Chapter 610: Scorched Earth

SentinelSeven: Oh, wow! I thought you had forgotten about our deal!

EarthForceOne: Nope. I was just letting one of my gods compile a list of everything that could be put up. Feel free to look through it and take your time.

After I sent that message to Kathy, I mentally copied the list that Ryone had given me, before pasting it into the chatbox. Living in the Admin Room definitely had its perks. Though, she’d probably need a few days to think over what she wanted to get from it, and would no doubt have a few questions about some items.

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SentinelSeven: Oh, oh! Can I have some of those tidestone things? And the decanter of drought cleansing. Oh! That energy manual looks really useful, too!

EarthForceOne: …You saw the pricetag on that, didn’t you?

SentinelSeven: Yeah? Give me just a second…

For some reason, I felt my anxiety climbing from talking to this girl… spider… person. Kathy. I’ll just call her a Kathy.

SentinelSeven: Sorry, I’m back. My companions say we can’t just spend fifty thousand like that…

EarthForceOne: I’m more surprised at the fact you have fifty thousand at all. Did you recently win some big defense or something?

SentinelSeven: Nope, nobody’s launched a serious attack against me lately. I just played some of those games at the last meeting and made a lot of points.

…I had the feeling that I shouldn’t let Tsubaki know that Kathy was able to casually play the games at a Keeper meeting and earn fifty thousand. It might be too much for the poor kitsune to handle.

EarthForceOne: Anyways… manual aside, you want the decanter and the tidestone? Are you having water problems or something?

SentinelSeven: Yeah! There was this super big fire monster that appeared in my world a few months ago, and it raised the temperature of the entire planet by a ton! Now my oceans are basically gone, and I’ll have to reset if I can’t get it taken care of before I match up against a hostile Keeper! This is my main world, too!

EarthForceOne: …Is that information you should be sharing with someone else?

SentinelSeven: I don’t think that you’d do anything to hurt me, so it’s fine. You might even have ideas that could help me fix the problem. Are there any other water-attribute treasures that could help?

EarthForceOne: I’ve got another race that I don’t have listed for trade… they’re the ones that Tsubaki used in her game against you.

SentinelSeven: Oh? Right, I asked about those before! You said you could send one over… but would that really be enough?

EarthForceOne: It only takes one special variant of that race to kickstart the population. More importantly, that race is specifically adapted to be able to survive in any environment. They’re excellent terraformers with an inherent ability to control natural energy. From what you’re describing, they might be able to help revitalize your world, if you use them together with the tidestone.

SentinelSeven: Wait, really!? They’re that useful!? I just thought that they were really cool mutant plant elves! Give me just a minute again!

Seeing as how she was probably running off to discuss with her companions again, I sent a message to Ryone. Kathy already knows about the Sylvan from before, and from the sounds of things they might be the key to saving her world. Need a fair price tag for them.

Initially, I didn’t plan to keep the Sylvans as a secret weapon. However, after watching their growth lately, I felt that it would be for the best to play them a little more close to the chest. But, as Kathy already knew about them, and given the fact that it would help her world… I decided to go ahead and sell her one as well.

It only took Ryone a few seconds to respond to me, even before Kathy herself had returned. One thousand points, no less. They’re a really powerful race when properly trained.

…Does our game package we bought back then include Keeper Sim…?

…Maybe… There was a slightly guilty tone to her response that told me all I needed to know. She had obviously been playing Keeper Sim in her spare time, which was how she had appraised the value of the different races outside of their current setting.

SentinelSeven: Back again! I was told that we can pay up to five thousand points for a race like that! What would their price be?

EarthForceOne: You’ve… never negotiated before, have you?

SentinelSeven: No, they always tell me I’m bad at it and to leave it to them, why?

EarthForceOne: You never tell the other party your upper limit before asking for the price. If you do that, they’ll usually raise the price to be closer to your limit. It’s like you’re offering to pay that much, rather than really asking me what the price is.

SentinelSeven: Oh… sorry! Pretend I didn’t say that, then! Uhm… what would the price be..?

EarthForceOne: My resident merchant says one thousand would be enough.

SentinelSeven: So… after you raise the price because of what I said before?

EarthForceOne: One thousand and one.

SentinelSeven: Curse you, capitalism!

I couldn’t help but chuckle at that, having the feeling she was laughing on her end as well. If I really wanted to squeeze her for points, I would have at least doubled the price. Adding only one point to it was just my way of messing with her, especially since I had already told her the original price.

SentinelSeven: So, with the race, the stones, and the decanter, that is… one thousand, two hundred and seventy five points in total?

EarthForceOne: One thousand, two hundred, and seventy six.

SentinelSeven: I’m pouting at the chat window right now, I just want you to know that.

EarthForceOne: I charge a one point fee for all economic lessons.

After that, the two of us talked for a little bit more. She was… really the epitome of a chatty Kathy. Even though I insisted that it wasn’t good to go around sharing deep details of her world for security reasons, she still told me what was happening with her.

From what she said, there was a monster somewhat similar to the solar lion that had attacked my world a while back. However, she didn’t have a good lineup of combat gods to deal with the problem quickly, and it got a lot closer to her world than it did mine. She was able to destroy it eventually after deploying all of her gods, but by the time she did… irreparable damage had been done to her planet’s atmosphere.

If her race wasn’t a largely subterranean one, she probably would have already reset. With how she described it, the surface of her world had been scorched. And while her arachne didn’t need to surface often, they did still need air and water.

For that reason, she had been going through the market lately to look for things to help her. After explaining the situation to someone from the Gilded Branch to seek advice, they even told her to reset. When she said that she didn’t want to do that, they said that she needed to find an alternate solution for her atmosphere problem. If the surface was uninhabitable, she needed to make a sustainable atmosphere below ground.

The problem was… all of the items she found that were able to create sustainable atmospheres suitable for her creatures to live in required water to operate. And the underground waterways barely had enough left for her own residents to drink, let alone supply them with breathable air.

It was clear that she hadn’t gone the path of energy cultivation for her world. Most likely, they had developed via technology, given the solutions that she told me about. Otherwise, I would have suggested she try to start converting her people into energy forms. At the very least, they wouldn’t need to worry about water or air, or even really food.

Sadly, that wasn’t an option. Though, hearing her problem did give me hope that the Sylvans would be able to help her. They had managed to survive on barren worlds, and one where the surface was scorched already, and flourished in both environments. As long as I pick a suitable golden Sylvan to send with the tidestones and decanters, she should be taken care of.

The problem now was picking who would go. If I fast forwarded a couple more years, I would have more options, but I wanted to see what I was working with right now. Pulling up my map, I navigated to the Sylvan forest resting beneath the three suns. This was the area that had developed the longest, and even had another golden Sylvan since my last glance here.

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Now that Protection was gone, they had Song, Cities, Magic, Endurance, Prayer, and… Rain. A golden Sylvan with a domain focusing on water. Once I saw her on the list, there was no doubt that she would be the one I had to send. It was just a matter of explaining the situation to her in advance, so that she did not think herself to be in a hostile environment.

Thankfully, I did still have a little bit of time to take care of that. I just needed to make sure and speak with her sooner rather than later. The last thing that I needed was for her to go off and become a tree somewhere before I could send her to Kathy.

That said… after I took a look at the list of golden Sylvans, I noticed the name of one pulsing faintly with light. Philia of Cities, as I recalled, though now she was being listed as ‘Philia, Goddess of Cities’.

Our plan to cultivate a Sylvan god had worked!? I hadn’t looked at them since just after my last fast-forward, so I wasn’t aware of the progress that she made. Now that I knew who I was picking to send to Kathy, I couldn’t help myself from wanting to take a closer look at Philia. There were so many possibilities for what a Sylvan god could do, I wanted to see for myself what the truth was.

Philia sat in her usual perch atop the highest branch of the mother tree. No… she should call it her sister tree now, shouldn’t she? She shook her head at that thought, lying back. Things had changed for her after she reached the end to her road of cultivation. Her helpful friend praised her, saying that she had reached her goal, but no longer had any new tasks for her. She was left to settle matters on her own, which had initially confused her.

However, things were far more unusual with the other golden Sylvans. Now, they instinctively revered her as if she herself had already taken root as a tree. And, in a way… she might as well have. She was able to transform to a tree and back again at will, after all.

Upon ascending and becoming the first Sylvan Goddess, she discovered a new ability. One that both surpassed the natural ability of the mother tree, but at the same time was weaker than it. She found that she was able to produce new golden Sylvans that would incubate for only a single year before being born.

This was where her child, Ratan of Prayers came from. The new golden Sylvan of the mother tree had yet to fall, but she had created one of her own. When first creating Ratan, she had been presented with a list of ten domains, one of which she could give to her ‘child’. Upon doing so, a significant amount of her divine energy was drained.

After the ‘draining’, she found that there was a fruit growing inside of her abdomen. When she experimentally turned into a tree, this fruit was moved to her highest branch, and then back to her abdomen when she transformed back. Out of fear of what would happen if the ‘fruit’ fully matured while still in her body, she spent the latter half of its growth constantly in her tree form.

After Ratan had been born, she found that she could choose to create another golden Sylvan, this one with a new list of possible domains. However… she was only able to create the golden variety. Even as a tree, Philia was unable to create any green, red, or blue Sylvans. The Goddess of Cities was unable to give birth to her own city.

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