Chapter 166: [Xuánwǔ Protector](s)

After Vahn managed to dig himself out of the ground, he moved back toward the desk where Evangeline had already stowed away all the books into her spatial void. She continued to glare at Vahn until he came near, and then she explained without Vahn asking, “I left those books until last, and that is why I still had them laying about. Why do you even have so many books like that in the first place, are you some kind of super pervert?”

Vahn sighed a bit at Evangeline’s harsh words and explained the reason why he had so many books related to genealogy, pregnancy, fertility, and reproduction in general. He talked about the problems faced by the various different races and how spirits and gods were generally considered infertile. He even told her about the matters regarding [Enkidu], and the troubles he’d likely face in the future. Evangeline listened to his words with a cold look in her eyes before asking, “And you’re just going to impregnate every girl you see, no matter what race they are, even gods?”

Vahn shook his head and furrowed his brows as he responded, “That has nothing to with it at all. I just can’t stand the thought of people wanting children but having to go through their entire lives without being able to have any. Don’t you think that is a very sad thing?” As Vahn spoke, he couldn’t help but display a sad expression as he thought about his own words. He could hardly imagine what they had to go through, and he already felt extremely saddened by the thought…

However, what Vahn didn’t expect, nor was he aware of, there was someone right in front of him that was able to empathize with the goddesses that he took pity on. Since Evangeline had been turned into a Shinso Vampire hundreds of years prior, she was also incapable of bearing children. Though the original her had thought about, and even desired it for a time, it was entirely impossible considering her body never aged. She didn’t even have a period or other normal bodily functions since her body converted most calories and water into magical energy.

Though her words about reading those books last were true, the main reason she had been ardently studying them is that she was curious about finding a solution to her own problem. However, it was just a mild curiosity since, as a memory, she was unable to truly experience anything the original had yet to experience. Since the original Evangeline had never had sex, even if she wanted to, she would never be able to perform the deed. The moment she tried, the memory would destabilize and the orb would break down. (A/N: I’m not saying Eva wants to have sex, but that she couldn’t even if she wanted to. Since she is a memory fragment, she would still have a curiosity regarding finding an answer though.)

When Vahn had asked her if she thought it was sad, she couldn’t help but feel a slight pang in her heart. There was no way she couldn’t empathize with the desire of races like spirits and goddesses, especially if they truly had lived for millions of years. Seeing the earnest expression of Vahn and the sadness in his eyes as he thought about the suffering of others, Evangeline couldn’t help but sigh in her mind. She had long realized that Vahn was the foolishly heroic type, tragic background and naive personality included.

Interrupting Vahn’s reverie, Evangeline put the matter of the books behind as she said, “I spent a lot of the last four years awake, so I’ve run low on mana while maintaining the space. I need to replenish my energy, and then you can continue forging items. Also, you brought books and other things to entertain me, right?” Evangeline didn’t want to discuss the topic any further as, even after reading all the books, she hadn’t found the answer Vahn was looking for when he purchased them.

Hearing Evangeline’s words, Vahn took out some of the books he had purchased in preparation for her question. This time, he picked out a lot of stories and novels that he thought she might find more interesting than textbooks and compendiums. Since she was a girl, he thought she would like things about romance, fantasy, and magical creatures. Evangeline seemed very pleased by his selection before waving her hand and lifting Vahn’s body using telekinesis.

As it wasn’t the first time she had done such a thing, Vahn just sighed and allowed her to move his body. Though he wanted to retort, she didn’t listen to him last time and Vahn didn’t really feel like being thrown for the third time. Even though he had the majority of the three days within the space remaining, Vahn felt like he needed to use every minute he could to increase his skills in forging.

After setting Vahn down on the bed, Evangeline crawled atop it before seating herself on his lap once again. Vahn immediately closed his eyes and relaxed his body, but Evangeline didn’t immediately start drinking his blood. Curious, Vahn opened his eyes and stared at the small vampire that was sitting in his lap. She seemed to be thinking about something and, after she noticed his gaze, she looked at him and asked, “Exactly how many girls are you involved with?”

Vahn found it strange that she chose the moment when she was sitting in his lap to ask the question, but he didn’t think it was information to keep secret, so he said, “If it is just association…probably around twenty to thirty? If you’re asking about relationships specifically, I have two fiancees, two lovers, one ‘mate’, and a few other girls that have high affection toward me who I haven’t entered a relationship with.”

As Vahn narrated the various girls he was associated with, Evangeline just looked at him with a mock ‘disgust’ on her face. After he was done explaining everything, without asking him any further questions, she immediately started sucking his blood. Though Vahn was a bit confused, he just relaxed his body before wrapping his hands around her waist in a loose embrace. He enjoyed the warm feeling that spread throughout his body and even began to feel like he was dozing off after nearly an entire hour had passed.

After Vahn had ’embraced’ her, Evangeline just rested her body against his and enjoyed his warmth as she slowly drained his blood. Since Vahn had been her only accompaniment in this orb and she was likely going to vanish sooner or later, she wanted to enjoy the small comfort she could obtain from him. She didn’t consider herself one of his many women, but she knew he would probably make some concessions for her if she sought him out. All of the relationships he had talked about seemed to be him on the receiving end, so she decided to take advantage of his weakness for the time being.

Completely unaware of her thoughts, Vahn continued to enjoy the warmth in his body until another half hour had passed. Since it was longer than the previous session, he couldn’t help but ask in a lazy and relaxed voice, “Did you really use so much mana in the time I was away…?” Evangeline, who had been somewhat absorbed in the moment, flinched before she stopped sucking his blood and moved away from his body without responding to his question. Picking up one of the books, she made her way to her desk as she said in a huff, “Fine, go play with your tools if I’m bothering you. Stupid moron disciple…”

As Vahn had already been climbing out of the bed, he nearly fell down when he heard her words. He couldn’t help but ask himself why she was always so harsh, even when she was very clearly not actually angry with him. Shaking his head, Vahn walked over to his workshop and started forging a new piece of equipment. Vahn had been gaining confidence when it came to producing weapons, but he wanted to practice his skills and forge other kinds of equipment as well.

Since he commonly used gauntlets and leg guards, Vahn decided to make a pair for his own personal use. The [Damascus Steel Gauntlets] that he had been using for a while were only rank C, while the [Dance of the Amazon] that he forged earlier was rank A. Vahn was incredibly confident that he could upgrade the majority of his current equipment and even obtain OP for his efforts.

Because of his transformations with [Rakshasa Body], Vahn knew there was no ‘best method’ or design to producing his new gauntlets. As he spent the majority of his time in his Báihǔ form, the only thing he needed to consider was not restraining his hands and claws. Other than that, the just needed to be able to resist high temperatures from when he absorbed fire elements into his body to increase his offensive capabilities.

The material Vahn decided to use was a composite made from adamantine that used orichalcum as the core. Adamantine was incredibly heat resistant and had unrivaled defensive capabilities while orichalcum was a stronger mana conduit than even mithril. Vahn wanted to create a pair of gauntlets for long-term use, so he used some of the best materials he had on hand. To increased the defense even further, he hammed slots into the adamantine before using his ‘eternal flame’ to embed actual dragon scales into the outside of the gauntlet. For the interior, he used the hide of a Goliath and bundled the entire thing together using the tendons of a cyclops.

Nearly seven hours later, Vahn had a pair of matching gauntlets that were a dark black color that reflected a purple light. The adamantine frame made it look like the scales were growing out of a golden base and Vahn felt like the entire thing looked somewhat regal as it used the same color scheme that he associated with Anubis in her ceremonial garb. After thinking for several minutes, Vahn recalled the names of his four transformations and thought about naming the gauntlets after his turtle-form, which would like become his Xuánwǔ form once it had fully awakened. Since he grew scales in a very similar manner, and both provided extra defense, Vahn was very satisfied with his own idea and named the gauntlets [Xuánwǔ Protector](s).

[Xuánwǔ Protector](s) <– each gauntlet is a different item

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Rank: A (Magic)

Slots: 1

P.Def: 641

M.Def: 620

Ability: Durandal(A), Shock Absorption(B), Energy Compression(B)

Gauntlet inspired by one of the Four Sacred Beasts of a foreign land, Xuánwǔ. It possesses a marginal amount of the Xuánwǔ’s capabilities and allows the user to emulate the might of the Sacred Beast.

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After Vahn named the gauntlets, he obtained 1,408 and 1,417 OP for each and felt the excitement build up inside him after reading the description. Since he had thought of Xuánwǔ when he was naming the gauntlets, they each possessed a weakened version of the abilities he could use in his turtle form. Without any hesitation, Vahn equipped the two gauntlets before transforming into his Báihǔ form and moving to an empty area away from his workshop.

Evangeline was constantly paying attention to Vahn, so when he had finished the gauntlets she had also begun inspecting them. Just like the giant weapon he forged the previous time he entered the orb, the gauntlets were also magical items of a similar quality. The fact that he could consistently create such advanced pieces of equipment never ceased to amaze her, and she was curious about their capabilities. Now that Vahn seemed to be testing them, she had stopped moving her pen and observed him with intrigue in her eyes.

Vahn opened up his legs into a wide stance with his left foot forward and stabilized his body while keeping his back straight. Exhaling a long breath for several seconds, Vahn then sucked in quickly before twisting his hips and striking out a fierce punch that caused a snapping sound in the air. When he had breathed out earlier, Vahn had channeled his energy into the gauntlets and the scales began to glow with a subtle green light. When he shot his fist forward, it was like an air cannon as Vahn could see the flow of air around his fist compress into a pillar that stretched out nearly ten meters before dispersing.

Though it wasn’t nearly as impressive as when he was in his turtle form, Vahn was very satisfied by the result. Now, even if he fought bare-handed against monsters with durable hides, he would be able to damage their internal organs and punch clear through their bodies. Vahn felt like, if he fought the goliath now, he would be able to achieve victory without having to rely on his vermillion sparrow transformation.

(A/N: Alternate Titles: ‘Fisty Boi’,’Memories of Nobody’,’Jiiiiiiiii-‘)

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