Chapter 143: For the Future

Vahn awoke the next morning with another powerful headache as he held his head in his palms. Unlike the previous night, when he was able to put up a bit of a fight, this time the woman within the orb defeated him using her martial skills against his. He knew she was very strong, but didn’t expect her proficiency in close-quarters combat to far exceed his own. When Vahn used Báihǔ form with his domain, he was almost able to rival the speed of the Level 5 Tsubaki. However, when he fought against the woman in the orb, he couldn’t even keep track of her speed at all.

Releasing a sigh, Vahn awoke and washed his face before heading outside and greeting Anubis. As usual, she was waiting for him patiently, though she still seemed to be wearing the revealing robes from the previous day. After exchanging greetings, Vahn gave her a pat on the head before making his way towards the training area. After everything that happened recently, there were several things Vahn wanted to make known before any other accidents happened in the future.

The children were waiting for his arrival, and Vahn couldn’t help but wonder how early they woke up to always be ready and waiting for him to arrive. Right now, the sun wasn’t even rising in the sky, so they would have to be getting up around 4 AM to be ready in time. Unlike the previous times, where all the children lined up, Nanu was waiting at the side of where Vahn normally stood. After accepting the greeting of the children, Vahn had everyone sit down while he explained the future plans he had in mind.

Vahn made eye contact with each of the kids, including Nanu, before he spoke, “I have come to realize many things in the few days we have spent together. Though I will continue to do my best as the ‘Alpha’, it doesn’t change the fact that I am not someone that shares the same culture as everyone here. I will most likely make mistakes, and I will rely on everyone here to help explain anything I may misunderstand.”

All of the children were listening to him attentively and they each nodded their heads before he continued, “But, just as I am going to do my best to adapt to the lifestyle here, you are all obligated to do the same. I will not ask you to change your values, but you need to learn how other people live to avoid conflicts in the future. I’m certain there have been times when you deal with others that issues have arisen because of misunderstandings. Isn’t this correct?”

Once again, all the children nodded and Vahn could see they were recalling events in their minds based on how their auras fluctuated. After everyone stabilized, he continued, “From now on, your training will be split into two parts. In the morning, you will continue your current training, while in the afternoon, you will study knowledge and work on developing a profession. You are all currently Level 2, and there is a bit of time before you gain your own alias’ and can accept missions from the Guild. Until then, I want you to learn what it means to live in this City, and adapt your mentality to prevent conflicts in the future.”

Vahn looked over toward Anubis and saw she had a gentle smile on her face after hearing his words. He nodded slightly before turning to the children and explaining, “Anubis will be charged with your education, but I will also require everyone to pick a study of their own. You should all focus on different things, as you’ll be able to teach each other in the future. I will say this plainly, but if it is a question concerning your education, or the future, I want everyone to come to me directly. I won’t ask you to ignore the hierarchy, but the issue will only compound if you consider things in such a roundabout manner.”

After explaining a few other things, Vahn was satisfied and began their morning training. He didn’t know well enough to make them study specific things, but he could trust Anubis to pass on the correct information. Though she acted a bit odd sometimes, she was an incredibly intelligent goddess who liked to collect books. If Vahn asked her to seriously teach the children history and culture, she would be more than willing to assist him.

Other than the matter of Nanu being his sparring partner again, everything else for the morning went without a hitch. The group ate breakfast together before cleaning up the dishes and making their way to Anubis’s room to study. Vahn had found out that he could purchase various texts and compendiums from the system for a very low cost. He gave her several topics of study, including history, mythos, and things Vahn found interesting like astrology, and various fairy tales.

Anubis was surprised at receiving such a large number of books, but she didn’t ask Vahn where he had obtained them. She assumed that he either had purchased them previously to support his own personal education. The idea that Vahn took studying so seriously made her respect him even more, and Vahn finally achieved a Loyalty value of 100 with Anubis. He had somewhat expected to get a new system prompt when the value reached the max, but he learned from Sis that 100 was only the maximum for affection and not hidden parameters. Instead, for extra parameters, there wasn’t actually a cap and they could increase in value indefinitely.

After parting ways with Anubis and the other children, Vahn made his way to his workshop with Nanu. When they entered, she immediately tried to get to work, but Vahn interrupted her and she trotted over to him with an anticipatory look on her face. She had recovered her spirit since the previous night, and Vahn was happy to see her in high spirits. However, there were things he needed to clarify, so after organizing his thoughts he said, “I need to explain the matters that have taken place over the last few days.”

Nanu’s expression turned from excitement to concern as her ears immediately flattened on her head as she waited for him to continue. Vahn spoke in a firm tone as he said, “First, I will say this. No matter what, I will not abandon or toss you aside. However, you need to understand that it was not my original intention to court you. I will not use it as an excuse, and my treatment toward you will not change, but you have to understand that my actions were based on simple affection and not intimacy.”

The concern on Nanu’s face continued to grow as she asked in a quiet voice, “Does that mean you don’t like me? I thought…all the things you did…” It almost seemed like she was about to cry, but Vahn spoke in the same firm tone, “Don’t think about things like that. Though it may have been a misunderstanding, I’m not going to shirk my responsibility in the matter. I just needed you to know now, instead of finding out in the future and being disappointed. Now that I’ve already accepted you, I intend to do my best to meet your expectations as well. However, you need to consider things from my perspective as well, and not through the lens of what your culture has taught you, understand?”

Nanu nodded her head slowly and considered every word that Vahn spoke. She was a bit saddened that he hadn’t been proactively courting her, and she actually felt ashamed for misunderstanding his actions as interest. Her pride took a big hit, and she started to feel like she wasn’t worthy of having received his affections in the first place. As the guilt began to eat away at her, Nanu saw Vahn do something mysterious as a small flame appeared in his hands.

Vahn held out the ‘flame seed’ that he had created using his skill [Prometheus]. He explained with a hint of gentleness in his firm tone, “This is a very special seed…if you allow me to put this in your body, your capabilities will increase. You could gain higher parameters, or even skills similar to my own. Creating this seed is very difficult, and it will even cause a backlash on my body when I place it within yours. I want this to serve as the proof that I will never abandon you, so maintain your confidence and keep striving forward. You’re a lot cuter when you are happy.”

The melancholy that had been building up in her heart immediately vanished as she stared at the tiny seed in Vahn’s hands with anticipation and jubilance. Even if their current relationship was based on a misunderstanding, the fact Vahn was willing to go so far for her made the young girl very happy. She looked into Vahn’s eyes and asked in an excited voice, “Please, Master, tell me what I need to do!”

Vahn returned her smile before explaining, “You just need to remain still while I place this seed into your heart. I’m not sure if it will cause you any discomfort, so prepare yourself for anything.” The moment his words finished, Nanu stepped closer to him and excitedly puffed up her chest toward Vahn while saying, “I am ready, Master! Even if it burns my body, I won’t even flinch.”

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After giving her an appreciative nod, Vahn stretched out his right hand and placed it over her heart. He noticed that nothing seemed to be happening, so he moved his palm closer until the outer part of Nanu’s blouse began to turn a slightly charred color on the already black cloth. Nanu had been watching his actions, and the moment her blouse began to smoke, she immediately grabbed the sides of the shirt before pulling it over her head in a single motion.

Vahn was a little surprised by her actions, as he hadn’t expected the clothes to burn when he was trying to insert the ‘flame seed’. After removing her shirt, Nanu also rolled up her sports bra before looking at Vahn with an excited expression and saying, “Please, Master, continue.” Releasing a slight sigh in his mind, Vahn moved his hand forward until his palm came into contact with an area right above her left breast. Though the seed had burned clothes, it seemed to pass freely through her skin for a reason Vahn couldn’t understand.

The area around her left breast began to glow with a reddish light that emitted from deep within the body of Nanu. Vahn almost felt like he could see her heart and the shadow of her ribs as the ‘fire seed’ embedded itself into her heart. Nanu didn’t seem to feel any pain, but she gave Vahn a slightly passionate gaze until he finally removed his hand from her chest. Vahn stared at the glowing light with intrigue, because it had been his first time using the skill.

He was vaguely aware of the fact that Nanu was trying to inch closer to him, but before he would retort his body was suddenly racked by a fierce pain. Vahn’s entire body seized up a bit and it scared the previously enamored Nanu who went to his side to help. Vahn held up his hand to stop her and explained, “This is the backlash I was talking about. It is nothing to worry about, and it should pass by the time the light in your chest fades.”

True to his words, after about ten minutes, the light began to fade in Nanu heart until only the healthy olive-brown skin with the slightly pale protrusion remained. Vahn’s pain faded at the same time before telling Nanu, “Now, I’m going to see how your status has changed. Go ahead and turn your back to me.” Nanu had been happy that Vahn was no longer in pain, but she was a bit confused by his words as she obeyed his instructions and turned around.

Vahn put his palm on her back and began performing the ceremony to update Status while Nanu stood silently with absolute shock. Even though she didn’t have a high degree of education, she knew that only gods were able to update Status. Any inhibitions she had from Vahn’s earlier explanation of their current relationship flew out the window as she imagined that her future mate was also a god or demigod. The pride she had earlier immediately returned, and there was a slight glint in the eyes of the young chienthrope girl.

Since updating a Status always showed the prior stats as well as the increase, Vahn was able to see that Nanu had about a 10-20% increase in all of her parameters. Her potential should have also increased by a fair amount, and Vahn had high expectations of seeing how strong she would become in the future. The most important thing to note was that her [Blacksmith] had increased from F to D and she obtained a new skill called [Prometheus’s Blessing].

Only allowed on
[Prometheus’s Blessing]Rank:A
Growth dependant on the strength of the caster that applied this blessing. As long as the originator lives, the recipient of this blessing will experience rapid growth based on their feelings for the originator. If the feelings fade, the flame seed within the heart will dwindle before eventually burning out.

(A/N: Alternate Titles: ‘Doki Doki Flame-Desu?’,’Education’,’Standing Firm’)

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