Ensig:I made some (minor) changes to the previous chapters. Mainly grammatical stuff (thanks to Bare Necessities for helping out with that!), but I also changed the wording on some things. Nothing major.
As I stated on the Release Post (which has a Pingback at the bottom of this chapter), I’ll be changing the release schedule for this work to Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
※ ※ ※
After a couple minutes of wrangling the cloak into a proper holder for the Guidebook, I successfully manage to make a working purse. Its name for now will be Cloak-Purse 2.0 — now capable of withstanding movement. It has an opening on the top that I can’t close without it completely unraveling, but that’s fine.
Looking around, scan the horizon. Or at least as far as my visibility in this mist — which is likely Miasma — will allow. Perhaps I should place an objective for myself?
… Mh. For now, I’ll test Spells.
I know I said I’d live by ⟨Oracle’s Eye⟩, but not knowing about such a major part of life on Ariot is simply unacceptable. Charon had written about some common Spells and what they do, but… I’d prefer to have firsthand knowledge. “Magic” was a highly debatable subject on Earth, with the majority (and possibly entirety) of its practitioners being nothing but con artists and illusionists, so I’m also quite interested in knowing how Spells work.
I’m unsure what will happen if I use Magic, too. Given that my current MP maxes out at 22, the Spells that I can use are likely quite limited — this includes the common ones mentioned by Charon.
As for the Spells I have currently, they’re all well over my capability. That’s the supposed case, at least. If this were a game, I would usually be barred from using Spells with a higher MP cost than my current amount, but this isn’t a game, even if a lot of its elements work like one.
Charon had written that going over one’s limit of “Refined Mana” (which I’m assuming is「Quantitative Menu」’s “MP”) is possible, but going over one’s limits results in a large burden on the body. I have yet to know if that’s actually the case, but considering the cheat-like nature of this body, it’s safe to say that regardless of what happens I’ll make it out alive. Probably.
Even if I’m not fine in the end, it’s alright. It’ll just be the price I’ll pay for experimentation. The Spells I have are:
- The Death attribute Singular Active Spell: ⦑True Death⦒
- The Curse attribute Singular Debuff Spell: ⦑Curse of the True Dead⦒
- The Holy attribute Area-Wide Active Spell: ⦑The True Dead’s Burial⦒
- The Necromancy attribute Area-Wide Semi-Passive Spell: ⦑The True Dead’s Chains⦒.
Each Spell has varying MP costs depending on the Chant used — and that isn’t me mixing up my words. Each Spell has more than one MP cost. These costs depend on the “chant” used, with each Spell having exactly four chants. The chant also modifies the power, size, and other effects of their respective a Spell.
As for what chants are, they’re supposedly “Words of Ariot” according to Charon. My best guess is that this means “System Commands Verbalized”. The four forms of chants are Short, Medium, Long, and Unbound.
The last type, “Unbound”, wasn’t mentioned in Charon’s Guidebook, but the other three were. I’m not sure whether he just forgot to mention it, or if he legitimately didn’t know of its existence, but it’s visible on 「Quantitative Menu」 so I’ll be including it as a legitimate chant-type until proven otherwise.
As an example of how they look, these are the four chants, MP costs, and effects for ⦑True Death⦒:
Short Chant : 100MP ■ ■ ■ ■ : ■ ■ ■ ■ □ : □ | ■ : ■ ■ ■ ■ ● : ■ ■ ■ ■ | ■ ■ ● : ■ ■ ■ ■ □ : ■ ■ □ ○ : □ | ■ : ■ ■ □ : ■ : ■ ■ ■ ■ □ : ■ ■ ■ ■ ●. Effect: If the Target is ≤ 25 Levels greater than the User, the Target’s HP will be reduced by 100%. For every level above 25, the percentage will decrease by 50%, to a minimum of 0%.
Medium Chant : 125MP O∆:O:O:▽∆∆ | ▽▽:▽O∆∆∆:▽▽∆:O | ∆∆∆∆:O:∆:▽▽:O∆∆∆, | ▽O:▽∆∆∆∆:▽∆∆:▽▽O | ▽▽:▽O | ▽∆∆:O∆∆∆∆:▽▽∆∆:O | ∆:O∆∆:∆:O∆∆∆∆:▽∆∆∆∆. Effect: If the Target is ≤ 50 Levels greater than the User, the Target’s HP will be reduced by 100%. For every level above 50, the percentage will decrease by 25%, to a minimum of 0%.
Long Chant : 150MP ⊗⊘⊘⊖:⊗⊘⊘ | ⊖:⊗⊘⊖:⊗⊗:⊕⊗⊘⊘:⊗:⊕:⊖ | ⊗⊘⊘⊖:⊗⊘:⊖ | ⊗⊖:⊗:⊗⊘⊘⊖:⊖ | ⊗⊘⊘:⊗⊖ | ⊗⊘⊘⊖:⊗⊘:⊖ | ⊕:⊕⊗⊘⊘⊘:⊕:⊘⊖:⊖ | ⊗⊗⊘:⊘⊘⊖ | ⊗⊖:⊗⊘⊘:⊗⊘⊘:⊘⊖:⊗⊗⊘:⊘⊘⊖:⊗⊘. | ⊕⊗:⊗⊗⊘:⊖. Effect: If the Target is ≤ 75 Levels greater than the User, the Target’s HP will be reduced by 100%. For every level above 75, the percentage will decrease by 10%, to a minimum of 0%.
Unbound Chant : 300MP īȣ୨:ᆯȣ | Чȣ୨:ᆯȣ:ᆨȣ୨ | бȣ୨:Ƽ:ᆯȣ | бȣ୨:ᆯȣ:ᆨȣ୨:ᆨȣ:θ | Э:ᆨ:୨:б:Чȣ:īȣ୨ | īȣ୨:Ƽ:б | б:бȣ:θ:ᆨȣ:б:Эȣ୨:୨ | ᆨ:Чȣ୨:ᆨ:୨ȣ:б | ȣ:бȣ:Эȣ୨:īȣ୨:б:Э:θ | ᆯȣ:ᆯ | īȣ୨:ȣ୨:ᆨȣ୨:б | θ:б:Э:īȣ୨:Ƽ, | īȣ:бȣ:ᆯȣ:бȣ୨ | īȣ୨:Ƽ:Э:īȣ୨ | Эȣ୨:ᆨȣ୨:ᆨ:Ƽ | Э | ᆯ:Э:īȣ୨:б | ȣ:Эȣ୨ | Э | ᆯ:Э:ȣ୨ | бȣ୨:ᆯȣ:ȣ୨:Эȣ୨:б | Э:ᆨȣ:īȣ୨:б:ȣ୨:бȣ:Э:īȣ୨:ȣ:θȣ୨:б. | ୨:θȣ:ī:ȣ୨:Э:ᆨ:б | Чȣ୨:ᆯȣ:ᆨȣ୨:ȣ୨ | θ:б:Э:īȣ୨:Ƽ | ȣ:бȣ | Эȣ୨:Эȣ:ᆨȣ:б:୨ȣ:ᆨ:б. Effect: If the Target is ≤ 100 Levels greater than the User, the Target’s HP will be reduced by 100%. For every level above 100, the percentage will decrease by 5%, to a minimum of 0%.
Charon had mentioned that the MP costs could be reduced with the help of “Manual Manipulation”, but… I don’t know how. Expecting that of me when I haven’t even cast a single Spell yet is ludicrous, even if the method is written about. Also, because I won’t be casting orally thanks to ⧼Abstract Speech⧽, I’m not sure if the same rules apply anyways.
“What do those symbols mean?”
— I don’t have a clue.
I have the ⟨Decipher⟩ Skill, but it’s only Lv.1. Looking at it through 「Quantitative Menu」 I can really only decipher “Rank 1” codes, and I’m doubtful any of the Chants are actually Rank 1. Furthermore, ⟨Decipher⟩ requires a language to translate the code into, and currently I don’t know any languages from Ariot.
I know English (obviously), but I’m unsure if that counts. I haven’t gained the “English Skill” or whatever it would be called, so perhaps the System simply hasn’t registered it? Maybe I’ll need to write something… I may as well test it out, I suppose.
I crouch down on the ground while being careful not to let my Cloak-Pouch collide with the ground and become undone (again), and write the English words “I wonder what happens if I do this” onto the ground. The result: a single *ping* sounds off.
|You have gained the Language Skill: [%?&&?#!#?!*#?*!?%!#%?*]!|
… Well then.
Unlike the “Error” descriptions from Monster Abilities, this mess was caused on a whim while seeing what writing in English would do, so it’s entirely my fault. If I could look at it with「Quantitative Menu」I might have gotten an inkling as to what it was, but as mentioned prior, it isn’t showing up. Looking into 「Quantitative Menu」, the new Skill doesn’t show up. It’s categorized as a “Language Skill”, so that might have something to do with it. I won’t question the difference between regular Skills and Language Skills, because it seems like knowing wouldn’t do anything but… For this Language Skill specifically, it seems kind of foreboding, huh. Well.
Well, looking into it too deeply will result in nothing but a headache. If the Gods of the world come to strike me down for making a Skill capable of resulting in that mess, I’ll fight with all my strength! — isn’t what I’m thinking.
Rather than fight, I’m Lv.1. I wouldn’t stand an iota of a chance against a God if their power is anywhere near as high as I think it is. Furthermore, if I’m struck down and don’t get up I’ll either be revived or reborn. Either case is fine, so why would I resist in the first place?
Going back to Spells, I can’t decipher what they mean but I can use them. Within Charon’s book it was explained that chants are automatically known to the caster upon Spell-acquisition. I know how they should “sound” after reading them from their appearance in「Quantitative Menu」, so I can assume that Charon was correct on that point.
Well, because of the ⧼Abstract Speech⧽ Debuff I can’t really verbalize those sounds, but I should be able to cast while ⟨The True Dead’s Casting⟩ is active, so it’s still possible to “chant”. Theoretically.
To test that out, I just need a “Target”. The reason? All the Spells I have require at least 1, and the Target can’t be me. If I had a Healing Spell, I could probably use it on myself , but reality isn’t so convenient.
Looking around, one would say I’m the only being around. But through the frequent use of ⟨Detect Undead⟩ and ⟨Detect Life⟩ through ⟨Undead Sense⟩ and ⟨Life Sense⟩, I’m already aware of a nearby Undead — a valid target.
Its identity: The Tree with face-like growths from a while back; it’s less than 10m away. It’s camouflaged quite well, because other Trees show no reaction despite being almost identical.
So let’s test out a Spell! — would be a decision made far too soon.
I’m not naive enough to simply test out Spells on an unknown being. If it has resistance to my Spells — perhaps even to the point of nullification — then showing hostility towards it would take up far too much time.
And so, using ⟪Appraisal⟫ I immediately find all the information about the monster at 0 cost! — is not what happens.
The Skill isn’t as convenient as it is in Games. At Lv.1, it has a 10% chance of success. Upon failure, I have to wait 57sec to use it again. Upon success, I have to wait 540sec.
Those numbers would undoubtedly improve if I trained the Skill, but it’s Proficiency is 2,232P / 3,500P, and its training requirements would require me to use it a lot. Unless I come across Spirits, Gods, Legendary Monsters, or Godly Items, then I’ll receive ≤ 500P per success depending on what I appraise… And that’s under the assumption that I actually succeed.
If I fail, then I get 10P, regardless of what the target was. Yeah. Ten.
With the “Newborn” title, I can multiply all those values by 5, but… 50P still isn’t a lot. I’m also not optimistic enough to think that the 3,500P requirement will remain the same when the Skill levels up. My guess is that it’ll increase per level, adding another game-like element to this world.
Anyways, regardless of Proficiency requirement, even if I do succeed I’ll have to wait 9 minutes before using the Skill again. And, on top of that, I’ll only receive Proficiency a certain number of times per object/individual. For example, Mortal Souls will grant 25P and can only be appraised for “Success Proficiency” once per individual.
It doesn’t help that the quality of information won’t be all that grand, either. Charon had written about ⟨Appraisal⟩. In short, it gives information in the form of a feeling. Not a System Message. A feeling.
The example given by Charon is that if you used ⟨Appraisal⟩ on an Eritt, it’d give you information regarding their race, their approximate height, their approximate age, a rough idea of how tough they are, etc… In other words, everything a good judge of character know at a glance. In fact, there are also items which inhibit ⟨Appraisal⟩’s uses, so it might actually be more convenient to train in appraising people without the Skill.
While I’m not sure if it’ll be made into a pseudo-system message thanks to「Quantitative Menu」… ⟪Appraisal⟫
I can’t properly test ⟨Appraisal⟩ if I can’t get it to work.
I attempt to breathe out a sigh… Only to realise I haven’t been breathing for a while. Zombies technically don’t need to breathe, so I suppose I just never started. Even with「Ether Absorption」OFF, I wouldn’t need to.
Zombies in more recent years on Earth had taken the visage of “animal-like beings stemmed from a Virus taking over a human corpse”, but really, I can’t understand why someone would start such a fad, but… When the idea of “Zombies” came about, they were undoubtedly no more than reanimated corpses. Because I don’t need to breathe, Ariot uses the latter type, as expected.
Anyways, for the sake of blending in with other Mortal Souls I should learn to control my breathing even if I have to manual-breathe all the time. I’ll have to deal with the “∞ Satiety & Lifespan” issue later.
Taking my first breath of Miasma-filled air on Ariot, I smell exactly what I expected. Dirt with a hint of moisture. I’m not sure whether the moisture is from the Miasma, or simply the Graveyard, but it’s not like it’s a particularly bad smell. That could just be my Zombie body feeling at home here, though. ⟪Appraisal⟫
I’m sure there are many people whose patience would hanging by a thread at this point, and they’d just blast off the magic against the Tree without appraising it. But I have time. And so, I’ll just keep using it.
I’ll test out Spells only after a successful ⟨Appraisal⟩. At least 1. Mh. Seeing what Appraisal ends up as for future reference is reason enough for that. There’s the possibility that there’s some form of special requirement to properly use ⟨Appraisal⟩ on a Monster Shell, however. A Level requirement, for example. “If you’re 20 levels below the enemy, or your ⟨Appraisal⟩ Skill is too weak, you can’t see its information!” may very well be the rule. Items, which lack levels, would likely have no such requirement, so… Perhaps I should try appraising Charon’s Guidebook? Even if the book also has requirements, it would simply be in the same boat as the Tree in that I have no clue what they really are.
Furthermore, I had mentioned that “Godly Items” were among the items that didn’t grant ≤ 500P. The exact amount is 10,000P per appraisal, with an ∞ amount of uses possible. With “Newborn”, that’s 50,000P — more than enough for the current ⟨Appraisal⟩’s level, in other words.
— So long as the Book is actually a Godly Item, of course.
Well, I have time. If Charon’s Book can speed up the process then it’s worth a shot. Thinking so, I take Charon’s Guidebook from the Cloak-Pouch and use ⟪Appraisal⟫ on it.
I’m not angry. I’m just disappointed. — is not a line I would use. I’m patient. I can wait for the Skill to be successful. Mh.
◇◆◇ 7 ⟪Appraisal⟫s later ◇◆◇
Even if you ask how this success made me feel, there wasn’t really anything in particular I felt. Not at all.
For the feeling of what the book was, however… I felt that it was a Guide to Ariot made by Charon, and that it’d be immensely valuable to anyone wanting to know how the world worked. In other words: information I had already gathered for myself.
I check 「Quantitative Menu」 and ⟨Appraisal⟩ has gained significant growth. Lv.6 with 10,232P / 16,000P. This item is definitely a Godly Item. Is it alright for Charon to give this away so freely?
Well, part of the growth is due to the “Newborn” title, so normally the item wouldn’t be extremely cheat-like, just moderately cheat-like.
Now it has a 240sec cooldown upon success, a 42sec cooldown upon failure, and a 60% chance of success. I can safely say… The road to mastering ⟨Appraisal⟩ is long indeed. Appraising this book is second only to using ⟨Appraisal⟩ on a God, yet without the “Young” title, I’d need to have appraised it another 5 times for this result. Those training without such a cheat-like item in cheat-like circumstances have my sympathy.
Waiting for the 4 minute cooldown, I continue practicing manual breathing, only for a *ping* to sound off.
After taking a quick look at the Skill via 「Quantitative Menu」 I immediately activate ⟪Controlled Breathing⟫. What does the Skill do? Well, for one, it allows me to breathe automatically as opposed to manually. It also grants Aux. Stat bonuses for STR, DEX, RES and VIT, but those aren’t all that important to me. With this Skill, I’ll be able to blend in with beings with proper Respiratory Systems, and that’s all I needed.
I could technically just leave the Skill alone until I get to civilization, but… Seeing as it’s a Semi-Passive Skill, there’s no harm in activating it. Besides, if obtaining this Skill was this easy, then the chances that there’ll be quite a few practitioners of the Skill is quite high. In that case, having this Skill remain low-levelled could arouse suspicion, wouldn’t it?
— That’s under the suspicion that anyone will really be that observant of my breathing patterns, but still. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
After 4 minutes have passed, I consider using ⟨Appraisal⟩ on the Tree, but settle with using it on Charon’s Guidebook once again.
Call me a cheater if you want. I was given this Book by a God, so abusing it to its limits should have been within his predictions. The book’s only uses are this Skill, and basic knowledge. With the second purpose being roughly fulfilled, I intend to make full use of its other function.
I also want to see if the information gained gets less… How should I put it… Useless? Mh. Useless. ⟪Appraisal⟫
I breathe out a sigh as I sit down on the dirt-covered ground in silence.