The First System Mission
- TL: AmeryEdge
- ED: Azusky, JSmith
The alcohol content of the olive wine wasn’t very high, but due to the delicious food, Tang En ended up drinking quite a considerable amount. By the time he woke up, the sun had already begun to set.
Tang En skillfully deflected the old farmer’s kind invitation to sleep over and returned to his wooden hut in the forest. This was not because Tang En wanted to put up a front, but rather because the old farmer’s house had only one bed, and Tang En didn’t want to trouble the old man by sleeping in it. Furthermore, these past few days he had grown accustomed to the wooden “castle in the sky” he built. This was something very new to someone who has only ever lived in concrete dwellings.
He had just woken up from a long nap, and thus did not feel like going back to sleep. Instead, he headed back inside the space of the assassin system the moment he arrived back home.
What he found inside was an exact replica of the outside, even his own position was the same. Tang En felt puzzled about why the old butler had created a copy of the real world. The only difference from the outside was a large intricate wooden house built atop a large tree branch.
Of course, the wooden house was made by the old butler and could not be compared with his “genius creation” in the real world. The gap between their abilities was like heaven and earth. Even though Tang En had made plenty of modification to his abode, it was no-where near the level of this wooden house.
The old butler stood there quietly as always. If there was a camera to take photos with, Tang En would dare to bet that his posture did not change a fraction of an inch in comparison to when Tang En had last saw him.
“Good evening, Tang En.”
“Ah… Good evening, Housekeeper.” Tang En looked at the blazing sunlight shining down on them, and felt a little dumb playing along with the Housekeeper’s greeting.
He quickly went straight to the point: “Old Housekeeper, let me play the game. I will definitely get my revenge tonight!”
The great progress during lunch time was completely out of Tang En’s expectations and had given him a boost of confidence. Right now, the only thing he wanted to do was to make mincemeat out of the damn guard dog who had obstructed him for days.
“My pleasure.” The old butler waved his hand, causing their surrounding to change to that of the finely decorated garden of the noble’s mansion. Tang En’s heart was set on getting revenge, so he didn’t pay any attention to any of the complex and beautiful design around him. He slowly walked deeper into the game.
Truthfully speaking, his concealment ability had improved a lot. This time, he successfully infiltrated past the wall of the mansion, and made his way behind the vicious guard dog.
“Who told you to be so arrogant, who told you to have such a big mouth, and you even dared to bite me…” Tang En excitedly held the dagger and stabbed the intimidating dog. Since it was a surprise attack, the dog could only struggle for a little while before dying.
But causing such a large commotion alerted the guards of the manor, who quickly surrounded him. Tang En seemed unfazed. He even whispered “I’ll be back…” before dying from the blades of the guards.
True to his words, Tang En returned right after the game booted him out.
“Who told you to be arrogant, who told you to be nosey, since I said I’ll stab you 10 times then I’ll stab you 10 times…”
The old butler remained deadpan as he watch Tang En excitedly running back inside the game after every death. The corner of his mouth slightly twitched, “Hmm, well that can be considered as a kind of talent. Maybe I should develop him into a blood-thirsty assassin type?”
The butler did not stop Tang En while he was going about in the game, since he could comprehensively observe Tang En’s stealth capabilities during these kind of repetitive situations..
Hours later, Tang En was finally completed his great goal of stabbing the dog ten times. Afterwards, taking advantage of his refreshed mind, he sneaked directly into the noble’s room and stole his sword.
“Ha ha…” Looking at the golden “Mission Complete”, Tang En put his hands on his hips and laughed loudly towards the sky.
“Ding, congratulation on Tang En assassin’s completion of the “Steal the noble’s sword” mission.”
“Difficulty: F-, Performance Evaluation: F-
Experience gained: 25 points.”
“Ding, Title System unlocked. Title acquired, Natural Enemy of Vicious Dogs. With this title, all guard dogs will run away from the title holder on sight.”
Natural Enemy of Vicious Dogs? Your Grandmother! What kind of title is that?
Finished listening to the report, Tang En became speechless.
The Housekeeper said, “Congratulation on your completion of the mission!”
“Ha ha, just a small matter.” Looking at the butler’s expression, Tang En could tell that he wasn’t making fun of him.
The old butler said seriously, “You did well. Titles are very difficult to acquire inside the system. Furthermore, all title abilities carry on to the outside world.”
“They have an effect even in reality?” Tang En was surprised.
“Of course, all abilities, titles and other things gained inside the system will have effects in the real world.”
Tang En nodded in understanding. He summoned the Assassin Profile Board and discovered that aside from the titles, there were also other things. First on the list was the Natural Enemy of Vicious Dogs title, beneath that were 25 points. In the ability column, behind Preliminary Concealment was the word [Mastered], Preliminary Arrangement were [Newly Acquired], while behind Preliminary Killing were [Newly Acquired Bow Skill].
“Housekeeper, anymore games? Take them out.” Tang En just tasted his first success, and was eager to keep his streak up.
The butler shook his head: “I don’t want you to keep playing these simple games. In a moment, you will be receiving a mission from the system.”
“That’s right. It has been seven days since you activated the Assassin System. These seven days are safe days granted to a beginner. In a few minutes, your protected period will end. At that time you will have to start a mission given by the system.”
“What is the content of that mission?”
“I don’t know, this is up to the system.”
“Fine, but what did you mean about me having to complete it? If I don’t…” Tang En suddenly felt a sense of unease.
“This is a mission chosen by the system for assassins, if you don’t complete it…” The Housekeeper paused for a while, and then said, “I once told you, since you are already chosen by the system, you won’t have a choice but become an assassin.”
“I will die won’t I?” Tang En asked solemnly.
The old butler did not reply. Instead, he lifted his head and looked at the sky of the Assassin Space.
The mechanical voice of the system rang out.
“Ding. The seven-day protective period has ended.”
“Ding. Beginning true assassin missions. Warning, there is only one possible result for these missions. If the assassin fails, their name will be crossed from the list.”
“True Assassin Mission: Kill Father York. Task Completion Time Limit: 72 hours.”
“Begin countdown for mission. Beep, beep, beep…”
Tang En’s mouth dropped, speechless.
Even though the old butler had already hinted to him the seriousness of the missions, Tang En really did not have any luck. There were many kinds of missions, like before, he completed a theft mission. This was something he was willing to do. If worst came to worst he could just return the items. But now, he realised how truly naïve he was. The Assassin System’s aim is to create assassins, so of course there will be killing.
“York… Father York?” Tang En panicked.
The old butler replied, “Yes.”
“Your Mother, why? He, he’s a good person!” Maybe due to the old butler’s emotionless eyes, Tang En’s throat tightens, his face increasingly became furious as he yelled loudly at him.
The butler only replied, “First off, this mission was not created by me. Second, only God may judge a man’s true goodness…”
“Fuck God. You have met Father York, haven’t you? If he isn’t a good person than who is?”
The old butler said, “He gave you some bread, does that automatically make him a good person?”
Tang En angrily shouted, “Stop lying, who in Little Stone village hasn’t been helped by him? Who doesn’t call him a kind person?”
“The butcher supplies food and shelter for his pigs. To the pigs, is the butcher a kind person? Furthermore Tang En, haven’t you realised it yet? You are an assassin. The only thing assassins have to care about is the target, not whether they are good or bad.”
Tang En looked at the old butler full of despise. “A person who harms his own friends is garbage.”
“There is no point in us quarrelling. If you continue to stubbornly stick to your way of thinking, why not make use of your skills? You have already mastered the Preliminary Concealment technique, which includes disguise. Whether or not he deserves it, why not find out for yourself?”
“Fine, I’ll go and see with my own eyes tomorrow. I will use the truth to prove you wrong. I would rather die instead of killing Father York.”
“I will be watching.”
After being quiet for some time, Tang En spoke, “Even if it was not Father York, I wouldn’t kill people. I have already said this.”
“You have also said that you haven’t killed chicken, but…”
“That’s a totally different matter!”
Tang En interrupted the old butler, and left the space.
“Your Mother!” Tang En breathed in deeply and punched the wooden house.
The moonlight illuminated Tang En through the opened window. He laid down on the wooden bed and stared at the stars in the sky through the gaps in the roof. The forest was silent at night, the only sounds were from insects and strange birds, deepening the dark, quiet atmosphere.
The calm night-time allowed Tang En to slowly gather his mind.
“Such a beautiful night, can I only see it three more times?” Tang breathed in the scent of wood and mumbled to himself.
Towards death, Tang En of course felt fear. But… Tang En tightened his fist, Father York was a good man. Good people don’t deserve death, especially not by his own hands.