Chapter 94: New Dawn

Vahn awoke to an unfamiliar ceiling, though it wasn’t much of a ceiling considering he found himself in a tent. Looking around, he was able to see a few other people sleeping, and he noticed the banner of the Hephaestus Familia on the fabric. Rolling out of the bedroll, Vahn winced and felt a painful sensation from his ribs. The sudden sensation reminded him of the ‘death grip’ hug that Tiona had given him during her excitement. They must have brought him here after he collapsed.

It was now around 5 AM, and it would be another hour or so before most people began awakening. Vahn yawned and made his way out of the tent to relieve himself in the forest. It had also been nearly half a day since he had anything to eat, so after he finished his business he relaxed against a tree and ate some crepes he had stored within his inventory. As Vahn slowly ate away at the delicious, and still warm, crepe, he began looking around at the campsite.

People were slowly beginning to wake up, and there were a few making their way around the campsite to prepare breakfast. Everyone seemed to be in high spirits, and Vahn could tell most people enjoyed the atmosphere of the camp environment. There were men and women, both young and old, working alongside each other to help complete tasks both big and small. It was inspiring seeing people come together to make each other’s burdens lighter.

Vahn thought back to all of his experiences with other people and, for the most part, it didn’t seem like he had many interactions like that. Most of the time, it was just people helping him out, while he just offered bits of advice every now and then. His interactions with Lili were always him trying to help take care of her, while she sought his approval and praise. When he was with Naaza, she relied on him for advice and insight but seemed to always have an awkward atmosphere when they were alone. He couldn’t help mix the potions, and when she saw him processing the ingredients, she had him stop out of guilt.

Both Hephaestus and Tsubaki were just helping him out…Vahn felt like he owed them both for various things. He wanted Tsubaki to be able to relax more, and he still had his promise to keep with Hephaestus. One day, he would forge an item that impresses her and then he could drive away her loneliness. Even Chloe was someone he was heavily indebted to, and Vahn always felt a hint of guilt whenever he would visit the Hostess of Fertility with other people.

Of all the people he interacted with, it was always closer to give and take than actual compromise and cooperation. Vahn didn’t have any memorable incidents in his mind where he worked alongside others to overcome difficulties and help each other out. Seeing the camaraderie possessed by everyone in the camp, Vahn questioned if the things he was doing now were correct.

After finishing his meal, Vahn decided to relax and clear his head a bit. He wasn’t far from the river, and if he followed it further, there would be a small lake that continued onward until it joined the larger patchwork of lakes on the floor. Making his way through the woods, Vahn couldn’t help but yawn. His body hadn’t completely woken up, and the breakfast had made him a little drowsy. Taking a bath should help clear his mind and wake up his body for the coming day.

Vahn continued through the woods until he came into the clearing with the pond. Though he was still in a sleepy state of mind, he immediately recognized the presence of others the moment he entered the clearing. After staring at their figures for a bit, he stretched and decided it was probably better for him to leave. Since people over-reacted to his body, Vahn assumed it wasn’t a good idea to be caught looking at them.

As he turned around, a pair of arms grabbed him from behind and Vahn could feel the cold water from their skins penetrate through his clothing. “Hahaha~ I caught you now Vahn! Where are you going after coming this far?” The person who had grabbed Vahn was Tiona, one of the four girls who had been taking a bath in the pond. She was also the primary reason Vahn had decided it was better to retreat, but when he had looked at them earlier, they were also staring towards him with surprised expressions.

Lefiya, who was also bathing, screamed out in a shrill and girly voice as she tried to hide her figure within the cold pond. Ais stared with a seemingly unperturbed expression, but Vahn noticed there was a slight blush on her cheeks. The only two acting ‘normally’ were Tiona and Tione who didn’t seem to mind Vahn at all, especially considering Tiona was currently hugging him from behind and dragging him to the edge of the pond.

“Come on Vahn, why not take a bath together? This way, we’ll have all seen each other naked and it won’t be awkward in the future~!” Before he was able to answer, Tiona already started undressing him, while Vahn didn’t put any real effort into stopping her. Instead, he decided to speak out his concerns, “Mmm, I don’t really mind, but other people seem to be uncomfortable…” As he spoke, he looked toward Ais who continued staring at him and the young Lefiya who was blowing bubbles while submerged into the water. Vahn didn’t know someone’s face could become so red.

“Ahahaha~It’s fine, it’s fine! You don’t care do you Tione, Ais?” At this point, the only thing preventing Vahn from becoming completely naked were his socks and boxers. Tione stared at the sight before speaking her mind, “Ehh, I’m surprised he is bold enough to be nude around a group of women. Most boys would have run away or try their best to make excuses. As long as you don’t make a move on me, I don’t really mind, but remember I’m saving myself for the Captain!”

Ais, who had been standing without making too much effort to hide her body, considered for a moment before speaking. “It’s fine… Everyone stared earlier…” The moment Tione and Ais gave their consent, Tiona quickly separated Vahn’s boxers from his body. In doing so, she had knocked him over a bit which allowed her to relieve him of his socks before dragging him into the pond.

Vahn thought the cold water was pretty relaxing, but before he could make himself comfortable, Lefiya screamed out. “W-w-w-w-what are you thinking!? We can’t just let a b-b-b-boy take a bath with us!!!” Lefiya, who was still crouching down in the water was incredibly flustered after everyone else seemed completely okay with the situation. She began to think she was the weird one, but after seeing Vahn’s naked ‘glory’, she couldn’t help but scream out in protest.

Vahn frowned after hearing her scream and couldn’t understand why she was acting so strangely. She was acting a lot like Lili had the first time she walked in on him in the onsen. Every time after that she seemed perfectly fine, though her tolerance to the heat seemed a bit lacking since she always turned red the moment she entered the bath.

Tione saw Lefiya acting shy and a big grin appeared on her face. Sneaking up behind the bashful elf, she lifted Lefiya up while groping her chest. “There isn’t anything to be ashamed about Lefiya, aren’t you growing perfectly fine~!” As Lefiya was lifted out of the water, Vahn was able to see her unguarded body flailing about. Seeing Vahn’s ‘intense’ gaze, Lefiya quickly gave in to the pressure building up in her head as she passed out with a slight nosebleed.

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Tiona and Tione laughed at the sight, but Ais seemed a bit saddened by the turn of events. “Lefiya…” Vahn noticed her look and felt like he was the reason things had gotten out of hand. Without thinking anything, he walked toward Lefiya, who was still being held by Tione. Tione looked at him skeptically as he began stretching out his hand.

“Hey now, nobody gave you permission to touch. I’m sure if you’re curious Tiona would be more than willing to assist you.” Tiona seized the moment and tried taking advantage of the situation. “That’s right Vahn, come, ask me about anything you want to know! I asked you a bunch of questions earlier, I don’t mind~.” As she spoke, Tiona was gently trying to pull his arm to the side. She was a bit envious seeing how he ‘stared intensely’ at the unconscious Lefiya.

Vahn shook his head as if to dismiss her offer, but he was just trying to convey he wasn’t doing anything strange. “I’m just helping, not doing anything bad.” As he said the words, Vahn placed his palm on Lefiya’s head and used [Hands of Nirvana] to help calm her overtaxed mind. The other girls stared at him with confusion, but it quickly turned to interest as they saw his actions.

A few seconds later, Lefiya, in a dazed state, slowly opened her eyes. It took her a moment to realize what was happening because there was an arm obstructing her vision. As the hand that had been resting on her head pulled away, Lefiya caught sight of Vahn, still naked, smiling toward her. “Sorry if I caused you any problems. You should be okay now. Do you feel any discomfort?”

Lefiya, who was still dazed, slowly shook her head without saying anything. Hearing the concern in his voice and seeing the gentle expression on his face, Lefiya actually felt guilty about making him worried. Of course, this was only temporary as the pressure began to rapidly build up in her mind again as she continued catching glimpses of Vahn’s figure. She slowly covered her face with her hands as Tione finally released her body. No longer supported by another person, Lefiya fell forward…into Vahn’s arms.

Vahn had caught Lefiya, who had suddenly fallen towards him. He could feel her body immediately twitch as she seemed to freeze in place. Thinking there was something wrong, Vahn once again placed his palm on her head and began channeling [Hands of Nirvana]. “Are you okay, Lefiya?”

Lefiya’s mind was in a chaotic state by the paradoxical feelings tearing through her mind like a hurricane. She felt happy, angry, sad, flustered, excited, confused, and a variety of other emotions all at once. Feeling the warm energy coming from the palm on her head, Lefiya felt at ease, but it also prevented her from releasing her emotions and she felt like they were slowly building up to a critical level. Removing her hands slightly, as she had been facing downward, Lefiya got a first-person close-up of the offending ‘figure’ as her mind blanked out.

Only allowed on

For a few seconds, everyone noticed Lefiya completely freeze which caused Tiona to come and investigate. “Lefiya…are you okay?” As she asked the question, Tiona poked Lefiya in the shoulder. Almost as if she had been released from a spell, Lefiya stood up completely straight before rushing to the shore and grabbing her clothes. Without waiting for anyone to say anything, she bolted into the nearby woods and disappeared from everyone’s sight while emitting a strange and aggrieved noise.

For a few seconds, everyone just stared in awe at the departing figure, unable to process what kind of reaction she had. Eventually, Tione took her fist and hammered it slightly into her palm like she had figured something out. “Ah! Maybe it was a bit too early for someone like Lefiya? Vahn isn’t exactly…normal?” As she spoke, both Ais and Tiona looked towards the boy who was still standing unabashedly before them.

They could see he had an athletic figure with well-toned muscles. His skin was a healthy tanned complexion and he had a handsome face with a somewhat naive. His dark hair and vibrant aquamarine eyes enhanced his facial features and brought his appearance up a notch. But, the most important thing, and the reason Lefiya had run away…their eyes slowly drifted down past the relatively toned abdominal muscles of Vahn and saw his companion. Even in its dormant state, it caused people to feel almost ‘intimidated’.

Vahn, noticing their gazes, followed their eyes before looking at his own p****. At that moment, he recalled all the other times he had been naked around others. Without exception, every single person would at some point fix their gaze on his exposed genitals. Vahn was confused, and since there were three people currently staring, he decided to ask. “Is there something wrong with it?”

Ais blushed a light shade of pink as she averted her eyes. Tione laughed while loudly proclaiming, “Hahaha, there is nothing wrong at all. If anything I’m worried about my sister’s future!” Tione was laughing so uncontrollably that her breasts jiggled, dislodging the built up moisture from the pond water. Looking towards Tiona, Vahn gave her a questioning look. Tiona gulped slightly, but Vahn could see a determination in her eyes like she was about to fight a fierce battle. “I won’t be defeated so easily!”

Vahn was even more confused after seeing her reaction. He couldn’t help but wonder what would she be defeated by, but for some reason, his instincts triggered slightly so he avoided asking.

(A/N: Alternate Titles: ‘Yanorth’s Contribution’,’Denser than Adamantite’,’Skinship’,’Elves are quick to recognize Lewdness’)

- my thoughts:
This chapter made me laugh~
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