Lone slowly lifted his body up off of the somewhat shabby bed he was laying on. He then decided to look around a bit to see exactly where he was. Lone soon spotted a familiar face.
"Grim, how many times am I going to wake up only to be met with your ugly face?" Lone asked while he summoned Sophie. She seemed unconcerned at being called out right now since Sophie was dressed properly as if she had expected it. It would appear that it had only been a few hours at most since Lone fell unconscious and it would also seem that Sophie was gradually getting well accustomed to her role as Lone's stress toy as she made her way to his lap.
"Sorry, for worryin' 'bout ma friend ya cocksuck'r," Grimsley replied as he watched Sophie climb atop of Lone before she was enveloped in several multi-coloured tails. Grimsley had brought Shana home after Lone's draw before he returned to look after him.
He knew what had happened between her and Lone so Grimsley had decided that it would be best for her to not to present when lone woke up. Just in case she got emotional. Grimsley didn't want to see the girl being more upset than she was when he found her curled up on the floor after Lone had crudely rejected her.
"I forgive you," Lone said with a teasing smile. "Anyway, what happened? Did I win?" Lone asked before Grimsley could follow up on Lone's banter.
"Nah, it was a draw. 'Owever, since ye both passed out, ye and that Eko fellow, ye were both disqualified since ye couldn't show up for yer followin' fights," Grimsley explained. It would seem that both Lone and Eko had been unfit to fight for several hours now which consequently resulted in the two of them being eliminated.
"You did really well, Lone," Sophie said from within her kingdom of fluffiness. She wasn't particularly worried since she saw him mumbling to himself before the match in a much more covert manner than he usually did which Sophie could only assume meant he had chosen his tenth power and he had the confidence to win, or at least survive.
Besides, Eko's attack would have been nullified if Lone had no way to defeat it and Sophie was gradually getting used to being locked in the summoning room while Lone was not in a condition to summon her. She was also relieved that he was being cared for by Grimsley, hence her nonchalant attitude.
"Thanks, Soph," Lone said with a smile as he began petting her head. The two of them had really matured in different aspects if one were to compare the pair from a year ago up to the present day.
"I guess that's fine too. Even if I did lose, I gained so much from all of this. Especially that last fight against Eko. Thank you, Grim. You really did me a favour this time by getting me involved in this," Lone genuinely thanked. Even if he was a little bit disgruntled at having lost the competition overall, Lone was still exceedingly happy with the gains he had managed to take away from today.
"Speaking of, what did you get during your last fight, Lone?" Sophie asked while she tried her hardest to not fall into the sweet trap that was called head pats. Lone was becoming far too talented at them even without his associated skill.
"Right, I need to check," Lone replied. He then signalled for whatever notifications he had received during his fight with the saint to reappear for him to see. Several screens appeared before his eyes, so Lone began inspecting them one by one.
|Due to the host carefully observing this skill being used, Gained Intermediate Earth Magic Skill:|
|Skill: Earth Wall|
|Effect 1:||Allows the host to create a wall out of mana to varying degrees based on mastery|
|Mastery:||Beginner Level 1|
|Wall's Size and Sturdiness Increased:||2%|
|Gained Earth Magic Affinity|
"Heh... what a useless skill. At least I got the affinity," Lone mumbled before he told Grimsley and Sophie about this skill. Neither of them was very shocked or impressed because as Lone said, it was fairly useless since Lone had his mana creation skill. The only difference was that it might be cheaper to create a wall by using this skill. However, what Lone was happy about was the affinity. He assumed that he might be able to shape the land and create earthquakes eventually.
After Lone was done thinking about the applications of this skill, he quickly moved on to the next one he had gained.
|Due to the host moving incredibly fast in an attempt to dodge an attack, Gained Skill:|
|Effects:||Increases speed by varying degrees when activated based on mastery|
|Mastery:||Beginner Level 7|
|Increased Speed when activated:||14%|
Everyone was shocked at this skill. However, they were far more shocked at the fact that Lone had yet to acquire it until this point. Lone did point out that he had never really attempted to dodge an attack properly before. Every fight he's participated in so far, he had just taken the hits to improve his Passive Regeneration which was now at master level 4 thanks to his most recent fight. Sophie and Grimsley could only nod upon hearing this. It did make sense upon Lone explaining it.
|Due to the host surviving a palm created out of spirit energy and magic, Gained Skill:|
|Skill: Spirit Resistance|
|Effect 1:||Dampens all Spirit damage to varying degrees based on mastery level|
|Mastery:||Beginner Level 5|
|Spirit Damage Dampened:||10%|
|Gained Spirit Magic Affinity|
|Due to the host enduring several attacks that held trace amounts of holy power within them, Gained Skill:|
|Skill: Holy Resistance|
|Effect 1:||Dampens all holy damage to varying degrees based on mastery level|
|Mastery:||Beginner Level 1|
|Holy Damage Dampened:||2%|
|Gained Holy Magic Affinity|
These skills and affinities greatly pleased both Lone and Sophie as it resulted in Lone having some form of a countermeasure against future attacks based off of these elements.
Grimsley was shocked that the attacks held trace amounts of holy magic because that wasn't a magic you could simply train in. You had to be born with the ability to use, except if you were Lone of course. That was one of the reasons that Astera, the Goddess of Light, summoned heroes so often. Her church was holy and light magic based and heroes always held a certain amount of affinity towards holy magic, regardless of how terrible their personalities were.
After discussing the resistances a little bit more, Lone moved to inspect his final notification.
|Due to your soul evolving from an Accepting Solitary type to an Accepting Isolated type, Title: The Lone Wanderer has evolved.|
|Title: The Lone Wanderer of Acknowledgment|
|Effect 1:||the host can now accept beings like one would accept family|
|Effect 2:||the host can now respect beings without having to accept them|
|Effect 3:||You gain 130% more experience in all things you do so long as you travel by yourself or with (an) accepted being(s) or with (a) respected being(s).|
|Effect 4:||You gain a 2.8x modifier to all stats including hidden and locked ones.|
|Effect 5:||You gain a 4x modifier to all social based stats.|
|Effect 6:||the host's feelings for accepted beings gain a 1.6x modifier.|
|Effect 7:||the host's feelings for respected beings gain a 1.6x modifier.|
|Effect 8:||All accepted beings gain a loyalty stat with a 5.6x modifier directed at the host.|
|Effect 9:||All respected beings gain a respect stat with a 5.6x modifier directed at the host.|
|Restriction 1:||All experience modifiers of the host are disabled passively when a companion of the host is not an accepted being or respected being.|
"Wow. More experience and I'm not a solitary type anymore. Isolated? Does it mean preferred isolation or what? Respected beings, huh? I guess that's the feeling I had when I was fighting with Eko," Lone whispered to himself before he explained the changes to his soul and title to his accepted beings.
Now Lone would be able to make more friends and be less antisocial. That was what Grimsley was thinking. Sophie was a little bit jealous that she wouldn't be able to keep Lone all to herself in the future. She knew she would be the only person he ever loved romantically, but he might gain some new travelling companions now that he was able to be with more types of people.
"Oh yeah. Since you both are here, no better time to tell you guys. I chose my tenth power and it's basically a weaker version of immortality," Lone nonchalantly stated. Grimsley just looked at Lone stupidly while Sophie began humming to herself in pride. She was happy that her assumption about Lone's power being a life saving one was correct.
Upon noticing how stupified Grimsley was, Lone explained his tenth power in detail to the two.
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