Chapter 194: Laverna (2/2)

As the goddess was dangling the ‘antidote’ in front of him, Vahn was just staring at her coldly as he got a better look at who he believed to be the mastermind behind the events that had transpired. She was a relatively small goddess, only around 140cm tall, and had a very slim, almost featureless, body. Like her eyes purple and blue eyes, her hair was also two different colors where it was predominantly black with strands of white that was cut short with two spiked pigtails. On her face, she wore a white, featureless, mask that concealed her eyes and curved around her nose.

Her attire was a black, sleeveless, hoodie with an almost comically oversized zipper running down the length of the garment. From what Vahn could see, she had next to no breasts since the zipper was partially down and revealed the fair white skin underneath. She wore a pair of black shorts that could barely be seen under her hoodie so, if you weren’t paying attention, it would almost look like she was wearing just the hoodie alone. She had long black stockings that ran to the middle of her thighs and a pair of grey-ish black combat boot that extended about halfway up her calves.

Noticing that Vahn hadn’t started panicking, the goddess tilted her head sideways with a crooked smile and asked, “Do you have the [Abnormal Status Resistance] skill~? Well, it won’t matter since you won’t be able to last long without the antidote~. I would suggest you give up before things start to get painful~!” She seemed to think that Vahn was just resisting the poison when, the fact was, he was actually entirely resistant due to the unique qualities of his blood. This was the reason Vahn couldn’t get drunk and even things like drugs that got within the bloodstream would have no effect on him.

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Vahn furrowed his brows as he lowered [Lævateinn] and asked in a cold voice, “Who are you? Why did you do all this? I want answers.” Vahn was still weighing whether or not to injure the goddess in front of him since she appeared to be a non-combatant. Even her aura was an amiable yellow, but Vahn didn’t care about her impression of him in the slightest. After dealing with Loki, Vahn knew that there were gods that could change the aura and, even if she genuinely had some kind of interest toward him, Vahn could never trust her since her interest was likely distorted due to her Divinity.

Seeing Vahn lower his weapon, the goddess smiled widely and began to laugh like a child that just got away with a prank. She looked at him with her odd-colored eyes and said, “I’m Laverna~! From now on, you’ll be working for me, so let’s get along well~!” Vahn shook his head as if to refute her claim and asked, “What is the purpose behind you kidnapping the two girls and torturing Milan? If you were trying to use them as leverage against me, it doesn’t make sense for you to harm them.”

In response to his question, Laverna tilted her head as if she was considering how to respond. After a few seconds, she shrugged her shoulders before giving a dismissal laugh and saying, “I never ordered them to torture, anyone. I only told them to take that little cat person hostage since you seemed to be fond of her. If they captured someone else, it had nothing to do with my orders at all~!”

Vahn furrowed his brows deeply and asked in a deathly cold tone, “Aren’t they members of your Familia!? How can you let them do such monstrous things!?” Knowing that Milan wasn’t even part of the plan, Vahn felt like she had been lucky to survive at all given the circumstances. If he had shown up just a few minutes later, he might have failed to save her life and ended up leaving Tina orphaned.

Laverna frowned and said, “Booo~What kind of reasoning is that? As long as they pay my tribute and do what I tell them, why should I stop them from doing other things? The only thing that matters to me is having fun and making money, why should I care about what other people do?” She seemed to be genuinely confused by Vahn’s outburst and started ‘pouting’ as she fiddled with the zipper on her hoodie.

The cold sensation in Vahn’s mind began to spread and grow deeper as he glared at the irresponsible goddess in front of him. He asked through gritted teeth, “What do you mean by ‘having fun and making money’? What part of your sick plan has anything to do with either of those things!?” As he asked the question, Vahn had a sudden realization which made his ferocious eyes widen slightly.

Laverna’s eyes also widened as she pounded her fist slightly in her palm and exclaimed, “Oh yeah! Thanks for reminding me~! I needed you to make a vow and promise to hand over all the materials that Hephaestus had transported to your workshop~! Though I still need you to do that, I’m more interested in having you work for me from now on so you’ll also need to agree to be loyal to me if you want this antidote~!” Once again, Laverna began to dangle the antidote in front of her body with a cheeky smile on her face.

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Vahn hung his head low and felt the rage in his body continue to expand alongside the cold sensation as he asked in a deeper voice than he typically could manage, “So, just for money…you kidnapped two people I cared about…burned down their house….and even let one of them be tortured and mutilated? You’re telling me this entire fiasco…was just because you wanted my materials!?”

In response, Laverna shook her head and said very matter-of-factly, “First of all, I didn’t know that big cat person was important to you, or I would have told those idiots to capture her as well. It’s really hard to find people around you that are easy to target, ya know~? And for the second part, I don’t really care about the materials, but I would have been able to make a ton of money if I sold them on the black market! With that much Valis, I could do whatever I wanted for years and never have to worry about anything~!”

Vahn smashed his left fist into the wall of the corridor and looked at her as if he had just heard the most revolting thing in the world. He shouted at the top of his lungs, “IF YOU WANT VALIS SO MUCH, WHY THE F*** DON’T YOU WORK FOR IT YOURSELF!? WHY DO YOU HAVE TO INVOLVE OTHER PEOPLE AND RUIN LIVES!?” Because of his outburst, Vahn started hyperventilating as he used every ounce of willpower in his body to prevent himself from slaughtering the goddess in front of him.

Laverna just sighed and raised her hands dismissively as she said, “That is super boring. Why should I have to work when I can get other people to do it for me in exchange for my blessing? I’d rather eat good foods, drink heavy liquor, and mess around with strong men~.” As if realizing something from her words, Laverna lipped her lips as she pulled down the remainder of the zipper and revealed her small breasts to Vahn.

She took the crystalline vial that contained the antidote and emptied the contents onto her stomach as she looked at Vahn and said in an amorous manner, “Aren’t you actually pretty strong yourself~? Since you’re going to be my subordinate, I’ll also make you one of my toys~! Come on, as long as you’re willing to make a vow, I’ll let you lick up this antidote~.” As she spoke, Laverna traced her fingers along her stomach and began to breath more heavily through her nose.

Before she had received news of the change aboveground, Laverna had been spending her time within her private quarters being tended to by her subordinates. She was especially fond of subjugating strong men and teasing them until they begged and asked for permission to please her. Seeing someone with as much willpower as Vahn resisting the poison in his body was beginning to excite her. Just like Kuji, she could get Vahn addicted to drugs and pleasure and force him to live only to fulfill her selfish desires.

At this point, the cold sensation in Vahn’s mind had reached a critical level and he contracted his domain to only a few meters and began to put his pressure on the sickening goddess that thought she had the advantage. Not only did she scheme against him for personal gain, but she even involved his loved ones and was now trying to seduce him in order to guarantee his own life. Everything about her was disgusting, no matter how innocent she might look with her petite and unique appearance.

With the last remnants of his self-control, Vahn asked, “What is your Divinity?” Laverna, who was now covered in a cold sweat while trying to resist Vahn’s domain with her own Divinity answered through gnashed teeth, “I am the goddess of thieves, cheats, liars, and fraudsters. Now answer me, Vahn Mason, what the hell are you!?” At this point, Laverna’s playful guise had vanished entirely as her two eyes glowed with a vibrant light. She was preparing to use her Arcanum to oppose Vahn, even if it resulted in her having to return to Heaven temporarily.

Since he hadn’t succumbed to the special poison on the dagger, Laverna realized there was something strange about Vahn’s body which was confirmed when he focused his intent on her. As far as she could tell, Vahn had a Divinity of his own and had been concealing it from the public. She cursed the failure of her children for not finding out such important information beforehand. Demigods weren’t people that should be confronted, especially one that had the support of two of the three highest ranked Familia’s in the City. For the first time in her life since her descent, Laverna regretted not putting in more effort to clarify things.

In response to her question, Vahn raised his [Lævateinn] slightly but the expression on his face had turned into an almost sad one. Though she didn’t drop her guard, Laverna felt like his reaction was strange and it made her feel very uncomfortable. The pressure on her body began to fade away and she looked at Vahn as if his behavior was inexplicable. In one moment, it looked like he was about to kill her in rage, but now he seemed to pity her after she answered his question.

Regardless of the reason, Laverna stopped using her own Divinity as she gave a taunting smile to Vahn who held up his [Lævateinn] and seemed to be hesitating. She asked in a cheeky manner, “What’s the matter, don’t have the guts to kill a goddess~? You’re pretty level-headed aren’t you~? I guess, even after all your supposed hatred and anger, you still aren’t dumb enough to break that taboo~.”

Vahn looked into her odd-colored eyes and truly pitied her existence and the type of Divinity she embodied. It seemed almost cruel that fate decreed she would have such a childish and innocent figure yet required her to be involved with such depravity by virtue of her very existence. However, if not for the approaching figure behind her, Vahn would have struck her down regardless of his own feelings. Instead, he just stared at her with a sad expression on his face as he slowly closed his eyes and said, “I’ll not be known as someone that killed a Goddess. Even if I struck you down here, I wouldn’t be able to stop you from ascending to Heaven and spreading the information. I’ll leave you for others to deal with…”

Laverna laughed at his response and seemed to enjoy the struggle that he was undergoing. She opened her mouth to goad him on, but the moment she did so Laverna felt two painful impacts in her neck and back. Unable to form words, she tried to move her head and hands to see and feel what had happened, but her muscles weren’t responding. Before she blacked out, she stared into the sad eyes of Vahn as a feminine voice sounded in her ear, “Just because Vahn isn’t willing to kill you, doesn’t mean I’m not, nyahaha~!” Then, as Laverna tried to turn her head to see the speaker, both of the curved daggers in her body were twisted and yanked out. Without ever seeing the person that claimed her life, Laverna fell powerlessly to the floor of the dark corridor.

After Laverna fell to the ground, her body began to glow with a white light as she turned into particles that dissipated into the void. In less time than it took to blink, she dissolved from existence in a manner similar to a monster that had its magic core destroyed. Throughout the short process, Vahn looked at the unfortunate goddess with mixed emotions before turning his attention toward the ‘mischevious’ looking girl wearing a dark blue hood with two pointed protrusions for ears and a cloth covering her mouth and nose. Staring into the familiar green eyes, Vahn showed a sad, but gentle, smile as he muttered, “I’m sorry Chloe…”

(A/N: Alternate Titles: ‘Divinity is a Heavy Burden’,’Money is the root of all evil’,’Chloe’s Resolve’)

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