Chapter 615: Developments

Over the course of a three week period, things had slowed down a great deal in Vahn’s life, allowing him ample time to work on his projects. As expected, Tiona’s outfit was finished in a very short period of time since it only consisted of two relatively small articles of clothing. The band that stretched around her chest was barely wider than his palm and, based on his memories from the Manga, she likely wouldn’t really need any adjustments in the future. As for her bottoms, they barely covered more area than a pair of panties so Vahn had only needed three days to complete both pieces. Since he hadn’t colored them yet, Tiona ended up running around in what looked like a complex set of white underwear, a stark contrast to her healthy brown skin that Vahn found very appealing.

Since she always wore a pareo, Vahn also made her a brand new one that was far more resistant and durable. She had a tendency to lose them at times but promised to take better care of this one since it would easily be worth almost 300 million Valis based on materials alone. To complete the outfit, Vahn made her a set of Adamantine armguards with the Durandal attribute and several ringlets and anklets, each with parameter enhancing properties. She still had a grand total of 0 Magic, but was able to make use of Magic items nonetheless. Vahn believed the accessories would work on her and potentially help awaken Tiona’s Innates if she learned how to guide the mysterious energy properly.

By the time Vahn finished Tiona’s outfit, she looked like an exotic dancer wearing an almost pristine white outfit with very intricate design. He would have to dye and color the outfit to her preferences later, but that didn’t stop Tiona from happily wearing it around the Manor for the time being. She even went into the Dungeon the same day he had completed it, dragging Ais and Lefiya along with her in the process. By the time she returned, there was a fair amount of blood covering her body but the stark white cloth, possessing the Unblemished attribute kept it from getting dirty. When he asked how she got so bloody, Tiona confessed to having forgotten her weapon so she ended up beating all of the monsters they encountered with her bare hands and feet…

Compared to Tiona’s outfit, Tione’s took a total of seven days to complete because Vahn still wasn’t that good at creating stockings just yet. Tione wore a relatively small top as well, at least as far as the fabric was concerned, but it was still more complicated than the simple cloth band worn by Tiona. Her bottoms were almost identical though, with the only big difference being the fact that Tione wore a pair of stockings with a modified garter belt. Vahn wanted to make the Aegis armor match their basic attire so his design included her stockings as well, essentially guaranteeing her legs would be completely protected.

By the time Vahn was done, Tione had stark white stockings going from the center of her thighs all the way to her feet, coming to an end by attaching to a ring around her middle toe. To accompany the outfit, she also had a pareo similar in style to Tiona’s, but about 1/3rd the length. Her’s only wrapped around her hips and the upper part of her thighs, apparently to cover her butt while still allowing freedom of movement for her legs. Neither she nor Tiona actually cared about the pareo itself but they wore them after the incident when they entered their first village. People didn’t treat ‘children’ walking around in what equated to underwear very seriously and they weren’t fond of the looks they drew from some men.

Much like Tiona, Vahn gave Tione several bangles, anklets, and a brand new clasp locket where she typically kept her [Effigy of the Hero]. Underneath it, though he wasn’t sure how she managed to obtain it, there was a picture of his face with a gentle smile. Vahn had been a little embarrassed when he first saw it, something Tione took advantage of by teasing him for a while after the fact. Vahn ended up ‘punishing’ her a by dying the first part of her outfit bright pink, causing Tione to eventually perform what he could only call a ‘perfect’ dogeza. She had apparently learned it from Tsubaki after calling her old in the past and being forced to hold the position for several hours as an apology.

As he had been working on them all at the same time, though his focus typically leaned towards one piece of fabric at a time, Vahn had already made decent progress on Lefiya’s outfit as well. She actually asked for some alterations to be made to the outfit before he had finished applying all the scales, wanting the entire midriff region to be removed. After learning about the [Sage Aldrnari’s Blessing] in detail, Lefiya was already taking into account the fact she would likely wear one in the future. Since she didn’t want Vahn to have to make an entirely new set of armor for her, Lefiya asked for a large part of the fabric to be removed.

By the time the base was done, Lefiya had a white top that covered her ribs, chest, part of her neck, and the upper part of her arms. For her bottoms, she had what equated to shorts which, just like the top, had been cropped a bit and hung a little low on her waist. Since he was a little worried that she would be showing off a little too much skin without her robe on, Vahn also made a third piece of fabric and designed it like a corset that could be worn above, or below, the rest of her outfit. To make it match her ‘cute’ appeal, Vahn also sewed on several layers of frills because he didn’t want Lefiya to ever have an excuse to wear her Aegis in public. Unlike the rest of the girls, Vahn designed her’s to look closer to underwear so she didn’t follow in the footsteps of Tiona, Tione, and Ais, who had a tendency to wear their Aegis around even when walking through the City.

When it came time for her actual robe, Vahn wanted to push Lefiya’s alias, White Lily, to the extreme and modified his original design a bit to match. He made sure to get Lefiya’s consent before beginning but she had been strangely supportive of almost everything he did lately. Even though he had started taking private baths, she actually tagged along once with Ais and they shared a very small tub together. She also would show up at random times when he was lounging about, often just to make small talk and ask how he was doing. The fact that she would always be alone, instead of being accompanied by Ais, made Vahn realize her Loyalty had slowly changed her ‘priorities’. When he had checked her Loyalty at the time, Lefiya had increased to 3,947, more than two-thousand points higher than just a few weeks prior…

By the time Vahn completed Lefiya’s robe, just around the end of the third week, her Loyalty had shot up to a somewhat scary 9,314 because she had been very motivated after Tiona and Tione stopped coming to the workshop. A lot of the time after that had just been her, Vahn, and Ais, sometimes accompanied by Haruhime or Lili. When it was just the three of them, Lefiya was almost ‘bubbly’ in the way she acted and seemed far less inclined to blush unless she was ‘teased’ directly. She even sat around in just her Aegis set, casually drinking tea with Ais as if it were perfectly natural, showing just how ‘comfortable’ Lefiya had gotten in his presence.

Lefiya’s final ‘robe’ was actually far more complex than Vahn originally intended because he had gotten a little motivated with how ‘excited’ she was to assist him. The basic structure ended up being a ‘five-petal’ robe that covered a two-layer skirt. Lefiya’s old outfit was open at the front, so Vahn made sure the petals had a gap in the front where the skirt was visible and allowed her legs to kick forward freely without getting tangled in the petals. The robe went all the way up to her chest and, as she had requested, hugged around her chest without having any shoulder straps, much like Aki’s. The reason for this was because Lefiya’s Aegis already covered her chest, neck, shoulders, and upper arms, so there wasn’t a need for a second layer. She would also be wearing a mantle around her shoulders anyway, so it didn’t actually make her like ‘risque’ at all and instead enhanced her appeal while still being modest.

Completing the outfit, Lefiya wore the [Aegis Corset Mk 1] overtop it since she already had a habit of doing the same in her previous robes. Since she wasn’t the type of combatant to move around a lot during combat, Vahn decided to add a few extra defensive measures in the end so he also designed some light plating that would sit around her waist and protect her body. She didn’t want any around her chest though, so Vahn instead made her an intricate bow that was interlaced with several small gemstones that were networked to create a defensive formation. It wouldn’t protect her from behind, but it would be able to stop almost any attack from the front if she had the requisite amount of mana. Vahn ended up naming the unique accessory [Barrier Ribbon], once again showing his lackluster naming ability off to the fullest extent.

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When Lefiya wore her completed robes, which had been accented with various shades of pink, she looked like a ‘pure Elven maiden’ in the truest sense. Since her outfit was designed to look like a lily, it was very flowery and accented her golden-yellow hair and dark blue eyes greatly. So that it would be a focal point, Vahn had also made her ribbon match her eye color while the gemstones on her wristlets and anklets were the same. To accompany her outfit, she also wore pure white stockings and dark pink shoes, so she really did look like a ‘blooming’ young woman. If he didn’t know her robes were actually pushing towards the S-Rank, as he had used several rare materials in their construction, Vahn would have thought she was just an innocent and harmless maiden…that could fire giant white laser beams out of a cute flower-shaped staff.

Dancing around happily in her new robe, Lefiya had a cheerful smile on her face and an excited blush on her cheeks. All of the ‘usual’ girls had shown up to see her try it on so Ais, Tiona, Tione, Haruhime, Shirohime, Lili, and even Fenrir had shown up. They all complimented her outfit while also ‘pestering’ Vahn to make them some interesting clothes in the future, especially Ais, Lili, and Fenrir. Though she loved her Aegis, Ais wanted a ‘cute’ outfit like Lefiya’s as well while Lili just wanted a pair of bottoms to accompany her top, causing Fenrir to ask for the same. Vahn didn’t really have a problem with this but told them they would have to wait until he finished Haruhime’s outfit before working on them, which they happily agreed to.

While he had been pulling out some paper to draw up some sketches for their outfits, Lefiya had surprised everyone but walking over with a lovely smile on her face as she said, “Thank you, Master…I love it…” and kissed him on the cheek. Though they had actually kissed on the lips in the past, this was the first time Lefiya proactively kissed him and it caused her face to turn beet red in an instant. Since the majority of her outfit was pink, it actually made her even more appealing so Vahn couldn’t help but smile and say, “I’m glad, Lefiya, it looks great on you…very cute~” in a teasing voice. This caused Lefiya to blush even deeper but it also made her smile much larger as she laughed happily until Tiona and Tione snatched her up to tease her further.

Vahn watched them ‘torment’ her at the side while sitting down at his workstation and drawing up the designs for Ais’ armor and a matching Aegis and shorts for Lili and Fenrir. By now, Fenrir had given Lili ‘permission’ to ‘copy’ her so she didn’t mind having similar outfits. This meant the only differences in their equipment was the fact that Lili wore gauntlets, stockings, and shoes, while Fenrir ended up asking for a ribbon to tie around her tail, apparently jealous of the various Cat Girls, even though that wasn’t the reason she gave. She wanted one like Lefiya’s that would ‘protect her butt’ so Vahn agreed with a wry smile on his face since he thought it would be cute…

These three weeks hadn’t just been Vahn forging armor for the girls, as there were also a few other developments that took place around the Manor itself. He ended up helping two more goddesses getting pregnant, including Epona and another goddess named Juno. Epona was a long-time friend of Hephaestus, acting as her midwife and often seen around the Manor, while Juno was a goddess of Marriage, Fertility, and Wealth. The fact that she was actually smaller than Hestia had spooked Vahn a bit because he had never seen such a ‘youthful’ looking goddess before. She was barely larger than a Pallum and it was a little unnerving to help her get pregnant since her companion had actually been taller than Vahn…

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The main reason Loki had scouted the two was that Epona was already in close proximity to the core of the Alliance through her association with Hephaestus. She had actually moved into a section of the West Wing after the fact, standing by to assist Hephaestus whenever she was ready. As for Juno, she was apparently only two generations apart from Hestia in terms of seniority and had been one of the premiere goddesses of pregnancy and childbirth for more than four-hundred-million years. She was ‘literally’ the most qualified person to assist during the childbirth and had birthed more than three-hundred children herself over the course of a five-hundred-year period. Since she truly wanted a child born, not from her Divinity, but by the love she shared between one of her companions, Juno had approached Loki and readily agreed to several restrictive vows.

Vahn also learned from Loki, Hephaestus, Hestia, and Riveria, the situation that was taking place in regards to the Elven Kingdom. He had felt a little worried that they were going to be putting so much pressure on the Kingdom since Vahn knew many of its citizens were innocent. It didn’t sit well with him knowing that so many people would suffer from the abolishment of trade but Loki explained to him that the Elves would simply go to the Dwarves or try to purchase from the Plains instead. The Wester Forests were also very rich in resources and the Elves had always been adept at agriculture, meaning they wouldn’t be in danger of starving or anything like that. The people that would be hit the hardest were actually the wealthy elites, specifically the High Elf nobles, because they were the main group importing goods in the first place.

Though the Western Forests were rich in food and natural resources, they had lost the ability to obtain rare materials after a large part of the Spirit Forest had been burned down by the Rakia Kingdom. This meant they needed to purchase materials from outside to create some of the rare and powerful Elixirs they used to nourish their bodies and produce powerful Mages. Though there were a few gods present in the Elven Kingdom, they didn’t really have a way to increase their parameters very easily because they had already eliminated the vast majority of strong monsters a long time ago. This was one of the reasons they had to send people outside of the forest to gain experience, as there simply wasn’t enough internal resources to cultivate strong people. The High Elves focused most of their resources on their own progeny, even using the Elves as ‘servants’ to cultivate the rare materials found in their Sacred Trees.

Their current goal was to cause instability and infighting amongst the upper echelons of the Elven Kingdom while also whittling away at their stockpiled wealth and reserves. Even if there were feuds and internal strife, it wouldn’t affect the Elven population at large because the Sage Council and High Priestess would intervene if any individual family tried to rally the people. Though there was a possibility of ‘war’ being declared, in a vain attempt to unite the Elven people and maintain stability, they couldn’t actually leave the forest to come and attack the City.

Because of the previous incident, including Aina’s house being destroyed, the City had cracked down on Elves entering the City and required them to take vows if they wanted to stay long term. Since Thomas was an official, they couldn’t simply stand by and watch foreigners do whatever they wanted without regard for the consequences. Presently, the Guild had also sent out public notices stating that Elves who didn’t belong to Familia could be fined additional fees if they were found guilty of committing crimes, especially if it could be misconstrued as espionage or subterfuge with the intent to undermine the order within the City. This caused any of the Elves that had been lingering around the Manor to completely vanish and many people, especially those that didn’t belong to Familias, were currently laying low.

Right now, the Alliance was partnered up with both the Guild and the noble families of Orario to impose sanctions on the Elven Kingdom while also blockading areas on the eastern and southern borders of the Western Forest. The only places they were allowed to trade freely would be the Iron Hills to the north or pursue peace with the Rakia Kingdom and open up trade in the West. The second option wasn’t even up for consideration and the Dwarves would obviously take advantage of their ‘so-called’ allies to obtain greater wealth for themselves. This meant the only real option for the Elves was to agree to the sanctions and suffer greater taxation on goods both imported and exported to and from the Kingdom.

To get the politicians on their side, Loki had negotiated to give 60% of the profits obtained from the sanctions directly to the nobles of Orario while the Alliance itself would only take 10%, even though they were the ones maintaining the blockade. This was to prevent them from trying to paint the Alliance as the ‘villains’ in the situation since it would be very clear for anyone to see that the people benefiting the most were the nobles. If things didn’t go well, the Alliance could actually take a step back and allow the nobles to take the heat from the Elven Kingdom if there was any actual backlash. This would give them leverage to come to the ‘aid’ of the City during an actual war and allow them to always maintain a position on the ‘moral high ground’.

Vahn struggled to agree with everything like was saying, but he later met with Freya, Minerva, and Eirene to hear their take, each showing they were in line with Loki’s thinking. Minerva herself would actually be taking caravans to the borders of the Western Forest to trade materials at the edge of the forest since it was a great opportunity to make some extra money. As for Freya, she actually wanted to send some of her forces directly into the Elven Kingdom and it took Vahn convincing her he didn’t want to see such bloodshed for her to step down. The fact she did so readily, and with a smile on her face, made Vahn feel a little awkward because he wasn’t sure if she was just being ‘obedient’ or ‘teasing’ him…

The last ‘important’ development to take place of the three week period was the ‘evolution’ of Tina within the Manor. She managed to awaken the [Featherfoot] skill after a great deal of practice, but this also involved several ‘accidents’ happening whenever Vahn was around. It seemed like his attempts to ‘avoid’ triggering her [Luck] just made it more likely for ‘bigger’ events to happen and there was seemingly no way to prevent them.

The most extreme example of this was when Tina had sleepwalked all the way to his room on the same night that Lunoire had forgotten to lock the door after returning from the bathroom. Tina waltzed straight into the room and crawled into his bed while both he and Lunoire simply slept through it since she didn’t emit any intent at all. Vahn awoke to find Tina cuddled up in his chest wearing nothing but a small nightgown while both he and Lunoire were still completely naked. As if it had been decreed by fate, even though Tina wasn’t a morning person at all, she woke up almost immediately after before releasing a shrill ‘nyaaa’ and fleeing from the room…

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