Chapter 374: Intrigue : Cooperation

During the hour-long lecture, Vahn’s mind had wandered a bit as he started thinking about possible outfit designs that would be viable for most situations. Though he thought they looked cute, Vahn didn’t understand why so many girls wore skirts when they entered the dungeon. There was also a number that wore tight shorts, or things that could be removed easily and Vahn began to wonder about a practical solution. He wanted to do more things like this in the future, and it would spoil a bit of the surprise if he always had to tell the girls what kind of clothes to prepare. There was the option of simply packing a bunch of clothes for them in his inventory, but Vahn wanted a better solution that would also be able to protect their bodies.

Because his ‘imaging’ ability within his mind was nearly perfect, Vahn could visualize any of the girls he had seen naked within his mind. He could even find out the specifics of their body have Sis analyze the memories and this allowed him to perfectly estimate their ‘dimensions’ for the purpose of creating clothing. Of course, he still used the taping method just to verify things since many of the girls were still in their growth phase and changed marginally over time. Vahn figured the best solution was to try and crack the method about how godly raiments were formed since, when he asked Hestia about it, she didn’t actually know the answer.

According to Hestia, and Vahn verified this with other goddesses, they each had a specialized outfit they could simply ‘create’ out of nowhere. It was self-repairing, always conformed perfectly with their body, and even ensured they were comfortable regardless of temperature and humidity. Hestia’s was the flower-like white dress that she wore most of the time, but Vahn also learned that Loki and Hephaestus had outfits of their own. Loki’s looked like a black one-piece swimsuit with a strange red and blue pattern that looked somewhat ‘tacky’. As for Hephaestus, her raiment was a long-sleeved white top that only covered her arms, shoulders, and breasts, while keeping her abdomen and back exposed. She also had a pair of frayed blue shorts that barely hugged her rather plump butt. Part of the cheek still poked out under the shorts and Hephaestus didn’t like to wear it because it was way more revealing than she’d like. Vahn had also asked about Anubis’s raiment, but she, against his expectations, refused to talk about it…

Vahn had ‘inspected’ Hestia’s raiment several times, but he had been unable to actually understand the principles behind it. It seemed to siphon for the god’s divine power, but Vahn was unable to sense the flow of energy for divine power at his current Soul Tier. He could see the obvious effects when it was ‘active’, but Vahn couldn’t see through the energy itself and hadn’t found a way to replicate the effects. When he tried to analyze one of the petals from Hestia’s dress by inserting it into his inventory, Vahn was unable to do so because it was a ‘soulbound’ item. It was one of the few things he couldn’t store into his inventory, and it was the final indicator that there would be no ‘shortcuts’ to discovering the secrets contained by the raiment.

The lecture finally came to an end and the group started making their way back to Orario while Vahn was still ruminating over the matter. Since Tiona was sticking to his body, Vahn had actually been visualizing her in his mind and was ‘trying on’ various outfits and designs he thought were suitable for her. It wasn’t nearly as interesting as seeing someone dress up in reality, but it was very helpful to conceptualize basic designs and Vahn thought it was pretty fun. From his side, Vahn felt Tiona poke his cheek as she asked, “What are you thinking about so serious~?” Since he didn’t consider it an actual secret, Vahn smiled and answered honestly, “I was thinking about you…” Hearing his words, Tiona began to laugh happily as she hugged his body closer and drew a few glances from some of the other girls.

Vahn knew it was probably a good idea to explain things more clearly, so he said in a tone that was easily heard by everyone, “I’m trying to come up with outfits designs that I think would be suitable…something like an ‘all-purpose’ outfit that could potentially be worn under normal clothing. I am curious though, and since everyone here is a girl I wanted to ask why most female Adventurer’s wear skirts and shorts instead of pants and trousers?” There were various reactions from the girls, but the one who answered his question was Aki as she explained somewhat bashfully, “Ano…it’s because we’re girls, Vahn. We don’t have the same ‘capabilities’ as a man when it comes to relieving ourselves, so it’s more convenient to wear a skirt or something that can be removed easily…it’s also less restrictive and allows for ease of moment…”

Hearing Aki’s explanation, Vahn’s mind blanked for a moment as he looked at the somewhat awkward expressions of some of the other girls. Things connected in his mind and a vivid image of Haruhime ‘relieving’ herself appeared in his mind and he suddenly understood what Aki meant by the differences between males and females. Though he rarely had to use the bathroom, Vahn just had to loosen up his pants and everything after that was relatively easy. For girls, the ‘mechanics’ were a bit different and Vahn had never taken it into consideration even though it was very obvious.

Vahn wore somewhat loose clothing because, if he wore something tighter, it would feel very uncomfortable given his ‘anatomy’. Girls didn’t have that same problem and wore form-fitting clothing because it was actually more comfortable than wearing loose clothing that would rub against them uncomfortably…Even Riveria and Hephaestus, some of the few women Vahn saw wearing trousers, always wore very form fitting pants instead of the somewhat loose garments he often wore…

Though it caused a bit of awkwardness in the atmosphere, Vahn was happy for Aki’s honest response and he felt as though he had a minor epiphany. He had never really considered the factor of making clothes ‘easy to remove’ for such purposes, and it seemed like a very important thing he would have to account for in the future. Vahn needed to design something that was form-fitting, comfortable, breathable, good at regulating temperatures and was very easy to remove in the event of an ’emergency’. He had been experimenting with the idea of making a one-piece bodysuit to go under their clothing, but that seemed impractical since it would be hard to remove. There was the option of installing a zipper, or something similar, but there was a possibility it could break or tear, compromising the girls ‘dignity’ in the process. Vahn suddenly had the thought of Tiona’s outfit tearing open at the crotch from her intense movement and it made his brain buzz a little.

By the time they made their way back to the Manor, Vahn had come up with what he thought might be a solution. When Aki had been having difficulties with her outfit, Vahn had given her a somewhat form-fitting blouse that hugged her body closely. She also had on tight shorts, so her body was able to cut through the air without difficulty. This inspired Vahn to think about creating a form-fitting undershirt and a pair of shorts that would be able to layer together to make a seal. It would be functionally similar to a bodysuit, but it wouldn’t prevent the girls from being able to find relief in an emergency. He could make it, at the very minimum, two layers so that the interior fabric would be absorbent while the exterior would be watertight. There were several things he wanted to try now, and Vahn was very tempted to head directly to his workshop and begin working immediately.

Instead, Vahn chose to keep his promise to the group that stayed at the Manor and ended up, somewhat ironically, teaching the girls various beauty treatments while pampering them a bit. Vahn helped manicure and pedicure the girls’ hands and feet while also massaging their faces, necks, and shoulders as he helped brush their hair and style it up in a manner he thought suited each girl. His actions inspired the girls to get proactively involved and Vahn walked them through various methods to not only retain their beauty but also treat their skin and enhance their natural qualities. The more complex stuff needed ‘professional’ care, but there were various things they could do for each other that were very relaxing and also helped cement the bonds between everyone.

Haruhime ended up being Vahn’s ‘assistant’ for many of his demonstrations since she had the longest hair, fairest complexion, and was already emblematic of natural beauty and elegance within the Manor. Syr also put in a great deal of effort, not ‘assisting’ him, but following his teaching and helping some of the other girls try it out. Vahn got a bit carried away by the momentum and even started treating her like his ‘student’ and trusting her to take care of the smaller details while he performed the majority of treatments himself. Most of the girls didn’t mind helping each other, but they still wanted Vahn’s personal care moreso than that of another.

Haruhime was especially pleased by the turn of events and, even though she retained her reasoning, her eyes had turned a beautiful golden color that earned her a few compliments from the group. Vahn learned from Ais that Haruhime’s ‘transformation’ didn’t seem to occur when they were in the Dungeon, yet she was still able to make use of her ‘dance’ and ‘illusions’ to deal with enemies. This allowed Vahn to understand that her eyes, and the aura permeating from her body, were something exclusively directed toward him. Unless they were her ‘targets’, Haruhime’s allies weren’t susceptible to her illusions, but she seemed to have an instinctive focus on him due to her heightened emotions. Fortunately, as long as he used [Will of the Emperor], Haruhime’s ability wouldn’t work on him and Vahn could simply treat her the same as Syr, someone that had a natural ‘charm’ that he had to be cautious of.

Because of time constraints, not everyone had the opportunity to receive Vahn’s care which resulted in him giving a cursory wash of their bodies in the bath. Vahn was beginning to feel like the girls’ personal attendant, but tending to them like this actually made him feel happy, excited, and somewhat ‘proud’. Though they had various qualities, each of the girls were attractive in their own way and Vahn felt a strong sense of accomplishment knowing they had all gathered together because of his efforts. He couldn’t be with them always, so for times like this, Vahn ensured that he put in as much care as he could manage in order to assure them. Because he had the ability to see auras and affection, Vahn’s attentiveness was appreciated by the girls and was a very popular topic on the network after the fact.

Almost every girl liked to be pampered, and Vahn’s ways of pampering were unlike anything most of them had ever experienced before. He always came up with new and exciting things to do, treated them with care an affection, and showed an interest in their concerns and needs. Though his attention was constantly split between them, most of the girls understood he was putting in what could only be described as a superhuman level of effort. He even spent a great deal of wealth on purchasing cute clothes and, as if that weren’t enough, he even designed outfits for their future use and was also a [Master Smith] that was capable of making powerful equipment for their benefit.

Vahn’s ability to multi-task would break most people, and this was why a small number of girls were stepping up to cover Vahn’s ‘weaknesses’, chief among them being that he was just one person. Heading this was the proactive Syr and she was slowly converting several other girls to her line of thought in order to ease Vahn’s burdens in the future. The network was already self-managing, and many of the things that could be dealt with by the women were already taken care of without Vahn even knowing about it. However, this wasn’t enough since, when Vahn was ‘treating’ a large number of girls, he needed people to act as support. Spending several hours of his ‘recreational’ time dedicated to the girls would definitely be taxing with time, no matter how powerful his feelings for them were.

Syr’s intent was the ‘unify’ the group more and was making use of the list that had been given to Vahn in order to connect the girls together through their shared acquaintances and who they were ‘comfortable’ with. She didn’t have the intention of turning any of the girls into lesbians, but her experience with Ryuu showed that it would enhance the experience for many of the girls since it was a surefire way to break down their mental barriers and the defenses of their hearts. Just like they shared information, they should also share their thoughts, emotions, and burdens, all so that Vahn wouldn’t be the only person carrying everything himself. To ensure success, she communicated her intent with Hephaestus, Loki, and Eina in order to clear the idea with them before putting forth the girls from the Hostess of Fertility as candidates.

Each of the girls at the Hostess of Fertility had a trauma related to men and they had several years of experience working alongside other troubled girls to support each other. Since they were all unified through Vahn, it put them in the best position to help unify the other girls because they were all relatively intelligent girls with a lot of power and experience. Chloe was assigned to get closer to Naaza, Lili, and Preasia. Chloe was very experienced at dealing with Lili and had even become one of her emotional anchors in the past. They weren’t friends, but they had a much closer relationship than Lili had with the majority of the other girls. Chloe could also work alongside Naaza and Preasia because, though she wasn’t a pharmacist by trade, she was actually far more experienced than the two girls.

Ryuu was already close with Haruhime and Mikoto, but now her responsibilities extended to Ais and Lefiya as well. Ais had taken an interest in Haruhime’s rampant growth and had become something of a mentor to the young Renard, but her mentality was somewhat skewed and she wasn’t always the best person to explain things. Ryuu was very intelligent and could advise both of them while Lefiya acted as the ‘relief’ of the group since she was very attentive and supportive of others. Mikoto was somewhat anti-social, but she got close to anyone that was friendly with Haruhime rather quickly, so her inclusion was very natural and she could also benefit greatly from Ais’s guidance in swordsmanship.

Arnya was chosen as the mentor for both sets of twins which included, Tiona, Tione, Emiru, and Maemi. Though she acted ditzy most of the time, Arnya was a very perceptive girl and could easily get close to other people with her amiable personality. She and Tiona had a natural synergy with each other and she would be a capable mentor for the twins because of her battle instincts and the fact that she was a Cat Person, similar to the two girls. They hadn’t actually started training together yet, but Arnya would likely help the two grow much stronger in the future while Tiona and Tione also looked after them. Since they were also twins, the Amazon pair had taken an immediate interest in the two girls even though they were somewhat ‘competitive’ about it. Being two years older than Tione and Tiona, Emiru and Maemi felt a strong desire to grow stronger so they aren’t swept aside after having lost their ‘novelty’.

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As for Lunoire, and Syr herself, they simply got along with everyone in the group and tried to pay attention to the needs of everyone. Lunoire was very good with children and had already gotten close to Tina and Milan after they started working at the Hostess of Fertility in the past. She had a good relationship with Milan and was one of the few people that ‘understood’ Fenrir and was ‘allowed’ to brush her. Because she had grown up as an orphan, Lunoire had a soft spot for children and those that had suffered emotional burdens and trauma. She was highly empathetic and proactively listened to the girls, almost as though she had taken the position of surrogate mother and counselor in the group.

Though it had never been brought up on the network, it turned out that, among the 24 girls residing there, 20 of them had grown up without one, or both, parents. The only exception to this were the twins, who had been sold by their parents, Riveria, and Ryuu, who had fled from her family when she was very young. Ironically, this shared trait, actually brought the entire group together since they were all looking for a ‘family’ of sorts. Vahn was the unifying force for them all since his tragic past was something they could all empathize with and, since he was very empathetic to them, they developed a strong bond in a very short period of time.

(A/N: Not really NSFW, but I’ll put in a warning all the same…)

Dinner within the Manor had become a lively event every single day and Vahn enjoyed the atmosphere of everyone getting along happily with each other. They all shared what they had done during the day, talked about things they’d like to do in the future, and also spoke of any concerns they had without worry of being judged. Vahn learned that there was actually a ‘schedule’ among the girls which allowed them to sit with him during meals. Tonight, he had Naaza sitting to his left quietly while Syr sat to his right and proactively guided the conversations between the other diners. Knowing that he wasn’t the only one with a ‘schedule’ made Vahn feel a bit of relief because he knew the network was likely working together to sort things out on their own.

Vahn knew this was the main reason why he wasn’t allowed access to it, as there was a very high probability that he would try to be involved with any, and everything, the girls were trying to do to make his life easier. Knowing they were making just as much effort, if not more, than him made Vahn feel very warm inside and he decided to keep his earlier promise by inviting Tiona and Ais to his bedroom. Since neither girl had any ‘preference’ for others being involved, Vahn also extended an invitation to Aki, Ryuu, and Syr. He wanted to ‘apologize’ to Aki and Ryuu for his earlier oversight and Syr would ensure that the experience was greater for everyone present. She and Aki were very ‘capable’ of dealing with other girls and Vahn was curious how Ais would react to the foreign stimulus.

Though he had to wake up early the next morning to accompany the twins to the Dungeon, Vahn spent the hours between 8 PM and 1 AM tending to the five girls that had accepted his invitation. Things got off to a somewhat ‘sad’ start when Tiona took the ‘Fallen’ again, but Vahn made sure to take special care of her first before advancing to the other girls. Syr’s inclusion ended up being the correct decision since her aura spread to the other girls and increased their tensions greatly. She also helped tend to Tiona after the fact and ended up supporting her back while massaging Tiona’s diminutive breasts as they both watched Vahn tend to Ryuu, Aki, and Ais at the same time. Ais was a bit overwhelmed by everything that was happening, but she had opened up a bit by the end of the session and had even started making out with, strangest of all considering the situation, Ryuu…

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By the time everything had come to an end, Vahn had cycled through the girls more than three times each and still had stamina to spare before finally bringing things to a conclusion while embracing Tiona with the assistance of Ais hugging her body from behind and holding up her arms that had been bound at the wrists. Tiona had a somewhat ‘fierce’ look on her face as she firmly held Vahn’s hips against her body with her tyrannical strength. Vahn’s solution had been to hold his palms on Tiona’s butt and stimulating the muscles with [Hands of Nirvana]. Since she wouldn’t let him move freely, Vahn made her muscles spasm rhythmically and she moved her own hips under his guidance with somewhat scary moans resonating through the room. During this time, Aki was off to the side ‘educating’ Syr further in how to treat women as Ryuu watched the two attentively with her sky blue eyes…

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