chapter 60: the pantheon united

Terra and I stayed like that for over an hour, before she calmed down enough to talk to me. From there, she was happy to answer my questions about divine energy. She had just needed some time to get over what had happened with Udona.

Apparently, divine energy such that I can feel is not the same divine energy that the gods and goddesses wield. Rather, it is the raw power from which they draw strength. Likewise, divine energy can’t be obtained from worshipping any single god. From what she said, it is only possible to unlock the Cleric class, which uses this energy, by equally praying to and drawing energy from multiple gods.

To no surprise to anyone, it was actually a beastkin that earned this class first. Though, not a felyn like I had been expecting, but a kitsune. According to Terra’s search, only two clerics had been born into the world, and of those only one was still alive.

As for the other energy, which I had no clue about at all, Terra identified it as Karma. When I bought the karma system to help Irena before, I had caused the world to begin creating karmic energies. But, this was a rather strange energy, from what she said.

“For a mortal, karma is not something that can be controlled. Even for those that feel it, it is simply an omnipresent force at work in the background of the world. Even for gods, it is difficult to directly affect karma. I might be able to do it with my Fate domain, but none of our others would.”

After saying it like that, Terra seemed to sink into thought. “For this game system… think of karma as an invisible multiplier to luck. Someone with terrible karma, such as a mass murdering villain, will eventually have terrible things happen to them even if they have a high luck stat. On the other hand, someone who goes out of their way to help anyone in need, at no regard for their own safety, might be incredibly fortunate even without a high luck stat.”

Before I could ask what I wanted to, she gave me a small smile, nodding her head knowingly. “Yes, as the Keeper you are able to directly change a person’s karma through the system. But why would you? What could one tiny mortal do that would merit that attention?”

“True…” I nodded in response. “Still, it’s good to know exactly what these energies are. Though, I have to ask. If divine energy is gained by drawing power from multiple gods, then why don’t I have the cleric job already? I mean, I did quests to become a priest for all of you.”

Terra’s smile faded slightly, shaking her head. “Because you’ve never actually drawn power from us. You never had to. With your own power, you have never been in a really difficult situation that made you ask us for help. Thanks to that… it’s unlikely if you would have ever gotten that job without someone else appearing to show you how.”

She did seem to have a point, and I had to agree. The most difficult situation I’ve been in was my fight against the pride of lions. And even then, I had massively outclassed them in levels. Had it not been for the fact that my Keeper levels are all over the place, I would have been able to take care of them all without getting injured at all.

“I see…” I was just about to continue asking when I heard slow steps approaching the room. Turning out of curiosity I saw Udona, still holding her arms close to her chest as if to protect them.

When she saw who had entered the room, Terra immediately jumped up off the couch with a worried expression. “Udona, are you alright?” She had already said that she did not expect the kitsune goddess to come out of her room for a while, yet here she was in front of her.

Udona gave a bitter smile to Terra, but did not shy away from her when she approached. “I’m… okay. No, I’m not, but still. I wanted to ask for something, if that’s alright.”

The catgirl goddess nodded her head quickly. “Of course, anything you need. Just ask.”

Udona giggled slightly, her face relaxing momentarily. “No, sis… Terra. Not from you.” Then, she turned her head to look at me, her body tensing up slightly. “Him. I want to ask him for something.”

This surprised both myself and Terra, but the catgirl quickly looked to me with pleading eyes, so I nodded my head. “What do you want?” I asked, honestly curious what could get her out of her room so quickly.

“Uhm… I want, I want you to awaken Accalia and Keliope. You should be able to do that, right?” As she asked, she saw Terra’s worried expression, smiling slightly to her. Bringing one arm away from herself, she pulled Terra in for a gentle hug. “I know that we’re not really sisters. Still, I can’t help but be sad if I know that the two of them are standing there like mindless puppets. Besides, this is all I really know. So, for now at least, can I keep treating you as my big sister?”

Terra looked at her in surprise, her eyes watering slightly. However, she soon gave a brief nod, smiling happily. “Of course you can. I’d love to have you as my sister, Udona. But… we need to be careful with the other two. I don’t want to have to make them go through what you did… I don’t want to go through having to explain it all again like that.”

Udona seemed to understand this, pulling Terra in for a closer hug. “I know, sis. I wouldn’t want that either. Do you know how to make it so that it won’t be a problem?”

Terra thought about it for a long moment. “There might be a way. They won’t have any memories of a past together like you do, but they’d still see the two of us as family.”

Her words made Udona’s expression falter, though she quickly recovered. “I see. It’s probably for the best, isn’t it?” I couldn’t imagine just what she was going through in her mind right now. But, I could at least agree to this request.

The only reason that I had been awakening one god or goddess at a time was to give each a chance to adjust to the situation before bringing in another. With Keliope and Accalia being the only two remaining, and their setting being that of sisters, it made sense to awaken them together. Though, seeing how Udona had initially reacted, I was glad that I did not awaken them all at the same time.

Terra squirmed her way out of Udona’s arm, albeit reluctantly, and moved over to me again. “Okay… I’m going to write down some instructions to use as a personality framework. In order to not give the system any chance of implanting false memories to create the personality we want, we have to be as specific as possible, and not leave any room for interpretation.”

Compared to when she was talking to Udona, or even me before she showed up, Terra’s voice right now was serious. A clipboard appeared in her hands, on which she began rapidly writing with a pen she materialized. Only when she was finished did she hand it to me to read.

Going through what she had written, I honestly did not understand most of it. If I had to compare it to anything, it would be the notes of a psychiatrist regarding a detailed study on their patient. Rather than an outline for a personality to create, this read more like a description of someone that had already been interacted with. Though, strangely any reference to a past was cut off. Their physical age was listed as ‘one month’, while their mental and emotional ages were twenty years for Accalia, and eighteen for Keliope.

Still, I continued to do my best to read through it, wanting to at least partly understand what I would be putting into the system. There were repeated references in both of their ‘reviews’ that mentioned a strong familial connection to both Udona and Terra, as well as each other, yet no mention of memories or past experiences with them. Perhaps, most surprising to me, each one also had an entry where they held a high degree of trust towards myself.

Glancing up to Terra, I saw that she nodded with a confident smile. “The system decides things too randomly to be a hundred percent sure, but this should eliminate the options for it to add in troublesome memories. I included basic information into each one that they would need in order to manage their domains.”

I had noticed that, and it seemed well written. “Okay… go call everyone here. This is the last time we’ll awaken a god for the foreseeable future, so it’s a special occasion.” Meanwhile, I closed my eyes to focus on the world menu, so that I could pause the world as a whole. That way, Irena would be able to attend as well.

Once that was done, I began expanding the living room, so that I could accommodate everyone easily. This would be the first time that everyone was truly in the same place at the same time, after all. The closest until now would be when we had our meeting the other day, but now we had even more gods, some of whom wouldn’t even have met each other.

I created a small, wooden stage in the center of the room, watching it rise from the floor. Around it were several sets of stairs leading up, with plenty of illumination both on the stage and around it. I thought about making chairs, but given Tryval’s appearance I decided against it. Having only one person unable to sit down would seem a tad unfair, in my mind.

As I finished setting the stage, the ‘guests’ began arriving. To my surprise, the first to appear was Tryval, though his hair had changed from black to blonde, going down the middle of his back. His eyes seemed to cast a dark shadow over his face, showing that something had happened to him while he was descended. I’d have to look into that later, see if there was anything major. He didn’t say anything to me as he silently moved to stand next to the stage.

Next was Aurivy, no real surprise there. She came skipping in with a smile on her face, and practically tackled Terra with a hug. “Hey, sis! How’s it–oh, sorry!” She quickly backed away with her hands over her mouth when she noticed Udona standing next to her, the kitsune having flinched from the halfling’s sudden approach. “Uhm… are you feeling better, miss?”

Udona did her best to relax after Aurivy calmed down and addressed her, nodding her head somewhat. “A bit… I just want my sisters to be together.”

When she heard that, Aurivy had a rather sad look on her face, glancing between Terra and Udona. Then, she approached Udona with her hands held together in front of her legs. “Uhm… Udona? If you’d like… would you let me be your sister too?”

The kitsune goddess was surprised by the sudden question, and didn’t seem to know who to go to for advice. She alternated between looking at Aurivy, Terra, even more or Tryval. Though, I could see why Aurivy was doing this. For this entire time, Terra’s been her unofficial sister. Now, a real sister for Terra showed up. And not just one, but three of them! Even if she herself had been one of the ones to suggest it, I’m sure that Aurivy couldn’t avoid being afraid that she would be abandoned from the little family they were creating.

After a little while, Udona let out a soft sigh, seemingly able to read the mood from looking at Terra. Kneeling down, she put herself at eye level with Aurivy, and did her best to give a soft smile. “Okay… we can be sisters, too. But… give me some time, okay? This is all just so much.”

Aurivy nodded, a smile breaking out on her face as well. Without saying anything, she walked over to my right side, grabbing my hand and holding it gently. The next to arrive was Bihena, who looked around the gathered audience. Her gaze stopped on the kitsune goddess with some surprise, but she chose not to say anything that might frighten her. Instead, she gave a simple greeting as she went to stand between Tryval and Terra.

After Bihena, Irena appeared, stepping through the doorway. Her expression seemed to have improved slightly since I saw her, and she gave me a slight smile and a nod. While Aurivy was on my right, Irena went to stand at my left. Although she didn’t grab my hand like the halfling goddess, her wing flexed slightly, the lower feathers rubbing my back. Honestly, the feeling sent shivers down my spine. Not bad shivers… just the kind of shivers you normally get one someone runs a finger down your spine.

Finally, the last two arrived. Ryone and Tubrock walked in together, excitedly talking. I wasn’t able to make out the exact topic of their discussion because they stopped talking as soon as they noticed they had arrived. But, if I had to guess, they were talking about enchanted weapons and artifacts.

“Finally the last one, huh?” Ryone asked with a grin. She looked at Terra and Udona standing together, and her smile faltered for a moment. Then, she moved to stand next to Aurivy. “Is she alright to be out here?” Ryone asked me in a voice barely above a whisper.

I could only nod in response. “This was her request.”

“Really?” Tubrock spoke up, moving to stand between Ryone and Tryval. “Lass didn’t strike me as the type to be making requests of people so quickly. Maybe Terra had an impact on her after all.” He nodded to himself, obviously deciding on his own that his assumption was correct.

“Can we begin now?” Udona asked, looking at me hesitantly.

“Right.” I closed my eyes, focusing as I called up both Accalia and Keliope from the ‘storage room’. I guess from now on, we’ll be able to use that room to store artifacts or something. Anyways, soon the two of them appeared in front of us, standing like motionless puppets on the stage.

Only allowed on

Udona covered her mouth with a gasp as she saw them, and I could see her eyes watering. Rather than being happy to see them, she appeared hurt by their current state. Accalia was slim, just a few inches under six foot. Her hair was black and unkempt, going all the way down to the small of her back. Her chest was modest, small enough that it would not interfere with her movements. Just below the bottom of her hair was a bushy tail that came out from her lower back, hanging limply behind her legs. Finally, atop her head were a pair of long, floppy ears that hung off of either side of her skull. For her outfit, she was dressed in a black shirt that hung over her body loosely, and matching pants that seemed to be held up by magic and fairy dust.

Keliope, on the other hand, was practically a toned amazon! Her body was firm, yet slim, standing even a bit taller than me. Her chest was much larger than Accalia’s, and contained within a tight leather armor. Like the lycan goddess, her hair was black, but it was much shorter, only going to her shoulders. The only obvious characteristic that Keliope had to distinguish her from a human were the small, semi-circular ears atop her head. I knew that she also had a tiny black tail at the base of her back, but with her armor on that was almost impossible to determine.

Holding my hand out, I called the notes Terra had made to myself. Carefully, I entered the information from the pages into the system for how to grant these two their personalities. Afraid that I’d mess something up, I made sure to include every detail, repeatedly going back and making sure that I didn’t miss anything.

The entire process took over ten minutes to complete, by which point Udona had her head buried in Terra’s shoulder, unable to watch her sisters standing on the stage. Once I confirmed the purchase of the two personalities, forty points vanished from the balance. At this point, the familiar golden light descended from the ceiling, seeming to mix with the ambient lighting I had set up to make the entire stage appear to glow.

This glow easily attracted Udona’s attention. Looking up, she watched as her sisters slowly opened their eyes for the first time. Accalia’s hazel eyes and Keliope’s deep blue eyes shook slightly as they looked around the room. For some reason, the light that normally took a while to finish on a single goddess only took a moment to completely awaken the two of them.

I was worried that something had gone wrong, that they might freak out. Or that how their ages were set would cause them to regress to being children. Thankfully, none of that happened. Once they had looked around to see everyone gathered, their eyes landed on Udona and Terra.

Keliope was the first to act, jumping down from the stage in a single motion to appear before the other beastkin goddesses. “Udona? Are you okay?” She saw the teary-eyed kitsune, and asked in a worried voice. “Are you hurt somewhere?”

Accalia saw what was going on and quickly ran down the stairs to stand next to the ursa goddess, inspecting Udona. However, before she could say anything, Udona spoke up with a somewhat broken voice. “N-no. I’m just… really happy. I finally get to be with everyone.”

Saying that, she threw open her arms, wrapping one around each of the girls, and finally broke down. Her sobs loudly echoed through the large room, making the rest of the audience feel awkward for seeing this moment. Accalia began patting Udona on the back gently, trying to comfort her. “It’s okay, Udona. We’re here. We’re all here together now. But, uhm… could we maybe do this somewhere else? I think we’re attracting a bit of attention.” She smiled bitterly, looking around at the different people trying their hardest not to pay attention to the reunion.

Udona sniffled, nodding her head. “O-okay… can we go to my room? I just… want to stay with you guys for a little bit. Is that alright?” The two new goddesses quickly nodded their heads, as if looking for some excuse to get out of the room. Seeing that, Udona’s lips curled up in a slight smile. Looking back, she asked Terra. “Can you join us later? I’d… like us to all be together for a little while. I understand if you can’t right away…”

“I’ll be there soon, sis.” Terra said, a warm, gentle smile on her face as she looked to the kitsune goddess.

There was a coughing noise, and I turned to see a rather embarrassed looking Tryval slowly backing up to the door. As soon as he saw me, as if afraid I would ask him to stay behind after that touching scene, he vanished into thin air. This caused a small laugh to rise up through the rest of the gods, even Udona finding it amusing. The three beastkin sisters walked out the door, sharing a small smile as Keliope and Accalia each held one of Udona’s hands.

“Well, I think the show’s over.” Ryone said with a knowing smile. “Time for us to get back to work. Though, it is nice to know that we are all awake now.” After she said that, she walked to the doorway, Tubrock following shortly behind her.

“Ah, lass! Wait for me!” He called out desperately, not wanting to be left behind.

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Bihena simply shook her head with a small smile. Looking to Terra, she spoke up before excusing herself. “If you get the time, I’d like you to show me some of those martial arts. I’ll probably be in my room if you need me.” And with that, she too left, leaving only myself, Aurivy, Terra, and Irena.

Terra gave a nod to Bihena, before turning to Irena. “You should talk with him.” She gave a glance towards me, obviously pointing out who she needed to chat with. “You don’t have to spend all of your time in the Underworld, you know?” After saying that, she walked off, heading towards the same direction that the other beastkin goddesses left in.

Irena smiled bitterly, noticing my gaze had shifted to her. “It’s… Okay, let me explain. It’s not as bad as you think.” Well, that certainly made me think it was even worse. I was a bit unsure of what she needed to talk to me about so much that she didn’t feel like she could say when I visited her, but I guess I was about to find out.

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