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Strange signs

He looked around and didn't find any signs of Tycoon, which he considered being weird, as Phoenix didn't seem like one to play the game by herself.

He would typically try to keep his distance from her, but he had to go home to rest. He didn't have enough SP to go in the town any other way.

He could also try to pass them by making himself invisible, but Annoue was waiting for him, and he didn't want to let her behind. So he moved while doing his best to act that he wasn't tired or in an awful state, which fortunately helped that he didn't have any damage dealt with him that one could see. Of course, he had lost some of his HP cause of using his Breaking-Limits state, but he wasn't in a life-threatened situation. He was just exhausted.

He walked towards the two young girls, and Annoue noticed him faster than he had expected as she ran towards him and hugged him. Shingi was using his all to walk, so he wasn't able to move away. The hug of the STR high Annoue wasn't what he needed right now. He felt his consciousness leaving him, but he kept himself up using just his will.

Fortunately, Annoue let him go without him saying anything like she noticed her hug affected him negatively.

"Oh... so you are the little brother of An? It's good that you are ok." [Little Phoenix]

Shingi got surprised, not by what Phoenix said but by how she said it. She usually was quiet and normally talked when speaking to Tycoon, but now there wasn't any of that shyness on her. On the contrary, she spoke full of confidence without being afraid of someone, as she was pretty comfortable with the surrounding people, just him and Annoue.

"And you are?" [Shingi]

"Oh yes, sorry. My name is Little Phoenix, and I just met your sister as she seemed anxious awaiting you. Well, I recognized the look cause I am quite familiar with it with my big sister when I get late." [Little Phoenix]

Shingi kept looking at her and trying to read all her expressions. She seemed like she didn't recognize him, and the way she was speaking differed from usual. Almost like she was another person.

But everything else was the same, the equipment that he bought on her as his Player character, her aura, and her mana feeling everything was the same. Still, there was just something different to her, but not something he could see; just her personality seemed to be different.

"I see. Thank you for keeping company to Annoue. We have to go back home to clean it up somewhat if you excuse us." [Shingi]

Phoenix didn't seem to mind and waved goodbye to Annoue as she headed into the forest. Still, Shingi didn't know why she would do it, as her training would be more comfortable in the town.

But in either case, they made their way to their house, and Shingi felt like his body was weighing twice as heavy and was aching everywhere. His overuse of the ACCELERATION, especially after using his Breaking-Limit State, had more significant side effects on his body than he wanted. But he tried to put a brave face in front of Annoue as he told her he wanted to meditate in their room.

She said she had to do some shopping for lunch, but before she left, Shingi mentioned something.

"You know, maybe the Mayor can help you increase your COOKING skill. She seemed like a pleasant person, and the soup she brings to be made by a professional." [Shingi]

"I ... will think about it." [Annoue]

She left to do her shopping, but Shingi noticed something in her eyes when he mentioned to her to go learn to cook by the Mayor's cook, and that was some fear in there.

When he first met the Mayor, he didn't remember Annoue to seem afraid of the Mayor. Of course, his PERCEPTION wasn't that high back then, so he could just not have noticed, but most likely, Annoue was aware who the cook was and was afraid of that one, but Shingi didn't know why.

'Well, I can ask the Mayor herself at some point. But one thing at the time, as I should see if there are any changes.'

There were some System's notifications during the battle and his escape, but he didn't have time to read them as his focus had to be fully on what he was doing. So he opened his Status.



NAME: Shingi Maki


PROFESSION: Scholar Master

RACE: Blessed Human

HP: 62/80

SP: 2/32

MP: 10/38

STR: 12

AGI: 14

END: 16

INT: 16

CHA: 4

MANA POOL: Earth and Light Category








BLESSINGS: Blessing of ??????, Blessing of Dlog


His END increased by one point, probably caused by the overuse of the ACCELERATION. He used it during his training week, but not so much, especially during his Breaking-Limit state. This perhaps was also why his ACCELERATION was finally Master Rank. He felt that his body became more familiar with the skill after the overuse, especially during his Breaking-Limit state.

It surprised him that his MARTIAL ART skill didn't Rank up too. Still, he didn't use it as heavily as IMPROVISED THROW WEAPON and ACCELERATION, so it made sense, but he could feel that it grew on strength somewhat.

With ACCELERATION, he now had 4 of his skills at Master Rank, and a different stat affected each one. His INT affected his MANA MANIPULATION and PERCEPTION, IMPROVISED WEAPON by his AGI, and his ACCELERATION by his END.

Also, something that had happened only once had happened, and that was that his STR increased. That was probably because he used his fists to keep punching the Player, and even if he didn't have a helmet, hitting the head of someone again and again for someone with his STR wasn't easy. But the incredible speed of his at that moment was helping somewhat.

Also, his MP modifier increased because of his Mana Tree growth, and each INT of his increased his maximum mana.

He went to his bed but didn't lay down, but went to his normal meditation state. This time he didn't focus his mana on his Mana Tree entirely but turned it to fill his Light Mana and use that mana to spread all over his body.

The Light Mana was the critical element of buff magic and healing magic. Even in its raw form, it helped boost someone's healing factor, but at a lower rate than what an actual spell would. But that is what Shingi could do for now, as healing magic wasn't something he knew how worked. He had tried some experiments during the past week but had no success in making an actual spell.

But spreading the mana like that to cover his body with not much mana to make himself bright helped lessen the pain faster than usual. He could feel his SP restored more quickly than it should be during his weakened state after using his Breaking-Limit state. It was almost at the same rate as usual, maybe a little lower.

He would be in this weakened state for close to an hour, but using the Light mana of his that way would also lessen that time but not for many, just 10 minutes, but the less time he was in that state, the better.

He kept focusing on just gathering mana from his surroundings, turning it to Light Mana by using his Mana Tree and spreading that mana all over his body repeatedly. Mana seemed to be consumed like it was eating the pain and the damage in his body, but he used too much mana for little pain to go away, so he gathered and spread it nonstop. With his Master Rank MANA MANIPULATION, even in his current state, it wasn't too hard.

And so 4 hours passed, and most of the pain was weaker, but he still didn't entirely go away, and the Light Mana didn't seem to help anymore. Shingi could feel that his body wasn't at its full power and was maybe at 70%. Still, he had some problem moving, and it wasn't affecting his mana skills or spell-casting, and it would get better as time passed. But for now, he should keep himself away from reaching his limits or even thinking of using his Breaking-Limit state.

'Well, hopefully, the order at the shop won't be too many as even a week maybe not be enough to get back to 100%. '[Shingi]

He made his way to the kitchen and met Annoue on the way as she was heading to the room to see if he was ready to eat.

The food was ready some hours ago, but he seemed to be focused on his training and didn't want to disrupt him.

They had their lunch, some eggs with sausage that seemed to be a gift from the adventure they met this morning, meaning Little Phoenix as Annoue met her during her shopping.

"She is so great and seems so powerful. She is a mage, but she said that she still learns her way in spell-casting, so she wasn't able to show me any of her spells, unfortunately." [Annoue]

'That makes little sense. '[Shingi]

Shingi knew for sure that Phoenix could cast some spells as he had seen her casting some during the exploration of the Goblins' Cave. Other than the MANA BOLT, she used to attack the Goblins, and she also had used the LIGHT spell, which they used since the cave was quite dark. It seemed strange on Shingi, and he didn't like it at all.

"You should be careful of strangers, especially those that seem powerful as they may not use their power for the right reasons." [Shingi]

"Yeah, I get that, but wasn't one of them the person who helped to break your curse one like that? She also looked to be powerful." [Annoue]

"Yeah, there are... wait, you said SHE?!?" [Shingi]

Annoue seemed to be confused about Shingi's reaction.

"Yeah, the one who helped gather the material that the Mayor needed was a woman, and she was wearing a beautiful dress but wasn't covering much of her back. I only saw her once, but she looked quite impressive, powerful, and beautiful. Didn't you say that you spoke with her?" [Annoue]

Shingi was thinking over the Player's description and their equipment. Still, he didn't seem to remember any armor like that or a Player he knew dressed like that, but he didn't have many details. So maybe it was a custom-made one.

"Well, she talked to me using magic, so I couldn't really listen to her voice, just getting the info she wanted to pass; that's why I didn't know she was female." [Shingi]

He tried to cover his story, hoping Annoue would believe it since she knew little about how magic worked.

And it seemed to work since Annoue didn't seem to suspect anything.

"Well, either way, since we got interrupted from our training, I didn't find the time to ask you how is your training with Air Slash going. Any breakthroughs?" [Shingi]

Shingi wasn't expecting much, as they didn't train for even an hour. Still, he saw Annoue smiling at him, giving her a proud smile she usually had when she was ready to tell him something unexpected.

"I unlocked it just before you told me about the bad guys. But it is at Low Rank." [Annoue]

Shingi just sighed as he was sure that at some point, he wouldn't get surprised by what she told him, but her progress was mind-blowing, almost like Gods were guiding her.

'Could it be because our mother had the same class?' [Shingi]

Shingi didn't know if that could affect a child, as it wasn't the case for NPCs as children of influential Arcane Users had children who couldn't use magic and the other way. But these were unknown waters, so everything was possible.

"Well, then try to train to raise your Rank on it for now. We will work on your DEFLECT next week. In the meantime, don't forget to study the Enchantment notes I gave you. If you want to work on any of them, though, wait for me to be with you to be safe." [Shingi]

He then cast his Light/Earth MANA HAND and patted her head as usual as he continued talking.

"If you reach Base Rank at AIR SLASH and master at least ten enchantments a week from now, I will have a special gift for you." [Shingi]

Hearing that, Annoue's eyes got wide with excitement. She rarely got any gifts, and she liked one from her brother. Fortunately, not one that had to do with more training.

Shingi did not doubt her reaching those goals with her current progress.

So he gave her some tips on what enhancements she could choose and the Air Slash. He also used his only PROFESSION skill to see her Status and ensure nothing else differed from unlocking AIR SLASH at Low Rank.

After that, he headed back to his room, and this time he did something that he rarely had done while being NPC.

He went to sleep.

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6 Νοε 2021

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