Once we had everything set up for our various projects, I went ahead and began to fast forward again. I wanted to see how the world would react to the new changes brought about from this recent meeting. And, if I must say, I was rather satisfied.
It was hard to tell if she planned it or not, but Terra’s contribution to the market went a long way towards helping the mortals accept the Perfection Chamber. Naturally, there were still those that criticized it, claiming that it was a scam because their loved ones died to it. While some of the people killed in this manner truly were quite talented, most of them were nothing special, and none of them had bought Terra’s blessing.
Looking over at Leowynn’s religious following… there was a truly massive growth, even more so than when the caravan had first been created. Within a short three months, she had become one of the four most worshipped deities in my entire pantheon.
Granted, her power was still lagging behind the others, but that was more due to the fact that she was a far newer deity. I knew for sure that her power would one day catch up with the rest, especially with the inclusion of this new system.
It was only after the three months had passed that James asked for when I gradually began to return the world to its normal flow of time. I wanted to wait for the announcement, so that I would catch it when it happened, rather than having to look back through the records to watch it.
“Are you sure that this is going to work?” The elven assistant asked James, looking down at the steel bracer that had been strapped to her arm. She could see the numerous vents lining its surface, and feel the hum of energy for it.
“Relax, it’ll be fine.” The dark-skinned researcher assured her. “You’ve managed to perfect the method of creating the essence, and are only having problems with harvesting it before it fades away. That makes you the perfect candidate to test our invention.”
The elf’s ears tinged red when she heard that. While James meant it as a compliment, she clearly took it to mean that her talent was lacking in comparison to the others. After all, she was the only one so far that had yet to acquire the class. However, it was true, she was able to perform the energy fusion far more efficiently than any of the others. She was just distracted by the explosions and prevented from harvesting the completed product before it faded.
She nodded her head, moving to stand on the stage that they had prepared, while James activated a recording device and aimed it at her. She took a slow breath, holding up her arm to show off the bracelet before beginning to go over the script James had prepared. “Everyone, I would like to present you the Pilot’s Band. This is the new product that we are working on, to enable everyone to have access to a newly discovered energy type, known as Pilot’s Essence.”
“This energy is quite simple, but dangerous to prepare on its own due to the process involved. However, its effects are worth the trouble, so long as you can persevere.” As if to demonstrate, she began forming the energy, as she had hundreds of times in the last few months. Swirls of silver, blue, and yellow all converged briefly on the bracelet, before it emitted a gust of red flame.
This gust turned into a roar that lasted for a solid ten seconds. When it was done, the elf’s face looked… ecstatic. “This is the side-effect of creating the Pilot’s Essence, an explosive energy mixture that masks the finished product. Without this band, there is a very high chance of failure, even for those familiar with the formula. Now, onto the main effect of the energy itself.”
Saying that, the elven woman walked over to a nearby suit of armor that was dismantled and lying haphazardly on the floor. “The Pilot’s Essence is not simply an energy that enables one to better control vehicles as the name may indicate, though it surely does that as well. The main principle of the energy is to control inanimate objects, particularly those with moving parts.”
After she explained, she aimed her hand down at the armor. Anyone could tell that the armor was empty, until a purple light flashed into it. After that, the arms and legs of the armor began to move, working to quickly assemble itself. Metal scratched against stone, until the completed suit stood up.
Once it was fully upright, it was hard to tell that it was truly empty. Instead, it seemed to hold a faint darkness within it, while purple energy emerged from its joints like flames. “Although this is an incredibly useful energy, there is still something far more important to take note of when considering whether or not you wish to practice it.”
“Along with this advertisement, we would like to announce to the world the appearance of an all-new class! The advanced class, Pilot, is now available to the world. In order to unlock it, you need only successfully merge the energy I am displaying now, and harvest it into your body.”
“After doing so, you will be able to enjoy an easier time creating and harvesting the energy. However, for the safety of the individual, we still strongly advise the use of this band. At least, until you have formed your energy core.”
Saying that, the elf took a deep breath. “Regarding this subject, we have made a discovery as well. Upon condensing the special core of a pilot, you will begin to gather the explosive energy released when creating the essence. This can be regarded as a secondary energy core that will naturally grow without harming the user. The user can then direct the energy outwards, similar to a ki blast, to create explosive bursts around themselves.”
“That is all that I have to say regarding the new product. With the help of Deckan’s manufacturing services we will be proceeding to mass-produce these bands within one week. Similarly, we will be offering this initial product directly to Ashley, so that it can be purchased straight from the Boundless Caravan.”
After she said that, she gave a deep bow, and James cut off the recording. “You did good.” He told her with a wide smile. “The world is really going to need new options like this before too long.”
The elven assistant blinked curiously at that. “If it’s alright to ask, what do you mean?”
James simply chuckled, setting the recording device down on a nearby shelf. “Terrestrial monsters can no longer pose a suitable threat to society. Stage Five monster spawns should begin to increase now.”
“Sir? Stage Five?” Now she was even more curious, though she had a faint idea she knew what the man meant.
“Sorry, it’s a term from my old home. We always divided monsters into ‘stages’ rather than levels. Stage One represented a local monster, one that could be easily taken care of by any common hunter with a weapon. Only good for hunting smaller animals or children.”
“Stage Two monsters were those that were a legitimate threat to an entire town. One that they needed to deploy the city’s guards to defend against. Even then, they had to be well-equipped in order to overcome the problem.” The assistant sharply inhaled when she heard the drastic difference between only the first two stages.
“Stage Three monsters were able to take on groups of cities, requiring them to band together to defeat a single force. By your standards, these would be monsters between five hundred and nine hundred. Of course, your people have advanced to the point where they are no longer true threats now.”
“Stage Four, on the other hand, is something that is still a threat. Albeit, not a disastrous one. Stage Four monsters are those between levels one and two thousand. Monsters strong enough to turn an entire nation into their territory. Currently the strongest city-defense weapons are capable of holding off Stage Four monsters with assistance from skilled users and people teaming together to distract the monster.”
“Then, level five…” The elf speculated, her face going pale while James nodded his head.
“Planetary threats. Stage Five monsters are those that dominate entire planets, with their lowest level being over two thousand. Sometimes, they will quite literally consume a planet if they are large enough. However, due to the special nature of these creatures, very few are able to be born within a planet’s atmosphere. Most will spontaneously appear through the ambient mixtures of energy in space, or cross over a dimensional gap.”
The elven assistant gulped when she heard that. Now she understood why James had said that solutions like these were needed. “Then… how many stages are there?”
“Where I come from… we theorized the existence of a sixth and seventh stage. The sixth stage would be one so unbelievably strong that it could dominate an entire galaxy on its own. Meanwhile, the seventh stage had a special term given to it by my people. They were called the ‘universe eaters’.”
I couldn’t help but shudder as I watched James telling his assistant his story. Although the stages he spoke of weren’t the same thing as monster tiers, it wasn’t an incorrect method of defining the strength of an individual monster. At least, under normal circumstances.
As I thought about that, something caught my eyes. A silver form moving at the corner of the facility where James was working. It walked through the halls calmly, not attempting to mask its presence, and instead seemed rather curious. At first, I thought it might have been the manifested form of an artificial intelligence like Vivi, before I recalled a race I hadn’t seen in a long time.
James held the recording device in his hand, moving to leave the room that they had prepared to demonstrate the effects of their new invention. Just as he was reaching the door, he heard a faint knock from it. Furrowing his brow, he extended his senses beyond the door to see what was awaiting him. What he saw… had him rather confused.
“Wait here…” He told the elf, who nodded her head, and then proceeded to open the door. The silver humanoid on the other side appeared to be an… entirely naked female, her skin composed of sleek metal.
“Greetings, Researcher James.” The woman spoke in a soothing tone. “My name is Speaker Thorn. Under the recommendation of the local monarch, I have come to personally meet you.”
“May I ask why?” James asked, keeping his gaze on the metallic woman’s eyes.
“Certainly!” She seemed happy that he had asked. “As per the code of the Metong, I am here to bestow a gift upon your civilization appropriate for your current state of development. Our previous contribution was deemed insufficient due to a mistake caused by one of our members. I was told that you specialize in energy configurations, and are the foremost expert on this field. Is this information correct?”
“I’d hope so, or else I’m out of a job.” James muttered with a wry grin, nodding his head.
“Excellent! Then, I would like to present you with a data packet containing all known energy configurations within the Network. I believe that you should be able to find something that you are unfamiliar with. If you do, you may freely contact me, and I will issue a request for a detailed tutorial on how to create the energy.”
When the elven assistant at the back of the room heard that, she gave a light chuckle. The first time that she met James, she underestimated his wealth of knowledge when it came to energies she thought unknown. While she didn’t know who or what this woman was, she wouldn’t be surprised in the least if it turned out that James was already familiar with everything that she provided.
Despite that, James appeared rather happy with this arrangement. “I see. Then, please give my regards to your superiors, and thank them for this gift on my behalf.” As he said that, the Metong woman produced a silver cube, placing it in James’ hand.
“I will do so.” Speaker Thorn spoke in the same bright and soothing tone, before turning and walking down the hall.