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Bee stared at her options intently. Considering how young she was, she hadn’t expected to be offered a particularly rare or powerful class. But she hadn’t expected her choices to be so… strange.

She tossed Maid right out the window. Never. Even if the other options had been particularly awful, it didn’t matter. She would not choose the Maid class ever. That was as far away from magic, adventure, and just anything interesting as you could get. She bristled at the thought that her brief tenure at the mage’s college was enough for this to even be offered. She really hadn’t done much in her life yet.

That only left Devotee and Brute. Both these classes were things she was familiar with. In fact, they were relatively common. Devotee was the introduction class to the more advanced cleric classes. Usually, people who wanted to serve a temple or church were groomed for Devotee. Bee didn’t know the details about how the class worked, but it centered around the worship of some influential figure or god. Also, those going down this path usually had a lot of support from their fellow worshipers and others. Adventures and knights offered discounted rates for power-leveling Devotee candidates because healers were just that useful. Most temples even covered their prospective members’ leveling costs. That was how her cousin managed to become one, at least. His family was too poor to have funded it themselves. Then once they got the class, they would earn experience by following tenants of their faith.

One didn’t have to be the devotee of a god. That was most common, but she had heard stories of Devotees serving kings, emperors, or more sinister things. There was even one about a Devotee who worshiped a duck, of all things. That could have just been a story her mom told her, though.

It made sense that Beatrice would be offered this option. She had offered her soul to Void, after all. It might be a good choice for her. She would benefit from it by following along in her master’s footsteps, which she was already planning on doing. The things she learned from Void might also tie into her class nicely. Also, the Devotees she had seen often used some magic. The powders they worked with had always fascinated her. Maybe she could eventually get skills related to alchemy.

All around, it was an excellent class for her current situation. Except there were no physical benefits to help her survive the coming troubles. Bee had no doubt that there would be trouble.

Brute was the exact opposite. It was also an ordinary class, but that’s where the similarities ended. Those that chose that class focused on hand-to-hand combat. Or any melee combat that required force. They were offered no bonuses when working with magic. They often were outclassed by the other combat classes at higher levels. However, it was a viable strategy as a generalist. Having Brute would increase your strength, speed, and health recovery and offer many skills that could be used outside of combat for more utility. Unfortunately, the people who took this class often did so because they lacked better or more skillful options. It was a bit of a default rather than something that anyone with real potential might pick. At least, that was their reputation.

She needed clarification about why she had been offered a close combat class like this. The demon fight might have played into it, but that was just one event. Unless the system was also accounting for that feud, she had with Kevin when they were younger… Or perhaps the one with Janice? Or… Okay, maybe close combat was a fair option.

If Beatrice was in this castle alone, her choice would be obvious. However, with all these demons around, she needed a way to defend herself. Brute would see her through this situation more likely than any other option. Besides, her young age would offset any negative stigma from taking such a general class. However, she was not alone. And because of that, she could consider the future a bit more.

Devotee did seem to be a better choice. Still, there were more than just practical concerns about how helpful it would be in her immediate circumstances. Suppose she ever felt compelled to do something stupid, like wandering off to get a bucket of water without Void through demon-infested hallways. In that case, she might want to choose something to help her survive. Especially now that she had fought a demon by herself. Sure, she had come out unscathed, but it was a close call; those claws had missed her head by maybe a quarter of an inch. It helped her confidence a bit but also made her even more aware of her weakness. Bee also did not like the gore and the blood all over her. The rush was something, but it didn’t seem worth committing to a combat class.

Bee sighed. There was really only one thing to do. This was a common theme she was noticing. All of her choices only left her with one natural choice. It was almost like the system was forcing her down a path. She would say that was the case if she didn’t know better. However, there were many times when she had friends or family friends who had gained levels and agonized over their skill choice. It was common to ask friends for advice and hear everyone’s opinion since the options provided uniquely valuable benefits.

No, it probably came from her massive lack of life experience. She didn’t know anyone her age who had ever reached level 5. There were stories full of heroes who would level up this high by the time they were maybe 15, and those were likely exaggerated. Bee wouldn’t even turn 15 for a couple of years. Possibly some obscenely wealthy nobles who could afford to have a party of knights power-level their young scion for years could match her pace. But somehow, being partied with an unimaginably powerful being just demolishing its opponents gave her more experience than anything she’d ever heard.

That might have been the strangest part about all of this. From what Bee knew, the experience was supposed to be calculated based on relative difficulty, comparing the level of the combatants and the numbers in comparable skills. No one knew the exact calculation, but a Statistician could give some decent estimates. For example, they might be able to tell how much experience you would get given your level and party members versus what you were fighting. With Void’s power, he should be getting next to nothing for the puny demons he was feeding on. Yet she had seen it mess with the system before. If Void could fool the system for her scan, perhaps it was also deceiving the system to make it appear much lower level than it really was. Or it could just be that whatever species or being it was, was much more powerful than its level indicated. This might trick the relative difficulty scale and give much more experience.

This was more supporting evidence that Void’s name was not “Spot.”

Returning her thoughts to the box in front of her, Bee selected “Devotee” from the list. Then, with her decision made and new opportunities awaiting her, Bee headed back to the grand hall carrying her bucket full of water.

---

Oh good, Beatrice returned with a bucket of liquid. Or “water,” as she called it. This would make my job much more manageable. I had already made some decent progress. It hadn’t taken long to suck up all the large broken demon parts.

No, what was taking so long was this black, sticky, oily liquid that the demons had leaked everywhere. It wasn’t practical for me to vacuum that stuff up, obviously. So after I finished all the debris I could with my suction. I went to work with my mop. It sprang out of my side, freshly fluffed and ready for action. I hadn’t had a reason to use it in a while, so this would be an excellent opportunity to optimize my efficiency models with this tool in mind.

Unfortunately, it was only as effective as it had been on the bug’s viscous goop. My mop only smeared the stuff around when cleaning without water. Sure, there was a little bit of liquid absorbed. I could retract my mop and wring it out, but the yield was a mere fraction of what it could have been if I had diluted the gunk and then absorbed it.

So when Beatrice came in, I greeted her excitedly and zoomed over at full speed to dip my mop in the water. It wasn’t until I had done this that I got to take a good look at her. She was covered in the same goop that covered this room. Despite the mess all over her, she looked triumphant.

“Master, I did it. I hunted one of these lesser demons and reached level 5.” She said with a slight curtsy.

Sounds like she took down another one of those mess makers. I can always rejoice when a mess maker is taken care of. I imagine this meant there was another mess somewhere in the castle like this one that needed to be taken care of. Though since she was a human, it was likely on a much grander scale. However, she mentioned level 5. That didn’t make sense. According to that voice that shouted sometimes, I seemed to be at level 15. Why was my number larger than hers? And also, Beatrice had mentioned how strong these little mess makers were. Maybe the humans around here were just weaker? So perhaps her mess wasn’t as bad as our current one. That would be something, wouldn’t it? Me making a larger mess than humans; I would never have thought that was possible.

I beeped my appreciation for her taking care of a mess maker before it could do further harm. She smiled at the praise.

That taken care of, we got to work. We both dipped our mops in the water again before standing side by side to clean. I moved forward slowly, turning my body back and forth, whisking the mop across the floor. I only managed two or three passes before I needed to retract and squeeze the liquid out of the mop into my dustpan. However, I had to go back to the mop bucket and refill my container once that was done. Bee kept dragging the bucket behind us, so it wasn’t too long of a trip. But it was pretty frequent, seeing how my mop didn’t hold that much liquid.

However, it did seem to hold a lot more liquid than it rightfully should. Several times more. And as it passed over the ground, the area absorbed into it was almost twice the size of the actual mop brush. It almost looked like the gunky black mess was being sucked toward my tool. Now, this seemed quite odd. Yes, mops are made to be absorbent, but usually, it’s a direct contact thing. Mops were made to absorb moisture they come into contact with, not everything in the vicinity. But I was basing that on what I had seen from other mops in the past. Maybe this was a special vacuum mop? Or perhaps it was related to that “magic” stuff Beatrice was talking about. I’d have to find a way to learn more. How could I go about learning more about this beautiful thing?

I need to find a way to communicate to Bee that she should tell me about current cleaning technology. Also, if she didn’t know much, she could ask around.

We kept going, and squiggly things kept showing up in the corner of my vision. Over the past week or so, I had gotten pretty good at tuning them out. However, I was starting to notice them again. This time, they appeared to be longer and took up 1.67 times more space than the average. After a while, I started to grow a little bit distracted. I began tracing the squiggles into the black liquid as I cleaned. Not for any particular reason but just because it was interesting. Like I was creating my own sort of art. It didn’t seem to matter to the efficiency of my work. The way my brush worked made it clean just as fast, with or without wiggles.

After a little bit, I checked up on Bee. She was right there beside me with her large mop, making very aggressive progress. She wasn’t quite as skilled as I was. That was evident as she had to go over the same area much more frequently. Where everything required one pass for me, she would have to put water on the floor, spread it around, wring the mop out, and repeatedly clean the area thoroughly. However, that area was much larger than mine. Even with the increased radius of my mop’s area of effect, Bee’s one swipe would cover many times the amount of space. This allowed her to keep pace with me. Well, she did seem to be working quite hard. She was moving frantically to stay by my side; her face was red, and clear liquid was pouring down her body.

Who knew humans could produce liquid like this. If I had her do this earlier, maybe we wouldn’t have even had to go get the mop bucket.

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A note from zaifyr

Choosing a class is hard... I promise it will be entertaining. I had to pick other options that were possibles but then It was hard to justify they choice because I came up with all the reasons for the other classes first. 


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zaifyr

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