19 Martial Arts

There were three Master Tier ability scrolls available, but they were all a whopping 60,000 Contribution Points!

Not one to turn down the opportunity to look at such a rare sight, Zack quickly read through their descriptions.

[Unshackled Flow - High Grade Master Tier (3x)] CP60000

[Move like a gentle breeze, and strike like a storm. Those that master this set of techniques can fight effortlessly against their peers.]

[Focused Fury - High Grade Master Tier (3x)] CP60000

[Disrupt your opponents' Ardor Flow with precise jabs. Those that master this set of techniques will hit tried and true without fail.]

[Symphonic Superstorm - High Grade Master Tier (2x)] CP60000

[A manipulative melody. Those that master this technique can control the flow of a fight.]

Each one of them was amazing to Zack, but alas, he was in no position to even consider buying them, so he turned his attention to the other, more affordable options.

After a long drawn out silence, he made his choices.

[Aura Manipulation - Low Grade Nascent Tier (232x)] CP500

[An introductory scroll into the realm of Aura Manipulation. Learn to conceal your battle prowess among a plethora of other essential skills!]

[Ardor Constructs - Low Grade Nascent Tier (37x)] CP500

[An introductory scroll into the realm of Ardor Manipulation. Learn to create on-the-go weapons when desperate times call for desperate measures!]

[Enhancement Sorcery - Low Grade Nascent Tier (46x)] CP500

[An introductory scroll into the realm of Enhancement Sorcery. Learn to temporarily boost your battle prowess in order to secure victory!]

[Wistful Whirlwinds - Mid Grade Novice Tier (13x)] CP1000

[A series of ten relaxed fighting stances and techniques that pack a serious punch.]

"My, quite the frugal individual." The Sect Elder waved her hand, causing the scroll to disappear and allowing four smaller ones to take its place.

"With that, you now have zero contribution points. I look forward to seeing you again, Dilan."

"Likewise, Sect Elder. Before I depart though, I'd like to know where I can find the Health Department's location." He then picked up the four scrolls, putting them where his health and stamina potions once were.

"Head towards the Inner Sect Pagoda from here, and you'll stumble upon their building pretty quickly. It has a giant tree growing through it."

With a nod, Zack began his walk. Because of how late it was, only a handful of Outer Sect Disciples could be seen walking about, and even those few were only going back to their living quarters.

'Man, I haven't seen a single player here yet. . . Is being spawned within a Sect that rare? Or are they all in the Inner Sect Already?'

It wasn't impossible, after all, he had just earned 2,500 Contribution Points on his own as a level zero character. He wasn't entirely sure how he'd be able to become an Inner Sect Disciple, but he imagined it had something to do with a character's level.

A short while later, he found himself in front of a large circular plaza with a moderately sized building in the middle of it. It had intricate wooden walls that conformed to the roots of the giant tree growing through it, and the thin material making the sliding doors allowed the light from within to leak out.

The entire area felt surreal as Zack walked towards the entrance, a few leaves falling every so often as the leather sole of his shoes hit the stone pathway beneath him.

Coming up to the entrance, he took one last look around before going through and being greeted by a small waiting room. Some NPCs were sitting on the chairs, half asleep or sniffling at the pain of their injuries.

He saw an empty seat and quickly sat in it out of habit, but was quickly greeted by a middle-aged maiden. She was certainly easy on the eyes, but Zack was feeling too sore to care. That zap he received really did a number on him.

"Ah, Dilan. We already know the situation and have prepared a medium quality healing potion for you to use. Please be more cautious next time around, okay?" She then handed him the healing potion before going up to another patient.

Zack drank it right then and there, and was amazed to feel his body return to normal in a matter of moments. The stamina potions made the trek back easier, but they didn't heal the stress he endured.

With a sigh of relief, Zack thanked the maiden before leaving again, heading to his living quarters in order to read the scrolls he had just obtained.




With a soft thud, Zack sat down on the floor and unrolled the scroll for Wistful Whirlwinds. Unfurling it completely, he started at number one, ready to spend the next thirty minutes practicing the first five forms.

[Propelled Punch: Through the meridians in your elbow, release a quick burst of Wind Ardor as you throw a simple punch. You will have mastered this technique when your punches consistently produce a shockwave.]

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Zack stood up and faced the sliding door, and closed his eyes. He focused on the Ardor coursing throughout his body, and as he continued his focus, he was able to make out the meridians.

It was a strange thing, being able to look within yourself like that, but Zack had more pressing matters to worry about. He threw a punch, and willed the Ardor within his arm to propel his arm forward.

He. . . vastly overestimated the amount of force needed, propelling himself forward into the sliding door. Zack found it to be much sturdier than it looked, considering the way he bounced off it with a loud thump.

Had he unlocked the AP Bar functionality already, he would have seen the fact that that one punch had cost him twenty points of Ardor off his AP bar.

Zack then got up and repeated the process a handful of times, before throwing a punch without propelling himself forward. Zack repeated that punch, releasing the exact same amount of Ardor again, finding that to be around the optimal amount.

Upping the ante, he threw another punch, his footing shifting slightly, as a shockwave harmlessly hit the wall. Unsatisfied with the attempt, he did it again, releasing a little less Ardor.

He repeated that punch several times, and each time it produced a shockwave without ruining his stance. A system notification rang out after his seventh punch.

"First Martial Art Learned."

With a chuckle, Zack quickly moved over to the table and looked at the next technique on the scroll.

[Propelled Kick: Through the meridians in your ankles, release a quick burst of Wind Ardor as you throw a simple kick. You will have mastered this technique when your kicks consistently produce a shockwave.]

Zack kicked at the air for a minute before he felt confident in being able to keep his balance, and began releasing the necessary burst of Ardor.

Having done a similar move already, Zack was quick to pick this one up as well, the variety of kicks he attempted all producing shockwaves.

"Second Martial Art Learned."

He quickly went on to the third technique.

[Movement Cancel: Through the necessary meridians, release a quick burst of Wind Ardor as you throw a strike to cancel its momentum. You will have mastered this technique when you can consistently halt your movements.]

Zack couldn't understand the need for a movement cancel, but he didn't have the time to care, and proceeded to practice the move for a short while, throwing a punch but stopping it, throwing a kick but halting it. The works, as one might say.

"Third Martial Art Learned."

Then he turned his attention to the fourth technique.

[Acrobatic Burst: By releasing Wind Ardor through the meridians in your feet you can increase your running speed or increase the height of your jump. You will have mastered this technique when you can use it consistently.]

'Neat. . . Guess I don't have much use for my movement technique now.'

He quickly did a few hops using the technique, having quickly grasped the concept of utilizing one's Internal Ardor. Zack could now readily adjust the height of his jump by expending different amounts of Ardor.

"Fourth Martial Art Learned."

Only one to go until Zack could reap the rewards of The Basics for a second time.

[Whirlwind Kick: Run forward and perform a spinning jump kick, and then propel yourself through the air by releasing Wind Ardor. You will have mastered this technique when a shockwave consistently permeates from the technique.]

This time, Zack went outside to avoid making a mess out of his room. With a running start he jumped and performed the best spinning jump kick he could, and then propelled himself with Ardor.

He spun with the grace of a half eaten hotdog before landing on the ground and rolling across the ground some distance away until he hit the wall of another house.

Zack got up shakily, having hit his left knee against the ground pretty hard. Panting heavily, he got up and sat against the wall.

"Ah man, that really fucking hurt."

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