Chapter 382: Smooth Progress

After escaping from the twins’ momentum, Vahn had them progress further into the Dungeon to test the capabilities of their new weapons. They still had a large number of monsters to hunt and there wasn’t a great deal of time left before the time they were supposed to return. With their newfound resolve, Maemi and Emiru proceeded forward with a confident air about them. Following Vahn’s directions, they quickly came upon a group of five Minotaurs, two more than they had been able to fight previously.

The [Saint Halberd]s wielded by the twins weighted around 60kg, which was far heavier than the daggers they used previously. It wasn’t a great deal of weight, especially considering that some Adventurers could lift thousands of kilograms when exerting their full strength. However, it was still much heavier than the 5kg daggers they used previously and would help develop their Power parameter when they adapted to its use. Vahn felt it was a little out of place seeing two somewhat petite and lithe girls, each only 158cm tall, running around with 240cm long halberds. Strangely, their more than 75cm long tails offset this image and actually made them look more balanced than expected.

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The only incongruity seemed to be because of the rest of their equipment. The girls were wearing tight black shirts with small white shorts hugging their waists. They didn’t wear stockings, so their legs were bare until reaching their socks and dark-brown boots that went more than halfway up their calves. They also had a pair of armguards and several belts and pouches for the items they kept on their person. When they didn’t have Vahn’s ‘support’, they had also been carrying small backpacks and looked like the traditional ‘scout’ or ‘thief’ type Adventurers.

Now that they had heavy weapons, Vahn thought the image he had seen in his mind suited them more. Instead of an exact replica, however, Vahn was considering designing a maid style combat uniform instead. Vahn knew a little bit about Valkyrie’s after scanning through the knowledge in his head and knew some considered them to be ‘Battle Maidens’. Though it might be a strange conclusion to reach normally, Vahn figured a ‘Battle Maid’ was more suitable to the twins since they were determined to be his maids in the future.

While thinking about possible designs, Vahn was watching Maemi and Emiru fight the group of five Minotaurs. Unlike the indirect fighting style they employed in the past, the twins were now somewhat ‘overbearing’ in how the approached the fight. They still circled around the monsters but, instead of whittling them down with grazing blows, they now drew large arcs and cut deeply into the bodies of the Minotaurs. The physical attack power of the halberds was quite high so they were able to cleave large parts off the Minotaurs with each attack. Emiru had even cut more than an entire meter into a Minotaur when she had angled her halberd and slammed it into the collarbone of the monster after it tried to smash toward her. The reason this was significant was that it was a blow dealt when she jumped back to evade the Minotaur, which meant she hadn’t been able to put her own weight and momentum behind the strike.

Inspired by her sister, Maemi stepped low under a Minotaur’s backhand before twisted her body and drawing a large arc with her halberd angled nearly parallel to the ground. The axe head came into contact with the flank of the Minotaur and passed through a large portion of its abdomen before continuing clear through to the other side. Maemi jumped away to avoid the literal tide of blood and intestines that poured out of the Minotaur before it turned into purple dust. After realizing how much damage they could deal, the twins became far more confident and made short work of the remaining three Minotaurs.

The rest of the day proceeded in much the same manner and it wasn’t until the twins came across a large pack of Hellhounds that they actually had a bit of trouble. Though it wasn’t to the extent of a Monster Party, there were a total of 32 Hellhounds and it was a bit overwhelming for the girls who were still Level 1. Fortunately, they were able to backtrack into a corridor while drawing large arcs with their halberds to keep the monsters at bay. Though they had to tank a few fireballs with their cloaks, they managed to retreat to the choke point and were able to slowly whittle away at the Hellhounds numbers by using the spear component of their halberds. When they fight finally came to an end, they both collapsed with their backs to each other and laughed in a relieved manner.

Vahn had been watching from a few meters behind the girls and had ‘absorbed’ a great deal of damage from them over the course of the fight. There was one point where Maemi’s leg had gotten caught in the maw of a Hellhound but Emiru was quickly able to dispatch it before Maemi even released a scream. Vahn transferred the somewhat serious wound to himself and Maemi released a powerful warcry as she bisected an approaching monster. It was her battle spirit igniting that eventually turned the fight in the twins’ favor and they began mowing down the monsters without too much regard for defense.

Though they still dodged what they were able, they began using the non-vital areas of their body to fend off some of the attacks coming their way. As a result, by the time the fight had come to an end, they were very exhausted and the vast majority of their equipment had been torn apart or stained by blood. This was the final nail in the coffin and Vahn resolved himself to make armor for the girls in the future. His OP pool had dwindled to a pathetic 3,294OP at this point, so he didn’t have the option of giving them anything from the shop. There was also the fact he had already gifted them the halberds, so they wouldn’t be able to make use of it even if he could purchase armor for them.

Because of time constraints, the twins persisted forward using stamina potions and by having Vahn recover their reserves with his [Hands of Nirvana]. They were very proactive about requesting his assistance when necessary and had even started a rotation where one twin received treatment while the other fought. This had a dual purpose of Vahn helping one of them recover quickly while the other also received passive benefits through their shared link. Because of this, they had nearly 100% uptime for fights, excluding the period where they were searching for enemies. They continued forward through the night and into the next day while only taking breaks to use the bathroom and eat meals.

By the time their excursion had come to an end, the twins had carved a path of devastation down to the 17th floor and killed 1,103 and 1,008 monsters respectively. Vahn noticed that Maemi seemed to be the ‘dominant’ of the two twins and he felt it made sense considering that Emiru was the one ‘absorbed’ during their transformation. Though they had the exact same parameters, it seemed like Emiru was more reliant on Maemi than the other way around. Because of this, Maemi got a lot of the ‘last hits’ on monsters and he caused their expedition to increase for an extra two hours as a result.

Fortunately, they both hit the requirements for the [Hunter] Development Ability after slaying 1,000 monsters even though they had helped each other. The record seemed to consider themselves a singular entity but also recognized they both possessed their own souls and blessings. As they didn’t have the issue of possessing ‘too many’ Development Abilities, Vahn had updated their Status Boards after Emiru got her one-thousandth kill and they each hit Level 2 in what could only be considered a ridiculously short amount of time.

(A/N: I’m so tempted to just lump them together as Maemiru instead of listing both status xD)

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[[STATUS]]

Name: Maemi Rain

LV. 1->2

POW: E403->A807->I28

END: F371->C662->I19

DEX: D549->C641->I18

AGI: B700->A889->I24

MAG: A813->SS1001->I72

Skill: [Gemini: Innate(D)], [Prometheus’s Blessing:A], [Fearless Spirit:H->G], [Rallying Cry:I]

Magic: –

Development Skill: [Hunter:I] [Rallying Cry]

Rank: I

Use: Slightly increases parameters of allies based on morale. Active Trigger. Duration: 30S

———————————————————————————-

[[STATUS]]

Name: Emiru Rain

LV. 1->2

POW: E403->A807->I28

END: F371->C662->I19

DEX: D549->C641->I18

AGI: B700->A889->I24

MAG: A813->SS1001->I72

Skill: [Gemini: Innate(D)], [Prometheus’s Blessing:A], [Fearless Spirit:H->G], [Rallying Cry:I]

Magic: –

Development Skill: [Hunter:I] [Rallying Cry]

Rank: I

Use: Slightly increases parameters of allies based on morale. Active Trigger. Duration: 30S

———————————————————————————-

Their parameters weren’t nearly as high as Haruhime’s when she leveled up, but their balance had transitioned from being focused primarily on Agility and Magic and now leaned more towards Power and physical development. If they continued at this pace, they would likely become very durable fighters in the future that would also be able to deal a large amount of damage to foes. The fact they both had the [Fearless Spirit] and [Rallying Cry] skills would make them an important asset in group fights in the future. Instead of being agile support fighters, they were now walking the path of frontline vanguards and Vahn would need to create equipment for such purposes in the near future.

Seeing how much they had grown, the twins actually had moisture building up in their eyes as they happily placed their palms against each other jubilantly. Vahn had praised them heavily for their growth and commended their evolving combat style and how capable they were at using the halberds after a single day of live practice. Actual combat was one of the fastest ways to develop battle awareness and enhance capabilities, and the twins had achieved a monstrous growth. Vahn recalled the first time Emiru had used her halberd as a spear and impaled it into a Lygerfang with enough force to pin the monster to the wall. Her body then turned into a bluish-white flash of light and she instantly appeared next to the halberd before pulling it out the wall and continuing the fight without pause.

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Seeing the short range teleport in action, Vahn felt a powerful urge to research the ability and adapt it to other pieces of equipment. If he could somehow put the ‘Astral Shift’ ability on something like daggers, Vahn would be able to somewhat emulate the Fourth Hokage’s Flying Thunder God Technique from the record of Naruto. He already had a ‘decent’ understanding of spatial laws, since his Shundo dealt with the shrinking of space to an extent, so Vahn was confident he could crack the skill one day. The [Saint Halberd] was only an A-Rank item, so he wouldn’t simply concede defeat since he was a [Master Smith] capable of forging S-Rank items when he put in the effort to do so.

While he had been lost in thought for a brief moment, a magical light shone and Vahn saw Emiru’s body disappear as the heterochromatic Maemiru stood before him. If nothing had changed since their last fusion, Vahn knew the current Maemiru had more than 8,000 total parameters and was closer to an introductory Level 3 than her base Level of 2. Since he hadn’t expected their sudden fusion, Vahn furrowed his brows slightly in confusion until Maemiru said in a teasing tone of voice, “We worked very hard, will Master give us a reward now~?” As she spoke, Maemiru loosened the belt holding up her shorts and Vahn was able to see an intriguing sight that made the awkward atmosphere instantly shift.

Because they had just had their Status Boards updated, the current Maemiru was topless as they had been pressing against each other before their fusion. This meant that, after she removed her shorts, the only thing they would have been wearing was the ‘victory’ underwear Vahn had given them in the past. The thing that caught Vahn’s eye and made his brows raise was the fact that the two differently colored underwear had now fused together and were precisely 50% blue and 50% black lace divided perfectly in the center. Though it drew the eye to the contents of the gap, Vahn was more focused on the fact that the differing garments had fused at all. This clearly showed that they didn’t have to be ‘identical’ to each other to actually pull off the transformation.

Maemiru had been teasing Vahn at first but, seeing the intrigue and curiosity in his expression, they suddenly felt like things would develop in an ‘interesting’ direction. However, instead of doing anything proactive, they noticed that Vahn was still staring at their exposed crotch with a thoughtful expression on his face so they turned down to see what he found so interesting. Noticing that their panties had been split between blue an black, Maemiru didn’t really know what to think of the situation but they understood that Vahn probably wasn’t going to make love to them. The delusion they had of Vahn ravishing their body in the dark and damp Dungeon shattered a bit and they felt a little awkward being exposed before his ‘intrigue’.

After mulling over a few things in his mind, Vahn turned his attention to the flushed face of Maemiru before pulling out a simple necklace that he had stored within his inventory. Handing it over to the spontaneously bashful girl, Vahn said, “I’m curious about what will happen when your transformation breaks. Go ahead and get dressed since the Dungeon isn’t really the place for that type of ‘action’. We’re supposed to be heading back to the surface pretty soon, but we can go kill a few more monsters if you’re feeling antsy.” Though he suspected he very well might have sex in the Dungeon one day, Vahn knew now was not the time. It was already Thursday morning and Vahn wanted to spend some time coordinating with Fafnir before the Monster Feria this weekend.

Maemiru released a sigh that sounded like a mixture of dejection and relief as they started to get dressed. Though it was ‘temporary’, they happily put on the necklace Vahn had given them before picking up the now heavier halberd. That actual damage of the weapon didn’t seem to have changed at all, but it appeared that the weight had been doubled from their fusion. Vahn had wanted to check the actual status of the item, but he wasn’t even able to hold onto it now that it had bonded with the two girls. This also meant he couldn’t put it into his inventory so the girls would have to carry the 2.4m long weapons around with them whenever they were planning to enter the Dungeon.

After around four minutes, Maemiru’s transformation came to an end and Emiru appeared next to Maemi as they both used their halberds to support their exhausted bodies. As he had expected, the necklace he had given the two girls had been split in half and Vahn was able to deduce that their fusion made their bodies overlap between Emiru’s left and Maemi’s right. This conclusion came about from the fact that Emiru had been wearing the blue panties and Maemi had been wearing the black ones.

When they fused together, Maemi’s left iris had turned snowy blue while the right one remained the same lilac as their base forms. The panties themselves had been split down the center with the blue color on the left and the black color on the right. Though it would require a lot of testing, Vahn began to theorize several possible applications for this rather unique interaction. He wondered if they would be able to equip an indestructible item while in their Maemiru state and if it would be ‘broken’ after they split apart…

Vahn helped the girls recover their stamina and mana before they finally started their ascent to the surface. It was now nearing 6 AM and Vahn suspected it might even be possible for them to intercept the other groups on their way to the Dungeon if they were lucky. He couldn’t be certain they would be entering today, especially since some of them would probably want to spend time with him, but there was always a chance. The [Rallying Whistle] had gone unused over the three-day period, so Vahn was hopeful that nothing bad had happened on the surface. His instincts had triggered a bit during the excursion, but it was never to the point where he felt like something terrible had happened.

Around a half hour later, the three arrived at the entrance to the Dungeon and stepped out from the relatively muggy and warm depths and into the cold and fresh air of the Babel Tower. There were several groups entering and exiting the Dungeon early in the morning, but they weren’t lucky enough to cross paths with anyone from the Familia. Depending on how long the morning training, bath, and breakfast lasted, it wasn’t that uncommon to show up at the Dungeon until after 7 AM. It was currently just after 6:40 so there was a relatively large window where they might overlap with each other. Vahn was looking forward to the small reunion with the girls and wanted to spend a bit of time with Fenrir when he got back to the Manor.

Though they drew a lot of attention, since the twins were identical, rather cute, and had giant halberds, Vahn felt very relaxed since it was a lot less ‘intense’ than the gazes he received when traveling with the larger group. He even heard two people mention him saving the Lakshmi Familia from a Monster Party so Vahn was in a very good mood even though the majority of comments made about him were still somewhat negative. It didn’t matter what the naysayers said, especially when it was an assumption based on bias, and Vahn was happy to have helped Keith and his companions.

When he had a bit of free time in the future, Vahn intended to visit the Lakshmi Familia and see if Keith was willing to become his friend. Of course, he planned to time his visit after Senna’s affection faded a little since he could see the value through his system. Right now, it had actually increased from 81 all the way up to 85 and her bracket parameter was listed has (Idolatry). Vahn wanted to give her a bit of time to cool off or he would have to eventually take a stance even though he knew she would probably be upset by his words. Though he didn’t like to make people sad, Vahn knew he couldn’t keep increasing the number of girls he associated with since he could hardly manage the current amount, and that was taking into consideration that they actually managed themselves…

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