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A note from puddles4263

I need to go to work, so this is the last chapter for now. More to come later.

More notifications awaited Randidly as he awoke once more.

Congratulations! Farming is now Lvl 4.

Congratulations! Farming is now Lvl 5.

Congratulations! Farming is now Lvl 6.

Congratulations! Farming is now Lvl 7.

Congratulations! Farming is now Lvl 8.

Congratulations! You have learned the skill Plant Breeding Lvl 1.

Congratulations! Plant Breeding is now Lvl 2.

“So many levels…? And Plant Breeding…?” Randidly muttered, rubbing his eyes. His original berry bushes were now approaching a point where they would produce berries leafy and healthy looking. There were thin sprouts from the first six of the holes, the 3 nuts and 3 bananas. But disappointingly, the final three showed no change.

Well anyway, there was still a lot to do.

First Randidly took stock of his supplies. He had about a dozen of each color of the crystal, 30 nuts, 25 bananas, and some weird bread and dried meat from the person who killed the snake. That was probably enough to keep him going for a few days, giving him time to spend all his effort on grinding out his skills to increase his chance of survival.

Next, he went to his path screen. He currently had 9 PP, and used 4 of them to finish off the M. Supp Path. As expected, he received 2 M. Supp Points and then 2 free stat points, which he put into Control and Vitality respectively.

Then he examined the completion notification.

Congratulations! You have completed the M. Supp Path! +2 to all M. Supp stats, +1 M. Supp point per level. You have learned the skill Meditation Lvl 1!

Meditation: Allows user to enter into focused state, increasing regeneration by 1% per skill level. May be knocked out of meditation by disturbances. Increasing skill level allows more actions to be done while meditation.

“Small now, but… There is a lot of potential there. I wonder if it stacks with the safe room bonus…?”

Then Randidly put the remaining 5 into the Risk Taker path. Much to his disappointment, the first 4 PPs did nothing. Only the 5th and final gave him hope.

Congratulations! You have earned +1 all stats.

He figured it made sense that as he continued, it would get harder to get individual stats. But rewards every five, and likely the completion reward, would still be worth it.

Randidly also got a better sense of some of the stats. Perception really did make his eyes and ears more sensitive, and the tiny boosts in reactions he received enabled him to respond more quickly to things.

The boost to Int made his mana bolt slightly more bright and powerful, and it also now seemed to travel farther before dissipating, which Randidly suspected was the increase in his wisdom. The large boost to M. Supp he had received let him determine that while control made his accuracy with spells better, Focus decreased the casting time. It only took around 5 seconds to channel the energy for the spell now, which was much shorter, but also too long in terms of what it would require to use mid battle.

So, for the next two days, Randidly threw himself into grinding.

He planned it out well. In the mornings, he would jog, sprint, and do push ups, interspersing that Mana Bolts.  Then he would take a meal, and spend several hours grinding heavy blow, practicing slashing the small tree, which seemed to be growing rapidly, with the dagger, leaving long scratches.

It even earned him the Dagger Mastery Skill.

In the evening, Randidly alternated between using Iron Skin and shooting Mana Bolts, and Meditating.

For two day this continued, Randidly ignoring the notifications and instead just continuing to grind. He realized he might miss out on some marginal benefits by turning in PPs for stats now, but he ignored that. Better to not let anything distract them.

At the end of the second day, while he ripped away at some of the dried jerky he had taken from the dead body, Randidly considered his gains.

Farming Lvl 8 had increased to Lvl 11

Running Lvl 5 had increased to Lvl 7

Sprinting Lvl 3 had increased to Lvl 6

Physical Fitness Lvl 3 had increased to Lvl 10

Mana Bolt Lvl 2 had increased to Lvl 7

Heavy Blow Lvl 2 had increased to Lvl 9

Iron Skin Lvl 3 had increased to Lvl 6

Dagger Mastery Lvl 1 had increased to Lvl 5

Meditation Lvl 1 had increased to Lvl 4

Equip Lvl 2 had increased to Lvl 7

All in all, he had earned 42 PP, which might have been more than the amount he had used to this point. Initially, he was intimidated by that number, because he didn’t have enough paths, but two things soothed his thoughts. First, when Physical Fitness Reached Lvl 10, he unlocked the Basic Fitness Path, which would require 20 PP to finish.

2nd, the notification at the end of the path completion made him think there was some secret to paths.

Continue using paths to explore this world! Remember, there will always be a path open to you.

So Randidly first finished off the Risk Taker path, getting another +1 to all stats at 10 and 15 respectively, and then a completion notification.

Congratulations! You have completed the Risk Taker Path! Not all risks are rewarded equally. Received 1 Random Chest. +1% experience per each level a defeated mob has over you.

Congratulations! You have obtained a Small Chest (U).

And as Randidly watched, a small chest, the size of a tissue box, appeared in front of him.

After a brief hesitation, Randidly opened the chest, finding a pair of Leather Gloves. He immediately put them on and inspected them.

Fine Leather Gloves Lvl ???: Vitality +1, Agility +3

Even though it was a failure, apparently his Equip level was high enough to at least see that little bit of information. Still, he was left without knowing how long it would take to Equip the gloves for real...

Satisfied, Randidly then poured 20 PP into finishing off Basic Physical Fitness. Like Risk Taker, only every 5th one had a reward. At 5 he received on P. Attack (which he put into Agi), at 10 a P. Def (which he put into Vit), and at 15 a P. Supp (which he put into Perception). 20 was a free stat, which Randidly put into Wis to raise his mana regeneration.

Congratulations! You have completed the Basic Physical Fitness Path! +10 Health. +5 Stamina. +1 Stamina per level.

Another health boost was always beneficial, although it was probably less useful that straight stats. But increasing level up gains would be useful for him. Hopefully.

Eventually.

Randidly then went back to his path screen, a sinking feeling in his chest. But as he looked at all the greyed out selections, a notification popped up before him.

Continue using paths to explore this world! Remember, there will always be a path open to you. Please select one of the paths below for your continued journey!

Trainee Path: 0/15

????: 0/20

Randidly considered. Although the second one was effectively random, it seemed like a higher level path, because it would take more PP. It had the same amount as Basic Physical Fitness. Still, Trainee path seemed like the natural continuation of the Newbie path, and that had granted him skills…

Deciding to play it safe, Randidly selected trainee, pouring his remaining 12 PP into it. To his surprise, he received a bonus every level, which made him quite happy. But he was stopped after putting his 5th point in.

Congratulations! You have earned +3 to Health

Congratulations! You have earned +2 to Mana.

Congratulations! You have earned +1 all Stamina.

Congratulations! You have earned +1 stat(s).

Congratulations! You have encountered a branching path. Choose either +4 Stamina and the skill “Mighty Leap” or +10 Mana and the skill “Entangling Roots”. Warning, your choice will affect the remainder of this path.

Frowning, Randidly weighed his options. Essentially, he had to choose whether to proceed down a Mana or a Stamina build. The obvious choice was Stamina, but Randidly was pulled towards mana for two reasons. First, a Stamina build would require more direct confrontations, which Randidly did not yet have much experience with. Especially when he considered those acid spitting frogs, it seemed like it would be a bad idea.

2nd… the associated skill was much more desirable. Entangling Roots sounded like Crowd Control, which could hopefully tie down the frogs or Howler Monkeys, enabling him to escape.

In addition… Randidly was very tempted by the 10 mana bonus from learning the skill.

With these things in mind, he selected the Entangling Roots option.

Entangling Roots: Summon roots from the ground to tie down opponents. Costs 35 mana. Duration of roots depends on skill level. Strength and size of roots depend on skill level and intelligence. Accuracy of roots depends on control.

Immediately, he felt an intense regret. 35 mana cost!?!?! His total mana was only 42! And even with the bonus from the safe zone, his mana regen per hour was just 42! It would take him almost an hour and a half to get enough mana to use it again.

Sighing, Randidly entered in the next 7 PPs, emptying himself out. But those notifications brought some measure of optimist back to his heart.

Congratulations! You have earned +2 to Mana.

Congratulations! You have earned +2 to Mana.

Congratulations! You have earned +1 to Mana Regeneration.

Congratulations! You have earned +1 Stat(s).

Congratulations! You have learned the active skill Mana Shield Lvl 1.

Congratulations! You have earned +2 to Mana.

Congratulations! You have earned +2 to Mana.

Mana Shield: Conjure a thin shield of mana. Effective against both magical and physical attacks. Will block 20 damage, plus the skill level x 5. Costs 20 mana.

After putting the two stat points he had earned from the Trainee Path into wisdom and boosting his mana regen, Randidly felt much better. His mana pool was now at 51, and his regeneration at 17 per hour. In the room that was 51, just above the casting cost of Entangling roots. Training it up 1 per hour, alternating with Mana Bolts, was just barely enough for him to stomach.

Closing the menus, Randidly considered his options. What was the best method to ensure his survival here...?

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puddles4263

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