Chapter 962: A Change of Pace

Thanks to the existence of Blood Heart, Mage Heart, and Digital Conversion, the world was going through a period of rapid development. This was every bit comparable to the technological advancement pace of the world that I had originally come from. In fact, given the presence of the Metong, I daresay that technology was advancing far more quickly than in that world.

Discoveries were being made at such a pace that the typical citizen wouldn’t even know if they were using outdated technology or wards.Even Olympus had to constantly update its wards, with Tubrock going through once a week to do so. Thankfully, he had installed modular warding chips in Olympus that allowed him to conveniently swap out wards on a whim.

Many of these inventions were either shared by the Metong, or inspired by concepts within Fragments of Acidia. For instance, large-scale laser miners had not been properly developed yet, but they existed within Fragments of Acidia. Because of that, people began to study them, with more and more advances being made in the process.

At this point in time, I wouldn’t dare to say that our level of advancement has reached that of Fragments of Acidia, but we are well on our way to reaching it. At the same time, there are things that exist within our world that don’t exist in the game.

There was an almost cataclysmic explosion within the black space created for testing new magic. “That one was so close!” Ryone pouted, thinking back to the previous experiment. “If we can find the diagrams for fifth-tier magic, we should be able to achieve a proper spell.”

“I do not believe that it will be so easy.” Gerard spoke up with a shake of his head, his arms crossing over his chest. “We have been conducting this research for quite some time with little progress. Were it not for your reserves as the Goddess of Magic, and a member of the Greater Pantheon at that, I doubt that we would have been able to continue for this long.”

“Is that your way of saying that you need a break?” Ryone asked with a small grin, only for Gerard to shake his head once again.

“On the contrary, I do believe that we are making good progress. However, simply hoping to discover a new tier of spell diagrams will not be enough. Furthermore, I have a conjecture.”

“Go on?” Ryone arched a brow, Gerard nodding his head as he continued.

“I believe that the size of the fifth tier spell can start off on a larger scale, before shrinking it down after we find the proper patterns to use. The further the spell is scaled down, the more accurate the mental image needs to be. I do not believe that it is an exaggeration to say that a single fifth-tier spell could be tens of thousands of times harder to complete than an advanced fourth-tier spell.”

“Yeah, you might have a point.” Ryone nodded her head with a faint sigh. “We’ve already basically concluded that the primary theme of advancing to the fifth tier is compression. The three-dimensional models remain unchanged, and we just need to adjust the patterns engraved in them. It’s annoying that my divinity won’t give me an answer for stuff like this!”

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“You could just ask the Keeper.” Gerard pointed out, only for Ryone to shake her head.

“No, I want to figure this out for myself. We’ve come this far, I’m not about to give up now.” Ryone had an indignant look on her face, clearly unwilling to back down from this challenge. Seeing this, Gerard shook his head.

“Outside of Programmed Intelligences, or Arcane Intelligences like myself, there are very few beings capable of freely casting fourth-tier magic. Those that do have almost all gone through the three steps of perfection, or possess a divine domain related to magic. With that thought in mind, perhaps the advancement of fifth-tier magic was not meant to be achievable at this stage in our civilization.”

As Gerard said that, Ryone blinked, a thought occurring to her. “Wait… that’s right.”

“…I have the distinct feeling that you and I have different opinions on what we’re discussing. However, please elaborate.”

“Well, the tier of a spell doesn’t necessarily determine its power, right? Overloading a first-tier spell can give it the power of a second-tier spell. Unless I use my divinity, I can’t even reach the limits that I could push a third-tier spell.” Ryone began, starting to pace back and forth.

“The primary field of focus in magic development is combat magic. However, every tier of magic increases not power, but complexity. Let’s compare it to programming. A first tier spell is a single line of code. Second tier is a single function. Third tier is a simple program with conditional statements. Fourth tier experiences a large jump, capable of complex programs that can even give birth to Arcane Intelligences like yourself.”

“As far as combat goes, a single fourth-tier spell can be maintained for long periods, but most combat would be done with third-tier spells at the greatest. After all, you don’t lose much in power, and it is far less taxing on the mind to cast. Fourth-tier spells, instead, are used for production, research, or more complex desires than combat.”

“Let’s take things a step further. What would fifth tier spells be used for? Even more powerful programs? We’re already making programs that can think for themselves, so what comes next?”

Gerard furrowed his brow as he heard Ryone’s question. “A virtual world? Are you saying that the pinnacle of fifth-tier spellcasting should be the creation of an entire world?”

Only allowed on

Ryone let out a groan, gripping her forehead. “No wonder we haven’t been able to get it! Custom world creation, as recognized by the world, is still so far beyond us!”

Gerard blinked at that, before his eyes seemed to go unfocused. “There is a research paper on this subject, released six years ago. Your theory just now coincides with their prediction for fifth-tier magic. Furthermore, they posit that the creation of an Arcane Intelligence like myself will merely be a means to an end, and that it will be impossible to cast fifth-tier magic without one such being.”

“At the same time, they have expanded the theory to include sixth-tier magic. It is their belief that the creation of a world through fifth-tier magic is merely a prerequisite to casting sixth-tier magic. As for anything beyond the sixth-tier, they do not believe that it exists.”

Ryone arched a brow at Gerard’s report. “Okay… I don’t believe it, though. I don’t believe that people won’t be able to cast fifth-tier magic without the aid of an Arcane Intelligence. That said… a support item to cast fourth-tier spells is certainly doable. There are already a few of those, though they’re larger and more bulky versions of the assistant devices from Fragments of Acidia.”

After she said that, Ryone paused, and a switch seemed to flip in her head. “Gerard, get me eight Digital Conversion Scanners, immediately!” She said with an almost manic grin.

Although confused, Gerard quickly moved to obey, leaving the testing chamber. He only returned five minutes later, carrying a pile of silver devices. “Are you wanting to scan me?” He asked, not understanding what Ryone was after yet.

“No, no. Just set them up in a large cube. Each side should at least be three meters long!” She watched as Gerard began installing the scanners in the testing area, following her specifications. Soon, the eight scanners were in place, and Gerard retreated from the scanning area.

Curiously, he looked at Ryone to see what she would do. He watched as she extended her hand forward, focusing her mana. Within the scanning area, a three-dimensional structure began to emerge, created by overlapping numerous intricately carved shapes. At this moment, Gerard could already guess what Ryone was planning, though he knew the difficulty involved in it.

Even if one were able to create the spell diagram for a fourth-tier spell, it would be even more difficult to prevent that diagram from being triggered. After all, the spell was being triggered by the very mana used to create this.

Because of this, when creating a spell diagram for ‘display purposes’, one had to make their mana purposely thin. Just enough to be visible without providing the energy requirements for casting the spell. In the world of magic, this was known as ‘bluffing’ a spell. After all, you create a brilliant, complex spell diagram to intimidate your opponent, all without letting them know that you didn’t have the mana reserves to really cast that spell.

Usually, this was done with third-tier spells, as they were often seen as more intimidating when observed. There weren’t many capable of bluffing a fourth-tier spell. “Start the scanning process.” Ryone said, a determined look on her face.

Gerard quickly moved, initiating the scan. Ryone had to maintain an extreme level of focus to hold the spell in its ‘bluff’ state during the scanning process. Once it was done, she let out a brief sigh, looking expectantly at her research assistant.

Already knowing what he should do, Gerard retrieved the file from the device and handed it over to Ryone. She focused, registering the file with the Digital Conversion system. Once done, she opened her system menu to find it, a grin forming on her face. “Sure enough, all it is asking for is mana.”

Without hesitation, Ryone chose to create that file. Her mana flowed automatically, forming the same spell diagram as before. As it was already made from her mana, all she had to do was add just a bit more to ‘complete’ the cast.

“Your intention is to save spells in Digital Conversion in this manner, and use the files as a system-protected spellbook?” Gerard asked curiously, though Ryone only shook her head.

“No, I’ve got something bigger in mind.” She said, extending a hand again. This time, a simple mark appeared in the scanning area, the third-tier mark for Flame.

Gerard’s eyes widened, realizing what she meant. “You want to create a magical library, and then have a device created that can merge these spell components together. I believe that Dana created a program for that some time ago on her terminal as a simulation.”

“That’s right. That’s the basic foundation for what we’re doing. However, we need one that will integrate with the system. It needs to accept the DC files, use the editing software that she made, and then save it as a new file. Additionally, there needs to be a positioning component. There are a lot of spells that you don’t want to trigger right in front of yourself.”

Gerard nodded his head at that. It was especially true for spells that you weren’t sure would work for whatever reason. “How long will it take you to go through the entire library of spell components?”

Ryone’s eyes twitched when she heard that. “Assuming that it takes three seconds for each scan… we’re going to be here a while. Let’s just put it that way.”

Gerard paused, before eventually nodding his head. “At the very least, this will be more advanced than the casting assistant devices used within Fragments of Acidia.”

“I don’t know about that. They have some pretty high-tech ones. The main difference between the two is the fact that our magic systems aren’t compatible. Though, now I’m curious what would happen if I took these spell diagram files into Fragments of Acidia to convert them.”

“I believe that I can answer that quite simply.” Gerard smiled. “In the state that the files are saved, they are merely for display. Thus, if they were to be sent into Fragments of Acidia, they would retain their shape and energy structure, but you would not be able to activate them as their original magic spell.”

“…Okay, that makes sense, but it’s still frustrating.” Ryone groaned, shaking her head at that statement.

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