Chapter 786: Godspeed

Unsurprisingly, without a great deal of assistance, Risna was unable to see the end of her own story through to fruition. Though things started off smoothly, she quickly ended up at a disadvantage as a result of the fatigue she had been feeling since before they even started. Vahn could help replenish her stamina, and help to calm her mind, but there wasn’t much he could about the diminished mental and spiritual energy within her body. He allowed her to push herself a bit but, by the end of things, Vahn was just holding the rather petite Half-Elf in his arms as her sweat covered body slowly calmed down, long having passed into unconsciousness after a little under an hour…

His other self was having a significantly different experience, however, as he was able to experience the full extent of what Mikoto considered her ‘duty’. Though she had required him to lead into things, Mikoto quickly put herself into a service mentality and had been focused more on his own pleasure than her own. Vahn managed to reverse the situation partway through, but it was still a very refreshing experience having a very different kind of battle with Mikoto. The more he had tried to pleasure her body, the greater her own attempts to service him. By the end of things, Vahn found it rather difficult to believe it was her first time and, if not for the fact that she was Level 6 and had bled a great deal, Vahn didn’t think she would have been able to go to such great lengths, lasing nearly five hours before she eventually begged for a reprieve…

As a result of his earlier decision, Vahn had found himself in two different rooms, snuggled up with two uniquely adorable girls. Risna, having long fell asleep in his embrace, had a youthful vibrancy and, even though she had her quirks, this actually made her more appealing. As for Mikoto, her demure behavior during the times they were generally together, combined with her serious nature, created a bit of a gap between how she normally behaved, and how she behaved in bed. Though he enjoyed the excitement of spending time with the more experimental and outgoing girls, Vahn had always been rather fond of those who had a ‘service’ mentality in the bedroom.

After this encounter, Mikoto now fell into that category alongside Anubis, Eina, Lunoire, Emiru, and Maemi. As for the other categories, there were the girls who were very open and eager about their emotions, such as Ais, Tiona, Tione, Lili, Haruhime, Chloe, Arnya, Milan, Tsubaki, Hephaestus, Hestia, and Aki. These girls were also the most open to experimental play, generally involving other women within their comfort groups. As for the final two categories, there were the ‘competent’ women and those that liked to ‘receive’ more than take proactive action in the bedroom. Loki, Terra, Freya, Syr, Eirene, Demeter, and, surprisingly, Lefiya fell into the former category. As for the latter, which Vahn had a soft spot for, they were the girls like Riveria, Ryuu, Preasia, Naaza, and, now, Risna…

Thinking of all the girls he was involved with, Vahn couldn’t help but produce a slightly wry smile, even though there was also a great deal of love contained within his gaze. He genuinely cared about all of them, to the point that he would be heartbroken if their paths one day diverged. To prevent that from happening, Vahn tried his best to keep them happy and was infinitely grateful for the efforts they themselves put into their sisterhood. The fact that everyone supported each other, even to the point that they considered ‘roping’ in other girls, was something that Vahn would never quite be able to wrap his head around. Even so, he was extremely grateful for this fact and, if possible, intended to make them even happier in the future…

Lost in his own thoughts, Vahn hadn’t gone to sleep throughout the time that Risna and Mikoto were resting. He wasn’t too surprised by the fact that Mikoto, even though she had lasted much longer, ended up waking before the rather lazy Half-Elf, the latter having terrible sleeping habits from the start.

When she awoke, Mikoto could feel a powerful warmth beneath her that made the cool air within the orb feel somewhat chilly and unpleasant. Generally, she would never mind such things but, as a result of being within the first zone of pressure, it made the warmth coming from the person she was laying against even more attractive. Opening her eyes, Mikoto entered a momentary daze, still struggling to believe that she had finally been able to dedicate herself to the man she had long-since recognized as her Lord, Master, and Lover…

With that thought crossing her mind, Mikoto released a rare giggle, causing Vahn’s brows to rise slightly as he pulled her closer toward his face and asked, “How curious…I wonder, will you tell me what you find so amusing, Mikoto~?” While speaking, Vahn allowed his left hand to follow the curve of Mikoto’s body but, somewhat against his expectations, she lightly slapped away his hand and said, “Sorry…I need to mentally prepare myself before we do something like that again…even though my body feels like it’s recovered, I’m afraid my mind may break if we have sex too often…”

Recalling this, Mikoto regretted even trying to contend against Vahn in an area where he had every advantage, something she had known about beforehand. Still, her pride and desire to dedicate herself to him had caused her to see the limits of her self-exerted hubris. In the end, her only salvation had been the fact that Vahn showed mercy on her after she begged for leniency. Had this not been the case, Mikoto felt like her dedication to her sword, and everything she believed in, might have been shattered by the almost ‘too capable’ boy holding her…

Vahn gave a casual smile in response to Mikoto, bringing his nose to where it touched against her’s as he said, “Don’t worry, Mikoto…I just wanted to cuddle with you for a little while…” While speaking, Vahn brought his hand to the small of Mikoto’s back without going any further, even though she had a pert little rump that he had grown rather fond of a few hours ago. It wasn’t big, but it was immaculately round and had a pleasant firmness that seemed to attract his hands like a powerful magnet.

Mikoto gave a small sigh but, instead of rebuffing him any further, just rested her head against his chest and allowed her mind to wander for a little while. In truth, it was very pleasant to simply stay like this and, even if they were to lay in bed for hours, Mikoto didn’t think she would mind too much. This, however, was one of the reasons she forced herself to mind it as it seemed counter to how she had lived her life up until this moment. The interest she had towards training, at least for the time being, had almost completely waned and, unless Vahn finally released her on his own, Mikoto wasn’t quite sure she would be able to pull herself away from him…

Fortunately, though it was rather embarrassing for the ‘proud’ swordswoman, Mikoto’s stomach began to rumble after around twenty minutes of silence. As a result, the rather warm and intimate atmosphere was instantly shattered, causing Vahn to release an amused laugh while Mikoto’s face turned tomato red…

After getting dressed, even though it was just Mikoto putting on a loose kimono over her naked figure, the two ate a hearty together, Vahn teasing the taciturn young woman by offering her bits and pieces of food with his chopsticks. The fact that she ultimately gave in and ate everything offered to her, even though she was clearly embarrassed, made Vahn feel like moments like this could become addictive. Now that they had consummated their relationship, moments like this would be more prevalent in the future and Vahn was looking forward to seeing how Mikoto would change over time, even if it was subtle.

Towards the end of the meal, Mikoko wanted to take advantage of the momentary lull, asking, “After this, what did you intend to do, Vahn? If you’re not busy, I would like to have a spar against you…” Though she knew it wouldn’t be the case, Mikoto felt like she needed to vent out some of the more difficult to process emotions she was feeling by picking up her sword. In fact, during breakfast, she continued to look towards where it was resting, something Vahn had noticed throughout the meal.

With a curt nod, though his smile didn’t fade away, Vahn said, “Sure. After we’re done, I’ll have you join me in the bath and then brush your hair afterward…okay?” Looking at Mikoto, Vahn’s smile widened marginally because her silky black hair, which was usually fixed up in a ponytail at the side of her head, was currently loosely hanging around her shoulders. There were a few tangles here and there and, after they finished sparring, Vahn knew it would probably be significantly worse. He suspected that, if she had seen her own appearance, which was currently wearing nothing but a loose kimono over her naked body, Mikoto would be significantly less concerned about training right now…

A few minutes later, after Mikoto prepared her equipment, the two made their way into the third pressure zone, the place many of the girls used to temper themselves during training. Though she would only be able to stay inside for around an hour before having to leave, that one hour of training could be worth several in the lower pressured regions. As for Vahn, his body had ‘adapted’ to the resistive forces of the compressed space, enabling him to move freely without any major restrictions. Since his body had always had an affinity with Space Elemental Laws, his presence within the pressure zones helped to increase his comprehension, even if it didn’t do much for his actual training.

Mikoto checked herself over, making sure she had her [Effigy of the Hero] safely tucked away, before assuming a squat stance with her legs spread out slightly and her hand resting lightly against the hilt of her katana. Vahn also assumed a stance of his own, wielding a slightly larger katana than Mikoto’s that had a muted grey handle. Though there was no way he could directly contend against her mastery in the [Flying Heavenly Sword] techniques, at least during live combat, Vahn still had a few advantages of his own to even the odds.

Instead of allowing his aura to spread out for 741m, Vahn condensed it down to twenty, making the space around him even denser. Like this, even if Mikoto used her ‘godly’ speed, she would actually crash against the ‘barrier’ he had created and make openings that were easy to exploit. Her only means around this would be to enter within the 20m radius before she began her attack, though she would still have to overcome the resistive forces acting upon her body.

As this wasn’t her first time seeing Vahn use this technique, as he often used it against the faster girls, Mikoto remained absolutely calm. From the moment she assumed her stance, it was as though her mind completely blanked and, other than this one moment, where she and her sword had become one, nothing else existed in the entire world. In truth, had Vahn not used his domain to make her movements more difficult, almost every strike Mikoto performed would have ended the fight in an instant. Though she was only Level 6, her techniques allowed her to fight people much stronger than herself, with only a few ‘anomalies’ like Ais, Haruhime, and Tiona being a serious threat to her…

From Vahn’s perspective, it was like the world around him dimmed slightly and he hadn’t even been able to see Mikoto’s strike as a blade of formless energy contacted his barrier and ‘cut’ apart space itself. She wasn’t at the level of someone like Ottar, but Mikoto’s single-minded pursuit of mastery of the sword had turned her into a true monster. Around two years ago, within the orb, she had started to glean insight into Sword Laws themselves, now able to make her attacks able to strike targets from a distance of around 50m…

Though the attack moved faster than he could see, Vahn was able to react to it when it entered into his domain and was ‘slowed’ by the compressed spatial energy. He used [Shundo] to close the distance between them in an instant, causing his domain to ‘slam’ into Mikoto but ultimately having no effect on her. Vahn could see the muscles in her body tense slightly, but her eyes remained clear and focused as her figure turned into a phantom image. At the same time, he had already moved to open up a distance between them, coming to a stop nearly 400m away from her. His left arm and leg, being infused with the Sword Laws from Mikoto’s strikes, were unable to hold their form until he allowed them to fall freely before reattaching them.

Mikoto was perfectly capable of giving chase, as she had also made great strides in techniques like [Shundo], but she chose to stay in her draw stance as she observed Vahn with the intensity of a hawk. From his perspective, he could actually see Mikoto’s own ‘domain’, even though it was just something that had come about as a result of his perception, not something that actually existed. All around her body, there was a small ‘bubble’ that extended out to a distance of 50m, the maximum attack range of her current Sword Laws. The moment he entered inside of that space, he would have to deal with Mikoto’s nigh instantaneous attacks…

Knowing this, Vahn just smiled lightly and assumed a draw stance of his own, this time triggering Mikoto to move toward him in an instant. Unfortunately, his mastery of [Shundo] was much higher than her’s so, every time Mikoto moved forward, Vahn would keep the distance between them as they skirted around the periphery of the orb. For the first time, Mikoto’s expression changed, becoming slightly hardened and more fierce as she forwent using her [Shundo] and instead moved forward with raw speed, temporarily even exceeding her own ‘instant movement’ technique. Even without skills like [Shundo], the core principle of the [Flying Heavenly Sword] technique relied on having speed that greatly exceeded the limits of the human body, to the point where the user could even move faster than the ‘perception’ of their opponents.

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The only thing Vahn saw was where Mikoto had ‘started’ her movement and she was already on the edge of his domain with a brilliant flash of light emerging from her katana. Though he couldn’t see the strikes, Vahn felt nine ‘lines’ of energy pass through his body in an instant, temporarily disrupting his own energy flow and allowing Mikoto to enter into his domain, moving swiftly at a low angle as she drew a vibrant crescent that seemed determined to split the heavens and earth. Unfortunately, the moment she entered his domain, the world around Vahn had dulled to the point that it was almost monochromatic in color…

Ever since the first incident where he almost injured Anubis with [Enkidu], Vahn had noticed he had the ability to ‘see’ things that were much faster than he should be able to react to. He also had a lot of experience using the [Hearts Desire]s, observing as time slowed and stagnated to the point that he could spend ‘hours’ within the girls’ inner heart without a single second passing in reality. This phenomenon had always resulted in a ‘dimming’ of the world around him and, understanding this was his own perception of time being altered, Vahn had been trying hard to master using it to his advantage. The final straw had been when Terra assisted him in assuming a [Magia Erebea] form that used Time Elemental energy itself as a catalyst. Though he still had a long way to go until he reached mastery, there were already a few ways Vahn could use this strange phenomenon to great effect…

Though Mikoto should have almost been frozen in time, Vahn could still see that she was moving in slow motion, with her blade not only seeming to cut through space, but time itself. If not for his increased perception, he probably wouldn’t even be able to react to the attack without having a much greater proficiency with the sword. Still, he ‘could’ react and, sidestepping the lethal crescent, Vahn was already drawing his own sword, using one of the principle technique of the [Flying Heavenly Sword Scroll], Battojutsu. He noticed that Mikoto’s eyes actually followed his movement, but there was nothing she could do to make her body move to avoid the sword that had already come to rest on her neck, with only a single microsecond passing. (A/N: Microsecond = 0.000001s. To put it in perspective, it only takes a single Millisecond .001s for neurons in the brain to send information.)

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Suddenly, it was like a bubble had burst and color had been restored to the world as both Vahn and Mikoto began breathing heavily. That one instant had pushed both of them beyond their limits and, even though he had the regenerative effects of [Magia Erebea], Vahn could feel the strain on his muscles and mind for a few seconds after the movement. As for Mikoto, she plopped to the ground and allowed the beads of sweat to fall from her forehead as she said, “One day…suuhaaa…I will surpass that instant…suuhaaa…” To this, Vahn just nodded his head and pulled a barrel-like tub out of his inventory, filling it with hot water as he said, “I have absolute confidence you will be able to do that, Mikoto. You’re already one of the most skilled swordswomen in the world and, if anyone claimed to be above you, I would be highly skeptical of their claim…”

Mikoto was never the type to mind such things, but she still appreciated Vahn’s compliment, a small smile spreading across her face. She knew that her skills had already reached a point beyond what she had even been capable of comprehending in the past. If not for Vahn, she could have spent decades trying to master the sword, something she had completely dedicated herself to, and never even scratch the surface of the skills she currently possessed. Now, like most of the girls around Vahn, Mikoto genuinely believed that there was no such thing as limits, each seeing the others break through their own preconceived limits on a daily basis…

After the bath was ready, Vahn picked up Mikoto’s body, noticing that some of her muscles had actually torn from the excessive strain. He helped liberate her of her clothes, enjoying the light blush on her face before submerging both of their bodies into the hot water. Then, just as he had this morning, Vahn simply focused on enjoying the moment, hugging Mikoto’s body from behind as he helped to repair the damage she had suffered from her inhuman movements. All the while, Mikoto stayed relatively docile and just allowed it to happen, the same small smile she had graced the world with earlier never leaving her face…

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