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After settling the payment with Balu, I left her to play with Kathy and the others, while Terra and myself went back to the bedroom. Unlike before, I made sure to firmly seal the door behind us this time, making sure that neither of them could get in in case I decided to descend while I was here.

I sat down at my computer, and pulled up the maps of the four worlds. Something had been bothering me for a while, but I hadn’t been able to pay too much attention to it while preparing for the invasion. Terra seemed to realize this, as she spoke up not too long after the door was sealed. “There’s something that you want to talk about?”

I gave a small nod. “Yeah… for Fyor, the system assigns the classes to floors based on their strength, right? I remember that only the most simple of classes had been on the first few floors. The most basic, introductory ones.”

Terra moved off to the side, laying down against the bed. “That’s right.”

“So, the advanced classes…” I looked towards the map of Fyor, broken apart into various layers. “It’s normal for them not to be trained until the world is already that strong? I had always imagined that it was best to include them in early, to give people a path to develop.”

She simply shrugged at that, rolling onto her back and pulling one of the pillows of the bed against herself. “Well, you can really go either way. Fyor is set up to be good as both a cultivation world and a pure game one.”

“If you follow cultivation logic, then someone would focus on a single class, taking it to a certain stage before making a breakthrough. This breakthrough opens up a new path for them to develop. As an example here, let’s use elemental monks on Earth, since you haven’t seen if they will mutate yet like the elementalists.”

“In a cultivation world, a monk would focus purely on their ki, building up extremely solid foundations over a number of years. Then, naturally, their ki would begin to leak out of their bodies. This would cause the ki to interact with natural energy, causing the ‘elemental ki’ breakthrough.”

Terra sighed softly, sitting up while still hugging the pillow, her legs hooked over the side of the bed. “Now, that elemental monk then trains themselves, and begins to open another path as they catch glimpses of the laws that govern the world. This inadvertently leads to the training of mana.”

“Here, the paths split. The monk can either focus on mana, learning how to cast spells and enchant items, or they can do what they did with natural energy, and practice fusing it with their ki. Thus bringing us to a breakthrough in chakra.”

“Keep following down this path, and more breakthroughs open up. Elemental mana, the art of summoning, the binding of martial spirits, and even the creation of saint level energy. Each can be considered a breakthrough. But it all starts by building a firm foundation and steadily building on it. Of course, the profound laws that the Keeper establishes will influence these paths, but that is a general explanation.”

I gave a small chuckle as I heard that. “And in a game world like mine…”

She gave a wry smile when I let my worlds trail off. “People care less about solid foundations, and more about the numbers that they can see. They discover a class that allows their stats to rise faster than normal, and they jump on it. They find shortcuts, formulas and techniques to open the path early. They turn unlocking an advanced class into a science.”

I felt myself nodding, agreeing with her. I had similar thoughts when I first saw how the advanced classes increased the stats within the game system. “If you had to compare a cultivation monk with a game world monk, who would you bet on?”

“Cultivation, every time.” She said firmly. “Now, don’t get me wrong, game worlds can be incredibly powerful. But in a one versus one battle, someone who has thoroughly refined their own abilities will be stronger than someone who simply relies on his stats.”

“And the downside to a cultivation world… is that they require more time, right?” I recalled what I had read through the forums, and heard from various other Keepers. “Without a guiding system to manage them, they have to rely on their own enlightenment. What took Earth four thousand years might take a cultivation world four hundred thousand.”

“Again, you’re not wrong. What brought this up all of a sudden? It can’t be that you’re having regrets about choosing a game world this late in, are you? After seeing how you interact with the people below, I can’t see you being willing to easily reset and start over.”

Her words struck me deep, and I quickly shook my head. “No, no, I had no intention of simply starting over. I’ve come too far already to do something like that. I was just thinking… if we could set up a cultivation world, and allow it to grow on its own until some of these discoveries were made… then when the worlds merged, this knowledge would have been documented, and the other worlds would all be able to better themselves.”

Terra’s eyes widened briefly, a look of surprise coming onto her face. “Well, I’ll be. You want to set up another world, then?”

“This one completely separate from Fyor, Desbar, Deckan, and Earth.” I nodded. “Doing so, it won’t influence my rating in the Keeper Games until the merger, unless this world grows to become stronger than all four of them combined.”

Honestly, I had thought about it every now and then for a while. But I had always dismissed it, for the same reasons. I either didn’t have enough points to purchase the profound laws, while lacking the skills necessary to make my own, or I was too focused on other things.

Well now, I had nearly a full year before I would be invaded again. Plenty of time to focus on how to cover up the weaknesses of my worlds. More than that, I had all the points I would need to buy a decent set of profound laws. I just needed the help of someone proficient in those types of worlds, someone that could help me pick a set that would ultimately lead to a path that complimented the other worlds.

As it stood, there just happened to be one person fairly familiar with the classes of my world, and most of the systems in it. She even specialized in cultivation type worlds herself. More importantly… she was actually in my Admin Room right now.

Bihena, could you have Balu come back to my room? I want to consult with her about something. I knew that the information wouldn’t be free. However, it should be worth it.

Of course, I had to unseal the door after I had Bihena send in Balu, but the rabbit girl walked in with a confused twitch of her nose a few moments later. “Something still on your mind, Dale?” She asked as she hopped over to stand in front of me.

“I’m just going to lead with this. You forgot all about what classes and systems are in my world, right?”

She blinked slowly. Then again, before realization dawned on her. “Oh! You mean from the consultation before, right? I… I didn’t forget! It’s all on my wall! I had to make sure to put it there, just to make sure I didn’t accidentally tell anyone!”

I gave a small smirk at that, nodding briefly. “Alright, then this will be easier. I want your help in picking out something on the market. A set of profound laws that would compliment those systems and classes I showed you.”

In a single moment, the confused expression returned to Balu’s face. “But… you don’t… Oh! You’re starting up a cultivation world next!” She seemed to catch on quickly, her head nodding up and down. “Okay, well… maybe a refresher then? I don’t really have access to my wall in here.”

Before I could even say anything, a sheet of paper had appeared in her hand as Terra snapped her fingers. “The same list you gave her last time.”

I could only nod while I watched Balu study the list with a serious expression. “So, what is the charge for helping someone buy a system off the market? I’m sure it can’t be free?”

“‘Course not.” She shook her head. “We charge a referral equal to the royalties, so ten percent of the system cost.” Well, that was quite a bit less than I had expected, but at the same time I wasn’t entirely sure what price profound laws went for. It was an option for a new Keeper, so I knew that there were cheap laws. But those were probably extremely basic.

“Okay… you want laws for a cultivation world that cover the four base energies, and allow for all of these classes?” She asked curiously, causing me to nod my head. “There are a few… let me give a brief look through the market.”

While she was looking at that, I turned to face Terra. “So… just as a little precaution. When I buy profound laws, do I have to personally train them, or will we get a set of information globes like when we purchase information off the market?”

Terra’s smile turned into more of a toothy grin. “Both. You’ll have the shortcut of knowing the laws intimately, but you’ll still need to train your body and mind to accept them. Think of it like going to college. You have all of those textbooks, but you still need to take classes in order to make sure that you understand the material.”

I nodded, turning back to Balu as she scrolled through a series of windows that only she could see. “Do you want heavenly punishments to accompany breakthroughs?” She asked, looking off to an empty space at her right. “Doing so allows the cultivator to absorb the energy of the punishment if they manage to overcome it, giving them a moderate boost in power. But it also runs the risk of killing any cultivator.”

A grimace quickly rose on my face as I heard that. The last thing that I wanted was to have to worry about some heavenly punishment arriving on me out of nowhere and killing me while I was making a breakthrough.

“Thought not.” She waved a finger down, and focused on a few spots to her left. “What about dual cultivating? It’s a system where you can start with two different types of energy, and progress both side by side.”

That one, I had to give a bit of thought to. But ultimately… “Yeah, include those. It’ll be useful in the long run.” When she heard that, she nodded, and seemed to mentally merge the two windows together, going by her hand and eye movements.

Finally, a few minutes later, she suddenly stopped, looking pleadingly towards Terra. The felyn goddess chuckled, and a window appeared in front of me. In the window were ten different items from the market.

Flowing Waters Law

A set of profound laws meant to help cultivate a world with the basic energy types. Calm as a still pond, and furious as a tsunami. All things ebb and flow.

1900

Nine Divine Stages

A set of profound laws that divides cultivation into nine distinct stages. Those who master the ninth and final stage earn the right to pseudo-godhood.

2000

Profound Cultivation 101

A basic set of profound laws meant to help guide a Keeper into making a firm cultivation world. These laws can be improved upon through the comprehension of the Keeper, allowing them to be improved over time.

2800

Laws of Heaven

Profound laws decreed by the heavens themselves, guiding cultivators on a path of ultimate divinity. All things exist under heaven.

2100

Twelve Demons

A profound law governed by a council of twelve. These twelve each control a fundamental law, holding the power to teach those who would follow them.

1300

Burning Heart Law

A profound law which focuses on pushing the body to its absolute limits. Ki, Mana, Spirit, Nature, all trained to the pinnacle within oneself.

1800

Sky Ocean Laws

This profound law focuses on outer space, seeking enlightenment on natural phenomena and energies through the stars.

2500

Profound Star Laws

A profound law which allows the cultivator to create a personal star of energy within themselves, evolving it with every step they take down the path of cultivation.

2150

Spirit Lake Law

This profound law focuses on developing the spirit, turning it into an endless spring of power.

2200

Warrior Circle

There is no such thing as completion. To become strong, you must realize your weakness. To become mighty, you must be humble. As the circle is ever-turning, so too does a warrior’s heart grow.

3000

“Now, keep in mind, all of these that I picked have the potential to create the False Divinity path I showed you before. I just wanted to give you plenty of options to choose from.” Balu said helpfully, before letting out a deep breath, her expression suddenly tired.

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