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> Your Physical Resistance rank VIII ability has triggered. You are invulnerable for 8 seconds.

 

The explosion almost killed him. But he was healed as System power surged to the Man.

 

[...] 14,561 kill messages suppressed.

You gained 287 levels. You gained +574 Strength +574 Dexterity, +574 Agility, +430 Endurance, +430 Constitution +72 Intelligence, +72 Wisdom, + 72 Charisma and +71 Willpower. You have 1,435 Attribute Points.

You gained a Sub-Class slot.

You gained a Sub-Class slot.

You cannot have more than two open Sub-Class slots. One sub-Class slot was converted to 50% Attribute Efficiency.

You cannot have more than two open Sub-Class slots. One sub-Class slot was converted to 50% Attribute Efficiency.

You cannot have more than two open Sub-Class slots. One sub-Class slot was converted to 50% Attribute Efficiency.

You cannot have more than two open Sub-Class slots. One sub-Class slot was converted to 50% Attribute Efficiency.

Your training and knowledge improved your Physical Resistance Skill to rank VII. Massive damage is reduced by 5% per level.

Your training and knowledge improved your Physical Resistance Skill to rank VIII. When critically hurt, you become invulnerable by 1 second per rank. This can only happen once per day.

[...] 5 Laborer Perk notifications suppressed.

You reached your first milestone. You gained 20% Attribute Efficiency.

[...] 5 Laborer Perk notifications suppressed.

You reached your second milestone. You gained 20% Attribute Efficiency.

[...] 4 Laborer Perk notifications suppressed.

You reached your third milestone. You gained 20% Attribute Efficiency.

[...] 4 Laborer Perk notifications suppressed.

You reached your fourth milestone. You gained 20% Attribute Efficiency.

[...] 2 Laborer Perk notifications suppressed.

You reached your fifth milestone. You gained 20% Attribute Efficiency.

[...] 2 Laborer Perk notifications suppressed.

You reached your sixth milestone. You gained 20% Attribute Efficiency.

[...] 2 Laborer Perk notifications suppressed.

You reached your seventh milestone. You gained 20% Attribute Efficiency.

[...] 1 Laborer Perk notifications suppressed.

You reached your level cap and must complete a trial to evolve your species. All future Exp awards deferred.

Generating trial.

Your trial will be ready in 24 hours. Please stand by.

You have two open Sub-Class slots. You have 375% Attribute efficiency to distribute.

 

The man didn't stand by. He stared at his messages and felt a budding headache as his perceptions expanded. He pumped his arms, jumped three times as high as before, and shouted at the top of his lungs. "LEVEL THREE HUNDRED, BABEEEEEE!"

It was usually recommended to not tell people your level as it painted a target behind your back but he was sure he was as powerful as one could be. Strong enough to take everything he cast his eyes as his property. He would have good food, drink something that was not brewed out of horse piss and night soil, and get a dozen wives, at least.

 

*


*

 

But first, payback. "Marshall!" The level 300 man shouted. "When this battle started, I was but the slave, now I am the master! All shall bow to my..."

"{Shut the fuck up!}" Lord Marshall use his Command ability on him.

The man clenched his teeth. Something was wrong. He was level 300. He should be invincible. Oh. He hadn't spent half of his Attribute points. With almost fifteen hundred points, he dumped two hundred and fifty on each physical Attribute, thinking it was a nice amount. Then the rest split among each mental Attribute, give or take. Before he committed, he removed the points from Charisma and placed them on Willpower. Fuck convincing people from doing his bidding. He would bash some sense into their heads and be done with it.

Also, the efficiency. He placed 60% on every physical Attribute and Willpower, 25% in Intelligence, Wisdom, and Willpower, then the remainder ten percent in Charisma.

 

Attributes Base Score   Efficiency Modified Score

Strength (St)

870 180% 1566

Dexterity (Dx)

870 180% 1566

Agility (Ag)

870 180% 1566

Endurance (En)

720 180% 1296

Constitution (Co)

720 180% 1296

Intelligence (In)

136 125% 170

Wisdom (Ws)

136 125% 170

Charisma (Ch)

90 110% 99

Willpower (Wp)

178 125% 222

 

His physical Attributes had surpassed 1,000 points! He was ten, no, eleven, erm... sixteen times as strong as a common man! He could feel the power coursing through his veins. He was invincible! His improved Willpower broke through Marshall Command. Or maybe it had expired.

"No, you shut up, Marshall!" The man shouted back. "I am more powerful than you ever imagined!"

Marshall cringed, sighed, and pinched his nose. Around the Lord, people started gathering their weapons as they finished healing their wounds with potion or spell.

"You are a level 300 (Uncommon), you idiot. You are at most as strong as a level 150 (Very Rare) or a level 100 (Legendary). But no. You are weak. Weaker than me. I doubt you picked and leveled your sub-Classes, you imbecile!"

"I... I am very powerful now!" He tried to maintain his facade. He hadn't picked his Sub-Classes now, had he?

"And you went from what? Seventeen? Was that your last assessment? Yeah, this last batch was all level seventeen slaves. The system must've converted a lot of Sub-Class slots into extra efficiency, right?" Marshall conjectured.

The man stuttered. "Ye-no! It's none of your business!"

"Without the points to back it off, efficiency is worth shit. I could kill you right now, naked as you are." Marshal argued. "In this world, you massive moron, Rarity is everything. You were born a (Uncommon), you will die an (Uncommon). But I have a proposal for you."

Marshall walked forward without a care in the world, eyes fixed on the man.

"Don't get any closer!" He warned. "I'll..."

"You will do nothing. {I am no threat to you}," Marshall smiled and the man doubted. "In fact, I'll make you truly powerful. Do you wish an (Epic) main Class? Or maybe a (Legendary)? I am sure what you did today will grant you one. True power. Thirty Attribute points per level, better Perks than the crap you have, and much more."

The man's heart wavered.

"My Agility is more than 2,000 points," Marshall said and vanished. He reappeared behind the man, the flat of a dagger pressed against his throat. "And you don't have enough Intelligence and Wisdom combined to follow my movements with your senses. I bet you dumped everything on physical stats."

The man didn't like how Marshall could read him like an open book.

"Do you want to try and fight me?" Marshall whispered in his ear. "Do you think you can win? We duel, to the first blood. I give you armor, a weapon of your choice, enchanted gambeson. I'll fight with only a loincloth and my rapier. How about that? I stake everything I own. I make you my heir and if you draw first blood, I step down. I retire and let you be the boss."

A long pause. Marshall let his words sink before continuing.

"Or we can do another thing. I'll call a World Boss Raid Party, send invites to everyone in this town, and we'll kill you. At level 300, you will give everyone here two free levels. We have more than three hundred survivors here, so it will be a hundred percent profit in levels. I'll even invite the Dungeon. I'll invite everyone in here. You have doubts you can fight me; can you fight everyone else? Naked as you are?"

The wizards and warriors watching the scene were salivating at the thought of earning two levels for free. Their greed and bloodlust pressured on the man. But he was level 300, dammit.

"Ask me how can I help you become truly powerful." Marshall tempted in a whisper. "I can't hold the crowd back forever. Decide. You will serve me one way or another. Alive or dead, I profit from you. I bet you would prefer alive. Join me, and together we shall rule this land as father and son."

The man's heart pounded madly. That was not how things were supposed to go down. He was level 300, dammit!

Marshall withdrew his dagger and walked around. He rubbed his ring and a robe made of the finest furs appeared. He wrapped the comfortable and warm robes on the man's shoulders.

"There, better. We don't need to threaten anyone. Let me tell you how I'll make you powerful. You will be my left-hand lieutenant. I pledge to take good care of you. Now, hear me out to the end before you make a choice or a mistake. You will drop your main Class. Doing that will remove all your Class benefits but the Skills and a perk from each Class. But if you do that, you will have a hundred percent Experience bonus until you reach level 300 again. You will level as a (Legendary) Class. One sub-Class every twenty-five levels instead of one every fifty like your crappy (Uncommon). By the time you reach level one hundred, you will be almost twice as strong as you are now. And you will keep leveling. At level two hundred, you will be able to snap my neck like a twig. With NINE sub-Classes. Each of them giving a thousand points. Do the math."

The man slid his arms through the fur robe. Then he did the math. He was almost three times as smart as he was minutes ago! Marshall let him to his thoughts and went to talk to his troops.

"A (Legendary) Class gives thirty per level, times three hundred. Nine and two, three zeroes. Nine thousand. Then another nine thousand from the sub-Classes... That's four times as many points as I have now!"

He decided that Marshall's offer was very good. The man jumped down the ruined wall. "Lord Marshall!"

Marshall turned around, a friendly smile in his face. "Yes, have you decided? By your face, I believe you made the right choice. I'm proud of you, son."

"Yes, I'll do that. You will make me your heir, then I'll grow strong, right?"

"Yes. And with twice as much Exp, that means the cap will be doubled for you too. You would get four levels for each kill! Get back to your high level in no time!"

The man nodded. "What do I need to do?"

"First, you kneel and close your eyes. Lower your head. There's an oath we must say."

"Yes!" Feeling giddy, the man complied as instructed.

"Good. Now, repeat after me." Marshall said and made a pause.

The man waited for the words.

"[Execute]." Marshall called his Perk's name.

 

*


*

 

I witnessed with mixed feelings as the level 300 man's head rolled on the ground.

 

For killing level 300 [Laborer (Uncommon)] World Boss "Mass Manslaughterer" in a Raid Party, you gained 27,000 Experience points. You gained 44 Dungeon Mana.

> You gained a level! You gained +10 Intelligence, +8 Wisdom, +10 Willpower, +6 Clarity, and +7 Hardness. You have 10 Attribute Points.

> You gained the Magical Meadow Perk. Designate a ring of trees with a flower field in the middle as a magical meadow. Creatures resting among the flowers heal 200% faster. You may only have at most one magical meadow active at any time.

> You gained a level! You gained +10 Intelligence, +8 Wisdom, +10 Willpower, +6 Clarity, and +7 Hardness. You have 10 Attribute Points.

> You gained a level! You gained +10 Intelligence, +8 Wisdom, +10 Willpower, +6 Clarity, and +7 Hardness. You have 10 Attribute Points.

> You gained the Gadget Kitbashing Perk. You can design and build a new prototype contraption on the fly 500% faster. It also has 500% higher chance of failure.

 

Perhaps I should explain myself. Forgive me for retelling the events from a minute before.

 

*


*

 

" ... And you will keep leveling. At level two hundred, you will be able to snap my neck like a twig. With NINE sub-Classes. Each of them giving a thousand points. Do the math." Marshal said and left the man to his thoughts.

The Lord gathered among his most trusted lieutenants. "Talk over me, guys. Discuss strategy. Don't let that moron overhear me."

His men obeyed without question. While they made inane small talk about military issues, Marshall whispered. "Dungeon, I know you are hearing. Thank you for saving my outriders. Let's negotiate. Drop a pebble in my hand if you are. I have a good proposal for you. I know I can trust you. I also know you gave the people I sent down inside you a new life."

Against my better judgment, I conjured a pebble above his hand and dropped it. He caught it in the air.

"Thanks for the trust. Here's what I have for you. We cannot trust this guy. He killed over a hundred people among thousands of monsters. His highest-rarity Class will be related to what happened here. I don't doubt the greedy bastard will drop his main Class and pick some stupid shit. No amount of Attribute points can fix stupid. And he threatened me. I cannot trust him. For his mass manslaughter, I will condemn him to death. I am calling a World Boss raid. I have a Perk from my Raid Leader sub-Class that raises the Exp cap by fifty percent. That means three levels for everyone. Yourself included. Can you give me an answer?"

I carved my answer on a pebble and dropped it on his head. He snatched it with aplomb and even did a flourish.

<Only if you also add the people down here to the raid.>

Marshall smiled. "I can do that. I'll make you a raid sub-leader with two hundred raid slots, you can add your guys down there. {World Boss Raid Party Start}. {Send Invites}."

 

> You are invited for Marshall's level 300 raid party. Your Status information won't be shared with the Raid Leader. Accept (yes / no).

 

I accepted.

 

> You were promoted to raid sub-leader. You have 200 raid slots to fill.

 

I invited the people living on the third floor. they would earn three free levels out of this. Something told me I shouldn't accept this invite but I was pissed at the kill stealer.

The level 300 man jumped down the ruined wall. "Lord Marshall!"

The rest is history.

 

*


*

 

Back to the moment after the Exp messages.

 

> The Raid party has been dismissed! The level 300 world boss, "Mass Manslaughterer" has been vanquished.

 

I bet Marshall received a fat bonus for being the raid leader. Everyone living in the ruined settlement cheered. Three levels for everyone.

That weighed on me. Rarity was everything. The weight of rarity was insurmountable.

Stat allocation, raw power, luck getting good Perks. The level 300 man was still a nobody because he was only (Uncommon). He was worth something only because of his high level.

Though I couldn't disagree with Marshall's reasoning, my XXI century sensibilities, what remained of them, screamed at me. But I had enough blood in my hands and I needed to cooperate with Marshall. Like him or not, he was the authority and ruler among the people on the surface. But I would keep him at arms' length, a hundred miles of tunnels away from my Core at all times if I could.

...

Damn.

...

What a shitty world this one was. The landfill, compared to this, was heaven.

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About the author

MDW

Bio: The author would like to reinforce for the umpteenth time that the characters' opinions are their own, may be intentionally wrong, do not reflect my (MDW's) personal viewpoints neither are included in this work to further any political agenda (I don't even live in the same hemisphere or country as you, whichever those are. I'm writing from the Earth-Sun L3 point for all I care). My works serve no purpose other than to tell stories with conflicting viewpoints. Use of the reader's critical sense is highly advised.

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