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A note from Belgianfri

Hey guys! Thanks for the support these past few days! I just want to shout out this new story of an author friend of mine called 'Tainted Reflections'! It's a good old litrpg with its very own unique system and an interesting protagonist! Beyond the the fact that I like the author previous work, this one has just had a fantastic start so far. (Already at 140 pages in just two weeks!)

I you like Death knight, I think you'll like 'Tainted reflections' too!

Read it here: Tainted reflections

 

If you would like to read a well written progression fantasy with more than 1000 pages, read the author's other story: Eternal myths


 

Read 10 chapters ahead on patreon!

 

Discord: https://discord.gg/YHZFB4HMHD

 

The next day I went out to practice again. I had gotten a bit of success with my sword-extending training and cut a tree in half with a single swing. I had had to cover my sword with the overloaded mana and then let it loose as I swung. With the right timing and movement, I could extend my sword by a few meters in the form of dark mana, which gave me a good middle-ranged attack that I had desperately needed.

I was giddy today, though. The party would be returning to the guild after their latest quest. I wanted to brag about my new skills and class tier. Now that I had tiered up I would be able to join the party on some quests as well, if I could convince Garrett.

On my return journey, I opened my status page to check on my skill growth. I noticed I still had some free stat points, so I chucked them into intelligence so that I could keep it at a fourth of my physical stats more easily in the future. My goal was to increase those to 300 before my tier up to tier 3. That's where the next milestone skills were at, so I would need to reach that point if I wanted a good class. That meant in turn that my intelligence and wisdom would need to be at least at 75. Now was a good time to get started on that front.

Name: Arthur
Titles [Dark prodigy]
Class: [Overloading Death Knight] LVL 1
Strength 108
Constitution 104
Dexterity 104
Intelligence 30
Wisdom 58
Affinity 331
Free stat points 0

Skills:

Passive: [Dark radiance core](6%), [Dark sight](13%), [Berserker Swordsmanship](18%),

[Growing lifespan](N/A), [Mental resistance](N/A), [Dark Form](3%), [Overload Aura](7%)

 

Active: [Shadow apparation](76%), [Flexible senses](N/A), [Curse mark(guide)](9%), [Overloaded orb](12%)

 

Higher tiered skills certainly took longer to improve. My core had only increased by a few percent despite my intense use of it. [Dark Form] had only increased by 1%! It was slightly disheartening to think about how long it would take to tier up my tier 3 and 5 skills.

At least there was some good news too. With my recent practice in [Shadow apparation] I had gained about 20% progression. At this rate, it would tier up to 4 in a few weeks. Those final few percent always took longer, because at that point, only repeated practice would give progression. In the beginning, when you obtained a skill, the system would also reward progression for using a skill creatively and learning more about it. Eventually, though, you would finish experimenting. At that point, you would need to slowly practice to get the final few percent. As a result the last 25% of skill progression was brutal.

[Curse mark(guide)], [Overloaded orb] and [Overload Aura] had all progressed by a bit from my practice, but again, I was going to have to get used to slow skill progression from now on.

Not all was going badly, though. With my soon-to-be visit to the Duke, I might actually get the backing necessary to wear my title around! I had gained [Dark prodigy] when I first awakened, but left it unequipped. Titles would show above people's heads and were a sign of strength and valour. Receiving them required a system-acknowledged feat.

My uncle had, for example, saved the king. As a kid, I hadn't known the significance of that, but now as a young adult, I was starting to understand how incredible that was. The king was a tier 6, just like all the truly powerful people in the kingdom. Yet my uncle had somehow saved him. I didn't quite understand how, though. Did he prevent a poisoning? Did he save the current king when he was a kid? No, because he said he was awarded the affinity crystal as a reward, which meant he acquired his title when I was five.

Maybe my uncle was more influential than I had imagined. He might even be tier 5.

What would a tier 5 do to save a king, though? Who could even contend with a tier 6 in the first place?

How had the relationship between my uncle and my dad even soured to the point that he was a royal guard, while we lived in a small shack in a village? I knew my dad could be stubborn, but that was ridiculous.

Regardless, the point was that while equipping the title might scare people off, it would also power up my dark-aligned skills by a multiplicative 5%, which would speed up my level-gain significantly. Ultimately, that made it worth it in my opinion.

 


 

When I arrived back at the guild, I sought out Doran to answer some of my questions on the powerhouses of the kingdom. I was still curious about what role my uncle played, but left that out of the conversation.

He had explained the general political landscape of the kingdom.

There were eleven tier 6 class-holders total in Roa, as far as he knew.

The king, the captain of the royal guard and the marshal were part of the royal faction and kept it in power.

Our local archbishop led Roa's church of Helios.

The archmage of the magician's tower was the leader of a loose alliance of mages, wizards, and so on.

The guild head of the adventurers' guild, the guild head of the mercenary guild and the guild head of our very own witch hunters' guild were the three leaders of the local branches of continent-wide guilds.

Finally there were the tier 6 nobility, which comprised of Duke Rass, Duke Borko and Archduke Cerithal.
Duke Rass was an unofficial member of the royal faction, while Archduke Cerital and Duke Borko were political rivals.

 

If I were to get Duke Rass' support, that meant that I would be throwing my lot in with the royal faction. That made the most sense to me, because my uncle was a royal guard anyway. It wasn't like I was still in a position to pick sides in the first place.

I wasn't really sure about entering the political landscape of the country, to be honest, but I convinced myself it would only be temporary and allow me easier access to dungeons, equipment, and so on.

The truth was, there were several things that I would be lacking if I decided to keep my head down. I wouldn't be able to get dark-aligned equipment made, I wouldn't be able to fight monsters in public and I wouldn't get access to higher-level dungeons, because they were managed by the local nobles and required proper identification to enter. All of this would severely limit my growth rate.

Furthermore, I didn't intend to stop at tier 6. I was planning on pressing my advantage and getting better and better classes. Once I reached tier 7, none of this kingdom's politics would even affect me anymore.

Still, I wasn't looking forward in becoming a chess piece for the Duke and the guild. I just couldn't find any better option at the moment. Benefits like the skill pyramid were rather nice, though. It wasn't all bad. I could only hope that the Duke wasn't the type to take advantage of me, if he even accepted my offer in the first place.

The goal was to get the Duke's favour and ignore everything even remotely related to politics afterwards. By doing that, my problem would be solved and I could enjoy the best of both worlds. Let's hope it worked out that way.

I was interrupted from my thoughts by a commotion from outside of the guild tavern. I went over to look and found out that the party had returned! I walked over to Garrett. I was a little nervous because I hadn't seen them in a while. I didn't want to act over-familiar, but at the same time, we had gone through some stuff together. I decided to just throw caution to the wind and be myself.

"Hey there, Garrett. I see you haven't drunk yourself to death yet?"

The large man boomed with laughter.

"Hah! You've grown a spine in the time we haven't seen you, haven't you, kid? Being snarky at me already, huh?"

"As if I was too scared to do that before!"

Melinda walked over and joined the conversation. "Great to see you again, Arthur. We've been told you tiered up?"

"I have, yeah. My mission was quite eventful and I'm happy with the class I got."

At this point, Nestor chimed in. The ever-curious mage was about to throw another series of questions at me again, I just knew it.

"Oho, young Arthur, you must tell me what class you have been assigned! And what skills did you get? How has your stat gain evolved? And what..."

Thankfully Melinda interrupted him. "Oh leave the poor boy alone. We haven't seen each other in two weeks and the first thing you do is barrage him with questions?"

To his credit, Nestor looked slightly ashamed. "My apologies, I couldn't help myself."

Barnold gave him a pat on the shoulder. "Hrrmpff."

Garrett turned to me. "Well, it's been good to see you again, kid, but we've gotta be off. We still have to report our mission details to the staff. Good news though, Melinda and Barnold are going to tier up afterward!"

I stood there in shock for a moment, my mouth agape. They had been that close to tiering up this entire time? I caught myself and recovered.

"Congratulations! Are you going to be using the designated tier up rooms from the guild?"

Melinda answered in the affirmative, while Barnold just gave a small nod.

"There's no reason not to, it's much safer and there's plenty of mana available. One of the advantages of joining a guild." Melinda had said.

We said our goodbyes and parted ways after that. I would be able to catch up with them the next day anyway.

 


 

Two days later, I picked up Revan's saddle and attempted to ride him. Turns out it was way more difficult than riding Garrett's warhorse. Lizards just moved strangely, undead lizards even more so. Revan was definitely big and strong enough to carry me at this point, but his snaking movements made it difficult to hold on when he was traveling more quickly.

Because Revan didn't need to rest, the method of travel was slightly faster than apparating repeatedly. It wasn't very comfortable though, despite the high-quality saddle. Maybe I just needed to get used to it.

With my practicing done for the day, I returned to the guild. Our contingent would leave the guild later this afternoon. If we made good time on the road we would reach the Duke's palace in about a week, despite everyone being tier 2 or above.

When I got to the guild, I found Barnold and Melinda with the rest of the party. They had been practising their new classes for the past couple of days, so I hadn't had the chance to ask them what class they got. Luckily, I didn't need to. When I approached, Melinda spoke up first.

The muscled woman had a proud smile on her face.

"Hello, Arthur. You're looking at the newest tier 3 [Arcane hunter]!"

I gave her a big smile. Her enthusiasm was infectious. Her class did sound very impressive. I looked over to Barnold, who perked up as well.

"Tier 3 [Spell breaker marauder]."

I was slightly confused about Barnold's class.

"Wait a minute. I understand that Melinda went from [Journeyman hunter] to [Arcane hunter]. She was already using skills that lead to a class like that before anyway. But how did Barnold go from [Brutal marauder] to [Spell breaker marauder]?"

I saw the corner of Barnold's lip lift at my surprise. Garrett was the one to explain.

"Well, Barnold felt like crap after that last duo boss fight. He couldn't do much against the shield, so he spent the last few weeks trying to get a skill to more easily break through magic. The system rewarded his efforts with his new class. Does it make more sense now?"

Barnold had actually been stubborn enough to make that stingy system admit defeat? I had to admit I was impressed.

Before I forgot about it, I went to visit the appraisers office in the guild. While the hammer had been sold, the cauldron hadn't been paid for yet. The money would arrive within the next few days, but that would be too late. I only hoped I wouldn't need a lot of money on our journey. Downcast, I returned to the party.


We spent the next few hours catching up on stories, lifting my mood a little. The party was impressed with my win against the necromancer, though they warned me not to start relying on ambient mana to fill up my stores all the time. It had worked well until now because my opponents had both been dark casters, but it wouldn't forever.

Eventually, it became time to depart. In the courtyard of the fortress, our group had gathered. It consisted of myself, Doran, the party and another 15 witch hunters, two of which were apparently also tier 4. That made our total numbers at three tier 4s, seventeen tier 3s and one tier 2, me. The guild wasn't holding back this time.

I could tell where they were coming from. The move we were making would mean that not just me, but the witch hunter's guild would fall into favour with the Duke, which was important for our Reito-based branch, since Reito and its surrounding areas were all part of the Duke's territory. If we lost the sword, the consequence could be dire.

We were all given horses. I got a spotty grey one, that was as temperamental as a mule. It tried to buck me off three separate times before we even got through the gates.

Still, this was the start to another exciting adventure. Hopefully, our journey would continue uninterrupted.

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A note from Belgianfri

I just wanted to thank you guys for the continued support, even allowing this story to contend for the number 1 spot on rising stars!

 

On top of all that, another author (Jack0fheart)made me a cover for free! I'm giving him a proper shout out in the near future, don't worry. Let me know what you think of it.

We're returning to daily uploads for the foreseeable future. 

New possible cover


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About the author

Belgianfri

  • Your holiness

Bio: I like fries. The belgian kind.

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