Chapter 5: Kill Stealing
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
“Any more questions?” Gu Xiaoyue asked calmly.
“Oh, no, none. No more questions.” Wang Dalin sounded weaker instantly. Although his attribute points were second highest, he was still miles away from Gu Xiaoyue.
Xiao Lin snapped out of it and waved his dagger around for the last few times. Soon after that, a series of voices from the Central Smart Computer echoed in his mind.
[Basic Dagger Mastery skill upgraded to LV2. You now have a basic understanding of swordsmanship, and your sword-wielding attack power has increased slightly.]
[After vigorous training, your Strength has improved; basic Strength points +1]
[Basic Dagger Mastery LV2: 0/500]
[The database shows that you are the first freshman in this batch to raise your skill level. According to the latest Freshman Incentive Measures issued by the academy, you’ll be awarded a skill that matches your current abilities for free. The database is searching for matches...]
Xiao Lin was excited; he did not expect that practicing a skill could increase his basic attribute points. This was good news to someone with low attribute points like him; the free skill was a pleasant surprise as well.
After waiting for at least 30 seconds, Xiao Lin was beginning to feel anxious when he heard the Smart Computer’s voice again.
[Learning Requirements: 1 Strength point and above]
[Weapon Requirement: Any close-range physical weapon]
[Skill Introduction: A stronger blow can be delivered after gathering the user’s strength for a few moments. The attack’s damage depends on the user’s current Strength points.]
[Hint: It is recommended that there is a minimum of a one-minute break between each time the skill is used. Continuous use of this skill will accelerate the user’s energy consumption. Please choose carefully.]
While Xiao Lin was happy, he could not help but laugh at himself. The skill’s requirement was so low; it only required 1 Strength point to learn it. Although the Smart Computer said that the reward matched his current abilities, it also meant that his attributes were so weak that only the lowest level skill matched his abilities...
Nonetheless, Xiao Lin was very satisfied with this gain. Moreover, he realized that his physical attack power evaluation rose from F- to F upon receiving the Slashing skill. As for its effect, he would only find that out in actual combat.
“Hey! How long do you plan on holding everyone up!” Wang Dalin urged impatiently.
“Yes, I’m done!”
The others formed the team; it was a circular formation, as discussed, and the four long-ranged fighters were on the inside of the circle. Although Xiao Lin acquired a new skill, he had yet to know its power; he decided to stay low-key and stood at the back of the formation.
Wang Dalin stood at the front of the team fearlessly, being so arrogant about having high attribute points. He drew his sword, brandished it forward, took a deep breath, and yelled like a drill sergeant. “Charge!”
With that, he rushed out of the Academic Building; other people were forced to pick up their speed as well in order to maintain the circular formation. As expected, the Academic Building was a safe area designated by the system so zombies would not attack them. However, once they left the Academic Building, zombies on the field looked like sharks smelling blood. Their hollow eye sockets glowed immediately as they closed in on the team.
Xiao Lin was stunned for a few seconds before cursing and chasing after the crowd. He yelled angrily, “Wang Dalin! Are you dumb? Are you trying to kill everyone? Everyone, stop! Stop running! F*ck, I’m talking to you, why are you running? Were you kicked in the head by a donkey? Are you trying to reincarnate?”
Wang Dalin was arrogant. He had set the scene to make everyone, especially the elegant girl, know how great he was. He wanted to prove that he was fundamentally better than some loser with under ten attribute points.
Xiao Lin’s words drove Wang Dalin’s frustration to the brink of explosion. He ignored the fact that they were nearing the zombies; he pushed through the crowd and glared at Xiao Lin angrily. “What did you say! Huh? Do you want me to kick your *ss! Haha, with our Strength points, it’ll take me two hits to finish you!”
“He’s right! Are you trying to kill everyone!” A beautiful figure blocked Wang Dalin’s gaze. Gu Xiaoyue raised her magic wand and pointed it mercilessly toward him.
Everyone else felt awkward watching the fight unfold. They thought about stopping it, but given that one of them had 32 attribute points and the other had 46, they might end up injured.
Everyone decided to stay silent. Some of them even wanted to retreat to the Academic Building.
Xiao Lin pushed through the crowd, walked toward Wang Dalin, and glared at him. “Did you not observe anything? These zombies are slow, but if we choose to run, the zombies will pick up their speed as well. I think that limitation was set for us. Otherwise, if the zombies stayed slow while everyone else gets to run, how would this mission be challenging?”
Gu Xiaoyue pushed her spectacles with one hand and said, “Zombies have weak attack and defense abilities, but they have strength in numbers. As long as we choose to move slowly in order to stop the zombies from gathering too quickly, we could kill them one by one. Is it so hard to understand such a simple principle?”
After Xiao Lin and Gu Xiaoyue’s reminders, everyone realized that the zombies around them did slow down after all. The zombies were slow; at this speed, it was possible to kill them all one by one.
“Wang Dalin, they’re right, just let it go. Let’s continue the mission together and get the credits and redemption points,” said a guy, trying to be a peacemaker.
“Wang Dalin, if you’re dissatisfied, you can complete the mission yourself. Stop bothering us. Don’t you have 32 attribute points? Haha, it should be easy for you to go through the field yourself,” said someone who was annoyed at Wang Dalin.
Wang Dalin’s face was flushed. His expression changed before lowering his sword. He said, straight-faced, “Don’t take it personally. We’re teammates after all. Let’s do as you say. Let’s continue with the mission!”
Everyone remained in formation; they were no longer running. They moved slowly toward the area with fewer zombies. Although they initially overcame their fear by walking out of the Academic Building, Xiao Lin realized that his arms trembled a little as they approached the zombies’ hideous faces. He glanced at the person next to him from the corner of his eye; he realized that the person’s reaction was similar to his own. They were nervous with anticipation.
The team was less than 20 meters away from one of the zombies. The guys on the outer circle pulled out their swords and knives before anxiously stopping in their tracks. They got ready and waited for the zombie to come near them.
A white energy bomb with a shallow trail drew a beautiful arc in the air before hitting the right side of the zombie’s decomposed body.
With a mild explosion, half of the zombie’s body flew onto the pasture a few meters away from the team. The zombie wobbled before falling to the ground.
Silence! Everyone turned around and stared at a calm Gu Xiaoyue in shock. They could not find the words; the energy bomb was so powerful that it was a little terrifying. It was an instant kill!
Gu Xiaoyue’s brow flinched for a moment. She mumbled, “It was tough to aim at the target. I wanted to hit it in the head. Looks like I need to keep correcting the deviation of the flight trajectory.”
Xiao Lin was shocked as well, but not because of the energy bomb’s power. Although Gu Xiaoyue’s total attribute points were 46, she seemed frail; her physique was very different from Wang Dalin’s, who had consistent physical training. Her Strength and Agility could not be high, so most of this girl’s attribute points must come from her Intelligence. It was not surprising that she was so lethal.
What shocked Xiao Lin was the girl’s hit rate. Based on his previous observation, it was extremely hard to control the energy bomb’s flight trajectory; it was harder than using a bow. He was unsure if Gu Xiaoyue was lucky, or she had already mastered her control over the energy bomb’s hit rate.
Nevertheless, following Gu Xiaoyue’s successful attack, everyone felt a little better about facing the zombies. Her hit eased the others’ nervosity, so the combat that followed was easier than everyone imagined.
Since they slowed down, the group only faced eight or nine zombies at one time. Although most of them were unfamiliar with their weapons — their moves with the weapons were unpleasant to look at — the zombies were of the lowest level. The group could cause considerable damage to the zombies with sheer brute force.
Although their attributes were digitized, actual life and combat could not be digitized; it was difficult to do so. However, it did not matter. According to Xiao Lin’s observations, zombies would basically die after three to four physical attacks. If they were attacked in vital parts such as the head, it would only take two to three hits to knock them down.
There was another guy with a magic wand apart from Gu Xiaoyue, but his ability to use the energy bomb was less satisfactory. He could only guarantee a 60% hit rate within a 10-meter range. Fortunately, magical attacks were stronger than physical attacks. Even if the zombie was not hit in the head, it would only take two energy bombs to kill it.
The admission test’s difficulty was not high after all. After killing the first zombie, everyone became more confident; their movements were no longer flustered, and they could chat with each other occasionally.
“How many zombies have you killed?”
“Probably about seven.”
“F*ck, why are you stealing my kills! Stop that, I just need one more to complete the mission.”
Everyone kept checking each other’s body count. Truly, everyone felt like the first optional mission was not hard at all in the moment. It was easy for the whole team to complete the mission. However, the kill would only go to the person with the final blow, which was why killsteals were happening.
Gu Xiaoyue was the first to complete the mission; she killed five zombies within two minutes with her insane lethality. Xiao Lin also understood that the girl’s hit rate was from pure luck.
After that, Gu Xiaoyue went silent and watched the others; she did not intend on attacking anymore. Everyone praised her for not stealing kills. If Gu Xiaoyue did want to attack again, it would definitely be an instant kill. There would not be an opportunity to kill for anyone else.
Xiao Lin’s lips twitched. As he watched the girl, who was calmer than ever, he felt that the reason Gu Xiaoyue did not make a move was purely to take time and recover before facing the zombie king that could appear at any moment.
Xiao Lin completed the mission quickly as well. His normal attack was not strong, and he only had three basic Strength points. Even after upgrading to Basic Dagger Mastery LV2, he needed five or six strikes to kill a zombie with normal attacks. It was obvious that no one around him would give him that amount of time to do so.
That was why Xiao Lin did not strike first; he silently followed everyone else and invoked his Slashing skill on zombies after two or three strikes from other people. He took the final blows and stole the kills successfully.
Most of those with physical weapons had F- grade attack power, while Xiao Lin’s attack power was F grade whenever he used the Slashing skill.
Based on Xiao Lin’s observation, this was how he understood the attack power: one’s true attack power consisted of their attack power evaluation and Strength points. That was why, although his Strength points were not high, the power of his Slashing skill was on par with everyone else’s attacks. It was the perfect way to steal kills.
The Slashing skill was easy to use since its learning requirement was pathetically low. When Xiao Lin raised his dagger, he could feel his energy gathering at the edge of the dagger for one or two seconds before executing a powerful strike.
Apart from Gu Xiaoyue’s distracted and confused gaze on him, no one realized what Xiao Lin was doing. Those who had their kills stolen were annoyed, but they did not do much other than glare at him.
It was like how two Level 100 players in online games fought each other. Your strike brought your opponent to 1HP left, but a Level 1 newbie came over, attacked your opponent, and caused a 1HP decrease — stealing your kill. You could not accuse the newbie of doing it on purpose; you could only lament your luck.
Everyone knew that Xiao Lin’s basic attribute points were under 10. On average, he would only have about two or three Strength points. They felt that their attack powers were vastly different from Xiao Lin’s; therefore, although their kills were stolen, they could only blame it on their luck.