“Is it the cards again?” Sofia asked.
“It is! This is incredible! Real magic! Cards everywhere!”
“Stop spinning around and pick three already, we don’t have all day. You weren’t nearly as excited about Pareth.” Sofia jokingly chided, standing akimbo against the wall.
“I understand, I pick three at random then?”
“Yeah, unless you have a better idea.”
Sofia observed as Alith pointed at three empty spots in the air, then stopped to read the results.
“It’s pretty fascinating how you heroes can understand our language without learning it.” Sofia remarked.
“Not weirder than being summoned by some Saint girl chosen by god.” Alith shrugged as she answered.
“Won’t argue about this one. Anything good?”
“A rank D blessing, an S rank blessing and an SSS rank.”
“Yes, it’s not glowing all colors like the other one, looks more like it’s on fire. Let me read them out to you.”
‘Blessing of simplicity
You are purity incarnate. Your skills whose names are 1/2/3 words long have 10/5/2 times their usual effect.’
‘Blessing of the long road
Your course knows no end. Stamina growth +50 per level.’
‘Blessing of Phoenix lineage
You experienced rebirth from the ashes. You shall rise again. Complete heat immunity. Grants an exclusive passive skill every 100 levels.’
“Simplicity is quite good if you can get one word skills, but I can’t change my class so if it doesn’t have any…”
“And you can’t even check your skills before you get a blessing… The whole hero summoning system is a mess, why does it even exist…”
“Hey, I’m happy to be here so I can’t complain about it, I’m taking the Phoenix lineage. Heat immunity. Can you imagine? How easy and fun cooking will be when I can stick my hands in the furnace!” Alith said excitedly.
“You already don’t feel heat in your ghost form.”
They had done some testing, although Alith had a corporeal body, she could turn back into a mostly transparent ghost in a few seconds. As a ghost she could fly and go through walls but she couldn’t touch anything anymore. She also couldn’t go too far from Sofia, some thirty to fifty meters at most before her mana started to go wild.
“And I also can’t touch anything! Boring! Wait for it, when I understand how the plants of this world work, I’ll be making you the best potions you’ll ever drink.”
“Do whatever you want Alith, I would have chosen the same one.”
“Really? Seeing the hole your [Angel’s bolt] left down there, I’d take simplicity if I was you, imagine if the skill hits five times as strong.”
“If it did I’d die from the explosion, if the heat or the recoil didn't end me before that.”
“Dying from heat? Wouldn’t happen to me.” She couldn't suppress a nervous laugh and picked up the invisible card in front of her.
Alith’s body shone red for a second, it settled down in an instant, leaving behind the girl ever so slightly changed.
“Say Alith, do you like orange?” Sofia hesitantly asked.
“Uh? I kind of do, I guess, why?”
“Ah, good. Good. Just. Uhm. Here, take this,” Sofia said, passing her a small hand mirror she grabbed from her bag.
Her eyebrows and lashes had partly turned to a dark orange. The tone of her lips had also shifted to more of an orange red. Her hair, while still completely black, had flickering fiery reflections when she moved, as if she was standing right next to a bright fire. You might not even see it if you didn’t pay attention. Sofia thought it gave Alith a fiercer gaze, contrasting with her cheery attitude.
Alith only observed herself for a few seconds in the mirror.
“I look a bit better like this I think, I almost expected more, like wings and claws?”
“Don’t wish for things like that. Who knows what might become real?”
“You worry too much, lady necromancer who summons dead people. Let’s have a look at my skills, I can see them now. Is there a way I can show you?”
“I don’t think tha-”
“Here it is!”
“You can do that?” This came as a real shock to Sofia.
“There’s a sharing function, you should be able to do it too… Did you really use this system thing for the last nineteen years or were you just pretending to?”
What in the world? Why have I never known about that?
Sofia focused on the thought of sharing her status with Alith.
[Status privacy setting is now public]
First the scribe and now this. How many hidden functionalities like this does the system have that nobody knows about?
[Status privacy setting is now private]
She gave Alith’s status a quick look, I don’t need to show her mine, we talked so much she already knows… And I’d like to keep the blessing of the Deep under wraps, just in case.
Name : Alith
Age : 22
Class : [Lady-in-waiting] ♢
Level : 71 ♢
Health : 710 / 710
Stamina : 78 / 1420
Mana : 10000 / 10000 ♢
Active Skills (2 / 5)
[Maiden’s shriek] - Level 71 ♢
[AvoiDance] - Level 71 ♢
Passive Skills (3 / 5)
[Accounting] - Level 71 ♢
[Split focus] - Level 71 ♢
[Hidden presence] - Level 71 ♢
Classless Skills (5 / 5)
[Menial chores] - Level 25
[Botany] - Level 46
[Cooking] - Level 22
[Alchemy] - Level 16
[Human form] - Level 71 ♢
“So this is where my mana went…”
“It’s a lot, my skills don’t use anywhere near that much, [AvoiDance] is ten mana per second for example. You want to read the skill descriptions too?”
“No need, unless the names are bad at expressing what the skills are?” I’m getting tired of reading system messages…
“Only [AvoiDance] is a bit strange, where the longer I dance the easier it becomes to avoid attacks. I don’t know how to dance at all so I wonder how it works. And [Maiden’s shriek] can only be used in incorporeal form,” Alith remarked, still busy reading the system prompts that were invisible to Sofia. “You know what's up with the losanges?”
“It means you can’t change it, I believe. I have the same next to [Saintomancer].”
Alith chuckled, as she had done every time Sofia uttered her class name. What banshee, all I see is an Imp!
When Alith got done learning everything about her skills, she went ahead and cooked a meal with what Sofia had in her pack. The stew smelled much better than what Sofia had made for herself until now.
Alith reached into the fire bare-handed and grabbed the pot.
“Here you go, eat up!”
“What about you?”
“I’m a spirit, I don’t think I need to eat again, I’m not hungry. And you only have so much food left for the trip.”
Sofia looked Alith up and down. Then she looked down at herself.
“No offense, but I think you DO need to eat.”
“Hey, what do you m-...” Alith retorted, but her gaze drifted on the Saint’s leather vest that looked about ready to burst. “I’ll eat just a bit, ok… Just a tiny bit.”
Alith served herself some food in a tiny wooden bowl.
“And I’ll have you know that I’m- I’m not small. You’re the one who’s big, alright!” she grumbled, sitting on the chair next to the tall skeleton, opposite Sofia.
“At least, Pareth understands my feelings!” she added.
“You do realize he’s sitting on the floor, right?” Sofia asked in a mocking tone.
They left the tower early in the afternoon, Alith had discovered that she could shrink and enter the storage necklace while in ghost form. She was currently sleeping in between gold coins and hot sand.
She could have also linked herself to Sofia, kind of like a mind parasite infection but without actually taking control. It had the added benefit of hiding her presence completely, but in her own words it felt ‘shaky and restricted’ so she opted for the more comfortable traveling option. As for riding on the horse, there was no way she would willingly go through that much effort for no reason. She really pulled some faces. I think she just doesn’t like animals.
Pareth had been stored too, it was Alith’s idea to put him in the bone storage space of [Armor of bones], Sofia had assumed it wouldn’t work but it did. That’s how she had learned the skeleton weighed a good 29kg. Sofia had also checked the tower’s basement before leaving, there was nothing left of the dungeon’s boss.
Ah… This is so fun… Messing with her especially… Almost had me forget the danger I’m in. I don’t even have the skeleton in Einsen to look out for the church now. I must leave the kingdom as soon as possible. No more stops! I’ll be going until the horse actually needs to rest.
She departed through the muddy fields.