Chapter 203: Maniac
With Silvi on his shoulder, Derek headed downstairs to see what Brandi was up to. As soon as he opened the door to the basement, he could hear the clanging sound of metal on metal. Must be smithing, then. Sure enough, when he made it downstairs, he could see Brandis small figure standing in front of her blacksmith station, banging on a small piece of metal.
That was when Derek noticed that the girl was dressed from head to toe in protective gear. She wore an apron, gloves, some sort of headgear, and goggles, even. Actually, Derek doubted if there was even a piece of skin exposed on the small blacksmith.
The girl was concentrating hard on the process, so Derek waited for her to finish before interrupting her. Soon, with tongs in hand, she took the metal and quenched it in the water beside her forge. After that, she let the piece of metal rest on the anvil.
Brandi took the leather headgear off her head, along with the goggles. Then she removed her gloves and tossed everything on the workbench in front of her. After that, she wiped the sweat from her forehead with a towel and sighed. Finally, she turned around and let out a yip.
Derek laughed. “Sorry… I didnt want to interrupt you.”
“Derek!” She ran over and hugged him around the waist. “How long have you been back?”
“Not long.” He ruffled her short hair. It was growing, but it would be a while before it was back to what it once was. “Silvi… greeted me when I came in. She told me that everyone was asleep but you, so I decided to come see how youre doing.”
Brandi took a step back from Derek and gave him a toothy grin. “Oh! Im doing so, so, so, so good!”
“Oh, yeah? What happened with you in the last two weeks?”
“Well… you left mama in charge of everything when you left. The Crown people made a… what did she call it… a deposit, so there was a bunch of gold. I told mama you said I could have a bunch of materials to use to level my skills, and after some… negotiating, I got her to let me go shopping for some.” Brand excitedly explained.
“Is that so?” Derek didnt think it was time for his next deposit from the Crown, but he could talk with them about it later. He pointed at the outfit Brandi was wearing. “Whats all that about?”
“Oh…” She clicked her tongue. “It was the only way mom would get me the materials. I burned myself the day after you left, so she wouldnt let me blacksmith until I was fully protected. I dont like it. Its makes it hard to move. But its worth it since I can craft as much as I want now.”
“Speaking of which.” Derek said. “Why are you still awake? Everyone else is asleep.”
“Meditation.” Brandi said with glowing eyes. “Im so glad you had me buy it. I dont need to sleep. I can just Meditate for a bit, then I can craft again. Its the best skill ever. I cant sleep anyway because Im always thinking about the new and exciting things I can make.”
“Ah…” Derek rubbed the back of his neck. He was just as guilty of using Meditation instead of sleeping as she was, so he couldnt say anything about it. However, at a lower level, he knew it wasnt a perfect replacement for sleep. “Your Meditation is still low level, so you need to work some sleep into your schedule to stay healthy.”
“I know. I do. I just slept the day before yesterday… no… the day before that. Yeah… I slept then.”
Dereks jaw nearly dropped. “Have you been doing anything else?”
She nodded her head fiercely. “I go to Romans to learn more about Alchemy a lot. When Im not here, Im there. Its so much fun.”
“Have you at least been eating?”
Brandi frowned for a moment. “Mom makes me go up and eat three times a day. I told her that I could just bring some bread down here and Id be fine, but she wont let me do that.”
Yeah, because you would never show your face again unless you ran out of materials. Derek thought. “Well, anything else exciting happen?”
“Yes!” Brandi buzzed in excitement. “My class upgraded! Its epic now!”
That hit Derek like a bag of bricks. “Wait… go back. You said your class upgraded? What level are you? No… exactly how much crafting have you done?”
“Everything I do that involves crafting gives me experience, so Ive been leveling pretty fast. Ive been Blacksmithing, both armor and weapon.” She pointed at her smithing area. “Doing Alchemy, Leatherworking, and I even tried Painting! I dont like Painting.” Brandi pointed to different work stations she had set up that hadnt been there before.
“I… see.” Derek shook his head. Silvi wasnt kidding. Brandi was a crafting fanatic… a crafting maniac. It was almost scary. “So, what about your class?”
“Im level 27 now.” Brandi smiled. “I get four stat points in all my stats every level now, instead of four, three, two. I didnt get any new skills, though. Instead, I got some things called Skill Upgrade Points. They seem pretty neat. I didnt spend any. I wanted to ask you about it first.”
Damn. Four points per stat each level. Thats between epic and legendary. If her class upgrades to legendary at some point, shell be even more of a monster. Derek shivered. Who knew a crafter could become so powerful? Though, it will all be physical power, since I dont think she has any attacking or defending skills.
Derek shrugged. “How many upgrade points did you get?”
“Twenty!” Brandi answered.
Dereks eyes widened. “Twenty? Thats a lot.” He thought about the points and her class. “Though, with all the skills your class has, I can see how it would be hard to level them all at once, causing your skill leveling to lag behind. And I assume youll get more upgrade points down the line, as well.”
Brandi nodded. “I think so, too. I have so many skills, and I can combine some skills from some crafts with other crafts, as well. Roman said that the Alchemy skills I have are really advanced skills.”
“You havent told him about being able to do multiple crafts, have you?”
Brandi shook her head. “No, nobody knows but us.”
“Good.” Derek nodded. “As for your upgrade points… I would save them for now. Youre skills are probably leveling pretty fast right now, right?”
“Yes. It doesnt take too long when I focus on a skill to level it.”
“Whats the level of your highest skill?” Derek asked.
“Other than the General Leatherworking skill… level 8.” she replied.
Derek nodded. “I wouldnt spend any of the points on a skill that wasnt at least level 10. I would also use the points on the most useful skills first, especially the ones that can be used in multiple crafts. Then, I would probably not worry much about some other skills, like the Painting ones, unless it has some of those muti-use skills.”
“Thats what I was thinking. I was also thinking about Meditation. It takes sooo long to level it up, even though I use it constantly.” Brandi complained.
Now theres a thought. Derek rubbed the stubble on his chin in thought. I dont know if I should encourage her, though. She could literally max out Meditation, get Greater Meditation, and work with almost no downtime. I would do that if I was her, and I enjoyed crafting so much. Hell, if she burns out on one craft, she can switch to another and go back to the first later.
Derek was in a pickle. He knew that the instant he told her what she could do with Meditation, she wouldnt hesitate to do it. Well, with the skill leveled, it seems to work just as good, if not better than sleeping, so it would be healthier for her right now.
“I dont know.” Derek said. “Level Meditation may be the best idea for you, but you are already overly addicted to your crafting as it is. I think its something we may need to discuss with Mal.” But it is ultimately her decision. This system must pick that age to unlock it for a reason. “Really, it will be up to you, though.”
Brandi nodded seriously.
“So, you know all about Meditation, right?” Derek asked.
“It lets me get my Mana and Stamina back quick, and makes me less tired.” Brandi said.
Derek nodded. “That, and the higher you level it up, the better it functions. Faster regeneration, and it works better at relieving tiredness. At higher levels, Ive meditated for… well… for a really long time, all in one sitting.”
“Days?” Brandi asked.
Derek sighed. “Months… years even.”
“Really? Why?” Brandi asked.
“Thats something for another time.” Derek avoided going into his past inside the void. “What Im getting at is that it can be a perfect replacement for sleep, and at a higher level, you would end up with almost no downtime. So, using the points on the skill, may be… no… is probably the best option.”
“The other thing is that the skill upgrades once it hits max level.” Derek said. “It turns into Greater Meditation. Im sure youve heard me talk about it before.” Derek wasnt exactly secretive with the skill. He had told Leon and others about it.
She nodded again.
“Well, with Greater Meditation, youre able to use the skill while moving. My Greater Meditation is at level 9, and I can move almost half as good while using it as I could without. My guess is that when it hits level 20, you can basically use it like a passive regeneration skill that has no adverse effects on your movement.”
“Does it still help with sleeping?” Brandi asked.
Derek furrowed his brow. “It does… I think. When I need to relax, but not sleep, I still meditate while still, and lose some of my senses. Im never fully in the trance where I lose all my senses anymore, though, so I think it works.”
“I need it.” Brandi said.
“I think so too, but I also think we should talk to…” Derek stopped as he watched Brandi close her eyes, then open them and reveal a big grin. “What did you do?”
“I have Greater Meditation level 3 now.” She cheekily said.
Derek facepalmed. Ive created… no… Ive evolved a monster.
‘I told you. Maniac. Silvis voice chimed in Dereks head.
‘Indeed. Derek sent.
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