Chapter 26

Sounds of excitement weren’t the sort of thing you would expect in a prison. Despite this, Kothar stood and listened with interest as Milandera greeted her friends whom she thought were almost certainly dead moments before. It had taken a lot of searching and then convincing to get past the Krell [Guards], but it seemed to be worth it. He decided to give Milandera some privacy as she talked to them, or at least the illusion of it, by telling her that he would leave them to talk.

In reality, Kothar simply leant against a wall just around the corner from the hanging prison-cages, hiding himself in a natural shadow formed by the cave. In spite of the half-elf’s apparent friendliness, he didn’t trust her for one second and didn’t want to miss an opportunity to listen in like this; especially after she had described to him how badly many of the guilds wanted fruits from the Mother of Chaos.

Using a simple skill, Kothar was able to easily hear what they were saying, despite them talking at nearly a whisper. From what he had heard so far, it seemed that Milandera was much happier to see some of her fellow guild members than others. Her voice was terse and to the point whenever she talked to Giran; he wondered why for a moment until her conversation made it perfectly clear why she disliked the other half-elf.

“And you!” She seethed, “In our moment of dire need, you decided to run because of a stupid irrational fear you have! If it wasn’t for blind luck your cowardice would have gotten Normand and Adrian killed as well!” Silence persisted among them for a few moments as the accusations were laid bare.

“Well, you can certainly speak,” Giran responded in a fairly confident manner, “If what I’ve heard is correct so far, it seems that you ran away as well!” Clear anger flared in her voice.

“I ran for a purpose! To try and get help! You, meanwhile ran from blind fear!”

“We all have our fears, it was just unfortunate…. that our attackers happened to be spider related…”

“You stupid bitch!” Milandera shouted, “I was kind of hoping that you got killed by the arachnapes or the Krell anyway; it would have been sweet justice as far as I’m concerned… In fact, maybe I should serve you the justice you des-”

“WOAH! Mila, stop right there. As much as I’m not happy with Giran for her fears, killing each other won’t get us anywhere!” Kothar heard her let out a huff and heard footsteps as she apparently walked away from what was probably an intimidatingly close distance to Giran’s cage. It was lucky for her that she did that: if they were going to start killing each other he would have had to intervene, which would have ruined his perfect chance to garner some information.

“First off, never call me Mila again. Second…. Y-You’re right…” She let out an exasperated sigh, “I’m sorry Giran, we are all Gilded Spears brothers and sisters after all… and at least most of us are still alive and well. Speaking on that, are you all ok? Did they torture you?” From her tone of voice Kothar could tell she was talking to her brother, Normand.

“No, no… well, not physically.”

“What do you mean?”

“The elder who interrogated us when we were captured, Elder Ro or something?” He paused and Kothar heard a few mutters from Giran and Adrian confirming the name, “Yeah, she didn’t have to lay a finger on us but got all the information she wanted regardless. She is a master of intimidation, that one.”

“What does she know?” Milandera asked. After a short lapse of silence, a third voice cut in and provided an answer before Normand did.

“Everything. They found out that we are from The Gilded Spears, and that the Guild is after the fruits from the Mother of Chaos. She also found out that I… errm-” he went silent.

“Spit it out then.” Normand taunted him.

“Ok, ok… She found out that I’m a Knight of Order and that I’m a [Paladin] of Eterna. I have slightly different reasons for coming here than the rest of you. I’m sorry I dragged you guys into this, but I have to obey Eterna, fell that tree, and kill the man responsible for it; unless I wanted to break my oath.” Kothar raised his eyebrows upon hearing this.

Well, I guess this confirms that these ‘Divines’ have a definite presence in the world. I’ll need to let the others know that the Divines are sending their little minions after Ethan and the Mother of Chaos. Kothar thought, now even more curious as he continued to listen in.

“Are you still on that? Can’t you see it’s a lost cause? Tell me this, then: How many other [Paladins] has Eterna sent here?” Milandera asked.

“I don’t know, I simply listen to what she instructs us to do! I’m sure other paladins are on their way here, it's just that because we were already on the way that I happened to be the closest. Of course I jumped at the opportunity when I received her edict!” They lapsed into silence again and Kothar heard nothing apart from Milandera’s feet clacking on the stone floor as she paced back and forth. After a good 30 seconds Normand started talking.

“Look, it seems that some of us have hidden agendas, but we still have a mission to complete. Could you please get me out of this damn cage so we can nab some of the fruits and get out of here?” Kothar heard utterances of agreement come from Adrian and Giran as his hair stood on end.

Those scheming whelps! He thought to himself. He was about to go storming around the corner to confront them, but Milandera spoke up.

“Absolutely not! I’m sorry Normand, but I’ve made a friend in the Krell, and I would much prefer to keep it that way. I’ll try to get them to let you guys go, but there is no way I will help you or the Guild on its foolish course of action from here on out.” Kothar smiled to himself, it seemed that she was being truthful about her intentions.

Despite the protests of her fellow Guild members she started walking at a brisk pace back out of the prison. Kothar decided to take that as his cue to make an appearance.

He stepped out from leaning against the cold wall of the cave and took some brisk steps towards the prison, hoping she would think that he was just walking back from wherever she thought he had just been. It worked perfectly; he practically bumped into her as she came around the corner, causing her to jump back in shock.

“Sorry I scared you there, I was just on my way back to pick you up… From the tones of their shouting I guess they didn’t like something you said just then.” Kothar didn’t enjoy lying, but it would be necessary to ensure that she didn’t know he had heard the entire conversation. By the time Kothar had finished speaking, she had recovered from her shock and was nervously scratching the back of her neck while avoiding eye contact.

“Yeah… I’ll explain as we walk. I think that I’ve certainly talked to them enough today. You said you have other stuff that you need to get up to today? Do you mind if I join you?” Kothar let out a smile. It seemed that she was getting attached to him, and to be truthful he didn’t mind at all. She wasn’t wrong though, he very much did have other stuff to get on with. The “stuff he needed to get up to” would have been different depending on what she had said a moment ago. One would have been showing her an exit from the Volcano if he had found out her intentions weren’t what they seemed, while the other was much less brutal.

“Sure, do you know how to skin a Worga?”

Ethan was sat with his legs crossed and his eyes closed back in the tent that had unofficially become home during his short tenure with the Krell. Much like his apartment back on Earth, it was extremely well organised. A few simple wooden tables held various equipment related to the alchemical process and a floor mat sat opposite them. The two spare Roc eggs that he had gathered still remained in his backpack slumped at the end of the floormat. The sceptre sat at his side, in case he needed it. A somewhat ramshackle and currently completely empty bookshelf was also inside the tent, finishing out its furnishings.

Ethan was intentionally paying as little attention to the outside world as he could, to ensure as much focus as possible could be put towards his mind simulation. While the real Ethan sat disturbingly still, in his mind he paced back and forth in his simulated lab, considering what to spend his precious time doing. After a few more paces back and forth he came to a decision and sat at one of the desks in the lab in order to bring up a collection of holographic screens.

I guess the first thing I should do is find out what the limits of the [Meld] skill are. He thought.

Ethan fed a few instructions to the AI and his body started performing controlled actions. In front of him he had a few objects; a small iron blade, a small chunk of magicite, and a small pebble. The first thing he needed to find out was what the skill could do on its own, without the sceptre. Ethan put an image in his mind of what shape he wanted to meld the rock into and cast the spell. In a brief few seconds the spell finished casting and was now in an active state, indicated by the strange tingle he could feel on his skin. He didn’t really know what to expect, but after a few seconds, nothing had happened, the rock refused to change shape at all, stubbornly remaining a jagged chunk of rock. Ethan frowned in his lab as he watched through his eyes while nothing happened.

What am I doing wrong? Maybe I need to take a different approach? Checking his mana he saw that only the initial 4 mana required to use the skill had been spent, meaning that nothing else beyond that had happened. Ethan was a scientist on Earth for a reason: If one hypothesis is proven wrong, then you try another. Changing his approach, he instead envisioned his hands, and then imagined stretching the rock. Much to his amazement the rock shifted and changed shape in front of his eyes, stretching just like he had been imagining using his hands to stretch it.

Well I guess that makes sense, rather than trying to just make the object change shape you have to imagine the way you are going to force it into that shape, although it won't be very helpful if the only things I can imagine shaping objects with is my hands… which makes me curious.

This time he imagined using a few flat surfaces to “squeeze” the rock. A few moments later he nearly leapt up from the chair in his simulated lab when the rock contorted and morphed into a perfect square in front of him.

Great! So it seems the methods you can shape objects with are limited to what you can imagine. That makes life easier at least. Deciding to get more creative, he let the AI take control of shaping the rock. Instructing the AI on what he wanted quickly caused a collection of complicated shapes to form and disappear in rapid sequence, each one changing the shape of the rock ever so slightly. After a couple of seconds Ethan looked on smiling from his lab at the strange symmetrical shape he had created out of the small rock.

This is going to make architecture very interesting. Ethan mused for a few moments about the various feats of architecture he could achieve using the skill. In combination with his [Design Schematic] and [Improve Schematic] skills, he would be able to create complex designs and then meld materials using the schematics as the “input” for the AI to interpret, rather than his own imagination. Ethan snapped out of this line of thought as he remembered that he needed to be keeping an eye on his mana, with a quick look revealing that less than one point of mana had been spent.

Well that could have been worse, I could have used up a lot of mana without being aware of it. It seems that the small size of the rock makes it incredibly cheap to shape.

Looking over to the small chunk of magicite, Ethan decided to give a shot at shaping it. Using the same process as before, he used his AI to shape the magicite on how he wanted it to look. Rather than make a complex shape, he simply formed the magicite into a sphere. A few seconds into the process of shaping it the sphere was starting to take shape, but he didn’t finish it before the skill suddenly stopped working and a few messages appeared in his vision.

Maximum skill duration of 60 seconds exceeded, cool-down period of [2 minutes] before skill can be used again.

Congratulations! [Meld] has risen from level 1 to level 2 (23%). Maximum skill duration has increased to 70 seconds and cool-down time has decreased to [1m 59s].

Well damn, that’s annoying, but I guess it makes sense. Seems that it was pretty easy to increase the level though, it probably measured the complexity of the shapes I created and not just the quantity of melding I do.

Without much else to do for a moment, Ethan quite literally sat twiddling his thumbs while the cooldown wore off. Two minutes later, the clock had counted down and he recast the skill again, this time making sure to get more out of the limited time he could use the skill for. He set a timer in his vision so that he could keep track of how much time he had left.

Focusing on using the skill again, the magicite continued to shape into a ball in front of him; after a few seconds it was a completely smooth sphere.

That could be very useful, it seems that even materials with magical properties can be shaped. Good news so far, though I wonder how much mana that cost…

Ethan expected something similar or less than the cost of shaping the rock, but upon checking his mana he was surprised to find that roughly 5 mana had been spent shaping the magicite.

That chunk of magicite is marginally smaller than the rock, so this must mean that it apparently costs a lot more to shape some materials than others… Checking his timer, he saw that he had 30 seconds left and quickly focused his attention onto the small dagger as he started trying to shape it. It was currently a standard Krell design, a simple double sided blade that looked like an elongated triangle. In his mind he started to instruct the AI on how to shape it, and the metal blade slowly started to morph and contort in shape… Really slowly. He was trying to make some floral style engravings on the surface, and it just seemed that the process was taking a long time. After a good 10 seconds he could barely see a hint of the pattern he was trying to create on the blade. An alert popped up in his vision warning him that his mana had dropped below 50. Seeing this he stopped pouring mana into the skill, letting it time out a few seconds later.

Maximum spell duration of 70 seconds exceeded, cooldown period of [1m 59s] before spell can be used again.

Checking how much mana had been used, Ethan nearly had a heart attack. Almost 30 mana had been spent, without even getting a fifth of the way to engraving the pattern. Curious, Ethan set the AI to analyse the amount of mana used on shaping each object compared to their estimated weight and size. With mechanical movements his body picked up each object so that the AI could make the best possible measurement of each item’s weight, although they were still only rough approximations. A few moments later the results came back, presenting themselves on one of the screens in front of him in the lab.

Unsurprisingly, it turned out that his judgement that stone was really cheap to meld was entirely true; from the AI’s estimates he would potentially be able to meld up to 20 tonnes of it at once, considering his mana limits. Meanwhile magicite was around ten times as expensive to meld. Although it was still effectively a chunk of rock, it's vaguely crystalline structure and magical properties seemed to make the material a lot more expensive to work with.

In hindsight it's lucky that I didn’t try to make any fancy patterns or shapes with the magicite, I could have torn through a lot of mana.

The costs of using [Meld] on magicite and the rock paled in comparison to what it cost to meld iron, however. From the AI’s calculations it could possibly take hundreds of mana to shape less than 1kg of iron, while also taking a long time, requiring multiple castings of the skill.

This will probably be the best thing to test the sceptre’s effects on. He thought as his body was instructed to pick up the sceptre, with the intention of using it for the first time. Although he already knew what the sceptre did, he decided to be cautious and used [Analyse] on it. A few moments later the results were displayed in his vision.

Name The Divine Sceptre of Primordial Will
Object Type Enchanted Sceptre
Creator Ethan West – [Chaos Magineer]
Object Quality Divine Grade
Description An enchanted sceptre of precise construction infused with a Radiant soul. Converts any spell or skill into its Primordial equivalent. To use the item, a user must cast a spell or skill via the sceptre, which causes the power of the cast spell to be amplified tenfold.

Ethan nodded to himself in his lab, the results of the [Analyse] were pretty much what he had already figured out. Seeing that nothing negative was listed as being an issue, he decided to go ahead and use the sceptre.

Less than a minute later the cooldown wore off and Ethan reactivated the skill. Idly holding the sceptre, he started to funnel the effects of the skill through it. It didn’t seem to matter where or how he held the sceptre, so long as it was in his hand and he targeted it correctly using a spell or skill, it would work and kick out the amplified effect of the skill or spell.

Figuring that the “tenfold” in the description was literal, one point of mana channeled through the scepter would become 10. For this reason Ethan spent mana in chunks of 0.1 instead of the usual one, regulating the mana being spent a lot more precisely. As he did this the blade in front of him started to be engraved by the skill much quicker, keeping an eye on his mana he watched as 5 mana was used, then 10… and then 20. Ethan breathed out a sigh of relief as he looked more closely at the now engraved knife in front of him. He instructed the AI to pick it up and admired the intricate pattern which had existed nowhere apart from his mind a moment ago. A notification had also popped up in his vision during the process.

Congratulations! [Meld] has risen from level 2 to level 3 (3%). Maximum skill duration has increased to 80 seconds and cooldown times decreased to [1m 58s].

At least the skill seems to level up quickly. Ethan figured it would be best to try and find positives in annoying things.

So, considering that this thing apparently amplifies a spell tenfold that would mean that the 20 mana I just spent is actually equivalent to 200. I guess that explains why it leveled up the skill so quickly. But damn, it's expensive to use this on metal; at least this shows how useful the sceptre can be.

Satisfied with the results of testing the [Meld] skill Ethan moved onto his next agenda; figuring out what effect the skill [Chaos Reign] had.

Looking around the various menus available to him he couldn’t find anything related to the skill. It seemed that it occurred completely passively much like his [Lecture]. He just couldn’t tell exactly what would level it up or what effects it had. Checking his character sheet he saw that the skill had increased its progress by 2% since he had acquired it, meaning that something had been happening. He found that the description on his character sheet didn’t help much either; it was a very general description.

Ethan leant back in his chair and frowned. It seemed that a lot more time would be needed in order to tell what the skill actually did. Taking note of this, he set the AI to analyse any actions he performed to see if the skill was having a noticeable effect on anything. Ethan just hoped that he hadn’t wasted the skill points on a useless skill... it would certainly teach him a lesson about taking gambles if that were the case. Deciding not to worry for now, Ethan moved onto another item on his agenda; creating some offensive spells.

The number of times he had been caught off guard due to not having even basic defence or attack spells was really starting to irk him. While he potentially had a few hours of time to kill waiting on the Elders to make… whatever decision it was that they were making, he would create a few basic spells to use. He would need a pretty empty place to test them in, though, so he set off to find a place where he would be able to blast rocks to pieces to his heart's content.

Ethan exited the mind simulation and took control of his body again, standing up and limbering up his legs, which had gone somewhat numb from being sat on for… twenty minutes of real-time, as measured by the AI’s internal chronometer. It would have been a lot more from his perspective if he had been using time compression, on Earth people were regularly warned not to use time compression too much due to the negative effects it can have on mental health, Ethan had decided it would be best to follow that advice for once in his life.

The fact that twenty minutes had passed since he had sat down in the tent raised another question for Ethan: where was Kothar? He had fully expected him to interrupt his experimentation, yet there was no sign of him. Ethan decided not to worry, he was sure Kothar could handle himself and was probably just busy doing something.

“Huh, didn’t expect you to be so good at this.” Kothar muttered as he and Milandera sat on a log next to a small campfire, skinning the small animals known as “Worga” and completely ignoring the bustle of life occurring around them in the Krell settlement.

Milandera giggled to herself as she slid a knife down another one of the animals pelts, and proceeded to peel the hide off like a wrapper. Her pile of skinned carcasses was starting to look much larger than Kothar’s.

If Ethan were here he’d probably be impressed at the skill she is demonstrating, and would want her to demonstrate the technique to him so that he could improve on it in short notice and put both our abilities to shame.

In fact, I wonder where Ethan has gone and got to. I hope he hasn’t decided to go and ruin anyone else's lives or endanger his own already. Kothar thought. He was knocked out of his concentration a moment later as Milandera spoke, apparently having heard his muttering.

“This isn’t the first time I’ve skinned a Worga. When I was younger these things were practically our family’s staple food; Worga stew, Worga roast. My Ma can work it into practically any meal and make it taste great! Or rather, she could…”

“What happened to them?” Kothar asked cautiously. Milandera’s expression darkened and she paused midway through skinning the next Worga.

“The Polarii Empire happened, when I was just 7 years old at the time… You see, the Gilded Spears used to own a lot more land back then, and during one of the first few wars between the Guild of Guilds and the Polarii, the Polarii started to push into Gilded Spears territory. Ultimately, the Polarii Empire’s assault reached our little village. For whatever reason, my parents decided to stay put, hoping we would be left alone I assume.” She paused and Kothar thought she was done, until she spoke up again.

“What must have been at least 100 Polarii arrived and the adults in the village approached them without any weapons, my parents included. They took food to offer to them, hoping that a peaceful gesture would be treated well… but before they could even speak, a mage with the Polarii fired a powerful [Firebolt] at them, incinerating my parents instantly and a couple of the other adults as well. From there it was a slaughter. My parents had warned us in advance to run if anything happened and to never go back, which is exactly what we did. Normand and I ran.” Silence fell over them as she finished her story.

“I’m sorry…” Kothar commented cautiously as Milandera snapped her head towards him with an expression between sorrow and frustration deeply engraved on her face.

“Don’t be sorry. The memories of that day don’t hurt me as much as they used to anymore. We even had a Polarii [Mage] with us in our adventuring party. He was a good friend.”

“What happened to him?” Kothar asked.

“He died in the ambush.” She replied simply.

“How can you accept the Polarii in the midst of you when you’re at war?” He asked another question that irked him.

“Not all Polarii are bad. There is a difference between the Polarii as a race and the Polarii Empire.” Kothar had to think on that.

“So you hate the Empire but not the race in general?” He finally prompted.

“I just hope that one day I’ll be able to get revenge on those bastards.” She nodded.

“They say revenge is best served cold. I would certainly like to get revenge on them for the countless Krell they have slaughtered over the years. Many good men I knew have died on Polarii swords.” He sighed. They both resumed skinning more Worga in silence for a few minutes, until Milandera perked up and spoke to Kothar again.

“Do you think Ethan will be able to stop the Polarii, or even reverse the tides against them, if he were made leader?” Kothar thought for a moment. The truth was that he had no idea, but he wanted to give Milandera some consolation.

“At every turn so far Ethan seems to be a step ahead, and is constantly brimming with ideas. I’m sure that if anyone can give the Polarii a damn good reckoning it will be him. He needs the Krell behind him first, though. Don’t go counting on something that hasn’t happened yet.” Milandera smiled coldly, at least somewhat happy with what he had said.

“Talking of Ethan, where is he? Wouldn’t he have come and found us by now? Surely he’s finished with the Elders by now.” Milandera asked Kothar. Kothar shrugged.

“I have no idea, knowing him he could be up to all sorts of things by now.”

Ethan was, in fact, up to all sorts of things.

Using his newly created telekinesis spell he picked up a boulder that must have weighed a couple dozen kilograms and flung it against a nearby cliff face. With an extremely loud crash it hit the wall and shattered into multiple pieces, knocking a good chunk of stone from the cliff as well.

Damn, this is fun! Ethan thought as he admired the destruction that a simple piece of rock could cause when flung through the air. He wished he could use more mana to test the spell, but with his regeneration rate being cut in half it was limiting his abilities somewhat. The telekinesis spell he had made, although impressive, was somewhat limited due to the small amount of time he had to work on it.

Instead of having a fixed formula, the spell was freeform. It consisted of merely applying the required force in the required amount at the required time precisely to manipulate the object in question. The formula changed dynamically as required, and all of this was managed in real-time by his AI.

It could lift objects in a linear up/down motion, and would then be able to “push” a levitated object once it was floating. Larger amounts of mana would be required to lift and propel objects with more mass, and the more mana you poured into “pushing” an object, the harder it would be thrown. From his limited testing it seemed that picking up objects that had a mass of a few kilograms was the most effective in terms of mana cost compared to effect. There seemed to be a hard limit to how fast he could propel objects, regardless of mass: 40m/s, which was only a small amount of speed compared to even the lowest velocity bullets, such as shotgun shells (which travel at around 320-420m/s) or rifle rounds (which normally exceed velocities of 1000m/s). Any objects thrown using the spell would rapidly slow down, becoming less dangerous the further they travelled. The more mass an object had meant that more mana would be required to accelerate the object to the 40m/s limit; Still, even with the hard limit of 40m/s it could seriously hurt or potentially kill someone, so long as you hit.

This had been the other issue Ethan was finding: It was very hard to aim. He would need to create some more aerodynamic “bullets” to use so that the paths they went down didn’t vary much. Even then, it would still be severely inaccurate. Overall the spell was better than nothing, but at best would only be useful at close range. A good thing with the spell is that it's cheap, if cast with the help of the sceptre it cost 3 mana to fling a rock that weighed a few kilograms. Without the sceptre this would cost 30 mana. Ethan decided to call the spell [Force Push] in the end, in reference to possibly the best sci-fi films ever made, at least in his opinion.

Ethan had devised another spell for the purpose of long range attacks. He had first created a fireball spell with relative ease, but found it suffered the same issues as [Force Push] did, being extremely inaccurate and short ranged, while only having a limited capacity against multiple targets, although the primordial version of the “traditional” fireball spell he had created used a lot less mana for the same effect.

Starting with the basic fireball spell, Ethan had created an “artillery” version of the spell, taking full advantage of the flexibility that primordial magic allowed. It fired a powerful blast up on a parabolic arc towards where he targeted it and the fireball launched by the spell was designed to maintain itself over much greater distances. The best part was that it would explode in a fiery ball of destruction wherever it hit a solid surface, making it a great spell to use against groups and at range, since you wouldn’t need to be that precise in order to potentially kill someone. It could be used at shorter ranges just as well, it was just that Ethan would need to be careful not to get caught by the effects of it.

It looked something like this (excluding the telekinetic component):

Manipulate | Infuse (Heat) [Chaotic] | Compress [Orderly] | Shape(“Sphere”) * Air - Repel [Orderly] * Air

He had already nearly burnt his eyebrows off when he cast the spell using the sceptre to amplify it; doing this, he quickly found that there was a limit as to how large of an explosion you could cause, hitting the limit required 5 mana to be put into the sceptre, or 50 once amplified by the sceptre. There was a minimum mana limit as well; 25 (or 2.5 mana if done with the sceptre) mana was needed to fire a coherent blast, meaning a maximum power shot would cost 75 mana (7.5 with the sceptre) . His AI calculated that the spell would be effective between distances of between 200-2000 meters, depending on how much mana past the initial cost was put in. The spell could obviously be used at distances below 200 meters, the AI’s analysis just simply didn’t recommend this as unforeseen damage could be caused to the caster.

Obviously, the spell had issues much like [Force Push] did. It would be easy enough to dodge, especially at longer ranges as a glowing ball of low velocity fire was pretty easy to spot. This means a bombardment of multiple shots would be required at longer ranges to even stand a chance of hitting, making the spell much more expensive to use, even with the sceptre cutting the mana costs. Ethan christened the spell with the unimaginative name of [Fireball Artillery], simply because of how much it resembled what artillery would do.

Using the last of his limited reserve of mana Ethan fired a [Fireball Artillery] fire bomb at a different cliff face from the one he had just abused with high speed rocks. The mountains shook violently and even from where he was, roughly 200 meters away, he felt a small amount of heat as the firebomb hit the wall and exploded in a spectacular fireball.

Even 200 meters away I can feel the heat from it. I guess that confirms why the AI doesn’t recommend using this at close distances. Ethan thought.

Counting the two spells as successes; Ethan started thinking about what to work on next. He needed some kind of spell that would be effective against flying targets so that he could ensure that a crazy flying [Wizard] or Roc wouldn’t be an issue in the future. He also wanted to make a shield as well. He had briefly heard from Aylin that such spells existed and were used by only the most skilled battle [Mages] due to the complexity of the spell and how hard they were to maintain.

Speaking of the Polarii woman, where is she? He thought in passing.

Unfortunately, Ethan never got the time to find out, as a voice sounded behind him.

“Very impressive, Ethan. Although I must ask, what did this mountain ever do to you to deserve such treatment?” Ethan spun around with shock plastered on his face, finding Elder Ro standing just a few meters behind him.

“Wha- first off how did you even find me? Second, how did you even get here? And third, can I not go a few hours without someone interrupting me?” Elder Ro smiled while leaning on her cane.

“In answer to your first two questions, I’ll just say that I have my methods, although it was much easier to find you with the racket you are making.... In answer to your third question, I’m afraid that interrupting whatever you are up to here is a necessity.”

“I hope it's good news, then? I could do with some good news… are you here to tell me that I’m now the Krell Patriarch?”

“You’re certainly a direct one, aren’t you? Well, all I can tell you in relation to that particular issue is that we’ve come to a decision and it will be announced at a gathering we have called to happen in a few hours’ time. Is it good news? Well, that depends how you interpret it.” She gave Ethan a sweet smile as he sputtered a response

“Ok… I mean yeah, er, uh… What is it you need me for, then?”

“Among the various groups trying to infiltrate the volcano, we found one who very much didn’t fit in. Finding the party curious, the patrol who found them trying to sneak in captured them, and ever since they have been asking to see you.”

Name Ethan West Species Human
Class (1st) Harbinger – Science (Level 11) Strength (STR) 18
Class (2nd) Magineer – Chaos (Level 11) Vitality (VIT) 17
XP (Deferred) 656 (0) Dexterity (DEX) 23
AP/SP Available 0 AP / 0 SP Agility (AGI) 24
Health 173/173 (+1.7/min) Intelligence (INT) 39
Mana 5/319 (+1.95/min) Wisdom (WIS) 29
Soul type Sapient Will Power (WIL) 122
Title Description
Divine Lawbreaker You have broken a Divine Law and incurred the wrath of the heavens. Beware the consequences.
Runebreaker You have transcended all forms of magic and unlocked the more mystic base elements behind it. You now wield great power over the arcane. Beware lest you err!
Divine Slayer You managed to do what few claimed to do throughout the history of the world: to slay a higher being and live to tell the tale!
Divine Artificer You have created a divine-grade artefact. Guard it dearly, lest it falls into the hands of your enemies!
Affliction Level Description
Mana Deficit 1 (0%) Your mana has regenerated, but the effects linger. Your mana regeneration is halved for one week.
Skill Level Progress Cost Description Origin
Analyse (Active) 9 0.18 5 MP You analyse any object or living being, obtaining information about it. More details will be revealed as the level of this skill rises. [Scientist, Level 1]
Lecture (Passive) 5 0.22 You instruct another character on a subject. The level of knowledge conveyed and the success rate are limited by the level of this skill. [Harbinger – Science, Level 5]
Assemble Schematic (Active) 2 0.27 15 MP You assemble a schematic quickly and efficiently. 10% Less material wasted per level. [Engineer, Level 1]
Adjust Entropy (Sustained) 6 0.78 ~ Adjust the level of entropy in a system or creation. 10% To effectiveness per level. [Chaos Engineer, Level 5]
Stabilise (Active) 2 0.88 ~ Allows you to stabilise any chaotic reaction, quickly bringing down the energy of an unstable system, chemical reaction, spell, or machine. [Chaos Engineer, Level 5]
Mana Manipulation (Passive) 5 The ability to manipulate mana is at the core of spell-casting. This skill governs how much mana your body can channel. 2% bonus to maximum mana per level. [Magineer – Chaos, Level 8]
Rune Mastery (Passive) 3 0.56 The ability to construct and maintain spell models in one’s mind is what governs Rune Magic. Your mastery over runes will increase with the level of this skill. Can control +2 extra runes per spell model per level of this skill. [Magineer – Chaos, Level 8]
Design Schematic (Active) 2 0.43 100 MP Allows you to design a schematic. [Scientist, Level 2]
Chaos Reign (Passive) 1 0.02 Chaos reigns! Your mere presence instigates chaos around you. [Magineer – Chaos, Level 10]
Meld (Active) 3 0.08 4 MP You shape an object or material to your liking, consuming mana in the process. [Magineer – Chaos, Level 10]