While Yoruichi was lying unconscious at the side, her butt visibly swollen and body covered in sweat, Vahn was enjoying a lap pillow from Mira. At the same time, they were discussing which Templates would be most suitable, both for residing within the Little Garden and exploring the Tower beyond.
Unsurprisingly, Mira's go-to suggestions revolved around her Record of origin, specifically the members of her original counterpart's Guild, Fairy Tail. More specifically, she was asking him to recreate the central cast, starting with important figures such as Mavis Vermillion and Zeref before working his way down the main cast.
Though Vahn had no problem creating a Template for Mavis, as he always felt sorry for the rather tragic fairy-like girl, the idea of doing the same for Zeref didn't sit well with him. He never liked how manipulative the relationship between the two was, and, though he could easily create a version of Zeref without such character flaws, his subconscious bias would undoubtedly come into play.
Despite this, Vahn felt that he 'should' create something like a 'reformed' version of Zeref, much as he had done for Madara. He needed to break himself out of the mentality that he was 'summoning' the characters for their original Records, so, while it made him a little uncomfortable, he needed to get over such things if he wanted to truly master the [Universal Mind]. After all, if he really wanted to, he could easily make a version of Zeref that possessed the personality, quirks, or characteristics of someone completely different.
After creating a Template for the Law of Identity, Vahn had come to understand that there were virtually no limits to the types of Templates he could create. This was a simple fact, so, rather than only create characters based on his perception of them, he could literally create idealized versions of their original selves, mix and match traits from various fictional worlds, or even use them as the human Template for one of his Pokemon. He didn't have to create the characters as he remembered them. Rather, if he wanted them to become something truly unique, he needed to spend more time and effort in the Templating process.
Imagining Erza with the characteristics of a Vanargandr and version of Happy with an 'Oozaru-Cat' transformation, a slightly wry yet intrigued smile spread across Vahn's face. He realized that, so long as he kept their unique traits in mind during the creation process, he could presumably determine which Innates his Templates possessed. After all, there was nothing preventing him from imagining a version of Natsu with Uchiha Bloodline and the ability to transform into a giant dragon. It might destroy the image he had of the original character, but, in the end, his Templates had nothing to do with any existing Record...
Deciding it would be best to create his new Templates after the departure of Yuri, Vahn met up with the woman in question the following morning at breakfast. This brought an immediate smile to his face, not because he was particularly happy to see her, but because it was always rather amusing to see just how much a Saiyan was capable of eating.
With her cheeks stuffed like a chipmunk, Yuri briefly shifted her attention away from her food to see who had entered the dining hall. When she saw it was Vahn, a very subtle blush colored her cheeks, and, though she didn't stop eating, her pace slowed down quite a bit. This earned her a few laughs from the other diners while Evan, after shaking his head in milder exasperation, took the initiative to say, "We've already stayed longer than we should have. Once the Princess has eaten her fill, we'll be departing for the 30th Floor. Soo-Yun, however, has expressed an interest in staying behind..."
Hearing Evan casually broach the subject without hesitation, Soo-Yun couldn't help but send a glare his way. At the same time, Yuri forced herself to swallow without bothering to chew, her expression turning into a potent frown as she plainly stated, "No. If I'm not allowed to stay with Vahn and help during his climb, others aren't allowed to. Why should Soo-Yun get to stay behind and play around in the Little Garden? I won't allow it."
Though her words were spoken in a flat tone, the glowing of Yuri's eyes revealed just how serious she was. This caused both Evan and Soo-Yun to pale slightly. As for Vahn, he just took a seat at his usual spot, a relaxed smile on his face as he said, "Yuri is right. I understand your reasons, Soo-Yun, but I don't need the protection of Wolhaiksong. I appreciate your concerns, but there is no need to worry. It is only a matter of time before I reach the top of the Tower. The most Jahad and the Great Families can do is slow me down."
Nodding her head in approval, Yuri deftly placed another piece of meat into her mouth, swallowing it down in a single gulp before adding, "Yeah. Have a little faith. Even Ureko put her trust in Vahn, so what are you worrying about? Besides, other than sleeping all day, what else can you do?"
Frowning in response to Yuri's words, Soo-Yun wanted to say something in her defense but Vahn beat her to the punch, his voice stern as he said, "That is uncalled for, Yuri. Everyone has things they are good at, and it's not like you're the strongest person in the Tower. Only cowards and tyrants go out of their way to look down on people who are weaker than them. Don't let your jealousy dictate your words and actions. You're better than that."
Though she couldn't help but frown in response to Vahn's words, Yuri ultimately exhaled a tired sigh, shoulders slumping ever so slightly as she matched Soo-Yun's gaze and said, "Sorry. I'm just a little annoyed that you got ahead of me..."
Much like everyone else at the table, Soo-Yun was completely taken aback by how quickly Yuri had apologized. She was usually very obstinate about such things, so much so that most people would generally forget what she had done wrong by the time she was willing to say she was sorry.
Like a father who had just witnessed the turning point in his troubled daughter's life, tears began to build in the corners of Evan's eyes as he silently uttered, "The Princess is finally starting to grow into a proper young lady...I never thought I would live to see the day..."
Seeing how surprised everyone was, an annoyed pout marred Yuri's face as she began shoveling food into her mouth. Fortunately, as she had elected to steal the spot next to Vahn, she was in ideal petting distance. This allowed him to easily caress her head, and, though it made her feel more than a little embarrassed, a contented smile eventually found its way to Yuri's face...
After sending off Yuri and the remaining members of Wolhaiksong, Vahn promptly gathered most of the Little Garden's residents in the Emerald Grove. This was primarily to hear everyone's opinions, but, most importantly, it was an opportunity for everyone to welcome the newest members of their ever-growing community.
Unsurprisingly, everyone had a personal bias towards the Records their Templates were originally inspired from. As a result, Roger ended up suggesting a version of Whitebeard in his prime while Goku, Ichigo, and Madara suggested Vegeta, Orihime, and Izuna respectively. This earned Ichigo quite a bit of teasing, but, as he had flusteredly pointed out, Orihime's powers would actually be very beneficial if they developed to the point they had in the original story.
On that topic, Vahn pointed out that he could easily give Orihime's powers to someone else, and, though he had no problems generating Templates with their original personalities intact, he urged everyone to try and think outside of the box. There were virtually no limits to the form and function of his Templates so there was no need to restrain themselves. After all, he could create upwards of twenty additional Templates, sapient weapons, artifacts, and items included.
Though Roger's only suggested change was an even stronger version of Whitebeard, everyone else, even Goku, seemed to seriously consider Vahn's words. As a result, the ordinarily airheaded Saiyan suggested creating the Dragon God Zalama and a Namekian of the Dragon Clan in order to try and replicate the Dragon Balls. As for Ichigo, he seemed to take the earlier teasing rather personally, so, rather than suggest a potential love interest, he proposed creating a Template of Yhwach or Sosuke Aizen, albeit without their evil inclinations.
Vahn found it a little humorous that everyone was still suggesting Templates in accordance with their original Records, but, as there were some pretty interesting ideas mixed in, he was listening pretty intently until Sis suddenly suggested, (*Rather than a Template from an anime or manga, why not try and make one from a Light Novel or a Video Game? Didn't you enjoy that novel where the main character reincarnated as a Slime and eventually built a country of monsters? Why not create a Template with low power but infinite potential? After all, you can even create something like the Law of Identity. There is no reason you can't recreate powerful System Users or something along the lines of a Class System from an MMORPG.*)
With Sis conveniently recalling the memories pertaining to what she was referencing, an intrigued smile spread across Vahn's face as he instantly understood her intentions. The Template she was suggesting was of a character who not only had the ability to predate and absorb the abilities of anything they had eaten, but, most importantly, they could bestow 'names of power' unto others.
Though the thought of creating the character in question was rather intriguing, Vahn knew he could just as easily grant said abilities to another Template. The most important thing was that he would benefit greatly from their knowledge and experience, drastically increasing his own comprehension regarding Names of Power and the bestowal of Authority. Even this, however, wasn't as interesting as Sis' suggestion regarding the creation of a Template from a Video Game, specifically one with a comprehensive Class or Job System...
More often than not, successful MMORPGs, Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games, relied on systems that allowed players to freely swap between multiple classes. Few people wanted to be stuck playing as a single class, and, though it was often possible to create multiple characters, the time and effort they invested into their 'main' made most people apprehensive about starting over from scratch. To get around this, developers often built a multi-class or job system into their games, and, though this often required the player to start over from Level 1 in said class/job, the option of being able to outfit in unique gear and being able to swap back to a more powerful class kept most people invested.
Vahn wasn't sure exactly how such a system would apply to a living person, but, as Sis had pointed out, he had already achieved the 'impossible' by creating a Template for the Law of Identity. There was no nothing preventing him from creating a Template that was able to freely change their Class, Job, and potentially even their Innates. This was something he would benefit greatly from, so, while he was still listening to everyone else's suggestions, Vahn's mind had been set abuzz with thoughts of creating powerful, reality-breaking, Templates...
Unaware of her Lord's plans at universal domination, a fatigued sigh escaped Phae's lips as she set aside her engraving tools and wiped a few beads of sweat from her brow. She was currently in the middle of a thirty-day probationary period that was supervised by none other than Graham Bell, the Teacher she had met back in Paradise Bay.
Though the work wasn't exactly difficult, being supervised and monitored by several exceptionally powerful and intelligent people placed a heavy strain on both the mind and body. Fortunately, this wasn't enough to influence the quality of her work, earning her considerable praise from virtually every Teacher that had witnessed her production methods. Some were even calling her a talent that was only seen every ten-thousand-years, many extending invitations to join their specific research groups while others took the initiative to congratulate Graham for being the first to discover such a promising Disciple.
Fortunately, though she was required to start off as an Apprentice, just like every other prospective member of the Workshop, Graham had already received approval from a Great Teacher to test Phae for the position of Head Disciple. This wasn't unprecedented within the history of the Workshop, so, less than five hours after she appeared on the 20th Floor, Phae was approached by Graham and his most trusted Disciples in order to discuss the specifics of her recruitment into the Workshop.
In the end, Phae was forced to abandon her status as a Regular, but, considering she could easily climb the Tower without the permission of the Jahad Empire, it didn't really matter. Her only real concern was investigating the Workshop, learning its production methods, and working her way up the ranks until she had either become a Great Teacher or the literal head of the entire organization. This might be impossible for others, but, with her knowledge regarding the Five Major Realms and the actual origins of the Workshop, it was only a matter of time before she became one of the most influential figures within the organization. Thus, after a short break, she, once again, picked up her hammer, her sapphire-blue eyes shifting in a manner similar to a camera lens as she analyzed the production method provided to test the limits of her capabilities. Then, with a confident smile on her face, she raised her hand to produce a mystical multi-colored flame...
(A/N: Alternate Titles: 'Imagining a swole Happy...Aye!','Rimuru-sensei!?','Phae's Innates...what could they be!?')
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