As incredibly stupid as it sounds, I hadn't really been expecting to become pregnant. I wasn't stupid though, I certainly was aware where babies came from and it wasn't like we used protection. However, I just hadn't really thought of the consequences of it.
In hindsight, it was surprising that it had taken me this long to become pregnant, really. Still, my first reaction was a mixture of terror and shock. Many women would be happy; joyful to have their first child. I was panicking and panicking hard.
Even if I didn't look like it, by this world's standards I would be considered an old woman if people knew my total age. And while I barely ever experienced more than a slice of what each world had to offer, I had experienced more than what most would ever experience. I had know freedom and servitude, war and peace, authority and submission. I had known technology that is so far beyond the wildest dreams of the people around me that even an explanation of what the technology did - much less how it worked - would be incomprehensible to them.
All of that experience meant nothing, because I had never experienced this before.
Worse still, this was a terrible world to give birth in. Leaving aside the geopolitical instability, this world lacked both of either the technology or the magic to make the birth safe. My child and I could die, it wouldn't even be surprising if we did. My own life was unimportant - I couldn't die, not really - but the thought of my unborn child dying froze my heart solid.
First things first though, I had to tell Sut. I left the [Smiths] immediately and went directly to the palace with my thoughts and feelings in turmoil. I had to prepare, I thought, for the possibility that I wouldn’t survive. I didn’t want my child to be raised without their mother, but it was better to prepare for the worst.
I found Sut in the throne room, and despite the importance of the meeting I pulled him aside.
“Hem, dear, I heard the news about the steel by messenger,” he said with a partially bemused and partially annoyed tone. “You didn’t need to pull me out of the meeting to tell me.”
“This isn’t about the steel,” I took a deep breath, wondering why I was suddenly nervous about telling Sut. He wasn’t a boyfriend who I was afraid would leave me if he thought I was pregnant and indeed, the common sense of this world was that my job in this relationship was to get pregnant in the first place. Sut was waiting for me to explain, so I let out the air in my lungs and took another deep breath before continuing.
“Sut,” I say as I look him directly in the eyes. “I am pregnant.”
At first, he didn’t react at all. It seemed to take a few seconds for my words to register with him, and I saw his eyes widen when they did. I had braced myself - more of that semi conscious fear shining through - but his outburst that followed was not in anger, but happiness.
“That is wonderful news, Hem!” Sut said, pulling me into a tight hug. “It seems that the gods have not finished blessing us today; we need to celebrate! I’ll have the servants put together a feast, although you will have to limit your wine now…”
Listening to Sut excitedly planning out a celebration for our child soothed me quite a bit. Unlike my Father, I would never have to worry about Sut doing anything but showing love for our child. With that worry out of the way, after the feast I would begin writing down an explanation of who I was - what I was - and every idea I could think of.
Just in case the worst was to happen.
[First Prince] Uppilimus Sut of the Hin’Tye POV:
I have seen the chaos of battle, felt the insanity of men killing men as cities burned. I have felt the terror of monsters, of being stalked by an apex predator that knows neither fear nor failure. I have felt the creeping hopelessness of governance, watching as things fall apart around me despite my best plans and efforts.
And yet, never have I felt so helpless before today when my wife was giving birth.
My first child born to my first wife had an easy birth. Malnia had been in pain, but never was the survival of her or the child in doubt and she recovered quickly afterwards. My second wife - my beautiful, brilliant, and often incomprehensible Hem - had been far less convinced that things would go well for her.
She was right, as she usually was. In the latter half of her pregnancy, she had bled often and none of the [Wise Women] had known why. Hem had been in pain and had easily fallen ill as the months progressed, and I had learned that even with all the strength of an empire behind me, some answers simply couldn’t be found.
Now, she was in labor and I didn’t need my Skills to know what was going on when I could simply see the worried faces on the [Midwives], [Wise Women], and [Priests]. Traditionally, I would stay outside the room as my wife and there were only two reasons that they would call me in. The first, was that the birth had finished and the second was to say goodbye, probably to both mother and child.
I hurried into the room, ignoring the blood as I quickly approached the bed and clasped Hemere’s hand. She was breathing fast, and her eyes were filled with pain. Yet, they were also clear and held determination along with a vague air of victory…
“Sorry, Su,” she interrupted with a gasping breath. “But I need you to do something for me, could I borrow your knife for a second?”
“Don’t give up!” I panicked at her request, my mind immediately jumping to what she would use the kni-
“Stop thinking like that!” She snapped, weakly hitting me. “I know better than most what it feels like to be close to death and all that matters is that I die alone and not with our child. Now give me your damn knife and one of you get ready to pull our child out!”
I had started to hand her the knife I always carried with me before she had finished her statement, but before I could ask what she meant, Hem had already plunged the knife into her own stomach!
“Hem!?” I shout, reaching for her as she screams and yanks the blade through her. My mind is blank, and most everyone is shocked into stillness, but a single [Wise Woman] gasps and moves pulling my wife’s stomach open!
The [Wise Woman] pulls the child out - the umbilical cord wrapped around its neck - and there is a small feeling of relief when I hear the child cry. Our child is alive, but my wife…
“Sorry Su,” she says as her voice starts to go quiet and her eyes become unfocused. “I left a… letter. For you. More to, just promise me… Love our child, even though I’m gone…”
“I swear it upon my very soul,” I give the oath with tears in my eyes. “I love you, Hem.”
“It… Kind of snuck… Up on me, but I love you too Su.” Hem answered with a smile, and then closed her eyes and passed away. It was a while before I was well enough to read the letter she left; before I saw the notes she left me and the goals she had wished to accomplish.
But I swore another oath when I did: I would see her will done, even if I had to shift the heavens themselves. I might not see her in the next life, but I would at least know that she was never truly gone.
Cadence Lee POV:
I opened my eyes to see the same smooth, white, ceiling again. I took my time getting up, taking some deep breaths as I considered my last life. I was not as grief stricken this time as the previous ones, although the grief was still there. I imagine that it always will be unless I live a life completely alone and never have to worry about the inevitable separation that will occur.
I hadn’t really expected to survive giving birth and I had spent the months leading up to that making my peace with it. I spent the time I could with Sut, and when I couldn’t I took up pen and parchment to write down everything I could think of. Hopefully he will be able to use them…
Not being able to be with my own child hurt as well; I didn’t even know if I had given birth to a boy or a girl. That pain was sharp as a knife even with my emotions being dampened here. However, there was nothing I could do but embrace that pain and move on. I had to be content that I had at least saved my baby’s life, and honestly, what more could I wish for?
...A lot more, actually. But if I wanted more, I had to be stronger. So I got up off the marble slab and acknowledged the box floating ahead of me.
“[Welcome back Cadence Lee, and congratulations on completing your third life!]
[Please step up to the podium and have your life be measured!]”
“Hello again, Podi.” I said, taking a moment to stretch. I had been a mess the last time I was here, and I don’t think I had noticed that I was back in my very first body whenever I returned here. It was a bit strange to have my body change so suddenly. Going from nine-months pregnant to normal in an instant was an odd experience.
I still wasn’t comfortable with being naked, but living as Hemere had made me feel a lot more comfortable being barefoot than wearing shoes, so I suppose that was a plus. I walk up to the black podium and place my hand within the silver outline saying, “I guess I didn’t manage to live very long this time either. I should really try harder next time, I would rather die of old age after a fulfilling life than like I just did.”
“[Calculating your life accomplishments…]
You survived eighteen years! For surviving eighteen years you have earned eighteen points!
You took part in being professionally trained in a trade! For going through four years of professional training you have earned one point!
You took part in being professionally trained in several arts! For going through a total of twenty years of professional training between three arts you have earned five points!
You defeated multiple enemies! For killing one hundred thirty four humans and forty two animals, you have earned one hundred forty four points!”
“Hold up a second Podi,” I interject. “How exactly does the math work on that?”
“[Human lives are worth one point. Animal lives are worth one quarter of a point. All decimals are rounded down to the nearest full point.]”
“So a mouse and a wolf are worth the same amount of points? That doesn’t seem to make much sense Podi.”
“[Small animals are worth zero points. Dangerous wild animals are worth variable amounts of points depending on the animal.]”
“Huh,” I pause as I think about it. It still feels like there is lots of room for weird exceptions here, but what do I know? “Well thanks for telling me that Podi, please continue.”
“You have defeated multiple enemies above your level! For defeating two humans above your level, you have earned four points!
You gained nine Classes! For gaining nine Classes you have earned nine points!
You gained three Advanced Classes! For gaining three Advanced Classes you have earned six points!
You gained forty one levels! For gaining forty one levels you have earned forty one points!
You have learned twenty two Skills! For learning twenty two Skills you have earned twenty two points!
You learned multiple languages! For being fluent in three languages you have earned three points!
You were socially active! For having a combined total of friends and acquaintances between one hundred and two hundred people, you have earned one point!
You were married! For being married for two years you have earned two points!
You had children! For having one child you have earned five points!
You were politically active! For negotiating one peace treaty and one trade treaty you have earned twelve points!
You advanced technology! For introducing three simple technologies to the world you have earned sixty points!”
“Hey now, I introduced a lot more than three pieces of tech, Podi.” I glare at the podium under my hand, “I left my notes with Sut and they had things like flight and sanitation in them!”
“[To qualify for Incarnator Points, an introduced technology must fulfill the following factors: First, it must be introduced prior to the Incarnator’s death. Second, to qualify as introduced, a technology must either be spread widely throughout society or taught to a proxy that is both capable and likely to do so. Third, the technology must be able to be implemented without the Incarnator present. Technology that relies on knowledge that the Incarnator alone has - and thus becomes unusable once the Incarnator dies - will not count. Fourth, the technology must not be available in the geographic region. Technology that exists elsewhere in the world, but is not within the same geographic region and is out of reach of the average sentient may still qualify for Incarnator Points at a reduced rate.]”
“So my notes wouldn’t count anyways,” I mused aloud. “Because a lot of the stuff in there were things that I wasn’t actually able to implement yet, oh well. It sure is worth a lot of points though…”
“You have advanced society! For introducing two new concepts to the world and engaging in three large public works projects you have earned twenty nine points!
You were famous! For being well-known by more than one third of all sentient creatures in your world you have earned twenty points!
You were religiously active! For helping to found a new temple and pantheon you have earned one hundred points!
You were blessed by the gods of the world! For receiving a collective blessing from multiple gods you have earned ten points!
Your point total for this life is: four hundred eighty eight points!
Your grade for this life is: D
Your Beginner’s Protection will last: one more life”
“Well at least it isn’t hard to avoid getting a strike from failing,” I say and then pause. The majority of my points came from killing so many people, introducing technology, and unifying the storm god temples… “Actually, I was really lucky that life, wasn’t I? None of that is easy to do, if their society had been just a bit more advanced I would have probably gotten an F…”
Then I had another thought and asked aloud, “hey, Podi. Is getting an ‘F’ grade for a life the only way to get a Strike?”
“[An Incarnator may receive a Strike in the following ways: 1) By earning less than two hundred points and earning a grade of ‘F’ for a life. 2) -information withheld until additional prerequisites are met- 3) -information withheld until additional prerequisites are met- 4) -information withheld until additional prerequisites are met- 5) By attempting to damage the Incarnator System.]”
“That is a lot of information you are hiding from me Podi…” I sigh, “Can you tell me what the prerequisites I need to meet are at least?”
“[To view this information you must complete your Beginner’s Protection Lives.]”
“So next time I see you I will get to know the other requirements… At least it can’t hurt me until after that point anyway, so show me my achievements Podi. I imagine I got a decent amount this time, right?”
[Congratulations Incarnator! You have earned multiple Achievements!]
For dying to save the life of another you have earned the Achievement “Sacrifice” and earned one point! You have unlocked additional options in the Relationships tab!
For dying to save the life of your child as a mother you have earned the Achievement “A Mother’s Love” and earned three points! You have unlocked additional options in the Relationship tab!
For killing yourself for the first time you have earned the Achievement “Voluntary Restart” and earned one point! You have unlocked additional options in the General tab!
For killing an animal for the first time you have earned the Achievement “Hunter” and earned one point! You have unlocked additional options in the Attack tab!
For killing ten animals for the first time you have earned the Achievement “Culling” and earned one point! You have unlocked additional options in the Attack tab!
For killing ten animals in a single attack for the first time you have earned the Achievement “Slaughter” and earned one point! You have unlocked additional options in the Attack tab!
For killing one hundred sapients for the first time you have earned the Achievement “Bloody Footprints” and earned five points! You have unlocked additional options in the Attack tab!
For killing two sapients in a single attack you have earned the Achievement “Two For One” and earned one point! You have unlocked additional options in the Attack tab!
For killing ten sapients in a single attack you have earned the Achievement “Overkill” and earned two points! You have unlocked additional options in the Attack tab!
For killing one hundred sapients in a single attack you have earned the Achievement “Massacre” and earned five points! You have unlocked additional options in the Attack tab!
For learning how to perform basic singing professionally for the first time you have earned the Achievement “Out Loud” and earned one point! You have unlocked additional options in the Arts tab!”
Perform basic singing professionally? I was the greatest singer anyone had ever heard or heard of in four countries! I just got achievements for killing one hundred people with my voice alone! On second thought, that doesn’t seem like a good thing for a singer…
“Hey Podi, why did I only get the Achievement for basic singing?” I complain to Podi, “What do I have to do to reach an expert level, or a master level?”
“[Achievement hints are currently unavailable.]”
“There are Achievement hints!? Well how do I make them available?”
“[To view this information you must complete your Beginner’s Protection Lives.]”
“You know Podi,” I complain with a sigh. “It makes more sense to give beginners this information while they are beginners instead of waiting. Not that you will change your mind, I mean, you are just a podium… Just… Go on.”
“For learning how to perform basic dancing professionally for the first time you have earned the Achievement “Fancy Feet” and earned one point! You have unlocked additional options in the Arts tab!
For learning how to use a musical instrument to a basic level professionally for the first time you have earned the Achievement “Music Player” and earned one point! You have unlocked additional options in the Arts tab!
For learning how to sense mana for the first time you have earned the Achievement “First Spark” and earned one point! You have unlocked additional options in the Magic tab!
For writing an original research paper for the first time you have earned the Achievement “Abstract” and earned one point! You have unlocked additional options in the Intelligence tab!
For bringing technological knowledge from one world to another for the first time you have earned the Achievement “Kingdom Building” and earned one point! You have unlocked additional options in the Intelligence tab!
For helping a civilization to develop Wrought Iron for the first time you have earned the Achievement “Dust to Rust” and earned one point! You have unlocked additional options in the Intelligence tab!
For helping a civilization to develop Steel for the first time you have earned the Achievement “Hard As” and earned one point! You have unlocked additional options in the Intelligence tab!
For helping a civilization to develop Crop Rotation for the first time you have earned the Achievement “Soil Renewer” and earned one point! You have unlocked additional options in the Intelligence tab!
For helping a civilization to develop universal education for the first time you have earned the Achievement “Students for Teachers” and earned one point! You have unlocked additional options in the Intelligence tab!
For helping a civilization to develop its infrastructure for the first time you have earned the Achievement “Roadbuilder” and earned one point! You have unlocked additional options in the Intelligence tab!
For obtaining an ‘analysis’ type Skill and using it over 100 times for the first time you have earned the Achievement “Examiner” and earned one point! You have unlocked additional options in the Intelligence tab!”
“My [Scholar’s Eye] Skill was practically useless.” I groused as I was reminded of how hopeful I was about it, “It basically was only able to tell me things I already knew!”
“For leaving a written record filled with otherworldly knowledge for the first time you have earned the Achievement “Incarnator's Legacy” and earned two points! You have unlocked additional options in the Communications tab!
For being a member of royalty for the first time you have earned the Achievement “Royal” and earned one point! You have unlocked additional options in the Communications tab!
For helping to negotiate a diplomatic treaty for the first time you have earned the Achievement “Global Politics” and earned five points! You have unlocked additional options in the Communications tab!
For being involved in a political marriage for the first time you have earned the Achievement “Treaty Obligations” and earned one point! You have unlocked additional options in the Communications tab!”
Wow, I am getting a lot of Achievements for this life. I suppose it makes sense because I actually did things this time. Or rather, I actually did new things this time. After all, I can only get an Achievement once, so I suppose that eventually - after enough lives - I would stop getting them for anything less than truly amazing feats.
By the same token, I suppose as my point totals went up I would be more able to perform amazing feats. I wonder what it will be like to be a baby with a few hundred points in each stat, I’d basically be a superhero. Honestly, that seemed kind of fun.
“For getting married for the first time you have earned the Achievement “Tie the Knot” and earned one point! You have unlocked additional options in the Relationships tab!
For having a male child as a woman for the first time you have earned the Achievement “Its a Boy!” and earned one point! You have unlocked additional options in the Relationships tab!
For dying during childbirth for the first time you have earned the Achievement “Maternal Mortality” and earned one point! You have unlocked additional options in the Vitals tab!
For becoming crippled from a self inflicted wound during an attack you have earned the Achievement “Spite the Face” and earned one point! You have unlocked additional options in the Vitals tab!
For performing a surgery for the first time you have earned the Achievement “Chirurgeon” and earned one point! You have unlocked additional options in the Intelligence tab!
For performing a self-surgery for the first time you have earned the Achievement “Mad Chirurgeon” and earned two points! You have unlocked additional options in the Vitals tab!
For having vaginal sex for the first time you have earned the Achievement “Hip Magic” and earned one point! You have unlocked additional options in the Communications tab!”
“...I am not even going to comment this time Podi, you pervert.”
“[Calculating Achievement total…]
Your points earned from Achievements is: forty eight points!
Recalculating your Life Accomplishments…
Your point total is: five hundred thirty six points!
Your grade for this life is: D
For obtaining a grade of D you have earned a bonus fifty points!
[Would you like to access the Incarnator Menus now?]”
“Yes Podi, I would.”
Points Balance: 594
Strength: 2 (+)
Vitality: 7 (+)
Agility: 1 (+)
Dexterity: 1 (+)
Perception: 1 (+)
Acuity: 7 (+)
Willpower: 1 (+)
Charisma: 8 (+)
Magic: 1 (+)
Luck: 1 (+)
[Attack] [Arts] [Communications] [Defense] [General]
[Intelligence] [Magic] [Relationships] [Vitals]
[Life Records] [Ability List] [Achievement List]
“Wow, that is a lot of points.” I let out a whistle at my windfall, although as I think more it might not really be that much. “Stats are way cheaper than abilities are, I wonder why?”
Podi didn’t offer any information this time, so I could only shrug and let it go. I would at least check out the new abilities that are available, but I was pretty set on sinking my points into Endurance, Vitality, and Luck. I actually wanted to have a long life and if I had children again, I wanted to live to raise them.
“[Attack] Abilities Tab:
[Hunter’s Strike]: When attacking an animal with intent to kill you have 5% increased Strength and Agility! (25 points)
[Accurate Hunting]: When attacking an animal with intent to kill you have 5% increased Dexterity, Perception, and Acuity! (30 points)
[Thinning the Herd]: When attacking a group of animals you regain a small amount of health and stamina for every animal you kill in a single attack after the first! (100 points)
[Wild Blow]: Attacks that hit multiple enemies restore a small amount of stamina! (100 points)
[Friend and Foe 1]: Your area of effect attacks deal 5% more damage to enemies and 5% less damage to friends! (200 points)
[One vs One Hundred, One at a Time]: When killing a sapient you have a small chance to gain one point from your victims highest stat. (2500 points)
[One vs One Hundred, All at Once]: When attacking a group of over one hundred enemies your attacks deal 10% more damage! (2500 points)
“You know, I don’t even know how I killed that many people in the first place.” I remembered the only battle I had taken place in, “Admittedly, my Class was simply better than most, but it really seemed almost too easy to do…”
Honestly, I doubted that I had killed as many as I was given credit for, at least not directly. I was at ground zero, and I only went deaf, so I can’t imagine that I was shattering skulls or something. Maybe confusing people into attacking each other counted? Or if someone was heavily wounded and died later, did that count? I wasn’t sure.
“All right, show me my new Arts abilities then.”
“[Arts] Abilities Tab:
[Perfect Tuning]: You can instinctively tune any musical instrument! (20 points)
[Perfect Pitch]: You always have perfect pitch! (50 points)
[Sure Feet: Dancing] You have 5% increased Acuity, Agility, and Dexterity when dancing! (50 points)”
“[Perfect Pitch], huh?” I had that same Skill from my Classes before… “What happens if I have the same Skill from being both a world and from being an Incarnator? Do I get something special, Podi?”
“[-information withheld until prerequisites are met-]”
“Yeah, that figures. At least answering that way implies that eventually I will get something interesting for duplicates eventually.” Well, hopefully interesting anyway. I suppose that the “withheld information” could be that I don’t get anything and I just get ripped off, but I can’t think of a reason why information like that would be withheld.
Of course, I can’t think of why any information would be withheld. The idea of Podi having an agenda is… Well, the only agenda I think he has is to perv on me.
“Well speaking of perversion, go on then; Communications is next, yeah?”
“[Communications] Abilities Tab:
[Sexual Prowess: Vaginal]: Improves your ability to perform vaginal sex! (125 points)”
“Yup, I still have no idea why this is in the Communications tab. Or why it is a thing at all.” I have difficulty imagining why I would ever spend points on that.
“[Royal Presence]: Increases the efficacy of Charisma and Willpower based Skills based on the status of your family! (500 points)
[Political Marriage]: When involved in a political marriage, the family of the other party will find you much easier to like! (500 points)
[Minor Analysis: Diplomat]: When using ‘analyze’ Skill on a target that is subject to a diplomatic agreement you may gain extra information on the target’s likelihood to adhere to or violate the agreement! This Skills effectiveness increases with Perception, Acuity, Willpower, Charisma, Luck and your familiarity with the target. (2000 points)
[Incarnator Legacy 1]: This Skill allows the Incarnator to imbue an object that has knowledge from the Incarnator with 10% of their Stats and up to three Skills. After the Incarnator dies, a sapient who accesses the information will receive the Stats and Skills as a Blessing. (100,000 points)
[General] Abilities Tab:
[Restart Option]: Allows the Incarnator to return to the Incarnation Chamber by instantly committing suicide whenever they wish! (1000 points)”
“I probably should get that Skill someday…” I could only think that I would be forced to use it someday, in some life. “Although you would think it would cost less. Your pricing is bullshit, Podi.”
“[Intelligence] Abilities Tab:
[Minor Analysis: Farming - Rotation]: When using an ‘analyze’ type Skill on a crop you gain information relevant to crop rotation! (25 points)
[Research Writer]: When writing a research paper your Acuity and Dexterity are doubled! (50 points)
[Examine]: A basic analysis Skill. Provides very basic information about the target! (100 points)
[Iron Age]: When teaching how to make wrought iron, the people learning from you require up to 10% less food and water and become tired up to 10% more slowly. The efficacy of this Skill is dependent on your Charisma and the quality of your teaching. (1000 points)
[Educator]: When teaching your student’s Acuity is increased by at least 100% and can be increased by up to 200% depending on your Charisma! (1500 points)
[Infrastructure Planning]: When working on infrastructure, you require up to 10% less food and water and become tired up to 10% more slowly. *Warning! This ability can only be used while working on infrastructure. Working on infrastructure for the purpose of reducing consumption or sleep will result in this skill failing to activate!* (1500 points)
[Fast Hands: Self-Surgery]: When performing self-surgery you have 15% increased Perception, Dexterity, and Acuity. (1000 points)
[Steel Age]: When teaching how to make steel, the people learning from you require up to 10% less food and water and become tired up to 10% more slowly. The efficacy of this Skill is dependent on your Charisma and the quality of your teaching. (2000 points)
[Kingdom: Advancement]: Populations in polities aligned with you gain a bonus to Luck based on how advanced they are! (1,000,000 points)”
“One million points? Well, I suppose it is probably a powerful Skill…” I am not really sure how important Luck is though, so I can’t say how powerful it is. The Skill also doesn’t mention how much of a bonus it is, or how advanced a polity has to be to trigger the Skill, or how much more advanced a polity has to be for the bonus to increase.
Actually, as I am looking over the Skills I unlocked, I had to wonder: “Hey Podi, are these all of the Skills I have unlocked? The Achievement notifications all say ‘options,’ which is plural.”
“[Skill selection is limited until Beginner’s Protection is over.]”
Interesting. Confusing, for sure, but interesting as well. After my next life is over, I would definitely have to try and interrogate Podi some more. Considering this is my existence now, and as long as I don’t screw up it looks like it will continue forever…
“[Magic] Abilities Tab:
[Minor Manasense]: Perceiving Mana is 10% easier! (200 points)
[Relationships] Abilities Tab:
[Married Life]: When married, your spouse will find it easier to like you! (100 points)
[One Life For Another]: When sacrificing your life for another, after your death the one you sacrificed your life for will have .5% of their health and stamina restored per second for the next 30 seconds. (1000 points)
[A Mother’s Love]: When sacrificing your life for your child as a Mother, after your death your child will have 1% of their health, Mana, and stamina restored per second for the next 600 seconds. (2000 points)
[A Healthy Boy]: When giving birth to a male child that child inherits 1% of your Vitality! (2000 points)
[Vitals] Abilities Tab:
[Double-Edged Defense]: You take 5% less damage from your own attacks! (200 points)
[Doctorless]: When performing a self-surgery you experience 25% less pain! (250 points)
[Maternal Vitality]: You gain a bonus to Vitality when you are pregnant that grows until birth! This bonus starts at 1% and can reach a maximum of 33%. (1000 points)”
“Well, that is a lot of Skills, Podi.” Some of them look useful but, “I think it probably makes more sense for me to invest in my Stats instead.”
On the other hand, there certainly were some Skills that I could probably use… The analysis Skills really stand out in that regard. Purchasing [Minor Analysis: Life], [Minor Analysis: Chemical], [Minor Analysis: Farming - Rotation], and [Examine] would cost me one hundred seventy five points, but I could understand how useful they could be now. [Minor Analysis: Diplomat] was out of my price range, but having spent over a year of my last life struggling to produce steel, being able to get chemical information out of an analysis Skill seemed absolutely perfect.
The only question was: would I be doing things like that enough for the Skills to be worth it at this point? Or rather, for them to be worth more than the twelve Stat points I could get instead. Vitality was an absolute must for me, I think, and so was Endurance. I have died twice from violently being killed and once from what you could generously call “medical complications.” I haven’t managed to hit even half of my life expectancy in any of my lives!
“Podi,” I decide to add to my Vitality before anything else can tempt me. “Put one hundred thirty points into my Vitality and bring it up to twenty.”
“[Request Denied. 130 Incarnator Points spent on Vitality bonus Stats would bring your Vitality Stat total to: 15. To reach a total of 20, you will need to spend 230 Incarnator Points. Would you like to do so now?]”
“I would not,” I quickly deny. “If each bonus Stat costs ten Incarnator Points, why do I need to spend two hundred thirty Incarnator Points to reach twenty bonus Vitality?”
“[The cost of a bonus Stat point doubles for every ten points purchased in that particular Stat. Bonus Vitality Stats 11 - 20 cost 20 Incarnator Points each.]”
Well. Fuck. That would mean that twenty one to thirty would cost a total of four hundred Incarnator Points, and from thirty one to forty would cost eight hundred. Past forty, each individual point would cost more than all the bonus Stats cost from zero to ten.
So it probably wasn’t very efficient to try and dump all my points into my Stats like I had originally planned on… However, I might as well bring a couple up to ten at least; Vitality and Endurance for sure, maybe Strength too because it probably overlapped with Vitality considering that organs like the heart were muscles.
More importantly, I doubted I would be born as royalty again for a long time. My second life would have benefited a lot from having some extra strength. Maybe I wouldn’t have died so easily? Hard to say…
“I understand. In that case, please raise my Strength, Endurance, Vitality, Charsima, and Acuity to ten each. That should cost me two hundred fifty Incarnator Points, correct?”
It did, which left me with three hundred forty four points remaining. Should I drop another ninety on Luck? Probably, I might as well. Once I did that, I had two hundred fifty four points left. Time to bite the bullet and buy those analysis Skills I suppose…
“Podi, I’d like to get [Minor Analysis: Life], [Minor Analysis: Chemical], [Minor Analysis: Farming - Rotation], and [Examine] for one hundred seventy five points.” As for the remaining seventy nine, hmmmm… “I’d like [Killing Blow] and [Healthy Thoughts] as well.”
I don’t like killing people, but I have ended up having to do it anyway. It is better to be prepared, I think. My Incarnator Menu looked better now, at least; more full.
Points Balance: 9
Strength: 10 (+)
Vitality: 10 (+)
Agility: 1 (+)
Dexterity: 1 (+)
Perception: 1 (+)
Acuity: 10 (+)
Willpower: 1 (+)
Charisma: 10 (+)
Magic: 1 (+)
Luck: 10 (+)
[Attack] [Arts] [Communications] [Defense] [General]
[Intelligence] [Magic] [Relationships] [Vitals]
[Life Records] [Ability List] [Achievement List]
[Minor Analysis: Life]: When using an ‘analyze’ type skill on a living target, you gain extra information. This skills effectiveness increases with Perception and Acuity.
[Minor Analysis: Chemical]: When using an ‘analyze’ type skill on a physical target, you gain extra information about its chemical composition. This skills effectiveness increases with Perception and Acuity.
[Minor Analysis: Farming - Rotation]: When using an ‘analyze’ type Skill on a crop you gain information relevant to crop rotation!
[Better First Impression]: If you were going to give a good first impression upon meeting someone for the first time, your impression will be even better than before!
[Healthy Thoughts]: Basic health practices are more effective.
[First Words]: When you are born into a world, you learn to understand your first language in that world much faster!
[Killing Blow]: When attacking a sapient with intent to kill you have 5% increased Strength and Agility!
[Examine]: A basic analysis Skill. Provides very basic information about the target!
“Well, I don’t suppose there is any point waiting around here.” I said with a sigh, my thoughts instinctively turning back to the world I just left. The family I just left.
“Hey, Podi…” My voice is quiet, “Is there really no way I can return to them? To my son? I know… I know that I can’t, but I can’t help but ask you anyway…”
“[...Unfortunately, not yet Cadence.]”
“I understand,” I am nearly crying, but I pull myself together. If I think about what I have lost, I will be a mess again. Podi hasn’t taken me away from my child, I was simply too weak to stay with them and Podi is giving me a chance to be better.
“Thank you for answering, Podi.” I hadn’t expected an answer like that; maybe my anthropomorphising of Podi was more correct than I had thought. “I am ready to reincarnate now.”
“[Begining Reincarnation. You currently are only allowed to Reincarnate into worlds with a ‘system.’ World found. May your life be glorious, Incarnator.]”
The world went black for another moment, another eternity. I felt nothing, and then warmth and pressure. There was light, but it was muted this time, and I felt confined and desperate to stretch. I followed those instincts without thinking, stretching my body and whatever was containing me opened!
I was in… water? Is this a swamp? Why is everything so huge, where is my mother? Wait, if I look at my own body…
“PODI,” I try to roar. “WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS!?”
And in the middle of a warm and shallow pool, the baby toad that was me let out an infuriated squeak.
Support "The Many Lives of Cadence Lee"
Hello! I am Vladerag the author of several stories here on Royal Road! I hope you are enjoying whatever you are reading, and I hope you check out some of my stories!
You can find them here! https://royalroadl.com/profile/76129/fictions
And if you are interested in supporting me, you can do so here as well! https://www.patreon.com/vladerag