With my recent growth in Strength, I had actually started to look somewhat fit. I was still small, and I could tell I would never be bulky… but my muscle definition started to take shape. Not that most of the time people could see much of it- only my arms were generally visible. Unlike Sgar, I didn’t walk around with my shirt off. Though, he wore armor when he actually went off adventuring.
Besides fighting, Sgar had taught me how to analyze an opponent’s Strength. This wasn’t a completely picture of how dangerous they were- only the very literal number of their Strength. It’s accuracy wasn’t great yet, though with humans I could get within a few 10’s. Sgar’s Strength was somewhere in the high 400’s. I only obtained that level of accuracy from watching him for a while. As for what exactly contributed to that, I couldn’t tell for sure. I estimated his base Strength to be around the 200’s- the rest must have come from level distribution and class.
I had gathered that Sgar was at least level 25, as he had gone through class advancement. A class could be gained at level 5, and advanced at level 25. I wondered if it could be done again at level 125- but nobody was that level. Anyway, besides allowing easier learning of some skills, as well as some exclusive abilities, classes increased a few attributes by 10%- or 20% when they were advanced. For example, Barbarian increased Strength, Toughness, and Constitution by 10% each. That made me sort of disappointed in All In’s 10% increase to just one thing… but it was something at least. It’s not like I couldn’t get a class too, and I definitely would… once I leveled up.
Before I went out hunting, I stopped to talk to Kantrilla, as I had been doing most mornings. “… and I also plan to hunt some wolves, though I would like to avoid any packs.”
Kantrilla smiled and nodded. As usual, her smile warmed my heart. “That’s great! You’ll level up and get a class in no time, I’m sure!” She scrunched up her face in a slight frown, “Though, wolves are pretty dangerous. If only there were other adventurers near your level to party with…” Then her eye lit up in realization and she tapped the side of her fist against her palm. “Oh! I know!” She grinned and pointed to herself. “Bring me!”
“Me!” She pointed to herself again, “I’m a 6th level Cleric. I’m one of the few people in Trona around the right level. Most of those who want to be adventurers have already moved elsewhere…”
I blinked, “Can you even fight?”
She confidently declared, “I have healing and enhancement spells!”
“That… didn’t answer the question. Can you fight?”
She smiled awkwardly, “Well, I was taught how to wield a mace and I can use a shield…”
“That doesn’t exactly raise my confidence when you say it like that.”
“If I had my equipment when that bad man attacked, I could have held him off! Well… maybe not actually… but I can watch out for myself!”
I looked over toward Father Thomas. He nodded, “She… can handle herself well enough. Go ahead and take her with you. She’s been cooped up inside long enough.”
“Okay. I just don’t want you getting hurt…”
“Don’t worry, I’m Lucky!”
“And she will also pay attention to defending herself, and wear her armor,” Father Thomas looked down his nose sternly, “Won’t you, Kantrilla?”
“Umm… right! Yeah!”
I sighed internally. I wasn’t looking forward to having to watch out for her… but on the other hand… having a healer around would be a good thing.
When Kantrilla properly equipped herself, I was pleasantly surprised. Her armor was quite practical, and she even had a helmet. I imagine having her long hair bundled up in that was a real pain, but she didn’t sacrifice looks for functionality. She also wore gambeson, which was not the most flattering of armors… but good for stopping people from being stabbed or slashed or bitten… by things like horned rabbits and wolves. It was good against weapons too, but we weren’t planning to deal with those.
Before we got anywhere near the wolves’ territory, I made sure we got in a few fights with horned rabbits in different numbers. Though Kantrilla didn’t once manage to hit a horned rabbit with her mace… she did an excellent job of dodging or blocking their attacks. It probably had something to do with the fact that she closed her eyes when attacking… as if she didn’t want to see crushed rabbits. Well, I couldn’t blame her for that. I didn’t want to see it either.
After combat, she even tried to skin one of the rabbits… but she was trembling so much she couldn’t do anything. I could see that she was almost crying, so I made sure to take it away from her and do it myself.
We didn’t need any healing, which I appreciated. After all, healing magic didn’t instantly make things better- though it could remove any danger of bleeding to death or infection. Plus, getting injured in the first place was unpleasant.
Before we went into combat with the wolves, she helped familiarize me with what she could do. She could enhance a single attribute at the moment. If she gained more proficiency in the spell Attribute Enhancement, she could do more attributes at once or increase the amount to a single one. As a base, it gave about a 10% increase to one attribute. Well, in many cases it was exactly 10%, but it wasn’t always. There was an upper limit on how much she could increase one attribute by. At the moment, that was 20. So, she could increase anything for my by 10%- except Strength. With base and class bonuses added together, my Strength was around 320, and and she could only increase it by 20 instead of 32. I did notice that All In added the 10% after the buff though, for a total of 22. If my stat window was logical… it might actually add 10% after all other factors were accounted for. If only I had some items that increase Strength to test out… but those were quite expensive.
Regardless, my Strength wasn’t an issue- thus we decided that it would be better to increase other things such as Dexterity. Toughness might be good, but I preferred not getting hit in the first place… though it was also inevitable at some point.
Finally I figured we had enough practice, and we could try to fight wolves. Preferably two or three to start with, because even though I could certainly fight a couple with my new training, it was better to start at a manageable number. If only we were lucky enough to find exactly what we wanted… Of course, it soon became clear that I had underestimated Kantrilla.