The old dwarf's cries of pain were music to Ayame's ears, putting a little skip into her step as she dragged the goddess upstairs. Eventually, Athena regained her composure and assumed the lead instead.
"Offended? Certainly not," she spoke in an almost eerily cheerful voice, her smile not at all a match for Athena's serious expression. "I simply took note of a pest problem and saw fit to take care of it. Most roaches fear flames, after all."
At the notion of needing to undress, she hesitated. Undress? After what had just happened downstairs? If it was just her and the Goddess, she supposed it was quite fine, but... just in case, she made sure to ensure there was no one else around before starting to loosen her shirt.
A moment later, she sat on the bed with her legs neatly folded and back revealed, hands holding up her robes to cover her front.
"Pardon me, but what exactly is... involved in the blessing?" She asked, a little nervous.
It better not be anything that would mar her perfect skin!
With the fox-girl seated on the bed now, Athena simply moved behind her, with rehearsed movements. It was almost uncanny how the goddess managed to reposition herself behind the youth without much effort or sound. At the renard's query though, the goddess simply smiled softly.
"Don't worry, it doesn't hurt and it doesn't take long." She assured.
Given the girl's reaction, and later comments to, Brozar and his antics, Athena could deduce that this little lady was of the type who didn't relish physical or intimate contact with people, especially those she was unfamiliar with. A fair and understandable standing, being touched by those you hardly knew without permission was hardly pleasant most the time. To that end, the goddess would strive to make this quick so as to not cause any more discomfort for this girl.
Wouldn't hurt or take long? That was all fine and well, certainly, but it didn't ease the biggest of her worries; getting some sort of an ugly brand on her back. She didn't really know how these... families worked, but hopefully they did not involve needing to be physically marked as members. A little pain would not even begin to compare to such a cruel fate.
While waiting for the Goddess to begin, Ayame let her gaze wander around the room and ponder its plainness, hoping that whatever room she got assigned would be decorated more grandly.
"Here we go then." She stated plainly, reaching both hands out to Ayame's back and hovering her palms an inch or so above the renard's skin.
The light from before, just like with Dahlia, suddenly appeared, casting the bright light backwards and casting the front into slight murkiness. The fox could feel a soft, gentle warmth on her back as Athena uttered the practiced words she had used time and time again on those who joined her Familia. It didn't take long at all, before the light slowly faded down and Ayame's back was neither slightly warmer, nor aglow with mystic divine light. Athena retracted her hands, repositioned her legs so as to sit slightly sideways, looking at the foreign fox with a satisfied smile.
There came the light and the warmth, and for a fleeting moment, the renard worried no longer. She closed her eyes and relaxed - and then, just as quickly, it was all over. The Goddess confirmed as much with her words. Ayame looked down at her hands, then tried to steal a glance at her back. She couldn't see any ugly marks, but she could feel energized, somehow.
She felt as though the next time she blasted that old creepy dwarf's face with flames, his beard would not survive the ordeal. Hopefully.
"There we go, all done." She stated, as if it had been the most simple and painless ordeal in the world. "You should feel a slight surge in your body, as you've become a bit stronger simply by virtue of the blessing itself." The goddess said, holding a small scrap of paper in one hand and eyeing it closely. "This is your status, by the way." She looked at Ayame with one eye and lightly waved the paper. "You should take a look at it, and ask me anything about it if you have questions." She finished, handing the tiny note over to the renard.
The fox turned around, only to be greeted with a piece of paper held out to her.
"My... status?" she repeated, taking the paper and peeking at its contents. What did that mean?
"Yes, dear. Your status. It tells you how well-developed your various attributes are, as well as lists any special or unique skills or traits you have, including any spells you know." Athena explained, having already read the sheet herself.
The goddess shifted her weight and slid a little closer to Ayame on the bed, using a slender finger to point out the various physical attributes, the renard's magic and known spell. Though as she did so, she also looked at Ayame straight in the eyes, a serious expression on her own face.
Ayame nodded along as the Goddess explained each attribute, trying not to bristle her fur over some of what she saw. Why, if you asked her, she should've had straight A's across the board! Who was responsible for these numbers? She wanted to speak to their manager, stat. She could only assume such lowly numbers meant she had incredible potential ahead of her yet. To think that she could even improve upon perfection this much--! She must've been a Goddess herself.
"Many adventurers have a hard time adjusting to the drastic changes in their body right after a rank-up." Athena explained. "It can take some time to get used to your new strength, speed and even your newly strengthened magic." She warned. "For example, your little prank on Brozar earlier was fine for the most part because your magic then was relatively weak... But if you were to pull the same stunt again, you could potentially injure him quite severely. So please be careful and try to adjust and familiarize yourself with your new power." Athena urged, scooting back a bit to give the fox-girl some space once more.
Ayame peeled herself from such thoughts in time to catch Athena's warning about her new powers - and what it could potentially do to the lecherous dwarf if used against him again so carelessly. Injure him quite severely, she'd said?
Ahem, what she meant was--
"I'll be sure to handle my power with care," Ayame reassured her, gently holding a hand to her chest as if to signal she was speaking from the heart. Which she probably was, just not quite in the manner she tried to pretend. "After all, it is the duty of us strong and beautiful to ensure we do not needlessly bring harm to the thousands that stand below - and admire - us."
As long as he kept his hands away from her butt.
Hands on butt meant all bets were off.
Athena nodded slightly at the renard's affirmation of her new power and the responsibility of using it carefully... Though, the Goddess did raise an eyebrow at the comment about being the strong and beautiful who stood above the thousands... It seemed this girl either had a strange sense of humor, or her head was quite full of nothing but herself. Well, no matter - such small details could be solved with some lengthy disciplinary lectures and instructing later on. For now, she was just happy that the girl didn't run off to burn off what remained of poor Brozar's beard.
"Yes, well. IF there's nothing else, I believe we're done, Ayame." Athena said, sliding off the side of the bed and getting up onto her feet. Turning to the fox-girl, she politely gestured towards the door. "Shall we go then? I believe there's one more who wanted to join us." The goddess commented, though before anything else, proceeded to remind the renard-girl. "Remember now, you're not a full-fledged member of the Familia yet. Prove yourself in these next seven days, and you'll have earned your stay with us. Otherwise, I'll have to revoke my blessing from you." She warned, though neither threatening or malicious, simply matter-of-factly and professional.
"I do believe so, yes," Ayame agreed, clothing herself and sliding off the bed herself. She nodded and walked along, though the reminder of needing to prove herself did nearly give her steps pause. That stuff again? Even after spending such a long time in her company, the Goddess was still not convinced of her worth?
Her cheeks puffed out, just the slightest bit - but she managed to mask it under a smile quickly enough.
"Worry not dear, there will be no need for any of that nonsensical revoking business. By the end of the week, you shall be lamenting that there's only one of me to join the familia!"
With those boastful words, Ayame made her down the stairs - and then stopped on her tracks, having no idea where to head next.