Light Novel – Zectas – Volume 01 – Chapter 06

The Realization

Since Nash started being a pro player in Zectas, he has saved up an amount of $80,000. He hasn’t even touched the savings of $108,000 for his brothers’ education.

Confident that he could maintain the high number of views, Nash decided to buy a house worth $400,000. He payed the 20% down payment in full and only needed to pay $6,100 a month for the next 5 years.

The family immediately moved to their new house. Their house is a detached two story house, it has 4 bedrooms, 3 toilets & baths, has a small front yard and a separate garage. Nash gave the master bedroom to his Mima Daphne, which has its own toilet & bath.

Their new house was somewhat far from Seth and Donny’s old school. So Nash opted to transfer them to a closer School. Seth and Donny didn’t have any problem with the move because they loved their new house.

Now each of the three young Smoaks has a room of his own. Seth was the happiest one. He was now 13 and wanted the privacy of his own room. Donny would make a mess of things and always clutter his side of the room.

The Smoaks have only been living in their house for one week. It’s just been one day since Nash failed miserably against the murlocks. When Nash got a call from the arcade manager telling him to get his check from the Game Center. His latest video upload only got around 7 million views. Which meant that his check would only amount to $10,000. This is still a pretty big amount but is no longer enough to support Nash’s expenses.

With Mima Daphne’s medical bills, their daily living expenses, the mortgage of their new house, and his brothers’ educational fund, Nash needed at least $14,000 a month. His latest check would mean that he would need to skip out on his brothers’ educational fund this month.

He had never skipped making the monthly deposit before. But he had to make this sacrifice, otherwise they wouldn’t have any food to eat.

The sixth video upload that Nash did was of the time, when he and Adder tried out using military hand signals and hunted monsters in total silence. The users got confused on what was actually happening in the video. While others continued to review the video trying to catch if there was any kind of secret that was hidden in the video.

However, the main reason why he had lower views was because of another video. The video was about ‘Amahan’, the player with the current highest level in Zectas. Amahan was currently at level 140, he had the hidden advance job of an Exorcist. A fighting Priest that specialized against the Undead.

Amahan shared the location of the unexplored northern Kingdom of Aquilomentl. Together with his elite guild the ‘Decane’, they ventured into the uncharted lands. The moment they entered the vicinity of the kingdom, they were ambushed by a horde of zombies and ghouls but all of them were wiped out in a flash of light.

Tristan’s guild was said to be the strongest in ZECTAS because of their numbers. However the ‘Decane’ was considered to be the super elite. ‘Decane’ consisted of only ten members. Its lowest level player, full support Arch Bishop ‘Hilot’ had a level of 130. Only a few levels short of Tristan who was at level of 132.

Amahan’s video spread like wild fire. Everyone in the Northern Kingdoms headed towards the location that he showed in his video. That video garnered the second most views in all of the official videos in ZECTAS.

After making breakfast Nash called down his younger brothers to join him and their Mima. Seth was the first one to arrive at the table, while Donny sluggishly followed wearing a baseball cap. He was trying his best to hide his face.

Mima Daphne told Donny to remove his cap as they were about to eat. Donny obediently followed and showed the reason why he was wearing the cap. Donny had a huge black eye on his right eye. which caused Mima Daphne to raise her voice.

“What in the world happened to you?! Who did this?! That boy’s gonna get it good.”

“No Mima, don’t. I was the one who threw the first punch.”

Nash was shocked to hear that Donny threw the first punch. He was enraged. Was Donny becoming a bully?

“Donny?! What could have been a good enough reason, for you to punch someone?”

“Ummm… Nash… You see… Since we got into a new school, I’ve been trying to make new friends. Eventually the topic of ZECTAS came up and I… I just had to tell them that the supernovice is my brother.”

Nash looked at Seth, he was expecting him to take care of his brother at school. In spite of the situation Seth looked calm and didn’t seem to mind what Donny did.

“So you punched a kid because they wouldn’t believe you, that you’re the supernovice’s brother?”

“No no no. It wasn’t like that. I couldn’t care less if they believed me or not. Andrew and his five friends just kept on saying that the supernovice was lame, that he was stupid, that he was a joke and that he was a total loser. I tried asking them why but then they just kept on repeating the same things over and over again. I tried asking them to stop but they started circling around me and kept on repeating the same things. I don’t know what came over me but I just couldn’t take it anymore and I just punched Andrew in the nose. After that they ganged up on me. If Seth hadn’t seen what was happening from across the yard, I don’t think I would’ve ended with just a black eye.”

“So you saw this Seth? Did you fight against those kids as well?”

“No, of course not. I just separated Donny from those gang of bullies. I didn’t know the reason of their fight. But if I had known. I would’ve knocked out everyone one of those punks.”

Nash understood that his brothers were just looking out for him. He knew that it wasn’t right to start fights. But he wasn’t gonna let some kids mess with his brothers as well.

“Donny, I appreciate what you did for me. But you shouldn’t be throwing punches whenever someone talks bad about us. Just don’t mind them. There are a lot of idiotic people in this world and you shouldn’t stoop down to their level.”

“Yeah, I guess. I get what you’re trying to say Nash… Oh, by the way. Now that you know about the fight. I think I should also tell you that you have to go our school, to talk with our principal. I think I broke Andrew’s nose.”

“Good for you, Donny! That kid deserved it.”

“Mima, don’t encourage him. Donny, I’ll talk to your principal and try to sort this out. Okay, you guys should start eating, I just need to make a phone call and this may take a while.”

Nash stepped into their living room while talking to someone on the phone. Ten minutes passed and Nash finally came back to the dining table.

“All right, it’s all set. Seth, Donny, everyday after school I want you to head to this address. I know this person from the time when I worked at the diner. He delivers our fruits and vegetables.”

“Why would you want us to go to this place? Are you punishing us? Are you making us do vegetable deliveries or something?”

“You would think that I should punish you right? But you will know once you get there this afternoon.”

After school Seth and Donny headed towards the address that Smoke gave them. It took them 30 minutes to reach the place.

It was a fruits and vegetables shop. Seth and Donny looked at each other and understood that they were gonna be busy doing deliveries for the next coming days. The two brothers entered the shop.

“Excuse me. I’m looking for Mr. Cacoy?”

An Asian man that looked like he was in his 50s greeted them.

“Mr. Cacoy huh? Just call me Cacoy. You must be Nash’s younger brothers. I’ve been expecting you.”

“Yup that’s us. So where are we gonna make our first delivery?”

“Delivery? What delivery are you talking about?”

“Didn’t Nash send us here to work as your delivery boys?”

“Nash didn’t mention anything about that. I think you must have misunderstood your brother. Come follow me to the back.”

The shop’s back yard was surrounded by a high fence. Nobody could see what is going on back here. The backyard had 5 hanging car tires and 10 car tires mounted on each side of the wall. Seth and Donny suddenly got a creepy feeling. Cacoy led them to one of the crate boxes in the backyard.

“Nash told me that you boys got into a fight and that you were ganged up. Is that right?”

“Well it was only Donny that was ganged up, but yeah we did get into a fight.”

“Your brother also told me that you boys like the comic book hero Nightwing? Is this also correct?”

Seth and Donny both looked at each other and were confused. What did Nightwing have to do with them being there, but both of them nodded their heads.

“Then let me give you a short demonstration of what you boys are gonna be learning here.”

Cacoy took out two eskrima sticks from one of the crate boxes. He then effortlessly started pounding on the tires mounted on the left wall and after hitting all of the tires, Cacoy made his way across the yard, making sure that each hanging tire was hit at least 4 times.

Cacoy was giving out an impression that he was fighting multiple attackers at the same time. Some of the hanging tires were hanged in a somewhat circular formation. He stepped into that circle and simultaneously hit two tires at the same time. After clearing the hanging tires, Cacoy then moved to the car tires mounted on the right wall. The whole exhibition was done in under 2 minutes.

After completely hitting all of the car tires in the backyard. Cacoy stopped and held the eskrima sticks tightly to his side. Seth and Donny were amazed at such an amazing martial art display. They couldn’t believe that a man in his 50’s could still be this agile.

As Seth and Donny stared blankly at Cacoy in amazement. A man stepped out from one the other doors in the backyard. Clapping energetically as he saw the end of Cacoy’s martial arts demonstration. Seth and Donny both turned around to see who it was. Nash greeted his siblings with a smile.

“So you like your ‘punishment’? Before anything else, I want you to remember that violence isn’t always the answer. But there are some situations that are out of our control, in those situations I want both of my brothers to be able to defend themselves. That’s why I’ve asked Grandmaster Cacoy for help.”

“I’m sure Donny is excited to learn and I don’t mind learning how to be able to strike that fast as well. But are we allowed to be carrying sticks everywhere? Wouldn’t that make us look like we’re looking for trouble?”

“Oh Eskrima isn’t restricted to stick fighting. Nash come here and let’s show your brothers what I’ve taught you before.”

Nash stepped forward and faced Grandmaster Cacoy squarely. Both of them took on a fighting pose with their fists, that made it look like they were carrying sticks. In a split second both their fists turned into a blur and were attacking each other rapidly. One fist would attack while the other would block the incoming attack. They both started moving around the back yard.

The Eskrima Grandmaster was doing some narrations and explanations as they continued exchanging blows. Cacoy was leading Nash around like a puppy. After each exchange there is a brief moment where the two of them would stop. During this moment both Donny and Seth saw that Cacoy’s attack would hit Nash but just stopped before actually hitting his face. While Nash’s attacks were always parried.

In spite of seeing their brother being toyed with they couldn’t help but be impressed at Nash’s quick hand speed. They wondered how long he has been practising Eskrima. The duo’s bare-handed demonstration ended with Nash being arm locked and then forced down on the floor.

“And this is how you pin down your enemy.”

Cacoy finished the bare-handed display of Eskrima and helped Nash on his feet. He gave Nash a pat on the back and told him that he was clearly not practising, as most of his hits were not blocked.

“Yeah, I’m sorry I’ve neglected doing my daily practice. To be honest, I only practised whenever you came around at the diner. Hehehe.”

“Ohh, I see… Well then I won’t let that happen to your brothers. Starting today I want you two, to come here after school. After a two months of training you will be sharp enough to take down Nash and show how him how important it is to practice.”

Both Seth and Donny nodded enthusiastically. They couldn’t wait to learn from Grandmaster Cacoy.

Nash didn’t like the sound of that but he was still happy at the idea that his two brothers will have the skills to fend for themselves.

The first thing that Smoke saw was an unconscious, amputated Adder. Darius was still applying some form of salve. Mixed with medicinal herbs and other stuff that Smoke didn’t know of. The salve was suppose to close off the open wound from Adder’s missing left arm.

“Oh, you’re back. He should regain consciousness in a couple of hours.”

“Thank you for healing him, Darius. This quest was suppose to be the start of my undefeatable legend. I was so eager to get the family token, that I got ahead of myself. I didn’t think of every possible scenario at all.”

Darius only stood there in silence as Smoke spoke the truth. He took out a paper and a quill. He then started writing down some stuff.

“Darius? What are you doing?”

“I’m listing down the known assets that the murlocks and the lamias have. From there we should be able to create numerous simulations and think of the best countermeasures.”

Smoke quickly went to Darius and took the quill away from his hand.

“Please stop that, Darius. This quest has made me realize a lot of things. It made me see that the only reason I was able to free Condortl Village was because of the strategies that three of you made. Sure I was the one executing them but thinking about it now. It felt like I was following a walk thru. Don’t get me wrong I appreciate the help but I want to be able to do things myself.”

“I wasn’t implying that I would make the plan by myself you know. Just like what we did with the Condortl campaign, we will brainstorm our ideas into a perfect solution. You also gave out a lot of significant  scenarios in Condortl, don’t forget that.”

“No, It was still mostly you three that made that plan. I also got a lot of items and equipments. But this time I barely did any preparation. I didn’t take the time to carefully study the enemy. I was overconfident!”

“I think you’re being too hard on yourself. So how do you propose I help you? You can’t expect me to do nothing.”

“Actually, I’ve been thinking about what to do against those murlocks. We were lucky enough that the whirlpool led to an underground river that exited outside of the waterfalls.”

“Yeah, if you would have encountered any kind of monster, with an injured Adder on your back. It would have meant certain death for sure.”

“If it weren’t for the ‘Cunning of the Dire Fox’ I don’t think I could have evaded them easily.”

“So, do you want to share some of your ideas with me? Maybe I could throw in some in some trivial suggestions?”

“Let me come up with the strategy on my own, Darius… However, you could help me by answering my questions. Do you by any chance happen to know where I could get a lightning stone?”

“Ohhh, Lightning stones are the highest form of lightning enhancement. You could only get those from Lightning Dragons, or sometimes fossilized lightning dragon eggs.”

“You want me to hunt down a Lightning Dragon? I can’t even take down an army of murlocks and lamias. How do you expect me to go against a Lightning Dragon? I guess I have to come up with another way to drastically increase the damage of my arrows against water elemental monsters.”

“Smoke, I think the first thing you should learn, is the ability to listen. I never said that the only lightning enhancement was the lightning stone. Ahh… I think I know of a way that I can truly help you. Wait here,  I have to get a couple of things from my house.”

Darius went to his house to gather some helpful things. Smoke was wondering what he was up to.

After a few minutes, Darius returned and carefully set all of the books down on the table.

“Has anyone told you about the wondrous information that we can get from books?”

Of course Smoke knew that you could learn a lot of things from books. However, there was no mention of ‘books’ in any of the ZECTAS forums.

“From your reaction I guess no one has. Well, let me tell you that there are different kinds of books. There is a special book called ‘ability tomes’. When you touch them and you fulfill all of the tome’s requirements. There will be a prompt asking if you want to learn the ability of the tome. Once you answer yes, the tome will disappear. Then you will have acquired the ability of that tome. Ability tomes are extremely rare and expensive. Though I have one right here. Want to give it a try?”

Smoke got used to the fact that Darius had a lot of rare and unique items in his possessions. Darius picked up a thick book. The book cover had a faded color of red and had a ruby at the center. He gave the ability tome to Smoke.

+Received Ability Tome: ‘Summon Magma Dragon’

Smoke curiously inspected the ability tome.

+Ability Tome: ‘Summon Magma Dragon’

    The highest form of magical attack of a Magma Arch Magus.
    The summoned Magma Dragon will depend on the level of the Magma Arch Magus.
    The duration of the Magma Dragon will depend on the mana reserve of the caster.
    The Magma Dragon can cause immolation damage on all enemies within 500 meters.
    The Magma Dragon can increase Fire Resistance to all allies to 100%.
    Allies of the Magma Arch Magus can be healed through fire magic.

    Job: Magma Arch Magus
    Fire Affinity: 100%
    Level: 900
    Intelligence: 999
    Mana: 300,000

“Wow those are some pretty high requirements. Are you telling me that you need to fulfill all of these requirements before you can gain the ability?”

“That’s right. This ability can also be learned by a Magma Arch Magus, through a special ability quest in the Fire Temple of Labestl.”

“So why haven’t you learned this ability yet? Oh, let me guess. You’re not a Magma Arch Magus are you? Whew, that’s quite a relief. I don’t want to be a Magma Arch Magus although the ability does seem useful.”

“No, I’m not a Magma Arch Magus, but the reason why I can’t learn that ability is because I have 100% Affinity with Water and that doesn’t go easily with Fire. In fact even Elementalists pick up an element to specialize in.”

“Ahh I see. So should I return this book to you then?”

“No keep it. I don’t have any use for that ability tome anyway. Maybe you can sell it, in one of the main cities. Anyway back to my point. If you would have fulfilled all of the requirements you would have gained the ability without the hassle of doing the quest in Fire Temple of Labestl.”

“Yes. I know ability tomes are amazing. I already knew that when you first described them.”

“Oh… Okay then, that brings me to the other kind of book. The ordinary kind or as I would like to call them, the knowledgeable kind. Here try this one.”

+Received Recipe Book of Medicinal Rabbit Stew

As soon as Smoke got a hold of the book. A progress bar appeared with a timer which indicated that it would finish in 5 seconds.

+Recipe: Medicinal Rabbit Stew

1pc of  horned rabbit meat
2pcs of green medicinal herbs

Stew the rabbit meat in boiling water.
When the rabbit has stewed for a while add in the medicinal herbs.

    *Regenerates HP at .05% per second
    *Lasts 20 minutes

    Effects may vary depending on cooking ability.

“I see. So you want me to gain knowledge through these books. This is indeed a great help and at the same time, I will be the one responsible for making the plans.”

“The information that you acquire from these books will be stored in your ‘Acquired Knowledge’ window. So here are some of the books from my personal library. Also, feel free to go to my house and get any book that you may like. But let me warn you. If you didn’t finish learning the knowledge of the book but then you released it. The progress bar will restart from the very beginning.”

Smoke read the titles of the books that Darius brought. Some of the titles were;

‘The History of Ancient Zectas’
‘Elemental Stone Enhancements’
‘Military Strategies of the Meridianus’
‘Secret Societies of Zectas’
‘The History of Chayotl Kingdom’
‘Private Armies – How to acquire and maintain them’

 There were a few more books on the table but these 6 were the ones that picked Smoke’s interest.

Smoke tried acquiring the knowledge of the book entitled ‘Elemental Stone Enhancements’. As he picked up the book a progress bar appeared and indicated that it would take 6 hours to finish the book.

“Six hours?! Are you serious? What am I suppose to do during that time? Just sit here in and do nothing?”

“Well as long as one of your hands is holding the book. The progress bar shouldn’t disappear. I find that it’s best to read books during long travels.”

“Yes! You’re right as always, Darius. All I have to do is hold this right, and the progress bar shouldn’t disappear?”

Smoke tried switching the book from his left hand to his right hand and the time on the progress bar stayed the same.

“Well I guess I’ll know about the other stones, that are capable of giving me lightning enchantment after 6 hours.”

“6 hours is a long time. Smoke, If you wouldn’t mind. I would like to tell you a story, about the blunders of practising alchemy.”

“Alchemy huh? Sure, why not. Sounds interesting. Fire away, Darius.”

“Right. Some time ago, there was this novice alchemist practitioner. He had just learned the art of making golems. Of course to anyone who has learned something new, he immediately wanted to try it out. The instructions stated that he should first make a mud golem. So that in an event where the alchemist cannot gain control of his golem. The golem could easily be destroyed, as it was made out of mud.”

“And let me guess. The alchemist practitioner didn’t follow the instructions.”

“Correct. The proud alchemist practitioner thought that, making an iron golem would be much better than making a plain old mud golem. So he did some of his own modifications to the instructions. In the case of the mud golem. The alchemist would have only needed to put some of his mana into the specially treated mud. That was placed inside the transmutation circle. However, the protagonist of our story did a step above that. Instead of just using his mana. He used an ‘electro stone’. This ‘electro stone’ is the most intermediate form of lightning enhancement.”

“Nice! So all I have to look for now is this ‘electro stone’ then. That’s perfect! I hope the ending of your story will be the location of a ‘electro stone’ or at least a clue to its location.”

“Are you gonna quietly listen to my story or are you gonna keep on interrupting me?”

“Ohh… Sorry, please go ahead. You won’t hear a sound from me.”

“Alright, where was I? Ahh… Yes, so the novice golem maker, used a electro stone imbued with his mana. The iron golem sprang to life. It moved slowly at first and looked so innocent. Its creator was so proud. Yet after a few seconds from when it started moving, it decided that it, preferred to trash the place. The iron golem became uncontrollable, it started breaking everything in the alchemist’s laboratory. Its creator had the ability to obliterate the iron golem, but he couldn’t find it in his heart to destroy it. Instead the foolish golem novice creator encased the iron golem. In a strong mana prison. The iron golem tried to smash his way out of the mana prison. But it wasn’t strong enough. It is said that the iron golem was placed inside the ‘Forest of Ignizoc’ where he is surrounded by the rare ‘ember sprites’. As it turns out, that iron golem is afraid of fire. So he just stays inside the middle of the forest.”

“Great! So can you please update my map with the location of Ignizoc Forest. I hope it’s near here.”

“It’s somewhere between here and Mandragora Forest. Just be careful of the ember sprites though. They usually stay away from intruders but if by some weird luck they decide to attack you, then you better get ready to be burned.”

“So Darius, when did this happen? Why in the world did you use an ‘electro stone’ to create an iron golem? Also, it’s common sense to follow the instructions especially if it’s your first time.”

“Well you see Smoke, I was really excited at the idea of making an iron maid. That’s why I tried out the… I mean. What? Who said it was me? I’m talking about one of the legends in Nanahuatl Village. It was the novice alchemist that made that iron golem. I’m pretty sure he, deeply regrets making that thing. Wherever he may be.”

“I’m sure ‘he’ does… So do you think the novice alchemist wouldn’t mind if I broke his iron golem?”

“He wanted to destroy it in the first place. He just couldn’t find it in his heart to do the physical deed. I don’t think he would mind it, you could also use the ‘electro stone’ inside its chest.”

Smoke called the hunters of his private army through his private army chat window. It was clear that Adder would need some time off before he could participate in battle.

“How are you guys progressing? I hope you guys didn’t encounter any sort of trouble there.”

“Hi, Smoke, this is Ichaival. All of us have gained the poison resistance attribute. We’re just making a path into the center of Mandragora Forest in order to gather some more Mandragora Flowers.”

“This is Vijaya. I have some great news. Since I’ve relied mostly on my twin falcons to do the attacking for me. Both of my falcons have gained the ability ‘poison beak’. They just kept on ingesting the poison pellets rather than give them to me. But don’t worry I still manage to collect a lot of poison pellets. I’m sure everyone still envies me since I’m the only who has two falcons and now they even have poison attack!”

“Sharanga here. Don’t pay any attention to her. She’s been doing nothing, just staying out of sight. If it wasn’t for her twin falcons she would have contributed nothing.”

“It’s me, Thyrsus. We should be heading back in a couple of hours.”

“Good. I was thinking of meeting you guys halfway to our first target. I want us to go hunt an iron golem in Ignizoc Forest. But I won’t be arriving in another couple of days. So just continue on collecting those items that I told you about.”

“Okay, Smoke, Copy that!”

After hunting the army of powersaw crickets and the failed murlocks’ quest. Smoke’s current level is at 61. Most of his abilities are still in the intermediate level.

Only his ‘Agility of the Horned Rabbit’ ability has reached advance level 4. Which gave him +420 Agility. He had gained quite a few levels but the sad fact that Adder lost an arm still remains.

Smoke tried out some cooking, while holding the book ‘Elemental Stone Enhancements’. He found that it was indeed doable. The timer on the progress bar for the completion of the book was now at 3 hours.

Then a brilliant idea came to him. If you only need to one hand touching the book to acquire its knowledge then wouldn’t holding two books at the same time work?

He chose the thinnest book from the collection of books that Darius gave him. It was a book entitled ‘An Introduction to Stats Part I’. He took the book in his left hand and hoped that his theory was right.

A progress bar appeared and it indicated that it would take 5 minutes to finish obtaining the knowledge from the book.

Smoke was overjoyed, This would mean that he could absorb the knowledge of two books at once. As he was heading towards Darius house to tell him about his idea on reading two books at once.

He stopped, as he faced his front door. He couldn’t get out, because both of his hands were holding a book. He tried clasping the knob with the two books,  he tried using his feet to open the door, then he tried to use his mouth. Until finally, somehow he managed to open the door, using his armpits.

It looks like there was a very good reason why Darius didn’t tell him about learning two books at once. You can barely get out of a simple room, when you ‘acquire’ the knowledge of two books at the same time.

By the time he got out of his house. The progress bar on the thin book was completed.

~ Basic Stats: (The player can choose to increase these stats by distributing stat points.)

– would determine your attack damage for melee weapons and the maximum weight that you could carry in your backpack.
– would determine your movement speed, attack speed, as well your dodge rate.
– would determine your hit rate as well as damage for range weapons.
 – would determine your health and add some basic defense points as well.
 – would determine your attack on magic spells as well as your mana points.

~ Event Stats: (These stats will only increase/decrease by certain game events.)
 – would determine your chance to make a critical hit and interaction in certain Game Events.
 – would determine your interactions with NPCs and certain Game Events.
 – would determine your ability to lead NPCs and boosts given on anyone in your party that you are leading.
 – would determine your accomplishments within the game this also increases intimacies with NPCs

If you’ve fulfilled certain conditions. You can obtain hidden stats. These stats can also function like ‘basic stats’ where in you can increment its value by using stat points.
                 [ Continued on  ‘An Introduction to Stats Part II’ ]

Smoke already knew the top portion of the book’s obtained knowledge. But the bottom part of the notification window was news to him.

He just wanted to try out his theory yet he had gained some wonderful information. He quickly searched for ‘An Introduction to Stats Part II’ unfortunately it wasn’t in the books that Darius gave him.

He dashed towards Darius’ house and asked for the book. Darius told him to search in the 3rd room on the right. Inside, he saw that the books covered all the walls. The books on the shelves were from the floor to the ceiling.

After a few minutes of searching he realized that there was no way he could find the book himself. He went out to ask for Darius’ help.

“Ohh. Sorry I forgot that you don’t have the ‘Search Book Ability’. This is an ability unique to librarian job.”

Darius used the ability and the book that Smoke was looking for emitted a low yellow light. He got the book and immediately the progress bar started and indicated that it would take 15 minutes to finish.

Smoke wondered about what Darius said. He thought that if this ability is unique to librarians then how come Darius could use it. After all this time did Darius finally slip up? Did Darius finally reveal his job? Does that mean that I’m going to be a librarian?

He thought that it wasn’t all that bad. If ever his theory turns out to be true. Since most of his theories were correct. He was certain that the hidden basic job of Nanahuatl was that of a librarian.

‘A librarian with a bow’. Sounds bad ass enough. The more Smoke thought about it. The more it made sense. Darius was very knowledgeable. How could he have gotten all of that knowledge?

Of course by reading a lot of books! From these books he must have gotten the different kinds of abilities that he uses.

Although it wasn’t the job that Smoke was expecting he was still happy, he has come to admire Darius. Even if he is just an NPC. Smoke has accepted his conclusion, that he would become a ‘fighting librarian’.

Just one more minute until 6 hours have passed, since Smoke started acquiring the knowledge from the book ‘Elemental Stone Enhancements’. He couldn’t wait to find out what the book had to offer.

Classifications of Elemental Stones Enhancements

Basic Elemental Stones: (Come from the crystallized dead bodies of elemental sprites)
Stone     Enhancement
ember     – fire
dew         – water
clay         – earth
breeze    – wind
bright    – light
dim        – dark
spark     – lightning

Intermediate elemental stones: (Carried from within elemental mares)
Stone     Enhancement
pyro           – fire
aqua          – water
terra          – earth
aero           – wind
radiance   – light
shadow     – dark
electro      – lightning

Advance elemental stones: (Carried from within the elemental dragons & their fossilized eggs)
Fire Stone
Water Stone
Earth Stone
Wind Stone
Light Stone
Dark Stone
Lightning Stone

“So that’s how elemental enhancement stones are made. Now I know what to look for, in finding better elemental enhancements. Elemental mares…”

A few days have passed and Smoke has finally arrived in Ignizoc Forest. Before leaving Nanahuatl Village, he made sure that Adder was well enough to stand and helped him get accustomed to his new life.

Smoke apologized to Adder once more. But no matter how many times he says sorry, Adder also repeats the same thing. Adder also felt that he was not strong enough, to be a shield for Smoke.

Smoke and the four Hunters of his private army, have united once more. He wanted them to display their new abilities since the last time they met.

They went to one of the nearby forests, and in this forest they saw a stone deer. He asked Vijaya to demonstrate the ability of her twin falcons.

With her hands Vijaya gave a signal to her falcons. Like a releasing an arrow, her twin falcons dove into the stone deer.

+ Attack hit. +POISON DMG. Falcon Vij damaged stone deer for 1528.
+ Attack hit. +POISON DMG. Falcon Aya damaged stone deer for 1539.
+ Attack hit. +POISON DMG. Falcon Vij damaged stone deer for 1516.
+ Attack hit. +POISON DMG. Falcon Aya damaged stone deer for 1523.
+ Attack hit. +POISON DMG. Falcon Vij damaged stone deer for 1536.
+ Attack hit. +POISON DMG. Falcon Aya damaged stone deer for 1523.

+Vijaya has killed the stone deer.
+ Party has gained 1000 exp

“Nice that was impressive… So Vijaya, do you just watch your falcons? You just point out your target and wait until your falcons kills it?”

“Yeah! Impressive isn’t it?”

“Yes, your falcons are impressive. But you could have participated as well. From now on I want you to use your bow and arrows, and help out your falcons. If you would have used your arrows. You could have saved them from making the last two attacks. The stone deer only has 7,000 HP.”

“Oh… Okay Smoke. I’ll do that next time.”

Just as Sharanga was about to show her abilities. A pack of spined coyotes started coming out from the deeper parts of the forest.

The spined coyotes, were about two meters in length and when on all fours had a height of around one meter. They had spiny bones protruding on their backs, that looked to be really sharp.

A total of 300 spined coyotes came out.  They formed a semicircle around their party. This is Smoke’s first time encountering them, so he decided to ask the Hunters if they’ve had a chance to hunt them before.

As it turns out. This was also the Hunters’ first time encountering the spined coyotes. Smoke thought that this was a great opportunity for them, to try out some of the formations he had come up with.

He asked Sharanga to set up a perimeter of traps just in front of them. While Sharanga was setting up the traps. He asked them to send all of their falcons to the 12 o’clock, 10 o’clock, 2 o’clock directions.

All of them were equipped with their poison arrows. They fired at the spined coyotes that their falcons’ were targeting.

The moment one of their poison arrows hit its marked spined coyote. Its life bar appeared and indicated that it has (10,734/13,000 HP).

Smoke’s idea was to use the falcons in place of a tank. The falcons were very agile and took no hits from the spined coyote. Smoke’s target was the entire pack.

He aimed his arrows towards the sky. Making a high parabolic arc. Hitting the spined coyotes on the back.

In less than 30 minutes all of the members in the pack were poisoned. Since the Hunters had the ability ‘Scourge of the Beast’  they had a 15% increased damage against the spined coyotes.

Making their average damage against the spined coyotes at 2200. Except for Vijaya who spent some of her stats on Intelligence. She only made an average damage of 1100.

Some of the spined coyotes formed a train like formation and ran straight at them. With this formation only the spined coyote in the front took damage.

As the monsters drew nearer. The spined coyotes got caught in Sharanga’s traps. They were caught in some kind of bear trap.

Sharanga also kept on resetting the traps once the caught monsters were dispatched. They needed the traps as a pseudo defensive wall.

The 5 falcons were used as diversions. The spined coyotes that were leading the train like formation, were always targeted by the falcons, which caused them to deviate from the direct path towards Smoke and his private army.

The battle against the pack of spined coyotes lasted  up to 2 hours. The monster drops from their hunt were composed of  ‘coyote’s bladed spines & spined coyote’s pelts’.

Smoke and his private army of Hunters started collecting their loot, the used arrows, and the used traps. They recovered all of their arrows, gathered 300 coyote’s bladed spines and 800 spined coyote’s pelts.

He was satisfied with their performance. It took longer than he anticipated but then again this was their first time hunting together.

Checking for the location on his map. They traveled onwards in high spirits, towards Ignizoc Forest.

Darius had told him that there were only a few ember sprites remaining in Ignizoc Forest. Yet they still had to be wary of them. They are playful little critters that can change their temperament in a snap of a finger.

As they faced the entrance of ‘Ignizoc Forest’ the party rested. Shortly all the members of the party started sharpening their arrows with the ember stone.

Seeing as that 5 people sharing one small ember stone was inconvenient. Smoke decided, to start preparing some medicinal deer stew.

It took them almost 30 minutes, in order to enchant all of their arrows with fire. With all the preparations completed the group headed inside the Forest of Ignizoc.

Most of the forests in this area had poor lighting because of the thick overgrowth in trees. Yet somehow in Ignizoc Forest, you could clearly see everything.

Smoke noticed that some of the trees were emitting some low radiating light. This must have been the reason for the great illumination in the forest.

The falcons flew near them and mostly perched on top of the branches in the trees. With Smoke’s ‘Cunning of the Dire Fox’ they could detect any monster that would come within range.

As they progressed further inward. He sensed four unknown monsters. They felt really small. As they stealthily headed in the direction of the unknown presence.

The party saw 4 tiny flying red fire balls. Making different kind of shapes in the air, as an after image of light was left behind their flight path.

Upon further examination the 4 flying fire balls were actually the ember sprites. They looked like little tennis balls on fire, that had eyes and a mouth.

Smoke signaled the rest of the party to stay clear from the ember sprites. They continued with caution towards the center of the forest.

There were some stone deers that came their way and was dealt with quickly as all of the hunters fired simultaneously. Just like how they attacked the horned rabbit before. Their synchronized attack was still an amazing sight to see.

Smoke felt like he was already at Tristan’s level when they first met. However he knew that right now he was still no match against Tristan, since he was more than twice, Smoke’s current level.

They reached the center of Ignizoc Forest. As usual there was a clearing in the center of the forest. The trees surrounding the center were radiating a much brighter light than the other trees.

He signaled his private army to stop. He swiftly climbed one of the trees. He felt that the tree was extremely warm.

From on high, Smoke examined the entire clearing. He saw no sign of an iron golem. All he saw were groups of silver rocks.

At the opposite of the clearing he saw 6 red ember sprites. But this time there was a different colored floating tennis ball. 1 of the ember sprites had a dark purple color.

Curious to see a different colored ember sprite, he focused his attention towards them. He noticed that the other 6 red ember sprites were pushing the dark purple ember sprite around.

He wasn’t certain of what was actually happening, yet somehow he felt that, the different colored ember sprite was being bullied. He stood his ground and continued to observe them.

As the 6 red ember sprites continued pushing the odd colored ember sprite into the clearing. Smoke felt his anger rising. He remembered Donny being pushed around at school.

He dashed towards the group of ember sprites. The Hunters below just saw him leaping down from the tree and sprinting towards the clearing.

All of them got on their feet and started running after him. The falcons flew off from the branches that they were resting on.

Before Smoke could stop the red ember sprites’ bullying. The group of silver rocks started to move. It started to take shape. They weren’t silver rocks. But rather, it was the iron golem that Darius had built!

The iron golem was awoken by Smoke’s presence. It stood tall at 2 meters. It tried to strike Smoke down, with its bulky right hand. He dodged it with ease. The iron golem’s missed strike caused a deep hole on the ground.

The Hunters immediately let loose their fire arrows. All of them targeted the iron golem’s right shoulder joint. Each arrow making its mark consecutively.

+ Attack hit. +FIRE DMG. Thyrsus damaged iron golem for 1128
+ Attack hit. +FIRE DMG. Sharanga damaged iron golem for 1118
+ Attack hit. +FIRE DMG. Vijaya damaged iron golem for 685
+ Attack hit. +FIRE DMG. Ichaival damaged iron golem for 1326
+ Attack hit. +FIRE DMG. Ichaival damaged iron golem for 1328
+ Attack hit. +FIRE DMG. Ichaival damaged iron golem for 1335
+ Attack hit. +FIRE DMG. Ichaival damaged iron golem for 1317

Ichaival’s ability ‘Phantom Arrows’ adds an extra 3 arrows making a total of 4. The right shoulder joint of the iron golem started to loosen. It also displayed its life bar (111,763/120,000 HP).

Smoke retreated towards the opposite direction of the group of Hunters. He told them to send their falcons to distract the iron golem as they take the formation that Smoke had already planned.

As the falcons made attempts of attacking the iron golem’s head. The four hunters separated and headed to their designated locations.

Smoke and the Hunters formed a 5 point star. As they completely surrounded their target, they continued on hitting the right joint shoulder of the iron golem.

+ Attack hit iron golem. FIRE DMG. CRITICAL HIT. Damage 1329.
+ Attack hit iron golem. FIRE DMG. CRITICAL HIT. Damage 1332.
+ Attack hit iron golem. FIRE DMG. Damage 531.
+ Attack hit iron golem. FIRE DMG. CRITICAL HIT. Damage 1319.
+ Attack hit iron golem. FIRE DMG. CRITICAL HIT. Damage 1325.
+ Attack hit iron golem. FIRE DMG. Damage 519.
+ Attack hit iron golem. FIRE DMG. CRITICAL HIT. Damage 1356.
+ Attack hit iron golem. FIRE DMG. CRITICAL HIT. Damage 1339.

+ Attack hit. +FIRE DMG. Thyrsus damaged iron golem for 1128
+ Attack hit. +FIRE DMG. Sharanga damaged iron golem for 1118
+ Attack hit. +FIRE DMG. Vijaya damaged iron golem for 685
+ Attack hit. +FIRE DMG. Ichaival damaged iron golem for 1326
+ Attack hit. +FIRE DMG. Ichaival damaged iron golem for 1328
+ Attack hit. +FIRE DMG. Ichaival damaged iron golem for 1335
+ Attack hit. +FIRE DMG. Ichaival damaged iron golem for 1317

 The iron golem was confused as the fire arrows came at him from all directions. His lifebar dwindled down to (94,476/120,000 HP).

The focus fire on the iron golem’s right shoulder started to show. Its right arm was now barely attached.

Smoke’s damage was much lower compared to the Hunters’. But his attack speed was a whole different level. Even with all four of the Hunters, they couldn’t match his 8 hits.

Together with his private army, they continued on their torrent of fire arrows.

+ Attack hit iron golem. FIRE DMG. CRITICAL HIT. Damage 1305.
+ Attack hit iron golem. FIRE DMG. CRITICAL HIT. Damage 1311.
+ Attack hit iron golem. FIRE DMG. Damage 529.
+ Attack hit iron golem. FIRE DMG. CRITICAL HIT. Damage 1291.
+ Attack hit iron golem. FIRE DMG. CRITICAL HIT. Damage 1313.
+ Attack hit iron golem. FIRE DMG. Damage 530.
+ Attack hit iron golem. FIRE DMG. CRITICAL HIT. Damage 1366.
+ Attack hit iron golem. FIRE DMG. CRITICAL HIT. Damage 1299.

+ Attack hit. +FIRE DMG. Thyrsus damaged iron golem for 1156
+ Attack hit. +FIRE DMG. Sharanga damaged iron golem for 1109
+ Attack hit. +FIRE DMG. Vijaya damaged iron golem for 710
+ Attack hit. +FIRE DMG. Ichaival damaged iron golem for 1377
+ Attack hit. +FIRE DMG. Ichaival damaged iron golem for 1365
+ Attack hit. +FIRE DMG. Ichaival damaged iron golem for 1363
+ Attack hit. +FIRE DMG. Ichaival damaged iron golem for 1351

The iron golem was left with (77,098/120,000 HP). It tried to run towards Smoke. It was so focused on Smoke that it didn’t even notice the dark purple ember sprite that was pushed in its way.

However Smoke saw the bullied ember sprite. He stopped attacking the iron golem and tried to grab the dark purple sprite.

Sadly even with Smoke’s fast movement speed. He didn’t make it in time. The small ember sprite was trampled by the iron golem.

As the iron golem’s feet squashed its tiny body. The monster reflexively jumped backwards. It couldn’t stand the heat that the ember sprites radiated.

As it fell to the ground, its right arm finally gave out and detached itself from its shoulder. As the Hunters saw this. They switched their target to the right leg.

The iron golem had a hard time getting up. As the 5 falcons kept on distracting it. It finally got itself to sit up.

Smoke rushed towards the flattened ember sprite, disregarding the iron golem entirely. As he drew nearer he felt the temperature rising.

He sat down beside the dying ember sprite and tried to check if there was some way he could revive it.

The monster saw Smoke. It tried to grab him as he was only a couple of feet away. As it did this. The hunters focused their attacks on its head.

The fire arrow shots to the head, caused the iron golem to be disoriented. Its head just kept on spinning as it received the fire arrows.

When the Hunters saw this, they carried on the same attack. The iron golem had no chance to recover. It just sat there with its head spinning from the fire arrows damage. Until finally its last life point disappeared.

+ Your party has dealt a fatal blow to the Iron Golem: Ferros.
+ Your party has killed the Iron Golem: Ferros.
+ Your party has gained 90,000 exp.

Smoke didn’t mind the system notifications. All his attention was on the expiring ember sprite. He luckily remembered a useful information. In one of the books he learned on his way to Ignizoc Forest.

There was a way to share your current life points to another entity by permanently losing 10% of your maximum mana capacity. Your maximum life points would stay the same but the mana capacity will be permanently lost. Of course if you level up, your mana capacity will increase once more. Just as it did before.

Without hesitation he performed the procedures stated on his ‘Acquired Knowledge’ window. He was covered in an aura that switched colors between red and blue.

He then placed both of his palms on top of the dying ember sprite. He felt a surge of energy flow from his hands towards the sprite.

As Smoke finished the procedure. The dark purple ember sprite started to open its eyes. Smoke thought he saw a smile form on the sprite’s mouth. Slowly it started to float and began to hover around him.

+ Gained Symbiote: ‘Dark Ember Sprite’

        The dark ember sprite is said to be a mutation of the regular red ember sprite.
        As such it has 10x stronger than the red ember sprite.
        Since it’s the only one of its kind in an ember sprite community.
        It is often found to be picked on by the red ember sprites.
        It will not retaliate as it knows that it could kill the normal red ember sprites.

        * With every maximum mana increase, the Dark Ember Sprite absorbs 10% of that value
        * Your Fire resistance attribute has increased to 50%
        * You can now actively cast Fire enhancements

The Hunters went to where Smoke was sitting. The ‘Dark Ember Sprite’ continued hovering around Smoke happily. Making dark purple orbits around him.

As they got closer they immediately felt the heat. They stayed about 3 meters away from where Smoke was. As he saw this. He called for the ‘Dark Ember Sprite’ to stop.

“Can you tone down the heat a bit? I’m the only one with 50% Fire resistance here.”

The Dark Ember Sprite understood and promptly obeyed Smoke’s command. Gradually the temperature started to return to normal.

“Wow what was that? Did that ember sprite just follow your orders?”

“Yeah, it did. Everyone I’d like you to meet Igniz. I’ve decided to name him after this forest.”

The Hunters were at awe. Smoke managed to gain an ember sprite. They didn’t know what the ember sprite’s abilities were. But still, it looked pretty cool hovering around Smoke.

With Igniz now fully recovered, Smoke focused his attention on the red ember sprites. But couldn’t find any of them in the clearing.

He went to the place where the iron golem was slain. He picked up the ‘electro stone’ and held it close to examine it.

Now, with the electro stone in his possession. He was ready to face the murlocks and lamias once more.

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