Chapter 1: Prologue
Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
As per usual in the mornings, Lin Li logged in on his smurf 1 account—which was a mage—the first thing after he went online.
Bright Moon City was particularly busy on Sundays. The continuous stream of players was more than double in number when compared to other days; it was overcrowded even in the private warehouse where the fees were more expensive.
“Could you please help—” Lin Li finally made his way to Suo Lan and was about to ask the pretty administrator for help in getting his mail item.
But he was pushed away from the back before he could finish his sentence.
“Didn’t you see the words outside clearly? This is a private warehouse, what is a low-level player like you doing here?” Those words came from a level forty-something warrior who was followed by a group of four or five players. He seemed to be the leader of their small team.
After the warrior had spoken, the rest of the players expressed their discontent one after another. “Something’s wrong with this low-level guy; he’s coming here and taking up a space for nothing.”
“Who knows. Maybe he thinks the rich are here and so would like to get some money for a potion to level up.”
“Why not go to the auction house for money? That’s where all the rich men are. If anyone happens to be in a good mood and throws some gold coins your way, you will never have to worry about not getting enough money for the level-up potion.”
Lin Li only glanced at these wasps, then once again calmly wedged his way through to reach Suo Lan. “Would you help me get the mail items posted yesterday?”
“Sure, please wait.”
The onlookers watched as various mine ingots were being taken out of the private warehouse. There were the common mithril and thorium, and also rare adamantine and fiend iron. The sheen unique to magical metals sparkled in the private warehouse, dazzling the eyes of the players. The commotion died down instantly, and only sounds of players swallowing their saliva could be heard in the private warehouse…
The players had yet to shift their gazes away from the bulk of ingots when the pretty administrator took out another pile of stuff from the warehouse—over a hundred pieces of black dragon skin stacked neatly together. The fine and closely woven dragon scales were breathtakingly lucent under the sheen of the magical metals—this was genuine black dragon skin. It was the perfect combination of magical and physical defense. Gear made from the dragon skin was of a legendary scale at the very least. Hundreds of black dragon skin pieces meant hundreds of pieces of legendary gear at the very least!
And this was not the end. Beneath the stack of black dragon skin were over twenty pieces of smelted divinity metals.
The entire private warehouse seethed with excitement at the sight of these divinity metals.
“Look, these look like the legendary divinity metals!”
“Look like? These are the divinity metals. Oh, God! More than twenty pieces, did this low-level mage just rob a dragon?” The guy had guessed it half right, Lin Li had indeed raided a dragon’s lair. But at the same time, while raiding the dragon’s lair, he had finished off the Dragon of Destruction Azardas.
There was no lack of professional blacksmiths in the crowd. No one knew the value of the divinity metals better than them.
The properties of equipment made out of divinity metals might not stand out in the beginning, but the longer you use it and the higher the level you attain, the more its fearful growth characteristics would show—albeit slowly. Many professional blacksmiths had predicted on official forums that if a player began using equipment made out of divinity metals at level one, then when he reached level 70, the equipment could reach an epic level at the minimum even if it might not be an artifact!
Was this beast intending to give anyone a way out at all, having over twenty divinity metals out at once?
The players could only watch as Lin Li swept the twenty pieces of divinity metals into his bag, their expressions ones of those who had witnessed their wives entering a hotel with other guys…
But then, Suo Lan retrieved a scroll from the warehouse yet again, and all life had escaped from the players’ eyes. He was a beast capable of producing two pieces of epic equipment at ease, and in addition possessed over a hundred pieces of dragon skin and over twenty pieces of divinity metals. What else could he not do?
However, everyone had a breakdown the time the scroll was handed over to Lin Li.
“The Wishes Spell! That is the scroll of Wishes!” only players who knew their stuff exclaimed as the scroll was passed.
“How is that possible! Did you see it correctly?”
“It really is! That is really the scroll of Wishes!”
The private warehouse had just quieted down for a few minutes, but the appearance of the scroll threw the place into a frenzy again.
“Powerful” might be an understatement in this case. Having the scroll of Wishes meant the player could tell the System Lord one wish. As long as the wish was not against the rules of the game, anything could be granted. The player could wish for an endless pool of wealth or the most powerful equipment. He could also wish for the Lord to kill any legendary creature for him, or even ask for a vast land with rich natural resources to build his own kingdom on.
At this time, the looks cast on Lin Li had a certain degree of other meanings to it.
But Lin Li heeded them not. He stretched out two fingers and lightly picked up the scroll, put it in his bag, and strode out of the private warehouse.
As Lin Li walked along the canal towards the trade zone, there were dozens of men with devil tails trailing behind him.
They really came along… Lin Li glanced back and couldn’t help but feel excited. Playing bandits without looking into whom they’d be dealing with. They had better follow closely. Just wait till I settle the business on hand, I’ll be putting on my hunter form for a good talk with them.
In reality, Lin Li’s hunter form was stationed in the auction house at the moment. He was a super hunter holding the legendary weapon, Stars of Fury. The mage was just a smurf account he used in the warehouse. However, he seemed to have an extraordinary luck. He had created a mage smurf intending to use it as a warehouse, but he had gotten one with top levels of mental and intellectual abilities, a mage of the highest grade. Lin Li always had trouble deciding what to do with such an exceptional smurf.
Finally, he thought he couldn’t let such an outstanding smurf go to waste. Hence, he began training the smurf in various kinds of professions.The fellow was one of a hardy character. It was either no training at all, or all training at once. As long as it was a life skill to be learnt, he’d learn it all. Now, a level one mage like him had mastered all five basic skills—forging, alchemy, pharmaceutics, magical enchantment, and inscription—to the highest level. In addition to these, his knowledge on medicine, minerals, cooking, scroll making, and other general skills had also increased beyond the highest level.
Lin Li took his time to walk to the trade zone. He stopped in front of a blacksmith shop.
Over a hundred pieces of mithril poured noisily into the furnace. Lin Li waited on the side for two minutes, then, disregarding whether the mithril was melted, he took one piece out and began hammering once it was on the anvil. The players behind him saw in between fits of sparks mithril valued at over a hundred gold coins hammered into a piece of scrap iron in an instant.
Top-class blacksmiths used mithril in their forging, hence it was natural to turn mithril into scrap iron. However, it made no difference to Lin Li whether the mithril was hammered into scrap iron. He was neither short on those few hundred gold coins, nor was he short on those few pieces of mithril. In fact, he had his own private mineral veins in places like the Glistening Plains and Thousand Pinnacles, but no one knew about it…
What was the big deal about scraping a few pieces of mithril as long as the skill points increased?
Lin Li began busying himself again in the midst of those blacksmiths looking as if they were going to cough up blood. He took the mithril pieces one after another, and after using up almost half an hour, finally managed to scrap all hundred of them. Of course, his forging skills had improved significantly.
Right after mithril was thorium, then fiend iron, which was followed by adamantine…
After the million gold coins’ worth of minerals was hammered into scraps, the system prompt tone that was ever so pleasant to the ears rang out. “Congratulations! You have advanced to become the Master of Forging!”
Lin Li massaged his aching shoulder. He took a look back at the stupefied onlookers before packing his tools and turning in the direction of the pharmacy.
Again, another million gold coins worth of herbs smashed and an advancement to become the Master of Pharmaceutics.
Followed by metallurgy…
… and magical enchantment…
… and finally inscription…
It was already noon when Lin Li finally reached the mastery level for all five skills. The group of players who had followed behind watched in shock as they witnessed Lin Li ravaging the materials. They had felt pity for him at the beginning, but were completely numb by the time he finished. The onlookers even started guessing whether Lin Li came from some rich family and took to gaming to vent his frustrations after encountering some stress at home.
Lin Li finally stopped to catch his breath after successfully upgrading his skills to the mastery level. Just when everyone thought he’d finally call it a day, he took out the scroll of Wishes from his bag.
“What is he trying to do?” The power of the scroll of Wishes was almost terrifying. Lin Li had just taken the scroll out when the players behind him made all possible preparations for a formidable enemy. After all, not only did this fellow not seem normal from the start, he was holding the scroll of Wishes, the freakiest item of all. Should he take things too hard and ask the System Lord for a huge massacre, they’d be digging their own graves standing here.
“You think too highly of yourselves…” Lin Li glanced at the players who looked as if they met their mortal enemy. Did he have nothing else to do other than using the scroll of Wishes on them? Couldn’t they be more self-aware and decide if they were worth the price?
As the scroll of Wishes gently unfolded, a rainbow appeared suddenly on the skies of Bright Moon City. As the colorful rays shone down lightly, the whole city seemed to be enshrouded in a dream. A majestic voice rang through the solemn and divine choir, a voice that appeared to come from afar yet nearby at the same time.
“What is your wish?”
Lin Li gazed at the rainbow. He hesitated slightly before taking a deep breath, then said, “My wish is to increase the levels of all my life skills!
The instant the wish was made, the rainbow transformed into numerous beams, descending gradually from the sky like a seven-colored ribbon, wrapping Lin Li up. Lin Li could vividly feel that with every breath he took, it was as if there were countless beams infused into his body. As the last beam was absorbed, limitless knowledge gushed from his brain. Forging, alchemy, pharmaceutics, magical enchantment, and inscription, and even general knowledge in medicinal, mineral, and other categories. These seemed to be with him from birth, integrated with the existing memories he had, and he had them at his fingertips.
Lin Li checked his skill form. Four of the main skills had indeed reached the level of a guru, and most of the general skills were also beyond the level of a master. Thinking back to the year since the opening of the Endless World, there had never been a guru well-versed in all five series; even a master in one was hard to find.
Life skills were incomparable to individual levels. As long as you put enough time into gaining individual levels by defeating monsters and completing missions constantly, you could accumulate enough experience points to level up. However, once you had reached the highest level for a life skill, it would be extremely difficult to make any progress. Only powerful characters like Lin Li would think of smashing top-grade materials to earn skill points. Thinking back, he had spent almost five million gold coins on these five basic skills. Other than Lin Li who had just raided a dragon’s lair, who else could afford it?
The mastery level was more like a division. When one had reached the mastery level, it was not a matter of money anymore. Perhaps there wouldn’t be the slightest increase in your skills even if you had succeeded in forging ten thousand times, but a failure in forging might allow you to obtain a huge improvement in skills. No one would dare say there would be a day where he could reach the level of a guru, even when there was only a small gap to overcome to achieve it.
Of course, the difference between a guru and a master was a vast chasm.
The mastery level would only allow you to create legendary items, and there might only be one success in a thousand tries. But at the guru level, you could create legendary items at will. You could even create epic items, though there would still be a certain rate of failure. However, a guru could not be mentioned in the same breath as a master.
As for legendary items, it was not something the mortals could imagine. Someone who was able to create artifacts, no matter what profession he was in, was a person there’d only be one title for—the Divine Smith!
The scroll of Wishes was a good item. It could be used to attain millions of wealth, kill a legendary creature, or even build your own kingdom. Each was no doubt a fine choice. But Lin Li constantly felt that using it to become a professional guru was the wisest choice of all.
Lin Li took a look at the fading rainbow. Slowly, he picked up the remaining materials for training and kept them in his bag. After witnessing a miracle, the players no longer had the thoughts of banditry in their minds. They watched dumbstruck as Lin Li packed the materials, but no one dared to move an inch.
Someone who could produce numerous top-graders at hand and spend millions of gold coins by the knock of a hammer and a shake of the medicinal bottle was not someone they could afford to mess with. Other things aside, he could simply employ someone for a few thousand gold coins to wipe them off their accounts. Banditry? More like suicide.
After putting all the materials in his bag, Lin Li planned to switch to his hunter account for a good talk with the onlookers. But then, all of a sudden, a sharp siren sounded.
“An unknown failure occurred in the system. All players are requested to go offline immediately!
“An unknown failure occurred in the system. All players are requested to go offline immediately!
“An unknown failure occurred in the system. All players are requested to go offline immediately!”
The siren sounded thrice. Lin Li was about to go offline when he realized he had lost control of his character.
He had yet to grasp the situation when the feeling of losing control extended to his own body. It felt as if his soul and body were being separated. He could see himself but couldn’t feel his existence. The surroundings became soft and velvety. No matter how he struggled, he could not break away from the hopeless sense of impotence.
Lin Li gradually felt his stream of consciousness floating away. He could even see another image of him lying sluggishly on the chair. Lin Li jerked his head up in horror. It was pitch-black above him—real darkness, without a hint of foreign matter. Even if there was a sliver of light shining into it, it would be devoured by the endless dark, with nothing left behind.
“Which despicable fellow hid a black hole in my house!?” The question popped up in Lin Li’s head before the last bit of his consciousness faded into the darkness…