As I sat in the throne room, focusing, I was made acutely aware of why the Ten Thousand Threads required you to reach the level of a hundred threads before you could proficiently make and control a single clone. The amount of concentration consumed to control an entire second body was no joke, even just with the sensory input. I myself hadn’t hit the level of two hundred threads, so controlling two avatars was too much for me to do casually.
In the end, I had to focus purely on controlling the two of them, to the extent that I ignored what was happening in my own surroundings. If I was willing to discard one of the avatars, I felt like I’d be able to control both it and myself normally, without sacrificing anything for either body. But, this made for a good learning experience for me.
With my martial spirit avatar, I was able to view the Bloodhaven Empire. It certainly earned its name, and it was nice to see an area where the martial spirits were able to live in peace. After letting Scarlet show me around for a couple hours, I dissolved that avatar. Furrowing my brow, I noticed that the energies didn’t naturally flow back to me. I could feel the spiritual energy slowly starting to return, but it felt like the ki invested had been lost.
On the other hand, there was my world spirit avatar. The world of world spirits… that place caught me by surprise. It was beautiful. Completely illogical, but beautiful all the same. Everyone was playing and enjoying themselves, their moods shaping the world in a literal sense.
When I dissolved this second avatar, I first had him appear in the Sky Citadel again. This time, the energy was reclaimed much more quickly, causing me to nod in relief. It helped to know that there were different ways to go about it, and that I’d just need to experiment.
Scarlet said that her body is starting to feel cramped… I guess that she’ll need to either let herself grow a bit more soon, or learn how to make avatars. Shaking my head, my eyes opened to take in the throne room again. Nothing had particularly changed since I had first created the avatars, as it felt like Leowynn and Tsubaki were still off in Tsubaki’s room.
Now that I think about it… Terra, what would happen if I sent one of my avatars into Vision Expanse with my planar shifting power?
Oh, now there’s an interesting question! Terra gave an almost eager reply after a moment. It would depend on what kind of avatar it was, really. If there was a skill discovered within the game that was able to support the avatar, then it would be able to function normally. Your powers on that avatar would be overwritten with the new Keeper profile, but the avatar would continue to function.
If no such skill existed, your avatar would shatter into nothing the moment that it entered the world, as the fundamental basis of its existence wasn’t present.
And there went that idea… for now, at least. The only type of avatar I was able to make that would currently be able to exist in the game would be my thread clone. And that one needed to maintain a certain distance with me to function, so it wasn’t an option.
I shook my head again, putting away those thoughts for now. With a wave of my hand and a surge of energy, I created another martial spirit. This one I didn’t send out of the citadel, and instead immediately sent to the library.
Given how my mirror powers worked, it would only be a good thing for me to be able to read through the many books in the library. Some of them contained information that I already knew, but for the rest… they would help me get stronger.
While that was happening, I decided to resume my thread training again… If I was able to break through to two hundred, that would increase my combat ability exceptionally.
Thelsa walked through the streets of Diworth, the seventh floor of Fyor. She didn’t bother to wear a heavy cloak or disguise her features. Instead, she simply equipped her new title, the Shadow Saint.
This title had come with both an active and a passive ability. The active ability could be used even when the title wasn’t equipped, but the passive needed her to do this. It allowed people to simply… not notice her. As long as she didn’t do something to grab the attention of others, she was just another random face passing by.
This was the best kind of ability that she could hope for in her profession, especially with a bounty on her head. And it allowed her to check on her uncle without fearing that he would be implicated by their interaction.
Soon, she arrived in front of a large church. It was bigger than most others, with what looked like a run-down apartment complex attached to the side. This was the Pantheon Parthenon, the church her uncle had devoted his life to. And as she looked on it with a smile, she noticed a man entering the church, a heavy axe strapped to his back.
Her eyes immediately went wide in alarm, and she began to follow him inside, fearing that he was there to cause trouble. By the time she had come in, she saw the man approaching an elder in a black robe, his back hunched slightly. His face was covered in wrinkles, his hair long since greyed.
“Father Whitefallow?” The apparent adventurer called out to him as he approached. This wasn’t a typical sermon day, so the church was largely empty, aside from a few children playing between the pews.
“Hmm? Is there something that I can help you with, sir?” Her uncle turned his head to address the man.
“I was asked to bring you this.” He pulled a small pouch off his belt, and Thelsa’s eyes immediately lit up, scanning the storage magic to check its contents. There was the risk that it contained an explosive, or a poison, but what she saw made her briefly stumble back.
The pouch was clearly top of the line in its enchantment, having a ten meter diameter for its storage. But more importantly, the items inside of the pouch were by no means tools to hurt him. There were giant piles of silver and gold, as well as a table filled with fresh books. Training manuals, history, math, everything that a child would need to educate themselves.
Finally, next to the books, there was one last item, a green crystal sphere that seemed to house a black flame. It was nestled within a stand, four legs pinning down a note. Consider this a gift from a friend. You may have it appraised, if you wish. Place it within the church’s basement, and it will protect the building and those within from harm.
Thelsa wanted to appraise the item herself, but doing so within a storage space would draw too much attention and break her passive ability. Yet, considering the other items in the pouch… she could tell fairly easily who it had come from. And that knowledge was enough to put her mind at ease.
Turning around, she made her way out of the church, walking towards the gate. Finally, she felt like she no longer had to worry. Like everything would somehow work out on its own. Now, she could focus on her own training.
“There must be a faster way.” A tiny humanoid muttered to himself in an almost comically high-pitched voice. He was the second person to unlock the Perfect Self class, the elf Jonas Bayrun. He had spent the last month focusing on gathering energy for his new body, yet had barely gained an inch of height.
To him, this alone was incredibly frustrating. He, who had been regarded as a prodigy. But he didn’t know any other way to get what he needed. Of course, it was possible for him to take the energies from others, but such an act was reprehensible! He would not hasten his recovery by robbing another of their future.
“Maybe I can use the power stones to stimulate the growth of my mana.” He mused, though he was unsure how he would be able to acquire any in his state. Already, he had contacted his friends, informing them that his experiment was a resounding success. Sadly, though, he would need to take time away from the public eye to recover from the results of his experiment.
Some of them understood, and wished him well. Others thought that this was just his way of bluffing, and trying to escape the reality of the situation by using the time to run away. Either way, he had found himself confined to his own home, unsure of how long his recovery would take.
“Maybe I could beseech Tsubaki for an answer? Clearly, she underwent a similar process, and would no doubt know the proper path… No, she is supposedly spending time in that new game… and I don’t have a way to enter it like this.” He racked his brain, trying to find some answer to his situation.
Finally, he came to a conclusion, jumping up on top of his table and opening one of his notebooks, beginning to draw out the design for a spell diagram. “Maybe this could do it…”
“Tsubaaaaki!” A voice shouted out towards the kitsune walking down the forest road, who blinked in surprise, turning her head to see a familiar looking halfling running towards her from the distance. “I foouuund youu!”
An almost playful smile emerged on Tsubaki’s face as she immediately recognized the halfling’s identity. “Apologies, Aurivy. Have I made it too easy?” After saying that, her body flickered out of sight.
“Noooo!!” Aurivy slid to a stop where Tsubaki had been previously standing. “Finally caught up with her… why’d it have to turn into a game of hide and seek… or maybe tag?”
“Actually, we call it ‘ninja’s shadow’.” Tsubaki’s voice spoke up in response, causing Aurivy to nod.
“Right, there was a game like that…” Slowly, Aurivy turned her head to see Tsubaki standing directly behind her, offering a polite wave. “You know, I really thought you had run off somewhere…”
“That was what I wished for you to think.” The kitsune nodded her head decisively. “Your speed is quite impressive… did you train a movement skill in order to find me more quickly?”
“Nope! Magic boots.” She pointed to her feet, one foot extending and shaking slightly. “Anyways, you promised that we’d be able to play the game together! I waited for you to do that trial stuff… are you free now?”
Tsubaki’s smile turned more gentle as she nodded her head. “Sure. Though, I must warn you that I have been given a task from the Keeper.”
“Yeah, yeah, I know. He made you into a PvP fanatic.” Aurivy waved a hand dismissively. “I’ll try to plan our route so that you can meet some powerful players. Until then, I think that bandit camp we found in the beta is still around! They’ve even managed to get stronger, thanks to some players joining their ranks and helping them.”
“Oh, have they now?” Tsubaki’s eyes seemed to flash dangerously as she nodded. “Please, lead the way.”
Aurivy nodded her head, taking a moment to glance over Tsubaki’s attire. She was back to wearing her maid uniform, though Aurivy was able to spot thicker patches of fabric that seemed to be armor padding. She didn’t have any weapons visible, though considering that this was Tsubaki, that by no means meant that she didn’t have any weapons.
In fact, Aurivy knew that there was a short sword strapped to the maid’s spine beneath her hair and clothes, made of thin, flexible metal to allow it to bend with her back. There were also the daggers in her sleeves, and what could be considered an entire armory in her inventory…
“Do you really need to keep so many weapons in your inventory?” Aurivy muttered slightly as she began walking, leading Tsubaki down the road.
“Actually, I intend to give most of those to the Keeper. They’re the results of my lotteries from when I was in my trial. Some items might be useful to him.”
“Right, right.” Aurivy nodded her head, sighing slightly to herself.