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A note from Kyfe

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Reivyn walked along the side of the cart carrying their family possessions as they traveled along the road to Magron. His father was driving the cart with his mother and sisters sitting next to him. Reivyn was used to walking much further distances than his younger siblings, so he spent the bulk of the time on foot.

It had been six months since Reivyn had returned home from his time being conscripted, and he had finally turned 10 years old two months after arriving back in Haluville. His parents kept the relentless pace of his training up during those two months, and he saw a lot of growth in his combat and mana Skills.

They didn't do anything special for his birthday, even though it was the 10-year milestone, and the only difference Reivyn noticed was that his Bloodline was finally listed on his Status Page. It was still shown as "Unknown Bloodline," and it retained the experience values indicating he could still put his experience points into it to further unlock it.

His father needed to go to Magron for a bit to square away the details in moving his position to the larger city and find living accommodations, and so they had all decided to let Reivyn take it easy at that point. Reivyn had been going hard for several months, and his parents feared he might burn himself out, though Reivyn hadn't shown any signs of it. He didn't protest the decision, though, because he understood his parents were looking out for him and he trusted their judgment.

He had only gained a total of 800 experience from the training and sparring he did over the course of the past six months. He had gotten zero experience boosts to his life experience because he was doing the same things he had always done his whole life.

He wasn't too concerned about the slow down in experience, though, as he would be heading off to the Dungeon once he reached Master level in his Weapons Master Skill, which was just two more points away. That last point to reach 50 would take some considerable time and effort, though.

Reivyn placed his hands behind his head, his fingers interlocked, as he casually strolled along the roadside. He kept an eye on the tree line on either side, as he knew there were occasionally goblins or higher-level predators, but he wasn't too concerned with his father around. The goblin horde that had attacked the levy convoy was apparently an anomaly, and the Count had dispatched a platoon to sweep the surrounds to thin out any such accumulation of the pests, so the roads were exceptionally safe at the moment.

"Reivyn," he looked up to his mother who had called out to him. "The girls are getting antsy again, so come take a break."

He walked over to the cart and helped his mother and sisters get down. His sisters ran to the side of the road and began picking flowers as his mother followed along with a smile on her face. Reivyn hopped up into the cart to take their place next to his father.

"Want a go at driving?" Refix asked him while extending the reins over. The cart was rented and had a pair of horses pulling it along.

"Sure," Reivyn said as he took control of the cart.

"There's really not a lot to do right now, but you can practice slowing them down and guiding them a bit," Refix said from his position next to him. "Here, let me help you."

Refix spent the next hour or so explaining to Reivyn exactly what he needed to do with the reins to get the proper response out of the horses. He practiced with them for a while, occasionally coming to a full stop so he could get them moving from a standstill. There wasn't a ton of room for maneuvering them along the road, but he did get them to meander a bit under his guidance. After the hour of stuttering movements, Reivyn finally got the notification for the Skill unlocking, and he instantly felt more in control of the horses.

Skill Unlocked!
Driving (1)

"I got the Skill," Reivyn informed his father. Refix just shook his head and chuckled.

"While it's an easy Skill to get, an hour of just stopping and going is still impressive for unlocking it."

-ROAR-

Reivyn looked up in startlement at the sudden roar of a large animal. He spotted his sisters being held close by his mother as a large bear came out of the tree line. Reivyn moved to launch himself at the intruding animal, but a hand fell on his shoulder, firmly holding him in place.

"Don't worry," Refix said with a twinkle in his eye. "Do you think I would let them wander about if I didn't have confidence in your mother keeping them all safe?"

Reivyn sat at the front of the cart as he watched the spectacle unfold in front of him. The bear came out of the woods, and after initially zeroing in on his mother and sisters, it came to a stop with confusion in its eyes. It hesitantly sniffed the area as if it was trying to locate its target. A blinding light suddenly materialized in front of its face, and it recoiled back while rubbing one of its paws over its face.

The black bear shook its head and looked in the direction it had first spotted its prey, and Reivyn watch on in fascination as a duplicate copy of his mother and sisters materialized and took off running into the woods. The bear roared once again and took off chasing the duplicates into the woods while his mother remained motionless with Kailey and Riley huddled in her embrace.

After a few minutes, Reivyn could no longer hear the loud sounds the bear was making, and Refix took the reins back from him.

"Go switch out with your mother so she can get the girls up into the cart, and I'll get us moving on down the road," Refix commanded.

Reivyn looked back and forth between his father and mother. "What just happened?" He asked. "I get that there was a distraction conjured by mom, but why didn't the bear see them?"

Refix raised an eyebrow at his son. "Your mother's a Light Weaver."

"I know that," Reivyn said impatiently. "Isn't it just a rare Lifestyle Class?"

"Who said?" Refix smirked at the surprise on Reivyn's face. "Your mother can weave illusions out of light mana, and she can also use it to bend it around herself to make herself invisible. That bear could still smell them, though, so she blinded it momentarily before making the illusion of her and the girls running off so that the bear would chase what it saw and not investigate what it smelled. Alright, go," Refix once again said with a wave of his hand.

Reivyn dropped down from the cart and his mother was already arriving with Kailey and Riley held in each of her arms. Their eyes were wide with fear, but they still clutched the multitude of flowers they had picked in their hands. Reivyn helped his mother up into the cart, and his sisters sat firmly between both of their parents.

"Go grab a training spear out of the cart," Refix called to his son. "Your sling can scare most things off, but you'll need something else to keep that bear at arm's length long enough for me to come deal with it. It shouldn't be a problem. Your mother's illusion should lead it quite a distance away before it dissipates, but better safe than sorry."

Reivyn did as he was told, and he continued walking alongside the cart with the sturdy training weapon. He wouldn't be able to kill a bear with it unless he could get a very lucky strike at a vital like the eyes, but it made him feel more secure as he resumed scanning the treeline. He walked in silent contemplation at the new revelation about his mother.

 



The family walked through the gates of Magron without any complications among the throng of other citizens going about their business. There was no entrance fee to enter the city, and the guards didn't closely inspect everyone coming and going.

The City Guards were more to keep the peace and make sure the people didn't clog up the gateway. They only inspected obvious merchant caravans, but those weren't that frequent on this side of the city that lead further towards the frontier.

"The barracks I stayed in were over there," Reivyn pointed down the road alongside the inner wall that lead to the military base. His mother and sisters followed the direction his finger was indicating, and they could just barely make out the walls of the compound in the distance mostly obscured by other buildings in the way.

The cart continued on its way alongside the main thoroughfare, the military compound quickly disappearing from sight. Reivyn reached up and adjusted the flower crown on his head as he returned his focus back to the road in front of him.

His sisters had made the laurel crown from the many flowers they had plucked along the roadside, and they had insisted that Reivyn had to wear it at all times.

"This isn't just an emblem of your status as the Flower Knight," Kailey said.

"It's a protective charm," Riley piped up.

"It will let the forest inhabitants know that you're a friend, and they won't attack you," Kailey gingerly placed the amulet they had carefully crafted upon his head. Reivyn looked at the other members of his family with amusement. They all had flowers on their heads, and even his father nodded seriously when he was told of its special properties by his sisters.

Reivyn's eyes widened, though, when he casually threw an Identify {Mundane} at the crowns.

New Skill Unlocked!
Identify {Magical} (1)
Calculating...
Merged Identify {Mundane} (26) with Identify {Magical} (1)
New Skill Unlocked!
Identify {All} (14)
Laurel Crown of the Flower Knight
Reduces presence towards predators and reduces wariness of forest animals

His eyes nearly popped out of his head, and Reivyn determined to take the girls more seriously. It seemed his parents had already noticed the unusuality of the items the two girls had created, and his father nodding seriously at them made more sense than just an indulgent father.

The family turned down a side road that lead away from the commercial district of the city. Reivyn glanced down the road to the area he and his friends had gone shopping with a thoughtful look.

Not that I would ever do such a thing, but I wonder how much one of these crowns would sell for? He mused. Obviously not much to anyone who couldn't properly assess it. He chuckled to himself as he recalled finding the light mana stone from a vendor who had no idea what it was.

"Hey, mom," Reivyn called out as a thought crossed his mind."

"Hmm, yes?" Ameliyn said as she looked down at him.

"Since mana is so abundant, and magic is a thing, why aren't there more magical plants and materials? Why don't I see more magical things and treasures?"

"Reivyn," his mother replied with a look of amusement. "Think about where you are."

"We're in Magron..." Reivyn said. He wasn't quite following what his mother was getting at.

"And where is Magron?" His mother continued with a patient tone as if she was teaching a class.

"In the Magron County under Count Ilpir..." he gauged his mother's reaction as he spoke. She nodded and motioned for him to continue. "In a Tier 1 Kingdom," he smacked himself in the head as the words left his mouth. "The mana density isn't high enough."

"Exactly," Ameliyn said. "There are pockets out there with higher densities where one is likely to discover a magical plant or ores, but they're sparse. They are far more common as you move up in Tiers, and it increases exponentially. A Tier 2 region will have roughly double the mana density as a Tier 1 region. That doesn't mean they have double the magical materials as a Tier 1."

"Ahh? It's still so rare?" Reivyn asked.

"No, dear, it's four times more prevalent to find magical materials. You have to consider the time scale involved as well. Tier 2 regions are steeped in at least twice as much mana as a Tier 1 region over a long period of time," Ameliyn patiently explained. "A Tier 3 region has about twice as much mana density as a Tier 2, and four times again as many natural treasures. That means where your father and I are from, there were 64 times more natural treasures than in this region. When you consider Dungeons have a higher density even than the region they're found in, and the number of Dungeons located near the capital city, it's not hard to imagine how such a place could dominate countless other regions below it."

Reivyn was flabbergasted at the implications of living in such a region.

"So what kind of treasures are we talking about?" Reivyn asked with excitement.

"Well, not only are there plants and animals that are inherently magical in and of themselves that can only grow in such mana-dense regions, even the more mundane species can have semi-magical properties. For instance, regular trees located near a volcanic region could absorb the ambient fire mana in the environment and gain specific properties. It's not always the same, either. Some are resistant to fire and heat, some burn longer, and some burn hotter.

"There are many more varied Classes that exist to take advantage of such living environments that simply can't be found in lower Tier regions. Alchemist, for instance, is a very popular Lifestyle Class found in Tier 2 Regions and above. The higher the Tier region, the higher the number and overall Level of Alchemists."

That answered a question that had been in the back of Reivyn's mind. With such means as mana-enhanced healing and even magical healing, how come there didn't exist an occupation that created magical products that one could buy and take with them? It turned out that they simply didn't exist in Tier 1 regions, not that they didn't exist at all.

"You said that the Dungeon was a Resource Dungeon," Ameliyn continued. "It's far more likely that you'll be able to find mana-aligned ores in the lower floors than finding chests provided by the System with magical items already in them. That's not to say you won't find any, but the probability is quite low."

"What good would it do to find higher Tier ores in a Tier 1 region if there isn't anyone with a Class to take advantage of them?" Reivyn asked with furrowed brows.

"Oh, a high enough Level Blacksmith will be able to handle mana-aligned ores just fine. They won't be able to craft truly magical weapons and armor from them, but anything made out of those ores will be superior to just regular steel. It's still an upgrade."

Reivyn continued to walk in silence as his imagination ran wild with daydreams of him returning from the Dungeon with a full load of magical ores. He would have to figure out what kinds of mana alignment could be found in the Dungeon.

What if the ores on the lower floor are infused with that revolting mana that came from the Revenant, he thought with a frown. In that case, I'd rather pass.

The family continued their journey through the city of Magron. The foot traffic on the side road was nothing compared to what was on the main thoroughfare, but, even getting so far away from the central regions of the city, there were more pedestrians walking about than could be found anywhere in Haluville.

"We're here," Refix proclaimed as the cart came to a halt in front of a small house.

Small is relative, Reivyn thought as he looked at their new home. It was small compared to a lot of the other buildings that they had passed to get to their location, but it was still slightly bigger than their house in Haluville. Instead of a large, open space for a backyard, though, there was a walled courtyard with plenty of space for sparring matches.

"Alright, I'll give a short tour to everyone before we get our stuff," Refix said as he hopped down and headed for the front door.

 



Reivyn stood and appraised himself in the mirror at the blacksmith store he had previously purchased his fan. Refix was standing to the side looking him up and down as well. He had helped pick out all of the gear that Reivyn was currently attired in, and he double-checked to make sure everything was fitting properly.

"I think it's good, dad," Reivyn said with a roll of his eyes. He was standing in a full set of leather-plated armor. It wasn't quite the same as the armor he had worn when in the military unit, but it was similar. The main difference was that it was designed for more agile movements as compared to what would be needed when fighting in a large formation.

"You'll thank me later when you don't suffer from any chafing," Refix chuckled. "Alright, all of this plus the arming sword and spear comes out to about 7 silvers. I know you want to be independent when you strike out on your own and pay for your own things, but that's not allowed. As a father, it is my privilege to provide you with your first set of equipment, and you won't be taking that away from me."

Refix worded it in such a way that it was a favor to Refix for him to buy the equipment Reivyn would be using for his first independent venture. Reivyn rolled his eyes as he accepted the proposition from his father. He would still need to purchase other things like rations, clothes, and other necessities anyway.

"An excellent choice, Young Master," the voice of the attendant reached his ears. It was the same person as last time. Different from when Reivyn had come before, several other attendants had started to approach the father-son duo to assist them, but this attendant had recognized Reivyn and had swooped in to take charge once again. Reivyn was very pleased with the performance of this shop, which is why he had brought his father back to this one to get his armor.

"Yes, we'll be taking this set," Refix said as he pulled out the coins from a pouch he kept in his inner breast pocket. "No, no. Keep it on," he motioned to Reivyn who had started taking it off. "You'll need to wear it in, and we're going to go to the Adventurer's Guild after this. Need to look the part."

Reivyn nodded as Refix paid the attendant. The man encouraged the pair to return for all of their adventuring needs, as he had heard the comment about going to the guild, as he walked them out of the shop with a smile on his face.

Reivyn didn't notice any significant change in the attention he garnered from the surrounding pedestrians as they made their way towards the Adventurer's Guild. He could spot others attired in various types of armor like he had seen from the adventurers at the Dungeon outpost, so he guessed it wasn't much of a strange sight to be seen walking around as such.

The Adventurer's Guild was a large, ornate building that was situated near the same square as the City Hall, the "official" bastion of the Count. It covered a very large area, and it was three stories tall. Large columns decorated the entryway above the steps leading up, and there were many large windows that served more as decoration than any real function.

"Why is it so..." Reivyn couldn't quite find the word he was looking for.

"Ostentatious?" Refix supplied with a glance at Reivyn out of the corner of his eye. He continued when Reivyn nodded his head, "This is the headquarters for the entire county. Not only are there smaller branches in some of the outlying towns and villages, but there are also smaller branches in this city located closer to the gates. But if you want to register as a sanctioned Adventurer, you have to do so at a county-level Headquarters like this, at the minimum.

"This is an administrative building, and it isn't actually designed to cater to the needs of the individual adventurers on a day-to-day basis. You won't find any notice boards or missions or anything inside. For those things, you'll have to go to one of the smaller branches."

The two made their way up the stairs and into the foyer. There were ornate decorations and statues dotting the mostly empty halls, and the duo's footsteps echoed through the building. The main area was lit by a large chandelier hanging from the ceiling that stretched all the way to the roof of the tall building. The duo marched up to a front desk manned by a female receptionist.

The young lady looked up at the pair with a smile as they approached.

"What can I help you two gentlemen with today?" She asked with a sweet voice. She couldn't be much older than Reivyn, and it made sense to him that such an occupation would be held by someone with a Tier 1 Class.

"My son wishes to register as a sanctioned Adventurer," Refix answered.

"Oh, certainly!" She obviously had a bubbly personality based on the attitude that she greeted the two strangers with, Reivyn surmised. "Can you use mana or..." She trailed off as she looked at Reivyn uncertainly. It was understandable that she would have such a reaction once she actually got a good look at Reivyn. Despite his body that belonged to someone who was a fit teenager, his face still gave away his young age.

"I'm sorry, but only those with a Tier 2 Class can register," she said with an apologetic smile.

"I'm aware," Reivyn said with a wink. He didn't usually act in such a manner, but there was something about her personality that made him act a bit cheeky. "I have the Tier 2 Class Fighter, and, yes, I can use mana."

"Oh! Great," she returned to her exuberant personality. "All you have to do is infuse your mana into this token, and then hold it to this form." She handed both items to Reivyn as she mentioned them. "The token will scan your Status, and if you hold it to the seal in the top-left corner there, it will fill in the form automatically."

Reivyn did as he was instructed. It was very similar to the token he received from the military, but it was designed to need an actual infusion of mana instead of passively being able to do so when held to his core. He didn't know if that was an upgrade or a downgrade.

"Excellent," the girl said as she accepted the form from Reivyn. It listed his name, Class, and basic Physical and Mental Stats. There were large empty portions available to record any deeds or missions that he accomplished in the future, but as he was just starting out, they were left blank. "You keep the token. It will record your accomplishments, and you can use it to update your Master Record when you apply for a promotion in the future."

She put the form away into a drawer and then clasped her hands in front of her as she looked at the two expectantly. "Is there anything else I can help you with?" Reivyn was momentarily taken aback.

"Is that it?" He asked.

"Of course! We're not much of a formal organization when it comes to the adventurers themselves. Well, at least not at the lower ranks. We don't need to conduct any tests or anything like that. Your Status proves you have a Tier 2 Class, and there isn't any need to prove competency just to join the Guild," she explained. She was quite talkative once she got going.

"I noticed that there was a large space for accomplishments on the form. Would this be able to apply to it?" Reivyn held out his old military token that he had been left with to verify he had privileged access to the Dungeon. Since the adventurer token kept records of deeds, this probably did as well.

"No harm in trying!" The young lady quickly retrieved the form once more and put the military token to the seal. Her eyes widened in shock, and her hand flew up to her mouth as words appeared on the page.

"Veteran of the Lord's Retinue with the rank of Aide to the Adjutant! Participated in the subjugation of a Tier 4 demon!" She squealed when those words appeared. "This, this...Wow!" She was at a loss for words. Reivyn chuckled. The sound of his laughter caused the young lady to look up, and with a visible struggle to compose herself, she continued. "With these deeds, you won't have to do anything to get promoted for the next several ranks. You just need time in grade."

"Time in grade?" Reivyn was confused.

"Of course. You need to spend an appropriate amount of time in each rank before you're qualified for promotion. The first two promotions only require six months each, and then the next one requires a year. In two years' time, you'll be able to directly be promoted three times, as long as you apply in a timely manner, that is. As I said, you have to spend the time in grade. If you dilly dally and fail to apply for promotion for a long time, you'll still have the accomplishments necessary for the promotion, but you'll have to wait the required time again."

"Got it."

"Is there anything else you need help with?" Reivyn shook his head. "Well then, let me be the first to welcome you to the Adventurer's Guild!"

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Kyfe

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