They landed in the center of a wide-open cavern. The surrounding goblins stared at them with confusion. Many had spent their whole lives within these caverns and had only seen their own kind along with Monsters.
In the center was a large stone house bracing against a massive pillar. The pillar was covered in [Auer’s Moss] and seemed to light the entire city. Various stone dwellings were across the massive cavern; some carved vertically from the walls.
They followed Furtak inside the mansion. Passing through the house and eventually to a library of scrolls, the party sat at a table. Furtak fumbled through several scrolls.
“What are you looking for?” Rainer asked.
“I don’t have too much, but there is a map of the general border of the forbidden North, some information on theories and findings about it…and here is everything I have,” Furtak said. He took a bundle of scrolls over to the table. Theodore stood up and was first to look through it.
“What is your interest in any case?” Furtak asked.
Rainer thought for a moment but, with Furtak being someone who lived so near his target, he decided to reveal at least the creature they were after.
“We are looking for a Unicorn.”
“A Unicorn…” Furtak paused for a moment. Rainer thought that perhaps there was a translation error, or that Furtak had never heard the word.
“A white horned horse of immeasurable magic, correct? You did not strike me as the kind to chase after myths and legends…”
But his own words caused him to laugh.
“I suppose a man who hands out a tier 6 spells and other magics like he is giving a coin to a beggar is just as much of a myth. The Great Sage mentioned one such beast once but it was a random thought. He too had some interest in the Forbidden North, but he was alone. And while many of his experiments often involved some reckless behavior, he was not suicidal. I can ask the Ice Wolf Queen if she knows anything.”
“That would be helpful,” Rainer responded. However, he soon realized what Furtak had said. That he would be asking a monster.
Elru joined Theodore in looking through the scrolls, her interest piqued.
Seeing no one else heading to the scrolls, the [Fire Sage] sat down and spoke, “Well then, Rainer, what can I help you with next?”
Before Rainer could respond Kara asked a question, “Is there a room I could have to myself? The World Energy here is so thick, I think I can make progress on my meditation. I have been stuck at level 8 for [General Aura Meditation] for a few months.”
“Marta!” Furtak suddenly yelled and soon, coming into the small room, was a female Goblin. Rainer couldn’t help but be surprised that she was quite beautiful despite the green skin and her race. She too stared at Rainer for quite a while before Furtak coughed.
[Goblin, Female, Fire Mage lvl 6]
Rainer [Appraised] her, thinking she might be half-human or otherwise. Now that he took a closer look at Furtak, while certainly was aged, he was not hideous like the goblins in the mines.
“My apprentice and second wife,” Furtak said, “Take…” He paused waiting for the Wolfkin to speak.
“Kara,” She responded.
“Kara to a Meditation room,” Furtak answered any following questions, “it’s a room with a special kind of [Auer’s Moss].”
Rainer glanced over at Theodore who understood his meaning.
“I’m interested in this room as well, can I bring…”
“Take anything you wish; you may even keep them. I have the original in another archive. My apprentices could use some work; they’ve been getting lazy as of late.” Furtak answered. Of course, he didn’t expect full trust from Rainer.
He laughed before speaking again as his wife and Kara left the room, with Theodore and Elru following behind, “No need to make such a surprised face. It is the moss that has this effect, make us less monster. Not any sort of cross breeding the other tribes practice, unsuccessfully.”
“You…perhaps your version of the Great Fire Sage’s notes are incomplete as well. What exactly is on there?”
“Just various fire spells.”
Furtak thought for a moment, before heading back the shelves and throwing a journal down onto the table.
“The only thing I was missing was some of the spells. I had thought there was more, but perhaps it was just that.”
Rainer picked up the journal and skimmed through it. Without a need to pay close attention to any Magical Formulae, he only required a few minutes before it was then able to be recalled in [Sleep Learning].
“That is a copy, you may read it at your leisure. Put simply whereas Demons are a race that is partly magical, we are a race that is partly Aural or rather Monster. It is ironic then,” Furtak said while waving his hand toward the [Auer’s Moss] in the room, “That by embracing this half not only can we extend our feeble lifespans, we become less monstrous in appearance. And similar to monsters, we can gain experience from absorbing the World’s Energy directly into our bodies.”
“A rather…illicit experiment by the Great Sage had shown the gain to only amount to reaching level 10 over the course of our lives, with proper techniques, but for doing little else it is quite significant.”
“And you being…Flame-Touched, is that a part of it?” Rainer couldn’t withhold his curiosity and just asked directly.
“Flame-Touched…The Great Sage called it his greatest regret.”
“I became as such? Well, I am not the Great Sage!” Furtak said laughing, “And the increase to my life and power is more than enough for me. I do not dream to the have the capabilities to unravel secrets of the world nor do I even understand why he regretted becoming as such. The method I practiced is related to the Monster part of a Goblin, but being Flame-Touched is not exclusive to it by any means.”
“I’ll have to read over this journal soon,” Rainer said with unhidden excitement, “And here,” Rainer added as he waved his hand and withdrew numerous tomes. They contained various tier 1 and tier 2 spells from Nalmar. He had already committed these to memory though he hadn’t learned them yet.
Furtak sat there in silence after Rainer explained their purpose. During the rest periods over the flight, the party members with the translation skill had assisted in rewriting the important parts to Muknar. The tomes were quite small for such low tier spells.
“And in return?” Furtak questioned. He viewed sharing the journal as par for the course. The tier 6 [Inferno] spell had value far beyond just its actual power.
“I don’t wish to trade. That has never been my sole goal. I’m sharing this with you in the spirit that you can take it and perhaps advance it further. If you choose to share more with me, then great. But I am more than okay in making an unequal exchange. That it can advance your people and your mages,” Rainer said and then took out two sets of notes from his ring, “Look at this. These are notes from two guild-like places. They were trying to figure out how to reduce the tolerance to Magicite. They both were stuck on different aspects, some aspects that the other had figured out. Preventing this is exactly my goal.”
“And this is a part of your desire to gather like-minded Mages?”
“What kind of advancements could have occurred if they worked together? If your Great Sage worked with another talented Mage with an entirely different outlook and background?”
“The possibilities are endless…”
“Exactly. That is what I seek to accomplish. So, don’t think of this as a trade, think of it as cooperation. Of two separate people working towards the improvement of Magic.”
“I’ll have my apprentices make copies. Come, I’ll call for a monster so I can demonstrate some Druidic Magic.” Furtak originally planned on just a small demonstration. And perhaps the giving of some hope, but now he sought a more amicable relationship. He wouldn’t hide the difficulty a human might have in learning it.
“How about tomorrow? I flew quite some time to get here.”
Furtak agreed and took Rainer to the meditation room Kara was in. According to him, the increased and purified World Energy’s improved one’s sleep.
Theodore and Elru went over the various maps and scrolls Furtak had on the forbidden North right outside the door. Gunthar joined them as Rainer headed straight to sleep.
Speaking of his goals and magic had given him further motivation to draw out spatial magic from the Arcane. And to reach level 10 with [Voidwalker] as well. Given that it was a class that focused on Space-Time magic, with a 100% bonus, he imagined he could do both at once.
The meditation room had the same moss as before, but its light was a dim bluish-green. Kara sat in the center of the room. It only contained the moss and a single bed. By which was a sleeping mask, likely for dealing with the light.
With a bit of aid from Luna, Rainer fell asleep.
In the White Void of [Sleep Learning], Rainer sat with a sphere of Arcane Energy above his hand. He realized soon after that he had previously gone about it the wrong way. Arcane Energy’s natural property to affect space, as well as being drawn from elsewhere was an aspect of the Arcane.
Furthering this, may not help him create Arcane-Spatial Energy.
Using [Spatial Manipulation], Rainer manipulated the gravity around him. That was what he needed to focus on. He needed to replicate this force with the Arcane Energy in front of him.
He floated the orb of energy in front of him and willed it to exert force upon the very fabric of the world. No longer seeking to combine Arcane with Space, Rainer found this far easier than expected. He noted this was likely a result of the loosened space he used [Sleep Learning] to create around him as well.
Slowly the energy changed. Despite it being easier than expected, the amount of Mana and Arcane Power used far exceeded anything Rainer could produce in reality. How long it would take without [Sleep Learning], he couldn’t even guess.
The formally visible energy became an invisible locus of Gravity. The power of it, now influenced by Rainer’s full bonuses, moved him toward itself.
[Skill Gained: Arcane-Spatial Manipulation lvl 1/10]
He noted the energy when applied over a wide area, looked similar to his [Arcane Presence]. It instantly added an all but invisible hue of violet to the world.
But, immediately he stopped himself. He wanted to save the easily obtainable level 2 of the skill for leveling [Voidwalker]. As [Voidwalker] did primarily include a 100% bonus to Space-Time Magic, Rainer ventured this skill would give experience for it.
Compared to playing around with a skill similar to [Void Manipulation] it was incredibly safe.
“Is it because I was in that strange Devil-filled world?” Rainer asked himself.
He knew too little of the Void. And given Theodore’s lack of knowledge on the subject, Rainer imagined the information would not come easy. Whether the Devil came from the Void itself or tracked him as he weakened the Void, he couldn’t be sure. It made him think of a common phrase in his world relating to the abyss.
Entering Auto-pilot, Rainer leveled the tier 2 [Arcane-Light Lance] and [Arcane-Light Lance Armament], before fully solidifying the rest of the books and notes he had skimmed over previously into his memory. He awoke before fully memorizing everything, the Great Sage’s journal included.
[Arcane-Light Lance has reached level 10]
[Reached the maximum proficiency of a Tier 2 spell: Rewarding 2 skill points.]
[Arcane-Light Lance Armament has reached level 10]
[Reached the maximum proficiency of a Tier 2 spell: Rewarding 2 skill points.]
Waking up, Rainer now knew all he needed to do was have [Arcane-Spatial Manipulation] reach level 2, and [Voidwalker] would likely reach level 10, if not more.
Rainer saw Kara was still in meditation and, leaving Theodore and Elru to guard her room, decided to head out and explore. Both the undead and Fae quite happy with their stack of scrolls to read over.
Gunthar joined Rainer, who had Luna in his pocket, to take up Furtak’s offer for learning Druidic Magic. Though, only Rainer would be truly attempting to learn it.
Furtak waited right outside the scroll room.
“It is down this way.”
They followed Furtak’s lead as they headed deeper into the Mansion. Rainer manipulated the gravity around himself with [Arcane-Spatial Manipulation]. Other than the ease at which he could do it, as it was now affected by not only his large Arcane Bonus but also [Voidwalker]’s class bonus, he still didn’t understand what had changed.
Furtak noticed the magic Rainer used but didn’t feel the need to ask any questions. He just assumed it was some sort of defensive spell. True trust would take a far longer time to build, he thought.
They eventually reached a staircase leading downwards. Rainer soon realized they weren’t heading to a basement but another cave system. A single wolf waited at the bottom.
[Lupin, Male, Ice Wolf Alpha lvl 9]
“Druidic Magic at its base is communication with Nature. With plants like the [Auer’s Moss], with ordinary beasts, and with Monsters. With enough power, I can control certain monsters, but some are intelligent enough to where negotiation can be a better alternative. Otherwise controlling such a horde would not be possible.”
He wondered that different from Earth’s scientific view if beings like Goblins and Humans weren’t included in definition of Nature. Or, if then the Druidic language could provide a hint in how the Fae skill for translation worked.
“What were you trying to accomplish with those Yeti you sent out ahead of time?” Rainer asked. He hoped Furtak wouldn’t ask if he had anything to do with them. Even with his confidence in lying, he’d rather it be left unsaid.
“A technique the Great Sage learned from a Demon-“
“Padding,” Rainer responded. Furtak was quite surprised by Rainer’s knowledge of the tactic.
“My second class, a [Druid], is at level 9. And of course, I always desire for my [Fire Sage] class to level. Though, with the Tier 6 [Inferno], eventually I will not have to worry about leveling my main class any longer.”
Rainer just recalled why Tier 4 spells were important. Their experience was key for crossing the gap from level 20 to 25 for the First Tier of a Mage Class. He had never personally experienced this gap or truly any such barriers due to the nature of how he leveled. But he imagined for most the severely increasing experience required would be a major issue.
“I thought perhaps I would never level [Fire Sage] again before my death. You gave me such a hope. “
A strange string of sounds and words came from Furtak’s mouth as he spoke with the Wolf in front of him.
Rainer used [Arcane Sight] to see the magic and carefully listened. His true goal was to try and recreate the language to listen to in [Sleep Learning]. And then use that to learn it.
“Our closeness to Monsters helps us learn the language. In truth, other than listening to it and then practicing by making the [Auer’s Moss] brighter or dimmer, I know not how to teach it. It is almost…instinctive. I shall ask this one to deliver a message to his Queen, about your Unicorn.”
Rainer watched and listened attentively to the flow of Mana in Furtak’s body and the strange magical sounds of the language.
As the Wolf ran off, deeper into the caverns, Rainer spoke, “Can he truly understand all that?”
“No. He can carry and relay the message, but among the Wolves, only their Queen truly has the intelligence to converse at our level. I asked her to come as well, thinking you’d be interested in meeting her. Perhaps she may offer some insight into Druid Magic.”
“Her mother taught the Great Sage before he spread it to us. We still have much to learn.”
“So, your cooperation with them is a willing one?”
“They do not wish to see humans go north, past the mountain range, any more than we do. We have only tolerated their border town as we do not yet see a reason to engage in open war.”
“Theodore, one of my companions, will be staying in the North as we travel. If the situation changes you can contact me, and we can deal with them ahead of time.”
“I do not mind letting the operations get started and ignore them for the time being as you’ve suggested. But there is a problem. If they do not understand how to properly gather Magicite.”
“What do you mean? And as far as I know the method is something the Arachne have kept secret from the Mage Guilds.”
“We shall wait and see, but we might have to remove them sooner than you think. When Mana crystals grow in enough number, Magicite is formed in the center of such growth. It is a gas within some of the crystals. If they haphazardly mine the Mana Crystals….”
“They’ll waste it. But if you act too aggressively now they’ll gather the support of other Mage Guilds. I plan on heading south and getting the support of other Rogue Mages toward my goal as well as making myself stronger. Until then…”
They headed back up the stairs toward the mansion. It wasn’t that Furtak trusted Rainer’s support in the matter. He simply agreed, that if all the Mage Guilds became aware of the Mana Crystals and moved North, he wouldn’t have a chance at winning.
“Would you like to see the city? Word has already spread of a Mage my equal in strength visiting. You should be fine to walk and explore the city freely. I’ll send word for anyone to give you what you need, and I’ll cover the trade.”
“That would be pleasant.”
After seeing if Kara wished to join him, Rainer headed out on Furtak’s suggestion. Kara said she was close to leveling her skill and wished to remain in the room. So, with Gunthar and Luna using a Glamour to appear as a silver bird on his shoulder, Rainer went out of the Mansion.
Furtak stayed in the scroll room working with his apprentices to copy the tomes of magic. Waiting as well to greet the Wolf Queen if she came.
Rainer stepped out of the mansion and toward a new and strange city. For perhaps the first time, Rainer felt he was truly exploring a different world. Nalmar had been a ghost town, and Grimlar’s Pass didn’t feel too foreign.
But an underground city lit by glowing moss and inhabited by short green individuals was a different story.
He welcomed the short reprieve from his responsibilities.
“Where are we heading first?” Gunthar asked. He would be maintaining [Soul Detection] and [Magic Detection] the entire time. For an undead like him, it wasn’t a tiring thing. Theodore was doing the same near Kara and Elru.
Rainer was mostly sure of Furtak’s good intentions, but he wouldn’t drop his guard.
Will I ever again, be able to drop my guard?
He thought to himself. Any Armament spell wouldn’t be strong against any opponents he truly needed to be on guard against, at least at his current Mana capacity. He thought of [Arcane Awakening] and a possible way to keep it always active.
Right now, he kept it at its lowest, and while at such a price he could almost keep it indefinitely, it took a toll on his mind.
“Rainer?” Gunthar spoke again.
Leaving his thoughts, Rainer responded, “Furtak talked about a racing track. They race various monsters and place bets, seems interesting enough,” Even though Furtak already spread the word for any establishments to charge him in place of the visiting Human; he still received some currency.
Rainer was quite surprised that it was the same as in Grimlar’s pass. Copper and Silver coins with a small magical mark on them to note they were official. Furtak told Rainer this idea of trade, using a separate currency fascinated the Great Sage when he had visited other places. So, he implemented the idea for the tribes, creating their own, but still similar, type of mark.
The mark took just enough effort to make so that attempts at counterfeiting weren’t worth it.
“I had some other plans, though I hadn’t expected Kara to be so entranced in her practice. I’m surprised you were willing to come with me.”
“She was stuck on level 8 of [General Aura Meditation] for such a long time as she put it,” Gunthar grumbled.
“I’m guessing it was just long for her?”
“Yes, according to her it was the first time she met with any real obstacle. I would not take it personally.”
Rainer waved him off. He didn’t in the slightest. He was no different when it came to his interests.
“So, what about you?”
“There is time for such matters when you are asleep. The nights can get boring. I would not mind seeing this racing track for myself. What a novel concept…” Gunthar said.
Rainer agreed. Though, of course, such a concept wasn’t novel to his world in any case. He was a bit surprised too, Gunthar was willing to take time off from training. But, he understood that each group needed an undead guard, and his father was currently guarding Kara while going through the information on the Forbidden North.
He noted to make sure Gunthar enjoyed himself, at least a little.
As they walked through the city, many goblins looked and pointed with excitement. They lacked some of the reservation humans had when seeing Rainer as a Lord Magus. Several of the female Goblins that passed by Rainer would stare, jaws agape. Subconsciously they fixed their postures and stood in more alluring ways.
One had her slightly drooling mouth closed by a goblin who appeared to be her husband. However, looking at Rainer as well, he didn’t blame in her in slightest. Later that night, he would find himself questioning his path in life.
Rainer laughed at the sight. He imagined were it not for his power those stares would be joined with propositions. He was only above average coming to this world, if you ignored his physical fitness. The increases in Charisma were an interesting factor.
But, he had little interest in using it in such a manner, Goblin or otherwise. He already struggled in thinking over what to do when Luna reached a more human size, let alone having any thoughts of other women.
But how his Charisma would affect negotiations, and whether Furtak had been so amicable to Rainer’s ideas because of the attribute had him wondering.
Passing by the stone buildings the smell of food entered his nose. He saw the smoke that came from cooking it absorbed by the [Auer’s Moss]. He knew that at the very least he’d take some with him before he left here, even if he couldn’t learn the Druidic language to cultivate it properly.
He was surprised at how good it smelled and decided to buy some. While the larger places had received word that everything the visiting Human bought was to be put on Chief, a common stall wouldn’t. They only knew of rumors of the strange Human the Chief respected as an equal.
“Thanks,” Rainer said as he threw a copper coin over. Before the stall owner could tell him it was too much, Rainer already walked away.
“Luna, can you appraise this, just in case?” He asked the small silver bird on his shoulder.
“It’s safe.” Luna responded, “Make sure to feed Luna later too.”
“Of course,” He said. He then appraised it himself.
Similar to the guitar he guessed that the pork was not a completely accurate assessment. Sighing, he figured Luna could heal him if any issues arose, along with his own [Arcane Revival].
Surprised at the taste, Rainer continued eating as they soon reached the track. It was dug deep into the ground with a stadium of seats surrounding it.
He headed downwards, unstopped by the two guards at the entrance of the stairwell. He wondered if [Appraisal] could give him an advantage. He wouldn’t have such entertainment.
“Honored Human, I shall lead you to a proper viewing place,” The guard suddenly spoke up. Rainer noted that apart from the slightly elongated and pointed ears and the green skin he was just like a small muscular human. If not, for the larger jaw and two small teeth poking upward from his mouth.
Rainer only nodded and followed him.
In a higher seat in the stadium, Rainer sat with a glass of wine. While he was relaxing, he also practiced and played around with [Arcane-Spatial Manipulation]. Moving his glass in reduced gravity he created around it. An action made far easier and cheaper with the addition of Arcane with space.
“Rainer, make Luna float too,” The little silver bird asked. Soon after, she performed flips in a small gravity reduced field.
“Gunthar should do flips too. And then he can breath-“
“Even as undead that does not look pleasant…” He remarked while seeing the spinning bird.
“Rainer…Luna doesn’t feel to g-good…”
Rainer grabbed the spinning bird whose Glamour nearly fell. He wrongly assumed as a race capable of flight, she’d be more apt to spinning, but after seeing how fast she was going, thought it was the likely result.
Gunthar’s laugh caused Luna to stick out her tongue at him, an action that didn’t translate to the bird Glamour covering her.
In the background, the races were beginning. Various monsters filled the narrow stalls, each with a [Shaman] riding them. A large black boar, like the one Rainer fought in the past. An ostrich-like creature that instead had bright red feathers and a tiny flame on its head. And a Wolf like the ones Rainer saw earlier.
He thought it a strange match up for a race, but it proved to be a close one. Rainer’s bet on the ostrich, despite its 5-level advantage, ended up incorrect.
“To think they’d be so closely matched. The boar’s charging speed was impressive, were it not for its poor turning abilities I imagine him the victor. But to see the Wolf outpace that strange Avian Monster, quite impressive.”
Rainer was surprised by Gunthar’s interest in monsters. But he thought back to both the father and son’s interest in the Wyvern and imagined it spread farther than just the winged mounts. He was glad Gunthar headed here for more than just needing to guard Rainer.
He suddenly got an idea. While not understanding enough about the Druidic language to even know if he could learn it, he hoped to teach it to Gunthar. And Theodore as well.
Rainer, looking at the wine in his hand, thought about his own Arcane-Water. Luna was unaffected by Wine, as of course was the undead Gunthar unable even to drink it.
He wondered what effect Arcane-Water would have.
Forming a small ball of the violet water above his hand, he laughed at the thought of Gunthar drunk, but would not test it so simply. Nor did he believe Arcane-Water would have such a strange effect.
Luna, however, did it for him.
Out of surprise, Rainer didn’t stop the Fairy who began drinking the floating water.
“Luna?!” He spoke in shock as he quickly cleared away the magic. Water made from magic was safe to drink, even if it wasn’t the same as normal water. He imagined it the same here, but he certainly wouldn’t test it so haphazardly.
However, Luna’s giddy laugh interrupted his worry.
“Luna likes this. What is it?” She asked. Her Glamour fell away completely, but in their private booth, it was fine. She swayed side to side, exaggerating her condition slightly.
“Arcane-Water,” He said. Feeling her condition through the Familiar bond, he knew she wasn’t in any danger.
Cautiously, Rainer took an empty cup and filled it with more Arcane-Water. Taking a small sip, he noted it only tasted like a better version of water. Just in case, he used [Arcane Revival], but the Arcane in the water only gradually dissipated.
He watched with [Arcane Sight] as he breathed it out.
Gunthar walked over, and Rainer handed him the glass. Now that Arcane had altered him, Rainer was sure that even if he tried attacking him like he did the [Arch-Lich]’s undead with Arcane-Death, it might only make him stronger.
He took off his glove and put his bony finger in. Jagged lines of Arcane and Death lit up on his hand and moved up his arm.
“Oh! Gunthar is glowey!” Luna exclaimed in amazement before reaching toward the Arcane-Water again.
“That’s enough for you, drunk little Fairy,” Rainer said moving her away.
“But Rrrainer gets to drink all he wants. Luna says it's not fair.”
“It seems I can recover my Aura from this. It is too minor to be of use, however. It’d likely to take longer draining it from the water than I would just use meditation.”
“It’s worth exploring.”
After tucking away the still excited Fairy back into his pocket, they got up to leave. Deciding the excitable Fairy wasn’t in a state to be in public.
Luna, however, poked her head out.
“Hehe, Rainer put Luna into his pocket. Luna is like a mighty sword in sheath! Rainer, take Luna out of pocket and charge!” She yelled, pointing forward.
Gunthar laughed as he watched Rainer quickly cover the Fairy. Her yelling had attracted the surrounding Goblins, who just chuckled at the strange Human, before a few became lost as they gazed at him.
“Luna can’t b-be contained,” She futilely struggled and spoke in a muffled voice.
They headed back soon after. Rainer went to Furtak to see how he used Druidic Magic on the Moss. But his messages led him to leave that for a later time. His [Archon] class had finally come through and assisted in leveling [Arcane-Spatial Manipulation].
[Arcane-Spatial Manipulation has reached level 2]
[Experience Gained: 21%, 512%]
[Voidwalker has leveled up to lvl 10/25. Standard Attributes have been distributed.1 Attribute and skill point have been rewarded]
[Voidwalker has leveled up to lvl 11/25. Standard Attributes have been distributed.1 Attribute and skill point have been rewarded]
[Voidwalker has leveled up to lvl 12/25. Standard Attributes have been distributed.1 Attribute and skill point have been rewarded]
[Voidwalker has leveled up to lvl 13/25. Standard Attributes have been distributed.1 Attribute and skill point have been rewarded]
[Having reached level 10 in your class related Skill Store and Hidden Attributes have been unlocked]
[Hidden Attribute Unlocked: Void Awareness: 40]
[Void Awareness: Increases one’s affinity toward and awareness of the Void. Reduces the cost of Void-related skills and spells.]
[Voidwalker Class Description Changed, Previous Hidden Attribute increase Revealed]
[Voidwalker: A being who crosses the omnipresent void, surpassing the restrictions of Space and Time. One who can reach out their senses and grasp at the elusive yet all-encompassing void. Few can block the path of one of the Void. 100% General Improvement to Space and Time Magic and Skills. 50% General Improvement to Space and Time Manipulation skills. 40% Less Cost for all Void-related Magic and Skills. +1 Intelligence, +2 Affinity, +2 Void Awareness per level past 1]
He opened his status screen before excitedly looking at his new skill store.
[Primary Classes: Archon(2nd) Lvl 14/25, Voidwalker lvl 13/25]
[Titles: Immortal Slayer, Arcane Scholar, Fae Contractor, Arcane Elementalist, Manipulator of the Elements, Basic Elementalist, Dungeon Pioneer, Philanderer, Trollsbane, Wielder of Space and Time, Master of Space and Time, Wielder of Fire and Brimstone, Wielder of Light, Wielder of the Arcane, Energy Drainer, Voidwalker, One who defies Divinity]
[Exp: 37%, 43%]
[Sub-classes: Chronomancer lvl 11/25]
[Skill Points: 21]
[Talents: Excellent Arcane Affinity, Human Growth, Gift of the Fae(Luna)]
[Stamina Regen: .1% per second]
[Mana Regen: .0190 per second]
[Arcane Power: 77/85(120)]
[Conversion Ratio: 1-12]
[Arcane Aura: 9/9(19)]
[Arcane Attunement: 120]
[Arcane Alacrity: 16]
[Gravity Control: 16]
[Aura Control: 19]
[Void Awareness: 40]
[Attribute Points: 47]
[Voidwalker Class Skills Currently Available]
[Void Grasp: Cost 10 skill points. The Void is omnipresent in its existence, always available to a Voidwalker in their purpose. Keeping them steady amidst any situation]
The descriptions in the skill store are at a mixed level of usefulness as always…
Rainer’s guess as to why the skill store didn’t display the skill’s description was to prevent an easier time learning a more obscure skill.
[Void Call: Cost 10 skill points. The Void is omnipresent in its existence, always available to a Voidwalker in their purpose. Letting them reach out toward their desires.]
Let’s…stay away from that one for now.
[Void Seer: Cost 10 skill points. The Void is omnipresent in its existence, always available to a Voidwalker in their purpose. Allowing them to peer past any obstruction.]
Rainer immediately purchased [Void Grasp] and [Void Seer]. His last encounter with a Devil left him not too curious as to the nature of a skill named [Void Call].
Having bought the skills he could now look at their actual description, rather than the one given by the skill store.
[Void Grasp: Wield one’s power over the Void to resist Space and Time. Anchor oneself to the current reality by grasping the Void.]
[Void Seer: Peer through the Void at the intended destination. See as if you had truly traveled there by walking through the Void. ]
“Rainer, are you alright?” Gunthar asked. He saw Rainer suddenly pause in front of the stone mansion.
“I leveled the skill I had been playing with and reached level 13 in [Voidwalker].”
“Then let us hurry back, I know you likely cannot resist testing the skills you’ve purchased. At least have everyone there should you pull out another creature from your Void.”
“Completely agree,” Rainer responded as they headed inside.
“As always Sorcerer, a random outing turns into you gaining great strength,” Gunthar mumbled before laughing to himself as he followed Rainer.
They all entered Kara’s room as Rainer explained the experiment he was going to be doing. After he finished speaking Luna flew out of his coat and fluttered in front of Elru.
“Eluish, you should try some of Rainer’s liquid too,” Luna said before giggling and returning to Rainer’s coat to sleep.
Everyone gave him strange glances. Even Gunthar who had been there misunderstood the Lady of the Fae.
“I gave her some water mixed with my magic,” Rainer said producing the Arcane-Water with his Manipulation skill again. He didn’t specify with the magic, Arcane, but he was still curious as to Elru’s opinion on the matter.
“And this made her…more Luna than usual?” Elru asked.
“It should be safe, she did drink quite a bit for her size.”
Elru immediately drinking the floating Arcane-Water surprised him. Rainer only now fully realized the meaning of him prolonging Elru’s sister’s life by 200 years. Momentarily thinking of his own little sister, he couldn’t imagine how he could ever repay such a thing.
Not that he planned on taking advantage of Elru’s trust.
“Ah,” Elru said after a small hiccup, “This is fascinating. Might you make me some more into a cup?”
Rainer agreed he would do so later, as they then headed elsewhere to make sure they had room to fight whatever Rainer might bring through the Void.
As they left, Elru questioned Theodore as to why they needed to watch Rainer so carefully during teleportation. Her face slightly paled as Theodore mentioned what had happened.
[Voidwalker] was in truth far more dangerous and mysterious than any of her original thoughts of the unknown class had been.
Everyone surrounded Rainer as he sat in the middle of a large room. Seeing them gathering the [Fire Sage] had joined them.
“What exactly are we watching?” He whispered to Theodore.
Rainer glanced over at Furtak but didn’t say anything. Seeing this, Theodore responded.
“Making sure he doesn’t doom the whole world.”
Furtak laughed a bit taking it for a joke but seeing the serious looks on everyone’s face, he suddenly grew nervous.
Must you do that here?!
But before he could retort, Rainer spoke.
“It works just fine.”
Rainer felt there was little danger in the first place. He believed [Void Manipulation] was the primary cause of the Devil reaching out toward him, but he didn’t see a need to take any chances.
Using [Void Seer], he had looked through the various rooms in the house. [Void Seer] had a similar range as [Void Detection]. Though, he quickly averted his sight when he saw something he shouldn’t have. With his new attribute, his [Void Detection] range had doubled, increasing his [Void-walking] range thus. As for his [Void-Walking] cost, Rainer vanished from the circle as he tested it.
He appeared in the scroll room, causing an apprentice of Furtak’s to nearly spill his ink.
“Rainer!” He heard Kara’s loud yell and quickly returned.
“Ah, maybe I-“
“Should have mentioned you were going to test out teleportation as well,” Kara responded a bit displeased.
Kara’s mood returned right after, knowing such things were to be expected from Rainer.
“So how is it?”
“A huge difference.”
Furtak was amazed watching Rainer teleport. He saw it before, during their fight. But fully trying to detect his teleportation, he found he could not. The [Fire Sage] felt a slight shiver. With the strange magic blade that Rainer used combined with this, Furtak thought him a frightening foe to have.
The difference Void Awareness made proved significant in using [Void-walking]. Rainer, however, didn’t wish to spend his attribute points as of yet. He thought the 2nd Tier of [Voidwalker] might have a worthier attribute.
But immediately, he abandoned that line of thinking. To reach the 2nd Tier, and face a Trial that added on the difficulty from his [Archon] class, he couldn’t be stingy
All 47 Attribute points went into Void Awareness. His [Void Detection] extended roughly three times the original distance of 50 feet. But now, having the attribute unlocked, [Arcane Awakening] would improve that significantly.
Lifespan and Charisma were hidden attributes. Even if he couldn’t see it, it still worked. He had questioned Gunthar on this some time ago, to fully understand the effect of the then [Arcane Rage].
That meant, as Rainer understood it, with Void Awareness as a formerly locked and hidden attribute even if it was 1,000, so long as it remained locked, there was no effect.
Rainer used [Void-walking] again and this time noted the Mana cost. It was only 6 Mana, almost three times as less than before.
“Are we alright for now, Sorcerer?” Gunthar asked. He knew with his recent class change that while he improved in some ways, the lack of attributes, especially in Strength, troubled him in the face of a Devil attack.
“We are good for now,” Rainer answered.
To see through Matheus' Glamour, Rainer had combined [Arcane Sight] and [Appraisal]. He wondered what sort of thing he could see peering into the Void with his new abilities. But for now, the fear of something far stronger than the [Devil King] tamed his curiosity.
“Furtak, can you demonstrate how you use Druidic Magic to communicate with the [Auer’s Moss]?”
“I already called some [Shaman]s so that you may listen to it as long as you like. I’ll have them rotate through as they run out of Mana. I can too…”
“Go ahead and study [Inferno],” Rainer interrupted.
Furtak grinned as he led the way for Rainer. He took him to one of the meditation rooms next to Kara’s.
She returned to her own with the rest of the party right outside the rooms.
The [Shaman] entering gave a small bow toward Rainer before facing the moss. Rainer didn’t need an explanation as to how they kept the moss growing here all the time without issue. That was included in the copy of the Great Sage’s notes he received.
He opened [Arcane Sight] and paid the utmost attention to the [Shaman]. The magical Druidic Tongue left his mouth. He watched the flow of Mana and paid attention to every sound. In the past, he had replayed sounds in the [Sleep Learning] space.
The moss would sometimes move, or grow as it was infused with Druidic Magic. Other times the color of its light would change, or it would dim and brighten.
He kept [Arcane Awakening] at a low level, lest in the worst-case scenario he need react.
The day passed as a cycle of [Shaman]s came through. Some later talked of the foolishness of the human seeking to learn this skill, but none would say such things to his face. Furtak, when spreading information about Rainer, mentioned him as an equal.
Rainer headed back to his room; Kara still focused on meditation.
He entered [Sleep Learning], intent on learning the Druidic Language. While he was here, he wanted to focus on something that could only be learned here. Perhaps he would need further examples.
However, that was not his only interest. For, he had heard a far more powerful Magical Language only recently.
Entering the white void, Rainer excitedly got to work. First, he replicated the Magic Language itself. The strange words replayed throughout the space.
He made it repeat a single phrase, one that made the [Auer’s Moss] glow a bit dimmer. Within his mind, he thought over the Mana that was used. That then mixed with the sound. He started repeating those same words, soon allowing the sound to fade out after nearly an hour of repetition.
Even with his Constitution, he needed to heal his sore throat.
Only his own voice was heard throughout the white void. Using [Arcane Sound Infusion] he began adding power to the words. Yet other than the original effect of the skill nothing else happened.
His mind honed in on how the Mana was used. Furtak had mentioned that their ability to use the Druidic Language related to their biology, but Rainer ignored such a thing for now. With his [Arcane Sight] he saw no such thing.
Whether Furtak was misinformed or lied to, Rainer considered that perhaps Aura was the key. That the Monstrous part of them naturally wielded the World’s Energy to their aid. Rainer also assumed that it was simply different for him, who was human. He could only depend on his [Archon] class bonus to fill in these gaps.
He added his Arcane Aura to the mix, trying to infuse it into his voice. He had been so focused on the flow of Mana, he wasn’t sure whether his conjecture was true.
[Skill Gained: Arcane Aura Sound Infusion lvl 1/10]
Suddenly Rainer found his control of the words corrected. His tone slightly shifted and filled with Magic as the words rang out over the white void.
He opened his eyes and realized with the [Archon] class he had gained the skill and subsequent knowledge he desired.
[Skill Gained: Druidic Magic Language lvl 1/10]
[Druidic Magic Language: Infuse Words of Power with one’s own strength. The Druidic Tongue can bend the softness as well as the fearsome might of Nature to one’s will.]
[Title Gained: Speaker of Power]
[Experience Gained: 0.1%, 33%]
[Title Gained: Shaman]
[Experience Gained: 0.1% 11%]
He thought back to the chilling words that the [Devil King] had used on him. Words that damaged his very soul.
He knew from Theodore and the attempts at gaining his Soul skill, that the soul naturally healed over time. The presence of an Aura or Mana pool improved this healing.
Using [Arcane Revival] and [Arcane Sight] he looked inwards. He moved the healing Arcane Energy and tried to affect his soul. While currently undamaged and not in need of healing, Rainer still felt a warm feeling overtake his very being.
The origin of [Sleep Learning] and whether his Soul could be refreshed with his body had troubled Rainer in the past. And now, he might be able to test it.
The fear of the moment solidified the Devil’s Words in his mind. A repeat performance was not necessary. Soon they rang out across the white void. Even lacking power the strange language gave Rainer an instinctive fear. He replayed it a bit longer before following along and repeating with the Devil’s voice he simulated.
He let slip the tiniest bit of Arcane, using a similar pattern to Druidic Magic Language, into his voice but just before adding in his Aura as well, the situation changed.
Rainer had spent far more time than he realized.
Waking up, Rainer saw Kara had finally gone to bed. She laid across him, her legs tightly around his own.
With Elru back, Rainer decided for today to reveal his progress on Body Enchanting. Now, he could also study Elru’s own enchantments longer and create similar versions for Kara.
[Wolfkin, Female, Blade Dancer lvl 25]
He sighed, hoping his Runes on her had unlocked a far better class. And that she would accept the change.
Lightly, he moved his hands through her hair, occasionally scratching her ear, as the tired Kara slept. He thought of ways to make her stronger and safer.
With a soft tone, Rainer spoke the words he remembered to the [Auer’s Moss]. Feeling a strange connection with them, he then noticed the moss dimed. He looked on in amazement as the room grew slightly darker. He understood so little about this new magic. How these words came about or why they had such meaning.
But he planned to find out.
Back in Grimlar’s Pass, Yarik sat across from a hooded man. He was in a private room of the Baron’s Mansion. Taking off his hood, the man revealed a decrepit appearance, long since surpassing what any human, Mage or not, should live.
The Blood Soul Guild Master…
Yarik was confused as to why this man was here. They already had a deal, and Raspard had long since built a full tolerance to Magicite.
The relationship between official Mage Guild and their more criminal, at least on the surface, counterparts was antagonistic. There were rare exceptions that were backed by a strong enough leader to make attacking an unprofitable idea. Often they would have skirmishes on the surface but, in truth, they were business partners.
“Have you been well Raspard?” Yarik asked. The whole time he maintained his [Mana Presence] across the room. The two mages standing behind Raspard struggled to breathe normally.
“A most disconcerting presence as always Yarik. As you can see I still have many years left in me,” Raspard spoke giving a grin displaying several missing teeth.
The difference in Mana Talent showed. Raspard was around the same age as Yarik, and yet he developed a tolerance to Magicite far quicker. Not able to compare, to the monster Yarik was when it came to Mana, evidenced by his skill, [Mana Presence].
“What are you doing here Raspard?” Yarik asked. He had little interest in speaking with the corpse-like man in front of him for longer than he needed to.
“I’m searching for someone,” Raspard answered before taking out a drawing and handing it over to Yarik. A flash of Mana passed by as Yarik affirmed the nature of the picture before taking it. One could never be too careful with a thing like Raspard.
“You recognize him?” Raspard asked. His ancient voice quaked with excitement.
“Yes…” Yarik answered and then recounted many of the events over the past few days. Raspard already knew of the findings in the North and was responsible for making sure no one else did. It was one of the many dealings his Guild had with the Skyborne.
“Then will you aid me?” Raspard asked.
Yarik froze but then sank into thought. The Foreign Lord Magus had dissipated his [Mana Pressure] with a similar skill of his own. And Yarik didn’t believe his goals in the North were purely altruistic. But, he wasn’t willing to test and risk his life against this Foreign Lord Magus, until now.
“I’ll help, but my involvement can't be known. And you’ll need to tell me why you are after him.”
“Perfect. But first…bring me to that Prince of yours…Given their fight perhaps I can get a read on our mutual target’s location.”
As they left the room, Raspard briefly glanced toward their contractor. His talents with Soul Magic told him she was a Fae, though he already knew about their true contractor from the token she carried. It was Yulia. If he wished he could overpower this Fae before she disappeared in her Glamour, but Raspard wasn’t only interested in the Dust.
He rushed over here, using up Mana potions and an enchanted item aid to him and his followers in a quick flight. He wasn’t willing to risk taking too long, lest the trail left by their target grow too cold.
To him, even another 100 years was a temporary solution. But unlocking the secrets of the Fruit of the World Tree he thought, meant eternal life. Like the Trial, the Fruit granted additional lifespan when advancing one’s class for the first time.
In Raspard’s thoughts, the Fruit itself contained an ability to increase one’s life.
And in part, he feared the woman behind this one. Raspard had made the decision to hide the fact he knew Yulia was a Fae, back when they worked together. So long as she truly helped in their goal to create a Fae and therefore dust, he didn’t care what she truly was. She even provided a Fae to experiment on.
If anything, he valued her race and would help keep it a secret if need be. And he never regretted that choice. But, they had dueled once.
And It was not even close.