I let out a long sigh as I leaned back in the chair, trying to figure out what more I could do for the world right now. As things stood, there was not a lot of room for me to interfere. The population of the races had roughly doubled since before the recent timeskip, but seeing as it was a five hundred year jump that is actually pretty slow.
If I had to guess, they likely ran into several wars or natural disasters that they normally would have avoided due to the constant advice that the others had been giving them. But at the same time, they showed remarkable growth as well. Their little dark age had produced some of the greatest scholars this world has ever seen.
Still, the issue remained that they were just not well developed enough. They didn’t have enough history, or time to fully explore the world. Hell, aside from the halflings and centaurs, none of the races had even met one another yet!
Out of curiosity, I pulled up maps of the explored regions of each race. To my surprise, the beastkin had actually already begun to sail a considerable distance from their own continent, while the other races mostly kept to their own land. It made sense when I thought about it, however. The beastkin had the advantage in numbers, with essentially four times the population.
As for the other races, most of them had just finally finished exploring the continent that they inhabit, though the elves and dwarves had still only explore roughly half of their own lands. This meant that the rest of the races were also likely to begin expanding out into the sea, soon enough.
Terra. I thought inwardly, focusing on sending a message to her. When I felt a small ping in my consciousness, I knew that she was ready to talk. How are the dungeons coming? Any updates on them yet?
Hmm? Well, some have started to explore them, yes. Those that have been discovered are either kept as closely guarded secrets, or are exterminated with extreme prejudice, depending on the group that encounters them.
When I received that reply, I couldn’t help but feel my eye twitch. Exterminated? Because they contain monsters inside of them?
Well, there is that. However, druids entering a dungeon lose access to their powers, because the natural energies won’t permeate the dungeon’s mana. Because of that, the elves and humans see dungeons as abominations, signs of a rising evil god.
My hand slapped against my face as I thought about that, once again reminding myself why the current civilizations were too primitive. What about the other races? You said that they are kept as secrets, but why?
Oh, that’s easy! We decided to toss in some treasures for the more intelligent dungeons. With their Treasure Generation trait, they are able to copy the properties of any item that has rested in their domain long enough, and impart those traits onto other items. They can even use the materials within their domain to craft items to imbue those properties with.
Huh… that was interesting. I vaguely recalled the list of traits that I had seen in the racial window when I first bought the Dungeon Core race. You aren’t throwing in anything too powerful for them, are you?
Of course not, Dale. The strongest item that we’ve thrown in was an unenchanted Spellcopper Sword. That was for a group of dwarves that showed surprising ability when they cleared a dungeon, and that sword alone caused them to treat the dungeon as a natural treasure.
I nodded my head slightly at that, and recalled another one of the dungeon’s features. What about Inhabitant Control? I remember that they had a trait like that. It won’t let the dungeons mind control the explorers will it?
“No, no. That trait doesn’t work on any race purchased through the system.” I heard, not in my mind but in my ears, turning around to find Terra standing behind me with a grin. “Though, if someone dies in a dungeon, the dungeon claims their soul, rather than letting it move on to the Underworld. So the races all learned to take a priest with them, in case of undead attacks.”
“That’s good.” I said with a relieved sigh. While it was a bit unfortunate for the souls to not pass on, it was significantly better than everyone in the dungeon being at risk of the mind control. “I take it you didn’t just come here to make it easier to talk, did you?”
“Well… yes and no.” She said, moving over towards the bed and sitting down on it, smiling slightly to me. “Accalia told me that you were in a bit of a slump, trying to figure out how you could help the world. Good job with the Spirits, by the way. Those will help out a lot later.”
“Okay… and I take it you had something in mind?” I figured that the World and Martial Spirits would be able to play a significant role later on, once I read their information. So that came as no surprise to me.
“Two things, actually.” Terra said, lifting up a finger. “First, the girls and I had an idea for what you could do with the Wraiths.”
When she said that name, I blinked in confusion for a moment, before my eyes opened wide. “I had nearly forgotten about them.” Because there hadn’t been another incident where a chimera soul broke out of the underworld yet, the Wraiths had completely slipped to the back of my mind.
“Yeah, we figured. Anyways, some of us had an idea for you to finally give them a job.” Terra’s smile was all the hint I needed to know what she was talking about.
“The World and Martial Spirits.” I said quietly, to which she nodded happily. “Since they are still spirits, they would fall under the directives of the Wraiths. And it would give meaning to their existence as a group.”
“Right! Anyways, the World Spirits aren’t a problem. No rogues have appeared yet, and they are all incredibly pure. But, there’s always the chance that one will go bad, so it’s best to be prepared. As for the Martial Spirits, that’s a whole other matter. Once the lower ranked ones grow some more, they might be able to become a legitimate threat to civilization.”
I could certainly see where she was coming from with that. “Alright. I’ll get to work on that in a bit. It’d be good to remind them what they are fighting for, after all.” A small smile tugged at my lips as I said that. From the class levels, I knew that they hadn’t been slacking off in their training, but it was likely that they didn’t even remember why they were training in those secret abilities. Well, and that was with the assumption that the ones doing the training were Wraiths, and not another group that discovered the power.
“Good. Now, for the second one… This one will be more of a long term project. Well, long term by your normal standards.” Terra said playfully. “But, we thought that you’d prefer to be informed, and potentially take part in it. There is a beastkin voyage sailing off their western coast, scheduled for a bit more than three weeks from now. With the level of preparedness they are taking, this voyage is the one most likely to reach an inhabited continent.”
Well, that got my attention, making me sit up straight in my chair, smiling slightly. “We’ll finally get another race meeting. Do you know which continent they’ll be hitting?”
That earned a small laugh out of Terra, who shook her head with a smile. “Just because I’m the Goddess of Fate doesn’t mean I can actually predict the future. Going by the currents, they are likely to drift south for a while, so they could hit the lands of either the humans, elves, or dwarves. However, the human continent has a large amount of islands, both big and small, just off their eastern coast. Taking that into consideration, they are somewhat less likely to encounter the human continent due to the shallows being difficult to navigate.”
I nodded my head in understanding. “So most likely the dwarves, then.” I closed my eyes, trying to picture how the interaction between beastkin and dwarves would go. The beastkin were not a xenophobic race by nature due to their centuries of cooperation. The dwarves, however, had never seen another race like their own. At the same time, they weren’t as prone to war as the humans, but they were no stranger to it.
“Right. Between the elves and dwarves, the dwarves are considerably closer. Similarly, the elven continent is split down the center, with a large portion of the eastern part of the continent separated from the rest. Because of that, even if they reach the elven continent, they won’t actually be able to meet the elves. Besides… we can control where they end up.”
I glanced at her in surprise at that, seeing a sly smile on her face. “You mean to control the winds and waves, and guide the voyage where we want it to go.” When I saw her nodding her head, I sank into thought. “I know Bihena could probably take care of that, but she’s got a lot on her plate already. Which means a powerful druid.”
“One might even say, the most powerful druid.” There was an almost teasing tone in her voice as she said that. “This would be a long voyage, Dale. None of us will blame you if you don’t want to take it. After all, if you are going to be doing this with your druid Keeper levels, you can’t leave it to a World Host. At the shortest estimation, it’ll take a full year for them to reach an inhabited continent, as long as they don’t succumb to monsters or other disasters.”
Hearing that, cold water was suddenly poured on the excitement I was feeling. A full year was longer than I had actually even been a Keeper so far. It was hard to imagine leaving the Admin Room for that long all at once. On the other hand, this finally gave me the chance to take part in history in the making.
Bihena, are you free for a moment? I need to talk to you.
After my message went out, there was a brief pause, before she responded with a slight tone of irritation. Well, I am now. Really, couldn’t you contact me when I’m not in the middle of a spar? Anyways, what’s going on?
I briefly explained what Terra had told me about the beastkin voyage, and what we wanted to do. Would you be able to take over guiding the ships now and then, so that I’d be able to come back for a break at times? As excited as I was to take part in this, I knew that I’d miss the comforts of home. Even if the breaks were short, I would really need to take them.
Huh? Well, alright. That wouldn’t be much trouble, I guess. The Ocean is one of my domains, after all. I just can’t handle them the entire way, because I also still need to keep an eye on my own people.
I smiled as I got her consent. Thanks, Bihena. I’ll owe you one with this. I felt a light huff over the connection, though she didn’t seem entirely displeased, and then the connection cut. “Alright, I’ll do it.” I told Terra with a nod. This would be a great chance to look at how the beastkin had been progressing, as well as play a part in one of the key moments of history.
Terra smiled brightly when she heard my answer. “Great! I’ll go let the others know! Rivy already promised to help out a bit, which is why we are able to shorten the journey to only a year. She just asked that you make a small detour in the journey, somewhere to rest your sea legs and stock up on supplies. And before you ask, no the detour won’t make the journey take longer than it normally would have.”
I groaned slightly as I prepared myself, nodding slightly. “Okay… what is the detour?”
Terra’s grin grew larger and larger as she spoke. “She wants you to make a stop at her dungeon. It’s never had any visitors, and is probably the most intelligent of all of them.”