Frankenstein opened his Stats window and scrolled through the Classes whose standards he fulfilled. Without too much thinking, he picked the Elementalist Class. After choosing, a ray of white light enveloped his body and slowly changed it.
New Class, Elementalist!
Spells linked to Elements you have an Affinity for casting 300% faster.
Spells linked to Elements you have an Affinity for inflicting 200% more Damage.
Frankenstein was reading with sparkling eyes. "So cool!"
Becoming an Elementalist multiplied his abilities. Suddenly, out of the corner of his eye he saw a cockroach walking by his side. Uh! My lucky day! He instantly used his Skill. He threw an Elemental energy palm. His Skill was now imbued with a new energy, that made it less transparent and quite more… real! It was twice the original size!
The benefits he harvested were crystal-clear for everyone to see. Frankenstein was now three times as strong as before. The team potential just skyrocketed to the stars.
Lulu picked the Healer Class so as to be able to provide support for her team.
Lumia and Snowflake were not speaking much; they kept their choice to themselves. Unlike Lumia though, he cat could not be quiet for long. It looked like this time, Snowflake just won the lottery.
Apart from those Classes available to everyone, there were Secret Classes, Special Classes and Unique Classes. The Secret Ones were those you could unlock only by fulfilling the highest standards and stepping down a peculiar path. The Special Classes were quite similar but for one detail. If there was no written and pre-made method to obtain Secret Classes, there was one for Special Classes indeed; you needed to complete a Quest.
Unique Classes… Well, they were almost unconceivable. These Classes were out of reach for most people. Only the strongest could dream about them, let alone get one. Why? Because, as the name suggests, they were unique.
There were no doubles in the entire universe. How many Elementalists, Mana Warriors, Ninjas, Assassins were there in the universe? Too many to number. But Unique Classes? They were the rarest ones existing. Each one was tailor-suited for its user. Nobody could get a Unique Class whose user was still alive.
Kirin had gained access to the Lord of Qilins Class only after renouncing to his draconic vestiges. A Class created in parallel to the birth of a new race could only belong to its ancestor. That Class was indeed forged to fit him and was therefore immensely more powerful than any common, Secret or Special Class. A Unique Class could only belong to the unrivalled lords of the universe, whose existence was neatly superior to anyone else's. Only the grandest powerhouses in the universe did own a such a Class.
Who amongst Helial, Snowflake, Lulu, Lumia and Frankenstein deserved to obtain a Unique Class? They had just reached the First Phase, so there was no glimmer of hope to gain such a Class, not even by a stroke of luck. However, they all fantasized about the day they would gain one. All of them but Helial, who was scrolling through the Classes listed out in his Stats Window.
Runic Warrior (Secret Class)
Runic Master (Secret Class)
Runic Swordsman (Secret Class)
Even if the list contained mostly Secret Classes available to Runes students, Helial's face was painted with dissatisfaction. Helial knew perfectly well how good those Classes were as well as he was aware that by choosing one, he would likely bring a long-forgotten Class back to life on that planet. And then, one day, he could even choose to pick another one. None of those Classes sufficed him though. All in all, he had always laid hands on super elite stuff. Weren't his Skills and Legacy powerful enough to belong to an unrivalled monarch of the universe? How could he be satisfied with such a regular Class?
Without his noticing, Helial had left any arrogance behind all his life. He had renounced to any possible claim to cling desperately to each gleam of hope of becoming stronger instead. But still, despite his miserable existence, the virtues of a King had dwelled his body and soul. Now that he had grown stronger, his hidden regality had finally begun to emerge.
Helial clenched his fists, furious at his own not being able to unblock a Unique Class. He angrily punched at a ruined house on his left, blowing it in pieces.
Kyeheheheheh. A wicked smile spread across the Devil's face. Did he really think he could unblock a Unique Class? Sounds like arrogance, kyeheheheh. Well, it's not like a bit of arrogance hurts, anyway. Not necessarily. At this stage of his growth, he could possibly break down his mental barriers only if possessing the arrogance of a tyrant. This attitude is key to reach high. Or to fall down, who knows. We'll see.
Helial closed the Stats window, visibly disappointed. Nobody dared speak; it was the first time they saw Helial nervous. Lumia was the only one who dared to approach him. Like a tiny cat, she rubbed her silver-framed face on Helial's sleeve as she tenderly bit his hand. Helial looked at his sister and his usual calm smile beamed back on his face: "We cleared this level. It's time to venture down. There's a flight of stairs over there. Un-Dead are next." He straightened his clothes up and then turned towards Lulu to inform her how to best fight against those opponents: "Your Heals can really damage an Un-Dead greatly. The Un-Dead were born from the most corrupt part of Destruction. They won't be able to resist the damage of your Skills, that literally draw their power from Life."
It was renown that Healers drew their power from Mana of Life. Even though Classes mainly served either Life or Destruction depending on the user's choice, some of them were still tightly linked to either one Force or the other. Necromancers was indeed a typical Destruction Class, whereas Healers clearly belonged to the Forces of Life.
Lulu nodded with resolution.
"We'd better take a few hours to rest down before exploring the next level," Lumia suggested. Everyone agreed. The battle had been exhausting, and a an intensive research of items had followed. Also, they knew that by advancing through the Dungeon, difficulty will reach utmost levels. They even considered the possibility of spending the night inside the Dungeon. The idea didn't seem to upset them, except for Lulu, who was anything but thrilled at the idea of staying the night in a literally spectral scenery.
After replenishing their energies, they finally walked towards the staircase that would lead them all the way down to the second floor.
Here, the scenery wasn't merely spectral and abandoned; dead plants covered what used to be towering buildings and hanged from the walls smelling like death. Wherever they laid their eyes on, the only thing they would see was but bones and marks of previous fighting. That place seemed to have hosted a war in time out of mind. Roads were scattered with helmets, shields and a number of armor pieces eaten up by rust. Time had oxidized them just like war had covered them in dents.
Snowflake approached Helial and said: "Well, filthy brat, what do you even know about this shitplace you dragged us into? This Supreme Cat's instinct suggests that this Dungeon isn't simple as it seems."
Helial gently nodded, his eyes fixed somewhere in the distance. "The Un-Dead are low-level warriors. But I've started to believe they're not the only Zombies in here. There must be more. Special Zombies maybe, the Cursed type."
The news seemed to shock Snowflake. Cursed Monsters were indeed far more dangerous than the common Un-Dead. They were still classified as Un-Dead, but their power couldn't really compare.
"You're telling me we risk stumbling on those Cursed ones down here?" asked Snowflake as he curled his whiskers.
"Let's say we may," said Helial as he shrugged.
Even though the Un-Dead were quite disquieting e opponents, so much so were Helial and Snowflake. Now that they had all reached the First Phase, it wouldn't be much of a problem to fight against a bunch of Un-Dead in their same Phase. Also, everyone in the group had picked a Class, except for Helial, and they had already undergone significant changes.
They went on walking at a slow pace as Helial probed out the surrounding areas through Perception. Some weird force interfered with his senses preventing him from detecting anything clearly.
Now and then, clouds of sulphur gas rouse up from the ground and caused a chill to run down their spines. At first glance, this Dungeon seemed far more difficult than one could imagine.
The Devil gave a sigh as he placed some duck-patterned napkins on the table. "A bunch of idiots. A-bunch-of-idiots. That would be a first-tier formation even amongst a Clan of Immortals…"
He didn't say anything else as he kept shaking his head helplessly. He wouldn't dare shatter the intense idiocy reigning over that Dungeon. What would a dragon wandering warily among sheep look like? The Devil knew the answer.
Suddenly, a thick mist began to rise up from nowhere to envelop them in a mysterious shroud of fog...