Classes started without fanfare but the students still held the excitement to be back. I watched as groups of kids greeted each other and then headed off to their first class. I went alone. My first class had no overlap with Bella or Lilly’s. I looked at my schedule one more time. I would not see them until the third period.
How to Survive in a Dungeon
Holy Magic – intermediate
For now, I was dressed in my combat gear. A new light leather armor was placed over the school uniform, a mace hung on my left hip, a crooked pouch hung off the other and the new cloak that hung off my shoulders secretly held my bow and arrows. I thought I looked cool. Of course, reality was slightly different from my take on my appearance.
The Magical Combat class was held in a colossal arena. They had areas sectioned off so students would be able to all fight without interfering with others unless they were careless. Control was also part of the class. There were tales, in some of the books I read, of massive losses on the battlefield from allies that lacked it so those that could not control their powers were deemed useless no matter how powerful they were. The rest of the class was to teach us how to attack and defend with our powers against other types of powers.
I was neither too early or late and when I arrived there were a bunch of thirteen to fourteen-year-old boys decked out in all types of armor. They looked like kids playing soldier. I joined the group and waited for the teacher to join us. After a few more boys came running in, a man with a few scars came walking in. Trailing behind him were five upper classmen. One of which I recognized right away but why was he here?
The teacher looked imposing. He used a loud voice to quiet the boys surrounding me. After they quieted down, he introduced himself as Professor Caleb and then went on to introduce his ‘helpers’ from the older student classes. Out of the five people, I only knew Lucas.
We did not get a chance to greet anybody before we were ordered to run one lap. I wanted to cry. One lap around did not sound like much until you realized just how big this place was. Sighing, I jogged after the boys that took off sprinting. I was cursing my stupidity for wearing armor by the time I finished. I was a mess. I was soaked in sweat and the armor had shifted so it was now sat uncomfortably. Why the hell did they say to come in battle attire?
By the time we finished the class was half over. He let us rest for a minute and then broke the class up into groups of six with an upper-class student to monitor us. We did not do much more. Lucas was in charge of my group and he showed us how the field worked. Each area was like a mini dueling field. Once a person was KO’d they would teleport off fully healed. After my experience with the duel I was a bit skeptical to say the least. We also got ordered to show up early and run a lap every day with our gear before the start of every class. After that we were dismissed and it was off to the next class.
The next class had me trudging to the Dungeon simulator. I had to run to make it here on time. This semester we were going to explore dungeons that people experienced and then figure out what we would do differently to survive. It sounded gruesome because by the sound of it those parties did not make it but seeing it before it happened to your party meant you would be prepared. The professor was an older woman which surprised me since it was the only class that had a different professor from the beginning of the school year. She ran us through the safety precautions and how to lock the dungeon realm so nobody could prank us.
It was a relaxing class but after it I had to run back to the main classrooms. I spent the rest of my time up to lunch complaining to Lilly and Bella about how much I had to run already. They were not as sympathetic as I would have liked but they at least did not laugh at my plight. Amy showed up around lunch time to sit with us. She did not say much and just listened to us ramble on about our day.
I was the last to leave except for Amy who just watched me leave. She just sat there thinking about something. I was too tired to care and went to the Holy Magic class. They were going to go over ‘Essential’ spells every Holy caster should know. For the most part, I already knew them but there were three I did not know. I jotted them down; ‘Sanctuary’ created a safe zone, but it took a while to create and could not be moved. It was for when the party needed to rest but was only the size of the casters aura so generally people had to be really “friendly” or desperate to use it. ‘Revitalize’ which restored stamina. I thought of it essentially to be an energy booster like coffee and made a bigger notation to learn it first. The final one was a protection spell that generated a dome like shield to protect your group called ‘Hiatal’ which was just a fancy word for hiatus. It did not sound strong. Its main purpose was to give the group a chance to quickly reorganize.
I had to get changed for dance class since they recommended clothes you could easily move in. I used the schools “Gym” clothes which were not that bad. It was a knee length skirt that flowed well and was what I can only describe as a swimsuit-shirt thing. It had a bottom you had to step into and straps that went across my shoulders to hold it into place. After raising my charisma, I had gotten use to people staring at my body. I was sure I could wear a sack now and they would still gawk. I was not so self-conscious as before. I just tended to ignore them now, but I was still glad that the class was almost all girls.
The three boys that joined us sat off to the side and were whispering loudly. Boy one was asking boy two if he was sure if Professor Peach was teaching this class. The other boy nodded enthusiastically and confirmed it and they got all excited. I did not know what they were going on about until she walked in. I cannot even begin to describe her, but I will try anyway. She had perfect proportions, her eyes were bright, her nose was lovely, and her lips made you want to kiss them. She said something and it took me a minute to shake myself out of my fantasy. Now I knew why the boys were here. I really could not blame them. I felt like the room was getting hot and I saw I was not the only one fanning themselves to cool down.
She repeated herself and introduced herself as Professor Peach. My mind wandered again about eating things until I heard her cough. She did not look angry but almost helpless as if this was a normal occurrence. I tried to gather my willpower so that I would not fall into la-la land again. I now knew how nations could go to war over a woman. What a beauty!
Class took a bit to get started but she let us ‘discover’ our dance. I know it sounds dumb. At least, I thought so. She played some music and let us feel the rhythm. I thought of it as free style dancing, but I soon found my body moving in patterns. I had to allow it of course. I moved and swayed. I saw a few others dancing in their own styles as I twirled about. When I finished my hands had a white nimbus around them. I waved them about, but the glow did not leave my hands.
Nobody else was glowing so I was not sure what I did. A little nervous I asked, “Ummm, Professor my hands are glowing and I do not know why. Could you, ummm, take a look at them?” She smiled and walked over. She looked at them, made her hands glow pink before she touched them cautiously.
The glow shot into her as soon as she touched my hand. It faded from sight. She looked shocked and then rueful. “I see. My husband will be surprised and I will need to take off next year.”
I heard, “What married? Noooo.” From the boys. Which made me smile. Like they had a chance?
I then noticed that the white glow began to form a little below and to the left and right of her belly button. It started off slowly but soon it looked like there were two oval flashlights inside her. Seeing my confusion, she followed up with a question, “You are a Holy mage, right?”
“Yes.” Why was that an issue? Surly she taught other Holy mages before so she should have seen that glow if it was a byproduct.
“Well I will let you think about it since you might be too young. Here’s your hint ‘Holy casters control life energy’.” And then she walked back to the center of the room to finish class leaving me to ponder what the heck she meant. I figured it out when I was about to fall asleep, making me blush. Where the heck is my dance of death? I ended up getting a fertility dance instead!
“Sir Duke Moore has reached the border. So far, Ickrana has made no move to seal the dungeon. Three border towns have been also destroyed before the Dukes arrival. Preliminary reports say that the monsters targeted the school’s first so there might be something controlling them.”
“Ok, inform my sons that they should focus on solidifying their teams. Also, resupply any lifesaving items they might have used. Dismissed.” The King waited for the herald to leave and then spoke again, “You are sure it was the Prescotts?”
“My king, Amy was their pawn, but somebody used her before they could. The Ardenbrooks had nothing to do with it and are just a patsy to absorb the punishment. Your orders?”
“Send a warning to the Prescotts. Nothing too severe, I fear war is coming and we will need them. Punish the main branch of the Ardenbrooks but raise up their secondary branch. They are pretty close so it should balance. Find out who the person or group was that used Amy.” The room went quiet and the King stared at a table set off to the side depicting the world and the red marks that ran along the Ickrana border.
It has been three weeks since school started and I have gotten into a routine. Classes were going well and because of all the running I even got a few points in Stamina. I did not even know you could get points for exercising so I was more excited about it than the other kids. First and second period classes were turning out to be my favorite classes.
Lucas was a perfect teacher and gave valuable tips and tricks that would help us stay alive. We would battle it out every other morning and then use the next day to come up with ways to improve what we did wrong in the combat. Lucas and the Professor would list off mistakes, of which there were plenty, so we always had something to do.
The dungeon excursions were not as bloody as I thought they would be. We started off slow and were working our way up in difficulty. I heard the final was a dungeon so hard nobody had beat it yet. The grade was based off how far and how long you could survive in it. To me it sounded cruel, but they wanted students to be prepared for everything and that was what this dungeon was supposed to be; everything dangerous.
The only issue I have run into is in the dance class. Professor Peach let us know she would be replaced in three months and everybody knew why. The two bright glows had now formed a bigger but more subtle glow around her belly. The boys were aggravated that their ‘goddess of beauty’ was going away and shot me glares from time to time. It was such a minor matter and didn’t impact my enjoyment of school.
It was lunch when Lilly came rushing in. “Did you hear?” Lilly asked. She was so excited that she was practically vibrating. Bella, Amy and I all looked at Lilly. Over the past three weeks Amy had joined us at lunch every day and over time had joined into our conversations. She even apologized which surprised me. Her family had set up her marriage years ago and unlike the other kids, seemed to be happy about it. So when she got word that I injured the boy, she was extremely distraught that her “Happy” life was derailed.
“What is going on now?” I asked. It seemed like good news from how she was acting.
“The princes are having a tournament to pick out members for their adventuring groups. They are expanding their groups to ten for some reason so four spots have opened up! Do you think it is too late for me to practice my magic? I want to switch classes.”
I giggled a little at the desperate look on her face. She looked cute but I still answered, “I told you to practice so no it is not too late. You just have to work harder at it.” I knew she was not trying to switch out her betrothed from the sappy conversations she had with us about him. According to her he was perfect. No, she just wanted to ogle the pretty boys and both Gideon and Lucas were very handsome. “Of course, you will probably have to fight it out with all the girls in the school.”
I could picture all the females signing up already. The question was, should I? I did not see a reason to since school was going well and it was unlikely they were increasing their party size for no reason.
“You are probably right. I will just watch the competition. The best part is the winners get all new equipment.” I nodded along but I was still not too interested. Nope, the quiet life is for me and it was not just because I like looking at my dance professor. I have morals… probably. “And there is a cash prize for those that come in first for each specialty.” I wavered a bit. Money was the one thing I lacked in this world but still, why risk it?
“I am going to sign up.” Bella chimed in. “When is it? You never said.”
“Oh, it will be announced later today. I overheard my teacher discussing it with another. They were coming up with tests that would be fair. They stopped talking when they noticed me, but I think they said signups were to go to the end of the week.”
“Alice, What about you? Are you joining? I bet they have something set up for healers.” Bella asked.
“I will cheer you on!” Amy who was quiet up until now suddenly said and then quickly looked away. I ignored her outburst. She did that from time to time and I had gotten use to it.
“I do not know. It sounds...” I was going to say how much trouble it would be but a quest popped up distracting me from continuing.
Quest: Best of the Best
Come in first in the tournament.
Rewards: 2000 XP, plus one stat of your choice, and one skill increase of your choice
Quest: A Healthy Body
Compete in the medical section of the tournament.
Rewards: Vary on placement; top prize 500 XP, plus one to wisdom, and First aid - Advanced
Quest: Dungeon Chef
Compete in the cooking section of the tournament.
Rewards: Vary on placement; top prize 500 XP, Dragon forged pan, and cooking - Advancement
Quest: Equipment Enchantments
Compete in the enchanting section of the tournament.
Rewards: Vary on placement; top prize 500 XP, and two forgotten enchantments
Quests kept appearing, one after the other. I thought about it and selected the first two. The ones that I was not sure about like the for cooking, alchemy, and enchanting I left open for now. The Quests that I had no chance of winning, like trap finding and dancing I just declined outright.
I paused taking it all in. Thought about it for a second and then said, “Yes, I will compete in the medical selection. I have to focus on learning group casting before it though. I will wait and see how the tournament is set up before I try any others.” I figured a week should be enough time if I only practice that.
Bella’s and my decision to compete got the others pumped up. While they could not compete because they lacked the skill and did not want to be embarrassed, they could live vicariously through us. I excused myself to go and practice ‘Group Casting’. I had been making progress and could sometimes manage it, but it was trickier than I had originally thought. I already knew that there were students that could use it so, to compete well, I would also need it.
I made my way back from the casting room only to see Bella waiting for me. After our normal greetings we went inside my room. I had been practicing my summoning late at night here since I felt like I was being watched everywhere else. Bella was here to put down anything that I lost control of. So far she has not needed to, but I did not want a rampaging monster eating sleeping girls at night on my conscience.
The monsters were all impressive looking. I had summoned a ‘Frost Basilisk’ once that took up the entire open floor and I had to quickly send it back because the floor was groaning under its weight. The only problem I had with this setup was that I could not use any of their attacks or special powers.
Due to their costs being higher I could not easily keep them around as “Pets” either. The cheapest to maintain after Pumpkin was a ‘Thought Eater’ at twenty-five points and keeping it would make it harder to recharge my mana. Plus, it was an ugly slug that left slime trails all over. My plan was to call them up when I needed them. The flaw was if I lacked the time, since certain creatures took longer than others to pop out of the summoning vortex.
I was going to try out a new creature tonight, but Bella stopped me before I even got started. Trying not to be impatient, I heard her out, “So I got more information about the tournament and I think you should reveal that you can summon. You could place higher if you do and if you could get into one of their teams you would have greater protection than some hidden ability.”
“Why would me being a summoner help me win? What is the setup for being champion?” I asked because what she said made a little bit of sense and I was sure there was more to it than what I understood. Not having grown up in a society that had nobility ruling it, I was unsure what kind of protection being in one of their groups would offer. Plus, I had multiple quests just sitting open waiting for me to decide whether or not on if I should accept them.
“They broke everything you might need in a dungeon into parts, so each class has a competition. How you place will give you points that goes toward winning the whole thing. On top of that, profession and skills will be tested. The more you compete the more points you can get so having another class is extra points. Then they are going to use the colosseum for a grand melee. If you enter that and do well, you will stand out. Finally, a solo dungeon has been created. Not really a support class type thing so if you had a summons you would do better.”
“I will think about it. I do want to place well.”
“Ha ha, You have got your eye on one of the princes. I’ll support you.” Bella said while making lude gestures that made me smile.
I stopped her antics and finally managed to change the subject back to me doing our nightly summoning. Settled down, I focused and cast “Rawhide Rampager”.
Profession – Angel of Mercy
Experience – 332 of 1500
Stats: Points unspent = 2
Health: 115 (Recovery 1 Per Day)
Mana: 730 (Recovery 2 Per Minute)
Archery: Beginner 10 / 500
Dodge Skill: Beginner 243 / 500
Endurance Skill: Beginner 5 / 500
Mace: Beginner 155 / 200
Pain Resistance Skill 186 / 200
Short Bow: Beginner 22 / 200
Sneaking Skill: Beginner 153 / 500
Camouflage Skill 12 / 200
Cooking: Beginner – 421 / 1000
First aid: Beginner 122 / 200
Alchemy: Journeyman 74 / 700
Herbalism: Journeyman 23 / 700
Enchanting: Talented 16 / 100,000
Cleaning – 54 / 100
Tailoring – 120 / 250
Embroidery – 27 / 250
Poetry – 6 / 150
Painting – 3 / 400
Knitting – 10 / 150
Aura Augmentation: spells increase or decrease in potency depending on size and understanding
Death is a Friend of Mine:
Multi-Cast – requirements not met
Power Amplification x3,
- Tough Enough: reduces blunt force damage by a 1/20th
- Resolute: Reduce all damage by 10% after health 30% of total health.
- Small Target: Increased cover protection from projectiles
- Prediction: gives suggestions on most likely course a person will move to
Angels gain following skills
Demonic Counter - Heal spells do damage to demons equal to healing value
Flight – Medium level flight
Holy Aura – A 12-foot aura that reduces pain and adds boost to all healing spells
Speak No Lie – People with angel blood are unable to tell lies
Pacifistic Blow – any attack against others will always fall short of killing them (monsters and demons excluded)
Vision of Diagnosis Improved – Ability to detect ailments, health and abilities being used at a glance
Aid – (Cost 9) – Temporarily increase another’s health
Blasphemer’s Detriment: Links damage caster receives from any melee attack or spell from targeted person
Blessings of the Goddess – (Cost 3 / Upkeep 1 per minute) – makes it harder for others to hit the target of this spell (strength increases with level)
Blinding Flash – (Cost 3) – a quick bright flash of your aura (works better in darker environments)
Bone Setter – (Cost 6) – Fixes broken bones and puts them back into place
Coat of Arms – (Cost 25 / Upkeep 1 per minute) – Strengthens the target with what they hold dear to the hearts (strength increases with level)
Golden armor – (Cost 8 / Upkeep 1 per 3 minutes) – a thin protective barrier that refreshes every three minutes
Hiatal - generates a dome to protect your group lasts 1 round
Lesser Detoxification – (Cost 7 / Upkeep 1 per 10 minutes) – Removes lesser poisons
Minor Heal – (Cost 11) – a healing spell that will heal large cuts, scrapes and bruises
Minor Healing light – (Cost 11) – Creates images that float around targets that release pulses of healing energy
Purify – (Cost 8) – A magical filter that removes impurities the cast believes are foreign to item or person
Rejuvenate – (Cost 5) – Removes fatigue
Revitalize – An improved version of rejuvenate that restores lose stats and vital energy
Regeneration: Slow – Regrow lost body parts or help with more grievous wounds
Sanctuary - creates a safe zone that monsters cannot detect or enter, Casting time: 10 minutes; Area: casters’ aura
Sense Minor Evil – (Cost 12 / Upkeep 3 per hour) – map will display creatures that have done evil within the last week; area of affect seven meters
Slow Poison – (Cost 7 / Upkeep 1 per 10 minutes) – Greatly reduces the onset of poisons
Tranquility – (Cost 15) puts a targeted person or creature into an immobile state until attacked or 3 minutes
Lightning – 4%
Wind – 5%
Earth – 2%
Charm – 23%
Ice – 3%
Darkness – 7%
Water – 3%
Corrosive – 2%
Holy – See bloodline
Calmness – Aura will release a calming affect that eases the mind from stress and worries. Small chance of pacifying aggressive, less intelligent creatures.
Yes Votes: 68 55.3%
No Votes: 2 1.6%
No Idea but I use it Votes: 53 43.1%