Chapter 413: Emberwisp Silk

Early the next morning, though he hadn’t gotten much sleep the previous night, Vahn awoke to feel very refreshed. Contrary to how he usually slept, usually on his back with a girl in each arm, Vahn had actually slept in combined embraces of Tsubaki and Hestia. Being sandwiched by the two large pairs of breasts had been far more comforting than Vahn had expected and he slept so peacefully that he hadn’t even bothered to maintain his domain in his unconsciousness. When he awoke nestled between the beautiful brown breasts, surrounded in Tsubaki’s womanly fragrance, Vahn couldn’t help but hold her a little tighter in response. She had also awoken from the movement, so Vahn spent the first half-hour of his day hugging the motherly woman…

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After going through his morning ‘routine’, Vahn talked to the girls that were planning to enter the Dungeon and cautioned them to be very careful. He knew it was impossible for them to actually avoid entering entirely, as they all had a strong desire to become stronger, but showing extra caution would help to guarantee their safety. Of the two, Vahn had also informed Haruhime and Lili about his intentions to have them assist in his experiments in the future while also teaching them his unique magic system in the hopes they will be the first to awaken to its usage. His words caused a small stir in the group, but Vahn refused to take any more ‘disciples’ until he had a better understanding of the situation.

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He did, however, assign the girls into training pairs and wouldn’t prevent them from seeking pointers from each other. As for the actual requirements to be his recognized disciple, even though Vahn had a lot of trust in everyone, they had to undertake one of the more powerful vows within the ‘contract’ system of magic. The vow was known as the ‘Immutable Vow’ and, much like the ‘Eternal Vow’, it persisted throughout a person’s life. Unlike the ‘Eternal Vow’, however, it had no bearing on their actual soul after death and, if the girls somehow managed to go through reincarnation and retain their memories, they would be able to pass on the heritage they had obtained.

Vahn didn’t leave them to be the only ones to commit though, as he also made a personal vow to both girls in a small ceremony that everyone attended. It was a little awkward, as it somehow felt like a wedding, but Vahn didn’t mind as both Lili and Haruhime seemed to be very happy at the situation they found themselves in. They wanted something ‘permanent’ to show their status as his disciples, something that wouldn’t be emulatable by anyone, so Vahn ended up having to use his ability to create crests to carve a permanent ‘Mentor’s Mark’ onto the back of their left hands. He had thought to refuse at first but, seeing as how the crests could be hidden and revealed freely by creating a ‘key’, it would actually serve as irrefutable proof that they were his disciples in the future. It could even be an important method of identification for the network of tunnels that were going to be created under the Manor in the future.

After the somewhat short ceremony had come to an end, Vahn left the two girls to ‘celebrate’ with everyone else as he left for his own workshop. He wouldn’t be proactively diving into the Dungeon for a while, not simply because he was being ‘targeted’, but because he needed to prepare for his own wedding. He also wanted to get a better grasp on magic so Vahn had divided his schedule between forging in the morning, spending a bit of free time after lunch, and then researching magic in the evenings alongside Riveria, Lefiya, Haruhime, and Lili. Riveria was also going to be teaching standard magic to the girls that were interested but required that anyone learning had to dedicate themselves to it and not drop it partway. If they gave up studying, she would never take them as students again.

As for what Vahn wanted to work on for the foreseeable future…it was a secret from both Eina and Hephaestus and, even knowing they had already been having dresses prepared for themselves, he was creating designs of his own. Vahn’s understanding of dressmaking wasn’t up to par with the standards of the record, but he had a variety of knowledge from other worlds that he could adapt to fill in the blanks. As long as he put in the effort, Vahn could make suitable dresses to the two girls, even without having to retake their measurements. This allowed him to work in secret, and it would also serve as Vahn’s first ‘study’ into ‘forging’ dresses, and other types of clothing, to create powerful defensive items for the girls.

Generally speaking, it actually wasn’t that difficult to make equipment that used leather, hide, and even the carapaces of monsters to create light and medium armor that had high defensive stats. However, other than the fact that it used rare kinds of silk, Riveria’s ‘Elf King Robe’ was entirely made of standard, albeit high quality, materials. Since there were various outfits he had purchased from the shop that also had high defensive parameters, Vahn knew he would be able to make progress into the field with a bit of effort. Though it might take years, Vahn had an ambition brewing in his mind to be able to develop S-Rank lingerie in the future…

For now, he used the system shop to purchase various types of fabrics that he would make use of in the coming days. It typically took months, sometimes even years, for a completely new wedding dress to be manufactured, but Vahn only had two weeks. He believed that, with his high dexterity, the support of his system, and his [Master Smith] Development Ability, he would be able to manage the two dresses in time. He had already practiced a fair amount in the past and had several templates to work from so, after selecting a beautiful red silken fabric called [Emberwisp Silk], Vahn began working on the first dress.

To make the process easier, he created a mannequin that would probably cause Hephaestus to blush if she had laid her eyes on it. Vahn had discovered a very useful item in the past, known as [Memory Putty], which allowed him to infuse his energy into the material to change the shape into anything he could imagine. Since he had a ‘perfect’ image of Hephaestus, the mannequin matched her features perfectly, albeit in a matte beige color. Even Vahn felt a little embarrassed at the sight but managed to resist to urge to inspect it with his hands as he began to arduous process that awaited him.

The roll of silk that came from the system shop had precisely ten meters of fabric, so Vahn had plenty of room for experimentation since a single roll ‘only’ cost 2,000OP. Though drawing would help, Vahn could ‘visualize’ the designs he wanted to create within his mind to a startling degree of accuracy so, after imagining various different base shapes, Vahn began to cut the silk skillfully with almost machine-like precision. Instead of using a pair of scissors, Vahn had set out a length of the silk and was using an incredibly sharp ‘scalpel’ made of pure orichalcum. Its cutting-edge could be maintained by using [Whetstones] so Vahn had decided to use it instead of the magisteel scissors that sat pitifully at the side.

By the time Sis had informed him it was time for lunch, Vahn hadn’t made much actual progress on the dress. He had, however, cut out several pieces of fabric that he had been sewing together with as much precision as he could manage. He, fortunately, discovered there was also [Emberwisp Silk Thread] within the shop, so the sewing line was completely invisible at a glance. Vahn knew the final design would make them even more indistinguishable so he was very satisfied with his morning’s work. He would be able to get the fabric onto the mannequin tomorrow and could start the process of embellishing the dress to suit the beautiful goddess that had reshaped his entire life. The reason he had chosen the [Emberwisp Silk] was that it had nearly the exact same pigment of red as Hephaestus’s hair and eyes. He would also be accenting it with crimson since he wanted to show her that he found her eye, the very thing that had burdened her for so long, to enhance her beauty greatly…

Soon after he exited his workshop, Vahn embraced the patiently waiting Tiona and even surprised her with a long kiss. His workshop, unless he specifically invited someone in, was considered ‘off limits’ since he often completely lost himself in his focus. Tiona had been waiting outside for a while, so Vahn wanted to reward her patience. They had made plans the previous day about going out and having a bit of fun together, so Tiona had stayed back instead of venturing back into the Dungeon with the other girls. Though they could have all taken a few days of rest, Ais and Tione had accompanied the lower leveled members of the Familia into the Dungeon in order to protect them from any danger that might come their way.

After nearly three minutes, Vahn released the flushed-faced Tiona because he had sensed her aura was beginning to ‘turn’ and he knew he would be the one at a disadvantage if he pressed his luck. Tiona showed a huge smile on her face as she said in a cheerful tone, “Ehehehe, remind me to wait for you more often~. So, where did you want to go have fun?” Vahn shook his head and, with a genuine smile on his face, said, “Tiona, just spending time together with you makes me feel like I’m having a lot of fun. Let’s go wherever you want, I’m just happy to get some private time between the two of us.”

Vahn senses Tiona’s aura flare up again, but she managed to contain herself by giggling for several seconds and squeezing his neck a little tighter. She had been hugging around his neck while Vahn had, as she had taught him, been holding onto her waist as he pressed her body against his own. Once she managed to calm down, Tiona said, “I don’t really have any place I want to be, besides being right here with you, Vahn. Other than fighting, I never really put a lot of thought into other things…ehehehe~”

Hearing Tiona’s admission, Vahn blinked and realized this was as good an opportunity as any to actually get to know the loveable Amazoness better. She had been his ‘first’, the girl that had awakened him to the bonds between men and women while also being one of the most important supporters of his relationships with other girls. However, though he had seen her [Hearts Desire], and had talked to her a bit about her past, Vahn didn’t know much about Tiona at all. Now was a good opportunity to change that fact so, Vahn pulled the smiling Tiona closer to his body and whispered, “Tiona, let’s get to know each other better…I want to know everything you’re willing to tell me, okay? I won’t ask you to reveal any of your secrets, but I feel like we’ll be much closer if we talk more often…”

Though Vahn felt like he was being slightly invasive, Tiona’s smile widened a great deal after hearing his words as she rested her chin on his shoulder and said in a soft tone, “Vahn, past, present, future, all that I am will be open to you. If you’re the one asking, I will tell you everything…” Vahn inadvertently swallowed a bit after hearing Tiona’s words and she began to laugh cheerfully as he led her to an area where they could enjoy some privacy. The entire East Wing was presently Vahn’s ‘territory’ and the 2nd and 3rd story were completely off limits to the girls Vahn wasn’t ‘involved’ with. Though he hadn’t made any ‘use’ of it in the past, the area had been designated as the location a girl could stay if they wanted to have intimate moments with Vahn.

Now that he was heading to the area with Tiona, Vahn actually noticed there were other presences on the second floor and, using his [Eyes of Truth], he could see Syr lounging on a sofa while reading a book. He also detected Hestia’s presence on the third floor, but Vahn avoided the two girls for the time being and entered one of the smaller rooms that didn’t even have any furniture present. Nobody stayed in the East Wing, most of the time, so there had never been a need to furnish all of the unused rooms. Vahn set down a large sofa for their use and spent the next three hours snuggling up with Tiona as she told him everything he wanted to know about her past…

Much of what he learned was things he had seen in her [Heart’s Desire], which made since as Vahn was now aware that the images he saw when using the item were the memories close to the girls’ hearts. They were the things that ‘defined’ the women around him and this was the key reason Vahn didn’t want to continue ‘peeking’ into their hearts without learning from them beforehand. Since he couldn’t actually tell them the truth about his past, it felt very invasive and borderline manipulative if he was able to make use of such sensitive information to get closer to the girl.

Tiona told Vahn about her childhood, how she had grown up in Telskyura as a child born into the Kali Familia. She and Tione had been ‘offered’ to the somewhat emaciated looking goddess as warriors to be raised for fighting within the Coliseum. It was incredibly rare for twins to be born into the Amazon tribe, especially unique girls like Tiona and Tione, so they had a ‘novelty’ that attracted Kali. In order to stay together, they were put through various trials and trained in completely different methods of fighting in order to split them apart and pit them against each other. She wanted to understand which of the two sisters was the ‘superior’ twin, and reveled in the idea that they would eventually grow to resent each other. Kali, like many Amazons, only considered strength to be important. Things like beauty, kinship, education, and politics, none of these mattered to the small-statured goddess at all.

Though both girls had been exceptional fighters, Tiona was obviously the superior twin, at least when it came to raw fighting capabilities. However, no matter how hard she tried, Kali was never able to get the twins to fight against each other. Even when she manipulated Tione’s emotions, by treating her poorly in favor of Tiona, Tiona simply didn’t fight back at all when Tione tried to loose her resentment against her. Kali reversed their treatment and called Tiona a failure as an Amazon, but Tiona proved her claim to have no grounds by defeating every single Amazon within her own generation, including several from the generation prior. The only person she always lost against was Tione, simply because she would never fight back at all.

Over time, Tione had given up playing to Kali’s whims and the two twins became much closer and banded together to oppose the games of the goddess. With time, they were able to earn their freedom and received the right to leave the Familia and venture out on their own as adults seeking their mates. Amazons didn’t take age into consideration for maturity so, even though they were only seven at the time, they were allowed to leave the country as they had both already reached Level 2, coincidentally on the very same day.

Everything after that accounted for their various travels, the small towns they had stopped at, how they were treated with contempt and abhoration by normal citizens. Because they were very young, they initially had trouble finding a Familia but were eventually able to earn a place after defeating active members of the Caerus Familia. Though they were originally relegated to the role of Supporters, the girls continued to show their strength and had even defeated their ‘Captain’ who was Level 3 at the time. Unable to restrain the two girls, they began their journey as Adventurers until they got tired of the way they were treated by the members of their own Familia.

Even after ‘proving’ themselves through actual combat, they weren’t treated very well by the other members and their Captain, likely resenting them for shaming him, tried to have them perform demeaning tasks to embarrass them. Tiona had tried to bear the brunt of the ‘punishments’ so that they would have a place to stay, but Tione lost control and ended up thrashing the entire Familia. Tione’s actions had caused outrage and the twins were severely scorned by the public and had nearly been imprisoned on baseless claims. Tiona finally lost control when Tione had been ambushed by their former comrades and the two girls ended up reaching Level 3 in the resulting conflict before fleeing the town. (A/N: They don’t get exillia from fighting people, but you can still earn an achievement and earn the right to level-up through martial duels.)

Tiona and Tione eventually arrived at Orario, nearly three years ago, and had started searching for a new Familia to join. After learning their lesson in the past, they stuck together and quickly earned fame as ‘Familia Crushers’. Though she was very embarrassed to say it, Tiona also told Vahn about how they had publicly announced that they would not only join the Familia of the ones to defeat them, but they would also submit to the men that defeated them and become their lovers. They managed to fend off several disreputable types that had a propensity towards young girls, as they were both only twelve at the time, until they were eventually defeated in fair combat by Gareth and Finn. Tiona stressed several times that anything she had tried to do with Gareth was just because she wanted to be true to her word…

Vahn dismissed her concerns and just pulled the lovable Amazon into his embrace and decided to prove to her how little he was concerned about her previous ‘crush’. Like Finn, Gareth had never once reciprocated Tiona’s advances and had even completely shut her down very early on. Since Gareth wasn’t really her type at all, Tiona had it much easier than her twin, who had become completely infatuated with Finn after having been defeated by him. Now, by happenstance, Vahn had both girls at arms reach and could even spend intimate moments with the two girls, though he hadn’t really made any advances on Tione yet.

He was, however, fully capable of handling the giddy girl in his arms as he moved her to his lap, fondled her toned butt in his hands, and continued kissing her even after reaching the ‘danger’ zone. Tiona knew herself well and, while she was pressing Vahn to the sofa, pulled out a premixed dose of [Fallen] and ingested the contents before ‘attacking’ Vahn in the moments before the medicine took effect…by the end of their entanglement, Vahn was nursing a few bruises but it was ultimately Tiona who had ‘suffered’ at his hands for nearly a full hour before they had to draw their rendezvous to a close. Tiona had prepared several doses of medicine, but it was near time for the girls to start returning from the Dungeon and Vahn needed to meet Riveria so they could discuss the matters he wanted to research.

After helping her get dressed, as her body was still weak, Tiona said in a playful tone, though Vahn could sense the underlying seriousness contained within, “In the future, we should get Ais and Tione to come with us. I don’t think I can manage you on my own anymore~.” Vahn nodded his head in agreement as he kissed her on her cute little nose. He noticed she had also included Tione in her statement, likely as a result of having shared their past with him. Vahn had seen the melancholy in her eyes earlier when she had been talking about how they were raised under different teachers. Tiona had been taught by an Amazoness by the name of Argana Kalif while Tione had been mentored by Argana’s twin sister, Bache Kalif. Both girls were the Captains of the Kali Familia and Vahn had committed them to memory in preparation for the future…

(A/N: Alternate Titles: ‘Jebaited Title~?’,’Dressmaker Vahn’,’Quality Time with Tiona’)

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