As the last of the sixteen creatures Aurivy summoned, this one a giant black snake, fell to the ground dead, I couldn’t help but fall back as well. My breath came in hard pants, and I could see the health gauge above my head. It had not dropped down very low, still well over half. Yet, the fact that these creatures were able to do this much damage to me at all just showed how strong they were.
Each of the sixteen were pinnacle creatures, no doubt referred to as disasters by normal people. Each and every one of them had a level of exactly five hundred. Had we done our training a few years later, those levels would have likely gone even higher now that the limit has been lifted.
“Alright! That should be enough to level you up a few times, right?” Aurivy asked with that same innocent smile. And indeed, she was right. I had level up six times in the Summoner class by fighting those creatures with my two weapon aeons. My level in that class had gone up to eight now.
“Not… enough to get that ability.” I groaned out, my limbs feeling sore from how much ki I had repeatedly pushed into them. Although each level did restore all of my energy, I felt as if the damage didn’t quite repair itself as fast as it was being caused.
“Oh?” Aurivy asked in surprise, before clicking her tongue in annoyance. “Well, I guess it can’t be helped. We’ve got all this spiritual energy now, so what do you say to making a super aeon!?”
Aurivy stretched her arms out to motion towards the sixteen dead bodies, and I let out a sigh as I pulled myself to my feet. “I don’t want a personal weapon aeon.” I told her bluntly, feeling like she might have been building up towards that. “I’ve got Leowynn. Why would I need an aeon?”
Aurivy slumped her shoulder as she heard that. “Well… but… uhm… Okay, fine. Then, how about this?!” The halfling goddess closed her eyes in thought. “You can make a bunch of aeons! Not for you… but for the Sky Citadel! They can act as the first line of internal defense!”
I couldn’t help but raise an eyebrow at that idea. Having aeons defending the Sky Citadel wasn’t a bad thought, but… “Anything that could infiltrate the citadel would be far stronger than whatever I could mass produce with this much energy, right?”
“Yeah, yeah, but! If you use all of this energy on a single aeon, you can form the template for the others! Then, it will just be a matter of getting you high enough level to draw power from the Underworld, and you will be able to produce them by the dozen!”
I wanted to argue against her claim, reminding her that a single Kraken had taken Udona weeks to acquire the energy to create. But at the same time, I wasn’t sure myself that the claim would hold weight. I didn’t know what factors determined how quickly the energy could be drawn. If it was related to physical or magical ability, as in the raw stats, I should be able to do it hundreds of times faster than Udona’s incarnation.
“Okay… let’s do it then.” I nodded my head in acceptance, looking to the pile of corpses. Refining the spiritual energy for the sixteen monsters went about as smoothly as I could expect, their spirits having lost what little power they once had to resist. And when I tried to create the aeon, I found a rather upsetting message.
Warning: Accumulated Spiritual Energy exceed’s host ability to control. Limiting the Spiritual Energy available for Aeon Creation to 330,770.
Not even a third of the spiritual energy was cut away from the rest, pulled closer to myself when I activated the ability. And that number… was exactly the same as my maximum mana as a Keeper.
“Ohh… Whoops! Hadn’t considered that. Still, this should be the equivalent of a single monster of about level three thousand, right? You should be able to make a really good aeon with it, even with how inefficient the system is!” Aurivy chuckled, backing up with her hands behind her head.
I shook my head at that, not quite sure how to respond. Since this was more or less a guardian aeon for the citadel, I couldn’t have it be a weapon. I needed an actual creature. And, given the theme of the citadel itself, I ended up settling on a suit of armor. “Aurivy, can you bring me some swords from Tubrock’s forge?” I asked as I looked through the options.
She simply hummed in response, and soon the sound of three swords stabbing into stone could be heard next to me. “I’m sure he’ll be a bit annoyed when he sees them missing, until he finds out what they’re for!”
Filtering out her voice, I focused entirely on the options that I could give this armor. I didn’t want to need to control each one individually, so I gave them a will of their own with the Independence option. Attached to that was another option, ‘Absolute Authority’, with the description saying that they would never disobey their creator. Just those two options, as well as the body of living armor, cost one third of the available spiritual energy.
For the rest of the energy, I focused on their speed, strength, and defense. Thankfully, these were simple numbers that could be increased in the stats of the aeon. When I was done, it had a hundred and fifty points each in Strength, Stamina, and Dexterity. However, all of its other stats were simply one, whether it was their intelligence or their luck.
This should make them around the equivalent of level three hundred each, right? I mused internally as I finished the aeon, grabbing the sword to bind it. For the symbol, I placed the icon of a shield at the base of the sword’s blade.
Unlike the other aeons I had created, I could tell that this one felt more… alive. Curious, I stabbed the sword into the ground, taking a step back. “Awaken.” I commanded it. Sure enough, the symbol I had branded onto the sword began to glow, before it exploded outward in a burst of light. Aurivy let out a yelp while covering her eyes, and I simply stared ahead to watch.
Standing next to the sword, grabbing it with one hand and drawing it from the stone, was the suit of armor I had created. However, it simply stood there, unmoving after it retrieved the sword. “Can you understand me? Nod your head if you can.”
The helmet of the armor moved, even though I could see through the gaps in the armor that nothing existed inside of it. “Good. I will be taking you somewhere soon. Your job will be to defend that place against those who would do it harm.” After saying that, I remembered the creature’s low intelligence. “You’ll fight things I don’t point out are friends.”
Again, another nod came from the armor, the aeon otherwise motionless. “Okay… return to the sword.” I told the aeon, who immediately vanished to return into the sword, which fell down to the ground without the support of anything holding it up.
Glancing towards the messages that appeared, it seemed that I had actually jumped two levels just from creating that aeon, which brought a small smile to my face. However, Aurivy let out a long sigh. “Really? I didn’t even know that was an option… aeons that can summon themselves? Maybe it’s something you only get with a massive amount of energy…”
As she seemed to muse that over, I went ahead and repeated the process twice more, creating the other two aeon soldiers. By the time that I was done, there was only a small fraction of the spiritual energy left. Barely enough to create another weapon like the dragon staff, which meant it wasn’t enough to be particularly useful to me.
However, as I was debating what to do with this remnant energy, a small green hole appeared in the air next to my head, and a fairy flew out from it. No, not a fairy, one of the world spirits. It looked gleefully at the energy that had been gathered, before turning to look at me with a pleading expression. Even while it was looking at me, I saw its eyes shifting back towards the energy repeatedly.
Sighing, I gave a brief nod. A small squeak emerged from the world spirit as it dived into the mass of energy. And as it did so, I felt the natural energy of the surroundings stir, gathering towards the fairy.
“Aww, he’s so cute.” Aurivy chimed in as she walked over towards me, watching the process of the world spirit harnessing the energy to create more of itself. One by one the spirits appeared and vanished, only stopping after twenty new world spirits had been created from the leftover spiritual energy.
As if to thank me, the little fairy flew over and hugged my arm, before it too vanished like the rest. “Okay… I guess that handles the spiritual cleanup. As for the bodies…” An idea struck me, and I walked over to one. These creatures had all been killed on Deckan, so the Card Law should be in effect for them.
As soon as I placed my hand on the body of the dragon, and willed myself to store it, I felt a brief weight against my body. Once the weight had passed, the body of the dragon disappeared, replaced by a single card that rested in my hand. The card itself depicted the black dragon… give or take the head that had been ripped off. Apparently, I would have to store that separately.
Either way, I went to each of the other bodies and repeated the process again, curious as to whether I would get a high ranking magic card. To my disappointment… I did not receive a single card from any of them, aside from the standard storage card that held their bodies.
“Don’t feel too bad, Dale.” Aurivy grinned as she saw me looking at the pile of cards. “The magic comes from the soul, remember? When you pulled out their souls, you made it so that they couldn’t produce any magic cards anymore. Though this does make things easier to clean up.” She nodded her head happily at the now empty patch of land. The only signs of battle being the scorched earth and splatters of blood.
“Anyways! Did you get the levels you need yet?!” She asked eagerly, seeming to want to get the training back on track. When I nodded my head, she cheered, throwing her hands up into the air. “Yes! Finally!” Knowing where this was going, I activated my new Summoner ability, ‘Afterlife Siphon’.
You may siphon spiritual energy equal to 10% your maximum mana per hour. Please input the total spiritual energy you wish to siphon.
“Aurivy… Are we going to have to be here for ten hours for every aeon like that we want to make?” I asked, glancing towards the halfling goddess.
“Uhm… well, maybe for the first couple?” She asked in an innocent tone. “Just until you learn how to control the flow of energy without using the system help. Once you do that, you should be able to pull all of the spiritual energy you need safely, without having to wait forever!”
I let out a sigh as I shook my head. For now, I just wanted to test this out. So, to start things off, I chose to pull just ten thousand spiritual energy from the Underworld. As soon as I confirmed that amount, I felt my mana twisting within me.
I could almost see my mana converging on a single point in front of me, and watched as it formed a circular hole in the air. A single symbol, like a dozen intertwined spirals, took shape within the circle, before the center of the symbol grew wider. When the symbol ‘opened’, it was like a tiny window into a grey abyss, no larger than my fist.
I heard a quiet gulp from Aurivy, even though nothing could be seen physically coming through the hole. When I pushed my mana into my eyes, I could see a thin fog falling through, slowly landing on the ground and pooling there. “Okay, Aurivy, tell me what’s wrong.”
“Oh… well, it’s not… supposed to be that big.” Aurivy admitted, seemingly a bit nervous when she looked at the hole. “I mean, the last time I trained a summoner, by the time I had hit the level limit I couldn’t even fit my pinky through the hole. And this was when I took control of it myself without relying on the system.”
“Well… it’s still too small for anything to actually come through, right?” I couldn’t help but ask, feeling like this might cause a future problem if Summoners really did gain the ability to punch larger holes into the Underworld.
“Most things, yeah… hopefully, there won’t be any small ones near wherever you opened your siphon.” Aurivy’s eyes were fixed on the hole in the air, and I couldn’t help but stare at it as well. Mana was held constantly in my eyes to make sure that I was able to see any spirit that might try to break through the gap. However, although I did see a faint shift within the mist beyond the hole, nothing seemed to come through by the time the hole closed. I could even hear Aurivy letting out a long sigh of relief.
“Maybe we should revisit the Summoner class later, and move on to one of the others, alright?” She asked weakly, putting on a smile as she said that.