Endless Path : Infinite Cosmos is a Webnovel completed by Einlion.
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Chapter 2087: Awe
“Master, my pack has taken over three of the Altars.”
Though it had only been a few minutes since Fenrir sent out her pack of puppies, Vahn wasn’t surprised to hear they had already completed their objective. Even the weakest among them was stronger than the average 6-Digit Community member. They also had nothing to do with any of Fenrir’s actual Gifts, so, even if someone tried to cry foul, it wouldn’t take long to prove their innocence.
Running his hand along the side and bottom of her neck, Vahn compelled Fenrir to roll over so he could give her belly a vigorous rub. As this was happening, a horn could be heard in the distance, its sound carrying across the game board as a rainbow-hued pillar of light impacted each of the Altars.
“Oh. I half-expected something like J?rmungandr to show up…”
Since this made his job a lot easier, Vahn created a double to teleport near the base of the Altar Fenrir’s fortress had settled over. The rainbow-hued pillar had penetrated through the icy ma.s.s as if it didn’t exist. This would have terrified most people, but, knowing he could just make another version of himself, Vahn immediately stepped into the beam.
After a sensation akin to having his body broken down molecule by molecule, Vahn found himself rea.s.sembled in a large stone arena. There was a large runic symbol that had burned itself into the ground beneath his feet, but, rather than pay attention to that, he raised his brows toward the rather fierce-looking redhead standing at the opposite side of the arena, asking, “Is it just you…?”
Furrowing her brows in response to Vahn’s words, Ragna brandished her twin battleaxes, the runes across its surface emitting a fiery blue light as she explained, “The arena of Himinbj?rg is a sacred place. Only two people can enter. Only one can leave. You will have to occupy this place until the end of the Gift Game if you wish to declare yourself the victor.”
As Ragna spoke, an updated Gea.s.s Roll appeared out of thin air. Now, instead of three hidden conditions, there were only two. The third row of question marks had updated to reflect what Ragna had said.
“Well, that simplifies things…”
Raising his hand as he spoke, Vahn left Ragna frozen, the pupils of her eyes contracted as he caught the lightning bolt that attempted to strike him. If he had tanked it, she wouldn’t have been that surprised. Instead, his touch had caused it to turn into a physical tendril of energy as he said, “You can have this back.”
Though she could deflect natural lightning, Ragna was barely able to tense her body before the bolt wielded by Vahn struck her like a whip. In the very next moment, she felt as though her body had pa.s.sed through multiple membranes. In actuality, these were a series of stone pillars and a thick wall…
With Ragna’s body breaking down into bluish-white light, Vahn s.h.i.+fted his attention to the structure of the arena. It was approximately 500m in diameter with a series of ten, thirty, and fifty-meter walls forming three concentric circles. The circle he had presently found himself in was host to nine large pillars, each connected via a large engraving resembling a tree.
As a Blacksmith and an Artisan, Vahn was someone who could appreciate interesting designs and themes. It was obvious that someone had put a lot of effort into developing this particular Game Board. If he didn’t know that everything would be reset the moment the game came to an end, he might even be reluctant to destroy it…
“Greetings, friend. My name is Tha.n.u.s Nyx, Leader of Twice Twilight. I owe you my sincerest grat.i.tude. Without your help, we would have already been eliminated from the compet.i.tion.”
Though he could sense of overwhelmingly dark aura emanating from the glowing-eyed man, Siegfried had learned from Vahn that he should never judge a book by its cover. Thus, without any discernible hesitation on his face, he accepted the former’s handshake, stating, “It’s not a big deal. I was just pa.s.sing through and decided to lend a hand of my own volition. There are no debts between us.”
Smiling in response to Siegfried’s words, Tha.n.u.s gave the former’s hand a firm shake before retracting his hand and asking, “What will you do now? I can’t imagine you cooperating with us until the end of the Gift Game. Shouldn’t you be helping your own Community?”
Answering in Siegfried’s stead, Dorothea, the same woman Vahn had encountered prior to his affiliation with Thousand Eyes, revealed, “He said he doesn’t belong to a Community. He is the conjured spirit of another Player.”
Blinking in surprise, Tha.n.u.s gave Siegfried another once-over as he remarked, “Amazing. Your Master must be a remarkable individual to summon someone as powerful as you. From what I can tell, you’re no different from any other Player…”
Returning a kind smile, Siegfried withheld any remarks related to Vahn. He had no intention of parting with any information related to his best friend and benefactor. Instead, he just nodded his head and said, “I should be going. I wish you and your Community the best of luck for the remainder of the game.”
Without waiting for Tha.n.u.s’ reply, Siegfried directed a second nod towards Dorothea before spreading his wings and taking to the sky. This caused the smile on Tha.n.u.s’ face to turn wry, but, understanding he wasn’t a match for the silver-haired warrior, he ultimately just shook his head before looking back at Dorothea and musing, “You’re as popular as ever.”
Blus.h.i.+ng in response to her Leader’s words, Dorothea adopted a slightly pouty expression as she reb.u.t.ted, “Mooou! I told you to stop teasing me! B-Besides, the person I really like-”
Before Dorothea could finish her impromptu confession, one of the Einherjar that had been knocked unconscious by Siegfried suddenly charged toward her. Unfortunately for him, he was only able to get about three steps before a bluish-black shadow resembling a demonic ant emerged from the ground, bifurcating him in an instant…
With five of the eight Altars under the control of his forces, Vahn wasn’t surprised by the lack of people arriving to challenge him. Each individual member of Fenrir’s pack could wipe out an average 6-Digit Community on their own, so, even if numerous Communities teamed up, there was very little they could do to s.h.i.+ft the tide in their favor.
Fortunately, the Gift Game seemed to have accounted for this particular scenario as another horn could be heard echoing throughout the Game Board after an hour had pa.s.sed. Since he had another version of himself idling about at the base of the mountain, Vahn was able to see a ma.s.sive blizzard forming along the edges of the playing field.
“So that’s how they intend to force the Players inward. The playing area shrinks over time…”
As soon as those words left his mouth, Vahn was unsurprised to see a Gea.s.s Roll manifest in front of him. Whenever Players discovered one of the hidden objectives, the rolls had a habit of updating for all partic.i.p.ants. What he didn’t expect was the actual description present on the scroll…
“We have to protect the Altars from a Frost Giant invasion? That’s sneaky…”
With a clause dictating that everyone would be eliminated if more than half of Sigrun’s Altars were destroyed, Leviathan’s Tail would have been able to guarantee their victory against most other Communities. The rules of the game not only forced a Community to divide their forces to conquer multiple Altars but they would also need to send their strongest members through the Bifrost in order to ensure victory. In other words, only their weaker members would remain to defend against the Frost Giants’ a.s.sault, and, due to the restrictions placed on summoning, someone like Jin would have been helpless to do anything.
Unfortunately for the members of Leviathan’s Tail, Vahn had no such limitations. Siegfried and Scathach weren’t even considered summoned creatures, and, even if they had been, the rules of the game didn’t designate that a Player couldn’t use multiple Gifts to summon. It only said that Gifts related to summoning were limited to a total of three summons. Nowhere did it say you could only use a single Gift related to summoning.
After briefly considering whether or not he should summon the entirety of Avalon’s forces in order to deter future challengers, Vahn ultimately shook his head before patting the two pups in his lap and saying, “My turn.”
Though the pup representing Altria seemed unwilling to part with him, she ended up having little choice when Fenrir, appearing as a much larger wolf, picked her up by the scruff of her neck. This allowed Vahn to rise to his feet, his bones creaking and popping as the clothes on his body gradually disappeared. This created quite the sight for female viewers to behold. As for the men…well…
Thanks to his numerous Divinities, Vahn was vaguely aware of how others, especially large groups of people, perceived him. Fortunately, he wasn’t inexperienced with this phenomenon so he was largely able to ignore it as he appeared outside the frozen fortress. Then, under the shocked gazes of virtually everyone spectating the Gift Game, his body increased in size as an azure light erupted from his body.
With the intent of increasing his familiarity with [Rakshasa Body], Vahn decided to transform into a proper Azure Dragon for the first time in quite a while. Instead of the humanoid version, however, he went with the full dragon transformation. By the time the light faded away, he had grown to more than 300m in length, his body resembling that of an eastern dragon, complete with a serpentine body, golden scales, large horns, whiskers, and an azure mane that crackled with electricity.
Ignoring the ravenous look he was receiving from Hime, Vahn opened his maw to release a roar that, for a brief moment, created absolutely no sound. At the same time, the image most people were viewing appearing to freeze. It was like everything had suddenly come to a stop, and, were it not for the ambient sounds around them, some may have even believed they had been frozen in time.
As a feeling of incongruency welled in the hearts and minds of the average spectator, a scene unlike anything they had experienced appeared before them. The image seemed to glitch for a brief moment as a majestic roar emanated from the screen, seemingly echoing throughout the entirety of the East Side. At the same time, incomprehensible devastation was reflected in the image they had been watching as thick bands of azure lightning tore through the blizzard that had been encroaching upon the Game Board…
Seeing the form of Vahn reflected on a floating jade tablet, a man with remarkable features, long black hair, sword-like eyebrows, and sky-blue pupils couldn’t help raising his brows as he remarked, “What a curious fellow. I wonder if he has any relation to Meng Zhang?”
Answering the inordinately handsome man’s inquiry was a woman whose beauty could only be described as heavenly. She also had long black hair, but, instead of radiant, sky-blue eyes, hers were a shade of milky pink that seemed to draw in anyone that stared into them. As for her response, she simply replied, “Perhaps.”
Returning a curt nod in response to his wife’s remark, the inordinately handsome man pulled out a jade slip with his right hand, shattering it as he said, “w.a.n.g. Fetch Meng Zhang. There is a matter I wish to discuss with him.”
Shortly after the man had spoken, a remarkably reverential voice, seemingly emitting from the void, answer, “As you will, Your Imperial Majesty…”
(A/N: Alternate t.i.tles: ‘Is it just you…?’,’That is a pretty sneaky clause…’,’Vahn takes showing off to another level…’)
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