Chapter 753: Debut

After all of the discussions had come to an end, Vahn made another exception and allowed Larfal to stay in the Guest Residence for the next few days. He had decided to stick around until the Grand Opening of the School and would be attending the Monster Feria. As for his entourage, Vahn met with some of the few key individuals that would be under the protection of the Alliance, chiefly three young High Elven children, the eldest only twelve years old. In total, the carriages had brought thirteen children along with four adults that would be acting as their guardians until they were capable of taking care of themselves.

Vahn helped them get situated within the Elven community that had previously been established and, for the first time, Riveria had accompanied him to make an appearance, bringing along the young Masonia as well. The reaction of the community was a little beyond his expectations, as they practically looked towards him and Riveria as if they were gods, but it was also a blessing. Since Larfal had picked guardians that would raise the children without bias, they were readily accepted by the community, to the point where the eldest among them had been allowed a spot on their small community council.

Though he got his fair share of reverential looks, Riveria and Masonia were the focus of most people, as her fame had been the main reason many of them came to the City in the first place. Seeing her carrying around what they believed to be the heir of the Elven Kingdom, things became festive very quickly and it had taken a fair bit of effort just to extricate themselves from the celebrations. Still, it was worth the trouble as, throughout the entire event, Riveria had a vibrant and gratified smile on her face. She even let some of the elderly Elven women hold Masonia, though not without standing ‘very’ close to them in the process. Even Vahn had been in a hyper-aware state and, though it wasn’t likely to happen, Masonia even had an [Effigy of the Hero] attached to the same string as his pendant.

Fortunately, though they would never avoid taking such precautions, they were ultimately unnecessary as, without exception, everyone in the Elven community adored Masonia. It wasn’t just them either as, on the days leading up to the Monster Feria, Larfal was always lingering around the Manor and trying to spend time with his daughter and grandson. Since he wasn’t allowed into the Manor, unless Vahn was accompanying him, this meant the once proud King of the Elves had to wait outside the door during the early morning before being escorted into the central area. He spent a fair amount of time in Terra’s Garden, with the latter having donned her clothing, just sitting and talking with his daughter and doting over his grandson.

The first time Larfal had seen Terra, he had been completely gobsmacked and, even though he was a King, it had taken all of his willpower just to avoid bowing in her presence. Terra kept it hidden most of the time, but her unrestrained aura could even bring Khaos and Fafnir to a complete silence. From the perspective of a High Elf, however, they were simultaneously suppressed and awed. Her aura was like that of a Sacred Tree given form which, as could be expected, meant he had an equally drastic reaction after meeting Lefiya.

Learning that she was a ‘Daughter of Wishe’ who, after having her blood purified, had become a Spirit, Larfal felt like he was meeting one of the first generations of Elven Royalty. The High Elves, having descended from Spirits, had a great deal of respect for their Ancestors. Lefiya, now having become the same type of existence they revered in the past, was practically a goddess to not only Larfal, but all of the Elves that had seen her. Though her aura wasn’t nearly as impressive as Terra’s, just the recognition of her existence itself had completely awed them.

Lefiya had never been one enjoy attention, unless it was from ‘certain’ individuals, so she had started avoiding them very quickly. Vahn laughed when he had to hear her complain about how the Elves had all been treating her like she was some deity to be worshipped. Since that ‘deity’ happened to be sitting on his lap at the time, pouting with rounded cheeks, Vahn had been unable to hold himself back. As a result, he ended up getting ‘beaten up’ by the bashful little fairy spirit, which eventually ended up triggering her affectionate side soon after, though he wasn’t quite sure how…

In this way, the days leading up to the Monster Feria passed rather quickly and, though it had felt like half a month from the perspective of most the Manor’s residents, the morning of the Monster Feria came. Vahn needed to be present for the opening ceremony and, as he would also be viewing the event from the area that had previously been reserved for gods, it wouldn’t do to be late. As for why he had been made the exception, it was hard to argue against having him there when more than half the gods in attendance were his supporters, Ganesha himself included…

This event would also be important for another reason, as it would also be the platform by which the Vanir are introduced to the general public. Of course, they weren’t going to be touted and displayed like exhibits, they were just going to be observing the Monster Feria from the viewing platform. The rest would be left for the crowd and other gods to speculate over as, now that Freya was no longer a ‘concern’, the existence of the Vanir wasn’t as important to protect as before. Though the details of what they were, and their capabilities, would remain a closely guarded secret, their existence itself would become public.

Though this might draw attention to them in the future, the final day of the Monster Feria would be with his open challenge to the public. His personal display, after the girls put on performances of their own, would deter the majority of people. A lot of goddesses would probably become a bit more proactive in the future, but that wouldn’t get them far. Other than a few ‘select’ goddesses, Vahn wasn’t going to be making anymore Vanir with goddesses just because they wanted them. As for the gods that would eye the Vanir with hostility, or other intentions, this was a chance to identify and mark them to be dealt with at a later date.

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The Alliance was already the most influential organization within the City and, as it didn’t vie for power against the Guild, both organizations had become stronger for it. Lil Geirr had not only been a foothold for the Alliance, but the Guild had actually opened a branch on the 39th Floor and, in the future, planned to make another branch on the 50th. Since one of the main goals of the Alliance coincided with the intentions of the Guild, it was a good opportunity for them to benefit as well. This was also a play to prevent power from completely falling out of their hands and, even though they hadn’t allied with the Alliance, it made clear they weren’t against the latter’s rise to power.

Revealing the Vanir was just one of the final nails in the coffin of the ‘old’ ways, as their existence alone had fundamentally changed the flow of fate in the world. Even if he never left to go to another record, they would have been the key to allowing the world to grow beyond its current Soul Tier limitation. Now, they had become the key to securing power for the Alliance as gods and goddesses from all over the world would turn their focus on his adorable daughters. When they see how fast they grow, how capable they become, and how powerful their pseudo-divinities are, it would have been impossible to stay hidden anyways.

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By the time this Monster Feria came to an end, which is also when they would be announcing the growth of the girls publically, the entire world wouldn’t be able to ignore the existence of the Alliance, and the Hestia Familia at its core. A Familia that had a single Level 6 could already become a powerhouse but, within the Hearth Manor alone, there was a Level 7, five Level 6s, and six Level 5’s. Even their weakest members who, publically, were only aged 11-13, were already at Level 3. When this became public knowledge, the stir it would cause would be monumental, especially when the girls were almost all Level 5, or higher, by the next Monster Feria in six months.

To put it into perspective, even a massive Familia like the Ares Familia, having more than 100,000 members, only had a few dozen people at Level 3. They didn’t even have a single publically known Level 4 and the bulk of their army was only Levels 1-2. Regardless of how many people they had, a single Level 5 would be able to decimate an entire battalion of normal troops. A Level 6 might even be able to route an entire regiment on their own. This meant that, with the power consolidated in the Hearth Manor alone, they would be able to completely wipe out the Ares Familia’s forces in direct combat, ignoring the existence of anomalies like Vahn and Terra.

In the near future, there simply wouldn’t be any force in the world capable of contending against them, at least on the surface. Since he had seen existences like Jeanne and Siegfried, Vahn assumed that there were other powers at play that tried to manipulate things behind the scenes. However, it didn’t seem like they would do something like fighting within the City and, if it came down to an actual confrontation, Vahn was confident Terra could protect everyone. As for himself, he would charge directly into the enemies’ midst and wipe them out, no matter how much pain and suffering he had to experience in doing so…

After everyone gathered together in the front of the Manor, including Larfal and his escorts, Vahn raised his hand to quiet the group. Though he knew it was going to be a big strain on his power, Vahn smiled and said, “Okay, let’s go~!” Picking up Ina and Erika into his arms, Vahn began floating into the sky and, along with him, so did all 24 other people. It felt like he was being weighed down by a massive anchor, but Vahn carried everyone through the sky at a leisurely pace, drawing hundreds of exclamations from the pedestrians below. As for Larfal, and his entourage, they were somewhat pale as they looked down at the ground below.

Vahn wanted to laugh and explain to them that, even if they fell, there wouldn’t be any danger. However, seeing two High Elves, and a group of Elven Royal Guard, turn pale from freight brought a small smile to his lips. He realized that it wasn’t just female Elves he seemed to enjoy teasing…

Though he went much slower than normal, the flight had only taken twenty minutes before Vahn set down inside the Coliseum. He landed on the VIP viewing platform, where Larfal and most of the girls would be seated when they weren’t participating in their own events. Then, now carrying Ina and Vana, Vahn accompanied Hephaestus, Hestia, Anubis, and Loki to the gods’ viewing platform. Erika was being pulled along by Loki after having refused to be carried in public by her Mother, much to the ‘indignation’ of the usually proud and unrestrained goddess.

It didn’t take long to reach the gods’ viewing platform, as the VIP area was connected to it through a single curved corridor. At the end of the corridor, there were two massive doors and, standing at each side, there were two girls Vahn had immediately recognized. Since his hands were full, Vahn just smiled and said, “Rufina, Shakti, it’s good to see the two of you again so soon…” Rufina snorted in response before saying, “Are those two brats yours…?”

Hearing this, Vahn furrowed his brows slightly and said, “These three beautiful young ladies are indeed my daughters. Ina, Vana, Erika, say hello to ‘aunty’ Rufina…” Though Ina and Erika didn’t play along, Vana immediately raised her hand and greeted, “Good morning, Aunty Rufina~!” in a vibrant voice. Rufina tilted a few degrees, almost like she was going to fall over before blushing slightly as she shouted, “Hey! Don’t call me aunty, you brat! I’m not related to your Dad at all…!” To this, Vahn answered before anyone else could respond, “Mmm, that isn’t exactly true, Rufina. Even if we’re not related by blood, you’re still like a sister that I have to protect. Until we find your real family, you can consider mine a temporary replacement…”

Before Rufina was able to respond, Vahn shifted his weight and hefted Vana towards her, saying, “Vana, why don’t you get to know Aunty Rufina a bit. Look, she even has similar hair to your own and is also suuuuuuuuper good at taming animals and monsters.” When she heard this, the previously hesitant Vana immediately ‘latched’ onto Rufina, asking, “Is that really true!? Can you really tame monsters!? Can you teach me!?” Rufina, who had been struggling to keep up with everyone, suddenly found a little girl tossed into her arms and, unable to process the sudden developments, said, “Ah…I…sure…?”

Nodding his head, Vahn then ‘surprised’ Rufina and Shakti by having his Avatar separate from his main body. Smiling with both of his faces, Vahn said, “Here, I’ll come with the two of you. Let’s go check out the monster holding area until the Monster Feria is ready to start.” Then, with his other body, Vahn turned to Hephaestus to make sure she was okay with it before they all passed by the stunned Rufina and Shakti, entering the viewing platform where Ganesha was bending over the balcony and shouting at the people organizing things below…

When the massive doors closed shut on their own, Shakti, who had missed her chance to return a greeting earlier, turned to Vahn and asked, “What…?” Vahn just laughed, waggling his finger as he said, “Sorry, it’s a super big secret, isn’t that right, Vana~?” Never one to miss out on the fun, Vana began giggling in her ‘shishishishi’ manner with her hand covering her mouth. Rufina, still holding Vana, muttered, “What the fu-” before swallowing her word when Vahn’s aura converged on her. With a serious tone, Vahn said, “Be mindful, Rufina…there are children present…”

Rufina swallowed hard and whispered a sheepish, “S-sorry…” in an uncharacteristically quiet manner. At the same time, Vahn felt his mind dull slightly since Rufina’s Affection had jumped from 88 to 93 in an instant. Doing his best not to mind it, he turned to Shakti and said, “I’ll go with Rufina and Vana to play for a short while. Don’t worry, I’ll also be helping provide security for any of the gods that are in attendance, so you shouldn’t need many people stationed here. I can detect everything that is happening within a distance of more than 700m, so I’ll let you know if I see anything suspicious.

Shakti just nodded her head, more than a little confused by the situation but trusting that Vahn’s words were the truth. Seeing him split into two was more surprising than hearing that he could sense everything around him, even though she didn’t know why. Thus, unable to refute his words, Shakti just watched as Vahn urged Rufina along, forcing her to carry Vana as the father-daughter duo teased the generally anti-social redhead incessantly. Still, Rufina didn’t seem to mind it that much and even Shakti couldn’t help but mutter to herself, “I wonder if it would be like that if I had a family of my own…”

As if in response to her words, the doors suddenly slammed open as Ganesha popped out and said, “My loyal Shakti, my instincts have told me that you have found yo-” Unable to contain her surprise, Shakti had struck forward and buried her fist into Ganesha’s masked face, sending the god flying through the sky until Vahn blinked up and caught him out of the air. Seeming to have taken no damage, Ganesha gave a ‘manly’ smile and put his thumb up, saying, “Nice catch!” in a serious voice. For a few seconds after that, there was silence within the Coliseum, persisting until Ganesha began laughing boisterously…

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