When the radiance faded, Elina looked into Michael’s dark-brown eyes, and asked him “Before I become your Companion, I want to know something first. How did my brother and sister…”
Before she could finished her sentence, he sighed and answered “Well, I didn’t actually see the big guy die, but Lily turned into an undead and cast an ‘Enthrall’ spell on him. Before that though, he managed to toss you over to me, so… I mean, there wasn’t much I could do for either of them. The little brat was bleeding to death, and you were unconscious; it’s kinda amazing that either of you survived that shit. Oh yea, Sarah, your father’s dead by the way… not sure if you care though.”
After hearing that, her only response was “Meh, figured as much already.” before continuing to explore her new-found ability to see her own stats. She never learned how to read or write, and yet somehow, she could perfectly understand the mysterious, semi-transparent info-screen that had appeared before her.
Even Michael was somewhat surprised by the worm-girl’s attitude, but then he returned to the crying Priestess. She struggled to say “Please… let me become your Companion.”
He was once again asked by that monotonous feminine voice “Would you like to accept ‘Elina Jacobs’ as your third Companion? Warning: You may only have a maximum of six Companions.”
After answering with an “uh-huh,” while nodding his head, the two of them were enveloped in a warm and blinding radiance. At that point he had become pretty used to that sensation, but the cat-girl felt as if all of the pain and sadness in her soul was being cleansed.
Class: Priestess of Light
Profession: Enchanter Level 3]
Mana Regen per minute: 40
Health Regen per hour: 30
Attack Power: 5
Defense Rating: .5(+1)]
Blessing of Good Health Level 3: Resists Level-3 infectious diseases, illnesses and curses. Effectiveness will automatically double at the expense of mana, when exposed to Level-4 or higher infectious diseases, illnesses or curses.
Light Affinity Level 4: Mana and Health recovery increases dramatically when exposed to Sunlight and Moonlight. Increases healing done to allies with the Light Affinity by 40%.
Holy Light Level 3: All healing spells cost 15% less, and healing done is increased by 30%, when exposed to Sunlight or Moonlight.]
Scan Level 5: Identifies the object and gives detailed information. Only effective on items below the rare quality and within twenty levels of the caster.
Identification Level 6: Shows the target’s current Health, Mana, Stamina, Name, Title, Age, Profession, Class, Level, Rank, Race and Specialization. Only effective on targets that are within thirty levels of the caster.
Flash-Heal Level 4: Instantly recovers a small amount of health. Range is dependent on the Aura stat. Potency is dependent on Intelligence. Costs ten mana per cast.
Healing Light Level 5: Slowly recovers a large amount of health. Range is dependent on the Aura stat. Potency is dependent on Intelligence. Costs three mana per second.
Holy Cure Level 3: Removes poisons, stuns, curses and other similar debuffs from the target. Effectiveness is dependent on Intelligence.
Illumination Level 3: Creates large amounts of radiant light, which slightly increases health regeneration for allies, while dealing minor damage to enemies. Range is dependent on the Aura stat. Costs six mana per minute.
Blinding Light Level 2: Burns and blinds enemies with large bursts of ultraviolet radiation. Range is dependent on the Aura stat. Twice as effective on enemies of the Darkness Affinity.]
Michael wasn’t particularly impressed by her stats, spells or passives, but he was intrigued that she was a level-three Enchanter. Although, he had to ask “Elina… is having two points of Luck, normal?”
The cat-girl was amazed at the status-screen that had popped-up in-front of her face; yet, unlike Sarah, the Priestess had been an adventurer for quite a while, so she had seen something similar before. She frowned, and told him “The highest I’ve ever seen was seven, and the average is either two or three. This is amazing though! Normally, you have to go to the Guildhall and pay a fee to access an Empowering Stone, but with this… the moment you level-up, you should be able to place your stat-points right away!”
Hearing that, Michael turned towards the worm-girl and asked “If that’s true, then how the hell did she place all her stat-points already?”
Elina chuckled, before replying “If a person doesn’t access an Empowering Stone within a few months of leveling-up, they’ll be invested automatically. It’s usually not a big deal, but if I wanted to gain something other than Wisdom or Intelligence, then I would need to invest them manually.”
While the two of them were wading, half-submerged in crystal-clear water, Sarah washed off the little black bead and unhesitantly swallowed it. A screen appeared before her, which read “Stats have increased after digesting a level-four, rank ‘F’ Human’s mana-core: Aura +.5, Vitality +1, Strength +1.”
It was a massive boost to her physical capabilities… but came with a rather steep price. A bloodcurdling scream erupted from her throat, because she felt as if every bone in her body was shattered, and all of her muscles spasmed uncontrollably.
Regardless of the pain and suffering the red-skinned girl was experiencing, her Health, which had reached a maximum of thirty-points, was barely even dropping. Michael snickered, and muttered “Did I forget to mention the unbearable agony? Well, whatever…” as he glanced at Sarah: She was splashing around under the water, unable to drown, even if she wanted to.
Elina stopped crying and handed the mana-core back to him, then said “It’s not that I’m afraid of the pain, or death, but I can’t use this to evolve.” while frowning. As he sent it back into his first bag-slot, she explained “Ah, you really don’t seem to know anything about Affinities, huh? Hmmm, basically… as far as I know, there are only nine ‘Primal Elements.’ I’m obviously not a mage, so please don’t expect me to know all the different aspects of them though.
“Let’s see, from what I remember in the Priestess Convent, the top of the pyramid was the Arcane Element. That’s basically pure mana, and while it’s sometimes called the epitome of magic, it’s usually limited to manipulating objects with your mind and illusions… My sister was originally a Fire-Mage, but when she evolved to rank-G, she was blessed with a second Affinity.”
Before she could continue, Michael interrupted “Wait a second, I thought you said that everyone’s born with one? Doesn’t that mean that there’s no limit to the amount of affinities a person can have?”
She sighed, and told him “Only a lucky few are able to be born with one, but it’s much more common among magical-beasts, demons, monsters, and Elves. There are only two ways to gain an affinity: Either upon birth, or evolution. This is important though; aside from Arcane, every other Element has weaknesses and strengths.”
He snickered and asked “Yeah, that makes more sense… Otherwise, the balance would be totally broken. Anyway, so what are the others?”
Elina replied “Okay, so directly underneath Arcane, is Light and Darkness. They’re mutually opposing Elements, and it’s impossible for a single entity to possess affinities for both at the same time. Below those two are Nature and Chaos, which also counter each-other.”
Michael interjected “So I could have Arcane, Light, and Nature, all at the same time. The only problem is that I would be weak to Darkness and Chaos magic.”
However, she shook her head and explained “No, not just spells… any kind of weapon or attack that was used by a person or beast of those affinities. Anyway, stop interrupting me! Hmmm~, back to what I was saying; the last four are the most confusing for me, because they form a circle. Fire, Wind, Earth and Water… in that order. They’re different though, because a person can actually gain all of those affinities at the same time.
“Unfortunately, for every strength, there’s a glaring weakness, so there are few people reckless enough to have the maximum of seven affinities. Unlike you, or I suppose it’s ‘us’ now, normal adventurers have to worry about preserving their little lives. Wait, stop, I’m not done talking yet!
“Okay, hah~, so there’s another reason why people tend to stick with a single Element. Other than my devotion to the Goddess of Light, which hasn’t wavered in the slightest, and the fact that I don’t want to lose my adorable Cat-Tribe traits; evolving with a blank mana-core is a waste.
“The highest rank is ‘SSS,’ so there are only ten possible chances for a person to evolve. Actually, most adventurers only have one or two chances, since anything above ‘E’ is pretty much reserved for magical-beasts and Elves, or for those who are really talented and lucky. Phew~, the point is… it’s really hard to level-up Affinities, and can take years of intense training, meditation, life-and-death battles, prayer, sacrifices or whatever that specific Element requires.
“I reached rank-G after fifteen years of devotion to my Goddess, and I’ve spent the last ten years trying to reach level-five… I should be able to make it there in a few months, but you can probably see the problem, right? Yet, if I consumed a rank-F mana-core, from a Light-Element magical-beast, or person, I would automatically increase my Affinity-level by one.”
Michael smirked as he asked “So what you’re trying to tell me, is that you wanna skip the hundreds or thousands of years worth of boring meditation and prayer, so you can get nine easy levels from evolving? There’s something I’m kinda curious about though… Is it really okay for you to kill other people and animals that have been ‘blessed’ by your Goddess?”
She frowned, and answered “The Priestess Order of Healing Light has many rules regarding purity of body and soul, which were developed to ensure the fastest possible cultivation speed. It would be nearly impossible for me to win a duel against someone of a higher rank, and evolving by swallowing a mana-core is practically suicide. There are many sects and religions that follow the Goddess of Light, and between the races, there have been many holy wars. Power is typically all that matters in the end… If I was stronger, I could have saved my brother and sister; my whole family would still be alive if they weren’t so damn weak.”
Right after she stopped talking, a message popped-up in-front of Michael: “Now that you’ve learned about all of the Elements, please choose your primary Affinity.”