Endless Path : Infinite Cosmos Chapter 1626
Though it was undoubtedly the result of his actions and interference, the war between the Hellas Empire and the Megalomesembrian Confederation had yet to break out. Both sides were prepared for an extended and bloody war, but, after the sudden and unexpected destruction of Elfenhof, the leaders of each camp had decided upon a 'wait-and-see' approach. At the same time, large groups of Mercenaries had been commissioned to gather information on the Sage Dragon Emperor and his location. This included a group of famous Immortal Hunters from Mundus Vetus, as, following their departure from Zephyria, rumors had begun to circulate asserting that the Dark Evangel had joined hands with the Sage Dragon Emperor.
With Fairy Xuan supplying him with information, Vahn was rarely in the dark about any significant stirrings in the underworld. He knew the rumors were undoubtedly the result of Cosmo Entelecheia trying to make things difficult for him, but, regardless of their efforts, it would make no difference in the end game. Thus, rather than worry about the machinations of fools, he spent the remainder of their time together spoiling Eva and constructing his secret base on the Lesser Moon, Deimos.
Though Mundus Magicus was located on the Inverse Side of Mars, it was actually possible to fly away from the planet and find yourself in the actual Solar System. This was due to the magical field surrounding Mundus Magicus working like a spatial membrane that connected the Inverse Side to the Outside, removing the need for projected celestial bodies and allowing those within the Magical World to freely gaze into the night sky without fear of discovery.
Unfortunately, the moment you exited Mundus Magicus' version of a Planetary Bounded Field, you would find yourself staring down at a barren and lifeless planet covered in rust-red sand and dust. It was nothing like the vibrant world located on the Inverse Side, and, unless you had a spatial anchor or a magical beacon to guide the way, you could bore straight to the core without finding a trace of Mundus Magicus.
Fortunately, Mundus Magicus' Planetary Bounded Field extended nearly 20,000km from the planet's surface. This allowed both Phobos and Demios to orbit within its bounds, as, at the furthest point of their orbits, the former was around 9600km away while the later skirted the edge at 19,312.
Due to its proximity to the edge of Mundus Magicus' Planetary Bounded Field, Vahn decided upon Deimos as his base of operations. This would make it exponentially harder for them to be detected, as, despite having ships capable of easily traversing the vacuum of Space, international treaties had prevented any country from doing so. Any attempt to create and station a force in Space would be met with a military response, not just from other countries, but from Ostia itself.
During his investigation, Vahn had discovered that Phobos had actually be hollowed out to perform a function similar to the Moon Cell. It orbited the planet a little more than three times per day, and, though it was significantly less advanced than the ancient archive that had been converted into Da Vinci's Workshop, it was still very impressive. The only downside was that it had fallen into a severe state of disrepair, and, though it was still able to perform its functions, the interior was inhospitable to all forms of life. Just cleaning up the radiation leaking from its core would take several years, so, while there was undoubtedly much to learn from such a facility, Vahn wasn't particularly concerned with unlocking all the secrets of the Akamatsuverse.
Since it was all-but-guaranteed that the facility on Phobos belonged to the Ancient Civilization of Venus, Vahn spent a bit of time creating a massive formation using modified Yi arrows to lay the foundation. The formation only had two functions, one that concealed it and another that allowed it to gradually stockpile energy directly from the void. This energy would be stored within each of Yi arrows, and, if he ever discovered the ancient archive was being used by his enemies, Vahn would not hesitate to blow the entire moon out of the sky to deny them the opportunity...
With Phobos effectively rigged to explode at a moment's notice, Vahn set his sights on the much smaller Deimos. It only had a mean radius of around 6.2km, so, rather than call it a Moon, it seemed more apt to refer to it as an asteroid that had been trapped in Mars' orbit, circling the planet once every thirty hours at a speed of 4,858km/h.
Due to its size, it was actually possible for a reasonably powerful person to leap from the surface of Deimos with enough velocity to escape its weak gravitational pull. Rather, Vahn almost felt like he was going to fall off the fast-moving asteroid at any given moment, as, with gravity being less than 3266 times that of Earth's, only 0.003m/s, he was practically weightless.
Fortunately, regardless of how ridiculously small Deimos was, Vahn had little trouble navigating its surface. He could freely move through both Space and Time under ideal circumstances, so, after an hour or so, he managed to burrow into the porous core of the icy rock before spending the better part of three days hollowing out and reinforcing the entire structure. In the end, he created a large spherical cavern that was approximately 4km in diameter, repurposing much of the original Deimos to increase the density of the surrounding walls.
Vahn didn't want to affect the orbit of the minuscule moon too much, so, from start to finish, he did his best to avoid changing its overall mass and velocity. Then, once everything was complete, he set the 'Garden of Avalon' at Deimos' gravitational center. This would allow it to float freely within the perfectly spherical chamber he had created, but, knowing any random impact from an asteroid had the potential of altering Demios' course and center of gravity, Vahn reinforced its position with an exceptionally powerful gravitational anchor.
To further protect the Garden of Avalon and make the interior space hospitable to anyone entering or exiting the former Diorama, Vahn layered hundreds of protective formations and defensive arrays along the interior surface. Once this was complete, he requested the aid of several Elemental Spirits within the Garden of Avalon, effectively remodeling the interior hollow into a fantastical garden that was rich with flora and microbial life suitable for such a low-gravitational environment. This caused a semi-permanant 'raincloud' to form around the Garden of Avalon, but, as this created the illusion of a tiny world suspended in the Heavens, Vahn was rather satisfied with the result. Thus, after six days of hard labor, persistently searching for just the right balance between form and function, he chose the seventh, a Wednesday, to enjoy a much-deserved rest...
While his main body had been hard at work thousands of kilometers above the surface, the rest of Vahn's vessels had been lounging about almost excessively. Though he still dutifully trained every single day, setting an example for his young protege to follow, the rest of the day was spent lazing about, pandering to Eva, and pampering virtually everyone. There was even a two-day period where they all just camped along the beach, complete with cracking open watermelons, swimming in the sea, barbeque, sunbathing, and stargazing.
Overall, it had been a rather pleasant week, which, due to the Sub-Space Orb, amounted to nearly thirty days of rest and relaxation. This might seem a tad extravagant, but, when they had the option to spend upwards of seventy to one-hundred-sixty-eight days for every week that passed, it wasn't that bad. Instead, it provided them with ample time to focus on training, research, and relaxation, a combination that allowed for considerable progress without having to compromise on happiness.
Though he understood the merits of hard work, Vahn had never forgotten the lessons taught to him by Tsubaki. He knew the importance of cutting loose and relaxing, so, immediately following his morning training with Asuna, everyone would take a bath around the same time while another version of himself prepared breakfast alongside the 'Chacha Sisters'. After breakfast, he would use one of his vessels to watch over Asuna and spend time with his children while the others attended Eva, Fenrir, and Medusa. He could push himself to maintain five bodies without too much trouble, so, as long as Medusa didn't hole herself up inside the Sub-Space Orb, there was enough of him to go around...
Having just completed the construction of their secret base, Vahn adopted a relaxed smile as he continued to rub his hands along Eva's exposed back, his fingers sinking into her soft flesh as the light from the sun reflected tantalizingly across her slightly tanned skin. She had made a concerted effort to spend more time in the sun, so, to prevent even the smallest of blemishes from appearing, Vahn made sure to dutifully coat her entire body in an oil-based sunscreen obtained from his ever-handy and infinitely stocked system shop.
Making sure to leave no spot unattended, Vahn allowed his left hand to glide across Eva's pert yet pliant butt, his fingers gingerly tracing her intergluteal cleft. This earned him a slightly annoyed look from the person in question, but, despite her face turning a progressively deeper shade of red, she made no attempt to stop him. Instead, she just released a mildly exasperated sigh, allowing him to continue applying the sunscreen down her thighs and calves before ultimately comping to a stop at the tops of her feet.
With her backside completely covered in the fragrant oil, Eva took the initiative to roll over before Vahn could attempt something like lightly smacking or groping her backside. She didn't particularly mind it, but, after seeing how far Theo had fallen, she wanted to avoid being led astray by Vahn's inordinately skilled hands. Just having him apply sunscreen brought her an indescribable amount of comfort, and, if she didn't force herself to stay awake, it was very easy to descend into a contented slumber that could last for several hours...
Understanding his adorable fiancee's thought process, the edges of Vahn's smile curled to express amusement as he placed his hand on her abdomen and said, "I just finished installing the Garden of Avalon. Do you want to take a look after I finish applying your lotion?"
Willfully ignoring the hand caressing her abdomen, Eva adjusted her position on the towels Vahn had laid out for her before answering, "I'll check it out after I return. I've already seen the inside of the Diorama and I don't see any reason to travel that far just to take a look. I'm also unable to use that convenient little method of yours, so, for the time being, it is best I avoid going there unless it is an emergency. A secret hideout serves little purpose if our enemies are able to track and discover its location."
As he already anticipated her response, Vahn wasn't particularly surprised by Eva's logic. Instead, he just gave a curt nod before tracing his hand up her body and dutifully applying a layer of sunscreen to her budding breasts. They were far from the sizeable G-Cups of her Adult form, but, compared to the virtually non-existent breasts of her perpetually prepubescent self, they had grown substantially. They were already nearing the pinnacle of a B-Cup, and, due to a specialized diet and an extremely specific exercise routine, it wouldn't be long before Eva's 'true form' could be classified as a mature beauty.
Though she couldn't make sense of his thought process at times, Eva was able to read Vahn like an open book most of the time. As a result, she instantly understood what was going through his mind as he 'shamelessly' fondled her breasts with an appreciative glimmer in his eye. This caused her ears to regain the red hue they had only recently lost, but, rather than 'correct' his behavior, she allowed him to do as he pleased. He had stopped teasing her overtly, so, as long as he didn't get too out of hand, she could tolerate a bit of mischief and wayward thoughts.
After triple-checking to make sure he hadn't neglected a single micron of Eva's bared breasts, Vahn moved on to applying sunscreen to her neck, shoulders, arms, hands, and fingers before returning to his base station near her navel. Then, after administering an admittedly excessive amount of the fragrant oil across her abdomen and torso, he used a towel to wipe her down before using his index finger to clear out the remnants from her belly button. This earned him another pointed stare from the red-faced maiden, but, considering what was to come, it seemed pointless to complain about having her navel played with.
Unwilling to leave a single spot of his fiancee's body unattended, Vahn gradually worked from Eva's abdomen down to the exceptionally tender region between her navel and the immaculate shrine of purity below. This was the point when Eva would normally turn away and grit her teeth, but, likely as a result of her impending departure, she continued observing the process from start to finish, biting the back of her index finger throughout...
Around the same time that Eva was struggling to hold her void, Vahn was helping Asuna, Euryale, and even Stheno apply sunscreen to their bodies. Unlike Eva, however, they were already wearing their swimsuits, and, rather than applying it directly, he just made sure they had properly applied it to themselves. The last thing he needed was Stheno or Euryale imprinting on him in a problematic way, and, though this didn't seem too likely, Vahn had already been 'bitten' too many times to say it was 'impossible'.
Fortunately, whenever his children were around, Asuna ceased her usual mischief and adopted the facade of a reliable older sister. She would patiently walk Euryale through the process of applying her sunscreen, and, though they didn't particularly get along, she would do her best to interact with Stheno, answering questions and offering advice when applicable. This had initially annoyed the eldest of the two gorgon sisters, but, having failed to gain even the smallest advantage against her rival, Stheno had gradually begun to mellow out over time...
Confident she hadn't missed any areas, Stheno, wearing an intricate purple swimsuit that normally wouldn't suit someone her age, snaked her way over to her father's die, a sly smile on her face as she smoothly asked, "Did I miss a spot, Papa~?"
Offering a smile that was equal parts wry and affectionate, Vahn gestured for Stheno to give a quick pirouette before answering, "It seems like you got everything. Good job, Stheno."
Gratified by her father's praise, Stheno offered a sultry-looking smile that had none of the intended meaning as she leaned forward, naturally pressing her breasts together as she presented her head for petting. All of her behavior radiated a natural sex-appeal, and, though he knew she didn't even think about such things, Vahn couldn't help but feel a little concerned about his daughter's future as he extended his hand to habitually caress her head. Though it could be argued that he should be more worried about her future partner, Vahn's fatherly instincts compelled him to consider any man fortunate enough to date one of his daughters 'exceptionally' lucky...
(A/N: Alternate Titles: 'That's no moon...!','Oh my...','RIP Stheno's future husband(read as slave)')
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