Ting! Your Bond skill, Aurora Prism, has evolved into Star Prism!
Ting! Your Bond skill, Beauty Gatling, has evolved into Beauty Auto Cannon!
Ting! Your Bond skill, Star Cannon, has evolved into Conjure Star!
Ting! Your Bond skill, Aurora Blade, has evolved into Conjure Aurora!
Ting! Your Bond skill, Bestow Wings, has evolved into Fairy Wings!
Shoot out a laser with the intensity and power of concentrated starlight at up to ten people.
Beauty Auto Cannon:
Shoot concentrated balls of liquid beauty mana to blast through even tough defenses, in rapid succession.
Conjure a small illusory star that explodes upon reaching a destination, damaging everything in the blast radius.
Conjure a physical aurora in any shape you imagine; this aurora can block anything that comes into contact with it.
Bestow wings to anyone you wish that are incredibly fast and agile. This negates the effects of wind and dampens inertia.
Ting! Your Bond has obtained levels 1105-1132!
I zip through the air, faster and more agile than ever. The air whips through my hair and rushes past my ears that I had to fold back, but it was exhilarating! In about twelve minutes, I have reached the edge of nexus, roughly going about five hundred kilometers an hour! Thankfully, the skill includes protection against the negative effects of flying so fast.
I conjure three stars and send them flying high into the sky and watch them blast away a lone cloud. Although they are an “illusion”, they have very real effects. I mean, at this point, what’s the difference between an illusion and something real? Or maybe that’s the point; maybe there is no difference.
I zoom back home, for I have many more Bond Skills to evolve.
I’ve been wondering how to evolve my fairies; after all, how much more can I improve the ‘fairy’ if it’s already based on the real thing? So I just have to think outside the box. It seems that this stage of my Bond wants me to internalize my Bond, and make it unique to me and me alone.
The reason why the “illusions” become real is that I am projecting that reality that exists inside of me onto the real world. So to improve my other Skills, I have to do something similar.
Ultimately my fairies are just a reshaped spell; they don’t have to be fairies. So how can I turn them into something more unique to me? Or perhaps It can be the other way around, turn the spells into something more like the fairies?
That might work. I conjure a fairy with the new method by first floating it along my presence as it flows through my anima or wherever it is going.
Ting! Your Bond skill, Fairy Avatar, has evolved into Conjure Fairy!
(Beauty) (Illusion) (Summon)
Conjure a realistic illusory fairy that will follow your command.
Ting! Your Bond has obtained levels 1133-1139!
A fairy manifests and starts curiously looking around and exploratively pokes at nearby objects like a newborn child. It even has a soul… or rather, it only appears to. I increase my perceptive pressure to see the Bond mana and make sure it’s just part of the illusion.
Good, I don’t want to spawn fairies just to send them to their deaths.
It certainly has intelligence, but that’s part of the illusion… I hope. Without any soul or vitality, there’s no other way for me to tell if it’s actually alive. Can it even be considered alive? At this point, it’s more akin to an NPC from a game and not an actual living and thinking being.
So what about my [Create Familiar] skill? How can I improve it? Make it more intelligent? Lend it a mind component or something? As long as it’s not its own living creature, then it should be fine. However, at this point, [Conjure Fairy] is pretty much the same as my current familiar, so maybe just a smarter fairy isn’t something that I want, but I’ll still give it a mind component just to experiment.
I cast the Skill, floating it along my presence as usual, and when the spell reaches the deepest parts of my… Bond? I open my soul and drift a single mind component to it. I also give it a small amount of vitality so the component will stick to the spell.
All seems to go well until I feel a chill run through my soul, and I watch as my excess ectoplasm is drawn to the spell! The ectoplasm begins to form a small and seemingly incomplete soul! In a blazing display of beauty mana, what appears to be a fox with five long and fluffy tails manifest with a body of Bond mana with flowing vitality running through veins like blood.
Ting! Your Bond skill, Create Familiar, has evolved into Conjure Familiar!
Conjure a familiar with a proto-soul. This soul is linked to yours, and when its vessel dies or is dispelled, the soul will be housed in yours until resummoned. The familiar shares your Bond and will always follow your command but otherwise can act on its own.
Ting! Your Bond has obtained levels 1139-1151!
Is.. is it living?
I pat the fox-like creature on the head, and it responds with an affectionate purr, rubbing its head against my palm.
I suppose this is what I get for messing with things I don’t fully understand, but the question still stands, is it alive or just “alive” like the fairies are? I analyze the familiar.
In any case, it doesn’t have its own Skills or Classes. I’ll need Layna to check if it has Anima or not, but I doubt it, and its soul isn’t a full soul, so maybe I got lucky? After all, the Bond is a connection to me, and if it has my Bond, then is it just a part of me? This is too confusing. It is entirely in that grey spot where nothing fits to fully classify it as one or the other.
Still, I didn’t even think this could happen without a soul-based Class or something. Yes, I gave it a mind component, but that is all it should have had. This leads to another question. It has a soul component, but does it have a metaphysical mind and personal identity?
I’m going to need Yrania to look at it, and she should be very interested in this, considering her interests. Where is she, anyway?
“Yrania, I know you’re there.”
“I just want to know the mental state of this familiar, if it even has one
Several seconds go by before a pink-scaled dragon the size of a domestic cat appears in front of me, next to my familiar.
“I thought I removed my presence from your mind.” Yrania grumbles, “You must have built up a resistance.”
“Resistance?” I tilt my head in confusion. I haven’t gained any mental resistance levels or breakthroughs…
I check my skill, and to my surprise, I have several more levels and a new breakthrough!
21st breakthrough: You have resisted efforts to remove a presence from your mind; this will help you notice those that wish to stay unnoticed.
“When did I…” I murmur.
“Well you’d notice something was up if you suddenly got Skill notifications, so I had to make it, so you don’t notice those as well.” Yrania shrugs. “Anyway, to answer your question, that Familiar does not have its own personality. It’s just like your extra minds. It has the component and metaphysical mind but not its own individuality or personality.”
“You don’t sound super surprised about it,” I say, noticing Yrania’s mere mild interest. I thought she would have been very interested in it.
“You are not the first to conjure familiars; many cultures out there make use of them. They can become far more independent, and some even have their own Classes and Bond levels. Familiars are intrinsically linked to their summoner. When the summoner dies, they die; otherwise, they can just be resummoned. It’s very powerful, especially if you have a legendary tier familiar.”
Yrania walks around the familiar, inspecting it. “But this is my first time seeing it done with a Bond. Usually, it’s a skill, one of the five known ultimate skills; I wonder if you can get your first Class to get the skill version? The Skill version shares the Class, but yours shares the Bond. Can you get an early familiar with both Class and Bond?”
Being able to summon and resummon a legendary tier being every time it is defeated? Yeah, I’d say that is worthy of an ultimate skill.
“Will the familiar die if its proto-soul is destroyed?” I ask. Twitching a tail in worry.
“Yes, but if they can gain a skill to resist soul damage, that will help, making them invincible to all but the strongest of soul mages.”
So I can go even further with my Familiar, but do I want to? Wouldn’t it be the same as creating life to serve as a slave?
“Don’t worry about it too much,” Yrania says, probably reading my mental state. “Familiars are often happy to serve their creators, and if you are kind to them, that will only make them happier. Think of them as beloved pets that can’t die.”
I have time to think about this and what I want to do with it, but for now, I’ll keep it around.
I bend down and pat its head once more. I make it smaller using my Bond and place it on my shoulder, since it’s made of mana, it’s massless, so it’s not weighing me down. It nuzzles my cheek and hangs on dutifully.
This isn’t so bad. It really is kind of like a pet.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
I Lounge on a soft sofa reading over Urolons crafting methodology while Kayafe reads the information on [Sense Divinity].
“The purpose of an item is one of the most important aspects that go into its creation. This purpose exists on several levels that can be summed up into roughly three parts.”
“The first purpose that should be considered when making an item is the self-evident purpose. There are two aspects of self-evident purpose. One is the form of the item, which is perhaps the most self-evident. A sword is a weapon; a smithing hammer is a tool to forge with. Those are their purposes defined by the form in which they are made.”
“This form, however, can be further built upon. For example: A sword is a weapon, and it can cut, but it doesn’t have to be used in that way. It can be used for justice, to kill, or even cut only what the wielder wishes to cut. This is what is known as the Directed Purpose, what the item is solely crafted for. Further details on an item’s Directed Purpose will be explained later.”
I see. There’s far more to crafting, which likely plays a large role in an item’s theme that I’ve not been including in my crafts.
“Materials are another thing with self-evident purpose but can quickly backfire. Proper material usage is what separates the mediocre from the talented. It is easy to make a purpose that fits a single material. A fire gem can be used in a multitude of ways, from a utility warming stone to a powerful blazing weapon, but things can quickly ruin a piece if careful consideration is not made. The purpose of an item can easily be muddied by competing self-evident material purposes which destructively interfere with each other and will reduce the maximum potential of an item.”
“Proper material usage will not only reach the maximum potential of the materials used, but may even surpass the sum of its parts. This is the crucial part that will determine if an item can become legendary”
This is pretty obvious to any skilled crafter, but having it spelled out really helps my intuition. Now, instead of going by what feels right, I can pair that with the purpose I intend for my item.
“Both the item form and proper material usage is what is known as the Intended Purpose. The careful consideration of materials to best fit the form and function is one that requires time to fully think through. Your Diadem is perhaps one the best examples that I can give you of Intended Purpose. The Diadem is a crown, a symbol of royalty. Royalty needs someone to rule over; your clones. In addition, the Diadem rests upon the head. The head is where the brain is, the physical organ that bridges the mind to the body, so it is easy to connect it to mental strengthening abilities. To summarize: the Intended Purpose is making an item with the best materials and form for its function.”
Again, this is something that I intuitively knew already, but it’s nice to finally have the words for it.
It’s still a little more complicated. Urolon is talking to me, and he knows that I am an accomplished crafter, so he left a lot of nuances out. Basically, Intended Purpose is the symbolic theme that brings out the full potential of the item.
“Last is the Directed Purpose. This is what separates the masters from the skilled. Directed Purpose is a specialized purpose you have for your items. It is what should be at the forefront of your mind with every moment you are crafting your item. Every breath, every swing of the hammer, you need to speak this purpose, and when the item is made, it will have adopted that purpose. This is what makes a sword cut only what its wielder wishes. This is what makes a legendary item.”
“Naturally, the Directed and Intended Purpose should not conflict, but you are encouraged to find unique and rare purposes for your items when possible. This doesn’t make it any better, but it does have a chance of giving the item an ability most are unprepared for. An example would be a sword that cuts vitality, anima, soul, or mind instead of matter. Most would think in terms of what the sword can already do, like making it sharper or more durable. Rarely do people think of shifting the physical properties of the item.”
This is what I was missing, but what I am more interested in is if this can work with mana properties. If I can make a physical sword ignore matter and instead cut anima, then why can’t I do the same for mana?