[Advancement ritual completed.]
Multiple streams of data came across Annan’s vision.
The surrounding crimson ocean started to boil and large bubbles rose up.
On the bottomless seabed, black mud began to gradually leach out. Fragmented whispers and chuckles accompanied by melodious and weird music sounded.
In the end, the mud clumped into a ball and slowly rose. A bright red shimmer slowly shone in Annan’s eyes.
Until it rose to the level of Annan’s line of sight, the brilliance suddenly released. It was like a plane passing by at low altitude. With a buzz, Annan lost his vision and everything became pitch black.
In the dark world with the absence of light, three light clusters emerged.
There was an emerald eyeball, a blood-stained kitchen knife, and an abstract drawing of a backstab.
At this moment, a new glimmering panel floated in front of Annan:
[Lost Eye (Persistent Type): Your left eye will occasionally hurt sharply as if someone dug on it with a knife.]
[Note: After the interval between two pain episodes on the left eye exceeds three days, the duration of pain will gradually increase. The maximum duration of pain will not exceed 12.4 seconds, and the shortest duration will not be less than 2.4 seconds.]
[Butcher’s Knife (Resolve Type): You must use a kitchen knife to kill one person every month.]
[Note: You gotta deal at least 10% of the total damage caused. The kitchen knife must have cooked human food normally within the day before the ritual.]
[Backstab Oath (Taboo Type): You can’t sneak attack from behind and kill people who trust you.]
[Note: “Trust” refers to the moment when you attacked the other party, the victim never thought that you would kill him, and the two of you knew each other’s existence prior to the event.]
The system displayed the content about the three curse bindings clearly in front of Annan.
However, contrary to the well-mentioned negative effect, there were no hints on the power obtained after choosing the curse bindings.
“Three types of curse binding?”
In fact, at least as far as the curse binding of Bronze Rank was concerned, there was nothing too harsh.
Except that the first curse binding was terrible and might cause hindrance at critical times, the remaining two were alright to be shouldered.
The second one was simple. It was equivalent to hacking one person to death every month. There was no difficulty to it.
Annan had a special identity in his hands after all. There was no difficulty in executing a death row prisoner every month. Even if there was no one for Annan to kill, he could issue a mission to the players, allowing a player to challenge him. That would contribute one kill count to him.
Each death would cost the player for one or two levels. But, it was not a big deal.
Annan could compensate experience to the challenger, allowing the challenger to advance by 3 to 4 levels. He could also boast the reward with a 500 affection rate. The challenger would be satisfied for sure.
At that time, there would be no shortage of players for Annan to kill. The players would come along with the festival celebration like gongs, drums and firecrackers.
The third curse binding was not difficult to avoid.
However, it became a tad bit challenging for Annan to not have the option to betray someone. After all, it was easy to violate this rule in Annan’s way of doing things.
But fortunately, this curse binding was still loose in terms of “backstab,” with the condition of “when you attacked the other party, the victim never thought that you would kill him…” In other words, Annan had to alert his attack before the betrayal. He could avoid killing the victim in the betrayal but subdue to the victim. This would allow him to avoid the curse binding.
However, Annan thought for a while and chose the second one.
The reason was none other than…
…to pave the way for the next advancement.
After all, although the third condition seemed to have little effect now, it might turn worse at the subsequent advancement. Every time you advance, you may get a new curse binding. These curse bindings were likely to hinder each other, further restricting Annan’s backstab.
The most important thing about curse binding was confidentiality.
Except for the secret keeper, it was best if no one knew his curse binding or even if the others knew it, they could not crack it.
Once Annan behaved in restriction, as long as his enemy was smart, the enemy could figure out the curse binding easily after investigating Annan’s behavior patterns.
For resolution type curse binding, the condition was enforced tightly, it was easy to resolve. It was also the least likely to conflict with other curse binding.
Annan made a decision. The blood-stained bubble began to expand rapidly, quickly engulfing the other two bubbles. The contents gradually turned into a turbid red, then slowly blackened, turning into a small black mud again.
Then, the mud flew over and stuck to Annan’s right forearm. Then, it began to flow slowly. It appeared as if something engraved on the skin at the arm.
Corrosive pain came from wherever it flowed. It left a pure black scar visible to the naked eye.
The color was like the void without a trace of blood. It was dark and limitless.
The scar’s shape resembled an abstract broken sword and a tortuous circuit.
Annan once again skimmed through the new texts:
[Butcher’s Knife: Effect applies to any bladed weapon (the blade cannot be longer than 1.5 meters). No activation cost. 30 minutes cooldown after activating it.]
[When attacking an edible creature (meaning that you will not die after eating it), if an attack does hit and causes damage without getting blocked, parried, or diverted, then the sharpness of the weapon and the hardness are temporary double when the target is repeatedly attacked.]
[This effect can be stacked infinitely with a built-in cooldown of 2.4 seconds. After stacking two layers of effects on other enemies, the other blessing effects will be reset to zero.]
It seems pretty good.
Annan’s eyes lit up.
This was a practical ability.
This ability could be simply described as…
…The Black Cleaver  specialized in offense to counter any tough and hardy opponent unit.
For most enemies, as long as Annan’s weapon injured the enemy, the sharpness and hardness of his weapon would increase rapidly. As long as he could bypass the opponent’s weapon or shield and hit the opponent one or two times, he would become stronger by a significant margin.
His weapon could be strengthened to a point where he could slash off the enemy’s weapon and shield with one slash.
This meant that even if Annan was holding two kitchen knives, he could commit a sword onslaught to shatter the enemy’s weapons and armor after a few exchanges of blows.
However, this ability did not seem to be suitable for the brutal and head-on swordsmanship.
It was suitable for the light and flexible aspects of swordsmanship.
The rapier’s weakness was too fragile. The weapon’s material could compensate for it. As long as Annan could quickly injure the enemy several times, he could strengthen his weapon to an astonishing degree. It could go to the point of directly penetrating the shield or armor, allowing him to kill the enemy directly.
Annan’s first thought was his Frost Sword.
The trigger condition for this ability was “cause damage,” not necessarily “bleed.” The sword energy fired by Frost Sword could not be blocked or deflected.
With that, Annan would initiate the fight with Frost Sword. It was guaranteed to trigger a buff .
The only drawback was that in addition to the infinite stacking on the main target, attacking other people could only stack for one layer at most.
It was a pity that Annan did not get to roam freely in battle.
After being branded by the black mud, Annan lost consciousness again.
When he woke up, he had returned to the Freezing Water Port in the real world.
 League of Legends Champion. It has a Carve mechanic that works similarly on reducing enemy’s armor.
 Game terminology. In gaming, a BUFF is an effect placed on a character that enhances their statistics or characteristics.