Chapter 690: Sub-Space Orb

Under the guidance of Terra, though he had all of the resources Eva had given him at his disposal, Vahn was currently finishing the final touches of a large ritual spell formation. Now that he had gathered enough resources, and had watched Terra create a smaller Sub-Space orb, Vahn was trying his hand at making one of the primary orbs that would be used by everyone in the Manor. In order to make a Sub-Space orb function properly, you needed a decent affinity with both Space and Time while also having an understanding of the world around you. This included knowing the arrangement of the stars, various celestial bodies, the composition of the earth, and the location of leylines and other natural formations. Any mistakes would cause instabilities within the orb which, if set up properly, could be powered almost indefinitely without the need for much maintenance.

The ‘core’ of the ritual formation, which would become the orb itself, was made of a crystallized form of mana almost entirely comprised of Space and Time elemental energies. Depending on the structure of the formation itself, you needed to find a proper balance between the two energies and, so that it wouldn’t be unstable, you also needed to introduce various other regulating forces into the orb. Vahn was fortunate that the structure of his elemental energy itself was entirely comprised of source energy, making it incredibly versatile with every other form of elemental laws. This made the orbs he created far more stable than anything even Eva would have been able to make, even though his understanding of their structure was far removed from her hundreds of years of study.

When the orb itself was completed, Vahn had managed to give it a time-dilation ratio of 6:1 while also ensuring the space inside was stable enough to allow people to stay as long as they wanted. This was another benefit of his source energy, as there was no strain on the body of whoever entered inside the orbs he created. Generally speaking, the reason why people weren’t able to stay in any orb for an extended period of time was a result of the subtle differences in the laws between the orb and reality. Prolonged exposure would cause the body’s internal energy to destabilize slightly, which is why a cooldown was necessary to counterbalance the effects. However, this didn’t apply to the orbs created by Vahn since the source energy comprising the orb was perfectly adaptive to every other law, making it almost a perfect emulation of reality with the only difference being those made intentionally.

For his orb, Vahn had used a spatial compression formation in the basic structure of the orb that radiated outwards towards the periphery of the orb. This would, in theory, make the space along the outskirts of the orb’s space denser, not necessarily increasing the gravity, but making it more difficult to move and channel your body’s internal energy. Increasing gravity itself was a very terrible idea since, unless your body was adapted and attuned to gravitational laws, the molecules of your body itself would become unstable under the strain of increased gravity. It wasn’t a simple matter of ‘resisting’ and ‘adapting’ to the change in gravity, as you couldn’t really ‘strengthen’ the structure of each individual cell within your body. After all, no matter how strong your muscles were, if your blood couldn’t hold its shape under the gravity, you would die. This was why gravity magic was such a terrifying ability, as it was almost impossible to resist regardless of a creature’s size or strength.

Wiping the sweat from his brow, Vahn released a satisfied sigh as he asked, “So, is everything else ready?” Terra, standing amongst the group of onlookers, nodded her head with a smile, explaining, “Yes, I’ve arranged the location of all the necessary materials and changed the flow of the earth’s mana within my territory so the orb will remain stable unless there is catastrophic damage done to the area around the Manor.” Terra’s Innates allowed her to have almost complete control over the natural energies within her dominion, the exact same kind of energy that was used to stabilize and maintain the orbs.

With a contented smile on his face, Vahn said, “Thank you, Terra, you’ve been a big help. Now we just have to activate the orb and we’ll essentially be able to compress six days worth of time for every day in the real world…” It was strange to think about but also somewhat exciting to know they would have a lot more time for things like training, the production of items, and just general recreation. Though the space within the orb was limited, unlike the seemingly ‘infinite’ Time-Space orbs, it was still a very beneficial training tool. Now, by the time Bell arrived in Orario, the girls would have been training in Eva’s magic system for more than eight years, assuming they lived exclusively within the orb. This would give them plenty of time to reach a peak that most people in the world couldn’t contend with while also having the benefit of counteracting his own ‘thoughtless’ actions…

Now that his time with the girls had approached a year, Vahn was very aware that his influence on them had been more than anticipated. Without exception, everyone that had been the recipient of his [Hands of Nirvana], [Petting], and now [Grooming] had been irreversibly affected by his influence. It was almost like their aging had stopped for the majority of them while people like Milan had actually started to look younger. Vahn had always expected this might be the case but, after noticing that Ais, Tione, Tina, and Shizune almost hadn’t changed at all, he had started to worry a little. Girls like Ais and Tione should have ‘developed’ a lot more in this time frame but, as it stood, neither was near the full potential they had reached in the source material.

Even Tione, known for having large breasts that she often flaunted to tease her sister, had relatively modest breasts that had actually ‘shrunk’ slightly after they entered into a relationship. Ais still had an almost ‘dangerous’ appearance and, though she was a very beautiful girl, she still looked much younger than she should at this point in time. Of course, as pointed out previously, the biggest problems were Tina and Shizune, both young girls at an age where their body should be developing quickly. Shizune had originally had a very mature and borderline seductive appearance when he first met her but now, even though more than ten months had passed, she hadn’t changed much at all. Tina had grown a few centimeters taller but, considering that both her mother and father had been tall for Cat People, it was very obvious her growth had also been stunted.

Shaking his head to clear any negative thoughts, Vahn placed both palms on the orb and slowly began the activation process. The issue of the girls’ development could be addressed with the orb and it wasn’t as if any of them had actually complained about the retention of their youth. Thus, Vahn began linking together the energies contained within the orb, fusing them to the larger ritual formation that Terra had established. Since Terra’s body shared the same basic energy structure as his, being comprised of source energy, there was a seamless integration between the two energies. After a few minutes had passed, the once cloudy orb had become completely transparent as a vivid expanse of ‘nothing’ appeared within. The only thing that existed was a flat white plane without any other features at all, something that would need to be added later once they created a residence within.

In total, the creation of the orb had taken him five days, almost making the short few minutes it took to activate it seem anticlimactic. Even so, after being instigated by Haruhime, the girls that had been watching him clapped. Vahn felt slightly embarrassed but kept a smile on his face as he asked, “So, shall we go inside?” With most of the girls nodding their heads, Vahn placed his own palm on the orb, vanishing in a flash of light from the perspective of everyone watching. To those that had very good eyesight, they would be able to see an ant-sized version of Vahn now located at the center of the orb. Following after him, most of the girls that had gathered around placed their palms on the orb, the only exceptions being the goddesses. As a special exception, even Ina, Vana, and Erika had been given permission to enter, though only because Vahn would be bringing them back out shortly thereafter.

After entering the orb, Vahn felt strangely comfortable, a stark contrast to how he felt whenever he immersed his consciousness into one of the Space-Time orbs. Since this was his physical body, and the surroundings were fundamentally comprised of source energy, Vahn felt like all his senses were sharper while the air contained within the orb was very refreshing, even if it was a bit cool to the touch. The temperature inside was around 20 degrees, a little colder than would be comfortable for ‘normal’ people. However, as none of the people that would be entering matched such a classification, Vahn expected it wouldn’t be a problem. If necessary, they could just make sure the residence they built had proper insulation and central heating.

Only allowed on

A little over three minutes passed in silence before the others began to appear around him, each popping up in a flash of light every few seconds. The first to appear was, unsurprisingly, Tiona, while the last group to enter happened to be Eina, holding the hands of Ina and Vana while Erika appeared almost immediately thereafter. Everyone began looking around the vast empty space while Vahn explained, “Staying near the center is the safest place and, while it may not necessarily be dangerous, wandering outwards would make it feel like a great pressure is pressing down on your body. I’ll try to put down some markers later on so, for the time being, try not to wander beyond a 5km radius. When you want to exit, you can either will it with your mind or say this phrase…”

Vahn held up a piece of paper that had the word ‘Effugium’ written on it, meaning escape. They picked a suitable word that would have almost never been used on accident, making it unlikely anyone would mistakenly speak the word. Tiona, however, didn’t seem to realize this as she questioningly asked, “Effu-gi-um~?”, disappearing in a flash of light almost immediately thereafter. When she returned a few seconds later, showing a very subtle blush on her smiling face, everyone burst out into laughter while Vana unhesitantly said, “Tiona is a bit dumb, ahahahaha~.” Tiona, hearing Vana’s words, put on a show as if she had been betrayed, pitiable saying, “Booo, I thought we were friends, Vana…I’m not going to play with you for the rest of the day. Hmph!”

Vana began flustering a bit, waving her hands as if she didn’t know what to do with them before running over to Tiona and saying, “Tiona, I’m sorry! Don’t be mad!” Having very similar personalities, Tiona and Vana got along very well with each other. It had actually been Tiona’s assistance that allowed Vana to get closer to the animals in the forest, something Vahn hadn’t actually known she was capable of. Because of her innocent nature and free-spirited personality, Tiona had always been very fond of animals and, though she was never good at things like taming, they were also very fond of her. It was to such an extent that, if she was proactively trying to interact with them, even birds would land on her outstretched fingers.

While most of the girls started wandering about the area, even though there wasn’t really anything to see or do, Vahn, Terra, and Tsubaki were all going over the plans for the residence they were going to build. Tsubaki was due any day now but, against the advice of Juno, continued to walk around during the day, saying it was more taxing to just lay around all day than walking around for a bit. Even so, there was always someone accompanying her while Vahn had completely cleared his schedule of any distracting events that might interfere with his ability to be nearby. This included interacting with some of the people that had been approaching him, especially the few politicians that had wanted to get to know him on a personal level.

A number of Nobles had been trying to get into the Clubhouse of late, even going so far as to try and contest his claim to the land that the Clubhouse was built on. When that failed, some people started showing up trying to discuss various taxes that hadn’t been paid, once again including taxes related to the property as well as the distribution of various ‘luxury goods’. This too was met with resistance and, after a few behind-the-scenes negotiations, the nobles had given up…at least for the time being. In the meantime, some of the more affluent families had tried to make a similar Clubhouse for themselves, finding it was almost impossible to manage since they almost exclusively just sought benefits from each other and nobody was willing to provide quality entertainment and goods for ‘free’.

Vahn spent a few hours going over the designs with Tsubaki while Terra arranged the land and resources he had purchased through the shop. Much like he had done with Eva in the past, they would have to build everything from the ground up as, unlike a Spirit-Time orb, it wasn’t as easy to manipulate laws to emulate the creation of land and trees. Everything in here was entirely real and, much like it would take a vast amount of energy just to use his ‘Oblivion’ to make small objects, it would have taken much more to fill out the entire space within the orb. Fortunately, the diameter of the orb was only 10km, meaning it would only take a few hundred-thousand OP, even if they wanted to fill up the entire area with a decent layer of dirt.

Speaking of the size of the orb, there was already one group of people that had ignored Vahn’s advice and wandered beyond the 5km point. Being the type that were undaunted by challenges, Ais, Tiona, and Tione had all ventured off together to explore the further reaches of the orb. They were very curious about the ‘pressure’ Vahn had mentioned previously and, knowing it would help them increase their strength, they couldn’t help but want to check it out. After traveling beyond the 5km point, the girls noticed that there was indeed a very noticeable increase in the pressure on their bodies.

Ais made a tiny frown at this point, moving her hands through space as if there was a thick liquid slowing down her movements, even though there was nothing there. As for Tiona and Tione, the former seemed very interested in the abnormal phenomenon while Tione, contrary to expectations, suddenly said, “We shouldn’t go much further than this. I can already feel that is more difficult to breathe than normal and we have no idea how quickly this pressure would increase.” Tiona, however, just laughed away her big sister’s concerns and said, “Oh, come on, Tione! I didn’t think you would get cold feet so suddenly~.” Tione adopted a serious expression on her face, shaking her head in response to Tiona’s words and saying, “I’m not afraid, or anything like that, I just trust Vahn. He wouldn’t caution us against it if there wasn’t a reason to be concerned.”

Hearing Tione’s explanation, Ais’ own expression shifted and she suddenly said, “I agree with Tione. I’m interested in this orb, but we have plenty of time to explore later…lets go back and see if Vahn needs any help.” Tiona had initially been intending to rile up her sister a bit so they could explore to the edges of the orb together but, after hearing Ais also back out, Tiona just shrugged her shoulders and said, “Fine, fine, let’s go back then…” Then, without Ais and Tione expecting it, Tiona kicked off at the ground as she took off running, shouting, “First to reach Vahn gets to spend the first night with him in the orb~!” Tione had a slightly taken aback face but, before she was able to say anything to rebuff her sister, Ais had already taken off like a bolt released from a crossbow.

Momentarily stunned, Tione was left behind by the two girls as her own anger began to bubble up inside of her. As if something had snapped, Tione balled up both fists and said, “Graaah, you two sneaky bastards~!” Without delay, she began running after the other two with the greatest speed she could manage. It was unlikely she would pass them in normal circumstances but, with the amount of rage and indignation she felt at the moment, Tione was hoping it would allow her to at least close the distance. After all, even if she lost out on this race, Tione was certain she could still get some benefits from Vahn. However, realizing her pride was at stake, Tione somehow managed to increase her speed a little more than normal…

Vahn had been in the middle of laying down the foundation of the house he was going to build while Tsubaki rested on a sofa he had set out at the side. She was laying down, making the loose kimono she had been wearing these days open up slightly to reveal her beautiful brown skin beneath. Every time Vahn would look over at her, she would grin slightly without making any attempt to hide her figure from his eyes. Vahn released a sigh at her behavior, commenting in a tone he knew she would be able to hear, “I’m looking forward to our daughter being born. Not only do I get another beautiful baby girl, but I’ll also get to spend some more ‘quality’ time with her mother…” Sending a wink towards Tsubaki, she just laughed in response while lying lazily against the sofa.

Tsubaki was already used to Vahn’s attempts to tease her so she just laughed it away instead of letting him rile her up. Though she would never admit it, she was also looking forward to sharing a bed with Vahn once again since she could still vividly recall the previous times they were together. Then, thinking she could actually get a small advantage against him, Tsubaki turned her body slightly, nearly letting one of her breasts pop out of her kimono as she said, “After our daughter is born, I’ll have you accompany me back to my previous workshop. Make sure to make time for it or I’ll give you a punishment even your immortal body won’t be able to easily recover from~.”

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Vahn, hearing Tsubaki’s somewhat icy words, couldn’t help but swallow hard when he saw her predatory look. He already knew where she wanted to take him and, as he really wanted to accompany her there, simply nodded his head in response. Then, at the very next instant, just after he turned his attention back to laying the foundation, Vahn felt three presences burst into the periphery of his domain with terrifying momentum. Knowing there weren’t any enemies capable of breaking into the orb, Vahn didn’t panic and just turned towards the direction of the presences as he saw Tiona and Ais neck-in-neck as they charged towards him. Further beyond, looking like a demon that wanted to devour the two young girls’ flesh, Tione was hot on their tails. Vahn didn’t have much time to think about what they were doing, however, as Ais suddenly emitted a magical light that caused two small wings to appear at her lower back. Then, for the first time, Vahn experienced what it was like to have an Ais-shaped projectile launched toward him…

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