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It took Sofia a great deal of self-control to fake being asleep, she had no idea who stood behind her bed but since she was still alive they might not be after her life. Pretending not to notice might just be the safest option.

When a cold finger prodded her cheek she could no longer fake it. Leaning over her stood a lanky man in a brown suit, wearing some kind of small flat hat. His face was nothing special but his eyes were pure black. He looked at her with a perfectly blank expression. His whole being unnaturally still, as if frozen in time. Sofia screamed. No sound left her mouth. After locking eyes with the man, she could no longer move at all, no longer breathe, she didn’t even feel her heartbeat.

The surreal stillness of the scene was interrupted by a *Ding!*. The man was no longer anywhere to be seen and the dark room turned bright, bathed in the light of the morning sun.

It took Sofia a good minute to calm her wildly beating heart. When she managed to calm down her nightgown was already sticking to her back, soaked in cold sweat.

[Congratulations, you have received a new name!]

She couldn’t decide what shocked her more between the strange encounter and the system message. Her name had indeed changed in her status page, where it used to just be ‘Sofia’. It now read: ‘Sofia Aphenoreth’.

Having your name be changed when you got married or adopted was a common thing, did she just get adopted by some weird man? Her best guess was that either the man was the seldom seen oracle of the church playing a weird prank on her, or it had a link to her [Blessing of the Deep]. If it’s neither then I have no idea. Just what was that for? Can’t you ask before you change someone’s name! What’s Aphenoreth?! Are weird things just going to keep happening to me? If I had known all of this crap would happen I would have stuck with the [Fool] class you get with level 50 [Shenanigans]...

“Wait, since the saint class was halved, is the restriction of being stuck with it the same?”

[The ‘Saint ‘ class cannot be changed]

Was worth a try… Maybe I can change the necromancer part… I’d rather keep it at this point. A single skeleton is better than no skeletons. Oh, the magisterium’s coming.

As announced by the heavy steps, the tall armored man opened the door.

“Get dressed and come out. Fast,” he said in an utterly bored tone.

Yes, hello to you too, a pleasure to see you again.

She still had to obey, and she hoped to get some food soon. The old man led her through the previously locked door at the end of the aisle, which led to another corridor much like the previous one, but with rooms on both sides.

From what she glimpsed through open doors, it seemed that part of the fort was mostly for storage. Old books, furniture, barrels of grain, bedsheets, just a whole bunch of storerooms. They passed a corridor going far to the right. That looks like a corridor going through the whole width of the fort. The man kept walking straight, through another door and into a large kitchen area. Tens of cooks were hard at work already, not paying them any attention, the room was very hot from the numerous stoves. They stopped at a heavy wooden door in a corner of the kitchens. The magisterium took out a large key from the collar of his armor and unlocked the door. Behind it was a set of coiling stone stairs going down.

“Go in. Don’t come back until you’re level twenty.”

He closed the door behind her.

I don't like where this is going. Am I about to fight for my life in some underground crypt?

The steep stairs were dusty, only finger sized slits in some parts of the staircase walls let some light pierce through from outside. It kept going down for a while, after a bit Sofia began to hear wet sloshing noises coming from inside the walls. They only got louder and louder the further down she went.

“What is this place…”

The stairs led to a small square room, similarly lit by a single small hole in the wall letting in a faint ray of sunlight. The first thing that caught her attention was a small hatch containing a platter of food. It was some water, a yellow apple, and a bowl of cold soup. She observed the rest of the room while eating. You can get to level twenty in this room?

One had to know that level twenty was already quite something, the only way to gain levels was to kill animals or people stronger than you. No matter how you looked at it, it wasn’t something many humans were willing to do. The risks were just too high. Most villagers Sofia knew were in the tens, only slowly accumulating experience when they killed farm animals for food. There was a level 50 hunter in Verenha, that was as high as the wildlife around there could get him, he had told the curious orphans.

Having a somewhat high level wasn’t all that great anyway, especially if you were stuck with a bad class like villager, farmer or baker. People weren’t all that keen on risking their lives to make slightly better tasting bread. Now if you could make it to level 100, there were apparently some incredible benefits, and a lot of money to be made, but how dangerous would it be to get there? The highest level people around in villages were usually hunters and guards.

The other features in the room beside the hatch were a tall basket holding a bunch of long wooden spikes, a lever, and a fist sized round hole at shoulder height in the wall near the lever. There was no light to see what was beyond the hole.

She took a spike and prodded inside the hole. Looks like it’s just a small empty space in the wall. Let’s give that lever a go. The lever was surprisingly hard to pull down, it went back up right after, with it came metallic sounds of things opening and closing. A wet thing fell behind the hole. She stuck the spike in the hole once more. It feels like it’s touching a sack full of water, a weak push was all it took to pierce the thing. Nothing really happened. She kept stabbing a few times.

‘You have defeated [Composter Slime - lv. 13]’

‘You gained a level!’

‘You gained a level!’

‘You gained a level!’

“Just like that?” she couldn’t keep her voice down.

“That’s surreal… no way, you can do it like that… I understand how all the noble kids are at such a high level now. I almost feel bad for the slimes.”

“Alright if they want to give me the opportunity to get stronger, I’m not going to say no.” She pulled on the lever again. And again. And Again…

‘You have defeated [Composter Slime - lv. 16]’

‘You gained a level!’

‘You gained a level!’

‘You have defeated [Composter Slime - lv. 3]’

‘You have defeated [Composter Slime - lv. 7]’

‘You have defeated [Composter Slime - lv. 8]’

‘You gained a level!’

‘You have defeated [Composter Slime - lv. 23]’

‘You gained a level!’

‘You gained a level!’

[New Active Skills are available!]

Available Active Skills :

  [Dispel ] : Dispels

  [ bolt] : projectile from the hand.

I don’t think they go together very well… I’ll wait on these. The dispel part is interesting but since every Saintess has that this probably won’t be my ticket out of here. I wonder what the original skill was.

‘You have defeated [Composter Slime - lv. 2]’

‘You have defeated [Composter Slime - lv.6]’

‘You have defeated [Composter Slime - lv. 5]’

 


 

The levels started coming slower and slower, most of the slimes were under level ten and likely didn’t give much experience, the highest level slimes that fell behind the hole of death were level 25 but they were quite rare. After doing this all day, Sofia's arms were too tired to continue, when the last level up message she had been waiting for showed up, it was time to stop. She observed her log. The mana spent in the [Holy Skeleton] skill all day long wasn’t wasted.

‘You gained a level!’

‘You gained a level!’

‘You gained a level!’

‘[Holy Skeleton] reached level 6’

‘You gained a level!’

‘You gained a level!’

‘You gained a level!’

‘You gained a level!’

‘You gained a level!’

‘You gained a level!’

‘[Holy Skeleton] reached level 7’

‘You gained a level!’

[New Active Skills are available!]

‘You gained a level!’

‘You gained a level!’

‘[Holy Skeleton] reached level 8’

‘You gained a level!’

“Wouldn’t life in villages be a thousand times safer if everyone could just get to level twenty like that?”

I don’t think I can get any higher here. There’s too few high level slimes. This was quite good already, let’s have a look at the new skills.


 

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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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