Chapter 496: Various Rendezvous : Gathering

During the time Vahn had spent planting trees, the other girls had slowly dispersed to tend to their own business and to enjoy some relaxation, as the Dungeon atmosphere was somewhat tense. Many of them wanted to check up on the matters of the network while others simply wanted to explore the new Manor, something which Vahn also had an interest in. The only person around at the moment was Ryuu, as she had been setting up the formation with Vahn for around two hours. Terra had been taken away by Haruhime, which worried Vahn slightly, so they could explore the Manor and find a room for her. Vahn was a little curious about how she slept, as it seemed somewhat difficult to get comfortable with wings on her back, but he was certain to find out at some point.

When they were finished, Vahn and Ryuu stood in the clearing together in silence as they both enjoyed the warm rays of the sun bearing down on them, even though it was still a little chilly. Vahn hadn’t commented on it earlier, but Ryuu was wearing a green and white striped shirt and a pair of short blue shorts, a stylistic choice he didn’t quite understand. She didn’t often wear casual clothing around the house that often, so something must have changed in the time he had been away. Regardless, it still looked good on her and Vahn felt like a ‘casual’ Ryuu was very nice as well…

Since they were alone, Ryuu’s aura had gradually started to build up and her inexpressive face was touched with a light blush as a result of the tensions increasing. Taking the opportunity to get a little caught up with everyone, Vahn walked behind Ryuu and embraced her from behind as he muttered, “I missed you, Ryuu…” Though her body shook slightly at first, Ryuu calmed down quickly and leaned her weight against Vahn’s body as she angled her head and said, “I didn’t think it would be so lonely be separated for a few weeks…I’m glad you returned to us, Vahn.” Ryuu understood that most of the girls had felt the same way as her, while some had even greater anxieties to release. As a result, she wanted Vahn to keep that in mind so he didn’t ‘spoil’ her too much and lose sight of other important matters.

Though he understood what she was trying to convey, Vahn used his left hand to tilt Ryuu’s chin as he kissed her on the lips gently. She was a good 8cm shorter than he was, which Vahn found strangely comforting because it was almost like he could shield her entire thin body with his own. The ‘gentle’ kiss started off slow, but it didn’t take long before the two began to lose their reservations and Ryuu eventually had to separate from Vahn because of the awkward angle. She then turned her body to his and they embraced each other for several minutes until Vahn gently lowered Ryuu to the grass and comforted her body for just under thirty minutes…

When Vahn and Ryuu emerged from the forest, Ryuu’s face was marginally more flushed than normal and it would have been obvious to any onlookers what had happened. Though she went into the forest with a striped shirt, Ryuu came out wearing a white blouse and there was a light layer of sweat coating her skin even though it was somewhat chilly outside. As for Vahn, he had a perpetual grin on his face and felt incredibly refreshed and full of energy. To conceal her own embarrassment, Ryuu eventually ended up ‘sneaking’ into the Manor to calm down while also giving Vahn reason to tend to the other girls.

Vahn followed her back with his eyes and let them wander to her pert little butt that was now wrapped by a pair of green bottoms that were very suitable for Ryuu. He wasn’t sure of the reason, but Ryuu seemed to like the color green as many of the outfits she wore were either green or had something green on them. Even when she worked at the Hostess of Fertility, the waitress outfit was also green so Vahn had come to associate the color with her a bit. By the time she had disappeared into the Manor, Vahn turned his eyes away from her and scanned his perception over the front of the Manor.

As a result of the construction, Vahn’s domain couldn’t actually cover the entire building anymore. Even standing in the central area, Vahn’s domain could barely breach into the surrounding walls. The inner courtyard, including the bathing area, garden, and small forest, was an entire kilometer in length and width, which meant Vahn’s 515m wasn’t quite adequate any longer. Fortunately, this was 515m from him as a central point, when meant it actually stretched out for 1030m if he counted the two furthest points of his domain. (A/N: For those confused, Vahn’s Manor is quite massive, which is why it takes several minutes to move from one location to the next, even for these super-humans. Even with nearly 30 people living in it, its possible to move about without even coming across another person if you use uncommon routes.)

When he neared the back entrance to the central building, Vahn detected a presence that immediately caused a warmth to spread through his heart as he vanished from his location and reappeared next to the door before entering inside. Without making any detours, Vahn made his way to where three large presences were located alongside one smaller one that matched his own. After a short while, Vahn reached the commonly used study before entering inside and seeing the woman that had, not long ago at all, become his wife, Hephaestus. To match his own, Hephaestus’ smile widened greatly but Vahn could also see a slight flush on her face that made him sweat a little.

After rising from the sofa, Hephaestus walked over with hurried footsteps and the two embraced each other, almost as if their emotions were colliding together before intermixing. Vahn hugged her waist tightly as Hephaestus rested her head against his shoulder with a slight moisture touching her eyes. After a few seconds passed, however, she muttered in a very quiet voice, “It’s good that you’re so lively just after your return…but it makes me a little lonely knowing you went to another girl first. I almost felt silly making my way over as quick as possible just to feel your emotions for another girl…”

Vahn hugged Hephaestus even tighter and decided to be honest as he said, “I’m sorry, Hephaestus, but Ryuu looked a little lonely and it was a good opportunity…I’ll do my best to make it up to you several times over…” Hephaestus released a peal of laughter as she squeezed Vahn tightly and asked, “What are you doing for the rest of the day?” When she had learned that he returned, Hephaestus had wrapped up her current work and canceled the rest of her plans for the day. Vahn rocked her body gently, aware of the gazes that were being cast their way, and said, “This evening, I think we should all celebrate the success of the expedition…but there are a few hours until then and I can feel that three goddesses need my attention…”

Although Fenrir was present, and Vahn could feel her mild dejection, he still didn’t think she was ready for that type of relationship. When the time finally came, it would likely have to be a ‘private’ matter between them as well, as Vahn didn’t think she would be the type that appreciated ‘competition’ in the bedroom. As if she understood this, Fenrir ‘seized’ her brush back from Hestia before trotting off to find something to keep herself busy. Since she ran outside, Vahn felt like she was probably going to spend time with Fafnir and potentially even sunbathe with it. As for the goddesses remaining in the room, their large auras had expanded greatly as Vahn looked over Hephaestus’ shoulder and said, “I haven’t even seen my room in almost a month, care to join me?”

Though they had gotten in the mood, Hestia still had the wherewithal to inform Syr of what was happening and she informed the workers so they could begin wrapping things up for the day. Afterward, Hestia made her way to Vahn’s room alongside Hephaestus and Anubis while preparations for the evening celebration began around the kitchen with Milan, Tina, Maemi, and Emiru. As for Terra, she was with Haruhime, Mikoko, Naaza, and Lili as they were all ‘teaching’ her how to be a proper girl. Preasia was reading books within the Library while Aki and Syr were ensuring that the workers used the proper routes when leaving the Manor.

Many of the people within the Familia that focused on masonry, construction, and architecture were male and Hestia wasn’t fond of the idea of any of them trying to have friendly relationships with the girls in the Manor. Part of their contract, other than not being able to disclose the blueprints and passageways, was for them to only use designated passageways that would be decided by the representatives that were overseeing the work. As for those that were chosen for that position, they were Hestia herself, Syr, Ryuu, and Aki, each girls that had a deep relationship with Vahn and strong sensibilities.

As three was a bit of a ‘magic’ number for Vahn, he was able to satisfy each of them over a two hour period before they needed to join the celebration. Hestia had surprised him with her ‘increased stamina’, but she still didn’t last that long under Vahn’s enhanced prowess with his [Petting] Development Ability. As for Hephaestus and Anubis, they had seemingly limitless stamina and were able to fill in the rest of the time while Hestia rested. Since she had to be present for the celebration, as she was the goddess of the Familia after all, Hestia needed to be able to move her body. For the last hour, she simply napped in the bed as Vahn, Hephaestus, and Anubis eagerly sought each other’s bodies after the ‘relatively’ short parting. By the end of the event, Vahn was laying back with the sweat-covered girls pressing their buxom breasts against his body as he took turns kissing them both. Hephaestus’ belly had swelled by a fair amount now, something that concerned Vahn greatly, but she said she was just fine and had been associating with three different goddesses of Fertility lately.

Before they had begun, Vahn had confirmed her state for himself and could see two small bundles of life snuggled up with each other. Hephaestus said that the twins were both girls, as purported by Epona, and Vahn felt a great deal of excitement imaging his daughters running around the Manor together in the future. He wondered if they would have his dark hair, or if both girls would have the vibrant red hair of Hephaestus. Since he hadn’t taken the opportunity to meet all of his children in the Divination, Vahn had no way of knowing for sure and he lamented his own psychological state at the time. Had he more clarity at the time, Vahn could have obtained a great deal of information that could have been very ‘useful’, even if he forgot the majority of it.

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After helping the goddesses wipe down, not that it would hide the fact from anyone that would be present at the celebration, the four made their way down to the dining room where there were already several people waiting. The moment he entered, Vahn took a forehead to his diaphragm as Nanu slammed into his body with her tail wagging like a turbine as she said, “Welcome back, Master!” Though he had exhaled a bit of air, Vahn didn’t actually take any damage from her at all and actually had to relax his body to soften any impact she might have felt. He roughly pat her head and played with her ears for a bit as he said, “I’m back, Nanu, good girl…” Vahn felt like he was talking to a pet dog, but Nanu seemed pleased by his words as she rubbed against his chest as if she were marking him.

When Nanu was finally appeased, as she knew it wasn’t ‘proper’ for her to act out when there were people of much higher status than her present, Vahn sat down at the table and immediately found Fenrir stealing his lap. As if she were trying to cover up Nanu’s scent, Fenrir rubbed the back of her head and ears against Vahn as the small Chienthrope girl starred with wide eyes at the display. However, when Fenrir sent her a sidelong glance, Nanu immediately took a step back and stopped minding the matter since there was a ‘distinct’ difference in the ‘hierarchical’ relationship between her and Fenrir.

Though she might be Vahn’s future ‘mate’, Fenrir was Vahn’s cherished companion that would walk at his side for potentially thousands of years. Nanu knew from her discussions with Anubis that Vahn would likely live for a very long time, while Nanu herself would probably last less than a hundred years if she focused on staying healthy. As a result, she reshuffled her perspective of things and developed a bit of a deferential relationship with the girls that would live much longer than her, which had the goddesses and Fenrir at the top of the list…

By now, Eina had also awakened from her rest but she was watching over the Guild Counter until just before the celebration began. Without his other wife present, Vahn’s sides were taken by Hestia and Hephaestus as everyone began making small talk, though Vahn once again found himself as the focus. He learned that Hephaestus had finished a new workshop that was located in the same area as Vahn’s ‘clubhouse’ and Welf’s workshop. The reason for this was that Hephaestus still needed to manage her own store and take on clients, though she had also converted the forge in the eastern workshop to house her Eternal Flame. She would be selling the majority of the items she forged out of her workshop, but she would be spending most of her time within the Hearth Manor, something that Vahn was very excited about.

During the expedition period, the Hostess of Fertility had apparently hired several new girls as well since Chloe, Arnya, and Lunoire had all made the decision to join the Hestia Familia while he was away. They still worked at the Pub, though not nearly as much as in the past, this would likely change in the future as things start to pick up. After joining, they had been doing duo-missions within the Dungeon to slowly increase the rank of the Hestia Familia, which was now F-Rank, instead of I-Rank. With their addition to the Familia, it almost meant the average strength of the Hestia Familia was now near Level 3.

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Other than Chloe, Arnya, and Lunoire, there were also a few extra additions to the Familia that hadn’t really surprised Vahn that much. Though they hadn’t entered the Dungeon yet, Tina and Shizune had also joined the Familia during the expedition since there wasn’t really any harm in them doing so. If anything, they would be able to develop their parameters further if their Innates had any effect on their growth. Vahn hadn’t been able to check to see what abilities they had yet, but he would find an opportunity later to verify them. He knew that Tina, and likely even Shizune, would want to enter the Dungeon in the future and Vahn would feel a lot more confident if their Innates were combat related.

One of the biggest changes that had occurred over the last ‘month’ was the fact that the Alliance had expanded once again, and now included the Hestia, Hephaestus, Loki, Freya, Demeter, Eirene, Anubis, Miach, Takemikazuchi, and apparently even the Hermes Familia. Vahn wasn’t too surprised by the inclusion of Freya, and both Demeter and Eirene had shown up at the wedding, but Hermes’ addition was a bit concerning. Sensing the conflict within him, Hephaestus had explained, “Don’t worry, Hermes might be the scheming and whimsical type, but he also doesn’t take action that might be detrimental to his interests. Being attached to the Alliance is far more beneficial than making an enemy out of everyone…though you shouldn’t let your guard down around him either.”

Eina eventually showed up at the table and Hestia surprisingly moved to the other side of Hephaestus to give the seat away. Vahn understood that she was probably trying to support Eina’s position within the group and it made him smile knowing how thoughtful she was. Since there were a few people shuffling around, Vahn had Fenrir hop out of his lap as he stood up and intercepted the gently smiling Eina who had a look of relief within her emerald-green eyes. Though it wasn’t a powerful embrace, Eina hugged Vahn tightly and began stroking his back in a comforting manner as they hugged each other for several long seconds. A soft and soothing voice sounded out from her lips as she said, “Welcome home, Dear…” Vahn felt an explosion of warmth in his chest as he looked into Eina’s deep eyes and said, “I’m home, Eina…” before kissing her to affirm the fact.

Though she enjoyed the kiss for a short while, Eina eventually pinched Vahn slightly to let him know not to get carried away. She had almost turned her head away to end the moment, but she wanted Vahn to do it so he didn’t lose any face in front of the other girls. Understanding her intent, Vahn eventually separated from Eina’s lips but continued to hold her waist for a short while before saying in a somewhat firm tone, “This weekend, try to clear up your work schedule…I want to perform ‘Nirvana’ on you as soon as possible…” Eina’s face already had a light blush on it, but Vahn’s words had startled her a great deal as a ruddy color emerged on her cheeks and began to spread to her ears. Without saying anything, Eina eventually nodded her head in a bashful manner before ‘headbutting’ Vahn’s chest before coming to a rest against it. She understood that Vahn was essentially saying that he wanted to ensure she would get pregnant in the future and minimize the chance of any complications from occurring…

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