Before leaving the Twilight Manor, Loki tried to convince Vahn to give her something as well since he had given gifts to everyone else. Vahn considered her words for a few seconds before purchasing a bottle of wine from the shop called [Nectar] that had a price ranging from 100OP-1,000,000OP depending on its potency. The one he gifted her cost 1000OP and had an age of 100 years.
When Loki received the unknown wine, she removed the cork and smelled the contents before a satisfied and happy expression appeared on her face. She then tried and failed to convince Vahn to stay as he had already made a promise to stay at the Hearths Embrace. Since it had been something the girls agreed on during the previous meeting, Loki didn’t have an easy way to convince him so she saw him out while causing a commotion among her children when she tried to get Vahn to give her a kiss.
Vahn responded to her puckered lips by giving her a flick on the forehead which caused her to hold the impact site with both of her hands. Since Vahn was a Level 3 with stats that could rival a Level 4, his flick was quite painful for the non-combatant Loki. As he walked away, she demanded that he bring more wine as a consolation for the grievances she suffered due to his mistreatment. Vahn just waved his hand in a dismissive manner without promising anything as he walked away from the Twilight Manor at a slow and casual pace.
By the time Vahn neared the Hearths Embrace it was almost time for him to enter the orb. He still had a few minutes and was deciding if he should enter the Inn or find a secret area to enter the orb. There was a high probability that once he entered, he would be distracted by Tina and Milan and potentially miss the optimal time to use the orb. Of course, if he used it outside, there was a non-zero chance that something could happen within the orb which would cause him to lose consciousness in the real world.
Deciding it would be best to be surrounded by people he could trust, Vahn entered into the Hearths Embrace and was almost immediately greeted by Tina in a manner he hadn’t heard in a long time, “”Weeeeeeeeeeeeeelcome~! Would you like to stay the nya-ight~?” The moment she gave the shout, Tina noticed it was Vahn who entered and turned toward the back of the dining area and shouted, “Mooooom, Vahnya’s back~!”
After shouting for Milan, Tina then closed the distance to Vahn and gave him a huge and cheerful smile while she hugged the circular tray she was carrying to her chest. Vahn smiled at her adorable act and reached out his hand as he began gently patting her head. She laughed in a silly manner until Milan exited through the kitchen doors and smiled at the two blocking the door. Seeing how well Vahn and Tina got along, she displayed a gentle smile before saying, “Welcome back, Vahn.”
Vahn returned her smile before ruffling Tina’s hair a bit and approaching the counter and sitting down. Tina followed behind him after fixing her hair and gave him a reproachful gaze as she said, “You shouldn’t mess up a girl’s hair~nya!” The tone she had used was the same as when she was lecturing people back home, so Vahn couldn’t help but laugh and offer her a short apology.
After settling down, Vahn explained what had happened while he was away, including the matters regarding Loki. He had decided previously that he wouldn’t conceal anything regarding women from any of the other girls he associated with. Tina seemed to be a bit annoyed by the actions of Loki, especially since she didn’t have a good impression of her from the meeting. Vahn noticed her expression and began explaining what he had learned in regards to Divinity and how it influenced and sometimes even dictated the actions of gods and goddesses. After learning the new information, Tina said she was willing to forgive her for the time being but couldn’t guarantee she would get along with Loki in the future. Milan, belonging to a Familia for several years previously, understood a bit in regards to Divinity and she expressed her understanding as well. As a mother herself, she could empathize with another woman’s desire to have children.
Since it might cause a stir if anything happened, Vahn explained that he needed to have a bit of privacy to use one of his secret techniques at 5 AM and 5 PM every day. Milan was a bit curious, but since Vahn hadn’t explained on his own she didn’t ask. Tina was also quite perceptive for her age, so she just showed Vahn to the room at the back of the Inn where she and her mother stayed. Though they had a guest room, Tina insisted that he use their bed since he would apparently be sleeping there tonight anyway.
Vahn laid down on the relatively small bed and pulled out the orb shortly after Tina left the room. There was still nearly a full minute before he had to use the orb, so Vahn just lay there in silence as he passively smelled the fragrance that permeated throughout the room. Just like when he had first entered his room where Hephaestus previously resided, Vahn noticed there was a distinct aroma in the room where Milan and Tina both slept. He was somewhat tempted to turn around and smell the scent more deeply, but he managed to restrain himself with a bit of effort.
Fortunately, the time to enter the orb came quickly and Vahn immediately inserted his consciousness before waking up in the bed where Eva was waiting to pin him. After nearly two hours, Vahn finally managed to escape her clutches and set out to get some work done at the forge. Before he was able to do so, however, he noticed a strange sight that caused the small vampire to laugh mischievously from behind him.
As Vahn looked at the sight of the 12m long Fafnir laying on the ground in front of him in an almost ‘cutesy’, yet tired, manner, Eva explained, “He grew up a lot in the last four years, and I even managed to teach him a bit of magic. Though the systems of our worlds seem different, I noticed that he had a powerful affinity for darkness and destruction based magic.”
While Eva was explaining the changes in Fafnir, Vahn had put his hand on its snout and begun channeling his energy into its body to replenish its diminishing reserves. According to Eva, he had been perfectly fine for the first three-or-so years before entering a pseudo-dormant state a couple of months ago. The mana capacity within its body had increased by a massive amount and Vahn had to take a break to replenish his energy before he was finally able to fully restore Fafnir’s reserves.
During the time he was helping it recover, Vahn had noticed a few changes within the system that made him both pleased and shocked.
Age: 4 years
Race: Dragon (Juvenile: 12m)
Soul Strength: Tier 2 (Guardian Familiar)
Even though there were no monsters to fight, Fafnir’s level had increased from 3 to 5 as its body naturally matured closer to adulthood. Not only his level, but even his Soul Strength had increased from Tier 1 to Tier 2, and Vahn was very happy to see its growth. However, his satisfaction turned to absolute shock in the next moment when he heard a low, yet childish sounding, voice in his head.
(*Welcome back Master.*)
Seeing Vahn’s shocked expression, Eva laughed as she jumped on top of Fafnir’s back and explained, “Around a year after you left, this little one learned how to speak. It uses something similar to telepathy and can directly communicate with the minds of those in the area. It can even use it as a mental attack to rattle enemies~!”
After Eva had landed on its back, Fafnir immediately spread its wings to around 18m and ascended to the sky at a rapid pace. Vahn was left alone on the ground as he continued to stare in awe at the sheer majesty of Fafnir’s ascent. The fact it was Eva on its back right now instead of him made Vahn feel somewhat regretful. As he considered giving Fafnir the order to pick him up, Vahn noticed the pitch black sky in the background began to ‘darken’ slightly and he could see with his enhanced perception that the mana in the atmosphere quickly converged on Fafnir.
Once Fafnir has ascended to around 500m, Eva used her own telepathy to issue it an order and it began using the attack she taught it in the past. Now that its Master had saturated its cells with his energy, it was able to quickly absorb the mana from the atmosphere and channel it along the pathways of its body before consolidating them in the magic circle in its mouth. A green gleam flashed through its eyes as it spread out its wings to the limit and opened its mouth wide while aiming far into the distance.
Vahn actually felt his instincts firing as he observed the sight of Fafnir charging what he expected was a powerful magic attack. His intuition proved correct as, after around eight seconds, Fafnir spread its wings wide before shooting a massive pitch-black beam of energy that looked like a laser far off into the distance. Vahn felt his anticipation increased as he jumped to the top of the wall to get a better view. Strangely though, even though the beam of black light had disappeared there had yet to be an indicator of it colliding with anything.
The moment Vahn felt confusion, he suddenly felt the ground shake as an invisible energy waved slammed into the wall and ruffled his hair and clothing. Immediately following the shockwave, Vahn saw something like a dark mushroom cloud rising from the far distance. The sight of the cloud made Vahn’s heart shake as several more shockwaves continued to batter the firm walls that had been reinforced by Eva’s magic in preparation for the demonstration.
After nearly a minute, the cloud had grown to a terrifying height as Eva teleported next to him and explained with a bit of humor in her tone, “It was a lot bigger this time than when I had taught it the spell initially. I’d say it qualifies as a tactical class magic and probably has the destructive yield of around 130 megatons. Make sure you never use it in a crowded area unless you want to kill everything within a five-kilometer radius.
Hearing her words, Vahn couldn’t help but feel a cold sweat run down his back as he stared at Fafnir who was flying around in circles above his head while shouting in his head with its cheerful and childish voice, (“Praise me~, Praise me~”). Vahn nodded his head and sent his thoughts to praise Fafnir for the truly awesome display of power. Eva then explained all the other changes in Fafnir before saying matter-of-factly that she would still be able to block the attack as long as she wasn’t caught off guard.
Vahn realized that his decision to leave Fafnir behind to train with Eva had been the best decision he had made since arriving in this world. Now he had a mount that could reach nearly 4000 km/h in the air that could also hit a target from more than 100km away with tactical precision. If there were ever a major threat on the surface world, there would be few things that Fafnir wouldn’t be able to deal with. Even though it was only Level 5 and would likely lose an extended engagement against veteran adventurers, from a distance it was almost unrivaled. The attack, called ‘Destructive Ray’, had a very large energy requirement and build-up, but it approached the pinnacle of a Tier 3 existence and was on the verge of breaking into Tier 4. Considering that Fafnir was only Tier 2, Vahn couldn’t help but feel that it was outscaling common sense.
He later learned that the attack couldn’t be rapid fired and actually required nearly a month of time for the energy channels within the body to recover before it could be used again. That meant that, if Fafnir wasn’t in its optimal condition, it likely wouldn’t be able to use the attack without seriously damaging its body. Of course, that restriction would only apply if Fafnir stayed in the real world, as Vahn assumed converting it back into an orb before re-summoning it would reduce the fatigue of its body entirely.
During the second day, after his ‘rest and relaxation’ with Eva, Vahn confirmed his suspicions when Fafnir was able to fire the beam a second time after he re-summoned it. Seeing the display, Eva gave Vahn a strange look and remarked that it wasn’t just Fafnir that defied common sense. As the person who had converted it from a normal Wyvern into an incredibly powerful black dragon, Vahn was the source of everything. Now that he could even completely circumvent the cooldown for using ‘Destructive Ray’, he had very quickly obtained an almost ridiculous amount of power at his fingertips.
(A/N: Alternate Titles: ‘Black Tyrant Dragon Emperor, Fafnir’,’Childish voice’,’Vahn the Ophactafillia’)