Better, his senses stretched far and wide, several times more alert and efficient than in his previous life. As soon as he landed on the surface, Kilian stomped his foot, leaping across several meters to land on top of a broken house. In the slums of Ostria, broken one-story houses were the norm. Kilian didn't care for those details, stretching out his hands to bask in the air's sweetness, in the sweetness of dra!
With his extensive knowledge, Kilian promptly determined the source of that rush: delight. As a fehl mutant, although the threshold couldn't compare to that of daemons, Kilian undoubtedly thrived on delight. With his heightened senses, acts that provided him with pleasure would induce a potent rush of glee—spreading throughout his entire body.
Better, because in terms of constitution and sensory abilities, his new body was comparable to that of a low-level Fehl Daemon, the high stood leagues above what the average mutant could experience—a distracting condition.
Taking back control of his senses, Kilian quieted the high, and briefly assessed his body. It was too strong, much stronger than he'd expected, and already comparable to a High Templar such as Wilfried von Kressner's. Worse, hidden within his Dra Roots was a formidable quantity of Innate Dra that left his previous body's to shame.
If Kilian was willing to remain mediocre, with this strength alone, he could establish a solid foothold within the Kingdom of Orloth, becoming a top general or a high-ranking noble. Of course, this was far from enough.
But most intriguing of all was the moon-shaped sigil on his chest. Around the crimson moon, a clawed serpent coiled, gleaming with powers only Kilian could sense. Visible mutations aside, fehl left no trace. Therefore, only mutants and beasts suffered the hunt of Arcadia's elites. True daemons never had to worry about those.
Kilian was no daemon, but within that sigil, he could feel one thrashing!
"The witch really doesn't do things half-assed. She even sealed a Fehl Daemon in the sigil. Talk about nuisances, what a gift indeed." Kilian shook his head. This daemon was undoubtedly the limit of what Kilian's body could bear, concealing outrageous quantities of dra and fehl might. To say nothing of calling upon its strength, suppressing it alone would hasten the fehl corruption.
At the end of the day, Kilian was still human. Regardless of how outstanding his body was, unless he rose to daemonhood, fehl powers and magic would slowly corrupt his mind, driving him into a state of perpetual, frenzied hedonism. Worse, the sigil seemed to have another effect on his loins—something he couldn't quite name yet.
At least he could now freely use and conceal his third eye. Closing his eyes, Kilian retreated into his soul where the platinum hammer awaited. Within, another world opened to his eyes, a platinum laboratory with mind-blowing tubes, engines, and computer-like devices awaiting his activation.
As soon as Kilian landed within, a robotic voice echoed in his mind.
"Welcome, master, to the Hellforge," as expected of a robot, the voice carried not the tiniest bit of emotion. "Knowledge is the root of power, and research its conductor. The Hellforge's purpose is to harness the knowledge of myriad worlds.
Here, knowledge is also the currency. Through it, the new master can use the system to exchange for a great many deal of things, and even invent his own creations," the system began, explaining the Hellforge's functionalities. Meanwhile, Kilian wandered within the laboratory, appraising all it held.
In the main system, he saw a great many deal of blueprints, but actually exchangeable items were few and far between.
"Although you can use your knowledge points to directly obtain parts, the key features are locked behind blueprints. You can exchange for the blueprints only, and then have to forge the item on your own." The system explained before making a blue screen appear before Kilian.
[Race: Human Fehl Mutant]
[Magus Rank: None]
[Battle Prowess: low-level High Templar]
[Dra Reserves: 5,000]
[Knowledge Points: 165]
That his accumulated knowledge was evaluated at 165 told Kilian nothing of his current standing, so he shifted his attention to the blueprint costs. The blueprints were divided into four categories: miscellaneous items, nanochips, weapons, and armors.
Nanochip and miscellaneous item blueprints had three levels, while weapons and armors had seven.
[Ability Deconstruction Chip: 102 k.p.]
[Transmission Chip: 55 k.p.]
[Eidetic Memory Chip: 85 k.p.]
[A.I. Chip: 250 k.p.]
[Interlaced Chip Structure: 355 k.p.]
[Anaerobic Breathing Chip: 95 k.p.]
[Radiation Control Chip: 300 k.p.]
[Cyberkinesis Chip: 500 k.p.]
Those were all Lv. 1 prices, not even accounting for the parts' cost. Kilian didn't even bother lingering on the weapon and armor blueprints. The price of Lv. 1 battleships or aircraft wasn't a blow he wanted to deal with at the moment. Instead, he shifted his focus on the ways to obtain knowledge.
"You can bring live test subjects and offer them in sacrifice to the Experience Refiner, the Refiner will digest their knowledge, and either leave them in a vegetative state or erase them, depending on your choice. How much you gain naturally depends on their accumulated knowledge.
Therefore, magi are your best option. The higher their rank, the more arcane knowledge they possess. Reading new books and making new discoveries by yourself are also viable paths, but will naturally take longer. Also, 30% of the knowledge possessed by those you kill automatically joins the count." The system explained. Among the miscellaneous items were three books that instantly gripped Kilian's attention:
The Compendium of Technology, a Lv. 1 book gathering knowledge on various technologies, as well as all the available parts in the system and how they functioned. It also discussed the fundamentals of Technomancy.
The Compendium of Species, a Lv. 2 book with boundless knowledge on the various races across Arcadia and beyond.
The Compendium of Spellcrafting, a Lv. 3 book that, as the name implied, discussed all the profound principles of magical theory and spellcrafting. It also went deeper into Technomancy.
All three were free, but to read one, Kilian would have to finish the preceding one. And it wasn't merely a matter of time.
Those were no ordinary books; the principles discussed therein would put his mind to a constant test. But as long as he could master them, he would not only gain a substantial quantity of knowledge points but also bring his foundation to a brand-new height.
Without hesitation, Kilian selected the Compendium of Technology, pulling it from the shelf to start browsing its content.
"At least two months," Kilian hypothesized the required time to finish the first book, put it back on its shelf, and stepped out of the system.
His hazel eyes swept the slum, peering through the dark of night to locate the next target of his claws: Lukas' father.