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A note from Selkie

A reminder that there is an ART CONTEST going on! 

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I yawned and stretched as I got out of bed. I felt absolutely filthy, having lived in my armor this whole time. I briefly contemplated taking a risk and having a bath anyways, before banishing the thought. Ocean’s boat was fast, and hey, who knows, maybe he could like, dunk me in the water and drag me along.

Oooh! Maybe I could water-ski or something! A rope, a plank, and a strong grip was all I needed! Ocean was super fast – yes, yesss, this could be a ton of fun.

My joy was shot down brutally as I looked around my cubby, and saw a little note on the desk.

Dawn,

Excellent work.

Part of being a Sentinel is getting back to HQ on your own after your mission’s over.

I recommend joining a caravan or a merchant’s ship.

Good luck!

Ocean.

That rat-faced bastard. I was going to murder him once I got back to headquarters.

Ok, fine. I now needed to travel across half of Remus by myself. No Sentinel boats or airships, no Ranger wagons.

At least I was better prepared from when I initially tried to run away from home. I still cringed at my idea of “prepared”, along with how naively I thought I’d just catch up to a bloody Ranger team. They were no slouches in the movement department. I’d now gotten years of wilderness training, along with flat-out practical experience. I could, if I wanted to, literally walk across Remus back to the capital.

That would take me weeks, if not months. I wasn’t exactly a physical classer. I was no courier, no Julius, who could just flat out run across Remus.

Right. Solo travel was out of the question. That left joining up with someone who had better, faster transportation.

On rare occasion, there were couriers who could – generally as a team of two to four – transport a person from A to B. They were insanely expensive, but when it came to a low-level, or just straight up non-combat-oriented but important person needing to quickly get somewhere, and had the money to fund it, they were the people to go to.

They were generally in the capital, and usually if you weren’t in the capital you’d need to send a letter to them, requesting them, saying where you were, and where you’d like to go.

You could buy a house with what they charged for one trip.

They were out of the question. They weren’t in Deva, it’d take ages for the letter to go round trip, and quite frankly my dignity wouldn’t let me. I didn’t want to wait around, then be carted around like a package. I wasn’t a wilting flower.

Granted, “package” looked like anything from being physically carried on someone’s back, to a small luxury wagon, pulled by a horse and someone with serious skills. Mmmm. The last one would be an option, if I could afford it. I had a lot of money. I didn’t have that tier worth of money, not to spend on one trip.

Plus, the quartermaster would murder me.

I could probably earn that much money if I put my mind to it, but that seemed to be a lot of effort for not much in return. As opposed to just traveling, oh, not in luxury.

I wasn’t a pampered brat. I’d survive a different method of transportation.

I really needed to talk with Bluebeard about companions. A massive dino to stomp around on? Yes please!

Or maybe a flier. Oooh, I should get a flier – that way if we ended up in serious trouble, we could both fly up and dodge the trouble. How bad would I feel if we got surrounded, and I could fly away but my companion couldn’t?

Speaking of dignity, I should consider how I wanted to travel. Did I want to be Sentinel Dawn, the world shaking as I stepped? (Ok, shaking a very small amount. Tiny footsteps and all that.) Or did I just want to be Healer Elaine?

I almost immediately decided on Healer Elaine. I could always let the cat out of the bag, but stuffing a cat back in a bag? Yikes, no. I’d get clawed horribly. I swear they all had [Aim for the Eyes] or something.

Alright.

Healer Elaine needed to get from Deva, to the capital.

To start off with, I don’t think Healer Elaine could possibly exist in Deva. Literally everyone in town had gotten a good look at me. That also meant I couldn’t hitch a ride with Caecilius. Also that would be so awkward. “Yeah, I’m a badass Sentinel, and I want you to work for me… also can I get a ride?”

Nope. That’d be traveling as Dawn, not Elaine.

So now my options were… I looked at the letter and groaned.

My options were, practically speaking, an overland caravan, or hopping on a merchant ship, or some other ship moving from where I was, to the capital.

A merchant ship was significantly faster than a caravan. Water being the great mover and all that. It wasn’t even close.

Heck, pretend both moved at the same speed, and it was, by some magic, the exact same distance from A to B. The ship could travel through the night, while the caravan couldn’t. The ship was on water, which didn’t have hills, rocks, fallen trees, and more.

Add in that ships tended to sail faster than an average caravan, and it wasn’t really a contest.

Ship it was. Or was it a boat I needed? Whatever.

Ok, I had something of a to-do list now.

  • Wrap up my obligations here, which mostly consisted of some free healing, but not enough to piss off Flavinius or Blue, who’d been super helpful.
    1. I should totally set up near Wine Slob’s clinic. Get some nice petty revenge.
  • A short hop, skip, and jump to a nearby town. This should be pretty easy, possibly doable in a day, depending on what the nearby area looked like.
  • Find a ship heading to the capital
  • Buy passage on the ship
    1. Did I need bodyguards? Would Healer Elaine have bodyguards? Shit, she probably would, just for appearances sake. And someone to handle problems for me.
  • And naturally, get back to the capital.

 

Right. This seemed to be a solid plan of attack. Mostly, I needed money. A bunch of money. The Quartermaster dude knew his stuff, loading me up with more money, and less survival gear.

Ok, first thing first. Free healing. Mostly for the guards.

… You know what? I was super burnt out on politics and negotiation and stuff.

I left my room, and navigated my way to the front door of the barracks.

“Heya!” I waved to one of the guards, standing around, looking bored on ‘hang out in the barracks’ duty, aka ‘field complaints from people’.

“Sentinel Dawn.” He said, formally saluting. “What can we do for you?”

“Well, long story short – free healing for guards.” I said. “Got a chair or a table or something I can set myself up on?”

“Yeah sure, one moment.”

Like, 15 minutes later, I finally had a table. And basically no patients. It wasn’t like I’d heavily advertised my free healing. Nor was I super interested in doing it. I was still tired.

Sure, some word of mouth would happen, but by the time it really had spread round, I’d be outta here.

I’d be feeling bad about it if I hadn’t just gone through a superhuman amount of effort to organize the anti-plague event.

Speaking of, let’s see the levels!

[*Ding!* Congratulations! [Constellation of the Healer] has leveled up to level 243! +10 Free Stats, +15 Mana, +15 Mana Regen, +15 Magic power, +15 Magic Control from your Class! +1 Free Stat for being Human! +1 Mana, +1 Mana Regen from your Element!]

[*Ding!* Congratulations! [Constellation of the Healer] has leveled up to level 244! +10 Free Stats, +15 Mana, +15 Mana Regen, +15 Magic power, +15 Magic Control from your Class! +1 Free Stat for being Human! +1 Mana, +1 Mana Regen from your Element!]

Two levels!

[*Ding!* Congratulations! [Warmth of the Sun] has reached level 199]

Being around crowds of moderately ill people paying off.

I had to do some thinking on the skill, maybe talk with Night or other powerful healers. Could [Warmth of the Sun] turn into something powerful, a massive, persistent healing aura with enough power and juice behind it to make a noticeable difference? Or was it doomed to always be a background skill, one that made me feel warm – literally.

[*Ding!* Congratulations! [Celestial Affinity] has reached level 242->244]

Yawn. No surprise there.

[*Ding!* Congratulations! [Medicine] has reached level 210->212]

A level here, a level there, and soon you were talking some serious levels!

Still, this was a miserable leveling rate for what was going to turn into weeks of effort once you considered the return trip. No wonder most people lifetime capped out at a lower level than what I was at.

I’d need to see about putting some serious work into my healing. Maybe Night would bless a trip to the front lines, and I could, I dunno, fly from spot to spot on the frontlines healing people? I can’t imagine better experience.

A little voice whispered in the back of my mind that a civil war or major rebellion would be much better experience.

[*Ding!* Congratulations! [Phases of the Moon] has reached level 242->244]

[*Ding!* Congratulations! [Moonlight] has reached level 242->244]

[*Ding!* Congratulations! [Sun-Kissed] has reached level 142]

Surprise! I needed to work on my tan.

[*Ding!* Congratulations! [Oath of Elaine to Lyra] has reached level 206]

[*Ding!* Congratulations! [Sentinel’s Superiority] has reached level 196->201]

[*Ding!* Congratulations! [Persistent Casting] has reached level 35->45]

Like. It wasn’t a ton of levels, but it also wasn’t a ton of time either. Had to work on it some more.

[*Ding!* Congratulations! [Learning] has reached level 242->244]

Hang on.

This made no sense.

My [Persistent Casting], like all my other low level skills, shot up like crazy. But once it was around 200 or so, I slowed way down. I should be continuing on at a good clip – [Learning] was capped, and giving me a generous experience boost.

But it didn’t feel like I was getting a generous experience boost. Something was strange. I’d need to have a nice talk with Night about it.

[Pretty] was due to level once I got back! I was half-tempted to let Albina take a stab at me from my worst, but I decided against it. I had standards.

I leaned back in my chair, drumming my fingers against the side.

Ok. Not advertising – big mistake. Not on the healing or not healing front, but because I was boooooored. Guard in. Guard out.

Guards in.

Guards out.

Complaining townsfolk in.

Complaining townsfolk out.

Hmmmm.

Maybe I should eavesdrop on them. Subtly. Maybe I’d hear something like another Nero, another Octavia that could use a sizeable helping of Sentinel justice. Not that I could do what Artemis did, but my [Oath] had nothing against acting like bait, then self-defensing an attacking party to pieces.

Being short, skinny, and [Healer] - tagged helped. Being famous did not.

I scooted over, listening in, ready for my next ADVENTURE!

“… just because you were fishing there yesterday, doesn’t automatically mean you get to fish there today! You can’t keep coming to the guard and asking us to arrest everyone who ‘takes your spot’, because it’s not your spot!”

A fishing dispute. Lovely.

A market dispute, where a guard went out to adjudicate the dispute between two stall owners.

An accusation of theft, which got me excited until I realized the supposed thief was in custody.

A broken wagon in a busy street, a team of guards hustling to help get it out of the way, and traffic moving again.

All stuff I’d seen and heard a dozen times over when I was a kid, shadowing the guards on their rounds. Zzzzzz.

Thinking about it – Octavia had been the outlier, and it wasn’t like Deva was massive and bustling to the point where I’d see cases like hers all the time.

I frowned to myself.

Heck, cases like hers didn’t usually end up at the guards.

I should probably hang out by the river, where laundry was done.

I’d do a lot more good down there than here.

I wandered over to the captain of the guard’s office, where the two guards immediately recognized me and saluted.

“Let me get him.” One said, moving towards the door.

There were yelling noises coming from the other side of the door. Someone was getting horribly roasted.

“Hang on! It’s not urgent. I can wait if needed.” I protested.

I got a look of disbelief from the guard.

“No, seriously. I’m just hanging around, just letting the captain know where I’ll be if he needs me. Nothing worth interrupting him if he’s busy.”

After an eternity – ok, 20 minutes – of waiting, the door to the captain’s office opened. A chastened guard exited, holding back tears.

Yikes.

I brushed him as he passed me, healing him with [Phases of the Moon]. Dude got roasted so badly it wouldn’t surprise me if it ended up physically burning him. I remember the [Roaster] class I’d been offered all that time ago.

The guards gave each other a quick look, a fast mental coinflip going on between them. One of them lost, and opened his mouth.

“Sentinel Dawn to see you sir.” He said, and cringed just a bit.

“Why by all the gods above did you leave her waiting!?” The captain came out, roaring at the dude.

“Whoa! Chill! I asked him to. Nothing important!” I said, leaping to the poor dude’s defense.

“Dawn. Come in.”

“Eh. It’s just real fast. I’m going to probably wander down to where the laundry’s done, and hang out there. If any guard needs healing, of any sort, send them that way. I’ll be there for free healing for all of you.”

He blinked at me.

“Um. Ok.”

Great!

With a hop, skip, and a jump, I was off to the river.

I halted halfway there, turned around, and went back to the barracks. I grabbed a long, brown cape-tunic-thing, and wrapped it around me. I looked ugly as sin – [Pretty] was complaining – but at least I wasn’t radiating SENTINEL DAWN HERE. Like, it was still clear who I was, but it wasn’t super obvious anymore.

Back to the river!

[Name: Elaine]

[Race: Human]

[Age: 18]

[Mana: 49920/49920]

[Mana Regen: 40656 (+3107.28)]

Stats

[Free Stats: 40]

[Strength: 236]

[Dexterity: 203]

[Vitality: 560]

[Speed: 480]

[Mana: 4992]

[Mana Regeneration: 4708 (+1337.072)]

[Magic Power: 4351 (+44815.3)]

[Magic Control: 4351 (+44815.3)]

[Class 1: [Constellation of the Healer - Celestial: Lv 244]]

[Celestial Affinity: 244]

[Warmth of the Sun: 199]

[Medicine: 210]

[Center of the Galaxy: 236]

[Phases of the Moon: 244]

[Moonlight: 244]

[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: 142]

[Blaze: 180]

[Talaria: 161]

[Nova: 180]

[Class 3: Locked]

General Skills

[Identify: 136]

[Recollection of a Distant Life: 159]

[Pretty: 135]

[Bullet Time: 189]

[Oath of Elaine to Lyra: 206]

[Sentinel's Superiority: 201]

[Persistent Casting: 45]

[Learning: 244]

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A note from Selkie

Not my best naming sense on the chapter name. 


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.

Help keep BTDEM going - it's as simple as rating, as easy as reviewing.

Or you can help pay my rent, which is a MUCH more direct way of keeping things going! Sign up for Patreon! Buy a book!

PS: Signing up for Patreon gets access to all book ePubs.

Discord for chatting: https://discord.gg/GStatMC

Now, if you'd like to help me pay my rent, you can! With 10 advanced chapters, bonus chapters, bonus worldbuilding content, discord roles, and more!

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