Chapter 572: Relaxation, Fate, and…Luck?

Vahn awoke to find himself nestled against Hephaestus’ chest and spent several long minutes enjoying the heat of her embrace. She had the highest body temperature of all the other girls and Vahn often found himself falling asleep in her arms whenever they finished making love. It was like being stuck in an incubator for the soul and Vahn could feel warmth flowing through his heart while the cool air of the manor was kept at bay by their combined body temperatures. Hugging her tightly in return, Vahn stirred Hephaestus awake by nuzzling further into her cleavage until she eventually said, “Mouu…Vahn, you shouldn’t be so eager so early in the morning…” As if she didn’t consider her own words, Hephaestus lifted up Vahn’s face and began kissing him, causing the temperature in the room to increase by several degrees before they finally separated their lips.

For a few minutes thereafter, Vahn and Hephaestus snuggled up and discussed what Vahn would be up to for the three days of the Denatus. Other than continuing his research, Vahn didn’t really have any other plans though that would likely change depending on the decisions of others. He had been using up a bit of his time to maintain communications with his own private network and it was likely they would do a small get-together since most people didn’t enter the Dungeon when their gods were away at the Denatus. There was always a chance that a major event could transpire that would require a Familia to mobilize its forces on a moment’s notice.

While he was explaining his thoughts, Hephaestus just laid in silence while fiddling with Vahn’s somewhat thick dark-brown hair. Vahn himself was currently laying closer to her belly than he was toward her head and it made Hephaestus feel a bit absentminded watching him affectionally stroke her pregnant stomach. They had already discussed naming their daughters Ina and Vana, just as they had been named in the Divination, so Vahn would often ‘speak’ to them in an encouraging manner. According to him, children were receptive to positive and negative emotions even in the womb so he often spent his relaxation time ‘coaxing’ his future children while pampering their mothers.

It was still a bit early to consider the direction of their daughters’ future, but Hephaestus couldn’t help but think about it on occasion since she just crested the halfway point of a normal pregnancy. After ruminating over it quietly for a while, she ended up interrupting Vahn’s train of thought by asking, “Vahn, do you think our daughters’ will be blacksmiths just like me? I remember you saying they obtain the Divinities of their parents…so that means they should obtain something from you, right?” Though he became silent for a short while, Vahn continued to stroke Hephaestus’ belly in a circle before saying, “I think there is a good chance your Divinities may be split between them because of the influence of the ‘eternal flame’…I don’t think they’ll obtain anything from me, other than a mutation in their soul that gives them greater potential…”

Hephaestus had Divinities related to Fire, Forging, and Craftsmanship, making her not only the greatest Blacksmith amongst the gods, but also one of the greatest Artificers and Architects. She didn’t have a Divinity related to Architecture like Hestia, but Hephaestus could design entire buildings with complex mechanisms, hidden passageways, and other incredible features. Vahn suspected that one of their daughters would inherit her Divinity related to Fire while the other would likely obtain Forging or Craftsmanship. Though it was subtle, at least for the time being, Vahn could already see a small glowing flame in the heart of one of their daughters and believed his intuition was correct.

After explaining his postulation to Hephaestus, she had a thoughtful expression on her face for a while before saying, “I think our daughter with the ‘eternal flame’ should be Ina, since I want her to be pure and passionate like a flame…Vana already means ‘creation’ in the ancient language, so that is probably why we named our daughter as Vana within the Divination…hmmm…” Vahn nodded his head gently and said, “I believe they will both be incredible girls, just like their mother…” Hephaestus laughed softly for several seconds before she added, “Their father is also quite incredible…ufufufu~.”

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A few hours later, after enjoying a long breakfast where they discussed the Denatus once again, Vahn saw off Hephaestus, Hestia, Loki, and Anubis at the front courtyard, having Fafnir escort them to Babel Tower so they could arrive with a bit of flair. His conversation during the morning with Hephaestus had triggered Vahn to have a very pleasant and thoughtful mood so he began thinking about the future instead of immediately going back to his research. Since they would be taking the next few days off while waiting for the Denatus to come to an end, Vahn had a good opportunity to just relax with the girls for a bit. He had used up his previous weekend by completely immersing himself in his work so it wasn’t a bad idea to take a short break.

Deciding it would be fun to spend a bit of time with the mothers of his future children, Vahn made his way through the East Wing and passed by his own workshop on the way to meet up with Tsubaki. She was almost at the point where she would be taking a break from blacksmithing so she didn’t endanger their child so Vahn could usually find her drawing up drafts and preparing materials for future projects instead of actually forging. As expected, he found her sitting at a long wooden table that was covered in various diagrams but, instead of drawing up new designs, she was actually just reading through one of the communication logbooks before noticing his presence.

Snapping the book shut, Tsubaki smiled and asked, “What brings you to my workshop so early in the morning, Vahn?” Without any hesitation, Vahn had already been walking over to Tsubaki’s side to help her stand up as he explained, “I was in the mood to spend time with all the pregnant women and thought visiting you first would be a good idea…” Tsubaki began to laugh in a teasing manner, but she couldn’t hide the mellow pinks and the warm yellows in her aura that showed she was pleased by his words. After he led her over to the sofa and helped her sit down, Tsubaki asked, “Are you going to talk to our daughter again~?” Vahn nodded with a soft expression on his face as he stroked her belly and said, “Our little Sakuya…”

Tsubaki took a deep breath when she heard Vahn call their daughter by name before ‘giving up’ her act and just leaning against his shoulder. It wasn’t the first time he had referred to their daughter as Sakuya and it always made Tsubaki feel a little melancholic, even though there was a great deal of warmth that spread from her heart. After spending several minutes in silence, Tsubaki placed her hand overtop Vahn’s and muttered, “When our daughter is born…there is a place I want you to visit with me, okay?” Vahn squinted his eyes slightly because he understood that Tsubaki likely wanted to visit the graves of her mother and former lover. Thinking it would be a good form of ‘closure’ for her, Vahn nodded his head and said, “I understand…” in what he hoped would be a comforting tone…

After a little more than an hour, Tsubaki ended up ‘kicking’ Vahn out of her workshop because she was beginning to get a little sleepy just snuggling up with him for so long. She knew he ‘cheated’ a bit by using his [Hands of Nirvana] with his domain and it always made her feel very comfortable. However, this also made her feel a little embarrassed at times because she would remember that Vahn is just a fifteen-year-old boy. She almost felt like a cradle robber at times and couldn’t tolerate very long periods of silence alone with him since she would often think about matters that should just be left to rest. Just imagining the look her mother and Jonas would give her made Tsubaki feel a little anxious…

Continuing onward, Vahn made his way toward the laundry room of the first floor since he could sense his next ‘target’ was there. Entering into the rather humid room, Vahn looked around and saw Milan, Maemi, Emiru, and, his current target, Aki, all busily working away to clean the mountain of clothes left behind by the other residents of the Manor. Vahn had made laundry a lot easier by giving them a specialized detergent obtained from the shop, but it still took a bit of effort since there were more than twenty people living within the Manor, the majority of which were Adventurers that often got very dirty. Feeling a bit guilty, Vahn changed up his plans a bit and walked over to help out since his ‘cleaning magic’ was very helpful for getting out most stains. He once tried to use his water elemental control to create a vortex to expedite the process a bit, but he was ‘lectured’ after the fact because such methods would damage the fabrics, especially for undergarments.

As every girl present was either a Cat Person, or the derivative of Cat People, Snow Leopards, they had all noticed his presence the moment he entered even though the smell of detergent was quite pungent. Maemi and Emiru became on ‘alert’ with small frowning faces as they said, “Master, you shouldn’t be in here…” in concert with each other. For reasons he would never understand, Maemi and Emiru took ‘pride’ in doing things like chores and cleaning and, since they recognized him as their ‘Master’, they didn’t like to see him cleaning unless it was a mess he had made. Vahn gave them a wry smile and explained, “I wanted to steal away Aki for a bit, so I’ll help out for a short while to make up for her absence…”

A strange phenomenon happened that made Vahn want to smile since he watched as all four girls’ tails flickered at the same time. Before Maemi and Emiru could ‘refute’ his words, Milan laughed and said, “Just let Vahn do as he pleases…are you two going to tell your Master what he can and can’t do~?” The twins’ heads ‘snapped’ towards Milan with wide-eyed expressions as they said, “We would never do such a thing!” Vahn thought their reactions were adorable, but he also almost commented that they often told him ‘not’ to do certain things. As for Aki, her tail was curled up in an S-shape as she asked in a polite tone, “Did you need me for something specific, Vahn, or did you just want to spend time together~?”

Once again, with the exclusion of Aki herself, the tails of each girl flickered and Vahn felt like he had wandered into a strange dimension where everything was intent on making his heart explode with how adorable they were behaving. Without glossing over his words, Vahn nodded his head and explained, “I just felt like spending time with you for a little while…” This time, Aki’s tail flicked several times as a smile bloomed on her face and she said, “Give me a hand with this load of laundry and then we’ll go off~nyufufu.” Vahn had already started walking over under the watchful eyes of Maemi and Emiru, who he sent a small wink to that made the two girls blush slightly.

Maemi and Emiru had been looking forward to the day they were ‘scheduled’ to sleep in the same room as Vahn, which was only three days away at this point. Though it wasn’t a ‘guarantee’, there was a fair chance they would have the opportunity to ‘give’ their virginities to him and it had been on their mind a lot lately. Seeing him wink reminded them of the coming day so they turned away and began scrubbing away at the laundry to calm down. They had been a little bit envious of the fact that Aki was going to get to spend time with Vahn, but that had long faded as pink thoughts began to fill their minds.

Vahn noticed the change in the twins’ auras and was a bit at a loss before standing near Aki and grabbing the first bit of laundry nearby. A glint passed through his eyes as he noticed the garment he had grabbed was a small pair of simple panties. Aki looked over before ‘snatching’ them away and saying, “You can leave the undergarments to me, Vahn…” Vahn mechanically nodded his head and started paying attention to what he was doing so as not to embarrass himself further. However, he couldn’t stop his mind from wandering as he imagined who the owner of the garments was. With their size, it was either Lili, Shizune, or, as often seemed to be the case these days, Tina…

During their recent stints into the Dungeon, Vahn had updated Tina’s Status Board and found a new change that he hadn’t quite expected to see. His memories of the original manga came to mind as images of Bell always ‘accidentally’ stumbling into areas where he could view girls naked. He also seemed to be able to get away with bumping into them at times and had even managed to get Ryuu’s affection by grabbing her hand when she and Syr were returning from shopping. Some people might never ‘wander’ into an area where girls were bathing even once, yet Bell had managed to walk in on girls several times, including those that had very developed senses…all because of his inordinately high ‘luck’…

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[[STATUS]]

Name: Tina Yuel

Race: Cat Person

LV. 1

POW: H128->F319

END: H157->F380

DEX: H135->F323

AGI: H140->F340

MAG: I11->I70

Skill: [Eclipse: Innate(sealed)], [Shield Bash:I->H], [Counter:I](new)

Magic: –

Development Skill: [Abnormal Resistance:(sealed)], [Luck:(sealed)](new)

[Shield Bash]

Rank: H

Use: Attacks with shields have a chance to stun enemies based. (Active Trigger)

[Counter]

Rank: I

Use: Enhances the efficacy of attacks immediately after receiving a blow. (Active Trigger)

———————————————————————————-

It was a little difficult to comprehend, but Vahn suspected that everything that had been happening around Tina lately was related to her sealed [Luck] Development Ability. Currently, there were absolutely no records for such a Development Ability, even amongst the extensive documents kept by the Guild for nearly a thousand years. The biggest reason for this, as speculated by Vahn and Sis, was because it could only be obtained between Levels 1 and 2, and only if the person had several fortunate encounters that defied common reasoning. Though it seemed to be more of a ‘misfortune’ than anything, Tina often found herself in situations where she would have accidents, almost all related to Vahn.

Though it was a bit of an extreme example, it could have started from the very first time they met and he walked into the Hearth’s Embrace Inn. Tina had been one of the first people he ever truly encountered while being the absolute first Beast Human he met and interacted with. He had been a little ‘weird’ at the time, but she was still able to make an impression on him with her adorable behavior. After that, there were several instances where they were able to become somewhat closer, many of which were the result of happenstance…

Considerably more extreme was the matter related to the kidnapping since, even though she had suffered severe trauma, Tina herself had come out relatively unscathed and was even able to ‘break free’ from her fate as a simple Inn Matron’s Daughter. Vahn became the hero she needed during her crisis, one which would have claimed the lives of almost anyone else, and was able to get closer to the girls at the Hostess of Fertility while even obtaining a True Dragon as her ‘little brother’ and guardian. After that, several other small incidents took place until she eventually found herself living with the Hearth Manor itself, getting even closer to Vahn because of other ‘random’ happenings, such as when he was testing his [Thria*Mimos] and transformed into a Cat Person.

The absolutely ‘most extreme’ example was the fact that Vahn was able to experience the Divination, effectively changing Tina’s fate once again and enabling her to step onto a path where she was almost guaranteed to end up with him. In the Divination, things had obviously not worked out well for her and now things had changed completely, enabling her to get stronger while also being protected by pretty much everyone else in the residence, Vahn included. After that, several smaller incidents had been taking place that had been very ‘taxing’ for the young cat girl. She got Vahn to pamper her a bit when they started venturing into the Dungeon…there was the incident where he got absentminded during his massage…the fact she had won coveted prizes during the hide and seek game…and how she had ‘accidentally’ plopped down on his tail in the bath…

More recently, there had even been instances where she ‘slipped’, only to have Vahn catch her before she actually fell down. During one such instance, she had tried to catch herself at the last moment only to catch him off guard when she turned her body, resulting in Vahn grabbing her minuscule breasts that had just started to bud. Each time something like this would happen, Tina would blush deeply or end up running away, further emphasizing to Vahn that she was somewhat like Bell, as the young protagonist often behaved very strangely to avoid embarrassing situations. Now, there was another ‘incident’ Vahn could relate to Tina’s ‘luck’ since, even though there were dozens of different garments he could have grabbed, he just ‘happened’ to grab a pair of her panties…

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