Chapter 8: Generous Novice Task
TAP TAP TAP
In a dark and narrow alley, a black shadow swiftly passed through.
HU HU HU 1
The figure leaned his shoulder against the alleyway, panting softly, and looking somewhat awkward. After a short second of rest, the figure moved again, his foot stepping on a puddle which splashed into the sewage system.
“System, I’m about to give out!” Jackson who leaned on the alley wall once more gasped to take in some breath.
“Congratulations on completing the mission! You are one step closer to becoming a street hero!” The System responded coolly, it’s voice resonating deep in his mind.
Jackson had completed his mission.
“I know that. I almost died just now and you weren’t willing to help! Had I known I’d almost die from this mission… I’d say those missions can go to hell.” Recalling the scene not too long ago, Jackson’s body shuddered. He still had that lingering fear. Were it not for those magical items previously purchased in the System’s vault to protect him, he’s not sure if he’d be able to live right now and have some conversations with the System.
“But you’re okay, right? Besides, you’ve completed the mission so that doesn’t really matter. It is worthy to congratulate you.” The System pretending to be oblivious to Jackson’s sudden anger coolly replied.
“Yeah! I was almost beaten to death and I got shot! The magical items guarding me against physical dangers that were worth 100 points were uselessly consumed by that! This damn newbie mission!” Jackson roared, his body twitching from such anger.
Jackson began to think about the road of the superhero.
Had I chosen wrongly? Perhaps the route of a supervillain is much better?
“This was not the way to do it. You must understand I cannot offer any guidance nor help when in the midst of completing a mission. This is the rule. I cannot go against such rules. Moreover, you got hurt because you were careless.” The System said, voice full of contempt.
“Doesn’t matter.” Jackson can’t bother to argue with the System. It’s too arrogant. “Well, I’ve already completed the mission. Where’s my reward?”
“Even if you had not reminded me I’d still send you the rewards.” The System replied seriously on Jackson’s inquiry.
A sharp light flashed inside his deep consciousness.
The sound of task rewards granted to him reverberated and two pieces of items radiating brightly appeared in front of him. Much to his dismay, Jackson failed to notice those items laid before him because he’s too shocked by the number of reward points issued to him.
“1,000 points? 1,000 points… 1,000 points! It’s really 1,000 points!” Tears fell from his eyes, shocked at the number of reward points given.
Jackson knew fairly well the number of missions completed in the past could not compare to the current ones. The reward points for the past ten years issued to him wouldn’t add up to the amount earned in one night. Though the task issued by the System was in itself dangerous to date, Jackson suddenly did not mind doing so. After all, the reward points were just too much.
It seems the System suddenly choose to be generous.
However, had Jackson known the reward points issued was a mission assigned to him towards the path of a novice superhero and completely unrelated to the System, his line of thought would be different. All those menial missions completed in the past were all done by the System except the mission he’d just accomplished.
“Ah? There are two more items?” After calming down slightly from the shock, Jackson found two items floating freely.
Low Level Holy Spring Water
Effect: Treats ordinary internal and external injuries and eliminates all low leveled negative effects.
Number of Uses: One
Low Level Soaring Dragon Method
Effect: Improves the body’s potential, enhancing the body to its limits, and attainment of inner qi of the East.
Jackson silently read the small texts written on the two items. His eyes glowed. Pondering over the matter, he thought of the Holy Spring Water and thought that even if it’s in the lowest level, he knew fairly well of its deep profound ability to save lives.
It’s priced at 200 reward points in the System’s store!
His eyes then moved towards the Dragon Soaring Method. He’s unsure of what the effect it will cause but it must be good. It is worth 200 reward points, after all.
“This mission’s rewards are really good! And I get two additional items in addition to the 1,000 reward points! System, you’re not that bad!” Jackson said in disbelief.
“Yes, this is all your rewards for the mission. Do you feel that the risk taken is worth your time now?” The System inquired, prodding Jackson the answer it wanted.
“Compared to your stingy rewards previously… of course, this one is worth it!” Jackson answered truthfully.
“This kid must not find out!”
“However, I’m still not used to it. If you give me more rewards at once, won’t the next mission be more dangerous than the last?”
Just when the System concocted the idea that Jackson had discovered something, his next words caused the System many worries.
“I don’t know what sort of mission you’ll have next time. You chose the path of a superhero and the missions assigned to you is beyond my control. I did remind you before not to take this path but you didn’t listen. Now I can’t give you advice. It’d be different if you’d chosen the path of a supervillain. You’d be able to defy the rules. As a hero, you can’t do that.” The System harrumphed.
“Well, okay… but I still need to explain the situation when I get home. It’s already 11 o’clock and there are bruises on my face! What will Mom and Dad think? They’ll kill me for sure.” The Phantom Suit on his body quickly dissipated into nothingness, revealing Jackson’s wounded face as he groaned helplessly.
“It’ll be alright. You’re very good at finding good reasons for being home so late. Haven’t you used the girl excuse before? And as for the injuries on you, why not just use the Holy Spring Water? You can use it right now and its effects will be instantaneous.” The System faintly declared his own thoughts.
“Having a chat with a girl this late? That excuse has already been used! Mom and Dad won’t fall for it again. Also, I have this bruises and cuts on my face plus almost wounded to death by a bullet. Although using the Holy Spring Water will heal me instantly, it’s just too wasteful for this. It costs too much and it’s only a one time use. I want to keep it later to use for a life and death situation.” Negating the System’s suggestions, Jackson smiled bitterly.
“Well, the choice is yours to pick but remember, this sort of things will happen a lot in the future so it’s best you find a good reason for it.” The System reminded once more.
“Good reason to find?” Jackson sighed, distressed over the matter. He shook his head then walked quickly.
TAP TAP TAP
On the dimly lit street was a lean figure walking slowly and solemnly.
… … …
The next morning.
Jackson was still in bed sound asleep. His parents had known that he had come home late but did not ask much about it despite their curiosity.
“Jackson, are you up?” In the morning hours, Jackson’s parents discussed with another about his arrival late in the night and such his mother came and knocked on the door prepared to discuss the matter.
“…What? Ah, Mom…? Wait just a moment!” Jackson had been awakened all of a sudden by the knock on the door. Confused at first, brows creased, and unsure of what was happening but after regaining a sense of awareness, Jackson grew anxious responded quickly. He did not wish to have his mother enter and see the purple bruises covering face and body.
“Gotta cover up!”
“…Okay, sweetie.” When she heard her son’s voice, she waited quietly and patiently.
“Okay, Mom, you can come in.” Jackson’s voice echoed after a short while.
“Hey, sweetie. Can we talk? About last night… eh? What’s wrong?” Mary opened the door, all the more ready to question Jackson but was taken aback after seeing his appearance.
Jackson wore an oversized fleece fold plush hat which covered the upper part of his face and underneath the plush hat is a mask covering the whole of his face with two small holes for him to see.
“Hehe… it’s nothing. Just a little cold…” Jackson coughed and sneezed dramatically.
“Have you caught a cold? Is it serious?” Seeing her son in such sorry state, Mary rushed towards him with means to check his well-being, forgetting her original purpose.
“Ah, it’s okay, Mom.” Jackson waved his hand, slightly nervous. “It’s nothing serious. I’m just worried that you and dad might catch a cold so I’m wearing this.”
Jackson’s eyes moved back and forth, thinking of an excuse.
“Ah, that’s right! Mom, I have to go soon or I’ll be late for class. I’ll go down first.” Without waiting for Mary to reply, Jackson rushed downstairs.
… … …
Ten minutes later.
Jackson dressed and was prepared to ride the bike to school with Tom whom his mother requested to accompany Jackson case there are troubles.
“Bye, Mom! I’ll be going now.” With the mask and oversized fleece plush hat, Jackson waved to his mother before leaving with Tom following behind.
“Hey, Jackson, what’s wrong with you? Yesterday you were a bit weird and today you’re even weirder. I’m confused and I don’t believe that you caught a cold.” Tom prodded Jackson.
“Oh, that. Actually, I got injured. Look.” Jackson smiled sheepishly, flushed with embarrassment as he pulled off the mask allowing Tom to see the wounds and bruises on his face.
“What happened? Did you get beat up? Oh, I heard from Aunt and Uncle you came home very late last night.
“Don’t tell Mom!”
“Rest reassured. From small to big, when have I ever told your secret?”
“You are my best friend!”
“Hehe! But did you win?”
“Of course I won!”
“That’s my best friend!”