Endless Path : Infinite Cosmos - Chapter 1513
Endless Path : Infinite Cosmos Chapter 1513: The Miracle of Life
Though most of her efforts went into her Knight Training, Sakura had never slacked when it came to learning medical skills and magic. She had often helped to treat minor injuries during training, and, if there was anything 'major' going on, her father had allowed her to be present as his assistant.
Now, for the seventh time in her life, Sakura was watching the miracle of life with a moderately pale complexion on her face. Despite the queasy feeling in her stomach, she showed no hesitation when it came to following her father's instructions, and, after three hours of hard labor, she bore witness to the birth of a beautiful baby boy. Then, with steady hands, she accepted the newborn into her hands, fighting back a sour feeling in her nose as she gave her baby brother his first bath before handing him over to his mother.
Seeing her baby for the first time, Olga's strained expression became filled with love and warmth, tears pouring from her eyes as she held the bundle close and whimpered, "Thank you…thank you so much…"
As could be expected, nearly everyone present had tears in their eyes, including the usually cold and serious Trisha. She even had to turn away, fanning her face with her hands in a desperate attempt to fight back her rising emotions.
After making sure there would be no complications, Vahn accepted the towel offered by Sakura, an affectionate smile on his face as he said, "You did well. Go get some rest."
The moment she heard her father's words, Sakura felt a considerable amount of pride, managing a radiant smile despite the tears rolling like precious beads down her porcelain cheeks. Then, joining her mother, they were the first to leave the room, quickly followed by Lakshmibai and a considerably pale Aoko.
With Trisha the only remaining bystander, Vahn approached the side of the bed, his own tear ducts softening as he ran his fingers through Olga's hair and said, "You suddenly look even more beautiful. I'm so proud of you both…"
Due to her sobbing, Olga issued a rather awkward laugh before nuzzling against Vahn's hand as she said, "You know…an hour ago…I wanted to kill you…now…I'm…just…so happy…"
Barely able to complete her words, Olga began to sob even louder than before, her tears like refined pearls of bottled up emotions. She had so many doubts about whether or not she would be a good mother, but, now, seeing the smiling face of her son, combined with the comfort of Vahn's presence, it felt like every emotion she had been keeping since childhood was pouring out of her…
Though there was a lot she wanted to say, Trisha quickly realized she was in the way, bowing politely and muttering, "Please excuse me…" with tears still building in her eyes. Then, without waiting for a response, she quickly did an about-face, alighting from the room under the gazes of Vahn and Olga.
Turning away from the direction of the door, Vahn continued to stroke Olga's hair, smiling as he said, "It seems Trisha is more emotional than she lets on. How about making her the godmother?"
With both of her hands occupied, Olga relied on Vahn to wipe away her tears as she answered, "Yes. I'd like that…thank you…so much…"
Having learned his lesson in the past, Vahn resisted the urge to tell Olga she didn't have to thank him. Instead, he sat on the side of the bed, cradling both her and their newborn son as he said, "I love you…always and forever…"
Following the birth of his son, Hans, Vahn spent nearly two weeks without leaving Olga's side for more than a few minutes at a time. Being a new mother came with a lot of anxieties, but, fortunately, she had Trisha and Rin to help out and give advice. His responsibility in the matter was making sure both she and Hans were happy and healthy, but, considering the latter was nearly 3.5kg at birth, it wasn't an exaggeration to say he was 'very' healthy.
Interestingly enough, Hans' Guardian was the first 'mechanical' Guardian amongst Vahn's children. It was a peculiar creature known as an Etherlite Strix, a type of owl that had synthetic feathers, metallic bones, sapphire-like eyes, and cobalt-blue talons that had a hypodermic quality. These rather fierce talons gave it the ability to rapidly drain both the fluids and magical energy from an object, allowing it to sustain both itself and Hans through their shared link.
Vahn was very interested in the idea of a mechanical entity that could grow and evolve, as it was very similar to the Companions, so he had high hopes for Hans and his Guardian. For now, however, there were more important matters to attend, so, with a considerable amount of inspiration, Vahn returned to his forge after the initial two weeks. He still kept a version of himself back in the villa, but, with the inspiration of fatherhood driving him, Vahn felt like he could forge an entire planet, much less a few Asauchi…
With eyes that blazed like golden stars, Vahn took slow and steady breaths. Every time he exhaled, a phenomenal cloud of vapor would erupt, parts turning into ice crystals while the rest evaporated in an instant. In the end, however, all of the vapor would evaporate, as, resting atop an anvil formed of Divine Gold, a brilliant white blade radiated enough heat to collapse the space around it.
Contrasting the phenomenal heat, Vahn's surroundings were filled with a bluish-black liquid formed from pure Yin Elemental Energy, its temperature so extreme that time stagnated in the vicinity. If not for the combination of his domain and Source Energy, Vahn's body would have been simultaneously frozen and incinerated, his body torn apart into its constituent pieces by the collision of Space, Time, Yang, and Yin Elemental Energies.
Due to the extremes of temperature, Vahn had to relocate his Workshop more than ten-thousand kilometers from its original location just to feel assured that his family was safe. This process was so dangerous that, according to the manual, it could even critically injure the Soul. While this was an obvious exaggeration, as the Soul was something that transcended the Tier System completely, it was safe to assume that the Ego wouldn't come out unscathed if the process ended in failure.
In order to keep her safe, Vahn had to coax Aeterna to stay home by offering her a small mountain of rare metal to simply 'burn' away. Even then, she had thrown a tantrum for several hours, calming down only after he expressed how worried he was for her safety. He had to explain to her how sad he would be if something happened to her, all while feeding her tiny pieces of candy and stroking her flaming hair…
Fortunately, after he successfully coaxed her the first time, Aeterna seemed to have forgotten she was every angry in the first place. Instead, she played around in the hearth he had produced for her, and, with permission from Aoko, spent a considerable amount of time just burning the endless fields of glowing blue flowers. It was actually a little terrifying to see her cut loose, as she would laugh with uninhibited glee, but, since Aoko didn't seem to mind, Vahn elected to simply let her be…
Now, in a state of absolute focus, Vahn spent seven hours just forming a workable tube of metal that was formed entirely from his body. The original process required a rare material called [Spiritualized Metal], but, as even a single gram cost 30,000,000OP, Vahn had learned how to perfectly emulate it using his Source Energy. This meant he only had twenty-four hours to work it into its final form, but, with each failed attempt costing nearly a billion OP, he didn't have much of a choice.
Working [Spiritualzed Metal] required keeping it hot enough to 'completely annihilate' everything in the surroundings while simultaneously chilling it with purified Yin Elemental Energy. Since the flames used were formed from Yang Elemental Energy, establishing a careful balance was necessary, as, with a single mistake, the Yang would either try to consume the Yin or, inversely, be completely quenched by it.
The aspect of this process that Vahn found most peculiar was the fact it required him to 'excite' the metal by striking it with a massive hammer that weighed nearly 300,000kg. This made the energy in the metal turn violent, but, before it could erupt outward, a surge of Yin-infused liquid would flow into the chamber, creating a violent hissing sound as the 'water' almost instantly evaporated.
So long as he regulated the amount perfectly, the metal would be cooled down just enough to keep it stable, allowing him to, very slowly, shape it into the form of a blade. Though this wasn't actually necessary, as the final form could anything from a bat to a simple lump, the intent that went into the forging process was of paramount importance. An Asauchi was a manifestation of 'Infinite Potential', so, if you were half-hearted in your efforts, the final result would be a 'dead' blade.
With his intent focused to extreme levels, Vahn stood completely naked with what appeared to be a massive black mallet, his muscular body poised and ready to strike. He waited until the luminance of the metal began to fade, an almost imperceptible shift in luminance, before striking in a perfect arc, the force enough to send powerful ripples through Space and Time. In response, the metal glowed with a brilliant golden light that, for a brief moment, created the illusion of a roaring dragon before it was mercilessly quenched by the yin-infused liquid. By the time the 'steam evaporated away, Vahn was already poised to strike another heavy blow, his intent never straying from the glowing piece of metal for a single moment.
In total, the Asauchi forging process required 999 hammer strikes before it was considered a success. If the metal 'gave up' before then, it meant you had failed to properly control your strikes, breaking the 'spirit' of the nascent blade. Inversely, if you failed to reach an equilibrium at the 999th strike, the metal would erupt violently, attempting to punish the one foolish enough to try and tame it.
While most would question the credibility of such steps, pointing out that the metal wasn't able to express itself in such a way, those aiming for the peak of blacksmithing knew better. All of the most successful Master Smiths considered the act of forging to be 'creating life' and 'shaping existing life into a new form'. They greatly respected their tools and infused their intentions into their materials with the same fervor as a parent trying to raise their children to be successful. As a result, some of the most skilled Master Smiths were, quite literally, able to create sapient weapons.
After forging a total twenty-four [Lævateinn]s, Vahn knew better than most how his intentions could shape the 'personality' of a weapon. Though none of them possessed a true Ego, at least for the time being, he was able to clearly sense their intentions, their desire for battle. This could even be sensed by people who had never held a weapon, so, while common sense might argue against it, only fools were limited by such constructs…
Approaching the 999th strike, Vahn's focus increased to the point that, for a brief moment, the only things in existence seemed to be him and the nascent sword. He felt as though time was slowing to a stop, a phenomenon similar to two warriors about to trade final blows with each other. A moment of hesitation would be the same as death, so, with his intent surging like a tidal wave, Vahn allowed his hammer to crash down on the glowing-hot blade as a flood of Yin Elemental Energy, colder than anything in existence surged in to consume them both…
Despite feeling as though trillions of needles had pricked each of his constituent molecules, Vahn's glowing golden eyes could still be seen within the 'darkness'. His intent never wavered away from the blade for a single moment, his will alone seemingly compelling it into existence. Then, as if to answer his intentions, the blade, rather than cooling, seemed to absorb the energy used to heat it. This allowed the phenomenally cold liquid to come into direct contact with it, but, rather than break, the blade was like a miniature black hole as it sucked in every last drop of the bluish-black fluid.
In a surprisingly short period of time, Vahn found himself staring down at a rather nondescript blade, which, seemingly dissatisfied with its form, sharpened itself to the point where simply looking at it caused pain. Then, causing a massive grin to spread across Vahn's face, the blade began to tremble atop the anvil as an invisible pulse spread outwards for several meters. This caused a dull sensation similar to 'static' within his mind, almost as if someone was trying to use Telepathy but didn't know how to speak…
Ignoring the impossible sharp edge, Vahn picked up the blade without any hesitation, a proud smile on his face that was typically only reserved for his children. Then, using [Hands of Nirvana], he began to send calming energy into its body, softly stating, "It's okay…there is no reason to rush things…take your time…"
As if it could understand his words, the blade's trembling quickly ceased before emanating a crisp, bell-like, sound. This caused Vahn to issue a light chuckle, his gleeful mood impossible to contain as he sat down on the ground and pulled out a polishing rag. He still needed to create a handle and a guard, but, before that, he wanted to bring his glorious creation to a mirror-like shine…
Ability: Nameless Asauchi(-), Spirit Imprint(-), Spirit Evolution(-), Spirit Catalyst(-), Spirit Rending(-)
A masterwork formed from the culminations of its creator's intent and the desire of the blade itself to exist. Though still immature, this blade possesses limitless potential. After receiving nourishment from its wielder for an extended period of time, this blade will develop its own identity, shaping itself into the form most suitable for itself and its user. In total, there are three stages of evolution, but, in the right hands, there are no limits to an Asauchi's growth.
Restrictions: After imprinting, fuses with the user until death.
(A/N: Alternate Titles: 'I cri ever tiem','Naked forging? Tsubaki would be proud','Unlimited Potential')
(A/N: I was originally not going to post a chapter today, but, I did my best to pump out this one since I know some people are pretty hyped about it. I'll be out of the house, but I intend to take my laptop with me so, if I find the time, I'll publish more chapters later this afternoon.)
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