When I logged in, the eastern sky was just beginning to light.
The moon was still shining in the western sky.
The whole day was reserved for woodworking.
But their instructions were still pretty vague. “Just come after you eat breakfast,” they said.
That would be fine, I think.
I summoned Zangetsu, Helix, and Obsidian before heading towards Remut.
When I passed through the forest and entered the field, I noticed there were more players than the day before.
A lot more players.
Looked like they were getting more restless as the day of the tournament was growing closer.
I arrived in Remut.
There were even more people inside the town.
The area around the Adventurer’s Guild was overflowing with people too.
I bet they were trying to refill on healing items.
Not to mention those looking to accept quests and gain levels.
Again, the tournament was getting close.
I bought some breakfast at a nearby stall run by some players and ate it near the fountain in the town square.
I couldn’t find a nice place to sit.
After filling my water bottle I headed towards the new Adventurer’s Guild.
I hoped I would get to meet Nils again.
I parked Zangetsu outside, left Helix and Obsidian on the saddle, and walked inside the training grounds.
Even at first light, work had already begun.
It looked like they were working on making tables.
The distinctive light from the【Flashlight】skill lit up the room.
Could it be that they’ve been here the whole night?
The NPCs’ voices echoed around the room.
They were still in high spirits.
Looking at the bags under their eyes, they were clearly at it all night.
I felt some serious respect for those craftsmen.
「Hey, Keith. Good morning.」
「Good morning, Nils.」
「It’s great to have you here. Honestly speaking, I was worried nobody would show up in the morning.」
「Nils, have you been at it all night?」
「No, I took plenty of power naps throughout the night.」
I knew someone who liked to use that exact phrase a lot.
The first time they were absent from work was when they finally fell sick.
Being a workaholic was really a double-edged sword.
「Is today going to be a continuation of yesterday?」
「Yep, but probably only until about lunchtime, or until we run out of materials, whichever comes first.」
I saw a mountain of materials in a corner of the room.
It was quite a large amount.
「I’ll do my best.」
「Sorry, I’m still doing work on the final assembly for the chairs and tables. Please do talk to me if you’re ever lost.」
After receiving my instructions, I headed towards my own spot.
Nobody was doing work next to me.
But since I had already learnt the process the day before, that was alright.
The only time other workers approached me was when they wanted to take the smoothened pieces of wood I made.
It was a good opportunity to use【Quick Recreate】.
I started work around 7:30.
I finished my chamfering work around 10 am.
Of course, all of my work was at least a Grade C.
I had some time so I decided to clean up too.
Organisation, order, and cleanliness were fundamental to the industry.
Although a lot of companies liked to sneakily add in purity and discipline to the list.
Well, I would be lying if I said it didn’t make for an effective slogan to promote a corporate culture.
But any slogan will lose meaning if it’s overused.
Is the organisation more important?
Is the person more important?
I spent some time spacing about, thinking about corporate culture.
I concluded, “both are important.”
Although that was just my way of escaping from a difficult question.
I hadn’t seen the Woodwork Master Rauno at all.
Even though he was supposedly the leader.
Would a commander leave their troops in the heat of battle?
「Woah, aren’t you fast.」
Nils was impressed to see me walk over with a stack of wood.
「Well, could you help me out with the next step then? I’ll do it with you.」
The next step was assembling all the parts.
First, I cut a hole into one piece. It was called the mortice.
Then I cut out the tip of another piece so it could fit into the hole.
The tip was called the tenon.
Making sure the length of the tenon and the depth of the mortice were the same, I fit the two together.
I was given a saw to work with.
It didn’t look like something you would see in the real world.
It was very small, probably specifically made for this kind of work.
Speaking of work, I suddenly had to deal with a much higher difficulty level.
Well, maybe with this I could finally put my Support Skills to use.
With the chamfering work I could get uniformly get Grade C.
I pulled out up the list of【Woodworking】skills.
Measure Measures the length of an object.
Saw Cuts logs into usable lumber.
Cut Cuts lumber into smaller pieces of wood.
Dry Dries wet pieces of wood.
Polish Smoothens the rough surface of a piece of wood.
Colour Colours the surface of a piece of wood.
Coat Coats the surface of a piece of wood with a material.
Bond Bonds two pieces of wood of the same type.
Engrave Places an engraving on a piece of wood.
Assemble Assembles several pieces of wood together.
Recreate Uses pieces of wood to recreate a replica of an existing part.
Create Plywood Turns different types of wood into plywood.
It didn’t look as daunting as the【Pharmacy】or【Alchemy】skill lists.
But there were a lot of useful-looking skills.
But what worried me, no, worried me a lot, was my DEX stat.
I used【Physical Enchant: Aqua】in a whisper voice.
I didn’t have any problems making the tenon.
But the problems started when I started working on the mortice.
My first results were Grade C-, and I had to get Nils to look them over before I was done.
I didn’t know how to get better.
I recast【Physical Enchant: Aqua】when the effect ran out.
The next one I did turned out to be another Grade C-.
The one after that one too.
It was pretty frustrating.
I took a break and drank some water to calm myself.
I took a look at Nils’s work and used【Appraise】on it. Grade C+.
Incidentally, he could finish his work twice as quickly as I could.
His hands moved gracefully across the material.
But most of all, he never stopped to ponder what to do next.
He even had the time to call out to whoever was closest to him, saying things like, “believe in yourself, alright?” to raise morale too.
I didn’t think glasswork was that closely related to woodworking, but it seemed like the best craftsmen were knowledgeable in other fields too.
I was a little jealous.
As lunchtime was getting closer, a long-awaited info screen appeared.
I was looking forward to seeing what effects it would have on my work.
Although I doubted it would have any major effects.
I got a Grade C- three times after that. Of course, that was with【Physical Enchant: Aqua】on.
After a while, I finally managed to get a Grade C.
What a happy day.
But I had to tackle the issue of my speed.
Just looking at Nils work next to me made me a little self-conscious.
I wanted to get better results at a better speed.
But they were difficult things to reach. My force of will was starting to wane.
When I went for lunch something happened that made me want to give it my all again.
Although the timing left things to be desired.
Lunch was a simple box of food, but it was delicious.
A simple stew along with some bread.
But I was given an unexpectedly large amount of the stuff.
They really went all out for physical labourers.
Although I would’ve loved to eat something else… Ramen perhaps.
Oh well. I had to take what I was given and be glad.
With the amount I was given, I didn’t have the space in my stomach for anything else.
I ate it all.
With a full stomach, my energy levels shot back to max.
I kept working into the afternoon.
But the situation before and after the break was different.
Workers randomly took breaks for seemingly no reason besides just feeling like it.
I continued work at my own pace.
Maybe it was because I was emotionally invested in it.
In that kind of state, I was starting to wonder if we could finish in time.
Well, I knew it really wasn’t my place to decide.
We had a pretty effective assembly line model going on, but I still felt the pressure of the deadline.
Time shouldn’t be my concern. I should be worrying more about quality.
Oops, I started spacing out again.
I quickly got back to work.
Work progressed at a nice pace.
After a while, Nils walked off to take care of something else, leaving me with a short, “Well, I guess I’ll be counting on you!”
I gave him a nod.
It took a lot of effort to reach Grade C, so I didn’t want to undo all of that by using【Quick Recreate】.
【Quick Recreate】always resulted in work of lower quality.
I wanted to raise my work to a Grade C+ before trying it.
I had pride in my work, after all.
I continued working in silence for a while until an info screen popped up.
《Racial Level Up! Please add 1 point to a desired stat.》
What a nice list of round numbers.
With that last addition, all my stat numbers were a multiple of five.
《You have gained 2 Bonus Points. You currently have a total of 13 Bonus Points.》
《You may learn the following Support Skill(s):【Plan】》
《Open the Support Skill menu?》
I ignored the skill for the time being.
What kind of skill would【Plan】be anyway?
I didn’t have any real reason to take it right then and there.
I’ve got to focus on my work.
I raised my base DEX stat again and kept going.
I realised that the tools I was borrowing weren’t very effective.
I would’ve loved to have a smoothening plane.
I felt myself wanting to buy my own tools.
I thought about where I could buy woodworking tools in Remut.
When I was about to end my work for the day, I finally managed to create one of Grade C+.
But the next one was another Grade C.
The disappointment weighed heavy on me.
I remembered all the hard work it took to get good at creating potions. I would need to work just as hard to improve my woodworking skill.
But it was still fun.
I covered the piece in some polishing powder and wiped it with a cloth.
The next step involved some kind of treatment with a liquid, so the surface had to be clean and readied.
The process was a bit monotonous, but it was still fun.
「How are you doing? Finally finding meaning in your work?」
「Ah, Nils. I finished all the materials you put on the shelf.」
「Nice. I’ll check it out tomorrow. Speaking of tomorrow, you’ll probably be doing the same work again.」
「It’s a bit early, but I think you can go home for today. You want to try out different things after tomorrow?」
「I’m definitely interested.」
「I thought you would say that.」
Nils laughed and gave me a pat on my shoulder.
「Very nice, I like your spirit!」
What a nice smile.
It wasn’t just the praise and the advice. Nils was just a really likeable guy.
He knew exactly how to win another person’s heart.
An invaluable skill for someone in a managerial position.
There was this really pure and honest aura about him too.
Maybe I was thinking about it a little too much.
I left the shooting range room used as a temporary workshop and ate dinner.
I felt like I could make do without eating dinner, but I had plans to do some late-night hunting in the forest.
I’ve got to keep my energy up.
I headed for the Western Forest.
It was nearly evening but my MP bar was still almost full. A very rare sight.
Since I summoned my Summon Monsters in the morning I didn’t use anything except【Physical Enchant: Aqua】, after all.
I could have a little more fun with spells.
It was about 6:30 pm when I arrived at the forest.
I had plenty of time.
It felt a bit like a waste, but I replaced Zangetsu and Helix with Volff and Jean.
I used Zangetsu to get around, but Helix did nothing but sit around for the whole day.
I wanted to create an opportunity to use Helix, but with the deadline for the construction so close, I had no choice but to wait.
Changing Summon Monsters took some MP from my MP bar.
But I still had about 90% left.
I walked into the forest.
I used strengthening magic on Volff, Obsidian, Jean, and me.
I used【Physical Enchant: Fire】and【Physical Enchant: Earth】on everyone.
By the time I was done, I only had about 60% of my MP bar left.
It was still good enough.
I was the only one who couldn’t normally see at night, so I cast【Night Vision】on myself.
Speaking of hunting.
I first used Obsidian and Jean to scout out the surroundings and maybe ambush some lone Wild Pheasants.
I used my drumsticks to take out any groups they couldn’t take care of.
The Wild Pheasants made sounds when I hit them.
I felt like a real drummer. Except I was hitting monsters instead of drums.
The more monsters, the better.
I left an Evil Ant I found alone for a while, and soon a whole army of them flooded out at me.
I wanted to practice using my new weapons, and Evil Ants were a great way to do that.
But something felt off.
No doubt about it.
It seemed like everything was going just fine, but I felt like something was missing.
A feeling of dissatisfaction.
It was a really frustrating feeling, I couldn’t find a way to describe it.
What was missing?
I decided to take my mind off of hunting Evil Ants and attack some Wild Pheasant nests instead.
But I quickly got bored of that, went back to hitting Evil Ants with my drumsticks.
Since the hunting grounds were pretty deep in the forest, I had to deal with Striped Raccoons and Bloody Woods too.
The Striped Raccoons weren’t an issue.
Fighting them was easy.
But my drumsticks didn’t have that much of an effect on the Bloody Woods.
Well, the rod wasn’t very effective to begin with, so that was to be expected.
The same went for the push dagger.
I bet it would be the same for the Branch Golems in the forest maze.
《Job Level Up!》
《You may learn the following Support Skill(s):【Mental Reinforcement】》
After defeating another male Wild Pheasant, both my Job and my【Climb】skill levelled up.
A useful skill became available to learn.
According the brief explanation the game gave me, it’s a skill used to boost mental strength and general judgement.
It took only two points to learn. Pretty cheap.
I quickly learnt and activated it.
I kept going, attacking Wild Pheasant nests and Evil Ants.
The variety let me keep going at a good pace.
I completely forgot about the time.
By the time I looked at the clock, it was already 11:30 pm.
I killed off all the Evil Ants I was fighting and decided to call it a day.
《【Dual Wield】Level Up!》
《Summon Monster『Obsidian』Level Up!》
《Please add 1 point to a desired stat.》
Both【Dual Wield】and Obsidian levelled up. Sweet.
Obsidian’s AGI stat went up during the level-up.
I chose to put a point into VIT.
Of course, it was to make a prettier list of numbers.
Summon Monster Obsidian Owl Lv3→Lv4（↑1）
Peck Silent Flight Far Sight Night Vision Ambush Sense Danger
Every level-up meant an extra two status points.
It was a shame that I couldn’t control where one of the points went.
Creating pretty numbers was a really difficult task.
I reached Master’s house at a little after midnight.
I may have gone a little too far with the hunting.
I organised my inventory and recalled Volff and the others.
My inventory was full of items.
I would have to meet up with Fiona soon. They were probably already in Legias.
I decided to stop by Legias before going to Remut the next day.
Ah, and the tournament was in four days.
I didn’t like the fact that I was being essentially forced into it by Master and the Guild Leader, but I felt a bit of excitement at the thought of participating.
I thought about who my opponents might be.
With my heart beating wildly in excitement, I logged out.
Race Human Male Racial Lv7（↑1）
Job Summoner Lv6（↑1）
Bonus Points Remaining: 11
Staff Lv5 Punch Lv3 Kick Lv3 Joint Lock Lv3 Throw Lv3 Evade Lv3 Block Lv3 Summon Magic Lv6
Light Magic Lv3 Wind Magic Lv4 Earth Magic Lv3 Water Magic Lv3 Fire Magic Lv3 Dark Magic Lv3
Alchemy Lv4 Pharmacy Lv3 Glassmaking Lv3 Woodworking Lv2（↑1）
Cooperation Lv5 Appraise Lv5 Identify Lv5 Discern Lv1 Cold Resistance Lv2 Grab Lv5 Horsemanship Lv4 Precise Manipulation Lv5 Jump Lv1 Heat Resistance Lv3 Climb Lv3（↑1） Dual Wield Lv2（↑1） Mental Reinforcement Lv1（New!）
Kaya Wood Drumsticks x2 Snow Leopard Push Dagger x3（New!） Wild Rabbit Breastplate+ Series Snow Ape Armguard Wild Horse Boots+ Snow Ape Leather Helmet Rucksack Item Box x2
Old Summoner’s Pupil
Guardian of the Forest
Man of the Middle Path
Volff Wolf Lv5
Zangetsu Horse Lv3
Helix Hawk Lv3
Obsidian Owl Lv4（↑1）
Peck Silent Flight Far Sight Night Vision Ambush Sense Danger
Jean Bat Lv4
Jericho Wood Golem Lv3