I was actually quite surprised when I focused on connecting to the two energy types, feeling the differences between them and what I was used to. It was these changes that made me glad that I had chosen to do this, instead of simply granting myself the skills. The most significant change came with spiritual energy.

On Earth, spiritual energy was gaseous, misty. It was hard to properly grasp without the proper techniques. However, once you knew the techniques, it became possible to perform even the most fine manipulation. Here it was… dense, more firm. Easier to connect with, but far more difficult to properly wield.

Curious, I sent a mental message towards Vivi. Just wondering, but what kind of afterlife system does Vision Expanse use?

It only took a moment to hear back from her. Spiritual energy is passively absorbed by dungeons to replenish monsters. If there is no dungeon nearby, it is possible for the spiritual energy to automatically condense and form a new dungeon.

I gave a small nod, letting that information sink in. It was an efficient system that furthered the design of a game. And given that the ‘life’ on this planet was not truly ‘alive’, would it really be regarded as cruel?

I shook away those thoughts, focusing instead on natural energy. Like the spiritual, it had undergone some changes as well. Though, these were perhaps not as drastic. Natural energy now seemed to respond in many ways the same as mana, though relying on the power of the world to achieve results instead of the power of magic.

Now that I knew about these changes, I was able to formulate an idea on how to fuse them. Balu had once told me that the common energy fusions would always maintain the same ratios between worlds, which was something that I could put to my advantage. I knew how much of the energy to use, and only needed to speculate on the how.

Given the more firm structure of spiritual energy, simply pushing the two together and swirling them around didn’t seem like the best idea. Instead, I kept my eyes closed, focusing. “Condense.” Stretching my hand out, I turned my palm upwards.

The spiritual energy began moving, condensing into a small bead just above my palm. For now… let’s call this a soul seed. For this fusion, I had to take advantage of the unique properties of both energy types, making this seed the foundation to create a new spirit.

My next command went out towards the natural energy, and I could feel the jewel in my headdress heating up slightly. I called the natural energy to surround the soul seed, letting the seed ‘soak’ in the energy. From there, I began monitoring the seed through the natural energy, attempting to form a connection between the two.

Over time, I began to notice a change within the seed. Whenever I made an attempt to directly connect it to the mass of natural energy, a small portion of the seed would briefly turn light up within my perception. I gave a small nod at that, narrowing my brows as I began to focus harder. Although I was not directly using my mana for this, I still needed to consume some in order to control the other energies. The equipment only lessened that burden, instead of removing it.

Concentrating on the natural energy, I made it connect to the seed from all directions at once. Right away, I was able to feel the change, my eyes snapping open. The seed was now green, floating a bit above my hand as the energy rushed towards it.

I didn’t waste any time, jumping back and out of the glowing cloud that had been created. There was the off chance that I would get swept away by it, given my current level, and I didn’t want that to happen. Besides, from my experience creating world spirits the first time, I knew that I had already done everything that I needed to do. From here, it was just a matter of watching and waiting.

Naturally, Tsubaki stayed next to me the entire time. Every now and then, I was able to see her body briefly flicker, but she would always return immediately as if nothing was wrong. All the while, the surroundings became more and more chaotic, a tempest of energy sweeping through the clearing.

“Is this normal, my Keeper?” Tsubaki asked calmly, and I could feel the impact on my body lessen considerably as she shielded me.

“That’s right.” I nodded my head. “It usually turns out like this.” Vaguely, I could see a shape beginning to form within the swirling streams of light. Like Vivi, it possessed a silver body. However, its gender was entirely unknown, looking closer to an androgenous doll as it floated gently in the air. There was no life to its eyes, no significant marker that it even recognized our existence. It just stayed there, unmoving.

“I see…” As I watched what seemed no more than a floating doll, I realized something. The world spirits were so alive and active within the other world because the spirits used to make them had all of those emotions. Even the appearance of a complete world spirit was determined by the inner thoughts of those souls.

In this world, however, the spiritual energy came from creatures who were largely missing such emotions. And it didn’t seem to have been granted the ‘template’ personality that NPCs were given here. Which meant that it would remain in this state forever, until it was either killed… or given some of what it was missing.

“Tsubaki, would you like to help me finish?” I wasn’t confident in controlling my own spiritual energy right now, even with the assistance of this gear, so I could only look towards her for help.

“Certainly, my Keeper. How may I be of assistance?” She asked politely, offering a small bow.

I explained my observation to her about the spirit, before pointing a finger to it. “I just need you to inject a small strand of spiritual energy into the ‘seed’ inside of it. This should give it the capacity to properly think and feel.” And given how I hadn’t been rewarded for what I had been doing so far, the system likely wouldn’t consider the task completed until this step was taken.

Tsubaki thought about my request for a moment, before nodding and moving forward. As she did, the storm of energy began to calm around the spirit. By the time she fully approached, it was still just floating there, unmoving and unflinching. “The Keeper has asked for your life.” Tsubaki spoke, raising a hand. Gently, she tapped her finger against the tiny head of the spirit, and I could see a small silver strand briefly connect the two.

I felt a small smile creep over my lips, because I knew that there was likely to be a second effect from the use of Tsubaki’s spiritual energy. An effect that was all but confirmed by the messages appearing in front of me.

You have personally trained the Spirit Control skill to Level 13!

You have personally trained the Natural Energy Manipulation skill to Level 9!

You have received an achievement!

For creating a spirit-type pet to be used by another player, you have earned the Spirit of Life achievement!

I had already received the reward for creating world spirits once before, so it was no surprise to see that it was missing this time. However, the massive increase in the two untrained skills was sure to help me in the future. Whenever I came back to this character, instead of just using a world spirit avatar, at least.

“Sir?” Tsubaki asked, turning her head to look at me in confusion. “The system said that I have registered this spirit as a pet just now…”

“That’s fine.” I nodded. “I thought it might happen. Consider it someone to keep you company while you’re playing, when Aurivy and the others can’t be around.”

Tsubaki hesitated for a moment, before nodding her head. “As you wish, my Keeper.” After she said that, she waved her hand, causing the newly acquired pet to vanish.

As I watched that, I sent a quick message to Terra. Just to confirm, Tsubaki won’t need to actively be online in order for me to bring an avatar here, correct?

That’s right. Terra answered back right away. The important thing is that the spirit exists. Even if it is stored someplace else while she is offline, it does not cease to exist during that time. Well, that was a relief to hear, at least.

Logain panted for breath, gripping his icy blue longsword as he stood over the body of the last of the spider monsters. Pulling up, he drew his blade out of the beast’s hide, letting out a deep breath. Throughout the room, books were burning, others having been ruined by water.

It was regrettable that a large portion of the information within the library had been wasted. Going by the usual pattern, there were likely many hidden skills recorded in these books. At least, that would fit with what was commonly known about the Sky Citadel’s library, which had once been a great font of knowledge that spread throughout the world.

“Put out whatever fires you can, save any books that remain.” Logain called out, having used too much of his stamina and not possessing the abilities to extinguish fires on such a large scale himself.

Crystal and Jade glanced at each other and nodded, closing their eyes and stretching out their arms. Gradually, the roar of the flames began to die down, much to everyone’s relief.

Once Logain had managed to calm his breathing, he looked towards the others. “We’ll take a moment to rest here, and then we’re moving straight to the central chambers. If we can get ahold of the control mechanisms, there might be an anti-intruder function that can be used to help clear out the rest of the monsters.”

In reality, that was their original plan. Most bases wouldn’t possess something like that, unless it had been added in personally by the base’s owner. But this was the Sky Citadel, likely the highest tier base anyone had ever seen. It wasn’t outside the realm of possibility for it to come equipped with such a thing. The only problem was finding it.

They had only taken this detour because, out of all of the buildings within the citadel, this was the room that they were most concerned about. There was the possibility that any anti-intruder weapons would damage the rooms that they were used in, destroying any information that they could have learned from the library.

You have received a message from Stellar Dynamics Research Representative! The voice of Logain’s fairy spoke up, causing his lips to twitch upwards in a smile. Ever since Crystal appeared, there had been a few cases like this, where a representative of one company or another tried to get in touch with him.

Naturally, he was busy and couldn’t answer their messages, but he had taken a look at a couple of them in between fights. These companies were willing to pay handsomely to allow some of their own researchers within the Sky Citadel on its maiden voyage, should Legion be successful in capturing it.

Perhaps it was because of everyone’s confidence that his team would be able to clear the dungeon, or maybe the potential reward that awaited them afterwards, but Logain couldn’t find it in himself to be in a bad mood. The Keeper had personally stated that this world was meant to inspire travel to other planets, did he not? If that was the case, then it would only be his duty to allow those representatives.

Of course, the context of a game still allowed enough freedom for him to accept their payments, or even ask for some of his own. In such circumstances, there was nothing wrong with their group profiting off of their skills.


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