What did that mean, exactly, to have a familiar? Robin frowned. He could kind of feel ...something from the mantis. Opal, he mentally corrected himself. The sooner he got used to the name, the better. It felt like wariness, almost like the feeling of being watched when you take the trash out to the curb late on a chilly autumn evening, crossed with the controller vibrations from NPC enemy movements when the player was hiding in Metal Gear. Robin went back to the toilet to sit down and think about it.
As soon as Robin sat down, the mantis tensed, gripping his shoulder with an almost frantic intensity. Rob grabbed the edges of the toilet seat to keep himself from following what his instincts were screaming at him to do and trying to Get! It! Off! Him! Robin gritted his teeth hard enough that it hurt.
|Toilet Seat of Seclusion|
|Designed by a paranoid Mad Scientist unable to bear their vision being blocked by walls while using the toilet, the Toilet Seat of Seclusion renders the individual sitting upon it invisible and soundless. The effect requires energy, and is reenergized by a separate localized rune apparatus.|
Robin blinked at the box that appeared when he grabbed the seat. It was almost enough to distract him from the mantis claws digging directly through his facility-issued lab coat and into the flesh of his shoulder and collarbone. Happy thoughts, happy thoughts…! Solar Savior Silver, Sōrāseibāshirubā! Kare no hada wa tsumetakute shinde iru! Sōrāseibāshirubā! Kare wa mojidōri gin de dekite imasu! Sōrāseibāshirubā! Kare wa kare ga hakobu omoni to onaji kurai omoidesu... Shikashi kare wa SHINE SHINE SHINE! That was Robin’s favorite part. He repeated it a few times in his head. The mantis began reacting almost immediately, loosening its grip on his shoulder. Slowly, Robin stood up. Opal tightened her claws immediately, causing Robin to wince, but she loosened her grip a moment later.
Okay, that was fair. Robin was fairly sure he would not have reacted as relatively well as Opal did if the thing he was standing on abruptly seemed to disappear. Robin called up his menu and watched the 2 points of BODY that Opal had done to him tick back. He slid a finger slowly under one of Opal’s foot claws, and she shifted her foot after staring at him for a moment. He poked his finger into the spot where his wound had been. It didn’t feel tender at all. He twisted his head to look at it, drawing a sharp head twist from Opal. “Easy, Opal… I’m definitely not going to try and hurt you.” He inspected the wound spot. The skin didn’t look pink and new, like when a scab fell off, but it didn’t look quite as weathered as the rest of him. Part of the tan he had earned working back home was just… gone. The skin looked and felt normal otherwise, though.
“Okay, Opal. Want to try something else?” Opal stared at him. Robin couldn’t feel any fear from her, just inhumanly idle focused curiosity, like a search page window left open with no searches made. Robin took that as a good sign and closed his eyes to help him concentrate.
That seems good. Happy thoughts… SHINE SHINE SHINE! Robin tried the same thing he had tried before that had led to Opal becoming his familiar. He realized that he had put his mana in slowly, then, not really knowing if he was even doing anything. Now that he had confirmation it was actually working… Robin pushed with his concentration, and focused all of his mana into Opal at once.
Opal trilled her odd cross between a hiss and a cricket chirp. Robin could feel the alarm through the bond he shared with her and through her increasingly tighter grip. Shine Shine Shine! Her grip kept tightening for a few minutes while Robin repeated the theme song in his head with increasing desperation. He got a notification, but he ignored it, focusing on riding out the pain. Abruptly she let go, adjusting her grip free of the bloody spots on his shoulder. Robin grimaced. She had done 4 BODY points of damage! His right shoulder was soaked in blood.
This might actually look kind of cool, he slowly thought as his BODY ticked back up. The Rest Room really helps with this. I might not have any BODY at all if I hadn’t come in here.
Robin opened the text box he had received.
|You may channel Mana into a bug, reinforcing it, strengthening it, or for a greater Mana cost, add effects from skills. The effects from skills are unpredictable. The Mana invested is treated as SP for the purposes of reinforcement. The reinforcements given persist one minute per level, to a minimum of one.|
Robin closed the box. Well... that was pretty nice. It's kind of dumb that the ...Ysari System? keeps calling them "bugs"... but I guess if I encounter any scorpions or spiders they should count. Robin was surprised to have another box pop up immediately after he closed the first one; this one had a golden border!
|You have gained three bug-related skills and have acquired a familiar! All bug-related skills gain +2 skill levels. Your familiar gains the “Evolving” Trait. Evolutions have a chance of occurring during a molt. Your familiar gains an increased lifespan; the “adult molt” will repeat at a set cycle dependent on species. +1 AURA. +2 SP|