Chapter 827: Questions

After leaving Alexa with the three girls outside, Vahn made his way into the room to meet the man that had made his way to the very top of Vahn’s ‘list’. Even if he had just targetted Rufina, Vahn wouldn’t have been able to forgive the assailant, especially after so many people died. However, the fact that Alexa had also fallen into the scope of his plot had caused the ‘calm’ ocean within Vahn’s body to begin boiling. His expression showed little emotion but there was a fierce light glowing within his pupils that even gods would shy away from…

Upon seeing a middle-aged man with white hair, forced to kneel on the ground with his joints bound by Chloe’s shadow, Vahn took a deep breath through his nose and asked, “Who are you…?” His rationale told him that this man was another victim, just like Rufina, but Ryuu completely dashed this thought from his mind when she said in an icy tone, “Olivas Act, a former member of the Rudra Familia, one of the core Familia of the organization Evilus…he was supposed to have died nearly six years ago…” Being the person that ‘wiped out’ the Rudra Familia, Ryuu was very knowledgeable of all members, including those that had fled her net back when she purged them from Daedelus Street…

Olivas raised his head, showing a tired and crazed expression with his animalistic green eyes, similar to Rufina’s from the past. After Vahn had turned her into a ‘normal’ human, Rufina’s eyes had changed back into rounded pupils, a far cry from the snake-like eyes possessed by the cruel looking man kneeling before him. With Ryuu’s words, however, Vahn was actually grateful that Olivas wasn’t a ‘true’ victim and likely even followed Enyo of his own free will. This made what he intended to do weigh far less heavily on his mind as, without restraining himself much, Vahn punched Olivas in his smug face, nearly forcing him to swallow the gag in his mouth.

Chloe had already released her shadow restraints as Vahn lifted Olivas by his neck and slammed him into the reinforced wall of the room, cracking it in the process as the barrier protecting it shattered. At the same time, Vahn jammed his index and middle finger into Olivas diaphragm, chanting, “Spirits of Lightning, bring the retribution of Heaven upon my enemies~!” This was an unnamed spell that Vahn had created on the spot, sending millions of volts of electricity through Olivas’ body, with a relatively low current. This caused the chaotic energy inside of his body to writhe about, trying to escape from his pores as the man seized and twitched about like a rat struck by lightning.

By the time Vahn had ‘purged’ all the malevolent energy within Olivas’ body, the man’s eyes had boiled over and melted while a large amount of steam emanated from his charred body. Vahn kept the smell from reaching the rest of the room by isolating it with his domain while communicating to the girls that they should leave if they didn’t wish to see what was going to happen. Chloe and Arnya had already snatched up Shizune and Tina, removing them from the room, but everyone else stayed behind as a show of support. They knew Vahn wasn’t ‘normally’ a cruel person and this was simply the result of Olivas’ evil acts coming to a head…it was retribution.

Though his body was horribly mangled, Olivas still managed a smile as broken words tried to escape his lips, muttering, “You…will never…win…you…will all…die…! Go ahead…kill me…hahaha…hahahaha!” Vahn’s response was to let Olivas drop to the ground, not worried that the man would try to attack since most of his nerves had been fried. Without any energy in his body, he was weaker than a normal Level 1 civilian, even if he wasn’t severely injured. The only thing even keeping him alive right now was Vahn’s understanding of Olivas’ body and the resilience of a Creature…

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Since Olivas had information that he needed, Vahn set up incense and manipulated the air currents to consolidate the potent aroma around Olivas’ body. At the same time, even though he harbored no intention to alleviate the man’s suffering, Vahn reached out his hand and placed it on Olivas’ head. He began to lightly stroke, sending waves of petting energy directly into Olivas’ mind as he tried to struggle and resist. Unfortunately for the sadistic and cruel man, there was nothing that could have possibly prepared him for the existence of ‘petting energy’, which could even tame gods, much less a Creature-Human hybrid…

After a few minutes, Olivas had become stock still, a confused and complacent expression on his face as Vahn asked, “What is your name…?” There was a slight delay but Olivas eventually said, “Olivas Act…” in a dull and lazy tone of voice. Vahn gave a small nod out of habit before asking, “Who sent you here…? What is your purpose…?” Though he already knew the partial answer to these questions, Vahn needed to ‘verify’ his assumptions. Fortunately, there were no real surprises as Olivas muttered, “I was sent by my goddess, Enyo-sama…my task was to remove the cancer on the 39th Floor…recover the apostate, Revis…and capture one of the companions of Vahn Mason…”

This was the first ‘official’ reveal of Enyo’s name, turning this war into one where they now had an ‘official’ target, not just a name to go by. Vahn felt like the pieces were coming together and, very soon, he swore to make Enyo pay for the things she had done. Even if it was the compulsion of her Divinity, there were some things that simply couldn’t be allowed to continue. Still, there were more things he wanted to know so he asked, “Where is Enyo…? What is her plan…? How many of you are there…?”

Olivas’ body began to twitch slightly but Vahn sent another wave of energy through his mind before inserting a threat of Source Energy to create a protective membrane around the core in his chest. There were fluctuations present that caught Vahn’s attention, almost like a signal was being sent to the core, likely as a means to force Olivas to silence. Though the ‘signal’ had already been sent, Vahn could stabilize the core for a short while, allowing Olivas to answer, “My goddess waits upon her altar…awaiting the day when she can return the world back to its true state…she will bring divine judgment upon those fools that have made this world their playground…”

Vahn squinted his eyes when he heard this, uncertain if Olivas was talking about gods or mortals, as she shouldn’t have even been able to come to this world before the ‘bridge’ was created. This meant that her target shouldn’t be the gods themselves, but the people that already resided in this world before her descent. Even that was something Vahn had many questions about, however, as Enyo was a goddess that none of the gods in the Alliance knew of. Though Vahn had found several records that should have connected Enyo to the gods of the northern pantheon, it was almost like her existence had been ‘erased’ from the minds of everyone…after all, gods that had lived for hundreds of millions of years would know every other god, especially those that descended to the mortal world…

After another long pause, Olivas continued, answering Vahn’s other questions, “We are limitless…a legion that will wash over the world and return it back to its primal state…you fools have no idea what kind of monsters have been sleeping beneath your feet…!” Though he was still in a sedated state, Olivas managed to crack a crazed smile, an eerie laugh escaping his throat before he practically shouted, “You don’t even know the enemies in your midst…! Hahahahahahahaha~!”

Suddenly, Olivas’ hollowed eyes glowed like flaming embers as his skin began to crack and fracture, wispy flames emerging from within. Vahn’s brows furrowed and he fully converged his domain, keeping the energy within Olivas’ body at bay as he asked, “What Floor is Enyo on!? Who are the ones supporting your goddess!? Tell me there names…!” Instead of Olivas answering, his head twisted nearly 180 degrees in an instant, strange eyes peering up at Vahn’s face as a very different voice escaped through his lips, “Vahn Mason…so this is what you look like…ufufufu~.”

The core inside of Olivas’ chest began to radiate with a powerful energy that crashed against the source energy membrane and caused what appeared to be a divine power to shroud his body. Even so, Vahn continued to repress this energy with his own domain, causing the person controlling Olivas to laugh in a deranged manner before ‘she’ shouted, “Ah, you’re so perfect…! I can’t wait to make you mine~! Come to me, Vahn Mason, I’m waiting for you on the 60th Floor! Ahahahahaha~!” As ‘she’ spoke, the person who Vahn suspected to be Enyo extended Olivas’ hand towards Ais and said, “My darling Aria…you should come along as well…I can’t wait to meet you both~.”

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Though she said this, a black blade appeared out of Olivas’ palm and tried to shoot forward but Vahn had already pinned it to the ground, crushing Olivas’ arm in the process. This caused the ghostly green eyes to turn back to him, a smile spreading further across the possessed Olivas’ face before the core in his chest shattered completely. Moments later, his body turned into yellow, black, and purple dust before the divine energy dissipated into nothingness. The only remnants showing that Olivas had ever existed was a tribal outfit that was comprised of the hides and bones of monsters…

For several seconds, Vahn processed what had just happened before turning his attention back to Ais, seeing the conflict and confusion on her face as she said, “I thought Enyo had something to do with my mother…why does she think I’m her…?” To this, nobody had an answer but it didn’t stop Vahn from walking over and giving Ais a warm hug as he said, “We will find the answers together…” He was very annoyed that his ‘interrogation’ had only created more questions, providing no real answers, even though Olivas should have been in a very receptive and mentally lax state. Vahn had seriously underestimated the man’s madness and hadn’t expected Enyo to have a remote means of controlling people…

At the very least, Vahn was able to learn that the strange yellow monster cores were directly related to Enyo and seemed to be a forced evolution using her own Divinity as a source. Since Enyo should just be a goddess with a Divinity related to War, Vahn knew there was something very wrong with the current situation. Just the fact that most of the mutated monsters were plant-based showed that there was more to things than meets the eye, especially with Olivas mentioning ‘enemies in their midst’. Though it wasn’t surprising to know that Enyo’s forces had infiltrated part of the Alliance, Vahn felt like Olivas was implying that there was an enemy much closer to him than he realized.

Given how ‘mad’ Olivas seemed, Vahn assumed the man was just trying to sow doubt within the minds of those that were present, especially since he hadn’t answered any of the questions asked of him in a direct manner. Vahn knew it was impossible for Enyo’s forces to truly be ‘infinite’ and, even though he had asked about Enyo’s location, Olivas had managed to keep it secret, merely describing the location without giving any actual details. It seemed that, even though he was in a mental state where he shouldn’t have been able to lie, Olivas’ ‘beliefs’ had caused him to protect the important information about his goddess and their purpose…

Shaking his head to clear stray thoughts, Vahn gave Ais one more strong hug before releasing her body so he could address the others. Even so, he stayed at her side and held hands with the slightly shaken girl as he said, “The only information we should consider is that Enyo may be located on the 60th Floor. Everything else should be treated as information that was meant to deceive and sow doubt within the minds of everyone present. Unfortunately for them, our unity is not something that can be shaken by such devious methods…hmph…!” Enyo had no way of knowing that the girls had already spent years with each other, with some of their relationships lasting well over a decade. If she thinks such insignificant revelations would have any meaningful effect, she was as crazy as Olivas seemed to be…

Ais squeezed Vahn’s hand when she heard this, a small smile spreading across her face as the light that had started to fade from her eyes now doubled in intensity. She had even prepared herself for the fact that her mother may have been ‘consumed’ by the Dungeon, one of the nightmarish rumors that were often spread amongst female Adventurers, so this revelation was far less difficult to deal with. Unless Enyo was just trying to deceive her, it meant that her mother may not be associated with the Dungeon and could even still be alive somewhere. She was determined to seek out the truth with Vahn, defeat the One-Eyed Black Dragon’s avatar, and one day conquer the entire Dungeon if it was necessary. After that, she would have a happy family with the boy she loved, irrespective of what had happened in the past that was no longer within her control…

Vahn was surprised by the fact that Ais’ (Love) had jumped up several thousand points in an instant but his expression remained calm as each of the girls also made their resolutions known. Tiona and Tione showed direct support for Ais, being the two that had known her the longest, while Ryuu swore that she was root out all of Enyo’s forces, especially since she seemed to have an association with Evilus. Arnya and Chloe supported Ryuu’s conviction and promised to help her seek justice for all the innocents who had died as a result of Enyo’s, and Evilus’ schemes. This left Mikoto standing somewhat awkwardly at the side and, perhaps embarrassed to see how fired up everyone else was getting, she also ‘pledged’ her blade to the elimination of Enyo’s forces and the remnant of Evilus…

Following the first round of everyone bolstering each others motivation, showing the exact unity that made them strong, the girls waiting in the hall were brought into the strange atmosphere as Lefiya, Lili, Maemi, and Emiru came in a few minutes later. Now, compared to how tense things had been before, the mood had become much more vibrant as everyone showed support for each other. Even Rufina and Shakti were included in the group’s unification speech, to the point that they had nearly been dragged into the ‘nightly activities’ by Haruhime and Tiona. Fortunately, Vahn had caught them in the act and managed to gently chide the two, having them watch over Alexa and Tina alongside Shakti and Rufina. Vahn did, however, promise to spend some time with all five girls later, just not while Alexa was present within the group…

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