While Fenrir was munching away on magic cores, Vahn was collecting all of the extra materials into his inventory. Even though they weren’t useful for him at present, Vahn could use them as ‘snacks’ for Fenrir in the future. Not only did she enjoy the ‘crunchiness’, but Vahn could tell that the energy in her body grew by minuscule amounts each time she ate one. Though it wasn’t a big increase, Vahn knew it would add up over time and she would be able to grow stronger through their consumption.
After she had eaten everything in sight, Fenrir stood up and Vahn could see that her tunic was completely soaked through with blood and there were several tears in it. Though he had noticed earlier, he wasn’t in a hurry to stop her from snacking after her successful ‘hunt’. Now that she was finished, Vahn laughed a bit and said, “Looks like we’ll need to get you some clothes that are easier to move around in.”
Fenrir looked down at her body and tunic and began palming it with her hands so she wouldn’t damage it. She looked up at Vahn and said, “Clothes bad, Fenrir hate!” Since she had never worn them as a kobold, Fenrir didn’t like the restrictive feeling of clothes at all. Not only did it make it ‘harder’ to move, but they got dirty and damaged easily which made her even more annoyed since Vahn seemed to care about her appearance.
Vahn sighed and asked, “Fenrir, what do you think would make you happy?” As he spoke, he helped her remove the tunic from her body and she stood in the middle of the dungeon in just her blood-stained white panties. Vahn frowned a bit at the sight as he began to wipe down Fenrir’s body with a wet towel. She didn’t react at all to his touch as she seemed to be thinking about how to answer. After nearly a minute, Fenrir frowned and said, “No hunger, Fenrir hate hunger, feels bad, make angry.”
Since it was an answer he expected, Vahn nodded his head and asked, “Is there nothing else you like other than trying to satiate your hunger?” His words made Fenrir frown and she said, “Hunger worst, food make Fenrir happy! Master feed Fenrir, Fenrir happy!” Vahn released a sigh and finished wiping away the blood on her body. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to get the stains out of her fur since it seemed somewhat absorbent. Her midnight blue hair was now a much darker shade and the white areas of her fur had been stained blood red.
After a bit of thought, Vahn looked through his system and found what he was looking for as he purchased a greyish-blue form-fitting top for Fenrir to wear. It was made of a triple layer elastic fabric that had an absorbent material on the inside with a water-resistant exterior. Though it took a bit of effort to get it on, Fenrir seemed to like the stretchy top more than the tunic even though it was far more revealing since her midriff was visible. Because white panties seemed to be an issue, Vahn also purchased a pair of bottoms with the same material as the top and they fit around her hips like a pair of ultra-small shorts.
Since he had been looking for things in the same line of products as Amazon wear, Fenrir ended up looking a little exotic with the greyish-blue fabric complimenting her midnight blue fur. Seemingly pleased with the new clothing, Fenrir said, “Good, better, Fenrir like stretchy, no get in Fenrir way.” As if to show off, Fenrir started running around on all-fours and Vahn couldn’t help but rub his brow to release a bit of the tension. Now that she was wearing even less, it would be much harder to ‘disguise’ her if anyone saw her.
Sitting down against a wall, Vahn called Fenrir over to sit next to him but she ended up squatting down with her legs spread as she placed her palms on the ground like how a dog sits. Realizing she had a lot to learn, Vahn began explaining the specifics about her body. Fenrir’s original form had been based on a male’s body, but it was actually genderless like the majority of monsters. Now that ‘it’ had become a ‘she’, Vahn wanted to explain how to act properly around others. Since Fenrir disliked being in her magic core, the only way he could keep her out around normal adventurers was if she wore a disguise.
When he asked, Fenrir adamantly refused to go into the magic core if she didn’t have to and was willing to wear a disguise if it didn’t ‘restrict’ her. Vahn had her try on various different items until she eventually chose to wear a loose mantle that covered the majority of her body, minus the feet.
He had tried to get her to wear a pair of greaves, but Fenrir rejected the idea vehemently claiming something about ‘instinct’ and ‘hating being bound’ by her arms and legs. When Vahn asked if she had ever been bound like that, Fenrir shook her head and said, “Instinct.” once again and Vahn gave up the line of questioning.
One of the important things he had learned through interacting with Fenrir was that, even though she was a bit ‘slow’ and didn’t understand things, she wasn’t dumb at all. She learned quickly and seemed to repeat the words he used back to him. Though she got angry and frustrated easily, as long as he continued to use [Hands of Nirvana] to keep her calm, she was relatively docile and didn’t complain about being hungry. In fact, now that it was just the two of them, Fenrir almost didn’t mention food at all until Vahn made her upset.
His understanding of how her ‘hunger’ was tied to her emotions continued to grow and Vahn was trying to think of methods to keep her ‘happy’ so she could easily be satiated. He was worried that simply feeding her would actually cause more harm than good because she would just get progressively stronger and require increased amounts of food to sustain her body. Though he knew she was restricted by the laws of the record, Vahn was still worried about her going on a rampage and somehow becoming strong enough to even ‘devour’ Heaven.
After taking a short break, it was around 10 AM and Vahn wanted to do a bit more hunting before they returned to the surface. Leading the way, they came across a single war shadow accompanied by a group of three Killer Ants. Since she shared his energy signature, Vahn could actually keep them both concealed with his domain, though she had no support skills to hide her presence further. As if she remembered his earlier commands, Fenrir hunched over and prepared to howl but Vahn stopped her by placing his hand on her head.
Fenrir looked up at him with a confused and dissatisfied expression until Vahn explained, “Going all-out isn’t always the best idea. You should try to understand the capabilities of your enemies and conserve your strength when you can. Only use [Lunar Cry] when there are a lot of enemies since it affects your mental state. For now, just focus on improving your [Huntress] ability and get used to having your enhanced senses.” To appease her even further, Vahn one of the larger magic cores inside his inventory and handed it to her. The few loyalty he had lost when he stopped her earlier were recovered as the hair on her body began to grow sharper and stand on its ends a bit.
When she was prepared, Fenrir charged out of the shadows, still on all fours, and engaged the four enemies. She made short work of the Killer Ants, but the War Shadow was able to compete with her in speed. Even though she was Level 2, the War Shadow was near Level 2 and was also used to fighting with its body much more so than Fenrir. Though he intended to train her a bit later, Vahn wanted Fenrir to experience fighting from instinct and seeing how far she could improve her natural fighting ability.
Because it also outranged her, the War Shadow had several opportunities to strike at Fenrir with its claws, but Vahn would always release a burst of intent that would stun its body. Though she would originally flinch in anticipation of taking damage, Fenrir quickly realized Vahn was supporting her from the sides. As if she felt emboldened by his ‘protection’, Fenrir continued to attack at the War Shadow without putting any effort into defending anymore. Vahn released a sigh because she wouldn’t be able to improve if she was overly reliant on him covering the gaps in her attacks.
Focusing his intent to completely stun the War Shadow, Vahn stepped in with Shundo and diverted Fenrir’s claws that were about to pass through the War Shadow’s head. Her hair immediately flared up and Fenrir shouted, “Master, no! Fenrir kill enemy!” She then tried to move around his body and attack the War Shadow, but Vahn held out his hand to block her path and said, “Fenrir, I am trying to help you get stronger. If you are only able to beat it because of my help, you will never be able to fight stronger monsters. It isn’t always about killing the enemy; it’s more important to improve and develop your skills.”
Fenrir’s eyes began to glow red and she rebutted, “Enemy die! Fenrir kill, get stronger when eat!” Though she wanted to kill the War Shadow, Fenrir didn’t move after Vahn put out his arm. She seemed to be growing more frustrated and Vahn said in a firm tone, “Stand to the side and watch. I will you show you what I mean.” Even though she was reluctant, Fenrir gritted her teeth and walked over to the side and squatted down next to the wall in her dog-like seated position.
Vahn looked at the War Shadow and released his intent as it charged at him with swift swipes of its claws. Fenrir’s hairs stood up since she had an instinctual desire to protect Vahn, but he easily diverted all of the War Shadow’s attacks without even moving from his spot. Even though his parameters were much higher, Vahn was using the skills he had acquired from training with Tsubaki without completely overwhelming the War Shadow.
Even when the monster tried swiping at his body in a pincer-like manner, Vahn crossed his arms and grabbed its opposite wrists as he pulled his arms wide and spun the War Shadow around in the air several times before it crashed hard into the dungeon floor. The glowing spot that people called it’s ‘eye’ began to dim and fluctuate slightly. This was actually the War Shadows magic core, and Vahn was able to damage it a bit when he slammed it into the ground.
After it recovered, the War Shadow tried to swipe at his legs, but Vahn timed his foot well enough to step on its ‘wrist’ and completely immobilize it. When it tried to attack with its free arm, Vahn intercepted with one of the mass-produced black blades and stabbed it through the War Shadow’s hand. Looking over to the side, he could see that Fenrir was looking at his actions intently so he explained, “Even without overpowering it with speed and power, I can still defeat the enemy with little effort. As long as you are aware of its movements and know your own capabilities, there are few enemies within your same level that should be able to defeat you. This War Shadow is only Level 1, but you were struggling against it because you aren’t yet used to your new body. Focus on what feels right and try to maneuver around and attack its blind spots. When you’re skilled enough, you’ll even be able to divert its attacks with little effort and conserve your strength for more dangerous opponents.”
Removing the sword from its hand, the War Shadow quickly regenerated and tried to attack Vahn as he kicked it in the head and sent it flying several meters. With his demonstration complete, Vahn walked over to the side and pat Fenrir on the head before saying, “Go ahead, you can do it.”
Fenrir’s expression turned a bit fierce as she looked over at the War Shadow rising from the ground. Without further hesitation, she assumed a weird bear-like stance with her paws up as she said, “Fenrir kill, Fenrir show Master, Fenrir get strong.”
Vahn watched the ‘awkward’ fight between Fenrir and the somewhat injured War Shadow for a few minutes. Because she was apparently trying to emulate him, Fenrir didn’t fight on all fours and instead kept trying to grab the War Shadows wrists every time it struck at her. Since she was now upright, Fenrir would easily outmaneuver the War Shadow and managed to arch her body and avoid its claws with room to spare. She eventually managed to catch the War Shadows wrists and sunk her ridiculously sharp claws into the shadowy flesh as a big smile grew on her face and she shouted, “Fenrir catch!”
Because of her excitement, Fenrir turned toward Vahn and dragged the War Shadow toward him until her claws had completely cut through its wrist and it fell to the ground. Apparently offended by its ‘escape’ Fenrir turned around and used her [Freezing Roar] to stun it where he lay on the ground. Her next action was the pummeled the body of the War Shadow without using her claws like she was trying to ‘punish’ it without actually killing it. Vahn watched the entire scene play out with wide eyes and was desperately holding back the urge to laugh at her antics.
Eventually, even though she didn’t intend to kill it, the War Shadow burst into dust particles and left a magic core on the ground. Fenrir clawed at the floor of the dungeon a bit as if she was trying to grasp at the long-dead War Shadow. Unable to find it, she turned toward Vahn and had furrowed brows as she said, “Sorry, Fenrir kill, enemy weak…” Vahn was surprised since he had never seen Fenrir looking ‘sad’ so he immediately walked over to her and began stroking her hair with a smile on his face. He said in a kind voice, “You did well, Fenrir, you’re growing much stronger. With a bit of training, you’ll be able to defeat your enemies even easier.”
Fenrir held his forearms with the pads of her paws and had a pseudo-happy and annoyed expression on her face as Vahn heard the sounds of her Loyalty increasing and decreasing over and over. At this point, because she gained a lot of Loyalty whenever he fed her, Fenrir was already at 419 Loyalty, much higher than any of his other subordinates. The downside was that her Loyalty decreased rapidly as well and he had even lost nearly fifty points in twenty minutes it took for him to get from the Manor to the 5th floor of the dungeon.
After talking for a bit and killing a few more enemies, Vahn had Fenrir wear our ‘disguise’ and the two made their way out of the dungeon. To save future troubles, Vahn wanted to officially register Fenrir with the Guild but wanted to try something else first. When he had been discussing matters to protect her identity and prevent people from identifying her as a monster, Sis had actually informed him that Fenrir should be able to obtain a god’s blessing.
The only thing that prevented monsters from obtaining a blessing was the fact they didn’t have a soul and were just mana constructs. Now that Fenrir was actually Soul Tier 1, it was irrefutable evidence that she now possessed a soul within her magic core. The only matter now was explaining things to Hestia and trying to come up with an excuse to explain her hands and feet. This also had the benefit that, if it worked, Vahn would be able to keep track of Fenrir’s status in the future. Even though he could see their level and soul tier, Vahn’s system couldn’t currently inspect the status of anyone other than himself. Sis told him there was a function for it, but she couldn’t explain how to unlock it at this time.
During their journey back to the Manor, Vahn noticed that Fenrir had a powerful dislike for strangers. Perhaps it was her instincts from being a monster, or maybe how she had been ‘neglected’ for twelve years by Eva, but Fenrir didn’t like other people whatsoever. The entire time he was leading the way, she stuck close to his back and glared at anyone that walked too close to them. Though Vahn didn’t mind her being near him, he couldn’t help but sigh inside his mind as he felt her claws ripping small holes in his tunic…there was even a slightly moist feeling on his back where she had accidentally poked him a few times while shrinking away from passersby…
(A/N: Alternate Titles: ‘Clothes bad!’,’Playing catch with Fenrir’,’Accidental Stabbing’)