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Super Necromancer System

Chapter 21: Phantasmal Mask

Chapter 21: Phantasmal Mask

Aldrich stepped onto the Sign and the white teleporting light enveloped him and everyone else. In the next instant, they were transported to the gloomy innards of the Nexus temple with its dull grey stone and towering, gothic style pillars.

The only thing remotely colorful inside of it was the Wellspring of Life which, made of shining white alabaster and marble, positively sparkled with the blue and gold light projected from the glowing crystals hanging from the domed ceiling above.

"The Nexus. To think I would return here once more with you, my master," said Valera. She seemed happy at first, but then she narrowed her eyes. "But this place does not seem right."

"What do you mean?" said Aldrich.

"The Nexus is a safe space forged by the twin gods Amara, goddess of light and life, and Sindri, god of flame and forge. There is a warmth to the Nexus that is reflected in their powers. The warmth of positive energy that is uncomfortable to Undead like us, but I sense no such thing now," said Valera. "It is as if…as if this place seems dead."

"I got that impression too," said Aldrich. "And what I theorize is that this place is not the real, original Nexus. It"s just a replica. There"s no true "life" to it, but it still retains the powers it should have."

"Is that so?" said Valera. She darted her crimson and black eyes around warily, as if expecting a threat at any moment. "Hm. As long as you trust this place, I will too."

"So far, it hasn"t done me any wrong," said Aldrich. He leaped over the Wellspring of Life to the Forge where he found the System hammering away at seemingly nothing.

Valera followed closely behind Aldrich and immediately raised her shield against the glitchy stick figure, standing in front of Aldrich to protect him. The System, however, did not respond to her and continued hammering away, the sound of metal clinking on metal ringing through the air despite the fact that the System held no hammer in its blocky hand.

"There"s no point, Valera. The Nexus is a no combat, no kill zone," said Aldrich.

"Forgive me, my master." Valera put down her shield but still eyed the System suspiciously. "I was simply cautious of the unknown. You seem to know what that thing is."

"Sort of," said Aldrich. "From what I can tell, it seems to be a fusion of the goddess Amara and the god Sindri. This thing performs both their functions in the Nexus. Can you sense anything off about it?"

Valera cocked her head and stared at the System for a good ten seconds. Then, she shook her head. "I sense no hostility. No emotion at all. I can perceive that there is divine essence within it, the same kind that built up Amara and Sindri, but…how do I put this…it seems unfinished.

Gods are Divinus - raw divine energy - shaped into vessels by belief. This thing is pure energy. Chaotic and unshaped. And yet, still stable enough to maintain the Nexus."

"I see," said Aldrich. His theory that this stick figure was an unfinished game asset for both Amara and Sindri started to find more weight with Valera"s words. "In any case, questioning this thing has no purpose. Like you said, it"s unfinished. It only responds to certain key words and requests. And as far as I can tell, it"s basically just a machine that fulfills the functions of the gods. Until we find more cause to suspect it, we have to rely on it."

"Understood, master," said Valera. "I trust your wise judgement. Especially over my hot-blooded impulsiveness."

Aldrich nodded and walked up to the System. "Here for a forging request."

"Ah, a forgin", is it?" said the System. "I can do that any time! Now then, what"ll it be, lad?"

"Soul forging," said Aldrich. The crafting/forging menu opened up in front of Aldrich and he selected the [Soul of Ghost] from his inventory. Ghost"s soul manifested in his hand as a shimmering white orb that ever so often flickered transparent.

Aldrich tossed the orb to the System and the stick figure caught the orb and inspected it.

"Mighty fine material yer bringin" in!" said the System.

"Yes, fine indeed," said Aldrich, remembering the satisfaction of crushing Ghost. "Now then, I want head gear."

"Gotcha. Here"s what I can do!"

Aldrich found a list of three options projected in front of him.

==

1. Ghostly Helm

Rank: Uncommon +

Type: Head Gear (Heavy)

Stats:

+15 Vitality

+5 Agility

+5 Perception

Effects:

Refraction (Passive) - This item grants the wearer a permanent passive that reduces all incoming damage by 10%.

2. Hood of Melding

Rank: Uncommon +

Type: Head Gear (Light)

Stats:

+10 Agility

+10 Magic

+5 Perception

Effects:

Ghost Walk (Active) - By activating this item, the wearer may enter a Phase state where they are rendered invisible and pass-through solid objects with 50% boosted movement speed. [Ghost Walk] lasts for 3 seconds.

Cost: 30 Mana

Cooldown: 15 Seconds

3. Phantasmal Mask

Rank: Uncommon +

Type: Head Gear (Light)

Stats:

+5 Magic

Effects:

Phantasmal Shroud (Passive) - The wearer obtains a permanent passive that grants them a 10% chance to dodge an incoming attack by phasing through it.

Ghost Walk (Active) - By activating this item, the wearer may enter a Phase state where they are rendered invisible and pass-through solid objects with 50% boosted movement speed. [Ghost Walk] lasts for 3 seconds. While this ability is on cooldown, Phantasmal Shroud is disabled.

Cost: 30 Mana

Cooldown: 15 Seconds

=

Cost: 200 Coin

Reroll Cost: 50 Coin

==

Aldrich put a hand to his chin, wondering what to take. He had rolled well, obtaining three choices of Uncommon (+) tier gear.

The plus sign indicated that the gear was at the highest end of its tier, and since the Uncommon level range of gear went from 10-30, the difference was quite massive between a basic Uncommon piece of equipment like Aldrich"s current staff and any of these three head pieces.

Thankfully, the gear had not been at the Rare tier, as though players could equip gear one tier above their level threshold, anything above that made equipment unusable until they met the level requirements.

"The helmet would be quite useful for protecting you, my dear master," said Valera as she peered at the options. "B-but I will protect you anyway, so maybe it isn"t useful after all!"

It seemed that Valera wanted Aldrich to choose equipment that protected him the most while also struggling with her pride to be the one to always protect Aldrich.

"I trust you to protect me, Valera, don"t worry about that," said Aldrich. "And my class has no affinity for heavy gear. I"ll suffer stat penalties for wearing a heavy helmet. That leaves me with either the hood or the mask, and it"s a no-brainer to pick up the mask here."

Though the [Hood of Melding] granted much better stats than the [Phantasmal Mask], it only had one unique ability. Aldrich knew from playing the game that stats might have seemed attractive, especially in earlier levels, but additional unique abilities or passives were worth far more.

As far as rolls went, the mask was quite lucky. He had gotten a horrible roll with the heavy helmet, especially because mage type classes had a higher chance to roll lighter equipment, but the other two options made up for it.

"Craft me the [Phantasmal Mask]" said Aldrich.

"You got it!" The System hammered down at Ghost"s soul, shattering it and then reforming it into another glowing white orb, this time with the icon of the item imbued within it.

The orb floated to Aldrich and he absorbed it into his inventory with a touch.

[1x Phantasmal Mask obtained]

[200 Coin spent]

[Coin: 220 ] 20]

Aldrich immediately withdrew the mask and equipped it. A pale white ivory mask formed over his face. It was oval and seemingly latched onto his face with no need for a strap. It was completely featureless, like a ceramic plate, aside from a single horizontal line running across it to indicate Aldrich"s eye line.

"This will do," said Aldrich. He could see perfectly through the mask as if it was not there despite the fact that it basically completely obscured his face. The perks of magic.

"Marvelous!" said Valera as she clapped her gauntleted hands together. "Piece by piece, you adorn yourself for battle." She whispered under her breath. "A shame I can"t see your face, though."

"Hm? What was that last part?" said Aldrich, not quite catching it.

"N-nothing!" said Valera as she briskly walked back to the Sign. "We are ready, yes? For adventure?"

"With you, anytime," said Aldrich, wanting to convey that she was a valuable protector he could always rely on.

Evidently, Valera took those words differently. Her pale skin got a shade redder, and she immediately put on her helmet. "Then we must make haste. Onwards!"

___

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