Chapter 18) Doggie Training Days Part 1

Wednesday, September 16th, 2015

I woke up around 10 AM, the dog was a bit restless. As soon as my eyes opened she started beaming images of going outside to pee in. I hit her snooze button by grabbing her and snuggling, that bought me another hour of sleep.

A bit after 11 we got up, I took her outside, the weather was perfect for doing almost anything. I made breakfast and relaxed while pulling up the regional and provincial news sites. After the last night’s stress I felt much more secure. The first question to answer was how did it end, and should I really feel relaxed.

There was a small mention of the fight on several news outlets but not many details. There was a noon regional TV news broadcast so I hoped for more there. In the meantime I started sorting what I would do if they were in jail or hospital.

Sorting out where I stood was the first step in planning for the day.

“Character Window”

Class Explorer Level 1
EXP 1080 Next Level EXP 2000
HP 220/220 MP 265/265
Physical Energy 270/270 Mental Energy 600/600
Psi 330/330 KI 230/230
HP Regen 3.52/min MP Regen 0.27/min
PE Regen 0.27/min ME Regen 0.6/min
Psi Regen 0.33/min KI Regen 0.23/min
Title
Agility 18/18 Hand-Eye 12/12
Intelligence 33/33 Luck 8/8
Mental Stamina 60/60 Physical Stamina 27/27
Strength 23/23 Vitality 22/22
Wisdom 26.5/26.5 Willpower 21.5/21.5
Titles available:
Slightly Masochistic, Not So Slightly Masochistic, Moderately Masochistic, Seriously Masochistic, Polyglot I

Looking at the window the things that stood out to me at the time was how low my HPs were and how much Mental Stamina I had. Raising my HPs likely meant hard grueling training…which wasn’t on the menu for the day. Lots of Mental Stamina though meant I could learn a bunch of skills, and I should take the time even if it would mean some headaches. Provided I didn’t drive my Mental Stamina too low the headaches could be tolerated.

I still had 4 language books I hadn’t touched, they were fairly easy stat gains if I used them. The cost would be 4*15 for 60 though, so I’d either need a nap or split them over 2 days.

The regional news broadcast was starting around that time so I settled down to watch it. The leading story was the fight and a news conference with the city’s Police Chief. It was a bit anticlimactic since the police weren’t releasing too many details. What they did state was:
1) that two adult males, names withheld for now, were arrested using their powers to battle a few blocks from the police stations, both were residents of nearby towns
2) that one had a fire related power and surrendered peacefully,
3) the other resisted arrest and was in hospital for non-life-threatening gunshot wounds,
4) Charges of assault, destruction of property, and others were likely forthcoming. Perhaps attempted murder. An arson incident was being reopened at the request of one of the accused,
5) The provinces SIU would be investigating since shots were fired by police officers.

There was no mention of me or my part in starting the fight. Perhaps neither of the two were cooperating.

With them in jail it was time to grind a bit. And since I now knew that the dog could grind, and her stats were low, then I decided to apply a bit of tough love while I relaxed a bit. Totally not revenge for waking me early, or the pain the previous day, or her having Charisma, or… okay it was a bit of revenge but should also be useful in the future!

I needed to grind {Increase Mental Sensing}, which meant using the one easy going victim I knew of. I don’t like writing real names in this journal since someone might read it, but instead of calling her Mammal Telepathy Girl I’ll call her Crystal.

So I texted Crystal and found out she was working 1-9. That gave me almost 8 hours, minus time to get there, to grind increasing my range at detecting other power users. And if there was a way to increase it, there should be a way to decrease how far they can detect me.

If I could detect them a mile or more away, and they couldn’t detect me beyond say 50 feet, then that was easily the greatest way to improve my future safety. I didn’t know if those ranges were realistic, but I had no doubt I could get a skill to lower the range they detected me, it was just a matter of imagining the right method while near Crystal.

It took a bit to make a list of what I needed, so it was almost 1 PM before I started packing stuff up in an old backpack. I packed several poop bags, a couple plastic bags, a couple sticks from the basement, an old towel, two full thermoses, some dog food and treats, 2 small saucers, and the books on Mandarin and Arabic, and finally a few granola bars for myself.

Grabbing the books on Japanese and Spanish we headed out. First stop was dropping them at the library while the dog was tied outside for 30 seconds. The step after that was circling the block until the dog pooped so that I could toss the poop bags in the city maintained garbage bins there, then we headed out to the south mall.

The walk was a good 30 minutes if by myself at a very fast pace. With the dog we did it in a bit over an hour with only 12 pee stops. The last 10 seemed to be just to pee air or something since the ground wasn’t wet.

About a block from the nearest end of the mall I could feel the resonance from Crystal, checked if I was inside the range she could feel me, and after confirming that I and sat down and setup training camp #1.

First was a saucer with a bit of water for the dog. I fed her a bit of food and then she curled up in my lap to recover from the much longer walk than usual.

The first priority was getting the new skill. I decided to try imagining a pool of water again. In it Crystal and I were points of large rocks with waves spreading out in circles from us.

I tried imagining the rings of waves coming from me as smaller and dying off as they spread.

A good 30 minutes later I had no new skill.

I spent another 10 minutes thinking about different ideas before smartening up and using my cell to browse about stealth technology. There were a bunch of different methods used and theorized to be possible. Most of them weren’t too helpful right away like changing the material I was made of didn’t make sense. However, the idea of changing the cross-section my mind showed to the world gave me two ideas. One of which felt dangerous though.

Instead of imagining myself as a big rock in the pool, I imagined the rock sinking until only a bit of the rock was above water. The idea of shrinking the rock instead felt dangerous, it kept giving me images of my head being compressed by a car crusher. It might be doable that way but the idea of my mind being shrunk or compressed didn’t seem the path to go.

About 15 minutes later as the dog was starting to stir the sunken rock image paid off.

Due to your actions you have gained a Skill.
The skill {Decrease Mental Presence} (Novice, Passive) EXP: 1.6%, has been created.
You have gained 1 Intelligence.
You have gained 1 Mental Stamina.

The usual headache wasn’t particularly bad now that my Mental Stamina was so high. The interesting part was that {Increase Mental Sensing} was Active but this was Passive. But both skills had been created almost the same way. There was no obvious reason why they should be different other than I was stressed when making the Active skill and needed it right away. Which lead to a question to sort later, could I somehow change {Increase Mental Sensing} to a Passive skill? That would be much more useful.

I had a lot I wanted to get done that day but if I could modify my skills that would help a lot in the future. Since in theory they were all mental constructs created by my power I didn’t see why I couldn’t do it.

For the time though I’d spent an hour sitting in one spot in a residential area, and the local schools were out at 3:15. I didn’t need some housewife calling the cops to talk to the suspicious old guy so I decided to move to camp #2.

I checked the help on the {Decrease Mental Presence} while moving to the new spot along the edge of the mall’s parking lot. There was one gravel border left over from construction a few years earlier so it was my next camp.

{Decrease Mental Presence}
Novice – User’s mind falls into a mental state that reduces mental presence by 5%, must be stationary.
Beginner – User’s mind falls into a mental state that reduces mental presence by 10%, can move slowly.

After giving the dog a bit of water and food again I had her start sprinting to fetch various objects I projected images of to her, like a crushed paper coffee cup, small twigs, and other things she’d find interesting. Meanwhile I sat still and let the {Decrease Mental Presence} gain EXP.

It didn’t take long to run through her physical energy, and for my skill to level up. A bit after she was panting and lying on the ground I got the level up notice.

Through use of the skill {Decrease Mental Presence} it has reached Beginner level.
{Decrease Mental Presence} (Beginner, Passive) EXP: 0.8%.
You have gained 0.5 Wisdom.
You have gained 0.25 Willpower.
You have gained 1 Mental Stamina.

Since I could move from now on I let the dog rest while I scooped a bunch of small gravel into the plastic bags I’d brought. Setting the bags down beside her I started making a small shelter for her to nap in. I should have made it earlier but had forgotten when thinking about how to hide my Resonance.

It was basically a simple lean-to with an old blanket, 2 blocks of wood, and a few small rocks, but it would give her some shade to rest in.

The shelter came with two surprises. The first was the usual large blue window in front of me.

Due to your actions you have gained a Skill.
The skill {Will Crafting} (Novice, Passive) EXP: 7.8%, has been created.
You have gained 1 Intelligence.
You have gained 1 Mental Stamina.

The second was a small window I could see through that which was floating above the lean-to.

Temporary Makeshift Pet Shade.
+1 to all of Pet’s Regens.
-6 Psi/min to Creator.

I’d created a new skill and a temporary item that traded my Psi for +1 to all Nilla’s 6 regeneration rates.

“Help Will Crafting”

{Will Crafting}
Novice – User can create and maintain 1 item with his power. Requires 20 Willpower to enforce upon the world.
Beginner – User can create and maintain 2 items with his power. Requires 30 Willpower to enforce upon the world.

Which wasn’t terribly helpful since it explain limits other than the numbers. The maintain word though seemed to imply that I couldn’t craft a few hundred health potions and sell them on the internet for example. That was the first example that came to mind since I’d spent a fair bit beyond my budget since gaining this power.

The ‘enforce upon the world’ line I’d seen in the help of my 2 Master skills as being needed at the Grandmaster level. I hadn’t felt anything special, just the normal headache, a moment earlier when the skill was created so the Willpower part was a bit confusing.

It was worth testing and working on but with me maintaining the 1 shade for now I couldn’t test anything.

I was down 23 Mental Stamina out of 60, which meant it wasn’t a good idea to spend 30 to pickup the 2 languages if I still wanted to grind {Decrease Mental Presence} and {Increase Mental Sensing} today. I also had wanted to use the gravel to add a skill.

Yet again too much to do and too little Mental Stamina or time to do it all.

I checked the dog’s stats. She had gained 1 Intelligence, doubling that somehow. She had also gained 2 Physical Stamina and 1 Vitality from the exercise. All of which was a bit confusing since if she could gain so fast why were her stats so low? The only thing I could come up with was I’d never had time to do more than a few quick play fights and walks with her since I’d gained this RPG Growth power. Most of my time was spent training or thinking about how to deal with various problems.

After letting her rest we resumed her fetching, me trying to decrease my mental presence, and since I was allowed to move I started throwing items for her to fetch plus the gravel I’d picked up. I’d toss the gravel at a nearby post while she was running.

It was nearing 5 PM when I got the skill I was craving since I’d seen the two others throwing their powers around the night before.

Due to your actions you have gained a Skill.
The skill {Throwing} (Novice, Passive) EXP: 4.2%, has been created.
You have gained 1 Hand-Eye.
You have gained 1 Intelligence.
You have gained 1 Mental Stamina.

If I’d had a skill that let me throw golf ball sized rocks accurately from a distance the night before I could have taken both them out myself. Neither of their powers reinforced their bodies and a few broken bones or a cracked skull would have left them on the ground for the police to easily scoop up.

Not long after that {Decrease Mental Presence} leveled up to Intermediate so the range Crystal could sense me dropped by 20%. Help listed Advanced as 40% less, so it seemed to be doubling each level.

I picked up a half dozen twigs, broke down the shelter and moved us to the a new spot on the other side of the mall on back corner of the lawn of an apartment building.

I tried to concentrate as I carefully setup the shade for Nilla again but other than the same blue box popping up I couldn’t tell anything had happened. My Mental Stamina was down by 36 points so if there was something special it might have been lost in the general headache. The skill {Will Crafting} was at 10.6% when I checked.

Intermediate {Decrease Mental Presence} was slowly increasing. A quick calculation on my cell gave me somewhere a bit after 8 before it would level up to Advanced. {Throwing} on the other hand was going up fast as I played fetch with the dog since it was still at Novice.

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A bit after 8 PM and I was at Advanced {Decrease Mental Presence}, Intermediate {Throwing} and down to 15 Mental Stamina from the 60 I’d started the day with. A few people had taken peeks at me playing with the dog from apartment windows but they likely assumed I was a tenant since no cops had shown.

{Decrease Mental Presence} wasn’t likely to level up anytime soon so I decided to switch for the last hour of Crystal’s shift. I texted her to tell her I was going outside her range and thanked her for her patience in having me sitting at the edge of her awareness all afternoon and evening.

She asked for a favor in return. She wanted to play with Nilla the next day since she was off. I’d explained I was also training her stats along with a few pics of her fetching earlier.

Help training Nilla, a victim to practice my skills on, what was there to refuse? We setup a time and I broke camp #3 down after Nilla finished drinking, peeing, and eating in that order.

The last thing before heading home was to go to the edge of my awareness of Crystal’s Resonance and work on {Increase Mental Sensing} from Novice to Beginner. It didn’t take long, maybe 20 minutes and we were on our way home.

Nilla was pretty tired despite the shade’s I’d made so I ended up carrying her more than halfway.

A bit before 10 PM we were home. I browsed for updates but there was nothing particularly new about the arrests, just restatements of the same facts.

It had been a peaceful, relaxing (other than headaches), day after weeks of stress. I set my alarm for 1 AM and took a nap. I wanted to get one very last thing in for the day.

At 1 AM I double checked I had enough Mental Stamina, unpacked the Mandarin book, and absorbed the language skill from it.

Due to your actions you have gained a Skill.
The skill {Mandarin} (Novice, Passive) EXP: 0.0%, has been created.
You have gained 1 Intelligence.
You have gained 1 Mental Stamina.

Going back to bed I checked my skills a moment then crashed curled up with a still exhausted Nilla.

{Acting} (Novice, Passive) EXP 43.1%
{Climbing} (Beginner, Passive) EXP: 7.9%.
{Decrease Mental Presence} (Advanced, Passive) EXP: 3.4%
{Dodging} (Novice, Active) EXP: 8.8%.
{Hiding} (Advanced, Active) EXP: 38.1%.
{Identification} (Novice, Active) EXP: 6.9%.
{Increase Mental Sensing} (Beginner, Active) EXP: 28.2%
{Jumping} (Beginner, Passive) EXP: 4.7%.
{Knife Fighting} (Beginner, Passive) EXP: 2.7%.
{Mapping} (Intermediate, Active) EXP: 37.3%.
{Memorization} (Intermediate, Passive) EXP: 58.5%.
{Pain Tolerance} (Master, Passive) EXP: 25.5%.
{Running} (Advanced, Passive) EXP: 78.1%.
{Sense Bloodlust} (Master, Passive) EXP: 46.4%.
{Sneaking} (Advanced, Active) EXP: 31.3%.
{Swimming} (Beginner, Passive) EXP: 3.2%.
{Throwing} (Intermediate, Active) EXP: 69.5%
{Unarmed Throws} (Novice, Active) EXP: 0.0%.
{Walking} (Master, Passive) EXP: 27.1%.
{Will Crafting} (Novice, Active) EXP: 10.6%

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Author’s Notes:
I’ve been thinking I should change the description of the story and maybe the name. The story had drifted from my original idea, and while I worked in the bandaged left arm I left out most of the chuuni and insanity storyline as I went. The result of changing each chapter as I went.

I kind of want to change the title to “The Rise of Empress Nilla” but I’ll think a bit more on it I believe.

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