The next time the camera focused in on a scene, it was surprisingly in the middle of the day, the first real daytime scene that we had seen for the demons. A tall stone building, easily eclipsing all others nearby, with a dark shadow looming over it. The top of the building, like all others, was unguarded. This allowed the figure hidden in the sky to descend, landing softly on the roof near the doorway.
When the camera panned around, we were able to see the same black mask he wore in the opening scene, with the tiny slits in front of the eyes. “Following some old legends, Myoln learned of a method to ‘deceive the sun’. It is hard to adjust the sleep cycle of a demon, so very few have done so in the past, which is ultimately what led to his success.”
As the narrator spoke, Myoln pulled a small knife from its sheath on his belt, and wedged it next to the door, lifting it up to remove the primitive lock. Inside was a single guard, though he appeared unsteady on his feet. Attached to his left hand was a gauntlet, which extended down several inches before pulling back and extending out to either side, forming a large bow anchored to his arm. The string rested against the back of his leather-clad wrist, but he did not have an arrow knocked.
When Myoln pushed through the door, the light shined in on the guard’s face, making him cry out in surprise, covering his face with his right hand. At the same time, the dagger in Myoln’s hand flew across the room to pierce into the man’s throat, silencing him. “Myoln’s first target was not his father’s kingdom, for he knew to target it immediately would be suicide. Instead, he gathered a force through assassination…”
The scene changed to a demon lying peacefully in a large bed, the room completely dark. Myoln’s figure walked softly into the room, moving next to the bed. With a single stroke, he slit the sleeping demon’s throat. Then, the scene changed again, once more returning to night time. Now, Myoln was standing in front of several other demons, handing each one a mask. “He used his power to pull in others. Those who joined him would fight by his side… and those who did not would fall before his blade.”
The camera zoomed out, showing a map of the area, lines drawing about to mark the borders of the different territories. One by one they began to darken. “Like this, Myoln slowly dominated the nearby kingdoms, pulling each one into his rule. And with every territory, his numbers grew. Soon, the neighboring kingdoms sought to fight him back, gathering their own armies to advance upon him.”
As a red wave formed near one of the lit territories, moving towards an already darkened one, the camera again zoomed in. “But what they found was only scorched earth...”
As the narrator said, the camera soon found a village, fields burning and smoke rising up into the sky. Bodies were nailed to the walls of nearby buildings on full display, much like the old king had done before. “And Myoln’s army was never found, for they did not reside in the cities. They lived in the mountains and the jungles, moving from one place to another.”
Again the scene changed, this time to a set of tents that were spread out over a wide field. Numerous winged shadows slowly descended from above, the masked demons invading the camp. “Any force sent after Myoln’s army only became a new source of supplies when he led his people to slaughter them. Some tried in vain to create soldiers who could fight beneath the sun to fight back, but few understood the secret of Myoln’s masks, leading them ultimately to failure.”
One last time, the scene changed again, this time to the same mountain we had seen in the opening credits. “Finally, Myoln had gathered enough forces. He had trained them all to fight during the day, and was prepared to take flight on his ‘brother’s’ kingdom.” As Ashley’s voice spoke, hundreds of figures flew up from behind the mountain, their great wings seeming to cover the sky.
“And like all before, the kingdom was doomed to fall.” The camera flashed to another demon nailed to the wall, no doubt Myoln’s brother given the context. “The Twilight King forged a new empire and waged war across the land, bringing destruction in his wake. Though his kingdom lasted but a single generation, his legacy was remembered forever. A legacy of blood.”
And with that, the movie slowly faded out, and the credits began rolling. Of course, the only two names that appeared on the credits were Aurivy’s and Ashley’s, over and over. “So, what’d you think?” Aurivy suddenly spoke up, wiggling out of Ashley’s lap to move in front of me.
Seeing her wide grin, I chuckled softly to myself. “It was… interesting. A bit rushed though, don’t you think?” I couldn’t lie to her and say that it was great. Though, hearing my honest answer made her puff her cheeks out at me.
Crossing her arms in front of her chest, she let out a long sigh, closing her eyes. “I tried to get big sis Udona to help with them, but she’s so focused on her incarnations that she hasn’t been able to.” Aurivy brought her hands up to her face, slapping her cheeks while she opened her eyes to look at me, which seemed to startle the three women leaning on the couch.
“Huh, wha?” They babbled slightly as they glanced around, as if forgetting where they were. I had the faintest suspicion that they weren’t really faking it this time. “Is it over?” Terra asked with a yawn, her tail stretching out straight behind her.
“Yeah, yeah.” Aurivy pouted again, moving to climb into Terra’s lap. “Still, it served its purpose at least. A short little distraction to give you a look at the demons. If you wanted a better look, you could get it yourself.”
“This is true.” I nodded my head, reaching over to pat Aurivy on the head, which seemed to make her smile. “And I’ll probably do that later, after I’m done with what I’m doing down on Earth.”
Aurivy nodded a bit more at that. “Good. They’re really neat. Not quite like what your people were before, but still kinda similar. Aside from the whole… you know, demon thing.”
I rolled my eyes when I heard that, smiling towards Aurivy. “Yeah, I’m sure. Anyways, I should probably go get some rest for a bit. Wanna spend some time playing when I’m done?”
Aurivy’s head shot up at that, her eyes wide open as she looked at me, a wide grin on her face. “Wait, really? What do you want to play?”
I glanced over towards Ryone, thinking about that. “Well, most games wouldn’t really work too well, given our situation. Mind seeing if there are some on the market that we can get?” After all, how can you play a game like poker when you can figure out your opponent’s hand with a thought, or a dice game when it always lands on what you want?
Ryone nodded her head at the request, leaning over and planting a soft kiss on my lips. “Sure. You go relax, and I’ll make a shopping list.” Her smile was obviously teasing, but it only made me laugh more as I stood up, shaking my head.
Getting up, I made my way back to the bedroom, and soon lost myself in the soft feeling of my bed. After sleeping on what was basically a bench with a blanket for six months, a real bed felt fantastic. Enough that I wasn’t even feeling like getting frisky with the catgirl that climbed in behind me, instead just pulling Terra into my arms and holding her while I closed my eyes, feeling her arms gently wrap around me as well.
The next day, when I woke up, I had decided to just relax in the bed for a while. That was, until Aurivy ran in to wake me up so that we could play. As it turned out, the system truly did have a system in place for Keepers to play games without the fear of cheating. In fact, there was a cheap package for it, costing only twenty points in total.
Keeper Entertainment Package
Warning, this package has no effect on anything outside of the Administration Room. Items created through this package’s effects cannot be taken out of the Administration Room through any purposes. This package offers a new function to the Administration Room, whereby Keepers and Companions can design various forms of games to be played in the Administration Room. These games can involve anything from randomized devices, live combat, to system appraisal. Settings may be enabled to restrict the abilities of the players, allowing a wider array of game types.
Naturally, I bought the package as soon as Ryone pointed it out to me. With my current balance, twenty points was just a drop in a very big bucket, and this would keep myself and the others entertained. All in all, completely worth it. Besides, if they manage to create an interesting game, maybe they will even be able to teach it to their cultures.
Unsurprisingly, Udona rushed in as soon as I made the purchase. “What was that?” She asked, her eyes more awake than I had seen them ever since the other beastkin goddesses had been given their personalities. “You just bought something, and my Entertainment domain picked it up right away.”
“Wait… that can happen?” I blinked in surprise, still sitting up on my bed. Next to me, Aurivy was happily bouncing.
“He got us some games to play!” She shouted happily, waving her arms like the child she appeared to be. “Real games, that we can design and play among ourselves. No worrying about cheating or anything else!”
Udona’s face showed the widest smile I had ever seen on her at that moment as she understood. After a moment of focusing, she nodded her head repeatedly. “It looks like it comes with several games pre-loaded, as well as templates to design new games. Combat… Bihena and Keliope will love this… There’s even a treasure hunt? Oh, this is great.”
“Huh…” Seeing how excited the two of them were over this, I had a different line of thought. So this is how Grimor’s guild handles the monthly meetings. They just use this system, and pay for the prizes out of their own pocket.
Glancing over at them, I could see Udona and Aurivy already talking about games that they could set up. While they were doing that, I decided to go ahead and check on what types of games came pre-loaded with this new system. There were actually quite a few, though three in particular caught my eye.
Historical Treasure Hunt
This game automatically adjusts to the history and geography of all worlds owned by the Keeper. A series of hints will be given, at which point the players involved must locate on a map the location in order to score points.
An old classic from many worlds, this game allows the contestants to enjoy cuisine in a way that they normally cannot. By temporarily giving them bodies with preset parameters, including real hunger, they are able to set a type of food that they must devour, and the one who finishes the most wins.
This game involves cards taken from every item within the Keeper Market. Whether it is a location, material, skill, individual, or a system. In order to play, the players must design their decks, each representing a world that they would control, and pit themselves against one another. Point limits can be assigned per game, to limit the size and level of a given deck.
Well… that’s interesting. Each of the games listed had value both as pure entertainment, and to help a Keeper train themselves in one way or another. Whether it was testing willpower, familiarizing themselves with their worlds, or improving their general skills. Of course, this led to me being stuck playing games for a few days, but I wasn’t going to complain.