He waited for the monster to walk past of the opening in the wall. The silhouette materialized into a skeletal figure with ragged clothes and a club in his hand. It continued on without noticing Jack hiding behind the wall. It moved sluggishly. Jack focused his God-eye monocle on the monster.
Skeleton Thug (Basic monster, Undead)
The level increase by 1 but its HP was almost two-fold. It would take more time to deal with this one.
Once he was sure that the monster really wasn't aware of his presence, he skulked towards it from its rear. Making sure he stayed out of its line of sight, he slowly got closer to it. It was a good thing this monster was sluggish and just kept walking in one direction. It was easy to sneak up on. Jack held his breath when he was within three meters of the monster, nervously trying not to make a mistake at the critical moment. He dashed forward and activated his Power Strike.
*Sneak Attack! Critical! 62 damage!*
'Awesome number!' It was the highest damage he'd ever gotten. It took out almost a quarter of the monster's health. He didn't stop to rejoice, instead he carried on his attack as the monster turned to face him. Another slash netted him 21 more damage. It was slightly lower than his normal attack on the Zombie, which meant this Skeleton Thug possessed a higher defense.
The Skeleton swung its club before Jack managed to pull away, but he managed to block it using his sword. Jack received 18 damage.
'I blocked it but I still received damage?' He thought to himself. 'So it's pointless to block?'
He had to evade! This Skeleton's attack speed and power were higher than the zombies', so it was more difficult to evade its attack. But luckily its movement speed was the same as the zombies'. So once he managed to pull away from it, Jack could maintain his speed and kite the monster with his ranged spells. Repeating the same kiting strategy he had used against the zombies, he whittled away the Skeleton's HP.
It took longer, but eventually the Skeleton fell. Jack received 10 experience points: five times higher than the experience he got from hunting zombies, but probably this was because the Skeleton was a level higher. With these experience points, Jack finally reached the next level.
"Congratulations! You have reached level 2 for Fighter class. Awarding 20 HP, 10 Stamina, 2 Strength, 1 Dexterity, 2 Endurance, 1 Reflex, 1 Wisdom, 1 free attribute point and 1 free skill point."
He allocated the free attribute point to Dexterity. He would need speed now that he used a lot of kiting methods. As to the free skill points, he let them be. He had 3 of these points now, 2 for Fighter class and 1 for Magician, but he didn't plan to use them yet. In any RPG game, a player will get stronger skills the higher level he reaches. It would be better to save the points to power up those stronger skills later on.
Although he didn't spend his skill points, he still checked the skill page. There was one new skill available now.
Parry, level 1/20 (Trigger skill, require melee weapon)
Damage received is reduced by 30% when enemy's attack is blocked using a weapon
'Great!' He had been wondering why the system didn't allow him to block damage using his weapon. So it was a separate skill in this game! However, only a 30% reduction. It was quite a low reduction, but better than none at all. He thought for a while and decided to spend 1 of his 2 free skill points of Fighter class to bolster this skill. Parrying was not a skill that would become obsolete, it would still be useful in later progression.
Parry, level 2/20 (Trigger skill, require melee weapon)
Damage received is reduced by 33% when enemy's attack is blocked using a weapon
That skill point only added 3% to the damage reduction. He would need to add a lot more points for this skill to become significant for blocking.
He kept the remaining 1 free skill point in case he needed for something else later.
He was so excited about his level increase that he hadn't realized that the Skeleton had dropped some items. Only now he noticed two small round things where the Skeleton Thug used to be. He picked those items up.
The item identification called them Copper Coins.
"We have coins here?" He mumbled while inspecting the coins. "If we can get coins, doesn't it mean we can spend them?" But he hadn't seen any working shop or any other person since all this started, only hostile monsters. Except, of course, for the guy who became the zombie-snack. But now that he thought about it, if that one guy could show up, that meant there were others too. He just hadn't found them yet. He should find others sooner or later, assuming, of course, that they survived.
He stored the copper coins in his storage bag, and considered where he should go next. He had been spending his time wandering around looking for solo monsters to kill, but he hadn't yet thought about what he should do in the long term. If he wanted to find out what had happened, he needed to learn the scope of influence of this event first. Perhaps it had only happened in this area. To find out, he needed to head out of town. He'd head to the train station or bus station to find transport out of town.
With this thought, he glanced at the parked cars along the street. He approached one of them and opened the door. It was unlocked. 'Lucky?' He looked at the ignition switch and then searched all over inside the car. No key: not lucky.
He tried the next car. It was also unlocked. Another quick check and again no key. He tried the next car and the next. All unlocked. No keys. After searching through five cars, he finally found one with a key in its ignition. He tried turning the key: it didn't budge.
He got out and inspected the car with his God-eye monocle.
Car (Junk item)
"F**k!" He couldn't help but curse out loud.
He took a deep breath to calm himself, then looked around. He could just forget about the train or bus station now, no doubt the trains and busses were now junk items as well. He was in the north part of the town, if his only choice was walking, then he should choose the shortest path to get to the edge of town. That meant he should head north, but not yet. The sun was about to set. His first priority was to find a safe place to spend the night.
He wasn't tired yet, but he didn't know what the current world rules were for monsters at night. Some VR RPG games had their monsters become stronger, or more numerous, when the night arrived. He was not curious enough to risk finding out.
He checked his radar. It was time to find a non-monster populated place again. He weaved around the neighborhood, killing a few more level 1 zombies along the way, before finding a suitable place. It was a two-story shop building. There were no red dots in its vicinity, and the shop had a sliding roller security door that should keep other things from entering the building once locked. The shop was also a pharmacy, so he could scour its contents for useful items.
He went inside and locked the rolling door. Then he looked around the shop. His God-eye monocle picked up two different kinds of items, all marked with the green color.
Medicine (Normal consumable)
Recover 10 HP every second for 6 seconds
Energy Drink (Normal consumable)
Recover 50 Stamina or 50 Mana
He found 6 Medicines and 2 Energy Drinks. He put them all into his storage bag and took out a loaf of bread. He ate it to recover some of the health he had lost and also to alleviate his hunger. He could still feel hungry despite this world following game system rules. He should have taken those junk loaves of bread to eat when he felt hungry, even though they couldn't recover HP.