Chapter 828: Rally

Following the attack on Lil Geirr, the momentum of the expedition to the 50th Floor had taken a serious hit. The visual impact of watching Vahn freeze over the entire floor, wiping out tens of thousands of monsters in an instant, was enough to give everyone that witnessed the feat a serious boost in morale. However, the subsequent collapse of the lighting crystals, the lack of which made the Floor now seem dark and dreary, the follow-up attack by the monstrous Juggernaut, and the surprise attack by Olivas Act, each of these events had been a significant blow to everyone’s spirits. Though this was offset by Vahn healing the survivors of the sneak attack, the loss of lives had weighed heavily on the forces who were set to proceed even further into the Dungeon…

To prevent things from breaking apart completely, Vahn had given a speech, addressing the entire encampment and making Enyo’s presence known. Though it could be considered fear-mongering, Vahn knew he had to get the people angry and impassioned if they were going to risk their lives for a cause greater than themselves. This incident actually ‘proved’ the need for the existence of Lil Geirr and, though it hadn’t been ‘named’ yet, Haven.

Without forces keeping the monsters within the Dungeon in check, they would continue to build up until they reached critical mass, overflowing to the surface. If that happened, it would be significantly more difficult to preserve the lives of the innocent and the damage to the City’s infrastructure would be monstrous. Since the ‘purpose’ behind the expedition was to prevent these types of attacks from impacting the lives of those without the means to protect themselves, Vahn tasked everyone present to remember the righteousness of their cause.

Though there were a number of people who didn’t outright agree with Vahn’s words, the strength he had displayed, the prowess of the girls, and the ‘inspiring aura’ resonating from Vahn had been enough to rile up the crowd. Once enough people began cheering and showing their support, it began to spread like an infection that eventually caused the entire group of nearly five-thousand people to cry out in unison, calling for the blood of those that would seek to destroy what their ancestors had endeavored over the last thousand years to build.

Even if it wasn’t the parents of those present who built Orario, it was a fact that the City represented the ‘hope’ of most people on the Continent. Many of these Adventurers present actually migrated into the City in the past, seeking a better future for themselves in this land where success and glory could be earned through hard work and individual effort. If Orario was truly overrun by monsters, all of their dreams would die with the City and, without a force working together to stymy to flow of monsters that would expand and wipe out all life on the Continent, there wouldn’t even be a place to flee to…

Following the successful rally, a restructuring of the forces of Lil Geirr was set into motion as the Floor slowly repaired itself. Vahn returned to the surface to deposit Alexa with her mother, updating everyone at the Manor about what was going on while Finn took care of the administrative work. The girls remained in the Dungeon, providing defense for any waves that may occur but, after the death of Olivas, it seemed like things had calmed down for the moment. Even so, their presence alone was enough to bolster the morale of the defensive troops manning the wall, memories of the girls’ battle prowess still fresh on everyone’s minds…

At the same time that he was dealing with the matters of Lil Geirr and the continued expedition to Haven, Vahn was also back in the Xenos’ Hidden Village. He had been there for two days and had been constantly building rapport with their tribe, becoming a little ‘too popular’ with the females of their species. His [Charm] didn’t seem to care if the other party was a different race than his own, garnering Vahn a great deal of attention from each group of Xenos. After the first night, where Vahn had spent a relatively peaceful night with Rayne, Naho, and Fenrir, the following night had been far more chaotic. Not only was he dealing with the aftermath of the attack, but Vahn had been whisked away by Ray, Terror, and Fear, spending the evening in the ‘nest’ of the Bird-Type Xenos.

Vahn quickly learned that Harpy and Siren Xenos didn’t put a lot of thought into their actions and, though Ray was able to reign them in a bit, he still got ‘flocked’ by them after they managed to get him into the nest. Though it ended with him ‘pacifying’ the group with his [Hands of Nirvana] and [Grooming], Vahn had most of his clothing torn to shred by their talons and claws. He also managed to get them into some ‘proper’ clothing, even though it ended up being based on the Amazoness style. They didn’t like anything that was restrictive and, with Ray setting the ‘example’, each girl wanted rather skimpy clothing to wear instead of anything more practical. After that, Vahn was surrounded by surprisingly warm feathers and managed to get a ‘relatively’ peaceful sleep…

‘Relative’ was the key word in this situation as Vahn would be stirred awake periodically by one of the girls trying to ‘sneakily’ remove his trousers. They were somewhat promiscuous by nature and had an insatiable curiosity that made it so that, even with him rebuffing their advances, they never seemed to take it to heart. It could be that they simply ‘forgot’ he had declined their offer but, considering he had treated them very ‘well’, the girls could have just been getting carried away. This speculation was drawn from the fact that they seemed to remember what Ray told them to do, even though words Vahn spoke to them moments before seemingly slipped in one ear and out the other…

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.

The following morning, Vahn’s clothing and hair was covered in small feathers and he smelled like he had slept in a barn, causing Fenrir to actually avoid him for the first time. Fortunately, he was able to clean himself rather easily, earning him some ‘leniency’ from the standoffish Vanargandr as she quickly leaped into his arms after the fact. This caused many of the surrounding Xenos to laugh, with Ray showing an amused expression as she said, “The two of you are so close…I’m honestly a little jealous~. Well, if you ever want to sleep in our nest again, Vahn, just let any of us know. We’ll always welcome you~.” Adding to this, Fear raised up her dark-red wing and said, “Ray is right. Your hands are very comfortable and I don’t mind if you want to help groom my feathers, you know…?”

Though she worded it like a question, Vahn felt like Fear was ‘telling’ him to groom her feathers later, causing him to laugh lightly before saying, “I’m sure I can make time for that kind of thing later. For now, there are a few things I need to discuss with the three leaders…” Even as Vahn as speaking, it felt like he was being surrounded by a flock of predatory birds as each of the Harpy-Xenos gathered around him, each offering to ‘allow’ him to groom their feathers. One of the more promiscuous among them, even though she had one of the less humanoid appearances, even offered to ‘groom’ him in return…

After finally escaping the ‘flock’, Vahn ended up in a small circular room at the very back of the Xenos Hidden Village, a room used for important discussions by the decision makers of the Xenos. Vahn wasn’t surprised by the presence of Lyd, Ray, and even Gros, but the inclusion of Rayne, Naho, and Xude caught him a little off guard. This was especially the case for Naho as, the moment her five eyes ‘locked’ onto him, Vahn got to experience the mildly terrifying sight of an Arachne-Xenos, even one as cute as Naho, jumping towards him. He barely managed to raise his arms by the time her body collided with his, three sets of legs and a pair of arms wrapping around his body.

Lyd, seeing this, began laughing out loud before commenting, “Seems you’re becoming more popular every day, Vahn. I wouldn’t be surprised if ‘some’ of our members might stalk you back to the surface when you try to leave…!” Vahn, after returning Naho’s ‘hug’ for a few seconds, gently removed her from his body, even though her legs tried to continue holding onto him. He set her down on the ground and pat her head, saying, “There are important things I need to discuss with the others. Be a good girl and behave, okay~?” Though she had a pouting expression on her face, Naho still nodded before scampering over to Rayne and climbing onto the latter’s body.

After being on the receiving end quite a lot, Vahn had already realized that Naho had the type of nature that desired contact with others. If she wasn’t clinging to him, she was clinging to Rayne and, on one occasion, Vahn saw her riding around on Terror like a large backpack as the frazzled Harpy-Xenos tried to fly around. It had been a very humorous sight, at least until Terror dive-bombed him, delivering Naho from her body and depositing the spiderling onto Vahn’s. Now, Vahn had to be careful of both jumping spiders and spiders delivered via Harpy-Xenos care package…

Vahn pulled out a cushion to sit down on while Fenrir turned into her hybrid-Almiraj form and hopped into his lap. She seemed to like this form since it allowed him to pet more surface area at once and, as it was quite fluffy, Vahn found himself absentmindedly petting her into oblivion. This was the state he referred to when the girls would become almost catatonic from the overwhelming feeling of relaxation and bliss that resulted in over-exposure to his [Grooming]. Though it could be expected that the girls would build up a resistance to this after a while, the truth of the matter was quite the opposite. Anyone that had fallen under the influence of Vahn’s ‘godhand’, be they mortal or god, was almost powerless against it after the fact. If he got ‘serious’, Vahn could get Aki and Chloe to purr after just a single touch, even if he caressed the ‘danger zone’ of their bellies…

While habitually stroking Fenrir’s fluffy pelt, Vahn looked into Lyd’s eyes and explained, “There was an attack by a man named Olivas Act, representing a goddess by the name of Enyo…have you heard either of these names…?” Though he already had his answer based on the indignant expressions of almost every Xenos present, Vahn still waited for Lyd to nod his head and explain, “Olivas Act is one of the people who has been capturing and slaughtering our people. Those that get taken away come back ‘changed’, continuing the cycle over the last two years…now, we’re less than half of what we used to be…if you’re going to fight against that man, please exercise caution, Vahn…”

Though it was a little awkward, Vahn showed a casual smile and said, “Olivas Act is dead. Though he staged a large attack on the settlement on the 39th Floor, it was successfully repelled by the forces of the Alliance. I personally witnessed his death with my own eyes, so you don’t have to worry about him any longer…” Seeing the reactions on each of their faces, Vahn’s smile turned into a more natural expression as he added, “You shouldn’t underestimate me, my companions, or the Alliance in general. Olivas Act had actually been defeated by my daughter without even being able to fight back…”

Gros, stone-faced as ever, suddenly placed his hand heavily against the ground as he exclaimed, “Is that the truth!? How do we know you aren’t lying to try and trick us…!?” Though Vahn knew Gros’ impression of him wasn’t actually that bad, it was still annoying to be called into question time and again. Producing a stone-faced expression of his own, Vahn plainly stated, “Gros, no matter how you look at it, I’ve only been an ally to the Xenos thus far. Yes, I offer your people power, but the only thing I require in exchange is companionship and understanding. I want to make the dream of the Xenos a reality, creating a place for your entire race on the surface! What do I have to do to get this simple fact through the thick skull of yours!?”

Only allowed on Creativenovels.com

As if he had been waiting for Vahn to ask this question, Gros immediately responded in a serious tone, “Swear on your life that you have no-” Though he still felt relatively calm, Vahn’s brain buzzed when Gros brought up the idea of him making a vow. He didn’t mind making vows, having already made a few, but Vahn was starting to get annoyed that it seemed to be the only way anyone would ever trust others. Relationships founded on vows almost felt like ‘exchanges’, not something that was founded on mutual respect and understanding. As a result, he glared towards Gros and interrupted the stout Gargoyle-Xenos, saying, “I help the Xenos because I have chosen to do so, not because I have to do it. If it takes such a vow for you to trust me, then you simply aren’t worthy of my trust from the start. Just sit there and watch as I create a better world for the Xenos, regardless of what you think about the matter…”

Though Gros was around the strength of a veteran Level 5 Adventurer, he couldn’t even move a muscle after Vahn had ‘locked’ him down with his domain. For the duration of Vahn’s speech, it was as if he had truly turned into a statue as a primal fear welled up in the back of his mind. This was an instinct that all creatures had when they encountered a species of a higher tier. It was similar to how Gryuu felt when it first saw Fafnir, quickly lowering its head to the latter and subordinating itself without any resistance whatsoever. Now, Fafnir was off teaching Gryuu how to be a ‘proper’ Dragon, with the latter following Fafnir’s words like they were divinely inspired…

Gros resisted the instinctual urge to bow his head but it didn’t stop him from slouching over further as a wave of uncertainty washed over him. With a slight quiver in his voice, Gros asked, “You…are you really a human…?” He suddenly recalled the strange form Vahn had taken to stop his attack previously, black scales and strange markings covering his body. In response to this question, Vahn raised his brows slightly and surprised everyone by shaking his head, explaining, “It isn’t wrong to call me Human…but I’m also everything else…? To be more specific, I’m currently a Progenitor, but I can also be any other race that I have a proper understanding of…”

To emphasize his words, Vahn looked towards the ‘safe’ option, making eye contact with Lyd before using his hybrid transformation magic, with [Thria*Mimos] as a base, to assume an almost identical appearance as Lyd, being a red-scaled Lizardman. It felt strange to have his body temperature lower instantly, but it wasn’t nearly as peculiar as the surprising clarity his eyes possessed. At the same time, the strength of every smell in the vicinity increased, Ray’s aura practically ‘smacking’ him in the face. She had a mixed scent of a woman and a wild animal, confusing Vahn’s senses while also exciting him slightly…at least until it was completely repressed moments later when he cut off his sense of smell entirely.

Though the expression of shock on Lyd’s face was interesting, Vahn noticed that Fenrir didn’t seem to enjoy his scaly hands so he quickly changed back, now turning his attention back to Gros as he said, “My race doesn’t matter…just as none of your races matter…my dream is to make a better world for everyone, regardless of their origins. As long as your people do not commit crimes and try to harm others, I will guarantee the safety of every Xenos. It doesn’t matter to me how society views you right now…if we work together, we can change that perception and, one day, the existence of Xenos as a sentient species deserving of respect will simply be ‘common sense’…if you have a problem with that, I can’t help but wonder why you even dreamed of the surface in the first place…”

You may also like: