Endless Path : Infinite Cosmos Chapter 1370
Chapter 1370: Coaxing
Instead of responding to Solon's outburst, Vahn just sat quietly within his chair, his face a mask of calm as he waited for them to calm down. This caused Solon's left eye to twitch but, as there really wasn't any way for them to refuse Vahn's offer, they eventually sat back down in a huff.
Solon felt that, ever since they became intertwined with Vahn, their life had been filled with endless frustrations. Now, Vahn had absolute leverage against them and, knowing he could manipulate the terms of their contract at his leisure, Solon couldn't help but feel bitter. It seemed like Vahn was always in control of the situation, despite clear evidence showing he often made decisions without putting much thought into them...
Before they realized it, the once-empty teapot now had a bit of steam rising from its spout, a very fragrant aroma permeating through the surroundings as a result. When Solon saw this, they released a tired sigh before pouring themselves a cup and asking, this time in a quiet tone, "What would you have me do...?"
Now that they were being more agreeable, Vahn allowed the smile to return to his face as he stated in an equally reserved tone, "Truthfully, I want for you the same thing I want for everyone. Even if you wanted to hole yourself up for all eternity, that is fine by me. So long as you are genuinely happy, it isn't my place to question how you live."
Hearing Vahn's response, Solon just rolled their eyes before pulling their legs up into their chair and sipping on their tea. This action caused Vahn to raise his brows slightly, then, understanding Solon wanted a more concrete answer, he sighed before saying, "I'll be direct, then...the main reason I have come to you like this is because it relates to one of my Quests. I know you have tried to investigate the Quest Board when you thought no one would notice. Well, it isn't just students who can accept the Quests that are posted..."
Though they didn't move from their current position, a lot of thoughts began racing through Solon's mind when they heard Vahn's revelation. This implied Vahn had a way to observe them without their knowledge while also clarifying a lot of their past speculation. To confirm, however, Solon looked at Vahn out of the corner of their eye, asking, "All of your nonsensical actions in the past...was this due to your Quests...?"
Vahn could only guess what Solon meant when they referred to his 'nonsensical' actions but, as it probably wasn't that far from the truth, he nodded his head before explaining, "Though it isn't quite the truth, it isn't wrong to consider the Quests that appear to be the Will of Fate...or perhaps Karma? Ultimately, what appears on the board aligns with a person's desires, capabilities, and other factors, some of which I have direct control over. To answer your question, you, too, will be able to accept Quests in the future."
Since they knew Vahn was from the Outside, Solon speculated the Quests very likely related to his origins. They weren't surprised by the fact that Vahn couldn't reveal all of the details but, based on what he had revealed; it was clear that the Quests exceeded even High Thaumaturgy in concept. For a while, Solon had even thought it was directly related to the Greater Grail as, seeing items manifest out of thin air, some of which shouldn't even exist in this world, there had to be something powering the phenomenon.
Having observed the Department of Unified Thaumaturgical Theory since its foundation, Solon's next question was rather direct, asking, "Am I to assume you will be placing that mark on my back, then? I have noticed all of the children that have completed that so-called Foundation Training bears it. Not just them, either...I have seen it on the backs of those women..."
Realizing they had just revealed the fact they had been spying on Vahn, Solon's words trailed off as they closely observed Vahn for any negative reaction. Instead, he just continued to smile, revealing the fact he had been aware the entire time. This caused Solon to feel a unique kind of frustration as it also meant Vahn had been behaving that way despite knowing he was being observed.
In truth, before Solon revealed it themselves, Vahn could only assume he was being observed by the hyper-cautious Magi. Now that Solon had mentioned it themselves, however, Vahn sloshed around the contents of his cup slightly as he said, "I trust your little voyeuristic play was kept from Zelretch, yes?"
Hearing Vahn's question, Solon momentarily paled but, as they had indeed kept it a secret, they were able to quickly calm themselves, answering, "I'm not an idiot...besides, that old pervert doesn't need my help to spy on people. I doubt he would try while you're around, though. He seems to fear you a considerable amount."
Sensing no falsehoods in Solon's words, Vahn lightly nodded in response before dismissing the issue entirely as he stated, "That mark is known as the Familia Crest. It denotes the bearer as a member of my Familia, bestowing them my Blessing and allowing them to receive various benefits. The one you are most aware of is the Quest Board. Using it, they can challenge themselves, overcome trials, and earn rewards for their efforts. This, however, isn't the most important aspect of the crest...rather, it is the unlocking of one's potential. So long as they have not committed egregious actions, earning a considerable amount of negative karma, the crest had the effect of increasing their capabilities in all categories..."
Since he could tell Solon was interested in the benefits of the Familia Crest, Vahn went ahead and spent a few minutes selling the idea to them. The only true demerit was that he could easily trace the location of the bearers but, with Alaya at his side, this functionality was redundant. After all, he could achieve the same effect with the Strings of Fate, even without the target bearing his crest.
With Vahn's explanation, Solon was able to better understand his plans for the future as they had already seen the results of students within the Department of Unified Thaumaturgical Theory. Even those that had been considered below average were quickly catching up and even surpassing the students within the standard curriculum. Now, they understood why Vahn had been determined to gain access to the Spiritual Tomb as, by simply killing monsters, anyone bearing his crest would be able to become a powerful Magus. Eventually, the students he was rearing would quickly surpass their peers, further elevating the status of the Empire within the minds of those seeking to change their fate in this chaotic world.
Though this thought had already crossed their mind before, Solon realized that Vahn was already in control of the Mage's Association. It didn't matter if he wiped out former factions and completely undermined thousands of years of heritage as, with the theories perpetuated by Da Vinci, the Familia Crest, and seemingly unlimited resources, he could just rebuild it from scratch. At this point, the fact they were still the Director felt more like a formality than anything else...they had lost control of the situation a long time ago.
Realizing this, Solon couldn't restrain a defeated sigh as they slouched even further in their chair, to the point they were basically curled up in a ball. This made Vahn feel more than a little awkward as it wasn't really his intention to break Solon's spirits. Rather, he wanted to liberate them from some of the things that had been stressing out. After all, it wasn't as if they did much as the Director of the Mage's Association and, by the time the World Tree's were planted, someone else would have been placed in charge.
Fortunately, without him having to say anything to further convince the green-haired Magus, Solon dully asked, "So, what do I need to do? I keep asking you but you haven't given me a clear answer. Is there some kind of ritual that needs to be performed, a contract I need to sign? Let's get on with it and be done with this."
Hearing Solon's words, it was Vahn's turn to roll his eyes, albeit within his mind. Unfortunately, his bad habit wasn't so easily restrained so, rather than answer Solon's question, Vahn smiled slightly as he asked, "Will you talk like this, even after I become your Master~?"
Though he had expected Solon to erupt slightly, Vahn was somewhat surprised when the latter just glared at him for several seconds before righting themselves in their seat. It felt like they were about to behave in a very professional manner so, feeling his mood falter, Vahn raised his hands to prevent whatever they had intended, stating, "Relax, I was just messing around. In response to your question, well, there isn't anything you need to do other than be sincere. I have the ability to see a quantifiable representation of my subordinates' Loyalty so things like contracts and rituals are unnecessary."
With everything else Vahn had revealed, Solon wasn't surprised by his claim that he could somehow see a person's loyalty. Instead, his mind began to mull over the concept of 'sincerity' itself as, without a contract or something like a vow, how could sincerity be shown? Words didn't seem to be enough but, even with their genderless body, Solon wasn't comfortable with letting Vahn mess around as he did with his women...
Realizing the thought that had just gone through their mind, a frown immediately formed on Solon's face. Then, after literally forcing the thoughts away, they looked directly at Vahn, plainly stating, "I know what it means to be sincere but, in this situation, I don't really understand what to do. I would never enter into a master-subordinate relationship with someone unless they had made a binding vow so I'm unable to rationalize doing so myself. Even now, if I had the opportunity, I would do my best to at least try and find a way to kill you."
Hearing Solon's admission, Vahn just shrugged his shoulders as the former's animosity wasn't news to him. Rather, if he knew there was some all-powerful force above him, he wouldn't be able to rest easily without increasing his strength or preparing countermeasures against them. Since he felt this way, it was only to be expected that others would react in a similar manner. Solon had protected the world and its more unique inhabitants for several millennia at this point so, to have someone like him appear out of the blue, it must be very stressful for them.
To make things easier for them, Vahn pointed out, "The Familia Crest is basically a ritual that will bind us together as a faux-family. In truth, I actually consider those that bear my crest as part of my actual family. This might not mean much to some but, as a God, I treat familiar relationships very seriously. If people try to harm me, it typically doesn't phase me all that much...however, if they target one of my family members or loved ones..."
Even without explaining further, Vahn's aura made it clear just what fate awaited those that brought harm to the people he had chosen to protect. This was enough to convince Solon that the Familia Crest was, indeed, a binding ritual. After all, it would grant them power, allow Vahn to freely sense their location, and even provide access to a fantastical Quest system. In a way, he was like a Familiar contract, albeit one between a God and his followers.
Realizing that Vahn would basically become their God, Solon had mixed feelings but, after thinking it over for a few moments, they ultimately nodded their head, answering, "So be it, then. If your Familia Crest can be applied to my body, I will accept you...as...my...Master..."
Hearing Solon force out the final few words, Vahn just shook his head and said, "I told you to relax. If you don't want to call me Master, that is fine with me. So long as you don't harm people or go out of your way to defy the Common Law of the Empire, you are free to live as you please. Though you'll have to properly maintain the World Tree in the future, that's something I trust you'll do of your own volition."
Feeling as if a heavy burden had been removed from their shoulders, Solon breathed a sigh of relief. It wasn't pleasant to address someone as their Master so, with Vahn giving them leeway to address him as they please, Solon decided to continue referring to him by name. Then, without further delay, they rose from their chair before manifesting the mannequin they used to hold their artifacts. Since it wouldn't matter if Vahn saw their body, Solon convinced themselves to stay calm as they began the arduous process of removing the vast array of Artifacts covering their body.
Realizing what Solon was doing, Vahn felt a little awkward and, though the former hadn't asked him to turn away, he felt compelled to do so. Though Solon didn't seem to have an actual gender, their appearance and temperament gave off a very distinct impression. This, combined with their fair skin, tiny frame, and youthful figure, made watching them undress feel inappropriate.
Seeing Vahn turn his head, Solon wanted to curse the man to death as their actions suddenly felt a lot more awkward than before. It would have been a lot easier if Vahn just remained calm or, like Zelretch, gawked freely. That way, they could rebuke them to ease some of the awkwardness rather than let it continue to build, seemingly without an upper limit.
By the time only their medallion and robe remained, Solon felt slightly nauseous but, having formed their resolve previously, they managed to remove the heavy golden Artiface before tugging at the sides of their robe. For a brief moment, Solon both lamented and appreciated the fact they didn't wear anything resembling underwear. Zelretch had tried to convince them to wear some in the past but, as these were always very childish and feminine designs, Solon generally responded with a swift punch to the face...
(A/N: Alternate Titles: 'You ain't sneaky, Solon','Don't mess with Vahn's Familia...','Zelretch really is just an old pervert xD...')
https://bit.ly/2XBzAYu <-(p.atreon link)
Discord Invite: https://discord.gg/Jwa8PKh
Top weekly On WuxiaWorld
- 1 Perfect Secret Love The Bad New Wife Is A Little Sweet
- 2 My Youth Began With Him
- 3 The Beautiful Wife Of The Whirlwind Marriage
- 4 Back Then I Adored You
- 5 One Birth Two Treasures: The Billionaire's Sweet Love
- 6 Elite Doting Marriage: Crafty Husband Aloof Cute Wife
- 7 The Most Loving Marriage In History: Master Mu’s Pampered Wife
- 8 The Rest Of My Life Is For You
- 9 The 99th Divorce
- 10 Full Marks Hidden Marriage: Pick Up A Son Get A Free Husband