Chapter 153: Restraint

After everything had settled down, Vahn, Hephaestus, and Eina had moved their conversation to the couch, which was the only place where all three could sit. Vahn ended up flanked by the two women, one mortal half-elf and one immortal goddess. Though they weren’t married yet, they were now all engaged to each other and Vahn felt an uncontainable jubilation in his heart.

His excitement affected Hephaestus as well, which caused Eina to be a bit frustrated so she asked, “Hephaestus-sama, why are you so easily excited around Vahn? I understand you love him, but it is a bit strange seeing how quickly your mood changes.” In response to her question, Hephaestus ended up explaining the bond she had with Vahn. They also discussed the matters of Vahn’s ‘origin’ and Eina was incredibly surprised to realize her fiance was very likely more parts god than man.

Eina turned to Vahn and asked, “Can I see your ‘divinity’ as well? I am very curious what it’s like when someone other than a god uses divinity.” Vahn, who was sitting between the two in silence, nodded his head and expanded his domain a bit. The moment he did so, both Eina and Hephaestus gave him shocked looks. Though he wasn’t focusing his intent on either of them, Hephaestus could sense that the domain had become much more powerful. Eina, who had only ever experienced the divinity of Ouranos, was shocked to discover that she felt more pressure from Vahn.

Since he had activated [Will of the Emperor], Vahn’s emotions started to stabilize which allowed Hephaestus to calm down as well. Eina had noticed the change and asked, “Your divinity affects your emotions?” Vahn nodded his head and began explaining all of his uses for his domain without giving out any information about ‘The Path’. The two girls, especially Hephaestus, were very surprised when Vahn said he could fuse his skills into the domain. He demonstrated by using [Hands of Nirvana] and infusing his calming energy which spread throughout the room and made everyone feel pleasant.

Hephaestus became very interested in what else Vahn was capable of and continued asking him questions about everything that had happened recently. Vahn continued recounting the events of the last four days and even discussed the matters with Anubis and Nanu. Since Eina had already heard this part of the story, she didn’t ask any questions, but Hephaestus seemed to be confused and inquired how that situation had developed so quickly.

Vahn was a little surprised by her words and began considering his response. He explained all the details and the misunderstandings he had with Nanu, and the fact that the catalyst for everything revolved around an interaction he had with Anubis in his workshop. At this point, Vahn began pulling out [Enkidu] for his palms as both girls stared in awe at the resplendent golden chains.

Though Vahn had intended to mention it later, he thought now was a good chance, so he explained, “These chains suddenly appeared within my soul and seem bound to me. They give me the power to bind anything, including the divinity of gods and goddesses. I had asked Anubis to help me test the effects, and that ended up causing the biggest misunderstanding with Nanu. However, the most important thing I learned…”

Vahn hesitated for a moment as both girls stared at him with curious expressions. Vahn swallowed his saliva as he looked Hephaestus in the eyes and said, “According to Anubis…if I use [Enkidu], I can temporarily turn a god…or goddess…into a mortal.” Eina seemed surprised by his words but didn’t understand why he was acting so strangely. She peered around Vahn’s body to see how Hephaestus had reacted to his statement and noticed the ruby-eyed goddess had incredibly wide eyes all of a sudden.

Seeing that she understood his implication, Vahn nodded his head with a smile and said, “Anubis said that, if I use these chains on a goddess…there is a chance they would get pregnant.” Hephaestus stared at the chains like they were the most sacred treasure in the world whilst Eina had taken the opportunity to open her eyes widely now. If what Vahn said was true, there would be no end to the number of goddesses that would approach him in the future. Eina began to realize that it would be much harder than she originally suspected to guarantee Vahn could live a somewhat normal life.

Hephaestus didn’t seem to be able to form any words as she picked up the chains from Vahn’s hand. As a goddess that had lived for millions of years she, like almost every other goddess, had always wanted to have children. Other than goddesses of fertility and life, it was impossible for a goddess to get pregnant, even if they used items to increase the odds.

This was the reason why most gods and goddesses had Familia and called their members ‘children’. The chains she now held in her hands represented a hope that she had never harbored previously as she looked toward Vahn with a bit of fear, but mostly expectation in her eyes and asked, “Do you want to get me pregnant…and have children with me?”

As it was something Vahn had been thinking about a lot recently, he immediately nodded his head and said in a matter-of-fact manner, “Of course. The moment I found out about the use of [Enkidu], it has been on my mind ever since.” Though he hadn’t lied, Vahn left out or perhaps overlooked, the fact he had thought of several girls getting pregnant, not just Hephaestus.

Hephaestus heard his confidence and ‘eager’ voice as her hands holding [Enkidu] began to shake. She held them close to her chest and bent over a bit as she looked up at Vahn and said, “Please…hurry and forge me an item. I don’t know if I can hold myself back for much longer…” Hephaestus had an incredibly serious look in her eyes, almost like they were glowing, as she looked into Vahn’s face with a fierce blush.

Eina had been worried that the two might immediately start going at it, and she released a small sigh of relief after hearing Hephaestus showing restraint. She, like almost everyone else in the City, knew about the vow Hephaestus had taken in the past. Vows were soul-binding, and Hephaestus wouldn’t be able to break her own word without facing a serious backlash. In the worse case scenario, she might even suffer a curse that removes all of her abilities or forces her to return to Heaven.

The look in Hephaestus’s eyes caused Vahn to feel anguish in his chest and he spoke with a mixture of confidence and concern in his voice as he said, “I swear…I’ll improve faster and faster. I won’t keep you waiting for much longer…” Vahn then reached down and kissed Hephaestus, but he made sure to restrain himself a bit so she wouldn’t suffer even more. Since he was still using his domain, he managed to keep his calm without influencing her too much.

After that, the three discussed various matters, including when the wedding would be. Both Hephaestus and Eina had things to consider before they could actually get married. Hephaestus had to inform the Denatus and officially announce the wedding before all the attending gods, while Eina still had her contract with the Guild. She couldn’t suddenly quit her job and follow Vahn and would have to spend time training a replacement. Vahn refused her intentions though and asked her to continue working at the Guild. Though she wanted to force her stance, she noticed Vahn was being especially sincere and she ended up giving in to his insistence. Vahn had told her that working at the Guild suited her, and he believed she would be a great help to novice adventurers when she took on the role of a supervisor.

Ultimately, it was decided that the wedding would be planned after the conclusion of the Monster Feria that would be taking place after the next Denatus. Vahn swore that during the time until then, he would earn the [Master Smith] development ability and create an item that would impress Hephaestus. He wanted her to attend the Denatus and have confidence when she addressed the other gods and goddesses. They would call her out for getting engaged to a boy that didn’t meet the requirement of her vow, and Vahn was determined to prevent her from being embarrassed.

Afterward, he offered to escort Eina home, but she ended up sending him off from the workshop while saying there were various things she had to discuss with Hephaestus as women. Hephaestus affirmed her words and gave Vahn a long hug and a kiss before they parted. After their embrace ended, Hephaestus gave Eina a look which made the half-elf girl blush. Mustering her resolve, she approached Vahn and also embraced him, albeit for a much shorter period of time than Hephaestus.

Vahn left Hephaestus’s workshop feeling light on his feet as a big smile covered his face. As he passed by Zaff and the other security staff, they all gave him incredulous looks after seeing his current appearance. Even Zaff, who usually had a gruff and serious expression, looked at Vahn like he was some kind of monster. Given how Vahn was acting, Zaff understood that he had somehow managed to convince Hephaestus to accept his relationship with that half-elf girl. If he had known Vahn had actually accepted the two as wives, he, as well as every man present, might have fallen over in shock. Everyone was aware of his relationship with Tiona and Ais, and in less than a week he was now engaged to a powerful goddess and a beautiful half-elf receptionist!?

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After Vahn had left, the two women stared at each other in silence for several minutes. Eina’s emerald green eyes were a stark contrast to the beautiful ruby-red eyes of Hephaestus. Now, they were both on somewhat similar levels, even though their authority and status were significantly different. They had been united through Vahn, and now would have to work together to help bring stability to Vahn’s life.

Eina, who had originally proposed the idea, was the first one to speak up as she said, “Hephaestus-sama…” The moment she spoke, Hephaestus shook her head and said, “Just call me Hephaestus when we’re alone or around Vahn.” Eina paused for a moment before nodding her head and continuing, “Hephaestus, I believe we need to gather up all the girls around Vahn and make our stance known as soon as possible. Not just the girls he is currently with, but those that have an ambiguous or potential relationship as well. If we can’t make everyone work together, it will be significantly harder to help reign in Vahn’s behavior.”

Hephaestus had a serious look on her face as she considered Eina’s words. After nearly a full minute, she nodded and said, “Most places aren’t busy on the weekends, so we can send out messages and have everyone gather tomorrow. Do you know all the girls Vahn is currently associated with? I have a few notes myself, as the Guild had been investigating his details in the past.”

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Eina nodded her head and recounted everything she had discussed with Vahn during their picnic. Though Hephaestus wasn’t too surprised, she still couldn’t help retort in her mind about how many girls were around Vahn. She resolved that, for Vahn’s rehabilitation, she would introduce him to some male friends and role models. After bouncing the idea of Eina, she too agreed and they began discussing potential candidates.

Because of how happy he had been, Vahn managed to clear the distance between Hephaestus’s workshop and his house in less than half an hour. Generally speaking, if he had been walking a normal pace, the trip should have taken more than two hours. When he entered through his courtyard, Anubis had barely been able to arrive in time to receive him because of how unusually quick his movements were.

Anubis gave a polite bow and said, “Welcome home, Master.” Vahn noticed she was still wearing the incredibly revealing black fabric clothes and had tied the white cloth around her waist with the golden ribbon. Learning from his mistake, he gave Anubis a gentle pat on the head for a few seconds before heading to his workshop. He had a plan to make his promise with Hephaestus a reality, and he was excited by the prospect and couldn’t wait to get started.

Seeing how casually he pet her ears before walking off, Anubis released a sigh as her ears drooped. She had hoped to be able to set Vahn off again with her seductive outfit, but he already seemed to have developed resistance against it. If he had untied the ribbon again, this time she would make sure he wasn’t able to escape so easily. The torment she had suffered earlier was now imprinted into her body, and she didn’t think she would be able to keep her sanity much longer if Vahn kept treating her the same way. The fact that he had made her climax for over a half hour straight left an itching feeling in her body and she desperately needed to scratch it.

Vahn, completely unaware of the ‘imprint’ he had left on Anubis, entered the material storage and began storing away the majority of the contents into his inventory. As he had a limited amount of spaces, he had to take out some of his other items to make room for the mountain of materials Hephaestus had purchased for him. Once he had everything, he checked his OP reserves and noticed he had 114,618 OP available. This was more than enough for his needs, so he exited his workshop in high spirits.

Along the way, he came across Anubis again who had been waiting in the outer corridor. He saw her drooping ears perk up the moment he stepped out, but she wasn’t able to fix her aura so Vahn was able to tell she was in low spirits. Feeling a bit bad, Vahn decided to explain to her everything that happened during the day. Anubis was very surprised to learn that, in the few hours he had been away, he somehow managed to pick up not one, but two wives. The itch in her body started acting up, and she couldn’t help but give Vahn a ‘mean’ look as he continued narrating events.

Vahn noticed that Anubis seemed to be even more upset after his words, and he didn’t know what to do to make her feel better. After his interactions with Hephaestus and Eina earlier, Vahn realized he had a bad habit of causing misunderstandings because he kept his thoughts to himself. Wanting to change that trait, he looked to Anubis and asked in a serious manner, “Anubis, I can’t understand what is making you sad, can you tell me what is wrong?’

Anubis’s ears twitched at his question as she looked into his serious expression and noticed that he had changed a bit compared to his past self. She understood it was likely the influence of Hephaestus and the Eina woman she had yet to meet. Thinking this might be an opportunity, Anubis mustered up her courage and told Vahn, “Master…I don’t think my body can last much longer…” She looked him in his eyes and continued in a sultry tone, “I want Master to make me his…”

Vahn was a bit taken aback by her words, but couldn’t fault her since he was the one that asked. She was usually reserved, but after he had her speak her mind that one time, he also knew she bottled up things and didn’t always act according to her wants and desires. Now that she was approaching him in such a direct manner without him giving her an ‘order’, Vahn didn’t know how to react.

Like all the other girls, Anubis had become accustomed to how expressive Vahn was. She could see that, after she spoke her desires, Vahn went through a series of emotions. His initial expression was that of surprise, but then it transitioned from understanding, to blame, and then finally contemplation with a moderate amount of confusion. She knew that he was seriously considering her words, and she couldn’t help but bite her lip and hope he gave her some leniency.

Vahn looked at Anubis and noticed she was paying close attention to his face as she waited for his response. Before he even spoke, he noticed that her expression turned sad and her ears drooped a bit. Releasing a sigh, Vahn said, “Anubis, both Hephaestus, and Eina want me to practice showing restraint. I won’t lie, I have a great interest in both you and your body, especially after all the recent events. However, until I get matters sorted out, I can’t cross the line and have sex with you.”

Anubis nodded her head with a sad expression, but then her eyes opened a bit as her ears stood proudly on her head. Vahn was confused at her sudden change until she said, “Then, other than sex, everything else should be fine, right?” Her momentum had caused Vahn to falter a bit because she had closed the distance between them and looked into his eyes with clear excitement on her face. Vahn asked in a muted tone, “What did you have in mind…?”

The moment Vahn asked, Anubis got even closer to him and grabbed his hand with her own. She looked into Vahn’s face with her moonlight eyes glowing as she said, “I want you to pet me more like you did this morning. Even if we can’t have sex, that will be enough for now.” Anubis had started breathing a bit heavily as she held Vahn’s hand in her chest and hugged it like it was some kind of treasure.

After considering her words for a bit, Vahn didn’t think it would be much of a problem if it was just petting. Before he responded, Anubis’s tail had already started wagging about wildly as she waited for his words. Vahn laughed a bit at her cute actions before saying in an amused tone, “Only for a bit, and only in the evenings. If you pass out during the day, it could cause problems with your duties and sleep schedule.”

Anubis nodded her head and had an excited expression on her face as she continued to hug his hand for a moment and laughing in a silly manner. Vahn never expected someone to have so much interest in his massage technique, and it made him a bit proud of himself. There were still various things within the manual for [Hands of Nirvana] that he wanted to try. Now, it looked like he had found a willing assistant for his future experimentation.

(A/N: Alternate Titles: ‘Wedding Plans’,’Gathering of the Vahnguard’,’Dogs have a bad habit of digging holes’)

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