My body exploded with light as all of the blessing tattoos on my body ignited. Normally, these tattoos only lit up when I was accessing the dungeon point store. For the longest time, I had thought this was all these blessings did, besides some kind of passive effect that often increased affinity and made it easier to gain certain jobs. However, I had started to think that there must have been a second function. This second function was one I had only considered a possibility, but with no choice now, I had to try it.
The only time I thought I had ever used my blessing this way, I hadn’t realized that was what I was doing at the time. It happened when I was battling Alysia, that Osterian General, on the beach. At the time, I had been partially controlled by Octius, so I hadn’t even realized what I was doing. It was only after carefully considering things, as well as seeing all of the girls use their means of transformation, that I started to realize that this might be the true power behind the tattoos.
If I was right, it seemed like I could call upon the latent power of my blessings, using their strength and knowledge in battle. It made sense. If a Dungeon Master could summon the strength of the dungeon to enhance their power, and these tattoos were the power of a dungeon compressed into a blessing, then I should be able to utilize that power.
After seeing my girls all change into their powerful forms, pulling upon the potential of their bloodlines, I realized I had to give it a shot. I’d like to say that was why I was glowing, but if pulling on my blessings for strength was easy, I assuredly would have already done it. Instead, I altered my dungeon points.
The dungeon point store had a vast array of abilities, and I had 42 dungeon points to use. These abilities were sorted by tiers. 1st tier items only cost 1 point. 2nd tier items cost 5. Then, there were 3rd at 10, 4th at 25, and 5th at 50. Some skill were blocked out, and would only become accessible with the purchase of other skills.
I could get 2nd job by equipping True Hero, not depending on dungeon points, and then unlock the third job, which costs 5 points, and a fourth job that costs 10 points. Ultimately, I was only really saving 1 point by obsessing about keeping True Hero equipped. Furthermore, I had 16 points sequestered as experience boosters, which was part of the reason I was able to level so quickly. At this moment of life and death, how could I be focused on experience?
I equipped 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and for the first time, I added a 5th. That came to 41 points, I just had enough plus 1 for reset. As for the jobs I picked, True Dungeon Diver, Slave Master, Dark Priest, Demon Knight, and Dungeon Builder. Other than Slave Master, which benefited my girls and continued to support them, the other four jobs were those closely related to darkness, miasma, and the control of it. If she was trying to control me, I might have chosen Mimic. There was no deception here, but pure destruction!
At this point, only a few seconds had passed, and the pain in my soul was becoming increasingly intense. Summoning all of my will, I grabbed hold of the miasma, trying to wrestle it from Calypso.
“As if you’ll succeed!” She seemed to become aware of what I was doing.
Although we were nearly fifteen feet apart from each other, we were in the middle of a violent fight to the death. Between the two of us, I looked the worse for wear. Having only just seized the miasma, she wasn’t even stressed at all. Feeling my resistance, she suddenly sharpened her miasma to a point. It felt like a blade. It was every bit as dangerous as the knife she had been wielding.
The miasmic blade hovered just above my soul, threatening to pierce through it. Meanwhile, I held back the blade with my miasmic control, but how could my control compare to a woman who had lived countless lifetimes. Not only did she birth a demon, but she had maxed out the job of Dark Priest and become a Dungeon Master. Just how had she managed all of that? It wasn’t that surprising considering how long she had lived.
To maintain her youth, she had used her Dark Arts and sacrificed virgin women! That’s why she had a harem of women. It wasn’t a matter of her being a hardcore lesbian, it was a matter of her having a source of fresh female vitality. In the same way, she needed me to be a woman to possess me, she also needed young women to maintain her youth and beauty. At least, that was what my intuition told me based on my limited levels in Dark Priest.
Without realizing it, I had progressed to a stage where I could glean this kind of intuition out of my jobs. This was normal for most people. Since they couldn’t see their progress without the aid of certain select skills, few people knew what they unlocked. They might occasionally look at levels to see their progress, but they would usually focus inwardly, using the intuition gained as their job leveled and they increased their experience.
How else would they have ever discovered the skills they had, let alone how to use them and what they are called, without depending on that information? They called it obtaining enlightenment, but because I had the Support Class and always looked up what skills I had, it took me a while to find this intuition. Perhaps it was the damage to my soul, and the change to my personality, that allowed me to finally start to feel these subtle changes.
As I focused more on inwardly using my intuition to understand my control of miasma, my control of it grew as well. This process might have taken weeks or months of reflection for someone normal. This could be accelerated with the Advanced Learning dungeon skills, but I had just unequipped those so that I could access as many miasma related jobs as possible. However, my understanding still grew rapidly. Calypso’s eyes widened as what was formerly a struggle turned into us being about at the same level.
The reason I advanced so quickly was extremely simple. I had a blessing that gave me miasma affinity! No matter how knowledgeable she was, I had an innate control of miasma that couldn’t be ignored. Instinctively, I began to learn more and more about this miasma. Finally, I reached a point where I thought of something crazy. I started to push back against Calypso’s miasmic blade, causing it to pull away from my body.
Now, she was starting to sweat, and open disbelief appeared on her face. Of anyone she knew, no one had such a powerful miasmic ability.
“I wanted to possess you because you had miasmic control like me. Your body is… suited for me. In fact, with time, I believed your body would gain better miasmic control than I ever did. Yet, you were just a seed. You should only be this powerful after I trained your body to my level… how, how are you doing this?” She said through gritted teeth.
“Like I’m going to tell you…”
“Fine…” She grimaced. “I’ll just cut your secrets out of you!”
She used all of her strength. The miasmic knife fell from my grip and slammed into my soul.
A look of triumph appeared on her face. All of this was happening with miasma within my body though. The girls, as focused on the battle as they were, weren’t able to see what happened. Calypso had sent all of her Bandits into the ring now, and while Lydia and Terra were still landing blows on the barrier and it was covered in cracks, it might be another five minutes before they were finally able to breakthrough. Considering they were breaking through the laws set out by the Dungeon Master using the full strength of her dungeon, even getting this far could have been considered impossible.
As quickly as Calypso smiled in triumph, her smile dropped, and a look of confusion, and then horror painted her face. As the knife went into my soul, rather than cut it, it merged with it. Combining my affinity with miasma with Absorb, I had managed to directly convert her miasma, and use it to nourish my soul. She tried to pull it back, but now a stream of her miasma was seized by my soul. I began to consume it. Miasma began to flow out of Calypso, into me.
“No!” She cried out, feeling her power growing weaker.
She was pulling her miasma from the dungeon itself, and now I was stealing that power and making it my own. This was the newly created skill, Soul Eater! In other words, this was a new combination skill, modifying Absorb with the mana derivative, miasma.
Strength flooded into my body, and I finally peeled myself from the wall. As the miasma flooded into my soul where it was consumed, my soul force exploded. My damaged soul, which had only been a sliver of its previous size, was now growing at an astronomical rate. However, as it grew, it was also changing. I was nourishing it with miasma, not mana, which meant my soul was becoming a karmic soul! I didn’t care though. This was the ultimate sacrifice I had to make. I wouldn’t allow Calypso to win now.
Sweat ran down her face, and she was panting as she desperately tried to sever the connection between us. However, doing this would be like cutting apart her soul! Who would have the resolve to do such a thing?
“Stop!” She cried out. “You can’t do this! I won’t let you!”
As my strength grew, so did the power of suction as I slowly consumed Calypso. At the moment, I hadn’t gotten to the point where I was eating her soul. Rather, I was munching down on the thick miasma of the dungeon. This quickly weakened the dungeon as a whole, and the new Bandits were being created slower and slower, and could no longer have the same strength as before. The pressure was taken off the girls at this point.
As the miasma of the dungeon started to weaken, I was able to get glimpses of her soul. I saw flashes of pain and suffering, memories of times long ago. I also saw something else that instantly caught my interest. It looked like some kind of source or connection. I instinctively reached for it through the bond. Feeling this, Calypso let out a shriek.
“You think you’ve won? Salicia! Kill him!”
Salicia had stood to the side so silently that I had almost forgotten she was there. As soon as Calypso shouted the order, she pulled her weapon and attacked.