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135 Winter Swimming Even

 After seeing the Great Lion off, Xi Wei began to think up an item strengthening system.

First off, he wasn't a demon and naturally wouldn't set up low success rates like your usual game companies that cripple the players' items.

Still, strengthening weapons and items was not really easy.

Although it was a craft that required blessings from the gods, the dwarven craftmasters had a chance for success and failure in the first place, and finer quality weapons would also have a lower chance of successful strengthening.

According to the Great Lion, that was the limit of Stoff's Divine Grace relative to the world itself as the God of Craftsmanship and Fine Wine. It was the same as how the players could not stay in the air by bending the rules and stiffly manipulate enemies to die...

Otherwise, if any weapon could be strengthened without limit, the world would see each person wielding one beam-spamming Excalibur, with Xi Wei and the Players having no part to play.

Moreover, using an art that utilizes Divine Grace was good at first, but if one continued strengthening the weapon after multiple strengthening, it would definitely consume divine energy.

After all, Stoff was definitely not going to use his own divine energy over a few bottles of cola-Xi Wei would almost assuredly be the one paying from his own pocket.

He would end up as a shriveled-up ball if he didn't enforce limits and allowed the Players to strengthen their weapons as much as they wished.

"When it comes to limiting, I guess I would have to enforce it through two aspects: game currency and strengthening materials." The gaming companies back on earth had already determined a complete strengthening process for Xi Wei, although he did not have the need to create a strengthening system that holds an ulterior motive. "Each progressive level of strengthening would require exponential amounts of game currency and materials. Then, as for whether the item level drops or if the item breaks in the event of failed item strengthening, that's up to the gods..."

Game currency was fine since Players only use it at the system shop, system diner, and hot springs, which was why most players were rather rich at the moment.

The key was strengthening materials.

Xi Wei had considered that question even when he thought about the possibility of having a strengthening system. Still, he left that problem hanging after realizing that he lacked the power to complete a strengthening system anyway, but Stoff's help now had him re-examining that problem.

Out of dark comedic timing, Xi Wei would leave part of the monster corpses killed by the Players in the mortal realm as dropped items.

However, as the Players started to fight a variety of monsters including skeletons, zombies, giant spiders, some grotesque beast, or warped humans, the dropped items were completely random and followed no system at all.

"Tsk. Following it up from here is troublesome, it'll be better to start from scratch." Xi Wei coiled his tentacles over what was probably his brain. "Incidentally, I could use the item strengthening mechanism to motivate the Players into clearing the fishfolk island."

At that very thought, Xi Wei lay out his tentacles as if he was stretching, and then started writing new documents into his Windows XP.

***

Meanwhile, it seems that the fishfolk island was not operating fully yet. At the very least, no fishmen were coming up the shores to attack the frogmen village.

The Players who were gathered at the Warty Tidal Flats were warned by Angora to keep a distance from the distant island for safety. Still, if the Players could hardly keep swimming over several miles at once, they might have gone off to explore what the heck was that thing that appeared over the sea's surface...

Just as the skies darkened and everyone remaining confused about what happened, the Players received new System notifications.

[Ding!]

[Server-wide event commencing-]

[Winter Swimming Event-Fishfolk Island Attacks]

[Event Description: The fishfolk island which has descended from the skies has stirred tides that reaches the skies, and ferocious fishfolk has decided to invade land under an evil goddess' guidance! The first that shall under their assault is the Warty Tidal Flats where generations of frogfolk lived! As disaster looms, how could you heroes watch and do nothing? Raise your weapons, use your courage and the blood of your enemies to host the grandest welcome party for those invaders from the depths of the oceans!]

[Event Period: Undetermined]

[Event Condition: Every Player is eligible.]

[Event Content (First Phase): Players could repel fishfolk assaults at the Frogmen Village, obtaining Fishmen Eyeball, Fishmen Gills, and Fishmen Spikefin by slaying Fishfolk. Redeem an assortment of very different rewards by submitting corresponding amounts of those items to the Frogmen Elder.]

[Event Content (Second Phase): Players could unlock the 'simple boat' in their list of exchangeable items after their exchangeable item drops reach a certain quota. Players would subsequently be able to set sail to the Fishfolk Island and clear the fishfolk population living over it, and win the title 'Explorer of the Seven Seas' should they defeat the guardians of the seven 'Sea Sapphires' and claim said gems!]

[Note 1: The Players are not fighting alone! The dwarven craftsmen would arrive as the event progresses to a certain phase, after which the players could pay a fee and strengthening stones to greatly strengthen your weapons and equipment! Even inferior weapons could match high-grade weapons after strengthening! So, what are you waiting for? Earn credits and hoard strengthening stones right away!]

[Note 2: Every Player who had died in the Tsunami phase shall earn the title 'The Valiant Heroes Who Fought the Ocean'. Apologies for being unable to promptly revive any of you.]

[List of Event Exchangeable Items]

[Fishfolk Helm (1000 Fishmen Eyeballs): Fashionable. Comes with an anglerfish lightbulb, lures moth as well as weakens the user's stealth!]

[Fishfolk Scale Armor (1000 Fishmen Gills): Fashionable. Wear it to feel like a dead fish swimming upside down. It has no use, but we think it's very cool!]

[Fishfolk Webbed Boots (1000 Fishmen Spikefin): Fashionable. Accelerates swimming speed-but imagine you're a frog because fish have no feet!]

[Lesser Strengthening Stone (200 Fishmen Eyeballs): A mysterious gem with faint divine power. May have the ability to strengthen equipment.]

[Medium Strengthening Stone (200 Fishmen Gills): A mysterious gem with a portion of divine power. May have the ability to slightly strengthen equipment.]

[High Strengthening Stone (200 Fishmen Spikefin): A mysterious gem with concentrated divine power. May have the ability to greatly strengthen equipment.]

[Buffer Stone (500 Fishmen Spikefin): Protects your items so that it doesn't shatter during failed strengthening. Trust me, it's worth it.]

[Other exchangeable selections (Click here)]

***

As the Players who never had been bullied by the gaming companies of Earth patted each other on the backs to celebrate the implementing of the strengthening system, only Angora, who kept himself uninvolved frowned at the Buffer Stone in the list of exchangeable items, sensing that things weren't as simple as they appeared...