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ZY - Chapter 70- Essence

Next morning, the sun was shining brightly.

Breakfast stall, two people drank porridge and ate dumplings as well as salted vegetables. It was rare for Ah Fei to wake up so early, so we came down for breakfast.

While eating, we visited Linchen County’s forums. The players were curious about why the Boss did not appear. The Wind Cloud Platform’s trial did not refresh yesterday. I trained for a full day and studied the combo system, so one day passed just like that.

"Right. You didn't appear for the entire day yesterday." Ah Fei looked at me lazily.

"There should be one today,"I said firmly. "The Wind Cloud Platform's cooldown seems to have increased. That’s normal. I can't turn into a Boss every day. Not only me, even Linchen County’s players can't take it.Hahaha~"

He was speechless. "Too arrogant..."

 ...

After eating breakfast, I went online.

Shua!

Character information was read and I appeared on the Wind Cloud Platform.

At the side, Ah Fei's voice spread into my ears. "Has the Wind Cloud Platform refreshed?"

"No."

"Then use your human account and we can train together; I can bring you to level?"

"No need. My human account doesn't have a job and doesn't have skills. Even if I go, I will just be a burden. I don't have time to get a second job, so I should just train my battle techniques. Let's see if I can get a combo."

"Brother, you are really thinking too much.."

Ah Fei was speechless. "If the combo system is as easy as you think, anyone can create one, and in just a week, combos will be all around. Destiny has been open for five years, but there aren't even more than ten people with combos. Don't waste time and just level up; we have always relied on brute force!"

I grinned. "En. Maybe you are right, but I don't care.Haha~"

"D*mn!Up to you. I’ll go level. I'm so eager to meet the Priest in my party that I've been drooling on!"

"What happened to ‘not picking up chicks in Illusionary Moon'?"

"She’s the one hitting on me, not the other way around."

"Scram!"

"Hahaha~"

 ...

I was too lazy to bother with such a person. I looked in the sky above the Wind Cloud Platform. "Master, are you there?"

"Yes."

The clouds formed into Master Ding Heng and he smiled. "Little fellow, what is the problem?"

"Is there a place in Black Castle to train?"

"Isn't your cave the best place to train?" He was shocked.

"I am referring to... something to train against, like wooden clones, copper men, etc."

"Yes, there is," he said. "Go to the Heaven and Earth Pavilion. Junior Brother Lin Fengnian is good at refining metal, artifacts, and zombies. Over the years, he has refined many puppet warriors. Some are loaned to disciples as training targets. Go and find him and say that you need one. He won't reject your request."

"Okay.Thank you, master!"

I left the Wind Cloud Platform right away, running along the mountain path with daggers in my hands. Eventually, I arrived at the Heaven and Earth Pavilion. After telling him why I came, Lin Fengnian nodded and smiled. "I understand. Men, bring July Wildfire to the first-grade Puppet Cultivation Room; he can use the tools within."

"Yes, elder!"

An undead attendant waved. "July Wildfire, follow me."

"Oh, okay.Thank you, Senior Uncle Lin!"

I turned around and followed the attendant, entering a building at the side of the Heaven and Earth Pavilion. I passed two corridors and in front of me were rows of houses. He pointed at one and said, "This is it. There are first-grade puppets within, and after you activate them, they can fight with you. Be careful, though. The puppets don't hold back!"

"En."

I stepped into the room and saw many puppets within. There were tens of them and most looked like humans. Their features were distinct and they looked life-like, but their gazes were empty and lost. The attendant smiled. "Choose one."

I looked around and my eyes landed on one of the puppets with a spear. "This one."

"Great."

The attendant walked up, opening his palm, and a mark wrapped around it. A bright light shot out of his eyes and he said, "Activate!"

Creak...

The puppet, which was standing tall, started to produce mechanical sounds. The attendant pointed at me. "Be his sparring partner; listen to his orders from start to finish. Follow it no matter what!"

The puppet could not speak and just nodded.

I smiled and walked up with my daggers. I shouted at the puppet, "Okay, we can begin!"

Shua!

First-stage puppet should be the weakest one here, but its speed turned lightning fast as it pounced on me. It stabbed its spear and the sound of it piercing through air was especially sharp!

Very quick!

I shifted to the side, holding my dagger up to parry his spear. One could see that it was fast, but its strength was just so-so; the puppet was around the level of a level 30 Warrior. Its Strength should be a distance away from mine. In the next second, I instinctively waved my dagger, using left and right sweeps. Both really connected and caused its body to stumble backward. I used upper flick again, followed by a powerful kick, which sent it flying. I crossed my daggers and slashed at the puppet, forcing it back a full three meters.

"En?"

The Heaven and Earth Pavilion attendant frowned and shock appeared in his eyes. It was obvious that he had not expected my attacks to be so smooth. Maybe player mechanics were amazing to NPCs. Once one formed a series of moves, especially a combo like Lin Xi's, it was already deemed a top technique by them.

However, even after this series of moves, the puppet’s health was only reduced by a little. It was probably due to the items used to refine the puppet, so its skin was really thick and its health was really high, too. This was much stronger than the Great Chu Archers. When I was training on the Archers, one incomplete combo could insta-kill them. Sometimes, even before one set was unleashed, they would all be killed. This affected my training. Now, with such a puppet, it was much better.

Thus, I placed it down and continued training.

Basically, the front three attacks were perfect. Left sweep plus right sweep plus upper flick. These three were well-practiced by me and I was satisfied. However, the kick plus double dagger hit was not coordinated. I felt that my Strength and angles were wrong.

Just like that, I trained until noon but my experience bar did not increase at all. It did not matter, though, and I just continued training.

When it was 2pm, along with my familiarity to the moves increasing, my kick location, angle, speed, and power got perfect. Although the power from the twin dagger hits was huge, it was unable to force the puppet back. This was still a weakness.

Right at that moment, the first-grade one puppet's healthar was emptied.

Peng!

Along with a double dagger hit, it flew to the wall. The puppet’s limbs were filled with dagger marks and it was totally spoiled.

"This..."The Heaven and Earth Pavilion attendant was shocked. "It was actually destroyed? Oh, my god..."

I was stunned and asked carefully, "Er... Is it fine?"

"Nothing... nothing. Let me get you another one. You are an esteemed guest, so it is of course fine."

"That's good..."

Not long after, another full-health puppet was activated. This was a puppet using two swords, but it did not matter. What this puppet’s weapons were did not matter as it was playing the role of a sandbag!

Again!

Another combo. After my daggers pushed forward, the upper flick succeeded. I kicked the puppet away. These four movements were perfect. As I charged, my daggers crossed in front of my chest and I slashed at the falling puppet. A stun mark appeared above its head and it was stunned on the spot.

Success!

To get a stun or frozen effect was a sign of a combo succeeding. Lin Xi's Gale relied on four attacks and then the final Blade of Dawn to land. The theory was the same.

At that moment, a loud bell rang in my ears—

Ding!

[System notification: Congratulations! You have created a combo, evaluated as S.Will you confirm the combo completion?]

 ...

"S-grade Combo?"

I frowned. Truthfully, although that attack was quite perfect, I felt like it was lacking something. There was still that bit of rigidity. In the end, this move met the requirements for a self-created combo, but it was not the strongest combo that I could do with my potential.

No!

I denied the notification. My heart was filled with joy. My self-created combo succeeding was already a fact. I had absolute confidence. Right, from last night until this morning, this set of movement was really connected and it could be turned into a combo, but it was not strong enough; I could create a better one.

Continue!

The next few attacks did not complete the stun, only during the fifth one. Finally, under the sharp attacks of my dagger, the puppet was stunned once more. Its health was reduced by a large amount and another system notification appeared. It was the same as before.

Reject. Continue!

Just like that, in an hour, or maybe because the combo damage was too high, the first stage puppet was spoiled again. This was worse; the puppet was split by the waist!

"Xi..."

The Heaven and Earth Pavilion attendant sucked in a cold breath. "Another one got destroyed?"

ryangohsf's Notes:

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Written by Shi Luo Ye. Translated by ryangohsf. Edited by Mugi.