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A note from Kyfe

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Reivyn lowered his mana sword as he gulped for air. He wiped the sweat off of his brow as he reached for his water skin to take a drink.

It's not nearly as hot as it was at the Dungeon Town, but I'm sweating more under my parents' tutelage than I ever did sparring over there. And I'm not even sparring.

Reivyn drank almost the entirety of the flask, and his mother simply did something with her mana to fill it back up again with pure, icy water. Reivyn had thought that his father pushed him hard before and that his mother was actually much milder in her teachings, but he was rudely awakened to the truth when they combined their efforts.

It might have been a mistake to show them my full Status Page and Skills after they had shown me theirs, Reivyn thought, not for the first time.

He had wanted advice on the direction he should take his training, and he would be lying if he didn't want to get back at his parents' unfathomable display of their Status Pages.

Reivyn had taken the opportunity to bring up the subject at the breakfast table after his sisters had bounded off to do whatever it was that they did.

"I want to make sure I'm fully prepared for the Academy, so I would like some advice," Reivyn opened. "How do I show you guys my Status Page as you showed me?"

Ameliyn and Refix shared a look before Ameliyn turned back to Reivyn. "You simply open your Status Page," she waited until Reivyn nodded. "Then you will a connection between your Status Page and us. It helps to visualize a mana tether attaching us to your Status, but it's not actually a real mana tether. You just have to focus on connecting. If there's a connection between us, like us being your parents - and you could probably do it with your Party Members after you've been together for a sufficient amount of time - the System will latch onto that connection and transfer the Status Page over for us to see it."

Reivyn nodded his head and followed the instructions. Visualizing the mana tether helped, but he also found it hard to not actually extend his mana. After a minute of concentration, he got it, and he received a notification of success.

Requested to share your Status Page with your Mother.
Requested to share your Status Page with your Father.
Your Mother has Accepted.
Your Father has Accepted.

Reivyn waited in silence for his parents to view his Status and Skills.

And waited.

And waited.

Reivyn began to fidget as there was no movement from his parents after a long time. It can't take this long to read through my Status Page. Did I do it wrong and send the wrong information over?

"I'm out," Refix said as he unceremoniously stood from the breakfast table. "This is just ridiculous. I can't handle it." He strode out of the room and went to the backyard, the door slamming shut behind him.

"Umm, what?" Reivyn prompted after his mother continued to stare off into space.

"Hmm?" Ameliyn looked up, startled by the question from Reivyn. She glanced at the back door and then back at Reivyn. "Well, you know your father. He had to work extremely hard for all of his success and Levels, and what you just showed us is simply unbelievable."

"What's so unbelievable about it? My Stats are in the low 200's for the most part," Reivyn said defensively. "Dad's Strength Stat alone was over five thousand. And he's going to act so surprised at my Stats?" Reivyn rolled his eyes.

"Reivyn... how old are you?" Ameliyn gently asked.

"Almost 11, now. Just a couple of months away, and I should be 11 before I have to go to the Academy."

"Uh-huh," Ameliyn said. "And what Tier are you right now?"

"I'm actually Tier 1, but I'm technically Tier 2," Reivyn said with a frown. "You know all of this."

"Yes, I do," Ameliyn said with a nod. She frowned and shook her head after, though. "But it seems like you keep forgetting it.

"Your father is Tier five. Of course, his Stats are going to be really high. You're only still Tier 1. Do you know what my Stats looked like at Tier 1?" Reivyn shook his head. "At Level 30, Tier 1, even with my Bloodline granting me increased Stats every level, my highest Stat was Vitality... And it was 200."

"Ok~ay," Reivyn said with narrowed eyes.

"My Vitality was twice as high as my second highest Stat at the time," Ameliyn said. "My Magic was my second highest Stat, and it was only 100. I had a total of 817 Stats. I had a higher growth rate than your father did because my Tier 1 Class was the Rare Imperial Princess verse your father's Rare Vynn Noble, and my Bloodline is more powerful than his.

"You have a total of 1,610 Stats in Tier 1," Ameliyn said. Reivyn's face took on a look of comprehension. "You have almost double the total Stats that I did. I don't know what your father's stats were at Tier 1, as I never saw them and haven't asked, but it's safe to say that he had quite a bit less than even I did.

"And that's not to say anything about your Skill Levels!" Ameliyn sat back in surprise, finally fully coming out of her stunned state. "I thought I was talented to get the Weaver Class instead of the Mage Class because my Mana Manipulation was at Level 40. That was my highest Skill by a lot.

"You have ten Skills over Level 40, and your Mythic Skill is actually your highest at Level 61! I knew you trained a lot, but I was expecting to see most of your Skills at less than half of what they are, even for how hard you worked."

"Yeah, I've noticed that my Skill Levels generally Level up at a much faster pace than everyone else," Reivyn scratched the back of his head with a sheepish expression. "And that's not even counting the several Skills that I know I get a bonus to Leveling."

"And that's another thing," Ameliyn said with exasperation. "I've only heard of a few people with some specific Achievements being granted a bonus to their Skill Leveling, but from what I remember, you've had several bonuses since the day you first accessed the System."

"Yeah, I've always had these weird dreams where I'm performing those Skills, or something similar, and that seems to be where it comes from. I'm not sure how the System recognized it, but I do recall getting a notification of having Combat Life Experience as one of the reasons I was able to choose Fighter instead of Conscript when I was conscripted," Reivyn said nonchalantly.

Ameliyn cocked her head at her son and narrowed her eyes. "You've never told us anything about any kind of weird dreams before... That bears further conversation, but let's keep on topic for now. Seeing as how you've made it 11 years without anything bad happening because of the dreams, it can wait until later."

"I've never told you about the dreams before?" Reivyn said with surprise. "I could have sworn I did."

"You've told us a lot of crazy things over the years, but this I would have remembered," Ameliyn shook her head. "Anyway, on to the topic of directing your training:

"You obviously need to continue increasing your Affinities - that's something you'll have to do for the rest of your life until you reach your talent threshold, at which point they won't move without outside influence, like a natural treasure, no matter how often you train them - but they're definitely passable for the Academy.

"Passable, as in good enough for graduation," Ameliyn reiterated. "I'm assuming you want to do more than just graduate, though?" Reivyn nodded his head in the affirmative. "Then you'll need your base elements at least at 51, above the Expert Mastery, and each Tier above that needs to be about 8 to 12 points lower than the Tier above, respectively.

"Though it is weird that your Light and Darkness Affinities are actually considerably higher than your Tier 2 Affinities, almost closing in on your base elements," Ameliyn said, tapping her chin in thought. "I've never heard of that situation, either. Another thing I've never heard of is all of your Affinities advancing in lockstep. It's very strange that they're all the same within the Tiers.

"Well, not important right now. We're still focused on your training regime. I'll give you the necessary steps to unlock the rest of Tier 2 and 3 Affinities, and after they've caught up to your other ones - or at least made decent strides - I'll tell you how to get some of the Tier 4 Affinities. I don't have them all myself, so I can't guide you on all of them. You may not be able to unlock all of them either, but the fact that you already have Veridical means you most likely can.

"Aside from that, there's one point that I have an issue with," Ameliyn gave Reivyn a flat look. "What's the deal with Flame Weapon?" Reivyn looked at his mother in confusion.

"I worked with Larissa and extrapolated the Class Skill all on my own," Reivyn said defensively. "I'm quite proud of that Achievement, and it's helped me out a lot against the Revenants and other undead creatures. It was even originally just Flame Blade, but I combined it with my Weapons Master Skill to turn it into Flame Weapon."

"Yes, yes, I'm sure," Ameliyn waved him off. "My issue is: Why is it still Flame Weapon?" Ameliyn cocked her head as she stared at her son. "You even said so yourself, just now, that you modified it from Flame Blade into Flame Weapon." Reivyn wasn't quite grasping the point. Ameliyn rolled her eyes. "You did all of that work to unlock all of those affinities, and you mentioned in your letters that you've grasped almost all of their weaves, so why is it Flame Weapon and not Elemental Weapon?"

"Ohhh," Reivyn realized what his mother was getting at finally. He shrugged his shoulders as he replied, "I just really haven't had the time to work on the other elements, yet."

"Uh-huh," Ameliyn said skeptically. "More like you didn't think about it.

"Well, that's what we're going to work on first. Upgrading it to Elemental Weapon will also pay off dividends to your mana control Skills. Using the elements won't directly increase your affinity with them, but you might gain insight into them to help with your Mana Circulation later, too."

And that's where Reivyn found himself drenched in sweat, working with his mana sword and going through the paces of his sword practice.

It's not enough to just activate the different elements instead of Fire, Reivyn thought ruefully. Oh no, dad also had to turn it into a full-blown workout. And now that he's seen my Stats, he knows exactly how hard to push me.

Reivyn glanced down at the weights on his body and sighed. I don't remember ever having to wear anything like this when training before.

"Dad, why am I wearing a full-body weight suit, again?" Reivyn asked. "Aren't I already past the point of diminishing returns?"

"Of course," Refix nodded. "Plus, a weight suit would do more harm than good in that regard."

"Then why am I wearing one?" Reivyn asked, puzzled.

"It's not about training your Stats," Refix replied. "Did you forget that the best way to train was to train when you're already tired? Its seems like your carefree life as an Adventurer has caused you to forget a few things," Refix chuckled. "Plus, once you get really exhausted, this is a good way to train your Mental Fortitude and Iron Will Skills. This is the fastest way to get you to that point while simultaneously training your Skills other than Running or Athleticism.

"Now, enough talk! Get back to work," Refix clapped his hands together. Ameliyn watched from the side, amused. Reivyn could tell that she was doing something next to a large tub, but he wasn't quite sure. She was somehow obscuring his Sense Mana and Mana Sight Skills to keep him in suspense.

Reivyn quickly got back into his sword form. He was using the mana sword for a couple of reasons: One, it conducted mana, obviously; and two, it didn't matter which weapon he used to train with.

He had already unlocked the Basic Elements Weapon after only about 20 minutes of dedicated work - I can see why mom wasn't convinced that I hadn't had time - but it required a lot more work to upgrade it further into the Elemental Weapon Skill.

"You just have to have a basic proficiency in most of your Tier 2 Affinities and one of the Tier 3 Affinities to change the Skill," Ameliyn had explained. "Once you do, you won't magically be able to use all elements at will, though. You'll still only be able to use the ones you've actually unlocked, but the System will step in and help give a you crutch until your Skill and Affinity Levels increase enough."

Reivyn hadn't learned all of the weaves to all of his Tier 2 and 3 Affinities, but he had several of them down, so he worked on those first. His mother had promised to help him learn the other weaves, and she said she had some exercises for him to do to continue practicing them.

Reivyn was completely drenched in sweat and utterly exhausted when he finally received the notification, several hours later, that he had reached his goal.

Calculating...
Basic Elements Weapon Skill has been altered to Elemental Weapon

Reivyn sighed in relief as he let his sword tip rest on the ground. He groaned as he stretched his neck, moving his head in a circle, as the sweat rolled down his face.

"I take it you finally succeeded?" Ameliyn asked with a smile. She had finished whatever it was she had been doing a long time ago, and she had remained off to the side offering pointers on how to more expertly wield his elements on his sword. Reivyn nodded his head before getting a drink.

"You've worked up quite the sweat," Refix said in approval. "Your mother prepared something for you to help take care of that, though." Refix grinned at his son as he approached him. "Now I need you to take a deep breath and hold it. Got it?" Reivyn did as instructed without thinking about it and nodded to his father. "Good."

Refix picked Reivyn up one-handed like he was a toy, and before Reivyn could react in his tired state, he thrust him into the large tub that Ameliyn was standing next to. Reivyn's eyes opened wide as he saw it was completely filled with water.

Reivyn was dunked into the water, and he was held in place by his father. Normally, he would be able to hold his breath for a very long time considering his Stats and Stamina, but he was out of breath and exhausted. His Stamina was already very low, so Reivyn could feel the strain on his lungs after only about a minute of being held down.

He began to thrash about, and his father pulled him back up. Reivyn took a deep breath, just in time to be dunked back into the water.

What are you doing?! Why are you doing it?! Reivyn screamed in his mind. He didn't understand what his dad was doing to him. Is this revenge for upstaging his Tier 1 Stats? It's completely unreasonable!

Refix pulled Reivyn back up out of the water again and saw that Reivyn was staring at him with narrowed eyes. Refix let out a large laugh.

"I'm not punishing you, if that's what you're thinking," Refix said. "I noticed your Swimming Skill was still at 0 after all of these years. Focus on holding your breath, and unlock the Breath Control Skill. It'll help when I teach you to swim later." Refix dunked him back into the water after the brief explanation.

Ok, that makes sense, Reivyn thought. But dunking me twice before explaining anything was definitely revenge!

 



Reivyn once more sat in Meditation, working on circulating his mana to work on his Affinities. He was too mentally tired to try and unlock any of the other Affinities, but he could still go through the motions with the ones he had already unlocked.

Ok, so we've set the schedule for the next couple of weeks. We all agreed that I didn't need to focus too heavily on my Weapons Master Skill at the moment. Dad said it wasn't quite at the Master Level, yet, but it was very close.

Talking about the Weapons Master Skill had reminded Reivyn of his dad's display with the ethereal weapons on the Magron City Walls.

"Dad, your Tier 4 Class was Heart of the Sword, right?" Refix nodded at the question. "Then how come you had that huge arsenal of conjured weapons that you used to surround yourself during the battle?"

"Well, let me explain about the Classes a little bit, first," Refix said. "Tiers 1 through 3 all have fairly generic Classes for everyone. Sure there's different levels of Rarity, but all of the Classes you get in those Tiers are generally going to be the same.

"Once you reach Tier 4, however, your Classes become personalized to you. The reason my Tier 4 Class is Heart of the Sword isn't because I renounced all other weapons, but in spite of it." Reivyn cocked an eyebrow at the answer.

"I've trained in all the same weapons that you have, but my heart has always belonged to the Sword. I've always been better at it than any of the other weapons despite my Skill."

"You have the Weapons Master Skill, too?" Reivyn asked. "I thought you said you didn't know if it would work when you trained me with all of those weapons years ago. You just hoped it would."

"I don't have Weapons Master," Refix denied, shaking his head. "Here, let me show you."

Your father has requested to share his truncated Skill Page with you.
Familial Bond verified, sharing of intimate details authorized.
Accept Deny

Reivyn accepted the notification.

Skills:
...
Tier 5:
Weapons Prodigy (101)

Reivyn looked at the notification window with a blank stare for several moments. He just couldn't resist... Reivyn sighed.

"Weapons Prodigy Level 101..." Reivyn said as he looked up at his father. "One hundred. And one." Reivyn gave him a deadpan look. Refix smiled as he lifted his chin with pride.

"Actually, I have you to thank for that," Refix said after a moment.

"Me? What did I do?" Reivyn said, pointing at himself.

"I told you that training you had benefited me greatly," Refix answered. "I had stagnated at Level 100 for a long time, and after working with you and witnessing everything you did, I was finally able to gain some insights in order to break through the bottleneck and reach Transcendent Mastery.

"You once asked me if I had any Skills over Level 100, and I had told you that I didn't," Reivyn nodded at the memory. "Well, what I left out was that I had a Skill at Level 100 when you asked. It broke through the bottleneck shortly after that, but I never said anything until now.

"But enough about that," Refix waved his hand. "If you look at the Skill, you will have already noticed that it's Weapons Prodigy instead of Weapons Master. It's also a Legendary Skill as opposed to your Mythic Skill.

"The biggest difference between the Skills, though, is that my Skill only applies to actual weapons, and not just anything I can conceptualize as a weapon. I gained the Skill through the same method you did, but I did it after getting my first Class. Because I already had my first Class unlocked, I got the Legendary version of the Mythic Skill.

"So, all of that to explain about the weapons I conjured in the battle," Refix said. "That's a personalized Skill that I created with my Weapons Prodigy Skill as the foundation. As I said, Tier 4 and up Classes are personalized, and you'll have a degree of freedom with your Class Skills.

"In order for me to make that Skill, I had to individually swing those weapons about as if I was in actual combat. If you ever see me use it again, you can pay close attention to the trajectory of the weapons and see that they're not actually just spinning around me. They're being used properly. It took me hours upon hours upon hours to ingrain those movements into my muscle memory before I was able to make the Skill."

"Those were conjured out of mana, though," Reivyn pointed out. "I didn't know you could use mana Skills."

"I was born with just a smidgen of talent for mana Skills, so I've always technically been able to, but I was always more focused on the Martial Classes," Refix explained. "That being said, everyone who reaches Tier 4 will automatically gain the ability to use mana Skills. It's based on the inherent nature of the meridians the Tier 4 Classes grant."

"I see," Reivyn said. "So I'll be able to make a similar Skill as yours when I reach Tier 4? Can I practice it earlier and learn it before Tier 4, like how I unlocked Flame Blade?"

"Sure, you could do those things," Refix nodded. He shook his head immediately after. "But why would you? I just told you that my Weapons Prodigy Skill only works on real weapons. With your Weapons Master Skill, you are the weapon. Think about that. Don't let examples of what others have done before you limit your imagination. It's good to use other things as inspiration, but never believe that any Skill you see from someone else is the epitome of what that Skill could be in the hands of a true master."

Reivyn's conversation with his father had been pretty eye-opening, and he could already foresee endless possibilities. He wasn't just talented in Martial Skills, though. He was equally, if not more so, talented in Mana Skills.

And that leads to my schedule: Dedicated work on unlocking one specific Affinity and their weaves each day in the mornings with mom. Meditation and mana control Skills after lunch. And then finally, some 'light' physical exercise with dad before washing up for bed. He seems pretty determined to have me finally level up my Swimming Skill, too.

Mom also mentioned that it would be beneficial for me to work on my Piano Skill considering the company I'm likely to find myself in at the Academy. All nobles, and other scions of well-to-do families, have multiple Skills in the arts, not just their dedicated professions.

I have a busy schedule ahead of me, Reivyn thought. But I've always liked training. He smiled as he worked on his Mana Circulation.

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Kyfe

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