If Rhode only possessed one talent tree, then this wouldn't be much of a problem . But he had to decide between two unique talent trees, thus, he was in a dilemma . His Summoning Master tree had [Soul Resonance lvl 3] and [Integration lvl 2] . Whereas for the Soul Messenger tree, it consisted of [Spirit Armor lvl 3] and [Shadow Follower lvl 3] .
The Summoning Master's second stage consisted of three skills, [Soul Hourglass], [Inner Gate] and [Forced Awakening] .
[Soul Hourglass] could be used to increase the duration of summoned spirits by more than half, whereas [Inner Gate] could slightly boost the chances of summoning an additional summoned spirit whenever the player summoned one . [Forced Awakening] was Rhode's favorite passive skill . It gives the player a certain chance for a defeated summoned spirit to revive with 100% HP . Thus, it saves the summoner's spiritual energy . On the flip side, the chances were only merely up to 5% . Having such a low rate of success was understandable, if not, Rhode could keep reviving his self-exploding dog which would be too overpowered .
Next, there were four talents in the second stage of Soul Messenger . [Sacrificial Spirit], [Path of the King], [Infinite Sentiments], and [Heritage Seal] . Rhode had a hard time deciding on these four skills . [Sacrificial Spirit]'s effect was to sacrifice a summoned spirit and transfer its powers to another card . For example, if Rhode sacrificed his Black Hound and transferred its powers to the Star Mark Sword, then it's offense 7 and defense 3 value will stack on Celia and her stats will instantly increase to offense 16 and defense 9 . However, the downside to this skill was that it could only stack once and the duration wasn't that long . Even if this skill was maxed out, it could only last for 5 seconds .
[Path of the King] and [Infinite Sentiments] represented the special characteristics of the Soul Messenger . [Path of the King] could decrease the amount of spiritual energy required to summon a summoned spirit up to one third . As for [Infinite Sentiments], it could expand Rhode's spiritual energy . After activating [Infinite Sentiments], Rhode's spiritual energy would increase by an additional 20% everytime he levels up . Although this increment couldn't be compared to a mage, but wasn't considered too bad as he was a swordsman .
[Heritage Seal] was used to fuse spirits . After activating this skill, it fuses two spirits into a new card, the new card will inherit skills of both sacrificed cards . The maximum inherited count would be three skills . In the beginning, the inheritance would be random, but once maxed out, players will be able to choose the remaining two skills .
The [Soul Hourglass] required 3 Skill Points . [Inner Gate] and [Forced Awakening] require 1 skill point each . [Sacrificial Spirit] and [Path of the King] required 3 Skill Points . And lastly [Infinite Sentiments] and [Heritage Seal] required 2 Skill Points . This meant that a total of 15 Skill Points would be required for both second stages of the talent trees . Currently, Rhode only had 9 Skill Points, and all these skills were really precious to him .
After shutting himself in his study room for the whole night, Rhode eventually made his decision .
Considering that he didn't learn any suitable sword skills, he decided to focus all skill points on the talent trees . In the end, he maxed out [Soul Hourglass], [Forced Awakening], [Path of the King] and [Infinite Sentiments] .
As for Rhode's decision, without a doubt, they came with reasoning .
Followed by the disbanding of the Jade Tears Mercenary Group, Rhode confirmed that the Country of Light's conspiracy in Paphield Plain was totally broken . Especially after the death of the Black Cloaked Mage, the blocked business road would once again be lively . This was good news for the Munn Kingdom, but a bad one for the Country of Light . As for Rhode, as long as it was anything that could cause trouble for the Country of Light, he would be glad to do them .
This meant that Rhode won't need to spend too much energy on fights . Once the 1 month rest period set by the Mercenary Association was up, all the mercenary groups would be ready for an explosive beginning . Naturally, Rhode was no exception . His goal was simple; snatch the highest points before winter and promote Starlight Mercenary Group to a Guild status .
Currently, there were four guilds within the Munn Kingdom . They were each allocated their own distinct territories . If Rhode could successfully promote his Starlight Mercenary Group, then he could become the unofficial leader of this 'Chaos area' .
Rhode was very clear on the current situation of Munn Kingdom . After the 'cataclysm' happened a few years ago, the opposition which was parliament-inclined was weakened, and the King's party held on strongly to the authorities . However, some opposition parties weren't completely destroyed as Lydia had always been patiently waiting for the opportunity to get rid of the scourges . As the Country of Light started to infiltrate the Munn Kingdom again, the opposition also resurged . Two of the four main guilds in the Munn Kingdom were the lackeys of the opposition .
On the surface, guilds maintained an impression as a third-party organization, but they actually carry heavy influence within the region . Although the number of members in guilds were not considered too massive, various countries actually believed that they are a force to be reckoned with . If the alignment of thieves or killer guilds were considered to be the black forces; the archon, guards, and army would be considered to be the white forces — And the guilds would be the grey forces .
Their influence was strong, and at many times, they assisted those people in power by doing shady things that they couldn't carry out as well as those matters that require a significant amount of manpower but unable deploy the official army so as to reduce suspicion . And as for rewards, these people would send money or give them authority . Currently, there were four big guilds under the Munn Kingdom, two of them belonged to Casablanca region's Farian Family and Clanno region's Sapphire City . Both of them supported the King's Party . And the other two were Warsaw's Merchants Association and Tajgar's Northern League . Both of them were the reinforcements for oppositions .
Of course . Rhode supported the King's Party . He hoped to receive the assistance of Golden City as well as receiving a certain degree of independence . Besides, this was actually a shortcut to become rich . After all, the players in the game knew that once you set up a guild, as long as you could improve your relationship with the King's Party, then you would trigger a mission . After completing this mission, you would be able to immediately become a leader of a territory .
Initially, that was how Rhode's territory came about . After the Munn Kingdom was destroyed, he led the Starlight Guild to improve their relationship with the Country of Law . He eventually received rights to the "Chaos Area" and went on to receive his own territory . These territories were mainly located in areas with little human population . Although it was "his territory", it still relied on the country who had the rights to expand the territory . However, the income control, setting of law and army recruitment, all of that were decided solely by the territory leader .
It wasn't purely just a setting in the game . In fact, these territories that made up the Country of Light's parliament was established the same way . They used to be a strong force that had a close relationship with the Country of Light's parliament, and they moved on to various territories to expand their land . It was > who gave them authority to control those areas . They were members of the Country of Light's parliament in name, but they were already considered to be an independent country .
That fueled Rhode's intention to promote his mercenary group as soon as possible and establish relationships with the Golden City in order to obtain the expansion rights to the "Chaos Area" . The moment he received his rights, he could quickly use his experience and abilities to expand his territory and prepare his forces for the imminent battle .
Rhode knew without a doubt that this wouldn't be an easy feat . The Chaos Area was a dangerous territory that wasn't under the Dragon Soul's protection . The weather was unpredictable and dangerous monsters roamed the land . To completely eradicate and cleanse the land from monsters would not be easy . For normal humans, it wasn't even worth discussing . Trained armies couldn't even occupy the area without suffering heavily .
And that was why > only allowed organizations with high individual or family strength to receive the right to expand . If the level of strength wasn't met, then going to such a place would only be suicide .
Of course, a normal country wouldn't send their entire army just to expand the land . That would be a waste of resources and it doesn't guarantee great reaps . So they rather chose to send those families or guild . If they succeed, then everything would be great . And if they fail, those people weren't theirs to begin with . Moreover, it would cause their potential opponents to lose power as well . So, why not?
Once people get into their comfort zone, they wouldn't want to risk much anymore . The various countries under the protection of the Light Dragon Soul weren't similar to their past selves . They no longer carry any interest in unknown territories . They only hoped to receive benefits while using others to do their work .
But as for Rhode, expansion was definitely necessary .
And he was very confident in doing so .
Rhode had a multitude of experiences in expanding territory . He knew which territory carried rich resources, had the best strategic location, and the best area to recruit . He also knew how to get rid of the chaos and awaken the sleeping Dragon Soul energy .
As long as he had a chance, Rhode would do it .
But if he wasn't able to promote his mercenary group into a guild soon, then everything would only be a nice dream .
Thus, Rhode finally decided . He focused on maxing out skills that focused on PVE so as to achieve the best results within the shortest time, because he knew that the Mercenary Association had a rule — Once a mercenary group was able to receive 150 and above points within half a year, the Mercenary Association could make an exception to promote to a guild status even before the winter season .
150 points .
That required at least a group to embark on about 50 normal missions and 30 dangerous missions .
To those average mercenary groups that were only able to complete 2 to 3 normal missions within a month, this was indeed an insurmountable moat .
But as for players that treated missions as their livelihood, it wasn't too difficult .
Of course, Rhode was very clear about the limitations since he was a player . He was already used to grinding mission after mission non-stop . But this doesn't mean that the rest would be able to keep up him . So, in order to push his men to the maximum, Rhode borrowed his experience leading a guild in the game and quickly came up with a corresponding solution .