After Vahn finished wiping down his body, he noticed an itchy feeling coming from his shoulder that drew his attention. Since he had read about the ecology and attributes of all the races, Vahn knew that Cat People secreted an enzyme from their mouth when excited which would cause a wound to close quickly but prevent it from healing fully. This was how they ‘marking’ ceremony usually worked when the female would bite their partner. It was supposed to ward off other girls by showing them that the male was ‘claimed’.
Since Vahn’s body could naturally filter stuff like toxins, it had the same effect when it came to the enzymes generated by Chloe. If left as is, his body would probably naturally recover and the scar would be gone in a few hours. While he was thinking about a solution, Sis said, (*You don’t need to worry about it as long as you want the mark to stay.*)
Vahn was surprised that she spoke out since Sis usually kept silent when he was interacting with others. Before he could ask, she continued, (*Remember that your body is comprised of Source Energy and your form adapts to the ideals and desires you have. As long as you want the wound to stay, it will not heal fully.*) Her words shocked Vahn because, if his deduction was correct, that would also mean that his body didn’t change unless he chose…
Answering his question before he could answer it, Sis explained, (*That is indeed the case, Vahn. Though you still age, your body doesn’t mature naturally in the same way as a normal person. Your constitution is closer to the gods of this world and, if you so desired, you wouldn’t physically age at all.*)
Vahn remembered that, when he first came to this world, Sis had informed him that his body was always his ‘ideal’, but he never really considered what that meant. He initially thought she was referring to his body when he first arrived in this world and never considered that it might be the case indefinitely. That would mean that the only reason he changed at all would be because the way he saw himself changed. The reason for his inexplicable growth spurt and the physical maturation of his body was because he wanted to appear more reliable to the people around him.
As if to confirm something, Vahn asked in his mind, (“Does that mean…I can change my body however I want?”) After his question fell, he could hear Sis laughing in his mind for a few seconds before she said, (*It has to be how you truly see yourself or what you genuinely wish to become. Unless your desire to change is strong enough, you wouldn’t be able to change form quickly.*)
Vahn released a relieved sigh because, if he truly could change however and whenever he wanted, he was afraid that he would lose his sense of self over time. It would be easy to get caught up in being what other people wanted him to be and it would cause his relationships to develop in a strange manner. It did give him a bit of hope about the future though since he had actually been someone concerned about his own p**** size. If he learned to change his own mental image, he should be able to make it ‘easier’ for some of his future partners to deal with.
As the thought passed through his mind, Vahn could hear Sis’s bell-like laughter in his head. He had never heard her act so unreserved before and he was about to ask if anything had changed. Expecting his question, Sis responded in a ‘cheerful’ sounding voice, (*Other than your Soul Tier increasing, nothing much has changed with myself or the functions I have access to. I was just laughing because your concerns were very cute.*)
Vahn tried processing what she had just said and wanted to retort that there had been some kind of change given how she was acting. She just assured him that it was a result of his own mental development so Vahn eventually accepted her explanation before turning his attention back to Chloe. Though it might have seemed like a lot of time had passed, he had been conversing with Sis for the few minutes when Chloe was trying to regain her breathing and organize her thoughts.
After he had gotten the notification for the quest completing earlier, Vahn noticed that Chloe’s gaze toward him had changed in a very subtle but impactful way. Even when she had 99 affection for him, it had always been something like [Trust], but now it had actually converted itself to [Love] when she reached 100. Though it was only a single point difference, it had a much more powerful implication with the inclusion of that word.
Once she had finally stabilized her breathing, Vahn helped wipe down the sweat off her body and the two eventually ended up cuddling together. For the first time, Vahn got to experience what it was like to genuinely hold a woman in his arms as Chloe entrusted her back to him while he embraced her from behind while they were both on their sides. Even though they were similar in height, Vahn felt like Chloe was much smaller than he expected since her figure was thin and lithe. When they both laid on their sides, other than her hips, which drew a captivating curve, Vahn felt like he was much ‘wider’ than she was. It made him feel a strange emotion like he was ‘protecting’ her, which was a notion also shared by Chloe who had quickly fallen asleep after she wrapped her tail around Vahn’s leg.
When she had done so, Vahn suddenly felt like he was stuck in this position for the rest of the night, almost like she was preventing him from running away. He laughed a bit on the inside as he rested his forehead against the back of her hair and enjoyed her scent without directly inhaling it. Since they had both been topless, Vahn enjoyed the warmth coming from Chloe’s back and the fact that they were able to hold hands while he embraced her from behind.
Because of the length of the story and how late Chloe had arrived, it was already slightly after the time when Vahn was supposed to enter the orb, but he believed Eva would understand the situation after a bit of coaxing. After waiting for Chloe’s breathing to transition into a deep slumber, Vahn removed the orb and held it in his right hand has he immersed his consciousness into it.
Eva had been waiting for his arrival, but she wasn’t mad at all since she knew about the things that had been going on around Vahn in the real world. Though she felt a bit exasperated when she found out the matter concerned a woman, Eva didn’t complain and just got Vahn to treat her with increased affection for the three day period. They spent a lot of time relaxing in the pond she had created within the castle’s boundaries and Vahn promised to find a way to bring in some live animals to populate it in the future if he could.
During this three day period, Vahn spent the majority of his time forging as normal, but there was also something else he had decided to do since the opportunity presented itself. Before he returned to the castle to clean up and tend to Eva, Vahn pulled out two small marble-like orbs into his hand and entered a period of silent contemplation. The dark blue orb with a yellow light belonged to Chloe, while the crimson orb with purple light belonged to Loki. They were each of the girls [Hearts Desire]’s and Vahn intended to use his time in the orb to use them both.
The only reason he hesitated was that, even after having a form of reconciliation with Loki, Vahn was still somewhat unnerved about her heart’s desire. Since he got to experience a bit of their past from their perspective, Vahn was somewhat afraid of what he would see within the small orb. He feared that, if things were twisted to a degree he couldn’t tolerate, he might not be able to approach Loki in the future even though he empathized with her.
His concerns about Loki’s desire also made him hesitate about using Chloe’s since it almost seemed unfair to skip over one woman and move on to another. After a bit of hesitation, Vahn shook his head after remembering everything Loki had been trying to do for him lately. She had made vows for him, lead the negotiations with Ouranos, and even promised to change her relationship with Hestia for the better. He couldn’t ignore her efforts, especially after she had explained the way Divinity works and had even allowed him to bind her with [Enkidu] just to prove herself to him.
Crushing the tiny orb in his hands, Vahn felt the air stagnate as time slowed to a crawl. Visions began entering his mind and Vahn saw a sight that would fundamentally change his perspective about many things…
Vahn, as Loki, was standing in a great stone pantheon surrounded by gods and goddesses with blurred facial expressions. All the normal colors and vibrancy of the world seemed dull and monotonous as she continued playing a never-ending game with all of the unchanging and egotistical gods around her. No matter how much time passed, even though they underwent various experiences, none of the gods and goddesses around her ever seemed to change. She too, suffered from the same curse, since she was always compelled to continue going about her day to day life creating new schemes and causing chaos in the godly community.
Though there were many people that she pretended to get along with, Loki hated every other god and goddess while feeling disgusted about her own existence. She felt like a slave that was bound to fulfill a purpose she had no interest in, but no matter how much she tried to change it and resist, she always gave in after the fear of death encroached on her mind. She didn’t want to disappear, because the thought of non-existence terrified her ceaselessly.
Millenia turned into eons as the monotony continued while she played the role fate had assigned her. She had various enemies and allies, but no matter how interesting things became, she would always be compelled to cause chaos and drive a wedge between the relationships she had without everyone around her. If not for her ability to exploit the Divinity of the others, Loki would have little to no interactions with other gods and goddesses.
As time passed, her hatred for her own existence and the existence of other gods grew to a level where it felt like she would be driven mad. She especially hates gods that didn’t seem to be influenced much by their Divinity and those whose Divinity brought them happiness. However, the more her hatred grew and the longer she lived, so too grew her fear of ceasing to exist. She didn’t want her life to be a waste where she had no accomplishments other than serving her ‘purpose’ in the grand prison of Heaven which was thought of as a paradise by the ignorant mortals.
If not for the fact that taking action would result in her destruction, Loki would have done everything in her power to forcibly change the monotony of her life. She desperately wanted to kill the other gods and create chaos in heaven. If she could, she even wanted the chaos to spread to the mortal world since she had long grown jealous of the ‘freedom’ possessed by mortals. If not for the fact they were the only interesting thing she had seen in her tireless existence, she would have tried to reign down judgment on them.
Eventually, a time came when one of the gods had discovered a way for gods to descend from Heaven and seal away some of the constraints of their own Divinity. Though she would lose the majority of her power, Loki was one of the goddesses that descended in the early batches so that she could experience life among mortals and finally escape her prison.
However, even though it was far more interesting associating with humans and she got the opportunity to experience a variety of unique forms of stimuli, Loki was still unhappy. She was still a slave to her own Divinity and it even influenced some of the children she had taken a liking to and forced them along a difficult path. If not for her desire to eliminate all the things that restricted her entertainment, Loki would have wanted them to lead a better life without being bound by her influence. Just as she was a slave to her own Divinity, so too were her children a slave to her whims, schemes, plots, and selfishness.
With her eyes turned toward the sky, Loki imagined what it would be like if she had enough power to destroy everything and reset the entire world. She wanted to destroy it all, the laws, the aspects of Divinity, the Gods, and even the Heavens themselves. The only thing she would spare would be the mortals of the world who put in so much effort to create meaning in their short lives. Even though they only lived for a fraction of her continued eternity, each moment of their life felt more real, more impactful, than anything she experienced even when living among them.
Loki hated the unchanging nature of the world, herself, her fellow gods, and the prison of eternity that threated any happiness she might seek out with absolute destruction. She wanted to escape from it all and find some way to break free from the endless cycle…
Eventually, as she was continuing the eternal cycle of her existence, Loki came across something new, something she had never expected to find. Even in all of the years she had lived in Heaven and amongst mortals, Loki hadn’t even considered the possibility of such an anomaly existing. Though she only thought he was a marginally more unique demigod at first, Loki quickly discovered that the boy, Vahn Mason, was something far more than her expectations had led her to believe.
After a serious of investigations and interactions with other gods and goddesses, she slowly obtained more information about the boy by using her own Familia as leverage to get access into his life. She was eventually able to strike a deal where she would be able to directly influence the boy, but that led to a result, a revelation, that she had never expected. After attending a meeting with some of the girls, women, and goddesses that sought out the boy, Loki learned about the boy’s origins and the existence of an item that transcended all logic. If the words she heard were true, she would be able to have a child with the boy she had taken an interest in and finally experience a truly dynamic change outside of her own influence and expectations.
Even if she had to change everything about herself on a fundamental level, Loki couldn’t pass up such a unique opportunity. For the first time in her eternity, she believed she may have found a way to escape from the endless cycle. She could finally see an end to the monotony, the games, the schemes, and the cycle of hatred that defined her life. If she could be with the boy, Loki would finally be able to experience a life, a sequence of events, outside her expectations and control. She immediately set out to guarantee this would come to fruition and hoped that the boy wouldn’t force her to do something drastic…
(A/N: I know some people might be a bit confused about this chapter, and you have to understand that Loki’s life and mental state are actually intentionally chaotic. An easy way to summarize her desires is: She wants to be free from the prison of her own Divinity. If she can’t be free, she wants to destroy everything and spare the mortals since they, though bound by their own mortality, live truly free lives only restricted by themselves and others.)
(A/N: Alternate Titles: ‘Be Yourself’,’Loki’s Desire: Hatred, Destruction, Freedom’,’Vahn opens Pandora’s Box’)