Julia sat within her wooden home, looking at the game console that Aurivy had just delivered. According to the little halfling, this was the newest model that Darkflame Technologies had created, one that allowed for even more realism within the virtual world. However, this confused Julia.
As a long-time gamer that had been playing since the very first virtual reality game, she had seen just how far games had come. In recent years, it was almost impossible to distinguish the sensory perception between a game and reality. “I really hate to ask this… but just how is this any better than the last model in terms of realism? Processing power, storage capacity, network strength, I could understand any of those. But you’re telling me that the selling point here is the realism?”
Aurivy gave a playful grin as she heard Julia’s remark, jumping onto the couch next to her. “It’s easy! We’ve already gotten as far into realism as we can get when it comes to things like perception. According to Ash, the realism that this offers is by reading your world profile itself. That way, games can do things like let you use your real world abilities in a game.”
Julia’s brow rose when she heard that. There were various games that allowed one to use real world skills already, but those were all done by manually inputting your current level. Of course, this older method allowed one to try out a level of power that was beyond their current scope, which was a good training method. “If that’s all, it doesn’t seem like all that much of a bonus. Other games already do something similar, right?”
Aurivy’s grin only grew wider. “Other games don’t let you update your world profile when you log out of a game.”
The Goddess of Wood gasped at that comment, her head snapping to look at Aurivy. “You mean, they’ve made it possible to properly train inside of a virtual space, and actually keep that experience?”
Aurivy nodded her head. “That’s right. This model even comes with a program made by Blank himself for that very purpose. The program is essentially a blank world with our systems copied onto it. From there, you can adjust things like gravity, monster spawns, all of that. He said that it was a prototype for something he’s working on in the future.”
Julia gave the visor another glance. Unlike most current virtual reality gear, this did not simply come with a headset. Attached to the visor was a small neck brace, lined with unrecognizable machinery. Julia guessed that it was this machinery which allowed this new advancement to take place. “And… just to be sure, there’s no risk of getting trapped inside, or actually dying when you get killed in a game?”
Aurivy brought her hands up, hurriedly shaking her head. “Oh, oh Me no. Nothing like that. The profile is updated in real-time within the program, but is saved to your gear with a five second delay. When you die in the game, the update is automatically halted. No matter what, the device is hardwired to cut off the update before a death signal is sent, and will only start it back up thirty seconds after you have been revived. Even if a game is coded incredibly poorly, the hardware is incapable of forcibly killing you. Well… with a few rare exceptions.”
Julia raised her brow, prompting Aurivy to continue. “Things like energy evolutions that take more than five seconds to break through the critical period. So, people won’t be able to use this as an easy way to reach godhood, because if they fail to ascend in the program, they would only be safe if they were still at a safe point in their evolution five seconds prior.”
“Huh… it was actually starting to sound like this would have been really useful for that.” When the elf said that, Aurivy simply shook her head in denial.
“Ash had a similar idea, but it wouldn’t work out. The safe period for divine ascension would need to be as far back as half an hour, which would be unacceptable for most other applications. And setting it as an adjustable feature would open the device itself up to being hacked, having that protection disabled entirely.”
“She said she’ll work on one that has a half-hour delay specifically for those looking to ascend, but she’ll need people to test-run it for her. Given that a failed product means that the tester will die… she’s not making it a very high priority right now.”
As Julia went to ask another question, there was a knock on their front door. “Oh, who is it this time?” She asked in exasperation, standing up and moving towards the door. She had received numerous requests to aid others in the construction of their divine palaces, even after the divine craftsmen guilds began to appear.
She was sure that part of the attention was due to the fact that she was connected to a member of the Greater Pantheon. Most people probably thought that they could build a connection if they were able to become friends with her. Julia simply shook her head at the idea, as she new better than most the kinds of people the Greater Pantheon were.
When she opened the door, she was surprised to find Udona standing there, together with someone that she did not recognize. “Ah, Lady Udona.” Julia bowed in greeting to the Goddess of Life. “What brings you here today?”
“It’s exactly what you think.” The kitsune goddess said with a playful smile, causing Julia to let out a faint sigh.
“Anything special for this one?” She had gotten used to the routine at this point, as she had created the divine palace for not only Udona, but all of her Holy Knights. While some were technically able to do so themselves, Udona insisted that they all follow the same thing.
“No, just the usual will work, thanks.” Udona beamed a smile as Julia nodded, reaching her hand out. A short wand seemed to flicker into existence, roughly ten inches in length. “Oh… you’re doing it here?” Udona asked in surprise.
“Just trying something out.” Julia shook her head, waving the wand. I wish to create the seed of a great tower, a mighty fortress of wood. She focused her thoughts on what she wanted, and a small bud sprouted out of the ground at her feet, petals unfolding to reveal an acorn.
Smiling, Julia knelt down to pick the acorn up, handing it to Udona. “Just plant that in any soil rich with divine energy, and… make sure to step back. If I got it working right, it should start growing after around ten seconds, and the design should look like the others.”
Udona’s eyes lit up as she took the seed. “Really? I didn’t expect that you would be able to do something like this, even… is it the effect of your wand?”
Julia shook her head again, one finger stroking the length of her wand. “No, this just has the effect of helping to solidify my mental image. But, it came from Kiria using Eternal Wood, Black Flames, and Mister Storn’s Holy Water. The mental effect is quite powerful, so it lets me create new domain skills fairly easily.”
Udona looked at the wand, seeming impressed with the effect. “If it’s not too much of a bother, I might need to get some Eternal Wood myself. I think it should have a high compatibility with my Life domain, so I might have to get Tubrock to reforge my artifact with it.”
Julia’s eyes went wide, and she hastily shook her hands. “Of course you’re free to have some if you want it. The Eternal Tree I used for this wand is the one growing out back. Feel free to take some branches and leaves, if you need to.”
Udona simply rolled her eyes, manipulating an unseen menu in front of her. “You know that’s not how we do things.” She said, transferring a significant amount of faith to Julia. “There, for the seed as well as the materials. I’ll be back later today to pick them up.”
Julia simply let out a sigh of resignation, noting the confused look on the man with Udona. “You get used to it. Julia Hart, Goddess of Wood. I don’t think we’ve met, yet?”
“Ah, sorry. Sinclair Song, God of the Lost. I recently joined Lady Udona’s Holy Knights.” The stranger introduced himself, causing Julia to nod her head. Now that she looked more closely at him, she recognized him as one of the participants in the raid to kill the golem god.
“Well, I hope the palace suits you.” Julia said with a faint nod. “If you need anything else, you can come by. Though, if we’re not talking about buildings, Kiria’s company handles furniture requests a lot better than I do.”
“I’ll keep that in mind, thanks.” Sinclair responded, though it was clear he didn’t pay it much mind. From what Julia guessed, he was one of those who did not plan to spend much time in their Sanctum home.
At this point, am I just making vacation homes for gods? Julia questioned internally, not expecting her query to be answered by both Udona and Aurivy at once.
Yes. They said in unison.
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