Chapter 981: Troublesome

With a tired and despondent expression on his face, Vahn was making his way back towards the 60th Floor with two very contrasting characters following behind him. There was Ais, wearing her pristine white dress, possessingly beautiful golden hair, and having an appearance that could literally take the breath away from anyone who bore witness to her. Her expression was marred with one of slight incredulity and caution but, even with the crease of her brow, her beauty wasn’t diminished in the slightest. As for the reason why she had such an expression, it was due to the petite ‘young’ woman wearing a black dress that was following closely behind Vahn, quite literally blocking Ais from getting any closer.

Vahn had been surprised to discover that the One-Eyed Black Dragon was still nameless but his intrigue hadn’t lasted that long since he noticed her Loyalty towards him was a measly 18 points. Since 50 was supposed to be neutral, this showed that the One-Eyed Black Dragon didn’t truly consider him to be her Master, even if The Path recognized her as his subordinate. He didn’t know if it was due to the fact that she had split her body, leaving on a fragment behind, or because of how she interpreted her own standing in their relationship. Either way, things were beginning to become very troublesome and, knowing the promises he had just made as an Emperor, Vahn was lost in thought about the best course of action to take…

Fortunately, the further upwards they went in the Dungeon, the more labored the One-Eyed Black Dragon’s breathing became and Vahn already knew why. He could see she was constantly pulling in a massive amount of mana from the Dungeon and sending it through a spatial link, likely towards her main body. He postulated that she, like all monsters and Xenos, still needed the mana from the Dungeon to sustain herself. While her main body was in a state of deep meditation, her fragment had been left behind to serve as a tether that also provided her with ample mana reserves. As they went higher in the Dungeon, the available mana continually decreased and, by the time they reached the 63rd Floor, it didn’t look like the One-Eyed Black Dragon would be able to continue much further…

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As if she was unaware of the state of her body, the One-Eyed Black Dragon continued to push on with a glimmer of determination reflecting across her eyes. She didn’t seem willing to complain or give up and had instead taken to killing every monster they came across in order to devour its magic core. This made their progress much faster but it also completely killed Vahn’s Origin Point gain since the One-Eyed Black Dragon would snatch up any monster core and drop items in an instant before throwing it into her mouth in a rather slovenly manner. This couldn’t continue indefinitely, however, as the mana density only decreased the further upwards they went…

Eventually, around the same time that the sun was beginning to rise over the distant mountains on the surface, Vahn, Ais, and their new ‘companion’ reached the entry point to the 60th Floor. At this point, the One-Eyed Black Dragon was standing on slightly wobbly legs while a frustrated expression marred her face. Her appearance wasn’t much to look at, as she appeared rather plain compared to many of the girls Vahn associated with, but it was a very peculiar sight to see such a prideful and powerful entity essentially pouting like a child that couldn’t get its way. Vahn noticed she would periodically look towards him as if she wanted to say something but ultimately kept quiet, even as the strain on her body continued to grow…

Before entering the 60th Floor, Vahn withheld a sigh as he turned to the One-Eyed Black Dragon and said, “Though I said you should follow me, it will cause problems for both of us if you require such a vast amount of mana just to maintain basic functions. I could help supply you with enough energy to keep you in a stable state, but I can’t see any reason to go to such lengths given how things are at present. There are a lot of people I care about back on the surface and, with how you’ve been acting towards Ais, I can’t take you into my home…” Even as these words left Vahn’s mouth, the image of an emerald-haired True Dragon was the predominant figure within his mind. Though Terra may not win against the One-Eyed Black Dragon’s true form, it was almost impossible for her to lose against it within her territory. The moment the One-Eyed Black Dragon’s avatar entered the Manor grounds, Vahn had no delusions that there wouldn’t be some form of conflict between them.

Hearing Vahn’s words, the One-Eyed Black Dragon showed a discontented expression as she gnashed her teeth and spat, “You told me to follow you and now you are telling me I can’t follow you…? Are you trying my patience!?” Since she was unable to admit that she had overlooked the fact of her own energy consumption, the One-Eyed Black Dragon decided to shift the blame to Vahn since he admitted to being able to help provide her with enough energy to sustain herself. She also wanted to see Vahn’s home and meet with the people he claimed to care about as she was unable to accept that he had refused to stay with her and become stronger together.

Since he had already expected the One-Eyed Black Dragon’s outburst, Vahn’s expression remained stoic as he quietly stared back at her until she fell silent once again. Though she was far from calm, Vahn knew she was waiting for an answer so he carefully explained, “Your existence is something that is universally feared on the surface world, to the point that millions of people dread the thought of ever encountering you. It was my duty to claim your life so that they could live in peace, devoid of the fear that you would one day scorch the surface world during your rampage…”

Hearing Vahn’s words, the One-Eyed Black Dragon puffed out her somewhat modest chest as if everything he said was something she took personal pride in. Because of this, Vahn’s words became rather solemn as he squinted his eyes and added, “Though I might be able to twist things in a favorable light if you behaved properly, I can already see that you will cause trouble within my home and for my Empire. I just became Emperor and I won’t allow anyone to destroy what I have just created, especially some relic from an era that I have personally decided to end…!” Due to the fact that the One-Eyed Black Dragon didn’t actually have a malicious aura, Vahn had been relatively lenient towards her up until now. Since she seemed to take pride in the people she had killed, however, what little positive rapport he had allowed her to build-up had been diminished in its entirety. His mind had even started to contemplate how best to move her away from Enyo’s seal so they could finish the fight that had been started the prior evening…

Sensing the ‘shift’ in Vahn’s demeanor, the One-Eyed Black Dragon became much more serious as a grimace spread across her face. She wanted to outright refute his words as, if not for the fact so many had invaded her territory and tried to attack her, she wouldn’t have even known they existed. Though her own power had increased after exposure to the strange creatures that dwell on the surface world, she still treated them as nothing more than annoying ants who failed to understand their place. The only exceptions to this were those who had attacked her after the death of Echidna and the True Dragon pup that had tried to attack her after she razed the surface world to take revenge for her right eye…

For several tense seconds, Vahn and the One-Eyed Black Dragon seemed to be having a staring contest of sorts where both parties refused to back down. The only thing breaking the silence was the labored breaths of the black-clothed Dragoness, something she seemed to realize as her expression became progressively grimmer. It was at this point that Vahn raised his head slightly before saying, “I return to the Dungeon daily to harvest resources and strengthen a magical seal. I’ll also be delving deeper into the Dungeon to explore its depths so I’ll need powerful allies at my side in order to avoid setbacks. We both know that there isn’t much for you on the surface in your current state of mind so the best path forward would be for you to stay within the Dungeon and await my return. Once you have become more open-minded, there is a chance I will be able to take you back to the surface world…however, you need to prepare yourself for when that day arrives. A lot has changed since you last appeared…”

Vahn had nearly stated that she may not be the strongest True Dragon on the surface any longer but, considering the type of ‘person’ the One-Eyed Black Dragon was, he decided against it. The last thing he needed was her true body making an appearance at the Manor in an attempt to fight against Terra for dominance. Since she was likely on the cusp of breaching into Tier 4, Vahn knew she would jump at the chance to devour the ‘Dragon’s Heart’ of another powerful True Dragon. This was one of the many reasons, on a list that would likely span several meters if put to paper, that he didn’t really want to take her to the surface…

As much as the words spoken by Vahn bothered her, the One-Eyed Black Dragon still listened quietly and seemed to be considering them seriously. In truth, she didn’t want to be reliant on Vahn for energy, as it made her feel somewhat anxious just thinking about it. There was also the fact that, while she was somewhat interested in his home and the people living with him, the One-Eyed Black Dragon didn’t actually care about them at all. From her perspective, they were just ignorant fools who had sought after a prize that should have been hers from the start. Once she was able to take Vahn for herself, she fully intended to chase away the other girls around Vahn since he didn’t need anyone else after realizing she was the best choice for a mate. Only by working together would they both be able to rise above those hateful gods before taking their rightful place at the apex of all creation.

With this thought crossing her mind, the One-Eyed Black Dragon gave a small nod before turning her stark-blue eye towards Vahn and saying, “I will stay here, but I will not simply wait for your return like some pet. My nest is on the 73rd Floor and I expect you will show up within a few days time to pay me a visit. If you keep me waiting too long…don’t blame me for coming to ‘visit’ you, pup…” Though Vahn had explained to her that he was a Progenitus during their excursion towards the 60th Floor, the One-Eyed Black Dragon didn’t really know, or care, what that was. He had the ability to transform into a True Dragon and, after imprinting his scent and energy signature into memory, she had started to realize he was actually ‘incomprehensible’ to her. His energy was unlike anything she had ever sensed before and, even compared to her Mother and Father, Vahn seemed to be the most ‘monstrous’ entity she ever encountered. This both excited the One-Eyed Black Dragon and confused her, as she was absolutely certain he was her best potential mate while a very small part of her was actually a little afraid of him…

Without wasting any more time, the One-Eyed Black Dragon tore through the void before disappearing from the 61st Floor stairwell. She had already been pushing herself quite a bit and needed to replenish her reserves within her nest on the 73rd Floor. The reason she had told Vahn to appear in a few days, instead of demanding he come to visit her tomorrow, was due to the fact that she needed a lot more rest than she was willing to admit. Vahn was, of course, very aware of the state of her body but, not wanting to inflate the issue, pretended as if he was unaware of the truth. He really didn’t want to deal with such a troublesome existence right now and still needed to come up with a ‘solution’ regarding the promise he had made. It actually wasn’t that difficult to fabricate the death of the One-Eyed Black Dragon but, knowing it would be extremely troublesome if anyone learned the truth, Vahn was still considering other options…

Once the surrounding Space had stabilized, Vahn released a heavy sigh before turning to the patiently waiting Ais and saying, “I’m sorry you weren’t able to get your revenge…” Though Ais didn’t seem that bothered by the reality of the situation, Vahn still felt compelled to apologize since she had, quite literally, lived for vengeance for several years of her life. In response to this, Ais simply smiled before walking over to his side and embracing him without another word on the matter. Instead, she rubbed her face against his chest and said, “Let’s go home…I think I’m ready now…” Though these words were rather vague, Vahn understood what Ais meant and it caused his heart to palpitate a few times as he habitually swallowed his saliva.

Without tarrying too long, Vahn spent the necessary time to ensure that Enyo’s seal hadn’t been damaged before he and Ais returned to the surface. He had already been dealing with some important matters with his main body, which had been designated as his ‘Emperor’ self, so they almost immediately entered the Sub-Space orb for some privacy. Though they encountered a few ‘hiccups’ along the way, mainly in the form of girls who somehow had intuited what was going on, Vahn and Ais eventually found some privacy within her personal training grounds. Since he had been ‘ignoring’ her during the excursion towards the 60th Floor, as the One-Eyed Black Dragon was getting in the way, Vahn decided it was an opportune moment to spoil Ais as much as he could. He figured that a solid nine months of pampering would be enough of an apology…

(A/N: Since I may not have explained it well enough, the One-Eyed Black Dragon is around 153cm tall with pert B-Cup breasts. She has pale skin that is covered with a black runic pattern while her forearms, calves, lower back, and ears are all covered in fine black scales. Her hair reached precisely to her ankles and is rather unkempt as it has never been combed in 60,000+ years. Her eyes fluctuate between red, gold, and blue depending on her mood though the primary hue is always a stark-blue in color. As for her facial features, she has a relatively plain face that looks like the very definition of ‘average’, as she didn’t really have anyone else to imprint on when choosing her ‘human’ appearance. She also has a large scar over her right eye that extends past her cheekbone while her brows are somewhat angular, giving her a fierce expression by default (resting bitch face). Inside of her mouth, she has prominent canine teeth while her wings and tail are reptilian in nature, meaning her tail has small spines on it while her wings have thin membranes between segmented bones, much like a bat. Her most striking feature, other than her eyes, is the fact that the black scales on her body will actually glow with small blue runes, much like Vahn’s own, whenever she is using her powers.)

(A/N: Alternate Titles: ‘What kind of personality is the OEBD? Yandere? Kuudere? Hinedere?’,’Vahn be like, “Ain’t nobody got time fo dat…!’,’Poor Ais xD…’)

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