Chapter 914: Compromise

After hearing Vahn’s ‘declaration’, Odin’s response was to laugh in a lighthearted manner, causing Vahn’s eyes to shimmer violently until the onyx-haired god stated, “There is no need to be so overbearing, Vahn. You should have seen it yourself already, but there really aren’t many here who would openly antagonize you without due cause. Even if you clash with some of our members in the future, would you really go out of your way to attack people that aren’t hostile towards you?” As if answering his own question, Odin shook his head and said, “No, and that is one of the reasons why we determined you aren’t a real ‘danger’ to the world. As long as you still listen to the counsel of the gods within the Alliance, that is enough for the time being. We don’t want to offend all of them just because we might disagree with some of the actions you take…”

Vahn took a deep breath as he listened to Odin’s words as, much like the god pointed out, it was very difficult for him to attack people that weren’t hostile towards him. In general, Vahn wasn’t fond of killing others, especially if they weren’t actively harming others or showing antagonism towards him and his family. The only exception would be if a member of Legend ended up attacking and injuring one of the people he cared about as, depending on the circumstances, it would be difficult to restrain himself. Even if it showed his own ‘bias’ in the situation, Vahn didn’t believe the girls were the type to take any action that would have earned them the attention of Legend…

Seeing Vahn thinking about his words, Odin showed a knowing smile as he said, “The Alliance and Legend will probably have a cooperative relationship if the future you mention ends up becoming a reality. You’ll understand one day but, when individuals possess too much power, it can become a problem to allow them to stay within society without strict regulations. That type of environment would just breed corruption and invite the very same tragedy you wish to avoid. Even if you possess great power, enough to defeat all your foes, it would be impossible to prevent dissent and selfishness from propagating in an environment that promotes individual growth. If it doesn’t happen in the outside, it will occur right under your nose, amongst the people that have been born in the protective environment you have produced…one day, even if you do not allow Legend to preside over them, you will come to realize that powerful individuals need to be isolated to prevent a catastrophe.”

This time, Vahn knew Odin’s words held a great deal of truth, as there was an infinite number of examples that would verify such a claim. Even Eva had told him similar things while Vahn himself had already been worried about this very issue. The reason why he placed so many restrictions on the School and Academy was to prevent the methods he would teach from being spread without limit. He even placed heavy restrictions on the Haven Defense Force while his support for the Civilian Legislative Branch was the result of their willingness to take highly restrictive vows…

Even with these efforts, however, Vahn knew it was only a matter of time before the techniques learned at the School would spread throughout the Continent, regardless of his efforts to prevent it. At the same time, there would undoubtedly be people that are produced by the system he had implemented that were adept at manipulating it to their advantage. The only way to prevent this was is if he managed and regulated everything, something that was simply impossible if he wanted to live free and happily with the people he cared about…

Vahn had long felt the weight of the responsibility he carried on his shoulders, as it was something he had accepted upon himself from the very moment he began forming bonds with others. The only way to truly be free from such things was to isolate himself, becoming completely detached from the very world and people he wanted to protect. This wouldn’t truly make him happy, however, as, much like the gods themselves, Vahn would eventually seek out change. It was the nature of all entities that possessed a soul to seek out others and experience what the infinite number of records and their contained worlds had to offer. Even if he allowed his ego to fade away, choosing to refuse the gift of The Path, Vahn’s soul would have reincarnated an infinite number of times, constantly seeking new stimulus to imprint upon itself…

Understanding this was the ‘nature’ of reality, something he would be bound by so long as even a basic desire for ‘freedom’ and ‘happiness’ existed within him, Vahn could only accept the reality of the situation. He would continue to shape this world, his home, into a better place for all those who resided here in the future. It wasn’t meant to be easy, as the power and feats required to accomplish such a thing were arguably ‘impossible’ for most people. Vahn, however, knew it was something that was within his capabilities and, remembering his ‘reason’ for setting out on this path, he was determined to see it through until the end. One day, when he finally reunited with his mother, even if it was just a fragment of her ego, Vahn wanted her to understand that he had never given up on the happiness he had found for himself…the love he shared with those he had been blessed to meet in this second life of his…

Feeling decidedly calmer than before, Vahn restrained his leaking energy before saying, “The future is a heavy responsibility…but…so long as I share the burden with those who seek a better future, it is something we can bear together. I am not alone and, even if I possess greater power than all others, it is the presence of the people I care about that allows me to keep my focus on what is important.” So long as there was a single person that sought the same future as he did, one where people could smile without facing persecution over inconsequential matters like race, gender, or status, Vahn would never give up striving for that future. Even if it took billions of years of trial and error, he had all the time in all records to figure out the solution, not to outright prevent tragedy, but to avoid situations where tragedy was something people were born into and had to bear alone…

Odin saw the conviction in Vahn’s eyes and allowed a small smile to spread across his lips, even though he simply couldn’t share the same ideals as the young Hero. He had lived for a very long time, watching over the Mortal World since the first men emerged and made the surface their home. The future Vahn sought wasn’t an impossible one to obtain but, in the grand scheme of eternity, it would merely be a ‘blip’ in time. History had shown, time and again, that widespread prosperity was impossible to maintain, even in a place like Heaven. For a time, everyone could play nice with each other but, eventually, regardless of the efforts people take to prevent it, there would be instability and chaos once again. The catalyst for this chaos had already been born into the world and, even if Vahn couldn’t see it himself, Odin knew that the ‘Vanir’, the children Vahn had sired with goddesses.

Unless Vahn isolated the Vanir entirely, Odin could already foresee the future that awaited the world once they were able to influence it. They would either shape the world around them or be shaped by the world after meeting people that were able to make an impression on their hearts and mind. Even the gods themselves could be fickle and whimsical, regardless of the fact that even ‘young’ gods were well over a hundred million years old. All it would take was a single Vanir, possessing incredible potential and status, being influenced by any form of negativity. It could be something as small as unreciprocated love, or something as petty as dissatisfaction with the words of another person. All it took was a single impactful incident for the seeds of chaos to be born within their hearts and, with the inherent bias most parents had towards their children, Vahn would likely fail to notice until it was too late…

With both parties having formed their respective resolve, Vahn and Odin continued to hold each other’s gaze until the latter looked towards Jeanne and asked, “What do you think of all this…?” From the very beginning, Siegfried and Jeanne had gathered to try and prevent things from escalating out of control as, even though they had a conflict with Vahn in the past, they were still ‘familiar’ to him. His actions would be more measured in their presence, giving them the opportunity to negotiate and come to a compromise that would prevent things from reaching an irreconcilable point. At the same time, Jeanne would be the one to protect Odin from Vahn in an emergency as the only other Hero that could ‘guarantee’ the safety of the gods was perhaps Heracles. If the latter met with Vahn, however, their battle would probably destroy much of the City of Heroes, causing a great many inconveniences for everyone residing within…

Jeanne had been somewhat pale at the beginning but, after the long conversation between Vahn and Odin, her complexion had returned to normal. With Odin asking for her opinion, Jeanne gazed into Vahn’s eyes and smiled as she said, “I believe our treatment towards Vahn has been an injustice towards him and his family. What he has been trying to do is something deserving of respect and admiration, not something we should have troubled him over. Though the incident with the Iron Hills could have been handled better, it is a fact that hundreds of thousands of slaves had been liberated as a result while a larger war was avoided. I am regretful for the loss of an ally but, once again, it was our mistake that had led to this outcome…” Towards the end of her words, Jeanne gave a polite bow with an apologetic expression on her face, her ashen grey bobbing as a result…

Odin stroked his chin while listening to Jeanne’s words, giving small nods as if he were agreeing with some of the things she was saying. When she raised her head once again, Odin’s eye passed over Jeanne before looking toward Vahn and saying, “In order to prevent further conflicts between our organization and the Alliance, I believe it would be ideal to have a mediator between the two groups. Though you may not agree with how we have done things, the purpose of Legend had always been for the benefit of the Mortal World, even if ‘some’ of our members haven’t always been forthright. At the very least, our association with each other should be able to prevent any major conflicts from arising…”

Vahn had an idea about what Odin was proposing but, at the same time, he was very aware that any actual cooperation between the Alliance and Legend would serve the latter far more. Currently, there was a large shift occurring in society as, slowly but surely, the average strength of Adventurers was on the rise. With the existence of the School and the future Academy, the number of individuals that could be considered ‘Heroes’, even if based solely on power, would continue to increase. In a way, the Alliance was doing what Legend had failed to do, fostering an environment where capable individuals would continually be produced. Legend would undoubtedly reach out to some of these people, slowly building up their numbers with the passage of time…

If Vahn chose to accept Odin’s proposal, it was the same as giving Legend a direct line to the future talent that would be produced. At the same time, it gave them a connection to the Hearth Manor and, even if Odin wasn’t mentioning it, Vahn knew that individuals with Legend, especially those like Zeus, would be eyeing the Vanir. They may not take action any time soon but there was no way a ‘snake’ like Zeus could overlook their existence as everything Vahn knew of the errant god made him out to be a despotic scoundrel. The moment he accepted a cooperative relationship with Legend, it was opening the door for their members to begin associating with the Alliance, even if only loosely at first…

Regardless of how things turned out, even if his children came to hate him for it, Vahn would never allow someone with a reputation like Zeus to weasel his way into their lives. Hera was almost as bad since she enabled Zeus to act in an unrestrained fashion while also having a scheming nature and a petty character. Thus, even though he could undoubtedly learn a great deal about Innates and other things from interacting with Legend, Vahn shook his head and said, “It would be better if we simply choose to remain neutral towards each other. I can even refer capable individuals to Legend in the future but I will not allow an intermediary to exist that would allow Zeus and Hera to set roots in Orario once again. I’ve already had to make preparations to prevent him from using Bell to influence the Alliance in the future so why would I allow that despicable man to have other means to do so?”

This time, Odin’s brows raised in surprise before he released a very long and exasperated sigh, saying in a tired tone of voice, “I understand what you are trying to say…however, there are some circumstances…haaaa.” Apparently unable to find an excuse, Odin pat Jeanne’s shoulder and simply stated, “Honestly, for the same reasons that you don’t want Zeus and Hera in Orario, there are some Heroines within the City who would be happier being able to reside outside, at least for a while. This one is the type that can only really be happy if she is serving a Lord that she respects. Since you’re trying to unify the whole of Eden, she could serve as your Knight Captain and help to train others to serve a similar role. If it’s you, she might even be able to open up her heart instead of living for the sake of duty alone…”

Jeanne’s lips formed a small pouting expression upon hearing Odin’s words but, instead of refuting them, she kneeled ceremoniously, bowing her head as she said, “It would be my honor to serve as your shield. I would like to see the world you wish to create with my own eyes…I cannot be a blade to cut down your enemies, but I swear to become the strongest shield to protect your ideals.” As if helping to promote her further, Siegfried gave a thumbs up and added, “Jeanne is quite the prize, Vahn, especially if you are serious about that whole spiel you gave earlier. You should know the stories about her, yeah…?” Not only was Jeanne a true master with the sword, but the legend of her loyalty and sacrifice had stood the test of time. If he wanted to remain on the ‘straight-and-narrow’, having someone like Jeanne there to keep Vahn honest wasn’t a bad arrangement.

Vahn was mildly taken aback by the situation but, even during their altercation in the past, his impression of Jeanne had never been bad. He actually thought she was a little ‘too’ innocent and believed she would be good friends with Vana and his other children. At the same time, even while he was in his Azure Dragon state, Vahn’s instincts were still telling him that he couldn’t defeat Jeanne. He didn’t feel like he would lose, either, but ‘something’ about Jeanne made it seem like she was an insurmountable wall that he wouldn’t be able to breach without going beyond his limits. If she became his Knight, it would be impossible for her to keep such secrets from him while her protection would make the Manor even safer in the future. At the same time, as Odin pointed out, it wasn’t really ‘safe’ to leave someone like Jeanne around Zeus. Vahn was actually a little surprised that the errant god hadn’t put his hands on her, regardless of how much it would hurt the image of Legend…

Ultimately, Vahn knew there were far more reasons to accept Jeanne’s fealty than there were to refuse. Regardless of Zeus’ efforts, the Alliance and the citizens of Orario, in general, treated the god as a target for contempt. There were still people alive who had experienced the reign of the Zeus and Hera Familia and, so long as the Alliance existed, they would not be allowed to take root in Orario again. If Zeus tried to press his luck, Vahn was absolutely determined to force his return to Heaven, even if that very action became the catalyst for the ‘chaos’ Odin warned of. When the records were linked in the future, Vahn would deal with people like Zeus personally, allowing a new god to inherit his Divinities instead of allowing the despot to continue acting as he pleased…

Knowing there would likely be future troubles, but willing to do whatever it took to overcome them, Vahn accepted the system prompt and allowed Jeanne to become his retainer. At the same time, he walked forward and extended his hand, bringing Jeanne to her feet as he said, “I will never force you into a course of action that goes against your principles as a Knight. Please, protect my family and the future we are all striving to create…” In response to this, an elegant smile blossomed across Jeanne’s face as she placed her hand atop her heart and said, “Yes, my Liege…!”


//Jeanne D’Arc has reached 100 Affection//

//Quest: [The Hearts Desire:C-SS] Cannot Be Completed Due To Special Circumstances//

//Jeanne D’Arc Affection(Exalted) Has been upgraded to Hidden Parameter: (Allegiance)//


Name: Jeanne D’Arc

Age: 329

Race: Human

Level: 8

Allegiance: (Innate)

Soul Strength: 3

Karma: 3,019,442

State: [Active] [Physical Details]

Hair: Ash-Grey

Eye: Pale-Blue

Height: 154cm

Weight: 53.1kg

Bust Size: 83.2cm

Waist Size: 61.4cm

Hip Size: 84cm

Status: Virgin

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(A/N: Alternate Titles: ‘Vahn’s biggest ‘weakness’ is not being a sociopath xD…’,’Zeus has his name firmly at the top of Vahn’s s*** list’,’Obtaining a Kneito-chan’) <-(p.atreon link)

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