chapter 235: the weird trials

“So, how much do you remember about our guild?” Sarah asked with a curious tilt of her head once I had approached her stall.

“Pretty much the same as everyone else here?” I responded with a slight shrug, though felt a smile creep onto my face. “Just a group of friends looking out for each other. Though… I remember there only being five of you.”

“Ahh, you never met Meatlover.” Sarah chuckled dryly as she said that. “He doesn’t tend to go to the monthly meetings. Would rather spend his time studying his own world instead.”

“Well, that’s fine. Anything else I should know before I join your group, then?” In truth, it wasn’t just because I had met this guild before that I was inclined to join them. The fact that they had good enough relations with the Gilded Branch to be allowed into the monthly meetings indicated that they weren’t hostile Keepers. A guarantee that I couldn’t make with any of the other small guilds without paying a sum of points to find out.

Dear Readers. Scrapers have recently been devasting our views. At this rate, the site (creativenovels .com) might...let's just hope it doesn't come to that. If you are reading on a scraper site. Please don't.

“Well, we do have a couple of rules.” Sarah spoke as she crossed her arms in front of her, nodding her head briefly. “First of all… if you get stuck in an invasion where you don’t think you can survive, do your best to hold out until the next annual meeting. If you can do that, there’s the slim chance that we can save you, and you can also warn us about who attacked you.”

“You’re new, so you might not have figured it out yet, but… whenever a Keeper is killed during the games, their information is wiped from the system. That means that we can’t look up who your last opponent was to be on guard against them, and warn others that they are dangerous.”

I couldn’t help but glance over towards Terra at that, recalling how she only had the records from the last few Keepers in her memory. “Makes sense. Anything else?”

At that, Sarah’s smile grew wider. “You also have to let us know if you’re having any problems. We try to avoid loaning out points, because it can mean inflating your world before you’re ready. But if it’s an emergency, we can help out. And, if you just need some advice, we’d be more than happy to help.”

Only allowed on

“Aside from that… just don’t be a jerk?” She shook her head as she said that, leaning forward against the stall. “So, what do you say?”

“I say… how do I get invited?” I asked, laughing lightly. “As you said, I’m new.” The moment I asked that, a message flashed in front of me.

Would you like to request to join the Lasting Bonds guild?

“Ah, it’s really that easy…” I muttered, before mentally selecting the yes option. Just a few seconds later, I received another message notifying me that my request had been accepted. As well as a new window that I had not seen before.


Rank 4


Rank 3


Rank 1


Rank 1


Rank 1


Rank 1


Rank 1

“Rank four?” I asked in surprise, glancing up towards Sarah, who gave a quick nod. “I’ll be honest, I wasn’t expecting that.”

“What, do I not seem old enough?” She asked with a roll of her eyes. “I’ve been in this game for a long time. So if you get stuck on something, and don’t know where to go, just send a message to me or Talon. Uh… that’s Aerial, by the way. I’d give you a guild welcome, but Keeper Chat is disabled here.”

I had already discovered that myself, so simply gave a nod of understanding. “Alright, anything else that I need to know now?”

“Uhmm… nope!” She called out with a smile. “I’ll let you get back to the meeting now. Now that the recruitment stage is here, there might be more people that get interested, so I’ll be staying just in case.”

Hearing that, I thanked her for the invite, before turning to leave with Terra. “Okay, so we’ve got a guild now. That was pretty much my entire plan for the next seven days…”

Terra shook her head with a helpless expression. “I figured as much, but did you have to say it out loud?”

“Well, do you have any ideas?” I asked, turning to look at the amused catgirl.

“Why not take the Trials?” She offered, her tail waving behind her. “You did that in the monthly meeting, right? If that’s the case, you might be ready to start trying the real deal.”

“What’s the difference between the real thing and what the monthly meeting has?” Given that even the Keeper Sim was different from what the Gilded Branch hosted, there was no doubt that the Trials would be different as well.

“First of all, you can only attempt the Trials once a year, and only until you pass it. That’s the main rule. As for the difference between it and the one that the guild offers? The Gilded Branch can’t really reproduce the level of realism faced in the Trials. Furthermore… the Trials are a special field. Some of the tests will require more than just a week to complete at times, so the system set up a special rule.”

“When you enter the Trials, you determine how much time you want to spend inside. Then, however long it takes you, you will only spend the amount of time chosen. For instance… if you want to be out in ten seconds, you could spend an entire year in the Trials, but only ten seconds would pass on the outside when you left.”

I looked at her with wide eyes when I heard that. “Wouldn’t that be the perfect stage to train techniques without worrying about running out of time?”

Terra put a bitter smile on her face as she shook her head to deny that question. “No… you’ll see for yourself. Once on the inside, you’ll lose the memories of your combat techniques and abilities, and instead gain the knowledge necessary for that test. Furthermore, any techniques you learn in a test will be erased from your mind when you leave that test’s stage. The system itself prevents you from taking advantage of the Trials to train.”

“You’ll keep your memories of the choices you made to overcome the test, and the result, but otherwise…” Terra let her words trail off.

“Okay… And do we have to wait for another building to appear to get to the Trials?”

“Nope!” She smiled brightly as she answered quickly. “Just move somewhere out of the way and focus. Since the Trials are a special stage of their own, they’re not housed in a building.” Raising an eyebrow, I moved over near one of the buildings, and focused on entering the Trials. As I did so, a message appeared in front of me.

You have chosen to take the Trials of the Keeper

Please choose the amount of time that you wish to spend in your Trials.

I looked briefly towards Terra, before nodding my head, choosing to spend six days in the trials. That way, when I was done, I could either gather the group and leave, or spend the last few hours hanging out.

While I was waiting for something to change, I suddenly noticed the environment around me shifting. No longer was I standing next to a building, and instead I was on a familiar couch, reclining back against it. I’m back in my Admin Room?

Thinking that, I saw the message appearing in front of me, letting me know that the Trials had begun. Oh… she wasn’t kidding when she mentioned realism.

The tests themselves were the same as what I had seen in the Gilded Branch, however… the fact that the realism increased also increased their difficulty. After all, rather than just issuing commands, it required me to converse with the various people and establish a dialogue. Not to mention that things could go wrong in a real world situation that aren’t accounted for in the simulation.

Each test seemed to stretch on longer than the last, with me having to take the time to familiarize myself with each of the worlds that I had been thrown into. Oftentimes, the Admin Room it put me in was a copy of my own, but the people in it were always different. As for how they were different… I don’t know.

By the time I left the Trials, I was deeply troubled. With my memories being altered every time I hit a new stage, it added more and more to my mental burdens. I couldn’t properly remember the faces or names of any of the gods or goddesses from any of the tests. Each one just appeared as a blank hole in my memory.

I couldn’t even tell how long I had spent in the Trials themselves. All I knew was… I had only made it to the twenty-second trial before my thoughts were too disordered. By that time, I was able to feel something gnawing away at me, a voice telling me that things were just wrong.

As soon as I came out, Terra and Leowynn were standing in front of me. “So that’s how it is.” Terra spoke up with a slightly reluctant tone, as if I had never left. Though, the presence of Leowynn clearly showed that time had passed. “Sorry, but there’s really just no way for me to properly prepare you for that. At least, not within what I am capable of doing.”

“Is everything alright, father?” Leowynn asked, seeming to spot something from my expression. “If you’re not feeling well, we can leave.”

“I… I think that might be for the best.” Honestly, I wasn’t sure what I was feeling right now. It seemed like a cross between a headache, mild depression, and a deep loss. Were some of those trials involving me being in love with one of the characters?

I glanced towards Terra, as if hoping for an answer, but she simply shook her head. “Rules. I can’t tell you what you can’t remember. But I can tell you how to fix it.”

Stepping forward, she took my arm in her own, smiling as Leowynn took the other. “We can go home, and you can rest. Nobody passes the Trials on their first time, not the real one.”

Still dazed and confused, I nodded my head. Rest sounded good. “Who won the competition?” I asked as a black door formed in front of us.

“Give it a second, and you’ll see.” Terra spoke gently, guiding me through the door.

Thank you for participating in the annual Keeper Meeting! You may now collect the points from the entities who participated on your behalf.

Irena: 2855
Aurivy: 3295
Bihena: 6200
Ashley: 580
Ryone: 920
Tubrock: 0
Leowynn: 0
Terra: 0
Keliope: 1200
Accalia: 2120
Tryval: 650

Total: 17820

At any point before the Meeting ends, you may choose to return to the Meeting Area.

“Ahh, so it was Bihena.” I said with a small smile as I entered the Admin Room again, and found that everyone else was suddenly standing with us.

“Well, about that…” Bihena began but was cut off by Aurivy.

“We made a deal.” Aurivy nodded her head strongly. “Bihena and I want to manage a world together! Is that alright?”

I looked at the two of them in confusion while Terra sighed, shaking her head. “Give him a little bit, girls.” She said in a gentle tone, drawing worried looks from everyone. “He needs to take a few hours to rest.”

The worried looks only became more severe after that, but Terra simply gave a pointed glance towards Ryone. The elven goddess followed the two of us into my bedroom, and in the back of my mind I could hear them chatting, talking about what had happened with me. Mostly Terra explaining to her just why rest seemed like such a good idea to me.

As I laid down with the two goddesses, and Leowynn squeezed in behind Ryone, I felt my consciousness starting to fade. And the last thing on my mind… They want to manage a world together? How’s that going to turn out…

You may also like: