Sam didn’t even bat an eye, he just scratched his ear noncommittally.
“You’re gonna have to take it around back. Can’t work on it here,” Sam commented. “Dozer, stay for a bit too. Gonna need you to smash the joints so we can work on it one segment at time.”
Scowling and more drained than he had ever felt, Randidly left. He could have at least been a little surprised. But at the same time, Randidly had gotten his own reward on the way back.
Congratulations! You have learned the skill Mana Strengthening Lvl 1.
Mana Strengthening: Channel mana through your body to slightly increase physical attributes. Effect increases with Skill Level and Intelligence. Mana cost decreases with Skill Level.
Just on the walk home, chugging mana potions, he had gotten the skill to Level 7. It was the only way he had managed to drag that huge body back to the Newbie Village.
It also made Randidly excited for the future. When he had both Haste, Empower, and Mana Strengthening going… his consumption of Mana and Stamina would be prodigious, but he abilities would also be impressive.
After returning to his hut, avoiding the wondering and slightly fearful gazes of the people, he collapsed, finally alone. He rubbed his eyes, incredibly weary. Slowly but surely, he was finding strength. He raised his hand, still laying on the ground, reaching for the ceiling.
More people were pouring in every day. More and more chances to find Ace and Sydney.
‘And beyond that…? Once I find them, what will I do? What am I looking for?’ Randidly thought to himself. And the answer rose unbidden
The answer was simple, it was an answer learned from 7 long months of struggle. Randidly shook his head, a rueful smile forming. Then he opened his path screen, and froze.
Watcher: 0/??, ?????, Entangling Roots 0/40, Meditation 0/35, Heretic I 0/???, Oathbreaker 0/25, Apprentice Path 0/50
The Watcher and the ??? path were there before, but Randidly had earned every other path since he had started the 100 PP Monster Slayer path. Entangling Roots and Meditation came from skill level, Randidly guessed. And Apprentice was unlocked when his stat total got to 400. But Heretic and Oathbreaker…
Randidly grimaced. Once more, he would wait on the first two. And the ones with an unknown source probably weren’t worth the PP investment at this point, while he had so many options. That narrowed his choices down to Entangling Roots, Meditation, and Apprentice.
All three had their strong points. Apprentice would likely give skills, but was the most expensive. Meditation would likely further improve his regeneration abilities, which he needed, but probably wouldn’t result in a skill, and might not give many bonuses until the completion.
Meanwhile, Entangling Roots was Randidly’s go to skill when encountering a new opponent, slowing and tying down the enemy while he repositioned. Any improvement in that skill, or availability of a similar, more powerful skill, would be worth it.
But he could only pick one. And all were significant investments, the lowest being Meditation at 35 PP.
Well let’s look ahead a bit. What would he be doing tomorrow…? He would participate in the monster horde later. After that...should he return to the other Newbie Village for the glassware…? Perhaps not so soon, give them time to gather, and to forget he attacked their boss.
Instead, might be better to head back to the boundary, head in a different direction. Take a tankier group with him and fight cats….
No, the cats would probably kill most people instantly, aside from Donny. Even Randidly felt chills as those claws ripped towards him. Back to the lizardmen then…? That was fine, he had gained a lot of levels fighting against them. Perhaps rely more on his spells, and let some people practice tanking…?
Then, if he wanted to focus on his spells…
Ultimately, Randidly set the Apprentice Path aside. Better to focus on improving his current skills, either by Meditation, or Entangling Roots, than learning new skills. RIght now he needed to see immediate improvements in his strength if he wanted to survive for longer beyond the boundary.
For several long seconds, Randidly teetered between the two options. But he finally settled on the Entangling Roots Path. His immediate concerns were increasing his strength and harvesting more materials to keep the rest of the people in what they were now calling Donnyton alive. So Randidly put his 6 leftover PP into the Entangling Roots Path.
At 5, he earned himself 1 in Control and Focus, so at least the Path was going to be a rewarding one. He then looked at his full status screen.
Health(/R per hour): 206/291 [+6] (137 [+9])
Mana(/R per hour): 139/347 (60.75)
Stam(/R per min): 105/307 (53 [+3])
Vit: 39 [+3]
Agi: 47 [+3]
Equipment: Average Leather Tunic Lvl 5: (+2 Vit), Gloves of Quickness (Vit +1. Agi +3)
Skills (Soul Skill): Spear of Rot Mastery Lvl 120
Combat: Spear Mastery Lvl 40, Phantom Thrust Lvl 41, Spear Phantom’s Footwork Lvl 27, Eyes of the Spear Phantom Lvl 19, Phantom Half-Step Lvl 5, Heavy Blow Lvl 22, Dagger Mastery Lvl 10, Iron Skin Lvl 25, Dodge Lvl 27, Fighting Proficiency Lvl 29, Block Lvl 27, Haste Lvl 15, Phantom Onslaught Lvl 10, Sweep Lvl 12, Spear Deflect Lvl 6, Empower Lvl 16, Calculated Blow Lvl 11, Roundhouse Kick Lvl 9, Edge of Decay Lvl 5
Spells: Entangling Roots Lvl 31, Mana Bolt Lvl 28, Mana Shield Lvl 24, Root Manipulation Lvl 25, Arcane Orb Lvl 22, Fireball Lvl 15, Magic Missile Lvl 4, Healing Palm Lvl 5, Pollen of the Rafflesia Lvl 6, Summon Pestilence, Lvl 13, Mana Strengthening Lvl 7
Crafting: Potion Making Lvl 22, Farming Lvl 20, Plant Breeding Lvl 9, Mapmaker Lvl 4, Analyze Lvl 24, Refine Lvl 4
Auxiliary: Physical Fitness Lvl 28, Meditation Lvl 30, Running: Lvl 19, Sprinting Lvl 13, Sneak Lvl 21, Acid Resistance Lvl 22, Poison Resistance Lvl 16, Pain Resistance Lvl 11, First Aid Lvl 13, Equip Lvl 19, Pathfinding Lvl 16, Mental Strength Lvl 11, Curse Resistance Lvl 3
His Intelligence was already impressively high, making his spells hurt. Perhaps it was time to funnel some points into his other stats, keeping his physical capabilities high. In the fight with the centipede, if he hadn’t been as fast as he had, the overwhelming power of that large body would have killed him.
Randidly got up and walked outside, finally grounded and with a sense of direction. Now it was time to train. To his annoyance, people scurried around like diligent worker ants near his cabin, making preparations for the night. The farmer’s continued their grim eyed vigil, nurturing the plants even now. And everyone gave Randidly a wide berth.
Sighing, Randidly slipped away into the darkness, through the trees, following a path up the nearby mountain. When he found a relatively clear area, he began a new type of training, even though it made him nervous; blasting himself in the chest with a fire ball.
The first explosion sent him stumbling, a large chunk of his health gone, and with a burn status inflicted. Touching the wound, Randidly used Healing Palm twice, restoring the health and removing the burn status, but the skin still stung lightly.
He did the same thing again.
After around 10 repetitions, Randidly was forced to take a break to hit up all of the places where blue energy shards grew. He had marked them previously on his map for ease of gathering. After mopping up the monsters that inevitably cropped up around them, he returned to the clearing.
Healing Palm. Healing Palm.
Some Empowered Spear Phantom’s Footwork to break up the monotony and burn through his stamina.
Although Randidly had already gotten 2 points in Fireball and 3 in Healing Palm, now was when he got the notification that made him smile the widest.
Congratulations! You have learned the skill Fire Resistance Lvl 1.
Chuckling, Randidly continued with the rotation, his eyes firmed.
Strength. For everything, he needed strength. He could not slack off now.