“What is it?” Mike asked, scanning the room. He noted the girls all still in their circles, and just barely caught himself before he could voice a “shopping” joke that would forever label him a misogynist. Taking a seat across from Troy he made a show of slamming his ax down into the floor so that the handle stuck out within easy reach of his hand.
“Nice ax,” Troy said, nodding towards it, but it was obvious he cared way more about his purchases than any of Mike’s.
“When I stepped into the circle I got an announcement about being the second to shop at a store, and my reward was this [Lesser Bag of Holding],” Troy pulled a small drawstring pouch from his belt and then reaching into it he pulled a second book. Seemingly a twin of the first, it had a red cover instead of black.
As the book was much larger than the bag it had come out of Mike’s jaw dropped. He could only dumbly ask.
Troy laughed merrily.
“Exactly!” he shouted, and that’s only the first cool thing I received.
“You see these books?” Troy asked Mike, taking out a third book, this time with a cover, stitched together from brown leather in an unsettling sort of way.
Mike nodded, not interrupting.
“These are all grimoires. Fire elemental magic,” he said touching the red book’s cover, “black magic,” he touched the black book, “and necromancy,” he touched the stitched together brown book.
Mike had a sudden sinking suspicion that he knew what kind of leather the necromancy book was covered in.. At least there were no tattoos to give it away for sure. He could just pretend it was cow.
“Grimoires?” Mike asked into the silence, knowing what they were in the abstract, but not within the「System」itself.
“They contain all the spells up to grade three for each school of magic. You probably didn’t look at the magic section, since you don’t use it but basically each spell costs a certain amount of credits. First grade spells like my basic fire spell, cost one hundred credits, second grade spells cost five hundred credits and third grade spells cost one thousand credits. The grimoires give me all the spells for two hundred and fifty credits apiece.”
Mike almost whistled, it was a hell of a deal. But why was it so much less? Troy answered him before he could even ask.
“There’s a catch of course, each grimoire may contain all the spells up to grade three, but I don’t actually know anymore spells than when I started using the store. I still have to learn the spells. I figure they are an investment. Since I have my new bag of holding I can carry them everywhere and learn whenever possible. In the mean time I learned a new spell [Mana shield] for defense and I took a few general skills like [Analyze].”
Hearing Troy say analyze Mike wanted to smack himself in the back of the head. He brought up his status and asked Troy, “How much was analyze?”
“Hmmm, I think it was a fifty credit skill.”
“I’ll be right back,” Mike said, standing as he shut his status. He had exactly ninety credits now that he’d cleared the floor.
Buying it he quickly tested it out on his ax.
|[War Ax +1]
A battle ax enhanced with a basic [+1] magical enchantment spell.
The information wasn’t that useful so he turned it on Troy.
Your new token black friend.
Again the information was useless. Maybe it would get more indepth as he raised the level of his analysis. Until then he’d at least accidentally discovered the information [Analyze] shared was in relation to him as the player using it.
Heading back for the couch he took a seat a cushion down from Jessica who’d joined them in the circle. Troy was just finishing his story about the grimoires.
“That’s amazing. Future potential is just as important as current strength in my opinion,” Jessica said. Turning to Mike she asked, “What did you buy?”
Mike didn’t answer he just slammed his ax back into the ground with a smirk. Jessica rolled her eyes, muttering something to the effect of boys will be boys.
She pulled out a small pistol from a hostler on her hip and fired off a ball of blue energy.
“This is what I got. This and an uncommon bloodline, [Superior Soldier] that gave me several skills. It kind of hurt, and I think I’m part machine now, which isn’t cool. There should have been a disclaimer or something. But I have a sort of HUD over my vision and I know my vitals with a thought.”
“How many points did you have?” Mike couldn’t help asking.
He’d taken a peek at the bloodlines section.
A common blood line was already a thousand credits, an uncommon one was ten thousand, and a rare bloodline was twenty five thousand credits. Legendary bloodlines were listed at one hundred thousand but the button was grayed out and the list could not be opened. Divine bloodlines were not even displayed as a grayed out option.
Jessica smiled and laughed, “I knew you weren’t listening to me back then, but I told you once before that I received a ten thousand credit reward for joining the system. I didn’t get any immediate benefits, but once we came here it was worth it.”
“Then how did you get the blaster thingy?”
“It was my reward for being the third to use a shop in this region. I chose my bloodline more or less because it had a skills like [Targeting Overlay], and [Disciplined] so I get automatic help aiming and I don’t panic in combat. I also get a boost to my Body stat every level, and my Strength and Quickness every third level, from [Nanites]. My last skill was called like [Self Defense] but I won’t know how well it works till someone attacks me.”
Mike smiled, “Do you want me to test it?”
Before Jessica could answer Mike held up his hands like he was going to tickle her and jumped towards her.
Jessica jumped off the couch, putting it between them, and laughingly said, “Mike I’m ticklish, stop.”
“Will the bad guys stop because you want them to?” Mike asked as he chased her.
They ran around the couch one entire circuit shrieking and laughing, with Troy sitting on the couch shaking his head at how childish they were being before Jessica turned and grabbing Mike’s wrist she moved into his body, twisting and heaving as he flew over her shoulder.
Mike didn’t panic. Although he was impressed by her sudden move, and the execution of it, he was not entirely incapacitated by it. Reaching out he wrapped her up and dragged Jessica to the ground with him into a very awkward pile.
Jessica’s surprisingly plump rear was inches from Mike’s face as her face was hanging between his thighs. Laying there, panting between laughs, it suddenly occurred to Mike that he would have never done anything like what he’d just done.
It wasn’t completely out of character for him. He’d have imagined doing it. He’d just never have actually had the balls to do it. Pushing the thought away, Mike slapped Jessica on the butt, making her yelp as he said, “Alright about time you got up don’t you think?”
Jessica rolled off him. Blushing beet red she punched him in the arm with a muttered jerk even as he told her how impressive her new skills were.
Standing up on his own, Mike regained his seat and with a shrug he decided that it wasn’t that he was different, it was more like his inhibitions were lower than they had been. He was in his head less, and acting more. It was a refreshing change of pace, one he wished had happened years ago.
Maybe something was wrong with him. Maybe it had to do with the bloodline. But whatever it was, he liked it, and he didn’t want it to change back. Not if the world was going to stay like it was now.
The old him would overthink his way straight to death by zombie or something worse.
Author : The Steve