Chapter 1100: Tracking

As much as he would like to just enjoy his time just galavanting around with the girls, Vahn knew there were pressing matters to attend to without much time to get them resolved. After spending the rest of his birthday in a memorable way, punctuated by his ‘family’ time with Rin and Sakura, Vahn found himself in the Sub-Space Orb making preparations for their separation. It would take him a few hours to make a small-scale Space-Time Orb, around the size of a golf ball, and this was only the first task on his agenda. Fortunately, Scáthach was being lenient with him, so long as he was focused on ‘work’, while Alaya had yet to reappear since the time he dismissed her. Vahn knew she was still around but, not having her lingering over him allowed him to remain focused on more important tasks…

Since the Space-Time Orb only needed to serve the function as a means to spend time with Rin and Sakura, Vahn made the inside only around 500m in diameter while using his understanding of Laws and the benefit of his Source Energy to make the inner world as ‘real’ as possible. He didn’t want Sakura to stay in a place with an empty white sky as, even if she only used the Space-Time Orb to spend time with him, it would pollute the experience with each incongruity. At her age, she had yet to start training seriously in Magecraft so there was a lot for Sakura to learn, all things that could be worried about when she got a bit older. Though she might not have a normal education, interacting with children her own age, Vahn believed there would be a few capable mentors and young Servants within the Throne of Heroes that would make a good impression on her. Once she understood her own situation better, Vahn was even intending to treat Sakura like a legitimate Princess as Rin fully intended to reveal that he was an Emperor once she had stabilized…

Only allowed on Creativenovels.com

With Sakura’s future in mind, Vahn spent around five hours producing the smallest and most stable Space-Time Orb he could manage. It only had a time dilation ratio of 1:1 so it was much easier to produce than any other Orb he had developed before. Using the extra time, as he had afforded himself ten hours to take care of it, Vahn entered into the Space-Time Orb to form his Memory Fragment and purchase the materials he would need to build a house and decorate the area. He planned to build a small villa-style house with two floors, the second floor belonging entirely to Sakura. With a large room filled with books, toys, and a few instruments, Vahn was intended to ‘home school’ her whenever she wasn’t busy in the real world. Rin had already told him that she would be staying with the Edelfelt family while she was in London so it shouldn’t be too difficult to make arrangements for Sakura to have free time…

After filling a small underground warehouse with materials, Vahn partnered up with his Memory Fragment to build a stone wall around the space’s perimeter before going through the rather arduous process of laying down ’tiles’ of grass and flowers. Though there was soil within the Space-Time Orb, it would take several days for it to absorb enough power to start emulating ‘real’ soil in the outside world. Previously, Terra was able to prevent this from being an issue but Vahn was far from her level when it came to spreading Life, Vital, and Nature energy into the surroundings. He could emulate it with his domain, but the efficacy left a lot to be desired since his understanding of the Laws wasn’t developed enough. Still, by the time four hours had passed, the ground had a grid-like plot of grass dotting the entire space that, after a few days, would begin looking like perfectly normal terrain…

Entrusting the Space-Time Orb’s management to his Memory Fragment, Vahn exited out into the real world, only to discover that he was no longer alone in his bedroom. Even more worrisome was the fact that he had an almost negligible weight straddling his hips as a pair of lips overlapped his own, forcing chewed up food down his throat before the small tongue playfully danced around in his mouth. It didn’t take him any time at all to discern this was Circe, causing Vahn to hook his hands under her arms before coming to a seated position as she startled in his clutches. Before he could say anything, she began to laugh in a coy manner before saying, “You look cute when you sleep, ehehehe~.”

Understanding that Circe had essentially been trying to poison him while he slept, even though there was only a small amount of magical power in the food she was feeding him, Vahn had a stern expression on his face as he plainly asked, “How should I punish you…?” This caused Circe to writhe around in his hands but, with her measly 2 Strength, it was fundamentally impossible for her to get him to budge in the slightest. Though her squirming atop his lap was a mild distraction, Vahn had no reaction to her movements, even she began to shimmy in his lap while saying, “Come now, I didn’t do anything that bad. You were ignoring me and didn’t respond to my calls so I just wanted to tease you a bit…” At this point, Circe was beginning to get a little nervous since she knew, if Vahn wanted to do something to her, there was little she could do to prevent it…

Without his expression changing in the slightest, Vahn gave a small nod before asking, “What did you mix into the food? If you lie, expect your punishment to be much worse…” As he spoke, Vahn’s activated his [Eyes of Truth], causing Circe’s long ears to droop pathetically as she answered, “It was a herb that would have thickened the blood a bit, making it impossible for you to get an erection…I also mixed in a powerful aphrodisiac so you would have the urge to breed without being able to get it up…” As these words left her mouth, Circe shrunk her shoulders, her wings forming a protective barrier to obscure Vahn’s vision of her body…

Hearing what kind of ‘prank’ Circe had tried against him, Vahn felt his brain buzz a bit as, even if she didn’t have any ‘malicious’ intent, her idea of a prank was obviously skewed greatly from the norm. It was easy to see that she had wanted to rile him up so that he would ‘attack’ her but, as she had no intention of giving up her virginity, she had wanted to ‘cripple’ his ‘functionality’ for the time being. At the same time, due to her ‘birdbrained’ nature, Vahn could tell that Circe’s own body had been affected by her own ‘poison’, causing a fragrant aroma to rise up from her body as, even while acting sheepishly, she wiggled her hips against his waist…

Knowing that the worst ‘punishment’ he could use against Circe was to ignore her, Vahn released his grasp on her body before adopting a ‘kind’ smile as he said, “Since you were honest with me I’ll let you off with just a light punishment this time. You really shouldn’t go around causing trouble, Circe, or else I won’t pamper you even when you behave…” As he said this, Vahn lightly cupped the sides of Circe’s face before running his thumbs along the inside of her 10cm long elf-like ears. This caused Circe to make a mewling sound as a girlish ‘awaaaaaaa~’ escaped her lips. Then, after he lightly pinched the very tips of her ears, Vahn moved to stand after lifting her body from his and planting her squarely on the ground. She seemed confused by this action, at least until Vahn said, “That is enough for now…” and began walking towards the entrance of his room.

Acting like a bird that had been splashed by water, Circe immediately flared up her wings as she bounced a few centimeters off the ground and exclaimed, “Hey! You can’t just…Vahn…!” Instead of turning around to listen to her, Vahn closed the door behind him before using a [Primordial Rune] to ‘lock’ the door and rebound magecraft. It wouldn’t take Circe long to break through, as she was a far more skilled Magus than he was, but it gave him more than enough time to leave the premises and exist the Orb. Even she knew better than to destroy the small house they all stayed in so Circe would have to backward engineer the complex rune’s structure, by which time Vahn was already long gone. She could still track him down but, knowing there were numerous ‘obstacles’ surrounding Vahn, Circe could only grit her teeth before taking a dip in the cold lake to cool down her body…

After giving the Space-Time Orb to Rin and having her test its functions, Vahn needed to move on to his next set of priorities. Though he did make time to see how Sakura was doing, Vahn knew she was in good hands since Gray was reading together with her in the Study. With her taken care of, Vahn had Artoria and Nobunaga accompany him as he set out into the City. Though Nobunaga acted like his sudden request was troublesome, by the time they were outside her mood had instantly done a one-eighty. She had donned a punk-rock t-shirt that slightly exposed her navel, a pair of frayed short-shorts, and two tall military-style boot that covered half her calf. Though they had gone out for a reason, Nobunaga quickly coopted their ‘mission’ as an opportunity for a date as she dragged Vahn around for nearly an hour before they finally got serious…

Choosing a small cafe to take a break, Vahn sat in a booth with Nobunaga placing her arm around his back and leaning against him without minding the stares of other patrons. Though she didn’t have the same ethereal beauty as a girl like Artoria, Nobunaga had a very obvious ‘cool’ beauty vibe that made her seem almost like a female rock star. She had tied her long black hair with a small ribbon to prevent it from swaying around in the wind and was currently using the tuft at the end to lightly batter Vahn’s face as she teased Artoria on the other side of the booth. Fortunately, by the time their milkshakes had arrived, Nobunaga had stopped playing around, even though it took Vahn tightly gripping her right thigh to get her to straighten out…

With Nobunaga nursing her milkshake, a slight blush on her face, Vahn put his assumption to the test by saying, “Alaya, come out…” In an instant, a flash of blue light that went completely unnoticed by everyone else in the cafe appeared right next to Vahn. Alaya had apparently decided the most optimal seat was next to Vahn, creating an almost zero-distance between them as she asked, “Do you have orders for me, Master?” Before Vahn answered her question, however, Nobunaga peeked around Vahn’s body, an annoyed expression on her face as she complained, “I still can’t see her. Can’t you make her show herself? It is annoying being the only one left out of the conversation.”

In response to Nobunaga’s words, Vahn gave a small nod to Alaya that seemed to get his point across as, even though there was no actual sign of change, Nobunaga suddenly muttered, “What the heck? Nobody told me she was blue…hahahahaha~.” This caused Vahn to squeeze his left hand, immediately causing Nobuna’s laughing to cease as she closed her thighs in response. From across the table, Artoria shook her head in mild exasperation before gently sucking on her straw, enjoying the sweet taste of her chocolate milkshake as if they weren’t the center of attention in the small cafe.

Before Nobunaga could interject again, Vahn turned to Alaya and said, “I want you to locate the Servant named Paracelsus for me. You should be able to sense anything that doesn’t belong in the current time axis, right?” Since Alaya was part of the Counter-Force, meaning she would have nigh omniscience regarding anything on the planet, he expected she would be able to locate Paracelsus, even though Ishtar had failed to do the same. Vahn credited this to the fact that her powers were severely restricted within the ‘surface’ world, as her main body should still be back on the Reverse Side, a restriction that had absolutely no effect on Alaya.

Without any suspense, Alaya answered, “I have located him. What do you intend to exchange for this information?” Though she was supposed to be his assistant, Alaya had already made it clear from the start that she required ‘equivalent exchange’ to take any meaningful action. Since locating someone that wanted to remain hidden took a proactive effort on her part, she would not give answer Vahn without a form of ‘payment’. As this was already within his expectations, Vahn asked, “You should have the data from my interaction with the Root, correct? Quantify the worth of the information and I will give you an adequate amount of compensation. Do not try to skew the numbers…”

After hearing Vahn’s words, Alaya’s purple eyes began to display countless lines of runes before she eventually answered, “This information requires an exchange for 1,318 units of Magical Power.” As the average Magus only had around 40-50 Od, this was the same as Alaya saying he needed to give her Magical Power equal to the maximum output of 25-30 Magi. With his own Od only at 493 points, Vahn’s reserves were tens times greater than the average, but apparently too low to make casual requests to Alaya. Still, knowing she could actually quantify the ‘value’ for her services, Vahn had a good idea of how that could be converted into OP. He also knew it would be possible to ‘game’ the system she had established by providing new information as her highest priority was undoubtedly observing him…

Knowing his blood actually carried far greater Magical Power than his internal reserves reflected, Vahn made a small prick on his index finger before using creating a ‘bubble’ of Source Energy as he spun a small sphere of blood at the end of his finger. This was a rather peculiar sight to behold so Vahn made sure his hand was out of sight from the casual observer to avoid making a scene. When it had reached the size of a small marble, Vahn looked at Alaya before plainly stating, “Open your mouth.” As she had seen him cut his finger to ‘feed’ others already, Alaya didn’t bother questioning him as she opened her mouth and extended her pale purple tongue. Vahn tossed the small marble of blood into her mouth, causing Alaya to instantly gulp it down as runes began dancing in her violet purple eyes…

For the first time, Vahn got to see an actual expression on Alaya’s face as her brows furrowed slightly in response to the ‘data’ she had received. She already knew how much Od Vahn had, as he made no attempt to keep it concealed within the Sub-Space Orb, so it didn’t make any sense for his blood to contradict her observations. Though there were all kinds of Laws that made it possible to store energy within blood, none of these were at play around Vahn’s body so Alaya failed to understand how a small bead of blood could have almost a thousand units of Magical Power. By volume, this meant Vahn’s body should have around 1,733,333 units of Magical Power, a phenomenal amount that should be impossible to simply keep hidden.

Coming to the conclusion that she would need to increase the parameters of her observation of Vahn, Alaya looked into his eyes and explained, “That amount of blood was equivalent to 998 units of Magical Power. I will need 320 additional units in exchange for the information regarding Paracelsus’ location.” This seemed to be within Vahn’s expectations, as he gave a small nod in response before creating a much smaller sphere of blood. Her eyes closely observed this process, measuring the volume of the sphere while also monitoring Vahn’s Od fluctuations. He seemed to use absolutely none of his own power to feed energy into the blood, leading Alaya to deduce that he was pulling from his ‘hidden’ reserves, a massive volume of energy that was even able to evade a precision scan down to the sub-atomic level…

Using the information provided by Alaya, Vahn made a sphere that held precisely 320 units of Magical Power before tossing it into her mouth. At this point, he had become accustomed to the idea that his blood had several exploitable benefits. This was a stark contrast to how he treated it in the past but, after using it to power things like teleportation formation and to simply ‘upkeep’ Fenrir, Vahn had become comfortable with the idea that his blood was something he had every right to use as he pleased. There was nothing he could do about people coveting the things he had so, instead of limiting himself by concealing one of his most versatile assets, Vahn didn’t mind using his blood to save potentially hundreds of thousands of OP in the short term…

With Vahn providing the requisite amount of energy, Alaya surprised the group by extending a tendril of bluish-white light that touched the back of Vahn’s hand. After she extracted the light, a thin strand of energy that drew a straight line between Vahn’s finger and a distant location. This light passed through obstacles as if they didn’t exist and, whenever Vahn moved his hand around, the angle of the string would change marginally. At the same time, Alaya explained, “I have determined that it is your intention to seek out Paracelsus, not simply determine his location. This is known as a string of fate. It will connect you and Paracelsus for the next ten hours, allowing you to locate his position regardless of his efforts to evade detection. Is there anything else you require, Master?”

Realizing how terrifyingly effective the ‘string of fate’ was, Vahn couldn’t help wondering how anything managed to escape Alaya’s detection. However, when he considered the fact that only seven people had ever reached the Root, even with an incalculable number of worlds and timelines, it was easy to understand that ‘most’ people didn’t escape her detection. The only reason they were still alive was that she had either determined their chances of reaching the Root were negligible or that their attempt to reach the Root would end in self-destruction. Since there were no reliable means of reaching the Root, most efforts ended in catastrophic failure, often causing the errant Magus the lives of themselves and their assistants in the process…

Deciding to put Alaya’s capabilities to the test, Vahn ruminated for a few moments before asking, “How much would it cost in order for you to guarantee the protection of Rin, Sakura, and Gray while they are in London…?” With Alaya displaying she could easily influence fate, Vahn knew she would be able to protect the lives of three people with relative ease. At the same time, however, he knew it would probably cause an astronomical amount of Magical Power since his terms were to ‘guarantee’ their protection. As he expected, Alaya spent a few seconds calculating before answering, “To ensure the protection of Rin Tohsaka, Sakura Tohsaka, and Arthur Pendragon, it will require an estimated 1,019,443 units of Magical Power.”

Though Vahn wasn’t all that surprised by the massive cost, his eyes still opened in surprise as he asked, “Arthur Pendragon…?” At the same time, he cast a glance towards Artoria who, much like him, had a confused expression on her face. They had both jumped to the same conclusion, something Alaya quickly confirmed when she explained, “The woman you refer to as ‘Gray’ possesses the ‘True Name’, Arthur Pendragon. Her existence is a misguided attempt by humans to recreate the original King Arthur, mistakenly believing the original had already died.” As the very same ‘person’ who had isolated Artoria from the time axis, Alaya was the most aware of the two girls’ situation. When Vahn had broken her contract with Artoria, Alaya had actually marked him for elimination before Akasha had changed the fundamental nature of her mission…

Understanding that Alaya would be a wealth of information, so long as he was willing to pay the price, Vahn nodded his head in understanding before saying, “When we return, I will come up with a method to produce the required amount of Magical Power. You also accept unique information and items that don’t exist naturally within this world, right?” In response to this, Alaya surprisingly shook her head before saying, “I have determined it is necessary to analyze the structure of your body in greater detail. For the time being, I will only accept exchanges involving bodily fluids and other genetic material. I would like to analyze your blood, marrow, cerebrospinal fluid, urine, semen, saliva, and sweat. The concentration of Magical Power without your blood defies observable parameters so I need to perform a more detailed analysis of your body’s makeup to increase the accuracy of future observations.”

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.

As Vahn had already expected Alaya to say something like this at some point, as it was likely the very reason Akasha and her superiors allowed her to have a physical vessel, he just nodded his head in response. Fortunately, just like he had been doing with Scáthach, it wouldn’t really require him to do anything intimate with Alaya in order to meet her ‘demands’. Since he was also curious about the difference between his blood and other bodily fluids, even though they were all comprised of Source Energy, Vahn felt Alaya’s analysis would provide several benefits for himself. He expected that his semen probably had the highest concentration of Magical Power, as this was even the case back in Danmachi, but Vahn had no idea how ‘effective’ things like his cerebrospinal fluid and sweat were…

Seeing how ‘cooperative’ Vahn was being, Alaya gave a small nod with her head before asking, “Is there anything else, Master?” Since he didn’t actually need her to stick around any longer, at least for the time being, Vahn shook his head, answering, “For now, just keep yourself out of sight. Until I call you out again, you should continue to focus on your other duties and responsibilities.” Though these words gave Alaya an urge to retort, as she was actually very limited in what she could due now that she would ‘bound’ to Vahn, she still obeyed his command. At the same time, however, Alaya looked forward to Vahn’s reaction when he realized how his actions were already causing massive ripples in the world. Since she couldn’t use her Counter Guardians to deal with potential threats, there were numerous individuals and organizations moving now that they realized she couldn’t proactively do anything to stop them. Unless Vahn gave her a truly monstrous amount of Magical Power, all these people would eventually become his responsibility to deal with. This knowledge gave Alaya a feeling of vindictive catharsis as, if Vahn had been paying proper attention to his newfound ‘importance’, he might have had the foresight to ask her about such things…

(A/N: Alternate Titles: ‘Vahn’s Memory Fragments are always working hard xD’,’Nobunaga just wants to go on a date. Vahn is a bully…!’,’Alaya is surprisingly vindictive…’)

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

paypal.me/Einlion

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

You may also like: