As I returned to the Admin Room, I felt a warm feeling surround my body, and two fleshy lumps pressing against my chest. “Welcome back, Dale.” The catgirl goddess spoke in a happy voice, obviously relieved to see me back.
I smiled to her, opening my eyes and reaching up to pet her hair. “I’ll probably go back to train more later. I still have a quest I need to finish, right?” I chuckled lightly as she gave me a small nod.
“Alright, but you still have to be careful. Not just for your own sake…” Terra said something rather ominous there, didn’t she?
“Uhm… what?” I looked at her confused. I mean, I could understand if me being in danger would be bad for the world, since it would mean a full reset with a new Keeper.
“Well… your real level. If it gets higher than the current strongest person, stronger monsters will begin to spawn. You don’t have to worry about that if it’s just your Keeper level, but once you actually train yourself that high, it will be a problem.”
Ahh… I hadn’t considered that possibility. “I see… I’ll have to take things in moderation, then.” Currently, my real level was only five or so, so there was no risk of upsetting the balance of the world quite yet. “By the way, did anything happen while I was gone?”
Terra thought about that for a moment before giving a small nod. “There were five more purchases of the World Host. Alkahest also sent a message asking to meet up whenever it was convenient for you. Aside from that… there weren’t any developments on Earth.”
Cool, so five more hosts sold… that should be another fifteen points, then. I nodded my head at that. “Alright. Before we get started on anything else, can you help me find a few of the afterlife systems? Even if I can’t afford them, I’d like to make a plan for the future.” Terra nods with a small smile on her face when I ask that, and a blue window appears in front of me.
|Heaven and Hell||This system establishes two small storage areas for deceased souls within the metaphysical realm. Whenever a soul is ready to move on, the Keeper or an appointed god will judge their events in life, to determine their placement. Those deemed virtuous souls will be granted a blissful afterlife as their reward, and those deemed sinful will be condemned to eternal torture. This reward or punishment can end at any time, when the Keeper or relevant god determines that a soul is fit to be given another chance at life, and at that point the Keeper or relevant god can determine the circumstances surrounding the birth of this new life.||50 Points|
|Cycle of Reincarnation||This system enters your world in the great Cycle of Reincarnation, shared through many Keeper worlds. Whenever a soul with a strong innate talent dies, there is a chance for it to be reborn, either in your world or another in this cycle. It will retain fragmented memories of its past life, and if those memories are sufficient the soul will be able to regain its former power, should the new life's world be compatible with those powers.||60 points|
|Hall of Champions||A defensive system put in place to offer an emergency fighting force in the event of impending disaster. With this system, every soul above a sufficient level of strength is entered into the Hall of Champions, where they may feast, fight, and celebrate for an eternity, or until they are called for one final battle. Each soul can only be called this way once, but there is no limit to the number of souls that can be called at a time. Souls not qualified to enter the Hall of Champions will be consumed as fuel to maintain the dimension.||150 points|
|Astral Plane||This system creates a second, spiritual world within your domain. Whenever a soul dies in the Material Plane, it may be transferred to the Astral Plane to live a new life. Likewise, when a soul dies in the Astral Plane, it may be reborn in the Material Plane with its memories erased.||200 points|
|Soul Disposal||A quick and easy system, which disposes of souls after a set amount of time has passed since their death.||50 Points|
“While these aren’t the only systems available, they are the ones that are more popular.” Terra explained as I read through the list.
“Why is Heaven and Hell so cheap? It sound like something that should cost at least a hundred points…” I asked curiously, unable to figure that part out.
“Ah… that’s because of the need for a dedicated ‘Judge’ role. If a Keeper personally takes that task, and has to oversee every death for his entire world, he would have no time to develop the world. Otherwise, he would need to spend points to acquire a separate Judge to do the work for him.”
“That makes sense, I suppose.” Personally, I was torn between the Heaven and Hell system, and the Hall of Champions. The Cycle of Reincarnation sounds good, but really seems more like a trap. If a malicious Keeper raised their world’s talents right, they could probably make it so that the reincarnated individuals hold absolute loyalty to their original world, and cause chaos after being reincarnated.
So, next I looked through a list of options for the ‘Judge’ role. There were actually a lot of choices, including preset gods, devils, and even a court of souls. However, there was one option which caught my eye the most.
|Lemegeton and Shemhamphorasch||This is a system of 72 angels and 72 demons, each with their own specialty, who oversee the realms of Heaven and Hell. It is their task to judge the souls of those who pass away in the world, and then carry out the punishment or reward. They will also make suggestions to the Keeper or assigned god whenever a powerful soul is ready to be given another life. Although these angels and demons have no physical form, it is possible for those that have passed through their care to commune with them. In doing so, they may establish the angels or demons as a source of divine power, should such be possible in your world. The Keeper may limit the influence that the 72 angels and demons have on the living through the system settings.||100 points|
While I hadn’t heard the name Shemhamphorasch before, I was at least somewhat familiar with the Lemegeton. Also known as the Lesser Key of Solomon, it was a fairly well known book, supposedly associated with demonology in the Earth I was raised in. Though, I can’t say I know the details of it too well.
Anyways… I ended up choosing to go for that option. Not because of nostalgia or anything, but because of cost effectiveness. Any of the other preset options would require at least fifty points, and have only one or two entities. This may be a one hundred point system, but contains nearly a hundred and fifty entities. Furthermore, it offers a new kind of power to the world.
I nodded my head after having made my decision, and closed the system interface. I would need a hundred and fifty points in order to purchase that, and I was not ready for that, yet. There were still a few achievements I would need to earn before I could afford it. Turning towards Terra, I brought up a different subject. “Did Alkahest happen to mention what he wanted?”
Before, he had offered to let me join his guild, so I figured it probably had something to do with that. However, Terra gave me a different answer than I was expecting. “He said that there is a meeting of Keepers happening in a few weeks, and wanted to let you join in. Earth hasn’t been represented in a long time, so he offered to go over the rules and benefits of joining before the meeting itself.”
I raised my eyebrows in surprise upon hearing that. “A meeting of Keepers? Is that something official?”
Terra simply gave a smile, shaking her head. “No, this is something they probably set up for themselves. While there is an official gathering time for Keepers, it only applies to those that are advanced enough to participate in the games. We likely won’t be ready for the next one, so I didn’t bother to tell you about it.”
“Ah… is it important?”
She shrugged lightly in response. “Not particularly. You could consider it like the forums, a way for Keepers to meet and exchange ideas face to face in a peaceful environment. There are games that you can enter, either with yourself or with champions from your world, and compete to earn points. However, attendance is definitely not mandatory, and there is no real penalty for being absent.”
I nodded in understanding at that, then made a bitter smile. “Put us at each other’s throats with the Keeper games, and then have us all meet for a festival peacefully? This system really can’t make up its mind.”
Terra simply gave me a knowing smile at that, not saying anything. Well, no use worrying over it right now. Like she said, I was still a long ways away from being able to take part in any of that. Right now, my own world was just getting started. I gave another look to the computer before speaking. “I’ll do a bit more training before I visit Alkahest, then. I want to figure out how this Spirit Tamer class works, and maybe unlock another class.”
She nodded, patting me on the shoulder as she let out a slight sigh. “Alright. I can’t give you any advice about that, but I can tell you something.” She leaned forward, giving me a quick peck on the cheek. “If you can’t figure it out yourself, the system unlocks the ability you want at level five of Spirit Tamer. That’s the most I can do for you with that.”
I grin knowingly, accepting that answer. Was still more than I was hoping for. “Alright. Then, while I’m gone, can you let Alkahest know that we’ll be meeting in a couple of days? I shouldn’t take long to get a couple more levels down on the surface, at most a couple hours, but that will give me plenty of time to relax after I get back.” Terra easily accepted that, and I went back down to the world again.
For now, I want to use only system abilities, except for the Spirit Tamer class. That way, I don’t carelessly level other classes. I nodded to myself while looking around for more targets. Since I spawned in the same location as before, it was still a pretty sparsely populated area. It took me a full five minutes to find something that was not treated as a level zero lifeform.
And… this was another horned rabbit. Well, let’s just get this over with? I aimed my hand at the rabbit from a distance, and chose to use the Fire spell in my mind. When the diagram appeared in my head, I drew a cone shape. Horned rabbits were fast, so a straight shot or a punch would most likely miss, and improvising would get me more levels than I wanted for now.
There was a high pitched scream from the rabbit as it was suddenly engulfed in flames, before it turned and charged at me. Unfortunately for the rabbit… fire is not just an instant attack, at least not when something catches on fire. And, since this was a cone attack… a large area had caught on fire.
I watched the health bar slowly draining as the horned rabbit ran through the flames to try to reach me. Was it thinking that it should at least make me join it in death? Well… that wasn’t likely to happen, if I had any say. By the time the rabbit reached me, it had only a sliver of health remaining, and its speed had been greatly lessened due to its pain. Killing it at this point was as easy as taking a step back and letting the fire damage finish its work.
Just like that, the horned rabbit let out a pitiful cry, and collapsed on the ground in front of me. As I had expected, I did not receive any notification of an increase in level, so I knelt down and began the process of extracting the rabbits spirit again. This time, the rabbit spirit did not seem to want to return to its body, but rather desperately struggled to break free so that it could run away from me.
But, would I really let it get away so easily? Keeping a firm grasp on its neck, I prevented its escape, while sending my will to meet it. Unlike the boar, this frightened rabbit offered almost no resistance before its mental wall crumbled. Once that happened, its terrified eyes grew lifeless, and it slowly began to dissipate, turning into a formless mass of white smoke that merged with the hand holding it.
Successfully contracted level 1 Horned Rabbit - Stage 1
I could only give a sigh as the rabbit merged with me. Searching my energies, I found that it now existed alongside the boar, the two spirits motionless within me. Maybe I can feed one to the other?
When the idea occurred to me, I naturally had to try it. Although I couldn’t coax the boar out of me, I might be able to make it interact with another spirit. As such, I connected my mind to the spirit of the boar, and ordered it to consume the rabbit spirit. That’s… when things got weird.
The boar spirit’s eyes seemed to glow red, as it turned to look at the motionless rabbit. Its body broke down into smoke, which spread out in all directions within the area I was watching, and then converged on the rabbit. Even as parts of it broke off and faded into nothing, the rabbit made neither a sound nor a movement, right up until the end.
With the job done, the boar spirit reformed, just as motionless as it was before. However… it seemed slightly different. Its legs looked like they had gotten thicker, while its tusks had become sharper.
Level 2 Razor Boar consumed Level 1 Horned Rabbit. Dexterity +0.5
Spirit Tamer has leveled up!
Okay… that is probably not what I wanted to do. Is that a way to evolve spirits by making them feed on each other? Still… interesting.