"I'll put this matter in the back burner for now. Currently, there are more matters that I need to attend to...'
'I...what happened to me exactly?'
This was the part where Ashton finally opened his eyes to see what changed about him.
The very first thing that he noticed is the fact that the world looked more vivid to him that before. He thought that it might just be his imagination but he also can't shake the feeling that it's real somehow.
The colors are more vibrant, the atmosphere is clearer and the Mana...
'Yes, the Mana! I can sense it! But how? I'm not in meditation!'
Ashton was astonished. He never expected something like this was possible too. He could actually sense mana clearly as if he's in meditation! Before, he needed to get in to the Meditative State before having this sensation and that usually takes him around five or so minutes but now it's different.
'And the sensation isn't going away either! What's going on?'
Ashton then looked in front of him and his eyes nearly popped out with the amount of system windows panned out in front of him. He shook his head and went through them one by one.
As he read the notifications, Ashton paled visibly.
He dodged the bullet right there.
He never expected that the effect of his transformation would be so great that it actually alarmed some monsters that are hiding within the vicinity. (When he said monsters, he's actually referring to the real powerful people within the world.)
But what really caught his attention was the domino-effect that happened with his Aptitude.
'System, show me my Profile Page please.'
Host: Ashton West
? Mageroot: Mysterious Rainbow
? Magical Artifact: Cursed Book of Infinity (Legendary)
? Providence: Fey Emperor's Blessings (???)
Cultivation Technique: None
Rank: [Apprentice Stage Lv.0]
'Uh...okay. My Mageroot just straight up become the Mysterious Rainbow then? Isn't to be a grade of the Mageroot not the Mageroot itself?'
'Right, let's see this Magical Artifact then...'
[Magical Artifact: Cursed Book of Infinity (Legendary)]
Unique Skill: [Aspect of Infinity]
? Removes the lock of Spell Proficiency Limits per Cultivation Rank. (Spell Level can exceed the Host's Level.)
Curse: [Hex of Mediocrity]
? Forbids the user to learn any Intermediate Level Offensive Spells and above.
'You know what...? I'll take that actually!'
'Mn! That sounds way better! The curse still sucks since it eliminates the possibility of me hurling a giant meteor to my enemies but staying in the back and keeping my allies in full health doesn't really sound bad!'
'In fact, if I'm good at it, I'd be a hot commodity! In RPG's there no lack of damage dealers, the hardest to find in parties are healers. If this works in this world somehow, and I have a feeling that it does, then my future could still be exciting! This is fine! I like this development.'
'And that's not even mentioning the fact that I can increase the level of my skills higher than myself. That should synergize with my Grinding Slots, right? Ooh! I'm excited!'
Really, Ashton didn't mind this at all. While the curse is still around, it didn't limit him as much as it did before. Now that he had something to work with, at least there's much to look forward to for his future.
'Alright, then we go to the reason of it all. My Providence.'
[Providence: Fey Emperor's Blessings (Grade-???)]
: You have been blessed by the Fey Emperor, granting you numerous benefits such as;
? [Focused Mind] - lessens the probability of you failing to cast a spell. Greatly increases intellect.
? [Fey Emperor's Majesty] - increases your beauty and charm, raises your Physical Strength, greatly increases your familiarity with Mana.
? ...to be unlocked.
'So that's why I can feel the flow of Mana even without being in the Meditative State!'
'And like...it raises my intellect too? That's nice.'
'There's also the beauty and charm. Am I more handsome now? I need to see myself again in the mirror to make sure.'
'And it looks like there's more. Maybe I'll unlock it once I'm stronger. That's usually how it goes right?'
'...now it answered. Alright, fine. But yeah! This great! I've so much to work on. Unfortunately it's the exam week next week, I'll be a bit busy but I should be fine.'
Ashton finally stood-up from his seat. His lips twitched when he heard his bones locking in place as he did so. Yeah, he might've spent a little to much time sitting on the same spot. Strangely enough, he didn't feel numb all over which usually happens after each session.
'Probably has something to do with my new Aptitude.'
Ashton shook his head and deactivated the cultivation layout of the Training Room. When everything returns to normal, he then saw that it's already twelve in the afternoon. He had spent his whole morning inside the training room.
He walked out of the room only to find Jerry standing there with a stack of clothes on his arm.
"Are you alright, Master? I saw that your clothes exploded while you were training."
That woke him up. Right, he actually forgot that, that happened. If it weren't for Jerry's reminder he would've not notice it until it's time for him take a bath.
"Right. I'm fine. In fact, I feel much better than before. I had a little breakthrough but shh, it's our secret okay?"
Jerry made an 'okay' sign with his fingers and said: "Yes, Master. Don't worry, your secret's safe with me."
"Good, boy." Ashton chuckled. Jerry's been a much better companion after he installed the chip he received from the system to the bot. Also, he can speak now. He sounds like an obedient child.
"I've prepared your bath, Master. Also, here's a change of clothes. I shall prepare your food while you take a relaxing bath after a hard work. Should I increase the amount of food to make?"
"Yes! I haven't eaten breakfast and this little breakthrough deserves a feast. I'll leave it to you, Jerry."
"Got it! I make sure to prepare a scrumptious feast for you."
Ashton took the clothes from Jerry and the bot cheerily waddled towards the kitchen. He smiled and went his way towards his bathroom at the second floor.
Before jumping into the tub, Ashton looked at himself in front of the mirror and was surprised by what he saw.
"Holy crap! I look fine as hell! What?"
His short black hair became more lustrous had more volume, his skin became smoother and elastic, his pupils had a strong gleam in it and the shape of his face turned more sharper in a good way.
He also noticed that the fat scattered here and there on his body disappeared, replacing it with a more sculpted frame. He also appeared to be taller than before and his voice became one octave deeper.
'Is this because of my Providence? What the hell? This is possible too?'
Ashton felt surprised but also a bit embarrassed. He felt a little bit narcissistic but he does look hot. He looked like one of those teenagers who were bullied by puberty. He's like the popular kid in those high-school dramas that had all the girls thirsting over them.
'Surely with this face, finding a girlfriend shouldn't be hard, yeah?' Ashton thought to himself but then, he shook his head and said: 'Whatever, that's not really the focus of my life right now.'
'What are girlfriends for where there's Magic to learn? A waste of time, that is.'
Deciding to no longer think of this, Ashton took off his ruined clothes and hopped into the tub.
The temperature was good enough, just like how he likes it. He could already feel himself relaxing here.
'I can now learn stronger spells, well Supportive and Auxiliary Spells but still...had I known that I'll change this much, I wouldn't have spent those cards earlier. Maybe I would've gotten a rare one.'
'I said that the Basics are still important and I still stand by that, but still, learning cooler spells would've been much better. Ugh, the irony.'
'Oh, that's right. System, can you explain to me what the 'Host Isolation Protocol' does?'
[The 'Host Isolation Protocol' prevents people from knowing the Host through the means of prying into the Heavenly Secrets.]
[With it active, Host can set the bar on how strong he appears to the eyes of others to prevent suspicions. To put things simply, this the System's way to keep Host safe.]
'Oh...thanks. That's certainly very helpful. I'm glad that's in there.'
'Is there a time limit for this protocol?'
[None. Host can deactivate it anytime he pleases.]
'I'd like it to remain as it, thank you.' Ashton didn't hesitate.
This function is so useful like this so why would he even think about deactivating it? Unless he went absolutely mad, he won't turn this function off.
'Now, since I have Spells to practice. It's time to see the magic of these Grinding Slots.'
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