33 Skill Successor
After Shesmu found out about the wolves' hideout, he immediately turned back to the direction of where he left his comrades.
Same as before, Shesmu jumped from one tree to another until he reached the clearing. He deemed this method of traveling to be faster as he wouldn't aggro the monsters that roamed below him.
The wolves' corpses have already disappeared and the only one who sat on the clearing under the moonlight was DepressedRyan.
"Hey, Shesmu. Did you find anything? I searched for half an hour and couldn't find the dungeon, so I gave up and came back."
"Yeah, I found the cave."
DepressedRyan's eyes turned wide before he exclaimed.
"For real?! For a second I thought that no one will find it. It's night and not many monsters are active, so I assumed that it will be hard to find their cave."
"Well, I found two wolves bringing back meat in their mouth, so I just followed them."
"That's lucky. Well, if we got to find the dungeon then everything is well. Now, we just need to wait for Leo before we raid the dungeon."
DepressedRyan became irritated before he continued, "But what the heck is wrong with Omega9. We are in a party but we can't send messages to each other, what kind of bullshit is that?"
Ah, that. Well, we are in the tutorial after all, and it's not like we're actually a party recognized by the system. We need to wait until we reach the tower before unlocking that feature.
"Maybe it's just a tutorial thing," Shesmu explained. "It would be pretty dumb if we lose contact with each other every time someone is lost or died in a raid."
"Yeah, maybe," DepressedRyan responded. He then pondered for a few seconds before he asked, "We don't know when Leo will come, so we'll just be wasting time if we wait here indefinitely. Rather than just waiting, can you please help me train that Empowered Slash Cancel you always use?"
Shesmu was surprised for a second by DepressedRyan's question before he just smiled.
"Sure, but are you certain about that? I thought that you were going to be an assassin."
"Well, I do want that, don't get me wrong, but- I think that the ability to chain my normal attack to skills that fast would help me even as an assassin."
"Hmm, sure then. Let's do that." Shesmu unsheathed his sword and got into a battle position before continuing, "get ready."
DepressedRyan nodded his head at Shesmu and unsheathed his dagger before readying his stance.
"I'm going to do it once, so look attentively. Imagine that there is a creature in front of you that you want to kill. Materialize it in your head and then perform the technique. Do you understand me?"
"Yes, I do!"
With these words, Shesmu closed his eyes for half a second before he reopened them. In front of him, the same white humanoid misty creature that he fought at the tutorial building appeared. Shesmu raised his sword and performed Empowered Slash Cancel, successfully hitting the white shadow twice.
After making a successful attempt, Shesmu breathed out and the misty creature disappeared.
"Now, do it!"
DepressedRyan closed his eyes like Shesmu did, and reopened them again. Even though Ryan's eyes looked at Shesmu, the latter knew that they weren't focusing on him. Ryan's eyes saw a world of his own, separate from the real world.
DepressedRyan swung his dagger towards an invisible enemy and activated Empowered Slash midway. By the time the skill was fully activated, Ryan's blade went past Shesmu's line of sight.
Shesmu didn't console DepressedRyan after his first failure. He saw in DepressedRyan's eyes a competitive fire and will to learn that was rare even with pro players. Consoling him will only dwindle that fire and make it weaker, so he abstained from doing so. Shesmu just kept looking at DepressedRyan solemnly.
DepressedRyan took his stance once again and redid the same motions as before, trying to execute Empowered Slash Cancel.
It was another failure, but Ryan didn't cry out loud this time around.
He kept repeating the same motions, every time not complaining about his failures. Twenty times he tried, and twenty times he failed. But Shesmu knew from watching his movement that Ryan was close to getting the timing right. For the last ten tries, he was off by 0.1 seconds, either late or too early.
DepressedRyan readied his stance for the twentieth and one time, swinging his dagger and activating Empowered Slash midway. Green energy went from his abdomen to his hand. The moment the dagger reached Shesmu's line of sight was the moment the blade of the dagger shone with a green light.
"Good work, Ryan."
DepressedRyan's eyes looked vacant for a moment with his hand still raised holding the dagger, when he suddenly dropped it.
"I did it! Man, did you look at me? Holy moly, it finally worked. For the past ten tries, I have been missing it by like nothing until it drove me nuts!"
Shesmu kept silence listening to DepressedRyan's rant. He knew the feeling all too well. Every time a new technique or a strategy was made public, all the pros had to train to master it. Sometimes, there were these techniques that no matter what you do, you just can't replicate. Sometimes it takes weeks and even months before it finally clicks and you get it right.
DepressedRyan was still ranting before the duo heard the sound of clapping behind them. They turned around only to see Leo walking towards them, smiling while clapping.
"Good job Ryan, that was really cool."
"Oh, Leo. For how long have you been waiting?" asked DepressedRyan.
"A few minutes or so didn't want to stop you midway when you were so focused. Anyway, did you guys find the dungeon? I couldn't find anything even after a search for close to an hour."
"Yeah, Shesmu found it."
"Oh, if that's the case, then what are we waiting for? Let's go."
Leo's smile never left his face for the entirety of the conversation, but Shesmu's face was in total contrast. Other than when Leo announced his presence, Shesmu couldn't look at his friend in the eyes. Guilt was eating away at his insides.
The trio went in the direction of the wolves' cave with Shesmu being the guide. After fifteen minutes, Shesmu could no longer stop himself and asked Leo.
"Leo, why did you not ask me to teach you Empowered Slash Cancel? I would have thought you if you asked me, so why? Don't you feel left out being the only one who didn't learn it?"
Shesmu's questions stunned Leo for a second before he broke out a laugh.
"Haha, so that's what was on your mind the whole time? Shesmu, you're way too serious. Of course, I wouldn't mind, what difference does it make that I know the skill or I don't? We're all on the same boat aren't we?" Leo then continued, with a more serious tone. "Of course I want to be more useful to you two, but it doesn't mean I'll resent you if you don't teach me some skill you thought to Ryan. That's not how friends- no, brothers work."
Leo's speech shocked both Shesmu and DepressedRyan. Shesmu was rendered speechless, not knowing what to say. However, in his heart, he swore to cherish Leo even more.
"Leo! I never thought you would be this romantic of a guy. Yes, that's indeed how a brother should think. Brothers give but never ask, brothers accept but never expect, that's what a brother is!"
Even DepressedRyan who usually teased and laughed at Leo couldn't help but have his eyes water a little after his friend's speech.
After listening to DepressedRyan's speech, Shesmu just smiled and turned his head back to the direction of the dungeon. After another five minutes, they reached the entrance of the cave.
"So, this is the wolves' dungeon," concluded Leo.
"Seems like it."
Shesmu took a few steps towards the cave, and once he passed the entrance, a notification message reached him.
Congratulation on finding the level 10 dungeon: Silver Wolves' Cave!