The blood test results were compiled quickly.
Hila went over the data she had received from Lin Wei Xian with knitted brows.
"No abnormalities detected?"
"Valkyrie mainly affects the brain. We will need to open the head up for assessment."
Open the head up? snapped Han Xiao inwardly. Open the head up
Hila waved a hand in dismissal of the idea.
"He is the only subject to have ever survived the experiment. We'll leave that option out for now."
Han Xiao's eyes lit up as he realized that his current status was somewhat advantageous for him.
Lin Wei Xian was not pleased by Hila's decision, but he made no fuss about it.
"In that case, we'll observe him for the time being to see if anything has changed."
"Proceed with the brainwashing," ordered Hila suddenly.
Han Xiao's heart sank. Brainwashing was a common method of subordination, and while in the game, a brainwashed character would simply become an ally of the faction, it was completely different now! Losing his sense of self was the worst-case scenario.
The good news was that memory altering technology available on the planet was still under-developed, so the organization's methods were very primitive; they made use of sensory stimuli to re-calibrate the subject. A character with at least ten points in Intelligence would be immune to the effects of the brainwash.
Valkyrie had given Han Xiao a +1 boost to the growth potential of his Endurance. Growth potential was an innate stat that affected the growth rate of the affected stat. Different races had differing starting potentials in each stat, and in the entire world of Galaxy, humans generally had a mediocre growth rate. They did, however, boast the highest Intelligence potential. As they also possessed the lowest Health, this single point in Endurance growth potential was nice to have.
[Concentration] gave him a 10% increase in mastery and crafting speeds, also increasing their success rates.
[Low Level Willpower] gave him three points of Willpower, which substituted for three points of Intelligence, so he still lacked three more Intelligence to survive the brainwash.
Leveling the Civilian class will boost a random stat by one, and also give me one unassigned stat point... but the chance for Intelligence to be boosted is extremely low...
Han Xiao knew that he could not rely on luck. In fact, he had always suspected that he was cursed. If a god or goddess did smile upon him, it would have to be the goddess of disaster. Rather than rely on luck, finding some way to learn a new class was a more reliable idea.
Although Han Xiao was incapable of moving freely, there had to be a way! After all, it was a scenario, wasn't it?
Suddenly, he thought of something.
If I'm an NPC... I should be protected by the system... right?
"Take him," ordered Hila.
Han Xiao was yanked away once again and brought to another room.
Han Xiao noticed that there was a bookshelf in this room.
They were all reference books.
Hold on, there's a class book there! rejoiced Han Xiao.
Han Xiao disregarded the two guards behind him as he stood up to walk towards the shelf.
His actions startled everyone, and instantly, the two guards were pointing guns at him.
However, Han Xiao steeled his nerves and continued to approach the bookshelf.
You'd better not fire! he prayed. I'm a valuable test subject!
"Hold your fire! Let's see what he's up to," shouted Lin Wei Xian all of a sudden.
The two guards hesitantly lowered their guns.
Han Xiao heaved a sigh of relief. He had been banking everything on his status as the first successful subject.
This was the book that had caught Han Xiao's eye. He picked it out from the shelf and started flipping through.
Although the long paragraphs of texts and complex diagrams were hard for Han Xiao to comprehend, he patiently read on. After twenty seconds or so, the interface lit up.
You have completed one session of self-learning in basic machinery knowledge!
[Basic Assembly] has progressed by 2.0% (based on your Intelligence).
(+0.2% from Concentration)
As I expected! Han Xiao rejoiced. Although he wasn't able to understand the book's contents on his own, the system's automated mastery system had allowed him to directly absorb the knowledge.
Lin Wei Xian curiosity was piqued. The test subject seemed to be learning!
He allowed Han Xiao to continue in order to observe him more.
The entire room was now silent, except for the rustling of paper.
Han Xiao's reading speed increased with time. However, the pressure mounted on. Every second that passed could be his last.
When Hila arrived at the room, the sight of Han Xiao reading caused her to frown.
"What's going on?"
Lin Wei Xian began to explain what had happened.
"You're saying that his learning ability has been strengthened?"
"That is my initial conclusion. If you allow me to open his head up to perform a thorough assessment, I will be able to come up with a more complete answer."
Han Xiao flinched. How much does this bastard love brains
Hila thought to herself, If his brain has been enhanced, he could prove to be more valuable than we initially thought...
"Is the brainwashing apparatus ready?" she asked.
"Preparations are complete."
Damn it! I have to be faster! thought Han Xiao.
Suddenly, a notification accompanied with a sound popped up on the interface.
Progress rate: 90% (+10%)
You have learned basic knowledge of Machinery, unlocking the Mechanic talent tree!
You have unlocked a new profession:
STR +10, INT +1, END +1
You have gained 2 stat points.
You have gained 1 talent point.
You have acquired new skills:
As warmth surged through Han Xiao's body, he realized to his surprise that he could actually comprehend the contents of the book now!
I can gain actual knowledge from the game Are you kidding me? Galaxy has been in service for over a decade! How come the Federation of Earth hasn't conquered the Milky Way yet
The 'Character Information Interface' had updated as well:
Name: Han Xiao
Race: Human/Carbon-based (Yellow)
Model: NPC (countdown to Version 1.0 launch: 358 days 10 hours 11 minutes)
Main Class: Engineer (Novice) Lv. 1 (0/200)
Sub-class: Civilian Lv. 1 (0/50)
Health: 43/50 (injured)
Attributes: 3 STR, 3 DEX, 5 END, 4 INT, 1 MYS , 2 CHA, 1 LUK
Unassigned Stats: 2
Energy: 10/10 [Lv. 1]
Lv. 1 (10) [STR +1, DEX + 1, END + 1, MAX STAMINA + 20]
Energy Rank: 3~4
Grade: F (Mortal)
[You still lack the combat strength to take on 5 lowly thugs.]
- Concentration: +10% to mastery and crafting speeds
- Lesser Willpower: +3 to focus
Lv 1 (0/1000) Increases mastery of engineering
Lv 1 (0/400) Able to perform simple maintenance
Lv 1 (0/600) Able to enhance machinery
- Arms: Basic Assembly Lv 1 [19 talents not learnt]
- Energy: [20 talents not learnt]
- Control: [20 talents not learnt]
Regarding stats, Strength improved melee damage and was also a requirement for some heavy equipment.
Dexterity improved movement speed, attack speed, and evasion. It also gave a bonus to ranged attacks.
Endurance increased Health and Energy. 1 Endurance gave 10 HP and 10 Energy. Endurance also affected some abilities and skills and increased HP and Energy recovery rates.
All actions depleted Energy, be it attacking, blocking, walking, running, swimming, crafting, etc.
Endurance also affected physical defense. There were many formulas contributing to the calculation of defense. For example, even if two characters' defense stats were equal, one of them might not be wearing metal armor, so they would take more damage from a bullet than the other character.
Other factors that affected damage taken included Energy, range, bullet type, racial characteristics, and equipment material. All of these factors were taken into consideration when calculated by the quantum computer that the servers were run on. It was impossible for players to accurately optimize defense, but this wasn't that big of a deal, as having more defense could only be a good thing.
Intelligence affected growth rates and Willpower. A character with higher Intelligence could master their skills faster. It also increased mastery and crafting speeds, and it could affect the quality of any machinery crafted by a Mechanic, making it the most important stat for the class.
Mystery affected a character's talent for supernatural powers, and it affected psychic powers and magic abilities, like how Strength or Dexterity affected physical abilities.
Charm was useful when improving relationships with different NPCs and Factions. It even enabled characters to enjoy discounts with certain sellers.
Luck affected judgement and item drop rates.
These were the seven main attributes that stat points could be added to.
Then, there was also Energy, a core component of the game that functions as 'Mana' for superpowers. It could only be increased through leveling or by acquiring certain skills, and it was described as 'a manifestation of the dormant power that lies in living cells'. Energy was a requirement to unlocking superpowers, as well as latent awakening.
A character would also receive bonus stats based on their Energy level. Lv. 1 Energy was reached at 10 points, Lv. 2 at 50 points, and Lv. 3 at 100 points. Each Energy level would give random stats according to the character's class, and a character with a higher level class would benefit more from this. This bonus worked retroactively.
Energy was also the mana for superpowers, and the additional stats received from Energy were lost when the amount of Energy remaining dropped below its tier.
For example, Lv. 1 stat bonuses would be lost when Energy dropped below 10 points; the character would become fatigued after exhausting power, and this affected their combat ability. This mechanic made micromanagement in combat important.
Energy recovered automatically but at a slow rate. However, Stamina could be used to recover Energy faster. Also, when using Superpowers without sufficient Energy, Stamina could be used as a substitute, and when there was both insufficient Energy and Stamina, Health could be used. Many players ended up dying carelessly by sucking themselves dry this way.
A character's grade reflected their combat strength. Characters were ranked according to their grade. The standard unit of measurement for Energy was the Ona.
Superhumans were graded A, B, C, D, or E, based on their Ona levels.
An E-grade superhuman, such as the present-day Hila, possessed 100 Ouna.
A Celestial-class superhuman would fall under grade A. Grade A superhumans were capable of planetary-scale destruction.
Of course, grade A wasn't the limit. Han Xiao knew this, having transcended grade A himself. However, then was then and now is now.
Having gained two unassigned stat points from unlocking the Mechanic class, Han Xiao still needed one more Intelligence in order to endure the brainwash.
Apart from leveling up, there did not seem to be a way for him to obtain it. How was he supposed to gain experience? He obviously couldn't hunt monsters now or complete quests!
Damn it, is there no way?
Suddenly, an idea occurred to Han Xiao.
He abruptly tossed the book to a side and proceeded to stare at the gun on the guard's waist with a blank expression.
Hila frowned but did not act. Everyone looked on to see what Han Xiao was up to.
Han Xiao walked rigidly towards the guard. As if to make his intentions extremely clear, he reached out exaggeratedly for the gun.
The guard instinctively drew his gun, and although Han Xiao did not seem to have any intention of snatching it, he tightened his grip.
As Han Xiao was moving extremely slowly, the guard did not see a need to fire.
"Unload the gun and let him have it," ordered Hila.
She was keen to know Han Xiao's motives.
The guard obliged and proceeded to do so.
Upon receiving the gun, some information popped up on Han Xiao's interface.
73-WASP (Small Caliber Handgun)
Damage: 28 -35
Fire Rate: 1.1/s
Power Output: 13
Key components: Spring, Slide, Firing pin, Magazine (missing)
[Basic Assembly] automatically gave Han Xiao knowledge about many types of machines, and the blueprints for a 73-WASP appeared in his mind.
Instantly, Han Xiao understood how to assemble it. While in the game he simply needed to 'load' the gun after 'learning' it, he now had to perform some more technical procedures.
Everything was truly far more immersive than it had been in the game, confirming his suspicion that he had transmigrated to an actual 'reality'.
Han Xiao began to strip the handgun and reassemble it.
The skill icon for [Basic Assembly] lit up.
After 40 seconds, he finished the task.
To a specialist, 40 seconds was nothing. However, Han Xiao was a complete newbie!
He had only spent 10 minutes on a book!
Everyone was shocked.
Is this the effect of Valkyrie
Lin Wei Xian started speaking excitedly. "Such learning prowess! If I can analyze his brain, perhaps I can recreate..."
Go to hell! How much, exactly, are you obsessed with brains?
Han Xiao proceeded to repeat reassembling the handgun.
You have succeeded at an Assembly (Basic)
69% perfection rate, 28 exp gained
You have succeeded at an Assembly (Basic)
73% perfection rate, 32 exp gained
There were many ways to gain experience in Galaxy. Apart from hunting monsters and completing quests, skills and crafting were two key sources of experience for Mechanics.
As Han Xiao repeated the task again and again, he gradually became faster and faster. He was soon able to complete the task in a mere 20 seconds.