After I had spoken with Soreya, I stayed in the Citadel long enough to feed my world sight a bit more, before returning to the Admin Room. There were a few more things that I had to take care of here, and then I would be able to spend a prolonged amount of time down in the world. Maybe I should go visit one of the countries this time as a normal person… It’s been a little while since I did that.
The first thing that I wanted to take care of was to contact Alkahest. After seeing how he and his guild leader had been acting at the start of the meeting, I was a bit worried and wanted to hear how they were doing now.
Just to be safe, I checked the Keeper forums, and looked around before I found the ‘match listings’ section that I had been told about before. Like I heard, you were able to see the various pairings for current matches. I scrolled through the list, and confirmed that Alkahest wasn’t currently being invaded. Only after that did I send him a message request.
Alkahest: Yo, Dale. Got a question for me?
EarthForceOne: Actually, just wanted to make sure everything was okay. I saw you at the meeting, and it looked like something had happened.
Alkahest: Ah, right… you saw me and Seraphine. Nothing to worry about, it’s taken care of.
EarthForceOne: Wait… really? Her companions seemed so desperate, I was afraid that she was about to be eliminated or something.
Alkahest: It was a close call… And if something goes wrong, that might still be the case. But, it should just be a couple days now. I was able to force an attack, so the two of us will have to reset after this, though.
EarthForceOne: Ah… sorry to hear that.
Alkahest: It’s not a big problem. Most Keepers at my rank have had to start over a few times for one reason or another.
From there, the two of us had just a bit of small talk, before I let him get back to whatever he was doing. At least things were starting to make sense now. Alkahest had gotten the attack ticket during the meeting, and must have used it to launch a full scale attack on the Keeper who was fighting his guild leader.
Now that I thought about it, this was the same insurance policy that those smaller guilds promised, to try to eliminate a hostile Keeper that was trying to kill you. I suppose at the higher ranks, this took on a much larger scale. I could just imagine Alkahest mobilizing entire universes for a massive conflict, even letting them know that they were just going there to die.
Honestly, I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to do something like that. To send everyone from all my worlds out in a single attack. Then again… that’s also probably why I wouldn’t do well in Balu’s position. Just looking at my three main worlds and imagining resetting them hurt me on a deep level. Having interacted with so many people, and seen so many things, and then just making it all go away… I wasn’t sure I’d be able to do that.
Shaking my head, I decided to move onto the second item of my agenda. Bihena, you free for a moment?
What’s up, Dale? She responded just a moment later.
Did you figure out how to fix the gravity issue of Fyor? I recalled Terra mentioning that being an issue that they’d have to face in the future, and was hoping that they’d come up with a solution for it by now.
Well, it made it easier once they found the Martial Artist sphere. Now, we’ve got dojos on every floor. A basic requirement for anyone to advance to a higher floor is that they have the stamina and strength to cope with it. For now, Martial Artists are the easiest answer, because the level up all three physical stats equally.
I gave a small nod when I heard that. And what’s the progress on getting the world ready to join the others?
Well, they’re finally out of the stone age, now that they found more minerals to make widespread metal weapons. Enchanting’s become a pretty big thing now, too. Monsters in the twelfth floor aren’t easily hurt by normal swords. One thing to note… Starting from the eleventh floor, it looks like the difficulty is spiking.
What do you mean by that? This sounded ominous and worrisome.
The spheres on the eleventh and twelfth floors aren’t the ten level increase spheres, but fifty. And the monsters in the floor range between the level limit of the previous and current floors. Which means… right now, we’re trying to get the twelfth floor’s orb, but our people are only level one-fifty. And the monsters go up to two hundred.
Hearing her explanation, I nodded my head slightly. It’s not an unheard of gap in levels. After all, monsters as much as double people’s levels could appear on Earth. But in Fyor, where people were forced to spread their levels out in order to compensate for the increasing pressure, that ended up meaning that they needed to form parties in order to survive against monsters of the same level. Only a purely physical fighter wearing enchanted gear would be able to solo creatures above their level.
What about other races? Any signs of the dungeon world giving us a pleasant surprise yet?
There was a brief chuckle from Bihena at that. There is a race of goblin-like creatures on the eleventh floor. They’re guarding the Weaponmaster orb as if it were a holy treasure. Our people haven’t found their base yet, and we’re not too keen to send them that way. As for the twelfth… well, I guess you could call them a type of elves?
Explain… I was not really sure I liked where this was going.
The twelfth level is an underground floor. Didn’t expect anything like that to happen, but it did. The day-night cycle simply controls the mana crystals embedded in the walls of the tunnels. These tunnels then create a maze-like structure all throughout the floor. This floor houses a race of black-skinned creatures with body proportions similar to elves, and a talent for taming monsters.
“Dark elves?” I couldn’t help but ask out loud, my eyes widening. Okay, that’s unexpected. Have they been causing problems for you?
Not yet, but I’m sure that they will. Their main conclave is centered around the gate to the thirteenth floor. It won’t be possible to advance without meeting them.
I gave a small nod of my head, thinking about it a little bit. The elves were born on the twelfth floor, so in order to naturally move around like they would, they’d have to have eleven points higher than the humans or halflings in their physical stats. It wouldn’t be a terrible idea to buy them as a race, if the diplomatic talks with them worked out. If they could be made friendly, then that would be best for everyone involved.
If at all possible, don’t make them into enemies. It’d be nice to have an allied race of the upper floors now and again.
Understood, Dale. Bihena answered with a long mental sigh. Oh, one more thing, before I forget. I wanted to let you know something about the monsters of Fyor.
I mentally nudged her to continue, which she did after a moment. Magic-based monsters will typically have a rune carved into their monster core. This is something we just started seeing recently, after people realized that they could harvest the cores of monsters. Though, none of the cores will have a rune of the third tier or higher. Maybe it only works for ones we’ve already bought?
It was hard to say for sure, though it was a very likely answer. Alright. Keep up the good work, and let me know if anything changes. After sending that message off, I contacted Terra. I have a quick question for you.
It’s about Leowynn’s incubation, right? She responded immediately, as if she had been waiting for me to contact her.
That’s… right. Is there anything that you can tell me about it? I wasn’t sure whether or not I had met the conditions to allow her to answer my question yet, so I had been holding off asking immediately. Now that I had a moment, however, it seemed like a good time to discuss it.
I can’t tell you the full details, because you’re the first person to perform incubation on a ‘tamed spirit’ so far. All that I can say is that it won’t be bad for her. Once she wakes up, you can inspect the changes yourself.
I gave a small nod as I heard that, mentally thanking her. Although Terra wasn’t able to tell me anything, the fact that she confirmed that nothing bad was happening to Leowynn was enough.
Giving it a bit of thought, I sent my next message out to Accalia. As the Goddess of Wisdom, she seemed like the best one to ask for advice on this. Are you free for a moment?
Sure thing, Dale! What’s up? Her voice came across as energetic as always, making me smile slightly.
I’m about to go on a training exercise. With the invasion coming up, I want to make sure I’m as strong as I can be. Wanted to get your advice on which field I should focus my training.
Oh? Well, hmm… You’re not terrible at magic. Not great at it, but not terrible. The best choice would be to train an advanced class. Obviously, Martial Spirit and World Spirit are off the table. Summoner requires a large time investment to get significant returns, and you already have Leowynn. That leaves either Elemental Monk or Elementalist. And, since you’re not great at magic… I’d suggest Elemental Monk.
I gave a small nod at her answer, having thought that the monk class would be the best for me in the future as well. The ninja class is also really nice, and I might even consider making that my first back-up, but I knew I was better with ki than any other energy.
Out of curiosity, I checked the class list for Fyor, wanting to see if they had gotten the Elementalist class yet. Given that the rune magic system required them to speak by default, I was curious how that class would change. Unfortunately, they had not yet unlocked any of the advanced classes.
Shrugging my shoulders, I sent my thanks to Accalia, before getting to work on the computer. I wanted to design another new ki path, one that could support multiple ‘ki sources’. Right now, I had one that could hold both normal and elemental ki, but that wasn’t really enough. I wanted to test out the theory that I had given Aurivy a while back.
The ki path that I designed had six different pools to draw from. The primary ki pool, which ran through the heart as normal, and then five spaced evenly around it in a pentagram. Four of these five would be used for elemental ki, and the fifth… call it an insurance, in case I found something interesting.
In reality, it was just there because I had the extra space in the ki path, and though that balancing a fifth secondary pool would look better than having a gap. But I was open to the possibility of being able to combine different types of elemental ki to create new elements.
Either way, once I was done, I looked down at the world, searching through to find a quiet spot to train. Such areas were becoming fewer and fewer lately as the people expanded, though there were still some regions of the world where I could train in peace. For this one, I decided to return to an old familiar spot, Aurivy’s very first dungeon. Out in the middle of the ocean, such a small plot of land, nobody around for hundreds of miles.