Chapter 748: Transition

Blazing through a brilliantly lit sunless sky, four figures moved at velocities far exceeding the speed of sound while one, decidedly slower than the rest, held a large tulip-shaped staff in her hands. Raise it high into the sky, the young fairy holding the staff shouted in a high pitched voice, full of vitality and excitement, “Gather, 29 spirits of light! Magic Arrows, Series of 29 Light Arrows~!” The moment the chant finished, without forming a magic circle, a ring of 29 spheres of light began to slowly spin behind the lively young fairy before she pushed forward with her left hand, almost as if she were grabbing the void, and sent them forward with an even greater velocity than the four flying figures.

Being the closest ‘figure’, Vahn came to a stop in the air as seven of the bolts created a laser-like line directly towards him. With a smile on his face, Vahn began to use [Koku Shundo], creating footholds in the air as he made small movements within a 3m radius. Each of the beams of light passed through his body, almost like it were an illusion, before immediately careening towards the second target, Tiona. When she saw this, Tiona, wearing her magical girl outfit overlaying her [Pactio] raiment, shouted, “Ah! Vahn, that’s sneaky, ahahahahahahaha~!”

Obviously undeterred by the now fifteen bolts flying towards her, Tiona released a burst of loud laughter as she nimbly twisted her body in an athletic display, showcasing her incredible flexibility and spatial awareness by dodging ‘almost’ all of the attacks. One passed right by her face, causing the brown-skinned beauty to sweat a bit as the fringe bang framing the left side of her face was incinerated. Fortunately, as a quirk of her Regina Animalium, the strands started growing back at a visible rate while the rest of her hair transitioned to have a metallic sheen.

The next target, now facing twenty of the bolts, was Fenrir who, much like Tiona, simply dodged the magic arrows at a minimum distance. Unlike Tiona, however, Fenrir had easily evaded all of them, not even singing a single hair of her now sleek midnight blue fur. She was getting progressively closer to completing her humanoid transformation, now having ears around the size of a Cat Person and a small tail that jutted outwards slightly, curling upwards because of how short it was. As for the fur covering her paws, it was now thin and sleek whereas, the paws themselves, now formed into fully developed hands and feet. There were still adorable little paw pads on her fingers, palms, toes, and soles, but Vahn knew Fenrir was keeping them there intentionally.

Having been easily evaded by Fenrir, the last person to face the barrage was also the fastest, Ais. She had [Ariel] surrounding her body and both of her wings of light poking out of her lower back. When the twenty-nine arrows came towards her, instead of dodging, Ais’ eyes shone with a competitive glimmer as she brandished her sword. With a flurry of precise strikes, Ais cut apart each attack while flying backward, and dodging at the last moment. However, she didn’t make an effort to break free from the arrows’ homing effects and seemed determined to cut them all down.

Tiona, having come to his side, whistled in an impressed manner before saying, “Man, Ais is getting way too good at flying. I wish I had her control over wind…” Vahn released a light-hearted laugh, poking Tiona in her exposed side as he said, “And I’m certain she’d like to have your nearly indestructible body and ability to evolve…” Tiona, giggling from the unexpected poke, brought both of her hands up like she was going to attack him before an explosion resounded through the air.

Ais had managed to cut down twenty-three of the twenty-nine arrows but, as their speed was comparable to her own, one managed to slip through her attacks and impact the arm she used to hold [Gram]. Following the first impact, the remaining five arrows smashed into her body, causing a magical explosion that sent a ripple through space. However, as scary at the explosion had seemed, nobody present panicked and, as expected, Ais emerged almost completely unscathed moments later. Her [Aeriel] acted as both an offensive and defensive magic, imbuing her attacks with spiritual wind that could cut through almost anything, while simultaneously protecting her from harm.

Even so, the first hit had caused a burn on her arm so Vahn had immediately stepped over and began healing her while Ais hung her head slightly, pouting. When he was finished, Vahn brought both of his hands to Ais’ face, pressing his index fingers to the sides of her mouth and giving her an artificial smile. Though showing a guilty expression at first, it quickly faded away as Ais began to smile for real. Seeing this, Vahn nodded, patting her head while saying, “It’s better when you smile. Don’t be upset when you fail, Ais. It is failure that gives us a reason to move forward. Next time, even if you fail, fail better…”

An unconstrained laugh sounded out behind him, where Vahn had already noted Tiona had been. She clung to his body, hugging his neck from behind, asking, “What kind of advice is that, Vahn~? Fail better? Ahahahahaha~.” Vahn joined her in laughing before all three of them adopted somewhat serious expressions and began dodging again. Lefiya had started her next attack and, though she had a gentle smile on her face, there was a ‘scary’ aura radiating from her body. Tiona, seemingly unaware of this, continued to laugh as she dodged the numerous arrows targetting him, now consisting of 80% of the total.

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Free from his own arrows, Vahn vanished from the sky before appearing next to Lefiya, poking her in the cheek when she turned to face him. Vahn knew why she was upset as, after trying to sneakily convince Ais to spend the night with them, Tiona had managed to hear her since she had enhanced hearing at the time. After trying to join in on the fun, Lefiya, somewhat surprisingly, ended up lashing out at Tiona for butting in.

It wasn’t until Ais convinced her that it would be okay that Lefiya took a step back, though she still didn’t agree to have other people participate. As for the reason…it wasn’t that Lefiya actually minded Tiona and Tione coming along, but she had wanted to do something with Ais in front of Vahn. After the first time they all ‘played’ together, Lefiya knew it would be difficult to get away with what she had in mind so, for the time being, she was ‘very’ adamant about it just being the three of them.

This wasn’t the full reason why she was upset though, which was actually related to him, even though Lefiya seemed to shift the blame onto Tiona. The latter had come to him, asking if it would be okay if they all spent the night together and, not thinking there was anything wrong with it, Vahn had agreed. Now, Lefiya didn’t want to be the one person in the group to object and, though she had originally wanted it to just be the three of them, it had quickly turned into the ‘six’ of them. At the time Tiona had brought it up, he had been training with Lili and, never shying away from an opportunity to have some ‘fun’ with Vahn, she immediately volunteered her presence…

Lefiya, doing her best to ‘ignore’ the finger poking into her cheek, eventually gave up and released a small, pouty, sigh. At this moment, Vahn brought his finger from her cheek, lightly pinching her ear and making her startle, moving away from his hand as the two pointy protrusion began wagging up and down. With furrowed brows, it looked like Lefiya wanted to say something until Vahn beat her to the punch, saying, “Don’t worry so much, Lefiya…tomorrow, why don’t the three of us go on a day trip outside of the City? I know a nice and scenic spot next to a river where we can enjoy the sights and sounds of nature…” Though he explained it that way, Vahn winked at the end of his statement, sealing an unspoken promise.

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The pout on Lefiya’s face vanished in an instant, replaced by a crimson blush that seemed to have hit her a little too hard as the wings on her back spattered before furling back into her body. With spinning eyes, she fell from the sky while Vahn easily caught her in his embrace. Seeing that Lefiya was stuck in a happy delusion, Vahn just shook his head and smiled wryly when he saw that all twenty-nine arrows were chasing after a frantic Tiona. Ais and Fenrir were just standing in the air watching her be chased around, all while shouting, “Aaaaah, Lefiya, I’m soooooorrry~!”

After enjoying a…very difficult to describe night, Vahn was flying through the sky at a leisurely pace while Lefiya and Ais flanked his sides. It was very helpful that both girls were able to fly on their own, even if Lefiya’s speed was somewhat lackluster. She could actually run faster than she flew, though her agility in the air was very high since her flight pattern was omnidirectional. There wasn’t a big difference between her wanting to move up, down, forward, or backward, all while having an ‘absolute awareness’ of the space around her. Much like his own, Lefiya’s Innate, [Fairy Queen’s Domain], gave her a spherical bubble of fourteen meters around her body. Within this zone, Lefiya was instinctually aware of almost everything, especially the flow of mana.

At the same time, though it was hard to tell at times, Lefiya’s mentality had been subtly changed, now possessing a bit of pride that hadn’t been there previously. It could have just been a change brought about by the fact that she was now an adult, but she was very quick to take a stance on things now, instead of just getting caught up in the momentum of others. Also, as she had been somewhat quiet in the past, it was very easy to notice that she had become much more outspoken than before, oftentimes even guiding a conversation topic that she was interested in.

None of these changes had been that surprising to Vahn as, according to what Sis was able to explain, the vast majority of people would have an Innate that alters their state of mind once reaching Tier 3. This was to enable them to develop the mentality that would allow them to reach higher Tiers as, for the vast majority of people, it was ‘very’ difficult to even wrap their heads around concepts like Laws. Yes, they could understand the theory behind them, even exercise some minor control over ones they had an affinity with, but this wasn’t ‘true comprehension’. Once a person was able to fully understand a Law, which would be impossible under normal circumstances, they could even ‘break’ it.

One of the most extreme examples of this would be if someone had somehow achieved mastery over Space and Time Laws. For the former, they would theoretically be able to move at any point in space, as if there were no distance between the two points at all. Pushing that concept even further, they could even move ‘outside’ of space, entering into the true void where only pure, formless, energy existed. As for those with mastery over Time, they would be able to move forward, backward, sideways, or even ‘parallel’ through multiples axes of time. An absolute extreme would be, should they be able to control both Space and Time, they could even create an ‘entire universe’ within the true void…even though it would ‘technically’ be empty.

While he was thinking these thoughts, Vahn was also talking with Lefiya and Ais, primarily about the upcoming Monster Feria and anything that was troubling them in their magic studies. Lefiya, having always been prodigious at Magic, had been picking it up very quickly. Most of the other girls, however, had only been able to glean some insight into the techniques they liked. They were still several years of study from being able to pass muster as real Mages, though that time was being shortened greatly by the Sub-Space orb. After all, at this point, nearly two and a half years had passed for the girls that spent the most time in the orb.

Even though this was the case, as he had already anticipated, most of the girls hadn’t changed much, if at all. Ais was now chronologically older than she had been inside the orb, now more than seventeen years old, compared to her sixteen-year-old self from the manga. Still, as if she had almost been frozen in time, Ais’ appearance had barely changed from her fourteen-year-old self, at least proportionally. Her actual appearance had become inarguably more beautiful, possessing a vibrant youth that, because of her propensity to smile much more often, gave her the appearance of a doll whose maker had affixed a perpetual smile to her face.

Ais wasn’t the most extreme case, however, as even Shizune and Tina, who should be in their growth stages, hadn’t changed much at all, especially in the case of Shizune. Vahn had already started to search for methods to accelerate their physical growth, without harming their lifespans, as it would likely be necessary for Alexa as well. When she came out of the orb in the future, even though she would be over 100 years old, Alexa would have the appearance of a young girl around 9-10. Afraid of drawing a little too much attention, by having a Manor full of perpetually young girls, Vahn had hit the books hard, all while Fenrir taught the girls her unnamed transformation magic…

Seeing that they had nearly arrived, Vahn broke free from his wandering thoughts and gestured to a very discreet clearing that was opposite a rock formation located next to the river. It wasn’t that far away from where he had tried to ‘stop’ the flow of water, so Vahn had made a mental note to stop by the next time he got a chance. He also wanted to use this as an opportunity to see how much he had improved, if any, as his grudge against the river was still going strong. As for Ais and Lefiya, they hadn’t noticed the fiery light in Vahn’s eyes and just descended into the clearing before looking around with curious expressions. Vahn had landed in between them and, to ensure they would have adequate privacy, pulled an artifact that had been made by Terra in her large amount of free time.

It had the appearance of a small and very homely looking cottage, with two bedrooms, a chimney, and a fully stocked kitchen. However, anyone with a discerning eye, would notice this was no simple trinket and, as Vahn set it down on the ground, the complex magical war at its base began to fluctuate. Moments later, the cottage had grown to its actual size, having been made small by spatial magic that reduced the distances between the individual particulates of mana that made up an object. This was Terra’s greatest Masterpiece, thus far, and Vahn had been required to ‘heavily compensate’ her after requesting to use it for his rendezvous with Ais and Lefiya…

Remembering how ‘scary’ Terra could get, Vahn shook his head lightly to clear his thoughts before turning to the two stunned girls and asking, “Well, shall we take a look? All the furniture inside is completely brand new and, I can personally attest that the bed is very comfortable~.” Understanding the true meaning behind Vahn’s words, Ais and Lefiya both showed excitement on their beautiful faces, accepting his extends hands a little ‘too’ eagerly before the three of them headed inside to inspect their little home away from home…and its bedroom…maybe both of them…?

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