The girl in front of Ian had just stepped forwards and placed her hand on the Stone of Selection. The stone glowed dimly, and she let out a small gasp as her status screen appeared for the first time. The mage hushed her away as soon as her class was confirmed. Tailor, it seemed, as she happily returned to her parents who ran the clothing shop in town.
It was Ian’s turn.
Nervously gulping, Ian stepped forwards and placed his right hand on the stone. The tension made him want to throw up. This was his moment, the beginning of his journey to greater things. Ian shut his eyes in anticipation. He could feel the stone grow hot, slowly at first and then almost unbearably so. But Ian refused to take his hand off. This little pain was nothing to the future hero Ian. Please don't be farmer, please don't be farmer, please don't be farmer...
So focused was Ian, that he didn’t hear the mage’s first announcement. It took the mage snapping his fingers in front of Ian’s face to break him out of his trance.
“Farmer. Tier one. Now move on, I haven’t got all day!”
Ian stared dumbly. “Sorry?”
“Farmer. You heard me. Now move!”
Ian quickly checked his status.
|Manual Labor (PASSIVE)||1|
|Magical Gardening (PASSIVE)||1|
Magical Botanist? Ian had never heard about this class before. His stats were all off - farmers never started off with higher INT and WIS than STR. And not only were his skills unheard of as well, but having five skills to start with was impossible for a Tier 1 class. His siblings had both received two skills each, and were considered to be on the luckier side. Something was wrong.
"Excuse me, I think something is wrong. My status says that my class is Magical Botanist, not farmer."
The mage scoffed. "The Stone is never wrong kid. Stop holding up the line and get back to your farm, there's no such thing as a Magical Botanist class."
"But that's what my status says! I also have five skills, and that's impossible for a farmer!"
At this, a murmur spread through the crowd of townspeople who had come to spectate. Could Ian be telling the truth? If he was, than his class would be at least be as strong as a Tier 3 class. There was no way for anybody to confirm - statuses could only be seen by the individual. Suddenly, a malicious voice rang out of the crowd.
"Get 'im out! Kid’s been trying to become a hero since he's been a kid. He just can't accept that he'll be stuck with us common-folk for his whole life!"
Ian looked at the voice. It came from Old Pete, an experienced farmer whose farm was on the other side of the town. Pete never seemed to like Ian's family, still bitter over a dispute with Ian's Grandfather many, many years ago. After his remark, the murmuring in the crowd intensified. People started yelling at Ian to get out of the way, immediately falling in line with the crowd's general perception.
"Sorry boy, but ya gotta let go of the stone. I've got places to be" the mage half apologized, half scowled.
Ian let go of the stone and shuffled away. Seeing the dirty glares that everybody was giving him, he shamefully broke through the crowd and headed in the direction of his farm. Disappointment weighed heavily on his heart - why did he ever imagine that he'd be any different than the rest of his family?
If Ian hadn't turned around so quickly, he would've witnessed an interesting sight. As the next boy in line came up and touched the Stone, he let out a yelp of pain and quickly retracted his hand - it seemed like he had been burnt. The mage quickly inspected the Stone and found that it was overheating like he’d never seen before. Why had this occurred? The Stone never overheated unless the user had at least a Tier 4 class, and even then it never got this hot. The mage concluded that something was malfunctioning with the Stone and quickly cast a basic water spell to cool it down. He never even considered that the class he interpreted for Ian was wrong, because Ian's class was too much for the second-rate Stone to handle. That was just outrageous.
Damn backwater town, the mage thought to himself. Can’t even provide a functioning Stone. I’ve got to get an apprentice who can come do this instead.
Ian quickly left the town, and along it the mage and townspeople’s minds. The Selection finished as quietly as it had started, and the mage gladly returned to his city eager to continue his research. Unfortunately for him (and Ian), he was blissfully unaware that he had just missed the discovery of a lifetime.
Ian walked home, still slightly in shock. All his fantasies of heroism and adventure were shattered - he'd be working on a farm for the rest of his life. Ian suddenly remembered that he still hadn't checked his skills. The manual labor and farming skills he was already aware of, since they were the most common skills available to farmers. Manual labor made physical work less exhausting and more efficient, while farming helped to slightly increase crop yields. As for the other skills, Ian had no idea. Ian pulled up his status window and clicked on his skills.
Magical Botany (Lvl 1 0%)
The trademark skill of a magical botanist. Regular and mystical plants fall within your understanding and thrive beneath your care. With enough understanding, your mana can be used to both create and enhance magical plants. Rare magical plants will grant you great rewards.
Ian was shocked speechless. Magical plants? Such plants had never existed before, at least to the extent of Ian's knowledge. Ian quickly inspected his other two skills.
Magical Gardening (PASSIVE) (Lvl 1 0%)
Gardening differs greatly from the mass crops of farming. Individually taking care of magical plants will increase their effectiveness and quicken growth. Increases chance of plant evolution and increased rarity.
Magical Crossbreeding (Lvl 1 0%)
Rare strains of magical plants can be produced through crossbreeding plants with this skill. Increases chance of successful crossbreeding. Increases chance of obtaining additional attributes in resulting breeds.
Ian carefully double read, and then triple read the descriptions. Based on the skills, Ian was some sort of magical plant farmer class? No wonder his INT and WIS were so high. Ian wanted to go back to town and curse the mage out, but he knew that he had probably already left. The rest of the townspeople would be skeptical of his claims too. His anger was quickly replaced with excitement when he realized what his class meant. Magic! Sure, not the type of magic that he had dreamt of as a kid, but magic no less. Ian had no clue how strong his skills would be, no idea how to use his class, and no idea of how to start.
Well, at least I'm not a farmer, Ian thought. Time to get back and try this stuff out.