Bitter 230

“We can set your log in destination to the temple in town,” said Dr Reedy. “You just have to log out and log back in again.”

“Isn’t it already set there?” said Britta.

“Hold on.” There was a long pause. “Yes, you’re right. How did you know?”

“I changed it,” said Britta. “I took Teleport.

“Oh,” said Dr Reedy. “So you won’t be needing us to do anything?”

Britta detected a slight undertone to the question. A suggestion that she had wasted their time by making them go to the trouble of coming up with a solution to her problem, and then not making use of it.

There was an element of truth to that, but she wasn’t going to feel guilty about it. They were the ones who had failed to provide adequate exit points.

The Great Gnome still hadn’t made an appearance, and she didn’t feel like waiting. She had a new spell to try out.

She performed the gesture over her head.

A furious vortex of air spun around her. It took her breath away and squeezed her ribs. She entered a cold emptiness, then a bright light blinded her and she was choking on air. The vortex ejected her and the momentum skidded her across the slab she normally woke up on in the Temple of Roha. She fell off the end and landed on the floor.

A little dazed and disoriented, it took Britta a moment to gather her bearings. She recognised her surroundings and felt relief that it had worked. She checked her screen. Her mana was down to thirty from fifty-five. That was a big chunk of mana. She would have to remember to keep some mana in reserve if she got into a dodgy situation. Which was pretty much every situation.

Teleport would undoubtedly prove useful, but it effectively cut her available mana in half.

She got off the floor and brushed herself off. With her new level of agility, she could have at least landed on her feet. She left the small room.

Sister Florence was still scrubbing the temple floor. At this rate, it would take her forever, especially if she kept focused on that one area. Britta didn’t have time for a chat, she just waved as she hurried past. Sister Florence waved back, sending suds flying about.

There wasn’t much of Britta’s hour left, but she had three skill points available, and she planned on using them.

She made her way to Sonny’s and ordered a hot chocolate. The barista, or whatever they were called here, had no idea what that was. Britta described it as hot and sweet, and got something that tasted vaguely like eggnog. She had tried eggnog once, and hadn’t liked it. She didn’t like this drink either. If she ever worked out how to cook things here, she might have a go at inventing hot chocolate with whipped cream, and blow everyone’s mind. It might turn out to be a big money earner for her.

She sat alone at a corner table and pulled up her skill tree. Her sub-class had a green ring around it. She could clearly read Acrobat in the middle of the circle with the ring lit up. It was much harder to read anything else.

The first of her three points could be placed on one of three quirks connected to her Acrobat starting position. She had to squint to read the options.

Shield (+10% HP)

Glow (+10% MP)

Promotion (+10% All Attributes)

They all looked useful. More health would keep her alive longer. A larger mana pool would mean she could cast more spells. But ten percent on all her attributes would guarantee an extra point to Int and Agi, and maybe a smaller boost to the others, depending on how it calculated the boost.

Working out pros and cons of each option could have taken her hours. They were all good, but Promotion struck her as the one most useful this early on. She had seen what Dad’s stats had looked like. If she wanted to play at a serious level, she needed to get buffed.

She took Promotion, confirmed it, and then went back to check the status screen. It had also rounded up the attributes that were greater than five, so Str, which had been seven, had gone up to eight.

She was pleased until she noticed she still had a point to assign from levelling up, which she should have added before boosting her stats. It was all very well not wanting to waste time, but she should have given it enough thought not to make dumb mistakes.

No, it wasn’t a mistake. It was a lesson to learn from. The point of making quick decisions wasn’t just to save time, it would also make her better at being decisive. She added the point to constitution to give herself more hit points. Another error? Quite possibly, but that was okay. She’d learn something from this, too.

Con went from five to seven. It should have only gone to six. The ten percent boost didn’t show up in her passives bar, but it was still active. Her health went up from 55 to 70. That was more than if she’d taken the ten percent HP bonus. Lesson learned.

Back to the skill tree. She had two points left. She could still pick Shield or Glow, or both, but that wouldn’t activate a skill.

When three quirks were connected, they produced a skill. The three available to her were connected to her sub-class ring, but not to each other. There were three new quirks branching off Promotion.

Efficiency (-10% MP cost of spells)

Warden (-10% damage taken)

Troubadour (+10% resistance to magic)

Her magic resistance was already 99%, would Troubadour make her invulnerable? Probably not. She liked the idea of her spells costing less. She didn’t bother to mull it over.

Nothing happened when she took Efficiency, other than three more quirks becoming available.

Bloody Hell (5% chance to cause bleeding)

Winged Feet (5% movement bonus)

Loot Monkey (5% loot bonus)

None of them seemed very exciting. It didn’t say how she would cause bleeding—with a weapon, presumably—but she didn’t want to see any more blood than strictly necessary.

Five percent more loot didn’t seem like a lot, although it might build up over time.

She went with the movement bonus. A little more speed wouldn’t hurt.

There was chime.

New skill acquired: Transporter. You can now teleport with one companion.

The third quirk had unlocked a skill. Not bad. Now she wouldn’t have to abandon her party when she ran away from a desperate situation. Well, not all of them.

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