The mana slowly faded away, the symbols and patterns slowly breaking apart beneath them. Each one of them had a shocked face, bar Paige, who had a relieved smile on her face.
Slowly, she realized that no one was talking. She spoke up, trying to break the silence. “I forget how taxing it is to create a party. I haven’t done that in a while.”
“A Party Leader can actually choose what happens?” Nick said, shocked at this revelation. He knew there was a price a Party Leader had to pay in order to create a true Party. As a Senior Ranger, he was required to help train and evaluate the new Apprentices. So, he often created parties and led them so that he could evaluate their performance. Usually, only his unique Class Skills were locked until the Party disbanded; or at worst his Class was repressed down to an Apprentice to match the rest of the party. These disadvantages were only temporary and disappeared once the party was disbanded.
Indeed, even the Ranger Organization basically outlawed formal parties from being formed by any of the senior leaders. The intentional weakening of the leader in a formal party was a hard pill to swallow. As a result, most missions required only temporary parties. Of the few official missions he had participated in with his fellow Rangers, none of them had required such a huge sacrifice like a permanent Class loss.
“Huh, it is not the worst that could have happened though.” Her tone light with relief as she remembered what the voice had said.
‘That’s not terrible enough for you?’ Everyone thought to themselves.
“What is the worst that could have happened, Aunt Paige?” Isabella asked worriedly. “You lost your Class! What else could go wrong?”
“I meddled with the party creation. I overruled some of the choices but if I tampered with it too much, I could also have been denied the benefits and still lost my class. The Gods are fickle like that sometimes.” Paige said nonchalantly. “Well, at least it went through. Now you have no reason to miss out on this adventure, little Isabella.”
“Check your Class and Skills now. Each of you should have gotten something from my sacrifice.”
Isabella and the rest quickly closed their eyes and focused their mind. ‘I, Isabella Freal, of my own accord, request my status.’ She said in her mind. Slowly, words formed as she waited patiently.
Isabella Freal, Princess Knight (Princess Class, Royal Paladin Warrior Class subset)
Skills: [Royal Bearing], [Divine Right], [Divine Shield], [Divine Protection]
Isabella was confused. “My class changed to Princess Knight? But Aunt Paige, I thought a Knight was different than a Warrior?”
Paige walked over to her and said out loud. “I, Paige Alduit, request the status of those in the room.” Isabella could feel the mana slowly gathering from the surroundings and slowly she could see words appearing in front of each of her companions, their eyes still closed. Paige’s eyes slowly wandered across each of them standing there, as Isabella focused on just her status, trying to read the words backward.
Isabella Freal, Princess Knight
“Huh, it is different than what I can see?”
Paige thought about the words in front of Isabella and snapped her fingers. “Ah, a Knight is a Paladin Warrior with a Royal title. Usually, the citizens must truly believe that the person in question will protect the royal family for their entire life. In short, they must dedicate their life to the kingdom. That is why it is hard to find a Knight Class. Most people with the Paladin Class do not stay in one place for long.”
Zenith and the others opened their eyes, and Isabella noticed that everyone had smiles on their faces. ‘They must have gotten something too.’
“You haven’t received formal training for long, have you, Isabella?” Zenith asked, sensing Isabella’s gaze and noting her confused reaction at her simplified status.
“Not too long, I just started under the Royal Tutor.”
“Ah, that is the reason then. Normally, simply checking your status would show only your class and skills. The guild and most countries will check this simplified status when you use their checkpoints. This allows them to screen people before they enter or leave.”
Zenith voice shifted, adopting a teacher’s tone of voice. “However, most learn during their early school years how to use a spell called [Advanced Status]. It is not a Class Skill; however, it allows you the ability to see your status in far greater detail. This is something only an individual can use on themselves.” She huffed to herself. “You need a new Royal Tutor if that is the limit to your education thus far.”
“She had to be hidden. We both know that she would have been taken by the Imperial family if her status was leaked. Her fate is already not in her hands anymore.” Tyler said, feeling the need to defend the Royal family’s decision.
“Well, I can teach you in the meantime, little Isabella.” Zenith jokingly responded, her mood vastly improving after seeing how her status had changed. She looked at her simplified status hanging in the air in front of her and watched as it slowly faded away as the mana dispersed into the surroundings.
Zenith Hall, Mage Crusader
That put a smile on her face. She quickly looked toward the others, noting only the classes; Princess Knight; Ranger Sentinel, and Vanguard Crusader. ‘So, everyone did get a Warrior Subclass. This is the best decision I have ever made!’ It was almost unheard of to receive a subclass at their class rank. Most people had to be born with a class in order to get a subclass.
‘Wait, what class does Paige have now?’ Her eyes darted quickly, spotting it just as it faded. ‘Dawn Warrior. What kind of class is that?’ She tilted her head, frowning slightly. She had heard titles like before, such as Knight of the Rising Sun or Sunset Guardian, but not a class like Dawn Warrior. ‘Is that a Warrior who can only fight at dawn?’
“So, I am the leader of this little Party. No fighting amongst ourselves.” She looked at Isabella and Paige. “I would like it if both of you could get along. Zenith, since you mentioned her knowledge is a little lacking, could you tutor her on the ride to the mausoleum. Just the basics will do, or any knowledge you deem relevant to her future.”
“How is own your situation, Paige?” Tyler asked, worried. “If it comes down to a battle, will you be able to stall the Demon Lord?” The whole mission depended on Paige being able to stall the Demon Lord if it came down to a fight.
“I’m fine; I’ll still be able to stall him. Technically, everyone should have a fighting chance as well with those subclasses.”
“How long will we have our subclass, Aunt Paige?” Isabella enjoyed having a new Class and Skills; but, did not like that she was robbing them from a family friend.
“…The subclasses are yours now. A true Party is different Isabella. I willingly shared my mana with you all, and my mana has already mixed with yours. Even if you died, there is no way that I know of that to get my mana back from you.”
“That seems unfair though. What did you get from us?”
“Nothing; It was the price I paid for meddling with the party creation.” She responded lightly. “I really didn’t need any skills from you all. I like who and what I am. That’s why I stopped the party creation before it started to take mana from you to give to me.” Her party members looked at each other.
“It’s alright; I know what I am doing.” She smiled. “Let’s head out, we have a long way to go to the first checkpoint tonight, and I do not want to arrive after dark.” She said, moving down the hall.
Nick caught up to her before she reached the end of the hallway. “How are we going to hide our new classes?” Nick asked suddenly. “We both know that the guild will check our statuses upon exit and entry to confirm who we are. They will definitely realize something had happened.” Certain skills were able to mask your appearance, but it was thought to be impossible to mask your status. Before he saw Paige’s true status, even he thought that no one alive would know, barring perhaps the Imperial Family.
“The Guildmaster will help us with this matter. All records of our entry and exit to the Guild Hall will be sealed and destroyed by him personally. Besides, I’ll do something too; just in case. I learned a trick just for a matter like this.”
She stilled and closed her eyes. Her mana seeped out of her, a cloud of mana slowly turning into a rope, inching toward each of them. She focused, and slowly she wrapped a thin line of her mana around each of their mana cores located slightly above their waist. Each of their mana cores started to vibrate, shaking slightly as they tried to match the pulsing sensation that Paige started sending out through her own core.
‘I, Paige Alduit, as the Party Leader, hereby Change the Party Status. Convert Status to show Main Class only. Convert Party Member Isabella Freal Status to show Cleric Class.’
Each of them could feel their cores slowly changing, feeling as if something was changing inside of them.
“I’ve hidden your class, Isabella. Princess is a little too conspicuous. This is a reason why a Party can be so powerful. But without a good teacher, most will never realize just how important a Party can be.” She turned around; one eyebrow slightly raised. “So, make sure you learn a lot from Zenith, Isabella. A good teacher can make all the difference.”
“Can you teach me as well Aunt Paige?” Isabella asked, hope shining in her eyes.
“Of course, but let’s head out now.”
They each grabbed their supplies and headed toward a nondescript door. The guild had multiple secret passages leading toward and away from the building, preventing anyone besides themselves from tracking individual’s whereabouts.
“Halt, this is a restricted area.” A guard stepped out of the shadow near the door. Paige walked up and spoke to the wary guard, Isabella following close behind her.
“My party have permission to use this door.” She opened her bag and withdrew an official guild report.
“Please step in front of the door.” The guard stepped aside after reading the report. Even though the report said not to monitor or record their information, he watched the plate on the top of the door carefully from the corner of his eye.
Paige Alduit, Warrior.
Isabella Freal, Cleric
Nicholas Brent, Ranger
Zenith Hall, Wind Magi
Tyler Merk, Vanguard
The guard was shocked. He did not think that the party in front of him was too impressive. He had assumed that two of the party members were mere Apprentices; the girl with platinum hair an Apprentice Cleric, and the other young girl an Apprentice Mage.
“Let’s go!” Paige shouted, and Isabella looked forward to her adventure outside the castle walls.