Raising his head, the middle-aged man displayed an expression filled with dignity in his eyes and replied. "Can you give me some food to eat?"
Without so much deliberation, Rain took out three pieces of his bread and two pouches of water from his inventory. Handing the food to the middle-aged man, he initiated the conversation in hopes of obtaining a good quality of quest, saying."What happened to you, Sir? Why did you become like this?"
"Thank you so much, young man." The man gratefully said as he calmly reached out the food and answered Rain's inquiry. "I was a kingdom's soldier back in the days. But, I'm just a homeless and prideless old man who's nearing my end."
Rain could feel the regret in the man's voice as he waits for him to continue.
"I was deployed by the King to investigate someone but, I was assaulted by a powerful individual from the evil faction. Fortunately, I was able to escape but, with a heavy injury. Thus, I decided to find a safe place to recuperate first before delivering back my report to the King. However, while I was in the middle of recuperating, a monster sneaked on me. Nevertheless, I managed to escape with few injuries. But, I lost my soldier's proof of badge close to this town. Losing it means, I also lost my identity. Without that, I couldn't deliver the report to the King, no one would dare to acknowledge any words from a man without an identity."
"Didn't you attempt to look for it after you recovered?"
"I did. I looked for it for many years. But, I still failed to find it."
He paused for a moment and looked at Rain before saying. "Although, I can't promise you anything, If you can find it, I can assure you that I will pay you a sufficient price. Are you willing to help me?"
'Nice! That's what I've been waiting for, old man.' He exclaimed in his mind while keeping the straight expression on his face.
"It's my honor to help a Kingdom's soldier." Rain responded with a dignified voice as he emphasizes the word 'Kingdom's soldier', causing the man to lit up his eyes covertly.
System: Five Star Quest "Finding the soldier's lost honor" accepted.
Quest Details: Find the [Soldier Insignia] and bring it back to Douglas. Player must not exceed Level 10.
'Five stars quest? Is this considered difficult or what?' He wondered before asking Douglas for a hint or something that would be able to help to complete his quest. "Sir, can you tell me what time and where did you lose your badge?"
"It was dawn inside a cave in the south-east direction of the town. However, when I got there once again, I failed to find my badge and the monster who sneaked on me."
"Thank you for that information, it will be helpful. I will see you again when I found your item 'til then." Rain replied as he sprinted outside of the town while waving his right hand in the air.
When he crossed the south gate of the town, Rain was immediately welcomed by a scene of a mass of players fighting over a Level 1 small white long-eared rabbit. In spite of the fast rate respawning of the rabbit, it wasn't enough to accommodate thousands of players.
"You fucker! That's mine!"
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"Shut up! I'm the one who did the last hit so it's mine!"
"I'm a member of Bull's Horn Guild. You dare to mess with me?"
"What bullshit guild is that?"
Upon hearing the arguments of the players, without thinking twice, Rain strode deeper into the wilderness. Five minutes away from level 1 rabbit's area, he arrived at the level 2 hyena cub which has lesser players. Most of them were in a party of three to easily deplete the 100 HP of the hyena cub.
Nevertheless, Rain didn't stop and continued advancing. He guessed that he will reach Inocencio's Forest in 10 minutes.
More than halfway to the forest, Rain realized that the player's numbers became smaller as he moved forward.
Well, of course, who's in the right mind to venture into a high-level area when you're still level 0. At first, he decided to check the level 5 area. However, since there are only a few players here, he quickly changed his mind. First, he will gauge the ability of the level 3 monsters before continuing forward.
Taking a look at his surroundings, he discovered a couple of two-tailed brown foxes in the distance. Which, few yards away from each other.
[Twin-tailed Fox] (Common Monster)
Slowly, he walked towards the almost tall as his waist lone fox. Then, when he reached the 7-feet distance, the brown fox immediately sensed his presence as it quickly turned around and growled at him.
'7 feet…' He thought as he kept it in his mind.
Then, with a quick movement, the fox didn't wait for Rain to react as it immediately dashed to him. In an almost split second, it swiftly arrived in front of him and pounced striking his shining iron claws toward his heart.
Revealing a cold smile, Rain immediately summoned a plant under the fox. Then, out of nowhere, four small weeds appeared on the ground and instantly became unbelievably long, rushing to the fox as they intertwined themselves at the four legs of the monster firmly. Causing the fox to fall back on the ground, stun.
Utilizing the time, Rain swiftly swung his dagger to the fox's neck horizontally to left, dealing 10 damage as it was a critical hit. It was followed by another horizontal strike to the right and ended with a [Penetrate] skill, dealing with a total of 30 damage. Pushing the fox two-feet away. He wouldn't be able to perform a three-combo attack if not for his attack speed.
Although the damage seemed big, Rain knew that he could deal higher damage than that if not for the level suppression. However, because the Twin-tailed Fox was 3 Levels higher, there was an additional bonus towards Skill Proficiency. Coupled with one of the Shadow's Natural Talents, a single usage of Penetrate had increased by 2 in SP.
Skill Proficiency could not be increased just by using the skill. When using it on a monster of the same level, there was a 20% chance to increase it by one point. For monsters of a higher level, there was a 40% chance if it was one higher level, 70% for two levels, 100% for three levels, 150% for four levels, and 200% for five levels. The maximum limit is 200%.
'Ha… I missed this feeling!' Rain exclaimed in his mind as he focused his eyes on the fox despite the bubbling excitement he never felt since the day he stopped playing VR games.
Howling in pain, the fox glared at him with a furious expression before it jumped on him once again with faster movement compared earlier. With a close distance, the fox instantly appeared before him and didn't hesitate to swing his claws on him once again. Fortunately, he added all his free attribute to his agility, he managed to defend himself from the attack. However, he was still pushed 3-feet backward and received 36 damage.
Rain sucked a cold breath when he saw the damage he received despite the fact that he successfully defended its attack. Imagining the damage if he did not manage to defend its claws, it would probably take more than half of his HP. Then, as if it's not enough to vent his anger, the fox dashed to him once again with swift and precise movement, determined to take Rain as its breakfast.
Leaping toward him with a widely opened mouth, he could immediately guess the intention of the fox. It wanted to snap his neck. However, before it could achieve what it wanted, Rain executed a well-trained movement as though he has done it for uncountable times. The fox passed by him as he bent his back backward which only a few centimeters before he hit the ground.
He then immediately turned around, all-four on the ground, as he quickly pushed his limbs, pouncing toward the fox, like a cheetah running for its prey. Leaving a long red mark on the left side of the fox's body as he slashed his dagger on it.
The twin-tailed fox's health was down to 150 whilst his 64 HP left.
As the fox released an agonizing cry, Rain didn't let the chance slip as he slashed his dagger twice on the side of the fox leaving an "X" wounds, dealing a total of 25 damage as his last hit was critical damage.
Growling furiously, the fox dashed to him once again, with an intention to bite off one of his legs. Unfortunately for it, Rain's agility is high enough to evade it with ease as he reflexively did a counter-attack, dealing another series of damage.
Then, as his skills eventually refreshed, he did not hesitate to stun the monster and perform another 3-hit combo along with his [Penetrate] skill which dealt another series of critical damage.
Unbeknownst to him, his Penetrate's SP was quickly increasing every time his [Penetrate] hit its mark.
After a full minute, the Twin-tailed Fox finally fell.
System: Level 3 Twin-tailed Fox killed. Level difference 3. EXP obtained increased by 300%. Obtained 105 EXP.
Rain's EXP bar increased by a chunk. He was now 895 EXP away from level 1. That meant he needed to kill another 9 Twin-tailed Foxs to reach Level 1. However, it would not be a good idea. The fox has high agility, he needed to hunt a slow-type monster to level up with ease.
He then searched the Twin-tailed fox's body after killing it, obtaining a [Fox's pelt]. It was a material used to make a leather type of equipment. He also acquired a piece of a [Fox's Iron Claw]. A material used to make weapons. Lastly, he obtained 2 pieces of copper.
Looking in his surroundings, Rain could see the shock in the eyes of the few players around him as they whispered to each other.
Without guessing what they're talking about, Rain already knew it. Thus, because of that, he decided and headed straight towards Inocencio's Forest.
Rain was covertly followed by some curious players. Despite that, he did not give a care about them.
'If you guys don't cherish y'all EXP and SP then you're welcome to follow me.' He thought as he flashed a cold smile in his mind.
Walking towards the middle-aged man, Rain then formally asked the man. "Do you need any help, Sir?"