It did not take long after Chel forged her own divine spark before the information was sent directly to the Citadel. This was an invitation to the two servant deities of the Keeper, inviting them to come and obtain a new divinity.
Had this been anyone else, perhaps Tsubaki would have felt suspicious. However, despite the trauma left behind on her from her first encounter with James, she knew that he was an incredibly trustworthy person. The fact that he had sent this message meant that there was essentially no risk of danger to the people involved in the process.
Thus, the two of them arrived, cooperating with Chel as they went through the process of having a fragment of their divinity cleansed and reforged. Although the entire process had taken just under an hour for Chel herself, it was much longer to forge a divinity that was already complete. Tsubaki and Lifre each had to wait five hours before the process was done, a total of a ten hour visit to the research lab.
Once that ten hours was over, both of them had received a golden slab, Chel helping it to fuse back into their divinity. "Now, over the next week or two, just focus on this fresh divinity in your body to train whatever form of domain you want to learn next." She said with a smile, the two nodding their heads in understanding.
It was clear that they were giving serious consideration as to what they wanted for their next domain. Though… Lifre seemed to have an idea already, a wide smile splitting her face.
"So, what are you going to get?" Aurivy asked, glancing over at me while we watched Tsubaki and Lifre meditating within the Citadel. For the moment, Dana was handling the real-world tasks while their Virtual selves continued to relax.
"I’m not sure yet…" I shook my head honestly, still undecided and what I wanted the final piece of my trinity to be. There were simply too many options, and I couldn’t figure out both what worked as a full trinity, and what would work on its own.
Aurivy nodded, a small chuckle coming from her lips. "Yeah, I’m pretty much the textbook example of a hodgepodge trinity. Though, in your defense we didn’t know that the trinity was a thing back then. And I definitely wanted the dungeon domain. So, let’s take a look at what you have right now?"
"First of all, there’s the Mirrors domain. And this is the only one that I think you should really focus on." She said with a wry grin. "You cheated for the Illusion domain, and had your Host cultivate it on its own. If your Host ever dies, you’ll need to cultivate it all over again."
That was definitely true… I gave a long sigh in acceptance. "At least there are Immortals in the cultivation worlds now, so I’ll be able to quickly rise to the peak next time. But right, focusing on Mirrors."
Aurivy smiled wide. "First of all, you originally obtained the Mirrors domain as a scouting method, right? I’ll admit that it has some useful perks for combat, but its primary purpose was to assist in scouting during invasions, when you couldn’t access our support."
"Yeah, I’d like to focus on the invasions for my domains. At any other point, I can use my Keeper abilities to work through a situation, or ask you guys for help."
When Aurivy heard that, she gave a look of understanding, eyes closed and her head slowly nodding. "Right. Your Illusion domain was chosen for that purpose, too. So, let’s get back to what your needs are for an invasion. With the Mirrors, you have the ability to scout. What else do you need for an invasion?"
I lowered my head in thought, having to really consider that. "If I’m facing an enemy, it’d be nice to be able to look into their minds to understand the world that they come from. That way, I can sell the information. On a more immediate basis, I need a way to protect my people from the invasion and defeat the enemies."
Aurivy gave another nod. "Something to let you get information, protect people, and defeat enemies…" As she thought about that, a small, playful smile began to creep over her lips. "Something the synergizes well with mirrors, and can be supported by illusions."
"I know that look. You have an idea, but it’s something so funny that you don’t want to immediately say it while leaving me in suspense." I said, though Aurivy simply leaned forward to look past me to glance at Irena.
"Are you thinking what I’m thinking?" She asked with that same smile, to which Irena shook her head, a look of confusion on her face.
"I don’t think that I am…"
"Oh, come on… I thought you of all people would get this! A way to use mirrors and illusions more effectively, the one missing component needed to be able to gather information, attack, and protect all in one!" Aurivy huffed, though Irena still looked confused. "Ugh… it’s Souls! If you prevent the destruction of the soul, you can gather information from it. You can call on an army of the dead from the Underworld to protect the living, and can kill powerful enemies by extinguishing their souls."
I blinked at that, looking over at Irena. "That… wouldn’t I be overlapping a bit much with Irena, there? I don’t want to make it look like she is losing any of her authority in the Underworld." If the souls worshiping Irena suddenly changed to focus on me, it might cause a pretty big balance shift, which I was honestly wanting to avoid.
The playful glint in Aurivy’s eyes only became more intense at that. "Isn’t it fine if you make your relationship with her clear? Though the other two might get jealous if you don’t do the same with them, as well."
That made me pause temporarily, before nodding my head. Most of the world knew by now that I at least had an affair with Ryone, which produced Leowynn. However, my relationship with Terra was not that widespread, and nobody yet knew of my relationship with Irena. "Would that really be alright…" I muttered to myself, feeling a soft hand grabbing one of my own.
Looking up, I saw Irena smiling at me, offering a soft nod. "It would make me very happy…" Her usual poker face was slightly flushed, an innocent smile only adding to her charm.
Aurivy let out a light laugh, hopping up to her feet. "Alright, we need to let the other two know! As the Goddess of Love, I have to preside over this holy matrimony. Just think… the Holy Maidens of the Keeper. The Goddesses of Death, Magic, and Fate all brought together in an official relationship."
"Actually…" I looked up at Aurivy, smiling as I interrupted her. "Could we wait a little bit for that? I’ll get my Souls domain after this invasion, but… for the ceremony itself, I’d like to have it take place during the Keeper meeting next month."
The timing felt too perfect not to have the ceremony at that meeting, and… every date I had with Irena took place there, so it only felt right for any marriage ceremony to be at those meetings as well. Almost like it was special for us. And given how Irena was giving a shy nod of her head, it seemed that she agreed.
"Well then, Casanova, you’ll have to go talk to the other brides to be and get them on board." Aurivy said with a mischievous smile. "You can’t have someone else deliver the news that they’re being invited to their own wedding, can you?"
My eyes went wide at that, just imagining how Ryone and Terra would react. Needless to say, I would never hear the end of it if the news came from anyone other than myself. As such, I quickly rose to my feet with a nod, Aurivy giggling as she watched me walk down the hall.
"Like this?" Leowynn asked, mobilizing her divine energy to cooperate with Ryone. The two had been working on a way to optimize the Boundless Caravan for a while now, making the automated creation of materials less of a strain on Leowynn’s divinity. Because almost everything required raw materials, she was not making as much of a profit off of the trade platform as other gods.
Granted, everyone had to do business with her, but the cost of producing the materials almost met the amount of divinity that she obtained in return. As such, she had to practice on how to create the materials more efficiently on her own, and then update the automatic methods on the caravan to match.
"Right." Ryone smiled. "If you prepare in advance by mass producing common materials, you’ll be able to save your energy overall. Every month, you can just check what the most commonly requested raw materials are, and then create a ‘void farm’ if there is anything new on the list."
Leowynn nodded, though her divinity shook when the door to her mother’s room opened, her dad standing in the doorway with a somewhat awkward expression. Leowynn naturally smiled at the sight of her dad, waving towards him. Ryone similarly grinned, turning to face him. "So, what brings you here at this hour?" She asked, seeming surprised at his sudden intrusion.
"I want to ask you something." Dale said, making Ryone even more interested. Usually, any questions he had with the gods and goddesses were conducted through mental chat, unless they were already with him in person.
"Oh, this should be good. Go on?" Ryone’s grin grew wider, though Dale’s next words caused her expression to immediately shift.
"Will you marry me?" When he said that, Leowynn gasped, her hands covering her mouth. Ryone’s jaw went slack, eyes wide as Dale approached. He leaned in, capturing Ryone’s mouth with his own while Leowynn quickly covered her eyes with her hands. Of course, while leaving a small gap between her fingers to peek through.
"W-What brought this on so suddenly?" Ryone asked, flustered as the kiss finally broke. She was clearly happy, just surprised by the sudden turn of events.
"Something Aurivy said." Dale answered simply, Ryone chuckling in an almost knowing fashion. Aurivy wasn’t the Goddess of Love for nothing.
"So, when is it? I imagine that you’re asking Irena and Terra, as well?" Ryone asked, her smile becoming incredibly warm.
"I’ve already spoken with Irena. As for Terra, I’m going to talk to her next. I was hoping to have it at the next Keeper meeting. I’m… curious to see what kind of facility will appear to facilitate a marriage for a Keeper." There was a playful look on Dale’s face as he said that, causing Ryone to laugh.
"Well, you won’t have to go very far…." Ryone nodded towards Dale, who blinked and looked behind himself. Terra stood there, huffing from what was obviously a fast run to sprint into the room.
"Why didn’t you ask me first?!" She complained, launching herself at Dale to wrap her arms around him. Ryone could tell that her tone was still playful, so she wasn’t genuinely mad about it. As such, she let out another happy laugh, one hand on her stomach.