Salvos

by

MelasD

237. Interlude - Edithe's Evolution Part 4

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A note from MelasD

Big shoutout to Duellist's Road: A LitRPG Adventure. Check it out!

Carr, a master swordsman from Earth, is forcibly transported to another world after being betrayed by his best friend. It was an act of treachery that left a deep scar on his heart, causing him to be unwilling to make use of the strange magical system that runs his new world. But even without utilizing any stats, levels, or skills, he still believes himself to be the greatest swordsman of them all – and he'll prove it again and again, stopping at nothing to face his old friend once more and settle the score.
 
Dueling fierce opponents while traversing a hostile fantasy world is just the tip of the iceberg. Carr's refusal to engage in the LitRPG system puts him at a disadvantage – and he knows it. He'll have to gather allies who do make use of stats, and most importantly, continue improving himself. Even without stats, he'll never stop progressing his own strength.
 
After all, what is swordsmanship if not an eternal quest of self-improvement? Especially on a journey to achieve the sweet satisfaction of revenge.

Amazon.com: Duellist's Road: No Shortcuts - A LitRPG Fantasy Adventure eBook : Kalleen, Rafael: Kindle Store


237. Interlude - Edithe's Evolution Part 4

[Advancement Available]

The words resounded in Edithe’s head as she sat across from Orbur Vale. The man was one of the highest-leveled adventurers of the Iron Champions Company. One of the original founders, and a designated ‘champion’ too. His name was renowned throughout the world— or at least, to adventurers. Such a powerful individual… was currently a prisoner of war for the Valiant Dreamers.

He’d surrendered. The Iron Champions attempted an assault at the Valiant Dreamers with their full might. A surprise counterattack. It proved fruitless. Because of a simple reason: they never wanted to fight in this war.

That was what Orbur said, at least, before he lost his arm. Now, he sat there, in front of Edithe, bound in enchanted chains, with a single remaining arm. Edithe was supposed to watch over him. He offered to trade information to the Valiant Dreamers for his life— something which wasn’t even necessary.

Edithe was pretty sure they’d have spared him the moment he surrendered. But they weren't going to reject a chance at free information.

Regardless, Orbur didn’t look like he was going to attempt anything while captured. Which was good for Edithe. She couldn’t even focus on guarding him. Or that she could think about was her advancement. She wanted to deal with it now, not deal with Orbur.

And fortunately, salvation eventually came to her in the form of Hadrian. The leader of the Valiant Dreamers Company strolled into the tent, nodding approvingly at her.

“Good job, Edithe. You may excuse yourself.”

“Finally!”

She leapt to her feet, pausing just by the tent flaps. Her eyes darted to Baris who followed his son into the room. Edithe looked over at Hadrian. He shook his head and mouthed something to her.

Not yet.

The red-haired woman sighed, leaving the tent. Celine was outside, chatting with a group of ally adventurers from other companies. Derrill was amongst them. He waved at Edithe, and she greeted them.

“Celine, Derrill. How are your injuries?”

“We’re fine!”

Celine flexed an arm— the arm she’d broken in battle.

“A quick healing potion and… poof, I’m fully healed.”

“I’m still surprised we came out of that alive.”

Derrill massaged his temples.

“I thought I was going to die.”

“Well, I’m glad the both of you are fine.”

Edithe smiled. The same couldn’t be said for many others who came away from this war. Her gaze landed on the corpse pile under a large covering. Groups of lower-leveled men and women carried bodies with them to toss into the pile. The red-haired woman recognized some of those who died.

Collins. Melinda— dozens of others. So many dead.

But finally, the war would end. This was the final phase of the war. All that was left was the Iron Champions’ final stronghold. Then it would be over.

Edithe wished she could’ve done more to save her friends and her fellow company members. Unfortunately, she’d barely been strong enough to defeat Orbur Vale— with help. If only she advanced her Class sooner...

For now, she retired to her tent, and took what she could get. Her eyes snapped shut and darkness overtook her. Words came to her, echoing the shadows.

Class Advancement:

Requirements for four Class advancements have been met!

Four, huh? Edithe had hoped there’d be more. But one thing she knew ever since she was young was that rapid growth came at a price. Perhaps she could’ve gotten more options if she’d taken her time. Unfortunately, war waited for no one.

So, she got stronger.

[Arcane Mistress]

An [Arcane Mistress] is a master of the magic art. They dominate the arcane, and their experience is unrivaled. Their understanding of magic comes from their encounters with enemies far beyond their own level. The will of an [Arcane Mistress] will never be disobeyed.

+20 [Wisdom]

+15 [Endurance]

+15 [Strength]

+8[Vitality]

+8 [Agility]

The first option was kind of… underwhelming. Its boosts to Edithe’s Stats wasn’t what she expected from a Level 100 advancement, and it didn’t exactly sound like a path she wanted to go down.

She was pretty sure [Arcane Mistress] would be her last option. At least, until a worse one presented itself, somehow.

[Arch Battle Mage]

A [Arch Battle Mage] is an [Archmage] of close combat. The pinnacle of magic, an [Archmage] has seen the endless limits of magic, and will not stop until they reach that top. But as a [Battle Mage], they do not allow themselves to falter, even when the enemy closes the distance.

+20 [Strength]

+20 [Wisdom]

+15 [Endurance]

+10 [Vitality]

+10 [Agility]

Now, this was interesting. Edithe considered this option— she often found herself in situations where she couldn’t solely rely on her spells alone. Like with the Lich or with Orbur. That was one of the fatal flaws of a [Mage]— they were practically useless once the enemy closed in on them.

If she were a [Battle Mage], she’d at least stand a better chance when that happened. Also, it had a good spread of Stats. And she’d be an [Archmage]. Honestly, in Edithe’s wildest dreams, she never imagined she’d be one of the fabled [Archmages].

It excited her. But she went on to see the rest.

[Bishop of the Demonic Cult]

A [Bishop of the Demonic Cult] is a [Cultist] who has seen the truth of the world and mastered magic to match the power of a Demon. They have seen the depths of the Netherworld’s powers, and they seek that strength for their own. Power corrupts, and their goal is to cleanse the world of this corruption.

+30 [Wisdom]

+20 [Endurance]

+5 [Vitality]

+5 [Strength]

+5 [Agility]

Alright, why the fuck—

Edithe didn’t even question it. She started questioning it at first, but she realized that it was too stupid to question.

It was simply Salvos’ fault.

And she moved on.

[Sentinel of the Elements]

A [Sentinel of the Elements] is an [Elemental Mage] who has sworn to be a protector. They do not forsake their values to sacrifice others for any cause; their strength lies in those around them, just as others are empowered by them. For a greater purpose, a [Sentinel of Elements] shall ascend.

+35 [Wisdom]

+20 [Endurance]

+5 [Vitality]

+5 [Strength]

+5 [Agility]

Woah.

Edithe was speechless. That Class description seemed to call to her. Its Stats were excellent. It didn’t seem like there was anything wrong with it.

There was a choice to be made. A choice between two Classes. Either she became an [Arch Battle Mage] or a [Sentinel of the Elements]. The other choices couldn’t compare to these two.

A certain level of prestige came with being a kind of [Archmage]. It was, well, the most famous [Mage] Class at over Level 100. It wasn’t necessarily better, but it carried with it status that went beyond just being a Diamond Rank.

It was odd. Yet, that was just how it worked. It was like being a Level 40 [Farmer] versus a Level 40 [Warrior] adventurer. People would always look up to the Level 40 [Warrior] adventurer more, even if that Class wasn’t intrinsically better than the [Farmer].

But other than this status, there were very few advantages to being an [Arch Battle Mage]. The only advantage Edithe could think of was nullifying [Warriors] who got too close when she was alone.

However, she wouldn’t be able to protect her friends better. It was… a selfish Class, honestly. The exact opposite of what Edithe wanted to do. Meanwhile, a [Sentinel of the Elements] sounded exactly like what she was looking for.

To be able to protect her allies. Fight alongside them just as she fought alongside her summons.

The choice was difficult, but eventually, she made her decision. Between herself and her friends— well, she learned to care for herself more. To never neglect herself. However, that wasn’t the same as abandoning her friends.

So, she made her pick.

Advancement Complete!

Class [Risen Elemental Spellcaster] -> [Sentinel of the Elements]

Gained 30 Stat Points!

[Wisdom] +35

[Endurance] +20

[Vitality] +5

[Strength] +5

[Agility] +5

Gained 3 Skill Slots!

Gained 9 Skill Points!

General Skill [Wisdom of the Valkyrie] becomes [The Indomitable Valkyrie]!

General Skill [Passive - The Protector’s Boon] Obtained!

Skill [Fiery Riposte] becomes [Vindication of They]!

Skill [Storm of Ice and Fire] becomes [Frostflame Vortex]!

Skill [A Guardian’s Blessing] is now available.

Skill [Aura of Greater Protection] is now available.

Skill [Ray of Retribution] is now available.

Skill [Lend Skill] and [Restore Skill] consolidate to [Patron of the Skills]!

Skill [Passive - Champion of Thunder] and [Passive - Will of the Earth Elemental] consolidate to [Passive - Master of Nature]!

—--

Edithe woke up, sitting up in her bed and staring at the palm of her hands. She felt… different. No— she didn’t feel different. She perceived things differently. From the wrinkles on her skin to the linen of the tent wall, she felt like she could discern more details.

It was only a minute after waking up from her advancement, but Edithe already knew the effects of one of her Skills.

[Passive - The Protector’s Boon].

It didn’t increase her Stats like the name implied. Instead, she was more keenly aware of everything around her. Or at least, around the encampment. It was like she could choose to hear what she wanted within allied lands— like she instinctively knew where everything was within friendly territory. She felt like she had a map in her head, even when she didn’t.

And in that map, she knew she was safe. She knew that she was surrounded by her friends.

“That’s… pretty fucky.”

She massaged her temples. It took her a while to acclimate to this feeling. While she lay there in bed, she tested out another one of her Skills. One which she knew wouldn’t inflict any destruction or harm to the encampment.

“[Aura of Greater Protection].”

Edithe placed a hand on her chest, and a symbol shone. Golden light wrapped around her— wispy ribbons seemed to melt into her skin, before vanishing. When she touched herself next, she found her fingers halting and hovering over herself. Like there was glass surrounding her.

A grin spread across her face.

“So, I don’t even need an artifact for this.”

She wasn’t sure if she could cast the spell on more than one person. Probably not at its current level. Maybe it could affect multiple targets once it was maxed. The red-haired woman was just glad she no longer needed to spend an exorbitant amount of gold to get an artifact of equal value.

“Now, should I test out my other Skills? Or should I…?”

Before Edithe could make her own decision, a figure entered the tent. She knew who it was before he even walked in.

“Hadrian?”

She blinked as the blond man walked in, glancing around.

“Edithe. I see you’ve finished your advancement. That was quick.”

“I have. How long was I out?”

“About three or so hours.”

“Hm, not that long. I’d have thought I’d be asleep for longer. Could this be a result of reaching higher levels?”

Hadrian shook his head as he stopped in front of her bed.

“No. That’s likely an effect of one of your new Passive Skills. It probably lets you sleep less.”

Edithe frowned. The only possible option was [Passive - The Indomitable Valkyrie]. Which, if it was, she was grateful for. While she always rolled her eyes whenever Salvos went on a tirade about the need for sleep, Edithe kind of understood what the Demon meant.

A lot of time was wasted sleeping. If she only needed three or so hours of sleep now, she’d very much accept it with open arms.

Hadrian smiled as he looked over the red-haired woman.

“Well, regardless, I’m glad you’re awake.”

“Why? Did something happen?”

Edithe raised a brow, and he nodded.

“Yes. We’ve spoken to Orbur Vale. Extracted some… information which will be invaluable. But for now, we’ll be moving. So, you should pack up.”

“Oh, alright.”

The red-haired woman crawled out of bed, still feeling drowsy. Yeah, I definitely understand where Salvos is coming from. She yawned as she grabbed a Bag of Holding.

“Where are we going, anyway? Why the rush?”

Hadrian pursed his lips. He met her gaze as he spoke.

“To the headquarters of the Iron Champions Company. Tomorrow, we’ll be ending this war once and for all.”

 

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About the author

MelasD

  • Self-proclaimed most Successful Young Author on RoyalRoad based off the overly specific criteria he set. Became the 21st novel to hit 10,000 followers on the 21st of September, 2021, at the age of 21.
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