Satisfied after helping Anubis, Vahn affectionately stroked the goddesses’ ears for a bit before leaving the room. The entire time he had done so, she was completely unresponsive as she drew shallow and steady breathes whilst asleep. After leaving her room, Vahn made his way to the kitchen to make some breakfast for himself. He had to pass through the dining room on the way and found Rasui and Nour sitting at the table while reading books.
When they saw him enter, both boys jumped to their feet and gave him a salute as they shouted, “Good morning, Master!” Vahn gave a curt nod and allowed them to return to their studies. He noticed they were reading books related to the dungeon and would likely work toward becoming full-time adventurers in the future. They were already Level 2, and with a bit of guidance, they would become more capable as their knowledge expanded. Just the fact they were using their free time to continue studying made Vahn happy with their efforts.
Vahn entered the kitchen and started making a light breakfast of rice and eggs. While he had been living with Tsubaki, Vahn had learned how to cook a bit alongside Lili and Naaza. Though they tried to take care of everything themselves, Vahn was actually quite fond of cooking and continued to practice when he could. Though he hadn’t learned any skills, he had learned a few recipes from books and manuals he had purchased through the system.
As he was frying the rice, a figure entered into the kitchen and approached from behind. Vahn was aware that it was Nanu because he had been able to sense her before she entered with his newly enhanced senses. Vahn spoke out in a humorous tone that caused the girl to flinch a bit, “Good morning, Nanu. I made a few extra portions, but you’ll have to wait a bit before it’s finished.”
Nanu nodded her head and patiently waited at the side instead of heading back to the dining room. After a while, when Vahn was beginning to empty the wok’s contents onto plates, she asked out in a muted tone, “Master, why are you so dressed up today?” Vahn was a bit surprised by the question as he inspected himself for a bit before laughing a response, “Ah, I should have mentioned, but I have a date today with a girl named Eina Tulle. It might sound a bit strange, but I had already agreed to the date before we became mates, so try to understand.”
Vahn noticed that she didn’t seem surprised by his words as she just nodded her head in understanding. She already understood that Vahn would likely have multiple women, and she was satisfied as long as she had a place. After a bit of hesitation, Nanu asked with a slightly worried tone, “Did you sleep with Anubis-sama?”
After she heard Rasui and Nour greet Vahn, Nanu immediately made her way toward the dining room. However, once she entered the room, she noticed a peculiar smell mixed in with the scent of her Master. It was the deep smell of a woman and could have only been caused if Anubis had been put into heat. The fact that she was able to smell the heavy scent on Vahn made her feel like she had lost out against Anubis.
Vahn realized why she was asking the question since chienthropes had powerful noses and enhanced hearing. He handed her one of the plates before explaining, “I accidentally set her off, but I didn’t do anything other than giving her a message to help her relax. Right now, she is sleeping in her bed and should wake up later.” After his words fell, Nanu seemed visibly relieved and Vahn couldn’t help but smile at her adorable act.
The two ate in the dining room side-by-side as Vahn made conversation with the two boys who were continuing their studies. He was able to confirm his suspicions, as the ‘profession’ the two had chosen had indeed been adventurers. Most of the males of their tribe were obsessed with strength because they would have difficulties finding a mate otherwise. Vahn tried to correct their mentality a bit and explained how general relationships, as far as he knew, were within the City. Though strength would be helpful, it wasn’t a requirement as long as you were polite and made an effort to please others.
All of the kids listened as Vahn explained his experiences with women, including Nanu whose ears continued to twitch as Vahn talked about his exploits. While Vahn was explaining, he realized that his situation was pretty unique compared to most people, so he tried to focus on his interactions with Chloe and Naaza. He even informed them about his upcoming date, and both boys seemed to have fervent expressions on their faces as he continued discussing all the women he associated with. From their perspective, the stronger the ‘Alpha’, the greater the number of mates. For Vahn to already have so many ‘potential’ mates, the two boys felt very inspired.
While the boys seemed super excited, Vahn was vaguely aware of Nanu inching closer to him while stroking her collar in a happy manner. She didn’t seem to mind the talk about women at all, and Vahn was impressed with how accepting she was. By the time breakfast had finished, Vahn had ended up petting her head which strangely prompted the two boys to take the dishes away before leaving the two at the table.
After their exit, Nanu started rubbing her head against his palm and leaned her body toward him a bit. Though it wasn’t too dissimilar from the other times she had done so, Nanu seemed very intent on rubbing her hair against both of his hands and even tried moving to his lap after sniffing his body a bit. Vahn stopped her actions and asked, “Why are you acting so affectionate all of a sudden? I just wanted to pet you a bit since you were acting cute.”
Nanu’s ears twitched when he said the word cute, but she kept her composure as she explained, “I’m trying to cover Anubis-sama’s scent with my own. Both Rasui and Nour had been distracted by it ever since you started eating breakfast. Then when you started talking about women, your own scent began to increase and it made the smell of Anubis-sama more prominent.”
Vahn was surprised by her words and transformed into his Báihǔ form out of curiosity. The moment his transformation finished, Vahn noticed there were a plethora of scents in the air, including a bittersweet one coming from Nanu who was sitting next to him. Smelling his palms, he could smell a strange fragrance masking another fragrance that made his head flutter a bit.
Nanu had been watching his actions with interest and knew that he wasn’t used to distinguishing the scents, so she tried explaining a bit. Vahn listened to her, as he was very curious himself. Nanu told him how to pick up scents and even memorize them by storing a bit of the fragrance within the upper area of the nose. She also told him about scent masking and demonstrated by rubbing her hair against his hand while trying to drive away the other scent.
After the lesson ended, Vahn smelled his hand and thought it smelled a little bit like shampoo with an earthy aroma. Unlike the smell that made his heart flutter, it was a somewhat calming smell which Vahn found unique. He gave a smile toward Nanu and said, “Thanks, Nanu, your lesson was very informative. I also think your smell is very relaxing, almost like nature with a bit of a citrus smell.”
Nanu nodded her head with a happy expression as she explained, “Nn, thank you for the compliment, Master. The ears of a chienthrope emit a pheromone that helps calm excitement and mask scents. We also emit pheromones from the tail that do the opposite, as well as emit the natural musk of a female when we are excited.” As if to demonstrate her point, Nanu turned slightly and held up her tail for Vahn to smell.
Vahn leaned forward and noticed that, unlike the earthy smell of before, her tail smelled ‘warm’ and it made his head buzz a bit. It was a strange smell because he couldn’t explain it by anything other than how it ‘felt’ when he smelled it. Nanu tried to go even further and stood up while Vahn was still sitting low to the ground. Vahn was curious at her actions as she moved closer toward him until a powerful scent hit his nose like a truck.
He couldn’t resist jerking back his head as he stared at Nanu with a mildly shocked expression on his face. The bittersweet scent that he had smelled since earlier, was far more fragrant suddenly and Vahn realized it was coming from Nanu’s crotch. When she stood up, she had slightly oriented herself toward him, and the smell caused his heart to beat so quickly that he could feel his temples pulsing.
Nanu seemed somewhat pleased by his reaction as she explained, “Though it differs between girls, that is my scent when I am excited. Please remember it well, Master.” After finishing her words, Nanu gave a polite bow before trotting away in a somewhat excited manner. Vahn could smell the bittersweet odor linger in the air a bit, and he felt like he would even be able to follow its trail long after she left.
Shortly after Nanu left, both Rasui and Nour showed back up in the dining room and smelled the air a bit before looking toward the door where she had left. Vahn noticed that the two boys seemed to be a bit excited by the smell, but after they noticed his gaze their ears lowered before they exited through the opposite door. Vahn noticed that the two boys also had a smell of their own, but it was a bit strange since it almost smelled a little like they were ‘afraid’.
Before he left the house, Vahn went to the bathroom and washed off his body a bit before rinsing himself down and smelling himself. It took a bit of effort, but he was able to remove every smell other than his own. Though he knew she wouldn’t be able to smell it, Vahn was still a bit worried about meeting Eina with the smell of another woman on his body. After changing his clothes, he headed out the door and made his way toward the rendezvous point. He still had nearly three hours, but remembering how early Chloe had shown up for their date, Vahn decided it wasn’t a bad idea to arrive early.
While he was walking, Vahn was thinking about how difficult it must be to live as a chienthrope or cat person with such heightened senses. He assumed it might be easier to deal with if you grow up with those senses, but remembering the reaction of Rasui and Nour, he wasn’t too sure. If it was so easy to be influenced by just a smell, he wondered how they were able to get around without always being excited. With that thought in mind, Vahn remembered all the various cat people and chienthropes he had seen. Now that he looked back in hindsight, they did seem to be a bit more excitable than other races. Cat people were usually somewhat playful and inquisitive, while chienthropes seemed to experience emotional ups and downs faster than any other race.
Thinking of the variety of different races, Vahn suddenly thought of Lili who had the ability to adopt the traits of any race. It suddenly made a bit of sense to him why she was always in a somewhat chaotic state of mind. She had emotional ups and downs like a chienthrope, the inquisitive and somewhat possessive nature of a cat person, the literal figure and emotional burden of a pallum…it was like she was a hodge-podge of all the good and bad traits of every race.
Vahn hoped that, by the time she became an adult, she would have stabilized a bit. He even considered personally asking her to train and develop her [Cinder*Ella] so she would have better control in the future. It seemed like a good idea, as she was always very receptive to his input. Vahn was actually somewhat surprised, since they lived so close, that Lili or Naaza hadn’t stopped by. He wasn’t aware at the time that both girls had, in fact, been stopping. Whenever they did, they were always informed by Anubis that Vahn was forging which had caused the two girls to leave with determined expressions on their faces.
(A/N: Alternate Titles: ‘Wash yo’self’,’Date Preparations’,’Don’t mess with the ‘Alpha’)