After sending the message to Tsubaki to prepare the world while I was away, I began fast forwarding. A simple matter of ten or twenty years wouldn’t be enough this time. No, I needed to have the world fully adapted to third tier magic before Savage invaded, if Balu’s information was correct. Even if it wasn’t, adjusting to these abilities would only help the world grow more capable of defending itself.
The first jump forward was by fifty years. When it ended, I saw that the country established around the Fairy Gate had made contact with the elves and the dwarves. Perhaps due to the guidance given before, there were none of the usual initial conflicts that typically appeared. It would be a lie to say that they immediately got along, but at the very least they weren’t trying to kill each other. The next jump covered a hundred years.
The Unified Kingdom of Salor, the Guardians of the Gate. Initially established as a frontal outpost to defend the worlds of Deckan and Desbar from the monsters residing within the Third World. Now, the residents of the Third World have begun to make their way into the kingdom as well.
It began with a single elf, washed ashore with the tide. Sick and frail, every doctor and alchemist said that they were not long for this world. Using the biology of demons and kitsune as a base, they assumed she would not live through the week. The week passed, as did the next, but the condition of the elf did not improve.
After a month, her fate still seemed uncertain. The health bar above her head had all but vanished, dropping so low that it could barely be seen as a sliver. It was evident that she was clinging to life with all she had, but nobody knew how or why.
It was in the second month that she finally passed. However, before she did, she sent out a message. Using the last of her will, she sent word home with her dying thought. To let her people know that she had passed, and that she had found a new land, and new people.
There was not another sighting for years, and neither were the residents of the kingdom willing to set out into the waters. They had seen the monsters of the sea capable of tearing apart ships with their fangs and claws, the beasts of the sky who carried a storm in their wings. No, they knew that they were not strong enough to venture beyond their shores yet.
However, six years later, they were visited again. Not by a wreckage this time, but a full ship, sailing along the turbulent waves. The sea grew calm around it, the rain refusing to sully its sails. The watchmen of the kingdom could hardly explain it, but even the monsters refused to touch this ship.
When the craft landed, people began to depart one by one. The tall, thin elves, the short and stout dwarves. To the surprise of many, there were even kitsune, as well as others that had the traits of beasts. They had heard of these beings through their representative, so the citizens of the kingdom knew what they were.
That was the day when everything changed within the kingdom. The newcomers built a gate on Salor land, one which led all the way back to their homeland. No longer were they trapped on their own territory, but for the first time they were able to explore the world.
Soon after, the mighty heroc made contact with the humans. Their meeting was far less kind, as both races held a violent instinct. Each saw the other as inferior for different reasons. One because they relied on the power of a deity, and the other because they were unworthy of a deity to rely on.
Unsurprisingly, war erupted. But this war was not halted by the gods. The Keeper had spoken, letting all know that he would not stop their conflicts, so long as they did not escalate too far. Instead, the war was broken by a single woman. Known as the Savage Queen by the humans, and the Ancestor Fox by the heroc.
When she descended, she challenged both parties. “Come at me.” She said, standing their clad in nothing but a frilly outfit of black and white, her arms and thighs exposed, as well as a large portion of her chest. Her golden hair fell down her back, her tail swaying gently behind her.
“If you want to fight, then fight me.” Her words lit the spark of conflict once again, and both sides charged. However, they charged not at each other, but at the woman. She calmly extended her hand, closing her eyes as a golden light began to shine out of her.
By the time the first wave arrived, she lightly waved her arm, and bodies were sent flying. Within her hands, previously empty, was a large weapon, a black scythe, held together by bones. Its blade was a crescent moon, strapped down at the center. When the woman’s eyes open again, they were filled with a black light.
“I am the High Priestess of the Goddess of Justice and Death.” As she spoke, pitch black wings began to unfold behind her, as if sucking in the light from the air. “If you wish to fight, then I shall be your opponent. But there will be no war here, not while I stand. This world is in danger, and can not afford such losses.”
Naturally, there were those on both sides that objected, shouting obscenities at her in their own tongue. However, they had yet to realize something. No matter which side they were on, they understood what this woman was saying, and heard an unfamiliar language underneath, as if she were speaking with two voices at once.
She stood there, between the two forces. Her body was a line that could not be crossed. Soon, the strongest warrior of the heroc stepped forward, cracking his knuckles. “You want to stop us? Show us your strength.” He told her. “Defeat me, and my people will follow you.”
“Do not throw your life away.” She responded, glancing calmly towards him. The black scythe glistened as it shifted, pointing to face the approaching heroc.
“I am the Hero Chakka! My life is mine alone!” The heroc roared, his third eye opening wide. Golden light filled it, a mix of energies that even made the woman curious. However, it wasn’t enough. Her wing moved into position to defend herself from the blast shot from the third eye. Although her feathers had been singed, and her health bar had appeared above her head, it had not dropped very far.
On the other hand, Chakka’s health had been reduced by invoking the attack. Two trails of blood leaked out from beneath the third eye as it was forced to close. Just as he was about to attack, a black line swept through the air. Chakka’s eyes opened wide, his health plummeting as he realized belatedly that he had been attacked.
His torso fell away from his legs, crashing to the ground with a thunderous roar. Across from him, blood fell down from the scythe in the priestess’s hands. Her eyes gazed coldly at the heroc, who were dumbfounded by how their leader had fallen.
However, the heroc were those who respected strength. As Chakka had said, when she beat him, she became their leader. As one, the heroc closed their central eyes, placing their hands over their chests in a sign of loyalty.
“Go home, there will be no war here.” She ordered, and although they hesitated, they did obey. They turned around and walked back to the shore where there ships had landed. Next, she turned to face the humans. “If you attempt to retaliate, I will return. I will present Irena’s justice to all who attempt to throw this world into chaos.”
Saying that, she folded her wings in on herself, and seemed to vanish from in front of the human army.
Irena… did you ask Tsubaki to do that? I asked, setting the world to move at normal speed when I saw Tsubaki had left the Sky Citadel. At first, I thought she was hunting a high level monster, much as she had originally planned to do. She had done that a few times over the years, but those monsters were all close enough to the Citadel that I had been easily able to see where she was going.
I simply asked her to make sure that the world was at peace. Irena responded innocently. With the threat of a hostile Keeper looming, we can’t afford to have race wars at this time. Not ones that could easily escalate if given enough time. As for how she got there… you know that there is currently only one force that can freely move through the barrier.
I let out a sigh at that answer. Of course, it meant that Aurivy was in on it as well. Though, to be fair, they weren’t wrong. And I did ask Tsubaki to make sure that all three worlds had peaceful relations by the time I returned, which could easily be taken to mean that she was to ensure the peace of Earth as well.
The next time I fast forwarded, it was for another fifty years. And this time, I saw a change that rather surprised me. Whether it was the humans or the heroc, a new religion appeared. The Church of Irena began to establish itself in both lands after Tsubaki’s appearance on the battlefield. Although it did not rival the power of the Church of Bihena, it took on its own characteristics.
After fifty years, every court judge was required to be a Priest or Priestess of Irena. This was not because of deitic favoritism, but because of the power that came with that position. Priests of Irena had the power to see the truth as one who worshipped the Goddess of Justice. Whether it was a defendant or a witness, they were able to identify when someone spoke falsely.
As for the heroc, the change was notably more drastic. They had never held a proper church dedicated to a single god or goddess. Their culture was based on pantheons of ancestor spirits. However, Tsubaki had won their respect in battle, and as the Priestess of Irena, that also meant that Irena had earned their respect as well. The godless race had adopted a patron.
Of course, there were still the merkin… but they had changed very little in the hundreds of years that had passed. They were still very firmly rooted in the stone age, and showed no signs of advancing beyond it any time soon. I couldn’t be certain whether it was just that it was difficult to advance for an underwater race, or their attention span was just too short to properly learn what they needed.
Either way, it was unlikely that they were going to be of much help in this first invasion. Unless the enemy was an aquatic monster, which was highly unlikely. Amphibious maybe, but there were still ways to deal with that.
Another change that occured… the heroc had found the elven continent, making contact with the other races. Although they had initially wanted to use force to ‘impress’ their new neighbors, they quickly became docile when they began to spot kitsune living among them. They had not forgotten the Ancestor Fox, and believed that all of her kind might be equally as powerful.
As with the other lands, the heroc helped to establish a gate leading back to their own continent. By now, the elves were connected with nearly every continent on Earth, creating links between almost all of the races. A good start for diplomatic relations.
Now it was just a matter of seeing if they could keep things steady on their own, and still develop the magic they needed to defend against Savage’s monsters.