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Well… I’ll be damned! Don’t know what’s more confusing: the fact that the magic spells have normal-sounding names or the fact that the names of these skills have no relation whatsoever with what’s being described in them… Seriously? Spartan Hamster? I was thinking of a combat ability, not a defensive one! Who would think a hamster can be a tank?! Or the effect of Tzuika? Come on! That’s should have a been a skill that allowed me to summon free booze, not shoot out fireballs! I complained in my mind, but on the inside, I was really happy about what sort of improvements these skills offered me.
I was FINALLY able to cast REAL spells!
Still, before I got all hyped about casting magic, it was time to improve and maybe advance [Bartender], so I pulled it up and got the first two levels. Now it was at level 3, and it only cost me 14 skill points.
I wanted to cry, but I had to save Brekkar.
I thought about giving it an advancement too, maybe it could help me. When I selected it, I learned that it cost a total of 5 points, so I skipped it for now.
I was left with 46 points, so I went over the new skills I acquired and gave those two a boost.
For a total of 8 points, I got [The Spartan Hamster] and [The Effect of Tzuika] at level 2. The effects I received from these were as follows: 20% in damage dampening from the first and for the latter, a new element and one more spell for the previous two. Thus, I could cast now the following spells: [Fireball], [Firewall], [Earth Spike], [Earthquake], [Water Ball], and [Water Wall].
It was amazing, so I added another 8 points in [The Effect of Tzuika]. Now, I had Air Element as well and the following spells: [Fireblast], [Earth Arrow], [Water Gun], [Breeze], [Air Barrier], and [Air Scythe].
I could tell just from reading the names what each of them did, after all, the weird naming sense of the God-like entity didn’t apply for these spells. Which in itself was quite AWESOME!
Now, it was time to improve my pride and joy: [Dragon Tamer].
Without even the slightest hesitation, I began to dump the last of my skill points into this one, hoping that maybe just maybe it will give me more stat points.
This was the result after spending 15 skill points:
[Dragon Tamer] [Level 4]: This is a passive, buff type skill. When a Hero develops any sort of friendly or intimate relationship with someone of a Dragon origin, this skill will allow the creation of a special bond between the two of them. The bond is indestructible by any other skill unless the Hero wills it. The Hero gains 30% of the Dragon’s Stats, and the Dragon will gain the ability to level up 5X faster wherever the Hero might be. The Dragon will gain the equivalent of 10% of the overall buffed stats of the Hero when they are within 100 meters of them. [Advancement I]: The Hero can sense the direction in which he can find his [Selected] Dragon friend. Number of dragons that can be sensed at the same time: 1
This was… amazing. I got a 30% buff and a party buff! What more could I wish for? But then I wondered just what level 5 would give me, so I decided to see.
With a gulp, I said “Improve [Dragon Tamer].”
<Improvement will cost 25 Skill Points.>
<WARNING! Improvement will change your species from Human to Half-Human Half-Dragon permanently. New bonuses and skills may be available due to species change.>
I blinked surprised and then close the message, canceling the improvement.
Half dragon? I can’t… I’m a human, not a dragon… If I do this, then even if I previously had 1% chance of going back home, I would have a 0% chance now… I can’t… This is scary! What am I going to do as a Half-Dragon? The humans will hate me, and the dragons will loathe me… I won’t have a place on either side… NO! This improvement I can’t do! I can’t give up on my humanity! I’m not a monster! I thought, but when I said the last word, Seryanna’s smile flashed before my eyes.
I looked down and clenched my fists.
She’s not a monster, but she’s not a human either… I, on the other hand, will become one if I change my species… So I can’t! I absolutely CAN’T do this! I thought and then looking at my skill points, I realized I had only 15 points left.
Even if I wanted to get it now, I couldn’t. Without hesitation, I placed 8 points in [The Spartan Hamster], then wished for an ability to help me with sword fighting or something to do with swordsmanship.
This was a sword and magic world, after all.
“Let’s see what I got…” I said, but I wasn’t as excited as I was a moment ago.
My mind kept going back to the improvement and what it would mean to gain it. A lot more power, true… but I would become something not human. I was afraid of that, of losing my humanity.
There were many who would have jumped at this opportunity, but I wasn’t one of them. I wanted to stay human. Although I didn’t mind gaining absurd abilities and skills as I leveled up, changing to another species wasn’t something I particularly wished for.
As for my new skill, this was it:
[Super Chihuahua Style]: Grants Apprentice Skill with any and all bladed weapons, one-handed or two-handed. Grants the following Combat Skills: [Dash], [Ten Strikes Attack], [Side-Step], [Block], [Parry], and [Dodge].
The last ones were actually just basic movements and passives. They basically allowed me to determine the right time to Block, Parry, or Dodge any Apprentice and Journeyman swordsmanship attacks.
I improved this ability once and brought it to level 2. This granted me access to Journeyman skills: [Double Jump], [One Hundred Strikes Attack], [Blade Dance Counter], and [Taunt].
Although they were very interesting, the last one basically worked only on monsters, and the blade dance thingy was basically a passive that allowed me to counter, block, or parry the incoming strikes of the enemy. So instead of dodging and avoiding the sword, I would move my blade against his and push it to the side, away from my body.
With this, I was left with only 1 skill point, which I didn’t really need.
All that was left now was to put my skills into practice and start brewing Brekkar’s antidote, but not before I made a list with what I needed.
“Let’s see…” I said as I looked around and realized that the maid with the bag of herbs had yet to arrive.
About a few minutes later, she knocked on the door. I took it from here and opened it immediately to check what was inside. On one of the tables, I separated the plants needed for the cure and the ones I could use to make some random potions to test out how this [Bartender] skill worked.
“I’m lacking some stuff…” I said scratching the back of my head.
There were a lot of herbs missing, and I knew were to find them: in the Seculiar Forest.
“I need their help.” I nodded.
Making a few short mental lists of what I needed, I double checked all the ingredients for my experiments and Brekkar’s final cure. Once I was done with this, I stepped out of my lab and went to where Seryanna, Kataryna, and Kleo were all enjoying a cup of black tea and having a staring contest. The silver-scaled dragoness was winning.
“Girls, I need your help.” I said with a small smile.
“What do you need?” asked Kataryna.
“More herbs. Here’s the list, I made copies.” I said and handed one to each of them “You can find some of these in the Seculiar Forest, I already used my Luck to make it so that you will find them. Can you go and fetch them for me?” I asked them. “Do so, and I’ll make something tasty for you?” I added the bribe.
“Tasty? Deal! But, I’ll just get these ones here… I can’t go in too deep with my strength.” said Kleo.
“I can get the ones her. I just need to look for any strange plants that pop in my sight, right?” Seryanna asked.
“Erm… Yes, sort off. I made the wish for you a bit more complex so you don’t need to bother with looks.” I smiled, and she squinted her eyes at me.
Did I say something wrong? I wondered.
“Then I presume I am left to bring the more… difficult ones?” Kataryna raised her eyes from the list and looked at me “Still, even if you wish for us to find them, I highly doubt we will be able to do so immediately. It could take weeks, maybe months to find some of these.” she noted and pointed at the Nightmare Scarlet on the list.
“You will find them in no time, don’t worry.” I smiled back at her. “If you don’t find them in the next four days, just return to me, and I’ll go look for them.” I told her.
“I will find them.” Kataryna said grabbing the list and getting up from the comfy chair.
“I’ll find mine before you do!” said Kleo and poked her tongue out at her.
“Sister dearest, that’s not polite.” Seryanna warned her.
“You are just afraid that I’m going to finish my task before either of you!” she grinned and then ran off.
“Then how about a bet? The first to bring their herbs back gets a kiss from Alkelios?” Kataryna suggested looking back at Seryanna with a smirk.
“What? That… something like that!” she blushed strongly.
“See you in a few days!” Kataryna flew off, leaving the redhead dragoness behind.
Clenching her fists, Seryanna glared back at me and declared “Don’t you dare let that wench finish first! No cheating!” and then she stormed off.
“Well now… Guess I should go to work as well.” I blinked a bit surprised.
For the tasty reward, I asked the maids to bring me a bunch of fruits. I was preparing to make some tasty jam. Five years in a row mom forced me to help her out in the kitchen whenever she made traditional food, including jam. Some of those recipes had been literally hammered in my brain through experience alone.
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