Chapter 200: Returning Home

Syr had been staring at the group standing around in a circle sniffing each other with a mildly humorous expression on her face. After she had helped Milan and Tina settle into their room and explained the situation to Mama Mia, she had doubled back and peeked through one of the windows to see if Vahn and the rest were still around. Seeing them act in such a strange and awkward manner made her laugh silently to herself before she tapped on the window a bit.

Vahn was already naturally perceptive, but he had lost himself a bit after getting caught up in the atmosphere of the girls. He heard the slight tapping sound and could sense the presence of someone just outside his line of sight. Turning his head, he could see Syr staring at them through a window with a bemused expression on her face as she waved at him. He suddenly felt a lot more awkward as he returned her wave by raising his hand slightly.

His action had caused three of the girls to notice something was strange and they all turned their heads to see Syr looking at them. Now that she had most of their attention, Syr’s smile grew and they could see her cover her mouth through the window as though she was laughing at their antics. Naaza immediately pulled away from Vahn’s back and averted her rosy face while Tiona began laughing along with Syr. Ais didn’t pull away quickly, but she sniffed Vahn’s body one last time before standing off to the side. The only one that seemed to be unaware of the situation had been Lili who continued nuzzling her face against Vahn’s diaphragm.

Though he still felt a little awkward, Vahn began to laugh alongside Tiona as he ruffled Lili’s hair heavily before pulling her away gently by her shoulder. She had a somewhat flushed expression and Vahn could see the tear stains on her face from earlier had dried up for the most part. Lili looked up at Vahn with upturned eyes and said in a low and apologetic tone, “I’m sorry for getting carried away…I blame Naaza.”

Vahn found Lili’s actions and upturned expression to be very adorable and he nearly burst out laughing when he heard her words. Naaza’s expression grew even redder as she hung her head low and covered her face with both hands. Tiona seemed to enjoy her reaction as she leaned sideways and tried to stare into Naaza’s face while asking, “Why are you so embarrassed~?”

After messing around in the much lighter atmosphere for a few minutes, the group finally left the alleyway and headed towards the Babel Plaza. Along the way, Lili held onto Vahn’s left hand while Tiona clung to his right arm. Ais seemed to be somewhat dissatisfied by the arrangement but kept her silence as she walked next to Naaza who had recovered her composure by a fair amount. Though she still had a light blush on her face, her expression had returned to normal as she tried to make polite conversation with the relatively unresponsive Ais.

When the group arrived at Babel Plaza, Tiona and Ais ended up parting ways since the Twilight Manor was on the opposite end of the City. Though they wanted to follow Vahn, both girls had spent the day with him and wanted to give others the opportunity to be around him without their influence. Loki had told them before allowing them to follow Vahn to ensure that they didn’t pressure him too much and to return to the Manor once they reached the Plaza.

Vahn embraced the two thoughtful girls for a relatively long period of time before parting after a short kiss. Since they were being overly aware of Naaza and Lili, they only locked lips for a few seconds at the very end of the embrace. They promised to stop by periodically during the week, but Vahn asked them to wait for his arrival at the Twilight Manor. His schedule was usually very busy, and he didn’t want the girls to go out of their way just because they were concerned for him.

He did promise to meet up with them on the weekend and even told them about the planned birthday celebration that Hephaestus had proposed. Hearing that Vahn had actually turned fifteen without their notice, all four girls present had varying degrees of shock on their faces and began pressing him for answers up until they finally parted ways for the evening several minutes later.

Now that Tiona and Ais had left, Naaza had grown bolder and taken Vahn’s right hand as the trio made their way towards Tsubaki’s Manor and Vahn’s residence. Along the way, Vahn had started a conversation about what the two had been up to while he had been training and living alongside the Anubis Familia. He found out that Naaza was on the verge of a breakthrough in her mixing, but she also wanted to begin developing her strength once again. Lili had continued her training at a much greater intensity than before and had even developed her foundation to the point where she was almost ready to reach Level 2.

Vahn, hearing that the two wanted to get stronger, told them about his skill, [Prometheus] and promised to help them both increase their potential. When they heard about the skill and the fact that it drew on their emotions and feelings to increase their power, both girls suddenly turned very happy and even Naaza began acting uncommonly affectionate while ignoring the surrounding gazes. Since Vahn rarely saw her wagging her tail happily, he also began to feel better about the future and thought he should have given them both a flame seed earlier.

After nearly an hour, the three arrived outside Tsubaki’s Manor and paused in silence for several seconds before Lili asked, “Do you want us to stay with you tonight? If you’re feeling lonely, I can make a good hug pillow…” Vahn could see Lili was beginning to get in high tensions so he pat her on the head as he considered her offer. He didn’t particularly mind sleeping together since they had done so very often in the dungeon without any problems. Even though he had ‘awakened’ towards women, he still considered Lili as someone that he needed to protect, very similar to Tina. They were even similar in size and considered each other rivals, even though Lili was nearly three full years older.

While Vahn was thinking about his response, Naaza pressed her hands to her chest and hesitated for a moment before saying, “I’ll come as well…I am worried about you.” Vahn’s brows raised while Lili gave a subtle thumbs up to Naaza outside of Vahn’s line of sight. She was also very worried about Vahn’s current state of mind since everyone was afraid he might blame himself for what had happened. Even though he was acting relatively normally, most of the girls had noticed his expression break periodically into one of melancholy. However, if someone were to ask, she wouldn’t deny that she also just wanted to spend time with him after not seeing each much since he awoke from the coma. She had been distracting herself with her training to prevent herself from feeling sad at being separated from each other.

Since both girls were showing concern for him, Vahn gave up and accepted their offer as he led them toward his own residence. As they hadn’t entered it before, Vahn had to register them through the formations or it would trigger and potentially harm the two girls. When they stepped inside the courtyard, Vahn could see that Lili was in high tensions while Naaza seemed to be somewhat nervous.

The moment they entered the foyer, all three of them stopped as they saw all seven members of the Anubis Familia waiting while sitting on their knees. Nanu was the first to speak as she bowed her head and said, “Welcome home, Master.” Her actions prompted the other children to repeat the greeting while Lili and Naaza gave Vahn strange looks as they asked, “Is it always like this?”

Though it was kind of late, the entire group enjoyed a late dinner after the two groups took turns bathing. Lili and Naaza had both intended to take a bath with Vahn, as even Naaza had done so several times in the past, but Nanu prevented them from doing so after lecturing them in a manner similar to Tina. Lili seemed to take a serious impact as she swore to lecture Tina the next time they met on about what is and isn’t necessary.

Before bed, Vahn informed the children that they would have the next day off and encouraged them all to take a nice rest. Since there were likely matters to attend to in the following few days, Vahn didn’t want to pressure anyone until things settled down. When Nanu learned that Lili and Naaza were going to sleep with Vahn, she wanted to refute but was unable to since Vahn had given them permission. Since Lili was even smaller than she was and they were similar in age, Nanu felt highly competitive against the pallum invader. If not for the fact Lili had a pre-existing relationship with Vahn, she wouldn’t have allowed the matter easily.

Vahn had seen the strange atmosphere between Lili and Nanu and ruffled both girls hair like they were misbehaving children. Both girls realized that Vahn was looking down on them, but neither was willing to pull away from his hand either. They just continued to glare at each other and Vahn could almost see sparks flying between them with his enhanced vision.

After sending Nanu off to her own room, Naaza, Lili, and Vahn entered his room and prepared for bed. Vahn noticed that Naaza immediately began smelling around the room, but he didn’t say anything as he began to change clothes. Though he pretended to not notice, he could feel the auras of both girls fluctuate and take on a pinkish hue as they gazed at his back. It wasn’t until he turned around after changing into his sleepwear that they both quickly averted their eyes.

Recalling something from the past, Lili found a bit of confidence as she stood in front of Vahn and spread out her arms as she asked in a bashful manner, “Help me change…?” Though he thought she looked especially adorable and it even brought a smile to his face, Vahn lifted his right hand before flicking Lili gently on the forehead and saying, “Don’t get carried away Lili. We’re just here to sleep, remember that.”

Lili held the spot where Vahn had ‘gently’ flicked her with his near Level 4 parameters. It felt like a hammer had hit her head, but she didn’t begrudge him too much since it was a pain caused by her own carelessness. Vahn had noticed the genuine tears in her eyes and used [Hands of Nirvana] to rub the spot on her forehead before stroking her hair a bit and crawling into bed once she started undressing.

Since he had grown accustomed to averting his eyes, Vahn didn’t watch them as they changed and just turned his sight toward the ceiling as he closed his eyes and began ruminating over the events that had transpired. The day had started off strong and Vahn had been in a great mood, but things had taken a sudden and drastic turn in the afternoon. Though things were much better now, Vahn still felt a mixture of emotions after recalling everything that had happened.

Vahn felt movement from both sides of the bed as he turned his vision to the right and blanked for a few moments as he saw the fiercely blushing Naaza crawling into the bed while covering her breasts with one arm. Since they hadn’t entered into Tsubaki’s Manor earlier, she didn’t actually have any nightwear, so Naaza had stripped her casual clothing down to her underwear and mustered up enough resolve to crawl into the bed with Vahn. She had on light green, somewhat plain, underwear and it stood out against her fair skin that had taken on a light pink coloration.

Feeling the movement from his left, Vahn realized something as he slowly turned his head and looked at Lili. He released a relieved sigh after seeing that she had actually worn one of Tina’s nightgowns. Since she was actually shorter than Tina, the white nightgown went down to her knees and properly covered her petite body. Though Vahn didn’t consider Lili in that manner right now, he knew she had affections for him and it wouldn’t be easy to deal with her if she was in her underwear as well.

Scanning through his system for a bit, Vahn purchased a nightgown for Naaza and handed it to her before she nearly passed out from the blood flowing to her head. She had only made it halfway to his position before her body had completely stalled. When Vahn had stared at her earlier, she followed his gaze and realized he had briefly paused on the cleavage of her chest. Though she had been seen naked by him before, it was before Vahn had any awareness of women. His previously ‘innocent’ look now caused Naaza to feel like her body burned everywhere his eyes wandered.

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Seeing the expensive looking nightgown he passed to her, she reached out for it like it was a canteen in the middle of the desert. In less time than it took to blink, Naaza had quickly pulled the nightgown over her head before diving under the covers and pulling them all the way up to her face. Vahn had been staring at the entire sequence of events and suddenly realized Naaza was much more adorable than he remembered from the past.

As he was staring at Naaza with an amused expression, Vahn suddenly heard Lili ask, “Vahn, if you had to pick, what kind of girls and what race do you think is the cutest?” Vahn turned to Lili and saw her kneeling on the bed and looking at him with a ‘serious’ expression. Processing her question, Vahn remembered about her magic and thought she was trying to appeal to him, so he shook his head and said, “I’ve never concerned myself with race much. I’ve met girls of all kinds of various different races that I thought were cute. You should just be yourself and continue to improve-“

Before he could finish, Lili tilted her head and asked, “Is there anything you’ve been interested in or something that you’ve never seen?” Seeing that she had ignored his words, Vahn frowned slightly and was about to say something when Lili chanted a silent incantation and suddenly sprouted a pair white tiger ears and a thick and long tail that was nearly the same length as her body. Vahn immediately realized she was emulating his Báihǔ form as even her hair had changed to a white color with black undertones.

Lili smiled at his reaction before crawling under the covers next to him and saying, “This way, we have something in common that nobody else has~!” Since the nightgown she was wearing had long sleeves, Vahn hadn’t noticed that Lili had also transformed her hands and feet as she held out her hands toward him like claws. He saw the tiny paw pads on her hand and fingers and suddenly had the urge to poke them but prevented himself from doing so.

Releasing an exasperated sigh in his mind, Vahn performed the ritual he had adopted with Tina on both of the girls by kissing them on the forehead before relaxing his head against the pillow. Not too long later, he could feel both girls cuddled up to him and Naaza placed her head on his shoulder while Lilu nuzzled against his chest. Vahn immediately noticed that Lili had a much higher body temperature than Naaza, but Naaza had a strangely relaxing aroma. When that thought crossed his mind, Vahn remembered that chienthropes released pheromones from their ears that helped people calm down and he realized she was trying to help him relax.

Vahn smiled as he enjoyed the pleasant feelings coming from the two girls. It wasn’t long before the tiredness and mental fatigue of the day caught up to him and he was quickly drifting off towards sleep. Moments before he finally lapsed into unconsciousness, Vahn could swear that he heard the sound of Naaza sniffing his neck while he felt Lili slowly creep her padded palm onto his chest. Deciding it was a product of his imagination, Vahn let himself drift off into the land of dreams.

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(A/N: Alternate Titles: ‘Syr’s casual voyeurism’,’Undefeatable Paw Pads’,’Rose-colored dreams’)

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