I wasn’t surprised to see that there were far more ‘evil’ souls than those being allowed into Irena’s paradise. Although it was a sad fact of life, it was far more difficult to find people who would go out of their way to help others than those who would sooner hurt others to help themselves. In a world where people were able to train to terrifying levels of power, this only made each side more exaggerated.
Those who truly sought to be defenders of justice, whose hearts were pure and sacred would become mighty warriors, fighting off countless monsters until their dying breath. Meanwhile, those cruel individuals who think of nothing but their own gains would not hesitate to sacrifice countless innocents in sinister plots.
The fact that civilization still stood was a testament to those heroes of justice, and the fear that the gods themselves put in those evil beings. Now that Irena’s new system was put in place, things should return to a more peaceful balance. Those souls who had been stained by too much negative karma would be removed from the cycle, unable to contaminate what would have been their future lives. Similarly, those heroes of justice would be removed as well.
All that would be left of the world were those whose karma had not permanently altered their soul. Good or evil would be their own choice from now on. For better or worse, Irena’s decision will reshape the future of the world.
Shaking my head, I cast aside those thoughts, flipping back through the records to return my view of the Underworld to the present day. Now, nearly a hundred souls had been invited to the ‘Realm of Eternity’. Of them, very few refused this offer, while the majority happily accepted.
Within their new paradise, they were treated like kings. The servants that waited on them had been provided by the system itself, catering to every wish that the heroic souls might have. Whether they sought a sparring partner, a teacher, a friend, anything they wanted was provided for them.
Personally, I felt like I’d go crazy in that kind of environment. But… that might have been the point. Those who were able to maintain their pure souls even in this environment would be the true heroes, while those who allowed their karma to slip from over-indulgence would no longer be ‘permanently stained’ by their karma, able to safely re-enter the cycle.
Either way, the fact that their souls were preserved was a boon in itself. Hopefully, it should be possible to call upon them if danger truly struck during an invasion.
“Where are you…” Crystal muttered to herself as she sat in the throne room of her palace. So much had changed for her after Legion’s raiding team split apart. Her life became less about the glamor, and more about the game. For the first time in so long, she was truly enjoying herself, even with such repetitive tasks.
Aurivy still came by to visit, still considered the two of them as best friends, and still played different games with them. In fact, Crystal now had Aurivy’s admin account on her friends list in Vision Expanse.
With the improvement of the headsets that Darkflame Technologies released, Vision Expanse now looked almost no different from the real world. Unless, of course, you really when through the effort of analyzing every blade of grass. Nothing about the physics of the world had changed, but it was now possible to view it more clearly than ever.
Currently, Crystal was on a sort of treasure hunt to find the Mad King. Aurivy had left her with cryptic clues which required her to take the citadel all throughout the solar system. Yet, even so, being led around on this hunt did not frustrate her. Sure, it got rather annoying that time when her hint had just been a series of numbers that correlated to an asteroid group she had to find, but at least she didn’t have to handle it alone.
As she was thinking about that, her traveling companion logged in, landing right in Crystal’s lap and making her cry out in shock. “H-hey! Watch where you log out, will you?”
The small, elven girl giggled as she jumped off of Crystal’s lap, twirling around to face her with a wide smile. “Sorry, big sis! That chair’s just real comfortable!”
This was a girl that had been brought to Crystal by Aurivy herself. They had never met in the real world, but the goddess had assured her that she was a good, fun loving girl. “Fine, fine. So, have fun today?”
“Yup!” The elven girl nodded her head. “My big sis taught me lots of new things! She said that if I practice and get better at it, I’ll be allowed to get on more often!”
“Oh?” Crystal’s smile grew a touch wider. “What did she ask you to practice? Maybe I can help.” She knew that the girl’s ‘big sister’ always taught her incredibly advanced techniques, such that Crystal herself sometimes struggled. It was great practice even for a mage as experienced as her, so she was always interested in what this young girl learned.
“She taught me how to make world spirits!” The girl beamed happily, causing Crystal to pause, blinking in confusion.
“She taught you to… Dana, are you sure you understood her properly? Maybe she was trying to teach you how to control or capture world spirits?”
“Nope!” Dana shook her head, that same smile on her face. “Big sis told me that this is a technique that lets you make world spirits! But it’s really hard to do. And one mistake can lead to a big explosion, so she told me to practice in the game first!”
Crystal brought a hand up to massage her head, having a hard time processing this information. She had learned long ago not to ask who Dana’s ‘big sister’ was, as it was apparently a secret she wasn’t allowed to tell. For a while, Crystal thought it might be Aurivy, or one of the other goddesses. After all, if Aurivy enjoyed playing the role of a best friend, maybe someone else would like to have a family?
Yet, Aurivy had hinted before that Dana’s big sister was not a goddess. She never outright said it, but it had been easy enough to infer from their conversations. But creating world spirits? If Crystal wasn’t sure of the Keeper’s gender, she’d think he might be who Dana was talking about.
“O-okay… so… how do you do it, then?” Crystal asked hesitantly, unsure if she really wanted to hear the answer.
“It’s really simple!” Dana said with that same smile. “You just need to gather spiritual energy, and natural energy, and mix ‘em together!”
“...I thought you said it was hard?” Crystal asked, not even sure what to believe anymore.
“It is!” The younger girl nodded her head vigorously. “If you don’t get it right, it all blows up! Big sis says that you have to open a tiny gate to the underworld to siphon off raw spiritual energy, while mixing it with natural energy. But you need to get the amounts right.”
“Because improperly mixing different energies will lead to a rebound.” Crystal nodded her head, understanding that part. However, was it truly so simple to create world spirits? She had never heard of anyone performing such a feat before. Then again, opening holes to the underworld to siphon spiritual energy was a heavily restricted practice.
Only those with a Summoner’s License were permitted to use techniques of that nature, as it was believed that there was too much of a risk in damaging the underworld itself. So… it is possible that someone might have done this before, but kept their accomplishment secret out of fear of reprisal.
Crystal, unfortunately, did not have a Summoner’s License. She had never taken that particular class’s training, and was one of the few who pursued the path of a standard mage until the end. Sure, she dabbled in elementalism, but her focus was elsewhere. She wanted to be a true Archmage.
“Do you have a Summoner’s License?” Crystal asked in a gentle tone. “You know, if you don’t have one, it’s illegal to do this kind of thing.”
Dana blinked innocently for a moment, before thinking about it. “Yup! Big sis took me to get one last week. The test was really easy, though.” In truth, the ‘test’ was only a minor issue. When the examiners saw who brought Dana in, they only gave her the simplest of tests to ensure that she had the necessary skills.
Crystal simply nodded her head. “Okay, Dana. But, I can’t help you this time. I can watch, but it’s illegal for me to do this.”
Dana’s brow furrowed a bit at that, as if she wanted to protest. Her eyes gained the typical far-away look one had when sending a message to someone else, and she sighed. “Big sis says she can’t get you a license… But she said it’s okay for you to just watch and make sure I do it right!”
Crystal let out a sigh of relief, thankful that this hadn’t turned into a bigger issue. “Okay. We shouldn’t be at our next stop for a few hours yet, so we’ve got plenty of time.”
“Gooood morning, everyone!” An energetic voice called out from the classroom, various eyes moving towards the mirror. A mix of elves, humans, even some dwarves were present for the lessons on ‘Advanced Spell Structure’. However, the mirror did not seem to come alive as it had done in the past.
Instead, the door to the room opened, and a distinctly feminine figure walked in, her glass eyes scanning over the room. Her lips moved, but her expression seemed frozen in a smile due to the structure. Her hair was composed of numerous long strands of silver thread, while her body was wrapped in a white robe.
The class was shocked as they saw their ‘teacher’ in this new form for the first time. “Sorry about the build-up! I was running a bit late now that I actually have to run here.” Ana looked out to her class as she went to her desk. “As you can see, I’ve had an upgrade. None of my core functions have changed, and I am still perfectly capable of performing my duties as before.”
“Today’s lesson is on the magical laws of Spica. As such, there will be no practical demonstration today, given that… this is not Spica. However, this information is important for anyone present to understand.”
Lightly tapping on her desk, an illusion appeared that shrouded the ceiling of the classroom, displaying a field of black, dotted with white stars. “As most of you should know by now, the world of Spica draws its magical energy from the stars. This is because the same chemical processes which produce heat and light similarly produce mana. Theoretically, this means that it is possible to draw mana from something as small as a torch or a campfire. However, the amount of mana produced by such small fires is insufficient to power any sort of spell.”
“Anyone who has obtained the Mage class within Spica will realize that they are able to sense the different frequencies of magic in Spica’s atmosphere. While they will not have any innate understanding of what these frequencies mean, that is what today’s lesson is about! Today, we will cover the different stars of Spica, the frequencies of mana that they provide, and what you can do with those frequencies!”
While Ana herself had naturally never been to Spica, her very existence questionable if she tried, she had browsed through all of the information that had been traded from Solace and compiled it into a lesson plan. The Dean of Magic had asked that she begin training people in the use of Spica’s magic, as it was too much of a risk to leave the colony undefended against mages.
Of course, she wouldn’t be telling this to the students. It was counterproductive to feed them paranoid ideas such as the possibility of being attacked by foreign nations. It was more conducive for her lecture as well as her overall goal to simply provide the lesson as what it was, a way to prepare those who held an interest in Spica’s magic.