29 Chapter 29 Intermediate level!
(DUE TO CONTINUED TRAINING AND EFFORT, EXTERNALIZE MANA HAS REACHED INTERMEDIATE LEVEL. SUB SKILLS MAY NOW BE TRAINED TO INTERMEDIATE LEVEL. DUE TO INCREASED EFFICIENCY EXTERNALIZING MANA, THE COST OF ALL SPELLS WILL REDUCE BY 1 TO A MINIMUM OF 1. IF YOU WISH TO REDUCE MANA TO 0, YOU MUST ACHIEVE BASIC MANA ABSORPTION.)
Joseph could literally make his eyes glow as he concentrated his mana in them. He had expected the notification that he had successfully finished gaze emission, but he hadn't expected the others.
"What happens when Externalize mana reaches advanced? Advanced is after intermediate, right?"
(INCOMPETENT -> BASIC -> INTERMEDIATE -> ADVANCED -> MASTER)
(MASTERY CANNOT BE ACHIEVED WITH SIMPLE TRAINING. IT REQUIRES SPECIFIC INSIGHTS AFTER ADVANCED UNDERSTANDING.)
"Why did finishing Gaze increase the level of externalize mana?"
(SUB-SKILLS ALSO CONTRIBUTE TO THE BASE SKILL LEARNING AT VARIOUS RATES. CERTAIN ADVANCED SPELLS CAN CONTRIBUTE TO MULTIPLE RUNES, BASIC SPELLS NORMALLY CONTRIBUTE TO ONLY 1, ALSO THE AMOUNT CONTRIBUTED VARIES. ALL SUB-SKILLS OF EXTERNALIZE MANA PROVIDE FULL TIME TO BOTH THE EXTERNALIZE MANA SKILL AND THE APPROPRIATE SUB-SKILL.)
"How many hours were needed to reach intermediate versus advanced?"
(NORMAL TRAINING TIME IS REQUIRED TO REACH BASIC TIME. THAT AMOUNT OF TIME DOUBLES IN ORDER TO REACH INTERMEDIATE. IT MUST DOUBLE AGAIN TO REACH ADVANCED. SO BASIC IS TIMES 1, INTERMEDIATE IS TIMES 2 AND ADVANCED IS TIMES 4.)
(WHEN EXTERNALIZE MANA REACHES ADVANCED RANK, MANA RUNES MAY BE DRAWN INTERNALLY AND ACTIVATED WITH THOUGHTS. DOING THIS BEFORE ADVANCED STAGE IS REACHED, HAS THE POSSIBILITY OF CAUSING DAMAGE TO YOUR INTERNAL MANA PATHS. AT INTERMEDIATE LEVEL, RUNES MAY BE DRAWN ON THE SURFACE OF YOUR BODY. MISSILE SPELLS MAY BE AIMED MORE ACCURATELY, IF THE RUNE WAS DRAWN ON YOUR PALM RATHER THAN YOUR ELBOY, FOR EXAMPLE.)
"Then what use was learning to inscribe mana to the world?" he asked in exasperation.
(NORMAL MAGES IN THIS WORLD ARE TAUGHT THIS TECHNIQUE. IT IS NORMALLY CONSIDERED THE SCRIBE SCROLL ABILITY, AND IS UNIQUE TO THIS WORLD THAT RUNES ARE DRAWN IN THE AIR.)
"So, it wasn't useless but nearly useless."
(CORRECT. UNTIL YOU HAVE APPRENTICES OF YOUR OWN TO TEACH IT IS LARGELY POINTLESS, CURRENTLY AND WILL BECOME MORE SO, AS YOUR SKILL ADVANCES)
"Why didn't you tell me?"
(1. YOU DIDN'T ASK. 2. AFTER REACHING YOUR MAGE KING GOAL IT IS EXPECTED YOU WILL TRAIN MANY APPRENTICES. AS LONG AS GOALS ARE STILL IN LINE WITH YOUR GOAL AND YOU AREN'T WASTING OUR TIME, I DON'T FEEL THE NEED TO CORRECT YOU.)
Joseph sighed and decided to change the subject before he started to think bad words at the system.
"Can I train all of the sub skill to intermediate right now?"
Running the figures in his head, he saw that area and missile still needed fifty hours each so that's 100 hours, then all of them again for 50 hours each would be another 300 hours.
An additional 400 hours of training sub-skills would unlock all the bonuses for intermediate sub-skills, and reach advanced externalize mana. Would that be worth it?
(IT APPEARS TO BE AN EXTREMELY UNCOMMON LEVEL OF PROFICIENCY IN THIS REALM. IT WOULD ALLOW YOU TO THINK OF MAGIC IN ORDER TO ACTIVATE IT WITHOUT THE LABORIOUS SCRIBING PROCESS, AND ALLOWS A LARGE SNEAK ATTACK VALUE. HOWEVER, YOUR CURRENT SPELL IS ONLY TEST FOOD. ADVANCED EXTERNALIZE MANA ALSO ALLOWS YOU TO HIDE YOUR MAGE AURA FROM ALL NORMAL SENSES. ONLY SPECIFICALLY DEVELOPED SPELLS WILL DETECT THAT YOU ARE A MAGE. AT INTERMEDIATE LEVEL SIMILAR LEVEL MAGES WILL BE ABLE TO DETECT YOU. THIS LEVEL IS ALSO RARE IN THIS WORLD AMONGST HUMANS. DETECTING 14 IN THE CURRENT KINGDOM.)
Joseph needed to talk to his dad.
He was standing outside his father's carriage, waiting for him to finish with several messengers that had arrived in the night. The early morning bustle of the slaves didn't distract him as he thought over each sub skill while he waited.
Regular mana emission at intermediate level, halved the distance penalty to target. Jet mana emission at intermediate level, allowed jets from each hand or whips instead of the normal sword or club forms. Breath mana emission at intermediate level, adjusted the spread of cone spells. It also allowed him to draw 1 mana from the air surrounding him as he cast spells and he could regain 1 mana from breathing for a minute. He was right, he definitely wanted all of these higher.
Gaze mana emission at intermediate level, allowed him to see magical auras and freely aim at anything he could see in spell range. Missile mana emission at intermediate level, allowed him to fire without aiming, with no penalty or select-to-aim for additional accuracy. Apparently advanced would let him make the missiles homing. Area mana emission at intermediate level, allowed him to select both areas and/or targets inside an affected area. Acid rain may not fall on his excluded target, but they could still end up in a pool of acid if the rain kept up.
As the messengers left, they didn't even glance in his direction, instead they hurried to climb onto their horses and ride off. Sticking his head into the carriage, his father waved him inside.
"I'm sorry, Joseph. I hope you weren't waiting too long?" His eyes were sunk and he looked like he hadn't slept in the last couple of days.
"Have you thought about taking reduced sleep?" asked Joseph, suddenly more worried for him, then about what he had come to talk to him about.
"It's fine, that's not my problem. What did you want to talk about?"
"What would be more important, extra secrecy or more spells? I really want to learn more spells, but I don't want you to draw unnecessary attention if it would be bad right now?"
"I think that you may have to just work on what you can for the moment. The situation is getting worse by the day and if I suddenly start looking for magic related items or books, it would draw the attention of the kings."
"Kings? As in more than one?"
"Yes, they are all getting rather antsy. Apparently, some talks last week, to quell some of the tension, didn't go well. I'm trying to mediate what I can, but I don't want to draw too much attention either."
"I understand father," he said. "This way I can focus on my foundation more and avoid friendly fire if I need to fight."
"I would greatly appreciate you avoiding friendly fire whenever possible. My slaves take years to train, so I tend to think that less than six months is a bit short sighted for you to start wanting to move on from just the basic foundation."
Joseph was quiet for a moment, debating whether he should tell his father about training to the intermediate levels on everything, and finally decided it should probably not be spoken of.
"I gave Stella the system," he glanced over at Stella who stood quietly in the corner, waiting for him to finish with his father. She hadn't done anything out of the ordinary since having gotten the system, so maybe she wasn't jumping on it, like he had? After a moment of debate, he decided it didn't matter. She was only 8 after all. There would be plenty of time for her to train and get better at whatever she chose as her life goal.
"If that is what you wanted to do, then so be it. I can't exactly tell you not to at this point. I merely hope that it was a wise choice. She will be with you for a long time, and that will give you someone to talk to, over the long haul."
Glad that his father was so understanding, he nodded at him, and turned to leave. There was still a lot of training to get in, and now that the messengers had left, they were probably about to get moving soon.
As he stepped out of the carriage, it started to move. He decided to wait for his carriage to come to him instead of walking to it.
"Do I get anything special for getting my foundational skills higher as a set?" he asked the system while he waited.
"No, I mean, point wise or a special ability?"
(NO. ADVANCING THE SKILLS THEMSELVES PROVIDES THE REWARD. I HAVE GIVEN YOU MAGERY, PERFECT MEMORY, SINGLE-MINDED AND LESS NEED FOR SLEEP.)
"Wait, you mean the reduced spell cost wasn't your doing?"
(CORRECT. ANY MAGE IN YOUR REALM WHO ACHIEVED A SIMILAR SKILL LEVEL WOULD RECEIVE THE SAME BENEFITS. I MERELY QUANTIFY AS AN EXACT NUMBER, INSTEAD OF A VAGUE FEELING, AND INFORM YOU WHEN THE TRAINING IS EFFECTIVE AND COMPLETED. IT IS YOUR EXTREMELY HIGH WILLPOWER THAT HAS ALLOWED YOU TO ADVANCE SO QUICKLY. YOUR SENSE OF DUTY IS ABNORMAL AMONG ADULTS I HAVE BEEN INSTALLED IN, AND NEARLY UNIQUE AMONGST CHILDREN.)
"…Thanks?" He wasn't sure if he should be pleased with that or not.
(YOU ARE WELCOME.)
"System are you pleased with me?" he asked, a little uncertain of what answer he wanted.
(QUITE. I AM SICK OF PEOPLE GETTING AN AMAZING ADVANTAGE, SUCH AS MYSELF, AND WASTING IT ON HAREMS, REMAKING ALL OF THE FOOD FROM A PREVIOUS WORLD, AND TRYING TO SPREAD TECHNOLOGY POINTLESSLY. YOU HAVE A 98% ESTIMATION OF MONOGAMY, ARE ONLY CONCERNED ABOUT FOOD AS IT RELATES TO FOOD MAGIC CURRENTLY, AND HAVE ONLY INTRODUCED ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY TO YOUR FATHER'S TRUSTED SUBORDINATES IN ORDER TO EARN EXTRA MONEY AND ALLOW THEM TO PERFECT THE TECHNOLOGY, BEFORE MOVING THEM TO YOUR DOMAIN. YOU ALREADY THOUGHT OF BURNING DOWN THE VILLAGES AFTER THE SLAVES LEFT, TO ENSURE THE KINGDOMS DIDN'T GET THE TECHNOLOGY.)
"Of course, we are! It's for my kingdom. If they want it, we will sell it to them at a ridiculous price, but it's better long term to keep the monopoly."
(AND YET ALL THOSE ACKNOWLEDGED AS YOURS, YOU WILL KEEP SAFE.)
"Of course! If they are my people, I have to look after them." He wondered why the system was saying something so obvious. His carriage rolled into view, and he timed his step onto the door step perfectly. Opening the door, he quickly went inside, so that Stella could follow.
(YOUR MENTALITY MOST CLOSELY RESEMBLES THAT OF A GREEDY AND KIND DRAGON. OTHERS MAY HAVE NICE THINGS AS LONG AS YOU AND YOURS HAVE THEM FIRST.)
"Why should I care if they have nice things, if everyone is already good? Wait, you said dragon. You have been installed on dragons before?" He asked, sitting down in his seat, and leaning back.
(OF COURSE. JOSEPH, YOU ARE NOT TRAINING. I FAIL TO SEE HOW THIS CONVERSATION IS STRENGTHENING YOU.)
"It feels like you just told me to shut up and get back to work."
(BELIEVE WHAT YOU WILL.)