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A note from TheFirstDefier

From this point forward there are some small edits to how I display the status screen. This is simply me trying to make the information clearer and not a change in the story itself. 

I also saw that there was a huge bruhaha about how the high tier titles worked. Explanation and some context below:

Spoiler: Spoiler

Finally done with the imprinting process Zac checked out the status screen.

Name

Zachary Atwood

Level

25

Class

[F-Epic] Undying Bulwark

Race

[E] Draugr

Alignment

[Earth] Port Atwood - Lord

   

Titles

Born for Carnage, Ultimate Reaper, Luck of the Draw, Giantsbane, Disciple of David, Overpowered, Slayer of Leviathans, Adventurer, Demon Slayer I, Full of Class, Rarified Being, Trailblazer, Child of Dao, The Big 500, Planetary Aegis, One Against Many, Butcher, Progenitor Hegemon, Duplicity Core, Apex Hunter, Heaven's Chosen

Dao

Seed of Heaviness - Middle, Seed of Trees - High, Seed of Sharpness - Early

Core

[F] Duplicity

   

Strength

352 [Efficiency: 116%]

Dexterity

200 [Efficiency 116%]

Endurance

284 [Efficiency 116%]

Vitality

202 [Efficiency 116%]

Intelligence

90 [Efficiency 116%]

Wisdom

85 [Efficiency 116%]

Luck

93 [Efficiency 116%]

   

Free Points

0

Nexus Coins

[F] 22 508 653

 

It was clear that his survivability had increased quite a bit due to the increase in Endurance and Vitality. But what he found a bit surprising was that his attribute effectiveness had increased by 6%. A quick look at his list of titles showed that there could only be two reasons.

He was a bit disappointed that there didn’t seem to be a title for gaining dual classes, but he soon understood a likely reason to this. His core-title had changed name and was now called Duplicity Core instead. He quickly opened it up to see if anything else had changed about it.

[Duplicity Core: Successfully form a Duplicity Core Core. Reward: Strength +5%, Endurance +5%.]

It looked like he had been wrong in his assumptions earlier. The reason question marks were remaining earlier was that he still hadn’t received a second class to imprint on the core. Each reward corresponded to the main attribute of one of his classes, and there was nothing to reward until he had both of them.

[Heaven's Chosen: Attain highest possible tier of class. Reward: Effect of Attributes +5%]

The second title was the reason for his increased attribute effectiveness. Zac knew that Epic wasn’t the highest grade there is, as there are multiple higher grades above it. The title rather meant that Epic truly was the highest possible tier for an F-ranked Class.

Bulwark Mastery (Class): Mastery is born through battle. Block 5000 strikes. Reward: Bulwark Mastery Skill (0/5000).

Deathwish (Class): The body is but another shield. Receive 5000 strikes. Reward: Deathwish Skill (0/5000).

Fields of Despair (Class): Draw the ire of at least 1000 enemies at once. Reward: Fields of Despair (0/1).

The next thing Zac checked out was the skill quests to see how hard they would be to accomplish. He could only blankly stare at the first two ones. He should have figured that the skills for a tank Class would mean getting hit. At first glance he thought the first two could be solved simultaneously, but he soon realized that might not be the case.

While the quest mission for [Deathwish] might look like it could be accomplished while doing the first one, he believed that he would actually have to go get hit with his body. In any case, it looked like he would need to recruit some people to beat him up.

He felt the last one would be the easiest. Had he gotten this class before hatchetman he would have had a huge problem completing it, but by now it was only a matter of jumping over to the Undead Incursion. That brought up the question of whether the undead would even attack him while in this form though. But if he started to kill a bunch of Zombies they should retaliate.

In any case, Zac felt that he would be able to complete all of the quests in less than a day, as long as he got enough people to hit him simultaneously. He wanted to try it out immediately and headed over to his sister’s courtyard.

It was still around 4 am, so Zac assumed she still would be at home asleep. But to his surprise he found her meditating while facing the sunrise. Zac remembered how annoying it was to get interrupted in the middle of attaining insights into the Dao, so he silently sat down behind her and waited.

He soon closed his eyes as well, starting to meditate on the Dao. He had gained an idea while hunting at Mystic Island. He had been wondering just what that weird attack from the tiger had been until he realized it was a coarse mimicry of the dimensional tears.

The beast had likely been lying on its hill and observed the dimensional scars in the field for months until it finally gained some insight into it. That in of itself was an extremely impressive task, as the Dao of Space was one of the highest concepts according to Ogras.

Zac had felt that if a dumb beast could do it, then so could he. That’s why it took a whole day before he left the island. Most of it had been sitting and observing the everchanging cracks.

They were a truly fickle and random force of nature, popping up without rhyme or reason. Wherever they showed up space was simply separated, and anything that was there before was cut into two. Zac didn’t hold any hope in actually comprehending the concept of a void edge for his Dao of Sharpness, but something simpler.

It was the randomness and instantaneous speed with which the cracks appeared. He felt that speed was an important aspect of sharpness. If he moved extremely slowly he wouldn’t be able to cut a blade of grass with his axe, but if he swung his arm as quickly as possible he could cut a small hill in two without harming his edge.

Sharpness through speed. His blade would be like the dimensional tears, where his enemies would be cut in two before they knew they were attacked. This was the concept he kept pondering on as he waited for his sister to finish her morning meditation.

“Shit!” Zac suddenly heard after an hour or so, making him open his eyes.

Kenzie stared at him aghast with her hand over her heart.

“You scared the crap out of me, why did you sneak up here like that?” she said with a glare.

“Sorry, I didn’t want to disturb your meditation,” Zac answered a bit awkwardly. “I’ll make it up to you, go ahead and hit me.”

“I’m not going to hit you,” Kenzie said with a roll of her eyes. “Going by what a blockhead you are I’d just hurt my hands.”

Zac only smiled a bit, and then showed her the quest window for [Deathwish].

“This is a one time offer,” Zac said.

“What a weird quest. Just what kind of class did you get?” Kenzie asked with her brows rising.

“Well, it’s an endurance-based quest to help with my survivability. Most of the quests seem to be centered around getting hit,” Zac explained with a sigh.

A tinge of something flashed in Kenzie's eyes before she reined it in.

“Well, I am a mage so I can’t punch you. My hands would break long before I hit you 5000 times. Would spells work?” she asked, starting to look a bit excited.

“Well, I’m not sur-“ Zac said, but didn’t get further before a fireball slammed into his chest.

Zac grunted and took a step backward by reflex, but he wasn’t actually hurt. It was clear there was no real power in the strike.

“Well?” Kenzie asked with a wide smile.

Zac threw his sister a glare before opening up his quest screen again. But to his disappointment the quest was still at 0/5000.

“Didn’t Work,” Zac said with a frown, taking out the club he used for non-lethal confrontations. “Try with this instead.”

His sister didn’t say anything, but her mouth curved even further upward as she accepted the club. She swung the bat at his chest like she was trying to hit a home run, but even that had no effect on the quest, as the progress was still at 0.

“Perhaps your robe is stopping it?” Kenzie hesitantly said.

Zac nodded and took off the top half of his clothes, leaving his chest bare. He felt Kenzie made sense. It wouldn't be much of a deathwish if his E-grade defensive gear soaked up all the damage. His sister swung the club once again, and this time Zac couldn’t help but grimace from the pain.

But luckily it worked, and it counted as progress. The two of them kept trying various things out for over an hour and found out that there were only two requirements to gain progress on his quest.

First, he needed to be hit right on his skin. Even if he only wore a t-shirt it didn’t count as progress. Zac really hoped that didn’t mean that he would have to walk around bare-chested to use the skill in the future. It was already a pain to walk around barefoot due to his movement skill. If this kept up he would soon be forced to walk around naked to have access to all his skills.

Secondly there needed to be a minimum amount of force in the strike for it to count. Just a small lovetap wasn’t enough. With Kenzie’s low physical attributes she needed to give it everything she had in a swing to make it count, and even then it was a crapshoot whether it was enough or not.

Spells did work though, and Zac’s chest was red and bruised from being blasted with ice balls as large as a fist. As for Kenzie, she sat on the ground looking a bit pale, absorbing a Cosmic Energy from a Nexus Crystal.

“What’s going on?” a sleepy voice could be heard from outside, making Zac turn over to see a bleary-eyed Emily enter.

Zac quickly took out a pair of sunglasses from his Pouch and put them on. His pitch-black eyes were the most obvious indicator something was up with him, and he didn’t want to show the teenager his change just yet.

It wasn’t that he didn’t trust Emily, but she was an obvious point of weakness to him since she still couldn’t cultivate and protect herself. Luckily she only went between the Academy with many warriors and his area that was long since protected with arrays.

Since the outer town didn’t really need any protection at the moment the Town Defense Array had stayed where it was. It covered the inner area so that no one would just jump over the walls and head to his compound or spy on the Creators.

It was a constant drain on resources, but not a large one as long as no one attacked it, but he felt it was extremely worth it. The whole reason he even created the town was to protect his close ones. Who knew, if it hadn’t been running it might have been his sister who was replaced by a shapeshifter rather than David.

“We’re training,” Zac said, trying to modulate his voice to sound less ghastly. “I have a quest to get hit a bunch of times.”

“Wow! Can I help?” the teenager said, immediately perking up.

“No, Kenzie is barely able to hit hard enough for it to count,” Zac said with a shake of his head.

“Damnit, why wasn’t I born in spring?” she muttered in annoyance.

Zac could only roll his eyes at the teenager.

“Perhaps I can be of assistance?” a voice said as the shadows congealed showing a smiling Ogras.

Zac started to feel that all the people close to him had some sadistic streaks, each of them sporting an eerily similar smile.

“Just get on with it,” Zac said with a shake of his head. “And you all don’t need to look so pleased about it.”

Three hours later Zac walked along the streets of Port Atwood accompanied by the demon, one looking sullen and the other having a refreshing smile on his face. Every part of Zac’s chest felt sore, but at least the quest was finished.

He wondered just how one was supposed to complete that quest without attributes like his. If he’d been hit 5 000 times with the same power as the last hours when he was actually level 25 he would have died ten times over.

Even with his current attributes they were forced to take a couple of breaks where Zac swallowed a healing pill. But at least it was done with. And he had to admit the skill he received was pretty interesting.

[Deathwish - Proficiency: Early. Join your foes in a dance of death. Upgradeable]

Just like the quest the point of the skill was simply to get hit. Even then he would probably categorize [Deathwish] as an offensive skill. The point of it wasn’t to decrease the damage he took, but rather retaliate in kind.

The skill was passive, costing some Miasma every second, and for every strike Zac received while it was active his assailer was hit right back. It looked pretty spooky with a shadowy copy of the attacker that was instantaneously created when Zac was struck, which struck right back.

Ogras had taken it as a challenge to dodge, but no matter what he did he couldn’t escape getting struck when he landed a hit on Zac. The only option to avoid getting retaliated was to stop the attack or simultaneously defend as he attacked. That's why the demon looked like he carried a grudge as they walked through the streets.

The bad news was that only a part, around 10 to 20 percent, of the original strike was retaliated. But the good news was that calculation was based on the original power of the attack, not the damage Zac’s received after his sturdy constitution had lessened the damage he took.

That essentially meant that if his Endurance got high enough he could just stand in a field of enemies, and let them kill themselves by hitting him. The skill also took very little energy to keep going and was something he would be able to run for the entire duration of the fight on top of using his normal skills.

All in all, it felt like a fitting start for someone slowly turning into a walking fortress.

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Tagmin ago

Thanks for the chapter

I wonder where Alea's been off to during the time skip. Might be a good idea for Zac to pick up a Poison resist skill or two

oro ago

Thanks for the chapter :)

hmdrake ago

Thanks for the chapter!

I'm actually pretty glad he wrapped up the core title like that. Makes it much less plot devicey.

seagull ago

That skill is so overpowered, love it

xtremeloldude ago

well if i had to wager a guess the quest wasn't meant to be finished in half a day Zac, geez.

thanks for the chapter

CashireCat ago

So, Bulwak Mastery for avoiding hits and Deathwish for hits he can´t avoid?

mukkaar ago

Thanks for the chapter :P

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