Chapter 958: Aftermath

Several hours after his battle with Hippolyta, Vahn was sitting alongside Tiona and Tione while Myrine looked toward him with a mixture of caution and reverence. Though she could have been misunderstood as looking towards the person sitting in his lap, Vahn was very aware of the red permeating through her aura as she remained near the unconscious Hippolyta. She had been given basic treatment by Vahn and they were currently waiting for her to awaken to settle important matters. Vahn could have forced her awake but the previous situation didn’t make it conducive to his intentions since the presence of several thousand fiery-eyed Amazonesses made it difficult to converse.

Not really caring about the conversation to come, Kali was wearing the same smock Vahn had gifted her as she snuggled up in Vahn’s lap. She might have taken her ‘image’ into consideration around most Amazonesses but Myrina, Hippolyta, and even Bache were exceptions. Kali wanted them to know exactly what kind of relationship she had with Vahn since it would force them to take measured action instead of just acting as they pleased. As it stood, Myrina couldn’t even keep eye contact with her and was instead fully focused on Vahn, just as Kali had intended. Since she also got to receive some of Vahn’s pampering, it was an ideal situation from Kali’s perspective…

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Eventually, as a result of her own natural recovery being exceptionally high, Hippolyta began to stir awake. She released a muffled and painful groan as she rolled onto her side before lifting her tired body into a seated position. Though it hadn’t been his intention, Vahn had ruptured many of her organs and broken nearly half the bones in her body with his final attack. He had healed all of the life-threatening wounds but, so Hippolyta wouldn’t be able to make excuses, he allowed most of the damage to remain. This would force Hippolyta to accept the reality of the situation and make their coming discussion much easier. There were several things Vahn needed her to do and, after a short conversation with Tione, he also had a few things to ask her before preparing to leave Telskyura.

Even before opening her eyes, Hippolyta had sensed several presences around her so she wasn’t surprised to find Vahn sitting at the side. Though her mind did dull a bit when she saw Kalii sitting in his lap, causing her to rub her head before taking a second look, she didn’t make any comment about the arrangement. Instead, Hippolyta gave Tiona and Tione a once-over before training her eyes on Vahn as she said, “You are very powerful, Vahn Mason. I’ll admit that I underestimated your strength and made light of a situation that I should have treated with full seriousness. I won’t make any excuses though so my life is yours to do with as you please, at least until I manage to defeat you in turn…” Though there was a great deal of resentment in her heart, Hippolyta couldn’t ignore the heat rising in her body just from being held under Vahn’s gaze so she ended up averting her eyes to try and stay calm…

Vahn produced a small smile in response to Hippolyta’s words before saying, “I want you to remain as the Queen of the Telskyura and help pave the way towards a better future for all Amazonesses. I’ve spent more than three months watching how your people live and understand that rapid change could be detrimental. That doesn’t mean we can’t start laying the foundation-” Before Vahn was able to finish, Hippolyta began to massage her temples as she said, “Just tell me what I need to do, Vahn. You managed to defeat me in battle so I don’t really need to hear your reasons and excuses…” Since she hadn’t spent that much time around Vahn yet, Hippolyta wasn’t accustomed to his habit of trying to explain and justify everything.

Ignoring the laughter from Kali, Tiona, and even Myrina, Vahn remained silent for a few seconds before saying, “We will change how Amazonesses are raised, allowing them to balance their training with play. At the same time, I will install all of the necessary barriers, formations, and equipment to make it possible for you to do battle simulations. This will allow Amazonesses to fight to their heart’s content without risk of serious injury or death. It doesn’t really matter to me how adult Amazonesses settle matters but I don’t want to see children losing their lives unnecessarily. In exchange, I will also provide several other benefits that will allow all Amazonesses in the future to become far more powerful than the average member of the warrior tribe…”

Hippolyta had a serious expression on her face when she heard all of the things Vahn wanted to change but, after hearing the final part of his statement, she couldn’t help raising her brows slightly. This was something noted by Kali who immediately added, “I have seen for myself that he is telling the truth. Vahn has several methods that will allow Amazonesses to prosper without forcing us to change much about the way we live. In the future, we should treat it as a great failure if we allow younglings to lose their lives because of the rules we made. Though we will continue to use the crucible system, we will start to filter Amazonesses from a young age to make sure they don’t end up as victims in a system that they are forced to adhere to. You shouldn’t treat this as Vahn placing more restrictions on our people and instead look at it as if he were removing the ones we had placed without even noticing.”

Though it would be nearly impossible for her to outright admit it, Kali had started to notice that things weren’t as clear-cut as she had thought. Since even girls like Mars and Khodiva were able to resist their instincts through sheer willpower, Kali knew she couldn’t use it as an excuse any longer. She knew the people around Vahn were able to become extremely powerful over a short period of time so it was inarguable that his methods would allow the Amazonesses to prosper. Just the tattoo he had placed on Tione’s body was something that would revolutionize the way every Amazoness live in the future since it would allow those with naturally high mana to control themselves and become even stronger…

With Kali adding her words into the mix, Hippolyta’s breathing became a little hot and ragged while Myrina’s fingers were noticeably trembling. There were few things more important to an Amazoness than the promise of greater power and, being near the ‘peak’ of where even historical Amazonesses would begin to decay, both powerful girls couldn’t help but feel enticed by such words. It was at this moment that Vahn decided to explain a few things, but not before asking, “Hippolyta, are you the mother of Tiona and Tione…?” Though he could have easily gotten an answer from Kali, Vahn wanted to hear it from Hippolyta herself. He wanted to know what kind of reaction she would have, especially if she was aware of the relationship between her and two of Vahn’s long-time friends and lovers…

Hippolyta had already started thinking about how her country would begin to change in the future so she was a little surprised by Vahn’s words, causing a frown to adorn her face. She gave Tiona and Tione another glance, her eyes coming to a stop when she met Tione’s gaze. Eventually, her frown softened into a tired expression as she released a long sigh and admitted, “They are indeed my children…” There were a lot of emotions contained within Hippolyta’s sigh, everything from pain, longing, pride, and, most notably, regret. As for why she felt these emotions, Hippolyta didn’t seem keen on explaining since she quickly averted her eyes from Tione and added, “Blood relations have no great significance other than ensuring that future Amazonesses have greater potential. As Queen, I must treat all Amazonesses as if they were my children so do not blame me for treating my own children as something unique and special…”

Because of the way their society was structured, Hippolyta was very aware of the fact that any special treatment she would have afforded her daughters would have been detrimental. Other Amazonesses would have treated them harshly if they were given preferencial treatment and, as had happened in the distant past, there was a high chance such actions would sow the seeds of corruption. If they had grown up thinking they were special, especially as the daughters of royalty, their nature could have been warped as they developed a sense of entitlement and self-importance. This was the exact reason why most other civilizations would stagnate, as those with great power and authority would try to pass it on to unworthy heirs for no other reason than they were related…

Knowing there was no way to argue against Hippolyta, Vahn simply closed his eyes for a few seconds as he allowed Tiona and Tione to take in their mother’s words. Tione had lowered her head slightly after Hippolyta averted her eyes but Tiona showed genuine surprise as she exclaimed, “You’re my mom…!?” She was leaning far forward with an excited look on her face as a vibrant and innocent smile blossomed from her lips. Her reaction had caused Hippolyta’s frown to deepen but she still nodded her head in response, causing Tiona to begin laughing happily. This made Hippolyta extremely confused, at least until Tione released a heavy sigh and explained, “You may never come to understand it, but we’ve learned the importance of family. Also, if you had been a better parent, there is a chance we might have never met Vahn…”

Though she felt great conflict in her heart, Tione’s own words had brought her comfort as she said the last few words while looking at Vahn. There was unconcealed love in her eyes, especially when Vahn turned to match her gaze and returned a loving smile of his own. Tiona also seemed intent on joining in on the emotional moment as she practically tackled Vahn, Kali, and Tione while exclaiming, “That’s right, isn’t it!? Without having lived through the past, we never would have been able to get to this point! Ehehehehehe~.” It hadn’t really shown in her actions and responses, but Tiona had been a little hurt but the revelation that Hippolyta was her mother. She had played it off well but hearing her own sister’s words had also alleviated the momentary anxiety that she had felt…

Seeing this play taking place before her, Hippolyta’s eyes became dull since she didn’t really know what to make of the situation. The fact her goddess was also ‘tolerating’ her daughter’s actions was something that caused Hippolyta great confusion, enough for her to give Myrina a look that seemed to ask, ‘what is going on here…?’. Myrina just shook her head in response, not really knowing what to make of the awkward display since it wasn’t really something she had witnessed in the thirty-seven years of her life…

After Tiona finally settled down, Vahn decided to advance the conversation forward once again, explaining, “I won’t blame you for the decisions you made in the past but you should know that I care deeply for all of my children. Until you can mend your relationship with your own daughters, please don’t expect that I would afford you the opportunity to make another mistake. Also, though I don’t have much grounds to stand on when saying such things, I wouldn’t be comfortable with having a child with you while your daughters are already pregnant with my children. Wait until things settle down and, if you have made-.” Vahn’s words were left trailing since Hippolyta looked toward him with a dull expression that he wasn’t sure how to interpret.

Shortly after Vahn’s words came to a stop, Hippolyta explained in an equally dull tone as the expression in her eyes, “The biological purpose of all Amazonesses is to ensure that the generation that follows is more powerful than the last. I already have two capable daughters and am already near the age when my final journey would begin. Though I will follow your orders and bring about the changes you desire, my only other focus is training a successor. If you don’t want to give me a child, I don’t have the room to offer a complaint…” Even with her body burning in Vahn’s presence, Hippolyta wasn’t a young Amazonesses that couldn’t control her urges. Since she had already given birth to two capable daughters, one of which even caused warning signals to trigger in the back of her mind, Hippolyta didn’t really care if she couldn’t have another child.

Vahn was momentarily at a loss since he had never actually thought about a future where Hippolyta wouldn’t try to pressure him into having a child together. He also felt a great deal of relief since, as much as he loved and cared for his kids, Vahn knew things were going to grow increasingly complex in the future. Having one fewer child wasn’t a bad thing, especially since there was currently no real love between him and Hippolyta. The one thing that weighed most heavily on his heart was the fact that, without any leverage against her, there was a good chance Hippolyta would never reconcile with Tiona and Tione. Vahn knew that the bond between parent and child could be shakey at times but he also felt like it wasn’t something so fragile that it couldn’t be repaired with concerted effort…

As if she could read his mind, Tione leaned into Vahn’s arm and whispered, “It’s fine, Vahn…we should think about our own future from now on, not the past…” Even before she knew the whole truth, Tione had already decided to put the past behind her after returning to Telskyura. She didn’t have any real feelings towards Hippolyta and, even if they didn’t fix their relationship in the future, it didn’t matter that much. Her biggest concern was the relationship she would have with her own daughter, causing Tione to even make a solemn promise in her heart to be a better mother than her own…

Hippolyta watched the interaction between Vahn, Tione, and, refusing to be left out, Tiona with a small glimmer in her eyes. It was almost imperceptible, but the corner of her lips curled up slightly, causing Kali to produce a sly grin that caused Hippolyta to immediately fix her expression. Vahn had also noticed the change in her aura but chose to ignore it since there were no real benefits with putting Hippolyta on the spot. Just knowing she cared about Tiona and Tione, at least a little, was enough for him to accept how things had developed. Things were already a little complicated with Milan and Tina so avoiding a similar situation would make his own life easier…

For the better part of three hours, Vahn talked about the future with Kali and Hippolyta, including the fact that Kali would be migrating to Orario to establish a community for the Amazonesses there. Since this would make it practically impossible for her to update Status Boards, Vahn would be establishing a teleportation ward in the Coliseum’s underground that would allow Kali to move between Orario and Telskyura with ease. As for Hippolyta, she would remain in Telskyura and begin training her successor while Myrina, having never left the country previously, would become her official Envoy. Unlike Hippolyta, she genuinely desired a child and wanted to challenge Vahn to battle to determine the nature of their future relationship…

Ultimately, Vahn would be returning to Orario with Tiona and Tione while Kali would venture out with a large part of her Familia once Spring had come. Vahn would establish the teleportation ward before that, as there was no way Kali would want to spend more than six months apart, but the final journey would be made by her people on foot. She would be bringing with her most of the ‘unique’ Amazonesses that didn’t fit into the current system while the reforms Vahn wanted to introduce would slowly be introduced into Amazoness society. This accounted for more than three-hundred people and they would become the ‘core’ for the community that would be created within Orario in the future…

Long after the discussion had come to an end, Vahn found himself in Kali’s chambers once again, this time with some uncommon additions. Previously, nobody had been allowed to stay overnight in Kali’s chambers, Vahn being the only exception, but he currently had Tiona, Tione, and even Bache alongside him as they all shared a large bed that had replaced the fire at the center of the room. The area had been sealed off and, though they hadn’t done anything that required greater privacy, the only person wearing anything clothing was Vahn. His body was entwined with the four girls as they all cuddled together, including the now veilless Bache.

Vahn had healed the scar on her face since they had already broached the point of no return when he saved Bache during her duel with Tiona. Kali had been aware of this as well and, after dismissing everyone lingering around her chambers, allowed Bache to share a bed with her and Vahn in an obvious attempt to show that she was placing herself near the same level as other girls. If not for the fact that even Tiona and Tione had allowed Kali to ‘steal’ the spot on Vahn’s stomach, something which Kali had gladly taken, it might have been a convincing act. Even so, Vahn knew that Kali was making an effort so he spoiled her for a bit after giving each girl a rather deep full-body massage…

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Now, Vahn was the only one awake while the four brown-skinned beauties used his body as a pillow. There was a warm and comfortable aura permeating through the room, courtesy of Vahn’s domain, and Vahn was enjoying the ‘simplicity’ of the moment now that things were beginning to transition in the direction he wanted. He had learned a lot during this long excursion and, though it hasn’t always been easy, Vahn knew it would make him a more complete and capable person in the future. Since it had already been determined that he would become an Emperor in the near future, Vahn knew that experiences like this would be instrumental in ensuring the success of his reign…

(A/N: I have to push the 3-4 chapter releases to Monday since I’m a lot more fatigued than I expected. Now that I have a long weekend, it seems like my body is allowing all the stress and tensions I have built over the last two weeks out and I’m feeling a bit sick. There will still be 1-2 more chapters today but I got a late start after sleeping for eleven hours and I’m currently writing them in sequence xD. This is the final chapter of this arc though and the next volume will be the last of Vahn’s adventures in Danmachi, at least until he returns in the future o3o~!)

(A/N: Alternate Titles: ‘Vahn’s talks too much xD…’,’Even if parents are terrible, the bond between mother and child is not so easily broken…(A/N: Damn, typing this out actually made me have to take a moment)’,’The simple things in life make the more complicated things easier to tolerate’)

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