The Reincarnation of Alysara - Chapter 164:
I feel a subtle shift in my Bond presence, and the clarity of my connection to my Bond becomes clearer, like something has clicked into place that was subtly out of alignment before. As if I had just opened my eyes, I can feel the beauty around me, not the same way my [Sense Magic] works but just… a feeling for it. It’s almost like the whispers I get are now a tactile sensation too. Beauty, with a capital B, caresses me like a mother would a child; it wants the best for me, wants to see me succeed.
Little details that I was blind to before I can now ‘see’; the whispering of Beauty making more sense. With a large effort, a small application of my Bond and a small spell, the dust in my vicinity simply… goes away. As if its ugly presence is no longer allowed, it just vanishes as far away as it can… but it didn’t actually move, so…
I now know how I can expand the application of my Bond in a direction I’ve been wanting for a long time. Drawing upon my mana with the use of my Bond, I picture myself next to the Star Tree seed, and Beauty wraps around me tightly, hugging my body. It rapidly becomes incredibly suffocating, but right as I am about to stop the spell, I just… appear there. There are no spatial distortions that I can detect – which doesn’t say much, seeing as how I don’t yet have [Sense Space] – but I feel the very identity of reality that can be called Beauty ripple outward from where I teleported to.
Ting! You have developed a new Bond Skill! Immaculate Appearance!
Immaculate Appearance: Teleport yourself, others, or things.
Ting! Your Bond has obtained levels 1001-1005!
I finally get a teleportation Skill!
A rush of joy and excitement pumps throughout my body, and I replace a Bond Skill and start teleporting around, mostly just for the fun of it. First to the top of the temple, then back home, then to Safyr. Being able to teleport is just so damn convenient!
“So you have reached the next stage of your Bond,” Safyr states, once I stop jumping around everywhere. “More possibilities are now open for you, but your next goal should be to aim for three thousand levels in your Bond. However, it’s at this point that you will start slowing down. The expectations of your Bond are higher now, which is a little deceiving initially since the new possibilities now available for experimentation will make the next one or two hundred levels easy to get. Just remember, that opening rush is limited.”
“Thank you, Guardian” I bow, trying to keep my joy out of my voice.
“As promised, I will help you train your mental Skills; specifically, I will have someone else teach you, a specialist in the mind and mental magic.”
A specialist? Who could that be? Another race? An Elf? Human?
“I can summon them now,” Safyr offers. “Or in a few days, once you have grown accustomed to your new abilities.”
“In a few days,” I decide quickly, “That will help me prepare for what I want from my Class evolutions.”
I can see this new Skill having huge potential when mixed with my Distant Summoner Class; it even counts as summoning, so I may want to try and evolve it as many times as I can so I can hopefully get a Class skill that can let me teleport farther.
Speaking of… just how far can I teleport? A few tests reveal that I can travel about forty kilometers in one go… and it takes roughly seven thousand mana. Not something I can just spam, so if I need to go far and speed isn’t absolutely critical, wings are still the best option.
What else can my Bond do now? At five hundred, basic Skills such as [Shape Beauty] became innate, and no doubt that has expanded. A few more tests reveal that the next step of my attack Skills, such as [Fairy Strike] and [Beauty Laser], has become innate. My beauty-empowering Skills have also become innate, as well as basic illusory clones and [Create Familiar].
After even more tests, I find out that half of the Bond Skills that I normally use are no longer needed, and their Skill slots can now be allocated to other Skills. After spending about an hour switching out my Skills, my new selections seem to be a lot more combat-oriented.
Skill: Aurora Blade
Skill: Fairy Avatar
Skill: Immaculate Appearance
Skill: Aurora Prism
Skill: Star Cannon
Skill: Serene Moment
Skill: Adorn Wings
Skill: Sanctuary of Wholeness
Skill: Figment of Reality
Skill: Duplicate Self
I now have summoning as well as lasers and cannon attacks, but I have little reason to actually use the latter two, outside of leveling up my Bond. They don’t classify as summoning, which is empowered by my Class, so if I need damage I’d just use [Fairy Avatar] instead. My [Aurora Blade] is useful if I need to cut things, so it at least has some utility function. My sanctuary Skills are defensive; one weakens attacks, another heals, and lastly, Serene Moment slows time down in an area.
Clearly, I need more utility to replace some Skills that I don’t need. The sanctuary Skills are useful for helping others if my real self is nearby, but I don’t need them, since I don’t plan on personally being in combat with my real body, so I am looking at replacing a minimum of four Skills. What should I focus on? Day-to-day utility skills are my most used ones. [Fairy Avatar] I almost always have, just in case I need to defend myself, so that’s covered. My clones are never not used, and while my illusion skill doesn’t see much use, it has come in handy several times when I needed to make myself invisible or distract someone trying to court me.
[Immaculate Appearance] can now help me clean things, aside from its main use of teleportation, but maybe something more specialized? I don’t think [Immaculate Appearance] can remove stains yet. I wonder If my Bond can control the weather now? That might be useful for when I don’t want to be rained on.
I start applying my Bond in trying to clean objects, making the dirt and grime just fall off of things in my room and teleporting the piles of dirt away. Soon enough, I get a new Skill; the only thing is, it’s already innate to my Bond, the only benefit for having it as a Skill is for Class Skills to empower it, or to try and evolve it into something beyond just cleaning.
Ting! You have developed a new Bond Skill! Purity of Beauty!
Purity of Beauty: Removes dirt on an object.
Ting! Your Bond has obtained level 1006!
Naturally, I want something worth taking a Skill slot, so I spend the next several hours trying to evolve it, and I come up with two variants.
Ting! You have developed a new Bond Skill! Sanctuary of Purity!
Sanctuary of Purity: Removes dirt in a large area.
Ting! You have developed a new Bond Skill! Blessing of Purity!
Blessing of Purity: Removes dirt on an object and makes it unable to become dirty for a month.
Ting! Your Bond has obtained levels 1007-1010!
My parents get quite a surprise when the house suddenly became immaculately clean, but they quickly realize that I am doing something. When they arrive at my room to thank me, they notice something new.
“Aly, did you improve your Bond again?” Mom asks, “I can feel your Bond’s presence; it is more refined and… it’s difficult to say, but purer than last time?”
“It feels more cohesive and tactile,” Dad adds. “Almost like I can touch it.” She waves her arms in the air as if to catch something.
“Looks like I’m going to have to find out how to suppress it, again,” I remark, dissatisfied. It took me a long time to finally be able to suppress my Bond’s presence, and now I have to relearn it all over again. But, I am curious how strong my presence will be if I stop holding back as much as I am. However, I don’t want to bother anyone by doing so, and there’s not much of a need to anyway, so I just spend an hour showing off my new abilities to my parents.
“It’s time for the after-work bath,” I say and stand up. “I’ll get the twins.”
I teleport to Topobe’s tailoring shop, right behind Yafe and Yafel, who suddenly shiver under my presence and turn around.
“Aly! How long have you been there?” they exclaim, setting their work down and giving me a hug. I pat their heads with a smile and examine their work. They’ve gotten noticeably better since last time; they are improving quickly.
I inform Topobe that I am just picking up my sisters for the after-work bath, and then teleport us back home.
“Wha!” “Illusion?” Exclamations of surprise and confusion comes from Yafel and Yafe as we suddenly appear back home.
“I can teleport now!” I declare to them with a big grin.
“That’s so cool!” “I want to teleport too!”
They demand that I show them how to teleport, but since it’s with my Bond, it’s obviously impossible for them to learn the same way as I do it; still, after taking a bath, I teleport them all over the Nexus to the various villages, the risen city, even the top of the mountainous ring surrounding the Nexus.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Archmage Holuna Ruluna tries to grasp Alysara’s perception, tracing it back to a spot just outside of the city. However, it’s weird, like the trace just loops back on itself in a confusing way which makes it near-impossible to decipher. It’s a clever way to stop her from tracking Alysara, but it’s also immediately noticeable that it’s not actually her.
“You’re hiding your true location?” Ruluna asks.
“How’d you know?” Alysara asks in turn.
“I’m not sure,” Ruluna replies. “Normally, I’d track someone’s perception back to them, but whatever you did is like tying a really fancy knot in a rope. I can tell it’s not the end, but I am unable to figure out how to get past it.”
“I see…” Alysara says, folding her arms in thought. “So you can tell the difference between a source and an attempt to block you.”
It’s been several hours since Ruluna started training with Alysara, but Ruluna has already learned two breakthroughs and has gotten dozens of levels in [Track Senses], so in her opinion it’s time well spent.
“If you don’t mind me asking…” Ruluna ventures, continuing when she gets a nod. “How many breakthroughs do you have in [Sense Mana?].” Being able to manipulate her perceptive pressure, and now whatever this is, she must have a lot.
“Forty-four,” Alysara says matter-of-factly.
Ruluna almost chokes and coughs, “Forty-four?! That’s more than double what we have! We can barely think of anything else to get breakthroughs in, and you have over forty?!”
“And that’s not all,” Alysara says with a shrug. “I am sure I can get at least fifty.
“What level is your Skill at? Are you capped with your breakthroughs?” Ruluna fishes for information.
“Vastly more than you think,” Alysara says cryptically.
What does that even mean? Her max level should be four-hundred fifty; it’s impossible to have more than that with forty-four breakthroughs… right?
“Anyway, what do you think of this?” Alysara says, and the knot of her perception suddenly mimics a source; however, Ruluna knows it’s not her true location, so there must be some way to trace her perception through this, and it’s not even close to as complex as the knot was.
The false source sends and receives the perceptive field, but she must have some way to truly receive the information, so a part of what the false source – the proxy – sends must be sent to her, so Ruluna just needs to figure out which thread to follow.
The only way she can try to figure this out is through trial and error. It takes a painstakingly long time, but eventually, she finds the right path… and promptly hits another impossible knot.
“So I can try to fool a tracker or block them, but I can’t do both in the same place,” Alysara remarks.
It was already agreed that Ruluna will try her best to track Alysara while she tries to block her; it’s a mutual training session.
“Yes,” Ruluna agrees, “but I wouldn’t have known that wasn’t your real location if I didn’t know you, so having both is probably safest.”
“We should stop here; I’m almost out of mana. We can continue this next week,” Alysara says, and, after saying farewells, her clone disappears.
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