Other than a few changes in the hierarchy, with Nanu now being Vahn’s ‘disciple’, everything else went without a hitch. The children were still rapidly learning the forms for CQC and they had even begun to spar using the techniques. Unlike the wild and instinct based attacks they used in the past, they were no focusing on form and adapting to their opponents. Interestingly enough, when the children had split into pairs to spar, Nanu came to him before bowing respectfully and assuming a combat stance.
Vahn nodded his head and didn’t refuse her request, and slowly guided her through the movements. She listened to his words very seriously and put so much effort into her movements that she was covered in beads of sweat and panting heavily after just a half hour of training. While the other children were also working hard, none of them attacked with the ferocity that Vahn saw in Nanu.
He was worried she was going to push herself too far and thought to advise her against trying so hard. Strangely, when Vahn had that thought, he realized he would be contradicting himself. He had just told them the day before to set their goals high and push themselves beyond their limits. Vahn realized that, though he believed in his own words, it could be dangerous if he didn’t guide the children properly. Luckily, he had plenty of support skill to help them recover if they became injured when training in excess.
Almost as if his thoughts were prophetic, it wasn’t long before Nanu collapsed to the ground after trying to perform an acrobatic twist in the air while aiming at Vahn’s head. Though she was very flexible, her body wasn’t prepared for such a strenuous movement while her muscles were already taxed. Though she managed to land the kick against Vahn’s guard, when she landed on the ground on her pivot foot, she scrunched over into a ball while holding her hands against her ribs.
Vahn felt a bit flustered at the sudden change and thought that her form on the ground looked very pitiful. Her tail had curled up while her ears hung low as she clenched her ribs with a pained and frustrated expression on her face. When Vahn got closer to her, she uttered through pained gasps, “I’m sorry…Master.” Vahn released a sigh as he removed her hands to inspect the damage.
Vahn placed his palm on her ribs and started channeling [Hands of Nirvana] to quickly disperse the pain. Within a few seconds, the pain on her face faded away and she rolled from her side onto her back while looking up at Vahn with a reverential look. Vahn was happy to have helped her, but before he could help her up, she did something that made his brain pulse with shock. With her tail curling up toward her abdomen from in between her legs, Nanu rolled up her blouse and revealed her stomach to Vahn.
//Nanu wishes to become your subordinate: Y/N?//
Nanu looked at Vahn with anticipation in her eyes as all the other children stopped their sparring and stared at the sight with various different expressions. Vahn was confused by the sudden series of events, and Anubis approached from the side and explained in his ear. “In the Southern Tribe, laying on your back and showing your stomach is a sign of submission. If you rub her stomach, she’ll become your subordinate until you abandon her or she dies.”
After hearing Anubis’s words, Vahn couldn’t help but release a sigh in his mind as he looked down at the girl holding up her shirt while staring at him with shining eyes. Though he didn’t mind having more subordinates, his experiences with Anubis had led him to have various doubts about subordinating sentient and intelligent creatures like the various races on Eden. While dismissing the notification in his mind, Vahn extended his hand forward and put it on her stomach. He knew that if he refused, she would likely take a heavy blow, but he also didn’t want to bind her by the system at the moment.
Though it was still between her legs, Nanu’s tail started wagging back and forth between her thighs as she placed her hands on top of Vahn’s and said with a smile, “My Master.” Vahn felt like she put a lot more emphasis on the word now, and it made him feel both happy and guilty. Being the ‘Alpha’ seemed to have a lot of troubles in store for the future. While his hand was on her stomach, Vahn noticed she still had a few muscle cramps and internal injuries, so he used his [Hands of Nirvana] to clear away the remainder of the damages in her body.
When Nanu felt a warm energy enter her stomach, she had a very excited expression on her face and closed her eyes while the writhed around on the ground. Vahn almost laughed a bit at her reaction, because she was acting like his hand was very ticklish. After a minute or so, he removed his hand from her stomach and she veritably bounded up onto her feet in very high tensions. She ran over to the other children, and they all had happy smiles on their faces as they gave her various forms of congratulations.
Vahn smiled after seeing that their bond was close enough that they shared each other’s happiness, but his smile froze when he heard Anubis say with a hint of exasperation, “For both boys and girls, placing your hand on their stomach after they submit is enough to accept them as a subordinate. If you continue stroking them for so long, that is essentially telling the other person you don’t see them as a simple subordinate. For the Southern Tribe, where marriage isn’t popularized, it is the same as asking someone to be your mate…”
After receiving the congratulations of the other children, Nanu bounded over to Vahn while he was still in a dazed state. She stopped in front of him before bowing low for a few seconds while waiting for Vahn to pet her head. Vahn wanted to explain that he was only trying to heal her wounds, but after she was received in high spirits by the other children, he felt like it was impossible to do so. Stretching out his hand, he began to stroke her head while saying, “You have to wait until you’re older…for now just focus on becoming stronger.”
Without any delay, Nanu said in a happy voice, “Yes, Master, I will do my best.” After Vahn stopped petting her, she walked around behind him and took a position at his right. Remembering Anubis mention that position was reserved for his wife, Vahn felt a bit of a headache in his mind as he stared at the clearly befuddled goddess. She saw his look and furrowed her brows a bit before bowing low and saying, “I apologize, Master, I should have explained things clearly. I am willing to accept any punishment for my mistake.”
When she bowed, Vahn once again caught sight of the view concealed in her dress and he couldn’t help but release a sigh as he said, “No, it’s my responsibility for what I do with my hands. I am expecting a proper explanation regarding any other important matters about the Southern Tribe. That will be enough for a punishment.”
Anubis furrowed her brows lower and had a slight frown for a second or two before she sighed and said, “Yes, Master. I will make sure to explain things in detail.” Vahn hadn’t missed the fact that she seemed very ‘sorry’ for her mistake, so he reached out his hand and pet her ears for a bit. Once her tail started to wag slightly, he pulled his hand away and said, “I don’t blame you. It’s my own fault for not putting more effort into understanding your culture. If I’m going to be the ‘Alpha’, I need to take things seriously from now on.”
Though she gritted her teeth a bit when he pulled his hand away, Anubis just released a small sigh before she smiled toward Vahn and said, “Please rely on me, Master, I will teach you everything I can.” Anubis knew that Vahn was very considerate of others, but she didn’t know how painful his ‘consideration’ could be. She actually wished the strange event from the previous day would happen again, so she could tell him what was actually on her mind.
After the training ended, the entire group sat down to eat breakfast together. The seating order had changed once again, and now Nanu sat at his right while Anubis remained at his left. For some reason, he felt a bit of pressure from the chienthrope goddess and small girl to his right. Now, not only did they wait for Vahn to begin eating, but the children also waited for Nanu to nod before the started. Though he remained unperturbed on the outside, Vahn felt a bit of frustration in his mind as he quickly ate away at the delicious breakfast.
Once breakfast was over, the children split again into two separate groups while Anubis and Nanu stayed behind. After everyone departed, Anubis bowed before asking Vahn, “Master, there are several items I need to purchase. Though I still have the Valis you left me, some of the items may be slightly outside of my price range.” Vahn nodded his head before giving her a bag containing an additional 300,000 Valis. Anubis received it with a smile before heading out the door. Vahn saw her smile and felt it was a little peculiar, and he was very tempted to have her explain later using an ‘order’.
While he was ruminating over the idea, Nanu spoke up from his side in a polite tone, “Shall we go to the workshop, Master?” Vahn had been a bit surprised at her question since none of the children typically addressed him first. Realizing it was likely due to her current ‘status’, Vahn sighed in his mind before showing a gentle smile and responding, “Yes, let’s go, Nanu.” Nanu smiled brightly and waited for Vahn to lead the way before falling into step on his right side.
Vahn felt like the little girl that was nearly 30cm shorter than he was emitted a very powerful pressure on his body the moment she stood on his right. Even though he was a full head taller than she was, Vahn suddenly felt very small next to confident chienthrope. The pressure didn’t ease up until he entered the workshop and she quickly went about her previously assigned duties without being asked. Vahn released a relieved sigh and also began preparing the ingots from the previous day.
The majority of the ingots were comprised of magi-steel, but Vahn had also taken the time to form 5 mithril ingots with a strenuous amount of effort. Though his [Blacksmith] skill was at S and offered a lot of correction to his ability, he still lacked the experience to effectively work with the more difficult metals. Fortunately, mithril was very receptive to magic, so he actually had a much easier time than when he worked with orichalcum, adamantine, and processed drop items.
Vahn began heating the metal while holding it with a pair of heavy tongs while working the metal using the pneumatic hammer he had ‘invented’ with the help of the manuals he had in his mind. All Vahn had to do was insert a bit of his energy which infused the rig with magical energy while he focused the majority of his efforts on the metal itself. This was the reason so many claimed his invention to be ‘innovative’, because it allowed people to focus entirely on the metal instead of splitting their efforts between controlling the hammer, mana output, and consistency in strikes.
Nanu had been very happy to use the rig as well since she didn’t have the physical strength to use a hammer for a long period of time. When she found out that Vahn had ‘invented’ the amazing contraption, she stared at him with an almost ‘feral’ look that sent chills down his spine.
Vahn wasn’t entirely reliant on the pneumatic hammer though, and he only used it to shape the basic structure of the blade he was forging. Once he was satisfied, he removed the metal and removed the hammer Hephaestus had made him from his inventory. Nanu was enamored by the sight of the hammer so she asked, “Master, where did you get such a beautiful hammer?” Vahn smiled at her question and stared at the hammer with a reminiscent expression on his face as he said, “It was given to me by Hephaestus. This hammer represents her trust in me, as well as our hopes for the future.”
Nanu saw the expression in Vahn’s eyes, and she remembered the beautiful red-haired goddess that was able to intimidate her goddess. She already understood that her Master had several women, and it was likely that Hephaestus took the highest place in his heart. Though Vahn had ‘accepted’ her as his future wife, Nanu knew that she wouldn’t be able to compete for affection with the other girls. Instead, she decided to use this time when they were alone, or when Vahn wasn’t around the other girls to slowly break down his defenses against her. Nanu had seen how her goddess was appealing to Vahn, and she decided to follow her example in the future.
Vahn, unaware of the decision Nanu had made in her mind, continued to work the piece of magisteel he had shaped previously. The hammer Hephaestus had made him allowed him to have an incredible amount of control in refining the shape even further, and he managed to complete the short sword he had started forging within two hours. The final result was a black around 50cm long with a beautiful onyx coloration. Now Vahn just had to sharpen the blade, seat it into a guard or handle, and then polish it to completion.
The process was much easier than forging the blade, but Vahn put a lot of effort into every small detail. Though he had noticed this about himself in the past, he wasn’t fond of overlooking details if he had direct control. By the time he was finished, an additional two hours had passed and Vahn had an almost ceremonial looking sword on his table. It had a beautiful sheen, and Vahn became enamored as he slowly polished it even further. Though he had assisted Tsubaki, and even forged several items with careful guidance, this was the first time he had made a weapon entirely on his own.
After leaving his ‘makers mark’ on the blade, the same scale with two winged snaked twining around it, the sword was finally complete. Vahn held it up in the light and remarked at his own workmanship as his eyes turned to the system.[(Nameless) Magisteel Shortsword]Rank: C
A sword forged by a blacksmith who showed careful consideration in its creation. It has been polished to an incredible extent and possesses a refined edge enabling it to show a cutting prowess far above similarly constructed swords.
Though his actual naming ability provided by [Keeper of the Akashic Tome] was still on cooldown, Vahn couldn’t help but mutter as he looked toward the sword, “You shall be called…Tempest. I hope that, whoever wields you, will be like an unstoppable tempest as they cut through their enemies.” The moment his words ended, the named within the system changed to display the name [Tempest:C] while also giving him a notification he hadn’t expected.
//[Tempest:C] Created. Obtained 403 OP//
(A/N: Alternate Titles: ‘First Official Creation’,’Literally a ‘hand’ in marriage’,’Pressure’)