Rainer climbed the stairs, reluctant to leave the books behind unopened, but still cautious at the after effect that may leave him open to attack. Thoughts of what kind of classes he’d have to choose from, at the end of it all, filled his mind as he switched between mana and magic detection. With [Arcane Sight] fueled by Arcane power he could leave it on for some time.
“Luna,” Rainer spoke with his thoughts on classes, “What’s exactly the benefit of having a subclass?”
[Arcanist Sub-class Bonus: 25% general improvement and growth to Arcane spells and skills]
He inspected from his status. Something he saw the very first day he came here.
“25% Class Bonus and 10% attributes, Luna says it varies sometimes.”
The variety referred to the [Arcanist] Subclass not giving what made the class unique in the first place. Rainer reasoned then just how valuable that additional class slot was and got a greater understanding of just how powerful Kara could become.
“Rainer...Luna heard you yelling at Kara earlier...is…”
“No, Luna isn’t a burden at all.”
But Luna puffed her cheeks at his answer, ”Of course Luna isn’t burden, Luna and Rainer are inseparable. Luna was just wondering if Rainer plans to go to Fae city one day. Luna doesn’t want to run forever either.”
“I am.” He answered unhesitantly.
“Good,” Rainer could feel her tiny hands grip his hair as she replied, “When Rainer is ready I will join you.”
He saw the relief on Luna’s face when Fira had died. He was glad she turned some of her fear to anger. His negotiation with the Fae had told Rainer much more than intended. Sooner or later, he’d wipe her source of fear from existence.
Shortly after Rainer had entered the Advancement Quest...
The yellow-haired Fae named Janya focused on his injured companion.
[Fairy, Male, Rune Knight lvl 19]
He wore several pieces of a bluish silver armor over his clothes.
No matter how much mana Janya drew from the mana ring and put into Meyta it was no use. The damage healed yet the scars quite clearly remained, covering much of the formerly blue haired Fae’s head. Rainer had injured him far more than he knew. It had already taken a considerable amount just to wake the unconscious Fae. The third Fae of their group, Liliana, had witnessed the whole event, including the warning given.
“I warned you Meyta, that if he used that strange skill to look at you, that you were to back off.”
“Fuck off Janya, who app-” Yet before he could finish the thought Liliana had interrupted.
[Fairy, Female, Rune Knight lvl 17]
A rune lit up on her back and shone through her plate of armor. She thrust her enchanted sword under Metya’s neck.
“The Queen did. And you’d best remember your place.”
“I’m sorry Janya. Liliana, can you remove your sword now?” Metya said while crossing his hands on his chest in surrender.
The similarly blue haired Fae complied with her sword, but didn’t move away from him.
Tana spoke next, ”What’s the time on our reinforcements?”
“How many with their 2nd Class are coming?” Metya asked while gritting his teeth.
“4. I relayed to Maya before she reached the Fairy Ring and told her we’d need as many as we could spare, along with the Fruit…” He said while rubbing an enchanted ring on his finger.
“What?! Do we honestly intend to trade that with him?”
“At the very least until we get the Experiment back.”
“You saw what he did! What if he eats it the moment we give it to him!”
“Then we would have taken away the true potential of a future enemy.”
Janya had only recalled the Arcanist had used [Appraisal] recently. He feared this strange and powerful human had a high chance of passing the trial. If he turned out to be an enemy and didn’t intend on trading the Experiment then having him automatically be forced to take the default 2nd class was the best option.
“Don’t make such a face,” Liliana said while trying to hide her laughter looking at her brother. Any injury was in truth not viewed as serious to the Fae so long as they survived.
”A fire spell cast so quickly that can’t be properly healed? And that according to him he missed? I agree with Janya. Simply being spied on, from such a long distance and outside of his home, shouldn’t have elicited such a reaction. I don’t think the Experiment is, but a captive to him.”
Janya too made such an assumption. It wasn’t hard to see the distaste this Arcanist had for him during their meeting. He hid it well, Janya thought, but he was well versed in the diplomacy between Fae courts, a human could hardly hide his true feelings from him.
He realized just how close to death he came, no longer holding any confidence in the escape plan he had prepared at the time. Had he said one wrong word he may instead look like Metya does and be a corpse at that.
Rainer entered the second floor of the tower and met with a similar scene. He used [Arcane Sight] once more to glance along the bookshelves doing his best to shove his curiosity down. If he had time at this trial’s completion, he’d see if he could learn whatever strange runic language or otherwise these books and walls contained. But, in the end, he thought it could also just be a trap that led the Magic Beast to attack you while you were vulnerable.
A magical shadow moved along the enchanted walls and the bookcases. It sought to cloak itself. And once more it was met with an [Arcane Bolt].
Rainer immediately headed up the stairs growing excited at the prospect of taming and then perhaps studying this beast.
Seemingly conserving itself, Rainer met with no more shadows, not that he lowered his guard in any case. This, however, gave him hope of the Magic Beast’s intellect and that it may be something he can tame. He had passed through ten more floors before he was finally met with a far different scene.
No more was it simply another floor to the tower. The bookcases extended dozens of stories into the ceiling. Various stone steps and bridges linked between, offering a method of climbing higher.
As Rainer climbed the stone steps, he mentally readied [Gravity Domain] as a safety measure.
Suddenly he saw a surge of mana with [Arcane Sight] and four otherwise invisible needles of mana flew toward him. With [Gravity Domain] cast he jumped into the air, the 4 needles of mana harmlessly shattered against the bookcase. His eyes focused trying to find another attack, but found none.
“Fuck,” Rainer swore under his breath. Now he had no choice, but to waste Arcane Power and subsequently Mana in maintaining [Arcane Sight]. He ran up the stairs and crossed the bridges as fast as he could. He spread out [Mana Detection] looking for the Magic Beast, but perhaps as intended by the trial, the mass of enchanted stone and books prevented him from getting anything. Even though they only radiated magic, all detection skills were interfered with, apart from [Arcane Sight].
That’s three times… Rainer internally counted every time most other mages would have likely failed or died. First being lost and eventually killed by the sandstorm. The second was whatever the hidden shadow in the bookcases intended, and finally these insensible and invisible mana needles. Truly a trial sporting a high rate of death. He, of course, was unaware of all the methods Mages had at their disposal in this world, but he could see the difficulty nonetheless.
He had no idea whether the automated shields that say, the Goblin [Fire Mage] had at his disposal could have blocked those needles. He thought their very purpose as needles were to penetrate such a defense.
Nearly reaching the top he had expended half of his mana while converting it into Arcane Power and then using [Arcane Sight]. That was when the Magic Beast finally made its move.
Appearing from thin air, a serpent charged at Rainer. Its whole body was seemingly translucent and blue. Though it's teeth were certainly real. Upon seeing it, Rainer activated [Arcane Awakening] and brought it to 32%. Rainer fired only one of his armed [Arcane Bolt]s toward it, still intent on subjugating it, but the serpent instantly vanished, though not before Rainer appraised it, and found [Appraisal] lacking.
Rainer felt a slight fluctuation in space, not unlike the [Vampyr] or when he uses [Gravity Domain].
Rainer activated [Spatial Domain] and extended it around him. He withdrew his Arcane weaved chains and began swirling them around him, building up speed and prepared for any event.
A spatial fluctuation occurred behind him. He spun around and gripped the serpent. Without pause, he instantly used [Mana Manipulation] to sense within the strange [Magic Beast]’s body, and gained a skill with it.
[Skill Gained: Magic Beast Anatomy lvl 1/10]
Just as the beast was about to bite him, it reeled back from the influx of Arcane Energy into its body. It tried to teleport away once more, but Rainer used his [Spatial Manipulation] to disrupt its attempt and then wrapped it with his chains. Lacking strength in comparison, the [Magic Beast] was unable to escape and could only try to bite Rainer’s arm.
Rainer used the entirety of his small Aura pool to clad his arm and increased [Arcane awakening] to 100%, thereby increasing his defenses.
He decided to put points into [Magic Beast Anatomy] and at the price of 5, 10, and 15, raised it to the needed level 4. The Arcane Energy flowed within the [Magic Beast], soon relaxing the serpent and prompting a message in front of Rainer.
[Familiar contract initiated. Make [Unknown] your Familiar? Y/N]
Rainer hit Yes, and lacking the same level of sentience as a Fairy the Magic Beast had no option to refuse.
[Magic Beast Killed: First Trial Complete. Teleportation to Second and Final Trial will commence in: 02:00:00]
The formerly relaxed beast now felt a strange force tug on it. It screamed out in fear. The very system that created it, called back the deceased beast. Seeing the message Rainer knew he had not in fact chosen a different method of completing the trial, but had done something entirely unexpected. He reasoned too that whatever force operated this trial was then different from the system itself.
He covered his new Familiar in his [Spatial Domain] and tried to prevent the force grabbing at it. The Magic Beast stared momentarily at Rainer before seemingly making a decision, granted time by Rainer’s efforts. It shrunk in size and then slammed into his shoulder. Yet he did not recoil from force, but from pain. A glowing rune burned into his now revealed skin and with it took his new Familiar inside.
Rainer gritted his teeth and gripped at the newly formed Rune, but did not do anything to stop it. After several seconds the burning ceased, and all that remained was slightly reddened skin.
Even Rainer’s new entry to his familiar list was lacking.
[Familiar Gained: Unknown]
[Current Shared Skill: None]
[Familiar Skills: None]
The strange force tugging on the magic beast ceased.
“Rainer what happened!” Luna, who knew Rainer felt pain, said while flying toward his injury.
After a quick flash of her flame, the formerly reddened skin returned to normal.
“I made the magic beast my familiar and then the trial tried to take it back. It flew into my shoulder, I don’t know what happened, what it is, or anything.”
“Humph! What does Rainer need such a silly familiar for? Now Rainer can’t get any more Familiars.”
“What do you mean...I can’t get anymore?”
“Unless Rainer has special class for it, 1 is the limit. Luna has no idea how Rainer even got second one, maybe because Luna is special.”
Or because this Magic Beast was never meant to be a Familiar…either way, nothing I can do now other than to wait for the Trial to be over and see if my new friend plans on coming out.
Rainer sighed realizing he should have asked Luna, or rather anyone, before attempting to make this [Magic Beast] his familiar lest the outcome had turned out to be very different.
42 skill points left.
Seeing these strange runes all around him, and no longer being anywhere near 100, Rainer instead wanted to increase [Faraan Runic Language]. But first, he needed to get at least somewhere near the ground. Having enough Mana left, Rainer used [Gravity Domain] to decrease the gravity and floated down. He decreased it further just before hitting the bottom.
Luna fluttered down behind him.
“Rainer could have taken Luna down with him. Now Luna is tired from flapping her wings.”
“Well, don’t be too tired. I need you to watch over me as I might collapse from raising my [Faraan Runic Language] again.”
“If Rainer has so many skill points, Rainer should instead raise Fae Anatomy.”
Rainer ignored the shameless Fairy and, laying down on the ground, put his 40 points toward level 5 of [Faraan Runic Language].
As before his eyes rolled into the back of his head. He shook for a few moments before laying there unconscious.
He awoke with an even greater understanding of his magic, but before he could ponder over his own magic, he instead wished to try and decipher, if possible, any of the runes around him.
He picked a random book off the shelf and even the title caused him to shirk away in pain. He opened it and following a flash of light found the contents completely empty.
[Skill Gained: Light Resistance lvl 1/10]
[Skill Gained: Blinding Resistance lvl 1/10]
He rubbed his eyes, the pain lessened by his new and past Resistance skills. It was as he thought, the books were, but tricks. Even still he carefully inspected the runes on its cover. After a few seconds of concentration, he still found himself rebuked in pain. Even if all evidence pointed it to simply being a trap Rainer had little else to do other than await his Mana’s recovery and use [Battle Meditation].
Luna relaxed in her smallest form on his head. Occasionally a small sigh escaped her as she stretched, but she carefully monitored Rainer through the familiar bond to see if he needed to be healed. There was, however, not even a bit of tension in her, regardless of the trial coming next.
Time ticked down as Rainer grabbed different books and tried to read their covers. He ran around the room opening any book he could find, and even as he faced a blinding light repeatedly, there was no ceasing. He tried to put a book into his spatial ring but it was rejected similar to how a living thing would be denyed.
With his Mana and Arcane Power fully recovered Rainer stared at the rune in front of him one last time. He kneeled in front of the wall with his painful headache and stared at the rune. He did not simply stare. He delved deep into his knowledge of runes and tried to understand just what this existence before him was. He refused to believe it was merely a way to cloak the [Magic Beast] or as a trap for any overtaken by curiosity.
It had to have meaning, and until he was forced to leave he would believe as such.
Rainer resisted the pain and tried to glimpse merely a part of the rune, and just as the timer reached its end he found what he had been looking for…
Rainer immediately activated [Arcane Sight] on his new surroundings. He had no time to rejoice nor ponder over what he had gained. The residual effect of the new information and understanding still throbbed in his head.
He stood alone, not counting a small fairy peeking out of his coat, on an empty floating island. A gray stone composed the island. He could feel it slowly drifting through the black void around him. There was a strange light that permeated all. With his [Magic Detection] he could sense an energy all too familiar to him in every direction, Arcane Energy.
Given the strange mana-like [Magic Beast] he just faced, he grew ever fearful at what he was about to find here, and as expected his greatest fear was met.
[Arcane Magic Beast]
An unusual worm-like creature approached from the distance, and it was not alone. Given the distance, Rainer prepared an [Arcane Spear]. The [Arcane Spear] vibrated and innately strengthened itself with the Arcane Energy that filled the air around it. With a powerful thrum of magic, the spear launched.
Rainer could only watch in frustration as the spear dissipated and seemed to only slightly increase the size of the [Arcane Magic Beast]. Yet basic Arcane Magic was not his only tool.
This time a [Spear of Arcane-Fire] materialized in his hand. Taking a few seconds to cast the spell Rainer once more readied himself. The Arcane energies drew to the spear; the power grew in strength, and with a fiery launch flew toward its intended target. A different worm this time became slightly burnt by the Arcane-Fire. Yet not only did it grow, but it also healed completely, from what Rainer could see at such a distance.
Rainer backed up slightly. He could try a non-Arcane spell once they approached closer, but seeing the dozens if not surpassing a hundred [Arcane Magic Beast]s in the distance he knew such an action with his mana pool was impossible.
“Can you make me any kind of weapon, a blade or anything!” Rainer quickly asked regretting being so dependent on his magic.
“Luna can, but it won’t be very strong,” She said, while in front of Rainer a small blade took form. Rainer gripped its hilt in midair and after a few swings his [General Blade Mastery] was enough for at least competent use. Given the lightness of it from being formed of Luna’s mana, part of Rainer’s [Weightless Blade Mastery] could be utilized as well.
The very first [Arcane Magic Beast] that Rainer had attacked surged forward, far ahead of its allies. It opened its mouth to reveal sharp rows of teeth as it snarled at Rainer. Like the [Magic Beast] he previously faced, its body was translucent, though it had the violet color of Arcane.
Lacking any innate abilities, the [Arcane Magic Beast] only stupidly charged at Rainer.
Activating [Arcane Awakening] to 32% he quickly sidestepped the creature and slashed down. The blade shattered and left only a tiny nick as the beast gave a small cry. It spun around and once more made a beeline toward Rainer.
“Rainer!” Luna called out as she formed another blade. Rainer created his own from [Arcane Weaving] and following another dodge slashed both blades down. Luna’s shattered doing little damage and Rainer’s cut quite deeply. Yet that was exactly the problem. He desperately tried to pull the blade out, but the [Arcane Magic Beast] greedily consumed the energy.
Out of anger, Rainer cast a [Fire-Whip] and wrapped it around the beast’s body. It roared out in pain. It's body formed of magic, yet still real. The [Fire-Whip] seared its body, but the situation changed. The [Fire-Whip] dissipated as the beast absorbed even this.
Rainer instantly canceled the spell and charged forward, increasing [Arcane Awakening] to 48%, and this time hitting the beast with an [Arcane Clad] fist. The worm slammed down into the ground, and Rainer straddled it. He repeatedly smashed its head with his fist and caved it in. The energy of the beast slowly dissipated into the air, defeated.
But the victory, was short-lived, as it's brethren arrived en masse. Apart from the one that was hit by his [Spear of Arcane-Fire] the [Arcane Magic Beast]s were all around 2-3 feet in length. Rainer swung and dodged, utilizing his [Bare-Fist Fighting]. Luna focused solely on healing Rainer’s depleting stamina as he fought.
“Cast Gift of Stoneskin!” Rainer called out to Luna. He fought free from harm for 30 seconds, but soon the effect ended. Against such a swarm and even under the effect of [Arcane Awakening] it did not take long before a mistake was made. The circular mouth of the worm-like beast bit into Rainer’s back as he yelled in pain. Yet with his improved defenses from multiple sources, the actual physical damage was minor.
But there was a far worse result.
His mana and Arcane power began draining out. Overcome with surprise Rainer was bitten by yet another worm onto his leg.
[Skill Gained: Mana Drain Resistance lvl 1/10]
[Skill Gained: Arcane Energy Drain Resistance lvl 1/10]
Rainer hit the worm on his leg off, and Luna tried to burn off the one at his back, and just as he was about to yell at her to focus on healing him, instead of such a pointless effort, he heard the dying cries of the [Arcane Magic Beast].
“Luna burn all of them!” He yelled out and jumped away from the horde, now focused only on running with Luna tightly gripping to his hair. The worms flew at them and each burned in her flame. Dozens died in this Flame, yet her Flame which was weak in combat soon drained nearly all of her mana.
“Rainer I’m low…” Luna said and fell off his head while he continued running forward.
Rainer instantly turned around and saw a worm jumping toward Luna. Out of instinct, he threw his [Arcane Bolt] at it. And while it only strengthened it, the impact was enough to buy him time.
He dove over her body as worm after worm bit into his back. His mana emptied completely, and his [Arcane Awakening] faded. He could feel the worms began to try and steal a very different energy source. He covered his head with his arms.
[Skill Gained: Stamina Drain Resistance lvl 1/10]
He felt his consciousness slipping. He sensed the flow of energy within him. He felt how the energy was drained from him. He looked within and with all his mind memorized and learned from it.
In a final attempt, he gripped one of the worms in his hand, holding Luna close to him in his other. He grasped at it, using his knowledge of [Magic Beast Anatomy]. In this moment, a battle of wills raged on. Rainer commanded the last of his Arcane Power to ignite and activated [Arcane Awakening].
And then he pulled.
[Skill Gained: Mana Drain lvl 1/10]
And he stole back what was his.
[Skill Gained: Arcane Energy Drain lvl 1/10]
And even as the worm's dying throws resounded and it bit into his unprotected hand, he did not relent.
[Skill Gained: Stamina Drain lvl 1/10]
[Title Gained: Energy Drainer]
[Experience Gained: XX]
He felt his body filling with a minute amount of power, most of the energies drained faded into the background. But it was enough.
He grabbed and tore multiple worms from him as he put Luna in his coat. The worms wriggled in pain biting and trying to escape, but could not fight against his superior Manipulation skills that aided his draining.
Every worm made him stronger. Few tried to lunge and bite his face, but with [Arcane Awakening] now reactivated and fueled by his ever-increasing pool of Arcane Energy they were of little threat. Rainer activated [Gravity Domain], and while they absorbed the mana from the spell, it still hit them hard enough to free Rainer from their bites, his flesh tearing off with them. He roared out in pain that only fueled his desire to see these worms die further.
He charged, grabbing and draining the beasts as fast as he could. Every time he felt invigorated with energy even as his mind grew weary and tired. A skill would often cost either stamina or one’s mental strength, and Rainer found himself slowing down.
Even as he kneeled down, most of the stamina depleting in that same moment, he found himself in a graveyard of [Arcane Magic Beast]s. Over a hundred corpses, some burnt from Luna’s flame, some shriveled up husks from Rainer's efforts, dotted the floating island.
Rainer used his partially recovered mana to heal the unconscious Luna, who had over drafted herself in using her Faerie Fire. Rainer didn’t understand how her flame worked yet clearly it was a far different magic being undrainable by these creatures.
As Luna regained consciousness, he felt the island under him shift.
“Rainer...Rainer!” Luna yelled out seeing the wounds that covered Rainer’s body. His clothes were completely torn from his upper body, and much of his pants had circular holes ripped into them. Were she to see his back covered in blood her reaction would be ever more concerned.
Her mana had yet to recover more than a little. Rainer held Luna in his hand and transferred nearly all his remaining mana into her, after making his to fill up his Arcane Power.
Without pause, she struggled and fluttered onto his head and bathed him in her flame. While the wounds looked severe, with Rainer’s improved constitution and [Physical Resistance] the actual damage did not go beyond his flesh.
The island moved forward, the faintly visible Arcane energy in the surroundings rushed by. Rainer’s body was nearly healed yet feeling Luna’s mana already reaching near empty; Rainer gently grabbed her.
“That’s good enough Luna. Rest. You can remake my clothes later.”
She nodded, her face slightly grimacing.
“You burning all those beasts the way you did was more than enough. Without it, I could never have finished the rest off. So, get ready for whatever’s next…” He said while gazing at the sight in the distance. It was another desolate island and as the one Rainer was on soared past it, the other island too moved quickly and joined, creating a far larger space.
It was not hard for Rainer to guess what was happening as more and more islands merged with his. He sat in [Meditation], quickly recovering his small Aura pool.
Nearly half an hour passed before what was formerly a small island became massive. It extended hundreds of feet in each direction. It began slowing down, and Rainer could hear the grinding of stone as the formerly jagged sides of the island seemed to straighten out and form a perfect circle.
The island beneath him began to shift, and a stone wall erected around it. Tiled floors formed underneath him, but Rainer continued to sit in rest. The perfect amount of time passed for Rainer’s mana to fully recover before the center of the obviously made Arena opened.
To Rainer’s surprise, a goblin rose from the center. A strange shield surrounded the lifting goblin and dissipated the moment he reached the surface.
[Goblin, Male, Warrior lvl 25]
With his knowledge in [Goblin Anatomy], Rainer immediately recognized the goblin in front of him. It was the first he had ever killed, though the level clearly showed it superior.
Rainer, fully recovered and now clothed during the time he and Luna had to recover, unceremoniously fired an [Arcane Bolt] at the goblin. The goblin tried to dodge, but the bolt proved too fast and slammed into him. The cracking of bone resounded in the arena as the goblin fell to the floor.
The platform in the center lowered once more, off to retrieve yet another foe for Rainer. As he waited for it to reach the surface he thought over what exactly he might face.
...if I face any boss from the dungeon…
Rainer thought with his face tensed. But he shook away such thoughts. There was no point contemplating and preparing for a situation he could not win no matter what. A level 25 [Devil King], when a level 1 [Devil King] had proven such a problem, would simply mean his end. Why worry about what would be a determined conclusion when he could instead prepare for a future he could change?
A few minutes later his second foe arrived, the only difference was a slight change in appearance and armor. A few more had come before he faced what should be his first true trial.
[Goblin, Male, Fire Mage lvl 25]
Before the system shield protecting the new arrival could dissipate pillars rose from the ground and covered the Arena, blocking the [Fire Mage] from Rainer’s view.
He rushed forward wielding an [Arcane Blade] from his hand. He turned the corner to see the [Fire Mage] covered in a mana shield and launched himself forward. Even at level 25, the Goblin proved of little challenge.
Rainer’s own improved status and his level 10 [Arcane Blade] went past the Goblin Mage’s shield like air and stabbed through his head.
The elevator platform Rainer could now see, descended once more, but the pillars remained. And the hole that denoted the next location of Rainer’s enemy vanished.
Rainer stared at his [Arcane Blade] in the minute’s rest he received between each enemy. Its energy was chaotic, controlled by the mass of energy behind the blade. It's edge turbulent and the cost for keeping it maintained still quite high at level 10.
Rainer thought of his own [Arcane Awakening] and began cycling the energy in the blade. At first, the Arcane Energy became even more chaotic, but gradually it evened, and the cycling reached a point where it did not cost additional Arcane Power. The blade became clearer and thinner, the cycling now imperceptible. Only several tendrils of Arcane energy swirled around it.
Seeing his nearly depleted Arcane Power, Rainer brought himself back to focus. He could not, however, stop his smile at the new messages that appeared.
[Arcane Blade has reached level 11]
[Experience Gained: XX]
[Arcane Blade amended: Arcane Blade lvl 1/14]
Rainer froze at the new change in level and quickly looked in his spell book.
Arcane Blade became a tier 3 spell...does this mean the remaining four levels denote the possibility of it becoming a tier 7 spell?!
Rainer thought in joy, but hearing the shifting of stone and growling of several goblins all around; he readied himself. He prepared 8 armed [Arcane Bolt]s as he had forgotten they were gone due to them being consumed by the [Arcane Magic Beast]s.
His new [Arcane Blade] cost less [Arcane Power] and its stability meant it could be formed quicker and longer. Rainer doubted Gunthar’s Aura Blade could hold for even a moment against the new version of [Arcane Blade]
But he dissipated the spell and instead formed an [Arcane Bolt] in his hand. The goblins easily fell, though, a single armed [Arcane Bolt] needed to be used due to the closeness of a goblin as he turned a corner.
Rainer’s [Cone of Arcane-Flame] easily handled the subsequent spiders. The Arachne’s fear of his flame had proven entirely correct as it quickly burnt even the level 25 spiders.
A bit cautious, Rainer used an [Arcane Lance], and it flew through the skull of the [Black Boar] quickly ending the level 25 beast.
Rainer faced neither the Winter’s Guardians nor any undead he faced within a dungeon, much to his relief. He thought little of the group in recent days, but remembering that many had families made him realize the consequence of his actions as he thought about them once more. The only relief was that most had already been prepared for a near suicidal run in the dungeon and that they intended to take Rainer with them in their crazed attempt.
Were Kara not a demon nor Rainer far stronger than they believed they all would have died in there. And compared to the rare classed and well-equipped Hunters, Rainer saw outside of the newly evolved dungeon; it was difficult to consider the Winter’s Guardians as proper dungeon delvers.
He made a silent promise to pay back Erik’s family, as he had inadvertently given his life for Rainer's when he had the chance. The rest, if he ever met, he wasn’t sure how he’d react if he'd even know who they were. If he even met them already.
Though the dozens of [Skeleton Warriors], of which he could hear their clacking bones, did not provide him much comfort.
At level 25 the warriors were fast and quickly enclosed in on Rainer. He forced himself into a corner and used [Cone of Arcane-Fire] to take care of the undead horde that mindlessly charged him.
Rainer sat on the ground as he waited for the next foe, likely the [Lich] he faced. He killed 3 [Lich]s in total, along with scattered undead and [Ghoul Wyvern]s of which a [Lich] was riding one. Several of the pillars went back into the ground leaving the area slightly more open as the familiar sound of the elevator sounded in his ears once more.
“Luna stay tight within my jacket, defend yourself any way you can,” Rainer said while forming a [Spear of Holy Arcane-Light] in his hand. Luna went into the coat and prepared to wrap herself in her flame.
At the final sound of the platform elevator Rainer surged forward, [Arcane Awakening] activating to 48%. The violet runic lines glowed across his body, shining through thinner places on his clothes.
He rushed around the corner where had heard the sound and found the first of the three [Lich]s he had killed, not that he could tell the difference. The spear soared from his hand and rammed through the [Lich] who had just barely enough time to form a few [Mana Barrier]s. A futile effort.
In a fury of Arcane and Light, the spear exploded after stabbing into the [Lich] leaving not a trace behind.
Rainer breathed out and prepared for the next foe, remembering his spear had killed dozens of undead surrounding that [Lich]. Yet a [Cone of Arcane-Fire] had solved the situation quite simply. When, of course, combined with his 100% [Arcane Awakening].
Nothing Rainer faced in the past afterward proved even the slightest challenge. Fira’s illusion pointless in his [Spatial Domain]. The Yeti and [Shaman] no more than slightly higher leveled fodder. The few goblin [Mage]s from the mine defenseless against his magic.
The scenery of the Arena changed once more.
Apart from a few scattered pillars, all descended back into the ground. After several minutes of sitting next to a pillar and staring in the middle of the arena, no one appeared. Rainer going over his memories knew this next foe would likely be his last. He had not a clue what he was to face.
Time passed and as if in sync with his Mana regeneration once more, the rumbling of stone could be heard.
“It's likely our final foe Luna…Cast Gift of Lightning, ”Rainer said while standing up.
Luna only gripped his hair a little tighter as they stared forward.
Covered in a barrier was a figure all too familiar to Rainer. Long black hair slightly covering his blue eyes. A long coat hung over his shoulders, with his clothes a mix of black and gray.
Rainer's entire body tensed as he activated [Arcane Awakening] and brought it to the maximum 100%.
The figure directly across from him grinned and repeated the same motion. Rainer was shocked for a moment at how his [Arcane Awakening] looked from a third person perspective.
Without a moment's hesitation, he unleashed all 8 of his armed [Arcane Bolt]s just as the barrier created by the Trial vanished. They flew, and Rainer dashed forward behind them.
His new [Arcane Blade] formed in his hand as he used [Mana Detection] to determine where to attack as the [Arcane Bolt]s met one another in an explosion of power. Yet he found his blade blocked by an identical one. His eyes opened wide in surprise at the Fairy that accompanied this figure as well.
A person is different and changes after every second of thought, no matter how minute, and these differences showed as the two clashed blades. There was no one with a clear advantage, though their actions slightly differed, as each tried to cast another spell as they fought with their [Arcane Blade]s. Neither side succeeded.
The thrum of the Arcane filled the air as the energies bounced off the blades. They clashed endlessly, both forms of Rainer under the effects of [Arcane Awakening] were like fearsome warriors alone within the Arena. An occasional spout of Faerie Fire shot out from either Luna only to be blocked by the other. The flame itself was not one to do much damage in Luna’s hands. The [Arcane Magic Beast]s being an exception that cost nearly all her mana to kill a few dozen.
As Rainer refilled his Arcane Power with mana he noticed a disconcerting truth; his other self did not decrease in energy.
Rainer panicked, and with this panic, he committed a deadly mistake.
He screamed as blood sprayed and his severed forearm flew. He fell back, casting an [Arcane Blade] with his other arm, but found it removed instantly. Just as the [Arcane Blade] was about to fall on him the situation changed.
His new familiar burst out of his shoulders, now a translucent serpent of violet arcane energies. Rainer felt half of his Arcane Power capacity locked as he watched the Serpent bite into his other self’s neck following a teleport. His other self reeled back in pain and Rainer charged forward, an [Arcane Blade] forming from what remained of his arm and stabbed him in the heart.
The fear of death was plastered on this all too real Rainer’s face as he faded into nothing, but loose mana. The serpent immediately shot back into Rainer’s shoulder causing the burning pain once more.
[Second and Final Trial complete. Teleportation to Safe Area will commence in: 00:05:00]
He went with the hope of reattaching his arms as Luna dragged his severed limbs in her fully sized 10-inch form over to Rainer, but the severed arms soon vanished as Rainer’s whole body was instantly healed. His rush of adrenaline and [Pain Resitance] had prevented him from feeling what would have been an immense amount of pain.
He had succeeded. Such a thought filled his mind as he contemplated the future. Where before he felt stifled with danger and enemies at every turn now he felt free. That he could follow his path as he chose. With a class, as rare as [Arcanist], he thought, he couldn’t even imagine the power that would be presented before him when he advanced to the 2nd class.
“We did it...huh Luna.”
“Why does Rainer have such a relieved look. Luna was sure of success from the start.” Even as Rainer’s other self swung his sword down, Luna’s faith was unquenchable. Though, she had already wrapped herself in Faerie Fire and prepared to jump in front of the blade in any case.
“Ah, that’s right. Failure was never an option.” He thought, though his face tensed as he gripped the place on his shoulder where his new familiar had come from. It was his only saving grace.
The Serpent becoming a unique advantage to him against his other self. In truth, Rainer had little idea how he would win otherwise. All his prepared benefits for the trial became useless in the face of such a thing. It even had him copied up until this very point, given the [Arcane Blade]. There was the possibility of learning or increasing a skill during the combat, but would the other self also have such an advantage?
As if I was destined to fail…
His thoughts were interrupted by the teleportation. He found himself in a white void, not unlike his [Sleep Learning]. He, however, could clearly tell the difference and a message that appeared before him told him otherwise as well.
[2nd Class Advancement: Arcanist has been completed.]
[Tallying Achievement Points]
[1st Class Titles: Arcane Scholar, Fae Contractor, Arcane Elementalist, Dungeon Pioneer, Philanderer, Trollsbane, Wielder of Space and Time, Wielder of Fire and Brimstone, Energy Drainer]
[Philanderer: 10 Points]
[Wielder of Fire and Brimstone: 50 Points]
[Arcane Scholar: 50 Points]
[Fae Contractor: 50 Points]
[Dungeon Pioneer: 60 Points]
[Trollsbane: 60 points]
[Arcane Elementalist: 80 Points]
[Energy Drainer: 99 Points]
[Wielder of Space and Time: 99 Points]
[2nd Class Titles: Wielder of the Arcane, Immortal Slayer]
[Wielder of the Arcane: 100 points]
[Immortal Slayer: 180 points.]
[Total Achievement Points: 838]
[Create Enchanted Item: Imagine both the form and properties of any item you desire. Subsequent cost shall be displayed and if within the limit, you will be able to create the item.]
[Item creation limit: 5]
Rainer looked at the messages with furrowed eyebrows. Not because he was surprised at the reward, but because neither Gunthar nor Kara had told him anything about this. And the timer rushing him along didn’t help his thoughts.
Was it a bonus for being an [Arcanist] or…
Rainer instantly concluded that his memories would be altered upon leaving here. He thought over several ways of keeping them, but other than a certain one he discarded the rest. Antagonizing the system any more than he already did by stealing the [Magic Beast] did not seem to be in his interest. He had no idea what consequence he could face trying to keep his memories through brute force.
He instead focused on what he would create. His mind spun with possibilities, but many of them seemed lacking. He looked down at the ring he gained from Yalin, and assumed it was from this trial given how much creating a similar Arcane Ring cost.
[Cost: 400 Points]
[Ring of Arcane Magic: Increase the power Arcane Magic by 40%]
Increasing it, but a single percent brought the price to 1012. This was how he concluded Yalin’s was from his own advancement.
But 40%, to Rainer who had 200% from a talent, and 100% from his class was not much.
And a ring that increased total Arcane Magic was beyond his means, at least by any reasonable amount. Rainer completed a few experiments to test exactly which direction he should go.
[Cost: 400 Points]
[Ring of Magic: Increases the power of all Magic by 5%]
Specialization brought an increase in percentage. And further specialization brought a further increase.
[Cost: 400 Points]
[Ring of Arcane Bolt: Increases the power of Arcane Bolt by 70%]
Rainer finally came across an interesting idea, one that stemmed from just how powerful [Arcane Blade] was. Yet power was something the [Arcane Blade] lacked by no means.
[Cost: 400 Points]
[Ring of the Arcane Blade: Increases the power of Arcane Blade by 70%]
[Cost: 400 Points]
[Ring of Arcane Magic: Decreases the cost of Arcane Magic by 10%]
Yet the cost of his Arcane Magic was precisely something that did not bother him given his Arcane Power...
[Hilt of the Arcane Blade: Decreases the cost of Arcane Blade by 60%. Can extend the length of the hilt up to 5 feet. Can teleport to one’s hand from within 3 feet. ]
At least until it became a significant amount and on an expensive spell. Anything above tier 3, however, cost too much to be a useful decrease. He hoped he could somehow change the name, as he couldn't right now.
The hilt was entirely black and had violet runic markings all across. The hilt had two simple guards forming a cross. Specialization, thankfully, followed a similar power to the increase in magic when the enchantment focused only on a single spell.
Something that perfectly addressed Rainer’s annoyance at having to swing his hand around to wield [Arcane Blade] and improved it as well. He thought over making it a spear instead, but he just used his additional points to make both possible. It was exactly at close range that he needed the [Arcane Blade] for, so making a spear would, in fact, weaken him, likewise making only a hilt would limit him.
He noticed any longer than 5 feet, even as a spear, and the cost seemed to increase astronomically, far more than anything else. He assumed it dealt with the difficulty in creating an item that Arcane Energy could be channeled through.
Finally, he found a teleport option was not expensive so long as the distance wasn’t too far. Though it had a limitation in that he couldn’t teleport it inside of something else, something he instinctively knew when he was thinking of the item.
He spun the hilt in his hand and quickly formed an [Arcane Blade] from its end. Were it not for his [Weightless Blade Mastery] he’d fear even wielding such a fearsome spell.
Rainer only had enough points to make a sub par item, given he wasn’t that interested in anything else in the first place. The defensive items were too weak, and he still had many plans for altering his [Mana Shield] and creating a way to use his Arcane weaved hexes.
He found the perfect solution as he crafted his second and last item.
Rainer finished constructing the second item.
Now it was time, to select his advancement as another screen appeared in front of him. Along with a timer.
Something that made him quite nervous given the importance of such a choice to quite literally his whole future.
[Available 2nd Class Advancements]
[Prerequisite Met: None]
[Grand Arcanist lvl 1/25: As a grand seeker of the Arcane, the true origin of magic, all secrets of the universe await thee. 150% general improvement and growth to Arcane spells and skills. 50% Improvement and growth to all skills. Allows the initial learning of any skill far easier. +6 Intelligence, +6 Affinity, +3 Willpower, +3 Arcane Attunement .3 All Attributes per Level including 1]
Rainer couldn’t help, but be disappointed looking at something so simple, given the supposed rarity of his class, the other options didn’t help dissuade that thought. The primary benefit of the 2nd class was, in the end, being able to hold two primary classes and being able to continue leveling one’s class. Is what he assumed after seeing his first options.
[Prerequisites Met: Has Arcane Aura and Arcane Blade Spell any lvl]
[Grand Arcane Bladesman lvl 1/25: As a grand seeker of the Arcane, the true origin of magic, all secrets of the universe await thee. Wields his magic in his blade and lets his foes know of the Arcane’s versatile power. 130% General improvement and growth to Arcane spells and skills. 50% Improvement and growth to all skills. 50% Total improvement to Aura and the [Arcane Blade] spell. Allows the initial learning of any skill far easier. +4 Intelligence, +4 Affinity, +2 Strength, +2 Dexterity, +2 Aura Control, +2 Aura Attunement, +2 Willpower, +2 Arcane Attunement .3 All Attributes per Level including 1]
[Prerequisites Met: Arcane Energy Manipulation lvl 3, Arcane Weaving any lvl]
[Arcane Weaver lvl 1/25: As a grand seeker of the Arcane, the true origin of magic, all secrets of the universe await thee. 175% General improvement and growth to Arcane spells and skills. 50% improvement and growth to all skills. 30% Total improvement to [Arcane Energy Manipulation] and [Arcane Weaving] +5 Intelligence, +7 Affinity, +4 Willpower, +4 Arcane Attunement .3 All Attributes per Level including 1.
[Prerequisites Met: Arcane Elementalist, Arcane Energy Manipulation any lvl, Any Two Elemental Manipulation any lvl]
[Elemental Grand Arcanist lvl 1/25: As a grand seeker of the Arcane, the true origin of magic, all secrets of the universe await thee. Merges and Wields the elements of magic in one with the Arcane. The Fires lit by the Arcane surpasses all flame, The Water mixed with the Arcane overflow all waters. No element can compare to those merged with the power of the Arcane. 125% general improvement and growth to Arcane spells and skills. 100% Improvement and growth to all magic and magic skills. 25% improvement and growth to all skills. Allows the initial learning of any skill far easier. +6 Intelligence, +6 Affinity, +5 Willpower, +2 Arcane Attunement .3 All Attributes per Level including 1]
He was distraught indeed...until he saw the final option...
[Prerequisites Met: Arcane Awakening any lvl, Arcane Energy manipulation lvl 5, Wielder of the Arcane, Arcane Scholar, Arcane Elementalist]
Rainer thought away the message screens soon after seeing the final class choice given by this list of Prerequisites.
There was no question of what he would pick. He grinned in knowing that those who sought what was his, would find themselves severely lacking. He changed his displayed title to [Immortal Slayer] now that he knew of its strength, and hope the Fae he’d meet can appraise it. Fae were not considered immortal, as he learned from Luna, but Rainer had no doubt it wasn’t exactly a common title.
“Luna, one final thing.”
“Put me to sleep.”
He had a plan for keeping his memories, and only his next venture into [Sleep Learning] after he left this place could tell him if it succeeded. He made his choice just as Luna finished her spell.
After a few minutes, he awoke.
A portal opened in front of him as the timer ended. He gripped his newly created hilt and placed his newly created second item within his pocket. And, as expected, his mind was invaded.
And, as planned, he did not resist.
A swirling portal of void energy opened in front of the World Tree. Even if Gunthar were living once more, there would still be no surprise on his face, yet visible relief was shown on Kara’s.
Rainer stepped out of the void and immediately activated [Arcane Sight] in the assumption of pursuers. He was not incorrect. 3, previously hidden, Fae flew toward him and landed in front of him.
And all three had looks of utter shock and fear over their faces.
Archon…. Janya thought in stunned terror.
The Archon was a mage of legends, an unrivaled existence among them. No one knew the Archon’s race, name, gender nor class. But what was agreed upon, was that the Archon had taught magic to this world, had freed the races from their fear of monsters, and brought forth a new era. While the details varied widely between cultures, even the Tarainan Empire didn’t doubt the once existence of the Archon, though they called it heresy to even speak of the Archon.
But the Fae knew, that the [Archon] was, in fact, a class.
Yet what was the existence before these three Fae?
Janya froze completely. A man of negotiation had no words.
Rainer seeing the Fae landing walked slowly toward them. Every step in the snow crunching the fresh snowflakes beneath. And every small step reverberated in these Fae’s ears.
It had taken Janya’s companions slightly longer to come to the same conclusion as Janya had, but, in the end, they understood.
Time seemed to freeze for these Fae as they looked at the [Archon] before them.
He simply walked by.
“Bring the Fruit to the mansion I am staying at once it arrives. You should know the one,” He said toward the Fae he had scarred, surprised by the effect of his magic. There, however, was no room for anger in this Fae.
Perhaps if he were, but a Level 1 [Archon], the level of fear, would not be as great...
But a level 4 [Archon] holding the title of [Immortal Slayer]? There was little place for anything other than terror. An immortal was one who transcended the boundary and truly had an unlimited Lifespan. A living thing, meaning one could not gain such a title only slaying undead.
“Yes...Lord Archon….” Janya mumbled, showing reverence without even meaning to. The mumbling was heard by Kara who thought she misheard.
Rainer, however, had not been as casual as he seemed and his [Magic Detection] picked up a faint trace of magic coming from the hand of Janya. Somewhat similar to the link between undead and master. Janya had tried to warn the coming reinforcements. He, had failed.
In an instant, an [Arcane Blade] formed on Rainer’s hilt and severed Janya’s hand. Gunthar and Kara immediately struck out against the other two Fae who activated numerous runes on their body in preparation for combat. Rainer's [Arcane Awakening] flared to 48%.
The shackles on Kara’s demonic aura being broken and her Aura pool more than doubling had caused the burned Fae a moment's pause. A moment’s pause that ended with him losing his head as Kara’s Aura enhanced blade cleaved it from his neck.
“Capture her alive Gunthar!” Rainer called out as his Arcane weaved chain wrapped around the [Fae Enchanter]. Before he could cast a single spell, Rainer's Aura clad fist slammed into his head, leaving him unconscious.
Concern became visible in the female [Rune Knight]’s face, concern barely present for the death of the other [Rune Knight], a concern that was not unnoticed by Rainer.
She rushed forward toward Rainer, her Runes flaring out. Having no time to answer his curiosity the chain that had formerly wrapped around Janya shot out toward her.
Her enchanted blade cut through it and her blueish silver armor repelled the remainder. Then a strong force of gravity slammed into her forcing her to kneel. Even as the Gravity increased she resisted as a rune reminiscent of some used in [Mana Shield] radiated brightly on her chest.
Gunthar ended her resistance. The back of his blade, clad in Aura and himself enhanced by it, hit her head, leaving her unconscious.
Rainer stripped them of their strange armor and put it into his spatial ring, dropping out most of the food inside, while Gunthar carried both two living Fae over his shoulder. He hadn’t planned on fighting them until the Fruit was brought, but seeing the strange magical connection formed by Janya he could only assume he had some sort of communication device. He took Janya’s hand and had Luna reattach it, though not before taking the ring into his own spatial ring.
One was to see if she really had no ill feelings toward this Fae, another was to make the interrogation start off on a better note. At least, so long as they were cooperative.
Today is a day of gifts, let’s see exactly what these Fae know…
Rainer thought, his mood both joyous and vengeful as he stared at his new class, status screen, and messages. He still had picking his second class to look forward to, with Luna being able to change his class anywhere, there was no reason to stay at the World Tree Branch. With both Affinity and Intelligence surpassing 100, his mind had unbridled clarity. He could feel the movements of mana within him clearly. He felt a whole new world opened before him ever since he had chosen the [Archon] Class and received his [Deferred Experience].
[Lifespan has been increased by 20.]
[Deferred Experience Gained: 1783%]
[Archon has leveled up to lvl 2/25. Standard Attributes have been distributed. 2 Attribute and skill points have been rewarded]
[Archon has leveled up to lvl 3/25. Standard Attributes have been distributed. 2 Attribute and skill points have been rewarded]
[Archon has leveled up to lvl 4/25. Standard Attributes have been distributed. 2 Attribute and skill points have been rewarded]
[Archon lvl 4/25: A ruler of the Arcane Energies and the Origin of Magic itself. One who peers into the very secrets of the universe. The Arcane is in its essence, an energy of Chaos. Yet to subdue this Chaos is to weaken it, but to use its very Chaos in its control is to fully grasp upon the Arcane and rule over the powerful energy as it's master. 200% General improvement and growth to Arcane spells and skills. 100% General improvement and growth to all skills and spells. 25% Total improvement in all Magic and Energy Manipulation. 25% Total decreased cost in any cycling of Arcane Energy. Allows the initial learning of any skill and its second level far easier. +8 Intelligence, +8 Affinity, +4 Willpower, +5 Arcane Attunement, +1 All Attributes per Level.]
[Primary Classes: Archon Lvl 4/25, None]
[Titles: Immortal Slayer, Arcane Scholar, Fae Contractor, Arcane Elementalist, Dungeon Pioneer, Philanderer, Trollsbane, Wielder of Space and Time, Wielder of Fire and Brimstone, Wielder of the Arcane, Energy Drainer]
[Exp: 8%, XX%]
[Skill Points: 10]
[Talents: Excellent Arcane Affinity, Human Growth, Gift of the Fae(Luna)]
[Stamina Regen: .1% per second]
[Mana Regen: .0088 per second]
[Arcane Power: 60/60]
[Conversion Ratio: 1-11]
[Arcane Aura: 9/9]
[Arcane Attunement: 60]
[Aura Control: 9]
[Aura Attunement: 9]
[Attribute points: 14]
[Shared Experience Gained: .00%]
In other words, it was too low to count.
Rainer thought. He also now understands it would be far more difficult to level. [Immortal Slayer] based on Gunthar's reaction and what he was told was one of the higher-ranked titles, and yet it had only brought him to level 4, versus [Arcane Elementalist] which brought him three levels at level 4.
As the fighting ceased, Rainer felt Kara’s arms wrap around him.
“I’m glad you’re back safely.”
“Me too…” Rainer recalled his thoughts on his trial being impassable. Though he instead looked forward. Preparing for whatever Fae, and demons, came his way.