187. Tiring Learning
Before leaving my Lair, I made sure to cover up the little alcove with branches and leaves so that no one would find it. One thing I noticed when doing so was how I could feel a surge in the mana within the Lair. Not only that, I could feel a boost to my own abilities.
[Available Stat Points: 0]
[Vitality]: 130 (+25) (+3%)
[Strength]: 105 (+25) (+3%)
[Endurance]: 113 (+25) (+3%)
[Wisdom]: 200 (+25) (+8) (+3%)
[Agility]: 253 (+25) (+3%)
It wasn’t the most significant increase. But it would do a lot to aid me if I ever found myself in battle within my Lair. If I transformed with [Demonic Essence] too— the increase would be rather substantial.
If I was ever being chased by someone significantly stronger than me, I could retreat to my Lair for an advantage. Even as I left the forest, transforming back to a Human, and being hit with a slight drowsiness, I knew where my Lair was without even looking or thinking about it.
“That is good. That means I won’t get lost!”
I headed back to Mavos Academy, slightly exhausted, mostly mentally. The need for sleep was oppressive at times. I’d consider learning a Potion of Waking to stave off the need for sleep, if I hadn’t already chosen the Potion of Regeneration as my final assignment for my class on alchemy.
I needed my arm back when using [Demonic Essence]. Sure, having five arms was actually more terrifying than having six. But the more arms the better!
I patted myself on the back with [Faux Limbs]— it created an ethereal blue arm from my shoulder, and it didn’t burn me. Although I was pretty sure it’d burn others at least a little bit.
I nodded at Lamarr as I entered my first class. The King of Traith. He was a nice guy. He returned the gesture as I settled down, not late for class on my second day.
Lecturer Claudia arrived a moment later, just as the bell rang and class began. She started droning on about various axioms of space theory. I dutifully listened, jotting down notes. And unlike yesterday, the class didn’t feel like it lasted an eternity. Perhaps it was because of how focused I was, but I didn’t expect the lecture to end so soon.
I tried to catch the lecturer before she left, but she simply shook her head.
“You can speak with me during my office hours tomorrow.”
And that was that.
I still had some time until my next class, so I stayed to chat with Lamarr. It wasn’t anything serious. I was curious what it was like to be a King— or how he even got the Title.
“I was a gladiator.”
“A warrior who fought for entertainment. I fought in the Pits of Dread for a decade, killing whatever foul monsters they wished to unleash upon me day after day.”
“Then what happened?”
I peered at the man. He didn’t look like the kind of man who fought every day for years on end. He shook his head.
“I fought smart. Gained the favor of the public. Never asked for anything for years. And one day, the previous king of Traith offered to grant my wish. Any wish within his power. I asked him for a duel— for his crown.”
My jaw dropped.
“And he accepted it? Isn’t that stupid?!”
“He made a foolish choice in the first place. He made the declaration in front of the crowds watching at the Pits of Dread. He couldn’t reject me. Even though he cheated, using all the artifacts he could, with his royal guards by his side, he lost. I won. Now, I am a king, and the Pits of Dread are gone.”
I cocked my head.
“Wait, why are they gone?”
I was genuinely puzzled, and so was Lamarr. He was surprised by my question.
“Why would I reinforce an institution responsible for my suffering?”
“But you’re free, aren’t you?”
“And there are many others who were not. To be king is to view the world beyond just your own eyes. Sit not just on your throne, but to sit at the dinner table with the poor and the hungry. These virtues are what has enabled my country to flourish, even when I am gone.”
Lamarr didn’t seem mad at me for asking the question. He simply gave me an explanation, and that was it. I slowly digested this information. It was almost similar to what Lily and Vis’anya had said before, but also not the same.
They were different lenses of the same tint. One which I didn’t truly comprehend, as much as I tried.
Lamarr continued to tell me about his duties as the King of Traith, and I asked him various questions. One of them, I was really curious about.
“Do you have a daughter?
“As of right now, I am unwed and without children.”
“That means your country doesn’t have a princess.”
I grinned, and he blinked.
“Why does it matter?”
I leaned forward, looking at him with pleading eyes.
“Adopt me so I can become a princess!”
He said no.
The next class was general rune study. Professor Lisbenon was running late once more. I saw eyes dart towards me, even as I simply took a seat. The whisperings began, and I knew it’d distract me. So, I did what I should’ve done on the first day.
I glared up at those pointing and talking.
They froze. A few first years slid underneath their desks, and some second years hid behind their books. Then I smiled.
“I’m trying to study. If you’d like to talk to me, you can do so when I am free. I’d love to chat, of course. I have a lot of things to talk about. But after class, please.”
The students throughout the classroom hurriedly nodded. I caught sight of a familiar girl— Valda. She seemed to stare at me in awe, even as the others shrunk in fear. I shrugged, continuing to prepare for the class.
Professor Lisbenon arrived, giving some excuse, and began his lecture. One thing I realized from this class was that there wouldn’t be much learned beyond simple theory and history. Sure, some of the things taught could be applied, but this wasn’t a lab which actually went about to apply it. This was more of an introductory class.
That didn’t mean I couldn’t use what I learned. I paid careful attention to what was being said, specifically what I believe I could use when I was out traveling all by myself.
The class ended, and a flock of students encroached on me.
“Hey, Ms Liberator of the Plaguelands, I was wondering if you’d like to join our—”
“Ms Savior of Silvergrove, my brother wanted to know, as an adventurer, did you—”
“I said when I was free. I’m still busy!”
I ran off, ignoring them. I paused at the door and shook a fist.
“Also, my name is Salvos!”
Then came the class on alchemy. This was my hardest class by far. Not only was it an advanced class rather than an introductory class, I had no background on the subject at all. I found myself lost, even for today’s class, even after extensive research and studying the night before.
[Alchemist] Raymond didn’t slow his class for me either. And due to this being a class specifically for the School of Aspirit Elites, each lesson was dense. It had to be. We prepared a dozen different ingredients for the creation of an Elixir of Enhanced Agility.
The difference between a regular potion and an ‘elixir’ was generally on the duration of the effects. Potions were short term, while elixirs could last for days, weeks, sometimes even months.
While the Elixir of Enhanced Agility would’ve been useful for me, [Alchemist] Raymond recommended against ingesting it unless necessary. It would last for seven days, and the side effects after drinking it was less than kind. It included terrible headaches, nausea, and an exhaustion which would typically take two or three weeks to overcome.
“Most adventurers tend to consume such elixirs before delving into Dungeons. And it is not recommended that you consume a Potion of Speed or even Haste during the time the effect is active. The additional effects will add up only by a little, while the side effects will exponentially increase. Sometimes even to the point of being deadly.”
That didn’t sound nice. And it was not like we even finished preparing the elixir today. It would be completed next week. We simply prepared the base ingredients and a few of the base potions for it. Normally, such preparation would take weeks or months. But again, [Alchemist] Raymond had prepared everything beforehand so it could be done within the span of the class.
I left the lab, rubbing at my temples, tired and drained from the day. But I still had one more class to go to. A voice stopped me before I could leave the building. Nolan, the Mighty Warrior himself, called out to me, smiling.
“Ms Salvos, are you perchance having trouble with [Alchemist] Raymond’s lessons?”
He swiped his hair back as he approached me. I nodded, sagging slightly.
“Kind of, yep. “
I was also quite sleepy, which was the worst part about this whole thing. Nolan smiled and proffered me a hand.
“If it is no issue with you, I would love to provide my services to you. I do believe I am currently at the top of the class, and I do have a background in alchemy as well. One of my former party members tutored me rather extensively.”
“You’ll help me?”
I brightened, and he nodded.
“Why, of course. But I am sure you are currently busy, as I am. Will you be free on the weekend?”
“Yep! I don’t think I have anything planned.”
“Then in the afternoon, in Central Square’s library, will you meet me there?”
“Of course! Thank you so much!”
I bowed my head gratefully. Nolan simply waved a hand, dismissive.
“It is no matter. I have noticed you struggling, so I feel obligated to assist you. I shall see you then.”
What a nice guy. I was wondering if I’d have to ask someone for help, but it seemed like people were nice and went out of their way to offer their help to me instead!
The last class was once again uneventful. There was a moment where I realized what I’d been doing on instinct with [Banish] was actually complex. Other than that, I returned to Saffron’s room, ready to pass out.
“You seemed exhausted.”
“A little bit…”
I yawned, grabbing a bite to eat. It was a cooked steak, which surprised her.
“Not eating bugs today?”
I gave her a noncommittal shrug.
“Hunting for food gets tiring sometimes, and I just need some energy.”
I grabbed the rest of my notes once more, preparing to return to my Lair.
“Going out to study again?”
“Yep! Need to catch up. I’m still a bit behind in classes.”
Saffron narrowed her eyes. She crossed her arms, as if she wanted to say something. But all she ended up doing was bidding me goodnight.
“Don’t overwork yourself, Salvos.”
I mustered up a smile before heading off. I practically ran out of Mavos Academy, back to the forest, transforming back out of [Partial Mortality] to my normal form, just to wash the exhaustion from my body.
I would’ve fallen asleep if I took a moment longer. Once I wasn’t a Human anymore, I let out a sigh of relief.
I straightened, no longer bothered by the need to sleep. I returned to my Lair, getting my books up, reading through it.
All in all, school was pretty fun. The only issue was the need to sleep. But as morning came, and I transformed back to a Human. I smiled, refreshed.
“So, my sleep schedule resets each time I transform. Just as I thought.”
That was why I found myself drowsy the instant I transformed, and why there was such a long cooldown before [Partial Mortality] could be used. It was a slight hindrance, when done right, could be exploited such as right now.
The idea of accumulated sleep was pretty dumb. Why would I accumulate sleep from being a Demon who didn’t need to sleep? That was stupid!
General Skill [Lesser Enhanced Wisdom] has leveled up!
[Lesser Enhanced Wisdom - Lvl. 4] -> [Lesser Enhanced Wisdom - Lvl. 5]!
Experience is awarded for the leveling of a General Skill!