SPO Chapter 17

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Translator’s Note: Our editors, god bless their pubescent souls, are currently inflicted with the curse of exam week so there aren’t going to be many translations this week. Pray for them so they don’t cry themselves to bed at the end of the dreaded week.

Translator: Craxuan
Editor: Craxuan and darklord5555

Chapter 17: The Mystery of the Ring of Earth

Yue Qiang left the area and arrived in front of the entrance of the village chief’s small house. He pushed open the door and entered, and was surprised to see the teacher Chen Zi Han inside.

As it turned out, Chen Zi Han was the village chief of Yue Village.

After acquiring the dialogue system, Yue Qiang hadn’t had the chance to talk with Chen Zi Han. Now that he ran into him, Yue Qiang quickly tapped out the dialog box and gave a few polite formalities.

“So it was you, Mr. Chen! This kid has truly been disrespectful for not paying a visit during the past few days. I have gone out of the village today, and it was all thanks to your sliver of refined energy that I managed to complete the quest. This kid feels the utmost gratitude and admiration towards Mr. Chen inside his heart.”

It took him a ridiculously long time to type in every compliment that he could think of before replying. Chen Zi Han stroked his beard with great satisfaction and a rather pleased look before he replied,

“And then? Is that it?”

Yue Qiang blanked out for a second, “I beg your pardon?”

“Is that all you’ve got to say?”

Yue Qiang was dumbstruck. So this old man hadn’t enjoyed enough of the compliments and wanted to hear more…

He quickly changed the subject and jumped straight to business, “Teacher is most wise. Anyway, today I have gone downhill and killed an enemy, and I have seized a piece of letter especially for your reading. May teacher lend me your wisdom?”

“May teacher lend me your wisdom’ was a sentence that Yue Qiang learned while playing games. It was a very complimentary and traditional way of speech that roughly meant, ‘What do you think, Yuan Fang?’ (T/N: A quote from the Chinese TV show, ‘Young Sherlock’ that evolved into a popular troll-like net term). Yue Qiang had thought that since the game was so realistic, he would say whatever that inflates the ego the best.

As expected, Chen Zi Han was extremely satisfied upon hearing his words, and he received the letter before giving it a thorough read. Then, sighing pretentiously, a dialog box appeared beneath his avatar as he said,

“Do you know why the Zhao Army attacked our Yue Village?”

“This kid does not understand.”

“It is all for the ‘Ring of Earth’.” The teacher Chen Zi Han sighed again, “The Ring of Earth is a treasure under our protection for tens of years when it was passed to me. However, the Zhao State’s national strength is so powerful now that I am afraid our village may not be able to protect it any longer.”

This was the first time Yue Qiang heard someone bring up the term ‘Ring of Earth’ after he read the letter. Therefore he asked, “This kid has learned late (T/N: A polite self-reference that means that he is lacking in knowledge). May I fearfully request to hear the wondrous purpose of this Ring of Earth?”

Chen Zi Han did not answer and asked instead, “Do you know why everyone in our village – except you that is – has such strong vitality?”

Caught by surprise, Yue Qiang gave the thought a moment and realized that it was indeed the case. Be it the teacher Chen Zi Han, the blacksmith Tan Xiong, or the girl living in the giant crossbow log house Gongshu Shaoyang; they all had high strength and vitality. At first he thought that the game’s stats were set to twice the value of the average stat in the real world, but he changed his mind when he saw the Zhao soldier.

All of the Zhao soldier’s stats were quite similar to his, and the reason he reached an average high of 15 stats was because of the buff provided by the military skill ‘Well Trained’.

When Yue Qiang arrived at this point of thought he suddenly came to a realization. Could it be that this treasure called the ‘Ring of Earth’ actually had the ability to increase a person’s stats permanently?

Seeing that Yue Qiang was deep in thought for a very long time, the village chief Chen Zi Han finally explained, “The Ring of Earth cannot directly increase a person’s ability around it. This is because everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses, and there is also a limit as to how strong a person’s body can become. In order to break through this limit, they must have a corresponding realm and cultivation, and the Ring of Earth is able to enhance a person on a ‘realm’ basis to a completely new level!”

Reading these words, Yue Qiang thought carefully in his mind.

It wasn’t hard to understand the village chief’s words. The Ring of Earth was able to enhance the cultivation of a person’s heart, and the cultivation of a person’s heart determined their maximum stat value. Yue Qiang suddenly recalled that he also had a stat that had reached its absolute threshold; that ‘Charisma’ stat that wasn’t all too useful in combat.

At this thought, he quickly clicked the blue progress bar at the corner and checked.

His Charisma stat was still at 16 points, but its color had changed back from gray to black. It was now in an editable state again.

Did this mean that his charisma stat had broken through its limit?

Wait a second, that’s it! While he was fighting against the Zhao Soldier; trapped in extreme danger and had not yet realized the true use of the ‘Run’ skill, the system had sent him a message, ‘Automatically learned the skill: Pure Heart LVL 1’.

Because the situation then had been rather precarious and the system had not provided any additional explanation, he had nearly forgotten all about it when he was checking his rewards and combat skills. But now he had recalled it again.

According to Chen Zi Han’s explanation, a character’s cultivation of their heart was the determinant of their absolute limits. If that was true, then this ‘Pure Heart’ skill that he had learned in the brink of life and death was probably something far better than the 340 combat experience points he acquired!

Chen Zi Han continued, “Everyone in Yue Village has a deep attainment in the cultivation of our hearts. On the surface it appears that our personalities are rather defined, but the truth is that once your heart have reached a certain level, it will then affect your external temperament as well. For example, Tan Xiong’s ‘Heart of Mohist’ gave him the personality of a callous person, and that little girl Gongshu’s ‘Heart of Artisan’ made her attentive and warmhearted. The same goes with everyone else.”

When Chen Zi Han had finished speaking, out of curiosity Yue Qiang clicked open his status and checked.

Again, he discovered that under Chen Zi Han’s skill a line of ‘???’ question marks had been unlocked. It was called, ‘Heart of Tactician’.

So it would seem that everyone’s spirit had a different name. The ‘Heart of Artisan’ was still somewhat understandable, and he could guess that it could probably increase a person’s dexterity. But what about ‘Heart of Mohist’, ‘Heart of Strategist’ and his own auto-learned ‘Pure Heart’? What exactly do they do?

The teacher Chen Zi Han did not discuss about a spirit’s cultivation anymore and narrated on the ‘Ring of Earth’ instead.

“It was exactly due to the passive effects of the Ring of Earth that the people in our village are able to attain some level of results in the understanding of our respective spirits.” The teacher plus village chief Chen Zi Han said seriously, “And the cultivation of one’s spirit is the absolute condition to enhance our bodies beyond their limits.”

“The Ring of Earth is so important to us that Yue Village must protect it at all costs!”

After hearing his explanation, Yue Qiang could not help himself but ask, “And what may be the Ring of Earth’s background to have such a powerful ability?”

“Naturally.” Teacher Chen Zi Han said, “The Ring of Earth was originally just a simple iron ring. But then something happened, and it became our village’s most important treasure.”

At this moment the font of Chen Zi Han’s words inside the dialog box turned thick and huge, “This something, was that it became a cow’s nose ring.”

A nose ring? A cow’s nose ring, even?

Since when did a cow’s nose ring can become a treasure?

“This cow is different.” Chen Zi Han said, “This cow came from Green Cow Village.”

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