Chapter 927: Observation

Around the same time that Vahn was taking care of Alexa, he was using his avatar to venture down into the 60th Floor of the Dungeon. Even during his ‘vacation’, Vahn had to pay attention to what was taking place around Enyo’s seal as ignoring her simply wasn’t an option. Though there hadn’t been any accidents thus far, it was simply foolish to overlook her presence and ‘assume’ nothing would go wrong. With the amount of Karma he had, Vahn wouldn’t be surprised if some random change happened in the Dungeon that would compromise the seal. If Enyo managed to escape, she would be a Tier 4 monster within the mortal world and, though he had a few means to deal with her, that too was just an assumption.

After stepping through the teleportation magic circle, Vahn found himself in a large circular chamber that was comprised almost entirely out of dark blue stone. The teleportation war on the ground emitted a magical blue light that illuminated the entire room, refracting off the blue crystals growing out of the wall and ceiling. Waiting for his arrival were two humanoid Xenos named Trix and Davr, both belonging to the Goblin-Xenos lineage. Compared to their past selves, they shared almost no similarities with other Goblins, now standing around 140-145cm tall with pale green skin and a few areas of matted brown fur. They had grown slightly more muscular, losing the emaciated appearance of their kin, while their facial features were now almost entirely human.

Only allowed on

As was often the case for those guarding the teleportation ward, the two quickly greeted Vahn upon his arrival before Davr ran off to inform Gros. Trix stayed behind, explaining, “There be no changes since the last time you come, Boss.” The Xenos took their duty of guarding Enyo’s seal very seriously, something Vahn was grateful for, but he always had to personally make sure things were okay. His eyes were able to discern far more than most people so there was a chance he would be able to discern something they had overlooked. Even so, Vahn nodded his head and said, “Thank you, Trix, you have been working hard.”

Though Trix was a male Xenos, like many of the Goblin-Type, Vahn still reached out his hand and used his [Grooming] to show his appreciation. He had the feeling that he would break through to the next evolution of the skill pretty soon and, knowing his mentality played a large part in that, Vahn had become somewhat ‘indiscriminate’ in his petting as of late. Besides, Trix was around the size of one of the older students at the School so Vahn was easily able to perform the act without any real inconvenience. As for Trix himself, he had a happy smile on his face until Vahn departed, heading towards the Observation Room.

By the time Vahn reached the room, Gros had already been waiting for him, Davr at his side while several other Xenos were monitoring the various screens located around the room. All of the central screens showed the surrounding Floors of Haven, making sure there was no danger to the rapidly expanding City. Just with the members of the HDF, there were already 14,000 permanant residents while the rest of Haven’s population, already having reached 23,000 members, was comprised of various Familia belonging to the Alliance. There were a few Merchants that ran their own businesses as well, but they were in the minority at the moment since the Alliance’s influence in the market had been expanding rapidly.

Gros gave a salute that he had copied from the Valkyrie, thumping his chest with a proud smile on his face as he exclaimed, “Welcome back, Master! Since your last visit, we have rescued three more Xenos refugees and evacuated them to the village. There is also one incident that I wanted to discuss with you, as I’m unsure of how to deal with it…” Gros gestured to the side where three Almiraj-Type Xenos were paying close attention to what was happening on a series of screens. They hadn’t grown enough to develop humanoid features just yet but, true to the nature of Xenos, they were happy to be able to help track down and rescue their fellow Xenos.

Even now, there were a few incidents where Adventurers would encounter Xenos and try to kill them, either out of ignorance or in sheer violation of the changing laws. These weren’t nearly as bad as some of the ‘deviants’ who would encounter Xenos with female characteristics, sometimes trying to force themselves upon them for the ‘thrill’ of the experience. The Xenos charged with rescuing their fellow kin had ended up fighting with and slaying a few Adventurers over the last few months but, in each case, their justification for doing so was perfectly understandable. Generally, it was during such incidents that the Xenos would defer to him, causing Vahn to feel slightly exasperated as he turned his attention to the monitors.

Upon seeing the people on screen, Vahn’s exasperation reached a critical level and he couldn’t help releasing an outward sigh while shaking his head. There, hiding away in one of the various safe areas in the Dungeon, Bell was sitting alongside a humanoid Xenos with pale purple skin, silver-blue hair, and amber colored eyes. She had long ears like an Elf and a thick blue lizard-like tail protruding out of the tattered red mantle that Bell had likely lent to her. Vahn was able to identify her as a Vouivre Xenos because of the red gemstone at the center of her forehead and the sapphire-like scales covering sections of her body.

After seeing the scene, Vahn noticed something ‘wrong’, asking, “Where are Bell’s companions…?” Though he had asked Gros, it was one of the Almiraj-Xenos that pointed to a screen that was being monitored by a Kobold-Xenos. It reflected the image of a group of four girls searching through the Dungeon, obviously looking for Bell. Seeing this, Vahn felt even more exasperated until Gros explained, “We managed to find that Xenos as she was being chased by a group of Adventurers. At the time, she had been naked and injured and we were afraid we may be too late to arrive and help her…” Gros had tightly gripped his fists as he was speaking, clearly upset that there were so many depraved Adventurers targeting his ‘newborn’ kin.

Continuing where he left off, Gros explained, “Just as she was corned by the group of Adventurers, Bell had entered into the area after being separated from his party. He managed to fight off the group of Adventurers and flee with the Xenos girl while the group gave chase. Eventually, the Xenos girl must have detected one of the safe areas as she pulled Bell inside so they could escape pursuit. Since then, we’ve been monitoring their interactions and awaiting your arrival, Master…” Bell was actually one of the people Vahn had asked the Xenos to monitor semi-actively, as he was interested in how the ‘world’ would treat Bell after the threat of Enyo was removed.

At this point, Bell’s ‘party’ had grown from three members, consisting of Line, Plum, and Bell himself, to a total of six members. There was the tomboyish Amazoness Taliah who, when meeting Vahn after the past ‘incident’, would turn skittish and hide behind Bell for protection. Following her addition to the group, there was now a peculiar Cat Person with green hair and yellow eyes. She was wielding a longsword and a rather revealing outfit that looked like a leather swimsuit with various belts and a thick mantle. It was the existence of the Bell’s final party member, however, that caught Vahn’s eye the most as it was actually someone he recognized…

Located at the center of formation looking for Bell, Vahn saw a red-haired Elven woman with light freckles dotting her face. This was the same Elven girl who had shown up during his open challenge, showing a great deal of hostility towards him while casting Fire Magic with lethal intent. Vahn latter learned that she was one of the Elves who thought he had been blackmailing and forcing Riveria against her will. Her true identity was that of a branch member that used to serve the Hokai Elven Noble Family. Vahn learned from the investigation into her past that she was an illegitimate child that had been born to the former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mesir Aod Hokai. Vahn recalled that her name was Julienne Eastvale and hadn’t expected that she would end up as part of Bell’s ‘entourage’…

Fate was a curious thing at times and Vahn couldn’t help but shake his head slightly as he asked, “Where are they located…?” Without any delay, Gros immediately answered, “They are currently located on the 19th Floor. If you’d like, we can reach them within ten minutes, Master.” To this, Vahn shook his head and gave the screen one last glance as he said, “Continue to monitor the situation, but you don’t have to interfere. If they’re only on the 19th Floor, then there shouldn’t be any problems that Bell can’t deal with. When they’re trying to exit the Dungeon, make sure to pick them up and guide the Xenos to Spero and get her situated. If she wants to continue to associate with Bell, we can make arrangements to start publicizing the existence of the Xenos and have her begin accompanying Bell’s party…”

At this point, Bell had been an Adventurer for over seven months and, even without much assistance, his Level was around the peak of Level 4. He had even been able to overtake Line who, even while trying her best, had only reached the peak of Level 3. As for Plum, she was still only Level 2 while the excitable Taliah should have become Level 4 around a month ago. Vahn wasn’t sure about the other two members of the party but he knew the Elven Mage had been Level 3 during their battle and it seemed like the longsword wielding Cat Person was actually leading the group in Bell’s absence. This meant she was probably Level 4 as well, meaning Bell’s group had already become one of the more powerful parties in a very short period of time…

As he was thinking this, Vahn saw something rather unexpected reflected on the monitor that showed Bell and the Xenos girl. Though he didn’t really have the means to heal wounds without potions and Elixirs, it seemed like Bell was worried about the wounds sustained by the Xenos girl. With her constitution, she would eventually regenerate just by being exposed to the Dungeon but Bell was entirely unaware of this. As a result, he had a flushed face and was stammering words that none of them could hear. Then, after the Xenos girl laughed at his antics and nodded her head, Bell began to flusteredly draw a familiar magic circle on the ground…

The moment Vahn realized what was going on, he couldn’t stop himself from rubbing his temples and remarking at how unbelievably stupid Bell was at times. Currently, he was separated from his party and, instead of summoning them to his side using the very same [Pactio], he was unnecessarily using the [Pactio] just to help a Xenos woman he didn’t even know that well heal her injuries. Based on their proximity, Vahn knew that Bell’s party would find him pretty soon and, as expected, the moment Bell activated the [Pactio], the red-haired Elf detected the mana. The group discovered the secret door and broke into the room, just as Bell and the Xenos woman were kissing each other and sealing their [Pactio] contract…

Vahn watched as Julienne and Line began ‘beating’ Bell while the rest of his party members began to question the Xenos girl. They seemed a little ‘too accustomed’ to Bell’s antics and were ignoring the boy’s cries as he was getting beaten up by the two ‘sensible’ girls in the group. As for the Xenos girl, they ended up providing her some extra clothing and talking for a few minutes until Bell ended up in a seiza and started listening to a long lecture from Line and Julienne. At this point, Vahn shook his head and turned away from the monitor, saying, “I’m going to check Enyo’s seal before venturing into the 61st Floor for some materials. Keep monitoring the situation and be prepared to receive the new Xenos when they are trying to exit the Dungeon…”

Gros gave another salute, which was emulated by several of the Xenos, as Vahn left the room with an expression of light amusement on his face. If he were being honest, he didn’t actually understand why so many girls were drawn to Bell, even though he was also somewhat fond of the boy’s nature. The confusion was the result of the fact that, even though Bell was surrounded by girls, and they would sometimes kiss and hold hands, he hadn’t actually done anything more with them. Even Vahn could see that some of the girls were very ‘frustrated’ with Bell’s dense and passive nature, yet the boy himself seemed completely unaware of the ‘hungry’ looks some of the girls gave him. They were well within their rights to hit and berate him as even Vahn felt incredulity after witnessing some of the things Bell would do…

Deciding to meet up with Bell at the Clubhouse at some point and have a ‘serious’ talk with him, Vahn made his way to where Enyo was sealed and began checking the structural integrity of the Dungeon and the incorporated seal. With the various failsafes, it would take years for Enyo to break free, even if the seal was broken, but Vahn would rather be safe than sorry. Fortunately, there hadn’t been any abnormalities in the seal thus far and, even after triple checking it this time around, Vahn was able to confirm it was holding strong. He then checked the surrounding area to make sure there weren’t any other issues before making his way to where he had previously fought Enyo.

Unlike other areas of the Dungeon, which would regenerate with the passing of time, the chamber where Enyo’s egg had been located had never repaired itself. It was part of the ‘safe area’ of the Dungeon and had an isolated mana current that was distinctly different than the mana that gave the rest of the Dungeon its structure. As a result, Vahn was able to descend into lower Floors by using the large hole that he had bored into the Dungeon during their conflict. It originally continued all the way to the 63rd Floor but, after the Floors themselves were repaired, it now only connected to the 61st.

The reason for Vahn’s visit to the 61st Floor was because he had long ago determined exactly what the ‘essence’ liquid used in Terra’s wellspring was. Sometimes, after killing a Slime, it would drop a small clear membrane that looked like a gelatinous balloon. Inside of this balloon was around 1 litre of the ‘essence’ while the actual name of the unprocessed item was [Slime Ration]. In its natural and unprocessed state, it was an item that could rapidly regenerate wounds and suppress hunger. If you drained the insides and boiled the contained liquid, it would separate into two layers, one consisting of thick and resilient gelatine while the runoff was the same versatile liquid essence that Vahn had researched heavily in the past.

Though he could purchase [Slime Ration]s from the system shop, each one was worth between 6,000 and 4,000,000OP, depending on the ‘size’. This told Vahn that there were much larger Slimes that would likely appear on lower Floors, presumably in the form of a Monster Rex. Since he didn’t want to invest heavily into something he could easily obtain on his own, Vahn decided to make a habit of harvesting a few [Slime Ration]s every time he visited the 60th Floor to check on Enyo’s seal. As a result, Terra’s wellspring had been slowly increasing in size and depth while the amount of energy it was able to absorb from Yggy’s presence had caused her dominion itself to spread rapidly.

Currently, Terra’s area of influence was a 7.3km radius around her Garden while the depth her dominion reached was around 2.7km, creating a dome shape. This was because the Dungeon actively ‘resisted’ Terra’s encroachment and it took her a lot longer to seize the parts of the Dungeon than it did the surrounding terrain. Even so, Terra was very persistent and, as a result, had created a relatively ‘safe’ area in the Dungeon where she could manipulate the spawning of Monsters. This had been very helpful for dealing with Ioke’s urges as she would visit every few days with Juno and venture into the segmented area of the Dungeon and slaughter to her heart’s content before using the bath and departing once again. She currently appeared very ‘cautious’ around Vahn but was steadily opening up to others under the constant support of various goddesses…

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(A/N: Alternate Titles: ‘Vahn is a little paranoid xD…’,’Be(ta)ll needs to man up (o 3 o)…’,’Delicious Slime essence…?’) <-(p.atreon link)

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