Chapter 320: The Technological Super-Hydra
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  Author's Corner: Thank you to Josiah for joining the Patreon! 

 

I spent a bit of time talking with Keliope, hearing about the new moves that she had learned when we visited Sarah’s place. While doing so, I decided to let the worlds fast forward again, making sure to set several alarms. The last thing I needed was for one of the worlds to make a sudden breakthrough that increased their power significantly while I was advancing ahead.

In the end, the entire fifty years that I had set aside passed by during my conversation with Keliope. Fifty years for Fyor to adjust to their new outlook. But, that was not where the most drastic change took place. After all, that was also fifty years of dedicated research into video games and expanding the internet.

The foundations for the internet had been in place ever since Desbar was first being brought in to join the other worlds. Development to expand it had been halted for a while, due to the sudden appearance of monsters, magic, and things of that nature, but it was still there. Even when their attention shifted away to colonizing other worlds, progress was slowly being made to improve the network.

But now, they had become more focused on it for fifty full years. It took less than thirty years for the internet of the old world to almost completely span the globe, with hundreds of millions of sites. I was quite interested in seeing how the world had changed, given the sudden burst of technology.

With that thought in mind, I first turned my sight towards Desbar. My gaze focused in on Lenan, picking a city at random. The location I ultimately landed on seemed to be a rather small coastal settlement. I saw what appeared to be three turrets spread out along the beach, demons lounging about at them as they kept an eye on the water.

Focusing in, I found the turrets to be monster prevention artifacts. While they used AI to track potential targets, the real ‘ammunition’ that they used to fire was ki. Like this, there was no real risk of a rogue turret targeting friendly troops, whether it was hacked or any other possible situation. After all, the shots had to be provided by a living being, and they didn’t have the ability to automate ki production outside of their own bodies.

As I moved my sight away from the beach, and towards the city itself, I noticed a stark change compared to what had once been present. Every street lamp I saw had been replaced with an enchanted stone that was fed by ambient mana. This didn’t simply seem to be demons straying away from technology to dabble in magic. Rather, it allowed them to conserve energy by drawing from an alternative fuel source.

That was something I saw in abundance once I found the power plant of the city. There were rows of capacitors within the complex drawing in mana to fuel a simple electricity spell, then storing that converted energy. Around these sites, I noticed that the ambient mana was exceptionally thin, as it had almost entirely been drawn in to create cheap power.

Within the city, buildings were paying more attention to their ground floor entrances than they had been doing in the past. Previously, ground floor doors were seen as handicapped entrances for those demons that weren’t able to fly any longer, either due to a damaged wing, or other situations like simply gaining too much weight to support themselves in the air.

Now, however, the two sets of doors were given equal treatment. There were some buildings that didn’t even have a rooftop entrance anymore. Likewise, it was all but impossible to see what was happening inside of a building, due to the fact that the windows were made of tinted glass. Even for a demon in the middle of the day, their eyes would not be hurt by the sun when indoors.

As I moved in closer, I realized that I was soon going to see the real progress made in the entertainment industry over these fifty years for Desbar. The building that I had chosen appeared to be a local video game arcade, judging by the sign out in front, lit by dim lights that let the words shine softly in the night.

I wasn’t really surprised to see that there were almost entirely demons inside. No, that was perfectly normal, given the circumstances. However, the ‘games’ that I was expecting to find weren’t… ‘quite’ there? Instead, there were spherical pods lined up along the interior walls of the arcade, which people seemed to climb into.

Okay, Ashley, you’re not going to convince me that you didn’t have a hand in this. I sent off towards the Goddess of Technology. While what they were experiencing in those pods didn’t seem to be a full virtual reality experience, it came pretty close. There were some games that simply required you to wear a pair of gloves and visor, while others went beyond that.

The closest that I saw could even be considered early virtual reality. A young demon had his visor on, and seemed to be talking to himself. His hands gave small movements, which in the game translated to walking around and interacting with objects.

To be fair… I really didn’t. Ashley responded lightly, once she seemed to realize what I was talking about. Splitting my mind too many times is still pretty hard for me, after all. Tubrock, on the other hand… he’s been spending a lot of time on Desbar lately.

That made sense. I had expected Tubrock to be less interested in this project than the others, and keep most of his focus geared towards his own cultivation world. Another thing that I was going to have to check on soon. Anyways, it looked like they were just about ready for the Reality Virtual tech tree.

Realizing that I hadn’t purchased it yet, I glanced towards the market, finding the entry for it. Since Aurivy offered to use her points to pay for the system, I took it out of Fyor’s balance. Three hundred and fifty points, and in exchange we received another information orb. Ashley, Tubrock, whenever either of you are ready for this, I’ve got the game information up here now.

Almost as soon as I had sent that message out, the blue sphere that was just formed and still lowering towards my desk vanished. The light faded like a lie, and I could tell that one of the two of them had spirited the orb away. Giving a small nod, I turned my attention back towards the computer.

Now that I had confirmed the situation with Desbar, it was about time for me to check on the rest of the worlds. I wanted to see if they had made any progress with spreading their network out to the rest of the worlds, and what I found was… pleasantly surprising.

The first world that I looked at was Deckan. Besides Desbar, they were the most technologically inclined, and thus the most likely to be open to the idea of applying technology to everyday life. When I performed a quick search, I found that there were indeed network cables that had been laid beneath the ground along the majority of Deckan.

The network cables were mostly along roads, still having to worry too much about the monsters to be able to fully expand wherever they wanted, but that was still enough for the cables to connect to every major city in the very large world. More importantly, I saw that Udona or whoever had set it up had a similar thought as myself. Aside from the wide network of cables, there were ten bundled junctions that seemed to simply lead to a dead end.

When I investigated with the map, narrowing the search a bit, I found that there were small ‘portals’ set up around each bundle, looking almost like the gates of Fyor with the wires running directly into a flat wall. They were located within large cities, where the ambient mana was thick enough to be sucked in and used as a power source. Of course, I noted that they had backup mana gems embedded in the wall as well, just in case the local supply wasn’t enough.

Five of these bundles led back to Desbar, while three led to Earth, and the last two went to Fyor. This… gave me a curious thought. I was planning to check Earth next, but now I cast my sight towards Fyor.

Sure enough, these same portals had been created in bundles around the various floors of Fyor. They were able to bypass the use of the gates to connect the different floors, but… those cables had not touched either floor nineteen or twenty. I could see that the portals had been erected within the city of Gate’s Rest, but it did not seem that they would work while the pillar was deactivated.

I let out a long breath when I realized that, worried that the entire plan that I had set up for the Great Blue had been wasted due to this invention. Though at the same time, it made me wonder whether or not the Fairy Gate would still activate if the floor that it was hosted on lost their own spires. These portals were based on that device, after all.

Throughout both Fyor and Deckan, I noticed that they had taken a slightly different approach to power generation, as compared to Desbar. Whereas the demons created a centralized power source that relied on mana to supply extra electricity, the concept of mage towers was long since instilled within their culture. Looking to Earth, I saw the same thing.

Rather than a large power hub, there were localized energy converters that could be sold per house. These acted as generators, connecting to the mage tower network to draw in mana, and then using that mana to trigger an electricity spell. The end result was much like the capacitors at Desbar’s power station, storing electricity to  be used as needed.

Of course, there was more to it than just that. First of all, the houses had to be remodelled to allow for modern wiring practices, so that the electricity could be put to use. More importantly… the charge in the capacitors drained over time, as there was no such thing as a perfect energy storage in the world yet. That had to make it a pain for their bill.

Either way, I had learned what I needed. Technology had gradually begun to invade the other worlds, whereas magic had similarly started to appear more prevalently in Desbar. All three worlds were starting to take on their own little mixtures, with each having a massive internet connection.

Finally, I turned my attention back towards Fyor, this time looking back at the Great Blue. It had been around seventy years or so now since the mana spire had been destroyed, and I could see it starting to rise up out of the ocean again. It looked like it was around a quarter of the way reformed, though it seemed that the locals hadn’t noticed it yet.

As a society, they… were actually adapting quite well to the eternal darkness. There was still a fair amount of discrimination towards the dovah, but it seemed less… severe than it had been previously? From what I could see looking through their culture, they were given equal rights to humans and halflings for pretty much everything.

Now, the only real discrimination was on a personal level, and that would take far longer to fully fix. For now… this seemed like as much as I could hope for. Aurivy, Irena? What do you girls think, as people who have been down there personally. Is the Great Blue ready to see the light again?

It was Irena that responded first, her cordial tone sounding in my mind. Personally, I believe that a few more years would not do them any harm. However, even if we gave them until the mana spire had fully regenerated, I doubt that their societal issues would improve any more than they currently have.

Aurivy chimed in a moment later, though she sounded somewhat distracted. I have to agree with her, Dale. My current incarnation down there was a dovah after Rache passed away… things still aren’t entirely okay, but they are definitely better than they had been at first. As long as we keep at it, and maintain that the mage circle of the Great Blue is an autonomous government, I don’t think that the Council’s habits will be able to sharply influence them much for a while.

I gave a small nod at that, turning and looking at the mana spire. Looks like it’s time for morning, then.

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