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150. What an Idiot

[Evolution Available]

[Title Available]

[Class Available]

That was… a lot to take in at once. But it made sense. Level 100 was a massive milestone which very few people ever reached. I have only seen a dozen Humans at over Level 100. Hadrian was one of them. Al… Alan? That was his name, right? Alan Cromwell of the Vaun Qiuer Empire’s Elite Spearshield Forces was another… I think.

Nevertheless, I could now evolve into an Archdemon. And I now had a Class available. It was what I have been working towards all this time. I could become a [Space Mage] now.

Uh, it’s not that simple, Salvos, I could already hear Daniel saying, first you’ll have to—

I didn’t care. I was Level 100. I beat Zix. And now, my job here in Unarith was finished.

My companions were wading towards me. Xidra could destroy the Totem of Incense. We could return to the Plaguelands—

“Cheater!”

A voice cried out. I blinked and saw an angry Kobold pointing an accusing finger at me.

“You cheated! You went over the Divine Flames while it was still up!”

There were a few nods in agreement. I took a step back, placing a hand on my chest defensively

“I didn’t cheat! There was nothing in the rules that said I couldn’t leave the arena!”

“Salvos the [Mage] is right. The Trial of the Scales does not state that leaving the bounds of the Divine Flames meant a forfeit. She is the victor.”

Xidra stepped up behind me, placing a hand on my shoulder. But that was not enough to placate the audience.

“You received outside help! Those damn Humans helped you win!”

“That’s not allowed!”

I frowned.

“Well, Zix cheated too! He had… uh, artifacts! And Skills from his friends! That’s cheating!”

They ignored me. They didn’t care for what I had to say. Was Zix cheating? Yes. But they all knew it.

Unarith wasn’t a small village. It was a city with a population of thousands. Maybe even over ten thousand. As such, it had dozens or even a hundred different factions within its bounds. Only one or two dozen of those factions were part of the Cult of the Old Gods— a coalition of factions which the Scale Sentinels were an influential member of.

The other factions were either on the Risen Dragons’ side, or disinterested parties. The disinterested parties had no reason to show up for the Trial of the Scales, and the Risen Dragons were experiencing inner conflict over the destruction of the Totem of Incense.

As such, most of the Kobolds gathered here were rooting for Zix. They were part of his faction, or they were part of the Cult of the Old Gods.They were the ones who helped him cheat. Or, at the very least, they were aware of what plans he had to win the duel.

This realization sunk in as my eyes darted around, wary. They wouldn’t accept the result. Even now, they were trying to block Daniel and Edithe from making their way to me. I hurriedly whispered to Xidra.

“First Dragonling, I believe that trying to subdue the audience is a fruitless endeavor.”

Now, more than ever, I had to maintain my facade. If these Kobolds found out the truth about me, they would react violently.

Xidra narrowed her eyes. She realized something was amiss too. Her mouth opened, words began to come out—

But someone grabbed Daniel. The Human man pushed his attacker off him. But it was already too late. There were gasps. A Kobold held something up in the air— a necklace. One which hid the Classes and Levels of an individual.

It was no longer around Daniel’s neck. And everybody froze.

I sighed.

“Daniel, why are you so f—”

“He’s a [Hero]!”

“That Human is an otherworlder!”

“Kill him!”

The ice shattered. The once simmering anger erupted out of the geyser, a pillar of boiling water bursting into the air. The crowd of Kobolds broke out of their stupor. They roared and charged my companions. What was once just a brawl turned into something far more deadly.

Their shovings became clawed strikes, aimed for the throat. They loosed spells and Skills at my companions. They screamed for death and violence.

“Slay that otherworlder! Bring an end to the scourge which afflicts our world!”

They came at my companions in a wave, washing over the dirt ground, a flood of fire and fury. It wasn’t just directed at them either. Some of their wrath spilled over and came for Xidra and me. I kicked a Level 30 [Warrior] back, placing a protective arm over her.

“We need to get out of here!”

“No.”

She spoke simply, shaking her head.

“Take your companions and flee the city. That is the only place you will find safety.”

“What about the Totem of Incense?”

I looked at Xidra with wide eyes. The Kobold woman gave me a reassuring look.

“Do not worry, Salvos the [Mage]. You have done your part. I will ensure that it is taken care of— there will always be pushbacks. Those against what I do. But bringing change was never going to be simple.”

She stuck her tongue out in one final smile of farewell.

“Know that for what you’ve done, you will always have my support on your side. If you ever visit our lands again, the Risen Dragons and our allies will offer you shelter and protection. Not just in Unarith, but in Lullin, Hirane, Sarton— any of our cities, you will find friends within.”

“Thank you, Xidra the [Herbalist].”

I hugged her tightly as the clamoring around us intensified. Her bodyguards were surrounding us, keeping us safe and boxed in. Hoxle swooped in from above, knocking away those who were higher leveled before they could even come close.

I leapt over Xidra’s bodyguards, diving straight into the angry mob. I hopped on their heads and headed straight for my companions.

“Come on! Let’s get out of here!”

I yelled, offering both of them my hands. Edithe whacked her staff across a green-scaled Kobold’s head, while Daniel slammed his fist on the ground and sent a group of Kobolds stumbling back from the impact.

My companions grabbed onto me as I flipped over a hail of glowing arrows. We avoided the magic and the Skills and the swinging swords and the spears. The rushing mob couldn’t keep up with my speed. After all, most of them weren’t combatants. They didn’t come here for a fight. But most importantly, they weren’t Level 100 either.

They tried to give chase. They were slowly left behind, fading into a multi-colored mass, barely visible in the distance. And we left the city of Unarith behind.

—--

“You’re an idiot.”

I stared at Daniel with my arms crossed. He buried his face in his hands.

“I know…”

“Why can’t you just do things right for once?!”

“I’m trying.”

“Try harder!”

I threw my arms up in the air, and he just groaned miserably to himself. Edithe walked up behind me, her lips drawn into a thin line.

“I’m upset too, Salvos, but you can’t really blame him for what happened. The Kobolds there were just looking for a reason to be angry. Even if Daniel had been more careful, they’d have eventually attacked us all anyway. Whether it be because you cheated, or because I helped you cheat, or because we’re Humans, or because he’s a [Hero]. It would have ended the same way.”

“Whatever.”

I rolled my eyes, breaking away from my companions.

“I’m going to go and evolve because I’m Level 100 now. Don’t let anything attack me while I’m doing that.”

“Alright. And congratulations.”

Edithe smiled at me as she took a seat next to Daniel. The Human man was now murmuring abusive words at himself as she patted him in the back. I ignored him, instead transforming back out of my Mortal Form, freeing myself from the very limiting scaled body of a Kobold.

“Much better.”

I stretched all four of my arms and flexed my clawed hands. My claws were far sharper than a Kobold’s, with a longer reach too. I enjoyed pretending to be a Kobold for a little while, but just as it was with being a Human, it got dull once enough time passed.

I sat down on a tree stump. The wood was old and rotting— not yet shriveled up and withered away like the trees in the Plaguelands, but simply dead, unaffected by any blight.

We were far from the Kobold lands. We ran towards the Plaguelands, of course. But we didn’t enter it. We set up camp right at the periphery where the ground began to change, but before the brown smog of blight was even visible. Or smellable.

It wasn’t exactly a safe place. However, we knew the Kobolds wouldn’t follow us here. At least, not immediately. So, we had time to rest and recover. Or in my case, evolve.

I couldn’t help but grin as I focused on the words in my head.

[Evolution Available]

Now, what kind of options will you give me this time? I was very excited to see what I got. The world vanished around me as I entered my mind, my consciousness still there, but my vision fading.

Species Evolution:

[Greater Demon of Pride] -> [Archdemon of Pride]

Requirements for three Subspecies evolutions have been met!

Yes! I’m finally an Archdemon! I wondered what Lily would say. She was still in the Brilsum ruins, right? Her Fairy friends left her behind, and she couldn’t return to the Spirit Realm. I should pay her a visit again— maybe teach that jerk Archdemon Belzu while I was at it.



Subspecies Evolution:

[Asmodai Succubus]

An [Asmodai Succubus] is one of the final evolutionary paths for a [Succubus]. Charming but deadly, an [Asmodai Succubus] carries herself with pride and intelligence, doing what is necessary to thrive even when shunned and estranged. She doesn’t stoop below her station, instead using deceit and power to overcome any obstacle in her path.

+25 to [Wisdom]

+15 to [Endurance]

+10 to [Vitality]

+10 to [Strength]

+5 to [Agility]

[Succubus]? Again?

I kept getting it as an option whenever I evolved. It certainly had a good distribution of Stats, But when I asked Daniel about it a while back, he told me to absolutely never choose it as an evolution.

While I took his warnings in stride, I wasn’t too entranced by what it offered me. It was too vague, and it would probably take away [Racial Skill: Mortal Form] from me. The only draw it had was the fact that it was one of the final evolutionary paths for a [Succubus]. Did that mean the [Succubi] evolution only reached Level 100?

It was likely that I would never see the [Succubus] option ever again. And that tempted me. My curiosity drew me towards it. If I could evolve into a [Succubus] just to see what it was like for a day before making a final decision— like with a Skill— I would have.

Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. I probably wasn’t going to become an [Asmodai Succubus]. I had two other options, after all.

[Asura Changeling Matriarch]

An [Asura Changeling Matriarch] is a direct evolution to an [Asura Changeling]. Proving herself to be a powerful Demon worthy of respect, an [Asura Changeling Matriarch] rules over those around her, turning them into her minions. She is a natural ruler, and she will make it be known that she is a Demon above all others— by force, if needed.

+20 to [Wisdom]

+15 to [Strength]

+15 to [Endurance]

+15 to [Vitality]

+5 to [Agility]

These evolutions were… a lot more personalized than before, huh? They were far less specific, but both evolutions so far offered me what I needed in terms of added Stat Points.

An [Asura Changeling Matriarch] sounded good. It was the natural progression to my current Subspecies, [Asura Changeling]. It was a safe option. I’d get to keep [Racial Skill: Mortal Form], and my four current arms.

Maybe I might even become more terrifying. I could scare Daniel a bit at night— as punishment for his mistake earlier today, of course.

I also liked its description. Matriarch. That word had a nice ring to it.

Matriarch Salvos.

It was like having a Title without actually having a Title.

I held off impulsively choosing this evolution, and took a look at the last option available.

[Daeva Cambion]

A [Daeva Cambion] is the next step in a [Changeling]’s evolution. A [Daeva Cambion] has learnt what it’s like to live amongst Mortals and Spirits. Now, she must adapt to truly be accepted by their kinds. However, she does not forget her roots. That she is a Demon will always be known by her and those she trusts. It is her essence and her strength.

+20 to [Wisdom]

+20 to [Agility]

+15 to [Vitality]

+15 to [Strength]

+15 to [Endurance]

 

...alright.

I didn’t know what I wanted now. [Daeva Cambion] didn’t just offer good Stats all around, it also piqued my interest. Because it came closest to describing me.

Also, it was something new. It was something different. It had the same allure as both [Asura Changeling Matriarch] and [Asmodai Succubus]: it not only assured me that I wouldn’t undergo drastic changes, but I was also curious about this new experience.

What did it even mean by ‘next step in a [Changeling]’s evolution’? Did that mean it was better? Surely it was, right?

I was torn between [Daeva Cambion] and [Asura Changeling Matriarch]. On one hand, [Asura Changeling Matriarch] gave me what I wanted. It guaranteed that I wouldn’t shrivel up into some kind of two-armed Human-like creature— which was probably what choosing [Asmodai Succubus] would do— while also letting me keep my Mortal Form. It was a good choice. It was the smart choice.

And yet, I found my thoughts drifting towards [Daeva Cambion]. It was shrouded over. I could just barely see it peaking out of the thin mist. I could make out its shape, but not what it was. And I could tell— I knew it offered me what I wanted.

The questions I had: I needed it answered. The vyings of my heart brought me towards this veiled goal.

[Daeva Cambion].

I knew not what it was. It simply was all I could think about. Maybe it would be a bad decision. Maybe the uncertainty behind what it offered was too much of a risk to pick. However, there was a chance. There was a possibility that it’d be something wonderful.

Plus, it offered the best Stat boost. That couldn’t possibly be too bad, right?

 

Evolution Complete!

[Greater Demon of Pride] -> [Archdemon of Pride]

Subspecies [Asura Changeling] -> [Daeva Cambion]

Gained 30 Stat Points!

[Wisdom] +20

[Agility] +20

[Vitality] +15

[Strength] +15

[Endurance] +15

Gained 3 Skill Slots!

Gained 9 Skill Points!

General Skill [Racial Skill: Demonic Essence] Obtained!

General Skill [Racial Skill: Mortal Form] becomes [Racial Skill: Partial Mortality]!

Skill [Self Haste] becomes [Haste]!

Skills [Advanced Fire Creation], [Ember Core], [Flame Burst], and [Flaming Breath] consolidates and becomes [The Primordial Spark]!

Skill [Wings of the Netherworld] is now available.

Available Skill [Horror’s Flare] becomes [Demon’s Mark].

Available Skill [Star Forge] Becomes [Nebular Construct].

 

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MelasD

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