I briefly debated whether or not I should check out Fyor’s progress, but given that the two goddesses were fast forwarding things to get it to an acceptable point, I felt like I’d just be getting in their way. As such, I sent them a message to amend my previous instructions. Once the world had reached a level cap of one hundred, that would be enough for me to go in and take a look at them.
As for Earth… as much as I wanted to just take another look around the area like a regular inhabitant, I had to focus too much on training my own skills at the moment. In the coming invasion, I would have to play a key role in the fight if I expect us to win. It was just a matter of choosing which skills I wanted to focus on.
One skill that I knew I’d need to enhance as much as I could was World Sight. It’d let me find the invaders before it was too late. After that, I’ll need a combat skill. My ability as a monk is probably passable already, but it wouldn’t hurt to further train it. If Fyor is ready to join the rest of the worlds by that time, I’ll have both ki and mana that I can rely on.
There was only one way to train my world sight, however. As such, I decided to once again return to the world after two hundred years. This time, I chose to descend as a halfling in the citadel. Although I would have to get to know most of the representatives all over again, it was still the best place for me to stay for the moment.
As soon as I descended, I felt my throne shrinking to better fit my new body. Already, I could feel a presence rushing towards the throne room, and knew that it was Tsubaki. So, I stood up, and began to make my way down the steps. By the time I had reached the bottom, Tsubaki had stopped outside the door, pushing it open and offering a bow to me.
“Welcome home, my Keeper.” She said respectfully. Compared to the last few times I saw her, her level had actually not increased by much… only going up by six over the course of two hundred years.
“How are things progressing here?” I asked, glancing around as if to indicate the entire Citadel, and perhaps the world.
“Currently, all races have made at least initial contact with each other.” Tsubaki reported promptly. “The humans have recently been discovered by the elves, and the beastkin have reconnected with the elven territories. All races possess the ability to travel from one continent to the others through the use of the Elven Gates.”
Elven Gates, huh? I thought to myself in an amused tone. “And the diplomatic relations with the other worlds?”
Tsubaki’s ears, it currently looked like she was going for a felyn look, twitched slightly. “Negotiations are being made now between the Alliance and Salor. Your wish has been made known, for all three worlds to reach harmony. However, political interference has arisen from those afraid to lose their power. The king of Salor wishes to impose a tariff on all goods being transported through the gate, claiming that it is their right for having protected the gate all these years.”
I felt my eyes narrowing as I heard that. “They are essentially claiming ownership of the gates?” I asked, staring up at Tsubaki. I had wanted to make a rule about such a thing not being allowed when I first installed the gates, but I had hoped that it wouldn’t be necessary.
“That is how it appears, yes my Keeper.” Tsubaki answered, closing her eyes and lowering her head. “I had received no orders to interfere, or I would have done so. Even the representatives of Deckan and Desbar are displeased by this turn of events. They believe as I do, that the gates were gifts from yourself and the gods, and that mortals can claim no ownership over them.”
“I’ll deal with this situation myself.” I said, shaking my head slightly. “Tell me about the new representatives. So much time has passed, you are likely the only face I still know here…”
“That is not so, sir.” Tsubaki said, opening her eyes to look at me. “Although Bracken has advanced in age, he still serves as the Voice of the Elves. However… I do not believe that will be the case for long.”
“Oh? And why is that.”
“He seeks to achieve the Perfect Self, after seeing that it has allowed me to preserve my life through the centuries. I have tried to talk sense into him, but he believes the power is within his grasp. From my understanding, however, he has yet to properly merge his spirit with his mana, so he is doomed to fail.”
Listening to her reasoning made me groan as I thought about that. “Have you told him the problem?”
“I have, my Keeper. He believes that the fusion has succeeded, though, so his thoughts have not been swayed by my words. By the information I last received, he intends to perform the transformation in three days.”
“Adding that to my list of things to try to take care of, then.” I let out a sigh as I said that. “And the others? I doubt that Anna or Trixy are still around after all this time.”
A brief pained look flashed across Tsubaki’s face, but vanished just as quickly. “That’s correct, my Keeper. Trixy died not long after your last visit. As for Anna, she lived a long life, but perished roughly a century ago. However, I do have some news that you will be pleased to hear, if you would allow me a space to demonstrate.”
Nodding, I took a few steps back, signalling for her to go ahead. Tsubaki waved her hand, and a circular window appeared in midair, almost like a gateway. Through it, a temple could be seen. And in front of the temple, a statue remarkably similar in appearance to Anna was placed.
“Because of her good deeds, the humans established the Choir. It is both a school and an orphanage, which takes in young children and raises them to follow the example that Anna left behind. Ever since her passing, the new Voice of the Humans has always been selected from the Choir. Although there are some corrupt elements that try to interfere at times… as a whole it has benefited greatly.”
I had to admit that I was surprised to hear about this new organization. I hadn’t noticed it when glancing through the human lands, though perhaps it is simply because of it being a smaller group than the Church of Irena. “So, there have been no more problems with representatives like Melora?”
Tsubaki tilted her head slightly, a confused look on her face before a flash of understanding. “Ah, the first human representative. Well… I cannot say that there haven’t been any selfish representatives. Currently, however, I believe that there are none living within the Citadel.”
“As of now, the only representatives living within the Citadel are myself, Bracken, the dwarf Bastion, and the demon Solis. All other representatives wished to remain among their own people for the time.”
That also surprised me quite a lot. “They weren’t interested in the library?”
Tsubaki’s head shook back and forth slowly. “That is not entirely the case. Rather, many of the races are still catching up with the information left by the last generation. To spread out more information at the present time would only overwhelm those receiving it.”
“I see… That’s unfortunate, but can’t be helped I suppose. And what of the heroc?” I asked rather pointedly, looking up to stare Tsubaki in the eyes. “I saw your little display a few decades back in the war between them and the humans.”
“Ah… well… about that.” Tsubaki actually seemed somewhat nervous now, unlike her usual self. “The heroc have insisted that they shall not select another representative from their own people.”
“Huh?” Okay, not where I was expecting that to go. “Why not?”
“They wish for me to be their representative.” She answered simply, lowering her head in shame. “I have attempted to refuse, claiming that it would be improper for me to represent another people, but they refuse to appoint a new representative so long as I am alive. And to take my own life over such a matter would be counter-productive.”
“Yes, yes it would.” I couldn’t help but agree immediately. “In fact, you’re not allowed to do so under any circumstances without a direct order. I would not want to descend and find that you were no longer with us.”
A small smile spread out over Tsubaki’s face when I gave her that order. “Thank you for your words, my Keeper. I shall remember them. There is still one more thing for me to include in my report, however.”
Receiving the signal from me to continue, Tsubaki waved her hand. The window, which had previously shown the Choir, shifted to show a remote mountaintop. “As you predicted, monsters with far greater strength than normal began to appear shortly after your last visit ended. For the first century, I ensured that none of these creatures could reach adulthood, hunting them down while they were still young.”
The image moved in, focusing on a single cave. “However, my protection ended after that. For the last one hundred years, creatures with a level of one thousand or more have begun to appear and were allowed to mature. Currently, there are ten such existences that have made their presences known.”
“We call them the Ten Disasters. Each one has a body that normal people cannot hope to harm. Even I myself struggle when fighting one. If not for the Death Knight’s Blade, I would likely be unable to slay even one of them. Thankfully, these creatures do not band together, or their power would become unrivaled.”
“There are only ten?” I asked for clarification. “They haven’t been able to begin breeding yet?”
“I believe that I killed most of their potential breeding partners in the first hundred years, my Keeper. But no… not yet. However, more exist in secret. I’ve been using my power to survey the world, and found that there are indeed some existences out there of the same species. It is only a matter of time before they meet and begin to expand their numbers.”
“Speaking of which… how are you able to do that?” I asked, pointing towards the window. “The barrier should block those kinds of abilities, unless you use the Communication Room.”
Tsubaki gave a small nod at that. “Apologies, but… I have had a lot of time to myself. Although I have not yet come up with a way to create a gate that bypasses the barrier, I have studied it in enough detail that I can create viewing portals. I believe that always having to ask Goddess Aurivy for assistance when traveling is disrespectful to her position, and have been striving to create a method that would allow me to do so myself.”
Well… I mean, she’s not wrong. She’s had plenty of time to figure it out. And at her level of power, if anyone can do it it’s her. I nodded my head back at her when I heard that. “Okay, then. Is there anything else that you need to report? I think we should visit the king of Salor this evening.”
“There is one last thing.” Tsubaki said with a small nod. “Though, your objective this time should help. The people have been asking to be able to see you once again. Since your last public appearance was your initial debut, and everything since has been handled by us, they have begun to doubt you.”
I chuckled slightly as I heard that. “Well… two birds with one stone, then.” Tsubaki blinked in confusion at the expression, but I simply walked out towards the exit of the throne room.