“Answers first,” Randidly said firmly, tightly gripping the coin. It was around 10 am, and they had successfully made it back to their village after his light assault of their nextdoor neighbors. Hopefully that demonstration was enough to cow Constance, but Randidly wouldn’t bet on it. Although in the short term, his revenge was not likely to be forthcoming; he would want to grow much stronger before he dared reveal himself in front of Randidly again.
Maybe his eviscerated tongue and vocal cords would give him pause, however.
Nul nodded rapidly, his excited palpable. “Yes, yes. Each Village may form its own ‘kept’ Dungeon, typically in the Trainee Tier-”
“No,” Randidly shook his head slowly, his gaze never leaving Nul’s eyes. “Bigger answers. How could their guide have this coin?”
Nul stilled, his expression instantly becoming bland and noncommittal. “...I don’t know what you mean.”
“I think you do.” Randidly saw Daniel gasp, making the same realization he did. He held up the coin. “I haven’t seen one of these. And not to be arrogant, but if I haven’t been able to find whatever is making these and kill it, I doubt anyone over there has either. And if it didn’t come from the any of the people here…”
Nul looked troubled. “...This… is not something I can speak of, I promise you. I am bound. But suffice to say… Your suspicions are not unfounded. All guides are not created equal… Which brings me to the perfect opportunity to bring you the good news! I too, have a gift, and it has just been unlocked as your Village Chieftain got his Soul Skill up to Lvl 100.”
Nul’s smile did nothing to dispel Randidly’s suspicions. If it didn’t come from the people, it came from there guide. All guides weren’t created equally… He was bound…?
But Randidly supposed it would end up being worth it, if the dungeon warped time like the dungeon he had been stuck in. “So what is your gift? Is it as valuable as this?”
“Perhaps you should be the judge of that… you seem rather intelligent.” Nul said smartly, smirking at him.. “It is something called Class Inheritance… Very simply, due to my influence, there is an item you can purchase from the Accessory Shop called a Mentor stone. Using that will force a connection, giving an individual a path Disciple of the Individual who used the stone. When that path is complete, if you bring them to me and the mentor was from my village… I can make sure they can obtain a similar class.”
Randidly stilled. This was obviously a similar method to what Shal had used with him. If it were true, and they could reproduce classes with more powerful growth rates…
But the fact that Shal could do it made Randidly’s eyes narrow with suspicion. Was it really something due to Nul, or was it something that every village unlocked at a certain level…?
“What do you mean by similar?” Daniel asked.
Nul shrugged mysteriously. “It is hard to say. But there is some potential for change. The higher ranked the class, the higher the possibility is that the class might degrade into a less powerful subset. But conversely, the lower tiered classes might evolve.”
“So,” Nul asked, turning to Randidly. “Will this gift of mine be useful?”
“Do you have… nothing else?” Randidly asked, his voice light.
Nul’s face soured, and for a long time, he said nothing. And then he finally said, “There is a path you may take, were balance is ended, and one half may feed off the other to grow stronger. If you do so, and afterwards I am still alive, I will be able to answer your questions.”
At the end of this small speech, Nul’s face was red, and his whole body trembled. Randidly suspected it was a ruse, bu in a way, there were similarities to what the other spirit had said about being one half of a whole. Thoughtfully, Randidly handed over the large black coin.
“The easiest way is to just give the different ranks tiers of equipment, but I simply don’t have enough high quality materials.” Sam said unhappily.
Randidly rubbed his chin. He had planned on training for longer beyond the boundary today, but it seemed like he needed to go on a more harvest focused mission. Sam required supplies to test his new theories about preserving bodies. Brooding, he turned, only to find that Decklan was still following him.
A perfect packmule.
After assuring Sam he would handle it and requesting Decklan’s aid, Randidly left the village, glad to be away. Their village had grown again, swelling to around 600 people, and based on the talk, more would be coming. The most recently arrived said that they were in a moderately sized city to the south when the system arrived, and had largely hid within their homes. When the first pillar of light appeared with the notification, they were the brave souls that ventured forth, wanting to survive.
They believed that more would follow, when they saw the second pillar appear, and the monsters only growing more frequent.
That meant there were more varieties of monsters and golden coins just 4 days travel south. Randidly grinned. 4 days for an average person.
The other strange part about the influx of people was that the entire valley around his house was being slowly cleared, and a NCC (non-class character) village springing up near his cabin. They relied on the skill system for strength, but were scared away from getting a class based on the responsibility to the town involved.
Some people didn’t have the guts to fight off a horde of monsters every morning. That might change as Daniel figured out the logistics of the Class Inheritance method that Nul talked about, but that would take some time.
In addition, there were about a dozen full time farmers who had completely taken care of nurturing and harvesting Randidly’s plants. He felt a pang in his heart at the missed opportunities for skill levels, but he supposed that he had other skills which were more necessary to train. Survival came first. Besides, Farming was rather boring activity.
They were doing a good job too; the fields were currently 5x the size of Randidly’s original 4 fields, a huge sea of rapidly rising food.
As they left the village, an annoyed voice stopped the duo. “Someone else beat me to it, huh? Well, whatever. Wherever we are going, take me with you. I’m ready, I think.”
Lyra stepped out from behind a tree, her hair pulled up into a practical ponytail.
Decklan gaped at her. “Lyra Silver?!?!”
She gave him a dismissive look, and then held up a hand to Randidly, silencing him even before he spoke. “I know what you are thinking. But look.”
And just like that, Lyra teleported 5 meters to the right, her body instantaneous switching positions.
“My mana pool is big enough to do it twice, as long as I’m casting basically nothing else. I can control the direction and distance, although this is about my limit. Should be enough to stall long enough for you to protect me right? So lead on, leader.” Lyra said with a smile.
Her smile was sharp, sweet, and sour like a knife just used to cut out the core of a fruit.
Randidly opened his mouth to say something, but he saw something in Lyra’s eyes as he did so, a fear of rejection. Almost helpless, Randidly turned away and walked forward, ignoring her.
She laughed quietly and followed, Decklan still staring and following her.
‘Watch out for her,’ Ellaine had said.
So of course the first thing Randidly was doing was taking her to the most dangerous place he knew of currently. He scratched the back of his neck, feeling slightly guilty.