Days turned into months, and months into years as time continued forward for the planet. Eventually, the world discovered the truth of the hidden Goddess, Leowynn. Elven records spoke of the daughter of Ryone, who died in service to her kingdom. Although the translation for her name had changed somewhat over the years, her story remained the same.
People began to build statues of Leowynn within Ryone’s churches, considering her as a subordinate god just the same as Jonas. Though nobody had any proof of this, such was the story that the public chose to believe.
During this time, the Dungeon Rankings was also made public, establishing a hierarchy within the ranks of dungeon masters. Though, to be truthful, only the best one thousand dungeon masters earned a spot on this rank, naming themselves the Powerful Thousand. Furthermore, there was also the Unyielding Hundred, Heavenly Ten, and finally the top ranked position, the Dungeon King.
Among the dungeon masters, there were a few that stayed in the upper positions. For instance, Petra Carna, a young demoness with powerful skills had always been within the Heavenly Ten. Many expected her to be able to claim the title of Dungeon King due to her rapid rise to fame at such a young age, yet such never came to pass. Instead, her rank would always alternate between the top five positions.
At the same time, however, there were dungeon masters that never sought to appear in the rankings. These masters did not use their dungeons for battle, but rather used them as bases or factories. Cities were built atop dungeons, the landscape sculpted perfectly to fit them, and powerful magic items began to enter the market en masse.
Elsewhere within the realm, in the world of Sorii, specks of green and blue could be seen on the red planet. Grass and trees from Spica had been transplanted onto the barren world, where they quickly took root. These roots burrowed deep beneath the soil, tapping into the frozen lakes below the surface.
Normal plants would never be able to grow under such conditions, but those of Spica truly boasted the ability to thrive in any environment. The druid of the terraforming team continued to manually fertilize and water the plants, watching as they evolved every day. Within a year, the roots had developed a sort of ‘body temperature’ by absorbing solar energy that allowed them to gradually thaw the underground ice.
Once they had made this evolutionary leap, there was nothing to stop them from flourishing. Even without the druid’s guidance, the grass began to spread. The fruits of the tree changed into pods of spores that burst when struck by a heavy wind, scattering the seeds far and wide. Although they would need to introduce more edible plants after the initial terraforming process, this was going a long way towards revitalizing the atmosphere.
By the end of the ten years before the invasion, over a hundred square miles had been converted into green land. The thawing of the underground lakes caused the waters to flow, further heating until they broke through the ground as steam. Rain fell, and rivers took shape. It was estimated that it would only take another fifty years before the entire world was ready for the next stage of terraforming.
Just a few minutes left now… I muttered, descending to my throne room. Dana and Tsubaki were both already present and waiting for me. Even without reading their thoughts, I could see that Tsubaki was… exceptionally excited. Not just for this invasion, but what would come after. Her tail, which was usually kept tightly under control, was waving back and forth eagerly.
“It’s time.” I nodded towards them, before my eyes went to Dana. “This will be your first invasion, won’t it?”
“Yes, sir.” Dana nodded. “I was… indisposed for the first one we faced.” It took me a moment to recall that Dana truly was an old existence. It was hard to place her exact age, but it would not lose to Tsubaki by too much.
“Well, let’s just hope that this goes well.” I spoke in a more gentle tone. “Tsubaki, have you notified Jonas to prepare him for this fight?”
“I did, sir.” She nodded immediately in response. “Jonas has said that his abilities are more geared towards travel and siege warfare. However, as soon as we identify the location of the enemy, he will move in to help fortify the area.”
“Good.” I didn’t give the others time to prepare incarnations for this fight, as we were no longer simply a rank one world. There shouldn’t be an enemy at that level capable of killing gods under normal circumstances. Especially not the monsters we’ve heard about Vanity possessing.
As I thought about it, the window appeared before me, announcing the start of the invasion. Inwardly, I had been hoping that Vanity might pass up this chance to attack, that maybe my forces had damaged his world too much for him to launch a full offensive. When I took a look at the number of enemies present, however…
Current enemy forces within planet group Earth: 3,248,927
Over three million enemy troops… As they were mostly normal monsters, I wasn’t too worried, but the simple fact that they were hidden somewhere within my worlds was the problem. Immediately, I controlled the Sky Citadel to vanish, shifting to Sher Dien. This world had still not properly connected with the others, as the explorers sent through had yet to find the natives.
If there was a world that was in the most danger at this point in time, it would be here. “Spirit of the world, appear before me.” I called out, tapping into the natural energy of this world to summon its world spirit. Given the sense of urgency I felt from the number of enemies, I did not bother with the prolonged summoning ritual.
Soon, a world spirit in the form of Alme Dien pushed open the doors of my throne room, slowly trotting into the room. “Yes, my lord?” She asked in an airy tone, the two maids standing and moving to either side.
“I need to temporarily connect my divinity to this world’s energy. I’ll have to trouble you to cooperate with me.” As I spoke, I conjured a silver mirror in midair, directing it to rest in her hand.
“As you wish.” She bowed slightly, walking forward while holding the mirror.
My eyes focused on the reflective surface, entering the search parameters. I wanted the mirror to show me any and all creatures which suddenly appeared in this world within the last five minutes, whether through natural or unnatural spawning.
Naturally, this showed me several images of monsters randomly being spawned through the system, as well as the activation of this world’s fairy gate. However, there was nothing that would indicate an invasion of the scale that the system had shown me.
Seeing that, I let out a low sigh. I waved a hand, causing the mirror to dissolve. Even so, I erred on the side of caution, given that the monsters previously had been able to evade detection by natural energy. “There is a chance that monsters have appeared in your world. I need you to closely monitor for any abnormal activity, and report it to the other world spirits immediately.”
There was a moment of hesitation as the spirit took the time to process my request, before giving another nod. “As you wish.” She said once again. Afterwards, her body began to evaporate, fading into green smoke that rushed out the door.
“Let’s see… next is Fyor.” I muttered, shaking my head and transferring the citadel once again.
“Report, how’s the hunt for today?” Captain Thorne’s voice spoke up over a radio, built into the demon warrior’s EVA suit.
“Could be better.” He muttered back, shaking his head. Although the plants had begun producing oxygen, the air was still far from being breathable. “Got a couple small game, and found tracks for what should be a lizard-type monster, but I’ve yet to find it.”
Ever since monsters had begun to spawn in more frequently, his job had become far more active. He could now go out and properly hunt, bringing his kills back to the habitat. Although they had to be scanned for any hostile bacteria or parasites, and confirmed to be edible, this activity served to both relieve his stress and increase the variety of meals for their small colony.
“Well, no rush. We’ve still got a few steaks from last week’s run.” The captain spoke up in a pleased tone. There was no doubt that everyone enjoyed being able to eat the meat that he hunted.
The warrior heard a screech off in the distance, his head abruptly turning. His fists clenched at his sides, while three swords materialized in the air around himself. “I think I heard it, so I’ll call you back.”
After saying that, the man turned off his radio slowly began walking forward, the swords floating around him. He was one of the rarer Weaponmasters, a class devoted to controlling weapons. At the earlier levels, the class could be advanced by physically wielding a sword or axe. However, as it progressed, more weapons could be ‘held’ at once, using energy to substitute for the extra limbs.
This required precise control over the user’s energy, as well as the ability to manipulate multiple ‘arms’ fluidly at once. As such, few people truly explored the depths of this class. These same traits made it perfect to fight in these circumstances, where normal fighters were unable to properly wield their strength.
His swords continued pointing forward, and he soon heard another screech. This one sounded weaker than the first, and closer as well. He grimaced at the thought of finding a sick monster, as that meant its meat would likely be unusable. Behind a large rock, he could see traces of blood trickling out, and soon saw a slightly shaking tail.
The man was no fool, and gave a wide berth to prevent an ambush, circling the rock until he saw what lay on the other side. It truly was the large lizard that he had been searching for, but… its side had been torn open by sharp claws. It was dying, leaning against a rock and crying out in pain while it’s innards spilled out of its body.
Seeing this, the man sighed, looking down at the ground. There were another set of tracks, longer and thinner than the reptile he had been tracking. Traces of blood dripped alongside the tracks, before they vanished off behind a nearby thicket of trees. He shook his head, sending a glance towards the dying lizard.
As an experienced hunter, he was aware of the possibility that this was a trap that the predator had set for him. Such a result was unlikely, though, with the more realistic answer being that he had scared away whatever had attacked the lizard while talking to his captain. Either way, he summoned a fourth sword, this one with a silver blade, and turned on his radio again. “Well, captain, I got good news and bad news.”
He waited for a moment for the captain’s response, his brows soon furrowing when silence was his only answer. “Captain Thorne, respond. Eagle Five, this is Security Officer Devin, respond.” His second message had been not only to the captain, but to the entire crew. And yet, there was still silence.
“Ashlin, this is Eagle Five Security Officer, do you read?” He changed tactics, directly attempting to contact the home base through the colony’s network.
“Officer Devin, we read you. What’s your situation?” Finally, somebody answered him.
“Eagle Five Habitat isn’t responding, and I’m EVA. Can I get a sitrep?”
“One moment, sir.” The voice cut off, taking a moment to operate their terminal. “Patching into Habitat security, I’ll have the feed up in a moment. Hmm, I’m showing structural damage in numerous biomes–oh, goddess…” The calm report suddenly gained a horrified tone, and the warrior could feel his heart sinking.