Chapter 1102: For The Future

By creating a wind barrier, Vahn was able to prevent the green liquid from reaching his face. This resulted in the chemical to splash across the floor, quickly eating through the stone tiles of the otherwise pristine Atelier. In the next instant, faster than the female Magus could perceive, Vahn used [Shundo] to appear behind her. To her credit, she tried to turn around and defend herself but, as she had not been expecting an enemy, she had no artifacts or Mystic Codexes located on her body at the moment. As a result, Vahn pressed his index and middle finger into the pressure point at the base of her neck, causing the woman’s body to immediately go limp as she crashed down onto a thick mattress Vahn had set out to catch her.

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Since she was still conscious, Vahn stated in a calm tone of voice, “I have not come here seeking conflict. However, if you insist on attacking me, I will be forced to defend myself…” As he said this, Vahn had to avert his eyes since the woman had landed rather awkwardly, her butt sticking up in the air without her lab coat offering any protection. He decided that the best place to look was towards Paracelsus who, throughout the small skirmish, just continued watching with a natural smile on his face. When Vahn looked toward him, he tilted his head to the side slightly, politely stating, “Please do not blame her. Neither of us was expecting guests so I’m sure you can understand her reasons for panicking…”

While throwing a blanket over the woman’s body, Vahn nodded his head but asked, “I’m surprised how calm you are…were you not worried I would harm her?” From start to finish, Paracelsus had made no attempt to intervene, even though the woman should have been his former Master. She had lost her Command Spells after the Holy Grail War had come to an end, meaning she had no way of controlling him any longer, so the only reason they were still together is that both parties had come to an agreement. In response to his question, Paracelsus looked down at the blanket-covered woman with gentle eyes as he answered, “I could tell that you had no malicious intentions. Aside from that, I am a pacifist by nature…if you had come here to claim my life, I only ask that you not bury my research. With the knowledge I obtained through the Holy Grail, I can tell that this world is on the verge of collapse…I do not wish to see the children of tomorrow suffer for the mistakes of their parents and Ancestors…”

Vahn felt like the room became a little brighter as Paracelsus spoke, almost as if the man radiated a pure and holy light that made others ashamed to be in his presence. He seemed exactly like the kind of person Gray had described him as, causing Vahn to feel hopeful for the future as he clarified, “I have actually come here to offer you protection. You may not have a reason to trust me, but know that I intend to do my best to protect this world and its inhabitants. Though I would ask you to show a bit of patience, I intend to disclose everything you intend to publish without censoring any of it. My organization could use a man with your skills, Paracelsus…will you join me?”

Without much of a change in expression, Paracelsus simply asked, “Are you the one who claimed the Holy Grail…?” To this, Vahn shook his head without fear for being seen through, answering, “I joined in the Holy Grail War to make sure the Greater Grail was destroyed for good. An artifact that only existed to cause conflict between the Holy Church and the Mage’s Association, all for something like having their wishes granted…I could not simply ignore it. There had already been too many innocent lives lost by virtue of nothing more than the greed of a few individuals…”

Paracelsus nodded his head in response but, as if he wasn’t fully convinced, he then stated, “The greed of man is something intrinsic to their nature…just as others sought the grail to have their wishes granted, you sought it for your own personal reasons as well. Though your reasons may have been virtuous by comparison, it is also true that you are too willing to result to violence in order to shape the reality you wish to see…I do not wish to be involved with an organization that takes the lives of others. If you cannot promise me that, please do not try and force my hand…it would be better for the world if I continued my research in isolation. When my objectives are complete, I will send my work to as many people as possible, even if it costs me my life a second time…”

Realizing that it was actually going to be a lot harder to convince Paracelsus than he thought, Vahn released a tired sigh. He didn’t really have any ground to stand on if he wanted to lecture the man as, instead of being ‘ignorant’ of the truth, it was obvious he had already accepted his fate. Even if his research was stolen a second time, so long as a bit of it reached the public domain, he would be content with the life he had lived. He simply wished to make the world a better place without adding to the overall negativity in the world, even if it cost him his life each and every time…

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Casting a soundproof barrier around the slightly twitching female Magus, who was quickly regaining control over her bodily functions, Vahn looked into Paracelsus’ gold-brown eyes before saying, “I can only admire the type of person you are, even if I cannot agree with your methods. However, what is at stake is something far bigger than our individual ideals. In ten years time, the world itself may be destroyed, including those precious future generations you dream of protecting. I am not asking you to fight, Paracelsus, as it would only shame both of us if I tried to insist on such a thing. What I am asking you to do is use your knowledge to help ensure the survival of mankind beyond the time limit we have been given. With your guidance and assistance, our chances increase exponentially…though it is true that I would like to learn from you as well, my highest priority is ensuring this world isn’t destroyed due to the whims of a few monstrously powerful entities…”

Hearing Vahn mentioned the destruction of all mankind, Paracelsus’ smile faded away for the first time as he asked, “What do you know that makes you so certain that mankind will cease to be in ten year’s time?” In response to this, Vahn gave a nod toward Alaya that caused her to squint her eyes slightly before a surprised glint reflected across Paracelsus’ eyes. Before he could ask the question himself, Vahn explained, “This is Alaya, the manifestation of humanity’s will to survive. You may find it difficult to believe, but the truth of the matter is that a powerful and malignant force will be loosed on the world in ten year’s time. If we are unable to stop it, the corruption it brings will encompass the entire world, wiping out humanity everywhere its influence reaches. There won’t be any children to benefit from your research if we don’t do everything in our power to prevent Angra Mainyu from destroying humanity…!”

Though Paracelsus was intending to ask why Vahn considered himself the authority to speak on such things, the existence of the peculiar blue woman made him feel a sense of crisis in his heart. He had the ability to see through the ‘truth’ of all things but, looking at the entity Vahn had declared to be Alaya, Paracelsus felt a sensation that he could only describe as ‘unfathomable’. Though he couldn’t sense her power, the one thing he could be certain of was that it was so vast that he wasn’t even capable of comprehending it. For Alaya to be following Vahn, even if she wasn’t truly who he claimed to be, Paracelsus knew things weren’t simple. As for why Vahn didn’t go to the Mage’s Association and Holy Church with this information, Paracelsus was very aware of how they would react if they knew someone was directly affiliated with one of the World’s Counter Forces…

After collecting his thoughts, Paracelsus had regained his calm, asking, “If this peculiar young lady is who you claim her to be, why would you need the help of a simple Alchemist like myself? Can you not simply ask for her to provide the same benefits my existence in your organizations would have provided? I dare not compare myself to one of the Counter Forces…” Since Alaya should also be the repository for all human knowledge, Paracelsus believed she was more than capable of providing Vahn the answer to any question he might have. The only benefit he would provide would be as a standalone researcher, something he would like to avoid since he was already doing that here at the bottom of the sea…

In response to Paracelsus’ question, Vahn produced a wry smile as he asked, “Do you really think one of the Counter Forces is so easy to deal with? Alaya operates on the premise of equivalent exchange so there is a price for her assistance. Also…haaaaa…” At this point, Vahn suddenly gained a sincere look that caused Paracelsus’ brows to raise slightly. Then, surprising him even further, Vahn said, “Truth be told, the organization I’m creating consists almost entirely of female Servants. The only exceptions to this are Merlin and Heracles, the former being whimsical in nature while the latter is still under the effects of [Mad Enhancement]. I honestly just want another man around that I can talk to and research alongside…I might not be as prolific as you, but I am an adequate Alchemist myself. I’m also a master level Blacksmith and an experienced researcher…”

Though it was somewhat awkward to admit, Vahn was genuinely worried that things would spiral out of control if he got his own island and filled it with strong female personalities like Heroic Spirits. The reason he wanted to research Homunculi over almost everything else was so that he could help the Heroic Spirits he summons manifest in ‘real’ bodies. If he had to deal with the ‘upkeep’ of every Servant he summoned, Vahn knew things would get out of hand very quickly. Due to the nature of Heroic Spirits, almost every single one of them had a tragic past and, from what he could tell, the vast majority of them seemed to be female. By the time Angra Mainyu appeared, Vahn could actually imagine himself being surrounded by tens of powerful female Servants, the majority of which he would almost certainly have slept with…

Not expecting Vahn’s sudden ‘admission’, Paracelsus almost immediately released a ligh-hearted laugh that caused his peculiar visitor to turn slightly red. He suddenly felt like Vahn was more honest than he had expected, causing Paracelsus’ impression of him to improve considerably. Most of his apprehensions evaporated away in an instant once he realized that Vahn really just wanted some male companionship. Since he could always leave or take his own life if it turned out Vahn was trying to deceive him, Paracelsus eventually stopped laughing before saying, “Very well. I cannot deny that research is far more entertaining when conducted alongside likeminded individuals. So long as you do not renege on your words, I will join your organization…?” Realizing he didn’t even know Vahn’s name yet, Paracelsus tilted his head to the side in curiosity at the end of his statement.

Hearing Paracelsus agree to join him, Vahn gave an awkward yet sincere smile as he said, “It is a little late, but my name is Vahn Aldrnari Mason. I will explain in greater detail later, but you should know that I held the status of Sage Emperor in a world far away from this one. Until I have the means of returning to my own world, I intend to do everything I can to make this world a better place. At the very least, I will not leave before making sure this world is safe from Angra Mainyu’s influence…” Since Paracelsus would undoubtedly be one of his most trusted allies, Vahn wanted to be forthright with him from the start. Unless Alaya’s allegiances suddenly changed, which didn’t seem all that likely when considering the time scales used by Akasha and her Superiors, Vahn knew he could also rely on her to avoid any lingering dangers from other forces in the world until he was ready to face them directly. This meant he didn’t have to worry too much about having his secrets exposed, not that he intended to go around telling the whole world who he was just yet…

In response to Vahn’s introduction and statement, Paracelsus crossed his hand over his heart, bowing politely as he said, “It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance, Sage Emperor. Though it seems you are already aware of my identity, please allow me the privilege of introducing myself. My name is Paracelsus Von Hohenheim. Though I am certain she would prefer to introduce herself, that woman there is my partner, Tristana Valentinus. She can be a little hot-headed at times, but she is a good woman…” Though he had a slightly amused smile as he watched Tristana’s butt wiggle around under the blanket, it was easy to hear the sincerity in Paracelsus’ words. This came as a mild surprise to Vahn, leading him to ask, “Partner…?”

With the same kind smile on his face, Paracelsus nodded his head before explaining, “Though we had different viewpoints at first, Tristana and I came to an accord after we were attacked by that admittedly terrifying ability. Since her wish merely for her family to experience a change in fortunes, I had decided to take her on as a student. After that…well, she can be rather persuasive when she puts her heart into it…” Though he didn’t say anything explicit, it could be inferred from Paracelsus’ words that Tristana had managed to woo him. This made Vahn feel a bit awkward as, not only had he seen Tristana in her lingerie, he had even paralyzed her before putting her into a rather compromising position…

As if he could read Vahn’s mind, Paracelsus lightly shook his head before saying, “You need not worry. Tristana would have been angry at you regardless of when and how you showed up. This could be an opportunity for her to grow…maybe? I must admit, my understanding of the opposite sex has always been at an elementary level at best, ahahahaha~.” At this moment, Paracelsus’ smile had become slightly awkward as he scratched his cheek. Now that he thought about it more clearly, it was almost guaranteed that Tristana would be upset with him for not coming to her aid. He would probably have to listen to her yell all night, doing his best to pacify her anger by simply listening to her ministrations in silence…

Though it looked like she would recover on her own soon enough, Vahn reached down before deftly tapping a few pressure points around Tristana’s neck. She immediately inhaled deeply as, previously, it had been somewhat difficult to breathe with her body paralyzed in an awkward position. Then, as she hadn’t been privy to the conversation between Paracelsus and Vahn, Tristana rolled across the mattress before bounding to her feet and assuming a combat stance. Her glasses had fallen off during the moment but, based on the focused anger in her eyes, it was likely she didn’t actually need them. At the same time, she seemed to have forgotten her sense of shame as she made no efforts to conceal her body, instead shouting, “Who the f*** are you!?”

Knowing Tristana would probably be another one of his allies, albeit unwillingly, Vahn retained his composure as he answered, “My name is Vahn Aldrnari Mason, Sage Emperor and Master of the Heroic Spirits Artoria, Nobunaga, Scáthach, Lakshmibai, and Astolfo. I’m also the one who brought an end to the Holy Grail War, destroying the Greater Grail in the process. Now, I understand why you would be angry, but I would advise you to consider your actions carefully. In the future, we will be allies who are working towards the same goal. I would suggest you prioritize wearing proper clothes so we can discuss things under less compromising circumstances. I can’t imagine you enjoy having a man other than your lover see your figure in lingerie…”

Hearing Vahn’s words, Tristana’s eyes widened as she quickly pulled together the front of her lab coat and exclaimed, “What do you mean we will be allies? Paracelsus, what is this…this idiot talking about!?” Now that she got a better look at Vahn, Tristana actually felt her heart twist as seeing him and Paracelsus side-by-side was quite the sight. Since he was still wearing a diving suit, there wasn’t much left to the imagination as his figure was perfectly outlined for the world to see. She could even see a rather ‘unnerving’ bulge on his lower body that made her feel nervous as she instinctually inched towards Paracelsus for protection. Though it didn’t seem like he had that intention, Tristana knew there wasn’t anything she could do to stop Vahn if he suddenly decided to sample her…

Seeing Tristana suddenly shrinking away from him, Vahn couldn’t help but frown slightly while, in response to her questions, Paracelsus answered, “Though our plans haven’t changed all that much, we will now be joining the Sage Emperor’s organization. The fate of the world is at stake so please do not try and refuse due to a bout of emotions, Tristana. You should have already realized that the Sage Emperor meant no harm…if he had wanted to harm either of us, there would be nothing I could do to stop him. Do not cause too much trouble, please…” Since Tristana had reached his side at this point, Paracelsus reached his hand out, gently caressing her shoulder in a placating gesture…

Though she was missing a lot of context, Tristana knew the matter must be serious if Paracelsus was saying such things. He wasn’t the type that could easily be fooled nor convinced to take action as, even with the use of two Command Spells, she had failed to get him to act according to her wishes. This had frustrated her to no end at first, as she had sincerely wanted to obtain the Holy Grail, but her frustrations quickly turned into affection after she saw Paracelsus’ memories. Only two days after their base had been moved, she asked him to teach her how to be a better Alchemist before, one day after that, managing to take advantage of his passive nature to lay a claim on him. Since it had only been the two of them here beneath the seabed, she had been enjoying their time researching and, even though all the flirting was done on her part, it was interesting to see his awkward and innocent reactions…

Deciding to trust in her Mentor/Lover, Tristana nodded her head before saying, “I need to change. When I get back, I want to hear all the details…and you, I don’t care if you are an Emperor or even a God. Don’t think I’ll forgive you so easily for embarrassing me like that. You seriously need to learn how to treat a woman…hmph!” With these words said, Tristana stopped hiding behind Paracelsus as she walked ‘confidently’ without making any effort to conceal her body. She even raised her head in a haughty manner, looking at Vahn as if she were ‘daring’ him to say or do something. Now that she knew they were going to be allies, Tristana was significantly less afraid of Vahn as there was no way Paracelsus would agree to work with him if he wasn’t a ‘good’ person. Since she had an extreme level of confidence in her own looks, Tristana felt like she could get away with teasing him a bit without having to face any consequences…

Realizing that Paracelsus and Tristana weren’t even remotely close to being a ‘normal’ couple, Vahn furrowed his brows slightly in response to her teasing. This seemed to egg her own but, before she could flaunt herself any further, Vahn looked at Paracelsus before saying, “She certainly could use a bit of punishing…you’ll have to excuse me this time around.” With that said, Vahn sent a few threads of Source Energy through his domain, causing Tristana’s eyes to widen in surprise as she jumped forward, yelping as she covered her butt. Vahn had sent a few persistent ‘shocks’ into her butt before plainly stating, “I am already more than satisfied with the women I have. Do not try to flaunt yourself before me, especially in front of your current lover. Paracelsus might humor your haughty behavior, but I specialize in breaking the pride of Nobles…”

With her butt still twitching from the suddenly electrical surge, Tristana rubbed her butt with a deeply set frown on her face as she complained, “You’re an asshole…” However, instead of trying to flaunt herself before Vahn a second time, she pulled together the front of her lab coat before walking by him with quickened steps. When she finally left the room, Vahn shook his head before looking at Paracelsus and saying, “Sorry. I know it isn’t really my place to ‘deal’ with her…” Perhaps due to his pacifistic nature, Paracelsus didn’t seem at all upset by what had happened, actually going so far as to give Vahn an apologetic smile as he explained, “She is honestly a good girl at heart. The way she was raised has given her a…unique perspective on life. Perhaps these ten years will help her learn how to interact with people without looking down on them…”

Hearing Paracelsus’ words, Vahn could only shrug noncommitally as he couldn’t really empathize with the Alchemist’s reaction. Though his words certainly hit the truth of the matter, Vahn knew he would probably lose it if a man had the ‘audacity’ to shock the butt of one of his women. Even he felt his actions were too much but, as Tristana really did need to change how she acted, it seemed like the correct thing to do at the time. Though he knew her figure had influenced his reaction a bit, Vahn felt he wasn’t entirely to blame as he turned his eyes toward the silently staring Alaya. She had been watching him without blinking since the start and, after her sucking his blood previously, Vahn hadn’t fully calmed down. When he got back to the Tohsaka Manor, he would need to seek out Fenrir or Ishtar, as they were the only two that would be able to deal with him in his current state…

(A/N: Alternate Titles: ‘A Pacifist that would even make Gandhi bow his head…’,’Vahn needs male friends xD’,’RIP Tristana. Trying to act haughty in the same room as the Godhand…’)

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