Your party has defeated [Fire Kin]x62, Levels 4-6

Your Average Contribution: 85%

7905 Experience Earned



Training Overview


General Experience Earned

Stamina Use: 60

Mana Use: 13987

[Level Up]


Skill Experience Earned

Refrigerate: 1092

Extend Aura: 1087 [Rank Up]

Winter: 496

Amplify Aura: 2640 [Rank Up]

Detection: 178

Aura Focus: 845 [Rank Up]

Channel Mastery: 725 [Rank Up]

Velocity: 700 [Rank Up]

Aura Synergy: 594 [Rank Up]

Essence Well: 2525 [Rank Up] [Rank Up] [Rank Up]

Magical Synergy: 13987 [Rank Up]




Richmond Rain Stroudwater

Level 15

Experience: 10942/14274











20 [10]












Free Points





Mana Statistics

























Aura Metamagic


Tier 0


Amplify Aura (10/10)

Multiply aura intensity by 200%

Multiply aura mana cost by 300%


Extend Aura (9/10) Exp: 677/3700

Extend aura range by 9 meters

Multiply aura mana cost by 280%


Tier 1


Aura Focus (5/10) Exp: 345/2200

Focus on an aura to boost its output

Multiply aura intensity by 200%

Multiply aura range by 200%

Multiply aura mana cost by 200%

User loses all external senses while focusing


Aura Synergy (2/10) Exp: 394/400

Increase all aura output by 0.2% for each rank in any aura

Effective boost: 8.2%


Magical Utility


Tier 0


Intrinsic Clarity (10/10)

Multiply base mana regeneration by 300%


Intrinsic Focus (10/10)

Multiply base mana by 300%


Tier 1


Channel Mastery (4/10) Exp: 562/1400

Allows intuitive control of channeled skill intensity

Minimum skill intensity: 60%

Maximum skill intensity: 140%

Skill mana cost modified by intensity adjustment


Tier 2


Magical Synergy (7/10) Exp: 8677/8800

Enables limited synergistic cross-coupling of magical attributes

17.5% of Focus contributes to M.Regen

17.5% of Clarity contributes to Mana


Offensive Auras


Tier 0


Refrigerate (6/10) Exp: 1168/1600

48-55 cold (fcs) damage per second to entities and environment

Sufficient damage causes slow

Range: 6.49 meters

Cost: 30 mp/s


Immolate (5/10) Exp: 316/1100

40-45 heat (fcs) damage per second to entities and environment

Sufficient damage causes ignition

Range: 5.41 meters

Cost: 25 mp/s


Utility Auras


Tier 0


Purify (10/10)

Purify poison, corruption, and contamination

Range: 10.8 meters

Cost: 100 mp/min


Winter (5/10) Exp: 758/1100

Boost M.Regen by 54% for all entities

Range: 5.41 meters

Cost: 5 mp/hr


Tier 1


Detection (7/10) Exp: 1879/4400

Sense selected items of interest

Not occluded by mundane materials

Resolution: 0.35 meters

Range: 7.57 meters

Cost: 7 mp/s


Essence Well (4/10) Exp: 1125/1400

Transfer mana to all entities within range, including user

Transfer Rate: 4.328 mp/s

Efficiency: 20%

Range: 4.33 meters


Velocity (4/10) Exp: 309/1400

43.28% boost to speed for all entities

Range: 4.33 meters

Cost: 4 mp/s


Free Skill Points: 1


A sudden bump jostled Rain out of his contemplation, forcing him to reach through his skills window to grab the side of the cart. He spotted the offending pothole they had hit and shook his head. The road had gone to shit once they’d gotten away from the city. At least nobody seemed to live out here, so Tallheart could walk freely. Anyone they did run into wasn’t likely to be able to do anything about it, even if they were the kind of asshole that thought hunting a race to extinction was a good way to make some gold. Unless they met someone truly strong, it would probably be fine. They were far enough from the city now that there was little risk of anyone rounding up a posse to come after them.


Rain was the only one who had elected to ride in the cart this morning. The others were walking along and chatting with each other as he sat reviewing his progress from the day before. The first shock of the morning had been the long list of kill notifications when he’d pulled up his log. He’d forgotten about them as soon as the battle had ended, but the experience gain was pretty significant. His contribution and the experience gained for each of the Kin had varied depending on factors he had no interest in puzzling out right now. With some effort, he’d managed to combine all 62 individual notifications into a single summary, though he still could drill down to look at each one individually if he wanted to. He’d save that for later though, if he even bothered at all. It would be easier to ask about the mechanics of parties and kill contribution than it would be to try and work it out for himself.


His training overview had been straightforward, showing steady progress. He hadn’t spent much time using his skills as they traveled yesterday, but even without that, the progress was satisfying. The biggest winner was essence well. In addition to the morning spent figuring out how it worked, he’d also used it to restore Val’s mana after the fight. The man had been evasive about specifics of his mana pool, but Rain was pretty sure that he’d managed to get him back to full, even with the horrible efficiency.


It was only after he’d blasted Val with the aura at full strength that he realized it probably would have been better to go slowly. The efficiency got better when he used channel mastery to reduce the intensity, after all. Slow was better than fast if he actually cared about the mana transfer and wasn’t just spamming the skill for exp.


Humm, spam. I could go for some spam right now.


He popped a large chunk of a ration bar into his mouth and sucked on it dejectedly. The others hadn’t wanted to wait around to have a proper breakfast, so he had to make do. Lately, he’d taken to smashing the bars up into pieces with the pommel of his dagger before eating them. The hard, food-like substance did soften up a bit if you sucked on it long enough.


Spam, eggs, sausage, and spam. That’s what I need, not these bloody rocks. I like my food-like substances soft, thank you very much.


He pulled out his notebook, tucking the chunk of food into his cheek like a squirrel while he waited for it to soften up.


Ok, plan for today is working on aura focus. I can’t be freezing my friends to death anymore, so I need to level that up pronto and unlock IFF. What’s the best way to train it, though? To figure that out, I really need to know how it gets experience in the first place.


Rain started pulling open his training notifications, going back several days. He paused after he had five of them hanging in front of him, a sudden thought popping into his head. Maybe I should just ask first…


“Hey, does anyone know how skill experience works?” he asked when there was a lull in the conversation.


“What about it?” Jamus said.


“Ok, so I know using skills gets you experience with them, but how does it work, specifically? Is it just mana used, or is there other stuff that affects it? I was pretty sure that it was just mana used, but now I’ve got a skill that doesn’t even have a cost. It’s a passive modifier that boosts my auras. It still leveled up this morning though, so…yeah. Any ideas?”


“Humm, I’ve heard some theories, but it is all pretty academic,” Jamus said. “I’m not actually sure about the specifics.”


“Wow, if Jamus says it’s academic, it must be some pretty boring stuff!” Carten laughed. “Look, little mouse, it’s simple. Use the skill, and you get better at it. Don’t make it complicated.”


“Thanks for the advice, Carten. Anyone else? No? Ok then, the hard way it is.”


Though he’d somewhat expected it, he was still disappointed that none of his companions seemed to have the same curiosity about the mathematics underlying the system. Sure, they were all for stacking multipliers together, but when it came to the actual math, they tended to shy away when decimals got involved.


I suppose I can’t blame them too much. I really need to have a talk with Jamus about that whole zero thing. One puzzle at a time, though.


Rain turned back to his notifications. He played around with the numbers, trying to line up the experience gains with what he remembered of his skill usage on the day in question. He was actually surprised at how well he was able to remember what skills he had used, and how long he had used them for.


Wow. Must be the overmana at work. Still, this is a mess…


He spent the next half hour comparing various numbers against his recollections, trying to build up a model for how the experience system worked. He started to get a feel for it eventually, though he would need to do some targeted experiments to really know for certain. He rubbed his eyes and reviewed his notes. He’d crammed them in at the bottom of a page of his notebook in teeny tiny writing. He was almost out of blank pages, so he was going back and using whatever space he could find.


  • For auras, experience gained is ½ of mana used.

  • For modifiers, experience gained is related to the modifier cost, and the skill cost.

  • Not clear if exp for modifiers is halved or not.

  • Skills that use more mana level faster.

  • Modifiers make skills use mana faster, ergo, level faster.

  • Using more than one modifier at once multiplies the mana cost accordingly.

  • Modifiers don’t get more experience when used together???


It was the last point that was really giving him trouble. It was difficult to tease out the modifier experience from that of the base skill, especially when he had used multiple skills and modifiers on the same day. It didn’t help that his skill list had grown considerably. The early messages from when he had only had a few skills were, unfortunately, the haziest in his memory. Nonetheless, from looking at the numbers, he had formed a hunch that using aura focus with channel mastery set to minimum would be the most efficient way to train the skill.


I suppose I can just test it. Essence well only, today. That should be the best because it gives me a little bit of mana back while I use it. Oh, and winter I suppose, but that is just going to end up being a rounding error. Damn skill and its tiny mana cost. Hashtag dynamo problems. Man, it’s a shame the efficiency of essence well didn’t get better when it ranked up. I suppose I can’t have everything.


“Ok, guys, I’m going to be training for a while. If you see me go catatonic, don’t freak out.”


“What is ‘catatonic’?” Val asked.


Rain dug in his bag for his dictionary and held it out over the side of the cart towards Val. “Page 57,” he said.


Val took the book and flipped to the page in question, scanning it for the word. His eyebrows rose as he found it around halfway down the page. He snapped the book closed and handed it back to Rain. “It’s scary that you know the page number. You need to get a hobby.”


“It’s the overmana,” Jamus said, nodding to himself. “Fascinating. I didn’t think it would be so effective...”


Rain shrugged. “Try it for yourself. I’m going to be using essence well, so stick around the cart if you want.”


“Here, Carten, you should probably sit with Rain for the rest of the day,” Jamus said, grinning at the man.


“What are you trying to say?” Carten said, narrowing his eyes.


“He is calling you stupid,” Tallheart explained in a matter-of-fact tone, not looking back as he led the horse.


“Right, it’s on!” Carten roared.


It was clear he wasn’t really mad from the broad grin on his face, but he nevertheless made a dive for Jamus, barely missing the hem of his orange robe. The mage scampered, running for the hills.


Ameliah stepped out of the way as Jamus ran past her to avoid being trampled by Carten. The man’s armor was screeching horribly as he pumped his arms, the bent shoulder plate grinding against his chest. He dove to the side to dodge a bolt of blue energy that Jamus tossed over a shoulder. The huge man rolled as he hit the ground, coming back to his feet and continuing the pursuit with a clattering of metal. Ameliah shook her head. “So loud.”


“I will fix it for him when we stop for lunch,” Tallheart said.


“Not the armor. I just mean those two in general.”


“Mmm,” Tallheart agreed.


The conversation lapsed now that Jamus and Carten were busy chasing each other up and down the road. Val was watching them with interest; it looked like the chase had turned into a proper fight, with Jamus flinging magic bolts and Carten blocking them with his shields as he tried to close the distance. It looked like they would be at it for a while.


Rain tuned them out and returned to playing with numbers. He pulled up his mana statistics panel for reference. He’d split it off from the main statistics panel and shrunk it down so he could monitor his usage without blocking his view too badly. The full panel was nice, but he didn’t need it most of the time. He did the same with his skills, opening winter, essence well, aura focus, and channel mastery in small windows. He cleared away everything else with several swipes of his hands.


First, he looked at winter. When he’d been going through his stats before, he’d finally taken the opportunity to address something that had been bothering him. With some effort, he’d managed to get the skill to display the effect as a boost, rather than a multiplier. It made more sense that way when he was trying to calculate the effect of his modifiers on the skill itself, but he needed to remember to add 1 when he tried to calculate his mana regeneration.


With how much mana I have now, how long to regenerate all of it? Humm.


He reluctantly turned to a fresh page in his notebook to work through the math. It seemed that there were limits to what he could trick the system into calculating for him. It took him a minute to calculate the answer, trying to keep his writing as tiny as he could.


Just over an hour if I use everything but extend. Two and a half if I just use amplify and extend like I normally do in the background.


Ok, the next piece of this is essence well, aura focus, and channel mastery. I’m thinking that I can use channel mastery to reduce the mana usage. That way, aura focus will actually level faster because I can keep the aura going for longer. I’m pretty sure I’m right about how this works, but I’m going to need to work through it.


Knowing that he had no hope of calculating the effect of the modifiers on essence well, he did a quick experiment, activating the combination for a second, then quickly canceling it to jot down the results.


Essence Well (4/10) Exp: 1125/1400

Transfer mana to all entities within range, including user

Transfer Rate: 5.1936 mp/s

Efficiency: 19%

Range: 8.66 meters


Ah, good. Channel mastery and aura focus sort-of cancel out as far as the efficiency is concerned. Makes sense, I think. 5 mp/s at 19% efficiency means…ah, fuck it. Call it 20%. I’m not doing long division right now. 25 mp/s used, 5 of which I get back...or less, depending on how many people are around. I wonder if the horse counts… Damn it. Rain sighed.


I guess I’ll have plenty of time to think about it while I’m chilling in the ol’ sensory deprivation tank. For now, I’ll call the cost 20 a second to make the math easy. I have around 3000 mana, so 3000/20 is 150 seconds. I can feel the error bars growing on this calculation.


Ok, what now…




Damn. I lost where I was going with this. Ummm...


Oh, right, that was it. The base cost of the skill is 21 mp/s. With just aura focus it is…


Rain activated it to check.


56 mp/s. That’s a difference of 35 mp/s. I’m pretty sure that the difference in mana is what counts for modifiers like aura focus.


Next, with just channel mastery at minimum...10mp/s, so that’s an 11mp/s difference. Negative though. I don’t think it matters. I didn’t lose exp when I was pinging all day looking for metal. It must take the absolute value or something.


Ow, my head.


Summing up. For every second I use essence well with aura focus and minimum channeling, I should get about 10 exp on the skill itself, 5 exp on channel mastery, and 18 exp on aura focus. Or 10, 10, and 36. I’m still not sure if the modifier experience is halved or not. I could also be completely wrong about all of this…


I’ll just assume I’m not wrong.


Taking the pessimistic case, 150 seconds of usage should net 1,500 exp on essence well, 750 exp on channel mastery, and 2,700 exp on aura focus. I can do that every hour or so, thanks to winter. It’s still early in the day, so if I do it 10 times, that’s 27,000 experience for aura focus. It is rank five and tier 1, so 27,000 minus the 2,200 exp required for rank 6, then the 3,200 for rank seven…


Rain scratched and scribbled in his notebook for a few more minutes, then forced himself to close it and put it away.


I think there’s a chance. If my math is right—and that is a huge ‘if’—I think I can get it to rank 10 by nightfall if I really push. I need to do a few rounds with extend aura, too. Forgetting that and having it stuck at level nine would really suck.


Hooray for spending the whole day in the void I guess. This is going to be boring as fuuuuuuck. I’m going to need time to level aura IFF, though. It doesn’t just start at 100%, so I’d like a day at least to train it before we go in. I wonder if I can convince them to wait a few days...


Hearing a noise, he looked up to see Jamus limping towards him, with a laughing Carten following behind. “You see, Jamus? What did using all that mana get you? A headache? You didn’t even overload my armor.”


“Blah blah. I’m weak against metal and you know it. Try fighting me without it next time.”


“Fine, you’re on, but you don’t get to use magic.”


“How is that fair? I’m a mage. Magic is what I do!”


“And armor is what I do. Your point?”


“Oh, be quiet. My head is killing me.”


“Hah. That’s two wins for me today. Once in combat, and once with words.”


Jamus ignored Carten’s provocation. As he reached the cart, he motioned for Tallheart to stop the horse so he could get up. “Rain, make with the essence well, please. My head is killing me.”


“Sure thing. Just a second, though. Do you want Ameliah to take a look at your leg first?”


“It’ll be fine. I just rolled my ankle,” Jamus said, setting himself down in the cart and rubbing his temples. “The aura, please? It feels like I’ve got a spike going straight through my brain. I bet you’ve never even felt mana starvation. Must be nice.”


“Ok, hang on.”


Rain leaned against the pile of gear in the cart to secure himself and activated essence well, using aura focus and minimum channeling as he’d planned. He counted out the seconds, running out of mana around the two-minute mark. It was a bit less than he’d calculated, but he chalked it up to reckless abuse of rounding and the fact that he was only getting a small fraction of the mana back due to the proximity of his companions. Interestingly, he noticed that his share had increased part-way through the channel for some reason.


He opened his eyes to see that only Jamus and Tallheart remained with him near the wagon. The others were walking back towards them, returning from outside the range of the aura. He turned to Jamus, raising an eyebrow.


“They were stealing all the mana.”


“Oh, right. That makes sense. I should’ve thought of that.”


“Next time, please prioritize the guy with the splitting headache. Also, why were you giving mana to the horse?”


“Ha, well, I guess that answers one of my questions. Sorry Jamus, I can’t pick who gets it until I get IFF, just like with the offensive auras. I’m training aura focus today so I can unlock it. I should be able to get it to rank 10 by tomorrow, hopefully.”


“Oh, right. I remember you said something about it dividing the mana equally. Sorry for being snappy, my head is still killing me. It hurts to think.”


“Stick around, I’ll be good to do that again in an hour or so. Until then, winter should help you a bit. I’m using aura focus, though, so I’m just going to be lying here with the other potatoes.”


“That sounds stimulating,” Jamus said, his tone thick with sarcasm.


“I know, right? Don’t worry, I’ve got some math homework to do. Should keep me busy.”


“I’m not even going to ask,” Jamus said, lying back and closing his eyes.


“Ok, here I go. Just wave my arms around or something if you need me.”


Rain wedged himself into the pile of supplies and sighed, closing his eyes as well.


I’d kill for a montage right about now...



The hours passed uneventfully. Rain lay in the cart, trying to entertain himself with mathematics in the void of his own mind. He’d kept himself busy by running through the numbers a few more times, hindered as he was by the lack of his notebook.


He’d also spent a good amount of time playing around with his interface. He didn’t really change anything, but he felt that it would be good to practice moving things around and adjusting the display without touching the panels. It was much harder that way than it was when he used his hands, the panels responding reluctantly to his thoughts. It could simply have been his high Clarity that was improving his ability in manipulating the system, but he figured that practice couldn’t hurt. It wasn’t like he had much else to do, after all.


By the time the group stopped for lunch, he’d completed four cycles and was more than ready for a break. When he opened his eyes, he was met by a group of faces staring down at him. He sat up, looking around.


“What?” he asked, staring at his companions’ grinning faces. Belatedly, he realized that he was sitting on the ground near a campfire, not in the back of the wagon. Carten broke out into raucous laughter, followed quickly by Val and Jamus. Ameliah grinned and covered her mouth, fighting not to join in. Even Tallheart’s face showed signs of merriment, crinkles forming around his eyes and the corners of his mouth.


“You drew something on my face, didn’t you?” Rain deadpanned.


“What? No,” Said Jamus. “What gives you that idea?”


“Please. I might not have finished college, but I did stay in the freshmen dorms for a full year.”




“Just give me a mirror, will you?”


Jamus handed him a polished circle of copper from a pocket. Taking it, Rain angled it so he could make out his own reflection in the shiny metal.


“Huh, I’m a mouse,” he said, fighting a smile and handing the mirror back to Jamus. “Got any cheese? I’m starving.” He looked straight at Ameliah and twitched his whiskers as he said this, keeping his face as serious as possible.


Ameliah gave up and joined the others in laughter. Carten, who was already barely keeping it together, lost it completely. He slapped the ground and guffawed uncontrollably. Rain grinned. Once everything calmed down, he wiped the soot off his face and accepted a bowl of soup from Jamus, delighted to see that he’d done the cooking instead of Val.


The shoulder piece of Carten’s armor was sitting in the middle of the fire, and Tallheart eventually pulled it out and started hammering it back into shape against his anvil. It looked like the others had already eaten, so Rain took his time finishing his soup while he waited for the smith to finish his work. He helped pack up the camp once everyone was ready to go, using purify without any modifiers to avoid adding even more variables to his experiment.


He settled himself back in the cart and resumed training. He managed seven more cycles before they stopped for the night. For the last three, he’d used extend aura instead of aura focus, calculating that it should be enough to bring it to level 10 as well. He’d had the time to run the numbers after all.


They had a late supper and Rain volunteered to take the first watch, seeing as he’d been taking it easy on the cart for the whole day. He woke Carten up after a few hours, then used one last round of essence well before slipping off to sleep.



Yawning, Rain sat up and stretched, working out a crick in his neck. He looked around the clearing, seeing his companions stirring as birds chirped and the soft dawn light brushed across their campsite. Groggily, he pulled up his training log, his eagerness to review his progress subdued by his still sleepy brain.


Training Overview


General Experience Earned

Stamina Use: 11

Mana Use: 62318

[Level Up] [Level Up] [Level Up]


Skill Experience Earned

Extend Aura: 3023 [Rank Up]

Winter: 432 [Rank Up]

Aura Focus: 22655 [Rank Up] [Rank Up] [Rank Up] [Rank Up] [Rank Up]

Channel Mastery: 16561 [Rank Up] [Rank Up] [Rank Up] [Rank Up] [Rank Up]

Aura Synergy: 1398 [Rank Up] [Rank Up]

Essence Well: 16564 [Rank Up] [Rank Up] [Rank Up] [Rank Up] [Rank Up]

Magical Synergy: 26523 [Rank Up] [Rank Up] [Rank Up]



Rain’s eyes widened as they traveled down the panel hanging in front of him, then flicked back to the top. He read through it a second time, more slowly.


“Holy shit,” he said in a raspy voice, then cleared his throat. “I think I might have gone a bit overboard...”

A note from SenescentSoul

Discord link:

I've also put some reference material on Patreon for everyone (not restricted to patrons). Attributes, statistics, and skills for every single chapter. Have a look:

Support "Delve"

About the author


Bio: Discord: SenescentSoul#0541

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