Chapter 911: Space And Time

With a reformed height of 190cm, azure blue scales intermixed with a pattern of gold, glowing runic tattoos covering his body, and majestic golden antlers protruding through his azure hair, Vahn stood within the quaking void as he overlooked the devastation below. His eyes were a vibrant golden color that radiated like the sun while his pupils had become like thin reptilian slits. Other than the peculiar golden wheel behind his back, the most striking feature he possessed currently was the azure lightning that coiled around his scales and danced between his body and the wheel. Wherever the arcs of ‘lightning’ spread, a black emptiness would be left within the void before space tried to repair itself.

Vahn found himself in a strange state where he was suffused with intense rage while also feeling extremely calm, contemptuous thoughts welling up inside him as he looked down upon the world. He didn’t know who the man was but, based on the variables available, Vahn had a strong suspicion about where he had come from. His golden eyes turned towards the North-West region of the continent, almost as if his gaze could pierce through time and space. In the next moment, Vahn found himself in an area with an oppressive aura suffused through the atmosphere as an expansive City stretched out below him. The buildings looked extremely ancient but, as if unaffected by the passage of time, had an ‘immaculate’ quality to them. There wasn’t even a single sign of fauna, including a distinct lack of insect life that would typically be present in most environments…

Upon blinking his eyes, Vahn found himself standing in the air above the battlefield once again, causing him to squint as a result of the mild confusion he felt. It was almost as if his ‘intent’ had been able to travel to where he wanted to view and, testing this theory, Vahn found himself looking down at the Elsos Ruins in the Dark Continent a moment later. This time, he ‘moved’ his body and found himself tearing through the void as, instead of just his intent being present above the Ruins, his body had formed as if there had been no distance separating him and Orario from the start. His energy reserves had taken a massive hit but were quickly replenishing as Vahn once again found his ‘intent’ above the battleground before tearing through space as if it were just a slightly resistive membrane…

With most of his reserves sunk in the two spatial transfers, Vahn felt the ‘contempt’ that had invaded his mind slowly begin to fade away. He saw that Haruhime had recovered Ioke while Lefiya treated the unconscious goddess’ injuries. Ais, along with most of the girls that had been observing the battle take place, had formed a defensive line to protect the City. Most of the citizens that had been content to simply watch had started evacuating very quickly with the assistance of the Alliance and the various Adventurers who had gathered. The festive atmosphere from before had completely vanished the moment the golden spear had descended, leaving a deep cross-shaped scar in the terrain while the surroundings had sunken inward after the massive explosion…

Vahn estimated the strength of the person that had attacked him to be around the peak of Level 8 while the attack they had used was likely related to an Innate. It had been completely indefensible as, from the moment the spearman had locked onto his target, they would be weighed down by an incredible pressure that made even dodging impossible. Vahn wasn’t even sure if he would be able to evade it in his Lightning Emperor form, as the attack had torn through him faster than his already ridiculous perception could process. From the moment he had sensed the attack, several kilometers away, to the time he had been run through, it was almost as if no time had passed at all…

Because of this, and the fact that such individuals simply couldn’t exist in secret, Vahn supposed that the man had belonged to the faction of Zeus and Hera. Other than Siegfried and Jeanne, Vahn had yet to meet anyone who was remotely close to the spearman in strength. He had to be some Hero from History who had fallen out of the limelight after events Vahn could only begin to speculate over. All he knew for certain, even though he was unaware of the reasons, it seemed like this group of people had become antagonistic towards him. This realization, combined with the wrath he had felt previously, caused Vahn to enter into his Azure Dragon form for the first time as thoughts of what might happen if he wasn’t careful played themselves through his mind.

The weakest person he had seen from the group had been Jeanne, even though Vahn also ‘felt’ that he wouldn’t actually be able to beat her. Even she had been Level 8, meaning there was a very high probability that others in their organization were also around a similar degree of strength. If anyone in their group had Innates that would allow them to breach the Manor, it meant none of his family was safe if they were truly at odds with each other. Though Terra should be able to keep everyone safe, there was no way of knowing how an Innate could manifest. Understanding this, Vahn once again turned his eyes towards the North-West as rage and contempt began to permeate through every fiber of his being…

As he was thinking of wreaking havoc at the ancient-looking city atop the mountain, Haruhime’s voice entered Vahn’s mind, asking, (“Vahn, what happened? What do you want us to do…?”). Vahn could hear the concern in her voice as it echoed within his mind, causing a bit of the rage he felt to diminish as he looked toward where the girls were gathered and sent a broad telepathic response, (“This is a group of enemies that you all aren’t prepared to face. Not only are their Innates polished over hundreds of years, but the weakest in their group is over Level 8. Return to the Manor and protect our family. I don’t think they will attack within the City, but there is a chance one of them may try to infiltrate the Manor…please, keep everyone safe.”)

Since they may try to insist on helping, Vahn averted his eyes when he was finished speaking, sending his intent thousands of kilometers in an instant before tearing through the void. The oppressive energy in the air made it feel like he was trying to swim through liquid metal that had been compressed under intense pressure. Vahn felt like, as he was tearing through the void, his body was also being torn apart in the process. However, with the immortality he possessed through his [Magia Erebea], Vahn was able to complete the transfer as the golden blood in his body defied gravity to return to him, sealing up his wounds almost instantly.

Almost as soon as he broke through into this condensed space, Vahn knew he had been detected and, a few seconds after his arrival, several hundred armored warriors had ascended into the sky. Though he didn’t feel much of anything at the moment, Vahn was mildly surprised to see that, of the nearly three-hundred warriors, each of them looked like ethereal beauties that practically ‘screamed’ the word Valkyrie in the back of his mind. Each wore ornate blue and black armor that was adorned with gold, the only exception being their white battledresses and the feathers in their visored helmets. They had dark-grey metallic wings and either wielded halberds or paired swords and kite shields, each glimmering with the resplendence of A and S-Rank items…

Even though the entire group consisted of Level 5 warriors, with a few Level 6s and 7s mixed in, the only thing Vahn felt after his momentary surprise was absolute contempt. The closer they charged to him, the dimmer the world became until one of the Level 7s, a woman with pristine white hair and blue-grey eyes, was merely ten meters away from him. With this occurrence, Vahn felt like time had actually stopped completely, even though he could still see the lightning moving in slow motion across his azure-blue scales. It seemed that his Azure Dragon transformation not only gave him the ability to manipulate space, but it was heavily affecting his perception of time as well.

From the perspective of reality, unobserved, both Time and Space, while being fundamental Laws that governed almost every record, didn’t actually exist. There was no ‘distance’ between two points unless you had the means to measure it through the lens of your perception, given by the ego and interpreted by whatever instrument you used to view reality. If you were able to exist outside of records, where even Laws themselves didn’t exist, you could view the inside and choose any point in Time and Space, regardless of the location or if it was in the past, present, or future. It was only when you were inside of the record, bound by its Laws, that the two concepts had any influence over you in a meaningful way…

With the ability to move through and manipulate Space, which could not exist without Time, Vahn was secondarily able to have some degree of control over the later. Though he could not tear through time, as he could Space, just having the ability to change his perception of Time, and its relation to the Space around him, gave Vahn a degree of power that his own mind was having trouble keeping up with. If not for the strange state he found himself in, Vahn wasn’t sure if he would be able to make sense of any of the phenomenon happening around him, even with all the Time in the world to do so…

Though he would normally have to strain his muscles to move in this state, as his body simply couldn’t keep up with his mind, Vahn was able to ‘shrink’ and ‘tear’ through space without Time seeming the affect him. Instead of straining himself, it felt like he was moving through a dense and fiery liquid as a black trail existed where his body had been previous. Vahn could even see ‘light’, or the Space around where his hand had been, slowly collapsing in on itself as the mana and light in the air flowed in to fill the ‘nothingness’ that had been left behind.

During Vahn’s ‘simple’ movement, where he had lifted his hand up in a seemingly casual manner, the leading Valkyrie hadn’t even moved a single millimeter through the air as even her pupils were contracting at a ridiculously slow rate. It wasn’t uncommon for powerful warriors to have a perception and mental acuity that far outstripped their physical capabilities so, even though the Valkyrie was seemingly frozen in time, her mind was slowly processing what was happening…

Vahn felt like he had all the time in the world to contemplate his next choice of action thus, after what felt like several minutes of thinking, he had made his choice. None of these Valkyries had dark auras so Vahn didn’t want to kill them, especially since there was a chance he had misunderstood the situation. If the forces under Hera and Zeus weren’t already antagonistic towards him, slaying these two-hundred-seventy-one Valkyries would most-certainly ensure that they would be in the future. The ideal situation would be one where they were able to compromise and avoid a direct engagement as even Siegfried and the spearman he had killed previously didn’t actually have black auras.

Willing the energy coiling around his body to become contained within, Vahn watched as the lightning slowly embedded itself into his scales. When the energy was gone, he moved through Space without actually moving his body, pressing his hand ‘gently’ against the leading Valkyrie’s head. For a brief moment, Vahn felt something similar to static arc between his hand and her helmet as it ‘blinked’ away a few meters behind her. The Valkyrie’s hair was still in the same position, as if her helmet was still in place, as Vahn pressed his palm against her bare forehead this time. As if it was liquid slowly spreading through a cloth, Vahn watched as his own condensed Source Energy slowly turned his palm into a rainbow hue that spread into the Valkyrie’s forehead, illuminating her fair skin as he gave her head a light caress.

In the next instant, Vahn felt his percept shift before his body had torn through Space once again, placing him in front of the next Valkyrie, a Level 6 with deep-blue hair that was almost black. This process repeated two-hundred-and-seventy-one times, all in the time it took for the entire ‘flock’ of Valkyrie to move forward just a few centimeters. By the time Vahn had finished, allowing color to return to the world, the entire group of winged-warriors was falling limply through the sky, their consciousness robbed by his caress. Vahn supported their falling bodies by anchoring them using telekinesis through his domain. Though they would be fine, regardless of how far they fell, Vahn would feel guilty later if he let nearly three hundred women crash to the ground, especially when he could easily prevent it…

With his ‘stunt’ complete, Vahn felt like every nerve in his body was on fire while his mind felt incredibly sluggish, even with his reserves steadily replenishing. His Mental Energy had drained a great deal and, if not for the fact he was meditating back at the Manor, having two bodies would probably cause him to break down like when he first used his avatar in the Sub-Space orb while his body returned to reality. When Vahn’s perception of time had caused the world to slow to a crawl, this wasn’t the same thing that his body was experiencing back at the Manor. This caused him to feel an intense mental strain and it was likely he wouldn’t be able to perform such feats in sequence without his avatar breaking down entirely.

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Ignoring the feeling of his brain ‘splitting’ down the center, Vahn descended into the Ancient City, his target one of the few auras present within his domain, excluding the Valkyrie. The owner of the aura was a small boy, seemingly no older than ten years old, with white hair and heterochromatic eyes. One was light-grey in coloration, glowing with a subtle light, while the other was a pale-purple, a peculiar color, though not nearly as peculiar as its glowing counterpart. He was wearing a long-sleeved dress shirt, fasted together by ornate silver buttons, with a pair of brown shorts that were held by suspenders. The boy also had a beige flat cap, white socks, and a pair of brown loafers that gave him an appearance that contrasted with anyone Vahn had ever met previously.

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Without showing any fear whatsoever, the boy had an innocent looking smile on his face as his big eyes were locked on to Vahn. When they were within a comfortable speaking distance, the boy’s smile grew marginally wider as he said, “That ability of yours is amazing, Vahn Mason. Quantum Tunneling and Inter-Temporal Acceleration are exceedingly rare, even amongst the monsters here in the City of Heroes~!” The boy seemed more excited by Vahn’s display of taking down the Valkyrie than worried about his own safety. Even his aura was a sunny yellow with strands of blue and subtle greens that showed amicability and curiosity.

Vahn felt like his momentum was heavily affected by the boy’s nature but, understanding it could be an Innate, he didn’t drop his guard as he asked, “Who are you? Where are Zeus and Hera…?” He also wanted to ask about the ‘City of Heroes’ but, considering existences like Siegfried and Jeanne likely resided here, it wasn’t really that surprising. In response to his inquiries, the boy seemed to get even more excited as he raised his head proudly while placing his hand over his heart as he said, “My name is Paracelsus, the Medicine King! I’m also a [Philospher] tier Alchemist so if you need to treat an incurable disease, or want high-grade Elixirs, feel free to ask me and I’ll give you a good deal~!”

(A/N: Alternate Titles: ‘If you are moving through Space, you are always moving through Time, even if you are displacing both (UwU)~!’,’Ougi, Serious Series, Serious Head Patting~!’,’There goes the momentum :infiniteKeks:’)

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