The Reincarnation of Alysara - Chapter 111:
To use a clairvoyant skill, one must feel out for what they are trying to sense; in my case it’s mana, magic, and things related to magic, such as miasma. This means that I am imparting some sort of observational force, which might be what is being detected to trigger retaliation or trace back to me. The webs that the Arachnoid used probably caught me through my ‘touch’ like a Chinese finger trap; I hypothesize that if I remove my ‘touch’ I can get away. The only issue with that theory is that I already tried doing that by turning off my skill, and it didn’t work.
Still, no ‘touch’ means no retaliation. So now I need to find a way to exert a lot less ‘pressure’ when using my perception: I need to only barely ‘touch’ the mana around me.
Turns out dialing down my perceptive pressure is fairly easy – well, easy for my level five hundred skill, it is likely very hard for an unenhanced skill. As I dial down my perception, everything turns more and more transparent until I can barely see the outline of things. It will take a lot of practice using my perception in this way.
Ting! Sense Magic has met the requirements for a breakthrough and will continue leveling past level 700!
35th Breakthrough: You have learned how to manipulate perceptive pressure; this will help you hide from, or attract the attention of, beings that can feel your perception.
Ting! Sense Magic has obtained levels 585!
This leads to one question: if I can lessen my perceptive pressure, can I increase it? The way this breakthrough is worded suggests I should be able to. And how is that any different from normal [Mana Manipulation]?
If perceptive touch is fundamentally different from manipulative touch, then I can see why it’s a different skill, but if it’s not, then why is it not just another breakthrough? Let’s find out.
I increase my perceptive pressure around Esofy and the others as they are resting from the boss fight. Instantly everyone jumps and looks around, their weapons and spells ready. It’s such a funny reaction I can’t help but burst out laughing.
“Was that you, Alysara?” Esofy realizes that I would have warned them of incoming monsters and relaxes, releasing her held breath.
“Sorry! Sorry!” I say between fits of laughter. “I was just trying something new.”
“You nearly gave us a heart attack Alysara!” Chyzu chastises me while Irela mutters something about ‘immature children’
“What was it like?” I ask after calming down.
“It was like being watched by the Guardian from all around us… Or like being watched by thousands of those Void Slimes… It’s a little hard to explain,” Uloru says.
“Like being watched by a very powerful being,” Kadona clarifies.
Interesting, I wonder if that’s because of my high level, or because my skill is enhanced? Perhaps both? In any case, it gives me an idea that may give my highest level skill some combat potential. If I want to hide my real body, making people feel watched will make them more likely to overlook me.
I have a lot of things to learn once I have my Bond at level five hundred. For now, we continue deeper into the Arachnoid den, avoiding traps… such as the one that would cause a nearby egg sac to rupture, spraying the group with Tarantula-sized, poisonous baby Arachnoids. Likely a potential feeding method, the babies are born when food is nearby. I’ve observed some Arachnoids bringing in live prey and triggering the eggs before, so we knew what to look for.
We arrive at the last boss we have to slay before the floor boss spawns, and by the looks of it, it seems like a tricky one to fight.
Instead of thick cable-like webs, these are very fine, spun all over the room and filled with steel essence. It will be almost impossible to even swing our arms without it getting caught on the webs. As usual, I make a spare clone to test the boss, but first, I [Analyze] it – with Esofy’s help to learn its class level.
Razor Web Arachnoid (Grand), Level 389 Web Slinger (Grand), Level 352 Poison Bond
The boss doesn’t notice my approach until my clone touches one of the webs, and then it reacts very quickly. With four of its legs, it hooks onto some of the webs and pulls; my clone is cut through as webs constrict around it. Even with my impaired vision, I don’t miss the thin coating of poison on the webs, filled with poison essence for a lethal dose.
Seeing my clone unharmed, the Arachnoid pulls on more webs, making more webs constrict around me, cutting through the ‘skin’ of my clone. When its second attempt doesn’t work, it tries again and again until it uses up all of its webs for where my clone stands. A normally deadly boss, but one with glaring weaknesses that I am uniquely well-suited to exploit.
For starters, it’s not smart; it has low vitality and mana, which means it relies on the deadliness of its webs, and its ability to control them… but once they’re used, they can’t be reused. With the webs such a clear factor in its strength, simply removing them will severely weaken it.
I wonder how well it burns?
I cast a fire spell on the used mass of webs, watching as the poison catches fire easily and spreads quickly. The Arachnoid squirms in panic as its home burns, while I stand there and charge up a spear of mana. I don’t charge it up all the way so as to make sure I won’t kill it in one hit, which is possible if it’s too much of a glass cannon.
I rush forward and stab the Arachnoid, making it flee into a corner and puppeteer more webs to constrict my clone’s new location. I lightly charge a spell and burst forth an eruption of flame all around my clone, destroying the webs around it and then turning my focus to destroying all the other webs in the room, to prepare for the real fight.
With the eruption of my flames, the Arachnoid scurries away, afraid of the fire. I can’t help my smile; it might just be this one, but if all the Arachnoids are afraid of fire then that’s a pretty major weakness.
With the webs cleared out, I tell the others what I learned, with another mind piloting my spare clone while my test clone is pressuring the Arachnoid with jets of flame. The Arachnoid, having had enough, lashes out and leaps forward, the hooks on its legs that are used to control the webs now digging into my clone. My flames don’t seem to have done much damage, but that is to be expected from a non-class skill with only my Kyhosa to empower it.
I stab the boss with my Pack Fang Spear, but I can’t even scratch its tough carapace. I try another burst of flame, but it doesn’t seem hot enough to even hurt it. I can tell by observing its vitality that my charged spear attack dealt a lot of damage, but it seems my other avenues of attack just aren’t strong enough.
I can hit far above my level with my Bond abilities and beauty spells, but with my more versatile general spells, this level of monster seems to be too much. This seems to be a weakness of mine; if the monster has an ability to make my beauty spells insignificant, like the Phase Rovlat, or if they are too tanky, then I simply can’t defeat them. I may need to consider this for my Class evolution and second Class.
The first to arrive is Uloru, grinning with excitement as she charges at the Razor Web Arachnoid, her hammer alight with Tana’s [Sticky Flames].
“Wait!” Kadona shouts after her.
The Arachnoid raises its hind legs as it produces a long strand of web and whips it at Uloru. She doesn’t even see the fine thread-like web until it’s too late, her hammer falling from her limp hand and her arm falling from her shoulder as blood sprays from the stump of her upper arm. Uloru stares in mute shock for a few moments, then screams in pain and falls to her knees.
Jowaru catches up and stands in front of Uloru as Tana rushes forward and begins healing her.
“Idiot!” Kadona chastises. “Never let your guard down! Just because its main method of attack has been removed doesn’t mean it doesn’t have another option!”
I summon three familiars to heal Uloru and assist Tana in his effort to reattaching Uloru’s arm.
“Tana! Keep spraying your flames to burn its webs! Let Aly’s fairies heal Uloru!” Esofy commands, sidestepping a web being whipped at her.
Tana quickly does as he’s told, thrusting forth his sword, a jet of flame catching the webs on fire.
“I feel a little woozy,” Uloru says once her arm is healed.
“It has a poison Bond, Uloru, Alysara reported that to us,” Kadona says. “Alysara, can you cure her with a life spell? I know you’re not a trained healer, but anything that can help…”
I run over to her as I recall what I know about poisons, which is not much. I know that venoms, like snake venom, often work by breaking down blood or tissue, but I am not sure if poisons work the same way. The only thing I can really do is use life spells to boost her immune system and remove the poison essence that empowers the poison. I suppose I could use something like a void spell to remove the poison, but that would be too dangerous.
I do notice Uloru’s vitality rapidly burning as her cells die, although that’s something that Tana can easily heal. This makes me wonder just how effective venoms and poisons are in this world. If the damage can just be healed, it’s not very effective, but normal healing doesn’t restore vitality, only flesh. So, even if one heals through it, a poison can still kill without any physical damage caused. On the other hand, a vitality healer like Tana can easily keep someone alive even if the entire body is technically dead.
Then there are poison and venom essences: the more there is, the more potent it will be, and I suspect that it is the essence more than the purely physical nature of the substance that really determines how lethal a poison is. Very few have [Mana Manipulation], or some skill that can do the same, to remove the essences, so that’s likely the main problem for most. There’s also skill, Race, Class, and item empowerment to poisons, but that is usually adding and intensifying the poison essence rather than the poison itself… unless it’s a skill that has a magic effect rather than a spell effect.
I boost Uloru’s immune system and clean the poison essence from her body, seeing her vitality burning a lot slower now. I double-check her to make sure she’s alright while Tana’s [Sticky Flames] spread over the boss, burning it and draining its vitality. Kadona has already chopped off two legs, and Esofy has cut off three more. Irela and Chyzu have the poor thing blinded with their attacks aiming for the eyes, and Jowaru is doing her best to block any attacks.
“Seems like they are doing just fine,” Uloru says, her head wavering as the poison works its way through her body.
I watch the fight, seeing how everyone is fighting in coordination with everyone else. No one is shouting orders; they just know each other’s abilities and are acting accordingly. Chyzu and her water clone have the boss in a crossfire, while Kadona and Esofy jump out from behind Jowaru to attack before retreating once the Arachnoid has its attention on them. Irela stands in the back, helps shield others where Jowaru can’t and attacks the boss’s senses to make things easier for the front lines. Tana keeps close to Jowaru, attacks at a mid-range with his flames and heals anyone who retreats behind her.
Seeing the others fight, really seeing them, makes me realize that I am just an extra. I don’t work with them like this. Because I use clones, I never needed to develop this level of coordination. I fight with them, but not with them. Any mistakes I make are entirely irrelevant because my clones can’t be hurt.
It’s a little odd: because of my clones, I don’t really need them, so my way of fighting never adapted to co-operate with others, but for them, they needed to work together so they’ve learned how to fight together, and I am not a part of that.
My heart tightens as tears threaten to spill forth. At this moment, I feel like the only person in the world.
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