After tending to Anubis, Vahn didn’t have anything to do so he spent the next few hours meditating to try and comprehend the [Mantra of Eternity]. Even now, he couldn’t make out any of the words, but he had the benefit of easily clearing his mind using [Will of the Emperor], so he hoped to make progress on it one day. Eventually, though he didn’t particularly require sleep at the moment, Vahn decided to go to bed in preparation for the coming day.
While he was sleeping, Vahn dreamt about floating above the world in a weightless state. His body felt very relaxed, and it looked like the only thing he had to do was reach out his hands and he would be able to encompass the entire world. It seemed so effortless, and the shining blue orb seemed so beautiful that he felt a strong desire to keep it for himself. Vahn felt like the world was a tiny treasure box that contained limitless precious items that he wanted to adore and protect.
Vahn awoke and could feel a fluttery and happy feeling in his relaxed body. It was almost as if his mind had awakened earlier than his body, and he enjoyed the tingling sensation of numbness throughout his body before he finally put strength into his limbs. Releasing a happy sigh, Vahn pulled out the black orb and began inserting his consciousness into it. The reason he had awoken was that the twelve hours had passed before he could enter the black and white space.
Fortunately, he seemed to enter the space at the same point he left previously. Looking around, Vahn realized that, though some stuff had moved, there didn’t seem to be anything missing. He had been worried that Evangeline might make a mess of things in her frustration, but it seemed like he had worried for nothing. Thinking of Evangeline, the girl appeared from the void not far from him and within the area of his perception. He noticed that she wasn’t in her adult form, but she appeared to already be upset.
She spoke in a forceful and annoyed voice as she said, “This space isn’t meant to be used at your personal convenience to do whatever you feel like doing. When you’re here, it requires more mana to sustain the energies that keep this world stable, and the original purpose was to pass on my techniques to future generations. If you’re going to continue being selfish, I will not allow you to stay here any longer.”
Vahn frowned at her words, but he didn’t say anything as he tried to consider things from her perspective. Even if she wasn’t the original, she had a pair of memories and could form thoughts to make judgments. If he continued to deny the purpose for why she was left in the space, Vahn couldn’t fault her for getting angry with him. Vahn imagined what it would be like if he created a personal space to teach someone, but they ended up ignoring his intentions and started doing their own thing. The only way Vahn wouldn’t kick them out is if they were someone he was fond of or someone he had taken pity on.
However, Vahn wasn’t willing to simply concede to the small girl that was giving him a fierce look as she waited for his response. Vahn explained, “It wasn’t my original intent to use this space at my convenience, and I’m sorry things have developed this way. However, I have a very limited amount of time to improve my forging and this space is the only way I can keep my promise.” Evangeline’s expression had relaxed a bit when he started apologizing, but the moment he gave her an excuse she couldn’t help but ask, “Is it because of one of your women?”
Vahn nodded without hesitation and tried to explain the situation regarding Hephaestus. Unexpectedly, Evangeline allowed him to narrate the story without interrupting. Considering it had only been a few hours since she lashed out at him previously, Vahn was a bit confused with how she had changed in such a short period of time…As that thought passed through his mind, Vahn’s eyes widened a bit as he asked, “Evangeline, does time continue to move forward normally when I’m not inside here?”
His words caused a deep frown on the doll-like face of the small girl as she gave him a blaming look and said, “You only just realized that now? You really are the biggest idiot disciple I’ve ever had the misfortune of meeting.” Hearing her confirmation, Vahn asked Sis to calculate the time and realized that, in the short few hours he had been away, Evangeline would have been waiting an additional four years.
Though he had misgivings with Evangeline, imagining her stuck in this empty space with nothing to do for four years every time he was away, Vahn couldn’t help but pity her a bit. Evangeline saw the change in his expression and explained, “Don’t give me that kind of look; I don’t need your pity. If you’re really sorry, work hard to learn my techniques instead of wasting more of my time.”
Vahn released a sigh and explained, “I want to train, but I still need to practice my forging. As I said previously, if I can’t learn the [Master Smith] development ability before the next Denatus, Hephaestus would be embarrassed in front of the other gods. I can’t let her down, no matter what!” There was a powerful conviction in Vahn’s eyes as he stared at the hammer in his hands, the one personally forged by Hephaestus previously.
Evangeline seemed to be annoyed by his words, but she didn’t say anything for several minutes as she mulled over her thoughts. Vahn waited patiently for her to speak, but after nearly ten minutes had passed, he started to feel the urge to get to work. Though he thought Evangeline was cute and didn’t mind staring at her flawless features, that wasn’t the reason he had come to this space. Just as he was about to give up waiting, Evangeline looked at him and said, “Fine, I will allow you to use this space to set up your workshop, but you’ll have to provide compensation in exchange for my patience. And, the moment you finally get your [Master Smith] ‘development ability’, you’ll have to swear to take my lessons seriously.”
Vahn considered her words for a moment before asking, “I understand why you would ask for compensation, but what can I do other than let you drink my blood?” When Vahn mentioned the matter of drinking blood in such a casual manner, Evangeline looked like she suffered a marginal amount of mental damage. She hung her head for a bit and took several deep breaths before calming herself and saying, “I noticed that the items you brought into this space are actual, physical, objects and not spiritual constructs. Though I’m uncertain of the principles behind it, as it doesn’t seem to be based off any magical system, I know you have a way to link this space to the physical world.”
Considering she had four years to make her deductions, there was no way Vahn could refute her words so he just nodded his head in affirmation. Evangeline saw his look and gave a small smile as she continued, “If that’s the case, it’s very easy to compensate me for using this space. I’ve been trapped in here with nothing to do for such a long period of time that I’ve long since grown bored of the monotony. You just have to give me items from your world to keep me entertained. I don’t mind what it is, be it books, games, food, or even other items.”
Vahn considered for a moment before giving her all the books he had stored into his inventory previously. There were several hundred, and the moment he removed them from his inventory, Evangeline’s eyes widened a bit before she walked over and picked one up, asking, “These are books from your world?” Vahn nodded while she turned through the pages with a hint of curiosity in her eyes. After turning through more than half the pages of the book she was holding, Evangeline said, “I can’t read any of this.”
Seeing the serious expression on her face, Vahn felt the urge to laugh but knew that doing so would likely get him hammered into the ground and ejected from the space. He never had the problem of having to learn to read and write the languages of the world, since ‘The Path’ had given him the ability to comprehend the basic languages, both spoken and written, of the records he was inside. While he was trying to think of a solution, Evangeline waved her hand and all the books disappeared in the void.
After everything but the book she was holding was put away, she asked, “What kind of book is this?” Vahn tilted his head and saw that she had picked up a book related to the cultures and traditions of the Southern Tribe, so he explained the contents. Evangeline listened to his words before mumbling, “So your world also has demi-humans and beastmen? Maybe our words aren’t as dissimilar as I expected…”
Before Vahn was able to ask, Evangeline nodded her head before turning to him and saying, “I’ll need a notebook, pen, desk, a comfortable chair, as well as a bed. If you have any interesting foods or sweets, I want to try them as well.” As none of the items cost much OP, Vahn gave into her demands and purchased the items she requested through the system. When he pulled out a large king-sized bed with pink sheets, a comforter, and a few pillows, Evangeline was in a very happy mood. Even before he had the chance to make the bed properly, she had dove into the bed while hugging onto the book he had given her previously.
Evangeline rolled about on the bed a bit before saying in an approving tone, “You’re finally acting like a proper disciple. If you have any pastries or sweets, make sure to leave them on the desk before you go and start forging. Make sure to bring plenty of sweets in the future, or else I might change my mind~ For now, I’ll learn your worlds language by studying the books you gave to me.”
Vahn wanted to retort that he had only lent her the books, but she had already turned serious as she sat cross-legged on the bed and started scanning each page in a focused manner. Unwilling to interrupt her current state, Vahn just shook his head before returning to his workshop. Along the way, he left a chocolate cake he had purchased through the system for 5OP so she wouldn’t have any reason to complain later.
After tending to the demands of Evangeline, more than an hour had passed, but Vahn felt like it wasn’t too bad if she was going to let him do his own thing for a while. Unfortunately, almost every time he would finish processing a batch of materials, Evangeline would begin asking him questions about the books she was reading. Though Vahn was a bit annoyed, he was surprised with how fast she was learning the language, and the questions she asked always struck at the core of a matter.
Evangeline was a veritable sponge for knowledge and information, and by the time Vahn was ready to take a rest from work, She had already learned the core structure of the written language and started translating other books.
Evangeline noticed that he had set down his tools, even without her prompting him to, so she assumed he was finally taking a break. Vahn had worked for nearly eighteen hours straight and only stopped when she would ask him questions or distract him. Though she was annoyed by him, Evangeline couldn’t help but commend Vahn’s dedication. She wondered what kind of woman Hephaestus had to be for him to put in so much effort just to keep her from being embarrassed.
Vahn had originally sat down and started eating a meal to recuperate his strength and take a short nap, but the moment his body touched the ground he felt his body turn light as he was pulled through the air slowly before being put down next to the bed. Evangeline, who was sitting nearby at the desk and writing in her notebook spoke out without looking toward him, “Sleep.”
Though she had spoken the word in a curt manner with a hint of coldness in her voice, Vahn could see that her aura remained gentle as she essentially gave him permission to use the bed. As it was far more comfortable than sleeping on the floor, Vahn finished his meal before laying down on the bed with his legs and arms stretched out. Forging was a very tiring task, and it wasn’t easy to process hundreds of materials without losing a bit of focus. Setting an alarm in his head, it wasn’t long before he had fallen asleep.
Evangeline continued to move her pen back and forth for nearly twenty minutes before coming to a stop. She looked around in the air and noticed that Vahn had continued to maintain his domain even while he was asleep. Though she had seen him do the same thing before, it still amazed her how he had such control over an incredibly high-level skill. She waved her hand through the air, and it was almost like the void rippled a bit as she passed her own magical energy through his domain.
(A/N: Alternate Titles: ‘Daily Life of Master and Disciple’,’Babysitter Vahn’,’Clever baba’)