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Monster Paradise - Chapter 10

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Monster Paradise Chapter 10: Skill Card Fragments

It was a burly man clad in jet black armor. With his 2m height, he towered over the rest of the guests. He was bald like the owner but unlike the owner's lackadaisical impression, he had a truly menacing countenance. A blade scar stretched across his stubbled face, from his left forehead, down between his eyes finally stopping at his jaw. His left eye was blind and was missing a pupil. This completely white eye gave him a threatening look.

His stature and face combined to give the man an intimidating presence as he entered the room.

As his gaze swept across the dining room, everyone lowered their heads, trying to avoid his gaze. Lin Huang avoided eye contact with the man as well and patted his sister, signalling to her to finish her food quickly.

However, the man unexpectedly headed towards Lin Huang and Lin Xin's table after grabbing his food. He sat down at the table behind Lin Xin;Lin Huang was directly facing the man from that position.

Despite Lin Huang's effort at avoiding the man, he unintentionally raised his head and looked at the man. He realized the other party was staring at him. As the pair locked eyes on each other, they started evaluating each other before finally breaking eye contact.

Lin Huang was puzzled by the man's interest in him. Not counting Lin Xin, there are at least 10 other guests in this room. I'm definitely the weakest and poorest among them. I can't think of any reason why I would catch his attention. Perhaps it's just because I'm the new guy and so he decided to give me a second look. Lin Huang consoled himself as he ran through the possibilities.

Laying down their utensils, the siblings finally finished the mountain of food on their table and prepared to head back to their room. However before they could take a third step, the scarred man put down his utensils as well and started walking towards them.

Lin Huang pretended not to notice him and grabbed his sister's hand and briskly led her out of the dining room, up to the third floor. He took a couple of right turns on the way to their room. Realizing the man was still behind him, his face fell as he knew the man was tailing them.

’’Why are you tailing us?’’ Lin Huang turned and asked in an cautionary tone. His arm stretched at the same time, shielding his sister behind him.

’’ A coincidence.’’ The scarred man lowered his face and looked at Lin Huang as he addressed Lin Huang. Having said his piece, the man continued walking to the end of the hallway and entered room 301.

Lin Huang flushed with embarrassment as he continued leading Lin Xin back to their room.

’’Brother, that old man was really scary.’’ Lin Xin said once the door was firmly shut, patting her chest while doing so. ’’With the way he kept following us, I thought he was a bad man as well.’’

’’Relax, even if he was a crook, I doubt he would do anything in broad daylight with so many Hunters here.’’ As he said this, the owner's words came to mind ---- The man living in room 301 had peculiar habits;He liked to get up at ungodly hours and practise with his blade. Definitely, an eccentric!

After that awkward encounter with the scarred man, Lin Huang refocused his attention on his preparations. He started watching clips of the Reserve Hunter Exam on the HeartNet. While the exam was uploaded on HeartNet in its entirety, outstanding performances by gifted candidates were frequently uploaded by the Hunter's Association as a means of marketing. They hoped to pique the interest of the people watching these clips.

Watching these geniuses shine was definitely not his intention. He wanted to gain insights on the contents of the exam and the examiner's thought process.

Night fell as Lin Huang continued his research on the examination.

By this time, Lin Xin had already showered and gone to bed. Lin Huang turned off the HeartNet and got up. He stretched his back lazily and headed off to the showers and finally to bed.

His sleep quickly interrupted as the sound of a door slamming shut woke him up. Looking at the time display on his pinkie ring ---- 12 AM

Lin Huang hesitated for a moment before getting up and putting on his pyjamas. He pushed open the balcony door and spied on the garden below from the balcony.

The garden luminous with residual light from the hotel and the surrounding street lamps, its contents visible clear as day. The night was truly the domain of the insects as tireless sounds of insects chirping echoed from the tufts of grass.

A few minutes pass as the scarred man heads toward the garden. A wide open space was his destination as he stepped out of the hotel and headed left, onto the manicured lawn. In a blink of an eye, a jet black combat knife appeared in his hand.

Lin Huang was unable to discern the grade of the long knife. His focus wasn't on the blade at the moment but rather on the grass below the man. Does this guy wreck the lawn every night and the owner fixes it every day?

Scar-face shuts his eyes as he focuses himself, standing perfectly still on the lawn. Taking a swift step forward, he made an oblique slash as the forward momentum of his step accelerated the knife as it cut through the air.

This move caught Lin Huang's attention. He was sorely lacking an offensive skill set. He locked onto Scar-face as his every movement now commanded Lin Huang's undivided attention.

This knife set had a total of 18 moves. Under Scar-face's precise execution, each move gave off a murderous aura. Lin Huang wasn't sure if the man had noticed him secretly studying his moves , but Scar-face continued performing the entire blade set three times before keeping his long knife and heading back to the hotel.

Lin Huang committed this knife set to memory and started trying the moves out with his bare hands. Not satisfied with just practising with his hands, Lin Huang retrieved his combat knife from his Personal Storage Space and started practising with it. The fact that the patch where Scar-face practised on had no traces of him left on it, went unnoticed by Lin Huang.

His comprehension ability was praiseworthy. Despite only seeing the knife set being performed thrice, Lin Huang was able to mimic all 18 moves of the set, even though it was mostly form and lacked substance.

As he finished his 5th repetition, a translucent window message appeared with ding in front of him.

[Congratulations, Master. You've attained a new skill card---- 《Grand Desolation Knife Scripture》 fragment x1!]

This message further fuelled his desire to master this knife set as he exuberantly thought to himself. While I don't know how many fragments are required to form the complete scripture, I'm sure a hundred more repetitions is enough to piece together a complete Skill Card!

With that determination in mind, Lin Huang continued with his training. However, after his third repetition, the anticipated system announcement did not appear. Perhaps I need 5 repetitions to gain one fragment?

*slash* *slash*

Hm? Is it not related to the number of repetitions? Lin Huang was slightly confused. If that's the case, what's the deciding factor?

Despite his misgivings, he continued practising. *Ding* The long awaited announcement appeared as Lin Huang finished his eighth repetition.

[Congratulations, Master. You've attained a new skill card---- 《Grand Desolation Knife Scripture》 fragment x1!]

Perhaps it's a random chance to gain a fragment? Lin Huang anxiously voiced his concern to Kuro ’’Kuro, are skill fragments gained by chance while practising?’’

[No. Only repetitions with a minimum of 80% of the original skill set's power, can be considered effective practise.However, this is only true for first successful attempt. In order to gain more fragments, a minimum of 100% is required for the practise to be considered effective.]

Kuro's answer cleared up Lin Huang's concerns.

’’Oh! So the reason why my repetitions were fruitless, was because they didn't reach the minimum threshold. My fifth repetition hit the threshold of 80% so I gained a fragment. And my subsequent repetitions were merely replicating my fifth repetition.’’

With this new revelation in mind, Lin Huang refocused his efforts on perfectly imitating that man's movements. Only by reaching 100% of the original's power,will a skill fragment be given after all.

Lin Huang continued this training regime till daybreak at which point he took a break. By then, he had performed a total of 100 repetitions. However his success rate was disappointingly low. It barely passed 20%. He gained a total of 21 fragments.



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