With the battle over, I appeared back on my bed within the Admin Room. Nothing had particularly changed, aside from a shocked look on Accalia’s face. “Wha… you… you became me.”
I couldn’t help but grin when I saw her eyes wide in disbelief. “It’s a technique I came up with for my divinity, the Mirrored Self. The idea behind it is… if I can understand someone well enough, then I can copy them, become a mirror image. I can’t say that I know you well enough to fully replicate your skills with a bow, or your battle tactics, but… I do admit that you are better in both of those fields than myself.”
“Mirrored Self…?” Accalia muttered the technique name to me, seeming to sink into thought. “And of course, the people that you know best within the entire world are the gods… and Tsubaki. That’s a scary strong ability, considering that you’re still a ‘mortal’.”
I gave a small nod, agreeing with her. Honestly, it turned out better than I had expected. I wasn’t really thinking that I’d be able to replicate their godly relics, but it seemed that the divine energy I had built up was enough to accomplish the job. “But there’s a downside. It looks like I can only use it for a few times right now, before I need to stop and recover. Only my soul is divine, so changing the rest of me caused a backlash.”
“Once I go a bit further, I should have a bit more freedom to use that ability. Until then… this will be plenty for now.”
Accalia barked out a laugh when she heard that. “Hell yeah it’s enough. I know you didn’t fully reproduce my abilities after seeing you fight, but… that was about sixty percent me, if I had to guess. And when you mirrored Irena… that definitely felt close to her.”
That made sense. The four deities that I really knew the best were Irena, Ryone, Terra, and Aurivy. Given the situation, Irena seemed like the safest bet for quickly finishing the battle, but I knew that the other three would be useful in a variety of different circumstances.
“So, I take it you’ve really settled on mirrors as your future domain?” Accalia asked curiously while I was lost in thought, snapping me back to attention.
“Yeah… I wanted a versatile detection domain that could be used in combat as well. This was the best that I could come up with that suited both.”
Hearing my explanation, Accalia nodded her head slowly. “Sure, I can see that. Why didn’t you just try firing the dragon’s breath back at him or something?”
My eyes went wide at her question, staring at her in shock. “Are you kidding me? And risk putting myself right in the literal line of fire if the technique didn’t work? No, I think I’d be too worried about it failing to be able to get it off in the first place.
A small smirk floated up onto Accalia’s face at my answer, before her eyes widened anew at my next request. “Now, could you send me back in? There’s a couple of other things that I want to test before we call it a day.”
“Uhm… you sure? I mean, it looked to me like you already have a way to pretty easily take out the dragon.”
I simply nodded my head in response. I could feel that my damaged divine soul had been repaired when the simulation had ended, leaving me with little reason not to jump back in. Unlike my prior training sessions, this left no real mental trauma that I had to cope with, and it was just a matter of whether or not I felt that I was up to the task at hand.
Moments later, I found myself standing back in the same grassy plain that I had just fought in. And once again, standing opposite of myself was the towering draconic figure. As the voice began counting down, Leowynn spoke up from within me. Should I go for the dragon again?
No. I shook my head to refuse her question. I’ll try to handle this one on my own. This time, I’m going to be using a technique that you gave me the idea for.
I could feel her confusion, moments before the match began. The dragon immediately began to charge towards me, following the same pattern that it had used previously. Its mouth lit up with white flames, preparing to launch them.
Lifting one hand, I willed my divine soul to rush out of me again and into the surroundings. This was, unfortunately, a necessary step to be able to use my divine techniques readily in combat. I had to draw on energy that I had already scattered.
As the breath was launched, I willed a mirror to form on the opposite side of the dragon, one with my own image. Then, ‘I’ stepped out of that mirror, just as the previous image of me shattered like glass beneath the dragon’s breath. As it turned around to look for me, I continued to push out my divine energy, knowing that I would need a lot for what I wanted to accomplish.
Of course, that much energy naturally drew the beast’s attention, its tail swinging down to strike against me. Even its tail was at least ten meters thick, so blocking it was… ill advised. Instead, I opted with another mirror shift, this time placing myself high in the sky above the dragon.
This time, its eyes followed me almost instantly. After all, I had pulled back all of my divine soul in my direction the moment I moved, my hand placed out in front of me. As the energy returned, it formed a golden hand mirror. “I really hope this works.” I muttered, aiming the mirror downwards.
The dragon’s eyes were naturally attracted to the powerful energy that it had been using to track me, meaning that it stared directly into the mirror as it was positioned. Upon seeing its own reflection, the mirror let out a golden light. Yet… I was not at all satisfied with the result.
“You’re not trapped in the mirror. You were supposed to be… oh.” I looked down at the still present dragon, which was now spreading its wings to take flight after me, and then back to the mirror. When I looked into the reflection, I saw that the image of the dragon was still carried within the mirror. “Okay… maybe this will work anyways.”
Opening my hand, I released the mirror, allowing it to drop from my position high in the sky. As it descended, I fired a simple mana bolt spell at it, causing the fragile glass to shatter. When that happened, there was an explosion of blood and gore as the dragon itself suddenly shattered into numerous jagged pieces, earning a small wince from me.
Okay… for the record, it was supposed to be fully sealed within the mirror, so that I could either use it as a prison OR break it. Maybe I didn’t have enough divine energy to seal its physical form yet? After six months, my entire soul had long since been converted, but it was still far from the power of a true god.
As that thought finished, I heard a small sigh from beside myself, finding that I was already back on my bed. “Any other techniques you want to try out?” Accalia asked in a tired sounding voice. “I had actually been worried that you didn’t think you could kill it…”
“Well… in my defense, I didn’t know how powerful my divinity would be in combat.” I smiled innocently when I said that. The only thing that I had used it for so far was scrying, and even that had a limited range. Granted, the range was several thousand miles, but given the size of my worlds, that was practically nothing! I had no real basis to compare it for practical combat.
“What about your other skills?” She asked, glancing towards my right hand. “You’ve still got that elementalist weapon to train, right? And your chakra techniques…”
“I’m still going to do those.” I replied immediately, waving my hand to dismiss her worries. “The more skills I practice, the easier it should be for me to understand people’s abilities with my earlier technique.”
“Alright, alright. Well, anything else that you need me for, then? I’m suddenly feeling the urge to go punch something in the face repeatedly.” Accalia’s head drooped down as she said that, her tail no longer wagging against the bed.
I reached up to pat her shoulder gently, shaking my head. “Nah, you can go. Have fun in the game, or wherever it is you go to wreck faces.” That earned a small smile from her as she faded away beneath my palm.
As the months passed in Lorek, there were startling changes in both the Water Clan and those that had once been pursuing them. With the assistance of Abin, detailing his path of enlightenment to the other elders, it did not take long for a second master to arise, followed by a third.
These masters had relied on their own understandings in order to achieve their current state, unaided by the mysterious legacies. Their knowledge was not that which had come from a dusty tome, but from their own experiences. And, thanks to that, they were able to more easily advance. Unfortunately… without a guide on what it took to advance, they were stuck at the level of a master, unsure even if there was a level beyond.
They had their suspicions, as every master had been able to sense terrifying presences roaming nearby at times, forbidding their clansmen from leaving the caves until they passed. Each of them could tell that the beasts were so much more powerful than themselves, enough so that their mere aura sent fear into their hearts.
However, due to the presence of the three masters, the Water Clan had easily been able to secure enough food for their people. The same could not be said for other clans…
Without the aid of the Lightning Master, his clan fell into a panic. Some members harbored thoughts that he had abandoned them, just like they had abandoned their homeland in pursuit of power. After all, they were just slowing him down. If he truly wished to give it his all to find an inheritance, he would be able to move faster on his own.
Others began to plot to steal the power of the clan for themselves, speaking of how they would ‘guide’ it to a better age. When these people appeared, they were often given the most terrifying of punishments. They were told to go hunt for food. After all, how could the people follow them if there were no people left?
As the Spear Master watched over their battle from afar, he simply shook his head. As a favor to his fallen friend, he had chosen to watch over them for a half-year, allowing them time to pick themselves up. However, he had chosen to do so in secret, not wanting their clan to come to rely on him. He had done his best to deter lower level beasts from attacking the hunting parties, retreating when anything too powerful appeared.
Now that the six months had passed, though… they were on their own. To live or die depended on their own power. In the eyes of the Spear Master, he had already done his old friend a great service by protecting them for as long as he had. After all, he still had his own clan to worry about.
Recently, he had been finding more and more evidence that the other clans had begun to perish. Bits of bodies or bloodied clothes scattered about when he went out for regular patrols. His thoughts of exploring far beyond the mountain range were quickly extinguished every time he felt those terrifying auras, urging him back into his hole.
What inheritances, what great civilizations? This was a land of death.