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Chapter 14: Heading to the Stone Forest

Sila ran pass the west gate of the town. He passed a meadow full of lovely pink slimes - They didn't seem to attack Sila whom was a part of slime race.

Nah, actually, they didn't attack anybody to begin with.

Every monster near Beginning Town was non-aggressive monster. So, even if Sila passed through herd of slimes and found a group of wild dogs, they still didn't attack him first.

As he had heard from Lucy, the aggressive monsters could be found only after player entering forest zone.

Stone Forest was a part of western forest zone. It's a very infamous area that all trees in one-kilometer radius around its center were completely petrified. It's also a habitat of Great Millennium Ape whom was considered too strong to be a monster living in Beginning Island. Thus, Stone Forest was always like a forbidden area of Beginning Island.

Sila had been running for a day until he finally reached the fringe of forest zone. For here on out, the monsters would be the aggressive one. So, Sila decided to rest a bit. He ate a steam bun and circulated "Intermediate Qi" to alleviate his fatigue.

He was quite certain that once he entered forest zone, he might not be able to take it easy and circulate his qi to rest anymore.

Actually, skill "Intermediate Qi" allowed user to be able to circulate qi even while running. However, it required a certain amount of concentration to do that. As Sila still hadn't getting used to do so, he thought it would be wiser to play safe and just rest for now.

Sila had cultivated for two full hours and found that now it's a dusk time. Considering his vision would be getting worse at night and the fact that he didn't know the exact remaining distance, he changed his mind to stay here for the time being.

He's playing safe. Since although his ability was definitely higher than a run-of-the-mill new player, this was actually the first time that he had gone this far from the city.

With that in his mind, Sila travelled back for around one kilometer to avoid the attacks of wild monsters, and then lit the fire.

He had already finished circulating "Intermediate Qi" so he didn't feel tired at all. Sila took this opportunity to further polish his hidden weapon skills. He somehow weighted practicing hidden weapon over training his qi purely because of his teacher's words:

'You'll know the reason when you confront Great Millennium Ape. Just be sure to give it your all. To tell you the truth, the current you are no match for it. You'll need to use your wit.'

Sila interpreted the word 'use your wit' as he definitely had to rely on the art of hidden weapon he had been taught. It might even be a key factor for him to win against Great Millennium Ape. If it's that case, it would be pointless if his hidden weapon couldn't hit the target.

Sila dedicated himself to keep firing knives. Currently, he could only fire it one at a time. Well, since it's only one, he could fire it very quick and strongly. It's also soundless and no need for him to flick his hand anymore, since he could use "Intermediate Qi" to forcefully fire it.

Formerly, Sila had tried to strengthen knife with "Qi of Little Tiger," and then he discovered that it's very hard to do so.

Not only circulating qi into object was hard in the first place, firing that qi-strengthening object was also insanely difficult.

Although it's true that the more qi he put into object, the more power it would display; there was a big problem about that object would also be harder to handle and control. Thus, Sila's qi-strengthening knife had never hit the target even once since he had tried.

Even so, Sila kept practicing and practicing until it's finally morning. Now, his qi-strengthening knife could hit the target once out of ten tries. Well, Sila didn't mind that. Since currently, if it was about firing the normal knives to a target within five meters, he would never miss the target.

'Even if each normal knife can't cause much damage, it should be okay if the target gets hit by many of them, right?'

Sila stood up before heading into the woods, this time for real.

During his run, one random idea popped up in his head.

'It's somehow uncool for a Wuxia like me to run like this. I better ask teacher to teach me qinggong next time.'

Well, soon enough, Sila discarded the unnecessary idea since he was already entering forest zone. He had to move faster while being more careful.


Sila was running in the forest for more than a day. Although he did encounter some monsters, but in order not to waste time, he always avoided being in a fight. When they attacked, he would evade and use that chance to flee. It's actually easier than he'd expected.

Well, the weird thing was, the deeper he was into the forest, the fewer monsters he ran into. In fact, in his current location, not even one monster could be seen anymore.

System sound alerted.

Player Sila has entered the territory of Monster Great Millennium Ape. Player cannot use Returning Scroll for the time being.

Sila looked around. He was too focusing on running into the forest to not notice that trees around him were all petrified.

It seemed that he had arrived to Stone Forest already.

Once he noticed that, he stopped running. His teacher had told him that Great Millennium Ape had subordinates. Thus, Sila raised his awareness and walked slowly, step by step, as he didn't want to accidentally be surrounded by a herd of apes.

It's a bit unexpected that he wouldn't be able to use Returning Scroll (Invitation Card was counted as Returning Scroll), but it didn't mean much to him since he didn't think of returning back until he'd finished his quest anyway. It's just that, on the way back, he would need to get out of this area before using the Invitation Card to Bamboo Hut.

Even at the night time, inside the Stone Forest wasn't darkened. There were glowing mosses attached at the trunk of the petrified trees. Thus, Stone Forest shone with dim lights, creating a mysterious atmosphere.

Sila went deep into the center of Stone Forest. It's a clear field with a big rock in the middle. On that rock, there was one tree rooting into it.

The tree shone brightly, and on one of its branch, there was a peach that dozens of times larger than a typical peach.

'That should be Millennium Peach,' thought Sila.

Sila looked left and right. He didn't spot even a single monster. Therefore, he was more careful while gradually climbing up the rock and tree to pluck off the peach.

Here was the highest point of the field, allowing Sila to see all nearby surroundings. However, even with that, there was still no sign of monsters.

Sila plucked off the peach and put it into his System Window. A system sound alarmed.

Player Sila has gotten Millennium Peach 1 EA.

Sila sighed in relief, since he had thought something would happen as soon as he got this peach.

Now, if he was an ordinary player, he would hurriedly find a way back by now. However, for Sila, he still had one more quest - take down Great Millennium Ape.

Ironically, as if it knew that Sila was thinking about it, the specific system sound could be heard by Sila.

Monster Great Millennium Ape, Squire Rank, Level 500, has appeared.

Sila turned his head to look at his opponent coming from sea of petrified trees. It's a big gorilla with golden fur. It was walking leisurely toward Sila.

However, in the next second, the golden gorilla dashed at him with high speed as if it's a shooting arrow, contrary to its bulky body.

Sila thought he couldn't guard against this attack head on. Thus, he evaded by jumping down the rock, heading toward clear field.

Nevertheless, the giant ape used its feet to lightly touch the ground, changing its direction to Sila's current location without even the slightest decrease in speed. This action made Sila began to understand one fact.

'Great Millennium Ape can use qinggong!'

Sila suddenly felt he was in great disadvantageous position. Because this fact meant it would always be faster than him.

Within the attack range, Great Millennium Ape raised its foot that glowing in red to attack Sila. Sila immediately sensed that he shouldn't block it, so he quickly circulated "Qi of Little Fish" and dodged slightly to the left.

Great Millennium Ape's foot hit the ground, causing explosion sound. The dust dispersed around, indicating the severity of its attack. Sila felt glad that he'd made the right choice not to guard against it.

'It can use qi too. This will be troublesome.'

The area still filled with dust, but Great Millennium Ape ruthlessly charged through the smoke to attack Sila once again.

Fortunately, Sila already had anticipated its attack. He concentrated "Qi of Little Tiger" into both hands. And when he saw Great Millennium Ape's glowing palm coming, he leaped forward and raised his left palm to block it.

Great Millennium Ape sneered at Sila's foolish action of blocking its attack with bare hand. It accelerated its own pace to clash with Sila's palm.

The explosion sound of qi clashing together could be heard. Both qi negated each other, making Sila and the ape to lose their balance.

Great Millennium Ape stunned. It was overconfident in its qi.

Sila was quicker to regain his stance and already raised his right hand to strike its forehead.

Sila firmly believed that this mere attack would be able to kill Great Millennium Ape. He was very confident in his "Qi of Little Tiger." No one had ever survived from the hit at a vital point ever since he had used it.

Nevertheless, the giant ape utilized the impact of the previous collision coupled with qinggong. It gently kicked the ground, leaping backward.

With Great Millennium Ape's action, Sila's attack was wasted like throwing a stone into a lake. Some of the force he put into his attack returned back to hurt him, causing him to spit out blood.

This was another reason why there weren't many players choosing Qi type. If you made error in using your power, part of that power would return to damage its owner - yourself.

Sila quickly circulated "Recovering Qi" to chase away the pain. Of course, he didn't wish to be completely healed. Just physically stable enough to perform next movements would be fine.

Great Millennium Ape saw Sila spitting out blood because his failure in using power. Thus, it instinctively knew that this was its best chance.

It charged forward again. The gap of several meters between two sides immediately closed into one meter. It didn't even care to circulate its qi as it fully aware that just hitting Sila to cause him more injuries would do the trick.

In fight, range is very significant factor. Now that Great Millennium Ape was able to control the range at its will: if it wanted the distance between it and Sila to be far, the distance will become far; if it wanted the distance to be short, the distance will become short. Sila was totally in unfavorable position here.

In this exact moment, Sila finally understood why his teacher told him to practice an art of hidden weapon - It's his only method to attack in long range.

Now, if Sila possessed "Qi of Little Turtle," he could use this chance to firmly guard, causing Great Millennium Ape to hurt itself. However, since he didn't possess it, and his ability regarding defense was significantly lower than that regarding offense, he decided to utilize his prominent point by attacking instead of blocking.

Sila completely ignored Great Millennium Ape's charging. He firmly stretched his hand out as a blade, and then counterattacked by piercing it toward Great Millennium Ape's heart, which it's the vital point that the ape would need to guard if it didn't want to die.

The giant ape shocked. Due to hastiness, its body didn't strengthen with qi at all. Although Sila's hand didn't seem to strengthen with qi too since it's not glowing in color, based on previous collision, it discovered that Sila was able to conceal qi. Hence, it comprehended that this time, this hand of Sila must also be fused with qi as well. If this bare body of it clashed with qi-strengthening hand, although this human would be taken some damage, it would be the only one to die.

With that thought, Great Millennium Ape used qinggong to withdraw from the area of impact again. However, this time was not exactly the same. It began to notice that there was one knife on Sila's stretched out hand.

Then, in a blink of an eye, that knife disappeared mysteriously.

Later, it could hear the sound of a dagger stabbing something nearby. It stunned while fumbling its forehead, only to find that there was a knife pierced deep into its skull.

The wound was bleeding. Then, Great Millennium Ape collapsed and later turned into a light.

Sila breathed a sigh of relief. Just now, he'd swiftly fused the "Qi of Little Tiger" into a knife. And although the amount of qi he'd put in wasn't much, he hurriedly fired it. Surprisingly, the knife accurately stabbed the target.

Sila gained a little more understanding on the usage of qi-strengthening hidden weapon. Previously, when he had been practicing, he'd too focused on power and put too much qi into hidden weapon, so it'd been difficult to control and not precise. However, with his current ability, if only the qi he put into it wasn't too much, he would still be able to fire the qi-strengthening hidden weapon accurately.

So, this was the correct answer of qi-strengthening hidden weapon's usage method: Putting in the most qi whereas causing a minimal effect on accuracy.

The cornerstone of hidden weapon was precision, not severity.

With the body of Great Millennium Ape dispersing as a light, Sila felt something wasn't right. Well, at that time, he didn't know what was wrong. The most important thing for him to do now was recovery. Thus, Sila immediately circulated "Recovering Qi."

However, the next alerting system sound made him panic.

Monster Great Millennium Ape, Squire Rank, Level 500, has appeared.
Monster Great Millennium Ape, Squire Rank, Level 500, has appeared.
Monster Great Millennium Ape, Squire Rank, Level 500, has appeared.
Monster Great Millennium Ape, Squire Rank, Level 500, has appeared.

Monster Great Millennium Ape, Squire Rank, Level 500, has appeared.

The voice telling the appearance of a large number of monsters could be heard inside Sila's brain. At this moment, Sila finally realized what had been wrong - Just now, when he'd defeated Great Millennium Ape, there was no sound telling him he'd received the experience or money.

And with this system's voice, Sila could realize the other fact:

'The Great Millennium Ape that I took down previously is just a mere minion...'

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