Champion. I was the champion. I had extra slots for deity world, but no one to take. I was the strongest person on the Planet, and I knew two people that I could take and neither one of them wanted a spot. They both wanted to earn it themselves. I wonder if I could give or auction the spots off. Come to think of it, how the heck do I claim my prize anyway. I saw the announcer headed my way.
“Congratulations on winning the tournament lad. You must be the youngest champion in history. A representative from the Neutral Gods is usually here for the tournament, but they sent a communication saying they would be running late. I am to inform you of some restrictions to your prize.
Any being you bring needs to be at least hero level.
Any slot you do not use can be exchanged for more resources or increases in responsibility in deity world.
You must be ready to go within 6 hours of the appearance of the representative’s arrival.”
“Thank you sir for the explanation. I was just wondering how to claim the prize. I am ready to go and will not be taking anyone with me. Do you know the reason for the delay?”
“My understanding was that the emissary from deity world had to make another stop first and it was taking longer than expected. If possible could you get your things together and meet back here in 3 hours and I will give you an update at that time.”
“Very well I will return in three hours.”
The next three hours were a little bittersweet. I paid the taxes for the house for the next twenty years. This way the Headmaster and Miss Helen would have a place to stay for the next two tournaments at least if needed. I then asked Miss Helen to take care of the Elvish Embassy and my tree of life. I gave her a million coins to have it looked after and preserved in my name for at least 100 years. I donated the rest of my gambling winnings to the academy and she promised to set up scholarships in my name. I realized that I had formed a deeper relationship with this woman than anyone except my own parents from back on Earth. I hated to say goodbye. Instead I made sure to say that I would see her soon in ten years, when she won the next tournament.
I returned back to the arena by myself close to the three hour deadline. When I arrived I could feel a very strong person. I do not know how to describe the feeling. This man just radiated power. It was almost instinctual. Some animalistic part of me knew not to mess with this guy. I made the intelligent guess that this had to be the representative from deity world. I saw the announcer from earlier talking to his new strong person and I cautiously approached. I did not want to intrude on a private conversation. Luckily the announcer noticed me and waved me over.
“Mark, may I introduce you to this year’s emissary from deity world, Carl.”
Carl was not the name I expected from such a being of power. It was too ordinary, then again I hoped someday to be powerful enough to defeat an “Overbeing” and my name was Mark. Not exactly a name that inspires fear in others.
“Greetings Carl, I am Mark.”
“Very polite, that will serve you well where we are going. Are you bringing any others with you?”
“No Sir. I will be travelling to deity world on my own. I was told that I could exchange the other positions for resources.”
“That is true and a smarter use of the positions than bringing people who could not help you out. We will leave as soon as the 2nd and 3rd place winners arrive.”
I had a ton of questions but kept them to myself for now. I know that I hate answering things multiple times and assumed that Carl despite his power would be the same way. I will just wait for the others to arrive and let them ask or the more likely scenario is that Carl will explain things before we leave or once we arrive. It was only a few more minute before the 2nd and 3rd place finishers arrived. The second place finisher also chose to spend their extra spaces on resources it seemed. There were brief introductions and then Carl said we had to go. It seemed we were in a bit of a rush.
The familiar feel of teleportation soon enveloped me. The only difference was the amount of time this teleportation took. This was intriguing. I wondered if teleportation between worlds was only a function of having enough mana to make the distance? I realize that not many people actually learn teleportation magic, but it came to me easy. Maybe I can actually develop this on my own. I think I will better off experimenting on my own and saving this as an unknown escape mechanism. If I figure this out I might even be able to teleport back to Earth! NO, I can’t do that until I am ready to fight the “Overbeing”. I do not want to tip my hand early. However, I may be able to use it to surprise attack him. I do remember his little throne room. If I feel I have gained enough power I could then bypass his defenses and just teleport into his sanctuary. This has possibilities. I definitely need to figure this inter-world teleportation.
When the teleportation finished we ended up in a town square. The air felt oppressive, thick, and somehow almost heavy.
“The feeling you are experiencing right now is the higher abundance of mana. The very atmosphere around you will feel different until your body adapts. You will also notice that you do not have the same range of movement or your strength will seem lower. It is the same amount as it used to be, but you are fighting a greater gravity and density of magic. Each progressive jump in, let’s call them dimensions, requires your body to adapt and almost feels like you have taken a step backward in your power.”
“Sir, may I ask what the level of dimensions are? More specifically how high up do they go?”
“Excellent question. As far as we know there are only three dimensions. We call them tier 1 worlds, tier 2 worlds, and tier three worlds. You all came from a tier 1 world. Mana was available and abundant enough for you to get here a tier 2 world on your own if you had enough time and energy to figure it out. Tier 1 worlds are the most common in the universe. Next is the tier 2 worlds where we are now. These worlds are larger in size but fewer in number than the tier 1 worlds. Everything on these planets starts at least on the Hero level of strength which is why we say you must have that level at least to immigrate. Otherwise you could die just from the concentration of mana and the change in gravity. Tier 3 worlds are very few in number, can be the size of stars, and have a gravity that will smash anything below the God level in strength.”
“I had heard that there are worlds that have their magic drained through some process. Are they considered tier 1 worlds also?”
“That rumor is true and we tend to call those unfortunate worlds tier 0 worlds. Those tier 0 worlds are a result of the Might faction draining them to increase the level of magic and pressure on the higher worlds that they govern. The neutral faction, which you are by default a part of, have a couple of those worlds, but only perform the draining if there are no intelligent species present on the planet. This allows us to have a few higher level training areas.”
“What is expected of us now that we have arrived?”
“Once more an excellent question. Our faction works on a merit system. For bringing you to a higher dimension you owe the faction 5,000 merit points. You have several choices in front of you. Rather than tell you about them I am going to give you some information and allow you to talk to others to verify it. We will put you up in an inn for free for five days. After that time you will have to make your decisions.”
With that statement Carl led us too an inn nearby and checked the three of us in. He then gave us a packet of information and reminded us of the five day deadline to choose. I quickly headed to my room and locked myself in. Time to figure some of this stuff out. I took out the packet of information and started to read.
CONGRATULATIONS YOU MADE IT TO DEITY WORLD.
To help defray expenses and effort the Neutral faction requires all people who ascend in their area to contribute 5,000 merit points before becoming independent. After your debt has been paid you can choose to continue being part of the Neutral faction or you may choose to travel to another faction’s area and try your luck there. Remember not every faction gives you the freedom the Neutral faction does.
To earn merit points each individual can contribute in a variety of ways.
- Soldier in the Neutral factions standing army. The standard soldier has all expenses paid including basic equipment and earns 100 merit points a year. That is only 50 years until your debt is paid. Once a year you can challenge for a higher position in the army. If you pass your responsibilities and merit point rewards go up.
- You can choose to be a resource gatherer. The options here are monster core gatherer, miner, herbal gatherer. The merit points you receive are based upon what you turn into the neutral faction. Be warned, you have to pay for your own room and board and the monsters here on deity world are much more dangerous than those on tier 1 worlds. New transferees only have a 10% survival rate as resource gatherers. However, after a stint in the army the survival rate climbs to 60% or greater.
- Commerce is an important part of any group. If you have the skills, goods, and know how you can open a merchant stall. Merchants are charged a flat fee of 500 points or equivalent goods per year. How many merit points you earn is up to each merchant’s own abilities. You must prove you have the goods or skills before attempting this as a new transfer. You may also sell any materials you have for merit points.
- Another option to earn merit points is to recharge mana jewels. Man jewels are the basis of many technologies in tier 2 and tier 3 worlds. You can recharge by yourself or join the recharge guild. Merit points are awarded based on the size and amount of recharged jewels turned in. Recharge limitations are lower in tier 2 worlds due to the stronger ambient mana. As long as you can transfer 500 mana per hour you are qualified for this job. Of course the faster you can transfer the faster you can earn merit points.
- The final option for new transfers is to join the transportation guild. If you have the ability to teleport yourself or others, you can join the transportation guild. Merit points are awarded based upon work load and distance traveled.
If you were lucky enough or talented enough to earn extra transport slots that you did not use as a first time transfer they can be redeemed in one of three ways.
- You can directly exchange them for merit points at any transportation guild hall.
- You can exchange them for goods or money at any merchant guild hall.
- You can use them to challenge for a higher rank in the military immediately without having to wait for a year.
Well I think that 3 of my transfer spots will be traded in for merit points. One will be held in reserve for the moment. I need to find out first if my money is any good in this world. Time to go explore the town.