In the aftermath of Randidly assisting Alana, he had to take a pause before he dealt with his own notifications; the images were flooding through his actions. Every movement reminded him of something else, from a life that wasn’t his. Every second he was struck by a sense that he didn’t know himself, and he had to close his eyes and breathe very slowly to calm down.
Neveah, again, would have been super useful for this part, Randidly reflected, wincing at the headache-inducing mass of images that rushed to the forefront. But in a way, Randidly understood that this wasn’t a permanent thing. These images were just acting according to their nature. They had been suppressed for so long that they were seeking a use, an outlet.
If they were people, Randidly would have slapped them over the head, but for now, he could only wait.
Still, as his instincts indicated, they slowly faded away, filling him in a very unobtrusive way, fading into his Grasp of Lava, Circle of Flame, and Incendiary Bolt Skills. Some other images floated towards his spear Skills. For the remainder, they drifted downwards in Randidly’s chest, eventually finding and settling in the Aether Crossroads in his chest, forming a very light rune floating in his chest.
Little motes of light continued to flow through their connection, strengthening the rune, but for now, it was so dim that it was illegible. But Randidly could already feel Lucretia’s burning desire to take it apart and figure out what was going on.
Ruefully, Randidly sighed. Although it was nice to have some… tentative measure of confidence that Lucretia wasn’t currently trying to screw him over, there were some drawbacks. The main one was that she had turned from a fate manipulating witch to a scientist on the autism spectrum who couldn’t help her compulsion to experiment on things that shouldn’t be messed with. There were worse things, however.
With his headache slowly fading away as the images filtered through his body, Randidly turned his attention to the notification waiting unobtrusively in the corner of his vision.
Congratulations! You have reached Level 10! +5 Stats distributed between Vitality, Perception, Resist, Intelligence, and Control, +3 Free Stats! +1 Stat to a Mental Stat. +1 to a Physical Defense Stat. +1 to a Mental Support Stat. +1 Control. +20 Health, +24 Mana, +23 Stamina, +.5 to all Regenerations! +1 to Health and Stamina Regeneration! +20 Progenitor’s Influence. You have gained the Skill Vengeful Bloom (Un) Lvl 1. You have gained the Skill Galant Intervention (Human) Lvl 1. You have gained the Skill Spriggit’s Tinkering ® Lvl 1.
Vengeful Bloom (Un): In your body resides the baleful unwillingness of the Forest of Enmity. When struck by physical attacks, a very small amount of damaging energy is released, proportional to the opposing strike. Your resistance to cutting and bludgeoning slightly increases. Effects increase with Skill Level.
Galant Intervention (Human): By the grace of your power, move at a speed beyond your capabilities to throw yourself in the way of an oncoming blow. Only works on human victims. Effect of speed boost and maximum distance from the target increase with Skill Level.
Spriggit’s Tinkering ®: Through your inner world, you have gained a portion of the Spriggit’s knack for creating technologies and systems. Your speed and success rate creating various systems and apparati has increased. Your ability to understand complex processes is slightly boosted. Effect increases with Skill Level.
Randidly made a tsk’ing sound with his mouth. A small physical damage reflect boost, an increased ability to save people nearby, and increased… engineering proficiency? Fine, but definitely not quite as exciting as the previous batch of Skills that he earned.
Still, it was another source of PP for him. And speaking of PP…
During his time in the Raid Dungeon Randidly had earned 7 Levels in Wall of Thorns, 3 in Aether Detection and Child of Rain, 8 in Aether Manipulation and Grasp of Lava, 5 in Cruel Indignation of Yggdrasil and Yyrwood Flesh of Yggdrasil, 4 Levels in the Emerald Sap of Yggdrasil and the Golden Roots of Yggdrasil, 2 in the Indomitable Spirit of Yggdrasil and Circle of Fire, 4 in Invigorating Shout and Sharpness, 1 in Incinerating Bolt and Nether Resistance, and 6 in Touch from Beyond, and 3 in Spearing Roots and Spear Mastery.
That ended up at just over 70 PP. More than enough to pour into Path of Control, finishing off the Path very quickly.
Congratulations! You have completed the Path of Control! This was perhaps not the Path that you ended up choosing, and it has taken you a long time to run its gamut, but it was a familiar and safe path, and at the end of it, you turn back and look how far you’ve come, and wonder why it took you so long to embark in this direction. But the Path leads ever onward, don’t stop now. Gain an additional +1 Control per Level. +10 Wisdom. You have gained the Skill Gravity Affinity Lvl 1.
Gravity Affinity: You have a small affinity for gravity. It is possible to make minor variations to the gravitational forces on your body, lessening the gravity to increase speed, and increasing gravity to deal increased damage. Effect is weak. Effect weakens drastically outside of your body. Effects increase with Skill Level.
This was more of what Randidly was talking about, even if the Path was getting a little sassy about him taking a while to finish it. Although it wasn’t… strong at all right now, in the future, if he could increase its effects… changing gravity's effects on himself would enable him to do a lot of cool, movie style things…
...Well, thinking in that manner would probably get himself killed. But it would definitely be a Skill worth pursuing, even if just for the Path that likely lay somewhere between Lvl 1 and Lvl 100 of that Skill. Perhaps it would be like Grasping Roots and enable him to increase his power by evolving the Skill into something greater. Hopefully, something that would let him influence other things more directly…
But controlling himself was his Path, after all, because he had just finished the path of Control.
Chuckling at his own poor humor, Randidly looked at the Paths available to him.
Heretic XVII 0/???, Nexus Traveler Cohort 5 0/50, 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, Intermediate Soul Bond 0/125, the First Legend 0/???, the Road to Mastery 0/500, Seed of Yggdrasil 0/150, Growth of Yggdrasil I 0/250, Crown of Yggdrasil 0/500, Friend to Humanity 0/100, Lavamancer 0/300
Randidly immediately felt another headache coming on as he looked at the Paths. Rather than making his decisions more simple, it seemed that during the time it took him to finish Path of Control, all he had done was unlock more interesting Paths…
Well, first he should eliminate some options. Nexus Traveler, Experimenter, System Transgressor, Steps of the Godling, and Intermediate Soul Bond were immediately eliminated. Of all of those, the only one that gave Randidly pause was the final one: Intermediate Soul Bond. He still worried about what was going on with Nevaeh, but it was clear to him that part of the reason for the little change was that he was within the Dungeon, and basically a day had passed since she had gone into this state.
Randidly needed to have patience. Besides, rewards were something that Randidly needed to think deeply about now. Especially because the limit on how many Skills he could have in addition to his Class Skills were capped at 10. He received so many Class Skills, it seemed, so that wasn’t a big issue, but Gravity Affinity was the 3rd free Skill that he had learned since earning a Class.
That was one-third of his Skills he could learn, gone. Of course, there were Skills he had that he would gladly drop, but… that would cost valuable PP. In some cases worth it, but not a solution to wanting to learn a Skill and being unable to.
But at the same time, he was hesitant to disqualify a Path just based on the Skill he might get from it. After all, he knew very little about Skills, especially Skills relating to the Soulbond…
For now, however, eliminating those was fine. In addition to the pesky Heretic, that eliminated a good deal, but… still several viable options. Ultimately, Randidly relied on the logic he had used previously and eliminated Fighting Proficiency III, because the Phantom’s Embrace Path was probably just better. Plus, it was easy to cut away Friend to Humanity.
Honestly, he WAS likely that, but to have that as a Path… not only was it cheesy, but Randidly had been completely unimpressed with his human-centric Skills so far. They were mostly support Skills, in a way that was valuable, but niche. They all had their roles, but they weren’t the sort of thing that could completely turn around a battle.
And maybe Randidly was spoiled, but if it wasn’t a little bit broken, it felt rather dull, to him.
Which left a much more manageable list of Paths.
The Phantom’s Embrace 0/150, the First Legend 0/???, the Road to Mastery 0/500, Seed of Yggdrasil 0/150, Growth of Yggdrasil I 0/250, Crown of Yggdrasil 0/500, Lavamancer 0/300
Randidly also wanted to condense the different Yggdrasil based Paths, but… he couldn’t really figure out how to. Not only were there 3 of them, and he had never seen two similar Paths like this at the same time before, but they all seemed to concern different portions… or different directions he could take his Skills?
Randidly, Lucretia’s whisper came, interrupting his thoughts. I… would like to apologize. For what happened. And also… for how slow I was to assist you.