Endless Path : Infinite Cosmos Chapter 2068 | einlion
While allowing Sarina and Nono to perform the check-up, Vahn attempted to keep Jin distracted by making small talk. More specifically, he asked about Jin's history, how things had been the last two years, and, most importantly, what he had in mind for the future of the No Names.
"I just want our Community to keep growing, even if we aren't able to participate in Gift Games. The most important thing to me is everyone's happiness..."
Shaking his head, Vahn, who had been conversing with Jin while sitting backward in a chair, plainly stated, "Naive. It's commendable to aim for a future where everyone is happy, but it's senseless to believe you can achieve it just because you want to. This is the Little Garden of the Divine Realm. I don't know why you haven't been targetted thus far, but it's only a matter of time before outsiders begin coveting your land. There are countless ways to address the barrenness of the land. Without the means to protect it, yourself, and others, prosperity will only invite tragedy."
Though he was already aware of the truth contained within Vahn's words, Jin's expression darkened when the truth was laid bare. In fact, one of the reasons Lily had been returned to them was so that her presence could gradually replenish the land. In other words, the Community that targeted them two years ago wasn't finished with them. They just wanted to watch them suffer before returning to collect the remainder of their prize...
"What else can I do? My Gifts are only suitable for things like puzzles and solving riddles. None of the surrounding Communities will accept a Gift Game on my terms as we have nothing of value to offer them. The only Communities that associate with us have the backing of Demon Lords. If not for Black Rabbit, we wouldn't have been able to last this long..."
Having already heard the basics from Black Rabbit, Jin wanted to believe he could trust Vahn. He hadn't even discussed these matters with Lily because he was afraid of overwhelming her with an even greater burden. She already did so much more than him for the members of their Community, so, at the very least, he wanted to shoulder their external issues on his own...
Shaking his head a second time, Vahn answered, "Honestly, there really isn't much you can do other than asking for help. You've been placed in an extremely unfair situation. Without external help, it is pretty much impossible for you to recover."
Slumping his shoulders, Jin looked like he might begin tearing up. Even Lily seemed saddened by Vahn's words. Fortunately for them both, he was far from finished speaking. Rather, he actually had a lot more to say, so, before either could wallow in self-pity, he issued a light chuckle before asking, "What's with those expressions? You're literally talking to the person that has the means to solve all of your problems. Better yet, the only thing I expect in return is for each and every single one of you to be happy and healthy. Beyond that? Well, your lives are your own to decide."
Though Jin adopted a somewhat awkward expression in response to Vahn's words, Lily practically beamed as she asked, "What can I do to help?"
Amused by the young kitsune's fervor, a lighthearted chuckle emanated from Vahn's throat before he went on to say, "The simplest thing you can do is just tell me what you want. Prior to my ascent to the Divine Realm, many referred to me as the God of Infinite Possibilities. I cannot bestow power upon you, but I can provide you the means to obtain it. In Jin's case, I intend to develop him into a real Magus. As for you, little lady, I was thinking about helping you grow out your tails."
Blinking in surprise, Lily repeated what Black Rabbit had told him earlier, stating, "If I grow out my tails, I'll end up becoming an adult. I don't mind growing up, but I'm afraid others will target us if I do..."
Waving his hand in a dismissive manner, Vahn explained, "You don't have to worry about that. With your permission, I intend to place a seal on your body that will regulate your growth. I'm also going to lay a barrier formation around the entire No Name Community so that outsiders can't sneak in or spy on you. And that's just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. I have quite a number of things in mind for the No Names. Of course, everything depends on whether or not our teal-haired friend is willing to ask for my help..."
Noticing Vahn's gaze, a conflicted smile developed across Jin's face as he said, "Truth be told, I feel considerable misgivings towards the notion of entrusting our problems to someone outside of the Community. Unfortunately, I lack the means to resolve everything on my own. You are also a friend of Black Rabbit's, so, even if I must swallow my-"
"You really do talk too much, kid. Save that kind of dialogue for when we're ironing out the specifics of our partnership. For now, all I need to know is if you're willing to accept my help or not."
Borrowing pages from his former mentors, Vahn was hoping to make Jin a little more decisive. As much as he didn't like Nagi, the teal-haired boy in front of him would benefit from emulating the hot-headed youth. This was especially true considering his Community was comprised of children. They wouldn't understand polite or complex speech. If he really wanted to motivate them, he just needed to be more charismatic and decisive.
Though he was unaware of Vahn's thoughts, Jin could vaguely guess what he was thinking. Thus, after smiling wryly for several seconds, he did his best to appear more confident as he answered, "Please help us." while lowering his head.
After smiling wide enough to show off his pearly white teeth, complete with prominent canines, Vahn began to laugh in an uncharacteristically boisterous manner before giving Jin a thumbs-up and saying, "No problem. Once you're done here, write up a list of all the things you think your Community needs. So long as it isn't something excessive like building you an army capable of conquering the entire Divine Realm, I should be able to manage."
Unaware that Vahn could probably do exactly that, Jin issued a chuckle of his own before hopping off the examination table and answering, "Understood. Thank you, Vahn..."
With Jin's physical examination coming to an end after he had his height and weight checked, Vahn was suddenly left alone with three ten-year-old girls. Since Shiroyasha also had the appearance of a ten-year-old, he couldn't help but wonder if there was something special about the number. At the very least, he knew that whoever created the Record must have had a reason when they introduced a bunch of races that matured in stages rather than aging chronologically...
As Vahn's mind briefly wandered towards existential thoughts, Lily, maintaining a completely calm and unflustered expression, chimed in to ask, "Should I take off my clothes now?"
Nodding his head, Vahn answered, "Yes. Even if you don't develop in the same way as the rest of the children, it is important to periodically check your health. Don't worry, most of the examination will be conducted by Sarina and Nono. I'll only need to contact you when I'm inscribing the seal on your body."
Tilting her head adorably to the side, Lily innocently replied, "I wasn't worried." with a happy smile on her face. Then, without any discernible hesitation, she removed her apron, yellow blouse, and orange miniskirt before neatly folding them up and placing them at the side. This left her in little more than her socks, a pair of worn-out brown loafers, and an adorable pair of pink panties with a white polka dot pattern. Vahn found the latter rather amusing as Jin had been wearing a matching pair of briefs beneath his robes...
Undoubtedly as a result of her desire to get rid of Lily as soon as possible, Sarina did her best to speed up the physical examination as much as possible. Unfortunately, this came back to bite her as Vahn had her take Lily's measurements three times. He knew the young kitsune's exact proportions so he made sure she kept taking them until she got it right.
Throughout the entire examination, Lily was nothing if not cooperative. She offered no resistance to any of the tests, and, even though she admitted to being ticklish, she managed to remain still when Vahn was showing the girls how to check her ears and measure the quality of her fur. This was also when he inscribed the seal on her body, a small runic tattoo that formed a nail-sized circle near the base of her tail.
Since granting her nine tails would be the same as bestowing her tremendous power, Vahn just made it so that Lily would be able to absorb spiritual energy at a much faster rate than normal. In other words, she would need to meditate or cultivate in order to increase the number of tails she currently had. As for her growth, he made it so that she would develop at a similar rate to the rest of the children until she reached the age of fifteen. From then onward, she could adjust her shape, age, and appearance freely, a trait common among kitsune.
Unaware that Vahn had already inscribed the magical formation on her body, Lily waited until Sarina had gotten her breast and butt measurements correct before asking, "What do I need to do now? Should I lay down on the table?"
Shaking his head, Vahn explained, "Since you already gave me permission, I've already completed the procedure. I tried making it as non-invasive as possible. Considering you didn't even notice, I'd say I was successful."
Blinking in surprise, Lily looked behind her before reaching back to physically count the number of tails she possessed. This earned her an amused chuckle from Vahn before he went on to explain the specifics of the runes he had placed on her body. He also suggested a few methods for her to grow stronger, the simplest being to train alongside Jin, Sarina, and Nono.
Ever-eager to make new friends, Lily happily accepted the suggestion before donning her clothes and scampering out of the examination room to tell Jin the good news. This gave Vahn hope for the future as he was actually intending to direct the affection of all three girls toward the young Magus. It would take a bit of effort, but, as Sarina's affection was more puppy love than anything else, Vahn was pretty confident he could shift her focus to Jin by nourishing the rivalry between her and Lily...
Meeting Vahn's expectations, Sarina only waited a few seconds after Lily's departure before asking, "Do you prefer girls with animal ears and tails?"
Offering a relaxed smile in response, Vahn gestured for Sarina to come closer before planting his hand atop her head. She believed this was to pet her, but, moments after his hand made contact, a pair of fox-like ears protruded from her head as he calmly explained, "Once you advanced beyond a certain level, things like age, appearance, race, and even gender become transient concepts without any real meaning. You're far from that point, young lady. For now, focus on the things right in front of you. Even Gods on the level of Shiroyasha and myself cannot accurately predict the future. Don't waste your time thinking about things you can't affect. If you lose sight of your surroundings, you'll end up being left behind by people who focus more on the present in order to assure themselves a better future..."
Though he lectured Jin about being long-winded, Vahn didn't mind contradicting himself if it was for the sake of guiding someone. Unfortunately, Sarina was a little too young to fully understand everything he was trying to say. She was more focused on the ears atop her head, and, after he had finished speaking, she only hesitated for a brief moment before tentatively asking, "Can I have a tail too? I don't mind if you have to touch my butt..."
(A/N: Alternate Titles: 'Vahn be like, "Moshi moshi, God of Infinite Possibilities-desu?"','Lily is a very mature young lady','Sarina is not xD...')
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