Endless Path : Infinite Cosmos Chapter 2059 | einlion
Retracting his horns, wings, and tail, more for the benefit of Sarina and Nono than anything else, Vahn's expression relaxed as he mused, "I was wondering when you were going to show up. Have you been enjoying the show...?"
Seemingly amused by Vahn's words, Shiroyasha snickered mischievously before remarking, "It seems the Little Garden has another Problem Child in its midst. You know, for someone with the power to resolve this matter simply, you sure do have a way of escalating things."
Shaking his head, Vahn adopted a helpless expression as he said, "I'm doing my best to hold back, but people like this just grate on me like no other. Not only did they target one of my people, but I'm basically a Guardian God of Children. How could I overlook something like this...?"
Having seen the outcome of Vahn 'not' holding back, Shiroyasha knew he was telling the truth. His power didn't seem to be restricted in the same manner as the average resident of the Little Garden. If he really went all out, he could probably destroy tens of thousands of 7-Digit Communities before anyone could even think to stop him.
Not really having an answer to Vahn's question, Shiroyasha shifted her attention to the members of Silver Adonis before looking at Dorothea and stating, "Return to your Community. I'll handle things from this moment onward. Also, try not to take this matter to heart. Twice Twilight's handling of this situation wasn't exactly wrong. You just got wrapped up in something a little above your paygrade."
Since Floor Masters had the highest authority when it came to settling disputes and overseeing Gift Games, Dorothea didn't attempt to argue. Rather, after witnessing Vahn sprout horns, wings, and a tail, there were few things she wanted more than to disentangle herself from the current situation.
Bowing politely but not subserviently, Dorothea demonstrated considerable relief in her expression and posture as she said, "Thank you for interceding in this matter. I'm certain that Shiroyasha-sama will be able to uphold justice. Allow me to express my gratitude on behalf of my entire Community."
Waving her hand in a shooing gesture, Shiroyasha responded, "Yeah, yeah. Just get going." before returning her golden-eyed gaze to the members of Silver Adonis and asking, "Tell me, do you still wish to participate in this Gift Game?"
Understanding this might be their only option for clemency, Justinian immediately dropped to his knees, expression paling as he lowered his head and said, "I have seen the error of my ways. Please forgive my transgressions. I swear on my pride as a descendent of Adonis. Nothing like this will ever happen again..."
Rolling her eyes, Shiroyasha shifted her attention to Vahn, asking, "You hear that? Now that he has sworn on the name of his ancestor, he'll be flagged by the Central Network if he breaks his promise. You can also have him sign a Geass Contract. I wouldn't mind seeing a show, but are you sure this is the best course of action? Have you asked the little ones for their opinion on the matter~?"
Though he furrowed his brows ever so slightly, Vahn's expression returned to normal by the time he looked back at Sarina and Nono. Both appeared more than a little nervous. Nono, however, seemed genuinely horrified by how things were developing. She didn't have any positive feelings left for the members of Silver Adonis, but that didn't mean she wished to see them suffer.
Realizing he might have gone a little too far, a slightly apologetic smile spread across Vahn's face as he ruffled the two girls' hair and muttered, "Sorry...I should have asked for your opinions. I just get a little hotheaded when people try to antagonize and threaten those in my charge..."
Returning a smile, Sarina did her best to appear supportive as she said, "It's okay. Nono and I both understand that you just wanted to protect us...isn't that right, Nono-chan...?"
Though she didn't say anything, Nono only hesitated for a brief moment before nodding her head, color returning to her cheeks as she reached out to grasp the hem of his tunic. This caused Vahn's expression to relax, his smile returning until Shiroyasha chimed in to remark, "Lolicon~" in a teasing timbre that only he could hear.
Deadpanning in response to the white-haired Demoness's remark, Vahn resisted the urge to call her a Lolibaba as he declared, "So long as they don't go around making trouble in the future, I have no reason to pursue this matter further. Consider yourselves lucky that Nono has such a big heart...the next time something like this happens, I will annihilate you without a trace..."
With Justinian appearing as though he was about to say something ingratiating, Vahn teleported the entire group away with a wave of his hand. He hated how villains would try to suck up to the strong only to turn around and try to stab them in the back later on. It was one of the cliches he hated most within fiction. Unfortunately, reality itself was derived from fiction, so, if you lived long enough, it was only a matter of time before you encountered every type of person imaginable.
Understanding Vahn's thoughts, even without reading his mind, Shiroyasha giggled before turning her attention to Dorothea and asking, "You're still here? I'm warning you right now, little missy, but you don't want to get involved with this man. The moment you drop your guard, you'll find yourself in his bed. He might have a stupidly kind face, but he's a real beast when the lights go out."
Blushing in response to Shiroyasha's words, Dorothea supplied another bow, saying, "I-I'll be on my way then...!" before quickly scampering off. The libido of Dragons was infamous, not just within the Divine Realm, but all realities. She also knew of Vahn's association with Inanna, so, having already dedicated her heart to the Leader of her Community, Dorothea didn't hesitate to escape from the front of the Cafe at a full sprint.
Cackling like a hyena, Shiroyasha hugged her stomach as she watched Dorothea disappear in the distance. When she turned around, however, her expression paled as she found Vahn towering over her with an unamused expression on his face. She wasn't actually afraid of him, but, for the sake of theatrics, she recoiled away from him, hands covering her breasts and the front of her skirt as she nervously stammered, "W-What are you looking at...?"
Though his expression momentarily became even more severe, Vahn ultimately just exhaled a sigh, a wry smile developing across his face as he said, "Thanks for making an appearance when you did. My power is a little unstable at the present. I'm also not sure I could reverse time at my current level so I appreciate your intervention. I'm not particularly fond of senseless destruction so...thanks..."
Even without the aid of her Gifts, Shiroyasha could perceive that Vahn was being sincere by the look in his eyes. Despite this, her brow began to twitch slightly as she asked, "Are you enjoying yourself? You know, it's rather rude to pet someone's head without permission..."
Blinking in surprise, Vahn retracted his hand from Shiroyasha's head, his smile turning even wrier as he said, "Sorry. It's basically an instinct at this point. You're also the perfect height so...yeah...sorry..."
Amused by Vahn's uncharacteristically meek behavior, an amused smile spread across Shiroyasha's face as she dissipated the strange energy that had flowed into her body. She wasn't really upset, so, rather than harp over it, she just made a mental note to stay out of Vahn's range as she said, "Well, I originally intended to give you the chance to spread your wings and do your own thing. Now that it is all but confirmed that your power can't be regulated by the Central Network, I have no choice but to intervene. How about making the Sage Dragon's Hearth a branch of the Thousand Eyes? If you're serious about maintaining neutrality, I can help you find clients. I imagine that would save us both a lot of trouble."
Though it was an obvious choice from his point of view, Vahn still turned towards Sarina and Nono, asking, "What do the two of you think? Would you rather build up our Community from the ground up or work together with a much larger organization to keep the peace?"
Reacting to Vahn's words, Sarina ceased glaring at Shiroyasha long enough to answer, "As much as I hate to admit it, I don't really have anything to contribute as a Sub-Leader right now. You're such an amazing person, Vahn. If you believe it's a good idea, I'll trust in your judgment...I promise to do my best, no matter what you choose..."
Though he got the distinct impression that Sarina was fishing for headpats, Vahn didn't disappoint her. As for Nono, she had even less to say on the matter, saying, "I just don't want to hurt people..." in a meek tone of voice.
Recalling his desire to make this a memorable day for both girls, Vahn found himself suppressing a sigh as he noticed Nono's muddled aura. She was still shaken after the encounter with her former Community, so, with the hope of restoring her confidence in him, he retracted his hand from Sarina before taking a knee and saying, "You'll never have to hurt anyone. I promise..." in the most sincere tone he could manage. Then, before the petite redhead could fully process what was happening, he wrapped his arms around her body, gently embracing her as a father would his daughter.
Feeling a tremendous amount of warmth and comfort in Vahn's embrace, the tensions in Nono's body gradually relaxed as she leaned into his embrace. She was still feeling a little doubtful, but, understanding he had gotten angry on her behalf, she didn't blame him for what had happened. She just wished he could have settled things without needing to resort to threats or violence...she didn't like it when his kind smile turned into an angry expression...
Noticing Nono's aura beginning to stabilize, Vahn gradually released her from his embrace before offering an affectionate smile and pinching her nose. Then, before Sarina could begin pouting, he gestured for her to come closer before giving both girls one final hug...
After agreeing to Shiroyashas's proposal, Vahn had to rent a total of eleven rickshaws to take them to Gate #2105380, the closest Thousand Eyes branch. As for why Shiroyasha didn't simply teleport them, it was because her Authority as a Floor Master prevented it. Most of her powers only worked during Gift Games, so, even if they were members of her Community, she couldn't show favoritism by using them outside her official capacity as a Floor Master. Instead, she promised to prepare an interesting gift for them before promptly disappearing in a flash of bluish-white light.
Though he could have easily ascertained what the 'gift' was before their arrival, Vahn dismissed the Law of Identity every time she attempted to spoil him. She was getting better at appearing when he wasn't focused on her, but, rather than begrudge her for this, Vahn was actually looking forward to the day when she might be able to manifest on her own. It didn't matter if he was the only one that could see her. He would be happy so long as she was...
At the end of their journey, Vahn, Sarina, and Nono found themselves standing outside of what could best be described as a run-down fortune teller's shop. There were purple banners on the outside declaring it the property of Thousand Eyes, but, if you looked closely, it was possible to see paint flaking from the exterior walls and tiles. As for its structure, it almost resembled a Japanese Shrine, complete with a multi-tiered structure and a sloped-tile roof.
Speaking the words on everyone's minds, Sarina asked, "Is this really a shop owned by the Eastern Floor Master? I expected it to be a little more...extravagant...?"
Chuckling in response to Sarina's words, Vahn gently ruffled the girl's hair as he said, "It's quite a bit bigger on the inside."
Though she was about to ask what he meant, Sarina's expression morphed into a hostile deadpan as a woman with bluish-purple hair and distinct rabbit-like ears emerged from the interior of the shop, asking, "Are you Vahn Mason...?" in an audibly nervous tone.
(A/N: Alternate Titles: 'Justinian's Luck parameter must be through the roof...','That instinct though xD...','The appearance of a wild bun's buns...!?')
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