Night Ranger - Chapter 5: Mastermind - Wuxiaworld
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Chapter 5: Mastermind

Chapter 5: Mastermind

Translator: Translation Nation Editor: Translation Nation
A level 3!

That was a bit troublesome!

But as far as Marvin was concerned, it was only slightly more troublesome. As there was only one guy left, he didn’t feel pressured at all.

Since the machete-wielding gangster’s dexterity and strength weren’t low, he was most likely a [Gang Swordsman]. This rank 1 class was a sub-class of Fighter that focused on attack power, with an average constitution.

Marvin gave a quick look at the information window. After killing four Acheron Gang members, he had gained 59 battle exp. He needed 50 exp to reach ranger level 2.

He quickly distributed 50 exp to his Ranger class and a warm feeling spread through his body. He became a level 2 Ranger.

Following the level-up, his HP increased by 13 points, reaching a total of 50HP. His skill points were increased by 24 while his free attribute points stayed the same. He would only get a precious free attribute point every two class levels.

He added 4 of the 24 SP to [Stealth] while keeping the rest for the time being.

The Gang Swordsman was charging toward him while doing a heavy cleave!

He wanted to split Marvin in half!

Marvin very calmly stood waiting, and then gently took a single step to the side. He ended up behind a tree.

Bang!

With a turn of his hand, the gangster aimed at Marvin again! Marvin jumped back and the blade struck the tree. Pieces of tree bark flew out from the collision.

"Die for me!" the man shouted with a sinister look on his face. He forcefully pulled his machete out of the tree. Who would have thought that at that exact moment, Marvin charged toward him, colliding with his chest?

The Gang Swordsman was caught unprepared so Marvin’s charge staggered him, forcing him a few steps back, and nearly causing him to lose his grip on the machete.

‘Right now!’

Even during high speed movements he could make all kinds of battle-relevant judgements. This was due to his battle instinct.

With a cold flash, the curved dagger slashed toward his waist.

The next second, a sharp pain spread through Marvin’s right hand. The swordsman was flashing an evil grin as he grabbed Marvin’s wrist with both hands.

"Thought you could hurt me, fucker?"

Marvin stayed silent, ignoring the pain and the continuously flashing battle reports:

[Basic Attack failed, right wrist has been captured. Resistance check….]

[Strength suppression. Unable to free your hand]

While the Gang Swordsman was being proud of himself, Marvin’s left hand closed in on the gangster’s neck like a cold-blooded viper.

His left hand was holding onto a dagger. This was loot that Thief had left behind, barely usable.

"Eh?"

A miserable scream spread through the area as Marvin ruthlessly cut his throat. The swordsman’s grip on Marvin’s wrist loosened as he fell onto the ground, convulsing. Warm blood was dyeing the ground. Soon, the twitching swordsman finally died.

Marvin massaged his sore wrist while thinking, "This swordsman must have had at least 16 strength. It’s a pity that his fighting experience was way too low. To die by the hands of a former Ruler of the Night isn’t an injustice."

Searching a bit, he found that the Gang Swordsman was quite prosperous. He had a total of 29 silvers on him. There were also some other random things, but they weren’t worth much.

It was a pity that Marvin didn’t find any information on these Acheron gangsters explaining why they wanted to kill him.

Why would a gang want to make life difficult for a penniless noble?

This wasn’t logical.

Murdering a noble was a very serious crime, and if exposed, the Acheron Gang would definitely be exterminated.

And killing him without being able to get anything was weird, as the gains weren’t worth the risks.

After quickly dealing with the five corpses, Marvin wasn’t in the mood to go crab hunting any more. He prepared to go back to River Shore City to find out who wanted to deal with him.

At that time, he noticed some changes in the soulbound quest in his quest list.

The quest description had an additional paragraph of text:

[The chase near the Pine Cone River's banks led you to a sudden realization that something strange is going on. Someone wants to kill you, and this is most likely connected to that pack of gnolls strangely appearing near your territory. River Shore City is filled with both good and bad people. Whoever the mastermind is, as long as he still wants to deal with you, there will be a day when he will expose himself.]

Meanwhile, the main quest also had a side-quest [Mastermind], which told Marvin to find the hidden mastermind behind the past events.

The side-quest reward was also not bad, 100 general exp. Marvin wanted to know the truth about those events anyway, so the 100 exp would be a sweet bonus.

...

Circling around the road to the city, he carefully picked a safe and deserted small path to avoid other Acheron gangsters that might be looking for him.

While walking he browsed the battle report. It was a good habit to go back and count the gains and losses and check for any problems. By doing so, over time one’s combat sense would certainly improve.

But there was something unexpected he found in the battle report:

[Your repeated use of a standard technical move in battle, along with its affinity with the Phantom Assassin Class Skill [Cutthroat] exceeding 98%, allow you to turn the technical move into a personal skill for 500 battle exp.]

[Your repeated use of a standard technical move in battle, along with its affinity with the Phantom Assassin Class Skill [Shadow Steps] exceeding 95%, allow you to turn the technical move into a personal skill for 1000 battle exp.]

[Due to your repeated use of another class’s technical moves in battle, your affinity toward that field has increased. [Specialty: 9/100]]

...

'Using another class’s technical move can even transform it into a personal skill?'

Marvin had a blank expression, as he hadn’t been aware of that.

But he soon realized it wasn’t that simple. It was quite obvious in the battle report that it must be a repeated use of a "standard" technical move, the affinity must exceed a certain level, and he had to spend battle experience to convert it into a personal skill. Personal skills can’t be upgraded with skill points and can only be slowly leveled up by continuously using them.

Marvin also noticed that apparently the higher the affinity of the standard technical move with the original skill, the lower the battle experience needed for conversion. [Cutthroat] and [Shadow Steps] were [Phantom Assassin] signature skills, but their battle exp cost was like day and night.

"500 battle exp…"

Frankly, Marvin was somewhat excited, but he was also quite bitter. Battle exp was very hard to get and was one of the highest grades of experience. If he were to use battle exp in that way it would certainly delay his leveling speed.

Currently this problem still couldn’t be solved since he only had a trifling 39 battle exp available, quite a long way from the 500 needed.

He was still thinking about the last line in the log; he hadn’t heard anything about a specialty being created when repeatedly using other classes’ skills.

Personal specialties were divided into three kinds: Innate, Training Acquired and Talent Awakening Acquired. With Marvin’s trashy body, it couldn’t be an innate specialty. It could only be training acquired.

As for the last type, the talent awakening acquired specialty was quite rare. Marvin wasn’t counting on this one, though his race was explicitly written as "Human/?", meaning that he had a bloodline from another race, just unusually thin.

In any case, getting a specialty was a good thing. Specialties can offer additional benefits to adventurers apart from attributes and skills.

It was currently the middle of the night, and River Shore City was implementing a semi-curfew. Even though the city gates were closing quite late, there must be no one on the streets after midnight. Entering the city after the city gates were closed required one to use special means.

When Marvin was a Ruler of the Night, by relying on [Wall Climb] and some special magic items he could easily bypass city walls. As for now, he could only look for a gap in the walls.

He knew that the surroundings of cities like River Shore City didn’t have a lot of annoyingly strong monsters. The city walls often had some worn down areas he could use to slip in, and searching carefully for these he found a suitable opening. He was barely able to sneak through it with his small build.

He had to be careful of the city guards after entering the city, as provoking those guys wasn’t a good idea. They were full of grievances at being sent out to patrol in the middle of the night, and if he was captured the consequences would be dire. As for resisting, heh, these guards were at least rank 2, and the Patrol Leader was probably rank 3; quite far from what Marvin, a newbie who just got his class, could handle.

He avoided the main street, walking in an alley in the dark of the night like a fish back in water, and successfully avoided both the patrolling guards and the unknown dangers inside the city walls. But as he rounded Fierce Horse Inn’s back door, he discovered a shadow sneaking around.

‘Someone is on the lookout?’ Marvin got curious, as this wasn’t commonly seen. It was said that Fierce Horse Inn’s boss had a frighteningly powerful backer and no one dared to behave badly around her inn.

He calmly went around to the front door and as expected he discovered two hidden sentries. But these sentries were actually not very skilled. Although they were both Thieves, they were only using some common concealment techniques. In Marvin’s eyes, they were full of flaws.

After a final check, he confirmed that only three Thieves were watching the inn. Two at the front door, and one at the back.

Each had a bloody dagger mark on his cuff. Even if the embroidery was not that great, it still managed to unite them.

Marvin had seen this mark just an hour ago.

‘The Acheron River Gang.’

‘Fuck, trying to kill me and even going for big sis Anna?’

Marvin’s heart was burning. He gripped his curved dagger and used [Stealth], slowly approaching the Thief on the lookout at the back door.