Chapter #97 – Empire Spirit
“System…. isn’t this a pre-recorded message?”, asked Daneel, bewildered at the cheery voice he had just heard in his head.[Negative. Interface has been detected to be sentient.
System is in the process of analyzing the interface, but all attempts are being blocked. Please upgrade the system if you would like to increase the system’s capabilities. Upgrade cost: 100,000 EXP]
Daneel had just managed to scrape up enough points to perform the first upgrade. If it weren’t for the shower of points he earned from becoming King, he would have been completely bankrupt right now.
Although the practicality was indeed quite tremendous, it was, at least now, just too big of a cost to pay.
Shelving it aside for later, Daneel focused on the part about ‘sentience’.
“Wh-what are you?”, he asked in his mind, telling the system to relay the message to the interface.
“Nice of you to ask. I don’t remember the last time someone spoke so civilly to me. All these damn stubborn Kings do is keep asking me things they have no right to access. Anyway, I digress. I am an Empire Spirit. I belong to a special race made to keep track of all the myriad things that involve running an Empire of millions of people. Gah, what would you know about empires. The last true empire faded away 1700 years ago! Now, all that’s left are primitive villages which call themselves ‘Kingdoms’ and keep trying to extract the knowledge in us with hopes that they can resurrect an empire! Blind fools. Ah, I forget my duty. What do you need? Let me tell you right now, unless you reach the pre-specified amount of general satisfaction, you cannot access even my name from my archives. If you just came here for the scribblings of the Lanthanore brats, then use the alternate interface. They must have written stuff about me too, so just read those if you want more explanations. It was nice talking to you, but I guess I’ll just go back to the ancient lectures about Grand Attraction Spell Techniques. Bye!”[Interface cut off. Alternate interface with 89 books found. Would host like to access this interface?]
Daneel felt his head reeling trying to take in the continuous streams of words spat out by whatever was in the podium. It had just been a barrage of information that Daneel felt lost in.
“Yes! And tell me what the hell that thing was.”, he ordered, feeling thankful that the system could do the grunt work and just tell him the important details.
A few minutes later which were spent opening each of the books present in quick succession, Daneel calmed his expression and listened with full attention while the system explained just what the thing that talked to him had been.
According to the oldest book found in the secret library, this was something that every King gained access to as soon as he took control of the oathstone. The true origins of the being had apparently been lost along with the book written by the first Lanthanore who established the Kingdom.
Yes, the books were all memoirs of the previous Kings who had ruled the Kingdom. They talked about many things, from their personal views towards the treatment of nobles and commoners and matters of war which according to the system, would be a great help to Daneel in analyzing future war situations if he chose to peruse them.
The only additional information about the Empire Spirit was that it had some sort of special conditions which had to be met in order to access the treasure trove of knowledge apparently stored inside. All the Kings could only speculate what this general satisfaction even meant. The spirit, of course, declined to comment on the matter no matter how many times it was asked. Thus, all anyone could do was guess.
It was also said that it should be the lifelong goal of every King to strive to decipher this spirit, because it was possible that the information it held could help elevate the Kingdom to another level.
This was another overload of information that Daneel hadn’t been prepared for. Asking the Court Mage and the Grand Court Mage to wait outside, Daneel took a few minutes of time to arrange everything in his head.
He first made a list of everything to do before the crowning ceremony took place. He had already ticked off quite a few things on the list, including calling his parents, the domination corps and all his friends to the palace. As for taking revenge on the nobles who were the reason for his father’s and many other citizen’s pain and suffering, he had already set a plan in motion which would see them punished in full for all of their crimes.
Another thing he had placed on the list was to check out the system store and the new Kingdom Points that he had been notified about by the system.
Because he had a little time to himself, Daneel decided to check out just what new tools were available to him.
As the familiar library came into being in front of him after activating the Heads Up Interface, Daneel noticed that there were new kinds of books on the shelves.
Some of the previously black books which had been locked to him now glowed a soft red, as if something had changed about them. Although they were still black, it was now easy to pick them out from the rest.
Over the past three years, Daneel had spent points only on the most important tools which he thought were crucial to the success of the operation to fight for the throne. These included the tool which he had used to develop the panel trinket based on the broken one he had seen in Ripley’s house. Named the ‘Schematic Development-1’ tool, it allowed him to modify any schematic he already had with him to make a new one. Similar to the Technique Development tool which allowed him to make the modified fireball spells and the spell that made the honey trap solution, he had used this tool to make a panel trinket which was cheaper and simpler than the one Ripley had.
As upgrading the system had been his priority, he had had to save up all the EXP he could. Now, he could finally stop thinking about that and choose whatever tool he liked.
Deciding to first check out the new tools, Daneel picked out one of the glowing black books.
“Kingdom Management-1: Obtain statistics about Satisfaction Level and Dissatisfaction Level of a certain number of citizens present in a set area around host. Purchasing this tool also opens the Kingdom Management Rewards section, where satisfaction milestones can be exchanged for Kingdom Points and EXP. Cost: 7500 EXP, 1 Kingdom Point”
As he read the introduction on the book, Daneel’s eyes opened wider and wider with each word.
Satisfaction level?! Daneel wondered how anyone or anything could quantify an aspect which was so arbitrary. Although this was his first thought, the word ‘satisfaction’ made him scratch his head wondering just what it reminded him of.
Of course! The Empire Spirit!
Daneel almost shouted out loud as he realized that the term ‘satisfaction’ had been the one used to describe the condition required to access the information in the Empire Spirit. With this connection made, a question sprung up in his mind as he wondered whether it was possible for such a coincidence to exist.
Could it be that the Empire Spirit would only let him access its archives if the people of the Kingdom reached a certain satisfaction level? And could it be that none of the previous Kings figured out this simple meaning?