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After enjoying the skewers with Snowlily, Thomas opened up his character sheet to take a look at it. He'd avoided looking at it the entire time they were in the dungeon. He wanted his progress to come to him as a complete surprise. As he looked at his available experience his eyes widened in shock. He had over seventeen thousand experience saved up! He did some quick math in his mind and grinned when he got the answer. He had enough experience to crank his Power, Endurance, and Agility up to eighty to match his Magic and would still have some leftover!

He moved on from his experience and checked his other statistics. His Innate Abilities, especially 'Quick Learner' and 'All Seeing Eyes' had ranked up nicely inside of the dungeon. None of his skills had improved, but that was to be expected since they hadn't been used at all. However, the majority of both his Abilities and Magic had seen a large amount of growth.

Inside of the dungeon he'd used a large variety of tactics when fighting against the skeletons just to come up with various methods of fighting in the future. Using things like Wood magic to summon vines and restrain opponents. Using Lightning to try and tase them, although against skeletons that actually didn't do a damned thing. As well as any other tactics he could think of. He'd even gotten some exercise and used every weapon at his disposal as well as his bare hands to defeat skeletons. All of this culminated in a large growth in almost everything.

Looking back at the seventeen thousand experience he had he rubbed his chin while thinking. He had no use for all the mana crystals he'd collected so if he were to go to the guild, grab a quest for them, then turn it in a couple of times it just might be possible for him to get to twenty thousand or more experience. He quickly scooped up Snowlily and made his way toward the guild. Experience points were calling his name!


It didn't take long at all for them to arrive at the guild and find the quest he wanted. The quest was like the previous ones asking for a certain number of mana crystals from the monsters in the dungeons. He had more than enough to turn the quest in a few times. Unfortunately, he could only turn it in four times as the quest called for twenty mana crystals. He snagged the quest down and waited in line for a bit for a free receptionist.

Unfortunately, while he was waiting a figure he didn't want to ever see again entered the guild. Normally, he would pay very little attention to the other people coming and going. However, this particular woman was hard not to notice with her bright red hair and tail. Lexiana glanced at Thomas but immediately looked away and went to wait in a different line as far from him as she could. Since she seemed intent on ignoring him, he decided to return the favor and ignore her.

Once he got to the counter, he set down the request notice and his guild card with a smile, "I want to pick up this quest."

The receptionist picked up the request paper and looked a little confused. It was understandable though. Most people would pick up a dungeon request before going into the dungeon in the morning. Picking it up when it was evening time was rather odd. The receptionist didn't say anything though and processed the request.

System Notice: New Quest!
Head into the dungeon and defeat skeletons! Return to the guild with twenty of their mana crystals!
Rewards: 1,200 Experience, 500 gold

Once Thomas had his card back he grinned and put it back down while placing eighty mana crystals on the counter, "I'd like to turn in my request."

The receptionist blinked and then let out a long sigh. She looked up at Thomas with a frown, "You could have just turned in the mana crystals. You don't have to accept the request first for continuous requests like dungeon monster mana crystals. It just makes unnecessary work for the guild staff!"

Now that the young woman mentioned it, he had gotten a quest completion from turning in the severed head of the demon bear yesterday. He had kind of forgotten about that thanks to the red-head pissing him off. With her rant finished the receptionist quickly separated the eighty crystals into four piles of twenty, "I've confirmed completion of the request four times. I'll retrieve your reward now."

She returned a few minutes later and set a sack down on the counter with the loud metallic clang, "For completing the request four times the reward is two thousand gold."

Thomas accepted the reward and the moment he did...

System Notice: Quest Complete! (x4)
Head into the dungeon and defeat skeletons! Return to the guild with twenty of their mana crystals!
Rewards: 1,200 Experience, 500 gold
System Notice: You have gained 4,800 experience!

Thomas quickly opened his character sheet and smiled broadly when he saw over twenty-two thousand experience sitting there waiting to be spent. He stored the sack of gold coins inside of his inventory and made his way out of the guild with Snowlily. Together they went to their chosen inn where they ate dinner before retiring to their room for the night.

Before spending his experience, Thomas opened up Snowlily's character sheet to take a quick look at her improvements. She had grown quite a bit stronger thanks to all the skeletons he'd defeated during the day. From what he could tell, until she could defeat monsters herself she would continue to gain only a portion of the experience that he gained. She also didn't seem to get any experience from quest completion which was extremely unfortunate. Maybe in the future when she could take on a human form she would be capable of turning in quests herself. Until then she would continue to stay behind him in strength.

Name: Snowlily
Experience Gained: 12,000 Experience Spent: 11,960 Experience Remaining: 40
Power: 22 (+) 230 Exp
Endurance: 16 (+) 170 Exp
Agility: 25 (+) 260 Exp
Magic: 35 (+) 360 Exp
Skills:
  • Stealth // Rank 13 // 130/140 Exp
  • Hide Presence // Rank 15 // 60/160 Exp
Abilities:
  • Tracking (Scent) // Rank 11 // 105/120 Exp
  • Mana Control // Rank 1 // 5/20 Exp
Magic:
  • Ice Magic // Rank 1 // 5/20 Exp
Titles:
  • First Soul Companion

After looking over everything on her sheet he decided that tomorrow he would help her train up her Ice magic a little at least. It wouldn't be too hard for him to bind down the last skeleton in a room and let her pelt it to death with her magic. If he'd thought of it sooner he would have had her do that today. He crossed his arms over his chest and thought for a bit. The experience gained in the dungeon here was rather generous. It had to be at least five times as much as the goblins back in Ulvstad. He could spend a day or two longer here and help power level Snowlily up to the point that she could start contributing to fights actively.

That's enough thinking about Snowlily though, it was time to increase his attributes and make himself stronger! The first step was to boost his Power, Endurance, and Agility all up to eighty to match his Magic attribute. He quickly hit the '(+)' button to increase his attributes to eighty across the board. His experience quickly dwindled down to just a little over eight thousand. Since he planned to keep his attributes balanced from this point on, he increased each one by one point at a time until he couldn't do so anymore. When he was done his attributes were all at eighty-two with seventeen hundred experience left.

Name: Thomas Darkrose
Experience Gained: 137,481 Experience Spent: 135,710 Experience Remaining: 1,771
Power: 82 (+) 830 Exp
Endurance: 82 (+) 830 Exp
Agility: 82 (+) 830 Exp
Magic: 82 (+) 830 Exp
Innate Abilities:
  • Transmutation ( A ) // Rank 51 // 2/520 Exp
  • Quick Learner ( C ) // Rank 64 // 293/650 Exp
  • All Seeing Eyes ( S ) // Rank 39 // 270/400 Exp
  • Spark of Divinity ( - ) // Rank - // -/- Exp
Skills:
  • Serenity // Rank 52 // 64/530 Exp
  • Skinning // Rank 6 // 12/70 Exp
  • Tanning // Rank 5 // 10/60 Exp
  • Magitech Engineering // Rank 85 // 519/860 Exp
  • Cooking // Rank 4 // 25/50 Exp
  • Flying // Rank 8 // 50/90 Exp
Abilities:
  • Weapon Mastery (Small Blades) // Rank 27 // 237/280 Exp
  • Weapon Mastery (Heavy Weapons) // Rank 18 // 95/190 Exp
  • Weapon Mastery (Body) // Rank 16 // 162/170 Exp
  • Weapon Mastery (Swords) // Rank 30 // 193/310 Exp
  • ----------------------------------------------------------
  • Mana Control // Rank 71 // 328/720 Exp
  • Throwing // Rank 15 // 105/160 Exp
  • Shooting // Rank 25 // 175/260 Exp
  • Mana Field // Rank 15 // 107/160 Exp
  • Mana Pressure // Rank 4 // 30/50 Exp
Magic:
  • Elemental Magic [Life] // Rank 39 // 382/400 Exp
  • ----------------------------------------------------------
  • Heat Magic // Rank 8 // 13/90 Exp
  • Ice Magic // Rank 14 // 2/150 Exp
  • Lightning Magic // Rank 13 // 51/140 Exp
  • Metal Magic // Rank 44 // 110/450 Exp
  • Wood Magic // Rank 15 // 35/160 Exp
  • Magnetic Magic // Rank 30 // 116/310 Exp
  • Light Magic // Rank 13 // 0/140 Exp
  • ----------------------------------------------------------
  • Unholy Magic // Rank 8 // 42/90 Exp
  • ----------------------------------------------------------
  • Inventory // Rank 5 // -/- Exp
Titles:
  • Magical Crafter
  • Inventor
  • Inheritor
  • I Stand Alone
  • Unchecked Evolution
  • First Soul Companion

Thomas enjoyed the warm sensation of energy flowing through his body and increasing his strength across the board. He lifted his hand and clenched his fist tightly. He had increased his Power by only eight points but he could feel a real difference in his physical strength. His magical might had likely seen an upgrade as well. He closed his eyes and lay down to enjoy the sensation of gaining strength letting it lull him into a deep and relaxing sleep.


The following morning, after a decent breakfast, the two of them made their way to the dungeon once again. Thanks to their exploration yesterday, they were easily able to teleport down to the second floor. Thomas was looking forward to knocking out some more skeletons and earning more experience for the two of them. He looked at the three paths leading out of the room and picked the one in the middle.

As he walked he activated his 'All Seeing Eyes' to make it easier for him to see in the darkness. The torches on the walls helped a bit but left a lot of the tunnel in shadow. Seeing a dungeon that was paved with brick walls and decorated arches was a little weird but totally fit the theme of a tomb for undead. At the end of the pathway, he came to the first room. Looking inside of it he could see the monsters and was surprised by their disgusting appearance. The room was filled with nearly twenty zombies.

With the realism of AoG the zombies were unbelievably disgusting monsters that reeked of rotting flesh. Even with a normal human nose, Thomas almost felt nauseous from the scent leaking out of the room. Poor Snowlily was laying on the floor and covering her nose with her paws while whining. Thomas glanced down at the poor wolf pup and sighed. He'd have to try and make it past this floor quickly to lower the amount of suffering she would have to endure.

Within the room the zombies comprised a number of humanoid races. He could see male and female humans in various stages of decay. A wolf demihuman with one of its ears hanging off of its skull by a thin strang of flesh. A kobold with a lion head that was half-rotted and showing the bones of its skull. He could even see a creature he would classify as a lizardman with a tail so rotted that half of it was just bone. Blood, puss, and various bodily liquids oozed from wounds, ripped flesh, and the rotting meat that comprised their bodies. Fighting these things in melee was just not an option.

Thomas stepped into the room while lifting his hand and gathering mana. The mana took on a green glow as he converted it into the wood element. The mana gushed out of his hand and into the floor of the room while spreading out. At the same time, the zombies all turned in his direction and began shambling toward him. Their movement was pathetically slow and gave him more than enough time to finish his magic. Mana shot out of the ground and wrapped around a clump of the zombies while transforming into vines and binding them tightly.

He managed to wrap up half of the zombies in the vines. The restrained zombies struggled against the vines while letting out disturbing groans. The remaining zombies shuffled around them and continued toward Thomas. He pulled his Peace Maker from his holster and looked down, "Snowlily, try hitting them with your Ice magic. You might not defeat them but we can work on making your magic stronger."

Snowlily whined in protest but still climbed up to her feet. Thomas cocked the hammer to his revolver while channeling mana into the gun. Snowlily opened her mouth and her mana began to gather while turning blue. He watched as the mana became a pointed icicle and was fired at one of the zombies. With a sickening 'splorch' the icicle pierced a zombie but seemed to deal minimal damage. Thomas followed up her icicle shot with a round from his revolver. The zombies head exploded into gooey pieces that showered the other nearby zombies.

Thomas gagged at the sickening sight but avoided vomited from the sight and smell. Snowlily looked extremely uncomfortable herself while she channeled more mana and fired another icicle at a different zombie. Together they repeated the cycle five times total until Snowlily ran low on mana. With her mana nearly dry, Thomas holstered his revolver and released the Wood element spell holding the zombies in place.

As they started to move he lifted his hands up and pointed his palms toward the ceiling. Flames erupted above his palms and radiated intense heat as he concentrated a large amount of mana into them. He lifted his hands above his head and pressed his wrist together to combine the two flames into one. He pumped more and more mana into the flames until he created a fireball above his head that had a diameter of over a meter. Once enough power was compressed into the spell he threw his hands down and launched the ball of flames directly into the horde of zombies.

The flames slammed into the zombies and exploded with a deafening roar and a blast of heat. Pieces of the zombies' bodies flew everywhere even slamming into the walls and ceiling of the large room. The smell of burning flesh, like roasting rotten meat, permeated the room. The burning of the bodies filled the room with thick black acrid smoke that caused both Thomas and Snowlily to cough.

It took a short amount of time for the burning body parts to disintegrate and put out the flames though the scent and smoke remained in the room. Thomas observed the room but didn't see any surviving zombies. Only mana crystals and a large black scorch mark remained on the floor. Thomas rubbed the back of his head, "Maybe I went a little too far?"

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thomasdarkrose

  • Georgia, USA

Bio: Just your average self-employed American with some spare time that enjoys reading, and now writing.

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