His curiosity piqued by Troy’s bloodline progression, Mike didn’t immediately start meditating again.
Opening his status menu and jumping through a few hoops he found his own progression. There were no stat increases or skill gains listed, only the names.
In total his bloodline had five stages- [Half Orc], [Half Orc Boss], [Half Orc Warlord], [Half Orc Champion] and finally [Half Orc Hero].
While he did find it interesting that, according to the title progression, Orcs seemed to find individual strength more important than leadership, Mike wasn’t all that impressed. There was no [Immortal Half Orc] or [Half Orc God] to look forward to. Frankly it was a little boring.
Realizing he was wasting time thinking about pointless things, Mike admonished himself and tried to meditate.
He couldn’t seem to capture the feeling.
It seemed a bit stupid, but he was too wrapped up in the bloodline issue. He was too emotional. If Troy hadn’t mentioned his progression or if he hadn’t looked and found his own, it wouldn’t have mattered at all. Actually scratch that, it didn’t matter, not really, but Mike couldn’t stop thinking about it.
His six phases demonic transformations changed his physical appearance to be more intriguing. But the transformation was temporary. His body was enhanced somewhat each phase but only while circulating his qi and holding the individual phase’s mantra in mind would he take on the appearance of a demon.
There was a way to make the changes permanent, to always be in battle mode. It could only be achieved after the third phase when his qi began to purify and condense into liquid. It had nothing to do with his bloodlines. It was a separate unrelated change.
Thinking in circles, one point stuck out at him. His bloodline was the [Half Orc] progression chain. In his mind the Half kept emphasizing itself. The half meant he was still half human. That was good. But he’d seen a few players with “full” bloodlines and they didn’t seem like monsters. They still felt human to him.
What if the half in [Half Orc] meant something else?
What if the half was a guarantee that he could combine the bloodline with a second half bloodline?
It wasn’t that big of a stretch to imagine. The system seemed to reward innovation. Like how it rewarded him for thinking to use a healing potion on the first day, or how he’d gotten rewarded for being the first to use the shops function of the vending machines.
The idea wouldn’t leave him alone, so Mike abandoned his attempts to meditate and went to the nearest break room. In the corner was a snack machine with the familiar glowing circle around it. He hesitated for a moment with a self mocking shake of the head before stepping into the circle and opening the bloodline section.
A quick filtering left only the bloodlines with the word half in the title. There were quite a few, [Half Giant], [Half Elf], and [Half Troll] were all clearly displayed. Mike spent more than an hour just reading descriptions.
Nothing was badass enough to justify the risk. Not a single Half-bloodline chained into an epic title like [Death God]. There were kings, champions, and greater-halfs but nothing that really attracted Mike’s interest.
Somewhere along the way he forgot what he was even looking for, getting lost in the skills, and stat upgrades rather than the ridiculous quest for an epic name. It’s possible that subconsciously Mike refused to let something so insignificant as sounding cool matter enough to influence his “character build.” It’s also possible that Mike’s initial, arguably childish mission, simply faded in importance in the face of actual data.
Whatever the cause was, a stray thought narrowed the already filtered list down to bloodlines focused on Spirit growth. Considering his Spirit was falling behind Mike went with it.
In a matter of minutes he’d found it. The one bloodline worth risking an attempt at combining them- [Half Psion (E Class)]
As a science/space type bloodline it wasn’t an obvious combination with [Half Orc].
The description claimed Psions were a far future offshoot of humanity. A collection of human ESPers fleeing an earth government increasingly bent on controlling their unknown power.
Mike had read a few similar scenarios over the years in science fiction books. None of those books had made the ESP ability users into their own psychically talented race or anything but it was a plausible outcome considering the possibility of humans adapting to new worlds in an era of terraforming and colonization.
A common rank bloodline, aside from the initial boost of +3 to Spirit, it only had two racial skills. [Active Scan], a skill that would allow Mike to locate nearby life forms like biological radar. It would be useless against zombies, since they were brain dead. But then Mike had long since stopped worrying about them. And [Passive Scan], which would continuously feed him information like a sixth sense, allowing him to get a better read on people and situations.
As the bloodline advanced through its six levels- classes E, D, C, B, A, and finally S -new skills would be unlocked, Mike’s Spirit would raise, and his existing psychic powers would grow in range and strength.
Mike barely even thought about it before purchasing it for his last thousand credits. Moments later a transparent orb began to fill with blood in front of him just like when he’d obtained his first bloodline.
Topping off it shot between Mike’s eyebrows disappearing into his forehead.
Nothing happened for the span of a few breaths and then there was pain, like a thousand needles suddenly sprouting in his brain. Falling to his knees Mike cried out.
The pain spread out flowing down his spine like electricity as it forcibly grew an entire new network of connections through his body. A psychic nervous system designed to reduce the strain on the brain and increase power simultaneously.
Like always seemed to be the case, one moment the pain was so strong Mike thought he was going to die, and then the next it was gone.
|Congratulations! You have successfully combined Bloodlines.
Achievement: You are the 7th player to combine Bloodlines in your「System」district.
“What’s wrong?” Troy asked from the doorway of the break room. He’d heard Mike’s yell and come running only to find the big man kneeling on the cold linoleum floor clutching at his head.
Mike dismissed the reward notification and smiled at Troy.
“I tried something stupid and it worked.” He said as he stood up and dusted himself off. “I got a little curious about bloodlines after we talked and checked into mine. While I was looking I got an idea that maybe they could be combined.”
“You sure it worked? You looked like you were in some serious pain there for a minute.”
“I think so. I got a system reward for doing it. Didn’t it hurt getting your bloodlines?”
“I was either unconscious, or maybe dead when I became a skeleton. After that… Well I was a skeleton, even if there was pain I couldn’t have felt it.” Troy paused for a moment then cocked his head slightly to the side. “Wait a second, you didn’t think maybe combining bloodlines was risky? You just came up with a crazy idea, an idea that might just have killed you if it failed, and without talking to anyone, you went ahead and did it?” Troy asked, the disapproval plain in his voice.
Mike shrugged a bit guiltily.
“I didn’t really think about it at all. I’m not saying I didn’t know it was risky. I just didn’t really consider the risks until the pain started. By then it was too late for a second opinion. Either I was going to survive or I wasn’t, end of story.”
Troy stared at Mike for a long time not saying anything.
His new abilities working subconsciously, Mike knew the former skeleton was conflicted about something.
“What? Just say it.”
Troy sighed, shaking his head in defeat as he mumbled, “I have no idea why anybody made such a dumb ass the leader of our little group.”
Mike wasn’t offended, he could feel the joke for what it was intended, even if Troy’s dried out facial features tried their best to make him look completely serious. Pretending to be annoyed he huffily reminded Troy that he hadn’t asked everyone else to be so incompetent that he was the best choice to be in charge.
They both laughed for a while until Troy said, “Have you tried your new racial skills?”
Mike shrugged as he answered honestly, “The passive skill seems to be working. I know some things almost instinctively that I probably wouldn’t have noticed before. Let me try the active skill real quick.”
Closing his eyes, Mike concentrated. It took him a few seconds to work out how to actively scan. With his new neural network supporting his super powered brain, it turned out to be as easy as blinking on purpose, only blinking didn’t make him want to go to sleep after he did it a few times.
A wave of mental energy flowed out of him in a circle. It quickly dissipated after about four or so feet. Within a four foot radius he could feel himself and Troy as well as a small spider in the corner of the room. The fact he could feel something as small as a spider was amazing to Mike, but he had to admit the range was more or less useless.
“Try sending your senses out in a straight line then,” Troy suggested when Mike mentioned the problem.
Sure enough, when probing in a single direction, he could send a small cone of consciousness out nearly four times as far as the circle. Only being able to reach four times the distance with a considerably reduced radius sounded weak, but the strength of the probe was much stronger in compensation.
Using a straight line scan Mike could see what was behind a door or on the other side of a wall. This turned the useless skill into an invaluable one instantly. Still, given his E Class Psion rank, he could only actively scan a handful of times before the strain, even with his new brain setup, forced him to rest.
His Qi, which was also tied to his Spirit value was not used for the scans. The fatigue from one didn’t overlap to the other either.
Thinking on his Spirit Mike remembered he had not yet added his AP reward to his attributes yet and opened his status. After a moment’s hesitation, in which he considered that his new bloodline didn’t actually increase his Spirit’s initial growth rate, he added the +1.0AP to Spirit as well.
|Name: Mike Tanner – Race: Half Orc Boss, Half Psion (Class E)
Occupation: Monk – Level: 10
Purse: 850 Credits
STR: 6.4 / QUI: 5.8 / BOD: 6.6 / SPI: 8.4 [AP: 0.0]
Once his bloodline evolved in ten levels, he would gain another set amount of Spirit, and a new skill or two related to Psions. But aside from that and the per level gain of +0.2 he now received, his Spirit was unlikely to grow again. 8.4 Spirit seemed high for level ten, but 10.4 Spirit did not seem high for level twenty.
His Spirit now higher than it ever had been, Mike tried another active scan to see if his range had improved. It had, but not by very much. It seemed his Class E was holding the abilities back more than any lack of Spirit.
Noticing the clock on the wall Mike swore.
“What?” Troy asked.
“We’re rolling out to try and find Amy in like three hours. I wasted too much time. I need to meditate now. I might not get the chance to later. I’ll see you in the cafeteria for breakfast.”
“I still don’t eat.”
Mike groaned, “But you sure do gripe a lot you freaking mummy.”
It was Troy’s turn to pretend to be annoyed, “Mummy? Do you see any toilet paper or ace bandages here? I’m a high class Necromancer thank you very much.”
“Whatever, you could be a bunny rabbit and I’d still need to meditate,” Mike shot back as he walked out of the break room to find a quieter spot.
For the time being I’m going to cut back to one guaranteed chapter a week with no set schedule. I will try to update more than that, but it may not happen. Sorry, life is crazy and my motivation is in the sink.
Also just in case some of you are thinking too hard, donations won’t help. I mean to say, I’m not fishing for donations, I will still be grateful if you guys donate, it just won’t make me write more this time. Sorry again.
Author : The Steve