System Change

Chapter 8: A Close Shave

Chapter 7: Skills

Derek viewed his status sheet.

Status

Name

Derek Hunt

Age

29

Level

3

Experience

105/139

Class

N/A

Race

Human (Modified)

Health

4000

Mana

1950

Stamina

4910

Defense

49 (Armor + 135)

Attack

46 (Weapon + 0)

Stats

Strength

343

Dexterity

241

Endurance

491

Vitality

400

Intelligence

203

Wisdom

195

Stat Points Remaining

30

Skills

No Skill Learned

Skill Points Remaining

3

Awards

Giant Slayer

Derek opened hisStatus page and scrolled down to Skills. After focusing on his Skill Points, a new window opened.

Current Skill Points Available to Spent: 3

Class Skills

N/A

General Skills

Alchemy

Armorer

Barter

Blacksmith

Carpentry

Cooking

Identify

Intimidation

Meditation

Merchant

Mining

Weapons Mastery

Weapon Smithing

Weaving

Woodworking

No class yet, so no class skills makes sense. Derek pondered. Thats a lot of General Skills. Derek looked through the dozens of skills encompassing the General Skills list. Looks like all the Crafting Skills fall under General Skills too. Never was one for crafting, but it might make sense to get a Blacksmithing skill to repair my gear later. Anyway, Identify.

Derek focused on the Identify skill and a new window popped up.

Identify

The ability to appraise objects and entities. The higher the level of the Identify skill, the better the appraisal.

Cost: 1 Skill Point

Would You Like to Learn Identify?

No. Derek thought. Seems about right for the Identify skill. Slightly different description than Im used to, but it all amounts to the same thing. Now for Meditation.

Derek exited the Identify tab and focused on Meditation.

Meditation

The ability to clear your mind and obtain an emotionless state. Increases recovery of Health, Mana, and Stamina while in this state. Recovery rate increases as Meditation skill increases in level.

Cost: 1 Skill Point

Would You Like to Learn Meditation?

Same old Meditation. Derek thought about leaning Meditation. He had another look at the other skills available. Well, no time like the present. He pulled Meditation back up, focused on the question, and thought. Yes.

A small amount of energy flowed within Derek, leading towards his mind. The energy settled and he knew the skill. I already know the skill though. Derek couldnt help but think, as nothing really changed much once the energy settled.

He went over the new notifications he had received.

Meditation Learned Successfully

Skill Points Remaining: 2

Derek closed all tabs and decided to focus on meditating.

Suddenly, a pain shot through his head, like the previous pains before. A new window forced its way into Dereks vision.

Dormant skill similar to Meditation found…

Merging skills…

Skills successfully merged…

The pain went away and Derek opened a new notification.

Congratulations

Meditation skill has reached level 20

Meditation ready for upgrade

Spend 1 Skill Point for Upgrade?

WHAT! Derek was both flabbergasted and jubilant. So I never lost my skills, they just went dormant with the system. Immediately after seeing the upgrade, Derek agreed.

Meditation Upgraded

New Skill: Greater Meditation

Derek focused on Greater Meditation.

Greater Meditation

The ability to clear your mind and obtain an emotionless state. Increases recovery of Health, Mana, and Stamina while in this state. Recovery rate increases as Greater Meditation skill increases in level.

Greater Meditation allows the individual to enter a meditative state while moving. Moving recovery rate is increased as the skill level increases.

Skill Points Remaining: 1

Holy Shit! Does this mean that Ill be able to fight while meditating? First, Derek entered a meditative state while sitting. Through this, he noticed that he was able to keep his awareness. Before, he was only able to subtly sense what was going on around, but now, he did not even have to close his eyes. This is already better than I could have imagined.

Derek stood and slowed his breathing, activating Greater Meditation. He began to move around and noticed that the faster he moved, the harder it was to keep in a meditative state. So, its not viable for combat yet, but I can still use it to travel while not running out of Stamina. Who knows, as I level it, it may become second nature while fighting. Despite the skill not being perfect, Derek was still beyond happy.

Thomas had been sitting close to Derek watching his shenanigans with a confused look. No matter how I look at it, this guy is super weird. One minute he is asking basic questions, the next minute he ’s doing a little jig with a scary smile on his face. Thomas did not know what to think. Eventually, he worked up some courage and asked, “Derek, you OK?”

Derek stopped moving and looked toward Thomas, just now realizing what he must have looked like to Thomas. “Ah, yeah, just getting a little exercise, you know. Stretching and stuff, weve been sitting for a bit, so I needed to move around.” Derek made an awful excuse before going back and sitting down.

He stretched out his hand and checked the roasting wolf. “Still needs a bit before it ’s ready.” He said to Thomas, changing the subject. While Derek was talking, he was still wondering about all of his dormant skills. I wonder if there will be a Glaive Mastery skill. Derek had noticed that there were Heavy Weapons Mastery and Weapons Mastery skills in the General Skills tab, but no skill specific to a single type of weapon.

I bet that Heavy Weapons Mastery would merge with my old Heavy Weapon skill if I bought it. Derek looked at his one remaining Skill Point and realized he had a decision to make. I really want Identify though. Its just so useful, especially in a new place. Not to mention that Heavy Weapon was so hard to level that I only ever got to level 5. If this wolf was any indication, its not like I really need any extra combat ability for now. Derek made his choice and went with Identify.

Would You Like to Learn Identify?

Yes, learn.

The same energy went through Derek and into his mind.

Identify Learned Successfully

Skill Points Remaining: 0

There goes my last Skill Point. Derek lamented. Then, he summoned his glaive out of his bracelet and used Identify. Before the stats of his glaive were able to come up, the pain in his head struck again.

Dormant skill similar to Identify found…

Merging skills…

Skills successfully merged…

Congratulations

Identify skill has reached level 8

Same level as it was before. Makes sense as I was not able to identify anything new the entire time I was stuck in the void. Derek used his newly updated Identify skill on his glaive.

Black-Steel Glaive (Glaivey)

Attack:

Durability:

140

225/250

The Black-Steel Glaive was custom made by a Weapon Smith of at least Intermediate skill. The Smith was able to draw out much of the Black-Steels dormant power to allow for an increased Durability.

Damn right! I paid a pretty penny for Glaivey. Derek was rubbing the blade of the glaive with a menacing grin.

Thomas, on the other hand, was staring at the glaive in shock. He had seen Derek pull a dagger and some water out of nowhere before, but the polearm was the most amazing weapon he had ever seen before. It was solid black from end to end, made seemingly out of the same material through and through. An intricate pattern was woven at both ends, leaving the middle perfect for gripping. The blade was long, longer than any polearm blade he had seen. It was as if a scimitar was stuck on the end of a spear. There were two black strips of cloth on the non-bladed end of the staff, flowing in the wind.

Derek noticed Thomas with his chin on the ground, staring at his weapon. “What do you think, kid? You like Glaivey? Weve been through a lot together.”

Hearing Derek speak broke Thomas out of his trance. “Glaivey? What kind of weapon is that? Ive never seen a polearm like it before.” Truth be told, Thomas had not seen many polearms before, only the mass produced ones that some soldiers he had seen carried with them. “And how do you keep pulling things out of thin air? Do you have a legendary storage ring?” This question had been on Thomass mind for a long time now. First, he thought he was seeing things, then Derek had pulled out the container of water out of nowhere.

“This, this is a glaive. It was always my favorite weapon type growing up, so when I was able, I made sure to get one, then, I eventually had Glaivey here custom made for me.” Derek rubbed his hand down the staff of the blade. “As for the storage ring.” Derek pointed to his bracelet. “I dont have one, but this is a spacial bracelet. It has a separate space inside that can be used to store things.” Dereks two most prized possessions were his bracelet and his glaive.

“Spacial bracelet, Ive only ever heard of the storage rings that high class nobles have.” Thomas could not help but wonder what kind of background the man in front of him had. I hope I didnt offend him when I was talking about nobles earlier.

Thomas was acting strange again, so Derek checked on the meat to ease the situation. “Its done enough to eat now.” Derek put his glaive back into storage and withdrew a dagger. He heated the dagger over the fire to clean it better. Dont want the kid getting dysentery. He shook his hand and two plates appeared. Cutting some of the meat off of the wolf, he put it on one of the plates and handed it to the boy.

“Eat.” Derek said.

Thomas looked at the plate strangely wondering why Derek would keep something like that in a priceless storage item. Maybe he is a noble. Thomas thought that some of the weird things he had seen Derek do could be because he was raised as a noble. He decided he would ask while his guard was down and he was eating.

“Hey, Derek… uh, Sir. Are you a noble?” Thomas finally stammered out.

Derek gave Thomas an incredulous look then burst out laughing. “Kid, what about me says noble? And call me Sir again and youll take the place of the wolf next.” Derek playfully threatened.

Thomass eyes went wide as they shot toward the wolf hanging over the fire. “No… I…uhh…”

“Stop. I was kidding kid. Learn to take a joke.” Derek said with a grin.

Thomas calmed down and thought. What joke? How am I supposed to know if youll kill me or not. You were just playing with the wolf then… snap. How do I know if that will be me next? “Its just, you have a storage item, which only nobles are supposed to have. And you have custom made weapons and armor. It all points to you being a noble.”

“Oh, is that all? I worked hard as hell to get these. Im no noble, and Im not going to kill you like I killed the wolf.” Derek could tell that Thomas was thinking about what happened to the wolf, and wanted to reassure him that he was safe. Unfortunately, that had the opposite effect on Thomas.

Oh no, he has mind reading abilities. Im done for, I was calling him crazy earlier.

“Kid, eat. Your foods getting cold. And stop thinking about stupid things. Youre just making yourself worry about nothing.” Derek was in a good mood after finding out that he had not lost his skills, but the boy was beginning to irritate him.

As the sun began to set, Thomas could finally fill his belly. After eating, a wave of exhaustion fell over him. It was like all the trauma and excitement came crashing into him all at once.

Derek was able to see that the kid was about out of it. “Kid, get some sleep. We got a long day ahead of us tomorrow.”

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