Chapter 306: Potential : Growth

Because of the complex structure of the dungeon, it wasn’t that easy to actually be more than 2km apart from allies on the same floor. Especially for the upper floors, since the actual size of the floor wasn’t that large. The further down you went into the dungeon, the larger the floors became, including the distance between the roof and floor. Though it had never been proven, there were some that believed that, if you made it to the bottom of the dungeon, it was actually large enough to rival the size of the continent itself. The current clear record was held by the Zeus Familia, who had traveled up to the 59th floor in the past. It was claimed that the 59th floor was one giant room and that the total length, from end to end, was more than 700km, which was much larger than Orario itself.

After around twenty minutes, Vahn noticed a change in the mark that was on Haruhime’s hand as it began to glow slightly. He stopped her and said, “Okay, it looks like we’re out of range of Ryuu and Fenrir now. From here onwards, I want you to do your best to fight the monsters according to your own skills and instincts. Do whatever you think it suitable for the occasion and I’ll back you up if things get too dangerous. Remember, you shouldn’t expect that I’ll be around to save you every time you get injured. How you fight isn’t always important as ‘why’ you fight, as it is your willpower and intent that will shape the adventurer you become and how your strength develops.”

Haruhime’s ears began to twitch about as a fiery look appeared in her normally elegant, droopy-eyed, face. She looked directly toward Vahn with her shining green eyes and said confidently, “Leave it to me, Vahn~! I’ll do my best to become a capable adventurer so that I can be of use to you in the future!” Vahn wanted to correct her words, but Haruhime immediately dashed toward the closest monsters, a group of kobolds, with the [001] sword in hand. After releasing a short sight, Vahn shrugged off her words and watched her battle from the side. He couldn’t control how, or why, people were motivated to improve. As long as she was capable of growing stronger with the determination she had found, that was all that really mattered.

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Kobolds were significantly more difficult to deal with than Goblins, but Haruhime didn’t seem to have too much trouble with them. Unlike the past Vahn, who had nearly died the first time he saw a Kobold, Haruhime’s expectations were different and she had been training with Ryuu and Aki to develop an awareness against new monsters. It made Vahn feel a little awkward because he realized that his start had been much higher than Haruhime’s and he had nearly died due to his own inexperience. Watching her move about with relatively inexperienced steps, yet easily able to dispatch an enemy he had trouble with made him want to knock his old self’s head.

Though she wasn’t easily able to target the monster cores, Haruhime was able to eventually cut down the three Kobolds since a B-Rank weapon was very strong on the upper floors. As long as she could make contact with them, the sword cut through their bodies easily without much resistance. Haruhime also had the benefit of enhanced senses and, even when a Kobold tried to attack her from a blind spot, Vahn saw her ears twitch as she tilted her body forward before twisting her waist and slicing the Kobold up through the center of its body. She became covered in its blood as the two halves of the body turned into dust around her.

After they were all dead, Haruhime released a sigh as she inspected the state of her own body for a little bit. Her ears drooped low and she walked over to Vahn and said, “I’m sorry, I got dirty again…” Vahn shook his head with a smile as he pulled out a towel and his [Decanter of Replenishment] to help wipe Haruhime’s face. She had a pleased expression on her face even as her cheeks moved about pliantly under the towels movements. Vahn nodded his head and explained, “Even I’m not strong enough to avoid being covered in a few bits of blood every now and then, so don’t have the expectation that you’ll be able to easily remain clean in the dungeon. It’s not actually uncommon for Adventurers to go several days without even having an opportunity to clean themselves unless there is someone in the party with water magic. Don’t let it get to you just because you get a little dirty every now and then.”

Haruhime nodded her head and Vahn saw a peculiar glint in her eyes so he said, “I won’t always help wipe away the blood from your body, so don’t think you can get dirty as an excuse…” Since he had already wiped off her face, Vahn handed the towel to Haruhime and her ears wobbled a bit before drooping as she sighed, “I understand…” Seeing her reaction, Vahn patted Haruhime’s shoulder and said, “Well, if you work hard, I don’t mind giving you a hand as a reward.” Haruhime’s ears immediately shot up and Vahn could see her motivation had increased by a fair amount. He also noticed that the glow of the mark had increased slightly and wondered if it was necessary for him to ‘inspire’ whoever he was paired with to make the effect even stronger.

As they made their way into a slightly larger ‘room’, Vahn detected there were five enemies present and knew it was probably too much for the current Haruhime. After informing her of the situation, she still wanted to give it a try and Vahn agreed since it was only through dangerous situations that she would experience the most growth. Before she went out, Vahn ducked low with Haruhime and explained, “Even though monsters aren’t very coordinated, it can be dangerous if you get surrounded. Try to stay on the outside of the monsters encirclement and keep at least one enemy between yourself and other monsters. They can’t attack through each other without damaging the person in between, so it’s a good strategy when you’re outnumbered.”

Haruhime nodded her head and listened attentively before taking several deep breaths and heading out into the room. The five monsters were a pair of Kobolds, accompanied by three Goblins, and it would be the first time Haruhime had to deal with a combination of monsters. Though she was slower than the kobolds, she was fast enough to outpace a goblin so she separated the two kobolds by kiting them to an open area before trying to dispatch them. Vahn noticed that she always swung the blade in large arcs and he knew it was an effective method, but it required a lot of stamina and wasn’t suitable if the enemy had high durability.

When one of the kobolds tried to attack her legs, Haruhime stepped back at an angle while swiping down with the sword in her retreat. It collided accurately with the Kobold’s skull and turned it into dust particles as the second Kobold jumped at her body with its sharp claws and open mouth dripping with froth and saliva. Haruhime’s brows furrowed slightly as she reached out with her free left hand and tried to grab the throat of the leaping Kobold. She actually managed to pull off the action before stabbing through its body, but she also suffered several cuts on her arms from when it was thrashing about. Vahn frowned at the sight because he knew she would have been able to avoid such injuries if she wore proper equipment. Though the bracelets he made her had great Magical Defense, they offered almost no physical protection because of their small size.

Only allowed on

Haruhime’s mouth was quivering a bit from the pain, but there was a fierce glint in her eyes even though they were tearing up slightly. Without complaint, she pushed herself forward to face the three remaining goblins. She was able to cleanly dispatch the first one, but it wasn’t long after that before she fell to the ground with a muted sob and Vahn stepped in to immediately defeat the remaining two. Vahn moved over to Haruhime, who was doing her best to avoid crying, and grabbed her arm as he cleaned the wounds and began to heal her with [Hands of Nirvana]. Some of the wounds had cut more than a centimeter into her skin and she wasn’t accustomed to dealing with pain at all.

Vahn stroked the dejected Haruhime and tried to console her by saying, “Don’t worry Haruhime, it was already next to impossible for a Level 1 to fight five monsters when they are just starting out. The fact you were able to react to the joint attack of the Kobolds and resist the pain of your injuries to continue the fight is more than what would be expected from most people…” Haruhime nodded her head slowly at his words and sniffled a bit before saying, “I won’t let something like this stop me…” To reward her ‘courage’, Vahn ruffled her hair and ears for a bit before they continued deeper into the first floor.

Since they were items he had personally forged, Vahn lent Haruhime his [Xuánwǔ Protector]s and explained their use. Though they were a stark contrast to the rest of her outfit, Vahn felt better at seeing Haruhime using some ‘proper’ equipment. When she faced a group of three Kobolds, there was a similar incident as earlier where Haruhime tried to block with her left arm even though it would have been better for her to try and strike out instead. Fortunately, the Kobold couldn’t even leave a scratch on the [Xuánwǔ Protector]s and even broke its teeth in the attempt. Vahn noticed a slight green glow emerge, but didn’t see any noticeable signs of the effect activating.

After the fight, Haruhime collapsed onto her butt with a “Fuueee~” as Vahn walked over to see if she were okay. He noticed her mana had drained greatly and she was probably at the limits of her stamina. The fact she was able to kill 23 monsters in the last two hours on her own was pretty commendable considering her diminutive 34 Endurance parameter. Combat wasn’t just physically taxing, but also had a strong impact on the mind after your stamina began to drain. The fact Haruhime was able to persist for so long was very impressive so Vahn paid her a few heavy compliments before carrying her body on his back as her ‘reward’.

Haruhime nuzzled against his face and neck as she hugged around Vahn’s neck with the tattered sleeves of her kimono. Vahn supported her legs with his hand and quickly made his way through the dungeon using Shundo. Haruhime was amazed by his speed but kept to herself as she enjoyed the moment by holding herself closely against Vahn’s back. Vahn was in a bit of a hurry since he wanted to check Haruhime’s Status Board to see if there had been any changes. Though he could do it within the dungeon, Vahn knew it was possible that Freya was keeping her eyes on him and didn’t want to expose his secrets to her. There wasn’t much he could do about his combat capabilities, but he should do his best to prevent from showing off something like updating the Status Board of another person.

After finally reaching the surface, Vahn leaned down a bit to let Haruhime down but she continued to hold on for a few additional seconds as they drew the attention of several passersby. Vahn jolted her body a bit by shrugging his shoulders and she eventually climbed down with an apologetic smile on her face before Vahn shook his head and said, “Don’t worry about it.” Vahn didn’t really want to fault someone for being ‘affectionate’ toward him, as long as they showed proper restraint when it came down to it.

Now that they were on the surface, Vahn purchased a few meat skewers for them to snack on as they waited for Ryuu and Fenrir to exit the dungeon. Vahn sent a mental command to Fenrir, so it shouldn’t take long before they also return to the surface. In fact, it wasn’t even twenty minutes before Vahn saw Fenrir’s cloaked figure trotting out of the dungeon alongside the stoic Ryuu. The moment she saw Vahn, Fenrir ran over and shouted, “Fenrir killed lots and lots of monster~!” She had her paws raised happily and Vahn noticed they were completely saturated with blood and commented, whilst patting Fenrir’s head, “Great job, Fenrir, let’s go home and get you to take a bath and then I’ll give you your reward, okay?” Hearing Vahn’s words, Fenrir looked at her blood-stained fur and released a strange sounding laugh as if she was ’embarrassed’ before nodding her head and saying, “Fenrir will get super clean and then Vahn will brush her fur~?”

Vahn laughed before saying, “Sure, that sounds like a good idea.” At this point, Ryuu had caught up and Vahn showed her a grateful smile before scanning over the group and saying, “Let’s go home.” All three girls nodded with different degrees of a ‘pleased’ expression on their face as Vahn led the way back toward the Hearth Manor in high spirits. Of course, he had been conditioned at this point to actually be more alert when things were going smoothly, so Vahn had been scanning the surroundings along the way, just in case.

After they returned to the Manor, Vahn quickly checked the Status Board of Haruhime to see if she had made any progress. Since Fenrir was fighting monsters much weaker than herself, there wasn’t any chance that her parameters had grown so Vahn put it off until later. When he drew his blood across Haruhime’s bare back and the Status Board appeared, Vahn was pleasantly surprised by what he saw. It wasn’t as ridiculous as his own growth in the past, but Haruhime had made a marked progress for only killing twenty-three monsters.



Name: Sanjouno Haruhime

Race: Renard

LV. 1

POW: I15->I19

END: I34->I41

DEX: I18->I30

AGI: I37->I52

MAG: D591->C603

Skill: [Inari:Innate(sealed)], [Prometheus’s Blessing:A]

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

Development Skill: [Moon Priestess:Innate(sealed)], [Spirit Healing:D]


Vahn showed Haruhime’s updated Status, minus her Innates, to everyone present and Ryuu was the most surprised by her growth. Though it wasn’t ‘excessive’, it was incredible growth for someone that had just ventured into the dungeon for just over two hours. Depending on how things played out, it was very possible she would be able to reach Level 2 within a few weeks and Ryuu attributed it to the combined effect of [Prometheus’s Blessing] and the influence of the [Mentor] Development Ability. Hearing both Ryuu and Vahn praise her, Haruhime’s ears twitched about excitedly even though she had an elegant, yet happy, smile on her face. Afterward, the three girls went off to take a bath while Vahn looked through his system for an appropriate gift for Fenrir.

He had inspected the interior of the Manor when they returned, and Vahn was aware that everyone was currently out, most likely enjoying an excursion while shopping for clothing and equipment. Since they had most likely gone to Babel Tower, it was very unlikely for anything to happen to them, though Vahn was somewhat tempted to go find them. Instead, since his instincts weren’t acting up, Vahn decided to trust that things were going well. He had already told Fafnir to follow Hestia along through the shadows, so he assumed they wouldn’t be in any danger while in public.

Around twenty minutes later, Vahn could sense Fenrir running through the corridors before bursting into the room he was in wearing a clean pair of her combat attire. Vahn’s only impression was that she looked very healthy and lively as she quickly closed the distance between them while already holding the brush in her hand. Vahn smiled and received the brush as Fenrir hopped into his lap and began to tilt her head from side to side with her floppy ears. She asked in an almost ‘humming’ tone, “Fenrir gets reward now~?” Vahn had already started to brush her somewhat damp hair before waving his hand toward the coffee table in front of them. A midnight blue gothic dress appeared on the table and Fenrir immediately jumped from his lap and began to inspect it excitedly. After patting it a few times with her paws, Fenrir raised her arms up high and said, “Fenrir wants to wear it now~!”

Vahn set the brush to the side before helping pull the dress over Fenrir’s head and arms. It was a somewhat snug fit, but the fabric was slightly elastic and she was able to fit through it without much difficulty. Since it wasn’t the first time she had worn a drew with a zipper, Fenrir had already turned around so Vahn could close up the back of the dress. Her tail flopped about for a bit until Vahn was able to maneuver it through the hole that was in between the layers of the dress. He then tied off the vibrant red bow to seal off the gap and make it fit snuggly around her tail so it wouldn’t loosen when she moved about. There was a matching frilled choker that had a small, black rose, motif that Vahn helped fix around Fenrir’s neck before she excitedly looked around for a mirror. Vahn placed the three standing mirrors he kept in his inventory and Fenrir happily looked at her body from different angles before eventually launching herself over toward Vahn while shouting, “Fenrir loves new dress~! Master is the best”

Vahn had caught her out of the air as Fenrir snuggled against his chest happy with her crooked smile. She had grabbed around his body with her paws tightened into fists so as to not accidentally scratch his back. With his brows slightly furrowed, Vahn said, “You shouldn’t call me Master…just call me Vahn.” Fenrir’s ears twitched at his words as she stared up into his face with her eyes glowing slightly scarlet as she emulated an awkward laugh and said, “Oops, Fenrir forgot because she was happy…Vahn is the best, don’t be mad.” Vahn shook his head and stroked her head before picking up the brush and patting his lap. Fenrir’s awkward smile returned as she jumped up at sat in his lap with her back to Vahn and let him brush her hair, ears, and tail for a few minutes until Ryuu and Haruhime arrived.

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