Having settled the immediate issue that was worrying me with the cultivation of the Perfect Soul, I debated on what I should do next. Leowynn had likely not yet awoken, so I could not descend to the world again. Though, just to make sure, I sent a brief message to Irena.
How’s she doing? I asked, unable to completely hide the worry in my thoughts. Thankfully, it did not take long for Irena to respond.
She’ll be fine. Irena sent back only a moment later, a hint of amusement in her tone. She just had a big meal for the first time, so she needs time to digest. I’ve already siphoned away enough that she is not in any danger. Once she has rested, she’ll just wake up a bit sore.
I gave a brief nod at that, happy to hear the good news. Thank you… could you let me know when she wakes up?
There were still a few other things that I could do while I waited for Leowynn to awaken. Smiling, I looked towards Terra. “If anyone goes looking for me for a while, can you let me know? I’m going to start training, see if I can’t figure out how to get this all to work.”
Terra blinked, turning her head to look at me as she was once again reclining sideways on the couch. “Hmm? Sure. Though, it seems like everyone’s busy with their own projects at the moment. Ryone and Tubrock are still making the cannons to guard the gates. Ashley and Udona are monitoring their own worlds. I suppose Bihena might go looking for you… but I’ll keep an eye on her.”
I thanked her with a brief nod, before closing my eyes. I created a separate space for myself within the Admin Room, moving myself there. The space was little more than a large, dimly lit stone room, extending ten meters on all sides, but it was more than enough for the training that I wanted to do.
When creating the world sight, or really any energy that involved natural energy, there was still on hurdle that I had yet to overcome. I… didn’t really know how to measure natural energy. This wasn’t really that surprising, though. For every other energy type I was able to wield, I had a set measurement system in place by the system itself.
However, that was not the case with natural energy. Since it was an energy that came purely from the world around me, I had never had the chance to give it a value. There was the time when I was creating the world spirits, but even then I had no way to be sure. I couldn’t exactly decide arbitrarily that the world spirits were formed from a 1:1 ratio, because that has often not been the case.
Now, however, I had the ability to discover just how much a single unit of natural energy was. And in fact, I now had to do so if I wanted to pursue this type of energy. Otherwise, the results could turn a bit explosive… And I was not wanting to experience my soul detonating inside of my body.
Of course, there was another factor that I had to consider as well. Not only did I need to identify how much natural energy made up one ‘unit’, but I also had to correctly find the method to merge them. And the only way to be sure was to do both at the same time. After all, if I got the balance wrong but the method correct, I would reach the same result as if the method itself was wrong, and vice versa.
This is going to be just a lot of trial and error, isn’t it? I asked myself with a grumble. Rather than diving into the deep end, I first pulled up the Keepernet forums again. Since the big thing stopping me here was the inability to measure units of natural energy, I wanted to find another mixture that could bridge the gap.
Search for combination energies utilizing natural energy and one other basic energy. Once I had set the search parameters in place, a list began to grow in front of me. Naturally, some of the results I was familiar with. There were was ‘World Spirit energy’, elemental ki, elemental mana, but then there were others that I had not seen before.
For the purpose of this search, elemental mana actually fit my needs rather well. So, rather than searching the forums for each and every energy I was unfamiliar with, and likely wasting my own time with things that I had never even heard of, I moved on. Once again, I searched on the forum, though this time specifically for elemental mana. All I wanted to know was the ratio needed to create it.
For every one unit of mana, anywhere between 0.9 and 1.2 units of natural energy… This was the answer that I found just a few posts later. Apparently, elemental mana was a more flexible energy.
However, this did give me a starting point, as I knew how to perform elementalist spells. Now it was just a matter of narrowing it down…
The Third Queen of Terraria sat upon her throne, hands crossed in front of her as she listened to the complaints of a noble. “The forest dwellers are becoming out of hand!” He growled out, his canine ears pressing against his skull. “My queen, they have become more arrogant over the years! I believe that we have let them be independent for too long.”
An amused smile played on the face of the felyn queen, her red tail wrapping gently around her waist. “And you would… conquer them? Is that your intent? To divide our people even further?”
The man’s face paled, and he hurriedly shook his head. “That has never been my intention, your highness. However, are they really our people?” As he spoke, his hands crossed behind his back, and he began pacing back and forth. “Those of the forest have never been a part of Terraria. Nor have they been parts of Accal, Udonia, or Kelios. As far back as any living record indicates, they have never been one of us.”
“Enough.” The queen’s harsh tone made the man stop in his track, looking to her in shock. Her eyes were narrowed dangerously, before she let out a sigh. “If you have done your research as such, then surely there are other things you have uncovered? Such as how the Sisters commanded us not to attack the forest so many years ago, promising that they would aid us in our time of greatest need.”
“But they’ve never lived up to that promise.” The lycan male continued to plead. “Even in our war against the savages past the western sea, when our people were taken and enslaved, they did nothing. They even killed our own people to end the war.”
The queen’s face darkened at that mention. However, once again she forced her face to relax. “There are reasons behind their actions, Hos. The Goddess herself spoke of this to the First Queen a short few years ago. If there is nothing more, then please leave… The hour is growing late, and my patience grows thinner by the hour.”
The nobleman looked as if he wished to speak up yet again, but kept his mouth closed. “As you wish, your majesty. But please… do not forget my words.” After he spoke, he turned and left the throne room.
Once he was gone, the queen waved a hand to motion for the guards to dismiss themselves as well. Soon, only the queen herself was left in the large room, seated atop her throne. Yet, she spoke into the empty air. “Is all of this truly okay?”
And strangely… the air spoke back to her, in a warm, comforting tone. “Of course it is, child.” The queen was not at all surprised by the motherly tone in the voice, and even showed a soft smile as she heard it.
“Is there no word from beyond yet, ancestor?”
At the queen’s question, a golden haired felyn materialized next to her, as if stepping forth from an invisible cloud. “Don’t worry, child. We’ll find your mother’s spirit. She did not die in a dungeon, so most likely she is already waiting in the beyond, and has simply not found where to register herself.”
The queen gave a brief nod, sinking into thought. The circumstances of her mother’s death had indeed been strange, but nothing too out of the ordinary. She had simply fallen ill. The only thing that worried the queen was when she asked the ancestor if she could pass a message along to her, to wish her well in the beyond. What she learned instead was that her mother’s spirit couldn’t be located.
“Is there anything that I can do to help, ancestor?” She asked tiredly, having been worried over this matter for some time now.
“I’ve told you before, you can only wait. If someone has done harm to your mother’s spirit, then they will face the proper punishment. And if not, then we will soon hear good news.” The guardian spirit promised once again, having already lost track of how many times she had said those words.
The queen was about to speak up, but her face suddenly froze. A voice echoed in her mind, one that she had never known. “Uhm, hello? I believe that you are the Third Queen Hipalya, correct?” The voice was curt and professional, sounding quite similar to the tone that a common messenger would use when addressing the queen.
“Who is this?” The queen asked out loud in response, startling the manifested spirit that stood next to her throne. As if on reflex, the spirit faded away from view, returning into the invisible state that she had been in before she had been called.
“Apologies. I am Tsubaki, the Voice of the Keeper chosen by the Forest. I am speaking to you from the Sky Citadel right now, using one of His devices.”
“The Voice… so you are the representative that they chose…” The queen sighed, slumping back into her chair. She was not familiar with the internal hierarchy of the ninja villages, only that they had stepped forth after the Keeper’s announcement. Their second real demand in history, and it had been delivered with a passion that made the First Queen know not to refuse. Let us choose the first Voice.
They did not explain why they had demanded this, only saying that it has been their right for thousands of years, and that they were finally exercising it. “Why are you speaking to me, Tsubaki? Shouldn’t you first report to your elder?”
“I will be sending him a message later. However, you are mistaken. I am now the property of the Keeper. The village chief is no longer my elder.” Her words carried a firm strength behind them that seemed to shake the queen’s mind. “Now, I have already spoken to the first and second queens of Terraria. After our conversation is finished, I will begin to contact the royals of Udonia.”
“It is the Keeper’s wish for all of our people to be treated equally. In order to abide by this wish, I will share knowledge equally with all of the Sisters’ children.”
The queen suddenly felt as if her throat were dry, and she found herself looking up at the ceiling, as if she could see the sky overhead. “Share… what knowledge?”
“The Sky Citadel contains a library of extensive information, much of which is unknown to any of our people. Secrets of mana, ki, nature, secrets of the spirit and the forge. The Keeper has given me permission to share this knowledge, so to follow his wishes I will ensure that it is shared equally.”
“You said that there are secrets about spirits?” The queen asked suddenly, jumping upright from her seat.
“I did… Is something troubling you, Third Queen?” Normally, to be addressing the queen as such would be seen as incredibly rude, but the queen did not care for that. Not only was the position of the Voice something that gave Tsubaki that right, but she had information the queen desperately wanted.
“Please… The late queen’s spirit has been missing.” The queen pleaded with the voice in her mind. “It has been over a year now, and she cannot be found in the beyond. I fear that someone is doing ill with my mother’s soul.”
“...Understood. Then, I will look for any tracking methods that can locate lost souls. I make no promises that I will be able to find what you seek, because the knowledge within the library is indeed too vast. But if I can find it, then the guardian spirit of Dukan should be able to use the knowledge to locate her.”
The queen felt her eyes begin to water, her vision blurring with unshed tears. “Thank you, Tsubaki.” She could tell that the voice was still as cold and professional as when she first contact the queen, but the fact that she had agreed to find that knowledge meant more than she could put into words.
“If that is all, then I will be going. I still have nine more queens to contact before I speak with the village chief.” Tsubaki’s words faded away, and the queen was too busy in her own thoughts to notice that the conversation had ended...