The Reincarnation of Alysara - Chapter 69:
“We should return to the main camp, rest for a day, and make preparations, plus we should attune the waystone key to more waystones,” Esofy says. I can almost feel her apprehension looking at the powerful Void Slime.
Even though we’ve managed to kill the bosses, level four hundred Heroic monsters are something else entirely. It’s getting one thousand percent bonuses from its race, and it has a hundred levels above what we’ve been fighting.
We trek our way back up the ruins, stopping at the ruin’s waystones and attuning the waystone key to them, then we make our way back through the forest. We collect as many monster materials as we can on our way back and kill the rest of the first floor bosses, collecting the treasure chests in the process.
We bring back quite the haul in the end, plenty of loot from the chests, and more importantly, monster materials.
Ting! Your Bond has obtained levels 309-316!
Ting! Your Class, Fairy Summoner, has obtained levels 180-191! 165 status points awarded.
Almost capped on my class. I should run a clone to the other dens and slay the bosses to grind up levels. Getting solo kills should help boost my Bond level to three hundred fifty, maybe even three hundred seventy. Having a group run and collecting the materials should help too.
After unloading all the monster materials, we get to planning our next course of action.
“First, we should make better equipment. We found some excellent materials and could use upgrades,” I say, eager for the two items I’ve been eyeing.
“I agree, us warriors haven’t been able to go all out due to wanting to preserve the materials. We won’t be able to afford that against a Heroic monster.” Kadona says.
“I’ve been thinking about that,” I say, turning my head toward Kadona. “If I can enchant a weapon to charge up a mana blade much like my spear, then not only could we solve that problem, but it would work better against monsters like the Fortress Slime.”
“That would be wonderful, but we typically don’t have high amounts of mana so we won’t be able to charge it up all the way, and it will be an all-out attack using all of our mana. It’s best to stick with what we’ve got,” Kadona says.
I then turn toward Klora, who still seems a little depressed “A bow that shoots mana arrows for you; not only will you not have to use stone manipulation to make more arrows, but you’ll have an easier time damaging your opponents.”
“Thank you… but as Kadona said, we don’t have as much mana reserve as mages, so it’s an idea best for someone else.”
“We should also take some time to level up in the other dens.” Esofy says and looks towards me, “Without you. I mean no offense, but we need to learn how to gather information about our enemies, plan accordingly and slay monsters without your powerful attacks and incredibly useful mana weaving and enchanting abilities. Being able to custom make armor against our enemies isn’t something most people can do, and you can’t be there for us all the time.”
“I understand. While you guys do that, I’ll be leveling up too; the only downside is that I’ll need someone to gather the materials for me.”
“We should end the expedition for now, take a week off and let all the stress from this wash away. Speaking of, I really miss taking baths; I feel so gross and icky,” Chyzu grumbles, to the amusement of everyone.
Esofy nods, “I’ll talk with the other leaders. Now, on to the loot claims.”
We spend the next hour going over our loot and placing claims on them. I have to fight Chyzu over the Mind Core, but I win in the end, saying that my clones benefit more from it. Nobody else wanted the wolf fangs though, so I got those easily.
The next morning the announcement comes that the expedition will be taking a week-long break for everyone to go home and see their families. I can see how some people look more jaded than before, likely from near-death experiences. Some will never come back, some may quit being a warrior altogether, but we are all stronger from our experiences.
We all leave the dungeon and immediately head to the baths on Temple Island. Dirt and grime we didn’t even think were on us wash off, turning the water a grey color from all the people. The water mages create water currents to take the filth out to sea and replenish the freshwater.
“I missed this! I never want to go back.” Chyzu leans back and closes her eyes.
“You want to get stronger, right? Sacrifices have to be made,” Esofy half-whispers, staring at the sky with a hardened look.
“Perhaps we can create a portable bath. Bring a tub and fill it with water; we can heat the water if need be.” I say while rubbing the bath oil on myself.
“That is a great idea!” Chyzu exclaims.
After the baths, we take boats back to our villages. The others of our group are bringing back our village’s share of materials. The hides and furs still need to be cured, and some other materials need to be preserved as well. Since I’m not carrying any of that, I head towards home.
“Aly’s back! Aly’s back!” Yafel and Yafe rush towards me and tackle-hug me, having seen me passing from where they were playing in the playground, then grab my arm and practically drag me home.
“Alysara!” Mom, who is going over the ledger at the counter, sees the twins bringing me in and runs towards me to give me a hug much like Chyzu’s, squeezing me to her bosom tightly.
“I was so worried! I couldn’t help but think of everything that could go wrong!”
Dad comes in with a smile on her sweaty face. “You’ve grown a lot stronger.”
“Hmph murph myph!” I try and fail to get a single word in while being smothered.
“Alysara, you are still too young to do anything like this; my heart can’t take any more!” Mom says, squeezing me tighter.
“I told you she’d be fine, Feyan; I doubt she was actually face to face with any monsters,” Dad says, patting Mom’s head while gently trying to free me.
I gasp for breath as I am finally released.
“I stayed at the main camp the entire time, and I wasn’t that far from the dungeon entrance. Besides, I have something for us to make.” I show my parents the wolf fangs and the Mind Core.
The wolf fangs are easily a hand and a half long, and the core is the size of a small ball, large enough that dad needs both hands to wrap her fingers around it.
I’ve been thinking about what I want them to be made into. One wolf fang is to be made into a spear, and the other is to be made into a dagger. The Mind Core, being so large, can be split and cut into a diadem. Of course, I’ll want to preserve its ability to create another mind, even if only a temporary one, but it’s much too large to be made into any kind of equipment besides a staff unless it’s cut.
In order to make the diadem, I’ll need my [Mana Manipulation] higher. I want it to be made of solid metallic mana or at least high-grade mind essence gold or platinum. All the better if I can find a dragon mind mage, but I don’t think that will work out too well.
I spend the day with my family, telling them how the dungeon looks and some of the wonders that can be found in it.
The next day I go to the place with the most amount of mana I can think of, the top of the temple. I need to go there anyway to collect liquid dark mana, speak with Kayafe and check on the fire mana, so we don’t accidentally mess up the current system.
The liquid fire mana levels have gone down noticeably. Once it runs dry, the nexus will cool down, and the sea won’t be suitably warm for baths. I collect all the liquid and solid dark mana into storage rings and then initiate communication with Kayafe. With my higher mana reserves and generation, I should be able to talk for longer.
“Hello again, it has been a while.” I greet the ancient woman.
“How long? It’s hard to tell the passing of time, and I mostly sleep anyway.” Kayafe says, purposefully yawning.
“A few months, I’ve been really busy with things and we were exploring the dungeon.”
“I take it by your tone that something must have happened?” Kayafe asks.
“Yes, there were several casualties and several monsters intent on killing us, monsters with powerful abilities such as a mind mage with five minds.”
“Well, for one, the monsters are themselves; the dungeon may control their creation but has little say in preventing them from killing, not without taking direct control of them.” Kayafe doesn’t sound too bothered as she guesses one of my major concerns: no exclamations of a broken deal, and she’s not surprised by the mind mage. “Look at it from their perspective. Intruders came into their home and started killing them; of course, they’ll want to retaliate. As for monster abilities, having multiple minds is a staple for mind mages; five is on the lower end.”
“I see, so it was simply that we’ve become too weak.” I give a heavy sigh. Just how weak are we?
Well, there’s no use worrying about it right now, and it’s depressing to think about, so instead, I change the subject. “My [Manipulate Mana] has reached level two hundred now, and I need to start making solid and metallic mana for multiple reasons. Can you give me some advice?”
“It’s relatively simple: like mana weaving, just compress the mana more. At level two hundred, you should just be able to do it with enough focus, but I recommend finding a place with very high mana density.”
“Yeah, I thought you’d say something like that. Basically, do the same thing I did with mana weaving. What other advice can you give me for the skill? What other skills should I consider getting?”
“For someone with more levels in [Sense Mana] than me, you’ll already have plenty of ideas to reach breakthroughs in [Manipulate Mana], so let’s not waste our time with something you already know. As for your other question, I’ll need to know more about you.” Kayafe sounded a little annoyed that I was asking about something that, in all fairness, I did already know. Maybe once I’ve gotten all the breakthroughs I can think of, then I should ask what other breakthroughs I can get.
“I’m a Bond mage that specializes in summoning fairies and I’ve recently found my illusory clones to be very useful. I have [Acting] that seems to be useful for all sorts of things, and [Twin Minds] so one mind can pilot a clone. I can use magic through the links I have with my clones and Familiars, so I can explore the dungeon while in the safety of the main camp. I guess you can call me a unique type of artillery mage? I also have [Clear Mind] and recently obtained [Mental Fortitude] after having my second mind be taken over by the mind mage.”
Kayafe thinks for a moment before speaking. “That build has incredible potential. It’s almost like a powerful mind mage build, but adapted for attacks at extreme range and the control of multiple bodies instead of taking over others’. I can confirm the existence of the skill called [Unlimited Minds], and I never want to fight someone with that skill ever again; it was a friendly duel against a hive mind-like creature. [Unlimited Minds] is the apex of mental skills and, from what I’ve been told, includes all those skills you’ve mentioned and many, many more, minus [Acting]. It is one of the few skills that are the absolute best, much like [True Sense] and [Manipulate Mana]. You have two paths that your build may split off into, the clone focus and the artillery focus. If you go down the clone path and cultivate your clones, you may very well have one of the most powerful non-ultimate classes!” Kayafe is starting to talk a little more animatedly with the mention of [Unlimited Minds], but something else she said catches my attention.
“It’s a class built by spending ten legendary points. If you ever meet someone with an ultimate class, run and never look back.”
That sounds very similar to what the Guardian had said.
“I think the Guardian has one, from what I saw.”
“She definitely does, but she’s your protector, so it should be fine.”
“So we can get more classes; how many can we get, and how do we get them?” I ask. I thought it was unique to the Guardian, but Kayafe has confirmed that a class can be ’built’, which indicates that a second class should be possible for us.
“I don’t know how many, but one is the ultimate class. You get another from having a combined total of one thousand general skill levels and another for reaching level one thousand in a class. I suspect getting your Bond to some level milestone will give you one, but other than dragons and elementals, I haven’t met anything else that could have possibly gotten that high in their Bond. Of course, those ancient monsters like keeping secrets and wouldn’t confirm or deny my suspicions about that. One thing I do know, however, is that it’s way above level one thousand, since my Bond is past that I’ve yet to unlock another class from it.”
“So what other skills do you recommend I get? You haven’t given me any suggestions. The Guardian recommends [Persistent State], and I also want to get [Multitask].”
“You still don’t have those? They are both a must for any mage, and [Multitask] will help in getting [Unlimited Minds]. If you are lucky, your mental skills will combine if you go down the clone path. As for other skills, you have [Mana Manipulation] which is a caster skill, so you should think about getting skills like [Quick Channel], [Unbreakable Focus] – which also combines into [Unlimited Minds] – and [Expanded Channel]. Caster mages lack the raw power that non-casters and Bond mages have, but they make up for it by channeling powerful spells. It does cost a ton of mana, so they have to make every one count, and high wisdom to channel spells with hundreds of mana.” Kayafe speaks more passionately about the skills.
I had almost forgotten about the caster vs non-caster vs Bond mage lesson I got from Chyzu years ago. Casters use a skill like [Mana Manipulation] or [Water Casting], which gives them versatility as they can cast any spell the skill allows, but it’s not as specialized or powerful as the others. Non-casters have a select few spells as skills that can gain breakthroughs, which makes each spell stronger than a caster’s at the cost of only having access to those few spells. Bond mages apply the bonus they get from their Bond level, which gives them the highest overall power but makes them a bit more predictable since their class has to match their Bond.
After running back through my memory of Chyzu’s lesson I return my attention to Kayafe’s continued focus on [Unlimited Minds], taking note of how enthusiastically she’s pushing me towards it.
“Seems like caster classes are way more powerful than I thought,” I say, having newfound admiration for caster mages since realizing the power of my charged spears in the dungeon. Although those were boosted by being based on beauty essence, the same as my Bond and class, and [Mana Manipulation] is the greatest known caster skill that exists, so that’s probably too high an expectation for casters in general.
“They are the reason why legendary monsters stay away from settlements. Matched with [Shared Channel], they can combine hundreds of mages for a truly devastating attack, strong enough to completely annihilate everything for tens of kilometers.” Kayafe says, as if pointing out the most obvious thing in the world.
So they drop a nuke on super-powerful monsters…
Kayafe is a caster mage, so obviously she’s biased towards casters, and the Guardian is a Bond mage, so she’s obviously biased towards Bond mages; perhaps I should filter out the bias and come to my own conclusions as to what’s best. Casters’ true strength lies in nuking their foes; Bond classes are attached to a source of unlimited potential; what about non-casters? Surely they have something that can compete with the other two.
“You seem to be pushing casters and [Unlimited Minds]; why is that?” I have to ask, with the constant mentioning of the skill Kayafe clearly wants me to get it.
A small giggle is sent to me from the telepathic connection. “Not many can claim to possess one of the five best skills ever known; you already have [Manipulate Mana], and you can gain a second.”
“Third, actually, I have [True Sight] as a cursed skill, although it’s still very low level as it causes extreme pain when I open my eyes.”
Kayafe falls silent for a few moments. “You have two right now? And you can potentially get three?! While [True Sight] is second to [True Sense], it’s still considered among the best. You are truly remarkable to have such powerful skills and have some of them at such a high level at the age of ten. What next? You get a Heirloom race?”
I fall silent.
“Umm, Alysara? You’ve fallen quiet, did something… No, you don’t actually have an Heirloom race, do you? You can only be so much of an enigma… you can’t surely have an Heirloom race,” Kayafe seems to be trying to convince herself.
“I do, Unique race, actually, up from Heirloom.”
“I…” Kayafe sighs. “Nothing can surprise me now. Which skill are you cultivating for your race? Actually, let me guess, it’s [Sense Mana], right?”
“Yes, and [Mana Toxicity Tolerance], is that bad?” I can’t help but be worried.
“No, it’s actually one of the best outcomes, doubly so since you also have [Mana Toxicity Tolerance], I take it that is because of the higher Heirloom tier in your race.”
“How do you know about Heirloom races anyway?” I ask, in the hope that perhaps she has met one before.
“One of my companions was one, the progenitor of the three-eyed elves. His skill focus was [Analyze]; I don’t know how but he always knew things that wouldn’t even appear if you looked at your own status.”
“I have one more question, should I get rid of [Soul Damage Resistance] for a more immediately relevant skill? It’s only level one, and I have almost no ways to get more breakthroughs in it.” I ask. It’s useless now, but who knows, just like with [Mental Fortitude], I may need it in the future.
“It’s level one? Alysara, that’s like questioning whether or not to use paper as your armor; get rid of it.” Kayafe sounds like a teacher trying to explain a basic concept to an adult who should already know it. “You are far better off replacing it with a skill that can actually save your life; almost any other skill will work. As an artillery build, and with your level of [Sense Mana], you should not need resistance skills; you can see danger coming for you and run away before they arrive. If you’re really that worried you can get it later – general skills often get transferred to classes, so if you go for [Unlimited Minds], you’ll probably free up four or so skill slots, get it then if you still think you need it.”
“Our time is almost up,” I say, noticing that my mana is running low. “It was nice talking with you, and thanks for your advice.”
“Until next time.”
[Unlimited Minds], huh. I really should try getting that one.
* * * * * * *
Papuyo listens to the troubles of Myrou’s children. She sighs inwardly, wondering if the high priestesses could have done better. She questions over and over again, “Why me?” Why was she the only priestess to survive?
“I don’t know how to move on… The constant looking over my shoulder, thinking that a monster will get me just like Julio, I just don’t know what to do anymore. How can I participate in the tournaments? I’ve wasted so much time, and restarting my class is…” the Kheshamo fighter trails off, the look in her eyes like that of a frightened child.
This is why she survived; this is why she is a high priestess now. To make sure Myrou’s children are safe and living fulfilling lives.
“It’s simple, Hanu; join the priestesses. Help us prevent this from happening again.” Papuyo says, leaning forward.
“How? How can we stop people from suffering?” Hanu asks, almost pleading, with a fragile flame of hope lighting up in her eyes.
“We’ve strayed away from the goddess, Hanu; we need to bring the people back to her ways. We need to shut down the dungeon, lock it away forever. It’s what the grand priestess Shara did, and it’s what we’ll do too. But first, we need more warriors and mages, and anyone else who feels like you do, to join us. With an order of our own warriors, we can bring our people back to Myrou and forsake all the falsities that have crept up over the years!” Papuyo extends a hand. “Join Myrou’s Warriors.”
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