When James explained to me about the pros and cons of the Saint’s path, I began to understand why so few Keepers pursued that path. In order to buy the energy themselves, it was a usage of points that would not directly benefit themselves. Sure, they would be able to train the Perfect Soul and Perfect Will. But without the ability to train the Perfect Self, the Keeper would never be able to complete the path on their own.
Sure, they would be able to use the saint level energy to the same degree as someone who did take the path, due to the Keeper buff. But they would be able to use that energy regardless. And, if my experience as a Keeper has told me anything, they might be able to use it that well even if nobody pursued the path in the first place, simply due to the Keeper level of energy in a high power world.
Not to mention the warnings about the trap that is the Perfect Self, making even fewer Keepers willing to buy the full set. Even if they did, and told others about it, I’m sure many would choose to ignore it. The path of divinity was a path that even a Keeper could walk, so it was in many ways a better choice than the Saint’s path.
As for the other energies he mentioned, I naturally recognized the Ki of Origin, as it was an energy that I myself had been practicing for a while. The others… were less familiar. While I would like to have him research bringing those energies to my world, I knew that the exact recipes had differences between worlds. The more complex the energy was, the greater the difference would be.
With that in mind, only relatively ‘simpler’ combinations could be reliably called upon at will by people like James and Chelsea that had extensive experience manipulating energy with another world’s laws. If I had to choose between having him work on the Perfect Soul class, or him spending years trying to replicate a saint level energy? I’d rather go for the class.
Although I thought that, I didn’t know how long it would take him to create an equivalent for the Perfection Chamber to handle this transformation. More to the point, I didn’t know how the world would react. Most of the people strong enough to step into perfection had already done so, and would now be learning that they would not be able to take this new step because of an improper order of events.
After James ended the conversation with the Keeper, he closed his eyes and relayed the message towards Chel. As his true research partner, he felt that it was only right to let her know that they had gotten a new assignment. Not to mention that he was curious how she would react to this piece of news.
Wait, really? Chel responded with a hint of a pout in her tone. But I already got the perfect body! And don’t start, I know what you’re thinking.
James gave a faint chuckle when he heard that, refraining from sending her the comment he had been wanting to give. I’m guessing he has his reasons. It seems that he didn’t know about this path, which isn’t that surprising.
Yeah, but it’s still annoying on my end. Maybe I should start over? With the time dilation effect, I could pick a kitsune couple in Spica. They’re a bit rare, but not unheard of. It would take me only a little less than five months of your time for me to hit adulthood. Then I can start fresh. I always wanted to try the Saint path, anyways.
James pursed his lips into a thin line at Chel’s remark. It was true, five months wasn’t all that long. He waited far longer than that for her to be born and mature in this life. It might only be a few months for me… but it would be longer for you, right?
I mean, you’re not wrong… just a second, an eavesdropper is trying to get my attention. Halfway through her sentence, Chel suddenly sounded distracted, before temporarily ending the conversation. James didn’t mind, as he knew that the only ones that would be eavesdropping like that would be the gods or the Keeper himself. If they wanted to talk with Chel about something that badly, there was bound to be a good reason.
A couple of minutes later, a surprised Chel started talking to him again. Huh, well, that’s good to know.
Mind sharing with the class?
At James’s request, Chel revealed what she had learned. Aurivy just came in to tell me up in the Administration Room… apparently this system that they have can handle multiple incarnations at once. It takes a heavier drain on the user’s psyche, making them largely unresponsive up there, though. The effects down here should be a lot more limited. Mostly just stuff like an increased urge to catnap.
So you’re planning on keeping me company with this body while your other one quickly grows up in Spica? James confirmed, thinking it over. Would the time dilation make it harder for you to handle?
If I was your average girl, maybe. Don’t forget that I used to be a System Companion, too. My mind is made to be able to handle fast speeds like that. Splitting my focus too much will still drain the me in the Administration Room, but they don’t tend to bother me much up there, anyways.
James gave a brief nod at that. Alright. But make sure your parents know what is going on. The last thing that I want is to be blamed for your ‘death’ by them. I’ve actually taken a liking to them.
That’s just because they let you give them nine tails.
Slander! Lies and slander! James retorted with a jovial laugh, shaking his head. Now that he had gotten his new order, and was ready to begin work, he disabled the soundproof barrier around himself.
Turning to face his golem assistant, he flashed a friendly smile. “How are you coming on your project, big guy?”
The golem hesitated for a brief moment before answering. It was clear that he hoped to be able to get through this hurdle on his own, but also wanted to share his progress. Eventually, he spoke in a fluent Deckan accent. “The progress is acceptable. I have managed to reach an understanding with the energy within me. Although its intelligence has yet to fully mature, it is possible to train it in a variety of different tasks.”
James gave a small nod, remembering what the golem’s energy was. In most every way that mattered, it was a simple copy of mana. However, there was a thin trace of spiritual energy that gave the energy itself awareness. This spiritual trace, however, also meant that the typical means of utilizing magic, in other words spells, would be rendered useless.
The golem had long ago realized this, and had found the proper way to wield his energy. That was by teaching the energy to act on its own, and regard it as a living thing. If the energy understands the fundamental process behind fire, it can create fire. As for the energy maturing… James had little hope that that would ever happen. In order for its intelligence to develop, it would need to evolve into a different type of energy. Most likely, that new energy would then be ranked at the saint level.
“Well, hopefully it will work out for you.” James nonetheless comforted the golem. “In the meantime, we just received a new work order. I’ll have to head out to find the sisters.”
After he said that, he slowly stood up and began moving towards the door. Although it was unfortunate, the kitsune sisters were now the only members of his research team that had not yet chosen to attain the Perfect Self. This meant that they were the only ones that had the chance to work with him when it came to creating the Perfect Soul. That is, unless he created a second research team for that purpose.
The problem with doing so was rather simple. James wanted to keep the team as small as possible. Less people meant less risk of information leaking before it had been prepared to a safe enough degree. If the information was leaked when it was only half-finished, there may be people that throw caution to the wind, and in doing so throw their own lives away.
“Are you sure about this?” Thea asked, looking to Nora as they lay in their shared bedroom, each of them on their stomachs with their legs kicking slightly above them. Their tails, for they each had nine now, were draped across their bodies like large blankets, while the rest of them was covered with a long dress each.
“Mhm.” Nora nodded her head, reaching back towards one of the tails. A ball of lightning seemed to break off from the tail, residing in her hand. This was one of the nine energies that she had created with the help of Chel before storing in her tail. “We’ve already seen from little Chel that it’s possible to keep this if we hit perfection… and we’re not getting any younger.”
Thea paused at that, nodding as well. It had been several years now since they joined the researcher’s team. In that time, they had indeed learned quite a lot, and benefited immensely. Similarly, they were able to freely share the information that they learned back with the clan. If they were to let their bodies and minds degrade with the passing of time, the researcher might eventually discard them from the team. At that point, they would no longer be able to help their people.
“I understand.” She said with a soft sigh, though still sounded reluctant. The reason that the two of them had always pushed off seeking perfection was quite simple. They had learned long ago that the act of seeking perfection cuts one off from the afterlife. The cycle of reincarnation is severed, and the life you are living becomes the last your soul will experience, being shattered upon death.
The two of them had not wanted this, because they were hoping to one day meet their parents again in the Underworld. They wanted to be together as a family after their lives were over. Although they couldn’t be sure that their parents had not yet been reborn, it was something that they had been clinging to together.
“Will the extra tails interfere with the process?” Thea asked in a tone of concern, looking at her sister’s beautiful black tails. Nora had already lost her real tail once, and losing them again would be a blow to any kitsune, especially a woman.
Nora’s face turned… a bit more bitter when she heard that. “Probably. The energy in the tails could interfere with the regulating mechanisms of the chamber. That’s why… I plan to get rid of all but my ki and mana tails before entering. At least that way I won’t need to worry about compatibility problems.”
Thea stretched her arm out, reaching from her own bed to her sister’s, who similarly extended her hand until their fingers were interlocked. “Well, you can just make the tails again later…” She spoke in a comforting tone, earning a small nod from her sister.
“What about you?”
Thea thought about it for a moment, before nodding her head. “If you’re doing it, so will I. How could we have our family reunion without you there? As for mom and dad… it’s sad, but maybe we’ll see them again in another form.”
Nora was about to speak up when the two of them heard a knock on the door to their house. Jumping to their feet, they checked the time, realizing that it was far too late for a normal visitor. Either someone from the clan had appeared in secret, or… no, they could definitely sense his energy after trying. With bitter smirks, they looked towards one another, moving in tandem towards the door.
“Not waking you up, am I?” The researcher asked, standing outside and sporting an apologetic expression when he saw the two in their nightgowns.