As for himself, Randidly was quite pleased with the night’s haul, although he was slightly perturbed by his lack of reaction to death. But he supposed that was just the world they were currently living in.
Dodge, Fighting Proficiency, Spear Phantom’s Footwork, and Haste had all improved by 1 level. In addition, Arcane Orb, Empower, and Sweep had improved by 2. The biggest gains, however, were in Roundhouse Kick, Healing Palm, and Calculated Blow, which improved by 4, 3, and a staggering 7, respectively.
Apparently killing large amounts of low leveled opponents did a lot for Calculated Blow. As it was currently, it was almost effortless for Randidly to see the weaknesses of the 4 enemies that populated the area.
The skill gains were enough for Randidly to finish off Monster Slayer V.
Congratulations! You have completed the Monster Slayer V Path! +5 stat(s) +1 to Health Regen, Mana Regen, and Stamina Regen. Sometimes the path forward leads through blood and gore, and sometimes the path is long. But you cannot hesitate.
But the completion of the path left Randidly with several choices. He had unlocked The Monster Slayer Path, which would take 50 PP, and also still had the Watcher Path, but he had also earned Potion Making I Path after getting the skill to lvl 20. It cost 25, but Randidly hesitated because of the real possibility that a skill lay at the end of it.
Ultimately, the lure of that skill was too great, and Randidly chose to pour his remaining 14 PP into Potion Making I. As he did so, he was delighted to find that after putting 5 in, he got a point in Focus, and 10 gave him a stat in control. It was a nice surprise, after the Monster Slayer paths, that only gave a completion bonus.
After Randidly put the 12 of his 14 PP into Potion Making I path, something else happened that gave him pause.
Congratulations! Your Soul Path “Green Spear Mastery” has reached level 250. You have followed this path for a long time, yet now it forks. On your left lays the Waning Rafflesia, and on your right lays the Blooming Hydrangea. Choose where you wish to Walk.
Randidly wasn’t overly familiar flowers, but he understood Waning and Blooming as adjectives. He briefly considered trying to perhaps consult Sam on what exactly the flowers were, but they didn’t seem very important. Instead, Randidly went with his gut.
“Waning Rafflesia.” The other path seemed to be the softer sides of plants, growth and healing. But Randidly knew that to possess the strength he desired, to protect the village, to find his friends… he needed the strength of rot and death.
You have chosen the path of the stinking corpse lily. Green Spear Mastery has become Spear of Rot Mastery. Skill level has reset to 1. You retain all the benefits of Green Spear Mastery.
You have learned the skill Pollen of the Rafflesia Lvl 1. You have learned the skill Edge of Decay Lvl 1. You have learned the skill Summon Pestilence Lvl 1.
Pollen of the Rafflesia: Release pollen from your spear, spreading the scent of spiciness and rot. Enemies caught inhaling your pollen will experience drowsiness, nausea, and minor hallucinations. Costs 50 mana. Effectiveness depends on Intelligence and skill level.
Edge of Decay: Passive ability. Wounds you inflect contain a hint of Rafflesia’s Rot, often leading to increased infection and necrosis of the wounds. Frequency of rot and speed of rot depend on skill level.
Summon Pestilence: The Rafflesia has a strong relationship with hungry insects. Summon a group of those hungry insects to unleash upon your enemies. Number of insects depends on Intelligence and Skill Level. Concentration of Insects depends on Focus, Wisdom, and Skill Level. Control over insects depends on Control and Skill Level.
Randidly smiled reflexively, then shook his head sorrowfully. There were just so many skills he had to grind now. There simply wasn’t enough time in the day for them. But still…
Randidly adjusted his plans, and looked South, towards the area that the fireball casting imps came from. Perhaps he should try out these new skills before anything else.
After sneaking past their patrols, and earning himself another skill point for sneak, Randidly stood in a ruined building that served as their base. While he had been getting in position, another pillar of light had risen up into the sky, and a notification about the Policeman’s Newbie Village had appeared before Randidly, but he dismissed it, focusing on the task at hand.
As he stood, hidden, he activated Pollen of the Rafflesia, and could sense, rather than see, a cloud of… something, the pollen, spreading out around him.
Randidly’s eyes narrowed as two imps walked forward, or rather floated, right into the pollen. At first nothing happened, and Randidly was slightly disappointed. But then he noticed some strange movements and activated Eyes of the Spear Phantom, his vision instantly sharpening.
The left Imp still seemed fine, but the right imp was…. twitching. And as Randidly watched, it seemed to be talking to itself. As it walked deeper into the cloud of pollen, the twitching got progressively worse.
Two more imps, who had been out of Randidly’s vision, around the corner, appeared heading in the opposite direction of the first two, and the twitching imps response made Randidly gasp.
It raised its hand and blasted its compatriots in the face with a fireball. They fell back shrieking, but it just aggressively rushed forward and blasted more.
Randidly’s Pollen of the Rafflesia improved to Lvl 2.
The right imp, finally responding to the horror, grasped at the other imp back, but missed, and fell to the ground, where it vomited up the contents of its stomach. The one imp continued to roast the other two imps, but Randidly was impressed. His Intelligence stat probably made up for the lower skill level, and was pretty effective against the imps, when they didn’t know what was happening.
Randidly flexed his hand, summoning pestilence, a swarm of buzzing insects the size of his fist appearing above his hand. They instantly began to fly everywhere and Randidly frowned, pressing down with his will, and they unwillingly gathered back up.
While doing so, the skill improved immediately to Lvl 4. It seemed that his control was helping him gain levels more quickly. Randidly then pointed, and the pestilence surged forward, albeit haphazardly, hitting the imp that was vomiting on the ground. The flies and wasps instantly dug their greedy mouths into the Imp’s flesh, causing it to roll around, screeching. Within seconds, half of its head was missing, eaten away by the pestilence.
The Imp who was flaming the two other imps turned, its eyes dull and confused. Randidly reached out and pressed, and the pestilence rose up off the first imp and attacked this second imp, or at least most of the insects did. Some admittedly stayed, gnawing on the imp on the ground. It even earned Randidly another skill level.
After watching them for several minutes, Randidly concluded that it was a useful skill, but currently not deadly. Although they could eat a lot of the imps flesh, it was mostly just superficial wounds. He suspected that the skill would fare slightly better now that it was Lvl 5, but not enough to make a difference.
Still, it would be excellent at distracting enemies, and reaching hard to catch enemies, like the cat. With Magic Missile and Summon Pestilence, Randidly felt much more confident about facing the enemies beyond the edge of the boundary.