Chapter 276 Trial Quest
"Are you ready?" Aldrich stood in front of his throne, looking up at the circuit network like criss cross patterns of green energy stretching up to the tall ceiling from his emerald crystal throne.
All those circuits, those pathways of magical energy, tethered to the Necropolis, drawing power from it. Or, maybe better put, took from it. The more Aldrich progressed in power, the more of the Necropolis he inherited.
When would the time come when Aldrich could harness the full might of the tower? And when he got that power, the question arose; did he work with the world?
Or, as Volantis and Valera wanted, would he take over the world? Bend it to his rule?
"Wow, father looks so strong!" Chrysa tugged at Aldrich's new cloak. The skulls and faces, spirits of those stitched within, emitted low wails of protest.
"I need to be in top condition for this," said Aldrich. "After all, this is our first mission together."
"I won't disappoint!" Chrysa punched the air in front of her.
Aldrich gave himself a cursory glance. Shiny new golden ring. Cloak of souls. Scythe of ice. He would need all of that and more if he was going to take on the third trial quest with all the restrictions on him.
First, he had no access to his units aside from Chrysa.
Second, he could not create units, limiting a good chunk of his personal spells. To compensate for this, Aldrich had consumed the spellbook awarded to him from the second trial quest.
The spellbook granted bone based spells which were the best for direct, non-unit based combat.
Aldrich had replaced his [Bone Missile Array] and added two additional spells. In total, he had learned [Skeletal Limbs], [Boneripper], and [Bonebearing Curse].
[Skeletal Limbs], as the name so obviously hinted, let Aldrich create two additional bone limbs from his body to wield additional weapons or fire spells.
[Boneripper] and [Bonebearing Curse] were both curses that Aldrich could list among the most deadly of his new spells. [Boneripper] imbued one of his hands with the effect to, upon touch, tear out the bones of a flesh and blood being. It could also break apart skeletal undead.
[Bonebearing Curse] let Aldrich fire a symbol at a target. It was slow moving and easy to dodge, but to compensate, it had the exceptionally useful ability to control bones it came into contact with for a short period of time.
Aldrich could not summon other units, but if he could control other beings that already existed, he could circumvent the no summoning units rule.
But beyond all that, Aldrich had another useful tool: Dark Wisdom levels. He had been saving them up because he had seen no real use to giving them to anyone yet, especially because he could impart the levels all at once in an instant.
That made the levels a very potent sudden powerup that could catch enemies off guard.
Yet, Aldrich had an even better use for them here. As a means to grow Chrysa up.
Aldrich knelt down to Chrysa's level and held his palms towards her. Chrysa punched his hands playfully.
"Once, I had this dream of father training, he moved just like this. Bam! Bam!" Chrysa punctuated her words with punches.
"Pretty good," said Aldrich, and he was not just saying it to make her feel good. She was legitimately talented. Her movements were fairly compact, lacking much of the wide swinging and wasted movement that beginners had.
It was almost as if Chrysa had already trained. And in a way, she had. She did not just see Aldrich's memories like in a dream, she felt them, experienced them.
Aldrich wondered how much of his expertise and skills would transfer over to her. And how quickly.
"But punches are always better with power behind them." Aldrich caught Chrysa's punches. "I'm going to give you some power."
"Okay." Chrysa nodded.
Aldrich closed his eyes and summoned up his Dark Wisdom. He knew that there was a limit to how many levels he could grant his units. They could not exceed his own level and they could not receive more levels than their bodies could handle.
From plot events and lore, Aldrich knew that some liches were reckless with accumulated Dark Wisdom, overloading units and causing them to literally explode in both body and soul.
Aldrich could not tell how much Chrysa could handle. He started slowly. A purple glow radiated from his palms. The glow permeated through Chrysa's arms, lighting up her blood vessels and nerves.
"That was ten levels," said Aldrich. "How do you feel?"
"Levels?" Chrysa asked.
"It's a measure of power. The higher you are, the better."
"What's the highest I can go?"
"Then I'll go past it!"
Aldrich smiled faintly. "Now now, let's slow down here. Tell me how ten levels feel, and we can go from here."
"I feel strong!" Chrysa nodded vigorously.
"Okay then, tell me when you feel something's off." Aldrich closed his eyes and imparted more Dark Wisdom. He was not really stingy about it. The wording of the awards stated that Aldrich's Dark Wisdom reserve would get set to 50, so he had no incentive to save his thirty or so odd stored levels.
Whatever Aldrich could not use, he would distribute among his other units, the Geist and Stella being primary candidates.
"I feel a little…dizzy." Chrysa's head bobbed from side to side with woozy slowness. All of her arms now shone with purple.
Aldrich let go of Chrysa's hands. "That was twenty levels. Let's stop here. You need to be in good condition to train and fight."
Chrysa clenched her fists. "I'm all ready!"
She looked just fine, the burdening effects of the Dark Wisdom having worn off just like that. The issue was that Aldrich could sense she was reaching her limit to take in levels, and he did not want to push his luck further.
"I have power, I can feel it!" Chrysa looked at her hands in wonder. A white aura enveloped her body. "What do I do with it?"
"Do you see any numbers anywhere? In the corner of your vision?" asked Aldrich, wondering if she had inherited the system.
"Numbers…? No." Chrysa blinked, confused. "But that's a good thing. I hate numbers!"
Well, there was one difference between Aldrich and Chrysa.
"Hm, then about controlling your powers-," began Aldrich.
"It's okay, I know. Meddy taught me." Chrysa took in a deep breath and clasped her hands together in a meditative pose. The white aura around her stabilized. "I'll make my magic grow and grow! Be just like father!"
"Make sure to keep your body strong, too. There's no point having a ton of magic power if your body can't take a hit. And you need to have something to rely on if your magic gets cut off."
"Okay." Chrysa finalized distributing her stats, or whatever the equivalent of it was like for her.
Aldrich tapped the magical screen his throne projected, selecting the third trial quest. A circle displayed an image of what looked like a village on fire. "Now we don't have much time to waste. Time flows slower here, but we're still on a deadline. This quest is going to take a good amount of time, especially with just the two of us."
"Good." Aldrich tapped the circle with his palm, and a white light enveloped both of them.