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Randidly woke up with a start. Then, realizing Shal stood only a little ways away, cooking stew, he calmed himself and immediately began meditating. To his surprise, it increased a level. But more than that, Randidly was shocked to see that Entangling Roots had gained a level, and he had a new skill: Root Manipulation.

Root Manipulation Lvl 1: Control roots in the surrounding area by sensing them and infusing them with mana. Duration of control and distance increases mana expenditure. By using more mana, you can increase the size and strength of the roots you control.

Before looking at his path screen, Randidly took a few minutes to experiment with this new skill, earning himself another level in it, increasing it to two.

Although there was only grass in the immediate area on this strange plain, Randidly could still sense several larger roots, deeper in the earth. But moving them basically emptied his mana pool immediately.

Shifting his attention the smaller grass roots, he marveled at his ability to control every single one, causing them to reach up out of the ground and grip tightly at the toes of his bare feet.

Ruefully, he shook his head. This was basically useless currently. The mana expenditure was much higher than Entangling Roots, and the power wouldn’t stop anything. But at the same time..

Randidly shrugged inwardly. He kinda liked it that way. It was versatile, and would only get stronger as he trained it.

Then, with a rapidly beating heart, Randidly returned to the path screen, and placed the last point into Pathless.

Congratulations! You have completed the Pathless Path! You have realized that all paths are the same, and all paths lead to the same place.

But after this utterly worthless notification came up, another one appeared.

Although all paths lead to the same place, you have realized that different feet traverse them, and as different footsteps echo, the whole world shifts. You have unlocked the Soul Path Skill “Green Spear Mastery Lvl 1”. A Soul Path Skill will gain a skill level anytime you consume a PP moving forward on another path. PP cannot be used to advance a Soul Path Skill. Remember that as the path extends before you, ever onward, ever changing, sometimes you will change too.

Warning. At any point, you may only have one Soul Skill. Gaining another will cause you to lose the previous skill, as well as all associated gains.

Curious, Randidly brought up his stat screen. Sure enough, he had a new skill, although it appeared slightly different, underlined on his screen.

Green Spear Mastery: Utilize insights into the spear to understand the earth, and insight into the natural world to advance with your spear. Success at crafting with materials from the natural world increases with skill level. High skill levels makes it marginally easier to learn spear, crafting, earth, and life related skills.

Just a passive buff…? Although it would grow naturally, Randidly was still somewhat disappointed. At first he thought it was something similar to a class, but now it just seemed like an affinity skill.

Still, like his new Root Manipulation, it would grow to be extremely strong (he hoped) after a short while, so no use complaining.

Soon, Randidly’s attention returned to the rest of the path screen, and his plethora of options.

Physical Fitness Path 0/25, Mana Bolt Path 0/25, Evasion Path 0/35, Phantom Thrust Path 0/40, Spear Mastery I Path 0/50, ????? 0/??

All of theses had paths, except the last one, had been unlocked when he reached certain levels in his current skills. The question was which he wanted to do first.

Immediately he eliminated the mystery path and Spear Mastery I. The former because it was probably more pathless stuff, and Randidly was tired of that. The latter because it would cost so much PP.

For the same reason, Randidly hesitantly set aside Evasion and Phantom Thrust, even though those were his bread and butter. The real reason that Randidly was leaning towards these smaller paths was the possibility he entertained that they would reward him with a skill. Because Mana Bolt seemed more likely to do so, and would likely give him mana, Randidly decided on that one.

Immediately he put 5 PP into it, earning him 1 mana on levels 1-4, then +1 of any M. stat on 5. Randidly put that into Intelligence.

But what was really surprising was the notification that had followed.

Green Spear Mastery has reached Lvl 5! +5 Mana. Spear Affinity Increased.

So it was a skill that behaved like a path…? And it would level every time he used PP….?

Feeling oddly pleased with himself, and peaceful, Randidly looked again at his status screen.

Randidly Ghosthound

Class: ---

Level: N/A

Health(/R per hour): 206/200 [+6] (63.75 [+9])

Mana(/R per hour): 139/159 (44.25)

Stam(/R per min): 105/105 (24 [+3])

Vit: 17 [+3]

End: 27

Str: 8

Agi: 26 [+3]

Perception: 18

Reaction: 23

Resistance: 9

Willpower: 52

Inteligence: 42

Wisdom: 26

Control: 21

Focus: 16

Equipment: Average Leather Tunic Lvl 5: (+2 Vit), Gloves of Quickness (Vit +1. Agi +3)

PP:

Paths: Newbie 7/7, P.Def 10/10, M.Supp 10/10, Risk Taker 15/15, Basic Physical Fitness 20/20, Trainee 15/15, Wandering Survivor 20/20, Pathless I 5/5, Pathless II 5/5, Pathless III 10/10 ,Pathfinder 15/15, Disciple of Shal 37/37, Pathless IV 10/10, Pathless V 15/15, Pathless VI 15/15, Pathless VII 20/20, Pathless VIII 20/20, Pathless IX 25/25, Pathless X 50/50, Pathless 100/100, Mana Bolt Path 5/25

 

Skills: Running: Lvl 10, Physical Fitness Lvl 20, Sneak Lvl 6, Farming Lvl 17, Mana Bolt Lvl 21, Heavy Blow Lvl 15, Acid Resistance Lvl 13, Poison Resistance Lvl 10, Sprinting Lvl 11, Iron Skin Lvl 19, Equip Lvl 12, Plant Breeding Lvl 9, Meditation Lvl 24, Dagger Mastery Lvl 8, Entangling Roots Lvl 23, Mana Shield Lvl 16, Dodge Lvl 24, Potion Making Lvl 18, Analyze Lvl 7, Pathfinding Lvl 3, Mapmaker Lvl 1, Spear Mastery Lvl 34, Phantom Thrust Lvl 30, Pain Resistance Lvl 10, Fighting Proficiency Lvl 19, First Aid Lvl 13, Block Lvl 23, Spear Phantom’s Footwork Lvl 19, Eyes of the Spear Phantom Lvl 9, Phantom Half-Step Lvl 3, Mental Strength Lvl 8, Curse Resistance Lvl 3, Root Manipulation Lvl 2, Green Spear Mastery Lvl 5

His Intelligence and Willpower seemed pretty respectable, even if his physical stats, especially strength, had fallen by the wayside. What was really impressive was his long list of skills…

Randidly walked over to Shal. “Now what?”

Shal gave him a dismissive look. “Obviously we continue until every enemy in front of us is dead.”

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