Randidly smiled, even though he now only had 6 hours to gain 14 levels. Also, the second line made him roll his eyes.
Congratulations! Your own personal skill has been created. You have created the skill Flexibility of the White Hunters ® Lvl 1. Due to proceeding to a different Cohort than your home planet to create the skill, all bonuses associated with the record of creating a Rare skill are lost.
So it seemed that the System still refused to reward him for creating skills while here. But still, this was a flexibility skill that he needed. It was an added benefit that it was at the Rare rarity, as well. Which was, in a way, a double edge sword, because it would make it that much more difficult to level. But Randidly didn’t mind so much. If that was the cost of his power, so be it.
Immediately, Randidly launched into training for his skill, moving rapidly, pushing his body to the limits of his flexibility. He activated Haste and Empower to cram more movements into a shorter amount of time. Again, Randidly tried to ignore the stares as his movements switched from silly looking to so fast they left after images, but he didn’t have any choice. Although this was meant to be a bonus round, it was clear that if he didn’t attain the requisite skill level, he would lose his chance to participate.
Right around the 3 hour mark, Randidly had raised the level of his new skill to 10. But in his heart, he wasn’t sure if this was fast enough. Those final 5 levels would be the most difficult. He had two options, in his mind. The first was to spend a little more time watching the being in his soul skill, getting a little extra image for his training. On the other hand…
Randidly’s gaze slid over to Tertet. Without a doubt, a battle right now would increase his rate of improvement. No one else was fighting each other, but there hadn’t been any additional rules added by the bearded man, so it likely was allowed. Perhaps even encouraged, so the spear users would thin each other out.
Still, Randidly didn’t want to totally transform into the type of person who would destroy others for sport. His lessons in the prison still made Randidly uneasy, as they didn’t entirely make sense. Shal seemed to have a very selective sense of righteousness.
But as his gaze lingered on Tertet, Tertet glanced up, and their gazes locked. Tertet’s eyes narrowed, and he bared his teeth. He drew his two spears and began to stroll towards Randidly, that powerful spirit of hunger roaring around him.
Inwardly, Randidly rolled his eyes, but raised his own spear and walked towards Tertet. Truly, sometimes things were so simple that they made you feel foolish for over thinking them.
“To think you actually made it.” Tertet hissed, spinning his spears slowly. “I wouldn’t have thought your physical specs were enough to survive that challenge. But I suppose you simply relied on your magic, didn’t you?”
Tertet’s tone attracted the attention of some of the nearby spear users, but Randidly didn’t bother answering. Instead, he began to rush forward, being extremely mindful of his ability to use his body, maintaining the flexibility in his joints. Seeing that his statement didn’t seem to have any effect on Randidly, Tertet’s face turned serious.
Afterall, although he mocked him for it, Randidly’s spells had left a profound effect on the man. Their power was such that they should not be underestimated. If he had known that Randidly planned on fighting without relying on such things, he probably would have laughed. After all, their time in the preliminaries was a short while ago. At most, one could stay in a dungeon for around 6 months before the risk of Aether Starvation was too high to reasonably ignore. And although you might be able to safely eke out another few weeks, how much improvement could you gain in that time? Was it worth the chance that your body ran out of fuel, leaving you unable to continue?
The two figures rushed towards one another, and their spears smashed together. The strange unpredictable strikes were just as powerful, if not more so, than Randidly remembered, but Tertet wasn’t the only one that improved. In fact…
“What!” Tertet gasped, leaping backwards after a single exchange of blows. Although his strike was clearly more powerful, what was most disturbing was that the other man had dispersed all of the force of it without shifting his stance at all. They were much, much closer to evenly matched than they had been in the past. Tertet had assumed he could force the Ghosthound to use spells and discredit him; he had not expected that his opponent would have such a jump in strength.
“How-” Tertet began to ask, but Randidly unleashed a slash at the other man, forcing him to grit his teeth and block. Then, twisting, Randidly unleashed another strike, not using any particular skill, but twisting his body with increasing speed, relying on elasticity and flexibility to empower and quicken his strikes. And it was working, to a small degree. His attacks were certainly sharper, and more rhythmic.
That, combined with the shock of Randidly’s change, sent Tertet reeling, and he couldn’t seem to recover his feet as he was pushed farther and farther backwards. Finally, Randidly used his larger spear to smash Tertet backwards, smashing him into another man.
Most of the spear users had gathered, curious, but just watching to relieve their own boredom. However, after Randidly smashed his opponent to the side, he stood tall and glanced around. Almost instinctively, several of those spear users who met his gaze felt something tingling in their chest, driving them towards this posturing individual.
A few raised their spears, the joy of battle lust coloring their features. Randidly grinned.
3 hours later, a panting and bloody group of spear users, including Randidly, passed the second preliminary round, and would be entered into the wider tournament. 76 people had passed, and with the 100 that were chosen by the powerful Styles, these final 176 people would participate in the tournament.
After Randidly had begun fighting random spear users, basically all of the remaining people joined in, throwing themselves into battle in order to hone themselves a bit before the finals. After all, a lot of these people had just received the Flexibility skill, and needed to learn how to use it in order to fight more effectively in the actual tournament. In addition, the plethora of Styles represented in the preliminary would give them a taste of dealing with attacks they didn’t recognize. All in all, it turned out to be an extremely valuable time to fight.
Randidly, as he walked back through the streets, watching all the passing civilians who talked about the exciting tournament that would start in two days time, was most excited about his new Lvl 17 Skill, Flexibility of the White Hunters.
In addition to those 16 PP, he had also gained 3 Lvls in Phantom Onslaught, 4 in Battle Intent, 2 in Meditation and The Golden Roots of Yggdrasil, 3 in Spear Mastery, 2 in Footwork of the Spear Phantom, 1 in Haste, Empower, and Second Wind, and 2 in Stalemate Breaker, which Randidly was able to use to a pretty profound effect when he used it.
Still, Stalemate Breaker currently left him extremely underpowered immediately afterwards, which was difficult to justify, considering how small of a boost it currently was. But still, it was a skill that would grow more valuable the more he put into it. Randidly poured his 40 PP into the Initiate of Ash I Path, which netted him nothing, but almost finished it, but did get another notification that brought him a significant amount of Joy.
Congratulations! Your Soul Skill has released the Blessing of Murderous Cold upon you. Perception +3, Reaction +6. Agility +3. Range of Hearing and Vision permanently expanded by 1%. +6 Free stats.
Randidly scratched his head. Range of hearing and vision expanded…? Did that mean he would eventually be able to hear dog whistles, and see ultraviolet light…?
Then he shrugged. What was more interesting was that this blessing gave much more stats than the last one, but didn’t have the huge regeneration bonus the other provided. Still, it was interesting, and good to know that all of this PP was going to a good use. His 6 free stats went to Intelligence, which was beginning to fall behind his other offensive stats.
Randidly then looked at his improved stats and skills.
Health(/R per hour): 1322/1399 [+118] (508 [+27])
Mana(/R per hour): 649/1498 [+5] (154.75 [+9])
Stam(/R per min): 1233/1510 (215 [+9])
Vit: 147 [+9]
Str: 113 [+17]
Agi: 134 [+17]
Perception: 103 [+10]
Resistance: 94 [+15]
Willpower: 143 [+10]
Wisdom: 59 [+9]
Focus: 155 [+4]
Skills (Soul Skill): Four-Shaded Clockwork World Lvl 122
Combat: Spear Mastery Lvl 113, The Inevitable Phantom Arrives Lvl 79 (Un), Spear Phantom’s Footwork Lvl 98, Eyes of the Spear Phantom Lvl 76, White Phantom’s Half-Step (Un) Lvl 46, Heavy Blow Lvl 59, Dagger Mastery Lvl 10, Iron Skin Lvl 47, Dodge Lvl 56, Fighting Proficiency Lvl 82, Block Lvl 46, Haste Lvl 71, Phantom Onslaught Lvl 42, Sweep Lvl 54, Spear Deflect Lvl 10, Empower Lvl 87, Calculated Blow Lvl 64, Roundhouse Kick Lvl 36, Flesh Eating Virus (Un) Lvl 47, Idiosyncratic Cut (Un) Lvl 61, Pierce the Skies, Shatter the Earth Lvl 33, Battle Intent Lvl 83, Struggle Lvl 61, Body Control: Freeze Lvl 19, The Golden Roots of Yggdrasil (A) Lvl 29, Stalemate Breaker Lvl 3
The 7 Kata of the Ashen Spear (Ru): The Spear Advances, Ash Trails Lvl 18
Spells: Spearing Roots Lvl 34, Mana Bolt Lvl 28, Mana Shield Lvl 26, Root Control Lvl 91, Arcane Orb Lvl 22, Fireball Lvl 30, Magic Missile Lvl 4, Healing Palm Lvl 12, Pollen of the Rafflesia Lvl 20, Summon Pestilence Lvl 53, Mana Strengthening Lvl 61, Wall of Thorns Lvl 16, Soul Seed Lvl ®, Agony Lvl 37, Inspiration ®, Incinerating Bolt Lvl 64, Circle of Flame Lvl 39, Plantomancy Lvl 29, The Weeping Cloud ® Lvl 59, Hammer of the Dawn Lvl 1, Burning Footsteps Lvl 1
Crafting: Potion Making Lvl 37, Farming Lvl 20, Plant Breeding Lvl 9, Mapmaker Lvl 7, Analyze Lvl 24, Refine Lvl 17, Extract Lvl 23, Mana Engraving Lvl 64
Auxiliary: Physical Fitness Lvl 74, Meditation Lvl 68, Running Lvl 39, Sprinting Lvl 19, Sneak Lvl 46, Acid Resistance Lvl 22, Poison Resistance Lvl 21, Pain Resistance Lvl 29, First Aid Lvl 16, Equip Lvl 25, Pathfinding Lvl 18, Mental Strength Lvl 17, Curse Resistance Lvl 15, Fire Resistance Lvl 14, Sewing Lvl 11, Cutting Vegetables Lvl 2, Manual Labor Lvl 6, Digging Lvl 5, Cooking Lvl 34, Grace Lvl 41, Bacterial Regeneration Lvl 70, Superiority Lvl 22, Mental Fortitude Lvl 45, Second Wind Lvl 42, Weather Affinity Lvl 32, Clockwork Mastery Lvl 16, Rejection Lvl 27, Aether Connection (A) Lvl 1, Flexibility of the White Hunters ® Lvl 17
It was the status of someone who had a class, except for his monstrous list of skills. Although it caused Judgements to descend after him, Randidly couldn’t deny that it had been worth it so far. And he was only growing more unstoppable.
Then Randidly winced, remembering the beating he had received from Shal earlier in the day. Well, not unstoppable. But his improvement was at the very least impressive, right?