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A note from Selkie

Part 2 of 2

The rest of the day passed mostly uneventfully, as I spent time sunning myself grinding [Sun-kissed] and eating a week’s worth of food. I was what, 100lbs//45 kg soaking wet, or thereabouts. Skipping meals was bad for me.

This skill was the greatest excuse ever to slack off. Experiments as to relative leveling speed vs skin exposed would need to be done – but not here.

I also decided to calculate what had happened with my [Ranger-Mage] class, not that I was complaining.

Ok, let’s pretend the Brilliance mage that was shooting every forty minutes or so was typical, and let’s also pretend we had the same length shifts, which I was never sure about. He showed up for about two minutes or so, fired off all his skills, and was gone after that.

Let me pretend he was typical, although with Brilliance having a +2 every level to mana regeneration from the double Light, that wasn’t always the case.

With that ratio, I was twenty times as efficient as the unknown Brilliance mage, so I was, roughly, getting twenty times the experience.

I was there for roughly six months, at twenty times…

Holy shit. I’d gotten the experience of the average mage being on the frontlines for ten years.

And if the Lightning mage was anything to go off of, if he was more typical – it was closer to twenty years of experience.

Granted, that wasn’t how it worked, and the comments about people tending to cap out around 180 on the frontlines rang in my mind, but wow. Yeah. Serious, serious experience.

Why wasn’t this the norm? The theory about being made a team leader was making more sense – at 240/180, I was starting to have some serious, serious firepower. Not Artemis levels, not yet, especially not with her having both 256 evos – but I could pack a wallop, and I was certainly at the power level of an experienced Ranger.

A slave let me know that my evening meeting with Night would be as usual, and when the appointed hour arrived, we met up, starting our usual slow walk around the villa.

“Ranger Elaine. I was starting to become concerned about you. Was there some trouble with your class-up?” Night started off asking.

I had a minor twinge of guilt at that.

“No, but I wanted to spend time reading.” I said.

“Oh? Elaborate?” Night said, gesturing at me to carry on.

I took a deep breath. This was going to sound ridiculous, but if Night wanted to know, I’d tell him. Secrets were a short way to get in huge amounts of trouble, and I’d already defied Night once. I wasn’t able to start making life hard.

“Where I come from, reading for pleasure is a popular pastime. It isn’t here. Heck, there aren’t even books here! As much as I’ve tried to tell people how they’re made, the materials are just all wrong. My classing up location is a grand library, with thousands, or tens of thousands of books. Sure, they’re all about potential classes, but they read like a novel. Classing up’s the only time I ever get to see or read them, my only chance to pursue the activity. I was making full use of the time.” I told Night.

He looked at me with – was that pity? We walked, the ball being in Night’s court, taking as long as needed for him to process and think.

“I had never considered such a thing.” Night said. “To be torn from one’s world, yes. To lose friends and family, a tragedy. But to also lose one’s hobbies, one’s means of enjoyment? To know they no longer exist, and are only in your soul?” He pulled a face.

“Somehow, that is just one insult too many. But enough of that. Tell me about your class.”

[Ranger-Mage] – Radiance!” I excitedly told him. “I also finally managed to get to fly!”

Night started to laugh, pausing a moment to catch his breath.

“Of course you’d take Radiance!” He said. “Let me guess, it completely fails to synergize with your Celestial class?”

I didn’t make an uhhhhh noise. I’d been better trained than that. Lemme see…

[Moonlight] operating when the moons were out.

[Sun-kissed] and [Talaria] operating when the sun was out.

Those were my only time-restricted skills.

“Unless there’s an eclipse!” I cheerfully said.

Night just rolled his eyes.

“You can hope for the two classes to eventually reach some type of equilibrium, for the skills to help each other remove their restrictions. Aside from that, a solid choice. I am also pleased you decided to take [Ranger-Mage], showing a dedication towards being a Ranger.”

I smiled at that, and the rest of the walk was spent discussing the fine details of my skills. At the end of it-

“I will attempt for you to visit Instructor Artemis’s school to help you learn the finer details of your class. While Lightning isn’t Radiance, many of the aspects of having an extraordinarily quick element apply.”

Oooh, field trip to Artemis’s School of Sorcery and Spellcraft! Fun!

The next day, having joined a boat of Trainees off to the Colosseum for some more training, I found my way to Artemis’s school.

It was somewhat outside of the walls, the stunt only possible due to how safe the capital was. Several low, stone buildings surrounded a large field, where skills and large displays of magic were being fired off.

I wandered in – there wasn’t really a gate or a fence or anything resembling an entrance guard or greeter – and figured that since the field was where the action was happening, might as well head that way.

I made it to the field, where a bunch of teenagers were lined up, Artemis lecturing. Some younger kids were off to the side, meditating on a bench.

Artemis was saying something about proper tracking, then threw a bunch of thin earthen disks into the sky. Immediately, the dozen or so mages tried to fire off skills, aiming to hit them.

In a word, target practice.

“Elaine! Hey Elaine!” Artemis called out, waving to me.

“Everyone, this is Ranger Elaine, one of my first students, now a full Ranger. Listen well, and one day you can be like her!” Artemis said.

I smiled and waved, being good PR for Artemis, resisting rolling my eyes. I’d been a full Ranger before becoming a mage, but I wasn’t going to announce that. Artemis’s school was going well, but it was clear she hadn’t had huge amounts of money dumped on her out of the blue.

“Elaine’s here to practice her new class, and get a new skill. If you’re interested in getting [Reflexes], come join! Otherwise, pay attention, and learn how to get the [Reflexes] skill if you ever need it – or want to teach it to someone.”

“Ready?” Artemis asked me.

I nodded.

“Block!” Artemis said, whizzing a pebble at me, her trademark attack at a fraction of the speed. I threw up [Veil] as fast as I could, watching my mana take a small hit.

I dropped [Veil], only to see Artemis throwing more pebbles at me. Shield, shield, more shield, getting them smaller, doing it faster, until-

[*ding!* Congratulations! You’ve unlocked the General Skill [Reflexes]! Would you like to take this skill?]

Reflexes: One of the most important aspects of survival – quickly reacting to problems coming at you. Improved reaction time per level. -128 Mana Regen

I swiftly hit yes, throwing my hands up in surrender, then promptly doubling over with nausea as I lost [Training] at level 160. Fuck. I’d forgotten how sick losing skills made me.

“I got it, I got it.” I said.

One of the students raised his hand.

“How do we teach them if they don’t have a shield?” He asked.

I looked at Artemis. Reasonable question.

“You make them catch it instead. Also needs to be slower. If you’re a Fire, Air, Water, etc. mage, you can just throw pebbles at them. It takes longer to trigger the skill, but the general idea is the same – make people react to something coming at them.” Artemis explained.

“Right, Caius, can you work on stone pulls with everyone?”

To my amusement, one of the students – Caius, I assumed, clumsily saluted Artemis, then started yelling, getting the other students to get ready to hit the stuff he was throwing up.

“Right, what do you need?” Artemis said.

“Radiance! Need practice, Night said you were good for fast stuff.”

Artemis nodded.

“Yup! With Fire, things were either too close to you for it to matter, or you had to track where things were ahead of time with your [Fireball]. Radiance is a bit different. It’s just there, immediately. It’s difficult to stop or counter as a result, but when it is stopped or countered, your bag of tricks is diminished. Be careful against Mirror – they will straight up wreck you. Arcanite, and Ice you need to be slightly worried against. On the other hand, you do horrible things to Brilliance barriers, and usually Radiance is good against Mirage and Mist.”

“I’m going to throw things up, and you’re going to hit them. Then we’ll move onto me throwing things at you, and you disintegrating them before they hit you. It’ll train your reflexes as well. Ready?” Artemis said, and I nodded.

She threw a pebble up in the air, and I focused, willing a thin beam of Radiance into existence. Suddenly, the beam was just there, and the pebble blasted to pieces.

[*Ding!* Congratulations! [Reflexes] has reached level 2!]

“Good! Just like that. Carrying on…” Artemis said, throwing three pebbles up in the air. I blasted one, two, three.

“Eh. Blast all three at the same time. Come on.” Artemis said, repeating the procedure. “You won’t always have time to hit them one at a time, learn how to focus and split your attention. Let’s see how many we can work you up to…”

Four. The answer was I could handle four beams at once.

“There’s a skill you could take to try and help you handle more things at once, if that’s what you want later on.” Artemis told me.

I mentally marked it down, if I could get [Vigilant] and [Reflexes] to merge.

“Right, let’s practice your new skill – what was it again?” Artemis asked.

[Nova]

“Right.”

[Nova] it turned out, was basically the Radiance version of [Fireball]. Worked the same way, but cooler. A small marble of blinding light was shot out – it had travel time unlike the Radiance beams – hit a target, and exploded into a blinding ball of fire, like a small exploding sun.

It seemed like [Radiance Resistance] helped a bit with not blinding myself with my own attacks.

“Hey Artemis, can you try flashing me with a bunch of lightning? I want to see if that still blinds me.”

Artemis instantly complied, and I cursed as my vision went white, blinding the spots out of my eyes.

Nope. [Radiance Resistance] was good only for my stuff, not other people’s. Had to check if it helped against hostile Radiance, but given how [Fire Resistance] worked, it might.

Artemis came up to me at the end, beaming.

“Good work healy-bug! Hey, just a few more weeks until graduation. I heard Julius is already back!”

“Ahhh! Why’d you tell me! I won’t have a chance to see him until graduation, and now I know! Good to hear he survived though.”

“Yeah! I’ll be at graduation – I gotta see my healy-bug graduate.” Artemis said, looking off into the distance at her students, a strange note in her voice.

“Artemis – are you crying?” I asked, incredulous.

She swooped down and hugged me – darn her unnaturally long legs!

“My little healy-bug is graduating Ranger Academy! Of course I’m happy!”

I hugged Artemis. What else was there to do?

[Name: Elaine]

[Race: Human]

[Age: 18]

[Mana: 50400/50400]

[Mana Regen: 45746 (+14257)]

Stats

[Free Stats: 572]

[Strength: 236]

[Dexterity: 203]

[Vitality: 560]

[Speed: 480]

[Mana: 5040]

[Mana Regeneration: 5092 (+1425.76)]

[Magic Power: 4410 (+44100)]

[Magic Control: 4369 (+43690)]

[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]

[Reflexes: 15]

[Learning: 212]

 

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A note from Selkie

Graduation next chapter!

 

 


If you could give me an advanced review, that'd be great. They're weighted more heavily than anything else, and I've been looking carefully at trending - it's clear that the rating the novel has is super important. Hence, advanced reviews help me go up in the trending list. They help more people see it, which gets more people rating and following it, which has a synergistic effect that hopefully turns into a runaway effect, which gets enough people interested that I get to do this full-time. Seriously, it matters, and it helps.

BTDEM is bog standard in many ways. However, I'm willing to do things that turn some readers off - and so far, more of my reviews have been from people that I make mad more than people who are happy. Just how the internet works. I'm hoping some of you that are enjoying things are willing to leave reviews or advanced reviews. They matter. You matter.

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