Chapter 444 Busy Schedule

Ilea said her goodbyes for now, no further requests coming from the group of teachers. She thought about visiting Iana but decided to wait another day with that.

There had been a lot of talking, a lot of new people. The way they looked at her freaked her out a little. Near reverence. Lilith had a name, apparently not just here in Ravenhall but farther out as well.

She tried to come off as casual as she could but the demonstrations were a little too effective. At least they all want to stay and most might actually continue with the resistance training.

Back in some casual clothes and leather armor, Ilea went back into the city. She was looking forward to the wilderness but a couple short stops were still necessary.

People don’t know my face, she thought, walking towards the second circle. Ravenhall had the benefit of the Shadow’s Hand, making high level adventurers something most people barely looked at twice.

The Shadowguards assumed it was her, black hair and a high level healer tag probably rare enough in these parts. That however was a good thing too, meaning the controls were quick and simple. She just hoped the guards were as respectful to everyone else as well. So far there was no reason to believe otherwise.

No beggars in the streets, she noted. Neither in the first ring nor the others.

She quickly made her way to Claire’s office, blinking into the building after signaling to the guard.

“Come in,” the woman said. She was sitting on her desk, as she generally did. Working on the unending administrative workload from the city and the Hand.

“Do you ever tire?” Ilea asked as she stepped into the room.

Cless wasn’t there today but her little art station remained, taking over a third of the room.

“I doubt you sleep much either, with your progress,” Claire said and summoned a piece of paper. “Here is the list of general skills you could learn. I added small notes with my opinions.”

Ilea nodded. “Thanks Claire. I appreciate the work.”

“Of course you do. Here’s a map with known dungeons in the surrounding regions. Many are controlled by governments, the regional adventurer guild or other groups. Our info there isn’t up to date but I’m sure you’ll figure something out once you’re there. Be it sneaking past or paying a small tribute,” she explained and summoned another sheet onto the table.

A hand drawn map with various marked locations.

“That will be useful,” Ilea said. “I don’t think going back into the Descent already would be the best idea.”

“I agree. Hence the map. I’m sure even you will find something suitable to train against. The ones marked with a skull, artist’s choice, are the ones generally avoided even by higher level teams,” Claire said.

Ilea nodded and looked through the list of general skills.

Alchemy (If you are interested. Mostly expensive to learn)
Astronomy (Requires quite extensive knowledge)
Baking (I’d go for it)
Brewing (If you’re interested)
Calligraphy (Should be possible to pick up fairly quickly with your Dexterity)
Carpentry (Might be good)
Cartography (There are shops owned by you that could offer training in this – might take a month)
Cooking (ask Keyla – good idea, might take a week or two to learn)
Dancing (I could teach you)
Enchanting (Iana is busy and it’s not your forte. I’d leave this one)
Engineering (Complex topics, if you’re interested)
Farming (Not so much, would take months to learn)
Fishing (If you enjoy it – others probably more efficient)
Herbalism (Extensive knowledge necessary – don’t if you have any related skills in your Class)
Instruments (Take long to learn)
Jewelry Making (Has potential)
Languages (Too much effort)
Leatherworking/Tailoring (Plenty of shops. You’re probably too strong, not recommended)
Mining (Definitely, should be simple enough for you. Grab a pickaxe and go to town)
Painting (Cless would surely offer – might take longer)
Pottery (An option but difficult)
Resistances (Explore the dungeons, some new things might pop up – I will keep looking)
Singing (Not sure)
Smithing (Good idea, would take a while but you might be able to do small repairs)
Survival (Probably impossible for you with your regeneration, I’d let it be)
Tracking (With your perception, might be worth the trouble. Not if you have a skill like that already)
Trapping (Would need to travel with someone)
Weapon skills (You learned about archery. Keep on that. Anything else you need, let me know)

“That’s a lot of stuff,” she said.

“I just listed some common ones. You can get a general skill for many things if you just dedicate enough time and effort towards learning it. Some on the list should be rather easy for you to get, others only make sense if you’re interested,” Claire said.

“I’d like to learn how to use a war hammer. If you could find me a teacher. During my mornings sometime in between or just in the arena as well. I’ll take you up on the dancing offer. Any of the dungeons on the map a former mine?” Ilea said.

“Mines often turn into dungeons. I’m sure you’ll find some of them on there,” Claire replied.

“That’s good to know. The main thing I get from this skill list is that most everything can be a skill,” Ilea said.

“That was part of the intention. Also to give some helpful starters. Any random skills you would have picked up by fighting monsters, you would have already picked up by now,” Claire said.

“Weird that I don’t have Cartography. I did map out some dungeons,” she said.

“Takes more than some. Especially as a general skill. If you have it as a class, it would be easier to level,” Claire explained. “Same reason why you shouldn’t try to get anything you have already covered by any of your class skills. Any experience will just flow into them instead.”

“Class skills are the priority. Anything else I can pick up or level is just the cherry on top,” Ilea said. “So, when are we having those dancing lessons?” she asked with a smile, pocketing the two pieces of paper.

“I have plenty left to do. Maybe tomorrow?” Claire suggested.

“Sure. I’ll visit after I’m done with the Sentinels,” she said.

“How did it go, by the way?” Claire asked.

Ilea talked about the experience but kept it short, both of them eager to get on with their tasks.

Task of getting the hell out of this city, she thought and made her way over to the Golden Drake. At the very least saying hello after arriving back in Ravenhall was mandatory. And checking in on her supplier. To make sure that she was safe.

Ilea left the city half an hour later, checking her map as she exited through the northern gate.

“Ma’am, are you sure you want to leave alone at night?” a guard asked, clutching his spear tightly.

[Warrior – lvl 84]

Ilea smiled. “I think I’ll be fine.”

There were a couple dungeons nearby but Claire had scratched them through. Either because the magic types used by the creatures within were common amongst humans or because the level was too low to even consider.

The latter wasn’t necessarily a valid concern with Avatar of Ash. Ilea still decided to go a little farther north, spreading her wings before she ascended.

One of the dungeons close to the imperial plains was specifically marked. It also had the little skull indicating that there were unknowns present or the nearby population and adventurers actively avoided the place.

Ilea charged her wings and sped up and over the mountains, realizing quickly that the landscape here wasn’t as vast and expansive as that in the north. She slowed down again and descended, already past the mountain chain within which Ravenhall and Morhill lay.

The sky was rather clear, only a few clouds visible. Ilea took a deep breath as she looked at the mountains. The terrain changed rather quickly, from the plains showing low hills to the steep mountainous incline that soon reached dangerous heights and cliffs.

She took a moment to appreciate her wings once more. Even with her running speed, the geography itself would get in the way, not that she came close to her charged wings.

I should probably get the third tier, might bring an increase to my wings as well, she thought. There were a couple options remaining and now that she hadn’t gotten much more suitable skill options from Claire, she played with the idea of advancing a bunch of resistances that would have otherwise been a secondary concern.

Definitely want Monster Hunter and Veteran, doubt I could get any of the others to the end of the second tier in a feasible amount of time. Void and Blood is a must too, leaving me with currently just one third tier skill point.

She checked her map and started flying in the direction she thought the dungeon was located at.

Half a minute later, she looked through her third tier options in her general skills. It would likely take a while for her to find the place in the darkness.

General skills available for third tier advancement:’

- Blood Manipulation Resistance

You have faced both the carefully crafted Corruption of the Descent as well as the might of a Starved Vampire. Neither has fazed you, proving that your body is ready to advance Blood Manipulation Resistance to the third tier.

- Corrosion Resistance

You have literally bathed in acid, have chosen to slather yourself in corrosive substances instead of trying to avoid them. It is quite frankly, concerning. Your body has melted and regenerated so many times it might even be second nature by now. Should you wish to advance your Corrosion Resistance to the third tier, you may do so.

- Lava Magic Resistance

You trained with a Trakorov. Why?

- Light Magic Resistance

Not many have witnessed the combined effort of Elder Sun Sprites and even fewer have lived to tell the tale. It is beyond anything the second tier would provide protection against, making you ready for the third tier.

- Sand Magic Resistance

It’s been like a week. Please slow down with these. A Lightning Elemental and a Sand Elemental. I think it is time to accept that you will not learn. Sand Magic Resistance can be increased to the third tier, should you wish to do so. Perhaps this skill will help steer you towards a different fate than a certain Chosen One.

- Wind Resistance

The Storm Griffin is an ancient and proud creature. Your survival is a grave insult and proof enough that you deserve to reach the next tier of Wind Resistance.

Might have been a little spendy with all those points, she thought. Corrosion and Wind sounded like good options as well. Perhaps better than Lightning. The Elemental swayed me, she smiled.

Well, there’s plenty of levels and thus third tier points to gain in the coming weeks and months, starting here.

Ilea had spotted a distant light source thanks to her enhanced eyes and the aerial view. A combination that really started to shine now that she was back outside and not within a dungeon anymore.

Perfect that I’m looking to go into a dungeon once again, she thought and sped up, air rushing by as she lowered her altitude, landing entirely about a hundred meters away from what she could now identify as a building.

It stood three stories high, half carved into the stone adjacent. There were a few other buildings, some similarly placed into the rocky hillside.

A village? Ilea asked herself, unsure if this really qualified. She walked up to the mansion, feeling arcane power emanate from the ground around her.

Runes? She checked through her sphere and quickly found the runed stones lazily strewn in the general vicinity.

Ilea couldn’t discern what they did and decided to move on, rather sure the amount of magic she felt from the stones coupled with the simple design even coming close to Claire’s power. Let alone anything that could trap her.

Shouldn’t underestimate people, she reminded herself, stepping to the dirt road that led past the building. None of the runes changed their behavior. To her perception at least.

She could already hear some people talking, the faint sounds of a piano, likely off key and the clinking of glasses.

Her entrance was met with little reaction, Ilea still dressed in her casual clothes, her ash armor hidden near her neck but under her shirt and leather armor.

“Greetings traveler,” the barkeep said as he approached her from behind the counter.

“Evening. An ale if you would,” she said.

“Coming right up. What brings a healer to Karheim? Here on Orders’ business?” the man asked.

[Mage – lvl 138]

Pretty high level for a barkeeper. Maybe he’s like Walter, just trying to find a quiet place somewhere.

“I’m looking for a dangerous dungeon nearby. Am I in the right place?” she asked. The map had mentioned Karheim, making this very much the right place. It would be interesting to see if the man withheld information.

“Sure is. Plenty of adventurers and miners come by to find their luck in the depths. With your level you should probably be fine if you take a team with you, just don’t go into the cursed hall,” he said and placed a mug down near her.

Ilea grabbed it and drank. “Cursed hall? Sounds interesting.”

“It’s a powerful spell kept in place by the Golems that occupy the dungeon. It isn’t worth it. Many have tried. I’m sure you’ll find a group willing to take in a healer. In case that is what you are looking for?” he said.

She could tell that more than a few people were listening in on their conversation. Many trained warriors and mages, some of them able to make out the words despite the talks and music in the dimly lit room.

He was right, two groups were already discussing about hiring her.

“Not exactly. I just follow the road I presume?” she asked.

“Yes. Do you need a room for the night?” the man said.

“That won’t be necessary. I’ll take the mug though,” she said and summoned a piece of silver, placing it down on the counter as she walked out.

“Ah, ma’am! We th-” one of the mages was standing up, calling out to her.

Ilea appeared outside with her mug in hand and blinked again. I love that the ale is still here, she thought, looking at the swirling liquid in her wooden mug. And he continues the tradition of good fucking beverages in fuck off no man’s land.

Two blinks later, she had crossed the distance to the dungeon entrance. It was closed off by what she assumed to be stone or earth magic. A steel gate was placed in the middle.

There was a small stone structure to the side of the entrance with a window and a door. Someone was sleeping inside. And he has the keys. Probably the usual way to enter the dungeon. And they request a fee as well? she thought, looking through the small dome like structure with her sphere.

She ignored the snoring man and blinked through the entrance, no enchantments placed to prevent the easy entry. I’ll pay some other time, when he’s awake.

ding’ ‘You have entered the Karheim dungeon’

Ilea assumed the dungeon would be more busy during the day. At this time most of the adventurers had gone to the inn, celebrating whatever victory or find they had achieved during their delves.

Most of the patrons had been between level fifty and one hundred. No wonder they were looking for a healer.

Pretty fucked up to leave the gate closed… what if someone is injured and tries to escape? She assumed there was a fee to exit as well.

Ilea decided not to inquire about the dungeon residents. If it was anything that a level fifty adventurer could face, it wasn’t a concern to her. Not underestimating her adversaries was important but there were limits. She had after all killed level two hundred humans with single attacks and that was back before the Descent.

Let alone the level four and five hundred monsters I fought constantly. They’d have to surprised me with some pretty novel stuff to pin me down.

Her ash armor spread and covered her as she walked deeper into the cave system.

The first monsters she encountered seemed more surprised than she was.

[Vicious Bat – lvl 25]

Magic? She asked with her mind magic.

The creatures didn’t react to the thought, some rushing at her while others tried to get away as quickly as possible.

Ilea let them approach to see if they could perhaps provide a resistance.

The bats landed on her and started to nibble on her armor, thoroughly unsuccessful. She didn’t feel any magic coming from them either.

Just bats. Makes me feel kind of bad to just slaughter them. There is no point at all. I would even take away the dangerous adversaries of the other adventurers.

She chuckled at the notion, enhancing the sound with mana.

The bats dropped to the ground, motionless.

Ilea spread her wings and flew past, making sure not to step on any of them. So Monster Hunter works the same on creatures. Good to know.

She found the bats didn’t pursue her anymore after that, showing some sort of primitive instinct. To think they even attacked me in the first place is ludicrous. That’d be like me fighting an Elemental.

Ilea wondered if there was a transported bat from Earth just decimating the local wildlife, becoming the first sentient bat. Manbat.

The way the Fae had explained it, the possibility of other species being transported was pretty likely.

Does a tiger get a tiger class once it comes here? Or can it gain a random class associated with its actions? she thought while walking deeper on her search for magical creatures and perhaps even a dangerous foe, holding her staff of light.


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