Their first night passed uneventfully, as the group hurried East to the border areas, planning to start there in their exploration. Already, Randidly had experienced the strength of the monsters there during the Newbie's rescue, and although it couldn’t compete with the Raid Dungeon in terms of numbers, it was about similar in individual strength.
However, like ants, monsters of this level could only threaten Randidly if they took him by surprise, and their numbers defied understanding. But for now, his mind was idle enough that he could finally take stock of all the Skill Levels he had gained through the confrontation with the Creature.
He had gained 2 Levels of Spear Mastery, 8 Levels in White Phantom’s Half Step and Dodge, 4 Levels in Fighting Proficiency and Calculated Blow, 2 Levels in Pierce the Skies, Shatter the Earth, 6 in Plant Dominance and Sharpness, 2 in Spray Holy Sap, 3 in Call Grove Defenders, 10 in Earthquake and Grasp of Lava, 1 in Phantom’s Lantern, 3 in Invigorating Call and Gallant Intervention, 4 in Erode Image and Aether Understanding, 2 in Vengeful Bloom, 3 in the Spear Phantom’s Embrace, 6 in Breath of the Spear Phantom and Aether Detection, 5 in Aether Manipulation and Living Aether, 2 in System Interference, 5 in Ashes to Ashes and Gravity Affinity, 1 in Glittering Leaves of Yggdrasil, Indomitable Spirit of Yggdrasil, and Cruel Indignation of Yggdrasil, 4 in Emerald Sap of Yggdrasil and Golden Roots of Yggdrasil, 6 in the Yyrwood Flesh of Yggdrasil, 5 in Soul Bond and Nether Resistance, 2 in Aether Connection and Child of the Rain, 8 in Chosen of Fire.
At some point, Randidly’s eyes simply glazed over while looking at all of the new Levels he had; it was entirely too much to understand altogether. But it did give him a sizable bump in PP, which he appreciated, and could use to move more closely to finishing Paths.
Unfortunately, it was not enough PP to finish off the First Legend Path, but it was a significant dent in it. More fortunately, it was enough putting points into Paths to give him some information in regards to his new Soul Skill. Each section took 70 PP, and they all seemed more… focused than the previous rewards. But perhaps because of that, each was more directly powerful.
In the first land of the Spectral Tree, an entire people weep. Their effervescent melancholy seems to condense into a palpable form, a small bead within your heart. Wisdom +35, Perception +10.
In the second land of the Spectral Tree, a blossom opens. A rotten fragrance spreads to fill your body. Health Regeneration +50, Mana and Stamina Regeneration +25.
In the third land of the Spectral Tree a predator roars. A spirit of violence seems to possess your body. Strength +35, Agility +10.
After distributing all of his Stats, and taking all of his benefits into consideration, Randidly looked at his Status screen.
Class: Planting of the Forest of Enmity (+x5)
Level: 16 (81%)
Health(/R per hour): 3001/2552 [+730] (999 [+165])
Mana(/R per hour): 1960/2719 (465 [+9])
Stam(/R per min): 2499/2660 [+60] (325 [+45])
Vit: 219 (+15)
End: 128 (+20)
Str: 242 (+52)
Agi: 282 (+24)
Perception: 273 (+20)
Reaction: 237 (+15)
Resistance: 222 (+45)
Willpower: 300 (+10)
Wisdom: 189 (+9)
Focus: 268 (+4)
Progenitor’s Influence: 7990
Skills (Soul Skill): Seven Lands of the Spectral Tree Lvl 214
Combat: Spear Mastery Lvl 160, White Phantom’s Half-Step (Un) Lvl 60, Heavy Blow Lvl 74, Dagger Mastery Lvl 10, Iron Skin Lvl 47, Dodge Lvl 88, Fighting Proficiency Lvl 124, Block Lvl 54, Phantom Onslaught Lvl 42, Sweep Lvl 54, Spear Deflect Lvl 10, Calculated Blow Lvl 82, Roundhouse Kick Lvl 41, Idiosyncratic Cut (Un) Lvl 73, Pierce the Skies, Shatter the Earth Lvl 41, Body Control: Freeze Lvl 27, Stalemate Breaker Lvl 29, Talon Strike Lvl 38, Counter Lvl 1
PoFE Class Skills: Plant Dominance ® Lvl 86, Spray Holy Sap (Un) Lvl 4, Sharpness Lvl 19, Call Grove Defenders ® Lvl 23, Earthquake (Un) Lvl 11, Invigorating Call (Humanity)(Un) Lvl 14, Four-Shaded Domain (A) Lvl 9, Phantom’s Lantern (Un) Lvl 13, Grasp of Lava ® Lvl 22, Erode Image (L) Lvl 6, Vengeful Bloom (Un) Lvl 3, Gallant Intervention (Human) Lvl 4, Spriggit’s Tinkering ® Lvl 1, Aether Understanding (A) Lvl 9
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 169, The Sixth Sign- The Breath of the Spear Phantom ® Lvl 32
Aether Skills: Aether Detection Lvl 87, Aether Manipulation Lvl 97, Living Aether ® Lvl 93, System Interference Lvl 10
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 61, Plantomancy Lvl 35, Hammer of the Dawn Lvl 37, Burning Footsteps Lvl 23, Ashes to Ashes (A) Lvl 29, Touch from Beyond ® Lvl 24, Gravity Affinity Lvl 6
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 103, The Golden Roots of Yggdrasil (A) Lvl 110, the Emerald Sap of Yggdrasil (A) Lvl 110, the Yyrwood Flesh of Yggdrasil (A) Lvl 122, the Indomitable Spirit of Yggdrasil (L) Lvl 107, the Cruel Indignation of Yggdrasil (A) Lvl 108
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 5, Soul Bond Lvl 85, Chef’s Palate Lvl 24, Nether Resistance Lvl 13, Child of the Rain (Un) Lvl 11, Chosen of Fire ® Lvl 9
Randidly was actually interrupted from his review by something he would never have expected: it was a message from Shal’s world.
It was a message from Helen.
It has been some time, hasn’t it? I’ve killed many people since we last met. Even now, my spear is wet with their blood.
I’ll get someone to dry it.
Anyway, I’m not great at this. It’s probably stupid, but someone needed to tell you, and Shal is busy, and everyone else refused. If they hadn’t been fucking guilting me for almost a month, I wouldn’t just send you something out of the blue.
I’ve been on the frontlines, so I’ve been pretty busy. But it’s done wonders for my stress levels.
So you might have noticed we weren’t able to contact you for the past several months. That was due to escalated conflict levels between us and another world. We won.
Because of the sudden attack though, a lot of the young talent for the different Styles stopped suppressing themselves and gained Levels, to fight against the threats. Because of that, it is almost impossible to hold the under 25 portion of the Inter School tournament.
So they are redoing the preliminaries in most places. If, however, you are still under Level 25 in one year’s time, you have a free ticket to come back and participate in the tournament.
Just so you know, if you come back, I’m going to challenge you to a fight. I’ll crush you and not apologize. Just thinking about your face… after you lost, looking sad….
Well whatever you do, you have time.
Chewing his lip, he regarded the letter, surprised how much his stomach squirmed as he read it. Not in a bad way, but… not in a good way, either. It was a mix of guilt and curiosity, mostly. With a little bit of arousal thrown on top, for spice. He had, after all, left rather abruptly from Shal’s world, and when he couldn’t send a message back through, forgotten almost immediately about it.
There were pressing matters here, after all, but still…
One year, huh…
Randidly’s eyes flashed. That would be 6 months after they connected to the greater world. Hopefully, Randidly could identify and handle any of the Creature’s experiments in the other Zones. Then, feeling more secure, he could head to Shal’s world.
Seeing Helen and Shal were motivations, sure, but Randidly had matured somewhat since his previous trek to that world, and now he had a more concrete goal: figure out what they knew about the Calamity there. It was a distant possibility, but it was the only avenue he knew that could get him information on what had occurred, and what would occur on Earth.
Even if Randidly was confident in himself, he didn’t want to fight something like that without information. On that front, at least, Lyra had a point. He needed to figure out a plan if he was truly going to challenge something like this.
Octavius Shrike looked down at the report, his face drawn into a scowl. He had promised the woman during the Transcendence that he would wait to report certain… inflammatory details of the Earth, but some of these readings…
Aether Levels were far too high, and someone on the planet had reached Heretic Level 19. If this situation progressed, it wasn’t something that he could afford to withhold information about. Although his superiors very rarely busied themselves with occurrences in the new Cohort, there were certain things that they were very particular about. And if the bottom line of those activities was adjusted…
“It’s too much of a risk,” Octavius muttered to himself. And, apologizing silently to the human woman to whom he had made a promise, Octavius submitted the report.
Far away, within Randidly’s body, Lucretia’s eyes flicked open, a small smile on her mouth.
“Well, well…” She whispered, keeping her voice down, so as not to tip Randidly off. Not that it would really matter. Randidly had inherited some of her ability to sense the lines of Karma due to their connection, but it was much like her ability to manipulate Aether: they acted through each other.
Besides, this was her domain.
“You opened up the Class creation and allowed others to interfere in the process… which is a small thing,” Lucretia said slowly, pushing her lavender hair behind her ear. “But then you also go back on a promise regarding Randidly, exposing us to… what feels like great danger.”
Her smile was the toothy grin of the shark. “I wonder how else you will be forced to betray us, dear Octavius. In some ways, betrayal is the most reassuring gift of all.”
After chuckling, Lucretia returned to her experiments, almost shutting herself off completely from the outside world. With her gaze focused inward, content, time slowly started to blur and slip endlessly past.