Endless Path : Infinite Cosmos Chapter 1624
After arriving at the northern-most end of their little private island, Asuna and Euryale were happy to discover a small cove with a small beach and a rocky region filled with tidal pools. This stirred the curiosity of the young Asuna, and, though she wasn't that interested in the micro-ecosystems within the tide pools, Euryale still followed along with Chachazero in her arms.
Knowing the duo would be getting hungry relatively soon, Vahn allowed the girls to enjoy exploring as he pulled out a few beach chairs, a large parasol, and a grill. Then, without even needing to jump into the water, he waved his hand and used Telekinesis to extract a variety of different fish from the nearby sea. It wasn't that he didn't enjoy fishing the normal way, but, as Asuna could eat several kgs of food in a single sitting, Vahn didn't want to keep the young glutton waiting too long.
It was around the time he was preparing to skin and clean the fish that Vahn sensed the approach of a familiar presence. A natural smile spread across his face, and, though she had yet to appear, he still happily mused, "It seems I'll need to prepare a bigger lunch~."
Appearing almost immediately after her Master's musings, Fenrir's ears seemed to droop slightly before immediately perking back up when she saw the former's smile. Then, despite there being no real need, she explained, "I sensed you were thinking about me and decided to come over. Should I go and catch something from the ocean...?"
Before answering, Vahn made a come-hither gesture with his hand, affectionately stroking Fenrir's head the moment she got into range. He was always happy to see her, and, if he hadn't known she was in the middle of cultivation, he would have invited her to come along. Thus, rather than put her to task, he scratched the sweet spot near the base of her ears as he said, "Leave lunch to me. Take a break, watch over the girls, or go swimming. I already set out some beach chairs so you can also try sunbathing. Even if you can't tan, it can be pretty enjoyable to nap under the sun."
Though she heard her Master's words, Fenrir didn't immediately reply. Her head was all fuzzy from the pleasant sensation spreading through her head, and, for a brief moment, it almost seemed like her foot was going to start tapping as she squinted her eyes contentedly.
As tempting as it was to keep petting his adorable companion, Vahn brought Fenrir back to reality by framing her face with his hands and giving her a small peck on the lips. She immediately blinked back to awareness, and, seemingly having considered each of the options, answered, "I'm gonna go swimming. I'll make sure there aren't any hidden hazards in the water so that Asuna and Euryale can go swimming later on."
With her mind made up, Fenrir pounced on her Master, tightly squeezing his body and nuzzling against his chest for a few seconds before releasing him and using magic to change into a dark-blue bikini. She had never particularly lacked confidence in her figure, but, after several stages of maturation, Fenrir had come to embrace her wild femininity. She would never show off in front of other people, but, when it was just her Master around, she enjoyed being seen.
Understanding his responsibility, Vahn shamelessly admired Fenrir's figure, his eyes lingering on her bushy tail and the almost imperceptibly lighter areas around the edges of the swimsuit. She might not be able to tan, but, whenever she was stripped naked, 'certain' areas of Fenrir were slightly paler than the rest of her body. Vahn always found this slight contrast extremely tantalizing, and, though nakedness was certainly beautiful, the allure created by barely concealing such areas was even more potent than a Siren's call.
Satisfied by her Master's response, Fenrir playfully waggled her tail a bit before taking a few steps and leaping high into the air, producing a flawless arc that allowed her to dive in the exact center of the cove. It was a lot deeper than a traditional, seemingly formed from a massive impact, so, even though she leaped high into the air and produced a membrane of ki to reduce friction and protect her swimsuit, there was no risk of accidentally hitting the bottom.
Vahn had little resistance to Fenrir's temptations at the best of times, so, with one version of himself engaged in some rather deviant acts with Eva, he actually needed to run his fingers through his hair a few times, benefitting from the use of his own Petting Laws. It was challenging not to get riled up when a version of himself was already doing something best left for the evening hours. Fortunately, Asuna and Euryale were distracted by Chachazero wearing a creature that resembled a hermit crab on her head, so, at the very least, he didn't have to worry about the former giving him one of her characteristic 'knowing' looks...
Having stumbled across the Great Spirit of Wood while she was bathing in a spring, Nagi and the rest of Ala Rubra had been forced to beat a speedy retreat when Tamaki Damu, backed by more than a hundred Priestesses, transformed into a horde of Wood Dragons in an attempt to capture them.
Fortunately, despite appearing like a piece of junk on the outside, the Airfish employed by Ala Rubra had been modified and enchanted to the extreme. It could easily outpace a normal Airfish, and, though it wasn't fast enough to outrun a horde of angry Dragons, Nagi and Zect had been able to deter a prolonged pursuit by paralyzing nearly thirty percent of the horde using lightning magic. This wasn't really the preferred method of dealing with a problem they had created, but, as it didn't seem like Tamaki was willing to forgive them, they were left with little choice in the matter.
Now, after arriving on the outskirts of Al Jamila, Nagi had a depressive atmosphere about him as he had just learned about Vahn's departure nearly two days prior. This made it impossible to track him using his Master's artifact, and, to make matters even worse, there were no information brokers in Al Jamila to lend any insight into Vahn's potential destination. All they knew was that he had gone East, and, after traveling several hundred kilometers, his vessel had simply 'vanished' from the view of those attempting to keep tabs on him.
Causing even greater confusion, they had received information that the Princess of Vespertatia had reappeared in Ostia. This all but verified the rumors that Vahn had the ability to freely teleport vast distances, as, if the information was accurate, the Custos Rosea had been more than six-thousand kilometers from Ostia at the time of its disappearance. There was a chance they had doubled back after evading their pursuers, but, as that seemed like a completely unnecessary waste of time, it was far more likely that Vahn had teleported the Princess back to her homeland while the Custos Rosea continued heading eastward.
Needless to say, Nagi was extremely frustrated by the fact he had missed his opportunity to battle against the increasingly infamous Sage Dragon Emperor. As a result, he was wearing nothing but swimming trunks as he lay languidly atop his staff as if it were flat ground. Beneath him, the bodies of several large sea monsters would periodically flicker with electrical currents, as, in an attempt to cool his head, he had gone a little wild...
While the red-haired youth was seemingly lost in thought, a silhouette nearly three times the size of a blue whale's appeared beneath the surface of the water. It's size and outline rapidly became more pronounced as a spiral horn pierced the water's surface, followed by a monstrous entity that looked like a narwhal covered in a layer of bony spines and protrusions. It attempted to devour Nagi in an instant, but, at the exact moment its massive maw emerged from the water, the former appeared to flicker out of existence.
Carried by its phenomenal momentum, the narwhal-like creature emerged nearly thirty meters from the water before crashing back down with tremendous force. Its overall length easily exceeded one-hundred meters, so, while it hadn't fully emerged from the water's surface, it generated a miniature tidal wave of seawater and froth as its colossal figure crashed back into the sea. Then, in an attempt to either flee or line up a second sneak attack, the massive creature angled its body downward and began to dive, its four-pronged tail breaking the sea's surface for a brief moment.
Denying the creature any further opportunities, Nagi appeared at the exact moment it was about to begin its descent. He grabbed its tail with a single hand, and, against all conceivable laws of physics, pulled the colossal beast out of the water, grinning confidently as he shouted, "Hey now, what's the rush? I went through all that effort to give you a chance to ambush me. The least you can do is stick around for a few minutes...!"
Unable to understand human speech, the narwhal-like creature just floundered helplessly in the air as its body crashed towards the sea's surface. Before it could hit, however, Nagi appeared beneath it, striking upward in an action pose as a massive shockwave emanated from his palm. This not only bounded the 500,000kg creature back into the air, but it also caused a large indentation in its side that subsequently collapsed into a geyser of blood and gore.
Clicking his tongue, Nagi used a chantless short-range teleport spell to evade the shower of gore, reappearing several meters away as he complained, "How can something so massive be so fragile? Did you really have to die after a single hit!?"
Though it wasn't actually dead yet, the narwhal-like creature had a hole in its side large enough for a small Airfish to pass through. Its blood caused the already tumultuous surface of the sea to turn a deep shade of crimson, and, for the umpteenth time that day, surrounding shoals of fish were given the opportunity to engorge themselves upon prey that usually made a light snack out of them...
Seeing the scene of carnage, Nagi, who was standing on the air as if it were flat ground, shook his head in exasperation before turning to the figure that had appeared like a phantom nearby, asking, "Weren't magical creatures supposed to be scary powerful? Everything I've faced so far is just super weak. When am I going to get to fight something strong, Master?"
Despite appearing like a ten-year-old youth, Zect stroked his chin in a sagely manner before saying, "It isn't that they are weak, you are just too strong. Don't worry. Soon enough, you'll have plenty of powerful opponents to test your skills against. You just need to increase your reputation and show some results in the coming war. As your fame and notoriety increase, the number of people trying to prove themselves by defeating you will gradually increase. For now, you should remain patient and continue to hone your skills further. You are already very powerful, but, due to your age, there are quite a number of individuals who could wipe the floor with you."
Rather than take offense to his Master's words, Nagi displayed an excited smile at the prospect of facing powerful opponents. He knew there were actually a number of Demons more powerful than himself, as, like his Master, they had thousands of years to improve their strength. There were also beings like the Great Spirits, Ancient Dragons, and even Manifested Gods, so, while the majority of magical creatures didn't pose a threat to him, there were a number of 'true monsters' just waiting for him to defeat them...
Feeling more motivated, the staff floating behind Nagi began to spin rapidly, lightning flashing across its wooden exterior as his aura spread caused a massive depression in the sea's surface. At the same time, Zect released an exasperated sigh before raising his hand and saying, "Come with the intent to kill."
Immediately after he heard his Master's words, Nagi surged forward so quickly that it appeared as if he had teleported. Then, causing the sea to turn concave for more than a hundred meters, his fist impacted his Master's palm with enough force to create a visible vacuum, repelling the surrounding atmosphere and causing lightning to dance across the periphery...
Though they could feel the effects of the battle all the way from the mainland, the Al Jamilans were instructed by Eulimene Ea not to send anyone to investigate. She had already been approached by Albireo Imma after the arrival of Ala Rubra, and, though she would normally never acquiesce to the demands of a stranger, the man gave her the impression of an unfathomably deep abyss. Thus, on the grounds they would not harm the people of Al Jamila, she agreed to ignore their actions out at sea.
Fortunately, Albireo didn't seem to mind when she lied and told him that Vahn was never even in Al Jamila. Instead, he just smiled before pulling out a book that gave her a dangerous feeling, asking a number of seemingly random questions before snapping it shut and departing like a phantom. This had given Eulimene Ea a strong urge to smash his face in, but, trusting her instincts, she decided to let him depart without obstruction. The sooner his group left, the sooner peace would return to Al Jamila, and, though it probably wasn't necessary, their departure would allow her to try and contact Vahn in the hopes of passing on a warning...
(A/N: Alternate Titles: '(O w O)~!','RIP Narwhal-san...','A group of true monsters...')
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