Chapter 246: Family Planning

After they had calmed down quite a bit, both Vahn and Hephaestus cuddled together and talked about various things. Most of their discussions leaned toward their future family and the life they now shared together. When the topic of children was brought up, Vahn held Hephaestus as if she was the most delicate and precious thing in the world. Even though he knew she would be okay, he was worried each of his actions might cause something to go wrong. He even periodically checked to make sure every time Hephaestus move around quickly. Hephaestus enjoyed his sudden change and teased him plentily for his overcaring nature. Since she would still be working well into her pregnancy, treating her delicately now was pointless…though Vahn still saw fit to do so regardless.

As if she was already about to give birth, Vahn caressed her stomach lovingly as they discussed the name of their future child. No matter how much she insisted, Vahn wanted Hephaestus to come up with a name and wouldn’t budge on the matter at all. After pitching various ideas and explaining their meanings, Hephaestus decided to name their child Egan, if it was a boy, and Ina if it was a girl. Egan meant ‘Little Flame’ and expressed Hephaestus’s desire that he grow up to be like his father and provide comfort to others. Ina meant ‘Pure’, and Hephaestus wanted her to be a gentle girl that wasn’t burdened by fate and would always be free from the darkness.

Even though they hadn’t been born, Vahn could imagine a dark-haired boy with green eyes playing hero in a meadow while a cheerful red-haired little girl in a white dress followed behind. Though it wouldn’t likely be the case, Vahn pictured the two children to look like a younger version of himself and Hephaestus, except for the fact he imagined them both with his aquamarine eyes. Like Hephaestus, he shared her expectations and would do his best to help his son develop into a kind boy and, if he had a daughter, he would protect her from harm and make sure she had a secure environment to grow in without too many restraints.

As he had shown up early in the day, it was barely after 12 PM by the time their discussion had slowed. However, even though they weren’t doing anything presently, just experiencing the warmth and comfort they brought each other was enough to pass the time happily. They continued to hold each other while talking about whimsical things for several hours in a world of their own creation while the world around them moved along at its own pace.

When 5 PM came around, Vahn had a peculiar feeling of unease for a brief moment and it was noticed by Hephaestus. She placed her hand on his chest, where the ‘eternal flame’ had been happily dancing around since earlier. With a loving smile on her face, Hephaestus asked, “You miss her already?” Grasping her hand with his, Vahn looked apologetically at Hephaestus and explained, “Its just a force of habit…I don’t mean to think about others when I’m with you.”

Hephaestus laughed slightly without opening her mouth as a small smile appeared on her face. After kissing Vahn gently, she looked into his eyes and said, “Its fine, I don’t mind at all. After everything you’ve given me, I want to give a little back to you as well. As long as you don’t shun me for the sake of others, you can even bring them around or on a date with us. Ever since we first met, I had no expectations that I would be able to keep you for myself, and I know how much you’ve given up while trying to keep your promise to me…”

Removing the blankets and revealing her naked body, Hephaestus crawled onto Vahn’s lap before continuing, “If you’re feeling lonely, I’ll do my best to help ease your heart. Don’t feel bad just because I’m around, or you’ll just bottle everything up again. Talk to me, Vahn, tell me about all of your problems…” Reaching down, Hephaestus took a deep breath before gasping as she inserted Vahn’s p**** into her own v*****. Even after several hours, just the thought of uniting with Vahn would make her into a wet mess. Taking a few strained breaths, Hephaestus grabbed Vahn’s face and said, “They are our problems from now on…even if its other girls, I’ll always do my best to help you.”

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For the next few hours, between 5 PM to 9 PM, Vahn and Hephaestus continued to make gentle love to each other and used their breaks to talk about various matters. Vahn told her about the meeting with Take’ and that he intended to help the girl named Haruhime. She was supportive of his intentions and told him that, if things got difficult, she would help him regardless of the consequences. Even though she might not be able to take easy action due to the restrictions of the Alliance, a lot of that wouldn’t matter by the time they got engaged.

There was only a month left until the Denatus and it became public knowledge that they were a couple. Since there would be several goddesses of fertility present, she wouldn’t even be able to conceal that she is pregnant either. If it truly came down to it, Hephaestus was even willing to publicly announce it after making a few preparations…

Every time she spoke earnestly for his benefit, Vahn felt like the love he had for Hephaestus continued to grow. If he could see his own parameters for affection, Vahn imagined he might have even some major threshold in his feelings for this lovable goddess that would bear his child. Though he still treated her gently, Vahn decided to ‘reward’ Hephaestus’s affections for him plentily after the fact. Because of how late it had gotten, Vahn even stayed the night as the two continued to indulge in the love they shared well into the early morning.

Since Hephaestus had actually cleared out several days of her schedule, there wasn’t any work for her to do and they both ended up sleeping until nearly 1 PM. When they woke up, Hephaestus gave Vahn a passionate kiss before he pulled a large wash basin out of his inventory and the two shared a bath together. Vahn was still treating her body as a precious artifact and paid extra care to all of her needs. Hephaestus had never felt so blessed and, before they were even out of the bath, the two committed their love yet again within the moderately cool water. By the time the bath ended, because of the output of heat from their bodies, the water had mostly evaporated away into steam.

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After 3 PM rolled around, Vahn and Hephaestus were finally dressed after spending more than an entire day naked together. Though he hadn’t kept count, Vahn felt like they had celebrated their union more than twenty times within that period, even forgoing sleep until late in the morning of the next day. Even though she was already pregnant, a fact Vahn had confirmed more than a thousand times, he continued to ejaculate inside her because she commented about how warm and comforting the feeling was. Though he couldn’t understand it himself, Hephaestus said something about it making her feel complete.

Before leaving the workshop, Vahn and Hephaestus hugged each other for nearly twenty minutes without kissing or saying a word. They just spent the time idly enjoying each others warmth until it finally came time for them to part. Even though she had cleared her schedule, Hephaestus didn’t want to monopolize Vahn, especially since he had other things going on in his life. She still had to continue forging stuff, even though she had taken time off, or there might be complications with her body. After promising to visit often, the two parted ways after one final kiss and Vahn commenting that she can call him whenever she felt lonely. To counter his remark, Hephaestus placed her hand in the approximate location of her womb and said, “You have given me something so that I never feel lonely again…” If not for the fact they were already committed to other things, Vahn would have taken Hephaestus back into her office for another round…

The entire way back to the Hearth Manor, Vahn was in an incredible mood and he felt like he had somewhat been revitalized both physically and spiritually. It was a sunny day outside and Vahn felt like the colors of the world were especially vibrant and full of life. However, the happier he felt, the less complacent Vahn actually became. Though his mind was at peace and his body was incredibly relaxed, Vahn kept in a somewhat alert state as he casually spread his aura over every new face and place he passed.

Since he walked around in his Báihǔ form to escape the notice of the general public, Vahn would also briefly try to lock onto any scents that might match the charm in his inventory. Now that his life had changed in such an incredible fashion, Vahn was even more intent to save the unfortunate girl that had been unjustly separated from her home, family, and friends. If the people behind her current situation mistreated her, Vahn intended to bring them to justice to obtain some minor form of closure for the young girl.

By the time he reached the Manor, Vahn hadn’t picked up her scent at all, not that he expected to. The information that he had received from Take’ said she should be located somewhere near the red light district of Daedelus Street. Vahn had heard about it before and had been cautioned by several of the girls to avoid it whenever possible. Though he had never met one personally, Vahn had been given a few lectures about things like prostitutes, brothels, and slaves. Vahn couldn’t understand how anyone would willingly sell their bodies, but it had been explained to him that some people didn’t have a choice if they wanted to improve their lives.

Though Vahn didn’t agree with it, he didn’t think he had any right to meddle in the decisions that others had made. Of course, if he came across people like Haruhime that had been forced into slavery against their will, Vahn wouldn’t stand idly by. Since he knew that Haruhime should only be fourteen right now and had been missing since she was eleven, Vahn hoped that her presence in the red light district wasn’t any indication of her treatment. If it was…even Vahn didn’t know what he might do as an expression of his rage. Though he wouldn’t torment them, Vahn would either kill those responsible or turn them over to the authorities to make sure they are brought to justice. With the support of goddesses like Loki and Hephaestus, Vahn knew they wouldn’t have an easy life after their capture.

When he stepped into the foyer, Hestia was there with Fenrir wearing her standard black and white maid clothing. Since she looked adorable in that attire, Fenrir was often treated well and spoiled by everyone around her so she had grown attached to the clothes. Walking forward, Vahn pet Fenrir’s head while addressing Hestia, “Sorry for being late, but I do have some good news…”

Since Hestia had known why he would be late, she wasn’t too upset with Vahn for only arriving in the afternoon of the second day. She was just happy to see him back and also felt happy that her best friend had received his affections for such a long period of time. As she knew Vahn could see her aura now, Hestia was aware that he had likely seen through her cheerful expression though since he gave her an apologetic look even though he was obviously very happy. Even though she was trying to be understanding, Hestia was still somewhat jealous of Hephaestus and had been anxious that Vahn might not return for the entire five days.

Hearing that Vahn had ‘good news’, Hestia tilted her head to the side without losing her ‘cheerful’ smile and asked, “Good news~? You didn’t come to brag did you!?” Since Vahn had indeed seen through her, he wasn’t dissuaded by Hestia mock excitement as he leaned forward and whispered, even though there was nobody to keep the secret from, “Hephaestus is pregnant…” Hestia had expected Vahn to try and tease her, or that he might say something to coax her a bit, but she had never expected him to claim that Hephaestus was actually pregnant. Though she knew it was supposed to be possible with his [Enkidu], everything had been speculative up until this moment.

Even though she was still somewhat jealous, Hestia couldn’t help but feel excitement bubbling up in her stomach as she also responded in an excited whisper, “Is it really true!? How did you find out so fast, shouldn’t it take a few weeks or something?” In response to her question, Vahn used his [Eyes of Truth] and his aquamarine eyes began to glow a vibrant azure-blue from the center of his irises. He, still whispering, said in a confident voice, “I confirmed it personally, there is no doubt that she is pregnant.”

Hestia was now in high tensions because she already had a lot of trust in Vahn and knew how honest he was. If he was insisting that Hephaestus was pregnant, his glowing eyes were likely intended to be the proof of his claim. Though she wasn’t too sure, Hestia thought it had something to do with his Divinity related to fertility, as goddesses of fertility would often know if someone was pregnant almost immediately.

This somewhat confirmed the previous speculations and Hestia was giddy all of a sudden because she had trouble processing the implications for what the future might hold. She knew that Vahn would likely have several children, and many of them would be demigods. Hestia imagined a Manor full of children running about excitedly and playing tag and fetch with Fenrir out in the courtyards. She even, for a somewhat brief moment, saw an even chibi-er version of herself running around in a small white dress similar in design to her own…

Vahn saw the change in Hestia’s aura and the glimmer of light that passed through her eyes for a brief moment. Her affection, which usually hovered between 93-95, immediately shot up to 99 as her aura began to burn like a small flame. Before she could say something silly, Vahn placed his hand on her head and said, “When you’re ready, I’ll be more than willing Hestia. For now, don’t push yourself and support Hephaestus when you can. She is your best friend, after all, you should spend more time together when I’m in the dungeon or on missions.”

Hestia looked up at Vahn with sad eyes and saw that he was inclining his head toward Fenrir who had been attentively listening to their conversation. She was at a highly impressional phase of her mental development and absorbed things like a sponge. If they suddenly started talking about sex and making babies, Fenrir would likely want to know more and even try to get involved. Since they currently shared a bed together, there would be no easy way for Hestia to spend time with Vahn unless there were others over to tend to Fenrir.

Though she had been in high tensions and wanted to ask Vahn to make a baby with her as well, Hestia suddenly had enough time to reflect on what she was going to say as she began stroking Fenrir’s head as well. As Vahn implied, she really wasn’t ready to take that step and had no experience with the emotional investment of a relationship between men and women.

She was already quite jealous of other girls and knew it would probably get worse if they actually became a couple. If she did try to push herself and get Vahn to accept her, he would likely consent but it would cause problems in the dynamics between the rest of the group. Hestia was even somewhat confident that she could get Vahn to show her more affection than the other girls, but also knew it wouldn’t be fair to anyone if that were the case.

Releasing a short sigh, Hestia’s expression turned into a small smile as her aura began to stabilize. She looked up at Vahn and said, “I’ll talk to Hephaestus more…I will prepare my heart, so make sure you save a place for me in your’s.” Vahn bent down and kissed Hestia on the lips for a little while before saying, “You’ve had a place in my heart for a long time Hestia, I just don’t want you to put so much pressure on yourself. We’ll be together for the rest of our lives so you don’t have to hurry things along just because you’re worried. Just as you promised to always be here for me, I’ll never leave you behind…”

Hestia’s small smile turned into a genuinely cheerful one as she stroked her bottom lip with her fingers. Even now, there was a bit of moisture and the ambient heat they had shared between each other. Before she could ask for another kiss, Vahn had already chosen his second target as he placed his lips on Fenrir’s exposed forehead since he had seen the angsty expression in her eyes. She knew better than to talk when others were speaking and was waiting for a lull in the conversation so she could ask questions. Now that Vahn had given her the kiss she wanted, Fenrir gave a throaty laugh that sounded a little unnatural as she placed her paws over her forehead.

Looking up at Vahn, Fenrir’s eyes glowed a bit and she said, “Fenrir too, always together!” Not only Vahn, but Hestia laughed at her outburst as the three made their way towards the dining room to enjoy a nice dinner. Though she didn’t verbalize it, Hestia wanted to remark about how they already had a child between them in the form of the ravenous little wolf girl. They both took care of Fenrir and spoiled her while helping educate her; They even took baths together and slept in the same bed, just like a real father and mother might have done with their young child. With a smile on her face, Hestia squinted her eyes and felt like she already had a family…now she just needed to increase its size a bit.

(A/N: Alternate Titles: ‘Peerless’,’Unwilling Separation’,’Loki feels a disturbance in the force’)

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