Dana hummed lightly to herself as she stepped through the Fairy Ring to enter the world of Fyor. It had been a while since she had entered this world personally, so she was quite eager to play around. However, she knew that business would come first. With a smile, she looked around the space surrounding the Fairy Ring.
Using her authority as one of the Keeper’s aides, Dana activated the ring ahead of schedule, causing several individuals to already have their weapons at the ready when she stepped through. It would not be unusual for a devastating monster to appear through the gate at such a time.
However, when they saw that it was a young elven girl, they shook their heads and stowed their weapons. There were no doubt special circumstances behind her appearance, or perhaps she was from a new world altogether, such as the time when an elf crossed over from Spica.
With that thought in mind, a human man in a white robe walked up to approach Dana, who seemed to be performing some light stretches. “Pardon me, but can I ask what your business is?” The apparent priest spoke politely.
“Hmm… about nine hundred times larger than the base layer of this world.” Dana estimated, judging the gravity affecting her body and lightly hopping in place for a moment before turning to the priest. “Oh, good! I was just going to find one of you soon. I’m here to respond to the emergency request from this world’s guild.”
The man in white blinked in confusion, before turning and guiding her towards the guild building of this layer. Although the information had surely reached the fifteenth layer by now, it had not been spread widely enough that even an unrelated priest like himself would know of it. In order to know where it was she needed to reach, he had to discover where this emergency request was issued.
When he saw that the destination was the twenty-fifth floor… he could only smile bitterly. “Unfortunately, I can’t send you that high. I’ve only personally been as high as the twenty-second floor. However, there should be someone there that can take you the rest of the way.”
Dana hopped up, lightly patting his shoulder. “That’s fine! Just as close as you can get me. What do I owe you for this?”
“The price for travel is one Leowynn token for each layer.” Although it wasn’t hard for them to send people between floors, it was still a bit taxing on their energy. If they did not require at least a small price to be paid, they would soon be worked to death.
Dana gave a small nod, flicking her wrist and sending a token of Aurivy into the man’s hand. “You can keep the change.” She smiled sincerely.
The man blinked, but nodded as he put away the coin. The value of the trip was just shy of the payment, so it was indeed just a small tip. Tapping his staff against the ground, he summoned a golden portal next to Dana. “Then, I wish you success in your journey.”
Dana beamed a smile again before hopping through. Her shoulders shook briefly as she adjusted to the new level of gravity, eyes gazing up at the flaming ‘suns’ that decorated the ceiling of this floor. “I’ve gotta come by here more often…”
Shaking her head, she looked around again before running to another priest, this one a halfling with a white robe matching that of the man that she had just left. “Would you be able to take me up to the twenty-fifth layer?” She asked in an excited tone, wanting to see more and more of what this world had to offer.
“Hmm?” The halfling turned to face her, before letting out a gentle smile. “Of course. There has been quite a demand for that recently. However… are you sure that you can handle it? I hear that the place is rather dangerous…”
“Heheh, don’t worry about me.” She said with an almost silly grin, pulling out a token of Ryone to pay for the trip. Although she had once again slightly overpaid, the halfling paid it no mind and summoned the portal for her as requested.
Once she stepped through, she again had to take some time to adjust to the gravity of the layer. As this was her first time going through so many different levels of gravity so quickly, she was worried that her balance would be off in the middle of a battle. Under the watchful eyes of many seasoned adventurers, the elven girl hopped in place again, waving her arms and throwing a few light punches at the air.
Only when she was done with her exercises did she pay any mind to those curious stares. Still, she didn’t regard them with any worry and only gave a friendly wave. “When is the portal opening?”
There were some who regarded her as a halfling, and thus didn’t realize her apparent age as an elf. Those were the ones that treated her the most seriously, one stepping forward to answer. “Should be another three and a half hours, by my count.”
Dana pulled a face at that, not interested in waiting around for that long. “Yeah, I think I’ll head over a bit early. I’ve been wanting to try out my new calling, anyways.”
Dana mentally reached into her storage item, a bracelet she wore on her left wrist, and retrieved her scepter. Then, to ensure that nobody nearby would be implicated by her magic, she leapt dozens of meters into the air. Once she was satisfied with her height, she stabilized herself with a platform of spiritual energy.
Holding the scepter out in front of herself, she began quietly chanting. Geometric shapes began to scatter in the air around her, seemingly without rhyme or reason. Gradually, they began to converge into an extremely intricate cube and sphere, the two shapes then beginning to overlap one another. “I am the one that broke the shackles of eternity. Spirits of the world, the queen of wicked souls calls for your aid.”
Green lights began to pour in from the space around her, filling the glowing spell diagram. “I wish for a path beyond the seas. I beckon space itself to part for me. Twist and converge, bind with my power, and open the way.”
The green lights began to convulse, shifting to black as the spell was activated. This was a fourth tier magic that Dana had practiced for some time now, a teleportation spell capable of crossing entire worlds. However, in order to set the destination, she had to use the power of an elementalist.
Once the spell erupted, a portal appeared in the space before her, which Dana lightly hopped through. Those below were left dumbfounded by the sight. It had to be known that with the increased gravity of each floor, spatial spells actually became less effective. That was because the space was forcibly stabilized more and more as they went on. To be able to open a portal like that was extremely difficult.
Those temporary portals still worked because they did not cross ‘space’, but ‘dimensions’. The dimensional barrier was no stronger on the twenty-fifth floor than it was on the first. It was only the spatial stability that increased. However, it was also clear that she hadn’t cast a third tier spell, but the more challenging fourth tier.
There were those that attempted to fly up and into the portal after her. Unfortunately, their daze from witnessing the spell being cast caused them to be a moment too late. Before they reached the portal, it had silently closed behind Dana.
On the other side, the guildmaster was stunned to see an elven girl stepping out of nowhere to land in the middle of their camp. He knew better than anyone that it wasn’t time for the adventurers to arrive. He had delayed the timing such that he could allow his builders to establish their defenses first.
Dana looked around, before spotting the dovah. “You’re the one in charge, right? I’m Dana, from the Sky Citadel! Tsubaki asked me to come over and help you out.”
The name struck the man like thunder as he realized the implication behind those words. If she was from the citadel, that meant that she had a power greater than even the normal Maxers. In terms of authority, she would be second only to the gods. “Ah… thank you for making a trip out here personally. I must say I was not expecting this.”
Dana shook her head, waving her hands in front of herself. “It’s fine. I haven’t had the chance to step into this world for a while, so I’m happy to come help! Anyways, there was some kind of big monster or something, right?”
The dovah nodded his head, turning and calling out. “Black, come over here. Show our guest what you found.”
Dana followed his gaze, seeing a demon girl that appeared no older than she herself did. Over her shoulder, she held a hammer that even a fully grown warrior might struggle with. However, Dana was able to see far more than most. Her eyes, the eyes of the Queen of Hell, saw the depths of the girl’s soul. An almost infinite darkness containing thousands of separate souls.
At first, Dana was prepared to act, until she realized that those souls were not suffering. Well… most of them weren’t. And none of them in a way that would force her to take action. Instead, they seemed peaceful, orderly. As if there was an army contained within the body of this one girl.
“Sure thing.” Black nodded her head, offering an amiable smile towards Dana before leading her away. Dana, still wary, observed the rest of the crowd around them as well. One other individual seemed linked to the same well of souls that Black herself was tied to. However, he appeared to be diligently helping in the construction of defenses, so it was unlikely that they had ulterior motives.
“Are you the one that brought the monster to his attention?” Dana asked in thought, trying to probe for the intentions of the demoness before her. She had never seen a soul that unique, aside from that of the Keeper himself, but his was unique in an entirely different way. While he held the weight of the world atop his shoulders, this girl seemed as if she concealed an entirely different world within her eyes.
“That’s right. We were patrolling the area when we saw it. It’s been a couple hours since then, so it might have left… but I think its footprints should still be visible.”
Dana cut her off, shaking her head. “It hasn’t left.” She spoke with such confidence that Black was taken aback.
“How can you be sure?” She asked Dana with a touch of concern.
“Because it was waiting for its friends. Three souls, four kilometers outside the forest. From the size, level twelve-hundred, specializing in physical strength and ki. One has mana as well as a secondary trait.”
Black’s face darkened, gripping the hammer more tightly. “Three of them… we should have the others leave, just to be safe.”
However, Dana smiled towards Black. “I’ll take care of them for you. But I want you to answer something for me.”
Black blinked, looking at the elven girl. “Those are three disasters we’re talking about, and you want to handle them alone?”
“As long as you answer my question.” Dana nodded confidently, holding her scepter in one hand. Between the scepter and the tome that she had helped to create, she was confident in killing monsters like this, so long as they were not on the level of gods.
“...Okay, I’ll bite. What’s the question?” Though Black asked that, she had a rather bad feeling in her gut.
Dana’s eyes seemed to pierce through the girl, staring into the endless abyss within her energy. “What are you?”