chapter 53: the sky danced

I watched the map as time quickly passed, notifications popping up one after another. Each race was diving into their own specialties more and more after the points had been spent. In under a minute, fifty years had passed already. Looking at each race’s abilities now, I found that there had been several advancements.
For example, the citizens of the halfling city seemed to have reached the next level of the Language technology, meaning that they had given birth to a more flexible writing system than what they had before. However, most importantly, there was another technology that appeared throughout the world, which every race seemed to have learned over the last fifty years.

Only allowed on

Jarl Waterspout laid back on a tall hill, the grass around him soaked in his blood. On either side of him, the bodies of beasts could be seen. To his right, a tiger with spines running down its back. And to his left, a bird as big as a man. Both of these creatures laid unmoving, wounds covering their bodies.
Having finally managed to flee one beast, the other had ambushed him, leading to a three-way fight to the death. And death is all that came of such a fight. Now, he could only stare at the night sky, praying to the gods that some miracle would save him. His right eye had been clawed out, his canine tail bitten off. His side had a hole in it large enough that he had to hold his insides in.
Please… anyone… He looked up at the sky, wishing for the gods to answer. However, no matter how hard he prayed, no matter how much he wished, no miracle would save him. He held on for several long minutes, before his faith turned into despair. He knew that the gods existed, such knowledge is given to every man and woman at their birth. But, at this moment, he had to wonder if they were really watching from that sky littered with shining dots.
If those shining lights weren’t the eyes of the goddesses watching over them, then what were they? Did they exist purely to taunt those people who existed beneath the heavens? As these thoughts occurred to him, a strange scene took place, one which had never occurred throughout all of history.
The sky moved. The stars danced within the night, shooting to and fro under some unknown power. Lines of light littered the sky, painting a picture none had ever seen. Some lights flickered out of existence, while others fell, and still more appeared from nowhere.
What… is… This was the last sight that Jarl ever saw, as the lights of his eyes faded away while he watched the night sky dance. Throughout the world, people noticed the changing of the sky, and for the first time, people questioned what the heavens truly held. For seven days, the nights danced. And seven nights later, the sky fell.

Krasla sat beneath the trees, her tiny body watching the ever-slowing dance of the stars above. To her left sat her beloved companion, the wolf which had accompanied her through most of her adult life. Ever since the changing of the sky, she had been fascinated with watching how the mysterious lights moved about.
Sadly, it seemed that the performance was nearly over. For the last two nights, the lights above had moved less and less, and now they were barely moving at all. The halfling girl was just about to turn in for the night, when a strange whistling noise caught her attention. Quickly looking up, she saw the lights dancing again!
However, this dance was not the same as what had been occurring for the last week. The lights drew a path along the horizon, upon which a bright light momentarily lit up. Several moments later, she could feel the ground shaking, as if the world itself was angered with this performance.
Krasla didn’t know what to do. How could she soothe the anger of the entire world? She looked up at the sky, and quietly pleaded for it to go back to its former dance. Her words seemed to have some effect, but not at all what she was hoping for. Her wolf companion jolted itself awake, letting out a miserable howl as it tugged on her leather shirt.
The halfling girl could sense the fear in the wolf, but did not know what was so wrong. Was she not supposed to ask the sky to stop angering the world? When she looked back up to plead once again, she saw one particular light growing brighter and brighter. A dreadful roar, louder than any beast shook the area.
Finally, when the light could go no brighter, the earth shook once again. Sadly, Krasla was no longer able to plead with the sky.

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Cosmic Knowledge 1 has been unlocked on your world. The cosmos is now expanding beyond the world itself, and new planets may be automatically unlocked. These planets will contain all installed systems, but will be beyond the direct control of the Keeper, unless they pay the appropriate cost. From now on, random cosmic effects may occur within the unlocked cosmos.
Current Cosmic Scale: Single Planetary System

One planet has been created in your cosmos that has been deemed capable of supporting life. The price to purchase control over this planet will be calculated based on the planet’s size, inhabitants, and civilization levels.

I couldn’t help but be surprised when I saw those notifications appear. Given that none of the options I selected had anything to do with watching the sky, I wasn’t really expecting anything like this. More importantly, the map of the world had expanded dramatically. To be precise, I could now view the entire solar system when I zoomed the map out.
Unlike what I had always been taught in science class, there were actually thirteen planets in this solar system. Among them, Earth was the sixth from the sun. I couldn’t be sure if the gravity of this sun was especially powerful, or if the laws of physics had simply been tweaked to accommodate a planet of the size I chose for Earth.
Either way, I naturally checked the dozen other planets in the system, looking for the one that the system had said was able to support life. What I found was that the seventh planet from the sun, one that seemed far smaller than the current Earth, was locked out of time. It rotated extremely rapidly, and I could only zoom in to watch the desolate world slowly covering in blue and green.
“Ah, looks like you got lucky.” I suddenly heard Terra’s voice behind me, so I silently turned back to her for an explanation. “It’s pretty rare to get multiple planets in a starting system that can support life. You could say it’s both good and bad, in a way.”
“What do you mean?” I could see the potential good in it, but why was it bad?
“Well, it can end up pretty bad if you don’t actually buy the planet. But, if you do, then you have to manage a second world. At this stage, few Keepers are comfortable enough to actually get a second planet, which is entirely understandable.” She walked over to sit on the bed, lounging back and stretching herself out.
“What happens if I don’t buy the planet?”
She offered me a small, patient smile. “If you don’t control the planet, then naturally you can’t determine how they advance. They could be wiped out by natural disasters, kill themselves, or any number of things. The gods you elect also have no power over a planet that you do not control, so we couldn’t interfere if we wanted.”
“Okay…” That seemed somewhat reasonable. So, there was the chance that this planet could even develop to eventually be antagonistic with Earth. “What’s with the sudden acceleration of time on the planet, then?”
This time, she let out a small sigh before answering. “The world is going to fast forward until some species evolves and develops sapience. However, none of these species are protected by the system, so it is entirely possible that they could simply be driven extinct before that happens. That’s what happened to your Mars. A race on the verge of sapience was killed off by a natural disaster, and the world just continued to move on until the planet had no hope of developing new lifeforms anymore.”
“Ah…” Well, that sucks.
“But that’s not the most important part.” Terra said with a small grin. “You haven’t finished going through your notifications yet.”
I blinked briefly, looking back to the computer. She was right, but could you blame me? The whole cosmos thing was kind of distracting. Once again, I opened up the notifications to see what was left.

Some of your species have undergone a natural evolution, and will have their base stats permanently changed for all successive generations.

Humans: Strength +1

Halflings: Awareness +1

Okay, now that caught me off-guard. “They can do that? I mean, they can really do that?” Nobody had ever mentioned anything about my races evolving past the point I set them at!
Terra let out a small giggle as she heard me. “It’s only natural, isn’t it? With every generation growing more and more powerful before they pass on their genes, it’s bound to happen where a bit of that power is left behind. Of course, it won’t show a notification like that until the extra power has had time to spread through the gene pool, to show an effect on the entire population, rather than just a select few.”
I nodded my head slightly, still looking at the notification window. “Why only those two races, though? I mean, I can understand why it would take longer for the elves with their long lives, but why not the beastkin, dwarves, or centaurs?”
Terra thought about it for a moment, before offering her opinion. “The beastkin have a much larger population than most, so it will probably take them longer to show an evolution. The centaurs are probably not too far off from one themselves. As for the dwarves, they don’t improve their power as quickly as the other races, so they are probably a bit behind on that.”
“But you don’t know for sure?” I asked her curiously. I mean, her answer didn’t sound very confident, and usually she would know stuff like this instantly. Hearing my question, Terra smiled slightly.
“If you want, I could do an in-depth investigation? But, that would take quite a bit of time, and I don’t really feel like volunteering for that kind of work. I mean, does it really matter? If they are going to evolve like that, they will. If not, then no amount of investigation would change it. Any actions you take would still have the same result as if you did them without that knowledge.” After saying that, she once again laid back on the bed, letting her slender legs stretch out on it. “Now, pardon me while I take a cat nap~.” She spoke in a happy voice, before curling her legs up to her chest.
I just sat there, staring at where she was lying down. She did have a point, looking up that kind of information wouldn’t really help all that much. I was more surprised by the realization that she would actually have to expend some kind of effort in order to find it out. I had always been under the assumption that she just knew what was going on, like how she knew that the cosmos had expanded.
Maybe she is just paying close attention to the major events of the system, rather than knowing everything that happens at all times? I shook my head, unable to really figure out what was going on inside her mind. When someone contained all the secrets of the Keeper-verse, and yes that’s what I’m calling it, how do they actually perceive things?
In my own mind, I thought back to how she behaved immediately after I got her from the system. Then, I compared her to how she was behaving now. At first, she seemed more like an obedient maid than anything else, to the point where her first form of address was calling me master. Now, there was hardly a trace of that left in her at all. To say that she matured would be an understatement.
Is that because of all the knowledge she possesses, that it just made it hard for her to keep that original personality? I tried to mull it over in my mind, but ultimately couldn’t make sense  of it.
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