“I guess everything is ready…”
Roland looked down at a crystal that was on his desk. He was now in his office that was filled with various books and notes concerning his runic research. A lot of time was spent in this room deliberating runic programming that he was slowly becoming an expert in.
“How do these things work?”
Before using this strange crystal he decided to just pick it up. A thought crept into his mind after receiving his new peculiar skill.
“Is this just a magical item like any other? Perhaps I could…”
Though the urge to test something rose he had to stop himself from activating his new identification skill. The class change crystal was probably a high-level item, if he attempted to use his newfound ability to scan it, he felt like a migraine would be the least of his troubles.
Previously he was already able to decipher regular spells and convert them into runic language. The question he had was, could he do it with any magical item? Were there limits to this skill and if he could just use it to help him understand magic even more?
After gaining this skill he was becoming convinced that all magic was more uniform. If he saw the runes just like a programming language then perhaps all other schools of magic were just software that could be made with it.
This didn’t mean that all magic could be translated into runes. Perhaps there were some restrictions or outside sources of power that would be needed. In his old world, there were a plethora of programming languages all with their pros and cons.
“If I figured out how to make runic versions of this crystal, I bet the church would have my head.”
A runic creation that could work like a class change crystal would probably be seen as blasphemy. Even worse if he could just engrave it on metal that could last through the class change without breaking. He would be eradicating the hold of the church that it had on the class change market.
‘I should probably focus on my class change, not like that skill is usable.’
He gave out a sigh as he knew that if he attempted to use the Runic eyes on something complicated they would start bleeding. For the time being, the decision to slowly level this skill up was made by him. He would use lower level scrolls and spells to gently progress it without getting a debuff each time. Perhaps when it leveled up a couple of times it would become usable.
Thus the thoughts of his new skills usage was tossed into the back of his head. The crystal was in his hand while he was sitting back in his chair. After clenching it tightly he activated it like he already did four times before.
“Here I am again… the more it feels like my past life was just some kind of bad dream.”
Roland was looking out through what appeared to be his old apartment window. He knew well that everything here was some kind of illusion and that he was only in a replica created from his old memories.
“Is the view becoming clearer?”
When he first changed his class the whole place outside was somewhat foggier. Now on the other hand he was convinced that the view on the street was becoming clearer. It was as if he could see further outside the more he progressed through the classes.
While this was an interesting thought he wasn’t here to reminisce about the good old days. At this point in life, he had mostly given up on ever returning to his old world. While his real parents were still out there, it had been so long that they had probably forgotten about his existence.
While the pc was loading he tried to remember some of the faces of his previous family members. It didn’t seem that his high intelligence stat would help him out with the old memories, most of their faces were a blur. They had become a distant memory and the new world that he was in now was his new reality.
Roland was quick to use the mouse to bring him to the class change screen. There he saw quite a large number of pixelated avatars. All the old classes were there as they never went away. Even though he was a tier 2 class holder, it didn’t mean that he could pick a tier 1 class if he chose to.
“No mage classes as always…”
There was one class that he was somewhat interested in, it was the Rune Mage class. Normally he should have had all the prerequisites for it but it was not there. This was something that he expected as it was not there the previous time that he attempted the tier 2 class change.
“Let's see… there they are…”
He turned to the crafting classes and instantly saw a couple of new ones, these were clearly there now because he had started working on his golemic creations. When he hovered on one of the walking pixel representations he was given one of the names.
This was the simplest of the classes but it wasn’t the only one there. It depicted a tiny pixel version of himself working on something that looked like an iron golem. Then right next to the Golem Craftsman class was a runic variant just called the Runic Golem Craftsman. It was clearly the superior version that focused on runes.
Golems came in various shapes and sizes, runes were mostly used by Dwarven craftsmen to make them work. This didn’t mean that a person couldn’t make one with enchantments or with the help of mages. But with the help of runes, a craftsman could fashion one themselves without having to expand the size to fit the bulky enchantments on them.
A golem-like spider drone that he created would be hard to come by when fashioned by an enchant smith. The limiting factor was also in the lack of customization that those types of golems faced.
Yet, they were somewhat easier to find as they were simpler in design and came in lesser variants. Most of the bulky humanoid monstrosities like an iron golem were created through enchant smiths while the more specific designs came from runesmiths like Roland.
“Runic Golem Craftsman seems like the better choice but there are more… Golem Designer… and Runic Golem Designer?”
When he read the name a certain title popped into his head, it was the one that he achieved when he first created a custom variant of the spider drone. Thanks to the title he was probably able to unlock the more prestigious version of the Golem Craftsman and its runic variant.
Not many craftsmen were able to design their own creations. Most of them just regurgitated old models and most of the time produced an inferior version of it. Only after understanding how to build one from scratch could they even attempt to customize.
Roland on the other hand made sure to go through everything. He didn’t want to just copy others' work, he wanted to create new options for himself. His class was somewhat special thus he needed to change almost all of the schematics he was given.
If he wanted to augment himself further he needed his creations to profit from all his rune-related skills. Most of the old plans tried to limit the mana usage or cut on the materials. He on the other hand didn’t need to worry about mana that much, he could create items that would make a regular person pass out from one use.
“Is there something better…”
Before making his choice though, he needed to see if there was something even more interesting. He had hoped to find another Lord-type class but even after going through all the options, there weren’t any.
Roland leaned back in the gaming chair that he was sitting in. The lack of any ‘Lord’ type classes was something that he was expecting. The Runic variants of the classes were already rare and prestigious. Then that variant popped out of nowhere and gave him a higher stat multiplayer.
After receiving this class he did some research or at least tried to do. It was still a topic that he would rather evade so he could not drop the class name directly. What he did was just look up more research material concerning special classes, ones that might even raise the stat multiplier.
There were some records of unusual classes that raised one's stat multiplier in the magic academy records. They were not mentioned by name but they did exist. They were somewhat lacking compared to his lord class which made it seem even more outstanding. There was something interesting about them that they all shared with each other. It seemed that they had specific limiting factors. It was mentioned that such classes which went above the regular tier multiplier were one-offs. A person could only gain one per tier.
This of course could have been untrue or just meant that the people with these classes didn’t meet the requirements to get two of them. Was Roland different though? He didn’t think he would be able to just get more prestigious classes without an end, this one was already more than he had ever expected.
‘What to do then…’
There were some options, first, he could just wait and try gaining more titles, perhaps some new traits. He could try waiting it out to maximize all of his Runesmith Lord skills, the new Runic Eye of Truth included.
The problem was time, leveling up all of those skills would probably not be easy. He would be wasting years of experience points if he didn’t change his class now. Some of them would be kept over but there was a limit.
“I don’t think I have the freedom to wait.”
Another sigh escaped from his mouth. If he could then he would probably decide to wait. The leveling process wasn’t that important to him as long as he could progress his skills. But he still lacked the capabilities to protect himself or the people around him from enemies above his tier.
The times in this city of Albrook had been good to him. Years of peace and mostly progress had continued after he arrived here. This didn’t mean that this would last forever, if the old foes didn’t show up, new ones could be around the corner.
This world was not safe, danger lurked everywhere. While the skirmishes with the other countries didn’t break out into a full-blown war, it was also something real. Being a talented craftsman and a commoner he could be easily forced to participate in it.
Peace and quiet was not something that he could see on the horizon. With the coming of the young noble, the market was now open to him but this would bring more trouble with it. For the coming battles, he needed any help that he could get.
‘If this class turns out to be crap I could always go for tier 3 sooner than I originally planned.’
While Roland didn’t want to cut his classes short he could always reach tier 3 when he hit level 150. This would mean that he would leave this Runic Golem Designer at level 25 which he wanted to avoid.
After receiving the special eye skill from this current class he was interested in what this class would offer. Without maximizing the new tier 2 class he would not be able to get anything similar as these types of abilities only appeared at higher levels.
Roland started moving the mouse cursor through the other classes yet again. Old and new classes littered the screen which caused the pixelated representations of them to get smaller. He almost decided on the golem-related one but then he spotted something that he had missed.
“Wait what is this one… Runic Engineer?”
The representation of this class didn’t showcase the tiny person working on a golem so he somewhat ignored it. Instead, it depicted the class working on some other contraption instead. It was hard to pin down what it was but it was mechanical in nature.
“Could this one be better?”
He thought back to his Runesmith Lord class that kind of encompassed a broad range of skills. In a sense, it was somewhat a combination of the Rune mage class and the regular Runesmith class. It allowed him to easily access the inner workings of the runic operating system while also boosting his basic runecrafting skills as well.
If this Engineer class was something similar it could go beyond golemic creations. It could very well help him create other things besides golems like his generators. Perhaps it would give him more bang for his buck than just a Runic Golem Designer.
This was getting complicated now, before he made another decision he decided to hover the mouse over each and every class to see if there was something even more interesting. After spending a couple of minutes he ended up back at the two choices before him.
Roland asked himself a question, did he really want to just hyperfocus on golems? Was this the only choice that he had? If he was a person of this world he would certainly go for the golem option. It was a well-studied profession, he had gone through many books and schematics thanks to his connection with the magical academy.
The Runic Golem Designer was the safer choice but it probably didn’t bring anything new to the table. He would probably just gain some skills to help him work with golems and their cores. What he could expect to get from it was skills that would let him do his job faster but he would probably be limited to golem cores as the base for all of his creations.
The golem cores had some flaws, one of the biggest was their fragility. Even when a craftsman placed the core on the inside of the golem, enough strikes from a sledgehammer from the outside could generate enough force to crack it.
What if this Engineer class gave him more options? Could he perhaps design something different than a golem core that wouldn’t be as fragile? Perhaps he could alter it in a way to suit his needs, not every runic item needed a golem core to run.
“Well… I could always leave during the trial and go with the other class if it’s bad…”
Thanks to having money he would be able to retake the trial even when he failed. He could also end it on purpose and come back later if the class turns out to be incompatible with his needs. Only after passing the test would the class be locked to his status screen, before that he could test them all.
After weighing the pros and cons of his current situation a decision was made. The Runic Engineer class was selected by him and the VR headset popped out as always. Roland placed it over his head and waited for the trial to start. The world around him started to change as he was transported to a new location.
The bright light that filled his vision previously slowly subsided as he found himself in some kind of open area. The first thing he noticed was the stone slabs on the ground along with the somewhat chilly environment.
It looked to be some kind of storage area, to the sides he could see various materials that he was familiar with. Metal ingots, tools like blacksmithing hammers, tongs, and even larger devices like a forge.
This was certainly not a colosseum that he remembered when he attempted the Runesmith Lord class change. It seemed that this one would be more about crafting than combat but what he was supposed to make was the big question.
‘I should look around, there is always a short time before these tests start.’
Thus Roland took a step towards the shelves containing various items. The place that looked like a huge storeroom had to have some clues on what he was supposed to do here.