“I...have never seen this place before…” Gunthar replied quietly as the sound of wings, and loud screeches filled the air.
“Wyverns…” Rainer said as he hopped off Kara recalling their appearance from their undead counterparts. 6 of them flew overhead screeching out a high pitched cry. Their bodies beige like the prairie grass below them. Two long clawed legs and leathery wings that ended in a small hand. Rows of razor sharp teeth glistened in the high noon sun. Their green eyes stared down at the intruders below them.
[Avian, Male, Young Wyvern lvl 19]
[Avian, Male, Young Wyvern lvl 21]
[Avian, Male, Young Wyvern lvl 17]
“Gunthar...are there supposed to be level 21 monsters in a level 20 and below dungeon?” Rainer asked now quickly understanding the dungeon had changed over the years.
“No...the dungeon evolved...but the outside should have changed...it was exactly the same…”
As Gunthar mumbled to himself, Rainer went over and put a hand on his shoulder before speaking.
“It's fine Gunthar; it's been a long time. This is better for us; we can likely gain the pioneer bonuses.”
Immediately after Gunthar shoved Rainer back as a Wyvern dove towards them. Rainer himself jumped further away as Gunthar clad his sword in a black aura before meeting the Wyvern head on. The beast did a roll to the side to dodge Gunthar’s blade, yet suddenly the aura surged and stabbed directly into the creature slicing it down its spine.
Gunthar expended far more aura than usual being weakened by the direct sunlight. Yet his rare class and level prevented him from being completely useless like lesser undead.
[Undead, Male, Death Knight lvl 18]
Just as the Wyvern’s life ended, another had already dove down towards Rainer once more. On full guard this time he immediately released two armed [Arcane Bolt]s yet he had forgotten exactly what made Wyvern’s what they were, instinct. As if foretelling the future the Wyvern easily dodged the speeding bolts.
Its sharp teeth were but a foot from Rainer’s face before the beast was yanked back by a swift shadow. Kara slammed the wyvern straight into the ground and without pause ripped out its throat with her aura clad claw.
The Wyverns who had joined into the dive flew back up. The party stood at attention, yet the Wyverns only continued flying in a circle high in the sky. Even with such a level gap with Kara’s dual rare classes with her transformed state and Gunthar’s rare class and powerful aura abilities a mere [Young Wyvern] was powerless even with its impeccable instinct.
Are they going to wait us out?…
Rainer thought as he stared up at the sun directly above them. The Wyverns could glide on the prairie wind far longer than Rainer, and the members of his party would last under the heat. He then took a quick look at his surroundings. In every direction but one all you could see was the occasional crag and then just endless fields. In one distant direction, there was, however, a mountain range.
“Kara shift back, and Luna make us some thin white cloaks, so we don’t overheat. Make one for Gunthar as well; I can’t imagine the sun is pleasant to him. “ Rainer said once he noticed the Wyverns planned on waiting them out. He and Kara were already tired, and they had initially been expecting to be able to rest given how Gunthar described the dungeon.
“I suppose we head towards the mountain?” Rainer spoke to Gunthar.
“We have little else to go on.” Gunthar replied afterward. He was the most experienced in dungeons amongst this group by far. Luna quickly went around creating white cloaks for the whole party to keep the sun off them.
Covered in white cloaks, the group trudged forward. Rainer looked ahead at Gunthar wondering if perhaps Gunthar should try and carry them but not only would they be open to ambush it's not exactly the most pleasant ride to be transported by a skeleton covered in armor as they had learned.
He looked back towards the sky just as another Wyvern joined the encirclement. They flew too high up for him to be able to hit them with most magic. His spear could reach, but they’d dodge its path long before he could do anything about it.
He took out the journal he received from Yalin and once more focused on reading the spatial magic related part of the spell. With some experience in spatial magic from his wall-walking spell, he was starting to figure out some of the runes there, but compared to the whole of the spell he wasn’t even close. He couldn’t help but wonder if he should just bite the bullet and try to wall-walk again before deciding that a dungeon wouldn’t be the best place in any case.
Not pushing himself as far as the past due to needing to keep a ready level of alertness he put away the journal at the first sign of a headache.
He then took the time to put the 5 attribute points he had gained into [Arcane Attunement] before re-arming 2 more [Arcane Bolt]s and opening up all his status screens.
[Primary Classes: Arcanist Lvl 15/25]
[Titles: Arcane Scholar, Fae Contractor, Arcane Elementalist, Dungeon Pioneer, Philanderer]
[Skill Points: 5]
[Talents: Excellent Arcane Affinity, Human Growth, Gift of the Fae(Luna)]
[Stamina Regen: .1% per second]
[Mana Regen: .0038 per second]
[Arcane Power: 25/25]
[Conversion Ratio: 1-7]
The conversion rate was 3 times smaller than Arcane Attunement, though now it's smaller. Seems to have a decreasing effect.
[Arcane Attunement: 25]
[Attribute points: 0]
Rainer gripped his hands a few times and tried to get a general feel for the differences in his body after having gained +1 to all attributes. It was difficult to discern. He was stronger, but without a familiar weight, it was just guesswork with a single point of increase. Were it not for seeing his spells grow stronger, cheaper, and faster his normal gains wouldn’t be as easy to notice. He could just write off the mental differences as being more interested in his new life.
[General Skills: Magic Detection lvl 1/10, Mana Detection lvl 1/10, Aura Detection lvl 1/10]
[Physical Skills: Long Jumping lvl 2/10, Sprinting lvl 1/10, Bare-Fist Fighting lvl 1/10, Weightless Blade Mastery lvl 2/10, General Blade Mastery lvl 2/10, Spear Throwing lvl 1/10, General Throwing lvl 1/10, Kissing Technique lvl 1/10, Dextral Pleasuring Technique lvl 1/10, Copulation Technique lvl 1/10, Dancing lvl 3/10, Pitch Control lvl 1/10, Humming lvl 1/10]
[Information Skills: Appraisal lvl 2/10, Human Anatomy lvl 7/10, Goblin Anatomy lvl 1/10, Fae Anatomy lvl 4/10, Demon Anatomy lvl 6/10, Muknar Language 3/10, Fae Language lvl 1/10]
[Magic Skills: Sleep Learning lvl 9/10, Faaran Runic Language lvl 3/10, Arcane Rage lvl 1/10, Arcane Weaving lvl 1/10, Arcane Sound Infusion lvl 1/10, Mana Manipulation lvl 2/10, Arcane Energy Manipulation lvl 5/10, Fire Manipulation lvl 3/10, Spatial Manipulation lvl 3/10, Light Manipulation lvl 1/10, Arcane-Light Manipulation lvl 3/10, Arcane-Fire Manipulation lvl 2/10]
[Toggled On Skills: Pain Resistance lvl 1/10, Physical Resistance lvl 1/10, Burn Resistance lvl 1/10, Fire Resistance lvl 1/10, Mental Resistance lvl 1/10, Death Resistance lvl 1/10, Arcane Resistance lvl 1/10]
[Toggled Off Skills: None]
Rainer wondered to himself seeing all his skills. With how easy it came to him any level 1 skill would be worth gaining no matter how seemingly useless. His thoughts strayed towards enchanting, hoping to find some books on the subject matter when they finally visited the actual city of Nalmar.
They were silent as they trudged forward towards the mountains on the horizon. Even as hours passed the sun never moved from its position and soon a total of 12 Wyverns were circling overhead.
Rainer had a feeling no matter how many joined in they’d wait until the party was at their weakest to strike. He immediately called over Kara and Gunthar having a plan in mind.
“Gunthar, how much can they really tell about us? If we were to feign weakness?”
“I’m afraid they would not fall into such a trap.” Gunthar replied back.
“Then what? We wait until some other monsters attack and then the Wyverns kill us?” Rainer replied back looking like he was about to pull some hair from his head.
“Rainer it's alright. If anything else attacks us, you’ll handle it primarily, and Gunthar will stay watching the movement of the Wyverns. I’ll work in between. We just need to get to whatever the end of this first stage is. It may just be a destination.” Kara spoke right after.
He nodded to her suggestion as the party moved on. Luna herself was comfortably nesting in Rainer’s pocket. Her magical nature was preventing her from being too affected by the heat. Rainer had [Fire Resistance], but with a natural hate for the sun and the skill’s low level, it was still unpleasant. He grimaced imagining what it could be.
They continued walking forward towards the mountains in the distance. Every crag they passed a few more Wyverns flew out to join the group above.
“Gunthar do you think they’ll attack once their numbers are high enough?” Rainer asked while he carefully watched the crags and hills around them to make sure nothing else came at them.
“Their hunting methods are similar to wolves, though as you saw they misjudged our strength and went with abandon. Now that they understand they will not attack if it puts them at risk. They will wait for both numbers and either our exhaustion or another foe attacking us.”
Rainer gritted his teeth while looking at the Wyverns before he suddenly paused. He might as well give it a try.
“Wait a moment. Let's see just how good their instincts are.” Rainer spoke before trying to gauge the distance they flew at. It was too high for anything other than his spear. If they could dodge then, he simply wouldn’t aim at any of them.
A [Spear of Holy Arcane-Light] formed in his hand causing the circling Wyverns to begin screeching yet none changed their flight. Aiming straight up he, instead of aiming at any particular Wyvern aimed it in between two of them. He put nearly half of his current Arcane Power into empowering the spear, reaching the spell’s limit in a non-[Arcane Rage] state. He fired the shining spear, and the three wyverns closest to it stopped yet moved no further understanding they weren't in its path.
Just as it reached the proper altitude, Rainer unleashed the energy stored and with an explosion of Arcane and Light it thrust out to the nearby Wyverns. They had reacted the moment they felt the change in energy, but alas it was too slow. The closest Wyvern died instantly its body ruined from the arcane energy; the second damaged its wing severely whereas, the third managed to escape in time.
The Wyverns began screeching and calling out as they rose to a higher altitude and spread out further amongst themselves. The injured one retreated to one of the lone crags they likely called home.
No experience gained in dungeons huh…
He reaffirmed to himself and considered even then it wasn’t a complete waste. When the Wyverns did decide to attack them, the party now had more time to react.
Kara tapped on his shoulder before pointing in a direction to Rainer’s left. A light breeze kept the grass always moving, but this was clearly more than that. Almost instantly an [Arcane Bolt] formed in his hand. With the improvement in attributes he’s gained, the cast has reached a point where he couldn’t tell how short it took.
Pouring a few points of arcane power into the spell he launched the bolt straight into the tall grass where the target seemed to be moving. A loud cry followed a tumbling large cat. It had coughed a few moments before life left it. With the grass now patted down by the monster, they could see the monster itself. It was a dark yellow looking almost identical to the body of a panther were it not for the deer-like antlers on its head.
Perhaps understanding the opponent was no match for their chosen prey the Wyverns above were unchanged.
“Do any of you know what that was?” Rainer asked the party.
“Not in the slightest…” Gunthar answered, and the rest remained silent.
“What even was this place before the evolution.” Rainer asked. Gunthar had only partially described what they would do and less of what the place was.
“The area was similar, but there was an easily defendable cave not far up a mountain right by the entrance. There certainly wasn’t Wyverns waiting to strike…More importantly, there isn’t a single right way to complete an open dungeon like this. The mountain may be the most obvious goal and perhaps the best choice as well, but it is not the only one. We could have just as easily traveled in another direction...though often the path less obvious is far more challenging.”
“We can save it for a second run if need be.” Rainer replied a bit excited at the prospect of gaining even more possible first bonuses.
Rainer couldn’t help but wonder that there were too few opponents as they moved forward. Compared to the gauntlet this was more of a relaxing walk then a fight. Though, their unusual strength had made the Wyverns cautious in the first place. The only thing Rainer could conclude is that other beasts were kept away by the Wyverns though that didn’t fit in with his perception of dungeons. Rather an open area like this didn’t fit in with it either.
As they started coming closer to the mountain after a few more hours of an exhausting walk, they began to see a lightly wooded area at the base of the mountain. Rainer noted that even Gunthar seemed to slow, likely an effect of prolonged exposure to the sun, even with Luna’s cloak. The [Lich]s hadn’t worn those robes for no reason.
As they moved closer to the forested area, the Wyverns above them began to panic. As if communicating with one another they sent screeches back and forth before the entire group flew away.
“Well hell, that's about as bad of an omen you could get.” Rainer said as he looked at the retreating Wyverns.
“Either way...it seems this is the correct path.” Kara said as she pointed to a dirt road leading into the forest. Different from the pines Rainer had seen when he first left the mine the trees here were massive and looked more akin to redwoods. It hadn’t been as noticeable from afar, but they were actually quite tall. The party stepped forward onto the path and then a significant change occurred.
As if fast-forwarded the sun began setting. Rainer let the full light of his armed [Arcane Bolt]s show as the sky darken within minutes leaving not even a moon in sight but only faint starlight.
“Truly a dungeon like occurrence huh?”
“You would know?” Kara asked her ears twitching a bit in curiosity. While she had yet to find out Rainer’s world didn’t have status screens she could tell he didn’t have experience with dungeons.
“Personally no. But tales were told of places similar to this. Though they weren't true. Just made up.”
“Such fake tales are interesting?” Kara asked a bit confused.
Rainer thought for a moment before answering. He searched his memory to see what books he had used [Sleep Learning] on in getting through high school before deciding if any of them would be interesting.
“I can tell you a few when we have time. I think you’ll like them.” The whole party grew interested including Luna who had awoken to the changing of the light.
“For now...we should focus on whatever those Wyverns were scared of.”
A serious mood took over after Rainer’s last phrase. They all understood whatever was in here was possibly the real test of this first stage.
Minutes passed as if slowed and only the sounds of insects filled the air. The occasional swat came from Kara toward any that came too close. Rainer cycled his various detection abilities. Both he and Gunthar stopped walking having both sensed an aura in the distance. Soon that single aura became many. They were strong. Most having just a bit smaller pool than Kara, some larger.
I’m going to have to ask if it's possible to hide my mana at some point…
Rainer thought before warning Kara.
“Kara shift. We’ve got company. Strong ones. Luna begin casting [Gift of Lightning] starting with Kara, then Gunthar, and finally me.”
Kara immediately started shifting, but before she could finish an aura covered boulder blasted out from the forest straight towards Rainer. He was not even able to react before 2 of his armed [Arcane Bolt]s automatically activated to intercept. The boulder exploded mid-air.
Gunthar moved in front of Rainer slashing in half another boulder headed their way. Figures began rushing towards the group now visible in Rainer’s light.
“Trolls…” Gunthar growled out angrily.
“Kara focus on defending Rainer. And Rainer burn them with that strange fire of yours. They may still not die even from that, but it’ll put them out long enough.”
Just as Kara finished shifting and Luna’s [Gift of Lightning] went unto Kara, Gunthar charged forward. With his aura coated blade he waded through the hideous monsters of gray shriveled flesh and thin bodies. Their red eyes had an ominous glow in the dark. He aimed at their legs avoiding any and all prolonged combat as he moved in the general direction of the path.
Rainer jumped on Kara’s back as she too rushed forward. Luna created a magical belt around Kara’s chest so Rainer could hold on when she stood on two legs. With the distraction Gunthar gave Rainer took a moment to appraise the trolls while casting an [Arcane-Fire Bolt].
[Jotun, Male, Troll lvl 18]
[Jotun, Male, Troll lvl 22]
[Jotun, Female, Troll lvl 17]
He cringed a bit seeing the female was pregnant and far uglier than her male counterparts if such a thing was even possible. To such creatures which seemed to lack any humanity, no remorse could be shown as he let loose a bolt of Arcane-Fire toward one of the males. The troll it hit combusted in an instant. He could feel its aura try to fight against the flame but it burnt as fiercely as the time it lasted was short. A burnt figured collapsed to the ground right after. Instantly all the trolls turned their heads towards Rainer pausing in their current actions.
“The sorcerer killed a fucking troll…” Gunthar spoke out in surprise lacking his usual demeanor before he turned around and started running back towards Kara and Rainer. Perhaps he should have explained it, but he was so certain that the troll wouldn’t die. He wouldn’t make such a mistake of underestimating the sorcerer again.
They all could feel the death of their comrade. And they all would seek vengeance. All were so focused on Rainer they ignored Gunthar who was trying to rejoin him.
With one hand Rainer gripped the belt around Kara and with the other, he had already formed another [Arcane-Fire Bolt].
“I’m guessing this wasn’t supposed to happen?” He asked as he looked out towards the eerily quiet and focused trolls. He also saw the messages for two new titles.
[Title Gained: Trollsbane]
[Experience Gained: 19%]
[Title Gained: Immortal Slayer]
[Experience Gained: Deferred]
The hell, deferred?
“No...No, it was not. Trolls do not die. They are one of the closest things to an immortal. “
“But that one’s pregnant. Isn’t that a huge problem?”
“Were this not a dungeon. I’d say most certainly. They are born from corruption, and at such an infrequent pace they may as well not be born at all.”
A troll in the back was first to break the staring contest as he charged at the group. The rest followed him in his assault. Rainer cast his [Arcane-Fire Bolt] at them killing another troll and causing a surge of aura to erupt amongst the charging trolls.
“Run!” Gunthar yelled as he charged right on the path. Kara followed immediately behind. The trolls were faster. Just as one was about to reach her Rainer unleashed his [Cone of Arcane-Flame], killing once more. Rainer fueled the spell entirely with Arcane power as it burned any trolls coming near. Killing dozens before some retreat towards the back and an aura covered tree comes flying towards them.
“Fuck!” Rainer yelled as he launched 4 of his armed [Arcane Bolt] shredding the aura protected tree into splinters.
“Follow the path. No dungeon is made unbeatable. The trolls were not meant to be killed. Meaning our goal must be ahead.” Gunthar called out over the sounds of the roaring trolls. He ran alongside Kara rapidly burning his aura to keep up with her. He could jump on, but it would slow them down. Luna just finished her second cast of [Gift of Lightning] unto Gunthar, allowing him to keep up as his aura dwindled.
Now with more distance, Rainer continually expended his mana casting [Arcane-Fire Bolts] infused with more Arcane Power. Killing any troll and its surrounding allies. He aimed at any looking to throw something towards them.
A loud laughter suddenly escaped Gunthar causing him to draw a look of ire from the group.
“A rest area!” He yelled out while pointing in the distance. It took a moment for Rainer to see a cabin after increasing the lights of his remaining armed bolts. It was more akin to a large cottage than a cabin. They all ran towards it the trolls still behind them.
They rushed into the cabin noticing that the path continues past the cabin’s entrance and towards the start of the mountain.
[Reached the entrance to Wyvern’s Roost. 10% Static Experience Gained for the first time having cleared it]
[First to have reached the entrance to Wyvern’s Roost. 20% Static Experience Gained]
Kara collapsed shifting back into her normal form upon entering. Rainer too laid down happy to finally be somewhere safe after running from so long even before this dungeon.
Letting out a sigh of relief at the 14 hours they have they separated to explore around and look for a place to rest. The living members of the group too exhausted to say a word, though a loud scream changed that.
“A Spring!” A shout that was then followed by a loud laughter and the splashing of water.
“I shall go recover my aura, you two go entertain yourself with the sorcerer.” Gunthar said before heading through a door into one of the rooms in the cabin.
Luna who was initially floating around the spacious cabin followed Kara towards the direction Rainer’s scream came from.
They walked into the enclosed backyard of the cabin and saw a happy unclothed Rainer floating on his back lacking any care. The steam thickened the air. The hot spring stretched over a dozen feet in diameter, more than accommodating for the three of them. Not that Luna, in particular, needed much space.
Kara morphed her clothing into silver rings on her wrists and ankles before slowly getting in. Luna regularly did housekeeping with her flame leaving the bath to be for relaxation rather than actual need.
Seeing Kara getting in Rainer floated over next to her as they both sat quietly relaxing. Luna flew around and then plunged into the water. Unabashedly playing around in the water, the steam likely playing a role in the lack of apprehension of being unclothed. That and she was only 8 inches tall.
Rainer leaned back closing his eyes enjoying the heat around him.
“Do you think we’ll be able to have such moments in the future?” Kara asked with a bit of sadness in her voice.
“Of course, what do you think we're building a school for?” He replied still having his eyes closed.
“Rainer...I had heard Luna’s story as well and together the amount of 2nd class experts who come after us may be quite numerous after they discover your strength. Even if we can always win would we not be always running as well?” Kara said back not understanding how a school would solve any of this.
Rainer awoke a bit seeing how heavily this weighed on her.
“The world as it is now, do you think kings, nobles and others in power are content? To show such deference and respect to mages as their true rulers? And among those mages how many simply wish to advance magic yet are stifled by the environment around them? I cannot imagine a mage with an age surpassing the hundreds has much interest in playing politics. “ Rainer said and then continued on.
“And even if a mage is born within a royal family who can train him? Would not sending him to a guild risk a major loyalty issue? And even then would the guild truly train a possible threat adequately?”
“Then we have rogue mages as well. Those who go against the current authority would have a place to further their magic and train in safety. Nobles and Kings would send their children who are gifted. Those from guilds will leave to go to a place where they can truly advance magic.” Rainer said while having the thought that his Arcane abilities could be crafted into something that would remove any type of contractual magic.
He wasn’t a fool, even if Gunthar hadn’t confirmed his suspicions when he mentioned Rainer’s magic was oddly effective versus undead, Rainer had already noticed. Arcane seemed to trump most other magics. Whether it was death, necromancy, or mana shields. If light magic alone was enough to stop death magic how did Nalmar ever fall? In his very class description, Arcane is considered the origin of all magic. Why shouldn’t it be superior?
And then there’s the title [Immortal Slayer]...
“And that is why a school which allows all these dissenters a place would be a fortress. At first, we will require the support of perhaps a monarch or depend on our power reaching the 2nd class, but then when we become a power in our own right, to have Alumni in positions of power across the world, will we still need to run then?”
Rainer hadn’t been in this world long. But he had already experienced the respect and deference mages received. It wasn’t difficult to assume that those in power would be unhappy with the existence of mage guilds. Though the common people might not think in such a way given the protection from outside threats guilds provide.
“Most importantly we will have the entire heritage of Nalmar. Their enchanting, their magic, and their mana well. A massive foundation for a school of learning. One that many even powerful rogue mages would be happy to join and share with. Though of course the Mana-well will be our secret.”
He said while lifting up his spatial ring implying they could take anything of value easily with them. Gunthar hadn’t been surprised at it though it was decently rare even in a city like Nalmar and Kara’s mother actually has one. A gift from Kara’s father that she has never met nor knows much about.
Kara’s face visibly relaxed. She hadn’t realized how much thought Rainer truly put into his plans, just happy he considered her a part of them. She had already been prepared to run for the rest of her life, to never see her mother or grandmother again, to never have real rest or security. Yet she found some with the man beside her.
Rainer too relaxed after voicing out his idea and seeing no disagreement for Kara, meaning at the very least it wasn’t impossible.
Seeing Rainer practically asleep Luna had a mischievous grin on her face. Diving under the water she approached him as silent as she could. Kara noticed Luna and plucked the little fairy out of the water.
“Hey, what are you doing to Luna.” The peeved fairy replied. With Rainer now looking towards the scene the fairy grew slightly embarrassed and covered herself with her hands.
“It can be easy to forget that Rainer is in fact human. He needs his rest.”
“Eh, Luna gu…” But Luna was interrupted when Rainer poured water over her.
“Hah, rest. How can I let such an attempted ambush go unanswered!”
The fairy barreled out of the water while chanting a spell. Rainer only splashed her while laughing. While to most such splashing wouldn’t be much of an interruption to a small fairy it was far different. She darted around dodging the splashes before she finally finished.
The spring began to swirl like a whirlpool. And to his complete surprise, Rainer started to get dragged towards the center.
“Hehe Luna has gotten stronger.” She said as Rainer appraised her.
[Fairy, Female, Fae Enchantress lvl 11]
But unfortunately for her, the whirlpool didn’t last very long and other than being slightly displaced Rainer hadn’t even gotten his hair wet. He grinned reaching out for Luna but the fairy evaded upwards yet with a sudden strange tug she found herself falling right into Rainer’s hand.
“Ah, Rainer is such a beast. Assaulting such a poor innocent naked Luna.” Luna said with a faux cry toward Kara. Rainer was a bit surprised not even realizing she was naked.
Playing along Kara rushed over to a distracted Rainer dunking him under water sending him and the fairy below the surface. Rainer gripped her tail while underneath the water and sent mana into her. Immediately she released the hand on his head and jumped back.
“That’s playing unfair.” Kara said slightly red in the face, but not from the spring.
Luna fluttered onto Kara’s head hiding behind one of her ears.
“Thank you for helping Luna.” She said causing Kara to smile awkwardly after she intentionally dunked them both underwater.
Rainer breathed out a sigh before sitting back down. Truly too exhausted to continue.
They all rested in the bath before heading to bed.
Rainer laid in bed with Kara already sleeping by his side, both too exhausted after how long they’ve been awake and traveling. His [Fire Resistance] made an often unpleasant situation instead of a calming one with her, even the increased heat as a wolfkin only a comforting presence.
He would sleep learn on [Arcane Weaving] tonight while in a state of [Arcane Rage], within [Sleep Learning] only of course. His body still a little sore from his first use against the level 25 [Lich]. He had an idea for a possible barrier; it was just actualizing it and making it into something he could use quickly that was the problem.
He inspected his two titles, though he was most curious as to why his experience was deferred.
[Trollsbane: Capable of causing enough damage to a troll to immobilize them for a significant period of time. 5% Experience Bonus. 10% Total Damage Bonus against Trolls]
[Immortal Slayer: One who has slain the powerful life of one considered an “Immortal”. 15% Experience Bonus. 25% Total Damage Bonus against those with greater than 200 [Lifespan]]
Still doesn’t explain the deferred experience. Though, against an [Arch-Lich] I couldn’t ask for more.
Closing his eyes after a hard two days, he fell asleep.
Rainer checked the time as he woke up. He noticed Kara was already up, likely eating the food that was present in the rest area. Getting up and seeing that Luna was still resting in his pocket he headed over to the dining area. A simple rustic wooden table filled with various meats and fruits possibly indigenous to the area were it not a dungeon.
He checked his nightly gains before sitting back down.
[Arcane Weaving has reached lvl 4]
[Arcane Rage has reached lvl 2]
With the benefit of [Arcane Rage], [Arcane Weaving] could be used more extensively given the increase to all attributes. His [Arcane Rage] however was still limited by almost the same amount before. [Sleep Learning] would automatically reset due to simulated death.
He sat down on the table next to Kara.
Rainer added a few of the meats on his table that looked like chicken, but in reality, it could be anything. Getting an idea instead of using the utensils provided he creates a fork and a knife from [Arcane Weaving]. The sharpness is only comparable to a regular knife, nothing like the [Arcane Blade] which uses Arcane Energy in its more active form.
Without moving a floating fork and knife began feeding Rainer. Getting an idea Rainer floats over a small piece towards Kara.
She was surprised for a moment though the surprise turned to annoyance when she saw the floating fork.
“You know it's not even a little bit romantic when it's a disembodied fork.” She dryly responded, though her voice changed tune when she felt his free hand scratching behind her ear.
“I suppose...this has its own merits.” She replied then leaning into his hand. Her tail was clearly showing a higher level of enjoyment moving side to side.
Luna showed a dissatisfied expression while coming out of her pocket and sitting on Rainer’s shoulder.
“How come Rainer never feeds Luna like that?”
“You want me to feed you mana...with a fork?”
“Luna understands her error Luna will accept current method.” She spoke after thinking for a moment.
“I thought Luna was never wrong?” Rainer asked with a wry grin remembering her earlier statement.
“Luna is never wrong.”
“But you just admitted you were.”
“Luna did no such thing.” She said while confidently puffing out her chest.
“I agree she merely admitted she made an error not that she was wrong.” Gunthar said before pausing expectantly. Seeing no laughs Gunthar, once more disappointed, walked away but not before seeing Rainer give him a little nod of the head.
A true friend! Even if he didn’t understand my joke, he understood it nonetheless!
Gunthar yelled internally.
As the group finished eating Kara followed Gunthar into the den like area for further training on Aura while Luna went with them. From what Rainer could tell he was teaching her a method of meditation and control. He plans on trying it but given that his aura related stats were most likely only at 1, he focused instead on creating a working shield with [Arcane Weaving].
His earliest attempts were a complete failure not even taking a casual swing from Kara unless he put in an inordinate amount of energy. But now he understood after creating that dancing figure for Luna. Flexibility. Too much and it’d be compromising the integrity but just enough and it’ll be perfect. Meeting force with force was wholly inefficient. Redirecting that force, even ever so slightly, would be far better.
Just like how he set it for when he was sleeping Rainer promptly weaved together a hex shaped object, roughly a foot in diameter. Different from before he weaved it in such a manner to give it a flexible bend, though the Arcane energy looked as clear as before. He could accomplish this in a few seconds. Too slow and then also too expensive to maintain regarding both short and long term combat.
That is...until he put it inside his space ring. Surprisingly it worked perfectly and not only that but the time free environment meant the maintenance cost was gone. Now he needed only to pay the tiny mana cost of opening the space, and he’d have a ready shield.
Rainer went off to test the shield with Kara’s help. Their months of supplies took most of the space in the ring. If he wished to put a significant amount of shields in there, he’d need a larger space. Though as far as Gunthar knew Yalin, as one of the few able to create them, had the largest one.
Seeing Kara meditating Rainer asked Gunthar for help instead.
“Hey Gunthar I created a new shield spell, you mind testing it out for me?”
“Let us go a bit away from here.” Gunthar replied back.
“How strong should I make my swing?” He asked right after.
“Just start out lightly and then increase gradually.” Rainer said as he, to Gunthar’s surprise, pulled out the hexed shaped Arcane Weave from a small black portal.
“You stored magic within the ring…As expected of you Sorcerer.” Gunthar too adopted Kara’s method of just going with all the strange and impossible things Rainer accomplished.
Extending out a hand to improve his control Rainer floated the Arcane Weave a foot away from him, though off to the side lest he loses a finger.
“I’m ready” Rainer spoke as he focused on setting the hex in place similar to how he created his [Arcane Bolt Armament] though he didn’t gain a similar spell.
Gunthar casually swung his sword with about as much force as Kara did when she easily broke Rainer's previous attempts at shielding. The hex pulsated lightly as Gunthar’s sword was repelled. The hex was entirely undamaged.
“I assume this costs the same amount as before or it would be a pointless exercise?” Gunthar asked slightly impressed with Rainer’s creation.
“It does.” Rainer responded. The hex itself cost 3 points of Arcane Power to make. Maintaining it was negligible but in combat 1 hex, of course, wouldn’t be enough. If he had such ability to block with just 1 small hex he might as well just fight with his [Arcane Blade] up close.
“Increase the power slowly to as strong as you can swing without using your Aura. I’ll tell you when I need a second to repair it.”
Gunthar continually swung his blade. Each strike was increasing in intensity, yet Rainer never called for a break to restore it, though he did slightly increase the Arcane Power supplied to keep it at peak strength.
“Then with my full force.” Gunthar called out.
The Hex pulsated as it met his blade. It cracked throughout, but in the end, it repelled his blade back.
“Again.” Rainer called out right after seeing if he could repair it in time. But alas Gunthar’s blade broke through it on a second swing.
“Not bad but not perfect…”Rainer mumbled to himself.
“Rainer you are expecting too much. Even without using Aura this was a swing on a stationary target that I had an unlimited amount of time to aim and prepare for. In combat, we’d likely both be moving, and I’d not have such a luxury. “
Rainer immediately realized his mistake and went back to make as many hexes as his ring could hold. He guessed their likely trip up the mountain would be a long one and he’d have plenty of time to try to create a spell that wielded these hexes similar to his armed [Arcane Bolts]. Though he doubted he could make it so they only took a passive part of his maximum mana. That would go against the skill of [Arcane Weaving]. He’d still need to keep them in his ring.
More importantly, he didn’t even consider that he wouldn’t be just standing there taking a beating. If he could defend himself even once he could likely do some real damage with his [Arcane Blade] or any spell. Adding on if he can ever get a gravity field spell working without just using [Spatial Manipulation] it'd be a spell more usable in combat. Defeating a Melee combatant with his [Arcane Blade] and [Arcane Rage] combined with an increase in gravity would become a possibility. He continued making hexes and testing them out with Gunthar in an attempt to improve them as their time in the rest area counted down.
The timer ended its count and the cabin around them began to dissipate leaving behind only the forest clearing.
The group set out following the path that now led beyond where the cabin had been.
“So this place is called Wyvern’s Roost. Seeing as those [Young Wyvern]s flew away we're not going to like what we find up there are we.” Rainer said as he looked upwards.
“Hah. If you could have seen the grin on your face when you fought that Lich. I don’t for one second believe you aren’t looking forward to what's on this mountain.” Kara responded.
He only answered with a similar grin as they headed up the path leading straight towards their destination.