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Mortambo

[F02-PP] <<Breaking the Unbreakable>> Fists of Iron [RESTARTED]

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As I stepped foot out from Urbus, a nervous chill ran down my spine. While the second floor was still far from the front lines, it was the furthest I had dared to venture. I still was finishing up some quests on the first floor, but I had heard that if you sought out a certain NPC in the Southern Mountains of this floor you could learn the Martial Arts skill. I put out an open call to form a group as I heard this quest can be particularly hard to solo. Very quickly, I had plenty of responses and we formed up and headed out to the spot in the southern mountains. As Urbus fell away in the distance, my anxious energy turned into excitement. As the hills to the south of town began to turn into the foothills of the mountains I realized my adventures had finally begun and I didn’t have to live in fear anymore.

Quest Objectives:

Spoiler

-At least one [1] Page (21 or more posts)

-Must destroy <<The Boulder>> using only your fists. Damage bonuses such as Damage enchantments and Athletics apply, but your weapon skill rank does not, nor can you use any sword arts. Players with Martial Arts skill may apply their rank damage, but you may not use sword arts.

<<The Boulder>> is a respawning Quest object and has the following statistics:

HP: 50
EVA: -2

Combat Stats:

Spoiler

Damage: 2

Equipped: Bloody Hand-Wraps (+1 Damage, +2 Bleed)

Battle-Ready: 1 Tier 1 Uncommon Damage Potion (+1 Damage)

This is the only relevant stat since it is just destroying the Boulder

Party:

@Dustin

@Neopolitan

 

 

Edited by Mortambo

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Dustin cuts through the second floor, having heard about someone who needs help with the quest he hated to do. Of course, he wanted to help because he didn’t want this person to spend a great deal of time on a quest where the only reward was the skill Dustin used. Now he wanted to use that skill to do something fun, but the invitation distracted him. So, I guess breaking a rock is how this is going to go down. The boy looks down at his hand wraps and thinks for a second, looking up again and making his way through the small crowds of people that still populate Urbus. As he began to approach the other player he smiled, putting his negative feelings on the backburner yet again and raising his hand to wave. “Heyo, the name’s Dustin, are you the one who was looking for help with the rock quest?” He asks, making sure he didn’t just abruptly approach the wrong person again. Dustin wasn’t bad at social interactions, but he wasn’t amazing at them, even though that’s never stopped him before. “I’m here to help.” He says, a friendly smile on his face towards the player.

@Mortambo

@Neopolitan

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As the other player approached me, and I realized he was one of the ones who accepted my invitation to party, I nodded and returned his wave. "Hey! Yeah, I am Mortambo and I heard this quest was a tough one, so I thought I might need some help with it. I really appreciate it. It's my first time grouping up and ..." I trailed off briefly and looked beyond the walls of Urbus with a bit of nervousness, "my first time beyond the first floor. Until now I have just been doing basic quests around the Town of Beginnings. Anyway, I really appreciate the help." I offered my hand to him to shake, and then looked around again, "I think we had one more person who offered to help. As soon as they get here we can head out. I know this quest is probably really boring for someone who has already completed it," I said indicating Dustin's hand-wraps. "I actually bought some of those for after I unlock the skill, but I guess they will come in handy," I say quickly pulling up my inventory and switching out my axe for my hand-wraps. 

@Neopolitan

@Dustin 

Edited by Mortambo

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“Oh, I got mine when I wanted to do this quest as well, though I want new ones, copper dragon scales with obsidian claws is kind of cheesy.” He says, describing the wraps around his arms as he looks up to the other player. Reaching out and shaking his hand he turns and looks around for anyone else whose eyes might fixate on the two, not seeing anyone giving them a second glance. Huh, not many people in the mood to help a few players? Guess chivalry is dead. He looks to the other player and tilts his head, “Doesn’t look like that person is gonna make it, so, you wanna go get this done?” He asks, turning and walking, “Shouldn’t be too difficult for the two of us, though it might seem like it’s gonna take a while.” His eyes forward as he doesn’t even check for Mortambo to follow, he just starts chugging along like a train out of the station. Nothing to stop him, except maybe a huge rock, but that’s beside the point.  He was ready for the world, and his experiences so far were what made him so ready.

@Mortambo

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Scrambling after Dustin’s sudden departure, I jogged briefly to catch up to him, my armor making a rather loud sound. “Yeah I guess they aren’t coming, but I’m sure you’re right about it being easy. You’ve already done this before so it should be a piece of cake.” For a while, there was just silence as they traveled to the south as I struggled to keep pace with Dustin’s confident stride through the wilderness. After a little while, the foothills began to give way to the Southern Mountains and I piped up again, “So what is the furthest floor you’ve explored? You seem a lot more experienced than I am. Well, obviously since you’ve completed this quest and it’s a pretty low level one.” Looking around warily for anything moving in the wilderness, I looked back at Dustin, “And should we be worried about getting ambushed around here?”

@Dustin

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Dustin laughs, remembering how worried he used to be all the time. “Nah... unless you have enemies.” He chuckles, then makes a straight face and looks at the other player. “Or unless mine are around.” He looks into the person’s eyes and shows no hint of joking. Then he turns and walks forward, thinking back to the highest floor he had ever dared to touch before. “Huh, that’s a difficult one. I’ve been up to 21 a few times. I think I’ve even been to floor 22 once.” He looks like he’s thinking onnthe question extra hard. “Mostly just small stuff I’ve killed, but the hardest fight I’ve ever been was a boss sort of. Kind of like a mini boss. It was hell.” He smiles, turning back towards the path and returning to the confident walk he had before. Even if my enemies were to be around here, I’m sure this Mortambo person would just run away when I told him to. “Hey Mort, If I tell you to run, you’d better run.” He says, his face more serious than when he made the joke before. This was the truth, he wanted Mort to run if Dustin said so, other than that, Dustin couldn’t care less what the player did.

@Mortambo

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I laughed with Dustin, and then my face sobered when he mentioned his enemies. “I don’t think I’ve made any yet. Not that I know of anyway. I’ve just been in the Town working on my blacksmithing.” Walking down the path managing to keep up this time, I responded “Wow, Floor 22? The frontlines only just made it to 24. That’s amazing!” I chuckled a little to myself, “Well the hardest thing I’ve fought so far were some boar pups, but it made me realize if I’m going to end up soloing I need to do a little more damage. Which is why I decided on Martial Arts.” Seeing Dustin lost in thought for a moment, and then telling him to run, I look right into his eyes and say “Yeah, okay, if you tell me to run I definitely will. I think any thing you’d tell me to run from is probably beyond me.” The mountains got steeper as they climbed, and any time now they should be getting to the NPC with the quest. 

@Dustin

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Dustin nods, “Okay, just wanted that out there.” He spins and sees the Boulder they were there to break, “I knew we were getting close. You run up and initiate it.” He says, walking over and leaning on the rock as he waits for the person to start the one part of the entire quest. His hands run over the rock as he stands alone and examines the rock. You’re lucky we can’t use sword arts. You’d be done in one hit, now it’s gonna be 7 hits at most. He smiles, knocking on the Boulder as he backs up, raises his hands and stands ready to take his first swing, almost wanting to break it. Like he was angry at the rock or something. Okay, legs spread, knees bent, arms up, eyes on the enemy, mind in their hands, though this thing can’t hit back. Focus on the enemy but don’t forget the environment, for a rock or chair could be your best friend. His stance looks calculated, as he stands up more relaxed pulling out a cookie and taking a bite. He would offer another to Mortambo if they were around.

@Mortambo

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Seeing how excited Dustin was to get started, I quickly hurried over to the small hut and found the NPC. "I'd like to learn the Martial Arts skill." "Ah, yes, it takes much discipline and focus to master the Martial Arts. But it begins with but a single test. Make the Boulder outside crack and I shall teach you the basics," the NPC said bowing to me. I returned his bow and said "I accept your test, sensei" and went outside. Seeing Dustin in a fighting stance, I run over to him as he relaxes out of it and takes out a cookie. Dustin offers me a cookie and I take one and take a bite of it saying "We can beat it up now. Do we really just...punch this rock? It seems like it's going to hurt." 

After finishing the cookie, I take a stance vaguely, okay very vaguely, like the one I briefly saw Dustin in and try my best to hit the rock. As I did I heard a sharp crack and pulled back thinking it was the rock already cracking. Then the pain shot up my arm as I realized it must have been my hand cracking because the boulder was untouched. "Ouch! I was right, it hurts like hell!"

Punch Results:

Spoiler
  • ID 111241
    •  Battle: 4 +2 (HIT)
  • Boulder: HP 48/50 EVA -2

@Dustin

Edited by Mortambo

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So he’s not very used to getting into fights, good, he’ll learn from the ground up. Dustin smiles, pushing off of his back leg, spinning and slamming hit hand into the rock as hard as he can. The rocks health drops to about 80% and Dustin smiles. The had already done so much to this thing and there wasn’t much left to go, now of course, Dustin was more experienced than the player, but he had no idea how this player was going to act on a miss. True character isn’t revealed in victory, but rather in defeat. He steps back and motions for the other player to go again, and Dustin just smiles, walking back to the old NPC and sitting down next to him. “So, you got some tea around here? This isn’t gonna take long, but it’d be nice to catch up with an old pal over some tea.” He says, as the NPC responds with the same lines he gave to everyone, and Dustin just shakes his head. Considering I rarely miss anymore, and this guy is already doing good, we should be done in no time. He sits on the step and watches, if only for a moment.

ID: 111267

BD: 7 + 2 + 2 = 11

1(base) + 2(two handed bonus) + 4(rank 4 MA) + 1 (HandWraps) = 8 DMG

48 - 8 = 40

Boulder: 40/50 HP | -2 EVA

@Mortambo

Edited by Dustin

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Watching Dustin spin up into the air his fist slamming into the Boulder making the entire thing shake I just stood in awe for a moment. “Wow, he’s on another level, I’m glad he’s helping me out.” As he walked over the Sensei I once again tried to mimic his actions. Jumping off on my back foot I tried a mid-air spin and overcompensated, falling flat against the boulder. Backing off and shaking myself I took some more time to analyze and judge the distance. This time, I executed the move much better and managed to complete the spin and put most of my body’s weight behind the punch, my fist slamming against the rock and making it move…a little. For a second, I had a grin on my face before the pain hit shot up my shoulder again. “I can’t wait until it stops hurting so much.” I grimaced as I backed off again waiting for Dustin’s turn.

Punch Results: 

Spoiler
  • ID 111269 
    •  Battle: 9 +2 = 11 (CRIT! +1 DMG)
  • Boulder: 37/50 HP -2 EVA

@Dustin

Edited by Mortambo

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Dustin stands up, less energy than before, and walks over to the Boulder. “Looks like you did my share as well.” He pulls his arm back and sort of lobs it at the rock, looking back to the player and nodding, the health staying the same. “You look like you’re still feeling the bite one every hit, there’s a remedy but you’ll have to find it on your own.” He says, looking down at his hands and then back at the rock, “Sometimes all it takes is a little extra umph to make that pain go away, sometimes it’s a whole bottle of pain relievers. Whatever it is, it’s your remedy and that’s your business.” He says, walking back to the spot and sitting down, pulling out a bottle of a liquid and looking at it, swirling it in the glass and taking a sip. I love apple juice, makes these hot days go by just a little bit faster. He looks at the health bar in the corner of his screen and thinks for a moment. “Hey pal, you ever want to go hunting after this just shoot me a message and you got yourself a deal.” He shouts to the person.

ID: 111271

BD: 1

Boulder: 37/50 HP | -2 EVA

@Mortambo

Edited by Dustin

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Slamming my other fist into the Boulder, I watched the HP drop just a smidge. At least I’m making progress. I felt the flash of pain again and backed off kind of shaking my hands some out of reflex to get it to go away. “I’m actually hoping I can just toughen up a bit. I figure eventually I’ll get used to it, but it just sucks right now.” Seeing Dustin drinking the apple juice, I pull out some water and take a sip as well getting in a quick break. “Hunting would be great, although I’ll admit I’d like to level up my skills a bit more. I’m not sure I could keep up with you and the things you’d be hunting at this level,” I said grinning. “Whew, I think I need a bit more of a break,” I continued as I walked over to the spot Dustin was sitting and folded down to a sitting position on the ground. “Punching rocks can take a lot out of you apparently.”

Punch Results:

Spoiler
  • ID 111279
    •  Battle: 7 +2 = 9 (HIT!)
  • Boulder | HP 35/50 | EVA -2

@Dustin

Edited by Mortambo

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Dustin looks at the rocks health and notices how it barely dropped from the other player’s hit, so he stands up and walks over, drawing his fist back and launching it forward at incredible speeds, pushing his hand into the rock with a lot of weight and power behind it. The fighting in the real world meant he knew how to throw a punch, but in this game it was different. In the real world Dustin would just push his hand forward and hope for the best, in the game, Dustin’s attacks made a difference, so he always made sure he was doing it right. After that event boss I need to be less reckless, I need to focus on being more useful as a teammate and I need to know my place. The rocks health drops to a little over half as Dustin backs up and sits on his step again looking down at the player. “Your turn, make sure to put your weight behind it, and turn your hips, it’s where the power comes from.” He says. “For your back hand, bounce on your back leg and push yourself forward, but don’t forget the turn.” He explains the basics of a powerful punch. It’s common knowledge, but it’s always helpful if you didn’t know before, so Dustin was making sure.

ID: 111307

BD: 5 + 4 = 9

35 - 8 = 27 HP

Boulder: 27/50 HP | -2 EVA

@Mortambo

Edited by Dustin

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Taking Dustin’s advice I slowly went through the motions to be sure I had it right before going to punch the Boulder again. While it was common knowledge, I had been a researcher in a lab so any tips were definitely welcome which is why I had been emulating him the whole time. “Yeah, I think I see what you mean. Like this right?” As I punched the rock again, it hurt slightly less this time. Maybe I was just getting numb? Who knows? “I appreciate the advice. This game is my first real experience fighting so it’s a little rough learning. Even swinging my axe around seems like luck or the system’s help more often than not.” Shrugging, I continued “I guess that’s the point? That we don’t need to be combat experts. It still seems like it would be useful if you were a martial artist or kendo expert before coming in here though.” I kind of trailed off in thought as I backed off to let Dustin take his turn at the boulder.

Punch Results:

Spoiler
  • ID 111330 results:
    •  Battle: 4 +2 = 6 (HIT!)
  • Boulder: HP 25/50 | EVA -2 (-2 HP)

@Dustin

Edited by Mortambo

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Dustin’s hand pulls up and he smiles. He was never told what martial arts was when he was learning. He was just told that it was about perseverance, and that as long as you don’t break, the rock will. He was never told the best part about it. The creativity. Dustin’s attacks weren’t limited to just slashing stabbing and flatting. Now he could use anything on his body to force more weight behind his punches. He jumps, doing a spinning backflip and lands, using the momentum to push his hand into the rock much harder than he can when he was just hitting it. It’s all about hitting on this quest, it doesn’t teach you the dangers of being a brawler. Every attack must mean something. Every punch and kick needs weight to inflict damage. But the punchline is, whether you’re small or big, weak or strong, tall or short, you’ll always do the same damage. He walks back towards the player who was copying him as he nodded. If he tries that, the damage won’t be the same, but he’ll look just as cool.

ID: 111395

BD: 10

8 + 2 = 10 DMG

25 - 10 = 15 HP

Boulder: 15/50 HP | -2 EVA

@Mortambo

Edited by Dustin

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Watching Dustin do an amazing backflip and transition into a punch I just stood there in awe for a moment. I’m not even sure my body would move like that. I moved to about the distance he was standing from the rock and did my best to mimic his movements. Okay now the backflip and…I didn’t quite follow through enough and slammed into the ground rather than landing on my feet. Standing up quickly, and brushing myself off I moved back to the proper distance. I knew what I had done wrong. As I jumped I felt the System try and take over but I resisted it not wanting to give it control to help me follow through but this was…not exactly a Sword Art, not yet, but a just little bit of natural physical help the System gave us to compensate for being skinny nerds. I tried again, this time letting the System take over when it kicked in and perfectly executed the backflip then I delivered a pretty good punch twisting my whole body into it. The Boulder’s health only dropped a little bit but hey it was something.

Punch Results:

Spoiler
  •  ID 111396
    •  Battle: 8 + 2 = 10 (HIT!)
  • Boulder: HP 13/50 | EVA -2

@Dustin

Edited by Mortambo

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The boy was getting excited. The game was letting him have fun, when usually it took a good hit or two from a monster that did enough damage to scare the boy for him to feel a rush. This was different. This was him taking control, he was doing what he was doing, not the system. His legs straighten as he takes a decisive step towards the rock, rotates his hip and pushes his fist into the rock directly where he had before. Looking up he sees the health bar drop a little as he then turns back to the other player and grins, “It was about here that the help I had stopped and had me finish it off. It shouldn’t take much longer, so you have fun, I’ll just sit here and answer any questions you have.” He says, sitting down and pulling out a whole pie. Of course he had snacks, he always did, it’s why despite all the hunting he did, he never had any col. That and the monsters he killed rarely had a lot of col on them, but that’s not important to the fact.

ID: 111434

BD: 5 + 4 = 7

13 - 8 = 5 HP

Boulder: 5/50 HP | -2 EVA

@Mortambo

Edited by Dustin

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I nodded as Dustin backed off and replied “Yeah, that makes sense. I really appreciate the help. I’m not sure if I have any questions but if I think of any I will ask.” I turned to the Boulder and as I thought about this whole encounter and Dustin going from doing fancy moves to just almost nonchalantly punching it I realized that while you have to put power behind your strike to make the System follow through the actual way you did it didn’t matter so much. You did the same amount of damage whether it was a massive overhead strike leaping from the air, or a simple punch. Disregarding the use of Sword Arts anyway. Realizing this, with no frills or anything extra, I walked up to the boulder and not even bothering with the stance punched it while still twisting my hips to get the extra power I needed. It’s health didn’t move even the miniscule amount it normally moved for me. “Huh, I must not have put enough into that one. I thought that would work.”

Punch Results:

Spoiler
  • ID 111436
    •  Battle: 1 + 2 = 3 (MISS!)
  • Boulder: HP 5/50 | EVA -2

@Dustin

Edited by Mortambo

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Dustin nods as the player remarks about not hitting hard enough, as he stands he chuckles, “Yeah, you have to commit to the attack, but don’t over do it, it’s a waste of time at that point.” He says. “Also, when doing basic attacks, the system pretty much keeps you up to par with how the damage works, so make it your own. I focus on speed attacks with a side of power. Flips and spins are my style, they keep my enemy guessing what I’m gonna do, without giving too much away.” He adds, pointing out that every style has its advantages and disadvantages. The strongest attacks are generally slower and more “I can hit harder” type moves, Dustin was made for “I can hit you more than you can hit me.” Though the system keeps you in the driver seat, just takes the wheel from time to time, Dustin was able to carry that into the game with him. Of course, it wasn’t as practical here, the difference being not matter how little damage a level 10 character is, blow for blow a level 1 will lose every time. Real life was different. Me hitting someone mattered, what ever the case. Now, in some instances they didn’t do what I wanted them to do, but they did something. In this, if you hit, they lose a little bit of health, if you miss they don’t. It’s too black and white. He frowns, looking at the rock, standing at about a tenth of the HP it started with, and he just shakes his head. In the real world, it would be broken by now. Because in the real world, a hit matters. In this one, every hit can be followed by another. He looks up at his energy bar and back towards the other player. “How about I send you a friend request?” He asks, opening his menu.

@Mortambo

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