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A note from puddles4263

10/10

Randidly felt profoundly tired as he watch the young girl cry silently, the large, metallic dog licking her hand. He supposed he should say something, ease the harsh transition between what she had just seen and the more typical life, but…

Randidly couldn’t bring himself to soften the blow. There would be times in this girl’s life where she would be forced to confront her own weakness, no matter what Randidly did. After that, she would have decisions to make that would change her life, or maintain the status quo. From his perspective, it was probably better to let her struggle with that decision on her own.

Instead, Randidly reached into his interspatial ring and produced a small fruit that glowed golden, its power clearly visible. He could feel the focus of the animals around him lock onto the fruit immediately. It had been the true treasure that he had produced after these days of cross breeding fruits and injecting Aether directly into the plants, the positive result of all of his experimentation.

Setting it next to the other fruit, Randidly said “Good boy,” and then picked up the basket. With a wave, it was filled with the other fruits he had produced after experimenting with his abilities to inject Aether into plants and have them refine it. Calmly he walked, passing out one to each of the nearby monsters.

The way the fruits were divvied up amongst the 10 strongest animals was not what he had expected, and often the animals did not choose what he had created for them. But it was still interesting to see the way the plants could refine Aether, and how the animals viewed it.

Profoundly fascinating. When Randidly finally reached a point where he wasn’t surrounded by pressing issues, he needed to experiment more consistently with it. But for now…

After passing all of the fruit out, he returned to his stew pot, ignoring the angry gazes from some of the Pledgees, focusing instead on the taste of the stew.

Not only had Randidly had quite a few gains in terms of his understanding of Aether as he experimented with the farming, but he also had a sharp increase in his Cooking and Grace skills, as well as the acquisition of the skill Chef’s Palette, which sharply increased the fineness of Randidly’s sense of taste and smell. Not that it would be a very useful skill overall, but it certainly would help Randidly actually increase his ability to make delicious food, which was a goal worth pursuing.

As Randidly sniffed the stew, and added some more ground spices, also grown in his garden, the Wild Rider arrived. At her side was a young buck with white fur and short, golden nubs that would become antlers growing from his head. The animal regarded Randidly coolly, while the Wild Rider beckoned the surrounding Pledgees closer.

“You have done well these past 5 days.” She announced, her voice echoing queerly, spreading to the surrounding areas. Even the animals reacted to her voice, shifting side to side. “Today is the last day of work. Tomorrow, meditate, clearing your mind, restoring yourself to your peak condition. At dawn of the 7th day, you will walk from one end of this area to the other. At the end, you may turn around… and select a companion from those that have followed behind you.”

With that short speech, she turned and left. Randidly closed his eyes.

Dozens of individuals who had previously pledged arrived, taking over their duties, escorting them to small, sparsely populated tents where they were to meditate. Randidly went along with them, and sat in the darkness of the inside of the tent, centering himself for several minutes.

Then, when he was prepared, his eyes opened, sparkling emerald.

His ability to manipulate Aether was still clumsy, but it was growing at such a speed that he was able to completely clear out his skills. Now all the fragments of Aether spiraled slowly around in a circle glowing with potential. Randidly had not yet figured out how to reform his skill, but that didn’t matter for now.

He was back, and better than ever.

In the darkness, Randidly smiled. All together, Randidly had earned 499 PP over the course of his battle with Drak, the escape, and the intervening weeks of recovery. Randidly felt good, and was ready to reap the rewards of this. But first…

Randidly’s will billowed outward, flowing into his inner zone, and then towards his Soul Skill. He almost didn’t want to look, just in case of the worst, but… he couldn’t avoid it. He would likely get more information when he poured all of that PP into Paths and leveled his Soul Skill, but some early warning was probably for the best.

But as Randidly looked through his world, he was almost… disappointed. The Weavers were the most useful for information, and Randidly poured through their redone weave, which detailed the events that occurred.

Apparently the person that Randidly had used to exchange out of his Soul Skill had been on top of his funeral pyre when he was taken, so it was not noticed initially when he disappeared. However, it was very clear when a spear descended from the sky, destroying the scepter and the hammer, crashing into the funeral pyre.

This was seen as a punishment done by Randidly, the Progenitor. There was, of course, the minor matter that when the dust cleared, they found that instead of the Golem’s body, there was a woman there, bound by the spear to the altar.

There seemed to be a great deal of disagreement on what to make of this information. On the one hand, some people suspected that the woman was the Progenitor, sacrificing their own life to save the life of their champion. This view was favored by the Earth Golems.

However, the general consensus was that this was not the case. Others preferred to think that the woman was another person who was punished by the will of the Progenitor, bound to the stone for all eternity by the holy spear. Others seemed to revere the woman, saying that the Progenitor wished to destroy the entire world with the spear, and the woman used her body to protect the world, or even to protect just the emperor, whose body disappeared.

This was further complicated by the fact that the woman was holding two daggers, which both appeared to have a portion of the holy runes that were present on the spear. In the face of all these confusing and conflicting series of evidence, most people just threw up their hands and moved on with their lives. The emperor was dead, that was enough for them.

The site of his passing was turned into a great temple, where the Weavers continued to furiously research and experiment with the runes on the spear and knives, although they dared not touch the spear, which continued to hold the woman’s body in place.

Randidly sighed and withdrew his awareness. Lucretia truly looked peaceful there, his spear in her chest. Randidly’s lip curled. Which just made him more suspicious. There was definitely a danger here, but it was an insidious one, rather than a direct one. If Lucretia had the strength, she wouldn’t have just let herself sit in plain sight…

...or perhaps it was an elaborate mind game, and she stayed there in order to confuse him, and accomplish something that he wouldn’t expect…

Again, Randidly sighed. Either way, his examination did confirm that the spear’s seal on her power was still intact, at least mostly. And it was a good sign that the people haven’t touched it, although their research into the runes on the daggers could be dangerous….

After shaking his head, Randidly refocused. With no new information, it would be for the best to let it go for now, but remain aware as he used his PP. With his newfound resolve, Randidly put 34 PP into his Ash of Aemont, the Spear Phantom Path, which leveled up his Soul Skill.

Congratulations! You have received the Blessing of Devouring Ash. Strength +5, Willpower +9. Focus +5. Your body temperature increases. Your immune system grows more robust, resistance to all status ailments and debuffs increases by 1%. Free stats +5.

The world of your Soul Skill turns! The denizens of your inner world evolve. Rumors of your judgement against the mysterious woman spreads; while belief in you deepens, in some hearts it is now tinged with fear. In that small space, some whisper of the mystery woman as a great martyr.

The Matriarch has fallen, and her daughters have splintered off into areas. These have become increasingly attached to other societies, patrolling their areas, protecting them from the rising threat of monsters.

The Swamplings have expanded, taking over a larger and larger area as the power of the other races shift. Their cities are populous and varied, and they have grown to achieve great commercial success.

It is an era of peace, and the Spriggits and Golems have achieved some healing between their races. Once more, the Golems have become numerous, and the Spriggits’ technology has advanced by leaps and bonds. Their improvements have raised the bar of civilization.

A great darkness rises in the East, a monster king of great power. Most of the world does not yet know of its presence, but in the darkness, it is growing more wicked.

It has been four cycles since this world’s creation. Would you like to add anything to the world? (Warning, the added qualities will be taken from a skill. A single skill level will be consumed in the taking. Other side-effects are unknown).

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