Alex groggily woke up from his long sleep and noticed the light coming in the window shone from the opposite direction. ‘I was out for quite a while, huh?’ He thought to himself. “That was one hell of a dream though.” He mumbled to himself thinking back over the lucid dream that had lasted for a little over a day. ‘There’s no way something like that would actually happen.’
‘Hello Alex, how are you doing this morning?’ Came a suddenly sing-song voice. Alex was terribly startled but not because of the voice itself, but because the voice was coming from his own head!
‘It wasn’t a dream!’ He suddenly realized, wide-eyed.
‘No silly, I’m here to stay.’ Replied Alice, and he could hear the laughter in her response.
‘Yea yea you just keep laughing it up, it's obvious I would think something as ridiculous as this was a dream.’ Alex thought back. ‘Especially that information you gave me to convert more people to Archons. Who would have thought a race change was possible without the power of the Architect?’ He said to her incredulously.
‘Well….’ She responded, trailing off at the end. ‘Technically I told you about the method and I need to assist in the process. Plus after all, I was titled as a “true tool of the Architect” so it's not too far outside the realm of possibilities, right?’ She asked Alex sheepishly.
‘No, I guess not…’ Alex replied as he resigned himself to his fate while rubbing his temples with his hands. ‘Let’s go find Jeod and get this over with, I doubt he will decline an opportunity such as this.’ He thought to himself, although his thoughts were now also directed to Alice. ‘This is gonna take some time to get used to…’
He had fallen asleep in his clothes and decided to just continue wearing them as he did not have a change of clothes and doubted Jeod had anything that would fit him properly. He would rather wear slightly dirty clothes than end up looking like a child playing dress up with his father's clothes.
As he descended the stairs to the first floor Alex began to smell food, and so he gravitated toward the kitchen fairly certain that he would find both Jeod and breakfast waiting for him there. Alex was not disappointed when he rounded the corner and found Jeod in the process of setting two plates piled high with food down on the small table in front of him.
“Judging by the fact that you aren’t dead, I assume last night went well?” Jeod questioned him with raised eyebrows.
Grinning, Alex responded. “Well enough. I managed to pick up a freeloader, but I think you’ll agree that the gains are worthwhile.”
“Oh?” Jeod said as he sat down in front of his plate. “Enlighten me, if you would be so kind.” He said before he started stuffing himself. True to his nature he had an open notebook and a pencil next to his plate, ready to take notes while he ate.
“So after I fell asleep…,” Alex told Jeod what had transpired while he slept and about the existence of Alice. He had never heard of an instance of demonic possession or anything so Alex had no fear of being burned at the stake or anything like that.
“Extraordinary!” Exclaimed Jeod. “Alex, do you have any idea how amazing this is? I mean, you have another consciousness living in there that was created by the Architect and System, which could go either way as far as safety is concerned, but this is unexplored territory! As a scholar, this is a dream come true. Everything you do, every action, every thought, alters history for generations to come!” Jeod was out of breath and had to stop to breath.
Alex smiled sheepishly, embarrassed at the praise he was receiving. Turning serious though, he directed a question towards Jeod. “So what do you think about the idea of trying to turn humans into Archons using the method Alice outlined?”
In response, Jeod closed his eyes, stood still, and raised his arms out to either side. “Take me.” He said in a serious voice, before opening his eyes and having a good laugh with Alex. “But seriously though, being able to use magic has been my life’s goal, you know that Alex. All of my alchemical research and class studies has been an attempt to unlock the secrets of mana manipulation for the human race.”
“If you have a method that a sentient tool granted by the Architect itself says will turn me into an Archon and allow me to use mana, go right ahead. I am fully prepared for the consequences of this experiment and would rather die here and now than pass up the opportunity.” Jeod concluded in complete seriousness while staring into Alex’s eyes.
‘He really wants this. Someone has to be first, so it might as well be someone who is so willing to accept the risks.’ Alex thought to himself.
‘I agree. His conviction is admirable and he will make a fine addition to the first of the Archons.’ Alice said, adding her own opinion to Alex’s own. ‘From what I can tell looking at your memories of him so far I have a fairly good hunch he will pass the requirements as well.’ She concluded.
“Let’s finish breakfast first and then we will head up to your room then,” Alex suggested. “It’s probably best if neither of us has an empty stomach and I am unsure of what you will feel during the process or how long it will take, so it’s best to have some food in you and be laying down before we start.”
“Agreed.” Said Jeod as he continued shoveling food into his mouth.
Now finished with breakfast, Jeod and Alex convened in Jeod’s bedroom as he laid down in preparation. “Jeod, I will say it once more, I simply know that this is possible, but I have no idea how it will actually work in practice. Are you prepared?” Alex asked in a shaky voice. This was quite an undertaking for a mere 15-year-old.
“I am ready to face the consequences Alex. Do it,” Jeod said with conviction while looking Alex in the eyes.
‘Alice?’ Alex called inwardly.
‘Yes, Alex?’ Alice responded in her sing-song voice.
‘Can you please start the process to convert Jeod into an Archon?’ He asked of her.
‘Of course, Alex. As we discussed previously, it is my primary purpose in life to assist you in this after all. I need you to will your mana to heed to my commands for a short while and I will take care of the rest.’ She responded softly and with confidence.
‘Ok, Alice will do.’ He thought before he closed his eyes and concentrated on willing his mana to follow the orders of Alice instead of himself. It was an odd feeling, although having two souls within one body was already an odd feeling, but even more so trying to give the foreign soul control of his mana which was so inartistically connected to his own soul.
|Do you wish to temporarily relinquish control of your mana pool to spirit #18583, designation Alice?|
‘Yes, I confirm.’ Thought Alex.
‘Ok, here we go!’ Said Alice excitedly, and Alex nearly threw up as he felt the vast majority of his mana pool move at her command. What followed was very impressive indeed. Jeod, who was laying down in his bed, was surrounded in a glowing cocoon of mana not dissimilar to the orb that had birthed Alice. It glowed various shades of blue rather than the white and green of the orb, but the symbols covering the entirety of it were familiar to Alex as he watched in awe.
The orb began spinning around Jeod, faster and faster, and the runes became a blur of blue just like the rest of the orb. It started glowing brighter and brighter and Alex started to feel faint as he felt Alice using the last of his mana. ‘At least it’s not debilitating for her to use the vast pool of mana like it is when I try.’ He thought sulkily.
Alex could picture the smirk on her face when Alice said ‘Don’t forget that I am born of mana, and in particular yours, so of course it would be easier for me to use it. Once you willed it to follow my commands it became like another limb to me. But enough of that, focus back on Jeod. The process is coming to an end.’
|Sufficient wisdom and intelligence present:||Check|
|Current Race set to Human:||Check|
|Sound of mind:||Check|
|Preliminary requirements have been met and mana supply has been provided. Would you like to change your race to Archon?|
‘Yes’ thought Jeod towards the message he sort of saw, sort of heard, in his mind’s eye.
Selection Confirmed. Beginning transition. Stand by...
ERROR. Class incompatible with race. Stand by…
|Congratulations! You are now an Arcane Scholar! Would you like to see a class description?|
‘Yes,’ he thought again, slightly worried now. Scholar had been his class his entire life and it gave him boosts to both his intelligence and wisdom. It was not a traditional combat class nor your run of the mill blacksmith but instead allowed him an easier time in his research and alchemy. He could read faster, write faster, eyeball exact measurements of reagents, had improved memory and more. It was a lot to give up, but at least this new one still had the word scholar in the name.
|Primary Attributes:||Wisdom, Intelligence|
|Bonuses Per Level:||+1 Wisdom, +2 Intelligence, +0.5 Agility, +0.2 Lifespan|
|Bonuses on Obtaining:||None|
|Description:||The Arcane Scholar is renowned far and wide for having all of the abilities as the Scholar class provided to the lesser races but with the inclusion of utilizing mana in new and exciting ways. Whereas most mana users are limited to a small spectrum of the craft, an Arcane Scholar is as free as the mighty Arcanist. The drawback, however, is that an Arcane Scholar can never directly use their magic to harm for their path is that of research and innovation.|
‘Haha! This is everything I could have hoped for and more!’ Jeod thought in pure bliss.
|Beginning procedure. Please remain still.|
Jeod stiffened as he felt a tingling sensation start crawling over his entire body beginning at his feet and working its way upwards. It was similar to when a limb falls asleep but happening to everything and was quite an unpleasant experience. Jeod was relieved when the feeling reached his face and he finally faded away to finish the changes in the sweet embrace of oblivion.
“Uuuugghhhhh” Jeod moaned as he slowly woke up.
“Jeod!” Cried Alex as he jumped out of the chair he had been sitting in next to Jeod’s bed. “Jeod, how do you feel?” He asked excitedly. “It’s been half a day already!”
‘How do I feel….?’ Jeod thought to himself. ‘I feel… great, mentally, but quite drained or weak or something physically’ He realized. "Was the transformation a success?” He asked excitedly as he turned to look at Alex so he could see his eyes.
Alex smiled widely. “Indeed it was, brother. Welcome to the race of Archons.” Alex tried to stand straight and look majestic as he said this, but Jeod burst out laughing at the sight.
“Aw, you didn’t need to laugh at me.” Alex pouted slightly before holding up a hand mirror he had seen laying on Jeod’s dresser. “Here, take a look for yourself.”
Jeod took a long look at himself in the hand mirror, eyes widening. He slowly reached his hands up to his ears and felt the pointed tips. He then paused and thought back to how Alex had described his use of mana. ‘Fire!’ He thought, focusing on making a flame above one of his fingers. Instead, he lit the finger on fire and yelped in pain. “Ow!”
“Hahaha!” Alex laughed at this, thinking back to his own first experience. “Don’t worry, you’ll get there. Why don't you take a look at your stats real quick? There might be some surprising changes. After that, if you are feeling up to some magic, what say we get back to trying to find a good way to contribute to the defense against the goblins?” Alex asked with a grin.
Jeod frowned slightly and pushed up his right sleeve so he could see the numbers that were ever present on his arm. "What!?" He cried out in dismay. 'My intelligence and wisdom went up by 10 each, likely as a result of the new race since the class did not list a bonus, but my strength and vitality dropped like a rock!' He thought to himself in shock. That is until his eyes focused in on the oft-overlooked lifespan stat that rarely changed after birth.
"Alex, my lifespan has gone up by 4!" Jeod shouted excitedly. 'Forty extra years added to my life, just like that! Forty extra years to conduct my research and live!'
"Well of course," Alex responded in a mock condescending tone. "Archons are a race of magic, of course we would live longer. Now hop to it, let's go get to work! We don't know how much time the town has left until the attack."
Jeod turned to him and said “I’ve got just the thing! Meet me in the workshop in an hour and I will have the supplies prepared and ready. If you can pull this off then taking care of the goblins should be a walk in the park!”
“Sounds like a plan.” Alex agreed and headed to the yard to kill some spare time with fine practice.