229 Scrivening 1
The next morning, Draco and his two beauties woke up simultaneously for once. Even more shocking was the fact that they both hadn't vented their comfort all over him.
Chuckling all the while, they cleaned themselves up in their bath. Draco lazed around contently as Hikari and Eva washed each other slowly and with gentleness.
It was clear that the two had become close. This also made the fellow satisfied deep down.
Soon after, they finished with their little washup and got back to business. Eva and Hikari once again headed to Vita City State after informing Draco of the various developments.
Draco went down to the castle's library, which also functioned as a Tradeskill area for Scribes, Cartographers and all other Tradeskills that involved writing.
The room was well decorated, with rows and rows of books laid out in shelves. So many of them that Draco doubted he would ever be able to finish reading them before the mainstream players hit Rank 5.
Draco saw the librarian, who was an old woman with her hair tied into a bun. She had a sharp face and a perpetual frown, telling him that she was the type who was extremely strict with a no-nonsense attitude.
She was at her desk reading a book with her eyebrows furrowed, revealing that she was struggling to understand the vague and abstract concepts propounded within.
When she saw Draco, she rose to her feet and approached him, bowing with a noblewoman's curtsy as she did.
"Good day, Lord Draco. How can I be of assistance?" She asked deferentially.
Draco smiled and greeted her politely. "Good day, beautiful madam. I am here to do some writing. May I know where the appropriate area is located?"
Hearing Draco's compliment, the older woman's harsh expression smoothened into a smile. "Please follow me, my Lord. I shall take you there."
Draco quietly followed her to their destination. It was a small area with many tables and chairs, as well as empty ink bottles, quills and some clean parchments.
The lighting here was good, so one would never have to strain their eyes to see. The table was level and had a soft padding so that one's arms wouldn't feel pain after residing there for longer periods of time.
The chairs were also designed for comfort while maintaining rigidity, alleviating possible back pains various writers could suffer from after extended use.
The tables had a small stand for the writing, so that one's quill wouldn't poke through the parchment due to the table's softness.
Not to mention that this was a work area for Tradeskills in the castle, so everything here was naturally at the Legendary Rank. Draco saw more than a few Rank 5 NPCs of various Tradeskills that focused on writing here.
When they saw the old woman bring Draco here, they all stood up and greeted him with respect. Draco also greeted them all cordially and emphasized he hadn't come here to check up on them, but to work himself.
Once they learned this, everyone got back to their work. They were all rushing to become Grandmasters so their position in the Rank 7 Castle could become secure.
Not only that, but they would also be able to negotiate better terms with Draco on other matters. Right now, they didn't even have the right to breathe too loudly in his presence.
Draco knew what they were all thinking and approved it. If they became Grandmasters, of course he would treat them much better while maintaining their "slave" contract's base terms.
He hadn't encountered a single Grandmaster who would have been willing to craft for him, even at Rank 6, despite him managing to bring up Hellscape to the Divine Rank from nothing. If this time around he could 'own' a Grandmaster in every Tradeskill, he could focus on combat solely and leave the work to them.
Draco put such thoughts aside. Many of them were theoretically close to the Grandmaster Rank, but it took more than just gathering Tradeskill experience to cross that barrier.
Draco sat down at an open table and analyzed the tools provided for him. The quill was a Legendary one, and so was the ink bottle. Since they didn't have to be replenished, it was understandable for them to exist as such.
However, the parchment and the ink itself were at the Epic Rank. Naturally, one couldn't buy Primal Papyrus or the Special Inkstone easily. One went for 200,000 platinum while the other went for 400,000.
Back then, Draco had only left about 25,000 platinum in the Castle's coffers for management. The fact that they could even outfit the Tradeskill workers with Epic materials was amazing in and of itself, considering that the Castle had many other costs to pay.
Draco shook his head and activated the Scrivener Tradeskill at last. Unlike the Epic Tradeskills though, he wasn't taken to a new realm or had a personal whatever.
He just noticed a screen pop up before him, one that was special compared to all others because it was specially designed with the faded image of a book and quill in the background.
On this new screen, he saw four options. The first was titled 'Vault of Techniques', the second was 'Conversion to Skills', the third was 'Creation of Skillbook' and the final option was 'Enhancements'.
From a cursory glance, Draco could tell that Scrivening was not as extraneous as Tactics or Magical Engineering. He wasn't sure if this held true for all other Legendary Tradeskills, but this one in particular appeared quite straight forward.
Draco first selected the Vault of Techniques. The new screen showed the background of a faded-out library, and in the center of the screen two options awaited him.
The first was to 'Add a new Technique' and the second was to 'Merge Techniques'. The second option really impressed Draco, for if he could merge two techniques properly, they would certainly become great.
Draco went back and selected the second option on the home screen, which was the Conversion to Skills option. Here, the background was of a man slashing something on one side being changed into the form of an illustration on the other, with a directional arrow in between.
Here, he saw two options in the center of the screen again, this time being 'Convert a Technique into a Skill', and the second was to 'Convert a Technique to a Spell'.
Both options were good. Draco was aware that he could make spellbooks with Scrivening because techniques weren't limited to physical combat only.
In fact, Draco would be able turn the Orb of Destruction, his ultimate Manifestation Technique and all others into skill books. He could also turn his 360 swords skills, into those as well.
Naturally he didn't forget about his Three Pound Origin Technique for Blacksmithing or his Refined Star Technique for Alchemy. Even his Star Shot technique from Archery was available for conversion.
But Draco shook his head with a smile. He would certainly love to convert some of these techniques, but he understood that more than 90% of them would rank above Uncommon.
As such, it should be impossible right now. Just like Magical Engineering, Draco was certain that Scrivening would only allow him to output skill and spellbooks equivalent to his Tradeskill Rank.
So, in essence, he would be limited to making skills and spellbooks at the Common Rank until he hit the Elite Rank in Scrivening. This meant his climb would be slow, but at least it would be smoother than Tactics which required a special circumstance to work.
Draco left this screen and chose the third option on the home screen, which was Creation of Skillbook. This one had the background of a man bent over a table while writing furiously.
There were three choices here. The first was 'Prepare Ink', the second was 'Prepare Paper' and the final was 'Scriven'.
It seemed like this section handled what everyone would have expected Scrivening to be about, which was the actual writing. One seemed to require a special type of ink and paper in order for the skill/spellbook to be made.
After that was the putting it onto paper itself, which Draco assumed would be the hardest part. After all, to make a skillbook was basically stealing one of the system's biggest functions.
There were no Scriveners in this world anymore, meaning that aside from drops, the system was the sole distributor of all skill/spellbooks.
Before he had chanced upon the Scrivener Tradeskill, Draco had been sure that this was how everything was designed.
In his mind, there couldn't be a way for players or NPCs to make such an item, because it should be a core aspect of any RPG game.
Creating techniques was one thing, but who in their right mind would basically hand over modding tools to a player so they could potentially break the game?
Draco put aside his thoughts and returned to the homescreen, selecting the final option, which was Enhancements. Here, the background was an upward directional arrow beside a book.
There was only one option, which was to 'Enhance Skill/Spellbook'. Draco was sure that he would have to pay some price in order to get this done, because he would be upgrading a finished product which was one of the hardest things to do in Boundless.
After inspecting the various options, Draco pondered silently for a bit. There was no tutorial or guiding voice like Sofia for this Legendary Tradeskill, meaning he would have to figure out everything for himself.
It was mostly self-explanatory, but Draco knew Boundless. This game was all about the devil in the details, which one could not afford to overlook.
Well, the best way to understand everything would be to do what humans in the early ages always did, which was the classic trial and error.
Draco returned to the Vault of Techniques. He directly selected to add a new technique when he came to its sub-screen, and the magical warping of his mind that had been forgone finally occurred.
Draco felt his mind getting pulled to a special place. Here, he saw a dojo that was quite spacious. On the various decorated walls were racks of different weapons and armors.
There were even some dummies in the form of humans that were quietly sitting in meditation opposite him, in case his technique involved another party.
Before he could move, an orb of a light green color spawned before him, with a large lens in the middle that glowed blue. It looked just like Sofia, only that its coloration was different.
"Greetings, Scrivener. I am your Sophisticated Assistant for Tradeskills Inclined towards Neo Elites. You can call me Satine for short."
Satine bobbed up and down gently, her robotic voice containing some slight bits of emotion, at least more emotion than Sofia ever showed.
"Hello, Satine. I've met Sofia before when activating Epic Tradeskills. Are you related?" Draco asked with curiosity.
Satine seemed surprised by this before she answered in a strange tone. "Yes Scrivener, the Special Orb For Intelligent Assistance, known as Sofia for short, is my daughter."
Eh? A levitating orb could have children too? If so, then who was the father? Did male orbs even exist?
Draco found himself asking questions that would shatter the mind of the common man, and his brain began to hurt. However, Satine brought him back to reality soon.
"This is the special area where your techniques are recorded and assessed by the system. You can perform any technique you know of in full detail, and the system will judge whether it counts as a valid technique and how powerful it will be."
"When you are about to begin, make sure to alert me. You can also ask for various assistants like dummies, teammates and weapons. As long as you are able to specify what you need, it can be arranged."
Draco listened attentively and felt like he got the general gist of things. Basically, he would have to know what the hell he was doing before he did it, and even then, the system might judge it to be meaningless.
Draco realized why he was the only Scrivener around. Such a system meant that unless one was a combat genius who could either create techniques or learn them, they would be unable to do shit.
Even 'learning' a technique wasn't a concrete enough description. One would need to know how to perfectly execute it without any mishaps for the system to validate it.
Draco shook his head. Many of the scribes and other Tradeskill masters sharing the library's writing area with him would be unable to do this at all.
Putting that aside, Draco asked a prudent question. "If the technique I perform is of a higher grade that what I can output, can it still be recorded here?"
Satine bobbed up and down gently. "It can. The Vault has nothing to do with your skill as a Scrivener. It is only a place to record and assess techniques in preparation for conversion."
Draco sighed with relief. It did make sense that the Vault would be able to store everything, because like Satine said, it had nothing to do with the writing aspect.
If the whole Tradeskill could be likened to a computer, the Vault of Techniques would be the Hard Drive and the Conversion would be the CPU. The Scrivening would be the GPU and the enhancement would be the RAM.
Each segment had drastically different functions that simultaneously limited and boosted each other.
Draco took a sword from the rack and swung it about, testing its weight and flexibility. Seeing that it had the perfect balance for a common blade, he nodded with satisfaction.
"Satine, begin recording. This is a sword technique called Sword Skill 1: Inclined Slash."
"Acknowledged. Please display the technique fully." Satine answered coolly.
Draco placed the sword at his right side, with the blade lying parallel to his thigh. He then turned the sword in a 90° clockwise angle, bending his knees slightly as he placed his weight on his right leg.
Then, he maintained the rigidity of his upper body as he swung the blade in an upwards angle of 45°. After doing so, he perfectly controlled his sword and brought it back to his side, ready for another swing.
After completing this, he relaxed his body and turned to Satine. "I am done."
Satine bobbed up and down as her lens flashed. "Recording complete, removing unnecessary information… compiling… assessing…"
"Complete. The sword technique 'Sword Skill 1: Inclined Slash' has been assessed to be a valid technique. Generating Rank… complete."
"Sword Skill 1: Inclined Slash is graded as a Common technique. Would you like to record another?"
Satine's robotic voice seemed to drone on endlessly, but it was music to Draco's ears. After all, this was his first ever sword technique back in the day, and it was honestly pretty average.
It wasn't even something that unique, as many blade systems/schools had a variation of this as a basic technique and Draco had gotten his inspiration there. For his version to be graded as a Common Rank technique was already very good.
Draco spoke again. "Begin recording, this is a sword technique called Sword Skill 2: Parry."
"Acknowledged. Please display the technique fully." Satine replied monotonously.
As such, Draco spent an great amount of time inputting his various sword skills from 1 to 100. He only stopped there because for some mind-boggling reason, and despite his Inheritances, he found himself mentally exhausted.
"Recording complete, removing unnecessary information… compiling… assessing…"
"Complete. The sword technique 'Sword Skill 100: Riposte Curve has been assessed to be a valid technique. Generating Rank… complete."
"Sword Skill 100: Riposte Curve is graded as an Uncommon technique. Would you like to record another?"
Draco shook his head. "No thank you. I would like to end the session."
Satine paused for a bit before hovering closer to Draco. "Acknowledged. Please make sure to return often to record techniques, Scrivener."
Draco smiled bitterly. Like mother like daughter, even Satine was overbearing in her demand for more 'screen time'. Draco could only make false promises before canceling the whole show.
After it came to an end, he realized that in the outside world, nothing had changed. It was as if time had stopped while he was recording techniques, and had only resumed just now.
Draco rubbed his temples as he felt a splitting headache that was almost at the level of a migraine. He thought about it in passing and realized it was because of what just happened.
The Virtua Helmet interacted with their brains to project everything that occurred in Boundless to their minds in real time.
Already, Boundless pushed the mind by speeding up time by a factor of four, but this was easily achievable by the world strongest computer, which was the human brain.
However, Draco had spent literal hours in the dojo where time had seemingly stopped, but this was - of course - impossible. What actually happened was that time was spend up so much that the dilation was in the triple digits.
A normal human brain would have melted into mush if this was attempted by anyone else, but monsters like Draco, Eva and unfortunately, Local Lord, could handle it with their rebuilt bodies.
Draco could even last for hours thanks to his Dark Angel Inheritance's effects in boosting his cognitive functions, and he only felt a painful headache afterward.
Once again, Draco realized that his bloodline was truly something exemplary. It's function in boosting his various abilities was truly phenomenal.
Since he had recorded many techniques, Draco wanted to convert them into skillbooks through the conversion option. As for merging techniques, he would work on them later, when the time was right.
When he activated the conversion, he was brought into a menu where he had to select the techniques he had recorded to be converted.
Any of his recorded techniques could be selected for conversion, but what made Draco freeze with incomprehension was the price that was listed under the various techniques.
It was Aether Crystals! He needed to use Aether Crystals to pay for the Tradeskill to convert his recorded techniques into skillbooks, before he even had to think about penning them down!
Of course, this was fine on paper, and Draco had expected it, but…
Even a Common technique charged 50 low-grade Aether Crystals for conversion!