Though Vahn usually internalized a lot of his reactions, when he heard Hestia’s words he couldn’t help but utter a quiet, “Eh?” The image of the mischevious goddess passed through his mind and Vahn imagined her laughing like a sly fox goddess for a brief moment. Hestia sat down on the cushion that had been used by Haruhime during the previous proceedings and explained with a sigh, “I…I called her over…I was thinking things might get o-o-out of hand tonight.” Hestia’s eyes opened wide at her own words and she gave Vahn a sidelong glance.
Vahn recalled the events of this morning and agreed that things might progress a bit further once the evening came unless something happened to change the sleeping arrangements. He might not have made a move instantly, but if Hestia tempted him again Vahn had decided to take more decisive action and progress their relationship to the next level unless she backed down. Now that an extra variable had been added to the equation, Vahn couldn’t help but ask, “Did you and Loki talk about something on the network?”
Hestia grabbed the sides of her head with a claw-like grip and shook her head fast enough to make her long twin-tails dangle about as she made a “Guuunununununuuuu~” sound as though she was very frustrated. After several long seconds, she managed to calm down and explain, “I want to ask Hephaestus for advice, but I grabbed the wrong quill! Why are both pens an off-shade of red!? Whyyyyyyy~?” Since the quills were usually color-coded based on hair color, or other attributes, Hephaestus’s was a darker scarlet red, while Loki’s was closer to a true-red in color. Though it wasn’t easy to mistake them, it was possible if someone wasn’t paying proper attention…
Vahn imagined what Hestia might have asked Hephaestus and quickly understood it likely had something to do with the events earlier in the week. If Hestia had actually sent a message to Loki regarding things like sex, Vahn could imagine the look on the mischevious goddess’s face and it caused him to frown a bit and say, “I told Loki not to rush things…even if she thinks you might be getting ahead of her, it doesn’t mean I’ll just…” Vahn couldn’t finish his own sentence because he started to recall everything Loki had been doing for him in recent history. He had just realized earlier that he hadn’t really done anything for her and had been feeling slightly guilty about things.
Hestia groaned slightly and corrected Vahn’s misunderstanding, “No, it’s not anything like that at all…As I said, I’m the one that asked her to come by after we talk about a lot of things.” Releasing a long sigh, Hestia continued, “I’m not good at explaining things like this, that’s why I didn’t bring it up before you asked. Wait for Loki to get here and you’ll understand…” Her words finished, Hestia fell backward as if she had been laying on a bed, but the only thing that would greet her if she continued to fall was a hard floor.
Though he was slightly distracted about the thoughts of Loki’s visit, Vahn saw Hestia’s actions and quickly swooped down to catch the airheaded Hestia. He supported her head with his left hand while wrapped his right arm around the front of her body and grabbing her waist. Successfully catching her, Vahn released a relieved sigh before smiling and staring into Hestia’s suprised blue eyes. She didn’t seem to realized what had happened yet until Vahn explained, “You almost just fell back onto a marble floor with your head…” Though she already had wide eyes, Hestia still managed to open them further as she recalled her previous actions. Just as she was about to enter a bashful, albeit flustered, state, Vahn leaned forward and gave her a short kiss on the forehead and said, “Be more careful. I might be able to heal you, but I’d much rather never see you hurt to begin with.”
Hestia dazed for several seconds until Vahn tried to help her stand. Coming to her senses, a glint of light passed through Hestia’s eyes before she reached up and grabbed Vahn’s head and pulled it toward her while he was still bending over to help her up. Vahn almost lost his balance and collapsed into Hestia’s breasts, but his reaction time had developed to the point that a normal fall wouldn’t catch him off guard. He reached his right hand under Hestia’s but and grabbed her back with his left hand as he kicked off the floor with Shundo and came to a stop holding Hestia’s body on the other side of the room.
Since she was very high on his body, Vahn’s face was still buried in her breasts as she wiggled back-and-forth in his embrace and smothered him a bit. After a short while, Hestia hugged his head a little tighter and said, “Uuuuh, Vahn, why are you so loveable sometimes~? Thank you for preventing me from falling…” Though it was somewhat awkward, Vahn nodded his head that was firmly planted in the soft, marshmallow-like, breasts of Hestia. Seeing his reaction, Hestia’s smile winded a bit before she whispered in a gentle tone, “No matter what happens tonight…please see it through till the end. I still feel like my heart isn’t ready, but I know that I love you…”
Vahn pulled his head away enough to stare up into Hestia’s hazy blue eyes that contained a slightly solemn light deep within. He could see her inhibitions, but also understood there was more than a small amount of love within her expression. Even her aura was burning like a slow, but stable, flame that oriented itself towards his body. Seeing her expression made Vahn’s heart feel a powerful warmth spread through his body that caused a smile to appear on his face naturally. Lowering her body a bit, Vahn promised, “I’ll do it Hestia…and I’ll make sure it is a pleasant experience that won’t leave any bad memories…I love you too.” For a short few minutes after that, Hestia and Vahn indulged in each other’s lips without things devolving due to passion and fervor. They just loosely embraced each other and partook in slow, gentle, small kisses full of care and love.
For the rest of the afternoon, Vahn lazily drew up diagrams of armor and weapon designs that might be suitable for the girls in the Familia. Since they were primarily agility-based fighters, Vahn knew most armor wouldn’t suit them but still designed things like bracers, leg-guards, breastplates, and a variety of different weapons they might use. It would likely be a while before they actually required the items, but Vahn wanted to start solidifying the designs now so he could change them based on the wants and needs of each respective girl.
Since it wasn’t a simple task to design the concepts for equipment, Vahn only finished three different diagrams by the time he picked up the approaching aura enter within his domain. Since gods and goddesses had much larger auras than normal, Vahn was able to tell that it was Loki and that she had shown up alone. Either that or she had left her escort outside the range of his domain and had continued the rest of the way on foot. Regardless, Vahn began cleaning up the designs and material that had been laid out on the table and prepared to make his way over to greet her. Since he was currently located in the annex behind the eastern wing, there was no way for him to greet her in the foyer, but he could detect that Hestia had arrived in his stead with some other presences accompanying her.
A few minutes later, as Vahn was making his way over to the study where they greeted guests, the presences other than Loki and Hestia left the room, probably because Fenrir had detected he was nearby. Since she had the same energy signature as himself, Vahn was easily able to identify Fenrir regardless of how many other people were around. He had seen her located near a diminutive aura that probably belonged to Preasia while she staid well away from Loki.
As the girls exited through the door, they all gave various different greetings to Vahn before making their way over towards the dining room and kitchen. Since it would be dinner time soon, the twins left with Milan and Tina while Fenrir accompanied Haruhime and Mikoto while dragging along Preasia. Though he wasn’t aware of it yet, Haruhime had taken to helping the girls learn to read a bit since she was very interested in reading books herself. Fortunately, after his discussion with Hestia, Haruhime knew well enough to avoid certain topics around Fenrir for the time being and just read to her normal stories about heroes rescuing damsels in distress.
After seeing off the girls, Vahn entered the room and was immediately greeted by Loki who had a large grin on her face, “Yoooo~! It feels like I haven’t seen you in a while, did you get even taller now~?” As if to check it herself, Loki rose from the sofa and walked right in front of Vahn and tried to check their heights by placing her hand atop her head and moving it across to Vahn’s. A small smile appeared on Vahn’s face and he grabbed her wrist and said, “My height hasn’t changed at all recently, so let’s put that matter aside for now. It’s…good to see you Loki.” Hearing Vahn’s words, Loki’s eyes opened a bit and she stared into his face before laughing slightly and moving back to the sofas, specifically the one where Hestia was sitting.
Vahn walked over and could see Hestia doing her best to remain calm, but could also see the vein in her temple gently throbbing with his enhanced vision. Loki had left enough of a gap between her and Hestia for Vahn to take the seat, but he sat across from the two goddesses to make the conversation flow more smoothly. Hestia saw his seat choice and tilted her head slightly before bounding over the hardwood table and plopping down next to Vahn. Before Loki could say anything, she grabbed Vahn’s arm and squeezed it against her right breast with a ‘victorious’ look on her face.
Against her expectations, however, Loki’s expression didn’t change at all and she just nodded at Hestia before asking, “So, do you know why I came here tonight Vahn?” Interrupting Vahn’s answer, Hestia exclaimed, “Eeeeeii~!? What kind of nonchalant reaction is that!?” Before answering Hestia’s question, Loki’s expression turned into a somewhat serious one as she looked toward Hestia and said, “I told Vahn that I would do my best to set aside our differences and work together from now on. Trying to compete with you would just cause problems for all three of us in the future.”
Hestia’s eyes opened wide and she suddenly felt like she had been behaving childishly and had just gotten scolded from her bad behavior. The victorious look on her face faded and became a somewhat defeated one as she released Vahn’s arm and tried to sit properly. Hestia still wasn’t used to the drastic change in Loki when comparing her present self to the past interactions they had between each other. Since she knew Loki better than anyone else, Hestia had seen how much effort she had been putting into reconciling their differences all while trying to protect Vahn’s interests.
Vahn looked toward Hestia and affectionately stroked her hair as he addressed Loki, “You have to remember, Hestia hasn’t had as much time to adapt to the mortal world as you have Loki. Other than spending time within the Manor, she hadn’t had many opportunities to experience much else.”
Hestia had a happy smile on her face as she enjoyed Vahn’s comforting touch and her aura stabilized by a great deal. Instead of clinging to him, she gently leaned against his body so Vahn placed his hand around her back and on her waist.
Loki’s smile returned slightly and she stated playfully, “I wonder if a day will come when you treat me gently~? I have to admit, I’m actually pretty jealous that Hestia gets to spend so much time with you.” Releasing a sigh, Loki shook her head and continued, “Anyways, there are a lot of things we need to discuss with not a lot of time. We don’t want to keep the others waiting for us and there is still much to do before the sun rises…” For a brief moment, Loki’s aura flared up before immediately stabilizing again.