Chapter 1055: Radiance

With evening quickly descending upon the outside world, Vahn and Rin had gathered everyone together to discuss their plan of action for the third night of the Holy Grail War. Rin had started things off by giving her opinion, stating, “I think it’s a bad idea to go out tonight. Though we have more information about our enemies, this has only revealed that they are more powerful than we expected. Since we have this Sub-Space, I think it would be a better idea to focus on increasing our combat strength further. Giving up more than two days worth of time just to idle about waiting for an enemy to appear doesn’t make any sense.”

As Rin had also been steadily increasing her own power, though not nearly as much as Fenrir and Vahn, she wanted to continue focusing on her progress. Scáthach was a veritable treasure trove of information so Rin had been compiling thick notebooks detailing everything she had inquired about. It wasn’t often a Magus would have access to someone with limitless knowledge so it almost seemed wasteful to go outside and search for enemies when most Master’s were just hiding away. Searching around the city would just expose them to whatever their enemies had planned while remaining back at her Manor allowed them to be more reactive. Though this also meant it would be possible for some Servants to use their Noble Phantasms to try and destroy the whole building, few Master’s would have their Servants take such action. The amount of magical power such attacks required could severely reduce their power, meaning any failed attempt to take out an enemy almost guaranteed your own defeat…

Hearing Rin’s reasoning, Vahn was actually in agreement with her, though for decidedly different reasons. With his ability to quantify his progress with the Experience function of the system, Vahn could tell he was on the verge of a minor breakthrough in several skills. It would only take a few hours of a concerted effort for him to potentially reach the next rank, qualitatively increasing his strength. Though others had to dedicate themselves to comprehending things in a slow and methodical fashion, he could bypass this requirement by simply ‘acting’ with intent. The amount of experience he got for each action varied greatly, depending on his efforts, but it still gave Vahn an edge over almost everyone else.

Piggybacking off Rin’s words, Vahn gave a small nod before saying, “I agree with Rin. However, I also think it is too risky to simply hole ourselves up without making an appearance. I believe our enemies have been observing our movements so, if we suddenly go on the defensive, they may assume there is something happening internally that requires our focus. This could let us bait out any of the less cautious enemies, but I’d rather not get Rin’s Manor destroyed just to lure a Servant or two.” After seeing how much devastation Ishtar’s arrow had caused, Vahn didn’t share the same ‘confidence’ Rin possessed in the enemy Masters’ restraint. If one of their enemies had a long-ranged, Anti-Mountain Noble Phantasm, the only thing that would remain of Rin’s house would be the basement and workshop.

Somewhat unexpectedly, Scáthach immediately gave her view on things, adding to what Vahn said in a cold and monotone voice. She even seemed to be shutting down any arguments Rin might make as she looked directly at her while saying, “Stillness leads to stagnation. We must constantly be in motion to prevent our enemies from getting the advantage. They may be biding their time in order to complete various rituals and large-scale magic formations. If we cannot interrupt their efforts, it will be much harder to deal with them later.” As only eight Servants had been identified, of a possible fifteen, Scáthach was of the mind that it was necessary to take action immediately, both to avoid having their own base attacked and to prevent the enemies from having time to finish their preparations.

Rin felt incredibly tiny with Scáthach’s gaze focused on her, even though she had already started to get over her ‘trauma’ from what was now nearly a week prior. Seeing Vahn and Fenrir tirelessly work to improve, combined with her own requests of Scáthach for information, had helped a great deal. Still, having someone that had an incomprehensible number of deaths on her hands staring directly at her wasn’t something that Rin could bear with composure. This, combined with the fact that she trusted Scáthach’s judgment, caused Rin to say, “Then we should move as a group before having Vahn teleport back with those who aren’t going to participate in the fighting. Though I want to help, I feel it is more important that I do everything I can to increase my strength for the larger battles that will occur in the future. Even if Ishtar and Ereshkigal are both very powerful, my Od isn’t enough to support them for extended battles. I will continue to train here in order to squeeze out every little bit of potential I can manage…”

With Rin voicing her own opinion, the floor was open for everyone else to do the same, leading to Fenrir surprisingly saying, “I am not strong enough to fight. I will stay with Rin to keep her safe and continue training. Unless Master calls me, I will keep training without stopping…I will get stronger, stronger than anyone…!” As she already felt much stronger, after just a few days of training, Fenrir wanted to capitalize on her current momentum. The fact she had grown so quickly was the only proof she needed to understand how weak she had been previously. After training with Eva and reaching a point where most enemies couldn’t fight against her, she had become nearly as complacent as her Master. Now that she had seen several enemies that she was borderline powerless against, Fenrir was determined to train until she either hit a wall…or broke through it completely…

Following Fenrir’s words, Astolfo was the next to speak, adding in a boisterous and high-pitched tone of voice, “I’ll go fight~! If I keept sitting around in this place for much longer, I might just lose my mind, ahahahaha~!” Though it was interesting at first, Astolfo had been spending more time outside of the orb than inside of it. There wasn’t really anything to do within the infinite white space other than hanging out with Nobunaga. Though the latter was fun company, Astolfo felt like things would become ‘complicated’ between them if he kept messing around. He didn’t want to commit any acts that would lose his credibility with Vahn before he had even accomplished anything in the Holy Grail War…

Astolfo’s words seemed to have been a trendsetter as, immediately following them, Nobunaga showed a somewhat vicious expression as she said, “I’m also beginning to grow impatient. Even the finest sake begins to lose its charm if you aren’t working hard to earn it. Since I’ve accumulated a bit of debt, I’ll put in some effort if we come across any enemies.” This was followed by Scáthach giving a curt nod before she also added, “I must uphold my dignity as a Teacher. If you face an enemy that you cannot defeat, I will bear the burden for you. In exchange, you will continue to work just as hard as you have been. My expectations for you have only increased, Vahn. Do not disappoint me.”

With how her words always sounded stern and to the point, Vahn formed a wry smile before saying, “Sure…I’ll be in your care.” Though it was already his intention, Vahn could understand from this ‘Teacher’ of his that she fully intended to have him fight without her help. She would only step in if he couldn’t handle it, much like how he had behaved to the girls in the past. Being in the receiving end of things made Vahn feel a little awkward but, having Scáthach’s lessons ‘literally’ beaten into him prevented him from allowing it to show through prominently. At the same time, Vahn resolved himself to put in his ‘maximum effort’, knowing full-well that Scáthach would only be harsher in his training if he was defeated in battle…

Once everyone had made their intentions clear, Vahn lead the conversation towards their plan of action for the evening. They would all leave together before he used his Qinglong form to bring Fenrir and Rin back to the Manor. After that, Vahn wanted to return to the area where Caster had previously been located. He harbored little hope that the Master-Servant duo would still be in the area but it didn’t hurt to check. Depending on whether or not he was able to meet with Paracelsus, Vahn would either return to the Manor or search the area to the West of the city, an area restricted to the public known as the Einzbern Forest. With the Holy Grail War already in full-swing, Vahn was curious about what one of the three major players in the event was up to. Thus far, they had been laying low so, if his intuition proved correct, Vahn felt like they may have already thrown a wrench into things. Since the Ruler-Class Servant had yet to appear, he suspected they may have done something to either interfere, if not outright claim the Ruler for themselves…

Though their discussion lasted for a somewhat tiring two hours, this only accounted for the passage of seventeen minutes in the outside world. By the time Vahn, Rin, and Fenrir were leaving the Tohsaka Manor, it was only a little after 6 PM, the very edge of the horizon still tinged orange and purple with the setting sun. This would have been quite the sight under normal circumstances but, with the city-wide formation in effect, all the natural colors of the world seemed muted. Regardless, Vahn led Fenrir and Rin by hand until they had traveled a fair distance from the Tohsaka Manor. Then, after teleporting them back to the interior, Vahn shared a moderately affectionate moment with the two girls before he ultimately set out under the veil of the night…

With the cool evening air gently rustly his hair, Vahn stared out over Fuyuki City or, more specifically, an area in the Shinto District that was around 7km away from the Fuyuki Bridge. This was where Caster had been located the previous night but, now that Vahn was seeing the sight for the second time, there wasn’t even a warehouse present. Even with his domain, Vahn could hardly discern the smallest ripple of foreign mana, something that wasn’t too surprising considering how fine-tuned Paracelsus’ control seemed to be. Though there was still a chance he could follow these minute traces to their origin, Vahn suspected it would be an ultimately fruitless endeavor since Paracelsus would have taken steps to cover his tracks and mislead anyone trying to follow him…

Around the time when Vahn was considering whether or not to immediately head to the Einzbern Forest, a small ripple of mana appeared next to him before Scáthach manifested herself at his side. Vahn looked back at her with a questioning stare, followed by Scáthach saying, “When treated seriously, there is no difference between training and battle. Your pride and arrogance are poor excuses for negligence. When you fight, you should not play with your enemies. Even if they must fall to your blade, it is better to have died an honorable death than to be pitied for their weakness…”

With this said, Scáthach vanished from view once again, leaving Vahn blankly staring at the empty space she had previously occupied…

For a moment, Vahn considered asking why Scáthach would choose to say such a thing but, almost as soon as the thought crossed his mind, he had received his answer. From high above, like a star being born into existence, a golden radiance began to shine down before the figure of a handsome man with dark-brown hair, golden eyes, and a tanned body came into existence. For a brief moment, Vahn was a little surprised as, with the exception of a few subtle variations, the man wasn’t all that dissimilar to himself. This wasn’t just their appearance, either, but the aura emanating from the man that practically screamed, ‘King’. Vahn didn’t even need to guess who this Servant was as, based on the black fabrics, golden accessories, and blue accents, it was easy to see the man was Egyptian in origin.

Only allowed on Creativenovels.com

Though Vahn felt a compulsion to swap positions with the Servant he believed to be Ozymandias, an even larger part of him wanted to knock the so-called God-King from the sky. When this thought crossed his mind, Vahn recalled Scáthach’s words and couldn’t help internally rebuking himself, even as he externally smiled while saying, “Ozymandias, God-King of Egypt…I wonder, what are your intentions for appearing here? How did you find me…?” Though Vahn assumed the latter had been ‘courtesy’ of Scáthach, he still wanted to see how Ozymandias would respond. At the same time, Vahn was going over his information once again, a peculiar incongruity rising in his heart due to the similarities he shared with this man known as the God-King. Not only had Ozymandias brought great prosperity to his people, he also married numerous beauties, including the ‘most beautiful woman in the world’. During his reign, he was reputed to have sired more than a hundred children, and those were only the ones that had been recorded in the royal annals…

As if Vahn’s recognition of his identity was pleasant to the ears, Ozymandias gave an approving yet egotistical smile as he said, “It is good that you recognize this King of Kings, knave. In recognition for your accomplishment, We will allow you the opportunity to state your name. Though We will not trouble ourselves to grant you full honors, know that your name will be immemorialized in this God-King’s heart, at least for a time.” With his deep voice accenting almost every single one of his words, Vahn barely managed to avoid frowning in annoyance with Ozymandias’ haughty attitude. At the same time, he realized that his ‘act’ when first confronting Astolfo wasn’t all that dissimilar, causing Vahn to feel the need to reflect on how he presented himself as an Emperor in the future…

Pulling out a set of nondescript black blades, and act that caused Ozymandias’ eyes to sharpen considerably, Vahn smiled as he compressed his domain to only 2km, drastically increasing the pressure. At the same time, in response to Ozymandias’ words, Vahn plainly, yet confidently stated, “I am Vahn Aldrnari Mason, the Sage Emperor. Come, God-King, I will test your mettle…!” At the end of his statement, Vahn moved like a phantom with [Koku Shundo] and his telekinesis. Ozymandias seemed to be able to stand in the sky with the same ease as others would walk on land so it looked like the battle would be fought amongst the ‘heavens’.

Dear Readers. Scrapers have recently been devasting our views. At this rate, the site (creativenovels .com) might...let's just hope it doesn't come to that. If you are reading on a scraper site. Please don't.

With a contemptuous expression on his face, Ozymandias crossed his arms and muttered, “Foolish…” in a somber tone. At the same time, as if manifested from nothingness, a golden bowsprit emerged in front of Ozymandias on a crash course with Vahn. The latter twisted his body in mid-air to evade it but, even after avoiding it by several centimeters, Vahn felt a searing heat on his back as his flesh peeled away before instantly turning to ashes. This wasn’t enough to deter his attack, however, as Vahn transitioned into his Zhuque form after sensing the golden arc contained almost pure Yang Elemental Energy.

Seeing Vahn suddenly burst into vermillion flames, Ozymandias actually began retreating backward as he asked, “Are you descended from a God of the Sun? This is starting to become interesting…” Now taking the battle a little more seriously, Ozymandias pulled out a long staff that was similar to an Egyptian Crook. He used this to try and deflect Vahn’s swords, which were now burning white-hot, but the latter simply placed them back into his Inventory. This caused Ozymandias’ strike to hit empty air as a slightly surprised looked adorned his previously arrogant expression.

Attempting to strike Ozymandias’ chest with his hands, Vahn reached forward with enough speed to create a black blur along the trajectory of his movement. However, in a manner similar to how Astolfo had been able to evade him, Ozymandias moved back with slightly faster speed than Vahn’s strike. This caused him to overextend a bit, resulting in Vahn twisted his body by instinct as he kicked skyward to deflect Ozymandias’ blow. In the same motion, Vahn fired a pillar of flame towards Ozymandias, once again surprising the man as he manifested a golden mirror that simply absorbed the attack. Now it was Vahn’s turn to be surprised, especially when the mirror began to glow like an actual sun before reflecting his own attack back at him…

Knowing his flames couldn’t be used to him his Zhuque form, Vahn chose to meet the attack head-on, absorbing the expended energy back into his body while spreading his wings in a wide arc. The tips of each feather began to glow with an intense light but, instead of firing off his attack, Vahn immediately retreated with [Koku Shundo] as an even greater radiance expanded below the periphery of his vision. Before Vahn even observed the origin of the golden radiance, he pulled out his [Yoichi Bow] before losing a [Yi] arrow towards Ozymandias’ face. The latter had just been about to take a stand on a 30m long golden arc that had sails that seemed to be made of pure Yang Elemental Energy.

Sensing the danger contained within the arrow, Ozymandius raised his staff high, causing a large pillar of golden-white light to rise from the deck of the golden arc. This didn’t outright destroy the [Yi] arrow, however, and instead caused it to take effect upon contact with the pillar of light. Immediately following this, Vahn realized he had erred slightly as, while he had been able to resist the effects of a 3-Star [Yi] relatively easily in the past, the current him had no such luxury. In an instant, he found himself pulled towards the black sphere of gravity that had formed above the arc, barely managing to break away from the gravitational pull with his Qinglong form.

Lacking the means to teleport through space as easily as Vahn, Ozymandias’ face formed a deep grimace as golden light shrouded his body, anchoring him to the arc. Even with the intense gravitational pull, the arc itself remained stable within the air without showing signs of collapse. It, along with Ozymandias himself, was able to tide through the worst part of the arrow’s effect as the black sphere of death began to shrink at a discernable rate. Just as he was about to relax, however, Ozymandias turned his eyes skyward to where he had sensed the approach of impending danger. There, as if mirroring their first meeting, Vahn was standing in the sky as he shot several black arrows towards the golden arc, each having three small sun-shaped runes glowing on their side…

Without wasting a single moment, Ozymandias immediately raised his staff once again, erecting a massive golden barrier to protect the arc as he incanted “I shall give you a reward, lightless one.”

“Look on my works, ye Mighty, and bow down! My infinite brilliance. The sun descends here! Ramesseum Tentyris…!” With this incantation finished, the golden arc beneath Ozymandias’ body began shining with a radiance far greater than the sun as it sent out a wave of pure golden light to seemed to encroach upon reality itself. Even with his best attempts at evading the light, Vahn soon found himself in a completely different landscape than the Fuyuki City skies. In the distance, there was a vast and seemingly infinite desert while, nearly as far as the eye could see, Vahn’s vision was dominated by an incalculable amount of complex and ornate temples…

(A/N: Alternate Titles: ‘I imagine it is beneficial to have access to unlimited knowledge as a Magus….’,’Scáthach’s foresight (O_O)…’,’Emperor vs. God-King’)

https://bit.ly/2XBzAYu <-(p.atreon link)

paypal.me/Einlion

Discord Invite: https://discord.gg/mn5xMbE

You may also like: