[Center of the Galaxy] had saved my life a hundred times over, if not more, and I was eager to make it more powerful. No question there. The constellation was an elegant tiara, a band of smaller stars with larger stars forming the points.
[Phases of the Moon] I was confident was a top-tier, almost perfect healing skill. I planned on taking a look, and seeing how complete it was. Maybe I’d finish the skill off by being able to handle lead poisoning. Would be kinda cool.
I took a look at the constellation, and promptly ate crow.
[Phases] was represented by a massive constellation of an angel, with only one of her wings ignited, shining brightly. The angel held a harp, and completely disconnected from the wings representing [Phases], a portion of the harp was lit up, looking like a crescent moon. I took a look at that portion, and saw it was its own skill.
[Moonlight]. My best guess was the disconnect between the two portions of the constellation is why it was in two skills, and if I could somehow connect the two, the skills would merge.
Speaking of [Moonlight].
[Moonlight] was a skill I was looking to upgrade. Or maybe sidegrade? [Lifeline] from [Ranger-Healer] had looked sweet, and if [Warmth of the Sun] was upgraded into an aura as strong as I wanted it to be, my ranged healing would only come into effect when I was directly in a fight, probably with another person or two.
Putting it another way – I didn’t think I’d need to hit dozens and dozens of people at once. I was looking to change this skill up. Depended how everything else shook out.
[Veil of the Aurora] was also on the table for serious upgrades, although I suspected I was starting to get greedy. I wanted to be a super single target healer + area of effect healer + utility + amazing barriers. I had a ton of starlight, but I probably didn’t have that much. The constellation was almost predictably a shield, with a single large star ignited, and like three other smaller stars burning with light.
Dozens, if not hundreds, of other stars were in the constellation, and I took a quick look over them. My bet was if I’d taken the [Kekkaishi] class that most of this constellation would ignite.
Also, if I blew all my starlight on super cool skills, I might not have the stats to back them. It was a careful balance I had to walk. If I turned all my starlight into stat points, my skills would suffer. If I turned them all into powerful skills, I wouldn’t have the stats to back them.
And the last skill was why I had so much trouble. If only I liked [Vastness of the Stars], I’d just keep all my current skills, and to heck with the other stuff. Sadly, I disliked it, and it had to go. Which meant I needed to browse all these other skills for a good one to replace it.
Time to blatantly cheat!
“Hey Librarian! Can you get rid of a bunch of these that I won’t like or won’t use?” I cheerfully asked her.
Librarian had grabbed her own cozy chair in the reading cubby, and was engrossed in a book of her own. Typical me behavior. I was slightly jealous that I wasn’t the one doing that, but as it was, I was going to be spending a huge amount of time here, browsing through books.
She held up her hand, one finger up.
I looked around at the night sky, deciding to take a peek at a few more skills that I’d never have access to, whose stars were dead.
A rainbow, therapeutic skills to help me talk people through trauma. Apparently, that was too social for me, but I noticed with interest that magically healing the trauma wasn’t part of the skill. Perhaps it was in another skill, and I would have access to that?
A gavel, which somehow translated to public health management. No thank you. A minion with skills like that would be nice though.
She got to the end of her chapter, carefully put in a bookmark, then looked up as she snapped the book closed.
“Right. Let me get on that.” She said, and a whirlwind of activity occurred. A small pile of books ended up next to me, while the vast majority stayed on the shelves. Two of the books next to me were even glowing white!
I paused, inspiration suddenly striking.
“Heya Librarian. Is there a skill to bring someone back from the dead? Revival, or something?” I asked her, crossing my fingers.
“Sorry. That’s impossible for the System.” Librarian said. “Namely, the part where it all goes wrong is it’d require manipulating the soul, and there’s no class or skill that can do that. Gods and Goddesses can do some soul manipulation – like with us, and with Priest Demos – but even they can’t fish a soul back from Samsara.”
“So, short version, no revival skill?” I asked.
“No revival skills.” Librarian confirmed.
I was disappointed, but what could I do? I couldn’t force a skill to appear that wasn’t there. It was satisfying to know that it wasn’t because I couldn’t get the skill, that it wasn’t part of the class, but instead that it was flat-out impossible for anyone. Even goddesses.
It was always a bit strange when Librarian busted out knowledge like that though. I clearly didn’t know it, but Librarian suddenly knew it, in spite of being me. The System making things a bit easier.
Right! Enough with the impossible, back to the possible!
I decided to tackle the two glowing skills next to me first. What skills did Librarian think I would like, that I’d already been offered and declined?
The first one was the constellation that [Eyes of the Milky Way] had come from. Seeing under the stars. Although there were only a few little points in the skill. It could get much more powerful. There were hidden depths to the skill, potential for evolution, that I hadn’t considered.
Of course they were all eye skills, and of course the constellation was a beautifully detailed pair of eyes.
I wished I had a mirror, and extensive time to compare. I wondered if the pattern of stars I was seeing in the eye was the same as my eyes.
The next one was a diagnostic skill, an elegant cloak speckled with stars. I had to get me a cloak like that. I looked at it briefly, and remembered getting offered the Astrology-like skill. Well, how the stars were lit up in the constellation explained it. Great on the diagnostic part. Terrible on the communicating the information to me part. I’d suspect it was more of the allergy to social skills if the stars weren’t alive. Unlit, but alive.
Shortlist. Didn’t hate the idea, but I still felt I could just throw mana at the problem, especially with [Medicine]. Like, it would replace [Medicine] in all likelihood, but that would mean rejuggling things, and it might not even be as strong.
Well. Probably different. I don’t think I was giving the skill enough credit, especially when some of the stars hinted at offering the ability to detect magical problems.
I’d need to cross-reference [Medicine], and see if there was a way to evolve it to check for magical problems. I never got a good read on Hesoid’s disease, and maybe I could strengthen [Medicine] to get a read on problems like that in the future.
Ugh. This was going to give me a headache from how complex it was. Still. It was literally the rest of my life. I wasn’t going to rush it. Although, I was slightly regretting classing up now, when I was a hair crunched for time. It was going to add a bit of extra stress to the whole process.
A book that was holding the [Lifeline] skill was next up. I took a close look at the [Lifeline] skill. Stars for more people. Stars for longer range. Stars to more efficiently heal over a distance. Stars to reduce the cooldown of “hooking up” someone to the skill. Stars for communication, from me to them. Stars for talking back.
The skill was an entire section of the angel constellation that held [Phases of the Moon] along with [Moonlight], and I shortlisted it as well.
Everything being on the shortlist was kinda meh, but what else was I to do? The skills were all solid, and making cuts was difficult.
Seven books relating to children, childbirth, babies, mothers, and defects. Specialty skills. Skills to remove foreign bodies. Like swallowed pebbles, peas shoved up noses, or harpoons in chests.
Constellations. So many constellations everywhere.
A quill and inkpot, for teaching skills that I would’ve gotten if I’d taken the [Professor] class.
A lion, for buff skills to make people stronger, faster, tougher. I earmarked that one. If nothing else, being able to turn off someone’s mana regeneration would make me significantly more comfortable trying to take them prisoner, which would allow me to be less lethal in fights.
I still had some of that shiny naivety, some deeply seated belief to not kill people when possible. Sadly, most of the time it straight up wasn’t possible, and it hurt on the inside when I had to kill to defend myself. I wasn’t going to stop, but it wasn’t like I enjoyed it.
A tidy stone well, a skill that increased my mana pool. I hesitated, before deciding that this wouldn’t make the shortlist.
A bonfire, a skill that removed curses and debuffs. I’d been hit by a few curses here and there, but I’d always had the right gemstone on me to purge it and deal with whoever was trying that nonsense. I decided against shortlisting the skill, because I had other ways of handling the problem.
The halo of the angel, making me realize just how absurdly large the [Phases of the Moon] skill was. The halo portion was good for a healing buff that I could put on people. I checked it carefully, getting more and more interested the more I read.
For the price of a chunk of mana, I could strongly improve someone’s natural healing. It would take up most of their mana regeneration, but while they were near me, they’d heal like my [Phases of the Moon] was on them. When they got further away, the magical healing would wane, and their own body’s natural healing would be kicked into overdrive, naturally fixing and healing them.
It was a single-target, buff version of what I wanted my [Warmth of the Sun] to turn into at a distance, and a single-target, moderate distance ranged heal for [Phases]. Bonus – it let me disable someone’s mana regeneration!
The more I looked, the more stars I saw, the more hidden depth to the skill I was starting to realize. I forced myself to close the book with a snap, marking it and putting it on the top of the shortlist. The full in-depth analysis would occur after I finished getting my entire shortlist together.
A banner, a skill that would let me use my healing skills offensively. I recoiled at it, and shot a nasty look at Librarian as I pitched it.
Healing was my art, my calling, my reason for being. I wasn’t going to twist and pervert it into something that killed. That was all manner of wrong.
A shining gemstone, and I saw my old friend [Invigorate] in the constellation, along with [Greater Invigorate]. Ooooh, I wanted my coffee-in-a-skill back, the ability to be instantly up and refreshed and energized returned to me.
Bonus – some of the stars were even partially lit! Onto the shortlist – now a longlist – it went!