Leo was leaning on a tree, checking his inventory. There, he could find the money he gained from killing the goblin. His 10 coppers turned into 20, but he couldn't tell whether the additional 10 all came from the goblin he killed or both of it and DepressedRyan last hit.
Moments after, he heard shuffling from the direction Ryan and Shesmu took. Looking up, he saw them both walking towards him.
Leo stood up and asked, "Oh, that didn't take long. So, did you guys find any other goblin group?"
DepressedRyan was first to respond, "Well, yeah. We found a similar group 20 meters from here. This time, there is no rock throwing goblins at the top of the trees, so it's all good." He then paused for a second before continuing, "but first, Shesmu wanted to discuss something here."
"Yeah, what I wanted to discuss first was Stat Allocation. We get 5 attribute points each time we level up, so I thought it would be best for us to allocate them depending on what the team needs." Shesmu then pondered for a moment before continuing, "I know that it's a little bit weird to allocate stats according to the team's need, especially since we're all warrior, but I wanted us to at least have stats allocation that makes kinda sense."
"Well, since Leo is more of the headstrong tank type of person, he should probably crank up his vitality and strength. As for me, since I handled all of the assassinations up to this point, I think that focusing on agility would be my best bet."
"Ah, about that," Shesmu cut in, "why don't you change your class to assassin?"
Hearing the bomb drop, both of Leo and Ryan looked at Shesmu incredulously.
"You can do that?!" Leo asked, surprise apparent on his tone.
"Yes, you can. The instructor in the first tutorial room talked to me about it. He said that I have to go through the purification ritual or something of the sort."
"Purification ritual," DepressedRyan muttered. He then continued with a louder voice, "But, I haven't played a class other than swordsman in any game for the longest time. Just coming and switching now feels weird."
DepressedRyan's answer brought up more questions than it had answered. "You only play swordsman?" Shesmu asked, visibly confused, "were you always playing this janky assassin version of the swordsman class?"
After Shesmu asked his question, DepressedRyan frowned and muttered, "No, it wasn't this way." The pain accentuated forcing Ryan to hold his head with both hands, "Agh, it hurts- my brain, I don't understand," cold sweat dripped from his forehead and his legs wobbly.
Seeing his friend in such a pain, Leo held DepressedRyan. Leo acted as Ryan's support before consoling him, "Don't worry about it, let's just sit for now until the headaches come off."
Shesmu promptly agreed with the proposition and the trio leaned on the same tree, one next to the other. Leo kept taking care of DepressedRyan while Shesmu was lost in his thoughts. 'He has the movements of a decently good player even when compared to the scene ten years from now, but he doesn't know anything about the game. He says that he is a swordsman, but still moves and thinks like an assassin. No matter how I think about it, this makes no sense. Did he come back from the future, but forgot those memories? If so, how?'
Questions kept popping up in Shesmu's head, but no matter how much he thought about these things, he couldn't reach a definitive answer. From the corner of his eyes, Shesmu looked at Leo and Ryan. The injured man was slowly recovering with the aid of Leo. 'Your secrets seem to be deeper than mine, Ryan. In any case, staying with you will definitely make things more interesting.'
After DepressedRyan recovered, the trio continued their exploration of the forest. They went in the direction of the goblin group Shesmu and Ryan found to start their hunt.
There was five level 3 goblins in the group. Shesmu quickly assessed the situation and barked out his orders.
"Leo, you charge in first to hold their attention. Ryan, wait in the sideline and look for an assassination. I will try to focus one goblin at a time to relieve the stress from Leo, be ready to strike!"
The party immediately went into action with Leo taking the lead. He raised his sword and lunged towards the first goblin.
The horde of goblins were in no formations. They were scattered randomly, and when Leo attacked, they couldn't respond properly. Before they could even stop the attacker, Leo activated Empowered Slash and swung his sword towards his victim.
After Leo slashed the goblin's chest, he backed off a little to avoid getting swarmed by the other monsters. With their high agility, the goblins were able to quickly catch up to him, however, using the range of his sword, Leo kept them at bay.
The injured goblin was still struggling to get up on its feet, when a sword, flashing green, came from behind and plunged deep inside its heart. DepressedRyan then took out his sword from the goblin's corpse before going back to the shadow of the forest, waiting for his next opportunity.
The four living goblins surrounded Leo from all four directions, waiting for a mistake from his part. They kept this status quo for two seconds before Shesmu came in. He ran towards the goblin right of Leo, attracting the attention of its comrades. The three other goblins wanted to help out their brethren, but the moment they did so Leo lunged towards the goblin in front of him and plunged his sword in its ribs. The goblin screamed in pain, stopping the other two from coming to the aid of the goblin Shesmu was facing.
Shesmu noticed the indecisiveness of the two goblins and didn't waste his chance. While the goblin in front of him was distracted by the cry of his comrade, Shesmu quickly ran towards it and performed Empowered Slash Cancel while aiming for its neck.
Instinctively, the goblin raised its arms to guard its neck. Shesmu's sword has cleanly cleaved through them, leaving the goblin crippled. With no way to attacks but its teeth, the goblin was but a sheep ready to be slaughtered. It turned its back in an attempt to flee but Shesmu just thrust his sword into its back, ending its life.
The two goblins that were indecisive just a moment ago seemed to have decided that their target should be Shesmu. They ran towards him but Shesmu didn't pay any attention. His focus was on the goblin Leo was fighting.
The tip of a sword peeked out from the goblin's stomach, while its eyes stared in shock. Behind it stood DepressedRyan, who jumped at the opportunity the moment the goblin was struck by Leo. In its daze, it couldn't sense the presence of death that was approaching from behind.
Looking at this situation, Shesmu just sighed and smiled. After easily dodging the two goblins' attacks, he told his teammate in a loud voice, "Guy! Wanna check out what happens when 3 people share a kill?"
"Sure, why not? It's good information," DepressedRyan responded, while Leo just nodded his head in confirmation.
Hearing their confirmation, Shesmu thought for a second, 'Well, I haven't tested this yet, but can I still grab and throw like before?' Deciding that it wouldn't do any harm to try, Shesmu feigned a slash before grabbing one of the goblins from his hand. He then tried to perform a back throw, but in the midst of his actions, Shesmu stopped. 'Wait, what do I do next?' In Shesmu's past life, he didn't think about how to back throw when he did it, it just came out naturally without him having to think about it. Now that he lost his muscle memory, he could no longer do it.
'Well, it doesn't matter. It was just for style points anyway, and I can always learn it again, it's not that hard of a technique.'
While Shesmu was consoling himself with his thoughts, the free goblin jumped towards him with a knife in its hand. Shesmu immediately reacted to this attack with a front kick to the face of the creature, stopping it mid-jump. He then used Empowered Slash to cut the hand of the goblin that he was still holding making it scream in pain.
By this time, Ryan and Leo reached the scene and killed the crippled goblin in two hits. The other goblin suffered a similar fate.
"It seems that killing a monster as 3 is more lucrative than as 2. The ratios are 100%, 50, 50. If this trend keeps going like this, won't large teams just steamroll everyone in leveling speed?" DepressedRyan asked after checking everyone's exp gain.
"Not necessarily. Monsters take us so little time to kill, if large teams waste time trying to get everybody to hit the monster once, it would be worse than just grinding normally," Shesmu retorted. He then continued with an aggravated tone, What I'm worried about is that large guilds can nurture powerhouses just by having them touch a monster and leave the rest of the job to another person. That would be beyond broken."
"You think we should report that?" Leo asked. "If the situation is as you say, it wouldn't be just beyond broken, it will make the game competitively invalid."
"Yeah, let's do that," DepressedRyan agreed. "Hopefully with that, it will be fixed in next update." With these closing statement, the trio decided to put the matter to rest.
After the fight with the goblins, Leo finally reached level 2. With this event, the group decided that it was time to sit down and allocate the attribute points. Each person starts with 5 points in each stat. Shesmu put 2 points into Strength and 2 into Agility and 1 into Dexterity; Ryan put 2 into Dexterity and 3 into Agility due to Shesmu's advice, and Leo put 3 points into vitality and 2 into Strength.
They decided to keep allocating stats this way until they gain more information that would change their minds. The trio then decided to continue their grinding session, and they did so for 4 hours. In this part of the forest, there were only goblins so that's the only thing they fought. However, even with that, they were able to all reach level 5 before stopping.
"Agh, those goblins are so greedy! The only thing they dropped are these lousy trash knives. They are even worse than our newbie sword!" Leo complained.
"Well, it can't be helped. The only thing we fought are normal monsters at or under level 5, we can't expect to equip ourselves with the best gear from their drops," DepressedRyan soothed Leo. He looked at the scenery in front of him before continuing, "plus, shouldn't you be excited? Gears, treasures, and bosses, all of those are in front of us. We have reached the red zone!"