Chapter 77 Evaluation
‘bling’ ‘Identify reaches lvl 7’
‘Well hello there...been a while since you last showed yourself...must be because of all those 200 and above people down there...’ Ilea thought.
“So what do you think?” she asked as she walked through the city. Ilea noticed that there was nobody following her anymore so it had likely just been a security measure to find out why she had been in the city. There was more air outside and after all that musical entertainment she enjoyed the more quiet evening city life.
‘Half the people in the headquarters probably wouldn’t have to sleep a lot.’ she thought.
“It’s an assortment of powerful people. Though be aware that compared to the elven and dwarven communities I’ve seen they are but a band of children, playing a game they do not understand.” Aki said from his position on her waist.
“What do you mean, they’re all above 200, same goes for the elves I’ve encountered so far...” Ilea said as she jumped up a building to get a better view of the city.
“Hmm yes, though those are the frontliners. If it’s still the same...and trust me elven culture doesn’t change over night…then the elves you’ve fought were all rather young. Or foolish. It’s true that deeper inside the elven territory the residents might not be stronger in level but certainly in cunning and experience. They’ve held their positions over thousands of years, and for good reason.” he explained.
Ilea shrugged as she jumped from building to building. “Well we don’t really have a choice but to try our best. Even if the adversary is thousands of years old and probably has just as many points in their status.”
“I wouldn’t say you’re an adversary. More a thing to train their youth with or to find interesting classes and ways to use magic and technology. You tend to think too much of your own species, you’re not the center of Elos.” Aki said.
“I know that...I’ve known that as soon as I saw that Basilisk use its magic. Though if anything we’re persistent and good at surviving.”
“That you are.” Aki concluded.
Ilea wandered around the city roofs for a while, enjoying the stars shining above. Even after close to a year it was incredible to see them. A muffled cry a couple streets over made her perk up though and she blinked closer until she was close enough for her sphere to perceive the full scene.
Two men in armor were punching a young girl, ripping away her clothes. Ilea wanted to make sure and continued watching, getting close enough to blink in and intervene when an eerie melody filled her ears. Her head started throbbing hard as blood leaked out from her nose. She stumbled to one knee and closed her eyes as every hair on her body stood up in alarm.
‘ding’ ‘Mental Resistance reaches lvl 9’
The melody changed its flow to a quicker one and Ilea activated her shroud of ash, immediately taking away a layer of the powerful spell and the influence it had on her. The eerie melody turned into faint humming that came from a couple streets over.
Deciding to go there, Ilea suddenly stopped in her tracks, realizing that the two men were in the process of killing each other. They were attacking with reckless abandon and no regard for their own safety as each one’s weapon found the other’s flesh. The humming stopped as both of them fell to the icy ground, their blood painting the cobblestone a tinge of red.
Ilea blinked towards where the sound had come from and saw a woman running away. Smiling, she followed. Turning a corner though there was nothing. No smell or prints in the snow. Walking back to the scene of violence, the girl had already ran away as well. Saved by strange magic.
“What was that magic?” she asked as she put her hand to her chin, looking at the two bodies, soon to be found and buried.
“Mind magic to be sure...though very subtle...I thought I had lost you there for a second.” Aki said. Ilea grunted and left the scene. Deciding that she’d want to use her new bed again after all. One of them at least.
Waking up after a glorious full eight hours, Ilea blinked at the light coming in from the windows. The curtains moved a little as she turned around in her bed. ‘Warm...’ she thought and tried to get out of the blanket unsuccessfully. With a stroke of brilliance the blanket vanished into her necklace. “Better...” she said and enjoyed the light breeze coming in from the windows.
Outside music was playing and she could hear people bartering and laughing. “Wait...” she suddenly said, her eyes opening again “...where’s the wind coming from?” she stretched on her bed and blinked right onto the toilet.
Her business done, she walked out, summoned Aki and threw him into the wall. She had decided not to have him anywhere steal-able. Of course she still had her necklace but one had to actually touch her to remove it and Ilea felt safe enough with that. With all her skills, she had woken up from much less.
Summoning her leather armor, she checked herself in the mirror. Her hair was a mess and she didn’t even own a brush. ‘Wait no I do...’ she thought and went back into the bathroom. There was an assortment of tools there, two of them being brushes. She sat down on the bed and started working, with her pain perception disabled of course.
Half an hour later she put the brush into her necklace and got up to get Aki. “Let’s go get some food, I’m starving.” she said and twirled around the blade.
“Why do I not believe you?” the dagger asked while he was being sheathed.
“Because your character is shaped by my being?” Ilea more stated than asked and got a grunt in response. She smiled as she exited the building and walked upwards towards some of the food stands. They were selling all sorts of meat dishes, curry and even kebab. Quite the range of goods in a small square like that.
Though sadly none of that was eligible for breakfast, or so at least Ilea thought. One of the merchants sold something that looked similar to donuts though and Ilea decided that would do. Or five of them would do. ‘How did I not get fat in my last life? I mean one or two are ok but five...for breakfast. Am I a hobbit?’ she thought and then remembered that her funds were a bit too limited to eat five donuts every morning. Not anymore though and with her newfound stats and skills that turned her body into something superhuman, a couple baked goods more here and there didn’t really make a difference.
‘Let’s not forget all the fighting...’ she thought and walked up towards the main hall. It was still a little early but she didn’t want to go into one of the bars, for the same reason really. The hall was just as empty as it had been the day before, one or two people would occasionally walk through but the bulk of the members were either somewhere else or in the small city.
Ilea walked up to the reception where again a new guy was sitting. He had a lower level than the one from yesterday though. “Hey, two questions.” she said and rested her hands on the desk. The man just motioned for her to continue, helping out members and orienting new ones was his job after all.
“What’s the city called where members stay? And where can I find information on available classes?” she asked.
The man scratched his stubbly beard and mumbled his response. “The city has different names I think. Most refer to it as Viscera. You can find the list of available classes at the bottom of the town, near the elevators.”
“Viscera? As in guts?” Ilea asked and the man just grinned and nodded. “Thanks, gonna check it out.” she said and he waved her away.
‘Viscera huh...seems a little too peaceful for that but hey what do I know?’ she thought as she walked back into the town and down towards the bottom. It was getting close to noon so she couldn’t lose too much time. The classes could also wait until later but she was curious.
‘Hmm, that’s a lot...’ she thought, standing in front of the stone that listed all the available classes and further information. ‘How do they update carvings?...oh yes, magic...’
- Alchemy I
- Alchemy II
- Alchemy III
- Astronomy I
- Astronomy II
- Algebra I
Ilea read through the list and found nearly everything she could think of on there. She had thought the classes would be more focused on fighting but then again something like the knowledge of stars or geometry might actually come in handy for some specialized classes. What if your power comes from the stars and their alignment, Ilea was sure something like that existed.
And William had mentioned that one could pay for classes with too few attending people so a lot of them likely had one or two pupils. ‘Why even have all that...’ she thought as she listened in on the conversation the two women next to her were having. Apparently they weren’t paid members and had to choose at least three classes in addition to the mandatory ones.
‘The privileged rich...though I don’t think mandatory education is a bad thing at all...’ she thought and made her way up to the main hall again, different ideas for learning in her head.
Adam held his hands to his face, stopping his trembling hands. The paper in front of him was grabbed and crumpled up. Tossed to the dogs as thousands before it. He sighed and opened the bottle of strong alcohol on his desk. Holding the cork in his hand he looked straight ahead and put it down into the bottle again.
The dogs were still munching on the paper when a knock could be heard from the door. Adam waited for the dog to stop chewing before he made both of them vanish, back to the realm of beasts. Getting up he summoned his coat and his intricately designed notebook. He flipped through it as he approached the door of his office. The maroon wood under his boots grated a little as his finger came to a stop.
‘Ah yes, new initiate. Fifth one this month.’ he thought as the book vanished again and he opened the door.
“Elder Strand. The initiate is ready.” the woman bowed. She worked hard, level 130. It would take a while for her to reduce her debt to zero and reach the required level to become a member but Adam was sure she could do it. A brilliant mage with marvelous classes. He smiled at the woman genuinely and nodded.
“I’m on my way.” he said simply and walked down the stairs.
‘This is the third one that I supervise this month...’ his teeth ground together at the thought and the lost time in his work.
The man reached his destination fifteen minutes later as he descended one of the elevators at the end of Viscera. A tasteless name for something beautiful and old. He walked out and into the big corridor that held around a dozen big doors to the left. Choosing the third one, he opened it and entered.
William was there, as he always was. ‘The man will become elder as soon as one of us bites the dust...’ he grinned and saw the man nod towards him, likely grateful that at least one of the elders was on time and took his duty somewhat seriously. Though he couldn’t fault most of the others. They did more for the guild than he ever did. Focusing on the task at hand he joined the others.
Sidney was there as well and completed the requirement for three higher members of the guild being there for the evaluation. ‘A good combination too, she’s gonna be pushed to the limit...’ he looked at the initiate, she was wearing leather armor, had black hair and blue eyes.
Her slight grin told him that she was a little too cocky, not ready for the guild but when he looked into her eyes he knew there was more. ‘She’s a veteran alright...though a young one at that.’ he thought, saddened as he was many times before at the requirements of becoming strong.
‘She could’ve lived a happy life on some farm...’ he thought but shook his head. The farm wouldn’t be if it weren’t for them and others who were prepared to fight. He wouldn’t stand in her way.
“So let me start then. I’m Elder Strand. Please quickly explain your classes, abilities and where you would see yourself in a team of adventurers.” he said and stepped up to the others. “Explain as freely as you can. Everything we learn here will stay here and is only used to evaluate an appropriate team for you to join.”
He could see that she didn’t trust that completely but still she started explaining. “I’m mostly hand to hand. I can attack by pushing destructive mana into an enemy I hit. I can take quite some damage as well and I can heal. Both myself and others, though it’s apparently much weaker than a dedicated healer.” she finished and looked at them.
“A healer...that’s a quite rare and valuable ability to have at this level. Well let’s test the extent of your abilities then.” Adam said. “We’ll start with damage sustain…please stand a bit further away. William here will attack you with increasingly powerful ice and water magic. Tell us as soon as you lose more than thirty percent of your health.” he explained and motioned for William to start.
Of course a tank did have specific elements or weapons he was especially strong against but they also had to be ready for any kind of attack. Today it was ice and water, mostly piercing types of attacks.
“I just bought this leather armor...” the woman said, obviously a little attached to the clothing. Sidney motioned to a corner of the room where some chests were sitting.
“You have some things in there. Please just take clothes, armor doesn’t come into account here.” Sidney explained. The initiate nodded and went to change. William summoned a wall of ice that would obstruct their view of her. Unnecessary Adam though, though he didn’t comment on it.
The girl was quick and went to the middle of the room, dressed in some very basic clothing. “Let’s start then.” William said. With that a number of blue runes appeared on the woman’s body, followed by red firey lines. Her eyes seemed to become even brighter as a shroud of ash came into existence around her.
‘Ash Wielder...impressive.’ Adam thought though he did not know the other class of the girl. ‘I believe the 2nd stage of that defensive spell can be rather impressive...’ he thought as the first ice attacks didn’t even make the woman move.
Bigger and bigger blocks of ice hit the initiate but she simply shrugged it off. The blocks turned into spikes and then lances. Finally a massive lance managed to pierce through the shroud and impaled itself into the girl’s chest. Not far though and she simply ripped it out again, the wound closing before their eyes.
William stopped for a second and blinked but Adam was smiling. “Continue, she hasn’t lost thirty percent.” he said to the ice mage.
The man nodded and summoned more ice lances, first bigger and then more numerous. They continued to pierce but the woman just shrugged at the wounds. Her clothing was torn to shreds as time went on and more and more lances attacked her.
“That was thirty...I’m back to eighty percent...and full again but that was thirty in between.” the woman said.
“That certainly qualifies as a tank role. I’ve seen tougher at your level but combined with the healing you’re certainly up there. And I have the feeling you’re more mobile. Try again but this time you’re allowed to dodge.” Adam said and the woman nodded. He didn’t miss the slight smirk on her face.
‘Show me something...’ Adam thought. William started where he left off and the woman went into motion. Even Adam was surprised at her speed, something that could possibly rival even Verena, were she at her level. ‘Body Enhancers...and with that defense as well...’ he thought and watched as the stone hall was destroyed by ice. Not a single lance managed to hit the woman, she dodged them in the last moment with minimal movements.
‘And efficient too...’ Adam thought and motioned for them to stop. He didn’t feel like having William run out of mana here. An embarrassing sight that would be, though it would be an interesting battle if he had seriously tried.
“You’ve been fighting alone haven’t you?” Adam asked. The woman didn’t respond but he was sure. Rarely did body enhancers turn into such balanced fighters when they were in a team. Though he didn’t know about her destructive capabilities yet.
“Next up technique. Sidney. If you will.” he said.
“With pleasure.” the woman said and smiled as she grabbed two wooden swords but hesitated. The wooden ones were replaced by dull steel swords.
“Just try to dodge and attack without skills….to be sure can you hit the ground for me first?” Sidney asked, twirling around her swords.