I couldn’t help but smile as I watched Leowynn sitting on the bed next to Ryone. “So, how is it? Uncomfortable at all?” She had just received her spirit body, so I wanted to make sure that there weren’t any problems with it. Of course, it wasn’t like I knew what to do if she did have a problem, but still..
She glanced over to me with a gentle smile as she thought about it, before shaking her head. “No, everything feels fine. It’s almost hard to believe that I died just now…” She glanced down to the floor, as if doing so would let her see her burnt body in the world below. She let out a deep breath, looking up to me as one hand gently held her mother’s. “So, what do we do now? Is there some kind of ritual or something I should know about? Mom said that doing this wouldn’t make me a goddess, but still…”
I shook my head at her question. “No, nothing like that. If you’d like, you can go with Ryone to meet the rest of the people up here. I’m sure that they’d all be happy to meet you.” Her face seemed to light up at those words, the idea of making friends who wouldn’t care at all about her status.
She nodded quickly after I made that offer, looking hopefully at Ryone. “Please, mom?” She pleaded, her silver eyes practically sparkling. Ryone simply laughed, standing up and pulling Leowynn along with her.
“Alright, alright. What will you be doing in the meanwhile, Dale?” Ryone asked curiously before Leowynn had the chance to drag her out of the room.
“I want to check on a few things in the world, see if there are any major improvements to note.” I answered, moving to sit back down at the computer desk.
“I’ll be back soon, father!” I heard Leowynn calling to me as her and Ryone left the room, leaving me alone in it. I had a feeling that it would be a few hours, at least, before they came back. Plenty of time for me to look through the different areas to see if there was anything special.
First… let’s check on the heroc. It’s been a while since I paid special attention to them.
A loud crash echoed through the dense jungle as a massive beast fell from a tree. On its head, a small hole could be seen, through which blood continuously leaked. The ground seemed to briefly shake as a green skinned figure approached. On its slightly elongated head were three slanted eyes, the middle one wide open with a yellow glow on its pupil.
“Hmm..” The heroc male nodded as he looked over his prey, feeling the energy within his body. “Good. Still need work.” His speech was rough, unrefined. The heroc had only just developed a proper language, so it had yet to fully take hold for the older ones like him.
Looking down at his hand, the glow within his eye faded gradually. He could feel various energies coursing through him. The heroc was a warrior race, so it was only natural that their bodies were filled to the brim with ki. But even so, many practiced mana as well.
As for this man, he was different than most. His body had another energy that most were still unable to grasp. This was the energy offered to him by the gods for his devotion. A power which stood above all others.
The Templar has grown stronger. An ancient voice rang in his ears, causing him to nod his head in satisfaction. This voice spoke to all of his people, but only when they earned it.
As he was contemplating this, a loud screech filled the air, gathering his attention. With a grunt, the heroc turned his head to find a giant ape hanging from a tree above him. He had just killed the ape’s mate, so it was only reasonable that it would appear to get revenge.
“Stupid monkey.” The heroc spoke, and its middle eye again opened wide, beginning to glow with a golden light. “In Sharak’s name, die.” As he spoke, the golden glow shot out from his eye like a spear, stabbing into the ape’s head before it was able to respond. Like its mate, it fell lifelessly to the ground.
The heroc looked at the two fallen monsters before it, before casually grabbing a leg from each, turning and dragging them back to his encampment. He had never had a family of his own, and such there had never been anyone to name him. The first name he took was given to him by the mighty Sharak, the god who dwelled within the woods. It was a name whispered to none but himself.
Templar returned to the tribe with the results of his hunt.
“Well, that’s interesting…” I muttered slightly as I watched the heroc. Sharak was obviously not a real god, but at the same time it wasn’t an actual heroc either. From what I could tell after briefly glancing into the minds of a few herocs, it was something that they came up with. A personal deity that ruled the forest.
The fact that this heroc was able to unlock divine power by worshipping it was surprising. I mean, I always expected them to get clerics and templars more easily than other races due to not being bound to a single god. However, I had imagined that they would have to pray to the heavens for help, not the gods that they themselves create.
Though, tracing the power back still led to the Admin Room. It’s not like their belief actually created a god. That would be rather scary if it was possible. Just thinking about that made me shiver a bit.
One thing did cross my mind, however. I received a prompt about letting Leowynn become a Templar… do the gods receive something like that for all of them?
Out of curiosity, I sent my question to Terra, the obvious target for such a thing. A moment later, her reply came back with a rather amused tone. We do get messages for letting anyone borrow our power, whether it is as a templar, priest, cleric, or even a paladin. It all depends on which god the person worships. For the heroc… each one goes to a majority vote, since they don’t worship a particular god.
And since I’m not actually a god, I don’t have to vote for all of them… I was suddenly much more thankful that there weren’t any people left that were able to view me as a god like Leowynn had. Part of me worried that the ninja village might do so, but there had been no sign of that so far.
Speaking of which, I sent a glance towards the ninja village, wanting to see if anything interesting had taken place. What I found… I suppose it qualified. The ninjas were now spread out, well beyond just one city.
That alone would not qualify as interesting, however. It was the arrangement of the cities that caught my eye. Each one was almost perfectly circular in shape, with wooden bridges connecting treetop buildings. From an aerial view, each one appeared to be a complex spell diagram.
Like the elves, the ninjas had also discovered the existence of monster cores. This was evident by a shrine located in the center of each village, with an altar that had one such core embedded in it. If I had to guess, the shrine was meant to serve as a power source in an emergency, with the entire city activating the spell. Well… it looks like they didn’t learn too much about wards yet, if they are taking that approach.
Before I left to turn my view elsewhere, I saw something else in the ninja village that caught my eye. Someone had discovered another use for monster cores. I saw an alchemist grinding one into a fine dust, before mixing it with the blood of a monster. When the process was done, he dipped a thin brush in the mixture, using it as ink to write on a parchment. This must be their next step in chakra research.
Having seen enough, I turned to look at the dwarves. For them, their kingdoms had changed quite a lot from my last glance. Purely from size alone, the Iron Mountain dwarves possessed the largest and most powerful kingdom, spanning across several long mountain ranges. Like an anthill, they made their homes deep within the core of a mountain, mining out whatever they needed.
Many of their mountains had the outward appearance of a volcano, due to the forges placed in the uppermost levels, and the ventilation tunnels which had been dug towards the mountain’s peak. When I looked at those forges, I found that the hammers of many blacksmiths were no longer copper, and instead were using blackened iron. Some even had enchantments enhancing their usefulness.
Of course, that was not the only area where the dwarves had advanced over these few hundred years. Arguably more spectacular was their advancement in brewing. When I found one of their taverns, I even managed to see a guard who had hit the level cap drunk to the point of passing out. This showed that they had managed to create an extremely powerful drink.
I was about to take a look at the centaurs and halflings, when the door to my bedroom opened again. Turning to see who it was, I saw Leowynn with a wide grin on her face. To my surprise, she was no longer being escorted by Ryone, and instead had found her way back on her own.
“Did you already meet with everyone?” I asked curiously. I wasn’t sure how long I had been looking at those three races, but it didn’t feel like long enough for her to meet and interact with everyone.
“Mother asked everyone to meet us in the living room, so I saw them all together.” She answered, as if having heard my thoughts. “I never thought that there would be so many people like her… Even though she explained it to me before, it is so hard to believe.”
“They didn’t try to tease you or anything, did they?”
“Huh? No, they were wonderful!” She exclaimed with an earnest smile. “The little one… Rivy. She even asked if she could call me her sister. I’ve never seen so many people who genuinely wanted to be friends before.”
I couldn’t help but chuckle at that. “You might have been a demigod to the people down there, but up here everyone is a god. To them, you’re just another friendly face.”
“That’s the thing. I’ve always wanted something like that.” She said with a wistful sigh, moving back to the bed and sprawling out on it. “Everyone saw me as Ryone’s daughter, or the queen’s holy knight. Even the queen herself mostly saw me that way, no matter how hard she tried not to.”
I faintly nodded my head at her words. “Well, you won’t have to worry about that here. I doubt anyone is going to worship you in this group.” I felt myself chuckle as I said that, though she looked at me with a small grin.
“Keliope kept trying to pull me into a duel, wanting to see how the ‘demigoddess’ strength’ held up. I was honestly a bit worried. If… Bihena, right? If she didn’t keep chasing her off, I might not have been able to get back as soon.”
I was a bit surprised that Bihena would do that, but it wasn’t really a bad thing. Leowynn slowly sat up in the bed, testing out its softness with her hands, before looking over at me. “So, when do we begin training? You let me come all the way up here, so I don’t want to be useless after all of that.” She asked, her expression suddenly turning serious.
With a sigh, I pulled out the glowing orb from my desk, and tossed it at her. “This has the training method for Aki Seppo inside of it. It’ll be easier for you to understand if you absorb the information yourself. Just hold the orb and focus on what you want to learn.”
Although startled by the unexpected object tossed at her, Leowynn managed to catch it at the last moment, nearly fumbling and falling back in the bed. She glanced curiously at the sphere, before closing her eyes in focus. “Ouch.” Only a few moments later, she dropped the information sphere on the bed, bringing a hand up to her head. “Didn’t know it would hurt like that.”
“Try to take it a bit slow.” I urged her. “We’re not lacking in time.” I wasn’t expecting her to hurt herself by taking in too much information at once, but even I had gotten a headache when I did this. “Once you’ve learned the methods to train the spirit, we’ll get started.”