As night fell the vermite emerged from their burrows; enticed by the smell of roasting meat. Adam watched as the original group were quick to join him. Each settling down and interacting in their own way. Ti was delighted as Adam handed back her dagger and told her she could now keep the weapon making Rai and Soh sulk and chatter about how unfair this was. Fah dramatically revealed a couple of smaller stools that he had created the night before and sat proudly next to Adam on one while eating his share of the meat. Seeing how comfortable the group was around Adam meant that the other vermite soon collected around the fire as well.
Pa's brother Lei and the other two in his pack sat chattering to Pa while Ma persuaded Wu to bring out the pups after checking on Kai and taking him some food. Adam relaxed comfortably back into his chair watching the scene in front of him. He had placed some torches around camp as the sun was setting so the entire area was lit nicely. Finishing their meals Rai had persuaded one of the newer vermite to spar with him and was showing off his skills with the staff. As he watched Adam remembered he had GP spare and activated Transfer to link with the un-named vermite.
Used to the phenomenon of light bridging between Adam and another being there was little reaction from most of the vermite. Having formed the link Adam made the vermite a Staff Wielder like Rai and then used Creation to make a staff that he threw over. The vermite, that Adam now knew was called Cae, looked stunned as he fumbled to catch the staff. This only lasted a second or two before Rai used his staff to knock Cae on the head and restarted the sparring in ernest.
With all the vermite keeping him company Adam noticed Person who had been quietly sat both out of sight and out of mind as they started waving. Concentrating on the system and cues from Person Adam picked out the new benefit from leveling Transfer and then looked with a glint in his eye at Ma sat on her stool across the fire. Once he made Ma leader of the vermite she looked over at him and raised an eyebrow. He smiled, remembering the similar reaction that using a blessing on Ma provoked. The memory sparked another thought; he had another blessing that he could allocate now.
|Divine Blessing||Unlock criteria||Effect|
|Brighten||Unlocked by increasing Intellect to 20||Increases Intellect by five|
|Purify||Unlocked by increasing Clarity to 20||Increases Clarity by five|
Checking the menu he had unlocked a new blessing that would increase Clarity instead of Intellect. It didn't take long for him to decide to use this too; activating the blessing Purify on Ma. He watched as her second eyebrow rose to join the first and laughed out loud at the confused face she was pulling. The other vermite around the fire then looked confused in turn until Ma shouted at them all to mind their own business and set them off on errands now that their meal was over.
This left Adam and Ma sat at the fire with the others cleaning, clearing and playing elsewhere.
"What have you done now?" Asked Ma. Her tone respectful though Adam could sense a hint of annoyance through the link.
"I have given you another blessing." Said Adam, not wanting to beat around the bush to explain himself. He knew that she had been grateful before when he blessed her and didn't want to explain further. "Plus I have made you a leader of the vermite." To be honest Adam hadn't really put too much thought into what this second bit meant either. Now that Ma was a leader he could focus on her and learn more.
"Thank you." Said Ma, followed by "What does that mean?"
Adam used Inspect and Discern to check before he answered. The details were a little hazy but logistically it meant that Ma could sort out all the details development for the vermite now that she was their leader. He could still overrule her if he wanted and set extra objectives but he could basically give her a direction and she would get things done. Including setting them quests and allocating professions or classes. Also being a leader was a title rather than class or profession. Ma still had neither. He relayed these facts to her once he had things clear in his own head.
"So I want you to develop the camp further and expand so the other vermite are living here as well." Said Adam as he thought out loud what he was planning next. "We need to develop a safe supply of food and water. Plus be able to defend ourselves if needed." Ma nodded as he spoke agreeing with the ideas. As he thought his mind ran several steps forward as more and more ideas poured out. "We need better weapons, armour and clothes." He gestured to his new trousers. "Look, these give me better defence which reduces the damage I take when attacked."
"Stop, slow down." Said Ma, halting Adam midway through his thoughts. "We have plenty to do for now. I will expand the camp and send Ti and Rai to explore further to get more resources. Before you go on, tell me where you find these things?" She pointed at the byproducts from the boar and the pieces of metal at the side of the fire.
"Where did you get these?" Ma asked.
Adam filled her in with all his exploring so far and managed to persuade Person to show her his map. He pointed out the mine to the South West and advised her against sending anyone deeper in the forest until they were a higher level. He then watched as she went round the vermite in the camp setting them tasks; sending some out and others to work around the camp instead. Knowing that all was in hand and he didn't need to micro-manage things Adam went to his hut to check on Kai.
He was surprised to find Kai out of bed and leaning on the chair as he opened the door. Adam checked with the link to ensure he was ok.
|Kai||1||HP 14/30; stamina 38/46; MP 0/0; SP 2/2||n/a||n/a|
Through the link Adam could tell that though Kai was healing; some of the damage would still be more permanent. He was limping due to the wound in his leg and the deeper muscle and bone had not healed right leaving a lot of scar tissue that meant the limp would remain even when his health was full.
"How are you feeling?" Asked Adam; subduing Kai's apprehension about being approached that was coming through the link.
"Leg hurt." Said Kai in reply. "Me. Ok."
"Do you want to rest some more?" Adam asked, still having time to work out where he would sleep if Kai said yes. Rather than Kai answering Adam felt a tap on his leg and turned to find Ma standing nearby.
"He will be better out in the fresh air now." She said, moving past and giving Kai the staff she had used to tap his leg. Wu followed and started cleaning his hut as Ma helped Kai out to the fire where he sat down to supervise the pups.
It was great to have someone else doing the thinking and organising of the vermite. Adam was soon left with fresh straw and hide on his bed and had closed the door so he wouldn't be disturbed as he sat down in his chair. Now he had made basic progress on fire and metal mana he wanted to start on one of the remaining elements before turning in for the night.
Concentrating on his core he ran through the options again by moving the three remaining options around. He soon recognised that the push elements of fire and air were paired with the pull elements of water and earth respectively. Knowing this the obvious next choice was to work on the water element.
By the time Adam got used to the slippy nature of the water mana he needed to rest and take time to allow his mana to regenerate. Not wanting to get in the way of the vermite he switched between resting in his chair and manipulating the water mana for the next couple of hours until his stamina started dropping and he moved to his bed to continue to the point his stamina hit zero and he passed out.