IS, V5, Chapter 1: Envy Part 5

*Author’s Note*

Apparently this is my 1000th post?

***

 

The “Super Lorelei Project” was an idea that Levi came up with, but since he was just a voice in my head, I obviously took credit for it. Of course, it wasn’t only about me wanting to be able to beat the shit out of that stupid tiger-bitch!

Nope, Mikey needed my help! Pinky and Lyn, or Pinky-Lyn as I started calling them, were already working on loads of different things… But when Mikey came to us in his magical Spirit form, I knew that things were probably a lot more serious than he was letting on.

Okay, maybe ‘I’ couldn’t tell that something was wrong. Levi on the other hand, he told me “Mike knows too much.”

Levi was whispering into my ear like always, “He knows about the future, the past, other realities, different lives… It’s too much for anyone to comprehend, even Deities. That’s why he likes to ‘seal’ his memories every now and then. Hell, I don’t blame him. I’ve done the same thing loads of times. But if he had my help, he would’ve been able to figure out where we were. Ya know? Like where in what universe we are at the moment. I have my suspicions, but… Well, I would need his help if I wanted to know for sure. That’s why you need to take me to him. If this is where I think we are, then things are pretty complicated.”

None of that really made any sense to me at the time, but I definitely wanted to see Mikey as soon as possible. So I asked Pinky if she knew a way to reach him quickly, because she had actually been a few times before.

The answer she gave was: “There are two methods. The first would be conventional flight without the aid of magic. There are several species of wyvern and roc that are capable of reaching that altitude. The second would be a lot easier, assuming that you had control over one of those World Trees. It would be possible to find one of their roots within Lorthon Forest and teleport there directly. The third method would be climbing up one of the trees, ideally utilizing the aid of a mount… Hmmm, would you like me to grow you one? Perhaps a Colossal Squirrel? It will be difficult to reach those trees however. Since the mana-radiation in the Forest of Corruption is quite potent. You have already experienced it yourself.”

I was going to give up, but then Ailyn told me “Oh, yeah, that mana-radiation nonsense isn’t such a big deal. We can just use black mithril and some other mana-resistant materials to create protective gear. The only reason you were so affected before was because you were practically naked! Besides, we found out that when the people and creatures from the high-mana zones go to the low-mana zones, it causes the opposite problem. The solution to both is to simply make suits that can keep all the mana within their bodies from radiating out.”

It was a time of crazy-fast technological, magical and biological improvements. Everyone was struggling to be the first to come up with new things. Lorelei Incorporated wasn’t the only organization in all of Alfirin though. There were loads of others popping up every day.

The competition only made the overall improvements to quality of life and military strength intensify. Oh yeah, and what most people didn’t know was that I owned shares in every one of our competitors! No matter if it was Lorelei Incorporated, Lyn-Tech, Yuri-Corp, Michael Industries or Trixie Armaments… I created them all! Muhahahaha~!

Even if I didn’t personally name or create the others, I still invested in them and allowed them to grow. Well, things never got that serious though. There were a few cases in the beginning of people murdering each other over business deals gone bad, but Trixie got all bent out of shape and pissed off. So she ended up publicly executing the murderers to make an example out of them.

In the event that people did use sneaky tricks, blackmail and other shady maneuvers, the victims were able to bring it up with the Justice Department. Everyone involved would have to be telepathically interrogated and if proven truthful, the guilty party would be held accountable. They would have to pay for the mental and physical damages in currency or other goods, then they’d also get an extra fine that would go to Alfirin as a type of ‘tax’.

What? You don’t care about all that nonsense?! That’s important juicy information! My brilliance and awesome foresight is what allow Alfirin to become so amazing! Okay, fine! Levi helped a little bit!

Anyway, I don’t know the exact date anymore, but it was a while after my chat with Mikey that things started to get hectic. Rae-Rae and Big Bro were in the middle of testing their fancy new magical super weapon in the desert, when they just disappeared somewhere. Coffee got abducted by some really overpowered Spirit too, which was way too coincidental to be a coincidence, if you know what I mean. Mae and I were about to go on a rescue mission, but Coffee’s girlfriend told us that he was fine. They were in a small mercenary team together, so she went off to go save him and meet up with the rest of them…

Yeah, they have books written about them too. If you really want to find out what happened with Coffee and the rest, then you should go read it later. But right now is Lori-Time! Everyone else is just a side-character! Oh wait, there was some other stuff that I almost forgot about.

Trixie was planning to go north and wipe out the vampires that were building up in the tunnels, but huge armies of humans started showing up on the outskirts of Lorthon Forest to the east. There weren’t just troops though. Plenty of nobles, peasants, serfs, commoners, craftsmen and slaves were mixed in as well. They were building settlements, while chopping down tons of trees. They were still miles away from our actual territory, but it was unsettling to have such a huge force so closeby.

Even though there were ‘mages’ among the humans, they were pretty shitty. They grew up in a place practically devoid of mana, so it wasn’t surprising that their magic was terrible. Some of them had ways of saving up lots of mana in stones or using long and complicated rituals to perform powerful attacks. It didn’t matter though, because none of them could escape from Trixie’s crosshairs.

Yep, I felt that she was a little too overzealous too… Although she didn’t want to risk leaving the forest, so long as any military force tried to enter, they would be killed on the spot. Trixie used it as a training exercise for the new recruits. The soldiers mostly had bronze, iron or leather armor. Even steel wasn’t enough to stop the stronger bullets. There were also the Reapers, Wraiths, Spectres, Ghosts and bunch of other sneaky shadow warriors.

Of course, the strongest deterrent was fear of the unknown. We knew everything about them, but they knew nothing about us. It was impossible for their cavalry and soldiers to enter the forest to raid our villages, because anyone who tried would die. Once the word spread that no one ever returned alive from Lorthon, they could only send slaves… And they were our precious source of new population.

Eventually, Trixie and a lot of the others on the front lines couldn’t take it anymore. The Marks that Mikey left behind were great for a lot of things, but staying out of other people’s business… Not so much. Besides that, we needed more people. There were too many jobs that needed to be done and not nearly enough people to do them. More importantly, they had the freedom to choose what they wanted to do and everyone wanted to keep rising upwards.

The problem is that everything is relative, as Levi always said, “Everybody wants equal rights and privileges when they’re treated like shit… But once they actually get what they wanted, they’ll never stop trying to push everyone else down, so that they can get special rights and privileges.”

Is it right or wrong? Nobody knows and I don’t really care. I’m special, I’ve always been special and I’ll always be special! People who don’t think that way, are depressing and boring, but they’re also really useful. Ex-slaves, particularly the ones from the human kingdoms, tended to be the best baseline for mediocrity and mundane aspirations. Their ambitions were usually so pathetic that they would be happy and satisfied just being able to keep from starving to death! Once they were given the ability to own a house, start a family and do work that wasn’t degrading or torturous, they became the bedrock of Alfirin. They ensured stability in the State of Black Mithril and allowed us to continue expanding at a crazy pace.

While Trixie was preoccupied with massacring human armies and freeing slaves, I was busy being poked, prodded and experimented on by Pinky… No one was prepared for what happened next.

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