Charisma was a very ambiguous stat. It was more than just beauty or the ability to physically attract others; aside from influencing charm-related spells, it also made a person or creature seem more likable and reliable.
Depending on the Charisma of a Party, Raid, or Army’s leader, the teamwork would naturally increase. However, Michael was mainly just interested in the fact that his teeth had strangely become white and much straighter.
He muttered “Five-thousand fucking dollars and two goddamn years of braces in the other world… and all I had to do was invest a single stat-point in this world to get a much better result. Sigh~, oh well, even the thousands of acne scars are gone. My face looks about the same, but did I get taller? Ugh, nope, that’s probably only possible with evolution…”
The reason why adventurers were typically never considered ‘ugly,’ was because they usually had at least one point of Charisma. It explained why in Riverside Village, most of the ‘normal’ people weren’t very aesthetically pleasing.
After stretching his arms out and yawning loudly, Michael removed Inari from his first Companion-slot, and was greeted by a completely clueless vixen. She sniffed around and barked a few times before scampering off to the southwest.
With his Strength at six and Agility at seven points, the Human’s body felt amazingly light, and he briskly followed after the fox without much effort. Of course, he could have caught up with her if he had sprinted, but he just complained “I really need to learn some kinda flying spell, or maybe teleportation…”
It wasn’t as if they didn’t exist; in fact, all Elements had various forms of both… but they were usually used in combat. The amount of mana required to use either one for travel purposes, was simply unreasonable: not to mention the ‘Aura’ that was necessary.
When he finally found the giant fluorescent-green vixen, she barked loudly at the base of a truly massive, bright-blue tree. Michael looked around and didn’t find anything particularly strange about that specific plant; it wasn’t a monster from what he could tell, but there was something odd that occurred when he approached. On the mini-map, a name suddenly appeared: “Entrance to the Forgotten Grotto.”
He stared at it for a few moments, while murmuring “Dungeon, hidden village, or possibly an abandoned spa…” Without thinking too deeply about it, he simply walked up and touched the mossy bark, then yelled “Activate! Teleport! Open up, motherfucker!”
Then he noticed that Inari stopped barking and copied what he was doing, putting both of her front paws on the tree, right next to his hand. She howled loudly, and unconsciously channeled her Nature-Affinity mana into the bark.
Michael snickered while petting her fluffy-green mane and saying “Good girl, you’re such a smart puppy~.” It took a few seconds, but the two of them were eventually enveloped in a bright-blue aura, and then vanished.
They suddenly appeared, over a mile underground, in a surprisingly brightly-lit cavern. Illustrious, azure, crystalline stalactites were hanging from the ceiling and illuminating the entire area.
A Quad-Tailed Nature-Fox, along with a Human of the Arcane Element, had arrived in the home of a long-forgotten, rank-A, ‘Raid Boss.’ Huge blue roots ran down the walls of the grotto, and aside from the single limestone platform, that the two newcomers were standing on, everything else was a relatively clear, bright-green lake.
When he saw the colossal, viridian snapping-turtle’s head, resting only a few meters in-front of him, Michael snickered and muttered “I guess its level is too high for me to read, huh?” Inari was sitting down and didn’t even seem flustered by the gigantic creature, which made him guess “This guy probably isn’t an enemy; maybe a Quest-Giver?”
As the massive eyelids slowly opened, two enormous, azure orbs suddenly focused on the two of them. It attempted to move, but could only groan deeply in agony; then a masculine voice erupted from its titanic beak: “I thank you for heeding my call young ones… Though I’m a little surprised at your calmness in my presence. Even if I’m not nearly as formidable as I was a thousand years ago, I didn’t think it was to such an extent that a kit and a Human would enter my domain so casually.”
Michael smiled at him and asked “Yeah, I get it, you’re old and decrepit, can we skip the ancient history and get to the point? You want something, right?”
Instead of getting angry, the turtle laughed loudly, before coughing violently, and nearly deafening the two of them. Eventually, he said “Indeed, I can barely even remember what happened back then anyway… As you surely know, the more powerful a creature’s body becomes, the harder it is to properly feed. Of course, if you’re proficient in Nature and Water magic, like myself… sustaining yourself doesn’t even require a thought. Unfortunately, the Goddesses are never quite so kind.”
The man smirked and asked “Let me guess… You’ve felt as if you were starving to death the whole fucking time, right? Heh~, so what kinda food does ‘Goliath the Devourer’ typically eat?”
After hearing his name called, the colossal snapping turtle muttered “Impressive, your ‘Identification’ technique must be rather extraordinary to actually gather that much information on me… Hmmm, Michael the Immortal? That title is very strange; from what I can tell, you’re merely a level-seven, rank-F Human. You don’t even possess a Class, and… wait, that can’t be right. You’ve only been alive for nineteen minutes?”
Michael sighed and explained “Yeah, I just died like three times in a row. I think that was a record for most deaths in one minute by the way. Enough about my awesome title, back to the grocery list…”
Goliath started laughing loudly, then told him “Indeed, we’ve only just met, there’s no reason for you to reveal your secrets to a complete stranger. Ah~, I can hardly even believe that there was someone kind enough to visit this old man… Don’t worry, I will certainly reward you greatly for your benevolence. Hmmmm~, it’s been so long since I last tasted anything but water and tree-sap, I can’t even remember what my favorite food used to be. Everything is fine, but the bigger the better: meat, vegetables, fruit, I honestly don’t care at this point.”
After the turtle finished speaking, a notification popped-up: “New Quest: Goliath the Devourer has been starving for over a thousand years; although he won’t die, the hunger has turned the ancient Raid Boss, into a docile, but desperate magical-beast. He has accumulated an extraordinary amount of wealth over his lifetime, yet he would sacrifice it all, in order to finally sate his appetite. Rewards will depend on the quality and quantity of the meal.”
The first thing that Michael did was extend his hands and make four rather large, unranked, level-four crocodile carcasses appear. As they dropped to the ground, they were so fresh that their bodies were still convulsing.
Dozens of purple octopus-tentacles erupted from that gigantic maw, and quickly wrapped around the eight-thousand pounds of meat, effortlessly pulling it into Goliath’s beak. He chewed a few times, and the entire carcasses were dissolved by only his saliva. As each one was digested, a ‘+2 Exp, +1 Silver’ appeared in the corner of Michael’s vision.
However, even if it was relatively insignificant, the turtle still laughed heartily, and said “Thank you, truly; though a bit lacking, it was still very tasty. I’m amazed that you’re capable of performing extra-dimensional storage-magic, but it sure is convenient…”
Michael snickered and told him “Ah, I have a lot more, if you’re interested. To be completely honest, I’m a bit of a hoarder, so I’ve just been collecting things, expecting to eventually sell them to someone… might as well be you. Let’s see~; these little bastards caused me some much trouble back then, but they probably aren’t even worth a few cents.”
With a wave of his hand, seven large grey rats flew out: each a level-one field-mouse. Those giant tentacles erupted again, catching the carcasses before they even touched the ground, and swiftly pulling them all into the colossal mouth. Each one was worth one experience point and half a silver, or fifty coppers.
Compared to the crocodiles, Goliath seemed a lot more satisfied by the rank-G magical beasts. Before he had a chance to say anything, a giant rank-F, level-8 ‘Stealthy Boa-Constrictor’ appeared.
Even though it had been sliced in half, the carcass which materialized had both sides attached. The creature was still squirming around, when the tentacles grabbed it, and the massive turtle happily slurped it up like a tiny noodle.
After receiving sixteen experience and eight silver coins, Michael’s body began glowing brightly. Then a monotonous, feminine voice announced “You have reached level-eight.”