Endless Path : Infinite Cosmos - Chapter 1514
Endless Path : Infinite Cosmos Chapter 1514: Kinship
After spending a considerable amount of time polishing his new Asauchi, Vahn spent a few more hours adding the finishing touches. This included fashioning an ivory white handle wrapped in golden cord, a golden guard embossed with the motif of a dragon, and, last but not least, a sleek black sheathe that, like the handle, was wrapped with a golden cord.
Unlike other weapons he had forged in the past, Vahn elected not to imprint the Asauchi with his Maker's Mark. It was his hope that, by leaving it unmarked, it would be able to grow in a direction of its own choosing, bonding with its user rather than representing his legacy as a Blacksmith. Thus, in lieu of imprinting the blade itself, Vahn carved a small taiji formation on the blade collar, a testament to the fusion of Yin, Yang, and Intent that had given it form.
When everything was finished, Vahn had been working without rest for a total of thirty-nine hours. In spite of this, he felt none of the usual fatigue. Instead, he felt completely invigorated, his mind, body, and spirit experiencing a subtle change that was hard to put into words. The closest thing he could compare it to was the sensation he felt after creating Jade, the Fire Elemental Lotus that represented the birth of his Creation Divinity in the Record of Danmachi.
Vahn knew he hadn't actually obtained a new Creation Divinity, as it would have been reflected in his Status, but, in spite of this, he felt like he had obtained something 'greater'. He even suspected it was related to an Innate, but, until the ability actually manifested, it was impossible to be sure. The only thing he knew for certain was that the unnamed Asauchi, with the exception of his children, was his greatest creation.
Holding the complete katana in his hand, Vahn admired its edge for several seconds, an affectionate smile on his face as he ran his index finger along its length. Then, after creating a massive pillar that could be likened to Adamantine in hardness, he swept the blade at a thirty-degree angle, cutting in a smooth arc that didn't produce a single sound.
Despite being more than three meters away, well outside of the Asauchi's blade length, Vahn had a wide grin on his face when a 'line' appeared along the glossy black surface. Then, under the force of gravity, the upper half of the pillar 'slipped' free from the bottom half, leaving a mirror-like surface in its wake.
Though the Asauchi lacked attack power and an ability that enhanced its sharpness, the blade's edge was unlike anything Vahn had ever seen. Its sharpness was directly linked to the amount of energy channeled into it, and, due to acting as a near-perfect catalyst, it had unmatched sharpness when his Source Energy was fed into it. Thus, even though his understanding of Sword Laws and Sword Intent were both shallow, Vahn's mastery over Space and Time allowed him to cut anything that was within the effective range of his domain.
Putting his theory to the test, Vahn set up several pillars in a line, standing so that one was blocking his view of the other three. Then, relying on his perception alone, he struck out towards the massive pillar, but, instead of leaving a line in its surface, the sound of metal against metal could be heard as the third pillar in the line crashed to the ground. This caused Vahn to laugh out uninhibitedly before spontaneously conducting one last experiment, this time cutting towards his own arm with a large smile on his face.
Initially, Vahn expected the Asauchi to simply 'stop' once it reached his skin, but, as fate would have it, the blade cleanly passed through his arm without obstruction. He could feel an incredibly painful sensation, but, at a glance, his arm was perfectly fine. There wasn't a single sign of injury, but, for a brief moment, Vahn was unable to feel anything but searing pain as he struggled to even twitch his fingers.
Since an Asauchi was a weapon that was supposed to be used by Soul Reapers, its attacks had little to no effect on the physical body. Instead, it targetted the Mana and Spiritual Bodies directly, cutting the flow of energy and paralyzing the affected limb in the process. It was very similar to the effect of [Mercy], the S-Ranked Dagger that Vahn had used during his conflict against the Dwarves of the Iron Hills. This effectively meant physical defense was completely useless against Asauchi's, requiring you to protect yourself with Spiritual Energy if you wanted to avoid becoming a cripple.
Confirming his theory, Vahn, very slowly, ran the Asauchi through the black pillar. As expected, the blade slid through the material without any obstruction whatsoever, leaving no traces of any kind of structural damage. It wasn't until he 'wanted' to cut the pillar that he felt any kind of resistance, but, despite the hardness of the material, the sensation was similar to cutting through a stream, following the direction of the current.
Satisfied with his discoveries, Vahn held up the Asauchi so that the blade was level with his face as he said, "You're really amazing…I can't wait to see how powerful you become in the future…"
In response to his light utterance, the Asauchi released a high-pitched 'ting', similar to a tuning fork being struck with a metal rod. It was a very pleasant sound, and, though it was subtle, Vahn was able to feel the excitement of the Asauchi. It seemed to enjoy being praised, bring a smile to Vahn's face as he internally remarked, ("How cute…")
Though the process of forging an Asauchi was exceptionally tedious, it was only the first step in the formation of a Zanpakutou Spirit. It could take several years for the Asauchi to finish imprinting on its user, requiring them to keep it on them at all times. This meant that, even when you were eating, sleeping, or taking a bath, you always had to have your Asauchi on you. It was similar to raising a child, and, if you neglected it, even for a short period of time, the nascent spirit would actually begin to shun you, refusing to give you its name.
Carrying around a 115cm katana for upwards of ten years would be a hassle, but, considering the Spirit within would remain at your side until death, this was a small price to pay. Vahn was also quite fond of his precious creation, so, rather than ten years, he was hoping his Zanpakutou Spirit would awaken within a few months. The process for awakening seemed to depend entirely on your bond with the Asauchi itself, so, with high hopes for the blade, Vahn felt it wouldn't be long before he met his eternal companion.
Unfortunately, while he had enjoyed his time within the Marble Phantasm, it had already been close to six weeks since they entered. Thus, after spending a few days acclimating to the Asauchi, carrying it around with him everywhere he went, Vahn decided it was time to leave. He felt it was actually bad to try and rush the process of awakening his Zanpakutou Spirit, much like forcing a child to grow up too quickly, so, rather than stress over it, Vahn would let matters take their course. It would manifest when it was ready, and, until then, he would continue to live his life, allowing it to view and interpret for itself what kind of person he was.
Before informing everyone of his decision, Vahn spent one last night just lounging about with each of them. This included spending some quality time with Rin and Sakura, arguing with Aoko over the importance of runic magic, cuddling with Lakshmibai outdoors, and, most importantly, sharing a bed with Olga as they cradled their newborn son between them. She had blossomed into motherhood in a very short period of time, so, while it was a little shameless, Vahn enjoyed getting pampered by the progressively more beautiful Olga alongside his son…
Following his emergence from Aoko's Marble Phantasm, Vahn updated Artoria on everything that transpired while he was inside. She wasn't too surprised that he had managed to succeed, but, upon seeing the Asauchi for herself, her eyes had widened considerably. Unfortunately, he had to refuse her request to handle the infant blade, as, more than other factors, contact with others during the imprinting phase could greatly increase the time it took for a Zanpakutou Spirit to form.
After separating from the slightly dejected Artoria, Vahn teleported to the outside of Nobunaga's room, a wry smile on his face as he contemplated going inside. He had been thinking about Musashi ever since he completed the Asauchi, but, sensing what was happening inside the room, Vahn felt it might be better for him to come back later…
Shaking his head, Vahn released a small sigh before opening the door and stepping inside. There, he found a half-naked Musashi with a light blush on her face as Nobunaga, ever the deviant, left quite a number of hickey marks on the former's exposed breasts and neck.
As there were very few people who could enter her room of their own accord, Nobunaga only gave a brief glance toward the door, her expression forming a mischievous smile that starkly contrasted the abject shock visible on Musashi's. She generally wasn't very shy, but, not expecting Vahn to suddenly appear, Musashi cutely pushed Nobunaga away, covering her breasts as she said, "I can explain…!"
Despite being pushed off the sofa rather unceremoniously, Nobunaga was cackling like a demon as she rolled around on the floor. This caused Muasash to feel even more embarrassed, but, before she could find an excuse, Vahn just shook his head with a wry smile, saying, "Don't mind it. I'm perfectly aware of how wily Nobunaga can be. Besides, this is pretty tame compared to the last time we were inside Aoko's Marble Phantasm."
Hearing Vahn's dismissive words, Musashi laughed awkwardly in turn before saying, "Yeah, I guess you're right? Still…isn't your reaction a little too tame…?"
As if to answer in Vahn's stead, Nobunaga rose to her feet with nothing but a loose shirt and dark red panties on, explaining, "Please. Do you really think Vahn would worry about things like this? This is nothing compared to the 'performances' I have put on with Kenshin. What kind of man wouldn't be able to enjoy the kinship between two beautiful women? Besides, even if I play around every now and then, that idiot knows full well who my heart belongs to…isn't that right, my beloved Master~?"
Following Nobunaga's statement, she allowed her shirt to fall free from her body, revealing a highly detailed tattoo that covered much of her back, left shoulder, left breast, and arm. Though its primary function was to enhance her attributes, much like the seal he had designed for Tiona, the true reason behind Nobunaga's tattoo was, simply put, because she thought it was cool. She liked to pick outfits from various punk rock groups from before The Fall, and, seeing a few models with intricate tattoos, she had wanted one of her own.
Though there were a number of interesting aspects of Nobunaga's tattoo, the most prominent was the Japanese-style golden dragon that coiled around a heart above her left breast. There was also a series of runes forming a circle, and, if you understood the structure of Divine Words, you would be able to read, 'A Demonic Heart devoted to a Dragon Emperor. To my beloved, Vahn Aldrnari Mason, I dedicate my Mind, Body, and Soul.'
Seeing Nobunaga's exposed figure, wearing nothing but lace panties and the tattoo he had spent nearly three days to complete, Vahn could feel his pulse begin to race as he returned a smile and said, "It seems there is a Demon King in need of vanquishing…"
Incited by Vahn's words, Nobunaga's smile spread until her prominent canines were on full display. Then, after snaking her way over to his side, her hips swaying seductively the entire time, Nobunaga pressed her chest against his, musing, "I have already given you my everything…now, how about we enjoy a few drinks while discussing the reason for your visit. Afterward, you can ravish us both like the greedy dragon you are~."
Following her words, Nobunaga began to gently bite Vahn's collarbone, her arms linking around his waist to give his butt a tentative squeeze.
Though he was well aware of it before entering the room, Vahn could tell that Nobunaga's switch had been flipped completely. Her face was slightly red, and, with a heavy aroma of alcohol present within the room, it wasn't difficult to imagine why. She and Musashi had both gotten drunk, leading to Nobunaga becoming even bolder than usual. In this mode, there was very little she wouldn't do if she thought it was fun or interesting. As a result, each of her usual drinking partners had fallen to her errant clutches, the only exception being Shuten, who, triggered by Nobunaga's teasing, showed the latter what it meant to be an Oni…
With a few hours to spare until the afternoon Raid, Vahn decided to take Nobunaga up on her offer, but, with the Asauchi in hand, he had to create a second body. This caused the two women to show expressions of mild alarm, both having already learned how 'dangerous' multiple versions of him could be, but, before they could panic, he amusedly explained, "Relax. This body of mine can't really do anything right now. You don't have to worry…I'm not going to bully you…"
Hearing Vahn's words, Nobunaga and Musashi couldn't hide the fact they were relieved. It was all but impossible for any singular woman to deal with Vahn, so, if he were to manifest multiple bodies, things quickly shifted in his favor. His combined assault was too much for even women like Artoria and Arcueid to bear, as, when he worked together with himself, Vahn was far more terrifying than any Demon King…
(A/N: Alternate Titles: 'Unbelievably OP','*Clings tightly to sword for six years*','Now we just need a picture of a smiling Fenrir sitting on a sofa with five Vahn encircling her…')
https://bit.ly/2XBzAYu <-(p.atreon link)
Discord Invite: https://discord.gg/Jwa8PKh