With a small sigh, I got up from the bed, glancing over my achievements as I called Leowynn back to me. Sorry, Leowynn. Hopefully, I won’t have to do stuff like that anymore now. I whispered to her mentally, feeling how she had just gotten to Tsubaki’s room to begin watching her play when I recalled her.
It’s fine, father. Leowynn assured me, the golden mist rushing through the door and back into my body. I understand why you want to get stronger. Though… I’m not sure how much stronger you can get now.
I chuckled a bit at that, smiling wryly. I knew that there had to be a higher level still. I just… didn’t know what it was. For now, I was satisfied with what I had achieved. Let’s let the others back in, then go get an idea for what we can do now?
I could feel the excitement rising in Leowynn as I made that offer. Even before I made this change, there hadn’t really been an opponent for us in any of the worlds. Fafnir was a decent fight, but only under the pretense that I wasn’t using any killer moves. And on the other end of the spectrum were the deities themselves. We could likely fight all we wanted, but it was hard to say who would win, since neither party would have access to their ‘finishing moves’.
However, there were still other ways for us to test our power. And, as I ascended to the Admin Room, I was thinking about what kind of method I’d like to use. After all… this would also be a way for me to vent my frustrations over just how easy the transition had been.
What I was not expecting, was to find a new item propped against my computer screen when I returned to the Admin Room. A hand mirror, similar in size to the one that I had tried to use in my battle with Accalia’s recreation of Fafnir. It had a silver frame, inlaid with small jewels along the edge.
Tied to the bottom of it was a note, which I quickly opened and read. The handwriting was rough, making it feel pretty obvious that it was written by Tubrock.
‘Accalia told me what you tried to do in your fight. This is the Keeping Mirror. Fitting name, I thought. It has three primary functions, all of which require you to capture the target’s image within the mirror. Shouldn’t be hard with your domain. First, it can Keep the target within an isolated mirror world that you and those you choose can enter. Getting out should be damn difficult without some kind of godly power or special ability.’
‘Secondly, it can summon a copy of a creature whose image is displayed in the mirror. This copy will have the mind and powers of the original, but be bound to your will. Think of it like an avatar with imprinted knowledge.’
‘Finally, the third ability allows you to simply track whoever has their image stored, like your normal ability. Should be a bit easier to use, I think, and make for an appropriate medium for you to use your domain powers. Try not to break this one, will you? It just requires your divine energy now, to bond to your domain and really complete it.’
Putting down the note, I felt a small smile tugging at my lips. Terra must have told him that I was taking the final step, and ascending to actual divinity now. I knew that he had been preparing a divine artifact for me, but I didn’t know whether or not he had finished it. And the abilities that he gave it… they were everything I could have hoped for.
I picked up the Keeping Mirror, and channeled in my divine energy. The silver frame seemed to flash, before it changed gradually, from bottom to top shifting from silver to gold. Okay, Terra… time to give me a rundown of how to be a ‘false god’, I think?
As I asked for that information, I quickly got on the computer, setting it so that everyone had their normal access rights to the worlds restored. By the time I was done, I felt the air shift behind me, Terra appearing and leaning against the chair. “If you’re worried about needing the faith of mortals or something to keep your power sustained, don’t.” She said simply, reaching down to pat my shoulder.
“Good to know… but there has to be some measure of how a god gains more divine energy, right?” I glanced back towards Terra, smiling as I thought about where I should go for a ‘test run’ of my abilities.
“Divine energy builds gradually over time within a deity.” Terra explained kindly, her tail flicking back and forth behind her. “It’s not a measure of how we gain more, but where we can use it most effectively.”
“Yesterday, you still had the chance to use your divine energy to create a sword, or control fire. Now that you have a domain, you are both stronger and more limited. You can’t use your divinity for things outside of your domain anymore, not without expending a massive amount of energy. But… for things that are a part of your domain, the expenditure is considerably less.”
“Similarly, you can hasten the recovery of your energy by spending time in a ‘holy site’ dedicated to your domain. For you… I suppose that would be a room where all of the walls were mirrors? But, that only helps you return to your peak, not move beyond it.” Terra shook her head slightly as she explained that.
“So, I should have a giant mirror installed in the ceiling of my bedroom?” I asked with a raised eyebrow, earning a light giggle from the catgirl goddess.
“It would certainly aid in your recovery while you rested. Though, sleep is entirely optional for you now… As is eating, or even breathing.”
When I heard Terra’s explanation, a thought briefly flashed through my mind. “So, Terra… with my ability to transform into the other gods… would that mean that I can temporarily use their domains, as well?”
Terra actually had to pause to consider that. And, when Terra of all people has to pause to think, you know that something is a big question. “Actually… yes. However, the cost to do so will be a bit bigger than what the copied individual would have to pay themselves. As for just how much… you’ll have to find that out on your own.”
I gave a small nod at that, glancing back towards the computer. The location that I had selected was… not any of my worlds. It was the moon of Earth. As she had said… breathing was optional for me. And this was somewhere that I truly knew nobody would be able to discover what I was doing. Not unless they had zoom and enhance eyesight on the level of a massive telescope.
When I descended, I had my eyes closed at first. I could feel the cold washing over my body. The utter stillness around me. When I opened my eyes, the vast expanse of grey rock appeared before me. Craters the size of cities dotted the landscape, one of which I stood at the very edge of.
My eyes glanced upwards, and I saw the massive world overhead, the vast blue and green. The ice caps of the north and south. For a moment, I thought I was able to see the island of Rokindrol, where we had parked the Sky Citadel. However, I quickly shook my head, realizing that I wasn’t even looking at the right section of the world.
Well, Leowynn? What do you think of the view?
It took a moment for any response to come from my question, and I could feel her slowly stirring, leaving my body to stand next to me. The coolness around my hand was replaced with a gentle warmth as she grabbed it. It’s beautiful, father…
I had to agree with her, nodding my head. In my other hand, I still held the Keeping Mirror. I opened my mouth to speak, but of course… there was no way I’d be able to hear anything out here. Let’s see what we can really do now.
Stretching out the hand holding the mirror, I focused on channeling my divine energy. As Terra had previously explained, the energy felt a bit different than it had before. More focused… and as I created a tall mirror in front of the two of us, I could tell that doing so used almost none of my power.
Nodding in satisfaction, I glanced towards Leowynn. Although my divine energy had been filtered into a domain, I could tell that the same wasn’t true for her. She was still a pure divine soul… Which was good, since otherwise it would mean that we would not likely be able to use our Aki Seppo in the same manner anymore.
She caught my glance and smiled, turning into golden mist and wrapping around me. However, what we did wasn’t our normal manifestations. Instead, I allowed myself to slip back, entering into my own soul space as mine and Leowynn’s voices spoke as one in our mind. Body and soul as one.
The final stage of Aki Seppo, which we hadn’t had the power to properly achieve yet. But now, things were different. As I rested inside of Leowynn’s body, allowing her to take control, I could feel my energy coursing through her. Thin threads of power rushing all around me. She has stars… and I have my threads? I mused inwardly.
For Leowynn, she appeared just as she always did, in her starry night dress with her platinum blonde hair flowing down behind her. However, she wore a single glove on each hand, from which multiple strings extended.
I allowed my mind to divide, seeking the limit of what I was able to do in this form. As I did so, Leowynn swung out her hand. Dozens of blue lines shot out, stretching across the area and touching various points. One hundred, one fifty… two hundred, I was able to go beyond what I could normally achieve, now that I did not have to focus on controlling my own body.
In the end, I was able to maintain two hundred and fifty-nine threads. Leowynn smiled wide as she danced, the threads spinning around her. Sometimes, she would step through a thread to appear somewhere else. Sometimes, she would condense ten of them together to physically pull herself somewhere. She was truly enjoying the freedom of this new power.
But there was more… a second half to the final stage. After letting her have her fun for a little while, I felt that she was ready to continue. And so, I withdrew the threads, returning my mind to a single, undivided focus. Manifest the Keeper’s Might.
Immediately, Leowynn’s energy skyrocketed. A golden aura appeared around her body, which grew to the height of a dozen meters before condensing back down into a thin layer that covered her skin. For most people, this would simply look like a protective barrier, or a super-advanced version of ki, but I saw something else.
Across her body, I was able to see distinct patterns. Rolling blue waves, burning embers, piercing swords… all of the patterns that I had come to identify with classes across my own soul. This wasn’t as simple as a protective energy. It was just as it was named.
Leowynn stared down at her own hand, seeming to feel the strength contained within the golden light. Her eyes closed as she spoke, her words echoing within our souls. Thank you, father.
Suddenly, she stretched her hand out, making a grabbing motion at the air. Using the powers of a druid, she lifted several large rocks out of the ground, and made them spin over her head, before tossing them off into the horizon. Then, she slowly stretched her hand down, creating a sword that she deftly held.
Leowynn had been with me more than long enough to know how to use all of my class abilities. It was only natural that she’d be able to pick it up quickly. And, after a few tests of this power, she let out an empty, silent breath. I could feel her tugging on my soul, pulling me back in control while she moved to rest in my soul again, happy with our display. And the mirror still stood in front of us, having let her see herself the entire time.