Chapter 706: Fission

After enjoying a peaceful night with Hephaestus and their two daughters, Ina and Vana, Vahn helped the two girls wash up for breakfast before heading into the room containing the Sub-Space orb. Now that he had discussed it with the girls, Vahn wanted to go through the process of creating his Avatar as soon as possible. He had no way of knowing how long it would take to master controlling two bodies so it was better to get started sooner, rather than later. Since he also wanted to spend some quality time with the girls that had been spending most of their time within the orb, Vahn felt this was a good opportunity. After all, girls like Ais, Tiona, Tione, Haruhime, Mikoto, Preasia, Lili, and Naaza had been making use of the orb almost since it had been created. This meant it had already been more than a month for them inside the orb, even though only a few days had passed in reality.

Entering into the orb, Vahn noticed that most of the basic construction had already finished, primarily as a result of Terra’s efforts, and there was now a large residence with areas for sleeping, relaxation, and relief. It was decided that everyone having their own room was somewhat unnecessary, at least for the time being, so there were a few large areas with futons where anyone could sleep. There was also a forge set up on the northern periphery of the residence while a mock training ground had been established on the western side. However, because of the unique qualities of the orb, most of the girls had been training in the first region of compressed space. It helped to temper their bodies and, after training for more than a month, many of the girls had started to adapt to the pressure.

It didn’t take long for someone to notice his arrival in the orb as Lili happened to be walking out of the bathing area with nothing but a towel wrapped around her shoulders with a pair of light pink panties covering her bottom. Her hair was still damp and, seeing him suddenly show up, Lili was slightly startled before blushing as she reminded, “Fourteen more days…” Both his primary and secondary processes came to a halt momentarily as Vahn produced a somewhat awkward smile, nodding for a brief moment before asking, “Why are you walking around in just your underwear…?”

Lili, looking down at her body, didn’t seem to mind the fact she wasn’t properly dressed and even removed the towel from her shoulders as she explained, “I was fighting against Naaza and ended up getting my clothes super dirty. Since I didn’t feel like going outside to grab a change of clothing, I gave them to Naaza to wash since she has been helping do everyone’s laundry.” As Lili was speaking, Vahn briefly eyed her rather large breasts before pulling out a set of clothing from his inventory and handing them over to her. Lili hadn’t missed his perusing glance so she put her hands behind her body and wiggled her shoulders, causing the two pert mounds to jiggle before launching as she accepted the clothes with a quick, “Thanks~.”

Vahn released a small sigh as he watched Lili run back into the changing room to get dressed. Her constant reminders of the coming day had caused him to think about the upcoming event and he had been somewhat ‘too aware’ of her presence whenever she was around. In truth, though she was very small and petite, Lili’s secondary sexual characteristics had developed properly. Even as a Pallum, her breasts would be close to a large B-Cup if they were scaled up to one of the races with greater physical stature. Still, Vahn couldn’t help but worry about what it would be like when they were actually together. It was somewhat fortunate that Naaza would be there as well, allowing some of the tensions to drain away since he was certain she would ‘support’ both of them when the time came…

Since he was intending to get some work done, Vahn made his way to the workshop where not a sound could be heard until you were within 20m of the entrance. Though the structure itself hadn’t been made with soundproofing capabilities, there was a single ward at the center of the building that caused the sound to decay much faster than normal. Vahn could hear the characteristic clanging of a hammer striking against metal so he knew that Nanu must have been hard at work. Thus, he wasn’t surprised at all when he walked in and saw the olive-skinned Chienthrope wearing a black sports bra while hammering a piece of metal into shape. She was covered in soot and sweat and, as a result of her focus, didn’t sense him coming in at all.

It was a good opportunity, so Vahn kept his presence hidden and just watched Nanu for a bit to see how much progress she had made. She had apprenticed to both himself and Tsubaki in the past so, even though her skills weren’t prodigious, Nanu was still a capable smith in her own rights. It would probably take her a few years to reach the level where she could build up a reputation, but that was only if she was left to continue training on her own. Since she was his actual apprentice, Vahn intended to help her out more in the future and, if she was bent on becoming one, he would help her reach the level of [Master Smith] in time.

After beating on the piece of marred white metal for nearly twenty minutes, Nanu released a tired sigh and wiped her brows. She smeared even more soot onto her face before lifting the black forging goggled from her eyes and closely inspecting her work. Vahn smiled when he saw her reverse-raccoon face since the area around her eyes was still completely clear of soot. The goggles had protected them so she now had an outline where they had been resting, making the adorable and hardworking Chienthrope girl even more amusing to behold.

Finished inspecting her work, Nanu released a small huff of dissatisfaction before putting the metal into a bucket of chemical solution so she could rework it later. The metal she had been working with was Adamantine, something that was a bit beyond her current skills, and there were quite a few impurities remaining in the ingot she had produced. Making a piece of equipment with that ingot would have caused it to become very brittle so she needed to reheat and refine it several more times before moving on to the actual forging process. Unfortunately, from what Vahn could tell, this would leave her with only around 13% of the original metal by the time she was finished…

After cleaning up a bit, Nanu turned around to go wash up and finally noticed his presence, producing a very surprised yelp before her tail began beating happily from side to side. Though she was still very dirty, Nanu bolted over as if her previous exhaustion was an illusion and tightly hugged his waist as she exclaimed, “Master, I’m so happy to see you~!” Judging by how her aura had flared up like a torch, with her tail practically spinning like a propeller, Vahn had no doubt she was very excited. He began stroking her hair and ears with his hands and said, “You’ve been working hard, Nanu. I’m proud of you…” Nanu became giddy as a result of the praise but, after a few seconds had passed, seemed to realize he had likely been watching her ‘shameless’ display of skill.

In an instant, Nanu’s appearance became dejected as her ears and tail drooped pitifully. She rested her forehead against his diaphragm and muttered, “Thank you for your praise, Master, but I am unworthy of such kind words…” Vahn, however, tilted up her chin to see her wavering rose-colored eyes as he asked, “Is it not the privilege of the Master to give praise as they see fit…? Even if your skills aren’t the best, just working hard like this shows that you have great promise. It makes me happy to see how dedicated you are to your craft…am I not allowed to be happy?” It was a little unfair to her, but Vahn knew Nanu’s mentality was still shaped by how she had been raised. Less than a year had passed since change had been introduced into her life and it would likely take a while longer before she behaved ‘normally’ around everyone else.

Hearing her Master’s words, Nanu began to fidget as she quickly exclaimed, “No! Master isn’t wrong! I’m the one who-” Vahn squinted his eyes slightly, causing Nanu to swallow her excuse and fall silent for several seconds. During this entire exchange, he had continued to stroke her hair and, now that she had fallen silent, Vahn began to play with Nanu’s fluffy ears as he repeated, “You’ve been working hard, Nanu. I’m proud of you…” This time, Nanu took a deep breath through her nose before burying her face into his chest once again and muttering, “Thank you, Master…” in a subdued tone. She tightly squeezed him in her embrace and, as he was still petting her, began sniffing his scent as the speed of her tail slowly accelerated until it was wagging at a commendable 3 WPS.

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After properly fluffing up Nanu, Vahn used cleaning magic to remove all the grime from both of their bodies, leaving her olive-brown skin shimmering slightly in the low light of the workshop. Nanu was very fascinated by his use of magic but, as a result of her upbringing, struggled in her own magical studies. She had difficulty with mastering a single language, much less several, so it wasn’t likely that she would ever be a proficient Mage. This didn’t mean she wouldn’t be able to use magic at all, but spells that required finesse were beyond her. Vahn’s cleaning magic fit such a category and, if not for the fact he had been developing it for a long time, it would have never reached its current level of functionality.

Nanu eventually asked, “Master, why have you come here today? Did you want to work on something? Can I help?” Eager to assist, Nanu followed him like a duckling with her big eyes glimmering excitedly. Vahn laughed, once against ruffling her hair as he said, “You missed it last night, but I talked with everyone about creating a second body for myself. There isn’t much you’ll be able to help with, but you can watch and try to pick up a few things if you want.” Nanu seemed awestruck by his words, asking with a moderate amount of disbelief, “Master…is going to forge a ‘body’…?” Vahn nodded, causing Nanu to tilt her head further to the side in confusion but, as difficult as it was to believe, her trust in him made Nanu find it strangely plausible.

Vahn was very amused by his young apprentice, even though she was actually only around a year away from being considered an ‘adult’. Realizing this, Vahn released a small sigh because it meant he had another ‘event’ to think about around the same time next year. If possible, he’d like to put it off a bit but, considering Nanu’s personality and how she had been shaped by her culture, it wouldn’t be easy to get her to take thing slowly. After all, she would have waited more than two years by then, much longer than she would have traditionally waited after becoming the ‘mate’ of an Alpha.

Unaware of what was going through her Master’s head, Nanu moved off to the side and crawled up to the viewing platform so she had a better vantage. Crowding around someone that was working was considered rude and, being the capable assistant she was in the past, Nanu knew better than invading her Master’s space. Thus, she plopped down to rest from her earlier exertions and propped up her head with an excited expression as she watched all of his actions very closely. As for Vahn, he didn’t mind her presence, nor her unwavering gaze, as he began to prepare all of the materials necessary for the creation of an Avatar.

According to the procedures listed in the manual, he needed to either create a physical body through a self-cloning process, or substitute his flesh and blood with a variety of rare treasures. However, it wasn’t just the physical body that needed to be formed, as he needed to ensure that ‘mana’ and ‘spirit’ bodies were already properly constructed. The manual referred to these three things as the ‘Physical Vessel’, ‘Spirit Vessel’, and ‘Heavenly Vessel’. Vahn felt the naming convention was somewhat strange but, according to what was listed in the manual, what he referred to as the spirit body was actually the construct that allowed the soul to exercise influence over the physical and mana bodies.

This was a surprising revelation because, while he had made some assumptions about it in the past, knowing that there was a direct connection between the spirit body and soul gave him various ideas how to strengthen both. After all, the ‘threads’ he saw that made up the flow of energy in a persons body were a component of the spirit body. This meant that the white threads he had created in Lefiya’s body had actually influenced her soul, at least marginally. If may be possible to help all the girls with weaker Soul Tiers elevate their souls further in the future and, once he increased his understanding of the procedure, he might even help them break through bottlenecks. It would still depend on them to master their Innate abilities, but at least he had a ‘potential’ solution moving forward…

Setting that thought aside, for the time being, Vahn decided on what materials he would use to construct his Physical, Spirit, and Heavenly Vessels. Fortunately, he had a capability most entities, irrespective of records, wouldn’t be able to emulate. Though he imagined it would look very grotesque from an eternal perspective, Vahn began changing his mental image and altering the flow of energy in his body. Shortly thereafter, his skin had taken on a bronze coloration while his hair had turned almost platinum blond. Most notably was the fact that, much like the time he had adopted a similar form, the sclera of his eyes became black while his pupils turned pale gold.

Vahn had changed his race to an almost pure-blooded Doppelganger by finding a good median between the Smiling Reapers energy signature and that of Erika’s Guardian, Doppel. Because the latter was somewhat unique, Vahn couldn’t actually perfectly copy her energy signature so this was the closest form he could get to with his current capabilities. However, as the system showed his race as ‘Doppelganger’, it was more than enough for what he had in mind. Right before Nanu’s eyes, Vahn began his ‘grotesque’ show by changing the shape of his body using a combination of his image transformation and the transformation abilities of a Doppelganger. They could actually emulate both organic and inorganic objects and, as he could regenerate and shape his flesh at will, Vahn’s potential as a Doppelganger was pushed to an extreme degree.

Nanu watched with an unwavering gaze as her complexion became progressively paler as time went on. She had felt a heat rise in her body when her Master removed his clothes but that had faded very quickly when she saw him ‘climbing’ out of himself. At first, it was like his face began to melt forward and stretch as his head elongated in a very strange manner. Then, incredulously, her Master sprouted a second head out of the back of his shoulders and proceeded to slowly and horrifyingly extricate himself from his own flesh. It was like watching an insect molt but the original body he was emerging from was also still moving about as they assisted each other in separating. Unable to resist the urge any longer, Nanu began gagging before emptying the contents of her stomach onto the workshop’s floor.

Since he also believed the sight would be very ‘intense’, Vahn wasn’t surprised when Nanu vomited at the side. He felt very apologetic towards her and wanted to comfort her but, considering he hadn’t fully separated from his other half, it would have to wait until later. After all, if he suddenly called out to her while sticking halfway out of his own back, Vahn believed she might pass out or empty the contents of something other than just her stomach. Thus, after mentally promising to pamper her later, Vahn continued the ‘very’ awkward process of splitting his body into two parts. It felt like he was pulling himself out of an incredibly thick and viscous liquid except, as a result of being a Doppelganger, he could see, hear, and smell from all of his cells. He saw the entire process from every conceivable angle as his two halves fought to split from each other. The most awkward part was when his original body had to sit down so he could ‘wiggle’ out of its back like removing a very tight pair of trousers…

It took nearly twenty minutes, but Vahn finally managed to pull all but his foot out of his counterpart’s back. He then slowly transformed himself back into a human while keeping his mental image of both bodies as his ‘default’ state. When he was done, Vahn limited the influence of his [Magia Erebea] before severing his left foot and using a magical ward to completely stop the flow of blood on both bodies. The moment he removed his leg, Vahn’s connection with his other half was severed and his split senses became a singular set. Vahn stared at the limp body before him and felt a sense of incongruity inside himself before overcoming it with the assistance of his [Will of the Emperor]. He then propped up the body onto a nearby worktable while slowly changing his mental image to replace his damaged left leg. If he used his [Magia Erebea] regeneration, Vahn was afraid the Physical Vessel he had gone through such lengths to make would turn into a pool of blood before either returning to his body or dissipating entirely…

As he had wanted to avoid having to create a Physical and Spiritual Vessel from scratch, or using rare and valuable materials, Vahn had instead opted to use his own body as a material. After all, his cells were entirely comprised of source energy and, by splitting his body as he had done, he could avoid having to create a fresh set of mana circuits while also establishing a template for the Heavenly Vessel he was going to make. This was possible since, before he separated from himself, Vahn’s soul had already been linked to his other half and he simply needed to re-establish the connection to finalize the process. Thus, after setting up two very complex formations in accordance with the manuals instructions, Vahn sat down in a lotus position and began to meditate.

At this point, Nanu had recovered almost completely and had returned to watching her Master perform a procedure far beyond anything she expected. When he first said he was going to forge a second body, she thought he was going to make it out of metal using some magical method she couldn’t even comprehend. Instead, he split his body in a way that she was certain would give her nightmares for a little while. Even so, Nanu resolved herself to see it through to the end because, as strange and unnerving as the sight had been, seeing two naked versions of her Master wasn’t a sight she wanted to tear her eyes away from. It was so exciting that, as the process continued on for a much longer period of time than she had expected, Nanu’s body began to heat up as an itch she knew was impossible to scratch spread through her body.

In total, it took Vahn nearly two hours before his senses suddenly split again and he slowly began to synchronize with his other half. He had submerged his intent into to strange area where his soul always resided and, very carefully, guided it to separate into two parts while ensuring that Eva’s memory fragment was safely kept within his ‘primary’ soul. Then, using the formation he had set up previously, Vahn transferred the fragmented soul into his secondary body. Once this process had been completed, Vahn was aware of viewing his inner soul from two different perspectives. The moment this awareness hit him, Vahn noticed that the fragmented soul actually began to produce nine additional lengths of [Enkidu] that began to coil around within his soul, much like the phenomenon occurring in his ‘primary’ body. This was a blessing he hadn’t expected so Vahn simultaneously smiled with both of his bodies before slowly rising to his feet and lifting himself from the table at the same time.

Turning to himself with two different perspectives, Vahn felt a little disoriented but was able to resist the dizzying feeling when his [Will of the Emperor] activated to support him. As the cooling sensation spread through his minds, Vahn found it was much easier to bear the strange sensory splitting so he smiled to himself and said, “This will take a lot of practice…” Because of his lack of control, both of his bodies had spoken at the same time before laughing together. All the while this was happening, Nanu just continued breathing with labored and hot breaths while rubbing her thighs together. Mumbling in a voice they could both hear, Nanu panted, “Two Masters…haa…haa”

Because of the difficulty orienting themselves, Vahns had been unaware of what Nanu had been doing while they were conducting the procedure. Now, seeing the state she was in, they felt their brains begin to buzz because Nanu was leaning forward with a heated expression on her face with her hands pulling tightly at the fabric of her fire-resistant trousers. They could smell a pungent aroma in the air that was a mixture of sweat, pheromones, and ‘more’. Raising their hands, Vahns said in their best calming voice, “Calm down, Nanu…” Hearing this, Nanu snapped back to awareness and opened her eyes wide when she realized what was happening. However, because her Masters were both still naked, Nanu’s increased awareness coincided with the ‘collapse’ of her defenses. The moment she tried to rise to her feet, she felt a sinking feeling as a wave passed through her body, causing her to fall forward. At the same time, two sets of hands grabbed onto her body and, unable to fight against the rush of blood to her head, Nanu’s mind faded into darkness. The last image she had seen, almost as if it had burned itself into her irises, was the image of two naked Master’s showing concern towards her…

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