155.1. Wishful Thinking
As it turned out, I could only use [Demon’s Mark] once every three hours. I was surprised. A Skill with as much destructive power as that would normally take a whole day before I could use it again. But I was Level 100 now. The next time I was evolving would be at Level 150. It made sense that the Skills gained during my evolution would be somewhat exceptional.
Also, there was more to it.
“Unused Skills have both pros and cons, Salvos. Not choosing a Skill you obtained means you may never have the chance to experience what that Skill does, especially if it’s a good one. However, if you leave it untouched, there is always a chance a Skill would advance— or in your case, evolve— along with you. And those Skills become extremely valuable, most of the time. After all, upgraded Skills are generally better than new Skills.”
“Huh. That’s pretty good.”
Edithe nodded as she continued.
“That’s why I never understood why you always chose and tested all your Skills whenever you evolved. It’s better to leave the ones you think are unremarkable untouched. You’re wasting its potential, otherwise.”
While she was in a lecturing mood, I decided to prod Edithe about how leveling my Class worked. I leveled a few times since entering the Plaguelands, mostly only when I used its Skills in combat, never really during any other time.
“It depends on your Class description. As a combat Class, [Adept of the Fae] probably levels from fighting and killing things like most other combat Classes. But since it’s ‘secondary’ to your Subspecies, it only gains experience when you actively use it in battle. The more you use your ‘main’ Class, or Subspecies, it’ll detract from the leveling speed of your secondary ‘Class’. The only other way you can actually level it up is by doing things related to its description.”
I tilted my head back up, pursing my lips.
“I don’t really remember what it said, but I think it mentioned something about Fairies? And learning from them, maybe?”
“That sounds right. And it means that it’s probably not going to be easy to level [Adept of the Fae], since it requires more exceptional circumstances.”
The red-haired woman gave me a wry smile.
“That’s the advantage and disadvantage of having a rare Class, Salvos. Beginner Classes like [Warrior] may be inferior to [Adept of the Fae], but they’re able to gain experience from simple training and doing basic drills enough times. The requirements for your Class are higher, but the payoff is better.”
I scowled at first. But slowly, I let out the biggest grin onto my face as I realized what that meant.
“More time in the Plaguelands, yay!”
Daniel gave the red-haired woman the most pained expression I have ever seen on his face. She just shrugged.
“You’re getting close to Level 100 too, aren’t you? I don’t see the harm in sticking around until you’ve advanced.”
“I know that, but… just…”
I pointed accusingly at the Human man.
“You just want us to return to Human lands as quickly as possible so I have to eat your stupid food!”
“And you just want to delay it for as long as you can.”
He crossed his arms. I rolled my eyes, pausing only when I saw the outlines of Skeletons approaching us from afar. Fire engulfed my body as I turned away from Daniel.
“It’s not like we’re in any rush to return anyway, are we?”
Fiery blades appeared around me. They shot out at the undead, ripping apart their ranks from afar, even before they could come near us. He sighed.
“I am not, no. But Edithe is, isn’t she? Which is why I’m surprised she’s fine with this suggestion.”
An arrow zipped our way, and I used [Banish] to divert it away instead of dodging. I had to get whatever experience I could from these encounters for my Class.
“We told Hadrian that we’d be borrowing her for a while, didn’t we?”
“That was half a year ago, Salvos.”
Edithe was the one to speak. Turning to face me, she gave me a rueful look, even as she blasted apart the undead from the distance.
“A lot of things can happen during that time. I can’t lie and say I’m not worried about my friends. I’d like to return and help the Valiant Dreamers in whatever way I can, especially with the way the company war was looking before I left.”
“You guys were winning!”
I spoke, exasperated, waving my arms around. Another arrow came speeding at us, and I teleported it away once again. I spotted a Ghoul amongst the Skeletons. It came bounding at us, far faster than the Skeletons could hope to move.
“We were winning, only after suffering significant losses, Salvos. The Iron Champions also outnumbered us. I haven’t received any updates from my company for a long time. I’m worried about them. Just as I’m sure they’re worried about me.”
My shoulders sagged as I saw Edithe’s face turn dour. I stopped conjuring weapons to shoot out at the undead, even as the Ghoul was getting closer. Then I shook my head, concentrating at a single ball of fire in the palm of my hand.
It burned red at first, before turning blue, then white, and finally, black. It expanded into crescent shape, like the moon. A bow, with the same-colored strings attached to it. That was not all. I created an arrow in a similar way, and nocked it onto the bow.
This weapon was made of fire, but it was not burning. It didn’t exude any heat. It was entirely physical, created from magic, turned into a solid object.
[Nebular Bow: Medium Grade - A bow created from the Skill, [Nebular Construct].]
[Nebular Arrow: Medium Grade - An arrow created from the Skill, [Nebular Construct].]
I loosed it straight at the Ghoul, and the bolt dug itself deep into the undead’s chest. It stumbled from that first hit, before I fired a second one straight at its head. It let out a guttural cry as it tried to gather itself. I simply finished it off with a few more Nebular Arrows sent to its head.
“Fine. I guess we can return to the Human lands. I have a Class now, anyway. I could go and speak to Lily for advice, or ask Saffron about enrolling me into one of your Human academies to learn more about space magic.”
We finished off the rest of the undead, just like that. Even Ghouls were no longer as difficult to kill as they once were. [Nebular Spark] was a very good Skill. It created weapons that persisted even after a few days. I didn’t have to expend any magic to upkeep it. I could collect the Nebular Arrows from the Ghoul’s dead body and reuse them for future fights.
Edithe placed a hand on my shoulder, giving me a grateful look.
“Thank you, Salvos.”
I blinked. Then I beamed.
“Of course! You’re my companion, not a minion, after all! I can’t just order you around!”
Although, I couldn’t lie and say I wasn’t a little unhappy about it. I mean, this meant I wouldn’t get to see the Lich. Which sucked! Because I really wanted to see him!