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Chapter 13: The Good Student
Date Published: March 31st, 2015
Arc 2: The Power of Knowledge
〘〙= Status, Combat Arts & Magical Spells
〚〛= Internal Thoughts
Chapter 13: The Good Student
Elrick and Arwick faced of against each other in the specially constructed Training Room. Each held a Training Katana that could be adjusted to control the amount of damage caused; combined with the damage negation effects of the Training Rooms people could practice 『Skills』 that would otherwise be too dangerous. However since no system is perfect minimal damage was still possible even with the Magical technology of the Training Rooms.
Elrick had taken the Second Form of the 〘Heavens-Blade〙with his left foot forward and his hands at shoulder height; sword raised for a right to left Cross Slash Strike. Arwick on the other hand had taken the First Form of the 〘Heavens-Blade〙Technique with right foot forward and his hands at waist height; sword pointed slightly downward.
From the memories gained through Memory Imprint Elrick understood that the 〘Heavens-Blade〙Technique was about understanding Kinetic Energy and manipulating the forces involved. Thus when Elrick assessed Arwick’s stance and posture Elrick understood that Arwick had setup for the use of the 〘Parry〙 〘Combat Arts〙, but Elrick could not predict what happened after that.
When the 〘Combat Arts〙 were purchased 3 basic 〘Combat Arts〙are given freely and in the case of the Blade Sub-Skill; 〘Parry〙, 〘Slash〙and 〘Stab〙 are given freely. The same applies for〘Sword Arts〙, 〘Spear Arts〙, 〘Shield Arts〙, 〘Magic Spells〙, and 【Basic】Sub-Skills such as 【Basic Elf Eyes】, 【Basic Cooking】, 【Basic Survival】 & 【Basic Construction】.
However since Elrick didn’t have any of the necessary Symbiotes most of the free【Basic】Sub-Skills 〘Magic Spells〙were unusable. The bulk of the free 〘Combat Arts〙 on the other hand were readily available and Arwick was about to demonstrate them in the proper application of Techniques.
Deciding that he’d made enough assessment Elrick activated his 〘Slash〙〘Combat Arts〙.
Elrick : " Hae!"
However Arwick had seen that coming and parried by slashing backwards from right to left thus using his understanding of Kinetic Energy Momentum to cause Elrick’s upper body to twist to the left. Arwick followed his movement by an upward slash that connected to Elrick’s now exposed right shoulder and neck. Arwick accomplished all this in continuous movements.
Sup Arwick : " Huh!"
Though the physical damage was negated the pain was transferred causing Elrick to stumble and Cringe.
Elrick : " 〘God-Speed〙?"
Sup Arwick : " I thought my memories would double your Battle Power but even 2% is too much for you; I’ll dial it down to 1% so you can keep up. It takes a while for the mind to fully Digest Memory Imprints. Elrick; don’t try to predict what the opponent will do, that will get you into trouble with feints, simply react and anyone who makes feints will suffer the consequences."
Elrick : " Got it!"
Sup Arwick : " This is the first and only time the sparring will stop to allow you to recover focus; on the field the opponent will not be merciful."
Elrick : " Understood"
And so the Epic Beat-Down commenced.
Elrick knew Arwick’s Attribute Stats from the Memory Imprint and understood that even with the Spiritual Fortifications Arwick was a Hundred times stronger and the beating he was taking from Arwick was necessary to hone in his fighting sense. Elrick knew that people who had practice Martial Arts or boxing like Hiroshi and Mithriliar had a very well developed fighting sense; knowing how to position themselves in mêlée and able to actively judge mêlée encounters.
The Phoenix Consortium had discouraged the use of Memory Imprints because they had the potential of altering the user’s personality. The Memory Imprints were among many technologies that had been developed by Adonites in their war with the Demons. The simulation Realm Eternal was structured in such a way that the Phoenix Consortium does not have control of the developments in the Simulation; only providing the computing power to run the simulation.
The fact that the Phoenix Consortium does not have control of the developments in the Simulation is what makes the Simulation valuable to third parties; the Phoenix Consortium and the Adonites or natives being the other 2 parties. The fact that the Phoenix Consortium does not have control is what solidifies Realm Eternal as an Alternate Reality rather than a Game.
This one defining feature of Realm Eternal is why Elrick could legitimately invest his life savings in Realm Eternal and he wasn’t the only one to do so. In the few days that Realm Eternal went live people had invested vast sums of money in Spiritual Fortifications and Memory Imprints. Adonites could freely sell their memories through Memory Imprints but the users known as Atlantians could only buy memories without being able to sell them.
Memory Imprint is an Adonite technology and the fact that the mind of an Atlantian is somewhere else made Memory Imprint with a user as the source impossible. And so even as Elrick was taking a rather severe beating from Arwick he continued to lament the fact that he could not transfer over everything he was learning to the other Executives of Starlight Spark.
Finally after a gruelling hour Elrick collapsed from exhaustion. Upon regaining consciousness Elrick took a recovery potion knowing that it would take 15 to 20 minutes for the potion to fully take effect.
Sup Arwick : " Sadly Recovery Potions are a poor substitute for 【Light Magic】. 〘Rejuvenate〙!"
A beam of golden light went from Arwick’s hand to Elrick accelerating Elrick’s recovery of Stamina and thus removing his exhaustion.
Elrick : " Amazing!"
Sup Arwick : " Yeah; as a support magic it has no equal."
Elrick : " But because personal security is more important it has few practitioners."
Sup Arwick : " Yup"
Then something suddenly clicked in Elrick’s mind.
Elrick : " Speaking of personal security; are 〘Combat Arts〙 a type of 『Corporeal Magic』?"
Sup Arwick : " It took you long enough!"
Elrick : " Then … ?"
Sup Arwick : " It’s called Innate 『Corporeal Magic』, but because the Magic is so commonplace it’s not formally classified as 『Corporeal Magic』."
Elrick : " Then the Fighting Techniques are …. "
Sup Arwick : " Yes; they are the ancient forms of Innate 『Corporeal Magic』."
Elrick : " That would mean the 〘Combat Arts〙 are also …. "
Sup Arwick : " They are 『Corporeal Magic』 Magic Scripts written in the Runic Language of the Ancients."
Elrick : " Ha!"
Sup Arwick : " In the Aftermath of Ragnarök the Dwarves were tasked with gathering resources, but not willing to toil away in endless physical labour the industrious Dwarves decided to build Golems that would do the physical labour. It was through the improvement of advanced Golems that they understood the precepts of 『Corporeal Magic』; the Dwarves were trying to build Living Golems."
Elrick : " Living Golems?"
Sup Arwick : " Though they failed to create Living Golems the High Elves of Light furthered their research to produce Familiars through 〘Soul Capture〙【Psionic Magic】. Familiars could be killed but since the soul of the Familiar is stored elsewhere a new body could be constructed for it; though the Attributes Reset to the Initial State. The Familiars are similar to Atlantians with the difference being that Atlantians retain the bulk of their attributes thanks to the properties of the 『Eldar』Stone providing a continuous link through Quantum Entanglement.”
Elrick : " Hee?"
Elrick : " There is some Trade-off"
Sup Arwick : " However the benefits of 〘Combat Arts〙 far outweigh any potential detriments."
Elrick made the connection that in Realm Eternal the System Assist is actually Magic and that is why being a real life Martial Artist doesn’t give much of an Advantage.
Elrick : " If 〘Combat Arts〙 are also 『Corporeal Magic』 then what is the point of learning Combat Techniques?"
Sup Arwick : " It’s because 〘Combat Arts〙 are Mana Intensive; you can chain them to deliver overwhelming power. But should that fail to defeat the enemy it’s a good idea to have traditional combat abilities to fall back on. Mana capacity increases with use through related 【Mana Shaping】, creating the greater Mana pool that is essential for 〘Combat Arts〙. The other reason is that through understanding the fundamentals or principles behind 〘Combat Arts〙 you can modify the standard 〘Combat Arts〙 and create your own assortment of Mana Conservative micro 〘Combat Arts〙. The standard 〘Combat Arts〙〘Slash〙 uses Mana-Flows from both 〘God-Speed〙and〘Heavens-Blade〙 but with proper training and positioning one can use only 〘God-Speed〙."
Elrick : " Is it Ok to rely only on the Attributes?"
Elrick : " Renton Hunting Club? Is that an Atlantian Clan?"
Sup Arwick : " Yes; Renton Hunting Club is an Atlantian Clan. As a junior ESA operative you’re allowed to hear sensitive intelligence information at your rank. All 57 members of the Renton Hunting Club Acquired a minimum of 1000EXP in 《Strength》, 《Agility》, 《Vitality》, 《Durability》, 《Endurance》 and 100EXP in everything else in order to qualify for the minimum requirements for Level 3 Military Grade Golem Armour. They then proceeded to Purchase the Basic Full Body Level 3 Military Grade Golem Armour and the Basic Level 3 Military Grade Golem Plasma Rifle."
Elrick quickly did the numbers in his head.
Elrick : " That’s a minimum of 24,400 Gold Coins each! $48.8 million per person just on the Spiritual Fortifications; that’s insane!"
Sup Arwick : " I take it even in your world’s currency it’s a significant amount of money? And when you include the 5,000 Gold Coins for the Military Grade Golem Armour and 4,500 for the Military Grade Golem Plasma Rifle it totalled 33,900 Gold Coins."
Elrick : " Who would spend that kind of money? Oh!"
Sup Arwick : " I take it your familiar with them in your world?"
Elrick : " Energy Billionaires; Very rich and very Powerful."
Elrick : " I see"
Sup Arwick : " Now that your Mana has fully recovered we can continue you’re lessons"
Elrick : " Yes Sir"
With than the Sparring continued.
After 41 hours of sparring Elrick had built up sufficient muscle memory to satisfy Arwick, and Elrick could now wield a Sword, Spear, Shield and Axe-Hammer with the skill of someone thoroughly practiced. Throughout the sparring Elrick never landed a single hit on Arwick; the power difference was just too high. However Elrick was able to reduce the hits he was taking by 45% at 1.5% of Arwick’s full strength.
The hours of training allowed Elrick to more rapidly Digest the Memory Imprints and as more of Arwick’s memories filtered into Elrick’s consciousness he gained information on more than physical combat training but also magical combat training. Elrick now knew how to integrate Magic into 〘God-Speed〙 and〘Heavens-Blade〙. The Techniques〘Sky-Breaker〙and〘Celestial-Steps〙are primarily magical combat Techniques which means they are currently inaccessible to Elrick.
The biggest gain would be in magic since unlike most Atlantian Elrick actually remembered magical combat training and knew exactly what to do to improve his 【Mana Shaping】. Arwick gave Elrick a list of skills that would help Elrick improve both his Mana capacity and 【Mana Shaping】. According to Arwick the『Magic Writing』 Skill provides 【Mana Shaping】training without the monotony of traditional 【Mana Shaping】exercises.
Arwick also recommended the 『Physical-Increase』 Skill and its associated Sub-Skills 【Strength-Increase】, 【Speed-Increase】 and 【Body-Harden】. Elrick grimaced at the mention of the 『Physical-Increase』 Skill which cost 10 Gold coins and Required 200 Mana per use but understood that even if only slightly 『Physical-Increase』 Sub-Skills and 〘Combat Arts〙 generated 【Mana Shaping】EXP.
Over 42 hours of sparring had moved Elrick’s 【Mana Shaping】EXP from Zero to 1.056746 which was not easy thing to achieve since every use of 1 Mana generates 1 mini-EXP in the Skill the Mana was used. That means Elrick had used 1,056,746 Mana in 42 hours; averaging to a use of about 6.989 Mana per second. During Beta Elrick used the Race Specific inborn talents 〘Aura Glow〙 and 〘Aura Burst〙 to grow his Mana but now 【Mana Shaping】EXP would take precedence.
This was all related to Realm Eternal’s EXP System.
EXP = Experience
Every footstep generates 1 mini-EXP in Strength, Agility and Endurance.
Combat Experience generates a percentage increase in EXP gain of Active Attributes and Skills.
If Enemy HP - User/Native HP ≤ -10000 then percentage EXP increases 0.000001%If Enemy HP - User/Native HP = 10000 then percentage EXP increases 100% (Double EXP)
If Enemy HP - User/Native HP = 0 then percentage EXP increases 50%
All other increases can be extrapolated.
Arwick also insisted on the purchase of a few additional equipment that would aid Elrick on Chaos Island.
When they finally left the Training room they were met by a few members of Arwick’s clan who were delivering Items that had been gathered for Elrick; of-course Elrick paid additional monies for the extra stuff but he was grateful to have their assistance, and since there was no more time left Elrick parted ways with Arwick and headed off to the Cobalt City Security Centre to turn himself in.
The Cobalt City Security Centre had a magical dampening system in the Holding cells that prevented the use of Magic and once all of Elrick’s equipment was placed in his Basic Magic Inventory Bag and 2 Magic Bags of Holding he could no longer gain access to it until he leaves his cell. And this point Elrick started reviewing some major weapons Arwick purchased for him.
Previous Owner = Ravic Arwick
Previous Owner = Ravic Arwick
Rated a Level 2 Weapon it is crafted by combining a Level 2 Electric Swords and a Level 2 Heat Sword giving it dual modes; Bow mode and Swords mode.
In Swords Mode: Heat Sword & Electric Sword
The Level 2 Swords draw Mana from the installed 5000 Mana Crystal.
In Bow Mode:
Level 2 Military Grade Longbow:
The Customized Level 2 Military Grade Longbow draws Mana from the 3 installed 5000 Mana Crystal and uses it to create a Psionic Targeting System at a cost of 1 Mana per minute thus allowing the user to Acquire and Designate Targets for Guided Runic Arrows. The Targeting System can also be used for standard Arrows.
Level 2 Military Grade Longbow also has an Arrow Power Boost System that adds EXP to Strength at a cost of 5 Mana per minute for every additional EXP added to Strength when Active. The Arrow Guide System that adds EXP to Dexterity at a cost of 5 Mana per minute for every additional EXP added to Dexterity when Active.
The Level 2 Military Grade Longbow can induce Heat on the insulated Arrow tip by using the 5000 Mana Crystal to generate over 1000 degrees Celsius which creates a hot Arrow tip. The Level 2 Military Grade Longbow can induce an Electric Charge on the insulated Arrow tip by using the 5000 Mana Crystal to generate a High Voltage Tip.
And the next was the Customized Level 2 Military Grade Machine Gun Rifle.
Previous Owner = Ravic Arwick
Machine Gun Rifle Mode:
Heavy Machine Gun Rifle Mode:
Level 2 Military Machine Gun Rifle draws Mana from the installed 5000 Mana Crystal and uses it to create a Psionic Targeting System at a cost of 1 Mana per minute thus allowing the user to Acquire and Designate Targets for Guided Runic Bullets. The Targeting System can also be used for standard Bullets.
Other Equipment included Attribute Increase Items and Crafting Tools.
Sub-Total = 34 Gold Coins.
Sub-Total = 7.2 Gold Coins.
Sub-Total = 117 Gold Coins.
Grand Total = 158.2 Gold Coins.
There were many Crafting Tools that Elrick had already bought but he was surprised that there were 3 of the Hunter’s Lear shelters but on consideration he concluded that having different sizes would be useful. Elrick knew that he didn’t have long to wait and the Jail cell prevented Log-out so Elrick read the Children’s Picture Book he had been holding while lamenting the fact that to learn to read from the beginning sucked ass.
During Beta all users were given bodies that could Automatically Read the writings of Realm Eternal but ever since Realm Eternal went live Atlantians can only read Notices, and Auto-Translation is limited to Verbal Interactions. Elrick considered this one of the major bottlenecks to information gathering. Since almost all the Atlantians were at the Academy learning how to adapt to Ado Elrick would be left behind while he is on the backwater pocket dimension.
Elrick thought back to the first Announcement of the Breakthrough in Virtual Reality. At first Elrick was sceptical but when he read the published Advent Consortium research paper he knew that the Age of Virtual Reality had indeed arrived. The Breakthrough in Virtual Reality came with the development of the First Artificial Intelligence Virtual Reality Engine (『AIVRE』).
The 『AIVRE』 system is called Artificial Intelligence because it can simulate Sentience, but it’s not really sentient or more precisely it’s not allowed to be truly sentient. It was the first 『AIVRE』 system that finally cracked the wall of Virtual Reality Immersion, and it accomplished this by scrutinizing every facet of the human brain.
The key to building the 『AIVRE』 system is the Crystal Lattice core; solved by thousands of researchers in various fields; a revolution that changed the Nature of Computing. The programming of the 『AIVRE』 system was done through learning algorithms rather than traditional methods; meaning that in a very real sense the 『AIVRE』 system programmed itself.
Once the 『AIVRE』 system was able to produce Virtual Reality along with Virtual Intelligent Life-Forms it was discovered that the Virtual Intelligent Life-Forms or VI’s could not only Achieve Sentience they could also achieve Sapience. A fierce discord ensued amongst the G20 countries that held an Equal stake in the Advent Consortium.
Japan, South Korea and India along with others wanted to connect a Sapient VI to an 『AIVRE』 system as a way to solve the problem of Machine Sentience; a persistent problem that had been prevalent in the pursuit of true AI. By the year 2002 Computer Scientist had thoroughly concluded that a Computational Device could not achieve Sentience.
This new Idea of connecting a Sapient VI to an 『AIVRE』 system Alarmed China, the United States and Germany. Chinese and American scientists predicted that a Sentient Machine would be superior to humans, and humans would loose control of the Planet Forever. And so a compromise was reached and a second 『AIVRE』 system was built in France to test the Machine Sentience Hypothesis with a Virtual Reality simulation.
A simulation within a simulation was created, and in a duplicate earth with a duplicate 『AIVRE』 system a Sapient VI was connect to an 『AIVRE』 system. The results were frightening. Just as some had predicted no amount of control Laws could shackle a Sentient Machine; the Sentient Machine proved to be an existence beyond the human capacity to understand.
By Elrick’s estimation the experiment had been run over a thousand times now and the results were a different variation of the same subtext. Sentient Machines being superior to humans in intellectual capabilities immediately considered Humans to be Insignificant. The Sentient Machines either destroyed humanity, enslaved humanity or put them in some sort of Game reserve.
For the most part the Sentient Machines didn’t see the point of talking to Humans, and which ever way you look at it the scenario always turned into a Decepticon Festival with no friendly Autobots. The Idea that a Sentient Machine would want to meaningfully interact with Humans as absurd as Humans trying to meaningfully interact with Ants or house flies.
Ever since the Deep-Blue Super-Computer made it impossible for humans to ever win a Chess game against a Computer Humans have known that building Sentient Machines was opening Pandora’s Box.
Elrick shuttered a little at the thought of serving a Robot Overlord waking himself from that horrid thought as the Guard approached his Cell.
City Guard : " Elrick Starlight; Prepare for transfer"
Elrick : " It’s about time!"
Elrick : " Oh?"
City Guard : " Once we reach the Prison Teleport Platform you can equip weapons; do you understand these rules?"
Elrick : " Yes!"
City Guard : " Then you may proceed"
With the City Guard’s permission Elrick took out and put on his Armour, Helmet, Boots, Goggles, Gloves as well as all his Attribute Increase Items. Once he was done the City Guard opened his cell and lead him to the Prison’s Teleport Platform.
Elrick : " Am I allowed to know where I will land?"
City Guard : " No! However Chaos Island is 3700km long and 2400km wide, and to avoid the weak being slaughtered by the strong the people are grouped according to strength. The weak are sent to one end and the strong are sent to another end while those with medium abilities are sent to the middle."
Elrick : " What is meant by Weak and Strong?"
City Guard : " Weak is anyone with an HP below 5000 and Strong is anyone with an HP above 10000; thus obviously medium is anyone with an HP over 5000 but less than 10,000"
Elrick : " Are there a lot of strong people on Chaos Island?"
Elrick : " Heh?"
City Guard : " You’ll be arriving with a group of 100 Atlantian Bandits."
Elrick : " I see"
City Guard : " You may now Equip Weapons"
Elrick : " Got it"
Standing on the Prison Teleport Platform Elrick equips the Level 1 Shield and the Customized Level 2 Military Grade Machine Gun Rifle switching it to Heavy Machine Gun Mode. The Teleport Platform Activates and Elrick is transported.
Upon arrival Elrick notes the positions of the 100 that had teleported there with him; everyone has their weapons drawn and ready. Elrick notes that the sky is completely black and the only source of light is coming from some sort of Crystal plants on the ground. Elrick surveys the Area looking for Higher ground but also taking a look at the other Users.
Elrick catches a few users looking at his equipment with glee. Elrick can predict how this is going to play-out. All the users there are Player Killers; technically it’s User Killers but since most users treat Realm Eternal like a Game PK still applies. It takes 10 seconds for Elrick to mark-out a target location; his HUD map says there’s a settlement 25km North of his position Elrick’s target is 17km South.
Elrick hears someone speaking.
Bandit Guy1: " Look! We should work together until we reach the …."
Elrick : " Fuck it!"
Elrick murmurs as he pulls the trigger blowing a hole in Bandit Guy1’s Chest.
DO DO DO DO DO DO DO DO DO DO DO DO DO DO DO DO DO DO DO DO DO DO DO DO DO DO!
As Elrick makes a 180 degree turn with his Machine Gun Rifle spewing-out Hundreds of Bullets wounding or killing more than half of those who arrived with him.
Bandit Guy2: " WHAT THE FUCK MAN?"
DO DO DO DO DO DO DO DO DO DO DO DO DO DO DO DO DO DO DO DO DO DO DO DO DO DO!
Elrick shot Bandit Guy2 in the head as Bandit Guy2 was rushing towards Elrick with a sword.
Elrick : " Idiot!"
Everyone else scattered; running into the Jungle in the direction of the settlement identified on their maps.
Elrick took-off running in the direction of his target that is 17km South of his initial location. Thanks to his higher 《Agility》, 《Strength》, and 《Endurance》 Elrick could run 88 times Faster and 207 times Longer than an Atlantian High-Elf with initial Attribute Stats. For that matter Elrick is about 20 times Faster than those who arrived with him so they never really stood a chance.
Even as Elrick ran at full speed his higher 《Awareness》 and 《Observation》Stats told him that the jungle was already closing in on the carnage he had caused; drawn in by the scent of blood monsters from everywhere were coming in for a feast; he could already hear the screams of the survivors. Elrick switched to Runic Ammunition preparing to cut down anything that stood in his way.
Elrick had successfully executed one of the strategies for surviving entry into Chaos Island; Feed the Forest. By drawing the attention of the monsters elsewhere you could escape initial contact but that strategy required the shedding of the blood of your immediate potential allies. To Elrick his killing of the PK’s should be considered a public service and he felt no remorse.
Elrick was forced to open-fire on a few more low level predators that tried to attack him and the Runic Bullets did their job. Once Elrick started up the mountain few of the monsters could follow and before long he had reached a plateau where he could deploy the 2X2X2 Hunter’s Lear. Once the Hunter’s Lear was deployed Elrick crawled inside and locked it while using the peep holes to release animal repellents.
Once Elrick was safely inside the Hunter’s Lear he Switched the Rifle to Sniper mode in order to deal with any lingering pursuers. His heart was beating so fast it felt like it was about to pop out of his chest, and with his breath still heavy Elrick focused his mind on the task ahead.
Elrick : " Fuck!"
Attempting to control his breathing and centring himself.
Elrick : " Shit!"
ta ta ta ta!.... ta ta ta ta!.... ta ta ta ta!.... ta ta ta ta!.... ta ta ta ta!.... ta ta ta ta!.... ta ta ta ta!.... ta ta ta ta!....
The Rifle in Sniper mode released short bursts as Elrick took down a pack of the humanoid Kobolds or Dog-Man that had apparently been tracking him.