Chapter 11 - System And Status
The Inspector glanced at Arthur, then turned to Varian and sighed. His eyes slowly turned red, and he said in an ardent tone, "There's a speculation. In the Dungeons where their appearance was recorded, we sent adventure teams. They found no traces. We continued searching. But we found nothing. It was as if they disappeared and never appeared.
They had no presence for 10 days and we believed Abyssals somehow returned to their respective Abysses.
Then out of blue, many genius Awakeners who were practicing for the entrance were killed on the same day. Then it struck us. Abyssals mastered some special way to hide in the Dungeons."
The inspector took a deep breath, recalling the moment when the realization struck him. He went from unbelieving to denial to helpless acceptance. In ways more than one, this truth left him feeling helpless.
He looked at the young people who just escaped death by a stroke of luck and continued, "Their motives are scarier. By killing today's geniuses, they are cutting tomorrow's powerhouses.
However, not every genius who entered was targeted. They were very specific. They are even more cunning. They avoided several baits thrown by the Bureau. We could do nothing to stop Abyssals. They cross tunnel into Dungeons as they please, hide their traces and use the most opportune moment to strike.
As a result, there is a growing consensus among the officials that Dungeons are dangerous.
So, the Federation is taking this very seriously. There are rumors that Cadets of Imperial Defense Academy will be sent to look into this.
We're optimistic it'll be solved but… don't venture into any low Dungeons until there is a closure."
Arthur remained silent while the Trio nodded. The Inspector left with unnatural steps. His words left a heavy atmosphere in the room.
So everyone consciously chose to avoid bringing up the Abyssal's plan. Varian felt powerless in front of the power of a whole race.
Varian didn't have any plans to visit the Dungeon in the near future. Not after this accident.
Even though Dungeons were an integral part of an Awakener's combat experience, they weren't the only part. There were other locations.
'Imperial Defense Academy… Sia's Academy.' Varian thought and the images of the strange dream once again flashed in his mind.
"I thought we wouldn't be so unlucky. But who knew." Arthur said as he shot a glance at Kyle.
Varian and Maya also looked at Kyle. Kyle's nickname was "Luck Lord." His worries, however improbable, mostly came true.
Whether Kyle was the source of bad luck or a victim himself, no one was sure. But he was isolated and finished highschool a year early, like Varian. They met in Leon Training Hall when Kyle wanted to learn some basic fighting skills. Due to their own eccentric natures perhaps, Kyle and Varian soon became good friends.
Kyle's luck seemed to turn around for the better once when he saved a girl his age from hooligans. The girl was Maya and soon they started dating.
Varian looked at Kyle who buried his face in his neck and refused to look at them. He sighed in defeat. There was no point in blaming Kyle. It was not like he was responsible for the Abyssal attack. They were already happening. Plus, if Kyle and Maya never came, Varian would've likely died.
"I'll take my leave," Arthur reached the door and paused, "Mr. Gareth asked me to inform you're no longer the Hall's trainer." The door opened, and he left.
'Clever Old Man.' Varian smiled. He felt that Gareth knew about the Abyssal's incident and that was the reason he urged him that day.
Once the incident gets revealed to public, Varian wouldn't be able to enter a Dungeon even if he wanted to. So he wanted Varian to enter the Dungeon before it's too late.
That was also the reason why he asked Arthur to be Varian's escort Adventure Team. A Level 3 Awakener seemed like an overkill in the beginning, but now it made perfect sense.
"You guys also take rest. No, take a shower first." Varian shooed and sent away the Kyle couple. It had been a day since he was hospitalized. He was sure they stayed in the ward since yesterday. They were stinking at this point.
He laid on the bed and glanced at the date. 38th, Septe, 520 YAB.
'The entrance to Defense Academy is on 45th. I got only 6 days.' Varian was anxious.
To be admitted, he needed to be at least Level 2. He still wanted to give it a try and train but according to the medi AI, his body needed one more night to completely heal.
'I'll check the orphanage tomorrow and train. But now…'
'System!' Varian called out in his mind and the familiar mechanical voice sounded from within.
[Yes, Host Were you expecting congratulations for surviving]
Varian felt the urge to slap the dragon bracelet but remembered it merged with him. Now he can't even have the satisfaction of slapping it.
'I'd be surprised if you said something nice. Show me my status.'
Body Path: Level 1 (Xp): 5/100
Stats: 3% Greater Human]
Varian focused on his status panel for the first time.
'Care to explain how this works' He asked, rubbing his chin.
[I'll display your current position in Divine paths using your species's convention of nine levels.
So, in Level 1 (Xp): 5/100, the first part shows your current position in the path.
Each path has its own requirements to advance in the level and it changes with each level.
For example, a Level 3 Space Awakener needs to understand and comprehend unbinding to advance to Level 4.
A Level 6 Elementalist needs to form Elemental Body to advance to Level 7.
Each level has its own requirements and this differs for each path. Xp is a simplified way of viewing your progress for the given level.]
Varian nodded. Regardless of the group or path one belonged to, every Awakener had to advance in 9 levels.
'What's with Stats'
[If Xp shows how much progress you're making, stats show how much strength you actually possess at said progress.
For Body Path Awakeners, the strength of first three levels is measured relative to Greater Human.
The attributes of a Peak Level 3 Body Awakener is set as 100% Greater Human.
You're currently a Level 1. Your comprehensive power: the aggregate of your strength, defense and speed is 3% of a Greater Human.]
'So as I progress, I get closer and closer to 100% Greater Human. But 3% is too low for a Level 1. A peak Level 3 is nearly 33 times stronger than me.'
[You're right about the progress part but wrong about the 33 times one. Do you think all Level 1s are of the same strength
No. Currently, your Xp is 5/100.
Once you increase your xp to 20/100, your stats will increase by 1%. When you reach 100/100 of level 1, your stats will be 8% of Greater Human.]
'So as I progress in the level, my strength increases instead of it only increasing when I advance to higher level. Makes sense.' Varian nodded.
[Right. And after reaching 8% at 100/100 of Level 1, you'll need to advance to Level 2. This advancement will give you a boost and your initial stats for Level 2 would be 25%]
'What The whole increase in Level 1 was only from 3% to 8%, while just breaking into Level 2 jumps to 25%! So this is why there are few who can fight against higher levels. There's so much disparity.' He finally found answers to some things that puzzled him.
Varian held his breath and asked the final and most important question.
'What do you mean by First Path Does that mean I can have more'