Chapter 9 - Training Begins
Vahn awoke several hours later with a powerful lethargy settled within his body. It was similar to the times when he was very young and the Doctors had been a little too ambitious and had drawn too much blood from his body.
"How long have I been asleep Sis?"
(*It's been 14 hours Vahn. It is currently 8:21 AM.*)
"Fourteen hours..." sighed Vahn as he made an effort to stand. It took several tries, but eventually, he had managed to upright himself, albeit with a lot of difficulties. He put his hand along the cavern wall and began to make his way towards the exit.
*noises made by a stomach when you haven't eaten a single bit of food your entire current life*
Vahn removed his hand from the wall, leaning his body against its cold surface. He uses his free hand to massage his stomach in an effort to soothe it's hunger pangs
"Sis, what do you think I should do for food. With my injured arm, I don't think I'll be able to hunt easily. I need food to recover my strength or my arm won't heal easily."
Mentioning his arm, Vahn took a better look at it. He noticed the blood hadn't spread nearly as much as he expected. Perhaps the waterproofing qualities of the tunic managed to stimy the flow of blood
(*I would recommend picking various plants and berries. One moment...I've marked areas on your map that you had passed previously. Though I cannot say at present which are edible, 'The Path' is able to analyze and identify the properties of items placed within. It may take time for higher quality items, or items that possess magic, but it should be able to easily identify if something is edible.*)
Vahn sighed, this time with a bit of relief in his voice. "That's great Sis. It makes sense that 'The Path' would be able to make up for my lack of survival skills and information. Though the fact my inventory can analyze items seems pretty incredible, the fact it shows descriptions of my equipment should have been an indicator of that capability."
He makes his way out of the cave and looks towards the area where he had previously slain the goblin. The body seems to have vanished overnight, and the only evidence of his mortal struggle was the small knife, a dull crystal that emitted a small light, and his blood which had dried into the ground.
Vahn walked over, once again drawn to the presence of his own blood. He noted that it had not turned to ash, even though it had been outside of his body for so long without being stored. Most importantly is the fact that the blood, like the stains on his makeshift bandage, was a deep crimson red.
"Sis, when my body was reconstructed, was my blood changed as well?" he inquired after thinking of the best method to ask.
(*That is not entirely correct Vahn. Though I can't go into the details of what exactly happened, your blood still possesses similar qualities to what you had in your previous life. The primary difference is the existence of 'source' energy within this world, whereas your previous world had nothing comparable. Eventually, your blood will dissolve into dust, but the process will take much longer since the 'source' energy maintains it's vitality for an extended duration.*)
Vahn was somewhat disappointed with her response. He had hoped that the changes to his body would make him normal...
Noticing his demeanor, Sis remarked: (*Vahn, the uniqueness of your blood isn't something to be ashamed of. It is the fault of those that tried to use you for their own convenience that has caused you to feel this way. Remember, your blood is something that only exists because your mother had been willing to birth you even knowing it would likely result in her death. You should see your blood as the embodiment of her love for you, and use it and all its benefits to assist you in your growth.*)
Startled, Vahn raised his head and looked towards the sky. Gripping his hands, he cursed inside himself at his weakness even though he had sworn to become strong.
"You're right Sis. They used my blood to do whatever they want, but now I have the opportunity to use it as I see fit! I will show them their foolishness, by living freely and saving even more people than their cruelty allowed!"
*hyper-aggressive omega tier stomach rumbling sounds*
With a blush on his face, Vahn began to move into the forest to investigate the areas marked on his map. After gathering several different types of herbs, nuts, and berries, the system had managed to identify those that were edible.
Since he had no methods to create a fire, he was forced to use stones to crack the nuts so they could be digested. It turns out, eating with a single hand is quite difficult, but it's amazing what you're able to do when starving.
Vahn spent until 5 pm solely gathering any interesting or unidentified items he could find. He even collected various types of rocks and minerals in hopes the system would be able to analyze them over time. His progress was halted periodically since he made an extra effort to investigate his surroundings before moving on. He knew that if he were to be attacked by a monster at this time, it would likely be the last fight before his death.
Eventually, he made his way back to the cave before sunset and took note of the days' harvest
Small-sized rock x 3, Medium sized rock x 1, Acorns (3kgs), Apples x 49, mulberries x 103, tayberries x 98, Unkown Mineral x 1, Unknown Mineral x 1, etc...
He was grateful that the inventory allowed him to store similar items within the same slot. It was only when the object had unique qualities that it seemed to separate them, such as in the case of the 'unknown minerals'. He was also informed by Sis that items within the inventory didn't spoil, which was his original motivation for collecting so many different things.
He was also able to fashion a sling for his arm after cleaning and changing the bandages. To his surprise, when the bandage was removed he was able to clearly see that it had begun to heal. There was also a slight tingling sensation traveling through his wrist, and when he made an effort he was able to wiggle his fingers slightly. After inquiring with Sis, he learned that it was due to the secondary effects of his blood, combined with the skill 'Yggdrasil's Favor'. Even though he hadn't learned any healing skills, it was able to enhance the effects of his blood and accelerate his natural healing. After scanning his body, Sis even informed him that his blood had completely prevented any possibility of infection from occurring, something which he should have known from his previous experiences. It seemed like Sis had been a little fl.u.s.tered at the time when she had urged me to tend to the wound, and that thought made him a little happy.
After 10 days Vahn was surprised to learn his left arm had completely recovered. Now there was just a light scar tissue as the only proof the wound ever existed, and even it had begun to fade.
Confirming he had stored an adequate amount of food during the 10 days, Vahn started considering methods to become stronger.
"Sis, is there any way I can improve my stats without fighting monsters? I don't want to have to sacrifice body parts just to be able to kill a single goblin."
(*I would recommend converting the crystal you had obtained from the goblin, as well as the iron and copper ore you had found into 'Origin Points'.*)
Before he could ask, Sis continued.
(*'Origin Points', or OP for short, is the currency that can be used to exchange for items using the system function 'Shop'. Please note that not all items can be converted into points, and converting items that do not belong to you requires a great deal of time and will result in the acc.u.mulation of negative karma.*)
Vahn nodded his head in response.
"I don't want to rely on stealing from others to grow strong anyways. People that take advantage of others are the type I hate the most, so I want to avoid becoming a person like that."
Similar to when he had used the 'Display Records' function, a seemingly infinite list of items and their cost began to appear within his mind. Without being prompted, Vahn quickly made a mental command to only display items suitable for his soul tier.
He noticed in the top left of the screen a value called OP, which was currently displayed with a domineering 0 points. After sorting through his inventory a bit, he found the only items that could be converted through the shop were the crystal and ores previously mentioned by Sis. After asking, Vahn learned that the shop used the 'source' energy found within the objects to create the Origin Points. After using a mental command for the exchange, the items turned into a dust so fine that it seemed to vanish into the air itself.
The crystal had been exchanged for a total of 17 points, while the ores both sold for 5 OP per kilogram respectively. Since he had acc.u.mulated a fair amount over the last ten days, he managed to have a total of 47 points after the exchange concluded.
After setting a filter for items that could improve his strength that cost less than 50 points, Vahn was annoyed to see the list was still very large.
"Sis, what should I exchange for using my points? I need something that can help me grow stronger in a short period of time to remove the risk to my life while living in this area."
(*Many of the items in the current list can only increase your stats for a short period of time. Some of the stronger ones even have side effects that could damage your foundation, which would make it harder for you to grow stronger. I would recommend you exchange 30 OP for three vials of 'body-tempering liquid'. You should also exchange 15 OP for a 'Beginner Close Quarters Combat Techniques Manual'. The remaining two points can be saved for now, or you could exchange them for 'Simple Linen Mat' and 'cracked firestone' to make living in the cave more comfortable.*)
"Okay Sis, I trust your judgment. Please purchase all of the recommended items, including the mat and 'cracked firestone'.
(*Acknowledged...Purchase complete. Items have been automatically added to your inventory Vahn.*)
Vahn looked into his inventory and read the description of each item, as he was unable to see any information prior to the purchase. This is also the reason he was unaware of the temporary, and even negative effects of some items.
Body Tempering Liquid
Use: Can be mixed into bath water. Soaking in the water after strenuous training accelerates recovery speed and promotes the strengthing of bones and muscles. *Caution* Causes immense pain.
He shuddered a little bit at the 'causes immense pain' description.
Beginner's Close Quarters Combat Techniques Manual
Use: Gives the user knowledge about close quarters combat techniques and auxiliary body training methods.
The mat and firestone were self-explanatory, but Vahn was confused by how to use the techniques manual. After inquiring about it from Sis, it seemed to be a consumable item that could be placed into his chest similar to 'The Path'.
Upon using the manual, a rush of information flood Vahn's mind. Images of various people performing martial arts and training cycled through his vision for roughly two hours until he passed out. Unfortunately, he was unable to use the mat he had just purchased and ended up sleeping on the hard floor...
After awakening the following day with a mild migraine, Vahn organized the information in his mind and decided to put it to use. He asked Sis to create a training regiment that would allow his body to improve unilaterally. After reviewing it for about half an hour, Vahn was satisfied as it had accounted for his rate of growth and became more difficult as time progressed.
He spent the first week performing basic physical exercises and stretching routines. He would awaken in the morning at sunrise. After half an hour of stretching, he would begin running around the around the largest rock formation in the area for about an hour. Though he wasn't able to run quickly, he noticed that his stamina was increasing rapidly due to the effects of his blood on his recovery.
After finishing his run, he would bathe in a pool he had dug from the main flow of the creek. He had filled the pool with various crystals he had dug out of the cave, so it always maintained a moderate temperature even in the mornings. Following his bath, he would begin foraging in the woods to increase his food store, since Sis had warned him about the dangers of winter.
Around noon he would begin his real workout. He spent another thirty minutes stretching before lifting rocks of different weight and moving them between two circles he had drawn out on the ground. The circles were 20m apart, and the exercise didn't end until he managed to move all the rocks from one point to the other. After this, he would be completely exhausted, and all the muscles in his body would protest against each movement. Fortunately, with the 'Pain Tolerance' skill, he was able to work through the pains and finish the exercise.
Using some of the points that he had obtained by trading in various ore found within the creek, Vahn had managed to buy a metal basin which he stationed outside the entrance of the cave. He had originally wanted to use the 'body tempering liquid' in the pool he had dug, but Sis informed him that the essence would drain through the rocks into the ground.
After emptying one of the vials of body tempering liquid into the basin, the once transparent water became turbid and evil boiled slightly. Using his leather belt as a gag, Vahn would submerge himself into the basin.
The moment his foot touched the liquid, it felt as if the blood within his body became thick, stagnant, and heavy as lead. Gritting his teeth, he continued to submerge his body as the feeling spread to each area the water came into contact with. By the time the liquid had reached up to his neck, his body had begun to convulse slightly as a result of the pain racking his body.
It was at times like this that Vahn actually hated the 'Pain Tolerance' skill because even though it prevented the pain from 'distracting' him, it actually made the experience worse since he was able to easily focus on the pain as it spread. He would periodically submerge his head while holding his breath, repeating the process over and over until his body was able to absorb the full medicinal effects of the liquid.
Vahn continued this process for the entire 10 days until Sis informed him that the body tempering liquid would no longer have an effect. He would have to buy higher quality medicines if he wanted to continue, but she advised against it since building a foundation using medicines could lead to problems in his growth later on.
Vahn was fine with this, as no matter how much time he spent in the basin it never got any easier.
'Display Skill Pain Tolerance'
The more damage the wielder sustains, the greater the effect this skill has on the mind. Does not inhibit pain, but prevents the wielder from being distracted by it. Gives a slight increase to attack power based on pain threshold.