Endless Path : Infinite Cosmos Chapter 2111 | einlion
"It amazes me how Communities can have such large estates despite everyone living in such close proximity to one another."
Nodding her head in response to Asuka's remark, Black Rabbit perked up as she explained, "That's one of the amazing things about the Little Garden! No matter how large a Community grows, it will never run out of space. Even if we decrease our Rank and transition into a Lower-Digit Gate, all the land and territory belonging to us will be transferred with us~!"
Blinking in surprise, Asuka's expression showed genuine shock as she muttered, "Amazing..." with a thoughtful glimmer in her eyes. She had been wondering how they would be able to decrease their Rank and transition to the Lower-Digit Gates when their Community was located on the outskirts of the Little Garden. She hadn't even considered that their entire Community grounds could be moved as they continued to expand and progress.
"Asuka, Black Rabbit, please stay focused. Now isn't exactly the best time to discuss such matters..."
Though the old him would have simply remained silent until the duo was finished speaking, Jin was doing his best to become a more reliable Leader. Vahn had stressed the importance of dictating the pace and seizing the momentum. It was fine to listen to friends and allies when drafting plans, but, the moment he entered the battlefield, it was his job to keep everyone focused on the task at hand.
"The runt's right. Let's get this over with so we can return home. Those brats won't be able to sleep if they're caught up worrying."
Having said his piece, Izayoi only cast a cursory glance towards the Geass Roll before making his way into the moonlit forest with his hands behind his head and a bored look on his face. This left Jin with a wry smile on his face as Izayoi had not only seized the momentum for himself, he kept it by promptly departing. Now, everyone else would feel pressured to follow after him to avoid being left behind.
"Hey, wait just a moment! Yo and I were the ones who discovered the truth about Fores Garo! How dare you try to hog the spotlight for yourself...!"
Had Izayoi ignored Asuka's remark, Jin might have been able to recover some semblance of control over the group. Unfortunately, the blond-haired youth adopted a cheeky smile as he half-turned to say, "If you've got what it takes, feel free to steal it for yourself, rich girl. I didn't come all the way to the Divine Realm to play second fiddle for someone else. Besides, if you think I'm going to just sit around and behave after learning what this asshole did, you've seriously misjudged my character."
Punctuating his statement, the same high-pitched sound that accompanied Izayoi's supernatural punches echoed through the area as he leaped more than a hundred meters into the air. Then, to the surprise of both Yo and Asuka, he appeared to use empty space as a foothold before vanishing like a phantom. Moments later, a series of sonic booms sounded through the area as tempestuous winds kicked up a storm of dust and debris.
Thanks to Jin casually erected a glowing green barrier of wind, none of the group was affected by Izayoi's surprising demonstration of speed and power. His battle with Seraphina had opened up his eyes to the fact that he was much stronger than he initially believed. He had no idea what his actual limits were but he was already tens of times more powerful than he was when he arrived.
Despite the drastic difference in their respective power levels, Asuka refused to be impressed by Izayoi's display of power. Black Rabbit had explained the true potential of her Gift the previous night, so, while her pride had taken a number of hits against Vahn, Asuka was supremely confident in her ability to grow stronger. After all, unless Izayoi acquired additional Gifts through a Gift Game, he was stuck with what he already had. As for her, she could basically control the Gifts of others to empower or outright negate them. Once her spiritual energy advanced beyond a certain point, she would, for all intents and purposes, be invincible.
Using her now fluffy paws, Yo placed a hand on Asuka's shoulder, saying, "Asuka...we shouldn't be fighting amongst ourselves. There are plenty of enemies waiting for us in the other Gates. Let's do our best to become stronger, together. Okay...?"
Turning towards Yo, Asuka's heart melted as she saw the inordinately kind and docile girl wearing what appeared to be a Vanargandr onesie. It was such a stark contrast to the outfit she had been wearing during her battle with Vahn, but, if she were being honest, Asuka preferred this over the rather scandalous outfit she had been wearing previously. At the very least, it didn't require Yo to go around flashing her bottom for the whole world to see.
Unable to resist the urge, Asuka reached out to pet the space between the gravity-defying ears atop Yo's hoodie as she said, "You're right, Yo. Sorry for allowing my emotions to get the better of me."
Though it wasn't as pleasant as the time when Vahn pat her head, a smile spread across Yo's face as the tail attached to her mascot-like costume began to waggle. She didn't really understand how it worked, but her senses were directly linked to her outfit so she could even feel the breeze blowing through her fur. The only downside was that it basically required her to be naked or she would feel as though there was something itchy beneath her skin...
After rushing to the mansion located at the center of the forest, Izayoi couldn't help adopting a mocking smile as he looked around at the devastated terrain. It looked like a horde of monsters had swept through the area. There were even large gash marks at several locations, and, despite being a famous Community in the Outer Gates, there were massive vines covering one of the most decrepit-looking mansions he had ever seen.
Placing his hands in his pockets, Izayoi casually walked over to the vine-covered double doors that used to be the mansion's entrance. They were reinforced with materials that could even resist siege weaponry, but, with a simple kick, he managed to send both doors flying into the interior like large projectiles fired from a cannon.
"I think I'm starting to figure out how this works. So long as I focus my intent, it's almost like I have unlimited strength. Pretty sweet..."
While humoring the thought of testing his theory against Vahn, Izayoi made his way deeper into the mansion. Unfortunately, he only trespassed three steps before the smile on his face spontaneously faded, replaced by a disgusted grimace as he remarked, "Seriously? What a drag..."
Though he had already suspected something due to the countless vines entwining the mansion like a prison, Izayoi couldn't help feeling nauseous when he saw the detached limbs, blood, and viscera littering the interior. Everyone in the mansion had been ripped to shreds. He wouldn't have cared if it was just a bunch of kidnappers and criminals, but, mixed in among the corpses were the corpses of females and a handful of children...
Removing his hands from his pockets, Izayoi adjusted the headphones around his neck so that they were covering his ears. Then, rather than relying on his sight to navigate the interior, he closed his eyes and shut off his sense of smell before relying on a bevy of extrasensory perceptive abilities to track one of the five auras lingering in and around the mansion.
Unfortunately, even after shutting off most of his conventional senses, Izayoi couldn't ignore the slippery quality of the floor and the crunching sensation that transmitted through the soles of his feet. It gave him an almost overwhelming urge to puke, but, from the perspective of an outsider, he appeared calm and unperturbed even as his pants and socks became thoroughly caked with blood and viscera...
Though there was a fair amount of negative emotions contained within Izayoi's aura, Vahn was impressed by how stable it was. He was scared, disgusted, and even a little bloodthirsty, yet, in spite of this, his aura was stable to the point of appearing solid.
With very few exceptions, the aura encompassing a person's body resembled a multicolored, ever-changing flame. Izayoi's, however, resembled a luminous membrane that clung to his body like an inviolable membrane. It behaved much like a barrier, and, despite changing color and intensity, the shape never changed.
Nodding her head in agreement, Leticia's crimson eyes glistened as she followed Izayoi's every movement with a conflicted, slightly apologetic look on her face. She was still recovering from the shock of having Vahn show up just as the Gift Game was about to begin. He hadn't said anything about it but she couldn't help feeling guilty. She was the one to bestow Galdo power, and, thanks to the vines she had produced, even the servants and slaves of his Community hadn't been spared...
Leticia had been afraid that Vahn would regard her as a monster. Instead, he simply held her as he always had, a relaxed and loving smile on his face as he provided comfort to her weary spirit. This was one of the things she loved about him, but, at the same time, his unconditional love made her feel even guiltier about her actions...
What Leticia didn't know was that Vahn had taken her feelings of guilt into consideration when he decided to comfort her. Unless he resorted to violence, her guilt would eat away at her more than any punishment he could mete out. He would punish her if she requested him to do so, but, for the time being, he would continue treating her with the same care and attention as usual. After all, his hands were far from clean. Rather, if they were to compare their respective kill counts, he was pretty confident he beat her by several digits...
Opening the door leading to what used to be Galdo's office, a smile developed across Izayoi's face as he mused, "Your outside now matches your inside. Let's dance, pussy cat."
A stark contrast to the traditional black, white, and orange he presented in his Weretiger form, the current Galdo resembled a monstrous, oversized Bengal Tiger. His body was predominately white with bluish-black stripes covering most of his body. The only thing that stood out beyond this was the inordinately long mane of white hair flowing from the top of his head and along his spine. He was also several times larger than a conventional tiger, but, after seeing what Vahn and Seraphina were capable of, Izayoi wasn't intimidated by an oversized cat.
Demonstrating this, Izayoi didn't even try to dodge as Galdo, like a mindless beast, charged toward him. Instead, he waited until the very last moment before cracking an even larger smile as he kicked upward without removing his hands from his pockets. His foot accurately impacted the soft spot of Galdo's chin, forcing his maw shut and sending him crashing through the ceiling with enough force to eject him from the mansion.
"Damn. Guess he really can't be defeated through normal means..."
Despite putting a fair amount of strength into his kick, Izayoi felt very no actual feedback. He was generally able to get a feel for how much damage he had inflicted on his opponent. In Galdo's case, all the force from his blow seemed to be transmitted back into his leg. The only reason the massive white tiger had been sent flying was because the force of his kick still affected their surroundings. In other words, it was the wind pressure generated by his attack that turned the kitty into a kite.
Shaking his head, Izayoi made his way over to a silvery-white sword sticking out of the wall. It had a cross-shaped guard accented with gold, and, according to the conditions of the Gift Game, it was the sole object in existence that could defeat the current Galdo. This was one of the unique aspects of the Little Garden.
So long as they were authorized by the Central Network, there were very few restrictions on the rules and conditions that could be imposed during a Gift Game. This was what allowed particularly clever individuals to rise in a world that was otherwise dominated by reason-defying powerhouses. In his present state, Galdo could even tank a multiverse-busting attack without a single hair on his head being harmed. Inversely, it only took a single decisive blow from the sword in Izayoi's hand to put him down for good.
"Guess I should clean up before those brats arrive. Asuka would probably puke her guts out if she saw that scene in the main hall..."
As that thought crossed his mind, Izayoi was briefly tempted to idle about just to teach the raven-haired girl a lesson. Fortunately for the former heiress, his words and thoughts rarely matched his actions. If he could spare someone a traumatic experience, he would generally do everything in his power to do so. Thus, after liberating the sword from the wall, Izayoi looked towards the roof with a smile before flexing his legs and jumping with enough force to collapse the entire mansion...
(A/N: Alternate Titles: 'The Little Garden is filled with conveniences~! -Black Rabbit','RIP Jin's dignity as a Leader...','The Tsundere is strong with this one...')
https://bit.ly/2XBzAYu <-(p.atreon link)
Discord Invite: https://discord.gg/Jwa8PKh