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With a delicious breakfast being digested in his stomach, Thomas opened up his character sheet to check his gains from the battle with the orcs. Seeing his gains, he froze solid for a good thirty seconds.

Name: Thomas Darkrose
Race: Nephilim (Lord Class)
Experience Gained: 329,841 Experience Spent: 201,590 Experience Remaining: 128,251
Power: 100 (+) 1,010 Exp
Endurance: 100 (+) 1,010 Exp
Agility: 100 (+) 1,010 Exp
Magic: 100 (+) 1,010 Exp
Innate Abilities:
  • Transmutation ( A ) // Rank 51 // 377/520 Exp
  • Quick Learner ( C ) // Rank 79 // 265/800 Exp
  • All Seeing Eyes ( S ) // Rank 46 // 260/470 Exp
  • Spark of Divinity ( - ) // Rank - // -/- Exp
Skills:
  • Serenity // Rank 56 // 326/570 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
  • Fishing // Rank 8 // 67/90 Exp
Abilities:
  • Weapon Mastery (Small Blades) // Rank 29 // 77/300 Exp
  • Weapon Mastery (Heavy Weapons) // Rank 18 // 95/190 Exp
  • Weapon Mastery (Body) // Rank 16 // 162/170 Exp
  • Weapon Mastery (Swords) // Rank 41 // 391/420 Exp
  • ----------------------------------------------------------
  • Mana Control // Rank 85 // 474/860 Exp
  • Throwing // Rank 15 // 105/160 Exp
  • Shooting // Rank 28 // 74/290 Exp
  • Mana Field // Rank 31 // 83/320 Exp
  • Mana Pressure // Rank 4 // 30/50 Exp
Magic:
  • Elemental Magic [Life] // Rank 114 // 1132/1150 Exp
  • ----------------------------------------------------------
  • Heat Magic // Rank 8 // 13/90 Exp
  • Ice Magic // Rank 17 // 15/180 Exp
  • Lightning Magic // Rank 18 // 141/190 Exp
  • Metal Magic // Rank 44 // 276/450 Exp
  • Wood Magic // Rank 24 // 213/250 Exp
  • Magnetic Magic // Rank 32 // 146/330 Exp
  • Light Magic // Rank 22 // 35/230 Exp
  • Gravity Magic // Rank 2 // 21/30 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

What in the ever-loving hell?! He knew that last spell of his had done some serious damage to the orc horde and killed at least a couple hundred of them. But to gain over a hundred and twenty thousand experience?! Just how many orcs did he actually kill? Not just that but even his Elemental Magic [Life] had grown massively. It was crazy. That meant that in less than half an hour he had earned more than half the experience he'd earned since he started playing. He was completely flabbergasted.

Earning so much experience at once was amazing but also worrying. If he could earn experience like this so could any other player out there. Just how far behind the leading 'no-life' players was he? He sighed and closed his character sheet for the moment. He opened Snowlily's to see just how far she'd grown. After all, she gained a fair amount of experience from everything he killed. Once he opened the sheet he froze again and when his brain started working the first words out of his mouth, "God DAMMNIT!"

Name: Snowlily
Experience Gained: 149,887 Experience Spent: 149,740 Experience Remaining: 147
Power: 103 (+) 1,040 Exp
Endurance: 50 (+) 510 Exp
Agility: 76 (+) 770 Exp
Magic: 105 (+) 1,060 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 9 // 5/100 Exp
Magic:
  • Ice Magic // Rank 24 // 165/250 Exp
Titles:
  • First Soul Companion

That cute ball of fluff was now stronger than him in both Power and Magic! Granted, he still had a lead on her in Endurance and Agility but she was clearly going in a different route than he was. It was obvious that she was going to be a powerful and agile magic-user. He was worried about her Endurance being so low. If she were to get hit it would be a serious issue. He looked over at the snoozing ball of fluff and sighed. She was resting with a full stomach after the hard fight. He needed to make sure to continue to protect her. Also, had she gotten bigger?

Everyone climbed into their wagons. As they got on their way, Thomas looked to Lexiana and asked, "Do you have to have all four of your attributes at one hundred to become Lord class?"

Eager for a chance to talk, Lexiana shook her head, "Nope! To become Lord class, or any higher class, you just need one attribute at the required amount and then you will evolve. Did you just get enough experience to become Lord class?"

Thomas laughed and waved a hand dismissively, "No. I've been Lord class for a little while now. I just wanted to know."

She looked like she wanted to continue chatting but he went to work inside of his character sheet and ignored her. Snowlily was now a Lord just like him. She was growing much faster than he had. That meant that before too much longer she might actually be stronger than him. At least, in her specific field. He needed to at least increase his attributes with the huge amount of experience he'd just earned. He didn't do any of the math, he wanted to be surprised at what his attributes would turn into. Without hesitation, he dumped as much as his experience into his attributes as he could while keeping them balanced.

As a result of spending 128,240 experience, all of his attributes rose dramatically and reached 128 each! He had gained a total of 28 points in each of his attributes in a single instant. This was by far the largest increase he'd ever experienced. The moment he confirmed it a powerful flow of energy roared through his body and nourished it. His muscles seemed to swell and contract as their fibers were fed and digested the energy. His mana surged and retracted as it compressed. His skin became more durable while his bones became harder to break. His whole body grew stronger in that instant.

It was hours before the feeling passed. When it was gone he lifted his hand and clenched his fist. He could feel the immediate increase in his physical strength and it thrilled him. The feeling made him feel invincible, if only briefly. He logically knew that he was far from invincible and that almost any of the guards in the caravan would be capable of kicking his ass with one arm tied behind their back.

Thomas let out a sigh and stretched his body as much as he could inside the back of the wagon. He couldn't stop himself from letting out a groan of pleasure at the feeling. Lexiana looked over at him and smiled knowingly, "Increased your attributes?"

Thomas nodded and actually smiled at her, "Does it always feel that good?"

She blushed a little as she smiled sheepishly, "The more you increase your attributes the better it feels. Some people will save up their experience for long periods of time just to enjoy a stronger feeling. At least, as long as their not breaking into the Lord or King rank. No one enjoys the feeling of evolution."

"Does evolution always hurt like that?"

"Yeah. As far as I know, every stage of evolution hurts. Though they say that the increase to the Superhuman class is the most painful. It also depends on the race of the person. For example, in my tribe before becoming Superhuman class we look like regular humans. Once we cross the threshold our bodies change. We grow our tails and ears. It's a very painful process that takes hours. Be glad you're human, Thomas."

Naturally, he did not correct her misconception that he was a human. He had no intention of revealing that to anyone that he didn't completely trust. At least not until he was strong enough to defend himself from anyone that might try to kill him. He doubted he would be able to keep it a secret that long so he also needed to keep an eye out for opportunities to make friends with powerful individuals.

The journey continued with only a brief stop for lunch where everyone once again ate some orc meat. Thomas thought the meal was wonderful and enjoyed every moment of it. He also spent some time with one of the more accomplished drivers and was taught how to properly dismantle to orc's corpse to get the best cuts and to do it properly. Now he would be able to butcher the two orcs taking up considerable room inside of his inventory. Once lunch was finished they were back on the road until it was time to stop for the night once again.

Most of the guards didn't think the caravan was likely to be attacked again after last nights battle. No one had any intention to slack off though. If they weren't careful it could easily end up with everyone being murder in their sleep. Still, with a warm meal of still very fresh orc meat, the whole caravan was in a great mood. Tomorrow they would arrive at their destination and the request would be completed. Thomas was really looking forward to getting inside of a workshop again and getting to work on his next piece of equipment.

This night was the same as the previous ones. A short nap and then it was his turn for the night shift. While on duty he used his Mana Field to keep an eye out on his surroundings. The first time he used it he felt a distinct difference in the strength of it and its efficiency. This shouldn't have been very surprising. If his mana was considered at a one to one ratio then he had basically increased his mana by twenty-eight percent. That was a huge amount in itself. Except, he could feel that his mana had increased by far more than that.

To put it in perspective, before he could easily 'ping' out to a hundred meters without straining his mana. Now he could reach out to a hundred and fifty meters with the same ease as he reached a hundred meters the night before. Everything just felt so much... better. Between the 'pings' and his 'All Seeing Eyes' he would be able to spot anything incoming. Such as Lexiana once again approaching his position to strike up a conversation with him. Tonight would be the last night she could talk to him and sometime tomorrow afternoon they would be parting ways.

When Lexiana got close enough to speak to him she looked at him sitting on top of the wagon and smiled, "So after we get to Bilri where do you plan to go?"

Thomas pinched the bridge of his nose, closed his eyes, and sighed deeply. When he opened them he bluntly asked, "Do you honestly expect me to answer? Why are you so obsessed with Snowlily anyway?"

Lexiana did the arm crossing bust compressing thing again as she answered, "I told you. My tribe views her as an honored ancestor or even a god, depending on who you ask."

"Why?"

She tilted her head to the side in a cute look of confusion, "Because the Garou are our ancestors."

Thomas frowned at that, "From the story I was told, the children of the Garou and humans were human. How are your people related at all?"

She straightened up and smiled. She was happy to talk to him in an effort to get closer, "It's true that the first generation of children had no Garou characteristics. Even the second and third generations showed no traits. However, after a few generations, their descendants that survived the human purges began to change. Like I said before, we don't get our ears and tails until we enter the Superhuman class. That began to happen to many people and we became a new race. It took time for us to find out our true origins but once we had we knew that the Garou were our ancestors. Powerful and intelligent wolves capable of transforming into humans. Since then we're always hoped to one day meet a living Garou. Snowlily is the first to ever be seen alive and well. When I saw her my first instinct was to get her away from you and take her to my tribe. If I had been able to she would have lived there and been protected so she could grow up safely. She would be revered or even worshipped in my village. Given the best of everything we have."

Thomas listened, fascinated, by the tale. If what Lexiana was saying was true then there was a possibility that Snowlily's mother could have a bloodline that still existed back in Lexiana's village. The odds might be small and he had no idea if Snowlily's mother actually had any human children but the possibility did exist. Or maybe she had some other blood relations? He looked in the direction of his tent where his Mana Field told him that Snowlily was still soundly sleeping. He wondered if he should take her to Lexiana's village at some point just so she could meet the only living relatives she was likely to have.

His Mana Field was the only reason he was willing to talk about such a sensitive topic so openly. If anyone had come close enough to hear them speak he would have known. He turned to look down at Lexiana once more and gave her a genuine smile, "Thanks for telling me that. I'm still not going to tell you where I plan to go next though."

She pouted and childishly stuck her tongue out at him. She was only in her twenties and inexperienced so she had bouts of kid-like behavior. She looked over Thomas for a bit before reluctantly turning around and calling over her shoulder, "I should get back to work. We can talk more tomorrow."

He waved a dismissive hand in her direction and returned to his guard duty. Not that he'd actually stopped at all since he began. When his shift was over he returned to sleep. Tomorrow he would likely be having lunch in Bilri. He wondered what kind of food they might have there and found himself looking forward to it.

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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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