Everyone was happy when Anne woke up, and Rhode was no exception .
However, them being happy didn't mean that Anne wouldn't have to suffer the consequences of her actions . Though they had successfully killed the Death Knight, Anne still disobeyed Rhode's order . After pondering for a while, Rhode decided to punish her by locking her in a dark room for three days .
While it might seem quite barbaric of him to do that, Rhode wasn't going to allow disobedience to become a habit in his guild . Anne stared at him with puppy eyes hoping that he would change his decision, but Rhode wouldn't budge an inch .
Back in the game, players violate orders for many reasons because even if they failed and died, they could still respawn and come back for round two .
Anne is different .
As an NPC, once dead, it's game over . Yes, although she did manage to do her job and held the aggro well, in the end, she was seriously injured . If it wasn't because of her half-beast bloodline, perhaps she would've been already dead . Rhode would absolutely refrain from these measures unless they were left with no other choice .
So what if everything turned out to be okay? If everybody started to do things on their own accord then what's the point of being a leader?
Both Lize and Old Walker tried to plead for mercy on Anne's behalf . Even the usually stern Marlene also hoped that Rhode would rethink this matter . In the end, Rhode still held firm to his stance .
Fortunately, Rhode gave a little slack to her . Though he forbade Anne to go out, others could still visit her so she wouldn't be too lonely . Still, for someone with a personality like Anne, not being able to gaze at the clouds and lie back on the soft grass while enjoying the warm sun, it was quite a cruel punishment .
After returning from Silent Plateau, Starlight entered a temporary resting period . The other mercenary groups were the same . They had received heavy casualties and thus needed to recuperate before they could begin accepting missions once more .
But the news that garnered the most attention was Starlight jumping straight to the third position in the ranking . After successfully completing Silent Plateau, Starlight obtained a total of nine points, placing them just below Burning Blade and Dark Fang who didn't suffer any losses from the previous mission .
The top two mercenary groups, Burning Blade and Dark Fang, were no stranger to the mercenaries in the Paphield Region . Both were well-known strong mercenary groups who competed for the promotion to a guild .
No one would think that instead of the two behemoths, someone else would claim victory over a mission as tough as Silent Plateau . Moreover, the mission was completed by a group of five people, which was quite a ridiculous number to challenge such a difficult mission .
If Starlight jumped to the top position just because of this single mission, perhaps the people wouldn't have been so shocked . After all, Starlight could have rented help and the result might not prove their true ability . But if one studied their past achievements, he or she would realize that they had been creating miracles one after another .
Cleanup Pavel Cemetery - 3 points
Novice mission, Collect Magical Plants - 1 point
Rescue mission in Silent Plateau - 5 points
Out of these three missions, two of them were related to the undead and were considered high-risk missions . However, Starlight managed to complete it twice without suffering any casualties .
Many other mercenary groups accepted less dangerous missions compared to Starlight, but they still suffered heavy losses . Let alone completing their mission, being able to come back alive was already considered lucky enough .
Rumors of Starlight spread like wildfire; it even suppressed the gossip over the two other famous groups . It was no surprise though . Burning Blade and Dark Fang had a long track record and had already completed a lot of missions, so they were able to maintain their position . If they'd participated in the mission, perhaps the outcome would be hard to predict .
On the other hand, even though Starlight were few in numbers, they still took the initiative to complete the rescue mission . Thus, in the eyes of many, the felt that Starlight was stronger than the two large mercenary groups .
But Rhode didn't bother with these trivialities . After dealing with Anne, he locked himself in a room and began drawing something on paper . Currently, he was on an incredibly important mission — planning how to use his Skill Points .
Skill Points are essential to the existence of the player, even more so than EXP or equipment . This is because Skill Points could not only unlock and upgrade the Talent Tree, it could also increase the proficiency of various skills .
Each class had three different Talent Trees, and each route required at least 35~37 Skill Points to max it out fully . But that didn't mean that once the player was done with their Talent Tree, there would be nothing left to add . Remaining Skill Points will be used in upgrading the proficiency of various skills .
There are three ways to increase the proficiency of skills . The most common way was to use the skill often . After using it around a hundred to a thousand times, the proficiency of that skill would increase .
Another way was to find a skill book that was related to the skill and read it .
The last way was to use Skill Points to increase the proficiency directly .
Players would find the first method a waste of time . The second method was still rather time-consuming, after all, the skill book itself was a rare drop . Moreover, advanced-level skill books were almost as rare as Ancient-grade equipment . So, many players found the third method way more convenient . After leveling up, they would obtain one Skill Point which they could use it however they wished .
How about the players who wanted to increase their proficiency with their own ability? Yes, it's totally possible . Look at Sereck . Right now, his proficiency is at Rank A . If the player is willing to put in several years of practice for a single skill, it's not impossible to master that skill without Skill Points . But which player on Earth would have the patience to practice a single skill for a few years?
Yet, almost every skill required a large number a Skill Points to max . For example, if Rhode wanted to max out his Moon Shadow Swordsmanship to Rank M (the highest level), he would have to gather at least 25 Skill Points to do so . Therefore, just to level one skill to the maximum would allow the player to finish an entire route in the Talent Tree .
This system was quite harsh towards Summoning Swordsmen as their initial skill level was one lower than the pure classes . That means that a Summoning Swordsman would need to waste one more Skill Point for every skill . It's definitely something not worth boasting about .
In Dragon Soul Continent Online, after the player reaches the level cap, the game would award them with 100 bonus Skill Points . Taking special quests, props, and equipment into consideration, the total number of Skill Points that an ordinary player would receive in their playthrough would amount between 200 to 300 . However, Rhode had around 500 Skill Points . That was one of the reasons why he could stand at the top . The more Skill Points he had, the more skills he could enhance and therefore perform much better than other players . Whether it was back then or now, this rule didn't change .
When Rhode defeated the Death Knight, his level shot up to 16 because the Death Knight was a BOSS far above his level, obtaining 7 Skill Points .
Rhode assigned five points to Soul Resonance and Integration in his Talent Tree . Then, he intended to enhance his Moon Shadow Swordsmanship and Starfall Swordsmanship which was Rank C and Rank E respectively . As for his remaining five points, he would save it for later .
If it all goes as planned, before reaching level 100, he would have 190 Skill Points .
But, that was still a long way to go, and what he must worry about was the problem before him right now .
Rhode stopped moving the pen in his hand .
If any player saw what he had written, their eyes would most likely pop out of their sockets . On the paper, Rhode drew a relationship diagram of the whole Summoning Swordsman's Talent Tree, the number of Skill Points that Rhode needed for his current Swordsmanship, his talents, and his skills . Without a computer, he could only refer to his memories, and Rhode had perfectly displayed that information . He really lived up to his name as the Walking Library .
What should I add?
He focused on analyzing the data before him .
If it were any other player who received a sudden amount of rewards, their first reaction would be to enhance all their Talents . Initially, Rhode wanted to do that too, but when he slowly pondered to himself . . . is there really a need to do it?
One will have to realize that this wasn't a game anymore . If it was still back in Dragon Soul Continent Online, Rhode could think based on a player's mindset because it would give him an edge in PvP . However, now he had no need to do so . The people here do not know what Skill Points and proficiency were . They were not even informed about the Summoning Swordsman's class . Since they had no idea of these things, Rhode couldn't plan his skills by using a player mindset .
Hmm . . . should I add all into one route? But it will be quite wasteful as I don't have enough to max it out . . .
Rhode didn't consider adding Swordsmanship yet because he hadn't unlocked the Swordsmanship that he wanted .
So what should he do?
First, he had to consider what he wanted to achieve . Rhode really wanted to level up fast since there wasn't much time left . He needed to farm EXP points effectively .
Suddenly, a spark of inspiration flashed in his eyes; he recalled something from long ago in the forums . A player was asking him about increasing the Talent of the Summoning Swordsman class . While the player did lay out a rather creative approach to adding points, but at that time, because of restrictions, he didn't succeed . Rhode also didn't recommend him to do it, but now, in this world, his method might be possible . . .
"If he could combine the quality with the quantity . . . "
Rhode leaned against his chair and closed his eyes . The Talent System appeared before him, and he focused his attention on the Talent just next to 'Summoning Master' which was 'Soul Messenger . '
The first level of Soul Messenger:
[Spirit Armor (When the summoned spirit is active, it will receive protection from Spirit Armor . Increases defense stats by 10%,20%,30%)]
[Three In One (When there is one or more summoned spirit active, the spirit attribute increase by 5%, 10%)]
[Shadow Follower (Allow the summoner to have the same attributes as the spirit . Increases attack stats by 30%,60%,90%)]
Alright, I've decided!
Rhode took a deep breath . He opened his eyes and went through the data before him once again . Then, he calmed down and stretched out his hand to open the Talent Tree that floated in front of him . Soon, the system prompt appeared .
[Used 1 Skill Point to unlock the Talent that had been selected ——— Soul Messenger]
Rhode suddenly felt that his body shaking violently inside . After that, a surge of heat spread throughout his entire body .
[Unlocked Soul Messenger first level of talent: Spirit Armor LV1 (When the summoned spirit is active, it receive protection from Spirit Armor . Increases defense attributes by 10%)]
[Obtained skill: Spirit Armor LV1]
[Used 1 Skill Point to level up Spirit Armor LV2 (When the summoned spirit is active, it receive protection from Spirit Armor . increases defense stats by 20%)]
[Used 1 Skill Point to level up Spirit Armor LV3 (When the summoned spirit is active, it receive protection from Spirit Armor . increases defense stats by 30%)]
Rhode clenched his fist in joy . But, things didn't stop here .
[Unlocked Soul Messenger first level of talent: Shadow Follower LV1 (Allow the summoner to have the same attributes as the spirit . Increases attack stats by 30%,60%,90%)]
[Obtained skill: Shadow Follower LV1 ]
[Used 1 Skill Point to level up Shadow Follower LV2 (Allow the summoner to have the same attributes as the spirit . Increases attack stats by 60%)]
[Used 1 Skill Point to level up Shadow Follower LV3 (Allow the summoner to have the same attributes as the spirit . Increases attack stats by 90%)]
Rhode heaved a sigh of relief when everything was done . He stood up and stared at his right hand . After that, a thought flashed through his mind, and soon a black card appeared before him .
Swoosh!! The card on his hand was crushed and turned into a dark fog . It swirled around his finger and enveloped Rhode in a blink of an eye . Then, when Rhode opened his eyes, a strange red light glowed in his irises .
A huge dark lance appeared on his right hand and on his left, a black card that he has never seen before appeared . At the same time, a transparent blue barrier surrounded Rhode .
[Activate Skill: Spirit Armor LV3]
[Activate Skill: Shadow Follower LV3]
[Elemental protection, heavy-armor type]
Looking at the system prompt, Rhode pumped his fist .
He once again upgraded himself successfully .
At that moment, a series of footsteps could be heard from outside .
Hearing the sound, Rhode expression changed . The dark fog and Spirit Armor were dispelled immediately . Then, Rhode sat down . Before he could clean up the scattered documents on the floor, a knock sounded at the door .
"Come in . "
The door slowly opened, Old Walker stepped inside and glanced around the room that looked as if a typhoon had just ended . He was surprised, but didn't say anything . He walked towards Rhode and nodded .
"Kid, remember the things that you've asked me to investigate? I've got results . "