38 First (S)kill

"Bella! Ronin! It's time for dinner!" They heard Cholie's voice calling outside. "Duke Taevas is waiting for you two at the table!"

They did not realize that it was already dinnertime after talking so much. Time does pass when you're having fun.

And learning about the Abyssal Realm was always fun for Ronin.

For the two women, they just find it fun to talk to each other. They do so every day after all.

The Goddess smiled. "I suppose that ends our little tea party and storytime. It was a pleasure as always, Donna."

Belladonna shook her hand. "The pleasure is mine, my friend."

Even with the huge gap in their physical age, both women seemed to have agreed to see each other as equals. There was no need for Madams or Misses or any form of formality between them.

"It was also a pleasure to make your acquaintance, Ronin. You have proven to be.... interesting, indeed." She said, also offering her hand to shake. "Do join us whenever you are free."

"If it does not feel like I am intruding too much." Ronin did not shake her hand and just bowed lightly. "Do you two talk about topics like the war often?"

"Oh, no. And I would have preferred never to speak of it again." Freja said. "We talk mostly about Donna's Mage Focus, our problems with men, the changes she may experience upon growing up, some gossips here and there....."

"Ah. Girl talk." Ronin made a funny face at this.

"Yes. You are welcome to join with them too---"

"No need." He shook his head repeatedly. "What about Donna's Mage Focus?"

Belladonna was smiling from ear to ear at this. "Well.... I'll tell you about that some other time, brother. I don't want to ruin the surprise, not when I am not fully prepared yet."

"Oh.... alright then." He just shrugged, but was relieved that it seemed to be something positive, not negative from her reaction.

After all, Belladonna's Mage Focus was the cause of all the troubles that got Zeuxis disowned and had them reclused. He figured the reason why she does not try to be upset anymore was to avoid her Mage Focus from appearing.

But with Freja..... she seems to be doing well. That means less hailstorms for him and he can focus on studying all day without a pesky little sister bothering him to play with her.

"Bella!!! Ronin!!!!" This time they heard Duke Taevas' stern and impatient voice.

"Coming, Father!" Belladonna yelled back, not in her usual meek way but much louder and firmer this time.

She even rolled her eyes. "Men are so impatient."

"Indeed, they are." Freja chuckled. "Well, I should get going, dear. You two go to your father before he starts complaining about the food getting cold and stomping his foot like an angry baby."

She vanished as easily as she had appeared, and the two had their dinner.

After dinner, Ronin went to his room to ask Kai about that level-up.

"If I learn more things about Fausforus, do I level up even faster like that? How about finding his weapon?" Ronin asked. "That whip I saw back when I was still Level 100.... That is his whip, right?"

[I cannot spoil as per the system policy. You know that very well, Ronin.]

"Ah, yes, yes. The stupid no-spoiler policy." He waved these questions away from now. "What can you tell me then?"

[Well, you have unlocked a new achievement, along with your first skill.]

His eyes brightened at this. "What skill?"

[Blinding Darkness. You can blind a set of people and make them feel like they are surrounded by darkness, lowering their vision of their surroundings.

You can only do so for 5 minutes to 3 people at level 10, and this increases as you level up. Only 1 use per day at the moment.

You can activate this skill by drawing the rune for darkness, which you already know.]

The rune for 'darkness' was a cup and then four strokes below. It resembles a closed eye.

"Ah, that is a pretty minor skill." He stopped smiling. "What about the achievement?"

[You have unlocked the achievement 'Fausforus'. As a reward, you unlock a clue for how to turn yourself into an Obsidian.]

Now, this brought back the grin on his face. "And that clue is.....?"

[A dream. The moment you sleep, it will be activated.]

After hearing this, Ronin wasted no time to lay down on his bed and closing his eyes. He willed himself to sleep, even forcefully, just so he could dream faster.

And finally, it came to him.

Blurry images that slowly turned clear. They flashed quickly, or at least, his memory of them had become short the moment when he woke up.

But while he was sleeping, they were much more vivid. It was indeed presented like a fleeting dream.

The first one was four spires. The spires were connected by four buildings. It formed the shape of a diamond.

This was easy for him to recognize. It was the Academy.

The next image was a person. It was someone with dark skin, but he was not Coal or Obsidian.

The person was writing with a black quill pen with several scrolls around. He was a middle-aged man with spectacles over the bridge of his nose, which rolled down from time to time due to his constant writing.

He would push them back up every time without leaving his eyes from the paper or stopping his fervent hand from scribbling. Finally.....

He let go of his feather quill, and looked at his work with a proud smile. He mumbled:

"That was it. The right formula for metamorphism..... I have solved it!"

Ronin knew that his Heartstone must be a black Spinel.

And finally, the last image was the strangest one.

It was.... Cermin Drychspiel. Smiling and holding out his hand. He was saying something.

".... my friend."

But Ronin did not pay attention to that. In this image, Cermin's chest slowly was set on fire, burning and burning until....

He can see the image of a golden heart, glowing with a bright Flame.

Ronin reached out and.....

He took that heart without hesitation. Cermin immediately perished, looking at him with eyes full of disbelief and betrayal.

That was the end of his dream of how to become an Obsidian evil overlord.

Next chapter