Chapter 378: Overwhelming

After explaining to Maemiru the changes in her parameters, she released a cheerful and moderately seductive laugh as she sad in a teasing voice, “If our parameters are that high, doesn’t it mean we’ll be ‘qualified’ to be with you since our strength would have met your standard? We can’t wait to hit Level 2…Vahn…sama~.” Vahn furrowed his brows slightly at her words because, even though he had set the basic requirement to Level 3, it was an irrefutable truth that they would have the strength of one. If they learned any powerful skills or abilities, they would probably be much stronger than most of the other girls even if they were Level 3…

Vahn considered the matter for a moment before saying in a firm tone, “That remains to be seen…it will depend on a variety of factors. You should know that there are restrictions for how high a person’s parameters can grow for each Level. I can’t say for certain how it will apply to your fused state, but it could be a very dangerous skill with serious consequences if you overuse it. Your magic parameter is far outstripping your other parameters at the moment, so there is a high chance you may not be nearly as strong as you think by the time your level actually increases.” Though he was speaking truthfully, Vahn felt like his words were strange since it was almost like he was ‘discouraging’ them somehow.

Maemiru laughed cheerfully before sauntering over to the basin and turning her head to give Vahn a playful wink as she lifted her leg to the edge of the tub and fully ‘displayed’ herself for his view. Before she climbed in completely, Maemiur said in an amused tone with her strange overlapping voice, “We know you aren’t the type to go back on your word, Vahn-sama. Leave it to us, we’ll show you how powerful we can become when we are together~.” Vahn continued in silence for a while as he watched Maemiru climb into the basin before releasing a comfortable sigh as she lowered her body into the steaming hot water.

Vahn was starting to think the fusion of the girls had a strange effect on their mind and he was curious about how exactly they had changed. Individually, the girls were somewhat docile and could even be considered charming and adorable. Combined, however, they became confident, assertive, and were borderline domineering. The way their voice overlapped, the somewhat eerie heterochromatic eyes, and the blatantly seductive nature of their fused form was a bit unnerving, to say the least. Of course, Vahn wasn’t actually that worried about the two since he knew his own growth would almost certainly outpace theirs.

He also understood that, though they were teasing him quite a bit, they didn’t show any real possessiveness or other negative emotions. Though he couldn’t see their affection, their aura was a vibrant pink with red undertones and a sunny yellow coloration that showed they were actually just very happy at the present moment. It was likely that they were simply unable to express themselves well with their heightened emotions so they ‘acted out’ a bit and teased him due to their increased tensions. It was like when Haruhime first transformed and she was unable to regulate her feelings well and even pushed herself to the point of collapse more than once. With time, the twins should be able to achieve some mastery in their Innate ability and properly control themselves in the future.

As promised, Vahn unhesitantly bean washing Maemiru’s body with a sponge and, even though her reactions were somewhat extreme, he didn’t mind them much and continued tending to their body in a moderately professional manner. Moderately because, every now and then, he would tease them a bit just to get even with them for constantly egging him on. The best example of this was when they leaned forward and playfully waggled their butt toward him so Vahn reached out with the sponge and began to scrub their rump and the underside of their tail with a bit of force. They ended up gripping the edge of the basin and releasing a strangely overlapped ‘wuuuu’ sound as Vahn held up their tail and made sure to clean thoroughly around the base before lathering up the tail itself and combing a thick brush through their fluffy fur.

A few minutes into the bath, as Maemi was ‘suffering’ a bit under his care, they suddenly split back into two with Emiru being the one Vahn was holding onto as she leaned against Maemi’s back and purred in a somewhat high pitched whine. Vahn remembered his earlier curiosity so he released her tail and asked in a casual tone, “I’m curious, have you both been cleaned at the same time? Does the soap on one of your bodies duplicate and appear on the other? Ah…I should have tried to get you to wear an accessory and see if it was split in two…well, there is always next time.”

Hearing Vahn’s words, the two girls sunk into the hot water while hugging onto each other with somewhat ‘blaming’ looks on their faces as they ‘glared’ at him from the sanctity of the tub. Vahn raised his brow slightly because their personalities changed drastically compared to the bravado of their fused form. He could tell from a glance that a few of his questions could be answered somewhat easily, even though they weren’t really speaking to him at the moment. Vahn had thoroughly lathered up their hair and now, though they still had suds all over, it was decidedly less than his earlier results. It looked like the amount had literally halved and Vahn speculated that, if he had actually given them an item for use in their transformed state, it would be broken when they split apart.

After the twins rinsed off their bodies, they seemed to have recovered their normal demeanors and ’tilted’ Vahn a bit when they climbed out of the tub, stood side-by-side while still naked, and bowed at the same time as they said, “Thank you for taking such good care of us, Master~.” They had reverted back to their old form of address so Vahn frowned and said, “I told you not to call me that…it feels awkward and wrong. Even if you don’t consider it, I really want to treat the two of you like family and not as servants. I want everyone in the Familia to be one big family…” Hearing his words, the twins looked at each other for a brief moment with smiles on their faces until Emiru said, “When it is just the three of us…” Maemi continued, “We want to call you Master~” Following up, they both said at the same time, “It will make us the happiest~!”

Vahn blanked for a moment before furrowing his brows even lower as he asked in a somewhat apathetic voice, “But what about how it makes me feel? I want the two of you to be happy, but it just makes me feel strange when someone calls me Master. I already have the entire Anubis Familia putting me on a pedestal, I don’t want my own Familia to do the same…” Perhaps they hadn’t expected his response because both girls widened their eyes greatly and looked like they were about to have panic attacks with how much they were fidgetting about. Seeing their reaction, Vahn released an almost inaudible sigh as he mentally remarked, (“Well, it is probably just part of their dream…if I just treat it like a ‘play’, it shouldn’t be a big deal…”).

Before their panic had fully set in, Vahn stepped toward the still naked girls and began to stroke their heads with his [Hands of Nirvana] helping to calm their minds as he said with a smile, “Now that I think about it, it’s not such a bad deal…if though you’re older than me, it’s still pleasant to have to young girls call me Master. I think I was just overwhelmed for a moment since you’re both cute individually, but an actual danger to my mental state when together…hahahahaha!” Though he hadn’t intended to laugh at first, Vahn had calmed down a lot while he was speaking and felt happy when he saw the relieved looks on the twins faces as they blushed from his compliment.

After they finally developed enough good sense to get dressed, Vahn helped comb through the girl’s hair and tails as promised before sending them off to bed in preparation for the next day. Though they had been at 95 previously, their interactions during their transformation and the words shared after the bath had increased the respective affections of the two girls to 99(Amour). They were just shy of hitting the cap and Vahn was tempted to try and push them a bit further since he was interested in what kind of reward he would get from the two simultaneously hitting 100 Affection. Instead, he decided to let things develop ‘naturally’, even though he knew most of his interactions with girls were anything but.

He had changed a lot in the last few months, but many of his major changes in mentality had taken place in just the last two weeks. Though the girls were likely shocked from his rapid growth, Vahn was the most aware of how much he had changed ever since that fateful date with Chloe. Now that he was laying against the wall of the Dungeon, Vahn couldn’t help but think about the mischevious Cat Person that he shared deep affections with and had even come to love. She was arguably one of the most important people in his life and was someone he wanted to pull from the darkness in the future. As he lay about and drifted off into the land of dreams, Vahn began to wonder what he could do for the loveable black cat as he affectionately rubbed the mark on his shoulder. In the process, Vahn felt a few extra indentations and his smile turned even softer as the image of the ‘ditzy’ Arnya appeared in his memory right as he fell asleep…

Rest in the Dungeon was never truly ‘peaceful’ and, as if smacking him in the face for his earlier complacency, Vahn’s rest was brought to an early end after four hours had passed. Several presences had entered into the area of his domain and Vahn could tell they were actually the same group of four that he had seen in the eleventh floor. They were currently making a mad dash toward his, and the sleeping twins’, position and Vahn could detect a large number of hostiles chasing after them. This was the obvious sign that the party had the misfortune of encountering a ‘Monster Party’ and Vahn wondered if they were supposed to have some connection with his fate due to the karma he had received.

With a ruminating expression on his face, Vahn turned his eyes to the sleeping twins before making the decision to wake them. He had hoped they might wake up on their own, as their senses were rather sharp, but it seemed like they were a bit complacent since he was watching over them. Vahn leaped to his feet and said in a commanding tone, “Enemies approach, prepare for combat!” Part of their training with Aki had actually been ‘wake-up drills’, so Emiru and Maemi immediately sat up with a start and began fixing their clothing and armor into place without questioning Vahn’s words at all. Seeing their response, Vahn nodded his head and decided not to blame them for being complacent earlier since they still reacted properly when it came time to muster.

The ‘unknown’ party was quickly approaching their position but the twins were able to completely gear up within 37 seconds, a commendable time considering the various straps they had to deal with. As soon as they were dressed, they both pulled out their daggers and got into a ready stance at Vahn’s flanks and asked, “Should we go and fight?” Vahn shook his head and explained, “There is a group of four Adventurer’s heading toward our location with a large group of monsters, totaling 73, chasing after them. Based on their signatures, it seems like a group of Imps but there is one marginally stronger one amongst them. We’ll alter our tactics depending on how the party reacts…if they try to Pass Parade us, I’ll take the both of you and use Shundo to flee. If they decide to stand and fight, the two of you will support them and I’ll deal with the majority of the mob depending on how things play out.”

Pass Parading was an inexcusable offense and was something that could get a Familia forcefully disbanded depending on the situation. Sadly, it was surprisingly common since people were prone to panic in stressful situations. The reason why this was sad was that it was nearly never reported since, when performed successfully, there would be no witnesses to bring the matter to light. Though he wouldn’t kill them personally, Vahn resolved to leave them to their fates if they tried something so shameless while he was protecting the two girls. He might not care much if it was just him, but if the group tried to perform a ‘Pass Parade’ when there were ‘frail’ girls present, Vahn would show them no leniency.

Nearly a minute after his orders were passed to the twins, the group of Adventurers ran into the ‘safety’ of the corridor and immediately looked toward Vahn and the twins as their supposed leader shouted, “Quick, you need to get away, there is a variant species chasing us!” Seeing the honest looking boy wave his arms in warning, Vahn showed an appreciative smile and told the twins, “Stay back and help treat their wounded…I’ll make short work of this and return quickly.” The moment they nodded their heads, Vahn used [Shundo] and appeared right behind the group and said, “You’re safe here, I won’t let a single enemy beyond this point…”

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The ‘leader’ of the group, a brown-haired man who looked to be around 19-20 years old, looked back at Vahn with a confused expression on his face before turning to the twins when they shouted, “Come over here, we have potions and first aid supplies! Vahn-sama will be perfectly fine on his own!” Vahn’s name was not only somewhat ‘rare’, but he was also very famous within the City right now so, as the group continued forward, the man asked, “Vahn…? As in the Sage Aldrnari, Vahn Mason!?” Hearing her leader’s words, the raven-haired woman with the giant crossbow looked back before placing a bolt into the crossbow and kneeling down as if she were preparing to support Vahn from the rear. Vahn had been paying attention to all of their actions since he didn’t truly trust them and would move the moment they tried anything shady. Fortunately, the woman released the heavy bolt and it skimmed nearly a meter to his right and impaled one of the charging Imps.

Vahn felt ‘inspired’ by the commendable nature of the group and wanted to show off a bit since they seemed to know of him. He wanted the rumors surrounding him to change for the better, and the best way to do so was to have a few achievements from helping people in need. Since it had been a while, Vahn decided to display a bit of his prowess as he drew [Lævateinn] out of his inventory and brandished it about in a wide arc that caused a veritable tidal wave of flames to move forward and mow down the mob of charging Imps. The only one that seemed resistant to the flames was the strange blue one that was nearly three meters tall. As for the rest, they began to squeal in pain as their bodies quickly burned to ash under the intense flames that couldn’t be extinguished no matter how desperately they tried.

Though she had been intending to support him, the woman with the crossbow turned into a statue as she saw the ‘devastation’ wrought by Vahn’s single attack. She didn’t know much about the Sage Aldrnari, other than the fact he was supposed to be a lascivious, yet highly capable, Adventurer at Level 3. However, seeing him mow down more than fifty monsters with a single swipe of his fiery greatsword was a big impact and she felt like her support was a joke considering how easily Vahn dealt with the situation. When his clothes suddenly changed and he was standing with his incredibly toned and muscular torso exposed, she felt her heart tighten up and screamed out at the top of her lungs when she saw him leap into the ‘deadly’ flames, “Adrnari, don’t be rash~!”

Only allowed on

The flames of [Lævateinn] were much weaker than his ‘eternal flame’ and the ‘vermillion flames’, so Vahn changed into a pair of fire-resistant trousers before unequipping the rest of his gear. He jumped into the flames without any hesitation at all and leaped towards the wailing Blue Imp Chieftan with his sword drawing a wide arc and cut through the body of the once fierce monster as if it hadn’t any resistance at all. Its arms had been severed along with its torso and there were orange flakes of flesh and blood from the heat of the blade as it passed through and cauterized the body instantly. Before the body had hit the ground, it inflated for a brief moment before dissipating into purple smoke from the devastating attack.

Vahn put away the drop items into his inventory before turning toward the group of Adventurer’s that were staring at him with abject shock on their faces as he casually walked through the flames. Because of their unique properties, the flames of [Lævateinn] actually stuck to his body and were trying to devour him but his absolute fire immunity prevented him from even feeling their heat. Vahn just walked out of the flames with the somewhat blood-red colored fire sticking to his body before he pointed the tip of [Lævateinn] at the raging inferno and extinguished the blaze after several seconds. Satisfied by the result, Vahn returned the sword to his inventory before showing a kind smile and saying, “I’m glad you’re all okay. If there are any serious injuries, I know healing magic and am a practiced physician. Please tell me if there is anything I can help with, no charge at all.”

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