Chapter 71:

Vol. 5 Chapter 3- Revealed Class Part 4

Hour Empty Child


The stars above seemed to create a bridge that flowed endlessly through the sky, and the two halves on each side was filled with slight nuances of purple and blue inbetween the obsidian colors.

Underneath such skies was the grassland with various trees strewn about like pebbles in the street. Kudo went off road through the grassland, getting away from the city to make sure that he doesn’t run into any problems in the place filled with troublesome laws.

After doing so, he opened the inventory screen of his Magic Bag. After replacing all his items, including his old Magic Bag, into the newer version, he never felt so organized before in his life. Kudo admits that there were times when he would forget which item he had, and he had to take out every item in the bag to find and remember it. Now that he can see their pictures by just swiping the screen, he had more than enough time.

He took out his favored Blacksmithing set, taking out his portable forge that he had used his entire adventurer career, like a faithful weapon that never breaks. He also took out his iron hammer, some pliers, and finally, the materials which were the rare ores and dropped items he picked up and saved just for this occasion.

“Now that I got my ‘ingredients’, it’s time to ‘cook’ up some equipment!” He spoke to himself, putting his fists onto his hips and grinned widely.

He sorely missed Hinota’s retort whenever he makes a bad pun.

After sighing his heart out, Kudo returned to his solemn expression.
“In order to become stronger… I need to make suitable equipment.”

He began to place the ores into the portable forge, and grabbed onto its handle with enough force to break it.

Kudo needed to make the equipment in order to survive this bout. Even if the words of the man who sent him into the spiraling abyss of darkness kept racing in his mind, when he spoke about equipment failing on you in the long run, Kudo knew that he has no strength to survive without them.

That’s why, he will create the ultimate armor to help him survive throughout the night. He has to. Kudo held in his heart a strong belief that if one needed newfound strength, one must face even more dangerous monsters than the ones he was comfortably killing before. It wasn’t to just level him up—this was so that he can train himself on handling much tougher enemies than himself.

And what’s better than the monsters that are double the levels than the ones in the day time?

He poured all of his complex emotions, including the strongest one—determination—into his portable forge, every ounce of his being into every strike of his iron hammer. He first made the armor, the heavy armor that is not too thick, and formed enough space between the joints to avoid hindering his movements.

———————————————————————————————————————
Name: Strange Armor [X] Cuirass
【Unique】

Created by a determined blacksmith. The armor is specially made with Rabacite alloy on the joints, allowing better movement despite wearing heavy armor. The armor is thinner than most, but the traits grant more defense and power over anything else.

Defense: 412, M. Defense: 328, Durability: 210/210

Requirements: [Lv-110] [STR-70]

【Traits】
{Medium Power}— Increase Total Damage +20%
{Medium Wall}— Increase Total Defense +20%
———————————————————————————————————————

It was a newly made armor that he has never made before, the inspiration drawn from the incredible armors that were on display on the revered hallways of the Valkyria mansion.

Finally, it was time to create a weapon. He needed a weapon to ensure that he can deliver a final blow. The only attacks in his arsenal are his Plus Bomb and its adjacent skill, the Plus Beam—both require time to cast and the latter would drain too much of his [MP]. That’s why he needed a strong sword to support him.

He began to forge the blade, tampering with it with his hammer. During the process, he recalls the memory of that faithful day over and over in his mind, his teeth grinding each other, his eyes furrowed while his sweat glistened in the moonlight and fell from his brow.

—*Pound!* *Pound!*

Sounds of metals clashing together resounded in the silence of the night.

After a few hours, he finally made it. His armor and his bastard sword, the same type that he started out with.

Like the heavy armor, the gauntlets, sabatons, and greaves were made the same type. His armor was thinner than usual, resembling that of a suit with blackish gray metal pads on his shoulders, and plates on his chest and back. His gauntlets covered his hands to his forearms, and his sabatons covered his feet to his forelegs.

He used the special Rabacite Ore alloy on the articulations alone, allowing his hands, arms, legs, and feet to move about with ease as if it was cloth. Though this made it easier for the monsters that target his joints, since he is a Support class type, complete heavy armor would only be a hindrance in battle.

A helmet, on the other hand, is a no go. Kudo feared that a helmet would most likely impede his eyesight—a bad situation to be in if you can’t trust the corners of your eyes. Therefore, his head remains naked, feeling the gentle breeze finally roll in through his sweat-riddled face.

Kudo, once he donned the armor, grabbed the handle of his newly-forged weapon and brought the blade upwards to view it under the moonlight.

—————————————————————————————————————
Name: Strange Machina [X]
【Ancient】

Created by a determined blacksmith. The weapon was forged with every single intense emotion he had, manufacturing it to be sharpened beyond normal standards, and receive the power capable of breaking mountains apart. The red color inside represent the core emotion the blacksmith poured his sweat and blood into.

Attack: 482, Durability: 180/180

Requirements: [Lv-110] [STR-70]

【Traits】
{High-Mid Sharp}— Increase Piercing Damage +30%
{High-Mid Power}— Increase Total Damage +20%
—————————————————————————————————————
For the first time, he created his own Ancient-Grade equipment. Usually, this requires a lot of determination and a long time’s worth of blacksmithing in order to get to this level. But Kudo was able to make it through his sheer force of will.

The Strange Machina [X]’s blade ran 150cm long, and 13cm wide. The dark-colored blade was almost his size, but it felt comfortable holding it. The blade’s shape was that, from its base of the hilt, the blade tapered to a triangular tip, and the center color of the blade had the same shape, but it was crimson red. It was as if his very being manifested into this deep shade of red…

With his equipment finally acquired, he looked above to see the luminescent moon slowly moving towards the west, indicating that his time was running short. He had to move fast.

He packed away his portable forge and supplies, and headed deeper into the vast land outside of town, his weapon holstered to his back, and his Magic Bag at the ready.

He stepped into a forested area where the tall cone-shaped trees towered over him, blocking the night sky and even the moonlight. As the area around him faded into darkness, Kudo surveyed his surroundings with alerted eyes. He could not afford to miss a single step.

Using what he learned from before, he activated his skill with a newly revamped description.

“Plus Pulse!”

He first shouted the name, and let it gather light within its hand. Then, after a few seconds, a screen popped out in front of him.

It told him a list of the buffs that he could put on. Strength Boost, Vitality Boost—every buff was a powerful version that increased the main stat instead of its simple Attack and Defense. Grinning to himself that his buff can give him all of these buffs, he wasted no time.

“All of them!”

His hands poured out the glowing white rings, expanding themselves bigger upon reaching the sky, and finally landing on top of him. He felt the invigorated feeling of his body being strengthened, though his mental fatigue increased just a little. Using every buff on him cost a lot of his [MP].

Though he was fully buffed, his chest was beating like a drum. As he walked forward, he felt some sort of blaring within the back of his mind. His head jerked behind quickly, and noticed something amiss—the air ‘moved’. Raising his brow, sweat trickling down his temple, he knew that something was there, but it wasn’t…

—*Shhrk!*

His ears perked up from the leaves’ rustling, his eyes rushed to see the culprit, but it was long gone. He knew that something was here, his teeth grinding against each other.

—*Shhk!*

“Ghh!” Kudo grunted as he felt a sharp blade scratch his armor, receiving a sharp jab to his back. He swung his blade backward to catch the lurker up front, but he swung at nothing but air. His heart raced even faster, but his mind became more alert—he knew now that he’s not alone.

Tightening his grip on his hilt, he brandishes his newly made bastard sword, the bits of moonlight creating a sheen on its blade. It reflected the moonlight and shot right at one of the tree’s branches.

Gray fur flashed in front of its light before it ran into the darkness, but despite that it disappeared, it derived a grin from Kudo.

“That would have scared me,” Kudo grinned widely, his eyes burning with spirit. “But now I know that you just like to hide!”

He knew of their weaknesses now.

He remembers these sorts of creatures from his Guidebook. They’re the kind that goes out only at night, using their ability to keep themselves hidden even in sight. However, once he knew the sort of creature he was dealing with, he remembers that if light was flashed on them, they turn visible.

His head on a swivel, he searched for the most available moonlight around. He spotted somewhere where the moonlight shines down like a spotlight in-between the leaves. He headed over there, and… he waited.

Why would he make himself known in the darkness by standing where the light shined the most? It would usually mean as a disadvantage since the monsters would know exactly where he was. If he was caught by surprise, he would wound up dead in a second.
But only if caught by surprise.

—*Shhk!*

His Sixth Sense skill blaring in his mind, he reacted by pulling the sword sideways, reflecting the moonlight on the one in front of him. For a solid second, he saw its face.

An animal with the face of a fox and a bipedal body, wearing medium armor resembling that of a ninja. The monster, known as Shafox in the guidebook, was about to slice at him with its flashing dagger.

During that moment when he flashed at the Shafox, he used the momentum and pushed himself towards the shafox. Its dagger scratched against the black sheen of his bastard sword as the shafox was pushed away. However, the shafox recovered quickly and jumped back out, once again into its invisible state…

If it weren’t for the blinding flashes on its shoulder. The Shafox jumped from tree to tree, not noticing the flashing bomb put on it during the scuffle before. As the seconds passed…

—*Boom!*

The top of the tree exploded, creating a shockwave which shook away the leaves of the surrounding trees. The explosion flashed with a blinding light, getting Kudo to notice three other shafoxes on the now naked branches.

“——《Plus Chain》!”

Remembering more of his descriptions, he shouted his skill, letting out a stream of white chains from his hands and caught all three shafoxes without their knowing. He poured in more mana into his chains, and soon, the chains slowly vanished, making themselves transparent.

His hand still wrapped in his chains, he gripped them tightly as he ran away from that spot.

As he ran, he could feel his chains being pulled, ranging from small tugs to violent jerking. It would have torn his arms off, but thanks to his training, he gained enough [STR] points to keep them in line. He sprinted as far as he could, jumping from hill to hill and over every obstacle such as rocks and trees in his path, looking up and about to find the very solution to his 3-monster problem.

■ ■ ■

Walking within the very forest, two adventurers trudged along the forest path heading to their home in the city. One of them, a brazen boy, looked back at his partner who was slowly catching up.

“Come on, Rai! Let’s just go home!”

The boy begrudgingly shouted, a sour look on his face. Under the moonlight, his tanned face was scratched up and his medium armor looked worse for wear.

“Uggh… who’s fault was it that said that we should hunt monsters at night!? Stupid Kui!”

Between her sobs, a young girl shouted her displeasure, her face and armor also tattered up from their failed hunting.

“Damn it, how am I supposed to know that they were invisible!?”

“It’s obvious we wouldn’t see well anyway because it was dark!”

Her righteous retort delivered a powerful blow to the boy’s ego, his chest stinging from her logic.

“Aggh… fine! Whatever! Let’s just go home already!”

“Ghh… this is the worst…”

Her sobs returning, she gritted her teeth and wished that this nightmare was over. Then, her sensitive ears heard rustling from her side. Without the boy looking, the girl looked to where the noise came from, fearing that it could be another monster.

But within her super strong vision, she noticed that another adventurer was running away. She also saw the three beings hidden within the darkness shifting from tree to tree to where he was.

“Oh no, it’s another adventurer!”

“So what?! He’s screwed just like we were! It’s not like we can be of much help, anyways!”

The boy without hesitation stopped caring for the adventurer’s well-being. However, the girl looked back at him with furrowed eyes.

“Stupid Kui! We should help him!”

Without waiting for the boy’s reply, the girl ran to where the adventurer headed for.

“R-Rai! Wait! …Oh, man!” The boy outstretched his hand in worry before grunting in displeasure as he ran after his troublesome partner.

■ ■ ■

As Kudo ran from the shafoxes, he spotted the very thing that could help him—a faraway tree, with a single branch that was as thick as the size of his head. Pouring in every single ounce of strength into his legs, he jumped straight up to the branch.

He arched over the branch, and at the moment of his landing, he spun forward to minimize the fall damage. Kudo heard rapid footsteps becoming louder in his ears, but all he needed to do now is to pull as hard as he can.

Kudo heaved the chains like his life depended on it—which it did—forcefully grabbing the shafoxes as their bodies swung forward, creating an undulation as they swung back and forth on the very branch he jumped over, their squeals and whimpering resounded as they begged for breath.

The reason they were near breathless was because Kudo wrapped the chains around their necks. They tried to forcefully pull off the invisible chains, but Kudo assured of his grip strength, disabling them from even moving a muscle.

His heart ablazed, his mind racing, he shouted the words from his heart, remembering the tragic day where he lost everything.

And refueling the spirit to gain everything back.

“I will… become stronger!”

Kudo invigorated himself as he pulled harder, his back facing the swinging shafoxes as he gritted his teeth. Their whimpers slowly lowered their volume…

Finally, there was nothing but silence.

—*Bleep!* His screen notified him that he has leveled up several times, the experience rolling in from defeating strong monsters of the night.
But it wasn’t enough. He needed more power. He can’t stop training.

He needs to move forward.

Kudo breathed a sigh of relief, and called off his chains. The shafoxes’ carcasses dropped to the ground creating a loud thud.

After taking the moment to dismantle their bodies for drops in a matter of minutes, he decided to look for more enemies to defeat as he walked away, getting deeper into the forest.

However, hidden in the darkness, two pairs of round green were seen. The eyes seemed to flare up in awe.

The girl could not believe that the boy managed to defeat so many shafoxes all on his own. Her two lightning-shaped bunny ears twitched in shock.

“Rai! Come on, let’s just get out of here already!”

The boy finally found the girl as he whispered to not call attention to himself. The girl was still left in awe as the boy dragged her away from the dangerous forest, and headed straight home in the city.


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