The Runesmith

Chapter 5 Ascension Ritual

Roland was sitting in his room, tomorrow the ascension ritual was supposed to take place. It might be called that but it wasn't anything that grand. He would be given an orb and it would supposedly somehow bring him to another place. In this place, he was going to receive his new class.

"Everyone said that the ascension space differs for each individual."

Roland had gone through books and procured as much information as he could. Supposedly the first time you used this class changing crystal or orb, you got awarded a class. It was more or less a freebie, the fun part began afterward. The next time you used it, you had to go through some kind of trial. These trials ranged from your normal battle scenarios all the way to crafting items and solving puzzles.

"Some people said that they find themselves in a cave with many doors, the classes that they can use are behind those doors."

Roland was holding onto a book that was related to classes and how you unlocked higher tiers. His Tier 1 class of choice was the mage, if what the book said was true then he was certain to get this one.

"My mana sense is maxed out and I have truckloads of intelligence and willpower, so there isn't really any other class that fits me. I am not religious enough for the acolyte class either."

The other caster class that he had the stats for was the acolyte, from this one you could advance into a tier 2 priest. This was your general healing class, but unless you were some kind of believer you wouldn't get a chance at it.

"It says that you can sign up to the church and after you go through their baptism you can also attain this class."

The boy that was close to ten rubbed his chin. Through the five years, he had been here he had grown a habit of talking to himself. Besides his maid Martha and a cheeky brat, no one really talked to him, even when they did it was more yes or no type of answers or questions.

"Soon I will be able to leave this place..."

He was a noble and even though his family was like this they still had to take care of him. Nobles after going through their ascension would start attending school. There were separate schools for young mages and knights, so he would be free of his family. He even read that mages get special privileges, if he did well he could earn himself his own plot of land free of charge.

'Free real estate! Though I still have to pay taxes...'

The closer the day of freedom was, the more he read about the classes. Elemental mages, gravity mages ones that could turn into massive demons or beasts. There were various kinds and you could pick and choose out of the pile if you earned the required skills.

The most basic tier 2 classes were the four basic elemental mages. Fire, wind, earth, and water there were some hidden ones or harder to reach but these four were considered the basic four. If you mastered all four of them you could even earn a prestigious tier 3 Elementalist class which was one of the better ones.

"There are so many possibilities!"

His eyes gleamed, he could wait to embark on his journey. There was no limit to how many classes you could have. The only thing that limited you was, that you couldn't reclass before reaching at least 25 levels of the class you were in. Tier 1 classes had to be done till the end as they had a level limit of 25.

"An Elementalis sounds nice... but the other Hight-elemental mage classes aren't bad either, a Fire-Frost mage is a strange one as it combines two opposite effects..."

He glanced at the other classes as well, you could even combine them together. Things like Magic-Swordsman or Elemental-Knight were also possible but were quite hard to achieve. People that wanted these classes had to be both good in physical attributes as well as the magical ones.

"Being a mage opens up so many possibilities... you can mix magic with a lot of classes, you can even be an enchanter or a magic smith."

"Though there aren't that many of those, most mages wouldn't want to work as a blacksmith. Well, not like I have to worry about that too much, making magical horseshoes isn't the way for me."

While he was going through the class book once more he heard a knock on the door.

"Young master, it's getting late you should go too sleep before the big day tomorrow."

It was Martha, coming over to remind Roland of tomorrow's ascension ritual.

"Ah sure, Goodnight Martha."

The next day it was raining and the clouds were blocking out the sun. This didn't bother Roland though, he was pumped up, he would be getting a game like class and nothing could break his spirit. The fact that Adam the Butler was the one bringing over the ascension ritual crystal didn't shake him in any way.

"Young Master, your father is out and your brothers are busy at the knight academy, please take this."

He handed him the crystal, it looked like a slightly blue quartz crystal and was quite symmetrical.

"Ah sure, busy as always, what else is new?"

The Baron was a busy man, he rarely spent time in his mansion. He was a high ranking official in the army and had to train the army soldiers. He had earned his rank thanks to his battle achievements, his whole family before him were honorable knights but he was the first one to hit it big.

"Yes let us begin, please sit down and concentrate on the crystal, you don't need to do anything else master Roland."

No special place was required, even though the crystal would 'take' him somewhere his real body would remain in place. If what the book said was true, then even if he stayed in the trial space for months only seconds would go by in the material world. People speculated that some kind of powerful magic pulled the crystal user's soul somewhere where time and space worked differently.

Roland nodded and sat down while holding the crystal with both his hands. Some other servants along with Martha were in the room with him, they were mostly here to examine if he actually received the mage class and pass it on to the family head.

He read it in the book and it said that there was nothing special to activating this crystal. He focused on it and soon enough he felt a strange reaction. The crystal started glowing brighter and brighter and he felt as if he was getting drawn to it. In a matter of moments, everything went dark, he felt like someone had ripped him out of the spot he was sitting on and tossed him down a bottomless pit in which he was now falling down.


The momentary darkness subsided and he found himself in some kind of building. There were stairs leading upwards and there were glass doors behind him. He glanced around, his eyes bulged out wide as he recognized this place.

"Huh? I'm back?... was that all a dream or something? No... I'm still a 10 year old..."

This was the cheap apartment building that he used to live in before he got flattened by that truck. It looked dirty and unkempt as always. He turned around but saw that something was off, behind the glass doors that normally lead outside there was nothing.

"... why is it so dark outside, can't see anything."

It was pitch dark as if there was nothing there. He reached for the door handle and tried pushing it down. It didn't budge an inch, he pushed and pulled but nothing happened. He even started kicking the glass hoping to get some kind of reaction but it was as if he was hitting hard steel.

He finally turned around, his face filled with confusion and sweat. He went for the first apartment, knocking and trying to frantically open it.

"Hey, is there someone inside? Hello?"

The door was strange, it was as if it was made from a different material and was photocopied from his memories and just plastered here. The same thing happened when he run-up, each door was unmoving he couldn't even get the handles to budge in any way.

"That book said that this ascension space could be strange... I guess this isn't my old apartment building."

He climbed up, finally realizing where he was. His old apartment was on the top floor, he remembered always getting winded while going up. This time around with the increased stats and stamina he felt normal, stood in front of his apartment now, the number 19 written on it.

"Well here goes nothing..."

He grabbed the door handle and flicked his wrist, the familiar clicking sound of a lock opening was heard. He pushed the door open and just looked inside.

"It's really my room..."

He slowly entered his old home, it wasn't big or anything. There was a living room and a small toilet, the kitchen was combined with the living area and he only had enough space for a bed on the side along with a desk for his PC.

"Ahh... this good old shitty apartment..."

The items in this place were all real and fully recreated, the mattress that he used to use even had a hole in exactly the same spot that he remembered. He sat down on his old bed, and even this old thing was better than the bed he was using back at the Arden estate. When he asked about a change, they just said something that it built character if he used a hard bed and that he shouldn't complain.

"So what is this place supposed to be anyway?"

The windows couldn't be opened and the water in the faucets wasn't running either. There was sufficient light inside this room but the scenery outside was pitch black. This made him feel like he was in some kind of twilight zone episode. The only thing that was showing some life was his old gaming PC, as he noticed that the power button was glowing.

He sat down in his old gaming chair, it was still comfy as ever. He pressed the button with a shaky finger and heard the familiar booting sound. The computer booted up into windows 10 and even his old password worked, the only thing out of place was the blank desktop with only one icon right in the middle.

"I guess I'm supposed to click this..."

The icon was a drawing of a large shield in the back and a sword and magic staff in the front. He slowly delivered the double click and waited for this 'program' to load up. He was greeted with a sprite of himself, or at least it looked kind of like him as the resolution was quite low.

"Is this pixel art of me or something?"

There was an arrow moving away from his sprite that was looping a three frame walking animation to the side. There was another grayed out sprite that the arrow was pointing at. It looked like a pixel version of him in a robe.

"Could this be my tier 1 class? Looks like a magician..."

He was kind of baffled about the way this ascension trial worked. Before clicking the mage sprite he looked back and glanced at his old apartment room. He lived here for only a year but he was closer to this place than to that noble mansion he was at now. He wanted to just turn around and flop on his bed, maybe if he woke up he would be back on earth and could go back to his boring job.

"I probably should get on with this ascension..."

He grimaced and placed his hand on the mouse, the cursor went over to the tiny sprite and he clicked it. The moment he did that he received a prompt.

Do you wish to change classes to the Tier 1 Mage Class? Yes/No?

He hesitated for a while but finally clicked yes. The computer screen flashed for a moment and a little animation of the arrow filling up as an upload screen appeared.

The tutorial will be initiated, please put on the VR headset.

He received another prompt followed by a strange sound coming from above. Then a VR headset appeared out of nowhere and fell right into his lap.

"Huh? I never owned a VR headset..."

He looked at it and it was a model he was familiar with, he wanted to buy one of these in the past but didn't have the cash to spare. He decided to follow the instructions and put it on. The moment the VR headset was strapped in, something happened. He expected to actually see some instructions while getting a regular VR experience but instead he found himself in a strange white room.

"There is nothing here..."

He couldn't feel that he was wearing a VR headset anymore and couldn't take the it off, it was as if he dived into the Matrix. He looked around while wondering what he was supposed to do. After some seconds the whole place flickered and the scenery changed.

"Wait... is that me..."

The white room switched to a grassy plain. There was a wooden training dummy standing in one spot and opposite it was a person, this person looked like Roland. He was wearing a mage robe and his facial expression was non-existent. His copy raised his hand upwards and held his palm towards the training dummy.

Roland had his mana sense skill maxed out so he noticed the change in mana around that person.

The Roland clone opened up his mouth, some words escaped its mouth. He stared at the talking person and he noticed the shift of mana around the clone. The mana moved through its body and towards its palm and something started forming. A small ball of energy was created, this ball gradually increased in size before it was shot forward. The wooden dummy received the hit, the wood splintering to the sides as if it was hit by a small cannonball.

"Woah... was that magic..."

His copy didn't say anything but dropped its hand down and then turned to face him. The Roland-copy had a blank expression and then started slowly walking towards him. This put the original Roland at attention, what was this clone of him trying to do.


He tried backing off but his back hit some kind of invisible wall. Out of surprise he turned around and tried hitting it with his fist. His sudden opponent didn't stop though and continued walking.

"Hey, you think I'm afraid of you?"

Roland took a fighting stance, he went through five years of training and knew basic hand to hand combat as well. He decided to take the offensive thinking that his opponent wouldn't have enough time to react. But his punch didn't hit anything but air, it literally went through his copy's head.

"W-what is this?"

The clone was apparently immaterial or a hologram. The moment it touched Roland's body it faded away. This wasn't the end as Roland felt a sharp pain, his head felt like it was getting a needle stuck into it.

You have attained the Tier 1 Mage Class, Basic Mana Shaping skill unlocked, Basic Mana Regulation skill unlocked, Mana Bolt Spell L1 unlocked. Basic Incantation L1 unlocked

He heard the familiar voice announce that he had changed classes while the pain was subsiding. He shook his head and could feel that he had learned an actual spell and had his stats slightly raised. The skills he gained helped him in shaping spells and regulating the mana inside of his body.

He wanted to test his newfound skills out, but before he could do that the space he was in started flickering. He wasn't sure if it was due to a time limit or if after a class up you got kicked out. Everything went dark once more and he found himself falling into the darkness again. He gasped out as he found himself back in the Arden estate, the servants looking at him from the sides.

"Were you successful master Roland, did you receive the mage class?"

He grasped his head for a moment, the crystal that he was holding previously had turned into dust. He nodded while rubbing his head and slowly moved off the ground.

"Yes, I even learned the Mana Bolt Spell!"

He smirked as he had achieved what he had set out to. No one in this family could deny him anymore, he could go to a prestigious academy and learn magic now. His life looked bright and if he studied hard he could go far.

"Congratulations master, but let us test your elemental affinities before we inform the Lord."

Roland snapped out of his daydream and looked at Adam the Butler.

"Ah yes, the elemental affinities, I forgot to check them."

The servant moved over with a large glass orb. Roland placed his hand on the measuring device not thinking anything of it. His affinities would decide what elements he was best at, this was nothing more than a formality but would show him which element he should focus on. He didn't need much, any kind of number would let him advance further so he wasn't worried.

The orb glowed slightly but nothing out of the ordinary happened. The Butler looked at the measuring device for a moment with a strange expression on his face.

"Could it be broken?"

"Young Master could you look at your elemental affinities and see the values..."

The elemental affinities were a hidden stat that was only unlocked after the first class. Roland shrugged and brought up his status screen while thinking about his affinity a window popped up. At Tier 1 only the basic 4 elements could be unlocked, there were more elements like lightning and gravity at higher tiers.

Name: Roland Arden

"What... all at 0%?"

He spoke out clearly and everyone heard it, Adam looked at the orb and then to Roland, his brows furrowing.

"0%... this is... unprecedented... I must report this to the Lord!"

The other servants started whispering from the sides, he wasn't sure what was wrong the books didn't say anything about people having zero elemental affinity. He looked at his maid Martha, the woman had tears in her eyes for some reason.

"He has no magic affinity, doesn't that mean that he won't be able to get any of the tier 2 mage classes?"

One of the servants said while another one tried to shut him up.

'What, I have no magic talent? How could this be?'

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