The words about to leave Rainer’s mouth were caught in his throat as they exited the tunnel. Even through the years, the enchanted stone construction of the city hall shown no wear beyond its dust covered walls. The ceiling extended far beyond reach, the stained glass of its windows depicting battles of yore. Of men wielding swords and spears of light as they smite beasts and monsters of all manner.
Kara too lost herself in the sight. She had not truly seen a structure like this before. The one they witnessed in the dungeon lacked the quality of being a work of art and instead marked a place of battle.
Seeing no caution in Gunthar, the rest continued unabated toward the double doors. They left and walked down the steps. Pillars marked on their left and right. Rainer looked out toward the city. Its roads paved with stone, its shops and manors untouched by time. Lacking even the slightest presence of life, the city existed as no more than a memory of a forgotten time.
Among the skyline, Rainer witnessed various towers jutting into the sky, each resplendent and varied in their construction, each representing a treasure trove of magic he desired.
“The patrols in our way don't amount to many. Follow my lead and keep quiet and our issues should be few,” Gunthar spoke.
They followed him as he weaved between alleyways. Occasionally he’d pause around a corner as the steps of bone and metal to stone sounded only to fade in the distance. For a city filled with such a horde of undead, Rainer felt quite lonely in this seemingly empty place. He could only imagine what this scene elicited in Gunthar and Theodore.
Moving forward once more, they traveled through the back streets of various establishments. Rainer watched Kara with [Arcane Sight] and found himself entranced. She did not do any specific action to walk silently. Her entire body moved in sync. She did not suppress her breath or steps directly but instead meld it all together in a flow of movement. Her breath even and undisturbed by not a single inconsistency. Her Aura calm like a morning lake, not a ripple in sight. Her tail relaxed in a slight swaying motion.
Rainer watched each part slowly gaining but a fraction of her talent.
[Skill Gained: General Stealth lvl 1/10]
He started first trying to walk steadier and quieter. He gradually gained the first skill, allowing him better control over all facets of his movements. Watching Kara’s movements even closer, he obtained more precise skills for controlling his stealth.
[Skill Gained: Quiet Steps lvl 1/10]
[Quiet Steps: To step in a steady and calm way, distributing one’s weight seamlessly.]
[Skill Gained: Quiet Breath lvl 1/10]
[Quiet Breath: To breath in a steady and calm way, reducing noise.]
[Skill Gained: Calm Aura lvl 1/10]
[Calm Aura: The ability to keep one’s Aura in a calm state. Improving efficiency and control at the cost of power.]
Unlike Kara, Rainer needed to agonize over operating each skill separately, beside the [Calm Aura]. He assumed she did that without meaning to, as it did not seem to benefit her, who did not use any Aura to keep silent like Gunthar and Theodore did.
After nearly an hour of travel, they reached the foot of the tower. It looked similar in size to the towers within the Forts they had only recently visited. Large banners hung on the white stone. A symbol of the sun frozen in ice. Rainer thought the symbol screamed arrogance, given that same shining sun represented Nalmar itself. This only excited him.
They walked forward. Gunthar slowly opened the tower’s enchanted door. The portions of the tower blocked by enchantments existed higher up.
Entering inside, they closed the door silently behind them, and a breath of tension flew from Rainer’s mouth who had been focusing everything he had on maintaining his silence. He knew now that the pale blue flame of an undead’s skull acted as its sensory center. Even touch, to a degree, could be felt, though most of the senses beyond sight and sound meant little to the mindless undead only following orders.
“So, where’s the good stuff?” Rainer inquired.
“On the higher floors. The enchantments blocking the doors are quite strong and require a key, but I imagine that is a small obstacle to you, Sorcerer.”
Rainer without pause headed up the stairs. The bottom floor looked like a reception area, though such details escaped his notice.
“Father, could you accompany him? The Sorcerer often gets lost in thought when it comes to magic. I do not wish to see any accidents,” Gunthar asked.
Theodore followed Rainer up the stairs. Rainer himself passed by living areas and various places of experimentation. His goal was to find something that barred his path forward. He finally reached it in a place where the stairs ended. Entering the floor, he faced two shut doors of stone.
He opened his [Arcane Sight] and witnessed the glowing presence of enchantment. It vibrated in his sight, far stronger than any enchantment he had ever looked upon. The stone surrounding the door itself depended more on its own strength and thickness rather than the power of enchantment, which it still contained.
“Can you get through?” Theodore asked, easily catching up to Rainer.
“Yeah. But the question is if destroying it is a bad idea.”
“It should not be of issue. The greatest protection of a tower were its mages that occupied it. They wouldn’t trap their own vaults, lest a wayward apprentice errors and activates it.”
Rainer nodded and placed his hand against the door. He pulled on Arcane Energy and channeled it through the enchanted stone. The stone almost resisted his attempts yet with an extra pulse of Arcane energy, the hum of the enchantment faded. It did not shatter like rings; it merely dissipated to a door of normalcy.
With bated breath Rainer pushed through the stone door, his attributes making ease of the heavy doors. His eyes met a sight most unexpected.
“This…it’s a bit plain…”
“What did you expect? If these Mages of Frozen Sun had a massive library of secrets, how could anyone in Nalmar compare? To call spells surpassing the fourth tier as plain.”
At Theodore’s words, Rainer immediately realized his fault. His most valued notes of [Inferno] and Yalin’s journal of [Deliverence] were too, plain.
In front of him were a few bookcases. Apart from several tomes, they were filled with inert enchanted items. Picking one of them up, Rainer posed a question to Theodore.
“How come some of these enchantments fell to time and others didn’t? Is it because they were better done or…”
“They were better done, as you put it, but in some cases, it is not so simple. These rings,” Theodore said holding up his [Ring of the Nalmar Knighthood], “and the gift…item we created,” He said correcting himself as he drew his sword, “they have enchantments which alter the object itself, whereas most items are of little change and are instead vessels for the enchantment. The former are far more lasting, though, in the end, the length of time is based on the skill of the enchanter. With enough difference in skill, the latter can surpass the former.”
Rainer nodded his head as he hastily grabbed all the tomes on the shelf and placed them on a table. As he walked over, he noticed several vials that interested him.
[Vial of Draconic Essence(Spoiled): A potion made from concentrated Wyvern blood.]
He imagined the number of Wyverns it took to gather such a thing, likely exceeded dozens or hundreds. He remembered his own containers of [Scaled-Wyvern] blood, though Gunthar determined their purpose as for whenever the [Incubation Ring] produced its occupant.
“Why’d you come up alone?” Rainer asked as he opened the first tome titled, [Frozen Sun].
“Gunthar asked me to make sure you didn’t get carried away,” Theodore answered.
“Ah...he has a good point. But I won’t be doing anything outside of my sleep. You can head back downstairs; they are probably training. Though…”
“I’ve been thinking, wouldn’t it make more sense for either you or Gunthar to be my undead?”
“It is best neither Gunthar nor I, are present before the [Arch-Lich]. And taking your already limited mana would be ill advised. “
“I agree, about going in there alone entirely…other then Luna who I can keep close, I won’t be able to protect anyone from the [Arch-Lich].”
“You still have more than enough time to train. With that ability of yours, I have full confidence in your success. I shall support you in the battle with my all.”
“To your death…” Rainer quietly added.
An audible sigh escaped Theodore.
“If I can give my undeath to ensure his true death, I have no hesitation,” He spoke.
“And what if it’s not needed. Will you simply run into the aimless and soon to fail undead? I understand enough to know without the connection to the Mana-Well and the [Arch-Lich] himself there is no way most of those undead can last for long. The 2nd Class ones may collapse on the spot as they do not have the same strength of soul as you do.”
“And what is Gunthar’s plan?” Theodore asked. It wasn’t hard for him to notice Gunthar’s often good mood. He did not believe his son could fake such a thing.
Rainer took a moment to explain his idea of his academy and the general situation in his world.
“And you believe, such a thing will work? That the Mages of your world will allow such a power? That even the support of nobles and kings you seek will not later turn on you?”
“Tell me, Theodore, how does one reach the 3rd Tier Class?”
“I do not know Rainer. I only know that reaching level 25 of a 2nd Tier Class does not grant the quest,” Theodore answered a bit confused on the change of subject.
Several thoughts flew through Rainer’s head as he contemplated if it did exist how one would reach such a stage. He returned, however, to his point.
“Then if a 3rd Tier Individual appeared in front of a King. If he pissed on him in the middle of court what could the King do? Would the 2nd Tier experts under him be willing to die for his pride? The King, might, those truly loyal to him, might, but most? I don’t doubt the 3rd Tier individual might fall to enough of those of the 2nd Tier, but where would you find enough of them willing to make such a sacrifice?”
“They would not head to certain death,” Theodore responded laughing a bit.
“And if even with the benefit of Nalmar’s enchantments you did not acquire the route to the 3rd Tier, I don’t think such a person exists in my world, and even if they do, they will not lower themselves before some King. So then what would that make a full leveled [Archon]?”
“An existence that can piss on a king,” Theodore answered in amusement.
“It might work, it might not. Perhaps, my idea will anger far too many people, without enough support to stop them. But, In the end, is there anyone willing to give their lives to stop us? Such a 2nd Tier group, do they exist? I…” He paused looking to the sleeping fairy in his pocket, “ I want to find a place where she doesn’t need to hide all hours of the day. Where Gunthar can walk around as an undead in his jovial mood with no groups of townspeople joining together with their torches and pitchforks. Where even if people hate Kara as a Half-Demon they won't dare voice it. Where I can study magic without worrying about all the rules and politics of Guilds. And If it doesn’t exist, I’ll create it,” Rainer said as he returned to his book before speaking out a single phrase.
“And you’ve seen Yalin’s spell, with the place I enter at night it is only a matter of time,” He paused for a moment staring at the wall in front of him. He whispered and slowly intoned, “I need only once…show them what I am capable of…”
Theodore thought over his words. In the end, he headed downstairs to join Kara and Gunthar.
Rainer spent just enough time so that he could recall all the tomes he needed in his [Sleep Learning]. He read over the assorted Tier 1 spells Gunthar had brought him as well. He put the tomes of some of the higher tier spells from this Mage Tower into his spatial ring. They would take a bit more time before he could recall their information in [Sleep Learning].
“Luna, you awake?” He asked. The longer he spent with her, the more he could sense through the familiar bond. He already knew the answer.
“Luna is awake,” She responded flying out of his coat.
He looked at the fairy in front of him who then returned to her full 11-inch size. Even at a small height, she looked like a beautiful girl with long silver hair and violet eyes. In appearance, Rainer thought her only a few years younger than him, though of course, with a large size difference.
Given her lack of talking over the past couple days, he imagined her quite bored in their monotonous travel through tunnels and caverns. Much of the enjoyment of the town too, likely left her wanting more than to simply be a carry-on.
“Luna,” He asked a bit hesitantly, “If the Fae Queen no longer existed, would you want to return to your home?”
“Is Rainer trying to abandon Luna…”
“No,” He said with a smile, “I want to find a teacher for you so that you can learn how to cast a Glamour and other Fae spells and skills. We can have more fun that way, at least when you’re larger,” Again his thoughts stuttered on the thought of what would happen when Luna became a full-sized Fae. Due to Luna's size, his current situation of being with Kara wasn't affected. He was in a sort of limbo. He pushed the difficult thought out of his head. With such a quest in front of him, he’d leave it for later, once more.
“Hehe, Rainer should be careful when Luna is full-size. Luna will get plenty of revenge on Rainer.” She said while covering her mouth in a mocking laugh.
“Oh? Then I better take full advantage now,” He managed to grab Luna before she flew away.
“Lun-a w-as on-ly jo-king. Lu-na would never do any-thing to Rai-ner,” But the defenseless Fairy could only giggle as he tickled her.
He watched her breath out one more laugh as he stopped. He took this moment to feed her Mana. Luna flinched back thinking he had returned to his previous actions but, understanding, moved to sit her back against his hand. Her cheeks reddened once more, after having just recovered from her laughter, and her breath turned unsteady as he started out with a small amount of mana.
Looking at the Fairy before him he realized something. Something he noticed when he had instead used such an action to torture the female [Rune Knight]. In his rush to heal Luna, when he had held her for the very first time, he sought the best method of feeding her mana, rather than anything else. But, now, he could tell. There was a simpler way to feed her. But he put away that thought. Luna and Kara, for that matter, didn’t seem to mind this way, so he would do as he pleased. Though, didn’t seem to mind, couldn’t describe Luna in her current state.
The timing between her breaths became shorter as they turned to moans. She held her knees tightly to herself as her voice reached a louder point. He noticed too with his increased mana pool and her increased size at the greater effect his mana had on her. Her hair lightly shined silver and her eyes a deeper violet as she let out louder moans and pushed back fiercely into his hand.
Her eyes radiated a violet light as she let out a final moan and relaxed her body, her previously curled toes returned to normal. Taking a long and deep breath, she closed her eyes and savored the previous feeling.
After a few minutes, Rainer now recovered enough from his earlier coma-like state, had Luna cast a sleeping spell on him. The spell itself wasn’t strong enough to force someone to sleep, but so long as he leaned into it or the subject was drained of stamina, it proved quite effective.
Back, many floors below, Kara held her blade in front of her as she performed the Aura Blade made by Gunthar. He watched half in awe, half in annoyance, as Kara’s Aura Blade surpassed his own. She had already leveled the skill one above him. He had been stuck at the first level, and she had just achieved the second. An astounding rate, he thought.
“Hers is better than yours, is it not?” Theodore asked. Were his face capable of it, he’d hold a mocking smile.
“Such is the unreasonable ability of those around me,” Gunthar responded. His only pride was that Kara likely couldn’t create such a skill on her own.
“That Fairy’s healing too…perhaps…is that the Sacred Faerie Flame she wields?”
Kara stopped her practice at this. Luna herself did not know what was so special about her flame other than the abilities that it displays. Meaning Kara and Rainer too had little clue.
“What do you mean?” Kara had asked before Gunthar managed.
“You do not know? Her flame mixed with Rainer’s mana is likely a bit, changed, but the healing properties. The way it fought the far stronger magic of the [Arch-Lich]. The way it burnt my hand,” He said the last part with a bit of shock in his own voice. He had just recalled that scene. The flame was not hot enough to do such a thing. Instead, it was as if it burnt the very magic of his skeletal form, “The flame can heal, yes. And has limited burning properties, but its primary power, a power I believe heavily amplified by mixing with Rainer’s mana, is to consume magic. Assuming, of course, it is the Sacred Faerie Flame I read about.“
“Consume Magic? But then shouldn’t it have…” Kara asked confused while remembering Rainer’s state.
“Removed Death from Rainer on its own? Perhaps, yet the Lady of the Fae does not know her own ability if it is the case then. She likely only focused on healing Rainer rather than consuming the Death magic within him. I had only just thought of this. It was in an old text I read long, long ago. In truth, I know little about it, and the account was largely incomplete. There may be many more factors to the flame. It's best we speak with them.”
Kara went upstairs but seeing the two of them sleeping peacefully, decided to leave the subject for another time. Luna rested on Rainer’s chest who slept comfortably on a pillow of Luna’s making. Kara headed back downstairs to continue her training.
Elru moved unblocked through the Baron’s mansion. She followed information to the [Archon]’s last known location. Her Glamour blocked her from all but the most sensitive of individuals. As she barged into Charles’ room, he spun around and drew his sword. Years on the battlefield honing his instincts allowed him to detect her general direction, yet before he could even understand the presence before him, a power forced him to kneel.
Her hand gripped his head as her eyes glowed blue, and his too followed. A unique skill of the [Justicar], to reveal the truth.
“The Lord Magus who visited your town. What is his name?”
“Which?” Charles responded mechanically. Different from mind magic, which would require a massive gap in strength to perform anything similar, the [Justicar]’s skill required a far smaller gap. In truth, it only required her to be able to restrain her target.
“The Black haired one,” She said.
“Which?” Charles asked again much to her annoyance.
Again, irritated, she yelled out, “And his last?”
“I do not know,” Charles answered.
“Did he have a fairy with him?”
Her skill could not determine absolute truth in any manner, only the held truth of the individual.
“And where is he now?”
“Which is where!”
“I do not know.”
Elru sighed and collected herself. She had asked numerous townspeople questions, leading her to the Baron. The guest mansion the [Archon] supposedly stayed at; she found empty. And now, her final lead knew nothing. She found all those she questioned largely unhelpful. They knew little of the Lord Magus, and most knew nothing of him being an [Archon].
She found it all strange.
“Is he returning?” She asked in a false hope.
“…Yes,” Charles answered and to her surprise struggled against her skill.
A good man…to try and protect him even under my power. I shall leave you alive.
She smiled and with a burst of mana knocked the Baron unconscious. Her actions may have been far different were this Baron to know of Rainer’s involvement with a captive Fairy.
She left the mansion and went back to her aide, who was currently trying to track the [Archon]’s unique mana. She had already been prepared by Yulia’s own agents, whom she found out from they could only track the use of his magic and not him.
“I found a trace of his magic leaving the city,” Elru’s aide told her. She wore a hood only revealing her similarly blue eyes.
“Show me where. I’ll follow it. After, you shall wait here and contact me if he returns,” Elru said. She had no fear and instead only wished to add the [Archon]’s home to her list of targets. She did not believe Yulia’s story. In fact, she was quite sure Yulia was the one who traded the Fairy to the [Archon] and is now trying to get either one of them killed.
She cared not. Her goal remained to return the wayward Fairy home, that place, however, did not have to be with Yulia. Even if she needed to forgo the paid [Fruit of the World Tree].
Opening his eyes and gazing across the white void Rainer first focused on a task left unfinished. The entire time he spent in [Sleep Learning] [Arcane Awakening] always stayed at its maximum 100%, and now was no different.
He used [Arcane Sight] and looked within himself. He placed a hand on his chest and following his idea tried to draw the life out of him. Were it not for the assistance of his class in learning new skills such an attempt would be folly. Added on was his [Arcane Sight] that allowed not only a true understanding of the energy within him but also the properties of Death Energy.
After his strenuous study and repeated casting of [Deathbolt], Rainer managed to discover something about this element of decay and with the knowledge of his previous draining skills, he gained another.
[Skill Gained: Life Drain lvl 1/10]
[Life Drain: Siphons Life. Stores that Life within one’s self and converts it to a useable resource.]
Rainer knew from the skill that if it weren't his own life he was draining, he wouldn’t be able to return it to his Lifespan. He understood too that Death Energy naturally drew upon life and then used it to fuel itself. That was exactly where he planned on merging his Arcane into. To act as a battery or a barrier, to store and protect that drained life rather than have it automatically fuel the Death Energy. And with that, he can then prevent the mixed energy from wantonly taking the life of everything it touches.
His level 6 [Death Manipulation] and level 7 [Arcane Energy Manipulation] would combine and reveal their prowess.
At least, such was his goal.
He brought out a wisp of Death Energy over his hand. He kept it close and felt the life leave him. He focused on this with [Arcane Sight] and obtained another skill he thought he needed.
[Skill Gained: Life Detection lvl 1/10]
[Life Detection: Detects the power of Life Energy.]
He noted it did not specify where the power of life may be. He focused on the draining life of his. He brought out Arcane Energy from his other hand. Shining particles of violet and white floated. He turned it into a stream of energy and swirled it around the power of decay in his other hand.
He managed and monitored the three different energies. He slowly flowed the Arcane Energy alongside the Life Energy that was leaving him. Death Energy and Arcane became combative toward one another, but he focused on keeping the Arcane as the bridge between the Life Energy. The life naturally flowed and absorbed toward the mass of Death, taking the Arcane with it.
The cloud of black burst outward, seemingly rejecting Rainer’s attempt as the energies split away from one another. He let out a breath of air as he attempted to merge them once more. Repeatedly he refreshed his aging body. He couldn’t help but grin. His confidence always reached an all-time high when the method involved something almost only he could accomplish.
After numerous attempts, he finally managed to contain the expulsion of energy and the Arcane guiding the Life Energy, merged at the same time. It empowered the cloud of death, yet at the same time controlled its natural draining processes. A cloud of the blackest death tinged in the violet of the Arcane.
[Skill Gained: Arcane-Death Manipulation lvl 1/10]
Absolute control, Rainer thought. He swirled a mass of Arcane-Death Energy around him. He inhaled it, covered himself with its presence, and yet it affected him none. He could even cycle his own Life through it and return it to himself. He knew still that he couldn’t simply take the unique Life Energy of another and make it his own, but he believed that his Arcane-Death might contain such a secret to be explored.
Immediately, he sought to form a bolt of Arcane and Death, and soon found two variations.
[Spell Gained: Arcane Bolt of Death lvl 1/10]
A tier 3 spell. It surpassed the ordinary Arcane Bolt by 2 degrees.
[Arcane Bolt of Death: Fires an Arcane Bolt mixed with the power of death, increasing its damage against the living.]
[Spell Gained: Arcane-Deathbolt lvl 1/10]
A tier 4 spell, a rank above its previous rendition.
[Arcane-Deathbolt: Forms a compressed mass of the very essence of Death and Decay itself, empowered and controlled by the mystical forces of the Arcane. The spell travels slowly yet erodes and corrupts powerfully.]
The former while traveling only slightly slower than a regular [Arcane Bolt] took a minor amount of life and dealt far more damage to the living, Rainer noted as he tested the spell. He ventured he could damage the connection between Master and undead servant as well. Rather he knew from [Arcane-Death Manipulation] how easy such a task would be.
It’s affected by my Arcane bonuses now…
He thought to himself in understanding. Beyond just the benefits of empowerment and control, his mixing of Arcane and Death brought towards it his massive class and talent bonus. He still did not wish to compete directly against the [Arch-Lich], but he had more confidence if it was needed.
He sat on the white ground. He didn’t wish to risk taking his time in leveling [Arcane-Death Manipulation], even though he lost experience at the prospect of leveling it normally, and instead swirled it around him as he first took out the copies of the lower tier spells Gunthar had brought from his second trip.
He started first with the element of water. He picked but a single spell, determined to gain a foothold in as many elements as he could as quick as possible.
The spell was simply named. It was designed for utility more than anything else. He knew from the higher ranked tomes he read earlier most water spells were for either controlling existing water or for the creation of ice, which while having a separate manipulation skill fell under the same school of magic. That isn’t to say a powerful enough jet of water couldn’t inflict significant damage, simply that for most it was more efficient to focus the magic in other manners.
[Arcane-Death Manipulation has reached level 2]
He leveled as he finished reading. He stopped the Arcane-Death swirling around him, unable to maintain such a thing while focusing on new spells. After understanding the complexities of the second level, it would be one of his most difficult manipulation skills to level further, beyond his [Archon] class bonus.
After altering its runes, he cast the spell simply enough. The more he learned tier 1 spells, the more he found he could learn new ones faster.
[Spell Gained: Water Ball lvl 1/10]
As before he fired the spell repeatedly. Each cast of the spell he’d manipulate more mana into it and attempt to bend the water into different shapes. He’d spin the water, extend it, flatten it, all facilitated by mana. In the end, these movements, combined with his thoughts of moving the water, allowed him to gain what he sought.
[Skill Gained: Water Manipulation lvl 1/10]
[Water Ball has reached level 10]
[Reached the maximum proficiency of a Tier 1 spell: Rewarding 1 skill point.]
He immediately went toward a tier 2 Ice spell, [Ice Shard]. He’d save mixing Arcane into his new elements until he learned all the ones Gunthar had gathered for him.
Compared to a tier 1 spell, more time was needed for modification, but Rainer still managed to cast an [Ice Shard] in a few tries.
[Spell Gained: Ice Shard lvl 1/10]
[Ice Shard: Forms a hardened shard of ice and launches it at one’s intended target]
With the aid of [Water Manipulation] Rainer’s control over the [Ice Shard] started at a far higher level than the [Water Ball]. Yet he soon found that he made no progress toward manipulating the ice. He determined using [Water Manipulation] was a crutch rather than a helping hand.
Relying only on [Mana Manipulation] Rainer altered the shard. He’d attach additional spikes or harden the ice further. Mostly, he only increased its size through the addition of more mana. But, even with this, he lacked any skill. Eventually, the spell reached level 10.
[Ice Shard has reached level 10]
[Reached the maximum proficiency of a Tier 2 spell: Rewarding 2 skill points.]
He knew for certain, from the very tome he read from, that manipulating Ice was a separate skill from water. Of course, the book also listed it less as a skill to be gained but more as a distinction between those talented in water magics and its close cousin ice.
Having no desire to continually repeat an action that wasn’t working he sat back on the ground and opened a tome on the next element he sought to learn, Tera. He made it a point, to ask then what the world, both the one containing Nalmar, and the previous, was called.
He couldn’t, in the slightest, understand why this spell was a fist instead of just a normal rock or a spike. Perhaps a lack of Nalmar’s knowledge or Gunthar’s haste, he had only brought a tier 2 earth spell of random use.
The tome and formula in front of him didn’t make it clearer. The fist shape was supposed to make the spell more intuitive to cast and more forceful in its casting.
He found much of Nalmar’s explanation on magic was, even more, emotion driven than the Goblin’s notes on fire magic. In fact, if one were to simply assume based on the differences in how magic was explained, he thought others would see the goblin’s civilization being far more advanced.
Due to his unwillingness in casting such a ridiculous spell, it had taken him nearly two hundred tries to gain it.
[Spell Gained: Rock Fist lvl 1/10]
[Rock Fist: Forms a fist of rock and propels it forward at the intended target.]
Even more so, as a ranged spell, and not as a spell where one manipulated a fist to fight for them, he saw no reason for the fist shape. Looking at the spell floating in front of him he could only be glad to cast such an embarrassing spell in the privacy of his sleep.
Though, the following title had granted him relief from such feelings.
[Title Gained: Basic Elementalist]
[Experience Gained: 0.01%, 84%]
[Chronomancer has leveled up to lvl 6/25. Standard Attributes have been distributed. 1 Attribute and skill point gained.]
[Elementalist: One who has learned Tier 2 spells of all four basic elements: Water, Fire, Tera, Wind. 5% Experience Bonus.]
He noted that his Tier 2 [Ice Shard] spell had, in fact, counted for Water and was listed in his Water Spellbook.
He focused back on his much distasted [Rock Fist] and cast it repeatedly. Increasing mana to the spell created a harder and faster flying [Rock Fist]. His focus landed entirely on the [Rock Fist] as he sought to as quickly as possible gain the manipulation skill. With the aid of his mana he gradually altered the fist itself, creating spiked knuckles and working toward making the seemingly odd spell a tad more useful. He succeeded, in his endeavors.
[Rock Fist has reached level 10]
[Reached the maximum proficiency of a Tier 2 spell: Rewarding 2 skill points.]
[Skill Gained: Earth Manipulation lvl 1/10]
[Spell Gained: Spiked Rock Fist lvl 1/10]
[Title Gained: Manipulator of the Elements]
[Experience Gained: 0.01%, 233%]
He whistled aloud at the experience gained. With most of it going toward [Archon] that 233% cut a far more impressive figure. He now understood, however, that 0.01% was almost like a bonus, rather than the actual amount that likely was far smaller. Not only was each increase between level 20-25 massive, the difference for the very first level of [Archon] likely surpassed even further. Added on was then the gap between level 3 and 4 and Rainer was not surprised that even such an increase only earned a nod.
[Chronomancer has leveled up to lvl 7/25. Standard Attributes have been distributed.]
[Chronomancer has leveled up to lvl 8/25. Standard Attributes have been distributed.]
[Manipulator of the Elements: A rare individual capable of manipulating all the basic elements. 5% Experience Bonus.]
Among the books brought by Gunthar, there remained only a single element, at least available to learn, for Rainer. Darkness.
The spell itself, Rainer noted, seemed to lean more toward illusion rather than the evil connotations of something known as Darkness.
It was a tier 2 spell, once more Gunthar either couldn’t get the necessary tier 1 spell in his rush or it did not exist. The spell made oneself of darkness as the light that hit one absorbed into the thin film of shadow. He thought it was a particularly dangerous spell to include in a public mage library, but given its lack of suppression, even those unattuned to mana could likely feel its use.
Little more than a parlor trick then, for any mage at least. It would be easy to overload with a Light spell as well given its construction.
Even more so, Rainer thought as he edited the magic formulae with his Mana Input and Output runes, the spell itself had a long and difficult chant. However, Rainer had a moment of inspiration as he looked at the spell. There was a rune slightly like one in [Deliverance]. He locked the thought away, sure in that he would not forget it. He was still far from understanding that tier 7 spell and instead wished to learn the spell in front of him.
Just as he was about to begin learning the tier 2 Darkness spell, the situation changed.
Rainer jostled awake, earlier than intended, at a far too familiar feeling.
A Spatial Domain…
Yet it was not his. He felt it for just a moment, like a flash of radar, searching for the all too unique signs of life in this undead city. A focused purpose that would allow this spell to spread a wide distance.
And soon, the rumbling of bones resounded in the city.
“Luna wake up,” He said while jostling the sleeping Fairy on his head.
“Rainer…Luna is still so small…it won’t…”
But he ignored her odd pleas and shook her awake.
“We’ve been found,” He spoke simply to the small Fairy in his hands. As per usual, she held her smallest possible size of only several inches.
Her face displayed an odd seriousness as she flew into his coat. She would be prepared to heal him at a moment’s notice.
Rainer rushed down the stairs and was met with worried looks from the group.
“Where do you think they are moving?” Kara asked the group.
“Perhaps, they are heading out of the city once more?”
“No, they are heading toward us,” Rainer answered to their surprise, “I felt magic on me. He sensed us.”
The party stood in silence for a moment before Gunthar spoke, “Then should we try and head back through the tunnel before they reach us?”
“They may encircle us before then, we can break through but,” Rainer paused before continuing, “but this may be our last chance to reach the [Arch-Lich] in any case.”
“I can lead us there; it should be no more than an hour’s walk to the location of the Mana-Well, far less time if we make haste,” Theodore responded. Given that the [Arch-Lich] could not stray from the Mana-Well his location was clear.
“What? Rainer, we still have time on the quest, we can regroup…”
“And then what? They will wear us down…and the [Arch-Lich] likely won’t let us leave. We can fight at our full power now when we can quickly reach him and end it in a single fight, or let him wear us down until we are incapable of even fighting a classless undead. Then he merely need send his 2nd Class undead to crush us. At that point, it will not matter if Gunthar and Theodore can still fight.”
Kara nodded and begun shifting as Theodore and Gunthar headed out of the tower to lead the way. Kara exited the tower, squeezing through the double doors, and Rainer jumped on her back.
Rainer knew he reasoned for attacking the [Arch-Lich] partly because of his desire for the Mana-Well. But he could not control such thoughts. It did not matter if he was aware of them.
Theodore looked back toward Rainer who merely responded with a nod.
Rainer assured himself of his goal as he looked forward. And so, they ran. Not away from the undead, but toward the very center.