Chapter 68 — Able Learner
Inside the quiet room, Soran slowly closed his eyes and tried to sense the Magic Network. It was a formless energy field which spread throughout the universe and various planes. The network's purpose was to aid spellcasters in creating spell models and gathering energies in nature to form spells, which would then be stored in the casters' spell slots. This allowed spellcasters to quickly cast the stored spells by voice or motion activation; the spells prepared beforehand would absorb energies from the surroundings and immediately show their effects. Without the help of the magic network, it would take a lot more effort from the spellcasters just to gather the energy required for their spells, making things both harder and slower.
The other purpose of the Magic Network was to safeguard the deities; it prevented powerful spellcasters capable of threatening the gods from appearing. It limited those who had great potential from destroying the balance of the world by making them rely on a convenient system instead of polishing their own talent. However, it also allowed spellcasters with little potential to cast spells more easily, as they were not only using their personal strength, but also borrowing the power of the network. All in all, the Magic Network was a crucial existence for the world. Without it, the number of spellcasters would drastically drop by ninety percent.
In fact, the Faith Network, which priests used to cast divine spells, was also part of the Magic Network. The Magic Network was divided into different layers, and the Faith Network was located at the highest layer. In general, novice spellcasters could only access the lowest layer, while those with greater potential could access higher layers. The uppermost layer, however, was exclusive to those who used divine spells.
For wizards to feel and sense the Magic Network, they had to meditate. Their position did not matter; it would work as long as they let go of their bodily sensations and reached out to the network with their consciousness. Normal apprentice wizards had to go through a lengthy period of meditative exploration before they could feel the Magic Network. On the other hand, Soran, who became a wizard through multiprofessioning, could sense the network’s existence immediately upon gaining his additional profession.
As he spread out his consciousness, Soran's mind touched the network. It was like a massive spider web where lines intertwined and crisscrossed with one another. The empty spaces between the intersecting points were spell slots. He was currently only touching the lowermost layer of the network, thus it could only help him cast Level 0 spells. The network was just a tool, and a wizard’s true strength was still dependent on his own talent. Even though the network helped a bit with the process, the caster still had to create the spell structures in their mind on their own.
After feeling his consciousness connect to the Magic Network, Soran stopped meditating. The purpose of meditating was to allow spellcasters to gain a better understanding of the magic system, which would in turn help them comprehend the laws of energy in nature.
Level up the Wizard profession.
Soran did not start analyzing the spell models recorded in his spellbook immediately, but instead raised his profession level. Increasing his level would strengthen his connection to the Magic Network and speed up the process of understanding spell models.
Due to the twenty percent EXP penalty for multiprofessioning and the originally higher leveling up requirements of the profession, it took Soran over 300 Slaughter EXP to reach Level 2 for Wizard; in comparison, it had only cost him 200 EXP to get Rogue to Level 2.
“The profession Wizard is now Level 2.”
“Received 22 [INT 18 + (INT 18-10)*0.5] Skill Points, HP increased by 9 [Profession HP 4 + (CON 20-10)*0.5].”
“Received 1 Free Attribute Point.”
The advantage of multiprofessioning was the additional Free Attribute Points leveling a second basic profession could give him, but the drawback was that it became harder to level up the individual professions. For the first additional profession, the penalty was a twenty percent increase to required EXP per profession. For the second extra profession, the penalty was forty percent with a one-time fee of 5000 Slaughter EXP. For the third one, the penalty was a hefty sixty percent and a one-time fee of 10,000 Slaughter EXP.
Back in the game, there were some people who had as many as four professions. Unless they had managed to slay a god or two though, the levels for all four professions were bound to be low. Under normal circumstances, players and even talented NPCs would not have so many professions; even three was stretching it, let alone four. It simply took way too much time and effort to get stronger while multiprofessioning to that degree. Only deities with massive amounts of EXP on their hands could afford to have so many professions.
For Levels 1 to 4, the EXP required for leveling up was comparatively low. However, the number would rise exponentially starting from Level 5 as it was the benchmark for Grade 2. The numbers became almost astronomical for Grade 3 professions, especially for people who had more than one profession. At that point, enemies in the Mortal Realm would no longer suffice; they would have to travel to different planes or the Underdark to level. To become a member of the Realm of Legends, one had to visit the Abyss at least once to earn EXP.
Assign the point to Intelligence and the skill points to Literacy. Level up the Wizard profession again.
Even though Soran would have liked to invest the point in Dexterity, he prioritized raising his Intelligence to 20, because he knew the Magic Network was going to fall in the future. He would at least retain a decent portion of his spellcasting abilities if he had 20 Intelligence when that happened. As for Literacy, the more points he had in it, the faster he would be able to learn and comprehend spells.
“The profession Wizard is now Level 3.”
“Received 24 [INT 19 + (INT 19-10)*0.5] Skill Points, HP increased by 9 [Profession HP 4 + (CON 20-10)*0.5].”
“Received 1 Ability Point.”
Soran received an Ability Point for reaching Level 3, but it could only be spent on wizard-related abilities. He was unfamiliar with the profession's abilities, so he decided to go over his options.
"Combat Casting 【Proficiency】: After going through training, the user is now more adept at casting spells in combat. The user is now less likely to stop casting his spell when under attack. As the ability improves, the user might be able to finish his spell even when taking damage. For those who have multiprofessioned in Wizard, after reaching a certain degree of proficiency, the user will be able to cast spells while engaging in close quarters combat. This requires the abilities Silent Spell and Spontaneous Casting. Concentration +10."
"Mobile Spellcasting 【Proficiency】: After undergoing specialized training, the user is now able to cast spells on the move. As the ability improves, the user will be able to cast spells while moving at even higher speeds or even while flying. Without this ability, wizards will be unable to cast other spells when Fly is active, making it a crucial ability for high-grade wizards. Concentration +5."
"Spell Control 【Proficiency】: The user will have greater control over spells, allowing them to strengthen or weaken their spells as they wish. As the ability improves, the the user will be able to bring out the full potential and power of their spells. Some summoning-type spells can only show their true might when carefully controlled by the caster. This ability is also the prerequisite for the abilities Empower Spell and Maximize Spell."
"Able Learner: Wizards often have astonishing memories. This ability further enhances the user's memory and allows the user to comprehend new things faster through analyzing common patterns and rules. The user will also learn and improve other abilities at a faster rate. This ability will show even greater effect if the user also has the ability Eidetic Memory. Literacy +10."
Soran was torn between the available options. He had already received the ability alert for Spell Control, so it would be a waste to spend a point learning it when he would naturally learn it sooner or later anyway. Apart from that though, the other three were all decent abilities.
Combat Casting, as its name suggested, was useful in battles. It was impossible for a spellcaster to go unnoticed on the battlefield, and it was difficult to maintain a safe distance from enemies throughout a fight. The ability patched up a fatal flaw of spellcasters by allowing them cast spells even while under attack. It was particularly useful for Soran, who was primarily a close-quarters combatant.
Mobile Spellcasting allowed spellcasters to cast spells while moving around. Its main effect was that the spellcaster would be able to use other spells when Fly was active; the cast failure rate when flying without the ability could reach up to fifty percent. For Soran, it was not yet as important as the other abilities, but it was one he must have if he wanted to continue leveling up his Wizard profession.
Soran was more inclined to pick Able Learner over the other two though. It would give him bonus points in Literacy and also improve his memory and comprehension abilities; this would speed up the process of learning new spells. More importantly, unlike the others, this was an ability which could only be obtained through using ability points; it was not possible to learn it no matter how hard one trained. Soran also knew that after having the ability and investing a certain amount of Skill Points in Literacy, an extra ability could be unlocked.
"Sage 【Background Ability】: Your knowledge is so vast that you know at least a little about almost everything. As you continue to pursue knowledge, you are able to learn many times faster than others. This also applies to combat skills and techniques. You understand the mechanics and principles of all weapons, and know how to bring out the full might of each. Your knowledge can be considered an actual power. Literacy +10. Prerequisites: Able Learner, Literacy 250."
Concentration (Basic Skill): Concentration can boost plenty of things, such as the success rate of spellcasting and scroll scribing, the speed of entering meditation, the effects of meditating, item production, and much more. A person with high Concentration will learn more and have a better understanding of the things he practices or trains in, including combat skills and abilities.
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