"Should I teleport him back?" Sophie asked herself. She was fraught with worry. "I don't think I have enough mana points to get us both all the way back home... There's the weapons too..."
Sophie was biting her fingernails as she sat on the grass next to Lone's burnt body. She snuck a glance at him and was very happy to see that he was visibly healing. The noises of his regenerating flesh sent a chill up her spine, but she could endure that. She had endured far worse experiences in the past, after all.
Maybe a minute or so ticked by as she continued to struggle to figure out what to do. Thankfully for Sophie, she didn't have to struggle for much longer.
While still incredibly burnt, Lone had recovered enough to move now without suffering excruciating pain. "Physical Pain Resistance is really something, huh? Even if it doesn't actually get rid of the pain itself, it sure as fuck makes it bearable."
"Lone!" Sophie yelled with joy in her voice.
Raising a black and crisp finger to his charred lips, Lone whispered. "Shh. Let's not make too much more noise, okay? I need a few more minutes to heal all of... this," he said as he gestured to his body. "I'm putting my mana into the skill, but Basic Regen can only do so much in so little time. Can you gather all of the goblins' weapons for me?"
Sophie covered her mouth with her tiny hands and nodded her head quickly. "Mmm! I can do that!" she exclaimed in a hushed tone.
Lone smiled. "Great. I'm counting on you. Please put them in front of me."
Sophie got on her feet and carefully collected the various broken and rusted weapons before putting them where Lone had asked. The last one she got was the mage's staff since that goblin's body was the furthest away. By the time she had placed the wooden stick in front of Lone, his entire body had healed.
Lone stored everything inside of his Dimensional Storage and stumbled up onto his feet. He hobbled over to the boar's body and took that as well. Once he was finished, he stretched his body a bit. "Okay, I think I'm good to walk back home now. My mana points and my stamina are both really low, so let's be super sneaky, okay?"
Sophie enthusiastically bobbed her head up and down. "Yeah! I can be super sneaky!" she whispered.
Lone couldn't help but smirk at the girl's antics. He did have to wonder how a blind girl could be so expressive with her dull eyes though. 'I wonder what colour they should be? Or maybe she was blind from birth... What are you thinking, you idiot? Let's get home first and think about stupid shit later.'
The two, unfortunately, ran into another group of goblins on their way back. A collection of nine of the monsters in total who appeared to be investigating the loud sounds from earlier, or perhaps the smell of blood. Either way, Lone and Sophie steered clear of them and successfully returned to their little fort.
"I'm gonna lie down for a bit. I'm really tired and I wanna look at these system notifications that keep bugging me. What do you wanna do, Soph?" Lone asked as he was in the middle of taking his boots off.
Sophie tugged at her own footwear and she scrunched her face up adorably as she struggled to pull her shoes off. Once her feet were eventually freed once more, she wriggled her toes, making her socks move about cutely. "I dunno. If you're gonna lie down, can I lay down with you?"
Lone thought for a second. An image of Sophie's twenty-year-old version cuddling up to him in their bed flashed across his mind. He shook his head to get rid of such an inappropriate thought. "Sure. Just be gentle with my tails, okay? I don't think I can handle your... roughness until I've rested for at least a few hours."
Sophie blushed and pouted. "I'm always gentle..."
Lone chuckled. "Sure you are," he said as he left the entrance hallway and made his way to the bedroom. Once there, he changed out of his burnt and destroyed clothes into a set of loose and comfortable pyjamas after taking a bath. Sophie followed suit.
The two clambered into the king-sized bed with somewhat lazy and tired movements. Lone put his hands behind his head and got comfy while Sophie snuggled up to his tails and closed her eyes. Lone reasoned that she was probably just as exhausted as he was. He physically, her more so mentally, or at least that's what he assumed.
Taking one of his hands and using it to softly stroke Sophie's hair, Lone finally spared a moment to check out the many notifications that were waiting for his attention.
|Congratulations! The host's unique skill [Basic Regeneration] has levelled up! It is now Intermediate Level 1.|
|Congratulations! The host's unique skill [Basic Regeneration] has levelled up! It is now Intermediate Level 2.|
As expected, his Basic Regen had stepped into a new rank, Intermediate. Before inspecting the other system messages, Lone decided to see if going up in rank from Beginner to Intermediate had any substantial effects on the skill's properties.
|Unique Skill: Basic Regeneration|
A skill unique to the host, Lone Immortus.
Grants the host the ability to passively heal injuries at a moderate [up from slow] rate. The healing rate can be increased in exchange for mana.
|Cost:||40 MP [Down by 10MP] (per second per 1% increase in healing rate)|
|Mastery:||Intermediate Level 2 [Up by 11 levels]|
'Ah, so the cost of boosting it went down and it's a bit faster passively. That's definitely good. So ranking skills up is a must-do thing then, huh? Then again, I wonder if all skills get a direct buff from ranking up? I guess I should check my Physical Pain Resistance to compare, shouldn't I? I never did bother to see if it had changed once it hit intermediate rank, did I?' Lone thought to himself before he did just that.
First, of course, he dismissed the notifications of that particular skill's level ups. It had gone up twice from the previous battle. Lone assumed once from the stabbings he had endured and once from the fireball.
|Passive Skill: Physical Pain Resistance|
A skill that allows the host to resist physical pains while still being aware of their existence.
All physical pain shall be weakened by 15% [+10%].
|Mastery:||Intermediate Level 8 [Up by 17 levels]|
'Oh, sweet! There was a change. a buff like with Basic Regen... I was kinda hoping I'd get a new effect, assuming that's possible. It'd sure be nice to have a toggleable skill that could directly block all pain. Then again, maybe a toggle wouldn't be needed. I won't have to worry about getting too risky without the fear of pain since I have Basic Regen anyway... Hmm, something to think about if it does evolve or if such a skill even exists, I guess,' Lone pondered before he returned to examining the system notifications.
Moving on, the next string of system messages were about his weapon masteries.
|Congratulations! The host's passive skill [Spear Mastery] has levelled up! It is now Beginner Level 4.|
|Congratulations! The host's passive skill [Swordspear Mastery] has levelled up! It is now Beginner Level 2.|
|The host has developed the passive skill: Sword Mastery.|
It would seem that one of the goblins today had the Sword Mastery skill. Surprising considering that none of them had any skills so far, or at least they didn't use any of them on Lone before he killed them if they possessed any. It was still under debate whether skills were rare or not in this world, so Lone couldn't be sure.
Finally, he checked the last few messages which pertained to the magic that Lone had wanted badly enough to risk almost dying to obtain them.
|The host has developed the passive skill: Fire Magic Resistance.|
|The host has developed the active fire magic skill: Crude Fireball.|
Naturally, Lone checked the details of these two skills.
|Passive Skill: Fire Magic Resistance|
A skill that allows the host to resist all forms of Fire Magic.
Fire Magic used on the host will be weakened by 5%.
|Mastery:||Beginner Level 1|
|Active Fire Magic Skill: Crude Fireball|
An incredibly rudimentary application of the common [Fireball] Fire Magic skill.
Due to its crudeness, 100 lines of Ancient Magic Speech must be chanted either verbally or mentally to invoke this skill. These lines will automatically be spoken or thought by the host when the host intends to use this skill.
The MP cost to invoke this skill is substantially increased due to its inherent flaws.
|Mastery:||Beginner Level 1|
|Congratulations! The host has developed an affinity for Fire Magic and has unlocked the magic affinity sheet. The higher the host's affinity with a particular school of magic, the easier it shall become to learn and master skills under that particular school.|
Lone was left speechless. 'This 'magic affinity' sheet is kinda useless to me considering I have Growth Accelerator, but I guess it could be useful to literally anyone else. I suppose for me it'd be like adding a few dribbles of oil to an already roaring flame. It won't do much, but it will do something... maybe. This Crude Fireball though... It's total shit.'
Lone really wasn't a fan of this skill now. From what he could piece together, one of the Elves probably knew the proper Fireball skill, and the mage that Sophie had killed most likely saw it and tried to recreate it.
This was definitely genius, mind you. Lone was unaware of how hard it was to create a skill from just seeing someone else do it. He did know that he was special in that particular regard, otherwise, why would the mysterious god give him a skill that specifically allowed him to learn skills by simply having them be used on him a single time? This goblin must have been really talented.
"Shame it was born a goblin. I wonder if it would have become a really talented magic-user if it was born as a more intelligent species?" Lone mumbled to himself.
Even if he dispised the goblins and their seemingly lust-driven nature, Lone couldn't help but think like a teacher and wonder what could have been were that particular goblin to have a fair and proper chance to learn and allow its talents to blossom.
Shaking his head lightly, Lone chuckled softly. "Such a stupid idea." He smiled wryly before checking out his status sheet. The magic affinity sheet didn't interest him at all since it was essentially useless to him.
|HP:||1,010/1,010 [+150]||SP:||202/3,610 [+510]|
|Strength:||82 [+8]||Vigour:||101 [+15]|
|Dexterity:||143 [+23]||Agility:||110 [+14]|
|Vitality:||361 [+51]||Luck:||54 [+1]|
|Magic Power:||652 [+72]|
'Two levels this time instead of one... Well, it's progress at least. I really wish I knew what luck actually did. Does it even do anything? Another thing to research once we get to some kind of mainland.' Lone's mind was filled with worries.
The sound of light snoring filled his ears. Lone Looked down at the little girl who was peacefully snuggled up to him while she used his many tails as both hugging-partners and blankets. He couldn't help but smile at this peculiar sight.
'I wonder how someone can be so... unfettered by the things going on around them? She gets scared and nervous easily, but when we're in here... she's like a different person. I wonder if it's nice being so carefree? It's like she's only concerned about getting my attention and approval... She really does remind me a lot of Hazel when she was a kid...' Lone's head was full of various thoughts.
Eventually, he decided to stop stressing out and considering a million things. He got himself comfortable and pulled the sheets over both himself and Sophie before he closed his eyes and fell asleep. It had been a long day yet again, for the both of them, not just Lone.
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