chapter 267: the seekers of the spheres

Creating the three world spirits was not a difficult task, since I had experience from my first attempt. However, the end result turned out somewhat surprising. When creating the complete world spirits, I was unable to completely determine how they would appear.

For instance, the world spirit of Desbar, which I created first. I had attempted to create it as a male demon, roughly six feet tall. When it appeared, though, its skin was pitch black. Just above its head was a crown made of fire, and the air around it seemed to darken.

Next was Deckan, where I began to notice some patterns. The being created this time, from the front, looked like a remarkably beautiful kitsune wearing a long golden dress. However, her back was hollowed out, showing that her skin was made of animate wood.

And then finally, the spirit of Fyor. By now, I realized that both the races within the world and the domains that their gods’ possessed influenced the appearance of the world’s spirit. So… I just let it go naturally.

What ultimately emerged was, unsurprisingly, a female. A young human girl to be precise. She didn’t have the subtle signs of maturity that a halfling would have, but rather seemed to genuinely be a human child. Her hair was a deep ocean blue, her eyes golden.

The spirit of Fyor was not wearing a fancy dress or suit like the other three, and instead wore baggy pants, heavy boots, and a shirt that clung tightly to her frame. She looked as if she were a traveler, just caught in the act of wandering around.

The three of them had all expressed their loyalty when they had first been created, much as the spirit of Earth had done before them. Though, just to be safe I moved from the fifteenth to sixteenth floor of Fyor and called that spirit again. It is why I saved her for last, I wasn’t sure if I would need to create a different one for each layer.

Yet, the response I got was surprising. Rather than appearing in front of me, their voice spoke into my mind. Sorry, sir, but there is something stopping me from forming at your location. In fact, after I left our initial meeting, I am no longer able to reform my body.

Pardon? I asked in surprise, glancing around.

It is strange… I still have the intelligence that was bestowed, but I cannot use much power… I feel… sleepy.

Thankfully, the answer came shortly after from Terra. This isn’t that odd, Dale. Don’t forget… Fyor doesn’t have the World Spirit class yet. Currently, the system running the world of Fyor is rejecting its existence. However, as it is a complete world spirit, and thus bound to the natural energy of the entire world, the world’s system cannot fully eliminate it.

I gave a small nod when I heard that. Fyor had yet to find any of the advanced class orbs yet, so it was unlikely that we could fix this quickly. Instead, I sighed, sending out a message to the young world spirit. Sleep for now. When you wake up, you’ll feel better.

Yes sir… After that, the voice went silent. Once again, Terra spoke up in my mind to reassure me.

It’s not dead. You gave form to the world’s will, and that can’t be taken away. It is simply sleeping until its orb is found.

I nodded again, quietly ascending back to the Admin Room. There were still fifty days left until the invasion. I needed to train, but first, I needed to give the world some time. Time to get used to the new dungeon world that had appeared… and time to find the race orbs that I had purchased, scattered around the fifteenth floor of Fyor.

Before I fast forwarded, I made sure that I had taken care of everything that I needed to. Although it was unlikely to be helpful, I finished the legacy that I had promised to give Jaren, and briefly descended to have it sent to him.

From there, it was back to the Admin Room. I thought about how long I should give them, seeing as they had to explore an entire small world to find the orbs. Even a thousand years might not be enough. But, at the same time, the other three worlds would advance by leaps and bounds in a thousand years.

Ultimately, I decided to set the time for two hundred years. And, before I finalized that decision, I adjusted the focus of Fyor to finding those orbs. There was also Tsubaki in that floor, so she might be able to cut down on the time needed to locate them. At least, that was the hope.

“Are you sure this is safe?” A middle-aged halfling asked the strange maid that had guided them towards the circular stone gateway. He had never heard of a gate shaped like this, and was naturally untrusting of unknown devices.

The words that came from the woman’s mouth in response were broken, still having difficulty learning the language. “Master assures. Will take, simply use key and step.”

Those instructions were not… exactly the most clear, but that was to be expected. The language barrier always caused some trouble when meeting a new species, and they had only met her a few hours ago. Giving a slight sigh, the man turned back to look at his colleagues. “Anyone want to volunteer?”

They were a prestigious team of Maxers, known as the Seekers. Out of everyone alive, they had found the most runes, the most hidden orbs, and survived the most dangers. It wasn’t wrong to say that they were the best of the best. Strong enough that they didn’t hesitate to enter the fifteenth floor, even knowing that the monsters within would have higher levels than their own.

The Seekers were a team of twelve people. Each one had poured their life into training a single class to the absolute limits that they could manage. So it was no great surprise when Solin, their scout, stepped forward. “I’ll volunteer.”

Solin was a young man, appearing even younger thanks to his halfling blood. In a human family, he would appear as no more than a child. But he was their Scout, the one most sensitive to his surroundings. If there was any danger, he would know how to quickly escape.

“Let me go with him!” A female voice cried out, this time from their Mage, a human woman named Mariah. She could be considered as Solin’s adoptive mother, and had cared for him for nearly twenty years. Everyone gave bitter smiles as they realized that her protective tendencies were taking over again.

Only allowed on

“Okay… Mariah, Solin, you two will be the initial scouting party. That voice hinted that the other worlds out there had been together for a long time already, so we should expect an outpost surrounding the gate. If you need to hide, don’t hesitate to use teleportation magic to flee.”

Mariah’s face turned solemn, nodding her head quickly. “I’ll do what I have to do.”

“Alright, then. Let’s–” Just as their leader, Jessim, was getting ready to order their departure, the gate lit up with a mind of its own. The maid, Tsubaki, suddenly had her eyes go wide. In an instant, the three that had been standing atop the gate were thrown off by a powerful force, sliding across the ground until they came to a stop.

When they managed to lift themselves up to gawk at the woman who threw them so effortlessly, they saw her standing there, a giant scythe in her hands. She was staring at the gate, her body poised for battle.

The group couldn’t help but turn their eyes to watch the gate themselves, wondering just what had her so on edge. And when the light from the gate died, six figures were revealed. Four of them looked almost human, with pointed ears and brightly colored hair. One seemed much like Tsubaki herself, only with the ears and tail of a Dovah instead of a fox. And finally, the last one was a small, portly man with a black beard that came down past his stomach.

When they looked back to Tsubaki, they saw that the scythe was gone, and she was standing there calmly. It seemed as if her earlier tension had never been there in the first place. She stepped up and spoke to the group, who seemed to respect her greatly by their tones, using words that the Seekers were unfamiliar with before pointing to the native team.

The six who came from the gate walked closer, though two of them did so with some difficulty. Through the exchanging of translation quests, the two groups came to introduce themselves to one another. Like the Seekers, the six who had just come through were a scouting group from another world, one known as Earth. They were the first delegates meant to establish peaceful relations with the people of Fyor.

Naturally… this meant that Solin and Mariah did not need to go through the gate. While Mariah breathed a sigh of relief, the young scout actually looked sullen. The Cleric of the group, a human man named Boron, conjured a portal leading back to the gate of the first floor to take them to report.

The Seekers shook their heads, stepping through one by one. Seeing this, the six delegates naturally followed as well. Even Tsubaki attempted to do so. But, as had happened at the gate before, the portal denied them access. When they walked through, it was as if the portal was never there, and they simply appeared on the other side of it.

This caught Boron by surprise, but he had already seen Tsubaki attempting to use the gate herself. He apologized, asking them to wait there for a little while, before moving through the gate to the first level himself.

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When he arrived at the first floor, known simply as Council, he found Jessim already making his report. As soon as he was done, something seemed to flicker in the eyes of the councilman that heard their story, and a surprising order was given.

“The Goddesses have just informed me that there are holy spheres within the fifteenth floor. These must be found before those from another world may freely roam Fyor. I have also been told that this is to become a priority.”

Jessim groaned when he heard that, dragging his hand across his face. “Are we still getting paid for it?” They were, first and foremost, an adventurer team for hire. They could not feed their stomachs on good will and official orders alone.

“Yes, yes, of course.” The councilman nodded his head. “The usual rates will apply for any collections performed, whether they be beasts, plants, or the holy spheres.”

That, at least, caused Jessim to smile, before turning back to his group. “You heard the man. Let’s get going.” Everyone walked back up to Boron, who shook his head with a knowing smirk and summoned another portal to the fifteenth layer.

Once they were through, and standing before the black gate, Jessim looked towards Mariah. “Alright, Mariah. It’ll take us all day to run back to the other gate, so mind giving us a shortcut?”

Mariah nodded her head, stretching out her icy blue staff. “Mal’shune, drakaris fin.” A single rune floated above the crystal head of her staff, before expanding to encompass the entire group. Everyone braced themselves, familiar with the turbulent forces that accompanied a teleport.

They heard a startled shout as they arrived, appearing near the six people who had previously come through the gate. Tsubaki was noticeably absent, but when the leader of the other party noticed their curious glances, he simply pointed upwards at the magnificent floating castle overhead.

Jessim shook his head with a sigh, producing another translation quest to let this group know their new mission, and that they should find a place to get comfortable if they didn’t want to return home. Sphere hunts were never over quickly.

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