Chapter 707: Effort : Resolve

Because she had only fainted, it didn’t take long for Nanu to wake back up. Fortunately, by that time, Vahn had already identified the cause of her collapse and worn clothes on both of his bodies. As a result of having split his soul into two halves, Vahn could access the system functions of The Path through both his original body and his avatar. He was able to recognize the difference between the two because only his original self had Eva’s memory fragment sleeping inside of it. Without that, Vahn knew it would be next to impossible to actually keep his sense of identity between his two selves as it was much more difficult than he expected just to stay focused.

Currently, the two Vahns stayed very close to each other and were perfectly mirroring each other’s movements, much like how Emiru and Maemi behaved around each other when they were synchronized. However, this wasn’t because Vahn was trying to coordinate with himself but was instead related to the fact that ‘piloting’ both of his bodies with different actions was exceedingly difficult. Being close together also made the overlap in his two split visions easier to tolerate and eased some of the confusion he was feeling, even with [Will of the Emperor]’s support.

Nanu, seeing her two Master’s, still felt a little hot and bothered but did her best to calm down as she asked, “Master…?” while looking between them. Both Vahns looked up simultaneously, smiling as they said in a perfectly synchronized manner, “We’re both the same person now, just split into two bodies. It is very difficult to control two different forms, so give me a bit of time to collect myself…” Nanu nodded her head and, with nothing else to do at present, grabbed some cleaning supplies to dispose of the mess she had made on the workshop floor. It made her feel very ashamed to see the puddle of vomit and spittle she had regurgitated but, remembering the image that caused her to feel that way, Nanu couldn’t help but tremble slightly before hastily cleaning it up.

Vahn was currently struggling just to make both of his forms blink at different intervals, finding it very difficult even though it was a relatively simple gesture. It was easier to make larger movements with his arms and legs but, if he wasn’t taking simultaneous action, it was almost like there was a lag between his thoughts and actions. When he moved just one of his arms, it was very difficult to make his other body take any other action at all. As a result, it was like he took turns moving each body instead of guiding them both simultaneously. While this was going on, Sis was trying to give him encouragement by saying, (*Just as it took time for you to become adept as splitting your thoughts, it will take time for you to learn and control both bodies. Fortunately, you have plenty of means to increase the amount of time available to you…*)

Nodding his heads, Vahn started trying to form a training regimen to help achieve mastery over controlling both bodies and the first thing that came to mind was the Sub-Space and Space-Time orbs. Though the latter might prove difficult to make use of, it shouldn’t be too difficult to make use of the Sub-Space orb for practice. With the time-dilation, his thoughts processes would truly be split and, though it wouldn’t be easy, Vahn believed he would slowly adapt to moving both versions of himself independently. As long as he didn’t give up mastering it, Vahn knew it would one day be possible for him to move seamlessly with his two bodies and potentially be able to train two different skills simultaneously. There were endless possibilities available to him now, even without considering how much time it might free up, relative to the past, that is…

Using his second body to meditate, Vahn waited for several minutes as his awareness both expanded and contracted in upon itself. His senses around his second body increased exponentially until he felt at one with his surroundings while his other body slowly rose to its feet and tried moving. Vahn hypothesized that it would be easier to move one body while putting the other into a calm and relaxed state, something that proved fruitful, even though his movements were awkward. Gesturing to Nanu, who had been observing him from the side, Vahn smiled and said, “It’s awkward to say it like this, but can I practice controlling my body by [Grooming] you?”

Nanu was curious what her Master would ask her but, hearing his request, she immediately bounded to her feet and exclaimed, “Yes! Leave it to me, Master!” while quickly moving to his side. Vahn gave a small nod and a grateful smile while reaching his hand out and stroking Nanu’s head and ears. Even he could tell his technique was awkward compared to the past so it made him feel a bit of warmth inside since Nanu didn’t offer any complaints at all. Thus, to practice controlling one body, while the other mediated, Vahn spent the better part of an hour just [Grooming] Nanu. Because of her previous state, Nanu’s body started to heat up again but, as a matter of pride and her sense of duty, she managed to tolerate it…

When he was done [Grooming] Nanu, Vahn pulled his hand away while standing up with his second body, still closing his eyes to avoid the issue of simultaneous and overlapping perspectives. It was fortunate that he had long since learned how to move without relying on his actual vision so Vahn walked outside of the workshop while saying, “I’m going to practice a few things. If you’re not busy, please accompany me for a little while.” with his other body. Nanu happily obliged and, as her Master was having difficulties moving around, she did her best to make things easier for him. Vahn released a light chuckle at seeing her concern while simultaneously walking further outside of his own domain range. He was in the process of confirming that his domain could artificially be increased in size by now having two bodies.

After leaving the workshop with Nanu, Vahn began walking in the opposite direction of himself until he was outside the range of his own domains. Because he was both versions of himself, Vahn had full awareness of everything in his two domains but was unable to sense the presence of a second domain once they were no longer overlapped. It didn’t make a big difference, as his domain had technically doubled in size, but Vahn had somewhat expected he would be able to merge them towards each other. After all, they were the exact same size and structure, comprised of entirely the same energy, and fundamentally the exact same ability.

Shaking both of his heads, Vahn heard Nanu ask, “Is something wrong, Master?” with a hint of concern in her voice. Vahn casually patted her head, feeling a little annoyed that he moved both of his right hands at the same time. Then, somewhat outside of his expectations, three figures showed up next to his body while he was about to say something to Nanu. Vahn felt very disoriented when he was looking towards Ais, Tiona, and Tione while also trying to form words to speak to Nanu. Simultaneously, the same thought crossed both of his minds as Vahn realized this was going to be much harder than he expected.

Seeing Vahn acting almost catatonic, Tiona felt concerned as she waved her hand in front of his face and asked, “Vahn, are you okay…?” Vahn blinked and slowly enunciated each of his words, “I’m…okay…just trying…a new technique…follow me…I’ll explain…” It was very difficult to speak because Vahn had also been trying to comfort Nanu by saying, “Lets regroup…with my other…self…” Nodding her head, Nanu followed along while Ais, Tiona, and Tione followed his other self with curiosity and concern. They had already realized what was going on and, seeing another Vahn approach with Nanu, all three girls became startled that there were actually two of him now.

Reuniting with himself, Vahn felt a lot more at ease as he sat down next to himself and synchronously explained, “I managed to split myself into two parts but it isn’t easy to control both bodies at the same time. It’ll likely take a great deal of practice, so please be patient with me…” Everyone nodded but, as if she couldn’t keep her curiosity contained, Tiona then asked, “So, there are both you? There isn’t like a ‘real’ you~?” Vahn shook his heads, curious what Tiona was getting at before she suddenly snickered and said, “That is super cool. Like this, you’ll be able to be with me and Tione at the same time. Or maybe you’ll go with Maemi and Emiru first…? No, that is unacceptable~! I want to try it first!”

Even without saying anything explicitly, everyone knew what Tiona was saying as she snickered with a happy and innocent smile on her face. Vahn got to experience what it was like to have two headaches at once while Ais seemed to fall into deep contemplation. As for Tione, she seemed to find Tiona’s words very interesting as she added, “Tiona’s right, Vahn. If you’re going to try anything like that, you need to start with us first. We were the first set of twins to get involved with you so it’s only right that you come to us for practice…” Tione, imagining a foursome between herself, her sister, and both Vahn’s, couldn’t help but show a somewhat lascivious smile on her face.

Before Ais could finish whatever thought was brewing up inside her head, Vahn raised both his left hands in a halting gesture as he explained, “Something like that is way too advanced for the current me. I can barely move, much less do anything more ‘complicated’…” Ais withheld any words she had been about to say but, as if she were completely unfazed, Tiona smiled as she said, “But you’ll be able to do it one day. I’m sure you’ll be able to control both bodies with enough practice. After all, you do all kinds of amazing things that other people can’t do~! Just remember to think of us when you want to practice, ahahahaha~.”

Hearing the confidence in Tiona’s words, accented by her happy smile, Vahn couldn’t help but release two sighs as he said, “Fine…” in an exasperated manner. Tiona happily laughed before jumping towards his body, knocking him back while his other body wobbled about. His sense of balance was shared between both bodies while synchronized so Vahn felt very disoriented. It was like he was falling while also trying to sit stably at the same time, something that was very difficult to comprehend and, if not for the fact he was experiencing it, Vahn didn’t imagine such contradicting feelings could overlap.

Nanu, seeing what was happening, supported her Master’s wobbly body while exclaiming, “Tiona, you can’t suddenly move Master like that! Look at what you did to his other self!” Tiona had actually noticed Vahn’s ‘awkwardness’ when she clung to him and, hearing Nanu’s words, understood she had erred. Stroking the back of her head, she laughed in an awkward and apologetic manner before helping Vahn up as she said, “Sorry, Vahn…force of habit…” Vahn nodded his head as his sense of balance was slowly restored, the incongruity in his mind fading away at the same time. When he collected himself adequately, he smiled towards her and said, “Don’t worry about it too much. Adapting to sudden changes should actually help me better control both my bodies at the same time in the future. Once I become proficient enough, I intend to train against myself and, after I gain enough confidence, I intended to fight against you girls as well.”

Tiona regained her happy smile when she heard Vahn’s words but, hearing the later half, she became excited once again before exclaiming, “That sounds super cool! I can’t wait to be able to fight against two of you at once…ahh, my blood is boiling~!” Bouncing to her feet, Tiona pumped both her fists in an excited manner while looking between Tione and Ais. The former released a sigh while Ais asked, “Do you want to keep fighting…?” Ais had a bit of hesitation in her voice as she turned her eyes to Vahn with a concerned look in her eyes. Vahn smiled towards her, producing two radiant expressions as he said, “I’ll be fine, Ais. I’m just going to do one last experiment and try a few basic things to familiarize myself with both bodies. You three have fun and I’ll talk to you later, probably around lunchtime.”

Ais nodded her head with an encouraging expression on her face as she said, “Good luck, Vahn…I believe in you…” Then, though they were all somewhat hesitant, the three girls began walking towards the periphery of the orb to begin another climactic battle. Vahn, feeling motivated by both Tiona’s and Ais’ votes of confidence, rose to his feet while simultaneously sitting into a lotus position and calming his mind. Turning to Nanu, he explained, “I’m going to send this body back into the real world while my other half stays inside the orb. I’m not sure what will happen, so take care of me if something goes wrong.” Reaching out his hand, Vahn stroked Nanu’s head as the later adopted a resolute expression and said, “Leave it to me, Master!”

Vahn took several deep breaths while waiting for his other self to enter a deep meditative state. The time dilation between the orb and the real world was only 6:1, but Vahn could hardly even wrap his head around experiencing two different axes of time simultaneously. He was somewhat worried that the mental strain would cause him to collapse, which was one of the reasons he had encouraged the other girls to go do their own thing. If they tried too hard to ‘help’ him, Vahn felt like it would be even harder to try and adapt. Nanu, however, would likely just watch over him, only stepping in to help if he expressly asked for it. As her ‘Alpha’, Nanu had an instinctual belief in him that would also inhibit her from taking any excessive actions for fear of making matters worse…

After psyching himself up adequately, Vahn willed himself to return to the real world while simultaneously focusing his mind on the indiscernible words of his [Mantra of Eternity]. This turned out to be a major blessing as, the moment he entered the real world, Vahn collapsed to the floor face-first while his other half showed no major reaction. However, his [Will of the Emperor] immediately activated his full force as he was slowly waking from his meditative state. Back in the real world, Vahn felt like his brain had turned to ice while the conflicting stimuli of two axes of time felt like it was pulling his mind apart. He was experiencing ‘normal’ time from both perspectives, but there was also a sense of incongruity of going both fast and slow at the same time. It felt like his brain would have melted if not for his [Will of the Emperor] and having entered a meditative state beforehand.

However, instead of immediately returning to the orb, or ejecting from inside of it, Vahn continued to lay on the floor as he focused on regulating his breathing. Inside the orb, Vahn did his best to stay as calm as possible, slowing his breathing to match his real-world counterpart. Even this was very difficult though, as taking slow breaths in the orb made his stomach feel giddy while his mind tingled with anxiety in the real world. These feelings quickly spread throughout both of his minds but Vahn refused to give up on either end, willing himself to move into a seated position while relaxing his mind within the orb. Like his counterpart, Vahn began focusing on the indiscernible words within his mind and tried to enter a meditative state once again, this time in both the real world and the Sub-Space orb…

After an hour in the real world, six hours within the orb, Vahn slowly opened his eyes because he felt he had calmed down enough to try moving again. This reminded him of his hubris as, the moment his meditation was broken, Vahn nearly whimpered with how ‘wrong’ everything felt once again. Unable to continue in this manner any longer, even with the support of his [Will of the Emperor], Vahn looked to Nanu and said, “Thhaaaaaank yyooooooou foooooor waaaattchiiiing oooveeeer meeeeee Naaanuuuu…I’mmmmm gooooinnng oooooutssssiiide nooowww…” Without waiting for Nanu’s response, Vahn returned to the real world and began gasping for breath alongside himself. Not too surprisingly, Nanu popped out an instant later with a panicked expression when she saw one of her Master’s on the ground while the other was collapsed against the wall.

Having noted her presence, both Vahn’s said, “It’s fine now…I just need to recover for a few seconds. Don’t worry…” Lifting his body from the floor, Vahn gestured to Nanu to come sit down. She was somewhat hesitant, clearly concerned by what was going on, but still moved over before sitting in his lap. Vahn released a sigh and began stroking her head and ears, calming both Nanu and himself down at the same time. His petting of the girls had always been a very therapeutic action so Vahn started to recover much faster than normal, enough to rise to his feet from leaning against the wall. Nanu looked up at her other Master as he just gave her a comforting smile and said, “It’s just like trying to master blacksmithing…as long we don’t give up, it gets easier with time…”

Feeling the urge to laugh when Nanu’s eyes widened with a reverential look in them, Vahn experienced the peculiar feeling of petting someone while simultaneously ‘wanting’ to pet someone. As unnecessary as it might have been, Vahn waved to himself and Nanu, nodding in response to himself, before heading out of the room and slowly making his way down the connecting corridor. He had the urge to go and spend time with his daughters but, for the time being, Vahn knew there was a better solution to his current predicament. Just as he found comfort in petting Nanu, Vahn was heading towards where the most therapeutic existence he had always relied on was located. Thus, after a short while had passed, Vahn arrived at the barrier leading to Fenrir’s room before making his way inside and laying down next to the extra fluffy Vanargandr. This time, he got yet another new experience, petting two girls simultaneously from two different locations…

(A/N: Oh my god, these chapters have been so difficult to wrap my own head around. I’m as confused as Vahn since I was trying to visualize what the f*** he was going through xD…)

(A/N: Alternate Titles: ‘Wibbily Wobbly, Timey Wimey Stuff…’,’Try thinking quickly and slowly at the same time xD. I tried to imagine a fast moving jet and a slow moving snail simultaneously…’,’Fenrir, Help’)

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Comments (89)

  • Chibba

    Chibba

    1. Fenrir 2. Hephabae 3. Lefiya 4. Loki 5. Ais or Riveria

  • Applefrito

    Applefrito

    So, just had a thought. What if he keeps one of his half’s in the space time orb. And goes into the dungeon with his other half. If he runs into trouble, if he manages to master the art of delegating thoughts between his two parts, rather than get distracted by having to control two bodies at the same time. Instead, he can have his Orb clone spend 15 minutes analyzing the situation and coming up with a solution for it. While only 15 seconds pass by in the dungeon. Could treat it as a “hyper analysis” technique.

  • Virgulatebow

    Virgulatebow

    Yep my brain now hurts 🤯🤯🤯 make the bad man stop 😢😢😢

Chapter 711: Perspective

Since he couldn’t lounge about all day, Vahn’s fluffy time with Fenrir and Nanu eventually had to come to an end. With the accompaniment of the two girls, he brought his two halves to the same place and, before their shocked gazes, fused into a singular entity once again. Vahn had rarely felt as refreshed as the moment he became one person again, even though he could see the two halves of his soul swirling around each other like a taiji symbol. This was one of the largest benefits of being able to create an Avatar, being that the two bodies could become one without any complications.

Momentarily distracted by the floating figure of his second body resting peacefully within his soul, Vahn had missed Fenrir’s question so he asked, “Sorry, can you repeat that? I’m a little distracted at the moment…” Fenrir blinked, tilting her head to the side with a thoughtful look on her face as she once again asked, “Are you like Emiru and Maemi now?” Understanding her question, Vahn shook his head with a smile and explained, “It isn’t quite the same, as I don’t really experience an increase in power like they do. Their power is something like the melding of two complete souls, whereas mine is just combining two halves back together…”

As Vahn was speaking, he actually began to wonder if he became any weaker after splitting his soul into two halves. There wasn’t any such downsides mentioned in the manual itself and, soon after that thought passed through his mind, Sis explained, (*Your soul itself, as a result of its fusing with The Path, is functionally limitless. If you had a normal soul, there might be some decrease in power between your two bodies but, with The Path as an intermediary, you don’t have to worry about that kind of thing. In truth, your soul isn’t actually split into two parts. It just appears that was from your perspective since you’re still bound by the concepts of Space and Time.*)

Vahn blinked in confusion while walking along with Fenrir and Nanu to the dining room to eat a quick breakfast before he left for the day’s interviews. He didn’t quite understand what Sis was trying to explain but, being the infinitely patient and helpful entity she has always been, Sis extrapolated, (*It is a little difficult to explain, as I don’t really have an easy way to comprehend it myself…well, essentially, Space and Time are powerful laws that influence most records but, on a basic level, don’t actually exist. It is the mutual consciousness of the entities comprising a record that allow for things like distance and time to be measured as, without something there to observe them, they fundamentally lose their power and cease to exist. Just remember, before you entered the record, all of the past, present, and future had already happened. Even the record itself, seemingly infinite in size, shape, and time, could be as inconsequentially small as a grain of sand from outside.*)

Hearing Sis’ explanation, Vahn started to realize, very loosely, what she was trying to get at. She was essentially saying that, while very real, everything that happens, in reality, is only able to exist because entities possessing a soul are about to perceive its existence. The soul itself was something that existed outside the records, meaning they were fundamentally beyond the concepts of Space, Time, and all other Laws. It was only by entering a record, passing through several layers of restrictions, that the souls to be loosely influenced by the Laws. However, this was only because the soul entered into a vessel that only existed in accordance with the laws of the record itself. It was these same laws that allowed for the creation of things like his Avatar but, from what Sis was saying,, Vahn could now interpret that his soul was actually not affected at all, just his perception of his soul…?

Sis began to giggle within his mind before comfortingly saying, (*It isn’t something you really have to worry about at this point in time, Vahn. As long as you keep in mind that your soul isn’t something so easily impacted by the Laws of the world, that’s fine. Have more confidence in the actions you take and endeavor to overcome the restrictions that have been placed on your physical body and your perception of the world…*)

With Sis’ words, Vahn experienced a momentary pause with an equally short epiphany as he started making sense of her words. If he was interpreting her words properly, which she would likely correct him on, Sis was saying that the mental strains he experienced when having his body split into two were something he ‘created’ for himself. In truth, as his soul wasn’t actually split into two, and it exists beyond the concepts of time and space, it wasn’t burdened at all by the ‘separation’. His limited mental faculties were the ‘real’ limiter of things, much like how his perception of the laws had always influenced his growth and power.

If Vahn wanted to continue increasing his Soul Tier, which would be necessary for his linking of the records, he would have to undergo a large shift in his mentality. His comprehension of the Laws would have to be above even the gods that create entire universes. Yet, at this moment, he was struggling to even control ‘himself’, even if it was split into two parts. Realizing his own weakness, Vahn couldn’t help but frown as the icy influence of his [Will of the Emperor] kicked in. Though he had already been determined to master the ability, Vahn now felt an urge to master is much faster than before. Previously, Vahn ‘believed’ that it would be difficult and, as a result of this belief, it would likely remain difficult until he started believing it was easier. Now, however, Vahn ‘refused’ to let such an ability, which was far beneath the limits of his actual capabilities, slow him down for any great length of time…

Always aware of what her Master was thinking, Fenrir turned her gaze towards him and produced a small smile of encouragement. Vahn was momentarily surprised by her action before feeling a warmth spread through his heart and, against the expectations of both girls, reached forward to hug Fenrir spontaneously. Her eyes opened wide because he had given her a bear hug and spun around, all while rubbing his cheek against her’s as he said, “Fenrir, you’re too good for me sometimes. Ahahahaha~.”

Fenrir didn’t think her small encouragement would have such a large impact on her Master and, for one of the first times in her life, she became flustered and moderately embarrassed. However, she didn’t try to break free from his grasp and instead tried to wrap her arms around him with a smile on her face. In actually, she didn’t care much for all the ‘restraint’ that was necessary to adhere to if you wanted to behave and act ‘normally’ around people. Fenrir would much rather just follow her instincts, much like she had in the past before her time in the orb. Having her Master spontaneously hug her made some of the tension she had been harboring in her heart and mind melt away with the warmth of his body against hers…

After setting Fenrir back on the ground, Vahn always ruffled Nanu’s head and ears as he confidently exclaimed, “I’ve been holding myself back for too long. From now on, I’ll do better, not just for myself, but for everyone I care about!” With Sis’ words as a catalyst, Vahn once again realized that he had been arbitrarily placing a greater number of restrictions on himself ever since he entered the world. While some, such as his relationships and bonds, were ones he willingly tolerated, Vahn realized there were several that he didn’t need to care about at all.

Just as he had slowly stopped caring about how other people saw him, Vahn wanted to stop acting with so many inhibitions since it inevitably just led to more problems, especially with his mental state. If he wanted to be able to master controlling two bodies simultaneously, he needed to stop holding back all the time and just act as he pleased. After all, if he couldn’t even do what he wanted with his first body, how could he harbor any hope of controlling two bodies simultaneously? In a way, this would also make it easier for the girls as well since they had also been holding themselves back a lot. If he made himself more open and approachable, like he had been before his daughters were born, Vahn was confident they would be happier and open up more often…

It felt like a long time had passed, as a result of his intense thinking, but Vahn arrived at the dining room just a few short minutes after reuniting his two bodies. Many of the girls had come out of the orb to eat breakfast as well so Vahn took the opportunity to address everyone, saying, “I know a lot of things have changed ever since the girls were born, and I’m grateful for the patience and tolerance everyone has shown…however, from now on, please don’t hold back too much on my account. Though we obviously need to show restraint around the children, you don’t have to hold yourselves back if you want to be around me. I’d like for everyone to be more honest and open about their feelings in the future…”

Vahn looked around at everyone that was present, making up a little more than half the girls that lived within the Hearth Manor, and smiled. They had all become quiet as he was speaking and, seeing that they were still listening, Vahn added, “Also, let me apologize early on if I accidentally embarrass you. I don’t want to keep holding back my feelings all the time, so I may end up doing something that skirts the borders of your comfort zones. Please be honest with me and I’ll always do my best to make you more ‘comfortable’…” This time, as Vahn looked around at everyone gathered, he had a bit of a teasing look in his eyes. Understanding what he was trying to convey, the girls had a variety of different reactions but, with only a few exceptions, they shared a very similar blush.

The only reason Vahn felt free enough to make comments like this was that Ina, Vana, and Erika weren’t present at the table. He would have had to change up his word choice a bit with their presence but, trying to bring about the change he wanted to see, Vahn didn’t restrain himself since they were absent. It also helped that Loki and Hephaestus were both missing, as the former would have probably taken advantage of the situation while Ina and Vana would undoubtedly accompany the latter…

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Hestia and Eina had been sitting at Vahn’s sides and, hearing his ‘announcement’, they also had light blushes on their faces as the former said, “Just don’t get carried away, Vahn…” As for Eina, she had been about to say something similar so she instead added, “Well, Vahn is a very sensible and considerate boy. I believe he won’t do anything too out of line…” There was a playful glimmer in Eina’s emerald green eyes that made Vahn laugh uninhibitedly, surprising everyone in the dining room, especially when he brought his arms around the blushing Half-Elf and Goddess before kissing them on the forehead in turn.

Eina’s blush became rosier than it had been before as she gave him a look of mock reproach that had little effect as a result of her smile. As for Hestia, she was happily laughing in an ‘ehehehe~’ manner since the sudden display of affection had made her very happy. She was always happier when Vahn himself was happy since the bond they shared was a very powerful one. Since his happiness and excitement was radiating off of him like a vibrant sun, Hestia couldn’t help but feel the same emotions building up inside of her. Thus, shortly after Vahn had released their shoulders, Hestia took the liberty of sitting in his empty lap. Doing so, she felt Vahn become ever happier and, even though some of the girls gave her envious looks, Hestia didn’t mind at all~

With the sudden announcement, the atmosphere around the table became far more lively than before. Many of the girls asked about Vahn’s ability to make a second body, as they had yet to see it, but Vahn told them to wait until later before he showed it off. He still needed to leave for the interviews soon and it took time to adapt between having his body split and recombined. Though he wasn’t remotely as concerned as he had been previously, Vahn wasn’t going to be negligent and cause himself problems when he had other things to tend to. He could train with his two bodies when he returned so, for the time being, he just enjoyed his time with the girls instead of putting on a show.

Towards the end of breakfast, Hephaestus showed up with Vana and Ina, the latter of which put on a ‘defeated’ expression the moment she saw Hestia in Vahn’s lap. Vahn noticed Hestia tense up a bit so he just hugged her waist comfortingly while looking towards the three girls with a smile as he said, “Good morning, Hephaestus, Ina, Vana. You’re all looking exceptionally cute today, especially you two, my darling daughters~.” Vahn had a teasing undertone to his words that made Hephaestus poke her tongue out at him with Vana just laughed, pleased by her Papa’s praise. As for Ina, she also smiled but it was very obvious she wasn’t nearly as happy as the other two girls. However, it faded away pretty quickly when she remembered the previous incident with Shizune…

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Seeing Ina’s expression soften, Vahn looked towards her with an undisguised gentleness in his eyes, something she had noticed as a small blush covered her tender cheeks. This time, Vahn laughed in a pleased manner while moving his fingers with practiced dexterity, causing Hestia to also laugh as she writhed around on his lap. Unaware of the earlier conversation, Hephaestus and Ina had confused looks on their faces while Vana happily joined the vibrant and lively breakfast. Vahn eventually gave Hestia a reprieve, patting the outside of her right thigh where his daughters couldn’t see as he said, “I need to get going pretty soon. Let me give my daughters and wife a goodbye hug and kiss…”

After Hestia vacated his lap, wearing a light blush and breathing somewhat heavily from the tickle attack, Vahn rose to his feet and picked up Vana. She had been the closest to the table so he started with her, bringing her body up to his chest in a firm embrace before kissing her on the cheek. Vana laughed in her characteristic ‘shishishi’ manner before grabbing his face and giving him a kiss on his own cheek before saying, “Papa is different today. I hope you’re like this more often~.” Vana then gave him a tight hug around the neck as Vahn pat her back a few times, each dispersing a wave of comforting energy into the young Vanir.

Setting Vana down on the ground, Vahn then turned to Ina with a smile before spreading his arms. Ina, regardless of any thoughts she might have been having previously, immediately ran into his arms as Vahn picked her up in the same manner as Vana. He hugged her tightly while also wiggling his body slightly in the process, making Ina feel both happy and confused at the same time. She could also see the changes in her Papa but it didn’t matter much after he gave her a kiss on the cheek and said, “There might be a few changes you’ll have to adapt to in the near future, but I’m confident my brilliant little girl will be able to deal with them.” Though still confused, Ina felt happy when she heard her Papa’s words and, much like Vana, gave him the strongest hug her tiny arms could manage.

With a bit more difficult that Vana, Vahn set Ina on the ground and ruffled her silky blond hair before moving over to the smiling Hephaestus and embracing her. She put more strength into her arms than normal and whispered, “You seem happy…” Expanding his awareness to make sure his actions couldn’t be seen, Vahn slowly moved his hand down over Hephaestus’ soft and supple butt as he, in turn, whispered, “I have every reason to be happy…I’m not sure why I was so worked up before…” With his words finished, Vahn gave Hephaestus a relatively tame but loving kiss that was somewhat ‘ruined’ towards the end when he put a bit of strength into the hand he had on her rump. Hephaestus released her contained breath through her nose before pushing gently against his chest with a look of blame on her beautiful smiling face. Vahn just chuckled in response, giving her one more quick kiss before turning towards the rest of the girls and saying, “Okay, I’ll be back later, everyone. Let’s go, Fenrir.”

Fenrir appeared at his side in an instant as Vahn completed his wave and exited through the door and made his way towards the Manor’s entrance. The girls followed his departure with their eyes, remaining absolutely silent until they heard the sound of the door shutting. As if awakened from a spell, Hephaestus turned towards the girls seated at the table and asked, “Can anyone explain to me what exactly happened…?” While speaking, Hephaestus was still a little ‘too aware’ of the warm feeling that was still radiating through her right butt cheek. Vahn had left an ‘imprint’ there with his [Hands of Nirvana] and it was still ‘bothering’ her a little bit.

Hestia, being the most ‘senior’ person present, began to laugh in a happy and excited manner as she exclaimed, “I’m not entirely sure, but I believe it’s a good thing~!” As if following some sort of agreed-upon cue, all of the girls present nodded their heads in concert at Hestia’s words. Seeing this, Hephaestus became even more confused before walking over to the table and taking a seat. When she sat down, the ‘imprint’ on her rear seemed to radiate through her body, causing Hephaestus to release a somewhat hot sigh that drew the attention of most of the girls. They had all been paying attention to her previously so her action hadn’t gone unnoticed. Hephaestus, realizing her ‘slip’, showed a light blush on her face as she once against reiterated, “Explain…”

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