Chapter 299: Battery

After lunch, Vahn was a bit distracted thinking about his future plans and thinking of ways to increase the acquisition of Origin Points so he would be able to prepare for when something inevitably goes wrong. He had been a spendthrift as of late, but Vahn didn’t regret his purchases as the larger ones had always been with a specific idea in mind. He knew he would be able to accumulate a few thousand OP if he got back into forging, but Vahn only wanted to create equipment for use by those close to him, instead of just forging for OP. Though he didn’t mind forging, Vahn wasn’t fond of staying in one place for too long. It may have something to do with the fact he had spent the majority of his time locked up in his previous life, but Vahn was happier when he was out and about and doing various things.

Now that he wasn’t so pressed to ‘protect’ Haruhime, Vahn was considering other methods to procure origin points other than simply mass producing items. He had noticed it during his fights with Tione and Tammuz, and to a lesser extent when he first entered the dungeon, but Vahn was something of a battle junkie. He couldn’t move around much in the past, but not he could freely vault off walls and fly through the air fast enough to shatter the wind around him. It was an exhilarating feeling and Vahn couldn’t help but feel an itch when thinking about his future battles. Though he wasn’t fond of the whims of Karma, the one thing Vahn looked forward to was the fights that would result in his accumulation of positive karma. The greater the value, the more likely stronger enemies would seek him out and they would clash with the intent of forcing their values and ideals on each other. Because of this, Vahn needed to rapidly increase the strength of those around him since he understood his greatest weakness was the number of people close to him.

Vahn had already decided to help train Fenrir according to the method he had drawn out with Ryuu and Aki. Since she had incredible potential and willingly threw herself into danger, she was capable of rapid growth if Vahn took her into the deeper floors. Behind her was, perhaps the most important person he needed to help train, Haruhime, and her incredibly powerful Level-up magic and dual Innate skills. Her magic, [Uchide no Kozuchi] was only B-Rank, which meant that it was capable of growing further and potentially increasing parameters higher than 30%. Her [Kokonoe] was only D-Rank, and that meant it had an incredible potential for growth. Vahn had learned about the [Mage] Development Skills and the acquisition requirements for the [Hunter] skill and wanted to pitch the idea to Haruhime. Though he expected she would happily agree, Vahn wanted her consent since he knew it would be very difficult on her. Acquiring the [Hunter] skill required a person to slay a total of 1,000 monsters within a 72 hour period and could only be acquired when transitioning from Level 1 to Level 2. It was one of the most highly sought after skills alongside rare skills and causality manipulating skills like [Luck].

Knowing that their ventures into the dungeon would probably start soon, Vahn began to sketch out ideas for some equipment that would be used by Haruhime. She had adopted the style of wearing a ‘very’ short kimono, similar to how Mikoto wore her’s, and Vahn was wondering what kind of equipment he could give her that wouldn’t restrict her movement. At the very top of his list, Vahn decided that she would need to wear shorts since he didn’t want her to rush around flashing her panties to their allies. Though he thought it was an interesting sight to see when watching them train, Vahn wasn’t fond of the idea of other people gawking at the contents within. He would get her to wear short-shorts like Ryuu, or perhaps a pair of spats like Aki…

After around an hour, Vahn had drawn up a relatively accurate sketch of Haruhime from memory and had begun to design a combat outfit that he thought was suitable for her. It was still a rough concept, but he had her wearing a red kimono with a black obi and a black, ceremonial, mantle. Since her movements were similar to a dance, Vahn had designed the outfit after the ‘Shrine Priestess’ attire from the Far East. Haruhime had the Innate skill [Moon Priestess], so he had some expectation that it might influence her mentality to awaken the skill in the future. For her weapon, Vahn had decided to make her a wooden sword, similar to the one used by Ryuu, except it would have a more ceremonial look to compliment her attire.

Though she was still going to focus on the development of her agility, Haruhime’s core parameter was her magic and Vahn had hope that she would develop a few offensive spells alongside her support repertoire. To wrap up her ensemble, Vahn designed a pair of anklets and bracelets that Haruhime would be able to wear since she didn’t seem fond of wearing stockings. He would also create a necklace for her and Vahn wanted them all to be set pieces that boosted her magic and provided defense and resistance against the elements. Though he didn’t mind seeing her long legs, Vahn knew how cold it got in the later floors and was somewhat concerned about her catching a cold.

After he was satisfied with the design, Vahn remembered his previous interaction with Ais and Lefiya, so he spent a few minutes thinking before designing a pair of undergarments that might suit Haruhime as well. She had the bad habit of wearing neither a bra or panties without Mikoto reminding her, and Vahn hoped she would be able to curb the habit if he made something specifically for her. Though it felt like he was taking advantage of her feelings for him, Vahn was genuinely concerned with how airheaded she could be at times. If not for sharing a room with Mikoto, Vahn wasn’t sure Haruhime would ever remember to wear undergarments at all. He knew it was likely a habit she had picked up during her ‘training’ in the Isthar Familia, and Vahn hoped she would be able to put it behind her in the future.

Since there were still a few hours until he needed to wrap things up, Vahn decided to get a head start on creating the accessories for Haruhime. It would probably take several days to design the rest of the equipment, but a few bands of metal shouldn’t be too difficult. He could also make a matching pair for Mikoto since they shared a strong bond with each other and Vahn wanted to help provide something to unify them further. He also wanted to experiment with creating ‘batteries’ that would be able to store excess mana when they weren’t in combat so they could make use of it in a pinch. It was a very similar concept to how Welf used his [Crozzo Blood], but Vahn figured it would be far more effective if he used his ‘source energy’.

As they were accessories for a girl, Vahn decided to use a combination of mithril twined with orichalcum and adamantine. This would give them a golden sheen intermixed with the beautiful white coloration of adamantine that would also greatly enhance the durability of the item. The problem was finding something to contain the mana, since most materials and gems acted as catalysts and not containers. They could enhance the efficacy of magic, but they didn’t allow for magic to be stored within for later use. Inspired by [Crozzo Blood] even further, Vahn tried boring out a small channel within the interior of the mithril core of the bracelet. He purchased an incredibly durable syringe and drew a bit of his own blood with a somewhat conflicted feeling before shaking away the unpleasant thoughts.

The channel within the bracelet was thin enough that it only required a single drop of his blood, but Vahn wanted to see how long he could store his blood within a container like a syringe so he filled the entire thing as part of an experiment. In his previous life, his blood couldn’t be stored for more than 24 hours before it would turn to dust. Vahn hadn’t conducted any experiments of his own, even though he knew his blood would probably be a powerful catalyst for alchemy in the future.

One of the reasons Vahn had decided to try using his own blood as a catalyst was due to the fact that, while he may have a physical form, his body was actually comprised entirely of ‘source energy’. This wasn’t an uncommon thing though, since everyone, and everything for that matter, was comprised of mana and elemental energies. Every particle of matter around him was the culmination of several smaller bonds that he wasn’t able to see even using his [Eyes of Truth], but Vahn was able to conceptualize them after studying up on the matter alongside Eva in the past. She really had been a great mentor for him and he made an incredible amount of progress in his own studies under her tutelage.

Vahn frowned as his own thoughts wandered a bit and he looked within his system to see that the time had just hit 5 PM. Even though it had been a while since he entered the orb, both his mind a body was still adapted to the expectation that he should be entering inside of it. Though he could tell it was in an inert state within his inventory, Vahn still pulled out the pitch black orb and watched it for a few minutes before releasing a sad sigh and stowing it away. Shaking his head, Vahn sealed off the small hole where he had inserted the syringe and made sure there was a hair-like red line circling the entire bracelet within its core. Even though it was an incredibly small amount of blood, Vahn could see the energy contained within and began his experiment with a bit of excitement and the desire that it would be a success.

For a brief moment, Vahn humored the idea of trying to imbue the ability to increase exilia acquisition into the bracelet, but he decided against it since it might conflict with his intended outcome. After calming his mind for a few minutes, Vahn held the ornate bracelet within his hands and focused his thoughts with the intent of making the bracelet a container for mana that would work in conjunction with other, similar, items while also protecting the wearer. Though the rest of the items weren’t complete yet, Vahn pictured the image of Haruhime within his mind wearing nothing but the anklets, bracelets, and a golden band around her neck before naming the bracelet [Fox Maiden’s Bracelet].

[Fox Maiden’s Bracelet]

Rank:B

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P.Def: 17

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M.Def: 404

Abilities: Durandal(C), Magical Amplification(C), Magic Vessel(B), Fox Maiden’s Set(B)

An ornate bracelet designed to provide passive protection by creating a small field around the appendages to resist physical and magical attacks. Though weak individually, the abilities of this item are enhanced when used alongside similar items.

Restriction: Renard Only (Female)

Vahn was very pleased with the result, except for the fact that he had forgotten to include resistance against the elements in his mental image. Though it wasn’t his initial intent, he had inadvertently imagined Haruhime wearing nothing by his accessories and had gotten distracted by his own thoughts. Much less protecting her from the elements, Vahn had ‘exposed’ her within his mind and felt a little embarrassed even though there was nobody around to judge him. To test the efficacy of the ‘Magic Vessel’ ability, Vahn tried to insert a small amount of his energy but the bracelet flew out of his hand with a rebound. His mind blanked for a moment before he picked up the item into his inventory and re-read the description again. Since it had the restriction of only being used by female Renards, Vahn couldn’t actually test the item himself.

Pulling the bracelet out of his inventory, Vahn inspected the interior to see if there had been any changes to the string of blood he had left within. To his surprise, he discovered that the blood had crystalized and noticed it had a strange pattern along the length that he couldn’t understand. The more he tried to focus on it, the less focused his mind became and Vahn realized that more than twenty minutes had passed as he stared off aimlessly into space. When he tried to ask Sis what was happening, he could hear the sound of her voice within his mind but the words were completely blocked from his perception. After explaining the incongruity, Sis informed him that he simply didn’t have a high enough Soul Tier to understand…

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