Once I got the chance to talk to Sgar, I learned that Martial Apprentice was indeed a rare class… but that didn’t particularly make it better. It didn’t offer any significant difference in power compared to other classes, it was just rarer because of the requirements. On the surface, it was the opposite of a Weapon Specialist. It was only gained by training in many different types of weapons instead of focusing on one. However, its true uniqueness came in the form of the Martial Trance ability. This was an active ability that greatly increased the users awareness of their surroundings for a short time. That was the time-slowing-but-not effect. It didn’t make me any faster… but I could still react to things I wouldn’t have noticed and in ways I couldn’t have tried before.
As for whether the Martial Apprentice class suited me… it wasn’t perfect, but it was very close. Most weapons benefited significantly from high strength, even those that were generally considered to have more to do with finesse. Even a dagger stabbed through gaps in the armor still had to be able to penetrate muscle and flesh.
The class increased Strength growth- not something I really needed, but as the main attribute of a class it would always be that way. Strength growing even faster wouldn’t hurt, though I wasn’t sure exactly how it would react with All In. At the very least, I had 10% more. Though it didn’t actually boost the total numbers for Toughness and Constitution, as a physical based class their growth would be slightly boosted. I would have liked more since I couldn’t distribute points to them, but in the end I would have to train them on my own… and generally try to avoid taking damage. That was the smart thing to do anyway, as very few people would get damaged on purpose. The growth increase to Dexterity should be significant enough I could get by without spending points in it… which was good, because I wasn’t able to.
If the class wasn’t working out for me, it wasn’t impossible to change. Thus, if I got to the point where it was performing poorly… I would be able to take a break to try to change to another class. Assuming I didn’t get killed because of my weaknesses. Not that I thought I would die, at least if I was careful… I just had to remember it was possible. Though I had stats like a game, I wouldn’t be able to come back to life. I couldn’t load a save or be brought back to life at the nearest temple. Though, apparently very high level clerics and other healers could keep people alive through almost anything- though it would use all of their mana. The combatant would also not be able to do anything, so it was only really feasible if someone was nearly killed just as the battle ended.
As I thought about it, choosing a class that worked well with All In (Strength) was a real pain in the neck. Though I definitely appreciated being strong, I would rather not only have it. Even the 10% bonus was only as good as having a class- and my class increased two other attributes as well. The only real thing it did was put no limit on training- but coupled with the ability to only distribute attribute points into Strength, it just made me even more unbalanced. More Strength wasn’t bad, but I would have liked to have more of other things.
“Hmm… can you unlearn skills?” I was half wondering to myself out loud, and half really asking Sgar.
Sgar tilted his head, “What do you mean? If you stop training in a skill for some time, usually when recovering from a big injury, it can decay to a lower level. So I suppose if the skill was already level 0, you could lose it.”
“What if the skill doesn’t have levels? Like um… Kantrilla’s Blessing of Luck. Isn’t that a skill?”
“I think it counts as a skill, yes. Blessings like that from the gods are usually permanent… but if one truly goes against the teachings of the god who gave the blessing they have been known to be taken away. Not that it’s a common occurrence. There aren’t many other skills without levels, except certain inborn skills. As for whether those can fade away… I don’t know.” Sgar shook his head, “I’m sure the sages in the capital have studied that kind of thing. At least, it sounds like something they would do. They put a lot of study into how classes, attributes, and skills work.”
I wondered if they studied summoned people as well. I wondered why it happened. Did people only come from Earth? How about the person who wrote the introductory message? Were they still alive? Unfortunately they didn’t leave a name or even indicate when they wrote the message, so I had no way to know. “…What year is it?”
“… 17 what?”
“17 years into the reign of… King Wilfred something-something. The third maybe? Or was it Wallace?” Sgar stroked his chin, “Probably Wallace III. Does that sound right?”
“Uhh… sure.” I had no idea. Why else would I have asked? I didn’t actually know how they even did years until that point. Seems like it would be a mess trying to keep track of history between countries… but that was how things went.
“Shouldn’t you know this? I thought you spent some time on book learning?”
“Mhm.” That was sort of an acknowledgement… but also a statement to myself. No matter how much book learning I had, my history classes weren’t relevant here. “It would be nice to go to the capital some day.”
“Isn’t it far? I don’t have a lot of spare money for travel expenses…”
“Hmm? It’s only a few days away. You could also just get hired as a guard or something.”
“Seriously? That close?” A week of travel was a lot… but at around 20 miles per day that was only 60 to 80 miles. A little over an hour by car, if they had a highway… and cars.
“Sure it’s close. Well, you might not necessarily be able to talk to the sages or anything, but there’s still people who know more than I do in the capital. They’ve also got good job opportunities, with the nearby dungeons.”
“…There are dungeons?”