Chapter 52
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My thoughts flow through my mind like the wind flowing gently through the trees, slipping and streaming through every crack and opening until vanishing into some darker place that is unreachable by dirt-bound creatures such as myself. Unlike the wind, I can’t fly. I rack my brain. Even Nichodemus with his powerful mastery of wind magics can’t fly. Flying through magic is a powerful spell only used by the elite casters who specialize in wind magic. A scholar like him isn’t at that level. Hovering, levitating like this is already an incredible feat for any normal, non-gifted caster who isn’t naturally attuned to the element of wind.
  What else can I do? My mind races through all the things I know, through all the memories and ideas Nichodemus lets me see. Ah, you know what? I feel like we need to talk about this whole Nichodemus thing. I’ve never had this happen before, guy. It’s very embarrassing for me, okay? That the body I inhabit, the body I am, literally fights me on the concept. Usually I am alone, my essence simply crushing that of which I inhabit. Overpowering it like the surge of a burst dam crashing over a pond. Simply too much for it to to withstand and sure, some of the pond water mingles in with me in the end. But it’s still diluted and weak, tell you what.
  Even diluted, even weak, Nichodemus is here in a sense. Is with me, in a sense. Even if ‘he’ has moved on, that little sliver of him that was left behind, out of reasons that are his own, still has so much residual strength, residual character that he might as well be standing at the bottom of that metaphorical pond himself; watching as a I surge around him. Holding the space free, creating a bubble that I can’t quite wash away. A shelter he sits inside, pushing back against the tide. I suppose it makes sense, if you train the hero you have to be pretty strong, right? He must have been a frightening man. But he’s getting on my nerves now.
  When I respawn, I am that creature more or less. There’s too much of me and too little of it left. But what’s left of him is strong and it’s stopping me from using this body, from using his memories. Stopping me from becoming him. He doesn’t like me, apparently. I can’t help but feel he’s being a little unfair honestly seeing as we just met, but hey, that’s just my opinion. So, I can’t fly. Maybe I could fireball the ground and explode myself up there? Hmm, no. What are the odds that would work? No, no… hmm. I stand there in the clearing, tapping my skull and waiting for an idea to magically come to me. It doesn’t. The only thing that comes to me is the small group of red-caps emerging from the forest.
Oh. Ugh.
  I look up, staring at the three-strong group. They must be stragglers that escaped the hero-party, that… wait. I scratch my head again, looking at the little gremlins licking their lips with their disgusting tongues. Isn’t there a red-cap sub-boss somewhere? Is that one still alive? Why are they here? Hmm, maybe they skipped it. I keep rubbing my head as the first one lunges, axe in hand with a guttural screech. Without thinking about it my left palm raises into the air at the same time as if we were coming to meet each other mid-way. Immediately a series of thin needles shoots out of my grip, each a long, darkly prismatic, almost crystalline substance. All I hear are three wet splurches and see the little creatures, their skulls pierced by the needles entirely through as if they were impaled on black glass. This is shadow-magic, not like the spells of the dark-fairies. This is higher level, more intricate. More refined.
  For a second I feel somewhat disgusted at the sight of the gaping holes in their heads as their tiny bodies flop over lifelessly, as the black crystals dissipate and leave a hole that streams with thick, disgusting blood. But then I remember, I hate red-caps. So I don’t feel bad anymore. Easy come, easy go. My experience bar pops up, long time no see, friend. I eye it as it fills to the top and begins to bubble over. Oh, another level up. Nice! I’ve been slacking with these honestly, but I don’t get many chances to kill other trash-mobs, you know? And I feel bad when I hurt the adventurers. Ugh. I’m the worst.
  I feel a little cheated that I only got enough experience to fill my bar and it doesn’t seem to carry over. But I’ll take it. Looking through my stats I wonder what it is I’ll take. I’ve been noticing my luck stat has been a big old fat zilch, the symbol seems familiar. I think my other lives have been like this too. So, hmm. That’s not great? I also notice that there is no icon next to it to raise it. Hmm. I think about my journey so far, wondering what stat I should raise this time then; assuming it carries over to my next life which I don’t think it does. Maybe there’s no point to stats if I get new ones every life anyways? Dunno. Hmm. I opt to raise my dexterity this time around. I figure if the thief-girl is so hell bent on chasing me, I need to be quick on my feet. A little ring chimes out as I press the icon. That leaves me with my other window. The abilities. Oh.
So these are abilities, that means… I press the yellow circle. The one I activated last time. A little screen pops up, a small information window. Job chosen: Lancer.
  Oh. Oh! Oooooh. I see. I get it now! So, when I chose my first ability I chose a class? Wait. I look down to my hands. I have a class? Like an adventurer? Like a real adventurer? Something boils in my breast, some excitement and happiness I can’t quite form into full-fledged thoughts. A glee. I’m a lancer. That would explain why I keep finding pointy, stabby things that are on the end of a long stick. Or that are just a long stick to begin with. Cool! Wait, so… my abilities carry over? But my stats don’t? How does that make sense? I tap the glass of the menu randomly as if it would give me an answer, but it doesn’t. Whatever. I can work with this information. I’m a lancer, I repeat the phrase to myself feeling a sense of accomplishment. Mama and papa would be so proud if they could see me now.
  I stop at the thought, thinking of a family unit consisting of the fairy-mother and the red-dragon and then shake my head to quickly dissolve that idea. What? I’ve been down here too long. I do wish mama would go out and meet someone new finally though. I shake my head again, faster now. What am I thinking? She’s literally an undead fairy glued to a toadstool.
  Getting back on track I look at the two abilities I have as my options. Selecting them I take a look and decide which would be more useful to me right now. They seem to branch off into different paths, so I assume this is a form of specialization. Adventurers have base classes that can branch away and allow them to eventually become an advanced class. Now that I think about it, none of the hero-party are an advanced class. Wizard, thief, monk, priestess. Those are all bread and butter choices. The thought of them as an even more powerful force is a little upsetting to me honestly. The hero is an exception obviously, but he has his own sort of niche in a way with hero being its own unique class. Or maybe its a way of life. Hard to say really.
  I remember that much, but I cant remember many of the specifics after that right now. Let alone what my own choices could be. So I think I’ll just stick to what’s most useful for me at the moment. We’ll see what happens when we get there. Hmm...

*~+---SPECIAL THANKS---+~*

Henry Morgan,  Shadowsmage, The Grey Mage