Chapter 1023: Overcome

As his familiarity with the world continued to grow, Vahn was quickly adapting to his new life and his new capabilities. Ultimately, the only thing that had changed since his time in Danmachi was the fact he lacked the ‘benefit’ of a Falna and the ‘correctional’ effect of his Development Abilities. Everything else remained pretty much the same as, even though he had to ‘adapt’ it to the new system, the basic premise behind the skills and abilities were fundamentally the same. This was the result of the Laws themselves having similar effects in most Records, especially those with comparable Tiers. Even though the Nasuverse was Tier 5, Vahn suspected that the ‘pinnacle’ most entities could achieve within the Root was near the peak of Tier 4, barely crossing the threshold into Tier 5.

Akasha obviously wouldn’t want any entity within the experiment to become stronger than the system itself allowed. Vahn intuited that the primary reason people were even able to gain access to the Root was so that they could be ‘removed’ from the system after reaching the pinnacle of a certain concept. This would make them viable candidates for assisting in other experiments while helping to ensure they wouldn’t become a danger to the experiment being conducted within the Root system. Unfortunately, either out of greed, or perhaps fear of the unknown, there were entities that had gone against the grain to establish themselves as pseudo-Administrators within the system. With the power they had ‘stolen’ from the Root, they were almost unrivaled within the system and, being unable to influence things directly, Akasha could only grit her teeth as she watched her experiment slowly fall apart…

Now that he had a better understanding of his own power within the Root, Vahn found himself considering whether or not he should treat the task assigned to him by Akasha seriously. After looking through the available quests within his Quest Function, it was at the very top of the list, possessing an SSS-Rank designation. Since Quests were graded based on the Records themselves, this meant Vahn would likely have to be near the peak of Tier 4 before he had any chance of actually completing the task. Though he would also have to determine whether or not the Seven were actually ‘bad’ people, Vahn decided there wasn’t any reason to outright refuse the Quest so, along with two others, he ultimately accepted Akasha’s task.

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[Quest: Return to the Root]

Rank: SSS

Objective(s): Ensure that Astario Vale Hoenheim(0/1), Kischur Zelretch Schweinorg(0/1), Kanada Vaisheshika(0/1), Justeaze Lizrich von Einzbern(0/1), Eruru Alexis Emiya(0/1), Kyrie Alternis(0/1), and Aoko Aozaki(0/1) are returned to the Root Designation: Akasha.

Optional Objective(s): Disrupt any Holy Grail Ritual(Current:0), Remove all traces of the Akashic Verses from variable timelines(Current:0), Assist in the execution of other Type Directives(Current:0)

Rewards: 10,000,000,000OP, 1x(Proto-Archetype: ADAM), 1x(Proto-Archetype: EVE)

Failure Condition(s): Expulsion from the Record, Failure to Complete Main Objectives Before Leaving the Record

Penalty: N/A

[Repeatable Quest: Cup of Heaven]

Rank: S

Objective(s): Become a Master within the ‘Holy Grail War’ (0/1), Defeat the Servants of all Rival Masters(0/6), Obtain access to the Greater Grail(0/1)

Optional Objective(s): Obtain the Servant of a Rival Master(0/6), Destroy the Lesser Grail(0/1), Destroy the Greater Grail(0/1)

Rewards: 1x[Grace of the Root], 20x[Artificial-Command Seal]

Failure Condition(s): Expulsion from the Record, Death of Servant(Variable), Failure to Secure the Lesser and Greater Grails

Penalty: 1,000 Karma, Curse: [Bearer of the World’s Evil] [Repeatable Quest: The Title of Master]

Rank: B

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Objective(s): Enter into a Master-Disciple relationship with any individual tied to the World’s Fate(0/-)

Optional Objective(s): Convince your Disciple to become: Subordinate, Retainer, or Follower

Rewards: 100,000OP

Failure Condition(s): Expulsion from the Record

Penalty: N/A

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With the rewards for Akasha’s task showing a great deal of promise, Vahn felt he wouldn’t lose out if he managed to someday complete it. As for the other two Quests he had selected, they were both Repeatable and, though he wasn’t sure how to travel to other timelines at the moment, Vahn was certain it would be possible in the future. Besides, with Akasha saying it was almost guaranteed that he would be involved in the Holy Grail War, Vahn figured it didn’t hurt to get some extra benefits for his troubles. Even if he managed to get access to the Greater Grail, he had no need to reach the Root so Akasha shouldn’t care if he took advantage of the Ritual for his own ends. As for the final Quest, Vahn knew he would undoubtedly have allies at some point and, with Rin showing increased interest in his ‘True Magic’, the chances she would eventually become his protege were high.

In preparation for the future, Vahn spent most of his free time meditating and creating granule-sized Elemental Stars. Since his ‘Oblivion’ still used a ridiculous amount of Source Energy, it was his most reliable means of draining his reserves. While they were replenishing, Vahn would focus on the [Mantra of Eternity] in order to slowly, but surely, increase the capacity of his internal reserves. He wanted to get to the point where he could realistically maintain Fenrir’s standard consumption. As for Medusa, he already had the means to summon her with the aid of external items but, knowing Fenrir would probably pout if he called upon Medusa, Vahn decided to avoid summoning Medusa, at least for the time being. There was also the fact that, even more so than Fenrir, she would stand out in this world due to her unique appearance and distinct lack of common-sense…

When Vahn wasn’t working to increase his reserves, the rest of his time was spent training his body as, with his status as a guide, it was easy to see that he had room to improve. Since this world didn’t have the concept of gaining experience from killing monsters, he had to rely on pushing his body to the limits and slowly increasing his overall output. This usually involved using [Cantus Bellax], as he was currently incapable of using [Vis Maxima], to put an increased strain on his body as Vahn performed the same routine that Tsubaki had taught him many years prior. Though he lamented the lack of a sparring partner, it was still nice to work up a sweat in the early hours of the morning when Rin was still sleeping. He had tried to exercise during the day but she ended up ‘yelling’ at him when he made an off-hand remark about her gawking at him through the window…

With a subtle blue aura radiating off his body like an evaporating mist, Vahn finished completing a set of pushups before pushing against the ground and vaulting to his feet. Using the back of his arm, Vahn wiped the sweat from his brow before exhaling a tired sigh. In order to make any real progress in the development of his body, he needed to restrict the influence of [Magia Erebea] to the extreme. This required splitting his focus a bit more than his current mental power could support but, knowing it was for the best, Vahn continued to train every morning. As a result, even though it was a little hard to determine how quickly he was growing, Vahn’s status had changed quite a bit since he arrived in this world…

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[Status]

Name: [Vahn Mason]

Age: 155 (Ageless)

Race: Human, Progenitor(sealed), *sealed*

Parameter: [Nasuverse: 1-5]

Strength: 32->33C

Endurance: ★

Agility: 38C+

Magical Power: 44->45B+

Good Luck: 11->13E

Circuit Quality: EX

Soul Tier: 4 (Divine Soul)

[Karma]: 100->119

[OP]: 3,141,903,713->3,141,419,213

Noble Phantasm: [Enkidu:SSS]

Origin: [?]

Skills: [Will of the Emperor:SSS], [Rakshasa Body:B], [Keeper of the Akashic Tome:B], [Eyes of Truth:A], [Chainbreaker:B], [Veil of the Traveler:SS], [Hands of Nirvana:S], [Type Omega:SSS], [Executor of Akasha’s Will:SS]

Magic: [Magia Erebea:A->S], [Administrative Function: Space Lock:SSS]

Magecraft: [Magical Trigger:SSS](new), [Trace:SS](new), [Reinforce:B](new), [Gradiation Air:C](new), [Enchant:B](new), [Alchemy:E](new), [Shundo:E], [Cantus Bellax:D], [Sagitta Magicka:E], [Od Conversion:E](new)

[Magical Trigger]

Rank: SSS

Use: The activation speed of the user’s Magic Circuits.

[Analyze]

Rank: SS

Use: The ability to interpret the internal structure of all constructs, including those that are Divine in origin.

[Reinforce]

Rank: B

Use: The efficiency of converting Magical Power into a form that can increase the strength, durability, and maximum output of an object, person, or place.

[Gradiation Air](A/N: Should I call this Projection instead…?)

Rank: C

Use: The ability to project physical constructs using Magical Energy as a catalyst to give form to the imagination.

[Alteration]

Rank: B

Use: The ability to infuse Magecraft into any object, person, or place. Used in the construction of Ritual Spells.

[Alchemy]

Rank: E

Use: Allows the user to use Magical Power to manipulate the flow of and structure of matter.

[Od Conversion]

Rank: E

Use: Aids in the replenishment of Od by converting external Mana into internal Magical Power.

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Under the ‘tutelage’ of Rin, combined with his scouring of resources from the system shop, Vahn was able to get a basic foundation in many of the thaumaturgical processes, meaning he was able to use a variety of Magecraft at will. More importantly, he was able to learn why his own reserves were replenishing so slowly as, within the Record of the Nasuverse, there was a distinct disconnect between the Mana found within the environment and what existed within people. Though this shouldn’t have been a restriction for him, it was the way in which his body was converting the energy that had been the problem. Vahn had always relied on the ‘correctional’ aspect of his Development Abilities in his previous world while, here in the Nasuverse, he hadn’t even been familiar with the concept of Od and its methods of replenishment.

On average, a normal Magus would have around 25-40 Od, depending on their proficiency and how seriously they took their training during their formative years. Geniuses like Rin, owing to her lineage and upbringing, were capable of hosting several times this amount within their bodies. Compared to the average, Rin was anywhere between 25-30 times more powerful than other Magi. If she used her Crest to push beyond her limits, she was capable of outputting as much as 1400 Magical Power, though the strain on her mind and body could put her into a coma. As for Vahn, his Magical Power parameter was actually his ability to ‘convert’ his Od into useable Magical Power. The problem was, his Magical Power parameter was too high for his current Od which, somewhat surprisingly, was even less than Rin’s…

Though Vahn was a Tier 4 being, comprised entirely of Source Energy, his body was still bound by the restrictions of the Record he habitated. His Source Energy could certainly emulate the effects of Od, but he still required ‘developing’ his reserves from scratch. The only reason he had been able to get away with his rather haphazard use of spells prior to learning of this fatal flaw was due to the strength of his Soul and the ability of his body to instantly regenerate. With the [Will of the Emperor] also protecting his mind, Vahn was practically able to ‘ignore’ the effects of Od depletion, something that could prove fatal to other Magi.

After identifying the problem, it was only a matter of time before Vahn was able to increase his reserves to a point that other Magi could never hope to reach. Currently, his actual Od was only around 109, nearly ninety points higher than what it had been upon discovering it even existed. With his Magical Power parameter, this meant Vahn could output as much as 10,355 Magical Power, dwarfing Rin’s by a great deal. Using the same means of conversion, this meant that Rin’s Magical Power, which was currently impossible to quantify through the means of Clairvoyance, was an admittedly ridiculous 2. Since she was considered a ‘genius’, Vahn felt that the standards of the Nasuverse were much lower than he expected, at least within the timeline he found himself in…

Thus far, Vahn hadn’t approached Rin in regards to ‘training’ her, as this likely wouldn’t end well, but he was already forming a plan within his mind to rapidly increase her strength. Though he might not be able to get her into the B-Rank like himself, it shouldn’t even be difficult to get her above E-Rank in Magical Power. This would increase her potential output to 2000+, all while removing the need for her to rely on the precious magic gemstones she used to compensate for her own lack of power. It was this reliance on tools, which seemed to be commonplace amongst Magi, that kept her from reaching her full potential. Since she spent a lot of her efforts on channeling her Magical Power into objects, for later use, she wasn’t doing anything to actually increase her base parameters. This was why, when Vahn forged a staff for Rin’s personal use, he made sure it drew directly from her Od in order to increase the output of her actual spells. If she figured out how to use it properly, Rin’s Magical Power would slowly increase as her damage output skyrocketed…

Popping his joints to release their tension, Vahn then proceeded to change into a jersey to cover his torso. Since he didn’t want to ‘trigger’ Rin by walking around without a shirt on, Vahn was trying to be considerate of his current ‘proprietress’. Though he could tell, at a glance, that she was no longer a virgin, it was obvious that Rin’s experience with men was limited. She was a little too conscious of the fact they lived on the same roof and, though there weren’t any feelings of genuine affection between them, Vahn was aware of the way she would view him at times. Though he could avoid this by changing his form into something ‘less pleasing’ to look at, Vahn didn’t mind the attention that much since it made her easier to tease.

Within the Manor, Vahn could smell the scent of slightly burned eggs and an almost overwhelming fragrance of butter. Shaking his head, he went towards the bathroom to freshen up by taking a short shower, washing his face, and then finally brushing his teeth. As for his hair, Vahn never bothered to comb it as, with his ‘image’ always being how he saw himself, Vahn’s hair had a natural ‘styled’ appearance. It was also extremely durable, to the point that the strongest winds and the hottest flames wouldn’t be able to have much of an effect on it. Even if Vahn moved around at hypersonic speeds, it would only move as if touched by a gentle wind due to its inherent tendency to keep its shape in accordance with his ‘image’.

After cleaning up, Vahn went into the dining room where Rin was already seated, this time at the side of the table. She had her eyes closed, refusing to look towards him, so Vahn gave a wry smile as he sat down on the opposite side. He always kept the table between them so it was obvious that Rin sat at the side of the table to reduce the distance, even a little. Since the table was much longer than it was wide, this put them in a distance where they could casually converse without issue. At the same time, however, it meant that their feet might accidentally touch if they were restless. Though this wouldn’t be an issue for Vahn, he knew Rin moved around a little ‘too much’ whenever she-

“Stop. Whatever you’re thinking right now, don’t finish it…”

In response to Rin’s sudden interjection, Vahn simply smiled before using his chopsticks to sample the tri-colored mess that represented Rin’s attempt to make scrambled eggs. The balance between the butter, salt, pepper, and other spices, was all over the place. Regardless of this, however, Vahn dutifully at everything on his plate as Rin scrutinized him from across the table. When he was done, Vahn set his chopsticks at the side before softly stating, “Thank you for breakfast, Rin. You have improved a lot…” He couldn’t outright say it was delicious, as that would have been a lie, but Vahn knew Rin would take what she could get in this situation. She knew better than anyone that it didn’t taste good so it was more than enough to hear that she was ‘improving’.

With a fresh smile on her face, Rin nodded happily before musing, “Of course, I am a genius after all. Just you wait, Vahn, soon enough even Master Chefs won’t be able to match the quality of my dishes~.” Though she said these words with ‘confidence’, Rin only just now took a bite of her own food. She had been watching Vahn eat previously so she now had to experience the taste of her own dish after it had grown cold. As a result, Rin’s eyes rounded slightly as her chopsticks froze in her hands, mid bite. Vahn couldn’t help but smile when he saw this before ‘casually’ pulling a freshly brewed pot of green tea out of his Inventory. He then placed a small platter of ginger and mint at the side before stepping up from the table and saying, “I’ll take care of lunch, okay…?”

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Rin, having failed to swallow the food she had prepared, gave a mechanical nod in response before hiding her face and muttering, “Make a little more than normal…” as Vahn left the room. Since he knew she would be able to ‘understand’ what he was thinking, Vahn imagined Rin happily eating a cheesecake, eliciting a contented hum from her in response. Then, as he entered into the basement to conduct his next phase of training, Vahn tied a small bag of cookies to the door of Rin’s workshop before sitting down at his workbench and picking up a metal pipe. Using his left hand, Vahn set his palm around three centimeters from the pipe’s surface as he muttered, “[Analyze]…”

(A/N: Alternate Titles: ‘Dat Quest doe…’,’Vahn has around a fifth of Rin’s Od but can output nearly ten times the amount of Magical Power xD…’,’The taste of Hubris is surprisingly salty’)

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