Chapter 783: Contrast

As the days counted down towards the expedition, which simultaneously felt like a long ways away, Vahn was within the Space-Time orb with a proud smile on his face as he watched the figure above fly around at high speeds. It continued to build up more speed and momentum as it zipped back and forward before, once again, ‘tearing’ through space and reappearing several kilometers away in an instant. The smile on Vahn’s face grew a bit larger when he saw this, rising to his feet and closing the distance to the figure after a few seamless uses of [Koku Shundo]. He came to a stop next to the figure, which had the form of a sleek black dragon with accents of jade green on its scales. It was around 8m long and had black wings that were nearly 12m across when fully extended.

Placing his palm against the neck of the Dragon, who was currently breathing heavily as it barely managed to keep itself within the air, Vahn began to channel a large volume of his own source into it’s body as he said, “You impress me more and more, every time I see you, Alexa…” After his words fell, Alexa quickly transformed back into her human form and flew into his embrace before allowing her body to go limp in his arms. Vahn’s natural smile transitioned into a wry one as he held up the body of his ‘eldest’ daughter, even though she only had the figure of a girl around ten years old.

Pulling out a mantle from his Inventory, Vahn draped it around Alexa’s body, gently reprimanding her by saying, “Alexa, I gave you clothes to wear when transitioning back from your Dragon form, please make sure you’re wearing them properly…” After he spoke, Alexa opened her wings slightly as a black tailcoat, adorned with tufts of white fur, and dark green skirt, overtop a pair of black hosiery that left her feet exposed, popped into existence. The tailcoat, if observed closely, was actually comprised of very small black scales that went all the way down the length of the coat, including its long sleeves. As for the white fur, it was comprised of thick downy fur that came from a type of wolf known as ‘Snowember Wolf King’. It had the property of providing good insulation in the cold, but also being very comfortable even when worn in hot environments.

Now that she was fully clothed, Alexa broke free from the telekinesis holding her up and fluttered forward back into his embrace as she said, “Sorry, I wasn’t thinking about using more of my mana since I was already exhausted…” Vahn gave a small nod of understanding, even though they both knew she wasn’t actually telling the truth. This hadn’t been the first time that she had done such a thing and, as Alexa was a very intelligent young girl, such mistakes would never repeat unless she was doing it intentionally. Still, as long as she didn’t try to push things too far, Vahn wasn’t going to be too harsh on this daughter of his, whom he had been watching grow up for more than a hundred years…

After helping Alexa replenish her energy reserves, which almost completely drained his own, Vahn gently pushed against her to break out of their long embrace. Alexa’s shoulders slumped a little but she quickly began using her own magic power to maintain her flight before smiling as she said, “I think I might even be able to break out of the orb on my own pretty soon. I just need to familiarize myself with my Dragonification a little better and then I’ll be ready to live in the real world with everyone else…” While she was speaking, Alexa had her hands behind her back and was leaning forward slightly as her tail gently snaked from side to side.

Vahn knew what she was going to say so he released a small sigh and said, “I don’t really need to rely on a mount anymore…but, I don’t mind flying around together on occasion…” Previously, after Alexa had managed to complete her first full transformation, she had started to pester him about becoming his mount back in the real world. Truthfully, he didn’t really need a mount at all anymore, as his own speed could easily exceed even Fafnir’s now. This was one of the reasons why Alexa had been trying to copy Khaos’ ability to shrink space and teleport at will. Since Alexa also had an affinity with Space and Time, she would undoubtedly be able to pull it off with a little more practice…

Alexa happily flitted her wings as a vibrant smile spread across her face, pleased with the response of her Papa, even though she knew he would eventually give in. She had talked to her mother about ways she could be close to her Papa without taking things ‘too far’, and this had been one of the solutions they had come up with. Since it was a matter of pride for True Dragons to serve as a mount to the person they recognized as their ‘King’, Alexa had wanted to contend against the others for the position. Though she knew her Papa didn’t really need the assistance of others to fly, it still made her happy knowing that he would ride on her back…it made her feel a little closer to him, even though it was hard to explain why.

After moving to a large clearing, which had a special wellspring that Alexa herself had constructed, Vahn sat on the hammock that had been woven out of fragrant and soft grass, known by the unique name [Blue Silver Grass]. Most of his time in the orb with Alexa was watching her demonstrate any new abilities she had developed before they eventually just spent the rest of the time relaxing. Since she spent nearly two months training non-stop in between the moments he would visit, Vahn never pushed her to continue training whenever he was around. Instead, he just pampered her a bit, as his departure would once again mean she was ‘alone’ for another two months…

It took a little while to get comfortable but, after Vahn finally reclined in the hammock, Alexa flicked her wings and came to hover above him before slowly lowering herself onto his abdomen and curling up her wings to get comfortable while hugging his body tightly at the same time. She was currently around 138cm tall but, now that his height was generally around 185cm, Alexa could still comfortably be cradled in his arms as they took a long nap, cuddling together all the while. Vahn knew it was things like this that probably made Alexa more attached to him but, considering he had ‘technically’ only been around for around 1/60th of her life, he felt like he needed to at least provide her some small comfort when he could…

Alexa was currently around 116 years old, meaning she would be around 120 years old by the time the expedition was scheduled to set out. Vahn had been seriously considering bringing her along with him, as she would need to familiarize herself with battle at some point just to ‘satisfy’ her natural urges. Unlike Terra, who was a bit of an exception, most True Dragons ‘needed’ to fight against other creatures. Failing to do so would cause their growth to be stunted and, if they continued to avoid fighting, their power would slowly begin to drain until they eventually died.

Vahn hoped that, by allowing her to fight until her heart’s content, Alexa would be able to manage any other urges she might have as her body continued to mature. He would have to avoid letting her watch him fight against any truly powerful enemies, but that wasn’t to difficult to arrange since she would listen to his order if he firmly relayed his intentions. Though there were certainly a few ‘inconveniences’ when dealing with the instincts of True Dragons, there were also a few benefits as well. Since Fafnir, Khaos, and Alexa all recognized him as the King of their tribe, they would listen to him if he gave them a serious order. It was almost impossible for them to refuse, even if he asked them to protect a certain area for all eternity or give up their lives for his benefit…not that he would ever do such a thing…

After his time in the orb had come to an end, Vahn awoke in the real world, body partly submerged in Terra’s wellspring while several beautiful and ethereal figures surrounded him. As they had been present before he entered the orb, Vahn wasn’t really that surprised. Still, he hadn’t seen them for more than four days and couldn’t help but admire the beauty of each girl in turn, allowing his eyes to wander across the figures of Terra, Riveria, Lefiya, and Ryuu. They were each wearing nothing but swimsuits, with the exception of the naked Terra, so Vahn’s eyes were able to enjoy a feast that most men would kill to glimpse, even for a moment.

Terra, being the first to notice his awakening, smiled in a playful manner as she intoned, “Ara~? It seems Master has returned to us…allow me to welcome you back~.” The wellspring was only about 40cm deep, but Terra still managed to tread through the energy-rich water with her spread wings barely touching the surface while her long and thick tail snaked through the water. Each step she took was sensual and inviting while the look in her eyes glimmered like those of a predator that had just found a delicious treat to partake of…

Before she was able to close the distance, Lefiya had already moved into the way, pressing her hands against Vahn’s chest as she looked back at Terra with a firm expression and said, “We already agreed to let Master relax, Terra…you know better than most that he is tired…!” Though her words were powerful, it didn’t help her case much that Lefiya’s hands were twitching slightly as her aura became progressively redder with the passage of time. Even though she couldn’t see such things, Terra knew that the little spirit before her was taking ‘advantages’ while putting on a pretense so she lightly chuckled and continued forward regardless.

Sensing the rising tensions between the two, Vahn produced a slightly wry smile and gently removed Lefiya’s hands off of his body as he rose to his feet, remarking, “Sorry, I got a little carried away seeing so many beautiful girls right after waking up. As for what you said, Lefiya, you don’t really have to worry about that. I just spend the better part of four days relaxing my body and mind, so I’m more than ready and willing to tend to my women.” Though he had removed her hands so that he could stand, Vahn wrapped his arm around Lefiya’s waist while he was speaking, causing her momentary melancholy to immediately vanish as her rate of breathing slightly increased.

Riveria and Ryuu, who had been sitting a short distance off to the side, watched the interaction between Vahn, Terra, and Lefiya with slightly amused smiles on their faces. Though neither girl were the type to appreciate public displays of affection, both Riveria and Ryuu had undergone great changes from interacting with Vahn for so long. There was also the fact that, within this small garden of Terra’s, especially within the wellspring, they always felt incredibly calm and comfortable. Though the powerful natural energy used to make their bodies get excited, they had now adapted to it and, unless Vahn ‘triggered’ them, they were able to stay calm even while fully submerged.

Sensing Riveria and Ryuu watching him, Vahn sent a smile towards the two girls, causing their own to bloom slightly. Riveria even inclined her head slightly and sent him a telepathic message encouraging him to spend time with Terra and Lefiya, though she would prefer if he went somewhere private first. Since it wasn’t a bad suggestion, Vahn intended to take it, but not before sending a message to both Riveria and Ryuu, promising to spend some time with both of them later. As he moved to a ‘private’ area within the forest, using Terra’s [Void Transferance], Vahn didn’t miss the fact that both Riveria’s and Ryuu’s aura had a few strands of red spread through them after hearing his message…

While Vahn was enjoying a lifestyle that would have earned him the envy and ire of almost every man within the City, there was one boy who was more focused on his own personal adventure than the matters of other people. Accompanying him, there was a smart looking girl who had a slightly exasperated expression on her face while a second, much smaller girl, stood at her side. This trio was Bell, Line, and the Pallum girl he had saved, a seventeen-year-old girl by the name of Plum Vino, named as such because of her purple hair and pale purple eyes. Ever since Bell had saved her, she had decided to follow him as a Supporter, becoming an official member of the Loki Familia after Line had forced them to return to the Twilight Manor for treatment.

Only allowed on Creativenovels.com
Dear Readers. Scrapers have recently been devasting our views. At this rate, the site (creativenovels .com) might...let's just hope it doesn't come to that. If you are reading on a scraper site. Please don't.

A few days had passed since then and, after several very long and serious lectures, Line ended up ‘giving up’ trying to educate Bell and simply did her best to keep him out of trouble. Fortunately, Plum herself was a smart girl who was quick on the uptake, so they were able to outnumber Bell whenever the latter would be about to do something foolish. This had brought the two closer together, much to the lamentation of Bell, often on the receiving end of their cooperative teasing. Fortunately, at least when he was in battle, things like that didn’t matter at all and, though his strength was still nothing special, he was improving at a rate that would have caused most aspiring Adventurers to vomit blood.

Though he hadn’t even been an Adventurer for a week, Bell was already on the eighth floor, fighting against a group of Killer Ants while Plum fired her crossbow at targets along the periphery. Line stood by with several small grey balls that would allow them to beat a quick retreat if they started to get overwhelmed. However, this preparation ended up being unnecessary since Bell was making short work over every Killer Ant in front of him, making her feel an incongruity in her heart since she wasn’t really confident of being able to do the same in his place. Since she was nearing Level 3, while Bell was just Level 1, Line felt like the boy she had been tasked to support was some kind of prodigy…

As a pair of razor-sharp mandibles made their way towards his calf, Bell skillfully moved his leg backward while allowing his body to tilt forward from the movement. He buried his dagger right next to where the magic core of the Killer Ant was located, not because he had ‘missed’, but because he intended to use his dagger as a pivot to vault over the unfortunate monster. Following through with this maneuver, Bell ended up flipping over the Killer Ant, but not before he twisted his dagger and fractured the magic core, causing the Killer Ant to disperse into purple dust before he inverted his dagger, twisting his body around to decapitate another.

In the same motion, Bell pulled out a thin white dagger that Line had given him for dealing with larger monsters. Wielding a dagger in each hand, Bell had a serious and determined expression on his face as he weaved between the monster’s attacks, piercing the cores of some, diverting the attacks of others. He didn’t know why, but moments like this made him feel more ‘alive’ than anything he had ever experienced in the past. At the same time, the words of his Grandpa and Vahn would often echo in his mind, making his desire to grow stronger even more powerful. He wanted to meet their expectations and the expectations of everyone who had placed their trust in him!

Having used her last bolt, Plum called out in a somewhat high pitched and cutesy voice, “Bell, fall back, we need to drop the aggro so we can loot the drop items~!” Hearing this, though he still wanted to fight even more, Bell returned a shout, “Okay! Line, cover me, please!” Stabbing both of his daggers into the closest Killer Ant, killing it in the process, Bell then jumped away and began to run at his fastest speed towards the two girls. Line, long prepared for this moment, tossed out two of the grey balls while Plum had already started making her way towards the nearby tunnel.

Upon contacting the ground, the balls exploded into a cloud of pungent smoke that would disorient most monsters, but also served as a means of blocking the pheromone signals of Killer Ants. This would buy them time to escape, wait for the monsters to thin out a bit, and then return to collect their Drop Items before they were absorbed by the Dungeon a few hours later. All the times they had used this strategy in the past, there had never been a single issue, even with Bell sometimes overextending a bit. This time, however, it didn’t seem like things would go as smoothly since Plum screamed the moment she entered the tunnel.

Hearing this, Bell shouted, “Plum!” while somehow increasing his running speed even more as he went in the direction of the scream. Line was a little startled but, having years of experience as a Supporter, threw out three more balls, one of which was black and more than three times the size of the others. The first two exploded in the same pungent smoke, but the third one bounced and rolled along the ground for a bit before exploding within the largest group of Killer Ants. Even so, Line didn’t stay to observe her handiwork and quickly followed after Bell to investigate what had happened to their party member…

After running a relatively short distance, Line nearly fell over when she saw that Bell was currently entangled with Plum, looking like a brute pushing down a young girl. She could see the twitching body of a Needle Rabbit off to the side, a small dagger buried in its neck. Since the dagger belonged to Plum, Line understood that she had probably just been spooked by the monster before managing to stab it. Bell, in his haste to come to her aid, had probably run into the tunnel and, seeing that there was no great cause for concern, must have tripped and fallen into her after the fact…

This wasn’t the first time Bell had a ‘happy accident’, so Line wasn’t even that surprised anymore, just profoundly exasperated. She had also been a victim of his miraculous falls, though never in the situation that Plum currently found herself in. Somehow, in a manner Line would never understand, Bell had managed to slip, pin down Plum, and then plant his lips against her’s in the same motion. Now, the two both had wide-eyed expressions but didn’t seem to understand they could simply separate. Line released a sigh after a few seconds had passed before picking up a rock and pelting Bell with a little more force than was necessary, shouting, “How long are you just going to keep kissing her!?”

Bell immediately pulled himself off of Plum, sliding across the ground with a spinning motion before he bowed low with his hands and head pressed to the Dungeon’s floor. He had never been taught what dogeza was, but even Takemikazuchi would have been impressed by Bell’s form if he had been present. At the same time, Bell stammered in a loud and overexcited voice, “P-P-Plum! I’m very sorry! Please forgive me! It wasn’t my intention to push you down; I was just…I…!” Contrary to his expectations, Plum didn’t lash out at him, instead muttering, “I don’t mind…” in a quiet voice while Line just released a heavy sigh.

Walking forward, Line grabbed the neck of Bell’s tunic and began dragging him forward, saying in an icy monotone, “We don’t have time to for this theatrical romantic comedy…there is a horde of Killer Ants in the next room. Unless the two of you want to become tragic lovers, we should probably move to a safer location…” Line’s words caused Plum to scamper about in a flustered manner as she recovered her dagger, looted the monster core, and then chased after the two of them. The entire time she was speaking, Line had continued to drag the ‘catatonic’ Bell, who had a red face as his brain processed the words that Plum had spoken previously…

You may also like: