Chapter 814: Plan : Action

After the tensions had eased a bit, Vahn began detailing his plan of action, primarily focused on his countermeasures to deal with Enyo. Since she would need to reach the surface in order to deal any meaningful damage, Vahn wanted to observe both the Dungeon and the Artificial Dungeon. At the same time, he would fly around the City with Terra and see if there are any abnormalities already present since she would be able to detect anything hiding underground, especially if it was plant life. As for the actions he would take inside the Dungeon itself, Vahn would continue pressing into the Dungeon in order to establish Haven.

The moment they were able to get a foothold on the 50th Floor, Vahn would head into the deeper floors with the girls and focus on rooting out Enyo from the source. Though she could still go through with plans to try and entrap them, Vahn knew there were numerous ways for him to exit the Dungeon in an emergency, even if it meant cutting a path through all the Floors himself.

Ultimately, the moment Enyo actually moved forward with her plans, Vahn would begin pressuring her directly. Even if she had some means of creating monsters, there had to be a limit to their production or she wouldn’t have waited this long before taking action. Since destroying her forces would only increase his own resources, Vahn was absolutely confident in winning a war of attrition.

At the same time that the expedition was expanding Haven, the Alliance would be taking proactive measures to prevent Enyo from accomplishing anything on the surface. If they rooted out any forces she had already planted, all while preventing anything from escaping the Dungeon without their notice, there was very little she could accomplish. Since the Alliance was already in the City, it would be much easier than when they had maintained a blockade along the borders of the Western Forest. Though it might cause some tension, especially amongst the Nobles, Vahn didn’t give a damn about them at all…

After laying out the basic structure of his plan, Vahn decided to be forthright and, even though he had explained the details about girls like Lulune, Shakti, Rufina, and Alicia, Vahn now extrapolated on it a great deal. Though he knew there would undoubtedly be some girls that diverged from the path he was walking, especially if he lived forever, Vahn couldn’t let himself be swayed by such things. He clearly and confidently explained, “In order to best make use of my new power, as it serves the dual purpose of increasing my own strength while increasing the strength of others, I will endeavor to increase the number of followers I have to ten-thousand people. Given the nature of my character, the types of skills I possess, and the current state of the world…I am fully aware that many of this number would be made up of women…”

Though he had an urge to sigh, Vahn instead just inhaled through his nose before saying, “You may think lesser of me for it, but I can’t continue to invest the same amount of focus on restraining myself as in the past. Though I will always take precautions to prevent things from getting out of hand, I will be relying on everyone in the Manor to keep anyone from outside from trying to weasel their way in. However, I also want to set a better example for my children so I will endeavor to avoid being outright licentious in my behavior…at the same time, please let me know if you think any of my actions are causing problems…I would never want to compromise the happiness of the people I care about just because I am over-empathetic…”

In response to this, Loki and Syr made eye contact with each other before the latter said, “We understand, Vahn, even if it is a very unique situation. Because of your nature, things have already gotten a little out of hand…ufufufu…” Syr couldn’t stop herself from laughing a little before she coughed and continued, “It is your nature to empathize with people, for better or worse. Since there are undoubtedly some girls that would be drawn to you that may cause problems, please leave it to us to vet them. Just like Mona, it isn’t impossible for us to support each other and push the girls towards a future separate from the Manor…”

Though she remained quiet while Syr was speaking, Hestia immediately spoke up afterward, saying, “We can’t just accept everyone that falls in love with Vahn into the Manor or else we’d have to keep adding rooms until the Manor was the size of the City…! From now on, unless its someone that Vahn develops genuine affection for, we shouldn’t let them stay here. It’s one thing if they decide to become maids or servants, but we can’t just let girls infiltrate the Manor and take up Vahn’s time. It’ll also cause problems with his children if there is that much chaos introduced in an uncontrolled manner…”

Syr nodded in understanding and, while he watched on with a calm expression on his face, a conversation about the ‘hierarchy’ of the Manor took place right then and there. Ultimately, the only girls that would be ‘accepted’ in the Manor would be those that have become subordinates or retainers that were loyal to Vahn. As for those that genuinely ‘loved’ him, they would be vetted by the girls and, such as in the case of girls like Asfi and Sylfia, they would likely come to be permanent residents in the future. The girls also crowded around Vahn and ‘lectured’ him about getting carried away and misleading girls to become completely enamored with him…

Loki even brought up the idea of ‘teaching’ Vahn how to handle women in a manner that clearly communicated to them that he didn’t want a permanent relationship. There would undoubtedly be an endless number of women who would simply be satisfied with experiencing a single night with Vahn and, as long as he made his intentions clear from the start, that would pacify the majority of them. This led the conversation in the direction of the Amazoness country, Telskyura, as Vahn would likely have to ‘pacify’ a large number of people when he finally took action there.

In a similar manner to what he had accomplished in the Elven Kingdom, the ‘best’ method Vahn could use to bring about change in such a country was to become a focus of reverence to their people. This could be accomplished by either ‘conquering’ a large number of Amazons, winning the heart of their Queen, or coming to an ‘agreement’ with Kali. Simply using overwhelming power wasn’t a solution as this would effectively ‘trigger’ their entire race to crusade until they either killed or captured him…

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When the conversation progressed to this point, Vahn released a slight chuckle and gestured in a placating manner to bring a lull to the discussion as he said, “This is the exact type of thing I know is necessary, but it is also the primary reason behind much of the stress I feel at times. I carry these discussions with me and, in the moments I should be relaxing, they always plague my mind greatly. Though it may be irresponsible of me, I’d rather leave it to you girls to discuss amongst yourselves and, when it is finally time for me to take action, I will come to you for advice. I believe the best course of action is for me to trust my instincts and just go with the flow, at least during the times when I am in control of the situation…”

This remark caused Loki to begin cackling loudly as she remarked, “How irresponsible~! Given how much thought you put into your past actions, this new mentality is both exciting and terrifying at the same time…kukukukuku~.” Contrary to what she might have expected, Vahn nodded his head in agreement and said, “I have read a lot of books about what it means to be a good leader and, as I’ve never been the type to inspire people directly, I’ve decided to instead trust in those that support me. By assigning the best people to any given position, I believe things will progress in a smoother and more controlled fashion…the biggest problem I’ve constantly been making is trying to take care of everything myself. From now on, I’ll be more openly reliant on each of you…I have always relied on your support before, this is just a more direct means of doing so…”

As he was speaking, Vahn showed a very thoughtful expression on his face and began looking around at each of the girls present. It was clear many of them were also reflecting on how things had changed but Vahn was also feeling a small urge to take action and gave into it. Extending his hand, Vahn began diffusing petting energy through his domain and started ‘petting’ everyone in the room all at once. This caused some of the girls to become dazed momentarily before Hephaestus hugged her body, releasing a hot sigh as she asked, “What are you thinking about doing…Vahn?” Though she asked this, the connection they shared had already made her very aware of his intent.

Vahn smiled, an excited glimmer in his eye as he said, “I will never force any of you to do anything you are unwilling to do…however, after everything that has happened tonight, I feel like I ‘need’ to do something to show you how happy I am. For those that don’t want to participate, I would encourage you to get some rest and I promise to tend to you later…for now, however, I’m not sure I can keep holding myself back…”

Other than petting energy, Vahn had started to infuse his [Hands of Nirvana] into his domain as well, causing stimulating energy to disperse through the bodies of everyone present, himself included. This caused Eirene to slouch over slightly before she eventually managed to extricate herself from the room, though not before sharing a long embrace with Vahn. Not entirely surprising, everyone else ended up staying in the room and, though he was greatly outnumbered, Vahn proceeded onto the bed without any hesitation. It didn’t matter if there were nine of them, and only one of himself, Vahn felt completely unstoppable at this time…

Back in the Dungeon, Vahn had already woken up and stared absentmindedly up at the roof of the tent as he focused on what was going on back at the Manor. If not for the presence of Tina and Alexa, Vahn might not have been able to hold himself back from cutting loose here in the tent as well. Though he didn’t have any inhibitions about Tina now, and intended to ‘tend’ to her in the near future, Vahn had solidified his resolve in regards to Alexa. He knew she would continue to struggle with her instincts for a long time and, depending on her choices, Vahn would have her become his subordinate or retainer before changing her race completely if it was necessary.

Even if they didn’t have any blood relation to each other, this was actually true for all of his children since he actually had no genetic information to even provide towards the process. His body was entirely comprised of source energy and simply ’emulated’ things like blood and semen for the purpose of facilitating his intentions. This meant he had no blood relationship with any of his children, including Alexa herself. However, this wasn’t a reason for him to act without restraint and Vahn adamantly refused to allow things to progress in that manner.

Because of the nature of his existence, he was too well equipped to earn the affections of others, including his own children. Since he would never allow himself to become the type of monster that lusted after the result of his bond with the women he loved, Vahn would have to completely shut down Alexa’s budding desires before things got out of hand. He had already checked to see how much OP it required to convert someone like Terra into one of the relatively common races in the record and, though it would reduce her potential somewhat, Vahn would make Alexa into something other than a True Dragon if she couldn’t restrain her instincts. Since he didn’t place any true value on race, Vahn would still help her become strong without relying on her bloodline and, considering the wisdom she was capable of, Vahn believed she would understand…

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As if she was aware of the fact he was thinking about her, Alexa put a bit of strength into her wings that were blanketing his body. Vahn didn’t mind this part of her, as he was actually very fond of spending time with all of his children, but he knew there was a deeper meaning behind her clinginess that made Alexa a ticking time bomb. Still, at least for the time being, she actually served as a means of restraining his own actions as, without her presence, Vahn wouldn’t have minded dragging Shakti and Rufina into the fun he had nearly initiated within the tent. Though he knew it was because of the girls that they had decided to sleep in the same futon, Vahn knew they had long made the ‘resolution’ to pursue him. There was even a chance he could genuinely come to love them in the future but, at least for the moment, Vahn was more interested in more ‘direct’ actions…

Eventually, Vahn managed to emerge victorious from his battle with the girls in Loki’s room and, after cleaning up a bit, headed out to meet up with Freya. She had been patiently waiting for his arrival and, much like he had explained things to the girls at the Manor, Vahn would clarify some things for her. At the same time, he would conduct a personal inspection of the area before returning to the sub-space orb to take care of some of the other things he had planned. He had already arranged to have Terra do a thorough sweep of the entire City and, to make sure there was nothing serious going on within the Artificial Dungeon, Vahn had given Fafnir the mission of observing things within the shadows and keep track of who was coming and going from the interior.

Around the same time that he was having a very long ‘meeting’ with Freya, it was time for everyone in the expedition to begin waking and Vahn needed to finish his investigation. Even though he had decided to be more direct in how he dealt with Enyo, Vahn wasn’t going to put a great deal of pressure on the expedition without any explanation. For the time being, he would continue with the plan he had come up with alongside Finn and Gareth, keeping the expedition within Lil Geirr as they traded out personnel. If Enyo did anything during that period of time, they would repel her and, if there were any leads to exploit, Vahn would take advantage of them. Depending on how things played out, Vahn would determine how he would allocate his forces and potentially move a detachment to the 18th Floor to protect Rivira. From this point onward, Vahn wasn’t simply playing games with Enyo…he had instead declared all-out war against her forces…

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