[Basic Weaponry] contained knowledge on how to craft simple guns and conventional weaponry. It also increased mastery and crafting speeds.
[Basic Material Composition] was one of the core Weaponry talents. The quality and grade of a product was affected by that of its materials, and many of the key materials for higher level machinery were synthetic compounds that had to be crafted.
You have learnt five Weaponry talents! You have unlocked [Novice Refining] and [Overload]!
You have unlocked the blueprint [Robot - Rover]!
[Novice Refining] allowed one to refine materials for higher quality ones. Any skills or abilities with the terms 'novice', 'beginner', or 'basic' were generally the lowest versions of themselves. Most of them would have more advanced versions. For example, [Molecular Refining], that allowed the user to perform instantaneous molecular manipulation simply by expending Energy.
Materials were graded similarly to equipment. Of course, the higher the grade, the higher the value, but the two materials of the same grade could also have differing values. For example, a common iron ore was worth about $13 a pound, while a refined dark iron ore was worth about $45 a pound. Both were Common materials.
[Overload] - Active Skill
Drains Energy to temporarily increase the output of Machinery by 30-50% at the cost of durability. If Han Xiao activated this skill together with his Lightweight Mechanical Arm, its damage and defense would both be significantly boosted. However, with only 120 Energy, he would only be able to maintain the skill for 10 seconds or so.
I've finally unlocked an active skill! rejoiced Han Xiao. Mechanics had so few active skills in their early levels that it was quite sad. His escape from the Germinal would have been much, much easier had he possessed this active skill back then.
The [Robot - Rover] blueprint was an easy-to-obtain, early level robot blueprint. It was a low level utility robot that could be equipped with weapons and armor for combat, scouting, and defense purposes, and was also able to self-destruct. It wasn't created for a specific purpose, but could be modified and improved. They were widely used for prospecting and mining.
Gaining so much from just two talent points, a bargain!
Suddenly, he noticed Old Man Lu creeping up towards him.
"What are you looking so excited all of a sudden?"
Han Xiao rolled his eyes at him, replying, "Aren't you being a little too nosy?"
"Nosy? Why?" Old Man Lu took a moment to inspect himself.
"It's working hours. If you're not helping then go away!" interrupted Lu Qian as she slammed her welding torch down. Her face was flushed and dripping with sweat under the protective goggles she was wearing.
"Little brat," grumbled Old Man Lu as he carried his bottle of beer outside for a walk.
"Shop owner, is this a repair shop?"
A customer arrived as soon as he left. It was a middle-aged man.
Han Xiao turned to look at the guest, and he noticed the man was looking at him. The man immediately averted his gaze.
Suspicious, thought Han Xiao. When he further noticed his above average sense of balance and solid footing, he realized that the man was most likely an agent from Division 13 who had been sent to test him.
Lu Qian walked forward to receive him with a polite smile.
"Welcome. What is it that you need repaired?"
"My car broke down," replied the middle-aged man as he watched Han Xiao. "It's outside."
"Alright, no problem."
Just as Lu Qian was about to pick up her toolkit, the middle-aged man suddenly pointed at Han Xiao and said, "I want this little brother to repair my car."
Lu Qian was stunned. Do I not look capable enough? You're being sexist!
"I'll do it," agreed Han Xiao as he took the toolkit from his dejected boss.
The pair came out of the alley into the main street, where an old sedan car was stopped by the roadside.
"This is the car."
Han Xiao lifted the bonnet, inspected the interior, and swiftly began to perform repairs.
As Han Xiao worked on the car, the middle-aged man tried to strike a conversation.
"Kid, you're quite young, aren't you?"
30? Do you think I'm blind or what The middle-aged man nearly choked.
"How should I address you?" he asked.
"You should show some sincerity when asking for a person's name," replied Han Xiao without looking at him.
"I'm Feng Jun," answered the middle-aged man awkwardly.
"That's a nice name," complimented Han Xiao, except that he didn't sound the least bit sincere, leaving the middle aged speechless." But you misunderstand; I just want a cigarette," he added.
Feng Jun uncomfortably took out his cigarette pack and passed one to Han Xiao.
"You can call me Han Xiao," introduced Han Xiao as he took a puff and returned to the task at hand.
Feng Jun continued to probe. "Han Xiao? You're not a local, are you? Where are"
"It's done," Han Xiao suddenly interrupted, cutting his words off.
What the hell? I've only just started to probe you! Can you not be so quick?
Han Xiao expressionlessly stretched out a hand, saying, "A pipe was broken. I'll charge you $60. Pay up."
Of course I know the pipe is broken, damn it! I broke it on purpose!
Feng Jun smiled as he took out his wallet and slowly fiddled around in an attempt to buy more time.
"You have pretty good skills. Where did you acquire them?"
"Oh, that's amazing. Where are you from?"
"From the countryside."
Han Xiao raised an eyebrow.
"Are you trying to get a discount out of me?"
At his wits end, Feng Jun coughed dryly before finally pulling out the money to pay up.
Will the department reimburse me for this? he wondered.
Han Xiao sneered. "I thought it would take you another hour to find your money. How big is your wallet?"
As he whistled whimsically, he proceeded to pack up and headed back to the workshop.
When he left, Feng Jun cheerlessly made a phone call.
"Initial observation concluded. The target is a mechanic and his threat level is still an uncertainty. Duration of contact was 4 minutes and 38 seconds. The target named himself as Han Xiao. I suggest proceeding with more testing, and to avoid direct confrontation.
"My analysis of his character? Hmm... yes... extremely annoying!"