Daniel looked at the report, slightly disappointed. In the wake of Glendel acquiring such a powerful sounding class, he had dedicated a lot of resources to leveling him up quickly, and finding a suitable protege who would use a mentor stone and gain the same class.
They had done it, but the difference in classes was staggering. The notifications sat before him, frustrating him endlessly.
Congratulations! You have received the class of Sovereign of Ghosts. You have gained the Spiritual Communication Lvl 1. You have received the skill Spiritual Merger Lvl 1. You have received the skill Spiritual Summoning Lvl 1. You have received the skill Spiritual Bestowal Lvl 1. You have received the skill Aura of the Spirit Sovereign Lvl 1. You have received the skill Soulbind Monster®. You may learn 12 additional skills to these and those you already possess. Skills may be forgotten to learn new skills. +6 Health per Level, +20 Mana Per Level, +4 Stamina per level. +4 Per, WP, Wisdom, or Focus per level (these points may be distributed between 4).
Glendel’s class was truly impressive. 6 skills, one of them being what The Ghosthound called a rare skill, and a 20 point boost to mana per level. In addition, 4 stats per level, although they were distributed to some weird areas.
Congratulations! You have received the class of Spirit Caller. You have gained the Spiritual Communication Lvl 1. You have received the skill Spiritual Summoning Lvl 1. You have received the skill Ghost Claw Lvl 1. You may learn 6 additional skills to these and those you already possess. Skills may be forgotten to learn new skills. +8 Health per Level, +10 Mana Per Level, +7 Stamina per level. +2 Per, Wisdom, or Focus per level (these points may be distributed between 3).
Nul had said that they could obtain greater or lesser versions of classes through the mentor system, but this was oppressively lesser. To be fair, it was among the higher tiers of the classes they had. It allowed them to summon and bind lesser ghosts, which were excellent scouts. In addition, it did also get Ghost Claw, which was an offensive move that summoned an ectoplasmic ghost hand to attack with. It was scary looking, and seemed powerful, even at level one.
But it was clear that while Glendel had obtained something special, The Spirit Caller was a high ranking foot soldier, at best.
Daniel rubbed his eyes. Although increasing his stats meant he could stay awake for longer, that didn’t mean he should too often. But the reason he was up now was because the hordes used to come around now, and he was just used to it.
Inwardly, Daniel should be pleased at their progress, but if anything, he felt listless. They had survived. The tribulation was hanging over their heads, but nothing had happened yet. The village was growing and prospering. Businesses were forming. There were weird dancing trees popping up. It just felt-
Daniel turned to Nul. “What should we be working towards right now?”
Nul remained silent.
“Will we eventually have more direction?”
This time, Nul nodded slowly. “It is hard to say, but… perhaps.”
“When will that happen?”
Again, silence. Daniel had studied Nul’s reactions for a long time. He only didn’t speak when there was a direct answer, and he was somehow kept from saying it. If the answer was vague, he felt no compunction from droning on and one about a subject. But when the answer was too simple…
A lightbulb went on in Daniel’s head. He had planned on purchasing a second kept dungeon with the 12k SP they had, but….
“Nul, let’s upgrade to a Trainee Village.”
Nul’s smile stretched very wide, his white teeth glittering in the candlelight.
“Dammit!” The man swore, his chest heaving, dropping his knife and resting his forehead against the counter. Randidly continued to consistently slice carrots and move them into the bin. He had gained the skill Cutting Vegetables, but it was currently only at level 2. Apparently cutting carrots was nowhere near as good experience as sewing. The other problem with job was that no one was talking. Everyone was just furiously chopping carrots…
Which was almost soothing. After briefly inquiring to his nearby cutting mates about Sydney, Ace, and Rawlands, Randidly had settled into the monotony of the task without much complaint, making him admit to himself, that while he still wanted to find Ace and Sydney…
Tessa had reminded him of some things that he would rather have been forgotten. The long talk with Sydney, before Randidly had walked and broken up with Tessa. The long walk back from that event, where Randidly had wondered the entire time what sort of face he should make in front of Ace.
They were his best friends, but relationships weren’t simple things. And Randidly preferred as little public interaction as possible, even at the best of times. Besides, if they survived this long, they probably wouldn’t die from something random, right….? He had time.
Randidly looked up, searching for the source of a strange pounding noise. The man next to Randidly straightened and looked at his hands. “I’ve been putting most of my points into Agility, yanno? But… It’s like I hit a wall. Even though my stat is still going up, I can’t get any faster… And just a little more, and I bet they would move me up to kitchen duty…”
Randidly stayed silently for a long moment. The rest of the workers in the kitchen kept their eyes on their table, continuing to cut. Feeling bored, Randidly began to randomize his cut locations, starting in the middle, then hopping to one side, then back, then between them, while simultaneously keeping all of his carrots an even size.
It was disappointingly easy. Stats really started to mean a lot, huh…?
Knocking another two cut carrots into a bin, he gave the man another glance. He still hadn’t straightened and continued to work.
“...what’s your reaction stat?” Randidly asked, trying to sound casual.
The man didn’t move, mumbling to himself.
Randidly frowned, flicking a carrot at the man. It ricocheted off the man’s head. He straightened, shocked, and Randidly asked again.
“What is your reaction stat?”
The man shrugged. “What does it matter? I’m trying to just move more quickly.”
Randidly sighed. “Reaction improves your nerve endings and increases your sensitivity to tactile feedback. You feel better. More than that, you might not be able to control your speed without Reaction. No matter how good the acceleration is, a car that can’t turn won’t win many races.”
The man just gaped at him.
A small asian woman to Randidly’s left looked up at him. “Did you hear that at one of the university lectures?”
Randidly frowned, then shook his head. “...No, just from my own observations.”
The woman muttered something and looked away, ignoring Randidly again. But Randidly made a mental note to as Tessa about these lectures, and to go to one. Why hadn’t the woman mentioned it when he asked earlier…? There might be more people he knew there, if it was sponsored by Rawlands. Maybe people who knew Ace and Sydney.
Randidly reached into his unfinished bin, and found nothing. He looked around the room. “Where do I get more carrots to him.”
Everyone looked at him in shock. The supervisor saw the situation and came over. Then he scratched his head shocked. “I...I guess you can go?”
Nodding, Randidly walked out, relieved.
“Wait, you forgot your tokens-” But Randidly was already gone. Shrugging unhappily, the supervisor returned to his spot, wishing he had thought to ask the guy to come back again tomorrow.
The man who had put all of his points into agility looked at Randidly’s neatly cut carrots, his eyes bright. “Reaction, huh…”
As Randidly was walking away, a notification popped up.
Congratulations! Your Arbor Lvl 1 is ready to level up. Due to its nature, your first choice is set: Give Arbor either “Vanity” or “Sloth”.
A vein in Randidly’s temple throbbed. It was bad enough when he had checked the seed he had left, which he had named Arbor, and saw what it grew off of. Randidly brought up its status screen again.
Magical Aptitude: 3
Brain Function: 7
Battle Ability: 1
It was a hard thing to stomach. Randidly wasn’t sure where he went wrong with this Soul Seed. Perhaps it was the weird skills, perhaps it was the abandoning it and leaving it with those kids, but this one grew based off of attention.
Randidly swore to himself to not make another Soul Seed until he had time to purposefully nurture it.
And now he had to choose between Vanity and Sloth…
Sighing, Randidly selected Vanity. It was better that it like looking at itself in the mirror than it being unwilling to work. He supposed Vanity wasn’t that bad of a flaw, for a tree thing.
Arbor is now Lvl 2. Particularity has increased by 2. It has learned the skill Elaborate Dance.
Randidly closed the notification and the Soul Seed Menu before he did something stupid. And so, with a twitching smile, he arrived outside Tessa’s apartment, settling down to wait. He just hoped that no one gave Arbor any sort of weird attention, that would warp its growth.
Looking around at the passing people, he considered asking around about Sydney and Ace. But seriously… what was he expecting? Maybe there was some sort of giant missing person board.
Randidly supposed that he could ask one of these people, but decided it was fine to wait for Tessa and ask her. It was… nice, being alone, one of the crowd, without people freezing up in some strange mixture of awe and fear when he passed.
For a while, Randidly enjoyed the simple feeling of being treated like a normal guy.