I couldn’t help but glance over to the door after I heard Bihena’s shout. Shaking my head, I stood up and went out of the room, leaving a confused Terra behind me. However, she didn’t follow me, and simply laid back down on the bed for a nap. After leaving the room, I made my way to Bihena’s door, and knocked on it once.
“Huh? Dale, that you?” A surprised voice called out from within, moments before the door opened up to reveal a smiling human woman. “Sorry, didn’t mean to disturb you.”
“No, it’s alright.” I shook my head. “I was going to come by and talk to you once you were free either way.” When I said that, she blinked in confusion, before taking a step back to let me in.
“Sure thing. What’s on your mind?” She asked, closing the door after I had entered.
In Bihena’s room, the only real furniture was the bed, so I simply leaned against the wall and watched her, my arms crossed in front of me. “I wanted to talk to you about your life as a mortal, see if you had learned anything.” I couldn’t really ask Terra if she discovered anything new, since she wasn’t really able to do that. Bihena, however, I could.
“Hmm..” She looked down, crossing her arms as well as she sank into thought. “I guess I learned a bit more about ki paths, if you want to hear that? Other than that, there wasn’t really much new that I learned. I wasn’t exactly able to move around how I wanted.” She said with a bitter smile.
“Yeah, I saw that.” I chuckled. “So, what did you learn about ki paths?”
Seeing my interest, Bihena smiled a bit more happily, moving over to sit cross-legged on her bed. “Since my country specialized in monks and martial artists, we did quite a bit of experimenting with ki paths. Most people weren’t satisfied with the simple ‘circle path’ that was initially invented.”
“As our research continued, we discovered a few things. If you have a ki path moving through a certain part of your body, that body part will get a passive buff. For instance, someone who has it in their arms will become stronger as long as their ki isn’t depleted.” As she said that, Bihena closed her eyes, seeming to focus heavily on something.
Next to her, a yellow liquid seemed to rise up from the bed, moving in spiraling lines as it began to create a shape. It did not take me too long to realize that the shape looked almost like a poorly drawn stick-figure skeleton of Bihena herself. “This is the kind of ki path we eventually created, one that moves through the entire body. The effects are less noticeable like this, until the person using it gets enough ki to make a difference. For a normal person, they might experience a very small increase in strength and durability.”
“However, for a trained monk, their strength could double, or even triple depending on their ki.” She seemed a bit excited as she said that, causing me to nod my head in appreciation. My own ki couldn’t be considered much unless I used my Keeper levels, but if I did then this would be a big help to me.
Though, I couldn’t help but tease her slightly. “And your son?” I asked with a smirk, causing her face to flush for a moment.
“Please, don’t joke about that.” She replied with a dramatic sigh. “I needed a way out. One of the perks of these ki paths is that it nourishes the body. I might have been able to live for another century before dying of old age. So I found someone with an incurable disease, and had a kid with him.” She looked away, almost shyly as she said that.
“Thankfully, I managed to get the disease myself, so I was able to arrange my incarnation’s death. All I had to do was avoid leveling up for long enough that the disease could take root, and it was only a matter of time.” She let out a breath of relief at the end of that, before looking up with a smile. “I’ve got to thank that kid for letting me finally get out of being a queen.”
“So that’s why you made him king when you left.” I nodded my head in understanding. However, a small question was nagging at me. “Wouldn’t leveling up remove the disease from you or your ‘husband’, though?” As far as I knew, leveling up was a miracle cure for pretty much anything.
Hearing that, Bihena shook her head. “That’s what I used to think too. You’d have to ask Terra to be sure, but from what I can tell that’s not how it works. I accidentally leveled up a few weeks after getting the disease, and was fully healed. However, my health soon began to drop again as the symptoms came back.”
“I can explain that.” A voice came from the door, which I was surprised to find had suddenly opened. Ryone was standing there with a wide grin as she walked into the room. “I’ve been paying a bit more attention to that, so I’ve gotten a few answers about how leveling up works.”
Bihena and I both blinked in surprise, though the human goddess seemed a bit annoyed that Ryone had suddenly barged into her room. The elf didn’t seem to pay much mind, sitting on the bed next to Bihena’s ki path model. “So, you want to hear it or not?”
Bihena let out a long sigh, waving her hand for Ryone to continue. “Sweet. Love you too sis.” Followed by a grumble of complaint from Bihena. “Anyways, a few things have caught my attention with the elves as they leveled up. Sometimes, when they received stats for Wisdom, Intelligence, or Charm, their ways of thinking will subtly change. Well, I did a bit of a test myself, and found out what was happening.”
Seeing that we had no intention of interrupting her, Ryone continued with a smile. “Whenever someone gets a point in a physical stat, the ‘world energies’ as mortals call them remodel the body. If it’s in strength, their muscles might become slightly denser. If dexterity, their muscles and joints will be more flexible. Stamina increases the toughness of the skin and internal organs, as well as their immune systems. For mental stats, it’s the brain that is changed.”
At that point, Ryone placed her hands down on the bed behind her, huffing slightly. “I don’t know enough about the brain to say exactly what is being done, but I can tell the end results. Intelligence increases their ability to remember things, wisdom helps them think more rationally, and charm helps them sympathize with the emotions of others.”
“What about luck?” I asked, since it was the only stat that she hadn’t listed in her explanation. However, the answer that I got was a shake of her head.
“I can’t really tell what luck does yet. There aren’t many elves that train in classes that improve luck, only the merchants. That one you really will have to ask Terra to help you with.”
“Okay… Surely, you didn’t come here just to barge into my room and give us an explanation of stats?” Bihena asked, her brows knit together as she looked at the nearby goddess, who giggled in response.
“Of course not. I’ve got some rather important news for our dear Keeper.” She said with a grin, turning to look at me. “I think I’ve found it. Everything we need for our bag of holding.” Not only myself, even Bihena looked at her in shock when Ryone said that. “Ever since my incarnation’s parents let me start practicing magic, I’ve been quickly leveling up as a mage and enchanter. If I’m right, I should have all of the spell components needed for the bag.”
Thinking back to the spell-iron blade that was still propped against my desk, I was obviously excited at the idea of being able to carry it with me whenever I descend. A weapon like that was more than enough for the current world to call a holy relic, something that would let anyone destroy an entire country on their own. “Do you need any material components?”
Ryone nodded her head at that question. “I can get Tubrock’s help with most of the components. The only one that I’ll need your help with is a stone from beyond the stars. One of the meteorites that fell to earth. They contain the essence of space, and are one of the key components for enchantments involving space.”
A piece of meteorite? Well, that wouldn’t be too hard for me to find. “Alright. When will you be ready to make the prototype?”
Ryone closed her eyes in thought at that. “Give me… two hours? That should be enough time to break down Tubrock’s spares and get the essence I need. That should also be plenty of time for you to find the rock.” After saying that, her eyes suddenly lit up. “Oh! While we’re at it, do you think we should practice that ‘concealed enchantment’ technique we bought before? You already got all of the materials for that last time, so it’s ready to go whenever.”
I nodded my head at that. “It’d probably be for the best.” I planned to use this bag personally, so having people unable to sense the magic on it would be a big help.
“Hey, uh… can I watch, too?” Bihena spoke up, raising her hand from where she sat on her bed. “This seems kind of interesting, you know?”
Naturally, we had no reason to refuse her. “Alright. You can be in charge of getting us a suitable bag to use. Something inconspicuous. While you do that, I’ll get the rock she needs, and she can get whatever essence she was talking about.”
After saying that, the two girls nodded their heads and began moving. My destination was naturally my computer, where I ran a quick search for meteorite fragments. Even after all this time since they first started falling, it shouldn’t be too hard to get one. And sure enough, there were a number of results from all over the world. At random, I plucked one out and brought it to the admin room, having a fist-sized black rock land on my desk after a brief flash of light.
To my surprise, this actually didn’t disturb Terra at all, and she continued her little nap on my bed as if nothing had happened. Grabbing both the rock and the sword, I made my way towards Tubrock’s forge, where I was sure to find Ryone. I was actually pretty interested in the essences she was talking about.
What I found when I arrived were two people. One was a somewhat grumpy looking dwarf working his forge, while the other was the elven goddess I was looking for. She was currently holding up a silver spear, her eyes closed in focus. There was the sound of something cracking, and then a shining blue and white dust began to fall off of the spear, landing at Ryone’s feet.
This continued for roughly ten second, until a handful of the dust had pooled into a small pile. At that time, the spear seemed to shatter into pieces, Ryone opening her eyes with a somewhat sad look. “Pity, I was hoping for a bit more out of this one.” It was at that time that she noticed my presence, and grinned mischievously at me. “Curious?”
When, I nodded, she began explaining. What she was doing now was a trick that she learned as an enchanter, one that was essential for any high-level enchants. By taking an already magical item, an enchanter could extract the magical essence in a type of powdered mana. This powder, simply called ‘essence of magic’, was a common ingredient for enchantments beyond the second tier.
“Wait… just what level did you manage to get as an enchanter?” I couldn’t help but ask, looking at her. She had told me about how the second tier of spells began to unlock at level fifty for mages, so she had to at least be that high…
“Level one hundred enchanter, level twenty scholar, level thirty mage.” She said proudly, sticking out her chest as she moved to grab the next item from Tubrock’s shelves of completed weapons. There were various spears, swords, shields, even some armors. “I just hit the level limit before I came to find you, or else I’d keep trying to learn more. I think next time, I’ll focus purely on the mage class instead of enchanter.”
How did she manage to control her classes so well? Is it just because she had a single-minded devotion? I couldn’t help but question it mentally, but otherwise watched as she ‘disenchanted’ the next object. “How did you solve the problems of the space and time components?”
When she heard that, Ryone chuckled slightly. “Another elf managed to solve the time component by accident, though all he noticed was that his spell was delayed. As for space, I found it when I was randomly testing out patterns. The real trick was figuring out the triggers for different functions, such as storing or retrieving items by command. Thankfully, I managed to get those when I got my last enchanter level.”
I had no doubt that Ryone was the highest level enchanter currently on the planet, so it made sense for her to be the first one to discover that. I decided to patiently create a chair to sit and watch as she disenchanted one piece of equipment after another. When Bihena arrived in the forge, I went ahead and created one for her as well, and we simply waited for Ryone to finish.