[su_accordion] Chapter 167: I’ve Been Busy, Okay?[/su_accordion]
Author’s Corner: For the record, being sick sucks.
After having returned to the ship, I immediately disconnected the link between myself and my clone body. Sitting up sharply, I let out a rough gasp, the pain from the previous experience still running wild across my skin. Although I was no longer having my skin reconstructed over and over, the memory of the pain was much harder to get over.
“You okay? John?” I heard a familiar voice calling into my mind, and only gave a shaky nod in response. “You rest for a little bit. We got what we need here, so I’ll take over to send us to the next place.” Again, I could only give another nod to Celeste’s words.
Soon, the door to the medbay opened, and both Sharon and Yin ran in with worried faces. “What happened down there, John? We just saw your clone in the teleport bay.” Sharon asked, causing some confusion. Most of the injuries should have healed by the time that anyone saw the body. Or, did they notice that almost all of the ‘extra life’ scales on the clone’s forehead were gone?
“Just… Got in a bit over my head with a new power.” I said, giving a bitter smile, one of my hands still trembling slightly. Yin gave me a stern look, moving to my side and placing her hand atop my own. Thankfully, that seemed to stop the shaking.
“Be careful next time.” She said in a serious voice. I chuckled dryly, nodding my head in agreement. Although I doubted that I would ever find another mana source that large and dense, I had no intention to repeat that event.
A few moments later, the ship seemed to rock slightly, the telltale sign that we had entered subspace. Although I did not know where we were going exactly, I had a few guesses. After all, I had seen the map we made of Ackbar’s signals as well. Though, focusing on that was a bit difficult at the moment.
Deep breaths, John… This was an entirely different kind of trauma than being trapped in that time bubble, so naturally I had to deal with it the hard way. Thankfully, Yin and Sharon were here to make things more bearable.
We stayed in the medbay for roughly half an hour, before my body had stopped shaking enough for me to get up and move. At that point, with Sharon and Yin’s help, we made our way to the bridge. Bed would be preferable, but the captain’s chair is still pretty comfortable.
“Status report.” I called out as I walked into the bridge, not giving time for the usual game of ‘salute the captain’. I could see that half of the officers were already halfway to standing up by the time I opened my mouth.
Celeste, standing by my chair, turned and gave me a nod. “We’re heading to the first location now. There aren’t any records of civilizations starting from this area from the information I gained in NeoLife, but as we learned from the Qu’Lopti, that does not prove anything.”
I nodded my head slightly, moving over with only slight difficulty to sit in the most comfortable chair in all of creation. At least, that’s how it felt right now. “Make a note that we need to come back to Chimera some time in the future, to see how the planet is doing. It should stop spiralling out of control for a while, at least.”
Celeste smiled, nodding. “Will do, Captain. Now, the Deus Ex asked me to convey a message while you were incapacitated. They saw your display of power below, and inquired how it was you managed to do that, as it did not seem a biological trait.” Oh right, we never gave them the detailed class information the first time we made contact, did we..? And that’s not exactly something that they would know to ask the other allied races.
“Ah… what did you tell them?”
“I gave them the list of basic classes, and a few known advanced classes, as well as the means to acquire them. Since your case is a bit special, I left out the information regarding the evolution of groves. Given their personalities, if they knew what it took, I imagine that many of the Deus Ex would willingly grow their groves to the Universe stage as quickly as possible.”
Hearing her answer, I was somewhat relieved. Honestly, just one person having that type of power is already bad enough. If more and more people appeared like me, more importantly people that knew how to really use this kind of power, that would cause chaos.
“Is there anything else?”
Celeste shook her head, signalling that that was all. Well, I could only expect so much to happen during the time that I was down on the planet, and then recovering in the medbay. Right now, we should be quite a distance away from Chimera, so even if something were to happen as a result of what I did, we would have no way to tell.
““Envoy!”” Eleven voices rang out all at once in the fleet chat, the leaders of the Qu’Lopti flights calling together.
“Uhm… what?” I had a bad feeling about this…
“That was amazing!” Said the first one, one of the leaders of the Judgement flights. Oh god… they had been watching.
“Show us how to do that, too!” Said another one.
“Celeste…” I called out weakly to her, and she simply chuckled. Now, to deal with this how I have dealt with over enthusiastic Qu’Lopti for the last several years. By ending the call and ignoring their existence. Must not fall for the chuuni virus.
Sharon grinned wryly from next to me, shaking her head. Looking over at Celeste, she asked a question. “How long until we reach the next area?”
Celeste thought about it for only a second before answering. “Assuming that we don’t run into any distractions, it should take us five days.”
Sharon gave a nod at that, and then reached down to help me out of the chair. “Then, if you don’t mind, we are relieving the captain of duty for a little while. If you need him, you know where to find him.” She smiled towards Yin, who nodded her head. Hey, don’t I get a say in this?!
It appeared that I did not, because I was led away with the two girls holding my arms to support me. On the way, I ran into Yo and Yang… did Yo just kiss her? I felt as if my mind blanked for a bit there, and by the time I noticed what was going on, I was almost to my room.
“Yo and Yang are a thing?” I asked, in a slightly dazed tone. What about Kismet?
Yin raised a curious eyebrow, while Sharon’s eyes went wide. “Eh? You never noticed?”
“Been a bit busy, if you forgot…” I glanced around at the ship to emphasize my point. Sharon chuckled at that, nodding her head in acceptance.
“Some dad you are. Didn’t even notice his ‘daughter’ growing a harem.” Sharon gave me a mischievous grin, saying something completely outrageous. A harem? I haven’t been that busy, have I?
“Uhm… harem… huh… who else?” Words, please form into proper sentences, I seriously know what I wanted to ask, I swear.
“Hmm?” Sharon looked at me thoughtfully. “Well, there’s Priscilla and Aelsgwynn, too, right?” She looks at Yin for confirmation.
“Celeste.” Yin says calmly.
“Oh, right! Though, Celeste isn’t really like the rest.” Sharon explained, and I could hear a roaring laughter in my mind. “She hasn’t really ‘fallen’ for Yo, as far as I know. Uhm… I think that’s it?”
Yin nodded her head, agreeing. I couldn’t help but look between the two of them. “And… Kismet is fine with that?”
“Yup!” Sharon said with a smile. “He just wants Yo to be happy, and every now and then I think he joins the fun.”
Please, don’t make me imagine the ‘fun’. Regardless of racial differences, I still spent the last several years in a pseudo-parental relationship with Yo. “And… I was the only one that didn’t know?” I mean, some of it really couldn’t be helped. I hadn’t actually spoken to Aelsgwynn much at all. Priscilla mostly talks about alchemy and magic research when she’s around me. And I would never even think of Yo and Yang being together.
“Basically.” This time it was Yin who spoke up, with Sharon following with a better explanation.
“Well, you really could blame Priscilla. She kind of got Yo started on her path of conquest when she wanted to use her for some alchemy research. Since we were still on the Qu’Lopti world at the time… it didn’t take long for her to learn about harems. But, like you said, you’ve been busy.” Sharon patted my back reassuringly. “Don’t worry, we’ve been making sure that Yo doesn’t touch anyone that’s off limits. She is still just a good big sister to Tokemi.”
“Good…” If Yo had touched the innocent fox loli… I might have lost it. “Are there any other major developments with the crew I’ve missed?”
“Nathan and Clara.” Yin spoke up again, making Sharon’s eyes widen as we got to the door.
“Eh, what happened with them?” She asked curiously. Good, at least I’m not the only one that is clueless about some things.
“Married.” That was Yin’s entire explanation. But, really? Nathan, the talisman expert, married the bubbly catgirl? I guess it made a kind of sense, somehow.
“Wow, really? Never thought he had it in him to propose. He seemed like a certain someone else we know..” Don’t look at me, I proposed properly! I just took a little while…
“He didn’t.” Oh…
Sharon looked back to Yin, “What? Then…”
“He made her propose?” Sharon looked incredulously at her as we finally entered my room, receiving only a nod from Yin. “Wow…”
After that… well, we didn’t talk so much. No, we did not have five days of rampant sex. We did a lot of cuddling, but that was it. We also talked more about the developments with the crew that I had missed while focusing on other things. I swear it’s not my fault, okay?!
Speaking of, there was another, rather important development that we learned from Sharon. Specifically regarding her animal companions. According to her, once an animal evolved to the last stage, their pregnancies would last a full nine months. It had taken this long to get reliable information back due to the slow growth of the offspring, but now she could properly tell me.
When they mated, the offspring would have the same race as the parents, or some hybrid if they were not exactly the same. Not the original race of the parents, but the final one. This meant that the four year old cubs had power on the same level as their fully matured parents, due to the evolution process. And, if that child then evolved, Sharon had the theory that it could continue to reach more advanced forms through the generations.
I began to wonder at that, recalling some information that Celeste had told me long ago in NeoLife, regarding the ultimate evolution. Would it be possible for Sharon’s animal companions to eventually evolve into Divinities? That would obviously take a long time yet, especially since they seem to have much more natural growth cycles than they previously did.
But that was also curious. Why would the growth cycles have slowed down when they became more powerful? The lower level monsters that never evolved were still waging the daily generation war to gain strength and evolve, but the higher level ones had changed. Though, I suppose a better question could be why they had such an absurd growth rate in the first place. Or, was this just one of the secrets of the universe that a certain god didn’t feel like sharing?
Hey, don’t blame this one on me. I’m not the God of Sex or anything like that! Though, that would be an awesome title.