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Ding! [Death Knight] class successfully assigned.

Ding! You have been granted the [Dark prodigy] title, due to awakening with more than 150 dark affinity.

[Death Knight]

The servants of powerful necromancers, Death Knights use their immense physical strength to get hold of their opponents. Their signature skill [Dark augment] is a combination of the lesser skills [Augment body], [Augment weapon], [Ignore pain], [Dark mana resistance] and the tier 3 skill [Active regeneration].

This skill makes them practically impossible to kill as long as their master has mana, seeing as undead don't have mana cores and therefore can't power their skills with their own mana.

The [Death Knight] (Tier 1) class provides 2 stat points to each physical stat and 3 free stat points per level. Dark aligned- and neutral skills can be learned.

 

[Dark prodigy]

The holder of this title receives a 75% growth bonus to dark-aligned skills. Equipping this title enhances all dark-aligned skills by 5%.

 

When the announcement finished, a black wind started to surround my body, spinning faster and faster, before enveloping me entirely. I could feel it rushing past, through and into me. My muscles strained and my skin burned, before all of the wind rushed to one spot in the middle of my chest. There, it felt like it condensed into a black marble. I could somehow feel the marble, despite the fact that it wasn't a physical organ. I had awakened an elemental core, something all affinity holders receive if they are assigned a class which utilises an affinity. A person with high affinity would never be able to use it if they were assigned a [Butcher] class, after all. I decided not not equip the title just yet, I could still equip it if a fight occurred, after all.

I can still vividly remember the look on the appraiser's face when my class was assigned. There was no hiding it, considering appraisers keep tabs on your status page during class awakening, for safety. The black elemental mana would have given me away no matter what, so it made no difference.

After the awakening, the old man lifted his cane as if I was about to strike him, but lowered it after a moment, noticing I hadn't moved. He looked into my eyes for a moment, before asking me something.

He looked horrified and sympathetic at the same time, somehow. Yet luck was on my side that day.

"Uh... what's your name, young man?"

"Arthur, sir. Just Arthur, I'm a commoner."

"And how do you feel? Any urge to uh... do anything in particular? To go somewhere?"

"No, not really. I'm feeling slightly peckish, but it's been a long day's work, so that's nothing unusual."

"Well, inform me if you feel anything unusual, alright?"

 

The old codger gave me a chance, despite my class.

He could've contacted the church of Helios, the kingdom's authorities or any other interested party and figuratively sold me to the highest bidder. I have no idea how that would have turned out, a light element faction like the church would probably have locked me in a dungeon somewhere to repent, while the other factions would probably have tried to keep me on a leash as a hound. Well, I shouldn't speak badly of the royals. They gave my family the opportunity to live their dream and open a bakery after all, albeit indirectly.

A moment of hesitation later, the well intentioned old man gave me his practiced routine lines.

"Well.... why don't you open your status, young man? Let's see what skills you received. Feel free to ask me anything."

Hearing him stammer through his words, I decided to just get on with it. No point in delaying the inevitable.

 

Name: Arthur
Titles [Dark prodigy]
Class: [Death Knight] LVL 1
Strength 45
Constitution 48
Dexterity 43
Intelligence 22
Wisdom 10
Affinity 163
Free stat points 3

Skills:

Passive: [Simple dark core](0%), [Elementary dark sight](0%), [Novice Swordsmanship](0%)

Active: [Dark augment](0%), [Shadow apparation](0%)

[Simple dark core](0%)

Tier 1 skill.

You possess a dark core filled with dark elemental mana. The core allows you to use dark-aligned skills.

[Simple dark core] provides a small amount of extra power to dark-aligned skills and reduces their mana cost by a minimal amount.

Absorb ambient dark mana into the core to increase skill proficiency.

[Elementary dark sight](0%)

Tier 1 skill.

You possess the ability to see using darkness, rather than light. You can see dark elemental mana when in high concentrations.

Explore dark areas or areas filled with dark mana to increase proficiency.

[Novice Swordsmanship](0%)

Tier 1 skill.

You possess a basic instinctual understanding of swordsmanship.

Train under the guidance of a higher ranked swordsmanship holder or use a sword in combat to increase proficiency.

[Dark augment](0%)

Tier 4 skill.

You possess the ability to suffuse your body and weapon with dark elemental mana from your core. This increases all of your physical abilities and increases the sharpness and durability of any weapon you hold.

You heal rapidly while augmented.

You ignore pain while augmented.

Your body can withstand far more dark mana while augmented.

[Shadow apparation](0%)

Tier 3 skill.

You possess the ability to transfer your body and equipment from one location to the other, using sufficiently dark locations as a medium.

 

The old man looked at me with trepidation, probably hoping I wouldn't react violently to this situation.

"Well, how does it look? Did you receive any interesting skills you want to ask me about?"

"I... don't have any questions about my skills, actually. It's all pretty self explanatory. Just one thing; how come I have a mana core, when my class description says [Death Knight]s don't usually have one."

"You have a mana core? How unusual... I suppose that's because, despite being a death knight, you're not undead. That core will help you a lot in the future, kid. It allows you to use your skills freely, unlike a normal death knight."

"I'm not being arrested? I thought dark classes were illegal."

"In a sense, they are. It's not actually the classes that are illegal, it's a certain type of skill that all [Necromancer]s, [Dark mage]s, [Demon worshipper]s and so on receive upon awakening. A mental skill that deteriorates their humanity. The [Psychopath] passive skill, for example, or the [Insane] skill. There are many different kinds of negative mentality skills. Dark affinity rises based on the persistent pursuit of a goal, while abandoning everything else. As a result these skills raise their affinity at the cost of their sanity. They lack empathy and only focus on their own power from the moment they receive such a skill. People have killed their families and friends after their awakening because of skills that affect mentality. Luckily you managed to escape such a fate, from the look of your status and skills. Undead usually have 0 stats in intelligence and wisdom, making them nothing but empty puppets for their masters. As a result, mentality skills would have no effect on them anyways. Perhaps that's why the system doesn't give these classes such skills. I've never heard of an intelligent undead and, seeing as you're still alive, that's remains the case."

He smiled a little, though he still seemed slightly uncomfortable.

"What all this means is that, technically, your class isn't illegal. The country can't persecute you until they either prove you have a negative mentality skill or that you are undead. The church might still cause problems if they learn about you though, I would be careful with who you tell about your class if I were you. Now, naturally, I need to record what class you received, but this knowledge will only be privy to a select few, and I don't think they will act on it. Just be careful, young one, and stay on the straight and narrow."

I hastily agreed, which seemed to satisfy him.

The appraiser decided it was time to leave. I had no more questions, so he recorded down our conversation and took the awakening orb with him as he headed towards his carriage. He gave me a good natured smile as he got in, and a moment later the carriage, pulled by a big six legged lizard, took off down the road. I stared at it until it disappeared behind the town gates, as it headed back to the capital, I supposed.

I could feel a headache coming up, as I thought about how I would need to break the news to my parents. Would they convince me to continue the bakery, since heading to the royal academy was no longer an option? The thought filled me with indignation. I had waited my entire life for this moment! I might have told myself I did it all to become a royal guard, but just the thought of adventure and freedom was what really drove me.

Summarising, I had several options. Option A: join the adventurers guild. That would mean dungeon delving, monster slaying and gathering rare materials. Sometimes quests like exploring and mapmaking were also offered.

Option B: join the mercenary guild. Being a mercenary involved killing other people. That meant fighting in skirmishes and wars, or escort and guard missions on the tamer side of things.

Finally, there was option C: the witch hunters guild. This guild doesn't hunt witches exclusively, despite the name. Formed out of the remnants of an assortment of smaller guilds like the thieves guild, fighters guild and so on, this band of misfits and veteran roughnecks seek out dark creatures and class holders to slay. They do all kinds of dirty work across the continent, and there are rumours they take certain jobs of ill repute as well. Assassinations, information gathering and so on. It can only be said that they are tolerated by the powers that be.

Honestly, this option was the most attractive one for me. It would allow me to keep my anonymity much more easily, while at the same time bringing me into contact with dense dark mana regions, allowing me to raise my skill proficiency faster. Not to mention that I would just fit in better with a group like that. On top of that, even if I joined the witch hunters guild, I could still explore dungeons and so on, I just wouldn't be able to take any quests for it. There was just one problem with joining the witch hunters though, the guild only accepts people who have the necessary strength. While my stats were much better than most other low level tier 1's, compared to tier 2 class holders I was too weak. That meant training and monster slaying, which would in turn require a weapon and, preferably, a dungeon. Luckily this town just so happens to have a small dungeon in the area.

In my mind, a plan formed. Step 1: acquire a sword of any kind, any quality. Step 2: sneak out into the dungeon on my own. Step 3: level up enough to enter the witch hunters guild. Step 4: head to the closest guild branch in Reito, a city located about a week away on foot.

 

Interrupted out of my musings, I saw my mother staring at me, as she stood in the front door of the bakery, which also functioned as our house. She clearly expected an explanation. I would have to convince my parents of my path, after explaining that I received a Death Knight class, of all things. Mentally, I adjusted my plan a bit.

Step 1: survive my parents.

 

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Belgianfri

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Bio: I like fries. The belgian kind.

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