After purchasing the Lightborn race, I was quite curious to see how they would get integrated with the rest of society. This was by no means the normal way for a race to be discovered. They had been created in plain view of everyone within the Great Blue, and in a very ostentatious way. It wouldn’t be too surprising if certain cultures began to revere them as divine beings.
However, all of that would take time to see, and there were other things that were occurring at the moment. The formerly highest level individual within the Great Blue, a halfling engineer who had volunteered to try to establish the network connection on this floor, was fast at work. The stone slab that he had brought with him, the one which was meant to facilitate the connecting portals, had shown a reaction.
I could tell that he was incredibly excited when he saw this. The first thing that he did was to immediately run to the circle of mages, shouting happily and carrying the object high above his head. He wasn’t directly involved with the Council, and didn’t carry the same level of arrogance that had originally caused the deaths of those who represented them within this floor. No, he was passionate only about his work, which was why he had been willing to gamble his life that this device could function.
Of course, what he had no way of knowing at the time was that there were other forces preventing any and all connections from being formed with this level. Even though the device he was so proud of functioned flawlessly, there was no way that it would be able to work once he had actually managed to bring it all this way.
For the months since his arrival, he had been heartbroken, knowing that his family must all think that he perished with the rest of the inhabitants of the forbidden layer. Without any source of information flowing back to the Council, they had no way of knowing whether anyone that had been sent was alive or dead. Even the ‘life scrolls’, quests meant to determine when one had died, remained active far longer than they logically should have. An elder who expected to live no more than ten more years was still alive when the engineer left, according to his ‘life scroll’.
But now, he had the chance to show that he was still here. That his life’s work hadn’t been for nothing. And with his more easy-going personality, it wasn’t hard to understand how he had made friends with the local mages, after they had heard about his plight. At first, there had been many people that stumbled through the portal, unaware that the connection had been closed. But such a thing quickly reduced as time went on. This engineer was, in fact, the only person to step through the gate in over ten years.
“It works, it bloody works!” Arthur shouted, rushing up towards the entrance to the Circle Tower, and bashing his fist against the door. “Please, let me in!”
It took several long moments, during which the crowd began to look towards Arthur in confusion, before the door opened up. The woman on the other side was human, and looked down towards Arthur with a kind smile. “Arthur, I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but there is a lot going on today… Please tell me that this is urgent.”
“As urgent as anything else that has happened, maybe more!” He nodded, gently pushing the human mage aside as he stepped in, not wanting to accidentally injure her. “The Planar Plate is functioning! Do you know what this means?”
“That is… the device you brought from the lower floors?” She asked, seeing the black circle of stone in Arthur’s hands. “If I recall… you said it functioned as a lesser version of the gates, didn’t you?”
“Yes, yes! That’s right! And now that it’s working, we can establish a connection with the lower floors! I just need a suitable power source to start it up. That’s why I came here, Winona. We can finally get it started!”
The human woman, Winona, simply stared at Arthur. “But… if that’s working… then maybe…” Rather than speaking further, she turned, rushing out the door. Her mana surged, more powerfully than she had ever felt it as she sent out a message.
Someone, please attend to Arthur at the Circle Tower. She wanted to help him, she really did, but she was rushing towards the gate. Maybe, just maybe, if one connection was working, others were.
With the closing of the floor, the gates had become monuments to the past. Nobody knew for sure whether or not they would truly one day reopen. Nobody approached them, because nobody had reason to. So when people saw a known mage rushing towards the gate, it only added onto the curiosity that they had been struck with during the day. Many didn’t even notice her presence at all.
It did not take long for Winona to appear in front of the giant black stone jutting from the ground. Even after the passing of so many years, it seemed completely immaculate, the passage of time having simply no effect on it. She walked up to it slowly, stretching one arm out. There were stories passed down from her parents about what it was like when the gate opened. The silent ripple of energy as a hole seemed to form on the stone.
That ‘silent’ ripple struck her mind like a clap of thunder. The soft light from the other side of the gate was cut off the moment that she pulled her hand back. She looked around hastily, waiting to see if anyone had seen the gate react. Sure enough, there were several people staring at the gate with wide eyes.
Everyone. She sent the message out to every magister that she knew. The gate is active.
I nodded my head gently when I saw that they quickly discovered the reactivation of the gate. Honestly, I had expected it to take a couple of days for them to process everything that had just happened, and only then be able to realize that the gate was active again. However, given that the device that the halfling made functioned similarly to the gates, they were able to piece it together a lot more quickly.
Focusing on the human woman, it seemed that she had initially wanted to hide the fact that the gate was active. There was a fear inside of her, a fear that the Council would come. Many people blamed the floor going dark on the Council mobilizing to this floor, even if it was a baseless superstition.
More than that, however, she feared that the Council would once again try to force control over the floor. While there was only a superstitious belief about the Council being responsible for the Great Blue going dark, the policies put forth by them were far more public. After years of being outside of their control, people finally were able to experience what freedom was like.
That’s not to say that the Council treated the public as slaves, or anything of that sort. Well, unless you were from another Fyor race aside from humans or halflings. Instead, they saw the entire population as their ‘employees’. They sought to use people to make a profit for themselves with as little risk as possible.
I could see the plan forming in her mind. She couldn’t keep the people quiet about what they had seen, and the news would surely spread. Instead, she had to prepare. Through the shock of everything else that had happened in the day, she called an emergency meeting. Nobody wanted their freedoms to be taken away, and they knew that the Council would do just that, if given the chance.
This applied doubly so for the dovah, who had finally begun to be accepted into society. When they heard that the gate had become active, their faces were filled with dread. They began rushing to the tower, each wanting to quickly get there and discuss what they could do.
I allowed time to speed up just enough for the meeting to begin, though already I could see some people slowly start to trickle in through the gate. They weren’t from the Council, just those curious individuals who had noticed the gate opening briefly when Winona tested it. Inevitably, though, that meant that there would be people that saw them going in, and word would quickly spread.
Focusing back on the meeting, I saw them debating possible countermeasures back and forth. Some people suggested actually sealing the gate, physically building a barrier around it to prevent anyone from coming through. That was isolationist thinking, though, and quickly shot down by the others.
Then there were those who were still prejudiced, questioning what was wrong even if some things went back to normal. They didn’t want to give up their power, and would simply seek a position within the Council that would legally allow them to continue governing the floor as they had been until now. Naturally, the dovah population in the meeting was entirely opposed to that, as were a number of others.
Finally, there was the group that agreed to letting people come and go as they please. They suggested the idea of the Great Blue becoming its own country. An idea which, until now, had not truly been done within the world of Fyor, not by the natives at least. There was one Kingdom, the Kingdom of Fyor, ruled by the Council. Its influence had spread through every floor of the world so far.
Even those who wanted to join the Council were… intrigued by the idea of running their own kingdom. For so long, everyone in the floor had been following their rule, there was simply not the same system in place that would allow such a thing to be recognized as a kingdom. It was a level of control that they had not thought of, but now that they had they were unwilling to give it up.
As one, they sent their mana out, using the power that they had gotten from leveling up so many times to its full effect. They touched the minds of every person within the floor, sending them all a message at the same time. The Council will arrive soon. If we are to stand free as we have before, all of you must listen.
They didn’t know how many ‘votes’ were needed to form a kingdom, as such a thing was not entirely researched even on Earth. They only knew that the more they had, the better. We do not wish to succumb to their rule again. If you remember the tales of your parents, or of their parents, you know what to expect if they take over. So please… we wish to form our own Kingdom. With the Circle of Mages as the ruling party, we will ensure the freedom of any who wish to reside here.
It took less than five minutes after the message was sent that I noticed a window appearing in front of each of them. Pleased smiles filled the faces of the circle, and they all accepted the prompt. Everyone… welcome to the Kingdom of Dawn.
Okay, so maybe the name was a bit corny. But I had to admit… given the circumstances behind why the name was chosen, I did like it. It was a reminder about why they do what they do. A reminder about why they had to.
After the kingdom was formed, more and more people began joining it, those who had hesitated about their decisions before. With the balance in their minds broken, they were automatically registered as citizens of the kingdom.
Of course, there were other things that I was curious about. Would the Council really allow another Kingdom to rise to power within Fyor? They hadn’t had much choice but to allow the Nexus kingdom to be established, as the people living there were typically not bound by the same level restrictions.
And if they didn’t agree… would there be a war? Even without checking their stats, I could tell that the mages within this new kingdom were far superior compared to a normal mage. They had constantly pushed themselves throughout their entire lives to be able to draw on more and more mana. That bonus didn’t just get added on top of their normal mage levels, but instead was multiplied.
It wouldn’t be easy, but if they managed to get future generations to follow similar training routines, they could become a grand kingdom of magic that surpassed even the elves. The only question was if such a thing was even possible without the system being disabled as it had been. And if it wasn’t… what would happen to the kingdom once this generation of mages died out?