Chapter 1037: Intent : Lull

Not long after Nobunaga had wandered off on her own, Rin produced a dry laugh while Fenrir adopted an admittedly adorable pouting expression as she complained, “I don’t like her.” Though she hadn’t been worried that her Master would be harmed, just the fact that Nobunaga had attacked him twice was enough to put her at the top of Fenrir’s list of hated individuals. As for Rin, she actually found the situation somewhat humorous as, given what she knew of Vahn, the fact he had summoned such a Servant almost seemed like ‘just desserts’. He had been like a demon during her training and, now that he had summoned a Servant of his own, it seemed like she represented many of the traits he generally kept hidden.

Curious about the identity of Vahn’s Servant, Rin asked, “So, did she end up introducing herself? Based on the fact she used a pistol, I imagine her classification is an Archer-Class Servant, right?” Even though Nobunaga had also used her sword, Rin didn’t find it particularly impressive, especially when compared to the fact she could manifest a pistol out of then air before firing magical bullets. Unsurprisingly, Vahn nodded his head in response to her words before saying, “She said her name was Oda Nobunaga, the Demon King of the Sixth Heaven. It doesn’t seem like she will be easy to deal with unless I use a Command Spell…” Since Master’s were able to sense the presence of their Servants, Vahn could sense that Nobunaga had already left the Tohsaka Manor before wandering off on her own.

Hearing Vahn’s words, Rin showed mild surprise on her face as she asked, “Oda Nobunaga? To think that yet another Heroic Spirit is actually a woman…hell, the real Oda Nobunaga was actually born after the Holy Grail War had already begun. It’s pretty rare for someone born so late into the Age of Men to become a Heroic Spirit. At least this confirms our suspicions that the Grail is seriously messed up. Not only did I end up with two different Servants from the Mesopotamian Era, but your Servant is eastern in origin, meaning the Grail’s previous restrictions pretty much aren’t applicable anymore.”

Nodding his head, Vahn then took a quick glance at his Command Spells which, curiously, took on the shape of a bow with a cross-shaped arrow running through it. He didn’t know if this was the result of summoning an Archer-Class Servant, or if whatever method the Grail used to ‘scan’ potential Masters had somehow detected his own skill with the bow. Since the magic circle hadn’t done anything to his body, Vahn suspected that scan that Akasha had performed was also stored within the Root when she transferred his body over…

Deciding not to ‘force’ Nobunaga to follow his orders, Vahn instead turned his attention to Fenrir before heavily stroking her head. She wasn’t in the best of moods so he played with her ears as he said, “We won’t have much free time once the Holy Grail War starts so I’ll make sure to pamper you plentily tonight.”

Fenrir’s mood immediately improved when she heard her Master’s words while, at the side, Rin’s expression became much redder than usual. Noticing this, Vahn gave her a concerned look that caused her to shake her head lightly before saying, “I’ll be fine. Just for tonight, I don’t mind if you and Fenrir make a bit of noise…” As these words left her mouth, Rin’s red became two shades darker since it almost sounded like she didn’t mind listening in on them. At the same time, her heart was starting to beat like a drum within her chest as, even ‘deeper’ within her chest, a presence began to spread from an area beyond her ability to discern.

Noticing Rin’s abnormal state, Vahn’s [Eyes of Truth] activated, allowing him to see a foreign mana expanding outward, slowly encroaching Rin’s own. What he didn’t expect was, from the moment he activated his [Eyes of Truth], Rin felt like her body was burning wherever Vahn passed his gaze. She had the distinct impression that he could see through her completely, causing Rin intense feelings of shame and, more frustratingly, excitement. She barely even heard Vahn’s words as he explained, “It seems like Ishtar isn’t content with staying cooped up. What a troublesome woman…” Even with his aversion to forcefully imprisoning anything, Vahn knew that Ishtar was essentially an unwanted invader within Rin’s body. Her comfort wasn’t that important to him since she showed no regard for Rin’s, her host and Master’s, feelings…

Deactivating his [Eyes of Truth], Vahn gestured for Rin to turn around and, somewhat surprisingly, she complied without a word. He then proceeded to place an even stronger ‘seal’ to prevent Ishtar from emerging while, at the side, Fenrir looked toward Rin with squinted eyes. Even if her Master seemed to be willfully ignoring it, her nose couldn’t be fooled. She could ‘smell’ the peculiar aroma of a woman wafting from Rin’s body, causing her to feel a strong desire to ‘protect’ her Master from Rin’s inevitable attempt to seduce him. She had learned a lot from Loki, Syr, and Haruhime so, unless her Master was seeking Rin out on his own volition, Fenrir wouldn’t let her get close to him without a good reason. It didn’t matter to her if Rin was being influenced by a god as, ultimately, that was her problem, not something her Master should have to concern himself with…

Feeling Fenrir’s gaze on her back, Rin felt as if her entire body was covered in a thin layer of ice which, surprisingly, helped her calm down quite a bit. If the influence of Ishtar was like a tiny flame that continued to grow in intensity, Fenrir’s glare was like a bucket of ice water that doused it almost instantly. As a result, by the time Vahn had finished ‘sealing’ away Ishtar once again, Rin had managed to regain enough composure to appear relatively unflustered as she said, “I’m going to inform the others that we both managed to summon Servants. I’ll be going with the story that my Servant is the Lancer-Class, Fenrir, so you’ll have to provide her with a spear…”

Though Fenrir had never actually fought with a spear before, her natural dexterity and agility would allow her to play the part without too much difficulty. She may not be able to contend against the more powerful Servants, especially since the Grail was being finicky, but neither she nor Rin had to worry about acting alone. Fenrir was essentially just Rin’s bodyguard, at least until the latter was forced to take action and reveal the existence of her actual Servants. Most of the fighting would still be handled by him, insofar as taking the fight to enemies was concerned.

With Rin’s condition stabilized for the time being, Vahn and Fenrir retired to the study to lounge about while Rin went off to call Lord El-Melloi II. Vahn used this time to play with Fenrir’s tail for a bit as he looked through his Unit Management which, even though she wasn’t actually his Subordinate, listed Nobunaga’s status. It showed her Loyalty value as (-), meaning the number was null from The Path’s perspective. Fortunately, it didn’t matter that much if Nobunaga was truly loyal to him as, even if she had a high level of [Independent Action], she still had to follow the rules of the Holy Grail War. He hadn’t given her any orders so she couldn’t attack normal civilians and, unless they attacked her, even other Masters and Servants were off-limits.

—————————————————————–

[Status]

Name: [Oda Nobunaga]

Age: Ageless

Race: Human

Strength: 30C

Endurance: 43B

Agility: 33C

Magical Power: 41B+

Good Luck: 47B++

Soul Tier: 3 (Fragmented Lord)

Noble Phantasm: [Three Thousand Worlds: Three Line Formation:E~A]

Origin: Anti-Divine, Purpose

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Skills: [Loved by Fate:Innate:SS], [Child of the Stars:Innate:B], [Conquerer’s Oath:Innate:B], [Tenka Fubu:A], [Demon King:A], [Strategy:B], [Magic Resistance:B], [Independent Action:B]

Magic: (-)

Magecraft: (-)

[Tenka Fubu]

Rank: A

Passive: User becomes stronger in the presence of any entity of Divine origin.

Active: Attacks against entities of Divine origin have a high chance of ignoring resistances.

[Demon King]

Rank: A

Passive: Recognized as an evil entity by the world, regardless of alignment.

Active: Increases parameters based on the amount of malice targetted towards the user.

[Strategy]

Rank: B

Use: The user’s ability to plan and make sound decisions under pressure.

[Magic Resistance]

Rank: B

Use: The user’s ability to resist magic attacks equal to the skill’s rating and lower.

[Independent Action]

Rank: B

Use: The user’s ability to act independently without relying on a Master’s support. Significantly reduces mana consumption when outside of combat.

—————————————————————–

Vahn was rather impressed with Nobunaga’s status but, considering she was a Heroic Spirit that had been recognized by the Throne of Heroes, it wasn’t too difficult to believe she should have been very powerful during her time alive. Though the legend surrounding a person could actually make their Heroic Spirit more powerful than the original, especially for more recent Heroes, that didn’t really matter to Vahn. Just the fact that Nobunaga’s [Good Luck] had nearly broken through the ‘limit’ set by the Root showed a great deal of promise. It shouldn’t be easy for Nobunaga to promote her strength further but, with the supplement of his Source Energy, Vahn felt like she would be a nightmare for other Servants at her preferred range…

What Vahn was curious about was the power of Nobunaga’s Noble Phantasm as, unlike other skills and abilities, there was no information on its function within her Status. Since each Servant’s Noble Phantasm was usually their strongest means of attack or defense, Vahn couldn’t help wondering what Nobunaga’s did. The fact that it showed a never before seen variable like E~A seemed to indicate that it either had a variable efficacy or was entirely dependent on luck. Vahn assumed it was the former as it would be a significant weakness if Nobunaga’s Noble Phantasm was solely based on her Good Luck parameter…

Deciding it was best to ask directly, Vahn focused his mind before sending his thoughts to Nobunaga, asking, (“Nobunaga, can you explain to me the functionality of your Noble Phantasm? I need to know exactly what you’re capable of if I want to incorporate you into my plans.”) Even if he ultimately handled the battles himself, Vahn still wanted to know if Nobunaga might be useful for providing support fire. The only problem was, even if he would normally be immune to her attacks, Nobunaga actually dealt significantly more damage to beings of Divine origin. Since he had two active skills that made him even weaker against such attacks, there was a chance a stray shot of her’s could actually injure him pretty severely. This wouldn’t kill him, by a long shot, but it had been a while since his body was destroyed and Vahn wasn’t in a hurry to experience it again…

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In response to his telepathic message, Nobunaga’s voice sounded as if it were spoken directly into his ears as she mused, (“I was wondering how far you were going to let me wander off before sending me a message. I’ve already made it from one coast to the other and was just on my way to check out the northern part of the island. You’re lucky I didn’t just run off on you, boy.”) There was a bit of excitement contained within Nobunaga’s voice that, even without knowing what she was up to, it was easy to intuit that she was enjoying herself.

Releasing a light chuckle, Vahn played with Fenrir’s floppy ears as he said, (“I don’t think you’re the type that would just wander off and abandon your duty. Since you already claimed to recognize me, I don’t mind letting you explore the area on your own. I trust your judgment, Miss Demon King…”) With what he had learned about Nobunaga over the last few hours, Vahn knew she was the type that dedicated herself to whatever she decided upon. She was a great revolutionary during her times and, even though her reputation painted her out to be an evil and malicious force, Vahn felt that this was more along the lines of historical embellishment. After all, the policies Nobunaga enacted during her time, combined with the efforts she put into trying to help her people prosper, painted a different picture from how she was commonly portrayed in media…

Though he didn’t hear her laugh through their telepathic link, Vahn could imagine Nobunaga standing atop a building, gazing out over the horizon as she answered, (“My Noble Phantasm allows me to summon as few as a single matchlock, or as many as three-thousand. So long as you can provide me with an adequate amount of mana, I can even wipe out entire armies on your behalf. Though, if you expect me to work that hard for you, expect that you’ll owe me quite the debt after the fact. You had better prepare some strong sake and a full banquet if you want me to defeat your enemies on your behalf.”)

As he was starting to feel like he had a grasp on Nobunaga’s nature, Vahn’s expression became more resolute as he replied, (“I do not require others to fight my battles for me. If you want to sit in the back and watch me do all the work, be my guest. I’m not after the Greater Grail to have something like a wish granted, as I’m perfectly capable of achieving my goals without such things. Our goal is to destroy the Grail and bring this whole farce to an end, nothing more, nothing less.”) Though Vahn obviously didn’t include the fact that The Path already provided him with infinite possibilities, including having wishes granted, that didn’t make his words any less true.

For several seconds after he finished his words there was only silence in response, even though Vahn could sense that he was still linked telepathically with Nobunaga. When she finally responded, there was a slightly teasing tone to her voice as she stated, (“You won’t catch me idling, Vahn. If that is your true desire, don’t think I’m going to miss out on the fireworks. Stay alert though, or I might send one flying up your ass…!”) Following this, Vahn could swear that Nobunaga was laughing boisterously on the other side, even though it didn’t leak through their connection. Since this seemed to be a quirk of her nature, he decided to ignore it and simply replied, (“Make sure you return by nightfall. You don’t seem like the type to get caught off guard, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Even if I don’t need your help to achieve my goals, losing someone that is supposed to be my ally would leave a bad taste in my mouth.”)

This time, Vahn could imagine Nobunaga waving her hand in a dismissive manner as she half-heartedly answered, (“Yeah, yeah, don’t worry. Contrary to what my appearance might lead you to believe, I’m a big girl. Just make sure to summon me if you get into some trouble you can’t handle. If you call me Big Sis, I might lend you a hand.”) With these parting words, the connection Vahn had established with Nobunaga was severed rather unceremoniously. As this was within his expectations, he didn’t let it bother him and instead shifted his complete focus to Fenrir before tracing his index finger around her navel. This caused her jaw to tremble slightly as she opened her eyes just enough to let her scarlet red irises shine through…

Since Nobunaga would almost certainly return before nightfall, Vahn knew his time to ‘pamper’ Fenrir would come to an end a bit earlier than expected. Though it was somewhat embarrassing, Vahn actually couldn’t send mana directly to Nobunaga through the mana pathways that were supposed to exist between Master and Servant. As the Grail was incapable of altering his body, Vahn completely lacked the capability to efficiently send Nobunaga mana without direct contact. Though he could get around this if she was inside of his domain, it was a problem if she encountered an opponent on her own.

Nobunaga was obviously cognizant of the fact that she wasn’t receiving any mana from him so, even if they footed around the issue, she would ‘obediently’ return in the evening. Then, either through the use of [Hands of Nirvana] or feeding her mana-rich foods, Nobunaga would be able to replenish her reserves. There were also a few more ‘intimate’ methods in which to transfer mana, such as the exchange of bodily fluids and ‘life essence’, but Vahn had no intentions of even broaching the subject. If it came down to it, at least during an emergency situation, he would allow her to directly consume his blood. This would undoubtedly provide her with more than enough energy to keep going, just as the Tier 5 Eva had been able to persist for years after feeding for a little over an hour.

With his mind wandering slightly, Vahn leaned down, kissing Fenrir’s collarbone before moving his way up her neck. She responded by placing her paw against the back of his head while stretching her neck to increase the available surface area. Vahn found this rather adorable so he made sure to move nice and slow to savor the moment. It wasn’t until he could feel Fenrir’s claws begin to poke through his hair that he released a light chuckle and moved to her lips. At the same time, his right hand snaked down her abdomen, sending ‘electrical’ surges through her body before he invaded the fabric of her shorts. She was wearing a light T-shirt and a pair of denim shorts that matched the style of the modern era. Though they were made from magic, they had the textile sensation and functionality of actual fabric, making it so that the elastic band allowed Vahn access to the treasure concealed within…

(A/N: Alternate Titles: ‘Nobu-chan is super lucky o_o…’,’Playful Banter’,'(U,…,U)…’)

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