Chapter 1087: Glutton

Though her wheat porridge wasn’t supposed to take effect immediately, it didn’t take long for Circe to realize that Vahn wasn’t ‘normal’. Almost an hour after she had started feeding him, making fun small talk and flirting all the while, he was showing no signs of slowing down or transforming. Since her ability required the other person to get ‘full’ before it took effect, even if Circe’s magic had even the smallest chance of working it would have been ultimately useless. Every time she gave him more to eat, Vahn’s body would immediately break it down and convert it into energy. Vahn’s constitution didn’t require him to eat at all but, inversely, he could eat as much as he wanted without having to worry about overstuffing himself.

At this point, Circe was straddling Vahn’s hips with a large leg of lamb in her hands, closely watching him take pieces into his mouth before swallowing them down. Her peculiar eyes, which were pink on top and green on the bottom, were glimmering with intrigue and excitement every time he took a bite. Though their faces were only around 10cm apart, she didn’t seem to have any understanding of personal space at all as she curiously peeked into his mouth. Vahn even suspected that she would try to wedge his mouth open to make sure he was swallowing properly if he didn’t reign her in at some point. With that in mind, Vahn chose the lesser of several evils as he used his fingers to lightly pinch to incredibly long ears poking out from the side of Circe’s head.

In response to being touched, Circe’s ears actually ‘flicked’ to avoid contact before she gave him a coy look and complained, “Touching wasn’t part of our deal. Behave yourself and eat obediently, okay~?” Though Vahn was going to say something in response, Circe shoved a large and flaky biscuit into his mouth, holding it there until he started chewing on it. When he started eating again, her smile returned, followed by her lackadaisically adding, “My favorite kinds of people are those who can eat a lot of my food and those who pamper me plentily. If you promise to only look at me…hnnn, let’s see, I will let you touch my ears to your heart’s content~? You can’t do anything else though, or I’ll be super mad…!”

Instead of responding to Circe’s words, Vahn just took a bigger bite of food before looking toward where Fenrir and Artoria were seated. The latter wasn’t really eating anything but, knowing there was a lot of mana contained within the food, Fenrir wasn’t shy in the least. Of course, when he turned his eyes away from her, Circe made a pouting expression before grabbing the sides of his face and making him look back at her. Since she wasn’t shoving food into his mouth at the moment, Vahn plainly stated, “There probably isn’t anyone who would be able to pamper you as I can. No matter what, though, I’m not going to turn my back on the people I care about just to play with a Nymph. You may be prettier than a fairy, but I wouldn’t be much of a man if I threw aside everything else just to play with a mischievous Demi-Goddess…” At the end of his words, Vahn sneakily ran his index finger around the line of Circe’s lower back, causing her to straighten in his lap as her wings slightly unfurled…

Circe’s pout hadn’t gone away, but the red hue to her face showed the little electrical stimulation from his [Hands of Nirvana] had been effective. Before she could offer any kind of complaint, Vahn picked up an apple from the side table, which seemed to never run out of food, and crunched down on it in a casual manner. Though he was willing to play Circe’s little game for a short while, he had no intentions of letting the peculiar Demi-Goddess get her way. She ultimately lacked the ‘courage’ to use any decisive means to try and persuade him and, knowing she had fawned on Gilgamesh, Vahn expected she had a weakness against men who weren’t dependent on her.

Seeing Vahn start to eat on his own, Circe’s eyes widened as she grabbed his hand and said, “No, no, let me feed you! Don’t be a boar…!” As these words left her mouth, Circe suddenly started laughing after realizing that, depending on the circumstances, that may very well be what Vahn became. The chances seemed negligible at this point, but she was suddenly in a much better mood after thinking about Vahn’s handsome face having a pig’s snout. She thought her little piglets were super adorable, especially with their little pot bellies and how they would pile up together when sleeping…

Not really knowing what Circe was thinking, Vahn began a small ‘contest’ with her where he would try to feed himself before she tried to shove something else in his mouth. Though it was actually a little annoying to have someone hover a few centimeters away from him with another piece of food, Vahn knew it would be coming to an end soon. If he tried to recruit Circe in a more forcible way, the odds of her agreeing weren’t actually that slim. The problem was, Circe was known to be somewhat petty so, combined with her natural jealousy of other women, she would probably cause even more trouble later on. He suspected that she actually envied the relationships other women could have, as her own power would be lost if she took the final step, but that was something he could look into at a later date…

Without much suspense, Vahn’s ‘meal’ came to an end with Circe holding a bowl of porridge that was more than 15cm across as she slowly poured it down his gullet. This was her last-ditch effort to try and gain a victory but, even though there was far more porridge in the bowl than any stomach should be able to retain, Vahn gulped it down without any difficulty. To add insult to injury, he even licked the bowl clean as, though it was starting to get a little boring having to eat so much, the food itself was actually delicious. If Circe did end up joining their group, Vahn had decided that her main duties would include preparing meals for everyone, especially since she seemed to genuinely enjoy watching others eat.

Instead of seeming upset, Circe linked her fingers together happily and showed a radiant smile on her face when she saw Vahn cleaning the bowl. When he set it down at the side, she didn’t try to shove any more food into his face, instead, leaning forward until she was barely a centimeter away from pressing against him. There was a playful glimmer in her eyes when she bit her lower lip before asking, “Did you really want to see it so badly~?” Since she had promised to let Vahn have a ‘peek’ if he managed to eat enough food to satisfy her, Circe wanted to tease him a bit. When he suddenly showed a ‘thoughtful’ expression, she turned her eyes up at him with a mock look of blame before eventually saying, “Mooou, you’re a big bully, you know that~?”

After her false complaint, Circe lightly pushed against Vahn’s body, once again gaining a weightless quality as she gently landed around a meter away from the throne. Then, after turning her back to him, Circe peeked over her own shoulder with a red face as she pressed down the front of her skirt and bent forward slightly. Though Vahn hadn’t intended to insist on the matter, his eyes reflexively looked down to see a pair of snow-white cheeks, confirming that Circe didn’t actually wear panties. What he didn’t see, however, was what the small garment was supposed to conceal as Circe had cupped her hands together over the fabric of her skirt to keep herself from being fully exposed…

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Almost as soon as she had poked her butt out, Circe had jumped up like a skittish cat, completely red in the face as she asked, “Are you satisfied~?” Vahn was tempted to comment that, while her butt had a delicate and almost flawless appearance, she was severely lacking in size. However, as Fenrir and Artoria were both present, he simply gave an appreciative smile before saying, “Now, I want you to answer my questions. I’m certain that should be easy for you after that little display, right…?”

Though she wasn’t fully satisfied by Vahn’s lack of a response, Circe nodded her head in affirmation before trotting forward and trying to sit in Vahn’s lap again. Before she could complete the action, however, a strong wind passed by her body before a blue blur appeared in Vahn’s lap. She had been ignoring her previously, but now Circe’s face formed an extreme pout, complete with her puffing out her cheeks. Seemingly unconcerned, Fenrir plainly stated, “If you want Master’s affection, you will have to wait in line or do something deserving of praise. Master doesn’t like girls who are insistent without having anything to offer in return…” While she was saying these things, Fenrir had a mildly contented expression as her Master had started digging his fingers into the side of her head and neck, scratching her just the way she liked…

Adding onto what Fenrir had said, Vahn looked directly into Circe’s eyes as he said, “Our agreement was that you would answer my questions, not play around and act selfishly. I already gave you more time than I should have, especially with how chaotic things are outside. You seem like a smart girl, Circe, I’m certain you can understand how pressed for time we already are…” Though Circe actually seemed more on the ‘bird-brained’ side of the spectrum, Vahn felt that giving her small compliments would be effective. At the same time, he could show her what was considered a ‘normal’ level of pampering by skillfully stroking the sensitive areas around Fenrir’s head, neck, and ears. Without needing to pretend, Fenrir already had her eyes closed with a comfortable smile on her face as she enjoyed his touch without complaint…

As expected, Circe beamed when she heard Vahn call her a ‘smart girl’, even though her eyes were almost fully focused on Fenrir sitting in his lap. It wasn’t until Vahn asked, “What happened to your Master?” that she finally looked into his face, sticking out her tongue as she said, “That dummy was some kind of cult leader who gave me a super creepy vibe! I don’t know what would have happened to me if not for Gil-sama and his Master, you know~?” Then, as if remembering the question Vahn had actually asked her, Circe clapped her hands a few times before turning her head toward a small group of miniature pigs walking out from a door that hadn’t previously existed.

Two of the piglets gathered around Circe’s feet while the rest began fumbling about in an attempt to climb the benches. Those that were able to jump up began immediately devouring the food atop the tables, to the point that they were even moving about through the mountain of food without regard. While this was going on, Circe picked up one of the piglets near her feet, exposing its belly to reveal a crest formed of three red markings. Even without her explaining in greater detail, Vahn knew that Circe had turned her’s and Gilgamesh’s Masters into piglets to avoid having to listen to them. This caused him to lightly shake his head before asking, “Will you join our side? If you choose, I can even make it so that you will be able to persist in this world after the Ho-“

Before Vahn even finished his words, Circe performed a happy pirouette before doing a little stamp-dance with her feet. Then, without any hesitation at all, she gave a double-peace sign with her hands before saying, “Of course I’m going to stay with you~! You seem a lot nicer than that cold-hearted Gil-sama. Just don’t expect me to fight, okaaaay~?” With that said, Circe levitated the two piglets before presenting them to Vahn with a big smile on her face that practically screamed, ‘praise me’. Though she had been resistant to the idea of letting him touch her previously, watching Fenrir get her head rubbed seemed to have changed Circe’s perspective slightly. As a result, she presented her head forward, immediately followed by Vahn lightly rubbing her pink hair while making full use of his Petting Laws and [Hands of Nirvana].

Almost immediately after he had contacted her head, Circe eyes began to glimmer as she exclaimed, “Oh, wow~!” before rubbing her head against his palm on her own. Even her wings were twitching happily, giving small glimpses at the complex magical circuits hidden within. Vahn imagined Circe would actually be a horrifyingly powerful Magus if she took things seriously. She had a tiny sun-like ball of energy near her core that radiated with a light pink, sky blue, and pure golden mana. Since she was supposed to be the daughter of the Sun God, Helios, Vahn wasn’t all that surprised to see that she had inherited a great deal of power from her father. To see how strong she truly was, however, Vahn unceremoniously robbed the five Command Spells from the two piglets before looking at Circe’s status…

——————————————————————-

[Status]

Name: [Circe]

Age: Ageless

Race: Nymph, God(sealed)

Strength: 2E

Endurance: 31B

Agility: 16D

Magical Power: 50A++

Good Luck: 49A+

Soul Tier: 3

Noble Phantasm: [Metabo Piglets: C]

Skills: [Phantasmal Chef:Innate:SS], [Sun God’s Descendant:Innate:A], [Blood Moon’s Curse:Innate:D], [High-Speed Divine Words:B], [Poisoned Meal:A], [Advice for Sailing:A], [Territory Creation:B], [Item Construction:A]

Magic: [Helios’s Divine Protection:SS]

Magecraft: [Mutagen:S], [Alchemy:B], [Herbology:B], [Refiining:B], [Addiction Enchantment:B] [High-Speed Divine Words]

Rank: B

Use: Due to the fluent use of Divine Words, the user is able to significantly reduce the casting time for spells while greatly increasing their efficacy. The power of this skill is significantly reduced outside of own territory.

[Poisoned Meal]

Rank: A

Use: Mastery in poisoning meals has made it almost impossible for targets to detect any abnormalities in the food cooked by the user.

[Advice for Sailing]

Rank: A

Use: Allows the user to manipulate causality by an almost negligible amount when giving advice to others. Even if false, the user’s words may be interpreted as the truth by all but the most perceptive individuals.

[Territory Creation]

Rank: B

Use: Allows the user to build a special terrain that is advantageous to oneself as a magus, such as for the purpose of collecting mana and enhancing spell efficacy.

[Item Construction]

Rank: A

Use: Allows the user to manufacture magical items, from implements of war to items for daily use by gathering the constituent materials. At this level of mastery, the user is capable of producing almost anything they are capable of comprehending.

[Helios’s Divine Protection]

Rank: SS

Passive: When the weilder of this magic is in danger, the wrath of the Sun God Helios will descend from the skies to strike down their opponent. Efficacy significantly reduced at night.

[Mutagen]

Rank: S

Use: Allows the user to produce mutagens with magical power. Requires an in-depth understanding of the intended target and the intended mutations.

[Alchemy]

Rank: B

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

[Herbology]

Rank: B

Use: Allows the user to intuit the use of various plants and extract their essence for use in mixing potions.

[Refining]

Rank: B

Use: Allows the user to refine any material ingredients using Magical Power, strengthening their potency considerably.

[Addiction Enchantment]

Rank: B

Use: A simple enchantment which, when mastered, could cause a target to feel a dependency towards even sand.

——————————————————————-

Though Vahn was impressed with Circe’s capabilities, the thing that came as the biggest shock to him was the fact that her Strength meant she was only twice as strong as the average human. She could undoubtedly perform superhuman feats with her Magecraft but seeing a Heroic Spirit with such low Strength, especially a Demi-Goddess, was a little weird. She suddenly seemed a lot frailer and delicate than before, even though Vahn could tell from her various skills and abilities that Circe could be a terrifying foe in an indirect conflict. He would need to make sure she wasn’t trying to use her abilities to try and get the girls addicted to something strange out of jealousy and spite…

Feeling that the ‘innocent’ and ‘mischevious’ smile on Circe’s face suddenly felt a little distorted, Vahn internally sighed before pulling his hand away from her head. She immediately gave him a pretend pout in response, though it faded almost instantly as Vahn proceeded to ask, “Since you and Gilgamesh have been here at Mount Enzou, have you been able to locate the Greater Grail?” As this was an ‘easy’ question to answer, Circe didn’t even need to put too much thought into it as she explained, “There is a gate of sorts located within the caverns beneath the temple. The Greater Grail is in an isolated spatial dimension that is halfway between the Root and the real world. Accessing it without the key is pretty much impossible, as any attempt to ‘break’ into the chamber would require you to pass through an area where matter simply can’t exist. You would turn into teenie-tiny bits of nothingness, so please don’t do anything rash~.”

In response to Circe’s words, it wasn’t Vahn who answered as a soft and whimsical voice suddenly stated, “That isn’t entirely true. There are plenty of ways to reach the Greater Grail, though the majority would certainly end in permanant death or, at the very least, disfiguration~?” From the moment these words sounded throughout the area, everyone within Circe’s Reality Marble looked toward a thin man with wispy white hair and purple eyes. He was sitting at one of the tables, poking the snout of one of Circe’s piglets with a small smile on his face. Then, as if he were surprised by everyone else’s surprise, the man showed a slightly startled expression as he said, “Oh, I wish you would not look at me like that…I’m actually quite shy, you know…?”

Immediately following this series of words, Artoria stood up before forcefully slamming her palms against the table and shouting, “Merlin! You flowery white buffoon! What kind of game are you playing!?”

Even more so than before, Merlin seemed genuinely shocked by Artoria’s outburst, his brows raised high as he stated, “My dear Artoria, please, tell me what is troubling you. Though I may not be able to call myself your Magus of the Crown any longer, know that you will always have my support. Here, sit down and tell me what the problem is…” At the end of his words, Merlin lightly pat his lap as if he were talking to a child that was having a rough day. This caused Artoria’s face to turn slightly red before sitting down in a huff and saying, “I’m not going to sit on your lap…I’m not a little girl…”

Hearing Artoria’s words, Merlin showed a genuinely sad expression on his face as he lightly uttered, “Yes, I suppose that is true…isn’t it? That is yet another one of my regrets…” After saying this, Merlin turned his eyes towards Vahn, a small smile appearing on his face as he said, “You never cease to surprise me…though it may mean little to you, know that I am grateful for what you have done for Artoria. Though it has only been a ‘few’ days, I can tell she is much happier now than before. Since she was unable to experience true happiness in the capacity of a King, perhaps she will find it in the capacity of a woman…”

Now it was Vahn’s turn to be surprised as, from what he could tell, Merlin was actually being very sincere. There were no strange energy fluctuations around his body and, as far as Vahn could tell, he had no active illusions other than the fact that he himself was a projected illusion. In response to the whimsical Magus’ words, Vahn preempted any response Artoria might have by solemnly stating, “We now walk the same path in life. Even if she doesn’t seek it for herself, I will make sure that Artoria is able to find the happiness she deserves…”

While Artoria looked like she was having a meltdown at the side, Merlin issued a laugh that sounded a little ‘too’ pleasant to the ears. When he regained his composure, Merlin had a mischievous look in his eyes as he said, “I must admit, I am curious to see how that path of your’s plays out. It is rare to meet someone who has resistance to my prophetic abilities, but I have never encountered a person who is ‘immune’ to them…tell me, what is your true desire? At the very least, I may be able to offer you some advice…though, I suppose my advice may not have much weight given my track record, ahahaha~.” With that said, Merlin lightly tapped his staff against the ground, causing Circe’s Reality Marble to collapse in an instant, even though he wasn’t even present…

(A/N: Alternate Titles: ‘Damn Nymphs…’,’That Strength though…’,’The Dick Wizard Descends’)

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