A note from karami92

Author's Corner: Thank you to Shawn Smith for joining the Patreon! Sorry for the chapter being so late today, I've been dealing with a really nasty stomach bug and wasn't able to get on my computer.

After watching Katrina and her mother having their conversation, I couldn’t help but grow curious. Terra, is there a way for me to set the map filters to look at what kind of mana siphon might be building in Fyor? Given that this was uncharted territory for me, it only seemed natural to consult her for help.

Hmm? Oh. Ohhh. Oh my. Well, that could become a problem. Terra’s tired voice seemed to become more awake, before finally landing on concerned as she answered the question. Yeah, run an underlying mana pattern check. You should be able to see the pattern surrounding the area, and identify it as you would a person or item.

Not words I was entirely used to hearing, but thankfully a lot of the buttons on the screen were labeled to help me with just this sort of problem. I followed her instructions, and saw a dark… shape wrapping around the city of Gate’s Rest on the nineteenth floor of Fyor. This wasn’t a circle like a normal spell. More like a shifting, amorphous blob. As I moved in to identify the blob, a window appeared in front of me.

Mana Surge - Ocean’s Rise and Land Falls

Progress: 98%

Summary: Due to the local fears of the sea concentrated on the surrounding area, an earthquake will rock the island. At the same time, powerful waves will come crashing in from the outside. If proper precautions are not taken, there is a high likelihood that the majority of life on the island will be lost.

Ryone! Bedroom, now!

“Well, if you wanted me in your bed, you didn’t have to shout.” A familiar elven voice called back to me, sounding a bit pained at what must have been a loud, panicked call. Turning around, I found Ryone wearing nothing but a nightgown, smiling towards me. Though, when she saw my expression, she seemed to realize that I hadn’t called her here to help me relax.

“Okay, what’s up?” She asked in a suddenly concerned tone, stepping up from the bed as her gown shifted, becoming her familiar earthen dress.

“You’re the goddess of magic. You should be able to have a connection with the mana surges of Fyor, right?”

Hearing my question, she tilted her head in confusion. “Well, I’m not as heavily worshipped there. But my influence isn’t too small.”

I beckoned Ryone over towards the computer, and showed her the screen that I had pulled up. I could see the color drain from her face as she looked back at me. “Okay… what do you want me to do?”

“I… don’t want you to stop it.” I shook my head, giving it a moment of thought. “There are people in the world that have noticed the growing surge and are making preparations. But… could you slow it down? The surge is drawing in mana from the surroundings before it can trigger.”

“You want me to make sure that they have enough time to complete their preparations, without being too obvious about it?” She questioned, wanting a bit more clarity. When I nodded my head, her brows knit together, her eyes narrowing in focus. “I should be able to take care of that. At the very least, it shouldn’t be as hard as stopping that tsunami back in the day.”

With that, she smiled, moving back towards the bed and sitting on it cross legged. “Establishing a self-enclosed ward within the siphon. Primary function of drawing in mana to create light, with the secondary function being to shroud the light. Ultimately, it will result only in the pointless use of mana. That should be enough to slow the rate that the siphon is drawing in mana. Just to be safe, I’ll monitor the progress and adjust the ward as need be.”

I gave a small nod, a relieved sigh escaping my lips. There was the chance that Irena had already identified the nature of the surge, and was working to fix it within the time she had herself, but I couldn’t be sure. Knowing her, it could really have just been a case of her becoming fully absorbed in the life she was living so much that she didn’t want to ‘cheat’ to get the answers.

Either way, with Ryone setting up the ‘pointless’ ward to curb the flow of mana, Katrina will have more time to get everything resolved safely. With that assurance in mind, I set my sights back on the world, and decided to speed things up a bit again. This time, I chose to resume the world just before the mana surge struck.

Nine months had passed since Katrina had announced the discovery of the growing mana siphon to her mother. Nine months where they had begun preparations. Katrina had long since worked out that the siphon contained heavy traces of both water and earth traits. However, there were no other tests that she knew how to perform.

A mix of water and earth could be a number of things, and none of them were good. The sky itself could come crashing down on them if they were really unlucky. She asked her mother to visit the Circle, to speak with the magisters and tell them of her concern. While Katrina was confident in her own work, she knew that the information would seem much more reliable coming from an adult as opposed to a child.

Sure enough, hearing the report from her mother, a known enchantress, was enough to give the Circle pause. In fact, they had already been concerned over the growing levels of mana. They weren’t sure what was coming themselves, but now? Now that a hint had been given to them, things were changing.

Immediately, the circle began to perform tests of their own. As experienced mages, they had far more tricks available to them. In less than a week, they had managed to identify the area of the siphon as well as the elements involved in it. They had even gone a step farther and ‘captured’ a part of the siphon to trigger it as an smaller scale spell in order to see the results.

With that, they knew what kind of magic was coming for them once the siphon reached a full charge. But at the same time, they weren’t sure if they should try to stop it. Given that the siphon was building up mana to trigger this function, would forcibly dispersing the mana in the area really do anything, other than delay it? There was the chance that they could completely disrupt the natural casting of the spell, but on the other hand they wouldn’t know whether or not they had succeeded for a while.

Many of the magisters thought that it would be best to simply allow the siphon to run its course, making sure to take every precaution in order to prevent losses of life or property. The waves were easy, since a simple banishment spell could remove the water of the Great Blue. It was the earthquake component that was tricky.

Various mages stood atop the Circle’s tower, casting spells randomly into the air in order to deplete some of the mana and buy more time. Meanwhile, others went about and worked to reinforce houses. These preparations took nearly a full month, and they weren’t even sure that they had prepared everything properly by the end of it.

However, they had run out of time. The older mages could feel the mana siphon spiking in activity less than an hour before the first shockwave came. The ocean seemed to roar around the island, a guttural tone that shook the hearts of everyone present. Even with the fair warning, this was something that they couldn’t properly prepare for.

Earthquakes simply didn’t happen naturally on Fyor. Nobody properly understood why, but there weren’t any recordings that could be attributed to a natural earthquake. In fact, before they joined the other worlds, the concept itself was foreign to them.

Yet now they were experiencing it with their bodies. All throughout the town, there was the sound of buildings shaking. Cracks began to open up in the ground while mages and druids patrolled the streets, using the abilities that they had prepared in order to counter this disaster.

They did not fight to stop the earthquake, simply closing up whatever holes had appeared, and saving the rest for later. No, the damage that caused would be minimal. Instead, they had to save their mana for what came next.

Even in the darkness, they could see a black wall closing in on them from all around. Water rising so high they couldn’t fathom the end, encircling the entire island. If it was allowed to hit, there was no question about survivors. Everything would simply be washed away. Perhaps the entire island would be wiped clean.

Atop the tower, a wizened old female human smiled slightly, lifting her hand and firing a flash of blue light into the air. This was the signal to trigger their preparations. All around the city, people began to chant. Whether they were a mage or not, they clasped their hands together, whispering the words as if they were a prayer.

“Krollostria jishar, hyn nemari vigar lorian. Krollostria jishar, hyn nemari vigar lorian.” Men and women, young and old, everyone closed their eyes and recited the words that had been drilled into them over the last several days. The magic of every living inhabitant of the city gathered together into one spell, a gentle blue dome rising up under the watchful eyes of that old woman atop the tower.

Her eyes glowed with a faint light, and she could see through the darkness. She could see the terrifying wall of water barreling towards them. Yet she was calm. It was clear that the shield was rising faster than the tsunami, and it soon formed a complete dome.

When the wave struck the dome from all side, there was no violent clash. No sounds of collision. It simply looked as if the water had halted. But… they knew that was not the case. Fish and aquatic monsters shot through the barrier, having been carried by the wave. They crashed into the ground, unable to find breath.

Those creatures that could exist outside the water lashed out, fighting back against the strange surroundings. For this, the mages couldn’t prepare. It was impossible to tell which creatures would make it through the shield, or where in the city they’d land, given that the waves had covered the entire dome. They could only ask that their fighters be on the ready to defend.

And defend they did, but not without loss. There were those who died from these monsters. There were even some who had fallen into dire straits due to over-exhausting their limited mana, pouring everything they had into the spell and not stopping. These people were rushed to the hospitals to be treated.

Once the siphon was done, however, things changed. The ground stopped shaking. The ghastly roar that filled the air died down. The water that had been pouring over the dome seemed to simply fade away, devoured by the barrier protecting the town. But more importantly, in the eyes of the mages at least, the mana levels had plummeted.

Although the levels were still above the norm, they had dropped far, far below what they had previously been. Those magisters in the tower even began to think that the siphons were over. That the mana had started to stabilize.

This thought wasn’t isolated simply to the magisters. Those normal citizens of the town saw hope. The spell that they had all recited as a prayer had given them a light in the everlasting night. A faint belief that they could overcome their trials with proper planning and cooperation.

And thus, the final siphon triggered. As the waters receded, people felt their bodies reinvigorated. Those who had spent their mana on the spell found that mana mysteriously restored to them, at least in part. Those who had been injured in the quake, or from fighting monsters all found their pain lessening. Their wounds may not have disappeared, but they felt more serene, as if a gentle breeze had calmed their minds.

“So, this is just a thought, Ryone.” I spoke up as I watched the end of the scene, suddenly reminded of something. “You remember that dungeon core race, right?”

“Aurivy may strike me down should I ever forget.” She answered in a playful tone, leaning over the chair behind me so that she could watch as well.

“Well… back before the laws merged, I had set them up so new dungeons would trigger a mana storm lasting one week. At the time, it was so that the dungeons could absorb that mana to rapidly expand. But now…”

Ryone seemed to understand my concern, a soft sigh leaving her. “In your defense, you had no way to know that these surges would be a thing. That said, I would strongly advise you find a way to undo that, now that we know the consequences. Otherwise, Aurivy might just cause a ‘natural disaster’ accidentally.”

“Yeah, that’s what I was thinking, too.” I responded with a light laugh, pulling up the menus and nipping that in the bud before it could become a serious issue later.


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