Once the two of them had left, I was left alone in the room. With the world paused for the time being, and everyone already off doing their own things, that left me with little to do but to train on my own. And, since Leowynn was off playing with Aurivy, that meant that what I could train was not Aki Seppo, but rather my threads.
So, I moved towards the center of the room and once again began practicing my Thousand Arms, Ten Thousand Threads. However, my goal in doing so this time was slightly different than before. I didn’t want to simply become a master of this art, but rather use it as a foundation to create something of my own later.
From my battle with MissTerry, I saw the power of a self-created technique. The companion hosting the tournament even said it was his signature skill. And after a glance through the market, it was not listed. He didn’t develop the skill with any help from the system, but rather with either his own time and training, or someone on his world that did so.
Well, nobody on my world is at the level of power where they could create anything that impressive. And it is likely going to be a very long time before they are. Once I am able to look through the various information spheres, I might be able to get a bit of insight that will allow me to create my own technique with the different energies, but that was uncertain. For now, all that I could do was practice this, and then aim to expand further upon it later.
So, train I did. Pausing only to occasionally walk around and stretch my limbs. Until finally… “Guess who’s back!” Ryone shouted excitedly from the doorway, breaking me out of my concentration.
Turning my head to look at her, a soft smile tugged at my lips. “Has it been a day already?” I asked, having lost track of time during the monotony of training.
“Yup!” Ryone nodded her head, reaching over to hand a bag to me. It was obviously smaller than the seven spheres I gave her, but I couldn’t feel any magic on it. Which meant Admin Room trickery. “While I was at it, I made extra copies for the various gods that need them. Now I gotta go hand over a set to Tubrock, so we can get to work on the gates. By the way, he wanted me to deliver a message to you.”
When I raised a curious eyebrow, taking the bag from her, she flipped her palm over. A small image of Tubrock, almost like a hologram, appeared in her palm. “And tell ‘em that I’ll be needin’ some time after the gates are finished! Just a few hundred years on Earth, ta get the final touches ready.”
I was briefly surprised by the appearance of the hologram, but quickly realized the intention of the message. He was wanting time to finish perfecting the Sky Citadel now that he had the information that he was lacking before. Maybe even upgrading the various godly items as well.
“Thanks.” I nodded towards Ryone, who turned and walked out of the room while happily humming to herself. No doubt she found something interesting when going through the spheres, so that put her in a good mood.
Moving over towards the bed, I opened up the bag I had been given and allowed the seven orbs to spill out overtop it. My hand reached for the one that I could sense contained the second tier secrets of ki, and I began there. Closing my eyes, I focused on slowly absorbing the information. Ryone had forced herself to rush through in order to copy everything for the rest of us, but I had no need to do that.
I took it slow, gradually learning the different facets of ki contained within the orb. It held the secrets to various techniques, whether they were created through a ki path, or the raw usage of ki itself. I was even introduced to a higher form of crafting, above the blood essence or essence orbs.
And then, afterwards when I grasped the third tier, it was as if a bolt of lightning had struck my mind. The amount of information was so vastly different between each tier that it was difficult to even compare. The first tier could be considered the stone age, the second learning how to smelt, and then the third jumped straight towards computers.
A bad analogy, I know, but I did mention that it was difficult to compare them. With the complete guide to the third tier of ki, I discovered so many things that I had never known were possible. And some of these discoveries I decided to implement immediately, while I was still inspired to do so.
With the second tier information in my right hand, and the third in my left, I focused my mind inwardly to my own ki. This was when I created my own ki path, based on the information I had learned. A path superior to the basic one that I had purchased from the system because it was fundamentally on a higher level.
Perhaps the largest improvement between this path and the one I had purchased could be described as its ability to hold both elemental ki and normal ki, without the either interfering with the other. This was achieved by essentially creating a second source of ki within the body, with the flow able to be controlled from either one at will. This alone might not be too impressive, but I knew my physical abilities would undergo a large shift once I actually put this to proper use.
I continued studying the information globes on ki for quite a while, until I had completely lost track of time. However, eventually I had to give it up, as I had learned everything I could from study. Once I had had the chance to test out what I had learned, I would come back and revisit these spheres.
Next, I went for the natural energy orbs, as those were the other ones that I had personally learned before. And these were no less amazing than what I learned from ki. However… I must admit that I was able to understand far less from the natural energy. Not because it was poorly explained, but…
The second tier of natural energy was fairly simple to comprehend. It was a change from controlling elements to controlling plants. Sounds like a pretty druid thing to do, yeah? And that was my first impression as well. I was even sure I’d be able to pull it off myself once I gave it a shot.
It was the third tier that made me give up. The third tier went back from controlling plants to the elements. Only this time, it wasn’t the elements of fire, water, and the like. Instead, it was the actual elements. Separating water into its base components in order to create a sustainable flame underwater.
I had never been a chemistry student, so this was the point where the path of the druid just became a complete dead end for me. I could imagine that the higher tiers might go into things like transmuting one element into another by manipulating the base particles, but that was not something that I could see myself being able to practically understand.
Once I gave up on the third tier, I simply made sure that I had fully understood the second before moving on to spiritual energy. I had chosen this one to be next due to my combat abilities with Leowynn. Better understanding spiritual energy would naturally be beneficial when working together with her.
And for this… I really felt like my head was going to split open. Spiritual energy was the most abstract energy I had ever encountered. Yes, there were some simple ways to use it like to condense it in the form of a weapon. However, I finally understood for myself what Irena had once meant when she said that the image conjured in your mind when casting a ‘spiritual spell’ often had very little to do with the spell itself.
The only things I was able to take away from the orbs on spiritual energy were how to manipulate my own spiritual energy as a living being, and how to condense better weapons. Everything beyond that… It seemed even less likely for me to understand than to become a master chemist and mastering natural energy.
Once I was done with these three, I had to take a break for a little while. I felt that if I tried to absorb any more information, that my mind might really overload. I wasn’t even sure if that was entirely possible, but I didn’t want to find out either.
So I rested, laying back on the bed and simply closing my eyes for a while. Only when I felt like my mind had calmed down did I finally reach for the final orb, the one containing the third tier of geometric magic.
My only consolation was that this one read mostly like a translation guide, with only a few extra tricks. It was still not easy to understand, but I felt like I’d be able to do it in time. I learned about the third tier of enchanting, the meaning behind the various three dimensional shapes and distortions.
It was regrettable that I did not get any clues on how to better use chakra from the ki and mana orbs, but at least I was able to firmly tell where my focus would lie in the future. Out of the four energy types, ki was definitely the one that I was most talented with. Next came mana, though it would take some serious study for me to fully grasp its power.
For the remaining two energies, natural and spiritual, I could only dabble in. I was still perfectly capable of fighting with Leowynn, as that portion of spiritual energy was something that I could manage. But the more mystical side to it was beyond me. And there was just no hope in my advancing beyond the second tier of natural energy.
Taking a deep breath, I gathered my thoughts and calmed myself, before sending out a message. Keliope, Accalia, are either of you free? I’m done studying, and would like to test some things out.
It might be a bit unfair of me not to give each of them time to look through the higher tiers of energies, but in my mind it balanced out. After all, they have thousands of times more actual combat experience than myself, and more than enough tricks to make up for what I learned.
I’m free, Dale. Accalia’s voice came back barely a moment after I sent the message out. Would you like to meet in the living room? Her tone seemed much more formal than her usual peppy self, which made me concerned that I might be asking for punishment.
Sure. Of course, that’s really exactly what I’m doing. I know that my power isn’t enough right now, and I’m not trying to beat her. I’m fully expecting to lose this fight, so that I can find the flaws in my own abilities to correct them.
When I arrived in the living room, I found Accalia waiting on the couch for me. She was dressed in her normal tan t-shirt with faded jean shorts, and offered a weak smile upon seeing me. “Alright, let’s get this over with.” She said with a small sigh.
“Uhm… is everything alright?” I couldn’t help but ask, seeing how unlike normal she was.
“Huh? Yeah, yeah, it’s fine.” She answered quickly, her eyes widening slightly as she shook her head. However, that only made me more sure that there was something wrong, as she acted like a kid caught in a lie.
“Accalia… what’s up?” I asked, crossing my arms and looking at her. Her tail sagged against the couch, laying flat as her ears pressed against her skull.
“I don’t want to fight you, okay?” She answered with a huff, puffing her cheeks out and looking away. “And no, it’s not some love or anything like that. I’m not like big sis or Ryone. I hunt monsters, not people. Fighting a person… fighting a friend just feels wrong. Even if I know that the death isn’t real, the idea of using my skills to kill you just sits wrong with me.”
My eyes blinked repeatedly as I heard that outburst, having not expected that kind of thing from her. “Well… do you have any other suggestions for how you could help me practice my skills?” As a ranged combat specialist, I needed Accalia to be at her best if she was going to teach me. If she was feeling this way about fighting me, her skills would dull and the training would lose most of its meaning.
“Uhm… sort of?” Accalia answered in a somewhat guilty tone. “But you’d have to spend a few more points. Not a lot… just like fifty.”
I simply glanced at her curiously, my eyebrows raised for her to continue. “After you brought up your training idea, I went looking through the entertainment package for another way I could help you. But none of them worked! And that’s because they are all on the basis of player versus player. None of them are built on the idea of someone simply testing themselves. Well, aside from just making a deck of cards to play by yourself, but that doesn’t really count.”
“But, when I searched the market, I found this.” As she spoke, Accalia lifted her hand, waving it to the side to create a window in front of me. “This system could be exactly what we need.”
Single Player Package
Do you have the need to be entertained, but no friends to play with? Are you looking to just spend time by yourself, training or having fun without being bothered? Well, buy the Single Player Package! With this, you will be presented with a host of single player games, ranging from action to adventure, even card games! All opponents are simulated intelligences created by the system. Spectators may watch but not interfere. Keeper Entertainment Package not required.
“If we have this, then I can create monsters at your level of power to fight you. I can watch your fights, and record them, and then show you where you went wrong. I can even fight the same monsters myself while you watch.” Accalia looked almost hopeful as she suggested this, her ears lifted marginally from her black hair while her tail lightly tapped rhythmically against the couch.
I gave the system some thought. If she was right about what it could do, and after seeing the entertainment package I had no reason to believe she wasn’t, then this would be a valuable training tool for me. Well worth the expense of fifty points, when we now had a few extra points to spare. However, I still had to abide by my promise to Ryone before making the purchase, and sent her the details of the system, letting her judge whether it would properly fit in the budget, or if she thought we were too strapped for points.
Thankfully, she quickly gave the all clear, so I nodded towards the expectant lycan girl. “Alright, I’ll get it. Who knows, Keliope might ask you to give her the same treatment, and make monsters for her to pummel.” Without waiting, I immediately purchased the system.
Accalia brought a hand to her mouth and laughed lightly at that. “Maybe. And thanks, Dale. This will make things easier for both of us, I think.”