chapter 194: a tale as old as time

Once I had held the meeting with the races of Earth, we moved towards Deckan and Desbar. Each time, we only ‘invited’ one political leader of each race, and in the cases of these two worlds it was the leader who ruled over the territory where the gate was located. For each, we gave them the same terms. No attempting to lead to the extinction of another people, or they will be punished. And that they should appoint someone for me to speak to when need be.

While I felt that the last bit was somewhat unnecessary due to my ability to just speak to whoever I wanted, I decided to implement it for a specific reason. If I did it this way, there would not be people who could just get away with falsely claiming to be my voice in the world. Although the gods could simply punish people who did that, it would ultimately lead to problems. For instance, people become so used to someone claiming to speak for me and then being smited later, that they no longer take such people seriously…

Thankfully, after we left Earth the burden became much less on the gods and goddesses. For all but one, there was practically no burden at all at any given time. After all, they simply needed to sit in the chair like an empty husk, and not need to spend a single iota of their divine power.

Unfortunately, it was a bit upsetting when we visited Desbar. It seemed that they didn’t really appreciate me turning on its head thousands of years worth of religious lore. They sent missiles and planes towards the Sky Citadel, all of which were blocked by the defenses Tubrock installed. When the defenses were being ‘tested’, I felt a small tug on my ki and mana, noticing that they were drawn into the throne I was sitting on.

The drain was small compared to my overall limits, so I did not attempt to fight it. By the time we left, I had probably lost about one percent of my energy powering the defenses for a short while. That was enough to show me that the Sky Citadel couldn’t withstand sustained attacks for a long period, or its battery –me– would run out of energy.

This was gladly not an issue for now. With the level limit removed, my Keeper stats should see a rather large growth once I give it a bit of time. Especially now that all three worlds will be contributing.

Once we got back to the Admin Room, I let everyone go relax again… aside from Irena who was immediately dragged away by a very determined looking Leowynn. As for myself, I went back to the computer, wanting to see what the results of my test would be with the dungeon. So, as soon as I got back, I hit the great fast forward button, moving ahead all of… one week.

While the world was still, quiet from the revelation that their gods were not all that they thought they were, there was one group in particular that was celebrating. A festival spread among the forest of the beastkin. The ninjas danced, and with them danced the forest itself, trees swaying from side to side as beastkin swung from them.

From the very beginning, they had believed in the existence called Dayl. The original ninja which had guided them on their current path. At first they thought that he might be a servant of the gods, but now they realized that they had it wrong. The one that they revered was not the servant, but the master.

Blessings were made to the statues of Dayl in each village, offerings of meats and fruits, wines and scrolls. While everyone else in the world felt as if their hearts were crumbling, these few finally found the answers that they had been seeking for thousands of years. An answer better than they could ever hope.

Elsewhere on the continent, the felyn queen, the First Queen of Terraria, bit her lips in frustration. Are we truly meant to submit? Must we be forced to put aside our hatred, our pride? Even the Sisters were not his equal…

You think too much of this, my child. A soft voice spoke into her mind, though that soft tone struck her as if it were thunder. The queen immediately knew who she was speaking with, especially as it was a voice that she had heard just recently.

M-my goddess! Even though the words never left her head, the queen lowered her head and knelt at the foot of her bed. “Were those words true? Must we do as he says?”

There are things that you don’t understand, my child. Terra’s voice told her in a soothing tone. Things that I could not explain to you before. But now, with his wish to foster peace, now I can tell you.

“I-is he siding with the savages?” The queen couldn’t help but ask, an obvious fear in her voice. Dale himself had appeared human, and the human goddess was also in the center of all others, so in her mind that could only be seen as a display to show them where he stood.

As I said, you think too much of it. The Keeper is not a human, but the creator. His form is his to choose, and has taken many shapes over the years. If you search through your history, you may indeed find his footsteps among the sister races.

As for the seating arrangement, that will make sense in time. The human goddess was not in the center to display power or favoritism, but because she is her own balance. Like those who sat next to her, the goddesses of life and death. Or those beyond, who governed love and unity.

Hearing this, the heart of the queen calmed slightly, relief washing over her. If it was as her goddess said, then things were not as dire as she feared. “But… why does he wish us to ignore our hatred, then?”

Let me tell you a story, my child. A story of explorers who stumbled upon a land fraught with internal strife. Explorers who crossed the seas and found an unknown land, inhabited by those who had never known the unity of the sisters…

The queen listened to the goddess’s words, honored to have even been spoken to like this, let alone for so long. And as the story progressed, the queen’s face showed confusion, anger, and sorrow. Her eyes watered and she brought her hands up to cover her face. She did not want to swallow the anger that she had felt for her whole life, but right now that was precisely what she was doing.

“My goddess… is that really the truth? Why were our hands not stayed earlier?” The queen asked, barely able to maintain her composure.

We did try. We sent envoys, we sent messages. However, the hatred in your hearts had grown too deep. We had been told not to interfere too deeply in the conflicts of the world, so when our messages were interpreted as they had been, we could only watch sadly.

“But… why could you not interfere? Surely, he must know how that war changed us…” It was common knowledge that the beastkin of today were far different from what they had been before the ancient war. At one point they were a happy people, whose only joy was to expand their knowledge and wisdom and entertain the masses.

But the war changed them. They began to amass armies for more than just fighting off the monsters that roamed the land. There had even been a time when their unity was lost for an age, the Second Kingdom of Accal rebelling and seeking to overthrow their neighbors.

He knows, my child. Terra said with that same gentle tone. But he did not wish for you to become too dependant on us. In the days when our worlds are invaded, our powers will be restricted. While he himself will be among the world to help defend, it will be the duty of us above to hold back the breach. During that time, our aid will be limited. He did not wish for you to become so dependant that you could not properly act without our guidance.

Only allowed on

The queen seemed to understand something with that, and offered a weak nod. “Thank you, my goddess. Your words may have saved us from a terrible path…”

Although the queen waited for several long moments, she did not receive another message. Rather than feeling sad, she was instead pleased that her goddess and taken so much of her time to quell the woes of a single mortal. Standing up, she wiped her eyes and made her way to her desk. She had a public announcement to give.

Across the seas, the heroc champion stood atop a flying ship. His people were startled that he had suddenly vanished, and just as quickly returned later. However, when he came back, a wide grin could be seen on his face.

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He turned to face his crew, clapping a hand loudly against his chest. “My brothers, my sisters! I have met the Keeper, the most ancient one!” He declared, his voice stunning those aboard the boat. He had been chosen not simply because he was the strongest of the heroc, but because many recognized him as their leader.

“I have seen those of the other tribes, and I find them lacking!” He shouted. This time, his words drew a laugh from the crew. It was known that there was not a heroc among the gods and goddesses, so at first they thought that they might be inferior to those other races. “Let them draw their strength from above! We have our hearts, we have our fists, we have our courage!”

“They are not superior because their ancients have taken a tangible shape! No, their ancients did so because they were weak! We will be the first to claim the gate to another world, not some puny hairy creatures.”

This time, his words were met with a cheer. “We have been told not to fight the other races, but there is still more we can do! Let us show them our power, my fellows! Let us show them that they cannot use those above to look down on us, for we will stand at a height above them!”

Turning around again, he placed his hand on the control crystal for the ship, pouring in a large amount of energy to increase its speed. The rings of light encircling the ship began to glow more brightly, and it gave a quick jerk as it sped forward. The crew aboard stumbled briefly, letting out a laugh as they felt the acceleration.

I felt a smile creeping up onto my lips as I watched the results of a simple week’s skip. For the most part, the various races had reacted positively. The halflings and the centaurs held a festival on the third day after I met their elder. The ninjas of the beastkin… well, let’s just say that they have a new holiday.

The humans, as expected, immediately believed themselves superior due to the idea that I was a human like them. From now on, I’d need to change my race each time I visited into something different so that it wouldn’t become an issue in the future.

The most unforeseen response was actually from the elves. They did not celebrate, nor did they mourn. Rather, they studied. Their first action was to go through their own history, looking for things that didn’t make sense. Things that would indicate my presence in the past.

And, they found some things. Most of it was nonsense, just local heroes that they attributed to being my descended forms. However, they did stumble upon one old legend that made them question things, and one that was indeed true.

They found Jayl. The maker of the ward that now protects every elven city from monster swarms, with the help of the Mad Enchanter. The mysterious scholar that appeared one day, on the eve of the final turtle tide, left his mark, and then left just as quickly. After he passed through, the Mad Enchanter gave birth to a daughter, despite having never been in a relationship with anyone from the town.

The child of the stars. The one hailed as the Goddess’s own daughter. However, now that seemed to make less sense. Why would the daughter of a goddess of magic have a blessing that bestowed physical strength? This question had always been overlooked, because at the time there was only one Goddess known.

But now they questioned it. No record had ever been made from the past generations that a scholar named Jayl ever existed, aside from the brief period he spent in Cau Buhnga. They managed to create the theory that Jayl had instead been me. Although they had no proof, the fact that they were able to come to that conclusion showed their resourcefulness.

I chuckled lightly to myself as I shifted my eyes away from the races, and towards the small island where I had left the dungeon.

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