Chapter 569: Meaningful Moments

Though it forced their time to stretch beyond the original hour, Vahn continued to hold Preasia until she was able to calm down because he knew it was always very important to comfort girls during such moments. He had felt the changes in her aura and it was now clinging to him a bit more than it had in the past. The biggest change, however, though Vahn wasn’t sure if Preasia noticed it herself, was that a subtle light could be seen emanating from her body. Vahn could only see it when his [Eyes of Truth] were active, so it was likely a phenomenon related to her Innate, though it was unlikely she had awakened it just then. It wasn’t that important to consider right now, especially since she was still trembling in his arms, but Vahn made a mental note to reflect on this incident later as it was further evidence that Innates awakening was related to a person’s emotional state and the changes in their mentality…

Preasia could feel her body trembling and found solace in Vahn’s warm embrace that seemed to envelop her entire body. Though she often felt gratitude and feelings of desire and intrigue, this was one of the first times in recent memory where Preasia felt ‘happy’. She enjoyed the times she spent with Vahn in the past, but there was always an underlying frustration welling up inside of her with deep feelings of insecurity. He always treated her kindly, but Preasia couldn’t help but feel he was just acting out of obligation and didn’t actually have any interest in her. She wasn’t the most beautiful girl, nor was she the most intelligent…in fact, Preasia felt like she was one of the only people in the Manor that simply ‘took advantage’ of the situation since everyone else worked so hard to get stronger.

All of that was in the past now, however, or at least Preasia wanted to believe that things would only get better from this point onwards. Even though she was weak, mostly kept to herself, and often stared at Vahn even when she knew she shouldn’t, Preasia could feel the affection he had for her and had spent the last few minutes feeling his powerful heartbeat against her back. Though he remained calm and composed on the surface, she could feel the changes in his excitement and the only look she ever saw in his eyes was intrigue, appreciation, and, she would like to believe, a little bit of love. He was obviously very concerned for her, but Preasia knew there was a lot more behind his actions than simple concern and it made her feel warm and fuzzy on the inside…

At this point, it had been nearly ten minutes since the session was supposed to come to an end but the two just sat quietly until Preasia began lifting her body. Vahn stopped hugging her so tightly and allowed her to sit up straight since she had managed to recover almost completely at this point. However, there was a subtle change in her aura when she began to move and, instead of getting off of him immediately, Preasia turned her body around and with a hesitant and apologetic look asked, “I know I’ve taken up too much time…but…can you give me a kiss…before…we part…” Hearing her own words, Preasia realized she would be leaving the salon soon and it made her feel very sad inside knowing this moment would come to an end.

Vahn was very aware that Syr was waiting patiently outside while the time till dinner continually shrink until there was only around twenty minutes left. However, without considering too much, Vahn hugged Preasia’s waist with his left arm and lifted her body a little with his right as he kissed her pouty little lips. He had seen her aura shrink noticeably when she was speaking and felt the sadness coming from her body so he didn’t want to send her off in such a state. Vahn noticed that Preasia’s tongue was a little slimier than he had expected but, though there was a subtle bitter taste, it was still very pleasant to kiss her. She also seemed to be very happy and pressed herself close against him as a warm and damp cloth-like feeling tickled against his abdomen.

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Though he knew it would be pressing his luck a bit, Vahn stroked around Preasia’s lower back, primarily around her droopy and shaggy tail, before moving down to her rump with a gentle caress. Preasia’s body trembled slightly but she didn’t pull away until Vahn’s warm hand suddenly vanished from her backside. She could see the confusion and intrigue on his face so Preasia tried to crane her head to see if something strange had happened. Unfortunately, she wasn’t very flexible at all due to her lack of physical activity and had to reach back with her hand to investigate. The moment she came into contact with her butt, however, Preasia felt very worried until Vahn said, “Don’t worry, Preasia, it should be related to a rare skill on the verge of awakening and you shouldn’t fear it. I think it makes you look cute…”

Preasia felt happy at Vahn’s words, but she couldn’t prevent herself from feeling very anxious as she stood up and asked, “Do you…?” before seeing a mirror at the side and moving over to check what had happened to her body. Vahn followed her with his eyes and habitually stroked his chin only to get blasted by a rather robust aroma and having to pull his hand away to clean it once again. As for Preasia, she was staring at her body with a somewhat vexed expression on her face while touching around various areas. It was very subtle right now, but there was short fur that had started to grow in areas around her body and it had the same platinum blond color as the rest of her hair.

Vahn could see her concern and tried to cheer her up by saying, “It’s likely related to a defensive ability that will protect you from harm…” Preasia looked back at him, clearly very concerned with the changes happening to her body. Though she tried not to think about it that much, she still had nightmares about being treated like an animal. If she suddenly started growing fur on her body, Preasia feared she might actually become an animal completely in the future. Seeing the dark strands in her aura, Vahn sighed through his nose but kept a smile as he walked over and said, “If you do end up growing fur all of your body, I’ll help you groom it periodically…your body is already very soft and fluffy…I think it would be very pleasant.”

For a brief moment, Preasia imagined herself being brushed all over her body by Vahn and she suddenly felt much less afraid. Instead, her ruddy face began to flush deeply and, though it was almost imperceptible, Vahn could see that other areas of her body began to show small patches of fur begin to grow. It was very short and had a light coloration, but the density of the roots showed that if she actually grew fur it would probably be around the same thickness as Fenrir’s. Curiously, she only seemed to be sprouting it on her arms, legs, and around the bottom of her butt where Vahn had felt it previously. He wasn’t sure if the image was correct, but Vahn could somewhat imagine how Preasia might look in the future while also picturing the image of him brushing through the dense platinum blond fur…

Preasia saw Vahn’s thoughtful look and the small curve at the sides of his smile and most of the remaining fear inside of her vanished. She was still very worried about how her body might change, but it didn’t really matter that much as long as Vahn still cared about her. She decided to let the fur grow for the time being so she could talk to him about the changes and see how he reacts as time goes on. If he was interested in it, Preasia didn’t mind letting her whole body be covered in fur so she could spend more time with Vahn in the future. Noticing her aura flare up with gentle yellows and a ‘healthy’ pink coloration, Vahn smiled and handed over a bathrobe that was the same color as Preasia’s hair. She accepted it after staring at the color for a while and then wore it over her body before asking, “How do I look…?” Vahn’s smile widened and he softly said, “You look very…fluffy.”

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Though it was very embarrassing to hear such a ‘compliment’, Preasia felt like Vahn often told her how soft and fluffy she was in the past. If he wanted her to be fluffy, Preasia decided that is what she would become so that she could be ‘unique’ amongst the other girls. With a ‘resolute’ look in her light-grey eyes, Preasia stared at Vahn was an unwavering gaze and said, “If my body changes…I will show it to you…so you can…research it…” Vahn’s expression softened and he shook his head in response before saying, “I’m interested in the changes to your body, but I won’t treat you like a subject of my research. Let’s just spend time together normally and I’ll make annotations and deductions through personal observation and experience instead of treating you as a ‘convenience’.”

Preasia wanted to say that she didn’t mind it as long as Vahn was interested in her body…she imagined what it would be like around on a table as Vahn ‘studied’ her and it actually made her feel giddy and excited. However, spending time with Vahn like now would also be very nice and it actually seemed more pleasant compared to how excited she felt about the prospect of being his subject matter. After considering it, Preasia nodded her head with a small smile and said, “I should go now…it’s almost time for dinner…” Vahn affirmed her words with a nod and explained, “I’ll be staying behind to talk with Syr a bit before heading over. Go ahead and wash up, we’ll be along shortly.”

Hearing that she was preventing Syr from meeting with Vahn, Preasia felt a tremble run down her back before she nodded and exited the salon much faster than she originally intended. Syr could be very ‘scary’ at times, even though she was generally very kind, and Preasia didn’t want to cross the girl that had so much influence within the Manor. She was also one of the people Preasia had sought counsel from in the past and it was very worrying knowing that she had inconvenienced one of the people that helped her. When she saw the kind smile on the beautiful girl’s face, Preasia froze up a bit before lowering her head and saying, “Sorry…Syr…”

Syr saw Preasia’s behavior and knew something ‘serious’ must have happened since she seemed a lot calmer and less dreary. Shaking her head, Syr’s smile turned even gentler as she said, “Vahn must have needed the extra time to make sure you were able to recover properly. I won’t blame you, Preasia, so please raise your head. Just…remember this moment whenever you feel sad in the future, okay? Not just Vahn, but all of us are here to support you…” Preasia lifted her head and saw the gentle look on Syr’s face and it almost made her want to cry.

Nodding her head with moist eyes, Preasia muttered, “Thank you…” as she clutched the soft bathrobe and made her way out of the waiting area. Syr watched her departing figure with a small light of intrigue in her eyes before making her way into the salon where Vahn was waiting with an apologetic expression. Syr laughed in a somewhat teasing manner and said, “Preasia seems a lot happier now, Vahn. I wonder what kind of massage she received to have such a reaction~?” Vahn rubbed his neck to remove some of the imaginary tension in the area as he said, “She wanted me to ‘pet’ her instead of a normal massage…I thought it would be good for her recovery…”

Syr walked forward with her hands behind her back and leaned forward to stare up into Vahn’s face with a playful smile on her’s. She knew he had been in the mood for ‘petting’ today since he had even gotten her to lay across his lap earlier. Given what occurred during his ‘date’ with Ryuu, Syr knew Vahn was in a ‘vulnerable’ state where he was probably trying to make everyone he came across happy. If there were more time, she wouldn’t mind partaking of his kindness for a short while but tonight was part of his recovery period and he would be sleeping with Eina. Deciding it was best not to tarry, as it was very close to dinner, Syr stood up and turned around, asking, “Can you help me remove my dress~?”

Vahn helped Syr undo the concealed zipper on the back of her dress before loosening up the fabric around her hips so she could slide out of it. She was wearing frilly white lingeries that greatly accented her almost flawless features and Vahn felt a little distracted before Syr asked, “Where did you want to put the crest~?” Vahn considered her question for a moment before clarifying, “I don’t have to carve the same maker’s mark as the crest. If you want, I can make a smaller one like a cute animal or-” Syr had placed her index finger on her chin in a thoughtful manner before asking, “What if I asked you to write your name…fufufu~.” Since the maker’s mark was already very ‘possessive’, Syr wanted to tease Vahn a bit and hadn’t expected him to short circuit as a response to her words.

It had just been a teasing thought at first but, when Syr imagined Vahn’s name on her body, she felt incredibly embarrassed and turned beet red in an instant, saying, “I was just kidding, Vahn…mouu~.”

Vahn nodded his head in a mechanical fashion before saying, “I’ll just…put the normal crest…” while still imagining his name across Syr’s abdomen or backside. Syr pouted a little after seeing Vahn was still thinking about such an embarrassing thing before saying, “It’s almost time for dinner…” with a very bashful expression on her face. Vahn smiled and stepped forward, tracing his hand from Syr’s ribs to her hips as he kneeled down in front of her. He knew she wanted to treat the mark as a ‘charm’ for pregnancy, so Vahn began tracing his index finger around under her navel as he drew a very small crest.

Syr felt her body get covered in goosebumps under Vahn’s caress as a slightly giddy feeling welled up inside her as she watched him carve the crest. It was much smaller than she expected, which made her feel both happy and sad at the same time, but it wouldn’t really matter since it was going to be concealed most of the time. She intended to make Vahn ‘activate’ it whenever they were alone together but, for the time being, it would be one of the few secrets they shared between them. Syr wanted to share more things with Vahn and, now that Ryuu was probably going to be pregnant, her own desire for a child had increased greatly. It felt like a ‘race’ had been started amongst the girls in the Manor and Syr didn’t want to be the one bringing up the last place…

After quickly finishing the short ceremony, Vahn made the crest turn invisible and watched as it faded into Syr’s skin. For a short while thereafter, Vahn traced his finger around the area lovingly until Syr framed his face with her hands and reminded, “Vahn, we need to get ready for dinner…” Nodding his head, Vahn stood up and helped Syr wear her dress again and sent her off ahead of him so he could clean up his salon.

He rolled up the futon and put it away in a nearby supply closest before noticing he was still wearing the same trousers from earlier. Seeing the large wet stain, Vahn felt very embarrassed because it almost looked like he had peed himself. Syr hadn’t said anything about it the entire time she was in the salon and Vahn now felt like an idiot after he acted so ‘casually’ and tried to get away with teasing her a bit. After releasing a long sigh, Vahn removed his trousers and balled them up before throwing them to the side. He had almost been tempted to small the stained area but managed to resist the urge and just wiped down his naked body with a towel before wearing a fresh change of clothing.

Today felt like a very long day to Vahn and he was looking forward to the opportunity of relaxing with Eina during the evening. He dealt with Minerva and Praxis during the morning, spent a bit of time with Loki, pampered Syr, went on a date and impregnated Ryuu, caused a fiasco with Tina, and then massaged Misha’s body before having an emotional moment with Preasia. It was days like this that made Vahn realize how ‘important’ the decision by the girls had been during the previous discussion. He really did need to relax more instead of compressing so many significant events into a single day’s time…

Shaking his head, Vahn looked around his salon one last time before stretching his body and making his way toward the dining room. Though it was undoubtedly a little stressful, days like this were also very fulfilling and Vahn felt ‘alive’ knowing he had been involved with so many interesting and significant events. He would do his best to relax a bit more, but that didn’t mean he was going to avoid situations where he could spend meaningful moments with the girls. He would likely spend a fair amount of time tomorrow with Naaza before seriously focusing on his research to complete the ‘blood gems’ he had been working on. After that, Vahn would be preparing things for his eventual union with Riveria and just imagining being involved with the beautiful and intelligent High Elf made him feel excited…

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