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[Tenacious Woodcutter]: You have shown a tenacity and determination for woodcutting that very few in the universe have been able to display. Your efforts have been rewarded. Your familiarity with wood has increased significantly, and your body circuit has embraced the wood element for finer attunement. You can now cut down trees faster. +Wood attunement +Wood affinity +Tree cutting speed

Sick. Faster tree cutting speed. In the battle against the King Jaeger, never would he have imagined earlier on that the speed at which he chopped wood was crucial to his victory, more so than his abilities like swordfaire or sundering blow.

He also noted that this title was probably only possible to receive on the terrestrial plane, where the vital energies could keep him going long after other woodcutters in more normal parts of the universe would have collapsed from exhaustion.

Marcello picked up his overpriced rusty hatchet and went back to work on the last two trees he needed to cut. With just five days remaining until the end of the trial, he was a bit nervous about the deadline.

As his hatchet hit the trunk of the tree, Marcello instantly felt how much better his cut was than before. The hit was clean and deep, and he would need far fewer swings to fell a large tree.

Not only that, he felt like he could sense the grain of the wood as if he was connected with it. The hatchet itself already guided his swings towards certain parts of the tree trunk, but now he understood why it chose those areas to swing at. It was if the flaws and imperfections of the wood had revealed themselves to him in an intimate way.

It kind of bothered Marcello. He felt a bit too close to the woodcutting process now, and although the wood affinity bonus from his new title certainly helped the woodcutting process, he wasn’t sure if he wanted to be some kind of wood mage in the future if this went on.

He just wanted to be a knight, with a sword and shield.

A notification popped up.

Quest: [A Simple Shield] You have expressed the desire to wear a shield to combat in the future. As a humble carpenter, you have the ability to construct a wooden shield. While not as strong as metal shields, wooden shields can be made without a forge. You will be able to construct more durable shields as you use stronger base materials and your carpentry skill improves.

Reward: Wooden Shield

You know what, it wasn’t a bad idea. He was particularly intrigued by the idea that the base material could affect the quality of the shield produced. The trees in the terrestrial plane were all special in their own right, so maybe the quality of shield he could produce would be higher than normal.

Marcello began to process one of his felled logs into planks, deciding to leave the last two trees for another day to satisfy his curiosity about the shield. It wouldn’t take too long to make compared to the platform.

Using the same technique as before, he segmented the log into three main yield planks and four sideboards per section, until he had six planks to work with. Using his mana, he binded five planks upright with two horizontal sideboards about half a foot from the top and bottom of the shield to hold the planks together. He then used the remaining plank to fashion two wooden handles, allowing him to slip his arm through and hold the shield up.

Ding!

Quest completed: [A Simple Shield] You have crafted a wooden plank shield out of high quality lumber from the terrestrial plane. While the craftsmanship leaves much to be desired, the wood used is a rare kind among the universe.

Reward received: Wooden Plank Shield (uncommon)

You have gained craftsmanship experience for crafting an uncommon item.

Making an uncommon tier shield was not bad for a first attempt. Marcello slipped his arm into the shield and tested it out, hitting it against a nearby tree. The shield was decent enough for what it was worth, and could block a few hits with no problem.

He used identify on it.

[Wooden Plank Shield (uncommon)] – A tall plank shield made by an aspiring craftsman. Roughly four and a half feet in height and three feet in width. Made with wood from the terrestrial plane. As this is a creation of a special craftsman, additional characteristics or bonuses may be conferred.

Grade: Uncommon

Stat bonus: None

Characteristics: Durable.

Well that was weird. The plank shield had a description similar to every other item of equipment he found thus far, but it also had additional information slots below that reminded him of the ladder he made.

The system treated the shield as a hybrid between a craftsmanship project and a piece of equipment. Strange. Not that he was complaining, because being considered a project could only be beneficial. More slots was always better.

With his new shield in tow, Marcello continued to work on the wooden logs, sawing them into long planks and fusing them together until he was starting to create the bearings of a platform the dimensions of a living room floor. He still had a long way to go.

“How am I supposed to attach this to the edge though?” Marcello asked himself all of a sudden, realizing his mistake. He kind of just assumed that he could use his mana super glue to stick the platform to the soil and rock that made up the edge of the pillar, but was he sure that that would work?

He decided to test it out before working any further. Taking one of his extra side boards, he walked over to the edge of the cliff, telling himself not to look down too much because the sheer vertical drop into the endless atmosphere and clouds below was a bit too much for his human stomach to handle.

He activated his mana and tried to attach the wooden sideboard to stone. Frowning, Marcello soon realized that this was a lot different than attaching wood to other wood. While the latter was just a question of merging two objects of the same element, merging wood and stone was a completely different matter.

Marcello’s brow was furrowed with concentration as he tried to force it to work, pushing his mana like the system usually did for him into the overlap between stone and wood, but in the end his endeavor was fruitless.

“Damn.”

This was actually a huge problem from an engineering perspective. Originally he had planned to just construct the platform outwards from the edge so that the King Jaeger’s weight would cause it to collapse, but now that he couldn’t get the wood to stick to the stone, he’d have to create a platform twice as large and weigh down the end on top of the soil with rocks or something like a see-saw.

He wasn’t sure if he had enough time remaining in the trial to make a platform double the size. He already spent the better of four to five days just chopping wood for the original project. If the scope had to be doubled, he’d never be able to finish in time.

Marcello paced around nervously rethinking his options. He could use a cross pattern rather than line planks up side by side, which would save a lot of material. But he originally planned on covering up the platform with soil and moss to give it the natural appearance of another cliff edge, and if he used a cross pattern then all the soil would fall through.

Maybe he could use some giant leaves or something to even out the gaps and allow soil and moss to be put on top. He didn’t see any leaves of that sort in the nearby vicinity though. He could cut up his survival tent and use the material from that, but that would only cover a small part of the platform.

Before changing up his strategy too much, Marcello decided to go back to trying to connect the wood with the rock cliff. He felt that there could be something to the mana manipulation that he missed on his first try.

Marcello closed his eyes, completely focusing on the mana integration process. He tried to remember how the system pre-packaged and delivered the mana for him when he used the skill, feeling the way the energy extended from his hand into the sideboard and took on the characteristics of a nature element.

The mana exited through his hand and flowed into the wooden board, then to the stone cliff. But once the mana reached the stone, it dissipated as it was unable to retain its wood characteristics.

The practice drained his mana bar fast, and he had to down a blue potion to continue.

He felt like he was on the cusp of discovering something. Rather than try to go directly into the stone this time, he introduced wood element mana to the stone gradually like he was glazing a ham, then placed the board on the stone. This time it stuck, merged together with the edge of the cliff like two pieces of metal welded together. Eureka!

It was a mana intensive process that was also concentration and time consuming, but it worked, and that was the important part.

Marcello felt a bit weird about using something that was not technically classified as a skill by the system. Did that mean that he could invent his own skills in the future? He wasn’t quite sure, as the stone and wood melding technique was similar enough to the system-given skill.

As if to answer his question, a notification message popped up.

Ding!

You have received a new profession skill, [Basic Wood Cementing].

[Basic Wood Cementing] – You have discovered how to cement wood onto other surfaces. Effectiveness varies based on the surface used, and wood can be cemented easier on surface elements that are naturally occurring alongside trees. Certain surfaces are incompatible, such as fire.

Oh. It looked like he kind of jumped the gun on a slightly more advanced carpenter skill. Well, that was good. He now knew that he could discover skills on his own if he found the right application method.

Anyway, it was time to put this new discovery right to action. Marcello brought over the living room sized piece he made earlier and supported it with some diagonal beams underneath so that it wouldn’t fall into oblivion while he was doing his mana thing. Moving across the edge, Marcello slowly cemented the wood to the rock cliff section by section until the entire deck was fixed.

The young man gingerly walked across the deck, a bit hesitant to trust his own handiwork as the wooden platform creaked loudly when he was halfway across. Thankfully, the wooden platform held and was sturdy enough for him to feel comfortable running across.

With the proof of concept completed, Marcello continued to work on the wooden deck, constructing and installing more sections of the deck as the crescent shaped concave of the cliff began to fill out slowly.

It took him another day and a half of work before the wooden deck was finally complete, and Marcello took a step back to admire his creation.

Quest completed: [Carpenter’s Insane Platform]

Congratulations. After many days of work, you have managed to construct an impossibly large wooden platform that may be used for your strange and possibly suicidal plan to take down the King Jaeger. Although the workmanship in this creation is poor, it is nevertheless good enough to serve its purpose. There is a bright future lying in wait ahead of you, young carpenter.

Platform constructed [1/1]

Grade: Shoddy

Stat bonus: None. If the platform serves its purpose, this construction may confer a bonus as a historical piece.

Characteristics: Structurally unsound.

Marcello smiled, satisfied with the results of the visually expansive wooden platform as well as the system notification that he received.

He was a bit curious about what that line about an extra bonus if the platform served its purpose meant. It sounded almost as if the system was willing to treat his construction as a monument or something. Guess he’d find out soon.

For now, he was going to wash off his sweat and take a nap. Tomorrow was when his plan would be put to action.

Marcello rinsed himself off in the river, then climbed up to the tree that he had made into his second home and deployed his camping tent. His whole body felt sore as hell, but thankfully the construction portion of the job was a lot less taxing on his body than those early days of woodcutting.

Night fell after a few hours, and he fell asleep quickly to the sound of crickets.

The next morning, Marcello donned his full plate armor and put on his helmet, the two eye slits on his visor making his appearance look quite intimidating. The armor was still a bit dented, but it was usable now. It was time to put his plan to action.

He made his way towards the waterfall, carefully planning out his escape route through as many obstacles as possible to slow the King Jaeger’s pursuit. After about fifteen minutes of marching through the jungle, Marcello finally made it to the deafening waterfall’s basin.

The massive lizard king sat to the left of the waterfall, a half eaten carcass in front of him. A few yards to the right of him was Marcello’s archeois javelin, which he couldn’t retrieve in their last fight.

“Retrieve javelin!” he shouted, as the uncommon javelin shot towards him, alerting the King Jaeger.

Just a few days ago, Marcello looked at the monstrous Jaeger as an unbeatable foe that squashed him to death with one step of his foot.

Now, all he saw were experience points and loot waiting to be harvested.

“C’mere, fatass!” Marcello shouted.

The King Jaeger roared and began to swell up as Marcello taunted him.

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HereBeTreasure

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