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184 Life is Hard

 While Zonyan's group was diligently setting the stage for the Players ahead of their era of great voyages, Xi Wei was compiling Player data following the new version update.

But since Rangers were not an especially popular class in the first place, there was no telling if the new Junglewalker class was well-received amongst the Players.

That said, the Players seemed were very accepting of the Life Skills setting.

Despite the need to spend their precious skill points for learning Life Skills, Xi Wei could tell from the data of his Pantheon Computer that ninety percent of Players had learned more than one Life Skill.

It seemed that they had understood that fighting wasn't the only path to gaining EXP.

Furthermore, as a surprise Easter Egg, Xi Wei deliberately left one matter unmentioned: Life Skills could boost the Players' individual stats and class.

As an example, learning Butcher or Dissect and improving those skill levels to a certain degree makes it easier to attack the enemy's weak point with sharp weapons.

On the other hand, certain Life Skills would boost other Life Skills as well. A point in case is the increase of potion skills with a sufficiently high level in Herbalism-a boost that not only presents itself in the data. As a matter of fact, Players were actually familiarizing themselves with various medicinal herbs when they grow magical flora, and therefore brewing potions with those plants became easier...

One should also mention here that-for whatever reason, Herbalism had become the most popular Life Skill amongst the Players.

At first, Xi Wei thought that it was a good thing and that the Players had flair, imagining that he would find Starter Village surrounded in a beautiful sea of flowers.

But he became speechless when he energized his Divine Eye to look down in the mortal realm.

***

When Xi Wei was constructing paths in the Unnamed Town, he had carefully set aside flower patios on both sides of the paths for plantation.

As a matter of fact, he would have considered that the Players had some romantic sense if they had planted something with bright emerald leaves, beautiful flowers, or delicious fruits.

The problem was that the patios were now overgrown with all unusual manner of magical herbs.

And man-eating flowers that could gulp down an entire goblin was the most basic of them.

Others include a magical herb that looked like pair of buttocks that kept ejecting smelly yellow gas from the crack down its middle; a seemingly normal plant which roots grows into human shape and could unleash a wailing which could petrify actual humans[1]; a plant that grows into a shape resembling Hydras and lashes out at any living thing that came too close with its serpentine tendrils; a plant that looked like a Bellsprout but was actually a peashooter...

It appears that a weird trend had started amongst the Players at some unknown point in time. They grow the weirdest sort of magical herbs, and use them as a point of bragging to other Players.

Xi Wei could not help being left speechless. He had assumed that the Players would greenify the Unnamed Town, and so rechecked the Authority with which he used to complete the Life Skill 'Herbalism'-that was when he realized that aside from the normal definition of planting, he had also incorporated the ability of grafting and nurturing mutated attributes into that skill.

At first, he thought that there was nothing wrong with introducing those weird abilities at all since he did hope for some Grand Druid to rise amongst his Players.

Be that as it may, he just didn't imagine that after the Players had obtained seeds of magical plants from Alchemist Kinley and successfully sowed those seeds, their skill automatically altered the plant magically to those indescribable states.

The reality was that the Players never realized that Xi Wei had sneakily grown wild edible paddy plants by a pond nearby the Unnamed Town, let alone having them develop into Grand Druids... not to mention that the magical plants they grew were like ligers that only looked good but could not reproduce at all.

Still, the reality made one reality clear for Xi Wei: He had underestimated the Players' stupidity.

'Are you wretches trying to play Plants Versus Zombies?!'

"I knew I shouldn't have put my hopes on them..."

Feeling a migraine, Xi Wei briskly opened the Player forums and find a silly post to entertain himself with, before having a nap-though he did not require sleep as a deity, he deliberately maintained some human habits perhaps because he didn't want to be utterly assimilated as a deity and be lost within divinity.

Sleeping was one of those mentioned habits, although he would only nap for a dozen minutes in a week. Still, it would stabilize his divine attributes that had been getting bloated recently due to rapid leveling as well as adjust his mood, which wasn't a real waste of time.

At the moment, aside from the two top posts 'Picking Manure Between the Rocks' and 'I Scream' which the Players manually pinned above the forums, there was another trending post uploaded by Edward the Quest Demon.

[Title: Life is Hard]

[Edward: Damn it! We spent five days running about the forest and almost actually reached the heart of the Trinia Forests! And now all of you are telling me that the gathering quest for Dragontail Ferns which Lady Kinley assigned could be grown with Herbalism?! Someone tell me this is all an illusion-that it's fake, that it's all lies!]

[Leah: It's true, I planted it (image attached)]

[Boris: It's true, I planted it (image attached)]

[Vanke: It's true, this old man planted it (image attached)]

[Terrosche: Have you seen this Dragontail Fern (image attached)? No, it's neither wilted or lost, I just wanted everyone to see this Dragontail Fern which was branded 'excellent'!]

[Edward: (blocked for use of vulgar language)]

[Terrosche: I wanted to see that look of your face. That look of you, envying me!]

[Leah: No, you can't see it... since he's not in town]

[Gou Dan: Be careful, Terrosche. Edward just attempted suicide to return to town]

[Terrosche: ...]

[Angora: Borrowing this post. Does anyone know who planted that man-eating flower down at the south part of town? That thing turned gigantic yesterday and gulped down a Player-owner of the plant, please proceed to the liege's residence and be awarded with your paid summons]

[Ivan: Anyone saw Marni? We were supposed to meet at the Iron Cauldron last night but he never showed up]

[Angora: Waste of time. The victim was Marni]

[Ivan: ...]

[Ivan: No wonder he just passed me in the Thunder leaderboard]

[Jom: @Edward I just asked Lady Kinley. She told me that wild Dragontail Ferns has better medicinal properties compared to the ones Players planted, and she would provide additional rewards if wild ones are gathered]

[Edward: Oh thanks, that's better. I would really have died to return if not for your message]

[Joe: Yeah, the Trinia Forests is boring and rarely any monsters showed up. If we knew, we would have gone with you all to fight the Marsh Drake]

[Gou Dan: Hey, buddies... We might have run into a problem (image attached) (image attached) (image attached)]

Xi Wei's drowsiness faded the moment he saw the images Gou Dan took. "Oh, ho... interesting."

Promptly energizing Divine Eye, he looked in their direction.

[1] Harry Potter's Mandrakes