Chapter 952: Turmoil

Seeing Kali turning her back to him, Vahn was momentarily at a loss of how to act since he hadn’t expected such behavior. All of a sudden, the overbearing, mischevious, and confident goddess seemed inordinately small, causing the image Vahn had been building up in his heart to break down. He had been trying to treat her as a capable and powerful goddess that could stand at his side but, seeing her curled up with her back to him, Vahn felt like she was an existence much smaller than his own. A sudden urge to protect her welled up inside him and, even though he knew she would probably lash out at him, much like Eva would in the past, Vahn decided a few small injuries were tolerable to alleviate her anxiety…

As he approached her side, Vahn saw Kali’s body tense up as her aura began to swell up like an all-consuming flame. Her Divinity was activated and, even though he was confident in surviving a few exchanges against a god, Vahn’s instincts still warned him of impending death. After all, Kali had a major Divinity associated with the Law of Death and, even if he was ‘immortal’, the odds of her being able to kill him were much higher than most. Even so, Vahn ignored the feeling of pin needles poking into his skin as he made his way to Kali’s side and unceremoniously sat next to her. The Divinity she was releasing made a sick feeling rise up in Vahn’s stomach but he still lay on the cushion next to Kali before hugging her closely against his bare chest while sending waves of calming energy through her body…

Vahn could feel Kali flex her hands open and closed as her small frame trembled within his embrace, clearly uncomfortable with the situation but choosing to tolerate it. He knew she was dealing with things she didn’t truly understand and, knowing she had never experienced such emotions over her extremely long existence, Vahn didn’t blame her for feeling confused. At the same time, Vahn knew that Kali wouldn’t want his ‘pity’ and, if he just held her in silence, the odds of her going into a rage would increase with the passage of time. Thus, before Kali could sort through her own chaotic thoughts, Vahn brought his hand under the fabric of her vest and stated firmly, “After I’m finished with things here, I’ll be taking you back to Orario with me. You can try to resist but I’m more than willing to defeat you in a duel before dragging you along with me…after everything that has happened, I’m not going to let you go so easily…Kali…”

With his palm already glowing with a rainbow hue, Vahn traced his hand from Kali’s chest before snaking it along her collarbone and the curve of her neck. He nearly poked himself in the eye with one of the protrusions of Kali’s bone mask but managed to navigate the hazard before stealing Kali’s lips. She still had her eyes closed but, almost as soon as their mouths overlapped, a lot of the pressure Kali had been releasing diminished. Vahn continued to stroke the side of her face and head before gently removing the bone mask so that it wasn’t in the way. He could feel her body begin to heat up noticeably and, even though feelings of uncertainty tickled his heart, Vahn ignored them as Kali shifted around until she was facing him, her actions becoming increasingly more proactive as their long kissing session continued.

Several minutes after they had started, Kali was taking deep breaths and had a slightly red hue covering much of her exposed flesh. She had opened her eyes at some point and was now staring into Vahn’s face in silence as her blood-red irises reflected his image. In response to this, Vahn traced his fingers through Kali’s hair, musing, “It isn’t like you to think about unnecessary things…” Since that was typically what she accused him of, Vahn felt like the words were a small admonishment toward himself. Kali, however, frowned deeply and began to release her Divinity once again, seemingly finding Vahn’s words to be a great insult…

Since it was rather unexpected, Vahn instinctually swallowed before trying to move his hand to Kali’s waist in a stroking motion. This time, she quickly snatched his wrist with her vice-like grip, her youthful face gaining a stern look as she stated, “You can’t win my affections that easily, brat…!” Unless Vahn had defeated her using more direct methods, Kali would never admit to the fact that she had been very relieved when he embraced her. It didn’t matter if she had fallen into his momentum and allowed him to kiss her for several long minutes. Now that she had a moment to collect herself, Kali refused to be on the ‘receiving’ end and was more inclined to ‘take’ what she wanted instead.

Knowing he had lost control over the situation, Vahn’s own expression hardened as, before Kali could react, he rather forcibly placed his hand on her waist and sent a massive wave of energy into her body. Though her hand had tightened enough to make his bones creak, Vahn’s defenses weren’t so easily overcome without her genuinely trying to harm him. As a result, Kali inhaled sharply with a trembling jaw as her legs shot out instinctually. She suddenly looked like someone who had been thrown out into the arctic without a single piece of clothing. Her trembling body curled up into Vahn’s chest, almost as if she were seeking out the heat radiating off him. However, throughout this entire process, Kali’s expression didn’t change much other than developing a more prominent scowl…

For a brief moment, Vahn stopped to reflect on his actions and was caught wholly unprepared when Kali snapped her head forward, burying her overdeveloped canines deep into his bicep. She shook her head from side to side, almost as if she were trying to pull the flesh away, but Vahn noticed there wasn’t actually that much strength in her actions. If she really wanted to, Kali would have been able to take a full bite out of him but, even if she wasn’t aware of it herself, she didn’t seem willing to go all out. Since he had already prepared himself for a few minor injuries, Vahn’s eyes squinted slightly as he moved his hand from Kali’s waist, ignoring the fingers digging into his wrist. Though she didn’t have much there, Kali’s butt was still very soft and had a small amount of flesh that could easily fit into the palm of his hand. Vahn had gripped the small mound rather firmly while pressing his index finger into the pressure point near Kali’s tailbone.

This time, even though she likely hadn’t intended to, Kali’s teeth clenched and she ‘accidentally’ bit a large chunk of flesh from Vahn’s arm. For a brief moment, Vahn saw concern and anxiety across Kali’s expression until the piece she had bit away ‘dissolved’ into nothing before Vahn’s wound was completely healed. After she saw this, any concern Kali had vanished in its entirety and she instead glared at Vahn with a look of profound blame. Vahn responded to this by reminding her of the situation, tracing his index and middle finger along her spine and causing Kali’s toes to curl in response…

Kali seemed fed up with the way things were going and immediately pushed against Vahn’s chest to try and free herself from his incessant teasing. Her body was already in a heated state and it was getting hard to restrain herself as he inconsiderately did whatever he wanted. Since her attempt had been unsuccessful, the result of Vahn holding her relatively closely, Kali’s expression turned dour as she said, “Get the hell out of my chambers…!” To emphasize her point, Kali began to wriggle around violently until she managed to curl her legs up between herself and Vahn, kicking against him with enough force to finally separate their bodies.

Though he could have kept holding her, Vahn could feel his fingers sinking into parts of Kali’s body and was worried he would injure her if he was too insistent. He managed to catch himself without tumbling into the fire and, looking back at Kali, saw a few dark bruises on her body, mostly the result of her actions but directly caused by his insistence. Feelings of guilt welled up inside of his heart but Vahn buried them as he decisively said, “After my duel with Hippolyta concludes, prepare yourself…” Knowing the state Kali was in, Vahn knew he needed to give her time to cool off before he returned to her chambers in the evening. At this rate, she might very well fight him to the death in order to ‘take’ what she wanted from him…

Kali’s fingers were firmly anchored into the reinforced golden structure of her lounge as she watched Vahn’s retreated figure. It took all of the willpower she had to kick him away, ignoring the instincts she had allowed to take root in her body after descending into the mortal world. Though she was a goddess, Kali was still an Amazoness and, even as Vahn moved away, she had a strong desire to tackle him to the ground without caring about anything else. Her body currently felt like it was on fire while the hot and moist air within her chambers actually felt cool in comparison. It wasn’t until he was completely gone that the tension in her body began to ease up, replaced by a feeling of ’emptiness’ that she didn’t really know how to deal with.

After spending a few minutes trying to calm down, Kali noticed that her body, especially the areas that Vahn had touched, was still burning madly. There was always a group of Amazonesses near her chambers so Kali raised her head and called out, “Someone, get in here…!” Her call was immediately met with a response as the two Amazonesses that had been guarding the entrance to her chamber came inside. Kali desperately needed something to distract herself so she said, “Go get Khodiva and Mars. I’ll be updating their Status Boards if they can keep me entertained. Also, gather up all the brats that are isolated from the rest of the younglings…have them get some rest before preparing them for a ‘presentation’…!”

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Because Vahn had left her in this state, even though she was the one to drive him away, Kali felt it was only fair if she made him as uncomfortable as possible. Since he would always enter into a daze and lose focus whenever the younglings were doing their performance, Kali wanted to ‘punish’ Vahn by using more direct means. The ‘presenting’ behavior of an Amazoness was when a weaker Amazoness would appeal to a stronger one for some kind of benefit, usually in the form of training. This generally resulted in direct skinship, massages, and, depending on the nature of the stronger Amazoness, more intimate interactions. Since it was in his nature to allow her to get away with such things, especially since he would be trying to ‘apologize’ to her, Kali fully intended to capitalize on Vahn’s ‘weakness’ to get even with him.

After a few minutes had passed, Khodiva, the young Berserker whom Kali had admonished earlier in the day, and Mars, another young Berserker that would have died without Vahn’s ‘assistance’, had arrived in her chambers. Neither girl was wearing clothing, allowing their blood-red tattoos to be fully visible while the only adornments they had were a few metallic rings, necklaces, and, in Mars’ case, a single golden earring. Most Amazonesses didn’t wear piercings since they would become a detriment in a battle if the opponent decided to take advantage of them. As for why Mars only wore a single earring, it was because the lobe of her left ear was completely missing after one of her opponents had done just that…

Neither girl spoke as they stood ramrod straight under Kali’s perusing gaze. There were two older Amazonesses behind them, each having been assigned as the ‘keeper’ of the Berserkers to avoid situations where the bloodthirsty girls would indiscriminately attack the other younglings. They were never far from their charge’s side and, if necessary, would even put the girls down if they fully gave in to their instincts. This was something Vahn was unaware of and, had he known, he would have investigated the Status Boards of the Berserkers to determine the cause of their bloodlust. He already suspected it was the result of an Innate and had even started thinking of countermeasures to keep it under control but, being focused on other things, Vahn hadn’t taken any decisive action since he was still conflicted about interfering much with the Amazoness culture…

Kali spent more than a minute perusing the scars and injuries on the girls’ bodies, much of her time focused on Mars since the girl was already ten years old and was one of the few Berserkers that had nearly completed the crucible. She was already Level 2 but, as a result of being unable to pass the tests required of every Amazoness before being allowed into society, Mars was still be nurtured within the Coliseum. She would still be recognized as a proper Amazoness, even without passing the test, but her fate would be to become a permanant member of the Kali Familia since she simply couldn’t be trusted to interact with other Amazonesses without causing harm.

After letting her eyes linger on a large pale scar on Mars’ abdomen, the only remnant of the more serious injury that had been treated by Vahn, Kali matched gazes with the two girls and said, “If the two of you can keep me properly entertained, I’ll update your Status Boards and consider allowing you to attend the next offshore hunt. Mars, you’re already Level 2 so this will be another opportunity to prove yourself…as for you, Khodiva, I have something special in mind. You’ll have to try really hard if you want me to arrange things for you…however, I can guarantee you will easily reach Level 2 if you manage to succeed.”

Hearing their goddess’ words, both girls couldn’t completely restrain their emotions and, being the younger and more inexperience of the two, Khodiva began to tremble with excitement. She was barely resisting the urge to tackle Mars and begin their match, enticed by the promise of greater strength. The latter had balled her hands into fists but managed to remain relatively calm as she continued to show Kali proper respect. Unlike Khodiva, she had been ‘invited’ to Kali’s chambers a few times and it wasn’t just the fight itself that would satisfy their goddess. Even as a Berserker, Mars knew there was a time and a place to cut loose and she would have never lived to reach adulthood if she didn’t have at least the smallest sense of propriety…

Kali’s body was still burning but she noticed it was a lot easier to deal with when she had something else to focus on. Her expression turned into a smile as the thought she had come up with previously was now finding its way to her lips. In most situations, she would have had the two girls simply wrestle until one was disabled or knocked unconscious. This time, however, Kali wanted to test the ‘limits’ of what the girls were capable of so she said, “Because of your nature, I’m well aware of the fact that you can both be extremely efficient and brutal when fighting. It has come to my notice over the last few months that there are other things a person needs in order to be a complete person and break through their limits. I want to see if the two of you have what it takes…I wonder, are you afraid…?”

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In response to Kali’s question, Mars puffed out her budding chest and immediately shouted, “I am not afraid of anything, Kali-sama…!” Khodiva was too tensed up previously so her response came a bit later, causing the seven-year-old girl to falter slightly before a vicious look appeared on her face as she said, “Khodiva will be strongest…!” She then tried to launch herself toward Mars but was quickly reigned in by the Level 3 Amazoness who was assigned to look after her. For a brief moment, Khodiva thrashed about and even tried to attack her handler before she was promptly thrown into the ground with a loud thump as the older Amazoness exclaimed, “Kali-sama hasn’t told you to do anything yet. Behave…!”

Since she was often on the receiving end of beatings after losing control, Khodiva curled up in a defensive posture and listened to what her handler was saying. She realized that she did act before her goddess had told her so, without rising from the ground, Khodiva got into a low bow with her forehead pressed into the floor as she said, “Forgive me, Kali-sama…” As for the goddess in question, her brows were slightly furrowed as she already began to suspect that she was wasting her time. Even so, she still needed a way to alleviate her own ‘problem’ so Kali resisted the urge to chase out the two girls and simply gestured for Khodiva to stand. The young Berserker now had a bit of dirt and blood on her knees but the wound was healing at a visible rate and was gone a few seconds later…

After remaining silent for a few seconds, Kali explained, “I want to see how well the two of you can restrain your emotions and resist your urges. If you can wrestle without losing control for twenty minutes, I will make good on my promises to you…however, I’ll still reward the person that wins by updating their Status Board. If that ends up being the case though, you’ll have to wait six months before having your Board updated again…” Kali had the thought of machinating a scenario where victory was a ‘bad’ thing, all while pitting two Amazonesses who had overdeveloped instincts against each other. She knew it was unfair to the two girls but, being the victim of unfairness herself, Kali felt like she needed to ‘share’ the anguish. At the same time, she was genuinely curious if they would be able to subvert her expectations, just as the changes in her own nature had come as a great surprise…

Mars showed an expression of concern but still bowed her head politely and said, “I understand, Kali-sama…” She had already failed her previous two challenges and, without Kali showing her leniency, it was almost impossible to gain another chance. Before now, Mars had already been thinking about her short life where she would be unable to fulfill her ‘purpose’ since the only fate that awaited her if she roamed the world was death. She didn’t have much confidence in holding back her urges, especially if the other party was also a Berserker, but she was determined to do her best…

Khodiva had an expression of disbelief as her complexion became progressively more pale with the passage of time. Her mouth had been agape for several seconds as words, something she struggled with greatly, completely escaped her. Though she was sometimes harshly reprimanded for going too far, Khodiva had never been told to try and completely restrain her urges. Khodiva’s mind was telling her it was completely impossible but, desiring the strength that Kali promised, she balled up her tiny fists and tried to bury the usual excitement deep inside of her as she mechanically turned to face Mars…

Though she would normally rebuke Amazonesses for resisting their urges, Kali was currently resisting her own so she kept her words to herself and simply watched in interest as the two began their awkward display. Things had started with Mars quickly closing the distance to Khodiva, ducking low and grabbing behind the knees of the smaller Amazoness before quickly moving into a mounting position after knocking her down. She almost moved to try and end the fight but, just as her hands neared Khodiva’s neck, Mars paused and instead tried to pin her wrists. Khodiva responded by wriggling about violently, all while biting her lip hard enough to cause a surprising amount of blood to begin flowing down her neck and face. She was desperately resisting her urges while Mars was trying to stay in a dominant position without actually ending the fight…

(A/N: Alternate Titles: ‘Vahn won’t even let the Lolis escape his clutches…!?’,’Kali isn’t tamed so easily…!’,’So, when Kali begins restraining herself…she turns into Loki? This isn’t healthy…!’)

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