Chapter 1018: Observation

Though he hadn’t noticed it at first, Vahn was able to sense there were various ‘activities’ going on in the surrounding hotels. Unlike back when he was in the Record of Danmachi, there were no real security measures that could block detection abilities. With his domain, Vahn quickly intuited that the hotel he found himself outside of wasn’t exactly normal. Realizing this, he turned his attention to the surroundings, noticing that people went about their business as normal, even though he half-believed he had wandered into this world’s version of a Red Light District. Based on how the pedestrians were acting, with even young children happily walking about, Vahn felt that the people either weren’t bothered by acts of intimacy, or he had found himself in a society that proactively encouraged them…

As this thought crossed his mind, Vahn shook his head to refute his own wayward thoughts as, based on how people dressed, they actually seemed more ‘reserved’ than what he was used to. Most people dressed in relatively neat garments, many even wearing similar uniforms that consisted of fitted long-sleeved shirts with muted grey and black jackets. Vahn noticed that many even wore high-quality slacks, banded socks, and neatly arranged ties. With their simple haircuts and highly polished dress shoes, Vahn didn’t think these people were the types to openly display affection, at least for others to bear witness to. The only exception to this seemed to be young adults, many wearing similar uniforms to each other, hanging around and enjoying each other’s company.

In the midst of looking around, Vahn turned his attention to two young girls, both wearing matching uniforms with white blouses, pleated skirts, and stockings. Their garb was similar to the uniforms worn by other similarly aged people, leading Vahn to intuit that they must be students attending the same school. What set them apart was that they wore their uniforms somewhat slovenly compared to the norm while their skin and hair had been altered from their base color through apparent chemical means. The fact that they had light brown and blonde hair respectively, while almost everyone else in the area had dark brown and black hair, caused them to stand out like a sore thumb amongst the densely crowded streets.

After approaching relatively close to Vahn’s position, the taller of the two girls, though she was only around 158cm, gave Vahn a somewhat predatory gaze as she asked, “Hey, Mister, you a tourist or something? If you want, I can show you around. I can guarantee that its a lot more interesting on the inside~.” Punctuating her words, the girl made a circular gesture with her index finger and thumb as she smiled in what Vahn assumed was her best attempt at appearing seductive. Her friend began laughing in an enthused manner before lightly elbowing her companion and saying, “You doofus, look at his skin and face. Do you think he even knows what you’re saying?”

Though there were a few people with pale and fairer complexions in the surroundings, the vast majority of people present had relatively similar features, especially in regards to the basic structure of their faces and bodies. Vahn, however, currently stood around 185cm tall, towering over the vast majority of males present. His skin was the same healthy tanned color that he preferred for himself while his facial features were, from the perspective of everyone gawking at him, distinctly western. What set him apart even more, other than his angular jawline and generally handsome face, were his uncharacteristic spiky brown hair, which gave him a somewhat untamed appearance, and his stark aquamarine eyes. Though it was hard to determine his age at a glance, most would have estimated him to be in his late twenties. After watching the Vanir grow up rapidly, combined with his status as an Emperor, Vahn had taken on a more mature and, according to most, intimidating appearance…

When Vahn looked directly at the two girls, their eyes widened in surprise as, even without emanating any pressure, Vahn’s gaze made them feel as if they had just stepped into a room with an unleashed tiger. Though he didn’t understand the meaning of the girl’s gesture, Vahn knew she was trying to solicit him so he adopted his characteristically polite smile as he said, “I am perfectly capable of understanding you. However, though I am flattered by the offer, I’ll have to ask that the two of you excuse me…” Based on how their expressions had ‘blanked’, Vahn wasn’t sure if the two girls had even processed what he said. The taller of the two girls then adopted an unexpectedly bashful look as she moved a few loose strands of hair behind her ear and asked, “W-What’s the rush? Are you looking for something?”

Only allowed on Creativenovels.com

With her friend’s words breaking her free from the stupor she had found herself in, the shorter of the two girls quickly added, “Yeah, yeah, why not keep us company for a bit, Mister? Don’t worry, you won’t even have to pay…!” As the final words left her mouth, the shorter girl’s face gained a ruddy hue as her friend looked towards her with an accusatory gaze that seemed to scream, ‘What are you saying!?’. Seeing this, Vahn was beginning to feel that the situation was quickly turning into something troublesome, especially with the gazes passersby were giving him. Though he was accustomed to men directing envious gazes towards him, he could see the shadow of judgment and disgust in the eyes of some. This triggered a few red flags in Vahn’s mind as, without knowledge of this word’s laws and customs, the chance that any small event could quickly escalate out of control was high…

Before the two could continue pestering him, Vahn held up his hand to catch the girls’ attention before adopting a more serious expression as he said, “Once again, I’m flattered, but not interested. Please go about your own business as I have my own to attend…” With those parting words, Vahn walked passed the two stunned girls without sparing them a second glance. Through his domain, he could sense the taller of the two push the smaller girl, causing him to sigh as he shifted his focus elsewhere. He couldn’t fathom how the two were actually able to consider each other friends if they would fight over something so inconsequential. Based on the reaction from the surroundings, their behavior was highly frowned upon yet, curiously, Vahn noticed that nobody took any proactive measures to put a stop to it. Some people even brought out the devices from their pockets, pointing them towards the two girls as they began spectating the event at a distance…

After leaving the area, Vahn made sure there was no attention placed on him before turning his head skyward and leaping towards the top of a four-story building. In the region he was located, the buildings were not only tightly packed together but, with few exceptions, most were multiple stories tall. Even the various shops, of which there were numerous, often had several floors in which customers could browse neatly arranged and highly colorful products. Some were even live-in stores, often with the uppermost floor being designated as the residence of whoever ran the business. Vahn actually found the layout of this unique City rather charming as, even though there were still a few hours left in the day, the City seemed alive with various lights and sounds.

With his higher vantage, Vahn watched as the vast majority of people moved about on foot while a few used mechanical means to traverse the City below. They had a surprisingly efficient system to regulate both foot and mechanical traffic, using a series of lights to guide people while various other signs denoted the rules and regulations that the carriage drivers had to follow. It was a rather ingenious system and, if not for the fact that it seemed somewhat ‘wasteful’ to rely on such means of transport, Vahn would have commended their ingenuity. From his perspective, the slow-moving mechanical carriages were just a means in which the lazier,or perhaps more affluent, people got around. Instead of developing their bodies to the point that they could easily outmaneuver such contraptions, they seemed almost ‘dependent’ on the machines they had created in order to prosper.

Dear Readers. Scrapers have recently been devasting our views. At this rate, the site (creativenovels .com) might...let's just hope it doesn't come to that. If you are reading on a scraper site. Please don't.

Almost at the exact moment this thought crossed his mind, Vahn’s ears picked up the sound of a supersonic hum, drawing his attention towards the skies above. His eyes widened a bit as, several thousand meters in the sky, there was another mechanical contraption that was moving through the sky. Though it was hard to determine its exact size and shape, Vahn approximated the contraption to be more than 40m long, comprised almost entirely of metal. What he found most surprising was the fact that it seemed to rely entirely on mechanical components to achieve flight as the lack of mana within the environment would have made most forms of flight inefficient.

Seeing the peculiar contraption flying through the sky, Vahn muttered in a voice mixed with awe and a bit of melancholy, “I shouldn’t underestimate the people of this world. Any civilization capable of achieving flight through mechanical means is deserving of caution…it’s a shame Ina couldn’t be here to see this…” Knowing that Ina would have loved to dismantle almost everything he had come across in this Record, Vahn felt a bit of homesickness as he began jumping between buildings. Though some people noticed his movements, Vahn had altered his appearance slightly to ensure they wouldn’t be able to identify him later on. He didn’t know the exact functions of the devices that almost everyone seemed to carry but, after observing several people using them, he had determined they were used to facilitate communication. They appeared to use invisible fields located all throughout the City to connect the devices while also sending signals through fields that extended high into the skies above, far beyond Vahn’s perception…

After coming to a stop atop a fourteen-story building, Vahn remarked, “They have such an expansive network of communication yet seem to almost ‘ignore’ each other as they go about their business…” Having observed passersby for a few hours now, Vahn felt it was strange that people would simply walk by each other, hardly sparing a glance for the other party. Just like many had ignored the two fighting girls, the common consensus seemed to be to mind your own business. This was especially true for the older generations who often looked towards those younger than themselves with borderline content and clear annoyance in their expressions. At the same time, most of the youths would completely ignore their seniors, to the point that they would unceremoniously walk around old people that were crossing through the lanes designated for mechanical carriages without providing aid. Some were even glued to the pocket devices that seemed commonplace within this world, completely ignoring their surroundings by wearing devices that were inserted into the ears…

Vahn couldn’t quite fathom how there could be such a high density of people in one place, even as everyone seemed to act as individuals. Even in the tall buildings he had passed along the way, Vahn inspected their interior and saw many men and women sitting at desks that were closely surrounded by walls. Though everyone wore similar uniforms, they were literally divided on the most basic level as everyone kept their heads down and focused on their work. Everything seemed rigid and overly polite, to the point that Vahn felt suffocated watching as two men exchanged a total of eleven bows between themselves. Even though the display seemed to be a respectful one, Vahn could tell that both men were doing it as part of a ‘necessitated courtesy’, not genuine respect…

With a sigh escaping his lips, Vahn sat on the edge of the roof to ruminate but was almost immediately noticed by someone walking below. The moment they pointed towards him, Vahn swore that more than a hundred heads swiveled in direction at the same time while some almost instantly directed their pocket devices towards him. Seeing this, he rolled back onto the roof to evade their gazes before muttering, “This world is weird…Sis, do you have any ideas about how I can make some money?” During his search through the City, which he now knew to be called Fuyuki, Vahn had been considering a means to make some Yen to pay for temporary lodging. He quickly hit a wall, however, as there was nothing like a merchant’s association present while most of the stores he had inspected seemed to only sell items, not purchase them…

Without any delay in her response, Sis quickly answered, (*I have been intercepting the data transmissions through the wireless network encompassing the City. Without an Identification Card, it will be difficult for you to sell items, even if you did quickly forge something. For the time being, it may be best to move to the outskirts of the City or use one of the rooftops to rest. In the morning, I would suggest moving to the riverside as there is a fish market that opens around 2AM. Fish seems to be an exceptionally popular foodstuff in this region and you should be able to sell your catch to the local butchers there without any difficulties. For the time being, I would suggest laying low until you get a better understanding of this world’s unique qualities. I suspect trouble will come looking for you, sooner or later, so it is best to use this time to collect as much information as possible. If you can gain direct access to a computer, the object you saw those uniformed workers using, I will be able to access a stream of information called the internet to quickly expand our knowledge base.*)

Vahn hadn’t been expected such a comprehensive answer from Sis, as she had been relatively quiet during his observation of the City. Now, he realized she had been using the same invisible network as the people below to access information. Since this was all stored within his mind, Vahn closed his eyes and began pouring through the information contained within. Sis, understanding his intentions, sorted through the data she had been collecting, presenting it to Vahn in a cohesive format that he would be able to interpret without being confused by. At the same time, she purchased several texts and books through the system shop, based on texts referenced within the data she had collected, further increasing the amount of knowledge he possessed.

After nearly five hours of sorting through the information organized by Sis, Vahn opened his eyes and observed the City below once again, this time with a significantly greater understanding of what he was looking at. Most importantly, he now knew he was on a planet called Earth, the third celestial body rotating around its parent star, generally referred to as the Sun. What hit him even harder than the truck from earlier, however, was the fact that Vahn knew his original planet was also called Earth. Even the name of the current country he found himself in, Japan, was something he was intimately familiar with after being a fan of anime and manga. It was a place he had always dreamed about visiting in the past but, after reaching Danmachi, such desires had quickly faded. Now that he knew he was in a world that was even remotely similar to the one he originally hailed from, Vahn was experiencing a variety of complex emotions that were hard to parse…

Turning his attention to the East, even though residents of this world would refer to it as the ‘West’, Vahn felt as if he could see the United States across the vast Pacific Ocean. Though it wasn’t the place he had been born, Vahn felt a cold rage rising up in the back of his mind as he couldn’t help but compare it to his original world. For a brief moment, he even contemplating whether or not to cross the ocean and get ‘revenge’ but, remembering that this was simply one United States in an infinite number of variable timelines, Vahn tempered his anger by taking several deep breaths. He couldn’t hold the people of this world accountable for the actions of his original world, regardless of the fact that he actually recognized the names of some of their celebrities and politicians. Since many anime and manga could have been based on the world he originated from, it wasn’t that surprising to find that some of the same names would appear…

It took him a bit longer than he would have liked to admit, likely the result of his ‘separation anxiety’, but Vahn eventually managed to calm down enough to muse, “At least I finally got to visit Japan…” With those words departing his lips, Vahn jumped through the sky by creating a few loose footholds on the air. He currently lacked the ability to fly, as there simply wasn’t enough mana within the atmosphere, but that didn’t stop him from using his knowledge of [Koku Shundo] and his comprehension of the Space element to get by. Still, it was a lot harder than Vahn expected and, by the time he reached the nearby Mion River, he had to take a breather as he waited for his reserves to slowly replenish. Without abilities like [Yggdrasil’s Blessing] and [Spirit Healing], Vahn found that his replenishment of Source Energy had effectively been crippled compared to his past self…

With the sun already setting on the horizon, Vahn deeply inhaled the crisp evening air before frowning slightly as his body naturally filtered out the chemicals that had become a part of the every-day life of the people in this world. Instead of feeling refreshed by the cool breeze washing over him, Vahn picked up a nearby stone before skipping it clear across the river. He wondered if he should take an active role in this world, slowly changing it into a more peaceful place where people would be able to live happier lives. Though the Politics of this world seemed unnecessarily complex, Vahn knew they were only the ‘surface’ powers within the world as there were undoubtedly more powerful forces controlling things behind the scenes. After all, this Record had an even higher Tier than Danmachi so, even though the majority of people seemed almost ridiculously weak, there had to be a few individuals that could even decimate an existence like Tiamat with ease…

After skipping a few stones, Vahn focused his eyes as he released another small pebble from his hands. This one didn’t skip across the water and, instead, penetrated deep beneath the surface before piercing through the head of a rather large Bluefin Tuna. Vahn estimated its weight to be around 180kg, making it worth around ¥240,000 within the local market. Though it would usually require a license to fish for Bluefin, Vahn knew he would be able to sell it cheaply to one of the local fishermen without them asking too many questions. As they would be able to turn a much larger profit for the fish than the price he would quote, Vahn intended to take advantage of the apparently ‘laziness’ of people within the world to turn a quick profit…

Using the same method, Vahn quickly harvested the lives of a dozen large Bluefin Tuna before preserving them in his Inventory. With that out of the way, he chose the riverbed as his resting place for the night, watching the stars overhead as the cool evening air blanketed his body. Now that he no longer had the eternal flame in his chest, Vahn could feel the chill far more clearly than before. This made him once again realize that he was no longer in the Record of Danmachi and, no matter how much he wanted to, he now lacked the means to retreat to the comfort provided by the people he loved. He was now an impossible distance from them, one which he could never traverse without reaching a degree of power he couldn’t even comprehend at this point…

As the realization that he wouldn’t see his family again for a long time began to settle in, Vahn closed his eyes in a vain attempt to keep his tears from falling. Worst of all, he couldn’t even call Fenrir to his side as, with what he now knew of this world, it would be impossible for him to keep her a secret. She would draw far too much attention with her unique appearance and, without the means to use transformation magic due to the low density of mana available in the atmosphere, she had no way of concealing her Vanargandr traits. Until he found a permanant residence and acquired a means to reliably replenish their reserves, she would have to remain in stasis within his Unit Management’s storage. The only other option was to rely on items obtained through the shop to replenish her reserves but, at least for the time being, Vahn knew this wouldn’t be a viable solution. Thus, for what felt like the first time in more than a hundred years, Vahn spent the evening in solitude as a degree of loneliness he hadn’t fully prepared for hit him…like a truck…

(A/N: Alternate Titles: ‘Begone, THOT~!’,’Interconnected, but separate…’,’Homesickness…’)

https://bit.ly/2XBzAYu <-(p.atreon link)

paypal.me/Einlion

Discord Invite: https://discord.gg/mn5xMbE

You may also like: