Two hundred years passed by while I watched. Since I had kept most of my focus on Fyor, I had learned quite a few new things. I saw the rise of a unified kingdom that governed Nexus, the fifteenth floor of the dungeon world. Built with the fairy gate at its center, its reach slowly spread out, until its borders touched both the other gates leading up and down.
I saw as the people came across the high ogres. What happened next was both unfortunate and natural, and also the very reason that I had placed the heroc race so far away from the others. The unified races saw a use for the high ogres, as manual labor and a fighting force. They were too primitive to understand higher concepts, but were unwilling to simply be domesticated.
Of course, naturally Tsubaki intervened. Yet, even still, the result was outside my expectations. She put the ogres through a simple test, taking one to the gate between layers. As she knew that I had made it so that the races I had ‘raised’ would be able to pass through the gates, she used it as a test. Since she could gauge their levels with her own senses, she knew that they were not too powerful, as some of the others from the races had been.
And when that failed, she prayed for a moment. Only when she had opened her eyes did she give her judgement, declaring that the ogres were not under her protection. Perhaps, in her eyes, they were truly no different than normal monsters. Or maybe, her compassion simply did not extend beyond what she believed I treasured.
I was not the only one surprised by her verdict, but soon action was taken once again. The ogres fought valiantly, resisting to the best of their power. It took six full years to complete the subjugation of their race, even with all of the magic and special techniques known by the people of the unified races.
Yet, after those six years, they had been conquered. As they were not within the system they could not take normal quest scrolls to ensure their obedience. Instead, many had been marked with a magical brand, one which restricted their actions.
Oddly enough, the heroc did not oppose this treatment, even with the vague similarities between themselves and the high ogres. They fought in the battles, and helped enslave the primitive monster race, but after that they did not get involved. The heroc were far more focused on exploring more challenging areas.
It was through their efforts that the sixteenth and seventeenth floors had been explored, smaller settlements forming around their gates. Like the Dovah, they had the advantage of a naturally stronger body, one which could almost fully endure the pressures of Fyor from the moment that they were born.
Though, that thought had made me question something else. The first floor of Fyor had come to be known as the Council, a ruling body that governed all other floors. The kingdom that ruled the kingdoms, as it were. It was not a common living area, so it was natural that children were not born there. In fact, I saw some children running around the Nexus, a feat which shouldn’t even be possible considering the heightened gravity.
Aurivy… I quickly explained my question to the Goddess of Love, knowing that she would be the one most likely to have an answer.
This actually isn’t my doing at all. She spoke up immediately, though had a small smile on her face. They figured it out all on their own, after we gave them enough runes. Hospitals in Fyor are all warded with gravity-reducing magic, lowering its effects to be roughly the same as the first or second layer.
When a baby is born, a stamp is placed on them, one that grants them that same resistance to gravity. Once they are old enough, the stamp is replaced with a bracelet or a ring. The ring is more effective, and only has to be charged monthly, but they can’t risk it falling off a baby’s finger, or the child themselves taking it off to play with it.
I nodded when I heard that. It still sounded incredibly risky, but given that they’ve been dealing with that for their entire history, their culture had no doubt adapted to make it more natural. Why don’t adults use those rings so that they don’t have to practice martial arts in order to survive the higher floors.
There was a light laugh from Aurivy before she answered. A bracelet or ring is too easily broken in a fight. Nobody wants to risk their lives getting extinguished if they suffer a small injury to their hands.
That was… reasonable. Giving a nod, I watched the rest of history passing by. Every time someone opened up a new floor, I searched it in the hopes of finding an orb for an advanced class. For the seventeenth, eighteenth, and even the nineteenth floors, I was left with nothing. They only had the same level limit increases that were found on every floor.
Only on the twentieth floor, which was discovered near the end of the accelerated time by one of the few remaining groups of Maxers, had what I was looking for. To my delight, the class within the orb was even that of the Elementalist. Finally, I would be able to see what elementalists would be like with Fyor’s magic system.
Speaking of… Ryone, how is your research into the changes that took place coming along?
Slowly, I’m afraid. Nobody has been able to unlock any of the advanced classes alongside Fyor’s magic system, even when attempting it on one of the other worlds. Thankfully, people on the other worlds can train the old version of elementalist just fine with the geometric system still. From what I can tell, the elementalist and summoner classes will have a fundamental difference in their function. However, I can say one thing for sure.
Patiently, I waited for her to explain, though find myself surprised by the answer. Whoever takes the orb to the Council will unlock the knowledge of how to open up the class. I spoke with Aurivy and Bihena, and every time a class orb was taken to the central spire, the system bestowed elementary knowledge of the class onto the individual performing the task.
I had a small urge to descend, and take the orb myself to hasten the opening of the class. However, such a thing would not be for the best. If I took the orb myself, I would then be required to personally teach the class to others, which could take quite a while. But if I allowed a native to perform the deed, they would get the knowledge, and I would get it through them.
Nodding my head, I made up my mind Aurivy, Bihena, I want the two of you to send out a ‘revelation’ about the location where the elementalist orb is. It’s the first advanced class for Fyor, so nobody should find it too strange.
It shouldn’t take too long like that for people to claim the elementalist orb. While the monsters of the twentieth floor were stronger, averaging at level six hundred and seventy, the people of Earth were used to fighting monsters above their own levels. In that sense, their cooperation had even surpassed Fyor.
Though, I knew that the twentieth floor would be the limit to their domain for a while. Contained within that level was not only the elementalist orb, but also ‘Level Limit +100’. This meant that the level of difficulty was only going to start rising sharply again with every floor. On the twenty-third floor, every monster would be comparable with the Ten Disasters that could freely roam the Earth. If anything beyond that would be explored in the coming years, it would be done so by the lucky scouts who managed to navigate around the powerful monsters.
With that thought in mind, I set the world to fast forward once again, this time setting it to stop once the elementalist class had been unlocked on Fyor. I saw the world burst into motion once again. Teams were sent out to the most difficult floor, composed of only the strongest individuals. The heroes of their generation.
The group fought their way into the darkest regions of the underground tunnels of the twentieth floor, and killed massive insects the size of houses. At times, they were forced to retreat, while other times they were able to make significant progress. Eventually, they learned the weaknesses of their enemies, and began to burst through them, finally attaining the class sphere.
However, the sphere was located within a nest of monsters, so the retrieval did not come without a cost. Most of the party had been slain, with only the priest and mage surviving long enough to lay their hands on the sphere. With the last of his energy, the priest conjured a portal to the first floor, leaping through together with the mage.
I saw this, and intentionally slowed down the speed that time was accelerating so that I could properly watch.
Beaten and haggard, Theo and Krisa panted for breath. They were covered in the blood of their friends, as well as the mixed-color blood of countless monsters. Fire had been the answer, fire was always the answer. But when pushed to the limits, the monsters had stopped shrinking back, and instead charged forward with all their might.
With the renewed onslaught, their Leader was the first to die. As he did, their party collapsed, no longer able to properly sense one another. The priest could no longer easily determine where to send his healing in a timely manner, and was forced to rely on his eyesight, a terrible thing when the place was swarming with giant insects.
Trapped in the midst of the swarm, the fighter fell next, followed by the rogue. The druid and the monk, may mercy find them, had not fallen so easily. Even when parts of their bodies had been bitten off, they struggled with every ounce of their strength. In the end, the druid had died to acid, while the monk perished to a poisonous sting that blackened his body.
They had managed to buy the time needed for the mage to locate the orb, and teleport it into her hands. Yet this victory was bitter. Four of the most powerful Maxers had fallen in the span of mere minutes. Goddess help me, this had better have been worth it… She thought inwardly, surprised when she felt a comforting presence joining her mind.
It is. A sad voice, one which she believed belonged to the Goddess of Love, spoke to her. Their sacrifice will open up a new power for every generation. They will be remembered.
Krisa’s eyes began to tear up as she heard the voice, speaking a prayer softly. “May you walk forever among the mists, knowing neither hardship nor pain. Although this world is empty without your presence, may you become a shining gem within the sky.”
The priest Theo glanced over to her, smiling slightly as he heard the old prayer. “Go… we have to finish this quest, right?”
Krisa nodded her head, shakily forcing herself to her feet. People of the Council gave the two of them a wide berth, staring at them in curiosity and fear. It was clear that they didn’t know what to think when the two people arrived in the state that they were in, yet there was no need for them to know.
“Sorry, but… I’ll be going ahead.” Krisa muttered, her eyes locked onto the shining blue spire in the distance. “Mal’shune drakaris.” As she spoke, a rune sprang into being beneath her feet, and she vanished. Casting the spell for both herself and Theo would take too long, and no doubt be interrupted by those watching. However, teleporting a single person was far faster.
She arrived at the base of the spire, under the eyes of many shocked guards, and paid them no heed. “Hyn krol’naemari.” With the simple chant, a blue dome sprang into being around her, a new rune repeated countless times along its surface.
Walking up towards the spire, she ignored the guards who charged at the barrier, striking their spears and swords against it. Soon, she was standing in front of the spire itself, holding up the sphere.
As they saw what she was carrying, the guards stopped, staring at her in shock. They knew about the quest to retrieve the orb, but if they were back then they should have gone through the proper channels. Instead, Krisa had simply teleported herself directly in front of the spire.
When she released her grip on the sphere, it flew directly at the spire, merging seamlessly into it. At the same time, she reached up to grasp her head, her barrier flickering as new knowledge poured into her. As she called out in pain, the rest of the world was shocked, a new message appearing in front of them.
The first advanced class, Elementalist, has been unlocked.
Krisa was ignorant to the uproar that her actions had caused for a moment, and found herself muttering weakly. They were mostly words unfamiliar to her, words that sprang into her mind with the appearance of the new class. “Shar kris phalin, sesharin. Hark nectra sumarin.”
One rune after another rose up as a blue aura began to flare around her body, making the guards back up a few steps. The length of her spell, as well as the number of second tier runes involved in it, told them all they needed to know about its power.
Green lights appeared from outside her barrier, shattering it as they passed through. Shakily, she held up her left hand, her body slumped forward. The green lights turned into spirals that danced upon the back of her hand. Where they passed, a black trail was left, slowly forming a complicated rune.
When it was done, her body collapsed forward, her eyes vacant. Her health had not moved, but she had fainted.
I blinked my eyes in surprise as I watched the scene, muttering to myself. “Bestow me with the gift of elemental fire. Pledge my will unto the world?” Elementalists are actually unlocked through a spell, rather than constant use of an ability?