Chapter 579: Tea

Once his conversation with Loki had come to an end, Vahn spent a bit of time watching the girls play Volleyball with Fenrir sitting in his lap since she was unable to play without damaging the ball. They had several restrictions in place to keep things fair, but the teams had been broken down to have Ais, Tione, Lefiya, and Emiru on one side with Tiona, Lunoire, Chloe, and Maemi on the other. The match was surprisingly very close, but Tiona ended up getting a power spike on her own sister, causing Tione to ‘break’ the rules by using her power and destroying the ball when her [Berserk] triggered.

Vahn wanted to bring a bit of happiness to the world by introducing various sports and games that could be played by people, with rules restricting their levels to even the playing field. The Path had an infinite number of books related to various different sports, so once things began to calm down within the world, Vahn figured it would be a good way to develop culture. If people focused less on ‘surviving’ and obtaining wealth, Vahn expected society would stabilize, even if people were split by their preferences for specific sports. He intended to introduce the concepts when they opened up the school, hoping that the games would spread amongst the children and disseminate throughout the City naturally.

There was also the option of showing exhibition matches in the future where they could play an ‘advanced’ version of the sports in front of a large crowd. Vahn didn’t believe ‘combat’ was the only form of entertainment people could enjoy, as all the girls in the Manor seemed fond of the different ‘games’ he had come up with. It was a bit shameless, but Vahn expected they could popularize the idea if they made leagues and had the competitors wear uniforms that showed off their figures a bit. Adventurers already wore somewhat revealing clothing, especially the women, so Vahn expected it would be very popular if he could get attractive girls to participate in the event to draw a crowd. He had a few inhibitions about letting other men see the girls in the Manor, but they didn’t really dress in a reserved manner and he honestly couldn’t blame others for wanting to look…

After the game had finished, the celebratory atmosphere slowly began to fade because they had already been playing around for nearly six hours. Since everyone was likely relying on him to bring things to an end, Vahn ended up giving a small speech to motivate the girls to continue working hard before ‘releasing’ them all. They would begin going into the Dungeon again starting tomorrow, so he encouraged them to get a bit of a rest and perform maintenance on their equipment. Tsubaki handled most of the general maintenance for the girls, but Vahn also contributed when it came to the equipment he had purchased through the shop.

Since they had several things to discuss, Vahn invited Riveria to his workshop, to which she somewhat hesitantly agreed. Once they entered inside, Vahn set out a chair and circular table for her to sit at since she typically sat on harder chairs instead of relaxing on sofas. After he helped her sit down, doing his best to act as gentlemanly as possible, Vahn set out some tea before sitting opposite of Riveria. For several minutes they simply sat in silence and enjoyed the fragrant tea before Vahn took the initiative and said, “Starting tomorrow, I would like your assistance in creating the band for absorbing natural energy and creating the formation to help the body absorb it…”

Riveria had a plain expression on her face, but Vahn could see her aura fluctuating slightly before she released a small sigh and said, “I understand…it seems things are progressing a bit faster than I expected. How soon do you think you will be able to finish everything…?” Vahn produced all of the notes he had been keeping in regards to the topic, many of which Riveria had already read previously. He had already gleaned insight into the solution while he was researching the preservation of his own blood for use in creating catalysts.

With Terra’s feathers and blood, Vahn could easily make equipment that could passively absorb natural elemental energy from the air. By having an amulet, or a medallion, infused with a ‘disc’ of his crystallized blood, it would be able to store large amounts of natural energy for use. However, with very few exceptions, most people couldn’t absorb this energy fast enough to receive any major benefits. Those with high attainments in [Spirit Healing] were a little better at it, but they simply absorbed the energy into their ‘core’ and couldn’t channel it into the womb, as would be necessary to increase fertility and nourish the developing fetus.

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Riveria looked through Vahn’s notes, finding an almost perfect diagram of her own body that had a rather complex formation ‘tattoed’ on her abdomen. She already knew that Vahn couldn’t perform ‘Nirvana’ on everyone that would need the procedure so they had to come up with a more practical solution. It wasn’t actually a new concept, tattooing runes into the body to allow for use of specialized magic, but Vahn’s formation was far more complex and worked in concert with the ‘belt’ he wanted to make. He had originally gotten the idea from Riveria herself but had refined it greatly after studying the complex formation on Tsubaki’s abdomen. Her’s literally created a barrier to protect the fetus and Vahn wanted to develop something similar so that there would be less chance of miscarriages. Unfortunately, perhaps by virtue of some law he had yet to understand, the core of the formation created a heart shape and was very embarrassing to see at first glance.

When Riveria saw this, she released a long sigh but accepted that it was ‘necessary’ if she wanted to prove that the solution they had found could benefit other Elves. If things worked out, High Elves, Elves, and potentially even Half-Elves, would be able to get pregnant far more easily than in the past, even if they were far away from their home forests. This would allow the Elves to take up residence within Cities, plains, even mountains, as natural energy could be found all over the world. With formations set up to increase the concentration of energy within the environment, they could also minimize the chance of female Elves dying after childbirth since the fetus wouldn’t ‘parasitize’ the energy of their mother’s to sustain themselves.

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After reviewing the information for around forty minutes, Riveria turned her jade eyes to Vahn and asked, “How confident are you in this method?” Vahn had been waiting patiently for Riveria to review everything, understanding she needed to ‘rationalize’ things in accordance with her own sense of duty and the pride that was rooted deep inside of her nature. When she asked her question, Vahn showed a confident smile and gave her the same number that Sis had helped him calculated, “I’m around 98.24% certain this will be a permanant solution that will benefit Elves and High Elves. Things are a little more complicated for Half-Elves, but my research into the various Half-Races will likely take much longer as it’s more a physical problem than something solved by magic…”

Riveria raised her brows when she heard Vahn’s estimate, asking, “How did you come up with that number?” The fact he had even given numbers within two decimal points made Riveria somewhat skeptical, even though she could tell he was being honest. Vahn nodded his head, already expecting her question, and said, “It should actually be 100% but, after taking into consideration various environmental factors, the way energy flowed through the bodies of both Elves and High Elves, and accounting for natural deviation and damage to the belt, I came to around 98.24%.”

Hearing his explanation, Riveria raised her thumb to her chin and tilted her head in thought, realizing Vahn was essentially saying the procedure itself was a perfect solution and the reduced success rate was related to external variables. Knowing this made Riveria felt like a heavy weight had been lifted from her shoulders, but it also increased her own anxiety because she still felt like she wasn’t ready to take her relationship with Vahn to the next level. However, she couldn’t easily go back on her word since it was actually her actions that led to this situation and she had been the one to initially compromise with Vahn. He had been working hard to meet her expectations, performing feats that scholars hadn’t gleaned any insight into for thousands of years…

After closing her eyes for several seconds, Riveria found her resolve and looked toward Vahn with a somewhat serious expression as she said, “Vahn, I want you to know that I intend to have our child sit upon the throne in the future…since my child would have been the heir-apparent in the future, I want to do my duty and raise our child to be a capable leader, regardless of if they are a boy, or a girl.” The ‘best case scenario’ in Riveria’s mind was to fix the policies of the Elven Kingdom without leading to its complete destruction. Their people had made the Western Forests their home for millennia and it would be a great travesty if they forsook their Ancestral Lands, where many of their ancestors had been returned to the soil to nourish the future generations.

Vahn had already expected something like this to happen from the very moment he learned that Riveria was actually the daughter of the Elven King. He had previously wondered how his son had become Elven King in the Divination, but it made a lot of sense since Riveria was already the only child of the current King. Her husband would have likely been made the future King, making any children she bore as the heir that would have united two different noble bloodlines. Though he didn’t know it just yet, this had been the original intent of Alfred when he pressured the King into accepting the marriage proposal betrothing Riveria to Alosrin. Seeing that his own progeny were somewhat ‘incapable’, Alfred was worried that the next generation would have been even weaker so he wanted to strengthen their bloodline by intermixing with the Royal Family, essentially assimilating the two Families over time to obtain greater power and authority.

Without overthinking things too much, Vahn nodded his head and said, “I don’t mind, Riveria…if that is your wish, I will do my best to support you. However, I don’t want our child to simply be a means to an end…we still need to show them all the love they deserve or else they would never be a qualified leader. Without empathy, love, and happiness deeply rooted inside their heart, they would struggle to show it for others and they would simply become a figurehead to promote the growth of the Elven people…” Vahn felt that one of the greatest ‘flaws’ of the Elves was that they didn’t show their emotions, meaning their bonds with each other were typically very shallow. There were obvious exceptions, but they were mostly Elves that had left the forest and opened their hearts by exposing themselves to a variety of different peoples and cultures…

Riveria showed a gentle smile when she heard Vahn’s words because she also wished their child would grow up in a loving household. She had struggled a great deal living in the Palance and knew how difficult it could be to treat relationships like an obligation. Her father had always been busy managing the affairs of the Kingdom, so Riveria had found her calling in reading books and training to become a capable mage and the future leader of their people. When she found out that she had been ‘disqualified’ from the position based on her gender, Riveria had been shocked because there were tens of Elven Queens within their history, far more than the three Kings that had existed.

It was at that moment that Riveria truly understood that her people were walking a road towards their inevitable destruction as a result of policies that only created enemies for themselves while destabilizing their own internal structure simply to maintain some asinine status quo that had been established between the various households. She realized that, even though she was the most suitable person for the position, literally spending decades of her life preparing to take up the mantle, she had been relegated to simple ‘breeding stock’ by people far less qualified than she was. Though she had accepted it would be ‘necessary’ for her people in the future, Riveria had been putting it off for more than fifty years at this point since she wanted to find a better solution…

Vahn was an existence she had never expected to come across and he had very quickly changed, not only her life, but the lives of everyone around him. His capabilities were simply ‘ridiculous’ and he had introduced so many revolutionary concepts that Riveria struggled to even keep up with him. She knew that her relationship with him could be seen as taking advantage of him, but Riveria believed in the ‘foolish’ little boy that showed care and concern for her. Though she wasn’t good at dealing with her emotions, Riveria believed she could be happy if they worked together to create a better future for everyone. He was the ‘hope’ she had found, allowing her to escape the fate that had been forced upon her as the daughter of royalty.

For nearly a minute, Vahn just watched Riveria’s smiling face and enjoyed the subtle changes in her expression and aura. She really was a very beautiful woman, having some of the most refined features of any moral girl he had ever seen. When she smiled, Riveria became even more beautiful and the only person that could compete with her was the inordinately beautiful Syr. Considering that the latter was a demigoddess, it was almost unfair to compare them since Riveria’s beauty felt far more ‘natural’. Syr was almost ‘scary’ at times and it felt like her beauty could pull you in, threatening to consume you if you weren’t prepared. Riveria’s was like the warm rays of the sun that comfort to anyone that was able to experience its radiance…

Since he was bad at hiding his thoughts, Riveria saw the silly look on Vahn’s face and frowned slightly before averting her eyes from him. She could see his expression turn even softer from the corner of her eye, making her feel a little frustrated because of how ‘unfair’ it was for him to be able to read auras. After calming her mind, Riveria turned to Vahn, answering his earlier words, “Though I want our child to become a capable leader, I will never allow them to grow up without knowing the love of both parents…make sure you look after them properly as well…Vahn.” Talking about their child made Riveria feel very awkward because they hadn’t yet ‘made’ it, a moment she would be excited about if not for the overwhelming sense of shame she experienced just imagining the scene.

Though it was as thin as a hair, Vahn could see the small strand of passionate red in Riveria’s aura, causing his own heart to begin racing. He was looking forward to his union with Riveria, but it almost seemed ‘impossible’ to imagine what they would do when the moment finally came. From experience, Vahn knew he would have to take the initiative and Riveria would probably be unable to face him for a while after the fact. Even if he didn’t do it intentionally, Vahn knew that Riveria would become very flustered during the event and would probably lash out at him for ‘bullying’ and ‘teasing’ her later on.

Sensing the change in Vahn’s expression, Riveria furrowed her brows slightly and returned to their original topic so as to ease the awkward atmosphere. She saw the diagram of her own body and felt her heart palpitate slightly before asking, “This formation…how soon do you intend to inscribe it?” Hearing her words, Vahn was somewhat surprised by Riveria’s question since he would expect her to try and put it off as long as possible. Realizing that she probably wanted to get closer to him before they became an official couple, Vahn smiled and said, “I can inscribe it whenever you’re ready, Riveria. It will take around three hours to complete, so let me know when you have time and we’ll take care of it as soon as possible. It will greatly reduce the time taken for the development of the belt, so I would like to inscribe it before we begin the production process…”

Riveria’s face flushed slightly and Vahn could see that she was actually holding her breath to stifle the sigh she almost instinctually released. After a few long seconds of silence, Riveria said in a somewhat low voice, “Tomorrow afternoon then…” before rising from the table and exiting the room without another word. Vahn watched her retreating figure with his eyes and, even though the curve of her body couldn’t be seen clearly through her relatively thick robes, Vahn’s eyes were ‘trained’ to be able to discern such things. She was on the thin and lithe side, but Vahn thought Riveria’s figure suited her very well and was looking forward to tomorrow. However, there was another important event he had to prepare for and he shouldn’t slack on his preparations.

After waiting patiently for several weeks, Maemi and Emiru would be sleeping in his room tonight and Vahn knew he owed it to the twins to treat them well. He had unfairly forced them into a situation where they needed to expose themselves to danger just so they could ‘earn’ the right to be with him. Vahn realized that the person he should have put restrictions on in the past was himself, as it was somewhat cruel to force young girls to fight for the right to love. They were very strong and resolute women, so Vahn should have reciprocated their feelings much earlier instead of forcing them to wait.

Since there were a few hours until dinner, Vahn decided to spend a bit of time making matching accessories for the two as an apology for his previous actions. He knew a bit about their culture so Vahn decided to create pendants for them since their tribes had a tradition of the men giving red beryl pendants during the night they lost their virginities. It wasn’t absolutely guaranteed that they would be having sex tonight, but Vahn put the odds to be higher than the success rate of the procedure he had developed for the Elves. The only thing that would prevent things from progressing to that point was if he made the decision not to, which had had no intention of doing…

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