Chapter two: Prologue: Giant timeskip.
Yeah, that's the whole prologue.
"Firestorm!" I call out and point my hand at another rock. Spheres of fire appear above the location and rain down on it, exploding into chunks.
"Cutting Winds!" I say, continuing my spell spam and shredding a tree with wind blades that fly forward.
"Icy Barrage!" Shards of ice appear floating and launch forward in a barrage.
"Metal Maelstrom!" An earth type spell with involves a literally tornado of blades.
Yes, I have a spell that shoots blades made of wind and a spell which makes winds out of blades, what about it?
"Semi-Auto Familiar, Sphere, Anchored, Fire and Light, Beam, Poweful," I chant and immediately a massive amount of mana is drained, about 9.5k. A sphere of fire appears in my hand. This type of familiar basically allows me to store some mana in the form of an attacking spell, but I can continue to supply the spell with mana to maintain it. Despite being a familiar it is a sorcerer spell and not summoner. Summoners generally summon familiars of some creature shape, not elemental spheres. The anchored basically means that while it can move rather quickly while close to me, it can't move more than a meter away from me.
I move extend my hand about 30° up and to the right, then let go of the familiar.
"Maintain relative position," I say. It is a stricter version of the follow command for autonomous familiars.
"Semi-Auto Familiar, Sphere, Anchored, Earth (Metal), Bolt, Fast, Fast, Medium," I chant, summoning another one. The earth one a floating ball of metal and rock with green cracks laced through it.
I move extend my hand about 30° down and to the right, then let go of the familiar.
"Maintain relative position," I say, once again anchoring.
I repeat the second spell for water (ice) familiar and first for air familiar, both on the left and have the 4 orbs floating next to me. At my level the maximum number—and probably at level 100 without the very best gear—of familiars I can have is 4, as the maximum you can have is your mana divided by 9.5k, and I doubt I could get to 48k mana for a fifth one. While afterwards you still regenerate mana, it is still the limit on how many you can summon. The reason I summon 4 different ones is simply so I don't have to deal with the cooldown of nearly a minute, while at the moment ideal would be a mixture of fire and light. The reason fire and light attacks of the same nominal damage as a just fire or just light attack do more damage against creatures equally weak to both is because if you have too much fire or too much light it 'exhausts' the weakness in a sense, meaning that if you split the damage over two weakness categories it does more damage. So I summon one with fire and light and then the rest plain elements, though I probably won't be using earth at all since these underground goblins are resistant to it.
The forest I am in right now is very close to a dungeon, so I should go there. In the original game the dungeon only allowed a maximum of 1 party in and it would scale the levels of all the monsters to the average level, which means that this should be by no means super easy. On the other hand, the dungeon isn't very difficult, so even though they are my level, they will still be fairly weak for creatures of that level, in other words, they are low class creatures.
The dungeon was mostly populated with low-class goblins of various sorts, with stats that matched closer to a level 85-90 goblin in normal conditions. Their strength was their numbers. There were a lot of them, thankfully, that is one of the things sorcerers were good at, AOE attacks.
I drink a mana potion and walk into the dungeon and see crowds of the goblins. The earth will be weakest and the fire will be strongest against them. Though the way I made the earth one, it is more like attacking them with swords or arrows rather than earth based spells.
"Activate 1," I say, another advantage of the familiars is that they allow me to basically prepare some spells, activating them with simple and quick commands.
The fire familiar which I first summoned glows brighter with a yellow flame and as I raise my hand.
A beam of fire erupts from the sphere towards the goblins and as I move my hand the beam turns.
The front row of goblins are all killed rather quickly. My visible mana didn't really take a hit because the familiar was running on batteries in a way, most of the 9.5k mana used to summon it can be used, only about 500 being lost in 'summoning' it. I should stop using summon, it is create. Unlike with summoners which summon existing creatures and if the creature dies, resummoning it takes a lot more mana, and sometimes something special needs to be done. Summoned creatures have HP, my creations only have mana, they aren't really familiars.
The beam of fire stops, the single 'cast' ran out and now it has a cooldown.
"Activate 2," I say, activating the earth one.
Green energy forms in front of the metallic sphere and launches forward in a bolt, turning into metal as it flies. It flies straight through a few goblins before hitting the wall and turning back into green energy and dissipating.
I release a barrage of such attacks, destroying the goblins closest to me.
As it too needs to 'rest' I say, "Activate 3."
The water familiar activates and shards of ice form from it, one after another, many at a time, launching forward.
The barrage of ice spikes held back the goblins, but they still advance. "Ice Barrier!" I say and a wall of ice is erected before me, blocking off the the tunnel.
"Seeing Eye!" I say and summon a small familiar available to all 6 magic classes that is good for just this, seeing around corners. You control a point of view and hearing that can move about 5 meters away from you.
I look over the wall and see where they are.
The ice barrage runs out and I say, "Activate 4."
Immediately a powerful gust of air shoots forward from the air familiar—a column of air with some wind spinning around it—and send the goblins flying back as the ice wall shatters due to its duration running out. This kinda of air spell wouldn't do much damage, but it held them back nicely.
"Fireball!" I say and a fireball appears in my hand. I shove the fireball into the column of wind and it turn yellow with flame and then creates an explosion, thanks to oversupply of oxygen. Normal fire would have extinguished the flame, but thanks to my mana supply that didn't happen so instead there was an explosion. The magic fades away and walk forward. No goblins around, looks like that got them all.
Phew, I cleared the whole dungeon on my own huh? It's not a very hard dungeon and most of my gear is phantasmal-class, but still.
Wait not quite, I forgot there was still, ya know, a boss.
Kulmorg the Goblin Shaman if I recall correctly.
A support type boss that summons lots of minions, giving them various buffs by playing on drums.
That's probably the easiest type for me to solo and the hardest for a melee build, since I can wipe out the summons while attacking the main boss, while a melee character needs to kill the summons to reach the boss. If I can solo a party boss, then I'll consider it impressive.
...or not, I guess. It kinda ignored me and was just worshipping something. Well that was disappointing.
It hadn't reacted when 'discharged' all 4 of my familiars right next to it, which is effectively casting more than 40k mana worth of spells right in its face.
Well, it lost more than half its HP, being a softy party boss, but it didn't fight back, so an empty mana bar later, it was dead.
And I gained a significant amount of XP.
Back when this was a game I would have brushed this off as some bug and would have seen if it was broken again when it respawned, if it was, I would farm the crap out of it. But now, it felt kinda bad, killing this creature which didn't fight back. I wouldn't compare it to killing a person, that's only kill one of the People, but more like just killing an injured animal, without the cuteness and helplessness of an injured animal that makes you want to help it. And they respawn. But still, something was off either way, since there wouldn't be 'bugs' in this world.
I'll worry about it later.
Oh, Shiroe's calling.
"Hey Shiroe, what's up?" I ask.
"Can you come to the Round Table Conference room?" he asks.
"Sure, I just finished up this dungeon," I say.
"Call of Home!" I call out, a spell available to all Adventurers at level 1 once they pass the tutorial.
I appear at the gates of the cathedral and hurry over to the guild building.
"I'll be there in a moment," I say and hang up.
It takes me about a minute to get to the room and I walk in a little out-of-breath.
"Wait so why am I coming? Akatsuki is more charming than I am anyway, and it's not like they can pose a threat to you so you don't need me for a 'just in case' situation," I say.
"Oh whatever, Shiroe, I need to call on your encyclopedic memory of game mechanics, I was fighting a boss earlier called Kulmorg the Goblin Shaman, and instead of fighting back he was just worshipping something, anything you know of cause that sort of thing?" I ask.
"Nothing I can think of off the top of my head," he says.
"Oh well," I say. We've been riding horses to get to Maihama—or more accurately, the Palace of Eternal Ice located very close to it—for nearly two hours now. 'We' as in Shiroe, Crusty, and Michitaka as official representatives of the Round Table and Akatsuki, Henrietta—who just came along to be able to force Akatsuki and I into various dresses—, an assistant of Michitaka's, Misa, and me.
The Round Table had been invited to a meeting of the lords of Eastal, and since nobody wanted to go they decided to pick Crusty as the natural leader and politician, Michitaka to represent the merchant guilds—through the elegant methods of rock, paper, scissors—and Shiroe because Crusty just wanted to make him suffer for some reason. And Shiroe brought me along for whatever reason, Akatsuki followed because she is Shiroe's ninja and refuses to leave his side and Henrietta is here to make sure that Akatsuki and I suffer too.
"Ah, there it is," I say, since I'm riding at the front so I see it first. A large castle covered in glistening ice in mid-summer.
"It's beautiful," Akatsuki says in wonder.
"Yeah, much more so than in the game."
We ride to the city gates and are welcomed.
The ball was in a few hours and until then I was free to laze around in a tree if I wanted to. I'm glad my mages gear looks passable, since I can use that as an excuse to avoid being shoved into some dress by Henrietta.
Actually, some nobles walk around through the park, so if I were to laze around in a tree there I might catch some important information without anyone really having grounds to be mad at me even if they find out.
I climb into a tree and close my eyes.
Ping. Oh, Shiroe's calling.
"Oh hey Shiroe," I say.
"Where are you?" he asks.
"Just taking a nap in a tree somewhere," I say with a yawn.
"All you do is take naps," he says with a chuckle, "Well anyway, the ball is starting and it would be rude to be late."
"Do I even have to go, it's not like anyone expects a teenager to dance with nobles... or touch an adult stranger or whatever," I say.
"Yes, yes you do," Shiroe says.
"Sigh. Fine, coming," I say and drop off the tree.
I head to the ballroom and spot where the whole group of Adventurers are standing, a little ways away from anyone else.
I walk through the corridor around the room and enter the ball room from the entrance nearest to them.
"Sorry I'm late," I say in an only slightly sarcastic tone.
"Why did we bring you along?" mutters Michitaka.
"I don't know, ask Shiroe," I say.
What time is it?
12:04pm, I really overslept. Why did I stay up late? I don't even remember. Oh right, Sage of Miral Lake.
I should try to figure out what this skill is... A skill with a name such as 'Angel' sounds scary. If it was something like 'Angel's Wrath' then it limit what it could be, it would probably be like a lightning strike or something. But a skill like that...
I make my way out of the castle and cross the bridge leading back the way we came. Okay, now what.
"Mitsu! I found you!" I hear Henrietta call as she comes running, a dress sticking out of his magic bag. Crap.
Not happening. I run to the edge of the bridge and jump off. While my HP is lower than hers, fall damage is a percentage based on your weight, and since I was lighter, I should be able to take a longer fall at least, that's how it was when it was a game and if worst comes to worst, I'll just respawn at the cathedral and have to ride back for a few hours, or fly on a gryphon for 15 minutes.
As I land I roll and see that I managed to lose all my HP save literally 5 points.
I stand up 'a little' shaky and take out a health potion, gulping it down, my HP recovering to full very quickly thanks to my small HP capacity. A human guardian level 35 or so should have more HP than me.
The castle was basically located in the middle of crater, on a small mountain. There's bound to be some hidden tunnels there, at least, if fantasy stories taught me anything, which they probably didn't. But there probably is a way up.
I walk to the edge of the mountain and see a small path leading up. I follow the path to the top and find that it simply connects to the bridge, thankfully Henrietta is gone.
"I've cleared out all the squads in this area," I report to Mariel, the goblins here were pathetically low level, at levels 15-25, making them very easy for me to kill.
"Come support the us on the beach then," she says.
"Alright, I'm on my way," I say and start running there.
At level 96, even doing something like running a marathon would be easy.
Going at this pace, reaching the beach will take about 10 minutes, that shouldn't be enough time for anything to happen really.
There are a lot of sahuagin here. I think this calls for some large-scale AOE magic. I take out my staff—a simple black metal rod with a white crystal in the form of a stretched out octahedron at the top, held in place by four small pieces of metal going along the corners on the bottom half—and raise it in air.
"Storm Call!" I call out, a spell which gathers a bunch of storm clouds in the vicinity. On its own it doesn't do anything, except block out the sun, which can be nice or bad, but it preps for Icy Storm and Lightning Storm, the first of which rains sharp shards of ice and the second is pretty self explanatory... lots of lightning. It also uses a lot of mana, like 28k at my level a lot. It also preps for spells like Lightning Column which—including the prep—costs over 100k mana to cast, meaning that one player can't cast it, and it requires a party of high level players and at least one enchanter, or just a bunch of sorcerers, since the game has mechanics for 'group casting' spells, where a sorcerer can send their mana to a party member so they can cast a spell which costs more mana than their max mana capacity. I wasn't planning to do anything like that though, as that spell had relatively small AOE and I don't have anywhere to get the mana anyway.
The tip of my staff is surrounded by a blue aura and I point it into the sky, causing storm clouds to start to gather. The total cast time for this spell was well over 30 seconds.
This is one of the largest AOE spells I know of, with an effective radius of over 100 meters, with a duration of 10 minutes.
In Regan's magic scale system, it would be a tactical class magic. Thanks to the absolutely ridiculously high mana cost, I am one of the very few sorcerers cable of casting the prep spell. The follow-up spells take less mana, around 10k each.
Icy Storm is a water element attack, meaning that these fish-men will be fairly resistant to it, even if it is ice. So, the logical choice is Lightning Storm.
"Lightning Storm!" The tip if my staff is surrounded by a blueish purple aura with electricity crackling through it and lightning crackles in the clouds. Soon lightning bolts start striking all over the place. The way Lightning Storm works here, it won't even hit all the enemies, so if my goal is to kill a particular enemy—which it isn't—this is a terrible spell to use.
Well, I'll just sit and watch now, since my mana is so low if I used any more spells I'd probably knock myself out.
One of the fish runs up to me and I see its level. I guess their levels must seriously vary, or they would probably be dead right now, given that they've been fighting a level 90s for over an hour.
It was a pathetic level 20 and I impale it with the back end of my staff, which is rather sharp. I got the staff custom forged and decided it would be wise to make it pointy, since I'm using phantasmal class materials anyway. Granted, they were phantasmal class metals with high magic abilities, not strong, but just like any level 90 character can easily run all day, any phantasmal class metal will make a good melee weapon. Actually, the particular metal used in the staff was not only a good magical material but also very good for swords and the such.
"You're here," says the ever-cheerful Mariel, running up to me.
"And what kind of spell is that? You literally caused a lightning storm," Mariel asks.
"As you can see, I used almost all my mana in the process," I say.
"You really are a powerful sorcerer," she compliments.
"You should probably go back to healing," I point out.
She jumps a little, "Oh right!"
She's the grown up here, not me, why am I reminding her of things like that? Oh well. Seriously, she seems more like a kid to me than Minori.
I look out on the fighting and see lightning strike down fish after fish, my kill count must be pretty high. This is going to last another minute or two too, so who knows how many more of them will die in that time.
I take out a mana potion and chug it down, waiting for my mana to regenerate.
A few of the fish monsters were starting to notice me. That's a problem. I don't have any melee skills... but I've done kendo, so might as well try it.
I grab the tip of my staff and pull on it, unsheathing the sword in the staff. I got it made that way mostly for cool points, but seems like it might actually be useful.
I put the rest of the staff away, it wasn't the main magic part anyway, and get ready for the goblins.
As the rest one runs up I stab it through, as long as no high level ones come, I should be fine. And if a high level one comes, I'll just use some spells, I have some of my mana back now.
A level 75 one, huh. That will probably be too high level to deal with, with a sword, that is.
"Fireball," I say, pointing my sword at the fish. It light with fire and then fire flows to the tip of the blade, forming a fireball and launching at it.
The fish monster gets covered in fire and burned to ashes, promptly evaporating into bubbles of anima and psyche, the latter of which would later gather anima from the air and reincarnate, at least, that's the explanation for respawning given by Regan, Sage of Miral Lake and by Spirit Theory.
I kick one's weapon up into the air and run him through with a my sword—and not very kendo-like technique—and then cut my sword out of it to the side, cutting half way through it and instantly killing it. Blood only seemed to appear before they disperse when it was necessary for cool effect.
Crap, I'm surrounded by a lot of them, some of them pretty high level.
"Flaming Nova!" A spell that lights the casters body on fire and then causes a rather flat explosion of fire, it is a mage spell that can be used offensively to finish off a final group of enemies, but it is generally used in emergency thanks to the long 5 minute cooldown.
"Need a little help here!" I call out.
"Fireball!" I say as I swing my sword and... what? Instead of launching as a ball, the Fireball got stretched out and moved outwards as a line of fire that's part of an expanding circle, an arc about 45°.
"Anchor Howl!" yells Naotsugu, who happens to be somewhere nearby.
The goblins turn towards the guardian and I run through the gaps, escaping the encirclement I had foolishly gotten trapped in.
"Blizzard!" I target the tank with the spell as he would remain unaffected and while the fish would be resistant to most of the already small amount of damage from the spell, it would still slow them down.
The spell freezes the low level monsters that gathered around the tank in blocks of ice.
"Smash 'em," I call out.
A nearby bard uses an ability called Resonance Beat on the tank, who slams his shield into the ground causing the frozen fish to shatter, insta-killing the whole bunch.
"Thanks," I say, putting the tank between me and the fish.
"It's a guardian's job to protect their squishier allies!" the Naotsugu says.
"Is this storm your doing?" he asks.
"Yeah, but it won't kill them all, would be much more effective if they were smart enough to be scared," I say.
"I doubt they'd come at all right now then, because no matter how you look at it, a lot of them are going to die from fighting us, even if they win in the end," he says.
"You have a point there. Well, knowing that they're stupid enough to fight and that they'll respawn makes me not feel bad about wiping them out, I'd feel bad about killing even this many animals in the real world," I point out.
"Soul Drain!" I call out, pointing my sword at the sky. My sword starts to glow an erie green and blue lines come from all the surrounding fish to it.
I feel... more awake, I guess, as mana is restored. The spell has a very long cooldown, but its function is to drain mana from surrounding enemies, there is a fairly low maximum it can drain from a given enemy, so it works nice in a crowd of enemies like this.
The green glow fades and the blue lines disappear and I lower my sword.
I look at my mana and see that I had recovered a little under 8k mana, that worked better than expected.
"Flaming Armor!" I say, pointing to Naotsugu. Even sorcerers had buffs. It's actually a low level spell that functions similar to Purification Barrier blocking some amount of damage before it reaches the person, in other words, raw damage instead of damage they would have taken, an exception to this rule is fire damage, which is greatly reduced and water damage, which is quite increased. It also burns melee attackers. Visually, it looks like the subject is covered in fire, but not burning, this excludes the face. Basically Immolate that doesn't cover the face. At my level the damage prevented would be somewhere around ~4k, so if I use it on myself, it practically doubles my HP, since I have no armor to speak of. Of course, since sorcerer isn't supposed to be a buff class, the cooldown is pretty long. Its duration is about half an hour.
"Wow, cool," he says as he looks at his flaming armor.
"Just kill the dang things," I say.
One runs up behind me and I point my sword at it, casting Fireball... wait, don't you need to say it? I guess you don't. Then what do you need to do? Think it? I didn't consciously think 'Fireball' though, so maybe you need to want to cast that spell? Whatever.
Hey, it worked.
I wonder if it works with custom spells, that would make casting them infinitely faster. Fire, Bolt, Fast, Weak, Damage.
I bolt of fire springs from my hand and streaks towards the fish I aim it, instantly killing it thanks to its low level.
Well, I wonder what I can do that obviously wouldn't be possible in the game, the cooking and stuff prove that it isn't like the game, so maybe there's something I can pull off with sorcerer stuffs. Something like constructing spells directly, not using the built in spell create or the base spells, just somehow making them from nothing. Channeling mana is already something that just comes naturally, so not that far fetched. Or maybe some sort of combination spells or casting multiple at the same time.
Meteor Rain! A spell which rains magma from the sky in globs, which sticks around for a little while. Normally, it would just affect any monsters that went inside the radius, however, this wasn't a game anymore... really, so the sand should melt into a patch of glass, which isn't very conductive.
I wait until the fish covers the glass area once more.
Steelfall! A spell which rains sharp metal rods from the sky, impaling a few of the fish, normally not all that effective but given that there was a lightning storm, and the rods weren't grounded... the lightning should jump form the rods and along chains of the fish to reach the edges of the field of glass, where it can discharge into the earth.
At least, that's how I think lightning works, who knows, I could be wrong.
Lightning strikes at the metal rods, jumping to the fish as expected and killing most of the fish in the field of glass once more. And they were too stupid to avoid the highly charged metal rods, which means they would just keep completing the circuit for me and dying.
"I can't hope to match your kill count at this rate..." the guardian says.
"You never had a chance anyway," I say, 'comforting' him.
"Not helping," he says.
"Wasn't trying to," I answer.
A loud shriek echoed in the distance, the sound of the Shrieker Echo druid spell, Serara had set them up around the place as alarms. The spell makes a low shriek when an enemy steps inside its radius, though generally used to disorient the enemy, it also works for this.
The party of bold trainees seems to be asking Mariel to go, though they obviously weren't the best choice. Nyanta seemed to be backing them up, and I'm sure Naotsugu would too, if he wasn't busy being my meat-shield. Thanks for that, by the way.
Oh, looks like two minutes are up.
Thanks to my mana potion combined with Soul Drain had brought me back up to 14k mana, time to spend most of it again.
The cooldown for Lightning Storm is two minutes, precisely its duration, meaning as long as you have the mana and Storm Call lasts, you can keep it up continuously, paying 10k mana every two minutes, which isn't really a sustainable rate, even with high class mana potions. Unless you want to spend a bunch of instant mana potions, which are rare and expensive in any decent quality.
"Lightning Storm!" With such a huge spell, it's more satisfying if you say it out-loud. My sword gets surrounded with the same blueish purple aura and electricity runs along it. Aaand I'm out of mana again, well, not out but down to about 10%.
A few minutes later Mariel calls out, "Reinforcements are coming in an hour, just hold out till then!"
This is tiring, but at least the reinforcements are here, in the form of a giant steamship full of high level Adventurers. Unfortunately, the sahuagin are making it hard for the ship to land. A bunch of landing boats deploy from the ship, I guess I'll go lie down or something while they finish these guys off, well, once they make land that is.
"Anchor Howl!" yells a guardian getting off one of the boats.
All the nearby fish turn towards him, allowing me to walk past them and off the beach without any hindrance.
I flop down on my back and just lie there. Apparently, while you don't get tired from running, basically at all, you do get tired from fighting. Especially if you're a sorcerer with almost no mana and fighting with a sword. Speaking of swords. I take the rest of the staff out of my bag and put the sword back into it, then put the whole thing away.
With the reinforcements of just under 500 adventurers, we were only outnumbered about 50:1, which meant that this would be over soon. As a point of reference, I had probably managed to kill nearly a thousand of the fish in an hour, so 50 per person would take a few minutes, even if they were worse crowd control classes, maybe tens of minutes.