To be honest, my expectations weren’t exactly that high when I went to look at the heroc territory. There was even the chance that they had been pushed to the brink of extinction. While I knew that nothing major had happened to them, or else I would have received an alert, that didn’t exclude the possibility of a slow decline.
However, what I saw pleasantly surprised me. They were still well within the stone age, their cities little more than huts crafted out of shaped stone. Yet, their numbers were beginning to grow.
In terms of levels, they were still lower than most, having very few people reach the cap. But in terms of population, it had practically exploded. Compared to the other races, the heroc had an environment which could be considered ‘safe’ for them. The monsters in their area typically did not grow too powerful, so they were allowed to flourish. Out of curiosity, I opened up the population window, wanting to get a better idea of how they compared to the other races.
Given that the heroc had only been less than a tenth of that number not too long ago, it was a remarkable growth! Though, this window also had other information which I found quite interesting. In particular, the daeva.
In terms of population alone, the daeva race far outstripped even the four beastkin races combined. When you take into account their average level, which was also substantially higher, their strength as a race becomes even greater. However, this is only to be expected, given the characteristics of the daeva and the world they live in.
Within the Underworld, the strong have longer lifespans. Therefor, the average is skewed towards all of those people who train to the pinnacle and don’t die after a while. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are still daeva alive that were there five hundred, or even a thousand years ago.
The rest of the races were roughly what I had imagined, with the exception of the elves. Though their average level was second only to the daeva, their numbers were far too low. The centaurs and halflings can be excused due to having had a ‘recent’ war, but even they are pushing it. I couldn’t help but worry that the elves would be treated badly once the races met one another, due to not having the numbers to fight back.
For a moment, I considered putting them in a time zone and giving them a bit longer to grow, but ultimately decided against that. While it is one thing to do that for the centaurs, to enable them to catch up to the other races, doing it now for the elves would put them far ahead in terms of development. I just had to hope that they were able to overcome their weakness in the time they had left.
This did, however, bring me another interesting idea to think about. Whether it was from Grimor, or the information I had received on the Keepernet, my world was starting to get to the point where I should become a lot more actively involved. They had all recommended new Keepers to start when their world reached fifty million people. I couldn’t exactly count the daeva in that number, given that they were part of a different plane of existence, but even without them I was at roughly half of that.
But, how should I get involved? I wondered to myself, glancing at the various parts of the world. It was still far too early for me to start connecting the races together, so that idea was out. Maybe I could try to raise up another leader like I did with the centaurs, just doing it myself this time instead of a World Host.
Nodding slightly at that idea, I couldn’t help but glance towards the humans. Although they were waging far less wars than they had in the past, there were still many fragmented kingdoms within their lands. Perhaps I should start with helping them to unify a bit?
However, that thought soon left my mind. “No. Anything like that would get pulled apart as soon as I left, I think.”
“What’re you talking about?” A voice spoke up from nearby, and I turned to see Accalia, standing in the doorway. Her canine ears were twitching slightly as she looked at me, tilting her head. “Sorry, I was just heading back to my room after the little party died down, and I heard you say something. Maybe I could help?” She smiled sweetly as she offered, and I couldn’t find it in myself to say no.
She was the Goddess of Wisdom, after all. Maybe she’d have some good advice for me in a situation like this. “Alright, pull up a chair.” I told her, causing another chair to form beside my own. She happily moved over to sit down, as I began explaining the issue.
Once I was done telling her about how everyone suggested I stay involved, and that I couldn’t decide what to do, she put on a thoughtful expression, slightly rocking back and forth in her seat. “Hmmm… Well, I know a bit about the other races from talking to the others. A lot of the stuff we just take care of on our own. We use our incarnations for that, you know? If we want to build up a king or queen, we do it ourselves. I don’t really think that would be something for you to get involved with, unless you get a really good idea.”
Well, when you put it that way...She did have a point, though. The others are all able to live out their own mortal lives whenever they want, even among all of the different races. Playing Merlin for them wouldn’t have any real meaning, since I’m sure most of them have already done that a few times. “Okay… then what do you have in mind?”
“Gimme a second.” She said quietly, still rocking back and forth, her legs swinging beneath her. “If you went to the dwarves, you could probably become a legendary blacksmith, but that doesn’t really fit you. I think the best thing for you to do would be to create a legend.”
I couldn’t help but blink slightly at that. “A legend, you say? Well… those are easier said than done.” Though, I had inadvertently created a couple of legends before, doing so on purpose would be harder. After all, first I would need to figure out what kind of legend I wanted to make, and how to do that without the populace warping it beyond all recognition. Or, in other words, figure out how to do so in a way that their warping creates what I wanted.
“Yeah, true.” Accalia nodded in agreement. “Oooh, I know!” Suddenly, her head shot up in excitement, her tail sticking straight out behind her. “I know something you could do that would really impact the world! Better yet, it wouldn’t take much time from you.”
Seeing me urge her to continue, she put on a face that I could only describe as a wolfish grin, her sharp canine poking past her lip. “Make fairies! Like, actually handcraft them, don’t buy them. Here, let me show you.”
Before I could say anything, she closed her eyes to focus, bringing up a window in front of me. It was one that I had seen multiple times before, and showed a class I had already purchased, the World Spirit. “I’ve been thinking about this one for a while now! I even spent an entire incarnation trying to figure out how to obtain the class.”
I looked over the window, nodding my head slightly before I pulled up some information on my computer. Sure enough, nobody in the world had unlocked the World Spirit class, or the Martial Spirit class… “Okay… I’m guessing that you have an idea, since you brought it up.”
“Hehe…” She smiled wide at me in response to that, nodding her head. “I actually don’t think it’s a class that people can become. So hear me out. Our spiritual energy isn’t something that we ourselves can manipulate, at least not without really injuring our health. My incarnation actually died when I tried to forcefully pull natural energy into my body to merge it with my spirit as a last resort.”
I nodded my head as I listened, already well aware of this fact. “However, we have several classes that specialize in controlling unbound spiritual energy. So it got me thinking… maybe a World Spirit isn’t trained, but born? Maybe someone else has to manipulate spiritual and natural energy, giving it a physical form.”
“I was planning to have my next incarnation try that, but she’s still only an infant, and you asked us not to advance our races too much… So, maybe you could do it! If it works, you could create a brand new race within the world!” With her proposal finished, she leaned forward in her chair, propped up by her hands between her legs, and looked at me with that same smile.
“Hmm… I could certainly try it. Might even be able to create Martial Spirits while I’m at it, if they follow the same principles.” I nodded my head slightly, agreeing to the idea. “By the way, how are the dungeons coming along? I hadn’t heard any of you mention them in a while.”
“Dungeons?” She asked, tilting her head curiously. “Oh, right! Sorry, I only have one that’s actually been found, and it was killed around a hundred years or so ago.” Saying that, she shook her head sadly. “Most people see them as just another type of monster, so it’s only normal for them to want to destroy them. Not all of our dungeons are able to communicate like Aurivy’s.”
“Oh? She’s been teaching it how to talk?” I asked in mild surprise.
“Well… maybe not talk. But it can write on the ground. She’s been teaching it all the different languages as they evolve, so no matter who it meets in the future it will be able to communicate with them!”
“Why don’t you guys try doing that with yours?” I couldn’t help but ask her that, seeing as it was turning into an issue.
“Well, you see… they’re just too dull, honestly.” Her ears drooped down as she said that, shaking her head. “I tried with a couple of mine. The race as a whole just has issues with learning. It took me about four hundred years just to get one to spell out a proper sentence. And even then it wasn’t able to figure out how to understand spoken words.”
“I see… Well, thanks anyways for the advice. It’s given me an idea on what I can do now.” That earned me another happy smile from Accalia.
“Glad to be of help! If you need me for anything else, just let me know. I’m right down the hall.” Seeing that she was done here, she hopped up onto her feet and ran out the room, her tail wagging happily behind her.
Well, I guess it’s my turn to get started. I mused silently, sending a mental summons to Leowynn through my spiritual world. Let your mom know that you’ll probably be gone for a little while this time. I’m not sure how long it’ll be before I’ll be done.
With the message sent, I waited for Leowynn to get back to the room. At the same time, I began looking through the map to find an ideal place to put the World Spirits and Martial Spirits. Somewhere where they’d be able to have an effect on the world, without getting massacred as soon as they appear.