The Stygian watches as a pillar of Dark mana engulfs the Prismatic Butterfly, breaking apart its spells as the sheer amount of Dark mana repels the Beauty mana. Several tings ring off in his mind upon witnessing the Goddess's divine judgment, signaling the several breakthroughs and levels he just obtained in [Sense Mana].
A shockwave of darkness overcomes the land with volatile secondary explosions, but the butterfly has somehow survived! Reeling from the attack, it stumbles, but all the mana from the first attack suddenly sweeps back up into the air above it before being channeled back onto it, creating a continuous spell that loops back onto itself… or perhaps not. The mana is thinning, somehow being extinguished, and it’s not at a slow rate, although it’s not at a fast rate either.
Another revelation from the Goddess!
She is showing him the secrets of mana and a powerful spell to make him stronger. A spell that loops back to continually strike… but how can he do something like that? Training? Perhaps he needs to develop his spells in a certain way, or perhaps he needs a support skill. But he can think about that later; there is way more to the goddess’s spell, secrets being revealed to him that he can’t yet comprehend.
I am still unworthy…
The butterfly tries to flee, but a quarter of the Dark mana shifts to gravity essence, and the spell changes, weighing it down. It tries to crawl away, but the spell follows it until it finally dies.
What does this mean? Does the goddess want to eliminate those that reject her? Or was there something else to it? Did she know that the prismatic butterfly would never accept her ways?
Perhaps he too should take a similar stance.
However, before he can contemplate further, the Goddess approaches! Or rather, a projection of her does. She lands in front of him, and he bows, honored that she would appear before him again.
Suddenly, he feels her mind touch his with a telepathic spell. Elated, he accepts the communication, eager for the Goddess’s wisdom.
Thoughts flow into his mind, a command by the Goddess herself!
Do not harm the ones that look like me. The Goddess says, her mind feeling stalwart and strong.
Of course, Goddess! What of monsters? Should I spread your teachings to them? What if they reject you? Do I slay them?
The Goddess is silent for a few moments, thinking, but answers positively.
May I ask a boon of you, my Goddess?
The Goddess pauses again, longer this time, but again, answers in the positive.
Excitement fills the Stygian, but he forces it down to control his emotions.
Forgive me, for I was unable to fully understand your demonstration, the form of mana that spell took still eludes me.
Again, the Goddess takes her time to answer, but when she does, she feeds him thoughts and images of mana! They are in such detail, explaining what liquid mana is and how it works.
Instantly, several breakthroughs for [Sense Mana] gain many levels, and the more he digests the Goddess’s knowledge, the more they level.
I will go now. The Goddess announces regally before her projection disperses and the beauty essence making it up fills the air.
The Stygian resolves himself to form a thriving coalition of followers by the time the Goddess next appears before him.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Stygian Seer (Heroic), Level 824 Chosen Gazer (Heroic), Level 611 Sightless Acolyte (Grand), Level 758 Ice Bond.
It’s that monster from way back.
It seems to have specialized in sensing skills, but what concerns me are the names of its Classes. There’s no doubt that I had some influence in the direction it has taken, which is certainly a surprise.
It has gotten way stronger, probably stronger than the treant, and it seems to be roaming around much further than what I think the dungeon intended. Question is: is it hostile? Does it fear Runalymo because of me? I doubt it; more like it appears to respect me. I only saved it from an attack because I saw its Race and Classes and wanted to know why it went down that path. It even keeps its eyes closed, perhaps emulation?
Should I try to communicate with it? Sylanna is sapient; perhaps this one is too? I doubt all monsters are spawned with knowledge of a language and the ability to speak like us.
I send a clone over to it; however, when my clone lands, it bows.
I have a bad feeling about this.
I channel a telepathic spell through my clone to establish communication.
Suddenly, I feel reverent thoughts coming from it, no words, just intent.
What do I do? It clearly holds me in high regard, but will it listen to me? Can I effectively tame it? For now, I should make sure it won’t attack any people.
I send images and intent to the Stygian, telling it not to attack Runalymo.
It answers back with affirmation and asks if it should attack monsters… or at least that’s the impression I got; this isn’t exactly an accurate form of communication. In any case, the more monsters it kills, the less that will harm the villagers, so I give it the go-ahead.
A sense of devotion leaks through the telepathic link as I give it my answer, but it suddenly sends me a desire to ask something.
I could deny it and go; I doubt it will go against my wishes, but I suppose a happy monster is not a spiteful one, so I allow it.
It asks something about the spell I cast. Decoding its emotions from its intent, I figure out that it’s asking about the state of mana I cast.
So it has yet to be able to see liquid spells. How much information should I give it?
I quickly go over the pros and cons but figure that teaching it a little bit of [Sense Mana] won’t give it any actual power, so I give it information on solid and liquid mana as well as MM forces and how they play a part in giving structure to mana.
With that done, I tell it my intention to leave, and before it can ask for anything else, I sever the telepathic link and cut my connection off from the clone. I will continue to keep watch over this Stygian and see how things develop, but as far as I can tell, it won’t be hostile to me or any other Runalymo.
I inform Kayafe of my success in slaying the Prismatic Butterfly and also the Stygian situation.
“Powers that are on the same level as legendary are often seen as godly.” Kayafe giggles with amusement. “Every legendary being can relate; you’ll get used to it. Most people can’t really comprehend what legendary beings are capable of and often over or underestimate them.”
“Great…” I’m not even legendary yet, and this is happening to me. What are people going to think when I do become legendary? Whatever; I’ll leave that up for legendary me to deal with.
I send a clone to collect the remains of the Prismatic Butterfly while I teleport back to the village with the waystone key. I then go to Esofy and ask for proper combat training, leaving a clone with Kayafe.
I had attended their dojo a while ago, but I’ve never gotten very experienced in combat like she and the others have. However, now I have to relearn how to fight again since my new tails have messed everything up… again.
“You want to learn how to fight and face monsters? That’s a surprise; you seem to be doing well enough as you are currently. Why the change in attitude?” Esofy asks.
“The more powerful I become, the more attention I attract. I have to learn eventually, and it’s safer to start and become proficient in battle before something capable of sneaking up on me shows up.”
Esofy stares at me for several seconds, trying to figure out what worries me. “You think that your recent world announcements might attract some bad attention?”
I nod. “The Guardian is of the same opinion, but even if nothing happens, it doesn’t hurt to be prepared.”
“Very well. It's too late to start today, so come in the morning.”
Over the course of the next week, I practiced in Esofy’s combat academy while training my Bond, gaining about two dozen Bond levels. At the same time, I kept up my training with Kayafe as we moved from fighting with [Manipulate Magic], to crafting on the outskirts of the dungeon village.
However, this time it isn’t just Kayafe training me; I am also teaching her about mana and some magic and inscriptions.
Together we have built a new airship, one entirely made of mana and fitted with cannons that fire solid-state spells. Inscriptions are used to fuel the enchantments, which are empowered with magic to ease the amount of mana the airship needs. This airship isn’t fitted for transport and trade; it is instead fitted for combat.
As the first warship, it’s named the Baamash, which means ‘battle’ ‘boat’ ‘sky’, or ‘airship of battle’. The Baamash isn’t larger on the inside, which vastly reduces its mana consumption, but it is still around the same size as the Entylamo since it needs space for mana batteries and ammo storage. There is a waiting room that is capable of holding up to twenty people for deployment or pick-up, but the primary purpose of this airship is to combat monsters that are too strong for people to slay.
“How do these thrusters work?” Kayafe asks as I finish up the last one and start the decorating.
“They take in air, compress it, and heat it up,” I explain while adding stylized depictions of lighting and incorporating mana-gathering inscriptions into the thunderclouds. “You compress the air because the only way to get the same volume of air through a smaller hole is for it to leave the thruster faster, which produces more thrust. You heat the air up because hot air wants to expand, which pushes the air out even faster.”
“And with magic, we can make it so the liquid fire mana can’t leave the thruster, so no additional mana is needed to use the thruster,” Kayafe adds.
Magic is very useful, but this airship is metaphorically being held together by glue. It won’t last forever and will need to be reapplied in a couple of years, but it’s well worth it since it is vastly more efficient.
The Baamash doesn’t need lift or drive sails, although it does have them for redundancy and for take-off and landing, since the thrusters would be unsafe if anyone were to be near it when they start.
A crowd gathered to witness the creation of the Baamash and once I finished up the final decorations, we give them a tour of it and explain its purpose. Esofy and the Elders thank us for the airship.
“We always worried when the next Treant situation would arise, but now we have a solution to that problem. Thank you for giving us peace of mind.” the Elders say, bowing to us.
After that, we mess around with different crafting techniques for a few hours, but then I notice something approach the Nexus; a mass of craftsmanship essence. It clearly has a Bond and is producing an obscene amount of mana similar to what an elemental produces.
Spirit God of Craftmanship (Legendary), Level 3135 World Smith (Legendary), Level 3187 Matter Creator (Legendary), Level 2958 Starflame Conjuror (Legendary), Level 2472 Archmage Spellsmith (Legendary), Level 2196 Soulcraft Grandmaster (Legendary), Level 13042 Craftsmanship Bond.
There’s only one being this can be, Urolon, the God of the Forge and Craftsmanship, the first one to suggest using my soul for his own gain.