Chapter 182: Divinity (2/2)

Vahn was beginning to understand what Loki was trying to tell him; he also understood why she had essentially accused him of hating her very existence. If what she was saying is true, which Vahn felt it very well might be, it meant she had little to no control over her own personality. Since she had lived for millions of years, even if she wanted to ‘resist’ against her Divinity, her nature would have been irreversibly altered. Since her divinity was related to trickery and schemes, Loki couldn’t help but act accordingly…even if she wanted to act differently. The moment she started trying to change her character, she would grow weaker until the point where she ceased to exist entirely.

Loki could see that Vahn somewhat understood what she was trying to convey, so she continued, “It is the same for every god. Gods of production are constantly creating the items related to their divinity, while gods of the people are always trying to serve and better others. The worst, and perhaps most unfortunate of all, are gods that draw their power from concepts like Love, Beauty, and Service. There are innumerable gods and goddesses that end up slaves inside brothels or prostitution rings just because they can’t resist their own compulsions. In the worst case scenario, there are even those that cannot refuse someone that wants to sleep with them at all, even if the person is a disgusting person or a deviant.”

Vahn could feel his mind begin to buzz from her explanation as he considered the implications of her words. It would explain why gods like Soma were in charge of such disreputable Familia since he prioritized creating his alcohol over everything else. It even made Vahn somehow empathetic towards people like Freya, even though he still disliked everything she had done within the manga.

Loki still had a sad expression on her face as she continued, “Though gods may possess a lot of power and authority, especially in Heaven, we choose to descend to the mortal world instead of making use of our abilities…do you know why that is, Vahn?” Vahn frowned and shook his head, so she explained, “It is because our Divinity is marginally weaker when we come to the mortal world. Things get so monotonous in Heaven, and we’re unable to act outside of the influence of our own Divinity. We descend to the mortal world to experience variety and change while trying to enjoy a somewhat free life. However, no matter how hard we try, as long as we possess Divinity within our souls, we cannot escape our fate…”

The more Loki explained things, the worse Vahn felt about the entire situation. Though he would need to confirm it with Hephaestus, he instinctually understood that Loki was telling him the truth. There is no way Hephaestus would have continued forging countless items when they had caused her so much pain in the past. The only reason for her to do so was that she was unable to avoid forging for long periods of time. She constantly had to push herself to try and exceed her limits and understanding, because that was the only way to satiate the compulsion that emanated from her very soul.

Looking into the sad expression on Loki’s face, Vahn suddenly felt…pity. Though she was one of the most powerful and influential goddesses in the mortal world, she still had to live the life of a schemer and trickster just to satiate her own Divinity. No matter how much she cared about her Familia and tried to live a free and unfettered life, she would continue to exploit and try to use people for her own convenience. It was truly a pitiful existence…

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Loki had seen the way he was looking at her and she gave him a mischevious smile as she shook her head, “Don’t feel pity for me, Vahn. Even if I’m restricted by my own Divinity, I’ve lived a much better life than most gods and goddesses. Fortunately for me, my Divinity almost guarantees that I can be successful in both Heaven and the mortal world. If you want to pity someone, you should visit one of the gods or goddesses that are bound to serve people. I believe that Dog Goddess of your’s has that trait.”

As she mentioned Anubis, Vahn couldn’t help but recall his interactions with the beautiful chienthrope goddess. Even before she came to Orario, she spent the entire 300 years of her time in the mortal world helping the children of the Southern Tribe. Vahn had learned that she ran both an Orphanage Familia as well as a Funerary since her Divinity was related to Death and taking care of others. She even willingly became his ‘servant’ just because she had ‘almost’ brought harm to him due to a misunderstanding. From then on, everything that she did seemed to be to try and please him, even to the point where she began making advances on him after the incident in the bath…

Vahn released a profoundly sad and disheartened sigh as he looked at the goddess in front of him. There was no way he could hate Loki after knowing that she was bound to act this way due to her own Divinity. Though he could resent her actions, and even avoid interacting with her because he disagreed with her, there was no way he could continue to have a bias against her.

As if she had seen his understanding, Loki showed a seemingly genuine smile as she said, “At least you’re quick to rationalize things. Even if you can’t trust me, know that I’ll never do anything to compromise myself or my own Familia. I can promise at least that much since it would be very inconvenient for me otherwise.”

Vahn nodded his head and furrowed his brows a bit as he gave her an apologetic expression and said, “I’m sorry, Loki, I didn’t consider things properly and treated you with my own bias. Though I still can’t easily drop my guard around you, I can at least empathize with and place a bit of trust in you.” Though Vahn needed to confirm things with Hephaestus and Anubis, he still felt like he needed to apologize.

Loki nodded her head and had a large smile on her face as she spread her legs a bit and put both of her hands on her abdomen. Vahn was confused by her actions until she said in a teasing manner, “I’ll consider forgiving you if you put a baby inside of me~.” Vahn’s eyes widened to a full circle as she continued to laugh at his reaction. She moved her hands down her abdomen and thumbed the stretchy fabric of her shorts as Vahn averted his eyes.

After calming his mind a bit, Vahn asked in a somewhat exasperated manner, “So, you know about [Enkidu]…?” Loki laughed and opened her eyes slightly as she eyed Vahn somewhat like a predator as she explained, “Indeed~! Hephaestus and Eina had told me about it after our little get-together. Since they wouldn’t have been able to keep it a secret, they ended up telling me about it to prevent me from scheming against you in the future.”

Vahn’s eyebrows perked up a bit as he looked at her with a questioning gaze and asked, “Aren’t you trying to scheme against me right now?” Loki shook her head and said, “Nope, I’m just teasing you a bit. Why, were you seriously considering knocking me up~?” She then laughed for a bit after seeing Vahn’s inability to answer her question. Once she had calmed down a bit, she explained, “I took a vow, so if I was truly scheming against your, or trying to pressure you, you would know since there would be a pretty big backlash. Hephaestus was very meticulous regarding the terms of the vow, probably because of that little elf girl~?”

Thinking of the two women that Vahn placed his trust in, Vahn couldn’t help but imagine that they had gone to great lengths to protect him. With how Loki was acting, there was probably much more to the situation than he was aware, but she wouldn’t be able to answer his questions since it might influence his decision. The strange thing was, Vahn felt like she was still pressuring him, even though she was supposed to have taken a vow that restricted her from doing so.

Loki saw his confusion as he was contemplating the matters and explained with a smile on her face, “Even if you’re feeling ‘pressured’, it doesn’t mean I’ve done anything to pressure you, ya know~? That would be something like me using your relationships with Ais or Tiona to force you to make a decision. All I’m doing right now is teasing you and letting you know my own intentions. I really do want a baby, so if you’re ever in the mood you can give ma call and I’ll come running~! I even cut off all my ties with the other people I associated with just so I would be more appealing to you, so show a bit of gratitude~!”

Vahn frowned at her explanation and asked, “What do you mean when you say you cut off your ties with others?” Loki’s smile widened by a marginal amount as she opened her eyes and the peculiar ‘gentle’ look that she had in the reception room was present. In a low and soft tone, she said, “I decided that it would probably influence your decision to give me a baby if I was acting promiscuously with other people. You might not understand it well, but there is very little I wouldn’t be willing to give up in order to become pregnant and have my own child. Even if I had to abandon my relationships with other people for the rest of your life, I think it would be a small sacrifice considering the benefits. You should be prepared for other goddesses to have similar convictions in the future as well. Those chains of yours, even if you don’t personally do the deed, represent something that many goddesses have sought after.”

Even without her explaining it, Vahn was already well aware of the chaos that would result when his [Enkidu] became public knowledge. The moment he got Hephaestus pregnant, there was no doubt that the matter would become known to the various gods and goddesses. Once they knew, it would disseminate to the normal people, and there would be no end to the troubles he would have to face in the future. Without personal strength and connections, Vahn may very well end up at a disadvantage against the great number of gods, goddesses, and mortals that would approach him.

However, Vahn didn’t think it was right for Loki to suddenly give up her ‘relationships’ with other people just because she wanted to have a child. From his perspective, there was no need for him to be the one to impregnate her, so he explained, “It isn’t necessary for you to have my child if you want a baby. I can use the [Enkidu] and you can continue to have your relationships with others without my interference.”

Loki’s eyes opened to an almost normal extent as she looked at Vahn with a serious expression on her face. She continued to stare at him for nearly half a minute before she said, “I’m not asking you to give me a baby right now, but I want you to bind me with your [Enkidu] so I can experience its effects for myself.”

Vahn furrowed his brows as he considered her words, but before he made a decision, she continued, “If I’m bound by your [Enkidu] and it truly restricts my Divinity, you’ll be able to believe my words, won’t you?” Seeing the serious expression on her face and hearing the logic within her words, Vahn finally acceded to her request and let [Enkidu] emerge from his palm. The moment the chain appeared, Loki looked at it with a fervent gaze as she marveled at the resplendent golden chains.

Before she could ask anything, Vahn expanded his domain and ‘ordered’ Enkidu to bind Loki without harming her. Less than a second after he sent the mental command, the chains came to life and immediately withdrew further from his palm at an incredible speed. Though Loki was somewhat startled by the change, she didn’t resist at all as the chains coiled around her arms, legs, and torso.

The moment she was firmly wrapped up, Loki realized she was completely unable to move and couldn’t help but laugh as she asked, “Isn’t this a bit excessive?” At this point, she almost looked like she had been turned into a resplendent golden cacoon as she laid down on the couch and looked at Vahn with an incredulous look on her face.

Vahn also thought it was a bit excessive, so he willed the chains to loosen up enough for her to move without undoing the sealing effect. After a brief delay, the chains created enough of a gap for Loki to free her arms and legs as they continued to dangle from her limbs. She fiddled around and inspected the chains a bit and continually tried spreading her domain and trying to use her other powers. From the moment she had been wrapped in the chains, Loki actually felt almost ‘free’, even though she was clearly restrained. There was a certain clarity to her mind now and she couldn’t help but release a sad and somewhat relieved sigh.

From Vahn’s perspective, the moment he had bound Loki with [Enkidu], her chaotic aura had stabilized completely and now had a subtle pink and yellow hue. From experience, Vahn understood this implied she had a certain amount of affection and positive feelings toward him. Given the fact that her Affection and Intrigue were both at 100, it made sense even if it made him feel a little uncomfortable.

Loki looked into his eyes and noticed that his expression had changed the moment she had been bound. She smiled and asked, “So, did you notice anything?” Though he was somewhat hesitant, Vahn still nodded his head as he continued to hold eye contact with now ‘Divinity-less’ Loki. She seemed a lot more calm than normal and stared back at him with a thoughtful look on her face.

After a few seconds of silence, Loki nodded her head as if she had realized something and said, “Even with my Divinity repressed, I still feel like my decision is the correct one. My previous thoughts and actions were always influenced by my Divinity, and now that I am free from its influence I am even more positive of my choice. These chains of your’s represent a future I couldn’t even consider before, so in order to experience it to the fullest, I want to commit myself completely. Even if it might be a blink of time in the eternity of my existence, I don’t want to have regrets. As the person that gave me the opportunity, I don’t want to have the child of another person. Even though it might be a result of the fact of your origin and me wanting to take advantage of your genes to have powerful children, is it really wrong for a mother to desire that her children have high potential?”

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The entire time she was speaking, Vahn just sat in silence as he stared at the longing expression of the girl before him. Yes, though she was still fundamentally a goddess, now that she was bound by [Enkidu], she was also just a mortal girl. Her desire for children was perfectly natural, even more so considering that she had been unable to conceive originally. Even her claim to want strong children wasn’t wrong if Vahn considered it from the perspective of a parent. Though he believed he would treat all of his children fairly, Vahn couldn’t help but feel as though he would take pride in the accomplishments, capabilities, and successes of his children in the future.

After considering matters for several minutes in silence, Vahn finally released a long sigh before staring at Loki with a mixture of emotions on his face. Seeing the look in her eyes, Vahn realized he was very weak to women that were emotionally unstable and reliant on him. He knew that she was serious about forsaking other relationships just to appeal to him and would likely think the same way, perhaps even more so, when she got her Divinity back. She would probably never give up trying to have his child and, because of the influence of her Divinity, she would eventually find a way to successfully entrap him even with the vow binding her.

Vahn could see that she was about to speak up, but he just raised his hand to interrupt as he said in a somewhat tired voice, “Until I have had a child with Hephaestus and become strong enough to successfully impregnate Tiona, I won’t be trying to have children with anyone else…however, I will promise to give you a child in the future. I don’t know when, and I still can’t say I agree with how you behave, but I will keep my promise as long as you agree that I will have the final say in how the child is raised.”

Loki showed the most genuine smile he had ever seen as she said with excitement in her voice, “Sure, that’s no problem at all~! Even I didn’t think I’d be able to get to you before Hephaestus.” She then began to laugh out loud for several seconds before explaining the agreement and vow she had made with Hephaestus in detail. Hearing that the matter regarding their child had already been settled before this conversation even began, Vahn couldn’t help but feel both grateful and disconcerted at the efficacy and preparedness of his two wives.

After recalling [Enkidu] back into his soul, Loki had resumed her mischevious demeanor as she stepped onto the table before plopping down onto Vahn. Though he had been unprepared, he still managed to catch her in his arms to prevent her from falling heavily into his lap. Loki put her arms around his neck as he held her in a mock-princess carry as she laughed in a somewhat taunting fashion and said, “It should still be a while before the girls show up…want to practice making a baby?”

Vahn gave her a strange look before standing up and lifting her body into the air. She seemed to have a bit of expectation in her eyes as she peeked through the slits and stared into his face with a slight smile. Vahn stared into her eyes for a moment with a smile of his own as he turned toward the couch where he had just sat…and dropped Loki onto it in a not-so-delicate fashion. She gave him a somewhat aggrieved look as she rubbed her butt and said, “Hey, that’s no way to treat the future mother of your child~!”

In response to her words, Vahn laughed a bit before saying in a somewhat humorous tone, “I think, before you have any children, you need to work a bit on your behavior. Though your clothes are very eye-catching, they aren’t exactly clothes you’d expect a ‘mother’ to wear. I don’t mind playing around with you a bit, but don’t think I’ll let you get an advantage over Hephaestus. Just imagining how sad she would be if she found out I had sex with you while I’m still forging an item for her…I can’t even begin to consider it.”

Loki stood up from the couch and gave him a somewhat approving look as she nodded her head and said, “Fine, fine, don’t blame me for trying. I just heard about your ‘prowess’ from those two brats and wanted to experience it for myself. I’ll be patient until you’re able to please your precious Hephaestus…” With her words finished, Loki began to walk toward the door and seemed to be leaving Vahn behind.

Moments before she exited through the large double doors, she turned around and asked, “What kind of clothes do you think would suit me…?” Vahn had been watching her leave and stopped to consider her words for a moment before replying, “I’m not too sure…you current outfit seems very ‘you’, but it also doesn’t seem to suit you either. It’s a very strange thing…” Loki nodded her head and showed a contemplative expression for a few seconds before saying in a playful manner, “Next time, I’ll let you dress me up until you find something you like~! I don’t mind trying on any kind of outfit, as long as it is something that interests you~.” Then, without waiting for his response, Loki left through the double doors while laughing in a strange manner.

(A/N: Alternate Titles: ‘Slaves to the Laws Part 2’, ‘Let’s play dress-up’,’Logical Prison’)

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