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A note from Kyfe

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Exiting Dungeon
Calculating...
First Floor: Complete
Combat Experience: Exp +400
Boss Defeated: Exp +400
First Floor Completion Bonus: Exp +500
Calculating...
Second Floor: Incomplete
Combat Experience: Exp +7,000
Total Experience: 8,300
Level Up! Lvl 17
Level Up! Lvl 18
Level Up! Lvl 19
Level Up! Lvl 20
Experience 1761/2000

Woah! 7,000 Experience for fighting the monsters on the second floor! And that's divided among the members, Reivyn was shocked at the incredible jump in Experience. It was more Experience than even his share from the Experience Crystals his group had retained.

The one Dungeon delve had boosted him a whole four levels. He had passively gained a level from the monthly Experience calculations he had received from the training he and his friends did before they left civilization, so he was now two-thirds of the way through the first Tier.

Reivyn continued to look through his notifications as he sat on his bed.

Select a Class Skill:
Available Class Skills:
Intimidate (0): Cause fear and hesitation into equal strength opponents. Chance to stun weaker enemies.
Power Swing (0): Transfer momentum into the impact area causing knock-back
Flame Blade (10): Coat your blade in a raging Inferno. Able to extend the length of the Flame Blade with additional mana

Reivyn didn't even have to decide on his new Class Skill as the new Flame Blade Skill he had unlocked was simply too amazing to pass up. Depending on how powerful and mana intensive the Skill is, I might be able to tackle the first floor and the first couple of rooms of the second floor solo. He selected the Skill without hesitation.

Ok, now let's pull up the Skill Level Ups notification.

Skills Leveled Up!
Tier 1
Athleticism (41 ->42)
Balance (42 ->43)
Medium Armor (28 ->30)
Shields (37 ->40)
Sneaking (21 ->22)

Tier 2
Evasion (33 ->34)
Pain Resistance (34 ->35)
Strategy (7 ->11)
Tactics (18 ->20)

Tier 3
Battlefield Awareness (10 ->11)
Command (7 ->8)
Danger Sense (4 ->6)
Inspire (6 ->10)
Mana Conjuration (18 ->21)
Mana Manipulation (20 ->23)
Mana Shield (1 ->11)
Mana Sight (26 ->27)

Tier 4
Mana Weapon (11 ->14)
Spatial Awareness (15 ->17)

Tier 6
Weapons Master (48 ->51)

Exploring a region filled with and fighting Tier 3 Monsters, even if they're weaker, really gives a lot of Skill experience, too, Reivyn mused. Considering I had already surpassed the actual mastery level of Expert with my Weapons Master Skill, I didn't have a bottleneck at 50. Fighting against a horde of Revenants on the second floor gave me more Skill Levels than any manner of intense training I could get with my dad or friends. Having to make up the Stats difference with the Skill plays a significant role, too. Once I gain more Levels and Stats, the Skill growth should normalize.

Reivyn pulled up his full Status.

Status
Name: Reivyn Class: Fighter Lvl 20 Age: 10
Health: 950/950 Stamina: 1800/1800 Mana: 660/660
Physical Stats Mental Stats
STR: 85 INT: 67
VIT: 95 MAG: 65
DEX: 85 CLA: 34
CHA: 7 PER: 41
LUK: 8
Bloodline: Unknown 1000/10,000,000
Experience: 1761/2000
Skills:

Tier 1:
Aim (25), Athleticism (42), Balance (43), Drawing (19), Haman (20 MAX), Hiding (26), Horsemanship (6), Map Making (11), Mathematics (17), Marching (15), Medium Armor (30), Mining (12), Observation (38), Penmanship (24), Piano (0), Ride (11), Running (40), Shields (40), Sneaking (22), Stealing (9), Swimming (0), Woodworking (11)

Tier 2:
Acrobatics (26), Eavesdropping (23), Evasion (34), Forced March (13), Linguistics (10), Mana Absorption (46), Mana Circulation (23), Meditation (24), Numbers Concepts (9), Pain Resistance (35), Pickpocket (6), Sense Mana (51), Stealth (16), Strategy (11), Tactics (20)

Tier 3:
Battlefield Awareness (11), Blind Fighting (8), Command (8), Danger Sense (6), Identify {All} (14), Inspire (10), Mana Conjuration (21), Mana Manipulation (23), Mana Shield (11), Mana Sight (27), Mental Fortitude (31)

Tier 4:
Dreams of the Past (14), Iron Will (8), Mana Weapon (14), Spatial Awareness (17)

Tier 6:
Akashic Record (1), Weapons Master (51)

Affinities:

Tier 1:
Air (30), Earth (30), Fire (30), Water (30)

Tier 2:
Ice (16), Magma (16), Metal (16), Plasma (16), Wood (16)

Tier 3:
Darkness (20), Light (20)

Class Skills:
Devastating Strike (76): Deal 177% Damage
Cleave (62): Reset stance at an accelerated rate of 172%
Charge (63): Sprint towards the target at 173% absolute maximum speed
Quick-Draw (55): Accelerate the draw speed of a sheathed weapon by 55%
Flame Blade (10): Coat your blade in a raging Inferno. Able to extend the length of the Flame Blade with additional mana
Available: Intimidate (0), Power Swing (0)

Reivyn nodded in satisfaction as he got up. He walked into the shared living space, and Teilon was already busy cooking breakfast. While the food they prepared for themselves wasn't nearly as good as the fare provided by the professional cooks at the tavern, it was still a step up from eating rations for every meal.

Teilon is probably working on his Cooking Skill; he's always the first to jump at preparing the meals.

"What's your Skill up to now?" Reivyn asked as he took a seat at the table. Kimberly was already waiting and gave him a nod in greeting.

"What Skill?" Teilon called out over his shoulder.

"Your Cooking Skill. What else?" Reivyn said.

"I don't have the Cooking Skill," Teilon replied.

"Then why are you always the one cooking?"

"'Cause I'm hungry!" Reivyn rolled his eyes at the response. "Though I probably will unlock the Skill soon."

"Alright then Hungry-Man, pay attention to what you're doing and stop talking to me. You need to focus if you're ever going to unlock the Skill."

"You're the one talking to me!"

"You don't have to answer back!"

Kimberly shook her head, already used to the interaction. Reivyn tapped the tabletop as he waited the final few minutes for his friend to finish. Teilon brought over a platter with scrambled eggs and bacon, and the three friends helped themselves to fill the plates that had already been waiting.

Reivyn eyed the bacon with appreciation. They didn't have any way to store raw meats, so Teilon or Kimberly must have gone out in the morning to procure it before Reivyn got up.

"See, if you hadn't been talking to me, and instead had been focusing on your task, this would almost be edible," Reivyn said after taking a bite.

"I don't see you putting your fork down," Teilon retorted.

"Yeah, it's actually pretty good. Thank you."

"No problem," Teilon nodded at the appreciation.

They quickly scarfed down their breakfast, and Reivyn took up the dishes and washed them. It was only right for him to take the task upon himself as his friends had done all of the preparation.

"Alright, time for some real Skill training," Reivyn said as he toweled off his hands. Kimberly had dried the plates and utensils and put them away as Reivyn handed them to her after cleaning.

Teilon groaned as he got up from the table to get his gear.

"Do we have to? Can't we take a break?" He dragged his feet as he entered his room.

"We went over this already," Reivyn replied with a gleeful grin. "Plus we had a break yesterday."

"You know what I mean!" Teilon called from his room. "One day isn't a break. We should take a couple of weeks off. We'd still go into the Dungeon, of course - speaking of, we need to go turn in the ores for cash later today - but a couple of weeks of taking it easy otherwise would be nice." Despite his complaining, Teilon still dutifully kitted himself out and rejoined Reivyn and Kimberly.

"Stop complaining," Kimberly said while tapping her foot with her arms crossed. "Don't you want to dance with me?"

"Yeah, but not that kind of dancing!"

"Well, if you do my kind of dancing, I'll do your kind of dancing, later," Kimberly supplied.

"What are you two standing around waiting for?" Teilon said as he headed out the door. "We have training to do."

Reivyn and Kimberly shared a look before following Teilon out to the space they had available for sparring.

 



Reivyn sucked in a deep breath and wiped the sweat from his brow. He lowered his sword and leaned against the wall as he struggled to catch his breath. He gripped the collar to his shirt and armor and pulled them away from his body to let the trapped heat escape. There wasn't as much as he thought there would be.

"Aren't you guys hot?" Reivyn called to his two friends who were continuing to spar with their spears. "This humidity is killing me."

"What's this?" Teilon said as he disengaged his sparring. "Is Reivyn slacking off?" Reivyn gave him a level look.

"You know perfectly well I'm not slacking off," Reivyn pulled his tessen out and fanned himself with it. "It's just really hot and humid. I feel like I'm swimming in the air."

"I don't really notice any difference," Teilon shrugged. "I mean, yeah, it's hot, but it's not any different than it was before."

Kimberly walked up with a concerned look on her face and placed her hand on Reivyn's forehead. She frowned as she contemplated for a moment.

"You're not running a fever or anything," she said. "Maybe you really do need to take a break. Your Martial Skills are perfectly acceptable for the Dungeon at this point, but you need to use your Mana Skills down on the second floor. Maybe you should just focus your efforts on that. Didn't you get a new Class Skill? I would work on that if I were you."

"Yeah, what she said," Teilon said as he slung his spear over his shoulders.

"What you say makes a lot of sense," Reivyn said. "My new Class Skill is Flame Blade, though. Not sure if working on that is going to help with the heat." Reivyn chuckled.

"Then you'll just have to doubly focus on your Mana Shield that you used in the Dungeon to protect yourself from the heat."

"Speaking of," Reivyn said as a thought came to him, "I want to try something with that. Melissa said she could anchor her Spell to the ambient mana, and I want to see if I can do the same thing with your weapons and armor. There might be a way for you - and Erik, I suppose - to actually participate in the second floor."

"Woah, now," Teilon said as he held his hand up. "I want nothing to do with that nonsense. I'm perfectly happy working in the mines." Kimberly nodded her head in agreement.

"Well, yeah, we already decided to wait until you guys reach Tier 2, but you'll have to go down there with me at some point," Reivyn reasoned. "I'll be a lot more secure if I'm able to give you guys some protection, and you're sure to gain a lot more Life Experience if you're able to actually meaningfully participate."

"Ok, well, what do you need us to do?" Teilon asked.

"Let me see if I can imbue your spear from all the way over here, first. You don't have to do anything, just stand there." Teilon nodded and the three friends went into a comfortable silence as Reivyn focused on projecting his mana towards the spear as Teilon and Kimberly patiently watched.

Reivyn pulled his mana forth like he normally would and looked at it pooled in his hand. I've never actually tried extending it away from my body, before. He wasn't entirely sure how to go about the task, so he would just have to try different things until it either worked or didn't. I should have asked Melissa how she anchored her Spell when I had the chance. I didn't really think about it at the time.

For his first attempt, Reivyn simply attempted to float his spinning ball of mana toward Teilon, who was standing about six feet away. The ball moved at a slow pace, and it wobbled about a bit as he didn't have perfect control over its movement. It was akin to moving a ball through a tunnel of ice, but the slipping occurred from all sides simultaneously, yet he could move it in any direction. It felt incredibly strange.

The ball of mana slowly dissipated as it lost the mana Reivyn had used to fuel it to the environment.

Hmmm... I could either pump a lot more mana in and see if that works, or I can tether it to myself to keep fueling it. I'll go with the tether first, as that's likely to cost less mana.

He repeated his exercise, but this time he kept the ball attached to himself with a thin string of mana that he used to maintain the balance of output with dissipation. The amount of mana required to keep the ball from growing smaller got larger and larger the further away it reached, as even the mana he was using to supply it was slowly dissipating.

The ball of mana reached about five feet away, and the tether suddenly snapped. Reivyn shook his head as he let his control of the ball go.

Reivyn didn't know if it was because the tether was too thin, or if he just wasn't Skilled enough to move it further. He tried again, but this time he doubled the thickness of the tether.

It snapped at about the same distance away.

Ok, so it's based on my Skill, and not the tether. Good to know.

"Well? Have you done anything yet?"

Teilon's voice brought Reivyn back to his senses, and he sheepishly looked at his friends.

"I'm holding you guys up," Reivyn said. "I can experiment with this on my own while you guys practice. I'll let you know once I figure something out."

"Alright, sounds good to me," Teilon said as he looked at Kimberly. "Shall we?"

"Yeah, let's get back to it."

Reivyn placed his sword a couple of feet away from himself on the ground as his friends moved back to their position to continue their sparring session.

Reivyn sat cross-legged as he stared at the sword. He leaned forward and rested his chin in his left hand. He resumed his practice as he stretched his right hand out and channeled his mana to his sword. With it only placed only a couple of feet away, and his hand extended out, it wasn't too far for him to extend his mana this time.

He made contact with the sword, and he felt his mana's dissipation slow down a bit as it was no longer just floating in the air. He was able to infuse his mana through the tether and encompass the entire weapon.

Now I need to figure out how to anchor it.

He used his Mana Sight to watch the motes of ambient mana surrounding the sword. His brow furrowed as he attempted to send out a small tendril from the mana and attach it to one of the free-floating sparks.

The environment had a lot of mana constantly present, and there were many motes that were even in contact with the sword itself. Reivyn didn't choose to try and use any of the mana directly touching the blade, though, as he wanted to actually see what exactly he was doing.

The tendril came in contact with a mote, and Reivyn willed it to meld together with it. A cascading chain of events happened when he easily accomplished the task. The mote directly touching the mana stopped moving about as soon as they connected, and it created a sort of suction that drew more mana motes immediately near it to join the connection. This in turn caused the ethereal mana to provide a constant, small source of fuel.

The magnetic effect was very small, though, and only a few other motes joined their brethren. Reivyn could tell that it wouldn't be enough to maintain the mana surrounding the sword for very long. He did the same thing in several other spots all around, this time choosing motes that were directly in contact with his own mana as he no longer needed to see it.

Once a sufficient number of anchors formed for him to tell, it would last about ten minutes or so. Adding further points no longer provided any benefit. He retracted his tendril from the sword, and he could see that his mana kept its shape without him providing any more mana to it.

"Success!" Reivyn yelled out as he threw his hands in the air in triumph. He was only able to do it to something a couple of feet away from him, so it wouldn't be viable in the midst of combat, but it would be invaluable for his friends on the second floor if he charged their gear up before combat. He might even be able to convince Melissa or Larissa to share in the mana cost and do the same thing for Erik.

I can't use Mana Shield from a distance, but simply infusing their shield and armor should be good enough to ensure survivability.

Reivyn grabbed his sword and stood up. The mana anchors were attached to the mana around the sword, and the points connecting to the ambient mana moved freely. He was pleased to see that moving it about didn't affect the process of drawing in more mana.

"Alright, I figured it out," Reivyn called over to his friends. "It'll be easier to do it when I'm touching your gear, so we'll have to do it before combat, and there's a time limit, but it should work."

"Sounds good," Teilon replied. The momentary distraction caused Kimberly to press her spear through his defenses and land a hit on his side. They were using staves with rounded tips that they had bought from one of the storefronts, and, combined with their armor, they moved freely in their sparring sessions.

"Ack!" Teilon called out in an exaggerated manner. "Look at you distracting me again! How am I ever going to Level up my Skills if you won't let me focus?"

"You didn't have to answer me," Reivyn shrugged. "Heck, maybe you'll get a focus-based Skill with all of my distractions. I'm helping you."

"Yeah, some help," Teilon said as he stretched. Kimberly smirked at him. He shook his head and resumed his sparring with her.

Now to work on my new Class Skill: Flame Blade.

Reivyn resumed his practice.

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Kyfe

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