Rainer and Gunthar rode on a Werewolf Kara as she dashed away from the Wyverns. Rainer readied his flight spell. He knew what needed to be done. The moment he reached Gunthar’s father he would free him. Reaching him, however, required more than just flight.
Even if he survived another direct hit of the spear, he’d fall out of the sky. He had but one chance, the moment another spear was launched, to soar and grab ahold of the undead variant, and tear the connection with the [Arch-Lich].
With Arcane-Wind swirling around him, Rainer prepared to take to the sky at any moment.
A spear formed once more, in the hand of the undead. The mana, not of his own. A solitary sun amongst the overcast clouds. Kara spun around as Gunthar held on fast. She held Rainer in her claws. Rainer cast a [Gravity Domain] around him and Kara.
Kara launched Rainer straight into the air as the spear flew toward them. She used the edge of his [Gravity Domain] to leap in an alternative direction.
A violet wind swirled forming a sphere around Rainer. He poured Arcane Power into [Arcane-Wind’s Ascent] as he ascended toward his intended target. [Arcane Awakening] rose to its maximum.
The undead’s sword stuttered in its sheath as Rainer unleashed his armed bolts against him. A shield of holy light rose from his other hand to block the magic.
Such a defense was exactly what Rainer had hoped for.
An [Arcane Blade] formed on his hilt and stabbed through the shield. As the blade went past the undead's head, Rainer reached out with his other arm. Wrapping his hand around the [Holy Guardian]'s head, he activated his shield mode.
His [Arcane Sight] revealed to him the connection between servant and master. And he brought upon it, the full force of the Arcane.
The [Arch-Lich] reeled back as he felt an all too familiar force attacking his necromancy. Even as this energy assaulted him, he could not hide the grin upon his face. It was in this moment; he understood the strange magic wielded by the quest partaker was no different than one he fought against in the past.
One he crushed with the cursing of death and in which he killed the final chances of Nalmar.
Even as his mind reeled, [Arch-Lich] poured his deathly magic into the connection.
The bond shattered, and a deadly gift followed.
Rainer felt the connection break. The undead too stopped his blade and grew confused at his new-found freedom. Such thoughts were interrupted as the undead around them swarmed, and Rainer’s loosened grip dropped him from the sky.
The whites of his eyes made themselves visible as the presence of death erupted from him. Luna desperately enacted her flame upon him, holding the curse at bay. She paid no mind to the fall.
The [Ghoul Wyvern] under Theodore rejected his command, and he stabbed it with his aura infused sword. A swirling of golden light encompassed it as he severed the head of the Wyvern, plunging them both to the ground.
“Rainer!” Kara growled out as the muscles in her wolven legs tensed. A Demonic Aura formed around her. She launched herself with abandon.
She caught Rainer’s falling body and used her own to soften the fall, as they crashed back into the ground.
The undead descended from the sky and with an enhancement of Aura landed undamaged. He ran over, sparing his confusion in the situation for later. He watched as another undead joined the fallen trio.
“Theodore!” Gunthar called out expectantly. Dearly, he hoped the undead before him was not only his father but with Rainer’s severing of the connection, that he had regained himself. Theodore answered with more pressing matters.
“I fear your companion has little time,” Theodore called out as a spear of light formed in his hands. He used half of the remaining mana he received from the [Arch-Lich] and launched the mighty spell toward the flying group of wyvern descending upon them.
The bunched-up group fell to the powerful explosive light of the spell. It slammed into the center of their formation and left none surviving in its wake.
Theodore grabbed Rainer off Kara’s back with his hand alit in Holy Light. He placed his hands on Rainer’s chest as he assisted Luna in aiding him.
“Listen Archon, and listen well,” Theodore’s words surprised Gunthar, “You must control the Death Energy and absorb it into your mana pool. You have such power, to make this vile force your own.”
Theodore’s voice echoed within Rainer’s mind, even as he lay struggling to stay alive. He spread out newly converted Arcane Power through his body and fought against the Death Magic. He gripped and tore at it with his dying will. He would control it.
[Skill Gained: Death Manipulation lvl 1/10]
[Death Resistance has reached level 2]
Yet even as he gained control over the foreign power within him, both Theodore and Luna ran low on mana. He had little time. He followed the voice and manipulated the Death Magic inside him into his mana pool. It ravaged within, though it no longer harmed his body.
“Well Done, Archon. You are nearly there. You must remove the power of Death from within you, no different from using Mana in a spell. Force it out of your hands. Attack with it, strike with it, unleash as you must!”
Rainer lifted both of his hands weakly upwards, and Theodore hastily took away the resisting Fairy on Rainer’s chest. His skeletal hand nearly burnt away in her protests yet she soon saw what she had needed to avoid.
A beam of Death Magic poured out of Rainer’s uplifted hands. It came not only from there but seemingly out his whole body. The leaves above them crinkled and decayed into nothingness.
Just as the last amount left him, Rainer’s arms fell, and he lapsed into unconsciousness. Both Kara and Luna went to him.
[Death Manipulation has reached level 2]
Kara noted immediately with her enhanced senses that he had aged slightly, 5 years at most. Yet for someone with a lifespan reaching over 300 years, such an event proved far more significant. When it came to a higher than normal Lifespan attribute, most of one’s life would be spent in youth.
These 5 years of Rainer’s lost appearance represented far more than just 15 years of his actual lifespan and was more akin to aging 35.
Even as she noticed this, Kara only grew glad at having the Fairy Dust they gained earlier. Luna operated her flame once more, not caring for her nearly depleted mana. She healed the remaining damage to his body and let out a sigh of relief.
Kara looked toward the undead for which Rainer had ended up in such a state for.
“Is it you, father…” Gunthar looked toward the undead as well, now that Rainer was confirmed to be alright.
“It is I, my son,” Theodore assumed the undead in front of him could only be Gunthar.
Kara laid Rainer on her lap. She gently stroked Rainer’s hair away from his face as she awaited for his awakening. Luna slept in her usual pocket, exhausted. She had not overdrawn herself as she did during the 2nd Class Advancement and wouldn't need immediate attention. Though, she would eventually need to be fed once more as per usual.
While Fae needed a foreign source of mana as Humans needed food, she did not require this foreign source to recover her own Mana Pool.
“To think you resisted your Necromancer on your own. Truly impressive, Gunthar,” Theodore spoke as Gunthar finished recalling how he met his party. Given their undead forms, their reunion lacked a certain quality.
While Theodore had yet to join the party, he had more than enough leftover mana to operate the skill that allowed both him and Gunthar to keep themselves as their own men. Unlike Gunthar who was but chained to an ordinary [Lich], Theodore had been unable to even partially escape the grasp of his former master.
“How did you know about the Sorcerer, Father?” Gunthar said pointing over to Rainer.
“Sorcerer? In any case such energy…it was not hard to discern. I had watched…the Archon fail in a similar manner. Were it not for that miraculous Lady of the Fae; I do not believe he would have survived. I only know what the Archon had attempted in his dying throes. My attempt at healing and supporting him proved…a useless affair,” The regret in his voice was not difficult to discern.
“The Archon? What do you mean?”
“The Archon had returned after so many years. I knew him as but a boy. He sought to aid us, and yet when trying to sever the connection between a 2nd Class undead, just as your Sorcerer had, the Arch-Lich had engaged in a counterattack. He fought with all he had, and even seemed to conquer the perverse energy within him, and yet…I watched him decay into a corpse right before my eyes.”
“Thank you,” Kara faintly spoke in the distance. She could not understand Theodore, but she did know that he helped Rainer. Gunthar translated the thanks to his father who had yet to become Luna's servant.
“It is I, who is in your debt. How long I had lingered in this eternal hell. To have no choice, but to allow that wretched creature to pick and prod through my thoughts. I shall make it my final act to see his end!” Theodore spoke with fervor.
Gunthar looked on from the side in contemplation. Different from his father, he had not been truly subjugated. He could not imagine such an existence. Such a skill that allowed Theodore to maintain his true self and yet be too weak to resist the orders of the [Arch-Lich].
Gunthar lived in partial control, often gaining freedom to train and be free in his thoughts. Though he could never stray too far or push too hard against orders, he never truly succumbed to his former master.
“To think, an Archon was chosen to complete the quest. The Holy One had not abandoned us. To see our people free of this eternal slavery.”
Gunthar saw no reason to correct his father. That Rainer had been but a powerful, yet low leveled fledging.
“To think the Arch-Lich sought me as a weapon against my son and instead granted his end,” A laugh rose out of the still skeletal mouth of Theodore. Different from Gunthar’s ordinary skeletal form, Theodore’s seemed to have a light glow to it. A shining white even in the overcast. Lacking the pale blue flame, his eye sockets burned with golden light instead.
“What do you mean?” Gunthar asked unsurely.
“I did not allow the Arch-Lich to see all within my mind. Whether it was the real hidden Library of Nalmar or its secret passages, I kept what I sought never to enter his hands. I struggled against revealing secrets that were, in truth, nowhere near as important as the true ones.”
“We need to capture the remaining 5 forts first,” Rainer spoke out, just waking up. He had a general idea of what had happened when he was at the border of death.
“Capture?” Theodore asked confused, and Gunthar responded.
“It is a part of a quest.”
“Then shall we join with the rest of your party?” Theodore asked before he quickly apologized, “I am truly sorry, Archon, I did not mean to bring up such a matter.” He immediately assumed that the rest were no longer around given Theodore only had orders to chase after these four.
It was Gunthar who laughed in response before speaking, “It has only ever been these three. You will understand soon enough why only they were chosen. The Sorcerer is hardly the only one who defies reason among them.”
The golden flames of holy fire within Theodore’s eyes glowed slightly as he imagined the death of the [Arch-Lich].
The [Arch-Lich] grew restless. He noticed he had not earned experience from his effort. He should have been directly responsible for the death of an [Archon]. And yet he gained nothing.
Did he survive?
Victor nervously questioned. He immediately began calling back all undead to the city of Nalmar. He would create an impregnable fortress. [Archon] or not, Victor sought to let none pass the gates. He had been brave in a contest of necromancy, but few mages knew of the [Archon]'s existence and did not fear it.
But it was not by the gate, his foe would travel.
Theodore easily kept up alongside the party as Gunthar and Rainer rode on a transformed Kara. With the added weight of Theodore’s armor, it slowed her down. He, instead, chose to run alongside them.
Theodore had been added as Luna’s servant now receiving mana from her as well. While his level had been reduced upon becoming an undead, his Aura capacity and his ability to regenerate it had not been significantly altered beyond the level up bonuses lost.
Gunthar and Rainer got off of Kara as they reached the first fort left uncaptured. Rainer paused in his steps as he understood a problem.
“Hey Luna, can I remove my 2nd Primary Class?” He asked, now worried about the quest experience being wasted. It had been a little over a day since he selected the [Chronomancer] class so he could not change to another. He did, however, have some hope of removing it.
“Nope,” Luna respond simply.
“Sorcerer, are you perhaps worried about the quest experience?”
“Exactly. It’d be a waste for it to go to Chronomancer, but I suppose there is no point in worrying about it now.”
“Sorcerer…what level is your…Chronomancer,” Gunthar asked doing his best to be unperturbed that Rainer had such a class so casually chosen as his second. Casually, in that, it was a waste to level it.
“Damn Archon…” Theodore swore under his breath, though, he was in truth glad at such strength. [Chronomancer] was a class, Theodore knew, that often required not only the knowledge of at least a tier 2 spatial spell but at least a high affinity for spatial magic.
“Level 4,” Rainer said in response to Gunthar.
“If it was truly an even split between your 2nd Tier Class and your second primary class, would several 2nd class Fae only garner you level 4?”
Rainer thought over his past encounters, and even now shared, there is no way such a thing could be true.
“The 2nd Tier class receives the majority of the experience. It varies depending on the classes themselves, but I would not worry too deeply about wasted quest experience. “
Rainer nodded as they entered the empty fortress and easily gained the quest’s reward.
Rainer recalled his progress as they headed toward a decrepit village. With Kara’s level, far higher than before, their speed far surpassed their travel time during the first journey in Nalmar. They managed to finish all 5 remaining Fortress quests within half a day. A lack of undead made them cautious, yet such caution proved pointless.
Each fort contained nothing different than the ones before it. Rainer managed to collect several [Rings of the Nalmar Knighthood] from previously fallen undead. Most seemed to be damaged from time or by his Arcane Magic that slew them in the first place.
He also took a few tomes relating to the Light Magic he already knew, along with some simple healing spells [Paladin]’s of Nalmar often learned. He could always abandon them if he found more valuable replacements.
[Archon has leveled up to lvl 5/25. Standard Attributes have been distributed. 2 Attribute and skill points have been rewarded]
[Archon has leveled up to lvl 6/25. Standard Attributes have been distributed. 2 Attribute and skill points have been rewarded]
[Primary Classes: Archon(2nd) Lvl 6/25, Chronomancer lvl 4/25]
[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: 28%, 68%]
[Skill Points: 16]
[Talents: Excellent Arcane Affinity, Human Growth, Gift of the Fae(Luna)]
[Stamina Regen: .1% per second]
[Mana Regen: .0114 per second]
[Arcane Power: 72/72]
[Conversion Ratio: 1-11]
[Arcane Attunement: 72]
[Aura Attunement: 11]
[Attribute points: 19]
For each fortress captured he received 50% experience, a combined total of 25% for the fort, and 25% for the small party bonus. 80% of that went to his [Archon] class and 20% to his [Chronomancer]. Compared to the total 100% per fort they received before, the quest experience reduced due to having a someone with a 2nd Tier class in their party.
[Half-Demon/Wolfkin, Female, Blade Dancer lvl 17, Demonic Werewolf lv 14]
Kara had no need to hide her demon half within Nalmar. Theodore did not seem even to notice. He spoke little, beyond telling them where to find another passage into Nalmar. Gunthar too lacked a voice. Rainer understood, remembering the words previously spoken, what Gunthar’s father intended to do.
A solemn mood encompassed the party as Theodore entered one of the collapsed village buildings. Rainer sensed magic and cast [Arcane Sight]. He saw the pulsating of enchantment as a passage in the ground opened.
A staircase descending into the ground presented itself before the party. The tunnel while wide enough to possibly allow Kara in her werewolf form, it had not the size for her to carry anyone. The tunnel itself lead to a natural cave system after only several minutes of walking.
“The city should only be 2-3 days away from here,” Theodore spoke, “We’ll enter beneath the City Hall.”
“How far from this secret library you mentioned.”
“Do not fret, Archon. I know of the prowess of your class. I shall take you there. We must make careful haste once within the city. The moment we are spotted by, but a single undead, the [Arch-Lich] shall know of our presence. I do not imagine the lack of undead among the outskirts a coincidence. But what we find in the library could be quite useful in your preparations for the fight. We have no need to rush.”
Rainer simply nodded. Kara looked over at Rainer for a moment as they walked forward in the tunnel. She had yet to tell him the years of his life he had lost. But if they were to fight again against the [Arch-Lich] she knew she couldn’t keep such an after effect a secret.
“Rainer, there is something you must know…”
“About?” He responded, confused.
“When you were attacked by the Death Magic, you aged about 5 years in appearance.”
Rainer gripped his hair as he grew in anger. He had yet to understand that 5 years in appearance was longer than he thought, but it did not matter. His thoughts filled with granting a final death to the [Arch-Lich].
“Theodore,” He called, “To resist a Necromancer’s control. It requires knowledge of Necromancy, does it not?”
“And?” He asked wondering if such knowledge in Necromancy bothered him.
“Teach me, as much as you can.”
“Glady, Archon,” Theodore hoped there would be no aversion to such a thing. Yet he waited to broach the topic. His studies, studies which had led to the skill allowing him and his son to maintain themselves as undead, were seen poorly by all. Even his wife had left him as he became shunned by his peers. Few citizens of the Holy Empire had any positive views on what they considered black magic or Demons for that matter.
Other than Gunthar and Theodore, there may not have been another member of their city who would not try and kill Kara on sight. Such was their hate.
But he believed his studies important. Perhaps, had he the support, they may have helped the city in its darkest hour.
“The connection between master and servant is one of the soul. Distance does not govern it. The undead themselves are fueled by the boundless strength of their souls and their masters. They are initially raised and empowered by mana. It is my theory the souls themselves naturally draw in energy from the world.”
“And this?” Rainer said while carefully manipulating a wisp of death energy in his hand, earning him an angry skeleton.
“Cancel that immediately!” Theodore yelled at Rainer as he complied, “Even if it is of your own making you cannot casually use such magic as a member of the living.”
He sighed as he explained the energy.
“Death and decay made real. And yet it is what allows Necromancer, with their mana, to raise undead. The power of death is used to draw back the soul and bind it to a deceased body. Keeping the memories and consciousness was a part of my studies,” Theodore kept the fact he had a necromancer as a prisoner and used other inmates as test subjects. His research was not one freely completed.
“I have no interest in the skill…”
“And such is as expected. I did not…I did not intend for my son and I to be such monsters. It was a devolution from my original goal of strengthening the soul and overtaking a necromancer in death. It is not uncommon for my people to choose death over being made a tool of necromancy. I thought to be able to kill the necromancer as he tried to raise you, would be the ultimate final weapon. I came across a way to maintain one’s self in one’s soul in the process.”
Completely different from Gunthar.
Rainer noted on Theodore’s opinion of himself. Rainer, however, had no idea the effect they all had on Gunthar to change him from purely seeking vengeance for his city.
“More importantly, if you can properly manipulate the energies of death and decay, even at a distance you can bend undead to your will.”
“Then teach me how. I have a way to rapidly level Death Manipulation so long as I know what exactly to do.”
“Rapidly as in…” Theodore asked confused. He believed it was more important for the Archon to have access to Nalmar’s hidden library rather than trying to win against the [Arch-Lich] in his own game. More importantly, manipulating death as a member of the living often changed such a label. He only hoped to use these days to inform him about necromancy as much as he could.
Rainer too had such thoughts. But until they reached Nalmar…
“The travel time there may be more than enough.”
Theodore looked over to Gunthar who nodded his head in confirmation.
“Explain to me then, how you would accomplish this.”
Rainer outlined the unlimited nature of [Sleep Learning].
“Can you create…another being to test out spells?”
Rainer was but a young teenager once. He had, of course, tried and failed, such a task.
“And this you, within this space, does it matter if it dies?”
“It doesn’t,” Rainer answered a bit grimly. He knew where this was heading.
“Practicing with Death Manipulation, in reality, may cause damage to yourself, if not outright kill you. Until you can bask in its decaying presence safely, it is best we do not train it outside of your space, given the option. You are truly a far different breed than the Archon I knew. I shall guide you to the best of my ability,” He responded, “But you must remember. It is not a power originally meant for the living. Until you can absorb it, live in it, breathe it, you cannot use it outside of your strange skill.”
That Archon Theodore knew, had been one of the most vehement opponents against Necromancy and any form of soul magic itself. Theodore had always believed such thoughts were lunacy given the power of the class, but he was in no position to argue.
Rainer nodded his head. He wished to try to combine it with Arcane as well. He knew not what effect it could have and grew excited at the prospect of the unknown.
They continued moving forward for a bit longer. As the group paused to rest after a few more hours of travel, Kara, tired from the length of running, was the first to fall asleep. Rainer fell asleep alongside her with the pillows and blankets created by Luna.
Gunthar and Theodore stood in conversation a distance away.
“Father...do you truly intend for this to be your last act? The final death of the [Arch-Lich]. To die with the liberation of our city. I’m sure there is a way to restore us. If you plan on teaching the Sorcerer about Necromancy, then…”
“Then why! Why are you determined to enact such a self-sacrifice?”
Theodore only sighed as he looked up at the cave wall.
“It is not such an easy task, gathering a true immortal body of flesh. I have personally seen the [Arch-Lich] creating his own immortal body. The things he did with it…” Theodore let out a growl before calming himself and continuing, “I saw the components needed, most importantly, the heart of a Unicorn.”
“A chance of fate…”
“Exactly. The Arch-Lich likely came across a dying Unicorn, and still then, paid a dear price. Even if your Archon can figure out the ritual and gain such an item for you, can he do it twice? I am not willing to stay in this form waiting an untold number of years. I am tired…I wish for my end to aid in the death of that wretched creature. Perhaps, in the afterlife, your mother and I can have another chance.”
Gunthar spoke no more and quietly stood by his father’s side. He did not know how his father suffered, but the man before him was not the one he always knew. He lacked the joy and life in his voice, and joy that even after his wife had left him, did not fade. That even as all of society shunned him...
Yet standing by him now, Gunthar could tell; there was little of it left beyond the hatred for his foe. He hoped to change Theodore’s mind in their time of preparation. But he was not sure it could be done.
Rainer sat down in the white void. He formed a small wisp of Death Energy in his palm and began rapidly growing it. He felt his hand turning numb and before long his hand began to wrinkle and decay.
He immediately stopped and refreshed himself. He was thankful there was no pain in the process, but he had not a clue how he would prevent his body from being affected. Little did Rainer know, Theodore had given what he considered an impossible task to Rainer. He did, however, have faint hope in the Archon.
He recalled the [Arch-Lich]’s talents in spatial magic, given how he had likely stopped their transfer, and wondered if there was a connection between time and death magic. He, however, abandoned these thoughts. Without decay, erosion, entropy and other forces, time lacked the power to destroy.
Rainer viewed Death Energy as an aspect of entropy, but not of heat, rather of life.
Having no progress in using it so close to his body, he instead began circling the Death Energy around him. A torrent of darkness. He sought to move it closer and closer while keeping it contained. And with this purpose, stop the energy from harming himself. He constantly needed to refresh his body, but gradually he gained further control over the Death Energy.
[Death Manipulation has reached level 3]
He inspected it with his [Arcane Sight] as he tried to mix Arcane Energy with it but found the two energies combative. Just like with Spatial Magic, he could only assume it would take far more than intuition to create a combination with Arcane. But he did not doubt the possibility. The very system told him that Arcane was the origin of magic. And if fire and light could be bent to its will, he saw no magic as an exception.
Over time he brought the Death Energy rotating around him closer to his body.
He was the eye of the storm. A small light of life amidst Death. Yet toward the goal of allowing Death Energy to touch and inhabit his body, he reached no closer. And in the end, a single slip of his could have him die.
Seeing no further progress and having no idea how to gain this progress, Rainer stopped. He had spent close to 2 hours leveling up [Death Manipulation] to level 3. While being able to manipulate the undead seemed desirable, his competition included a true master of Necromancy. He would rather compete with Arcane if possible. He would not, in any case, try to free an undead in the same manner as he had.
Rainer took out a mental copy of the two Tier 1 Lightning spells given to him by George. He looked forward to the future of visiting Nalmar’s library. If he could gather as many different schools of magic as he could, even just at the tier 1 level, he believed he could gain a title from it. A title that reached toward the second tier and allowed him to level. Such was his goal.
A small spark of lightning. In its base form, useless in combat and a utility spell used in lighting a fire for those incapable of fire magic.
A powerful jolt of lightning, yet it required one’s palm to be on its target. Rainer, however, saw its use immediately. He needed a proper method of capture beyond his Arcane-clad fist. He ever so wished to inspect the runes of more [Rune Knight]s and even more so, [Grand Rune Knight]s.
As always, he first edited the spells to incorporate Mana input and output runes. Such a task on tier 1 spells to the current Rainer, proved no more than a minor inconvenience.
Rainer placed his palm on the floor and cast [Jolt]. It had taken only a few tries before he got the feeling of the spell.
[Spell Gained: Jolt lvl 1/10]
Like how [Arcane-Fire Breath] channeled mana through the lungs and then throat, [Jolt] channeled it to the skin of the palm before outwardly electrifying its target. Such a thing, Rainer found, could not be easily used to gain a manipulation skill.
He learned [Spark], and with some control, he could get it to shoot outward. The tiny spark of electricity crackled along his hands before he shot it into the ground.
[Spell Gained: Spark lvl 1/10]
The runic lines across Rainer’s body in [Arcane Awakening] flared as he drew more and more mana into the [Spark] spell and released it into the ground. Even as the small spark glowed brightly blue, its damage was limited.
As Rainer continually cast the magic, ever focused on manipulating and increasing the power of the lightning, a skill formed.
[Skill Gained: Lightning Manipulation lvl 1/10]
[Spark has reached level 10]
[Reached the maximum proficiency of a Tier 1 spell: Rewarding 1 skill point.]
Rainer held his palm across from one another as he manipulated lightning between his two hands. He singed himself more often than not, but as he gained control, reaching the second level of the skill ended up as a matter of course.
[Lightning Manipulation has reached level 2]
He opened [Arcane Sight]. The hope was that the library would be untouched as they reached it. Given the lack of undead in this tunnel, perhaps it would be, but Rainer still sought to strengthen himself as much as he could before then.
He stared at the lightning surging between his two hands. He drew Arcane Energy and too cycled it between his hands in a similar effort. The parallel moving energies at first competed with one another, but under Rainer’s control, he drew them together.
The lightning merged with the Arcane Energy. It transformed into a glowing violet, and yet there did not seem to be any other changes. It improved in power as it now landed under his Arcane Magic Bonus, but beyond that, it lacked the principal difference that would denote it as mixed with Arcane.
[Skill Gained: Arcane-Lightning Manipulation lvl 1/10]
Arcane-Fire became naturally combustive and burnt fully even the tenacious trolls.
Arcane-Light became naturally explosive and would expel the light dangerously outward.
Arcane-Wind became naturally empowered by the surrounding air. It drew it in and grew ever more powerful.
But Arcane-Lightning changed in no way. That is until his control momentarily slipped. Different from the shock before, his runic lines drew in the turbulent energy. With it, Rainer felt a surge of power throughout his body. It dissipated as quickly as it came. He tried to repeat the process but only damaged himself.
The feeling felt akin to that of [Gift of Lightning], he noted.
He continued repeating it. He soon noticed another different but even more so strange occurrence. While he had unlimited mana for use, he, in the end, still had a Mana Pool of the same size. It refilled instantly, but during one particular hit by the Arcane-Lightning, he found a small change in it. One hit of hundreds and thousands, but one hit nonetheless.
Rainer grew excited as he took a minuscule amount of Arcane-Lightning and continuously shocked himself. He focused on his [Mana Drain] skill and tried to channel it through the Arcane-Lightning. The small biting pain occasionally became unbearable, during which Rainer created and decided to level [Arcane-Lightning Bolt].
[Arcane-Lightning Bolt has reached level 10]
[Reached the maximum proficiency of a Tier 2 spell: Rewarding 2 skill points.]
He constantly switched between the two before finally he got a feel for the Arcane-Lightning and a spell was naturally created from his combination of [Spark] and [Mana Drain]. He recalled a similar occurrence when he intuitively created [Arcane Bolt Armament], what seemed like so long ago.
[Spell Gained: Arcane-Lightning Channeling lvl 1/10]
A tier 4 spell.
He joyously thought as he looked over the information.
[Arcane-Lightning Channeling: Channels a stream of Arcane-Lightning at a target. Can open a connection to the target’s Mana Pool and drain Mana at the cost of reducing the damage of the Arcane-Lightning. Requires caster to channel the spell.]
[Arcane-Lightning Manipulation has reached level 2]
The spell itself was not without limits. It required him to be almost completely still as he cast it. He, as well, could not cast other magic as it channeled. Not only that, but he ventured, he would have to use it for at least a few seconds to recover its initial mana cost. To Rainer, who lacked mana in comparison to those of the same level, it was a welcome start.
Rainer felt someone trying to wake him soon after and opened his eyes in the real world.
Kara still slept by his side. He noted a sleepy Luna poking his cheek.
“Yes?” He asked the fairy who seemingly wanted something.
“Rainer forgot to feed me. Luna worked so hard healing Rainer, and yet he ignored Luna.”
“But you were sleeping, and you seemed fine.”
“Rainer should know when Luna needs a proper feeding.”
He sat up and Luna sat down in front of him. Rainer placed his hand on her back. While she almost always stayed in her smallest form, when feeding she reverted to her largest size, a current 10 inches. Too large to lay comfortably in his hands as he fed her.
Gently, Rainer flowed his mana through Luna eliciting a small gasp from the violet-eyed fairy.
Both Gunthar and Theodore looked over before walking a farther distance away. In near sync, they spoke, “Those who hold out their hands in prayer cannot choose the miracle that comes to them…”
They shared a look between one another; that seemed to transcend their skeletal form, as they moved around a corner to give Rainer and his fairy some privacy.
“Is this a common occurrence? For him to so casually…” Theodore asked.
“It is…”Gunthar sighed out.
He placed a hand on Gunthar’s shoulder in understanding.
“Can he not feed the Lady of the Fae normally in the presence of others?”
“I do not know if he even cares about such a thing...” Gunthar froze as he said this. Rainer had mentioned there was nothing but humans where he came from. It was more than possible Rainer simply didn’t know how to feed Luna normally. He, however, kept this concern to himself. He’d rather think the best and not have his expectations shattered.
Soon after Rainer finished feeding Luna, who now approached 11 inches in size, the party prepared to continue their journey forward. Gunthar and Theodore took up the lead as they continued through the cave system.
“Do you think there is anything we can do?” Kara whispered about Theodore. She mentioned the conversation she overheard in the morning to Rainer as they walked.
“He’s fully aware of my abilities. Even my [Sleep Learning]. If he still believes a Unicorn’s heart difficult to acquire, then it must be true.”
“But even still…”
“I’ve thought it over…but maybe Gunthar is an anomaly. Even before learning of a method to gain a body, he seemed intent on living further. I’ll do my best to convince Theodore, but I do not expect results.”
Changing the subject, Kara stroked Rainer’s cheek, “You know; those few years seemed to have improved your jawline a bit. You look a little less childish,” Kara grinned as she spoke but soon felt a tiny shock in her side. She slapped his shoulder as he laughed.
“What was that,” She complained, a bit more interested than annoyed.
“I wasn’t making progress on Death Manipulation beyond it reaching level 3, so I learned the lightning spells as well as combined it with Arcane. That right there, was a bit of Arcane-Lightning,”He spoke louder, for Theodore to hear. Beyond just a little shock, he mixed some mana into her as well.
“You…reached level 3 of [Death Manipulation]?” Theodore asked in confusion. While he knew the [Archon] could easily learn skills initially, the [Sleep Learning] skill went beyond his expectations.
“Yeah. But no matter what I did I couldn’t get the Death Energy to stop causing me damage.”
“Living necromancers cannot compare to their undead counterparts. In truth…”
“You gave me an impossible task?” Rainer guessed.
“Yes and no. I hoped that strange sleeping of yours would perhaps provide you a skill that learning of which would kill any normal living individual. Added on with your ability as an Archon such was my belief.”
“Would increasing my resistance to death work?”
“Even at level 10, it would likely only slow the effect.”
“On a different matter, you said you learned lightning magic and its manipulation skill in but a single night and then mixed it with,“ Before Theodore finished speaking, Rainer played with a spark of Arcane-Lightning between his hands, ”Truly impressive….I see, I see. I truly understand now Gunthar. If we can even reach the library how can the [Arch-Lich] compare to an existence even more unreasonable than an ordinary Archon!”
Gunthar grew a bit surprised at hearing the excitement in his father’s voice for the first time since they had been together and gained a renewed hope at him leaving with them.
“Theodore, I’m sorry to ask this, but wouldn’t the other undead under the Arch-Lich’s command have told him about this place?”
“Few knew. And most of those few shattered their souls in preventing themselves from being raised as they fell in battle. I believe I was the only one raised amongst those who knew of this particular library. I had not seen any other than I amongst the 2nd Tier Undead who knew of this secret. Back when we were...more easily recognizable,” He ended with hatred, clear in his voice.
“Then let’s reach the secret library,” Rainer said partially in excitement and another part hoping they would not meet a trap.