Chapter 665: Overwhelming

Vahn spent a fair amount of time watching over Loki as she slept before walking next door to check up on Hephaestus. As Juno had explained, their bodies were quickly recovering and Vahn could see an incredible amount of energy circulating through their mana circuits, restoring them to a pristine condition. Strange as it may seem, there was a good chance both goddesses would return to their natural appearance seemingly overnight. Since Vahn was someone that could even change the number of eyes growing on his head and the number of limbs protruding from his torso, he wasn’t that surprised, however. After all, they were goddesses and he was better suited to simply watching over them instead of trying to understand and explain the peculiarities of their existences.

Since it didn’t look like either of them would be waking up any time soon, Vahn migrated to the maternity ward where Juno, Epona, and Mona were all gathered. He had made sure his daughters were in their beds before entering since it seemed almost ‘fated’ that he walked in on Mona while she was breastfeeding. Vahn knew she had a trauma related to exposing her breasts to men and, since she had made the decision to separate from the Manor in the future, he wanted to respect her decision. The fact that she was the wetnurse for his children gave Vahn a positive opinion of her and he believed that Ina, Vana, and Erika would all have a bit of an attachment to her in the future.

All three girls turned to him when he entered, earning Vahn small smiles from Epona and Mona while Juno stepped forward with a vibrant and guiding look on her face. She reached out, patting Vahn on the shoulder as she said, “Today couldn’t have been easy for you, boy. You performed exceptionally well in a circumstance most people can’t even imagine finding themselves in. Well done, Vahn, I really mean it…” Under the heavy compliments of Juno, Vahn felt a little anxious but still managed a gratified smile on his face as he politely said, “Thank you, Juno. Your guidance was a great help…”

Juno waved her hand dismissively before gently pulling him towards the three cradles that had been set up side-by-side. She brought him next to Vana, touching the side of the cradle as she said, “All of your children are so adorable…honestly, I’m a little envious. Though I love my kids, they usually look like potatoes whenever they first come out…” If not for the fact that he was leaning over to look at Vana’s face, Vahn felt like he would have fallen over when he heard Juno’s words. Truthfully, other than the memory of his own newborn body, Vahn didn’t really know what newborns were supposed to look like. With Juno’s words, however, he did recall that his appearance had been somewhat ‘lumpy’ compared to the three beautiful angels laying in the cradles…

Seeing Vahn’s reaction, Juno laughed before pulling him over to Ina’s cradle, seemingly alerting her since one of her eyes opened. Ina seemed to have very high perception and, the moment she smiled toward him, Vahn felt like his heart was going to twist and jump out of his chest. Juno giggled, letting go of his arm as she reached into the cradle and lifted Ina’s body, rocking her for a short moment before passing her over to Vahn. It wasn’t the first time he had held her, but Vahn felt ‘awed’ when Juno handed Ina to him. Before he even realized it, there were tears beginning to stream from his eyes as he mumbled, “My Ina…you…” Unable to actually find the words to express how he was feeling, Vahn just kissed his daughter’s head, earning a small giggling sound from the girl as her second eye opened.

For the first time, Ina showed that she actually had heterochromatic eyes, one being a pale blue while the other was light gold. There was a small band around her pupil, resonating with a subtle magical light that gave Vahn the impression she could see through anything. He was only momentarily surprised, however, and put the matter to the back of his mind for the time being as he just enjoyed the time he had with his daughter. They would grow up much faster than normal children so Vahn wanted to cherish the moments like this, when there was nothing else in the world that mattered more than the child in his arms…

Juno may have been the closest, but all three girls were watching Vahn interact with Ina, showing kind smiles on their faces at seeing the bond between the father-daughter pair. It was obvious to anyone looking that Ina seemed especially attached to Vahn, even going so far as to reach out and try to touch his face with her small hands. She giggled like a pristine bell and the smile on her face seemed to light up the room, creating an illusion as if all the colors of the world were enriched by her presence. Mona was already very fond of her as, compared to Vana and Erika, Ina was very tame during feeding times and didn’t even require burping. Vana made her heart feel very warm, but her voracious appetite was a little disconcerting while Erika simply made Mona feel nervous…

Though he would have liked to carry Ina around forever, Vahn knew she needed to rest properly, especially since her growth would be even faster than a normal infant. However, when he tried to lay her in the cradle, Ina looked at him like he had wronged her, showing small glistening tears in the corner of her eyes. Vahn’s mind blanked, earning a laugh from Juno as she said, “Just hold her for a while until she falls asleep. The other two are already napping and you can just watch over them for the moment…” Nodding his head, Vahn carried Ina in his embrace, gently rocking her under Juno’s guidance as she happily began to doze off.

While cradling Ina, Vahn stood over Erika’s crib, noticing that her presence was distinctly different from his other daughters. It was likely a difference in their pseudo-divinities, or perhaps an incongruity caused by Erika’s unique affinities, but Vahn didn’t really care. He now understood why Loki, Riveria, and Juno hadn’t taken him seriously when he talked about trying to raise his children without overly pampering them. Unless it was something that endangered themselves or others, Vahn couldn’t see how he would ever be able to deny these three beautiful girls anything the world has to offer. He would need to make sure they didn’t become spoiled, but Vahn knew he would pamper them a great deal in the future…

Though she didn’t open her eyes, Erika slightly turned her head toward him, causing Vahn’s [Eyes of Truth] to activate on instinct. He noticed she was actually awake but was either incapable of opening her eyes, or simply didn’t need to. With his eyes active, Vahn could see Erika’s energy feeding into her ocular nerves as the mana from her circuits pooled around her eyes. She seemed to be looking directly at him, causing Vahn to smile as he lightly whispered, “My little Erika…” It looked like she tried to tilt her head slightly but, finding she was unable to move, lifted up her tiny hands instead. Juno, realizing Erika was awake, picked her up before passing her over to Vahn, allowing him to carry both girls, one bundle of beauty in each arm.

Just like when he first held Ina, Vahn felt a little overwhelmed when Erika was passed over to him. Holding them like this made Vahn realize what it meant to be a father, supporting his children and bringing them as much comfort as he could spare. Though he was already very strong, Vahn wanted to become even stronger in the future, ensuring they never had to experience any suffering brought upon them by his enemies. Knowing that there were people in the world that would actually move to try and rob the happiness of such beautiful existences made Vahn’s mind turn cold while a flood of heat emerged from an area around his heart before both energies intermixed with each other…

Juno reached her hand out, shakily placing it on his shoulder as she mumbled, “Vahn…calm down…” Broken from his reverie by Juno’s hesitant words, Vahn looked around to see that both she and Epona had very pale faces. As for Mona, she had fortunately been sitting down and managed to support herself with the arm of the sofa. Vahn hadn’t realized it but, the moment he began thinking about the possibility of someone ‘stealing’ his children, he began to emit an incredibly overbearing aura. It didn’t seem like his daughters were aware of it, however, causing Vahn to be somewhat confused as he apologetically inclined his head to Juno, Epona, and Mona, saying, “Sorry…I just imagined someone taking my daughters away from me…and…”

Shaking her head, Juno showed a very warm smile and said, “They are lucky to have a caring father like you, Vahn. However, you need to always act as if you are an ‘unshakable’ force when you are with them. The more consistent and reliable your behavior is, the more grounded and functional your children will be in the future. Now that you are a father, you need to act as such, always taking into consideration how your children will interpret your actions…after all, they will look towards you for guidance in their own lives…” As a goddess who had seen thousands of children born and raised within the mortal world, Juno had a great understanding of what it took to be a good parent. She could tell that, though Vahn would struggle a bit later on, he would make a good father to the Vanir for the interim…

Vahn smiled toward Juno but still gave a slight bow to Epona and Mona, earning a dismissive gesture from the former while Mona seemed to have become a little tense. Even so, she managed a smile on her face and Vahn could see her aura slowly stabilizing. She was just a little spooked after feeling his aura in close proximity, fortunately, spared from any direct pressure since Vahn instinctually considered her an ally. Had she been an actual enemy, someone as weak as Mona likely would have suffered a mental collapse instead of experiencing a bout of lightheadedness…

Taking note of Mona’s aura, Vahn blinked in confusion as his senses danced around within his domain, sensing the presence of everyone around him and their current ‘feelings’. However, there were five presences within his domain whose aura he couldn’t sense, drawing Vahn’s attention to the two girls in his arm and Vana, still sleeping in her crib. He hadn’t noticed it earlier, but Vahn was aware that he couldn’t actually sense the aura of his daughters and had only been detecting the flow of their energy instead. It was probably for the best that he couldn’t ‘read’ his children, but Vahn still felt a little strange as he opened up his system interface and checked through the Affection listings…

———————————————————————-

Only allowed on Creativenovels.com
[Ina Mason][Affection:91(Favorite Person)][Intrigue:53(Curious)] [Erika Mason][Affection:54(Familial Bond)][Intrigue:88(Very Curious)] [Vana Mason][Affection:58(Neutral)][Intrigue:51(Confused)]

———————————————————————-

Dear Readers. Scrapers have recently been devasting our views. At this rate, the site (creativenovels .com) might...let's just hope it doesn't come to that. If you are reading on a scraper site. Please don't.

When he read through their values, Vahn felt strangely guilty but still smiled when he saw that Ina already treated him as her ‘favorite person’. As expected, Erika was the type that was intrigued by her surroundings, likely credited to her seemingly advanced intelligence. As for Vana, it made Vahn a little sad that she was ‘neutral’ towards him, but the ‘confused’ descriptive for her Intrigue made him feel a little better. Though she was still very intelligent, she acted the most like an actual newborn, including how she had cried out very loudly and engorged herself during meals. Her confusion about the world made a lot of sense so Vahn knew he could improve her opinion about him with time…

After a little more than an hour, Ina and Erika had both fallen back asleep, the later still showing fluctuations in her internal energy, especially around her brain. Juno and Epona helped him lay the girls back in their cribs while Vahn sat down on one of the available sofas, feeling surprisingly drained. His stamina may be infinite, but his mental energy wasn’t quite at that level just yet. If not for the support of his [Will of the Emperor], Vahn imagined he would have collapsed the moment Vana crowned earlier. The number of nerves he had suppressed to keep his focus had taxed his mind a great deal and, now that all of his daughters were sleeping, Vahn felt very tired.

Epona and Mona moved to the connecting room, where the latter would be staying while the girls were still reliant on her milk, while Juno moved to the same sofa as Vahn. Though she had the appearance of a young girl, appearing closer in size to someone like Ais than a mature woman, Juno still patted her thighs and said, “Sleep.” Vahn, however, shook his head and politely declined her offer since he didn’t really have that kind of bond with the diminutive goddess. This earned him a frown from her, causing Juno to furrow her brows and scrunch up her nose as she snorted. Hopping off the sofa, she patted off her light dress and said, “Fine. I’ll go get one of the other girls to come watch over you then. I imagine you’ll be staying here, even if people advise you to go get some food and rest properly…?”

Vahn nodded, noting that he actually hadn’t even though about leaving the maternity ward any time soon. Unless there was an emergency, or Hephaestus and Loki woke up, he intended to stay and watch over his daughters. Even with the protection of their guardians, Vahn felt compelled to protect them himself, unable to tolerate the idea of letting anything happen to them. As brief as it had been, Vahn was affected by the thought of his enemies conspiring to take one of his children away, much like he had been robbed from his mother in the past. Though he had accepted everything that happened as part of life, Vahn wouldn’t tolerate allowing such a thing to happen to his own progeny…no matter what it took.

Juno gave a wry smile but didn’t seem to blame Vahn for his behavior as she muttered, “Doting fathers can be so troublesome…” She then exited the room, making a beeline towards where most of the girls had been gathered. Everyone was curious about how things had gone so they were all sitting in the dining room with Lili and Naaza. Preasia had originally been there but, as a result of her ‘training’, went off to bed shortly thereafter. She would likely be dreaming about the procedure and had decided to retire early so as to avoid having other people invade her dreams, chiefly Fenrir…

A few minutes after Juno had left, Tsubaki showed up within the maternity ward, sending Vahn a soft and loving expression before curiously inspecting the contents of each crib. The moment she laid eyes on the girls, Tsubaki had an almost silly smile on her face and fought against the desire to pick up and cuddle each girl. Vahn, leaning against the arm of the sofa, bit his lip to prevent his own chuckles from leaking out as Tsubaki finished her ‘inspection’ and walked over to him. Much like Juno, she patted her thighs with her left hand but, unlike the small goddess, pulled Vahn’s head down with her right. She didn’t really leave any room for discussion and just ‘forced’ him to relax a bit while stroking his thick brown hair with her hands.

While playing with a lock of Vahn’s hair, Tsubaki quietly whispered, “I heard you worked very hard today, Vahn…good job. All of your daughters are like little gemstones that had been cut by a master artisan…like little bundles of perfection~.” Vahn lazily nodded his head, enjoying Tsubaki’s caress with half-lidded eyes as he looked towards the cribs where Vana, Ina, and Erika were sleeping. Even now, he couldn’t bring himself to look away from them and hoped they were all having pleasant dreams while they were sleeping.

Tsubaki didn’t really mind Vahn’s behavior, instead, finding it slightly amusing since it was obvious he had already fallen hard for his role as a father. Her only hope was that he showed a similar level of concern for their daughter when she was born. Since the Vanir would be the equivalent of eight-to-ten months old by then, Vahn would probably have to watch over them closely while his relaxation time would probably be used to watch over his ‘normal’ children.

Fortunately, things would eventually turn in favor of his other children in the future since he would have to invest a lot more time and energy over a longer period just taking care of them. The Vanir would mature very quickly, meaning they required a lot of care early on but would be self-sufficient in as little as two-to-three years. This left plenty of time for Vahn to spend with his other children, enabling their physical and emotional growth to progress at a comparably ‘casual’ pace…

Tsubaki knew that, given Vahn’s personality, he would love and care for all of his children to the best of his ability, just like he tried to look after all the women he was involved with. His only limitation was the fact that he was a single person, which is the main reason all the girls had already banded together to create a stronger sense of unity within the Manor. They knew he would be busy ensuring they were protected from harm, dealing with issues both within the City and the countries beyond its borders. Thus, it fell to the girls within the Manor to look after the children and ensure they were receiving a proper education and advancing on a more ‘correct’ path.

Like Vahn, they didn’t intend to force the children into anything directly, leaving it to them to make decisions about their own lives as they matured towards adulthood. However, this didn’t mean they wouldn’t ‘encourage’ them towards specific disciplines. As in most families, the stronger the bond was between parent and child, the more likely the child was to take up the mantle of whatever craft or discipline their parents pursued. Tsubaki wanted their daughter to be a capable warrior so that she could protect, not only herself, but all of her siblings and the people she would come to care about…

With these thoughts in mind, Tsubaki continued to gently stroke Vahn’s hair, smiling down at his sleeping with a loving look profoundly reflected in her gaze. It was both exciting and scary to think that this singular boy, peacefully lying in her lap, had the potential of shaping all of their lives. As long as he was a good person, Tsubaki believed all of their children would aspire towards the example he had set. Since everyone in the Manor supported him, the children would likely come to support him as a result of their interactions with everyone else. Though there would certainly be some that were more ‘rebellious’ than others, Vahn wasn’t really someone that people could hate so easily…especially if they are his family…

You may also like: