Though he knew it had been nearly four years since they began training with Eva, Vahn was still gobsmacked to see how much Terra and Fenrir had grown. The fact that Terra was already Level 7, with the ability to immediately reach Level 8, made Vahn feel a great deal of excitement. He knew that the magic system from Eva’s world was actually a higher tier system than even the ‘Falna’ within the record of Danmachi. By pursuing the path of magic to the extremes, mortals could even transcend gods and obtain their own form of immortality, though the few that reached that extreme could be counted on one hand. There were actually a surprising number of immortals in Eva’s record, but most of them were ‘made’ immortal, meaning they didn’t overcome the limits of mortality through the growth of their magic power.
While Vahn was momentarily lost in thought, he was also helping Terra groom her feathers while Eva sat at the table, enjoying a strawberry shortcake while sipping on coffee that had a ridiculous amount of sugar inside. Fenrir just curled up into a ball nearby, deciding to take a nap since her Master would probably be busy with Terra and Eva. She had already decided to return to the real world since she wanted to protect her Master and spend more time with him. The four years had taught her what real loneliness was and Fenrir didn’t think she could bear it for long, giving her a fair amount of respect for Eva, and the various goddesses in the real world.
He hadn’t yet finished helping Terra groom when Eva tapped against her pristine white ceramic coffee cup with a silver spoon, causing a very high pitched sound to resonate through the area. Eva knew that Terra could easily clean her own wings so she had been growing a little impatient after the first hour had passed. Her time with Vahn was extremely limited at this point and most of that would be spent teaching him magic, meaning there simply wasn’t time to ‘play’ around with ‘other’ women. She had become friendly with Terra and Fenrir, but they had the option of leaving the orb whenever they wanted to spend time with Vahn, a luxury she didn’t share.
The feathers on Terra’s wings began to rustle like the sound of wind passing through trees as a fragrant aroma spread through the air. At the same time, misty-green mana spread from Terra’s feathers and they began to shimmer before regaining their vitality, completely clean. The main reason for the long grooming session had actually been because Vahn was helping replenish her energy reserves. Eva had easily seen through the fact that Terra was now ‘full’, so she didn’t want to keep sitting around watching them be affectionate with each other when there were more pressing matters. As Terra had a good understanding of Eva’s character now, she simply squinted her eyes with a smile before covering her mouth and laughing amusedly at Eva’s behavior.
Eva furrowed her brows slightly and had a light blush on her face as she rose from her chair and said, “Before I begin teaching you, I need to know exactly how you compare to those two. I may not have the time to teach you everything so we may need to compress your training and focus on the development of your current skills first. Terra can fill in the gaps when you return to the real world, though I’ll still do my best to help educate you while you’re inside this space.” Eva knew Vahn should be relatively easy to teach because, as was demonstrated earlier, he could speak every language that Terra demonstrated fluently.
Vahn didn’t seem to be aware of it himself, at least until it was pointed out, but he had the ability to interpret any language at an almost instinctual level. Eva had long suspected his existence was abnormal since he was able to use the types of Ancient Magics that were only accessible to gods. His ‘naming’ ability alone was one of the most powerful forms of contract magic in existence so she wasn’t too surprised by the fact he could interpret any language. It was almost like he was the culmination of many rare and forgotten magics, many of which had faded into obscurity and only existed in myths. As there was an incredibly rare magic that allowed knowledge and information to be stored within the blood, Vahn’s most unique feature, Eva suspected he had a great deal of knowledge even he was unaware of, all locked away within that tantalizingly sweet and energy-rich liquid…
Under Eva’s insistence, Vahn ended up in a massive clearing as he faced down both Terra and Fenrir, with the latter standing much closer while Terra stood in the back. Though they were both much stronger than him, at least at a basic level, Eva felt that Vahn actually had a fair chance at victory since he had even been able to pressure her in the past. If he went all out, Eva believed he would be able to suppress both of them, much like he had been able to take down Fafnir, even though he had been much weaker at the time. Thus, after making sure everyone had a [Effigy of the Hero] on their person, Vahn ended up being pitted against the two to see if it was even necessary to teach him the basics.
Fenrir was currently wearing her [Nezha Lady’s Togi] and her [Aegis Shorts Mk 1] as she squatted down on all fours, ready to begin the fight as soon as Eva gave the notice. Though she would never harm her Master, Fenrir wanted to show how much she had grown so that he would trust her more in the future. She also believed he was ‘unbeatable’ so, even if she went all out, Fenrir knew her Master would win if he wanted to. Any victory she gained would likely be as a result of him going easy on them, as her Master was actually very soft-hearted, even to his enemies. Fenrir had a much better understanding of how he thought now and she knew that, though he wasn’t weak, his mentality will cause him to experience greater struggles in life. This was why she wanted to help bear that burden by, if necessary, becoming a weapon to strike down his enemies so his concerns would be directed towards her, and not enemies that were undeserving of his notice…
Unaware of what was going though Fenrir’s mind, Vahn had brought his focus to the absolute limit as a subtle golden energy spread through his domain. He knew it was possible for him to lose the moment he dropped his guard and he didn’t want to embarrass himself in front of the three girls. Fenrir and Terra had a lot of faith in him and Vahn never wanted to let them down and damage the image they had in their hearts. They had already worked hard for on his behalf, but Vahn felt ‘compelled’ to inspire them to continue working hard in the future by showing them greater heights than they knew. Just like when Fenrir was first born, Vahn intended to make things a little flashy so that she would look at him with reverence instead of ‘concern’…
Eva raised her hand before saying in a cold monotone, “Begin…”. Fenrir’s hackles stood on end as a blue aura emerged from her body, startling Vahn a bit because it was almost like she was a character from Dragon Ball. Power radiated from her body as she completely vanished from his sight, causing Vahn’s eyes to widen as he also vanished. Moments later, Fenrir reappeared before disappearing against, this time at the area where Vahn had exited his [Shundo]. A massive wave a stark blue energy converged towards Vahn as Fenrir spun around and tried to overwhelm him with raw magical power. Vahn channeled his [Heart of the Eternal] flame while stepping back as fast as he could, not even having enough time to activate his [Shundo].
The blue magical energy slammed into the area Vahn had been standing before exploded into a massive pillar of ice more than 15m tall. Even dodging it, Vahn felt a chill in his arms and was aware that Fenrir had ‘locked on’ to him after getting close. Several after-images appeared as Fenrir climbed higher into the air, using the void itself to gain ground as she shouted, “Master, give me strength! Come spirits of ice! Tundra and Glacier, Spread Forth into the Air, in the Realm of White Night! Frozen Earth!” Vahn had already started taking evasive measures but Fenrir’s mastery of [Shundo] was much higher than his, not to mention she also greatly exceeded him in raw agility.
Vahn felt like his entire body was being compressed by a heavy pressure as the temperature in the air decreased at a terrifying rate. With his [Eyes of Truth] active, Vahn saw all the ice elemental energy in the air fuse together with an overwhelming amount of magical power as the world around him was almost instantaneously turned into a frozen tundra. Massive pillars of ice erupted from the ground as Vahn used [Shundo] to the limits of his ability as he tried to evade the large area attack. The amount of fire elemental energy in his body had already caused his body to glow like hot metal but Fenrir’s ice ‘quenched’ his body and caused him a great deal of pain whenever he was struck.
A few seconds later, the attack completed and Vahn exhaled a large sigh before immediately trying to erect a barrier as the hair on the back of his neck stood on end. Fenrir had used the pillars she created as a foothold for her [Shundo] to get in a surprise attack the moment Vahn dropped his guard, smashing the makeshift barrier and shattering it like glass as her tiny paw pads slammed into his body. Eva had primarily trained her in hand-to-hand combat, as her affinity with magic was actually pretty terrible, so Fenrir was a competent martial artist with a lot of battle experience. She had wanted to become proficient in defeating enemies without maiming them terribly, so she practiced using palm attacks, amplifying them with her magic power to completely overwhelm anything unfortunate enough to feel the soft fleshy pads against their skin.
Vahn felt like he had been hit by a mountain as his body was launched back with a terrifying momentum, slamming through several pillars of ice before he stood back up, this time in his Xuánwǔ form. He couldn’t outpace Fenrir’s speed so Vahn decided to focus on defense while trying to counterattack her overwhelming offensive might. At the same time, Vahn had an excited smile on his face because battles like this were few and far between and, though it caused him a bit of embarrassment at times, Vahn had become something of a battle junkie after fighting so much. Having an opponent like Fenrir made his blood ‘literally’ boil as a subtle light shone in his jade-green eyes. (A/N: Vahn’s normal aquamarine green eyes have a subtle blue coloration. In Xuánwǔ form, they turn jade-green and glimmer with a magic light, even when his [Eyes of Truth] are active.)
As Fenrir launched herself towards Vahn, stepping off the air at several tricky angles that were nearly impossible to follow, a large mass of magical energy coated her entire body. The ‘aura’ around her had become several times larger than before as she undauntedly spun through the air and smashed toward Vahn with a pillar of ice condensed of pure magic power. Vahn’s scaled glowed green as he struck toward the pillar, rotating his hips while twisting his fist like a corkscrew. The pillar immediately shattered into pieces that exploded outwards in a cloud of icy particulates that turned into small beads of water moments later. As if she had expected him to defend against the attack, Fenrir stepped forward at the same time and tried to strike at Vahn’s chest with her paws again.
Vahn tried to trace his left hand in a circular motion to sweep aside Fenrir’s paw but the momentum of her attack made his efforts for naught. It was almost like he was trying to redirect a meteor, meaning Fenrir’s paws carried forward in an unstoppable manner as she ‘gently’ pressed her paw pads against him. Vahn coughed up a mouthful of blood as his body seized up, almost like time had frozen, before he was launched back once again. His black scales glowed with a green light as the snake tattoo on his body began to shimmer with a resplendent gold color. Vahn managed to right himself, wiping the blood from his mouth before getting into a horse stance and shouting at the top of his lungs.
With his [Eyes of Truth], Vahn had been analyzing Fenrir’s magic the entire time they were fighting so he had been able to understand some of the basic principles behind her spells. As if it was copying the color of his domain, Vahn’s body began to emit a resplendent golden vapor that was similar to the blue aura surrounding Fenrir, though much smaller. Eva watched this from the side, squinting her eyes as she muttered, “Truly abnormal…he is learning Fenrir’s magic just by watching her…” She had already expected this would be the case since Vahn had even been able to draw some of her more complex magic circles just by seeing them. Though there were some errors in the construction, Eva knew it was just a result of his lack of understanding in the complexities of the laws than anything else. Seeing him ‘learning’ magic through combat, Eva began to change her plans about how she was going to teach him…
When Fenrir stepped into his range this time, Vahn lowered his hips and tried exchanging blows with her directly. Fenrir’s eyes glinted with a predatory light as she rapidly twisted her body and tried to smack him with her tail, which Vahn managed to evade as he sent a kick towards her flank. Long before it struck her, Fenrir’s body completely vanished from sight as a terrifying presence came from the right side of his body. Vahn leaned into the force and tried to sweep it aside with a backhand strike, mustering the greatest strength he could manage. Fenrir’s left foot-paw came into contact with Vahn’s strike and the two auras intermixed, almost like they were trying to devour each other. Vahn felt the bones in his arm creak as a dull ache spread through his body, unable to completely resist Fenrir’s magical power as it wreaked havoc inside of him.
Fenrir actually used the internecine strike to kick off the air and flip over Vahn’s hand, striking forward with a sphere of pure-blue elemental energy that was a mix between water and ice. Vahn shielded his face with his left hand and converged his aura to try and buy time to evade Fenrir’s attack. Unfortunately, Fenrir’s force was simply overwhelming and, even though his body continually heated up to thousands of degrees, Vahn felt like cold water had been poured on his body. The sphere slammed into him and exploded, completely enveloping his upper body in a terrifyingly cold block of ice. Even using Xuánwǔ to try and divert the energy had completely no effect because Fenrir’s control over her own magical energy was far higher than what Vahn could manipulate.
Though it felt like ice had even invaded his mind, the chill from [Will of the Emperor] was even colder as Vahn resisted the urge to fall into unconsciousness, moving away from Fenrir using [Shundo], carrying the block of ice along with him. Fenrir was immediately on his trail but Vahn sent four links of [Enkidu] to intercept her which the other five created a defensive formation to buy some time. Much slower than he’d like, the ice around his body began to melt as Fenrir’s body twisted and contorted as she easily evaded the four chains. She even kicked against one, stunning Vahn when he saw it deform slightly as she used it as a foothold. He quickly used the other five chains to stop her momentum but Fenrir’s scarlet eyes darted around rapidly, seeing through the chains movements before she used [Koku Shundo] to escape into the sky.
Vahn watched her ascent and knew he was probably going to lose this fight unless he did something drastic. Fenrir was stronger, faster, and now even had more experience in combat than he did, likely fighting against the monstrously powerful Eva several times over the course of the four years she spent in the orb. Unfortunately, he didn’t really have time to think about anything as Fenrir shouted words that made him feel very embarrassed, given the circumstances, “Master, give me strength! Gather, twenty-nine spirits of Ice, freeze my enemy. Magic Arrows, Series Glacius!” Though Fenrir didn’t actually need to complete the chant, doing so made the magic even stronger and Eva had taught them to always try to do full-chants if given the opportunity.
A ring of spectral, icy blue, orbs formed behind Fenrir’s body before they shot forward like lasers, the majority curving around [Enkidu] as they made a beeline towards Vahn. He had quickly tried to evade with [Shundo], but the beams followed after him and exploded around his body before he could make a second step. Vahn thought that moving towards them, slipping under their trajectory so they wouldn’t be able to curve fast enough to home in on him, would have been the answer. Unfortunately, the beams seemed to reflect off an invisible surface and they drew very sharp angles to continue their pursuit, catching Vahn off guard as he was once against frozen in a block of ice.
Vahn felt like his entire body was ‘gone’, replaced by a numb chill that permeated through his entire body, stopped only by the eternal flame in his chest and the even colder flow from his [Will of the Emperor]. Fenrir landed atop one of the icy pillars she had created, crouching down as she watched her Master with glowing scarlet eyes. Though he hadn’t been able to put up much of a fight, Fenrir didn’t believe he would be defeated so easily. She had seen him do many incredible feats in the past and knew this wouldn’t be the limit of his abilities at all. Almost as if to answer her expectations, a pulse of energy spread from her Master’s body, completely shattering the ice around him as he turned towards her with a smile on his face, saying, “Fenrir, you’ve gotten strong…”
(A/N: Alternate Titles: ‘TsunTsun’,’Vahn, the Anamoly’,’Overwhelming Power, Fenrir Goes On The Offensive!’)
(A/N: I went back and edited chapter 630 since I had forgotten to update Terra’s Status after getting the bad news. As for why her Level increased so much (without having someone update it), that is because her ‘base level’ reached that point with the increase of magic power in her body. Fenrir actually has more potential than Terra, but she wouldn’t be able to greatly increase her Level without eating A LOT of very powerful monsters, rare items, etc.)
(A/N: Update about the status of myself and the novel. I can’t say I’m okay, and I’m not sure when I will be able to recover completely. As promised, I will still continue posting at least one chapter a day but there are a lot of things going on right now so please forgive me if the releases are inconsistent for a few days. I know that many of you don’t really want to think about bad things happening in the lives of others, so I apologize for getting you involved with my troubles. Thank you for being patient with me and I’m truly grateful for all the support people have shown in the comments section. Though it isn’t my place to say things like this, please treasure the people you love since life isn’t always going to give you the time you expect. My Mom was only 46 years old when she passed…life can be very unforgiving, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be good to each other. Reach out and tell the people you care about that you love them, because you may not always have that chance…)