When we arrived at the communications room, it took Tsubaki only a moment to move over to the floating crystal. When she placed her hand on it and closed her eyes, the room seemed to shift, the illusion created by the crystal constructing the target landscape. “Kirano of Desbar.” Tsubaki spoke, and a demon appeared next to the crystal, his body translucent.
As he was addressed, he abruptly looked around. “Lady Tsubaki?”
“It’s me.” She confirmed readily, nodding her head a small amount. “The Keeper has descended, so I have passed the message as requested.”
“Ah!” He appeared visibly excited when he heard that, before controlling his expression. “Is he there with you now?”
“Ah…” The man let out a brief groan, before shaking his head with reluctance. “My apologies, Keeper, for showing you a disgraceful sight. This should be about the plan to help expand Desbar, I believe?”
“It is.” I nodded my head. “I’m interested in hearing what you had in mind.”
A wide smile spread out across Kirano’s face when he heard that. “Thank you! Now, first of all, let me ask a question. Only the three of our worlds connected by the gate are under your direct control, right? There isn’t a fourth or fifth out there we need to worry about?”
“Not… yet.” I spoke up after a brief moment of hesitation. “There will eventually be more worlds connecting through the gate, but for the moment there are only the three.”
He had a somewhat difficult expression when I explained, but shook his head a moment later. “No matter, no matter, that is a problem for the future. My plan to expand the demon territory involves utilizing the gates. We have known for a long time that they connect to countless different worlds outside of your control, and our goal is to colonize one of those worlds.”
“Would that not be extremely risky without having a key to the world in question? Supply lines and immigration couldn’t be achieved easily without the ability to reach the same world a second time.” This was something I had considered before, and it had always seemed like a nearly impossible venture, without being able to send someone through that was able to personally craft one of the gate keys.
“Aha!” The demon smiled triumphantly. “But we have found a way. You see, if someone activates a gate from the other end, then anyone standing on the gate from our side will immediately be transported through. As long as we take with us a spare key to Desbar, we will have a reliable method with which we can stay in contact with our home until a new key is prepared.”
“I see…” I had honestly not been aware of such a feature, though it did make sense. “How confident are you in your people’s ability to craft a key to an unknown world?”
“It might… take a few years.” The demon admitted after a moment of hesitation. “However, so long as the environment we find ourselves in is not toxic, there should be no problem with setting up a colony.”
I could only nod in agreement at that. Even I was curious just what kind of worlds the system would randomly generate on the other side of the fairy gates. There was every chance that the worlds might not have anything like the game system in the four that I currently owned. In fact, it was very likely.
“Just be careful. Take both magic and technology with you, because the systems you are used to having might not function on the other side.” Well, it was obvious that magic should at least function, if there was a fairy gate within the world, but there was also the chance that the laws of magic might be different on that end, and that their spellcasting would be affected.
“Understood, Keeper.” The demon gave a polite nod as he heard the warning. “I believe we should be able to get everything ready in as soon as a month. We’d be ready sooner, but I did not want this plan to move forward without your approval, as it involved going beyond your borders.”
“That’s fine.” It basically just meant that I would have to fast forward again to see where this ended up. I wanted to be in the Admin Room when the expedition left anyways, that way I’d be able to check out some things from my end that I couldn’t see while descended. “Is there anything else?”
“No, sir, I do not believe so.” Once he had said that, I gave a small nod towards Tsubaki, and she ended the communication there.
“Is there no issue with this plan?” Tsubaki asked curiously as she folded her hands in front of herself.
“Why would there be?” I looked at her in confusion, not sure why she would ask that.
“This plan could be seen as the demons wishing to leave the territory that you have granted them, and move outside of your control. Would this not pose a potential problem in the future?”
I shook my head, chuckling softly as I realized the nature of her concern. “No, there is not a problem at all. Even if they go to a new world, they wouldn’t leave the area of my control.” I put a small smile on my face as I said that. After all, I could simply purchase whatever world that they ended up on if I needed to.
Tsubaki had a somewhat confused look on her face, her eyes blinking slowly before she nodded. “Very well, my Keeper. I shall trust in your words. If there is nothing else, I would like to invite you to dinner. Soreya tends to eat at about this time, so I’ve been preparing a meal. It would not be hard to make an additional portion, if you so wish.”
I considered her offer for a moment, before shaking my head. “No, I should be leaving again.” Every moment I stayed down here not being productive was time wasted, given that there was an invasion happening before too long. “I’ll be back after Desbar has started their plan. I’m quite curious to see how it goes.”
Tsubaki gave a small nod, moving to leave the room after I said that. Following her with my world sight, I saw that she was returning to the throne room… where she once again kneeled at the bottom of the stairs, staring at my throne. I need to find that girl a hobby.
Shaking my head, I ascended to the Admin Room, and set the world to fast forward until such time that the demons had begun their colonization efforts.
Gathered around the Fairy Gate in Desbar, a large group of demons could be seen. In front of it was a podium, upon which stood the Voice of the Demons, Kirano. “Everyone, today is a great day. Today, we will set out from our small world, and expand to territories unknown.”
“As you all know, our world does not have the seemingly endless space possessed by both Earth and Deckan. Rather, we struggle for space, more so now than ever with the appearance of increasingly stronger monsters. Only through expansion can our people thrive. Therefore, I would like to introduce three people to you.”
Stepping back, he held his hand out towards the sky, and three figures descended onto the stage, before swiftly folding their wings. “These will be the three to lead us into a bright future.” Each of the three were wearing heavy masks over their face, their bodies covered by tight black suits that exposed not a single inch of skin, aside from their wings.
“They will be leading the three teams on their mission to colonize new worlds. First up, Leetu Nivahn.” The first of the three figures stepped forward, placing his hand against his chest.
“My team will do our best to find a new home.” After speaking, he turned and moved to the gate. The key to control it had already been taken out, but they knew it would work regardless. A group of twenty figures, all dressed in the same manner as Leetu, rushed over to stand with him moments before the gate activated.
“Now, please give them a few moments to perform simple scans of the area.” Kirano said with a small smile. “Each team has been granted two keys for the gate. One to use in case the world is hospitable, and one if the dangers of the world are too great. In order to assure that the dangers of that world cannot follow them back to us, the second key is specifically designed to break after a single use.”
Even as he spoke, there was no sign of the gate being activated. Just to be safe, they had contacted both Deckan and Earth to ask to make sure that there was no traffic to Deckan today. The last thing that they needed was for a random family to walk out of the gate when the crowd was expecting to greet their heroes.
Finally, the gate lit up in a flurry of motion. The concentric stone circles lifted up, forming the familiar pattern of an incoming transit. And when the light faded, there was just a single man standing there, his hand once again clapped over his chest. “The planet is habitable.” He spoke, before the gate lit up once again to whisk him away.
The crowd gave a round of applause when it was revealed that the first world that they explored was one where they could live. However, Kirano did his best to calm the crowd. “Now, next, please welcome Sylph Leyrin!”
The second figure, a woman going by the curves of her outfit, stepped forward. Her voice was similarly muffled by her mask, but she spoke proudly as well. “My team will do our best to find a new home.”
This continued on, the second planet likewise having favorable conditions. Until finally, the third team had departed as well. Just as Kirano was getting ready to announce the success of the endeavor, and how this would pave the way for their future, the gate lit up. Imagining that it was like the others, the team leader returning to give their report, Kirano simply smiled as he looked at the gate.
But what came through was not the team leader. At least, not in any form that could be recognized. Five figures collapsed against the stage, their bodies half melted. Bone and organs could be seen in the areas where their protective suits had been destroyed. Kirano’s eyes widened in shock as he saw the scene before hurriedly turning to the crowd.
“Move everyone back! Quarantine the gate, pending an investigation!” Even Kirano himself did not want to remain near the gate, flapping his wings to take off into the air while he covered his mouth, afraid that whatever had targeted these people would be airborne.
“Well, two out of three isn’t bad.” I shrugged my shoulders, though I did feel bad for the third group.
I had been watching the event from the Admin Room, and was quite pleased to notice new maps being added to my computer each time a team left. Although these maps only showed me the area directly surrounding the gate, it was still better than nothing. If anything, it looked like the interface for the Keeper Sim game.
That’s how I was able to tell what really happened to the third team. It truly had been something airborne which killed them, but not any form of flesh-eating disease that had eaten through their suits. No, the air in the world that they had entered had been quite literally acidic. By the time they noticed, one of their own had already collapsed, and they rushed to activate the gate again.
Unfortunately for them, most of their people died in the time it took them to finish the activation sequence, their bodies melted. As such, they weren’t carried along with the rest of the group when they returned. Only the five strongest monks within the group had ki powerful enough to mostly defend their bodies before the gate activated, but even that was just enough to let their corpses be returned home.