Looking at the beautiful catgirl I had created, I did my best to suppress the drool that was subconsciously released. Business first, fun later! Lots and lots of fun later! “So, Terra, what can you tell me about all of this? The option said you would have the information…?” Right, Dale, get your head together, gotta figure out the rules first. Don’t want to do anything that would end this heavenly afterlife early.
“Hmm? Oh, you mean the World Keepers, Master?” She looked to me inquisitively.
“Err, right. But just call me Dale, okay?” While being called Master was certainly appealing in its own way, it was way too distracting!
“Uh, alright Dale! And I have all of the necessary information that the system deemed important, as well as archived files regarding the last three iterations of Planet Earth.” Terra said with a broad smile.
Huh, what was that? “Wait, last three?”
“That’s right! Every time the Keeper is killed, the killer will inherit his position. Since each world is bound to a Keeper, the loss of the Keeper means the end of that instance.” She then furrowed her brows slightly. “The records show that you killed the last Keeper, due to a car accident, so you are Earth’s new Keeper.”
Ahh… so that’s what happened. Wait, what?! “You mean to tell me that because I hit some random guy with my truck, the entire world ended?!” You’ve got to be kidding me!
“That’s right, Dale! Uh, is everything okay? Wah, don’t be depressed!” Terra rushed over to me when I crouched down on the floor, patting me on the back. “The last Keeper’s companion noted him as a ‘lazy otaku, better off dead’, so don’t blame yourself too much, okay!?”
Somehow… I feel sorry for the last Keeper all of a sudden… he probably didn’t luck out as well as I did when it came to companion personalities. Still, the whole world, just gone. All because of one insignificant car accident. What would happen if a Keeper had a heart attack then, or killed himself? Would it just go to some random person, or would the world truly be destroyed?
“Dale? Dale! If you keep this up, I’ll get angry, okay!?” Terra was still trying to console me, and I looked up to see her worried expression.
“I...I’ll be fine. Go ahead with the explanations, please.” Distractions are good right now, and Terra was definitely the best distraction.
“Uhm, okay? Well, I guess I should start with the abilities and duties of a Keeper. Keepers create and oversee a world of their design, and guide it to prosperity. Once a world reaches a proper level of power, it is entered in the World Keeper games. In these games, you send your forces to fight against other worlds, or defend against such invasions yourself. The goal of the attacking team is to defeat the supreme existence of the other world, the Keeper.”
“If a Keeper dies during the game, any worlds they control are given to the Keeper managing the winning army, and they are able to bolster their forces by creating and managing these new worlds. During the invasion, a Keeper is forced to descend, and can only use the powers or technologies which exist within the world. For instance, the last instance of Earth had the potential for instant-disintegration weapons. However, the technology level had not reached the required amount yet. So, if the world was invaded, the Keeper would not have access to that technology.”
I felt my brows knit together as I tried to absorb this new information. “But, I don’t remember anything in history that would suggest Earth being invaded before.”
It was at that point that Terra frowned again. “No, Earth hadn’t reached the level to be part of the World Keeper games yet. The previous Keeper only advanced the world enough to provide his own entertainment, and then chose to live life on the surface. At the rate that Earth was going, the previous companion estimated it would take another hundred years before the first invasion.”
“Ahh… I see.” I nodded my head marginally at that.
“Now, as long as you are in the Administration Room, which is where you reside by default, you are functionally immortal. You will neither age nor get sick, and nothing will be capable of hurting you. However, once you descend, your body becomes more normal. While you still cannot age, you can be killed normally by other means.” Terra explained calmly, sitting down cross-legged in front of me and assuming an almost teacher-like attitude.
“In the Administration Room, you can change almost any aspects of your worlds, as long as you can afford the points to do so. You could even entirely reset your world to start from scratch, if you decided that you did not like how it was developing.”
When she mentioned points, I raised my eyebrows curiously, which she apparently noticed. With a smile, she continued her speech. “Points can be gained through benchmark achievements, or participating in the games. You can also choose to descend to your world and work for points as well. To start with, you have five hundred points to spend to start your world.”
“What kind of world could I make?” I decided I better find this out early on, otherwise I might be in for an even bigger surprise.
Hearing my question, Terra grinned broadly. “Theoretically, you could make any kind of world you wanted. The first iteration of Earth was one in which the Keeper tried a random-mutation path. After humans evolved, they began developing random powers. While the Keeper wasn’t able to determine what powers would appear, this was still a valid strategy. After all, when he descended, he would gain all of those powers at once. His record in the game was three successful invasions defended, before a power mutated that killed him. One of the humans was born with the unfortunate ability to be a living bomb…”
“The second Earth was created as a futuristic one, complete with space travel and alien civilizations. Although the Keeper never won an invasion, he was able to create additional worlds thanks to the theme he chose. Sadly, he ran out of points trying to enhance his extra planets, and had to descend to try to earn more. It was at that time that the ship he was on was drawn into a large war, and he was killed.”
“As for the third, and most recent Earth, you know all about it. The Keeper simply installed additional AI assistants as local deities to manage the world while he waited for the entertainment industry to advance far enough, then spent the rest of his days as a shut-in.” Compared to the first two Keepers, who she seemed to speak about with admiration, she used a much harsher tone for the third.
“Ah… what about magic?” She didn’t mention anything about a fantasy world in that. Surely, such a thing would be possible, right?
Terra nodded with a delighted smile. “Of course, magic is possible! You could choose to create a fantasy world fueled by mana, or even a world in which the inhabitants are able to increase their lifespans through martial training. Would you like me to pull up the basic packages for you to look at?”
I thought about it, and then nodded to accept her proposal. She seemed rather happy that I was over my brief bout of depression, and almost instantly a window appeared describing different options available to me.
|Technological World||World Size 5 - 40 points
Technology Affinity- 20 points
Education - 10 points
|Package - 70 points|
|Cultivation World||World Size 7 - 60 points
Martial Affinity- 10 points
Pseudomagic Affinity- 10 points
Longevity- 30 points
|Package - 110 points|
|Fantasy World||World Size 6 - 50 points
Magic Affinity- 20 points
Extra Sapient Races- 30 points
|Package - 100 points|
|Mutant World||World Size 4 - 30 points
Randomized Mutation - 100 points
|Package - 130 points|
|Custom World||World Size 1 - 0 points||Package - 0 points|
These packages don’t seem very extensive… I looked suspiciously at Terra, who simply smiled. “Don’t worry, there are way more options to choose from after you pick a starting package. These are just here to help you get started.”
I nodded slightly, and selected the Fantasy World package. Magic has always fascinated me, and watching a real world evolve with magic would be really cool. Suddenly, the scenery around us changed. No longer were we in a grey landscape, but instead we seemed to be standing miles above the surface of a lush, green planet. Down below, I could faintly make out trees, lakes, and mountains in the distance.
“Alright, that’s step one!” Terra called out happily, raising her arms in triumph. Must not look at those glorious, bouncing hills. Must focus! “Now, since this package included ‘Extra Sapient Races’, you can design up to ten species to place as the sapient races of this world. Each one starts with base human abilities, which can be increased or lowered to effect their point total. If the total is a positive amount after adjustments, then you will need to pay additional points to finalize the race.”
“Don’t worry, because you don’t need to create all ten right away. Any race slots that you don’t use will be saved for later.” Terra explained with a quick nod, so I got to work on another window that appeared in front of me.
|Example Adult Male||Example Adult Female|
For the first one, I decided to just leave it at default, filling the race name as ‘Human’. No matter what world you go to, humans are definitely the staple race, right? As for the second one… naturally it had to be elf, right? I tried to fine-tune it for the elves, and had to adjust some things.
Of course, an elf’s lifespan can’t be as low as 75 years, so I increased that to 600. This brought the point cost of the race to 10, so I reduced their Comprehension to 5, and raised their Agility to 6. This should, hopefully, make them learn more at the pace that their bodies develop, while also making them faster than humans. Next, I gave them the second level of Magic Affinity for another 20 points.
I made a few more adjustments, until finally I came up with this.
|Example Adult Male||Example Adult Female|
- Magical Affinity 2
Okay, that should be good for that race. I nodded to myself, before I got to work on the other races. Aside from the elves, most of them balanced out fairly well when I tweaked their stats. In total, I made dwarves, halflings, and beastkin(cats, dogs, bears, and foxes). That left me with two extra race slots, which I decided to save for later. Maybe I’d make demons and dragons once the world developed more?
“Ready now, Dale?” Terra asked curiously, to which I nodded without fully understanding what she meant. “Okay! Now, we’re going to fast-forward the planet by a few millennia until your world has a population of about eighty-thousand. That will be a good time to start developing culture, and choosing your magic system!”
Before I had a chance to react to that, the scenery below us began rapidly moving. The tiny figures that dotted the ground ran about at high speeds, with day and night passing in the blink of an eye. “Wh-what? What do you mean magic system?” I asked after I managed to compose myself. The shock of the world suddenly going at high speeds had startled me for a moment.
“Hmm? Oh, there are various types of magic you can ‘install’ on the planet. For instance, you could go with a rune language that rewrites the fabric of reality. You could install gods that manage certain aspects of the world, and grant their followers power related to their domains. You could even choose to have the magic work either through imagination or geometric formulas!”
“Ah…” Wow… there were way more options here than I had expected. Then again, I didn’t really know what to expect in the first place. “What about culture?”
“Same thing.” She replied with a shrug. “Though, with culture, you can just choose to leave it at default and let them develop naturally. If you wish to guide them down a specific path, that will cost additional points.”
I nodded my head slightly, and took a look at my remaining points. 350 left… I could probably afford some pretty cool things with that? Though, judging by how expensive some things have been, I should probably spend sparingly.