232 Basic Dragon Transformation Potion 1
It was morning now, and there were 50 days until the Player Auction. Draco woke up to find Hikari as well as Eva already up and about for a change. He chuckled at his luck in life and went to clean himself up with them in tow and they all shared a small breakfast prepared by him.
Once again, the two women went over to Vita City State to handle administrative duties while Draco rubbed his face. Before they took off, Draco handed over the two skillbooks he had made yesterday for Eva to place in the Guild Shop.
The Guild Shop functioned pretty straightforwardly. Any member of the guild could withdraw/purchase from anywhere in the world, but the item itself had to be deposited in the appropriate Guild controlled properties first.
Since Eva and Hikari were going to the City State, they were the best candidates to for the job. He also gave them the 3 Basic Rechargeable Lighting Devices. Many members of Umbra could place it in their Noble's residences and it would function splendidly in the Aether-infused environment of Vita City State.
Draco then sat in his room and opened the system menu. After checking his accumulated Tradeskill experience, he smiled wickedly.
It was finally time to right all the wrongs done to him! He had spent so much in terms of willpower and Aether Crystals to test both Magical Engineering and the Scrivener Tradeskill, only to progress at a snail's pace.
Not to mention, he had sustained heavy mental damages due to shock.
This was the thought process of a common roadside bandit, but Draco didn't care. Today was the day he would vent his unhappiness and shatter the precious balance the AI tried to protect once more!
It was like he was a wicked boyfriend who lied about just putting in the tip, and prepared to push all the way in, taking his girl's chastity in one go.
So far, he had accumulated 16,600% Tradeskill experience, which was equivalent to 166 Tradeskill levels!
Considering each Tradeskill had about 100 levels, with level 81 being the massive dividing point between Master and Grandmaster, a stage even the arrogant Draco didn't believe the System would let him access in this way, no matter how much he might beg.
Still, this meant that starting from level 1, 0%, Draco could take any Tradeskill to level 80, 99% with ease. With 166 levels worth, he should be able to take two Tradeskills to level 80, 99% and have about 402% experience left to take another up four levels.
Draco truly began to laugh despicably. He was nothing like the levelheaded fellow everyone imagined the Guildmaster of the number one guild to be. Right now, he was an arrogant brat who hadn't yet seen the immensity of the heavens and the earth.
"AI! Your Father, I, want to place 80 levels worth of my Tradeskill experience each in Magical Engineering and Scrivener. And do be quick about it." He demanded arrogantly.
｢System to Player Announcement
16,000% Tradeskill experience will be equally allocated between Magical Engineering and Scrivener. Are you sure you wish to proceed?
"Hmph! Must you ask so many questions along the way? At this rate, we'll only be done after 300 years have passed! Just do what you've been told!" Draco complained, flinging his non-existent sleeves.
Seeing as he was acting like some random side character who was destined for a face slap, the AI decided to remain silent on the matter.
｢Congratulations on improving skill(s);
Magical Engineering: level 1, 12% -\u003e level 9, 12%
Scrivener: level 1, 6% -\u003e level 1, 86%｣
Seeing as everything was allocated, Draco clasped his hands behind his back as he laughed uproariously. He felt extremely content at this moment, as if he had bathed in the Water of Life.
However, his laughter soon slowed to a crawl, before eventually coming to an end. The smile on his face contorted into an ugly expression. Suddenly, sweat emerged on his forehead as he looked at the screen before him.
This must have been how Qiong Qi felt when this fellow had duped him. Draco was rubbing his eyes, disbelieving what the screen in front of him showed. He was certain that his Eyes of Caelo were malfunctioning.
Why it might be even that these were the 'Great Value' version of the Divine Eyes, or nothing more than a third-party fake!
However, he could only feel blood welling up in his chest as his logic center reassured him of the truth. The Pinnacle Intelligence passive skill that usually went to waste on him had activated itself at this time, forcing him to be aware of the truth.
"AI… what is the meaning of this?" Draco asked while panting like a motorcycle.
｢System to Player Announcement
Your Tradeskill experience was allocated equally to both Tradeskills. For Tradeskill experience earned through Basic Tradeskills like Blacksmithing and Alchemy, they first have to be converted to the equivalent experience of those higher Ranks.
For Epic Tradeskills, the ratio is 1:10 while for Legendary, it is a ratio of 1:100.｣
Draco understood. So, the 8,000% Tradeskill experience he had shared for both was reduced to 800% for Magical Engineering, equaling 8 levels, while it merely resulted in 80% experience for Scrivening, which was not even 1 full level.
But still, just because he understood the maths didn't mean he understood or even agreed with the logic. Since when did experience in Boundless have grades?!
"Why is this so? Shouldn't experience be equal across all the Ranks?" Draco asked with a sour face.
This time, the AI remained silent. Even the previous reply it gave Draco was pushing its limitations to the edges, as it wasn't allowed to directly interact with players.
Draco, realizing he would be unable to get an answer and even the previous one was due to the special circumstances between himself as well as the AI, was extremely unwilling.
As such, he began to do what any middle-aged woman in his position would do...
He demanded a refund.
Unfortunately, nothing happened once again. It seemed like once allocated, Tradeskill experience couldn't be reverted without a special item around geared towards that purpose.
Draco wanted to pull out his hair. All of the Tradeskill experience he had earned since beginning the game had gone down the drain like this? What nonsense!
Why? Why was this happening to him?
(Author's Snicker: Next time, do not insult your creator, fuckboy.)
Draco began to regret so much his guts turned green. He even wondered why he acted so out of character earlier. He certainly wasn't a baseless bandit to be so arrogant usually…
It should be his Horned Demon Inheritance again. Last time it was greed, now it was pride. Which one would be next, gluttony or sloth?
He should have noticed that the AI had even seemingly tried to warn him, by replacing the usual 'Accept' option with a novel 'Are you sure, you wish to proceed', yet Draco had basically spit in the face of someone trying to help him...
Draco quickly recovered from his pain once he realized all was lost. He realized that if this was the case, he had two options.
The first was to follow the beaten path and accumulate experience slowly through crafting within the Tradeskill. The second option was to go crazy with Blacksmithing and Alchemy, create hundreds of new items in order to capitalize on the rewards.
Now, some things about Draco's progress in Blacksmithing and Alchemy had to be made clear. In his previous life, he had been tutored by Happy Saint, who was an extreme talent in both areas, as could be seen by his position as core member of Umbra now.
Draco had dutifully climbed to Master Rank in both Tradeskills with extreme effort spanning over 11 in-game years of Boundless. This was even regarded as amazing by NPCs in his old timeline.
Of course, it hadn't been the whole 11 or so years he needed. He had reached his cap by the 9th year, around Update 6's time. He had spent the next three years working on his Mana Sword, which skyrocketed his fame.
The remaining three years before he died were spent on fortifying his foundation. In other words, he had researched on the very essence of crafting in detail.
He had learned how metals worked, how Worldly Energy could reduce cauldron explosions in Alchemy, as well as how to enchant to suit the weapons or armors he would craft.
That was why he could craft in these three Tradeskills with ease. He needed no recipes to work unlike everyone else in his Rank.
While the other players were basically looking for the answer sheet to all the problems, Draco had already understood the underlying problems and could arrive to their solution on his own.
As such, he was able to earn abhorrent amounts of Tradeskill experience due to the reward for generating a new design.
There was also the first-time reward for crafting something far above his level. So far, he had claimed the Semi-Legendary one for Alchemy and Blacksmith already.
So, unless he was content with receiving 500% Tradeskill experience per Semi-Legendary item, he would either have to jump up to Legendary items or just make so many items that the quantity made up for quality.
Draco had no hopes to recreate 'a miracle' like he had done in Blacksmithing, Alchemy and Enchanting with Magical Engineering and Scrivener. Not only did he have to absolutely rely on the system/recipes for both Tradeskills, he couldn't use his Aether Crystal cheat there.
After all, both of them required Aether Crystals just to function! Unless he could find Divine Crystals or Origin Crystals - assuming those existed - he was in the same spot as his previous life, being a noob who would have to humbly accumulate the hard way.
Reincarnation was certainly great because it provided one with numerous benefits, but it couldn't make one perfect. This was a situation where this very fact was proven.
However, Draco only smirked coldly. After all, crafting wasn't just a hobby to him, but something he genuinely enjoyed doing.
If he could only jumpstart his Epic and above Tradeskills with experience earned from ingenuous crafting in lower Tradeskills, then this made things interesting!
He was on the cusp of the Master Rank in both Blacksmithing and Alchemy. Well, not really on the cusp, but unlike the Grandmaster rank, there was no barrier for entry. The only cost for him was time, which he had plenty of, at least until the Player Auction.
If he needed to craft crazily for the event, then he would do so! Besides, he didn't have to sell them all, he could easily leave some items for the members of Umbra!
The only problem would be that he would need to splurge Aether Crystals on the matter.
Then again, hadn't the whole purpose of the Player Auction turned into draining the Hidden Powers of their wealth of Aether Crystals? Still, he would have to present items of comparable value.
With his mind set, Draco felt the burn of motivation soar. Nothing served to empower a human being like a goal. With a goal, even the laziest person could become like a worker ant.
He decided to enter Master Rank in Alchemy first. His current level was 50, 65%. He only had 10 more levels to go until master Rank, so he shifted to that one.
Instead of producing simple potions en masse, like Angel's Kiss and All-Sight, it would serve him better to either generate or chance upon new recipes.
When he made Angel's Kiss and All-Sight, he just followed the same formula for their basic/common counterparts with the upgraded Epic variants thanks to the cauldron.
Now though, Draco was doing something similar to what he had done with the Dragon's Blessing, where he was intentionally crafting something with a goal in mind.
And as coincidence would have it, he was going for something in the Draconic category as well. It was unlikely that he could make a broken item like the Dragon's Blessing again without the key ingredient, which had been the Draconic Source Origin.
Since he was the one who created it, he naturally had access to the full recipe as well as an increased success rate. Nevertheless, one couldn't exactly make an omelet without the most important ingredient.
He could substitute it by using his own, Hikari's or Eva's Source Origins, but that would be foolish. The Dragon Soul had given up its Source Origin back then because it wanted to directly benefit.
It had been in soul form, and it even made into a fusion item, so it had no way to directly mobilize its Source Origin to benefit itself. As such, it had bestowed a little onto the original Dragorugio set(s) in order to tempt Draco.
Afterward, Draco foolishly bit the bait and created the Dragon's Blessing potion. It had then poured everything else it had into that, only to drink up the most potent one.
This had solidified the fellow and allowed him to interact with Draco on a deeper level. However, one could notice that the fellow started to sleep a lot.
Although Dragons were often portrayed as being lazy and sleeping most of the time, this time it was a side effect of its crazy actions back then. It would take time to regenerate Source Origin, so it couldn't assist Draco directly like it had done when it cooked Fleetfoot into human steak.
In essence, it wasn't worth the cost. To recover something like Source Origin, the Angel's Kiss potion wouldn't work. Only its Legendary variant would, and he was far from that level currently.
And so, he was making something more normal and sensible, which was a potion that should function like the Basic Manifestation Technique.
It was a Transformation Potion that would allow one to morph one arm into the claws of a Dragon for a few seconds, allowing them to deal physical damage above their Rank.
It would be a good trump card that could help any person, and it was undoubtedly unique not just because it utilized theories from his own Lineage, but because Draconic stuff in general was next to absent in this era.
Draco began by filtering some Common reagents to facilitate the potion. He did have a hard time finding something at the Common rank which could jump up to the Epic Rank in the Draconic category, but there were a few.
They were mostly grasses, herbs or scales from entities that had only 0.1% Draconic bloodline. Many monsters had Draconic lineages since the Dragons of old were very proactive in regards to mating, but over the centuries these bloodlines had thinned.
Draco ground all of these filtered materials into a paste form and mixed them perfectly. Afterward, he took a deep breath and tossed them into the cauldron with a stoic expression.
What shocked Draco was that when the materials transformed, they were no different from a whale sucking in tons of Worldly Energy. It felt like there was a deficit of the precious resource in no time, but it made sense.
After all, a mere Epic item like Vida la Vida which was used for Angel's Kiss could not be compared to something that would be used for a Draconic potion, also at the Epic Rank.
It took a whole 5 minutes of frenzied draining before what was in the cauldron was sated. This was just for the transformation too, and the deficit of Worldly Energy had reduced Draco's chances of success greatly.
After all, his secret to being able to craft potions above his Rank had little to do with his knowledge, but mostly with his ability to use Worldly Energy to grind down the material in tandem with the fire.
It also purified the material and kept the cauldron from exploding. As such, it allowed him to be a master crafter within his Rank.
However, the transformation of the material had created a deficit in the area. Of course, it would be refilled in a matter of minutes, but did he have that long?
No! He needed Worldly Energy now more than ever to manage this particularly potent material. Without it, he would be like a scrawny teenager trying to beat up a muscular adult.
Draco's mind whirred. Pinnacle intelligence kicked in again, and coupled with his increased mental faculties from the Dark Angel inheritance, he identified two avenues.
The first was to stall for time. This could be done by abusing the active skill of the cauldron, which allowed Draco to restart a failed crafting process 3 times.
He would do his best for as long as possible before the cauldron eventually exploded, then restart, then do his best, then restart once it exploded again.
By that time, the Worldly Energy should have returned in usable quantities, so everything would - theoretically - pan out from there.
The second option was to use a Top-Grade Aether Crystal as a source and convert it down to Worldly Energy. If he did so, he would be able to instantly restore the Worldly Energy in the whole area, as a top-grade Aether Crystal harnessed far too much Aetheric Energy.
Converting Aetheric Energy down would obviously yield more output. However, Draco wasn't exactly sure how to do that, as he was only making a guess there.
After all, if he could manually convert energy himself, he would just sit down and slowly convert Worldly Energy in tandem with his passive skill, yielding him enough Aether Crystals in time.
He only got this second idea from Magical Engineering, specifically from the Energy Converter of the Basic Rechargeable Lighting Device.
It was between these two options, and Draco was poised to choose the former. Why should he waste an Aether Crystal, especially a top-grade one, just on this?
He would be making a severe loss! The area's Worldly Energy would return in time, so it was not like it was barren. Not only that, but he - once again - had no cost of production!
This whole scenario was precisely because he had tried to cheap out by abusing the cauldron's properties to upgrade his reagents. If it failed, he just had to gather another batch and plan ahead properly.
Realizing this, he easily made the correct choice, which was to barge through. He focused all of his attention on the cauldron and activated his Refined Star Technique to the fullest.
He had to rely on the fire and his mixing technique just like every other Alchemist out there, so his strain could be imagined.
However, he was ecstatic to see that his upgraded bloodline - once again - enhanced his prowess greatly. His mind was easily able to follow the changes and adapt, while his body had enough strength to push the materials about, managing them when needed.
Draco was able to carry on for 4 minutes before he felt the material become unstable. Its instability rose over the next 2 minutes like a rocket, until it eventually exploded.
While a miracle would have been nice, the odds were simply stacked against Draco on this one, so things panned out as expected. As such, Draco activated the cauldron's active skill without a moment's haste!
Return on Failure!