chapter 97: watching the worlds turn

Huh… I never figured refining could be done like that. I thought to myself as I watched the scene of the felyn man creating a chakram. Though, I inevitably facepalmed when I realized the relationship between the name and its purpose. At least I’m not the only one with a bad naming sense around here.

From what I could see, the Legacy Class system was starting to be put to good use. As evidence of that, the felyn ninja that had invented the chakram actually possessed a class known as Ninja Craftsman. When I looked at the class details, I actually discovered something rather interesting…

It seemed that the system had added an unintentional hidden feature in the legacy classes, or maybe it was just how it was worded, but as the Keeper I was able to see the list of skills recorded for the class. For this particular class, the skills were… Metal Melting Seal, Metal Engraving Seal, Talisman Script and Talisman Bind?

Three of these skills I had just witnessed the man using personally, assuming that the talisman script explained the symbols he engraved on the chakram. As for the last one…? I focused on the binding skill, and a short written description appeared, likely written by the progenitor of the class. ‘This skill enables one to bind a half-completed chakra technique into a talisman, to be activated when given the proper signal.’

Okay, the Legacy Class system ended up being way more useful for me than I expected. If I’m reading this right, I will have access to the written logs of any legacy class I identify. I’ll still need to train the skills myself, but this changes things from blind study to giving me a brief guide. And, having that little bit of a guide could bring quite a lot of help in the future.

I made a mental note to start looking for interesting legacy classes later on, once the system became more widespread. For now, it seemed to still be a fairly rarely used system. Once more people discover it, and it becomes common knowledge, it’ll probably be used a lot.

Only allowed on

Nodding my head, I moved on to the next order of business. Which was… Uhm… Do I really have anything that needs my immediate attention? I glanced through the world again, and aside from a couple of mundane wars fought over territory, or people catching up to the Metal Age, there actually didn’t seem to be much new going on. It was at that moment that I remembered the existence of the herocs, and went in to check on them.

…They’re still living in caves? At least they seemed to have fire, but there honestly wasn’t much more to their civilization yet beyond that. I wonder how far behind in terms of civilization the absence of a god will leave them. Then again, they also had a much later start to begin with. I gave it some thought, and decided to check in on them again after my next major fast forward.

Ah, I hadn’t checked on the Underworld in a while!

Within the Underworld, a significant change had spread throughout the last several hundred years. This all started when the Governor of the Fallen stepped down, choosing to hand his position over to a high ranking Daeva official. Before that, many people had still stubbornly refused to follow the rules left behind by the Goddess, saying that there was no reason to follow a creature that was more beast than man.

Even with the various restrictions placed on those that did not follow the system, their stubborn pride had made them unrelenting. There were examples of this in almost all races, aside from the centaurs themselves. However, seeing this, the previous Governor could only resign himself to handing the position over to a native of the realm.

Now, Janum Tatar led the Underworld. And things were… different than they had been. Although some people still stubbornly resisted the system, demanding that their own races be in charge, they were by far the minority. At the same time, several new systems had been put in place under the new Governor’s orders.

The previous Spirit Academy was now divided in two. On one side, there was the School of Thought, an academy designed to educate various students about the history of both the living world and the Underworld, as well as training those who would become the Reapers. The other side was the School of War, which contained the previous pagoda of trials, as well as taking the liberty to train future Spirit Hunters.

In order to be recognized as a full citizen of the Underworld, it was necessary to pass the first tests of both the School of Thought and the School of War, showing that someone had the basic aptitude to survive in the Underworld. In order to qualify for the Army of Souls, one must pass the third test of at least one school.

Most people chose not to join the army, as it was possible to live a long and simple life even without doing so. Given the very nature of the world, currency posed very little value, so they would not be forced to work for a living. However, if they wanted anything extravagant, they would need to barter. And in order to have anything worth bartering, having either more power or a higher education was needed.

Yet, the highest level anyone had ever reached in the School of War was the twelfth floor. Within the twelfth floor, truly terrifying monsters resided. Some were almost big enough to swallow up an entire city, while others possessed slim and nimble bodies.

At this time, someone was challenging that very floor. From his outer appearance, he seemed to be a human, but right now his eyes were pitch black. His body was covered with an ornate golden armor, while in his hands a pair of glistening swords were held.

This man was once known as Noss Flem, a member of the order Wraith which watched over the safety of the human continent. With his former talent as a Spirit Tamer and Spirit Hunter, it was easy for him to move up in the ranks, gathering stronger and stronger powers. He had even returned to Earth in the regular patrols, all for the sake of his desire to grow.

After dying over a hundred years ago, Noss had long since hit the apex of power, but was never satisfied. In his mind, there was always something greater. This very building he was in served as proof of that.

“Bene, Chara, let’s go.” He spoke aloud, and his two swords hummed in approval. The true form of these blades were companions that Noss had known in life, as they too had been Wraiths with him. Yet, due to the constant warring of the humans, their lives had been cut short.

Before their spirits could pass on, they met Noss, and asked him to bind them to him. In their minds, their duties were not yet done. Not so long as the spirits still threatened the land.

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Like this, Noss realized the greatest power of the Spirit Hunter, a power which could be achieved only when one received the soul of a powerful person. While his armor was formed from a simple lion, his two swords were able to release immense power.

It did not take long for Noss to find his enemy for this floor. The one he encountered was of the giant type, which suited him fine. It was a towering behemoth, likely to be even larger than the pagoda itself if placed outside. And though it had a vaguely human shape, its skin squirmed with every movement. Aside from a giant mouth in place of where its stomach should have been, there were no real identifying features to it.

Yet still, the moment Noss found it, the creature seemed to react as if it had seen him. Slowly, its hulking legs moved forward, bringing it closer and closer to Noss with every step. Seeing this, Noss chose to simply remain where he was, the grip on his swords tightening further.

When the creature was just before him, it decided to go with the tried and true method of killing anything smaller than one’s foot… by stepping on him. Noss watched as the giant squirming blob of a leg descended towards him, and two faint figures appeared behind him. These were the true forms of his swords, which could only appear when he used their powers.

A flash of light struck through the skies, cleaving through the leg that had been descending. Noss’s two swords were now respectively coated in light and shadow. While the blade of light severed all spirits in his path, the blade of darkness slashed out. Where it passed, the other leg of the giant monster seemed to be erased, causing it to fall back with a shout that echoed through the pagoda.

Not missing his chance, Noss ran forward, slashing out with light and darkness together. Though this consumed a great deal of spiritual energy, this was a benefit of a Spirit Tamer, as their contracted spirits could pay the price for them.

While he cut his way towards the belly of the beast, the hulking creature seemed to explode into scattered shards of flesh, which quickly reformed in the distance. This time, he was much smaller than his previous appearance, but the mouth looked more vicious. When the mouth opened, a jet-black beam of energy shot out, and Noss thought for a moment that he heard the screams of fallen souls within the attack.

This was an attack which most spiritual monsters could use, to a varying degree. Even so, it was rarely seen, as it required them to spend the souls of those they had devoured to launch it. “Five hundred… Maybe six?” Noss thought out loud as he watched the beam coming towards him, estimating how many souls the creature had just consumed. He knew that he had no chance of blocking such a blast, even with his manifested armor. After slashing out once each with the swords of light and darkness, he ran to the side, avoiding the blast altogether while circling closer to his opponent.

When the creature saw that its attack had been delayed by the blasts of light and shadow, it hesitated to launch another. The toll of the first blast was already starting to show, its size beginning to decrease again. In the end, it decided to end the battle with its overwhelming strength, charging in to meet Noss head on.

Did it forget that I already cut off its legs once? Noss thought to himself, recalling just how dumb these spirits tended to be. Only the smaller ones showed any real intelligence, so he was happy to face a brute.

When the two met again, the victor was already determined as Noss carved his way through the creature’s core. This made him the first person in history to complete the twelfth level. Yet, he was not arrogant enough to immediately charge into the thirteenth. His swords had used up most of their energy, and would need to recharge for several days before he could fight like that again.

“Okay, I guess that counts as interesting.” I muttered to myself, watching the scene between the human and the spirit monster. “Considering that the one he fought was just over level two hundred, that’s a pretty good result.” Even at max level, that left him over fifty levels below his enemy. Still… I doubted he’d be able to last long against the Chimera souls on the thirteenth floor.

Looking around the rest of the Underworld, I found that it had undergone another expansion. Cities were now closer together, and more abundant than they had been before. This was likely a result of various powerful spirits setting up their own territories within the Underworld, and inhabitants naturally gathering around them. Not everyone had the willpower to create an entire home out of smoke, after all.

“Is there anything else…?” I thought as I looked around the various areas of the world, before deciding I was done for now. “I guess I can go let Terra and Aurivy know that I’ll be down soon.” I could feel a small smile on my lips as I thought about visiting the two of them.

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