Chapter 53 — Curved Sword Mastery!
Soran put out the bonfire with a kick, then sat down and began to assign the newly acquired Ability Point and Weapon Point. Warriors would obtain their Weapon Point earlier and would also receive another before they could continue into advanced professions, but rogues were different; they would only get their first Weapon Point at Level 6, and the next one would only be obtained at Level 12. Weapon Points were almost the same as Ability Points, except that they could only be used to increase one's proficiency in weapons. Similar to other assignable points, it also took some skill to assign Weapon Points appropriately.
Soran was exceedingly familiar with how to become stronger as a rogue, but he was considering a different path than the one he used back in the game because of his ability, Omnipotent Hands. Even though it was in a sealed state, it did not change the fact that it was a passive skill. It was an ability usually obtained by Legendary Rogues through training. Having this ability was equivalent to having the ability Weapon Focus, the advanced version of Weapon Proficiency, for every weapon.
Those with melee professions had to increase their proficiency with weapons step by step. The most basic abilities were Basic Weapon Proficiency, Martial Weapon Proficiency, and Exotic Weapon Proficiency, which allowed the ability bearer to use the specified weapons or weapon types without any penalties. The next grade above Weapon Proficiency was Weapon Focus. Close combat spellcasters, however, could only obtain the ability Weapon Focus for specific weapons. Priests could only get the ability for warhammer, morningstar, and flail, while druids were limited to the weapons quarterstaff, sickle, and club.
To further improve one’s weapon proficiency, one could not dabble in a wide range of weapons, but instead had to focus on a specific one which was the most suitable for their playstyle. The next grade above Weapon Focus was Weapon Specialization. Every other profession had to train in the specific weapon chosen, while Warriors would get the ability Martial Weapon Specialization after picking an advanced profession of Warrior.
Soran, of course, would choose to specialize in curved swords.
"Weapon Specialization (Curved Sword): As you fight more and more with curved swords, you become skilled at using the weapon. Your proficiency with the weapon is ranked among the top two to five percent of all curved sword users; even plenty of drows, the main users of curved swords, are lacking when compared to your capacity for the weapon. You understand its strengths, allowing your attacks to land more easily and deal higher damage. Accuracy +2, Damage +2."
The next level of weapon proficiency was Weapon Mastery, which could only be obtained after acquiring Weapon Specialization. Warriors who did not multiprofession could learn Martial Weapon Mastery through simply leveling up, allowing them to advance into weaponmasters or sword saints. After advancing into one of the two, they could obtain Weapon Grand Mastery for a specific weapon. Other professions, on the other hand, could not reach Martial Weapon Mastery as they rarely fought with a wide range of weapons. They could only pursue proficiency in one specific weapon, for which Soran would definitely choose curved swords.
The highest level of proficiency one could normally achieve for multiple weapons, though, was Weapon Mastery. Furthermore, Martial Weapon Mastery was almost exclusive to warriors as they could learn the skill naturally, while other professions had to manually train in all martial weapons to the level of mastery. If they had so much time, they might as well spend the time training other skills and abilities instead of trying to become masters of weapons that they probably would not use anyway.
Some warriors would learn Martial Weapon Proficiency at Level 1, Martial Weapon Focus at Level 3, Martial Weapon Specialization at Level 6, and Martial Weapon Mastery at Level 9. They would only then start learning other abilities and finally obtain Weapon Grand Mastery for their weapon of choice through becoming sword saints or weaponmasters. Finally, the highest tier of weapon proficiency was Legendary Weapon Master; sword saints and weaponmasters would usually obtain the ability at Level 15.
This was not without its drawbacks. Warriors who focused on increasing their weapon proficiency were compromising other abilities, such as Armor Proficiency, Shield Block, and Weapon Parry. When wearing full plate armor, their mobility and flexibility would be poor as compared to their counterparts who had Armor Proficiency. If they did become weaponmasters, they would then be restricted to wearing medium armor. Anything more than that, such as heavy armor or full plate armor, would cause their combat prowess to be drastically lowered. Their proficiency in using shields was also not as high as other warriors. Even more extreme were those who chose the path of becoming sword saints, who would completely forsake defence, which was one of their major weaknesses.
This was the popular "Fury Warrior" build back in the game.
Soran had the ability Omnipotent Hands; even though it was currently in a sealed state, he still had the ability, though he could not utilise the benefits of it. In other words, Soran had Basic Weapon Focus, Martial Weapon Focus, and Exotic Weapon Focus, but all were in sealed states, thus the effects of the skills were not active. Even so, it did not mean they were completely useless; they could be used for satisfying the prerequisites for other skills.
It was just a guess, so Soran held his breath in anticipation when checking if he could advance his weapon proficiency with using curved swords.
Seeing the option to learn Weapon Specialization (Curved Sword), Soran was exhilarated and immediately chose it. His hypothesis was right on the mark; the sealed ability satisfied the prerequisites for learning Weapon Specialization.
Advance into Weapon Specialization (Curved Sword)!
The options to choose Weapon Specialization for other weapons disappeared immediately, and a new ability appeared on the list of obtainable abilities: Weapon Mastery (Curved Sword).
Unlike mastering a wide range of weapons, getting Weapon Mastery for a single weapon was relatively simple. The prerequisites of the ability were Weapon Proficiency, Weapon Focus, and Weapon Specialization in that specific weapon type; as long as they met the requirements, they would immediately get Weapon Mastery for that weapon. This explained why Soran could get Weapon Mastery (Curved Sword) earlier than warriors would get Martial Weapon Mastery.
"Weapon Mastery (Curved Sword): You are now a master at using curved swords, able to use them like extensions of your arms. Your proficiency with them is now ranked within the top two percent of all curved sword users. If people wish to learn from you, you can even set up a dojo in cities to teach the way of the curved sword. Accuracy +3, Damage +3, Attack Speed +1."
Hot damn! I actually got Weapon Mastery for curved swords!
Soran could not help but grin widely; he could not believe he managed to learn Weapon Mastery at Level 6.
Placing his hand on the hilt of his curved sword, Soran kicked a log into the air and unsheathed the weapon, the blade producing flashes in the air. His speed was a lot faster than before; he could even feel his sword cutting through the air and the entirety of his power transfering to the log at the moment of contact. The curved sword was almost like a part of his body. He simply knew how to bring out the full power of the weapon and how to focus all his strength at the right moment.
The log dropped back to the ground, splitting into four pieces from the horizontal and vertical slashes.
"As expected, lower tiers of weapon proficiency are simply incomparable to Weapon Mastery."
Soran slowly sheathed his curved sword. Even though the slashes he performed just now seemed simple, those who actually wielded weapons would understand how much power, speed, and accuracy were required to perform such strikes.
Professional boxers could punch seven to ten times in a second, while Mike Tyson could punch up to twelve times. However, these punches focused more on speed instead of power. Even Mike Tyson could only punch three or four times in a second if he had to bring out his full strength in every one of the punches. From this perspective, Mike Tyson could be said to be similar to Level 6 monks; their attributes and bare-handed attacking speed had little difference between them, just that monks would have slightly higher Wisdom, while Mike Tyson would have slightly higher Strength. Master martial artists who trained in speed and strength would be able to reach this level as well.
As compared to using bare fists, attacking with weapons was obviously slower. In terms of stats, the base attack speed of using bare fists was at least 1 point higher than using weapons. If Soran trained in bare-handed combat instead, he could punch at least four times in a second with his full strength, given his current attributes. This meant that, apart from Strength, his attributes would be better than Mike Tyson’s.
Many players liked to create character sheets for iconic historical figures. One of the most well known ones was Bruce Lee; his character sheet was Level 7 Monk/ Level 1 Fist Master. Disregarding their ki energy, the attack speed and attributes of monks and Bruce Lee were similar, thus their explosive power in combat should be comparable as well.
"Bruce Lee 【Human】 (Grade 2)
Challenge Rating: Level 5 (Profession Levels: Level 7 Monk/Level 1 Fist Master); Dangerous Target
Attribute Estimation: Strength 17, Dexterity 18, Constitution 16, Intelligence 11, Wisdom 16, Charisma 15
Special Abilities: Bare-handed Combat Mastery, One-inch Punch Mastery, Nunchaku Mastery, Powerful Roundhouse Kick, Powerful Side Kick, Danger Sense, Mobile"
Bruce Lee was one of the few people from Earth who was almost Grade 3. Due to the limitations on Earthlings, their attributes and abilities were a lot lower as compared to the characters in-game. People from Earth did not have convenient abilities and skills such as increased vitality and regeneration rate; their maximum HP was roughly 20. A mere Level 5 warrior would be able to easily decimate normal people on Earth; after all, the number of legendary fighters who could reach the level of Bruce Lee and Mike Tyson could be counted with both hands even when there were billions of people.
Those with Grade 3 professions were already among the realm of the supernatural from the perspective of Earthlings; the two simply could not be compared.
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