Chapter 175: Prince Charming

(A/N: There is a unique difficulty when writing about Danmachi, since the original story is incomplete and has several unsolved mysteries and hidden backstories. In order to make the novel interesting, I have to take some artistic liberties to build the world and characters in the direction I think benefits the story. From this point on, other than significant events, you shouldn’t compare this novel to the source material~! Hope you enjoy how things play out (O,…,O)_b)

The moment Vahn saw Syr’s reaction, he couldn’t help but retort in his mind, (“What is this adorable creature!?”). When that thought passed through his mind, Vahn experienced a feeling of deja vu as he compared the bashful girl to Lefiya from the past. Seeing her crimson face looking upwards at him made Vahn’s head buzz and he felt a little dizzy. He felt like, the longer he looked into her slightly glazed eyes, the more prominent the feeling became.

Vahn shook his head to shake the feeling and even activated a small burst of his [Will of the Emperor] while using his [Stealth] skill to keep it hidden. Almost immediately after he expanded his domain, Vahn felt a cooling sensation that chased away the strange numbness in his mind. Unfortunately, in the time it took for him to clear his head, Vahn got yet another notification from his system.

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//[Syr Flova] Has Reached Maximum Affection//

//Quest Completed: [The Hearts Desire:C-SS]//

Completion Grade: A

Rewards: 10,000OP, 1x[Hearts Desire: Syr Flova]

Grade Rewards: 1x[Ambrosia Extract], 1x[Matryoshka of Fertility], 8,000OP

[Ambrosia Extract]

Rank: Unique

Use: Oil incense with a powerful aphrodisiac effect. Powerful enough to even influence the gods. Duration: 8H

[Matryoshka of Fertility]

Rank: Unique

Use: When placed above the womb, creates a seal that guarantees pregnancy regardless of fertility. Duration: 8H

Everything was happening faster than Vahn could process the changes, and he couldn’t help but stare at the blushing girl who continued to stare at him with an unveiled interest in her eyes. After Vahn had suddenly asked her if she liked him, Syr couldn’t help but feel her interest in him suddenly explode. Though she was certain nothing had appeared to give away her intentions, she knew that Vahn could somehow see through her expression. When he asked his question, Syr could tell that it wasn’t so much a question as a confirmation of something he already knew. She could feel the mana in her body stir as Vahn quickly began to be influenced by her weak charming ability.

She had expected him to get flustered or even try to make advances against her, but his reaction had shocked her to the core. Instead of becoming enamored and trying to please her, he simply shook his head and escaped the effects of her ability. The most important thing to note is that he didn’t seem to notice what had happened and still looked at her with the same familiarity and trust he had previously, albeit with a hint of confusion in his eyes. Syr immediately felt a ticklish feeling in her mind as it began to buzz looking at the ‘naive’ and honest boy.

Vahn was still trying to process the information and knew that Syr had somehow reached maximum affection for him which completed the heart’s desire quest yet again. The items he obtained made his heart itch and he could feel a nervous feeling in his stomach as Syr continued to stare at him. After several long seconds, she asked in a subtle yet sultry voice, “I wonder…if there is enough room in your heart for me~?”

When she asked the question, Vahn could feel a warmth flow through his body which immediately faded away. He noticed that her expression became even happier after she asked if he liked her, and Vahn didn’t know how to respond due to the rapid-fire series of events. Taking a deep breath, Vahn averted his eyes a bit and seriously considered how to answer her question. Syr saw his actions and fixed her posture as she sat up straight on the seat next to him and quietly waited for his response.

Her movement had caught his eye, and he was curious about how she went from fiercely blushing to stoic and elegant in such a brief period of time. She now had her characteristically cheerful expression as she looked at him with an expectant smile. The smile that he used to find pleasing, now made Vahn feel a subtle sense of danger in the back of his mind. He began to suspect his dazed state earlier had been triggered by something other than his heightened emotional state.

To prevent her from reading his expression, Vahn put more effort into his [Will of the Emperor] as he closed his eyes and completely calmed his mind. Replaying the events in his mind, Vahn suspected there was more going on than he had been aware of. Though he didn’t mind that she had such high affection for him, Vahn found it strange since she knew of his relationship with Chloe. When he asked her in order to clarify things, her affection increased by a large amount suddenly, even though he hadn’t done anything significant. Then, in the short period of time when he had been in a strange state of mind, she suddenly reached the max in less time than it took to brew a pot of tea.

Though he wanted to explain it away as coincidence and pretend she simply like him, Vahn couldn’t ignore all the signs. He still felt appreciation for her, and even though she was remarkably beautiful and kind, but he couldn’t ignore everything that just happened. If not for his ability to see auras, Vahn may not have even noticed something was strange from start to finish. After a small amount of hesitation, he looked into his inventory and saw the item that he had just obtained. Expecting that it would clarify things, Vahn used the [Hearts Desire: Syr Flova] in order to clarify matters.

Even with his eyes closed, Vahn could feel time stagnate around him as his mind began replaying a series of images in his mind…

Syr hated everyone around her. Ever since she could think and act for herself, she had quickly developed a disgust for all of the foolish people around her. They all treated her kindly, but she could see they were all trying to fool her and manipulate her into doing what they wanted her to do. All of the kids in the orphanage avoided her, and some of them even called her a demon and a witch behind her back.

Though she pretended their words didn’t affect her, she couldn’t help but cry when she was alone. She resented the parents that had abandoned her and left her with such cold and malicious people. Though they acted nice on the surface, she could see through their facades and knew that even the kindly couple that ran the orphanage actually sold some of the young girls to brothels after fooling them into thinking they had been adopted. She still remembered how the ‘kind’ and ‘beautiful’ blonde woman tried to fool her the same as the other girls the moment her body began to mature slightly.

The only way she could protect herself was to act out or isolate herself away in areas where they couldn’t easily find her. She refused to eat large meals and tried to stunt her own growth to prevent the lecherous eyes of others from taking an interest in her. However, even though she made so much effort to avoid their attention, it didn’t prevent the man that ran the orphanage from trying to **** her. She struggled fiercely as the man continually accused her of trying to seduce him. He even called her cruel names like ‘bitch’ and ‘slut’ as he tried to force himself on her.

Fortunately, before the man could rob her of her chastity, a massive woman showed up and quickly pummeled the man until most of the bones in his body were shattered. Syr couldn’t help but ball up and cry in a historic fashion after the event had been brought to an end. The woman, who she later learned was named Mia Grande, had taken pity on her and took her away from the hell hole that was her life.

Several months later, when she turned nine years old, she had finally started to feel safe again. She had spent the last few months cooped up in the home of Mia and refused contact with anyone. Everyone except Mia seemed to be irredeemably cruel in her eyes, and she couldn’t help but see the disgusting nature they kept hidden behind their facades. Even the friends of Mia that tried to coax her into opening up had cruel natures hidden behind their smiles. The only place where she felt safe was within the house where only she and Mia resided together.

One day, the goddess that Mia served showed up at the house and, for the first time, Syr couldn’t see through the woman. The only thing she saw in the beautiful silver eyes of the goddess was intrigue and a hint of concern. Though she didn’t know why Syr felt a bit of familiarity with the woman and a warm feeling passed through her mind for a brief moment. From that point on, even though Mia tried to oppose, Syr became the protege of the goddess.

Syr learned that the beautiful goddess was named Freya, and that, she too, possessed the ability to ‘charm’ other people. The accusation had terrified Syr, since she still had nightmares about the man that kept insisting that she was tempting him. She began to fear that his words were true and that the cause of her suffering and near-rape was due to her own actions. Freya admonished her for her foolishness and began counseling her on the way people thought and acted. With her teaching, Syr learned that she had the ability to see the ‘truth’ behind peoples thoughts and emotions, and she could use her ability to find people worthy of her affection.

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For several years after that initial meeting, Syr was taught by Freya on several occasions and forced to interact with people. She was constantly tested and required to evaluate people’s true natures, and she slowly began to learn how her own ‘charm’ was activated. Whenever a person had an interest in her, if she maintained eye contact with them for several seconds they would enter a naturally charmed state. Though it wasn’t nearly as powerful as her goddess and mentor, it was still very useful.

However, when she was twelve years old, another incident happened which terrified Syr to the core. Freya had wanted to test her one last time and required her to actively try to seduce an influential man that was also the Captain of a smaller Familia. Though the Familia was just B-Rank, the Captain was still Level 4 and quite capable. He was young and popular among women, and Freya wanted her to steal him out from under their noses. She taught Syr that, the only way she could be happy was to create a world where she had absolute control over the people around her. The only way she could do that is with power, and if she couldn’t obtain it herself, she needed to obtain it from others. If she could steal the heart of powerful adventurers, there would never be any danger to her well-being again.

Though Syr still had inhibitions and didn’t even like the man, she still tried to ‘seduce’ him according to her teachings. Unfortunately, things didn’t go planned as she quickly learned what kind of personality the man had. Though he looked kind and treated women politely, Syr could sense the same negative feelings from him as the man from the orphanage. It wasn’t long until her intuition proved true as the man actually tried to drug her and **** her in her sleep on the very same day she approached him. Because of her resistance, Syr wasn’t affected to the same extent of other girls, but the man wasn’t deterred and seemed to become even more excited at her struggles.

Luckily, Mia had gotten wind of what was going on and burst into the scene before twisting the man’s arm more than three times around before crushing his genitals. Even though the man was strong in his own grade, he couldn’t do anything against the powerful Mia as she made short work of the cruel man. Syr learned later that, the only reason so many girls catered to him, was because he had threatened them after forcibly raping them in a manner similar to what he had tried with her.

From that point on, Syr hated Freya as well and left her guidance to work with Mia at a pub called the Hostess of Fertility. She swore to herself that she wouldn’t rely on her ‘charm’ ability to try and live happily and that she would seek out kind and gentle people to associate with. She didn’t care about trying to build a powerful organization like Freya in order to ‘guarantee her happiness’, she just wanted to meet someone that would treat her well.

However, no matter how much she wanted to change, she couldn’t put her habits behind her and quickly fell into a cycle of exploiting others. Though she didn’t use their affection for her to manipulate their lives or control them, she did use it to promote Mia’s business. Their regular customers began growing at a rapid rate, and Syr was very happy with how lively things were. She also had the chance to meet many strong and powerful adventurers and hear the stories of their conquests. She learned that not every many was a cruel and lecherous scoundrel, but she still refused any of their attempts to court her.

Though she didn’t like to admit it, Syr couldn’t help but admit that she had agreed with one part of Freya’s teachings. It was better to have a strong and capable man instead of one that just treated her well. A weak man, no matter how kind he was, wouldn’t be able to guarantee her safety if something happened. She wanted a strong man near her own age or one that had boundless potential. In order to find what she was looking for, she began listening to the various rumors of the guests and trying to bait the discussed people to the pub so she could meet them. Unfortunately, no matter how many men she met, none of them could meet her standards. Everyone always had something they were hiding, and the more she interacted with them, even the ‘nice’ guys started looking at her with disgusting expressions.

The only thing she wanted was a man that was kind, strong, capable, and treated her well without only caring about her appearance. They also needed to possess a strong will that could resist her ‘charm’ and enough resolve to improve regardless of the difficulties they would face in the future. Was that really too much to ask for? Syr didn’t think so, and she never stopped looking for her prince charming.

(A/N: Alternate Titles: ‘Divergence’,’Literally everyone has a tragic backstory’,’Very Dangerous Items’)

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