Chapter 32 Cheating Death – Necessity (Part 4)

Chapter 32 Cheating Death – Necessity (Part 4)

Finally coming up with a name for the event that had changed all their lives, they felt a small amount of comfort, pulsing out through their bodies, as a huge weight was lifted off their shoulders. They could finally enjoy a sliver, of peace of mind. As if they’d answered a question they’d all been wondering even if they knew they really hadn’t.

Ava’s comment held a greater meaning. It signified her coming to her senses, snapping out of her shock-like state.

While walking, Daichi began trying to trigger his analyze skill into the distance. He thought that if nothing happened, there wasn’t likely to be anything there. But if it triggered, he might have a leg up on any previously unforeseen dangers or enemies before coming into contact with them.

Not wanting to push Ava’s state of mind, they began walking again. That’s until Daichi asked something he’d been wondering about for a long while.

“I’ve actually had limited opportunities to read much about the specifics of magic and mana, I was wondering if you knew something about attributes? I know that some people have multiple attributes, but how does that even work?” Daichi asked this question to no one in particular. But in the depths of his heart, he was expecting Hannah to answer.

Instead, to his surprise it was Ava that followed up on his question “Attributes aren’t necessary for spells or skills. My father taught me that attributes simply makes learning and using certain spells a lot easier, while at the same time, making it harder to learn and use spells of other of any other type.

In fact, understanding the principles behind a spell is far harder than actually putting it into practice. As for attributes and how one gains them, that’s unknown.”

Thinking about her words, Daichi wondered about the unknown comment. He himself already had his own theories, wouldn’t high ranked powerful wizards, or beings of other species with an affinity for magic perhaps have figured this out?

Wondering why this knowledge wasn’t widespread, Daichi started believing that it was information only passed on to an apprentice or disciple.

“How many attributes are there?” Daichi thought, but said the words out loud

Hannah and Kaden glanced at each other, both curious about that themselves. They had only the knowledge their mother had taught them, not even the diaries that would have been left behind for them.

Ava glanced around the group and without her usual arrogance spoke up “I’m surprised you don’t know. This isn’t exactly common knowledge but it’s not a secret either. A lot of the professors at our school knew this. Did you never ask them?”

Embarrassed, he looked away from everyone. Daichi couldn’t bring himself to tell them the truth; he was always too uncomfortable to have a real conversation with any of his teachers. Their conversations were never long enough for them to have taught him anything useful.

Noticing Daichi glancing away from them, Ava began to get a little annoyed, thinking to herself that he was being too arrogant again. Not letting it get to her, Ava recited a piece of textbook information;

“There are four categorizations for attributes. The Nature Attributes can be categorized under the Major and Minor attributes. The Minor one’s being water, wind and fire.

These are considered minor because they exist in nature. The Major attributes being Light and Darkness because they exist within nature and apart from it.

Then there are the Law of Nature attributes, which are usually stronger because they are not simply laws of nature but the universe itself, they are death, life and time.

These attributes are laws of the universe. All that is given life will eventually have death, all that which will die has to have life and time is what determines the length of everything in between from the start to the end.

Then there are the ’special’ attributes. These are especially powerful in their own right, but their grandeur is both more limited and more mysterious all at once. There are quite a few that fall into this category, the most common example is the ‘Void’ attribute that encapsulates space.

Trying to cast a spell which is based on one of these attributes is rather hard, and learning a skill of this attribute even harder without possessing the attribute. Otherwise, you need the understanding of it first. Which few people have managed to do in our history.

Lastly there are the ‘Unique’ attributes. These are the least common. Even more or at least as rare as the special attributes. They are a mutation or subset of a nature/law attribute. They are the peak of a specific attribute but also extremely limited and less flexible in their use. Common examples are heat and ice. Subsets of fire and water but very different.

My melt skill would technically use a lot of principles of the heat usage of mana, but my insight is actually very limited. Since our skill is inherited through a book that only people in my bloodline can read due to a spell that was placed on it. Although… This is of course how we commonly identify and categorize things, as far as I can tell though it seems that we have a pretty limited understanding of these things…”

When she finally finished speaking every one had different expressions on their faces.

Hannah was enthralled at finding out more about her attribute. She was wondering how she got her attribute and a lot of the questions she’d been trying to put aside were rushing back into her mind.

Daichi was extremely interested in this new knowledge. Going by what Ava had just said, if she was right then his attribute was not a nature or law one.

It was either a unique or special one. Considering that it didn’t seem to be a subset of something else, except maybe the void attribute then it might be a special attribute.

Thinking about it more closely, he realized that some of the knowledge he’d thus far gleamed into about other attributes and their uses was through his own. If chaos embodied other attributes then it was not likely it was a subset of something else.

Feeling a little lost in these thoughts, Daichi began to realize that there was definitely something obvious he was missing. Something he could gain if he could only back track and try to simplify what he knew about attributes and their connection to mana.

Even Kaden was lost in thought. He’d also worshipped his parents before they died. They were his role models, and while he loved his mother he worshipped his father. His father wasn’t very apt with magic or skills, but he was an excellent swordsman.

Kadens father never got the acknowledgement he deserved because the fighting arts were no longer viewed upon with great honor like they once were. Kaden never once gave this much thought. As he grew up, he always wanted to be more like his father.

Kadens father got the attention of women everywhere. He had a charm about him that made women get drawn into his orbit with the least amount of effort, causing his wife and Kadens mother endless headaches and jealousy. But it also made Kaden think of his father as the coolest man in the world.

Kaden wanted to be the same as his father, popular with the ladies and manly without magic. But now finally realizing that mana and magic might be essential in this new world, he finally began wondering how he could use his attribute to fight more effectively, or he could do it at all.

A heavy silence shrouded the group as they walked. For the first time in a while, it wasn’t a silence of fear or sadness but thought and introspection. Everyone was trying to gain an insight into something useful.

Ava, unlike the others was not thinking about attributes and mana, but rather her previous encounter. She’d had lost herself for a second, had it not been for the others she’d be dead. Shuddering but not allowing herself to wallow in shock any more, Ava straightened her back and tried to regain her composure.

Ava knew she needed the others and finally, after this last experience she was beginning to subconsciously nurture her greatest fear. She was terrified of the others leaving her behind, that they would think she wasn’t useful enough to them and that she’d be abandoned.

Seeing her home destroyed, with only blood smeared in multiple places to remind her that her parents and those she once knew were all dead, she had put it aside and immediately thought about everything her parents had taught her.

Ava’s parents had taught her to be strong. They taught her to lead others and to find comfort in the position of leadership, because a leader would always be needed.

Since joining this group, for the first time in all of her life no one had put her on a pedestal.

She was accustomed to being made to feel important but no one, not even Kaden whose eyes lingered on her longer than they needed all too often was groveling at her feet. Despite giving them the most useful weapons available, providing them with shelter and fighting along side of them.

Not one of these people had made her feel necessary. After finally having a monster sneak up on her, and only her. Ava had finally lost the composure she had always maintained and began to nurture a seed of doubt and fear.

Thinking about this and acknowledging that she needed to do more, and make herself more useful. Ava came to the conclusion that if even Daichi could lower his head and apologize to them, then she would also need to exhibit some level of modesty. Until she was necessary, she would at least aim to be more well liked.

In a contemplative mood, the entire group walked in silence, until while instinctively trying to activate his Analyze skill, Daichi surprised himself by successfully triggering it.

Greedy Troll  Level: 28
Description: One of the many inhabitants of the nearby river. Greedy Trolls only leave their river dwellings to hunt for treasure and food.

Halting immediately, Daichi put his hands up and got into a lowered crouching position while trying to cast Analyze in the general direction again

Greedy Troll Level: 28
Description: One of the many inhabitants of the nearby river. Greedy Trolls only leave their river dwellings to hunt for treasure and food.

With the others realizing that something must be happening, they also crouched down, “What’s going on?” Kaden was the first to voice their thoughts.

Still focusing on the exact same direction “I spotted two trolls. I can barely make them out, but my ability must have caught enough of a body part to activate.”

Taking a look at the others, Daichi decided on a new plan of action “We’re going to run into monsters. But when we find them first, it becomes an opportunity instead of a problem. We’ve dealt with trolls, same levels and now we know how to deal with them. So let’s start a troll hunt.”

The others looked a little weary. But acknowledging his words, Hannah and Ava nodded back.

Kaden on the other hand was not of the same mindset “They haven’t spotted us, there’s no need to go and kill them. Let’s just avoid them and go on our way.”

Staring at Kaden as if he’d said something ridiculous Daichi was about to start talking to only stop himself. Instead, glancing at Hannah curiously, he wondered what her response would be.

“We don’t need to kill them but we do Kaden. Opportunities to get stronger like this aren’t without risk, but this is still the best we can hope for.” without so much as a shred of hesitation Hannah replied to the look that Daichi was giving her.

“I’m up for it.” was all Ava said in response while trying to hide the anxiety appearing from before.

Not giving Kaden another chance to comment “I’ll rush in. When I say go, that means I’ve activated my skill and weakened them, at that point Hannah you go in for the kill on the one to my left and Ava and Kaden you two go in for the kill on the other.” Daichi stated his plan of attack.

Realizing that both kills would likely go to Hannah and Ava, Daichi was prepared to help them get stronger this way.

Checking if they were ready, Daichi steadied himself and waited for the two trolls to get into closer proximity to one another before rushing forward. Getting as close as possible, Daichi trigged his <Chaotic Eruption> wave in their direction, yelling “NOW!”. Getting even closer, he activated his <Chaos Erupts> upon contact with each of them before seeing Hannah moving forward, closely behind him.

The first skill wearing off, the trolls began to shriek and wave their clubs around, not leaving much room for anyone to step in their range. Waiting for Hannah and Kaden to get even closer, Daichi made sign for them to get behind him. He then launched another <Chaotic Eruption> wave in the direction of the trolls as he screamed “Go” for the girls to move in.

The trolls immobile, both Ava and Hannah’s skills made short work of both.

Immediately feeling exhaustion washing over him after draining most of his mana, Daichi told the others he needed to meditate. He also pressed them to keep a watch out for him, and to alert him in half an hour before entering into his Meditative State through his skill.

Daichi was awoken by the group more or less after half an hour. The entire group was feeling less tired after their rest as well.

The sun was finally closing in to the horizon, it looked like it was getting close to sunset.

Daichi and the group began moving again, wanting to get away from the troll corpses in case it drew attention from other monsters.

Not long after though, Daichi noticed two more trolls with his <Analyze> skill. Choosing not to waste the opportunity, he informed the group and then proceeded in the same fashion as before to eliminate both trolls.

After the second battle the sun was at break point with setting. With no problem occurring, the group was feeling more confident than before.

After meditating to regain his mana, Daichi felt refreshed again and moved out with the group. This time with the intent of finding some place to rest for the night.

Realizing that there was a good chance that they were close to a river and that it might be the reason that they had run into multiple trolls, Daichi suggested they move in a different direction. But, with all the forestry surrounding them… No one knew exactly what direction they had been moving in for a while.

As the sun set and the moons rose, with no safe refuge coming into their sights, everyone unanimously decided to look for a large sturdy tree to climb, so as to rest there.

At least that way they would be safe from some of the monsters. They would take turns sleeping, that way someone would always stay on watch.

The first day out in the wilderness finally coming to a conclusion, everyone had different thoughts as they tried to find even the slightest comfortable position on their branches.

Unfortunately, with so much weighting on their minds, not one of them could even get a glimpse of rest. No one except for Daichi.

Taking the opportunity to meditate, even in an awkward position on his tree branch, he settled into a natural meditation and allowed his mind to process his recent experiences.

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