Chapter 204: Tangent

Since there was now a much larger group of people that would be eating breakfast, Vahn had decided to use his system shop to substitute actual cooking and purchased a variety of baked goods for everyone to enjoy while Naaza, Lili, and Anubis prepared tea for the entire group. Everyone made somewhat casual conversation and talked about various matters while Loki kept goading people on about Vahn’s ‘obsession’ with butts. It seemed as though, since she didn’t have anything in the breast department, Loki was especially happy by the ‘revelation’. Vahn wanted to say he didn’t really have a preference but recalled that he had been fixated on them quite a bit in the past so kept the matter to himself. He felt like he just liked the bodies of girls in general, but it was hard to explain since everyone present, other than himself, was a female.

Though the mood had become much lighter because of his earlier actions and everyone was now eating breakfast happily, Vahn knew there was a serious discussion going to take place soon. He wasn’t the only to have noticed either, as Vahn was able to see the aura’s of everyone in the room fluctuate and droop slightly. The only exception was Loki, who seemed to have a tinge of red to her aura which reminded Vahn of her earlier anger.

Once breakfast had ended, Anubis had the children leave the dining room before turning to Vahn and bowing low for several seconds. He could see she was heavily affected by what was going to be discussed, so Vahn affectionately pet her ears and hair. Reaching up to the collar around her neck, Anubis said in a sad-sounding tone, “I’ll always follow you, Master.” Vahn nodded his head before hugging her and whispering, “I know, thank you Anubis.”

The mood had quickly begun to deteriorate as the only people left in the room were Vahn, Hephaestus, Loki, Tsubaki, Lili, and Naaza. Tsubaki had tried to leave with Lili and Naaza, but they adamantly refused to leave before they heard what was going to be discussed. The matter likely pertained to Vahn, and they didn’t want to be left out of the loop since everyone was acting in a solemn mood. Nanu had wanted to stay behind, but Anubis had her leave with the other children as she followed behind to explain the situation they would be in from now on.

Once everyone from the Anubis Familia had left the room, Loki started off by saying, “Last night, there were several matters that took place that you need to be made aware of. First off, there was an Alliance created between the Hephaestus, Takemikazuchi, Miach, Anubis, and my Familias. Secondly, we, as an Alliance, went to negotiate directly with Ouranos, the premier god, and leader of the Guild. He is the highest authority within the City, and it would have fallen to him to uphold any punishments.”

Vahn nodded his head and asked, “You’re speaking in regards to the death of Laverna?” Loki’s expression froze a little before she continued, “That’s correct. Everyone can tell you know the identity of the killer, and we also knew there was no way you would divulge it yourself. To prevent the situation from getting out of hand, we went to Ouranos directly and forced a compromise.”

At this point, Hephaestus had a somewhat sad look on her face as she said, “You will be forced to leave my Familia and have been prevented from joining any of the Familia within the Alliance for the duration of one year.” Her words caused Naaza to frown while Lili slammed her hands onto the table and shouted, “That isn’t fair! It was the stupid goddess that caused this situation to happen! Vahn shouldn’t have to suffer just because a criminal was brought to justice!”

As she had been sitting next to him, Vahn grabbed Lili’s tail which caused her to help and sit back down with her hands on her butt. She looked at him in confusion as Vahn smiled and said, “Please, continue. There is more, isn’t there?” Lili seemed like she wanted to say something, but Vahn kept her quiet by gently stroking her hair. The main reason she was upset was due to the fact that, since she had just changed Familia recently, Lili wouldn’t be able to join the same Familia as Vahn for more than 11 months.

Loki paused for a few seconds before continuing, “It’s not all that bad, since we managed to keep a provision that allowed you to keep all of the materials that you can store within your inventory. Though we had to tell Ouranos about your ‘storage magic’, you’ll now be able to use the resources currently available to you in order to purchase your own house and workshop. Since you have plenty of Valis and materials on hand, you won’t exactly be hurting when it comes to finding a place to stay…”

Vahn’s brows raised a bit, since he could tell that Loki was somewhat upset by her own words. As if to answer his curiosity, Hephaestus spoke out in a moderately gentle tone, “I sent an Oracle to a close friend of mine, who his also a goddess, and she had agreed to descend and join the Alliance as well. Though you may not be able to join one of our Familia for the time being, we actually agreed that it would be beneficial if you were to be involved with the creation of your own. She is someone that you can trust and also has a longstanding relationship with both Loki and myself.”

As if trying to refute her words, Loki spat out, “As if I have any relationship with that chibi cow goddess! We’re enemies at best~!” Her words had caused her aura to flare up and Vahn quickly realized who they were talking about. With a slight smile on his face, Vahn asked, “What is the name of this goddess?”

Loki frowned slightly at Vahn’s reaction while Hephaestus seemed to be pleased that he had accepted the situation so easily. Reminiscing about her experiences with her good friend, she said, “Her name is Hestia, and…she can be a bit lazy. Other than that, though, she is an incredibly kind goddess who treated me well even before my eye was healed.” Recalling the past, Hephaestus reached her hand to her right eye and gave Vahn an incredibly ‘loving’ look.

Vahn returned her smile and reached out to pull her hand away from her eye and stare into the subtle crimson glow. She hadn’t worn her eyepatch since he had healed her, and he felt like she had become more beautiful as her confidence grew. While they two were beginning to fall into their own little world, Loki spoke out in a discontented voice, “Don’t let her fool you so easily, Vahn. Hestia is one of the laziest goddesses in Heaven and she’ll probably just want you to spoil her 24/7~! All of her brains ended up being put into her boobs and she is a natural airhead that doesn’t know how to show proper restraint!”

Though he had seen it a bit in the manga, Vahn was surprised with how hostile Loki acted when it came to Hestia. He gave her a curious look and remembered that she had a complex about her breasts and likely used that as the basis for her hatred against Hestia. There was also the fact that Hestia’s Divinity didn’t really seem to have a great influence on her character, at least not in a way that altered her relationships with others to a great extent. Vahn felt like Loki was very jealous of Hestia and he actually felt a bit bad for her since most of the conflict between them was beyond both of their control.

Loki had seen the look Vahn was giving her and frowned slightly and wanted to say something else but Vahn smiled and spoke out in a gentle tone that brought the mischevious goddess to silence, “Loki, even though I don’t agree with how you act as a result of your Divinity, there is nothing else that I can fault you for. Have more confidence and don’t get caught up in comparing yourself to others. I believe in Hephaestus’s choice, and I believe that Hestia is likely a kind and gentle goddess. Since we’ll all be working together in the future, I’d like for you to not have too many conflicts with each other.”

Everyone in the room paused after hearing Vahn’s words because it wasn’t often that someone like Loki was brought to silence. She seemed to have a vicious internal struggle for a while as her brows were furrowed low and her mouth had pursed into a small shape. Eventually, she looked toward Hephaestus before adopting a very serious expression and saying, “I will try to get along with Hestia, but you have to guarantee that I’ll get a baby after you know up Hephaestus. I don’t want to see the person I’ve butted heads with for thousands of years get an advantage when she hasn’t even been with a man before.”

Since they had made a vow where Loki couldn’t ‘pressure’ Vahn to have a child with her, Hephaestus frowned and tried to refute but Vahn beat her to the punch as he said, “I can’t keep making promises that might influence my future decisions so easily. I told you that I would have a child with you after Hephaestus already, but I can’t guarantee you would be the next person. I can’t predict the future, and the more promises I make, the harder it is for me to make rational decisions under stress. Please, Loki, just try to have some patience and trust that I will do my best when the time comes.”

Hephaestus had a strange expression as she asked Loki, “You two have already come to an agreement?” Loki was broken from her thoughts as she heard Hephaestus voice and responded seriously, “Vahn let me experience the effects of [Enkidu] and we came to an agreement while my Divinity was sealed. I didn’t pressure him directly, so there was no violation in regards to the vow made between us.”

All of the talks of pregnancy and having children had riled up the other girls as Lili tried to jump into the conversation but was prevented from doing so as Naaza put her hand over her mouth. Vahn continued where Loki left off and explained, “Loki taught me about the influence of Divinity, and that is why I have tried to empathize more with the situation of the gods and goddesses. This is the reason I had hesitated when it came to Laverna, even though I desperately wanted to take action. I have decided to try and find a solution for the future, and not just for gods and goddesses. I want to help spirits and the various half-species as well.” As he spoke, Vahn had turned his head to the various girls in the room and even rested his eyes on Tsubaki when he mentioned half-species.

As if coming to a realization, Tsubaki’s brows raised as she pointed toward herself with her index finger and asked incredulously, “Are you trying to say you’ll knock me up too?” Her words had caused everyone in the room to have a strange reaction, including Vahn who felt a strong desire to plant his face into the table. He answered her in a tired manner, “I want to help find a solution that doesn’t necessarily rely on my involvement or the use of [Enkidu]. There is no way I would be able to help everyone individually, or I’d never have any time to do the other things I want to focus on…” As Vahn spoke, he had actually begun to imagine what it would be like for Tsubaki to bear his child as well. Strangely, he felt like she would make a great mother since she had treated him so well in the past…

The thought had caused his dismissal of the topic to shift a bit as he looked at Tsubaki and said, “I think…you’d make a good mother.” His words had actually caused Tsubaki’s healthy brown skin to flush ever so slightly as she squinted her eye a bit and smiled at Vahn. In a gentle voice, which contrasted her usual behavior, Tsubaki said, “Vahn, you don’t have to try and help everyone. Focus on finding a solution to help others. I have already accepted my lot in life, and I don’t have any regrets.”

Though her words had been spoken smoothly and her expression hadn’t changed, Vahn noticed her aura fluctuate a great deal when she mentioned that she had ‘accepted’ her lot in life. In a lot of ways, since she was an older woman, Tsubaki was like Milan. Even though Vahn had affection for them, they were resistant against his approach because they were overly concerned with his well-being.

Vahn’s brows furrowed as he looked at Tsubaki with a serious expression and said in a firm tone, “I don’t agree with that. Even if you try to hide it, I can tell you don’t believe in your own words. If you want to have a child, and can’t find another partner, I’d be more than willing to take on the responsibility. I already have plenty of ways to guarantee that you would get pregnant.”

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After his words fell, the room became absolutely silent as everyone gave Vahn incredulous looks for saying something so ‘strange’ so casually. Even Tsubaki was taken aback by his words and didn’t know how to react. Though she liked to tease Vahn, and even considered playing around with him if he developed an interest with her, she never considered the possibility of getting pregnant. She had tried in the past and failed to do so and had long since lost the hope of having children of her own. Hearing a boy more than twenty years her junior confidently ‘guaranteeing’ he could get her pregnant made her completely unable to process the situation.

Thinking the silence was due to the unbelievable nature of his claim, Vahn pulled out the [Matryoshka of Fertility] and placed it on the table. He explained, “This is a special item that can create a seal on the abdomen that will guarantee pregnancy for the duration of eight hours. I’m not sure if it can work on goddesses and spirits, but it will absolutely work on a half-dwarf.”

Tsubaki’s eyes were drawn to the strange ‘doll’ that Vahn had placed on the table. It looked like a fat little woman and she couldn’t believe it had the effect he claimed. Thinking that he was just trying to ‘comfort’ her, Tsubaki smiled before laughing heartily and picking up the small object. As if to tease Vahn, she looked at the bottom and noticed there was a circle with what looked like a baby contained within. She asked, “So, you’re saying if I stamp this on my stomach, I’ll get pregnant if I have sex within eight hours?”

A gleam went through Tsubaki’s eye as she moved her hand as if she was going to stamp her stomach. Vahn saw the movement and his domain exploded and his reactions were pushed to the limits as he reached forward and snatched away the Matryoshka mere centimeters before she had completed her prank. His actions had caused Tsubaki to feel a strange sensation in her heart as she asked in a disbelieving fashion, “Wait, were you actually serious?”

Seeing the visible sweat coming from Vahn’s brow, Loki answered for him, “You should know that Vahn isn’t the type to be able to tell a lie. He can’t even mislead people well since his facial expressions give away everything he is thinking. If he told you that item can guarantee pregnancy, you should expect that is exactly what it does. My question is, how did you obtain that item in the first place?”

Before Vahn answered, Hephaestus spoke out in a loud tone, “This isn’t a conversation about pregnancy and making babies! We’re supposed to be discussing the matters of the negotiations and helping Vahn figure out what he wants to do!” Her words had caused everyone to turn silent for several seconds as Hephaestus calmed her breathing. Throughout the entire period of silence, she kept glancing at the Matryoshka in Vahn’s hand and couldn’t help but ask in a quiet tone, “Is that a single use item…?”

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(A/N: Alternate Titles: ‘Everyone, look under your chairs~! That’s right, everyone gets a baby!!!’,’Tsubaki nearly made a grave error’,’I wonder if Naaza is still holding Lili back?’)

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