[Return ticket: Consumable item.]
"Just when I am getting interested in Avalon, it gives me a chance to return," Rin muttered and put the ticket in the pocket of his trousers. Still, it is better to have it than to lose it. It might be more useful than the stupid notebook that he couldn read.
Rin clapped his palm again, and spun the wheel, wishing to get some weapon out of it. Can hunt with bare arms, after all.
The wheel spun for an extra-long time before slowing down to the sword insignia, but again it turned to the next option after that. It was a mark of some weird language—much like the cantic he saw in the memoir.
A translucent small-sized ball appeared in his palm, reflecting his face.
[Congratulations! You have won an Origin Mark, Seed of Protection.]
"Finally, something useful," Rin muttered, but he felt it was something more when he saw the expression on the white-haired ladys face. Her eyes were widened and her brows held a thick and cute frown, peering at the small sphere in his palm.
[You are one lucky man,] she said, and held out her arm. [Here are a few things that will help you in the test.]
As the system spirit finished saying that, a few things appeared out of nowhere in front of him. The first was a short sword. Then there was a shield and a tiny ring, but his interest held elsewhere—to the translucent sphere in his palm.
"So how do I use this crystal?" he asked, looking at the crystal stone in his hand, which was screaming to him: Eat me.
"So what is this mark?" he asked.
[Something far more important to waste on a clueless person like you,] she answered with a smile. Perhaps did not want something important to get in the hands of otherworlder like him. [Then again, it is the system that gave it to you, so I can take it from you. Do what you want with it. You can choose to integrate it with yourself or possibly sell it at a hefty price.]
"What type of benefit does this mark bring?" he asked, swallowing his breath.
[As the name suggests, its related to the power of protection. Possibly some abilities, skills, stats. Then again, its only the seed of the origin mark, so the possibility of augmentation might be lower. Still, Origin Mark is the rarest thing in the universe. I won be surprised if that small orb goes for a couple hundred million Avalon credits.]
"I will take it," Rin said. "I will take everything that will give me some edge for my survival." He looked at the sphere carefully again. The system inspection said some interesting things. However, the most essential fact about this was that its upgradable. Abilities like that are supposed to strengthen and be customisable according to the players growth.
However if learned the ability, the sphere would be gone, and so would its price. The price that the gorgeous lady mentioned could cure him forty times over, that was the only reason he was having second thoughts.
Then again, if he didn succeed in the tutorial, he might not even get the chance to sell it anywhere.
"How do I integrate it, then?" he asked, letting out a breath.
[Its easy, pierce your mana inside the sphere and visualise absorbing it. Wait, you can utilise mana so early.] The cute frown appeared on her brows again. [There was another, but its slow and will leave after effect for a few days.]
"What is it?" Rin asked, still could not understand why she talked in the roundabout way sometimes.
[You have to swallow it, and let it be consumed by your mana slowly, but it will leave some deleterious effects. You might not be able to eat anything for a week or two.]
The stone was right. Rin knitted his brow, releasing a deep breath. "Can you help me or something?"
You are asking me now? He did not know whether to laugh or cry. "If you can, why don you?"
[I am asking for your permission,] she told him sternly.
"Then I am giving you my permission," he said, unable to comprehend what was so serious about that.
[Fine. Swallow it, I will try to integrate it quickly into your spirit. Beware power comes with some pain.]
Rin nodded and did as he was told. He put the sphere into his mouth and gulped down, but another accident hit him before they could start the integration.
Rin broke into a loud fit of coughs, choking on the sphere. The sphere was quite the size to gulp down after all, and with the excitement, something disastrous was not unfounded. His fits of cough did not stop, and his head and face burned in fiery agony. He could not ask for help either, still trying to do his best to overcome the little ordeal. Perhaps not a small ordeal, remembering people can die by choking.
[Focus. Focus on the strands of mana. It will be much easier if you do.] A stern voice said to him, and Rin felt two soft, warm palms touching his cheeks. Then warm energy spread throughout his body from his cheek to the jaw—the energy helped the sphere on its way to his stomach, and then the warm fuzzy feeling spread throughout his body.
Rin opened his eyes and blinked. The beautiful white-haired lady was before his eyes, eyes closed, frowning cutely. She was uncomfortably close, but his attention soon transferred elsewhere. The warm feeling expanded further, bringing a little energy into his body. Both the energy played along in harmony, giving him the feeling of when he lost his virginity.
The different strands of energy played along in harmony, and Rin lost himself in euphoria, forgetting about the pain—the white-haired lady told him about.
But he did not need a reminder of it again as soon as the pain consumed him. With the help of foreign strands of energy, his energy attacked the sphere as cracks started to appear on it all around. And from the crack came icy, freezing breaths.
It surged into his body like a bolt of lightning, freezing wherever it went. It was so cold that he almost felt like burning. This kind of pain was something he never felt and was about to give in when he heard the stern voice again.
Rin gritted his teeth, and focused on those few strands of his mana, swirling around the cracked sphere. Spreading and swirling. It was almost impossible for him, but he held onto it barely.
The process only went for a few seconds, but Rin felt like an eternity in it. The warm palms that were touching his cheek left as he sat lifelessly in the seat. Rin had been a mess many times, but unlike this, ever.
[Integrating with origin mark . . . Intre. . .] The transparent notifications came one after another, delivering the same messages. Until finally the one came that he was waiting for.
[Congratulations! You have successfully integrated with Origin mark, Seed of Protection.]
Rin sighed in relief and decided against sitting straight. He peeked at the white-haired lady again. She appeared the same as before, seated gracefully in her seat, though she appeared far bleaker than before. How did she touch me? he mused, like the one before him was nothing more than an illusionary figure. Or is it more?
[Check your body and try to find any unique marks.]
Rin did not have to check, as there was still a stabbing pain in his chest. He uncovered his t-shirt to see a couple of centimetres long tattoo-like mark on the centre of his chest.
[Congratulations, youve awakened Mana Cloak]
Rank: Order - 1 (Upgradable)
Effect: - Conjures a cloak of mana around the body, which gives some form of physical protection. It can also reduce the weight of the wearers body at the cost of mana.]
[That is your origin mark. You can check it out later to know its function. All you have to do is infuse mana into the mark. First, take these things I gave you earlier. Our time here is almost finished] she gestured at the sword, shield, and ring on the floor.
Rin nodded, though he wanted to ask a few more questions. He put the ring on his ring finger on the left arm, and the shield on the same arm, while the sword on the other. There were no belts or sheaths to store the sword.
"By the way, what would happen if I failed?" That was one important question, alright.
[Death at the trial means failure,] the white-haired lady answered, regaining the smile. [You can die in the test, but you won die, actually. You would only get your memory wiped about everything that happened here and teleported back to your little planet. Well, for you, it will be death if you fail. You will die slowly and painfully, forgetting the opportunity you have lost.]
"Damn," Rin cursed and saw lights surrounding him.
[Off you go, Mortal,] she said finally. [May the odds be in your favour.]
"Hold on," he said. "You still have not given me your names."
But the lights did not stop, and prepared for his teleportation.
[Name, huh?] Rin still could hear her voice, even though he could see nothing in the light. [I don remember, but I have a title. Dawn—you can call me that.]