88 Two Systems
"Yes? Is there a problem?"
"I only received mine slightly over two years ago. This means you had your system about twice as long as me."
"Oh?" Anja was surprised by my news. I was the same. I had always assumed our father left the systems as his last will and testimony, but if that was the case, we should all received the systems at the same time. Why did Anja get her system so much earlier? Anja was asking herself the same question.
"I had read that you began designing battlesuits two years ago, but I always thought you were in training or something before then. Why did you receive your system so much later than me?"
"Good question. Unfortunately, my system refused to say anything about it's creation. What about yours?"
"Same thing." Anja admitted.
Silence reigned. We were both processing our thoughts, wondering why we got our systems at different time. I couldn't come up with anything. I needed information.
"I'll tell you everything about my system, and you do the same for yours. I know it make more sense to keep some information to ourselves, but if we are going to figure out more about the systems, we need more information about each other. So, what do you say?"
It took her awhile, but Anja finally gave me a small nod. Since I was the one who brought it up, I decided to begin. I told Anja about the tasks my system gave me, and the rewards I received. As we talked, we realized out systems worked differently. My system had assigned Battlesuit Designer and Marketer as my jobs and gave me skills based on what I did. For example, my Tinkering skill was given to me after I spent hours tinkering with the Steambot, and Quick-thinking Promotion was given after I quickly found a way to promote my workshop. However, there was a stupid randomness to the rewards.
I gave Anja the example of the jackpot machine, about how I had to pull it to get the system reward. Anja thought it was cute. She freely admits that nothing like it happened to her. When her system gave her rewards, it would just give it to her. There was no choice or show of chance. It was a big difference, and I wondered why our systems were so different. I needed more information.
"I was told you are an up-and coming magician in your council. You also said that you were just a middling magician before you got the system. If you don't mind, can you tell me how you got so powerful?"
"I got information about a dungeon." Seeing my puzzled look, Anja smiled. "I don't mean those S\u0026M dungeons but a magical dungeon. A place that contains lost forgotten magic."
"For real?" I was in disbelief. That just can't be true. It's one thing to accept magic, and cultivation, but a magical dungeon? That's impossible! "You mean like those dungeons in fantasy, with a dungeon core and monsters guarding lost treasures?"
"Where do you think those stories come from?" Anja laughed. "Yes, there are such places in this world, but the stories of dungeon cores are mostly made-up. Dungeons are usually just hidden magical workshops that had been forgotten through time. Most magicians guard their secrets jealously and have a few hidden magical workshops hidden all over the world. When they die, the locations of these workshops are lost and some of them contains great magic modern magicians would die for. Literally. Most workshops have defensive measures in place, and you can guess the rest."
"What do you get from the dungeon?"
"Everything." Seeing my puzzled look, Anja explained further. "I never told anyone about the dungeon, and I went in without support. Once I broken through the defenses, everything inside was mine."
"You went in alone?"
From this, I knew Anja was a lot braver than me. I would never had even considered doing it alone. I might not even had gone in at all. It would be easier to just pay someone to do it for me.
"I shall admit it wasn't the smartest thing I had ever done, but the reward was worth it. From what I gathered from the dungeon, it was at least five hundred years old and once belonged to a magician who was actively researching the art of Astral Projection."
"I'm sorry. I have no idea what that is."
"Try to touch me."
Anja raised her hand. I moved to touch her … and my hand went right through her. Immediately, I heard noise from the entrance. I looked in the direction and saw that both Howard and Salma were on the move. I stopped them and told them to go back to their seats. They were a little reluctant, but I assured them it was okay. After they had returned to their seats, I turned my attention back to Anja. She was apologetic.
"Sorry about that."
"No need." I lied. Knowing that Anja wasn't truly here was a security concern, but I wasn't about to admit that. Not when there was a bigger question on my mind. "Where are you?"
"Somewhere in Europe. What you are seeing now is just a projection of me. I am able to project myself anywhere within Europe."
"How is this possible? I get that you're not here, but this isn't a hologram. We checked before we came in. There were two heat signatures inside this café. Even the best holograms in the solar system can't fake heat signatures."
"Please don't be coy."
"Force of habit." Anja giggled. "You need a sense of humour, little brother. It's the only way to handle all the craziness in our life."
"I'm an engineer. I deal with problem with cold hard logic."