After reading the description of the skill, Vahn looked around and began inspecting everything around him. He could see a wavy particle in the air, and whenever he waved his hand through it, he realized it was the air itself that he could see. It was very similar to when Vahn saw a hot surface radiating heat, but now the entire airflow was visible to his eyes. When he turned his eyes to Evangeline and focused, he was surprised by what he saw. Her body turned into a ‘negative’ with all the colors reversed as he was able to briefly penetrate through the layers of clothes and skin on her body before looking into the interior and seeing a massive amount of compressed mana flowing through every cell of her body.
Evangeline felt a chill run down her back as she turned to look at Vahn. She could see a subtle blue glow in his eyes that made her feel uncomfortable, almost like Vahn could see through her everything. She knew he had awakened something in his eyes, and now she suspected the use of the skill had something to do with ‘seeing-through’ things. If it weren’t for the fact that Vahn’s expression was of curiosity and contemplation, she might have slapped him silly for staring at her in such a manner.
When Evangeline turned toward him, he wasn’t able to see her expression easily because she was currently just a mass of shining blue mana in his eyes. Vahn stopped focusing his eyes and looked at the perturbed expression on her face as she asked, “Your eyes, what do they do?” Vahn could hear a mix of intrigue and a mild amount of inhibitions in her voice. After forming his thoughts in a cohesive manner, he responded, “As far as I can tell, it lets me see the magical elements in things like the air and people. I saw the massive amount of mana contained within your body and got a bit distracted. I’m sorry if I offended you.”
Though it was very subtle, Vahn was able to hear Evangeline sigh in relief before she turned back to her books. As she picked up her pen and started writing, she said, “For a moment, I thought you were able to see through my clothes. Do me a favor, and don’t use those eyes when you’re looking at me.” Evangeline said the words plainly, but Vahn could hear the ‘warning’ contained within. He wasn’t sure if she had seen through his explanation and hit upon the truth, but he decided it was best not to ask.
After stretching for a bit, Vahn decided to continue processing materials to practice controlling his ‘eternal flame’ before he ran out of time. Though he had enough time to forge some standard equipment, he was more inclined to producing things like the [Dance of the Amazon] which he had created earlier. Since he didn’t have enough time to dedicate towards the production of a high-quality item, he spent the remaining few hours preparing things for his next visit. It wouldn’t be that long before his return, and then he’d have an additional three days to create more items.
When there was less than an hour left, Evangeline put down her pen and spoke toward Vahn. In a somewhat emotionless voice, she said, “You’ll be leaving soon, and I’ve used up a fair amount of mana maintaining this space. I also used quite a bit in my earlier display when I tested your weapon. Since you’ve obtained plenty of benefits in your time here, I’ll be expecting more sweets and books in the future.”
Vahn had been listening to her speak and started organizing his tools as she stared at him with her icy blue eyes. The moment he placed down the last tool, he could feel his body become slightly weightless and he said, “I can move on my own, you don’t have to force me.” Evangeline ignored his words before dragging his body toward the bed and setting him down on top of it. She then crawled onto the bed before sitting in his lap and facing him with a blank expression on her face.
Vahn stared into her eyes for a moment before closing his and relaxing with his arms loosely wrapped around her back. Evangeline placed her palms on his shoulders before bitting into his neck so that she could suck his blood. As it was the third time she had drained his blood, Vahn had made the proper mental preparations and wasn’t affected by the initial bite or the warmth that started spreading in his body.
Since she had learned her lesson from the previous incident, Evangeline didn’t overexert herself by trying to drain Vahn’s blood faster than he could replenish it. Instead, she drained his blood in a much slower fashion and drew out the time until just before Vahn was to be ejected from the orb.
Vahn had been feeling pleasant for the entire process, so he didn’t utter a single word or complaint till the moment his body began to dissolve. Since the process always started from his legs, Evangeline eventually fell slightly onto her butt when his legs disappeared. She looked at his vanishing figure with a blank expression and said, “Make sure you bring more stuff when you return. These books won’t last for four years. I also want wine and other baked goods, not just cake.”
Vahn released a humorous sigh as he smiled toward Evangeline and said, “Don’t worry, I won’t forget, Evangeline.” At this point, he had disappeared up to his torso, but right before Vahn completely vanished, he reached out his hand and pat the small girl on the head. She immediately frowned before knocking away his hand and saying in a sharp voice, “Don’t treat me like a child, and call me Master! M-A-S-T-E-R!”
In response to her outrage, Vahn just laughed as the last remnants of his body disappeared. He wanted to retort that, after his dream, he couldn’t help but see her as anything more than a child that just wanted to be spoiled. Of course, though he kept this thought in his mind, he would never say it out loud. Vahn knew that her trauma had been caused by her long life and immature figure, and it would be the same as treating her tragic life as a joke. Since she was treating him better, he intended to find a few sweets that the other girls liked before bringing them back for Evangeline to try.
Vahn opened his eyes back in the real world and looked around in a manner similar to how he had within the orb. The same as then, he could see everything around in an incredible amount of detail. Not only the air, but Vahn could see rainbow colored particles floating around if he focused his eyes. He understood that they were the elemental energies naturally present in the world, and he could even influence them a bit if he expanded his domain. Presently, he could easily manipulate the fire elements, but he only had a marginal amount of control over all the others.
After focusing for a few minutes, Vahn felt like his eyes were ‘swelling’, like there was a pressure coming from the inside, so he decided to stop focusing his sight. He noticed that, the harder he focused, the more energy it took to maintain the vision. Vahn was a little confused about why, since it seemed to be the passive effects of the ability, it used energy and focus to maintain the effect. He attributed it to his inability to use the ability properly. With that thought in mind, Vahn decided to head toward the training area since it was still pretty early.
Strangely, when Vahn left his room, Anubis wasn’t present for the first time. Scanning his eyes toward her room, Vahn noticed that he couldn’t perceive her aura like he had been able to in the past. Vahn felt a little worried, so he expanded his domain to cover more than 300m, which was large enough to encompass the entirety of the house. Closing his eyes to focus, Vahn realized there were no presences other than himself within his mind. Turning his attention to his minimap, the blue signals that would typically represent allies were also missing, which confirmed his suspicions. Presently, even though it was only around 7 AM, there was nobody in the house other than himself.
Vahn looked around the property a bit and even investigated the two rooms where the children stayed. Seeing that there was no damage or signs of a fight, Vahn assumed nothing had happened, and they were likely taken out by Anubis early in the morning. Since it was the weekend and they had time off, Vahn didn’t think it was beyond the realm of possibilities. He had just grown so accustomed to Anubis in the past few days that it was a bit unnatural for her not to be around.
While he was walking toward the training area, Vahn realized he would have been able to detect if there was a problem due to the fact that he slept with his domain spread. Nothing had triggered throughout the night, and the time he had spent in the orb was actually only a few seconds in reality. He still had difficulty wrapping his head around the time dilation when moving to and from the space within the orb.
After allaying his own concerns, Vahn focused his mind after arriving at the training area so he could recover the energy he had expended earlier. Once he had recovered to his optimal state, Vahn opened his eyes and wanted to try the active ability of his [Eyes of Truth]. The description was a bit vague, but recalling the birth and destruction of the cosmos from his dream, Vahn felt like there was a lot of potential hidden in the skill ‘Oblivion’.
Vahn spread out his domain to encompass the entire training field and focused his eyes on a large stone roller that had been set up for weight training. The colors of the stone inverted, and Vahn was able to see its internal structure which comprised of inert and earth elemental energy. It looked a lot like static, and it was difficult to keep his focus on the object because of the variation in its composition and depth. It was almost like his vision was able to sift through the object like he was visually pushing through particles of sand.
Taking several deep breaths, Vahn tried to focus on an individual point within the rock as he activated ‘Oblivion’. The moment he activated his skill, he was able to see a small light appear within the stone roller, but the moment he stared at it, it blinked out of existence and Vahn felt a painful headache as a large amount of energy was drained from his body. It took a few minutes, but Vahn was finally able to recover and stabilize his breathing.
Vahn was confused about how to use the skill, so he kept reading the description while trying to make sense of some hidden principle he didn’t understand. The light he had seen inside the rock was eerily reminiscent of the small light that had led to the birth of an entire universe, and Vahn actually hoped that wasn’t the case. If he ‘accidentally’ created a cosmos within the rock, there was a chance he would destroy the entire record, himself included.
Considering his current soul tier and the strength of his other Innate skills, Vahn assumed this wasn’t the case, but he was still a bit unnerved by the tiny light that consumed nearly half of his energy in an instant. After recovering his energy, Vahn began analyzing the rock with his sight again to see if he could find any changes. No matter how long he looked, he couldn’t find any changes to the structure and composition of the rock.
Taking a deep breath to prepare himself for the large energy expenditure, Vahn tried to focus on a specific point of the rock as he recalled the description of ‘Oblivion’, which said, ‘All things in creation are born from and return to oblivion.’ Vahn felt like the keywords were ‘born’ and ‘return’, so he tried focusing on the aspect of ‘return’ as he directed his intent inside the stone roller. He had assumed that the light he saw earlier was ‘birth’, so now he wanted to apply the opposite principle.
The moment the skill activated, Vahn could see a black, translucent sphere expand from the point where his vision was focused. Vahn could feel his energy begin to deplete rapidly the larger the sphere grew, so he stopped channeling the skill and noticed that the sphere immediately vanished. Releasing a long sigh, Vahn fell onto his butt and drew long breaths as he tried to recover his energy. Once his breathing stabilized, he crossed his legs and tried to meditate while focusing on the [Mantra of Eternity]. Though he had yet to understand a single part of it, Vahn had learned that focusing on the sound made his mental energy replenish faster.
After recovering his energy, Vahn focused his eyes on the stone roller once again to see if there had been any changes. The moment his vision penetrated to the core of the roller, Vahn noticed that there was now a void within the interior of the structure. Curious, Vahn approached the roller and split it in two with a quick chop of his hand. With the [Fist Strike] skill he had learned from Tiona, Vahn was able to insert his energy into his hands and shape it during strikes. This time, he used his energy like a blade and bisected the stone roller with ease.
As expected, Vahn was able to confirm that what his vision had seen was accurate. The entire inside of the stone roller now had a spherically shaped void which was previously solid stone. Vahn was able to confirm the second use of the ‘Oblivion’ skill, which seemed to give him the ability to ‘return’, or ‘destroy’, matter. There wasn’t even any dust on the inside and the spherically shaped hollow was almost flawless as if it had been polished for hours.
Now that he had confirmed the second ability, Vahn wanted to try using the first ability to ‘birth’ or ‘create’. After a bit of consideration, Vahn decided to focus his vision on the air instead of the inside of an object. Since there was nothing for his vision to be drawn to, it was actually far more difficult to pinpoint his vision on a specific spot. After failing several times, Vahn finally managed to keep his vision focused long enough to trigger the creation ability of ‘Oblivion’. Since he still had a bit of inhibition about accidentally creating an entire cosmos, Vahn tried to focus his intent on a specific material.
In the middle of the air, where Vahn’s vision was focused, a bluish dot appeared and slowly began to increase in size. Unlike the black sphere, the energy drain of the blue sphere was incredibly exhaustive. By the time the sphere had grown to the size of a marble, Vahn had nearly collapsed into a state of ‘Mind Down’. After he cut off the ability, the blue light disappeared and a small metal ball fell from the air. Though he was still struggling for air, Vahn moved forward and picked up the flawless, silver, bearing that he had created from nothing. The material he had tried to create was Iron, and he had managed to make around a tenth of a gram at the expense of almost all of his energy.
A/N: Pure Iron looks like silver, but is less reflective. Google is your friend.)
(A/N: Alternate Titles: ‘Jiiiiiiiiiiiiiii-‘,’Aggressively stares at nothing’,’Missing Puppers, please call the owner if found’)