STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES
As soon as Etvenya vanished completely, a familiar, robotic voice echoed inside Lino’s mind as he turned his attention over to it, temporarily putting her face into the back of his mind.
[Achieved the Aeonian Ascension...]
[Fifth Gate Opened...]
[Gained access to the Law of Soul in addition to the Laws of Lightning, Time, Death and Perception...]
[Eshen’s Essence Assimilated Further...]
[Current Rate of Assimilation: 22%]
[Bearer’s Strength is permanently increased by 15%]
[Bearer’s Endurance is permanently increased by 15%]
[Bearer’s Soul’s Strength is permanently increased by 20%]
[Bearer’s Divine Sense range increased by 50%]
[Bearer’s resistance to Illusions permanently increased by 40%]
[Bearer’s resistance to Dark Element increased by 10%]
[Bearer’s affinity to Darkness increased by 60%]
[Bearer’s affinity to Light decreased by 15%]
[Bearer’s affinity to Spirit World decreased by 15%]
[Fewer Primal Spirits will be willing to accept the Bearer as their Master]
[Obtained two Martial Arts: <Aeonian Body> and <Weapon Mastery>]
[Four Primal Spirits have answered the call...]
[... Two Primordial Spirits of Darkness have answered the call...]
[Bearer will be sent into the Primal World to make his choice...]
Lino sighed inwardly for a moment as the tried to process all the information he had received, yet before he even had a chance to go through the first few lines, he felt his soul being sucked out of his body and thrown into an entirely new reality.
As he opened his eyes, he was met with soul-stirring darkness, frigid beyond description. His whole body shuddered as an onset of fear crippled him for a moment. It has been a while since he’d felt a genuine sense of fear, which is why he was startled further. He almost withdrew his weapons from the void world and readied himself for a battle, but managed to hold back in the end. However fearful he may be, the reason within him told him that the Writ wouldn’t have sent him here just to die.
Just then, two slithering shadows wrapped in smoke approached him. Looking down, Lino realized he couldn’t distinguish their overall shapes, merely distorted shadows. He remained staring for a moment before pulling himself out, deciding to inspect the Primal Spirits.
[Primordial Spirit Un -- born shortly after the forty sixth Prime, Un is one of the oldest Primordial Spirits of Darkness. Being accompanied by it results in tenfold increase in affinity to the Darkness and its associated elements, but also heavily decreases affinity to the opposing elements. The Beholder has to assimilate Un further in order to learn all its secrets]
[Primordial Spirit J’ok -- one of the youngest Primordial Spirits of the Darkness, J’ok’s existence is largely unknown. Being accompanied by it results in a mild increase in affinity to the Darkness and its associated elements, but results in no decrease in affinity with the other elements. J’ok’s initial affinity affords the Beholder a single question in regards to its capabilities a year; further assimilation will result in better understanding]
Lino didn’t need to contemplate any further as he almost immediately chose J’ok. While having a rather old Primordial Spirit on his side would definitely be beneficial, he was simply unwilling to devote himself entirely to a singular Element. He’d already learned through Ashta how powerful Primal Spirits of Light can be, and he liked to keep his options open for the future.
Un disappeared back into the surrounding darkness immediately after as J’ok darted and entered into Lino through the latter’s forehead. After a brief state of dizziness and a rather substantial headache, Lino was thrown out of the Primal World back into the reality, finding himself back in the vast, ruin-decorated world of the Trials.
He almost immediately searched for J’ok to ask him a question, but to no avail. Growing confused, he dug even deeper only to find the Spirit resting directly inside his Singularity.
“Don’t bother,” the Writ’s voice resonated inside Lino’s head as the latter tried poking and probing the Spirit carefully. “This is J’ok’s first time being assimilated with someone. As it had never been nourished by Qi, it requires excessive amounts of it in order not to die.”
“... yo. Maybe you could have told me that prior to the fact?!” Lino growled angrily.
“Would that have changed your choice?”
“... no, but--”
“... fuck, you’re irritating.” Lino sighed, deciding to give up and just wait. “How long will it take?”
“Depends. If you stay at the current realm, roughly sixty thousand years.”
“... yeah, go fuck yourself right in the dirt.”
“Every subsequent increase in realms will decrease that wait time,” the Writ said. “As the matter of fact, if you reach the Realms of Godhood, it would take less than a day.”
“... hah, good to know.” Lino scoffed, deciding to drop the subject. “Alright, leave me alone now. I need to inspect all my rewards properly.”
Disregarding the Writ, Lino went back over the whole lot of information he had gathered. As for the increases in stats, he immediately realized they were simply modified numbers from the initial increase when he first assimilated Eshen’s Essence -- they didn’t stack. Though slightly disappointed, even small increases in percentage for him was monumental. Looking over his base stats now, he’d realized that his Strength was actually nearing six digits -- this was without wearing any armor or wielding any weapon, just his pure, raw strength.
Hannah’s face immediately popped in his mind as he tried imagining her reaction once he told her. However, as he didn’t wish to ruin his own surprise, he held back and instead went on to inspect the two new <Martial Arts> he’d gotten. It was one aspect of his that he sorely lacked; relying entirely on just basic Spear and Sword arts, and auxiliary boosts like <Berserk> left him feeling rather empty. To his dismay, however, neither of the two Martial Arts were actually attack-oriented.
<Aeonian Body> -- Passively increases body’s base regenerative capabilities by 200%
Passively increases body’s base resistances to the Elements by 25%
Passively increases body’s base Defense by 50%
Passively increases body’s base Stamina by 60%
Activating the Art will temporarily grant immunity to ALL effects, increase Defense, Resistance to Elements, Regeneration and Stamina by 600%, and will immediately heal ALL wounds. Lasts for 15 seconds; requires two hours for re-charging.
The effects, though beyond wonderful, left Lino wanting more. Once he etched [Titan’s Heart] into the chest piece, in addition to the <Aeonian Body>, his defensive capabilities would be uniformly insane. He wagered that someone would have to be at least 400 Levels above him, in full gear, with at least a Legendary Weapon, while Lino stood still and let it happen for them to even move him an inch.
Using the Active component of the art would render him virtually immortal; he very much suspected that even if Ella, Eggor and Hannah combined and attacked him at the same time, they would be unable to harm him for those short 15 seconds. Still, even with all that... he was just a really good punching bag. And being a punching bag has never and will never be cool.
<Weapon Mastery> -- removes ALL restrictions on the user when it comes to weapons; weapons’ stats, however, are subsequently lowered for differences in Levels between the two
Passively increases damage with ALL weapons by 20%
Passively increases attack speed with ALL weapons by 15%
Passively decreases weight of ALL weapons by 50%
Activating the Art will temporarily grant the user an increase of 300% to damage of ALL weapons, 100% increase to Attack Speed, and entirely remove weapons’ weight; in addition, Soul Weapons will relinquish their Will completely to the user. Lasts 3 minutes, requires 6 hours re-charge period.
Similarly to the <Aeonian Body>, the <Weapon Mastery> -- annoyingly so -- fit Lino perfectly. Yet, he was still feeling rather dissatisfied. He shouldn’t be, though, and he knew it; after all, if he activated <Berserk>, <Aeonian Body>, <Weapon Mastery>, [Ironborn] effect of the [Heaven-cast Armor Set] and the [Bloodbath] effect of the [Dragon Slayer], he could effectively battle someone roughly a thousand times stronger than base him.
By all accounts, he was currently a powerhouse who could go tit-for-tat against the Chosen Children of the Holy Grounds. He’d also slowly began to understand why Hannah often told him that the reason others hated fighting Empyreans was not because of their overwhelming strength but rather the fact that they simply couldn’t be killed. He was very much becoming the same, despite not wanting to.
In the end, his battle style remained entirely the same -- charge in, flay about, and exhaust them to death. The only remotely useful ability he had was <Sword of Chaos>’ ability to warp himself about, and his Wings’ special effects. It was extremely limiting, he grunted inwardly, as even a child could see through him within a first few minutes of the battle.
Most of the people he’d face in the future wouldn’t be Body Cultivators -- they wouldn’t be restricted as he was. And while, for now, he can make up the difference through sheer stats alone, eventually it won’t be enough as <Martial Arts> of his opponents will also grow in grade and strength. Just fighting Hannah, who held back, was already a nightmare; her ability to warp about at will forced him to always push his body to the extreme just to catch up, to say nothing of her wild array of attacks. He was never able to predict what she would do next as she simply had too many options, unlike him.
Realizing that this flaw most-likely won’t be remedied by the Writ any time soon, Lino realized he only had one choice: make up for the lack of diversity... by literally making diversity. Although he felt bad about it, he decided to extort some more materials from Hannah after the Trials and craft himself an arsenal of items that will make up for everything he was lacking.