A Skill Whore's Journey

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Odd Knowledge and an Interesting Party

“Ah…I understand. So you’re actually old?”

Sighing from the mild headache incurred from the long winded explanation that took better part of 30 minutes.

“Oy, I’m still young and willing”

I rub my forehead

“Please, never say such things while in that Loli body!”

“Please say such things while in that loli body!” Zzoid almost drools

..
.
I shake my head sorrowfully in sync with Zzand and Zzard.

“So now that everything is settled, can we actually do something now?”

Baila’s bored voice breaks the awkward atmosphere somewhat.

“I-I think we should…” I’m still a bit overloaded with the situation.

“…Go do our herbalism quest?” Baila ends usefully.

Gah, she’s so calm because she knew all this already.

“Oh, a quest! Do you think you can share it with us” PJ jumps up all excited. Why does she look like a child, whyyyy. It’s a bit bizarre. I just can’t get the thought that she’s a loli-baba out my head.

“We can guide you to Nathan but I don’t think he’ll be awake for the quest”

“Oh don’t worry about that Joat, I think I have a way to wake him up” Baila stands up with a jiggle…oh yeah.

“That’ll work”

“Hmm?” PinkyS looks between us wondering what we mean.

Pinky, you’re too young for this.

I thought Loli-baba being dodgy enough, buuut Pinky is only 15. 15! She’s a freaking minor...

Aaagh, I feel like I had trespassed a restricted area…

Thank god we stopped before PJ saw us...

ANYWAYS, I’m going to let the past become a dream and to learn to move on and not touch surprisingly well endowed minors…

Aaaagh my brain hurts.

“Let’s leave it till morning; we can grab the quest items on the way”

“Oh good idea!” PJ claps her hands

“But we have a little problem”

“There are 7 of us” Oddly enough Zzoid is still as perceptive as ever…even when his eyes are glued to PJ

“Ahh, Pinky! Do something” PJ looks as useless as a little girl. I think the loli-baba is having a mid-life crisis…

“WE have a solution” True triplets in sync

“Give me the solution!” PJ grabs Zzoids arm

Aaaand he’s gone…

“…Solution?” I don’t know how she could be an aunt. I see no semblance of maturity…I think I understand why she’s the Junior out of the two…

Zzard walks behind Zzoid and give him a light tap on the head.

Zzoid’s pupils roll back into vision

“Ah-ah, right…How about Loli-baba comes with us into the dark forest”

..
.
Don’t want to be misunderstood there buddy…

“I-I-I meant-”

“Don’t worry; I don’t mind having 3 scaly men take me into the forest”

“Junior!” Odd how PinkyS calls PJ junior…But, She really is the seniour of the two.

My brothers all twitch slightly, probably at the images that just flashed through their heads.

“Sorry, just couldn’t resist ehe!”

“I swear Juniour, sometimes…”

“Anyways, that looks like we’ve sorted everything out, now go go go” Baila looks quite hurried in pushing PJ towards my brothers.

Do they not like eachother? Oh right, the gut shower…

“Juniour, I don’t allow you to go by yourself, you’ll put others in danger”

“Oh cmon Pinky!”

“No is no, listen to the elder here” PinkyS looks down at Pj, who kneels down in defeat.

Well age doesn’t really show who’s the eldest…

“How about we all go together?” I suggest so kindly. I’m sure I shouldn’t be fueling Zzoid’s
loliconism buut they’re my brothers in harm so I owe them something.

..
.
“That’s actually not a bad idea” Pinky replies after much consideration

Everyone nods but the feelings are mixed

“Partying up does nothing really, since there is no xp to share”

Zzoid, as perceptive as usual…

“So everyone find it a good idea?” I look around

*Nod*

“OK, then let us set off into the forest too…give me a second, I’ve forgotten what to do”

..
.
*Multiple Facepalms*

“Dumbass”

“Idiot”

“Hahah!”

“Don’t worry big brother; I don’t think you’re dumb”

“Bright at moments, dim at others”

“I’m with Zzand teacher”

..
.
Well 3 out of 6 insulted me, 1 made a wise remark, 1 consoled me and the last one called me teacher…

I’ve got an interesting party indeed. Although all the women insulted me, boohoo.

OK, looking through my quests…I have to find some water lilies.

However thanks to Baila, I’ve already got the next stage and so I can collect for that too! Oh I’m a genius.

“I know what we’re doing now so don’t worry”

“Oh we’re worrying Mr Amnesiac” Baila snarks

“Did someone say something? I can’t quite remember”

“Ok you two stop it with the repertoire and let’s get out of here” PinkyS drags us both by the ears
“Owowow, ok ok just let go of the ear. It’s sensitive”
...
..
.
My ears, although in pain too, have picked up some useful information indeed.

PinkyS lets go of our ears. Rubbing them slightly, we right ourselves and I lead the way.

“TO THE FOREST”

...

“AWOO”

“Wolfy, stop howling, you’ll die in just a moment” PJ gives it a smile as the men do all the work
Damn ladies do nothing.

However none of us guys are complaining! Because we get to show off.

*SNAP*

*SNAP*

*SNAP*

*SNAP*

“Phew, a full 6 seconds to break all 4 of its limbs” Baila is impressed. Haha, finally, she is impressed with my work

“Although, I don’t think we need Dumbass over there”

“Oh cmon”

*Snigger*

Oh shut up you three, you’re supposed to be supporting/worshipping me.

Apparently Baila is a terrible influence on the guys…must be the breasts…so that actually makes it kind of understandable?

“Gooooo guys, Joat included!”

Thanks Pinky, at least...wait its PJ…at least someone supports me.

Anyways, we kill the wolf easily.

“Ah, never knew killing wolves could feel so satisfying” Zzard sighs relieved

“I think it’s the fact that the women are oohing and aahing over us”

Zzoid, you are perceptive indeed. Your eyes are indeed suited for the arts.

“We heard that” The women all chorus

But his mouth is a problem

“Ehe, what did I say? I can’t remember”

Good save?

“Oh all the boys are becoming Amnesiacs today” Baila continues with the comments.

“Ok, let’s keep moving, because I want to find my lilies”

“Looking to send a bouquet to someone? Hint Hint”

“Oh Pinky, how would you like a bouquet?”

“I’d love one”

“Oy Joat! I want the flowers”

“Well I’m ok if he gives the flowers to us both, but I’m first”

“Noo, I want to be the special first”

“Baila, please don’t make it sound like I’m taking your first…”

“WHA” She reddens and looks away

“Oh, are you really like that? Well I tell you now, my favourite food is cherries

..
.
“3…2.”

I start running

“1…I’m coming for you!!”

I don’t know whether I should be happy that a gorgeous woman is chasing me…or be terrified of the fact that she’s wielding a knife.



“I see a pond big brother!” Zzand rushes to the clear lakeside in the moonlit forest.

Finally. After an hour of walking through the wolf infested forest and taking breaks, we've reached our destination...hopefully.

“Zzand, don’t do anything stupid” Zzard grabs his collar before he does something stupid.

“Pinkyyy”

Seems like PinkyS had the same idea…

I rush ahead of everyone, turn around and clap my hands

“Ok everyone, we’re in a new area, plus its night. So it’s actually kind of dangerous”

“Noooo, I never would have suspected that” Baila, shut up

“We can probably expect an aquatic animal or something that drinks water”

..
.
You started smart there Zzoid, started is the key word here.

“Thanks for the mostly useful input, but first we have to check whether these lilies are here”

We all split and sneak around the lake.

Baila and PinkyS go with me.

“Damn it you two, I wanted to look at my own reflection narcissistically”

“Oh we’ll leave you and Joat alone then”

The two of them chuckle but don’t leave me with my reflection.

We sneak around the lake, which is actually pretty damn big.

About 5 minutes later, we’ve finally reached halfway around the lake and meet up with the others.

“Nothing”

“Just a beautiful flower called narcissus over on our side” Baila stop it.

“I see” Zzoid, perceptive as always.

“So what kind of lilies were we looking for anyways big brother?” Zzand asks so innocently

Good question, I open up the quest:







QUEST: A budding Alchemist I
Nathan has given you a pointer that to become an alchemist you should first gather some pond lilies. 40 should do

Rewards:

???


“Pond lilies”

..
.
“Dumbass”

“Idiot”

“Moron haha!”

“Don’t worry big brother, it was just a small mistake”

“Just a small detail, like forgetting that you took the pin off a hand grenade…a small mistake”

“I’m not sure I should keep calling you teacher, teacher"

..
.
I swear Zzoid just got a bit smarmy on me there. Also I think my number of allies just decreased to 1…

“So…let’s go find a pond”

Almost all of them sigh and start to head back into the forest. Time to head in a random direction till we find a pond.

“Um guys”

We look at Zzoid who is looking pensively

“It took us 5 minutes to go round half the lake right?

“Correct. It’s a biggish lake” I answer him

“So with that put in mind…this is possibly a pond”

..
.
“Eh?” we all collectively raise our eyebrows

“No no, I’m actually speaking sense here”

“Brother its ok, you don’t need to follow teacher’s steps”

“…”

“Oy Zzard, don’t insult me, please”

“Sorry teacher”

“Ok, so Zzoid speaks some more sense to me”

“Basically lakes and ponds are the same thing, just called differently for no real reason”

“O..k? I guess that makes sense?”

“It does, so this ‘lake’ may actually be a pond”

“So that means we have to dive in it”

“OOH DIVING” The two children (?) of our group are quickly subdued by their elders(?) before they dive into the dark waters.

I walk back to the possible pond and look deeply into its black depths

..
.
“So who is volunteering to go first?”

“I think you should go since it’s your pond lilies” Throwing me to the sharks much, Baila!

“That makes quite a lot of sense, you should do it”

“Go for it teacher”

“Big brother, dive in for me”

“It looks a bit dangerous though”

At least PinkyS looks a bit worried for me

“I really think Zzoid should do it…” PJ muses lightly as she’s being held in the air

..
.
*Rrip*

His shirt comes flying off, revealing quite a good set of abs. So he’s actually decently buff IRL (figured this because he probably didn’t have enough time to make the abs in the character creation)?

“I will go, where my Loli-baba says I must go”

Well that took little convincing…this might be useful to me later on…

*Splash*

Without hesitation he dives into the waters.

And now, we wait…in awkward silence…

“Ptah”

After a few seconds his Lizardy head pops out from the black depths.

“This what you looking for?” He chucks me something

*Slap*

..
.
Peeling the thing off my face, I see it is a long green stalk with a green flat disc at the top.


ITEM: Pond Lily x1 (Ruined)
A flower that grows in bodies of fresh water.



“Yep this is it”

“Phew” Everyone lets out a sigh of relief. No more wandering around killing wolves.

“Ok, so this quest asks for 40 of them, so we need 240 in total”

*Whistle*

“That’s quite a lot…so you’re doing all the work right Joat?”

Baila, don’t you dare.

“Well the quality doesn’t matter much, and it’s also a free skill for everyone”

A little glint shines in their eyes, well obviously, since skills=xp=levels.

“Let’s go herbing!”

“Whee”

“Wohoo!”

“Wait for me!”

“Loli-baba, let me come get wet with you”

“Kawabunga"

..
.
Guess they really did want to jump into the water; since Zzoid didn’t get attacked, the pond seems safe.
But still…I really need to teach Zzoid a couple of things...not to say.

Baila looks at the water with a raised eyebrow

“What idiots…” she walks up to me shaking her head

“True true” I pat her shoulder, before suddenly scooping her legs off the ground and putting her into a princess carry

“But you’re not allowed to not have fun”

“JOAAAA-”

*Splash*

“HAHAHA. Now I really should join in”

*Spit spit*

Baila surfaces, spitting out water.

“JOAT YOU B-”

“CANNONBALLLL”

*SPLASH*

Instantly my vision darkens somewhat and my eyes sting a little.

The water itself seems to be quite murky so it’s hard to see much.

Luckily the pond lilies aren’t very far from the surface.

The lilies themselves are close to the surface but their stems lead to the still black depths below.

Anways, time to get picking!

Pick 1, pick 2. Pick 3, pick 4…

I’m almost out of breath, but I want to pick the 5th

Swimming over to it I pick it.

-1

Ah I spent too long trying to hold my breath

-2

-3

“Aaaaah”

Phew, almost died there.

*Ding*


Congratulations! Your suicide skill has leveled up due to repeated suicide attempts



Ok…so drowning counts as suicide…well that kind of makes sense.

I see two of the lizards taking a breath about a hundred meters in the distance.

“How much you got?” I shout over to them

“Only 1, they’re tough to uproot teacher”

“Yep, they’ve got some pretty hard stems it seems, must be the turgor pressure” Zzoid actually listened on one of the most boring sections of biology, I'm impressed

“Well, keep at it”

With that I dive back into the dark waters.

Pick 1, pick 2. Pick 3, pick 4.

Should I go for the fifth?

-1

Nope!

-2

“Aaaah”

Hmm, I really need to get a longer breath. Barely 2 minutes…Wait that’s a lot better than what I can do IRL…Must be a game system then, to help with underwater adventures and such.

Also, maybe I can get a longer breath…

I fill myself up with air and then dive back down

I start swimming underwater until I almost start to bleed. Then I resurface and take in some air.
Hmm, usually it’d take a lot of repeats but this I can only repeat once every 2 minutes…Ah!

I take in a tiny amount of air before diving back in for a swim.

Less than 10 seconds later, I have to resurface for air.

Ooh, this might work well

“Aaaah” Baila surfaces quite a long way away “Oh hey! How’s it going?” For some reason I feel like she wants to kill me...

“A little out of breath but I’ve figured something out”

“Ooh, wait a second before telling me” No, I was imagining it...possibly

She opens a window and taps for a short while.

After a good minute (I do my quick breath swim a couple of times as I wait), everyone is surfaced.
“So what skill did you find” Zzoid perceptive as a lizard...ironically true

“Well 2 in fact”

“2? Joat you’re so smart!” Thanks PinkyS

“Of course he is, he’s my teacher/big brother after all” Both Zzand and Zzard raise their heads, looking a bit silly while in the water but whatever floats their pride.

“Let me guess, one is swimming”

“Shh Baila, don’t ruin it for the children”

“Aww and I was getting excited too” PJ sulks slightly.

“Dumbass but anyways, what’s the other skill”

“Holding your breath”

..
.
“Oh…that’s what you mean”

It took everyone a couple of seconds to fully understand what I said. Thankfully it seems they all refrained from calling me idiot, etcetera etcetera, the moment I said it”

“So basically, if we train to hold our breath we’ll be able to do it longer”

“That’s actually smart, although quite obvious” Zzoid muses

Thanks?

“And since to get a skill you need to repeatedly do it, take a tiny breath and hold that for as long as you can, it’ll speed up the process of repetition”

Hah! How am I the dumbass now, Baila?

“Well if the repetition was counted in seconds the breath is held, it’d make no difference which way we did it…Dumbass”

“…I guess…”

“How about we try both ways: Girls will focus on the small breaths and us boys will focus on the large breasts…Breaths"

..
.
Zzard...Don’t say what you think...

Both Zzoid and Zzand give him a plonk on the head

“I’d prefer to focus on the small breasts, I meant breaths”

Zzoid…guess this runs in the family

“I don’t understand why we have to focus on any breaths; sorry I mean breasts, at all”

Zzand, you’re definitely the special child of the family…

Ah, screw it, the girls already look extremely bewildered at this point

“Well you see Zzand, us men usually prefer larger breasts, I meant breasts…”

“JOAT!” I feel the eyes of Baila pierce the back of my head

I turn round with a devious grin

“Don’t worry Baila, you’re all set there”

“I’m going to drown you” She starts swimming her way over here furiously

“Hahah-”

*Choke*

“Your perv, stop looking at me and how dare you splash me with that cannonball!”
Everyone chuckles at the sight of Baila choking me slightly while trying to push me into the water.

PJ seems to be grinning quite a bit while PinkyS has returned to the depths with a slight sizzling where she was, as if the water had evaporated from some extreme heat or something…

Phew, seems like the girls took it nicely? I mean they don’t seem to be on the verge of hating us; even Baila isn’t really choking me to death

-1

Nevermind, must be because of the cannonball

“Baaaailaa” My last croaks of air flow out

“Oops, sorry” She stops choking me and looks away in embarrassment

Cute? I’m not quite sure its the right situation…I rub my bruised throat a bit.

The guys, sort of just drift back underwater, leaving me and Baila alone, in the middle of a pond, in the middle of the night (although a good amount of moonlight).

I swear Zzoid just winked at me before he went…Ah, Zzoid, this time you’re not as perceptive as usual.

“Ok, I’m going to continue almost committing suicide, so have fun picking flowers”

“Oy, weren’t you supposed to pick me a bouquet of lilies?”

“I’ll pick you the greatest quality”

“Hah, the best quality you could get would be medium”

“Hah! I bet I can get you high quality lilies”

“Good luck. If you can’t get a bouquet of high quality lilies, I get to order you around for a day”

“And If I win?”

“I will swoon over your greatness for about 2 seconds”

“heh…How about you stay in my party for the rest of the beta test?”

With that I dive backwards to go find my exquisite quality lily



(Baila’s POV)

You didn’t have to make a bet for that you idiot…I would have gone with you regardless…
Dumbass

Gah, what a dumbass, seriously. I mean its fun to be around him and I can joke with him without feeling this nasty vibe come from him like it does from other guys.Even though he’s got quite the pervy repertoire (Although he’s really joking around, I can tell)…

Why wouldn’t I want to party with him?

But I do hope he finds a high quality lily, because…I don’t know…I really want a flower from him for some reason.

No time to think about the reason. Let’s get back to herbing.



(Joat’s POV)

“Aaaah”

*Ding Ding*


Congratulations! Through repeated action you have learnt the Skill: Swim
SKILL: Swim, beginner [lv1], passive
When swimming:
1% swimming speed increase
Strength bonus: n/a
Dexterity bonus: n/a
Agility bonus: n/a
Cost: none, Duration: none, Cooldown: none
xp increase by 5%



Congratulations! Through repeated action you have learnt the Skill: Holding Your Breath
SKILL: Holding Your Breath, beginner [lv1], passive
When holding your breath:
1% increase in breath
Cost: none, Duration: none, Cooldown: none
xp increase by 5%




Sweet! But no possible stat bonuses with HYB (Hold Your Breath)…I wonder what helps it?

Anyways, not much of a use, however it only took me 40 minutes to gain both.

I mean that was mostly because I was constantly swimming, since I’m in the water and all.

Usually a skill would take about an hour to learn…but this situation and my great wisdom sped it up quite a bit.

Anyways, now I should start doing some herbing.

I dive back in and start to pick 1 pond lily so very slowly.

So far, everybody’s gotten around 35 lilies ( I only have 9 however...); although most are only poor quality (mostly because they don’t have the herbalism skill yet).

I finish picking my lily…damn only a medium.

Refreshing my air, I head back down.

Hmm, another medium. Overall not too bad, but I need this high quality.

Not because of the bet…I actually don’t want to win, because being ‘forced’ to do things for Baila sounds like it’ll be an interesting day for me.

I want to get a high quality lily because I really want to try out a great pickup line I’ve always wanted to try…ah that reminds me, I need to get one for the minor too…Maybe I should just accidentally forget…

However, right now I should be focusing on the lilies; which are only mid quality at most.

How do I get high quality? I mean if I use the knowledge from the berries: The cleaner the picking the higher the quality.

I’m picking these with literally no mistakes; just snapping the stem with my hands and taking the lily at the top

..
.
Oh…That’s why.

I go back up and get a nice big breath of air.

Diving down, I keep swimming down and down and down. Jesus how deep is this lake?

After almost a minute of swimming down, I spot the pond bed; rockless hills of dirt.

All the lilies’ roots are embedded in the flat bits right next to the hills.

Perfect!

I land onto the hill and kneeling down, am right next to the root of a lily.

I’m about to dig but suddenly the hill quivers slightly, sending me floating up a bit

..
.
What was that? A mini earthquake?

Weird.

I swim back up for air and go back down to the same hill as before, thankfully distinctive by a black patch of dirt in the center.

Kneeling on it once more, I ‘m once again about to dig, when the weird hill quivers, sending me back into the air.

I look at it intensely

..
.
So it’s just a weird quivering hill? Monster Identification didn’t do anything so that’s what I’m guessing is the truth.

Going back up for air, I quickly message Baila to hand me her knife.

She surfaces and chucks it

-1

God dammit.

I thank her and she chuckles “Dumbass needed a handicap” as she dives back in.

Ok back down to this bizarre quivering hill.

I wonder what it could be; a secret hole? Or maybe a pile of treasure, long buried?

Ooh I’m excited. Of course if there’s a skill book (although since it’s underwater, I doubt it) I’ll be ecstatic.

Reaching the hill, I kneel on it and stab it.

*RRRRRRRRRUMBLE*

HMMM?

The entire ground seems to shake violently and my knife gets ripped out of my hand as the hill splits in two, revealing a large yellow eye...


WARNING!!
Mini-Boss: Pond Kraken has been awoken!
You have 100% agro




..
.

Shit

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