I spent a good few hours studying the laws of Lorek, making sure I would be able to understand what I needed to do if anything happened when I visited. There was the chance that my divinity would force me to immediately cultivate through all of the stages, and I needed to be prepared for that.
Once I was done, I let out a quiet sigh and descended down towards the citadel. Although it wasn’t yet time for me to once again live within the citadel long-term, I did need to pay at least a brief visit.
When I arrived, I saw Tsubaki already kneeling at the foot of the stairs leading up to my throne. As I gave a small smile, the door to the throne room flew open, and I saw Dana rushing in to join her. Tsubaki turned her head to look at Dana, before looking up towards me. “Welcome back, my Keeper.”
“Thank you.” I spoke softly, looking between the two of them. “I notice that you and Dana are getting along really well.”
“Tsuba’s great, Mister Keeper!” Dana spoke up happily, before covering her mouth with one hand. “Oops, sorry…”
I couldn’t help but let out a light laugh. “It’s fine, Dana. You don’t have to act serious all the time with me. Feel free to relax. I’ve seen how well Tsubaki treats you.”
Dana’s eyes went wide, and she nodded her head. Tsubaki cleared her throat, lowering her head to hide a small flush in her cheeks. “My Keeper, I do have a matter that I wish to report to you.”
Seeing that I was giving her the chance to speak, she continued. “After the recent changes you made to the various worlds, Dana has become something… new. Originally, she was an aeon that I discovered within the Underworld during my training. Now, however, the world system has labeled her as a familiar.”
“Is that so?” I asked, nodding my head and giving it some thought. I had noticed that aeons and familiars had quite a bit in common. However, it shouldn’t have been enough for an aeon to immediately become a familiar with Kione’s laws. It was then that I remembered that Tsubaki taught Dana how to use ki, and helped her in acquiring her own.
Perhaps, when she did that, she met the conditions of Kione to become a familiar spirit? As I thought about that, Leowynn spoke up from within me. Father, it appears… that I am also a familiar, now.
Okay, now that part surprised me, forcing me to take another moment to think. When I did, the answers seemed to link up. Leowynn was deeply linked to my own soul, and had been reshaped by it. On the other hand, Dana was an independent spirit that simply possessed the necessary energy types to be regarded as a familiar…
“Yeah, so… uhm…” Dana fidgeted a bit, struggling to find her words. “I don’t have a partner right now… is it okay if I…?”
I gave a small nod, able to read from her surface thoughts what it was that she was wanting. “I possess a familiar of my own, already. If Tsubaki consents to it, the two of you can bond. As for how… I believe you should have some understanding of that already.”
“I would enjoy that very much.” Tsubaki spoke honestly, keeping her head lowered. Dana simply blinked at my words, closing her eyes and focusing. If the system told her that she could choose her partner, then the process to do so should be fairly simple.
And indeed, after a moment, Dana reached her hand over to place it on Tsubaki’s back. “Can I be your familiar, Tsuba?” Dana asked in a gentle tone, a pale blue flame wrapping around her hand.
Tsubaki didn’t say anything, simply nodding her head. Once the consent was given, the flame seemed to burrow itself into Tsubaki’s back. At the same time, Dana smiled brightly, nodding her head. “That did it!”
Tsubaki kept her head lower, but I could practically feel the happiness surging off of her thoughts, making my lips tug upwards. “Now… while this was a bit unexpected, I’d like to take a moment to explain to the two of you exactly what this means.”
The two girls lifted their heads up to look at me. Dana still held her wide-eyed enthusiasm, while Tsubaki was holding back a smile. “Familiars are a new concept introduced in a world I have just connected to this one. Think of them as living spellbooks. Tsubaki, now that Dana is your familiar, you will be able to design spells and ‘store’ them inside of her.”
“These spells do not need to be created via the geometric or runic systems, and can come straight from your imagination. That is the magic employed in this new world. However… that is not the only new world that I have introduced.”
Tsubaki blinked in confusion, before her eyes went wide. “You joined another world with Spica’s.” She spoke up in realization. “That’s why Lady Ryone sent out that warning, and why everyone’s ki began acting oddly there.”
I gave a small nod, not denying that. “Correct. The other world that I joined functions similarly to that of Spica. However, their world focuses on ki, rather than mana.”
I could see Tsubaki’s thoughts leaning towards which gods or goddesses managed these two worlds. For Lorek, she immediately assumed that it was the world of Keliope. However, for Kione… she seemed to be leaning towards Irena. I wasn’t about to correct her either way, as I wished for her to discover it on her own.
“For now, I’ll be visiting these new worlds on my own. I only wanted to let the two of you know what was happening, and finally get the chance to meet Dana.” Dana’s smile grew even wider when I mentioned her. “You can spread the information that I’ve told you so far as you wish.”
“My Keeper, should we not accompany you?” Tsubaki asked immediately when she heard that I would be setting off on my own, causing me to shake my head.
“I can’t take the Sky Citadel to Spica or its connected worlds. It was built using the magical laws of Earth, and would cease functioning if it ever entered that realm. I would rather the two of you watch over the Citadel while I am away.”
As I said that, I stood up, inwardly promising that I would let Leowynn try out Vision Expanse once we were ready to settle down again. And then, without another word, I felt the air ripple around me as I stepped between planes.
When I arrived in Lorek, my body felt… odd. The energy pools within my being felt as if they were throbbing. Closing my eyes, I looked inwards with my spiritual energy, and saw that my primary ki heart had already shifted into a white star. My elemental ki pools had also changed, becoming red, blue, brown, and silver stars.
The one that seemed to be having trouble was the ki pool which contained my Ki of Beginning. It pulsed and shifted, flames licking up over its surface. However, perhaps because I had already evolved into an energy form, these flames did not hurt me.
Finally, the last energy pool seemed to stop. All at once, it appeared to disappear from my body. Alarmed, I swept my senses through myself once more, and found that I did still possess my Ki of Beginning. It was still exactly where I left it, but I could no longer see it. From what I could gather, the ‘color’ of that star was blank, invisible.
“I’m still in the Protostar stage, right?” I muttered to myself, analyzing my stars. They had not been imbued with any laws yet, and were merely energy sources within my body. Even though I had multiple stars, that meant that I should be within the first stage of cultivation.
Nodding my head, I opened my eyes to look around at where I had transferred to. Given what I planned to do, I did not appear in the ursa lands. Rather, I was in one of the many unexplored ‘cities’ of the ancient dwarven civilization.
Leowynn, let me know if it gets uncomfortable for you. I whispered in my mind, before hopping up on the nearest building. Now that I was not in the same ‘law group’ as Earth, I was not benefiting from the same level of Keeper attributes. Thankfully, I was still able to draw on the levels of Spica, so it wasn’t too bad.
Establishing my Mana Star and Spirit Star was… frankly, far too easy. From what Balu had told me, I needed to cultivate all three energies at once to reach the height of power with this system, so I had expected it to be more difficult.
Maybe it was because I had already established a Divine Spirit, and Divine Will, making it easier to manipulate those two energies. Either way, I was thankful that I did not have to spend much time working on it. Once the two were created, I maneuvered them to form a triangle with my primary Ki Star. These three would become the foundation for my cultivation within Lorek.
As for which profound law I chose to follow? While studying, I had considered going with Mirrors again, doubling up on that domain. But then I remembered something that Balu had told me, that there was essentially no benefit to training the same domain multiple times. So instead of Mirrors, I chose to follow the Law of Illusions.
With the information I had gained from studying, I managed to quickly imbue my three stars with the fundamental laws of my path. Once I did so, my body was wrapped in a silver light, signalling that I had advanced through a stage of cultivation. I was now in the Law Sequencing stage.
But… this is where it would become difficult. Following the triple-cultivation path, I had to take special steps when developing the stars to prepare for the Constellation stage. Namely, I had to create a star for martial spirit energy, aeon energy, and chakra. Then, each of these stars similarly had to be imbued with matching laws.
I’m going to be here for a little while…
“He seemed pretty nice.” Dana smiled once the Keeper had left, having immediately jumped up to her feet.
Tsubaki simply gave a nod, slowly standing as well. “Yes, he is not a bad master to serve. However… are you sure that you want this? To bind yourself to me, I mean.”
“Already did it!” Dana stuck her tongue out playfully. “I’m your familiar now, Tsuba! No takebacks!”
Despite her questioning, Tsubaki felt a warmth flooding her chest when she heard that. She reached down, scooping Dana up into a hug. In her own thoughts, she made a promise. I’ll never let anything happen to you.
“I know you won’t.” Dana spoke up naturally, having clearly heard Tsubaki’s thoughts there. Tsubaki hesitated when she heard that, her body temporarily freezing. Dana simply giggled after a moment. “Yeah, he didn’t tell us that part, huh?”
Tsubaki let out a sigh, shaking her head with a helpless smile. “Well, let’s go, Dana. There should be some news about the changes in Spica… and we should let the people know what the Keeper has said.”
“You mean about the new worlds?” Dana asked curiously. “Wouldn’t they already know if he gave them the keys? And… if he didn’t give them the keys, maybe he’s waiting for the people on the other side to make the connection first again?”
Tsubaki thought about that for a moment, before nodding. “We’ll wait and see.” If the keys to these new worlds were already discovered, then there was no need to hold back the information. Otherwise, it was possible that Dana was right, and that the Keeper was simply waiting for now.