My last few days among the people in the citadel passed by rather slowly. Most of my time was spent nurturing my world sight, or experimenting with its capabilities. Doing so, I learned that I could not only project my sight outwards to other areas, I could accurately sense the smaller details of various energies. However, I also learned the limits of this power, as well.
For one reason or another, world sight was incapable of extending beyond the planet’s atmosphere. Out of curiosity, I attempted to look at the barren planet from the solar system that had once had the potential to support life, only to find that I couldn’t. I could extend it out to nearly half the world, but even when attempt to send the energy straight up into space, I felt as if there were an impassable wall.
At the same time, though, I felt like I should be able to eventually pursue the path of divinity with the help of world sight, given the fine detail it enabled me to view the world with. I just had the feeling that I shouldn’t start right away. After all, with how small the seed of world sight had been, it was likely that my energies were just insufficient right now to create anything higher tier.
My thoughts continued on like this until I felt something change in the world around me. Well, to be more precise, I saw the change. Tsubaki, who had been diligently cleaning one corner of the throne room, simply froze in place. It took me a moment to realize that I myself had frozen as well, before a message appeared in front of me.
Greetings, Keeper EarthForceOne!
The time for the annual meeting of Keepers has arrived! For the next 8:0:00:00, all worlds will remain paused. You may choose to enter the Meeting Area at any given moment, and bring with you any number of creatures, either from your Administration Room or your world.
All forms of hostility will be prevented within the Meeting Area, unless they take place within a designated competition zone. Any lives lost in these zones will be returned moments after they are taken.
While in the Meeting Area, you may choose to participate in any number of challenges, with the rewards being a substantial sum of points. These challenges will be separated by the rank of the Keeper, in order to ensure fairness. Note that any being that enters the Meeting Area with you will also exit the area with you as well. It is not possible to exchange individuals from one Keeper to another in this manner.
Please, enjoy the festivities!
I blinked at the message that appeared in front of my face. Or… I wanted to, but my expression was still frozen. I focused for a brief moment, before I found myself ascending back to the Admin Room. As soon as I arrived in my room, I found myself being latched onto by a very energetic halfing.
“It’s finally time!” Aurivy said, as if she had seen the message as well. “You’ll take us, right?! All of us?! We’ve been looking forward to it for a long time!” Aurivy’s eyes were practically shining as she said that, looking up to me.
“Uh… Rivy?” I stared down at her. “If I’m going anywhere, I’ll need my legs.”
“Heheh….” Aurivy grinned, jumping down from me. “But still, this is the meeting! The big gathering! We all saw the notice! You can take anyone.” Her grin suddenly turned mischievous as she rose up onto her tiptoes, speaking in a stage whisper. “You could even bring Tsubaki with you~.”
I rolled my eyes, shaking my head at her little antics. “I’m not bringing Tsubaki with me. At least, not this time. If she’s still around when I am comfortable with announcing to the world that there are nine thousand, nine hundred, and ninety-eight other Keepers like myself, each with their own worlds… maybe then I would take her. But that’s a long ways down the road.”
“Fine, fine, spoil my fun why don’t you?” Aurivy asked, laughing. “Anyways, everyone’s ready for you. The only one staying behind this time is Udona. She said she was looking forward to some real quiet time. Everyone else is hoping that you’ll take them with you.”
Well, that surprised me. “Even Tryval and Tubrock? I didn’t imagine either of them would be interested in joining.”
“Tryval was rather annoyed when Terra told him that the world would be frozen during the meeting. He didn’t really say why he wanted to come with us, but I think it’s just because of boredom. Either come with us, or just stay here with Udona.” Aurivy answered with a shrug. “As for Tubrock… pretty sure that it’s only because he wants to see if he can learn anything new.”
I gave a slow nod at that, glancing down to my outfit. It was the same thing I usually wore, since it was a familiar shirt and jeans. Maybe eventually, I’d set up a more iconic appearance, but this was what I was most comfortable with. “And you said everyone’s ready already?”
When I asked that, Aurivy nodded, grabbing my hand and tugging me out of the room. “Yeah! Balu left last week to get ready herself for the meeting. So, Terra began to explain it to everyone since then.”
And naturally, nobody explained the details to me. But, then again, I’ve been to the other meetings, so I’m more familiar with the procedure. Assuming that they are similar enough.
Once we got out to the living room, I saw that everyone was indeed ready. Aside from Tryval, who was wearing his usual nothing, everyone seemed to be dressing up for the event in the same clothes that they had worn when Terra went around to take the family pictures.
“Oy, ‘bout time ya got here.” Tubrock said with a grin, adjusting his goggles to rest on his head. “We ready to get?”
“You sure you’re all coming?” I asked, glancing around to everyone.
“Don’t forget about me!” A voice spoke up, seemingly from within my chest. A puff of grey fog burst from my body, quickly reforming into Leowynn. She was wearing her dark dress that resembled the starry sky, eyes sparkling as she looked around at everyone. “I can come out for this one too, right?”
Hearing that, I couldn’t help but shake my head with a chuckle. “Yes, I did say that I’d let you out for this one, didn’t I? Alright… I guess there’s no reason not to let everyone have their fun.”
Leowynn laughed happily, jumping forward and wrapping her arms around me. “Thank you, father!”
I gave a laugh of my own, smiling down towards her before I looked to Terra. “Alright, what do I do?”
Terra nodded briefly, before pointing to the wall. “Just think about wanting to go to the meeting.”
I tilted my head curiously at her words, before I looked to the wall. As she instructed, I focused on my desire to go to the meeting. As I did so, I began to notice a change in the wall. Glittering golden patterns rose up from the floor, tracing the outline of a large door. Then, without another word, the wall simply seemed to open up.
“Why can’t it be this nice whenever we are going to another Keeper’s place?” I asked with a slight grumble, stepping up to the doorway. Naturally, the others followed closely behind me.
As we stepped through, I saw a new sky above me, and felt myself stepping onto a solid, stone floor. The Meeting Area wasn’t so much an Administration Room, it seemed. It would be more accurate to call it its own world. I could feel the wind brushing against my face, and see similar golden doors appearing over the wide, stony field.
You have chosen to bring others with you to the Meeting Area. As a safety precaution, you may wish to enforce certain restrictions on the speech or behavior of the entities you brought with you. For example, preventing them from revealing secrets about your world.
Do you wish to enforce such restrictions at this time? If yes, please define the restrictions to enforce.
I had to admit that I was surprised when the system gave a helpful bit of advice there. Nodding my head, I focused on the message. No revealing secrets about my worlds. That’s all. I didn’t want to put serious restrictions on anyone, but at the same time I knew how easy it was to slip up in a conversation. The last thing I wanted was for someone to accidentally say something that they shouldn’t, which could then be later used against me.
Once I looked back around again, I once more became shocked. What was once a stony field, almost closer to a paved parking lot, was rapidly changing. Thick slabs of stone rose out of the ground, stopping only when they took on the appearance of tall buildings.
Clouds gathered overhead, lighting striking near the sides of the buildings. These lightning bolts froze in place as they hit the ground, quickly warping into glowing signs. There were some that cheered at the display, others that laughed, and many who just regarded it as something normal.
The closest building to us had a lightning bolt sign that had shifted to say ‘Entertainment’. Once she saw that, Aurivy practically squealed, turning around to look at everyone. “Okay, guys! I found my calling! You all know the drill!”
She gave a mysterious smile as she said that, before turning and running off towards the entertainment building, laughing merrily along the way. I had to wonder what the ‘drill’ was, when I heard Ryone talking to Leowynn. “Come on, dear. We haven’t had a lot of time to play in a while. I’d like to see what kinds of games we can find.”
“Huh? Well, okay Mother.” Leowynn smiled, walking off with Ryone. Tryval had already quietly wandered off somewhere without a word, when I suddenly heard Tubrock shout.
“Hah! There it is!” His eyes widened as he looked at another building. This one did not have a sign made of lightning. Rather, it seemed to be made by the fire left by that lightning. Crafts Show.
Tubrock showed me that even a small man can run when he finds something he wants to run for. And like that, one by one everyone had wandered off. Until eventually, it was just myself, Terra, and Irena. Terra was grinning almost like a cheshire cat, stretching out and putting a hand on my shoulder. “I’m going to go see if I can find any other system companions to chat up. You two can hang out for a bit.”
After saying that, she wandered away, her red tail slowly flicking back and forth behind her. Looking at her in surprise, I then turned to glance at Irena. “Are… you planning to go somewhere, too?” I couldn’t help but ask, seeing as everyone else had already left to go their own way.
Irena was looking very pointedly at the ground, seemingly inspecting every little bit of dust. I could see the tips of her ears reddened at my question, and she shook her head. “No, I was hoping you’d let me wander around with you for a little while. If that would be fine?”
….They set me up. It took me a little bit to get it, but I did come to realize the truth. They had set me up on a date. A date with the Goddess of Death. And what is a man to do when confronted with the offer to have a date with Death at the equivalent of a heavenly faire?
“Sounds good to me.” I said with a slight shrug, extending a hand out towards her. Her eyes widened slightly at the offered hand, struggling to control her expression. Still, nonetheless, she stretched out her own hand to take it.