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vanagandr

Ah! My license suspension

59 posts in this topic

Thanks Katz! 

 

A possible Urd x Keiichi pairing would certainly change the dynamics of their relationship. Most people typically focus on the physical aspect of such a relationship, but I only think that's the tip of the iceberg. Urd could definitely push Keiichi harder to pursue his dreams, while Belldandy does indeed seem to prefer a slower approach. 

 

As to the outcome? I think that's up to speculation, given that a faster approach might save him from all the possible detours, although it's not like those are necessarily a bad thing.

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For some reason, that gives me an idea to add to the idea topic.

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13 hours ago, HotelKatz said:

For some reason, that gives me an idea to add to the idea topic.

Actually, I think you're right. Although there are more than enough cases where Keiichi receives a wish from other goddesses in fanfics, the whole subject of what was going be compared to Belldandy's approach was never fully explored.

 

Also, the chapter is now on FFN: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/11513150/11/Ah-My-license-suspension

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When the next chapter rolls around, I wonder how Hild will play dirty?

 

I almost expect her to play the 'Keiichi' card.

 

Will she ask Urd how Keiichi will think of a powerhungry Urd? Will she merely have him watch all of Urd's actions, since Urd drunk the coffee? Or will Hild merely point at Keiichi and then let Urd try to explain away actions that Keiichi had no idea occurred?

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I think that Hild cannot afford to play dirty with Urd, due to the fact that the latter isn't really in a proper state of mind. 

 

However, she will probably rely on Keiichi and to some degree on Mara to talk some sense to Urd, and in the process make her 'reconnect' with her divine self. Also, part of that will have to do with Tyr and the gods in general, since Urd's frustrations were also exposed due to her current state of mind. 

 

Finally one of the most important things is the reason she was sent to Asgard in the first place, which is something that was addressed but never fully explained in the manga. Keiichi is one of the matters here, but not the only one. It's going to be more about her past, present and future (that's where Keiichi is more relevant), as a more thorough approach to her situation. At least, that's what I think.

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Ah, I should make myself clear. I was wondering if Hild would fight dirty by using Keiichi to get Urd offguard enough to get an easy win.

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Hm... Normally speaking it's possible, but under these circumstances? It's a bit of a risky thing to do. If it backfires, then Urd might end up feeling guilty for harming Keiichi, and I doubt Hild would've liked that. 

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Not unless it's done in a way where Demon-Urd feels really bad for merely having Keiichi see her out of control for even a moment, but that brings its own problems.

 

Like having Urd hate her demon side even more.

 

So yeah, I doubt Hild would do use that kind of dirty fighting, now that I think about it.

 

Not unless the fighting got too close to Keiichi for Hild's comfort. In Hild's eyes, better Urd be scared of her demon side for almost hurting Keiichi, than accidentally killing him. 

 

After all, the first one allows Hild to offer a chance to Urd about controlling her demon powers better to prevent Keiichi from getting hurt by them.

 

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16 minutes ago, HotelKatz said:

 

Like having Urd hate her demon side even more.

I think that's one of the biggest issues with Hild using Keiichi. I mean, if Urd was under a different state of mind, it would be an easy way of resolving the situation, but when things are a bit more difficult, it's more likely that she'd avoid scaring her daughter. 

 

With Urd having an already negative disposition towards her demonic side, it's probably less likely for her to want to find out how to control her demon powers and instead, avoid to use them at all. 

 

Also, there's another potential problem: It might actually scare Keiichi, or convince him that as a human, he can't do much to help Urd whenever she needs it. Now, it's unlikely for someone like Keiichi to simply give up on her because of the risks involved, and this will be also addressed in the next chapter, but it's probably better if it's not because of Hild using him in that way. More likely, it's better if he decides to get involved by himself, rather than getting dragged in the whole situation.

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Alright, it took forever, but here's the draft for chapter 12:

 

 

 


 

OW!...


 

While mostly unharmed, save for a particularly nasty bruise across her rump, the same couldn’t be said about Urd’s wounded pride. At the very last moment, Hild flicked her sword so that she hit her with the flat part of the blade, and while the resulting impact shattered the weapon into tiny pieces, it proved to be more than enough to launch her unruly daughter across the temple grounds and head first through the perimeter wall.


 

Aw… I broke my poor sword. Oh, well… I guess I need to go shopping after we’re done with this,” said the giddy Daimakaicho as she cast the now useless remains of her weapon aside. Although a bit over dramatic, the taunting tone of Hild’s voice made it absolutely clear that she wasn't even trying and this entire thing was akin to a game for her; which did nothing to make the pained Norn feel any better.


 

Your poor sword, my ass!shouted Urd as she picked herself up from the ground and walked through the hole she made in the perimeter wall. Worse, even the mere mention of her behind was more than enough to remind her of the burning sensation where the blade struck her, causing her to wince in pain. “And here I was thinking that you’d take me seriously for once, but you’re just playing silly games!”


 

I’m afraid you don’t truly understand the consequences of being taken seriously, Urd. If you really want my position, you also need to accept the consequences of your actions. This isn’t a family business I’m running after all, and no one’s going to respect you just because you’re my daughter,” said Hild as she pointed at her aspiring successor. “You need to earn that respect and the first step is by becoming a demoness, and then work your way up in our chain of command. Just because you suddenly decided that you want to become the Daimakaicho doesn’t mean that the others will automatically accept you as their leader, and throwing a temper tantrum about it won’t help either. Although, to be perfectly fair, you’re not thinking straight right now. With your goddess part currently inaccessible, the rest of you is left in a confused and angry state. After all, the main issue here isn’t whether you’ll become the leader of Niflheim or not, but something a lot more personal, right? You’re angry at me, not the Daimakaicho who’s just trying to defend her position.”


 

Why? Even though you’re this powerful, then why didn’t you…” said Urd, before she came to a stop as her confused mind struggled to put her thoughts into the right words; and failed miserably.


 

Yet Hild already knew what her daughter really wanted to say and while it wasn’t the best of  times to have such a conversation given the current circumstances, it was also true that Urd would’ve never brought the subject up on her own. “Why didn’t I defy the gods and tell them to shove that Gate up theirs?”


 

Yes… Why did you even agree to take on such a ridiculous test?”


 

Because of your father?” Giving Tyr a sideways glance, Hild grinned as the possessed cat’s fur stood up, but then went on before her daughter decided to vent her frustrations on him. “Please stop looking at Tyr like that, Urd-chan. Just like me, he also has his own responsibilities and can’t afford ignoring the rules whenever they’re inconvenient for him. After all, that’s one of the most basic distinctions between a true leader and a mere tyrant.”


 

She’s right, Urd,” said Tyr as he approached his daughter. “Anyone who ignores that simple rule and thinks that power alone is more than enough to let them do as they please… typically doesn’t remain in their office for too long; or even alive for that matter.”


 

Although she knew that they was probably right, Urd refused to accept that the two most powerful immortals had no other choice but to knowingly walk into a trap; at least not without considering some other options. Especially one particular that had been bothering her for quite a while. “The Judgement Gate is supposed to spare couples from some sort of impending tragedy, right? Yet the stupid thing is causing more tragedies in the process, so, why didn’t either of you challenge its effectiveness to get rid of it?”


 

Even then, most would’ve taken it as an excuse,” said Hild with a sigh. “Look… the biggest priority back then was to establish a peace treaty, and as such, we’ve both pushed everyone to their limit with the idea of the Doublet System. If we kept making demands, a coup would’ve been imminent and to allow the bloodshed to end, some sacrifices had to be made.”


 

Including me?” asked Urd, but soon came to regret her words when she noticed the somewhat shocked expression on her mother’s face.


 

I’ve done many things in the past, but… that’s not one of them,” replied Hild while doing her best to keep her voice as calm as possible, but the same couldn’t be said about her daughter who reached a critical point.


 

Oh, really? You left me and never looked back!shouted Urd as her body shook in anger, and to a certain degree she expected an equally heated retort from Hild.


 

Yet the Daimakaicho remained eerily silent for a long while, until she finally managed to come up with a reply. “If you really feel like that… then what are you going to do about it?”


 

This!


 

Gathering a ball of lightning in her palm, Urd unleashed it on Hild at full power, and this time she did aim for her head.


 

XXX


 

Keiichi was now certain that something wrong was indeed going on here. When nothing happened for several minutes, he wondered if that initial explosion was merely Urd’s response to one of Dagaz’s comments in the event she asked for his opinion about one of her dresses.


 

The latest explosion, though ruled that possibility out and as the temple zoomed by over the corner, Keiichi wasted no time to park his bike in front of the main gate and then rushed to climb the stone stairs. Yet before he got a chance to enter the temple grounds, a hand grabbed him by the back of his jacket and pulled him aside, much to his protests.


 

Hey, let go of me!” said the young mechanic, as he tried to look over his shoulder and found that the one holding him was none other than the Daimakaicho’s childlike avatar. “Huh? Hild? What’s going on here?”


 

Shh! We need to come up with a plan before you jump in there,” said Hild, as a blonde demoness approached them. “Oh, by the way, this is Mara. She’s an old friend of Urd’s.”


 

Uh… nice to meet you,” said the somewhat confused mortal, while the blonde eyed him suspiciously.


 

Likewise.” In reality, she knew a lot more about him that he would’ve ever expected, given that the demoness had little more to do over the last couple of days, other than spy on Urd and her three housemates. Still, she had no idea how a mortal could possibly help them resolve a situation that appeared to be under control just moments ago, only for matters to go out of hand once again. “Hild-sama… what are we supposed to do?”


 

First of all, let’s allow Urd-chan to blow off some steam, as she obviously needed to do that at some point of time,” said the childlike avatar with a sigh. “Then we need to…”


 

Wait! What’s going on here?” asked the confused Keiichi who still had no idea what the problem was in the first place.


 

Right!... I never told you, didn’t I? Well… listen well, Keiichi-kun,” said Hild as she began to offer him the necessary explanations, all while the battle in the temple grounds intensified.


 

XXX


 

A series of lightning bolts pelted the temple grounds as the now furious half demoness went on the offensive, all while her mother did her best to hold her ground. Most demonesses in Hild’s place would’ve found the experience to be absolutely terrifying, but for the Daimakaicho it was quite the opposite.


 

Hild wanted her daughter to vent off those millennia old feelings she had done her best to repress, and as such, the Daimakaicho thought that before Urd could move on with her life, she needed to deal with that anger. And although the eldest of the Norns wasn’t the vindictive type, it was also true that the whole situation with her mother left Urd with a bitter taste in her mouth, especially during her early childhood when the young hybrid suddenly found herself in her father’s care.


 

The initial surprise and disbelief of being left in Asgard for good, quickly turned into worry, when she found herself in what was essentially an alien world to her, and only the distraction of having a little sister clinging from her, made Urd feel a bit better about her predicament. Yet despite Belldandy’s best efforts, Urd couldn’t shake the feeling that she had somehow let her mother down and as a result, Hild decided to simply get rid of her failure of a daughter. But considering how young she was, even Urd knew that no matter how high Hild’s standards may had been, there was no way for her to display any kind of powers at such an early stage; meaning that the primary problem must’ve been her very nature as a hybrid.


 

Part of her wanted to become a perfect goddess just to defy mother and better blend into her new surroundings, especially as Belldandy’s big sister, and yet another part wished to hold onto her demonic side as it was what made her truly unique. That struggle was partially resolved with a solution that in reality was nothing more than a compromise; Urd never turned into a full goddess, but at the same time she shunned her demonic side. To the point where the half goddess ended up sealing her angel because she clearly revealed her true nature to the whole world.


 

Still, Urd never really managed to hate her mother, although she hadn’t exactly forgiven her either. Instead, she trapped herself in a state where she was merely acknowledging the demoness as her mother, but was reluctant to show neither affection nor disdain towards her and even used to call Hild by name, instead of a title to admit their connection.


 

Well? Is that all you’ve got?” gloated Hild as she managed to deflect Urd’s latest attack, despite the fact that it took her a lot more effort to do so, compared to how she made it appear.


 

You want more?” said the grinning Norn while summoning more of her demonic powers, to the point where she was once again almost drunk by the euphoric feeling of being able to control that nearly boundless energy. “I’ve got more!


 

Bracing for impact, Hild momentarily glanced over at the direction of her avatar who was currently busy sneaking around the temple to reach Tyr and the two gods. As much as she wanted to let Urd vent, it was quite dangerous to let her daughter go too far and accidentally cause some real damage. Regardless of her current state of mind, no one would easily overlook the destruction of a whole city, let alone a good chunk of this planet, if she failed to contain one of her daughter’s more powerful attacks. That would definitely not only cause a huge mess and potentially result in Urd’s license to be permanently revoked, but also it could significantly harm their relationship, since she was coaxing Urd to keep going regardless of her state of mind.


 

So, at this point, it was for the best if her daughter stopped, but to avoid making it look as if she had been manipulated her, Hild wanted for the others to do their part.


 

Let’s see what you’ve got Keiichi-kun…’


 

XXX


 

What?! B-But… Hild-sama!... We’re gonna die if we do that!


 

Staring at her boss in shock, Mara was struggling to reason with the Daimakaicho’s childlike avatar, but to no avail.


 

Are you refusing to accept your responsibilities?” asked Hild while throwing a thumb in Urd’s direction. “Do I really need to remind you, who caused this whole mess in the first place?”


 

Uh… well…” Scratching her head nervously, Mara tried to turn to the mortal next to her, in hopes that he could actually talk some sense to her. However, not only did he make no attempts to do so, but judging by Keiichi’s determined expression, the mortal appeared to agree with Hild’s plan.


 

I think it’s worth a shot,” said Keiichi, much to Mara’s utter horror.


 

What are you even talking about?” asked the stunned demoness. “Do you have any idea how dangerous Urd currently is? She’s gonna flatten us like flies, if we try to stop her on our own!”


 

Well… compared to me, Urd’s far too powerful under any circumstances. And I cannot deny that I’m kind of scared of facing her, especially right now,” said Keiichi with a nervous look as he glanced at the rampaging Norn, before he turned back to Mara. “But… I’m not going to just sit here and wait someone else to do the dirty job for me. Although it’s likely this plan won’t work, unless I give it a try, I won’t be able to say that I did my best.”


 

You’re going to have us both killed…” muttered the blond demoness, breathing out a curse as she nervously looked in Urd’s direction.


 

Us?”


 

Do you seriously think I’ll let you hog all the glory just for yourself?” said Mara with a raised eyebrow, taking a step towards Keiichi. “If a mere human is going to try and talk some sense to Urd, then I’ll definitely not going to cower behind a rock or something.”


 

Likewise.”


 

Blinking, both Keiichi and Mara turned to see Vali approaching them, with Dagaz close behind him. And despite the latter’s somewhat worried expression, the blonde god also refused to back away, joining the others in their effort to make Urd snap out of it. “Yes, we might as well do our best too!”


 

Okay… that’s enough with that goody-goody stuff! Ugh… you’re making my stomach hurt,” said Mara with a groan, before she pointed at Urd. “Now, do you guys have an idea on how to stop her, or you’ll just tag along with us?”


 

That depends on your plan,” said Vali with Dagaz nodding in agreement. “What do you have in mind?”


 

Well…”


 

XXX


 

It was said that absolute power corrupts absolutely, yet for Urd the sensation of having an almost unlimited source of energy at her disposal was the most liberating thing in the word. No more silly restrictions that celestial law demanded, and no more nagging from her goddess side either. Just pure, raw power gushing out from the depths of her being, made her feel almost unstoppable. And unlike before where she was in an almost drunken state, the half demoness was finally getting the hang of it.


 

Her moves became more graceful, her reflexes more acute and her control over magic, better than ever before. For most of her life Urd was known for the rather clumsy use of her abilities, but at the time being, she was almost fighting her mother on equal terms; a feat that actually brought a smile on the Daimakaicho’s face.


 

Despite being her opponent, Hild was more than happy to know that her daughter was indeed capable of being her equal if she had the time to develop her skills to perfection. Urd was figuratively speaking a rough diamond that required a lot of work to shine, but the fact that she did have such a great potential was more than enough for her.


 

What’s wrong? Not gloating anymore, are we?” Grinning as she caught her mother’s jab, Urd proceeded to launch her over her head, yet it was far too early to celebrate, and the half demoness was acutely aware of it. At this rate she was burning through her energy reserves at a much faster rate than her mother and their standstill was about to come to end a lot sooner than she was initially anticipating.


 

Worse, the more experienced demoness was far less prone to make any mistakes, and even exploited Urd’s own attacks to her benefit. As her daughter inadvertently allowed her to put some distance between them, Hild now had the perfect opportunity to let the others creep closer to Urd and try to subdue her; albeit in a non aggressive manner.


 

Indeed, Keiichi was slowly approaching Urd from behind, along with Vali who was his backup in case things went horribly wrong, while Mara and Dagaz were trying to flank her. They needed to cause some sort of distraction in order to let Keiichi within range and put the cursed headphones on Urd. And according to Hild that would’ve not only prove to be more than enough to pacify the rampaging Norn, but even cause her to fall asleep right on the spot. Sure, the dark haired mechanic was somewhat dubious how such a seemingly mundane object could even affect Urd, but the Daimakaicho’s avatar assured him that it was going to work and with him being a mortal, it was much easier to get close to her without being detected; a task that Keiichi eagerly accepted in order to help the goddess he loved.


 

Of course, that was before he got close enough to feel the shockwaves of her lightning bolts, and on more than one occasions, he simply flinched. It was an absolutely terrifying situation for Keiichi to be in, yet despite that, he had to press on. Just tossing the headphones to Vali and tell him to do the job was simply unacceptable, even if the nervous mortal felt his legs shake as he took one wobbly step after the other. Of course, Keiichi knew that deep down, Urd would’ve never hurt him or anyone else for that matter, but that didn’t stop his survival instincts from begging him to get out of there. It was the same feeling of dread one would experience under a life threatening situation, and while he had a fair share of those while racing a bike, it was still hard to control his breathing as he approached closer to Urd.


 

That’s when the decoy team decided to make their presence known by throwing what appeared to be a fairly simple smoke bomb at the Norn, who couldn’t help but wonder just what was going on here; especially when she saw who was standing next to Dagaz. “Mara? What are you doing here?”


 

I’ve heard there was a party and decided to join in!” said Mara with a grin, while trying not to look in Keiichi’s direction and inadvertently alert Urd of his presence.


 

Really? Is that the best you can come up with?” asked the sarcastic half demoness, as she turned her full attention to her long time friend and occasional pain in the neck; for the lack of a better word. “Not to mention that you’ve been released, too… Who in their right mind decided to set you loose?”


 

Who knows? That’s not the important part, anyway…” said Mara in an effort to keep her attention focused on her, instead of causing Urd to look in Hild’s direction and then spot Keiichi who was slowly approaching her; one painfully slow step at a time.


 

Oh? And what is the important part, then?” asked Urd while narrowing her eyes at the blonde demoness. “You dare show up after that stunt you’ve pulled back then, and empty handed too! Not even a bottle of sake? The nerve!


 

Uh… hold on! Are you telling me that you’re okay with just a bottle of sake?asked the dumbfounded Mara. She had expected a much harsher retort from her friend, especially given that she was currently dealing with Urd’s demonic side. Yet the seemingly… forgiving nature of her, caught Mare by surprise, although she was uncertain whether it was a pleasant one or not. After all the trouble she’d gotten into so that she gathered all those damn ingredients, the last thing Mara needed to hear was she could’ve gotten away with something that was readily available on a mere liquor store.


 

Honestly? With you being so inept at coming up with anything that requires any amount of serious planning, I suppose that a bottle of sake is more that enough,” said Urd, much to Mara’s chagrin. “After all… who knows what kind of elaborate and over the top plan you could’ve prepared, only to botch something up and in the process create one huge mess or another. Hm… wait a second… You couldn’t be the one behind… my current situation… right?


 

As Urd began to figure out what was going on here, everyone except for Keiichi, glared at the blonde demoness that made a futile effort to look innocent and in the process, failed miserably. Still, the distraction proved to be more than good enough for the dark haired mortal to get right behind the unsuspecting Urd and before she had the chance to spot him, the mortal quickly put the headphones on her and hoped for the best.


 

What?!


 

Loud Enka assaulted the half demoness’ senses, as the music that Urd was most vulnerable to, threatened to send her to the land of dreams. It wasn’t a well known fact, but due to her demonic ancestry, Urd was susceptible to some of the weaknesses the infernals possessed; although the nature of those shortcomings greatly varied between individuals. Some were affected by certain physical objects, like lucky charms whereas others could be influenced by other things that even included music, and in Urd’s case that was Japanese Enka.


 

In most cases, those who identified their weakness did their best to find ways to become immune to it, or at the very least minimize the effect, but that was often easier said than done. Once again, the results of such efforts greatly varied between individuals and while some truly managed to overcome such hurdles, others could only lessen the impact those weak spots had in their lives. Still, for someone like Urd who had little idea on how to use her demonic powers, it should’ve been only a matter of seconds until she could no longer remain awake; or so everyone thought.


 

That’s… so… cheap…” Struggling to remove the headphones that appeared to be almost glued in place, thanks to the curse that was applied to them, Urd was determined not to be taken down by such a dirty trick. Worse, the one behind this particular display of cowardice was none other than Keiichi, who in reality was the last person she would’ve expected to pull such an underhanded trick. “And… you are siding with them too?!”


 

Taking a few steps back from the angry half demoness, Keiichi briefly glanced over at Hild and noticed her rather troubled expression, which was more than enough to confirm his suspicions. Things weren’t exactly going according to plan, as Urd was should’ve been asleep by now, yet she was not only awake but also getting more and more agitated by each passing moment.


 

I’ve asked you something!


 

I… I’m sorry, but… I just couldn’t let you run amok like that,” said Keiichi with a some effort, as the Norn’s glowing eyes slowly eroded his resolve. Despite his determination to help Urd the best he could, Keiichi was now facing the prospect of becoming the target of one of her lightning bolts and by the looks of it, this time she wasn’t likely going to hold back.


 

Really, now? You think I was just throwing a temper tantrum because of… whatever Mara apparently gave me?” asked Urd behind clenched teeth. “What about the very reason I got here to begin with? An exile for messing around a stupid server? Do you know how many celestials do a lot worse and yet… get away with it? Oh… and by the way… I also lost my memory because of it, and nobody even cared! Even that idiot I have to call a father needed more than a month to realize that there was something wrong with his own daughter! Some family!…”


 

I have no idea what it really feels like to not have any recollection of who I am, but, I do know that this isn’t exactly the case either,” said Keiichi as he attempted to calm her down in hopes that she might listen to reason. “Your father did mention that restoring your memories too abruptly could have some unwanted side effects, and your sisters certainly adore you. Even more, you did seem to enjoy it here to a degree, despite anything else that was going on with our lives, Urd. I just… don’t believe that this is how you really feel about everything, so, if you calm down…”


 

I don’t want to calm down! A-And don’t mention my… my sisters!shouted the Norn of the past, making the others a bit nervous as they worried that an attack was imminent. “Even… even if I calm down… nothing’s going to change. We’ll go back to our little routine, but… for how long? My memories are mostly back, so it’s only a matter of weeks or even days before I have no further reason to be here, anyway. You may think that a goddess can do whatever she wishes, but I honestly have little control over my life, Keiichi. Not when it really matters...”


 

Um… is this what the problem was all about?” asked the mechanic as he felt that they started to get somewhere with this conversation, and much to the other’s surprise, reached to remove the headphones from Urd. After all, those had proven to be nothing more than an annoyance for her, and besides, he felt that it was the right thing to do so that they could actually talk without any distractions.


 

You know… you’re right about my family. Despite our jobs, they’ve been there for me when I needed them the most; especially my sisters. Well… even my father, although he really sucks at it,” said Urd with a sigh, giving the possessed cat a sideways glance before she turned back to Keiichi. “Still, I suppose that no matter what the circumstances, as long as I’m a goddess it’s impossible to do what I really want with my life. Too many rules and regulations and… you get the picture. So, I thought that it was a good opportunity to take my mother’s job and run the show as I wanted. Nobody tells the Daimakaicho what she’s supposed to do; or… that’s what I like to think anyways. After all, demons have their own rules and not even their leader is spared from following them.”


 

But… if you know that, then why?...”


 

Why did I do it?” finished Urd for the mortal. “It’s hard to tell what’s going on in my head at times, but, regardless of what my initial intentions may had been… I ended up acting like an idiot instead.”


 

I believe you’re a bit too harsh on yourself, Urd-chan,” said Hild, interrupting Urd and drawing her and the mortal’s attention to herself. “If nothing else, it’s fairly obvious that an idiot would’ve never thought all that, let alone admit it to anyone. If we want to be more technical, the brief isolation of one of your sides threw your mind out of synch and resulted in this incident. As it looks like, the effect of the potion is now gone, as you’ve forced your two sides to resync and as a result, you’ve regained your senses. But regardless, it was a nice opportunity for you to vent and say things that you kept to yourself for all this time.”


 

Yeah… as if blowing a gasket would do anything good to anyone,” said Urd in a dejected tone, but before she could look the other way, she felt her mother’s unarmed hand on her shoulder. Hild had already dismissed her armor and was standing next to her daughter, dressed in her regular gown.


 

Like I said, you’re a bit too harsh on yourself. Besides, I never really answered your question now, did I?”


 

Hm… which one?” asked Urd, although in reality she had a very good idea what her mother was talking about.


 

Why I sent you to Asgard,” said Hild, even though she noticed the evasive look in her daughter’s eyes. “And to be honest with you, all you need to do is look at yourself right now.”


 

Huh? Why?”


 

Letting out a sigh, Hild traced a finger across her daughter’s battle uniform that resembled what she was wearing herself, and then much to Urd’s confusion she smiled. “This. Ever since you were a little goofball, you really loved to emulate me and your current attire or even your ambition to take my position reflects that. And you know, Urd?... For the most part I loved it; having my little girl running around me, pretending to be the Daimakaicho. But… in a way, I also feared that if I kept you with me, you’d inevitably try following my footsteps as you grew up. Something that would’ve proven to be an impossible goal, since you’ve got something that I simply don’t possess, Urd.”


 

You mean… my dual nature?” asked the Norn of the past with some hesitation.


 

Yes, that’s correct, Urd. No matter how similar we may look and act at times, that fundamental difference would’ve impeded your effort to become like me and I feared that the solution to such a problem would’ve eventually ruined your uniqueness,” admitted Hild, much to her daughter’s surprise. “You must’ve already experienced that as a goddess too; your desire for a pair of pure, white wings… And for you to take my place as the Daimakaicho, a pair of dark wings were needed.”


 

But… what if I ended up becoming a goddess as a whole? If I cast away my demonic legacy?”


 

Well, to be absolutely frank with you, I kind of depended on your sisters to discourage you from such an option,” said Hild with a ghost of a smile as she looked skywards for a moment. “If you remember, back when Mara attempted to separate your sides, your goddess half had some issues to unite with your demonic side, yet all it took was for them to tell you that they wanted their real sister back. After all, we can’t let poor Bell-chan get all weepy now, can we?”


 

There was a long pause as the half goddess stared at her mother in wonder, not realizing that her emblems had changed back to the familiar blue triangles. “That’s… the sneakiest… most underhanded thing I’ve ever heard.”


 

Thank you dear! You know I’m trying my best to impress you!” said Hild with a wink, enjoying her daughter’s stunned expression. “Although, there is one more thing about it.”


 

And… that is?”


 

The mere fact that you grew up having two adorable little sisters idolizing you. That was one thing I wouldn’t be able to provide you; at least not in the manner I would’ve preferred,” said Hild as she averted her gaze.


 

I see.” It was a fairly awkward moment for Urd, who was unsure what to think of her mother’s explanation, especially after saying all those things earlier on. Still, she knew that leaving it like that was more or less what she’s been doing for her entire life, and for once she was utterly sick of it. “Um… I… I’m sorry about all that. You know, what I said before. I didn’t mean...”


 

You probably did, Urd-chan, but I’m not innocent either,” said Hild with a shake of her head. “I’m at least as stubborn as you are and in order to accomplish what I wanted for you, I kept a distance so that you wouldn’t grow homesick. Of course, to someone as young as you were back then, it’s easy to think that I had given up on you.”


 

I was upset for sure, but at the same time, I haven’t completely forgotten about my early childhood. I’m not the goddess of the past  for no reason, after all. So, I knew for a fact that you’d never simply toss me away just like that,” said Urd with tiny smile. “Still, I was too proud of a goddess to openly admit that to anyone. I think you’ve already said it… we’re both stubborn; maybe a bit too much for our own good.”  


 

Even if you say that, it’s still one of our good points I guess. We never give up, right, Urd-chan? Like for example… you did finally decide to pick Keiichi-kun!” said Hild with a wink as she stepped towards Keiichi who was still standing next to them, even if he remained silent to avoid ruining the moment between mother and daughter. “And speaking of that… Hello there, sweetheart! I know that we already know each other, but since I’ll become your mother in law, let’s get along nicely, okay?”


 

Hey! What do you think you’re trying to pull on me?” asked the half goddess, as her mother leaned against her aspiring boyfriend, while the latter could only mutter a few incoherent sounds, given how close the Daimakaicho’s chest was to his face. “Get your paws off of him!”


 

Aw… I just wanted to be nice to him, Urd-chan…” pouted the demoness in an almost melodramatic manner.


 

Not while you’re about to give him the marshmallow hell! Especially before I get to do that!” Pulling hard on poor Keiichi before Hild could get hold of him, Urd wrapped her arms around him from behind, but… that wasn’t nearly enough to deter her troublesome mother from doing the exact same thing.


 

Instead, Hild pressed harder against the furiously blushing Keiichi, pinning him against her daughter’s chest. “Well… in a manner of speaking we’re both doing that, Urd-chan. And… judging by how happy he looks, I suppose that we’re making a great team!”


 

A great team?! He’s my boyfriend, so hands off!” barked Urd, tugging hard on the now suffocating mechanic, as Keiichi’s face was essentially trapped into her mother’s cleavage.”And let him breathe, dammit! He’s turning blue!”


 

At least he’s going to die a happy man,” said Dagaz in a mix of awe and deep respect. “I definitely wouldn’t mind swapping places with him right now… Having two pairs of...”


 

Dagaz!said Vali, interrupting the blonde god before he got any further.


 

Yeah, yeah… I know… I shouldn’t say things like that…” Letting a frustrated sigh, the third class god, pointed at the lucky mortal who was still sandwiched between the two platinum haired beauties. “But, come on! Even you’d love to get smothered by such amazing twins!”


 

They’re a mother and daughter, not sisters,” said Vali with a shake of his head, although Dagaz had other ideas.


 

No, silly! That’s sometimes used to refer to a woman’s…” started Dagaz, until a startled cry got his and the others’ attention.


 

Hild had almost unexpectedly released Keiichi, which of course caused the distracted Urd to keep pulling and end up falling on her backside with her boyfriend on top of her. “Oopsie!”


 

Oof! Mom, what was that for? And stop grinning like an idiot!! One moment you’re trying to have a serious conversation and the next… you’re smothering my boyfriend!” shouted Urd, pointing an accusatory finger at the grinning Hild, until she realized a tiny detail; they had an audience. And that’s when the Norn also realized that she had called Keiichi her boyfriend, in front of everyone.


 

So… he is your boyfriend,” said Hild with a content grin as she crossed her arms. “Because when I called myself his future mother in law, you made no comments about it, Urd-chan.”


 

Wait! You did all that on purpose? Just to make me admit it?” asked the stunned Urd, who could hardly believe what was really going on here. “But… why?


 

Because… given your current situation, you’d both end up trying to hide it from the others, just so that nobody would end up unhappy. Which would put everything to a hold for who knows how many years until you’d finally decide to make a move and while that could work with some goddesses… you’re not like that Urd-chan.”


 

The half goddess in question made a few attempts to come up with a retort, but soon realized that her mother had a point there. She may had a reputation for being spontaneous and downright reckless at times for sure, yet that didn’t mean she had no compassion for others and cared only for her own fun. Which was one of her biggest problems at the time being; figuring out what to do with her predicament, or rather… how to break the news to the others. Still, trying to have a relationship while maintaining the illusion that nothing had changed between her and Keiichi was most likely too much of a task even for a habitual liar like her. After all, most of her typical lies were fairly harmless, and even then she wasn’t particularly skilled to fool others for any extended period of time.


 

Urd knew that they’d probably end up putting some distance between them, or at the very least try not to act like a couple in front of others and keep their dates infrequent enough to avoid suspicion. Yet it would’ve probably be in vain, as she’s a generally impatient goddess and having to deal with such a slow relationship was something that Urd just didn’t didn’t have the patience to handle, no matter how much she wanted it.


 

At least now that the proverbial cat was out of the bag and no one overreacted to the news, Urd could finally feel at ease. Although… the particular method her mother decided to use to tackle this problem left Urd with some reservations about her sincerity and as such, she made a mental note to keep an eye out any suspicious moves while Hild was around her boyfriend. ‘And… speaking of the devil… where did she go all of a sudden? She was right in front of me a moment ago. Was I really so distracted that she simply walked away?’


 

Looking around  her, Urd soon found her mother standing over to where Dagaz and Vali were, and that’s when her eyes went wide. “What are you doing?!”


 

Mmph?Seeing that her daughter was too lost in her own thoughts to notice what was going on around her, Hild decided to use this opportunity to offer her personal version of a consolation prize to the two gods who came close but ultimately failed to date Urd. And given his more outgoing nature, Hild picked Dagaz as the first of them to receive that little reward. Which… basically turned out to be the most intense kiss of the poor god’s life; although at this point, one might argue whether it was even accurate to be considered as unfortunate or not.


 

However, the moment she pulled away from the dazzled god, a portal appeared above the temple grounds, getting everyone’s attention as a group of goddesses were about to descend upon Earth; most likely in response to this late crisis. First among them was Ansuz, followed by her two daughters and then, another pair of of goddesses emerged from the Gate; one dressed in a white combat uniform that slightly resembled what Vali loved to wear, and another goddess… who barely wore anything at all.


 

Landing a fair distance from Urd, as they seemed to be hesitant to approach before establishing that she was stable, the goddesses patiently waited for her reaction and as soon as she simply waved at them, all five of them visibly relaxed. Or rather… four of them did, as the blue haired Valkyrie that accompanied them glanced over at Vali’s direction, just to make sure her son was intact; and almost freaked out.


 

WHAT’S GOING ON HERE?!


 

Exploiting the distraction caused by the goddesses’ arrival, Hild managed to sneak closer and eventually get a hold of Vali, before she gave him a sample of what Keiichi got to experience; a taste of her version of marshmallow hell. “Hm? Oh… I’m just trying to thank the poor boy for taking care of my Urd-chan for all this time. And don’t look at him flailing his arms like that, he’s perfectly fine! Actually… I think he really likes it! Either that, or he’s carrying some pretty big keys in his uniform.”


 

That’s it! Get your filthy paws off my boy, you… you shameless temptress!shouted Lind as her eyes turned golden, while aiming her trusty battleaxe at the demoness’ head; who just dodged it.


 

Aw... don’t be so negative, Lind-chan! I really like shy boys, and your Vali is so cute, too!” said Hild as she let go of the aforementioned god, all while his mother desperately tried to split the Daimakaicho’s head in twine, or at the very least give her a mighty whack. “Who knows… if things go well, I might end up calling you… mama!


 

OVER MY COLD, DEAD BODY!


 

Just as one goddess got under control, another one was about to go berserk on Hild, as the furious mother tried to give Hild a piece of her mind and show her just what she thought of her jokes. Which left Ansuz no choice but to rush and put an end on this, before Lind caused more damage than the berserk Urd.


 

Wait, Lind! She’s just trolling you!”


 

Pinching the bridge of her nose at the sight of her mother’s… antics, Urd had no idea where Hild got the energy to keep up with her silly games, especially after her efforts to take her down. ‘I don’t believe she’s in the mood for fun and games after what just took place… Seriously…’


 

Neesan? Are you really alright?”


 

Feeling Belldandy’s hand on her shoulder, Urd turned to find her two sisters standing next to her, although the youngest of them  tried to look as if she wasn’t worried at all; and failed miserably to convince anyone. “Yes, Bell, I’m much better now.”


 

I’m really sorry we couldn’t get here any sooner,” said Belldandy with a sad frown, although her expression soon light up as she took a better look at her sister. “At least I’m happy that you’re unharmed, Urd. I was so worried when I’ve heard that you and Hild were fighting each other! And Skuld was even more distraught than me, so we had to come here and make sure you were alright!”


 

Was not!objected the young goddess as loud as she could, turning her back after crossing her arms in defiance. “I… I just came here… because I wanted to try my latest bomb designs!”


 

Uh huh… If you say so…Grinning from ear to ear, Urd leaned down to give Skuld a kiss on top of her head. “Although, in reality you’re a pretty good girl. Always worried about your sisters, even though you’re the youngest amongst us.”


 

S-Shut up!” spat Skuld, desperately trying to hide her blush, and failing to do so, she looked around for a distraction. “B-Besides… don’t you have anything better to do? Peorth’s tempting your guy with her goods!”


 

Wait, what?!” Turning to find the fellow administrator standing next to an embarrassed Keiichi who tried hard to keep his eyes from wandering lower to the scantily clad goddess’ body, Urd was about to go berserk once more; albeit this time not due to a potion. “Hey, what do you think you’re trying to pull, here?”


 

Nothing! I was just trying to say hello, and introduce myself,” said Peorth, although the withering glare she was receiving from Urd, was more than enough to make her take a step back.


 

Feeling that the situation around her was deteriorating at an alarming rate, Belldandy decided to do something before everything escalated beyond anyone’s control. And while it was normally uncharacteristic of her to raise her voice, the Norn of the past knew that she had no other choice.


 

That’s enough!


 

The magically amplified voice reverberated across the temple grounds, causing everyone to stop whatever they were doing and turn to face the otherwise gentle goddess of the present. “Please, let’s not carry on like this. We all came here to help Urd, and… now that she’s fine, how about we throw in a nice celebration? Everyone’s invited, too!”


 

There was a long pause as the assorted immortals, along with Keiichi looked at each other and decided to just go with her idea; even though Lind still wanted to whack Hild’s head for her impudence.


 

Sure, that works for me, Bell,” said Urd, offering her sister a smile, and then glanced over at a nearby tree. “Stop trying to hide, I know you’re there, Mara! You’re invited as well, so, come out. I’m not mad with or anything.”


 

Is that really okay, though?” Poking her head around the tree’s trunk, the blonde demoness who made an effort to escape while everyone else was busy, offered her friend an uncertain smile. “After all, this was whole mess was  my own fault, Urd.”


 

Tell me something, I don’t know,” said the half goddess with a sigh. “Still, you were probably trying to help, and it’s better if we leave it at that. Now, come on, before I change my mind!”


 

Thanks Urd!”


 

For his part, Keiichi finally started to relax, knowing that the hard part was over. The crisis was averted and everything was about to go back to normal; actually, even better than normal, now that the could not only date Urd, but also do it without having to worry about the others’ reaction.


 

Kei-chan! Is everything alright?”


 

Huh, Megumi?” Turning towards the temple’s entrance, Keiichi spot his sister running towards him, with a concerned look on her face. “What’s wrong?”


 

That’s my line! There were explosions and all sort of sounds coming from this place, so, I rushed here to find out what was going on,” said Megumi, taking a moment to catch her breath.


 

Well… there was a bit of a crisis, but everything’s just fine now,” said Keiichi reassuringly, before he smiled at his sister. “Oh, and I’ve got news for you too! I’ve got a girlfriend!”


 

You mean… Urd?” asked Megumi with a smile that turned into a grin when her brother offered her a thumbs up. “About darn time! Good for you, Kei-chan!”


 

Thanks, Megumi! Actually, we’re going to throw a party of sorts,” said Keiichi as he pointed at the others who were heading inside the temple residence. “Why don’t you join us, too?


 

Lead the way, Kei-chan!”


 

XXX


 

A month later


 

The last couple of days had been pretty hectic for Keiichi, both due to his personal life, as well as his greatest and most risky move as an aspiring businessman: the grand opening of his very own bike shop.


 

Just a mere week earlier, Chihiro had finished the relocation of Whirlwind and with the reopening event being a great success, Keiichi had to work really hard in order to prepare for his own shop’s grand opening. Of course, given that he and Urd had offered their assistance during Whirlwind’s relocation, Chihiro along with Hasegawa and infamous duo, Tamiya and Otaki, did everything they could to help with the remodeling of the old shop. Thankfully, given how small and simple the whole structure was, it took them nearly five days to complete the job, leaving them two more in order for the much needed preparations of the opening event; which included the necessary advertising campaign.


 

Yet despite all the help from his mortal friends, as well as his two former housemates who decided to move into the apartment Belldandy previously occupied, just to give him and Urd some personal space, Keiichi was still pretty nervous about the whole thing. On one hand, thanks to Belldandy’s involvement in the advertising campaign as well as Chihiro’s connections with the local businesses, Keiichi already knew that they were going to have a pretty decent number of people attending the opening event, but at the same time, this also added a lot of stress onto his shoulders. The initial enthusiasm was slowly turning into a sense of dread, as he and Urd were figuratively speaking about to embark into unknown territory with no guarantees as to what they’d might encounter there.


 

Interestingly, Urd was absolutely unaffected by the entire situation, despite working as hard as Keiichi to oversee the preparations of their shop. With her boyfriend being the lead mechanic and owner of their business, it was Urd the one in charge of sales and pretty much every other aspect of the shop, at least until they hired an employee to give them a hand. But, that was going to wait for at least a few months, since the couple wanted to make sure that they made enough money to keep their business profitable, before they started to spending even more; especially after the already costly renovations to the shop.


 

Keiichi, I think it’s about time to start.”


 

Turning to his girlfriend, the dark haired mortal offered her a silent nod, before he inspected the interior of the shop one last time and knowing that this was the best they could do, at least given their tight budget. So, after taking a deep breath to calm his nerves, Keiichi headed for the front door and stepped outside where a small crowd was already waiting.


 

Everyone was there, from Chihiro and Whirlwind's new employees who also happened to be former members of the Motor Club, to Megumi, and even all the immortals he came to meet in the last few months. Lind and her son, Vali were talking to Belldandy in the distance where they kept a watchful eye at the gathered crowd, Peorth and Skuld were having a soda with Dagaz near the shop’s entrance, while Hild and Ansuz were standing next to Mara’s booth, who was tasked to hand over special discount coupons for those who attended the event. Of course, according to her claims the only reason she was helping them was due to losing a game of Tetris against Urd, but in reality, everyone pretty much knew that this wasn’t really the case. As for Tyr who still possessed a cat’s body in order to be physically present on site, he chose to keep an eye out for Mara, just in case she got any funny ideas and even handed a few coupons, which… resulted a lot of baffled mortals taking selfies with what appeared to them as an incredibly smart cat. Thankfully, he did manage to refrain from making any comments about all the attention he was getting, although he did occasionally roll his eyes at some of the bystanders’ antics.


 

Wow… this isn’t really half bad at all. There are so many people here…’ Swallowing hard as he became even more nervous than before, Keiichi knew that a good first impression was vital for the future of their shop, but at the same time he wasn’t too comfortable being the center of all this attention. Aside from those his friends and a few of Whirlwind’s regulars he knew, there were a few dozen strangers and the moment he stepped out of the shop, everyone’s attention was drawn at him.


 

Just act like yourself and everything’s going to be fine, Keiichi. Trust me on that…” Placing a hand on his shoulder as she stepped next to him, Urd did her best to sound reassuring, even though she was a bit nervous herself. Most of her plans had the tendency of backfiring in an almost comical manner, yet the Norn of the past wished to support her boyfriend and for that reason, acting in a confident manner was a necessity.


 

You think so?” asked the still nervous Keiichi, as he struggled to calm himself down. “I mean… a lot can go wrong, and…”


 

Look… we had this conversation almost a week ago, and everything went smoothly!” said Urd with a smile, almost missing her boyfriend’s fierce blush that made his face resemble a ripe tomato. “And if you could handle the ultimate rite of passage into adulthood, then opening a shop should be a walk in the park; right, Keiichi?”


 

Unfortunately for her, the mortal in question was far too busy restarting his brain after being reminded of the undoubtedly enjoyable yet utterly embarrassing experience of spending a night in the same house with Urd; alone. It was the same day the two gods moved out of the temple residence and after throwing a party at their new apartment, Keiichi prepared for a good night’s sleep… only to find Urd lying on his futon with a few ribbons wrapped around her otherwise nude body; and the rest was history. A very… very… pleasant history; even if she had to chase the poor mortal around the whole house before he gave in and decided to give the whole ‘touchy feelything a try.


 

Um… Skuld? He’s not responding at all...”


 

Really? Let me get a closer look at him.”


 

Just a glimpse of that dreadful red mallet was more than enough to make Keiichi snap out of his reverie and raise his arms in front of him, stopping the little goddess before she gave him a ‘tapwith that thing. “No, I’m fine, I’m fine!


 

Clearing his throat as Skuld turned and headed back to Peorth and Dagaz, the embarrassed mortal knew that it was time to start with the event. If he waited any more, people would inevitably get bored and just leave, so after he exchanged a look with Urd, Keiichi stepped forward and hoped for the best.


 

Thank you all for coming here, today! I never thought that this day would ever come, but thank to the hard work of a lot of people, most of them also present here,’ said Keiichi, casting a glance at all his friends mortals and not, before he wrapped an arm around Urd’s shoulders, “I’m happy to announce that our shop is finally open for business! Everyone, welcome to Elegant Retros!


 

There was a loud round of applause as he and Urd stepped aside to allow everyone to take a look into the shop’s interior. The Norn of the past had been adamant to go for an art deco feel for their shop, finding it appropriate with the whole retro theme. Technically speaking, Keiichi had no problems with selling brand new bikes, although his primary goal was to find and restore much older ones, that others would’ve simply thrown away as scrap metal. Of course, he wasn’t planning to sell priceless antics, given how limited that market was, but focused mostly on bikes from the early 60’s all the way to late 80’s, along with all the period correct parts; some of which were fairly rare to find in a pristine condition these days.


 

As a matter of fact, a few of his potential customers found it really hard to believe that what they initially thought as unsold bikes from some forgotten warehouse, were actually junkyard finds after a full and meticulous restoration.


 

And the longer he talked with them, the more Keiichi relaxed, allowing him to share his passion for old school bikes with those who seemed to appreciate some of his interests. Overall, it was very rewarding experience, and though it was a bit early to call it a success, Keiichi began to think that they were on the right track. Some would’ve disagreed with his decision to go for a shop that primarily targets to such a specific market, but then again, Keiichi knew that selling bikes to those who cared for them as much as he did was the only way he would feel truly happy and proud of his work. And the more passion he put in his job, the better the results were; which was a win-win situation for everyone involved.


 

Actually he was so happy to talk about bikes, that he almost lost track of time. Only when he glanced outside, did Keiichi notice that it was well past sunset and decided to take a much needed break. After all it was about for the next part of the event to start, and that gave Keiichi an opportunity to rest while the goddesses along with Hild and even his two eccentric senpai gathered around the karaoke machine they’ve connected to a sound system Skuld quickly put together outside of the shop.


 

Here, I guess you need a drink after talking for a few hours.”


 

Reaching to accept the cup of fizzy cola, Keiichi saw Vali take a seat next to him, before both of them turned to watch Belldandy’s performance; the first of many as the night progressed. “Thanks… um… you know… for everything.”


 

You’re welcome, but helping with the shop was nothing at all for us, you know. If nothing else, we worked a lot less hard than we could, while the other humans were around to avoid raising any questions,” was the blue haired god’s reply, only for Keiichi to shake his head.


 

No, no… I meant for Urd and all,” said Keiichi with some effort. “I know that it’s probably far from the best moment to bring this subject up, but… I honestly don’t really know if I’ll be given another chance.”


 

Hey, chill out, Keiichi! You may be a mortal, but you’re still young!” said Dagaz as he joined the others, bringing a whole bottle of cola with him. “Or is Urd wearing you do so much that you’ve already started to feel old?”


 

Spitting his drink out, while Vali simply palmed himself, Keiichi took a few moments to recover enough to give his former housemate a dirty glance. “You’ve got no idea…”


 

Lucky bastard…” muttered Dagaz, before his sour expression turned into a confident grin. “But!... I’m so close getting a hot date of my own! I can feel it!”


 

If you mean... Hild, then forget about it,” said Vali with a snort, as he pointed at the demoness in question. “She may be a shameless flirt, but she’s not going to date you; or any other god for that matter.”


 

You’re just jealous that you only got a nice hug but no kiss from her!” shot the blonde god back at the otherwise unfazed Vali.


 

Oh, she did kiss me, albeit a bit later during that day,” said the war god cadet, drinking some cola to hide his faint blush. “Me… my mother… Peorth… even Ansuz-sama. So, welcome to the club.”


 

Aw… that sucks...” Lowering his head in utter defeat, Dagaz desperately tried to change the subject, if nothing else, to save face and avoid the others’ amused glances. “By the way, Keiichi… what were you trying to say before I got here?”


 

Huh? Oh, right!” Looking up in surprise, the mortal quickly retraced back to where he was trying to talk to them about Urd, before he realized something pretty important. The way the gods acted around him strongly reminded Keiichi that of a group of friends sharing jokes together, instead of two dejected guys who tried to woo the same goddess and got burned in the process. Yet the best part was that so far, he didn’t sense any bitterness or envy directed at him, which was something one might’ve expected in a situation like this. “I wanted to thank you for everything you guys have done for me, especially in regards to Urd. I know that you also liked her, and yet she ended picking me, but…”


 

Aren’t you selling yourself a bit short? By the time we showed up, you were already living together with her, so, we should be the ones thanking you for not holding a grudge against us for getting in your way,” said Vali, although Keiichi simply shook his head.


 

That’s not entirely correct, you know. While it’s true that she was a bit too friendly towards me back then, I’m not sure what would’ve happened if we started dating before she regained her memories,” admitted Keiichi while nervously scratching the back of his head. “Sure… I think we could’ve been a couple of sorts for a while, but… after remembering who and what she was, I fear that things between us would change. In a manner of speaking, giving her some time to deal with her amnesia before making any serious choices was probably for everyone’s best interest.”


 

The two gods briefly shared a look, as neither of them had actually expected that kind of response. Although to a certain degree, it didn’t exactly surprise them either, given that during the few months they’ve spent living together under the same roof, it became apparent to them that Keiichi wasn’t exactly the most typical example of a mortal. Most other humans would’ve reacted poorly to the idea of having two competitors interacting with their romantic interest, let alone live in the same house as her, yet Keiichi had somehow managed to handle the situation a lot better than anyone else would.


 

After a few moments of silence and as Peorth was the next goddess in line to sing in the makeshift stage they’ve set up outside the shop, Vali decided to speak up, given that Dagaz was still thinking about what to say. “Then I suppose that everything’s cool, then? Friends?”


 

Noticing the war god cadet extend his arm towards him, Keiichi gladly reached and shook hands with him. “You bet! Oh, and you too, Dagaz!”


 

Of course! You you being such a chick magnet, as long as I stick around you. I’m bound to get a girlfriend… sooner or later,” said the blonde god with a wink, causing the other two to laugh at how silly that sounded. However, as soon as he noticed Urd walking towards them, Dagaz nodded in Vali’s direction and the two gods silently agreed to leave them alone. Giving Keiichi a pat on the shoulder, Dagaz began to walk away and back to the gathered crowd that enjoyed Peorth’s singing performance. “Well, I think it’s time we go back to the others. They’re probably wondering where we’ve been; especially this guy’s mom.”


 

Leave my mother out of this!” shot Vali back at his fellow celestial, before he turned to their mortal friend. “Anyway… we’ll catch up after the event, Keiichi. I’m sure you’ll need someone to help with cleaning up this place.”


 

Sure thing, guys!” said Keiichi with a smile, as the two gods walked towards the stage, while Urd approached him with a curious look on her face.


 

Did something good happened while I was gone?” asked the goddess of the past, before she took a seat next to him.


 

Yeah… you can say that for sure,” replied Keiichi, his smile never fading from his face as he stared at the half goddess next to him. “You know, Urd… you were absolutely right. Everything went smoothly, and I think that we may have gotten a few potential clients already.”


 

It’s definitely a good start, that’s for sure. But, that doesn’t mean we’re out of the woods yet. We still need to keep the momentum and make sure we get a few happy clients, so that they spread a good word around.” said Urd with a grin. “It’s kind of funny, but, I almost sound like Chihiro.”


 

A little bit…” said Keiichi with a chuckle, while the bronze skinned goddess began to laugh at how ironic that sounded. “Although you’re far more mischievous than her.”


 

What can I say… it runs in the family,” laughed Urd as she pointedly nodded in Hild’s direction. “You know… call me crazy, but I think that I’m starting to understand my mom a bit more now. In the past, I never had the patience for anything that required this much planning and then commit myself to make sure it works in the long run; and I’m dealing with a mere shop, here. I don’t even want to know what running a whole realm must be for her. Great… I’m slowly turning into her… Bloody fantastic!...”


 

I don’t think that it’s that simple, Urd. You’re still yourself, just a bit more… I dunno… mature?” said Keiichi with some hesitation, fearing that he may have accidentally insulted her. Yet with the lack of any noticeably negative response, the dark haired mortal carried on. “And I’m not the only one who’s probably thinking that, either. Both your sisters, Hild and even Tyr must’ve noticed that by now, and they’re all proud of you.”


 

Maybe…” said Urd offhandedly, although her lips curled up in a content smile as she crossed her arms and glanced at Keiichi. “Speaking of making others proud… you’re not half bad either. For a guy that didn’t know how to make a compliment without embarrassing himself in the process, you’ve almost made me blush!”


 

What can I say? I’ve got a good teacher,” said Keiichi, offering Urd a wink.


 

A teacher, huh? Mm… that gives me a few ideas for tonight…” said Urd as her smile turned into a cat like grin, all while Keiichi’s cheeks began to redden by the implications of her statement. However, before she went too far, Urd decided to stop with her teasing and changed the subject to something entirely different. “Keiichi? Can I ask you something?”


 

S-Sure…” said the nervous mortal, whose mind was still contemplating just what kind of titillating ideas the half goddess might come up with for later.


 

Are you happy with how things turned out?”


 

Eh?” That wasn’t what he had in mind, and it actually took Keiichi a few moments to realize just what Urd was trying to ask. “You mean… with us, or the shop?”


 

Both, actually. I’ve got a bit of a reputation for messing things and bringing misfortune to people around me, so…” Pausing for a moment to take a deep breath, Urd went to ask the very thing she wanted to know for quite some time now. “Have you regretted meeting me?”


 

Not at all!” said Keiichi in a heartbeat, shaking his head for added effect. “It may had been a crazy journey to get to this point, but in a way, it kind of made me feel a lot more… alive than I was before. Probably that’s not the best way to express what I want to know, but… it’s been a while I was so excited to do something. It’s like back when I was still an NIT student and I spent time at the Motor Club, going after my dreams, and to be honest, I’ve almost given up all that after I graduated. And for the first time since then, I’ve started to dream again.”


 

Really? And here you were complaining that I’m keeping you up all night… I guess, you still have enough time to dream.” Offering him a smile, Urd leaned in for a kiss that lasted a lot longer than she had initially planned, pulling away only after she felt that Keiichi was running out of oxygen.


 

That’s not what I meant, Urd!...” said Keiichi, but after staring her for a few moments, he ended up laughing and then looked up at the starlit sky above them, while the first of Skuld’s fireworks exploded. The little goddess was adamant to organize something to help attract the audience’s attention and a fireworks show was something that came natural to her. “You know… after I’ve heard that Belldandy is a wish granter and the whole idea of certain mortals getting wishes from either Heavens or Hell, I kind of wondered what I would’ve asked for if I was in that position.”


 

Oh? And… what would you go for?” asked the rather curious Urd, who never expected something like that from him. Of course, she knew what his interests were and they were already opening a shop of their own, so that was already a good candidate for a wish, but in the end, Urd had no idea what he would’ve asked and as such, she had to admit that she was really interested to know what Keiichi really wanted.


 

Well… there are lots of things I could’ve asked for, but most of them are fairly trivial, to be honest with you,” said Keiichi, before turning to face her directly before he went on. “In the end, the most important thing I could’ve wished for is… to have a goddess like you stay with me forever.”


 

Eh?!


 

Looking at the stunned goddess with some concern evident on his face, Keiichi wondered if he had somehow made a blunder and said something he wasn’t supposed to, although as far as he could tell, there was nothing particularly wrong with his so called wish. “Is there… something wrong, Urd?”


 

Keiichi…. where did you hear that from?” asked the Norn of the past as soon as she managed to regain her composure.


 

Huh? I came up with it?” answered the baffled mortal, who still had no idea what was wrong with what he said. “Why?”


 

Because… that’s the way one asks a goddess’ hand in marriage,” said Urd with a small grin, as she enjoyed the surprised look on Keiichi’s face when he realized what he had actually said to her.


 

No way!


 

Yes way!” laughed Urd, poking the tip of his nose to make him snap out of his stupor. “So… don’t you want to hear my answer? Or are you taking it back, now that you know what it stands for?”


 

All that Keiichi could do was offer an affirmative nod, but then decided that it was better to clarify what he meant and mustering all his courage, he made a desperate effort to calm himself down. “I… I’d love to hear… your answer… Urd.”


 

And you will,” said Urd with a wicked smile as she offered her boyfriend a wink. “But only after you get me a ring, mister.”


 

Wait! A-Are you… Is this a ye-…” started Keiichi, only to have Urd place a finger against his lips, silencing him.


 

Not so fast! First buy me the ring, and make sure it’s a nice one too! Hm… something with an amethyst stone would looks great on my ring finger.” Urd could hardly contain her laughter, when Keiichi shot up from his seat and almost lost his balance, regaining it at the very last moment to spare himself from a painful reunion with the floor.


 

YES!


 

Hey, stop stealing my lines and just make sure you get me a good ring, okay?” Getting up from her seat, Urd had to admit that this day had gone way better than she’d ever hoped for, and not just due to the event’s success. “Oh, and don’t worry if it takes you a while, Keiichi. I’m really stubborn when I need to and I’ll definitely wait until you can afford it. But, let’s not worry about that right now. Tonight… let’s just party with everyone else!”


 

Nodding vigorously, Keiichi followed his girlfriend to where the others were gathered, but not before he paused to take a look behind him. It was the very place he’d first met her a couple of months ago, and right now… it was their shop. In a sense a chapter in his life was about to close, only for a new and far more exciting one to begin, and Keiichi could hardly await to see what the future had in store for them. Sure, given his experiences so far he had no delusions that things could be as exciting and even crazy at times as they already were, but regardless, Keiichi wouldn’t change that for all the comforts in the world.


 

I can’t believe that just a few months ago, I was the unluckiest person I knew. Boy… how things have changed! Yes, I’ve definitely started dreaming again, but, unlike in the past, right now my dreams are becoming a reality. And I really look forward to see what’s in store for me… no… for us in the future.’


 

XXX


 
 

 

 

This is the final chapter for this story, with another one after this as the epilogue, before I call it finished. I hope it was an enjoyable little (okay, not so little) story, despite the seemingly odd pairing. If nothing else, I wish that the ending was kind of acceptable, since this is the first time I'm writing an ending for a multi chapter story :)

 

Edit: The chapter is now on FFN: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/11513150/12/Ah-My-license-suspension

Edited by vanagandr
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Finally, this is the draft for the chapter's epilogue:

 

 

 


 

 

 




It was often said that with every beginning, there always comes an end.

 

So, when Keiichi flipped the ‘closed’ sign on his shop’s door for the last time, the old mechanic couldn’t help but feel a bit weepy as memories from the past five decades he spent here came rushing back to his mind. In all honesty, Keiichi had never expected ‘Elegant Retros’ to last for nearly as long as it did, given that the world around him changed so much since the day he first opened his shop; yet he had somehow managed to pull it through.

 

In all honesty though, that success was only partially thanks to his skills, as Keiichi may had been a brilliant mechanic, but that didn’t instantly made him a good businessman too. That’s where his wife’s support played a vital role, since she stood by his side even during the toughest of times and kept him motivated as well as handled most of the logistics, allowing him to do what he knew best; work on bikes. Without Urd’s stubbornness, Keiichi may had actually given up a long time ago when he struggled to gain a reputation for their shop, and perhaps towards the end too; especially given the decline of traditional motorized vehicles. Thankfully her insistence did pay off and after a pretty rough year of barely managing to break even, things finally took a turn for the better.

 

Still, what really touched Keiichi wasn’t just the fact that she kept trying to help him with their shop, but her determination to stay by his side to the bitter end, something that not every woman would’ve done for her fiance. Because of that, it actually took him more than a whole year to gather enough money to finally buy her the ring he had promised her back when they opened the shop, but in the end, Keiichi never really regretted anything. Their first year together had been the most valuable lesson for both of them, and by overcoming all those hardships together, their relationship just grew stronger instead of coming to an abrupt end. Which was exactly why ever after fifty years of married life, they were still together and very much in love, too.

 

Of course, they weren’t totally alone in their efforts to make a living, as both Urd’s sisters as well as their former housemates had given them a much needed hand on numerous occasions, especially during the critical first couple of years. With Belldandy helping as a highly convincing saleswoman and Skuld as a skilled mechanic, Keiichi and his wife could relax a bit whenever the Norns came by for a visit, which actually happened a lot more frequently than either of them had initially expected. Even Vali and Dagaz dropped by on an equally frequent basis, but the first time they did was likely the most memorable one of them all.

 

It was roughly a week after the Elegant Retro’s opening event when the two gods decided to drop by for a visit, along with an eerily familiar looking trike that Keiichi quickly recognized as the one the Motor Club used to own. Given that it was an aging vehicle, the current members of the Club accepted the god’s generous donation of a brand new minivan, as long as they got the old Mazda T-2000 in exchange. Which of course sounded like a pretty bad deal from the gods’ perspective, but the whole point was that eventual recipient of that trike would’ve appreciated it a lot more than any other type of brand new vehicle. Which turned out to be a rather correct assumption, when the stunned Keiichi couldn’t help but grin like an idiot for several days after he got his first business van; even if the gods involved in this gesture still argued to this date whether it was a van or a trike.

 

However, when it came to buying Urd’s engagement ring, it was up to Keiichi not only to find a way to save up enough money in order to afford it, but also do it in secret. Although Urd was perfectly aware of his intentions to ask her hand in marriage, Keiichi still wished to maintain the element of surprise. After all, his… initial and partially accidental proposal was far from intentional, which motivated him to try a lot harder to get it right the second time; when he was going to do it for real. The major problem however was that with Urd being in charge of the shop’s finances, it actually required a lot of creative methods to save whatever cash he could in order to raise the necessary funds for the ring, all while he kept his fiancee in the dark. Which... sounded a lot easier in theory than in actually was in practice.

 

‘Perhaps asking for mother’s… I mean… Hild’s help was a bad idea. Then again what was I supposed to do? Ask Belldandy to help me? She wouldn’t be able tell a lie to cover up for me and besides… Urd might’d gotten the wrong idea. Then again, it became far worse with Hild… Telling me that she wanted to give me private lessons for the honeymoon. Seriously…’

 

Letting out a sigh, the grey haired man stepped inside the shop to take one last look, and while it’s been decades since that particular incident, he could still remember Urd’s reaction as if it was just yesterday.

 

“Thanks but… no thanks! I’ve got more than enough help in the bedroom from my angel. If you REALLY want to help your little girl SO badly, then give me a hand in the kitchen, mom!”

 

In a bizarre twist of fate, Hild’s reaction to her daughter’s joke took both of them by surprise. Instead of mercilessly teasing Keiichi about World of Elegance’s alleged involvement in his relationship with Urd, the Daimakaicho eagerly accepted her daughter’s ‘request’ to help her in the kitchen. As a result, she’d show up at least once every weekend for the requested cooking lessons, and while Urd claimed that she absolutely hated them, Keiichi often caught her practicing in secret before her mother showed up for their next session.

 

‘Never thought I’d say it, but I kind of miss those days. Well… for the most part, anyway.’

 

Many things had inevitably changed over the years with the most important being the newlyweds’  departure from the temple. No matter how much he loved the peace and quiet they enjoyed in their temple residence, it always rubbed Keiichi a bit wrong that they got to stay there for free. In many ways, Keiichi never really felt that he earned the right to call that place his home and not long after he had finally married Urd, Keiichi decided that they needed a place of their own.

 

That turned out to be much more challenging that he’d ever expected, given that most houses he checked were either ridiculously small or far too expensive for them to afford. In the end the solution turned out to be a rather unique one, almost as unique as their own relationship was. Instead of buying a house, they almost literally built it on top of their shop. Given that, Elegant Retros was based on a prefabricated module, all they had to do was get more of them and simply stack them together. One was attached next to the already existing one, allowing them to have a much bigger workshop, while the remaining two were placed on top of the others and provided them with enough living space for two rooms, a bathroom, and a combined kitchen and living room.

 

Still, the mountain temple wasn’t totally abandoned, since it remained as the ideal place for their friends and family to gather on numerous occasions. Especially when it came to Urd’s sisters who often stayed there for several weeks at a time, with Vali and Dagaz dropping by as well, although… Lind often arrived to chaperone them. Which sounded pretty ironic, since Peorth typically accompanied her, and the mere sight of the rose goddess was more than enough to induce scandalous thoughts instead of preventing them.

 

Stopping before the counter, Keiichi picked up a small picture frame with a group photo they’ve taken right after the wedding ceremony that appropriately took place in the Tariki Hongan temple. Everyone was there, from Urd’s sisters to Vali and his mother, as well as Peorth and Dagaz who remained close to her for the duration of the day. However there were mortals present too, with Megumi and his parents standing the closest to him, as well as Chihiro and all the former members of the Motor Club showing up for the special occasion.

 

‘I’ve seen all sorts of crazy things in my life, but the sight of Tamiya and Otaki in tuxedos… Good Heavens… I don’t know if that was hilarious or scary!’

 

Even after all these years those two remained as eccentric as they used to be in their earlier days, although their antics became far more tame, given their age. Furthermore, with Otaki married to his old girlfriend, Satoko and Tamiya also spending years with a pretty eccentric woman and bike enthusiast he met on one of his trips abroad, the once infamous duo had to calm down a bit. Of course with those two, everything was kind of relative.

 

Thankfully, aside from Keiichi’s parents, not many had passed away as of yet, although he was almost certain that this was about to change much sooner than later. And in all honesty, Keiichi wasn’t particularly fond of the idea to stick around to see everyone he knew and loved to die out of old age. Especially his sister who was already a happy grandmother of five teenage upstarts that definitely took after her, instead of her much more timid and levelheaded husband, Satoshi who actually used to be his right hand mechanic. As a matter of fact, that’s where she met her future boyfriend and eventual spouse, after they both graduated and started looking for a job, and on sheer coincidence that happened about the same time Keiichi decided that he finally needed some helping hands in the shop.

 

‘Who knew that, Megumi would end up choosing a modest guy like Satoshi… But then again, all the others she tried to date, ended up dumping her, so… I can’t quite blame her. Although, it was perhaps for the best, given that the guy turned out to be a really decent man and a hard working one too.’

 

As he was about to set the photo down, Keiichi took a moment to glance at his own wife in her surprisingly modest wedding dress, which also came from a very unexpected source too: Hild. Against all expectations, the Daimakaicho decided to offer her daughter a seemingly… normal wedding dress. And for equally mysterious reasons, Urd accepted it without making too much a big deal. Of course, that didn’t mean it was a dull or unimpressive dress; far from it. Mostly white and with numerous golden decorations and other pieces of jewelry, it would’ve easily fit for a royal wedding in terms of glamor. However, the surprising part, given who came up with the design was that it must’ve covered the most amount of skin than any of Urd’s outfits and by a long shot too.

 

Even more impressive was the fact that both Urd and Hild remained close to each other during that day. Which was actually reflected in the photo, where Hild stood right next to her daughter with Belldandy and Skuld nearby, all while Keiichi was on the other side of Urd, dressed in a rather dull tuxedo he had borrowed from his father. In retrospect he should’ve tried harder to come up with something a bit more impressive to wear on that day. Yet, Keiichi felt that it was needed to come up with something on his own instead of asking his immortal friends for help, so, in the end he relied on Keima to give him a hand on this particular occasion.

 

After all, it was nice to somehow involve his father into the wedding’s preparations, especially after worrying for a long time about his and even Takano’s reaction to his choice to marry Urd. Although those two were far from the stereotypical Japanese couple, Keiichi still felt anxious about how they’d take the news of him marrying the seemingly easygoing half goddess.

 

‘Thankfully, it turned out that I was worried for nothing, since they did end up liking Urd a lot. Well… at least as long Keima was a fair distance from her, and Urd didn’t go all out with her attires. Boy that first time was honestly the worst… Then again, I should’ve warned her that extra low cut decollete wouldn’t work with my dad. Poor Keima almost had a heart attack. At least she did lose a few rounds of Mahjong, so, Takano eventually forgave her.’

 

Chuckling at those decades old memories, Keiichi finally took one last look around the shop, especially the spot where he parked his trusty Beemer. It was rarely used these days, as the current lack of gasoline made it more of a luxury item than a viable transport method. Not that they didn’t have all sorts of electric vehicles these days, but for old school petrolheads like Keiichi, those simply lacked the same appeal of a classic bike. Perhaps that was the biggest reason he wished to retire, aside from already working for nearly half a century. These days, bike mechanics were more like electronic engineers and even then it was hard to repair, let alone customize bikes that came packed with complicated microprocessors designed only to work within certain parameters and scenarios.

 

In a way he felt privileged that he got involved in the automotive industry while it was still fun to do so and personal vision could make a difference. But then again, Keiichi knew that he probably sounded like an old man from a long bygone era, which to a certain degree was absolutely true. He was the last among his friends to still own a CRT TV or even a rotary dial phone, while everyone around him used flat screen TVs and smartphones. Still, as Urd often joked, being married to the goddess of the past did have some downsides; although the benefits certainly surpassed them by far.

 

‘She always knew how to make a nice joke, even at our own expense. But that’s also part of her charm. While she’s definitely vain, Urd never got that to affect her better judgment more that it was absolutely necessary. Especially as old age got hold of her.’

 

Feeling that he had already more than enough for a day, Keiichi turned off the shop’s lights and started to head to the indoors spiral staircase leading to the above floor where their main house actually was. Urd must’ve already packed her things by now, although he was absolutely certain that it must’ve been as hard for her as it was for him too.

 

Leaving a whole lifestyle behind was never something easy, even for a goddess.

 

XXX

 

“Ah… I see that you’ve dropped the old lady appearance. Well I guess I can call you Urd-chan  instead of obaasan once again.”

 

“Ha ha… you’re so hilarious, mom.” Shaking her head, Urd simply lacked the mental fortitude to deal with her mother or… long lost niece as she often had to introduce her to some of their neighbors who had no idea that Hild was actually a demoness. As a matter of fact, that was the very reason why Urd herself had to rely on a glamor spell to keep her actual appearance hidden. Although Hild simply refused to look like an old lady, and preferred to stay out of sight when some of their oldest friends who still remembered her dropped by for a visit. “Why are you here, anyway? I’ve told you that I’m packing our stuff today, so, I’m too busy for your shenanigans.”

 

“My, my… you still sound like a grumpy old lady, Urd-chan. Maybe you should try cheering up a bit, before you leave,” said Hild with an annoyingly sweet smile, especially as she knew that it looked a bit out of character for her; and Urd was perfectly aware of that. “Which… is why I’m here!”

 

“Get off my lawn, darn kid…” muttered the half goddess, much to her mother’s great amusement.

 

“You know, jokes aside, you did a terrible job at being an old lady. Not only you remained fairly athletic for a gal of you supposed age, but you even outgunned some of the youngsters and without a hint of sagging, too. A couple of wrinkles here and there is hardly what I’d call enough to convince anyone,” said Hild as she took a seat on the couch next to her daughter who simply fumed in silence. After all, she was in no mood today to repeat a decade old and fairly inconclusive debate between them. Knowing that she wasn’t likely to get a reply, Hild extended a hand in the direction of the kitchenette at the other end of the room and levitated a bag of potato chips towards her, only to have it intercepted by her daughter instead. “Hey!... I wanted that!”

 

“Not only you show up unannounced and empty handed… but you also want to eat my chips. You’re some piece of work…” Opening the bag in a rather over dramatic manner, the goddess proceeded to munch a couple of the barbeque flavored chips before she finally decided to share and extended her hand towards Hild who promptly took the whole bag; much to her daughter’s annoyance. “Greedy demoness.”

 

“It comes with the territory dear,” said Hild while stuffing her mouth in a rather silly manner, until she finally earned a snort from Urd and decided that she had fooled around for long enough. It was about time she got to deal with the actual reason behind her visit and no matter how much her daughter dreaded it, there was no way to avoid this conversation. “Have you told her?”

 

“I did… and I can’t say she took it lightly either,” said Urd as she rubbed her temples. However, before she went on, the half goddess heard her husband enter their home and was about to welcome him… only for her mother to beat her to the punch.

 

Keiichi-kun!

 

The unsuspecting man barely managed to register the voice of his mother in law, before his vision went completely dark and took several steps back from the sheer force of having a flying Hild smack bosom first onto his face. Any mortal man of his age would’ve ended up in hospital with a few fractures at best or a broken pelvis, should the demoness send him on a collision course with the floor. Providing that the tantalizing effect of all the skin contact thanks to Hild’s ridiculously low neckline didn’t cause their blood pressure to reach levels absolutely unhealthy for any other man of his age. “Mmph!...

 

“Aww!... you look so cute! I really missed seeing you without that silly disguise!” said Hild as she cuddled the embarrassed and deceptively young looking man. Although in all honesty, he was still the youngest of the immortals present in the room, no matter how hard it was for Keiichi to get used calling himself that.

 

“Alright! That’s enough!” Grabbing her mother by the hips, Urd pulled her hard enough to detach the hovering demoness from the clearly overwhelmed Keiichi. “Get your paws off my husband! And before you even say it… Yes, that goes for your boobs, too!”

 

“But, it’s been a long while since I last saw him like this!” said Hild in her defense, although her daughter’s withering glare was more than enough to deter her from going any further with her flirty behavior. “Fine, fine... I’ll go ahead and cook something for you three.”

 

Letting out a frustrated sigh as she watched her mother walk towards the kitchenette, Urd turned to her husband and cleared her throat loudly to draw his attention away from Hild’s swaying hips. “Eyes up, mister! I’ve got everything she has and then some!”

 

“Ah! Sorry!” said Keiichi with a blush that almost made the blue triangles on his cheeks disappear in an ocean of red that the rest of his face was. Unlike his wife, Keiichi only had two small markings, instead of three, like most of the other celestials he knew, but then again he was hardly powerful or important enough to justify a particularly elaborate control program placed on his person. Not that, Keiichi really cared much about any of that.

 

As a matter of fact, he was more or less ready to turn Tyr’s offer down, when the Daitenkaicho first told him about the possibility of becoming a god as a reward for helping Urd for so long, especially during the time she went berserk. However… a quick glance over at Urd, made Keiichi’s resolve falter when he noticed how the goddess’ eyes light up at the mere mention of staying with him for much, much longer that it would’ve been possible should he declined the offer. As a result, Tyr’s wedding gift to his son in law was the very thing humanity kept dreaming  for entire millennia, yet never attained: immortality.

 

“Oh well… at least you no longer look like a dirty old man when you’re a bit too honest with yourself,” said Urd with a smirk, while Keiichi did his best to pretend that he heard nothing.

 

Instead, Keiichi decided to tackle what was the proverbial elephant in the room, since this was going to be the hardest thing they still had to do. “Actually… have you managed to convince her? We need to move out of this property by tomorrow, so…”

 

Letting out a sigh as her smile disappeared, Urd glanced over her shoulder and to the direction of the almost barricaded room she had repeatedly failed to enter during the last couple of hours. “Not yet, Keiichi. I’ve tried, but she just won’t listen to me.”

 

“Maybe I should give it a try too? Or ask Bell to talk to her and…” tried Keiichi as he racked his brain to come up with alternatives, but stopped when his wife shook her head.

 

“No. This is something I have to do. And you know what? I will do it! One way or another!” said Urd with great determination evident in her eyes, before she turned and headed for what was likely a confrontation. “Just wish me luck.”

 

“I do, but… please, don’t push her too hard, Urd. It’s our fault she’s in this situation,” said Keiichi as his features softened and for a moment, so did Urd’s.

 

“I know, love. That’s why I need to do it myself.”

 

XXX

 

“Go away! I don’t want to hear it!”

 

Standing before the locked door, Urd struggled to still her tongue and avoid any poorly thought reply, caused by her sheer frustration. While she sympathized with the poor girl, or rather… woman as she was already old enough to be considered as an adult, Urd couldn’t help but note how far the family resemblance went and not just in terms of looks, but personality too. “Stop being such a big baby, and open the freaking door, Sjofn! And don’t you dare ignore me like you did yesterday! I won’t leave until you talk to me!”

 

Screw you!” came the angry retort, that only infuriated Urd further, until the Norn remembered her mother’s advice for situations like these; the best defense was a good offense.

 

“I’ve got many kinks, but incest isn’t one of them, young lady!” said Urd and then smirked as she added in a much calmer tone. “But… we can arrange you something if you’re in the mood for a girl. Just tell me if you’d prefer a goddess or a demoness and we can go from there. I know a few who are quite the lookers and available, too!”

 

There was a long and almost awkward pause as the goddess on the other side of the door probably had some hard time accepting that she heard correctly and eventually unlocked the door. Poking her head out of her room, the dark haired goddess stared right at Urd with mixed suspicion and worry, which only made the latter smirked in response. “Uh… mom?... Please tell me you haven’t tested any of your latest potions on you. Last time you did… you… Huh?”

 

Coming to an abrupt halt, Sjofn’s purple eyes went large when she registered the sight before her, especially now that she calmed down a bit. “Your face… You took your disguise off.”

 

“Yep! And so did your dad for the matter. Not bad, huh?” said Urd with a wink as she proudly posed for her daughter, yet at the same time place her foot in such a strategic way to prevent her unruly offspring from closing the door on her. “Oh, and I totally got you, kiddo!”

 

“I’m not a kid!” said Sjofn in such a manner that almost reminded Urd of her youngest sister during her earlier days. Although in her daughter’s defense, she was absolutely right, given that she already stood as tall as Urd herself. And this was far from where the similarities ended, since Sjofn shared the same body type and even skin complexion with Urd, despite her young age. Of course, just like her mother before her, Sjofn had her own personal issues and while her nature wasn’t one of them, given that she was a seemingly pure blooded goddess, there were still a few oddities about her, with her age being the biggest.

 

By immortal standards, Sjofn was aging far too fast and reached her adulthood way sooner than any of her peers, yet the same couldn’t be said about the humans. From their perspective, Sjofn was aging way too slowly, as it took her more than thirty whole years to reach adulthood; when a normal human only needed eighteen years to do the same. Thankfully, now that she hit that critical age, her growth rate would significantly slow down to a crawl and allow her to better socialize with her fellow immortals. On the other hand though, the same couldn’t be said about the humans she grew up with, which was primary cause of this whole crisis and the very thing Urd needed to convince her daughter about: relocating to Asgard.

 

“That is the problem, actually,” said Urd with a sigh as she took a few steps forward and this time her daughter moved aside, allowing her mother to enter the room.

 

Reflecting the young goddess’ various interests and even ancestry, Sjofn’s room was packed with all sorts of random things. From posters of popular boy bands and manga anthologies, to books of mechanical engineering or even a few lists of alchemical ingredients and mystical tomes, Sjofn had amassed such an abundance of possessions that came from both the immortal and the human world she spent most of her life in. Furthermore, the vast majority of her outfits were a mismatched mix of designs she had seen during her visits to her aunts, with certain things she picked from the local shops in Nekomi. As a result, she was the only goddess sporting denim pants as part of her official robes. Although it was also true that the decision was partially taken to appease Urd, after the latter got a glimpse of her daughter’s underwear. Which pretty much convinced Urd that Sjofn wasn’t to be trusted with skirts, unless she was within eyesight.

 

However, it was those influences from the mortal realm that made it hard for the young goddess to leave her current life behind and move to what was essentially a foreign land for her; if not an alien world altogether. Which is exactly what brought her into a clash with her mother over the whole subject, since they otherwise went along pretty well, much to Keiichi’s dismay at times.

 

“The problem, you say? What problem? Everything was fine with the shop and then all of a sudden… bam! We must pack things up and leave!” said Sjofn, throwing her hands in the air in frustration. “I know that dad needs to retire and all, but!...”

 

“No, your dad needs to… well… die at some point of time. At least from a legal point of view,” said Urd, much to her daughter’s confusion.

 

“Eh? What are you talking about?”

 

“Sjofn… we’re immortals; all three of us. Yet the rest of the world around us isn’t. I had to wear a disguise to keep the others from getting suspicious, and with the exception of Megumi, pretty much everyone else doesn’t know what we really are. It’s hard… it really is. To see people you care for grow old and eventually reach the end of their lifespan… it feels like a part of you is gone. This is something we had to face when Takano and Keima passed away, and I fear that most of our close friends are also reaching that point too,” said Urd as her facial features softened and put a hand on her daughter’s shoulders. “As it is, there’s nothing we can do for me and your father to escape that fate, and he’s fully aware that inevitably he’s going to have to say goodbye again and again to… everyone he knew. So, neither of us wants you to experience this as well, at least not to the same extent we do.”

 

“I know… It’s not like I’m a stranger of keeping my actual age a secret and pretend that I’m a much younger girl than I’m supposed to.”

 

“Not by divine standards, Sjofn. And that’s why we never wanted to take you to Asgard too early. You’d be too immature for someone of your looks, and… well, let’s just leave it at that,” said Urd as she stopped before going too far with that train of thought. “However, now that you’re old enough, both physically and mentally, it’s about time we go where you’ll manage to fit in the society way better than you’ll ever do here.”

 

“Fit in? Me? In Asgard? Did you start trying your potions again, mom?” asked the incredulous yet sarcastic Sjofn, as she raised an eyebrow at her mother. “They won’t accept a counterfeit goddess like me!”

 

“Don’t call yourself that nonsense again!” barked Urd, causing her daughter to take a step back when she saw those canines poke out of the Norn’s lips. “You’re as much of a goddess as anyone else in that blasted place! Just because they’ve got a stick up their pretentious asses, that doesn’t mean anything to you!”

 

“Okay, okay! I got it! You don’t have to get angry with me!”

 

“I’m not angry with you, Sjofn. Maybe with myself for falling in the same trap of thinking less of me when I was your age… and possibly passed that stupid trait to you,” said Urd in a voice so low that it was barely above a whisper. However she soon perked up and stared at her daughter with great pride, as her lips curled up in a smile. “On the other hand, you did get couple of good traits, too.”

 

“Mom! Stop this, it’s embarrassing!” protested Sjofn with a blush as she crossed her arms before her, mostly to hide her chest from Urd.

 

“I was talking about your personality traits, silly! Although if we take your physical ones…” said Urd as her smile turned into a smirk. “Boy, did you fill out nicely!”

 

Mom!

 

Chuckling, Urd watched her daughter puff her cheeks in annoyance, until she too relaxed and started to giggle. “There! Took me a while, but I’ve got you to smile once again. Look, I’m really sorry for not taking your feelings into consideration, but I honestly thought that in the long run this solution was for your best,” added Urd, but then her expression became more somber and even slightly sad. “Funny that, actually. I almost sound like my mother when she dropped me at my father’s care...”

 

“Not really. If that was the case, I would’ve been told of what was going on after we relocated,” said Sjofn in a deadpan voice, before she turned and headed for her closet and began to take her clothes out and toss them haphazardly onto her bed.

 

“What are you doing?” asked the confused Urd, while Sjofn went to the other side of the room to pick one of her luggage bags.

 

“Packing my stuff. What else?” answered Sjofn as she folded her clothes and proceeded to neatly arrange them inside the bag. “I’ve given you more than enough trouble by acting like a little bitch. After all, you’re right. You and dad have a lot more people to leave behind than the few friends I have, and… I don’t think I really want to stick around them with a disguise either. That’s where Internet comes in handy these days, so, it’s not like I won't be able to keep in touch with them.”

 

‘Well… that worked better than I’ve hoped for, but… Why do I feel so bad about it?’ thought Urd as she watched her daughter begin the arduous task of gathering her belongings so that she could pack them too. “Alright, that’s enough. We’re not doing this.”

 

“Huh? Not doing what?” asked Sjofn as she stared her mother in wonder.

 

“This is your home, so… no matter what, I’m not gonna take that from you, and that’s final!” Reaching into the bag, Urd went through her daughter’s clothes, much to the latter’s embarrassment when her mother of all goddesses paused a few times and gave her an empty stare whenever she found something that even she wouldn’t dare to put on. Eventually though, Urd managed to find a lovely minidress and tossed it to her stunned daughter. “Put this on, girl! We’re going clubbing!”

 

“Eh?! But!... What about the...”

 

“No arguments, missy!” said Urd as she interrupted her baffled daughter, and summoned a similar looking golden minidress to match her daughter’s purple one. “Relocation or not, you won’t lose your room, nor the rest of your home. Now, get dressed and text your friends for a night out, to celebrate you leaving for… college. I’ll go and get mom too, since I don’t trust her stay here with Keiichi.”

 

“Uh huh,” was all Sjofn could say as she offered a nod, still unable to understand what was going on anymore.

 

However, as Urd was about to step out of the room, she paused and turned around to make sure that her daughter knew the rules for this occasion. “Oh, by the way… Booze is alright, and you can flirt a bit if you want; maybe a kiss, too. But if I catch you with your panties down, I’m conscripting you to the Valkyries! Got me, missy?”

 

MOM!

 

XXX

 

Hours later, when someone decided to ring the doorbell, Keiichi was almost certain that it was his wife along with their daughter and Hild who finally returned from their little excursion. However, as soon as he opened the door, Keiichi was in for a surprise, since the woman standing before him was none of the above; instead, it was a very familiar face.

 

“Hello there, Kei-chan. It’s been a while since I last saw you without that old man’s disguise on,” said his younger sister, although at the moment it was unlikely for anyone not familiar with them to draw that conclusion, given that the white haired woman looked significantly older than him.

 

“Megumi?” While it was definitely a surprise to see his sister visit him all of a sudden, Keiichi knew that this was likely Urd’s doing. His original plan was to tell her about their departure after the fact, but his wife had apparently other ideas. Which… most likely ended up in this visit, and one that most certainly wasn’t too thrilled about.

 

“What’s up with the long face, Kei-chan? Did I interrupt you two? Or is my naughty niece giving you trouble?” Despite her age, that cat like smile that was almost synonymous of his sister was still present on her lips, as if she hadn’t changed on the inside at all.

 

Stepping aside as he let out a sigh, Keiichi motioned for his sister to enter and watched her take a seat on the sofa, before he headed to get a cup of tea for her. “No, not really. Urd and Hild took Sjofn at a nightclub, so I was just watching an old race on the TV.”

 

“Oh? Are you sure that’s advisable, Kei-chan?” asked Megumi with a grin as she leaned forward a bit to give her curious brother a wink. “Who knows what Urd and HIld might come up with?”

 

“Come on, Megumi! I know that Urd’s a bit of a tease, but she never actually flirted with anyone since we started dating, let alone after we got married,” said Keiichi with a shake of his head.

 

“Yes, but that doesn’t mean she and Hild cannot find a date for our… not so little Sjofn,” said Megumi with a grin that made Keiichi to raise an eyebrow. “After all, she turned up to be a fine woman, or should I say goddess? Well… either way I think you got my point.”

 

As a matter of fact, Keiichi did more than that, as his face paled considerably, before panic got grip of his better judgment. “I need to stop them! Sjofn isn’t… I mean… she’s not ready!... I mean…”

 

“Calm down a bit, Kei-chan! I’m just joking!” said Megumi between giggles, but eventually stopped when she started coughing and almost in an instant, Keiichi seemed to snap out of it. However as she saw him get up to help her, Megumi simply waved a hand dismissively at her brother. “Don’t worry, I’m fine. Looks like I just choked on my own saliva. Talk about embarrassing.”

 

Right… Who are you kidding, Megumi?’ Even though she acted like her old self, Megumi certainly wasn’t a young gal anymore and Keiichi was fully aware of that fact. Still, there was unfortunately little he could do to solve the problem’s root cause; his sister’s mortality. “I…”

 

You need to stop being such a worrywart,” said Megumi, interrupting her brother as she already knew what he was eating him. “It’s not your fault that I’m getting older; just a mere fact of life. If nothing else, you should listen to Urd’s advice from back when Keima passed away. To live embracing painful memories, can turn them into your shackles.

 

“Which is why you shouldn’t forget the happy ones too,” finished Keiichi for his sister, as he recalled Urd’s words. “I haven’t forgotten about that, but… putting the theory to practice isn’t nearly as simple as it sounds. Especially when I don’t quite feel I deserve cheating death myself.”

 

“Perhaps… because you think like that is part of the reason why you were presented with that offer, to begin with. Anyone with your current powers and connections would’ve lived much better than anyone else on this planet; yet you kept working hard and without even using your abilities to make things easier on you. Not even restoration spells to instantaneously fix bike parts and for no cost at all, too.”

 

“But!... That’s cheating! How can I say that I worked hard to earn my living, when in reality all I would’ve done is just mutter a few words and… spend the rest of my day fooling around? All while my local colleagues toiled hard to keep up with me?”

 

“Your competitors, you mean,” said Megumi with a grin. “See? That’s what I’m talking about, Kei-chan. Most others would’ve enjoyed the benefits of being a god to the fullest, yet you’re still the same lovable dork you used to.”

 

“Gee… Thanks Megumi…” said Keiichi with a snort, despite that his lips curled up in a tiny smile.

 

“What can I say? I’m such a sweetheart. But enough of this attitude, Kei-chan!” said Megumi in a much more stern voice than she used to most of the time. “You’re about to start a new life in an unfamiliar place. And if that sounds intimidating to you, I don’t even think I need to mention how it must feel for your daughter. So, keep your act together and take good care of your family, especially now that they’ll need you the most.”

 

“You’re right, Megumi. I sometimes forget that Sjofn still needs me and Urd, despite her age… which isn’t all that much based on celestial standards, anyway,” said Keiichi with a sigh, before he noticed the rather mischievous grin on his sister’s face. “Uh… what’s so funny?”

 

“Oh, nothing much, Kei-chan. I was just thinking that just because Sjofn grew up, that doesn’t mean you’re off the hook. Being a dad can be still quite a challenge even when you think you’re already faced everything and it’s just a matter of using the same approach for a second time,” said Megumi, still with the same cryptic smile on her face, that only confused Keiichi even further.

 

“Well, given that she took after Urd a lot more than me, Sjofn sure is a hard to deal with goddess,” said Keiichi with a sheepish expression, but then went on, just to avoid any misunderstandings. “Although to be fair, I really think that she’s also the best daughter I could’ve asked for.”

 

“Let’s hope you’re still going to say that in the near future, Kei-chan.”

 

‘Alright… there’s something definitely up here. But… what?’ Staring at his smiling sister, Keiichi was almost certain that she was hiding something from him, but given Megumi’s mischievous nature, it was all but impossible even for a god to predict just what she was up to this time. “If you say so, Megumi. Although...”

 

Before he got the chance to continue his sentence, the aged Morisato looked at her watch and decided that she had to come up with an excuse to get out of there, before she ended up spilling the beans. “Oh, my! It’s already this late? Well, I suppose I need to get back home, before my daughter starts worrying about little ol’ me.”

 

“Sure thing, Megumi! Want me to drive you to your home?” asked Keiichi as he got up to grab his minivan’s wireless key. “It’s not like I’ve got to sit here and wait for the girls to return.”

 

“Thank you, Kei-chan, but my son in law will come to pick me up,” said Megumi as she got up and headed for the exit. However, before she left, the aging woman stopped and turned to give her brother a stern look. “Oh, and just as a friendly reminder… I hope you won’t forget your promise to visit us during weekends. Relocation or not, a promise is a promise.”

 

“Don’t worry about that, Megumi! A promise is something any god should take really seriously,” said Keiichi with a reassuring smile, before his expression darkened a bit. “And even if I wanted to forget about it, I seriously doubt that Hild will allow it. You know that we’re not only visiting you, but her as well, since Earth is the best place to do so.”

 

“Ah… the benefits of having a demoness for a mother in law,” said Megumi with a chuckle, that ended up making Keiichi laugh at his own predicament. “There! That’s the spirit, Kei-chan!”

 

“Thanks, Megumi. I really needed that,” said Keiichi as he helped his sister down the stairs. “See you next weekend!”

 

“I’ll be waiting,” said Megumi as her expression softened, but before she walked away from her brother’s shop and home, Megumi turned around once more and waved at him. “Oh! And before I forget! Tell Urd that I said good job!

 

“Huh? Sure thing…” said Keiichi as he still couldn’t quite understand what his sister was talking about.

 

‘Good job for… what? Did anything happen and they’re not telling me? Or is she referring  to Urd’s efforts to convince Sjofn to come along with us? Strange…’

 

XXX

 

Asgard

 

“It was absolutely terrifying! I… I just wanted to take a short nap under that tree’s shade, and then all of a sudden… BAM! A freaking house landed on top my poor tail! It was terrifying, I tell you! I’m physically and emotionally traumatized!”

 

Nodding as he recorded the incident on his datapad, the blue haired war god did his best to sound reassuring as he addressed the distressed dog who inadvertently ended up becoming the latest victim of Asgard’s most infamous goddess of chaos and destruction. “Very well, I reassure you that the matter will be taken care of, citizen. If you need any further examination of your tail, please visit the local healer and the Fighting Wings will cover the expenses.”

 

Limping away, although mostly to make his injury look even worse than it really was, the dog paused for a moment to cast a glance at the trio who was responsible for his ailment. However, while two of them seemed rather guilty about the whole incident, the oldest among them… simply flipped the bird at the incredulous dog, since in her opinion, he was making a big fuss over nothing.

 

“Oh, piss off you crybaby! The only thing hurt is your over inflated ego,” said Urd, much to her spouse’s horror. “Surely if you were actually hurt, you would've accepted my gracious offer to heal you!”

 

“Who in their right mind wants a stinking potion that gives off purple smoke?! Not me, that’s for sure!” barked the stray dog, only to freeze when he noticed the gleam in the bronze skinned goddess’ eyes.

 

What did you call my potion?” asked Urd in such a low tone that send shivers even to the war god who decided to stop her before she turned the poor mutt into one of her ingredients.

 

“Alright, that’s enough, Urd. Let the poor guy leave. There’s no need to make a bigger mess of this and end up getting a reprimand, the very day of your return.”

 

“Fine… I suppose you’ve a point there, Vali,” said Urd as she watched the offending canine run away while he still had the chance. “Still, that’s quite the welcome. I never thought you’d be so happy to see me! Are all those for me?”

 

“Unfortunately… yes,” said Vali with a sigh, while he handed the tickets to Urd. “You just got here and you’ve already broken a bunch of laws. Unauthorized transport of large object, attempt to smuggle said object into Asgard without passing it through Customs, and involvement in accident due to sheer carelessness.”

 

Whee!...” said Urd in a sarcastic tone as she tugged at her top, lowering it far beyond the rules of common decency in order to stash the tickets into her blouse. “Thanks for the gifts, Vali! You really know how to make a goddess feel special.”

 

“My pleasure,” came the equally sarcastic reply, before both of them started to chuckle. “It’s nice to have you back, though.”

 

“I never thought I’d say it, but… I kind of missed this place; even though the rules suck big time,” said the goddess of the past, before she noticed Skuld and Peorth walk towards them, with Dagaz close behind. “Well, well… looks like we’ve attracted a crowd!”

 

“Isn’t that the norm for you?” said Skuld with a grin as she approached her eldest sister and right as she was about to give her a hug… she went straight for Sjofn; leaving Urd with a blank expression that soon turned into a dirty one.

 

Auntie Skuld!” Grabbing the shorter and seemingly younger goddess into a tight hug, Sjofn was delighted to see her favorite of her two aunts. Not that she didn’t like Belldandy, but given that Skuld was much closer to her own age, and more importantly her way of thinking, Sjofn could discuss things with her that she would’ve never dared with Belldandy. “You haven’t grown an inch!”

 

Struggling to get her face out of her niece’s bosom, Skuld offered her a rare grin, instead of a bomb in the face, as she would’ve done with pretty much anyone else. Even Urd herself couldn’t tease her little sister to this extent without getting punished for it; yet Sjofn was the one goddess, Skuld allowed to do just that. “Heh… I’m almost there, though. Give me a decade and we’re going to look about the same age!”

 

“Uh huh… Same age, different cup size,” said Sjofn with a wink as she arched her back to make the difference between them even more pronounced than it already was.

 

Most of the bystanders took a step back, included Dagaz who was genuinely blushing; although whether it was due to what was happening or the fact that he found himself hiding behind Peorth, that… nobody could tell for sure. Actually, even Urd thought that this was the time her daughter crossed the line and moved to grab the troublemaker by the ear, before Skuld blasted her sky high, but the Norn of the future stopped her.

 

“Let the poor kid have some fun, Urd. It’s her first day here, so it’s not like I’ll get mad with her,” said Skuld with such a sweet smile that seemed almost… suspicious. Turning to her niece, Skuld tapped her shoulders, with that smile still evident in her face. “You know… speaking of your first day here, how about I take you on a tour where I work? Oh, you’re definitely gonna love it! And Peorth is in need of an assistant now that Chrono is a full time Valkyrie!”

 

“ME! I can do it!” came a voice that belonged to the one god willing to face Skuld’s wrath, should it allowed him attain his dream of working under the most salacious of all administrators: Peorth.

 

Not happening, buster!” snapped Skuld at her assistant who cowered behind Peorth, although for once he didn’t mind it. Which was so obvious that Skuld wasn’t going to let this transgression go any further. “Hey! Did you hear a word I said?”

 

“I don’t think so,” said Peorth with an amused giggle as she watched the almost literal fumes come off Skuld.

 

Breathing out more steam than a speeding locomotive, Skuld raised her right hand skywards in a very familiar fashion, before she uttered something that made her sister’s eyes go wide. “Skuld bolt!

 

You little copycat! That’s one of my spells! Actually… scratch that! When did you start to use spells anyway?” asked the stunned goddess of the past, when lighting descended upon the offending god; missing Peorth by a hair, much to her great annoyance.

 

“Hey! Are you implying that I can’t use magic?” shot Skuld back to her eldest sister, as she took a few steps towards her, while Peorth simply shook her head and decided to check Dagaz for any actual injuries; just in case Skuld went a bit far by accident.

 

And while the two Norns squabbled like they loved to, Keiichi couldn’t help but chuckle a bit. He wasn’t terribly concerned about them, since he already knew  that this was just their way of showing each other that they cared and even that they missed each other. In many ways, this whole situation reminded him of the old days back in the temple whenever the Norns and his former housemates came for a visit, which… more than often resulted into scenes like this. But for Keiichi it was more that just a feeling of nostalgia that overcame his senses; it was also a sense of realization of how different time seemed to pass between the mortal and the celestial realm.

 

There was a sense that everything here was eternal and while that may had its downsides, it also meant that unlike Earth, certain things lasted here for eons to come. And by moving his home and shop in this place, Keiichi was almost certain that not only did they saved it from being torn down by whoever bought that plot of land, but they also preserved everything else that came with it. Decades worth of memories, dreams and wishes, some of which came to be and a few that still remain at the back of their minds… all were preserved into this seemingly modest building. Even if it looked like a joke compared to the grand architecture of the massive houses that the rest of celestials were most familiar with, Keiichi knew that his and Urd’s little place was steeped with history, despite how new it was compared to everything else here.

 

And perhaps, if what Urd speculated were to become reality… long after their loved ones back on Earth passed away, this house could act as an anchor to allow them to drop by for a short ‘visit’ every now and then. Just like what happened with Keima and Takano a bit over a decade ago when the couple realized just what was going on between Urd and Keiichi, as well as what their true nature was. However, now that they were in Asgard, such visits would’ve been much easier, and while Keiichi wasn’t exactly looking forward to see other family members and friends, it made him feel somewhat better to know that he could still meet them.

 

“Welcome to Asgard, Keiichi-kun.”

 

The calm, soothing voice that came from behind him, caused the once mortal man to nearly jump as he was too preoccupied with his thoughts, to actually notice the Valkyrie’s approach. Lind had received news of his and Urd’s arrival from Vali and decided to come to personally greet one of the few gods outside of the Fighting Wings she considered as a friend. And perhaps help convince Sjofn to consider becoming a Valkyrie cadet, since goddesses with her power, pedigree and even attitude were hard to come by these days.

 

“Oh, hello Lind! I’m sorry, but I didn’t notice you,” said Keiichi with a nervous chuckle, since he knew that this most certainly one of the warrior’s skills originally meant to ambush her targets.

 

“My apologies. I tried to grab your attention, but Urd and Skuld were making too much noise for my voice to be heard,” said Lind with a ghost of a smile, before she turned to look at the goddess flying towards them. “Ah, there she is. I wondered what was holding her up.”

 

“Huh?” Following her gaze, Keiichi saw Belldandy on her flying broom, carrying a small box with her.

 

“Sorry I was so late, everyone!” Coming to a stop right in front of Keiichi and Lind, the brunette goddess of the present hopped off Stringfellow and after casting a glance towards her sisters, who immediately stopped their rather immature squabble, Belldandy offered Keiichi a warm smile. “I’m really happy that you actually decided to move your house here! It’s so great that, Sjofn will keep her room! Although… isn’t it going to be a bit hard for all of you to fit in there, now that Urd’s expecting?”

 

Belldandy you babble mouth!” shouted Urd as she rushed to grab her sister before she said anything more, although… its was far too late. In retrospect, she knew that she should've explicitly warned her to remain quiet about it, but with Sjofn being difficult, the half goddess totally forgot about it. “Oops… Um… she said nothing! Carry on, don’t mind us!”

 

Staring at his wife with wide eyes, the stunned Keiichi made a few attempts to say something, but in the end all he managed to do is make a fine imitation of a fish out of water. Sjofn on the other hand was a bit less shocked than her father to actually confront her mother.

 

Wait! You’re… pregnant? For real?

 

“Ugh! It was supposed to be surprise… Thanks, Bell!...” said Urd, adding the last bit in a slightly sarcastic yet playful manner as she glanced at her younger sibling who idly fiddled with her hair locks as she tried to look innocent. Letting out a sigh, Urd finally decided that given the circumstances, there was no longer the need to keep quiet and gave her daughter a toothy grin. “Well, I hope you’re looking forward for a little sister!”

 

EH?! L-Little… s-sister?!” squeaked Sjofn as she finally began to realize that this was actually happening. And… she promptly fainted, since it was all too much even for her divine mind to process all that at once.

 

Catching her daughter, Urd couldn’t help but giggle as the similarities between her unruly child and the seemingly reserved Keiichi began to show. “Heh… I guess she’s indeed your daughter. Right, Keiichi?” asked Urd, only to notice that her husband was in a very similar state, and currently supported by Lind, who happened to be the closest one to catch him.

 

“I’d probably say so,” was the Valkyrie’s stoic reply, while Skuld along with the others began to laugh at the two Morisatos.

 

However, with the proverbial cat out of the bag, the plans for the welcoming party had to be somewhat modified to take this development into account. Or rather… it was actually no longer necessary to keep the originally intended party’s details a secret, since both Skuld and Belldandy had been preparing not only to celebrate Urd’s homecoming, but also for the newest addition of her family. Which was exactly why the middle Norn arrived so late, after she went for a last minute shopping trip to buy a few extra things for the unborn goddess.

 

And while the Norns moved Keiichi and Sjofn back into the now relocated house, two figures watched the unfolding events from a fair distance, and couldn’t help but smile at the scene. Given their tight schedule, Tyr and Ansuz were naturally the last to arrive at their daughter’s house, yet unlike their past habits, this time they made it absolutely clear that this was an even they weren’t going to miss.

 

“You know, love… I’m still debating whether your decision to suspend Urd’s license back then was your worst idea ever or… the best, but for totally unrelated reasons to the original intent,” said Ansuz as she gave her husband something to think about, as well as a fair warning that she wasn’t all too supportive of such a measure; for future reference, of course.

 

“I suppose that judging by the result, it did allow some good things to happen,” said Tyr as he nervously cleared his throat, given the pointed look he received from his wife. “But in all honesty, I wouldn’t change a thing, even if I had the opportunity, Ansuz. I’ve never seen Urd so happy before and Sjofn is a true blessing for her. Even if she’s a bit… difficult to handle at times, she definitely adores her parents. And for Urd in particular, that’s the greatest gift one could possibly offer her.”

 

“Hm… I never thought you’d get moved, dear,” said Ansuz in playful manner, that was further evidence by her winglets fluttering as she winked at her husband.

 

“Who’s moved?” came Tyr’s reply, in an attempt to save face, even if it was too late for that.

 

“A certain grandfather,” replied Ansuz with a chuckle as she elbowed her husband’s ribs, much to his annoyance. “By the way… What did Hild say about this?”

 

“She’s happy of course, but… understandably skeptical, since Urd and her second daughter will be staying here for the most. I did reassure her that Urd was going to visit her during weekends, although in the long run, I fear that this might not be enough,” admitted Tyr as he knew all too well how difficult it was sometimes to make such arrangements while managing an entire realm at the same time, and Hild was in a very similar position herself. “As such, it’s probably for the best if we allow Hild to visit them whenever she wants, and more importantly, develop the same bond she has with Sjofn.”

 

“Although I’ve got no objections, I must admit that having another… outgoing girl like Sjofn could prove to be a bit too much for poor Urd to handle. Are you sure it’s advisable?”

 

“No, but I’m absolutely certain that it’s not advisable to deny her the chance to meet her maternal grandmother and learn about a part of her legacy in the same fashion Sjofn did. Besides, Urd may be reluctant to admit it, but aside from her sisters, it was Hild the one she trusted the most to take care of Sjofn whenever her presence was needed elsewhere,” said Tyr before he gave his wife a sideways glance. “Which… means that you’re going to make sure that she behaves during her visits.”

 

“You almost makes it sound easy!” said Ansuz in mock shock, but then started to giggle, causing Tyr to join in with a chuckle of his own. “Alright, I’ll see what I can do, but in the meantime, I suppose we need to go and say hello.”

 

“I think so too.” Walking towards Urd’s house, Tyr did pause for a moment to check on his communicator, and more specifically the photo of his firstborn granddaughter along with her parents and Hild floating above them.

 

‘No, I certainly have no regrets sending her to Earth.’

 

XXX

 

Years later

 

“Oneesama! Look what I found!”

 

Holding the glass jar above her head with her tiny hands, the tiny goddess run as fast as her small feet could carry her. Especially while trying to outmaneuver her particularly annoyed mother who just realized that her entire stock of hair growth pills just went missing.

 

Var! Come here, you little troll! That’s not candy!

 

Looking up from her book, Sjofn couldn’t help but find the sight of her little sister running across the living room to be utterly amusing, despite the obvious risk associated with the contents of that jar. Sjofn herself had learned from a very young age that her mother’s potions weren’t something she wanted to mess around with, but it seemed that her little sister had other ideas. Then again, such a thing was to be expected as Var had taken after Urd even more that Sjofn herself. Which was partially reflected by the little goddess’ appearance that greatly resembled that of her mother’s, with the notable exception of her eyes that clearly reminded everyone of Keiichi. However, that’s far from the only things that the youngest addition in Urd’s family had in common with her mother.

 

Var simply loved to mess around with whatever alchemical ingredient she could get her hands on, and even when she found nothing of use, the little goddess would simply raid the kitchen for common things, which… ended up in some highly uncommon if not downright atrocious recipes of her own. Yet despite all her failures, Var did learn something of value from each of them and moved on to produce a better result, which in many ways brought a smile on her mother’s face; even if she had to act in a much more strict manner around her, just for the sake of dissuading her daughter from going too far and try anything dangerous. Like the time she somehow managed to recreate a fizzy drink she heard about from her big sister and ended up getting Belldandy totally smashed when she tried it.

 

Of course, it was up to anyone’s guess as to how much the little troublemaker would take after Urd’s personality after she grew up a bit, but then again, even Sjofn who had gained a reputation of being rather outgoing, seemed to calm down considerably in the last couple of years. As a matter of fact, as soon as Var was born, Sjofn started to dress and act in a vastly different manner that could be described as modest. For the most part at least, since she had a long road ahead of her if she wanted to become anything like Belldandy, although in all fairness that wasn’t exactly Sjofn’s goal. What she really wanted was to become an administrator, just like her mother, although Sjofn took that job a lot more seriously than Urd.

 

Perhaps it was due to the fact that she knew from first hand that life on the mortal realm depended on the celestial supercomputer and more than anything else, doing a great job at the Yggdrasil complex could help protect her birthplace. So, unlike most others who simply saw that assignment as a job no different than anything else one could do in Asgard, Sjofn really loved working as System administrator, which was most likely the biggest difference between herself and her mother. Still, for some of the celestials who got to know her, this may had been one of the greatest contributions of her father, as her own sense of responsibility was something that Keiichi was mostly known for.

 

And that was also the reason why Var looked up to her sister as a role model, not unlike Skuld did with Belldandy a long time ago. That and the mere fact that given the lack of space in their house, Sjofn volunteered to share her room with Var, causing the two sisters to become almost inseparable.

 

“Var… what have I told you about touching mom’s potions?” asked Sjofn as she carefully took the jar out of her sister’s hands and once it was safely placed on the nearby table, she picked her sister up and gave her a warm hug.

 

“Uh… that they taste really bad?” said the toddler as she innocently stuck a finger into her mouth.

 

“No! The other thing I told you!” said Sjofn as she could already feel her mother’s intense gaze burning holes into her back; figuratively speaking of course.

 

“That if they don’t turn me into a frog, they’ll turn me into a giant?”

 

No! Dad said that, not me!” cried the panicking brunette, but it was far too late to save herself and possibly her sister from what cruel fate awaited them. Feeling a hand claw at her shoulder, Sjofn knew that it belonged to her mother, who at this point must’ve reached her limit. “Um… at least… spare the kid?”

 

“Too late for that, you knuckleheads…” said Urd with a grin as she held up the one thing her daughters hated the most: a dusting feather. “It’s time you clean up the house!”

 

Oh, poo on a cracker!” exclaimed the youngest of the three goddess, causing the others to reel back in shock at the somewhat explicit language Var was demonstrating.

 

‘One of them is still a closet pervert, despite her mannerisms… and the other is on the way to become a punk! What have I done wrong?’ Pinching the bridge of her nose, Urd knew that she had to finally admit defeat and call in for reinforcements; namely, Belldandy. “Alright, that’s it! I’m calling for auntie Bell to teach you how proper goddesses act! Oh, you’re definitely going to love housework by the time she’s done with the lot of you!”

 

However, before she got to reach for her communicator in order to call her sister, Keiichi’s startled cry signaled the arrival of the only immortal who just refused to use the front door. Or any door for that matter, since Hild loved to ambush her son in law whenever she got the opportunity. “MOM! I swear if you’re naked in there… I’ll kick your sorry ass!”

 

Marching towards the bath, Urd swung the door open and prepared for the worst. Yet unlike her expectations, Hild was not only fully clothed… at least by her standards, but also hovering leisurely in the air. Instead, the one who ended up on top of Keiichi was a very different demoness.

 

“Et tu, Mara?” asked Urd as she raised an eyebrow and tried hard to ignore her mother’s amused chuckle.

 

“Hey, I swear someone messed with my portal!” objected the blonde demoness as she tried to get off of the stunned god.

 

“Uh huh…” Of course, Urd had a very good idea who that someone was, but for the time being she said nothing else, and simply enjoyed the panicked look on her friend’s face. It was nice to see Mara after so many years, since she rarely got to talk to her ever after they moved to Asgard. Only after she had Var pull the dreaded puppy eyes on her grandfather, did the blonde demoness get the necessary visa to drop by along with Hild. And even then, it’s been an even longer since they got to hit a bar; not when she had two daughters to take care for. “Anyway… instead of humping my husband,  how about we have a drink over at my minibar?”

 

“Who’s humping your…” started Mara, until she realized that taking Urd’s offer was much better than starting an argument with her. “Actually, I don’t mind having a drink after coming all the way here.”

 

“Excellent! This way, Ma-chan!” said Urd as she wrapped an arm around her blonde friend and led her towards her and Keiichi’s room where she kept her booze, in hopes of keeping Var’s hands off of anything alcoholic. Unlike mortal children who were only capable of drinking the stuff, young immortals could cause a much greater problem by setting their home ablaze should they try some strong spirits… only to spit the highly flammable liquid when they realized that they didn’t quite like the taste. And with the natural tendency of triggering their powers whenever they were startled, immortal children could also set the aforementioned booze aflame. Especially those with an affinity towards fire, like… Var did.

 

Watching his wife walk towards their room, Keiichi couldn’t help but smile as the sight clearly reminded him of their earlier life in Nekomi. Back then, Mara used to visit a bit more frequently, and in many ways Urd was far more carefree than now. Of course that was to be expected to a certain degree, since her job as an administrator is far more demanding and requires a lot more responsibility than working in a bike shop. Which also gave Keiichi an idea, but that would’ve to wait until he got a chance to talk to Urd later. For the time being, the dark haired god wanted to make sure that Hild wasn’t planning anything too… disruptive. Although in her defense, the Daimakaicho knew when a joke went too far, and refrained from causing a commotion, especially during her visits in Asgard.

 

“Um… hello, mother. Var’s in her room, so…”

 

“Yes, yes, I’ll get there in a minute, Keiichi-kun,” said Hild before she landed on the floor and approached him. “But before that, why don’t you tell me how you’re holding up?”

 

“Pretty well, actually,” said Keiichi with a smile, as he relaxed a bit. It felt strange for the most powerful demoness to spend her valuable time checking on her son in law, but some reason Hild took her role a bit more seriously than most other immortals. Then again, not many of them married their daughters to someone who originally was a mortal, and as such most of his relatives weren’t going to stick around for far too long. Even if it didn’t seem too much, just the fact that he could talk to someone outside of his immediate family about his problems and occasional frustrations at adapting to an unfamiliar lifestyle was more than enough in Keiichi’s opinion. “Work at the Debugging department can be a bit tedious at times, but I’ve started to get the hang of it and perhaps I might be able to move to a different post.”

 

“That sounds a lot better than my last visit,” said Hild with an amused grin, as she tilted her head to the side and scratched her chin. “What about the girls? Are they still giving you trouble?”

 

“Yes, but… in a way it’s actually a good thing,” said Keiichi with a chuckle. “It’s much better to have them keep my and Urd’s life busy and exciting. Things would’ve been far too dull if everything was quiet around here. Of course, if I have to be honest about it, Sjofn is really doing a great job at taking care of her little sister, and that display of responsibility makes me feel much better about the prospect of letting her go out on a date with a god or goddess of her choice.”

 

“Oh? She’s got a lover already?” asked Hild as she raised an elegant eyebrow at the news, but Keiichi simply shook his head dismissively.

 

“No, I don’t think so. Aside from a few drinking partners and a few friends she’s got since we came here, Sjofn has yet to find someone she’d take as a lover. Although… she did kind of experiment a bit at a couple of times,” said Keiichi as he became increasingly nervous while recalling one of the most infamous incidents of the last decade. “Let’s just say that… Urd didn’t like it; at all. It’s kind of funny, since I used to be the one who worried the most about Sjofn’s misadventures.”

 

“Ah… the joys of motherhood…” laughed Hild, as she gave Keiichi a reassuring smile. “Don’t worry, I’ll talk to her. Someone needs to remind my knucklehead of a daughter that back when she was about the same age as our Sjofn… she did a lot worse than my poor granddaughter.”

 

“Just go easy on her, though,” said Keiichi with a small frown. “She’s under a lot of stress as of late and I don’t want her to end up in an argument with you over Sjofn’s upbringing.”

 

“I’ll see what I can do, Keiichi. Although… I think that Urd needs a way to unwind a bit. As much as it makes me happy to see her try to take care of you household, Urd isn’t exactly the type to find such a role all that fulfilling. You need to give her some opportunities to relax without worrying too much about what’s going on around her.”

 

“Actually, I do have an idea for something that’s going to let her spend a lot more time with her favorite hobby,” said Keiichi as his whole face light up, even though he was a bit nervous since he needed Hild’s help and he had no idea whether she was going to agree or not. “Although… I really need a couple of things to turn that into a reality.”

 

“Hm… you’ve got my attention, so… what do you have in mind? Details, please.”

 

“Well…”

 

XXX

 

A few hours later, Keiichi left Hild and Sjofn have some ‘girl talk’ after they’ve managed to put Var to bed, but not before they had to read her a couple of stories. As a matter of fact, Hild brought a new book from the mortal realm for her youngest granddaughter to enjoy, and even read most of it to her, since Var’s limited access to Yggdrasil prevented the young goddess to read anything written in a mortal language.

 

Still, the dark haired god couldn’t help but feel giddy, knowing that his plan was likely to become reality now that he got Hild’s permission. ‘That sure went a lot smoother than I’ve hoped for. Not that Hild would’ve missed an opportunity to help Urd, but still… given her job, there’s a certain limit on how far she can go in terms of granting favors.’

 

Taking a seat on his sofa, Keiichi briefly considered checking if there’s anything interesting on the TV, until a pair of arms wrapped around him and a soft voice whispered to his ear. “Ke-ii-cchi…”

 

Resisting the urge to jump, mostly due to old habits that he still hadn’t completely gotten rid of, Keiichi craned his neck to look back at his somewhat tipsy wife. “Let me guess… you won. Again.”

 

“Heh! Were you expecting any less of me? Ma-chan thinks she can get me drunk, but… she’s the one snoring like a baby in our room,” said Urd with a slight slur, and then nuzzled her face against the nook of his neck. “Which… means we can get a little creative tonight,” purred the half goddess as she pressed her ample bosom against the back of her husband’s head.

 

“U-Urd! We can’t do that in the living room!” protested the blushing god, trying to talk some sense to his inebriated wife. ‘Say what you will, but Mara’s really gotten you drunk this time.’

 

However, instead of pressing on, Urd simply slumped next to him and seemed rather tired; and not just from the after effects of drinking all that booze. “Ugh… you’re right. I guess I need to take something for the hangover and get some sleep.”

 

“Not so fast, Urd.” Turning around as far as he could given the circumstances, Keiichi wrapped an arm around the goddess’ waist and flipped her over the sofa and right onto his lap. Which turned out to be a moment of poor judgment since he didn’t take their furniture’s age into account. As a result, the already decades old sofa finally decided that it had had enough and gave away with a satisfying crack. “Oof!

 

Despite her surprise when she ended up on the floor together with Keiichi, the bronze skinned goddess started laughing and then pulled her still dazed husband in a tight hug. “Ha! We did it! We broke the stupid sofa! Oh, I’m totally gonna brag to Peorth about it! Honor badge, baby!

 

‘Just what are they doing up in the control room, while we toil in the server rooms hammering those bugs?…’ pondered the somewhat miffed god, but soon pushed such thoughts aside and began to chuckle at their current predicament. “I guess it’s time for someone to cut the snacks… Eh, Urd?”

 

“Careful there, buster!” said the half goddess with a grin, knowing all too well that her husband was actually aware that immortals don’t actually gain weight. “If I have nothing to sink my teeth into, then I might… try you instead.”

 

Helping her up, Keiichi did his best to rebuild the sofa, as it was a nice opportunity to demonstrate that he actually learnt a thing or two since they arrived here. However, that was also an equally good chance to tell her what he’s been planning for the last couple of weeks. “Say, Urd? I was wondering... You keep stockpiling those potions of yours, but most of your jars are almost full.”

 

“I know… I hardly get an opportunity to use the darn things anymore, so… I dunno, I kind of like making them, but… as it is, they’re just useless.”

 

“Which is why I wondered if you’d like to…” started Keiichi, but never got to finish that sentence as Urd apparently reached a conclusion of her own.

 

“You don’t have to say it. I’ll start getting rid of them first thing tomorrow,” said Urd as she let out a disappointed sigh and visibly deflated at that idea. Still, she knew that it was likely for the best, since Var was getting too curious about them, and therefore her hobby was starting to become something dangerous for her family.

 

“No, wait! That’s not what I meant, Urd!” protested Keiichi, putting his hands in front of him to stop her from further misunderstanding what he said. “What I had in mind was to start selling them. You know… open a shop for you and that way not only you can keep making, but you can also profit from your hobby, too!”

 

“That’s not gonna work! Who in their right mind would want my medicine?” asked the baffled goddess of the past.

 

“First of all, they’re not that bad! Well… some are a bit… strange at times, but for the most part, they do their job. Especially when their effect is needed. And I know that you need something fun to do once again, instead of just working as an admin full time!”

 

For a while, all Urd could do was stare at her husband and try to recall just how much she drank earlier. Ruling out the possibility that she was so drunk that she started to imagine things, Urd made an attempt to understand how a perfectly rational god like Keiichi came up with such a crazy idea. “I may be pointing the obvious here, but… Do you have any idea just how many alchemy shops we’ve got here? Even if we open a shop… why would anyone prefer ours over the rest of them?”

 

“Because you’ll be able to make stuff they cannot, that’s why!” said Keiichi as he gave his wife a wink. “I’ve heard how hard it is to get certain ingredients from Niflheim and if you get a decent supply of them, you’ll be able to make one batch after the other, while others will have to wait for weeks before they even get their hands on the necessary ingredients. Besides… you can even produce certain formulas that we’ve got to import from Niflheim because the others cannot use demonic energy to further refine those potions. But… you can, right?”

 

“Y-Yes, I… can. But there’s no way I’ll get my hands on enough ingredients to make a whole line of products!” said the stunned Urd as the idea started to grow on her, but she desperately tried to keep herself from getting too hyped up, since this wasn’t going to work. “There’s some pretty stringent restrictions when it comes to trading rare ingredients, Keiichi. I’ll never get the needed permit to import the needed amounts of ingredients to locally produce demonic potions.”

 

“Oh, really now? I’ve asked father and he said it’s okay as long as your mother is fine with it. So… I’ve asked her too, and… guess what? She’s got no problem as long as nobody else gets their paws on them; aside from you that is,” said Keiichi with a proud grin.

 

No way! You… you’ve done… what?” It took Urd a few seconds to register just what happened and then grabbed Keiichi in a tight hug that ended up in a pretty deep kiss. One that lasted for longer that it would’ve been safe for a mortal, although thankfully Keiichi was no longer affected by simple things like the need to… breathe.

 

“I guess I’ll take this as a yes,” said the dazed Keiichi as soon as Urd let go of him. “So, I’ll get to start the preparations to remodel our shop so that we can sell your potions. Oh, and get a business permit, register it, apply for a safety certification… Ugh… they sure love their bureaucracy here.”

 

“You have no idea. Although, I’d rather prefer if you leave our shop the way it is,” said Urd with a shake of her head. “I’m rather fond of that place, so, we’ll just make a new one next to it.”

 

“That should work just fine!” said Keiichi with a huge smile. “And while we’re at it, I think I’ve got you two extra assistants, aside from myself!”

 

“You don’t mean... Our girls?” said Urd as her eyes widened in surprise.

 

“Why not? It’s the perfect opportunity for Sjofn to get to know people during her part time job, and Var really loves alchemy. It’s a pity if you discourage her from pursuing what she likes, just because she’s still young. Just take her under your wing and I think that she’s going to follow your instructions to the best of her ability. She’s a smart girl, after all! Both of them are, so stop babying them and give them a chance to prove that they can do it.”

 

“You know what?” asked Urd after a few moments of thinking about it. “I think that the next few years will be really interesting. If nothing else, it’ll give all of us something to break the monotony of our primary jobs.”

 

“Hey, I can come up with good ideas from time to time, you know!” said Keiichi, as he started to relax knowing that his efforts finally paid of. But in the end, the smile it brought on Urd’s face was totally worth all the trouble to set everything up. “So… how we tell everyone first thing tomorrow? We sure will need a few helping hands to set our second shop up!”

 

“Yes! Just like the good old times!” said the now excited Urd. And while she and Keiichi started to discuss the details about their new shop, Hild and Sjofn who were secretly spying on them, gave each other a thumbs up.

 

It was often said that with every beginning, there always comes an end. Yet as long as people kept dreaming, a new beginning would always arrive.

 

XXX

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And… this is it! I must admit that I had a lot of ideas about the epilogue, but in the end I’ve felt that most of them were either too obvious or just an excuse to wrap things up and get it done with. However, I really wished to give this story a rather satisfying end and in my opinion, going for something a bit more ambitious was absolutely necessary.


 

In all honesty, this whole chapter counts not only as an epilogue but almost as a one shot story within a larger one. I went ahead to introduce Urd and Keiichi’s daughters, which was something that may seem unnecessary to some, since it’s the final chapter. Yet, I really wanted to give a version of what was likely to happen after the end of the story, and not just a totally open ended and generic conclusion that leaves more questions than answers.


 

Yes, there were some sobering parts thrown into the mix, to address certain aspects of their lives, instead of pointedly ignoring those for the sake of keeping it all lighthearted, but I think that the way I handled those matters doesn’t ruin the overall atmosphere.


 

So, there it is! I honestly hope that it was worth the waiting and it concluded the story in a satisfying manner. This is also the first multi chapter story I’m finishing, which only made me feel a lot more pressure to end it with something interesting.


 

I sincerely thank you for giving my story a fair chance, and I really hope you’ve enjoyed it!

 

Edit: The chapter is also available on FFN: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/11513150/13/Ah-My-license-suspension



 

Edited by vanagandr
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