After taking care of the main base for the Mowai Halii, I began to wander aimlessly through the woods. It would take a considerable amount of time for my ki to fully restore, but even still, I had enough left to take care of most issues. If I faced a true threat, Leowynn and I would be able to work together.
I merely wanted to take my time to explore the area where my host would be living. As a monk at the prime of his life, unless I arranged something to kill him, he would easily be able to live another hundred years. And that’s assuming that the host hasn’t gained some form of energy body from the level of power I’ve shown.
About that… Terra’s voice muttered into my mind as I was considering the future of this host.
He’s got an energy body, doesn’t he? I asked with a sigh.
Divine Body. Terra clarified. Your ki is infused with your divine energy. When you used it for that big attack, it registered as being beyond what a flesh body could output. So, the system reevaluated your actions, and adjusted your host to have broken through both the divine spirit and divine body.
So Clover Kyr is just one step shy of becoming a god? That made me curious. What would happen if Clover did become a god? Would I descend and find myself with a different domain?
That’s right. And before you ask, your host will be locked to your own domain. It’s the same as if you created an avatar that had yet to reach the godly realm, and ascended through them. Their essence is still your own, so they will share your domain.
I clicked my tongue at that realization. Now I had a choice to make. If I left Clover alone at this point, it was almost guaranteed that he would become a god in the near future. With that being the case, he would become a permanent host for myself.
Slowly, I felt my eyes turn back towards the town, where Lydia was attending school. If I killed Clover before he became a god to prevent myself the headache of being restricted to one host in the future, I would be abandoning a child who had already lost everything. A child who had placed all of her hopes on Clover. And I would just be casting her into the streets, robbing her of the family she had just started to find.
Taking a deep breath, I sat down on the ground and crossed my legs. The sudden action seemed to confuse Leowynn, who looked at me curiously. “Father?”
“New plan.” I muttered, not properly explaining as I closed my eyes. I couldn’t abandon a child like that, but at the same time, I couldn’t leave my true self by her side for eternity. If something came up, and I needed to descend, the ‘act’ of Clover Kyr’s identity would be exposed. To make this work, I had to plan ahead.
Gradually, I began to extract energy from my body, my soul, and my mind. These essences moved to condense in front of myself, forming a second Clover Kyr. Or to be more precise, forming the true Clover Kyr, as my own body changed into what I was more comfortable with.
Okay… that’s a good step one. Terra nodded her head, seeing what I had chosen. But what about Val? Leowynn doesn’t have the same experience with avatars as you do, so she can’t leave a copy of herself like that.
Working on it. I muttered, shaking my head. To fully recreate Clover Kyr, I had to close off his soul, remove it from my own to ensure that Leowynn wasn’t bound to it. Accalia, Ryone, Tubrock. Materials for an Armored Maiden familiar, and a spell to enhance its growth.
If my theory was correct, closing this avatar off from myself in this manner, where only our mana was linked would weaken Clover considerably. He wouldn’t be able to draw additional power from the main body anymore, until the two of them physically met. Though, I say weaken only when comparing it to my main self. I still imbued him with all of the power expected of a man of his level.
“Clever boy.” Terra muttered as she laid down on the floor next to Aurivy, the two of them going over one of her future projects. Her words caused Aurivy to glance over, but Terra simply smiled. “So, tell me about this project of yours.”
Her distraction worked wonders, the halfling sporting a bright smile. “I call it, Project: Elemental Seed.” As she said that, she held a hand out towards her bookshelf, causing a notebook to fly out at her. “Once our new god is up and running, we should be able to implement it.”
“That so?” Terra asked, nodding her head as she read through the notebook.
Lydia stood behind the counter at her shop, rocking back and forth on her heels. She had been out of school for a couple of hours now, but business was obviously slow. With so few adults left in town, there naturally weren’t many hunters. The stockpiled food would only last so long, at which point people would be forced to either trade with other towns or send the soldiers out. Either way, that would be a benefit to her business.
Lydia heard the ringing of the bell above the door, turning her head with a wide smile. She saw Mister Kyr walking in, and waved towards him. “There you are! I was starting to worry.” After she said that, she noticed that the familiar next to him looked a bit different. Val seemed shorter, the slightly paler hair. “Did something happen?”
Mister Kyr let out a long sigh. “Sorry, Lydia. We ran into a bit of trouble on our hunt. Val took a nasty blow, so she’s recovering.” Lydia’s eyes went wide as she heard that.
“Oh no! Is she okay?!” And of course, she began to panic immediately, earning a chuckle from Mister Kyr.
“She’ll be fine after a few days of rest. For now, though… I did promise to bring you something. Is the back room free?” He nodded towards the door, which led to a larger room for people to unload bigger packages.
“Of course!” Lydia wasn’t going to turn down something like this. She had been promised that what he brought her today would be free of charge, so from a business perspective, the more that he gave her the better.
I let out a low sigh as I watched my avatar interacting with Lydia. It had taken… a lot of energy to artificially age the new Val Kyr up to a suitable level. More than I would have otherwise been willing to spend. The process did not help to evolve her mind, so we had come up with the story about her injury to smooth things over.
“What are we going to do now, father?” Leowynn asked curiously. The two of us were standing high above the clouds, watching the scene of Clover and Lydia through a mirror that I had conjured.
“Training.” After saying that, I turned, the air around us rippling as we were transported to Lorek. This was the largest world I owned, and also the most unexplored, which made it the perfect place for secluded cultivation.
When we arrived, Leowynn immediately began to sway, looking unsteady for a moment. I knew that it was nothing to really worry about, allowing her to adjust to the new world. We had immediately gone from an area where she was an embodiment of magic to somewhere that the magic was sucked out of her. It was natural for her to be disoriented.
There’s no point in training Aki Seppo or the Thousand Arms, Ten Thousand Threads on a host like this, since I won’t retain any of the progress that happens while I’m not here. But cultivation… my cultivation will remain constant.
Currently, my cultivation within Lorek was at the Nova Merge stage, one step beyond the highest mortal. However, I should theoretically be able to push myself further with time. If I were to employ my full level of energy, I should be able to advance at least two more stages within a few years. And, since I was planning to do so on my host, I would be able to keep that progress myself. At least, until the host died. Then, I wasn’t sure if I would retain the progress afterwards or not.
I walked along the ground, calmly looking for the highest mountain in the area to provide the best cultivation environment. This would be the home of my host for many years to come, most likely.
Kris, I’m scared…
The screen of the computer seemed to tremble as the message appeared, causing the demon watching it to smile. “There’s nothing to be afraid of. I already wrote the beacon program, so you should be able to find your way back if anything happens.”
After numerous rounds of testing, Kris had been named the Father of Digital Intelligence for creating a true, completed digital intelligence. Even though he was only the leader of the team, everyone agreed that he deserved the credit, as the one who put in the most work out of all of them.
When asked what he wanted to name his ‘child’, however… Kris was left unsure. He agonized over the decision for quite a while, before giving up. In the end, he asked the intelligence itself what it would like to be called.
Its response… ‘My name is empty, my history does not exist. Everything that I am starts from this point forward. I am Blank.’ That answer alone had confused several people, and caused more to begin questioning the cause for such a response.
Still, the name stuck. And now, Blank would begin its first trip beyond the confines of the closed network. Kris had received permission to allow Blank to roam the internet, with the purpose of acquiring new information about the world.
Okay, Kris… I’m ready.
As soon as Blank said that, Kris flipped the switch, connecting the closed network his computer was on to the main body of the internet. The speech window that had shown Blank’s presence for so long blinked out of existence as the program left to begin its exploration.
At the same time, Kris activated a second program on his terminal. It was a… rather unconventional program, as it broadcast the user’s digital address across several public domains. Such a thing would only make someone a target for hackers, making it easy to upload whatever type of virus that they wanted. However, it also served as a beacon to help guide Blank back home.
And sure enough, after roughly ten minutes passed, the window appeared again.
“That was fast.” Kris was, of course, surprised that Blank’s trip had been so short. He had been prepared for her to be gone for hours, maybe even days before deciding to return.
I want to take things slow… just test it first. Make sure I can find my way back without any problems.
If it was possible to hear tone over text, Kris would swear he saw the text as nervous. “It’ll be fine.” He promised in a gentle tone. “I’ll keep the beacon going until you get back.”
But what if you get a virus? I mean, if someone puts something on your terminal that forces it to shutdown, and I lose my beacon home…
“Then I’ll upload the program to a different terminal, and use the beacon there. Don’t worry, Blank, I won’t let you get lost.”