Though there were several things Vahn wanted to investigate regarding Lante’s situation, he decided it would be best to leave her be for the time being. The other Artemis Familia members had been in a state where their breathing and hearts had stopped for longer than was medically ‘ideal’. He had used his Source Energy to revitalize their bodies and repair the damage to their brains but there was no way of knowing exactly what they had lost in the process. Entities with lower tier souls couldn’t ‘imprint’ their memories that easily onto their ego, meaning most of the girls would have suffered severe damage to their synapses, affecting their functionality and memory.
Artemis also had many questions but, understanding Vahn would likely answer them for her later, she followed Vahn as he picked up Rethusa’s body and exiting the sealed chamber. Vahn was intending to use the temporal distortion present within the room to buy time for himself. If he had performed ‘Nirvana Rebirth’ on each girl within the chamber, several days would have passed by the time he was finished. This would make it impossible to save some of them while also causing a much longer period of time to pass in the outside world. The few hours he had spent inside the seal had resulted in eleven days coming to pass outside…
Feeling his perception catch up with itself, Vahn heaved a sigh of relief that caused Artemis to ask, “Is there something the matter, Vahn…?” To this, he nodded his head and explained what had been happening in the ‘outside’ while preparing his operation room for the procedure. Artemis was surprised to find out how much time had passed while they were inside but, given the state of her children, she accepted the reasoning rather quickly. At the same time, Vahn was having to answer the questions of the girls within the Dungeon, who had actually moved his body to a secure place while he was in deep meditation.
Fortunately, other than a few stray monsters migrating in from other floors, there were no major issues with Haven’s construction. If anything, the fact Vahn hadn’t been watching over everyone actually made people feel more complacent. Without his presence in the sky, their own alertness had gone down a bit and the morale within the encampment had strangely improved. Vahn made a mental note of this and, though he had wanted to spend some quality time with the rather concerned girls, he explained the emergency situation and earned himself a momentary reprieve. They once again started protecting his body as Vahn entered into a deep meditative state, wholly focused on replenishing his reserves to make the ‘Nirvana Rebirth’ go smoothly.
Once the preparations were completed, Vahn had Rethusa’s naked body on an operating table he had produced from his Inventory and began the long procedure. Fortunately, now that his [Hands of Nirvana] was SSS-Rank, the time it took for him to ‘tune’ his energy was negligible. It still took the better part of an hour to infuse the energy into Rethusa’s body, but this was still much faster than in the past. Since he was only trying to ‘revive’ her, instead of repairing small defects and the like, Vahn inserted his hand into her heart and began the delicate procedure. This mainly involved repairing her mana circuits and revitalizing her spirit body, making it a stable container for her ego before jumpstarting her heart once again…
The moment Rethusa’s heart began to beat again, her body jerked slightly and she inhaled deeply before settling down once again. She shouldn’t have been able to move in her current state but having Source Energy coursing through her body to jumpstart her heart went against expectations a bit. Vahn could spend a million years researching this energy of his and never fully understand it so he wasn’t too surprised when unexpected events occurred. The only important thing was the intent he put into the energy and, so long as he does not wish to do harm, it was entirely incapable of having negative effects on a person’s body…
The process for awakening Rethusa’s body took significantly longer than the procedure itself and Vahn felt a little guilty as he flipped her body over. As usual, the final step was to use the ‘Convergence of Heaven and Earth’ to bring her back to reality and Vahn knew it would be a very ‘intense’ experience for all of the girls. Even if they never truly loved him, this would be a memory that would never fade from their memories and, considering the circumstances, it might be one of the most powerful memories they have left. Even so, Vahn didn’t hesitate at all as he placed his fingers at the base of Rethusa’s neck and spine. She had a beautiful and mature line to her back and, with that thought in mind, Vahn brought his fingers together and sent the rather unfortunate woman into a veritable seizure of pleasure…
Fortunately, unlike in the past, Vahn could make use of his [Grooming] to help calm people down so, while Rethusa’s body was trembling atop the table, he stroked her hair gently and muttered, “It’s going to be okay…” Artemis had been standing at his side during the procedure, watching with a hopeful look that slowly transformed into intrigue before settling on mild amusement. She no longer doubted Vahn would be able to save the other members of her Familia but, seeing the process with her own eyes, Artemis knew it was going to cause some ‘problems’ for Vahn in the future. Thinking about what the future might hold, Artemis giggled a bit and, when Vahn looked toward her with a questioning gaze, she simply stuck her tongue out and skipped off toward the sealed chamber…
This put Vahn in a rather awkward situation because it would have been better for Artemis to be present when Rethusa calmed down completely. Right now, she was still in a dazed state so Vahn pulled out a warm blanket and covered her exposed back as a general courtesy. He then stepped away from the operation table and began using his domain as an intermediary for his petting as, if she really had lost her memories, Vahn didn’t want her to become too dependent on him through a misunderstanding. These girls were all victims of a terrible tragedy and he wanted to help them move forward and seek out their own happiness…even if he suspected they would all become his retainers and subordinates…
Under Vahn’s constant care, Rethusa calmed down after a few minutes had passed but kept laying on the table for a short while, simply staring at him with her reddish-brown eyes. She had medium length hair of the same color and an incredibly fit body that had been honed over years as a Huntress within the Artemis Familia. Vahn felt like she would even be able to contend against some of the Amazonesses he had met, though the closest comparison his mind drew was to that of Rufina. Her somewhat sharp and angular eyes, combined with her rather serious look, matched well with the version of Rethusa he knew from Artemis’ [Hearts Desire].
Since it didn’t seem like she was going to speak, Vahn broke the long silence, saying, “I’m sure you have a lot of questions, Rethusa, but most of them will have to wait. There may be gaps in your memory but know that I’m an ally of the Artemis Familia and that I’m currently in the process of saving all of your injured members. If you have the strength, let’s get you dressed and I will escort you to your goddess, Artemis…okay?” Vahn didn’t know the level of clarity that Rethusa currently had so he tried to give her tidbits of information in his general explanation to gauge her reaction.
Though she was silent for a few seconds, Rethusa eventually asked in a moderately deep and mature woman’s voice, “So…you saved me…?” Vahn nodded his head and, seeing that she didn’t seem to be as confused as expected, asked, “Do you remember what happened?” This question caused Rethusa’s expression to break as a look of terror emerged in her eyes, followed by her curling up and tightly clinging to the blanket. She obviously had some memories related to the event and, though it would leave her with a trauma, Vahn saw this as a positive sign that indicated there was more going on within the sealed chamber than he currently understood. There seemed to be a preservation effect overlayed with the temporal isolation and distortion formation that was present. This indicated that Antares wasn’t simply sealed away, but someone had wanted to preserve it completely…
Understanding she would probably need time to cope with what had happened, Vahn held out his hand and sent threads of calming energy through his domain. A few seconds later, Rethusa slowly lapsed into unconsciousness and, though he could have carried her with telekinesis, Vahn picked up her body and carried her along. Direct contact was surprisingly important in situations like this and Vahn knew she would feel more comfortable with the warmth of another person. Since he could also send calming energy directly into her body, Rethusa’s right hand moved to clutch his tunic instinctually as the expression on her face slowly relaxed.
Upon entering into the sealed chamber, Artemis’ brows raised slightly as she said, “It’s like you were right behind me…the flow of time in this place…how peculiar…” As she spoke, Artemis moved her fingers through the air as if she could feel the flow of time present. Vahn knew she shouldn’t have that capability though, had she truly awakened a Divinity related to Time, that would be a rather major development. He still had a few inhibitions about how to deal with Kali in the future and it would have saved him from having to deal with at least one of the problems he would have to face…
After setting Rethusa down on one of the futons he had laid out, Vahn put some clothes next to where she was sleeping and said, “If you want to wait here and watch over them, that would-” Artemis had already started shaking her head before he had finished speaking, smiling as she said, “I want to be there…watching you bestow the miracle of life to those that even we gods wouldn’t be able to save…I want to see it with my own eyes, the rebirth of each of my children.” Vahn felt a strange compulsion from her words that caused the mental image of Hestia to overlap with Artemis’ within his mind. It was a rather amusing development, but Vahn figured he had stumbled on to at least one of Artemis’ new Divinities…
It took the better part of three days, but Vahn slowly worked his way through the entire Artemis Familia and performed ‘Nirvana Rebirth’ on each member. Other than an Amazoness named Shadie, who had suffered severe head trauma, the other girls were a bit shaken but showed no indication that their memories had been adversely affected. As for Shadie, she had experienced a moderate Anoxia and would have semi-permanant memory loss, even though she didn’t have fully developed amnesia. There was a chance she would recover what was lost but, considering the type of injury she had suffered, the odds were rather unlikely…
Even so, after performing ‘Nirvana Rebirth’ on a Cat Person named Kaeko, Vahn received the system notification that he had completed the SSS-Rank Quest, [Salvation of the Moon Goddess] and had received a plethora of rewards. Though he was already ecstatic to have completed the quest, Vahn’s brain had completely blanked when he saw the Grade Rewards section. He was so distracted that, while he was petting the previously dazed Kaeko, she had started to purr under his touch. It wasn’t until she actually nabbed his hand and began to play-bite his fingers that Vahn came to his senses and asked her the same series of quick questions as the other girls…
//Optional Quest Completed!//[Quest: Salvation of the Moon Goddess]
Completion Grade: SSS
Objective: Liberate [Artemis] from Antares(1/1), Restore the Bodies of Artemis Familia Members To A Complete State(19/19), Perform ‘Nirvana Rebirth’ on Artemis Familia Members(19/19)
Optional Objectives: Save Lante(1/1)
Rewards: 10,000,000OP, 3x[Unique Gacha Coupon]
Grade Rewards: 3,000,000OP, 1x[Skill Advancement Scroll:SSS] [Unique Gacha Coupon]
Use: Guarantees that the next ‘Standard Gacha’ pulls from the Unique Items Pool.
Restriction: Items pulled are restricted to Unique items within the current record.[Skill Advancement Scroll][A/N: Price: 100,000,000,000OP, the same as a Dimensional Anchor!]
Use: Advances any non-Innate ability to the SSS-Rank, independent of the record of origin. //*Warning*// [This item is exceedingly rare and should be used with extreme caution and consideration!]
Though he was more than a little distracted by the existence of the [Skill Advancement Scroll], Vahn decided to put it off until later since it even included a warning to exercise extreme caution. This situation still hadn’t fully resolved and, now that he had an affectionate Kaeko clinging to him, Vahn knew he needed to wrap things up. He, fortunately, got her to at least wear proper clothing, though this was only because Artemis had intervened and lightly reprimanded her. Though there was a considerable lack of sternness in her tone, Kaeko still listened obediently, even if she teared up a bit when left alone to get dressed. Like the other girls, the memory of her own ‘death’ was still very vivid in her mind and she had just gotten a little carried as a result of how comfortable Vahn was to be around…
Once Kaeko had finished getting changed, the three made their way into the sealed chamber where the majority of the girls were still sleeping. As for those who were awake, it only felt like a few minutes had passed for them and they hadn’t fully recovered yet. They had been talking about what had happened, while some were even bold enough to venture outside of the barrier and inspect the seal where Antares had been located. Now that Vahn and Artemis had arrived, however, everyone gathered together once again, this time to hear a proper explanation from their goddess.
Though a lot of their attention was focused on Vahn, as a result of Artemis advocating for him as if she were his biggest fan, he didn’t mind their attention and just returned a natural smile in response. He had been thinking about the best method to use the [Skill Advancement Scroll] and was taking a peek at his own Status while conferring with Sis. The moment he did so, however, Vahn felt like his mind had sunk into the infinitely expansive ocean contained within and he had started to sink to the bottom, absolutely overwhelmed by what he had seen…
Name: [Vahn Mason]
Race: Progenitus, *sealed*
Parameter: [Danmachi: 1-4]
Soul Tier: 3 (Lord Soul)[Karma]: 93,413->439,202,192 [OP]: 103,408,882->239,633,417 [Valis]: 11,007,912,050->7,998,400,002
Skills: [Will of the Emperor:SSS], [Rakshasa Body:C], [Keeper of the Akashic Tome:B], [Eyes of Truth: B],[Archery Goddess’ Blessing:B->SSS](new), [Stealth:S], [Chainbreaker:S], [Heart of the Eternal Flame:SS], [Prometheus:A], [Call of the Reaper:A],[Yggdrasil’s Favor:S], [Veil of the Traveler: S], [Featherfoot:S], [Hands of Nirvana:SS->SSS], [Metallurgy:B], [Fist Strike:S], [Friend of Spirits:A], [Void Ward:A], [Temptation:I](new)
Magic: [Thria*Mimos:S], [Shundo:SS], [Koku Shundo:B], [Cantus Bellax:S], [Mellodia Bellax:B], [Vis Maxima:B], [Sagitta Magica:S], [Pactio:S], [Magia Erebea:SS], [Dios Tukos:C]
Development Skills: [Wound Transfer:S], [Well of Spirit:A], [Swordsman:A], [Master Smith:H], [Mixing:C], [Mentor:A], [Lapidary:B], [Grooming:B->A], [Arch Mage:G->F], [Allure:I->D] [Archery Goddess’ Blessing]
Use: So long as the bond between the user and the Goddess of Archery remains, it is said possessors of this skill cannot miss their target when using any form of marksmanship. Greatly enhances critical strike potential of attacks made with a bow.
Active: When activated, the user’s next attack had 100% accuracy and 100% critical hit chance.[Temptation]
Use: Your power, authority, and natural allure allow your words to sound more convincing in the ears of others.[Allure]
Use: So long as there is even a mild attraction towards you from another party, allows every action you take to be seen in a positive light. Increases perception and awareness of the opposite sex in regards to the user. Greatly increases the odds of successfully charming a target and makes all skills, magic, and abilities related to mental manipulation more effective.