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Beruta, the Curious: Chapter Five

Chapter Five

“Into the Guard”

Several days had passed while Beruta waited for her hands to completely heal up. In the meantime she and Yomie were able to gather more information on the Fringe Group that targeted Yaooan and other Multiple Term Political Individuals.

“So several Ponicon Members have been found trying to infiltrate into the National Guard over the past season.” Yomie said, passing some data to Beruta who was sitting down eating.

Beruta looked at the information.

“Did they have anything in common with one another?” Beruta asked.

“No, they just seemed like normal Marian South citizens. I even checked their background in the Citizen System.” Yomie noted.

“A good way for me to become Yaooan’s body guard would be to bring down their entire organization.” Beruta finished up her bite.

“Now that sounds incredibly difficult. I think before you can even think about that you should re-learn how to use that Energy Crystal.” Yomie told Beruta.

Beruta looked at the Shard that she had tied around her neck.

“”I know I was able to perform those feats, but I just can’t remember how! This is frustrating, I just need to speak with Vaneluresa. But I have a higher chance of speaking with the Doctor than I do with her.” Beruta said into her own shirt.

“We also have more information on the people involved with bringing down the Giant Creatures around Kima, they say that a Goddess by the name of Ke’Lan granted them power.” Yomie informed Beruta.

“Goddess Ke’Lan? Could she be the same as Iota and Vaneluresa?” Beruta thought to herself.

“Though, if her name is Ke’Lan, it is likely she is Ren Zuiperi. So she may actually be an opposing force against Iota and Vaneluresa.” Yomie noted.

“I guess that makes sense, in the Northern Regions interactions between the two breeds are definitely not amicable.” Beruta said to Yomie. “But Iota and the others are from the South, below even the Suminiatini Federation, so I don’t think they would have much negativity towards another Breed.” Beruta suggested to Yomie.

“Maybe they are a group that emerged from experiments on pets during the Pet Trade?” Yomie suggested to Beruta.

“The Pet Trade? That was eons ago. I feel like we would have heard more about them if that was the case.” Beruta responded.

“I don’t know. There are Ren Neo down there, and they don’t participate in the Knowledge Network, so it would be easy for them to hide that information.” Yomie pointed out.

“I supposed while I am going through the Guards Course that I could get in contact with the Followers of the Goddess Ke’Lan, they might be able to get me in contact with her.” Beruta said.

“I’ll be back after work. Have a good time in training. I’ll see if I can get more information.” Yomie said as she left Beruta’s room and went to the Immigration Building.

Beruta looked through the Knowledge Network.

“There is a lot of information on the Goddess Ke’Lan. She has a large following. Could she really be like Iota? They seemed more discreet than this.” Beruta thought to herself. She then looked at the time. “Well, I’ll look more into it after today’s training.” Beruta got up from her seat and left her room.

Beruta walked down the streets of Asso’an. There were no Renders in sight which was much different from the Suminiatini Federation which was practically 60% Renders.

The people of the city were constantly cleaning their buildings and roads.

They used incredibly niche technology, nothing seemed to have a general purpose, since they wanted to stimulate their economy and development by allowing micro advancements in each sector of Society.

Beruta arrived at the Training Hall. It was the Guardians of Science Institute. Beruta stepped in and followed the signs that told her where to go. She sat down.

Around her were about a dozen other Trainees.

“Never seen you around here before.” One of the trainees came up behind Beruta and surprised her. “What people are you from? Obviously not Ya or Yan.” They said to Beruta.

“You’re correct, I’m not, but it’s not customary to ask for such personal information.” Beruta responded.

“What do you mean? In many cases that’s more important than even knowing your name.” The Trainee said to Beruta.

“Why are you bothering them, Anki? They obviously have no interest in being your friend.” Another trainee came up and supported Beruta.

“I didn’t do anything out of the ordinary. I saw a new face and wanted to know more about them. Since obviously I’m tired of looking at the same crusty people every single day. If you haven’t got the picture, I am talking about you, Hano.” Anki responded to Hano.

Hano’s face was a bit annoyed, but she soon calmed down. “Talking with you will probably just make me dumber. They wouldn’t even share their people with you, so that should be a clear sign that they have no interest in a relationship with you.” Hano said.

“Fine, it’s the first day afterall with them.” Anki said before backing away. “No need to start a fight over it.”

Hano then proceeded to walk off.

“Hano reminds me of a stronger Anyan.” Beruta thought to herself.

A bit more time passed and the Commencement Hall Announcer began to Speak.

“Greeting all participating members in this season of Guard Training. We have quite the high tier group this time around. As you know you will be going through this training to become a member of the best Security Detail in all of the World…”

Beruta sat down annoyed. She had heard this kind of speech several dozen, if not a hundred times.

She looked around at the other participants.

“Just judging by size alone, I’m about in the 50% bracket. In terms of combat ability, typically I would rank myself high, but they all may have experienced the civil war first hand, so I might be average there too.” Beruta thought to herself.

Beruta looked at the equipment the Teachers had.

“That is a serious amount of FirePower that they are wearing. Practically like a mobile military. But it isn’t something that I am not experienced with.” Beruta continued to analyze.

“Of course only 10 of you will continue to be actual Guards, so we are looking for the best of the best among you. And with that, we will begin by weeding out the weakest 50% among you.” The Commencement Hall Announcer said before a series of Machines entered the building.

The Machines opened fire shooting out projectiles that were meant to trap those in attendance to the ground.

Beruta immediately ducked behind the seats, and looked for something to defend herself with. Many of the participants were taken out practically immediately.

“Well this is one way to start training.” Beruta thought to herself.

Anki left from their hiding spot and immediately attacked one of the Machines. They disarmed one and secured a weapon. Anki shot it and trapped it on the ground. Then they proceeded to advance forward to subdue all approaching machines.

“Looks like Anki has a bit of experience.” Beruta thought to herself.

Beruta grabbed a piece of scrap and tossed it over to one of the more isolated Machines. The Machine turned their head towards it and Beruta came behind it and tried to bring it down.

However, the machine was much heavier than it looked and it tossed Beruta off of it.

She rolled as she fell to avoid being hit by the projectiles.

The Individuals monitoring the test seemed pleased with this new patch of trainees.

Beruta was now trapped behind several seats. She was now being targeted by 3 Machines who now know her exact location.

“Damn, I’m pinned, and they outnumber me.” Beruta thought as shots continued to fly overhead. “Okay, I need to calm down. I was a member of the Suminiatini QRF. I can handle this.” Beruta told herself a few times.

She then laid on her back and waited til she was able to see the tops of the Machines’ heads. She pushed the seats with her feet causing them to collide with the sheens on the Machines. They fell over and Beruta quickly grabbed a weapon that fell and shot 3 of them in the head.

“Oh! Look at that one over there!” A judge of the event pointed over to where Beruta was.

“They have promise. Though compared to the Big 5, she doesn’t hold a candle.” The other responded.

Beruta took cover once again. She glanced to try and analyze the situation.

“There seems to be 4 Machines left.” Beruta thought to herself. “And it looks like about 30 people have already been taken out.” Beruta noticed as she looked around.

Then suddenly the remaining machines were all taken out.

“Congratulations to those who are still standing, you have passed the entrance exam. You may continue to the next hall. And those who have been captured, I’m sorry but you can try again next year.” The Commencement Hall Announcer said.

Beruta then got up from cover.

The room looked like a complete mess. It was almost as if an actual battle took place there.

“Looks like the newbie actually made it through. I didn’t see you performing anything remarkable, were you hiding the entire time? I bet you only took out 5 of them.” Anki said to Beruta.

“I didn’t know what to expect, so I would say that I was more at a disadvantage than you all.” Beruta responded.

“No one knows what to expect. The First Exam is alway different.” Anki said to Beruta.

“I heard that the year before there was a Capture the flag event, those who managed to evade capture and secure the flag were the ones to go through. And the year before was a simple written test.” Another individual added.

Beruta looked around and it became obvious who were the top students.

“From just my observation it would seem that Anki would be Ranked about 3rd. The guy next to Anki would probably be 4th. Hano would probably be 2nd, but if they are below Anki then they would be 4th and that other guy would be 5th.” Beruta thought to herself.

She continued to look at those who continued through.

“There seemed to be a group who worked together. About 6 of them. They don’t have a pleasant look in their eyes. Then there’s the person in the very front, with the amount of confidence they have I can probably assume they would rank number 1.” Beruta concluded to herself.

The group of about 20 students entered the main training hall.

“All present! Greetings to Doctor Omayo, the Head Instructor of the National Guard Training at the Guardians of Science Institute!” An announcement was made.

“Greetings, Doctor.” The trainees present said. Beruta followed along.

“Once again, I want to congratulate all of you for making it this far. Less than half of those who sign up ever make it to see this room. The reason for this is because you will be protecting the most precious things in the Country. And that is her people. No matter what you learn, or do, I want you to put in all of your efforts. In the end, only 10 of you will make it through, and among that only 5 of you will be placed in service of the Doctor. And even still only one of you will become their personal guard.” Doctor Omayo spoke.

“Well, I’m not trying to Protect the Doctor, I am trying to Protect Yaooan, so all I need to do is pass and that goal will be attainable.” Beruta thought to herself.

 “You will have 5 Instructors. Doctor Piles, your Combat Instructor. Doctor Yuman, your Strategic Analysis Instructor. Doctor Yo, your Weapons Instructor. Doctor Armon, your Physical Training Instructor. Doctor Davi, your Team’s Instructor. The pace of the Instruction is entirely based on you. I will see you all soon.” Doctor Omayo said before leaving the hall.

“Farewell to Doctor Omayo, the Head Instructor of the National Guard Training at the Guardians of Science Institute!” Another announcement was made.

“Farewell, Doctor.” The trainees responded.

“Check on your Contacts, the Institute has been added. The Teaching Instructor for each day will be announced there. Always check your messages. If you do not accomplish the task given to you within the time you will be immediately disqualified from the course.” Doctor Davi announced to those present.

“Understood!” The 5 people that Beruta assigned the top levels responded.

She and the others followed.

A message then was received by Beruta. “By 1200, obtain your Security Gear and report to the Physical Training Hall. Report as present to Doctor Armon. Failure to meet Security Gear Standard in Appearance and Inventory will result in penalty.” The message read.

 The time was now 1140.

“Damn, I don’t even know where to get the gear.” Beruta thought to herself.

The others in the hall immediately left the room and Beruta simply followed behind them.

Hano and the 1st Rank person remained in the hall even though everyone left.

“They must know something that we don’t.” Beruta thought to herself.

After following the group for a short bit of time Beruta looked down at her time.

“It’s already 1148 and we still haven’t gotten there.” Beruta thought to herself.

Anki, the one who was leading the entire group then stopped. “Okay, looks like I wasted enough time. It’s going to take you all about 10 minutes to reach the Physical Training Hall from here. And the place to get your Security Gear is 5 minutes that way.” Anki said, pointing in the opposite direction.

“Hey! We followed you because it looked like you knew where you were going! Did you sabotage yourself?” Another person in the group yelled out.

“I already made sure that a member of my team was on their way to acquire my gear. You all were the ones who decided to tag along on my leisurely stroll. Next time, maybe gather your own information before just following a crowd.” Anki said before leaving the group.

Beruta was shocked. “I just got played!” Beruta thought to herself. Anki continued to walk towards the training hall and the group then rushed in the direction that Anki pointed for the Security Gear.

“Well obviously I’m not just going to take their word for it.” Beruta thought as she headed towards the Physical Training Hall.

She ran past Anki.

“Where do you think you are going, I said, the Security Gear was that way.” Anki said to Beruta pointing in the other direction.

“After what you just pulled it’s better for me to just go to the Physical Training Hall and receive a Penalty than to not have enough time to show up at all and be disqualified.” Beruta said as she continued to run.

Anki laughed as Beruta left them behind.

Beruta made it to the front desk of the Training Hall. She was nearly out of breath. “Where is the Physical Training Hall, please.” Beruta asked.

The attendant then showed Beruta a map of the place.

“Is this the most up to date map?” Beruta asked.

“It’s updated every 10 minutes. So you can check the others as well.” The attendant said transferring the maps to Beruta.

Beruta looked at them.

“I knew it, the Security Gear is right next to the Physical Training Hall, they are only about 3 minutes apart.” Beruta thought to herself. “Logically that makes sense, since what Anki was saying would make the Security Gear and the Physical Training Center 15 minutes apart. And from where we were it would take 10 minutes to return there and back. For a total of 25 minutes, which is 5 minutes over the time we were given.” Beruta continued to think. She then ran towards the Security Gear.

She was able to see the entrance. 

Beruta looked down at her time. “It’s 1155, so that gives me about 2 minutes to get the Gear and 3 to get to the Physical Training Hall.” Beruta thought.

She entered the Security Gear Center and scanned her body in. She was then given a set of Gear that would fit her figure.

She carried the bag of clothing with her and tried to put it on as she ran.

While she was approaching the place a group of other people who had no gear with them were running towards the entrance.

Beruta then fell and landed in the Physical Training Hall with her attire partway on.

“The time is 1200, everyone not in this room has been disqualified from the course.” Doctor Armon said. “Now the rest of you, line up!” 

Beruta, the Top 5, and about 6 other people all lined up.

Doctor Armon inspected their gear.

“Candidate Anki, perfect Gear. Full Marks. Candidate Rancol, misplaced strap. Deducted 10 Marks. Candidate Hano, perfect Gear. Full Marks. Candidate Urgio, missing gear. Deducted Full Marks.” Doctor Armon said as they were inspecting the gear of the Trainees.

Doctor Armon then got to Beruta.

“Candidate Beruta…” Doctor Armon began as they looked at Beruta’s Gear which seemed haphazardly put on.

“Generally in disrepair. Deducted half marks.” Doctor Armon said as they continued on.

Beruta was relieved. “I can work with half.” Beruta thought. “If I can get half, while the others place either Perfect or Zero then that would make me average. Which would make me number 6. So I will make it through to graduation.” Beruta thought.

Beruta looked down along the line. The weeding out process seemed rather intense for the first day.

“Hopefully it’s not always like this.” Beruta thought to herself.

“Now that you’ve all been accessed, those who did not receive full marks, fix yourself within 5 minutes. Then get ready for our first Physical Training Exercise.” Doctor Armon said.

The others who didn’t have their gear ran outside and grabbed their attire.

Beruta fixed her outfit.

“Seems like you caught on to Anki’s game just in time.” Hano said to Beruta.

“I think my first hint that something was up when I noticed that you didn’t run with the rest of us. After their reveal then it probably would not be smart of me to continue to believe them.” Beruta said to Hano.

“Well now that you stood out of the crowd Anki will probably target you even more now.” Hano warned Beruta.

Anki and Rancol came over to join in on Beruta’s and Hano’s conversation.

“Talking about me behind my back, that’s not very nice Hano.” Anki said towards Hano.

“Personally I’m not against you playing your games, I just find them rather childish.” Hano responded to Anki.

“You’re just a boring person, isn’t that right Candidate Beruta.” Anki said, nearly poking fun at how Beruta’s name sounded.

“I was also not a fan of the stunt you tried to pull, you nearly got me disqualified.” Beruta responded.

“Geez, you’re supposed to verify that you have the correct destination details, that’s like the first thing you learn about being a Guard. If you got disqualified then you would not have made it through anyways. Practically, I did all those other guys a favour by having them avoid having to go through this training just to flunk out.” Anki said to Beruta.

The group of 6 returned. There were 4 of them who seemed particularly close. They all came in feeling rather embarrassed. Anki decided to mess with them some more.

Hano left to get in line.

Beruta looked over at Candidate Okina, the Rank 1 individual. They did not engage in any conversation. Beruta wondered what made them rank so high.

Doctor Armon came back into the room and tossed everyone two masks.

“Place both of those over your breathing parts. We are going for a light run.” Doctor Armon said.

Beruta and the others placed on the masks, then the door to the hall opened. The group then began their run.

Yomie sat in her office, playing around on the Knowledge Network during work.

“So far the potential Demigods during the Crisis last week would be Demigod Iota, Junipulan, the Goddess Ke’Lan, and the two others who didn’t appear in articles but were said to exist by Beruta. Then we have Vaneluresa who didn’t show up during the crisis. But what does all of this mean?” Yomie looked at the data she got.

Then the Superior Officer hit Yomie’s desk.

“Officer Yomie… can you please at least look like you are working?” The Superior Officer said to Yomie.

“I am working, I just got a giant piece of information on this rabbit hole!” Yomie responded.

“That’s not work, that’s personal junk.” The Superior Officer said. They then handed Yomie a list of individuals to process from Marian North. “Go through this list of names, see if any of them has ties to the Marian North Military or Secret Royal Service.”

Yomie then shut down her knowledge network to begin processing the information.

She scanned through each of their names. “Literal Child, clear. Another Child, clear. Middle Aged, research.” Yomie said to herself as she was separating the names into groups.

“They all appeared at the same time, but they aren’t all Ren Shaole, nor all from the same country. Who were they fighting against? Was it Aliens?” Yomie thought as she was using her hindbrain to do the work.

The Superior Officer looked over at Yomie.

“I give up.” They said with frustration.

“If only I had access to the data provided by Ren Neo in the far South. I bet they have more accurate data. But that’s practically impossible for me to read. I’ll have to contact the Followers of Ke’Lan first.” Yomie continued to think.

Yomie then began to start digging through that rabbithole. She began to notice that the followers of Ke’Lan had both Ren Shaole and Ren Zuiperi members. This seemed rather odd to her. She wanted to find out who was the one that could be in charge of such a group.

“Though they are disorganized, the spot that seems to have the most influence is in Vlagora.” Yomie soon realized.

She then continued her search.

The Superior Officer then came up and knocked on Yomie’s desk.

“Hey, you lost track of time?” They asked Yomie.

“What?” Yomie responded.

“It’s time to leave work.” They said to Yomie.

Yomie then looked at the time. “Oh, wow that came fast. I guess it’s true that time moves fast when you are having fun.” Yomie responded.

“Did you get those names worked out?” They asked Yomie.

“They are organized. So it’ll be nothing more than a few minutes to process them through.” Yomie responded.

“It’s not like it was urgent anyway.” The Superior Officer said as they left the building.

Yomie eventually made her way over to Beruta’s room. But Beruta hadn’t arrived yet.

“Hmm, I guess training doesn’t work on the usual time schedule.” Yomie thought to herself.

Beruta slowly walked her way to her own place. She looked as though all of her energy had been drained from her body.

“So much running…” Beruta said as she laid on the entrance of her room.

“You look like you had an amazing time!” Yomie said to the exhausted Beruta.

“It wasn’t even supposed to be a hard run. Anki just kept sprinting, pushing us forward. I don’t want to stand anymore.” Beruta said, finally collapsing in the pathway.

“So, that must mean you are feeling a bit hungry then?” Yomie bent her body so that her head was in line with Beruta’s.

“That’s an understatement.” Beruta responded.

Yomie grabbed Beruta. She carried her to the Vehicle.

“I’m going to take you to a place that will be sure to perk you up in no time!” Yomie said as she began her drive.

After a little time moving through the city, Yomie felt it was time to bring up what she found.

“So I found that last week another Iota-like being appeared out of thin air. Their name is Junipulan, and she emerged in Ryam. Which is extremely more South than where you said you stumbled on the other two Demigods.” Yomie informed Beruta.

“Wait, Ryam? So Capicalo can’t be where they are from then. Or maybe the Junipulan Demigod just went South rather than North like the others.” Beruta suggested.

“I doubt it. Since I don’t have access to the Knowledge that the peoples in the South have there’s no way of knowing if even more Demigods appeared down there. And it also might be the case that the Demigods that might have appeared in Ren Xi Nations simply decided against having a following.” Yomie noted to Beruta.

“Ah… I hope Yaooan has answers.” Beruta frustratingly said aloud.

“We can contact the Followers of Ke’Lan. They should definitely have information on how they received Power from her. And you could use that information to figure out how you were able to use that Energy Crystal.” Yomie said, pointing at Beruta’s neck.

“If I knew how to do that I bet this training would be easier than breathing.” Beruta snickered.

Beruta and Yomie arrived at the eatery.

“This place has the best Codanpon you could ever want.” Yomie said to Beruta.

Codanpon is a dish made in the North Western Region of the Continent. It is made when sugars from a sea-plant are mixed with water and heated up quickly, then allowed to cool overnight forming a jelly. This jelly is then squeezed through a hole and surrounded by a crunchy vegetable in a spiral shape. It is then eaten by bundling it on a spoon and bit into pieces. The resulting flavour is similar to salted caramel with the mouth feel of cold cabbage and jelly.

Beruta and Yomie had their bodies scanned to ensure that none of the foods prepared would trigger a reaction.

They then sat as it emerged from the table.

“Getting in contact with the followers of Ke’Lan… how difficult is that?” Beruta asked, as she bit into her Codanpon.

“They already sent back a message. I responded quickly, they were asking me questions about when I would want to experience re-birth and all kinds of other things. I figured that was their way of asking for a meeting.” Yomie said to Beruta.

“You didn’t already schedule one, right?” Beruta asked.

“I did, but not in person. We can meet one of the members in the Phantasm World in the Knowledge Network.” Yomie said as she went to take another bite.

“I don’t like the fact that they seem to have become a religion.” Beruta responded.

“Neither do I, but that’s expected if we are talking about the North. They seem to make everything a religion.” Yomie added.

Both of them continued to eat.

Beruta received some hard shelled nuts that she cracked with her fist and poured into her mouth.

“Yah, that is sour!” Beruta said after consuming one.

“I can’t do that.” Yomie said as she ate cold cabbage chips.

“This stuff really wakes you up. I needed this after the day I had.” Beruta said to Yomie after cracking open another one.

“Okay, let’s hear it. Who are your new friends?” Yomie teased.

“Friends? They definitely aren’t that. After I graduate I am not speaking to a single one of them ever again.” Beruta said, gesturing her annoyance with her hands.

“All of them can’t be that bad. They might even be beneficial when it comes to getting in contact with Yaooan.” Yomie responded.

“So, there is Anki, A complete and utter jerk. Then their lackey named Rancol, also not pleasant to be around. Then there’s Urgio, Saigan, Yahu, Almuha, Yakra, Hahur, Simura. Oh then there’s at least Hano, who seems pleasant and Okina who never interacted with anyone, so I don’t know what they are like.” Beruta listed.

“Only 12 people are left? That was fast. I heard that the training typically begins with 40 people. What happened to everyone else?” Yomie asked.

“It was Anki’s fault. Well actually, I won’t put full blame on them, but it definitely wasn’t a help. Our first task was to simply grab our uniforms and meet in the Physical Training Hall, but they decided to have us test our navigation. So dumb.” Beruta said, cracking another nut.

Then Beruta received a message.

“By 0300, report to the Physical Training Hall. Report as present to Doctor Armon. Be present in full Security Gear. Failure to meet Security Gear Standard in Appearance will result in penalty.” The message read.

Beruta looked at the time. It was 1700.

“Great, now I have to report back in 6 hours.” Beruta complained.

Yomie finished her chips. “That’s harsh. I definitely don’t envy you right now. I still have 13 hours before I need to even begin heading to work.” Yomie responded.

Beruta then got up from her seat. “Well I guess I should make sure my Gear is in order, then get some rest for a bit.” Beruta said, annoyed.

Yomie also got up.

“Well I will have a conversation with the Followers of Ke’Lan, you get your beauty sleep.” Yomie teased Beruta.

They both left the eatery and Yomie dropped Beruta back at her place.

“Catch up with you tomorrow!” Yomie said before leaving off.

Beruta entered her room feeling utterly defeated. She fell and laid on her bed.

“Just remember why I’m doing all of this.” Beruta thought to herself. She shut down all of her conscious processes and rested for the upcoming morning.

Yomie returned to her home. Her room was filled with items for experiments she never actually completed. She had displays across her place for locations she wanted to travel to but never did.

She cleared room for her to set up the meeting.

On her floor she had a display that read in large handwritten characters. “What is the breed that lives in Vesatanis?” It was from a previous rabbithole that she tried to learn about but the information eventually met a deadend.

It was time for the meeting with the Followers of Ke’Lan. Yomie entered the Knowledge Network and went to the World of Phantasm.

There was a group of people sitting around in this virtual world they constructed.

Yomie joined them with about 12 other people who seemed to also be non-members. Yomie looked around.

“I guess this is a daily event?” Yomie thought.

“Welcome Potential Followers of our Great Goddess Ke’Lan. I am your presenter today, Saint Yayamo. Before we begin I would like to pass around a Shard from the Obelisk of Power.” The said as the other Followers handed Stone Pieces to those in attendance.

“Through this we were able to defend our home from the Great Devils of the Skys…” Yayamo continued to speak as Yomie looked at the item.

“This doesn’t seem like anything more than an Energy Crystal. The same ones that Beruta said were utilized by Iota. So at least I found a connection between the two. But still, an Energy Crystal is a common utility for running structures. So it’s not too far out of the realm that it is a coincidence.” Yomie thought.

“While in the presence of the Goddess Ke’Lan we are granted Immortality. And those who attain the highest devotion to the Goddess will be imbued with her Spirit and be forever Immortal. Was it not evident that the Age of Immortality was caused by such a Divine being? Everyone in this room experienced it, am I wrong?” Yayamo tried to plead the case that the Goddess Ke’Lan was responsible for the age of immortality and was worthy of devotion because of it.

“It was strange how the Age of Immortality all of a sudden came, and then when it left the Demigods appeared. There is a definite link there.” Yomie thought.

Yayamo then showed a video of the Followers displaying Immortality during their training. They were shot in their chests and instantly recovered from their wounds. In the Video the Goddess Ke’Lan was able to be seen.

Yomie leaned forward to try and get a closer look.

“So it is all real.” Yomie thought to herself.

Another person in attendance spoke up and asked a question. “Are you all still in contact with the Goddess Ke’Lan?” The attendee asked.

“It has only been a short span of time, the Goddess must be reconvening with the Fates. Thus we must await her return. Because of that we must show her our devotion and numbers so that when she does return she will be pleased.” Yayamo responded. “Sadly we have angered the Goddess Ke’Lan with our battles against one another after the threat of the devils resolved, so now we must deepen our faith to return to her presence.”

“So that means there are probably a few different sects for the Goddess Ke’Lan. But it also seems as though these Demigods have a rather short tolerance when it comes to Human Emotion.” Yomie thought to herself.

“I heard that the Followers of Ke’Lan in Vesatanis were the most Powerful against the threat. Why was that?” Another attendee asked.

Yayamo seemed to have gotten annoyed with this question.

“Their Devil was of a weaker calibur than the ones of Kima.” Yayamo responded. The answer didn’t feel as it was based on truth as the other words from them were.

“Vesatanis… that highly advanced city in Vlagora, it is ruled by a Unique People that some just call, ‘The Leaders’. Officials of the neighboring Countries call them Ren Neo, however, their attributes are too different and the Ren Neo that live in Vesatanis aren’t all part of the Ruling Class. Maybe there is a link there.” Yomie thought more about the connection.

Yayamo then began to talk about the Devils some more. They described how powerful the beings were, and how easily they could destroy an entire Nation.

“The Goddess Ke’Lan, if she deems us unworthy, could wipe out our entire planet in an instant. She has already demonstrated her displeasure by ending the Age of Immortality, now this is the final chance to make things right. If she returns and you are not her Follower who knows what fate may befall you, but if you are, then Eternal Life is the Least of the gifts she will bestow.” Yayamo concluded.

The people in attendance then looked at one another.

“We don’t know when the Goddess Ke’Lan will return… Do I risk not being her follower?” Yomie thought to herself.

Yomie was conflicted. If the Goddess Ke’Lan returned tomorrow, then she could very well perish. It’s probably safer to just become a Follower.

“How do you become a Follower of the Goddess Ke’Lan?” Someone in attendance asked.

“Obtain a Piece of the Actual Power Obeliks, build a Shrine to the Goddess Ke’Lan, and offer your devotion to her once a day. Luckily we are distributing the Piece of the Power Obeliks to all Followers. Simply support our mission by contributing a small amount to infrastructure efforts.” Yayamo told those in attendance.

“That doesn’t sound too outlandish, afterall for an Organization to grow, it does need a Structure to do so.” Yomie thought to herself. “I could risk it by trying to receive Protection from the other Demigods, since the Goddess Ke’Lan took the form of a Ren Zuiperi who knows if she is on the same side as Iota.” Yomie tried to come up with the best option for herself.

Yomie stood up. And walked over to Yayamo where the other attendees were.

“I would like to contribute to the infrastructure efforts.” Yomie said to Yayamo.

Yomie donated funds to the Followers of Ke’Lan and was now part of their members.

“Thank you for your Contribution. The Piece of the Power Obeliks will be present at your home.” Yayamo said to Yomie.

Yomie then exited the Knowledge Network and went to her receiving Station. The Piece of the Power Obeliks was in there.

She observed the Piece. “It doesn’t look like a Power Crystal, if anything it almost just looks like a piece of an ordinary stone. Is this the thing that the Goddess Ke’Lan actually used to Power the Followers?” Yomie thought.

She then scanned the material.

“Yes, this is just a normal stone. So maybe the reason Beruta keeps failing is not because she forgot the teachings of Iota, but because the Energy Crystal and the Shard that Iota gave Beruta before were different.” Yomie thought.

Yomie then began to construct a shrine to the Goddess Ke’Lan.

“Better safe than sorry I suppose.” Yomie thought.

The Earth Shined a bright glow. This occurred typically every single day for the past few Generations. Many still have no idea of its origins.

Beruta woke up bright and early and put on her Security Gear.

“Not a bad look.” Beruta thought to herself finally having the time to look herself over in it.

Beruta headed over to the Training Hall.

Once she entered she had some time to herself to look around. The other Candidates soon arrived.

“All present! Greetings to Doctor Armon, the Physical Training Instructor of the National Guard Training at the Guardians of Science Institute!” An announcement was made.

“Greetings, Doctor.” All the Candidates said.

Doctor Armon entered the Hall.

They looked over the uniforms of the Candidates. “Looks like you all learned your lesson from yesterday.” They said to the group. Doctor Armon then threw the group masks once again. Beruta knew this meant that they were going on a run.

The other candidates seem to have already known what this meant too.

“Nothing like a 10 Kilometer run to wake you up.” Doctor Armon said as the doors of the hall opened and they began their run.

The group managed to complete their run without a hitch. Beruta looked around the city as she ran to see if she found a spot she wanted to visit later. In the distance she was able to see the small hill surrounded by gates that Yomie mentioned earlier.

“If this is the training for the guards then I think it would be too dangerous to try and go there now.” Beruta thought to herself.

The group eventually finished. Most of them returned feeling rather exhausted. 

Doctor Armon then immediately left upon return to the Physical Training Hall.

“Farewell to Doctor Armon, the Physical Training Instructor of the National Guard Training at the Guardians of Science Institute!” Another announcement was made.

“Farewell, Doctor.” The Candidates responded.

“All present! Greetings to Doctor Piles, the Combat Instructor of the National Guard Training at the Guardians of Science Institute!” An announcement was made.

“Greetings, Doctor.” They all responded.

“What?! No breaks?” Beruta thought to herself. Doctor Piles walked in and carried Light Projectile Weapons, Batons, and Shielding.

“Gather your weapons, I’m going to access your Combat Prowess.” Doctor Piles said to the Candidates.

Okina grabbed the Baton then continued to the other side of the room.

Hino stepped up and grabbed the Shielding.

Anki stepped up and grabbed the Shielding as well.

The other candidates soon began to pile on and grab the weapons that they found were most suited for them.

Beruta grabbed a Light Projectile Weapon because that is what she was most comfortable with.

“I will randomly assign you into one of two groups, you will either be the attacker or defender. Attackers succeed by landing a fatal strike on the dummy, defenders succeed by preventing any damage from getting to the dummy. For every strike on the dummy that is non-fatal the defender would be deducted points. The dummy will listen to basic instructions.” Doctor Piles instructed.

A sign appeared that showed what groups each person was going to be in. Beruta ended up as an Attacker.

After the groups were assigned then another panel appeared that showed which attackers were going to be against which Defenders.

Confrontation 1 was Yahu against Urgio.

Confrontation 2 was Almuha against Simura.

Confrontation 3 was Beruta against Anki.

Confrontation 4 was Saigan against Hano.

Confrontation 5 was Rancol against Hahur.

Confrontation 6 was Okina against Yakra.

Yahu stepped into the Attackers square, and Urgio stepped in front of the dummy.

“Incapacitate the Dummy or your Opponent. You may begin.” Doctor Piles announced.

Yahu loaded up their weapon. They walked around calmly trying to catch a moment where Urgio would not be prepared. Yahu selected the Light Projectile Weapon while Urgio selected the Baton.

Yahu stopped walking and started shooting at the Dummy. Urgio stepped in front of the Projectiles and took the force from them. Urgio then pursued Yahu trying to tackle them and land a critical blow.

Yahu continued to shoot before Urgio successfully tackled them.

“Exercise over.” Doctor Piles announced.

Urgio got up feeling reinvigorated, they felt as though they had successfully passed.

“Dummy had been shot in the head.” Round goes to Yahu. Urgio loses full marks.

Urgio looked back and saw that their dummy had indeed been hit in the head. Urgio walked away with disappointment. Yahu joined with their group of Candidates that were always together.

Simura stepped up in the defender’s square, and Almuha stepped into the attackers.

“You may begin.” Doctor Piles said as Simura immediately shot 3 shots at Almuha. The shots landed perfectly on the forearms and a leg of Almuha.

Almuha fell and was unable to bend their hand with enough force to hold the weapon.

“Exercise over.” Doctor Piles immediately announced.

“Whoa. So that is what it’s like for one of the Top 5 to be against someone.” Beruta thought to herself.

“Beruta and Anki, take your positions.” Doctor Piles said.

“Wait…” Beruta just realized. “Anki is also in the Top 5, damn, this is going to be rough.” Beruta thought.

Anki held their Shield up while standing in front of the dummy. Beruta had her Light Projectile Weapon ready to fire.

“If you get any closer than you already are I am going to bring you down, fair warning.” Anki warned Beruta.

“I’m pretty good with this sort of Weapon, so I wouldn’t be so confident in moving towards me.” Beruta responded.

The match between Anki and Beruta was set to begin.

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