Without Avery, our party’s power went down significantly. However, as long as we were able to take on the wolves and goblins, we’d level much faster fighting them instead of the pill bugs. We took the rest of the day off and periodically charged the Slime Battery. I gave the girls a little over 725 leet, leaving myself with 250 remaining. They paid for our lodgings and food with the surplus leet.
I have to slowly increase the amount I give Ian or he’ll show up to complain.
The next morning, I had dropped down to 125 leet like expected, and my debt went down by the same amount. The girls and I went straight for the fourth floor to start leveling. I led them to a red dot that was alone for our exhibition fight against the wolves. The wolf had already noticed us when we turned the corner to face it and was growling as we approached. Reena dove at it, stabbing it in the flank as she passed by. Recoiling, it attempted to snap at her but was blasted with a fireball from Lola. It disappeared in light, giving us seven exp and 35 leet.
Two shots. At least it wasn’t just taking one attack from Reena to fight on this floor. Still though… are they perhaps really strong?
<Reena> “Let’s let the next one attack us so we can figure out its movements. It’ll help with the boss.”
<Lola> “Agreed. Also, I want to fight one by myself to prepare for groups of two where Reena can’t fight it by herself.”
<Kyuu> “For groups of three, I’ll bring out Guppy.” In the meantime, I’m going to keep charging the battery instead of conserving for the summon. We can always use the battery if we need the power. Reena, will you charge too?”
<Reena> “Of course. Now let’s get going.”
The next closest enemy was two dots, so I told them and we went for it. To conserve MP, Lola didn’t use her fireball this time. She just distracted the wolf she was fighting with the Imp’s Revenge while Reena dove in and out of the melee cutting up the defenseless wolves. The wolves moved faster than I was able to react to… but Reena moved faster even faster. She was cutting them down like they weren’t even trying to defend themselves. Occasionally they’d pounce in her direction, but she’d simply not be there when they arrived. If they tried to snap at her, she would move away and slice at their exposed necks.
With Reena alone, each wolf took three strikes. Lola’s fireball was at least a little stronger than Reena’s dagger, but considering it cost MP that was hardly surprising. We cleared out 10 more wolves as we made our way towards the exit Gateway, leveling me up in the process. The increase was as great as I had hoped. We also had two wolf pelts drop, which gave Guppy 2/10 for cold resistance.
Class: Level 8 Time Wizard
EXP : 861/1050
Age: 15 (30)
HP: 40 MP: 120 STR: 15 AGI: 15 VIT: 15 INT: 25 MND: 25
Spells: Anchor Moment (10 MP), Recall Moment (3000 MP), Time Vault (20 MP/Minute)
Equipment: Chipped Gladius (+4 stabbing/slashing), Slime Battery (1491/5000 MP), Summon Slime (Level 1 Guppy, 15 MP + 3 MP/Minute)
Fifty more MP! My HP doubled? So far, stats have seemed rather arbitrary except when they were huge, but the difference made by MP is clearly evident. I generate two MP a minute now. Even still, compared to Brinly’s stats that were in the two hundred range… upper level bonuses must be even better. Or perhaps that’s just his class. And I wonder what that Time vault spell does? Activate: Time Vault!
In front of me, a large cabinet materialized with its doors open. It had many little compartments in it to place things, and a few larger to fit perhaps weapons or armor. As a test, I put in the chipped gladius and willed ten leet into the vault. It accepted it, and I dismissed the spell. Without so much as a poof, the cabinet disappeared.
<Reena> “The hell was that?!” Reena jumped back in surprise when it first appeared. Lola also seemed a little anxious about it at first, but when she saw me calmly dealing with it, she decided not to panic.
<Kyuu> “My newest spell I got at level eight. The Time Vault. Other than being mobile storage, I’m not really sure what it is used for.”
<Lola> “That’s incredibly convenient! If we encounter an enemy that drops something heavy, we won’t have to lug it around.”
<Reena> “Just tell me next time you go to bring it out! I about peed my pants!”
<Kyuu> “Well… I’m testing it now. Activate Time Vault!”
The cabinet reappeared. I took out the chipped gladius and willed my leet back.
<Kyuu> “Success! Items don’t disappear if you store them less than… at least one minute. Now for the longer test.”
I put my 10 leet back and dismissed the spell. The experiment cost 40 MP, but the cost only seems to be active when the cabinet is out.
With this, I have the RPG staples, don’t I? Mapping, analyze, and item box? Still though… this dungeon layout is pretty lazy. A procedurally generated maze with exactly 50 enemies and a boss? All of the four floors so far have looked identical, too. Perhaps I’m spoiled by modern RPG mechanics, so I welcome the convenient skills… but I still wonder if this game would be worth playing if I wasn’t here in person.
<Kyuu> “I’d like to try fighting a wolf before we go to the boss. Lola, will you back me up with heals?”
<Lola> “Eh?! But you’re useless with that sword.”
<Kyuu> “Jeez Lola… you sound like Reena when you’re blunt like that. Yeah, I know. If I can’t hit it and I just take damage, Reena can come in for the kill.”
<Reena> “It’s okay Lola. Let the masochist get bit a few times. Different strokes for different folks, you know?”
… Seriously Reena?
<Lola> “Oh! I get it! It’s some sort of play for him! Well that’s just gross. Old people are weird.”
… Seriously Lola?
<Kyuu> “Um… I just wanted to see if my stat increase would help me hit the monsters. Not… whatever it is that you think it is.”
<Lola> “I don’t think it will. I still can’t stab the monsters, I can only keep them occupied. I’ve heard it is a class mechanic of melee versus casters. Melee classes can deal damage with weapons, and caster classes can deal damage with magic. You can only hope to hit a monster with a weapon if they are unable to avoid or block it.”
<Kyuu> “So… when fighting hand to hand against me, monsters are super evasive blocks of hardened steel, but if I shot them with a fireball, they become both slow and squishy?”
<Lola> “As I understand it, yes. If Reena used a weapon that granted a spell like Imp’s Revenge, the spell she cast would likely never hit.”
What is up with that strange mechanic?
<Kyuu> “So can you multiclass?”
<Lola> “You can replace your current class with a different one, but you lose your stats, skills, and levels. In some cases, if you don’t fulfil the prerequisites, the class you’re summoned with might not be gained again. I don’t know what you have to do to become a ‘Time Wizard’, but I imagine it is meant to be an evolved class. That is when you level up your basic class to a certain point, and then ‘evolve’ it to a stronger form. You keep your stats and levels, but you can start learning more skills with the new class. Most classes have at most four skills, after all.”
I’m pretty sure I remember Enigma saying something about that when my dream first started. He didn’t care about prerequisites for my first class. In hindsight, it makes sense no matter what class I chose. Higher level classes are strong at first, but if you start lower and build your way up to it, you’d be stronger in the end because of more skills. If Time Wizard was a third or fourth evolution, I could have twelve or sixteen skills instead of four. Admittedly, I only have three right now anyway, and who knows when I might get a fourth? Or even what it would do. If it is like my other three skills, it’ll lack offensive, defensive, or even supportive qualities. In terms of combat, I will forever be terrible, no matter how much “Time” I might have. Unless, of course, I get magic items like Imp’s Revenge to give myself more skills.
Ugh… gear dependent builds are the worst. Though, with Imp’s revenge, I could probably solo the first floor.
<Kyuu> “Wait… how was I able to kill the slimes on the first floor?”
<Reena> “That’s true! You and Lola were kicking the crap out of them.”
<Lola> “Oh… but those are slimes you know? They suck worse than even you do.”
<Lola> “But slimes that have skills from eating drops from other enemies are pretty tough. Like Guppy, if they can move quickly they can dodge. Then they wouldn’t suck worse than you, and you can’t fight them anymore.”
I get it… also, I think Reena is rubbing off on you.
<Kyuu> “Ah, got it. Well, alright then. Shall we get moving to the boss? We can take out the boss, clear this floor, and move on to the next today. Clearing two floors today would be great.”
<Reena> “I want that too! Let’s go!”
Reena waved her hand energetically at us. We had abandoned my plan to try to fight a wolf by myself and went straight to the boss room. It was in the same room as the previous boss fights and had two large wolves standing in the center. I gave the Slime Battery to Lola and stood back with the chipped gladius. Reena rushed left, Lola rushed right.
It would make more sense to keep Lola in the back as the healer and have me up front with Imp’s Revenge… wouldn’t it? Well, too late for that.
And it was too late. Lola, using the battery, shot about five fireballs at once and the Wolf General she was fighting exploded. Firing another one at the Wolf General Reena was fighting, Reena pressed her momentary advantage and ended the fight. Total it took about eight seconds. They both dropped a wolf pelt.
<Kyuu> “Girls… have you noticed that this whole so-called ‘game world’ is pretty boring? The city is bland, the dungeon is bland, the boss fights are bland… and there never seems to be anyone else using the Gateway into the labyrinth? It’s like everyone accepts there are loads of adventurers, but none of them ever seem to actually do anything. The food shops never have any customers except us, yet their display items are always crazy hot and freshly cooked.”
<Lola> “Never really noticed that, no. There are lots of other adventurers in the labyrinth.”
<Kyuu> “And don’t get me started on the Class trainers in their cookie cutter houses and how they stand in front of their nonsensical dojos like a statue. Of course, they don’t have any pupils. Other than our party, I’ve never seen anyone else use the Gateway. Even when we sit in the bazaar and eat lunch, I’ve never noticed anyone do anything. Is there another way into the labyrinth?”
<Lola> “Not that I know of.”
If Lola doesn’t know of another entrance, there probably isn’t a publicly available one. She always seems to know everything publicly known, despite spending all of her spare time in the labyrinth’s first floor for the month she was here. Well, whatever. She’s a figment in my dream after all. It’s to be expected that there is some incongruity there.
We go back to the entrance of the floor and clear the place out, earning us seven exp and 35 leet for 37 enemies, 140 exp and 350 leet for the boss, as well as 15 more wolf pelts. Summoning Guppy, I let him eat eight more of the pelts to gain cold resistance. I had leveled again. In fact, I was only 90 exp short of another level.
Each floor increases the exp gains per monster by two, totaling 100 additional exp a floor. But each level only increases the necessary exp by 50. This model doesn’t work. I’ll eventually start leveling faster per floor as opposed to slower like is typical. If the goblins give nine exp a kill, I’ll only need to fight ten of them to level again today. After that I’ll need… 350 more exp to level again. With 40 remaining goblins, that’s 360 more exp… enough to level three times in one day. Not including the goblin general, which is probably 180. This bears repeating… this leveling model doesn’t work. Enigma is pretty bad at his job, isn’t he?
<Reena> “So much leet… it is crazy how fast we make money now. I guess Kyuu doesn’t completely suck, does he?”
<Lola> “True! Though it is just his mapping ability that is useful. Otherwise he’s still bad.”
Ugh… they’re right, but still.
<Kyuu> “Yeah, taking on a second class would give my character the ability to fight, but sadly that can’t happen.”
<Lola> “Well, I heard once that a god can bestow an original class to you, even if you already have one. But using conventional matters, it can’t happen. After all, where can you even meet a god?”
If it isn’t possible to meet a god, how could Lola know that? Just how knowledgeable is she? Also… isn’t that kind of wishy-washy? Enigma’s system is once again not well thought out.
<Kyuu> “Let’s go fight the fifth floor. If it goes well, we can get the boss and clear that floor today too.”
<Reena and Lola> “Yes!”
Goblins are weak. As week as kobolds, but with shorter reach on their weapons (daggers). On the way to the Gateway, Reena mercilessly cuts them down without hesitation.
Perhaps our stats going up only makes the monsters appear to be equally weak, but this is still getting pretty ridiculous. Perhaps full parties don’t spend any time on floors since they can’t find the monsters easily, and as such end up under leveled for higher floors? They are level five, perhaps, and I am level nine. Reena and Lola are level ten. Yeah… maybe the reason we feel so powerful is because comparatively speaking… we are.
The goblins don’t drop anything. Only the boss wasn’t empty handed as he fell to a fireball and three stabs. He dropped a dagger that was weaker than Reena’s weapon, but stronger than my gladius. It had no enchantments on it. Afterwards, we cleared the fifth floor too. We got 630 exp and 2700 leet. It was barely noontime.
I might not be a broken character, but this game world is broken enough for the two of us.
Class: Level 11 Time Wizard
EXP : 1890/2100
Age: 15 (30)
HP: 50 MP: 150 STR: 16 AGI: 16 VIT: 16 INT: 31 MND: 31
Spells: Anchor Moment (10 MP), Recall Moment (3000 MP), Time Vault (20 MP/Minute), Summon Slime (Level 1 Guppy, 15 MP + 3 MP/Minute)
Equipment: Chipped Gladius (+4 stabbing/slashing), Slime Battery (1716/5000 MP)