Chapter 211: Desires (2/2)

After seeing Loki’s heart’s desire, Vahn sat in silence for more than an hour as he processed everything he had witnessed. Whenever he used a [Hearts Desire], it not only showed him the memories of the person but also allowed him to experience some of their thoughts and emotions as well. Even when he had used Hephaestus’s in the past, he wasn’t able to recover immediately since he had to process the ‘loneliness’ of millions of years of existence.

Though he had expected Loki to have suffered to an extent, Vahn was completely unprepared for his visions regarding her life. Hephaestus had disliked forging, but most of her trauma was related to her deformity and desire to find a worthy companion. Loki, however, seemed to suffer for simply existing since her Divinity required her to always scheme and cause chaos. She couldn’t trust anyone, not even herself, and she genuinely hated existence itself. If not for her powerful fear of disappearing and desire to break free from the shackles of her own Divinity, Loki would have likely ceased to exist long ago.

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Just as he had experienced with Hephaestus, Vahn couldn’t even begin to comprehend how difficult it would have been to live such an existence. He had spent a mere fourteen years as a prisoner with no hope of escape, not even death. Loki, however, had spent millions of years as a prisoner and was forced to act in a way that increased her suffering. She couldn’t make any real friends and was required to manipulate those that got close to her. Though it was a strange thing to empathize with, Vahn actually somewhat understood why Loki disliked Hestia.

Because Hestia’s Divinities pertained to the Hearth, Architecture, and the Home, it was almost guaranteed that any suffering or loneliness she experienced would be mitigated. All she had to do was act as the role of an observer that offered advice and support while other people did the majority of the work. Vahn even began to realize why Hestia was treated like a Goddess of Laziness after making that realization. He imagined what it would be like from Loki’s perspective when she realized he would be joining the Hestia Familia in the future…it made sense why she would be angry.

This didn’t mean that Vahn would treat Hestia any differently, however, since her personality aligned with what Vahn considered to be ideal. He remembered that Hestia always worked hard and put her best efforts into supporting those she cared about, at least in the mortal world. Vahn wanted to bring the two of them closer in the future since, if he could get Hestia to empathize with Loki, she might actually experience what its like to have a genuine friend. Vahn also hoped that, by the time Loki had a child, he would have discovered a way to divert the focus of her Divinity and channel it into something tamer than Trickery, Mischief, and Chaos.

After calming his mind a bit, Vahn looked at the dark blue orb in his hand before promptly crushing it as well. The same feeling of time freezing occurred and, for the second time in a single day, Vahn entered into the visions of a [Hearts Desire], this time for Chloe.

When Vahn awoke in the visionary space, he realized it was similar to the time he had met with Nanu, except for the fact that he couldn’t see Chloe anywhere in sight. He turned his head and inspected the shards and images floating through space and realized many of the scenes contained within were similar events to what Chloe had described earlier. He could see versions of her at varying ages and watched her go through the process of being molded into an assassin.

Though there were no sounds, Vahn did get to see an image of the goddess of Chloe’s former Familia. She was a tall goddess with short red hair and completely black eyes that seemed to absorb light. Her attire consisted of leather clothing with various straps and pockets, and she had more than ten daggers just based on what Vahn could see. Though her eyes looked completely devoid of emotions, it was her smile that unsettled Vahn the most.

The way she looked at the young Chloe was very similar to how Dr. Keenly had always looked at him in the past. Though it appeared amiable on the surface, it was the smile of someone that had a complete grasp of the situation and had grown accustomed to exploiting others. If not for the fact Vahn knew her behavior was related to her Divinity, he would have made a personal vow to oppose the cruel looking goddess in the future. Unless Chloe specifically asked him, Vahn wanted to let her memories of that time fade from existence entirely…

After spending a great deal of time within the black space which seemed to ripple with every step he took, Vahn began to feel a bit worried and confused about what he was supposed to be doing. He had watched several of the images of Chloe’s past, but no matter how much time passed, Vahn never saw the avatar of Chloe anywhere. It wasn’t until he stopped browsing the images and sat down on the watery surface to ruminate over his thoughts that things began to change.

Though he hadn’t noticed at first, it wasn’t long before Vahn saw the images within the space begin to break down and deteriorate and Vahn felt like it was similar to the time when he had watched his own memories fade after his first death. The more attention he paid the images, the longer they remained but, the moment he turned away, they would begin to break down into particles of light.

Vahn began to worry a little because he didn’t know what would happen if all the images faded and he was unable to find Chloe. If not for the fact that he had seen Nanu’s images break down previously, he likely would have been experiencing a great deal of panic. He had talked to the young chienthrope after the matter and she seemed to be able to recall her past easily, so Vahn assumed the visions he was currently seeing had more to do with ‘The Path’ than the actual persons themselves.

After a period of what felt like several days, most of the images had ceased to exist when Vahn stopped focusing on them. By the time things had stabilized, there were only a few images in the space which Vahn hadn’t noticed previously. Curious, he began to browse through them since they didn’t seem to be deteriorating like the memories from before.

Though he didn’t recognize everyone in the images, Vahn saw several of the girls from the Hostess of Fertility interacting with a cheerful looking Chloe. Unlike the sad and lonely memories of the past, all of the remaining images seemed to be of more happy times. Even though there were still occasions where Chloe took on missions, Vahn noticed she had always been doing so to help others. He even saw her playing with children outside an orphanage while being accompanied by Syr.

As he moved further ahead in the images, Vahn even came to the point when he had first met Chloe when he visited the Hostess of Fertility of the first time. Unlike the earlier happier images, that had white or blue glows to them, the images with himself had warmer colors likes yellows and oranges. He eventually even found the memory of their first date and got to experience first hand how awkward his behavior was from the perspective of another. His former self, though still handsome, looked like a homeless person that hadn’t practiced proper hygiene. When he saw himself in new clothes and with a haircut, Vahn saw that the images had taken on a somewhat rosy color for a brief moment.

The rest of the images after that were Chloe’s interactions with the people she cared about while he made brief appearances in many of them. Though he couldn’t explain why, Vahn felt happy as he watched the scenes play out, almost as if he was experiencing the emotions of Chloe at the time. Eventually, some of the images became tinged with pink and they were often the scenes where he had been spoiling her after awakening from his coma. He felt a giddy feeling as he watched them and he was able to understand that Chloe had been genuinely happy at those moments.

Her love for young boys and the thought of being spoiled by them was quite powerful and Vahn had the peculiar experience of looking up at his own face from the perspective of Chloe. It was strange because he seemed to be a lot more handsome than he remembered and his own eyes seemed to be like deep pools full of care, concern, and affection that made him feel slightly unnerved by the sight.

Finally, Vahn arrived at the night when Chloe was recounting her tale and recalling her past while being cradled in his arms. Though the scene was somewhat bluish in color, it was also interspersed with yellows and pinks which became more prominent as the scene played out. Vahn could feel all of the emotions experienced by Chloe at the time and also had the strange opportunity to experience the ‘warmth’ of his own caress against her back.

Suddenly, as he was focusing on the sensation, Vahn realized the caress wasn’t coming from the image at all as he turned and saw the nude figure of Chloe standing slightly behind him with a mischevious smile on her face. Though his eyes were temporarily drawn to her body for a brief moment, he eventually made eye contact with her as she began laughing in a playful manner. Without saying anything, she pointed toward the memory Vahn had been experiencing so he turned his head to continue watching.

After he had done so, the avatar of Chloe put her hands around his body and hugged him from behind. She rested her head against his back as he watched the scene continue and began to whisper in a low voice, “I don’t care about the past anymore…as long as I can enjoy this warmth. I want to see it…the future illuminated by your light.”

Vahn was listening to her words in silence as he watched the scene progress to the point where Chloe had mounted him after their misunderstanding. At this point, the scene had turned into a rosy red color with pink and yellow hues and Vahn could feel a happiness, unlike anything he had ever personally experienced. The version of himself in her memory seemed to brightly illuminate the dark room as Chloe leaned against his body.

When the Chloe in the image bit into the Vahn within, the avatar of Chloe hugging his back did the same in the black space. Unlike the painful sensation that he experience in the real world, Vahn could only feel the overwhelming happiness of the Chloe in front of him as well as the one behind him. Things continued all the way until the point where Chloe had collapsed onto the bed after their passionate embrace. Vahn noticed that, for a very brief moment, the luminance of the image had turned to a chaotic purple before he could hear the shattering of glass in the space around him.

The chaotic purple aura vanished and was replaced by a vibrant golden color that radiated pinks and yellows that made the overwhelming sense of happiness he had experience earlier pale in comparison. Vahn realized that the lights in the image were coming from his own body within Chloe’s memory and it brought him a powerful feeling of security. He could feel the avatar of Chloe hugging him tightly all the way up until the point where he hugged her in the memory.

The empty black space began to break down at a visible rate, but Vahn didn’t feel worried or concerned at all as he felt the comfort of both the Chloe in the memory being held by him, as well as the comfort he could feel right now as the avatar of Chloe cradled him in the same manner. The avatar of Chloe whispered in a cheerful tone, “You can feel it…we comfort each other and experience the same happiness. The light inside you drives away the darkness inside of me…so make sure to hold me close so I don’t get lost.”

As her words tickled his ear, Vahn opened his eyes and was once again in his workshop within the orb. He heard a notification sound within his mind, but he ignored it for the time being as he just dazedly ruminated over everything he had just experienced. After nearly half an hour, his emotions began to stabilize and Vahn looked within the system to confirm his suspicions. He felt like that black space full of memories was something that appeared when he already completed the [Hearts Desire] of a person and was able to confirm it when he saw the earlier notification.

//[Hearts Desire: Chloe Lolo] fulfilled. Extra parameter ‘Love’ unlocked.//

[Chloe Lolo]: Love 148(Devoted)

//Bond established with [Chloe Lolo]//

//Optional Quest Triggered//

[Quest: A Man’s Responsibility, Repeatable]

Rank: B-SS

Objective: Impregnate Chloe Lolo (0). Ensure a safe delivery; Current Children(0)

Rewards: 100,000 OP, 1x [Guardian:(Nameless)]

Failure Condition(s): Death, Chloe Lolo’s Death, (Nameless) Child’s Death

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Penalty: 200 Karma (0)

(A/N: Alternate Titles: ‘Vahn, Godly Stalker’, ‘Chloe’s Hope’,’The Optional Quest of Destiny’)

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