Ash started his day, like he always did. Practicing 'Minor Heal'. Though, like always, to no avail. All he managed to do, was utter the words "Minor Heal".
In his dream, he had seen the piece of parchment, with all of his skills and physical properties. Things he didn't even know he could do himself. And the strangest thing? It was now neatly placed on his nightstand.
Ash picked up the parchment.
This was beyond mind-boggling. This was something that only existed inside of his head. Could it be, that Evitagen was indeed more than a fictional character, he had made up?
Ash took another look at the parchment.
⌈Name: Ash Tsuga - Level 9⇑⌋ ⟨No Class⟩
Magic Affinity: 152⇑
Skills: Negative Energy ⌈Lvl 2⇑⌋ , Martial Arts⌈Lvl 2⇑⌋
Spells: Negative Burst, Negative Surge.
How could a piece of paper enocmpass all these things? There were also new additions, since the dream. 'Negative Energy', 'Analysis'.
Ash looked at his strength stat, and tried to clench his hand.
"It's so strong?".
There was no doubt. He had gained an enormous amount of power from accepting Evitagen's request, which would also mean that the 'price' Evitagen talked about, was also very real. What could the price for power like this be?
Ash stepped out of his room, with the parchment neatly folded in his back pocket.
Outside, the sun was shining. The birds were chirping and the monks were going about their daily routines. Tending to the garden, talking to each other, praying and participating in sacred rituals with each other. Meanwhile, Ash had other plans.
He stepped into Angela's room. She was looking at a leaf from the myrelia leaf. Ash had made his acquaintance with the leaf, while he was working. Those plants had given him many rashes and lots of pain.
"Oh Ash! Sit down, sit down" Angela said.
Ash did so. He sat on a wooden stool, that stood beside Angela's desk.
"Got a job for me today?" Ash asked.
"Nothing in particular, no. But I do need a bit of your time. Look at this!"
Ash picked up a magnifying glass on the table, and had a look at the leaf, to which Angela was eagerly pointing.
The leaf was leaking some sort of juice, which Angela had previously explained, was used in the process of making various kinds of medicine.
"Isn't it amazing? You've done a fine job tending to these. Thanks to you, we can now start making the medicine".
"But why do we need medicine, when we have magic?" Ash asked.
"Good question, Ash. Have you ever been healed here before? I assume you have, at least once".
If only you knew, Ash thought to himself.
"Now, does pain go away, when they heal you? No, and that's because low-level healing magic will only heal wounds up partially. There will be remnants of damaged tissue, that can only be fixed by the body's natural regenerative properties" Angela explained.
"I see, so the medicine is to speed up that process?" Ash asked.
"No, not quite. Myrelia is simply used as a anesthetic to lessen the pain around the damaged area, so the healing can be completed without pain".
"That makes sense".
Ash had been pondering whether or not he should ask Angela about 'Negative Energy'. He had decided to do it today.
"Angela... Could you do me a favor?".
"I don't think you're in any position to ask favors... Just kidding! Ask away, Ash".
"Could you explain to me what Negative Energy is?".
The air suddenly changed. Angela had a troubled expression on her face. It seemed he might have screwed up, by asking her.
"Where did you learn of this?" Angela asked. Her usual, cheerful self was gone. She looked extremely worried. Borderline scared.
"I read about it in the library" Ash lied.
Seeing as Angela was troubled by the mention of the word, he might be better off not telling her about Evitagen.
"Ash, what you're about to hear stays between us. Understand?".
"I do" Ash said. He was getting increasingly curious.
What could trouble an elite light magic practitioner, who had seen countless people die from terrible wounds, like this?
"Negative Energy, is a form of magic, also known as 'Dark Magic'. In our society, Dark Magic is a secret, and taboo to practice".
Great. Taboo magic. Of all the powers to grant me. Brilliant, Ash thought, silently cursing Evitagen.
"Do you know what creatures mainly plague this world?" Angela asked.
"That would be orc, goblins and the like" Ash said, confident that he was right.
"Incorrect. The creatures that constantly threaten the world is a race much more dangerous. They're everywhere. Sleeping. Waiting for the right moment to strike. The creatures I speak of are called 'The Undead'".
Now that Ash thought about it, he had heard of such creatures. But only in stories from hundreds of years ago.
"The undead are the restless spirits of the dead, haunting the bodies that were once theirs. They cling to life with Negative Energy, the force that fuels their hate of the living. While they are not a common sight, they do exist. They are the reason we cremate our dead, here in the church. So they never wake again".
"So they are the once who can use Dark Magic?" Ash asked.
"Incorrect again. While the undead cling to life, using Negative Energy, they can't use it as such. That is where the true threats to this world come in. Necromancers. Practitioners of the darkest ways of magic. While priests and healers, such as myself, use magic for good, necromancers uses the undead to wage war on the world, in order to achieve their personal goals. It has been a couple of hundred years ago, since the last necromancer made his appearance. He has since then, been slain by adventurers from the Northern Kingdom's 'Adventurer's Guild'. Since then, remnants of the Negative Energy, he had stored inside his body was scattered throughout the world, where it found it's place within the hearts of long dead warriors, who now make up his eternal, evil army. They obey no master, and are therefore not that big of a threat, since they're not gathered in one spot and are quite unintelligent, but if they were to find a new master, it would be troublesome. Dangerous, even".
Angela was getting surprisingly into telling the story, even though she seemed reluctant at first.
"I've personally seen good people, friends of mine, be corrupted and twisted by Negative Energy. I've had to stain my hands with the blood of my friends, because of the Taboo Magic" Angela said, brushing a tear away.
Ash was not scared in the slightest, after hearing what his power had done to people in the past.
"Angela. How long has it been since someone with Negative Affinity over level two?" Ash asked, curious to see just how dangerous his power already was.
"My dear, why are you so curious? You should be scared, but rather you want to learn more.. Very well" Angela sighed, and continued.
"Level one is enough to match a priest in power. Level two is enough to kill a priest with ease. Priests are some of our greatest assets in war, because of their invaluable defensive properties".
Ash suddenly remembered his wish. "To be able to kill the pig priest". He laughed internally.
"Thank you, Angela, I'll be taking my-.. Wait, I have this skill, and was wondering how to use it. Could you help me, Angela?".
Ash had been wondering about his 'Analysis' skill.
"Have you stolen a guild card? How do you know which skills you have?!" Angela asked, seemingly angry.
"No, I just heard a... Priest, yes a priest tell me that I had such a skill" Ash knew it was a bad lie.
"You're a terrible liar.. Very well, I won't dig any further. Analysis is simply used by saying 'Analysis - Activate!'" Angela explained.
"It's not a common skill, so don't let too many people know that you have it" Angela said.
"I won't. Thank you!" Ash said.
He then whispered the activation chant, for the spell through his teeth, not letting Angela hear or see.
⌈Name: Angela Siantia - Level 41⇑⌋ ⟨Healer, Magician, High Priest⟩
Magic Affinity: 352⇑
Skills: Light Magic ⌈Lvl 5⇑⌋ , Fire Magic ⌈Lvl 5⌋, Water Magic ⌈Lvl ???⇑⌋
Spells: Lesser Heal, Greater Heal, Minor Heal, Fireball, Flame Lance, Conjure Elemental: Fire, ???, ???, ???
Huh, so I'm not strong enough to see all of her abilities? Annoying.
Ash was internally badmouthing Evitagen for only giving him exactly what he needed. He wanted more...
Suddenly, Ash collapsed on the chair, he had just stood up from.
"Tired are we?" Angela said, laughing.
Ash raised his head.
"Quite, Miss Angela. Now, I'll be taking my leave" He seemed awfully relaxed, for someone who had just fallen over from fatigue.
Ash ended up bidding Angela goodbye, and politely apologized for troubling her. It was already noon. Morning prayer was over, so he crossed the courtyard in a flash without anyone noticing him.
"Time to pay Mr. Wilfred a visit" Ash said to himself.
A twisted grin was spreading across his face, as he was closing in on the church's administrative quarters.