New Eden Live to Play, Play to Live

Non-Elemental Magic, Part 2

has gifted you with, young man? ” The old mage asked, raising a brow.

Astaroth just sat there, jaw dropped, for a few seconds. Then he closed his mouth and gulped.

This was it! His way of becoming the best! He would finally climb to the top! But the cold shower hit him right after. He still needed to find and bond with powerful spirits.

”I guess there is also a risk to bonding with spirits, then? ” He asked, calming down his mind.

”Very much so. ” The old man said, happy to see the youth understand the stakes.

”The risk is just as high as the reward. Bonding with powerful spirits yields incredible power, but the soul must be equally strong. Failing the bond means dying and having your soul damaged. ” The old man said.

”If the damage is severe enough, you might even break bonds that are already established and further damage your soul. ” The old man said, waiting for the reaction.

Astaroth sucked in air. This was a huge gamble.

If he could pull it off, it meant attaining his dream. But failing meant getting further from it and maybe even killing his chances.

”I shall always keep that in mind, Master. ” Astaroth said, bowing slightly.

The old mage nodded and smiled. This youth wasn too brash after all.

”Now. The last one. It is magic almost all living things ban and frown upon in this world. It also uses the power of the soul, but it is not of oneself. Demonic magic. ” The mage said, his mood becoming somber.

”It is magic that uses rituals and souls of innocent people to bind higher forces to the casters soul. Binding demons, forming contracts with eldritch creatures, and, god forbid, sometimes, contracts with evil gods. ” The old man said, anger visibly flaring in his eyes.

Astaroth could see the mana around the man become turbulent as waves of rage rolled off of him. The before calm and composed, teacher-like man now looked like a volcano ready to unleash its wrath.

But it didn last. The old man quickly reined himself in.

How unsightly of me. He thought.

He cleared his throat and continued.

”Ahem. Where was I? Ahh, yes. Demonic magic. It is a practice that no one should do, and I have seen destroy entire settlements and kill people by the thousands. ” He warned.

”Had you exhibited a high attunement to such magic, I would have killed you on the spot! ” The old man said, anger still apparent in his eyes.

Astaroth shivered. He had picked up the orb of spiritual magic because it resonated more with him.

But the second highest reaction he got was from a pitch-black orb with a sigil on an eye painted in red on it. He could guess which one that was now. I dodged a bullet! He thought, panting inwardly.

”Have you questions for me, young man? ” The old man asked, after letting the poor boy internalize all this information.

”Ahh, yes I do. ” Astaroth said after snapping out of his thoughts.

”I would like to know what spirits there are. I want to know which ones can strengthen me and how. Do you hold that knowledge, Master? ” Astaroth asked expectantly.

”I have a smidge of knowledge regarding spirits. But it is very limited. ” The man said, smiling slightly.

And so they spent the next few hours discussing how certain spirits empowered specific stats or affinities. Creatures of great strength might leave spirits at death that would boost his strength.

Some wizards would die and leave behind their fragmented souls, which he could contract to boost his intellect. Others were elemental spirits that could boost affinities.

They even spoke of a method that the old man called Barbaric, which forced ones soul into submission after death, to temporarily boost his stats by a margin of the souls highest stat. He had called that ability Soul Steal.

The name was ominous, but it was only a temporary thing. The soul could not be bound against its will indefinitely.

After all this talking, Astaroth had gained a clear view of the path he needed to take. His passion flared and his will steeled.

Now all he needed to do was find a way out of this blasted high-level zone. But how would he achieve that?

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