Chapter 28: Hey Little Guy


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Chapter 28: Hey Little Guy

[You can’t slack off you’ve missed too many days already Lucid~]

Yeah, cause I almost died.

—URGHH
With a grunt, I finished the final exercise.

I wonder if I could have done it without Eugene’s equipment. It was exceptional, padded with sensors of all kinds that had allowed Eurval to fine tune everything perfectly to the absolute maximum.

Had I used mine I think I would have failed to finish.

Although paired with the perfect tune, after a couple of weeks of not essence training to this extent it was a battle to finish.

At least I’m finally done. Hopefully, tomorrow will be easier.

[If it can get easier then we weren’t attuned correctly on the old equipment. Do not worry Lucid I shall use this information to adjust.]

I wasn’t really worrying…

Done with the routine I sat down and began the essence infusion. Quickly, I poured in mana throughout my body sensing every cell greedily accept my gift.

It was too bad, unlike before, I no longer sensed a drastic increase in my physical strength. It was just as Eurval had said the gains are minimal now. Even worse was because I’m much stronger than when I first began I needed much more mana every essence infusion and much like magic the consumption wasn’t linear.

When I first started I only needed maybe a couple percent of my mana at the time. Now, however, I needed close to a quarter of my current mana.

I’m a bit scared of the day I don’t have enough to fulfill the needs for an entire essence infusion. I might have to spread different exercises across a whole day.

I just hope by then I’ll be out of the dungeon. I already do not like having my mana not full for the period after essence training, but now a whole day not being topped off?

It will feel like being out knowing I left my front door unlocked.

[Maybe with the new lustrating materials that day will never come Lucid.]

I nodded my head.

True, but it that depends on how efficiently my internal bodies can process the new lustrating materials. I ran my finger over my spatial ring to sense the various vials Eugene had given me.

Too bad I’ll never know the exact answer until I get properly benchmarked.

As my body continued to absorb my mana I put some thought on my present situation.

Honestly, it is looking better now that I got to the Cave floor. The space here was stable, there was plenty of food, and it appears all the dangerous bits where taken care of by Laurent before he left.

Laurent…

I wonder if the Rook database has anything about where he went off too. He was obviously on the route the lead to the dungeon’s keeper. That is where the guidebooks says the best findings are usually found.

Like the sub-floor where I stole all the nice teaware the dungeon was free to create powerful weapons and equipment too.

I began to search through the Rook database with Eurval’s help.

Browsing the recent updates regarding the dungeon I didn’t find much. Most of it was the locations of various materials they where gathering, but there was also information regarding the movements of the powerful figures I had seen on television.

Here we go.

I found a post.

So he went into the 17th passageway on the southern end…

I read the achieve of an alert that was sent out almost two weeks ago. After that notification was sent more where appeared as other figures immediately followed after Laurent and his party.

[It seems Rook’s influence expands further than just the clinic, Lucid.]

Much further…

I can see why Crimson Claw was hesitant to kill us with his own hands.

Curious, now that I saw how much information this database had, I wanted to see if there was anything about the red-headed man Eugene argued with.

Can you find anything about Eugene’s stepfather?

[let us see… there appears to be more than one Lucid.]

More than one?

[Yes, it appears Eugene has eleven stepfathers.]

Eleven!? As in his mother is widowed or that he has eleven stepfathers along with his real father?

[Hilda Rook is currently legally married to twelve different people and has had multiple children with each. Eugene is the son of Eucate now Eucate Rook. Eucate is the twelfth husband and the only non-human husband.]

Non-human? Is he hyridean?

[It appears not, Hilda does have spouses that are described to be hyridean, but for Eucate it says non-human. Eucate also did not have any surname prior to adding Rook.]

What the hell, don’t tell me…

Eucate is a hyre and non-human is just a polite way of saying it? This was my first thought.

No way…is there any picture of Eucate is he like the hyres I see? Here I thought using essence orbs was taboo. 

[There are no available pictures of Eucate, at least accessible to us.]

It was a guess, but thinking about the implications almost caused me to lose my concentration during the ongoing infusion.

I had no opinion on the matter, only a surprise, but I think I understood the hate from the stepfather I saw punch him. Hilda seems like an interesting person to say the least if my understanding of the culture within the Scale Allegiance is correct.

We can only speculate from here so let’s move on, who is the stepfather controlling the clinic here?

[Based on the images that man is Aruc Rook. The press release on the marriage announcement writes him as the eldest son of the Eniye family. It only states the Eniye is a noble family of famous healers. That is all I have until we can connect to the network on the outside.]

This is good for now to calm my curiosity. No powerful family is simple, I know that much, but it seems the long lifespans combined with magic really take things to another level.

After a little more browsing with Eurval on Eugene’s other stepfathers, I felt the push back of mana no longer being absorbed. The infusion was finally over.

I had taken extra time as to not incur a large load.

With my essence infusion over I stood up and head back up to my room. It was time to use the mana and, finally, the essence orbs.

***

“There we go.” I brought out an extra blanket from the large closest to place on the concrete floor.

It was too hard and a bit cold to sit on for extended periods, I realized this too late while essence training.

Settled in, I pulled out the two books Eugene had given me. One made of a dark thick scaly hide and the other looked quite ordinary with a simple blue hardcover.

I opened and turned through the scaly book. It was Demonic Hunter’s Bleeding Heart. The book was a quick read, the covers were thicker than the content.

“This really is just the same as using Holy Hunter’s Heart…”

I half expected this but I read through Demonic Hunter’s Bleeding Heart in its entirety to double check my assumption just in case. Like I had guessed all I needed was the full spell that I now have.

I moved on to the blue book. Just on the first page there was probably as much text as all of Demonic Hunter’s.

Torprez – Essence Filtering Technique – (Physical Version)

At the time when I began this spell’s development essence filtering techniques were too crude. The most popular technique was to simply make sure to never use too many essence orbs of the same hyre paired with a routine in-home purification ritual. This was how many, including myself, stayed off the path of a hyridean.

However, one mistake with one too many essence orbs of the same hyre meant fixing it would take a shameful and painful trip to the nearest Scale Church.

With this technique so long as you follow my magic and instruction you shall have the ability to remove any unwanted traits from any hyre essence orb to keep your true form pure.

Off the first page, I could understand why people within the Scale Allegiance would use this technique.

It was unfortunate I was in Laurent and surrounded by many of Scale’s followers. I personally don’t mind the thought of becoming a hyridean if it meant strength.

Wings would be nice…

It was entirely possible, such a shame I would leave that untouched.

[Do you think Eugene is a follower of the Scale Goddess if he uses this technique?]

I can see why you would think that, but I feel it might be more about keeping the image of Rook Pharmaceutical. Who knows he might have hyre traits that don’t cause physical manifestations.

The book did say ‘unwanted traits’ that meant there could be some wanted traits that could be left alone.

Wings might be out of the question, but traits that are possible to hide don’t sound bad. If I can pick and choose with Torprez’s technique then I’ll try it.

That’s if.

As I continued to read the book and the process of using the technique I bleived I would be able to pick and choose the traits as the spell allowed sigils to be added after the spell was cast to attach to traits that are unwanted.

Feeling confident after reading, I pulled out an essence orb I got from one of the flame foxes. This one didn’t have any fire essence.

A test run.

The spell inside Torprez’s book was extremely complex luckily unlike combat spells I didn’t need to memorize it to the point where I understood it perfectly. It seemed most non-combat spells are like this. Efficiency wasn’t key but instead went for pure utility.

Piece by piece I copied the spell before finally casting it before me. It was a rather small dense magic circle that floated in front of me. At the center of the inner circle was a small hole.

It glowed a dim white due to my mana’s influence. The inner portions of the spell within slowly moved as it waited for an essence orb.

I placed the essence orb on top. As if the orb was placed on water it half sunk into the magic circle as the small hole in the center expanded to fit. I brought my hands above the spell as like I was warming my hands over a small fire.

Oh! Its like it’s connected to me.

I could feel the essence orb as if I was using a spatial ring. As I waved my hands above I slowly began to understand what it contained.

I…I didn’t think there was much to the flame foxes other than their regeneration ability.

With the spell I could sense the various traits contained within. Carefully, I singled many of the traits for things like their weak coat. I began to search around for any of the other physical manifestations too, highlighting them by adding and attaching them to the sigils described in the book.

I think this is good.

I kept the regeneration ability only along with the pure physical essence too.

Now I just need to cast the complete version of Demonic Hunter’s Bleeding Heart.

Already used to using using while adventuring I added the missing inscription then cast Demonic Hunter’s Heart under myself.

Slowly Demonic Hunter’s Heart began to disintegrate the essence orb that was still within Torprez’s spell avoiding any part of the essence orb attached to the sigils. Turning the portions I had left alone into a fine black mist.

Little by little the essence orb shrunk leaving only the traits I had avoided. However, now there was a cloud of black that floated above me still within Demonic Hunter’s Heart.

—Poof!
Like an exploding black smoke bomb contained within a glass case, the cloud of essence spread out within the magic circle under me. My entire vision was blackened like my first time through the passageway.

Slowly the smoke began to lift allowing me to see a soft orange glow. Instantly I knew exactly where I was.

“My friend! I saw my flame wiggling in the distance.”

I closed in and neared it enveloped in the familiar warmth, however, the temperature seemed to jump up and down between too hot and perfect.

Feeling this I put on a small frown.

“I’m so sorry.”

It was probably due to the injury it had sustained from the overreach. It wasn’t obvious just from looking, but feeling it now I could tell it was partially broken.

I felt even more guilty that it didn’t seem angry at all after what I did to it.

“To make it up for you I have many treats, but first, take this one.”

In my hand there was an essence orb, albeit a bit smaller than it was at first.

Unlike the mana orbs the essence didn’t melt but instead began to reform turning into a miniature figurine of a flame fox.

Huh.

I looked at the tiny black figurine on the palm of my hand before it floated away into an orbit around my mana body.

A moment after I could sense outside light begin to shine through as the black smoke from Demonic Hunter’s Heart dissipated. I was back inside the concrete room.

That was unexpected.

Does that mean every essence orb will make a new totem thing?

Usually, I would search these questions online, but the network here was extremely limited.

There is only one way to find out…

I kept both spells up as it would be too much of a hassle redoing every single trait. Instantly the moment I popped in another essence orb into Torprez’s spell the sigils understood the exact same traits to latch onto.

I put the tiny orb containing all the traits I didn’t want away into my spatial ring.

Again, black smoke filled my vision and was excitedly greeted by my mana body. However, this time the essence orb didn’t turn into a totem, but instead flew directly into the small figurine already orbiting my mana body making it ever so slightly bigger.

One by one I began to absorb all the essence orbs I had obtained fighting flame foxes. The ones of fire essence where a bit spectacular as they began to make the tiny flame fox not just grow, but glow too.

I…

I think I’m making a familiar.


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