I felt a long sigh escape me when I returned back to the Admin Room, one of both relief and frustration. As I purchased the systems for the other two worlds, I was made aware of a rather peculiar feature that Terra had not told me about. Or rather, that she had not been able to tell me until I experienced it myself.
I was relieved because buying identical systems for multiple worlds actually reduces the cost of the system for worlds beyond the first. To be exact, the price became only thirty percent of the total for each additional world. I wasn’t quite sure why it worked like that, or how it affected royalties, but it would explain why I didn’t recall ever seeing royalty notifications from the same person buying a system twice.
As for why I was frustrated… The next few days were going to be trying my patience. In order to ensure cooperation, I had to meet with representatives of every race. This was something that I had expected from the moment that I decided to announce myself, but that didn’t make it any less annoying to think about.
Taking another look at the computer, I further read into the notification I had received. Aside from the title, there was still more information. And some of it made my eyebrows jump up in surprise.
Welcome to the Keeper Games, EarthForceOne.
Your worlds and your strength have been evaluated at Rank 1. As a new Keeper, your first Game will be as an invading party to familiarize yourself with the system. Your opponent has been assigned as Jugularnaut.
You have 105:03:74:35 to decide your invading force. There is no point cost to invade. If you win, you will receive the loser’s worlds as your prize. If you lose, Jugularnaut will receive points based on the strength of the dispatched army.
After your forces have been dispatched, you will immediately be queued for your next Game.
Finally, as a Rank 1 Keeper, you now have unlimited access to previously restricted Rank 1 systems.
What caught me by surprise was that the name Jugularnaut was familiar. If I remembered, he should have been the red dragon that was with me in the new batch of Keepers for my first meeting. He had seemed fairly arrogant from what I remembered, but that was probably typical for a dragon. Not sure whether I should be preparing to fight a ‘good’ Keeper or a ‘bad’ Keeper, I decided to consult the Gilded Branch.
EarthForceOne: You free for a moment?
Alkahest: Yeah, just sitting around still. What’s up?
EarthForceOne: What can you tell me about Jugularnaut?
Alkahest: Ah, got your first match up? You want the free info, or are you paying?
I let out a groan when he asked that, shaking my head inwardly. Of course, I knew that he would be able to figure out pretty easily that I was in the Games now, since I had already told him that I was just preparing for it. It was just a bit… Okay, so I was basically poor now. Not compared to what I was before the meeting, but still.
EarthForceOne: Just the free info…
Alkahest: Well, there’s honestly not a whole lot that I can tell you. We aren’t quite sure what side he’s on, since he hasn’t joined a guild. However, I can tell you that his first opponent is still alive.
Well, that did make me relieved, somewhat. It meant that either his first invasion was still ongoing, the units he sent were too weak, or he just had no interest in killing another Keeper. While two of those weren’t exactly good answers, it did leave more hope than if he just killed the first Keeper that he fought.
I sent a brief thanks to Alkahest, closing the conversation. Lying on the bed behind me were Ryone and Terra, both cuddled up with each other and looking exhausted. Although we had only been putting on a brief show, the gods all seemed to have been releasing their divine power to impress the people of the three worlds. While this might have benefits later, it ended up leaving them drained for now.
Turning towards them, I sent a curious glance towards Terra. “So… question time.”
“Mmm?” She groaned, her ears flicking from side to side while she rolled over to face me. Ryone immediately took the chance, wrapping her arms around Terra and moving in to press herself fully against the catgirl goddess.
“What are the Rank 1 systems? I assume that one of them would be the ability to invite other Keepers to your Admin Room.” Alkahest had told me from the beginning that that ability would be free once I qualified for the Games, but not what other systems would be included.
“Uh huh… Others…” Terra let out a long yawn, nuzzling back against Ryone’s head. “Monster spawner… Like a purchased entity, but not.” Rather than explaining it, Terra lifted a hand, causing my chair to rotate back and make me face my computer. The screen had shifted to the forums, where a page I hadn’t seen before appeared.
Monster Spawn Tutorial
For all you new Rank 1 Keepers, here’s a rundown of one of the new systems that you would have just received, the Monster Spawner! This works just like the Calamity Spawner, only that instead of spawning natural or magical disasters, you spawn a monster!
However, this isn’t just any monster. With the Monster Spawner, you can only spawn a monster race that has previously been born in your world. Furthermore, the monster you spawn is not a specific entity, so even if you spawn an intelligent monster, it will not have the same personality as one you might have known.
Using the Monster Spawner is simple! All you need to do is select the monster you wish to spawn, as well as the number and location. Once you do that, the system will calculate a point cost. This is useful for filling your world with strong monsters just before an invasion to help defend against a hostile force, or just as training!
As an advanced feature, it is possible to set a conditional spawn. This is a more costly version, but once implemented will continue until removed. To do this, you must complete the above steps, as well as assign a condition for when the system spawns additional monsters. This is a good way to create a training environment, by having monsters spawn at regular intervals after the previous ones were slain.
In many cases, this resembles the Game System’s method of spawning monsters after it has just been launched. However, the Game System typically only creates monsters until the world has been populated sufficiently, and only spawns more after the monster threshold has dropped beyond a certain degree, as assigned by the Keeper when they purchase the system. Furthermore, you have no direct control over what monsters are spawned by the Game System, unlike the Monster Spawner.
Note: Only creatures not purchased as a race by a Keeper can classify as Monsters.
I found myself reading through the post multiple times. I could see how this would be useful, especially in setting up dungeons. In fact, it might even be a good idea now, taking advantage of this system and the Time Zones to mass produce dungeons that can be used as training grounds.
Glancing towards Terra, I smiled slightly. “If I raise the intelligence of the Dungeon Core race, will that apply to the currently created dungeons, or just the new ones that we spawn in later?”
“Just new ones.” She muttered simply, her eyes lightly closed. Her hands came up to her stomach, resting on top of Ryone’s hands.
“And, would it be possible to quickly expand a dungeon’s territory, if they were given a sufficient supply of mana?” This time, I got her to open one of her eyes to send a tired glance at me.
“Yes…” She muttered again, closing her eye. Turning around, I decided to check out the Calamity Spawner system that was mentioned in the tutorial. Since it mentioned magical disasters, that should mean that it was possible to create areas of either high mana concentration or areas of unstable mana.
In my worlds, mana was almost purely generated by people, rather than being an ambient energy. The only places where it was ambient was in a dungeon, where the dungeon’s own mana permeated the surroundings. If used properly… an area of unnaturally high mana could serve as a catalyst for the rapid growth of a dungeon.
First, I opened the race menu, and invested two more points into the Comprehension of dungeons, bringing their starting intelligence to a six. This should help them grasp concepts much more quickly than before to better adjust to their new growth period. Although those two points of Comprehension cost me thirty points to buy, I felt that it would be worth it in the long run.
Next, I decided to run an experiment. I selected a remote island, one neighboring where we placed the gate on Earth. There, I placed a single dungeon, before switching to the Calamity Spawner. If this worked, then I would gain an easy method to rapidly grow dungeons in the future. If not, then I lost a grand total of one dungeon and a few points…
In the Calamity Spawner, I was able to choose ‘Mana Surge’ as the ‘disaster’. For its description, it specified that all magical abilities within the area would become amplified to a dangerous degree by feeding off of ambient mana. Next, I had to choose the size, strength, and the duration of the mana surge.
I set the duration as one week, the strength at a two out of ten, and finally the size of the surge to cover the entire island. Once I was done meeting the various races, I would be able to come back and look at that. Thankfully, a calamity of this size was cheap, costing only five points. I couldn’t help but question if I didn’t set the strength high enough, but that would just be one of the things I check later.
With that taken care of, I glanced back towards the girls again. It’d be best to wait until they were ready to act again before handling the meetings. That way, even if they weren’t able to release their divine power like they had to the entire world, they would still be there as a visible presence.
So for now, I simply paused the world. Most likely, they would recover enough for this after a single day. Until then, I would handle my own training. As I left the room, I grabbed the information globes for the tier two and tier three ki knowledge.
Part of me wondered if I should also buy knowledge for chakra and elemental ki, but those would likely be even more expensive. After all, they were combined energies rather than base energies. I was even more curious about combinations of three or more energy types, since those would become even more powerful.
However, for now I chose to suppress my curiosity. While those may be more powerful, they would also be more difficult to learn. If I couldn’t first master their base components, then I had no business trying to study the advanced energies.
Once I arrived in the living room, I sat down on the couch. With one information globe in each hand, I began studying again. I wanted to take this chance to create new techniques, techniques that could be used in an actual battle. And maybe, even just a flashy move or two that would awe the people of my world. If they see me as an impossible opponent, and I do not use my power to directly oppress them, then they should be less likely to rebel. That was the hope, at least.