B3 C18: Never Doubt Alara'Valis - Protagonist: The Whims of the Gods (2023)

I stopped when the notification came, ending my short run. It turns out that the academy has nice fitness rooms, along with a track. It wasn't something he'd ever thought of, but in hindsight, of course there would be a clue: if high schools on Earth could do it, then surely a training academy could.

While miles aren't much in the grand scheme of things, I'd imagine a good percentage of people will be doing their firstRunability would breathe a little harder if they won it over. As for me, the energy used was not even visible. But instead of making me feel good about myself, it had the opposite effect: Flithus was right. Hehe wasPretty stupid, I never learned that skill considering how easy it was.

"I understand!" He yelled at the aforementioned counselor that he was sitting to the side. I read the message as I ran towards it.

You have learned a new skill: running

Improve your running form. Increases traction and stability during the race. Increases your effective running agility by 1% and improves your ability to handle agility at high speeds.

Requirements: 15 Dexterity

"Good! Now, the skill might seem a bit silly at first, but it's the main thing in any combat speed or agility class. IfRunit's a class based skill, you can expect someone your age to have trained the skill up to level 30 or so. In addition to having two skill buffs by then, you'll find someone with 25 dexterity that will also give you some extra value.ActAgility points when running. Not to mention the fact that the skill itself is a prerequisite for other, more advanced movement skills, as well as…”

Flithus went on for a while, listing all the possible ways the ability could be developed. Hehe wasinteresting because I wouldn't see a skill that requires another skill yet, but unfortunately it seemed like it was going to take me a while.

However, I was right: especially with my bonus offoot defectgive me a movement skills test in class,RunIt should have been a game changer for me, especially considering how easy it was to get. Exactly how many skills did I miss?

As if sensing my train of thought, Flithus moved on from his tirade to the next plot point.

"Now! While we can stay here and make you run for a while longer, I suggest we work to make up for your lack of other important skills. Then come."

"Flithuse, please tell me that you are playing me." The two of us sit in a small personal training room with nothing but a couch, mat, andPollo.I looked at the large selection of my least favorite items, not believing my eyes.

"I assure you, Miss Tess, I am not playing with you, as you said." Have you ever seen someone with particularly well-defined muscles? How do you think they got to that state?

My thoughts immediately turned to Alara and then to Drawgin's mayor, Agath. Did I actually assume they had much more power than me? After all, the strength seemed to at least make my muscles a little more defined.

Flithuse, be honest with me. What is the point of living in a magical universe where you can increase your power by adding stat points ifDo you still have to train?"I frowned at the row of weights lined up in front of me. I really thought that I had outgrown the need for such things.

"I apologize. Of course you didn't."requireddo this. You're probably one of the few people who could get away without missing them, right. Most people primarily develop strengthrequireability, because it helps them regulate the force they apply in everyday actions. Also, it's often a prerequisite to getting a decent lesson that you don't worry about. Since perception gives you insight into your body and your dexterity gives you finer motor control, this isn't much of a problem for you.

So… I don't really have to exercise?

Seeing the look on my face, Flithus continued. “Of course, without ability you will always be significantly weaker than you could have been. And all of your colleagues with similar Strength stats will be significantly stronger than you…”

He left that sentence hanging in the air.

With no shortage of muffled grunts, I finally relented.

You have learned a new skill: Strength Training

It improves muscle control and the ability to regulate the force you use. Allows you to maximize your power and increase your effective power by 1% when you exert yourself. Increases muscle definition.

Requirements: 15 Strength, 15 Stamina


"Are any of these skills nice to acquire? Skills I really like to practice?" Back on the path, I took a cautious step forward, sensing that at any moment I might trip and fall sideways.

"Hmm. Maybe next time we'll do something less physical?" The counselor walked happily, following me far enough that I wouldn't be in the danger zone if I fell.

I could hardly blame him either. At this point, he was saddled with so much weight that he would probably crush her if I fell. On my back, chest and even neck were tied bags with various rubbish and weights.

With my stats, the experience was pretty bearable, aside from everything being clunky. However, that was part of the point, as the notice I eventually received could confirm.

You have learned a new skill: carrying

Reduces the perceived weight of all items carried by 1%. Increases your ability to move normally during overexertion. Reduces weight-based resistance by 1%. The effects diminish with excessive tension.

Requirements: 20 Stamina, 15 Strength

How often will I use this? I have a space bag!

Despite my internal complaints, I knew that this was not the point. According to Flithus, the ability extended toofStamina drain based on difficulty. In the heat of battle, I would lower my stamina from wearing heavy armor. It even helped me reduce the stamina spent on the move.ownbody weight.

Apparently, there were even some courses that were based on that last part, where people worked to increase their body weight as much as possible. with enough heightTo uselevel, the added weight barely affected their speed or stamina, instead giving them a literally massive advantage in strength. Also, coupled with a tall enough build, the bodies became as solid as metal, making each extra ounce feel like an extra layer of armor.

It was kind of the sumo version of things, and while practicing basic wrestling skills seemed to make most wrestlers pretty skinny by default, it was interesting to learn that there wasn't much of a stigma against being fat or overweight. Flithus assured me that in many of the more martial areas of the world, it was quite the opposite, in fact, a lean physique was seen as a sign of weakness, regardless of how muscular you were.

As for me, I wasn't about to start force-feeding myself to get a little more "natural armor". At the same time, if everwritingHe started to gain weight, then it sounded like I had even more reason not to worry.

But now I just wanted to usenowweight

After achieving the skill I was after, I started to untie all the sacks, but was briefly stopped by Flithus.

"While I'm glad you were able to master the skill, you do know we all need to put them back where we got them, right?"


I dipped a sponge into the tanning paste before smoothing it over my face. The result was not so good. It was partly because of my lack of skills, partly because of where I was. The cosmetics in Sylum aren't really based on "Yekkish" skin tones.

Fortunately, it turned out that my attempts were enough for the system.

You have learned a new skill: Changing Appearances

It helps to change your look to match any look you want. At novice rank, this ability is mostly limited to skin-related appearances. Also grants +1% effective Charisma to all social skills.

Requirements: 15 Charisma

I didn't think how this lesson would go, but I guess a skill is a skill. Further…

"Is this supposed to help me in the dungeon somehow or what's the thought process here?" Suds made it clear that I had to make the room look good and show my strength to the different houses. luckily I hadIt is notHe hatched plans to make me the most desirable bachelor in Sylum.

"I don't think it's my job to help you become a better fighter, right? This is a counseling skills course, and your charisma skills are just as valuable as anyone else's. You might be curious to know that this is a very popular course." skill for the chosen ones who have the necessary stats for those who advanceWeight training.At higher levels, it can allow you to change your body type if you don't want to look as wonderfully muscular as you normally would.

I paused in my judgment to think.Do I want to look super muscular?I imagined that I looked like Alara. We held hands and did a few reps in the gym. After drinking a protein shake, we'd take turns bending over and...


Yes ok. Maybe this ability is worth more than she thought.

"Now! If you managed to master the skill..." Flithus looked at me skeptically as if he wasn't sure the system would recognize my failed attempts at makeup. Let's finish, okay? But if you want to pick up more skills in your spare time, I recommend checking out one of the skill collections in the academy libraries. Otherwise, next time we'll pick up where we left off."

It seemed like our class had just started, but then again, when had I learned four new skills in such quick succession?

I think this class was the right choice after all.

After my frantic acquisition of skills with Flithus, the next week of school came and went in a blur. My first real mining experience (other than Slippy) was under the strict supervision of a disgruntled instructor. I had to burn the Warram a bit (and unfortunately got burned in return). My woodworking lessons ended up being less hands-on than I expected, beginning with teaching names and instructions for using various tools. I knew some of these tools from carving, but many were new to me.

So with four new lessons, it was quite a shock when Dungeon Delving was my first real stressor of the semester.

I expected the actual dungeon class part to be a little unsettling at times, but the stress of fighting monsters paled in comparison to the stress of actual trials.


And hang out.

A few days before, we received copies of the team request forms for the whole class. The day before the social, the three of us decided to meet at a local coffee shop. We sat at a small round table and read all the papers, trying to find good party members and who to approach at the event.

It didn't go well.

“Tess, you would have no desire to specialize in healing, would you? Did you say you could heal a little? Emin frantically rummaged through the stack of papers in front of him, the tea she ordered lying untouched next to her. 'I, um... I'm having trouble finding someone. And I'm seriousall."

I groaned, thinking the same thing as me. However, she hoped that Emin would have better luck-herReadingThe ability seemed to fly above mine, allowing it to move through the stack at a speed I could only dream of.

“I mean, they can probably heal us a bit, but no. One cantrip won't be enough to help an entire party of five get through a dungeon. Of course, if I upgrade my weapon with life mana, I could also heal everyone by hitting them with life arrows, but that was an even worse option in my book. I was supposed to hit all my shots to begin with, which is hardly guaranteed in a serious fight where everyone is moving.

"PPG! DPM! I don't understand why you're both so worried!" Alara took the third seat at the table, her space a distorted reflection of Emin's: the cakes she'd ordered were already half-finished, while the papers we'd given her were essentially intact. clearing the dungeon by ourselves! With two more companions it becomes child's play, no matter what skills you have!"

Emin and I blinked in confusion for a few seconds, somehow unable to share his boundless confidence. “Alara, we won't clear the dungeon without a healer. What if we get hurt?"

She pushed away the worry. "We won't. And I can handle myself. Unless it's a really high level, like in a training camp, healing magic doesn't work well on me anyway."

Healing magic does-"You can handle ithealing magicAlso?" I moaned, not wanting to deal with it now. "Come on…let's not think about it.otherthe four of us need a healer. I feel like this is non-negotiable. He wasn't going to watch someone die senseless from a wound that a true healer could heal in an instant.

Alara slammed her hands down on the table, both the force and the sound drawing the attention of some patrons and bar workers. “Then we will find a healer! I think you worry too much. If we need a healer, we've got one!"

Emin let out a strangled groan in response. "And what does that mean!" she exclaimed, her hands going to her head to pull at her hair. "Do you think someone will come up to us and just say, 'Hi, I'm a healer and I'd like to join your team?'"

Alara smiled at both of us, our shared disbelief doing nothing to discourage her. "That's right, DPM! Exactly!"

"It's…it's…it's just not happening, Alara." The two of us went back and forth for a while and we made some headway on the remaining application forms by the end of the day.

A day later, the event was upon us.

Actually, it was a much bigger deal than he expected. As advertised, it's installed near the various training fields in case someone needs to brag to future teammates. After that, however, two adjoining rooms were set up for our use with food and drink tables along the walls. While one was more social in nature, the other was a bit more combative, with several fenced off dueling areas in the center of the room. If someone was impatient or attractive enough to show off in front of everyone, then maybe we'd put on a good show.

If it didn't match the decor or the choice of food at the gala dinner at Sylum Palace, it was nice. Honestly, way more fun than a school event should be. It was definitely a far cry from the ice cream and pizza parties she often associated with school socials. On the other hand, I never went to school with nobles.

Wanting to show a united front, Emin, Alara, and I sat together beforehand and went in as a group. We did our best to arrive reasonably early so that no good group member would get robbed before we arrived, but it seemed we weren't the only ones with the idea. There were already enough of our classmates.

As nice as it all seemed, I found myself dreading what was to come. probably wouldhe sathunting down potential party members. As the night wore on, everyone was frantically jumping from person to person to complete their outfits, and we probably wouldn't be an exception to that. Based on the alarming lack of available healers we've observed, the competition for them would certainly be extreme, and...

"Excuse me." A modest man with a large, wide belt stood out from the crowd and yelled as he approached us. "You three are Alara, Emin and Tess, right?" He stopped right in front of us, lazily shifting his gaze between the three of us.

It was Alara who answered happily. “It seems our reputation precedes us! You're right! Hello!"

At the loud attack on his ears, the man seemed to briefly consider turning and walking away, but instead continued with what he had come for.

"Um, yes. Hi. Anyway, do you have a place in your group? I'm a healer and I was hoping to join you."

Before anyone could utter a word, Alara engulfed Emin and me in a tight side hug, nearly pulling us to our feet.

"See? Alara'Valis must never be doubted!"


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