A note from puddles4263


After an hour of tests, Randidly looked away from his Status screen and realized he hadn’t finished his Path yet. The strange branching path portion had taken his attention for so long that he had simply forgotten about it. Plus there was the stress of the consolidated Skills...

Although he hadn’t tested them extensively, Randidly had tested each and every one of his new consolidated Skills. Each one was more impressive than the last, demonstrating why seeking out Skills at the Ancient rarity was desirable. So much so that even a suspicious Randidly had to admit that the extra benefits generated by the more powerful Skills outweighed what he had lost in PP generation.

Besides, Randidly supposed, he was about to make himself a Class soon. Depending on what the Class was, he would obtain some Class specific Skills that would help him generate more PP.

And in the meantime, his consolidated Skills were currently rising fast. He had gained 2 Skill Levels in all of them, except the Cruel Indignation of Yggdrasil, in which he gained 3 levels. With this extra PP, he finished off the Adept (+1) Path.

Congratulations, you have completed the Adept (+1) Path! Your path-

Error, recalibrating…

Randidly’s good mood that he had gained from the performance of his consolidated Skills quickly evaporated. A… System Error…? The System errors that he had encountered in the past had not left him with a good feeling in his stomach…

But very quickly, the notification fixed itself.

Congratulations, you have completed the Adept (+1) Path! Although you have wandered far afield, your steps have led you back towards the road to Mastery. With the experience you have gained, the benefits from raising your level to the Adept level have been increased. From this stage, it is possible to see the next level above you…

Congratulations! All Stats +5, all Attributes +50, and all Regenerations +10. +1 Stat point per level, +2 Health, Mana, and Stamina per Level. You have gained the Skill Counter Lvl 1. In addition, you have the opportunity to select an addition Skill, which has been generated based upon your previous Skills.

Please Select one of the Follow: Intimidating Shockwave Lvl 1, Fire Manipulation Lvl 1, Lightning Bolt Lvl 1 (Un), Chaos Thrust Lvl 1 (Un), Disguise Lvl 1, Shadow Dash Lvl 1, Touch from Beyond Lvl 1 ®, Mana Infusion Lvl 1, Ashen Explosion Lvl 1 (Un).

Randidly lightly bit his lilp as he looked through the list of Skills. When he clicked on them, no details appeared, so apparently he would be forced to choose based on the name and Rarity. Which was annoying, because Randidly had some questions about what the effects of Skills would be, especially after he had lost so many…

Counter was an interesting Skill, if uninspired. It gave him a slight amount of additional damage if he could time his strikes to counter his opponents. Which was unexciting, but it would add bonuses, and incentivize him to focus on countering in the future. These other Skill options… they all appeared to be active Skills, although Disguise was not quite active in the same manner of the others.

Specifically, however, Randidly wanted more information in regards to Fire Manipulation. His Root Manipulation had evolved in interesting ways that were supremely useful, but it was only a common Rarity Skill. In addition, it had taken some time for his Root abilities to develop…

Perhaps also relevant was the fact that none of his Skills really produced fire. Most of the damage from Circle of Flame came from the explosion, and Incendiary Bolt was a concentrated attack that was mostly molten metal. Surely he could produce fire with Fire Manipulation, but there wouldn’t be much synergy with his current Skills.

Much more interesting was Ashen Explosion, for that reason. Although he hadn’t trained it recently, Randidly still had a deep interest and fascination with the Ashes to Ashes. It was an almost cheating level Skill that made an ash copy of himself that would be destroyed by the opponents strike, while Randidly’s actual body would be repositioned in a location to strike at the opponent.

Although he couldn’t be sure, Ashen Explosion seemed like a Skill that might somehow be related. The notification did say that the Skills provided were given to him based on his other Skills… if it had the option for Randidly to detonate the deteriorating ash clone, it would certainly be incredibly powerful…

Other than the Ashen Explosion, the other two Uncommon rated Skills were Lightning Bolt and Chaos Thrust. One would be a magic attack, the other would be a physical one. Lightning wasn’t something that Randidly currently had any power over, but it certainly would be powerful…

And it was certainly more tempting than Chaos Thrust, when Randidly had the Inevitable Phantom Arrives to use as his bread and butter thrust attack. Sure, he could obtain two and differentiate the images between them, but then the Skill leveling would be much more slow. Better to concentrate the levels for similar Skills in a single Skill, and have that Skill be vastly more effective across the board.

But Randidly didn’t know if he could resist the allure of Touch from Beyond. It wasn’t to the level of Randidly’s recently acquired Ancient and Legendary Rated Skills, but it was still higher than the others, and seemed like an active skill, rather than a passive one.

After a once over to check if there was anything he was missing, Randidly selected the Skill, and the information appeared before him.

Touch from Beyond ®: In that chaotic space ungoverned by the System, the cold energy of Entropy dwells. Reached beyond the veil and pull a small speck of that energy into your body, empowering your attacks with this phenomenon. Will inflict extremely high damage on the recipient that ignores most forms of defense. Damage vastly increases with Skill Level. Ability to maintain the “touched” state increases with Skill Level. Ability to summon larger amounts of Nether energy increases with Skill Level.

An interesting Skill, that would vastly increase his damage, but… It wasn’t that he really needed a damage increase… but Randidly supposed he was somewhat used to fighting opponents that were human these days. He would be heading into the Raid Dungeon, where he would be forced to face monsters.

It wasn’t a big influence on his fight with the Skeleton Knight, but it was obvious during that clash that the Champion’s Health was much higher than his stats should indicate. It was a common occurrence in games, where as the difficulty rose, what really changed was the amount of health that the enemies would have, turning what would have at one point been a quick fight into something that would last for a longer amount of time. Simply put, durability would invalidate lucky strikes, and force the one side to be consistently skilled.

Otherwise, they would die. It was a style of play that emphasized perfection. And this was not a game. Which would mean that if the Squads of Donnyton were expected to face off against the upper tier of monsters, they would need that much more training in order to stand firm for longer fights. Their Vitality and Stamina would obviously be higher, but the mental strength needed…

Randidly had a headache. Still, there was no point in thinking about this now, it was just speculation, based on a strange and interesting Skill. If nothing else, it was a way of attacking in an unexpected way in an extended duel. All the better if this new technique could be combined with Talon Strike. All it really said is the Skill summons a bit of this “Nether” which is used to attack…

Curious, Randidly raised his hand and activated the Skill. He was surprised to discover that there was no cost, but as soon as the Skill activated, he discovered why. And he realized two three things.

First, it could be used to Talon Strike. At the center of his left palm, a small bit of blue-black darkness was summoned, which swirled with power. The activation took about a second, but Randidly thought he could perform it while moving. But it would never be instantaneous, and would always give away what he was doing while it was happening.

Second, there were some side effects. While it was active, the air in the surrounding area was very quickly chilled. Frost formed on Randidly’s hand, and water condensed on his arm. In addition, Randidly was losing Health, Mana, and Stamina at a constant rate of 50 per second, which appeared to be the cost of the activation.

Third… it was powerful. He felt a strange chill, completely unrelated to the temperature, in regards to the this Skill. After a few seconds, he had even gained a Nether Resistance Skill, which gained two Skill Levels. He also gained 4 levels in the the Touch from Beyond Skill.

Dismissing the Skill, Randidly frowned at his hand. There was even some stiffness to it as he stretched, but he could feel the blood in his veins begin to pump, and very quickly that vanished. Truly, this Skill was beyond what he had expected. He would need to experiment more with attacks, but… an extra finishing move was never a bad thing. The striking speed of it, combined with Talon Strike, was rather good too…

Sighing, Randidly steadied himself in the moment, and looked at the available paths.

Heretic XV 0/???, Nexus Traveler Cohort 5 0/50, Path of Control 0/200, Experimenter I 0/50, The Phantom’s Embrace 0/150, Fighting Proficiency III 0/???, System Transgressor 0/1, Steps of the Godling II Path 0/200, Basic Soul Bond 0/75, the First Legend 0/???, the Road to Mastery 0/500, Seed of Yggdrasil 0/150

Randidly groaned. God fucking damnit… more Paths that he wanted to try…?

Shaking his head, Randidly walked back towards Donnyton. He only had 40 PP, there was no need to rush making the decision on which to choose. Besides… before he did, he wanted to blow off some steam.

After so much considering and weighing options, some exercise would do him some good.


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