125. Edithe's Enterprise
It had been a day since Edithe received that notification in her head. It did not hang over her, like an incessant sound that refused to go away. No— it simply sat there, waiting for her to address it, to be ready to make a decision.
She had put it off for a bit. While she aided the people of Ghostlight in recovering what was left of the destroyed town. There had been an important commodity grown here. The earth was perfect for the kale flowers to grow. Their petals had a strong alchemical property— one which would dispel grave diseases like plagues and other such illnesses.
There was also the proximity to the Plaguelands. One which allowed kzoth weeds to be grown and harvested without harming any of the natural fauna. After all, the Plaguelands were more barren than any wasteland in the world.
The citizens of Ghostlight had to be relocated. They were refugees, now heading to the nearby city of Huthwaite. Would they even be allowed into the city? Edithe was not entirely sure. The Vaun Qiuer Empire was not the most benevolent country. Unlike the Sunmere Republic which would have seen hundreds of people accommodated in one way or another, the Vaun Qiuer Empire might simply leave the townspeople and march to the Kobold lands for war.
“Why must we do this?”
Salvos whined in the background. Daniel sighed, and began to reprimand her, to which she complained even more.
The young man turned to Edithe for help, but the red-haired woman had none to offer him. She was mulling over the options she had been given.
Requirements for four Class advancements have been met!
A [Battle Summoner] is a [Summoner] who fights alongside their summons as a partner. They shall never abandon their Spirits, risking their life and are even willing to sacrifice themselves to ensure their partners’ safety in combat.
[Fallen Summoner of the Genesis]
A [Fallen Summoner of the Genesis] is a [Summoner] who has broken their oath with the Spirit King. Now barred from summoning Spirits, a [Fallen Summoner of the Genesis] has descended into a pariah. They may never summon again. But they will do whatever it takes to gain power, even if it means working with Demons.
A [Mystic Enhancer] is a [Mage] whose role in the party is to act as a support. They do not confront the enemies themselves, instead fighting from the back, whittling down their enemies and boosting their allies in battle.
[Risen Elemental Spellcaster]
A [Risen Elemental Spellcaster] is a newly-minted combat [Mage]. Previously of a different, less combat-oriented Class, they have decided to press on a different path than they initially chose, one that is arduous and straining, rather than starting from the beginning. This divergence may make them weaker than those around their level, but they know that this will only temper their spirit, their past abilities will only come back to aid them, making them stronger.
There certainly was a plethora of options for Edithe to choose. When she realized the options she had been given, she almost felt a kind of melancholy. There was only one true [Summoner]-type Class offered to her.
When she had gotten her first advancement to a Level 40, Edithe had only been given [Summoner]-type Classes. She had specialized in summoning. All the options reflected that. But now— the options still reflected what she had done, did it not?
Even though Edithe had broken the terms of her contract, she did it only because she wanted to protect Mistshard. That was exactly what a [Battle Summoner] was. Perhaps if she could still summon, she would have chosen this advancement in a heartbeat. Alas, it was not one fit for her.
Next was a [Fallen Summoner of the Genesis]. It… was not a particularly flattering description. Edithe was certain it was meant for some kind of [Cultists]— or an individual corrupted by power. However, she could not deny how true those words applied to her.
Taking the Class would have made her useful. She would be more than just capable in battle— she would actually help Daniel and Salvos while in the Plaguelands. Right now, it was like they were babysitting her. And as much as she appreciated the thought, it was still frustrating for her to be falling so far behind.
Her focus stayed on the advancement for a moment, before she moved on. She was not going to make a decision just yet. She was tempted to. However, she had waited a day. She could wait longer.
Next came [Mystic Enhancer]. While it obviously had the same pros as being a [Fallen Summoner of the Genesis]— even more, in fact, since it allowed her to support Daniel in the high chance that Salvos got lost again— it was not one she wanted.
Being a [Fallen Summoner of the Genesis] might have kept her in a support role, but it alluded to a growth in her abilities as well. The description of a [Mystic Enhancer] did not. It would have relegated her behind the front lines permanently. She would be completely helpless if she was ever caught alone.
There was a flash. Memories. A large [Djinn] loomed over her as she stood helpless. A Platinum Rank adventurer faced her down in an empty courtyard. Edithe felt so helpless once again.
She did not like that. Not one bit.
The red-haired woman dismissed the Class, leaving her with the last option— a [Risen Elemental Spellcaster]. It seemed so… simple. It only gave her a boost to her [Wisdom]. As a [Summoner], Edithe was still a [Mage]. However, there was less emphasis on [Wisdom] as a Stat, with more placed on [Endurance]. They had to sustain Spirits. They could not do that with weak [Endurance].
The higher one’s [Endurance], the larger one’s mana pool was.
Of course, it was not a case of an equal amount of increase for every Class. Non-combat Classes would not have as much of a mana pool as a [Mage] with the same [Endurance]. In a less complicated vein, a [Warrior]’s [Endurance] would give them more stamina to exert physical activity than a [Mage]’s [Endurance] which would conversely give them a bigger mana pool.
Edithe closed her eyes. Certainly, being a [Risen Elemental Spellcaster] sounded tempting, too. However, she was averse to it because it was clear that Edithe would be moving away from what she had worked towards for her whole life.
Not completely, it seemed. There was a little mention about Edithe’s past abilities. How her old Skills could potentially help her. That piqued her interest. And that made it an even more difficult choice for Edithe.
[Fallen Summoner of the Genesis] and [Risen Elemental Spellcaster]. An [Elemental Spellcaster] was a simple, slightly rare first Class for most [Mages]. Edithe heard that it was not something you got at Level 10, but if you staved off a few more levels, you would get that offer.
She was not sure how true that was. But it did not matter.
These two Classes are almost opposite in name, yet both appeal to me. She shook her head. Edithe opened her eyes, not realizing that it was now night. Camp had been set-up, with most of the refugees from Ghostlight huddled together around a large bonfire.
She looked down at the bowl in her hands. When did I get this? When did we even…? She had just been so focused on her new Classes, she breezed through the day without even registering half of its events.
Edithe sighed. And a head poked over her shoulder.
Salvos beamed as she scooted up next to Edithe. The Demon moved in a little too close, bumping into Edithe and almost spilling the bowl of soup. Luckily, Edithe caught it just in time.
Salvos scratched the back of her head.
“It’s fine, Salvos.”
Edithe placed the bowl down on the grassy floor and faced the Demon.
“Is there something you needed, Salvos? Where’s Daniel?”
Salvos cocked her head.
“He’s off being weird, socializing and other weird stuff. And not really… actually, I was just wondering about how you’re doing?”
“How I’m... doing?”
“Yep! You seem kind of out of it, today. You barely responded to any of my quips! And you didn’t even side with Daniel in any of the stupid arguments I had with him today!”
The red-haired woman narrowed her eyes. Stupid arguments? Quips? Is Salvos actually acting on purpose? Edithe did not comment on that. Instead, she found herself answering the question.
“I just… am considering my options. I’m not really sure which advancement to take, you know?”
“For your Classes?”
Salvos raised a brow.
“Yes, Salvos. The ones I told you about last night.”
“[Battle Summoner], [Fallen Summoner of the Genesis], [Mystic Enhancer], and [Risen Elemental Spellcaster]?”
Edithe nodded, leaning against a tree.
“I’ve already decided against [Battle Summoner] and [Mystic Enhancer]. But I’m really not sure which to pick, between [Fallen Summoner of the Genesis] and [Risen Elemental Spellcaster].”
Salvos made herself comfortable as well. Probably too comfortable. She sprawled herself on the ground and looked up at the night sky.
“Why’s it so difficult? Just pick the one that suits you more.”
“It’s a life-changing decision, Salvos. If I become a [Fallen Summoner of the Genesis], anyone with a [True Appraisal] Skill will know that I’m some kind of… Demon sympathizer?”
“There’s nothing wrong with that!”
“Not if you don’t want to get in trouble.”
Edithe knew Salvos would not understand her plight. It just was a complex situation. And whenever Salvos was in a complex situation, she would simply choose the simplest— but most problematic— option.
“And it’s not really what I want, I guess?”
“I want to become stronger. I want to be able to… rely on myself more. I appreciate you. I appreciate Daniel. And everyone who has ever helped me. But sometimes, I’m just tired of feeling weak. If I advance to a [Risen Elemental Spellcaster], I’d be more independent. I would not just be hiding the back, supporting you, and needing to be protected. But if I’m a [Fallen Summoner of the Genesis], I’d be severely limited without you around.”
She didn't mean to offend Salvos. And clearly, Salvos took none. Edithe expected the Demon to pipe up with some kind of cheerful response. An instant reaction. But to her surprise, Salvos actually took the time to deliberate over Edithe’s issue.
The Demon tapped a finger on her chin, in thought.
“You know, Edithe, it sounds like you’ve already made your decision, haven’t you?”
Edithe glanced down at Salvos. The young, silver-haired woman was still star-gazing, but she did have a confident look on her face.
“You sound like you prefer the [Risen Elemental Spellcaster] Class. Why don’t you just pick it?”
The red-haired woman shifted, slightly uncomfortable.
“Because it’s not helpful, right? From its description, it tells me that I’ll still be weak. That if I wanted to get stronger, I’d still have a long way to go. How am I supposed to help you and Daniel in the Plaguelands if I chose that as my Class?”
Salvos met Edithe’s gaze.
“But it’s your Class, isn’t it? It’s not mine or Daniel’s. This Class is for you.”
“But if I were a [Fallen Summoner of the Genesis], I’d complement you, Salvos. I can boost your Skills. Like with Mistshard. I can help you fight better. Don’t you want that, Salvos?”
The Demon thought about it, sitting up. She tilted her head towards the sky.
“That’s true… I’d like that very much. Maybe I can go straight up to that Zix’s face and defeat him in one punch!”
She thrusted a fist forward, grinning. Then she shook her head.
“But— that’s not what you want. And neither is it something you need.”
Edithe blinked. Salvos explained, gesticulating
“Even if you take this Class to help us, what happens if we’re not around? If I am not around? As much as I’d love to be with you, Daniel, and all my companions forever, I’ve come to realize that can never be a reality. One day, we’re going to separate, and you’d be stuck with a Class that… helps me? That’s not what you need, Edithe.”
“But if I took [Risen Elemental Spellcaster] as my Class, I’d still be weighing down our party. It’d be difficult— it would take a while for me to even be able to prove myself.”
“Everything is difficult. Everything has risks. It would take time, but I don’t mind. The question is: do you?”
Edithe opened her mouth. She found no words to say. She knew what she wanted, in her heart. Her mind pointed her to [Fallen Fallen Summoner of the Genesis]. But her heart wanted [Risen Elemental Spellcaster]. It would be tough. It would not make much of a change, at first. But…
The simplest— but most problematic— option, huh? Edithe shook her head. A small smile spread across her face. Salvos peered at her.
“Have you decided?”
Edithe nodded, determined.
Class [Summoner of Guardians] -> [Risen Elemental Spellcaster]
Gained 20 Stat Points!
Gained 2 Skill Slots!
Gained 6 Skill Points!
General Skill [Wisdom of the Valkyrie] Obtained!
Skill [Borrow Skill] becomes [Lend Skill]!
Skill [Combo of Spirit and Summoner] becomes [Restore Skill]!
Skill [Frost Blast] becomes [Storm of Ice and Fire]!
Skill [Quick Summon] becomes [Beacon of Guardians]!
Skill [Arrow of the Flame Elemental] is now available.
Skill [Fiery Riposte] is now available.
Skill [Lightning Orb] is now available.
Skill [Shield of the Misty Lord] is now available.
Skill [Passive - Champion of Thunder] is now available.
Skill [Passive - Will of the Earth Elemental] is now available.