Chapter 375: Pressure

After getting around four hours of sleep, Vahn awoke feeling completely refreshed as he hugged the naked bodies of Tiona and Ais and enjoyed their warmth for a short while longer. Everyone present, other than Syr, was going to be heading into the Dungeon as per usual, so they didn’t have the luxury of sleeping in for too long. After sharing a few affectionate embraces, complimented by a healthy amount of passionate kissing, the group made their way down to the bath for a quick soak before heading outside to conduct the morning training. Seeing how lively everyone was so early in the morning, Vahn felt like things were going well and he was looking more toward the future every waking moment. Of course, as his happiness increased, so too did Vahn’s caution since he was very aware of the influence of karma on fate.

Because he didn’t want to worry about the matters alone, Vahn conveyed his concerns to Syr while the others were doing their morning exercises. He explained that he had an intuitive sense for when danger was approaching and had her pass along his message through the network to caution everyone to take special care while he was in the Dungeon. With the amount of power and authority the network had, there were few, if any, actual threats that could oppose them other than large organizations enacting evil and cruel schemes that targetted the weaker members of the Familia. Vahn never wanted an incident like what happened with Milan and Tina to happen again so, before he left for the dungeon with Emiru and Maemi, Vahn left behind the [Rallying Whistle] for Hestia so she could sound the call if anything happened on the surface.

Even though they drew a lot of attention, everyone left for the Dungeon at the same time and enjoyed casual conversation without much regard for the freezing air. Since Orario was the central hub for Adventurer’s, there were a large number of them present even though it was very early in the morning. Because Vahn was rather ‘famous’ in the City, he was easily recognizable, especially considering he was ‘surrounded’ by fifteen strikingly beautiful girls. Though he tried not to let it bother him, Vahn felt a little ‘guilty’ with how some of the other Adventurer’s regarded him. There were rumors going around referring to him as ‘Flower Picker’, ‘Lascivious Fiend’, ‘Maiden Devourer’, and ‘Perverted King’. Things didn’t improve at all after it became known he was able to help goddesses get pregnant, even though it almost made him an ‘untouchable’ entity within the City. Though they might resent him, there were few people that would proactively confront Vahn when the top three Familia were his backers.

Once they arrived at Babel, the group split into several smaller parties before preparing to venture into the dark depths of the Dungeon. Vahn was going to be training Emiru and Maemi, so they were their own group after it was explained how his [Mentor] skill worked. Ais was going to be entering with Haruhime, Mikoto, and Lefiya while Tiona and Tione were leading Naaza, Lili, and Milan. The final group consisted of Ryuu, Aki, Fenrir, and, acting as their leader, Riveria. Because of Vahn’s warning, none of the groups were heading lower than the 18th floor, since it would take far too long for them to return if something actually happened on the surface. Every group had at least one member of the Hestia Familia in it so, if Hestia used the [Rallying Whistle], they would all be alerted to the emergency and could head to the surface to provide support.

After splitting into their groups, everyone parted ways after all promising to take care of each other and ensure that everyone returned safely. Other than the younger girls, and Vahn himself, they all had experience with loss and knew how sad it was when a comrade lost their life. Vahn didn’t even know how he would be able to deal with such a severe blow and prayed earnestly to powers far stronger than anything in the record that such a thing never happened. Though he had ‘lost’ his mother in his previous life, it was before Vahn had even been aware of her existence. It wasn’t until his death that he was reunited with her memory so Vahn didn’t even know how to process ‘loss’ yet. Even the thought of losing one of the girls he was close to made a solemn chill settle in his mind because he was certain that things would never be the same after the fact…No matter what it took, Vahn would seek out the source and destroy it thoroughly.

Vahn escorted Emiru and Maemi down to the tenth floor with the two flanking him from the sides with happy expressions on their faces. They had been looking forward to this excursion since it was a rare opportunity to spend some quality time with Vahn without having any interruptions. There was also an expectation shared between them that, with Vahn’s presence, they would be able to achieve an incredible rate of growth so that they wouldn’t fall far behind Haruhime. Her rapidly increasing strength put a lot of pressure on the twins since they were older than Haruhime and had higher basic capabilities, at least in the past. Though their feelings didn’t rival Haruhime’s ‘devotion’, they also wanted to be able to stand alongside Vahn in the future and didn’t want to become a burden to the rest of the Familia.

After arriving at the entrance to the tenth floor, Vahn turned to the two and explained in a stern tone, “From here on, you’ll be going at your own pace to test the limits of your strength. The purpose of this exercise is to obtain the requirements for the [Hunter] Development Ability and, not to test your limits, but to exceed them. Rapid parameter development is impossible unless you undergo fierce trials so unless you are in mortal peril, I will not step in to assist you…also, you should know about the requirements for the ability and there is a fair chance that you may not be able to obtain it by fighting together. I’m hoping that the bond between the two of your circumvents this issue.”

The two listened to him with serious expressions on their faces without wavering in the slightest. They had the benefit of speaking with several high leveled girls and knew exactly what kind of effort was required to obtain true strength. If they weren’t ready to put their lives on the line, their journey would come to an end long before they reached their goals. Though they didn’t mind simply becoming maids, they weren’t willing to ‘only’ be maids for the rest of their lives. Their dream might be a little skewed compared to the norm, but they wanted to be able to follow a capable ‘master’ and have ‘illicit’ relations with him. If not for this slight delusion, they wouldn’t have willingly allowed themselves to be sold in the past. The monotony of the tundra, the cold and hunger they felt every day, were far worse in the minds of the twins than having to serve someone for the rest of their lives…

Meeting Vahn had changed their perspective quite a bit and they now desired much more than the life of a simple servant. Not only did he rescue them from the slave traders, but Vahn treated them well, bought them fancy clothing, and allowed them a great degree of freedom. He also helped develop their strength and had even strengthened the unique bond they had shared since they were very young. Emiru and Maemi couldn’t even consider a life without each other and Vahn had guaranteed they would always be together, even if it sometimes put them through stressful and dangerous situations. They had lived more in the last three weeks than the entirety of their sixteen years prior. It was better to stake their lives in hopes of reaching a better future than it was to allow themselves to stagnate and lose the purpose they had found for themselves.

After explaining everything clearly, Vahn nodded his head with a smile before reaching out and stroking the twins’ hair and ears with his hand. They both showed pleased expression on their faces which bloomed into wide smiles when Vahn said, “Though it might be a little shameless for me to say, I’ll make sure to reward the two of you plentily based on your performance…just make sure not to get carried away and make a mistake.” Just as he had done for Haruhime, Vahn had hidden an effigy in each of the girls’ pouches in order to protect them in the event something disastrous happened. Since he couldn’t afford a second one, Vahn had to ‘borrow’ the one he had given to Tione in the past. He felt a little guilty about asking for something he had given to someone else, but Tione ‘forced’ him to take it and practically shoved it back into his hands like it was a cursed object.

Before sending them off on their first trial, Vahn gave the two a set of heavy daggers that were of a much higher quality than their previous pair. He didn’t have enough OP to purchase unique weapons for them, but it didn’t prevent him from obtaining a pair of high-quality daggers from Hephaestus. Though she had willingly parted with them, Vahn resolved himself to forge a stronger pair for the twins before returning the weapons in a pristine state after they were finished using them. Vahn also helped to update the girls’ Status Boards so he had a proper reference to compare their growth over the next three days.

(A/N: This is the update for when they first unlocked Gemini and from the excursion down to the 18th floor in the past. They are still rather weak xD…)

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[[STATUS]]

Name: Maemi Rain

LV. 1

POW: I44->H178->G214

END: I45->H133->H169

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DEX: I31->G207->G273

AGI: I76->G259->F331

MAG: I19->F305->F382

Skill: [Gemini: Innate(E)]

Magic: –

Development Skill: –

———————————————————————————-

[[STATUS]]

Name: Emiru Rain

LV. 1

POW: I44->H178->G214

END: I45->H133->H169

DEX: I31->G207->G273

AGI: I76->G259->F331

MAG: I19->F305->F382

Skill: [Gemini: Innate(E)]

Magic: –

Development Skill: –

———————————————————————————-

Seeing their parameters, and the lack of any skills or magic, Vahn was somewhat concerned for the two’s safety. There were still many unknowns about the [Gemini] skill, and Vahn was hoping he would be able to peek into its secrets while they were progressing further into the dungeon. Before they fixed their clothing, Vahn hesitated for a short moment before releasing a small sigh and saying, “Wait, before you get dressed…I have something that will be able to help you.” Hearing his words, the twins turned around at the same time and asked in perfect harmony, “Yes, Vahn-sama~?” He wasn’t sure how it would affect them, but Vahn held out both of his hands and two small flame seeds appeared in his palms.

Vahn knew it was in for a great deal of pain, but pretended everything was okay as he explained, “These are called ‘flame seeds’ and they are produced by my skill [Prometheus]. By inserting this into your heart, it would greatly increase your potential based on the strength of your emotions…” After taking a deep breath, Vahn continued, “The rate of increase is tied to your feelings for me…so…umm…” Before he could explain further, the twins both showed similarly happy expression and shouted, “Please, Vahn-sama~!” Without hesitation, they both turned around and unabashedly showed off their snowy mounds with the little pink buds standing proudly.

Since he had been bathing with them recently, Vahn wasn’t too affected by the sudden reveal but he still felt a little awkward when he reached forward and put the seeds into their chest. Their faces turned somewhat flushed and they stared at him in what he could only understand as a ‘hungry’ look in their eyes. Vahn was entirely unaffected, however, because he was using [Will of the Emperor] to its maximum effect to resist the ridiculous amount of pain that was echoing through his body. Every time he used the skill, the amount of pain he experienced increased exponentially and now he was giving out two at the same time. If not for his preparations, Vahn had no doubt he would have blacked out the moment he touched their chests…

After a few minutes, the pain began to fade away as if it had never been there in the first place and Vahn looked into the flushed faces of the twins with a wry smile as he pulled his hands away from their breasts. He knew it would have been better to insert it from the back, but Vahn wanted to give them a bit of ‘motivation’ for their coming trial. Both Emiru and Maemi were sitting at 95(Amour) after having increased an extra two points during the last ten minutes. Their auras had flared up a great deal, but Vahn did his best to ignore the raging pink flames as he said, “Okay, three days may seem like a long time, but it’ll go by faster than you expect. We may have to spend a bit of extra time depending on how things turn out, so it’s better to start earlier…”

Though they weren’t the most educated girls, Emiru and Maemi were also able to see through Vahn’s expressions easily. Seeing his flustered state made the two girls laugh in an identical manner as they both squinted their eyes without covering their breasts. Vahn was slightly unnerved by their laughter and averted his eyes before disappearing from sight using Shundo. The two girls were familiar with the skill and began laughing louder as they fixed their clothing and prepared to venture into the dungeon with happy moods. Though he was much stronger than they were, Vahn was still nearly two years younger and he was susceptible to being teased even though he was practically surrounded by girls. Knowing they could get a rise out of him, Maemi and Emiru felt somewhat ‘proud’ of themselves as they resolved to do their best for the future.

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