Chapter 3: The First BOSS

The Slime missed its attack and was about to launch another one. Blue Maple began to shift back diagonally to his right as he tried to distance himself to evade another attack.

All monsters in the Newbie Village had faster attack speeds than players did, and even Level 10 Newbies leaving Newbie Village wouldn’t attack more quickly than low-rank monsters like Slimes. Therefore, the Slime would always attack him before he could strike again.

Indeed, the Slime started attacking again. Blue Maple took a step back before this, so he had sufficient response time. The Slime’s huge mouth clamped down toward his calf, and he immediately pulled his leg back before he plunged his metal sword into the Slime’s head. He managed to damage the monster, and stopped it in its tracks.

But that was just a momentary pause because he wasn’t strong enough, and couldn’t pin the Slime to the ground.

The Slime struggled vigorously after a moment’s pause before it broke free and started attacking him again. This time, the Slime leapt into the air as it went for his thigh...

Blue Maple didn’t panic despite what was happening. Instead, he was slightly pleased as he believed jumping into the sky was an idiotic move. The reason was because the Slime couldn’t change direction or evade in the air, and Blue Maple could slash and hack at the Slime however he wanted.

His eyes suddenly froze.

He stared at the Slime which was about to bite onto his thigh as he sidestepped it while it couldn’t change its direction in midair. He hacked down at the Slime’s head as heavily as he could with his old sword.

Bam! The Slime slammed to the ground.

A STUNNED status sign appeared above the Slime’s head. Games which were half-real and half-virtual were like this. Even though Blue Maple didn’t have any abilities which could stun, the game would judge according to what was happening whether the damage was enough to stun something. Apparently, this was such a situation.

The Slime took damage from crashing to the ground, but it only 11 damage, in addition to Blue Maple’s attack.

What a difficult fight. Fortunately, I haven’t taken damage yet. Even though I can’t predict its attacks, I have sufficiently quick reactions. I am also smart enough to take advantage of the monsters’ lack of intelligence, Blue Maple thought to himself as he shifted behind the stunned Slime as quickly as he could.

The Slime recovered from its Stunned status just as he shifted behind it. Blue Maple attacked the Slime from behind, and a -4 damage sign appeared above the Slime’s head. It was clear that attacking the Slime from behind was much more effective.

According to the game’s introduction, attacking monsters from behind would give additional attack damage because monsters’ rear defenses weren’t as strong as their frontal defenses. If Blue Maple had been a Thief, his additional attack damage would have been even higher, but backstabbing didn’t give a fixed amount of additional damage.

This game was half-based in reality, so any additional damage had to depend on the situation. Of course, anything based in reality wouldn’t have an overly substantial share, as this was a game, after all. Calculating damage points and whatnot had to be based mainly on the game, while other circumstances only needed to be partly accurate.

The Slime turned around to retaliate after Blue Maple’s attack, but he had already retreated after his strike. The Slime missed another attack, and when it tried to attack again, an almost identical situation as before occurred.

This duel continued for over a minute before the Slime was disgracefully dispatched...

The reason why this duel was a disgrace for the Slime was because the Slime didn’t damage Blue Maple from the beginning to the end...

The game seems rather simple. There isn’t much difficulty at all. If Newbie Village’s monsters are all like that… then I don’t think I’ll be hit at all before leaving Newbie Village. Then, am I still human?

The corner of Blue Maple’s mouth curved into a smile as he watched two bronze coins pop out from the Slime’s carcass.

He picked up those without saying a word as he continued down the path to search for his next target…

The truth was, Blue Maple wasn’t trying to fuel his own ego. Under current technological standards, every individual had to take all kinds of tests, and their data would be logged into a global database. This made it easier for nations to search for all kinds of talents.

Blue Maple held a record that made many both surprised and helpless: he was number one in the world for reaction time!

He was the first among one billion people! His reaction speed could be said to be inhuman!

Of course, there were other individuals with extraordinary sight or hearing, and others who surpassed others in particular areas. These people would be employed by governments, or would be nurtured by families or organizations in secret...

Such people did exist in ancient times, but they just weren’t tested holistically. Otherwise, even more extraordinary people could have been discovered.

Blue Maple was still a youth back then, and he was almost dragged away for scientific study. However, he disappeared into thin air after that test, and nobody could find him.

Everyone believed that some nation had secretly taken him away, because the area where Blue Maple took his test was a city in a lawless region that no country ruled over. It was hard to point a finger at any country, and people eventually forgot about that incident.

But nobody knew the reason why Blue Maple wasn’t discovered after entering the game...

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Blue Maple quickly found the next Slime, and he readjusted himself before directly attacking once more. The outcome was almost identical to before, and he killed the Slime without taking any damage at all.

Doesn’t seem like there’s anyone around.

Blue Maple realized something strange after killing the second Slime, even though he found that fact rather pleasing.

What he realized was that nobody seemed to be around inside Newbie Village. Even though he watched many white light beams descend from the sky when he first entered the game, he didn’t see anyone land in front of him afterwards. He only saw a few people at the village entrance.

Even though he enjoyed a quiet and peaceful environment, he knew that things shouldn’t be like this. He knew, after reading books regarding online gaming, that servers would overload with players when they opened. Situations would arise where players would compete with each other to kill monsters after exiting the village, but nothing of the sort was happening here...

I don’t understand.

Forget it. There are people in Newbie Village after all, so this shouldn’t be a system error. It’s… pretty good like this. Perhaps, everyone has just landed in different locations and I just didn’t see them, Blue Maple thought to himself as he continued killing Slimes.

At this moment, players in every corner of the game’s virtual map were crying out in different ways...

“Fuck, what’s happening? Why is Newbie Village so squeezy? Fuck, that bastard is stepping over me again!”

“Eh? Why am I in a Town City? Shouldn’t I be at Newbie Village? Uh… all the monsters outside this Town City seem to be more than Rank 10. How… how do I level up?”

“Uh… What is happening? Why isn’t there anybody in the village? Why is this place so eerie? What is that floating outside the village? Can it be that?”

“Where is the system programmer? Can someone explain what’s going on?”

“Why isn’t there a form or an official website? Where are the system announcements? There’s nothing at all. Shit!”

Blue Maple didn’t know what was happening in other regions, but even if he did, he probably wouldn’t respond with anything more than a grunt before he continued killing his own monsters. They had nothing to do with him anyway, and he was basically indifferent to those matters.

He continued hacking away at Slimes, and finally completed his quest of killing twenty Slimes after more than half an hour, while he had also leveled up to Level 3. He added all his attribute points to Strength. Even though Newbie Swordsmen should add three into Strength and two into Agility, Blue Maple felt that Agility was temporarily useless for him.

Every living being had innate attributes, which were: Strength, Agility, Intelligence, Endurance, and Toughness.

Strength mainly affected physical attacks, and it also affected physical resistance to a certain extent.

Agility mainly affected players’ speed, which included movement speed, attack speed, speed of using items, and whatnot. Agility also affected evasion and critical rate, among other attributes.

Intelligence mainly affected players’ magic attacks, and it also affected their magic defense. At the same time, Intelligence also affected players’ mana pool and mana regeneration.

Endurance mainly boosted players’ hit points, and it also affected hit point regeneration and other related attributes. It also weakly boosted physical and magic defense. (Endurance would boost physical attributes for physical-type classes, while Endurance boosted magic defense for magic-type classes.)

Toughness mainly boosted players’ defense points, and boosted magic or physical defense depending on the player’s class. It would boost status resistance according to the player’s Strength, Intelligence, and Endurance. Status resistance reduced the duration of stuns and whatnot.

Every player would automatically receive one attribute point for every attribute with every level, and would obtain five attribute points that they could freely allocate. The system was designed in this fashion to prevent players from putting too many points into one attribute, which could lead to severe imbalances in the later stages of the game. This was especially true for Wizards who put all their attribute points into Intelligence, which would result in slow movement speeds, hit points, and severe problems with their defense.

There was a rumor that everyone possessed a hidden attribute: spiritual power. This attribute was different for every class, and seemed to present itself when dealing with spiritual attacks. However, magic classes had higher spiritual power than physical classes. Perhaps, the system was designed in such a fashion to make up for how the five main attributes were skewed in favor of physical classes.

Blue Maple had just reached Level 3, and was thinking of a problem that no other players had considered...

Should I return to the village to claim my quest before taking a new one, or should I kill monsters until I reach Level 10 before going to town? I’m not expending anything anyway.

He would obtain more experience one way, and he could save time killing monsters the other way. Which way was faster?

Forget it. I just need to make sure that I can catch up with the average level. I’m muddling through my five years anyway, so I should choose what I like to do. I’ll just kill some monsters outside. Running around seems relatively troublesome.

Just as Blue Maple was making up his mind, rustling sounds could be heard from some vegetation beside him.

A player? That’s not possible. That must be a monster! Blue Maple hesitated for a moment before his eyes turned serious.

He was the first to run out of Newbie Village, and had been walking away from Newbie Village throughout his entire journey. No other player had caught up with him, because there wouldn’t be many players who could kill monsters as quickly as he could.

Blue Maple took a few steps back before he got into his fighting stance.

A creature that was almost half as tall as a human came out from the bushes!

It was a green and hairy Slime, but this Slime clearly wasn’t just a normal one. It was much larger than normal Slimes, and there was a title above its head that explained everything: Slime King!

[Slime King] (Rank 4 Normal BOSS)

Attack: 11-13

Defense: 5-7

HP: 500

Introduction: The king of all low-ranked Slimes living in a particular area. It has a particularly bad temper, and will attack humans on sight.

A boss? I’m not sure if I can continue fighting without losing any hit points. I’m eager for this battle. My first boss… The corner of Blue Maple’s mouth curved into an excited smile, and his cold look from before wasn’t so evident anymore…

This boss truly left Blue Maple… fascinated...

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