Chapter 730: Right

Seeing Siegfried fall from the sky, Vahn released a sigh of relief while slowly descending after him. In retrospect, Vahn realized that his attack was a little petty, as it hadn’t been necessary to separate Siegfried’s body into two halves. Yet, in much the same way as the Dragon Knight had done, Vahn felt he wouldn’t be killed by such a blow. Even now, Vahn could sense a powerful vitality coming from the man’s body and, though there was a fair amount of blood, it looked like the wound was trying to close up to preserve his life. After all, even on the low end, Siegfried must have had more than ten-thousand Endurance, with vitality and regeneration to match.

Because of their battle, there was now a sink-hole like pit where the forest used to exist and, as nobody had dealt with the fire just yet, the forest in a much larger area had started to burn with a fierce blaze. Vahn wanted to do something about it but, for the time being, he still needed to deal with Siegfried to avoid any future problems. The man seemed trustworthy and, as he had already given his word, Vahn didn’t want to breed any resentment amongst Siegfried’s comrades by taking his life.

Just after he landed, however, a rather diminutive figure appeared in front of him in an instant, giving Vahn the feeling as though she was immovable with her kite shield raised. In a firm tone, with a resolute expression on her face, Jeanne angled her sword against the top of her shield and said, “Forgive me, Vahn, but I cannot allow you to take his life. We may have wronged you, but Siegfried isn’t a bad person…please, stand down this time…you’ve already won.” At the same time that Jeanne was buying time, Hera had appeared at Siegfried’s side and pulled out an Elixir with a gold hue to it. She began to slowly pour it on his wound and, as if time itself had been reversed, Siegfried’s body began to regrow the missing half.

Seeing Hera ‘waste’ such a powerful potion, Vahn shook his head slightly and said, “You seem to have a powerful Alchemist and Artificer on your side…hmm.” Vahn was currently in his lightning armament form so, even though his actions were somewhat casual, Jeanne didn’t drop her guard for a moment. Then, staring straight into her pale blue eyes, Vahn said, “I didn’t see you step in when Siegfried had literally torn my body into more than a hundred fragments. Is this what you consider justice, Jeanne, bully people with power and, if they somehow manage to ‘survive’, you ask them to take the high road and forgive you…?”

Even without the ability to see aura’s, Vahn saw a deeply rooted regret within Jeanne’s apologetic eyes. The fact that her stance hadn’t waved in the slightest, however, told Vahn that she wasn’t the type that would let her uncertainty dictate her actions. He was, honestly, a little impressed with her strong sense of duty, even if the people she held loyalty towards seemed to be a group of bullies. In more than one way, she reminded him of Mikoto and, in even more ways, Riveria…her sense of duty seemed to dictate her actions and, even if her heart didn’t believe what she was doing to be correct, Jeanne still stood unwaveringly to block his path.

Still, though he was impressed, Vahn didn’t like the fact that she was trying to make it out that he was in the wrong, even if was because of her loyalty towards Hera. If he had truly wanted to kill Siegfried, he wouldn’t have aimed for the stomach and instead targeted the heart or head. There also wouldn’t have been any reason to slowly descend from the sky as, in his current form, Vahn could reach nearly 260,000km/h, on the low end. If he didn’t try to ‘aim’ himself, it was possible to reach 357,274km/h, though he would probably destroy his own body upon arrival at his location.

Shaking his head, Vahn looked into Jeanne’s eyes and said, “Using words to make someone else out to be in the wrong doesn’t mean it is the truth of the matter…haaaa-” After releasing a sigh, Vahn completely bypassed Jeanne’s position and stepped next to Hera and the still unconscious Siegfried. He noticed that in the split second he had passed by her, Jeanne’s sword had found its way into his thigh, cutting the tendon for a short moment before he regenerated once again.

Though awed by her sword skills, Vahn ignored that for the time being as his aura radiated out from his body as he addressed Hera, “Let this be a lesson to you, Hera…the next time you intend to have machinations towards me, or my family, be prepared for the consequences. If not for Siegfried’s character, I would have struck him down permanently…” Hera, already releasing her divine power to counteract the pressure squeezing on her body, gave a wry smile as she said, “It wa-” Before she could even complete the second word, Vahn had already turned his back and vanished from the surroundings, far outside her perception.

Jeanne came to Hera’s side in the next instance, holding up her shield in a defensive posture while observing the surroundings. Her ability informed her that Vahn was still nearby and, after seeing how easily he passed by her, Jeanne was certain he could exploit any gaps in her awareness. It seemed that, other than the terrifyingly powerful True Dragon guarding the Hearth Manor, Vahn was also in a league of his own. He was still young and inexperienced yet, as a result of his determination and seemingly endless unique abilities, Vahn had managed to defeat an enemy far stronger than himself. The truly horrific thing was that speed of his as, even Heroes who prided themselves on speed, likely wouldn’t be a match for Vahn…

At this point, Sigfried’s body had resumed its human appearance and, except for a pale complexion, he looked perfectly fine. The potion Hera had used sapped a bit of his vitality, shortening his lifespan, but Siegfried still had a few hundred years of life left in him. For now, he just lay on his back, completely naked, while Hera contemplated what to do about Vahn in the future. When her eyes turned back to Siegfried’s body, she frowned slightly seeing his naked figure. Earning a confused look from Jeanne, Hera snorted lightly before noticing her young protege’s gaze.

Regaining her seemingly kind and gentle disposition, Hera smiled to Jeanne and said, “I’m afraid I’ll have to entrust you with Siegfried’s current situation. Please, run along and purchase some clothes for him, Jeanne. It will make our return trip rather awkward otherwise…” Hearing this, Jeanne looked down at Siegfried’s body and, without a single change in her expression, nodded her head before asking, “Will you be safe here…?” Her duty this time around had been to protect Hera, thus, leaving her here in this massive pit, wasn’t exactly the best idea in her opinion. If Vahn had any second thought about the situation, it wasn’t impossible for him to come and claim the lives of both Hera and Siegfried while she was away…

Hera laughed in a light tone, calmly stating, “I’m sure you’ve noticed it as well, Jeanne, but that boy seems to look for reasons to spare people. He won’t come and pick off someone that can’t defend themselves and, though he is understandably upset with me, I trust that he won’t act on those impulses. After all, he even returned Siegfried’s weapon to him…not that I can say much about the condition it’s in…” As she was speaking, Hera inclined her head to the half melted sword that had been embedded into the ground when Vahn ‘blinked’ forward earlier.

He might not have been aware of it himself, but he had allowed the source-infused lightning to destroy the interior elements of the sword and cause it to break down while holding it previously. It was almost as if he had been ‘compelled’ to destroy the thing that had caused him so much pain and frustration, even though it hadn’t been his intention to do so at all. If not for the fact that one of the Heroes of Legend was a capable blacksmith, Siegfried would be without his treasured sword in the future. As it was something he had carried for nearly five hundred years, the loss of his sword would have been even more impactful than the loss of his lower body, at least to someone like Siegfried.

Without waiting around any longer, Jeanne gave a small nod, returning her kite shield to her back so that she would be able to fly. She hadn’t been blessed with the capability of flight herself so Jeanne, like many of the residents of the City of Heroes, needed to rely on her equipment in order to achieve the feat. Her’s was a functionality provided by the kite shield she carried with her and, as a quirk of its design, she needed to have it on her back in order to activate it. This was because the person who had designed it had a tendency to make equipment as ‘sets’, each piece serving a specific function. The downside was, many of these functions only worked under specific circumstances, often annoying the users of said items to no end…

After watching Jeanne’s departure, Hera didn’t even spare a second glance to Siegfried and instead looked towards the empty bottle in her hands. It wasn’t easy to produce such a high-quality Elixir, with both the ingredients and the production process both being very difficult. If not for Paracelsus’ unrivaled skills as an [Alchemist], in conjunction with his rare skills, they wouldn’t even be able to produce such a thing in the mortal world. Having wasted a precious Elixir on a task that shouldn’t have been this troublesome left a sour taste in Hera’s mouth. Then, seeing Siegfried’s naked body out of the corner of her eye, Hera’s expression turned into a grimace and she tossed the expensive glass container onto the ground and stormed off to sit in a place that didn’t ‘smell like burning’.

While Jeanne was off running her errand, and Hera was busy throwing a small hissy fit, Vahn was moving through the burning forest at a slow and steady pace. Instead of his lightning armament, Vahn had assumed a new [Magia Erebea], using a water-elemental [Sagitta Magicka] to fuel it. In order to make his work even easier, Vahn transformed into his Xuánwǔ form and was currently manipulating a dome of water nearly 100m in diameter as he ‘rolled’ it across the burning forest below. Moving such a mass of water took a fair amount of effort but, as long as he kept his focus, there wasn’t any real danger of his control slipping at present.

Only allowed on

It took a few hours, but Vahn managed to put out the fire, preventing even more devastation to the environment. He realized that his battles against powerful foes always left the surrounding area as a ‘victim’, something that made Vahn feel a little regretful since it was unfair to the animals residing within the forest to have their homes robbed from them. There were undoubtedly numerous deaths as well, which made Vahn feel solemn as he brought his hands together and prayed for their safe passage into the next life.

Though monsters didn’t possess a soul, as they were simply mana constructs, Vahn knew this wasn’t the case for normal animals. Even something as small as a termite had the most fragmentary semblance of a soul and, after several incarnations, it might even become a kind saint that brings salvation to a record. Vahn’s understanding of the soul itself was still very shallow, though it was still much greater than most people, so he couldn’t be sure how the mechanics behind reincarnation worked. The one thing he did know was that ignoring the loss of life that had been arbitrarily taken as a result of his fight…was simply heartless…

By the time he was finished, Hera, Jeanne, and Siegfried had long left the area, disappearing towards the west without making any attempt to initiate further conversation with him. Vahn had allowed them to go without pestering them, but not without giving himself some form of insurance. When he had struck the spot on Siegfried’s back the second time, Vahn had placed a ward inside of the Dragon Knight’s body. It was functionally harmless and, as a result of being comprised of a form of energy that Siegfried was fundamentally incapable of sensing, the ward had gone unnoticed.

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Vahn intended to use to track the location of their base in the future as, even without knowing the details, it was very obvious they were some kind of organization. Them knowing where he lived, without revealing their own location, was something Vahn couldn’t tolerate. In order to even the playing field, he wanted to know the location of their base of operations so, the next time they tried anything against him and his family, he would know exactly where to go to seek vengeance. He was tired of old organizations, groups, or individuals, who had been consolidating their power and doing whatever they wanted without regards for the consequences. If he needed to, Vahn would ‘become’ the consequence of their actions…something few people in this record were capable of bearing…

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