A note from Kyfe

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Reivyn leaned back and relaxed in the hot water. Teilon and his other friends hadn't returned to the manor right away, so Reivyn went ahead and took the opportunity to get cleaned up and relax his muscles.

As soon as he had entered the waters, despite the heat, his body trembled uncontrollably for a while.

Despite all of the dangerous situations I've found myself in before, this was the first time I truly felt like there was no hope of survival. If those Adventurers hadn't appeared, the city would have been lost.

Reivyn put his hand over his eyes, and silent tears leaked out of them. He wasn't crying because of the fear he had experienced. The fear had only been a small portion of what he had felt. When it had finally dawned on him that they were going to lose the battle, he hadn't felt much fear. He had felt sadness and regret for his friends. He had felt sadness for the fallen defenders.

He had felt sadness for his family learning of the news and not being able to do anything about it. His mind forced him to imagine the helplessness and despair his mother and father would feel and the confusion and later sadness his sisters would experience. They're still pretty young, so they might not fully understand, yet.

He had suppressed those feelings in the moment in order to perform his job, but now they threatened to overwhelm him. He let the emotions run their course, and he didn't fight back the tears and let them slowly drip off of his face to join their watery brethren in the bath.

The time for tears is after the job is done. Reivyn vaguely remembered a similar quote from his dreams, and he felt he truly understood it, now.

After several minutes of just sitting there, letting the emotions course through him, Reivyn was finally able to overcome them and return to his normal self. He washed up as the water turned lukewarm and returned to the room that he shared with Teilon and Erik.

His friends weren't back yet, and they would have to do their own relaxation once they arrived, so he donned some comfortable clothes and laid back on his bed, his hands interlocked behind his head.

Not much else to do right now, so might as well pull my notifications up, he thought.

Combat Initiated.
Enemies Defeated
Exp +25
Exp +25
Exp +25 x 312

Wow, I killed 314 goblins. I killed more than most, but a lot of other people should also have gotten a significant increase in Experience from this battle. He continued to look through the battle report Notification.

Enemies Defeated
Exp +60
Exp +60
Exp +60 x 38

I killed a lot less of the orcs, but that's still going to be a decent chunk of Experience, too, for a lot of people. I didn't attack any of the ogres, so I didn't get any contribution from killing any of them.

Enemies Defeated
Exp +380
Exp +380
Exp +380 x41

41 Revenants were killed from the combination of the arrows I launched, and then the ones I fought on the wall. I didn't keep track in the moment, but that number seems right.

Enemy Defeated
Calculating Contribution...
15% Experience Rewarded
Exp +159

Reivyn looked at the last line in confusion before he figured out where the last bit of Experience had come from. That's from that shadow-cloaked guy. I stabbed him in the side, so I got some credit for his defeat. 159 Experience is only 15% of the total! That means he was worth more than 1,000 Experience all by himself. I know the Revenants are Tier 3 Level 50, and they give 380 Experience for killing them. That means this guy was firmly in Tier 4.

Reivyn let that fact sink in for a moment. He wasn't lying when he said he was playing with us. If he hadn't wanted to fool around, this could have gone so much worse. But if he and his group were so powerful, why go through so much trouble in orchestrating the Dungeon Break? There has to be more to it than that. Reivyn couldn't wrap his head around the motivations of the shadowy group, but then another thought struck him.

They were like children in front of the Adventurers... Does that mean they were Max Tier 4? Or maybe they were even Tier 5... He clenched his fist as he thought about it. One day I'll be Tier 5. I'll be as powerful, or even more powerful, than them.

Reivyn had never lusted after power for power's sake before. He had always been training, working, and planning to get into the most powerful Class and work on his Achievements because it seemed like the right thing to do. He hadn't been worried about people bullying his family or any other such reason. Why hobble myself with an inferior Class when I can get a better one? This is my life, after all. But now he had a real reason to aim for the top.

Reivyn turned his attention back to the notifications.

Combat Resolved.
Large Scale Siege Battle:
Exp +24,160
Determined Partial Leadership Role
Bonus Experience for Leadership Role <1%
Exp +784

Oh, looks like the commanders of battles get a bonus for the Experience. That makes even more sense that they don't just go in and do everything themselves. They don't need to in order to continue to progress as well as let their men gain Experience.

Survive a Hopeless Siege Battle
Luck +1

Wow, a lot of people just unlocked the Luck Stat if they didn't have it already.

Command a Successful Siege Battle
Charisma +1
Bonus Leveling to Battlefield Awareness, Command, Inspire, and Strategy Applied
Command a Successful 'Hopeless' Siege Battle
Luck and Charisma +3
Bonus Leveling to Battlefield Awareness, Command, Inspire, and Strategy Applied
Inspire More Than 100 People at the Same Time
Charisma +1
Bonus Leveling to Inspire Applied
Inspire More than 300 People at the Same Time
Charisma +3
Bonus Leveling to Inspire Applied
Participate in a Battle Between Realms
All Stats +1
Successfully Sneak Attack an Entity 3 Tiers Above You, Ending in Their Defeat
All Stats +10
Bonus Leveling to Hiding, Sneaking, Stealth, and Backstab Skills Applied
Bring Someone of a Higher Tier Back from the Depths of Despair with Your Words Alone
Charisma +3
Bonus Leveling to Inspire Applied

That is a lot of Achievements. I didn't think I did that much in the battle. Looks like even taking over temporary command worth less than 1% still grants the Command Achievements, though. I bet there are some stipulations applied to the Achievement: like if a commander simply gives the command away to let someone else get the Achievement it might not work. It's probably only when someone steps up and takes command in a dire situation that it truly applies.

Reivyn didn't know for sure, but based on the fact that Knight-Captain Reifold and Knight-Lieutenant Brand usually went out of their way to allow their men to develop, there was no way they wouldn't game the System to let more of their troops get such an Achievement and Bonus Experience if it was that easy.

There were still more Notifications to peruse through.

Skills Leveled Up!
Tier 1
Aim (25 ->27)
Balance (45 ->46)
Horsemanship (6 ->8)
Ride (11 ->12)
Shields (47 ->48)
Sneaking (25 ->27)

Tier 2
Evasion (37 ->39)
Sense Mana (54 ->55)
Stealth (18 ->23)
Strategy (15 ->19)

Tier 3
Battlefield Awareness (14 ->18)
Command (11 ->20)
Danger Sense (13 ->15)
Inspire (13 ->24)
Mana Conjuration (28 ->30)
Mana Manipulation (30 ->32)
Mana Sight (31 ->33)
Mental Fortitude (38 ->40)

Tier 4
Iron Will (13 ->15)
Mana Weapon (24 ->27)
Spatial Awareness (20 ->21)

Tier 6
Weapons Master (59 ->61)

Weapons Master finally breached the Level 60 hurdle. The previous solo delve of the Dungeon hadn't quite done it, but it looks like using it so much in an intense situation, plus against a high Tier 4 Leveled enemy, it not only broke the barrier but even advanced an additional Level.

New Skills Unlocked!
Tier 1
Heavy Armor (0 ->7)

Tier 2
Backstab (0 ->9)

Tier 3
Commanding Shout (0 ->4)

Tier 5
Heroic Bearing (0 ->3)

Backstab went from 0 to 9 in one go from successfully sneak attacking that shadow guy. I guess that's to be expected, but what's with this Heroic Bearing? Reivyn thought about all of his actions and the Achievements he had received from the battle and pep talk with Josn after. It has to be a combination of all of it together: I gave steady commands to the defenders, rushed in to attack a high Tier 4 bad guy, didn't back down - I actually didn't have time to cower in fear, so that might have actually bent things in my favor - and then I had a conversation with Josn where I Inspired him out of his depression - though I don't know how much credit I can really take for that. He probably would have come out of it on his own given time.

Reivyn was very satisfied with the results. He had gained a lot of Skill Levels in some of the harder ones to Level, namely the leadership ones, and his Mana Skills also saw a bit of a boost. He gained his first Legendary Skill, and his Weapons Master finally pushed through a significant barrier.

I guess I might be considered a Master now? The numbers are off for me, and the Skill Levels are personal while the designations are more for outward appearances. I might not quite be there yet, but even if I'm not, it's only a matter of time now that I've broken through my bottleneck.

I wonder if I've seen any additions to my available Classes?

"Whew! That feels nice," Teilon exclaimed as he walked into the room. Reivyn set aside his investigation of his System for now. He had accomplished his goal of reviewing the Battle Report and Skill gains, and there would be plenty of time to look at his Class Page later.

Teilon walked to his bed and flopped down on it, Erik following behind also having washed off and relaxed after the battle.

"The victory feast is going to be tomorrow for lunch," Teilon said, his forearm over his eyes. "The Count said it was too soon to do it tonight, even though the battle was over before evening. Everyone would want some time to wind down. I know I do."

"Yeah, you should also check your Battle Report Notifications," Reivyn said. "Several Achievements, and a good boost of Experience." Reivyn sat up and looked at his friend. "Speaking of Experience, you and Kimberly missed out on a chunk because you've never trained with a bow or other ranged weapons before. We're going to fix that, soon."

"Ugghhh, I just said I needed to wind down from the huge battle that threatened to kill everyone in the city, and you're already talking about training!" Teilon complained. "I guess I shouldn't expect anything less from you by now."

"Suck it up," Reivyn chuckled. "Training with a ranged weapon should be a lot easier than your sparring sessions. Sure, you'll still have to exert your muscles in a new way, but you and Kimberly are Tier 2, now. Your Strength and Stamina should help you quite a lot."

Teilon didn't check his Notifications right away, and he stayed in his position lying down with his arm thrown over his face. Reivyn reclined once more and began to pull up his Class Page again.

"I thought we were going to die," Teilon spoke up after a moment of silence. "I thought for sure the Revenants would overwhelm us, and tomorrow the city would be filled with new recruits for their undead army. Even Knight-Captain Reifold was no match for the invaders." Reivyn put aside his Class Page once more and sat up again.

"I thought we were going to die, too," Reivyn said with a nod. Teilon lifted his head up and peeked at him from behind his arm.

"Really? I never would have guessed. You were so steady the whole time." Reivyn shook his head at the words.

"No, there was a point in the battle that I was filled with regret for dragging you and the others along with me," Reivyn admitted. "I thought, 'I should have sent them ahead to the Capital first. There was time for them to escape the situation, and it wasn't their responsibility.'"

"Don't speak like that," Teilon said firmly. "You speak as if it was somehow your responsibility not only for the city but for us as well.

"I will admit that you're the Party Leader, and the Party is your responsibility in most situations. This wasn't one of them. Staying to defend the city was no more your job than it was ours, and we knew that from the beginning."

"You're right, of course," Reivyn said.

"Damn straight, I'm right," Teilon leaned back on his pillow again. "I would make the same decision, again. So would Kimberly, and I'm sure Melissa and Larissa would, as well."

"Yeah, I know," Reivyn said with a sigh. "I just felt bad about it. When the cloaked guys showed up and took out our chance of thinning out the undead army, I knew the battle was lost. At that time, I didn't feel fear for myself. I felt sadness and regret for everyone else."

"I know what you mean," Teilon said. "But I couldn't live with myself if I had chosen to run away."

The two young men lapsed into a moment of silence. After a brief moment, a voice cut through the silence.

"I didn't think we were going to die," Erik said. Reivyn and Teilon both sat up and shared a look of surprise at the words. Erik had apparently been looking at his Notifications, and Reivyn had assumed he hadn't been paying attention to the conversation. Erik finished looking off into space and faced the two friends.

"I knew we were going to die," he continued. Reivyn's eyebrows went up in surprise. "I had resigned myself to lay my life down at the last moment to try and secure an escape for the two young ladies. It's my duty to shield them from danger." He looked at Reivyn and Teilon in turn.

"It's not your duty to lay your lives down for anyone, but you stood and fought anyway. I'm proud to call you two my companions. Kimberly, as well." Erik said his piece and then turned around to go to sleep. Reivyn and Teilon shared another look.

"Well..." Reivyn said after a moment of silence. "Just so you know, we feel the same way about you and Melissa and Larissa," Erik grunted in response. Reivyn chuckled as he leaned back once more.

"I think Erik has the right idea," Reivyn said. "I was going to look at my Class Page to see if anything new popped up, but I can barely stay awake any longer." I'll just do it first thing in the morning.

"Uh-huh," Teilon said with a dismissive wave of his hand, his other arm still over his eyes. "Teilon's already asleep." He lowered his arms and also turned to go to sleep. Reivyn heard his breathing become steady after only a few short seconds.

Reivyn chuckled and also closed his eyes to get some much-needed sleep. The exhaustion, both mentally and physically, had finally caught up with him, and he was asleep almost as fast as his two roommates.



Tier 2 Classes Available:
Air Magus
Builder *Earth/Wood
Darkness Magus
Earth Magus
Fire Magus
Ice Magus
Light Magus
Magma Magus
Metal Magus
Plasma Magus
Siege Engineer
Tracker *Earth/Wood
Water Magus
Wood Magus

Reivyn pulled up his Tier 2 Classes available for selection. He directly ignored the Common and Uncommon rarities, and the only additional option for Tier 2 was the Rare Class Siege Engineer. Reivyn did notice several other important changes, though.

Must be because of my participation in the Siege Warfare. It wasn't exactly what a siege would be, but I guess the System deems it close enough. The point of my Tier 2 Class, though, is to focus on a Caster Class, and now it looks like my Tier 2 Caster Class options have evolved. The generic "Mage" designation is nowhere to be seen.

Another thing seems weird that I hadn't really paid attention to before, Reivyn thought as a Class stuck out to him. Why is Politician not alphabetically listed? Is there some sort of hint in placing it after Rogue? Eh, it doesn't matter. I'm definitely not going to choose that as an option.

I had been wondering what I would choose, temporarily, as my Affinity, but I hadn't narrowed it down until now.

The most powerful Mage of the Adventuring group used some sort of Affinity I don't have. It looked like it was Divine, but my Mana Sense Skill gave me the feeling it wasn't. It definitely wasn't Light. I have no idea what Affinity it was, but it was extremely powerful.

It didn't cause any damage to anything aside from the undead, but I think that was more the impeccable control of the Mage rather than the inherent characteristics of the Affinity.

My instincts tell me it has something to do with the Light Affinity. Maybe it's some sort of upgrade further down the line. I'm nearly 100% certain I want to take the Light Affinity as my Caster Class before I graduate from the Academy. If the description of Champion wasn't already enough to hint at the importance of it, then this definitely clinches the deal.

Let's check it out real quick and see what the difference between Mage *Light and Light Magus is. Reivyn focused his attention on the Class.

Light Magus
You have done extensive research into many forms of the different Mana Affinities, and you have gained the ability to form the proper weaves of most of them. But you have gone even a step further than this, and you have gleaned some of the underlying truths behind the very nature of reality itself.
The Magus is one who can proficiently wield mana of all types, and the Light Magus has a specific tendency toward the Light Affinity, receiving bonuses to all magical constructs built from the Affinity.

Reivyn's eyebrows rose in surprise.

I didn't realize a versatile Affinity-based Caster Class was a thing in Tier 2. Melissa and Larissa had hinted that the more powerful Classes that could utilize more Affinities were exclusive to the higher Tiers.

It looks like this was brought about not only by my practice with the weaves, but also the Veridical Affinity is finally showing a tangible effect.

Reivyn was more than certain, now. He wouldn't have to give up the ability to cast spells using the other Affinities while he waited for his Tier 3 Class, and he would still get the benefits of specializing in one form of Mana.

I think I'll keep this one a secret from Melissa and Larissa, Reivyn chuckled. I don't necessarily need to actually keep it secret, but Melissa had shown some signs of exasperation at my ability to figure Mana Skills and weaves out quickly. She and her sister are my friends. I don't want to build some distance between us for something so stupid as talent.

Reivyn nodded his head, but then he stopped himself as another thought struck him.

Then again they're likely to find out when I enroll in the Academy. I'm sure they'll require me to reveal my Class and prove I'm a Caster in order to be eligible for the Magic Academy and not get sent to the Knight Academy...

Reivyn tapped his chin in thought.

I think... that would be worse than telling them right away. There's still time. I'll ask my parents for their opinion on the matter.

Decision made, Reivyn continued to look to see if anything had changed for his Tier 3 Classes that he could see. He once more ignored the Rarities that he wasn't considering.

Elemental Swordsman*
Sorcerer *Air/Earth/Fire/Water

Arcane Elementalist
Death Knight

It's mostly the same, but there are some significant changes. Let's see: Arcanist, Elemental Swordsman, Mystic, and Sorcerer are all changes to the forced Epic Rarity. The Elemental Swordsman is probably just the version of the Magic Swordsman that can use more elements, and the Sorcerer replaced the Wizard. I'll check them out briefly to see what the differences are.

Arcane Elementalist, Death Knight - that doesn't look good - and Warlord are the changes to the forced Legendary Classes. Death Knight and Warlord are actually not grayed out, either. Not sure how I feel about that.

Reivyn decided to check out the differences in the Classes with the slight changes in their names first.

Elemental Swordsman*
You have an aptitude for Martial Combat as well as Casting. You have spent long hours honing your ability with a weapon, but you never slacked off on training your mana Skills and affinities.
The Elemental Swordsman is renowned for their versatility, and only the most talented of individuals are able to combine the Martial with the Magical. The Elemental Swordsman has access to all of the Elemental Affinities. They are able to apply their Magic directly to their weapons, and, at higher Skills, their armor. While the Elemental Swordsman is unable to cast Spells in the traditional sense, they are incredibly deadly at close range.
*Synergy detected with Weapons Master Skill. Class can utilize Weapons Master instead of Swords.

Almost word for word the same, just with the difference that I thought.

Sorcerer *Air/Earth/Fire/Water
You're able to expertly wield the four basic Elements. You can use simple Spells and complex designs of magic equally with ease across the spectrum of all of the basic Elements, and you're proficient in the other Elements, as well.
The Full-Basic-Elements-Aligned Sorcerer is a powerful Caster. Their Spells are no longer restricted to one Element, but they can shape each of their Spells to their desired Element, and the weaker versions can also be used with more complicated Elemental Tiers. Simple Bolt Spells no longer take up a Class Skill slot, and they have several powerful Spells available to them.

The Sorcerer is proficient at all of the other elements, instead of just being able to use them slightly. Otherwise, it's also the same.

Let's check out some of these new options.

You have delved deep into the study of Magic on a fundamental level. You have knowledge of all of the Elements, and they bend to your will.
The Arcanist is a force to be reckoned with. They make no distinction between the Elements, yet they wield them just as expertly as one who specializes. Simple Bolt Spells no longer take up a Class Skill slot, and they have several powerful Spells, of all Elements, available to them.

It's basically a vastly superior version of the Sorceror. This one is probably close to being unlocked because of my research into the various mana weaves. It doesn't have the same wording associated with it as the Magus does, though, so it's probably not influenced by my Veridical Affinity.

Not only are you an expert with the more traditional Magics, but you have also delved into the otherworldly. You can see beyond the veil.
The Mystic is a powerful Caster, though not quite as much of an expert as one specialized in pure Magic. They can see truths of the various Realms, and they make for fantastic advisors.

This Class is probably because of my interaction with the Abyss Realm. The veil probably refers to the separation of the Realms. It doesn't specifically state the Abyss, though, so it can probably see more than just the one Realm.

Arcane Elementalist
The nature of mana is no mystery to you. You have mastered the four basic Elements, and you can be considered an expert in many others. No Magic Spell is out of your reach.
The Arcane Elementalist can easily Cast powerful Spells of any nature, though the four basic Elements are particularly empowered. They can learn new Spells with a flip of their hand, and the different Affinities flock to them of their own volition. Only the most talented of Mages could ever hope to become one.

Upgraded version of the Arcanist. So far, it looks like this is the Class that I need to work toward while in the Academy. The requirements are steep, though: Master level in the four basic Elements and Expert level in at least several others looks like the bare minimum. Well, I know I have a couple of years at least to work toward it, and I don't have to worry about the Stat requirements, so this should definitely be doable.

Reivyn nodded his head at the new goal he set for himself.

Death Knight
You are the master of death. Not only do you decide when one falls to their eternal slumber, but even the ones who already have are not out of your reach. You command the legions of dead, and they answer.
The Death Knight is one part Knight, one part Necromancer. They are feared on the battlefield for their mastery of the Martial and Magical, and even monarchs quake in fear at their very name for the armies they can Raise. Descend into the Abyss.
Helpful Hint: This Class is not considered Heretical for you.

That's not ominous at all. What's even worse is that the System apparently deems I'm qualified now for the Class. No.

This begs the question: If this Class is available to me, why is there no Necromancer Class in a lower Rarity? It's not that important, just a weird thing I noticed.

Warfare is your calling. The battlefield is your home. You are able to lead armies to defeat vastly superior forces with your exceptional Martial Skills, and your men will fight to their very last breath for you.
The Warlord is more than a warrior. He is a ruler of the battlefield. Kings and queens must bow before the might of the Warlord with an army at his back.

It looks like the Warlord is more than meets the eye. Someone with high personal combat prowess as well as Battlefield Awareness with the ability to lead and Command. The subtext of the kings and queens implies this Class is available to me because of my background.

Reivyn finished reading the newest addition. His opinions, besides his goal for Tier 3, hadn't changed. There was absolutely no chance of him taking the Death Knight Class, and Champion seemed like the only one available to take advantage of his complete talents in Martial and Magical abilities.

That might change, though, as I have a long time before I step into Tier 3, truly.

Reivyn got up out of bed and started to get dressed for the day. Teilon was still asleep, but Erik's bed was empty and neatly made.

"Get up, Teilon," Reivyn called to his friend. Teilon groaned and barely stirred. "Hey, the victory feast is in a couple of hours."

"Yeah, that's in a couple of hours," Teilon shot back without opening his eyes. "That means I have an hour and 45 minutes more to sleep."

"Oh, really?" Reivyn nudged his friend. "Don't you know what's going to be at the feast?" Teilon grunted a half-question. "Music." Reivyn let the word stand and waited until his friend motioned for him to get to the point. "Haven't you always wanted a chance to dance..."

"I have to get ready!" Teilon leaped out of his bed, instantly wide awake.


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