The Humble Life of a Skill Trainer

by alstonsleet

Original ONGOING Action Adventure Fantasy GameLit LitRPG Magic Male Lead Secret Identity

For Joshua Still, Skills were the lifeblood of his business. He wanted to understand them, collect many of them, and teach a few of them. Which was a problem because while his profession of a Skill Trainer was perfectly legal, it was frowned upon by most of the kingdom. After all, it wouldn't do for a non-tailor to teach Tailoring. Or, so says the Tailors Guild.

The same could be said by the Blacksmiths, the Bakers, the Butchers, the Candlestick Makers, the Mages, and every other Guild with enough money and clout to complain. But still, Skill Trainers provide a valuable service, and so he has managed to start his business and keep it under the table. To a degree. With many a bribe. But his quiet anonymous life of research, practice, and training was about to change. When the Baron demands you pay him a visit, you have little choice.

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  • Overall Score

A dark and somehow endearing blast

Reviewed at: Chapter 13

I don't like to review stories before they've reached 15 or 20 chapters, since it's all too common for a promising start to peter out once the author finishes the introduction and enters the meat of the story. That said, I think there's enough content 13 chapters in to get a feel for how things are going to progress, if not where. The premise is that our MC is a universally denounced Skill Trainer. Reviled by every major guild for gleefully investigating the Skills that serve as the foundation for their monopolies and readily teaching anyone for a price. It makes a great setting, and an understandable profession, since who wouldn't want to cram as many skills into their status sheet as they could? The world as it stands is dark in tone, discussing training resistances through torture (and torture for the right price), but leans towards realism rather than grim just for the sake of it. Further, the fact that skills are not just picked up by performing an action, but by a blend of talent and focus, adds a dimension to power growth. Individuals won't necessarily gain power just through time and practice.

While there isn't much material as of yet, given that the storytelling spends a decent amount of time in thought rather than action, it's readily apparent that the characters are constructed beyond a handy cutout. The author tends to favor relatively quiet interactions with hints at deeper thoughts and emotions as picked up by the MC. That said, a solid balance is kept between background thoughts and action in the foreground. It's a balance that works remarkably well for a character that's primary focus is on other individuals and their skills.

Overall, it's unusual premise that's well realized through the setting, characters, and storytelling style. There are some spelling errors throughout, though infrequent enough that they don't detract from the reading. This review may be somewhat premature, but with the primary drivers of the story being character and Skill related, I'm not overly concerned that the author will take the plot off a cliff. I'd be content to read a daily log of training sessions if the characters kept to the same quality. So, while new, it shows a lot of promise and I look forward to seeing where the author takes it.

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Needs more skill training

Reviewed at: Chapter 46

A very intriguing start. We have a character whose profession is teaching skills, including those owned by particular guilds, (smithing, alchemy etc). This means it has to all be done under the table, and he has to make use of disguises, lock boxes and stuff like that to try and not get murdered by the guilds or angry customers.

A little too quickly, our MC is pulled into politics to teach a nobels scion. I was very interested in seeing more about his life, but then that gets rumbled and he needs a whole new life. So alot of that initial interest is dampened significantly for me.

Plus now with all the politics and new characters being introduced, a hell of a lot of time is spent introducing, talking to, and generally faffing about with the other characters. The skill training stuff is really interesting! I like seeing the devices and the little tips and tricks he gives people to try and help them out, but in most chapters that's on the back burner, considering the title is "The Humble Life of a Skill Trainer". 

I like it and I want to see where it goes, and it probably reads well in bulk. But as I keep up to date in the twice weekly release, some chapters can just be full of exposition and dialogue of him trying to play nice with people. Which is a bit meh in my opinion, even if it makes sense.


  • Overall Score

Good. I just can't connect with the characters.

Reviewed at: Chapter 19

It is well written, interesting premise. It's just that I can't connect with any of the characters. They just seem a tad off to me, I'll try to explain it as best I can buuuuuuuuut...

The MC is just... I don't hate him but some of the things that he does just go against what I feel like the author has portrayed him to be. One example of this is when he killed his first person, he had an emotional breakdown and everything but I feel as if it was too much of a breakdown. He should have been used to blood and guts, he has a meditation skill (which does use) and his dad is a fighting maniac. There's more but I can't really express it.

The giant lady is the same, she is a soldier first and foremost, and from what I can understand, she has gone through all sorts of things, both social and physical. She just seems so willfully naive and frankly, at times, maybe even a little pathetic. 

I'm only on chapter ten but those are my main thoughts. Give it a try, it might appeal to some people but for me it just... ugh.

I read further and it just got worse. The writing is good but something worse has come. 

Romance. As another reviewer has so eloquently put it... Disney romance, I'm not opposed to romance but this... now the characters are all... even more, ugh.

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A great story ruined by a Disney romance

Reviewed at: Chapter 33

The story does what it sets out to do tell a detailed way of how a person learns skills in a engaging and interesting way.

The downside is that we are stuck with the author pushing onto us a romance that could have been between 12 year olds. 

The story  could be in the middle of an enemy attack and all of a sudden  the mc and the lady and blushing and gazing at each other and looking away as if they had just passed in each other notes during class.

It was cute and sweet the first time it happend but after what 20 plus chapters of this it is a huge turnoff. 


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I just don't see why it is so good to everyone else.

Reviewed at: Chapter 1

I see no problems with this novel other than one thing: the story itself. I read up to chapter 17/18, and I just feel like there is no point to this story. There is no true sense of anything really happening other than "let's level up skills". There have been some very minor events that do not really matter at all up to this point for our protagonist, and everything just feels hollow. Another way to explain this, is that I do not see the point of why the protagonist likes leveling up his skills so much. Is it just because it's his job? Is there any other reason why? What are his true goals? Its been 17/18 chapters in, and there has been nothing to elucidate these questions, and as such I still do not see the point.

Misery's End
  • Overall Score

New twist on fantasy

Reviewed at: Chapter 2

Interesting idea for a plot hook, getting paid to torture your clients, and getting bonuses if you get an unexpected evolution from a skill.

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Like many others said the story has a strong start, the first few chapters were a great read. But after that things go downhill fast.

In 14 chapters the world is not explored in any way, shape or form other than the few bits about the political position of skill trainers in the kingdom, which isn't much. All we're told is that they're hated by everyone, then we get an explanation why and that's it.

Another thing that annoys me is that there are almost no descriptions of the environment, in a single paragraph the main character gets from a carriage to the lord's study, skipping everything in the middle, and then the only piece of furniture that we know exists in this entire room is the goddamn desk the lord's sitting at.

In addition to that, the lack of detail means that foreshadowing is nearly nonexistent and not only do scenes not really flow well, but plottwists just feel like they come out of nowhere.

Also the pace is absurdly quick, this is the most obvious example: the author took some time to explore the main character's ideologies and life style (like how he goes to great lengths to live hidden).But that changes after 10 chapters when he accepts an official position, which makes no sense, in the story those are a few days, he can't just accept to change his entire life like that, without no fucking character growth. Yes, we're told he was lonely, but that's not an explanation for taking such a large decision so lightly! Expecially considering how self aware one of his skills made him.

And that brings us to the characters, which is another can of worms. The MC was actually interesting in the beginning, but he stops being fleshed out after the first three chapters and instead of learning more about him, the same few character traits are brought up and shoved in our faces over and over.

Thenthere is "Snowy" who is honestly one of the most terribly introduced characters in the history of webnovels... the amount of effort that the author puts into describing her body and the weird choice of adjectives (like "buff" and "gigantic") before revealing that she is a girl are off-putting. Expecially because the MC mistakes her for a man, and then her gender is revealed by saying that: "she removed her visored helm to show a surprisingly pretty face beneath". Do you see the problem here? If after that revelation the author had bothere to insert a line where the main character observed her body and realized that it was obviously female that wouldn't be a problem, but that is never done, error that causes an hilarious situation in which the reader can't help but imagine a woman's head on a man's body. Expecially because even after that the author keeps describing her body by insisting on the fact that she's tall and muscular in an exaggereted way, highlighting her male phisical characteristics at every opportunity as he begins to describe her increasingly girly behaviour.

Lastly, one fo the things that really drove me insane was the dialogues, because god, does every dialogue between these two suck. The author was never that good at creating particularly believable conversations, but it wasn't that bad in his other works. Putting aside the fact that he clearly fails at making people speak like normal human beings would, he also has no idea how young people act. Let me explain, in the story we know that Blood-in-Snow is 18 and the main character mentions being slightly older than her. The problem is that during every single interaction they have (that are generally badly written as the author didn't bother to properly establish both characters' personalities before giving a shot at romance) the two act like goddamned preteens. I'm not joking, the amount of blushing involved wouldn't even be acceptable in a manga, other readers may not be bothered by this, but I am in the same age range as these two and it genuinely makes me shiver in disgust, every time I can't help but think if the author really believes this is what young adults are like, guess what? It isn't.

In conclusion, I wouldn't really reccomend to read this fiction, the premise sounds intriguing but the execution leaves a lot to be desidered. That being said, have a nice day.

  • Overall Score

A very good read

Reviewed at: Chapter 14

You have to add " so far" to the following
This is a very interesting world. .
Doesn't seem like we will have to read about 2D caracter caricatures.
The system and skills are very interesting

This is a great novel so far...and that is indeed not far enough XD
Hope the writer keeps posting chapters so i can amend this review at chapter 60 or something.

Well worth the "Follow"

  • Overall Score

An interesting story

Reviewed at: Chapter 28

It is good and I am happy to read the next chapter, but I feel like something is missing. The MC seems fine even though he is starting to behave the opposite of how he was originally depicted. Fight scenes are good. The skills are OK. I say OK because they magically jumped in rank far to fast. The environment is lacking and can use some work. The support characters are fine as well. The monologuing about how his acting skill helps him talk is annoying as hell and gives me feel of incompetence when he should know what he is doing. 

  • Overall Score

Very Promising Start

Reviewed at: Chapter 9

This story manages to put an interesting spin on a typical system-powered fantasy world with some good old-fashioned guild politics. No, I'm not joking. The uneasy status quo of the Skill Trainers' Guild shares with the rest of the society makes for some solid world-building, and it's a compelling backdrop for the adventures of our MC, Joshua Still, as he attempts to ply a trade that many frown upon. Some might even kill him for it, especially as he begins to uncover secrets to skills he was never meant to learn, let alone teach.


It's still a bit early to guess how this story will pan out in the long run, but I'm thoroughly intrigued. If you're a sucker for high-skill Jack of All Trades characters like I am, this story is for you.