Chapter 368: Management

The following day proceeded in much the same way as the previous one; Everyone woke up early, performed their morning exercises together, and then took a bath before enjoying a lively breakfast and breaking off into teams to enter the Dungeon. Vahn was still taking a break and had stayed home with the ‘youth troupe’ that had entered the tutelage of Riveria and Lefiya. Though he didn’t stand to gain much from the classes, Vahn still attended them dutifully in order to expand his knowledge on the subject so that he could make his own breakthroughs later. He then exchanged notes with Riveria and Lefiya as the three of them discussed magical theory while Vahn brushed Fenrir.

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When the girls started returning home from the Dungeon, they called their research session to a close and everyone started sharing their experiences for the day while enjoying each other’s company. Vahn did his best to spend time with various different girls during this period, but he had realized something that would most likely become a problem in the near future. It wasn’t that he acted uninhibited and did whatever he wanted in the past but, now that there were so many girls staying in the Manor, Vahn didn’t actually know how he should be acting around them. He knew that, if he showed affection to some girls, there were several others that would also seek his company and Vahn didn’t know how best to split his focus and make everyone happy. It seemed a lot easier to manage when everyone was apart but, now that they were all together, Vahn was at a loss and unable to take action…

—Network PoV—

Vahn wasn’t the only one who had noticed the problem as, since they outnumbered him quite a bit, the network had quickly caught on as well. Syr hadn’t expected Vahn to spend a lot of time with her after she started living in the Manor, but she was still somewhat bothered by the fact that he didn’t really approach her, or any of the girls for that matter, for anything more intimate. At this point, it was getting to be nearly an entire week since Vahn had any ‘relations’ with the women on the network and she knew things would become disorderly if the matter wasn’t addressed expediently.

Since her official ‘duty’ was supposed to help manage the affairs of the Manor, Syr had brought up the matter on the network and it quickly exploded into a lively discussion about possible solutions. They knew that the primary problem was the fact that Vahn had actually developed a certain degree of self-control and also had a strong sense of propriety. If he was alone with girls, he had a tendency to get out of hand, but he always acted sensibly when there were many around, especially if there were girls that weren’t in an active relationship with him. Vahn wasn’t the type that liked to pressure others and, because he didn’t want to make anyone feel left out, he simply ‘left everyone out’ and focused more on treating people kindly instead of intimately.

A good example of this was when Vahn was bathing with the girls and always tried to act calm even though that was actually the ‘abnormal’ reaction most people would expect. Syr had asked why he didn’t simply use the private bath if he felt uncomfortable and Vahn’s response had been along the lines of ‘I don’t want to make the other girls feel bad by using the private bath and making it like I’m avoiding them…’ Since he was terrible at lying, this showed that Vahn, even though he wasn’t in a relationship with some of the other girls, still treated them considerately in order to make them feel like they ‘belonged’ to the larger group.

The easiest solution seemed to be the simply have the girls move out of the Manor again, but this was opposed by a number of women and had been shot down early by Loki and Syr. Unless Vahn made that type of decision on his own, it would only cause him to blame himself for the outcome and put pressure on him to work even harder. Even Eina agreed with their decision and explained that it was actually very ‘normal’ for Vahn to behave this way when introduced to a large amount of change over a very short period of time. His life was already very fast-paced and somewhat chaotic, so having things happening outside of his control would naturally cause him to slow down and consider matters more seriously.

Though it was a strange metric to use, it was pointed out that it should be possible to determine Vahn’s ‘mental wellness’ depending on how much time he spent with the girls he wasn’t in a relationship with. The biggest indicator for this was Fenrir and, if Vahn was spending a lot of time with her, it usually meant he was feeling insecure and wasn’t sure about what actions he should take. Using this method, it was easy to understand that Vahn was struggling with the situation since he had been staying with Fenrir nearly the entire day after returning from the Dungeon with Haruhime. Riveria had even pointed out that, while they were discussing magic theory, Vahn had even been pampering her while only passively contributing to the conversation.

Syr brought up that the best solution should be to help Vahn regulate things without having him have to think about spending time with every girl. They had already been talking about creating a schedule and had even given Vahn logbooks so he could check the status of girls, but he hadn’t been using them ever since his return. This showed that, for the time being at least, Vahn wasn’t even thinking about ‘being’ with any of the girls. He couldn’t make them all happy at once, nor could he proactively make the decision about who to approach, so his subconscious response was to ‘avoid’ the problem.

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By creating a schedule and having him agree to it, Vahn would be able to take the actions he wanted to and it would also allow him to spend time with the girls in a structured manner. The only downside to this was, it might cause conflict in the future and it might make Vahn feel like his relationships were more of an ‘obligation’ or a ‘responsibility’. Though it likely wouldn’t happen for a long time, it could easily become a major problem after things persisted in the same manner for a few years.

The ultimate solution seemed to be something that had already been thought of long in the past, ever since before the first ‘Vahnatus’. Once Vahn got married, he would most likely defer to his wives on such matters and simply do his best to meet the expectations of the larger group while also focusing on the things he wanted to do. Vahn was a very curious boy, and his interests stretched a wide spectrum that included everything from cooking, crafting, forging, tailoring, and a variety of other hobbies. He needed to have his own time to do the things he was interested in, including adventuring into the dungeon and pursuing the goals he had set for himself. His only real problem seemed to be his ‘indecisiveness’ because, though he was empathetic by nature, he couldn’t ‘understand’ what people expected of him.

After discussing things for nearly four hours, the girls on the network came up with a few temporary measures to help make things easier for Vahn. Hestia gave her approval and agreed to work alongside Syr to manage the affairs of the Manor while Aki and Ryuu would take the primary responsibility of managing the Familia. They would all work together to find out what Vahn wanted to do since he was actually very receptive to questions and always answered honestly. After getting his opinion, they would make a schedule that best reflected his desires and would monitor him by focusing on his interactions with the younger girls. After the wedding, Eina would become the defacto leader within the Manor and work alongside Syr, though her primary focus would be taking care of Vahn while Syr’s would be taking care of Vahn’s relationships with the other girls.

Ultimately, they still left the decision for Vahn to make since his happiness was one of the most important matters to address. It was the consensus, by an overwhelming majority, that Vahn needed to always have the most ‘power’ to regulate his own life. Hopefully, as long as he was making the majority of decisions for himself, he would mature in time and things would become easier to manage. He actually matured very quickly and there was also the matter of the ‘orb’ within his possession that would eventually come back into the picture. They knew he was able to spend several days in there at a time and it should help him a great deal in the future if they have him focus on relaxing instead of working.

As for other concerns, it was decided that they would speed up the construction of Vahn’s private ‘retreat’ where he would be able to enjoy time away from the girls if he got too stressed out. They were also going to reach out to some of the men within the various Familia’s and have them spend some time with Vahn since he desired male companionship. Vahn got along very well with Gareth and Welf, but there were also several others that would either be good role models, or good friends to Vahn in the future. Since she had also been involved in the conversation, Aki threw out Raul’s name and Loki quickly agreed to it after a healthy amount of teasing. Though it was unlikely, the girls on the network wanted to increase the number of Vahn’s male friends to at least rival that amount of girls he was in a relationship with…

—Godhand PoV—

Unaware of the conversation that had been taking place in regards to his ‘happiness’, Vahn was currently sitting a large cushion with a number of girls lined up happily waiting for their turn as he used a variety of brushes to comb through their tails and hair. After dinner, Vahn had decided to spend some time with Fenrir and was conducting their usual ceremony of brushing and cuddling when Haruhime made a comment about how envious she was of Fenrir’s treatment. Surprisingly, perhaps because she had been in a good mood after spending so much time with him, Fenrir easily gave up her spot and allowed Haruhime to get brushed as well. Spurred on by the change, some of the other girls also showed an interest in getting their hair brushed.

Vahn actually liked pampering the girls in this type of manner, so he happily accepted the responsibility and ended up going through Fenrir, Haruhime, Shizune, Tina, Tiona, Ais, Naaza, Lili, and eventually Preasia. Unlike the other girls, Preasia’s hair was somewhat shaggy and hard to brush since it was slightly curled in various different directions. However, it was also much softer than he had expected and the combination of ‘shaggy’ and ‘soft’ culminated into what Vahn could only describe as ‘fluffy’. He took special care not to get the brush stuck since he didn’t want to pull her hair, and put in extra effort to get the areas around her horns. Though he would never shave her head, Vahn was very curious about how the horns grew out of the areas above her temples since they were somewhat large. Remembering that he could actually transform into a Sheep Person himself with [Thria*Mimos], Vahn decided to confirm it for himself later.

Once it started getting late, everyone went about performing their own routines to prepare for bed as Syr approached Vahn alongside Hestia, Ryuu, and Aki. They explained to him about what they had been discussing on the network and Vahn was very surprised since they had actually been coming up with a solution to the problem that had been on his mind since Wednesday. It was times like this that he truly felt grateful to the existence of the network and all the girls that were paying attention to his mental state and needs.

Vahn was more the type to help bear the burdens of others and wasn’t fond of reaching out for help since he thought he had a responsibility to do his best…even though he also knew it was also necessary to rely on others. He knew it was a bit of a contradiction, but Vahn didn’t know how best to deal with all the new things happening in his life. In total, he had only spent slightly more than eleven months in this record and this was after spending fourteen years trapped inside of a lab without any meaningful interaction with other people. A lot had changed in a very short period of time, so the sudden changes after the Denatus had just overwhelmed him for the moment.

After discussing matters with Hestia, Syr, Ryuu, and Aki, Vahn gave them the go-ahead to start trying to schedule and structure his life a bit. It wasn’t too different to his old schedule, and there were large blocks allocated to himself so that he had plenty of time to do the things he wanted, but the biggest change was in his ‘nightlife’. Unless he specifically wanted to sleep alone, or alongside someone in particular, they wanted to try and arrange a ‘rotation’ so that the girls could ‘recharge’ and share some intimate moments with him. They were also going to be creating areas that would be off-limits to the younger girls, as well as those not in an active relationship with Vahn, so that the girls could spend time together and make themselves more ‘available’ to his approaches whenever he was feeling up for it.

The way the ‘nightlife’ schedule worked was, every girl was put into a rotation and they actually had denotations off to the side of their names that showed what they were ‘receptive’ to. One example was, most girls would like to spend time alone with Vahn, but there was also a number that didn’t mind spending time with him alongside the other girls. In this instance, it showed the girls who were ‘okay’ with and Vahn was actually able to reach out to anyone coming up in the rotation to spend time with them, and their various pairings. The most noticeable members on the list happened to be the majority of the goddesses and Syr herself. They were pretty much okay with being involved with any number of people while Hestia only had the other goddesses and Aki within her list.

Vahn spent a fair amount of time going over the list with the four girls so that he was able to properly understand what everything meant. Afterward, he decided to give it a try since he really did want to spend time with the girls and strengthen their bonds with each other. Though he wasn’t sure how they had arranged the order, Hestia was at the top of the list and this meant that, unless he specifically wanted to sleep with someone else, Vahn had to start with her. He didn’t really mind, as Hestia was one of the girls he had the most intimacy with. Though he was tempted to try and see if she was willing to invite another girl as well, none of the girls on Hestia’s ‘list’ were nearby and Vahn didn’t want to ‘inconvenience’ them. Since it had been a while since they had been alone together, Vahn decided it would be nice to have a change of pace so he retired to his room alongside the excited goddess and spent some ‘quality’ time with her for around half an hour.

After she had fallen asleep, Vahn enjoyed the once ‘omnipresent’ sensation wrapped around his member as he relaxed against the comfortable pillows supporting his head. Though he didn’t regret only inviting her, Vahn had somehow forgotten that Hestia lacked ‘stamina’. Even though he hadn’t treated her intensely, she didn’t last for very long and Vahn did most of the work himself in order to make sure she enjoyed their time together before Hestia inevitably passed out. If he had invited Aki along, they probably would have gone at it for another two hours but it was actually nice to take it easy every now and then so Vahn just affectionately stroked Hestia’s silky smooth hair while enjoying the ridiculously soft sensation pressing against his chest where Hestia’s breasts were being smooshed against him…

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