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Marcello was buzzing with adrenaline as he looked at the legacy class he unlocked. This had to be one of those secret classes that were so desired in games.

Enigmatic Bulwark Knight (rare) (secret advanced class) – You have vanquished a castle lord and inherited his legacy. With it comes the power of a class long lost in history. This juggernaut of yore once belonged to the infamously strong legionnaires of the Empire. These bulwark knight legionnaires were known for their brute strength and physical prowess, although they lacked sorely in the magic department. ++Constitution +Strength -Intelligence -Wisdom

Just one look at the description showed that this was an absolutely wild class. It was a physical juggernaut that had monstrously increased constitution denoted by the two plus signs and strength growth at the cost of intelligence and wisdom.

Although it was never good to see minus signs in front of stats when picking a class, the two stats that would get hit were actually not all that great for him anyway. Marcello wasn’t exactly spell slinging or mana imbuing his swords at the moment, and he had absolutely no clue how to learn to do that. Maybe it would come in time, but for now he was perfectly fine losing a bit of intelligence and wisdom. If he remembered correctly, intelligence would affect his mana pool and the might of his spells, while wisdom would affect his mana regeneration rate. Neither of those things mattered to him right now.

It was also an early promotion advanced class, which meant that shadow assassin was no longer the clear top pick anymore. Those two classes seemed to be the same tier as rare advanced classes, but Marcello felt that the unlock condition for the enigmatic bulwark knight had to be much higher.

From what the description said, it seemed like bulwark knights were a foot soldier class for the Empire. In ancient Rome, legionnaires were simply members of a legion. So the Imperial soldiers that were in this class were not particularly high rank, and yet even the basic tank soldier class was already classified as rare rank. That just meant that this Empire had to have been a huge powerhouse. Even a basic soldier in the Empire was the equivalent of a general in another country.

Marcello felt that the potential for the bulwark knight class was way higher based on that fact. If a simple legionnaire was this powerful, he could not even imagine how strong the higher tier Empire classes were.

Honestly, he kind of liked shadow assassin even though the name was kind of cringey. It was basically a super beefed up version of his current thief class. But Marcello was not exactly the most agile and nimble person. His accuracy with a bow left a lot to be desired, and honestly he got a lot of value out of the bear traps because they were a positional zoning tool. Maybe it was time for him to put his stature to use and pick a pure power class, instead of trying to be a finesse based combatant when his finesse was mediocre at best.

With the bulwark knight class, instead of relying on speed to dodge things and get gutted if things didn’t pan out that way, he could simply tank and smash people’s brains in. It synergized well with luden’s cursed blade’s +Lifesteal stat. In addition Marcello felt that the unlock condition for the class, killing the castle lord and receiving his blessing, was a far harder achievement than the vague unlock conditions for shadow assassin.

The aesthetic synergy between Enigmatic Bulwark Knight and his Breaker of Skulls title was also great. Marcello chuckled to himself. Anyway, he could still keep his shortbow and use it during fights, but if anyone got close he would be a lot tankier and stronger with the Empire class.

He decided to go with the knight class.

Confirm class promotion [Enigmatic Bulwark Knight]?

Yes.

You have been promoted to Enigmatic Bulwark Knight.

Five new skills are now available. Please select two skills from the following.

[Taunt (Common++)] – In the Empire, bulwark knights were frontline combatants that absorbed many blows for the rest of their legion. These knights were notoriously difficult to break through, a feature attributed to their physical size and powerful taunt skill. Many feared the sight of a bulwark knight, knowing what was to come after. Allows the bulwark knight to draw fire and attract attention to them for several seconds. This effect is strengthened compared to the regular variant of the ability.

Now that was something interesting. Marcello knew that other warrior classes probably got a similar taunt ability, but this one was a ++ version of the version that regular classes got. Unfortunately, seeing as how he was currently stuck without a party and did not want to have his fighting power limited by the whims of a party, he was probably going to skip this ability.

[Giant’s Roar (Rare)] – Perhaps the most fearsome aspect of the legionnaires of the Empire were the ancient roars imbued with the power of giants that preambled the approach of the Empire’s conquest. The bulwark knight unleashes an earth shaking roar of terror that silences and terrorizes everyone in his vicinity. This attack utilizes the bulwark knight’s strength and constitution and presence stat, and is resisted by the enemy’s presence stat. Unique to the bulwark knight class. +Silence +Terror

Now we were talking. It looked like a dream come true. Giant’s Roar was an incredible ability available only to this class, and it used three of his highest stats to boot. Scaling against enemy presence meant that it would be extremely effective against normal human initiates and lower level creatures. Anything having a silence effect was inherently just strong as hell, and a well worth tradeoff for taking a class that did not use magic or mana.

He tried to hover over the terror effect, but nothing showed up like usual, just like with presence. Guess he’d just have to use it against someone to find out what it did, then. All in all, this ability was gamebreaking to say the least. This was definitely going to be one of the slots unless two of the next three abilities were even more abnormally good.

[Swordfaire (unique)] – Grants an exceptional amount of sword proficiency. Greatly increases the amount of damage dealt by swords. Increases strength when a sword is wielded. Unique to the bulwark knight class. +Sword damage +Sword proficiency

[Lancefaire (unique)] – Grants an exceptional amount of lance proficiency. Greatly increases the amount of damage dealt by lances. Increases strength when a lance is wielded. Unique to the bulwark knight class. +Lance damage +Lance proficiency

These two proficiency classes blew the basic ones out of the water. Instead of increasing weapon damage by one which was kind of laughably bad, they now increased it by a magnitude on the scale of an advanced class. Marcello was definitely considering taking swordfaire as one of his abilities, but he would wait a bit longer and evaluate his options after reviewing the final option.

[Sundering Blow (Uncommon)] – The imperial bulwark knight’s physical prowess is unmatched by any other foot soldier’s. Deal a devastating blow that may shatter armor. Unique to the bulwark class. +Armor penetration +Armor crush

Well, now the choice really came down to a combination of Giant’s Roar, Swordfaire, and Sundering Blow. Oh, and there were also the weapon proficiency skills from the level 5 threshold. Haha. Not a fucking chance in the world that he would take those now, with these insane options to pick from.

After much deliberation, Marcello decided to pick up Giant’s Roar and Sundering Blow. The choice between Swordfaire and Sundering Blow was a tough one. Sundering Blow was an uncommon rarity ability, while Swordfaire was a unique rarity ability, whatever the hell that meant. So in terms of rarity, Swordfaire was the clear winner.

The passive boost from Swordfaire and the sword proficiency scaling were undeniably great, it was still a passive and scaling option.

Yeah. Honestly in any other situation, he’d pick up Swordfaire to be greedy. But right now it was not any other situation.

It was because he was considering taking on the impossible door.

“Hey Frosty,” Marcello said casually, looking up at his massive ice elemental summon. “Can you even fit through there?” He pointed at the silver door.

The ice elemental gave a simple nod.

“I see. Then I’ve made my decision.”

That was the only confirmation that he needed to take on the impossible door. With the overpowered ice elemental at his side, a new secret class promotion and level 15 double skill points to boot, he was as ready as ever to take it on. The door said estimated 0% survival rate, but why the hell would the tutorial designers put in a secret trial that was not passable? It must have been put there for a reason.

But he was not going to disrespect the impossible door. He would take Sundering Blow over Swordfaire to tackle it. Right now, he needed power. Immediate power, and lots of it. He basically needed to take out a fucking loan at a ridiculous interest rate because right now every single iota of power was worth its weight in gold.

Sundering Blow was a bread and butter kind of damaging ability, something that he sorely needed right now since the rest of his kit consisted of bear traps, walking quietly, and shouting at people loudly.

The tradeoff between immediate power and scaling was like that one video game from back on earth where a certain optional rune was called [Future’s Market], which allowed the player to use 200 gold more buying power to purchase items, at a 50 gold lending fee per use.

Some players absolutely hated that rune, cursed it, berated it, called it useless, and avoided it like the plague, opting for a better scaling rune option instead, but the highest ranked players knew that it was actually the strongest option, even stronger than the scaling option. The extra gold to obtain an item faster could cause a huge snowballing advantage.

A dead body can’t scale, after all. He decided to take Swordfaire the next time a skill level was available.

*New Skill obtained*: [Giant’s Roar (Rare)]

*New Skill obtained*: [Sundering Blow (Uncommon)]

The information about how to use the skills was downloaded into his brain like usual, a disorienting but otherwise rewarding experience. Marcello couldn’t help but smirk a little when he received the information about Sundering Blow.

Actually, the skill’s uncommon rarity was a bit of a red herring. The damn thing was strong, possibly even stronger than a leveled up Swordfaire. There was a reason why it was the final choice on the list, which was usually reserved for a strong ability. He had made the right decision.

Marcello scrolled down to his final notification, which was a title earned.

Title Earned: [Lord Slayer] – Slay a Lord. +1 to all stats.

He nodded in satisfaction. That was a really nice bonus to top everything off, the equivalent of ten levels of the base human race growths. Plus it sounded pretty damn cool, adding a nice touch to his title collection

And with that, he was done sorting out his notifications. It was time to move on.

“It’s time, Frosty,” Marcello said. “Let’s kick this trial’s ass.”

[Marcello (alive) – Level 15 Enigmatic Bulwark Knight]

If someone were to use Identify on him right now, they’d be shitting their pants. He was without a doubt the highest level human in his section of the tutorial, even higher than Gabriel who he had thought had died in the first area. And then there was that foreboding class name.

The newly minted bulwark knight walked up the stairs in the armor he had looted off the castle lord’s body with a giant ice elemental bodyguard behind him. In his hand was the longsword that severed Nolan’s fingers and took the life of Jason.

He walked straight up to the silver door, placing his hand on the handle, then turned.

No looking back now.

[Objective: Find the exit and proceed to the next area 1/1]

[Trial complete]

[Assessing results]

[Rewards have been increased due to trial difficulty: HARD]

Clear bonus: 5,000

Monsters slain bonus: 10,752

Boss fight solo clear bonus: 100,000

Party size bonus multiplier: 120%

Number of players below maximum * 10%

No casualty bonus multiplier: 100%

Bonus unavailable, 2 casualties sustained

TOTAL: 140,765 points

The system processed his trial completion as he entered through the silver door. Unlike usual, there was no nausea and accompanying teleportation. Hah. Marcello remembered when Alice was shocked about ten thousand points, not so long ago.

As he walked through the lustrous silver door, he found himself standing inside a blank white room. It was show time.

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