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The world spun as Threadbare fell, broken by the occasional THWACK of a branch, or SNAP when he hit one small enough that he broke it and kept going.
 
About thirty hit points later he came to a stop, with Golem Body up a level and Toughness increased as well. Snow sprayed around him as he dropped into a bank lightly dusted with pine needles, and he poked his head up warily, certain that the fall had been the least of his problems.
 
The second he did, the deep shadows in the trees fled. He’d had glowgleam cast upon him back in the tunnels, and it chased away the darkness in the little hollow.
 
What it revealed was far, far worse.
 
Tons of tiny minicores filled the shadows under the pines, skittering on the snow, hissing with tiny kitty mouths, and twitching their stingers. But as the light touched them they retreated, turning tail and scampering in fear.
 
All save for some who were clustered around a twitching green form some distance away. Red zeroes and ones drifted up, lots of them. Threadbare squinted, and recognized Celia’s dragon toy, fighting desperately for its existence against a mob of minicores. Well, that would never do! He ran over there, waving his arms and making the shadows dance on the trees. The minicores ripping up the little animated toy glanced up and rain for their venomous lives.
 
But he’d arrived almost too late. The animated toy was in two pieces, stuffing spilling out of it. The upper part, its torso, wings and head twitched and looked at him with an almost sorrowful expression. Filled with feelings that his little fuzzy form could barely express, Threadbare picked the dragon up in trembling paws. He hugged the toy to him, then turned to glower at the shifting, buglike forms hiding in the trees.
 
Then he froze. Up above, far up in the pines, bigger Minicores clung to the branches, ignoring the unease of their brood below. They were on par with the one he’d taken out solo back in the tunnel, but there were about six or seven per tree, at least as far as he could tell.
 
He was glad he’d spotted them before he tried climbing out of this place.
 
PER +1
 
So. What now?
 
“Got it!” He heard Jarrik yell from above, and with a screech and a sound of more snapping branches, the large form of the Kittyhawk crashed down below, a little ways away. “Aw man, now we won’t…” the wind picked up, and Threadbare couldn’t hear the rest of the scout’s words. They were pretty far up there.
 
Suddenly, the dragon toy twisted, and looked directly at him. Its eyes had shifted, he noticed. They looked almost human now.
 
“Threadbare! Oh my gods. Where are you? What is this?” He heard Celia say in his ear, and turned to look for Celia, but didn’t see her. Then it struck him, she was a scout now. Wind’s Whisper was totally a thing she could do, and that was probably it.
 
The little dragon toy looked around. Then it tapped Threadbare on the arm with its nose, and pointed off in one direction. Threadbare stared at it. It tapped again, tugged harder.
 
Oh!
 
INT +1
 
Threadbare set off that way, following the dragon’s pointing head, looking around as he went. The bigger minicores stayed to the trees, thankfully, and the small ones shrunk back from his light. For now, he thought he was safe, as long as he didn’t run into anything that wasn’t a minicore and stayed a good distance away from the bigger ones.
 
A few minutes later, he came across Celia’s waterskin, the dried jerky that Mordecai’s sons had given her for lunch later, and the sewing kit. Also what looked like a spare set of trousers and some of her underwear.
 
Threadbare vaguely remembered seeing some of this spill out of her pack when the winds had ripped him out of it.
 
“Good! Listen, Threadbare, I need you to pick up that Tailor’s kit. I can’t mend…” Her words drifted off into hissing “That’s annoying. I can’t mend you from this distance, so you’ll need to sew yourself…” They faded again. A few seconds passed, and Threadbare picked up the tailoring kit. It wasn’t much, just a sturdy wooden box. He opened it to find needles, thread, and scissors inside, as well as several small patches, a few skeins of yarn, and a thimble.
 
“I’m going to teach you to be a tailor.” Celia said. “So you can fix yourself and get out of here.”
 
A pause, then she spoke again. “Gods this is skilling Wind’s Whisper up fast. Um, here’s what you do…”
 
It took the little girl a few more Whispers to get the idea across, but Threadbare got the notion. Once he was sure he had the steps down, he tried the first one; threading the needle.
 
Which, as it turned out, was really hard with padded paws.
 
DEX +1
DEX +1
 
Finally, more by chance than anything else he got the thread through the loop.
 
LUCK +1
 
From there, the needle went through one of the patches, pulling the thread along. Then the needle went through the little dragon. Three painstaking and crude stitches and one point of Dex later, Threadbare had sewn the patch to the little dragon.
 
By sewing cloth you have unlocked a crafting job; Tailor!
Do you wish to become a Tailor at this time? y/n?
 
Yes, yes he did!
 
You are now a level 1 tailor!
DEX +1
PER +1
You have learned the Tailoring Skill!
Your Tailoring skill is now level 1!
You have learned the Clean and Press Skill!
Your Clean and Press skill is now level 1!
 
The little dragon followed his movements, and the head nodded. “Okay. Now pick up a patch and start sewing it to yourself. Watch for the…”
 
She faded again. Threadbare waited a bit, then decided she wasn’t going to finish the sentence. He tried doing as she said-
 
-and stared in amazement as a brown frame of some sort of unknown material appeared right in front of him, just like the words did. This one said “Tailoring”, and as he watched it filled in with solid brown color.
 
He looked down at his side just as the bar finished filling in, and with a flicker of motion so fast he wasn’t sure he’d seen it, the patch was now sticking to his side
.
Your Tailoring Skill is now level 2!
You have been healed for 10 points!
 
Threadbare tried it a couple of more times. He found out that all he had to do was get the needle in and start a sewing motion, and so long as he fiddled with the needle, the little bar would fill up and the job would complete itself in about ten seconds.
 
Which was good, because that patch he’d sewn on the dragon had taken minutes. This was a lot faster. Two more patches and two more tailoring skill uses later, he was feeling much better. He was also running low on patches.
 
“Listen, Threadbare,” Celia said in his ear again, “Can you climb out of here now?”
 
He pointed up at the trees. The little dragon craned its neck, and studied the clustered large minicores.
 
“Okay, that’s a no. Hold on while I talk with the group.”
 
After a moment, in between the rising winds, Threadbare heard shouting from above. Mostly Beryl’s voice, though Celia’s was mixed in here and there. It eventually died down.
 
“Okay, that’s settled.” Celia’s voice was tight and low. “We’re going to beat up the Kittyhawk again, and go further in…”
 
“So just keep moving forward and we should meet up somewhere at someplace Jarrik calls the…”
 
“There should be a connection between the two paths. He didn’t know how to get into that hidden area, but you stumbled into…”
 
“Oh, and wait a bit. Then see if you can find the Kittyhawk corpses. He says there might be loot…”
 
Threadbare nodded, patted the dragon on the head, and looked back in the sewing kit. Only four more patches left. And he was going to have to go through a lot of stuff to get back to his little girl. Would it last? Probably not, not at a flat ten hp per patch.
 
What to do?
 
He looked around, and then his eyes fell upon the bright, fluffy panties that had spilled out of Celia’s pack. And the trousers, larger than he was.
 
Well, patches were just cloth. And cloth was cloth, wasn’t it?
 
INT +1
 
He hauled out the scissors and got to work, skilling up tailor as he went. He hit level 2 at the job, happy enough to have the extra dex and per. Wasn’t much, but hey.
 
A few minutes later, he had rigged the trouser pockets into carrying packs, and the panties got sewn together into a shirtlike tunic. The stuff he couldn’t wear got cut into patches that went into the tailoring kit. The wooden box would just barely fit into one of the packs, so that was good. That just left one thing to carry.
 
You have equipped a Pantunic!
 
He studied the dragon toy remnant, and it looked sadly back. It was his link to Celia, at least until it deanimated. He couldn’t carry it in a pack, because she was looking through its eyes somehow. It needed to see. It needed to be somewhere it could see without tying up his paws, while he was fighting or climbing or whatever.
 
So where could he put it?
 
And then he had a wonderful idea!
 
Reaching down, he grabbed the dragon toy, carefully moved some of the stuffing back inside it, and stuck it on his head. A few stitches to hold it in place, and it was up there peering around, sitting comfortably above his fuzzy ears.

You have equipped a Draco Chapeaux!
 
And words flashed up, entirely unexpected.
 
By creating and showing off your own unique clothing style, you have unlocked the Model job!
Do you wish to become a Model at this time? y/n?
 
Threadbare stood there in his panty-shirt, pockets hanging off of his back, his new hat flapping its wings to stay balanced on his head, considering the new option.
 
Then a noise from above, and he broke off ruminating to watch a second Kittyhawk come crashing down. He marked where it fell and went back to considering this… model… thing.
 
He really had no clue what a model was or what he’d done of note, but it was a new job, and those made him more powerful. And judging by the things he’d seen in this dungeon, he could use all the power he could get.
 
So yes, he guessed he wanted to be a model.
 
You are now a level 1 Model!

+3 AGL
+3 CHA
+3 PER

You have learned the Dietary Restriction skill!
Your Dietary Restriction skill is now level 1!
You have learned the Fascination skill!
Your Fascination skill is now level 1!
You have learned the Flex skill!
Your Flex skill is now level 1!
You have learned the Self-Esteem skill!
Your Self-Esteem skill is now level 1!
You have learned the Work It Baby skill!
Your Work It Baby skill is now level 1!
 
Well nuts, it didn’t boost anything he used to fight? Oh well. At least agility would help him get around more easily.
 
Right. Next order of business, the Kittyhawk corpses.
 
With the dragon’s help, his still fairly-bright glowgleam effect, and his newly increased perception the little bear managed to hunt down the Kittyhawks. The newly-fallen corpse was in the process of being stripped by a swarm of minicores when he arrived, and they were reluctant to leave, even with the light. He had to kill a few, but they eventually broke and fled. Sadly, they weren’t enough of a challenge to give him any boosts, it looked like.
 
Rummaging around, he found a rolled up piece of parchment that unrolled to reveal drawings and diagrams for something called a “Wrong Flier”. He didn’t understand a word of it, and tucked it in his pants pocket pack. There was also a small ball of something he’d last seen when Celia was cutting meat out of the goat. Though he didn’t know the word for it, it was a bundle of rolled up intestines, curiously clean even though they’d been recently harvested.
 
It didn’t look like much. He considered throwing it away, but decided against it. So far items that monsters dropped had been good to have around, so maybe it would be useful later?
 
WIS +1
 
Oh, well, that settled it. He pocketed it as well, and started hunting for the other corpse.
 
By the time he found it, he was pretty sure that the light radius of his glow-gleam was shrinking. He hadn’t noticed at first, but now it was down to about two-thirds of what it had been. The minicores had noticed this too, and were pressing in around the edges of the light. Worried, Threadbare rummaged through the completely-picked over corpse, that was nothing but bones and wood and cloth, and pulled out another ball of intestines and a large orange and brown gemstone. Into pockets he went.
 
Now where?
 
He tapped the dragon, and waved at it. Seconds crawled by, and finally Celia’s voice returned.
 
“Sorry, we’re climbing the second mountain and it’s hard… everything’s tough. I leveled again. We’re taking it slow and it’s still risky…”
 
“Oh my gods, you’re not even… go towards the second mountain, look for a cave or something. They have to meet up in the middle, near the racket…”
 
Threadbare immediately started off towards the second mountain, or where he thought it was. It really was dark down here in the hollow between the peaks, with the sun pretty well blotted out by the high stone cliffs and the trees shadowing what was left.
 
And eventually, the woods parted to reveal an outcropping from the mountain, and a cave with a sign nailed into the stone above the opening.
 
THIS WAY TO THE CATACOMBS
 
“Oh geeze,” Celia said, as the dragon’s head tracked it. “Be careful. It’s going to be undead for certain. Find a club for skel…”
 
She fizzed out again.
 
“Listen, Dracosnack is about to deanimate, it’s been too long. I can’t watch you after that happens, the Dollseye…”
 
“Just do your best! Don’t die!” Her voice was raw. “I love you and you come back to me!”
 
Resolute, shining brightly from his little girl’s spell, his dragon hat twitching with every step he took, Threadbare marched into the catacombs. Then he stopped, turned around, and grabbed a heavy tree branch from the forest. He didn’t know why Celia wanted him to bring a club, but he was sure he’d figure it out.
 
Then he waddled back in.
 
The first section seemed to be a winding collection of corridors, lined with cat skulls in niches to either side. House-cat skeletons ambled out from holes in the walls, and roamed the corridors, pausing to groom themselves with tongues that no longer existed.
 
To Threadbare, they reminded him of the skeleton puppet that Celia had animated. They were just something like that, he figured. Oddly enough, he wasn’t too far wrong, though it would be years later before he knew that.
 
The teddy bear started toward one cautiously, and sniffed at it. It smelled of dust, and old death. Much like that girl he’d played the card game with, he remembered.
 
Your Scents and Sensibility skill is now level 9!
 
It sniffed back, and whatever it smelled it didn’t seem to like it much. The cat hissed and pounced on him-
-and met Threadbare’s treebranch straight to its skull as it came in.
 
WHACK!
Critical Hit!
 
The thing bounced back and came for him again, and Threadbare punched it whenever it got in close, and used the tree branch when it backed off. It took a rough minute of scuffling, and its claws swiped him a few times, but eventually it was done and his Clubs and Maces skill was two higher. Threadbare looked at the scratches, and the loose fur hanging off him, and shrugged. Not enough to be worth breaking out the sewing kit.
 
He set off down the wide corridor, trying to avoid them when he could. It was harder than it looked, though they entered and exited the holes in the wall, there wasn’t really any rhyme or reason to it. Twice he got jumped moving through what he thought was an empty patch because a skeleton emerged at the wrong time.
 
After the third encounter, he sat down, dug out the sewing kit, and used two of his precious patches to fix most of the damage, and skilling up his tailoring again. He looked down the hall, as far as his light would let him see, and yeah, it was definitely shrinking. He was down to half what he’d started with, he thought. But in that radius, he could see at least six more of the skeletons roaming back and forth.
 
There had to be a better way.
 
Come to think of it, maybe there was. He studied the hole that the cat skeleton had emerged from. It was just about big enough for him.
 
Threadbare poked his head inside, leading with the bobbling dragon head in an effort to tease any hiding kitty remnants into attacking him. Nothing, so he pushed the rest of the way in.
 
It didn’t look like much. There was a long passage, winding back to a tiny corridor of its own, and what looked like a ramp going up.
 
Up was good! Up was where Celia was!
 
Threadbare toddled back that way, leaving the tree branch behind when it wouldn’t fit through the holes.
 
He started up the ramp…
 
…and tumbled to the ground, as a cat skeleton pounced on him from above, hissing! Over and over he went, with the creature’s claws flashing at him, ripping against his seams, ripping patches free.
 
He fetched up at the bottom with the bony kitty on top of him, jaws around his throat, worrying him-
 
-and acting purely on instinct he reached up, wrapped his arms around the cat’s ribs, and hugged.
 
Two things happened, so quickly that he barely had time to comprehend them.
 
First, golden light flared, and the cat went from hissing to screaming, as black essence boiled out of its eyesockets as a red 60 exploded into the air above it.
 
You have healed Bonikitty for 30 points!
Your Innocent Embrace skill is now level 3!
 
The second thing was that he felt way woozier all of a sudden. Though he didn’t know what a headache was, he definitely felt uncomfortable in his noggin region for a bit. Threadbare didn’t know that this was due to the cost of triggering that skill, and that he’d spent fifteen sanity activating it. He definitely didn’t know that standard healing magic interfered with the forces which allowed undead to move and act.
 
All he knew was that he’d hurt it somehow, and the skeleton wanted no more of this particular bear. It turned and fled, and Threadbare struggled to his feet, and shook his paw after it.
 
After a second to make sure that it wouldn’t come back, and half a minute to dig out his sewing tools and patch himself up, Threadbare turned and continued up the ramp.
 
As he went, a green mist started to fill the corridor. It smelled sharp, and unpleasant, so he turned off his nose after his Scents and Sensibility skill went up a level.
 
The further he went into it, the more his Golem Body ticked up, too. He gained about three levels of that skill before it stopped reacting to the green haze.
 
Eventually the small corridor opened up into a larger room, filled with green, rolling clouds. His golden light made weird patterns on it as he entered, and a shape loomed in the center of the room… some sort of structure or object. He headed that way-
 
-and the green haze cleared momentarily to reveal a stone table, and the biggest cat skeleton he’d seen yet, easily twice the size of Celia, crouching on it. Breathstealer the Toxic-kitty stared down at him, and roared, green haze pouring from its skull.
 
A green 6 floated up from Threadbare’s noggin, and went unnoticed.
 
WILL +1
 
Your Stubborn skill is now level 6!
 
Threadbare halted, turned around, and ran back towards the hole he’d left, dragon wings flapping in the breeze of his passing, and dragon head flopping on its long neck. But Breathstealer was faster still, leaping in front of him and batting him with a paw, sending him flying across the room as a red ‘28’ tore out of him.
 
He ended up somewhere in the haze again, looking around as he got to his feet, and heard bony digits pounding the stone floor once more. Annoyed, he waited until it burst out of the mist and charged it right back, making the massive creature skid to a halt in surprise. Threadbare’s claw swiped right into the side of its jaw…
 
Your Brawling skill is now level 11!
Your Claw Swipes skill is now level 9!
 
…and a ’4’ floated up into the air.
 
Threadbare and Breathstealer watched it go. Then they looked at each other.
 
Threadbare bopped it again.
 
Your Brawling skill is now level 12!
Your Claw Swipes skill is now level 10!
 
And a ‘3’ drifted off this time.
 
Breathstealer didn’t look at all hurt. Annoyed at the feeble attacks, the bony behemoth opened its mouth and roared once more!
 
The skill was called Plague Breath…
 
…and just like before, when he’d been fighting the Rat King, it had absolutely no effect on the little golem!
 
Your Golem Body skill is now level 14!
 
He came sailing out of the cloud, latching onto Breathstealer’s neck just above its head-
 
AGL +1
 
-And hugged it for all he was worth. He had one trick that worked against these things, and by gods he was going to use it!
 
Golden light flashed, a red eighty rolled up, and Breathstealer went apeshit as Theadbare’s innocent embrace literally killed it with kindness. Innocent Embrace was a costly skill, one with a sanity cost that scaled as its healing rose… but the amount of healing it did rose with each skill level gained.
 
By the time it was done, three skill ups and a strength bump later, Threadbare was on the ground with a four-alarm headache and nine sanity left, and Breathstealer was a smoldering pile of bones.
 
He lay there exhausted for a second, until-
 
You are now a Level 8 Toy Golem!
All Attributes +2!

You are now a Level 6 Bear!

CON +5
STR +5
WIS +5
Armor +3
Endurance +3
Mental Fortitude +3

You are now a Level 2 Model!

AGL +3
CHA +3
PER +3
 
-Suddenly, Threadbare felt a hell of a lot better. Though he didn’t know it, leveling up refilled his pools… all save for his poor, battered hit points. He sat down and patched his wounds, and as he did the green clouds cleared away. He saw a green, dripping dagger with a curved blade lying on the stone table, right next to another ball of cat intestines. Grabbing them both, he looked around. The haze had dissipated a bit, and there seemed to be an exit ramp, a large one, going up from here. There was another door out, but the handle was way too high up for him to reach, so he decided to give the ramp a try instead.
 
While on it, he got another message from Celia. “Testing? Oh thank heavens, you’re alive. I miss you. I miss you so much…”
 
“We stopped to rest. It’s rough, it’s so rough, we almost lost Jarrik, but we’re coming for you, okay? We won’t…”
 
“This is the last sanity I can spare, then I need to drink up for the next part. You survive, okay? You come back to…”
 
Threadbare squared his shoulders and jogged up the ramp, throwing caution to the winds. Up and up and up, waving his new dagger, not caring what lay between him and danger…
 
…until the ramp leveled out, and he burst into a dusty room.
 
In the half-reduced light of his glow gleam effect, he could see that it was filled with old furniture, covered in sheets. And every sheet, every alcove, every dusty wardrobe and cloaked chair had bonikitties sitting on it.
 
And all of them were watching him. Watching that dragon’s head and wings twitch and bop as he scrambled to a halt.
Watching and rising, slinking forward, butts wiggling as they readied to pounce-
 
“That’s enough now! Let me see who’s come, hmmmm?” An old woman’s voice cracked the silence, as dusty and faded as the room itself.
 
Threadbare lowered the dagger. The undead cats settled. For now.
 
“Come closer, my dears! Let me have a look at you… hoo hoo hoo!”
 
Threadbare paced into the room, and his light showed him the one section of it that wasn’t entirely covered in cats.
There was a table, set with fine, if dusty china, and a half-translucent old human woman sitting at the head of it. Her frizzy hair stuck out from under a glowing, crooked top hat, and she wore a patchwork dress covered with embroidery showing cats playing, cats sleeping, cats doing all sorts of cat things.
 
She was knitting bones. Threadbare watched as she finished knitting spectral strands to old cat’s bones, then once she was done, leaned down to the skull and whispered “Rise…”
 
The new bonikitty stood up, shook itself, and the old ghostly lady clapped her hands with glee. “Oh my dear! You’re good as new! Go play, there’s a good boy.” She pointed toward a hole in the wall, and the skeletal feline leaped down, and paced through, disappearing from sight.
 
“Now then, I suppose we should get to our… little… fight…” She squinted down at Threadbare, and her jaw dropped open.
 
Threadbare waved.
 
Your Adorable skill is now level 15!
 
“Hoo hoo hoo! Hooo hoooo hooo…” She pounded the table noiselessly with one spectral hand. “Oh my goodness, you’re just the cutest little thing! Well, you’d be cuter if you were a cat. But I suppose nobody’s perfect. Except cats.”
 
Beyond her, Threadbare could see a set of stairs. He pointed at them.
 
CHA +1
 
“Mmm, you want to go through?”
 
Threadbare nodded, and she giggled as his dragon hat flopped back and forth.
 
“Well, now we’re in a pickle, then. Normally I’m supposed to fight the people who come here. They all deserve it, since they’ve hurt my poor dearies so! But look at you, you wouldn’t hurt a fly, I bet.”
 
Threadbare nodded. He’d never had to fight any flies, after all. And they seemed really hard to hit, too.
 
“But… Well, the Master never said anything about fighting toys. And if I know you, you’re someone’s toy. Got a little girl to go back to, hm?”
 
Threadbare nodded harder, and mimed hugging the air.
 
“Well, I tell you what. You do something nice for me, and something nice for my dears, and we’ll let you through.” She pointed at the thirty-some Bonikitties scattered around the room.
 
Threadbare nodded, then pointed at the kittens, and shrugged.
 
“Well, they like meat, do you have any of that?”
 
He shook his head. If he’d brought the jerky from Celia’s pack, maybe, but he hadn’t seen a need for it.
 
“Perhaps a toy?”
 
He considered, then pulled out a ball of intestines.
 
Fortunately for him, the old lady didn’t know much anatomy. “Oh! Yes, that’ll do! Just throw it down the ramp, that’ll keep them from being naughty.”
 
He hurled it, and with a meowing, clattering cacophony, the bonikitties rushed after it, following it ALL the way down.
 
“Well done! Come up here.” She patted an adjacent chair. “I won’t be so easily appeased, though.”
 
Threadbare stood in it, staring up at her, eyes just slightly higher than the table. He pointed at the old lady and shrugged.
 
She leaned in and grinned. “To get past ME without a fight, you’ll have to play my favorite game. Tea party!"
 
And if he could have, Threadbare would have smiled.
 
Twenty minutes later, and three Charisma points higher, he bowed deeply to the very happy old ghost, and started to walk up the stairs. She’d given him her second-favorite cat blanket as thanks, tying it around his neck as a cape. It was embroidered with paws all up and down its length, and very, very dusty. But overall he was happy, and it almost seemed to lighten his step as he walked.
 
But not a second later, words flashed up right before his eyes.
 
Through repeated peaceful contact with the undead, you have unlocked the Necromancer job!
Do you want to be a Necromancer at this time? y/n?
 
Wow, another word he didn’t know. But job levels made him stronger, so why not?
 
You are now a level 1 Necromancer!

+3 INT
+3 WILL
+3 WIS

You have learned the skill Assess Corpse!
Your Assess Corpse skill is now level 1!
You have learned the skill Command the Dead!
Your Command the Dead skill is now level 1!
You have learned the skill Soulstone!
Your Soulstone skill is now level 1!
You have learned the skill Speak With Dead!
Your Speak With Dead skill is now level 1!
You have learned the skill Zombies!
Your Zombies skill is now level 1!
 
The bear shook his head, as ideas burst together, filling and expanding it. Then he ran. As thankfully peaceful as that last room had been, it had eaten up precious time. He needed to find his little girl. He needed to get her out of this place! It was dangerous, he now understood that. Any of those things down below could have seriously hurt her, or worse. What was the upper part of this mountain like, if the secret way was so rough?
 
The stairs topped out in a long corridor, broken by stony pillars…. Stalagmites, he knew, though he couldn’t say how. They thinned to sharp, wicked looking points up top, and they were packed in tightly. He picked his way through them, and the ceiling widened up and up until it disappeared.
 
“Hey! Something’s coming!” He heard Jarrik call, and sped up, overjoyed to hear the half-orc’s voice.
 
“I see it… Threadbare? Is that you?” Celia called. Threadbare stopped and jumped up and down, in joy. They were all right! They were alive!”
 
“So that’s how you get down into that chasm. I thought there was a way.” Jarrik said. “Hang on, I’m lowering a rope.”
 
Threadbare picked his way through the stalagmite field, to the side of the wall which wasn’t a wall at all, but a sheer cliff up to the ledge of a deep chasm, a chasm which he was at the bottom of. He grabbed the rope, gave it a few tugs, and got hauled up.
 
And then he was in Celia’s arms, and everything was okay.
 
Golden light flared, and she said “Oh!”
 
You healed Celia 70 points!
Your Innocent Embrace skill is now level 7!
 
Threadbare rubbed his head, as 35 more sanity drained out of him. But what looked to be a bunch of scrapes and bruises and cuts along her arms were now gone, so that was fine.
 
“Right, that’s done then," Beryl said. “Let’s… ah… “
 
“What?” Celia said, turning to look at the dwarven girl.
 
“What the hell is he wearing?”
 
Celia put him down, and Threadbare waved to the group, dragon hat flopping on its loose stitches, resplendent in his panty tunic and kitty cape.

Your Work It Baby skill is now level 2!
 
And then there was nothing but laughter, as the exhausted children sat there giggling, deep in the heart of the dungeon.
 
THREADBARE'S CHARACTER SHEET
 
Spoiler: Spoiler

 

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Lost Demiurge

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Genisyn69 @Genisyn69 ago

Why didn't his scout job level? If not when the others did after the toxic kitty, then when he made his way back up, pathfinding etc.

    Genisyn69 @Genisyn69 ago

    I could understand if only combat jobs or jobs that you used skills from during said combat were leveled but model leveled tailor and scout didnt. Is model a job or a class? Is the golem limited to 5 like everyone else...

      Lost Demiurge
      Author

      Lost Demiurge @Lost Demiurge ago

      Scout's getting experience, but more slowly. Toy Golems, unlike humans, suffer small experience penalties from having lots of jobs when it comes to distributing general and boss monster experience..

      Model leveled because he was fighting and making first impressions with his own designed clothing, and it was going from 1 to 2, so it didn't have as far to go. Scout's almost leveled. It'll definitely be leveled by the end of next chapter.

      His problem is that besides sturdy back, all of the level 1 scout skills are voice activated or require a voice to use. So he's kind of stuck until that gets taken care of.

Yoduda @Yoduda ago

Thanks for the chapter.

    Evrin @Evrin ago

    It says something about your adventure party when the most BA member of the group is a stuffed teddy bear with fifteen levels in adorable.

     

    (I mean come on, he literally just soloed a boss(mini boss?) by himself. See if any of the little fleshies can best that)

Bigman22jr @Bigman22jr ago

Thank you for the chapter.

sorryifimbad @sorryifimbad ago

Thank you for the chapter! Im loving your story.

loimprevisto @loimprevisto ago

Adorable, as always!

Thanks for the chapter!

EDIT: "Pause Button Cape" desperately needs a "Paws" pun.

Thjazi @Thjazi ago

Working his charm, he skates past the catacomb boss.

Accidental use of a hug- was that an instinct resulting from brawling or bear? If not, how did TB come to the conclusion to use it?

Picked up Necromancer. Giggling kids. Heheh.

Thanks for the chapter.

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