Chapter 655: Gate’s Rise
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Once Aurivy left the room, I decided to check on the information that I had just purchased. Sadly, it wouldn’t give me any detailed steps, but it was still nice to know what the options were for ascending to godhood. And who knows? Maybe this information will help me in the future.

On my desk, the glistening blue orb sat waiting to be used. Naturally, I walked over to grab it. As I did so, I felt a stream of information flowing into my mind. Closing my eyes, I moved to sit down on the bed, processing the information that I was being given by the blue orb.

“Found it!” Petra shouted, reaching down to knock on the aircraft she was riding on top of. With her signal, the aircraft’s engines turned, halting their momentum and allowing them to hover in the air. Presently, they were five hundred kilometers in the air, and yet the ceiling of this layer seemed so far away that they could not properly make out any details.

The hatch on the top of the aircraft opened up, a human mage poking his head out. “Did you find something? Or do you need a break?” He asked, knowing that it was too much for anyone to just stay up there the entire time, constantly on guard against attacks while surveying the surroundings.

Petra, however, simply grinned. “Let the others know that I found it. We got lucky, Norm, and it’s pretty close to our first path.” As she said that, the demonic youth lifted the hatch to let herself into the aircraft.

The pilot, a dovah, turned his head to look at her when she hopped down. Although this vessel was meant to hold up to a dozen people, it still felt cramped when they were forced to stay in the same space for so long. Thus, he was rather excited when he heard Petra’s voice with his sharp hearing. “Where are we landing, boss?”

Petra walked over to the co-pilot seat, planting herself down in it and pulling up the terminal. “Coordinates are three hundred and sixty kilometers off to our northwest. Looks like it’s hidden in the foliage, but my minimap picked it up easily enough.”

There was a sharp intake of air from the others when they heard that. If the minimap system hadn’t been introduced, they felt as if they would have missed it entirely. Granted, without that update, they would still be traversing hundreds of thousands of kilometers on foot.

“I’ll set us down over there, then.” The pilot nodded his head, clearly relieved to receive a break. Despite being such a high level pilot, he still had limits to his energy. Even if Petra was able to stay on the roof of the aircraft, he had long ago run out of essence. By now, he was doing his best to alternate between his own personal energy reserves and a few batteries that he had brought. After a few more days, they would have had to make a supply run back to town, in order to get more fuel.

“Are there any enemies in the area?” The mage from before spoke up, one hand reaching out to grab a staff leaning against the wall.

“Not that I saw on my minimap. But, when we get closer, I’ll clear a landing site for us. Marly, can you make the connection and head back to town to let everyone know?” Petra asked, sending a gentle smile towards the follower of Aurivy, a young halfling woman.

“Of course.” Marly nodded her head assuredly. “As long as you can get me safely to Gate’s Rise, getting there and back again is a piece of cake!”

Petra was glad to hear that, taking a deep breath before walking back to the hatch. She could see that the airship was closing in on the coordinates she gave. “Then, I’ll go ahead and clear the way for us. There aren’t any skyscraping mountains near here, so the bugs above shouldn’t drop. Still, don’t get careless.”

After saying that, she jumped back out of the ship, walking over to the ledge. With how extreme the gravity was in this floor of Fyor, her wings were all but useless, unable to even allow her to glide properly. So, she didn’t. She walked off the ledge, her body entering freefall.

Those still in the ship held their breath when they saw this. Were they in any other world, a max-level berserker like Petra may truly be able to survive a five hundred kilometer drop with just her physical body. It wouldn’t be easy to do so, but it was possible.

However, they were now in a world where the gravity was drastically higher. She shot like a bullet towards the ground, her wings wrapped tight around her shoulders. Her eyes were serious, staring ahead as she dug her fingernails into her palm, releasing thin lines of blood.

Turning, she waved her hands wildly at the trees below her, causing crimson arcs of energy to lash out from her palms. Petra did not fear colliding with the ground at this speed. Rather, what she feared was hitting a stray branch on the way down. Thus, she had to remove those branches from her path before they became a problem.

When she did hit the ground, there was no sound of a crash, no scattering of dust. No, she simply sank into the shadow created by her own body, soundlessly disappearing. A moment later, she rose carrying her massive axe that she kept stored in her shadow. 

Thanks to the adrenaline from the fall, Petra had a maddening grin on her face. She hefted the axe with a laugh, causing it to grow as she channeled her energy into it. “Down you go!” She shouted, swinging the axe horizontally in front of her. During her swing, it seemed to stretch out into the distance, its bladed edge slicing through numerous trees with ease.

Doing this consumed a large amount of physical strength, but it was a suitably impressive display of might. Every tree in the path of her attack collapsed, mowed down by the black axe in her hands. In less than a minute, she had created a five hundred meter circle for the aircraft to land in, not far from the location of the gate.

That was incredibly reckless. Thelsa scolded, but Petra simply smiled.

Yes, but it was also incredibly awesome. Besides, even if I got caught on a branch, you would have saved me before I took any real damage. Petra responded, waving towards the airship as she hefted her axe over her shoulder.

I would have, but still… it’s not good to take such gambles with your own life. I don’t want--

Petra cut her off before she could continue, speaking in a gentle tone. I’m not going to leave you, sis. You’re stuck with me, like it or not. But a girl has to have a bit of adventure in her life, or else they’ll never believe I am all that I claim.

There was a long moment of silence from Thelsa as the aircraft descended, before she let out a resigned sigh. Just… don’t let anything happen to yourself.

Petra nodded her head, lifting her axe and pointing it off to the side. The crew of the descending craft cast their gazes in the direction, only to see a smooth slab of black stone rising behind a cluster of trees.

Once the vessel touched down, its bottom hatch opened, and the crew alighted. After they were all off, the dovah turned, focusing as purple energy rose from his body. This energy invaded the craft and caused it to begin changing. Plates folded up and collapsed in on themselves, the engines receding as wings tucked in.

The entire vessel was compressing itself to as small of a size as possible, at which point he stored it in his personal storage item. Meanwhile, Marly ran over to the gate excitedly, placing one hand on it to meet the necessary condition for her ability. “I’ll be right back with the others!” She shouted, opening a golden portal and walking through.

Petra and the others weren’t impatient, as they knew it would likely take a little while before she returned. Not only did she have to inform the local church that they found their target, but she also had to get a group of priests to come over to register the destination as well. That way, they could proceed to the next area while a survey team was sent out here.

Petra knew that there were no monsters in the immediate area, but she wasn’t able to visibly relax. If she appeared to let her guard down, that would send a rather poor message towards the others. Thus, she at least maintained the appearance of vigilance while they waited.

Ten minutes passed, and then twenty, with Marly not returning. When half an hour had come and gone, the group was starting to get restless. Closing her eyes, Petra connected with her shadow senses, projecting her ‘vision’ far off to the city of Gate’s Rest. Soon, she was aware of why Marly had not returned.

A band of giants were attacking the city, numbering over two dozen. Of the large group, there seemed to be three who specialized in magic abilities, which likely explained how they had gotten so close to the city while the Goddess of Archery was keeping watch. Still, although she seemed to be acting, it was slow going. A fact which made Petra suspect that there were others with special powers in the group of giants.

What if there’s a monster god in the mix? She couldn’t help but ask in concern as she watched Thessa sniper a pair of giants. Her targets fell to the ground, only to rise again moments later. At this point, they had already arrived at the city, their thunderous steps ready to crush the nearby buildings.

Seeing the giants rise again may not have proven that there was a god, but it at least showed that one of the giants allowed the others to regenerate. Petra dropped to one knee, not sure how she could help from such a vast distance. She was a berserker, a druid, a priest, as well as a few other classes that she had picked up since her birth.

Druid… Petra closed her eyes, focusing. Natural energy was the most abundant element in every world, but it was also known as the weakest because of how easy it was to disperse. However, her powers as a priest of Ashley wouldn’t help her, and she was much too far away to do anything with her berserker powers.

“I am the lost child of darkness, forever obscured by shadow.” She muttered, one palm planting itself on the ground. The others looked over in alarm when they heard the start of her chant, which seemed like an elementalist’s invocation from the other worlds.

In truth, this was something similar. Petra was performing an invocation to attract the attention of Fyor’s World Spirit. Her fingers sank into the soil as darkness stirred around her. “Can you hear me, spirit of the world?” She muttered in a soft voice, the wind around her beginning to stir in answer. “Will you do me this favor?”

You want me to stop the Necromancer Giant? A voice spoke within the breeze, appearing in the minds of the present individuals.

“Necromancer giant?” The human mage asked, his eyes glancing around as he clutched his staff.

“So it’s not a god.” Petra let out a breath of relief. Though, a necromancer would not be much easier to eliminate. “If you open the path of shadows, I will take care of it.” She said, before transmitting her voice silently. Please play along…

This girl… The world spirit seemed stunned, before letting out a sigh that echoed in the breeze. Very well, the darkness is open to you, Child of Ashley.

Thank you! I’ll bring you some cookies after I get back from the next floor. We have some spiritual chefs in my shadow. Petra smiled, plunging her hand into her shadow.

Far across the world, panic ensued as giants rampaged within the city. These giants were not like those that they had typically encountered, as they seemed to be truly immortal. Whenever they ‘died’, they would simply rise again as if they had never taken any damage in the first place.

Those fighting were no idiots, they knew that something had to be bringing the giants back to life. However, they could not figure out the mechanic behind this power. Each giant had already been slain at least once on the trek to the city, and yet they had all gotten back on their feet. Unless there were multiple special entities capable of resurrecting one another, this did not make any sense.

Thessa was flustered as she fired arrow after arrow from her bow, each one felling a massive creature. She knew that it was mostly futile, but it would buy time for others to act. As she pulled her bowstring back again, she felt a rush of dark energy in the distance.

Looking over, she saw a massive black hand rising up in the forest, seemingly clutching something. The distance was so great that Thessa had to focus her sight in order to realize that the hand was holding another giant, one that had hidden itself in the forest. This giant had half-rotten skin which peeled off in various places to show raw muscle beneath.

Thessa didn’t know where the black hand came from, but she was not about to question the appearance of a new target. Drawing her bow, she let loose another arrow to slay this half-rotten foe. And then, as the arrow pierced it through, the more than twenty giants attacking the city began to fall, as if puppets with their strings cut.

So that’s how it is… I muttered to myself with a nod as I finished sorting out the information. To no surprise, the method readily used by my world was in the list of common ascension types. It was referred to as the ‘Three Steps’ method. There was also the method of awakening the divinity of an artificial intelligence, known as the ‘Divine Code’ method, or the ‘Universe Born’ method from the Profound Star Laws.

Aside from these, there were actually quite a few other methods that I had never heard of. For instance, there was one referred to as ‘Lighting the Divine Flame’. Its introduction described it as a method to treat the divine spark as a flame, and ignite it all at once.

It also mentioned the methods by which monsters ascend. These monsters were not born as gods, but rather reached this rank through devouring natural treasures. These treasures contained faint energy from the creation of the world, thus allowing the monster to grow in power as it digested them.

Additionally, it mentioned various different ‘types’ of gods, such as Subordinate Gods, Union Gods, and even Fallen Gods that corrupted their divinity with chaos.  All in all, I believed it was well worth the points I spent.