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The person who opened the door was a younger girl in a maid outfit. She was probably not even sixteen, and strode into the room pushing a small cart. The top level had a pitcher of water, an empty cup, and a small loaf of dark bread. The bottom held a tiny chamber pot and a neatly folded white cotton robe.

“H- Hello Saintess, these are the supplies for today, as ordered by the Magisterium.” She bowed but her face looked uncomfortable. Doesn’t look like she likes her job much.

“My name is Irina, this humble servant will be your personal maid for the whole length of your stay in the church.”

“Hello, Irina. Nice to meet you. I’m Sofia, you can just call me that.” Better be friendly, she could be useful down the line.

“I would be honored, Saintess, but this lowly maid couldn’t possibly do so. ”

“Alright I get it. Is this all the food I’m going to get?”

“Yes, Saintess. I must apologize but nothing can be done about it.”

“It’s ok. Anything else I should know?”

“...” Irina worriedly looked through the door, her shoulders relaxed when she saw no one there. “Do not leave this aisle of the building without the Magisterium. For your own good. Dutifully follow the orders and whatever happens, avoid angering the high priests, at all costs. Stepping out of line in their presence is ill advised,” she whispered in a frightened tone. There’s only ever one Saintess in the church. If I’m here then the last one… Better take her advice seriously…

“Thank you, Irina, you can leave if you need to, don’t get in trouble for me.”

She left the room without taking the cart. Slowly closing the door after another bow.

The bread was rock hard. We ate better in the streets… Sofia was once again alone in her large and empty room. Long days ahead…

The white robe was nice, if a bit tight, a simple and elegant design with some lace around the hem. Certainly something Sofia would have expected to see a Saintess wear, without a doubt the most luxurious piece of clothing she had ever touched. Something practical with pants would have been better. Guess they still want me to look the part even if they feed me this crap. She was glad to still have had her underwear under her nightgown when she had gone to sleep because they didn’t provide any.

With nothing else to do, she decided to follow her original plan to discreetly explore outside her room. The marble room was at the very end of a long corridor, it had four doors along the left side, another door at the other end, and the right side was open arches leading to a square cloistered garden. It was all neat and shiny everywhere. The stone walls and marble floors were polished clean, and the garden full of healthy vivid green plants and trees.

Sofia counted four floors above this one, and that was probably not all of it. The high spire projecting a shadow on the garden wall from a distance had her think the whole place was at least twice as big as this cloister, if not more. It was the Holy See after all, home to the four high priests and the famous two hundred paladins of the church, it had to still be a lot larger than that to house them all. The spire was probably the Oracle’s place.

The magisterium’s quarters are probably very close if he’s always the one to ‘take care’ of the Saintesses. Sofia knew she had to silently get rid of the Magisterium and flee to another country before anyone noticed if she wanted to get away at all. There was no way to go against all the paladins or the high priests, let alone the Oracle who was rumored to be over level 200. But this one beefy old man? As long as he kept being as carefree around her as he had been today, she would find a way.

Since there was no one around, she opened the second closest door to her room. It was a small room with a few bookshelves lining the walls. There were probably only around 80 books in here, all lined on the shelf closest to the door. Everything else was empty.

‘A noble’s etiquette’

‘20 Keys before attending your first ball’

‘The art of sewing’

‘History of the Church’

‘Dukedoms of the Skyreach kingdom’

Almost all of them were like this. It would have been a hard task to put together a duller collection of books. Three of them stood out to Sofia however.

‘On managing your mana’

‘Basics of a healer’

‘Intricacies of summonings’

These three might hold some useful information, she thought. She would probably end up having to read all the books anyway, she doubted they were here for no reason. She tried to open the next door but it was locked. She could probably open the lock given the right tools, that was something to keep in mind. The fourth door led her to a room full of buckets, brooms, and other various cleaning supplies.

Two more doors. The one opposite her room was probably just the entrance to another corridor but it was also locked. Only the room right next to hers remained. Inside, Sofia found pretty much exactly what she had expected. Two guards playing cards around a small wooden table.

“Don’t mind me, just looking around.”

The guards looked at each other for a second, the one on the left shrugged and threw a card on the table.

“Your turn, Jeff.”

Sofia left and closed the door. All I can do is read the books then, better follow Irina’s advice and not wander too far for now. Maybe I’ll check the aisle on the other side of the garden tonight.

It took her forty minutes to read the first book on the shelf, it was about the ranks of the court and was utterly boring. The sun was high up in the sky, almost noon.

Nobody else came to see her until the sky got dark. She had read nine more books in the meantime, and she was getting quite hungry.

‘[Fast reading] reached level 13’ Holy shit, this one was a long time coming!

Sofia had found out long ago that she couldn’t level up this skill by reading the same books over and over; it had never gone up again after she had read the orphanage’s whole library. This was why she had been sending different commands to the skeleton every time, just in case the same one wouldn’t grant xp twice. She glanced back at her previous messages.

‘[Holy Skeleton] reached level 4’

‘[Holy Skeleton] reached level 5’

The only difference she could see was the mana cost of orders decreasing by a bit. She had been saving up for the last hour and a half and her mana was capped. Time for a bit more fun then. She had already figured during the day that the skeleton only understood simple orders, but she could send multiple ones to have it do more complex actions. Since she could feel the skeleton’s location moving all she had done was send the commands ‘Move in a circle’ and ‘Stop in ten minutes’ to see if that was possible and how long orders lasted for. She hadn’t found a time limit yet. The skeleton acted as a surprising makeshift clock, though she had no way of verifying if it was actually following any real measure of time.

For all she knew, maybe it had just followed what she thought had been around ten minutes.

[Holy skeleton], ‘discreetly venture in the forest’, ’hunt weak monsters’, ‘flee if there are humans’. Almost half her mana disappeared like that.

She could only sit on her bed in the dark and wait. The city outside looked quite lively at night, but no sound reached her room. Three consecutive *Ding!* in her mind broke the silence.

‘You have defeated [Wild Hare - lv. 2]’

‘The hero : ‘Holy Skeleton’ gained a level!’

‘You gained a level!’

This is a thing?! Wait, no it’s only logical that an undead's kills would grant xp to the necromancer. The skeleton leveling up was all I expected. This was all big news.

[A new Passive Skill is available!]

A passive at level 2. Wait, is this the necromancer’s [Scent of the Deep] that intimidates monsters and people of a lower level?

Available Passive Skills :

  • [ Deep] : the Deep.

I’m not sure how I feel about this one. I’ll take it I guess.

You have acquired the passive : ‘ Deep’

Let’s check that out…

Name : Sofia

Age : 19

Class : [Saintomancer] ♢

Level : 1 -> 2

Health : 5 / 5 -> 10 / 10

Stamina : 5 / 5 -> 10 / 10

Mana : 2892 / 5000 -> 2892 / 5500

Active Skills (3 / 5)

  [Holy Skeleton] - Level 1 (Lv. 1) -> Level 5 (Lv. 2)

  [Heal Undead] - Level 1

  [Summon Blood] - Level 1

Passive Skills (1 / 5)

  [Blessing of Deep] - Level 1

Classless Skills (4 / 6)

  [Menial chores] - Level 7

  [Sprint] - Level 3

  [Fast reading] - Level 12 -> Level 13

  [Shenanigans] - Level 48

Summoned heroes (1 / 4)

  Lv.2 Holy Skeleton (Human)

 

“It really fused with the blessing one…” She tapped her nails on the bed frame, it was a habit she picked up in her childhood. She did it without noticing whenever she was lost in thoughts.

I could have waited for the next passive maybe. But the only other necromancer passive mentioned in the book was the [Aura of Death] at level 80. [Blessing of Death]? I’ll pass…There’s probably still more from the missing pages though.

[Blessing of Deep] : The saintess is blessed by the Deep.

Nothing new here. Very nice having a lot of seemingly useless skills, helps a lot in my situation. What is the deep even? The book never mentioned it again…

Sofia went to sleep after sending a few more orders to the skeleton.

She later woke up to the sound of footsteps behind her. It was still night.

 


 

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About the author

Mornn

Bio: I hope you like reading my fiction as much as I like writing it

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