“While I have no fucking clue how the hell they balance this shit at all, I’m still glad that we’re able to equip more than just one set of weapons, because~…” As Michael smirked at the scowling Huntress, he abruptly pulled a meter-long, incredibly thin and flexible, nearly transparent short-sword out of his inventory.
When she saw that weapon, Talia completely forgot about how the Nephilim had insulted her beautiful pink ‘Orchid Pendant’ and beamed an ecstatic smile. She giggled happily as she grabbed the rubbery hilt and glided her left-hand index finger along the flat of the blade; when she channeled a bit of mana into it, there was a beautiful, melodic hum.
“Harmonic Straight-Sword of the Musician: +360 Attack Rating, +20 Agility, +15 Dexterity, +10 Charisma, +5 Perception. Able to ‘daze’ or ‘stun’ nearby enemies below level-30, upon channeling 60 MP into the weapon. Reduces the mana-cost of Wind spells by 25%. Soulbound to Talia Aeris Ramirez. Epic Quality, requires level-30.”
The happy Huntress ‘unequipped’ the blade and it transformed into a light-blue tattoo on her palm, of an treble clef. Then he smirked, “I’m not really sure how marriage works in your religion or culture, but where I’m from, they typically offer a type of jewelry to the other person… a lot. Anyway, the point is, umm, happy anniversary?”
Michael snickered as he pulled out a beautiful white-gold ring, which had a relatively large tear-shaped emerald. Then he reached out and grabbed her left hand, casually placing it on the proper finger.
“Talia’s Wedding Band: +30 Defense Rating, +7 Luck, +7 Willpower. Contains a telepathic message from the creator. Soulbound to Talia Aeris Ramirez. Epic Quality, requires level-30.”
After reading the description, she actually started crying uncontrollably, quietly asking “Miguel… where did you find this?”
He gazed into her bright-green eyes and revealed “It appeared in the water around me, like the other loot, but… Well, where do these items ‘really’ come from anyway? Heh-heh~, isn’t it suspicious? I’ve been pretty curious about who or what ‘truly’ creates these ‘divine artifacts’ for a while now, but I’m starting to doubt that it’s the ‘Goddesses’ or those mysterious ‘vendors’. At least, there’s no proof that they’re the ones giving them to us, or making them materialize.” After smiling wryly for a few moments, he asked “What does the ‘message’ say?”
Talia stared at the brightly-glowing gem, as she channeled her aura of Nature and Wind into it. A few moments passed, and a familiar voice appeared in her mind: “I love you…”
Suddenly, she blacked out and fell backwards; her legs straightened out and she unintentionally kicked Jasmine in the face, causing her to tumble across the ground until she smacked into the pure-white wall. Michael sighed dramatically and muttered “Okay~ then, I guess it’s time for me to try on my own OP piece of gear…”
“Cloak of the Astral Dragon: +75 Defense Rating, +21 Strength, +21 Vitality, +21 Endurance. Increases Mana-Regeneration by 300% while outside of combat. Soulbound to Michael. Epic Quality, requires level-30.”
Jasmine quickly crawled back over to the Nephilim’s side and yelled “Nyah~, so pretty, hehehe~!” The material of the cape was pitch-black and cold for the most part, but there were innumerable twinkling stars that actually burned his fingers when he touched them. It was as if he was truly staring out into the night sky or the void of space, because when he pushed his hand down upon the fabric, it seemed to be ‘sucked’ inside.
However, it was only an illusion, because what the little-girl saw were clouds of purple, green, yellow, red, pink and orange gasses. They swirled out of the cloak and she felt as if she were floating around in zero-gravity, causing her to giggle gleefully.
Michael shook his head and grumbled “Ugh, holy shitballs… Why the hell isn’t there some kinda disclaimer for this thing? Hmmm, anyway…” When he ‘equipped’ it, the hallucinations instantly disappeared and the three of them were in the living room.
“Nyah?! Why did it end so fast?!” Jasmine was dizzy as she stood up and nearly fell down, but managed to walk towards the staircase slowly.
The Nephilim snickered, staring at his back and noticing that he was completely naked. In fact, the little nekomimi was nude as well as the unconscious High-Elf. When he ‘equipped’ his cape, they were in that pure-white room again and each of them was sitting around in a triangular formation.
That Arcane container was still in between them, and Talia had her eyes closed, seemingly in a state of meditation. Michael muttered “What the actual fuck is happening right now?” All of his armor and weapons were activated, though the siegeblade was merely laying behind him. After wearing the pitch-black cloak, he ‘Scanned’ it again and started laughing hysterically.
“Illuminating the Chaotic Void: +100 Defense Rating, +21 Strength, +21 Vitality, +21 Endurance. Increases Mana-Regeneration by 700% while outside of combat. Soulbound to Michael. Unknown Quality. I am the devourer of worlds, the illusion of fate, the creator of Karma, and the Guardian of Arcana. Death is ephemeral, life is eternal; seek damnation and receive salvation. Who is like God? Do not trust what you cannot believe. Seven is the key to Heavenly Hell; Nine leads to the Hellish Heaven. The truth lies in contradictory agreement. I love you…”
However, what Jasmine read was: “Meow~, meow~, nya-nya-nyah~! Mew~, me-ow~! Nyahahahahahaha~!” After staring at the bright-pink cape for a few minutes, the little girl groaned and fainted.
Michael sighed dramatically, asking “Arcana, you’re there, right? I mean, we’re basically inside of you at the moment, so I can’t imagine you not being able to communicate with me… unless you don’t wanna talk.”
There was a quiet giggle next to his left ear, and the pitch-black cloak suddenly transformed into a shadowy elven woman, who whispered “Are you unsatisfied with my gift? I spent several decades forging it for you…”
“So basically, it’s connected to how or why I get sent back in time, right? Actually, I haven’t completely ruled out the possibility that I’m still hallucinating. Anyway, just tell me this… Where does mana really come from? You asked me that question a long ass time ago, and I’m pretty sure I know the answer, but you should still just say it.” He turned his head and glared at the dark creature, which had blazing stars for eyes.
She murmured “Even I do not know for certain ‘where’ mana originates… However, I do know that this universe cannot be maintained without a constant supply of it. I can generate enormous quantities of mana, energy, and matter, by simply willing it into existence… yet I do not. I know that I can, but I also know that I should not.”
Michael frowned, “I get it, this cape is just another one of your ‘Avatars’, or something like that. To prevent them from revealing information that I’m not supposed to know, you only tell them what I ‘am’ allowed to find out about. Hmmm, well, if I had to guess… I’d say that mana comes from souls. Now, I have no idea what the ‘real’ difference between Players and NPCs is, but my assumption is that…” Before he could finish that sentence, the illusory elf vanished and returned to being a ‘normal’ pitch-black cape. He complained “Goddamn it! Fine, I get it! Ugh, I wonder what Talia’s doing anyway?”