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Back at the base, Randidly once more checked on the plants. The second generation plants mixed with the crystals had fully grown and now had fruit, but he set that to the side for now. It did mean that Farming and Plant Breeding both increased a level.

With his 8 PP, Randidly tossed the rest of it into the Pathfinder class. At 10, he earned +1 all M. Supp, which was helpful for his spells. Then he turned to the fruit. He began with the bananas, because he basically knew what to expect. The red bananas were bigger, and had a strange spicy savoriness that was a quite welcome switch from the regular sweetness.

The straight blue crystal bananas were tingy, and were strangely spongy, almost like a cake. But they certainly seemed like they kept longer without going bad.

It was the mixed crystal bananas that were really peculiar. When he touched most of the bananas hanging from the slender tree, most of them turned to ash. Except for one, that seemed to pulse with light. At the same time, it was strangely dripping juices, vibrant and alive. And quite sticky. Slightly nervous, Randidly took that one and took a small nibble.

Instantly, warm waves of heat washed through his body. He smiled and flexed his hand. He felt… powerful. Acting purely on instinct, Randidly produced the knife and made it dance across his fingers, slashing left and right.

Almost immediately, he gained a level of Equip, which just made him smile wider, and soon he was leaping back and forth, cutting invisible enemies to pieces. Very quickly, Randidly was filled with a strange confidence that he was wrong about hand to hand fighting. Although he wasn’t experienced, that didn’t necessarily mean that he couldn’t defeat a lousy monkey.

He was quick, he was strong, he was smart, he could spot the monkey’s weaknesses…

An increase in the level of his Physical Fitness made his confidence swell. He definitely felt stronger and more resilient, and it wasn’t just the stats. It was the lifestyle, it was the diet. His body was changing, He was changing.

Then Dagger Mastery gained a level, and he was so sure, in that moment. He could do this.

Hell if he wasn’t babysitting this dumbass Shal-

Then all at once, the confidence departed, a empty coolness suffusing his body.Randidly shivered. What… What was that…?

Trembling, he breathed in, and then breathed out. The previous few minutes were a heady blur.

Perhaps the most disturbing thing about the whole situation was the confidence that buoyed him after he took the small nibble. And the fact he had gained 3 skill levels in about 5 minutes. Although it might have been a coincidence, it didn’t feel like one.

Being careful not to breath any stray fumes from the banana, Randidly peered closely at the banana, trying to figure out why it had such a profound effect on him.

Congratulations! You have learned the active skill Analyze Lvl 1.

Analyze: Closely examine materials and rare items. Works primarily to determine the crafting potential of base materials. Can also give some insight into completed projects.

Congratulations! Analyze Lvl 1 has risen to Analyze Lvl 2.

Lesser Origin Banana: Made from a tree that grows rich in both yin and yang energies, only one Origin Banana blooms per tree. The concentrated energy within it has great potential to increase the efficacy of most effects.

...It even could increase the efficiency of training? But more than that… it doesn’t explain that monstrous confidence that appeared so quickly…

Still, another skill and skill level were useful, and Randidly tucked the banana away for safekeeping. Meanwhile, he walked over to the middle of the nut trees, having high hopes for another origin food.

Unfortunately, his luck was not that good. When he pulled off a nut, and unpleasant scent wafted up from it.

Warped Halnut: Strange energies have warped this Halnut. Can be refined into a poison with unpredictable effects.

Unpredictable wasn’t exactly what Randidly was looking for, so he turned to the blue Halnuts. Popping one off of the tree, he cracked one open and gazed inside. Although it was oddly cool, it was otherwise quite normal. It was also more oily, the flesh on the inside shifting when he pressed it. Analyzed hit, the level going up once again.

Cool Halnut: A variant of the Halnut with a unique taste. It’s core is useful for crafting.

Randidly nibbled on the edge. To his surprise, it tasted oddly mintly. He took a bigger bite, enjoying the strange, peanut butter like consistency, combined with the minty flavor. He took another bite, his teeth smashing against what could only be the core.

A thread of cold energy got into his mouth numbing him, and Randidly spat out the whole thing.

After the numb sensation went away, Randidly carefully cleared away the flesh, revealing a small blue bead.

Blue Energy Bead: A refined version of a blue energy shard. Not edible.

Ignoring the strange insult from the description, Randidly pulled out one of the glowing blue crystal he had harvested from the tree.

Blue Energy Shard: Basic, low grade material. Can be refined into various potions.

With glittering eyes, Randidly turned to the red Halnut bush.

****

4 hours later, having gained two more levels in Analyze, and two in Potion Making, Randidly returned to the pool.

“Shal. I think this might be more powerful.” Randidly’s voice was carefully controlled, because whatever it was that he had created, it had leveled him twice in potion making in one go. And when he tried to analyze it, he had failed.

Instead of regular red and blue energy shards, Randidly had used the beads. And he had used water with a few drops of the Origin Bananas juice as a base. He had failed 3 times, getting the ratios just slightly off. It seemed that as the level of the potion increased, the requirements were even more exact. But on the 4th try...

Once more Shal beckoned, and Randidly threw him the potion. This time, when his third eye gazed at it, his entire gaze sharpened, his two normal eyes opening.

“This… even I do not recognize it… But….” After a few moments of hesitation, Shal threw it back. Immediately he huddled lower in the pond, submerging even his head.

For several seconds, nothing happened. Then the water began to bubble and boil around him. Randidly cautiously backed away. Which turned out to be a wise decision, because a giant black bat, made of a black mist, erupted upwards from Shal. It screeched and gazed around, its ethereal eyes finally finding Randidly. With a roar, it charged.

But before it had moved an inch, a spear shot up and skewered it. With a weird explosion, the bat deflated and disappeared. With a huge grin, Shal leaped out of the pool, laughing.

“Wonderful, wonderful! You have saved me many days in this terrible room. I shall repay you immediately- are you ready to leave the dungeon?”

****

The trip to the entrance was surreal. Randidly barely had time to harvest all his plants until he was dragged out. Shal explained that you passively lost experience while in a safe room, which is why no one in there right mind would stay there.

‘And also why me being there didn’t matter…’ Randidly thought.

Most of the way Shal carried Randidly, leaping large distances through the forest. Shal explained that the enemies around here were below 30, mostly meant to grind down weaklings’ resources. It was only in the area right after Randidly’s safe room, where the forest gave way to plains, that the dungeon became difficult. It was there that Shal was cursed by a Orc Shaman Mini-Boss after sustaining serious injuries, leaving him in such a wounded state that he was forced to take shelter in the safe room.

Then Shal sighed. “However, it is hard. The mental attacks of the Shaman are too confusing. I might need to spend a few months leveling to get my Willpower high enough to withstand them….”

For the rest of the journey, Shal was silent.

It only took about 5 hours, with Randidly riding on Shal’s back. To distract himself, Randidly had been meditating, and even got a skill level.

Then they arrived at a set of huge iron doors.

“Here, friend, just press your hand against the doors and click yes.” Shal smiled good naturedly at Randidly. Honestly, Shal’s whole outlook had changed since Randidly had given him that potion.

After a small hesitation, as Randidly wondered how to thank this strange, alien man, This action, of bringing him to the entrance of the dungeon, likely had saved his life. If he had been left to his own devices in here...

Randidly just nodded. He wasn’t really a sappy sort.

But when he pressed his hand to the door, the notification made the blood drain from his face.

You are unable to enter the dungeon. Please choose a class and reach level 10 before proceeding. (There is no further level requirement, but please see Dungeon Level for a guideline of the necessary strength).

“...but….” Randidly said aloud. “I’m trying to leave…?”

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