After I ascended to the Admin Room, I found Terra once again waiting for me, laying across our bed and staring at me. “So, you have a plan, right?” She asked in a lazy tone, rolling over onto her back and tilting her head so she could still watch me.
I simply gave a small nod, not directly answering her. In truth, I’d known what I would be doing for this last step for a while. This was the easy part. It was getting to this point, and everything that would come after that was difficult.
Tubrock. I called out to the blacksmith god. How long would it take for you to add Fyor to the travel room of the Citadel?
I recalled the great stone spheres that existed in a hidden shrine within the Sky Citadel, used to transport it from one world to another without directly relying on Aurivy. In the event that the monsters appeared on Fyor, this would be a critical feature. After all, my combined levels, while small individually were enough to make me unable to use the gates.
I got the first few layers down an’ ready. Gimme… ten months to work with the lass, and we can get them set up in the Citadel. His report came promptly. Fyor’s not quite an easy place to replicate, but I think I got it just fine.
I nodded again at that, sitting down at the computer. “Ten months… Was planning to give him more anyways.” As I said that, I spent a single point to send a message out to every world.
My people, hear me. A voice spoke into the minds of the people across the many worlds. Whether it was Fyor, Deckan, Earth, or Desbar, people began to simultaneously look to the sky. As if they could see that floating palace once again.
The time that I feared is fast approaching. In a short fifty years, invaders will arise in order to lay waste to all that you know. I cannot tell you exactly where they will appear, nor what form they will take. Only that there is every chance that they will stop at nothing to destroy everything.
While these creatures are within the world, the gods and goddesses will be hard at work, and unable to answer prayers as deeply as they once were. Just as you guard your world, so will they. And as such, so will I.
The people began to murmur amongst each other, unsure of what was meant by that, before the Keeper’s voice continued. In fifty years, I will appear at the Sky Citadel, a few days before the appearance of the invaders. When they appear, I will help lead the charge.
There was a pause, before the voice spoke in a more solemn tone. I implore everyone to make as many preparations as they can. Fifty years may not be a short time for most of you… but it is all too soon.
Once I had finished sending that message out, I gave a small sigh as I turned to look at Terra. “And now I figure, a week or two of chaos and ‘end of the world’ fanatics before you all manage to quell them.” As I said that, I set the worlds to fast forward once again, to the appointed fifty year destination.
Terra groaned, sitting up on the bed. “Never making our jobs easy. You know, most people had forgotten entirely about the ‘impending invasions’ that you originally mentioned?”
“Yeah… figured that would probably happen.” I nodded my head weakly. It may have come from the word of the creator, but that was a long time ago. Perhaps only the elves still held it fresh in their memories, but even for them it would be the stories of their grandparents.
“Well, we’ve got our own preparations to make, so I’ll get going.” Terra smiled mysteriously, standing up and walking out of the room, her tail swaying gently behind her.
Curious, I raise an eyebrow, before shaking my head. By the time that I returned my attention to the computer, the fifty years had already passed.
Jace sat by his wife’s bed as she lay in labor, forcing her breath to calm. His hand gently held hers, and he whispered sweetly to her. “It’s okay, Shara, just breathe. In and out.” Nearby, the doctor’s were constantly checking on her status, making sure that there were no complications.
It had been thirty years since the Keeper last spoke, his voice echoing in the minds of everyone. At the time, Jace and Shara had just been children themselves, and were now having a child of their own. They knew what it would mean for the child to be born at this time, but that would not stop them.
Roughly half an hour into the labor, a voice spoke to all in the room. Hear me. Those gathered had their eyes widen at the familiar voice, knowing all too well who it belonged to. This child… shall become as I am. She will inherit my soul, and thus I ask that she inherit my name. To stand against the coming trials, this child will bear my power.
The revelation was so sudden that Shara had temporarily forgotten to breathe, causing her to cry out in pain. However, similar situations were occurring in various areas of the world. Preparations long since underway coming to fruition.
Eventually, when the cries of a newborn infant filled the room, the doctor held the child reverently. As if the child had already become a goddess in his eyes. Slowly, gently, he passed her to her mother. “It seems you have quite the special child.” He said in a happy tone.
Shara nodded her head, looking down to the human baby. “Bihena… your name is Bihena.”
As I descended to the Sky Citadel, I looked curiously at the dozen figures standing before me. Naturally, there was Tsubaki, who now stood off to the side, her hands behind her back. However, aside from her, there was one person of each race, though surprisingly two humans. Their faces were unfamiliar to me, but the names floating above their heads showed all I needed to see. The names of the gods and goddesses…
Well… most of them. The elf, no doubt Ryone’s incarnation, had the name of Kirishna. When I looked curiously at her, she pouted. “I was already born way more than fifty years ago, you know! And I kind of like this form.”
At the center of the pack, Terra rolled her eyes. “The gods and goddesses have bestowed us with their spirits in order to have us aid you.” Her form of speech was different from those of the others, who seemed to be in direct control of their incarnations. “As the one who has inherited the will of a Goddess, I pledge my loyalty to the Keeper, if you will have it.”
Terra dropped down to one knee after saying that, one hand against the ground while the other rested on her knee. One by one, the others began to take similar positions, aside from Tryval whose body shape did not allow it. Instead, his front legs bent, his upper body dipping low.
“We pledge our loyalty to the Keeper, if you will have it.”
Terra, Kirishna, Ashley, Tryval, Aurivy, Tubrock, Bihena, Accalia, Keliope, Udona, and Irena have sworn themselves to you. Will you accept them as your knights?
When I gave a small nod at the message, I saw everyone’s level rising by one. “I’m glad to have you all with me.”
“It won’t last.” Irena, in the form of the second human, spoke up. “In ten days, on the advent of the invasion, these bodies will return to their original owners. They have been shaped by our will their entire life, but we will no longer be able to guide them. At that point, it will be up to you to do so.”
“So.” Kirishna spoke up from the side, crossing her arms in front of herself. “We have ten days to bestow them with as much of the knowledge we’ve built up over the millennia as we can. Ten day cram session… won’t be able to give us much lasting effect, but we could probably each impart one of our best classes.”
“Summoner.” Udona spoke, her eyes closed. She had yet to open them the entire time I had been here. “This body was unfortunately born blind, so I have been preparing her to become a powerful summoner, to let her see through the eyes of an aeon.”
“I guess that makes me the bard.” Aurivy grinned, hopping back up to her feet and twirling around. “This voice seems perfect for singing.”
“Ye know where ye can find me.” Tubrock shrugged, as if his position was obvious.
“An archer for me!” Accalia called out, smiling slightly. Her hand reached back, lightly stroking the familiar golden bow strung to her back. Her holy relic, which upon closer inspection each incarnation carried.
One by one, they listed off the class that they planned to train their incarnations in. Only Terra had remained silent the entire time, her head held low. Once they were down, I stood from the throne and walked to her. “Is something wrong, Terra?”
She shook her head slightly, lifting it to look me in the eyes. There was a fierce will behind her gaze, but also a hidden sadness. “The goddess has promised to teach me to become an assassin.”
Sorry, Dale, rules getting in the way. Terra’s voice spoke into my mind as her incarnation once again lowered her head. I can’t directly take control of her to teach her as well as the others. That’s why I’ve been building her up for this since she was a child.
I gave a small nod, looking around to the gathered incarnations. Just as I was about to speak, Kirishna raised her hand, making me sigh as I glanced towards her.
“Sorry, sorry. Thought it was worth mentioning. Once my people found out that this was my incarnation, I was appointed as the elven representative. Actually, most of us are the representatives of our race, aside from Terra, Keliope, Accalia, and Tryval. Since their’s are still alive.”
“And I represent Fyor.” Irena added in with a small smile. “It’s been a while since I stood in the spotlight.”
“Okay, good to know.” I said as I moved back to the throne. “All of you should go get started on your training. We’ve only got ten days left.”
With that, they began to excuse themselves. Every time someone walked for the door, a piece of Tsubaki broke off, forming into an avatar of herself that matched the race of the person she was joining. In the end, the only one left was Tsubaki herself, who had changed to take the form of a human, just as I was.
“Tsubaki, I think it’s time we talk about something important.” I told her, beckoning her forward while thinking inwardly. Ready to make your debut?
I could feel the excitement bubbling up from within my spiritual realm as Tsubaki stepped closer. “Yes, my Keeper?” She asked respectfully, keeping her arms at her side to stand at attention.
“There is one more person that will be fighting alongside us, whose presence you should be made aware of.” As I said that, I lifted my hand, feeling the spiritual energy rolling through my body.
Tsubaki’s eyes opened wide for a moment as the grey mist rushed out of my arm, forming into a silver-haired elf. Her body was covered with a dark blue dress, dotted with silver lights that shone like the stars. Grabbing the sides of her dress, she gave a polite curtsy. “Pleasure to finally meet you, Tsubaki. My name is Leowynn.”
There was a flicker of recognition within Tsubaki’s eyes, though it seemed to be from a memory long forgotten. “The pleasure is mine, Leowynn.” She spoke softly, returning the curtsy with a formal bow.
“This is my daughter from a life so long ago.” I told her, grinning slightly as I watched Tsubaki give a rare stumble forward, her balance lost to her from the realization. “After her death, she joined me and became my contracted spirit. Her power has grown tremendously since then, and she will be a very important figure in this fight.”
“I-I see.” Tsubaki said as she collected herself, standing upright once again and evening out her maid skirt. “Is this something that will be known to others?”
“In time.” I nodded my agreement. “For now, there’s no need to tell everyone. However, since you will also be fighting alongside us, it seemed important for you to know.”
A small smile appeared on Tsubaki’s face when I told her that she would be joining us, and she replied enthusiastically. “As you wish, my Keeper! We shall not allow those invaders to rest upon your lands.”