Chapter 258: Confirmation

After Hestia calmed down, she sat behind Vahn and watched as he used [Yggrasil’s Favor] to emulate the ability to read status in conjunction with his system. He dripped a bit of blood on Haruhime’s back and, even though she expected it, Hestia was surprised to see her own crest activate for someone else. She noticed that, unlike her own ability to read status, Vahn’s had some extra intricacy that she hadn’t seen before. Though she had trouble understanding it, Hestia knew that Vahn was able to see extra information from his skill just as he had claimed. She even began to wonder if she should have him inspect the other girls…much later in the future.

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Haruhime had a small frown on her face as she closed her eyes, not from pain, but because of how flustered she was feeling. Even though she had a powerful androphobia, Haruhime felt no aversion against Vahn’s touch at all. Instead, she actually felt pleasant and giddy feelings welling up inside of her as the tingling feeling from her back persisted for around five minutes before Vahn said plainly, “Thanks Haruhime, you can fix your clothes now.” Releasing a short sight, Haruhime pulled up her red kimono and fixed her obi before looking back to see what Vahn had discerned from her Status Board.

As he expected, there was much more to Haruhime’s Status than the values that Hestia had written down previously. In fact, she was far more overbearing than Vahn had expected and he couldn’t help but pity the lack of foresight on behalf of Ishtar. She obviously just wanted Haruhime for her magical ability, but the actual value of Haruhime’s potential far exceeded her understanding. Vahn also began to understand the significance of the characters that were involved in the original plot and wondered if he should inspect Ais’s Status Board in the future…

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[[STATUS]]

Name: Sanjouno Haruhime

Race: Renard

LV. 1

POW: I11

END: I28

DEX: I12

AGI: I30

MAG: F367

Skill: [Inari:Innate(sealed)] (A/N: BTW, Vahn wouldn’t record these down so don’t worry about Hestia seeing them)

Magic: [Uchide no Kozuchi:B],[Kokonoe:D]

Development Skill: [Moon Priestess:Innate(sealed)] (A/N: BTW, Vahn wouldn’t record these down so don’t worry about Hestia seeing them)

[Uchide no Kozuchi]

Rank: B

Level Boost Magic that can only be used on a single target, after which an interval occurs before it can be cast again. It cannot be used on the caster. Enhances all parameters on the target by 30% of their hidden status total.

Chant: Grow. That power and that vessel. Breadth of wealth and breadth of wishes. Until the bell tolls, bring forth glory and illusion. -Grow. Confine divine offerings within this body. This golden light bestowed from above. Into the hammer and into the ground, may it bestow good fortune upon you. -Grow

[Kokonoe]

Rank: D

A special enchant magic that creates a maximum of nine tails on the user depending on their limit. The user adds the effects of a second magic they chant connect to each of the tails to multiply its effects. (Current Tails: 4)

Chant: Kokonoe. Beloved snow. Beloved crimson. Beloved white light. Please let me be beside you – this love I have found at the end of two thousand nights. My name is Magic Fox. Former destroyer. My name is Ancient Song. Former dreamer. For you who beat your wings like a bird, I shall allow the nine spirits to dwell in me. Echo, song of gold, sacred poem of Tamamo. White face, golden fur, king of nine tails. Oh, tails of the auspicious beast, consume all, grant all wishes (Affected Magic Chant) – Dance!

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Unlike Lili, who seemed intent on remaining a Supporter in the manga, Haruhime had two Innate abilities instead of one. Based on their names alone, Vahn assumed they related to magical prowess and support. Since Haruhime’s magic stat was significantly higher than the rest of her parameters even without every fighting monsters, Vahn assumed her development was already being influenced by the Innate skills. He had learned that a person’s Innates always existed in their bodies, they just had to have something to trigger their awakening.

Vahn hadn’t overlooked Haruhime’s magic just because her Innates though, and he was actually shocked when he understood their capabilities. Since his stats were very high for his Level, if Haruhime used her magic on him he would be nearing the Status of a Level 4 without even using his Innate abilities to enhance his fighting potential. With the inclusion of his own abilities, Vahn could theoretically even fight against a Level 6 with his current equipment…

After explaining Haruhime’s skills to the two girls, Hestia was in abject shock as she read over the information. Though she could see the use of a magic, she couldn’t identify the chant or identify the efficacy as Vahn could. She even suspected, based on his earlier reaction, that there was even more that he was able to discern from reading Haruhime’s status than he made known. Considering that it was something Haruhime didn’t need to hear, she decided to ask him about it later when they were alone.

Though she knew about Kokonoe, Haruhime was surprised to learn about the existence of her level-boosting magic. Because of Aisha, she knew she had a unique magic, but Haruhime had never learned about what made the magic special. When she originally got her crest of Ishtar, Haruhime had been left in the dark about her own Status before beginning her life as ‘prostitute in training’. Now that she learned about her magic, she felt a fire stirring within her heart because she thought she would be able to help Vahn in the future. Even if she wasn’t that strong herself, she could specialize in support and buff the entire Familia in the future.

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With a confident expression on her face, Haruhime pumped her tiny fists and said, “I know what I want to do now! I want to become a support specialist and learn magic for healing and buffing our allies~!” Vahn was already thinking of the future possibilities of Haruhime’s skills, so he was pleasantly surprised by her outburst. Hestia also couldn’t fault Haruhime at the moment since she also realized the incredible potential of her skills. If they were able to nurture Haruhime, she would become one of, if not the most important members of their Familia in the future.

Vahn reached out his hand and began to pat Haruhime’s head, something which she found very pleasing, while Hestia stared at the action for several seconds before sighing. She wanted to protect Vahn and the children that joined their Familia in the future so there was no way she would be able to push away Haruhime. She would have to compromise with the fox girl and do her best to get along in the future even if she had slight inhibitions about the presence of another woman around Vahn. After sorting her thoughts, Hestia released a sigh before fixing her expression and saying, “You have an incredible magical skill Haruhime, I’m glad to have you in the Familia. I might have acted inappropriately earlier, so I’m sorry…I also want to apologize to you as well Vahn. I don’t know why, but I just feel so jealous at times…”

Haruhime’s smile grew even wider as she bowed slightly toward Hestia and said, “I also want to apologize for barging into your lives like this Hestia-sama. I know you care about Vahn deeply and I don’t mean to take away his time from others…I’d like it if we worked together and got along better in the future.” As usual, Haruhime was very polite and showed proper courtesies even when someone was in the middle of apologizing to her. Vahn nodded his head slightly because he thought her behavior and bearing were commendable traits. Turning to Hestia, Vahn showed an earnest smile and said, “As long as everyone can be happy, I have no complaints at all. I worry more that you’ll overburden yourself instead of worrying about your general behavior.

Hestia released an exasperated sigh as she gave Vahn a sidelong glance and said, “I think you’re the least qualified person in the world to comment about other people overburdening themselves~! I wouldn’t be nearly as frustrated if you didn’t treat me so well…” Towards the latter half of her words, Hestia trailed off a bit and Vahn wasn’t able to hear her well. Haruhime, however, heard everything she said and stepped forward with an elegant smile on her face as she leaned over and whispered into Hestia’s ear, “I can help you if you want Hestia-sama…I may not have much experience, but I’ve received a bit of education on various…matters…”

Hestia’s eyes widened a bit before she looked at Haruhime with a somewhat fiery look in her eyes before dragging the young Renard toward her own bedroom. To prevent the confused Vahn from asking questions, Hestia shouted over her shoulder, “Go spend some time with Fenrir and the others~! There will probably be a lot of people coming around later so spend some time with them!”

As they stepped out the door, Haruhime gave a backward glance at Vahn and he could almost swear he saw a glimmer in her eyes that unnerved him a bit.

Following Hestia’s ‘advice’, Vahn went downstairs and followed the corridor until he came to the room where the other girls were located. One of the best things about being able to sense presences was that he didn’t have to search through rooms just to find the people he was looking for. When he entered the room, Fenrir had already been expecting him as she had her sights turned toward his location before he even touched the doorknob. Vahn saw that Fenrir was sitting next to Preasia on cushions that they had set on the ground while reading picture books meant for children. Seeing the twins so seriously staring at the images and trying to memorize the words made Vahn inadvertently smile.

After they noticed his presence, Maemi put down the picture book as she and Emiru stood up together and bowed politely while saying in concert, “May we be of assistance Master?” Vahn habitually rolled his shoulders as he explained, “You don’t have to call me Master, just Vahn will do. Seeing girls call me Master might make me feel excited, but it also feels wrong…if anything, just call me Captain?” Before responding, the two girls looked at each other before nodding their head in sequence and saying, “Vahn-sama.”

Seeing the glimmer in their eyes, Vahn gave a wry smile before walking over and picking up the picture book from the low table. He realized that he wasn’t able to easily rebuke the twins when they performed synchronized actions since he took more than double the impact at how adorable the sight was. Holding up the picture book, Vahn saw that it was a story about a hero that saves a princess from a dragon. Curiously, there were small markings on the hero that obstructed his original hair color to appear similar to his own.

Fenrir got excited and asked, “Vahn read for us!?” Before he even responded, Fenrir patted Preasia who stood up with her characteristic blank expression. Vahn felt a little worried about their interaction as he moved over to the large sofa nearby and placed cushions around as he sat down and prepared to read. Since he placed four cushions on the ground, Vahn was going to read to the girls from memory since he had stored the information within his head previously.

Against his expectations, Preasia sat on the area right in front of him without sitting on the cushion at all. Before he could make sense of her actions, Preasia reached her hands forward and Vahn’s brows immediately shot up before he gently stopped her hands with his left hand. He could feel his body shaking a little as he said as gently as he possibly could, “You never have to do anything like that ever again…Fenrir, Emiru, Maemi…”

Understanding his words, the twins guided Preasia away from Vahn before helping her sit on a cushion. Fenrir sat behind Preasia and hugged her body from behind as she gentled patted the shaggy hair of Preasia and whispered, “There, there, be happy, be happy….” The whole while she was being moved around, Preasia continued to stare at Vahn with her light-grey, lightless eyes…

As Vahn hadn’t been using [Will of the Emperor], he wasn’t prepared for what had just happened in front of his eyes. He felt an incredible anxiety intermixed with a powerful hatred as his teeth clattered a bit. Other than when he had found Milan in the past, Vahn had never felt so much uncontainable hatred as he felt now. Since he wasn’t using anything to control it, Vahn was experiencing the emotions in full and began to breathe heavily as each of the girls gave him worried expressions. Fenrir seemed especially frustrated as her eyes began glowing scarlet while she tried to distract herself by tending to Preasia.

After failing to control his breathing, Vahn began to release his domain to forcibly calm his mind as he sat with his head in his hands while covering his eyes. At this moment, Vahn wanted nothing more than to know the name of the monster that had hurt Preasia. He wanted to make the scoundrel pay and bring them to justice so that she might find some closure and be able to move forward. Vahn couldn’t even begin to imagine what kind of person would do something so blatantly cruel to someone that looked so innocent…

While he was hanging his head in rage, Vahn heard a small sound that he had never heard before. He didn’t know why, but his mind began to clear up a bit as he strained his ears to hear the sound. After several seconds passed, Vahn heard the sound again and looked up from his hands with slightly teary eyes as he stared at the small girl in front of him. The other three girls remained absolutely silent as Preasia said for the third time, “Do you…cry…for me?”

(A/N: Alternate Titles: ‘Dual-Innates’,’Haruhime’s corruption’,’Today is going to be a long day…’)

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