Rhode, of course, did not mean to leave the fat merchant alone. The reason he left was to look for some loots.
In the previous battle, Rhode had gained a lot of EXP, but he did not get too much loot. To players, those things in the floating ship wreckage were all treasures, and since a lot of people died, there must be some treasures hidden in their bodies. But in the end, he gave up on that idea. No matter what, they had saved his life. It would be shameful if he took their belongings now that they were dead.
Even though loot was important, the most important thing Rhode had obtained was another thing. It was something that he held on his hand at the moment-a black ore. According to the Dragon Soul Continent's archives, this ore is a condensation of dead souls which would eventually form into a Soul Core. It had strong magic power and had many usages. It could be used as a gemstone for socketing weaponry or dissolved into the weapon itself to create a Soul Weapon. To Mages, Soul Cores were an excellent weapon-crafting material. Moreover, the Soul Core drop rate was very low. That was why their price was astronomical in the Dragon Soul Continent. And to a Spirit Swordsman, it was an irreplaceable existence.
Because the Soul Core was a treasure that was needed to awaken a spirit.
Right now, Rhode was deep inside the forest. He lifted his right hand; it could be seen that the Soul Core that was quietly sitting on his hand was emitting a dark aura. Surrounded by the silence, the gentle breeze swept through the leaves, and the moonlight glistened through the falling leaves. After that, the magic circle on Rhode's hand started shining. Then, the system prompt appeared in front of him.
[The Soul Core has been contaminated. Do you want it to be purified?]
Soon, a dazzling light burst out once again. Streams of magical lines were spreading to each of his fingers, including the Soul Core in his palm. With the help of the sacred power, the previous black mist around the Soul Core quickly melted and disappeared. It finally showed its original appearance- it was translucent and emitting blue light as if the egg-shaped gemstone was trembling and struggling to break out of the shell.
[The Soul Core has been purified. Do you want to awaken it?]
After that, the blue egg-shaped gemstone trembled even harder. And with a light 'crack', it instantly broke; blue, magical lines fanned out, spinning fast and turning into a card form, then it quietly lay onto his palm.
A cool and comfortable feeling came over Rhode's body. He could not help but feel startled, but at this time, he also learned about what kind of existence he had made a contract with. He took out his deck and saw a green, Spirit Bird soaring in the sky.
The upper right corner was a blue semicircle (representing the card attribute), while the upper left corner had a V word written on it. As for the two lower corners, there were two small numbers written as '2.' Rhode flipped the card, and soon, a line of text emerged on the surface.
[The Soaring Spirit Bird (Wind Element): Flying Unit, Available for Fusion. Attack: 10% chance to trigger paralysis effect, has no effect on the enemy with magic protection. Special Skill: Phantom Wind (This skill range only affect flying units)]
[1/10 of Sky Deck has been collected, The Soaring Spirit Bird]
My luck sure is good...
Rhode could not help but laugh. A flying-type spirit was one of the important ones for a Spirit Swordsman. Moreover, the wind element could easily penetrate through non-magic associated items, meaning that it rendered ordinary defensive equipment useless. It also had 30 meters of effective range and a special skill. At least now he could guarantee their safety; even if they accidentally met some wild boss, he still had the confidence to win.
However, the most depressing point was his stats. Until now, his STR, VIT, AGI, INT, and other stats were still hidden, which made him feel uneasy somehow. This was his true body, but now it had changed beyond the ordinary. He was sure that his stats were above a normal human, but the feeling of not knowing his own body's physical condition felt unnerving at times. When you thought that you were going to die, but you didn't- that would be a nice misunderstanding. But when you thought that you won't die, and then you died, that would be the end of the story. And since he did not know, he could only walk this path by relying on his own experience.
After the fight with the Wind Serpent Lord, he had some clue about his stats. After all, the Wind Serpent Lord's information as a BOSS was something he had studied in detail before. From the previous battle, it can be said that his Strength stat should be roughly around the same as a typical Swordsman, and his Vitality was also quite high. Since he transmigrated to this world, although he experienced several crises, his body appeared to be able to soak quite an amount of damage. At this time, he couldn't really find a Mage to give him a buff to check his stats.
Suddenly, he heard a sound coming from the trees. Rhode frowned and he put down his right hand. The light on the magic circle disappeared and the card then disappeared into thin air. After being sealed as a card and confirming the relationship with the owner, the sealed card would no longer appear in the form of an entity; it would quietly sleep in the Spirit Swordsman's magic circle called the 'Ten of the Strongest Spirit Decks', where it would wait for its owner to wake and use them.
The two cards that were already sealed in his deck was at Sixth Circle, which means they were the lowest rank of the 'King Spirit'- the difference was only that 'Star Mark' had no element, while the 'Spirit Bird' had a wind element.
Rhode did not intend to expose his ability in front of other people just yet. Although it had long been known in the game that the Spirit Swordsman was an exclusive job and had once existed in the distant past of Dragon Soul Continent, the players were the only inheritors of this job. They set foot on the journey to look for the glory of this once heroic career. But of course, this all was just bullsh*it from the character introduction, but judging from Lize's and Matt's reaction, it was clear that they did not know about this job. Thus, it was not really convenient to say anything. Moreover, maintaining a certain sense of mystery was not exactly a bad thing for him.
When Rhode turned around, he saw Lize walked out from the trees.
"Lize? Why are you out here?"
"Ah... No, it's nothing, Mr. Rhode."
Lize shook her head, feeling somewhat uneasy.
"That...I just want to ask about your injury... Is there something I can do..."
As she spoke, her voice kept getting softer and softer. Both of her hand were clutching the hem of her clothes.
In fact, it was not only Rhode who had noticed Lize's abnormality. Matt could also notice it because he was a merchant and had traveled quite a bit, so he had a good eye for detail. The reason Rhode could see through her was because he had the experience of being the first guild leader in Dragon Soul Continent Online. One must understand that a game is quite different from reality because people tend to hide behind the avatar they created, so they must be a lot warier than in real life.
In the game, to unify his guild, Rhode must possess a keen eyesight for detail since most of the players were playing to have fun and not as a responsibility. If he wanted them to keep setting new records and obtain success, it would be very difficult if someone did not have a good grasp of it. Therefore, as the guild leader, it was very important for Rhode to observe his comrades' emotions and inner thoughts.
And now, it was very clear that Lize needed someone to rely on and so she felt somewhat uneasy about it. Rhode could see that she had received a harsh blow to her emotions because not only her comrades had left her, but there was also the anxiety and fear for her own future.
He had been observing her since the previous battle and thought that she did a pretty good job as a Cleric. She could cast healing spells on her comrades in the shortest possible time and also quickly disperse their debuffs. Lastly, when she cast a barrier on him, it was done perfectly on time. For a supporting class like hers, this kind of reaction time was quite outstanding indeed. Moreover, even in face of danger, she was still full of confidence and could clearly cast her spells accurately without hesitation.
However, the trembling girl before him had completely lost her previous self-confidence and there was only one reason for that.