Chapter Twenty-six: Unrestrained Thoughts
Brandr scanned his skills carefully, constantly referring to his world link for clarification. [Dungeon Perception] was what enabled him sense and see anything that happened in his domain and [Terrain Management] was what enabled him control and shape it. He had just figured out [Insight] and [Creation], as well as its sub-skills, were self-explanatory. [Ether-Mana Conversion] and [Mana-manipulation] were the same only he was unsure where or when [Fire Mana Manipulation] came in.
After some thought, he came up with a theory. Perhaps it was because he had mostly stuck to fire element skills since he woke up in this form. Even so, it did not explain why that was the only element there. He was Daolord with several mastered daos. Ignoring that, he sculpted the earth, created life and gu and so many others. Did those not count or were they tossed under [Terrain Management] and [Creation]?
He tried to communicate with the world will, sending forth his thoughts using his world link trying to point out this mistake. He sent images of himself at the forge, making entire worlds into estate treasure. He showed it some of the battles he had fought in and the many that had flocked to his banner. A new screen appeared in response.
|Metal Manipulation added|
|Space Manipulation added|
|Water Manipulation added|
|Crystal Manipulation added|
|Wind Manipulation added|
Metal Manipulation changed into Metal Domain
Space Manipulation changed into Space Domain
Water Manipulation changed into Frigid Water Domain
Crystal Manipulation changed into Jewel Domain
Wind Manipulation changed into Inciting Squall Domain
|Fire Domain recognised|
|Smithing Domain recognised|
|Battle Domain recognised|
|Weapon Domain Recognised|
|Greed Domain recognised|
|Rule Domain recognised|
[New Feat: Reborn God]
You are a god reborn. A deity who has circumvented death. All your former domains and authorities have been returned to you.
[New Feat: Native Outsider]
You were originally an outsider. A creature from another world. However, due to the circumstances of your birth, you are now a true native of Tignar. This does not change your origins but it does recognise your right to Tignar and your place in it. Unlike other outsiders, you will not be persecuted for your origins and instead be seen and recognised as a native.
[New Feat: Variant Domain]
Your domains whilst similar to recognised archetypes are unique in form and spirit. Plus 5% to domain strength and authority.
[Warning:] Due to lack of faith, recognised believers, pantheon support and deific recognition, all domains and their effects have been suppressed and cannot be developed beyond the 30% mark. That your domains do not originate from Tignar has only compounded this. You are currently limited to the standards of an average archon.
For the first time in millennia, Brandr’s mouth fell open in shock and his heart clenched uncomfortably. Clearly, he had just made a big mistake.
There is a big difference between thinking of and thinking at. Regrettably, few ever realise this. When you think of something, you consider it in your own mind. When you think at, you look to something and consider it. Too many men have made this mistake whiles looking at a woman unaware that they were thinking at and not of.
Ordinarily, nothing would come of this, however, should the target of such an action be sensitive to such things, he or she would catch on immediately. That awkward moment when a person you are staring at inexplicably turns around to stare right back at you is purely because whether your target realises it or not, he or she caught on to you because you were not savvy enough to keep your thoughts in the privacy of your own head.
This did not only affect voyeurs and stalkers but also assassins, fighters and anyone who happened to know a psychic or soul force user. The prickly sensation and vague feeling of danger some felt before they were attacked? That sense that you were in danger? An attacker was thinking at and not of how to go about an attack. Assassins went through rigorous training just so they could learn to control and contain their thoughts and desires. That way, they did not make the mistake of broadcasting their intentions and not run the risk of exposure.
Some fighters did the opposite. They trained to focus this skill so they could use it to unnerve their foes. Psychics and soul force users went a different way entirely. They trained to pick up on these thought emissions.
Why is all this relevant?
Brandr had just shot himself in the foot and all because he had done one and not the other. He was– had once been– a Daolord. He should have known better and yet… Somewhere along the line, he had made the mistake of getting caught up testing things. He kept poking and prodding without considering the consequences. Now, he had messed up and this particular mess was definitely going to cost him, maybe not today but it would, he just knew it.
His eyes could not even move away from the notifications. Reborn God and Native Outsider. The world will had been unable to tell before but now, it obviously could. All because he had tried to correct a discrepancy. A discrepancy that had only served to protect him. How could he not have seen it?
Brandr did not buy into the line that said he was free of persecution. He would be a fool to. He was not about to hang his fate on the kindness of strangers. As if there was any such thing. Since when did people need reasons to kill? Excuses helped of course and things like being strange, foreign, unfamiliar, were among the best. It was so easy to rally against something different. Something like what he was now.
He could already see it. The world will had given him an assurance that he would not be persecuted but it had long proved that it did not control what people did. He scoffed at the part about nothing revealing his origins. Secrets in a world where all you needed was a good enough perception skill for the world to tell you everything about a target? All it would take was for someone with the required skill and proficiency to scan his crystal and the gig would be up.
Nevertheless, there was some part of him, the cool analytical mindset that appreciated good craftsmanship, that marvelled at the workings at play. He could not help but wonder how many actually realised that it was their interactions with the world will that fed it all the information about themselves and their surroundings. It could easily tell physical states but not mental. Perhaps, this was a weakness that he could exploit.
In the end, it was Thorn’s return that tore him away from his brooding and planning, reminding him that were other things that demanded his attention.
‘Focus on the now!’ Brandr reminded himself.
This new danger might be real but it lay in the future. He would make plans for it but he could not allow it to dominate his thoughts and distract him from the matters of the present.
In the meantime, he would be sure to keep out of sight of anything that even looked like it might possibly figure out what he was. Everything Brandr had learnt so far showed perception or informatory skills required sight. Staying out of sight was no doubt the best way to avoid them and it should not be too hard to do. Thorn had already pointed out that dungeons hid their cores. He wondered how many used mesmerising formations, pocket realms and obscuring wards.