Chapter 239: Restraint

After hearing Vahn’s words, Ryuu stroked the top of his head affectionately before stepping away from his back. Vahn turned around and they locked eyes with each other as Ryuu loosened the ribbon of her apron and let it drop to the floor. Seeing the expression on Vahn’s face, Ryuu displayed a small smile and said, “Don’t worry, I have already prepared myself. Let me take care of you for a little while.”

Vahn took a few long breaths and held his words as he watched Ryuu undress and remove her waitress outfit piece by piece. The green long-sleeved dress buttoned from the collar to the base and Ryuu quickly removed each of them before allowing the fabric to drop from her shoulders. Since she wasn’t entering the dungeon, Ryuu was wearing a pale yellow, somewhat plain, bra on her relatively modest breasts. Perhaps she hadn’t been planning to be seen since Ryuu’s panties were a peach colored pair with small strings holding them together. Though he had seen Ryuu’s body from the back, Vahn had never seen her naked before and, even though he still felt sad, Vahn couldn’t help but feel anxious as his heart began to beat rapidly in his chest.

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After fiddling around behind her back a bit, Ryuu managed to unfasten her bra and Vahn got to see her fair white breasts for the first time. He felt like they were slightly bigger than he expected as she had somewhat pale colored, slightly pink, protrusions situated almost perfectly on the snowy mounds. For the next part, Ryuu hesitated for a bit until Vahn looked into her sky-blue eyes before showing a small smile and saying, “Ryuu, I-” Before he could finish, Ryuu pulled the strings from the side of her panties and they too fell to the ground when she released them.

Vahn was going to say Ryuu didn’t have to go so far, but his words got stuck in his throat as he inadvertently caught a glimpse of her unveiled privates before averting his eyes. Unlike her green hair, Ryuu had somewhat golden colored hair on her pubic region and Vahn had almost wanted to ask since it seemed peculiar. Since she never seemed to miss his glances, Ryuu spoke out as if to answer his concerns, “I dye my hair to protect my identity…though it’s not really necessary anymore. Which do you prefer, green or gold?”

Hearing her question, Vahn turned his gaze to Ryuu’s sky-blue eyes and notice that her aura was relatively stable even though she was currently nude and only about a meter away from him. Considering her words for a moment, Vahn imagined what a golden-haired, sky-blue eyed Ryuu would look like. After a short while, he responded seriously, “I think I would be happy either way. If you like green hair, I think you should keep it. If you want to go back to your original color, I think that would suit you all the same. The most important thing is that you’re comfortable with your own appearance…”

Ryuu showed a slight smile before picking up her clothes and neatly folding them while Vahn watched her actions. He was already used to giving her compliments and having somewhat one-sided conversations. A lot of their interactions ended with her giving him a smile and then acting somewhat casually for a while until they started talking again later. Vahn actually thought her personality was somewhat therapeutic and cool since she was always taciturn yet had a gentle side to her. Combine with her appearance, Vahn thought Ryuu was a very interesting, very beautiful, elven girl…

Hearing his own thoughts, Vahn frowned before turning away from Ryuu’s exposed backside. She had a somewhat fit, albeit small, butt and very long legs that always drew his eyes since she often wore a pair of green shorts that could compete with Loki for how small they were. Though he hadn’t asked, Ryuu had told him she wore them because they were easy to move in. Since her combat style relied on speed, Vahn didn’t think she was wrong but wondered why girls wore somewhat revealing clothes just to increase their speed.

Vahn had tried wearing a pair of small shorts himself once, and it actually felt somewhat uncomfortable like it was hugging and restricting his movement. Perhaps it was just a difference between men and women that Vahn didn’t understand because of their differing physiques. Vahn preferred to wear somewhat loose clothing and had never been in a situation where they got in his way at all.

While he was distracted by his own thoughts, Ryuu walked over and stood right next to him and waited silently. Vahn snapped out of his reflection and looked over at her from bottom to top before fixing his gaze on her eyes. Understanding his confusion, Ryuu explained, “We can’t take a bath if you stay seated there.”

Hearing her words, Vahn blanked for a moment before realizing he kept getting caught up in his own thoughts. Releasing a sigh, Vahn stood up and began undressing while trying to remain calm and composed. He had long known he had a bad habit of getting lost in his thoughts whenever he was frustrated and had once again fallen into the same pitfall he tried to avoid. And just like the past, now there was another girl at his side helping him work through things because he was incapable of doing it himself…

Vahn released a long sigh and sat back down on the bench without fully removing his clothes. Holding his head with his palms, he said in a low voice, “Just give me a moment please…I’ll come into the bath in a few minutes.” Ryuu stared down at Vahn’s pitiful form and reached her hand out halfway before hesitating and pulling back. Before she turned around and went inside, Ryuu said softly, “Take your time…Vahn.” Though he knew she wasn’t looking back at him anymore, Vahn still nodded his head and sat in silence for a while.

After Ryuu left, Vahn looked towards the door and had a sad expression on his face as he recalled everything Ryuu was doing to help comfort him. Though it wasn’t his intention, Vahn felt like he was somehow exploiting her and, even though he knew it wasn’t the case, he couldn’t help but feel somewhat resentful of himself. Since he did like her, the fact he couldn’t focus on her when she was doing so much for him made Vahn feel like he wasn’t deserving of her affection at all. He wanted to treat her kindly and affectionately, but he was currently split between so many conflicting emotions and couldn’t break out of the mental loop in his own mind…

During his silence, Vahn heard a bell-like voice ring in his head, (*You like her, don’t you?*) Without raising his head, Vahn responded in his mind, (“Of course I do…I just feel like I shouldn’t do anything. Now that I’m so close to keeping my promise with Hephaestus-“). Before he could finish, Sis interrupted, (*How strange…I’m checking the system log and I can see that you already completed her Heart’s Desire already.*)

As if to flaunt it in his face, Vahn saw the notification pop up in his vision without his willing it. After blanking for a moment, Vahn said out loud, “But…she wants to have a baby…and-” Once again, Sis interrupted, (*Your expectations are a bit out of proportion Vahn. Even though I didn’t interact with her personally, I can tell that the only thing Hephaestus wants is to be together with you. At no point do I recall her saying she wanted to have sex right after you forged an item. I also can’t recall anything about her saying she wanted to have a baby immediately either…nope, I just checked all the logs since you entered the world.*)

The next thing Vahn heard was Sis’s laughter inside his head while his eyes darted about in recollection. He was trying to remember everything that had been said between him and Hephaestus and understood what Sis was trying to say…As if to affirm what he was thinking, Sis chimed, (*She was the one that sent Ryuu to you, but she didn’t tell Ryuu to do anything. Everything she is doing for you right now, those are decisions she made. You have to stop treating your relationships as a burden Vahn…you’ll break if you bottle everything up. Why else do you think so many people came over tonight when they thought you were in pain?*)

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Vahn looked up toward the roof where the two auras of Hephaestus and Hestia were located and remembered everything that had happened since he exited the orb. Because they were worried about his parting with Eva, there were several people that had come by to help comfort him. Even Fenrir, who wasn’t typically receptive to these kinds of things had been proactively trying to comfort him. When Hephaestus showed up, that had also been her intention but Vahn tried to change the flow of things after he gave her the ring. Even though there were so many people gathered for him, Vahn was willing to ignore them all just because he wanted to ‘fulfill’ his promise with Hephaestus.

The ironic thing, and the thing he had been overlooking even though the system clearly showed proof, was that he had already kept his promise. He and Hephaestus were no longer constrained by her vow and now Vahn could be together with her whenever he wanted…she could also seek him out and they could find comfort with each other just by reaching out to each other. He didn’t have to be rushing everything all at once, and he didn’t have to restrain himself because of a promise he had already kept…

As if giving voice to his realization, Sis said, (*Even Eva knew you needed to relax and sealed away the orb just to give you time to spend focusing on yourself. You’ve worked hard over the last few months, even when you were supposed to be recovering from a serious injury. You don’t have to keep forcing yourself to resolve everything immediately and should enjoy life more~! Can’t you see that everyone is worried about you?*)

Hearing Sis’s words, Vahn released another long sigh, almost as if he was trying to expel all of the tensions that had been building up in his body. As Sis had said, Vahn had been restraining himself a lot and even putting a lot of his relationships on hold while he was trying to fulfill his promise with Hephaestus. Now that he had already completed her heart’s desire, he should focus more on building a steady relationship with her. They would be together for the rest of their lives, and there was no longer a need to hurry things along. Since she was also open to him having other partners, Hephaestus had even allowed another girl to help comfort him just because she was worried about his mental state…

Standing up, Vahn removed the rest of his clothes while thinking about the various women that he had asked to be patient with him and knew things would probably begin to advance steadily in his relationships pretty soon. If he wanted to truly make each of them happy, Vahn couldn’t focus so much on bottling up his emotions and making promises that restricted his interactions with the other girls in his life. He had long ago made his resolve to communicate with them whenever he had difficulties, so there was no reason to keep trying to manage everything on his own especially considering they had already established a network even before he thought of it.

After folding away his clothes, Vahn’s melancholy seemed to melt away and a subtle smile appeared on his face as he looked toward the door that Ryuu had exited through earlier. Though he wasn’t sure how things would progress, Vahn didn’t want to keep taking a passive approach to everything. Resolving himself, Vahn walked through the door and spoke within his mind, (“Thanks again, Sis. I think I’ll try focusing on starting a family from now on…I’m a little excited.”)

(A/N: Alternate Titles: ‘JUST. DO. IT’,’I get knocked down, but I get up again, ain’t never gonna keep Vahn down!’,’Family Planning Isn’t A Joke Vahn’)

(A/N: Heads up, the interaction with Hephaestus will likely be 2-3 long chapters tomorrow. Just like with the Tiona/Ais rendezvous; it takes a lot of effort to write an erotica chapter and I don’t want to tackle them half-way through the day. Just a fyi~! Oh yeah, my word count for last week was 113/100k words (56 chapters of content). I think I’ll try to average around 120k if possible.)

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