But that wasn’t the end of it. Randidly still had 170 PP remaining, and two very viable paths remaining open to him.
Between the two of them, Fighting Proficiency had a slight edge because Randidly suspected that it would provide another active skill. Meanwhile, he suspected Advanced Physical Fitness would provide a passive skill, but it would also likely be more generally useful.
In his mind, these two draws weighed rather evenly against each other, making it difficult for Randidly to decide which he would rather use. Plus, they both were related to physical stats, so he probably would get similar stats or stamina rewards from going through the path…
Sighing, Randidly got up and walked to the side of the room, to a small water basin. The wood planks underneath his bare feet swayed slowly, keeping him on his toes, but his high stats and Grace skill were enough to keep him firmly planted on the ground. He picked up the basin and took a long drink, considering.
Well, when there wasn’t an obvious option, go with your gut.
So Randidly picked Advanced Phys Fitness Path, because it included the word Advanced in the title, and this world placed a great emphasis on labels and tiers, and also because it cost more PP, which made him think that the rewards might be just a little higher than the other. All and all, he received 10 Endurance for this one, one every 10 levels, as well as the completion bonus.
Congratulations! You have completed the Advanced Phys Fitness Path! This path is rocky and varied, and the climb is steep, but as you stand at the summit, you feel the rich air filtering down through your lungs, changing you. But the path leads ever onward, and this is only the beginning. Vitality and Perception +5. You have gained the skill Second Wind Lvl 1.
Second Wind: When under 50% stamina, you gain an extra stamina per minute per skill level.
Chuckling Randidly dismissed the notification. If he continued to stack regeneration passives, he certainly was going to have a monstrous amount of staying power in fights. The extra points in Vitality and Perception were a nice bonus. But, like he had suspected he had received a passive skill that was extremely useful. It made him pleased that he had predicted the outcome.
His final 70 PP he put into Fighting Proficiency I, which brought it up to 70/80. Every 20 points he got 1 Str and 1 Agi, giving him 3 each by the end.
Slowly but surely, Randidly began to sort through his gains. Both Battle Intent and Second Wind were skills he couldn’t wait to raise in level to useful territory. Plantomancy intrigued him, but of all the skills, it was the upgraded Root Control that Randidly was most interested in.
Mostly due to its affinity with how he had been planning to create his skill based on the old turtles strange movements. It was clear that these movements were designed to vastly strengthen the legs and core, and the further you progressed the more that debilitating strain spread, rendering your limbs trembling and weak.
But as your body progressed, your legs and core grew increasingly powerful, and only that strange movement could provide the difficulty you needed to push it further. Simultaneously, in order to create the skill, what was necessary was an image. With his new skill, he had that image: powerful, ancient, implacable roots, holding him up. Roots so strong they could hold the entire world, bringing life to the tree above them.
In this case, Randidly.
With the aid of this new skill, Randidly expected his ability to focus on this image to grow. Hopefully, the boost he got from spending the PP now, as well as this forthcoming skill, would be enough in order to stand a chance in this upcoming regional tournament.
All in all, Randidly earned +125 Stamina, +90 Health, +165 Mana, +6 to all regenerations, +10 Endurance, +17 Vitality, +5 Perception, +8 Strength, +8 Agility, +10 Wisdom, +28 Control, and +15 Focus. In addition, Randidly had 22 free stats to distribute as he wished. But before he made a decision on what he should do with those stats, another notification caught his attention.
Congratulations! You have reached 100 in the Stat “Control”. Due to this, you have the option of starting down the Path of Control. Would you like to do so?
Randidly considered this. If it triggered whenever you reached 100, it would seem that it wasn’t something that was easy to reach, but it also wasn’t too difficult. The reference to a path made it seem like something he would need to spend PP on, but he couldn’t help but worry that he be taken off his current path.
In addition, he supposed he had a choice about whether or not to take the path. If he didn’t, would there be other triggers in the future, asking if he wanted to take that path? For the other stats? If there were, what would be the one that he would want…?
His focus was towards Control magic, after all. Other than that, he would likely choose either Intelligence or Agility, either for raw power or for speed. But this was without any knowledge of what he would gain by making this choice. Now that it was in front of him…
Ultimately, Control was likely his path, Randidly decided. Through his Spear Phantom’s Footwork, through his roots, controlling the opponent until he could finish them off with either his powerful fire magic or his spear skills. All the rest was just durability and staying power, which would allow him to hold out until his control took over.
Randidly clicked yes.
Congratulations! You have chosen the Path of Control. +1 Control per level. In addition, you have gained access to the Path of Control I 0/200. Do not fear this path, because this is the path you have chosen. But do not tarry, for others race forth around you, seeking their own path.
Randidly grimaced. A path worth 200 PP, huh…? That was certainly a heavy burden. But the text that went along with it certainly made it seem like an attractive option to finish. A path that long was bound to have a powerful effect.
What was more interesting was that it included a level bonus. The one thing that Randidly couldn’t figure out though was whether it would be useful to Classers. After all, if they relied on leveling as their primary source of stats, they would have already risen in levels, and been unable to effectively utilize the bonus.
Then Randidly remembered the feature that had gotten him into this dumb situation in the first place. He opened up his friends list and sent a message to Daniel, saying that he was alright, but that he would need to be away for some time. Then he explained the path access you received when your stats reached 100, and how it included a point per level bonus.
Satisfied, Randidly looked at his status screen.
Health(/R per hour): 556/731 [+8] (301 [+12])
Mana(/R per hour): 12/1044 (107.75)
Stam(/R per min): 601/898 (115 [+4])
Vit: 89 [+4]
Str: 71 [+12]
Agi: 93 [+12]
Equipment: Average Leather Tunic Lvl 5: (+2 Vit), Gloves of Quickness (Vit +1. Agi +3), Necklace of the Shadow Cat Lvl 20 ®: (Vitality +1, Strength +2, Agility +7)
Skills (Soul Skill): Cycle of Rot and Ash Lvl 376
Combat: Spear Mastery Lvl 79, Phantom Thrust Lvl 69, Spear Phantom’s Footwork Lvl 66, Eyes of the Spear Phantom Lvl 44, Phantom Half-Step Lvl 18, Heavy Blow Lvl 30, Dagger Mastery Lvl 10, Iron Skin Lvl 27, Dodge Lvl 38, Fighting Proficiency Lvl 57, Block Lvl 33, Haste Lvl 43, Phantom Onslaught Lvl 16, Sweep Lvl 34, Spear Deflect Lvl 10, Empower Lvl 47, Calculated Blow Lvl 28, Roundhouse Kick Lvl 23, Edge of Decay Lvl 23, Ghastly Slash Lvl 17, Pierce the Skies, Shatter the Earth Lvl 10, Battle Intent Lvl 1
The 7 Kata of the Ashen Spear: The Spear Advances, Ash Trails Lvl 3
Spells: Spearing Roots Lvl 14, Mana Bolt Lvl 28, Mana Shield Lvl 24, Root Control Lvl 61, Arcane Orb Lvl 22, Fireball Lvl 30, Magic Missile Lvl 4, Healing Palm Lvl 9, Pollen of the Rafflesia Lvl 17, Summon Pestilence Lvl 33, Mana Strengthening Lvl 18, Wall of Thorns Lvl 8, Soul Seed Lvl ®, Agony Lvl 36, Inspiration ®, Incinerating Bolt Lvl 14, Circle of Flame Lvl 13, Plantomancy Lvl 1
Crafting: Potion Making Lvl 34, Farming Lvl 20, Plant Breeding Lvl 9, Mapmaker Lvl 7, Analyze Lvl 24, Refine Lvl 16, Extract Lvl 1, Mana Engraving Lvl 15
Auxiliary: Physical Fitness Lvl 54, Meditation Lvl 39, Running: Lvl 23, Sprinting Lvl 19, Sneak Lvl 23, Acid Resistance Lvl 22, Poison Resistance Lvl 16, Pain Resistance Lvl 20, First Aid Lvl 13, Equip Lvl 25, Pathfinding Lvl 18, Mental Strength Lvl 15, Curse Resistance Lvl 3, Fire Resistance Lvl 14, Sewing Lvl 11, Cutting Vegetables Lvl 2, Manual Labor Lvl 6, Digging Lvl 5, Cooking Lvl 19, Grace Lvl 28, Bacterial Regeneration Lvl 27, Superiority Lvl 3, Mental Fortitude Lvl 9
After all of the bonuses, skill and stat, he had experienced a huge amount of growth. His skill levels were already this high, obviously, but it was still reassuring to see how much improvement he had achieved over the last few weeks. And his new stats, especially Mana and Stamina…
After carefully examining his stats, Randidly put 20 of his free stats in Resistance, and then the final 2 in Reaction. Now he finally had defensive stats at a level where there weren’t any glaring weaknesses, at least for now. And with his Agility, Intelligence, and Control at such high levels, he would have very little difficulty holding off most enemies with his spells.
Which made Randidly wonder whether he would be able to use spells in the upcoming tournament. If he could not, that would make things much more difficult. But he suspected that it hadn’t been an issue; after all, not many people cultivated both Stamina and Mana like he did. With their finite amount of skills, they had to focus in one area with their paths for the biggest benefit.
But that was for tomorrow. Tomorrow he would get the chance to try out his new skills, he would talk to Shal about this tournament, and he would explore the strange floating city that he found himself. For now…
Randidly removed a leather bracer from his spatial ring, and an Engraving Needle. With his even more powerful Control, Randidly hoped that he would finally be able to crack the 40% on the engraving. Randidly suspected that if he did so, something would happen.
But before he did so, he took an action that surprised himself. The teleportal had interrupted his usual time of taking the black potion, and so by the evening, he had been able to sift through notifications, although they were blurry and strange. But now he drank the strange potion again, watching the menus slowly faded away. He didn’t want to lose this edge he had, not taking notifications for granted, but instead growing based on how he performed.
After he took his usual sip, Randidly looked at the potion oddly. After all, it still appeared full. He had never had to refill it the entire time he had been provided it. But he supposed it was better that way.
Shrugging, Randidly put away the potion and got to work.