“Gavin,” Dylan says once I set back up. “Do you want to see my available Classes?”
“Do you want to share them with me?”
“Eli and I have been seeking you out,” he says. “Ever since Dad turned on everyone. We agreed that, regardless of what your goals are, we’d aid you in them. Father wouldn’t have turned so fast if you were doing something that was not in his best interests.”
So I’m the reason Christopher went against everyone? But why?
The monster. Whatever that evil force is that’s sealed away. If he knew about it, then me restoring Jozan would’ve been a negative if he wished it to be free. But then… why not kill me?
Unless he’s planning on controlling the evil, and needs to be more powerful to do that. So he’s probably growing stronger so that he can kill it, and wants me to be stronger so that he can gain an even larger boost.
“Swear to me that you will never betray me,” I say, and both of my brothers stare at me. “And that if you ever do, all of your stats will return to base, and that you will lose all of your Skills, Classes, Bloodlines, Species Levels, everything.”
“I swear,” Eli speaks up. “On the blood and power flowing through me that I will never betray you, Gavin.”
He starts to continue, but glows crimson, Nies’s power within the glow.
“I just… got a Blood Oath,” he frowns. “But I don’t have access to the System.”
Eh. A small oversight. You really should’ve made them make the Blood Oath before giving Dylan access. The Blood Oath gives them the same penalty for breaking that you intend, even if you didn’t say the full thing.
“Enjoy your nap.”
I will, once Ekre shuts up. Maybe I should turn him into a turtle. There we go.
Not sure I want to know how that is going to end up.
“I swear,” Dylan takes a deep breath. “On the blood and power flowing through me that I will never betray you, Gavin.”
He glows with Nies’s confirmation, and I hear the Divine Being yawn in my mind, and hide my laugh at that.
“I just realized,” I say. “But I never said anything about my Order. If either of you act against those within my Order or my allies – without it being in my best interest or the best interest of my Order, I will consider it a violation of your oath, even if it isn’t a part of it. Do not think you will escape my wrath.”
“Understood,” Dylan says. “Would you like to see my available Classes?”
He focuses for a moment, then a few messages appear in my vision. One of them is Novice, as expected, but he also has Martial Artist and Squire. Then one I haven’t heard of.
Rift Novice (Level 1)(Legendary): One who has begun to harness the power of the Rifts of the universe, the possibilities of where you can go and what you can see are endless. +1 INT, MNA, AEA every second Level, +10% to learning and Leveling all Rift-related Skills.
“AEA?” I look at him after dismissing the message. “You have access to Aether?”
Dylan freezes when I say that, and Eli looks utterly confused.
“You never told anyone,” I realize. “How long have you been able to use it?”
“Since I was twelve,” he answers. “I discovered it during my studies of Rifts. It’s needed to open them. I never agreed with the order’s way, and so hid my knowledge of it from them. They let anyone in, regardless of if they were good or evil. Servants are good, but slaves? No, thanks. Torturing innocents for progress? No. I wouldn’t mind if they were evil, if they were criminals, but innocents? I didn’t agree with that. We were forced to join the order, though, because Mom and Dad were leaders of it.”
“You mentioned an Order,” Eli says. “You have your own?”
“The Order of the Violet Flame,” I nod. “I need a place to build a Guild Hall, and twenty-four more members, and an insignia, and once I do that, I’ll be set. I even have a Quest for it.”
With a penalty for failure, but I’ll succeed.
“What’s the purpose of the order?” Dylan asks. “I’m sure you have to have one of those, too.”
“My two closest allies are a beastborn and a fairy,” I say. “Yet they are discriminated against everywhere – even here, where inhuman species walk amongst humans. I want my order to be a place of safety, where they can mingle with other Species – even humans – and feel safe, and even develop friendships and relationships with each other. Even other Species discriminate against other Species. Michael disliked Warren when they first met simply because Warren was a fairy. Warren disliked everyone.”
“I keep hearing our name,” Warren mutters from where he’s sitting, and I look over at him.
“Explaining to them my Order,” I say, and he makes an ‘O’ with his mouth, then nods. I look back to my brothers and switch back to English. “I also want it to be a place people can feel safe, feel like they’re protected against evil. I want it to be a haven not just for people of different Species, but children who are abused, people who live in fear of others, and more. The name, the Violet Flame, signifies the unusual color of my magic, combined with the primary element of the bird of rebirth, the phoenix. My insignia will incorporate both of those into it, when I finally come up with it.”
Dylan nods, then asks if he can join my party, the request popping up in my vision. I accept it, then look at Warren.
“Dylan joined my party.”
“Which one’s Dylan?” He asks.
“Which one did I just give access to?”
“Oh, duh,” he blushes, and I roll my eyes. “Sorry. So these are your real brothers?”
“Yes,” I answer. “And they’ve given a little more insight into what Christopher was really doing, when he offered me those rings.”
I tell him what Dylan said, and he listens silently, then nods when he finishes.
“I knew Father was right,” Warren says. “I didn’t trust him. I doubt that curse finished him off.”
Same here. I look at Eli.
“You’ll have to wait until tomorrow night,” I say. “The two of you can sleep in the extra room.”
“Isn’t that his room?” Dylan indicates Warren.
“He sleeps with you?”
“He sleeps in a different inn,” I answer. “My team is acting on its own right now, training. We’ve got just over five months before we actually reunite as a team. Why would you think we’d be sleeping in the same bed?”
“Never mind,” he says.
“I’m going to bed,” I tell them. “Good night.”
I repeat the same thing to Warren, who leaves, and my brothers figure out which room is the extra bedroom for my suite. It’s nice how the innkeeper was willing to upgrade my room after that incident when I arrived. Upgrade for free, that is.
Sleep quickly overtakes me, and I wake feeling refreshed, my Mana full again. I’m kind of agitated about losing 10 LIF, and that I’ll be losing ten more later, but it’s not like I won’t regain it. It probably won’t be too long before I can probably gather the ingredients for the potion, anyway. Well before my natural lifespan expires. What’s twenty years when I’m going to be living thousands?
It’s not like I don’t plan on defying death, anyway.
I’m getting ready to leave the room when the door to the spare bedroom in my suite opens, and I remember that my brothers are here.
“Oh, right,” I say. “You two are here.”
“You don’t need to sound so annoyed by it,” Dylan says. “We are on your side.”
“Yeah,” I say. “But you don’t speak the native language, Karus, so that makes it a pain. Show me your stats.”
Age: 18 years
Species: Human Level 1
Primary Classes: Rift Adept
INT: 9, AGI: 6, CHA: 8, STR: 8, CON: 10, PER: 12, LIF: 11
LFA: 2, MNA: 123, AEA: 47
“Decent stats,” I say. “Why’s your LIF higher than average?”
“Where we grew up,” he answers. “It’s different based on heritage and the place you’re born and grow up. Average natural lifespan for humans on Earth is fifty to a hundred. We have a bit of our parents’ natural lifespan mixed in, so we’re on the low end of that.”
Mine started off higher in a place with a lower natural lifespan…
“Alright,” I say. “You’ve got decent stats. What spells do you know?”
“A few,” he answers. “Though most of my focus has been on Aether, and my regeneration is about average – an hour and a half for every point.”
“That’s abysmal,” I say. “It takes me a minute and eighteen seconds per point.”
He coughs in surprise.
“Seriously?” He asks.
“Seriously,” I answer. “Why is your Mana so much higher than Aether, then?”
“Two reasons,” he answers. “Dad taught us Mana Expansion Techniques, with me mastering the four he’s taught me, as well as using up all of my Mana and keeping it low. I don’t know any Aether Expansion Techniques, though it’s gone up a fair bit this last year, with me using Aether often.”
“Not a good idea around here,” I say. “To keep your Pools low, unless you’re confident you won’t be attacked. I’d probably have a higher MNA if it was safe to keep my Mana low. Let’s get you two to the Guild. There’s a Tower Dungeon here, and you’ll probably be able to grind the first Floor of it on your own as a team. Since you have Martial Artist and Squire, I’m assuming you can fight with a blade?”
“Yes,” he nods. “Though again-”
“You’ll need it,” I say. “If you want to get stronger, since your regeneration is so low. It takes you a week to restore to full. When you’re always in danger, it’s better to not waste your Mana on trying to gain more. From what I know, that method doesn’t affect how quickly it regenerates. I think my own method does, though. It seems to go up pretty fast.”
“Making it denser?” Dylan asks, and I nod. “Why would that make it regenerate faster?”
“No clue,” I answer. “But since regeneration affects all Pools, I can’t be too sure. I just know that the more dense I make it, the faster I regenerate each individual point.”
“Dad tried to figure out how you did that,” Dylan says. “He says he’s heard of that before, but that actually doing it was something he’d never managed. Eli tried it as well.
“Is the density of Pools able to affect how quickly someone regenerates their resources?”
Yes, even if they’re making only one denser. Your Resource Regen stat increases as the density of any of your Resources grows denser. It’s why you took such a huge boost to your regeneration when you gained Thick Mana – your density leveled out and wasn’t adversely affecting you anymore, and so your RRN went up.
“Thanks,” I say.
You’re welcome. Just remember to give me lots of food sacrifices.
“How do I do that?”
Find one of my temples and put food on the altar.
“Where is your nearest temple?”
They’re all ruins.
I think… the nearest one to you is through a Dungeon travel. It’s on another continent. Oh, its altar is destroyed. Let me get back to you when I find one that you can still make sacrifices at. I think I’ll go to Erti’s domain and see if he’s got food.
My brothers stare at me.
“The god who gave me a Blessing was talking with me,” I say. “It appears that increasing the density of a resources affects overall regeneration, probably because your body is adapting to restoring a resource that dense.”
I think about what I do to make my Mana denser. If other Witches and Wizards weren’t able to do it, then it probably doesn’t have to do with my Class, and I’m sure Eli’s tried it, so it doesn’t have to do with my Bloodline. To me, I’m really just using Mana Manipulation to compress my Mana.
A stat is now visible!
Resource Regen is now visible!
“Thank you, Nies.”
It was nothing. You can probably see the RRN of those who share their stats with you, now.
“Dylan,” I say. “Can you share your stats with me?”
Age: 18 years
Species: Human Level 1
Primary Classes: Rift Adept 1
INT: 9, AGI: 6, CHA: 8, STR: 8, CON: 10, PER: 12, LIF: 11
LFA: 2, MNA: 123, AEA: 47
However RRN affects regeneration probably doesn’t work at a static rate, decreasing in efficiency as it goes up. I’ll monitor that as time goes on.
I almost laugh when I realize that people complain about stats being so low, but have one stat that’s probably at least 100 when they gain access without even being aware of it.
“I think,” I return to the topic we had before that happened. “That it has to do with manipulating your Mana.”
“We’ve tried that,” Dylan says.
“I forced it to compress,” I say. “Pushing past the fogginess and clouding in my mind until more Mana filled in the space that had opened. With a higher regeneration, it’ll probably take a long time – an hour to a full point – before it happens. But doing too much at once is dangerous, because you’re forcing more Mana to fill a space smaller than it’s designed to, so the Pool has to adapt to that.”
And that is why it’s dangerous for me to try for more than a few points a day.
“However,” I say. “Through this adapting, it also slightly increases the regeneration rate of all resources, probably because of how the regeneration rate is tied to all of them.”
“Oh,” he says. “Okay.”
“Let’s go to the Dungeon,” I say. “Once you’re registered, there isn’t much communication you’ll need to bother with.”
They nod, and I lead them to the Guild and to a clerk, ignoring everyone who was in line.
“I’d like to register my brothers for the Guild,” I say. “One with access, one without for now.”
“For now?” She asks.
“He’ll have access tomorrow,” I say. “This, I predict to be true.”
“Alright,” she pulls out to tablets, and I tell my brothers what to do. They obey, then she scans the tablets. “Floor 1 is the furthest they should go, and that’s in a party.”
“Understood,” I say, then look at my brothers. “She agrees that you shouldn’t go past the first Floor. Let’s go down.”
They nod, and we make our way down, looking around at the walls of the cavern with amused looks.
“What?” I ask.
“Nothing,” they say in unison, then look at each other and laugh.
And laugh… and laugh… and laugh.
I stare at them in confusion until they collect themselves, glad no one is around to witness that. When they finally stop, I ask them what was so funny.
“Sorry,” Eli smiles at me. “It’s been so long since we last laughed that we couldn’t stop. It felt good.”
“What were you laughing at?”
“Something from our world,” Dylan shakes his head. “You wouldn’t understand it. We’ll meet you up top when we’re done.”
“I’ll be down here a few hours,” I say. “You might miss me. There are counters with drawers that you can put loot it. They’ll pull it in to their side, exchange it for krat, then push it back out. I’ll locate you when I’m done.”
They nod, and I make my way to the next set of stairs.