Chapter 2358: EPIClogue 001
Chapter 2358: EPIClogue 001
(A/N: From now on, most chapters will be short-form excerpts detailing minor events and tying up loose ends. There will be actual chapters mixed in, but there are a lot of characters, perspectives, and events to show. Too many to dedicate full chapters to.)
Though they were ultimately his actions, Vahn didn’t like feeling like someone else had solved all his problems. Thus, in the weeks following his ‘return,’ he spent considerable time ensuring the smooth operation of the Aldrnari Empire. He took breaks to spend time with his family, friends, and loved ones, but as the Empire was still in its infancy, it required much attention.
One of the very first things Vahn did, even though Loki wanted to keep it a secret for as long as possible, was inform the Divine Council about the existence of worlds beyond Eden. He had aspirations of turning the tower into a nexus linking countless worlds in the future, and to accomplish that, they needed to expand the Guild’s power to serve as a proper regulatory and policing force.
With the support of Ouranos and many others, it was only a matter of time before Vahn’s aspirations were made a reality. To aid in this endeavor, he introduced a system that had worked remarkably well across many of the worlds his ‘past’ self had ventured, introducing Companions to students of the Aldrnari Academy.
Though there were invariably some Companions that had gone astray in the Aldrnari Empire of the Nasuverse, the majority qualitatively improved the lives of those they had been partnered with. This success was later replicated in the Little Garden, so Vahn was confident that introducing the tiny, adorable, and exceptionally powerful creatures to Orario would fix a lot of the systemic issues that had nearly ruined the lives of Lili and many others.
Fortunately, with the assistance of Skoll, the Goddess of Companions, Vahn didn’t need to produce Companions from scratch. The former had become an existence akin to a World Tree, but instead of simply linking various worlds, she produced a functionally infinite number of spiritual fruit that served as the larval essence of Companions. When consumed, the fruit would first nourish the body, curing diseases and other ailments, and, after a while, a Companion perfectly tailored to the consumer would take root in their Dantian, functioning much like a Tailed Beast but without the need for a seal.
A few weeks after Vahn’s return, Loki was lying atop his bed, playing with the ears of the red and white wolf-like Companion he had gifted her. She had been super busy serving as the Representative of the Divine Council, so she was currently taking a break, making use of the time allotted to her to laze about.
“You about finished?” asked Loki, looking over to where Vahn was seated at an expensive-looking desk, wearing a pair of old-fashioned glasses as he finished working on what looked like a golden pocket watch.
Nodding his head, Vahn replied, “I’m amazed at how easy it was,” before tossing the watch over to Loki. She managed to catch it without issue, and when she did so, she sat up, her carmine eyes glistening between the gaps of her eyelids as a mischievous grin developed across her face.
Without hesitation, Loki began to fiddle with the crown/winder of the pocket watch as if she were adjusting the time. As the second, minute, and hour hands moved backward, time outside the bedroom moved in reverse, not just on the continent of Eden but across the Record ‘Vahn Prime’ had modified.
Pressing the crown/winder down like the button on a stopwatch, Loki functionally stopped time, the smile on her face growing even larger as she mused, “I’m going to have a lot of fun with this.”
“Just don’t do anything too crazy, or I’ll have to punish you,” said Vahn, causing Loki to direct a cheeky smile his way. She couldn’t even begin to fathom how powerful he had become, but Loki was fairly confident she could get away with just about anything so long as she didn’t infringe on his bottom line.
Absorbing her Companion back into her body, Loki dangled the watch by the chain Vahn had attached to it, spinning it haphazardly as she tittered, “I suddenly have the urge to behave naughtily…”
Returning a smile of his own, Vahn arose from his impromptu workstation, returning it to his Inventory as he meandered his way over to the slender, auburn-haired Goddess. She could now change her appearance as freely as conformed to the shape of its vessel, but instead of becoming the tall, buxom beauty she imagined herself to be in her heart, she willfully chose to stay exactly the way he remembered.
“You’ve certainly become bolder…” remarked Loki, offering no resistance as Vahn pushed her onto the bed, burying his face into the nape of her neck. Her body shivered as a faint but pervasive pleasure spread through her like internalized goosebumps, but instead of immediately yielding to Vahn’s ministrations, she said, “Let’s do it on the event horizon of a black hole this time…”
Causing actual goosebumps to develop across Loki’s body, Vahn brought his mouth to her ear, responding, “If that’s what you want…” as the world
around them abruptly ‘fractured’ like glass. In the next moment, their bed was on the edge of an event horizon, unaffected by the immense gravity of a black hole devouring a blue star. The sight was both frightening and beautiful, but it soon became little more than a backdrop as Vahn cupped Loki’s bubbly butt with his hands and dissolved both of their clothes with a thought…
Contrasting the atmosphere of jubilation that had exuded from the Hearth Manor since Vahn’s return, things were fairly calm, serene, and borderline melancholic in Terra’s Garden, the home to Terra, Fafnir, and the former’s daughter, Alexa.
Though she knew her actions were more than a little childish, Alexa had been holing herself up in her dwelling in a grumpy mood, refusing to come out even with Ina, Vana, her mother, and several others came to check on her.
Fortunately for Alexa, she didn’t have to wait nearly as long as she was prepared to. Vahn didn’t show up immediately, but after getting some of his other affairs in order, he materialized in the very center of her room, finding the disgruntled dragoness wrapped in a futon as she watched his adventures through the Records on a Projection Sphere. More specifically, she was replaying the scenes of his interactions with Mordred…
Sensing Vahn’s appearance, Alexa turned her head toward him, wearing a deadpan glower as she asked, “What do you want…?” in a dull, monotone voice.
Exhaling through his nose, Vahn adopted a somewhat wry but discernibly sincere smile as he said, “You’re such a brat.”
Feeling hurt by Vahn’s words, Alexa’s expression immediately crumpled, her brows and chin crinkling as moisture spread across her eyes. Before she could think to lash out or start bawling, however, Vahn materialized behind her, his powerful arms enveloping her in his warm embrace as he whispered, “I’m sorry I couldn’t come earlier…”
Making it clear he wasn’t there to coax or pacify her, Vahn inserted his hand into Alexa’s shirt from below, caressing her abdomen with a faint, rainbow-hued light emanating from his palm. The shirt she was wearing belonged to him, but Vahn had long since accepted that his clothes were as much his lovers’ as they were his own.
Not expecting Vahn to suddenly cup her left breast, a faint gasp escaped Alexa’s throat as her previously sickly countenance became as hearty and red as an apple. At the same time, her heart was beating so intensely that her chest began to glow, causing a shadowy outline of her ribs to become visible.
“Can you retract your wings…?” asked Vahn, causing Alexa’s feathery, leaf-colored wings to immediately retract, making it much easier to hold her from behind. There was still the matter of her tail, but as Da Vinci and many others could attest, Vahn not-so-secretly had a preference for girls with thick, fluffy, and even scaly tails.
Without asking if Alexa was certain she wanted to be with him, Vahn turned her head to face him, surprising her with a kiss. Tears cascaded down her cheeks when he did, but rather than stemming from sadness, they were the result of her inability to contain the relief and happiness welling within.
Making use of his free hand, Vahn slipped his finger past the band of Alexa’s panties to prepare her for what was to come. What he found was that she was more than ready to receive him, so after several minutes of kissing, he guided her onto her hands and knees, allowing her tail to rest against his chest and dangle over his shoulder. She was only wearing his shirt and a pair of soaked panties, so he slipped down the silky fabric and caused Alexa’s wings to practically burst out of her as he placed his glans against her eagerly awaiting entrance and pushed forward…
(A/N: For those that missed it, I published the first chapter of my original novel, ‘Keystone, an Awesome Parallel Plane Adventure.’ I also posted a poll on my Patreon, so if you want to be a part of the worldbuilding, give it a gander. If we work together, I believe we can make KAPPA just as good, if not better, than EPIC.)