Now, with dozens of ancillary thoughts swimming around in his head, Randidly found it something of a relief to return to the relatively simple issue of what Path to choose. Not only did he have complete control over this portion, but he also would benefit, basically no matter what.
Although the effects would be different, all Paths led forward, giving him more power. It was… a heady feeling. Randidly once more skimmed over a list of his most likely choices.
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
Frustration was all Randidly felt as he looked at all the Yggdrasil Skills, though. Ultimately, Randidly decided that if he was going to do one of the three, he would begin with the one that took the least amount of PP, at least then he could get an idea of what the purpose was, relatively quickly. Perhaps his decisions would be much simpler afterward.
Lavamancer was another new addition… and it sounded very cool. Perhaps even walking down that path would lead to Lava Mastery, and he would be able to spew lava out of the ground a lot like he was able to do with his Roots, and now basically all plants now.
As cool as it was… it wasn’t something that would be able to increase his current strength very much. The potential damage there was much higher than anything else that he had, but it would take a long time to get the Skill Level to the point where Randidly was willing to use it as one of his bread and butter Skills. Right now, he had so much invested in other things, it was better to rely on those, and look for avenues that would increase his strength overall quickly.
After all, he had a duel with the Creature soon.
Just thinking about it made Randidly bare his teeth, but then Randidly snorted and shook his head. Better save that aggression for later. Road to Mastery was long, likely too long. Especially for now. Which left Phantom’s Embrace, the First Legend, and the Seed of Yggdrasil.
The First Legend could possibly be long as well, but it was a guaranteed reward Path. Although it might be an inefficient use of PP, it would still bring back a large return.
Randidly’s eyes flashed. And that was exactly what he wanted right now, a large return. He dumped his remaining PP into the First Legend Path and was rather lukewarm when he found out it was 300 PP. It would still take quite a while to reach the end of it, and receive a final reward that would likely be the real kicker, but it wasn’t 500.
And he received 2 free Stats every 5 PP, so there were benefits to going this route.
On the way, he also received another Blessing, and this one was altered too; it was the Blessing of the Fetid Growth, but he received +10 in Control and Resistance, and then a huge +50 in Health Regeneration. Randidly didn’t recall the details of his previous gains, but they were… slightly different than this. It made him worry, but there really wasn’t much he could do…
Randidly idly wondered if he should take this time to intervene more directly in his Soul Skill world. After all, he was approaching another rotation soon, so he should be ready to upgrade it a bit. However… there just wasn’t time. Now that he was in the Raid Dungeon, and there were so many moving pieces around him…
Helplessly, Randidly shook his head. His attention couldn’t be anywhere. Randidly wasn’t sure what it was, but if he figured out which Stat would give the biggest bonus to multitasking, he would dump a shit ton of points into it, so he could handle situations like this much more easily. For safety's sake, he resolved to bump his Intelligence and Wisdom up a bit with these extra bonus Stats.
After emptying his PP pool, Randidly looked at his Status screen.
Class: Planting of the Forest of Enmity (+x5)
Level: 10 (39%)
Health(/R per hour): 3001/2420 [+730] (928 [+165])
Mana(/R per hour): 1960/2545 (415 [+9])
Stam(/R per min): 2499/2522 [+60] (306 [+45])
Vit: 213 (+15)
End: 128 (+20)
Str: 207 (+52)
Agi: 272 (+24)
Perception: 233 (+20)
Reaction: 219 (+15)
Resistance: 182 (+45)
Willpower: 286 (+10)
Wisdom: 154 (+9)
Focus: 262 (+4)
Progenitor’s Influence: 730
Equipment: 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), Masterwork Bone Cloak Lvl 50 (Vitality, Strength, Agility, Reaction, and Perception +10, Health +300, Resistance +30, Twilight Manipulation Lvl 75), Tough Leather Armor Lvl 41 (Health +200, Endurance +20, Reaction +5, Strength +7, Agility +9, Health R +100. Stamina R +30. 5% Lifesteal), Spine-Spear of an Ogre Gargantuan Lvl 44 (+30 Str)
Skills (Soul Skill): Four-Shaded Clockwork World Lvl 1997
Combat: Spear Mastery Lvl 156, White Phantom’s Half-Step (Un) Lvl 52, Heavy Blow Lvl 74, Dagger Mastery Lvl 10, Iron Skin Lvl 47, Dodge Lvl 80, Fighting Proficiency Lvl 120, Block Lvl 54, Phantom Onslaught Lvl 42, Sweep Lvl 54, Spear Deflect Lvl 10, Calculated Blow Lvl 78, Roundhouse Kick Lvl 41, Idiosyncratic Cut (Un) Lvl 70, Pierce the Skies, Shatter the Earth Lvl 39, Body Control: Freeze Lvl 27, Stalemate Breaker Lvl 29, Talon Strike Lvl 38, Counter Lvl 1
PoFE Class Skills: Plant Dominance ® Lvl 78, Spray Holy Sap (Un) Lvl 2, Sharpness Lvl 13, Call Grove Defenders ® Lvl 20, Earthquake (Un) Lvl 1, Invigorating Call (Humanity)(Un) Lvl 11, Four-Shaded Domain (A) Lvl 9, Phantom’s Lantern (Un) Lvl 12, Grasp of Lava ® Lvl 12, Erode Image (L) Lvl 2, Vengeful Bloom (Un) Lvl 1, Galant Intervention (Human) Lvl 1, Spriggit’s Tinkering ® Lvl 1
The 7 Kata of the Ashen Spear (Ru): The Spear Advances, Ash Trails Lvl 51, As the Sun Stills ® Lvl 1
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 163, The Breath of the Spear Phantom ® Lvl 26
Aether Skills: Aether Detection Lvl 76, Aether Manipulation Lvl 87, Living Aether ® Lvl 85, System Interference Lvl 8
Spells: Spearing Roots Lvl 73, Mana Bolt Lvl 28, Mana Shield Lvl 32, Arcane Orb Lvl 22, Fireball Lvl 30, Magic Missile Lvl 4, Healing Palm Lvl 12, Pollen of the Rafflesia Lvl 20, Summon Pestilence Lvl 54, Wall of Thorns Lvl 29, Soul Seed ®, Inspiration ®, Incinerating Bolt Lvl 80, Circle of Flame Lvl 55, Plantomancy Lvl 35, Hammer of the Dawn Lvl 37, Burning Footsteps Lvl 23, Ashes to Ashes (A) Lvl 24, Touch from Beyond ® Lvl 22, Gravity Affinity Lvl 1
Crafting: Potion Making Lvl 37, Farming Lvl 32, Plant Breeding Lvl 19, Mapmaker Lvl 7, Analyze Lvl 29, Refine Lvl 39, Extract Lvl 29, Mana Engraving Lvl 91
Yggdrasil: Glittering Leaves of Yggdrasil (A) Lvl 102, The Golden Roots of Yggdrasil (A) Lvl 105, the Emerald Sap of Yggdrasil (A) Lvl 103, the Yyrwood Flesh of Yggdrasil (A) Lvl 112, the Indomitable Spirit of Yggdrasil (L) Lvl 103, the Cruel Indignation of Yggdrasil (A) Lvl 106
Auxiliary: Sneak Lvl 46, Acid Resistance Lvl 22, Poison Resistance Lvl 21, Pain Resistance Lvl 61, First Aid Lvl 16, Pathfinding Lvl 18, Fire Resistance Lvl 23, Sewing Lvl 11, Cutting Vegetables Lvl 2, Manual Labor Lvl 6, Digging Lvl 5, Cooking Lvl 53, Clockwork Mastery Lvl 16, Aether Connection (A) Lvl 3, Soul Bond Lvl 80, Chef’s Palette Lvl 24, Nether Resistance Lvl 4, Child of the Rain (Un) Lvl 3
Randidly appreciated his Status screen; truly, it was much easier to gain strength after you received a Class. Especially his attributes were shooting right up, giving him increased growth in the short amount of time they had spent in the Raid Dungeon. Well, it was bordering on two weeks now, so not necessarily short, but…
Then Randidly’s expression hardened, and he left the cave where he had been working on his Paths. There was one last activity that he had to accomplish today. It was one that was somehow both very much looking forward to, and very much dreading.
His mouth in a firm line, he walked over to the fire the rest of the team had made while he was recovering, to speak to Aratta. Only Aratta, Rose, and Lucifer were there; the rest of the team must have gone off with Alana to test how she was in the wake of reaching Level 50. If he hadn’t been in hardass mode, Randidly would have winced. He hoped there were no… lingering side effects of his interference.
As if they were waiting for him, all three of the others looked up as he approached. Randidly coughed lightly, and then said. “...Now that we have saved you, I’d like an explanation.”
“Sure, what did you have in mind?” Aratta replied, her smile bright.
Randidly glowered at her. “You murdered children and stole their Aether. Why?”
Almost unconsciously, he released the Indomitable Spirit of Yggdrasil. Those suspicious wisps of Aether that floated out from behind the cloth on her eyes were blown away by the blast of pressure from it, and Aratta shivered. Both Lucifer and Rose reflexively stood, taking a step away from him.
Randidly burned with his fury, seething with it. With Indomitable Spirit active, it was much easier to feel the effects of the other Yggdrasil Skills. They were connected, resonating, even if it was a small combination right now.
As Aratta soldiered onward, doing her best to keep her smile in place, Randidly upped the pressure. It took about 30 seconds for her body to sag, defeated, and she said, “...We had no choice. There was no other way to survive. If we hadn’t, the other monsters-”
“How could killing children increase your strength-” Randidly began, feeling the flow of rage, but Rose gestured at him, and he forcefully suppressed his wrath.
“...The other monsters?” Rose asked, her eyes narrowing.
Aratta nodded. “Yes. I didn’t mean to hide it, but we… we’re all monsters. We cannot receive a Class. We grow with Level too, but it's slow. Mostly, we naturally Level as we age. There are myths of the time our people came from a land where we had Classes, but-”
“And if you cannot Level… You need Skill Levels. Or more powerful Skills,” Randidly said slowly, hating himself for understanding the basics of the thought process, even though he couldn’t see how this was the only option. “But why did you-”
“You have to understand, it wasn’t like this always. Back then, Zith was just the gem of our people, a normal woman, leading us. But then the monsters-”
“Start from the beginning,” Rose interrupted, pulling out a notepad. “The entire history of your… people. Don’t leave anything out.”