Chapter 81: Virtual Apotheosis? The feedback loop kicked in, and Keija experienced a massive surge in her integrated strength, and the domain responded in kind, propelling her spiritual strength like a rocket to new heights. Teyna also experienced a soul smashing breakthrough in regards to the bottleneck she was experiencing. The spiritual strength that Keija started to send to Teyna was overwhelming, and Teyna's own self-defense reflex kicked in to greatly limit the surge of spiritual strength Teyna could receive from outside sources. Even with such self-defensive reflexes, a massive amount of spiritual strength now had to be resolved in Teyna's soul realm and she gasped for breath as she realized that Keija was continuing to integrate at mind boggling speed. Keija noticed that Teyna was unable to keep up with this massive build up of spiritual strength, and cut her outpouring to her friend to a bare trickle. Even a trickle, however, at this speed of integration, was enough to push Teyna through her bottleneck and race upwards toward the the pinnacle of the 4th rank. She again gasped in surprise as she hit the bottleneck for the 4th rank. Too much power acquired quickly was bad for one's spiritual foundation, Teyna now understood why. The amount of spiritual power within her made her giddy, but she still had no proper basis for utilizing that strength. She immediately stopped cultivating from the domain in order to consolidate her soul realm. Teyna opened her eyes, and stared dumbfounded at Keija as the Swartalfheimer continued to experience this massive feedback loop with the domain. She was glowing! Unlike mortal cultivation, a spirit could enhance their eidos' spiritual strength without fundamentally changing it's state. It was a question of magnitude or image size. Using a digital image as an example, the same picture could be resized or have it's density of pixels increased without fundamentally changing the image that picture represented. The resolution and clarity of the image would improve with more and more pixels, and the image could be resized at will depending on the amount of memory available to render the image. This massive amount of spiritual strength in Keija, was like having several terabytes of RAM added to a digital camera's image memory. Her eidos gained refinement and clarity as her spiritual strength soared. And she did not stop! Keija was gaining complete control over the domain as the feedback loop coursed throughout the domain! The domain was, in effect, becoming her personal artifact. The level of control over the nature and attributes of the domain was such that Keija began to understand innately where each and every artifact and guardian creature within the domain was located. She began to feel as if she could restrict or enhance the domain's influence on these artifacts and their guardians as well. It was then, after realizing that her akashic recording crystal was flaring and about to shatter, that Keija decided to suddenly end her integration. This all occurred within the space of minutes, and Keija had pushed through to the pinnacle of the 5th rank of spiritual strength. She could probably have continued this integration indefinitely, at least until the limit of the domain was reached, but there would always be time for that later. Her connection to the domain was so solid, that she had complete control over all the access points in the domain. In spite of the present level of control she had attained, Keija still needed to consolidate all these gains in her eidos, so that they wouldn't fade over time though. The act of consolidating this massively dense eidos to ensure it's permanency would take days if not weeks. Her eidetic memory would greatly help in this regard, but it would still take time to fully comprehend the full import of this event. As Keija finally opened her eyes with a tremendous grin, she looked at the exhausted Teyna and smiled with a subtle but glorious expression on her face. “What a rocket ride that was!” Keija laughed euphorically, finally breaking the frozen expression on Teyna's face as she couldn't help but giggle in return. “I couldn't keep up with such a force!” Teyna stated with a harried look in her eyes. Rin and the other mages were also startled by the dramatic change in the domain once they returned to the safe zone. Rin himself was shocked to such an extent that he believed even if he wanted to attempt to force Keija out of the domain, it would be he who was forced out by her instead. “Miss Nighthawk,” Rin addressed Keija with a tinge of apprehension, “May I conclude that the domain is now under your control?” “You may indeed conclude that Mr. Sanada,” Keija replied without a pause. “This domain and I are now fully integrated. I can retrieve artifacts if you wish for the students, or seal the domain from any further intrusions. If there is any question of ownership of this domain however, I must admit, that I am unwilling to part with it.” “I'm not sure how the college will react to this change, but I can understand your position, given the effect on the domain and yourself,” Rin replied with some anxiety in his voice. “It's not really a matter of having a choice on their part, at this point,” Keija said with as much humility as she could muster, “The domain is part of me now, and I am a part of it. It might be best to consider this domain as the artifact that I chose from today's lesson.” “An interesting point, which I am sure the college will no doubt have to accept, even with some regrets.” “I wouldn't worry about it too much, Mr. Sanada,” Keija offered an olive branch, “There is no reason for me to deny access to the domain from the college students, nor to any of the faculty as well. It's just that the benefit of this domain to me is too great for me to sever my connection with it at this point.” Indeed, the benefit of the domain was akin to having an artifact that could grant a sort of virtual apotheosis to a spirit. Instant or near instant Godhood? Who would give up that power willingly? The only limit on Keija's advancement in spiritual strength at this point, was her desire to consolidate her current gains, as well as not wishing to test the limits of the domain itself. After all, who wanted to kill the goose that laid the golden egg? If the domain was damaged by too sudden a rise in spiritual strength, Keija would greatly suffer for it at this point. No, it was best to avoid that possibility, and to consolidate her current gains, as well as configure the domain towards a more friendly affinity for her elemental and spiritual attributes. Even this had some danger, but with Keija's level of control at this point, the danger of affecting the domain's core ability to adjust itself to a given spiritual strength would be quite small. “We have to remain on site in any case, to monitor your Astral Walker, Mr. Grey.” Rin sighed in conclusion. It was obvious to him that the matter had been settled the moment Keija began to integrate with the domain in such a startling manner. Although the administration of the college would have fits about the security of the domain and it's artifacts, there was no way to avoid Keija's control over the domain.