Chapter 58 — Gods and Illusions
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Chapter 58 — Gods and Illusions

Claire made a mad dash down the hallway as the borrok succumbed to her poison. Its body was already swollen and the tip of its tail lit aflame; all signs served to indicate that the creature was due to explode. The halfbreed had started to retreat as soon as she was sure that the borrok’s clock was ticking. It was a wise and necessary precaution. But not one that stopped harm from coming her way.

The detonation’s roar came hand in hand with a sudden sharp pain. Blood dribbled from her lips as her broken hands shot to her equally broken chest. There was a blade in it. A familiar chunk of ice, covered in a mix of red and yellow. Its molten shaft had been disintegrated by the explosion that propelled it, but the shard, the serrated catalyst, was fully intact.

Log Entry 1113
You have been afflicted with frostblight. Your health regeneration has been reduced from 266/hour to -234/hour.

Falling to her knees, she pressed the palms of her hands against the ground and wheezed. With each cough came a glob of half-congealed blood, some of which were accompanied by bits and pieces of bone. But despite the constant aching pain, she wasn’t worried. The goddess had already started to speak.

Log Entry 1114
You have slain a level 62 Borrok Rotblood.

This feat has earned you the following bonuses:
- 14 points of agility
- 7 points of dexterity
- 15 points of spirit
- 2 points of strength
- 9 points of vitality
- 2 points of wisdom

It wasn’t Llystletein? That’s strange...

Log Entry 1115
You have leveled up. Your health and mana have been restored, but cleansing all harmful status effects has ended in failure. This process will be attempted again following a purge of the foreign entity embedded within your body.

Your racial class, Halfbreed, has reached level 43.

Your primary class, Llystletein Rogue, has reached level 50 and has qualified for evolution.

Your secondary class, Llystletein Force Mage, has reached level 32.

You have been awarded the following bonuses for reaching Llystletein Rogue’s final milestone.
- 40 points of agility
- 40 points of dexterity

You have been awarded the following bonuses for reaching Llystletein Force Mage’s 30th milestone.
- 20 points of spirit
- 30 points of wisdom

You have gained 66 ability points.

Log Entry 1116
An attempt to purge the foreign entity embedded within your body has ended in failure. The Shard of True Ice has not been destroyed. Please stand by as the process is repeated.


Log Entry 1117
An attempt to purge the foreign entity embedded within your body has ended in failure. The Shard of True Ice cannot be destroyed. You will continue to be afflicted by frostblight.

Okay, now I’m worried.

At the rate things were going, her health would finish ticking down in just a few hours. Killing things would buy her a bit of time, but she doubted that she would be able to sustain it indefinitely. She was going to need to sleep at some point, and with her status as it was, even a brief snooze was likely to spell her doom.

Log Entry 1118
Bloodthief has reached level 7.

The halfbreed tried to rip the icy chunk out of her chest, but it didn’t work. It didn’t budge regardless of whether she pushed or pulled. The only thing that came out of the attempt was more pain.

Log Entry 1119
Envenom has reached level 12.

Log Entry 1120
Force Manipulation has reached level 9.

Pushing her cloak aside and taking a closer look left Claire wide-eyed and shuddering. The catalyst had fused with her flesh. Looking through its clear blue frame, she found her own insides visible and exposed. She could see her magic circuits, her muscles, her veins, and her own pulsing heart. She could even see the damage that the foreign entity was inflicting. It was freezing her flesh and blood, creating tiny crystals in everything it touched.

Log Entry 1121
Makeshift Weapon Mastery has reached level 14.

Log Entry 1122
Manathief has reached level 6.

Log Entry 1123
Spear Mastery has reached level 5.

That was a staff, Box, not a spear.

Log Entry 1124
Unarmed Combat Mastery has reached level 10.

Taking her eyes off her chest, Claire immediately invested all her points into vitality before starting to gather her things. Boosting the stat lowered the constant drain on her health and extended her death timer from a mere three hours to just over eighteen. It was an improvement, but not a significant one in the grand scheme of things. The clock was still ticking, and any damage she took would only speed it up. Still, it was a welcome addition; a tiny safety net was better than none at all.

Why did I have to put so many points in agility? I should have put more of them in vitality instead.

Log Entry 1125
You have unlocked the following Llystletein Rogue evolutions:
- Assassin of the Lost Library
- Incontinent Librarian
- Llystletein Bloodthief
- Fleetfoot Venomancer

Half wallowing in regret, Claire decided to sit down and look through the choices before she went around finishing off all the guards. Llystletein Rogue had hit its maximum level. It wasn’t going to improve anymore unless she decided its way forward. More importantly, choosing an upgrade was likely to provide an increase in power, power that could potentially serve to resolve her endeavour.

Assassin of the Lost Library
To be an assassin is to dwell within the dark fringes of society and live a life of isolation. Assassins are especially skilled at dealing with targets that are unaware or underprepared. Their skills emphasize remaining silent and deadly, making it in and out without a trace. The Lost Library’s students are particularly potent, capable of manipulating the shadows themselves. Most Assassins struggle to form social connections and are thought of as untrustworthy. Those that suffer from chronic loneliness—the symptoms of which may include nightly hallucations or speaking to imaginary friends shaped like animals—may find this class effective.

Becoming an Assassin of the Lost Library triples all Assassin-based ability score boosts and provides an immediate bonus to agility and dexterity. Every 10 Assassin of the Lost Library levels will provide an additional bonus to all ability scores. Assassin of the Lost Library will also gain additional bonuses on the 100th and 150th levels.

Possible class upgrades include Llystletein Shadowwalker, Llystletein Hexhound, and Morally Bankrupt Librarian, amongst others.

This class was unlocked by fulfilling the following requirements:
- Reach level 50 as a Llystletein Rogue
- Slay an individual that possesses a title
- Raise the Sneaking skill to level 10 or higher
- Raise the Assassinate skill to level 5 or higher
- Slay at least 10 targets unaware of your presence

The shadowmancy sounds really neat, but I don’t think I want to specialize in assassination. I’d rather fight head on.

Incontinent Librarian
The Incontinent Librarian is an individual with a dysfunctional bladder and an even more dysfunctional work ethic. Cursed with many burdens, Incontinent Librarians make up for their weaknesses with incredible competence in the art of record sorting. Choosing this class will offer very little in the way of combat potential, but it will provide for a significant bonus to Llystletein Authority and bestow a thorough understanding of the class system. Individuals with hyperactivity disorders find this class to be their calling.

Becoming an Incontinent Librarian provides an immediate and significant bonus to all stats. Every 5 Incontinent Librarian levels will provide an additional bonus to all ability scores. Incontinent Librarians will lose more of their bladder function on the 75th and 100th levels.

Possible class upgrades are currently unknown.

This class was unlocked by fulfilling the following requirements:
- Pee yourself
- Reach level 50 as a Llystletein Rogue

The last time that happened was when I was five, Box!

Llystletein Bloodthief
Llystletein Bloodthieves are degenerates that derive pleasure from the thrill of combat. Feeding off the lives of others, they deliver savage blows that value lethality over grace and efficacy over honour. This class is exclusive to those affected by Llystletein magic. Little is known about the mental states of Llystletein Bloodthieves, courtesy of the low sample size, but all those that have existed have trended towards extremity in perversion. Individuals that lack a sense of shame benefit most from this class’ selection.

Becoming a Llystletein Bloodthief provides an immediate bonus to dexterity and strength. Every ten Llystletein Bloodthief levels will provide an additional bonus to agility and vitality. Llystletein Bloodthieves will gain additional bonuses on the 100th and 150th levels.

Possible class upgrades are currently unknown.

This class was unlocked by fulfilling the following requirements:
- Unlock the Bloodthief skill.
- Reach level 50 as a Llystletein Rogue.
- Raise the Double Stab skill to level 10 or higher.
- Acquire the Llystletein Rogue mutation prior to Rogue level 15.

Is it just me, or does this class seem good for stabbing things in the face?

Fleetfoot Venomancer
Venomancers are often defined as individuals capable of providing unconventional solutions to problems that do not require them. They are capable of curing seizures with paralysis, migraines with prolonged unconsciousness, and boredom with death. The fleetfoot variant of this class is particularly potent at spreading its concoctions and poisons on the run. Individuals that lack the ability to read the room often find this class most suitable.

Becoming a Fleetfoot Venomancer increases all Venomancer-based ability score boosts by 25% and provides an immediate boost to agility and wisdom. Every 20 Fleetfoot Venomancer levels provides an additional bonus to your agility and wisdom scores. Fleetfoot Venomancer will gain additional bonuses on the 75th and 100th levels.

Possible class upgrades include Supersonic Moonshiner, Architect of Biohazards, and Awakened Apothecary, amongst others.

This class was unlocked by fulfilling the following requirements:
- Poison over a hundred creatures
- Reach level 50 as a Rogue or Poison Mage
- Raise the Envenom skill to level 10 or higher

Interesting, but not very practical.

Claire tried to cross her arms, as she normally would, but had to stop as a result of the icy blade in her way. She could get the limbs to intersect if she raised or lowered them, but neither position was very comfortable, so she settled for allowing them to slump at her sides as she considered her options.

Log Entry 1126
You have become a Llystletein Bloodthief.

Your dexterity and strength have been increased by 50.

The Double Stab skill has evolved into Phantom Blade. It will now activate on all attacks.

The Bloodthief and Manathief skills have been enhanced. They can now be activated through touch, regardless of whether damage is dealt, and all relevant recovery caps have been removed.

Log Entry 1127
Achievement Unlocked - Evolution

You have begun to tap into your potential through the acquisition of your first class evolution. You have become slightly resistant to indigestion.

At the end of the day, the Assassin and Bloodthief classes had seemed like the only viable options. The Librarian class was clearly meant for scholars, and Claire had no intention of trading away any of her combat prowess given the situation at hand, nor did she see any appeal in losing control of her bladder. Venomancer had also been dismissed, but not at all for the same set of reasons. It did seem like a serviceable combat class, but she was already starting to see that poisons had their limitations. A high vitality stat was all that was required to weaken or even null the effects of any given concoction. Making matters worse was resistance. Some creatures had a natural tolerance to certain blends, while others could develop skills with similar effects. All in all, it was too unreliable. If poison was her only weapon, then every encounter would boil down to a coin flip with her life at stake.

Between the two more viable choices, Llystletein Bloodthief was the clear winner, and not just because it would eventually provide her with the vitality she needed to neutralize the drain on her health. Assassin of the Lost Library certainly seemed to have a potent set of strengths, but the halfbreed preferred candid approaches to their clandestine alternatives. Stealthy approaches were too easy to mess up, and she very much preferred charging into a mob of enemies with her weapons at the ready, even if it meant giving up on shadowmancy.

Nodding, as if to affirm her decision, the halfbreed stood up and sought a victim as she read through all her updated skills. She was going to need to test them, but exploring the subterranean space led to the conclusion that there was nothing to kill. The borrok’s prisoners had already perished, courtesy of collateral damage.

Maybe I should hit some of the statues.

Claire walked up to one of the frozen watchers in the room she had entered from. The 2% Catgirl looked almost exactly like the guards, with the layer of ice surrounding it the only real differentiator. For all intents and purposes, it was the perfect training dummy. So she raised her fists and swung.

The punch broke straight through the glassy barrier and pierced the cyclops’ gut. Unlike Double Stab, Phantom Blade didn’t deliver a second attack. The second instance of damage occurred at the same time as the first. She could feel the creature’s life force enter through the thin veil of light blue mana coating her fingers. The constant ache in her chest quieted for the briefest of moments as she drained the creature of its health. The health she didn’t know it had.

Eyes wide, the halfbreed slowly looked between her fist, which felt strangely warm, and her target, whose guts were leaking red and yellow.

She could feel its pulse.

More of its blood spewed onto her hand each time its heart beat.

It was alive.

And that was exactly why the halfbreed followed her first attack with another. She drilled a knee into its face and a dagger into its throat. She would have continued by her club into its spine, but stopped as the goddess’ voice echoed through her mind.

Log Entry 1128
You have slain a level 27 Corrupted Watcher.

A smile crossed her lips as she looked around the room. She knew that monsters incapable of resisting, like the goblins she had sacrificed in Builledracht’s rituals, would give very little experience. But even so, she had every intention of using them to fuel her growth. It wouldn’t be long until she was finally able to ascend. And with only six and a half levels remaining, every tiny sliver was sure to help.



Health: 955/972
Mana: 2550/2580
Health Regen: -52/hour (448/hour)
Mana Regen: 1824/hour

Ability Scores - 0 Points Available
- Agility: 304
- Dexterity: 270
- Spirit: 216
- Strength: 215
- Vitality: 224
- Wisdom: 456

Racial Class: Halfbreed - Level 43.71
- Lashing Tailstrike - Level 2.17
- Paralyzing Gaze - Level 4.87
- Quadrupedal Bloodrush - Level 1.02

Primary Class: Llystletein Bloodthief - Level 50.01
- Assassinate - Level 9.65
- Bloodthief - Level 7.06
- Charm Catgirl - Level 1.00
- Cloak and Dagger - Level 8.33
- Envenom - Level 12.10
- Manathief - Level 6.25
- Phantom Blade - Level 1.01

Secondary Class: Llystletein Force Mage - Level 32.90
- Basic Force Resistance - Level 3.57
- Catgirl Detector V. 0.17 - Level 3.35
- Detect Force Magic - Level 12.13
- Force Manipulation - Level 9.13

Unclassed Skills
- Artifact Manipulation - Level 2.00
- Basic Fire Resistance Level 2.72
- Club Mastery - Level 10.79
- Dagger Mastery - Level 11.26
- Dancing - Level 6.32
- Digging - Level 10.27
- English - Level 25
- Llystletein Authority - Level 5.24
- Makeshift Weapon Mastery - Level 14.30
- Marish - Level 19.03
- Sewing - Level 1.42
- Sneaking - Level 12.83
- Spear Mastery - Level 5.46
- Sword Mastery - Level 7.27
- Throwing - Level 6.54
- Tracking - Level 8.94
- Unarmed Combat Mastery - Level 10.07