Endless Path : Infinite Cosmos Chapter 2060 | einlion
Seeing the girl that had come out to greet them, Vahn found himself at a momentary loss as he scanned the 158cm tall girl in front of him. She was attired in a black collar with white frills, a double-vested vest that extended to her thighs, a red miniskirt, black stockings supported by a garter belt, red shoes, and oversized wrist cuffs. At a glance, she resembled the type of bunny girl you might find in a high-end casino, but, unlike the aforementioned fakes, the rabbit ears atop her head were undoubtedly authentic...
"Pardon me, but you are Vahn Mason-sama, correct? You match the description Shiroyasha-sama gave previously."
Blinking back to his senses, a slightly apologetic smile appeared across Vahn's face as he answered, "Sorry about that. Yes, I am, indeed, Vahn Mason. Vahn Aldrnari Mason, to be exact. And who might you be...?"
Exhaling a sigh of relief, the rabbit-eared girl adopted a professional smile as she folded her hands over her lap, bowing politely as she replied, "My name is Black Rabbit. It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance, Vahn-sama. Shiroyasha-sama informed me that you would be helping out with some of my Community's problems. For that, I am eternally grateful."
Though he was listening to the woman's words, Vahn was briefly distracted by the enchantments on her clothes. He was normally able to grasp the structure of a person's body at a glance, so much so that he could basically recreate them within his mind with 100% fidelity. This wasn't the case with the girl in front of him. Rather, similar to Circe, her clothes appeared to be enchanted in a way that drew the eye, yet, no matter which angle you viewed her from, you wouldn't be able to perceive the contents of her skirt or peer through the side of her blouse...
(*Such a powerful enchantment for such a mundane thing...*)
Hearing Vahn speak, Black Rabbit's ears twitched slightly as she raised her head to ask, "Pardon?" in a slightly disconcerted tone. At the same time, a very light blush colored her cheeks as one of the enchantments sewn into her garments made her aware when people were trying to steal a peek up her skirt. She didn't know how Vahn managed it while standing in front of her, but she knew he had, at the very least, tried...
Offering a wry smile, Vahn scratched the back of his head as he resisted the urge to apologize a second time and instead answered, "Shiroyasha hasn't told me anything about your Community. However, so long as it is within my power, I'll do my best to lend you a hand. That's kind of what our Community was made for. Helping people..."
Returning a smile of her own, Black Rabbit chimed, "How wonderful~!" before shifting her ruby-eyed gaze to Sarina and Nono, asking, "And how might these charming young ladies be? Members of your Community? Their kimonos look very cute."
Stepping up, Sarina resisted the urge to latch onto Vahn's arm as she said, "My name is Sarina. I'm the Sub-Leader of Sage Dragon's Hearth. I will also do my best to provide assistance."
Though she didn't sound nearly as sincere as Vahn when she was speaking, Sarina did her best not to let her jealousy show as she eyed Black Rabbit's rather shapely breasts with an envious gleam in her amethyst eyes.
Noticing Sarina's gaze, a dry laugh emanated from Black Rabbit's throat as she shifted her attention to Nono. In response, the latter took a half step behind Vahn, her sky-blue eyes glistening with tiny motes of light as she whispered, "My name is Nono...Nono Nalnananu...I've never seen anyone with rabbit ears before...you're very beautiful..."
"Oh my! Aren't you just a darling~! It's a pleasure to meet you, Nono andSarina~!"
Though she responded with a joyful smile, Vahn didn't miss the melancholy in Black Rabbit's gaze the moment Nono mentioned her being the only rabbit-eared person she had seen. There were actually a considerable number of demi and beast humans in the East Side, enough that it could easily pass for the Yokai District of Avalon. This included catgirls, dog girls, wolf girls, mouse girls, and pretty much every other version of kemonomimi that could be imagined. Everything except rabbit girls...
Shaking his head in response to the Law of Identity's inquisitive look, Vahn adopted a smile of his own as he suggested, "We should head inside. It's been a long day for the girls. I'm sure they would enjoy the opportunity to rest."
"Oh! Goodness me! I shouldn't have kept you waiting for so long! Please, follow me! The inside of the shop can get pretty confusing. Let Black Rabbit show you the way~!"
Without waiting for the group's response, Black Rabbit turned around with the intent to lead the way inside. This brought her tiny tuft of a tail into view, and, though he did his best to keep his eyes forward, Vahn couldn't help looking downward since it was waggling like an over-excited puppy.
Sensing his gaze, Black Rabbit looked over her shoulder, an embarrassed smile on her face as she covered her tail with both hands and said, "Please don't stare too much...I get embarrassed excited and embarrassed easily..."
Returning a wry smile of his own, Vahn did his best to ignored the pointed look he was receiving from Sarina as he followed Black Rabbit into the unsurprisingly complex interior of the Thousand Eyes shop. The interior was basically an entire Japanese estate, complete with a hot springs bath, a vast forest, and a view of snow-capped mountains in the distance. This caught Sarina and Nono by surprise, but, having an entire series of metaverses contained within him, Vahn merely admired the scenic beauty in silence as Black Rabbit gave them a tour of the facilities...
After several minutes of wandering around, Black Rabbit ultimately led Vahn, Sarina, and Nono to a room near the exact center of the massive estate. There, Shiroyasha could be seen lying on a futon in a rather slovenly manner. This was exacerbated by her frilly black skirt, as, unlike Black Rabbit, she hadn't placed any enchantments on her clothing. As a result, each of them could see the outline of her butt and lower body as she had nothing but pale, bluish-white stockings covering her legs and bottom.
"Like what you see, big boy~?"
Without tearing her eyes away from the rather old-fashioned television she was watching, an impish smile developed across Shiroyasha's face. She was the chief Sun Deity in the Divine Realm, and, as a result, she possessed a nigh-unrivaled degree of omniscience. She was aware of virtually everything taking place in the Little Garden, so, even if Vahn hadn't actually peered at the contents of her skirt, she was well aware of the fact his senses had probed her.
With Vahn adopting a deadpan expression on his face, Black Rabbit did her best to smooth things over by issuing an awkward laugh and saying, "Shiroyasha-sama. I've brought your guests. Should I have Nadeshiko-san prepare tea...?"
After scratching her right calf using the toes of her left foot, Shiroyasha rolled to a seated position, a cheeky grin on her face as she answered, "That won't be necessary. That man next to you has all kinds of snacks and goodies hidden away in his Inventory. I'm sure he wouldn't mind contributing a few."
Raising his brows, Vahn resisted the urge to cross his arms in defiance as he said, "We just spent the last half a day riding rickshaws to get here. Sarina and Nono are exhausted. I don't mind providing tea and snacks, but this reception is quite a bit different from what we were expecting..."
Shifting her attention to the two girls in question, Shiroyasha's golden eyes flickered with a not-so-subtle light as she said, "Hmm...I see what you mean. Very well then. I'll have my personal attendant, Nadeshiko, take them to the bath. We also have about forty guest rooms so there is plenty of space for them to rest while the three of us discuss matters of great importance."
Immediately follow Shiroyasha's statement, a petite woman with blue eyes and matching blue hair entered the room. Just as her name implied, she was like the personification of a perfect Japanese woman except, instead of black hair and black eyes, she had the aforementioned blue. As for her attire, it consisted of a modest blue kimono fastened together with a prim and proper yellow obi. Over that, she wore a traditional Japanese-style apron that extended from her collarbones down to her calves.
"Please, follow me. I will show you to the bath."
Since neither Sarina nor Nono moved when the woman spoke, Vahn gave them both a slight nudge as he said, "Don't worry. This place is isolated from the outside world. Even if a Demon Lord was to attack, they wouldn't be able to shatter the barrier covering this estate. Go take a bath and enjoy a nice long rest. You've earned it."
Though Sarina seemed reluctant to go, she quickly adopted a resolute expression on her face as she grabbed Nono's hand and said, "Come on, Nono-chan. You can help me wash my back and I'll help you wash your hair. Let's try out the new shampoo Vahn bought for us."
Without waiting for the auburn-haired girl's consent, Sarina pulled her along gently yet forcibly. Her behavior was clearly forced, but, rather than say anything, Vahn, Shiroyasha, and even Black Rabbit just watched the two girls depart with smiles on their faces. It was only when Nadeshiko had closed the door behind them that Shiroyasha broke the silence, stating, "Though I'm reluctant to hand her over, I've decided to gift you Black Rabbit. Be grateful."
Vocalizing the thought that had crossed Vahn's mind, Black Rabbit loudly exclaimed, "Excuse me!? Whose handing who over!?" in a clearly flustered tone of voice. She was so flustered, in fact, that her hair immediately transitioned from a rich and creamy blue to a vibrant, glowing pink.
Digging into her nose with the pinky finger of her left hand, Shiroyasha explained, "Vahn has the power to restore your people. He might not be able to bring them back to life, but he can create new Moon Rabbits using his Gifts. From what I've seen, he also has the power to freely change his race so he's really the only option you have if you want to prevent your species from going extinct. Besides, you're already 212-years-old. Isn't it about time you start pumping out baby rabbits?"
With cheeks that were redder than her hair was pink, Black Rabbit's eyes began to spin as she covered her face and stammered, "T-T-That may be so! However! Don't you think this is a little sudden!? M-My heart isn't ready...!"
In the midst of her exclamation, Black Rabbit attempted to look towards Vahn only for an illusory puff of steam to emerge from her head. Her ears were also twitching madly, so much so that they were basically just flopping around as she averted both her face and body away from him.
Adopting a grin that would have made Loki proud, Shiroyasha continued observing Black Rabbit for several seconds before looking towards Vahn and musing, "Don't mind her. She might be flustered right now, but her instincts will activate the moment you push her down. I don't think I need to tell you this, but rabbits are pretty much always in heat. Make-"
Before Shiroyasha could continue, Black Rabbit pulled an inordinately large paper fan out of thin air, smacking the mischievous loli's head with enough force to rotate it nearly forty-five degrees as she exclaimed, "There is such a thing as taking a joke too far, Shiroyasha-sama!"
Rubbing her head, Shiroyasha maintained a smiling yet serious expression as she said, "But you see, my dear Black Rabbit, I'm not actually joking. Vahn really does possess the abilities I mentioned. He is also an incurable busybody, so, once he learns about the situation plaguing your Community, he is bound to do everything in his power to help you. You're bound to fall in love with him anyway, so you might as well get a head start before this nincompoop spontaneously ends up with a harem of one hundred women. Really, I'm doing you a favor by trying to set you up early."
Though Shiroyasha's words hit the proverbial nail on the head, Vahn wasn't fond of the way she was trying to make decisions on Black Rabbit's behalf. He might possess a peculiar weakness for women with rabbit-like features but that didn't mean he was just going to smile and accept her suggestion. Thus, before the situation could get further out of hand, he adopted a stern tone as he said, "That's enough. As you have pointed out, I possess the ability to help restore her people's population even without using more 'direct' means. Stop trying to force her."
Similar to Loki, Shiroyasha showed absolutely no sign of perturbation in response to Vahn's words. Instead, her smile became even more prominent as she spied Black Rabbit peering at Vahn through the gaps between her fingers with an appreciative expression on her face...
(A/N: Alternate Titles: 'Such a malicious enchantment...','Shiroyasha is an imp...','(O w O)...?')
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