Never Die Extra - Chapter 25
Chapter 25 – Evan D. Sherden, Growing Up (4)
Evan D. Sherden, Growing Up (4)
‘This is a punishment from God himself for me being foolish enough to solve everything using artifacts.’?Evan thought as he kept thinking about the previous year when he had been practicing slime crushing without any artifacts. It was hard to accept, so Evan began to think of it this way.
If he wasn’t able to think like he currently could, he could never have been able to justify what had happened to him. He couldn’t bring to convince himself that dreams could shatter so exquisitely!
‘As I came to know that Miraseul’s necklace was a growth type artifact, so I kept thinking about the possibility that the level of the slime being summoned would rise in the future.’?It was his mistake to think that it would be so easy to increase strength by wearing artifacts. What he needed right now was not equipment, but technique!
He knew that if you leveled up and kept adding artifacts and skills to your status without their proper knowledge, the game got so crazy and chaotic later that he had to hit game over, as he had experienced many times in his previous life.
‘Killing the slimes using an artifact? Of course, such a temporary solution was possible, but it was only helpful for the time being. One day, when the slime level increases as the necklace evolves, I will face the same situation as I am currently in.’
This was not a problem that could be solved by slightly increasing his level of existence. If he had to continue slime training, he had to revert to training manually like before and abandon the use of artifacts.
‘Now….it’s time that I need to learn ‘skills’ as well. Okay then, let’s learn them.’
In fact, if it was just about level breakthrough, there was something that he had been thinking about for quite some time. However, several problems with it made him hesitate.
This method was triggered by a bug in the game, so was it really possible here? Could he really maintain his identity as Evan D. Sherden while doing it? Could this world in which he was living even be compared to the game that he played in his previous life?
‘But for now… let’s stop worrying about that.’?Evan shook his head as he recalled the images of Shine and Belois, who were happy to safely achieve what they wanted, without any doubt, through the cross-contact of the artifacts.?‘I’m just worrying for nothing. Nobody cares. This phenomenon can also be recognized by the perspective of someone who already knows about it only.’
And didn’t Shine already say it before that everything Evan did, looked strange. So, it was okay.
Now that he thought about it, from the moment when he had acquired the Miraseul’s necklace from the Marquis for slime training… No, even before that, when he had woken up in this world with all his past memories, all the things that Evan had been doing were strange by the standards of the people of this world.
It was now just a matter of how weird it was, which was why Evan was reluctant to do it. Then he realized that he didn’t need to hesitate at all.
‘Let’s start using everything that I can use. In fact, I’m already doing that, so let’s use it even more in the future more actively. To the extent that people around me are surprised constantly… On second thought, let’s make use of everything that I have knowledge of without being noticed.’
“Phew.” Evan took a deep breath and clenched his fists. The skill which he had decided to learn now wasn’t exactly a new one, because he already knew about it. That was a bit weird, too, because this skill was already memorized by everyone who was born in this world.
It consisted of a desperate blow at the enemy’s weakness, which broke his defenses entirely and at once. This skill was the last weapon of every creature in this world. All the players of the Yo-Ma Great War series knew about it.
It was called the ‘finishing blow’.
‘At first, it was thought players could only use the finishing blow to finish the enemy until Yo-Ma Great War 2 came out. After a long time, a trick was discovered by chance.’
What was he talking about? It was a finishing blow, so it was just natural that it would be used at the end of the battle. But that wasn’t it! The ‘finishing blow’, which was known to be used only when the enemy was in a moribund state, could also be used under special conditions.
‘Of course, it’s very tricky to activate.’ In fact, Evan had nothing to do other than learning and sleeping. It was just a simple trick in a situation with some conditions to be met first. However, the difficult thing was getting used to it. It was so difficult to learn that those who actually did and those who didn’t, often rated the difficulty of Yo-Mo Great War 3 differently.
‘I miss the time when I struggled to learn it. I also died a lot while learning it.’
The battle was over even before it began! Everyone could feel the overwhelming power of this blow. Instead of giving it a long name, it was simply called the ‘finishing blow’ by the players in his past life. It didn’t even require that much magical power but produced results more absurd than a skill which actually did.
‘The first condition that must be met to use this method is that there shouldn’t be a vast gap between my target’s level and my own existence level.’
This condition was satisfied already. Although the slime being summoned had leveled up, Evan was still able to kill them in one second, so the gap between the two could easily be overcome.
‘The second condition is that I should have high attacking power without wearing a weapon.’
Evan didn’t know why these conditions were necessary. In the case when a weapon was wielded, the attack power released landed a normal finishing blow. But maybe it was due to the fact that the bug was more prone to be activated when the weapon was missing.
Anyway, this was also cleared because the gloves that he wore were not even treated as a weapon in the game like others! They only made the attacks performed by bare-hands stronger. It was still a vicious artifact!
‘The third condition is that the opponent’s stamina should be full.’
Of course, this condition was also satisfied as the summoned slimes were in perfect condition when they appeared.
‘The fourth condition is that I should not be discovered by the opponent.’
This was where it got difficult. While fighting an opponent, how did you even make it impossible for yourself to remain undiscovered by him?
Surprisingly this was also possible. You could hide your traces during the battle with a specific item or skill. It was also possible to end the battle by putting the monster in multiple special states.
It was a job with high agility requirements, such as that of a thief. It was plausible to sneak a surprise attack and land a blow. And if you frequently struck and succeeded in this effort, you gained a passive skill ‘surprise’. If you had it, the attack power during a sneak attack was amplified.
It was a skill Evan wanted to have.
Anyway, he could also meet this requirement. He had to kill the slime after they were summoned before they even began to become aware of him. He had to perfectly match the timing of the slime summoning and fist clenching. It was hard, but he had to do it.
‘The last condition is…. I should be in an abnormal state.’
In the game, this condition was most difficult to satisfy. State abnormality was basically a burden on the player. However, this was not a method that could be used without taking on this burden. This was the condition which invited danger and death at any mishap.
That was why it was also recognized as a criterion for separating the weak guys. You had to be really good at playing the Yo-Ma Great War series to enjoy the breathtaking possibilities of this ‘finishing blow’ and bring destruction upon the monsters.
“Did you call me, Master?” However, if this last condition could be achieved by Evans’ poison resistance training, it would be easy to solve.
“Please get me a little bit of poisonous tea.”
“…Okay, Master.” Maybell usually hated when Evan drank the poisonous tea. But she couldn’t dare to stop him even after he got furious and frustrated.
She mixed the tea quietly and poured half of the brew into a cup. Evan kept his eyes open while smelling the poisonous scent of the tea. Then he put the cup to his lips and drank.
“Whoa…. This feels good.”
The poison first circulated in his body, and then its medicinal properties erased the poisonous effects. Obviously, the toxicity appeared and disappeared repeatedly, but he was now in an abnormal state. But this wasn’t enough.
‘It was difficult enough to meet the requirements, the actual trick was even tougher.’
The way to activate the blow was simple. You had to cancel a normal attack on the enemy, to force the ’finishing blow’ to activate. If the normal attack was performed by ‘button C’ and the finishing blow was performed by ‘button Z’? then, exactly the moment ‘button C’ was pressed, you had to press ‘ button Z’ with a tremendous force.
‘It’s really hard not fail. Moreover, how should I do it in this world? What general attack should I cancel?’
“Maybe it’s a kick…”
“The kick, Master?
“Oh. The two-handed movement cannot be canceled. So I have to cancel a kick.” Evan stretched his muscles. He had to stop moving while clenching his fists instantly. Moreover, he had to match the time to the slimes’ summoning too.
“I don’t know what you mean, Master, but it will definitely work! Because you are a genius!” Maybell cheered.
Evan laughed at Maybell’s words and clenched his fists tightly. He was already used to the people around him, warming up to him indefinitely. Despite that, he felt confident every time someone motivated him. When they did, Evan felt like nothing was impossible.
“Thank you, Maybell. Then I’ll start practicing.”
“I’ll stay here with you for a while, Master!”
“No, you will go and attend to your duties now.”
“But I have already finished all my work!”
After expelling Maybell, Evan retook a deep breath, after noticing the efficacy of the tea.
He was to continue this in his everyday routine along with slime training. If he could not properly control his foot movement or there was any delay in the motion, then it would be a failure.
He had to cancel the kick, and quickly clasp his hands, to pop the slime the moment it was summoned. He had to repeat this sequence of actions for his training to be successful.
‘Let’s start then!’ Evan put energy in his left knee and kicked. He tried to cancel this action while the slime was being summoned and then quickly clenched his hands!
“Ahhhh!” His muscles twisted, and he rolled all over the place. It was a terrible failure. This was because Evan thought he had canceled the motion of the kick properly, but he was wrong.
‘Will this really work?’ The theory was perfect. Shine’s double swordsmanship had already confirmed that the concept of motion cancellation existed in this world. However, canceling one action and casting another at the same time was a different story
“No, I can do it. I have to… Ahhhh!’
Evan, the indomitable boy, did not stop and as a result of this challenge, he screamed and rolled over the floor, again and again. However, since Evan’s strange behavior was well known around the mansion, the servants and the maids who heard his screams thought, ‘Master Evan has started doing something new.’
Since the day Evan had started slime training and physical training, this was the first time he had to suffer from leg muscle pain. But he still didn’t rest at all. He even started using mana potion, which he couldn’t easily consume because it was extremely expensive, and he couldn’t have been able to drink if it hadn’t been for the success of the Brotherhood Pharmacy.
All through the next several days, his groaning loudly echoed throughout the mansion. Worried about what he was doing, even the Marquis’s wife wanted to meet him, bet he refused to let anyone visit him and devoted himself to training.
Why was he doing this? Should he really work this hard to learn the method? Given his father’s authority, wouldn’t it have been better for him to just use artifacts to get stronger? Countless questions and temptations tried to overcome Evan, but he drove all of them out of his mind.
‘I shouldn’t compromise my training anymore. I should do whatever that needs to be done…!’
One more night passed, and the morning came with Evan’s tenth birthday. When he had stopped groaning, everyone gathered in front of his room, worried.
“Evan, Evan! Are you okay? Please open the door!” The moment the Marquis’s wife knocked on the door, it swung open as if by a ghost. Evan emerged from it. The Marquis’s wife was momentarily startled at the intangible power in the gaze from his son.
“Are you really okay, Evan?”
People flocked around him. Evan looked at everyone and smiled faintly. Of course, he cursed himself for smiling right afterward.
“I’m fine,” he declared with a confident expression. “And I’ll be finer in the future.”
Evan had turned ten that day.