Randidly grinned at Neveah, who was flailing and rolling around on the ground, struggling to grow used to her new body. He supposed that she had spent so long as a presence just floating in his chest that she was pretty unfamiliar with the limitations that it possessed, which was rather understandable.
Luckily, she was a quick learner, and already she had grasped some of the basics of keeping her body rightside up, and moving around comfortably. Now she just needed to figure out the finer points of using Earth Manipulation to help her travel, above and below ground.
It seemed like an incredibly useful skill, and Randidly suspected that it was not straight Earth Manipulation, but something more specialized, based on how effortlessly the Raid Boss had managed it. In addition, Randidly wondered what really happened with the Raid Boss when Neveah went inside of it.
Was it simply eliminated? Did they merge? Was Neveah really just a name the combined consciousness gave itself?
Was there a chance that it remained inside of her, lurking, biding its time, when it could strike back…?
This worried Randidly because there was little he could do about it, and probably even less that he could do to check. But if it was a matter of connection, his connection was very clearly with Neveah. Already he could feel increasing amounts of Aether flowing out towards her, and Meaning beginning to flow back along towards him.
Besides, Randidly had a very powerful will, and multiple skills that boosted that. Hopefully, Neveah would be able to take advantage of some of that and resist any dangers that a lurking consciousness of a Raid Boss might entail.
Although it wasn’t a perfect solution, Randidly didn’t know any way of taking a more active role. It made him slightly uncomfortable, now that he thought about it, to have such a glaring weakness right now, especially after he recovered. Not that Neveah was not powerful, but she was very unused to her new body. And it was very clear from the nature of the connection that damage to her would also deal a large amount of damage to him.
At least her body seemed sturdy…
Randidly shook his head. Best not to think about that sort of thing. Instead…
Randidly opened up his Path screen. After finishing off Aemont’s Path, he had 45 PP still remaining, and also some new Path options to consider. It felt like it had been quite a while since he had this sort of decision, and it was slightly nice to be able to look at some of the shorter, but perhaps long term beneficial Paths.
Heretic XIV 0/???, Nexus Traveler Cohort 5 0/50, Path of Control 0/200, Basic Mana Engraving 0/100, Adept (+1) 0/250, Experimenter I 0/50, Steps of the Godling I 0/50, The Second Seedling 0/50, The Phantom’s Embrace 0/150, Mentalist I 0/50, Fighting Proficiency III 0/???, System Transgressor 0/1
Randidly grimaced. The System Transgressor was… Randidly really couldn’t unpack his emotions about it. It was simple, and took a single PP. But what if it caused him to be instantly hit with the power of the System, killing him…?
Until Randidly could use his newfound Aether powers to understand how Paths worked, probably better to leave it alone.
Heretic had grown again, but Randidly supposed that was to be expected. His Aether powers were pretty much toeing a line, especially his System Interference Skill. In terms of the things Randidly wanted to use eventually… that was pretty much every Path.
Journeyman Path had been replaced by Adept (+1) Path, which was slightly interesting. Based on what Randidly knew about the System, Adept must be the next tier of the main progression of Paths, which was computed based on stat totals. His current stat total put him a little above 2100, so it made since that his path had… evolved? When he reached 2k total stats.
What was strange was the +1. Was his Adept Path… different? Was it because he was at 2100? Or perhaps it was a matter of reaching it without taking the Journeyman Path…?
Randidly sighed. Too much he didn’t know, but the Adept Path was a 250 PP sink, which Randidly wanted to wait on for now. For the same reason, Randidly put off the Path of Control as well, even though his monstrous Control stat would probably give him great gains at the skill at the end of that path…
Experimenter and Second Seedling made Randidly curious, but not enough to blow his PP. The Phantom’s Embrace, Mentalist, and Fighting Proficiency would all probably give him a tangible boost in power, but honestly…
While Randidly was back on Earth, did he really need to raise his fighting capabilities…? Mentalist was the most tempting, for this reason, but it still could wait. Randidly’s time Farming and Cooking had given him some ideas for other ways he could grind and experiment, improving his power in ways not related to straight training.
That wasn’t to say he wouldn’t continue to train, but that his emphasis would be on his passives and his support skills, trying to keep them up with the huge jump his spear skills had taken.
For that reason, Randidly was looking towards Basic Mana Engraving and Steps of the Godling. Between the two of them… Randidly’s sense of unease pushed him towards Steps of the Godling. After all, although Lucretia seemed to be contained for now… it was hard to imagine that she would stay that way for long, especially if Randidly did nothing, especially if the thief in his inner world wasn’t dissuaded from stealing the spear…
It gave Randidly quite the headache.
That was, of course, based on the premise that the Path would help him towards the goal of intervening in his inner world, which wasn’t guaranteed. But based on the timing of when the Path appeared, Randidly was willing to bet that they were at least related.
Feeling confident enough to move forward, Randidly put his PP into Steps of the Godling I. Strangely, he immediately received a notification indicating he had obtained a new Statistic, Progenitor’s Influence, which went up by 1 with each PP.
Progenitor’s Influence: A stat that reflects your ability to influence your inner world. As the stat grows, you will unlock new ways of interacting with your world. Warning, the Stat has no individual effect, but simply affects your access to related abilities.
Randidly’s face was dark and wrinkled when he added 45 PP to the Path, and still had not received access to any “related abilities”. He had even received the first of his 4 Blessings from his Soul Skill, so time would be moving forward there. Cursing his luck with Paths, Randidly looked at his status screen.
Health(/R per hour): 1900/1815 [+118] (764 [+27])
Mana(/R per hour): 1769/1772 [+5] (297 [+9])
Stam(/R per min): 1233/1878 (263 [+9])
Vit: 195 [+9]
Str: 157 [+17]
Agi: 215 [+17]
Perception: 161 [+10]
Resistance: 147 [+15]
Willpower: 242 [+10]
Wisdom: 107 [+9]
Focus: 224 [+4]
Progenitor’s Influence: 45
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) Master’s Fine Leather Belt Lvl 49 (Vit +5, Str +5, Agi +5, WP +10, Resist +15, Wis +9, Focus +4, Per +10, Health +100)
Skills (Soul Skill): Four-Shaded Clockwork World Lvl 1272
Combat: Spear Mastery Lvl 138, White Phantom’s Half-Step (Un) Lvl 50, Heavy Blow Lvl 70, Dagger Mastery Lvl 10, Iron Skin Lvl 47, Dodge Lvl 78, Fighting Proficiency Lvl 116, Block Lvl 54, Haste Lvl 89, Phantom Onslaught Lvl 42, Sweep Lvl 54, Spear Deflect Lvl 10, Empower Lvl 111, Calculated Blow Lvl 70, Roundhouse Kick Lvl 36, Flesh Eating Virus (Un) Lvl 63, Idiosyncratic Cut (Un) Lvl 69, Pierce the Skies, Shatter the Earth Lvl 39, Battle Intent Lvl 133, Struggle Lvl 92, Body Control: Freeze Lvl 25, The Golden Roots of Yggdrasil (A) Lvl 74, Stalemate Breaker Lvl 25, Talon Strike Lvl 33
The 7 Kata of the Ashen Spear (Ru): The Spear Advances, Ash Trails Lvl 51, As the Sun Stills ® Lvl 1 (Broken)
The 6 Signs of the Spear Phantom ®: The First Sign- The Inevitable Phantom Arrives Lvl 85 (Un), The Fifth Sign- The Spear Phantom’s Embrace ® Lvl 160, The Breath of the Spear Phantom ® Lvl 8
Aether Skills: Aether Detection Lvl 18, Aether Manipulation Lvl 34, Living Aether ® Lvl 26, System Interference Lvl 1
Spells: Spearing Roots Lvl 48, Mana Bolt Lvl 28, Mana Shield Lvl 26, Root Control Lvl 99, 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 65, Wall of Thorns Lvl 19, Soul Seed ®, Anguish (Un) Lvl 59, Inspiration ®, Incinerating Bolt Lvl 73, Circle of Flame Lvl 45, Plantomancy Lvl 35, The Weeping Cloud ® Lvl 64, Hammer of the Dawn Lvl 31, Burning Footsteps Lvl 16, Ashes to Ashes (A) Lvl 22, Torment Lvl 4
Crafting: Potion Making Lvl 37, Farming Lvl 32, Plant Breeding Lvl 19, Mapmaker Lvl 7, Analyze Lvl 24, Refine Lvl 37, Extract Lvl 29, Mana Engraving Lvl 74
Auxiliary: Physical Fitness Lvl 89, Meditation Lvl 93, Running Lvl 39, Sprinting Lvl 19, Sneak Lvl 46, Acid Resistance Lvl 22, Poison Resistance Lvl 21, Pain Resistance Lvl 61, First Aid Lvl 16, Equip Lvl 25, Pathfinding Lvl 18, Mental Strength Lvl 51, Curse Resistance Lvl 22, Fire Resistance Lvl 23, Sewing Lvl 11, Cutting Vegetables Lvl 2, Manual Labor Lvl 6, Digging Lvl 5, Cooking Lvl 42, Grace Lvl 67, Bacterial Regeneration Lvl 116, Superiority Lvl 56, Mental Fortitude Lvl 76, Second Wind Lvl 71, Weather Affinity Lvl 43, Clockwork Mastery Lvl 16, Rejection Lvl 42, Aether Connection (A) Lvl 3, Flexibility of the White Hunters ® Lvl 44, Living Blood (Un) Lvl 42, Soul Bond Lvl 48, Chef’s Palette Lvl 10
Bonuses: +12% Concentration, +7% hearing and vision range, +3% size, Immunity +6%
Well, Randidly reflected, at least his stat line was pretty impressive, all things considered. Now that he had recovered back to full health… he was back.