Chapter 165: Reaction

(A/N: Though I was going to do a Loki POV during Vol. 7, I decided to go ahead and give a snippet since so many people were curious about her discussion with Hephaestus.)

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Hephaestus released a long sigh as she looked into the slightly open and excited eyes of Loki. Ever since they had made the vow, Loki had been looking at her like a snake and waiting for her to speak. Since there was no way she could conceal the information in the future, Hephaestus began explaining, “Vahn has an item that appeared in his soul shortly after his interactions with Tiona and Ais. He obtained a strange golden chain that allows him to completely seal the divinity of gods and goddesses. With the information obtained from Anubis and Vahn’s own personal recounting of the events, the chains very likely allow gods and goddesses to become truly mortal temporarily…I’m sure you understand the implications.”

Loki’s slitted eyes opened widely as the perpetual smile on her face rounded into one of abject shock. She knew exactly what Hephaestus was implying and the implication was perhaps the most significant thing she had ever heard. Vahn was likely 75% god, and now he would be able to enable goddesses, other than fertility goddesses, the ability to get pregnant? Though it wasn’t a guarantee, that gave his children an 87.5% chance of developing their own pseudo-divinity and would also ensure their potential was higher than any other demigod in history.

Her thoughts began racing as she tried to think of a way to make the best use of this new information, but the vow she had taken would be a big restriction on her future actions. The most troublesome matter was the way Vahn acted toward her in the first place. Loki knew that, even if she approached him and tried to get closer to him, it would be very difficult to break down the walls he had built between them. Even if she tried to make use of his empathy and have him take pity on her, there would likely be other obstacles in her way…like the two women in front of her.

Loki’s expression turned into a serious one as she asked, “The fact that you’re telling me this now means you already knew you wouldn’t be able to keep the matter hidden. You want me to help protect Vahn and the information related to his bloodline for the duration of your pregnancy?” Loki believed this to be the most likely case, but Hephaestus interrupted her thoughts as she said, “I know what kind of person you are, Loki. If I didn’t do something like this, you would have likely schemed to obtain Vahn the moment you discovered I was pregnant. Depending on how things played out, you would likely involve several other gods and goddesses to put pressure on both Vahn and me.”

Loki furrowed her brows a bit because there was no way to easily refute Hephaestus’s words. Vahn’s ability to impregnate goddesses was too significant a matter for her to standby on the sidelines and just keep silent. Even if he didn’t do the deed himself, Loki knew there would be countless gods seeking out the boy in the future. She didn’t know what Hephaestus had planned to protect Vahn, but she assumed it had something to do with her, so she asked, “So, you already have a compromise in mind?” As she asked the words, Loki couldn’t help but show a devilish grin on her face.

Hephaestus was outraged by Loki’s words, but she just grits her teeth before taking a deep breath to calm herself. After a few seconds, she explained, “Not only do I know you, but I also know Vahn. After discussing things with Eina, we agreed that it would be best to involve you in the matter to help guarantee Vahn’s safety in the future. The fact that you had him make a vow to join your expeditions gives you too many opportunities to scheme around him. Though he may not agree initially, I have little doubts he would eventually fall into one of your schemes just based on his own empathic nature.”

Loki frowned slightly because it felt like she was being seen through by the two women in front of her. She asked in a slightly cold tone, “Then what do you have in mind? You should know that there is no way I can avoid approaching Vahn with this new information.” Loki stared into Hephaestus’s equally cold eyes as the two held each other’s gazes for several seconds. Eventually, Hephaestus said, “I want you to make a vow to allow Vahn to make the final decision without pressuring him. You can’t take advantage of him or manipulate his feelings using the other girls around him…”

Hephaestus’s words made Loki scowl as she said in a sharp tone, “And what do I get for making such a concession!? You think it’s fair that only you and that dog bitch get to have children!? There are countless goddesses that have sought desperate ways to try and conceive children in the past, you can’t just ignore all of that because of your selfishness!” Though it was uncharacteristic, Loki couldn’t help but lash out after seeing the cold eyes of Hephaestus and hearing her words. It put her at a serious disadvantage compared to almost everyone else, since Vahn already had inhibitions about her from the outset.

While Loki was having her tirade, Hephaestus just continued to stare at her coldly until the flat-chested goddess managed to cool down. After she settled, Hephaestus explained, “You should know Vahn’s character well…do you think there is any chance, even if he had a child with you, that he would allow you to raise it as you please?” The moment Hephaestus spoke, Loki couldn’t help but frown as she remembered how Vahn confronted her so easily. His aura was already strong enough to pressure her, and there was no way he wouldn’t get much stronger in the future. Even if she had his child, there was a very high chance he would oppose her methods when it came to raising it.

Imagining her child being taken away from her, Loki couldn’t help but feel an indignation more powerful than anything she had ever experienced. For a brief moment, she even hated her own divinity for forcing her to have the type of personality she had. Even now, she couldn’t help but plot, scheme, and look for loopholes to the situation. However, nothing she came up with would guarantee that she would be able to bear a child, because even if she convinced other gods to imprison Vahn as breeding stock, there would be far too much opposition.

While she was running circles in her own mind, Hephaestus spoke out in a plain voice, “As long as you take the vow, I can guarantee that you will be able to raise your child. If our Familia and some of the other girls work together, we can raise all of Vahn’s children in a similar environment. You might not be able to have full control over the child that is born, but you’ll have a much greater influence in their lives.”

Hephaestus’s words caused the cogs in Loki’s mind to halt a moment before they began whirling about as she contemplated her words. If she made the vow, there would be little opposition to her raising her kids, as Vahn wouldn’t be able to easily oppose her with the support of the other women. She would also be able to interact with his other children, who would likely be little bundles of potential as well. All the negative thoughts and feelings that had been circulating in her mind previously were now replaced with absolute intrigue from the future. If she played her cards right, not only would she have powerful children, but she could potentially make use of the relationships with the other girls to have more influence over all the kids.

With her characteristic mischevious smile on her face, Loki looked toward Hephaestus and Eina before saying, “It’s just a vow, right? What is a bit of restriction compared to waiting another hundred-million years for an anomaly like Vahn to show up~?” As she had that thought, Loki’s mind wandered to the interesting boy that she had developed a powerful curiosity toward. Now that she knew about his past, she could take advantage of the present and help shape both of their futures. Even if she had to genuinely fall in love with the boy to gain his affections, it was a small price to pay for the potential future gains…after all, if she could fool everyone else, why couldn’t she fool her own heart?

Vahn finally managed to recover from his daze as he slowly began making his way toward his own home. He could now confirm that Loki had attended the meeting, and could even intuit that something significant had transpired for her affection to immediately hit the cap. After considering what he knew about the situation, the only reasonable deduction Vahn could make was that she learned about his [Enkidu].

Vahn already had expectations that there would be several goddesses approaching him to make use of the chains in the future, especially if their use turned out to match expectations. He had already felt a great amount of empathy for their desire to bear children, and that was one of the reasons he had purchased so many books about the subject. Though he expected that the mischevious goddess would find out one day, he never expected it to be so soon. Now Vahn had to prepare himself against her schemes, or he might fall into a trap from which there is no return.

Right now, Vahn’s primary concern was whether or not to use the new [Hearts Desire: Loki] that he had obtained from her affection reaching the cap. Every time he considered using it, his instincts would trigger and he felt intimidated by his own expectations of what such a goddess would truly desire in her heart. Vahn felt like, the moment he knew what she truly desired, there would be no turning back from the situation. He couldn’t even imagine what a deceitful person who measured people based on how useful they were would hold dear to her heart.

By the time he finally arrived at his house, it was nearing 6 PM and the 12-hour period before he could enter the orb had long since transpired. Though he could have entered the orb at any point and only wasted a few seconds, there was no guarantee for what would happen in the space. If he ended up suffering damage and getting knocked out by Evangeline, he would pass out in the real world as well. The thought of collapsing in the middle of the street or a side alley and dropping the orb didn’t sit well with Vahn.

After scanning the house with his domain, Vahn noticed the house was still empty, so he decided to head to his room and use the orb since he had the opportunity. At least he’d be in his own bed if he ended up getting knocked out by the small vampire mage during one of her outbursts. After relaxing comfortably in his bed, Vahn took a few deep breaths before pulling out the orb and inserting his consciousness into it.

When Vahn opened his eyes, he realized that he was on the bed where he had last exited the black and white space. Because he had been laying down in the real world, his body was also laying down within the bed of the space, and he could feel a presence next to him. Looking over, he could see the icy-blue eyes of Evangeline staring at him with a bit of shock on her face. Instead of her black gothic-style dress with ribbons and frills, she was wearing a black semi-transparent negligee as she looking into his eyes.

The moment Vahn turned his eyes to inspect the negligee, she immediately lashed out and threw him from the bed like a ragdoll. Using the covers to conceal her body, she yelled at Vahn who had yet to hit the ground even after flying for 100 meters, “Don’t oogle me you brat! And why are you so late you stupid, idiotic, lecherous, fool!?” Vahn didn’t know whether to laugh or cry as he tried to fix his position in the air so he wouldn’t land head-first into the ground. After landing on his feet and sliding a few more meters, he looked into the eyes of Evangeline who had teleported in front of him with a scary look on her face. She had already returned to her usual outfit, and Vahn felt like he would probably be ejected from the space if he said the wrong thing.

Though he wanted to release a sigh, Vahn managed to keep his expression from collapsing as he stared into the begrudging eyes of the small vampire and issued a slight smile before saying, “Sorry, Evangeline, I came back as soon as I could.” Then, before she could retort, Vahn used his trump card and purchased an [Extravagent Strawberry Shortcake] for 100 OP for from the system. He held out both of his hands with the immaculate looking triple-layered cake decorated with an almost ceremonious assortment of cream and strawberries.

The blame in Evangeline’s eyes faded in an instant as she stared at the large cake held by Vahn. After a brief hesitation, she waved her hand and used telekinesis to grab the cake before turning her back to Vahn and saying, “Fine, I’ll forgive you this time. Don’t keep me waiting in the future…” As her words fell, Evangeline teleported away with the cake before reappearing next to her desk and setting it down next to the large pile of books surrounding the area. Vahn released a sigh before making his way over and looking around at the mess she had created in the time he had been away.

Picking up one of the books that were still on the table, Vahn flipped it over to read the cover. The moment he did so, Vahn immediately regretted his actions because Evangeline’s eyes widened a bit as she glared at him with a small blush on her face. The book Vahn had picked up, like many of the books around the table presently, related to genealogy, pregnancy, and increasing fertility. The moment he made eye contact with the small vampire, he felt the temperature drop by several degrees as she loudly yelled, “Don’t look at me like that, you idiot! You are the one that gave me the books!” Before her words finished, she had already sent Vahn flying for the second time today.

(A/N: Alternate Titles: ‘Literally Hundreds of Books’,’Doki Doki Loki’,’Vahn is destined to live a life of misfortune kappa’)

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