Eventually, I was able to feel Leowynn returning, the golden mist slowly hovering through the halls before it entered my body on the couch. She was certainly in a better mood now, and her spirit all but radiated joy. We’ll have to come back more often so that we can check on Spica from now on, won’t we?
I’d really appreciate that, father. Leowynn answered in a sincere voice as I closed my eyes, quietly returning to my place in the Sky Citadel. The only difference was that I had now chosen to appear as a halfling. Even if it was a bit ridiculous, I had spent so long descended as a human, and didn’t want humans to suddenly think that they were overly favored.
Of course, I could easily change what race I appeared as, now that I was a full divinity. It was probably possible ever since I gained my divine body. Using the system was just my way of taking a shortcut.
Once I had descended, I found myself standing in my bedroom, turning and walking towards the mirror that I had created with my divinity previously. The same mirror that I had attached the Watcher to. Waving my hand over the mirror, the interface to control the Watcher card appeared.
After first severing the link between this mirror and others, I then activated the spell’s ability to animate within its host, as well as its ability to speak. “How do you feel?” I asked, inwardly praying that the spell had not developed a warped personality.
“I feel great!” A new voice said from within the mirror. The reflective surface was briefly covered with a silver fog, my own figure vanishing from within. When the fog cleared, there was a young woman standing in the mirror, wearing a long, golden dress with ornate designs that looked reminiscent of the mirror’s frame. “You’re the Keeper, right?” She asked in a pleasant tone. She seemed a bit too tall to be a halfling, yet not as tall as your average human. Her ears were slightly pointed, with her hair a sandy blonde.
“That’s right.” I confirmed rather easily. “Have you come up with a name for yourself?” Although it was able to mimic emotions due to its settings, I knew that those emotions were merely calculated due to various factors.
“A name?” The embodiment of the spell tilted her head slightly, blinking. “I’m Watcher, of course. Isn’t that my name?”
Well, I mean… sort of? “That’s… closer to your ‘race’ than your name.”
“Oh!” She nodded in understanding, crossing her arms in front of her petite chest. “I think that I like the name Ana.” Immediately, that made me think of the human ‘saintess’ that had first started to change the world’s view on humans after the first representative… didn’t do a very good job.
Deep down, I realized how she had come to find that name most suitable, but I still nodded my head. “Alright, let’s call you Ana, then.” Ana beamed a happy smile, giving a small twirl within the mirror. “So, what do you think about the world you’ve been watching?”
“Hmm?” Once she had straightened her posture, she turned to look at me. “Well, I learned a lot of things. People can be really nice and caring, but… they can also be incredibly cruel. It was really hard to figure out what drove people to act like they do. Even now, I’m not entirely sure I’ve gotten it right. But I definitely saw more people being nice and having fun with one another than those being mean!”
“Outside of that, there were a lot of different things to learn. Did you know that the Magical Research Institute of Xanathor has a mirrored ceiling in its practice rooms? Warded to reinforce it against damage, of course, but they use it to record magical experiments!” She seemed really excited when relaying that bit of information.
“Oh? Were you able to learn anything nice from that?” I knew that the Watcher would eventually be able to cast spells, and potentially grow to become a rudimentary elementalist. It could not, however, wield ki or spiritual energy. Even natural energy could only be used through the basic method of connecting to it via mana.
“Yup!” She nodded her head. “There are these two students, Larien and Sarel, competing to try and find a way to improve storage spells. Every day, they each head to a training room and begin laying out a new version of their enchantments. I’m not sure what all the symbols mean yet, but I’ve been working on decoding them. I think that if I have a couple more days to watch, I might be able to beat both of them!” Ana stuck out her tongue playfully when she said that.
I gave a small, satisfied nod at that. Ana’s interest in enchantment was… not unexpected. It was a field perfectly suited for someone like her. “What do you think the world needs most right now? From what you’ve seen, I mean.”
It took a moment for Ana to process that question. “Most people are happy. There is plenty of food to go around thanks to the presence of monsters, but at the same time those monsters present a threat to the various races. Guards are always complaining about how they’re kept busy, patrolling the roads or watching from the walls.”
“The wards around the cities prevent most monsters from attacking, but there are those that still choose to do so. And for travelers moving on foot, who can’t use the transport channels for one reason or another, the roads are treacherous.”
“With the increase of storage capabilities inside of bags, then containing those bags within quest scrolls, the need for long caravans has been all but eliminated. Most merchants are able to carry all of their necessary goods on their person, only having to hire guards or mercenaries to escort them from place to place when transport channels or druids are unavailable.”
“Now, granted, this is only a minority of people. Most are able to afford the commission to go between cities rather easily, or are able to form those connections themselves. However, I have seen this trend appearing most commonly among centaurs and halflings, two highly nomadic races, as well as those training themselves to become strong adventurers. Even though they are fully capable of utilizing such alternate means of transport, they still choose manual travel.”
“If I were to designate a single item that would be deemed the most useful to the world today, it would be an ‘escape charm’. This is a general term I’ll assign, defined as an item capable of allowing individuals to escape from mortal danger.”
“In order to mass produce the item, the materials would need to be fairly cheap. However, that would mean that the item itself would be unable to properly contain its own enchantment, and would be destroyed upon a single use. The easiest way to create the enchantment that I can estimate would be to have it bind to a location of the owner’s choosing, most likely their home. Then, in a moment of need, they could activate it to be instantly transported back to their bound point.”
Without stopping for a single breath, Ana continued her explanation as if it were only natural. “Even with this measure, there will be those who are unable to react in time, or who fall victim to a poison and are still killed after returning to their home. However, this should reduce overall casualties by more than eighty percent for those who insist on taking the road.”
I gave a small nod as I listened to her argument. Indeed, an item like that would be valuable. However… “Why hasn’t an item like that already been made?” It should clearly be within the realm of possibility, given the current development level of the various worlds.
“There is one student within Xanathor’s institute that has been studying this problem, as well.” Ana explained, nodding her head. “The issue is publicly known, but creating a device capable of filling that need is more difficult than one might expect. A simple teleportation item is easy to make. However, permanently binding the enchantment to a location is more difficult.”
“Furthermore, this student is researching which materials can be used in order to contain the initial enchantment process, without being too expensive to mass produce. Currently, he is looking into using a synthetic compound commonly used in most construction projects. Sadly, the mana storage capabilities of that material have proven to be insufficient for his needs.”
Again, I gave another nod. “What material would you suggest?”
Ana looked towards me, blinking in confusion. “I do not know. I’m not aware of the capacity most materials have to store mana. I would need more information in order to make a proper analysis. If it were possible, I would suggest using synthetic cards for the medium of the spell, created within the world of Deckan. The production of such a card relies entirely on energy and the contribution of spiritual energy by numerous willing volunteers.”
“Although it would require more volunteers in order to create enough cards to mass produce the spell, I believe that the end result would be a sizable profit for Deckan’s trade industry, as well as the aforementioned fatality decrease. Furthermore, I believe that this production method would be the most valuable to those of the world Fyor. Although they will not be able to use it to move between floors, they will be capable of binding their teleport location to the gate.”
Her answers definitely made sense, and made me rather happy because it showed that she was truly taking the safety of the people into account. She didn’t suggest greater weapons to deal with the monsters, or automated golems that could handle the patrols, but rather a way for those in danger to escape safely.
“For now, I’m going to reopen your link to other mirrors. You’ll be able to observe some more. However, the link is going to be one-way, so you won’t be able to project your appearance or voice to other mirrors.” As I said that, I established the link as I said, and I could see Ana’s eyes change, the golden iris seeming to reflect a myriad of different scenes.
“I understand. From what I know, people would find it rather unusual if their mirror suddenly began talking to them. Though oddly, people spend a great deal of time talking to their mirrors, even when they are not used for magical purposes.” She seemed slightly confused by that, but shrugged her shoulders.
Leaving her to her ‘studies’, I moved towards the exit to my room, leaving it and projecting my world sight to observe Tsubaki’s room. It seemed like she had logged off from the game already, as she was not in her bed and her computer was currently off. And as I exited the hidden passage that contained the entrance to my bedroom, I found her waiting patiently for me.
“Greetings, my Keeper.” She spoke in her usual polite tone. “I believe that the situation with the Sky Citadel within the game has now been properly resolved.”
“Already?” I asked in surprise. I had seen how many people there were, and figured it would take her a bit longer to ‘persuade’ them all to leave. People were persistent creatures, after all.
However, she simply nodded her head. “The Citadel has been claimed by the group known as Legion. At first, there were many who immediately sought to rob them of their prize. However, I felt that bringing a battle between to your throne room would be disrespectful, and stepped in to stop them…” She glanced off to the side as she said that, as if not sure if I would punish her for interfering in the event.
Nonetheless, she did continue. “At first, I planned to fight them off by myself. However, after a few minutes, crystal turrets began to appear in the courtyard, and began firing on the invaders. Surprisingly, I myself was not targeted. Later, I learned that these were not automated turrets, but had been controlled by the group members within the citadel.”
“The group, Legion, emerged after the invaders had been cleared out to thank me for protecting them while they learned how to use the base’s defenses.” At that, Tsubaki gave a satisfied nod, clearly pleased with how they had behaved.
So it was the base’s defenses that killed everyone before Tsubaki had the chance… wait… I wonder if the real Sky Citadel has those kinds of defenses… and if not, we should fix that.