Chapter 289 Third Trial Quest Rewards
Aldrich felt power flow into him. His levels surged at a staggering rate that he did not expect.
[Experience bonus applied from clearing this quest with limitations. All experience gains doubled]
Doubled experience. Aldrich's eyes almost popped out of his cracked sockets. That was the absolute highest modifier one could reach for experience, and that was only with every single experience boosting item and consumable stacked together in the most efficient manner.
Aldrich saw his levels rise all the way up to 49. Just shy of reaching 50 when he would get access to his next trial quest and bonus passive necromancer abilities.
The levels themselves, though, were not that remarkable. They gave him more raw stats to work with, but as he had noted with his physical abilities, the stats from levels tapered off in effectiveness the higher Aldrich's level was.
Aldrich had already hit a soft cap for stats at level 40, but he would hit another one at 60, then a hard one at 80. Each cap reduced how much his stats actually boosted him unless he applied the bonuses from levels to already low stats.
But to any stat above 60, the caps would set in.
That was also why Attunement and Magic were so useful. Attunement and Magic were affected by the caps as well, with Attunement providing less cooldown reduction and Magic providing less of a boost to magical damage, but they provided other benefits that were not affected at all, like increasing Aldrich's unit limit or his mana pool.
However, Aldrich held off on distributing his stats so far. He was safe right now, and he wanted more time to think about it after convening with the Death Lord. She might have known something that could influence his decisions.
The other trial quest rewards appeared.
[1 x Greater Tome of the Dark Arts obtained]
[1 x Hellfire Blade obtained]
[1 x Burnmaw Bulwark obtained]
[1 x Arstree Staff obtained]
[1 x Fel Body Core obtained]
[1 x Arsellis Treeseed obtained]
[1 x Pureflame Kindling obtained]
[1 x Arstree Ashes obtained]
All amazing rewards.
With the [Greater Tome of Dark Arts], Aldrich could deepen his access to undead units he could summon at will. The miscellaneous weapons he received, he could distribute among his units.
The [Burnmaw Bulwark] was a massive red and black greatshield with an angry, open mouthed demonic face carved in its front. From that maw, the shield could spit torrents of hellfire.
Valera would make great use of this.
The [Hellfire Blade] was probably best given to Chiros who had the most swordsmanship skill out of his units.
The [Fel Body Core] was a consumable orb that granted a unit that ingested it access to a few permanent demonic passives such as Fel Skin which hardened the skin. This, Aldrich had to think about a little more in regards to who to give to.
Aldrich could not make good use of it himself because he did not have a proper flesh and blood body. On top of that, it scaled with physical stats which he did not particularly invest too much in.
There was always the option to give it to a trusty physical powerhouse like Valera, but then he risked stacking too much on one unit. He would think about this a little more.
The [Arstree Staff] was a caster item that was the least flashy out of all the other item rewards. All it did was significantly boost the magic stat, but the simplicity made it easy to decide who to grant it to.
Chrysa would make the most use of it. She burned through mana quickly with her unique abilities, and having the staff would augment her ability to keep using spatial magic considerably.
The other items were more for crafting. The [Arsellis Treeseed], [Arstree Ashes], and [Pureflame Kindling] were all incredibly rare and useful crafting materials to create items or spells out of.
What Aldrich was most interested in was whether he could tap into the lore implications of the materials. The seed, for example, if given a proper blessing, could grow into a proper Arstree. The ashes could apparently call on ancient forest spirits and the kindling could forge a connection to the elven goddess.
There were more rewards on top of this. The rewards given to Aldrich via the Death Lord. Arguably those were more important, especially the [Nether Idol] that he could use to obtain another chosen undead.
Who Aldrich wanted from the Nether was an interesting choice. He felt like he had enough firepower, and if he did not, he could just get more by raising variants. He had his own defenses covered with Volantis and Valera.
No, what Aldrich valued the most right now was someone who could obtain information. And someone whose lore related powers could apply to the real world.
Even a joke option like Hadar the Golden Bone, a literal golden skeleton who had a passive that guaranteed he would be rich, might be useful if he could manifest that in the real world.
'Father - are you okay!?' Chrysa's panicked voice rang through Aldrich's mind.
'Hm? You weren't watching?' replied Aldrich.
'No, when father got all shiny golden, the telescreen messed up! Then I couldn't see through your eyes either! I wanted to come out and help, but I remembered that you said you could handle it yourself, and I always believe in father, no matter what.'
'It was best that you didn't come out,' thought Aldrich, knowing that she could not have kept up with the collateral from [Sunlit]. 'And you're right: you had no need to worry. I beat the demon. We're all set.'
'I knew it! I can feel father has gotten a lot stronger too! So, will we save the below the tree now?'
'Ah right, the elves.' Aldrich looked around. There were no homes around the base of the Arstree, but the elven town was still visible just a few minutes of a walk away. Everything was still on fire, and all the elves, though now broken of possession, were probably just broken, hollowed out husks that collapsed onto the floor, unable to do much of anything, like they were in endless comas.
Aldrich had no way to save them. But maybe someone in the Necropolis did. Wai'Ki might know a thing or two about reversing spiritual damage, though he did recall that in lore, demon caused spiritual damage was basically permanent, with not even the gods being able to do anything about it.
Nevertheless, it did not hurt to try.
But just as Aldrich thought that, the trial realm began to collapse. The ground shuddered. The skies shook and warped. Cracks began to appear in space, revealing nothing but dark void.
Aldrich furrowed his brows. This was not supposed to happen. The trial realms were always around to revisit.
So why was this one breaking apart? Did it have to do with the demons?
A system message automatically appeared in Aldrich's vision.
[Exiting the Trial Quest...]
It seemed that the system was automatically booting Aldrich, probably to prevent him from getting caught up in the realm's destruction. Probably for the best, too. Everything was collapsing rapidly, the reality of the realm peeling apart like dried paint to reveal a canvas of nothing but dark emptiness.
And, as Aldrich warped away, he could not help feel an uneasy sensation that in that darkness of nothingness, he felt something watching him.