Chapter 734: Calm

After sleeping for a few short hours, Vahn awoke to find Hestia slumped over his body with her breasts nearly pressed into his face. Moving his head slightly, Vahn’s nose brushed against the fabric of her dress but, as she had stayed up much longer than she normally did, Hestia stayed sleeping. The fact that she wasn’t clinging to him was a bit surprising to Vahn but, considering she had moments where she just wanted to comfort him, he couldn’t help but smile. Then, after extricating himself from her lap, Vahn guided Hestia to lay on the sofa before covering her with a thick blanket to keep warm.

While alternating between watching Hestia’s and Ryuu’s sleeping faces, Vahn sensed a very slight fluctuation within his domain. Moving over to Alise’s crib, he picked up the young Elf and cradled her in his arms, sending strands of calming energy into her body since it seemed like she was going to cry. Vahn didn’t want to disturb Hesti and Ryuu, especially considering how exhausted Ryuu must be from the seventeen-hour delivery. Thus, after confirming both girls were sleeping stably, Vahn carried Alise into the maternity ward where he found Tsubaki and Mona conversing while breastfeeding Sakuya and Anise. Though Mona’s contract had only covered acting as a wet nurse for the Vanir, the terms of her contract had been for a two year period and, as the Vanir had already weaned, she decided to help out with the other children to ease the burden of their mothers.

Noticing his presence, Tsubaki smiled and, seeing the bundle in Vahn’s arms, softly asked, “Ah, did the little one wake up~?” Mona also showed a small smile and, though her chest felt a little fluttery, she didn’t make any movement to hide her exposed breast from view. At this point, her mentality had adapted to Vahn’s presence so she said, “Anise should be done soon…I can take care of her next…” Vahn nodded, carrying Alise over and sitting to the left of Tsubaki, even though there had been space between the two buxom women. He still tried to be considerate of Mona, even if the latter had stopped minding his presence.

Tsubaki issued a husky laugh as she mused, “This one has a voracious appetite. She is going to grow up to a be a powerful warrior, I can already tell~.” Though Tsubaki already knew that her daughter had become strong in the Divination, seeing her so healthy and full of life made things far more ‘real’. Sakuya was steadily increasing in weight and, though it would be a while before she was crawling about, she was constantly moving around and flailing her arms and legs in the crib. She was a bit of a crybaby, but Tsubaki didn’t mind at all since it made her feel ‘complete’ being able to comfort her daughter…

Peering into Sakuya’s face, Vahn saw the little brown-skinned girl looking back at him with her startlingly green eyes. They had a lovely almond shape and, though he already knew this was the case, it was easy to see that she would become quite the beauty in the future. Currently, she was putting on a healthy amount of baby fat but, as a result of her dual heritage between Human and Dwarf, Sakuya’s strength and vitality set her apart from others, such as Meinya and Anise. The two kittens spent nearly 17 hours a day sleeping and, while Sakuya also spent a fair amount of time sleeping, it was only around 13-14 hours.

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Finished feeding Anise, Mona passed her over to Vahn in exchange for Alise, asking, “And what’s this one’s name…?” However, before waiting for an answer, Mona’s eyes widened when she saw Alise, remarking, “My goodness, she is so cute…I’ve never seen an Elven baby before…” Distracted by Alise’s appearance, Mona began to wiggle her finger in front of the young Elf’s nose, an affectionate smile on her face. Alise, however, didn’t seem too fond of the interaction and, as she was very hungry, started to strain her face as tears began to build in her eyes. Realizing this, Mona gave an apologetic smile and, after shifting her top and exposing her other breast, began feeing the teary-eyed Elf while her own heart danced around happily in her chest.

Vahn watched their small interaction with a small smile before turning his attention to Anise, bringing her to his shoulder to burp her so she didn’t breathe in any of the excess milk. When she released a high-pitched cough, followed by a burping sound, Vahn chuckled lightly. He began to hum a small tune while gently stroking Anise’s small back, urging the young Cat Person back to sleep since rest was very important to young children. When she began to purr against his chest, Vahn felt like his heart was going to explode, earning a few playful remarks from Tsubaki about his ‘ability to coax young girls’.

In normal circumstances, Vahn would have just shrugged off such remarks but, considering he was supposed to ‘celebrate’ Lefiya’s birthday tomorrow, the image of the bashful Elf popped up within his mind. However, before he could enjoy pampering his faithful disciple, Vahn would have to deal with Freya, a matter that was creeping up on him very quickly. It was just after 6 AM now but, considering Freya’s personality, Vahn expected she would show up very early. Even if she wanted to be ‘considerate’ about the fact that Ryuu had just given birth, Vahn didn’t expect she would arrive any later than 10 AM. In a way, this was a good thing, as it meant he would have more time to ‘deal’ with her, but, at the same time, Vahn felt troubled since he would rather spend the day just watching over Ryuu and the children in the maternity ward…

Realizing she had ‘triggered’ Vahn, Tsubaki gave him a very slight look of reproach as she plainly stated, “Vahn, you really shouldn’t worry about things so often. Never forget that we all support your decisions, no matter what you decide to do…” Vahn nodded his head, feeling revitalized by Tsubaki’s guiding words as he smiled and said, “This is something I decided to do, and I’ll see it through till the end. I just get a little overwhelmed after the birth of one of my children…it isn’t easy separating from them, especially since they’re all so adorable…” This comment earned him a nod from both girls, as they clearly agreed wholeheartedly with his words…

Knowing it would be ‘worse’ if he was informed of Freya’s arrival while he was with the children, Vahn only spent an hour in the maternity ward before returning Alise to her crib. Then, after giving Ryuu and Hestia a kiss on the forehead, Vahn left the ward and began mentally preparing himself for what was to come. In regards to Freya, Vahn knew he had to be very decisive. If he allowed her to get an advantage against him, she would probably be a terrifyingly difficult opponent, exceeding even Syr. The difference between a pseudo-Divinity and a fully developed Divinity were, quite literally, the difference between Heaven and Earth.

Freya was known as one of the most ‘prolific’ amongst the goddesses who possessed such qualities, though only because her affairs were generally well documented. In truth, compared to some other goddesses of Love and Beauty, Freya didn’t actually sleep around that often. Many such gods would become the managers of brothels while, in some extreme cases, the gods and goddesses would serve as prostitutes in their own establishments. Freya, however, was very ‘selective’ in who she chose to sleep with, as her Divinity compelled her to only select people she deemed capable, or ‘worthy’ of her affections. This was the reason why she groomed so many men and women into powerful Adventurers, as only those that had proven themselves could win a place in her heart.

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Like many gods, Freya was bisexual in nature, showing no preference between men and women, other than the fact that men were generally stronger. There were even some rumors, though the people that spread them would often disappear, claiming that her preferences extended beyond the surface races as well. Freya’s charm was supposed to be so irresistible that animals, monsters, and even some gods were subjected to her whims. Vahn could clearly remember the incident where she had gotten a Variant Silverback to attack Bell in the manga, so there was certainly some truth to the claim. However, he didn’t believe she was the ‘deviant’ that some of her naysayers made her out to be, especially since her character showed that her requirements in a partner were rather high.

Vahn knew that, after she had observed his soul, Freya’s opinion of him had drastically changed and, even though she had already been willing to make the necessary vows, she now showed an almost fervent eagerness. If she wasn’t restrained, Vahn wouldn’t be surprised if Freya began lingering around the Manor and, if she couldn’t get what she wanted, there was a chance she might do something drastic in the future. To prevent this, Vahn knew he had to, for lack of better term, ‘tame’ the seemingly untameable goddess. He would likely have to be very firm in how he dealt with her in the future, especially since her vows would prohibit her from sleeping with other men until their child matured.

With such a restriction in place, Freya would undoubtedly come to him to deal with her urges and, if he didn’t tend to her on occasion, there was no telling what she might do. However, though it was very troubling in the interim, Vahn was optimistic that Freya would actually mellow out a bit in the future. He had seen how much Hephaestus, Loki, Anubis, and Hestia had changed since he began interacting with them, even though gods generally didn’t undergo many changes in their perspectives that had been cultivated over millions of years.

Since it was something he had seen numerous times at this point, Vahn believed he would be able to set Freya on a better path and, in the future, even help her become a much better person once the influence of her Divinity could be mitigated. After all, though he might only have to deal with her for a decade or two now, Vahn’s return to the record in the future meant he would have her at his side almost indefinitely. As an immortal himself, it wasn’t impossible that they would be together for millions of years so, even if it seemed troublesome, Vahn was determined to help Freya correct her ways. Instead of putting people through trials that were supposed to increase their potential, he would show her that the only thing required was helping them cultivate the proper mentality.

With the School opening very soon, Vahn was confident that many of the future graduates would become reputable people in whichever career field they chose. For those that became Adventurers, Mages, and Scholars, Vahn believed they would bring about real and lasting change in the world while forging their own small legends. When Freya saw how the potential of people could be increased without ‘breaking’ them, Vahn believed she would wholeheartedly back his efforts instead of continuing her destructive methods of helping people realize their potential.

Vahn believed that it was generally the fault of the Master, Teacher, or Mentor that a person didn’t reach their full potential, not the fault of the student. Everyone had the potential to grow strong and, after coming to understand some of the fundamental laws that governed the world, Vahn knew there were no exceptions to this. Though a person might be restricted by the Tier of their soul, it wasn’t impossible to overcome such restrictions. Not only would this benefit you in the life you lived, but all your future incarnations as well.

This meant that, even if a person’s potential seemed limited, they just needed a teacher to help them break through such limits and rise above the fate that had been assigned to them at birth. It wasn’t the virtue of one’s birth that decided if a person would become capable in the future, but a culmination of their upbringing, their willpower, and the people that supported their growth. Just a single one of these things could allow a person to become strong, even if they lacked the other two…

For the time being, it wasn’t practical to make such methods known, as the state of the world wasn’t conducive for such an environment, but Vahn knew this would not always be the case. One day, after the Tier restriction of the record was removed, there would be an endless number of paths that could lead people above even the realm of the gods. Vahn, and his companions would clear an easier path for those that wished to follow them and, after a few hundred years, the very concept of ‘limited potential’ would simply be the crutch of incompetent teachers, not a generally accepted fact of life.

Thinking this, Vahn found himself wandering to where the first Cultivator in this world was located, Fenrir’s bedroom. Every time he needed to mentally prepare himself for something, Vahn found that he would often rely on Fenrir’s assistance to do so. In many ways, she was his own crutch but, considering that she seemed happy to fulfill such a heavy responsibility, Vahn couldn’t help but rely on the lovable little Vanargandr. This time as well, when Vahn entered into her icy chamber, she was already waiting for him with her exceptionally fluffy tail, floppy ears, and soft hair. Unlike the bristly hair of the past, Fenrir had put in a lot of effort to make herself ‘fluffy’, using Preasia as a template, so Vahn made sure she knew how much he appreciated her efforts…

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