Chapter 684: Inherently Without Restrictions

It took a bit of effort, and coordination with Terra, but Vahn managed to get a decently sized room set up for Fenrir’s cultivation. Because of the conflicts between natural energy, and all the elemental affinities Fenrir made use of, the room she used had to be completely isolated from the rest of Terra’s dominion. To do so, she made several reinforced earthen layers surrounding the room, each bearing a complex arrangement of wards that would prevent the icy energy from spreading into the surroundings. By the time everything was complete, Fenrir had a room that was near -200 degrees Celsius, covered in a layer of ice with several valuable herbs and natural resources growing within, each suffusing ice and yin elemental energy through the room. Most notably, however, was the large slab of ice that formed the shape of a bed, something Fenrir seemed rather fond of since it was always very calming to be surrounded by your own element.

Vahn had to set up several barriers to the entrance of Fenrir’s room since it could actually kill anyone that didn’t have a high tolerance to cold. Exposure to the extreme ice elemental energy in the room would sap the strength of anyone inside of kill, freezing solid anyone that didn’t have some means to resist the icy chill that would seize their body. Fenrir, however, seemed completely immune to it, much like Vahn who was currently laying on the [Pristine Jade Ice Bed] with the jubilant little Vanargandr clinging to his body. She continued to draw deep breaths, enjoying her Master’s fragrance in this small world where only the two of them existed. After refilling her ‘reserves’, Fenrir lifted her body and said, “Thank you, Master…this room feel very comfortable. I will do my best to become even stronger in the future…” Then, as if it were the most natural thing in the world, Fenrir leaned down and started kissing him, something she seemed especially fond of since the previous night.

Fenrir had completely stopped putting on the ‘act’ she had adopted ever since her return from the orb. With her Master accepting her desire to grow stronger, along with her feelings of wanting to be with him, Fenrir felt like a heavy weight had been removed from her shoulders. She hadn’t realized it previously, but there had been a very heavy burden on her heart that had caused her to bottle up some resentment towards the other girls. After all, before spending four years with Terra and Eva, she had never really opened up to them completely. Though she still cared deeply for her Master’s children, Fenrir was much happier being able to improve her strength while having a special place only she and her Master could visit…

Other than the time he spent visiting Alex, conversing with the girls, and playing with his daughters, Vahn spent the rest of the day helping set up Fenrir’s room. Once everything was completed, they snuggled up on the bed and talked about cultivation and various other subjects, at least when Fenrir wasn’t releasing her pent up ‘affections’ on him. Vahn, knowing how much he had restrained her in the past, pampered Fenrir quite a bit throughout the day, though it never went further than heavy petting and kissing. Unlike the past, they actually sat down and talked about the unique structure of her body, discussing possible solutions and steps she could take to overcome her ‘Ageless’ trait.

Like all of his subordinates, they were actually able to live forever but, as a result of some of the unique quirks of the system, they could still age and grow depending on special circumstances. This would continue until they reached physical maturity or, in the case that age resulted in their power increasing, even extend far into their twilight years. However, unless they were killed outright, none of his subordinates named through the Akashic Tome would die of old age. After all, though they were unique entities, they were still an extension of himself, sharing an unbreakable link with his soul and being entirely comprised of source energy…

Fenrir was a unique case among the rest of his subordinates because, much like Eva, Fenrir had a ‘fixed’ default state that her body always reverted back to. Fafnir, Terra, and Khaos, while having noteworthy regeneration, didn’t possess this quality as it was something unique to Fenrir’s existence as a Vanargandr. He wasn’t sure which record he had drawn her name from, but the original record holder must have had the Ageless trait as well. As a result, Fenrir’s body always reverted back to her base form, regardless of the damage she sustained. Unless she was outright killed, Fenrir could regrow lost limbs, regenerate organs, and even grow out her hair to the exact same length as her ‘default’ state. Even if she shaved her entire head of hair, it wouldn’t even take more than two hours for it to reach the middle of her back once again.

Unfortunately, there weren’t any outright ways to change Fenrir’s Ageless body into a more ‘normal’ one, other than increasing the Tier of her soul and fundamentally altering the nature of her existence. The higher someone was in respect to Soul Tier, the greater influence they had over their own destiny, including the form they took and the capabilities they would possess. Innates existed outside the influence of laws so, if Fenrir was able to get an Innate that allowed her to freely alter her form, it would have a higher priority than her Ageless trait. She already nearly mastered her [Mimickry] Development Ability at this point and, though her transformation magic still needed work, Fenrir was quite gifted at it.

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According to Eva, it took her nearly ten years to learn how to change the shape of her body with magic, something she had never truly mastered. Fenrir, though only working on it proactively for the last two months, already had a marginal amount of success with the ability. In the future, she may even be able to assume an ‘adult’ form, even without the reliance on an Innate. This, however, wouldn’t get around the base issue so she needed to harden her intent and ‘desire’ an Innate that would give her more control over the changes in her body. Most likely, she would end up first getting an Innate related to the mind, increasing her control and willpower, so it was probable that the ‘issues’ with her body wouldn’t be addressed until she reached Tier 3. However, with her [Insatiable Hunger] possessing no growth restrictions, Fenrir would be able to reach Tier 3 very quickly, likely in as little as a few months depending on how much effort she puts into her secondary Innate.

The development of one’s Innates was the key to increasing the Soul Tier, though not the ‘determinant’ factor. Having a mastered Innate just meant you could reach the limit of your current Soul Tier, meaning a Tier 1 Soul could reach the peak of Tier 1 if they mastered their Innate. To actually advance your soul further, you required a breakthrough in both your understanding of laws and the nature of existence itself. This would prompt the awakening of other Innates, circumventing the laws of the world and allowing you to grow beyond the limitations you were born with. Interestingly, these changes would persist through all your future reincarnations as well, meaning Cultivation was the key to eternal life, regardless of the record you originated from. At the very least, you would make life easier for all your future incarnations since their potential would have been increased through your efforts…

Having a better understanding of how Innates function, Vahn realized why his own Soul Tier had increased so quickly, even though it was very difficult to do so for ‘normal’ people. His [Will of the Emperor] had already reached the peak at the moment of its awakening. This allowed him to have a rational view of the world while increasing his understanding of various laws through observation and interacting directly with the elemental energies within the air. It was also the major shifts in his mentality, supported by [Will of the Emperor], that caused his other Innates to awaken. Vahn knew that his Soul Tier fundamentally had no restrictions, meaning he already had several dormant Innates sleeping inside of him. If he truly managed to awaken each of them, pushing them towards mastery, his path to obtaining higher Tiers would only be restricted by his perseverance and understanding.

Vahn was tempted to try cultivation himself but, after forming the thought, Sis informed him it wouldn’t be ‘appropriate’ given his bodies constitution. In truth, though there were skills that allowed him to have an almost ‘perfect’ control over certain elemental forces, Vahn had no affinity with any element. This made most cultivation techniques, even catered to his body through the path, fundamentally ‘flawed’. Since he actually had no limitations from the start, normal cultivation would actually ‘create’ bottlenecks that didn’t previously exist. By following a path laid out by other people, his growth would be limited, even if it would also give him an explosive amount of power in the interim.

Eva’s [Magia Erbea] was a good example since, after learning it, Vahn had a lot of restrictions and issues that he has slowly been working to overcome. However, for his current record, the skill gave him too many advantages to simply throw away. Instead, much like he would have to do with any cultivation manuals he purchased, Vahn had to improve upon the skill and overcome the inherent restrictions through breaking down and understanding the laws that allowed the skills to function. Fortunately, this didn’t apply to existences that he had named through the Akashic record as, even though their body was comprised of source energy, they still possessed elemental affinities.

Fenrir had limitless growth with her completely unrestricted [Insatiable Hunger], which was graded even higher than his [Will of the Emperor]. By cultivating certain techniques, Fenrir could have greater influence over how her base Innate affected her growth. This made it so that she had no ‘real’ bottlenecks in the future, limited only by her mental development and self-control. After all, even if she stayed Tier 1 forever, Fenrir would be able to have enough power and energy to rival beings that were much stronger than her. If left unrestricted, she could even devour an entire record without ever increasing her Soul Tier at all, including all the powerful entities and gods contained within. Now, by increasing her Soul Tier and working towards ‘controlling’ her own Innate, Fenrir’s future growth was truly unrestricted, even without sacrificing her mind in the process…

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After spending the night with Fenrir, Vahn woke up with a comfortable chill encompassing his entire body. Though he didn’t have any water, ice, or yin elemental affinity, Vahn was entirely immune to the yin-ice poison that would have settled in his body by sleeping on the [Pristine Jade Ice Bed]. Instead, the icy chill made him feel very calm and relaxed as his body broke down the detrimental effects of the energy and converted it directly into source energy. Fenrir, though covered in a light layer of frost, also seemed to be very comfortable as her eyelids fluttered open, dispersing the small particles that had attached themselves to her hair and eyelashes. With a happy smile on her face, Fenrir wrapped her arms around him suddenly and began rubbing her head against his bare chest, lazily muttering, “Master~.”

Vahn smiled, returning her embrace while enjoying the strange sensation of her ice-cold skin against his bare body. They had both slept naked the previous night, enjoying the cold energy pervading through their bodies while cuddling up with each other. Fenrir, even though his body was also very cold, commented that she enjoyed the warmth that radiated from his body. When he asked about it, Fenrir explained that it was like his aura was very warm, while his presence and aroma made her feel calm and safe. This was actually a sentiment shared by most of the girls in the Manor, which was why they all felt somewhat strange when they interacted with his memory fragment previously.

After Loki, Hephaestus, Eina, Hestia, and Syr had discussed the matter, it was decided that the ‘reward’ orbs wouldn’t be used in the future. If it wasn’t the real Vahn, it felt very strange since he acted distinctly different than normal while also ‘feeling’ different. The only Space-Time orbs that would be used were exclusively restricted to educational purposes and skill development. To make up for this, Terra was now trying her best to make a more powerful Sub-Space orb so that Vahn could spend time with each girl with his ‘real’ form.

Fortunately, it was possible to use multiple orbs to get around the restrictions that might have limited the progress of ‘normal’ people. If Terra made several orbs, it would be possible to make use of each of them, functionally increasing the time dilation a person experienced, potentially to the point where they could experience an eternity over the course of a single day. This, however, would take a vast amount of resources and a powerful understanding of space-time laws, which were currently far beyond the capabilities of Vahn, or anyone else for that matter…

Since Vahn had to make good on his ‘promise’ to Rakia Kingdom today, he couldn’t really stay locked up inside Fenrir’s room all day. Thus, after hugging her body for the better part of an hour, allowing her to fiddle around with his ‘proud’ dragon, Vahn and Fenrir got dressed to attend the morning training. When they finally came out of the icy chamber, Vahn felt his skin stinging as his temperature slowly normalized. Fenrir, however, seemed to ‘contain’ the icy energies in her body as a gentle mist wafted off of her. She always walked around bare-pawed so, every step she took made icy fragments spread around from the point of contact. Vahn found this rather interesting and, after checking over Fenrir’s body with his [Eyes of Truth], he could see several icy strands of energy flowing through her body. Very small parts of this energy was being absorbed by her mana circuits, nourishing and strengthening them. However, the vast majority of the energy was slowly dissipating into the atmosphere, forming the mist that gave Fenrir an illusory look.

As they walked through the Manor, Fenrir left a small trail of ice that caused her to furrow her brows slightly and, upon coming across Emiru and Maemi, she apologized for making a mess. The twins were somewhat surprised by the ‘honest’ apology they had received, smiling softly in response as they synchronously said, “Don’t worry about it, Fenrir. We will take care of it properly~.” Unlike everyone else, the twins usually trained in the afternoon since they spent most of the morning cleaning the Manor, serving meals, and doing laundry. They genuinely enjoyed working as maids so, though it used to bother him int he past, Vahn had completely accepted their self-assumed roles. Fortunately, Syr, Milan, Lunoire, and, though he had been surprised the first time he saw her, Risna also helped out. She had something about not wanting to just ‘leech’ off everyone else in the Manor, feeling self-conscious about watching everyone else work hard all the time…

Arriving in the back yard, Vahn saw Tiona in her dual-transformation, making use of both her [Pactio] form and the wand in her possession. She was flying around creating shockwaves while she and Ais fought in the air above the training field. From below, Naaza and Ryuu were shooting arrows towards the two, allowing them to train their awareness while practicing high-speed movements. Ryuu didn’t train much these day, but it didn’t strain her body too much just using her artifact to fire arrows. Though slightly different in structure, Ryuu now had a crest carved on her abdomen that allowed her to absorb natural energy into her body. It didn’t serve the same purpose as Riveria’s, which was almost ‘necessary’ for pregnancy, but still allowed her mana to replenish much faster than normal.

One of the discussion topics in recent weeks was creating several types of crests that could help increase the acquisition of magic power in all the girls’ bodies. Since it wasn’t that difficult to remove later on in life, it would allow everyone that was currently in their development phase to increase their magic power further. This was especially true for the girls that were currently pregnant since their growth would be limited during the duration of their pregnancy. Now, not just Ryuu, but Eina also had a crest carved on her body. In the future, once the crests were refined to suit each individual elemental affinity, Vahn expected it would be ‘common’ to see specific types of crests present on people’s bodies.

The trend would start with the girls in the Manor but, depending on how things developed, Vahn didn’t mind making it available to the students that would attend the School. After all, anything that could passively aid a person’s growth, especially when they are young, would be very beneficial to securing the future of their graduates. Then, once people learned the purpose of the crests, Vahn expected they would become commonplace after a few years. Thus, the crests themselves were actually a disguise for the ‘real’ formation that was carved underneath, making use of his knowledge of meridians and the existence of the spiritual and magic bodies. Even if people ‘copied’ the crests, they wouldn’t have any true function, making the prestige of the School and its graduates elevated with an air of mystery associated with it…

Fenrir stood next to Vahn for a few minutes, watching the skirmish overhead with intrigue before turning towards the forest and saying, “Master, I’m going to go talk with Terra. I want to meet Alex and see what your memory fragment is like…” Vahn nodded his head, giving Fenrir one last kiss that earned him the attention of some of the other girls in the field. Fenrir smiled in return before suddenly shaking her body, forcing the cold energy to escape through her pores. A layer of frost covered the grassy area before Fenrir giggled and ran off towards the forest. Since Terra would have complained if she was ‘leaking’ energy in the Garden, Fenrir diffused it from her body before deciding to head over. Vahn, also covered in a layer of frost, shook his head with a slight smile on his face. Fenrir’s laugh had been directed towards him but Vahn didn’t mind, simply enjoying the change in her character and how happy she seemed.

Shortly after Fenrir had departed, Haruhime made her way over, accompanied by Lili, the latter of which was covered in a light layer of sweat from her morning exertions. Vahn habitually stroked both their heads the moment they entered his ‘range’, earning smiles from both girls as Haruhime said, “Fenrir seems a lot happier than before. I was actually starting to worry about her over the last few days. I’m glad everything turned out well…” Lili, nodding her head, added, “Yes, she seemed to be trying very hard to restrain herself. If things had kept going in that direction, it’s possible she might have had a mental breakdown at some point.” There was a very ‘serious’ look in Lili’s eyes as she looked toward Vahn but, after a few seconds had passed, she smiled and said, “I knew you would take action before then, though~.”

Haruhime laughed in response to Lili’s words, pulling closer to Vahn as she said, “Indeed…after all, our Master is rather Heroic, isn’t he, Lili~?” Lili’s brows had twitched when she saw Haruhime suddenly get close to Vahn but, after hearing her words, she smiled and, without minding her sweaty body, clung to Vahn’s other arm and muttered a happy ‘Nn!’ Vahn just shook his head with a wry smile before asking, “Mind if I join you two for training this morning? I want to warm up my body a bit before I leave later.” Hearing his words, Haruhime and Lili exchanged a knowing look, understanding that Vahn may suffer a mental blow by the time he returned in the afternoon. Lili gave a small nod, seemingly communicating something between them before she looked up at Vahn and said, “I don’t mind if you want to train with us. However, we were talking to Lefiya earlier and she had been looking forward to using her ‘Heavy Petting Coupon’ later on. If you’re not busy this afternoon, you should go spend some time with her…”

Vahn was very surprised when he heard Lili essentially telling him to spend time with other girls, especially given her character. Though she had improved in leaps and bounds, Lili still had a somewhat jealous personality and it wasn’t easy for her to prop up others. Understanding she was acting out of character on his behalf, Vahn started to realize that it wasn’t just Fenrir looking out for him. With a smile on his face, Vahn made Lili flush as he bent down and kissed her lightly on the lips and said, “Sure, that sounds like a good idea. After I’m done, however, how about we all go play in the woods for a bit? This time, I’ll be the Seeker and, if I managed to find you…well…I’m sure you’ll enjoy it~.” Lili had started to breathe heavily through her nose, face completely red as she nodded with a very serious, “Yes, that sounds great! Super great!” escaping her tiny lips. As for Haruhime, her eyes glittered with the light of expectation as she released a peal of elegant bell-like laughter…

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