Chapter 7: Adept
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Through his conversation with Zhang Tieniu, Qin Shujian gained a general understanding of the Liangshan Stronghold.
He only realized when he took control of the Liangshan Stronghold that NPCs also needed to eat.
Both he and the unintelligent fodder NPCs had to eat every day.
Eating meant that he had to spend money.
It was impossible to grow crops in such a desolate place like Liangshan until they reached self-sufficiency.
Thus, the stronghold had to purchase food once in a while.
More accurately, they would head to other villages or strongholds and rob them.
However, the Liangshan Stronghold was not strong. The other villages and strongholds also had guards. Thus, they only took the risk and robbed the other areas when absolutely needed.
More often than not, the Mountain Bandits would head down the mountain to purchase food.
Qin Shujian felt a wave of pity when he realized this.
An ordinary Mountain Bandit did not have the restriction of being unable to walk out of Liangshan at will. They could go anywhere as long as they did not cause any trouble.
Similarly, as a gang of bandits, the operations of the Liangshan Stronghold did not stray away from robbery and thievery.
Even though their location was not the greatest, merchant teams would frequently pass through the area.
Under such a situation, the merchant teams either had to pay a fee for the Liangshan Stronghold to guarantee their safe passage out of Liangshan or be eradicated by the Liangshan Stronghold.
That was the Liangshan Strongholds primary source of income.
Qin Shujian rubbed his eyes. He felt a little tired.
There were only a total of 50 silver taels left in the whole of the Liangshan Stronghold. However, not including him, there were 70 other Mountain Bandits in the stronghold.
The daily expenditure of 70 Mountain Bandits was roughly two silver taels.
That meant that the 50 silver taels could only last the Liangshan Stronghold a little more than half a month.
Qin Shujian knew what would happen if the money was depleted just by giving it a little thought.
“Zhang Tieniu, lead three men and scout the strength of the factions around the Liangshan Stronghold, then report back to me about their general situation.”
“Yes,” Zhang Tieniu nodded in agreement.
Then, Qin Shujian turned to look at Wang Tiezhu, “Closely monitor the area around Liangshan to see if any merchant teams are heading toward us. Immediately report back to me when you find something.”
“Yes,” Wang Tiezhu said, also receiving his orders.
Qin Shujian felt satisfied when he saw the two of them leave respectfully. They hadnt rebutted his words in any way throughout their interaction.
Even though most of the 70 Mountain Bandits in the Liangshan Stronghold didnt possess high intelligence, these people could all respawn. Furthermore, they were immensely loyal and would never think to betray the Chieftain.
Qin Shujian would issue the Mountain Bandits with orders as long as he remained the Liangshan Stronghold Chieftain.
According to Qin Shujians estimation, the Liangshan Stronghold was probably a small copy of a game. Within the game were preset NPCs that would respawn after some time passed even if they were killed.
However, there was an exception.
NPCs that were killed by Players could respawn. However, the NPCs that were killed by other NPCs would not be able to respawn.
In other words, the Mountain Bandits that he killed in the past did not meet the criteria to respawn.
The system revived all of the Mountain Bandits of the Liangshan Stronghold when he became the new Liangshan Stronghold Chieftain.
Aside from that, he could also recruit refugees and convert them into new Mountain Bandits if he wanted to expand the influence of the Liangshan Stronghold.
These converted Mountain Bandits were different from the Mountain Bandits who were originally from the Liangshan Stronghold.
They would not obey the Stronghold Chieftain orders 100% of the time, and there was a possibility that they would rebel.
Then, Qin Shujian placed his attention on himself.
No matter the problem, it was of utmost importance that he enhanced his abilities.
“I only have 18 points of Life Value left. It would not be possible for me to enhance the Bodyforge Manual again. Instead, it is the Mortal Tier Mid-Grade Black Tiger Blade Technique that has room for improvement,” he thought.
“Originally, I only had the Bodyforge Manual and lacked an offensive technique. Now that I have the Black Tiger Blade Technique, even if it has not been enhanced, my abilities should have been strengthened considerably.”
“If that is the case...” Qin Shujians expression shifted slightly. He looked at the Black Tiger Blade Technique on his attribute panel and slipped into deep thought.
From his point of view, the level of his stage was of utmost importance.
As long as his stage increased, his abilities would also increase correspondingly.
However, with his current 18 points of Life Value, there was a large gap to cover if he wanted to enhance his level. It was rather improbable to reach that state in just two short days.
“Rather than save my Life Value until I become old, I might as well spend every point of my Life Value to its fullest potential now,” Qin Shujian thought, and he no longer hesitated when he became clear on this.
He looked at the plus sign behind the Black Tiger Blade Technique and had a thought.
He saw three points of Life Value suddenly vanish, and the Black Tiger Blade Technique change from Beginner to Enlightened.
A different understanding welled up in Qin Shujians heart.
He seemed to have practiced the once unfamiliar Black Tiger Blade Technique for many years in his mind. A faint aura spread out from his body.
He had spent three points of Life Value to increase the Black Tiger Blade Technique level by one.
Qin Shujian saw that there was still a plus sign behind the Black Tiger Blade Technique. He then glanced at the 15 points of Life Value he still had left. He hardened his heart.
The 15 points of Life Value instantly got reduced to zero.
Qin Shujian did not have the time to feel pity. He felt a powerful memory well up in his brain, and it forced him to close his eyes.
Sometime later, he finally managed to internalize all of the memories.
The Black Tiger Blade Technique transformed from Enlightened to Adept.
“Adept!” Qin Shujian grabbed the Tiger Head Sword by his side. An intense sensation welled up in his heart.
In that instant, all three strokes and 18 forms of the Black Tiger Blade Technique rapidly flashed past his eyes like a movie.
He was only holding onto the Tiger Head Blade, yet it gave people the feeling of a ferocious aura pouncing toward them. It was as if the threatening aura had come from a fierce tiger that was ready to strike.
In the next instant, Qin Shujian left the Zhongyi Hall and arrived at the empty field outside.
The source of this content is no/vel//bi/n[./]net'
Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh!
There was a cold glint on the Tiger Head Sword as Qin Shujian unleashed all three strokes and 18 forms of the Black Tiger Blade Technique.
It was as if a raging wind was howling on the level ground. It also felt as if the roar of a tiger was shaking the mountain.
Fierce Tiger Descending the Mountain!
Shocking a Hundred-Mile Radius!
Fierce Tiger Looking Back!
When he came to the final form, Qin Shujian felt as though there was a knotted breath within him. It made him uncomfortable.
He let out a long roar. It seemed to be mixed in with a tigers roar.
All of the icy light around him gathered and took the shape of a blade before fiercely cleaving onto a giant rock in front of him that was the height of a man.
The rock shattered and scattered onto the surroundings.
Qin Shujian pulled his blade back and stood at his original position. His chest was rising and falling slightly with his breath. He had an insuppressible joy in his eyes.
Qin Shujian only realized how much power the Black Tiger Blade Technique at the Adept level had when executing the Blade Technique in person.
If the current Qin Shujian were to battle himself before he cultivated the Black Tiger Blade Technique, the latter would not last many rounds.
That was because...One of them only had levels but no technique to deal with his opponent.
The other had the same level but had also cultivated a powerful Blade Technique. His abilities would be much more powerful.
Qin Shujian didnt know which level Wu Sheng had cultivated the Black Tiger Blade Technique to. However, as long as the other party developed the technique to the Enlightened stage or even the Adept stage, it would be fine.
Even if he had the first move in their confrontation, it was highly possible that he would still have lost the battle.
Qin Shujian had exhausted his 18 points of Life Value to obtain the Black Tiger Blade Techniques Adept stage.
It was a worthwhile trade.