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Ch076-One Door Closes

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Having learned from his earlier mistakes, Will was well above the clouds. Flesh and Bone were both carefully laid onto the flattest area of the wyvern’s back and held down using shades and magic.

“So you can’t teleport?” Flesh asked. For the 10th time.

“No. I don’t have enough mana to do it in the form of a spell, and I don’t have any skills or perks for it,” Sylver answered. For the 10th time.

“That’s strange. The level 10 perk list normally has something, a mage who can’t teleport is too easy of a target,” Bones added.

“Well, mine didn’t. All the perks I got then were all to do with death magic. But because most of them carried far too costly penalties and restrictions I ended up choosing one that didn’t have any negative effects,” Sylver explained. He couldn’t remember all the perks he was offered back then, but he remembered why he ended up picking [Dead’s Dogma]. Sylver sat up as he realized something.

“Your class was [Necromancer], wasn’t it?” Sylver asked Bones.

“A variant of it. At least in this life,” Bones answered.

Sylver realized something else.

“If you don’t accept a perk for your class reaching level 60, and you get another perk at level 70, what will happen?” Sylver asked.

“A random one will be chosen for you for the level 60 perk. Usually, it’s the one you would have chosen anyway. Same for attribute points, if you let them build up to a certain point,” Flesh answered.

“Huh…” Sylver said. He carefully pulled out his notebook and crossed off two questions out of it.

“Skills. I have several that I know I’m using perfectly, but they take far too long to level up,” Sylver asked.

“It’s because you reincarnated. Your level and classes and skills and perks, and everything, was reset to nothing. But because you use skills at a level you shouldn’t be able to, the system penalizes you,” Bones answered.

“What do you mean ‘at a level’?” Sylver asked.

“I mean, all skills start at F rank, and all of yours started at SSS rank. At least all the ones you would consider yourself a master of,” Bones answered.

“Skills have a rank?”

“They do. But you either need a really specific skill to see them right now, or you have to wait until you’re past level 100. A few things change after that, skill ranks becoming evident is one of them,” Bones said as if it were the most obvious thing in the entire world.

“It’s… Is that the reason I’ve been leveling up so slowly? Because I’ve got several SSS rank skills?” Sylver asked. He suddenly realized where the adventurer’s guild got the idea for its ranking system.

“Part of it. Let’s use [Earth Manipulation] as an example. If you have the SSS rank version, you should be at a level where you have enough mana to move around 1000 tons of earth easily. But instead, you can barely move 100kg around. To say it will take a while to increase your skill level is an understatement. It isn’t something you should have, and the system doesn’t scale it down. The other issue is your class,” Bones said.

“My class?” Sylver asked.

“You have a unique class, right? Is it still the same since when you’ve been reincarnated?” Bones asked.

“It is.”

“It’s still growing then. That’s why you’ve been leveling up so slowly,” Bones explained. He nodded his head slightly. Sylver had the shades holding him down prop him up so he was sitting upright.

“My class is growing? Not leveling up but growing?”

“It is. Normally I would keep this to myself, but I’m sharing it as a sign of trust. In the same way your other classes will hit a cap, your unique class will too. Except it will be replaced instantly with another class. As it is it’s sucking up all your experience. And it will continue to do so until it’s full. After that you’ll start gaining levels like a normal person,” Bones explained.

“Why? What does it do, most of the perks I’ve gotten from my unique have been nearly useless,” Sylver asked.

“It’s useless on its own, but it affects everything else. From your skills to your perks, to your traits. You’ll see it later when you try to unlock another class. Instead of a warrior, you’ll be a death knight, for example. Having a unique class is a massive blessing, as it improves all your other classes and skills considerably. On the other hand, it’s a massive curse. You’re extremely weak when you start and increasing your level takes forever, but in exchange, you don’t have a limit,” Bones said.

Sylver crossed out 20 questions and wrote in 10 new ones to replace them.

“So my unique class is the reason I can’t teleport and it’s responsible for the choices of perks I’ve gotten, and what skills I’ve been able to unlock?” Sylver asked.

“To a certain extent. Skills usually take months or years to unlock, even longer to level them up and increase their rank, but your unique class makes acquiring certain ones easier, other ones harder, or downright impossible. In my case, it helped out with my soul magic. On the other hand, I’ve never once managed to unlock any form of healing magic,” Bones said. As Flesh started to move around, Sylver had the shades prop him up too.

“You mentioned a limit?” Sylver asked.

“You know how most people have a point where they can’t level up any further? Where the difference between them and a monster of their level is too great for them to overcome?” Flesh asked.

“Sure.”

“Classes normally have diminishing returns. But in the case of unique classes, they will cause all your other classes to level consistently. In simple terms, there will never come a point where you’ll be incapable of killing something on your level. You won’t experience any explosive growth, but you’ll always get consistently stronger, and you won’t be in a position where you’re stuck, or at least you shouldn’t be,” Flesh explained.

“But don’t think this means you’ll be able to stroll your way to the top. I’ve seen more unique class holders die than I’ve seen them get past level 200. Arrogance aside, there’s the issue of not understanding the class and what it wants. I understand mine, enough that I know which skills I’ll be able to get in a couple of hours, as opposed to a couple of years,” Bones added.

“What’s the best way for a [Necromancer] to fight in terms of experience?” Sylver asked. He didn’t want to say what his unique class was, and neither of them asked.

“There isn’t one. It’s a crafting class, as much as it is a combat one. Except you don’t get any experience for raising the dead, and you get a penalty for using the dead to fight,” Bones explained.

Sylver sat quietly for a while and watched the light grey clouds pass by underneath him.

“That’s bullshit,” Sylver said when he couldn’t think of a better way to phrase it.

“It might very well be. I’ve personally never had any issue increasing my [Necromancer] level, and yet everyone I’ve ever met has told me it’s a worthless class. I don’t honestly believe the whole crafting and combat class theory, but it’s the best explanation I’ve heard for why it’s so slow to level. The second best explanation is that the gods don’t like the idea of someone interfering with souls, and do their best to turn people away from the class,” Bones said.

“See, that I can believe. It’s such a powerful class that even the gods are rightfully scared of it. So gods are responsible for creating the system then?” Sylver asked.

“What?” Bones asked.

“Gods are the ones who created the system right?”

“What?” Bones repeated. Flesh looked equally confused at the question.

“Are gods the…” Sylver didn’t get to finish his sentence as he blinked and was suddenly laying down.

“You passed out,” Spring whispered. Sylver stood up and looked around. They were still on Will but Flesh and Bones were sitting down next to each other and speaking quietly amongst themselves.

Sylver looked down and saw that the ground below them was vastly different from what it was just a few seconds ago.

“One hour, almost exactly. I tried using the ammonia sticks, but it didn’t do anything,” Spring added. He held out a piece of cloth towards Sylver, who took it but didn’t understand what for.

“What-” Sylver felt his skin pull as the blood that had dried up between his lips stretched apart and peeled. Sylver summoned some water and washed his face as much as he could. He cleared his nose and found that there was blood in his lungs. Inspecting himself, it looked like every single blood vessel on the inside of Sylver’s nose had burst. Thankfully with [Biological Manipulation], it was easy to seal them up, but Sylver would still need to wait for the wounds to heal before he could stop wasting mana to keep them from reopening.

“It’s getting worse. It was just pain before, now it’s knocking you out,” Spring cautioned.

“But I’m right, aren’t I? I’m…” Sylver stopped talking as a new kind of pain made itself known. If the buzzing and pressure was blunt and general, this was a sharp and pointed pain. The difference between someone stepping on your head as a threat, and someone holding up a razor-sharp dagger to your jugular vein. A promise, more than a warning.

It doesn’t like me talking about gods… I’m going in the right direction, but there’s more, it’s not just gods. They wouldn’t be able to bend reality like this… They shouldn’t be able to bend reality like this…

Sylver decided he’d learned enough from Flesh and Bones for the moment and spent the remainder of the flight thinking about what he’d learned, and helping Flesh and Bones stand up and walk. Sylver was careful to only think about the system in a way that wasn’t questioning it. He would need to be careful with how he approached this since it might get to a point where it will kill him for trying.

But if gods were involved, Sylver knew how to deal with it.

*

*

*

“Is farming spiders a thing?” Bones asked suddenly. Sylver was in the middle of preparing a booklet for them to use to learn Eirish, for when he had to leave them alone to sort things out.

“Spiders? I don’t think they produce milk,” Sylver said. He realized what he had said, even before Bones started to laugh.

“It’s going to take me a while to get used to requiring sleep,” Bones said between fits of laughter. Flesh didn’t laugh as loudly, more of a controlled giggle.

“I can make both of your bodies not require sleep if you want. But sleeping is nice, not to mention you’re both effectively killing time until I figure something out,” Sylver offered.

“Still, I wonder what spider milk would taste like?” Bones asked, he had enough control over his muscles now that he could effortlessly reach up to scratch his chin.

“You would need a huge amount of spiders for that, those things are tiny,” Flesh countered.

“Or a couple of big spiders,” Sylver added.

“Are there any around that could be domesticated?” Bones asked.

“Not that I’m aware of… But it wouldn’t be too difficult to enchant spider eggs to grow to the size of a cow… But it’d take too long to create the framework for it, not to mention I would have to be around to adjust it as they grow… But Arachne silk is insanely tough and expensive, it would be nice to have an inhouse steady supply of it. With enough time, I could probably get them to produce even better silk,” Sylver thought out loud.

“If you set it up and leave me some mana stones and a wand or two, I should be able to manage,” Bones offered.

“No, you… you would need to have an extensive knowledge of soul magic and biological manipulation magic…” Sylver said as he remembered who he was talking to. “Have you ever done it before?”

“I’ve made several chimeras’ in the past, this wouldn’t be too different. If I can figure out how to make it so that they can reproduce, it’s just maintenance and crossbreeding after that,” Bones offered.

“If we’re crossing cows with spiders, it would need to lean towards the cow’s side for it to produce milk. But… If we keep it oviparous it would be a lot easier to breed them. We would need to add chickens in there to balance out the-”

“The cold-bloodedness of the arachnid half. The arachnid characteristics could be handpicked and more or less glued onto the cow base,” Bones finished.

“Yes! Milk, eggs, silk, and carapace! Oh! You know what else you should do?” Sylver asked.

“Snakes?” Bones guessed.

“Snakes! If they’re big enough, and their scales are tough enough, we could have a way to mass-produce scaled armor. You could even take it a step further and create a domesticated basilisk,” Sylver said.

“Oh! Combine them all into a giant 8 legged poisonous and venomous basilisk, that produces milk, silk, scales, and carapaces!”

“No, too much, don’t get overexcited,” Sylver said, quickly pouring water onto the idea. It sounded too much like the kind of creation that ended up becoming a massive problem. “Just giant milkable spiders for the time being. If you manage to get them to a point where they’re sustainable and can reproduce, we can talk about other ideas.”

“Bees and cows? Milk and honey?” Bones offered.

“Are you asking in the sense you want to farm bees on top of everything else, or that you want to combine a honey bee with a cow to produce some sort of giant sugar-laced milk-producing hybrid?” Sylver asked.

“Picture it. Black and yellow cows, that like to lick flowers,” Bones said. Sylver was slightly worried about the enthusiasm in his voice, but on the other hand, missed it beyond words. It was the kind of joy everyone at the Ibis felt when they discovered something new and couldn’t wait to get started. Now that he knew what he knew, even the thought of them ruined Sylver’s mood.

“It’s… I’ll get you everything you need to create the spider cow hybrids, and we’ll go from there,” Sylver said with a less joyful tone.

“I’m good by the way. Just so we’re clear. I don’t need a wife made from the body parts of several women, or anything in that area. Or even a magic tool to help me with women, I would like to do things the old fashioned way, no necromancy or other magic required,” Flesh added in the resulting silence.

“You sure? How about a love potion?” Sylver offered.

“Love potions are real?” Flesh asked.

“Sure. Knock-out gasses are very simple to make. If you’re willing to wait for them to go home, a small tube pumping gas under their doors would-”

“You’re just fucking with me right?” Flesh asked.

“Of course I’m fucking with you. Then again the two of us are evil and wicked necromancers, who are in the process of discussing the ultimate sacrilege, creating cows that have honey-flavored milk,” Sylver said, adding as much dramatic flair into his voice as he spoke, with a great deal of excessive finger wiggling as he did so.

“I thought we were doing giant spiders first?” Bones asked.

“We can do both. Bees are born from eggs, we would only need 1 queen bee cow hybrid to have enough samples to get a sustainable sample. The bee hybrids would be active from spring to summer, and the spiders would be up from winter to autumn,” Sylver said. He turned to look at Flesh. “But these would be eviiiillll bee cow hybrids. Flightless and fuzzy in a way cows could only dream off.”

“But you do see how fucked up this all sounds, right?” Flesh asked.

“Imagine how adorable the calves would be! Tiny yellow cows, they’d look like ducks!” Bones said. With an uncharacteristic glee.

“I don’t know, this feels exactly like the kind of thing the people who built Jurassic park talked about,” Flesh said.

“Jurassic park?” Sylver asked.

“Don’t worry about it… I apologize for what I said, I didn’t mean to offend,” Flesh answered.

“Apology accepted… How would you like to work in the adventurer’s guild? You’d meet plenty of people, plenty of women, and if I organize everything properly, you’ll be sent all over the world as a guild representative. You’ve got the knowledge; you just don’t have the ability. But if you’re in a purely advisory position, it won’t be an issue,” Sylver offered.

Flesh thought about it for a few moments. He looked towards Bones, who nodded without saying anything.

“You know, that honestly sounds great,” Flesh answered.

“Good. It’s just a few more hours until we’re in Arda, let your muscles rest for a bit,” Sylver said.

Both Flesh and Bones lay down onto the wyvern’s back and relaxed as much as possible. Sylver could see the first sun starting to rise on the horizon, and enjoyed the view. Elf-related nonsense aside, Sylver got more out of his deal with the demon than he paid. The [Dead Man’s Last Stand] was in his pocket, along with two people who could be the answer to a lot of questions.

All in all things were going well.

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KingKennit

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