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Spending time with sister

He was still restoring his stats, but it was faster than when it started because of his hard work last night. After using Annoue's mana, it empowered the energy inside of him and increased the pace of his recovery several times more than any of the other types of mana. This was probably because it was closer to his own. It was quite effective, as it was human-made.

It restored his current stats to 8 and was enough for him to move around without help. Shingi made his way over to the kitchen table with his sister next to him. She seemed upset for some reason.

On his way there, he noticed another door that was cracked open but not enough to see inside. When they passed it, Shingi noticed a slight smell.

It was the smell of booze.

He could also hear murmuring from inside and was sure that this was his father's bedroom.

His sister brought some bread, fruits, and milk as they started their first family breakfast.

She was still trying to feed him, but Shingi didn't want to go through that experience again.

Not too long afterward, their father passed from the kitchen, took some of the breakfast with him, and got ready to head out.
"You seem to have gotten on your feet faster than the Old Lady said you would. That's good because we have lots of work in the future." [Father]

Annoue sighed after he left and continued her breakfast with her little brother.

Neither of them seemed to want to talk, and Annoue wasn't sure what to say. Shingi was more focused on grinding his VISUALIZATION as the old Elven gentleman, who now had more details on both his face and his arcane robes. He was walking around the kitchen and practicing the movement of his arms and mouth as if being part of a play.

Still, no sound was coming from his movements or his mouth, as all was basically an illusion from Shingi's mind. If he tried to use mana from the surrounding area to empower the illusion, it would become visible to others and be similar to how a spell would work.

'With my current MANA MANIPULATION, it is almost enough to control mana for something like that, but not enough to do both at the same time without a Mana Pool.' [Shingi]

Even if he could control the mana, use it without storing it, and make it his own, it was like a beast that would run wild when left free. He had enough skill to control it for some time, but not to control enough to create a spell as the moment he let go of it a little, it would return to where it came from.

Of course, storing it and making it his own without a Mana Pool was out of the question, but the entire experience made him more and more familiar with what he should be expecting.

"Brother, do you want to come with me to my secret hideout?" [Annoue]

Her sudden question made him lose focus on his training. NPCs rarely suggested actions unless it was part of a quest. But now that he thought about it, that was usually the case when NPCs interacted with players. The System didn't consider him a player, so things might be different.

With that thought in mind, her secret hideout didn't really interest him. However, he had to go out to find a good place for him to make his Mana Pool, anyway.

"Sounds good." [Shingi]

His serious face changed to a smile once again as he looked at her.

They finished their breakfast and made their way out.

After stepping through the front door, Annoue stopped and told Shingi to wait for a moment before she ran around to the back of the house. After a while, she returned with a short staff and gave it to him.

'Well, I can move around without it, but maybe it would draw too much attention if she knew I recovered this fast.' [Shingi]

The two siblings started walking and approached the gate for a wooden wall that surrounded the entire village. However, the wall didn't seem to be very old, and Shingi was sure that it didn't exist the last time he was around, so they must have created it while he was missing, which raised some questions.

If they needed a wall, it meant that it wasn't safe anymore. So either the monsters in the area became more dangerous, or a new threat appeared.

'I should try to find out the reasons behind those changes. It wasn't uncommon for a change like that to be part of the game but things, but I can't think why there are so many Players here now.' [Shingi]

Looking around, he could see a dozen players moving around the village. Typically, players didn't come to this area, but he kept noticing more and more as they moved towards the gate.

Even if he wasn't a player and couldn't see the player's UI indication that would show up above players while in town, the NPCs and Players had a significant difference in what they were wearing.

Most NPCs were merchants or farmers wearing simple clothes befitting their jobs, but the players varied more in their attire. Different armor, weapons, and colors separated them from each other, as they had their own style. Shingi could also feel an aura surrounding them and wasn't sure what it was, nor could he describe it. Even if the aura felt the same for each of them, there were still differences between them.



The skill MANA SENSE has been learned at Low Rank.


'Interesting, so this is the mana of theirs. No wonder I never noticed it with my old body since I never focused on any mana training. But I wonder why I only get this from Players and even those who aren't mages.' [Shingi]

After having that thought, he turned his gaze toward Annoue. He was certain that she had a mana pool. His MANA SENSE wasn't receiving any feeling like the aura he got from the Players, but he could see her mana just seemed different from the Players.

He kept his new Skill active as long as he could to increase its proficiency.

The walk to the gate should have taken twenty minutes, but Shingi showed her he still needed help walking to keep the facade. He purposely walked slowly to gather potential information about his surroundings, so it took an extra ten minutes to reach it.

His scattered thoughts kept him busy as they moved away from the gate, moving across the wall, and making a right turn from the gate. It seemed like their destination was out of the village and that they couldn't freely exit as the gate was closed and guards were on it. But they weren't military guards. Instead, they seemed like some of the town militia with simple leather armors and spears, with no similarity in their equipment other than being of lower quality.

'Well, at least the security isn't too tight, which means things aren't too bad yet.' [Shingi]

And so, after a few more minutes of walking, Annoue stopped and started looking side to side. Then, after making sure no one was watching them, she walked towards some crates on the wall and pushed one of them.

Even if Shingi wasn't sure how heavy that crate was, it impressed him that a child had that much  STR.

After she moved the crate, it revealed a small hole in the wall. She crouched down and made her way to the other side, and gestured for Shingi to follow.

Shingi followed without a second thought, as he was curious about the situation outside of the town and already invested in the trip, anyway.

Annoue moved the crate back to cover the hole as soon as he got through, as it had some spaces on the back, which made it easier to move.

They went into the forest a little until they reached a massive tree.

Annoue used her hand and grabbed part of the tree and moved it a little to the right as it seemed like there was a hole in the tree, and the wooden surface masking it blended in perfectly with the bark.

The inside of the tree was a little bigger than their bedroom. On the floor, there was a corner full of leaves acting like a makeshift bed. There was also a little tree stump in the middle that seemed to be used as a table.

He could see that most of the tree seemed to be hollow, but the tree's remaining bark still had some depth, but even with that, there was enough space left for two or three adults. But since both Shingi and Annoue were children, the room was more than spacious for them. There didn't seem to be anything else inside the tree.

The moment they got in, Annoue sat on the pile of leaves and looked at him.

"It is a cool place, isn't it, little Brother?" [Annoue]

For a few seconds, he kept looking around, making sure that the place was sturdy and wouldn't fall on them. It seemed like the place was created quite some time ago, so it should still hold up for some time.

After nodding at her, he sat down in the same meditative position he used at the house. He picked up where he left off with creating the foundations of his Mana Pool. Or so he thought.

"What you doing there? This is a weird position to sleep in." [Annoue]

After hearing this question usually, Shingi would ignore it and continue his training, but he had another idea.
"I meditate. Makes me strong." [Shingi]

Since his body still wasn't at full strength, he couldn't speak long sentences without stopping in the middle of it, so he tried to use small sentences instead.

Annoue seemed interested in what Shingi said, but before she could say anything, he spoke again.

"You want to be strong too?" [Shingi]

Annoue was even more surprised by his question, but then she stood, rolled up her sleeves, and showed her arm muscles.

"I'm already strong." [Annoue]

She started posing to show her muscles, which seemed well define for a girl her age. Still, her actions looked ridiculous, especially since she was doing them with a wide grin.

'She seems to have low INT but high STR. And somehow, she already has a Mana Pool. So she would be perfect for that special class.' [Shingi]

All players, when they started, had three choices for their starting class. Warrior, Rogue, or Mage. As they progressed and levered up, they could earn a new class that would increase their power. Most classes were better versions of the main ones and followed specific paths. Still, some special classes were combinations of two or more basic classes.

One of them was Arcane Blade, a combination of Warrior and Mage. This class had the Warrior's combat abilities to fight with different weapons, mostly with swords, but weren't limited to them. It also could cast various enchantment spells, not as strong as a full Enchanter Mage, but using them with the Warrior combat abilities was a dangerous combination. They could also use some of those enchantments on allies, increasing their combat capabilities as well.

Of course, each class had requirements to learn them, and there were also some triggers like quests or needing an NPC to tutor them.

It sounds easy in theory, but, in reality, it wasn't easy to accomplish, especially for NPCs. Special classes had minimum stat requirements as well as other factors, such as having a Mana Pool or a particular Skill Rank.

Shingi remembered that the Arcane Blade's requirement was high STR and having Mana Pool and Base Rank MANA MANIPULATION. Some INT was a requirement, but that was the case to increase the MANA MANIPULATION's effect and create Mana Pool.

Since Annoue already had high STR and a Mana Pool, they had to work on her MANA MANIPULATION. Then she would be able to work on some of the Arcane Blade's Skills.

"Can get stronger. Use magic and sword." [Shingi]


His words froze her in place.

She always heard stories about magic, and lately, some adventurers came into town, and she saw some magic deployments here and there. Even if it wasn't something all that powerful, it still amazed her.

And now she might be able to use magic herself?

She snapped her out of her frozen state and ran to sit in front of him.

"So, what do I do?" [Annoue]

With a slight smile on his face, he tried to explain to his sister what mana was. Also, how to draw it into herself, store it, and then release it. Since she had a Mana Pool, this was an excellent way to increase the Rank of her Skill. After asking her, Shingi learned that she didn't have the Skill at Low Rank or even had it unlocked, but her Mana Pool seemed to be fully constructed. It was a rare case since most people unlocked the Skill while creating their Mana Pool.

But that wasn't always the case for everyone. The one who was born with a Mana Pool didn't start with that skill too.

However, if she was born with one, which seemed to be the case, he wondered why it wasn't the case for him as well. Most of the time, when someone was born with a Mana Pool, it was because of their race. As far as Shingi could tell, both of them were human, but then he recalled something.

His race was half human and half something unknown.

Could it be that his sister was full-blooded of that unknown race, or she received different benefits from it?

But what could that unknown race be? Most people who were a combination of different races had something that made it easy to differentiate them from other races.

The only thing that was weird for him was the color of his eyes. But for Annoue, as far as he could tell, other than having high STR and Mana Pool, she looked like an average human girl.

With all that in mind, he couldn't think of any race they could be part of that would give them these benefits.

This question joined the rest at the back of his mind to be answered later when he had more to go on.

After two hours of helping Annoue understand how the training worked, he resumed his own.

His preparation was going quite well as he had cleared enough space for his Mana Tree to grow. Now he needed to dig to make space for the seed that he would later create with mana to go in. He had to use the special blue moonlight to create the seed, but he could at least prepare the hole for now.

Shingi started imagining the mana he was manipulating to take the shovel's shape and began digging. Fortunately, since they were in the forest, there were more trees to take mana from. Even the tree they were inside of also still seemed to produce quite a bit of mana.

Hours later, Shingi thought he was ready to call it a day, as he was mostly done with the hole. But, just to be sure, he wanted to finish it with the special mana in case the System considered this part important for the Mana Pool's quality. There were various discussions regarding this, but experimenting on it wasn't as easy as it sounded. Once one finished creating a Mana Pool, it was harder to create another one. However, not everyone could create one, and you wouldn't know a Mana Pool's quality until they fully constructed it.

As Shingi stood up, he checked his status as the inner energy that was restoring him seemed to have finished its work and had disappeared from him when it had nothing left to do.



Name: Shingi Maki

Class: None

Race: Half-Human Half ????

HP: 50/50

SP: 20/20

STR: 10

AGI: 10

END: 10

INT: 12

CHA: 2




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6 Νοε 2021

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