Chapter 69: A Gift from Poluk
By estimation, only one more day was required for Sila to arrive at his destination. For the past day, he had been totally ignoring monsters during his journey. He wanted to avoid people's attention so he used a forest route to travel instead of the main road.
With his current ability, he could recover his power while running, so it took Sila one less day of travel than Burapha anticipated. Sila's journey was so smooth that he was surprised. It was the first time in the game that there were no problems in his path.
After he passed through the forest area, Sila stopped using qingqong and started walking at a normal pace. He blended himself into the crowd and was about to enter the Battle City Colossia.
The number of people in this place was less than the city port. It was still lively though. Players in this place were mostly fully dressed as if they were preparing for battle. Otherwise, there were merchants that aimed to sell equipment and potions.
"Sila." A voice calling for him could be heard from behind as Sila was about to walk past the city's gate.
Sila was quick to clad himself with qi reinforcement. This person calling for him must be an expert since Sila couldn't notice his presence at all. Upon turning back, he noticed that the other party was a man that he had never met before. This man was burly. There was a scar on his face. He had a short beard and wore wuxia clothes made of cheap material.
"You don't have to use qi reinforcement. It's me."
Sila canceled his qi reinforcement. He felt he was familiar with this man but he couldn't recall meeting this man before.
"Ermm… Who are you?"
"Can't you see? I'm Poluk, the most handsome slime."
"Mister Poluk? Eh? How can you come out? And why are you in this form?"
"Monsters with Lord Rank or above can transform into human form, don't you know?"
Sila nodded as he had heard about this from Sebastian. Nevertheless, he still didn't understand why Poluk could get out of the Slime Kingdom since he hadn't destroyed all of the seals yet.
"How can you go out? By the way, do you have business with me?"
"I have, but we need to talk elsewhere. This spot is overcrowded."
Sila realized that he and Poluk were starting to attract attention because they were standing in front of the city's gate. Poluk beckoned Sila to follow him before soaring into the forest near the city. Seeing that, Sila quickly followed.
People felt slightly interested before looking away after a short moment. For them, the experts could be spotted around or inside Colossia City like this, especially near the monthly tournament day.
Sila was following Poluk for an hour. Poluk moved very quick. If it was Sila before the lesson from the nameless elder, there would be no way for him to catch up. In the end, Poluk stopped his feet at some wasteland. Sila also stopped his feet around him.
"You are quite good. I can see that your basics are getting better," Poluk said.
"My teacher suggested me to train in the basics so I have been training myself since then."
"Good teacher. Basics are the most important."
"Yes, sir. By the way, what is this about? Why do we need to talk this privately?"
"It's about Bow and the Slime Kingdom."
"About Bow?" Sila was curious. It was understandable about the Slime Kingdom, but why Bow?
Poluk nodded and started telling a secret about Bow. Sila was very shocked upon being told that Bow was a real person. Although he had some suspicions, he didn't realize it. It became very hard to distinguish between a real person and an AI as technology advanced.
Poluk told Sila about the reason three Slime Guardians could go outside the Slime Kingdom. Sila somehow pitied the bandits. However, he pitied himself more after listening to Poluk telling him to defeat all the dragons before the war event start.
"Don't forget to go visit the Slime King to inform His Majesty that you have met me. We can't contact each other and you are the only one who can freely go to the Slime Kingdom. As for us, we should be able to follow you back to the kingdom but we wouldn't be able to go out again. I don't know for the others but I want to stay outside for a little while longer."
"About the dragon, if you have to fight one-on-one against a Marquis Rank dragon now, how confident you are in defeating it?"
"How confident I am?" Sila was deep in thought. He had never fought one-on-one against a Marquis Rank monster or above. The duel against Sebastian shouldn't be included as Sebastian was holding back and the fight didn't reach a conclusion.
"Tell me, how confident are you?" Poluk pressed for the answer.
Sila had been practicing basics and Twelve Celestial-Travelling-Steps all the time. Hidden weapons seemed to be more effective against players, not monsters. After he had dueled against Sebastian, Sila had come to realize that he didn't possess any powerful attack skill.
Although his teacher said that skills were not as important as martial moves, except for punches, kicks and basic attacks, Sila didn't have anything. It would be better if he had learned Nine Sun-Melting-Fists.
"Fifty-fifty, I guess, sir. I'm confident in dodging its attacks but I'm lacking in the power to end its life. I always aim for vital spots but a dragon's vital spot is its heart that is covered by its scales which are highly resistant to qi, psychic, and magic. It's almost impossible for me to kill it if it isn't injured beforehand."
Poluk nodded. "Good. Your understanding of dragons has grown since the last time we spoke. So, your problem is that you don't possess any powerful attack skills, right?"
Sila thought to himself. He had fought against two dragons and needed to kill six more. It was natural to do some research and know this much even if he was a neglectful person.
"Why don't you depend on slime skills?"
"Can I? I know that slime skills are strong. But, against a dragon…"
"Fufu. Don't underestimate slime skills. The reason why we're the dragon's nemesis is mostly due to these skills. Slime skills are especially effective against dragons, otherwise, we wouldn't be sealed."
"Especially effective against dragons?"
"Correct. For example, Formless Soldier can be used to destroy the dragon's scales if you master it. Orbiting Cosmos is helpful for gaining resistance toward a dragon's spells and magic power. As for Moon Reflecting Mirror, it's better for Divine to personally explain it to you. In conclusion, with your current ability, you can surely kill a Marquis Rank dragon. You only lack knowledge, experience, and confidence to do so."
Sila nodded as he understood. He realized that the nameless elder and Poluk had an entirely different teaching method. The nameless elder would tell him what he couldn't do and would teach him to do those things. Meanwhile, Poluk would tell him what he could do and would give an advice for Sila to make the best out of what he could do.
"Well, it's lucky that we have some time. There are still three more days until the tournament starts. I will give you advice for utilizing Formless Soldier. If you can master it, I will give you a gift."
"How did you know that I'm participating in the tournament, sir?"
"If not, why do you think I decided to wait for you here? Based on your personality, you would be excited to participate if you knew there was going to be a battle tournament. Wanting to fight a skilled opponent is the desire of every martial artist. I believed that I could find you if I waited here."
Sila smiled in embarrassment. He was read completely. The debt aside, he had become excited to test his ability since he heard that there was a battle tournament being held.
"Okay, now listen, Formless Soldier is a qi type skill. It shouldn't take long for you to master it. You have mastered the basics so this shouldn't take more than two days. You can make it before the tournament."
"You don't need to call me teacher. I'm just pointing out what you already have. I didn't teach you anything new. Also, I don't like being called a teacher. It makes me looks old."
Hearing that, Sila replied again, "Yes, Mister Poluk."
"Firstly, let me see you put up qi reinforcement," Poluk continued when he saw Sila instantly clad his right fist in qi reinforcement, "Your ability has grown a lot. You are growing way too fast, I'd say. I guess you must be training very hard. You also trained Qi Concealment too, right?"
"Yes, sir." Sila was glad to receive praise. He had never received a compliment before from his other teachers.
"How about Formless Soldier? What is your progress?"
"I have once used hardening and softening attributes simultaneously, but it was a coincidence. I haven't been able to do it again after that time."
"This kind of thing is like riding a bike. If you can do it once, you can do it again. You need to stop thinking that each attribute is a different power. All four attributes of Formless Soldier are originally one kind of power. It just separates into four attributes. Thus, there is no way that they can't be merged together. Try closing your eyes and imagine. Activate all four attributes at once. Not one at a time."
Sila closed his eyes. He had always thought that each attribute was an entirely different power. He usually used harden coupled with heavying, otherwise soften coupled with lightening. However, upon hearing Poluk's explanation, maybe he could unconsciously activate them simultaneously.
Sila emptied his mind and activated the skill. Soon, his body was reinforced with all the powers of Formless Soldier, be it hard, soft, heavy or light.
"I can do it!" Sila was very glad. He had never dreamt that he could do it this easily. He had anticipated that it might take him a long time.
"Surely you can. The next step is for you to combine it with qi reinforcement. Qi will empower the power of Formless Soldier to its utmost limit. This is the prominent point of us qi types. However, remember that if you make a wrong move, half of the power will backfire on you. Try to be careful when you use it."
"Do it. After you do it, try holding the power within you as long as you can."
This step was not too difficult. It only took Sila three hours to get the hang of it. Compared to the hardcore training with the nameless elder, this was too easy. However, Poluk warned Sila that the next step was the hardest part. It was the step required for the skill to become effective against a dragon.
"Very good. You're much more skillful than I thought. Your teacher that corrected your basics must be very skilled. I would love to meet him. Is he the same person as the one Divine told me that he had fought against once?"
"Yes, sir. His name is Wu Ming."
"That doesn't sound like a real name. But, whatever. We martial artists are only interested in battle prowess. The only thing that matters is whether we get to fight against a skilled opponent or not. Don't forget to introduce him to me later, okay?"
"Eh? Do you want to fight him? He is my teacher though."
"Are you afraid of being scolded? Don't worry. Your teacher will even thank you. This is a martial artist's desire. We want to compete against a good opponent."
Sila nodded. He began to understand the martial artist's logic. Actually, he was one of the martial artists already.
"Next, I will teach you a martial move named Genesis Punch. It's my own move. Not a skill generated by the system. You know about independent NPCs, right?"
"Yes, sir. An Independent NPC is an expert in each department or martial art."
"Correct. Slime skills are based on our own profound martial arts. Don't forget to practice them in real life too. You might have a much harder time practicing them though, since you only need a thought in this game but an actual body in real life."
Sila nodded. This skill must be similar to Twelve Celestial-Travelling-Steps that was a real profound martial art. It was an origin of the skills in Monster Soul.
"Try again. But, this time, imagine your fist as your whole body. You are a fist, and a fist is all of you. Forget your body. Only a fist exists in your mind. Forget everything except your fist."
Sila closed his eyes and tried to do so. His whole body turned a black color due to Formless Soldier. Nevertheless, the black color was starting to slowly concentrate into his right fist.
There was nothing else in Sila's mind. Be it thought, body, self-awareness or time. Only his fist mattered.
The power surged into his right fist. His body turned back to be normal, except for his right fist, which was still black. Sila slowly opened his eyes.
Poluk pointed his finger at one giant rock beside him. "Destroy it."
Sila didn't wait. He threw a punch at the rock. Then, the rock turned into specks of sand without making any sound. It was an amazing sight to behold. Sila stared at his right fist without blinking.
"Genesis Punch is a profound move that gave me the title of "Death in One Fist" because I never need to throw a second punch. All the destructive force is perfectly directed at the enemy without any waste."
Even Sila himself panicked, staring at his fist. This profound move was too dangerous.
"I invented this profound move, but only a handful of people can cope with it. Thus, I decided to stay as an independent NPC in this game. This way, I can fight against people that can take on my punch."
Sila didn't give his attention to Poluk's story. A giant rock turned into dust. This wasn't caused by a simple destructive power that exploded the rock. It was caused by a power that disintegrated the rock. Not even a single piece of the rock larger than a grain of sand remained.
"The current you might only be able to use it with your right hand. However, although it's called Genesis Punch, it can be used by every part of the body, be it the fist, foot, knee, elbow or forehead. Anyway, just the right hand is fine for now. You can train yourself to do other things later. The most important thing you have to do is finish the move in time. You spent almost an hour concentrating on that previous punch. You need to train to do it quicker. Maybe you need to decrease its power."
Sil nodded. Afterward, the training to use Genesis Punch went on for an entire day as Poluk continued giving advice to Sila. In the end, all their effort bore fruit. Sila was now able to use Genesis Punch in actual combat. Its power decreased by ten times though.
"With your current ability, you may need several punches to get the job done. By the way, mastering this move might take years. That depends on you. Now, recover your qi. I'll give you a gift once you finish."
"Yes, a gift. You're sure to like it."
Sila closed his eyes and started circulating qi. He missed the chance to see Poluk taking a strange stone out of his pocket. It was a stone with a mysterious pattern glowing on it.
Poluk sighed and muttered to himself.
"I hope it isn't too soon for him."