Within the entirety of Earth existed only two Arcanists, at least if you took Rainer's word for it. With such a supposed circumstance, it did not take long for him to grow bored with his current state of life.
Perhaps, being someone who could wield magic at his fingertips should make him feel special. Add to that the feeling of being almost alone in this power and special is not enough to describe the situation.
Perhaps, he should have been content with the few abilities he had that no other human could wield. Yet, it was the very fact he had those abilities that became the issue. Rainer had no reason to be unhappy. But that was precisely where his unhappiness stemmed from.
Had he been completely normal, Rainer could have accepted his current life. There was little to complain about. He had a supporting family that paid for him to go to college across the country, his own apartment as a college sophomore, and magical abilities that let him learn in his sleep. He also took up lifting weights early on. So, despite having hobbies that often kept people from thriving in society, he didn’t suffer.
He felt his entire life was being wasted and that he could be casting powerful magic, comprehending the true mysteries of the universe, and soaring above his normality.
The man who could be king desires it far more than the man who never had a chance.
He had grown more and more disillusioned with his future. All his magic had accomplished thus far was allow him to be lazy; he would obtain more. He had to. And so came about Rainer’s current situation of depending on sleep learning to get through his classes while he focused on his first original spell, wall-walking. Such a task consumed him.
He came up with the idea for wall-walking after a magically charged finger slipped through a piece of paper. Of course, he ignored the fact it didn’t pass through the paper but burned through it. That didn’t matter to him. He simply sought what he sought. And after months of work, he began his first practice run.
Right in front of him hung a large piece of cardboard that covered up a doorway in his apartment. He would try to pass his hand through the cardboard and then his whole body. The reverse engineering of the spells taught by his grandfather combined with modern knowledge of molecules led him to this point. At the very least he created a spell that did something. Whether it did the right thing or catastrophically failed had yet to be seen.
He paused for a moment before deciding to write something down in case of said catastrophic failure. Yes, he was at a point where he was willing to risk his life learning a new magic.
To all those who may be concerned, yadda yadda yadda, grandpa I screwed up, you know how, blah blah blah, tell my family what you want, blah blah blah.
It was a note that lacked any seriousness. Life threatening? That was just drama in an otherwise calm reality. He may at most hurt his hand and be unable to write such a note while it healed.
With but a thought, the spell activated...yet nothing seemed to happen. Though that was only how it seemed. The world turned into a black nothingness, causing Rainer to temporarily lose consciousness. And now, in a different time and a different place, a young man stood alone in a dark cave on the precipice of what would become his new life or his grave.
Rubbing his head in confusion Rainer could only show a stunned look to the scenery around him. He was supposed to have just put his hand through a wall. And not even a real wall. Just a large piece of cardboard.
It was to be his first achievement in magic, a spell that went beyond the ability to make mundane life less boring. What value did being able to singe a paper cup with a small ball of energy have in a world where a little laser pointer could do more? And while the sleep learning spells were useful for daily life, they only made doing tasks less tedious and gave the day a few extra hours.
Now all that surrounded him was darkness with but a bit of light peeking in. Futilely brushing away his black hair from his eyes didn’t accomplish much of an improvement in his vision.
“What the fu….”
But his words were quickly interrupted by the pitter-patter of feet on stone. The cave had been illuminated by way of an ugly green creature holding a torch.
The creature stood at just under 5 feet in height, about a foot shorter than the man he was now looking at. As soon as the torchlight revealed a strange human in what would seem to the creature an odd pair of black pants alongside a black tunic, a guttural snarl roared out.
Clearly, negotiation was not on the table.
Immediately, the creature drew a dagger from its waist and charged Rainer at speed equal to an Olympic athlete. Stunned at the utterly strange sight Rainer acted almost on instinct and released a single spell. Yes, the very same that would only annoy a mouse. However, what came out was not a small ball of white and violet light, but a large bolt.
With the speed of a fast pitch, the arcane bolt slammed into the chest of the goblin, staggering his entire body. Utterly shocked at the newfound power of his spell Rainer paused for a moment before he cast, again and again, still filled with adrenaline. While stumbling backward, Rainer managed to get off two more bolts. They slammed into the goblin before it fell lifelessly to the ground, just a few feet away from Rainer. The dropped torch echoed as it hit the ground but still burned at the fallen goblin’s side.
[5% experience gained]
Such a message appeared on the bottom right of Rainer’s vision before fading. The shock of killing another living thing hadn’t set in, for all of his current focus was on the message icon that had just appeared.
A hud message, the fuck?
However, as someone who was an Arcanist, Rainer didn’t take long to accept his current reality. Or to imagine what exactly this reality was. Somehow his wall-walking spell teleported him here. Somehow, he had gained experience no different than if he was in a game. More importantly, the fallen corpse of a creature that represented a stronger version of the classic goblin was right in front of him.
Slightly gagging at the distorted face and leaking drool of the now-corpse, Rainer instead focused on this whole experience business and immediately started chanting out various words.
Instead of anything happening Rainer instead was met with a slight echoing and a tinge of embarrassment.
Show me my fucking Status you cunt…please.
He cried out in his head to no one in particular as the seriousness of his current situation sank in. Thoughts that dealt with hallucinating the message in the corner of his view and how he was now trapped in who knows where with who knows what. That unhelpful train of thoughts was halted by a particular message screen.
[Name: Rainer Nvos]
[Primary Classes: Arcanist Lvl 1]
[Skills: Sleep Learning Lvl 9/10]
[Skill Points: 0]
[Talents: Excellent Arcane Affinity, Human Growth]
[Stamina Regen: .1% per second]
[Mana Regen: .001 per second]
The regen rates left Rainer slightly distressed. Stamina was fine, assuming it didn’t decrease too much, as was logical the more one acted without sleep or real rest. No, wait, it was a status screen!
He began trying to figure out how pitiful his mana was, opting to temporarily ignore the issue of any of this even existing. One mana point took 1000 seconds to regenerate, or roughly 16 minutes. One arcane bolt cost 2 mana. One goblin could be killed with 3 arcane bolts. That meant for about every 1 and a half hours he could kill a single goblin. More importantly, he could only kill 2 goblins at full strength. 2 goblins are 10%, and that was only for level 1.
A minimum of 30 hours to reach level 2.
What bastard set the difficulty setting for this world?
[Attribute points: 0]
Understanding that it was a command of thought rather than an out loud declaration Rainer became deeply interested in the information before him. The amount of unknown information was slightly overwhelming but he began inspecting it and much to his delight, information about anything he thought of in his status was revealed before him.
[Excellent Arcane Affinity: 200% general improvement and growth to Arcane Spells and Arcane related skills. 50% improvement and growth to all magic spells and magic-related skills.]
[Human Growth: Lacking any innate abilities or attribute bonuses, humans instead garner an increased growth rate of 10% in all subjects and general leveling.]
[Arcanist Lvl 1/25: As a seeker of the Arcane, the true origin of magic, all secrets of the universe await thee. 100% general improvement and growth to Arcane spells and Arcane related skills. 25% improvement and growth to all magic spells and magic-related skills. Allows the initial learning of any skill far easier than normal. +2 Intelligence, +2 Affinity, +.5 Willpower, +.1 All Attributes per Level past Level 1]
This combined with the affinity, he understood, was what gave his formerly useless spell such an impact. However, an issue was still at hand; even a possible 300% or larger increase wouldn’t explain the changes to his [Arcane Bolt], as it was now called.
For now, he decided to shelve the issue and instead thank whoever created this system for not letting his end be at the hands of a mere goblin. This, of course, ignored the fact the goblin was certainly far too fast and coordinated to be called a mere goblin.
[Human: Denotes one as a member of the human race giving them the Talent: Human Growth and the base attributes of a human of their age and ability.]
[Arcanist Sub-class Bonus: 25% general improvement and growth to Arcane spells and skills]
Sub-class bonus he assumed was the only bonus he got when a class was a sub-class. Though how that happened, and more importantly whether it could be easily changed afterward, was not something he was willing to try at the moment.
Next, it was time to look at what each attribute did. Though he was confused by the actual values. His bench at 275 pounds was roughly two times that of the average male. This didn’t mean he was two times as strong in general as a human male, but it certainly didn’t seem right only to be at 12 when he didn’t just bench press.
Though assuming 10 represents average may be at fault here.
There was also the adaptation of the nervous system that significantly improves strength, so then wouldn’t the attribute strength only be referencing muscular strength? Isn’t that faulty...In the first place, even the fastest Olympic sprinter didn’t even reach twice as fast as an average human so perhaps it was accurate.
There was nothing he could truly glean from the numbers of his stats apart from obvious conclusions until he had a larger sample size. Some of the exact effects of Affinity, Stamina, and Willpower had numerical representations.
[Constitution: Improves the durability and defense of one’s body.]
[Affinity: Improves one’s casting and learning ability while increasing total mana.]
[Vitality: Improves the healing ability and disease resistances of one’s body.]
[Endurance: Increases stamina and reduces its consumption.]
[Strength: Improves the power of one’s body.]
[Dexterity: Improves the control and speed of one’s body.]
[Intelligence: Improves the power of magic and the processing speed of the brain.]
[Willpower: Improves the resistance against magical/mental ailments and the regeneration of mana.]
[Attributes may contain other hidden effects.]
Finally, he looked at his one spell.
[Tier One: Arcane Bolt Lvl 2/10]
[Arcane Bolt Lvl 2/10: Fires a bolt of concentrated Arcane energy.]
Nothing there to explain why the increase was so significant. Understanding that held by far the most importance, lest that increase returned back to normal and he died to whatever companions this single goblin had without being able to cause even an annoyance.
Forgetting, or rather ignoring, the spell that had become a skill, [Sleep Learning], Rainer decided to take a real look at his surroundings. A cave it could be simply called, though the carved out tunnel the goblin came from had several wooden beams as support so maybe an abandoned mine.
Well, occupied mine I suppose. Can these goblins mine, or even speak?
Rainer looked back down at the corpse he created. Apart from the slightly darker skin created from his attacks, the goblin lacked any real damage to its body. It seemed [Arcane Bolt] dealt internal or magical damage more than anything else.
After a moment of inspection, a surprising message appeared. Though, considering the bonus of his [Arcanist] class, not too surprising.
[Skill Gained: Appraisal Lvl 1/10]
Now the goblin displayed a small message whenever he invoked [Appraisal] on its body.
[Goblin, Male, Deceased]
Nothing I wasn’t aware of...how useful.
He cringed for a moment before taking the goblin’s dagger, deciding to try to open up the head of the goblin. If games or anything else were correct, the goblin would have some loot. He stabbed the dagger straight into the goblin's head but seeing the blood pour out was already more than he could handle.
Removing what lunch he had, he went back to his bloody work. In the end, after finally cracking open the skull and hacking up what little food he had left, he finally found what he had been looking for...or not. There was nothing but a brain and disappointment. Though, gaining the skill [Goblin Anatomy Lvl 1/10] had to have some value.
Pausing for a moment at the still burning torch he quickly put it out on the rock floor, once more plunging himself into darkness. The element of surprise was his only ally in a place like this. At the very least, the fact that the goblin carried a torch at all meant they couldn't see either. Besides, his [Arcanist] class might let him gain a skill for seeing the dark. Or so he thought...
There in the dark sat a man, wasting his time away, squinting his blue eyes at the darkness. He lacked any complicated thoughts beyond unbridled excitement at the situation he was in. He had just arrived and already his magic had reached a new height. He could truly consider himself an [Arcanist] and on the path to greater magics.