Chapter 179: Return to the Hearths Embrace

Vahn awoke in the real world and stared at the ceiling in a daze for several minutes as a calm was slowly restored to his mind. Eva’s idea of a ‘reward’ had been to change into her adult form while completely nude and torment him the same way she had grown fond of recently. Her height in her adult form increased from 130cm to 173cm, so instead of sitting on his abdomen, she was straddling his waist and it was very difficult for Vahn to resist attacking her as he felt her plump and incredibly soft butt pressed against his p**** with the warm liquid flowing from her v*****.

It wasn’t until Tina moved a bit and hugged him from the side that Vahn finally came down from his dazed state of mind. Since it was Saturday, there was no need to wake the small cat girl and he wasn’t in a hurry to get out of bed either. Instead, he just laid in the bed beside her until it was almost 8 AM and she woke up naturally.

Since she had yet to wake up fully, Tina stared at Vahn in a bit of a daze as she nuzzled her face into his shoulder and tried to go back to sleep. Vahn laughed at her actions and blew into her ear gently to tease her. Tina’s ears twitched several times every time he blew until she finally woke up while trying to escape away from his teasing. She stared at him with a slightly aggrieved face and said, “Don’t blow into my ears Vahnya~!” In response to her adorable act, Vahn pinched her nose before rising out of the bed and saying, “I’ll be going out today, Tina. I think I’ll visit Hephaestus and Eina before making my way to the Loki Familia to spend some time with Tiona and Ais. Do you want me to escort you to the Inn now, or did you want to go later?”

It was decided at the meeting that Vahn would be spending the weekends staying at the Hearths Embrace Inn so Tina could spend time with her mother. It also allowed him to get away from Anubis and her Familia and put him in close proximity to Hephaestus’s workshop and Eina’s apartment.

Tina stripped off her yellow nightgown without bothering to mind Vahn’s gaze as she turned her naked back to him and started picking her outfit. Before Vahn averted his eyes, he noticed she was wearing panties that ironically had a cartoonish puppy drawn on them. After he turned away, he heard her voice, “I’ll follow you now and we can get some food from a stall before you drop me off at the Inn. Make sure you don’t spend too much time out with the other girls so you can be back in time for dinner. My mother wants us all to eat together since you rarely ever ate there before.”

Vahn made a promise that he wouldn’t be late for dinner before the two made their way into the corridor. Anubis was waiting as usual and Vahn explained that he would be taking Tina home as he affectionately stroked her hair. After leaving her some Valis so she could take the other children shopping later, Vahn and Tina left the house and made their way towards the Hearths Embrace Inn on the other side of the City.

Tina had decided to wear a brown skirt with white lines in a checkered pattern with a white ribbon tied above her tail. The top she wore was a creamy beige with black frills that exposed her collarbones a bit. Though she always wore somewhat cute clothing, Vahn couldn’t help but feel like she had dressed up for the occasion so he complimented her. She turned a bit bashful because of his words before she reached for his hand a few minutes later. Vahn didn’t refuse as he walked with her hand-in-hand through the City. Though he knew she had affection for him, he couldn’t help but feel like an adult escorting a child home to their mother.

Because Tina’s gait was much shorter than his, it took them slightly more than two hours to reach near the Inn and Vahn could feel that Tina entering her characteristic high-tension state the closer they got. By the time they were outside the inn, she was nearly pulling Vahn’s hand as she dragged him through the doors and called out loudly for her mother to announce their arrival.

Milan was attending the counter in the dining area, so she noticed their entrance the moment they arrived. Seeing her daughter dragging Vahn in by the hand, she couldn’t help but smile and laugh at the sight. Because of awkward expression on Vahn’s face, Milan felt like he was acting the role of a Father spoiling their daughter. That thought caused her smile to widen as she walked around the counter to receive the two of them.

After Milan walked near, Tina let go of Vahn’s hand before she hugged around her mother’s waist and began to nuzzle her face slightly below Milan’s breasts. Milan hadn’t been caught unprepared, and the moment her daughter hugged her, she responded, “Ara~? Did Vahn bully you~?” As she spoke, she looked to Vahn with a slightly mischevious expression in her eyes. Tina, not noticing that her mother was teasing her, shook her head and responded with a somewhat choking voice like she was about to cry, “No, Vahnya was very nice to me…I just missed you.”

Vahn watched the interaction between the two and couldn’t help but feel a warm feeling in his chest at the familial bond they shared. Though he treated Tina affectionately and tried to be reliable for her, Vahn couldn’t replace her actual family members. Now that she had been reunited with her mother, the brave girl was on the verge of tears as her mother continued patting her back in order to soothe her.

After Tina finally calmed down, she went up to her room to drop off her stuff and change into her work outfit. She intended to help her mother run the Inn during the weekends, so she left behind the two sitting in the dining room. Vahn sat at the counter while Milan prepared him a cold beverage that smelled of citrus. After taking a sip and enjoying the tart taste, Vahn looked at Milan who was looking at him warmly and said, “I wanted to apologize, Milan…”

Hearing his words, Milan’s brow arched slightly as she gave him a questioning look and asked, “Ara~? Have you done something to apologize for, Vahn?” Vahn sighed before extending out his hands and placing a bent and unusable sword on the counter. Milan was a bit confused at first, but once she realized what the sword was she couldn’t help but frown with a sad expression on her face. Her expression caused Vahn’s heart to ache and he began explaining the circumstances that led to the swords destruction.

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After his tale concluded, the sad expression on Milan’s face turned into a happy one as she released a relieved sigh and said, “I’m glad the sword was able to protect you. You did well to come back to us in one piece.” As she spoke, Milan stroked the broken [Lion’s Pride] with a melancholic but somewhat happy expression on her face. Vahn couldn’t bear her look any longer, so he reached out for her hand that was stroking the sword and took it into his.

Milan was a bit surprised, but Vahn said, “Milan, thank you for everything you’ve done for me. Without meeting you and Tina, I don’t think my life within the City would have gone as well as it had. Not only did you treat me well, but you even gifted me an heirloom that helped preserve my life…” Vahn then stared into her eyes with a sad expression on his face that made her brows furrow slightly as he said, “I want to be able to return everything you gave me in the future. I think that, when things settle down, I want you and Tina to live with me.”

Vahn noticed that Milan’s affection increased from 64 to 68 with his words, but she still showed an apologetic expression as she half-heartedly tried to pull her hand out of his. Seeing that Vahn didn’t let her go, she sighed and explained, “Vahn, there are already so many women around you. There are a lot of young girls, powerful people, and even goddesses that are pursuing you. As long as you make my daughter happy in the future, you don’t need to worry about an old woman like me.”

Vahn shook his head and immediately responded by saying, “I refuse; I could never accept that. The thought of you being here alone at night breaks my heart, and I can’t imagine you staying like that in the future. You can’t use your age as an excuse either since you are still beautiful and have a lithe figure and fair features.” Vahn noticed that, as he was speaking, Milan’s tail began to twitch about slightly at his words. He smiled and continued, “Milan, unless you dislike me, please let me take care of both you, and your daughter.”

Milan was excited by Vahn’s proposition, but she still shook her head with a sigh and said, “You’ve grown up a lot…but I don’t want to be a burden to you and Tina. Even if I wanted to be together with you, there is no way I could be with the same man as my daughter-” Before Milan could continue, Tina burst through the door where she had been eavesdropping the conversation and loudly exclaimed, “Mom! Don’t be stupid~nya!”

Since Vahn had the ability to sense presences, he wasn’t surprised by Tina’s arrival, but Milan’s eyes opened widely as she tried to extricate her hand from Vahn’s grasp. Before she could do so, Tina ran over and grabbed both of their hands with her tiny fingers and looked at Milan with tears in her eyes and said, “We should be together~! Always and forever~nya!”

Seeing the tearful look on her daughter’s face and feeling the strong hands of Vahn refusing to let her escape, Milan couldn’t help but feel a bit of nervousness building inside of her. She felt incredibly pressured by the joint attack of the two young children and almost immediately conceded.

However, she managed to keep her senses as she looked between the two of them and tried to find words to refuse their request.

Tina saw her mother’s reaction and asked with an almost sobbing voice, “Mom…do you hate Vahn?” Milan heard her daughter’s words and shook her head as she explained in a soft tone, “It’s not that, Tina…it’s just…” Before she could finish, Tina asked, “Weren’t you also very sad when he was hurt? Didn’t you have hopes and expectations for him? Didn’t you let him touch your ears and flirt with him?”

The barrage of questions made Milan entered a slightly dazed and flustered state as she tried thinking of answers to the questions her daughter pressed her with. Tina continued without giving her mother time to collect herself, “I know, Mom, I saw what you did when you were alone…I heard you call Vahn’s name…” Though she was confused for a brief moment, Milan quickly understood what her daughter was trying to tell her. A blush immediately covered her face as she tried to extract her hand yet again.

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Vahn didn’t let her hand escape and Tina continued, “I know you like Vahn…so why are you trying so hard to be alone? Why not stay with both of us and be happy?” At this point, Tina had tears in her eyes as she implored her mother with a bereaved expression. Vahn piggybacked her words and continued, “Milan…even if you don’t want to be with me personally, I still want you to live with us in the future. Don’t stay in this lonely place spending the rest of your life tending to others.”

Milan shook her head once again and explained, “I can’t…it’s impossible.” Vahn was confused and felt a bit frustrated in his heart as he asked, “Please, tell me why? Why is it impossible?” At this point, Tina was crying and staring at her mother with pleading eyes as she waited for the explanation. Milan’s brows furrowed and she had a very distressed expression on her face as she explained, “Because…” Milan struggled with her words before releasing a long sigh and continuing, “Because I can’t trust myself to not do anything. It’s been a long time since I was with a man, and I wouldn’t be able to live with the two of you without something happening.”

Vahn was a bit surprised by her words, but Tina spoke out first, “Who cares!? That isn’t even a good reason, Mom~nya! If both of you want to do that, why are you hestitating~nya!?” Tina’s outburst had caused both Vahn and Milan to pause. She stood there holding their hands breathing deeply to calm herself as she continued with a sob, “Why can’t we all be happy together…?” Tina then started to cry and held her face above their hands and dripped her warm tears on where all three of them were connected.

Both Vahn and Milan furrowed their brows and felt anguish within their hearts as they stared at the small girl crying before them. Vahn looked toward Milan with an awkward smile and a pleading look in his eyes that made the nervous feeling in Milan’s stomach well up to a critical level. Since she had liked Vahn well enough to comfort herself to his memory in the past, she didn’t have much resistance against the boy who was quickly becoming a man.

If not for the fact that her daughter wanted to be with him, Milan wouldn’t even hesitate to stand at his side. Then they could raise ‘their’ daughter together and support each other in the future. However, things didn’t progress in that direction, and she knew her daughter was pursuing Vahn and would likely have a sexual relationship with him the future. Milan felt a lot of apprehension about the current situation and couldn’t come to terms with the current developments.

Vahn could see the hesitation in Milan’s eyes and even saw a hint of purple begin to color her aura which showed that she was beginning to feel afraid. Releasing a sad sigh, Vahn decided not to continue trying to pressure her as he placed his hand on top of Tina’s head and used [Hands of Nivana] to help soother her. Tina felt the familiar palm and looked toward Vahn with tears in her eyes and confusion clear on her face. Vahn showed her a gentle smile and whispered, “We can’t force her to do something she doesn’t want to do Tina…we’ll just have to find another way to make her happy in the future. There is always a way…”

Tina frowned at his words and looked toward her mother with a profoundly sad expression as she croaked, “Mom…please…” Her words sounded like a desperate plea as she looked at the most important person in her life with tears in her eyes.

Milan had relaxed a bit when Vahn started comforting Tina, but now that she had felt a bit of relief her daughter’s words hit her like a brick. Seeing the crying face of her daughter and the gentle expression on Vahn’s as he tried to comfort her, Milan couldn’t help but feel like she had wronged the two. It now seemed like Vahn was the one comforting her daughter as she caused both of them to feel pain just because of her own fear and inhibitions…

Releasing a long sigh, Milan looked at her daughter with a gentle look that made the girl immediately turn silent. Tina’s eyes widened as a bit of hope appeared in her hazy tear-filled eyes as she saw Milan turn toward Vahn and reply, “Fine, fine, I get it, I just have to do it, right?” Almost as if her earlier hesitation had been an illusion, Milan quickly adopted her cheerful and teasing demeanor as she continued to look into Vahn’s eyes with a look that seemed both cold and affectionate at the same time, “It’s too late to have regrets now…Vahn.”

(A/N: Alternate Titles: ‘It takes four years to cook an Oyakodon’,’Teamwork’,’Tiny Tina’s Tears of Terror’)

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