As the pincer lord rushed toward him, Paden settled his feet into a ready stance. He then summoned his power and raised his club into the proper position. Performing an action that he’d practiced to the point of muscle memory, he stepped forward, swinging his club downward. In the last years of his training, he and the other trainees had learned that by combining physical action, mental constructs and spiritual focus, certain attacks could achieve special effects. The success of combining these three factors was called Proficiency. The better you adhered to the specific combination needed for a special attack, the greater the power it would evidence. When attacks could take less than a second, it was easier said than done. Anyone who had undergone combat training knew that even a simple punch required diligent training to perform effectively. That was why it took years of practice to even reach the first rank of a Combat Expertise. When a technique’s Proficiency reached a certain level, energy would surround a weapon. The same energy that had surrounded the warrior’s maces when they had raised the stone wall to block the flash flood. The same energy that was surrounding Paden’s club now. With a heavy fall, the stone club slammed into one of the pincer lord’s claws and knocked it aside. The dwarf’s blow continued forward, striking the hard armor of the monster’s face. Its stone carapace was crushed inward and orange-red blood leaked from the cracks. It keened, all four claws waving wildly in pain. A prompt appeared in Paden’s vision. Richter easily read the notification as well. Special Attack, Crush, was successful! Proficiency of 52%. +2% effect. 0 Proficiency Points obtained. After living through Paden’s memories, Richter knew the importance of improving Proficiency. 50% was the minimum required to even trigger an attack. Anything less would just be a normal swing of your weapon. Fifty might not sound like a lot, but many warriors never even achieved that benchmark. Every Proficiency percentage after that gave a 1% boost to the attack, up to 60%. 61-70% increased the boost to 2%. 71-80% improved it to 4%. After that, the boosts to attack power grew much stronger until a Proficiency of 99% magnified a special attack by an astounding 250%. There were also other bonuses that came with high Proficiency, depending on the special attack being used. This was the moment that Richter finally understood the true power of possessing combat expertise. He’d thought it was as simple as just knowing how to fight. The difference between a trained swordsman and someone picking up a blade for the first time. It wasn’t only that, however. It was the bonuses to damage that could come through special attacks. The move Paden had used was called Crush. It increased base attack by +5, but more importantly, magnified the damage to armor. The initial +5 damage was doubled to +10 against armor. The 2% boost to attack power from his 52% Proficiency wasn’t enough to move the needle, but at higher Proficiencies, that increase might be enough to cripple an enemy in heavy armor. Even the 52% was enough to add ten points of damage to Paden’s attack and crack the pincer lord’s hard carapace. Richter had also learned that a warrior with combat expertise had greater potential than a Professional Warrior who bought a special attack with Talent Points. While a swordsman with a combat expertise and a Professed Warrior could both learn Thrust, the Proficiency of the Professed Warrior’s attack would be stagnant unless they spent more Talent Points to level up the attack. The chaos lord knew full well that Talent Points were precious. No serious Professional would invest all of their points in just one Talent. The swordsman with a Combat Technique however, could practice their learned special attacks at will to advance them. Achieving a higher Proficiency could level up the special attack. Paden, for instance, had received 0 Proficiency Points. That made sense because there was only an infinitesimal chance to earn any points with a Proficiency of 52%. Even if he had been lucky to gain a point, he’d only have earned one. One could easily say that combat expertise was superior to combat Professions. That was a bit of a misnomer. The other side of that argument was that it took time and knowledge to excel in a Combat Technique. Paden has started his training at the age of four and after years of hard work was only now reaching the lowest rank of Granite Breaker. It was obviously easier to just buy an attack if you managed to become a Professed Warrior. Without a teacher and the innate Talent to make the tutelage useful, even spending years on a form of weapon expertise might not yield meaningful results. One unexpected piece of Lore he picked up was that there actually was a correlation between skill affinity and the expertise to use that skill. One of the primary reasons Olrich had cut trainees from his program was that their innate affinity for Mace Wielding was too low. Until someone reached skill level fifteen, they could not reach the first rank of Granite Breaker. The fact that Paden was able to fulfill the requirements at such a young age showed what a prodigy he really was. Having lived through these memories, Richter also finally understood why Yoshi was always practicing the same moves over and over. He’d thought it was just about muscle memory. That was definitely part of it, but the half-sprite was also trying to achieve higher Proficiencies and gain more points to level up his special attacks. It would have been super helpful if Yoshi would have just told him that, but even though the man was only half-human, he was definitely full asshole. Richter turned his focus back on the battle. Kong, Aleron. The Land: Monsters: A LitRPG Saga (Chaos Seeds Book 8) . Tamori Publications, LLC. Kindle Edition. So much knowledge left unmined in book 8. This should answer most of our old questions about professions.