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After defeating a giant stone golem, a six-armed mechanical puppet, a fully outfitted blacksmith-turned-swordsman, and what appeared to be a thresher robot from an apocalyptic world, Yo had managed to secure her Community's participation in the Final 32 of the Battle of the Creators.
While most people had to struggle quite a bit during their matches, Yo quickly gained a reputation as the event's Black Horse after defeating each and every one of her opponents within the first two to three minutes of each round. She had gotten even stronger since her stay in the Game Board, as, every other day, she and Izayoi would battle it out in a specially prepared training room provided as a courtesy by Vahn.
Though she doubted she would be able to deal with the massive metal cube summoned by Vahn during her first moments in the Divine Realm, Yo was confident should would, at the very least, be able to shatter its surface and slow its fall. She could also escape from the side, but, understanding most foes would only use such an attack if there was something important at the impact site, Yo's goal was to become strong enough to destroy or prevent the cube's impact entirely…
Despite the conclusion of her final match, Yo elected to stay in her Vanargandr transformation. The sun had already descended over the 'horizon' so she actually felt even stronger than she had during the day. More importantly, however, was the fact it allowed her to track down Vahn.
After saying her farewells to the staff that had been very polite to her throughout the day, Yo made her way over to the entrance of the Royal Palace… A group of heavily outfitted Royal Guards barred her passage, but, upon confirming her identity, two of them split off to escort and show her to the Audience Chamber/Throne Room, aka the Chamber of Flames.
Stepping into the ornate red and gold chamber, Yo was surprised to find she was the only member of the No Names present. The moment she saw Vahn standing next to a young girl seated atop an excessively large throne, however, her confusion faded away as she exclaimed, "Vahn~!" in a happy tune.
Though it earned her a 'severe' look from the girl seated atop the throne, Yo, quite literally, leaped across the chamber in order to 'tackle' Vahn.
Despite Yo crashing into him, Vahn was able to thoroughly negate her momentum the moment she made contact with him. A wry smile developed across his face, not because he was concerned that Sandora may be upset, but because Yo didn't even try to moderate her actions. The faux tail behind her swayed like an excited puppy, her arms wrapping around him like a vice as she pressed her face, and, as a result, her rather ample bosoms against him.
Earning his own look from Sandora, Vahn returned Yo's affections by embracing her firmly enough to raise her feet from the ground. She enjoyed being picked up and practically smothered in a bear hug. It was one of her many quirks, but, considering there were women in his harem who enjoyed a number of extreme plays, Vahn didn't question it.
"I missed you…"
Rolling his eyes, Vahn set Yo down before ruffling her hair and saying, "It hasn't even been two days since our last encounter. Perhaps I'm spoiling you too much…"
Puffing out her cheeks, Yo maintained an adorable pout for several seconds before releasing it in the form of laughter. Then, with a friendly smile on her face, she turned to Sandora and said, "My name is Yo. Kasukabe Yo. You must be Princess Sandora-sama?"
Since it was pretty obvious Yo wasn't going to follow protocol, Sandora offered a curt nod before rising from her throne and answering, "Indeed. We are Sandora Doltrake, Northern Floor Master, Leader of Salamandra, and Crown Princess of the Salamandra Royal Family. It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance, Kasukabe-san."
Taking Sandora by surprise, Yo waved her hand in a dismissive manner, her smile brightening as she said, "No need for such formalities. Others might not notice it, but I can smell Vahn's 'scent' all over you. If you're close with Vahn, that makes us friends! Maybe even sisters~!"
Opening her mouth, Sandora tried to speak but found herself unable to do so. Instead, a faint blush crept into her cheeks as she lowered her head and attempted to smell herself…
Covering the rather silly smile on her face, Yo excitedly exclaimed, "Uooooooh~!? Isn't it illegal to be this cute!?"
Having spent a considerable amount of time in the Sage Dragon's Hearth, Yo nearly pounced on Sandora without asking. Fortunately, Vahn was there to grab the collar of her jacket, his voice firm as he said, "Don't go hugging people without permission."
While he wasn't exactly a paragon when it came to following such advice, Vahn knew that Sandora wasn't accustomed to interacting with strangers. She had gradually opened her heart but the only person allowed inside at the present moment was himself. If others attempted to trespass of their own accord, there was no way of knowing how she would react.
Dragons could be very temperamental…
Fortunately for Yo, Vahn had, very recently, explained their relationship. Sandora could also tell Yo wasn't a bad person, so, before the latter could apologize, she adopted a friendly smile of her own and said, "It's okay, Vahn. Though this is our first time meeting, it would not be accurate to say that we are strangers. Rather, as Yo pointed out, we are united through a common…interest. I am not so self-centered as to prioritize my personal comfort over maintaining friendly relations with the other members of your harem…"
Taken aback by Sandora's eloquent yet overly serious speech, Yo found herself at a momentary loss for words. When she did return to her senses, she zeroed in on Sandora's final statement, a look of incredulity on her face as she turned to Vahn and asked, "What's going on…?"
Though Sandora and Vahn were covered in each other's scent, Yo never expected that the little girl standing before her was a member of the latter's harem. From what Lily had told her, she, Sandora, and Jin were all around the same age. Yo couldn't really imagine the kind and caring Vahn laying his hands on such a small girl…
Ruffling Yo's hair, a helpless expression developed across Vahn's face as he said, "Don't give me that look. Though Sandora and I have recently become engaged, we haven't engaged in any of the acts you seem to be thinking about. Get your head out of the gutter."
Supplying a playful wink and sticking her tongue out, Yo managed to escape Vahn's hand before turning to Sandora and asking, "Can I hug you~?" with one of the most radiant smiles the young Princess had ever seen.
After a moment of deliberation, Sandora swallowed the knot forming in her throat before nodding in approval. In response, Yo practically pounced on her, a somewhat goofy smile on her face as she picked Sandora up, squeezed her tightly, and spun her around. Sandora might look like a relatively normal girl but Yo could tell she was something much, much greater. To that end, Yo really wanted to be Sandora's friend.
Though Yo's breasts were practically smothering her, Sandora did her best to remain calm even as the bubbly brunette remarked, "You're a little heavier than I expected but your skin is so soft. I can tell you've been spending a lot of time with Vahn, haven't you~?"
Waiting until Yo finally released her, Sandora took a moment to fix her outfit before answering, "A dragon's bones and muscles are a lot denser than a normal human's. As for your comment about me spending a lot of time with Vahn…"
Shifting her attention towards Vahn, a rather potent blush developed across Sandora's face as she muttered, "He hasn't left my side at any point in the last three and a half days…"
Though the actual time they had spent together easily exceed a week, maybe two, Sandora often lost track of time when she and Vahn were just lounging about or talking. During those moments, he would always slow time to a crawl. It was a little disorienting, but, at the same time, it gave her the impression they had all the time in the world.
Pressing her finger on her lips, Yo appeared genuinely envious as she remarked, "Wow…I think the longest amount of time I've spent alone with Vahn was around eleven hours? I can't imagine even begin to imagine how relaxing it must be to spend several days together…"
Directing her gaze to Vahn, Yo made it pretty obvious she would like to spend more time together. At the very least, she wanted to experience what it was like to have his full and undivided attention for a full day…maybe ten…
Seeing the 'longing' in Yo's expression, Sandora couldn't help recalling the circumstances Vahn had revealed to her earlier in the day. He had also informed her that he was currently looking after Lily, so, after a moment of silence, she stated, "You don't have to imagine it. Though I have only recently come to know Vahn, I know he wouldn't refuse if you wanted to spend time together. It may not be my place to speak, but I find your 'restraint' in this matter to be pointless. You shouldn't delay your happiness for the sake of others…"
As Yo had already declared them more than friends, Sandora didn't want to see the bubbly brunette make the same mistakes she had. She would feel sorry for Jin, but, knowing Yo and Lily were both in love with Vahn, Sandora couldn't help wanting to support them.
Blushing rather fiercely in response to Sandora's admittedly rational advice, Yo briefly exchanged glances with Vahn before quickly averting her eyes and responding, "I'll think about it…" in a soft, uncharacteristically meek tone. The thing that made this scene most impactful, however, was the bushy tail swaying behind her. Yo had never dropped her Vanargandr transformation. As a result, her bashful bearing was thoroughly shattered by the enthusiastic wagging of her tail…
Though she had long since calmed down, Lily remained seated atop Vahn's lap for several hours. The notion she was wearing a mini skirt had crossed her mind more than once, but, unwilling to part with his warmth, she practically clung to him until he pat her back a few times and revealed, "Yo entered the Palace a short while ago. I imagine the others will be arriving soon…"
Raising her head, Lily's emerald green eyes searched Vahn's for several seconds before surprising him as she asked, "Can we stay like this a while longer? I'm feeling much better than before but I don't think my heart is prepared to see Jin…I…I would rather stay here with you…"
Punctuating her statement, Lily grasped the fabric of Vahn's yukata-like tunic while turning her eyes up at him in a clear attempt to incite his sympathy. At the same time, though there was no greater meaning behind it, she squeezed her legs together and leaned into him in a way that squashed her breasts against his chest. Were it not for his ability to sense and even interact with a person's aura, Vahn would have assumed she was making a very difficult kind of appeal. In reality, she just wanted to be as close as possible to his warmth…
Feeling a sense of responsibility towards both Jin and Lily, it was around this time that Vahn created the Template of Helena. At the same time, he held Lily so that her face and head were nestled into the nook between his neck and shoulder as he whispered, "I will stay with you as long as you need. However, at some point, you will need to face the outside. We both know you're not the type to run away from things like this…you're an incredibly strong and caring person, Lily. In terms of heart, you may very well be the strongest person I know…"
Though she was initially tempted to lose herself in Vahn's aroma, Lily couldn't help paying attention whenever he spoke. When she heard his remarks about how she was a strong and caring person, a wave of guilt immediately washed over her. Not because of the matter with Jin, but because she felt as though she was taking advantage of Vahn's kindness. In spite of this, she couldn't help herself. It was just so much 'easier' to entrust herself to Vahn than it was to make an effort…
Burying her face into the space between Vahn's neck and shoulder, a sour feeling began to spread through Lily's nose as she muttered, "Just…five more minutes…"
Caressing Lily's hair, Vahn's expression and tone softened immensely as he ran his fingers through her hair and said, "No…stay as long as you want. So long as you understand we'll eventually need to leave, I don't mind even if we stay here another five days, much less five minutes…"
Sniffling in response to Vahn's words, Lily tightened her embrace around him in a manner that made it appear as though she were trying to fuse their bodies together. She didn't know how she would face Jin and the others when they finally emerged, but, for the time being, the only thing she cared about was being as close as possible to the man that never failed to provide her with comfort and advice…
(A/N: Alternate Titles: 'Yo used tackle…! It's not very-wait a minute…it's super effective!?','Sandora is a very rational young lady…','If not taken in moderation, Vahn is like a very powerful drug…')
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