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A note from Selkie

Part 1 of 2

[*Ding!* Congratulations! You’ve upgraded your second class – [Ranger-Mage] - Radiance]

[*Ding!* Congratulations! [Ranger-Mage] has leveled up to level 129! +10 Free Stats, +5 Speed, +5 Vitality, +20 Mana, +20 Mana Regen, +20 Magic power, +20 Magic Control from your Class! +1 Free Stat for being Human! +1 Strength, +1 Mana Regen from your Element!]

[*Ding!* Congratulations! [Ranger-Mage] has leveled up to level 180! +10 Free Stats, +5 Speed, +5 Vitality, +20 Mana, +20 Mana Regen, +20 Magic power, +20 Magic Control from your Class! +1 Free Stat for being Human! +1 Strength, +1 Mana Regen from your Element!]

Yes! Straight to level 180! I needed to sit down and do some math – the number seemed high – but I was pleased as punch over it.

[*Ding!* Your skill [Fire Affinity] has evolved into [Radiance Affinity] - 128]

[*Ding!* Your skill [Fire Resistance] has evolved into [Radiance Resistance] - 128]

[*Ding!* Your skill [Fire Conjuration] has evolved into [Radiance Conjuration] - 128]

[*Ding!* Your skill [Fire Manipulation] has evolved into [Radiance Manipulation] - 128]

Absolutely no surprise here. I’d half-hoped that I wouldn’t need the [Radiance Resistance] skill, but then again I was channeling ridiculously hot sunbeams next to my skin. Probably all of the Fire-evolutions required the resistance skill, except maybe Mithril.

Or I could dump it and burn my hand off every time I used a skill, or burn my face off when breathing fire.

Hang on, I couldn’t breathe fire anymore. I could…

I could shoot lasers (Fine, beams of radiance) from my eyes. Yessssss.

The resistance skill could live.

[*Ding!* Your skill [Fuel for the Fire] has evolved into [Sun-Kissed] - 128]

Sun-Kissed: The gentle warmth of the sun shines down on you, loving you, caressing you. The sun is the source of all life, and places a gentle kiss upon you. Additional Free Mana Regeneration while in sunlight. Solar-powered! No food required! .2% Increased Mana Regeneration per skill level.

[*Ding!* Your skill [Burn Brightly] has evolved into [Blaze] - 128]

Blaze: The sun shines through your skills, letting them burn like the sun. Increased heat and damage to all offensive Radiance skills per level. -1024 Mana Regen.

[*Ding!* Your skill [Rapidash] has evolved into [Radiant Steps] - 128]

Radiant Steps: Your steps brim with light, leaving glowing footsteps in your wake. Increased movement speed per level.

[*Ding!* Your skill [Fireball] has evolved into [Nova] - 128]

Nova: A small, exploding sun. Increased speed, control, heat, damage, and explosion radius per level.

[*Ding!* Would you like to move [Warmth of the Sun] from [Constellation of the Healer] to [Ranger-Mage]?]

I blinked. That was new. Kinda made sense though – the skill could easily be from either Element. I declined to move it over, keeping the healing skill with the healing class, but I resolved to experiment with the “warmth” part of the skill – maybe I could make the aura warmer than before?

[*Ding!* Congratulations! [Radiance Affinity] has reached level 129!]

[*Ding!* Congratulations! [Radiance Affinity] has reached level 180!]

[*Ding!* Congratulations! [Radiance Resistance] has reached level 129!]

[*Ding!* Congratulations! [Radiance Resistance] has reached level 180!]

[*Ding!* Congratulations! [Radiance Conjuration] has reached level 129!]

[*Ding!* Congratulations! [Radiance Conjuration] has reached level 180!]

[*Ding!* Congratulations! [Radiance Manipulation] has reached level 129!]

[*Ding!* Congratulations! [Radiance Manipulation] has reached level 180!]

[*Ding!* Congratulations! [Blaze] has reached level 129!]

[*Ding!* Congratulations! [Blaze] has reached level 180!]

No surprise there! I’d been blasting flames at Formorians for months on end.

[*Ding!* Congratulations! [Nova] has reached level 129!]

[*Ding!* Congratulations! [Nova] has reached level 180!]

I’d been blasting them with [Fireball] as well. Onto the more painful ones…

[*Ding!* Congratulations! [Radiant Steps] has reached level 129!]

[*Ding!* Congratulations! [Radiant Steps] has reached level 155!]

Well, that was better than I could’ve hoped for, given how little I was using [Rapidash] on the frontlines.

[*Ding!* Congratulations! [Sun-Kissed] has reached level 129!]

[*Ding!* Congratulations! [Sun-Kissed] has reached level 140!]

And I was back to grinding a really slow skill. [Fuel for the Fire] had taken me ages to get capped, and now I had another mostly passive skill that I had to deal with.

I really, really hoped that [Phases of the Moon] could handle skin damage and skin cancer, otherwise I was in for a one-way ticket to trouble.

[*Ding!* For reaching level 150, your skill [Radiant Steps] has evolved into [Talaria]!]

Talaria: The winged sandals of Hermes, forged by Hephaestus, made out of radiant light. Wear sandals, strap them on, and step on sunbeams to take flight! 4% decreased cost per level, increased speed per level.

“Yes!” I screamed out, sitting up, throwing my hands up!

“Ack!” I heard a scream, and I looked around, processing.

Right, my room. Where I was being looked after.

“Ranger Elaine! Are you ok!?” One of the women came up to me, face creased in concern. “Is anything wrong? What happened?”

“Huh? I’m fine.” I said, only for my stomach to betray me, sound echoing throughout the room. *Gurgle gurgle gurgle*. A sudden wave of hunger and embarrassment came over me.

“Totally fine.” I said, trying to keep a straight face. The lady grinned at me, pointing to a tray of food.

“Of course, Ranger Elaine. We appreciate the week-long break. We were just concerned; I’ve never heard of someone taking so long to class up.”

She nodded at the other slave, who promptly vanished.

I started to eat, discovered that yes, I was ravenous, just like someone who hadn’t eaten in a week, and chowed down with vigor.

It was weird, adjusting to eating without [Fuel for the Fire]. I’d gotten used to the skill helping me, and now it was gone. It was like I kept reaching for a crutch that wasn’t there.

I paused a moment, slowing down so I could eat without choking. Choking was another thing that [Phases] couldn’t heal right now, although… I could just blast my throat open, remove the problem, and heal it back up again. It wasn’t harm when it was saving my life.

Let’s not choke. How about I review my stats instead?

[Name: Elaine]

[Race: Human]

[Age: 18]

[Mana: 50400/50400]

[Mana Regen: 45874]

Stats

[Free Stats: 572]

[Strength: 236]

[Dexterity: 203]

[Vitality: 560]

[Speed: 480]

[Mana: 5040]

[Mana Regeneration: 5092]

[Magic Power: 4410]

[Magic Control: 4369]

[Class 1: [Constellation of the Healer - Celestial: Lv 240]]

[Celestial Affinity: 240]

[Warmth of the sun: 198]

[Medicine: 202]

[Center of the Galaxy: 233]

[Phases of the Moon: 240]

[Moonlight: 240]

[Veil of the Aurora: 212]

[Vastness of the Stars: 139]

[Class 2: [Ranger-Mage - Radiance: Lv 180]]

[Radiance Affinity: 180]

[Radiance Resistance: 180]

[Radiance Conjuration: 180]

[Radiance Manipulation: 180]

[Sun-Kissed: 140]

[Blaze: 180]

[Talaria: 155]

[Nova: 180]

[Class 3: Locked]

General Skills

[Identify: 136]

[Recollection of a Distant Life: 159]

[Pretty: 132]

[Vigilant: 195]

[Oath of Elaine to Lyra: 200]

[Ranger's Lore: 190]

[Training: 160]

[Learning: 212]

I still couldn’t get over [Talaria]. I could fly!

I wanted to jump up, run outside, and immediately take flight. Just needed to eat some – hang on, I was being dumb. I threw on my sandals – I’d changed into something comfortable for classing up, which didn’t include sandals – jumped up, grabbed my tray.

“Is everything ok?” The woman asked, looking worried.

“Fine! I’m off!” I shouted, running out as fast as I could, trying to balance my Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner in one hand, stuffing my face with the other, looking for a courtyard. I found one, the sun was shining, and I instinctively activated [Talaria], shimmering wings made out of glowing light appearing on my sandals. I stepped up, and I was away! I was flying!

I dropped the tray, to better enjoy myself. Who needed food?

I was flying! I was free as a bird! I was no longer bound by earthly constraints! The wind in my hair, the sun on my skin, the air beneath my feet!

I couldn’t help it. I let out a holler.

“I’m flying! I’m flying! I’m fllyyyyyyyyyyyyiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnggggggg!”

“Good stuff, isn’t it?” Sky said, dropping down on top of me.

I jumped, and weirdly enough, just went up, not down.

“Holy shit Sky! You scared me!”

He grinned at me.

“Yeah, but you don’t care now, do you? You’re flying.”

He was totally right. I grinned back.

“I’m flying! Weeeeeeeeeeeeeee!” I said, racing off to I-don’t-know-where. I didn’t care, the pure joy and exhilaration from flying couldn’t be beat.

Was this how Sky felt when he was flying? Was this why he tried to spend as much time as possible flying, ignoring other things to do?

It was as heady as a drug; it was like liquid joy coursing through my veins. All the time I’d spent in flying lessons, trying to move up and falling to the ground, my likely sub-optimal selection of Fire as an element when I first started. The grief, the pain, the hardship I’d been through – all of it was worth it in an instant, as I was dancing through the sky, singing with the birds, feeling my tunic flutter around me.

Bless my habit of wearing men’s tunics, so I wasn’t flashing everyone. I’d need to remember that. No flying with dresses.

“Hey Elaine, what am I going to say?” Sky said, dropping down on top of me again.

“Check my mana.” I said, and reflexively checked it.

[Mana: 18404/50400]

Blah. Around half an hour – fourty minutes? - to lose a more than half my mana. I had some time, but I started making my way back anyways.

“Now that you can fly properly, a quick note. Don’t test how high you can go.” Sky said. “I got promoted when Gale decided to see how high up he could go, and we never saw him again.”

I blinked at him. Sky, being helpful?

“Who are you, and what have you done with Sky?” I demanded.

He just laughed at me.

“Pass the warning on to anyone who learns to fly! Flier’s creed! Good luck!” He said, laughing and letting the breeze take him.

I laughed, then cursed, realizing that Sky could at least teach me some basics on aerial combat. Nope. Was going to have to figure it out myself. My best guess was “Stay up high” and “drop things on people”. Like [Nova]’s.

I came in for landing, only to get a rude surprise. I was aiming for the main courtyard, which had the large bronze gong that kept everyone on schedule there. I dipped into the shadow, and suddenly, I was no longer flying – I was falling, and falling fast.

Months upon endless months of flying lessons helped out, as I summoned [Veil] to keep breaking my momentum, letting me land in a bruised heap on the courtyard, instead of a broken one. Good thing I’d kept some mana.

What had happened?

I quickly read over [Talaria], and groaned when I figured it out.

“step on sunbeams”

This seemed to be more than metaphorical. It seemed like I could only fly in sunlight.

I paled as I realized – if a cloud had gone over the sun, if a flock of birds had blotted out the sky, I could’ve had a much, much longer fall, one that [Veil] wouldn’t save me from.

Ha. At that height, it’d be a real “Tank it or shield it” test. Would probably aim for the healing, and try to heal myself fast enough as my body hit the ground. I’d need to remember that trick one day, in all likelihood, but it wasn’t one I was eager to practice.

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A note from Selkie

Fan artwork! Elaine with her new skills!


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Selkie

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