With the help of the World Tree's network, it didn't take long for Vahn to locate Asuna, and, after making the necessary preparations, he promptly teleported to her location. There, a woman that wouldn't lose out to even the most mature women in his harem could be seen suspended silently within the air. Her orange hair extended well beyond her pert buttocks, but, more noticeable than anything else, her breasts stood out like two mountains beneath the loose fabric of her gi...
Earning the woman's attention, Vahn made no effort to hide his exasperation, exhaling a profound sigh that caused the grass below to rustle slightly. Immediately afterward, the woman descended to the ground like a goddess, a demure and apologetic smile on her face as she crossed her right arm beneath her breasts, holding her left arm in a self-comforting manner. She had the kind of look that made others feel guilty just looking at her, but, well aware of who was at fault here, Vahn just shook his head and said, "You really did it this time...Asuna..."
Showing an even more apologetic expression on her face, Asuna hugged herself tightly, almost as if she was trying to attract focus to her breasts as she avoided his gaze and muttered, "I'm sorry...I just wanted you to start viewing me as a woman...please don't be too mad..."
Even if he wasn't staring directly at them, Vahn could see Asuna's breasts on the verge of exploding from her gi. She wasn't wearing a bra, likely due to the fact she simply didn't have one big enough, so there was very little left to the imagination as her arm further accented their volume. Given who he was dealing with, it was highly like that she was intentionally trying to draw his attention, almost as if to say, 'Look how much I've grown up.'
Restraining an urge to sigh, Vahn slowly ran his hand through his hair, turning his eyes to the World Tree's canopy as he answered, "What's done is done...just know that I'm a little disappointed in you. I can understand your reasoning, but this kind of behavior isn't something I can condone..."
Displaying a visibly hurt expression, Asuna began to tear up, her lower lip quivering notably as she fought back the urge to cry. She had already expected Vahn to reprimand her, but, after such a long time apart, hearing his words hurt a lot more than she imagined. It had only been a year, but it was a year she had spent alone, separated from the person she cared about more than anything else in the world...
Though Asuna was adept at controlling her emotions, she was never the type of person that used her tears as a weapon. Vahn could tell she was experiencing genuine remorse, so, while he still had a lot to say regarding her recent behavior, he simply didn't have the heart to stay mad at her. Her long isolation couldn't have been easy, so, in a way, she had effectively punished herself using a far more severe punishment than anything he could have come up with...
Seeing a few tears liberate themselves from Asuna's eyes, cascading down the contours of her face on a tragic journey, Vahn found himself inhaling a slow and steady breath through his nose. There were few things more effective against him than the tears of someone he cared about, so, after his lungs had filled completely, he released another profound sigh, discarding his anger entirely as he wrapped the whimpering girl in his arms, ignoring the soft feeling pressing against him as he gently caressed her back.
Feeling the familiar warmth wrap around her, Asuna was unable to stymy her tears, opening the proverbial floodgates as she lowered her head and sobbingly whimpered, "I'm sorry..." over and over again. At the same time, demonstrating that her year of isolation hadn't been unproductive, Vahn felt his bones creak under the strain of Asuna's embrace, the air being forced from his lungs for a brief moment before he quickly adapted...
Taking advantage of the drastic time dilation of the exterior ring, Vahn helped Asuna to calm down before allowing her to nestle against him as they sat against the trunk of the World Tree. He wanted to know her reasoning for taking such extreme action, his heart breaking a little when she demurely explained, "I was never meant to have a normal childhood...you already gave me more chances than I was originally afforded...if you hadn't come to this world and given me the opportunity to seize my own destiny, I would have continued being used by various people for more than a hundred years. I would have been separated from my family, friends, and, at the end of it all, I would have been used as a lynchpin to protect a world where everyone I cared about was already dead..."
Though he was well aware of Asuna's future in the original timeline, hearing her describe it in such a somber tone destroyed what little anger remained in Vahn's heart. Her original self was one of the most pitiable people he had ever met, and, though he had prevented most of the tragedies meant to befall her, the fact Asuna knew about them had likely strengthened her convictions. She was the type that based her decisions on cold hard truths, and, though she was guided by her emotions at times, Asuna was extremely pragmatic...
Recalling the first time he had met Asuna, Vahn realized it was probably at that exact moment that she had decided to follow him. This decision was undoubtedly influenced by her powerful fate, but, if he looked back into his memories, the image of the little girl staring blankly back at him was still present. If he changed perspectives, he could see his own expression, and, though it wasn't obvious to most people, Vahn suspected that both Asuna and Vesperina had been able to see the familiarity, pity, and resolution visible in his gaze.
Despite having never met before, Vesperina had entrusted her daughter to him before they had so much as exchanged three sentences. As for Asuna, she followed him around with the persistence of a duckling, constantly observing his every action with her discerning eyes and analytical mind. After a few days had passed, she began clinging to him excessively, and, though she never asked why he was so worried about her, that didn't stop her from inquiring about various other topics, seemingly eager to learn everything there was to know about him.
In hindsight, Vahn realized that Vesperina, Anarchia, and even Asuna had been 'conspiring' against him from the very beginning. They treated him as if he was someone special, and, though he was certainly the benefactor of the Ostian Royal Family, the fact they had systematically normalized so many intimate interactions was abnormal. They gradually lowered his defenses, and, when the time was ripe, the two mothers had basically pawned their daughters onto him, entrusting someone they barely knew with the fate of the entire kingdom...
As that thought crossed his mind, so too did the smiling faces of Anarchia and Vesperina. They were both exceptionally intelligent and perceptive so they had likely decided very early on that they were going to entrust their daughters to him. He couldn't see it when he looked at himself, but Vahn was apparently 'very' easy to read whenever it concerned people he wanted to protect. He used to think this was a property of his [Will of the Emperor], but, after asking nearly every member of his harem, the majority stated they could understand his thoughts and emotions just by looking at his face...
As if to emphasize this fact, a smile spread across Asuna's face as she nestled a little closer to him and said, "Thank you..." in a demure tone. He didn't have to ask what she was thanking him for, as, even if it was somewhat sudden, Vahn could intuit she had sensed his anger fading away, effectively declaring he had already forgiven her.
Unable to form a response at the moment, Vahn just lightly shook his head, a wry smile on his face as he gently squeezed Asuna's shoulder to indicate a silent affirmation. This caused her to release a sonorous giggle, her voice having deepened considerably due to her rapid development. She really had grown considerably, and, though there was a chance she would grow further, Vahn presumed this form represented her 'prime'.
Going by appearance alone, Asuna looked like she was in her early twenties, and, if not for the fact he could see her Status, even Vahn could have been convinced this was the case. He could generally tell how old someone was by the maturation of their aura and the structure of their bones. This was no longer the case with Asuna, as, due to the effects of the Little Garden and her unique Cultivation methods, each of her features had been refined to their biological prime. In fact, she even gave off the impression of someone far older, as, due to her nature as a Tier 5, Asuna's appearance and aura elevated her beyond most Gods...
Name: [Asuna Vesperina Theotanasia Entheofushia]
Race: High Human
Base Power: 7,234
Soul Tier: 5 (Realm Soul)
Skills: [Child of Destiny(Non-Standard): SSS], [Key of Twilight(Manipulation): SSS], [Magic Cancel(Mitigation): SS], [White of Mars(Creation): SS], [Black of Venus(Absorption): SS], [Master Swordsman: A], [Grandmaster Ki User: E], [Heavenly Sword of Division(Spirit Cultivation): S], [Sage's Path of Enlightenment(Mind Cultivation): S], [Primoridial Goddess' Divine Body(Body Cultivation): S], [Expert Cooking: D], [Master Seamstress: C], [Great Divide: SS], [Hands of Nirvana: D]
Magic: [Shundo:SS], [Koku Shundo:S], [Cantus Bellax: SSS], [Mellodia Bellax: SSS], [Vis Maxima: SSS]
Though her parameters hadn't increased that much, Vahn suspected the main reason for this was because Asuna had been trying to lay low. Even then, the increase was still impressive, as, the more powerful you became, the harder it was to increase your base parameters. The only reason she had grown so much over the year was that she had been focused on her Cultivation methods and trying to refine her State of Nothingness. This had likely helped her pass the time, and, as a result, she had effectively mastered her Spirit, Mind, and Body techniques.
The [Heavenly Sword Division] was a method that helped a practitioner to both increase and refine their sword intent. As for her [Sage's Path of Enlightenment] and [Primordial Goddess' Divine Body], the former greatly aided in the comprehension of virtually all Laws while the latter was used by the vast majority of his harem to strengthen their body and enhance their beauty. There were no upper limits to how powerful they could become, and, unless there was something interfering, it basically allowed them to grow and develop into what they believed to be a 'perfect' body.
With S-Rank mastery in all of her Cultivation techniques, Asuna was already at a level people several times her age had struggled to reach. It was hard to believe she was only thirteen years old, as, with her appearance, aura, knowledge, and skill, the only part of her that even remotely matched her age was the 'hopeful adulation' visible in her gaze as she looked upward at him. Young girls in love were notoriously oblivious to anything that didn't validate their views, often ignoring common sense and committing to rather 'drastic' actions to earn the affection of the person they liked...
Proving his point, Asuna seemed to forget that she had been sobbingly apologizing less than half an hour ago. A loving and expectant smile had spread across her face, and, though now was neither the time nor the place for such things, she hugged his arm tightly while pressing her breasts against him. To further exacerbate matters, a blush had started to spread across her face, though she didn't say anything, the expectant and eager look in her eyes revealed her thoughts.
Feeling like Asuna had loosened the chains on Pandora's Box and was hoping he would open it, a wry smile spread across Vahn's face as he lightly pinched her nose. This was how he would normally let her know she was getting out of hand, so, with an expression of supreme disappointment, Asuna deflated like a balloon. She instantly understood the meaning behind his action, her mind racing to think of methods to make the next few months fly by. At the same time, however, her hand slipped down his chest, and, though it didn't come into contact with anything 'problematic', the way Asuna leaned into him made it very clear she hadn't given up on tempting him...
(A/N: Alternate Titles: 'The most potent weapon...','Vahn never stood a chance','Eva needs to give this girl a firm spanking...')
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