Rainer took a few moments to lay out all the armor and items taken from the four 2nd class Fae. Luna and Gunthar agreed to look over what was still salvageable as Rainer took Kara upstairs. With the Arcane’s natural affinity toward destroying enchanted items his [Arcane-Fire Explosion] had rendered inert a Fae’s armor and sword. Most, however, still worked.
Rainer set Kara gently on the bed as she relaxed slowly recovering her expended Aura and Stamina.
“Is this the part where it’s my turn to watch over you?” Rainer asked as he moved over next to Kara. Though watching was not a part of the agenda. She felt his hand moving up her leg.
“Taking advantage of a defenseless woman? Have you no shame?” She asked with a grin. In truth, she did not even need to be carried back. Her two golden eyes stared at Rainer as he moved his hand upwards.
He took full advantage of the not so defenseless woman, leveling up some skills, old and new.
[Dextral Pleasuring Technique has reached level 2]
[Skill Gained: Oral Pleasuring Technique lvl 1/10]
[Oral Pleasuring Technique has reached level 2]
[Copulation Technique has reached level 2]
Kara decided to take a nap as Rainer headed downstairs. None of the enchanted items were of any interest to him, but he had some thoughts dealing with how he could use the mithril. Though, as he walked downstairs, it didn’t seem as if much progress had been made.
“Lady of the Fae, I cannot fathom why you didn’t tell me it was inert.”
“Gunthar didn’t ask,” Luna responded while twirling her silver hair with her finger.
“One should think, that as I try to test out an enchanted weapon to tell me it doesn’t work.”
“Gunthar expects too much from Luna. Luna is busy too.”
“With what!?” Gunthar asked, in a rare moment of losing his temper.
“To ask a lady her business, Luna sees she was wrong about Gunthar,” Luna turned away in a huff. Something a bit difficult to do given she was laying down, relaxing.
Gunthar’s skeletal face couldn’t seem to hide his frustration. Rainer took a moment to appraise the sword Gunthar referred to.
[Mithril Enchanted Sword(damaged): An enchanted sword of Mithril. +(0)3 Dexterity, +(0)3 Intelligence.]
The sword looked little different from its undamaged counterparts.
Gunthar had been trying to see if the enchantment worked together with his own sword. He was, of course, unaware until after quite a bit of testing that the sword didn’t even work on its own. While he could tell right away if both swords worked by dual wielding them, such was not his combat style. So, he tried wearing both in various combinations on himself. Never understanding the sword, he tested with, didn’t work. Luna had only told him it was enchanted.
Rainer guessed it had only become damaged, rather than destroyed, as it had only been hit by Arcane Magic rather than having the energy channeled directly through it.
“How’s it looking?”
“Apart from all the Mithril armor, I doubt the rest would be of much use,” Gunthar said while waving his arm toward the items that had been sorted into damaged and undamaged. He had, in the end, determined the swords, the undamaged ones, only worked while held in one’s hand, making them useless for him, or Rainer in that matter.
Rainer was a bit surprised at Fira technically having better items than the [Grand Fae Enchantress]. She had only a single ring.
[Ring of Intelligence: An enchanted ring which increases one’s magic ability. +2 Intelligence]
It had a different appearance from Rainer’s own, but as he assumed it did not stack. Apart from the armor and enchanted swords, the [Grand Rune Knights] carried nothing else of value.
“Gunthar, I have a question. How come they didn’t just make the Mithril into chainmail?”
Luna’s laughter partially answered his question.
“Rainer is so silly.” she replied soon after.
“Having it tight to one’s body and spread out as well would not be ideal,” Gunthar finally answered, giving confirmation.
“You have never come across this question in your land, Sorcerer?” Gunthar asked, confusion not visible on his skeletal face.
“This question, rather I never needed to fight at all.”
“Most didn’t. Well. That’s not entirely correct, as there were stark differences between countries in our world. The differences in education, resources, and power were as if night and day.”
“And these far lesser countries were never conquered?”
“Why would they bother when there isn’t much to gain and the rest of the world would look negatively on them?”
Gunthar scratched his head and let the matter go. It was an opinion far different from the Holy Empire of Gunthar’s world. A Holy Empire that took whatever it could. Nalmar applied to the category of something unobtainable.
“I’m guessing we should just sell most of this. I imagine George might be interested. Speaking of which…” Rainer said while taking a single undamaged sword and a small set of armor into his ring, “I should give George the items from the Fae he killed.” He then took the rest that was undamaged into his ring and hoped George would be willing to facilitate a trade with his guild. Rainer had no interest in directly doing it and revealing himself in such a manner.
“Sorcerer, perhaps you should hold off on parting with these items. Mithril is quite useful in enchanting.”
Rainer already considered the Mana-well to be his, so he decided to heed Gunthar’s advice, mostly.
Followed by Gunthar and Kara, Rainer walked into the Baron’s mansion.
He needed to speak with Charles’ about assisting him on his advancement. Just as he reached the usual location where they learned Aura inscription from him, they heard George and Charles speaking.
“Charles, I truly wish you would reconsider my offer. Compared to anyone else, your treatment, under my recommendation would be far better.”
“I have no interest in becoming a dog of your guild, regardless of how my chances are improved.”
“Charles…your chances are not high.”
“Do you think I’m unaware!” Charles said slamming his fist into his table, “But you know who I am. I will not comprise my ideals just to live longer.”
Rainer coughed loudly as he entered the room.
“Ah Ra-Lord Magus, are we to be off?” George responded.
“I just need to have a word with Charles first and then we can head for dinner.”
“Excellent, I shall leave you two to your discussion,” George said while leaving the room, completely unbothered by Charles’ outburst. It was not the first time they had such a conversation.
“Lord Magus, I apologize for having to…”
“It's fine, rather you can just call me by my name, Rainer.”
Charles grew confused for a moment given the difference from the name he knew, but paid it no more mind.
“I suppose George’s discussion with you actually makes my suggestion quite relevant.”
“Rainer,” Rainer said with a grin.
“Rainer…I appreciate your coming offer, but I refuse to be chained.” Charles said speaking with a tone far varying from his usual reverence for Rainer.
“And you won’t be. I’m temporarily heading home for a few weeks at most. I plan on bringing back some enchanted weapons and armors for yourself. You may freely use them for your advancement. Your plans afterward, we can discuss,” Rainer continued before Charles could interrupt, “And if you disagree with my offer you can just return the items. And I cannot exactly take back your 2nd Tier class, can I?”
“Such an offer…” Charles couldn’t help but be stunned. Compared to the one offered by Mage Guilds it was simply a gift instead of an offer.
“How’s my chef doing?” Rainer asked, changing the subject.
“Ah? Doing quite well. The child is quite a hard worker.”
“Good...may I borrow your Nightmares for the duration of my trip?”
“Of course, of course,” Charles said while creating two Aura Inscriptions, “I shall bring them to you at a later hour, I will pour more Aura into them so you aren’t too limited by time. And once more I’d like to give my apologies for…”
Rainer waved a hand stopping him, “It's fine. Your lecture on inscriptions more than covered that,” He said as he left the room and headed outside of the mansion. George awaited him there.
“I have already reserved a private room at the place I oft dine at when here. If that is alright?”
“Perfect, let’s go then.”
George grinned as he began casting a spell. With Rainer’s level 2 [Magic Detection] he got a general sense that this spell’s purpose wasn’t offensive in nature. Nearly a dozen seconds passed before Rainer understood the magic’s goal.
Wind rushed around as Rainer’s party felt their feet lift from the ground. They rose into the air and flew at George’s command toward their intended destination. The sphere of wind surrounding them had a slight green hue, denoting it as magic.
If Rainer had been unsure on breaching the topic of spell trading with George, his current desire made not asking for such a thing an impossibility. Buildings beneath them rushed by as they were encased in an orb of swirling wind. Rainer took this moment to inspect George’s mana pool, but could only discern that its size equaled about 3 times his current one, its movements hidden entirely.
Rainer, while quite entertained, had [Gravity Domain] prepared at a moment’s notice. Even if he fully trusted in George, the very nature of him being in this world prevented him from believing magic infallible.
Gunthar seemed unbothered, not that Rainer could tell. Kara stared with wide eyes at the scenery passing below them. And all too soon their journey ended. While George had been showing off, it wasn’t hard for Rainer to see it was a bit taxing and that his mana pool suffered from carrying all of them.
Rainer felt a bit surprised seeing the unadorned and rather ordinary Inn in front of them. A bit surprised couldn’t describe the rest of the people around them, who had watched people descend from the sky in a torrent of wind.
“Do not judge it by its appearance, I have yet to find better cuisine than here. Had the owner not rejected my numerous attempts he would be my personal chef.”
“On the contrary, seeing you bring me to such a place I knew it had to be extraordinary,” Rainer’s praise had brightened George’s face slightly.
They were led into a private room at the back. Keeping up his appearance as a guard Gunthar waited outside the room. It was not a secret, Rainer’s relationship with Kara, and George had already seen Rainer personally carry her back, so she had no need to act as Rainer's guard.
They sat across from George, as they awaited their food.
“What were you talking about with Charles earlier, if you don’t mind me asking?”
“It isn’t particularly a secret. Mages are not common in this land and even less so those of the 2nd Tier,” Hearing about the basic information Rainer had asked from Martin, George explained more fully then he would to most, “So many Guilds recruit those on the cusp of advancing to the second class. They offer them a set of enchanted items in exchange for 50 years of servitude after they complete their advancement. The years and gifts vary. Given the Lifespan increase from one’s 2nd Tier Class, it is not a bad deal. But often…”
“They do the dirty work of the Guild,” Rainer answered, given the conversation he had overheard.
“Precisely. Hunting rogue mages and other such affairs,” George didn’t bother hiding the truth of the matter.
“You don’t seem like the type to do recruiting for your guild.”
George smiled a bit, “I am not. I had even gotten a far better than usual offer for my old friend, but he won’t relent. It is troublesome, you know, watching a friend walk to his death. I too fear the day my son may attempt the trial. Even with my support, I do not have high hopes.” He ended while sighing out.
Rainer too understood how many times he could have died without [Arcane Sight] at his disposal. He discovered a new-found respect for the man who completed the 2nd Class Advancement in front of him.
Kara paused a bit at his words, that were all too true seeing Rainer rush ahead of time to his trial. Yet even amongst her worries, she hadn’t even given a thought to how she would react if he didn’t come back.
Seeing no reason to hide it and possibly to gain George’s favor, Rainer revealed his discussion with Charles.
“You…have made me far happier than you can imagine. How I wished to just steal a set of items for Charles, I had even made plans in my head after his latest rejection, though, in truth, they were, but folly…” George paused for a moment as he just realized Rainer planned on heading back home, and more importantly, that he would return in a reasonable amount of time.
“If it is not too forward, might I ask where exactly you are heading, and if I may join you?”
Rainer knew what George was really asking. Even still his thoughts steered towards having such an ally for the Main Quest.
But Rainer immediately moved away from such thoughts. Even if he was to work together with George in the future, the Mana-Well would always remain a secret. Rainer himself could not resist such a thing, how could he expect other mages to?
“I’m afraid that is impossible. Might I ask exactly where you believe I am heading?”
“The North,” George answered simply.
“I am not from there; I thought it was just a wasteland out there past the scattered tribes?”
While George grew slightly disappointed, he did not show it talking about a subject that interested him to such a degree, “The further one travels into the wasteland the stronger the monsters get. It is considered a land of death and few believe there is anything of value beyond it.”
“Can’t you just…?”
“Fly? Normally, yes. But the farther one goes the more and more their Magic, and Aura becomes suppressed. I will not deny I had some hope as my son did, that you hailed from the North. It has been a long-held interest of mine. I had even,” George cast a minor spell around them and the slight bustle and noise of the inn disappeared, “Begun searching for the most capable of warriors who did not utilize Aura. But alas, such individuals are truly rare. Passing the 2nd Class Advancement as a melee class without even using Aura, I have only heard of one such individual, the Hunter’s Guild Leader. I understand little on how he is considered to be so powerful, but it is known he does not use Aura nor Magic. “
Rainer grinned after hearing the reason why no one could truly head north. He believed as an [Archon] he could gain a resistance to such effects.
And after such thoughts, “While I’m not from there I may be of some use in the matter. I too now have an interest in what lies in the North. But nonetheless, I must return home for a few weeks. I assume you won’t stay in town, where can I find you?”
George's eyes opened wide, “Is this true…”
“I’m all, but certain. I may not be able to protect you from the effect, but I can take you along.”
George froze for a moment.
As he finally got out of his stupor he pulled a small token with his name and the Skyborne’s Pegasus symbol on it, “I shall be at the Guild Headquarters in the Capital of Mier. With this, it should be quite easy to find me, but I fear…”
“And onto a request relating to that. Can I see the item you used to see my class?”
“Yes of course,” George said as he handed the orb to Rainer, “Just input a small amount of your mana with your target in mind.”
[Archon lvl 4]
Flashed through Rainer’s mind dozens and dozens of times as he tried to activity resist the feeling. He hadn’t tried this against Luna’s appraisal in the past given that he didn’t believe a level 1 resistance could help. But against the tool, he had some hope.
George felt Rainer’s mana pool decreasing far more than a single use would require, but just watched on. Kara sighed, awaiting whenever the food would be here. She too, however, had some interest in heading North. But she had no idea whether what Rainer said, when he acted as a Lord Magus, was true.
[Skill Gained: Appraisal Resistance lvl 1]
The orb now required as much mana as it could hold to appraise Rainer. He continued and after expending nearly all his mana pool the Orb no longer could see through him.
[Appraisal Resistance has reached level 2]
Rainer handed the orb back to George.
“I’ll be sure to visit you.”
“Excellent,” George responded. He believed this [Archon] possessed an ability to venture North. And so, he did not even question what went on just now.
“I do have a sensitive topic I wished to speak with your son about, but…”
“The matter of the Arachne? I can…”
“No. I have some interest in that, but my primary concern is something else. This wind spell blocks our voices, correct?” Rainer asked while pointing to the magic that still surrounded them.
“You are more than welcome to deny me, but…I wish to trade for magic with you.”
George mumbled a bit inaudibly as he rubbed the bridge of his nose.
“What exactly are you interested in?” George asked, his tone different from the jovial mood of before.
“Any Tier one spell, lightning, wind or otherwise. And then the spell you used for flight. I’m not sure I have much of equal trading value, but,” Rainer said as he took out the Mithril armor from his spatial ring, “Perhaps I have something that can be added to the deal.”
George couldn’t hide the shock on his face at the sight of those several pieces of Mithril.
Mithril was not only effective as an armor for mages, but also had uses in enchanting. Rainer planned on keeping most of the Mithril after learning that fact, including the share he originally wished to present George, but trading a few pieces for the possibility of magic was another matter. It isn’t as if George knew this was to be his share.
“The matter of trading spells…it is taboo as you’ve ventured. While a magical contract isn’t strong enough to force someone into action, its holder will know when it is broken. Guild knowledge is listed under this contract and should I trade anything away I shall be questioned by a mind mage, although,” George paused for a moment, “Should I say I traded a few tier 1 spells and a tier 3 spell for this amount of Mithril, it shall be more than fine. I may even be rewarded for such a deal. I cannot, however, give you anything at the tier 4 or above no matter what you offer me.”
“Perfect,” Rainer replied while taking out a few pieces of paper Luna made for him in the past, “Just use your mana to write down the formulae on these. Is this enough Mithril?” The amount Rainer displayed was both Liliana’s and the male [Rune Knight]’s armor, “And make the tier 1 spells the easiest ones you know.”
“It is plenty. What fascinating constructions.” George said while writing on the paper, “There are many spells from the first tier to second known outside of guilds, but Tier 3 spells generally stop providing useful amounts of experience prior to level 20. Making Tier 4 ones truly of value in both combat and otherwise. These are guarded quite severely.”
“And if you ran, how would the guild track you down?”
George laughed at this before responding, “Even I at the 2nd Tier of my Class, cannot hide from tracking magic forever. They would find me quite easily. Though you…with that strange Mana of yours might be quite difficult to track.”
Rainer cursed internally. He had been so preoccupied about the reinforcements and then, more importantly, the Runes on the [Rune Knight]. He had forgotten to ask something so simple.
How in the hell do these Fae keep finding me…
George, saying it may be challenging to track him, only increased the mystery.
“What do you mean difficult?”
“It is…hard to get a grasp on you. You appear to have a mana pool denoting you to be around a level 20 Mage or less. But just beneath the surface, it is like a raging torrent of power. Such a strange Mana, I do not doubt it could interfere with the magic of tracking spells. I am, however, no expert in the matter.”
George handed him back several papers. 2 tier 1 spells of both lightning and wind were included, along with the tier 3 flight spell.
“In truth, trading a Tier 3 Spell is not completely allowed, but the flight spell is not one I learned from the Guild and is, in fact, common across guilds. So, it should be of little issue. And I shall be honest, but even some stronger wind mages are unable to manage it, making it not too valuable. There are more flight spells out there, but I never had the need to learn any.”
After finishing their meal, Rainer said his farewells to George, who was heading back to the capital to immediately report the trade. He had agreed, as well, to call Rainer nothing more than a rogue mage.
Rainer saw this too, as a perfect chance to see if George was trustworthy. [Mana Reading] had proven to be ineffective. But, Rainer believed in George’s interests in the North and in himself as an [Archon].
In any case, he desired new magic. And gaining a spell that filled his dreams for so long, he took the risk.
Most importantly, George had been concerned about Rainer visiting him due to the presence of other items capable of appraising him. He knew there was a chance this was intentional, but he believed such paranoia would hinder him. His future goals were not ones he could accomplish alone.
He headed back to his mansion and planned to tell Charles he no longer needed the Nightmares. But Charles was already there upon their return and handed two coins to Rainer.
Rainer now had Luna appraise the two coins, just in case. And as far as she could tell they were in truth, Aura Inscriptions. But to Charles’ surprise, Rainer handed them back.
“We’ll be using a different means of transportation. Thank you for your aid, Charles. I’m sorry you took the trouble,” Rainer thought it over and didn’t wish to leave a trace of where they had headed so instead he planned on learning the flight spell as quickly as possible.
More importantly, Rainer could heavily assist the spell by combining it with Arcane Energy. He knew, even combined with that, it was unlikely such a spell could be cast over the whole distance, but it would certainly be faster than walking.
“It is of no issue. I shall keep your housing off-limits until your return.”
Rainer headed back inside after saying goodbye to the Baron. In truth, the Nightmares may have been quite useful at Nalmar, but he had no way of protecting them should they need to escape by air.
Carrying them would be too expensive. He saw how the Baron reluctantly parted with them the first time they had been borrowed. He did not wish to take a man’s companions away, permanently, from him in such a manner. He noted the Baron didn’t have any romantic interests and that his son wasn’t exactly ideal. Perhaps, the Baron’s Nightmares are closer to him than Rainer first realized, he thought.
“Let’s leave after tonight,” He said hoping to manage the flight spell by then.
His goal for the spell involved escape, but with the combination of [Gravity Domain] and a hopeful creation of Arcane-Wind he imagined the speed and efficiency, he could reach to be far faster than George could manage. They still had 5 forts to capture before heading to Nalmar itself. And with the group’s improvement in strength and Rainer’s own resources, a large group of undead became more manageable. He did not wish to delay.
Aware in his [Sleep Learning], he first looked over the tier 1 wind spells.
It sent a concentrated burst of wind and was a short-range spell. Rainer imagined this was the one Martin used to stop Carver from speaking when they first met.
Rainer noted it was designed likely to make arrows and other spells fly faster by diverting wind resistance, akin to a buffing spell.
And then finally the flight spell itself, though Rainer’s first goal involved gaining a wind or air manipulation skill and then combining it with Arcane as quickly as possible.
He had some thoughts of somehow mixing Space with Arcane but, in the end, he had not a clue on how to even do that. He manipulated space itself.
With his 200 Affinity and Intelligence under [Arcane Awakening] and his level 5 [Faraan Runic Language], it had only taken a few tries before Rainer managed to learn [Wind Blast]. Rainer poured in Mana and attempted to pull in additional air as he repeatedly cast [Wind Blast].
[Spell Gained: Wind Blast lvl 1/10]
[Wind Blast: Gather and expel a torrent of air at your intended target.]
His concentrated efforts at trying to draw in more wind had proven effective as the spell reached level 10.
[Skill Gained: Wind Manipulation lvl 1/10]
[Wind Blast has reached level 10]
[Reached the maximum proficiency of a Tier 1 spell: Rewarding 1 skill point.]
His recent experiments with leveling magic skills to level 2 had made him reason that anything other than an Arcane-related skill wouldn’t give experience.
With the unlimited Mana of [Sleep Learning], Rainer collected a torrent of Air around him and sent spinning gusts of winds out from him. Storms raged about him as the Mana poured stronger and stronger.
[Wind Manipulation has reached level 2]
With [Wind Manipulation] at level 2, Rainer now sought to learn the Tier 3 spell he had gained.
The spell involved creating a swirling sphere of wind around its caster, decreasing the air pressure on one’s self and then using the rotation and power of the wind to take flight while still allowing and keeping air for one’s breath inside.
Rainer first altered the spell to no longer require incantations and slightly improving its efficiency thus.
Something George no longer needed to use through long practice.
After a few attempts at understanding the rest of the Magical Formula. Rainer understood why many were unable to use this spell; there were too many elements.
Once the spell itself was created and managed it would be a bit easier, but, for example, increasing its speed after casting required the alteration of several factors.
Yet, under the aspect of unlimited Mana and having no fear of heights, beyond the pain, it did not take much for Rainer to gain the spell after an hour of practice.
It’s a shame resistances can’t level up here…
Rainer thought after the numerous falls he had taken.
[Spell Gained: Wind’s Ascent]
He now needed to try and add Arcane to his wind.
Rainer first held a simple Arcane-Flame in his hand. He watched it closely with [Arcane Sight] and could almost understand how the Arcane and Fire merged. The flame flicked and waved under his gaze. He watched the raw fire grow and engorge under the presence of the Arcane Energy within.
A swirling sphere of wind formed in his hand next and under the guidance of [Arcane Sight], he, at a pace far quicker than the past, merged Arcane Energy with the wind. The Arcane as it merged, drew the wind towards it, outside of Rainer’s control. In its combining, it sought to combine further.
[Skill Gained: Arcane-Wind Manipulation lvl 1/10]
The swirling ball of wind took on a violet hue and seemed to pulse with energy. It naturally began drawing in even more power, from the air around it, before Rainer dissipated the Arcane-wind.
Rainer started modifying his first wind spell.
[Spell Gained: Arcane-Wind Burst lvl 1/10]
A tier 2 spell far different from its counterpart. The merging of Arcane and Wind naturally drew more air toward it, enhancing the spell without any extra effort.
With great excitement, Rainer altered the [Wind’s Ascent] spell. He struggled as he tried to control the far more fierce and turbulent Arcane-Wind, but following a skill increase he had succeeded. Contrary to the past tier 3 spell, this had risen to the 4th tier.
[Spell Gained: Arcane-Wind’s Ascent lvl 1/10]
Yet compared to [Spatial Domain], which reached the peak of tier 4, this spell encompassed the absolute minimum boundary, as Rainer felt, of a tier 4 spell.
The natural drawing in effect of Arcane-Wind cheapened the spell considerably. It also took away many of the factors that made the original spell difficult to manage. And combined with the ability to continually fuel the spell, after its initial cost of mana, with only Arcane Power, he now had a viable means of transportation.
Using [Gravity Domain] only increased the cost, given it could only be used with Mana. But in times where speed was needed, [Gravity Domain] was invaluable.
He had a thought of removing the part of the magical formula that prevented him from being blown back by his own magic and using it in concert with [Gravity Domain], but maintaining such a thing proved too dangerous given the mana cost for sustained flight.
Given the near instant nature of [Gravity Domain] and the 6 seconds it took to cast [Arcane-Wind’s Ascent], there was a clear difference in combat usage.
Rainer still looked forward to the birth of his Wyvern. Traveling by burning his resources would never be an ideal situation.
He thought over whether he should spend the rest of his [Sleep Learning] trying to learn Lightning magic, but decided against it. He’d spend the rest of the time on autopilot so he could partially recover before their journey to Nalmar. In any case, it would take him some time to develop useful offensive magic from the one’s he received from George. He wished to push for some Tier 2 ones, but he didn’t want to go too far on their first meeting.
Rainer awoke to Kara by his side. Judging by her face it seemed she had been awake for a while. Luna too still relaxed on him, instead of bothering Gunthar as she often did.
“Is this about what I said?” Rainer, slightly reddened, as he recalled what he had told Kara prior to the night he left for his 2nd Class Advancement.
He rubbed his eyes and noted [Arcane-Wind’s Ascent] leveled. He hoped with its previous Tier 3 nature it could be Auto-piloted, and his ideas proved partially correct.
[Arcane-Wind’s Ascent has reached level 3]
Given the nature of it, neither Luna nor Kara had any intent of teasing him on it.
“No, I am still a bit tired from yesterday and Gunthar’s a bit annoyed at Luna.”
“Meanie Gunthar blamed Luna cause he didn’t know enchanted sword didn’t work properly anymore. How can this be Luna’s fault?”
It’s completely your fault.
Both Kara and Rainer shared a look as if they knew each other’s thoughts were the same.
As they headed downstairs, they noted Gunthar had already stowed away the enchanted and Mithril items in the mansion. Rainer needed room in his ring for anything else they’d pick up at Nalmar. He also had a sneaking suspicion that he wouldn’t be able to stay at Nalmar, as he pleased, after the quest, so collecting any tomes from Nalmar’s libraries was a priority as well. Though, in the end, he hoped to stay as he pleased.
Prior to leaving, the group went to purchase several large sacks. Tomes could be carried and given Gunthar’s and Kara’s strength there was little reason only to take what the ring could bring back with them.
Finally, they purchased food to be carried in the ring. They would abandon it when they needed space.
They left town hooded and Rainer activated the spell. He took a surprised Kara in his arms just as they took flight. It cost a decent amount more to carry Gunthar with them. But the speed of flight was worth it as he soared over the forests and toward the dungeon town.
Kara moved her arms around Rainer as they flew just above the tree line, far faster than a pace they could maintain without burning Aura. A translucent sphere of Arcane-Wind surrounded them as they flew onwards. He knew, this moment holding Kara in his arms, may be the last moment of peace he has for some time.
Some time later at the Fae Queen’s palace…
Within a room, as Yulia held a mana crystal in her hand she pondered over the information she received from Maya. Different from most like Liliana, Maya was one of the Fae truly loyal to her Queen and the Queen in return showed loyalty.
A line of blood flowed down her red lips as she bit into them. Her eyes glowed with an emerald-mana infused hue.
How dare he!
She roared in her mind as a wind swirled around her. The bones in her fingers slightly cracked as she clenched a fist.
Among all the Fae killed, Yulia had valued Liliana the most. The rest were akin to hired guns working with her in exchange for the Fruit they received or hoped to receive. Now Yulia was trapped. She herself could go, but the moment she left she’d be hunted by the rest of the Fae Courts, lacking the protection of the Tree.
She needed the experiment back. She needed her desperately back. Yet the prospect of an [Archon] taking her for his own had made her realize she couldn’t do it without help.
She grinned as her eyes darkened. Amongst the Fae courts, Maiden Elru of the Autumn Court was especially protective toward captive Fae. Yulia’s experiments in creating Luna were well hidden. She need only plead the case of a wayward servant of hers being lost, and then provide a proper offer of Fruit in return for her, and Elru would send her strongest to retrieve the Experiment.
It came with the risk of what exactly made the Experiment so special getting out, but Yulia was left without any other option. Either she retrieved what she knew as hers or she would lose her throne during the next Trial of the World Tree.
In the end, she desperately wished to tear out this [Archon]’s throat with her very own hands.
More than half-way there, Rainer canceled the spell. They walked the remainder of the way.
They headed up to the entrance; no party had been leaving or entering now, and Rainer used the ring. They stood in silence as 10 minutes flew by. Rainer did not know if their leaving had been noticed and an undead army would hardly mind the wait.
“Now,” He said, and as agreed upon, they all pretended to enter the dungeon. And with a fluctuation of space they vanished from the entrance of the Dungeon.
The party found themselves at the same Dungeon entrance they had teleported from. They were at the entrance of the large cathedral-like building that encompassed the Dungeon entrance.
They stepped forward into the hazy light of the overcast area. They looked all around and found the presence of undead lacking. Rainer let out a breath of air along with some of his tension. He wished to capture the 5 remaining forts as quickly as possible. Though the one, which the undead horde had swarmed may present difficulty, he saw the other 4 as nothing more than experience.
Kara began shifting as Gunthar directed them which way to go. As Rainer gripped the fur on Kara for the first time he tried to adjust himself and rather than hanging on for dear life, actually ride her. He found himself, however, unsuccessful in gaining any skill.
He suddenly understood. Simply riding on a horse wasn’t the skill. Using the stirrups and properly directing the horse is what made riding a skill. He thought it over as he tried to squeeze his thighs or pull Kara toward a certain direction. After a few attempts, unnoticed by her, he finally managed a skill increase and found himself no longer simply holding on for dear life.
[Skill Gained: General Beast Riding lvl 1/10]
[Skill Gained: Werewolf Riding lvl 1/10]
If before Kara would often inadvertently get Rainer hit by a stray branch, He now subtlety guided her along a path of least resistance.
His skill increased and Kara did not notice in the slightest what he was doing.
[Werewolf Riding has reached level 2]
Rainer knew he should probably tell her of the skill. But for now, he left it alone, far happier to no longer get thwacked by every branch outside of Kara’s notice. He reasoned to himself it was safer not to tell her until they left Nalmar. Safer in what way, he did not note.
As Kara shifted back during a break, Rainer thought to ask a question relating to classes, given he was now going to be leveling up multiple new ones in the future.
“Hey Kara, how many attribute and skill points do you gain per level?”
“I gained 1 attribute and skill point, every other level for my Demon class, and the same, every three levels for my Blade Dancer. Why…what did you gain for Arcanist?” Kara, knowing they needed Gunthar at full capacity, hesitantly asked this question.
“Every level of Arcanist I got 1 attribute and 1 skill point. I gain 2 attribute and skill points every level with my Archon class now,” Rainer answered without much thought.
“As you should, Sorcerer, as you should.” Surprising both, Gunthar spoke in such a manner. His skeletal face gave away nothing.
“Gunthar understands now,” Luna said while flying out of Rainer’s coat and sitting on top of Gunthar’s head.
“Luna mentioned she was busy earlier. But Gunthar couldn’t have known Luna was busy. So Luna is sorry.”
But before Gunthar could accept Luna’s apology she began outlying why she was busy.
“Sleeping all the time isn’t so easy, says Luna. Luna has to find perfect position and then sometimes Luna has to match how Rainer walks so Luna doesn’t wake up. Sleeping outside of Rainer is no easier. Luna is very small so Luna must…”
After nearly 10 minutes of Luna talking about the various tasks she could be busy with Gunthar finally was able to get a word in,” I Forgive you, Lady of the Fae, I forgive you.”
“Gunthar, if Luna went inside your head, could Luna use Fire and make Gunthar spit fire? Gunthar would be like dragon!” Luna said with great excitement, switching topics completely.
“Lady of the Fae, I’m afraid my body cannot handle such a thing,” Gunthar spoke a bit nervously.
“Luna knows. Luna only thought if Gunthar was Elf again, Luna could do such a thing.”
“Lady of the Fae…would that not be worse?”
“Luna guesses so,” She turned her head toward Rainer, but he responded before her, “No you cannot shoot fire out of my mouth.”
“Eh…Rainer is no fun anymore.”
Laughing a bit, Rainer cast [Arcane-Fire Breath], emitting a small plume of fire from his mouth.
“Oh! Rainer is already like Dragon.”
As Luna continued to think of ways to blow fire out of Gunthar, all of which he rejected, Rainer thought over the party’s, and his own, future leveling.
Rainer knew without the presence of new Dungeons or Main quests, leveling his second class, that shares experience with his 2nd Tier Class, won’t be easy.
But at the very least, he now knew he should focus on his rarest classes. His recent understandings about subclasses had as well told him just how powerful Kara having two primary classes from the get go was. She may be the only one with more than 2 primary classes when she eventually advances.
I expect you to protect her well.
Rainer thought as he looked down at his [Incubation Ring]. He had high hopes for whatever Wyvern came out after being fed by both his and Kara’s varied and powerful energies.
He genuinely feared what Kara might face. He knew if he tried to advance another 2nd Tier Class, he’d have the difficulty compounded by his [Archon] class. But Kara’s situation was unique. He knew she wouldn’t wish to take the Fruit, though he’d certainly ask when the time came.
Rainer gazed over to Kara who stretched out her arms, her black tail gently swaying. Her white blouse slightly lifted revealing her fair skin. She moved around slowly stretching out her body in preparation for another run.
If she tried to rush to a 2nd Class Advancement as he had, he is sure of himself in doing everything in his power to stop her. He didn’t care about unfairness.
Kara soon shifted back to her Werewolf form, and the group advanced quickly once more. Just as they approached the next fort on their list for capture, the situation changed.
Rainer quickly turned around feeling a powerful surge of magic. In the distance, a shining spear that seemed to contain the Holy fury of Sunlight itself shone brightly. The undead wielding it glistened in the light, unaffected entirely.
[Undead, Male, Holy Guardian(2nd) lvl 1, Magic Scholar lvl 11]
[Undead, Male, Ghoul Wyvern lvl 25]
Rainer thought to himself. He saw no other way for an undead to wield a spell of Holy power so close.
He instantly knew the spear wielded by this undead surpassed the [Spear of Holy Light] by margins unknown. It did not even affect the undead flying alongside him as its power was contained so well.
The variant undead moved back his hand in a throwing motion. Rainer panicked and shouted out toward Gunthar.
“Get behind me!”
But Gunthar stood there unresponsive. He stared deeply at the man who wore armor only slightly different than he had.
Tendrils of light swirled around the fearsome spear. Rainer activated [Arcane Sight] as he rushed over to Gunthar, jumping off Kara.
The mana…isn’t his.
Rainer immediately discerned, seeing the massive power of the spear. Yet the Aura that surpassed Kara by two-fold, three-fold of Gunthar’s, belonged to that undead.
The spear of powerful light launched straight toward the group. Rainer knew that if it hit unabated, Gunthar may not survive. Having no time he cast [Gravity Domain].
Runic lines of violet shown through his clothes as [Arcane Awakening] reached 100%.
He leaped straight toward the spear. An arcane plating encased him.
The blinding light of the spear collided with the immovable might of his shields. Rainer grunted in pain as he poured more and more Arcane Power into his shielding.
In a fury of light, the spear exploded, catapulting Rainer straight into the ground. Even Kara at a distance, found her fur slightly singed by the powerful Light.
Waving off the plume of dust surrounding him, Rainer noticed the skin of his forearms was slightly burnt. Luna quickly healed the injury.
The pain, even an undead could feel, had brought Gunthar out of his stupor.
“Sorcerer!” He called out in worry as he ran toward Rainer. The group of Wyverns and their riders circled the group.
“I’m fine. Rather Gunthar, what the hell?”
“He’s…the armor…it is…my father’s….” Gunthar spoke as all the party looked on, at the encircling Wyverns.
Rainer activated [Arcane Sight] as he recovered his Arcane Power. He stared at the otherwise invisible connection between Gunthar’s father and an invisible force providing mana. He noticed this connection was not too different than the one formed by Charles’ tracking inscription.
“Then let’s take it back. With him in it,” Rainer declared as an Arcane-Wind swirled around him.