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Published at 16th of August 2019 09:05:30 AM

Chapter 841

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Not only had the Freya Familia started clearing the route forward, but anyone wearing the emblem of the Alliance was asked to help keep order along the way. The Eirene Familia also stepped in to reroute civilian traffic from the area where there Xenos were expected to pass through. Since they had already been making preparations prior to Vahn's return, things were running relatively smoothly. Though there were several shocked individuals within their homes and places of business that looked wide-eyed towards the congregation, none of them tried to stir up trouble. After all, the sight of a group of 'monsters' moving orderly through the City, with none other than Vahn leading the way, wasn't something most people would want to be involved with.

The Xenos themselves were also looking around like children in a candy store, eyes glimmering with expectation and excitement. Many actually had 'dazed' expressions, absentmindedly following along while looking towards the clear blue skies above. The majority of Xenos were actually monsters that had memories from a time before they revived within the Dungeon. For some, it had been several years since they had seen the surface, making the moment rather meaningful for them. The fact that they were allowed to pass through highly populated areas without being obstructed was something bordering on the 'impossible', at least according to the logic and reasoning they had cultivated over several generations of Xenos...

Lyd had closed the distance naturally, still highly alert to his surroundings as he commented, "This is pretty unbelievable...I almost feel like I'm in a dream..hahaha..." Though he wasn't really the type to get nervous, this particular situation wasn't something Lyd had truly prepared himself for. His, and most of the Xenos', instincts were actually itching quite a bit, warning them of potential danger as several Adventurers in their surroundings also entered a combat-ready state. Seeing a group of monster, especially with some rare species and Variants included, was enough to unnerve even veterans. Vahn was also aware of several people eyeing Marie, who he had fortunately convinced to wear a bikini top and pareo, so he could understand Lyd's nervousness.

Even so, Vahn maintained a calm expression and just smiled comfortingly towards Lyd as he said, "The City doesn't exactly know the Alliance is moving a group of Xenos through the streets today, as it would have given our enemies time to prepare countermeasures. A bit of nervousness and intrigue is to be expected...don't worry, I will not allow any harm to come to the Xenos without exhausting everything to prevent it from happening..." As he spoke, Vahn sent a pressure-filled glare towards what looked like a young Noble whose aura had flared up when eyeing Marie. The blond-haired youth immediately entered a state similar to mind down, frothing at the mouth as his servants began to panic...

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With his return to the surface this time around, Vahn was planning to publically denounce the actions of the Nobles and force them to answer for their crimes. He would also be increasing the Alliance's support for the Civilian Council and see if he couldn't influence the Denatus enough to bring about lasting policy changes for the future. Even if the Nobles tried to deny any involvement with the bomb carried by their personal expedition, Vahn didn't care at all. That was inarguably an act of 'war', not a simple play of aggression and politics. If the Nobles were so pressured by the Alliance that they were literally allying with other countries, Vahn would 'deport' them. He wondered in amusement how the Nobles would react when the Iron Hills immediately cut ties with them after they were no longer useful...

Lyd had already noticed the possessive look of the man drinking tea and his sword arm had begun to itch. Seeing Vahn openly deal with the man, Lyd clicked his tongue but also felt a great deal of relief since it was very difficult to withstand some of 'feelings' that were triggering his instincts. In their lives, it had always been very important to either avoid danger outright or strike first to protect themselves. Being unable to take such actions was more stressful than he had imagined but, as Vahn had emphasized several times that they needed to prepare themselves for such things, Lyd was doing his best to set an example for the others...

The long walk through Alliance-controlled territory finally came to an end after a little over twenty minutes, even though their pace had been rather hurried. With how curious the 'younger' Xenos were of their surroundings, the procession had been slowed somewhat and Vahn had tried to keep a steady pace that even 'stragglers' could keep up with. Fortunately, other than a few groups who expressed a little 'too much' interest in the Xenos, there were no major incidents before Vahn brought the Xenos to the entrance of what looked like a walled-off forest.

Terra hadn't actually spent much effort to completely change the 3km² plot of land into nearly 800 acres of forested terrain. The larger effort had been the combination of her and Riveria setting up the massive illusory forest formation that would disorient anyone that didn't possess a specialized crystal on their body. Since the Xenos would need both privacy and security in order to protect themselves, a lot of effort was made to ensure only those trusted by the Xenos themselves would be able to enter. As for where they would be living, the Xenos were very industrious people who were not against working hard to create communal homes that they freely shared with their kin. They could request Terra's assistance for any changes made to the underground, but everything else would be left to them to decide...

Vahn was a little surprised that, at the very least, Loki wasn't present outside her own former Manor to greet him. He checked his logbooks and viewed her status, confirming that she was actually meeting with Ouranos alongside Hestia and Hephaestus. They were likely helping to smooth things over, if not outright discussing some of the other matters he wanted to take care of. Either way, it was actually more convenient that there wasn't anyone waiting outside of the Manor since it allowed him to escort the Xenos directly inside. He could feel the tension literally drain from their bodies once they entered into the forested area, completely immune to the effects of the powerful barrier as a result of the small necklaces, bracelets, and anklets each of them wore.

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Naho, still riding his back, began to get even giddier as she excitedly asked, "Is this place really going to be our home!?" Though there were a lot of different types of plants, trees, and animals within the surrounding Floors of the Xenos' Hidden Village, it was nothing like this immaculate and beautiful forest. There was currently a distinct lack of any fauna, as even insects hadn't been able to migrate into the territory spontaneously changed by Terra, so there was a very peaceful and quiet atmosphere permeating through the area. For most Xenos, this was an 'ideal' place to live, as their instincts were allowed to calm down almost completely after the curious eyes and emotions of the surrounding surface-dwellers could no longer reach them.

Vahn nodded his head in response to Naho's words but addressed all of the surrounding Xenos as they continued making their way towards the heart of the forest, "This entire plot of land is around 800 acres on the surface, but you will have a lot more space to work with if you choose to work underground. Since every Xenos has an 'ideal' habitat, don't be afraid to ask for any materials that would be helpful in shaping your surroundings. Your comfort, at least for the time being, is the most important factor you need to concern yourselves with. My own home is actually very close to this compound and, if you follow the underground tunnels, they are connected to each other. Though there were certain restrictions everyone will have to keep in mind, this place has now become something of a 'sanctuary' where you can live freely..."

Though not every Xenos could fully understand his words, Vahn knew it wouldn't really be a problem since they would listen to whatever rules and 'laws' that were created by Lyd, Gros, and Ray. Even the Harpy-Xenos had been behaving her 'no flying' rule after reaching the surface, as it would have caused quite a few problems if they started flying around and investigating everything. All Bird-Type Xenos seemed to have very curious natures and, having no real inhibitions about interacting with people, it would cause a lot of problems if they took a liking to any particular person or place. Not everyone would be as understanding as he was if they ended up getting accidentally lacerated by a Harpy-Xenos if the latter got a bit too excited...

After arriving at the very center of the territory, which was easy to locate since it was the only clearing present on the plot of land, Vahn had the Xenos gather around him, Lyd, Gros, Ray, and, as she was currently still reliant on him carrying her around, Marie. Naho was made to cling to Rayne for the time being as Vahn would be helping to get them started by shaping the land and setting out supplies. He could 'sense' that Terra was also paying attention to what they were doing and, knowing she would also be able to hear him, Vahn smiled and said, "Given the Xenos classification, there is actually a very powerful Xenos that will be watching over you while you develop this area. She is a True Dragon by the name of Terra and, so long as you don't do anything to offend her, she will undoubtedly help you out with the construction process..."

To demonstrate what he was talking about, Vahn drew a circular outline on the ground and also wrote down the word 'pond' in the center before clarifying a few things for Terra through their shared connection. Moments after he finished creating the outline, the ground began to sink down, forming a perfect cylinder before it began to widen into a vase-like shape. Though she would be able to create water as well, Vahn saved Terra the trouble and began to condense water from the atmosphere into a stream that started to fill up the pond that would become Marie's home. Part of the clarification he made with Terra was to link the pond to the underground since he wanted Marie to have some freedom of movement and, in the event of an emergency, a place to flee to.

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The Xenos were shocked by the inexplicable phenomenon they just observed but, after Terra decided of her own volition to teleport over, they were far more focused on her and Alexa's presence. This was especially so for Gryuu, sharing a common heritage with Terra and immediately lowering his head to the ground in a subservient manner while the majority of Xenos either fell down or outright joined Gryuu in bowing. Amongst the latter group was Lyd, as Lizardmen also shared a common ancestor with Dragons, who had decided to take a knee and lower his head by instinct.

Terra began laughing in an elegant manner while Alexa strangely puffed out her chest in a somewhat self-important fashion. Vahn saw this and released a light chuckle of his own, even as he reached out to lightly chop Alexa's head, saying, "These are our important companions, Alexa...make sure to treat them well, okay...?" Surprised by the fact her Papa had 'struck' her, Alexa's eyes widened before she immediately lowered her head and muttered, "I'm sorry, Papa..." Vahn felt his own heart palpitate anxiously once before he began to ruffle Alexa's hair, his [Grooming] fully active, even though he had actually only lightly chopped her head...

This interaction between 'Father' and 'Daughter' caused Terra's smile to turn even more radiant before she turned her attention to the gathered Xenos and said, "My Master has charged me with helping you shape this land into a suitable place to live...I will also be protecting you, at least for the time being...make sure you work hard to increase your strength so as not to take advantage of my Master's kindness. Each of you has unlimited potential and, so long as you desire to become stronger, there are no limits to your growth...keep that in mind and work hard, okay~?" Some of the Xenos began to nod very quickly, causing Terra to giggle once more before she grabbed Alexa's hand and said, "Come, Alexa, we will wait for your Papa back at the nest~."

Without waiting for her daughter's consent, Terra teleported away, leaving the Xenos to act as if a heavy weight had been removed from their bodies. There were some who had tensed up a great deal when Terra showed up, now falling to the ground and breathing heavily as Vahn sent calming energy through his domain to help support them. He understood that Terra was 'introducing' herself in an effort to both keep the Xenos in line while also inspiring them to work hard. Vahn decided to support this action of her's, looking towards Gryuu and saying, "You know, there was a time not that long ago where Terra also possessed the form of a Green Dragon Xenos..."

Gryuu's sky-blue eyes began to glimmer when he heard this, even though part of him also 'accepted' that he would never reach the peak his instincts drew him towards. Since he had already lowered his head to Fafnir, Gryuu accepted its lot in life, especially since it knew Vahn was an existence that even towered over the seemingly insurmountable True Dragon that had just appeared. As for the other Xenos, many were recalling all of the talks about Vahn being able to help them become stronger. Now that such a powerful existence like Terra had told them they had limitless potential, even the weaker Goblin and Kobold Xenos were feeling more than a little fired up.

Vahn noticed the majority of Xenos reached 99 Affection in an instant while a few that had been at that value for a long time finally reached 100. There were several notifications within his mind, bringing a smile to his face as he looked towards Lyd, Gryuu, Mlem, Laura, Naho, Rayne, Ray, Fear, Terror, Xude, Mest, Jude, and another Almiraj Xenos named Arles. She was one of the Xenos who had taken a liking to him very quickly since Vahn had noticed her early on with her blue vest and the broken pocket watch she wore around her neck. He had repaired the watch for her and gotten 99 Affection almost instantly so it wasn't too surprising she made the leap after Terra's display...

(A/N: Alternate Titles: 'Innocence','Vahn is just about done with the Nobles...','Terra OP o_o...')

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