Though there were only three large rooms in the Guest Residence, the interior was furnished with expensive decor that was intended to make the ‘esteemed’ guests that would visit comfortable. Many people would take offense to the fact that they couldn’t enter the Hearth Manor itself, so the construction of the Guest Residence had been taken very seriously and Vahn had recently even stocked it with a variety of expensive beverages and pastries that couldn’t be found anywhere else in the world. As for the food that would be offered, that was also provided by Vahn but would be taken from his Inventory or purchased through the system shop.
The front room was a massive parlor for casual discussions while there was a back room for private dealings. The room on the second floor, however, was one massive room that had been designed with pure comfort in mind and the lavish sofas were so plush you would sink several centimeters into the cushions when you sat down. There was, of course, the ‘secret’ room down below, which could only be accessed from the back room, but it was still waiting for repairs after the climactic ‘battle’ between the Sage Aldrnari and the Hiryute Sisters…
Demeter and Eirene were both friends and important members of the Alliance, so Vahn escorted them to the upper floor where they could relax and discuss matters comfortably. When they arrived, Eirene looked around the room and gave a curt nod without saying anything while Demeter laughed gently and said, “My, this room looks like something you’d expect from a palace in the Far East~.” As Vahn was fond of Far Eastern design, his idea of comfort reflected his tastes and there were various pieces of artwork that spread around.
Vahn gestured to the sofas and had Demeter and Eirene, even though the later was comfortable with standing, sit down so they could talk more comfortably. He set out a sample tray of snacks and asked, “What kind of drinks do the two of you prefer?” Demeter giggled and said, “I’ll be fine with anything, though I’m fond of warm milk with honey~.” Eirene squinted her eyes slightly in a thoughtful expression before saying, “I would prefer a hard cider or simply water if it is an inconvenience.” Vahn looked through his system shop and asked, “Is there a specific type of cider you like?” Eirene seemed to be a bit confused because the only types of ciders she knew of were apple-based. She had no way of knowing Vahn’s selection of ciders was functionally infinite, including varieties from records where an ‘apple’ wasn’t quite the same as the apples she knew of.
Eirene tilted her head slightly before saying, “I will leave it to you, as I do not wish to be an inconvenience.” Loki, however, waved her hand and said, “You don’t have to be like that, Eirene. You know full well what kind of pseudo-divinities Vahn has at this point. As long as its something he can think of, he can probably ‘create’ something entirely brand new. Though, I suppose leaving it to his discretion is actually a good choice~? Kekekeke-” When they had joined the Alliance as official members, Hephaestus, Loki, and Hestia had informed the goddesses about some of Vahn’s capabilities after having them swear vows. They were a little resistant at first, but seeing that even Freya had been accepting of the idea they eventually acceded.
Vahn had heard the emphasis Loki placed on her words so he understood she was ‘informing’ him of some matters he may not have been aware of. He nodded his head slightly before picking a random cider from his shop that was worth 10,000OP. It was a bit expensive, but this was a special occasion and making a strong impression was always more preferable. After all, Eirene was already their ally but there was a good chance she would bear his child within the next 8-10 months. She seemed like a kind girl, but Vahn still wanted to get to know both her and Demeter better before he went through with his decision.
When Vahn pulled a large bottle of cider out of thin air, Eirene’s eyes became sharp for a brief moment before a smile appeared on her face and she accepted it from his hands. Though it would be ‘polite’ to pour it for her, Vahn intended it as a gift and it designated them as ‘equals’ if she were allowed to pour it for herself. Loki laughed in a somewhat ‘scary’ manner before saying, “I’d like at least one cup of wine, Vahn~!” Vahn knew it was possible for gods to ‘filter’ out alcohol completely, which would allow them to drink as much as they want, but he still shook his head and said, “Think of our daughter, Loki. Your body may be fine, but we have no way of knowing how it would influence the child in your stomach during your pregnancy…” Loki’s smile froze a little before she laughed awkwardly and said, “Fine, fine, I’ll just have tea then~.”
Loki didn’t want to mention that she hadn’t really cut back on the alcohol too much, though she had made sure that it was properly ‘dealt with’ by her body instead of letting it be processed naturally through her bloodstream. Gods didn’t produce waste at all, and most of the things they didn’t ‘allow’ to happen would be filtered out by their bodies in much the same way as Vahn. If she wanted to, she could drink a keg larger than herself without gaining any weight at all, though there would be a powerful aroma of alcohol in the air as her body filtered it out of her system.
After everyone had something to drink, Vahn took a sip of his coffee and savored the aroma for a short while before smiling and saying, “I’ll be honest, I’m not entirely sure how to start off a conversation when it comes to matters like this. I believe you both have already discussed the matter with Loki, Hephaestus, and Hestia, correct?” The one to answer his question was Eirene, who nodded plainly before calmly saying, “Yes, as it would be an affront to the girls close to you if we had selfish motives, we have discussed the matter in detail several times. Our meeting with Loki was the third time we have discussed it within the last week.”
Though Vahn felt slightly relieved, Eirene’s words also made him feel more awkward than he had previously since the atmosphere was a little strange now. However, instead of letting it get to him, Vahn took and quiet breath through his nose before putting on an air of decisiveness. He wasn’t simply about to discuss a minor subject, but something related to his future children. His decision could impact his entire family in the future, so he had to treat the matter seriously without footing around the issue. After calming down, Vahn showed a firm expression before saying, “Then you must know that I intend to care for each of my children to the best of my ability. This includes ensuring they grow up in a safe environment without suffering the restrictions of their parent’s, or their own, Divinities…”
Eirene nodded her head and said, “We understand that it is almost guaranteed that our children will be demigods that have a great amount of power. Though I would like my son or daughter to work alongside me to maintain peace and order within the City, I have agreed to raise them within the Hearth Manor. However, when the time comes I would ask for my own room since I intend to stay here when I’m not on duty.” Eirene’s ‘demand’ was something Vahn would have offered even without her mentioning it, so he nodded his head in affirmation before turning his eyes to Demeter.
Demeter showed her characteristically gentle smile and said, “I have already raised three children while I’ve been in the mortal world, so I have confidence I would be able to raise our child well. I’m already acting as the midwife for Loki, but I intended to assist in the Hearth Manor in the future, ufufufu~.” Hearing that both goddesses intended to live in the Manor made Vahn feel a great deal of relief since he really didn’t want his children to grow up in a situation where there was tension between their parents. Vahn would do his best to be a good father, but he knew he would be out and about quite a lot and the Vanir would all grow very quickly. He also didn’t like the idea of separating a child from their mother at all, to the point that he actually had a lot of concerns regarding Freya in the future…
Vahn nodded his head and allowed his firm expression to turn gentle as he smiled to the two goddesses and said, “It seems our fates have become connected now…for the next few months, I would like to get to know the two of you better. I think our children would be happier if their parents cared deeply about each other so, while it may be asking for a lot, I would like to develop our relationship further in the coming months.” Demeter laughed in a pleasant manner while Eirene’s expression softened somewhat and she said, “I also believe that it is necessary for a child to have two parents to develop properly. It eases my heart to know you are taking that into consideration, Vahn.”
For the next two hours, Vahn discussed various things with Demeter and Eirene, including tidbits about their past, the happenings within their Familias, and the hopes they had already placed in their children. Demeter simply wanted their son or daughter to be kind and happy while Eirene harbored a small hope that their child would possess a noble and heroic spirit. She believed that heroes were necessary to inspire other people to greatness and were necessary to maintain order within the world. There was far too much ‘darkness’ permeating through society and Eirene wanted to do what she could to expose it to the light and bring the corrupt few that propagate the cycle to justice. She had a great appreciation for Vahn’s feats and paid him quite a few heavy compliments that made him feel a bit of pressure as a result.
During their entire follow-up discussion, Vahn was also pampering Loki at the same time by allowing her to lay across his lap as he fed her snacks and rubbed her belly. She never really cared much for propriety, to begin with, and was obviously trying to incite the other two goddesses to ‘loosen up’ around Vahn. To break up the conversation whenever things got tense, such as when Eirene was ‘drilling’ Vahn about his exploits, she would talk about Vahn’s ‘godhand’, his ‘technical prowess’, and even his other ‘interesting capabilities’. Demeter seemed to accept everything in stride, but Eirene would feel awkward whenever Loki would tease her.
Even when Eirene had sex in the past, she didn’t experiment at all and had only ever selected men she believed could be ‘heroes’ in the future. Unfortunately, they often became somewhat corrupted after having obtained her affections and did foolish things that eventually forced her to either turn them away or even imprison them when they tried exploiting their positions. One of the reasons she was innately fond of Vahn was due to the fact that he was actually surrounded by several women, including many goddesses, yet continued walking the ‘correct’ path while trying to make the world a better place. Though there was a chance he would also become corrupt, he was at the very least more reliable than the other mortals she had met. Knowing of his ‘prowess’ made her feel especially embarrassed, however, because she felt like it might be her that became corrupted in the future…
As for Demeter, she wasn’t nearly as experienced as Loki but she had more than a few partners even after coming to the mortal world. She typically got into relationships easily, sometimes with more than one man at a time, but never felt truly invested in them. Her ‘lovers’ were always kind and understanding and they even got along well together since Demeter treated them fairly and without bias. When she had decided to have Vahn’s child, they had all willingly taken a step back for her ‘happiness’ because they understood how important it was for her to have a ‘real’ child. Though she treated her other children very well, it wasn’t much different from how she treated everyone else and it was always a little strange, especially for her daughter, knowing that she had more than one father. Her child with Vahn would be fundamentally different, as it wouldn’t be a product of her Divinity, but a ‘natural’ pregnancy that would be a culmination between her and a single other person. This was something she had never experienced before, so Demeter was very excited for the future and hoped their child would be able to live a happy life filled with love…
Toward the end of their conversation, Loki seemed to think of something as she asked in an ‘agonized’ tone, “Vahn, what do I have to do to convince you to get me a dragon…? I won’t take away your little Fafnir and Terra, but I want one for myself…” When Loki heard that Terra had a ‘human’ form, which happened to be a beautiful woman, she automatically assumed she didn’t have a chance at getting her hands on her. As for Fafnir, it was far too fond of Vahn and wouldn’t ‘betray’ him even if she tried to wear it down over several years. Her only hope was to get Vahn to take pity on her by trying appeal to his ‘weakness’ of trying to make his women happy.
Though he wouldn’t profess to being able to truly read Loki, Vahn could tell that she was ‘playing’ him a little based on her behavior. She was obviously doing it knowing he knew too, which made him feel a bit exasperated but, regardless of his inhibitions, he couldn’t find it in himself to refuse the lovable little goddess with a fat belly. His only complaint was that she brought it up in front of two other goddesses since Eirene’s expression had become thoughtful, likely thinking of what it would be like to have a dragon of her own. If he easily agreed to help Loki, she might misunderstand that it was ‘easy’ for him to obtain them and ask for one of her own in the future…
Vahn poked Loki in the cheek as he looked down on her and said, “I can most likely help you obtain a dragon, but it isn’t really that easy…I’d need a few months to prepare and we’d have to find you a suitable dragon to undergo the evolution…” Though he wanted to refute her before bringing up the topic later, Vahn knew Loki would flaunt her dragon as soon as she obtained one. If he said she couldn’t have one in front of Demeter and Eirene and then gave her one later, it would cause him to lose a bit of face. He actually suspected this was the reason she brought it up right when they were preparing to bring this discussion to a close.
Loki began laughing mischievously in his lap before trying to nip at his finger, which had still been poking her cheek. She then mused, “If possible, I’d like a tyrannical looking dragon, like Fafnir, or at least something that flies super quickly~! Ah, you can make it transform into a woman if you want, but you have to be okay if I ‘train’ her a little, kukukuku~.” Vahn furrowed his brows slightly and said, “If it’s something I help to evolve, it will primarily be loyal to me. Since it will be a sentient creature, I don’t want to ‘force’ it into that kind of lifestyle…you’ll have to treat them with care or I won’t let you look after it…”
Loki tilted her head with a somewhat confused expression before sitting up and whispering into his ear, “Can’t you find a dragon that isn’t sentient and then give it the type of nature that would make it like that type of thing~?” Knowing that Fafnir came from a normal wyvern, yet had such a drastic change in appearance and personality, made Loki believe Vahn had some degree of control over their personalities. She also knew that Fenrir had been a simple kobold before and that her character had completely changed once she became humanoid. Judging by Vahn’s reaction, she knew her deduction had to be correct and, to alleviate his concerns, she said, “Don’t worry, I don’t want to do anything that might upset you. I’ll treat it properly and you can always take it away from me if I fail to do so…besides, won’t it be better for Fafnir and Terra to have more of their kind around~?”
Vahn released a heavy sigh before pinching the fleshy part of Loki’s butt since he knew she was trying to manipulate him a little. It was especially effective because her words were very rational and it was actually something he had been considering. So that he could increase his own understanding of his Akashic Tome, Vahn wanted to name a variety of different creatures with emphasis on specific elements and traits. Dragons were some of the strongest creatures in all records, so they were a great choice and it wasn’t that difficult to find even a normal Wyvern to potentially form into a mighty True Dragon once it grew up.
After thinking it over, Vahn said, “It will take a few months, so think about what kind of dragon you’d like to be associated with. Fafnir is Darkness, while Terra is Nature and Earth…this means you can choose Fire, Water, Wind, Light, or any other elemental attribute you can think of…” Loki immediately understood Vahn’s intentions and quickly said, “I want something that is kind of overbearing, so if it is related to Fire, Chaos, or Wind, that would be the best. If I had to choose, I guess wind would be ideal since I want something that is super fast~!” Vahn nodded his head but then a thought crossed his mind and he asked, “How about…space?” Loki’s eyes widened as an almost ‘evil’ grin appeared on her face and she said, “Yes, one-hundred-percent yes~!”
Space and Time were two of the most powerful forces in the world and Vahn knew it should be possible to name a dragon that possessed one, or even both, of the affinities. Since it would help him increase his own knowledge of the two immensely powerful attributes, Vahn figured it would be a good idea to get an early start on it. He already knew his own future Divinities like related to space, meaning he should have a natural affinity for it, so having a ‘teacher’ would be very beneficial. There was also a chance it would be able to learn magic from Eva, assuming the orb didn’t awaken beforehand, so Vahn needed to seriously consider the matter. As for if it would be able to take on a human form, Vahn believed it was a good idea but would try to avoid having his own preferences influence the form it took…
As he was thinking, Vahn saw Eirene’s look so he showed a wry smile and said, “I plan to tame a variety of different creatures in the future, so I’ll see about finding one with the Light attribute. Instead of a dragon, maybe a Pegasus would be better since I think it would suit your attire…” Vahn really didn’t want to become the ‘go-to’ for everyone obtaining a future mount, but he also knew he would likely be in this record for decades and had plenty of time and reason to do so. As long as they were treated well, and not like actual servants and pets, Vahn didn’t think it would be that much of an issue. Besides, it would allow him to have more companions when he goes to future records since he would be able to store their cores into his inventory and resummon them later, assuming he wasn’t caught off guard and killed unexpectedly.
Eirene had liked the idea of a dragon, but hearing Vahn mention the winged Pegasus didn’t seem like a bad idea either. As he said, it was far more suitable and she would even be able to ride it about the City streets without causing too much of a stir. Having a massive dragon wasn’t always suitable as their size could often be a limitation in modern living. Now that she thought about it, there wasn’t even any place to keep a dragon near the barracks so she would have had to leave it at the Hearth Manor when she wanted to walk around normally. With a Pegasus, she could just pull its reins and guide it through the streets with relative ease.
Since she seemed fond of the idea, Vahn promised to take it into consideration but told her it would likely take more than a year before he was able to procure one. Much like the matter of helping goddesses getting pregnant, there were a lot of restrictions on his unique ‘taming’ method and it typically took more than two months just to use it once. He couldn’t give them any of the key details, which they didn’t seem to mind at all, but Vahn assured her that he would do his best to ‘tame’ a Pegasus for her.
Fortunately, Demeter didn’t seem to care at all, leading Vahn to believe that her nature was very carefree. She didn’t seem to mind anything at all, other than trying to make sure people were well-fed and living healthy lifestyles. He suspected she would be another one of the ‘motherly’ figures in the Manor in the future and would probably help Hestia run the ‘daycare’ in the northwestern section of the Manor. Given her nature, Vahn felt like the children would be very happy, even if things got a little ‘chaotic’ with having so many mothers in their lives. Since the books he read said it was important for children to be raised in an environment filled with understanding and consistency, Vahn felt like he would have to become the ‘consistent’ part of their lives, as he would be the only father for them all…