return, Smoke headed out towards the fox hole.

Running at his top speed and only stopping to rest and eat. It took Smoke a mere twenty days(ZECTAS TIME) to reach the fox hole.

As he reached the entrance of the cave. He took the time to regain his strength. He ate till his satiety was full.In the moment that he stepped inside the cave. A system notification popped up.


    – Entered Hidden Fox Hole

      – Only dire foxes are found inside this cave.
      – Suggested level for entering this cave is 15. 

After reading the notification he understood why the level had to be at least fifteen. The dire foxes all came at him at once. They attacked him from all the sides.

Good thing Darius gave him an advice. He told Smoke to fight them with his back behind the wall. In this way he was safe from being surrounded. He only needed to worry about the monsters in front of him.

The dire foxes came in groups of five to groups of nine. As all the foxes in the group jumped to attack him all of them fell dead on the floor at once.

+ Attack hit dire fox. CRITICAL HIT. Damage 225.
+ Attack hit dire fox. Damage 90.
+ Attack hit dire fox. CRITICAL HIT. Damage 242.
+ You’ve dealt a fatal blow to the dire fox.
+ You’ve killed the dire fox.
+ You’ve gained 10exp.

– Attacked by dire fox. MISS.

+ Attack hit dire fox. CRITICAL HIT. Damage 235.
+ Attack hit dire fox. CRITICAL HIT. Damage 221.
+ You’ve dealt a fatal blow to the dire fox.
+ You’ve killed the dire fox.
+ You’ve gained 10exp.

With his combined battle abilities (Agility of the Horned Rabbit, Dual Wield, Armor Break of the Armored Armadillo), the dire foxes only jumped into their own deaths. It looked like the foxes were jumping into a meat grinder.

Smoke was more than ready for them. The Dire foxes were hitting nothing but air. He was not the same man as he was before.
With the continued tsunami of dire foxes it only took fifteen hours of continuous hunting before he reached 10,000 dire foxes.


    + Learned Ability: Cunning of the Dire Fox
        Passive
        Level: Beginner Level 1
        Experience: (0/1,000)

        After killing 10,000 dire foxes you have discovered how they perceive danger and escape it.
        Effect: Detects Enemy Presence from 10 meters away.

He had killed his 10,000th dire fox and gained its ability, but now he was stuck. If he would step away from the wall, he would surely be surrounded and killed.

Smoke decided to continue fighting until he could come up with a solution. It had been an twenty minutes and he still hadn’t come up with an answer.

He decided to gamble on his fighting ability and stepped away from the safety of his wall. The moment his back was exposed, all the of the dire foxes surrounded him from all sides.

Surprisingly, Smoke manage to dodge the attacks from the back. It was all thanks to his new ability: Cunning of the Dire Fox. It allowed him to sense the attacks from behind him.

Slowly, Smoke managed to get to the entrance of the Fox Hole. He didn’t even have the time to gather the loot because of the relentless attacks from the dire foxes. He decided to come back again once he had acquired a basic job.

He was really cutting it close inside the Fox Hole. He felt hungry and his stats were cut off by 75% due to his hungered state.

* * * * * * 
As he ate to restore his satiety he pondered on his found theories so far. The reason why the monsters of the plains did not show their abilities to users was because once they encountered them they would already have a basic job. A Player could switch to other Jobs, but they could never switch back to being a novice.

Smoke felt really special because of the rare abilities that he had acquired. Just how many users could there be who had started in a remote village outside of a main city. He made a mental note to ask Darius for some more information when he reached Nanahuatl Village.

His return journey took nineteen days(ZECTAS TIME) as his movement speed increased a bit with the increased level of Agility of the Horned Rabbit.

Once he reached the entrance of Nanahuatl Village he immediately noticed the different atmosphere. There were kids playing near the fountain. While the grown ups were doing repairs on their shops.

Smoke had just found out that the families left in the village had their own specific trades. There was a Tailor, a Tanner, a Farmer, a Fisherman, and lastly a somewhat decent blacksmith called Darius.

Everyone greeted him as they saw him near their shops. Smoke then stopped by Darius’ house to inquire as to what caused this pleasant development.

Darius told him that the Fishing Dam they originally thought to be only as a food source gave another benefit. It encouraged everyone in the village to get some exercise and use their dormant muscles. Darius went on to praise him for his great contributions in restoring their village.

Smoke then remembered his question for Darius. He asked if the ability learned from the 10,000th killed monster would be available for all monsters. Sadly Darius told him that this was not so. The monsters on the fields and the plains were a special case.

Darius then told Smoke that he did know of a monster, but it was far away in the North Eastern Kingdom of Matotl. As they talked more about monsters near the Village Smoke asked about the Maneator.

Darius continued to tell him that it was a monster bred by a dark wizard whose level was past 400. It was made to possess cunning, endurance, and sadism. It was originally placed in the hidden dungeons of Coatl City and served as a guard to the city’s treasure. It somehow managed to escape carrying the key to the city’s treasury.

It would take at least a party of five with levels all above 150 in order to subjugate that monstrous beast. Smoke was convinced of those levels. He had personally seen the foolish attempt of a party whose levels didn’t even reach that.

As their conversation went on, Darius remembered that Smoke had originally wanted to go to Coatl City, and he inquired what was in Coatl City that made him rush out of the village on the first day.

“I was actually hoping to get a basic Job change, but right now I’m in no rush to go to any of the main cities. I want to increase my abilities as much as I can. I want to get stronger so that no one will have the opportunity to take advantage of me.”

“If its a basic Job change that you are looking for there is a hidden basic Job available here. It’s also my Job as well. Although, I have already gotten its master form.”

Smoke’s eyes became wide as saucers. There was a hidden basic Job right here in this forgotten village. Maybe that was the reason why he was able to start here. He immediately asked Darius how to get the hidden basic Job.


    + Quest: Hidden Basic Job of Nanahuatl Village
        Job Quest
        Level: C

        Hidden Basic Job of Nanahuatl Village can only be accessed when you have gained the complete trust of everyone in the Village. In order to get the job you only need to get the 5 family tokens of the main families in Nanahuatl Village.

        Accept the Quest? [YES/NO]

Smoke eagerly accepted the quest. Initially Smoke thought that this old man was nothing more than just a beggar. What with his shabby clothes and all. However, Darius showed him many abilities. It looked like this old man had multiple jobs at the same time.

Even though Darius looks like some frail old man but when he taught Smoke the Dual Wield Ability it looked like he had the fighting ability of a Great General. He knows about blacksmithing, dual wielding, fishing, construction. Except for cooking the rest of these abilities were specific to certain jobs.

Smoke, also wondered why he was able to learn dual wielding when he thought that it was specific to thieves and assassins only. Darius then told him that there were three other jobs who could learn that ability. Novice, Master Blacksmith, and his hidden Job.

“So do I just go about and ask the family heads for their family token?”

“Even though everyone here already considers you as a trusted friend it won’t be that easy. Asking them for their family token is like you asking them to give up their son or daughter.”

It was obvious that a job quest wouldn’t be something as easy as retrieving an item and showing it to the NPC. Especially if its a hidden job quest.

“So can you tell me where I can get my first family token?”

“Of course, you can get your first family token right here.”

Darius went to a closet and took out a small statue of a man sitting down with his right hand stretching out as if trying to grab something. The statue looked like the famous sculpture called ‘The Thinker’. Only that its hand was stretched out as if he was reaching out for something.

+ Received Darius’ family token


    + Family Token of Darius

    You have received Darius’ family token. It is a symbol of his hidden Job. This can only be given to the person who has earned his trust as a blood brother.

    Family Token Count: (1/5)

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4 thoughts on “Light Novel – Zectas – Volume 01 – Chapter 02

  1. Good chapter.

    One note though, he says he 'did some quick math' and thinks he needs 4000 rabbit meat. However this was before he knew he could get there in 20 days.

    Since at that point he thought it would take 40 days each way, for a total of 80 days, the number should be 8000.

    Like

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