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Chapter 29: I Should Have Called Sooner
My first familiar…
It didn’t move or look alive in any way. I’m sure there was plenty more to do to make it a real familiar.
I hadn’t dived into the familiar creation process, but I was certain the totem I created was the beginning steps in making one.
“I didn’t know just a single essence orb would take the shape of the hyre…”
Nothing, that I read about familiars said anything about a damn figurine forming! Is it bad is good? Can I change it or am I stuck with it? This was probably common knowledge.
I let out a breath.
“Fuck, it’s always so damn frustrating not knowing so much.”
It feels terrible being out of the loop.
It serves to make me feel clueless and lost in this world — adding to the feeling of hopelessness that always wants to envelop me.
Thoughts about of never finding Kevin, hell, even Alice, any fellow person from Earth really. began to wave over me. I can always see the disparity between me and everyone. Even now, I can only kill the weakest hyres probably within this entire dungeon.
The fucking weakest! I’ve seen videos of talented middle school students from this world take on hyres on the level of the flame fox alone.
It’s so disheartening.
[Lucid, you didn’t know one little thing that probably doesn’t hurt you in any way. I’m sure the totems you are thinking about aren’t dangerous. You shouldn’t get worked up over it. Not knowing about the way essence orbs function does nothing to stop you finding the friends your thinking of. In fact, it only helps you now that you know.]
Yes, it’s just one thing, but how many more of these ‘little things’ are there? The worst feeling is I can only do so much. There will always be something I don’t know that I’ll have to learn.
That is what I’m scared of…
I could only offer another long sigh at my worries.
These thoughts come and go and there is nothing I can do about it.
I could eternally mope that I probably won’t see them ever again. I could just give up and let Eugene do his tests in exchange of supporting me for the rest of my life here, he still does owe me another favor once we get out, however, I won’t do that. I won’t let myself do that. I’ll continue with a normal attitude and only really worry about the things that I can control.
I can control my essence training, my studies, my hyre hunts, and the pace I explore the dungeon. I’ll control it with a loose attitude because I know it will offer me the best possibility of getting out.
I can’t control my emotions anymore, but I can still control the actions after feeling them.
I can’t have my fear of never seeing my old friends again constantly be on my mind or the deep loneliness that comes realizing I might really be the only one of my kind on this planet, it will do me no good.
So, I’ll just think about them from time to time and hope my thoughts reach them. Hope that they’re fine, just hope because that’s all I can do for them at the moment.
I took a couple of breaths and began to feel better after the thoughts had run their course.
I just can’t let them take a hold of me forever. Moments like these where I’m relatively safe it’s fine to feel like this, it’s normal.
Taking a brief moment to collect myself I again looked over what was left of the essence orb I had just finished absorbing. No longer was it an orb, but a marble filled with all the traits I didn’t want. It was the last one of the flame foxes.
The flame fox figurine within ended being about a quarter of the size of a real one. However, the abundance of flame essence had made it look alive. At first, it just looked like a statue made of red clay, but now it glows with real flames just like the real thing.
I had completely forgotten to check for any changes to my own physical body every time I absorbed an essence orb…
Flame foxes weren’t very strong so I shouldn’t expect too much. But it still could be decent.
[I would assume the strength gained is reliant on the strength of the slain hyre. ‘How much’ is difficult, my estimations are not reliable enough to say with confidence, but my guess is the all the essence orbs have probably added less than a day’s worth of essence training based on what you probably gained today.]
I had expected as such and yet I was still disappointed. Hmm, even if it isn’t some amazing bump in strength this does mean the rate my strength grows is now higher than just pure training.
Any little bit counts!
I felt my mood improving.
However, there was another thing I could feel Eurval could not. I could faintly feel the element of fire radiate from my body within the latent mana in the air around me.
I didn’t know about the figurine, but I did know my own essence would contain trace amounts of the fire element. I had at least read this in my self-study within the book Eurval had made.
I should really change the title to “What Lucid Should Know” now that I think about it.
Anyways, it only meant any magic that was fire based would be stronger as my affliction field is more efficient in manifesting it.
Another way to think about it, if I die my essence orb will probably have fire essence. Unless the person’s extraction spell is of bad quality or the fire essence within me is too title, then maybe not.
“This is it for essence training.” I put the essence marble away. Maybe I could trade it for a snack.
My gains were okay. Maybe the flame fox essence orbs will be cheap since everyone seems to off hunting them. Unlike Eugene, I don’t mind buying essence orbs, especially so if they’re cheap and have fire element.
[I suggest you make some money before you spend what little you have left, Lucid.]
My funds are severely lacking at the moment. I just find it ridiculous that even in a world with magic money is still necessary to survive. What happened to pulling money out of thin air?
Are there any jobs I can do here within this floor? Maybe something I can do in my free time?
[Let me see.]
At the corner of my eye I could see Eurval crawl the websites within the mesh network.
[Oh, here are two Lucid.]
[Employer: Laurent Social Services
Duties: Reinforce the earthen levee diverting wall and ceiling magma.
The magic spell will be provided
Must have a 6th grade understanding of magic! Meet at 06:00 Laurent time at the main plaza to register.
Pay: 500 scales per session!]
[Employer: Eternity’s Peak Host Club
Duties: Care for various client needs.
We offer free full healers on call to help at all times, room, board, and protection are provided!
Must be a practitioner experienced in a seduction art or be accepted as a disciple from one of our hosts.
Pay: Varies on what YOU can do! We take 10% of your earnings nothing more!]
You’re really trying to sell my body…
[Aren’t you already doing this with Eugene, I thought it was fine Lucid?]
Hmm, but the first choice looks good though.
They have to be short on hands if they are willing to pay that much. I thought for a moment wondering why.
I shrugged finding no answer.
Well, better for me.
[I would assume they are short due to many flocking to go find any fire element based hyre Lucid.]
That’s true. I would do the same if I had a party. We would be able to hunt hyres all day since the mana expenditure wouldn’t be too bad. But with just Eugene?
No way, just fighting the flame foxes for less than half a day and I hit half my max. Not only that but having Eugene join me to fight would cause me to lose out on learning anything, our strength levels are too varied.
I wouldn’t be able to fight anything he can kill since he isn’t a frontline type of essence art trainer. On the flip side he could probably tap on a hyre I was a decent match for and kill it with ease.
At least he is willing to protect me so that’s enough. I did see other dungeon floors labeled for amateurs. Those will probably be barren if they don’t have a fire element based hyre.
I just hope they’re not overrun.
At least I’m just a little bit stronger now. Mostly due to the fire essence within me.
I wonder how much more powerful my fire arrows are now…
On that thought is my lighting arrow, being partially composed of the magic of my fire arrow, also strengthened?
[Could be Lucid. All the information we have stored points to a yes, but it also probably depends on many factors outside my capabilities.]
You just never know with magic. Nothing can be certain. Too bad I can’t test this without the risk of dying currently.
[Also, you are not done essence training. You still have the essence orb from the rock tortoise Lucid.]
My eyes lit up. I had completely forgotten I still had that.
I felt around my spatial ring with my thoughts then pulled out a matte black essence orb. It was a much blacker orb than the ones from the flame foxes and its matte seemed to be sucking in the light around it.
Will the essence within continue to flow into the flame fox totem because it was first or will it create another figurine?
A rock tortoise familiar would do wonders if I’m ever fighting alone.
As I thought that I recast Torprez technique placing the essence orb of the rock tortoise inside. I needed to remove any appearance altering traits again.
I tried pushing a sigil to stop the shell trait from being added into like I had done similarly to the flame fox, but it felt like I was trying to push magnets of the same side together.
“What the hell, why is there such a strong repulsion?”
The closer I got the harder the repulsion became.
“Stick you fuck!”
I cursed catching my breath after straining myself to no success.
Wait, what the heck am I doing? Didn’t I just say I can rely on Eugene?
[Lucid: Hey for the Torperz Technique what do I do if the essence orb I’m trying to filter won’t allow a sigil to stick to it?]
[Eugene: Give me a moment.]
I waited for a short minute.
[Eugene: Have you tried switching the sigil to something else?]
[Lucid: You can do that?]
[Eugene: Of course? What kind of element was the hyre based of?]
Not knowing something that should be common knowledge strikes again…
[Lucid: Earth, it is from the rock tortoise.]
[Eugene: Try any earth-based sigil…]
I switched the sigil to a simple one I had learned from my self-studies it was of a simple design with a short inscription and an outline of a mountain.
“Oh! It works!”
There was still quite a bit of resistance, but it was manageable. After straining for only a bit I was able to attach it the shell trait.
[Lucid: It worked!]
He seemed busy I wonder if I interrupted something or he is just messaging the same way he speaks except without the minuscule amount of body language I can read.
[Lucid: One more quick question, every time you use and essence orb you gain a miniature hyre totem thingy?]
[Eugene: Yes you can.]
I see. Can?
[Lucid: Can? I have a choice? Just one more quick thought, last one. Say I only have one totem right now if I use another essence orb from a different hyre will it make another figurine of the new hyre?]
[Eugene: You can will the essence however you wish. You don’t need to create any hyre totem if you do not want.]
I should have asked these questions from the start. Would have saved me a tiny slightly embarrassing mental break down.
At least I know in the future just to bother Eugene.
Wait why didn’t you suggest for me to ask Eugene?
[I’m molded off of you Lucid.]
That stung more than it should have. I don’t even think Eurval meant to tease me, which made it hurt just a bit more.
With the new sigil, I had to once again begin and pick apart the traits I wanted to keep out.
Just with attaching them to the appearance altering traits drained a tenth of my mana. If the load got any higher than the current limit I placed on myself I would have given up and tried another time.
“Whew, done.” I had doubled checked my work to make sure I had gotten every trait I didn’t want.
I could feel a small sweat on my brow now that I had stopped working. Unlike the flame fox there where plenty of traits that I had to remove.
Is this because the rock tortoise is a class one or because it is rated two threat levels higher?
[I believe it is both Lucid.]
I nodded my head.
Done filtering the hyre essence orb I cast Deomic Hunter’s Bleeding Heart under me again.
Much like the flame fox hyre essence orbs before this, I was thrown into a world of black smoke. This time, however, the ‘smoke’ felt a bit thicker.
Back inside my mana body I held out the cloud of essence.
“How do I will it just with my thoughts?”
I floated in place in thought while I watched my mana body perform a wriggling dance.
I put my concentration on the little cloud of essence.
Much like scanning an essence orbs for traits I could feel the cloud of essence, except in here it felt under my control.
I motioned my hands for the cloud of essence to go towards the flame fox.
At the command it began to drift towards it like a moving single storm cloud.
That was a test, come back.
I waved my hands as if fanning myself to recall it. Luckily, my intentions were understood and it began to float back.
I feel like I could add another chunk of mass to my little flame fox, but I don’t think I’ll ever get the chance to create a rock tortoise totem for a long time.
With a thought the hyre essence formed into a miniature figurine of the rock tortoise. Seeing it so tiny on the palm of my hands it looked a little cute. Very far from the towering shelled beast that made me wonder if I was going to survive its onslaught.
If I had known this I think I would have rather willed the essence from the flame foxes into the rock tortoise totem instead. I would have gained fire essence too…
A fire breathing rock tortoise now that would be a sight.
“This is good. See you in a bit buddy.” I waved bye to my mana body I think it understood since its dance stopped and instead did two quick sways from side to side as if waving back.
The smoke faded, I found myself sitting back in my room.
“I can feel the difference this time.”
I made a fist and flexed my arm a bit.
Maybe I didn’t remember to check any growth because the amount of essence each flame fox wasn’t very much. Now, after absorbing the rock tortoise, I felt a decent change in my physical strength.
I stood up and began jumping in place.
So a single rock tortoise was worth more than the 26 flame fox essence orbs.
The single rock tortoise still isn’t much, maybe it added more than what I gained essence training today. Which sounds good, but I don’t think I’m going to be finding or buying any rock tortoise essence orbs anytime soon.
Selling the rock tortoise essence orb only would get me 350 scales, but buying it would set me back more than 1000 scales — equal to a mana orb without elemental essence.
I bet buyers pretend there isn’t a demand…
How crafty, nothing anyone could do unless they admitted they knew people would buy it to essence train but then the question returned would be “How do you know that?”
I don’t have any proof, but that guess felt about right since it was something I would do.
Now, I’m done will all things essence training.
[Good! Now we can move on to all things lustrating Lucid~]
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