Chapter 317: Walk

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After around an hour, the twins began to wake up on their own and they both looked toward Vahn briefly before staring at each other. Vahn knew they were somehow communicating, but he decided to interrupt them and said, “The two of you made great progress, but it’s about time for us to head back to the surface. You can take the rest of the day off to do whatever you’d like.” Hearing his words, the twins’ rounded ears twitched and Emiru asked, “Vahn-sama, do you have anything planned for the rest of the day?” There was a small sparkle in their eyes, but Vahn disappointed them when he nodded his head and said, “Yeah, I was planning on visiting a friend of mine named Welf. I’m trying to put a few things together…well, you’ll find out about it later, probably.”

Both twins released a simultaneous sigh and Vahn smiled as he said, “Sorry, but I need to spend time doing my own things as well. Now that we’re not stuck in the Manor, I want to make the rounds and visit a few people I haven’t seen in a while. There is plenty of time to worry about other stuff later, so don’t get disheartened. The two of you should spend more time with Hestia, and the rest of the Familia, instead of just cooking and cleaning all the time.” The twins nodded their heads, but Vahn could tell they were still feeling a bit down so he said, “Well, I’ll make you some matching accessories pretty soon…”

The prospect of receiving gifts dashed away the mood of the girls and Vahn couldn’t help but show a wry smile on his face as he led them towards the surface. Because of their early return, it was slightly after 1 PM when they returned to the Manor, and Vahn left to change in his room before preparing to head out. He stopped by Hestia’s room and asked if there were any important changes before sharing a few affectionate moments with her and explaining his plans for the day. She knew he was probably trying to improve his relationships and make some ‘guy friends’, so Hestia didn’t have any complaints.

Vahn left the Manor and casually made the nearly forty minute walk to the Hephaestus Familia workshop district. Along the way, Vahn noticed that most people kept a fair amount of distance from him and he drew a lot of attention, even though he wasn’t escorting the girls. Because he was no longer disguising himself, many people easily recognized him because there had been fliers circulating around with his face all over the City. It wasn’t that he was ‘wanted’, or being treated as a criminal, people were just afraid that they would be a victim if they crossed him. The actions Freya had taken when dealing with the Ishtar Familia were rather excessive and, even though he didn’t have any direct involvement, people tied the event to him and his reputation had become somewhat notorious.

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The only thing Vahn could do was shake his head and ignore the bias people had developed against him. He still didn’t understand how people could so easily change their opinions and then use them as justification for how they treated others, even if they had never met before. Vahn thought it was rather ridiculous because he understood that, if someone controlled the information network, they could pretty much make anyone out to be a villain and the populace at large would believe the news without even considering the matter. He knew that everyone around him would probably react in the same way he had, yet they unjustly painted him as a bad guy based on a biased perception of the events that had transpired.

To cheer himself up, Vahn had decided to stop over at Tsubaki’s Manor and visit for a while before checking up on the Anubis Familia. He knew Anubis had been making the children train with the Hephaestus Familia recently and they were trying to improve their capabilities while Vahn was on his ‘probation’. They had the goal of trying to reach Level 3 by the time his probationary period ended and then the entire Familia would probably migrate closer to the Hearth Manor, while some of the pack would likely try to join the Hestia Familia itself.

After he arrived outside Tsubaki’s Manor, Vahn noticed her door was closed so he passed his perception through the building and confirmed there was no one present. He released a sigh before walking around the side path and heading towards his previous residence. Even though he wasn’t supposed to visit the ‘headquarters’ of the Familia in the Alliance, Vahn knew that restriction was primarily to restrain Hephaestus and Loki, and the Guild was currently treating him in a lax manner because of the approaching Denatus. If they tried to make a big deal out of things, they would probably find themselves in a difficult position once a few matters came to light and more gods became aware of the situation. Ouranos seemed like an intelligent god, so Vahn imagined he would sweep the matters aside and overlook small sleights.

Vahn smiled as he walked through the courtyard because he saw a familia aura moving through the foyer before exiting through the front door. The moment she locked eyes with him, Anubis showed an elegant smile before bowing and saying, “Welcome, my Master…would you like to come inside?” Vahn walked forward and casually began to stroke Anubis’s hair and large fluffy ears as he asked, “I can’t sense anyone here…are the children in the dungeon?” Anubis’s tail had started to gently waggle about behind her as she nodded her head and said, “They’ve been inside the dungeon with Tsubaki for the last few days. Though it isn’t anything large scale, they are conducting a ‘mock expedition’ with the Takemikazuchi Familia, Miach Familia, and Hephaestus Familia. Tsubaki is leading the group, and she had taken Naaza and Lili along with her so they can get experience working with large expeditions.”

Hearing Anubis’s words, Vahn felt like he was missing out on something that seemed to be pretty fun. He was glad the children, as well as Naaza and Lili, were working hard to become stronger, but he kind of wanted to be there with them. After shaking the thoughts from his head, Vahn said, “I can’t stay for too long, and I’m headed towards Welf’s workshop soon…” Anubis’s ears drooped a bit at Vahn’s words until he stepped forward when she had dropped her guard and embraced her from the front. As if by instinct, Anubis cried out, “Master…” as she fell into his chest and enjoyed the physical contact.

Vahn knew that Anubis was one of the most devoted and ‘loyal’ people around him, even though she was a goddess. She was also very receptive to his actions and he knew she had a bit of a deviancy in her personality and liked to be on the receiving end of things. Vahn caressed over the top of her dress at the area of her lower back as her tail wagged back and forth happily. He began using [Hands of Nirvana], though not too intensely, to rub her back as she clung onto his body and pressed her breasts into his chest. An amorous expression appeared in her beautiful face and her moon-like eyes turned watery before Vahn gave her a short kiss and said, “Thanks for working so hard Anubis…let me give you a small reward.”

Anubis nodded her head before nuzzling against his neck and the side of her face as if she were trying to ‘mark’ him with her scent. Vahn enjoyed the ticklish feeling as he wondered what he could do for Anubis that wouldn’t require him to spend a lot of time within the Manor. It wasn’t appropriate for him to do anything untoward while they were still in the courtyard since it would be a problem when the children returned if they picked up her scent. While he was lost in thought, Vahn felt a slightly hard object touch against him and looked down to see the collar Anubis was wearing. He briefly remembered the objects she had kept in her room at one point as a thought came to his mind and he asked, “Anubis…would you like to go for a walk?”

Hearing Vahn’s words, Anubis pulled her head away and looked into his face with a bit of confusion until Vahn pulled out an object that made her heart nearly explode in her chest. It wasn’t the same one he had taken from her room in the past, but Vahn pulled out a somewhat long ‘leash’ that would be able to fit around the clasp at the back of Anubis’s collar. Vahn saw that her eyes widened and that her breathing had accelerated quite a bit as her tail flapped about with a speed he had never before seen on the ‘elegant’ and exotic looking goddess.

After she calmed down a bit, Vahn attached the leash to Anubis’s collar and got to experience a very peculiar situation where he walked around with a beautiful goddess while having a leash attached to his wrist. It was almost unnoticeable if you weren’t looking for it, but the small tether made the entire situation seem strangely intimate. Even Anubis, though she maintained her composure, had a wavering light in her eyes to compliment the blooming smile on her face as she walked at his side through the small gardens of the residence. The scary thing was how rapidly her loyalty was increasing even though they were just walking around…

Half an hour later, Vahn eventually removed the leash from Anubis and her tail immediately calmed down to a steady rhythm as she said, “Thank you, Master…” Vahn swallowed his saliva as he reached out and stroked her ears for a bit and said, “It was an interesting experience…we should do it again sometime.” Anubis’s eyes squinted as a smile blossomed on her face and she said, “I’ll be looking forward to it…every day…my Master~.” She placed a heavy emphasis on the last word as Anubis leaned forward and did something Vahn hadn’t anticipated. Starting from his collarbone, Anubis dragged her tongue up his necked until she came to a stop at his cheek before kissing him once and stepping away.

Vahn felt a little giddy, but he showed what he wanted to be a ‘polite’ smile as he said, “I’ll come by soon…” They then parted ways, and Vahn felt a slightly cool sensation on his skin where Anubis had licked him since it was still very cold outside even in the afternoon. His heart had been beating rapidly for a while, and he was only able to calm down after walking for nearly ten minutes in silence. Though he knew she enjoyed the ‘walk’, Vahn couldn’t help but berate himself a little at having come up with the idea in the first place. Because she had agreed to it so easily, Vahn ended up following through with his suggestion, but not he had a few regrets since he probably should have shown a little more restraint. He didn’t mind taking Anubis for a ‘walk’, but Vahn was afraid that, if other girls found out about it, they would ask him for similar treatment. His reputation within the City was already somewhat bad, and he imagined it would only be worse if rumors spread around that he ‘walked’ his girls on a leash.

As if heading towards a bastion of hope, Vahn doubled his pace until he eventually arrived outside of Welf’s workshop. Vahn believed that, if he interacted with more guys, he would be less prone to his small whims and experimental personality. It wouldn’t be a problem if he pitched the idea and the girl refused, but most of the girls around him seemed to be ‘too willing’ to try and please him. Vahn knew it was because he took actions that cultivated their affection towards him, but it still felt like he was constantly walking a tightrope that would lead him to a serious fall if he weren’t careful. He now understood why Loki had told him to go to her if he had any strange thoughts and interests since she would probably let him vent out his urges and correct his behavior so it doesn’t become a problem…

After entering into the somewhat dark workshop, Vahn noticed that the cold faded away quickly and there were several materials strewn about all over the place. There was a small formation to alert Welf to the arrival of customers, so he came out from the back room of the workshop covered in soot before noticing who his guest was. Welf showed a friendly smile and said, “Hey man, welcome to my workshop! Anything I can do for ya, or did you come around just to hang out?” Hearing Welf’s amicable words, Vahn released a relieved sigh that caused Welf’s brows to raise. He looked into the eyes of the red-haired youth and said, “Welf, we should hang out more often…hahahaha.” Vahn began laughing, even though he didn’t understand the reason himself.

Welf looked at Vahn as if he had gone mad before placing his hammer on his shoulder and saying, “Sure, I don’t mind hanging out. If anything, I could always use a hand on my research if you’re not too busy. Unless you want to go get a drink or something, I’m not really too social if I had to be honest.” Vahn nodded his head and said, “Yeah, but if its alcohol we should wait until we gather more people first.” Welf cocked his head to the side and asked, “More people?” Hearing Welf’s question, Vahn continued with a smile, “Yeah, there is this ‘network’ that the girls have made that I’m not allowed to use. I was thinking of making a network of my own to include some of my friends, colleagues, and rivals. We can use it to exchange information and discuss problems and stuff. Though I don’t mind it much, it gets a little…stressful, to be around the girls so often.”

Hearing Vahn mention the problems with his ‘girls’, Welf frowned before releasing a long sigh and giving Vahn a vexed look as he said, “Vahn, how the hell are you able to have so many women surround you. I even feel like, in the few weeks we haven’t seen each other, that the number somehow increased even further…and this network…jeez man, what kind of life are you even living!?” Vahn released a strange laugh before he walked over and patted Welf on the shoulders and said in a low tone, “Let me tell you about it…”

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