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A bit less than a week passed before the letter returned from Brenas. In that time, Ian had managed to evolve two more pea plants to the Lesser Magical Pea species, and his Magic Garden was starting to look a bit less empty. Currently, this was how Ian's status looked.

Status
Name Ian Age 18
Class Magical Botanist
HP 105 MP 131
STR 110 DEX 109
INT 133 WIS 121
Skills
Farming (PASSIVE) 7 (35.3%)
Manual Labor (PASSIVE) 1 (67.4%)
Magical Gardening (PASSIVE) 1 (2.6%)
Magical Botany 2 (83.4%)
Magical Crossbreeding 1
Magical Farm 1 (3.3%)

The two new pea plants had both given Ian the same +2 INT when they had evolved. This was the main reason why Ian had decided to keep evolving pea plants instead of trying different species - INT would be his most important stat in raising his Magical Botany skill's efficiency. WIS would also be useful in increasing his mana recovery, but Ian was unsure if any plants were of the WIS attribute and decided not to take that risk. He could experiment more when he reached the capitol.

Other than Magical Botany, which had increased in experience slightly each time he cast it and jumped with each evolution, Ian's Magical Gardening passive and Magical Farm skills had also grown slightly. Ian saw that his Magical Farm skill gained experience whenever he planted new plants in his Magical Farm. His Magical Gardening skill, however, increased when he applied manure and watered the plants inside his Magical Farm. Ian had figured out that materials related to farming, including tools and supplies, could be brought into his Magical Farm with him, but that the skill was ineffective on unrelated objects. Ian sighed. Hopefully once Magical Farm levelled up he would be able to bring more types of objects in. Ian would need to wait a while to find out - at the rate that it and Magical Gardening were growing, it would be a long time before they levelled up.


It was dinner at Ian’s family farm, and everybody was happily eating after a day of hard, physical labor. The meal was porridge, a staple at their dinner table, pickled vegetables from last season’s harvest, and freshly grilled chicken that Ian’s mother had killed just three hours ago. There was little conversation, mostly because everybody at the table was too focused on the food, yet an amiable atmosphere was present. Suddenly, Ian’s Father stopped eating and spoke.

“Ian, Carson came by earlier while you were working in the other fields. He’d heard back from his son, and he said that they’d be willing to take you on. Now I just need to ask – are you sure that this is what you want to do?”

Ian nodded. He loved his family, but he had outgrown the farm. He wanted to go out into the world and see new things, live new experiences, and achieve his childhood dreams. In any case, he desperately needed to visit the Alchemy Guild to see if they knew anything more about his class or magical plants.

His parents looked at each other, and then nodded. His mother grasped his hand. “You can leave with the next merchant caravan in two days; I’ve already mentioned it to them when I was in town this morning. I know that you can take care of yourself, but make sure to visit home once in a while, okay?”

“Bring back some new books while you’re at it,” Irene said. “I’ve read all the ones at home already and the ones they sell in town suck.”

Ian nodded, and the family went back to eating dinner. A bubble of excitement rose through Ian. After waiting his whole life, his adventure was finally starting in two days. Ian could not wait.


Ian was sitting in the back of a bumpy carriage with his eyes closed. When Ian had gotten to town, he had met up with a merchant who was expecting him and paid a silver for his passage. Ian's heart ached when he passed over the money - a single silver coin was worth 100 bronze coins, and with around five bronze coins one could buy a high quality loaf of bread. Ian had just lost a lot of bread.

Though Ian's eyes were closed and he appeared to be sleeping, Ian was actually taking advantage of the travel time by working in his Magical Farm. As Ian didn't have any access to regular plants, he decided that his next task would be to try to further evolve one of his Lesser Magical Peas. As this was the fourth and last day of the trip, Ian's focus on his first pea plant had pushed it to just about 100% evolution. Ian checked its status once again.

Status

Species

Lesser Magical Pea

Age

3 1/2 weeks

Essence

2137

Evolution

99.9%

A young pea sprout. High in nutritious vitamins and minerals. Contains magical essence imbued by an amateur Magical Botanist. Of the INT attribute, with enough essence it will gradually obtain self-intelligence.

(Raise Magical Botany to see more information)

SKILLS

Vine Whip

Lvl 1

The plant's essence had risen significantly compared to when it had first evolved. Most of the difference was the result of Ian infusing his mana into it with Magical Botany, but it had also grown slightly by simply being in Ian's Magical Garden. Ian had experimented with the effects of essence - the plants with higher essence were more responsive to Ian's commands and could exert higher power while using Vine Whip. Confirming that everything was as he remembered, Ian cast the final Magical Botany required to reach 100% evolution.

This time, Ian was expecting the strange changes that the pea plant would go through. Once again, its body started to glow, increasing in size until it was significantly taller than Ian. It's shape started to change too - flowers and pea pods started to appear on its body, and the width of its vines also thickened. After around ten seconds, the glowing faded and Ian was left staring at a humongous pea plant. As with every evolution, a status window popped up.

You have evolved a magical plant of the INT attribute.

INT +10

That was a pleasant surprise - Ian had gained 10 INT instead of the regular 2. Ian checked the pea plant's new status.

Status

Species

Magical Pea

Age

3 1/2 weeks

Essence

3578

Evolution

0%

A magical pea plant. Its leaves contain magical essence imbued by an amateur Magical Botanist. Of the INT attribute, it has obtained enough essence to gain basic self-intelligence.

(Raise Magical Botany to see more information)

SKILLS

Vine Whip

Lvl 2

Pea Shot

Lvl 1

Firstly, Ian noted that the plant's essence had greatly increased. That would make its attack power a lot stronger, Ian inferred. He was still unsure about exactly how his plant's attacks measured against those from normal warriors or mages, and resolved himself to conduct further experimentation once he reached the capitol. Secondly, he noticed that Vine Whip had increased to level 2, and that there was a new skill named Pea Shot.

Ian was about to try the skills out when his concentration was broken by a green tendril curling against his hand. Surprised, Ian didn't remember commanding the plant to make any actions. Ian cautiously touched the vine. Had the vine moved by itself?

"Move the vine up and down if you can understand me" Ian spoke to the plant, feeling slightly stupid. A few seconds later, the vine started moving in a vertical direction. 

Ian remembered that in the plant’s description, it had mentioned that it had gained enough essence to obtain self-intelligence. Ian wondered if it could understand other types of commands.

“Use Vine Whip on the ground,” Ian commanded, and the pea plant complied. A cloud of dirt flew into Ian’s face as it whipped the ground with several green vines. Ian noted how deep the marks left on the ground were; they were over three times as deep as the first time he had tried using Vine Whip.

“Show me your Pea Shot skill,” Ian commanded next. The pea plant’s vines started moving around, it until a formed a cluster of vines ending with seed pods. Suddenly, the pods burst and sent a scatter shot of peas at a high velocity towards the ground. Once again, the skill resulted in clouds of dirt and holes in the ground – the shot was clearly much stronger than most projectiles.

The pea plant had grown considerably stronger after it had evolved, Ian noted. What he really needed to check now was how smart it had grown. 

"What's your name?" Ian asked the plant. Ian wanted to check if the plant was only capable of listening to his commands, or if it was truly capable of thinking for itself. The pea plant started waving its vines around in response, but Ian was unable to tell what it was trying to say.

"Point your vines up for yes, and point your vines down for no. Do you have a name?" The plant's vines stopped moving and gradually pointed downwards.

“I’ll take that as a no. Do you want a name?” The vines quickly shot upwards. Ian chuckled to himself at the plant’s enthusiasm. Now all Ian had to do was think of a name.

“How about Mr. Pea?” The pea plant didn’t seem to like the name and shook its vines angrily. “What about Luke, or Lucy, or Drake?” The pea plant still did not seem satisfied, and its vines remained pointed at the ground. Ian cursed internally – this plant was a lot pickier than he expected.

Suddenly, Ian had a thought. “What about Ezra?”  It was the name of the hero that inspired Ian’s dream, the name Ian had heard many winters ago in his Grandpa’s stories. The pea plant seemed to consider the name and then pointed its vines upwards in acceptance. Suddenly, Ian could feel somebody shaking his real body.

Ian chuckled. “Well Ezra, I look forwards to working with you. Goodbye for now.” He gave the plant one last cast of Magical Botany and exited his Magical Farm. He opened his eyes to the sight of the merchant shaking him.

“About time that you’re up, we’ve reached Brenas. You’ll have to get off here and go through customs yourself.”

Ian thanked the merchant and got off of the caravan. As soon as he got off, he was hit by a wall of sound and body odour. Looking around, he was surrounded by a sea of people waiting in line to be admitted through the gates of the city, and the combined noises of animals, people yelling, and wagons creaking increased to an almost intolerable level. Born and raised on a farm, Ian had never been surrounded by so many people, making being in a crowd of this size was disconcerting. The merchant told him that it'd probably take three hours for them to pass through security, and Ian desperately wished that he was allowed to stay in the caravan and escape to his Magical Farm. However, as Ian was not part of the merchant's company, he had to go through a separate line for individuals that forced him to remain standing.

Five hours later, Ian had finally made it into the city. When he finally reached the security gate, all he had to do was tell the guards his name, and they had let him in because the Alchemy Guild had notified them of his arrival in advance. It was the lines that had taken longer than expected, and Ian was both physically and emotionally exhausted by having to stay in the crowd for so long. Looking around at the bustling streets of the city, Ian was excited by all the new things to see and learn, but Ian knew his purpose: find the Alchemy Guild and ask for help with his class. With determined steps, Ian walked towards the direction that the Alchemy Guild was marked on the map the merchant had given him. 

It was time to take the next step in his adventure.

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