World Gate Online / World Gate Online Volume 5 Chapter 9: Devious Truth Circle
“The [Gatekeeper Project] is a special police force that is not bound to any world and will exist in order to maintain the balance of the concerned worlds.” (Colin)
Colin started the introduction of the [Gatekeeper Project].
To sum it up, the [Gatekeepers] are some kind of police, only, they move about in worlds. Battling those who uses a different world technology to cause trouble in a different world.
For example, using magic in [Earth] for crimes and whatnot or vice versa.
The [Gatekeepers] are also divided into [Ranks]. SSS, SS, S, A, B, C, D, E, and F.
The condition for being a [Gatekeeper] is simply volunteering, even if one has no [World Key], they can go as far as [Rank A].
[Rank S] and above are special conditions and would not be granted to just about everyone as it requires high level officials to make the decision themselves but at the very least, they should have a [World Key] of their own.
[Rank S] and above do not do the same activities as [Rank A] and below and would simply move only when ordered. They are the last line of defense so to say, and that they should be able to immediately act when needed be.
Also, this does not mean that they have to be strong, they can also be proficient in other things in order to be a [Rank S] or above. Simply put, the ranking can be said to be their authority to be able to access information.
Naturally, someone from [Rank A] or below cannot gain information only for [Rank S] and above.
Why is there a need for that?
If you think about it, if you were to release the information about how to make a [Teleportation Circle], then what’s stopping everyone from going wherever they please?
If we release the formula on how to make a nuclear weapon, just what kind of disaster would happen?
Everyone had started giving out ideas one after another for countering future problems.
For example, if one learned a skill that can make himself disappear or hide, will cameras from our world see them? One suggested studying the magic cameras of [Harus] and fusing it with our technology, giving it different kinds of vision like infrared or x-ray and such.
There were also talks about studying the city’s core and see if it is possible to temper with it and maybe add an EMP field that can prevent unregistered techs from activating.
Flying vehicles were also discussed as there seem to be floating islands in [Harus]. They think that the ores found there may be the key for anti-gravitational fields.
They also started to think of items to bless in the [Skill Shrine] in [Sennerth] as well as talks about the future expeditions and how they should go about it.
One by one, ideas were made and everyone seemed to enjoy the benefits that they will have.
Of course, these ideas were not made by professionals of their own fields so it may be lacking at the moment but the idea is still there.
“Right, has anyone here tried switching to his [Earth] form in [Harus]?” (Lucas)
I asked those who were wearing a [World Key].
“No, there was no point for me since this body is more powerful and switching will only weaken me.” (Bram)
“I didn’t try as well since I feared something bad might happen.” (Lin)
“If I switched, the pain filter will no longer be applicable so I didn’t even bother to do it.” (Shaw)
The other remaining [World Key Holders] also shook their head.
Huh? Was I really the only one who thought about doing it???
“Well good. Because it hurts like hell…” (Lucas)
“You tried it? What happened?” (Bram)
“Immediately after switching, I was unable to breathe, as if my lungs were rejecting the air itself. My head started to hurt, even SS Rank healing magic only felt like it was burning me instead of healing me!” (Lucas)
Hearing what I said, they can’t help but flinch a little and think that they were lucky to have never thought of doing it.
“How did you survive? Or did you immediately switch back?” (Lin)
“No, I can barely even think that time much less switch back. I know that if I let it be, I will definitely die. Then, in my mind, a door appeared and it was shut tight. Imagine a submerged car, with the pressure of the water, it’s impossible to open the door right? The same could be said to what I experienced. However, I managed to open it, and immediately after, I felt that my body sucked every bit of mana around me like a sponge. After that, I gained mana in my [Earth] body.” (Lucas)
People from [Earth] let out an amazed expression and they were probably thinking that if they were to repeat the same process, then they will no longer need a [World Key] in order to fight against magic users.
I already expected such reactions so I continued.
“However, how I survived, I really can’t understand it. I don’t know what that door was inside my mind, nor do I know if just about everyone can do the same and I think most of you are already thinking of doing some inhumane experiments to try it and don’t even deny it. I can’t stop you but I would like to at least reduce the damage.” (Lucas)
“What do you mean?”
“…I have a theory that might help solve it. Like I said before, our bodies are like empty containers, if suddenly submerged in the deep water, it will stay compact and closed, unable to open. So how do you open it?” (Lucas)
“…I think I saw this in Discovery once, the inside needs to be filled with water as well right? So the pressure will equalize and it will be easier to open.” (Shaw)
Oh, this guy is unexpectedly knowledgeable. I think I only got to know how this worked when I was already 15 years old…I’m really too ignorant…
“*Cough* Yes. I had already tested that when I heal people here in [Earth], they don’t suffer any backlash. My theory is that, if we were to fill it first before transporting someone in a mana-filled world all of a sudden, they will not suffer the same thing I experienced.” (Lucas)
They all nodded as they understood. But at the end, this is but a theory of someone not well-versed with how magic works so it’s not that reliable which made some people unable to believe.
“Or well, let them do it, kill them, and they will be back in a week’s time as they spend their time in the [Special Hospital]. And maybe, just maybe, they will return with a mana-abled body.” (Lucas)
I shrugged as I thought of another way but no matter how you see it, I don’t think there will be anyone who will try it…after all, dying still hurts a lot.
Everyone revealed awkward expressions, probably thinking if I was joking or not.
Well, I won’t say anything…
“Anyway, I think it would be better to warn everyone about this in order to prevent them from carelessly switching like I did, which was why I raised this matter.” (Lucas)
“Mh, if people does not know this, then I fear there may be a couple of accidental deaths in the future. Not only that, some people may even complain about this being unsafe which may cause further panic.” (Trask)
“Then we will simply tell the people that switching into [Earth] form in Harus is dangerous and may kill them. If we present a random dead body who had the same symptoms, then they will definitely believe it.” (US President)
Uwah, even going as far as presenting a fake corpse…this guy is really scary.
Even though I thought of that, no one else seemed to mind about it and they all nodded.
…Should I say I’m the weird one here or the only sane one!?
Haah, I can never understand these guys…
The conversation moved on into the privileges of [Rank S] and above [Gatekeepers].
First of all, every [World Key Holder] in this room are already [Rank S] while the rest of the higher ups are either [Rank SS] or [Rank SSS].
Us [Rank S] have the privilege of using the [Teleportation Circles] that will be installed to every country.
A single base will be made where all of the [Teleportation Circles] meet. This base will be the [Gatekeeper Headquarters] where they can contact us if there’s a need to use our…specific qualities.
It’s been decided that the [White Knight] will be the main mascot of the [Gatekeepers] as he made the most impact to everyone.
“Come to think of it, who are you under that helmet? How can we trust you if you won’t reveal your identity.” (Bram)
This guy again…why do I have a feeling that this guy talked a lot more than everyone here?
No idea how to answer, Ban looked at me.
Oh yeah, I told him not to speak if he’s wearing that armor…
“Don’t be like that, I was the one who told him to not speak or remove his helmet.” (Lucas)
“Huh? This guy listens to you to that extent?” (Bram)
“Of course, after all, I am the [White Knight] to begin with.” (Lucas)
Everyone wore surprised expressions with a bit of doubt.
“More specifically, I was the one who wore this armor when that [Behemoth] attacked our country. This one, is someone who gained a [Hero] title in [Sennerth] whom I told to wear the armor in my place since I can’t split into two.” (Lucas)
I laughed as I took off Ban’s helmet which then revealed his face.
“Huh? Wait, so this guy is actually a native of [Sennerth]? And why would we believe you? I mean, what’s the point of doing this?” (Bram)
“Well, the [Truth Circle] isn’t activating and I can still move right? As for why his identity is a secret, why do you think superheroes in the comics or movies wear masks?” (Lucas)
“To protect the people close to them?” (Bram)
“Yes, but that’s too common. The real reason is for them to pass their mask to the next generation. This way, it doesn’t matter who’s behind the mask and his legacy still continues. Though people also love new heroes, older heroes still have more reputation and assurance.” (Lucas)
There are people who prefer new heroes, but I think that older heroes still have more impact as they have more experience and thus, more assurance in terms of safety.
If a new hero were to suddenly pop up, there will still be uneasiness and most people may think whether this hero will last or will his inexperience get the better of him.
“Hm, this, I agree on. Also, I would like it if I’m not in the spotlight too much in my personal time.” (Lin)
The others also nodded.
They of course wanted to be famous, but it’s enough to be famous for one name instead of incurring unknown trouble to them and their family.
After a few more talks, the conference finally concluded and everyone had begun to disperse.
Before I get out of my seat, I saw the Demon King from earlier make his way towards me.
“Lucas…what’s your relationship with the Demon Queen of [Sennerth]?” (Demon King)
…I knew this question will come…
“…Then, Lucas, how do you feel about her?” (Demon King)
“…I…I don’t know…” (Lucas)
“…I see, then I’ll excuse myself now.” (Demon King)
I sighed as I saw the Demon King leave…only to see him approaching Eu!
Ugh, I have a feeling that this won’t end well!
I tried to move fast to approach them…but I can’t move!
D-damn! I completely forgot that I was still standing on top of the [Truth Circle]! But when did it activate!?
Was it the question of what’s my relationship to Eu?…Or…
At the corner of my eye, I saw the Demon King taking a glance at me before smiling helplessly and shaking his head as he sigh then exiting the building without approaching Eu.
Seeing this, I can’t help but sigh helplessly as well. Looks like I’ve been played…
I answered the question truthfully quietly, not daring anyone to hear me before I was finally able to move…
Geez, these [Truth Circles] are really devious…to think that I would be forced to know what I feel…
Normally, I would’ve probably make my move now, but the problem is…the answer was also the same towards the other girls…how should I go about with this?
Now that I was finally able to move, I got outside to with the rest to prepare to go back.
The people from [Harus] are slowly being called back from their summoning when Prince Lanslet and the Archbishop approached me.
“Lucas, now that we’re finally in your world, you don’t mind giving us a tour would you?” (Prince Lanslet)
“That’s right, judging from the talk earlier, I found this machines of your world truly mysterious.” (Archbishop)
The two laughed as they follow me to the private plane we rode earlier.
Hearing our conversation, the other people from [Harus] and [Sennerth] also approached us while some approached the other [World Key Holders]. Their objectives are either the same as the Prince and Archbishop, or in order to make connection in the future, either way, we all went our ways.
Thankfully, the private plane was still big enough to fit all those that came with us and I also began making preparation on where I will take them.
Eu, Aeran, and Aleris also came with me as well as the Demon King who I glared for a while.
The only problem now is…their outfits…
No matter what, they stood out too much! It’s practically a cosplay party!
…Wait…cosplay? That’s it!
I whispered my idea to Trask and the President so they can make some calls.
Fufu, it seems this will be fun!
“Lucas, what were you talking about with that Demon King from [Harus] earlier?” (Eu)
Just then, Eu approached and asked me.
…So she noticed…
“…He says you’re cute.” (Lucas)
Eu looked dumbfounded for a second before smiling mischievously.
“Is that what he said? Or what you told him?” (Eu)
“Huaaah~ I’m really tired from all that serious stuff. Wake me up when we land!” (Lucas)
As expected, I escaped…
+ + +
“Damn, what’s with this [Truth Circle]? [Tablet of Equals]? Are these really as powerful as they make it out to be?” (???)
“How should I know? This is from a world of magic, how can I even understand how this works?” (???)
“Hmph, let’s wait and study this [Magic] more…then, find a way to get rid of these…restrictions.” (???)
“A world full of treasures! How can we possibly share them!?” (???)
Unknown to Lucas, this conversation would set off a calamity in the future.
But of course, that’s still well far off into the future.
+ + +
“…So this started it…” (Lucas II)
Lucas II sighed as he watches the conversation of two men.
“No matter, I cannot change this…if I do, a calamity worse than what will happen will appear…” (Lucas II)
Like that, he disappeared as if he never existed in the first place.