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Sure enough, by the time that the world had been established, and Terra had finished allocating their batch of points into a private fund for Aurivy and Bihena, it was almost time for the Meeting to end. In order to prepare, I went ahead and chose to descend, that way I wasn’t just pushed into my body again. As I had expected, there were no options to choose from when I descended this time, and it put me exactly where I had been, in exactly the same form.

Since I still had a few moments before the time was up, my body frozen in space, I decided to ask Terra a question. If I were to descend in Fyor in the future, would I still have the power that I have personally built up? For instance, my own levels, and the World Sight.

If it is after the world has been integrated with with the other three, you will. She explained patiently. This is your ‘Earth’ setting, which was merged with Deckan and Desbar when they joined, due to you not having descended in either of those worlds previously.

If you choose to descend to Fyor before it joins, you will create a ‘Fyor’ setting. Once Fyor merges with the rest of the worlds, the two settings will merge, and you will gain all of the strongest aspects of each. For example, if you chose to train your Mage levels in Fyor, you would receive those Mage levels in the Earth setting once the worlds are connected.

I gave a mental nod at that, since my body was still stuck in place. What if the worlds never join? I assume that I’ll have to train each power again individually? There was always the chance that Bihena and Aurivy would wish for their world to remain separated, though such a thing was unlikely.

That is the case, Dale. However, you should also be aware that there are differences between the behaviors of energies in these worlds. Even if they had chosen the same type of magic as Earth, the fact that they have mana spires would be a contradiction to the laws of magic in Earth.

Again, I was forced to agree. Before I descended, the two goddesses had asked me to set one final detail. Instead of the geometric magic system that existed in the rest of my worlds, they wanted to put in runic magic. The total cost came to nearly three hundred, since they had to buy the first tier of runes from the system as well, but they seemed happy with that.

You mean to say that I would probably not be able to use the same methods for creating energies like world sight, right?

I could almost feel Terra nodding at me. Right. Even a simple energy like chakra might require a different procedure in order to be created, let alone a blend of all four basics.

I found myself giving an actual nod, just as the time began to resume in the world once again. Tsubaki could be seen moving as she cleaned the room, as if nothing had happened. Given how terrifying her ability really was, it just went to show that nothing could match against the system itself.

The annual Keeper’s Meeting has ended!

 

The time has come for your first invasion! Your target, Jugularnaut, has been notified and is standing by in their world. Please select all troops which you wish to send, and describe the method in which you wish for them to be sent. Note that you will only receive a reward from your invasion if you successfully capture the opposing Keeper’s world.

Currently selected troops: 0

Shaking my head, I triggered my world sight, sending it deep into the ocean. Once my senses locked onto a single, small fish, I chose to select it as my troop to send. As for the method, a simple disappearance worked.

You have chosen to send the following troops to Jugularnaut's world.

Microshark - 1

May your forces have luck in their journey!

I saw the fish, apparently called a microshark, disappear from my view. Just a moment later, another series of messages appeared.

Your forces sent to invade Jugularnaut's world have accepted their place in the new world, and harbor no will to fight. You have lost this invasion.

 

Congratulations on surviving for one month! For your next round, your world, Earth, shall play as the defending force. The Keeper chosen to attack you is Savage.

Time remaining until invasion: 99:9:99:98

As soon as I saw that message, I stood up, my brows narrowed in thought. “I’ll be leaving for a while.” I spoke towards Tsubaki, who abruptly turned to face me. “Make sure to watch over this place while I am gone.”

“As you command, my Keeper.” She spoke while giving a low bow. I soon ascended back into the Admin Room, noticing a concerned expression on Terra’s face, no doubt having understood my thoughts.

Before saying anything, I sat down at the computer, giving it a bit of thought. Let’s check in with my own guild, before I ask the Gilded Branch for information. Navigating the windows, I found that there was a new chat option available, labeled ‘Guild Chat’.

EarthForceOne: Hello, everyone.

EverLasting: See, I told you I got him in!

Aerial: Yeah, we all saw the roster, Sarah. Welcome in… Dale, right? We met last year.

EarthForceOne: Right. Sorry about this, but I have to talk business right away.

EverLasting: What’s the matter?

EarthForceOne: I just got my new match-up with the system. Next month, I’m being targeted by a Keeper named Savage.

Aerial: Oh… oh, that’s not so good.

Well, if that doesn’t raise a red flag, I don’t know what will. I thought inwardly, before sending out another message, asking for more information.

EverLasting: We don’t know that much about Savage ourselves, or at least not this version of him. But the last several Keepers with that name were all Monster Keepers. From what I’ve heard, the new one follows that trend. The Gilded Branch might have information on what type of monsters you can expect from them, if there is a Keeper who’s survived a battle against him.

“Oh, lovely. My first defense is someone out for blood.” I couldn’t help but groan, sending my thanks over the guild chat. Recalling that Balu had a free pass for this month, I decided to ask her for information. Thankfully, the request to chat was immediately accepted.

EarthForceOne: Balu, you free for a minute?

Starkiller: Dale! Hey, I wasn’t able to find Bibi at the meeting, did she not come with you?

EarthForceOne: She did, but she was probably busy trying to earn points.

Starkiller: Aww… well, that’s alright. What do you need?

EarthForceOne: How much will information on a Rank 1 Keeper cost? I’ve heard that he was a Monster Keeper from my guild members, but I need confirmation.

Starkiller: You joined a guild?! Awesome! Wait, monster keeper? Oh, man, he’s targeting you? Give me his name and I can see what I can get you.

Naturally, I didn’t hesitate to give her the name of the Keeper I was paired up with. Though, I did have to sit and wait after that. I had to keep reminding myself that it would take time to get the information from her guild, since it seemed like she didn’t have it herself. It was nearly an hour later when she got back to me.

Starkiller: Sorry for the wait! We found a survivor that was willing to sell us the information on Savage. I can confirm for free that he is a monster keeper, Dale. But… I was told that I can’t say anything more than that for less than two thousand points. Keep in mind, he might have changed monster types after fighting this Keeper!

EarthForceOne: I’ll pay it.

I needed to know what I was up against as quickly as I could. If it was before this meeting, I might not have had the chance, but I still had plenty of points leftover from what the others brought in that I could make this purchase. The sooner I knew what to expect, the sooner I could establish countermeasures.

Right away, I sent the invitation to call Balu over. A few seconds later, I was beginning to wonder where she was when I heard a muffled voice coming from my right. There, at a spot in the wall, a small, white furred hand was sticking out. It was waving desperately, while the wall itself seemed to ripple like water.

I ran over, grabbing her hand and pulling her through. She let out a loud gasp once she was no longer submerged inside the wall. “Okay, that’s a new one for me!” She cried out. “And I don’t like it!”

“Sorry…” I said, extending my hand to her to help her up. She took it, though seemed a bit confused for a moment while Terra walked over.

“He hasn’t had the time to practice yet.” She explained, reaching down to take Balu’s other hand.

System Companion Terra wishes to transfer 2000 points to Keeper Starkiller. Do you permit this transaction?

Mentally, I accepted the message while Balu’s eyes opened a bit wider. “Ah! That’s fine. Sorry, I get confused a lot. Anyways, Savage? With this, I can tell you everything we learned.”

Seeing the bed, Balu rushed over to sit down on it, crossing her legs in front of herself and resting her hands in her lap. “From what the Keeper who survived his invasion told us, Savage tends towards ground-based predators. There were very few flying creatures, no aquatic ones, but also several that were able to burrow.”

“They did not carry any unique traits, aside from being adept at hiding themselves in their surroundings. They were strong, fast beasts who lived to kill. They…” Balu struggled to focus for a moment, reaching into her shirt and pulling out a small notebook. “Sorry, always gotta bring notes with me…”

“Anyways, they preferred to attack with their powerful claws, using their strong hides to deflect most attacks. According to the report, the most scary thing about them is their numbers. They’re pack hunters, and they reproduce rapidly. The Keeper in question suspects that they have an ability that allows them to clone themselves after they consume enough organic material. However, he was never able to verify this first hand, because they always reproduce in secluded areas.”

I gave a small nod as I listened to the report, immediately happy that I paid this price. If they were really able to clone like that, then just one small pack would be able to overrun a world. “What about their intelligence, or anything like that?”

“Hmm..” Balu flipped to a different page in her notebook. “They seemed clever, he said. Able to learn how to overcome tactics after witnessing them a few times. And, he suspects that they have some way to communicate, either mentally or verbally, as this information would quickly become shared with the rest of the race. However, it wasn’t at the speed to consider it a hive mind.”

“From what he encountered, their weakness seemed to be an inability to properly comprehend magic. And since they couldn’t understand it, they couldn’t build a counter against it.”

Seeing that Balu appeared done with the report, I couldn’t help but raise a question. “That accounts for the land predators, but didn’t you say there were burrowing ones, and a few flying monsters as well?”

Balu blinked her large eyes, flipping through her notes. “There’s not much other mention of them here. The Keeper probably didn’t see much of a threat from them, meaning that they should just be a weaker race that got pulled along when Savage sent in his forces.”

I gave a nod at that, accepting her explanation. This was good to know, both for this invasion and to get an understanding about the level of information that the Gilded Branch delivers. “Thanks, Balu. This should help me get ready.”

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