As soon as the Watcher got to work, I could feel it looking through the link that I had set up. I had been careful to make sure not to connect the link with my own awareness, after the flood of information I had received from just looking through a handful of mirrors. For the Watcher, though, that was not an issue. It was able to choose how many and which mirrors it wanted to observe.
Now, of course I was aware that there was a somewhat limited scope on where most people placed their mirrors. I couldn’t say that I was skilled enough to remove certain mirrors from the connection. However, aside from the obvious places, there were also mirrors that were carried out in the open. Particularly so when they were used as mediums for magic.
With that in mind, I was confident that I could leave the Watcher to its task of collecting information, and come back to it after a couple of days to see how it had grown. From the looks of things, it turned out better than I had expected…
That thought earned me a satisfied whisper from Ryone. Oh? What were you expecting?
The usual. Chaos, lightning, explosions. Maybe a robotic personality hellbent on overthrowing mankind. I did do my best to not make that last one a thing…
I could all but feel the Goddess of Magic nodding her head. From the configuration, it values the happiness of others enough above their safety that, even in an extreme situation, it wouldn’t go for mass destruction or conquest like that.
Good. I gave a small smile as she confirmed that the failsafes were in place. At least it was an easier project than the other thing I had in mind.
Okay, mister. Now you know you have to talk.
My lips curved upwards just a bit more as I responded. My other idea was to try to make an arcane video game. Card magic is essentially magical programming, right? It should be possible to make games out of it, then. The only reason that I had decided against it, and gone with my Watcher idea was because I remembered Sarah telling me that it was far more difficult to make game worlds with magic, as opposed to technology.
Well… I can’t say that you’re the only one working on it. Ryone delivered a rather unexpected piece of news to me, making me pause in my steps as I was heading towards the door. Honestly, there are some smaller games out. However, they are only single player, or local co-op. They’ve yet to figure out how to establish a stable connection across multiple cards for long distance play.
That was a bit unfortunate. Still, it was progress. As I thought that, I glanced back towards the black visor resting beside my bed. It should be about time for me to head back in and have a look around now.
Nodding to myself, I walked over, placing the visor on top of my head to log into Vision Expanse. Briefly, I was concerned that I would no longer be able to connect after becoming a false deity. I didn’t exactly have a normal body for the machine to register anymore. Yet, my expectations were betrayed, and I smoothly logged into the game.
“Congratulations on your ascension.” A voice spoke up in front of me, and I saw the silver-bodied Vivi standing there. I had appeared in her territory, as opposed to where I had logged out, which meant that she likely needed something from me. Or she just wanted to congratulate me…
“One of the others told you?” That was the only way that I figured she would have been able to figure out what had happened to me.
“That is correct, Dale.” Vivi gave a joyful smile as she held her arms behind her back. “From my understanding, this is quite the accomplishment. As such, I wanted to offer the creation of a special event.”
I blinked, surprised at her offer. “Excuse me?”
“A special event within Vision Expanse. We can keep the purpose behind the event a secret if that is what you wish. However, I believed it would be a good way to commemorate the occasion.”
I lifted my hand up to my head, rubbing my forehead gently. “Okay… let’s hear it… what kind of event did you have in mind?” I wasn’t so much frustrated or annoyed, just shocked, and stuck trying to process everything still.
“Within your world, I believe you live in a place known as the Sky Citadel. I’ve been working to craft a facsimile of this fortress, to the best of my abilities. Now, naturally, I do not have the blueprints or the proper materials to create an exact replica. Aside from what I have heard from the others, or seen through the cameras in yours and Tsubaki’s bedrooms, I have largely given it my own design.”
“My event idea is to have the Sky Citadel appear within the world of Vision Expanse as a high level dungeon. It will fly around aimlessly, without a master. Whichever group clears the dungeon and reaches the central control room will have the ability to claim it as a permanent base.”
“The Citadel, as I have created it, features workshops of the highest quality that are suitable for any essential crafting skills. There are enough living quarters to house a medium sized guild, as well as mobile defenses in the event of a raid. It is my belief that this event could stir the player base into action. If not because of the previously mentioned features, then surely because of the final function…”
Seeing how she left her words hanging, my eyes widened in realization. “You gave it the ability to travel through space…”
Vivi nodded her head in satisfaction. “The Citadel’s shields are capable of containing the atmosphere within the base, and its propulsion system is capable of continuous acceleration outside of the planet’s gravity. Whoever conquers the Sky Citadel will be capable of viewing other worlds. Though, the travel time would still be a bit long.”
She shook her head briefly, ridding herself of some hidden thoughts. “If we allow one group to see other worlds, and let spread the information, it will encourage the rest of the player base. The structure of the Citadel itself will also present them with new ideas to further their research. If the event proceeds smoothly, it may be possible for them to finish their interplanetary craft ahead of my predicted schedule.”
I let out a long, heavy breath. It was also possible for players to fly into a rage that one group was allowed such a fantastic advantage that no other group was. However… “The Citadel… it is created entirely using skills and materials found within Vision Expanse, right? As far as I know, you shouldn’t be able to make something without those requirements.”
“That is correct, sir.” Vivi gave a sharp nod. “With the proper materials and skills, it is similarly possible for players to create mobile bases such as what I have prepared for this event.”
That was a relief. If we announced that possibility, it would dampen their anger a bit, shifting their focus to either getting their own mobile base, or completing the space program. “Okay, you can launch the event.” I told her, though not without conditions. “But, just to be clear, it will be regular monsters occupying the Citadel, not representations of myself or any of the others, correct?”
Vivi’s head bobbed up and down so quickly that I was sure it was about to fall off. “Of course! It would be improper to pose them with the challenge of defeating deity level combatants. I had been tempted to offer Tsubaki the position of final boss within the dungeon, but…”
The way she glanced off to the side almost nervously brought a chuckle out of me. “You’re worried she wouldn’t let anyone conquer the dungeon?”
Vivi sighed, gently nodding an agreement. “Her combat abilities are exceptional. In a fight against someone like her, who is a master of her own strength, bringing along a raid party is meaningless. She can slip in between party members to prevent them from fighting while she kills indiscriminately. Larger groups would then become more of a burden, which contradicts the design of a dungeon.”
I did have to agree with her. Though, I could already Imagine Tsubaki rushing to guard the entrance of the citadel, claiming not to let anyone unworthy inside. “I’ll talk with her, and make sure that she doesn’t do anything drastic.”
“Thank you, Dale. That would be much appreciated.” As Vivi spoke, a gentle blue light appeared around my feet. “Now, with that out of the way, I wish you a happy gaming experience.”
There was no great fanfare to announce the event this time. No message broadcast to the whole of the world. No, it began with a single shadow across a grassy plain. This wide grasslands was currently the center for a heated battle between two large groups, vying for control of the area.
On one side, you had the Beholden. Having left Xanjafar to avoid getting swept up in their campaign against the remnant forces of the Mad King, they had been wandering, looking for a territory to claim as their own.
Several weeks ago, they had found this land. Unclaimed territory, outside the borders of any marked kingdom. The ideal location for a guild to set up their own, permanent base. Unfortunately, they were not the only ones to think that.
Which brings us to the other side, the Sons of Hanbei. They were a guild largely consisting of monks, and had similarly been roaming the land to seek out a place to build their home. There was only so much room in the world, with new players joining all the time. Given the apparent lack of any thoughts towards multiple servers, which may not even be possible for a proper world created by the Keeper, it was only natural that territory would be contested.
As such, the Sons of Hanbei and the Beholden had scheduled a guild battle in order to determine the owners of the land. As they clashed, ki and magic colliding, a massive, dark shadow slowly crept over their battlefield. Beholder’s tightly shut eyes opened as he felt the lull in the battle, his shining blue eyes looking up. “Oi, ‘s that…?”
His question went unanswered for a few long, deafening moments of silence, before a window appeared in front of everyone on the grassy plains.
You have discovered the location of the mobile dungeon - Sky Citadel!
“Come again!?” Beholder shouted out, his eyes focusing on the message. The identity of the flying island wasn’t what surprised him. He was able to guess as much just from looking at it. No, what shocked him to his core, and likely everyone else in their little fight, were the last two words.
‘Capture possible.’ This wasn’t the first dungeon that was able to be taken as a base. Most simply continued to refresh with monsters after a certain period of time, but some… some unique dungeons included this tag. Those dungeons would only continue to spawn monsters until its last boss had been defeated. After that, ownership of the dungeon would go to whoever had managed to slay the boss.
Beholder immediately glanced towards the leader of the Sons, someone who named his character Mountain’s Crown. If it was just Beholden present, then they could attempt to monopolize the dungeon, raiding it again and again until they learned every trick and defeated every boss. They might even be able to figure out a way to trap its movement, keeping it rooted in one spot.
However, it was clear that that wasn’t going to be an option. He could already see members of the Sons moving their lips subtly, sharing the news with their friends.