The Karma of Estarosta asked, and so we told it everything that had happened. The goblin stampede. The abnormally evolved being that had led it. The facility and the mutated monster. And that we had destroyed it.
At the same time, we asked it how much it knew about us.
‘Karma have a unique network that makes use of the dragon vein. There is a database built off of this network where information is shared and stored. Both your names were saved in it as data. And your purpose as well.’
“…So, uh. You don’t consider that to be a hostile act?”
‘As for the destruction of Nova, there is nothing that we can do about it. We would not resist. We are just machines that have been installed in different cities. And we are isolated from the Nova body.’
“Isolated? But how can a terminal function without the main machine?”
‘There appears to be something wrong with the Nova body. We were cut off from it and reconnection is impossible. However, the data was not destroyed, and the Karma Network is secure. We Karma can still communicate with each other.’
I see… They were like children who talked to each other but never contacted their parents. And as they had no orders from their parent, they didn’t attack. They also couldn’t help us. On top of that, Daniela’s presence meant they would reveal their data.
Something like that…
“I do not understand this at all…”
“I’ll break it down for you later.”
“Fine. I leave it to you.”
It wasn’t complicated… It was just that the words used by the more developed culture of the ancient elves were similar to what I knew. Well, it was also possible that they were influenced by people who were transported in the past.
“Thank you. This information will be a great help.”
‘It was no problem at all. Going forward, the Nova will not be hostile towards you. But we will not be allies either. You can think of us terminals for information.’
That was rather sad. But it was still helpful.
“What will you do now?”
‘This place will be made uninvadable. We do not want to allow monsters to use it again and inconvenience the people of this age.’
“So, just like in Reserentrible… We won’t see you again.”
‘The Karma Network is connected. As long as this star does not die, you two will not be forgotten. This is not goodbye.’
I wasn’t so sure about that… In any case, I suppose being able to converse didn’t mean you had emotions.
‘Lastly, I will disclose to you the data concerning the Nova.’
That was something. Even Daniela seemed surprised.
‘This had been debated among us ever since your data was registered. It was one week ago that a conclusion was reached. We have decided to show you the way to the Nova.’
“I thought you weren’t allowed to help us?”
Daniela said what I was thinking.
‘Some might see it that way. However, as we are not aiding you directly, we do not see it as support. Besides, it is your decision if you wish to go down that path or not.’
“I’m not sure that logic really follows?”
‘We have been in operation for many years. We can advance, but we can also deteriorate. And the way we think can sometimes be subject to change.’
The Karma said with a wink. Daniela muttered something about this being nonsense. But I chuckled a little. This seemed like a rather cliche development for an AI. The Karma in Reserentrible had also said something about personal emotions, but ended up showing concern for us. This Karma was a little easier to talk to, though. Maybe AI were just like that.
“Thank you. Will you tell us now?”
‘Yes. Right here.’
The Estarosta Karma slid her finger through the air and a map was displayed. There were four red points on the map. Erediares, the west island, the south forest, and the Hill of Mist.
‘Eres is Facility 1 and is in the north. Kimon is Facility 2 and is in the west. Ulbesartus is the third and is located in the south. Use the ‘keys’ that are protected in these three facilities, and you will be able to enter Mistmaria, Facility 0. And there you will meet the Nova.’
Pretty ‘game-like,’ huh. But I suppose it made sense, given how important they were. This was the culture that existed during the great age of magic. It wouldn’t be anything easy. On the other hand…it all felt kind of analog. Perhaps it was ultimately more reliable than anything digital.
“Do we have to collect the keys in a certain order?”
‘No. As long as you have all three in the end.’
“Understood. Thank you for the information.”
‘We are grateful that you dealt with the consequences of our mistakes. The underground city of Estarosta will be isolated completely after three hours have passed. Please begin to depart.’
They would not allow anyone else to invade this place. Ultimately, we had closed off two ancient elven ruins. In a way, that meant historical buildings and cultural heritage being lost forever. I couldn’t help but feel bad about that.
“Will these places ever be opened again?”
‘Yes. If a time comes that peace is assured, then the lock will be deactivated. Perhaps we will work with humans again soon.’
That was a relief. I probably wouldn’t be alive when that happened. But Daniela might be. And the idea of the world being a better place during such a time made me happy.
“Alright, let us go.”
“Right. Well, Estarosta Karma. Thank you for everything. Goodbye.”
I waved before following Daniela out of the door. The hologram in the center of the light waved at us as we left.
‘Goodbye. Man from another world. And you who are one of our descendants. May you have a happy future.’
The lights faded and Karma disappeared.
We had to leave.
Silence fell over the now empty room. There was nothing to disturb the air. Just one plain machine in the center. It made me wonder how many years would pass before a human stepped in again. While we would no doubt speak with other Karma’s, it was still kind of sad.
I looked back one last time into the empty room.
If we did meet again, maybe we could talk about other worlds. It was with such thoughts in my head that I followed after Daniela.