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The Life Wizard

LW – Chapter 23

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Chapter 23

 

 

 

 

 

Its been only a few hours since I got the [Create Familiar] skill. And I’m salivating at the mouth as I try to figure it out.

My fingers twitched nervously while I’ve got the status screen open and the skill tab up, right in front of me. Its a spell that you can acquire with level ups as a wizard, or mage. And getting it was pretty exciting.

That skill is tempting me a lot right now…

A lot…

And in theory there’s tons of possibilities with a skill like this.

I’ve been thinking about it intensely for awhile. And I know that what you think about, your desires, and what you want factor deeply into what you get in the results of spells. And if that’s so I should train my thoughts and desires first before activating it. This much I’m sure of. I can only hope that I’ll get something good, that I won’t feel like I lost, or wished I’d trained harder.

What do I want most, I thought?

Realistically I want to harness what I want by thinking… or obsessing over my thoughts to try to influence the result of the summon familiar spell. In theory, an advanced mage or wizard like me also has more choices. Plus, I’m a life element! The life element should offer the most choices of all! With thoughts like this I’m already somewhat hopeful, but wary of the deceptions caused by a prideful ego.

“Hey what are you thinking about?” Byx asked me while playing solitaire.

“You aren’t even paying attention,” I smirked.

“Actually I did notice it was too quiet for a bit. And you are an untrustworthy human so…when you are too quiet I get worried,” she shrugged while tapping the mouse button on the laptop. “I think I could get used to a human town maybe…but there’s so many bad humans. It’d be pretty dangerous to live in a human city. That’s why I hope you don’t go there. That’s the real problem,” she mumbled more to herself than me.

“Well…” I told her.

“So you want to summon a familiar huh?” she asked.

“Yes. Of course I do. I mean…if its something good and cool.”

“Its a big responsibility. You have to feed and shelter them. Take them for walks, even when there’s rain or snow,” she warned.

“You make it sound like owning a cat or dog,” I said.

“Many human mages get cats and dogs for familiars. And that’s because they like them,” she shrugged.

I did get her to turn away from the lap top screen for awhile. So I guess I did get her attention.

We still didn’t manage to wake Styxa up yet. But her body had made progress in its healing. Although I wasn’t sure why it’d been so slow given that I had used my own heal skill often on her. And so often.

But I didn’t really want an animal. I wanted a real companion. Like a girlfriend.

“Byx please teach me, how to tweak the create familiar to make a custom familiar. I don’t want a cat or a dog. I’d like a real companion,” I pleaded.

“A real companion?” she asked, looking at me funny twisting in the chair.

“What? Why are you looking at me like that?” I asked.

“I just thought it odd. You are a life wizard. And you want a ‘real companion’. Maybe that’s the mentality of a life wizard and why you are a life element I guess,” she shrugged.

“You think so?”

“Well I haven’t met any other life wizards, but with other wizards there’s a certain mind set and I’d heard of them doing things differently. Like how pyromaniacs often end up as fire element wizards. Totally you want to avoid those guys by the way. Likewise other types of wizards do things differently. Like fire mages like to burn stuff, to dominate. Water wizards like swimming or enjoying peace. Darkness elements tend to be shifty serial killer wannabe types, etc,” she said.

That last part was she serious or stereotyping…? I’m not sure with her.

“So you don’t know then right? If you knew some then…” she’s already interrupting me.

“Just because I don’t know any others doesn’t mean I haven’t read about them. They are well documented, despite being few in number because they are powerful,” she added.

“Please teach me how to do a custom summon,” I said again.

“Why would you think I know about that?” she asked.

“Come on please. I don’t enslave or capture you like other humans. Isn’t that worth something?” I asked.

She flinched. “Yeah, well… shit, when you put it like that, I guess that’s a good point. And you have given me sandwiches to eat recently, not to mention s-solitaire, yeaah…”

OK, she totally didn’t sound like she had a solitaire addiction just then. I paused letting her innerself work against herself.

“It’d be a shame if something happened to the solitaire,…” I hinted.

But then we both laughed. She knows I’m teasing.

“There’s of course more sandwiches coming,” I added.

She then groaned. “OK, just don’t guilt trip me anymore all right! And I’m only doing this so you can have the familiar do the work for you, instead of asking me to do stuff! So if I do this you have to let me get lazy and fat and stuffed.”

“Oh, and make me a bonus sandwich too. Lots of them, everyday. I want to get really fat, like a human bitch would.” This fairy kind of has a mouth on her I see.

“Done!” I said.

“First, I need you to make some preparations. We need to create another secret room, but this one needs to be bigger than the others. And it needs to have a hard floor, maybe cut stone and very smooth and flat. Then I’ll also need paint and chalk,” she said. “And after that you can’t bother me for awhile.”

I was shocked that she relented.

Before leaving her I set up the third life link with the third tree warrior guy.

So I went to work…

 

 

But naturally there was some slow downs in the work.

By 8:23 AM, I’d had my first 3 skirmishes back to back, all goblin patrols. That made me borrow a little mana but not by much.

I don’t get tired of using my axe to slit goblin necks though; messier than a knife but quicker. Its hard to do it with a knife because they squirm a lot and if the knife isn’t very sharp then you have a really tough time. Neither them or you like to have you make a mess of it and take forever.

9:01 AM, two more goblin patrols, this time they were arsonists which slowed down my room building. (Jeez, I didn’t even get a rest. I only had like 2 minutes between goblin skirmishes to take a piss and a quick drink before I’m right back where I started.)

‘I really do need a way to make the hedge walls fire proof don’t I,’ I thought after finishing them off. Arsonists take the most mana so far of anything, followed by the goblin knights.

I do lack the enchant knowledge to know how to set up an flame retardant setup right now though.

But the only way to do that now that I know of other than an enchant, would be to put a stone wall around the maze. But that would cost way more mana than the hedge thorny vine traps use to create. At some point I might want some stone walls though…

At 10 AM, I now had half the secret room built. I had to really hurry to do this because I know its a matter of time before other goblins come back and I have limited time between skirmishes or something else coming along.

At 10:17 AM, there’s a new problem. My camera picks up movement and so I went to investigate, thinking it would be goblins.

But I was surprised when a rival group of tree warrior spirits arrived in front of my maze and were having an argument with my 3 tree warrior spirits. As they didn’t actually attack but were only yelling at them in a weird language I wasn’t sure how to deal with it. It was also stunning and surprising for this to happen, especially since I didn’t know such a thing could occurr.

And at this point its only an argument and not a physical fight so it hasn’t triggered any defenses or traps to go off. And I’m really not sure what’s going on yet.

I don’t want to have it cause a conflict. And I can only hope they can work it out on their own. So I let them talk it out as long as there isn’t too much aggression or actual physical harm.

 

 

At some point it started to get wrapped up. My 3 tree warrior spirits looked embarrassed and ashamed and coming back to me. (Uh oh, are they going to defect?)

It got worse, when one of the rival tree spirits points out to the others that I’m equipped with a woodcutter’s axe.

‘OH shit! I think that was a taboo! An axe is used to cut trees! Oh my gosh! What have I done?!’ I thought.

My tree warrior spirits are horrified with the others.

Damn it, damn it, damn it. I didn’t realize that an axe is like a guillotine of evil to their culture! And its worse that I can’t even speak the same language as these little ent people or tree spirits whatever they are.

“This is…um…I can explain this!” I didn’t know what to say but hurriedly put the axe away. I guess I can work with the katana for awhile. And katanas are interesting and quite sharp by themselves.

By 10:34 AM the argument ended but my three tree spirits are totally demoralized.

(Did the life link skill keep them from running away, I wondered?)

I ended up apologizing over and over as I followed them back into the maze. (I also hid the axe in my inventory slots.)

The 3 tree spirits are too depressed to defend the maze it looks like. But at least they haven’t abandoned me to go with the others.

I’m curious about the rival tree spirits that came from the forest that’s bordering the edges of the giant meadow and on the mountain. There were 7 tree spirits total that came to meet my 3 tree spirits.

Huh, 7?

Wait, in a lot of creatures 7 is a representative holy number or special number…

So didn’t that mean there were way more than 7 tree spirits in my forest? And all this time they’d been all around me! Probably there’s more than 7, but that number was chosen for the delegation to meet with them or me.

I’d like to see if I can befriend them if I can. But I’d settle for not having to fight them or have them join the goblin hordes.

 

 

~11 AM

I tried to invite Byxxel out for a date, for later tonight or tomorrow but she shot me down. “Humans and fairies don’t mix,” she told me angrily.

So I backed off and let her work.

Damn…

OK. So how else can I recruit her? I want to make sure she stays but I can’t enslave her…

 

 

I had several more skirmishes between 11 AM and 12 PM, but this time its not only goblins. There was a party of wargs (no riders), a party of giant mosquitoes, and then some ‘bloodletter ravens’.

I’d never encountered these other things before.

Did the goblin shamans cause this, I wondered?

Twice today there were wild warg encounters. And I’m lucky I wasn’t out there when they came because they are huge! And scary! I didn’t manage to kill all of them each time they came.

The wild wargs are tougher than the goblin knight versions, maybe because they’d embraced their potential on their own. I bet they were level 20 to 25, and luckily there was only 3 of them. They have an interesting tell in that the bigger they are the more their level is. So you can tell the veteran wargs from the lower level ones by their size, which does help fighting them. (But maybe that also has to do with the level of mana in the atmosphere of this world?)

Why was there 3 each time? They don’t work for someone do they? Its just a coincidence…yeah, maybe…

 

 

At 12:11 PM I had to give my second tree spirit a different nick name. I’d been calling him Stubby because he’d lost a limb a few days ago. But he’d fully regenerated it somehow today, and he even now has the [regeneration] skill added to his stat box. Plus, he’d also grown a third arm. (Maybe he’s anticipating trouble ahead?)

I think he blames me somehow for it. Sometimes I catch him glaring at me, but if I look at him when he’s masking his emotions better, he looks like he’s forcing a smile. Clever isn’t he? Is he afraid I’ll punish him for not liking me too much yet? I’m not sure if I should turn my back on him, given his strange personality.

 

 

I kept working…

Damn more goblins showed up later in the day. I dispatched their patrols of arsonists pretty fast. I’ve learned to aim at those first when I can. But I lost a lot of mana putting out fires with [create water] at 12:25 PM, 12:30 PM, and 1:10. I swear I must have cast that water create technique over twenty times today.

I managed to get 2 more hedge walls up by 1:45 PM. I now have a second secret room, but this one’s bigger! I haven’t finished the floor yet.

But then I realized this area of the maze doesn’t have as much protection as it needs. And the hedge walls are too low also. The newer ones are still around six feet, but the main areas where I’d been working for awhile are now close to ten feet high. But that’s still not enough. The wargs can jump over the 10 feet high walls, though its kind of scraping their bellies to do so.

I can’t even go to the next phase without raising the walls everywhere all around.

I did get two more trees added today with traps hanging from them.

The rest of the time was mostly repairing damaged thorny maze hedges.

Ah hell.

I might as well summon another tree warrior spirit to help me defend this place also. Plus, that might help up the morale of the others. With my mana regeneration rate this strong, I can do almost anything I want now.

I worked at it, again, and again trying to get ready.

Finally two days later (and a LOT of skirmishes later) I finally made a bit of headway.

I achieved a uniform 10 foot high height on the maze walls across the board.

 

I took a nap in the afternoon.

Byxxel still won’t agree to date me. So I won’t ask her anymore after today. Today was the second time. I probably should give up on her.

 

 

I entered into the secret room, that lately I’d jokingly been calling Byxxel’s bedroom. (The original secret room with my tent. I sleep here too but she’s taken it over.)

Byxxel’s bedroom now has a camouflage tent in it, a desk with a computer chair, a bed, a dresser for her to hide in, a false floor with 2 secret hidey holes under floor tiles in each corner, and … well it looks like a normal human bedroom in a house except its in a large tent instead. These were part of upgrades to keep her happy enough to coach me through the create summons process.

Lately she’d been wanting more bribes, especially the sandwiches from that one world.

“So its done,” I told her finally one day, regarding the summoning room.

Its a specially constructed room. It has to be done a certain way. This one even has blocks of concrete all through out the floor, made really even and precisely nudged up right next to one another flawlessly. Just leveling the ground underneath it all had been a ton of work by itself. I had to compact the dirt also before putting the concrete in.

“You’re sure? You did it right? How does it look?” she folded her arms and looked at me oddly, sort of suspicious.

“Come and see,” I said.

“Show me a ‘pic’,” she said.

Wow she remembered that phrase?

I slipped a thumb drive (also made through the item create skill) into the laptop that she’d been fascinated with. Although the way she works the keys on the keyboard sort of resembles a game of twister.

Then I clicked on it to show her on the laptop screen.

“OK, that’s not bad. It will…probably due. Its adequate. Barely,” she said.

“So we can start now?” I asked.

“Is your mana tank full? You’ll want it full to produce a quality specimen. You can’t mess with this stuff on going cheapo,” she said acting business like.

“And you’ll help me create an elf right?” I asked.

She giggled as we kept walking together towards the secret room with what is supposed to be a summoning circle. “Sure, sure…whatever you want.”

Weird reaction…

Did she lie to me about summoning…or creating elves, whatever? She’s avoiding looking at me now and acting sort of bored.

“Well let’s go look at it in person,” she smirked.

“What does the summoning circle do anyway?” I asked.

“It helps reduce the cost of the summon by providing a quality gathering place that attracts mana. It also functions to help you focus your power, and improve the quality of …whatever spell you are trying to cast,” she said.

Finally we got to the secret room with the summoning circle. And also this room like my other secret room isn’t easily accessed. I have the entrance hidding where you have to crawl through a small tunnel on your belly through the improved trap system. (To an enemy this would also force you to expose your back and neck to the trap.)

As we arrived into the room, the mental projection that Byx used didn’t have trouble getting in and looked over it, inspecting it for quite some time. She took so much time I was worried more goblins would be coming soon.

“No…that won’t do. OK, I’ll have to fix the break in the flooring here where the…stone here is…” she hestitated.

“Its called concrete,” I said.

“Con-crete?”

“Yes.”

“Wow its quite durable and strong. I swear that looks Dwarvish somehow,” she noted touching it.

“So you can fix the rest? And its not Dwarvish,” I asked.

“Whatever. It is too Dwarvish. Must have stolen blueprints from them. Only a human would steal. Well its not too bad off I suppose. I can fix it. And I’ll be able to work with this I think, but I’ll need to be undisturbed here for the rest of the day. And that means tomorrow I expect more solitaire time,” she bargained.

“Fine…I didn’t steal anything. I studied.”

“Sure, you did,” she faked a smile and has ‘that tone’.

Arguing with her won’t get anywhere. I also needed to top off my mana pool with some time.

By a look at the clock it would take until about 9:45 PM for my mana tank to be full again. That wasn’t bad, just that I’d spent a lot of mana trying to fix the dungeon and finish the summoning circle already for this dungeon.

Its so hard to wait.

I feel excited. But I was nervous to not have Byxxel guarded also as she’s working in that room with her having to concentrate on other things.

But…

I realized what I wanted. My heart ached and felt full of loneliness.

Through everything I’d been alone always this time. I’d not had a companion. But I needed, felt for, and my heart searched for so long to have a spouse.

That’s what it felt like.

I’d wanted to twist that word… ‘spouse’ into some other word. But that’s really what I was feeling. I didn’t feel like I wanted soldiers, so much as true companions; like a wife and a family.

I didn’t mind having soldiers. But I really wanted a wife.

Soldiers I can make any time I want. But not a wife.

I really wanted a wife and spouse to be with me. It felt like there was a hole in my heart. Everyone by instinct wants to be part of a lasting permanent family with relationships to help you grow and learn.

And yes, there was some temptation also, but I wasn’t just looking for sex. I felt the need to have someone at my back, to be with me and really be there.

And with these types of thoughts, I watched Byxxell work, using her chalk and paint to sketch the writings and spell formulas into a summoning circle.

Amazing…

I’m actually glad it took this long to figure out what I’d wanted. It would have cheapened this out for me me to get something of less value than what I was after. The sweet savory feeling of knowing what I needed and being able to seek it out finally figured out felt like a taste of victory, and like the only victory I could feel since coming to this world!

Maybe this is why I was here!

Instead of summoning a soldier…

I would summon a wife!

Or…well actually my system is to ‘create’. But its the same as summoning.

Although I’m not sure why it works.

“Well, what do you think?” Byx asked, as I watched her work.

All kinds of spell formulas are carved all over that place. It looks interesting even.

“It looks good,” I nodded.

“You’re quiet,” she said as she’s still scratching glyphs in the cement.

“That’s only because I need to go check on things, to make sure there’s no enemies coming,” I said.

“You do that. That’s a good idea. It would mess things up if they got in here while the paint was drying. Be careful human,” she adds.

 

 

Things got delayed.

I ended up having to spend some mana before coming back to the summoning chamber that was finally ready.

It ended up that I lost some mana defending the dungeon.

Shit…

I…I’m going to have to wait till morning to do this. I need more tree spirit warriors first.

When I told Byx this she was mad.

I summoned a fourth tree warrior spirit at 11:05 PM. And I had it go join the other three and tell them to help each other survive and to level up, and protect this place. Stubby is in charge of the others too since he’s a bit smarter than they are.

The mini-map utility does show the four of them are now moving around and together. It seems like the fourth one showing up energized the others.

I then summoned a fifth tree warrior spirit at 2 AM to go help the others, survive, level up, and protect the dungeon.

But when I woke up the next morning something unusual had happened.

Somehow the fifth tree warrior spirit seems to be some kind of elite type. He’s getting 4 stat points a level, while the others were getting only 2 per level. He also got some kind of +2 bonus levels that are like hidden levels somehow, and I’m not sure how. And I swear I thought I saw him eating rats also. But then he hid it from me slurping the tail right up so fast that I wasn’t sure I’d imagined it.

I also have a system notification ping in the status screen, which I clicked to open up.

[System alert; your minion ‘tree warrior spirit #4′ has been slain at 3:42 AM’.]

Shit…

Those bastards…and yes the system shows he received a critical hit in the first plaza room by an arsonist goblin. A plant element monster wouldn’t do well against a fire element’s critical hit. That’s like the worst thing that could happen. (The others put out the fire already. And that’s also one of the things I’d trained the 5, no 4 tree spirits to do; being able to put out fires, using buckets, etc.) The arsonist goblin had also landed follow up shots on that fourth tree warrior while it was trying to run to the brook for safety. He died 20 feet from the edge of the brook.

“Sorry buddy. You fought well,” I said over his remains that are already melting into the ground.

I teared up a bit. Its hard not too. They are… breaking my toys.

MY TOYS!

MY TOOYYYSSS!!!

I’ll get revenge for this!

During the night somehow #5 got to level 3, and he also got a +1 bonus stat somehow. So in effect, he’s level 3+2. The other three didn’t level, but somehow #5 is bossing the others around more. They …it looks like they listen to him also, despite him being a bit smaller. And I swear he’s got this pose like his arms folded looking grumpy while talking to them. (Is it talking? It sounds like really low whispering…)

Also I noticed he’s using a rat tail as a tooth pick in his teeth and mouth just like how humans would hold a tooth pick in their teeth. It made me laugh at first, but Byx thinks its gross as hell.

 

 

I had a delay using the create familiar again.

There was just simply too many goblin confrontations! The number of skirmishes weren’t terribly high in ferocity, but they were difficult to manage due to being high in number.

I had to work on keeping my maze well defended, which had distracted me from the familiar goal. Instead I had ended up with using the create life skills to summon another tree warrior spirit. And then another the same day, banking on an open confrontation with the goblins soon. I knew they’d eventually get in my dungeon maze again. So the best thing is to build up forces.

And like this I started filling up the rooms and halls.

2 days after creating my 7th tree spirit, tree spirit warrior #6 is slain. (I’m now back down to 6 total, another one had been replaced also which had been lost.) But the same day, #5 leveled up +2 levels again. (He’s the same one with the bonus stats per level. And also the coloring of his leaves is strange and different than the other 5.)

The other tree warriors now look to him for leadership and expect him to give them orders now. They seem to be like their own gang now; but they still take my orders. I still can’t talk to them though. And sometimes I swear I heard #5 and Stubby arguing. But they quiet down when I come close. (What do those guys think about anyway? Are they smart or dumb?)

Looking back over the combat log, the first #4 tree warrior spirit was only getting +1 stat point per level. In other words, he was the runt of the litter, and would have died anyway. So the goblin arsonist incident probably would have happened later on anyway even if I’d saved him. He just can’t grow very good.

So losing him wasn’t a bad thing. It was just bad luck. He was born with an unhealthy body and the cards were stacked against him. I felt bad for him, but nothing would have changed. He would have just died on something else.

I find myself curious about these warrior tree spirits more now that I’m figuring them out.

Byx is telling me she might have to go back to the fairy queen soon. If she does the fairy queen wouldn’t want to leave Styxa here, but Styxa’s life connection is too fragile to sever the life link without her dying.

I had a discussion with her to plead with her to not leave. And I told her I was hoping to lure enough goblins here that we would eventually rescue some of the other fairies after killing more goblins, with them coming out as loot drops. But so far that hasn’t happened. And I still lack the strength to assault their main base directly. I think she believed me about wanting a bit more time. But I don’t know if I’ll get that.

I’ve been continuing my experiment this whole time to try to tame the giant honey bee monsters also. The reasoning is more manpower could give me more time for mana research to help Styxa also. Its … not taming them per se, but they are less hostile to me than before. I can’t help but wonder if I’m close to making something good happen with them. But so far its too hard to tell if it will work.

We’ll see tomorrow.

I also grew the height of the dungeon hedges today about a few inches each. I’d been doing this the last few days, such that most of the dungeon is now around 10.25 feet tall in the hedges.

By the end of the day I’m worn out and tired.

There were tons of skirmishes today. Seriously. I even had a ‘wolf pack’ attack.

I feel a bit safer than before however.

Although it feels a bit weird that I sleep in a dungeon every night.

I’m also using the tree warrior spirits to stand guard and help me at night, but also still help each other level up. Its working. I also alternate having one of them guard outside where I’m sleeping, so that I don’t go without some kind of alertness while I rest.

Tomorrow for sure, I’ll really use the create familiar then. Plus, my number of minions is doing better. I also have +1 hallway of hedges today (about +120 additional feet of corridors in various combinations of turns, twists, and hedge tunnels, which isn’t bad in terms of a per day addition. And all of it with a lot of traps.)

Somehow I managed to get back to sleep…

But the goblin arsonists have forced me to use the [create water] skill so much that I’d become better at it! (Its now doing +10% more volume, and I’m using 10% less mana to cast it! (-9 mana compared to -10 mana from before.) This change also shows in the water element efficiency amount having gone up a bit. (Although I still can’t seem to attack yet with it.)

I’ve also become more efficient the create item skill, costing a bit less mana. Its hard to tell this however, because of this skill really being a called shot in most cases with most of the items costing a differnet amount every time.

I want to get some experimentation with a compound bow soon. I could technically make one, as well as a whole armory. But …then I realized with the time it took me to learn how to use that it would be easier for me to just work up my limited attack magic skills.

 

The overall thorny hedge walls are about 10.25 feet high all over (still not high enough)
There are 7 plaza rooms (minimum 20 by 20 feet big), each room has tons of hallway areas between them
6 dead end rooms at the end of corridors (also that have traps)(20 by 10 typically)
At least 6 secret rooms
1 summoning room (or life create room…)
1 pithouses underground made log cabin style (damaged)(Previous heavily damaged pithouse removed)
Numerous tunnels, alleys, dead ends, lots of corridors and hallways all trapped,
Numerous tree top lodge pole pine rope traps (can do up to 4 rope traps per 100 foot tree)
Lots of turns in corridors, L shapes, and even some U shapes,
160 feet of moat along the middle partitioning the whole maze in two main areas (I need to do more partitions, not just only increased moat length)(moat unfinished)
7 –> 6 Tree Warrior spirits (level 9, levels 7, 6, 6, 5, 4)

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