With a start, Nate sat up quickly only to wince in pain from his back.
“I’m not dead,” Nate thought excitedly before he quickly looked around for the beast that had almost killed him.
With the sunlight coming in the opening of the tree, Nate could see the massive snake lying near him with its belly up in the air.
“It looks dead,” Nate said to himself as he tried to move his body into a more comfortable position.
The crusty dried blood on his back pulled at his skin, but the pain was only dull and achy. Nate reached his hand back to feel his back and was startled. At first, he thought something was terribly wrong, but then he realized that he must have fallen over with his back on the ground. Bits of wood and dirt were basically welded to his back with dried blood giving him some indication that the mess on the floor of the tree hollow had helped stop his bleeding. He had no idea how long he had been unconscious.
“Fuck,” Nate croaked out to himself as he painfully tried to stand up inside the tree hollow. With some effort, he managed to stand up. Looking at the corpse of the snake, he felt really lucky that he had survived this ordeal. He had almost died so many times recently. Looking at the decently-lit tree insides, he stood leaning his side against the wall inspecting his re-acquired home. His legs felt wobbly and he felt stiff all over.
Standing against the wooden wall, Nate saw something that brought attention away from his pain. When he was looking around, he caught a reflection of light off of something shiny on the floor of the tree cavity. Hobbling over to investigate, he realized that a small puddle of water had accumulated in one area of ground. Considering all that had happened, Nate figured that the death flails of the beast had shifted the soil around enough to expose some water accumulated near the roots of the tree.
Nate had never thought of the possibility of getting water from the damp soil inside the tree. While the nutrition bars would keep him from dying, they didn’t really help satisfy his thirst for water. He had unintentionally subjected himself to a nagging thirst over the last couple of days while sleeping on a source of water.
Thrilled to finally have access to some water, Nate knelt down, scooped some water into his hand and took a sip. He was so thirsty that he had never considered the soil and debris that came along with the water. He choked as the cool chunky liquid hit his throat, but continued to swallow.
The taste wasn’t pleasant, but Nate began to feel better almost immediately. The mouthful of dirt-filled water made him feel so good that he actually finished drinking what was in his hand. Then, he went back for more. After a few minutes of drinking, Nate actually felt bloated from all the water that he had drunk and sat down on the ground.
As he sat down, his hand landed on something soft and he quickly realized that it was actually an extra pair of pants that he had left inside the tree when he went adventuring. The beast must have scattered his belongings when it flailed around. Picking up the pants, Nate felt something bump into his leg. One of the nutrition bars had wrapped up in the shirt and fell out as he picked it up. Not wasting a moment, Nate quickly inhaled the nutrition bar as he sat against the tree.
With a stomach full of food and water, Nate felt refreshed for the first time in ages.
After only a few minutes of resting, his body seemed to be feeling much better. As he stared at the corpse of the beast lying near him, he realized that he needed to tidy up some of the mess inside the tree hollow.
His pack was still in the snake’s mouth. His knife still buried into its flesh. He needed to free both of them. His stuff was also scattered throughout the insides of the tree.
Then, he had to figure out what to do with the beast’s body. He had heard a rumor that people can eat beasts, but he didn’t know anything about preparing the food. In the Grey Sector where he grew up, most food and drink consisted of prepackaged items similar to the nutrition bar that he had just eaten. Regardless, Nate was happy that he might finally get to try eating a beast. He only had to figure out how.
By the time he had finished setting tasks for himself, Nate was actually feeling pretty good. The nutrition bar and water must have been greatly needed because his pain had died down a bit and he felt like he had some energy to spend.
When he had first awoken, he was just happy to be alive and had never checked on his system status. His improved condition and good feeling made him curious, so Nate pulled up his user interface to check his condition.
Name: Nathaniel Redsun
Level: 5 (Exp. 159/500)
Primary Class: Calm Survivor (Level 1)
Survivor’s Need (Passive) (Level 1)
Survivor’s Awareness (Passive) (Level 1)
Survivor’s Resistance (Passive) (Level 2)
Secondary Class: None
Speed: 5 Agility: 7
Stamina: 8 Strength: 7
Intelligence: 8 Perception: 9
Wisdom: 9 Will: 15
Stat Points Available: 14
Silent Crawl (Passive) (Level 5)
Dark Vision (Passive)(Level 4)
Pain Resistance (Passive)(Level 8)
Physical Damage Resistance (Passive)(Level 2)
Infection Resistance (Passive)(Level 4)
Nate was absolutely floored by what he saw in his interface.
“Holy shit,” Nate said to himself, “I have a class.”
Momentarily disregarding the other information in his user interface, Nate immediately pulled up the class description.
[Calm Survivor (Level 1) (Exp. 83/100)]
[‘Calm Survivor’ is a class for those that live between life and death but maintain their calm throughout it all. All Stats are increased by 201% during survival situations. All experience earned during survival situations is doubled.]
Classes were not rare, but most people had to work for years or have lucky encounters in order to awaken one. Having a class so soon was something that Nate hadn’t expected. The fact that Nate had never heard of this type of class before added to his excitement.
Nate spent several minutes reading the class information over and over again. His new class bonus was beyond anything he could have hoped for but he was a little disappointed that the benefits only seemed to be effective during survival situations. The class wouldn’t be of any help unless he was risking his life. He didn’t plan to do that often, so he didn’t understand the benefits of the class to a normal situation.
Slightly let down by his class bonus, Nate decided to review the other information presented in his user interface. His stats had seen considerable increases since the last time he had looked over everything, but the next items that caught his attention were the three class skills. From his little knowledge, he knew that classes typically offered three skills when they were obtained. Hoping that his class skills were more beneficial than his class bonus, Nate opened the skill information and was surprised by what he read.
[Survivor’s Need (Passive)(Level 1)(Exp. 74/100)]
[Survivor’s Need is a passive ability that allows the consumption of most materials for nourishment. Nourishment from consumption of acceptable material is 201% more efficient]
As soon as he read the description of this skill, Nate’s mind went to his improved condition after eating the nutrition bar and drinking the dirty water.
“It really works well,” Nate thought giving credit to the skill for his improved condition. He then went on to the other two skills.
[Survivor’s Awareness (Passive)(Level 1)(Exp. 35/100)]
[Survivor’s Awareness is a passive ability that increases the awareness of threats by 201% to improve survival chances.]
[Survivor’s Resistance (Passive)(Level 2)(Exp. 115/200)]
[Survivor’s Resistance is a passive ability that causes the probability of developing resistances to be 203% greater. All experience earned toward resistances is doubled]
After taking a while to review the new skills, Nate was left with both excitement and curiosity. The skills appeared to be extremely beneficial to his situation but he was uncertain how beneficial they would be to him in the long run.
The [Survivor’s Awareness] skill wasn’t super clear on how it would help him at the moment. There were no increases in stats or experience. From his interpretation, it seemed that he would be able to tell if something dangerous was going to happen.
“Guess I will just find out the next time something dangerous happens,” Nate said sarcastically, “Since that seems to happen to me a lot lately.”
The benefits of [Survivor’s Resistance] became apparent when he noticed two new skills under the general skills tab. Both skills offered resistances, so the help of the class skill seemed to be evident. Curing his curiosity, Nate quickly pulled up the descriptions of his new resistances.
[Physical Damage Resistance (Passive)(Level 2)(Exp. 196/200)]
[Physical Damage Resistance is a passive skill created by the user’s continual exposure to physical damage. Physical damage to user is decreased by 20%]
[Infection Resistance (Passive)(Level 4)(Exp. 18/300)]
[Infection Resistance is a passive skill that allows the user’s body to resist the effects of infection status. Effects of infection status are decreased by 40%]
After digesting the information, Nate continued with his review of the skills and stats. When his eyes roamed over his General Skills section, Nate freaked upon realizing that he had lost his first skill, [Mental Calm]. But after a few seconds of panic, he calmed himself as usual and started to reason through the situation.
Spending some time thinking it over, Nate had a few guesses about what had happened to the skill. His class [Calm Survivor] seemed to have consumed the [Mental Calm] skill. Nate had seen mention of similar happenings in the religious book that he read. It has said something about the evolution of skills and the Singularity’s wish for humans to improve. Following some consideration, he didn’t really feel that he had lost anything despite actually losing the skill.
Sitting on the damp floor inside the tree, Nate continued to review his information over and over again. He was afraid of missing any detail or benefit to his new class and skills.
In addition to the increased skills and stats, Nate had also gained a tremendous increase in his level. He jumped from Level 1 to Level 5 in one instance. His excitement at seeing the level increase was quickly surpassed when he saw the corresponding 14 available skill points that the increase provided. With some quick math, Nate determined that he was back to normal on the available stat points with leveling.
When he increased from Level 0 to Level 1, he had gained 10 available stat points for some reason. It was an unusual increase.
This time, his increase fit the usual stat point bonus that Nate had been taught about. For each level increase, the person would gain available stat points equal to the level. For example, an increase from Level 1 to Level 2 would earn the person 2 available stat points. An increase from Level 4 to Level 5 would earn the person 5 available stat points.
With some consideration of his situation, Nate decided that it was time to use his available stat points. From his reading, he learned that available stat points were essentially a free form of energy inside his body that could be used to increase his stats at his discretion. From theory, if he increased his speed stat, the excess energy would be used by the nanites in his body to modify his cells to allow for physiology that produced greater speeds.
Looking through his stats, Nate realized that the four stats that reflected his physical constitution were lacking in comparison to his mental constitution. Doing some basic math, he determined that he had just enough stat points to bring every physical constitution stat up to 10.
Deciding that this was the route he wanted to go, Nate put all available stat points into the physical stats. Immediately, the alerts began to sound in his head.
[Your speed stat has increased by 5]
[Your agility stat has increased by 3]
[Your stamina stat has increased by 2]
[Your strength stat has increased by 3]
After the alerts passed, Nate could feel a rippling wave pass through his body then disappear into nothingness. Based on his prior experience, he fully expected to experience intense pain as he increased his stats. However this time, Nate only felt slight discomfort, the twitching of his muscles, and an itchy feeling in his bones.
”I guess a Level 8 in [Pain Resistance] is helpful,” Nate thought as he relaxed against the wall of the tree feeling the changes in his body.