Chapter 13 – Grass Fruits
With the aid of the system help menu, I found the Alchemist Instructor to have been located at a small forest, which was just outside of Ba Huang City.
With my Bramble Thorn Sword, I jogged to the location of the Alchemist Instructor, but when I got there, what should have been a small forest was only an empty field.
What was going on here? I pulled up the online forum for "Destiny" and searched for posts regarding Alchemy. Soon, I found a post that was tailored to my need –
[Question]: Where is the Alchemist Instructor? Why can’t I find him?
[Answer]: Motherf*cker, I searched for the Alchemist Instructor for an entire morning and found out that the Alchemist Instructor isn’t at the place where the system guides you. Instead, the Alchemist Instructor is in the forest, outside to the northern gate of Ba Huang City. There are at least 11 spots where the instructor can be found and every 15 minutes the instructor goes to a different spot. Ridiculous!
So that was why I couldn’t find him.
I went around to the small forest, and searched there. It took about 10 minutes before I finally found the instructor napping under a Ginkgo Tree. The name displayed on top of his head was [Alchemist Mi Fu].
I walked up to him and respectfully bowed, saying: “Hello there. I would like to become an Alchemist!”
But after I bowed, he didn’t reply to me. Trying to stay respectful, I decided to keep my eyes to the ground and keep bowing. After all, I didn’t want to displease the instructor. But after quite a while, he still hadn’t replied. Confused, I looked up. What the hell? He had left.
I had thoughts of quitting Alchemy, but reason won, and so I kept on searching for the instructor. After another 10 minutes, I found the Alchemist under another tree. I walked up, and this time with a bit of force, I said: “Hi. I would like to become an Alchemist!”
Mi Fu looked up and glanced at me before saying: “Kid, do you really want to become an Alchemist?”
“Okay!” Mi Fu smiled: “In order to become a great Alchemist, one must have a sharp mind. If you can correctly answer my three questions, I’ll give you a task. Only after you have completed the task will you be able to become a full-fledged Alchemist.”
“Okay, please begin!”
Mi Fu’s smile became even wider: “What kind of wheel can’t move around?” (The question is actually asking what kind of car can’t move around and the answer is a play on Chinese words which unfortunately can’t be expressed in English)
I paused. This was a riddle! After a few seconds, I got the answer: “A wind-mill”
“Correct. Next question, how can you use a single leaf to cover the entire sky?”
“Use the leaf to cover your eyes.”
“Last question, there’s a caterpillar and he wants to cross a river, but there is no bridge. How can he cross the river?”
This was a hard one. I thought about it for a full minute before tentatively answering: “He metamorphoses into a butterfly and then flies across the river?”
“Yup, not bad…” Mi Fu finally sat up. Looking at me, he asked: “Do you really want to become an Alchemist?”
“Alright!” Mi Fu took out a miniature shovel from his pocket and said: “Alchemists must be able to collect herbs by their own power. To the south-east, there’s a Grass Fruit Forest, go there and collect 10 Grass Fruits. If you can do this, I’ll let you become an Alchemist.”
Do you accept the quest – [Alchemist’s task]?
Of course I accepted. The quest description matched what Mi Fu said, which was to collect 10 Grass Fruits. This shouldn’t be too hard, but the only difficulty was that I didn’t know what level the monsters were in the Grass Fruit Forest.
With my miniature shovel, I left the Alchemist instructor. After about 10 minutes, I arrived at the Grass Fruit Forest. At the edge of the forest, countless butterflies flew up and down. It was quite breathtaking.
I tightened my grip on my Bramble Thorn Sword. Even though the forest looked peaceful, there might have been extremely strong monsters in it. Right after entering the forest, a green Bat that was resting on a tree came flying at me.
[Vampire Bat] (Normal Monster)
Level : 12
Skills: [Transfusion LV-1]
Description: A low level monster in "Destiny". These Vampire Bats are skilled in leeching away health. They often destroy nearby fields, making farmers and hunters very wary of them. In fact, many lives have ended at the hands of Vampire Bats.
Looking at the clumsy actions of the Vampire Bat, I couldn’t help but laugh. This was too easy!
I thrusted my sword at the approaching Bat. It was simple yet effective. Puchi. I hit the abdomen of the Bat. Instantly, the Bat, which was about the size of a small rubber ball, cried out in pain. My strike had caused 97 points of damage.
Instead of backing away, the Bat flew into my chest, opened its bloody mouth and bit my exposed shoulder. The Bat turned 50% of the damage into his own health.
I didn’t bother looking at the wound on my shoulder and instead, focused on slashing at the Bat. With a couple of hits, I ended the life of the Bat. After I killed the Bat, I gave myself a [Hemostasis] and recovered 100 health. After dying, the Bat left behind 2 items, one of them was 5 copper coins and the other was a dark green card. After I picked it up, I was shocked –
[Vampire Bat Illustration] – Illustration type item. After finding the Illustration of a monster, a player can tame a monster to become a pet.
I was shocked. Even though I knew that there were 3 slots for pets for each player, of the thousands of players that I passed since arriving at Ba Huang City, I hadn’t seen anyone with a pet.
Well, might as well use it. Shua, the [Vampire Bat Illustration] was transferred to my Illustration Book. After opening my Illustration Book, I was able to understand the process in taming a monster. What I had to do was find a Lv 1 monster that I had the Illustration for and use some Monster Seals to tame it. The chances for sealing varied with each monster and only Lv 1 monsters could be tamed.
Right now, I didn’t have any Monster Seals so there was no point in trying to find a Lv 1 Vampire Bat. So I continued forward. After a few steps, I found what I was looking for. In front of me were some light green shrubs. They were the Lv 1 herb, Grass Fruit!
Each stalk had quite a few fruits but when I tried to pick the fruits, they wouldn’t come off, so I took out my shovel and carefully dug the entire stalk out of the ground. When I finished digging and pulled out the Grass Fruit Stalk,
System Notice: Congratulations, you have collected [Grass Fruit] * 1!
With renewed vigor, I looked for other stalks of Grass Fruit. Luckily, there was one right beside me. In a couple of moments, I had 2 Grass Fruit Stalks tucked into my inventory.
With my Bramble Thorn Sword, I continued forward. Soon, I encountered more Vampire Bats. A few meters in front of me were 2 Vampire Bats. It looked like I’d have to 1v2…
My lips were curled into mocking smile, it was time to fight!
My bare foot slid across the grass. Raising my sword, I slashed at the closest Bat with my entire strength. Peng. It was a critical strike! A 178 floated above my strike. After the Vampire Bat took the hit, its body flew backwards. At the same time, I noticed that, in "Destiny", once a hit landed, the opponent would fall backwards or tense up for a slight moment which affected the countering strike used by the opponent. At least, that was the case for these Vampire Bats. Anyways, this momentary pause gave me a chance to land another hit on the Vampire Bat before the Bat could even react to the first strike.
Taking advantage of the slight pause in the Bat after landing the second hit, I slashed at the Bat from below. As a result, the counter attack that should have happened after the first hit had been delayed to after the second hit and was now delayed to after the third which had killed the Bat. Bramble Thorn Sword’s attack speed was quite slow. It took about 1.5 seconds to perform a normal attack, but with the lag between my attacks and the counterattacks of the Bat and my impressive damage, I was able to kill the Bat without taking a single hit…
While fighting the second Bat, I began thinking. For the first Bat I attacked, I started off with a critical strike which caused a slight pause in the Bat, and then hit the Bat again which postponed the counter attack once again, and then finally, before the Bat’s counter strike could connect with me, I finished it off. Was that… a combo? Wait, since I devised it myself, could this be what legendary use – a compiled combo?
Hmph, things were about to get interesting.
Soon, I had collected 9 stalks of Grass Fruit, and when I dug up the 10th stalk of Grass Fruit, a familiar sound rang out beside my ear.
System Notification – You have learned the skill – [Herb Collection]!
In nearly every game that I had ever played, [Herb Collection] was a skill essential to Alchemists and Pharmacists. I couldn’t believe my luck. To have gained such an important skill this quickly, this was great! Compared to my [Turmoil Sword], [Herb Collection] hadn’t taken long to learn at all. The main difference between Pharmacists and Alchemists was that Pharmacists specialized in making health potions while Alchemists specialized in making mana pills. Even though the products of the two professions were quite different, they were both professions that guaranteed a huge income. At least I hoped that was the case.
From my observations, I realized that every time a player raised their level, they would get a 10 point boost in mana, but the skills that the player used became stronger, and took up more mana. For example, my [Hemostasis] took 5 mana at level 1, and would take 50 mana at level 10. But this was only a low level ability. For players who get to level 50, a high tier skill at level 1 would use up 20 mana and 200 mana at level 10. A Swordsman who only put all of his stat points in Strength and not Spiritual Power would only have 550 mana to use at level 50. Once he used a couple of skills, he would be out of mana. If he didn’t use any mana pills then he’d be stuck using basic attacks. This meant that the need for mana pills was limitless. As long as there were people playing, there would be a need for mana pills.
My goals to make money were quite simple. First of all, I needed to give money to my sister for her college fees, and secondly, I needed money to rebuild the Zhan Long team in "Destiny". All I had in my savings were 8000+ RMB (1300 USD). A single headset for "Destiny" costed 10,000 RMB, which was why I desperately needed to find a method to make the most money in the shortest amount of time.
Alright. Alchemy, my first step to riches. Even if my overall level became low, I wouldn’t hesitate to spend time on Alchemy’s level.
After returning to the small forest, I found the Alchemy Instructor Mi Fu and gave him the 10 stalks of Grass Fruit.
“Oho, young man, as expected, you completed this tough task. From now on, you are one of the smart and courageous Alchemists. You will go to the extremes of the Earth, and explore places that have never been seen by the human eyes in order to find the rarest herbs and create the most precious pills…”
Mi Fu patted my shoulder. With his hand came a beam of light. After the beam of light disappeared, the title of “Trainee Alchemist” had appeared under my name. In addition, I learned a new skill – [Alchemy]! My hard work wasn’t in vain!
Mi Fu looked at me and continued: “Now, you are an Alchemist, but… hmm, young man, since you’re an adventurer of Ba Huang City, why didn’t you go to city’s lord to receive your city emblem?”
“City Emblem?” I hadn’t heard of that before.
“Hmph, you really aren’t the brightest, are you?” Mi Fu patted his forehead, as if it was hurting: “As an adventurer of Ba Huang City, you should go to the lord’s building, find the city’s lord and become recognized as an adventurer of Ba Huang City. The lord might even give you a gift…”
I ran back to the City, leaving Mi Fu alone under the Gingko tree. What the heck? The system help had never told me about this! Looking through the help menus and forums, there weren’t any posts about the emblem and gift either! I guessed not many players in Ba Huang City knew about this either.