Chapter 787: Calm : Complacent

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Though he would have liked to stay with Mikoto for a while longer, it had been nearing time for Vahn to enter the Space-Time orb to visit Alexa. He ended up parting ways with Mikoto after spending around twenty minutes brushing her long black hair, which extended to the small of her back when she didn’t have it tied up. As for his other body, Vahn was currently laying with a still asleep Risna, learning just how bad her posture could be. She had started off by clinging to him but, after a few hours had passed, Risna began moving around all over his body as though she were looking for a comfortable position. Her current posture had her sprawled out across his body, laying with her back on his chest as her head hung next to the side of his face, a silly smile plastered across her face.

Since he had been able to tolerate girls like Hestia, Lili, and Tiona, Vahn didn’t really mind Risna bad sleeping posture and just loosely held her body so she didn’t roll off the bed. Vahn suspected this happened quite often as, unlike the other girls, Risna had chosen a bed that was very low to the ground instead of one with a proper frame. Whenever he would prevent her from falling, she would release a small laugh and hug him tightly, even though she hadn’t actually woke up in the process…

As he couldn’t enter Alexa’s orb while his bodies were split, Vahn knew he needed to wake her up and head out, even though it felt a little ‘wrong’ to stir her from the apparently pleasant sleep she was enjoying. Still, being just a little late to visit Alexa could translate to several hours, or even days, so Vahn thought about how he should wake her up without making her feel too saddened by his need to leave the orb. Fortunately, after their little play yesterday, Vahn had a decent understanding of the type of girl that Risna was…

Using the fact that she was laying with her back against him, Vahn brought his left hand, which had been loosely wrapped around Risna’s abdomen, up to her rather modest left breast. They were almost the perfect size to be held in the hand and, like all people of Elven descent, Risna was very sensitive in her breasts. Even before she woke up, her body twitched and she began to make slight squeaking moans before her emerald green eyes slowly opened. For a brief moment, there was a small amount of confusion and fear in her black pupils before she remembered where she was, and who was with her.

Bringing his right hand up to Risna’s chin, Vahn tilted her head back and began to nibble around her shoulder and collarbone as he explained, “Risna…I need to go visit Alexa soon, so I’ll have to leave you shortly…” At the same time, Vahn pinched her nipple between his index finger and thumb, sending a thread of energy into the concentrated nerves as Risna’s body began to tremble. He then moved his head up, lightly biting her ear with his teeth, causing Risna to flinch as her teeth clattered slightly. Even so, she didn’t make any effort to stop him at all, allowing Vahn to rub his forehead against her hair in an affectionate manner before whispering hotly into her ear, “I’m looking forward to the next story you write…”

The voice she had been holding back escaped from Risna’s mouth all at once, the tensions releasing from her body as a powerful reverberation passed through her. As this was happening, Vahn traced his hand from her chest, continuing down her thin frame until his hand was just below her navel. The entire time this was going on, he allowed threads of energy to flow from his fingertips, ‘proding’ all of the important nerves that caused the wave within Risna’s body to compound. Her trembling continued to increase for nearly three minutes until Vahn finally stopped caressing her abdomen. By the time he was finished, Risna’s body was like a marionette with its strings cut as she gasped for air and periodically swallowed the saliva building up within her mouth.

Turning her head to the side, Vahn gazed into her glossy emerald green eyes, noticing that a small light returned to them when she matched his gaze. Vahn gave a small smile, leaning into a gentle kiss that didn’t stress her too much, this time using his palm to ‘pet’ Risna instead of stimulating her. She was already in a highly relaxed and blissful state so his ‘petting energy’ was especially effective on her right now, causing Risna to slowly begin to lose consciousness while they were still kissing. Before she completely passed into an even more blissful sleep, Vahn broke from the kiss and gently stroked her hair as he said, “Sweet dreams…Risna…”

Once she fell asleep, Vahn pulled out a warm towel and wiped down her body before tucking her into her bed and giving the adorable little Half-Elf a kiss on the forehead. As if she was aware of what was going on, Risna released a somewhat silly laugh with a sloppy grin on her face. Vahn also chuckled lightly when he saw this, stroking her silky green hair for a short while until the door to her room opened, revealing himself with the same complacent smile. Vahn turned to himself and brought his two bodies close together before absorbing his avatar into his soul once again. A strange clarity always came over him whenever he was just one body, as he was no longer experiencing two perspectives at once, but Vahn didn’t pay too much heed to it as he quickly ejected himself from the orb to go spend time with Alexa…

With several months of time to practice, Alexa was getting progressively better at controlling her transformation and other abilities. She could remain in her Dragonification for several hours without too much energy expenditure and, after a fair amount of effort, managed to convince Vahn to fly around within the seemingly infinite Space-Time orb atop her back. This turned into a somewhat interesting game where she tried to ‘buck’ him off by trying to fly around quickly, making very acrobatic maneuvers, and even ‘tearing’ through space. Vahn knew she was just trying to get him to ‘cling’ to her but this was unnecessary as he was able to essentially ‘anchor’ himself to her back with his own telekinesis.

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In a last-ditch attempt to get him to fall off, Alexa mustered up all of her strength and stamina to fly ever upwards, ascending thousands of kilometers as the space around them became progressively colder. Though she would never be able to fly high enough to break out of the ‘atmosphere’ of the orb, the lack of energy along the orbs periphery actually simulated a vacuum better than space itself, seemingly sapping the energy out of a person’s body as it tried to return closer to the ground. Vahn found this discovery rather interesting and wondered if he should spend some time studying the space within the record of Danmachi more…

Unfortunately, try as she might, Alexa’s energy expenditure was draining much faster than the strange atmosphere could affect Vahn. She had ascended nearly 3,000km above the seemingly endless plains and forests below, making the colors mix together until there was a vast ocean of green below while a gentle white radiance was cast down from above. Under these conditions, as Vahn sat casually with his arms crossed, Alexa’s transformation broke and she wasn’t even able to breathe at all, not that it was really a requirement for her. Breathing, for True Dragons, was just a means of absorbing more energy into their body, meaning it was impossible for them to suffocate. After all, there was no air at all within places like Fafnir’s ‘shadow dimension’ or within the upper atmosphere where Khaos sometimes went to recharge.

Vahn bundled Alexa up in a blanket and held her close to his chest as he just allowed himself to fall towards the ground. With the laws in the Space-Time orb, it would take him several hours to descend and there was no particular hurry. Freefalling was a very liberating experience and, as there was no actual danger to either of them, Vahn just held Alexa close and fell towards the ground below with his eyes closed. As for Alexa, she just nuzzled into his chest while clutching his tunic with her left hand and enjoying the moment for as long as she could…

For the remainder of his time in the orb, much like in the past, Vahn just spent time lounging around with Alexa and spending time together. Though she made a few obvious attempts to try and appeal to him, Alexa generally kept things in moderation and, during the times they would swim together, she would even assume a neutral appearance. Vahn also, out of consideration for her, had modified his own body to be genderless whenever they were bathing together, something that had been upsetting to her in the past but she had gradually become used to it. She interpreted his efforts, and the concern he always showed towards her, as a reason to temper herself as well, so as not to upset the father-daughter relationship they currently enjoyed…

Towards the end of his time within the orb, Alexa was laying near his feet, with her own pressed against his soles as she lazily played around with them. Vahn was absentmindedly looking towards the sky since Alexa had decided to wear a skirt and some rather adorable panties to try and draw his eye toward her. It was small things like this that had caused Vahn to slowly develop an ‘immunity’ to her attempts and now he treated them more as her wanting attention than anything else. Since she was more than a hundred years old at this point, Alexa had a good understanding of what she could get away with and was simply ‘playing around’ in her own unique way…

Just as the time for his departure arrived, Alexa rolled forward and mounted his stomach with a somewhat melancholic longing in her eyes as she said, “I’ll be waiting…Papa…” Vahn nodded his head, a gentle smile on his face as he framed her’s and pulled her head downwards so he could kiss Alexa’s forehead. Without turning her face back up to look at him, Alexa spent the final few seconds just hugging his body until it had started to break down into particulates of energy that couldn’t be contained by any kind of container, physical or magical. Alexa plopped to the ground as a result and finally raised her somewhat watery eyes towards the sky until the last particle vanished from sight. Afterward, she took a few deep breaths to calm down before assuming a meditative pose and, once again, focusing on her Cultivation…

After spending time with Alexa, and showing his gratitude towards Terra, Vahn returned to the Sub-Space orb with one of his bodies while the other went to spend time with his children. Along the way, he came across Vana and Rufina, the latter of the two slightly startled when she saw him. Vahn had already detected her presence long before the encounter, however, so he just smiled and asked, “Are the two of you going into the forest…?” To this inquiry, Vana immediately nodded her head and, with a large smile on her face, said, “Yes, Aunt Rufina was going to help me with my sword training and then we were going to play with Vulcan~!”

Vahn released light chuckle and casually reached out his hand to begin stroking Vana’s head, causing her to giggle with a contented smile on her face. At the same time, he turned to Rufina and said, “Thank you for always looking after my daughter, Rufina…she is blessed to have a friend like you…”

Rufina gave a wry smile in response, saying, “Yeah…friend…” while crossing her arms in a somewhat insecure manner as her brows twitched. Vahn’s own expression nearly faltered but, accustomed to Rufina’s behavior, he managed to hold out and just watched the two redheads as they headed off towards the forest. He had long known that Rufina harbored more than a little affection towards him but, at the same time, Vahn was very aware that her natural inclination seemed to be towards women. He had actually stumbled in on her and Shakti ‘playing’ together once, with Rufina taking the dominant role in the relationship…

Because of this, added to the fact that her bracket parameter for affection was (Love?), Vahn tried to give Rufina space to live her own life. He felt that her affection towards him was heavily influenced by the fact that he had saved her, helped rebuild her life, and even ‘shared’ his family with her. Since he didn’t want to take advantage of the confused emotional state she was in, Vahn did his best to support her indirectly, even if she and Shakti had been somewhat ‘hostile’ towards him ever since the accident.

He had never told anyone, not even Loki, Hephaestus, Eina, and Hestia, which was probably the only reason the two girls didn’t try to beat him half to death every time they met. They had also tried to explain to him, in a very unconvincing manner, that neither of them were actually lesbians. Their relationship had apparently started after the two got drunk and, as a result of Ganesha always pressuring her to find a man, Shakti had gotten frustrated and goaded Rufina on. After a rather passionate night together, the two proud women had started a secret relationship, even though both claimed to be interested in men…

Remembering Shakti’s extremely embarrassed face, combined with the fact that they had tried to ‘get even’ with him after the fact, Vahn produced a small smile. If he were being honest, he wouldn’t have minded joining in on the fun but, considering the situation at the time, he thought it best to show restraint. After all, Shakti didn’t have those kinds of feelings toward him and he didn’t want her first time to be under such ‘dubious’ circumstances. If they had perhaps come to him with that intent from the start, instead of trying to force it in the situation, the outcome could have been very different…

Shaking these thoughts from his mind, Vahn wandered into the maternity ward and looked down upon the sleeping faces of Eiko, Rose, Iris, Daisy, Macht, and Lucas. He noticed that Alise was missing but, considering that Ryuu was often carrying her daughter around, Vahn wasn’t too surprised. Instead, he was experiencing a very complex emotion that he wasn’t exactly sure how to describe, being which child he should choose to hold first…they were all so adorable, especially the three identical sisters who were around two-thirds the size of the other children…

Ultimately, Vahn’s decision was made for him as Macht, his son with Naaza, had woken up and started squirming around. From experience, Vahn knew he had probably soiled himself since the furrowed brows of the young Chienthrope pup were pinched together in frustration. Thus, without any hesitation, Vahn picked up his son and helped calm him down while moving him over to the changing station. At the same time, as the ‘alarm’ on the crib had been triggered, Mona came hurrying into the room, startling a little when she saw him inside.

Vahn smiled in a casual manner, deftly wiping the rather pungent poop away from Macht and making sure he was properly cleaned before wrapping him in a new diaper. When he was finished, Vahn passed Macht over to the now patiently waiting Mona, saying, “Thank you for always helping out, Mona…” She returned a small nod, accepting Macht into her arms and, as if it were the most normal thing in the world, freeing her rather large breasts from her blouse and feeding the young pup. Her expression softened greatly as the voracious little Chienthrope devoured her milk, muttering, “All of your children have such large appetites…they are all so healthy and full of life…”

Though she had initially only intended to serve as a wetnurse for Hephaestus and Loki, Mona’s contract had been for four years and, even though she had been released from it, she decided to stick around as the children’s Nanny. She had grown deeply attached to most of the children within the Hearth Manor and was struggling with finding the ‘courage’ to ever leave in the future. At times, she even just wished Vahn would pursue her so she wouldn’t ever have to leave this happy and fulfilling lifestyle. However, desiring a more simplistic life, Mona was also glad he didn’t try to push her, even though she had given him a few hints that she was receptive to the idea…

While Mona was feeding Macht, Vahn picked up Rose and Iris into his arms, marveling at how tiny and adorable they were as the two girls quietly snoozed in his arms. He only held them for a few minutes, as he didn’t really want to wake them up, before swapping them out for Daisy and Lucas, the latter of which flashed with a gentle golden light that spread across his thin downy fur. Vahn found himself within a vibrant and bright area that was full of abstract colors and very soft shapes that didn’t quite form anything cohesive. Lucas had inherited his mother’s Innate ability and he actually helped the other children sleep peacefully since the young Lambling almost exclusively had happy and peaceful dreams.

Even within the dreamscape, Lucas was still sleeping within his arms so Vahn just bent down and kissed his forehead as the space around him distorted before he had returned to reality. Though he didn’t have mastery of dreams, Vahn had gotten very good at breaking free from the Dreamscape without disturbing the user. He then placed Lucas back into his crib, lightly pinching his nose until Daisy began to squirm around in his left arm. She didn’t actually wake up, but Vahn still cradled her for a while until she had calmed down completely. Afterward, he placed her back into the crib while Mona had moved over and put Macht back in his.

After settling Macht, Mona looked over all the sleeping faces of the children before turning towards Vahn and bowing in a polite manner and excusing herself. They rarely talked to each other, both knowing it was likely for the best if Mona wanted any semblance of a normal life in the future. She already had enough money to live out the rest of her life in relative comfort and, with the other benefits she had received, Mona could open up an entire chain of bakeries, much less one shop. Vahn respected this and, even though he was a little ‘curious’ about what it would be like to be with her, there were other ways to ease such curiosity…

For better or worse, Lili had become exactly the type of existence she had purported herself as, meaning she now became the ‘go to’ person if he was curious about something. Not only could she emulate the racial traits of any race she had seen, but Lili had been able to ‘create’ some races from mixing and matching features now. Even her ‘Succubus’ form was based off transforming into a ‘Dryad’ and then modifying the traits to match what was recorded within the compendium. Other than that, she also had an ‘evolved’ Chienthrope form that combined the features of a Chienthrope with a Vanargandr. This was because, out of respect for Fenrir, Vahn had refused to play around when she had assumed to normal form, causing Lili to spend a few weeks developing a unique form that was far enough removed that Fenrir had given her consent…

Remembering Lili’s ‘efforts’, Vahn released a silent laugh and began heading towards the Library while his real body sought out the girl who had caused him to think of Chienthropes, Nanu. As usual, she was hard at work within her workshop and Vahn had been able to sense her presence long before he reached the entrance. No sound escaped the barriers surrounding the workshop, but he could still feel each strike of her hammer against a piece of metal and, as a result of his more than a hundred years of experience forging, could even discern its quality from intuition alone. She really had improved a great deal and Vahn knew the day she would become a [Master Smith] wasn’t actually that long, at least if he went by the time passing in the real world…

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