Chapter 302 Testing
Ilea was woken up by light shining through the missing window of her apartment in Tremor. Sadly no birds were chirping and no busy city life could be heard outside. No distractions. Her dreams had been filled with undead and soul rippers, horrible monsters straight out of a fantasy novel, game or film. Not beasts she would want to fight, monsters instead that she would avoid, run from. It took her a couple minutes to shake the feel, turning in her bed to face away from the sunlight as she grumbled.
They were monsters that existed, horrors she had faced, had fought, with her own body, her own fists and skills. She was in a dungeon now, sleeping in the bed she had brought with her storage necklace. And I evolved my classes yesterday. Her eyes opened a little wider as she looked at the hand before her. She hadn’t slept as long as she had intended, instead woken when the suns reached into the mountain, into the place she had claimed. A ruin once owned by a noble.
Sitting up, Ilea realized she wasn’t hungry. Of course she wasn’t. Most of her eating since reaching the two hundreds had been done because she liked it, not because her body needed it. Blinking outside, she relieved herself onto the royal gardens. At least that’s what she thought they were. No officers around to stop her, only the king still stuck in his palace. Maybe some new silver plants will grow at least. Pants appearing again, Ilea yawned and stretched, black hair flowing in the wind.
Maybe not using armor all the time isn’t so bad. She thought, feeling the sun on her skin for the first time in a while. A smile blossomed on her face before she realized the math assignment she had due. Not the worst place to do some work. She thought, spreading her black wings that took her onto the roof of her home in Tremor with two beats.
Sitting down on the edge of the flat roof, Ilea summoned her notebook and continued where she had left off, steel pen in hand. The first thing she noted was the additional 100% increase for Body Enhancements her second class provided after the fact. What she had looked at yesterday had been only the bonuses from The Azarinth Sentinel and the previous ashen class Inheritor of Eternal Ash. I wonder what it means now that it’s not eternal anymore but only ash. The bonuses spoke for themselves, the thought quickly shelved.
Absolute Destruction possible mana used increased from 20 to 100. Healing skill, meaning an increase by 100%? Also chargeable.
Hunter Recovery to Sentinel Reconstruction, something with critical damage calculation and the 100% increase from the class.
State of Azarinth to Azarinth Awakening. All bonuses increased from around 300% to 525%. Intelligence boost added at 525%.
Hunter Sphere to Sentinel Sphere, removed bonuses to senses and secret discovery. Added mana sight.
Body of Azarinth to Sentinel Core, 350% resilience, magic resistance from 50% to 225%. Natural health regen from 140% to 1080%.
Azarinth Fighting, damage bonus of 487.5% increased to 682.5%.
Hunter’s Sight to Sentinel Huntress, gauge people’s distress. Usefulness?
Veil to Armor, Resilience from 402.5% to 1000%. Body Resilience +1000%, same bonus? Doesn’t apply to Armor itself?
Form of ash and ember to Aspect of Ash, bonuses increased from 287.5% to 402%. Intelligence bonus added at 402% :).
Ash Creation to True Ash Creation, no clue. Possible demonic or religions thing? Don’t become ash demon.
Embered Body Heat to Heart of Cinders, area attack? Usefulness?
Wave of Ember to Storm of Cinders, ash magic bonus from 0% to 100%. External attack possibility? Compare to mana intrusion. Test subjects: Terok? Goldie? Maro?
Ash and Ember manipulation to Ash and Ember Unity, test density. Passive bonuses? Damage bonuses apply? Test projectiles.
Eyes of ash, bonus to perception without weapon from 250% to 400%.
Body of Ash to Avatar of Ash, reflexes and speed 250% to 400%. Toughness for Resistance skills. 1st tier 11, no 12. Equals 60%. 2nd tier 16 equals 160% - 220% toughness. Same as resilience?
Warrior of Ash to Keeper of Ash, damage increase from 350% to 500.5%. Weight and density times two to increase speed/strength? Wouldn’t I be slower? Test on. Terok.
Ilea sat the pen down for a while, reading through the bonuses again. A ton for sure but reading it a second time made it less overwhelming than she had felt yesterday. She culminated the bonuses that were more graspable on the next page.
Stat increases, Vit +15, Str +10, Dex +15, Int +20, Wis +5. 13 levels worth.
Healing, should be x2
Resilience bonuses, old – ca 1012.5% - new ca 3507%
Speed bonuses, old – ca 837.5% – new ca 1327.5%
Strength bonuses, old – ca 587.5 – new ca 927%
Int bonuses, old – zero – new ca 927%
Dex bonuses, old 287.5% - new 402%
Magic Resilience old 50%, new 225%
Damage bonuses, old ca 845 – new 1183%
Weight and density of body, x2.
“So three point five times more durable. Fifty percent faster and stronger, maybe faster due to the Dex bonus. Biggest one for sure is the intelligence bonus. Should be ten times the damage now for my magic attacks.” Ilea said out loud, “Plus all the utility changes coming with several skills.”
Standing up, she put her notebook away. Three hundred health were sacrificed to activate her third tier State, no Azarinth Awakening aura. First thing she noticed was that the runes starting to glow on her were blue again. Welcome back.
Testing her healing, she found her health was back at the maximum after two seconds only. So it did really double it. And now it’s the same if I heal others? She assumed as much, the mention of herself healing more quickly had been removed after all. Ilea watched it all through her sphere, noticing the blue wisps around her intensify as soon as her third tier had activated.
Her second aura, aspect of ash activated, the lines on her body a deeper red now. Less fiery and flamboyant but she could see them through her sphere, like bright lines of cinder cracking through her skin. Even though her body was supposedly twice as dense and heavy, she felt lighter on her toes. Shadow boxing on the roof made her chuckle, her fists reaching their intended destination far more quickly than before. At least it felt that way. Her perception had changed too after all.
The thing Ilea was most interested in was her Veil, now Armor of Ash. Activating the skill, she instantly felt it. Not like before where the ash moved on its own and layered itself onto her skin or worn armor. Now she felt as if she had a say in the form it took. Thinking of her armor mold, she tried recreating it and found the ash moving to her will. A solid dark gray, nearly black layer of ash resembling her Rose Hunter set formed on her quickly. The clothes she was wearing ignored, the shroud of ash was completed.
Ilea looked at her arms and grinned. Not a piece missing. Tendrils of ash writhed around the solid armor, giving it an ethereal touch. She could increase the effect if she wished, Ilea noticed. The grim fucking reaper. She thought, looking at herself through her sphere, ash moving around her slowly, the single piece armor looking solid as steel. Moving in it wasn’t an issue either, the joints simply adjusting. Likely less durable during movements. Still better than real armor with actual pieces.
Her eight limbs of ash came to life behind her, the tips sharpening before she carefully cut into the stone of the roof. Like fucking steel. Moving to her armor instead, she tried to pierce it with the limbs but found it hard to penetrate even a millimeter. Moment of truth. Deactivating her armor, she watched in fascination as it disintegrated quickly, similar to her wings. Putting on a Rose Hunter set, she again tried cutting into it. Feeling the in her arm a moment later, she realized it had already penetrated.
Through Stonehammer steel. She noted, activating her armor again. This time she couldn’t form it to her wishes, the ash simply layering over her steel armor instead. Again trying to cut into it, she found it harder. Still, after a couple seconds of applying pressure, she cut through the ash and immediately through the steel. So until I find something substantially better, I’ll stick with clothes or light armor. Speaking of which.
Ilea put on someHand leather armor, one of the two remaining sets she had. Again, she activated her ashen armor and found herself once again able to manipulate its looks freely. Alright so now it’s not about good steel but the best skins I can find. Got it.
The armor was kept up, not costing more to maintain than it had before. The good thing about her Veil already was that the higher its level, the less mana it cost to maintain. The same was true for her evolved skill, only slightly reducing her regeneration.
The ashen limbs behind her swayed slightly but otherwise Ilea didn’t feel anything massively different about them. Creating some ash in front of her, she formed a sphere, adding more and more as she squeezed it together with her magic. More and more mana was transformed into pure ash, the sphere already looking solid. She heard a crunch, then another as she still added ash. When she finally couldn’t make it any more dense, she let it float into her hand. A solid black orb. “Doesn’t look like ash to me.”
Swirling it around herself, she let if fall into her hand again. I have no idea how heavy this is. Ilea barely felt the weight but when she let it fall, it didn’t even bounce, a rather solid thump resounding. Jumping down from the building, she let the ball float next to her, the thing only around five centimeters in diameter. Using all the magical power she could put into it, she slammed the thing into the ground.
Rock flew past her and a cloud of dust formed in front of her, her sphere letting her know the thing had penetrated several meters into the stone floor. “Damn. Ok that’s pretty fucking cool.” This time she formed a lance, again adding as much ash towards it until she couldn’t make it any denser without making it too big. One meter fifty with around two centimeters diameter. Fly.
Fly it did, aimed at the house next to her own, the spear crashed through the wall, the wall opposite that and continued onward. Ilea spread her wings and flew up, just barely seeing the thing vanish into the void after penetrating three houses. Okay, viable ranged weapon. Acquired. Creating two more spears, Ilea wondered if throwing them would be better. Turns out, maybe. If she had a throwing skill that was. Her magic allowed for a straight shot while her throw managed to penetrate the first wall but crashed sideways into the next one.
Just let me throw things please. Ilea again added a throwing ability to her training list. “Wait… my body is twice as dense and heavy. The ash around me is my body? Gaining the bonuses from Passive skills.” She smiled, That’s why they’re so fucking destructive. Ilea looked at her arm as she walked to the already half destroyed house. Wave of Ember, Storm of Cinders. She hit the wall with her fist, using the evolved skill but not as it had been used before.
Embers, magic and fire shot out of her fist when she impacted the wall, breaking through the portion she had hit. Looks more like a wave of embers than it had before. She noted. Her sphere had made the hit look even more spectacular, a large amount of mana surging into the air creating an explosion of heat in the process.
“Heat.” She noted, blinking onto the house and activating her newfound Heart of Cinder. Her body immediately grew hotter, as if a fire was lit within her. More and more, she added, wisps of flame forming on her ashen armor, embers floating away. Ten seconds later, the floor was getting scorched, another ten seconds and she started to lose health, her body itself burning up from within. Ilea smirked and counter healed. Soon her health began sinking again, her sphere turned off as the brightness she was giving off nearly blinded her.
When her health was down a thousand points, Ilea released the stored up heat in a blast around her. Fire erupted and when she blinked her eyes, eighty percent of the house had vanished, turned to ash. Even the ground she was standing on had sunken down several meters. Granted it was normal stone but Ilea doubted anyone she had met so far could create something like this. Viper maybe. Claire with her explosions, possibly. I didn’t just blast it away though. Ilea noted, the very stone reduced to ash. The roof, now unsupported and partially removed collapsed, the parts still remaining at least.
Bricks fell down, some landing on Ilea, bouncing off her armor and landing on the ground. Yea I’m going to keep this one. She hadn’t gotten any options for new skills anyway but more might come up. Now she was interested in the third tier of this one in particular. Ilea tested again, creating heat for one second, then ten and then as much as she could until her health started going down. One second created a shock wave of heat around her, likely nothing major against a powerful enemy but possible enough to push away lower leveled creatures.
The ten second one was already a fiery sphere, expanding quickly and burning up everything in its path. Probably still more powerful than anything I could produce before the evolutions. The blast when going as far as losing health was substantial. Ilea had a hard time grasping the power of it all against stone alone. I should be able to level my heat resistance like this. Considering her constitution and healing, the blast was likely much stronger than most similar spells could produce. Others might have a way to simply push in more mana but for her it was a matter of resisting the heat, keeping the skill active for longer didn’t cost exponentially more mana. Just the same rate for longer.
“Better than heat camouflage… I’m going to die against a dragon because of this change, right?” Ilea was getting used to the changes now, feeling just as comfortable as before. Having no use for her armor anymore, she quickly blinked into her own house and left the remaining sets there, both damaged and whole. She hesitated for a moment. Should I keep one? Ilea wracked her brain but found no good reasons to keep it. Should her mana grow low enough for her ashen armor to disappear, she wouldn’t have the mana to summon the steel one either. Should her ash armor be pierced, the 1000% increase to her body’s durability was still stronger than what the steel could provide.
Going to talk to Goliath about light armor then. His creation certainly doesn’t count as that. The armor was left behind, to be found by whomever would discover and search through this dungeon. Blinking to her room, Ilea stored her bed, one of her most prized possessions. Looking out the window, she was happy to see her neighbors apparently planned to renovate. Blinking out, her wings spread before she made her way down towards the part of the upper city that hadn’t been cleared yet. She doubted the elves and Terok were already done.
It didn’t take her long to find a patrolling knight.
[Knight of the Rose – lvl 305]
“Hey what a coincidence.” She said, smiling under her ashen armor. There was actually space left out between the ash and her mouth, making it quite comfortable both to have it active but also to talk. Nearly as much as the armor her mold had produced, though she assumed the ashen one being less comfortable had to do with the leather armor she wore below the ash. Fighting naked would probable be the nicest. As careless as she was, Ilea wanted to at least have some clothes on should her corpse be found by some adventurer.
The knight, shield held to the side rushed at her and brought his sword down. The blows had been enough to dent her Stonehammer steel armor, as well as her Niameer one. Enough to cut into her, easily breaking through her Veil when she had been fifty levels lower. She simply watched as the weapon neared, trusting in her third tier Azarinth Fighting.
She smirked when the steel smashed into her armored shoulder with a dull sound. Nothing. Ilea noted, feeling the ash on her and how it pushed against the knight’s weapon. The attack damaged her about as much as her own ashen limbs had. That was, not at all. “Oh, Mr. knight. How the turn tables.” She grabbed the sword before he could react, dragging him towards her. Absolute Destruction. Ilea’s fist rushed out, smashing into the knight’s chest with a resounding bang as bits of blue smoke and wisps rushed out from the impact, steel caving in from the sheer force of it.
She had used the full 100 mana. Keeping her hand on the blade, Ilea watched in awe as the knight stumbled back. A moment later he slumped to the ground, all strings cut. Overdid it a bit hmm? As much of a boost her Destruction had gotten, Ilea didn’t expect to kill an undead knight with a single hit. Maybe he was damaged… no wait they regenerate. I guess having an Intelligence boost of nearly a thousand percent will do that, coupled with all of the other stuff. Looking at the sword in her hand, she dropped it. “I don’t need this.”
‘ding’ ‘You have defeated [Knight of the Rose – lvl 305] – Bonus experience is granted’
For that? Well I won’t say no. Considering what Maro had talked about, she’d need quite a bit more to level at this stage. Undead knights perhaps, the real deal this time. Ilea thought and spread her wings. “Got a head to get back.”