The ride through the kingdom’s vast fields was unbearably uneventful. This was the eighth day already and nothing noteworthy had happened. She stopped in a few villages to refill her provisions on the way and that was it. Riding a horse seriously sucks, Sofia thought, as she pulled on the reins. The sky was overcast and a small drizzle had started falling. And now it’s raining too! And my ass hurts! I’ll get to this tower out there and I’m done for the day.
The horse trotted towards the decrepit stone edifice. It wasn’t the first building of this kind Sofia had passed by, relics of an era long past. Most people wouldn’t go near ruins like these, and that’s exactly why I like them.
This tower in particular looked to be in decent shape, the ceiling was even still there, which was a first for such old ruins as far as she was concerned. Maybe I can loot some interesting stuff in there? I hope no one lives here or it’ll be awkward.
Towers like these were usually built by mages and warlocks, in a bid to flatter their ego and protect the secrecy of their research. It had fallen out of favor with the rise of the magic academies, now they were treated like places best left alone. After all, nobody knew what crazy experiments or deadly magical traps could still be active in there. And most things of value would have long rotted away on the corpse of whoever built the ugly phallic stone pile.
Sofia jumped down from the horse and tied it to a tree near the tower’s foot.
“Let’s see what we have here.” She circled the tower but found no door. All walls were overgrown by long thorny ivy. There were windows on the upper floors but no entrance in sight near the base.
What’s the deal with this tower, no door? She wondered what kind of psychopath would build a place with no entrance. Is there an underground passage somewhere? Sofia looked around but there weren't many things nearby except large trees.
Wait, the hero, what’s his name, Mike? He could teleport through walls, maybe that’s what this is, she mused, thinking back to the affable guy in black. Sofia walked around the tower one last time.
“Ah, fuck it.” She activated her bone armor for the first time since she left the church. Her vision was reduced to two thin horizontal stripes. Oh that’s like a bascinet isn’t it? I can’t remove it but maybe I can open the visor, she thought as she probed the helmet at every angle with her armored hands. Found it! There were latching hooks on both sides under the jaw, after undoing them the visor could be opened by sliding it down in front of the neck. “Much better.”
The armor was surprisingly waterproof. It was made of an assembly of bone pieces slid one under the other, the rain sliding on it like it was fish scales. It was a clean armor without any unnecessary parts, purely functional, and completely white. Sofia observed her arms and gauntlets. It’s not obvious that it’s bone, it looks more like stone or something like that.
Interestingly, the armor appeared above her clothes but under the backpack and belts.
I need to check the description again.
[Armor of Bones] : Gather and reform bones to create a blessed bone armor protecting the Saintomancer. The armor can store up to 100kg (100*Skill level) of bones to repair itself in combat. Protective strength goes up every level.
Stocked bones : 80kg.
Eighty kilos stocked, means the armor itself weighs twenty, so I have four spares I guess. It’s not even that hard to move in. I don’t know about the blessed part, it doesn't feel any different from regular bone.
“Anyway. I’m not getting drenched anymore. But this isn’t exactly ideal. Can I reach a window somehow?”
The closest window looked to be on the third of seven floors, about nine or ten meters high. The vines go all the way up to the window and beyond but there’s too many thorns, I can’t do that. Unless… if I climb with the armor on. But will these vines hold? I have the slow fall ring I guess.
Sofia stepped up on a fallen tree and jumped down, activating the ring. The falling speed slowed to a crawl and it took her a good second and a half to touch ground.
She approached the thorny ivy, clad in her white armor. The ring was eating through her mana at the rate of ten points a second. I regenerate about eight mana per second, in a few levels I could straight up keep it on all day and not even see that I’m losing mana, this is ridiculous. Magic items had the pretty big tradeoff of consuming the user’s mana, to her, it was not even a dent in her reserves, barely an inconvenience.
From here on Sofia tried the weird exercise of falling up the tower. She had climbed a meter, let go, and used the slowed fall to hoist herself up by pulling on the vines, feet dangling in the air. That was actually pretty easy. Of course she was constantly falling but she still went up way faster than if she climbed the usual way. There was never a need to stop to assure her grip. She even felt a lot lighter than usual. I get the feeling I’ll be using that a lot. That was a walk in the park.
She was soon standing on the windowsill, the glass was so dirty she couldn’t see through. It’s not locked, she remarked as she slid the bottom pane up. The inside was ill-lit but at least the wooden floor under the window looked in good shape. The planks creaked in pain at the landing of her boots.
She propped open the window behind her to let at least some light go through, it took a few seconds for her eyes to adapt to the ambient darkness.
[You have entered the dungeon : Ritual Spire - Lv. 50+]
Really? Hmm that’s a good opportunity to try and get to 70 to get two more keywords, it would be nice to fill up my active skills. The thing is, I don’t have a weapon and my skeleton is back in Einsen… She observed the place she had landed in, the whole floor was a single circular room.
A small table, one chair, a fireplace, bookshelves awkwardly placed against the circular walls, the place was pretty empty and dusty. It all looks old and moldy. At least everything is still holding on. The floor especially is in reassuringly good shape. No spiderwebs anywhere, weird, perhaps it’s because it’s a dungeon.
Sofia looked around but there was nothing salvageable, the books even crumbled when she touched them. Guess the stairs it is, up or down? She hesitated right until she looked at the floor below, it was in total darkness. I wonder what’s up there. The stairs cracked a bit as she stepped on them. I’ll re-activate the slow fall ring… Just to be safe. Though the armor doesn’t help, no way I’m taking it off.
The windows on the next floor weren’t as dirty and there was already enough light to inspect the place. This was more living space, a large bed collapsed in on itself took up most of the space, along with a bed trunk and two massive wooden closets. Hey! Found a few gold coins, that’s like twenty of them, not bad. This dungeon’s looking pretty peaceful for now.
She searched the place and left for the next floor. Should be the fifth floor I think. Whoever lived here loved their books… She thought as she absentmindedly stared at piles and piles of books. There was nothing else there but dust and piled books, ready to crumble at the lightest touch.
“This is all trash… the paper is like old dead leaves. Literal dust sheets.”
She would feel bad about the wasted opportunity of not being able to read them but they were all written in a language she didn't recognize anyway. The words on the covers looked more like wavy scribbles than words using actual letters.
Sofia went up the stairs to the sixth floor. This was a 'richly' decorated desk area. Or what was left of it. There was 'someone' at the desk.
“Looks like I found the owner of the place.”