Chapter 654: Clarification

Vahn had never dealt with someone that had amnesia before, but he imagined it wouldn’t be an easy thing for most people to simply ‘accept’. The fact that Revis seemed to believe him outright was somewhat strange but Vahn could tell she wasn’t trying to trick him, as the original Revis didn’t really seem capable of such a high level of acting. This showed that her base personality was good at determining fact from fiction or, at the very least, she had a knack for people and seemed like a very straightforward person based on her speech patterns…

Revis took a few deep breaths, an effort to calm herself, before asking, “So, anything else you can tell me about this situation, Doc? How long was I under control and what should I be doing from now on? Can’t say I’m looking forward to a life of being hated for actions I had no control over…” Vahn furrowed his brows in response, feeling complex emotions as he explained, “Sorry, but I don’t know how long you were being controlled. I don’t even know your name before you became a pawn of their scheme so we’d have to find someone that knew you from before, though that could be dangerous since someone might try to exploit you. As for what you’ll do from this point on, my only hope was that you would try to be a better person this time around. Though some people will undoubtedly blame you for the past, you shouldn’t feel obligated to pacify them since, as you said, you had no control over it. If you one day remember what you did, and feel the need to pay reparations of sorts, that it something you’ll have to decide for yourself…”

As he was speaking, Vahn felt conflicted about how things had turned out since it would be very difficult for Revis going forward. He wanted to help her, but one of the things he needed to identify was if the vows that bound her in the past were still in effect. Vahn knew a lot about the different vows, so Enyo wouldn’t have been able to force Revis to take anything binding since people couldn’t be manipulated to make vows against their will. If Revis was being controlled or influenced by the magic core, she would have only been able to make lesser vows. In most cases, it was impossible to use hypnosis or mind-control to force someone to take a vow, as the world itself would oppose and even punish you. Vahn needed to Anubis to inspect her soul to determine what, if any, vows she was still bound to.

After collecting his thoughts, Vahn explained, “This world has what is known as ‘vows’, which can be imprinted on the soul and bind people to take certain actions. Part of what kept you in their control were the vows you had taken and, though you’ve been liberated from their influence, there is a chance you are still bound by the vows you agreed to. I can have a goddess inspect your soul and, if it turns out you are still subject to any binding vows, we can help relocate you to give you a chance at living a new life without people seeking revenge. Fortunately, the group that you were bound to seem to be stuck within the confines of the Dungeon, so exiting should allow you to avoid being subject to their influence entirely…”

Though vows could be very powerful bindings, they didn’t ‘force’ you to act a certain way unless you wanted to avoid the repercussions of the vow. Revis wouldn’t be compelled to do anything and, if she was a strong enough person, the worst case scenario is that she would have to deal with the backlash. She might lose her power, or even obtain a curse, but those were both things Vahn could treat symptomatically. Enyo wouldn’t have been able to force her to take a vow that would result in her death, as those required a person to be sound mind and fully aware of the consequences, without secondary influences and manipulation. If the person wasn’t determined to take the vow on their terms, the world would punish the person trying to force the vow onto them.

Revis continued to stare blankly up at the crystals on the ceiling, whose light was progressively fading away, silently listening to Vahn’s words. When there were a few seconds of silence, she grunted in an effort to sit up straight before saying, “Thanks for all the details, Doc, even if some of them are less than pleasant to hear. Well, what about you, Blue? You this kid’s assistant or something?” Revis started to take in her surroundings while she was speaking, giving Fenrir a curious look while focusing on the large fluffy ears that were in an ‘alert’ state. She was just about to ask Vahn to explain what Fenrir was but Asfi broke her train of thought by answering, “My name is Asfi Andromeda, the Perseus, and Captain of the Hermes Familia…”

Asfi typically didn’t show much expression on her face, but she currently had a troubled look on her face as she said, “I asked Vahn to help save my companions, who you had attacked several days prior. Since he not only saved them but also helped to save you, I will not pursue the matter out of respect for him…however, you should be aware of the fact that those two will likely harbor a deep hatred for you. Though you may have been forced to take action, which you are no longer aware of, many people will find that difficult to cope with since the trauma they experienced isn’t likely to be dismissed so easily…”

Hearing Asfi’s words, Revis frowned slightly as she looked toward where Reid and Tallow were sleeping. When she saw Tallow’s figure, Revis’ brows furrowed even deeper as she asked, “You’re saying I attacked a kid…and…?” Revis saw the dog ears on Reid’s head and began to feel more than a little frustrated until Vahn noticed her plight and explained, “This world is filled with a variety of races, including Humans, Elves, Dark Elves, Dwarves, Amazons, Pallums, and the various Beast People tribes. Though she may look young, that girl is a Pallum so that is her adult form…as for the man, he is a Chiethrope, likely from one of the western subspecies. Also, I’m a Human, like Asfi, while this adorable little creature in my arms is Fenrir, a Vanargandr.”

Revis gave Vahn an inquisitive look, understanding he was speaking the truth but still having more than a few doubts about the situation. She could vaguely recall some of the words he used but everything was still a blur so it made it hard to recall images of the races he had listed. Fortunately, the headache had faded a little with Vahn’s earlier treatment so it wasn’t painful just trying to think anymore. Even so, Revis rubbed her temples before looking at Asfi and saying, “For what it’s worth, Blue, I’m sorry for what happened. I don’t really know what kind of person I am now, but I can say that I’m not fond of the idea of hurting people. It might not mean much, but I am sorry…man, this sucks…”

Asfi still had a slightly conflicted look but seemed to have come to a decision as she released a small sigh and said, “As I said, I will not pursue the matter…I understand your intent to apologize, and I accept it. However, please understand it may not be so simple for others and it may be difficult for them to understand this situation. After all, amnesia is rather uncommon and many people may feel indignation once they learn about your current state…” Revis nodded her head, showing a mildly frustrated expression on her face as she said, “Yeah, I’ll try to make it up to them in the future, though I apparently need to do a bit of soul searching before then. I’m not gonna accept having judgments passed on me for actions I’m unaware of so until I have a better understanding of the situation, I’m gonna have to ask you to keep those two in check…”

Revis ruffled her own hair, clearly annoyed by the situation since it was very frustrating not being able to recall any details. She didn’t even understand why she had any memories at all, or how she was even able to speak since some of the words didn’t even make sense. Part of her knew what they meant but, whenever she tried to focus on any details in specific, it was like her mind was shrouded by a dense fog. She even suspected that Vahn and Asfi were actually trying to manipulate her but it didn’t seem to be the case based on their body language and their words. Though Revis didn’t understand why she knew this, part of her seemed to simply ‘know’ what he was telling her was the truth.

Vahn felt bad for Revis, but this outcome will still slightly better than having her run around killing people at the behest of others. It might take a while, but she would eventually stabilize and hopefully be able to live a better life in the future. The biggest concern right now was trying to recover the scrolls, but there was nearly no way to track them down. Though Asfi could guide them towards the approximate location, it could take several days since Revis seemed to have a method of masking her scent since she had managed to get the drop on Reid and Tallow. There was also the fact that her scent had ‘vanished’ after the fact, so Vahn could deduce it was an active ability. This meant it would be next to impossible to track down the scrolls before the beacon faded…

Releasing a sigh, Vahn turned to Asfi and said, “We need to return to Lil Geirr and inform Finn about what has happened. Anything you documented in the scroll in regards to the fortress and its surroundings needs to be made known so modifications can be made. This time around, I trust that you won’t be privy to the exact changes since this fiasco has already caused more trouble the necessary. Make sure those two are aware of the reason why they were attacked in the first place, as they share the blame in this matter…” Vahn released another sigh, because it was partially his fault as well, though the main fault undoubtedly lay with Hermes.

Asfi nodded her head, showing a serious expression on her face as she bowed slightly and said, “I know you have no reason to trust us, Vahn, but-” Vahn held up his hand, shaking his head as he said, “Relax, Asfi…you should at the very least be aware of my character by now. Hermes will have to deal with Loki and the other gods of the Alliance, who I will trust to resolve this situation. I’m not going to lay the blame on all of you one-sidedly, as I could have prevented things from progressing to this point if I had taken a hard stance on the issue. Just do better in the future, as words mean very little in situations like this.”

Though she seemed like she wanted to say something, Asfi just nodded her head and remained silent while Revis just looked at them with a questioning gaze before asking, “What’s the deal with you two…? Lover’s quarrel?” Vahn shook his head, feeling slightly exasperated as he looked at Revis and said, “This situation is very complicated, as you’ll find out as things progress. Anyways, I need to know what you want to be called, as I imagine the name you were given by the people controlling you wouldn’t exactly be pleasant to carry around. Since you need time to adapt to the major shift in your life, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to assume a new identity and change your appearance a bit in the future.”

Revis alternated her gaze between Vahn and Asfi, adopting a curious expression before answering, “Well, having a name would make things a lot easier…hmmm, not that I can really think of a good one. All of your names seem a little weird, so maybe my naming sense is shot to hell…?” At this point, Revis went to bite her nail but realized she was wearing gloves, prompting her to give her body a once-over and noticing the rather ‘strange’ clothing she was wearing. Frowning slightly, Revis turned to Vahn and said, “How about this, Doc, you give me some clothes and I’ll let you pick a name for me. I look like a harlot dressed like this…” As the word left her mouth, Revis cocked her head to the side, wondering exactly what a harlot was…

Vahn stared at Revis blankly for a few moments before pulling out an overcoat that she could wear, which was quickly snatched up as Revis rose to her feet, asking, “So, what’ll it be, Doc…? Don’t pick anything too strange though, and make sure to explain the meaning. I don’t want any names I don’t understand…” Though he hadn’t even sweat during their fight earlier, Vahn now felt his palms become a little clammy since he had learned from experience that his naming sense was rather terrible. Being put on the spot like this made him feel strangely nervous, which Revis seemed to find amusing based on the cheeky grin that had appeared on her face.

Fortunately, Sis pitched in a few ideas at this time, which Vahn began to regurgitate, “There is ‘Rufina’, meaning red-haired, or Vermi, short for vermillion since your hair closely matches it…?” Revis lifted her brows, asking in a husky monotone, “So, you want to name me after the color of my hair? Not the most creative thing, Doc…” Vahn gave a wry smile, scratching the back of his hair as he said, “Well, I don’t really know anything about you and I wouldn’t want to burden you with a name others might insult you for. I’m not really that great at coming up with names…” Revis tapped her chin a few times, showing a small smile on her face as she muttered, “Rufina…Vermi…hmm…”

As if coming up with a simple solution, Revis’ eyes widened slightly as she asked, “How about Rufina Vermillion then? You and Blue both had two names, so I’ll take two as well. Simple, right?” ‘Rufina’ had a vibrant smile on her face, distinctly different from her cold appearance from earlier when she behaved more like a machine than a person. She still had slightly angular eyes, that made her look perpetually annoyed, but that didn’t do much to detract from her smile. Vahn’s eyes widened more than a little while even Asfi released a sigh, muttering something under her breath that only Fenrir likely picked up.

Since she seemed satisfied with it, Vahn nodded his head and said, “Very well, you’ll be Rufina Vermillion from now on. It’s nice to meet you, Rufina…” Vahn noticed that Revis’, now Rufina’s, name had changed in his interface when she accepted the name. Previously, it had been showing as ‘?????’, which was why he hadn’t been referring to her as Revis when speaking. Her Affection itself was now at 54(Curious), with her Intrigue at 28(Cautious), so it was a step in the right direction. As for her aura, it was almost entirely a light purple but there was a small amount of yellow mixed in. Since she had amnesia, it made since she was full of fear and inhibitions but Vahn was expecting she would get better with time.

Suddenly, a loud and monstrous growl sounded out, bringing pause to everyone that was sitting in the clearing. Rufina’s eyes widened into saucers as her complexion become somewhat rosy. She brought her gloved hand to her face, awkwardly scratching her cheek as she asked, “So, got any food, Doc? Feels like I haven’t eaten anything in days…” Vahn stared blankly at Rufina for several seconds before bursting into laughter, earning a glare from the mature looking woman who balled her hands into fists and shouted, “Don’t laugh at me you brat!” At the same time as she decided to shout, Rufina’s stomach once again began to ‘growl’ in a very audible manner, causing her to rub her stomach in frustration, cursing under her breath.

Vahn felt like the mood had become far more amicable at this point so he smiled and said, “It has been a few hours since lunch so now would be a good time to eat. We can also use the time to rest until Reid and Tallow wake up…” As he was speaking, Vahn ‘whisked’ out a blanket for them to sit on and began setting out fully cooked dishes, causing Rufina to tilt progressively further to the side. Vahn, noticing her expression, explained, “There is a lot that you’ll have to get up to speed on, Rufina, but just enjoy the food for the time being. We’ll be returning to the surface pretty soon and I’ll do my best to help you get situated so things aren’t too difficult for you. For now, let’s just eat, you too, Asfi…”

Asfi nodded politely before moving over and grabbing some food for herself. Fenrir also started eating and, though he didn’t really require sustenance anymore, Vahn enjoyed the taste of food so he grabbed some fried chicken and began to gorge himself. Rufina continued to stare blankly for a few seconds before coming to her senses and plopping down on the opposite side of the blanket. She grabbed from the same plate as Vahn, picking up the rather fragrant fried chicken and sampling it, eyes immediately widening as she brought her hand to her cheek and said, “It’s so good~!” Without any inhibitions, she began devouring everything in sight as Vahn just shook his head with a wry smile on his face, enjoying his own food while contemplating the future…

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