98. Gradation Hex Buffer
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“This is… interesting,” Kaelith remarked as she inspected one of the many gold coins that had been dumped inside her shop. She flipped it and inspected both sides. “Where did you get these?”

 

“From a tomb,” Rakna replied and she hummed. “Why?”

 

“Because this is a kind of special currency,” she said. “It’s called Tur and it’s the most used in Old Eden where certain people prefer to use a solely physical alternative to Talys. It’s not common to see these in anything below the 500th Plateau. That’s why I was a bit surprised.”

 

“What’s their value?”

 

“Well, 1 Tur equals around 50 Talys,” she revealed and Rakna’s eyes widened slightly. She snorted at that. “Yes, wolfy. With everything you got here, I’d say you have at the very least a million or two. Add to that the precious stones and objects and it might increase by another million.”

 

Rakna hummed quietly. To say he was stunned by the amount would be a lie. He did expect a big figure based on Verias’ background. In fact, he almost was disappointed. Considering how important he had seemed to be, he thought it would be even more.

 

‘But I guess it’s normal if he truly had to escape in hurry after his betrayal,’ he thought.

 

“Well, do you want me to convert all of it?” Kaelith cut his musing short and he nodded. “All right then,” she said and waved her hand. All the valuables in the room started floating and with a flick of her hand, a door leading to the back shop opened and everything flew inside.

 

After that was done, Kaelith snapped her fingers and the door closed. At the same time, three briefcases like the ones Baires had given Nyx appeared on the counter in front of her.

 

“The final count has been automatically done by the System. There’s exactly 2 962 745 Talys in these,” she declared whilst pointing at the cases. “I recommend you put these in your bank as soon as you leave the shop.”

 

“I’ll do so,” Rakna replied and tried to put the money inside his storage. But, as he half-expected, the cases didn’t move an inch. However, his balance was instantly maxed out and some of the coins inside the cases disappeared. “Looks like really can’t carry more than your balance cap.”

 

“Obviously. If you could just put Talys inside your storage, it would beat the purpose of having a balance limit. Why do you think Hosts made Turs in the first place? So that they could carry their wealth on them without having the System rejecting it.”

 

Rakna blinked at that. “Wait, so it’s better to have Turs instead?”

 

“Not really, actually. While Turs do have a value, they cannot be used to buy anything within the System since it is not acknowledged by it as a currency.”

 

“Weird.”

 

“It’s just how it is. Anyhow, I’ll ask you again today, is there anything you want to buy?” The vixen asked whilst propping her elbows on the counter and pressing her chin on her hands. “There is some really nifty stuff you could get with all that.”

 

Rakna pondered about it. He did have quite a lot now and while he generally preferred saving as much money as he could while he could, it wouldn’t hurt to get a few things. Originally, he wanted to ask her if she had something for nightmares but that problem might have already been solved by his acquirement of Soul Breath.

 

“Well, for now, give me ten Tier 7 pills for each of their categories. Tier 8 will become useless once I reach level fifty.”

 

“Sure. That’ll be a bit costly since you want pills instead of potions. Normally, it would be 150 000 Talys. Though, since you have that obscene discount,” she growled the word as if she despised it. “It’ll be 120k instead. You’re okay with that?”

 

“That’s… expensive.”

 

“What did you expect?” Kaelith shrugged. “Tier 7 is for Hosts up to level 100. There are also huge differences in price between tiers. You can fully expect to have to spend millions in the future.”

 

“I see… Do you know how fast overdose would happen with T.7 pills? And what would happen if I used higher tier pills at my current level?”

 

“Ah, yes. Well, it all depends on the body’s capability to intake them. But, on average, people start getting symptoms after consuming three under an hour. They will reach the stage of internal suicide if they were to eat around seven of them, I’d say. Though, if you’re interested, that number is higher if you use potions instead.”

 

“No thanks. I only want fast-acting agents. I already have a way to recuperate at around the same rate as potions do,” Rakna stated and she raised an eyebrow.

 

“How so?”

 

“Secret.”

 

“Of course,” she huffed with a smile. “For your other question; forget about it. If the tier of the medicine you take is too much for your current level, never mind overdose, you will straight up skip to internal suicide. But if your attributes are high enough, you could probably handle a tier or two above your current standard. Though, the overdose would still happen a lot faster. Don’t forget that.”

 

“Noted. Thanks.”

 

 “You’re welcome. So? What do you want other than pills?”

 

“A defensive skill,” he immediately responded. That was something he realized he needed after the spar. While he could make shields with Star Make or even dodge with Shadow Step or Flash Step which he had yet to learn. He had no way of truly tanking damage. And Ireful Shell just could not cut it as a tactical measure.

 

‘It would have made things so much easier against Flavia’s Chaos Magic,’ he thought.

 

“I take it that you mean something different from Ireful Shell?”

 

“Yes. And if possible, with a reasonable cost to it.”

 

“Picky now, are we?” She smirked. “But I have what you want. Take a look.” With that said, a skill description appeared in front of him.

 

❮ ◈ ❯

Designation: Skill/Spontaneous Skill

Name: Gradation Hex Buffer (GHB)

Requirements: Lv.9 Mana Control <✗> | 15 INT <✓> | 1 MR <✓>

 

Description:

When activating this skill, the user renounces a part of their mana pool to form a floating hexagonal barrier that they can control at will. Their defense will depend on how much mana is put into it and their size can be modulated. Keep in mind that the larger it is, the more spread out the energy becomes, thus weakening the overall integrity.

The caster can decide at any time to recall the shield and recover the mana employed on it. The amount recovered will depend on how damaged it is. It is also possible to summon several shields at once but they will become harder to control and conjure as the number goes up.

 

Shield Cost: 1 – 50 MP.

 

Note: This is a very popular skill in the System for its versatility and usability. However, not all Hosts choose to learn it for the very simple reason that it is a skill with a very inefficient growth curve in the long run.

No matter how strong the user becomes, the shield will not become stronger because it cannot be infused with more than 50 MP. It will forever have the same defensive potential and while summoning more than one can challenge the issue, even high-rankers would have trouble summoning a double-digit number of them because of the paralyzing mental stress that is even harsher than parallel thoughts.

---

Cost: 500 000 Talys.

❮ ◈ ❯

 

“As you see, it’s both a good and bad skill,” Kaelith commented. “It will be useful to you until you reach somewhere around level 120. I recommend you find something better after that. It’s a bit expensive for what it is but with the money you have right now, you can afford it.”

 

Rakna passively listened to her as he read the description. It did sound appealing. The accurate defense of the shields was not specified but they would probably at least be able to stop magic that cost less than the mana infused in them.

 

As for physical blows, he had no idea how to make the conversion. ‘I would need to know the raw force that mana can exert and compare it to a value in kilograms or newtons perhaps… That’s one more thing to look into.’

 

There was also the requirement in mana control but it was something he could easily fulfill with a bit of effort. Ultimately, he decided to buy it. For now, he would follow Kaelith’s recommendation and see for himself how good or bad the skill truly was. “I’ll take it.”

 

“Good, that’s 400 000 more to your purchase after discount. Anything else?”

 

“Yes, do you sell hearts?” He asked, after purposefully waiting so that she would not associate it with what he said about having an alternative to potions. At least, now, if she ever found out in the future of what he could with The Harvester or The Scavenger, he would be able to say he had given her a few hints.

 

“What?” Kaelith had every right to be bewildered by the question. “As in… hearts? Like, the ones that pump blood and stuff in your body?”

 

“Yes. I don’t think there are many things called hearts, are there?” Rakna deadpanned.

 

“That doesn’t explain why you want to buy one!”

 

“Several, actually.”

 

“…” The fox woman stared at him incredulously for a few seconds before speaking again, “No, you can’t buy body parts in here. You’ll have to go to Trafford for that.”

 

“That does make sense,” Rakna muttered. “They do deal with corpses, after all.” It’s true that he hadn’t thought about that when he had been there. “In that case, I’ll have to go there. Tomorrow, probably."

 

“Then, is that all?”

 

“Ye-” He paused. “Wait, no, I almost forgot. Add a Gigantism Pill.”

 

“What? Why? Did you lose the last one or something?”

 

“Not exactly. Let’s just say that it was both used and wasted.”

 

“That doesn’t explain anything…” Kaelith grumbled and mentally accessed the shop to make the order in Rakna’s stead. “Anyway, in total, it’ll be 560 000 Talys.”

 

Rakna received a prompt to confirm the purchase and he readily accepted it. His balance instantly went down to 40 000 from his maximum of 600 000 and he then took the occasion to fill up his balance again afterward.

 

“Well, this one’s empty now so I’ll take it back,” Kaelith remarked as she grabbed one of the cases and made it disappear. Shortly after, Sylvie came from the back as usual with the items. Kaelith unsealed them within a few seconds and handed everything to Rakna.

 

He immediately put the pills and the skill card in his storage. He closed the two briefcases in front of him and grabbed them before turning around. “I’ll be on my way. Good luck with the meeting, foxy,” he said and he heard a groan.

 

“God, you really needed to remind me of that… Actually, I’ll just stay here until the meeting’s over and blame it on you when they ask me.” Rakna almost tripped on his way to the exit. He looked over his shoulder with a blank look.

 

“You’re going to throw me under the bus…?”

 

“Isn’t that what friends do for each other?” She retorted with a bright and innocent expression but she couldn’t hide the mirth in her eyes. “Don’t worry, it’s not like they will hunt you down… as long as I don’t use this excuse too much in the future.”

 

“…seriously?”

 

The vixen giggled. “Just kidding, have a good evening, wolfy.”

 

He grunted and opened the door. “You too…”

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