Chapter 774: Bestowment

After leaving Vana to her training, as she had wanted to immediately jump into things, Vahn knew it would be prudent to give the other Vanir their own artifacts. At the very least, he needed to assign them their [Heroic Tale]s so he could see if their Innates were simply sealed away. Though he had a few inhibitions, especially concerning the artifacts of Erika and Lenneth, it was still an ability the girls would have to master at some point. As long as they were properly supervised, there shouldn’t be any great dangers, at least to themselves. Innates could ignore the Laws of the record at times so, even a relatively low rank Innate could still be used to seriously injure, or even kill, the unsuspecting.

Since they were almost always in the same places, Vahn decided to start with Erika and Ina, choosing the latter since it was around the time for lunch and Ina might be ignoring the needs of her body again. She had a habit of foregoing everything, including food, drink, sleep, and even bathing when she got deep into her work. If he didn’t come to get her, the only two people that could break Ina away from her work were Hephaestus and Tsubaki, as she would often want to ask for their opinion on things.

As expected, Vahn found Ina hard at work on a new prototype, this time a pair of greaves that extended all the way to the knee. Her current goal was to make a full-body suit of armor that could allow people to fight on par with a Level 3, even without having a Falna of their own. If worn by someone stronger, it would also amplify their base capabilities further and, after a few iterations and reworks, it would undoubtedly be a terrifyingly useful suit of armor. Vahn was curious to see how far she would be able to develop it in the future and, after seeing what she had already accomplished, he was more than a little interested in helping her develop a suit for himself…

Ina looked slightly younger than Vana, appearing to be around 11-12 years old with a petite, yet strong build. Since she was always working hard in her workshop, Ina had a very healthy figure and visible muscles, even if she still looked very delicate at a glance. Though not nearly as much as her sister, she was also maturing properly and currently stood at 149cm tall. Currently, she was wearing some fire resistant coveralls with the top half tied around her waist. Vahn couldn’t help but put on a wry smile since she was only wearing a black sports bra to protect her dignity while hammering away at a metal ingot.

Since Ina was almost always looking slightly into the future while doing her work, she had detected his arrival almost immediately but didn’t stop hammering away just yet. Vahn, understanding that she wanted to wrap up her current task, just walked over and observed her workmanship. She wasn’t quite at the level of Nanu, but Vahn guessed she probably had a B-Rank [Blacksmith] Development Ability. She was currently forging a piece of the unique Damascus Steel that he had purchased for her through the system. The level of difficulty was between that of Magisteel and Mithril and Ina was able to preserve around 85-90% of the base material when refining it into an ingot.

After finishing up her task, Ina released a sigh of relief and set the ingot into an oil-based quenching solution before removing her goggles and smiling radiantly as she said, “Papa, welcome home.” Though she was more than a little dirty, Ina jumped forward and tightly hugged him while Vahn held her in his arms, feet dangling off the ground. Ina had always been his ‘Little Princess’ and, though she spent a lot of time in her workshop, they had always been very close. As a result, their hug had lasted nearly three minutes before Vahn set her down on the ground and ruffled her pale-blond hair, currently tied up in a rather sloppy ponytail.

While fixing her clothes, Ina kept a smile on her face and asked, “Did you come to my workshop for something, Papa?” Then, without waiting for an answer, Ina turned to look at the clock and saw it was around lunchtime. Her smile grew larger and she followed up by asking, “Will you eat lunch here today~?” Vahn, nodding his head, smiled as he said, “Yes, but there are also a few things I wanted to talk to you about. After seeing Vana’s progress, I’ve come to understand a few things and decided to give all of you the artifacts you had been born with. There is also a book, called a [Heroic Tale], which will allow you to view your Status Board, even without obtaining a Falna.”

Ina’s pale blue eyes began to glimmer in expectation because she knew her own artifact was supposed to be a hammer. She had previously thought it wouldn’t be given to her until she was five years old so, hearing that her Papa was going to give it to her today, it almost felt like her birthday all over again. With a vibrant smile, Ina practically skipped over and tightly hugged her Papa again, happily laughing while he patted her head and loosely hugged her in return.

After using his cleaning magic to help remove the grime and sweat from Ina’s body, the two sat down on the nearby sofa. Vahn set out some food for them to eat before pulling out the [Heroic Tale] and [Soul Hammer], passing over the pale blue book first while explaining, “This is the [Heroic Tale]. It will bind with you and enable you to keep track of your Status from now onwards. If you work hard, and acquire some achievements, it will actually give you rewards that can range from anything, be it items, materials, skills, and abilities.”

Hearing her Papa’s explanation, Ina was very excited and could hardly wait to find out exactly what her Status was. However, her main focus was on the small hammer in his opposite hand, looking rather plain and nondescript but feeling as though it was ‘calling’ out to her. Even so, she still accepted the book first, correctly assuming her Papa wanted to test something since he always had the same look on his face when he was interested in verifying his conjecture. Ina assumed he wanted to see what her Status was before giving her the hammer, likely to determine if it had any effect on her Parameters and abilities…

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[[Status]]

Name: Ina Mason

Title: Little Princess [Improves mental focus and enhances positive emotions.]

Race: Vanir

Age: C2, P12, M20

Level: 1

POW: D530

END: S911

DEX: SS1003

AGI: E401

MAG: B816

SOUL: 3 [Lord Soul]

Divinity: Blacksmithing[pseudo:31%], Crafting[pseudo:37%], Creation[pseudo:8%]

Skills: [Mind of the Maker:Innate:E], [Soul Hammer:Innate(sealed)]

Magic: [Origin Trace:Innate:I]

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Development Abilities: [Eight Circles of Divination:Innate:C], [Blacksmith:B], [Craftsman:C]

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Seeing Ina’s Status, Vahn gave a small nod and handed over the [Soul Hammer], which Ina practically ‘snatched’ out of his hands. He was able to confirm that her fourth Innate did indeed activate the moment she absorbed the hammer into her body, proving his speculation was accurate. This gave him every reason to give the other Vanir their own artifacts, as it would be infinitely more beneficial for them to nourish their artifacts as early as possible. Since both Vana’s and Ina’s had started out at Rank I, the lowest possible rank, Vahn knew he had made a mistake. However, when he thought about Vana playing with fire that might even be able to melt Adamantine with ease, he didn’t regret his choice.

Ina felt very comfortable after absorbing her hammer but managed to keep her bearings as she turned her attention back to the book. She was pleased to see how high her Parameters were but, seeing the three different values for age, she couldn’t help but ask, “Papa, these values, how do mine compare to Vana…?” Momentarily confused, Vahn blinked a few times before looking at what Ina was pointing at. A small smile spread across his face as he answered, “Your chronological age is the same, but your physical age is a little lower than your big sister’s…as for your mental age, it looks like you win out by a fair amount. You have to remember, though, that you have spent a lot more time studying and working than Vana has…don’t tease her, okay…?”

Hearing this, Ina just giggled playfully before scootching over and sitting in his lap, leaning against her Papa’s chest as she said, “Don’t worry, Papa, I know Vana is a kind and innocent girl…I’m actually envious that she is able to befriend animals so easily. Still, thank you for giving me this book and my new hammer…” Turning her head, Ina kissed her Papa’s cheek and then gave him another hug while nuzzling against his chest with a contented expression on her face. After that, the two ate lunch together, talking about the potential of her unique skills and the projects that she had been working on.

Afterward, Ina practiced using her [Soul Hammer] a bit and was beyond jubilant when she learned how useful it was. It could take on any shape or form she could imagine, even changing its weight to suit her purpose. Now, instead of having to use a variety of different tools, she could use her [Soul Hammer] to supplement them all. It was almost more accurate to call it a [Universal Tool], as it could even turn into a pair of pliers, but Vahn kept that comment to himself and just watched his daughter happily play with her new artifact…

Since Ina wanted to get back to her work, the two shared another long hug before Vahn finally left her workshop and went to track down Erika. She was almost always within the Library or spending time in the first-floor main study, where people congregated, or the dining room, another place where you could generally find someone to converse with. This time, Vahn found Erika’s presence within the Library, alongside another presence that he was very familiar with, Loki. He walked into the Library, surprising the mother-daughter pair who had been playing another one of the games Vahn’s had purchased through the shop, Shogi.

Loki’s eyes parted slightly and she began to snicker before saying, “Don’t interrupt us just yet, Vahn. We’re close to finishing up this match…kukukuku…” Erika’s eyes were also slightly parted but she still managed to squint, somehow, before moving her Gold General to take her Mother’s rook. As for Vahn, he just sat down to watch the game, which was already in its final stages, trying to discern who would win. At the same time, feeling strangely introspective today, Vahn observed Erika and noticed that she had changed even more than her two ‘elder’ siblings. She was a lot like her mother, for better or worse, but had a gentler appearance and a larger volume of hair. Though it still made a unique star-shaped pattern with her ponytail, Erika now had fringe bangs that framed her face and almost always wore a pair of glasses that gave her a more mature appearance.

After a few minutes had passed, Loki ended up biting the nail of her thumb before raising both her hands and saying, “Aiyaaa, you don’t know how to hold back, do ya~? You’re going to break your poor mother’s heart being so vicious, Erika~.” In response to this, Erika just smiled slightly before turning to her Papa and asking, “Papa, is there something you needed me for, or did you just want to spend time together? If you have time, I’d like to play Chess, Go, or Shogi with you…” While speaking, Erika’s green eyes glimmered through her partly open eyelids and it was easy to discern a competitive light glowing within. Thus far, her Papa’s win:loss ratio was heavily in favor of his victory and, through Hel or high water, Erika was determined to close the gap…

Vahn chuckled lightly before gently ruffling Erika’s hair and explained the same things he had already discussed with Vana and Ina previously. Loki and Erika listened patiently until he had finished his explanation, causing them both to release simultaneous sighs. Vahn already knew what they wanted to say so he rubbed the back of his head and said, “Sorry, I should have put more consideration into it before now…however, I don’t regret it. The artifacts of you, Vana, and Lenneth aren’t exactly the type of things young children should be playing with…even if you are very intelligent.”

Loki nodded her head in response to this, especially when she considered the detrimental effects her daughter’s artifact might have had if she was allowed to use it. Erika also understood this and, thinking about her past self, couldn’t help but feel as though her Papa’s ‘mistake’ had actually been beneficial. After all, being able to ‘know’ the thoughts of another person was a very dangerous ability, especially under certain conditions. Still, just imagining what she could do with it, in conjunction with her Doppelganger, had stirred up Erika’s curiosity. Thus, when she had been handed a nondescript white mask, which had vanished with a flash of light, and a green book, Erika had accepted them both without hesitation.

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[[Status]]

Name: Erika Mason

Title: Prodigy [Increases Experience gained when performing any action.]

Race: Vanir

Age: C2, P15, M70

Level: 2

POW: G207

END: F315

DEX: D523

AGI: G230

MAG: B799

SOUL: 3 [Lord Soul]

Divinity: Knowledge[pseudo:41%], Wisdom[pseudo:33%], Chaos[pseudo:10%]

Skills: [Palace of Wisdom:Innate:D], [Amorphous Guise:Innate:I],

Magic: [Curse of Entropy:Innate:I], [Sagitta Magicka:C], [Evocatio:D], [Deflexio:C], [Cantus Bellax:F]

Development Abilities: [Solomon’s Heir:Innate:(sealed)], [Mage:C], [Spirit Healing:C]

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Seeing Erika’s Status, especially her mental age and her Magic Parameter, Vahn was more than a little surprised. He knew she had been treating her magical studies very seriously, but the fact that she had enough proficiency in four magic spells, enough that they appeared within her Status Board, really made her ‘Prodigy’ title make sense. Though he felt like Vana would still win in a fight between the two, this was only because Erika wasn’t really a combatant and was more of a Scholar than anything else. She would likely become a highly proficient Mage in the future but, just as it was within Eva’s world, Erika would need ‘Knights’ to protect her. Fortunately, with Doppel on her side, Erika already had an ally with an almost unbreakable defense, even if she was a little weak currently.

Erika had a small smile on her face as she read her own Status but, seeing the words listed within her Divinity category, she couldn’t help but frown slightly. She had actually thought her Divinity would have been more closely related to her Mother’s, to the point it had bothered her a great deal in the past. Now, seeing that she didn’t have a Divinity related to Trickery, Erika wasn’t exactly sure how she should feel right now. Ultimately, she settled on just being content with the new knowledge she had obtained, understanding it would be very useful for her future development.

Loki was having very similar thoughts to her daughter but, remembering the wishes she held for her daughter during her pregnancy, it made sense that their Divinity wouldn’t actually be the same. In fact, this revelation made Loki realize that Vahn’s speculation was more accurate than they had initially thought. Previously, she believed the Divinities obtained by the Vanir would still be strongly associated with the parents. Now, however, Loki believed it might actually be possible to give them completely different Divinities just by ‘wanting’ them to possess certain qualities…this line of thinking actually made her want another child just to test her theory…

Noticing the change in Loki’s aura, Vahn raised his brows slightly and looked towards the smiling goddess, now gaining a slightly predatory look through her veiled eyes. Fortunately, she returned to normal before Erika had noticed anything strange and the three of them began to talk about what kind of methods Erika might be able to use to increase her proficiency in her new abilities. Though he couldn’t really explain to them exactly what Soul Tier was at the moment, the fact that it was mentioned in the book allowed Vahn to share some ‘speculation’ on the matter.

Loki and Erika quickly built upon his reasoning and had started to structure a working theory that would allow all of the girls to make greater progress in their Innates in the future. It helped that the book actually called them Innates, as it would make it easier to classify such abilities in the future. Now, by identifying the Vanir’s Soul parameter, Vahn ‘speculated’ that mastering their Innates would allow the girls to strengthen their soul and, by increasing their proficiency with their Divinities, it would be possible for them to ascend to godhood in the future.

Presently, the [Heroic Tale] only listed their Divinities as ‘pseudo’ but, once they reached 100% proficiency, Vahn was certain they would evolve into full-blown Divinities. As for the strength of those Divinities, he suspected it would also be viewable through the [Heroic Tale], something that made Loki’s eyes burn with intrigue. After all, there were no known ways to increase the strength of one’s Divinity so, if the Vanir were truly able to accomplish such a feat, it meant they could potentially grow ‘beyond’ existing gods…

For the better part of the afternoon, Vahn discussed theories with Loki and Erika, continuing until Hestia had come to retrieve them for dinner. They used the meal as an opportunity to disclose the matter and discuss it with everyone else present while Vahn went through the process of helping Lenneth, Aisha, and Autumn bind with their [Heroic Tale]s and artifacts. He had each of the girls, especially Lenneth, to promise never to use them without supervision and to always let someone know if there were any problems. Each of them, though they only had appearances ranging between 1-3 years old, were all very intelligent young girls and readily agreed to be responsible with their artifacts. As a result, the dinner became rather lively while everyone passed around the girls’ [Heroic Tales] and discussed what each of the Innates might do. While this was going on, Vahn was sitting with Lenneth and Aisha in his lap while Autumn sat in her mother’s and happily ate a small pile of mashed potatoes with a wooden spoon…

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[[Status]]

Name: Lenneth Mason

Title: Papa’s Girl [Makes it easier to gain attention and enhances positive emotions]

Race: Vanir

Age: C6M, P3, M6

Level: 1

POW: I28

END: I40

DEX: I59

AGI: I31

MAG: H141

SOUL: 3 [Lord Soul]

Divinity: War[pseudo:27%], Beauty[pseudo:38%], Magic[pseudo:3%]

Skills: [Sword of Divine Judgment:Innate:I]

Magic: [Nibelung Valesti:Innate:(sealed)], [Magic God’s Domain:Innate:(sealed)]

Development Abilities: [Goddess of War:Innate:I] [Sword of Divine Judgment]

Rank: Unique

Use: A sword that can be nourished within the soul of the user, allowing it to become increasingly more powerful with the passage of time. Allows the user to form an ethereal blade that can completely ignore the defense of their target, disturbing the flow of energy within the body and exorcizing their spirit.

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[[Status]]

Name: Aisha Mason

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Title: Hope [Allows the wielder to increase their rapport with other people easily]

Race: Vanir

Age: C5M, P19M, M4

Level: 1

POW: I11

END: H101

DEX: I13

AGI: I08

MAG: I41

SOUL: 3 [Lord Soul]

Divinity: Peace[pseudo:52%], People[pseudo:25%], Order[pseudo:4%]

Skills: [Jurist Scale:Innate:I]

Magic: [Palace of Peace:Innate:(sealed)]

Development Abilities: [Saint’s Sacred Aura:Innate:(sealed)], [Peerless General:Innate:I] [Jurist Scale]

Rank: Unique

Use: A scale that can be nourished within the soul of the user, allowing it to become increasingly more powerful with the passage of time. Enables the user to discern the truth by binding a target under a temporary vow, emulating the Laws of the World. Those under the effect of this Scale would have their vitality and internal energy reduced until the effect is negated.

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[[Status]]

Name: Autumn Mason

Title: Good Listener [Causes people to confide in you more easily]

Race: Vanir

Age: C3M, P14M, M6

Level: 1

POW: I04

END: I22

DEX: I05

AGI: I11

MAG: I25

SOUL: 3 [Lord Soul]

Divinity: Agriculture[pseudo:33%], Fertility[pseudo:27%], Earth[pseud:4%]

Skills: [Sacred Land:Innate:(sealed)]

Magic: [Harvest Goddess’ Blessing:Innate:H], [Heart of the Earth:Innate:I]

Development Abilities: [Elderwillow’s Will:Innate:(sealed)] [Heart of the Earth]

Rank: Unique

Use: A heart-shaped seed that can be nourished within the soul of the user, allowing it to become increasingly more powerful with the passage of time. Enables the user to ‘plant’ the seed, allowing for a large increase in the amount of natural energy gathered into the target. This seed is not limited to being planted within the ground and can also affect people, animals, plants, and other organisms.

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