Chapter 633: Magical

Awakening in the real world, Vahn rubbed the back of his neck and began stretching before taking Fenrir’s core out of his Inventory. As it stood, Vahn’s source energy reserves were around a quarter of Fenrir’s, meaning it took nearly ten minutes to ‘summon’ her since he had to replenish his own reserves several times. Fortunately, Vahn knew that he would be able to train using the magic system from Eva’s world and it ‘theoretically’ had the ability to increase his own reserves beyond his actual parameters. Since they were two different systems, Vahn now had two ways to increase his power and was curious if this would apply to his other companions…

Fenrir ‘popped’ into existence and began shaking her body from head to toe, almost like she was trying to dislodge non-existent water. Stretching her back with her butt up in the air, Vahn tilted his head and laughed, saying, “Welcome back to the real world, Fenrir. Do you feel any different?” After wiggling her butt from side-to-side, Fenrir opened her eyes and materialized some clothing before sitting down with her legs crossed, similar to how Tiona always sits. Flopping her ears about, Fenrir mused, “Fenrir feels that the density of the mana in this world is strange…it is very plentiful, but hard to communicate with…nnnnggh~!”

At the end of her words, Fenrir formed a sphere of water and ice elemental energy in between her paws, causing the temperature in the tent to rapidly drop. Vahn activated his [Eyes of Truth] and immediately understood what Fenrir was getting at. Though the mana was ‘similar’, it wasn’t the ‘same’ as the type that existed within Eva’s orb. Fenrir was still able to manipulate it, but there was a drop-off in the efficiency that would probably take a bit of time to adapt to. However, the fact that she was able to make use of Eva’s magic system within the Danmachi record gave Vahn a great deal of hope. It could be because she was also comprised of source energy, but the fact Fenrir was able to pull elemental energy from the ‘void’ made Vahn believe it shouldn’t be an issue.

After dispersing her own mana sphere, Fenrir gave Vahn a sidewards glance that caught his attention as he smiled, reaching out his hand to stroke Fenrir’s head. He hadn’t been able to discern how much she had ‘really’ matured, but Vahn quickly realized that Fenrir had become far more clever and reserved. Since he didn’t really have that much time to reward her within the orb, Vahn wanted to pamper Fenrir for a bit now that they had returned. She seemed very happy for the opportunity and leaned into his body with her paws facing toward herself while nuzzling against his chest. After a few minutes, Fenrir murmured, “Master smells very nice…Fenrir missed Master so very much…nuuuu…”

A few hours after his return to reality, Vahn was sitting in the Command Tent with a moderately annoyed expression on his face as listened to Finn’s report. The expedition had accepted numerous secondary commissions so Finn was recounting all the details to Vahn. Though it had only been a day, Vahn was quickly beginning to realize why the girls had so many concerns about him using the orb since some things, especially concerning the Command of the Expedition, now seemed ‘tedious’ and droll. He would almost rather spend time with the girls in his own tent but simply took a deep breath after Finn was done, smiling as he said, “Thank you for the report, Finn. Sorry for seeming so out of it…Fenrir has recovered and I was spending a bit of time with her before this.”

Finn chuckled in response, waving his hand in a dismissive manner as he said, “It’s perfectly understandable, Vahn. I understand that all of this is very new for you so, as long as you’re doing your best, that is all I can ask for. Thank you for your time and patience.” As it seemed he was about to leave, Vahn gestured for Finn to stop as he explained, “I also accepted a commission to guard Asfi, the Captain of the Hermes Familia. She won’t be part of our active combat forces unless there is an emergency and will be under the protection of the Hestia Familia until our return.” Hearing Vahn’s words, Finn raised his brow and seemed to get lost in thought for a brief moment before asking, “Are there any concerns about her motives…?”

Vahn simply smiled before shaking his head and explaining, “I’ve already seen through most of the Hermes Familia’s motives and teased Asfi about it a bit. Don’t worry, her presence shouldn’t endanger the Expedition and it is unlikely her secondary objectives with interfere with things. We also don’t have to divert any forces for her protection whatsoever since…well, you’ll see later on, hahahaha~.” For a brief moment, Vahn imagined Fenrir just ‘dominating’ all of the monsters they came across. She would truly become a ‘legend’ once they returned to the surface, almost to the point that Vahn briefly contemplated having Fenrir restrain herself for the duration of the Expedition.

Seeing how ‘confident’ Vahn was, Finn smiled politely before bowing and saying, “Then, if you’ll excuse me, Vahn, I’ll be on my way. Have a pleasant evening…” This time, Vahn didn’t stop Finn from leaving but he still had a smile on his face as he shook his head. Vahn had understood Finn was teasing him a bit when he mentioned having a ‘pleasant’ evening. Since Finn had actually brought a group of three Pallum girls along with him, all around Level 2, Vahn had been tempted to tease him as well. However, knowing they were probably girls Finn was ‘grooming’ to become his future brides, Vahn felt a little awkward about it. Though he had made the suggestion in the past, it felt more than a little strange seeing Finn was acting on his advice…but, if the girls were following this path on their own, Vahn didn’t really have the right to interfere.

After returning to his own tent, Vahn found Fenrir sitting with Haruhime, surprisingly wearing a black kimono of her own. Fenrir immediately transitioned into clothing that was easier to move in as she trotted over and hugged Vahn’s waist, saying, “Welcome back, Master~.” Haruhime laughed, using her sleeve to cover her mouth as she said, “Indeed, welcome back, Vahn.” Then, as if to answer Vahn’s unasked question, Haruhime explained, “Ais, Tiona, Tione, and Lefiya have yet to return, but I imagine it will be soon.” Since she knew Vahn could sense Asfi and Mikoto, Haruhime didn’t bother explaining their status. Mikoto was currently sleeping in the shared room while Asfi had already retired to her personal quarters, currently using a skill that allowed her to eavesdrop their conversation.

Haruhime walked over and passed a slip of paper to Vahn as she stood on her toes and gave him a kiss on the cheek. Vahn began [Petting] in response before walking the two girls over to the cushions and pampering them while they waited for the others to return. He found the fact that Asfi’s aura became slightly pink after she heard Fenrir’s and Haruhime’s ‘cries’ to be very humorous. Haruhime seemed to be aware of it as well so she didn’t hold back much until Asfi stopped using her skill outright, curling up as her aura slowly began to stabilize. Around this time, Vahn inspected the slip of paper Haruhime had given him, seeing that it contained Haruhime’s speculations about Asfi’s presence.

Though he already suspected it, Asfi was undoubtedly a ‘plant’ within the group and Haruhime speculated she was a ‘sacrificial pawn’ by Hermes to get closer to the Hestia Familia. Even if Asfi joined their group and took vows to protect the information she obtained, she was likely still bound to be loyal to Hermes for a few years, potentially even longer depending on the terms of the vow. Vahn decided he would look into Asfi’s origins when they returned to the surface as there had to be a greater reason behind the fact that she was so ‘loyal’ to Hermes.

Asfi was currently around twenty years old, very young for how prolific she was with her [Mystery] Development Ability, and had already been the Captain of the Hermes Familia for three years. Unless she had been scouted to become his Captain, this meant Asfi had been associating with the somewhat ‘troublesome’ god ever since she was just a young girl. Given the fact that Asfi was likely a princess, as Haruhime claimed she was too high born to simply be a noble, Vahn believed there was far more to her story than had been revealed. It wouldn’t make sense why the princess of a country had come to Orario and joined a Familia like the Hermes Familia unless there was a greater reason behind it. The fact that she had been ‘used’ by Hermes just to get closer to him was a major red flag in Vahn’s mind and he felt a great deal of concern for the taciturn young woman…

After around an hour had passed, Ais, Tiona, Tione, and Lefiya returned to the tent in high spirits, which became even higher when they saw Fenrir again. Tiona ran over and ‘glomped’ Fenrir playfully as she said, “Welcome back, Fenrir~!” in a cheerful tune. She knew Fenrir had actually been gone for over four years so Tiona wanted her to feel very welcome. The other girls made their way over as well, spending a bit of time interacting with Vahn while talking about their small excursion. Asfi and Mikoto also came out of their rooms and joined the conversation, though only after Vahn explained Asfi’s presence. He didn’t want to put her on the spot too much, so Vahn didn’t really point out the fact she was a spy, trusting that Haruhime was capable of managing things.

Eventually, it started getting late so the girls wanted to take a bath before heading off to bed in preparation for the coming day. Asfi’s eyes widened marginally when she saw a series of large basins appear out of thin air but she didn’t make any comments about it. Vahn turned to her with a smile and asked, “Did you want me to put a basin in your room? I know hygiene can be very important for girls and I would feel bad if you only got to clean your body with a towel for the entire Expedition…” One of the things that had made Vahn so ‘popular’ during the previous Expedition was the fact that he simply provided commodities that were generally unavailable during most Expeditions.

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Asfi seemed to consider her response but didn’t have time to think about it much before Haruhime and Tiona flanked her, the latter saying, “Aww, come take a bath with us Asfi~! We’re going to be together for the next two months, so let’s get along well, ehehehe~!” Haruhime also playfully grasped Asfi’s arm, causing the cool beauty to fluster a bit as a light blush covered her face. Seeing her eyes cast several glances his way, Vahn smiled and just grabbed Fenrir’s outstretched paw as they made their way outside. He could tell that Haruhime was already ‘dealing’ with Asfi and Vahn wanted her to open up since he may have to eventually tend to the matters of her Kingdom in the future. Vahn even suspected that Asfi may not necessarily be a piece being ‘used’ and considered the possibility that she was ‘allowing’ things to progress this way to get stronger allies for her homeland, similar to how Riveria started out. There were too many unknowns so Vahn would leave her to the other girls, not really concerned they would share information since they were under vows…

Vahn hadn’t gotten too far before Mikoto and Lefiya came following after them, causing Vahn to smile as they made their way into the forest to take a bath in the small lake nearby. Mikoto was already doing her ‘duty’ and had shown concern for Vahn’s mentality by asking about the developments in the orb. The fact that she had a ruddy blush on her face in the process brought a smile to his face because it was very obvious she wasn’t that comfortable with making conversation while they were bathing. As for Lefiya, she happily washed his back while Vahn tended to Fenrir, who happily splashed around in the water, enjoying the opportunity to be pampered once again…

Once the recounting had come to end, Vahn had already moved on to helping the bashful Lefiya wash her hair as she asked, “So, will I be able to learn the same kind of magic as Fenrir and Terra? It seems hard to believe…but…” Lefiya watched Fenrir ‘playing’ around with a mass of mana, performing a training exercise that Eva had her practice in the past. It was more important for a Mage to be able to manipulate the elemental energies in the air than their own internal mana so Fenrir was constantly practicing in order to become even stronger. Seeing Fenrir do something that was considered ‘almost’ impossible made Lefiya feel awed and excited about the future.

Vahn just chuckled in response to her question before manipulating a small flow of water with his hands to remove the suds from her hair, saying, “It may be easier for entities like Fenrir, Terra, and Fafnir, but I’m one-hundred percent sure you will be able to use the same magic system. I’ll go into more details about it later, especially when we return to the surface, but you can actually advance both magic systems simultaneously if you want. Eva’s magic system actually allows a person to greatly increase their mana without having to develop their Magic parameter, though the influence is still very obvious. Fenrir and Terra both managed to get more than 3,000 Magic before leveling up, and that was without gaining any exillia at all…”

Hearing Vahn’s words, Lefiya and Mikoto showed an incredible degree of shock, neither being able to form words for several long seconds. Vahn laughed at their reaction before matching gazes with the onyx-eyed Mikoto, causing her to blush in the process. With a confident smile on his face, Vahn explained, “The magic system used by Eva actually allows for several types of existences, categorized as Mages, Knights, and Magic-Knights. Even for you, Mikoto, you’ll be able to learn Eva’s magic system to become far stronger than you are at present…” Hearing Vahn’s words, Mikoto’s blush faded and she showed an earnest expression on her face as she smiled and said, “Thank you for your consideration, Master…I will do my best to meet your expectations.” Though some might believe Vahn was simply trying to be nice, Mikoto placed a lot of faith in his words and knew he would be able to help increase her strength if she worked hard.

With techniques like [Shundo], [Cantus Bellax], and [Augendae Celeritas], Mikoto would easily be able to become an ‘unrivaled’ swordswoman. Given the fact that her Innate likely related to gravity magic, Vahn felt she could actually exceed the vast majority of Mages in the Danmachi record, creating a modified version of the [Heavenly Flying Sword] technique for future generations. Since she was the only one pursuing the path of ‘pure’ swordsmanship, Vahn believed she would be creating a legend that would last for generations once her strength reached near the peak. He even explained this to her while so she would be inspired to focus on her meditation and learning basic reinforcement magic in the future.

During their conversation, Vahn also asked Fenrir to demonstrate some of her reinforcement and movement spells for the two girls so she ended up bouncing around in the air for a few minutes before doing a cannonball into the lake. By the end of the demonstration, Lefiya and Mikoto both had anticipatory looks on their faces, though their reasons were slightly different. Lefiya was excited about the prospect of increasing her mana beyond the restrictions of her parameters while Mikoto simply wanted to be able to move around with Fenrir’s speed. She could barely even seen Fenrir move, even though the latter was just playing around, so Mikoto knew learning such a technique would push her skills to the next level. Unable to wait, she even implored Vahn to start teaching her then and there, apparently forgetting the fact she was naked until she caught Vahn’s gaze wandering to her chest…

Vahn managed to ‘escape’ the situation a bit later after promising to teach them both once he had a better understanding of the magic himself. He did, however, teach them some of the meditation exercises mentioned by Eva and gave them both a small practice wand. With a relaxed expression, Vahn watched the two girls play around with the wands, explaining, “The key to being able to use magic in the newer system is having a proper understanding of the phenomenon you’re trying to produce. You’ll also need to have a strong understanding of the power of words so you’ll have to study several different languages if you want to make any real advancements.” Vahn then handed both girls small study texts that had different languages on each page. The left included the language of this world, as transcribed by Terra, while the right included a language called Latin. To Vahn, they both looked the exact same and even he didn’t understand how his brain interpreted the information in such a way…

At this point, Fenrir peaked into the books held by the two girls and said, “Fenrir knows~! If you need help, Fenrir will teach you, Lefiya, Mikoto.” Vahn’s eyes opened marginally at Fenrir’s words while the other two girls were ‘shocked’ by the offer. With a happy smile on her face, Lefiya said, “Thank you, Fenrir, I would greatly appreciate it.” As for Mikoto, she bowed politely and said, “I would greatly appreciate your help…” Fenrir just waved her paw in a dismissive manner and showed a natural smile as she said, “Fenrir will help everyone become strong so that Master doesn’t have to experience sad things. Work hard so we can all be happy together, okay~?” This time, Vahn was genuinely shocked but it was completely overwhelmed by how proud he was of Fenrir. Picking her up from behind, Vahn hugged her tightly and said, “Fenrir, I’m so proud of you~!” as the small wolf girl laughed playfully.

When they returned to the tent, Vahn gathered together all the girls and went over the same things he had discussed with Mikoto, Lefiya, and Fenrir. He put up a ward to prevent Asfi from spying on them, which seemed to surprise the girl when she tried to probe the barrier with strange magic and failed. Vahn smiled when this happened but continued explaining without giving any indicator to the other girls about Asfi’s attempt. She may be involved with them in the future, but Vahn wasn’t actually pursuing her as a potential romantic interest since he believed they were better suited as friends than lovers. If her feelings changed naturally, Vahn might consider it, but there were far too many other concerns on his plate, chief among them being the growth of the girls since they were all in their development stages. They needed to begin learning Eva’s magic system very soon or they wouldn’t be able to increase their internal mana enough to reach the pinnacles of the world. As for Asfi, she was already twenty and was considered to be past her ‘prime’ if going by Eva’s logic. Vahn suspected he could help her become stronger, as this was likely the reason why she was in Orario, to begin with, but he wouldn’t cultivate her like the other girls just yet.

At the end of the conversation, everyone seemed to be in high spirits until Tiona, who was sitting with her legs crossed, holding her ankles, asked, “Can someone like me really use magic, though? I’m not really the smartest girl and I’m not sure studying languages would really help me out too much, ehehehe…” Though she had attended some of Riveria’s lessons, even going so far as to seek guidance from Lefiya, Tiona still had a whopping 0 Magic parameter. She was very self-conscious about the fact and was surprised when she saw Vahn facepalm hard enough to create a small shockwave. She tilted her head with an ‘Eh?’ as Vahn rubbed his forehead and said, “Tiona, I’m an idiot…but yes, you’ll easily be able to learn magic. I’ll explain in greater detail in the future, but I’m positive you’ll be just fine. In fact, I have a method to allow you to use magic and potentially increase your parameter in the future…”

Tiona’s eyes went wide and she immediately clung to Vahn, asking, “Eh, is that really true!?”, while shaking his body a bit forcefully. Vahn eventually managed to clear his head a bit when Ais and Tione pulled Tiona away from him, nodding his head as he said, “Yes, I obtained an item in the past that I intended to let you try out. Your body has a unique constitution, but you should still be able to use magic if you use this…” Vahn pulled out the [Mirakurun Magic Wand] that had been sitting in his Inventory collecting dust for several months. He had studied it a bit in the past but otherwise completely forgot about it after getting caught up in his other research. As for Tiona, she immediately snatched the rather adorable looking wand and immediately paused after grabbing it, eyes wide in confusion before she said, “Yes…?”, likely in response to a question that was asked in her mind.

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The moment Tiona agreed to the contract, a vibrant light exploded from her body as a bubble expanded through the area, causing time to come to a crawl. For everyone except Vahn, they just saw a bright magical light while he was able to discern exactly what was happening. The clothes on Tiona’s body broke apart, much to Vahn’s frustration since she had been wearing her Aegis clothing, and several bands of light began to coil around her. She didn’t seem to be aware of it herself, but Tiona began striking several poses as the bands conformed to the shape of her body, producing several pieces of clothing that were far beyond the general aesthetic of this world. They were incredibly ‘cute’ and covered in frills, causing a bit of a gap since Tiona’s healthy brown skin was a stark contrast to the vibrant and bubbly color palette of the dress…

As the transformation came to an end, the magical light wrapped around Tiona’s forearms, legs, and head, forming solid white ‘sleeves’ and dark green stockings while her previously black hair became mint green. Almost like she was compelled to do so, Tiona grabbed the wand that was spinning through the air as the time dilation came to an end, striking a cute pose while shooting a peace sign near her winking eye. At this point, Vahn noticed that her brown eyes were now azure blue and there were golden stars replacing her pupils as she said, “Magical Girl, Mirakurun here to vanquish evil-doers~! Teehee~!”

For several long seconds, everyone just stared in awe at Tiona until Fenrir began to make an ‘uooooooooh’ sound while clapping her paws together, clearly impressed by the transformation. As for Tiona herself, she seemed to be awakened by the noise and began inspecting her body excitedly as Tione jumped up and shouted, “What the f***!?” at the top of her voice…

(A/N: Alternate Titles: ‘Fenrir is a good girl (UwU)’,’Everyone can be magical~!’,’Teehee~!’)

(A/N: This is the first of, potentially, three chapters for today. I’ll gradually start increasing the number of releases and hope to be back to form by the end of the week. You should expect around 60-80k words this week before I’m back to around 100k in the following weeks. I’ll keep you posted if there are any changes.)

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