Epoch of Twilight – Chapter 7

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Chapter 7: A Dexterity Point

“Huang Jiahui!”

“Xiao Luo!”

Somebody was shouting for them. Both Luo Yuan and Huang Jiahui were in shock. They separated and straightened themselves hurriedly before walking out around the back of the tree.

“There you are. Were the two of you doing something naughty?” Zhao Qiang smiled ambiguously. There were blood stains on his face.

Huang Jiahui blushed bright red.

Luo Yuan was more brazen. Maintaining a neutral facial expression, he calmly changed the topic by saying, “My legs were just numb. What about the snake?”

“It’s dead. How can it not be after we shot it so many times? It was tremendous, though. If it hadn’t been bloated, it might have killed us,” Zhao Qiang grinned.

Suddenly, Luo Yuan remembered something. He opened up his properties window only to find out that the mission had not been completed yet. He found it strange and wondered why. Could it be that Chen Weiqiang had not been killed by this particular snake, or perhaps that he was still alive?

Then he realized that the properties window seemed to have changed somewhat. When he checked out all the details, he was overjoyed.

He had earned an extra point for his Willpower, which had now reached 12 points and was his second best property after intelligence.

He recalled his terrible performance while facing the giant snake and thought, “It seems that Willpower is related to my mental state.” Frankly, he did not care much about his Willpower. If it wasn’t for that incident, he might have continued to neglect it.

A brave man should be fearless. Being strong did not only require a strong body and an intelligent brain, but also a powerful soul. Although Willpower did not affect any other properties, it was still as important as any of them.

During the fight, his 11-point Willpower had been higher than that of the average person, but he had been so terrified that his weakness had taken control of his limbs. He had not been able to use his full strength when facing a danger that was bigger than he had expected. If he had not been persistent, he would have been as paralyzed as Huang Jiahui. When it came to this, he was not as brave as Zhao Qiang and Captain Chen, who were both experienced cops.

“Xiao Luo, give me your knife. I want to cut open the snake’s stomach. I have called the station. Someone will be here soon to carry it out,” said Captain Chen while walking towards him. He looked at the snake’s stomach as well. He was certain that those missing would be found dead inside it.

Luo Yuan passed him the knife and followed him.

The scenery was a complete mess. Trees had been uprooted or slanted, and the terrain had also changed dramatically. It looked like the whole area had just been struck by a hurricane.

A giant snake lay dead on the ground before them. Its mouth was closed tightly with its long forked scarlet tongue left outside while blood gushed out. The body was still twitching every once in awhile. Apparently, it had not turned stiff yet.

Huang Jiahui looked at it from afar; her face was pale, her body swayed and she seemed to be about to collapse again.

“It’s not dead yet, is it?” Luo Yuan asked.

“Close enough. In fact, it is dead. This is just neural spasms,” Captain Chen replied coarsely.

“Let me shoot it one more time!” Zhao Qiang lifted his gun and fired.



The bullet struck the giant snake, drops of blood spattering around. Its body twitched a little before it finally stiffened.

“Should be safe. Let’s go!” Captain Chen said, looking relieved.

“Where’s Wang Fei?” Luo Yuan asked as he could not see him around.

“He was unlucky. He got hit by a rolling stone while he was lying prone on the ground and broke his leg!” Zhao Qiang said disdainfully, pursing his lips. He clearly despised Wang Fei.

Luo Yuan was pleased to hear it. He was not a saint, but he always repaid kindness with kindness and hatred with hatred. Even though he felt a bit disappointed that he had not done it himself, the news still made him happy.

The giant snake seemed to be really dead now. It was not moving at all when they walked by it. However, when they were about to cut its stomach open, the animal twitched suddenly, scaring them all. In order to avoid any further accident, they waited for another half an hour to let it get even stiffer.

They tore off some of its scales, which were each the size of a small palm, to expose the snake’s white belly. Captain Chen lifted the knife and got ready to cut.


The skin was very tough and slippery, so the knife kept slipping. The fact that it had been used to chop off bushes earlier meant that it had gotten blunt. Thus, Captain Chen managed to cut only half an inch, and he achieved that by using up most of his energy.

“Just let me do it!” Luo Yuan suggested. He could not stand watching him anymore.

“Alright!” Captain Chen shook his head and passed the knife to Luo Yuan. He shook his aching wrist and said with a bitter smile, “This skin is too tough. Put a few of them together, one on top of the other, and you’ll have yourself a bulletproof vest!”

Luo Yuan was intrigued. “I am interested in it. Can I please have some?”

“Sure, it’s not a big deal,” Captain Chen said indifferently, “After all, you did have a part in killing it too. We’ll just split it into equal parts.”

“Unfortunately, its meat must not taste good. It’s disgusting just thinking of the corpses there must be in it,” Zhao Qiang said, looking disgusted. He usually did not mind eating wild animals, but he dared not eat this particular snake.

Luo Yuan smiled and took the machete knife. He examined it carefully, touching the tip to test its sharpness. He opened his legs slightly and focused while holding the knife with both hands.

Then he swung it down and a stretch of white light flashed like lightning. If the scene had been playing in slow motion, one could have seen the tip of the knife just barely touch the skin. It had been fast though, producing only a short soft sound.

A two-inches long smooth cut had been formed on the tough skin. The depth of the cut was less than 1 mm, and there wasn’t even any blood oozing out.

Everyone was surprised to see it. Such advanced knife skill was like art. It looked truly marvelous.

Luo Yuan breathed out. It looked amazing, but it was only his ability to control his strength perfectly and cut faster. A normal person could achieve it too with a couple of years of practice.

The ability to control one’s strength was crucial when handling a knife. Nevertheless, his 5-point knife-skill still needed some time to improve. He had to learn how to focus if he wanted his every cut to be accurate.

Luo Yuan made one more cut and then rested for a while. He repeated this process dozens of times until the skin was finally cut open. The inner organs flowed out slowly, and the atmosphere became heavy with that stinky smell. The bloated stomach looked like an over-inflated balloon. Luo Yuan looked at Captain Chen.

Captain Chen nodded heavily.

Luo Yuan took a deep breath and cut it open little by little using the machete knife.


Four corpses covered in gastric acid fell out. The gastric acid splattered all around. Luo Yuan jumped away.

The acid had altered the corpses beyond recognition. The head and some other parts of the bodies had been completely digested, leaving behind only bones. Therefore, the identities of those corpses could not be confirmed. Luo Yuan took only a look before his stomach churned.

The other two men looked just as sick.

Suddenly, a mechanical sound was heard in Luo Yuan’s mind. “Ting! F+ Level Mission ‘Investigation of the Disappearance of Chen Weiqiang’ has been completed. Mission Completed in: 19 hours 35 min. Mission Evaluation: Good!”   

Basic Experience Value Reward 400!”
Good Evaluation, Experience Value +200!
You have leveled up. You have been rewarded 1 property point and 5 skill points. Your current level is Level 4!”
Your energy and injuries will all be recovered!

“Finally I have leveled up.” Luo Yuan was delighted, but soon he became sad. Although he had not been very close to Chen Weiqiang, they had at least been friends. If the mission had been completed, then that meant that he was one of the corpses.

He turned on the properties window.

Character: Luo Yuan
Profession: Foreign Trade Specialist at Qimei Foreign Trading Co. Ltd
Level: 4
Experience: 300/2400
Strength: 10 (10)
Dexterity: 11(10)
Physique: 11(10)
Intelligence: 13(10)
Sensory Perception: 10(10)
Willpower: 12(10)

Skills: Science 16, Math 14, Mandarin 19, English 16, Finance 17,  
Computers 9, Dancing 1, Drawing 3, Gaming 6, Negotiating 9,
Networking 7, Cooking 3, Driving 1, Hand-to-Hand Combat 4,
Knife Skills 5

Unique Skill: Identification
Unassigned Property Points: 1
Unassigned Skill Points: 5
Incomplete Missions: None

When it came to the physical properties, Luo Yuan used to analyze them roughly. He divided them into three categories: One, the ones that were difficult to upgrade, such as Intelligence and Dexterity, whereby upgrades were limited no matter how hard one tried; two, the ones that were moderately difficult to upgrade, such as Strength and Physique, whereby upgrades could be easy if you trained hard enough, but after you reached a certain level they became more difficult; and three, the ones that were easy to upgrade, such as Willpower and Sensory Perception. Although the method to upgrade Sensory Perception was not yet known, upgrading it should be fast after one managed to identify the method.

As the property point received from each level up was very precious, Luo Yuan would definitely not use it without putting some thought into it first. Each property point required careful planning. Those in the first category would be top priority. He would only add points to the second category when the threshold level had been reached. As for the third category, he planned to let it upgrade automatically.

Before this mission, Luo Yuan would have definitely added the property point to Intelligence, because during peaceful times Intelligence was more useful than anything else. It was the key to help you climb up the social ladder.

But what had happened that day had completely changed his way of thinking. The world had started to change and it would only become more dangerous in the future. Therefore, physical abilities would give him a much bigger sense of security.

Luo Yuan thought for a while before he decided to add his only property point to Dexterity.

As soon as he added the point, his body temperature suddenly increased, and then went back to normal.

He suddenly felt like the world had changed. It felt like someone had pressed the slow motion button. The sounds of insects buzzing and birds singing seemed to be longer, and there was a kind of ethereal silence. Everything seemed to move a little slower. As he was used to the effect of Dexterity upgrades, he knew that this was a phenomenon caused by accelerated nerve reflexes. That’s why he was not surprised. He just needed some time to adapt.

He looked at his skill points and decided to ignore them for the time being. In order to put his knife skill to use, he would need to have a knife. However, knives were largely controlled and limited in China. Plus, he had not decided yet whether he would continue practicing this skill.


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