Chapter 47: Things Overlooked

Vahn looked towards Lili and tried thinking of how to explain the situation. As far as he knew there should be no methods for someone other than a god to update a Status Board. Even being able to view status is something exceptionally rare…

Lili noticed he was struggling with something so she decided to speak up. “What is it Vahn? Did you notice something?” She was watching his face to see if he was trying to conceal anything. To Lili, Vahn seemed to have a lot of secrets that she couldn’t ask about, but she still wanted him to be truthful to her.

Vahn stared towards her with a serious expression. After hesitating briefly, he finally found his resolve. He had already decided to help her, and there was no reason he should hesitate after everything that has happened. “Lili…I have a skill that allows me to not only view status, but it should allow me to imbue my energy into the crest to revitalize the stagnant Falna within. I have never done it before, but I have reason to believe it will be successful.”

Hearing his words, Lili couldn’t believe them. She had never heard of a mortal being able to empower a falna or being able to update the status board of another person. But, seeing the seriousness in Vahn’s eyes, she believed he was telling the truth.

She hung her head in thought before asking him a question. “Does it have anything to do with that strange aura you’re able to emit? Just what exactly is that skill anyway? I’ve never even heard of anything like it before.”

Vahn shook his head. “No, that is a different skill. Right now, I can’t tell you the details since even I’m not strong enough to protect it’s secret. Knowing about it would only lead to your death.” This was the truth, since Innate skills existing outside the natural ‘law’ of the world. If a resident of the record obtained too much information about them, the laws would likely take action.

Lili could see a deadly seriousness in Vahn’s expression, but it only made her want to know even more. She wanted to become strong enough that he could trust her with all of his secrets. For now, she just nodded without asking further.

“The skill I’m going to use is called [Yggdrasil’s Favor]. It allows me to imbue the natural energy of the world into objects. Due to the nature of the skill, there is a very high possibility it would enable a stagnant falna to be revitalized since it should be similar in function to the energy used by gods in the mortal world. I can’t go into too many details, because even I don’t know exactly how it works.” Vahn gave a helpless sigh since this was the limit of his current explanation. Anything more would be touching on the secrets he needed to protect.

After mulling over his words for several minutes, Lili gave a determined nod and smiled towards Vahn. “I trust you Vahn. At the very least, I believe you won’t try to harm me.”

With a warm feeling welling in his chest, Vahn said, “Thank you, Lili.” He then reached out and patted her head for a brief moment.

“So, what do I need to do?” Lili had some expectations but decided to be roundabout and asked Vahn to explain.

Vahn could see Lili begin blushing, and he began to feel like something was off. Unable to determine the cause, he decided to explain. “I’ll need to view your Status Board while directly channeling the energy of my skill into the crest. I’m not sure how long it will take, but it shouldn’t take too much time.”

Hearing Vahn confirm her suspicions, Lili began to blush fiercely while ‘glaring’ at Vahn. She began to wonder if he even understood what he was asking her to do. It didn’t have to be said, but everyone knew the location of a Familia Crest was always on the back. Without directly exposing herself, he would be unable to perform the ritual!

Vahn was very confused about her actions. He thought she would be happy to have her status updated without having to rely on her Familia, but she seemed angry and bashful instead. While he was thinking about the cause, Lili began speaking.

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“Vahn…you may not know this since you aren’t in a Familia, but the Crest is always located on the back of an Adventurer. Without removing my blouse, there would be no way to view my Status Board, much less channel energy into the crest…” Lili continued to ‘glare’ at Vahn. She saw him display a confused expression before seeming to come to an understanding which caused his eyes to widen.

“Ah, you’re right. I’m sorry, I didn’t think it through that far. I was just focused on the theory, and didn’t think about the process that much..but, the part about me not being in a Familia is incorrect? Didn’t you notice at the gate that I put my information as being part of the Hephaestus Familia? I even gave you a ‘guest pass’ to allow you to enter and exit freely.”

Lili became startled, realizing she had made a huge blunder. Even though she could identify the ‘guest pass’ as an item belonging to the Hephaestus Familia, she didn’t think about how Vahn had obtained it. “But, Vahn? Didn’t you say you were a freelancer when we first met? I thought you only recently entered the City…and you’re even staying in an Inn instead of a dormitory or compound.”

Vahn nodded in confirmation. “That’s all true. At the time of our first meeting, I was still a freelancer. I only joined the Hephaestus Familia after we parted from the dungeon that same evening.”

The words were like a bomb exploding within her mind. She could barely process the information. (‘Exactly what happened in just a single night!?’). Lili released a long sigh. She felt like she severely underestimated how many events Vahn got wrapped up in within a short time period. In the course of a single evening, he saved her life, ran around the city, and even joined a Familia. And not just any Familia, but the rank 3 Familia within the entire City!

“Vahn, please tell me when things like that happen…I’m not sure my heart can handle the constant feeling of surprise.” She gave him a fed-up expression with drooping, tired eyes.

Vahn just rubbed the back of his head, promising to inform her about things as long as they weren’t a secret.

Only allowed on

The two were now exiting the dungeon. After Vahn realized what was necessary for the procedure, he couldn’t just ask Lili to take off her top within the dungeon. Even though it was unlikely, there was still a chance other Adventurers could appear in the route they were resting in. If they stumbled upon him using the skill and spread rumors, it would become a nightmare that wouldn’t be easy to resolve. To prevent that from happening, the only solution would be to ‘silence’ them, but Vahn wasn’t fond of the idea of indiscriminately killing people.

After trading in their spoils for the day, Vahn split the earnings equally. Though Lili refused at first, Vahn ignored her and just started walking in the direction of the Inn. After a few moments of hesitation, Lili sighed before putting the daily earnings into her backpack and chasing after Vahn.

Since it was already late in the evening and Vahn didn’t know how long the procedure would take, they decided to get some food from a nearby stall. The place they selected seemed to specialize in producing various types of crepes. Vahn found it very interesting watching them pour the batter and forming it into shape before adding the toppings they had each selected. From the side, Lili just stared at his childish expression while giggling.

After they had finished several rounds of crepes (mainly due to the fact Vahn really loved the taste of fried fish after having it for the first time), they finally found their way to the Inn. Stepping inside, they came across Tina who, upon seeing Vahn, blushed before immediately running away without greeting them.

Seeing the ‘frightened’ girl, Vahn just stood there with the hand he had raised to wave stuck awkwardly in the air. Once again, he could hear the laughter of Lili coming from his side. He turned to look at her, and she tried desperately to hold back her laughter before sticking her tongue out and heading up the nearby stairs.

Vahn shook his head and began to follow her, but was stopped when the Proprietress, Milan, called out to him. “Ara~ Good evening Vahn. I was wondering why my daughter ran into the pantry looking like a tomato. Don’t tell me you did something again~? I might have to really punish you at this rate~.”

Through his cold sweat, Vahn began explaining the circumstances before being forced to sit and buy a drink. It turned out Milan wanted to ask about the situation when he had disappeared for a few days and the reasons why he ended up bringing Lili back shortly after his return.

Since Vahn had no negative feelings towards the kind, albeit mischievous, Proprietress he decided to explain things without revealing any sensitive information. She was surprised hearing that Vahn had saved Lili’s life, and how after a series of events became responsible for training her to become stronger. When he got the part about how he had joined a Familia, and how he would most likely be moving away by the end of the week, a shadow dashed from behind the doorway dividing the dining room and kitchen.

“No! Please don’t leave!” The young Tina had revealed her presence after hearing that Vahn would be leaving. When her mother had been discussing things with Vahn, she was eavesdropping on the conversation.

Vahn just shook his head at her pleading. Though he liked staying within the Inn, he wouldn’t be able to stay here for the rest of his life. It was always guaranteed that, as he grew stronger, he would eventually move on from this place.

Seeing the apologetic expression on his face, combined with him shaking his head, Tina began to struggle with holding back her tears. “Is it because I ran away yesterday? Is it because I wouldn’t let you touch my tail?” For Tina, she couldn’t really rationalize the situation. Even though customers were always coming and going, she felt that Vahn would always be around. For Tina, he was a special existence and the first person that made her feel different from an ordinary girl.

Vahn was pained seeing her cry, but he nearly fell off of his stool when she mentioned the part about the tail. He began to worry that he left a strange impression in the mind of the girl…

He looked towards Milan, and she too seemed to be a bit sad about the revelation he would be leaving. However, unlike her daughter, she seemed to accept the reality for what it was. Life was always changing, always moving forward, even when you didn’t want it to…

Seeing the sad far-away look that had appeared on Milan, Vahn wanted to ask what she was thinking about. He wanted to be able to comfort the Mother-Daughter pair but didn’t know what to do.

While he was lost in thought, he felt a force wrap around his waist. Turning, he could see Tina hugging him from the side. He didn’t expect that she had grown so attached to him even though they hadn’t interacted that much. On the collar of the girl’s blouse, he could see the brooch that he had bought for her the previous day.

After spending twenty minutes trying to console Tina and talking to Milan, Vahn finally managed to extricate himself from the situation after promising to stop by whenever he could, even after he moved out. Tina even pressed him further and had him promise to give her his address after he moved. She told him that when she was old enough, she would become an Adventurer too and follow him into the dungeon just like her mother had done with her father.

Vahn walked upstairs and knocked on the door to Lili’s room. After various sounds of movement, the door opened a tiny margin and revealed the eye of Lili. She seemed very nervous, and Vahn noticed a peculiar odor coming from the crack in the door. It would seem that, while he was downstairs, Lili had taken the opportunity to bathe. Vahn assumed she must have been worried about her sweat, but after noticing the blush on Lili’s face he began to become nervous as well.

“T-thanks for coming here Vahn. Please come inside…” Lili opened the door, revealing clothing Vahn had never seen before. It was an outfit very similar to pajamas, except she was wearing the top of the ensemble backward. The area that would typically be buttoned from the front now revealed her open back. Seeing the exposed skin, Vahn felt his mouth dry up causing him to instinctually swallow.

Vahn stepped into the room and closed the door behind him.

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