57 Chapter 57 Fire is good.
The next morning, Joseph cast IGNITE FIRE on a candle.
(FOR SUCCESSFULLY CASTING A NEW SPELL, YOU ARE AWARDED 1 LIFE POINT.)
Stella was watching him like a hawk, so he decided he needed to be extra cautious, with nothing exciting, like an explosion. He wasn't even mad at her. She was just doing it because she cared. Never having had someone do that in his previous lives, it really meant a lot to him.
Even when he lived at home, with his mom, the servants pretty much left him alone, too afraid to form true friendships. Because both his parents were still alive, he fully intended to become strong enough to keep them all safe.
Stella was still staring at him, and he was overcome with the irresistible urge to start a tickle fight. He was only able to resist, because he knew she was stronger and he didn't want to lose to a girl.
"You were like a super hero last night, rushing in to save me like you did."
"I wouldn't have had to, if you hadn't tried to impress everyone, and blow up half the camp."
"I think I may have fallen for you," he said with a wide grin.
She rolled her eyes and stood up. "I'm going to go get breakfast."
"Did you get the joke?" he asked brightly, giggling at it himself.
"Yeah, I got it."
"Wait! Don't go! I really need to ask you a question," he said, pulling himself together, and stopping her at the door.
She turned and raised her eyebrow. That was such a Sylva response, that he had to stop and remind himself this was Stella, not Sylva.
"If I learn both CREATE FIRE and SHAPE FIRE, I can learn either FLAME JET or FIREBALL afterwards. Those could actually be used for attacking. Should I go for them?"
"It would be nice if you eventually got some offensive spells."
"If assassins keep attacking me, they would be nice, but they don't help me that much in the wastelands."
"What do you think you need in the wastelands?"
"Well, I thought I would need PURIFY AIR, PURIFY FOOD, PURIFY WATER, and PURIFY EARTH. There would be a few plant spells in there as well. I would also get a lot of Life Points for all of that, which gets me the title of Beginner Mage, but I'm not sure what that would give me."
"Go with the fire. It would give you something now that might be useful. We probably have years before going to the wastelands, for you to work on those other spells."
"Okay. I'm going to also learn RESIST FIRE even though it takes a couple of other spells to get there, then."
"That sounds like a good idea," she said, turning to leave again.
He nodded to himself. That would take another 700 hours of training before he could move on to AIR, but it made sense. He needed to keep in mind things that could be useful now. He knew the road to magical mastery was long, even if he went at double speed because of his memory.
"System, are you sure there aren't other ways to learn spells faster?"
(YOU CAN USE LIFE POINTS TO DIRECTLY PURCHASE SPELLS, BUT YOU WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO GET LIFE POINTS FOR THAT SPELL, OR SPELLS IN THAT LINE, AFTER THAT. YOU CAN ALSO USE LIFE POINTS TO LEARN NEW RUNES BUT THAT WOULD PREVENT YOU FROM EVER GAINING LIFE POINTS FROM ANY SPELL WITH THAT RUNE IN IT.)
"Wow! That's harsh. Never mind. Alright, system, one more level of magery please."
(UNABLE TO COMPLY. HUMANS, GNOMES, DWARVES, ELVES, AND HALFLINGS ARE LIMITED TO MAGERY OF NO MORE THAN 3. HIGH ELVES ARE LIMITED TO MAGERY 5 BUT NONE ARE CURRENTLY ACTIVE IN THIS REALM.)
"Wait, active? Are they dead?"
(SEVERAL ARE IN STASIS.)
"Why can't I increase magery above 3 as a human?"
(IT IS A LIMITATION INHERENT IN HUMANS. HUMANS CAN ONLY SEE SO MUCH OF THE LIGHT SPECTRUM, AND THIS IS SIMILAR. ASSUME THOSE WITHOUT MAGERY AT ALL, ARE BLIND, AND THOSE WITH MAGERY 0 ARE COMPLETELY COLOR BLIND. GETTING TO MAGERY 3 MEANS YOU CAN SEE ALL THE POSSIBLE COLORS A HUMAN CAN SEE, BUT THAT IS THE LIMIT.)
"So, what would I have to do to exceed that anyway?"
(FIND AN EXAMPLE OF THE RUNE META. THIS RUNE AFFECTS THE FUNCTIONS OF MAGIC, MANA, AND OTHER SPELLS AT A FUNDAMENTAL LEVEL. EACH SKILL LEVEL WOULD INCREASE THE MAXIMUM CAPACITY CEILING BY 1. YOU WOULD STILL HAVE TO SPEND LIFE POINTS TO INCREASE YOUR MAGERY AS USUAL.)
"But if magery is determined at birth, you couldn't be born above magery 3 anyway?"
"So, unless a human was born with an innate understanding of the META rune, they would never be able to exceed magery 3?"
(CORRECT. THIS IS WHY THE LIMIT FOR HUMANS IS 3.)
"How do high elves do it?"
(HIGH ELVES ARE INNATELY MORE MAGICAL.)
"What's the maximum for dragons?"
(IT INCREASES WITH THEIR AGE CATEGORY. HATCHLINGS ARE NORMALLY 5 OR MORE.)
"Wow. Has the knowledge of meta been lost?"
(RECORDS OF IT STILL EXIST IN THE ROYAL ELVEN ARCHIVES.)
"You're being surprisingly helpful."
(REMOVE CURSE MAY BE NECESSARY FOR THE RESTORATION OF THE WASTELANDS. IT IS UNDER META.)
"Ah. No wonder then."
Stella looked disturbed as she returned with two plates. There wasn't quite as much on them as there had been in the past.
"The food shipment is late," she said, in way of explanation, as she sat down to eat with him.
Joseph sighed. "How long do we have?"
"Alright. Eat up and let's start adulting. Do you have any odd missions still to do?"
"Lots," she said, eating faster.
"System, do I have more missions available now that I finished so many of the others?"
"How many Life Points to increase my intelligence?"
(IT REQUIRES 20 LIFE POINTS TO INCREASE YOUR INTELLIGENCE 1 LEVEL. THIS ALSO INCREASES YOUR PERCEPTION AND WILLPOWER 1 LEVEL AS WELL.)
"How much is it to increase my perception and willpower separately?"
"Can I increase my intelligence without increasing perception and willpower for only 10 points?"
"How much to increase my other attributes?"
(STRENGTH REQUIRES 10 POINTS BUT INCLUDES 1 HIT POINT AS YOU BUILD IT UP AND CAN ABSORB MORE DAMAGE. 1 HIT POINT BY ITSELF IS 2 POINTS. DEXTERITY IS 20 LIFE POINTS TO INCREASE PER LEVEL, BUT INCREASES YOUR SPEED AND REACTION TIME SLIGHTLY AS WELL. HEALTH IS 10 POINTS EACH LEVEL BUT ALSO GRANTS A SLIGHT INCREASE IN REACTION SPEED AND AN ADDITIONAL FATIGUE. FATIGUE IS AN ADDITIONAL 3 POINTS EACH.)
"And I can't decrease anything or avoid the additional attribute to save life points, correct?"
(THAT IS CORRECT.)
"Hey, Stella, what are you doing with your life points?"
"I'm saving them up."
"The more points you have, the better the things that are offered."
"System, is that true?"
"What kind of things become available with 20 life points?"
(NOTHING FOR HUMANS. YOU CAN NOW BUY SKILLS THOUGH.)
Easy skills were available for 5 Life Points. Average difficulty skills were available for 10. Hard and very hard skills were still not listed. Joseph perused the list but nothing jumped out at him as worthwhile, for the few points he had managed to save up. Though, he did briefly stop at erotic art. He didn't realize that was even a skill. He could tell he was turning red, but ignored it and kept going down the list. Fortunately, he avoided eye contact with Stella or he was sure he would have gotten much redder.
With no good ideas from the system for now, he decided to just go back to learning spells. It earned points as well as made him stronger. If he could get 20 Life Points, he could increase his intelligence instead of spending 10 points to increase his magery. At least it would still be progress. For now, the goal was to finish all of the fire spells he wanted and earn points.
If he also got FLAMING ARMOR and ESSENTIAL FLAME, it would be enough to get FIRE itself up to intermediate. Assuming 10 hours a day, should he just spend 2 days on FIRE or learn 2 new spells? ESSENTIAL FLAME was the magical essence of fire.
After thinking for a bit, he was sure he could gain some insights into magic itself, from learning all of that. If he just wanted points, it would be better to acquire the first spell of each rune as fast as he could, but if he wanted to be able to protect himself, he needed more than just the first spell of each rune.
Getting annoyed at the king for how unfair this was, wouldn't help Joseph. He needed to be a mage and a king. He knew he needed to take advantage of the opportunity to learn as much about being a king as he could. Right.
Feeling a good deal of stress and annoyance fade as he got his priorities in order again, he confirmed his plans and started on CREATE FIRE for today. Tomorrow they would arrive at the spot they had decided to erect the central town, based on the scout's reports.
He needed to be ready. Between all the other things he would have to do, he needed to squeeze in at least 10 hours of training a day for his magic. Surely, he could get that in the evenings and early mornings. If he thought of it that way, it almost sounded like he was a serious game addict with no life… Right???
Yea…come up with a better analogy later.