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«Endless Path: Infinite Cosmos EPIC (Web Novel) - Chapter 2257: Helplessness

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Chapter 2257: Helplessness

This chapter is updated by Novels.pl

Deciding she would enter the Game Board after the Coronation Ceremony had concluded, Sandora was prepared to wish Vahn a good night only to find out mere minutes had passed since her arrival.

"Given how serious you are, I figured you would feel guilty about skipping a full day of work just to keep me company. If you're feeling tired, you are more than welcome to rest here for a while. I can also prepare something to eat if you're hungry."

Hearing Vahn mention food, Sandora suddenly recalled that she had prepared the chefs to prepare a banquet. It would have been fine if they missed it, but, now that she knew they could still make it in time, her nervousness began to build as she explained the situation and asked, "Would it be okay if I informed the others about our engagement? I think it would put a lot of people at ease knowing things have gone smoothly."

Having already presented her with an engagement ring, Vahn saw no reason to refuse Sandora's request. It was only a matter of time before people found out, so, even if she elected to announce it to the entire Little Garden, he wouldn't particularly mind. The most important thing was that it was something she wanted to do, not something she felt compelled to do.

"Of course. In fact, I'll be there right alongside you when you make the announcement… Now that we're engaged, it's only natural that we stand united at times like this."

Feeling reassured by Vahn's words, the fatigue Sandora had been staving off impacted her mind and body like a tidal wave. Under normal circumstances, she would have politely declined Vahn's offer to rest, but, recalling how tenderly he had treated her, she found herself averting her eyes as she meekly inquired, "At the risk of sound impertinent…can I request that you hold me until I fall asleep…?"

Though he was somewhat taken aback by Sandora's request, Vahn didn't have to contemplate his answer. He had practically forced her to sit on his lap just to get her to calm down, so, in response to Sandora's request, he simply smiled and answered, "I'll be there when you wake up as well…"

Feeling even more reassured, Sandora lightly headbutted Vahn's chest, her arms wrapping around his body as she closed her eyes. It would take her quite a while to actually fall asleep, but, when she did, it was inarguably the best sleep she ever had…

Compared to what followed, however, it was difficult to describe which was better. Her dream or the reality she woke up to…

.

Cradling the sleeping Sandora in his arms, Vahn was about to shift his attention elsewhere when he noticed an abnormality in the young Dragoness. Her body began to heat up at a startling rate, but, instead of causing her any harm, it appeared to be promoting her growth.

"I'm an idiot…"

(*You certainly have your moments…*)

Similar to Black Rabbit, Lily, and pretty much every race that depended on spiritual energy for their development, Sandora's body began to experience rapid changes the moment her mind descended into a deep state of unconsciousness. The engagement ring Vahn had gifted her provided the same standard increase as a Shikai, the first stage of an awakened Zanpakuto. It had effectively multiplied Sandora's spiritual energy by a factor of ten, and, as a result, her body was evolving from its second stage to its third…

Though he could probably manage it if he really tried, Vahn had been told that it was exceptionally dangerous to interrupt someone's evolution. Thus, even Sandora practically inflated in his arms, the dimensions of her body threatening the integrity of her already revealing outfit, he remained silent and patient as the image of Shiroyasha appeared in his mind.

("She planned this from the start, didn't she…?")

(*Hmmm…it's hard to say. I'm certain that Sandora had factored into her plan from the start but her reaction during your previous conversation would indicate she hadn't really considered this kind of development. Given the nature of her existence, I would question whether or not Shiroyasha even concerns herself with factors such as age. In her mind, the value of a person is probably decided by how competent and capable they are.*)

"…"

Unable to refute Sis's words, Vahn remained silent as he redirected and absorbed the heat radiating from Sandora's body into his own. He also dispersed the flames that would periodically erupt from her body, and, for the sake of preventing things from becoming too awkward once she woke up, he spread his senses through her clothes and manually adjusted the spacing between the constituent molecules. The incredibly expensive and durable fabric was designed to have a reasonable amount of elasticity, but, due to the prevalence of Gag Laws, Vahn knew that 'something' was bound to give if he simply ignored it…

.

Feeling a pervasive and indescribably comfortable warmth encompassing the entirety of her being, Sandora opened her eyes to find herself lying in the center of a massive, canopied bed. Confusion appeared in the depths of her eyes, but, upon looking to her right, it was immediately replaced by a hint of panic as she found a seemingly naked version of Vahn lying next to her. More accurately, he was lying on his back while she was using his chest and shoulder as a pillow…

Recoiling from Vahn's body, Sandora was unsurprised yet flummoxed to find that she was just as naked as Vahn. Her mind began racing for answers, but, before she could find them, two muscular arms suddenly wrapped around her shoulders. The Vahn that had been 'sleeping' on the bed was now nowhere to be seen. Instead, he had appeared behind her in an instant, his left hand reaching to her lower belly as his right forced her to stare up at him as he said, "I changed my mind…seeing you sleeping in such a defenseless manner…how could I not want to eat you up?"

Though her body trembled in Vahn's embrace, Sandora neither struggled nor made any attempts to break free. She had already noticed a number of irregularities with her present situation. Vahn was the most obvious but the most significant was the fact she was currently bereft of her crown. It was an artifact that could only be removed when the wearer willed it. If someone else tried to remove it, they may as well be trying to remove a part of her head. There was a chance Vahn could circumvent this, but, with their surroundings being a poor reflection of the interior of her room, it barely took a single second for Sandora to realize what was going on.

Sandora was, once again, dreaming about Vahn. This time, however, she wasn't imagining the scene of him tearing Amaterasu apart or breaking into her palace to whisk her away someplace no one in her Community could ever hope to reach. Instead, it was the version of Vahn she had spent the last few hours with. More accurately, it was the version of Vahn that Sandora wished she had met…

Despite feeling as though she was doing something very, very wrong, Sandora completely ignored the tiny voice in the back of her mind telling her she should wake up. Vahn had added a bit of light to her world, but, as far as she was concerned, the outside world was an unpleasant and lonesome place. She was constantly pushing herself beyond her limits to make everyone else happy, so, just this once, couldn't she be just a little selfish? Didn't she deserve to be happy?

Prompted by the thought she generally kept locked away in the deepest recesses of her heart and mind, Sandora placed her hand over her imagined version of Vahn before practically forcing it to go lower. It was surprisingly difficult, almost as though she was like trying to press a mountain flat, but, unwilling to lose yet another chance at happiness, she persisted until the end…

.

(*It's almost like she's trying to pull herself into you…*)

("Yeah, I kind of noticed…")

Though Sandora's evolution had stabilized nearly an hour prior, she showed no signs of waking up. Rather, based on the electrical impulses of her brain and the fluctuations in her aura, he was pretty sure she was willing herself to remain asleep. At the same time, she was adhering to him with such tenacity and vigor that, had he been a piece of coal, she may have compressed him into a diamond.

(*I wonder what she's dreaming about…?*)

("Don't tempt me…")

(*Nyahahaha~*)

Ignoring the playfully mischievous voice in the back of his mind, Vahn spread his senses throughout Sandora's body to make sure everything was okay. He already knew there wasn't but concentrating on the more minute aspects of her body made it easier to ignore the pillowy softness pressing into his chest, the equally soft sensation weighing him down, and the far more troublesome elements of his present situation.

("I think I understand Shiroyasha's frustration now. Her age hasn't changed, yet, had this been the version of Sandora I encountered, I doubt I would have even considered making use of the Game Board. In hindsight, I experienced something very similar with Lily…")

Shrugging her shoulders within the comfort of Vahn's mind, Sis replied, (*It doesn't really matter in the end. Even if some people view you as a hypocrite, you were only acting in accordance with your principles and Sandora's own interests. She really does need to mature a bit before she goes on to start a family. As for Lily…that girl has always been something of an exception. I would be surprised if she awakens a Divinity related to motherhood or something similar in the near future. That girl is far too 'stable' for someone in her situation.*)

With Sis pulling up the memories for him, Vahn's expression became pensive as he reflected on the situation with Lily's mother. She had yet to petition him for help, but, ever since the night Lily had confessed to him, Vahn had been looking into details regarding her mother's fate.

Though it had been a little difficult as even Lily could no longer recall her mother's name, Vahn was able to piece together the pieces of the puzzle using the same method he had abused in the Tower. He had Loi-chan continually transform into people affiliated with the destruction of the No Names until she landed on one that knew both the name of Lily's mother and her present location.

At first, Vahn had been ecstatic about the discovery, but, before he could approach Jin and give the boy a push in the right direction, he asked Loi-chan to ascertain the condition of Lily's mother, Yuki. She turned out to be completely healthy, but, the moment Loi-chan transformed into her, Vahn was stunned beyond compare when he noticed Yuki's swelling belly. Shortly after that, his anger built at an incredible rate until Loi-chain clarified that Yuki wasn't being forced against her will. Instead, she seemed to have fallen in love with the man originally assigned to watch over her…

Upon pressing Loi-chan for more details, Vahn genuinely didn't know how he was supposed to feel about the situation. Yuki still cared deeply about Lily, but, upon reaching the place that had become her new home, she quickly became absorbed in her new duties and responsibilities. The Community that had purchased her never once treated her as a slave. Instead, they respected her greatly whilst the children of said Community began to view Yuki as a surrogate mother.

Mere months after she had been purchased, Yuki began to fall deeply in love with the Leader of her new Community. One thing led to another, and, ten months later, a brand new kitsune had entered the world. A few months after that, Yuki ended up getting pregnant a second, and, by the time Loi-chan had emulated her, a third time.

Though Vahn had initially suspected that Yuki was being fooled into producing offspring for the sake of future profits, this was quickly disproven when Loi-chan transformed into her husband and every significant member of his Community. There was a very high probability that members of the Ouroboros Demon Lord Alliance were keeping tabs on her, but, at least within her Community, Yuki was inarguably one of their more cherished members. If not for the contract forcing her to remain a slave, the man she had married would have released her shortly after her purchase.

Simply put, though the situation was far from simple, Yuki was currently living a free and unfettered life in her new home. She still cared deeply for Lily, but, fearing the Demon Lords may take action if she showed even a hint of resistance, she buried her feelings deep in her heart as she embraced her new family. This wasn't really a bad thing, but, imagining how Lily would react if she discovered that the mother she had been yearning for was off living happily with a brand new family, Vahn couldn't bring himself to reveal the truth. He would tell her if she asked, but, until then, he would keep tabs on Yuki's situation and make sure her new Community didn't suffer the same fate as the No Names. Lily would probably be upset when she learned her mother had started a new family but she would be absolutely devasted if her half-siblings suffered the same fate…

Sensing Sandora's grip loosening, Vahn shook his head free of wayward thoughts before shifting his attention to the diminutive yet markedly more mature redhead seated on his lap. Her height hadn't changed all that much, increasing from 142cm to 153cm, but every other aspect of her appearance had changed rather drastically. If the previous her resembled a young girl between the ages of 10-12, the current her resembled a breathtakingly beautiful young woman between the ages of 16-20.

Even Sandora's previously petite horns, the symbol of a Salamander's strength, had grown from around the width of a palm, 8.5cm, to a commendable 13.4cm in length. Considering her brothers were only around 11.3cm despite being well over a hundred years old, it wasn't an exaggeration to say her growth was staggering…

"Mmm…?"

.

(A/N: Alternate Titles: 'Sandora wants huggies (O w O)…','Oh no…','There are times when having access to the truth is a curse…')

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