Chapter 17 — Advanced Rogue
The corpse of a snake demon could actually be sold for a considerable amount, as their body parts could be used for various things. Their skin could be used as a raw material for producing enchanted leather armor, while their hearts were popular among spellcasters. Even their blood could be used for alchemy.
However, there were few in the southern cities who would buy demonic items and materials, making it difficult to convert them into Gold or Silver Derahls. In this regard, weapons could be sold relatively easily.
Soran could not bring too many items with him anyway, and he also had to be aware of the Church. Once information regarding a snake demon leaked out, the Church would very likely investigate the case and might perform an inquisition on him.
Summoning a demon into the Mortal Realm was a serious offence for which the offender must be judged.
“Level up the profession Rogue.”
After treating his wound briefly, Soran once again levelled up his Rogue profession.
Without any health potions, he could only recover through levelling up. At the very least, the additional health points changed his status to 'Lightly Injured.'
“The profession Rogue is now Level 5.”
“Received 24 [DEX 20+ (INT 18-10)*0.5] Skill Points, HP increased by 11 [Profession HP 6+ (CON 19-10)*0.5].”
"Acquired Combat Skill 【Shadowstrike】!"
"The profession Rogue has advanced to Grade 2! You can now perform a bloodline purification ritual once."
"You may now choose a new Profession Ability!"
Soran glanced through the row of words without paying much heed.
The difference in strength between Grade 1 and Grade 2 professions was more apparent when compared to previous level ups. The former were mostly grunts and thugs who fought in the cities, while the latter were qualified to leave the city and become adventurers. Furthermore, people could acquire a new Profession Ability when promoting from Grade 1 to Grade 2.
Anyway, he assigned all the skill points to Snare.
Soran had to improve his trap detection skills, as the treasure cave had yet to be completely explored, and he did not want to get hit by those dangerous traps again.
Grade 2 rogues could pick one out of three available Profession Abilities when they were promoted from Grade 1.
Blind Fight 【Proficiency】: Rogues have adapted to fighting in darkness after lurking in the shadows for years. They are no longer limited by vision in combat and can utilize the senses of hearing and smell and even instincts while making judgements, allowing them to display considerable strength even in complete darkness. 【Evasion +1, Accuracy +1】
Martial Weapon 【Proficiency】: After prolonged training, the user can now freely use all martial weapons, including but not limited to longswords, giant swords, curved swords, crossbows, double-handed swords, spears, and flails. Furthermore, the user is now proficient with all martial weapons and can bring out the full potential of them, increasing their accuracy and damage. 【Accuracy +1, Damage +1】
Elusion 【Proficiency】: After frequent battles, rogues can now fully utilize their agility and dodge incoming attacks with unique movements irreplicable by normal people. 【Evasion +1, Reflex +1】
Soran decisively chose Martial Weapon Proficiency out of the three as he once did in the game.
It was a crucial Profession Ability not only to rogues, but basically every melee profession as it meant that the player could use almost every weapon available in case of emergencies. Additionally, it was the prerequisite for learning various basic combat skills, such as the combat skill Sword Form—Heavy Hack which required Basic Swordsmanship and Martial Weapon Proficiency.
Martial Weapon Proficiency was a Profession Ability which could be obtained automatically by warriors, but it could also be acquired through training. Despite that, Soran still chose to pick it as his promotion reward as he could not spare so much time learning a single ability.
Obtaining the ability through typical training could take up to two years as the player had to thoroughly understand the strengths, weaknesses, and usages of various weapons. In that period of time, Soran could have done many more meaningful things.
Regarding the bloodline purification ritual, that was something only available to rich people.
The ritual would awaken the latent potential of the person’s bloodline and cleanse the body of any impurities. In simple terms, the ritual would recalculate the person’s HP with a special formula, increasing it without the need to level up.
Take Soran as an example: his current maximum HP was 52. If he performed the bloodline purification ritual, his new HP would be [Profession HP 6+ (19-10)*5 + CON 19+ Base HP 10= 84HP].
It would normally take three more level ups for Soran to have that amount of HP; the ritual was simply that powerful.
Of course, it came with a price; the ritual would cost over 1000 Gold Derahls.
This type of ritual could be held once after every promotion, and the one held after promoting to a Legendary Profession was the most powerful of them. The reason was that the person would receive the special talent A Legendary Life, an ability which was the key to how melee fighters were able to solo an adult dragon.
Soran did not want to think about the bloodline purification ritual right now, as it could be held any time and only increased his HP, which was something he did not really care too much about. Furthermore, the ritual required rare materials and two basic skills, Spellcraft and Knowledge. It was not something which could be easily acquired at this stage.
Soran once had a teammate who wanted to promote from Sorcerer to Dragon Mage, and it almost took the entire team’s personal savings.
Not to mention 1000 Gold Derahls was just a conservative estimation.
With that amount of money, Soran could fully equip himself with decent equipment and double his combat strength!
At that moment, Soran’s attributes had changed.
Attributes: Strength 12, Dexterity 20 (+1), Constitution 19, Intelligence 18 (+1), Wisdom 15, Charisma 16
Alignment: Lawful Evil
Profession: Level 10 Commoner (Max)/ Level 5 Rogue (0/3000) 【Grade 2】
Health Points (HP): 52/52
Experience Points (EXP): 950 Slaughter EXP, 0 Profession EXP 【Unassigned】
Skill Points: None
Attribute Points: None
Profession Skills: Sneak 102, Steal 35, Pick Lock 45, Snare 54
Legendary Skills: Omnipotent Hands 【Sealed】(Weakened State)
Personal Abilities: Nimble Left Hand, Eidetic Memory, Perseverance
Profession Abilities: Grasp of Shadows, Martial Weapon 【Proficiency】
Combat Skills: Shadowstrike
After reaching Grade 2, the experience points required for levelling up rose drastically, but he also got the combat skill he had been waiting for: Shadowstrike.
Shadowstrike 【Combat Skill】: Rogues gradually come in touch with the powers from the Realm of Shadows, allowing them to initiate a spell-like attack by borrowing the power of shadows. Shadowstrike can also be activated along with Backstab and Assassinate, dealing 5 extra shadow damage, which ignores the target's physical defense rating. The damage dealt and the number of uses increases by 1 for every level up of the Rogue profession. (Prerequisite: Profession Ability 【Grasp of Shadows】)
It was a powerful skill.
Soran could now use Shadowstrike five times a day as he was Level 5. As long as the enemy did not have any shadow resistance, he could deal 5 extra damage that penetrated all physical defences. It was life-threatening for people with low levels as they had relatively low HP.
Grade 2 was a watershed for all professions. Wizards were no longer considered weak in combat after reaching Grade 2 as they could start learning Level 3 arcane magic, while warriors could start learning the combat skill Kai in preparation for a future profession promotion to Knight, Sword Saint, or Weaponmaster. Monks could start learning ki-empowered skills starting from Grade 2 as well; it was essential for them to learn the fundamentals regarding those skills, because they were crucial to them in the future regardless of the their choice to become either a pugilist or an ascetic monk.
In short, all professions would receive a huge buff in strength when promoted to Grade 2.
Similarly, rogues would began to specialize in different aspects starting from Grade 2 depending on the person's choice. Be it the godly thieves who could bypass any security measure and steal anything, the lurkers who specialized in concealed movements, or the assassins who focused on assassinating others, they all had to start carefully considering points spent to best match their playstyle.
Soran did not plan to promote into any of the three classes in the near future though. Apart from the harsh requirements, the promotion cost of 5000 Slaughter EXP was not something he could currently afford. Originally, NPCs had to go through lengthy training before they could be promoted to the more advanced professions. While Soran could bypass this procedure, he had to compensate with Slaughter EXP (Soul Energy).
In fact, promoting was not always a good thing. Godly thieves had low combat prowess, lurkers lacked abilities which could deal high damage in a short period of time, and assassins excelled at damage dealing but were lacking in other aspects.
In terms of survivability, Rogue was still the best option for Soran right now. At the very least, the basic profession was still better before he could get his hands on a dozen or so Personal Abilities.
Of course, one would be powerful regardless of his profession if he had tens of Personal Abilities, Profession Abilities, or Gifted Abilities. For example, a person with abilities such as Hand-to-Hand Combat 【Grandmaster】, One-Inch Punch 【Legendary】, Blind Fight 【Legendary】, Extreme Sixth Sense, and Danger Sense 【Legendary】could wipe out an entire army while running around naked like a madman.
Profession level was just one of the aspects which contributed to true strength after all.
What mattered the most during a battle of life and death was your overall strength. Not just your level, but also your attributes, skills, and abilities. As stated in the Cannikin Law, the capacity of a wooden bucket was determined by the length of the shortest plank.
That was what determined if one could reach the apex or not.
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