chapter 55: doom? Doom.

As I moved deeper into the basement following Ryone, the scene rapidly shifted. The floor marked with countless diagrams smoothed out into stone tiles, and a wooden table with two chairs rose from the ground ahead. Compared to Bihena, who seemed to have trouble making a basic stool, Ryone seemed much more adept at controlling the Admin Room. With a slight motion, the elven goddess turned and sat at the seat on the far side of the table, leaving the other one to me.
“Okay, there’s not a lot that I can teach you about the magic system, aside from the spells already discovered. But, with this new fire spell, I might be able to uncover a bit more of the secrets.” She made a satisfied smile, waving a hand to create several sheets of paper on the table. Each one had a detailed spell diagram drawn on them in glowing red ink.
“These are some of the more important spells I’ve identified, as each one has unique aspects. First, starting with the basics. Terra said she wasn’t able to teach you much at the time, due to her restrictions, so let’s start with what I’ve learned.” As she spoke, she lightly tapped the table with her slender hand, causing one of the papers to rise into the air. With the diagram facing me, I could instantly identify it as the basic flame spell.
Seeing that I recognized it, she continued her lecture. “Every spell discovered so far is contained within a circle. Why, though? The circles themselves aren’t needed to form the basis of magic, as we saw with the enchantment diagram. While that does have circles, it does not have a single circle that encompasses the entire diagram.”
I hadn’t actually thought about that, so I lowered my head in thought for a minute. However, I couldn’t come up with a proper answer. What significance did the circles themselves play in the magic? When I looked up, Ryone saw my questioning gaze and smiled.
“My conjecture is that circles represent a ‘variable field’. Patterns stored inside of a circle are subject to change, while those not in a circle have to stay in a constant, fixed form. That’s why you can draw custom shapes in the center of a flame spell to direct it.”
I nodded my head slightly as I considered that. “Then.. why are circles needed for all of these spells?” I motioned to the other papers present on the table.
“Hmm. Well, this is just my suspicion, but I think that part of the circle’s functions are to help solidify the patterns you put into it, and help them conform to the proper shapes. People rarely have a perfect mental image, so the circle helps to correct things. But, this means that there are also spells that could work with pieces outside the circle, or without a circle at all.”
With Ryone’s excited hypothesis, another piece of paper appeared in midair, this one holding an unfamiliar design. It looked in many ways similar to the basic shield spell, but there were four triangles along the outside of the spell’s outer circle. “This is something I found that the elves had discovered a few decades ago. The spell itself isn’t important, but this extra addition on the outside gives it a new purpose. When this shield spell is cast, the spell itself does not activate immediately, but imbues itself onto the target surface. Then, whenever that particular area is given a strong enough shock, the spell automatically activates. I’m calling this design feature the ‘alarm trigger’. From a brief experiment, the length of the individual triangles determines the amount of force needed to activate it, as long as all four are the same size.”
I could only nod as I looked at the different diagrams she had laid out. Before she got carried away with her explanations, however, I wanted to cut in and ask something. “Then, how do you use multiple patterns for a single spell, like you did with that new fire spell earlier?”
Hearing my question, Ryone’s smile only grew wider. As the two pieces of paper floating in the air fell down, three more rose up. These seemed to make up the same spell she had recently displayed for me. “That’s actually really easy. I’m not sure if it will stay true later on, but for this level of spell all you need to do is picture all three diagrams in your mind. Then, place them in any order you wish, as long as the ‘primary’ spell is placed last. From there, run your mana through each diagram in turn, before settling it on the final one.”
“And… the controlling aspect? How does that work?” I glanced at the two unfamiliar diagrams.
“Well… I haven’t had time to study the specifics on what makes them do what they do yet. But, from a practical standpoint, you are able to ‘feel’ the spell with your mind, as well as the options you have to work with.” After that, Ryone helplessly shrugged her shoulders. “That’s really the best that I can do to explain it. I’ll need more time to study and experiment in order to get detailed information.”
I nodded my head again. From there, Ryone began to give me a much more detailed lesson on the various aspects of magic she had discovered. However, unlike Terra who had given me the spells directly, Ryone only gave me the individual pieces. Though, she did explain in as great of detail as she could what each piece meant, and how it could change depending on where it was placed in a diagram.
To compare the two, Terra was having me dissect a complete puzzle to figure out where the pieces fit, whereas Ryone was giving me the pieces of the puzzle and explaining what to do with them. The two of them were teaching me in pretty much opposite directions, but I honestly found it easier to understand Ryone’s methods. Maybe that was because she was able to give me more direct help than Terra was, but it was easier to remember.
I lost track of just how long I spent down there, but after we were done studying, we naturally spent some time ‘playing’. What? I hadn’t been able to have any fun with her or Terra since before we even gave Ryone her personality! Anyways, after that was done, I got what she had asked for to make the special enchantment.
All in all, it was roughly a day or so before I was ready to get back to check on how the world was faring after the time skip. Judging by the information window, it had been roughly a hundred and fifty years since the last time I looked, and had only stopped because one of the alarms had triggered. Which, of course, meant that someone was about to get the short end of a very big stick.

Tsunami detected, traveling towards inhabited continent.

Sapients within path of tsunami: 1,390

Yikes. Why did it have to be the elves… I wasn’t really playing favorites with my concern, but the elves were really the worst ones to get hit by a natural disaster. After all, they had the lowest population of any race. The problem was… how am I supposed to save them from a giant wave of death?
Opening up the map, I saw that the aforementioned wave was only a couple miles out from the continent at the moment, but its scale was simply massive. In length, it had to be thousands of miles long, and at least five miles tall. If not for the fact that the southern tip of it was striking the northernmost area of the elves’ explored continent, it might still be bearable.  But as things were, they had an hour at most before the wave breaks through the coast and reaches them.
I was thankful that the elves hadn’t yet explored all the way to the coasts, otherwise the people in danger would be much greater. Still, I couldn’t help but send a mental page to Ryone, which likely came across more like a blaring alarm. At least, if her wincing appearance a moment later was any indication.
“What’s going on, Dale? Also, you really need to practice thought transmitting. Oww…” She reached up and rubbed her head, as if it was hurting.
“Sorry, but we’ve got an issue.” I moved my chair aside to let Ryone have a look at the screen, letting her see the situation with the tsunami.
“Oh… wow… uhm… okay.” Her eyes went wide as she saw the massive wave frozen in time, heading towards her own people. “So, is there some special Keeper option you can use to make that go away? ‘Disaster be gone’ or something like that?”
“Maybe? But, I was hoping we could do something different. Something less cheat-y?” For the first time, Ryone sent a rather fierce glare at me. Obviously, she didn’t like the idea of not sparing her people from an imminent disaster. “Don’t worry, I’m not suggesting we simply abandon them. Maybe warn the people that you can to get out of the way, first. After that… do you feel like showing off?”
Ryone stared blankly at my question, before turning back to the screen. “You mean..?”
“Well, you are the Goddess of Magic, after all. Do you have any spells that you could use to slow the tsunami down, just long enough for it to wear its energy out before it has the chance to reach them?”
Ryone took a step back, and crossed her arms in front of her, lowering her head in thought. “Hmm… maybe. From what was explained to me, each god or goddess should have ‘near limitless’ ability in their domains. For Irena, that means she can do pretty much whatever she wants in the underworld. For me, that should mean that my mana pool should be practically unlimited if I descend. But, I haven’t really tested it out much, yet.”
She seemed to be running a few different scenarios in her mind, before she looked at me and resolutely nodded her head. “Okay, I think I’ve got an idea. Give me a couple of minutes to prepare, and then you can restart the world.”

Only allowed on

In the city of Hyren, several hundred elves came together to enjoy a fairly peaceful life. Monster attacks were few, and the air had a certain quality to it that couldn’t be enjoyed in other cities. Due to this, Hyren was one of the most populated elven cities, but it had also been one that hadn’t immediately recognized Gandor’s rule. This could not be entirely blamed on them, however, as they were several month’s travel away from the capital city.
This seemed to be a normal day, when suddenly birds could be seen taking to the sky en masse. Animals and monsters alike panicked, going so far as to ignore the hunters to run in a particular direction. Many residents saw this as a bad omen, and were preparing to follow when a voice appeared in their minds.
Do not flee. You will be safe within your walls. Though they had never heard this voice before, everyone knew who it belonged to. With the assurance of their goddess, nobody dared to leave the city.
Soon, people could be seen scrambling towards Hyren’s walls, hoping to make it inside as quickly as possible. Anyone that had been out of the city for hunting, or farming, or even people that the residents had never seen before. Amidst the chaos, few people noticed a lone woman standing atop the walls, wearing a pure white dress.
However, soon they noticed. Everyone in the city had their gaze drawn to that woman, as torrents of magical energy surged around her. Those particularly sensitive felt as if they were suffocating under the pressure of this power, while others questioned if such a level of power were even possible.
As if in response to her power, the very ground itself shook in defiance. In the distance, a massive shadow covered the horizon, slowly growing larger as it approached them. At this time, a soft-spoken voice echoed mysteriously through the city, its origins clearly the same as the one that spoke into their minds a moment ago. “Stand behind me.”
As the power surrounding the woman–no, the goddess, grew even stronger by the moment, so too did the impending shadow of destruction. Within moments, it had grown to a size that everyone could clearly make out what was causing the shadow. Water, on a scale that none of them had ever known.
Raising a hand that seemed as if it would break from the slightest touch with that ever-growing wall of water, Ryone released the power she had been storing. Part of it surrounded the city, forming into a translucent shield of light, while the rest shot towards the wave in scattered blasts. Explosions could be heard within the wave as her spells impacted, blowing sections of it back. Still, more and more could be seen as it drew closer.
“Raw power won’t work, huh?” Barely anyone could hear the voice that sounded from the woman on the wall. “Guess we’re going to have to do this all at once.” Again, unimaginable power erupted from Ryone, far quicker than the previous spells.
This time, when she released her spell, there was no explosion. There was only silence, as the encroaching wave had stopped in its tracks. As far as the eye could see, the towering wall of water had been frozen into a solid sheet of ice. However, that ice was still crashing towards them, albeit without much of the driving force it had before.
As if to relieve their fears of being crushed to death by the wall of ice, it exploded into shrapnel a moment later. As the shards of ice rained down from above, they crashed into the shield of light protecting the city, shattering harmlessly and falling off to the side. Some people thought that the crisis might be over with this, but the shield remained standing.
Minutes passed before they had their answer, more waves crashing towards them from every direction. Although these waves were far smaller, and carried far less force than the one that had terrified them previously, it was still enough to strike fear into their hearts. Thankfully, Ryone simply remained on the city wall, pouring more and more power into the shield to prevent it from collapsing.
Soon, it seemed as if the entire city was underwater, the domed shield being the only thing between them and a quick death. This continued for several long minutes, before finally the water started to lower. When the waters around the city barely reached the elves’ ankles, the barrier disappeared, and some of that water poured in.
Still, getting their feet wet was nothing compared to what would have happened had their goddess not appeared to protect them. Looking to the walls, people soon discovered that she had vanished without a single trace. Though she may have left quietly, her actions would be remembered forever.
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