Color bled out in front of me as space distorted slightly. To my left stood Marcus. An old friend who by now became something similar to a little brother, if one could ignore the fact of our cultures and society in which we live.
I remember that moment I first met him all those years ago. I had just reached adulthood when my father took me to visit a distant acquaintance. Despite being a boy of 10, Marcus showed remarkable promise for Magic and he delivered up till this day as one of the foremost experts in the World. Over the years, once he became capable of teleporting, he visited me when he could and always made sure to do it at least once a year. Today’s visit was the first time he ever brought somebody special to introduce to me. ` Or could it be the other way, of me being introduced to somebody. `
This Mir was a handsome man, but it was his Power that impressed me the most. When he first came through the portal and when his Divine Sense washed over me and the surroundings, it stunned me, speechless. It was so thick and dense that when it layered over everything; it felt like my World just changed. In reflex I retracted my own Divine Sense like a defense and it was only after Marcus came that I could relax and request that he retract his.
Afterwards, the conversations that we had, the revelation about the nature of his Power, the other subjects we conversed and his subsequent help with the virus painted him as a man with comprehensive plans for the World. Asking Marcus had been unfruitful. Whereas before he would tell me all but his deepest secrets, this time he was quite adamant about leaving the topic until later.
Later came, and now it was time to see what all this was about. On my right stood the man in question as he pointed at the distortion. “ Miss, there won’t be any danger for you at all, but just in case, prepare, as you will be entering my Realm. ” With that said, he went in first and Marcus followed. Still unsure about it for a second, I composed myself for a second and went through.
Arriving on the other side was a set of pyramidal stairs leading down. Thick white stone pillars that looked to be made of marble showed the way outside. Out of courtesy I still had not used my Divine Sense and yet already I could feel that this place was far from normal.
“ Miss Mei, I welcome you to my Realm, The Dreamscape. ” Declared the man with black hair and green eyes. “ It’s a newly minted Realm, and for someone who was sort of forced to make it, and someone without a manual on how they function, I did a good job so far. ”
“ Stop boasting so much, Mei let’s go outside so you can see what he is talking about. ” Said Marcus.
Mir nodded, motioned for us to follow, and spoke at the same time. “ Miss, let me be the guide and introduce everything for better clarity. This building is the gateway room, but it’s just a gate of sorts. ” Once we left the building, I saw it. A temple complex with the color white at its base and individual temples representing the overall of this Realm that he created. From the white base to the rivers of Stars, to Galaxies and the Nebulas on top of everything. It was breathtaking. Coming out of stupor I saw them both smirk at me.
Blinking a few times to clear my thoughts and fixing my expression, I spoke with a hasher tone. “ What is that expression of gloating that I see on your face there, Marcus. From what I just heard, you had no hand in the creation of this Realm. ”
“ Cough. ” With realization he hurriedly found his excuse. “ Ah, Mei, this… had nothing to do with that. It’s just I had not seen that expression of wonder on you for quite a long time. Especially not after you became the head of your clan. ”
“ Hmph. ” What would he know of being a female leader in a man’s world? Despite my stage of cultivation, the only way for me to keep my authority despite being a woman was to show everybody that they could not mess with me, otherwise I would be just a pretty flower, like my name implied. Ignoring his remark, I observed everything again, but the majesty was broken. ` Damn. `
“ I take it the name Dreamscape has to do with the purpose of your Realm. I hope you don’t mind telling me about it in more detail. ” I asked the man in question.
“ Not at all, but before I do that, I want you to use your Power and tell me what you feel when you observe it. ” He asked in return. “ Before you ask again. No, I do not mind you doing it. In fact, I asked the same of Marcus but his input had been minimal. I have a feeling it would be different for you. ”
“ Very well. ” Acknowledging his request, I opened my senses to everything and again that majestic feeling returned. Only this time in more details. With a bit of attention, I could understand parts of the Realm, but its general purpose remained hidden. “ This is? ”
“ Oh, so you do notice it? ” He asked me immediately.
“ If by notice you mean how I can sense the intent on each part of the Realm, then yes, I do notice it. ” Was my reply to him.
“ Good, one last question before we go on the primary reason you are here. Please, try again to sense everything and tell me if this Realm feels small to you. ” He asked.
“ Small? Why do you worry about the size? I am sure it will grow in the future. ” Spoke Marcus, and yet hearing those words that could delude to a lot of misunderstandings, so I could only glare at him, without breaking my expression.
As if noticing it, he immediately corrected himself. “ I didn’t mean it that way, Mei. You know that. ” Despite keeping my emotions hidden, Marcus was one of the few who could read me, even with the mask on. Ignoring him, I do as asked and cast my senses on the overall.
Stretching my senses as much as possible and measuring the size and scale of this Realm. Its inside and its outside. I arrive at one conclusion. “I.. am done. But from what my senses tell me, your Realm is a contradiction of Space and Time. ” Thinking for a second I delivered a question to Mir. “ Could it be that the Laws for Space and Time have not been set yet? ”
Mir nodded. “ Yes. Although I am not sure if I want it to stay like that forever, I plan to leave it like this for now. One last thing before we continue. Look into the upper part of this place, into the Nebulas, and tell me what you feel? ”
Nodding to my host’s request, I do so. Casting my senses into them, I scour the colorful clouds representing the Nebulas. In many of them I felt the concepts that they embody. They went from Good and Evil to various Laws of Nature and finally some of them embodied the Emotional aspects of Humanity. One thing they all had in common was their infancy. Much like the rest of this Realm, all of it was in its infancy or better said, they felt hollow. They had the intent but not the substance they represented. It was during my contemplation of them that I noticed what Mir probably wanted me to notice. In the center of everything in the Nebulas, I saw a dark sphere. Observing it for a few seconds more, it shivered. Tendrils or tentacles appeared from its side and at the front a massive Eye opened up. Seeing this eldritch thing, instinctual shivers appeared on my body and yet I didn’t stop my observation.
And I was glad I hadn’t, because as I observed it, it observed me. During the moment it sent its gaze to me, I felt curiosity and intellect. Ignoring the gaze for a second, I focused on its hole and noticed the same phenomenon as the rest of the Realm. This being carried and embodied a Concept and much like the rest of the Realm, it was full of intent but shallow of substance. It needed time to materialize it.
Unsure at how much time we gazed and studied each other, the being with an eldritch form moved. That broke my immersion of everything and I found my focus back. Steeling my expressions again, just in case I looked to the two males that brought me here.
“ I take it, that being was made by you? ” I asked Mir while looking at him.
“ Yes, although the form Mobius currently has, was influenced by many things but ultimately it was chosen by itself. ” He replied. “ As I am the extreme of a state of Existence, I can easily bestow a spark of… self. Yes, that is what I will call it, a Spark of Self. During the moment of its creation I can bestow it… lets say a direction in which it would grow. For Mobius it was Knowledge and Ethernet. The Knowledge part it currently embodies defined its nature when it acquired its current form, and from there I defined its nature even more. Right now, Mobius is the originator of a new spirit species I defined as Nightmares. ” Nightmare? Taking a glance at Mobius’ approach, I could understand the name but when Mir explained its concept and nature, I was truly impressed.
A bit later Mobius’s true form of an enormous golden slit eye with various decorations and tendrils appeared. Unlike its appearance before now, it was much smaller. It landed in the center of the temple complex, and a few steps later we were beside it.
“ Mobius, this is Long Meixiang, but you can call her Miss Mei. While she has not agreed yet to join us I have a feeling it won’t stay that way long. Miss Mei, this is Mobius, the first true sentient Aspect I have created and it will be at the center of my plans for the future. ”
“ Greetings, Miss. It is an honor to meet you. ” As Mobius made his greetings, I saw no mouth or an opening that could produce sound and yet what I heard was a voice as it spoke.
“ Likewise, greetings to you too, Mobius. ” I replied to it. “ Mir, I hope you didn’t call Mobius here just to impress me with your capabilities. ”
“ Miss, I think you misunderstood something. I didn’t call Mobius here. It came of its own regard. ” He said. “ But since it’s here, I may as well deliver my recent revelation. Here, take it. ”
I could see nothing as he said that, but Mobius closed his enormous eye and a few seconds later I felt a slight shift in the Realm.
“ Ah, so that is how you meant being at the center. But have you no fear of placing it in a position like that. ” I ask.
“ Well, before I knew I had a Realm and before it was developed to this degree, I had placed a few restrictions on it when I created it. So, my answer is, NO. ” He replied.
With Mir’s declaration, I stopped that line of thought. Observing everything surrounding me for a second, I notice something. “ Marcus, you have been quiet for a while. Why? ”
“ I want you to make your own impression of him and this place first, at least before you hear of his plans. ” He replied.
“ While all this is impressive, that won’t do. It was you that brought me here, so you’re responsible just as he is. I am sure Mir here won’t be bothered if you tell me your thoughts. ” I said while glancing at the man in question. Mir just shrugged his shoulders and continued to speak with his eldritch pet. Focusing on Marcus more intently, I spoke my thoughts. “ Before I had asked you about him, you refused to say anything. Now, I hope you will not hesitate to speak? ”
“ Sigh, fine. ” A bit reluctantly, Marcus agreed. “ First thing I probably should mention is that you and I sort of know about him beforehand. Remember that day 19 years ago that I visited you. ”
“ Day? And 19 years ago? Hmm. ” Thinking for a second, it comes to me. “ Do you mean that day when you came full of regret and hope. The day where you couldn’t decide if you were happy or not? Could it be? ” Realizing what he meant I glanced at the man in question. “ But did you not say he died? ”
As if he couldn’t abstain from the conversation, Mir commented. “ The one they wanted to kill, died indeed. But all they accomplished is to create a complicated karmic environment that resulted in me appearing. ”
“ Right. Does that mean that the prophecy still applies? Considering some of the plans you deind to spill recently? ” I asked.
“ Well, part of it probably applies as I truly dislike how the current World appears and works. ” He said. “ But the reason I say that is that, prophecy or not, I would still follow my current course of action. So, I will just ignore it and just do my thing. ”
“ Tell me, Marcus, since you’re involving me, I take it that the rewards justify all the consequences that are bound to happen? ” Switching my attention to him instead of Mir, I ask.
“ Yes. ” Marcus replied, straight into my eyes to convey his resolution and intent. “ He could have not involved me at all. I know at some point he would have succeeded. But if I am involved, not only can I steer this ship I have boarded, I can also reap numerous benefits for my people. The benefits being, I think I have the potential to revamp the Circle path from scratch and the same should be possible to the Cultivators too. ”
Stunned by his revelation, it took me a few seconds to realize what he truly meant. Ignoring the smirk that appeared as he proclaimed his intentions, with but a step of mine, I was by his side and grabbed his right ear.
“ Ahh. ” Once it was in my hand I pulled at it, and with it Marcuse’s head leaned at just the right height so I could look straight at him without moving my gaze upwards. That done, I pointed at the man in question and spoke with clarity to him. “ You think that with his help you will be able to do what had taken countless ancestors of yours to invent. Please tell me you’re under some spell, otherwise you sounded like a pure idiot. ”
“ Yes, I mean No, I am not under any spell. I will not refract what I have said, Ahh, but Mei, could you let go of my ear? It hurts, and it’s embarrassing being seen like this. ” He replied in a hurry. “ Besides, even if that was not possible, which it is, I still have other reasons to do this. ”
Still not letting go, I pulled a few more times to make sure he gets my intentions right. ” And those would be? ”
“ Aahh, the main reason is because I do know it’s possible and I do not want to let a stranger, who does not belong to our community, who has not lived in our society, and who would have done it anyway be in control of my people. ” He explained as I pulled once more. “ Aahh, even if her intention were never to hurt my people. I made a deal with her. Either I am part and the sole decision maker when it involves my people and Magic or I will become her enemy and kill her. ”
“ Her? ” Did he make a mistake? No, he said it too many times. What is going on? Still holding on his ear, I look towards Mir.
“ Oh, that. I wanted to experience what it meant to have a female body. ” He said and smiled. With a wave of his right hand a holo appeared of a woman. She was beautiful. “ In my defence, when he came upon me, I had just made the Realm and I was quite weak. So I couldn’t just change back and to be honest, I think my female form mellowed out a bit of his responses so he was more agreeable to me. That’s all. ”
Taking my gaze back on Marcus, I saw a wry smile on him. “ Mei, OK, I will admit it. The pretty face mellowed me out a bit, but I was serious when I thought about everything. Seeing the potential I could help her.. him, he was the first to spill the beans about his plans and it was only after that, that I agreed. ” Hearing that I release him.
“ Ah, my ear hurts. Couldn’t you have gone easier on me? ” Asked Marcus.
“ I could, but that was not the point. So, this deal? Was it a binding one? ” I asked them both and both shook their heads.
“ No, I wanted to do this without one. ” Mir said. “ You could say I made a bet on Marcus’s character. Of course, we still decided that a binding contract will be made later over the privileges of the System that I want to make. ”
“ System? ” Again I asked for clarification.
“ Umm, have you seen or have you played the newest games that are available to the “ Mortals. ” as you call them? ” He asked but then added. “ I mean the computer ones? ”
“ Of course I have. ” I declared to him. “ Just because we Cultivators are reclusive, doesn’t mean we live without the benefits of modern technology. The younger generation like them quite a lot. So you want to make something like them? ”
“ Yes, I have thought real hard about what kind of look and functions it would have. ” He explained. “ The first and the most basic one would be the interface. It will display quite a lot of things, but the most important one will be something like a scrying spell Marcus possesses. Its primary purpose will be to analyze the individual and show them their progress in anything they choose to do. ”
“ Progress? Be more specific. ” I said.
“ It’s simple. Really. ” He said. “ Let's take Cultivators as an example. Let's say, somebody of your rank of Power has the system. The system would have analyzed your progression along a path. Let’s take swordsmanship. I am sure there are ranks with how they are divided, right? ” When I nodded he continued. “ The highest place somebody has reached with swordsmanship will be the ceiling and those below him or her will have a benchmark through which they will measure themselves and their goals. ”
“ That’s an interesting goal but I can already see flaws in it. ” I said. “ The main one being, the application of said System. The second one being the sheer amount of data that it would take to quantify all that, since I am assuming that you want every person to have access to said System. Right? ”
“ Yes. ” He replied. “ For the application part, I was planning to make a core out of everyone’s Soul since it provides the perfect base for this. That was my plan, and it still is, but it was when I observed a Soul belonging to the Magical Community that I truly saw a future for my project. Otherwise it would have taken me a long time to do this. ”
Hearing that a suspicion came but the next moment as if sensing it Mir took out a Soul. It was an inscribed Soul. “ Similar to this, I want to transform and engrave the Soul of people into a System core. Once it's done and spread upon the populace it will act as the base for the paths that will represent my Auril, Marcus’s Magic or a Cultivator like yours Miss Mei. ”
“ And the next problem? ” I asked.
“ Mei. ” Marcus called and with a finger he rotated around to annotate my surroundings.
“ You, decided an entire Realm for that purpose? ” A bit stunned by that realization I asked.
“ Yes. ” With a wry smile, Mir pointed at the surrounding buildings. “ I never quite finished the tour I wanted, so might as well do it now. The building to the right represents the bottom part of my Realm. It’s the blank canvas upon which an individual will declare one’s Dream. Once they have done that part, they will receive a mark from the Dreamscape and generate a Star. ” He pointed at them. “ The stars represent the individual and the rivers represent the paths they are taking. The Galaxies represent the end of their Dream. Once they have reached the center of the Galaxy, the Dream they have proclaimed and maintained all this time will end and it is at that moment that the System will reward them for their dedication. We will decide later the details as it will need much fine-tuning. ”
“ And what is the true purpose of the last part? The Nebulas at the top? ” Again I asked him.
“ Ah, the masterpiece. ” Why would he call it that. “ The temple behind me is the Parthenon of Achievement. There one will be able to trace the achievements of Individuals. The left building is the Temple of Possibilities. There, those that just gained access to the System will be assessed. ” Stopping there and pointing at his eldritch pet that blinked with its huge golden slit eye and he spoke again. “ Mobius or his kind later on will be the one doing the assessing. It will be split into two parts. One part will be to assess a person’s potential in what they have achieved so far in their life. The other part is the main one and for that one I will need Marcus’s help. ”
That said, I glanced at Marcus for a second. He still looked a bit embarrassed, like a child. “ Go on. I am eager to hear this part. ”
“ Haha. ” Laughed Mir for a bit. “ The second part will rely on Potential Chaos. With it, one will be able to look at the paths one will be able to travel in the future. ”
“ Potential Chaos? Are you referring to the Chaos that he had used to make his stuff? ” I pointed at Markus as he was the person in question.
“ Yes, the same stuff. ” Mir replied. “ The problem will be harvesting it for the individual in question. I am sure he told you what happened 19 years ago? ” I nodded, and he went on. “ I want to do the same but on a smaller yet larger scale. My theory is that there are two ways to gain PC. First would be the brute force method, and that one is by destroying a person’s future. It’s simple and effective in cases where the individual has a grand future and one can find said individual, otherwise it’s a bad idea. The second way is to relinquish the PC by said individual? ”
“ And you’re going to use the second one? ” I asked him.
“ Yes. At some point in their life they will be given the choice to come under the System. ” He declared. “ I will not force them to do it, and as that will be a choice it will generate a shift in their future potential. If they don’t accept, then all will stay the same to a degree. But if they choose to accept then the future they would have had would shift and come under the System and alongside that decision will come the PC at the same time. Unlike before the System, once they are under it they will be able to use said PC for their own goals. ”
“ Umm, I am a bit confused since this is not my specialty, but won’t it be bad if they consume their PC? ” I asked, but it was Marcus that spoke this time.
“ Not really. All it would have done is narrow their path for the future, instead of it being flexible and I am sure that Mir has a fix for that. Right? ” He replied and asked at the same time.
“ Yes, it was for that purpose that the Temple of the Beginning exists. ” Pointing at the right one this time, he explained. “ Once they have decided on a Dream, or as some will call it goals, they will gain momentum of action. That momentum will grow as they travel that path. The longer it goes on, the bigger it gets and the greater the reward. Now I say reward but fact is that at the end of that momentum will be PC. ”
“ And that PC will then be used for their own gains again, which frees said individual to choose a new Dream to repeat the process? ” I finished for him but then added a question. “ I want to know how and what kind of rewards you are thinking and what happens when they fail. ”
Hearing me, Mir smiled and replied. “ What happens if they fail is easy to answer. The momentum they had will vanish. As it would be a waste for that to happen, it will be harvested for the Dreamscape. ” Still smiling, he continued. “ The big question is the reward naturally. Here is how it’s going to happen. If they are able to reach the end of said path and the momentum becomes PC, they will gain half of the said generated PC. ” Before I could even say a word about the unfairness, he raised his hand to stop me from asking and made a question for me. “ Look at the center of a Galaxy and tell me what you think first? ”
Galaxy? Looking at the said thing I observe the phenomenon of said Stars being swallowed into the center only to be transformed into a double helix dust vortex that traveled into the Nebulas. The next moment, the said helix changed. It thinned on both sides, and one more path appeared. This one went straight to the Nebulas, and the two helixes orbited around it.
A voice brought me out of my observation. “ Oh, so you are taking up on my suggestion. ” It was Marcus that spoke.
When Marcus commented, Mir nodded and spoke. “ At first I made it so there was only one path. When I later thought about it, the double helix had appeared and now it’s this form. The middle part is the part that will always feed the Dreamscape and its growth. The two helixes will be given to the individual. One of them will represent 50% of the PC that is the reward for said individual and the other will represent the last 25%. That part will be used as fuel for the transformation of the PC into said reward including said protection for the reward as I do not want said reward to be stolen by others. ”
“ That… is quite the ingenious idea, Mir. What kind of rewards are we talking about? ” The more I hear, the more I feel like I am being trapped and yet my curiosity was gnawing at me.
“ I am a bit torn on this part. ” He replied. “ I was thinking of titles as the first reward. ”
“ Titles? ” I just had to ask.
“ Yes. Umm, an example or two will be good. Let’s say one declares his Dream being the greatest martial artist in the World and the other declares being a martial artist of some degree. ” He explained. “ The two Dreams will be processed differently, since their goals are of different agendas. One is perpetual and one is stagnant. The first example will be split into ranks, so that when one archives part of the Dream they can gain a reward or choose to proceed without said reward to grow the momentum for greater rewards later on. The second example will be more immediate gains without the later ones being available. ”
“ As for the said rewards themselves, here look at this. ” With that said Mire motioned and a holo appeared with words and numbers. “ In the future, I plan to quantify someone’s statistics like strength for example. Take note this is for my own Auril system, so you guys will use different parameters. Let's say 0 represents a baby being born and a man at the peak of his strength with no Power is a 10 and in this case I am talking about the weightlifting champions that look like barrels. I am sure you guys have seen them on TV. That being said, an average man will be around 5. ” Stopping for a second, he continued. “ My plan is that a Title of let’s say a novice martial artist who just started his training had a strength of 5. Once he achieved said title, it would grant the individual plus 1 strength. Now, said individual may have increased his strength during the training to six but with the title it would be 7. ”
“ I don’t know. Using Chaos for something as simple as a strength increase sounds like extravaganza. Unless said statistics are permanently increased and no matter what happens to said individual, even if he loses all his strength somehow, he will always have that 1 strength. ” I say my conjunction.
“ Indeed, that is my idea. ” Replied Mir. “ Since our Power systems will work under different parameters, the rewards will differ but for stats they will have similarities. But just like you said before, it would be pure extravaganza if it was only about stats. So here is what I think. If you, Mei, decide to join me and help me start all this, just like Marcus here wanted to be the sole decision maker for Magic, you get to be the sole decision maker for the Cultivators. ”
“ Hmph, I knew you’d bring that up the moment I heard Marcus explain his own situation. ” I said to him. “ That is a given if I choose to join you, so try something else to entice me. ”
Rolling his eyes this time, he replied. “ I can feel you have already decided to join and you just want to see how much you can benefit. Anyway, I don’t mind. I have thought about this and I plan to add something on Marcus’s side too as a welcoming gift. ”
“ Oh, do tell what you have in mind. ” Commented Marcus.
“ Here is what I have in mind. ” Said Mir as he looked at Marcus. “ For Marcus, I will add a safety feature for young initiates to reduce the risk of death on their first engraving. It will use up PC like a lifeline for said child and the System will supply the needed PC. Now as it would be too expensive to just hand it out just like that, I will place a restriction. It will only be available the first time they ever do the engraving, and if they succeed said PC in question will be reclaimed by the System. ”
“ That’s generous is all I can think about. ” Marcus said with gratitude.
Nodding to him, Mir looked at me. “ As for you, Miss Mei, since your case is different, it requires a different approach. Correct me if I am wrong but you Cultivators only became Cultivators if you reach the 4th rank of Power. Am I right and can you tell me the basics before one becomes a Cultivator? ” He asked me.
Unsure if I should say it, even if they are the basics. I glanced at Marcus, but as if noticing my gaze he spoke again. “ It’s too late to hide it, as even without you, I can figure it out in time. Remember, my Power is all about Life Essence and since Marcus is part of my little club, he will learn of it at some point too. Frankly, I am surprised there is so little knowledge exchanged between you guys. ”
“ Old habits I guess. Since that fateful battle centuries ago, the cultural exchange was minimal in this department. ” I said to him. “ Ok, I will talk. First to even try to cultivate at all, one needs Meridians. Otherwise the process takes too long and the child will lose the best timeframe upon which to build upon. If they have them, then it is best to start as early as possible. Then the child is disciplined in the physical arts to generate an increase in Qi production. While it’s not much, every bit helps the still growing child and the mental discipline alongside the physical helps the child to learn meditation. If the child learned to meditate properly, to sense one’s Qi, then by the age of 10 they will have already succeeded in opening their Dantians. ”
“ Opening? ” Asked Mir with a bit of confusion.
“ While the Dantian is there, it requires enough Qi to open and well… start working. ” I explained. “ Once the Dantian is open, it becomes much easier to control Qi and from that point one starts opening key points in the Meridians for a better flow of Qi. One does that until one has reached the key point regarding the Soul. At that point one branches into the smaller paths and once they are done comes the main part, the transformation of the Soul into a Jindan. Translated, that means the golden pill. ”
“ And it’s at that point that the difficult changes? ” He asked.
“ Yes. It is at that point that a lot of us die. ” I say. “ But even if we succeed, it just marks the time for another doom to appear. The moment the Jidnan is made and we gain access to True Qi, the tribulation appears. It’s a thunderstorm with the Cultivator at the center. The worst part is one can’t evade it and if somebody tries to help those passing them, they just grow in strength. ”
“ How do you pass it? By enduring it? ” Asked Mir.
“ Yes. What should happen is the tempering of the body with True Qi, but since that is not possible, the True Qi is then siphoned into prepared formations to endure the tribulation. ” I said. “ The formations are the reason as to why only the oldest of the clans can sustain new generations of Cultivators. As they are expensive to make and usually can only be used one time. Some have tried to gain help in the form of Magic but that too failed. ”
“ I see. Here is my last question. At what age does one usually undergo that step? ” Saying it he smiled at me.
Seeing that and the thought that it provoked, I realized it. “ I know where you’re going, but how would it help? ”
“ I am sure we can think of ways, but the one that pops into my mind right now is designing a grace system. I am thinking that the amount of grace time one is given upon achieving Cultivators status, will depend on the amount of PC they are able to acquire beforehand. ” Mir laid out his idea.
“ How much time are we talking about? ” I asked him, but he just shook his head. “ Ok, I will join your little club for now. ” But again he shook his head.
“ Miss Mei, I will be truthful. There is no for now, it is either all in or not at all. So are you in? ” He asked.
Glancing at Marcus who so far stood silent, I saw him nod. “ Fine, we have a deal. Now that I have joined your club, how will this go? ”
“ Yes, I knew, you would do it? ” Said Marcus. “ And welcome to the Change the World club. ”
“ Marcus, that is a bad name. ” Immediately I declared into his face, but he just shrugged his shoulders.
“ It wasn’t me that made the name. ” He replied.
Rolling my eyes for a bit, I looked at Mir but he just smirked. “ Welcome indeed. The name isn’t really important and can be changed. As for how to go from now on, well first will be lots of thinking on our part on how to handle that virus. Let’s make one thing clear first. Are you still of the opinion that it’s too late to stop the virus from spreading? ” Nodding to him he continued. “Then now our time, and by this I mean mainly mine, will be the design of a counter for this event. ”
“ What kind of counter? ” Asked Marcus.
“ The simple and easy kind, where I don’t have to ponder for too long and just wait for results. But before that I have to confirm one last thing. ” He said. “ If I do follow up on my thoughts, it will mean that I will doom a substantial amount of the populace since I won’t be bothering to think of a method of saving them but one that will prevent the Divines from gaining their energy boosts. Does that bother you? ”
Hearing it, we all looked at each other, and it was me that spoke first. “ How much are you thinking about, and what do you have in mind? ”
“ How much I have no idea, as that will depend on the virus. ” He said. “ As for the method. Hmm, best said, I will make an Auril construct as Life Essence will be useless. The construct in question will use the virus as a carrier and if possible I will design it so it could siphon some of the Life Essence it gathers for itself. It will use that Life Essence to multiply and grow until it’s big enough to envelope the Soul of an individual. Once that is done, it will stay like that until that individual dies. Once the individual dies, it will interfere with its departure, and it is at that point that it will activate its true purpose. It will consume part of the Life Essence in the Soul and generate a construct that will escape the Body. Once it is outside, it will leak the rest of the Life Essence into the atmosphere, whereupon it will be drawn towards the core of the World. ”
Hearing this part, Marcus stayed silent, so I spoke. “ From what I am hearing it means that you could stop this virus if you wanted to but won’t do it? ”
“ Yes, because even if there is no virus I would have done something similar as I need an enormous amount of Death to start the waking up process. ” He replied.
Still, no voice came from Marcus. “ Waking up whom? ”
Smirking again, Mir replied with an accent that sent shivers down my spine. “ Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned and there ain’t No woman bigger than Mother Nature, for it is upon her that we walk this World. ”