Chapter 321: The Second Vahnatus (1/2)

Due to the large number of attendees, and the fact that ten of the members worked there, it had been decided that the second Vahnatus was to take place at the Hostess of Fertility. Unlike the first meeting, where there were eighteen girls in attendance, there were now twenty-eight girls that had shown up, many for the first time. This brought the total number of women to participate in the Vahnatus to an astounding thirty-four members, and it was a number that would inspire awe in many, especially since the majority of the girls were very beautiful.

The Hostess of Fertility had closed its doors to customers for the day and they had moved around the majority of the chairs and tables before linking them all together to allow for everyone to sit and discuss matters easily. This time around, those in attendance were Hephaestus, the ‘Goddess’ Representative, Chairman, and First Wife of Vahn, Eina, the ‘Mortal’ Representative, Vice-Chairman, and also the First Wife of Vahn. There was also Loki, the Spokesperson, and Negotiator for the entire group, and several members of her Familia including Tiona, Ais, Tione, Riveria, Lefiya, and Aisha. Anubis was also in attendance, but her entire Familia was still on an expedition with Tsubaki, so they were absent alongside Naaza and Lili. The largest ‘faction’ within the group was represented by Syr and it consisted of Mama Mia, Chloe, Arnya, Lunoire, Mona, and to a lesser extent, Milan, Tina, and Shizune. Wrapping up the attendees, there were the members of the Hestia Familia including Hestia herself, Ryuu, Aki, Haruhime, Mikoto, Emiru, Maemi, Preasia, and last but not least, Fenrir.

Just as they had done so during the first meeting, albeit with greater efficacy this time around, Hephaestus, Eina, and Loki had everyone present agree to take a vow to protect the information discussed within and never disclose it to anyone outside of the group. As most of the girls had already made non-disclosure type vows, they quickly made the decision to do so, even though some were slightly hesitant and gave in to the pressure and momentum of the group as a whole. Since there were several new attendees, the matter concerning Vahn’s assumed origin was brought up yet again and, even though many of the girls present were already aware of his past, there were still several who got somewhat misty-eyed. For those just learning about it, it was quite an impact for them, especially in the case of Haruhime, Emiru, Maemi, Preasia, Mona, and Shizune. They all had tragic pasts of their own and had suffered no small degree of misfortune, but it was hard to imagine what Vahn had gone through before he finally obtained his ‘freedom’. All they usually saw when interacting with Vahn was a capable and understanding young boy that often pampered them and treated them with a respectful attitude even though they often pressured him a bit.

They weren’t the only ones affected greatly, as there was also one girl who had a somewhat blank look to her eyes with a gentle smile on her face as she processed everything she had just learned. Perhaps more than anyone else, Syr understood what it was like to be used and exploited just because of the virtue of one’s birth, and she heavily empathized with Vahn’s origin story. She had already made the decision to pursue and live alongside him, but these new revelations amped up her already firm resolve to ensure that they were able to be together forever. There was a powerful urge to ‘protect’ Vahn welling up inside her, and she was slowly analyzing each of the girls present as if she were evaluating their existence and potential impact on Vahn’s life…

After the ‘prelude’ was taken care of, the tone of the conversation underwent a large shift as the topics turned to somewhat happier, yet stressful, matters. Though it was already known by most of the girls present, the matter regarding Vahn’s upcoming marriage with Hephaestus and Eina was discussed in detail, including when and where it would take place. Of course, everyone present was invited to attend, and it would be a relatively private matter even though it would become highly publicized in the coming days. They then moved on to discussions about the Denatus, and it was revealed to the group that Hephaestus was confirmed to be pregnant with Vahn’s child. This was a massive impact on several girls, for a variety of reasons, because it was a significant event that would change the momentum in the group indefinitely while also causing ripples throughout the world.

Once things got to this point, though Loki was about to announce her own intent to get pregnant and their strategy at the Denatus, Aki had interrupted the conversation with an uncharacteristically bashful appearance as she claimed, “I’m…also…most likely pregnant with Vahn’s child.” Hephaestus, who had been the only other girl present with a [Maternity Band], wasn’t too surprised by the revelation, but it was a big impact on most of the girls present. Those that knew the biology of Cat Persons weren’t too surprised either, but girls like Tiona and Tione, were somewhat up in arms since Aki was their former comrade in the Loki Familia. Aki didn’t shy away from their somewhat playful rebukes as she just smiled and rubbed her belly with a satisfied look on her face.

Syr, once again, began to pay closer to attention to several other girls and also noted the lines of the [Maternity Band] that was being worn by Hephaestus and Aki. A few alarms were ringing in her head and a plot was forming within the depth of her mind to regain the momentum and bring things in her favor in the future. Though she had no intention of vying for the ‘first wife’ position with Hephaestus and Eina, Syr wanted to be a decision maker within the group and become one of the people closest to Vahn. Now that girls, other than Vahn’s ‘wives’, were beginning to get pregnant, she felt a little bit of pressure, especially when Loki expanded on their strategy in the upcoming Denatus. Not just mortal girls, but there would be goddesses trying to flock to Vahn’s side to receive ‘benefits’ within the future and it would destabilize her position and threaten the balance of the entire group if things got out of hand.

The entire time she was speaking, Loki had been paying very close attention to Syr and the two had locked eyes several times and understood, to a certain extent, what the other was thinking. It had already been discussed within the ‘leadership’ on the network, and each of the girls, Hephaestus, Loki, and Eina, realized the potential benefits, as well as the threat, that someone like Syr provided for Vahn and the network as a whole. Eina had already made her decision to act primarily in Vahn’s interest, to be something akin to his personal caretaker and ‘big sister’, while girls like Aki were meant to help manage things within the Familia alongside Hestia and Ryuu. Vahn still needed a woman to manage the interpersonal relationships on the network, as well as someone that was willing to organize his personal life so he wouldn’t be so stressed out trying to keep up with everyone on his own.

Though it could be managed by Hephaestus, Eina, and Loki herself, they all had other responsibilities and something akin to personal bias, either because of their disposition, or their Divinity. Hephaestus would always take to Vahn’s aide, but she was also busy most of the time managing her thousands of Familia members. Loki knew her nature, and she could potentially disrupt the established order within the group just because of the influence of her Divinity. Eina herself was a capable manager, but she was fully invested in Vahn himself and didn’t know enough about the girls on the network to easily influence things outside of the Manor itself.

Because of her nature, and her apparent devotion to Vahn, Syr was in the best position to have the greatest amount of impact on his life. They had already seen through her plot to essentially turn the Hostess of Fertility into a central component of Vahn’s existence ever since she ‘protected’ Milan and Tina in the past. She then began developing Vahn’s relationships with the other girls and slowly cultivated the habit he had of visiting the Hostess of Fertility nearly every day. When Vahn needed someone to look after him, she was the one that pitched the idea of sending over Ryuu, and she had also been the one managing the network and arranging the various outings Vahn had gone on. She also convinced Mama Mia to shelter the former slave girls and has been steadily developing everyone within the Hostess of Fertility to be more receptive to Vahn’s presence.

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Even Eina herself agreed that, of all the girls around Vahn, Syr was one of, if not the, most capable women in his life, even though she was only Level 1. She had a fierce intelligence, a rational mind, and seemed to be very devoted to Vahn. However, there was a very high chance she would slowly try to take control of his life over time just to monopolize his affections by even a marginal amount compared to the other girls. Since she was somewhat manipulative and had a lot of influence on the girls within the Hostess of Fertility, she was also one of the biggest threats within the group as a whole. If they truly brought her into the ‘inner circle’, other than Loki herself, the others might not even be aware of what had happened by the time she seized control. Of course, since Loki was present, they would serve as a restraint on each other for the foreseeable future. The biggest, and scariest concern was what would happen if Syr eventually worked together with Loki, or alongside the problematic Freya, who she already had a pre-existing relationship with.

These were important things that needed to be taken into considerations by those in ‘official’ relationships with Vahn, as they would impact, not only his life, but the lives of everyone within the network, as well as any children that may be born within the group in the future. It was something that had to be discussed in private so, for now, they focused on other matters including the potential aftermath of what would happen after Vahn’s ability to help goddesses get pregnant was exposed. Because of the ‘Tripartisan Cooperation’ of the top three Familia, Vahn would be able to remain relatively safe, even if there were any that harbored resentment or ill will towards him.

There was also the influence of the Alliance itself, and how they planned to restrict the information by forcing anyone that learned of the process to undertake a strict vow of secrecy. Since he would be a unique existence, the Guild would most like take Vahn’s side as well, as Ouranos was somewhat cunning but unable to directly oppose even a single one of the top three Familia, much less all three. He would most likely even try to ‘protect’ Vahn for the ‘benefit’ of the greatest number of people, but there was already a plan in motion to pretty much shut him down at the start.

Simply put, the ‘Tripartisan Cooperation’ wouldn’t even give him any room to maneuver on the matter because it was already the ‘common law’ amongst gods in the mortal world to not restrict the actions of children outside their own Familia. Even if he could make an argument for the ‘greater good’, there would be no actual justification he could put forth that would allow him to use Vahn to ‘cultivate’ demigods and ‘heroes’ that couldn’t be pointed out as blatantly selfish, and borderline evil. Since mortals had the freedom to choose how they lived, they were capable of great good, as well as great evil, so if someone got their hands on a child sired by Vahn himself, there was always the possibility that a powerful force would arise in the world that had a devastating impact on society as a whole. Imposing strict regulations within their own small circle, and taking care of the children as a collective, was the best way to guarantee that something didn’t go wrong.

Once the matter of the Denatus was discussed, the conversation took a somewhat strange turn, because the girls were actually beginning to anticipate the arrival of Vahn before lunch. Since they had been discussing things like pregnancies, the inevitable discussion arose within the group as Hephaestus, Loki, and Eina began to lay down the ‘rules’ and ‘restrictions’ that would need to be followed if any of the girls present decided to have Vahn’s children. For this part of the discussion, Fenrir had been asked to ‘guard’ the outside and wait for Vahn to arrive with Fafnir since it was generally understood that she was too mentally immature and unstable to have that kind of interest at the moment.

It was essentially laid out that, if a girl within the network became pregnant with Vahn’s child, they were required to stay within the influence of the network until the child had reached physical maturity. Since Vahn was something of an ‘anomaly’, his children would likely have various skills and abilities, some of which might have never appeared before in history, and they would need to be closely monitored in order to protect them from outside forces. There were several big restrictions that the girls would also have to agree to, and the matter would always have to be discussed on the network and justified, even if it was a child born of ‘mutual love’. The biggest restriction that was to be imposed was the idea that, unless there were multiple children born at the same time, that the girls would need ‘approval’ if they wanted to have more kids with Vahn. Since there were so many women around him, it would become an incredibly difficult thing to manage if Vahn sequentially got the same women pregnant over and over because of his ‘Fertility’ attribute.

Of course, there weren’t only restrictions, as there were also a lot of benefits that were also discussed. Essentially, any child sired by Vahn would almost certainly be protected until they reached adulthood. Simply based on Vahn’s nature, he wouldn’t be able to mistreat his children and was perfectly capable of providing a somewhat stable environment, and financial security to ensure the development of the children. They also had access to the other girls on the network for support, and they would be able to rely on each other to look after and care for each other’s children. Since he was likely going to arrive soon, they began to discuss why this was an important thing, as Loki made it known that Vahn was actually only capable of being ‘happy’ with women that were self-reliant.

For the girls that Vahn had placed ‘restrictions’ on, they understood what she meant better than everyone else. Because Vahn was required to ‘protect’ them, they were unable to break down his defenses and actually enjoy a proper relationship with him. He treated them well, and even showed them affection, but it was impossible for them to cross that final line, even if they wanted to. This was another reason why the girls at the Hostess of Fertility had something of an advantage, since almost every one of their original members was Level 4, or higher. The only exception was Syr, but she was in control of the entire group, including the Level 6 Mama Mia. Just like Eina, she was one of the ‘capable’ girls around Vahn that wasn’t a combatant.

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Since the matter was brought up, it started a discussion where the girls gave each other advice about what they could do to become more ‘capable’ and make an impression on Vahn. The powerful girls like Tiona, Ais, Tione, just talked about what they had done to become strong whilst the non-combatant girls like the Goddesses, Eina, and Syr, discussed the importance of things like education and having a sharp mind that was also receptive to change. Since there were girls like Preasia, who had no interest in combat whatsoever, it was important to understand that the path to becoming ‘capable’ wasn’t necessarily the path to obtaining strength. Knowledge, and influence, were arguably even more important than physical, or magical, potential.

Of course, it wasn’t an argument at all about the girls that had the greatest advantage to approaching Vahn. If they were strong, self-reliant, and ventured with him into the dungeon, it was almost a sure thing they would be able to eventually close the distance with him. As long as they put in the effort, Vahn himself would guarantee they could become strong. There was also the added benefit that, if they went into the dungeon alongside him, they didn’t have to worry about carrying a bunch of items, looking the drops, or worrying about staying clean and such other annoying matters. Though the fights were hard, adventuring into the dungeon alongside Vahn was closer to a date than an actual struggle, especially since he was prone to ‘rewarding’ the girls for their hard work.

When the matter of how Vahn ‘rewards’ people was brought up, it started a strange conversation that also included his moniker within the group as the ‘godhand’. It was an irrefutable truth, at least within the network, that Vahn’s ‘petting’ ability was inarguably the best in the world. Even experienced women, and goddesses, were completely helpless against his technique, and he was always especially affectionate with the capable women around him when they were in private. Aki had even brought up the matter of the ‘Heaven and Earth Convergence’ and mentioned that it was a ‘dangerous’ technique that she, even more than a week afterward, hadn’t been able to stop thinking about on occasion.

As they were talking, it was nearly noon and everyone heard an exclamation from the outside that brought a hush over the room as they all looked expectantly towards the door. Those with stronger senses had already started to smile and their reactions had slowly spread to the rest of the group as Vahn walked through the doors and looked over with a smile of his own. However, his smile collapsed almost instantly as a somewhat shocked expression appeared on his face and they were able to see his head nodding slightly as if he were counting everyone present.

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