Since I wanted to avoid being influenced by that something any further, I decided that I would only use [Veritas] when it was necessary. The way that I had gained the ability, along with it activating by itself the two times I was under control, meant that there was much to be suspicious about it. After all, when I used it to look for traces of what had just took control over me, I wouldn’t be able to see anything. This either meant that I was either truly unable to decipher what had influenced me, or that [Veritas] itself was refusing to show me anything. So until I was confident that [Veritas] was not having any effects on me, I would have to do with my own two eyes and senses for most of my issues.
Thinking about the all-purpose ability that I would only be scarcely using from now on, I let my eyes wander through the notifications I had received. Although I was starting to feel paranoid and wondered if the system in my mind was also part of that something’s influence, I decided to relegate such thoughts to the back of my mind and focus on what I should do next.
Looking at my current level which was sitting at 12, I knew I had the opportunity to learn 9 more skills or abilities. While I might have previously used them to advance my magic tree, as I now had access to tier 2 magic spells, I decided that it was imperative that I spent them on skills and abilities that would help defend my mind, and allow me to control my emotions.
To be completely honest, it was not a pleasant feeling to know your mind could be controlled. It made feel helpless and violated at the thought of someone else controlling my actions and thoughts. I was beginning to feel paranoid about every little sensation that I felt in my head, weary of the fact that it could be a sign of that something trying to influence me. This, along with the stress from being sent to a world I didn’t know anything, and the fact that I was growing extremely homesick, was posing a serious issue to my future mental health.
There was no question that if I didn’t do something quickly to improve the situation, I could seriously face a mental breakdown at some point not too far down the line. At that point, whatever that something that was trying to control me was, would most likely be able to gain full control over me. Thus, looking through different physical skills, I decided on three to help me in protecting my mental health.
The first that I picked was [Powerful Will], as it had the effect of allowing the user to resist mental attacks. I decided that it was a no-brainer for me to acquire seeing the circumstance. Even if it was only at tier 1 and might not help me, it still offered me some small peace of mind which was arguably more important at the moment.
The second skill that I picked was [Mental Fortitude]. Instead of allowing me to resist brainwashing effects, [Mental Fortitude] had the ability to allow its user to handle more mental strain and keep a clearer head. This was without a question something I needed to keep going in this world while remaining sane. As a result, I really wanted to level up the ability as much as I could to prevent any possible mental breakdowns from occurring to me.
The last physical skill that I picked was [Meditation]. Since I needed a skill to help me calm down, while at the same time help me gain better control of my emotions, I decided to choose [Meditation] once I saw that it also had the benefit of speeding up recovery of the body, mind, and even mana reserves. Since I didn’t really have much to do in this world, I was planning to train my [Meditation] skill in my down time and speed up it’s tier increase. After all, the benefits of it would only increase as it rose from a tier 1 to tier 10 skill, and I was very interested to see how powerful the recovery part of it could get, or even what new benefits would arise as its tier increased.
Once I was done with picking physical skills to protect my mind, I decided to pick abilities to replace [Veritas]. Though it was a shame to not use a tier 10 ability, I was not willing to take chances at the moment. As a result, I picked three abilities to help me get around the world and understand what was happening without having to rely on said ability.
The first ability that I picked was [Sense]. Not only would this ability allow me to feel the presence of those around me, as well as tell their strength somewhat, the ability also had the added bonus of allowing me to sense when I was in danger. This was something that I was really hoping would aid me in noticing when that something was trying to influence me, and as a result, I would be able to properly fight back its effects.
The second ability I chose was [Tracking], while it might seem useless at the moment, I was hoping that at higher tiers it would work in the same manner as ‘eagle vision’ from Assassins Creed. If I could combine it with [Sense] to find my enemies and track them, it could prove to be a very useful combo along with my [Doppelganger]. After all, I was still very weak and could not rely on my combat skills to keep me completely safe for at least another 250 levels…
The last thing that I needed was something to allow me to observe the mana in the environment in place of [Veritas]. As a result, seeing the obviously named [Mana Eyes], I chose the ability to fit in the role for me. However, as soon as I chose the ability, I immediately saw a haze surrounding me before a headache came to my head. As soon as I grabbed my head with my two hands however, the pain had already subsided and the haze covering my vision had left. Instead, I was able to ‘see’ signs of mana in the environment, though I couldn't deduce what they were and looking at Ailya, I couldn't see the mana in her body either. Considering this was a new ability at tier 1 however, I wasn’t too worried about it’s lackluster information gathering for the time being.
One of the interesting things that I discovered while picking my new skills and abilities was the appearance of new skills and abilities among the ones I could choose from due to the ones I had just picked, as well as my previous increase in level. Just from the abilities and skills I had chosen, I was able to see the appearance of [Indomitable WIll] and [Trace]. Though I still couldn't unlock them, their existence at the very least had been revealed to me. They were better versions of [Powerful Will] and [Tracking], and looking at the magic skill tree, I was very much aware that I now had access to the ‘Dark Magic’ magic skill tree as a result of [Soul Devourer] becoming tier 4.
This discovery made me very excited for the future as it was clear that there was not only a ‘basic’ set of skills and abilities to choose from, but hidden ones that would be unlocked to me as I met the requirements for their reveal.Thus, thinking about the direction I wanted to take in my own magic skill tree, as well as the class that I wanted to become, I began looking into magic skills to spend the last 3 skills/abilities that I could be granted thanks to my level increase…