Ultimate Level 1

Chapter 66: The problem with skill choices
  • Prev Chapter
  • Background
    Font family
    Font size
    Line hieght
    Full frame
    No line breaks
  • Next Chapter

Chapter 66: The problem with skill choices

Maxs plan had worked almost exactly as he had hoped.

He went in stealthed. Right before he got to the first warrior, Fowl ran forward, getting their attention and using his massive shield to block the initial attacks from the archers.

A single strike of Maxs sword cut the warrior's leg off, sending it tumbling to the ground. The moment it was down, Max took off running for the archers, who he set upon.

The moment Max got close he cast his fire area of effect spell, seeing what it did for the first time. The smell of burnt fur and flesh filled his nostrils as he watched the three archers caught in the blast struggle to escape. That was all he needed to quickly dispatch two before engaging the third. Fowl arrived, slower because of those stumpy dwarven legs and his much lower dexterity, to engage the fourth.

Before the ensare wore off, all four archers were down.

I guess I shouldnt have doubted you at all, Fowl admitted as he watched Max finish off the first warrior from the group.

I never doubt you, Max teased, earning a groan from the two women. Regardless, it went well, and we are ready to do it again.

They killed ten more groups, getting Fowl, Tanila, and Batrire all level twenty-five. Two groups later, they found the boss portal and called it a day.

Outside of the dungeon they found half of the day was gone. They engaged only the same groups of cat warriors they had to on their way to town. As they walked along the road toward the gate, Fowl moved to walk by Batrire as they discussed possible skills to learn at the guild hall. The choices wouldnt be easy as they would have to wait another twenty-five levels to choose again.

Decided what you will pick? Max asked Tanila as she walked next to him.

I dont have a clue, she admitted, frowning as she considered the options. A magic skill like mine provides a few possibilities, but the real problem is the rank.

What do you mean?

Snorting louder than she had intended, Tanlia covered her mouth, turning slightly red and taking a moment to regain her composure.

You dont have the problems we do. Your skill allows you to learn whatever it consumes at the level that it is. Yours can even upgrade a skill like it did your fire magic. For us, the skill we pick will need to be ranked up. That means we must decide how to spend our level-ups every ten levels. Now, I have saved mine from level twenty, which means whatever I get can be upgraded to uncommon. After a skill hits rare the cost to upgrade it only gets progressively worse. Imagine spending years, for many adventurers, trying to earn enough gold or take on a quest, usually dangerous enough to end your life, just so you can upgrade it. I dont have anywhere near the money it would take to upgrade my elemental magic skill.

Max listened, making mental notes as Tanila explained some things he already knew.

But then why the hard choice? What skills could you take?

There are skills like arcane magic that would open up some other possible avenues of damage and survivability. I could pick a skill like [Enchanter] or some other money-making class to help me earn money for later rank-ups since I already have elemental magic. I could even take a sword skill, but we both know that would be a waste.

Tsking his teeth, Max nodded and considered what it must be like for most adventurers who had to carefully plan out their skills, usually long before they could actually get them.

What were you going to take before I came along?

Now, that is a wise question, Tanila replied, nudging Max with her shoulder. Before, I would have taken arcane magic because of the mage armor it provides. Now, with a possible potion I still havent tried, it doesnt hold as much of a need. You provide a lot of protection, and your use of magic helps to control the battlefield even more. She paused, rubbing her eyes for a moment as she grinned. Even that spear throw you did shows how far you have progressed in your weapons mastery skill. All those things mean I could take dark magic. Its frowned upon, but no one but you three would know I have it unless I showed it to someone else.

Max turned and saw Tanila raising her eyebrows rapidly as she knew what was coming next. What does dark magic provide?

Oh, there are lots of nasty things, from damage over time spells, blinding, curses, and another binding spell. Higher ranks can be pretty nasty, but most people dont like dark magic. There is a mindset people still have that it's evil. She rolled her eyes as she waved her hands up in the air. Evil! she said with a cackle.

The story has been illicitly taken; should you find it on Amazon, report the infringement.

You two ok up there? Fowl called out from behind.

Yeah. Just listening to our mage tell me about how she plans on sucking our souls dry with her new skill.

Just as long as she tells us beforehand, Im okay with it! Fowl replied, returning his attention back to Batrire, who was unhappy he had ignored her.

Anyways yes, there is soul magic, dark magic, arcane magic, chaos magic, and about eight other kinds of magic that I can choose from. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses. Before, the decision was an easy one. Now with you Tanila groaned as she paused. I may wait a day before I actually decide.

Nodding, Max could see the dilemma she was in.

Wait, you just said something important.

Tanila glanced at Max and saw how he was smiling. She scrunched her eyebrows, scanning the ground a moment as she considered what she had said and perhaps the path she should take. After a moment, she shook her head, unable to figure it out.

What? Do you know the skill I should take?

Max shook his head and then winked at her. No, but you arent planning on leaving me anytime soon. Knowing youre basing the skill you will pick on me being around means that you arent going to suck my soul out anytime soon.

For a few seconds Tanila laughed so loudly that Max had to take a step away. He stopped, waiting for Fowl and Batrire, who came up with puzzled looks on their faces.

What was so funny? Fowl asked, interested in what had made their mage laugh so hard.

Oh, I just figured out that Tanila doesnt plan on sucking my soul dry for a while. I just realized you guys arent going to kick me out anytime soon.

Batrire snorted and tried to kick Max in the rear but missed as he deftly dodged the attack.

Fool. Why would we get rid of our cash cow? Of course, youre stuck with us.

The three of them all joined Tanila in laughter for a moment, a rare sight for anyone who might have seen them. ๐˜ง๐˜ณ๐“ฎ๐“ฎ๐“Œ๐˜ฆ๐“ซ๐“ท๐˜ฐ๐˜ทโ„ฏ๐‘™.๐“ฌโ„ด๐˜ฎ

Bardunac adjusted the set of small circular glasses he was using to examine Maxs left eye. He grunted and groaned every few seconds as he changed the lenses. The light that he shone and the drops he put in never healed it or allowed Max to feel or see anything.

Well, the good news is there appears to be no infection. Your healer did a great job, impressive actually, in salvaging the eye. That it reformed as it did is unbelievable.

The dwarf tapped Max on the shoulder, signaling he could sit up from the table he was lying on. I wont say there isnt a way to heal it, but I have nothing that can. I have no doubt that someone in the capital could make it happen for the right price. He jumped off the block he had been standing on and landed on the stone floor with a soft thud of his boot. You might even talk to the adventurers guild and see if they could put a quest out or something. I have no idea how much that would cost he said, pausing as he noticed Max watching him, not having gotten off the table. Sorry, I know it's not the news youre hoping for.

Its fine, Max replied, swinging his legs over the edge of the table and dropping to the floor. Ill make do for now. I appreciate you taking a peek.

Bardunac nodded, moving to the main room to check on his new assistant.

Part of him was upset. The other part of him didnt know how to respond. Had it been any other warrior with this injury, adventuring would have been almost impossible. Still, he could see Bardunac and his assistant moving around the other room on the other side of the wall.

Im not blind or, at least not entirely.

Moving to join the others who were waiting for him in the storefront area, Max put on his best smile. There was no reason to be upset. He had something he hadnt had in a long time: friends.

Im so sorry, Aimee said again through tears that had turned her eyes red. Mr. Wright stood behind her, bobbing his head in agreement with her.

Its ok. Really. I am fine, Max repeated once more. In fact, Im here to take you through the dungeon real quick.

You cant! Aimee exclaimed, shaking her head as she wiped her forearm across her face again. How can you fight with only one eye?

Max grinned and looked at her father, who was still trying to get a read on the young man, who didnt seem distraught by the lack of an eye.

Im ok, Aimee. I could actually clear that dungeon with you blindfolded.

Mr. Wright snorted, and Aimee glared at Max. Thats not a funny joke.

Seriously. Those monsters present no threat to me. My stats are way above theirs, and you know it. How many times have you stood there in shock, each sliced in half and knowing that none landed a hit on me?

Biting her lip, Aimee tried to catch her breath but finally gave a quick nod.

Exactly. Now Ill give you a choice. You can come with me and hog all the experience, or you can bring your father too, and we can get you both a little bit.

Mr. Wright coughed a few times, smacking his chest with his hand before finally catching his breath. You want to take me? Why?

Why not? Max asked with a smile. Why should your daughter get all the fun and experience? I have no doubt she has probably teased you more than once about being at a higher level than you.

Aimees cheeks went bright red, and Max saw the grin on her fathers face.

Well, Id be delighted to see the inside of a dungeon, he answered, putting a hand on his daughters shoulder. Perhaps we could even schedule a turn with just me.

Aimee wheeled on her father, about to say something, when she saw his grin and shook her head. You know, sometimes youre as tough as the crust you cook.

Feigning injury from her statement, her father clutched his chest and acted like he couldnt breathe.

See what I have to put up with, Seth! A daughter who mocks my baking and my level.

As the three of them laughed, Max felt the anger he had still been holding onto fading away. He could still do what he needed to.

Im level nine, Mr. Wright repeated for the third time. Nine do you hear me, nine!

Aimee rolled her eyes at Max while she bent over and cut off the orc's ears.

Thats nice dad. Maybe one day, you will catch up with me.

Max couldnt help but laugh as her father groaned loudly.

Use arrow keys (or A / D) to PREV/NEXT chapter