When Dream walked outside the cabin, the first thing he saw was a large patch of scorched ground and a deep pit. The walls of the pit were lined with corrosive black goo, and the smell it gave off was horrible.
"Sheesh. What the hell is she doing, trying to turn this paradise into a barren cesspit?"
Blocking the smell from entering his nose, Dream floated over to the edge of the pit. Inside he saw Luna and Iris as well as the small pool of a bubbling tar-like substance.
"Oh, you're up."
Luna smiled when she saw him. She was sitting on an ice chair that floated over the pool of tar. Then there was Iris, who was laying inside the tar in her fox form.
"Yea. So... mind telling me what's going on?"
"Iris had a hard time controlling her powers for a bit and ended up dissolving a hole in the ground. It's mostly calmed down though. Her soul is starting to stabilize."
"Interesting. How long until she wakes up?"
"Whenever I decide to send in some healing power. I was waiting for you to wake up first though before sending it through the channel."
"Oh. Go ahead then."
Saying that, Dream opened up the contracts for the girls. Feeling the channel open, Luna streamed through her blue healing power and sent it straight to Iris.
Suddenly, a groan was heard from the pit. Both of them looked down to see Iris waking up.
"What is all... Eww! It smells! Get this crap off me!"
Activating her power, Iris instantly disintegrated all the tar that soaked her fur and was stewing around her. In mere moments, she was perfectly clean, and all the tar disappeared along with the horrid smell.
"Ugh! Nasty! How long was I sleeping in there?!"
"About a day."
"Yuck! I am so taking a bath."
"Not so fast."
Dream spoke, and Iris looked up at him, only just now realizing he was there.
"Oh, uhh... Hi Dream."
"So how'd that soul taste?"
"...It was nice..."
Iris sheepishly looked away as Dream looked down at her. Remembering how she had eaten the entirety of that class 5 soul, she realized that he might not be so happy.
"I'm sure it was very nice. A class 5 soul that has a denser and evolved form must've been absolutely delectable. I mean, just think about the skills and data contained within it. All that Aether too. Plus, he was the key to opening the portal. I'm sure the cumulative power of thousands of class 4 demons aimed toward bringing about the descent of an even higher class being was just a hardy three-course meal for you, huh?"
Dream narrowed his eyes as she continuously turned away from his gaze. That devil was more than just experience or materials for building something. Contained within that devil was the key to the function of the portal as well as hints to a higher level of evolution. Needless to say, it was immensely valuable to Dream who could systematically extract all that data.
And although the devil had gone and released one final attack that knocked him out, the devil still could've been handled by Luna in a more graceful manner. He had even been planning to ask her to heal him so as to preserve his unstable soul. But before they could do anything, Iris went and annihilated him, sucking up his very existence.
It wasn't like he didn't understand her decision though. Iris was much more impulsive than Dream or Luna, and seeing such a deadly attack, she instantly reacted and took out the threat. Plus it hit him, something that garnered immediate rage from her. Doing what she did was instinctual for her. Dream was just a bit regretful and irritated. He had really been looking forward to studying everything.
Knowing all this, Iris drooped her head and apologized. For a while, Dream continued to stare at her, but eventually just shook his head.
"Sigh. No, it's fine. Thanks for protecting me. I want you to tell me what you gained though. There's no way you just got some experience."
"Y-yea! I can do that. Uhh, I got a skill called [Amalgamate]. I think that's what caused my small little evolution, because when I got it, my [Deprive] skill started to fight with it."
"Your skills fought?"
Dream tilted his head hearing that. He's never heard of skills fighting each other before.
"Yea. My [Deprive] skill wanted to eat it, and the [Amalgamate] skill wanted to fuse deprive under it. Basically, two really strong skills were both trying to eat each other due to their nature."
"Very interesting. So what's the result?"
"Well, I combined them since they were both similar and got a new skill. It's called [Gluttony]."
"Gluttony huh? Well isn't that neat..."
Dream was a little shocked. Deprive was already amazing enough, but now she got a superior version.
After thinking about it though, it made sense. The devil really was an amalgamation of the demon's powers and capabilities, and that skill was a reflection of that. Iris received it, so she now had one skill that took away, and one skill that brought together. Those two concepts combined and created a high class skill. Plus, Iris was already a glutton. Honestly, it was more natural for her to have a skill like that than not.
'And I thought I was good at stealing skills. She's gonna have it much easier than me if she can just eat people's souls and steal their power. Sheesh. I wonder how strong she is now.'
Dream delved into thought, however, Iris wasn't done.
"There was one more thing that happened when the gluttony skill appeared though."
"What, did your Annihilate skill combine with it?"
"No. They did try to attack each other though. [Gluttony] wanted to eat the skill, and when it attacked, [Annihilate] retaliated and attempted to destroy [Gluttony]. Luckily though, they stopped rather quickly. I guess neither could get the upper hand, and I forcefully intervened since going any farther would be dangerous. Now they're coexisting rather well, although the balance is a bit delicate."
"Huh. Well aren't you just a little bundle of chaos. So you got a nice new skill upgrade. Is that it?"
"Uhh, no. I also leveled up a good amount. I'm level 391 now. Oh! I also got this nice new ability. Watch."
Saying that, Iris suddenly disappeared. Seeing what she did, Dream's eyes went wide and he extended his senses.
Before he could detect her though, Iris popped back into existence right behind him. He smiled.
"So you can use Aether now huh?"
"Yea! It's like what you and that devil did during the fight. Zipping in and out of space. I actually got a skill for this."
"Really? What's it called?"
"It's called [Portal]."
Dream went silent hearing the name. Iris also went quiet, smiling sheepishly.
"I uhh... I'll use it well."
"...Sure. Anyway, that skill looks like it works differently from how I tunnel through the 4th dimension. It seems better, so I'll probably ask you to help me out sometime."
"Alright. Oh hey, what about your level? You got experience too, right?"
"...Let me see."
Remembering that the devil was indeed killed, Dream pulled up his notification log.
<You have killed a level 406 [Psuedo Demon Duke]>
<You have gained Experience!>
<You have leveled up!>
"A demon duke huh? So that's the level above a Grand demon. A class 5. Albeit a low level one. Let's see where my level's at."
Dream went and opened his status next.
Species: [Metacosmic Psykhe]
Title: [Origin Seeker]
Stats: Strength- S+ Agility- S+
Stamina- S+ Magic- S+
Passive Skills: [Sophia] Lvl. 27, [Arcana] Lvl. 90, [Universal Language] Lvl. 75
Active Skills: [Summons From Another World], [Particle Manipulation] Lvl. 70
"Level 398. Just shy of the class advancement."
"Really? That's surprising. Well, I guess he was low level so..."
"Mm. You know, I kinda feel bad though. Your sister didn't get anything out of all this."
Both of then looked to Luna who was still sitting in her ice chair. Hearing then, she shook her head.
"It's fine. Although I can't use Iris's gluttony skill, I can use her portal skill. Plus, she can still send us energy. Her gaining is me gaining. Plus, both of our stats went up as a result of her little evolution."
"Is that right? What are they?"
"For me, everything is S+ except for agility which is S."
"I'm the same."
Both girls spoke, garnering a thoughtful nod from Dream.
"Very good. You guys have jumped in power once more. Unfortunately, you guys are about to go stagnant again."
"Because we aren't going to have any enemies pretty soon."
Saying that, Dream turned around and flew out of the tree dome, entering his factory which it was connected to. The girls quickly followed.
[I've already prepared everything while you were out.]
"Thanks. Prepare them for launch"
"Prepare what for launch?"
Iris asked when she heard Dream. Smiling, he turned and looked at her.
"This factory has been pumping out combat bots ceaselessly for months. You should've heard me say that I have over a billion bots under my command. Well, that wasn't a lie. More specifically, I have 1.8 billion bots that are primed and ready to go down to the planet and annihilate the demons. I've tracked the demons and every settlement that exists, including some within the ocean. While I didn't expect them to suddenly come out with a class 5, now that he's gone, it's time to move on."
"...So you're gonna wipe them out? The demons are finally going to be eradicated?"
"That's right. I'm going to scour every inch of this damned rock and wipe out every trace of them. From the oceans to the mountains. I've got the best sensors, the best weapons, and all the manpower I could ask for. There's absolutely nothing they can do to prevent their doom, unless of course they pull another class 5 out of their ass, but I don't think that's gonna happen. And of course, that means there won't be any prey for you guys. At least, none that will come close to being a threat."
"...I'm not sure how to feel about that."
"Of course you aren't."
Dream just rolled his eyes at the conflicted Iris. Only she would feel distressed over the demons being wiped out.
"Anyway, I had already been planning to do so, so I think it's time now. Sophia?"
[All bots are ready. Just give the word.]
"W-wait! Let me go down and kill some before you destroy them all."
Iris interrupted and hastily spoke. Dream was about to wipe out the last remnants of a hostile force. When he did, Iris didn't know when the next time she would be able to kill something was, so she wanted to go down and fight one last time. She hadn't even been able to use her fancy new skills yet!
Dream just smirked at her desperation though.
"If you want to fight, you better beat my bots to the punch. Sophia, release them."
With a shout, Iris activated her portal skill and disappeared, rushing down to the planet. Luna and Dream laughed.
*Beep!* *Beep!* *Beep!*
Floating in the atmosphere above the planet, a large square container had been floating aimlessly for months. At this time though, it received a signal and opened up its floors.
Light streamed into the container, revealing rows upon rows of bots. There were at least several million in this container alone, and when the hatch opened, all the bots whirred to life.
Then, in another container only several miles away, more bots activated. This continued on around the entire atmosphere of the planet, where thousands of containers holding millions of bots each all opened.
Then, they all dropped at the same time. The bots launched themselves out of the container, and swarms started descending to the planet below them.
When this happened, another change was seen on the planet.
Big blobs of light appeared on the continents in several places. They were nukes, dozens of them. And all of them were focused around the biggest settlements of demons.
Not long after, the bots that were released from the containers descended upon all areas of the planet. The billions of bots equipped with all kinds of gear and weapons sweeped over the lands like locusts. Everything that was demonic in nature was obliterated thoroughly. And it wasn't just the land. The ocean was swarmed as well with special aquatic bots designed to scan the ocean and fight in water.
Hundreds of millions of demons were ruthlessly killed by the hour. Not even the class 4's could survive the onslaught of so many high powered bots. While Dream didn't have many class 4 level bots, he did have weapons capable of taking out class 4's, and they were present among the army in droves.
As this was happening, each kill was tallied, and a live map of the scanned terrain on the planet was being created. When Dream said he would scour every inch, he meant every inch. It didn't matter how long it would take. He would kill every single demon and ensure that they could never spawn themselves again. If that meant he needed to search every cave and corner of the globe, then so be it.
Like that, the planet was cleared. Dream watched everything live, even going so far as to dive down into the ocean with Luna and Iris and take out large settlements himself. This went on for an entire three weeks. Not a single day was taken to rest.
[I'm officially declaring their eradication.]
Sophia spoke to Dream, who was sitting in a chair staring off into space. In his mind streamed data about the progress of the planet scour.
Right now, Dream basically had an entire scan of the planet's lands and oceans. It was the most detailed map he's ever seen. There was no surface that hadn't been looked over, and even natural caves that formed a mile underground were looked through. Although Dream knew there probably wouldn't be any demons there as they liked to congregate, he didn't care. He was going to make absolutely sure.
And he did. After about a week, the demons were already entirely wiped out. They couldn't find a single trace for an entire two weeks after that despite the endless searching. Despite that though, every single bot was still scouring the planet, both land and ocean.
He didn't have any intentions of stopping them either. As far as he was concerned, the search would go on for another two months. He was going so far as to plant special pylons around the surface of the planet so as to act as area scanners. Looking at it from a normal perspective, this kind of obsessive searching was like paranoia. But he didn't care. He was sick and tired of the demons. Their threat had been hanging over his head for a long time.
"Just keep the bots searching. Search the animals some more too. Lower all their mana outputs though and focus on electrical power. Give them some more longevity."
"Good. Now, let's focus back on this."
Saying that, Dream turned around and faced a device. The device was the portal that the demons were constructing. It was nearly 100% finished, and Dream had tasked bots to take it during the battle with the class 5 demon duke as a precaution in case he couldn't defeat the guy.
While he had been focused on searching most of the time, he had started to study the portal as well. His curiosity could compete with Iris's hunger in terms of instability, so he was naturally eager to study it, especially since Iris ate the demon duke.
However, even after studying it for over a week now, he wasn't able to crack it. Not literally, but figuratively. He had been able to gather basic information about it from his senses, but as for the actual portal function, he wasn't able to identify it.
The portal turned out to be a seriously advanced piece of magical tech. He was amazed at the fact that those idiotic demons were able to build something that even he could barely analyze. However, since they were able to produce an artificial class 5, he didn't find it surprising for long. As he came to realize, the demons were much more profound and mysterious in both their origins and their abilities. They were one of the things that convinced him of the wider universe beyond what he knew.
So, since Dream had something new to learn about, he focused himself on it. From now on, he wouldn't have to worry about anymore looming threats and could wholeheartedly focus on his studies.
At least, that's what he thought.
What he didn't realize was that there were plans made outside of his knowledge involving him, and they had just about met their deadline.
Outside the factory where Dream was sitting and studying the portal, a bald man appeared out of nowhere. His gaze pierced into the factory and at Dream. He stroked his chin in interest.
"So this is him. The new Seeker. Very well. The deadline has come. Time to leave this place."