Chapter 1111: Status

With Merlin and Artoria watching from the side, a figure wearing silvery-steel armor with red accents flickered into existence, the sign of a spatial transfer. The moment the figure touched the magic circle, a ripple spread through the area before, catching Vahn by surprise, they fell forward as if there was no strength in their body. He managed to support them by the shoulder, an action that brought a second surprise to Vahn as he wasn’t able to ‘sense’ the internal structure of their body after contact. The armor seemed to block his ability to intuit the figure’s structure, a problem since they had lost consciousness immediately after the summon was completed. Upon closer inspection, he noticed there was a large hole where the metal of the armor curved outward on their back, looking much like an exit wound that exposed fair and unblemished skin below…

Realizing that the Throne of Heroes may have transferred Mordred at the moment just before her death, Vahn was sweating internally since this meant the battle with Artoria would be fresh on her mind. Fortunately, her body didn’t seem to be injured any so, other than having to perform some repairs on her armor later, there shouldn’t be any issues with her physique. He confirmed there was indeed a large hole in the front of her armor which, due to the fact some of the metal curved inward, had cut her abdomen when she fell forward. This told Vahn that the material making up the armor was of extremely high quality as, with Mordred’s A-Rank Endurance parameter, she shouldn’t be cut so easily but a few jagged pieces of metal.

As Vahn was using a pair of durable pliers to bend the metal away from Mordred’s body, as he figured it wouldn’t be appropriate to try and remove the armor while she was unconscious, Merlin’s eyes were glowing with a subtle pink hue. Though Vahn had already thought about the possibility, Mordred was currently experiencing his past within her dream, something Merlin himself was very interested in. With his ability to peek into the dreams of others being easier than breathing for him, Merlin couldn’t help piggybacking the exchange of information. He could tell there were a few inconsistencies but, never experiencing the ‘dream’ exchange between a Master and Servant, Merlin didn’t assume there was any foul play going on as he maintained a complacent smile and enjoyed the rather ‘peculiar’ show…

Unaware that Merlin was spying on him in an even more extreme manner, Vahn continued to break off a few fragments of Mordred’s armor before healing the scrapes on her abdomen. Throughout this entire process, Artoria had been standing at his side, staring down at her would-be son with complex emotions visible on her face. Even without Vahn explaining the situation, she could tell by the state of Mordred’s body that she wasn’t a Heroic Spirit. There was always a sense of ‘instability’ whenever looking at a Heroic Spirit, something incomparable to the powerful vitality radiating from Mordred’s body. The fact her armor was damaged in such a way instantly reminded Artoria of their final moments in the Battle of Camlann when she had used the Holy Spear Rhongomyniad to pierce Mordred through the abdomen…

Sensing that Mordred wasn’t going to wake up any time soon, confirmed by Sis’ explanation that she was experiencing his memories, Vahn picked up her armored body without any difficulty. Currently, the large magic circle that allowed him to contact the Throne of Heroes had gone almost entirely inert. It was obvious that it would take a bit of time to replenish its energy reserves, much like the Greater Grail had taken a period of 60 years. Hopefully, as he had no way of acquiring quintillions of units of Magical Energy, this system would have a much shorter cooldown. If not, he may need to find a way to connect to the True Avalon mentioned by Merlin or else this summoning formation might not even prove all that useful. It would be somewhat counterintuitive if he could only summon a second Heroic Spirit 50 years after Angra Mainyu appeared…

After ascending the long flight of stairs, as the strange materials built into the walls made standard space transfers impossible, Vahn continued to carry Mordred while Artoria and Merlin followed close behind. While walking through the corridors of the Inner Sanctum, Vahn asked, “Are we certain it is a good idea to revert Mordred’s physical age to match her mental age? She won’t be like Sakura with her memories erased…” Though there was a chance they could actually erase Mordred’s memories, Vahn felt this would have gone against their intended purpose in summoning her in the first place. This might prevent a few problems in the interim but it wouldn’t help Artoria overcome the past trauma she still carried deep within her heart and mind. He didn’t mind having a miniature Artoria running around, as just thinking about such a thing made Vahn want to smile, but it almost felt wrong to regress Mordred’s age and seal her power…

In response to his words, it was Merlin who answered, “I will not make the decision for you, my Emperor…know that my advice is the result of my own understanding of events. Also, though a certain someone might begrudge me for it, I can’t help but want to see Mordred running around as a child. I had mentioned previously that Mordred was a Homunculus but, in accordance with more modern interpretations, she would be closer to a ‘clone’ of Artoria. They are virtually identical to each other, the only difference being their disposition and hairstyle. You wouldn’t believe how adorable my precious Artoria was when she was a young girl~.”

True to Merlin’s preliminary statement, Artoria’s face formed into a slight pout as she glared at him from the corner of her eyes. Then, to give her own opinion on Vahn’s question, Artoria answered, “I do not know how to be a father, but I can try being a mother…” The moment these words left her lips, Artoria’s face became slightly red as a conflicted feeling spread through her heart. Vahn looked back at her with a gentle smile on his face, deciding to tease Artoria a bit by adding, “I’m not without my flaws, but I’m confident I can be a good father…” This was enough to make Artoria avert her eyes with an even redder face than before, eliciting an amused chuckle from Merlin as a result.

After exiting out into the Throne Room, Vahn’s senses blossomed outward as, while inside the Inner Sanctum, his domain could hardly spread more than 10m before being cut off. Though his domain actually stretched much further than this, Vahn’s ability to sense things was blocked by powerful security wards that blocked things like detection magic, spatial transfers, and other means enemies might be able to use in order to attack the Royal Family. He would need to acclimate to the new environment, something Vahn looked forward to since it would make his sensory abilities far more powerful in the future. Before then, however, he would need to explore all of the rooms of the Inner Sanctum to update his Minimap in order to avoid having blindspots during his training…

Using their telepathic link, Vahn asked Scáthach to come back to the Throne Room. While waiting for her, he went through the rather awkward process of removing Mordred’s armor, as it would quickly get in the way of her age regression and sealing. Though Vahn was interested in how the helmet was a series of segmented pieces of metal that became a part of her armor after activating a small magic formation, what he was most surprised by was the fact that Mordred’s face was uncannily similar to Artoria’s. Her hairstyle was somewhat wild compared to Artoria’s neat and proper style, but it was a unique and refreshing look that gave Mordred a more youthful appeal as she continued to drift in the land of dreams.

As he had made several suits of armor himself, it didn’t take long for Vahn to essentially dismantle the full-plate mail covering Mordred’s body, revealing a lithe and petite figure that was almost the exact same as Artoria. Without her armor, Vahn had been able to ‘map’ Mordred’s entire body with a simple touch, confirming that even their three sizes were exactly the same down to the micrometer. If not for the fact that Mordred’s muscles seemed slightly more developed, giving her almost visible abs and back muscles, it would have been nearly impossible to tell them apart. This, combined with the fact that Mordred actually wore some rather risque cloth armor under her platemail caused Artoria to have a somewhat pale complexion as she watched from the side…

Seeing that Mordred didn’t even wear panties, relying on a simple red loincloth to cover her groin, Vahn looked at Artoria before plainly stating, “I will entrust you with making sure she understands it isn’t appropriate for a young woman to run around without panties on…also, though I won’t say her choice in clothing is ‘improper’, we should consider raising her to show a bit less skin…” Though not nearly as bad as her lack of panties, the fact Mordred wore a thin tube top that would even cause Tiona to raise her brows was slightly troublesome. Even though Vahn knew that Knights and Soldiers back in Artoria’s time would often forgo undergarments, primarily due to the fact that such social

constructs were even a thing back then, it was a bit of an eye-opener to see such a thing in the present…

If not for her knowledge of modern sensibilities, granted by the Holy Grail, Artoria wouldn’t have understood why Vahn was bothered by such things. Even she didn’t wear underwear under her armor, at least until it had been pointed out by Irisviel, her proxy-Master in the Fourth Grail War, that it was improper for a lady. Though Artoria had argued that she wasn’t a ‘Lady’, but a ‘King’, Irisviel hadn’t humored her, unceremoniously pointing out that she was irrefutably a female. It wasn’t until the Fifth Holy Grail War that Artoria began to truly accept this, resulting in her going out of her way to pick out a suitable pair of undergarments on the off-chance someone managed to see under her battledress…

After a few minutes had passed, Scáthach showed up in the Throne Room wearing her normal outfit, something Vahn wouldn’t have batted an eye at previously. Now that he was thinking about having Mordred dress like a little lady, combined with the fact Sakura would one day be running around the Castle, Vahn realized he would need to establish something akin to a dress code. With that in mind, he turned to Scáthach with a wry smile on his face before explaining the situation. Though he hadn’t expected her to argue against it from the start, the fact that Scáthach instantly changed into a purple gown that looked extremely high quality caused Vahn’s brows to rise. It was considerably less risque than her skin-tight bodysuit, but the deep cut of her cleavage strangely drew attention to the choker around her neck, assuming you had the ability to avoid gawking at the deep and tantalizing valley…

Shaking his head to regain focus, Vahn explained, “I want you to reverse the accelerated growth her body was forced to undergo. If you find any abnormalities I haven’t been able to sense, let me know before you mess with anything…” Vahn had been able to tell there were a few things ‘wrong’ with Mordred’s body, including the fact that she had a complex seal placed on her heart and mind that likely served as a means of manipulating or controlling her in the past. Though they were currently inert, Vahn intended to remove them completely in the hopes that Mordred would be able to stabilize faster. As for the other problem he had found, it was that her body had an incredible vitality but it was ‘burning’ much faster than normal. In order to have enough power to rival her father, Mordred’s vitality was being overtaxed at nearly ten times the rate of a normal person. If left alone, she likely wouldn’t even live past twenty years of age while her body would likely begin to break down in around 5-7 year’s time. It was obvious that whoever had manipulated Mordred to rebel against Artoria had no intention of keeping her around very long…

As expected, Scáthach noticed these problems almost immediately after looking at Mordred, asking if Vahn wanted her to remove them. Though he had been intending to do it himself, Vahn nodded his head in response while watching the entire process with his [Eyes of Truth] active. Scáthach was almost mechanical in her movements but they were all highly refined and extremely efficient. Just as he could learn a lot through battling her, Vahn knew she would be able to teach him proficiently in just about everything else. When their physical training was completed, Scáthach had already agreed to bestow her knowledge unto him, plainly stating that it was part of the ‘everything’ he had asked her to teach him previously. Because of this, Vahn figured Scáthach might be a good teacher for any Heroic Spirits they summoned in the future, though he couldn’t force the issue as she only taught those she recognized as ‘true heroes’ or had ‘unknown potential’…

By the time Scáthach had finished her ‘treatment’ of Mordred, the latter had shrunk from 154cm down to 123cm tall. She lost virtually all of her secondary sexual characteristics, becoming a young child of around 6-7 years of age. Though she was a little on the thin side, with a small crease on her belly denoting her still-visible abdominal muscles, she looked like a relatively normal young girl with no discernable health issues, Scáthach had even dealt with Mordred’s overtaxed vitality by creating a feedback loop within the flow of her mana, forcing it back into the core around her navel. This would theoretically grant Mordred biological immortality, though the truth of the matter was that her vitality would be permanently expended when she battled. However, so long as she had the means to replenish her vitality, it would never be an issue. Vahn could even carve a similar seal as the ones used by the Elves back in Danmachi, allowing her to absorb vitality from the atmosphere to extend her life almost indefinitely…

After forcing a pair of plain panties onto Mordred’s body, as having a young child laying naked on a table in the middle of his Throne Room was rather awkward, Vahn rolled her over onto her stomach. From now on, even if she resented him a bit for it, Mordred would essentially be his foster daughter and charge. She might identify as male but, with the style of clothing she had chosen to wear under her armor, Vahn didn’t buy that for a moment. The way in which she identified was the product of someone else’s manipulation, not her own decision. She wasn’t old enough to decide such things and, to make sure she wasn’t a danger to herself and others, Vahn placed his Familia Crest on her back before applying a seal on Mordred under the guidance of Merlin. The seal took on the form of a hexagram that was placed on Mordred’s navel, limiting the maximum output of her magical power. With the seal fully active, Mordred was essentially nothing more than a child that had significantly more power than most grown adults. However, she was a far cry from reaching her full potential, something made very apparent by her status…

——————————————————————-

[Status]

Name: [Mordred]

Age: 6

Race: Human, Homunculus

Strength: 11D (38B+)

Endurance: 19D (47A)

Agility: 10D (35B)

Magical Power: 8E (31B)

Good Luck: 26C

Soul Tier: 3 (Lord Soul)

Circuit Quality: 43A++

Noble Phantasm: [Secret of Pedigree:C], [Clarent:C], [Clarent Blood Arthur:A+]

Origin: King, Vengeance

Skills: [King Arthur’s False Heir:Innate:B], [Morgan’s Corrupted Seed:Innate:B], [Wrath of the Berserker:Innate:C], [Instinct:B], [Mana Burst:A], [Battle Continuation:B], [Charisma:C]

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Magic: (-)

Magecraft: [Wind Manipulation:E] [Instinct]

Rank: B

Use: The user’s ability to intuit the most optimal action in combat. At this rank, the user is not restricted by the five senses when engaged in battle.

[Mana Burst]

Rank: A

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Use: The ability to infuse the weapons and body of the user with Magical Energy before forcefully expelling it. Explosively increases offensive and defensive capabilities, creating a focused burst of magical energy that ignores most defenses.

[Battle Continuation]

Rank: B

Use: Allows for the continuation of combat after sustaining mortal wounds. It will also reduce the mortality rate from injury. Best when combined with a powerful body and high-speed regeneration.

[Charisma]

Rank: C

The natural ability to command an army and inspire allies. At this rank, the user is qualified enough to lead an army to rebel against those of higher [Charisma].

——————————————————————-

Based on Mordred’s status, it was easy to see that she was meant to be a carbon-copy of Artoria that could be controlled by others. Though she lacked the Class-Skills of [Riding] and [Magic Resistance] that most Sabe-Class Servants would have, that wouldn’t be that much of an issue since she would be able to learn other abilities with training. The most troubling matter was, even without knowing what they did, Vahn could understand that Mordred’s Innates were of the ‘problematic’ variety. Her ‘fate’ had essentially been decided as a result of her Mother’s machinations and the fact that Artoria had never recognized her.

Though it should be possible to change the nature of her Innates if they took proper care of her, the one Vahn was most worried about was the [Wrath of the Berserker]. It wouldn’t be all that difficult to change [King Arthur’s False Heir] into something like [King Arthur’s Heir], but altering an Innate that was strongly tied to a person’s nature was exceedingly difficult without years of concerted effort. Vahn wasn’t even entirely sure if Innate’s could be changed but, based on what he had observed with Helen and Circe, Vahn refused to believe that Innates related to ‘fate’ were set in stone…

Staring down at Mordred’s body, Vahn felt a little guilty seeing the seal placed on her abdomen but, as even Fenrir had a phase where she needed to restrain herself, it was likely for the best. She was still very young and impressionable so, as long as they treated her well, Vahn was confident that Mordred would grow up into a splendid young lady. With that in mind, he stopped gawking at her sleeping figure before having Artoria help dress her in ‘proper’ clothing. Though Mordred’s nature seemed to prefer somewhat revealing clothes, likely due to her combat style, Vahn had Artoria dress her up in a royal blue smock that had his crest and Artoria’s coat of arms sewn into the fabric. Since she would probably be rather ‘boisterous’ upon waking, Vahn also gave Artoria a pair of spats to put on Mordred’s body for the inevitability that she would be running around or even attacking them…

When Mordred was fully dressed up, Vahn felt like his heart was gripped by her tiny hands since she looked absolutely adorable with her tiny wild-style ponytail. Her chubby cheeks and small nose only added to her charm, giving her the appeal of an immaculately crafted doll. From the corner of his eyes, Vahn could see Merlin’s smile had softened greatly as he looked at the sleeping figure of Mordred with a reminiscent expression. When he saw Vahn looked at him, Merlin caused Vahn to release a light chuckle when the airy Magus gave him a small thumbs up out of Artoria’s view. In a way, Merlin would be Modred’s grandfather, something Vahn intended to lord over the rather youthful-looking fellow when he got the opportunity…

As if he had sensed Vahn’s intentions, Merlin suddenly tilted his head before adopting an expression of deep thought as he asked, “What will the status of Mordred be? Also, even if it might not bother you all that much, it is my advice that you consider the matters of your court seriously, His Majesty, the Sage Emperor. Keeping order within the Inner Sanctum and the Court will be imperative to prevent future issues from arising…” Since Mordred’s ‘dream’ had already come to an end, Merlin was aware that Vahn knew how to perform in the capacity of an Emperor. With that being the case, he intended to insist that Vahn treat his status seriously if he wanted others in the future to do the same…

In response to Merlin’s words, Vahn took a deep breath while seriously considering the matter as, even if he would rather just ‘go with the flow’, it was true that this would cause problems in the future. As their numbers continued to increase, he obviously couldn’t just let people wander around the castle without boundaries, especially when it came to the Inner Sanctum. Since it was actually a ‘good’ thing to have a private area where his inevitable family would be able to reside, Vahn needed to make the divide clear early on. Nobunaga had joked about being his ‘Imperial Consort’ in the past but, with how things were beginning to develop, that may no longer be a joke in the near future…

Since he had already decided to ‘adopt’ Mordred previously, Vahn gave a small nod to himself before turning to Artoria and clarifying, “I intend to make Modred my foster daughter. However, the status you hold is ultimately up to you, Artoria. My promise to help you find happiness still stands but I cannot decide your happiness for you…” As an Emperor, Vahn knew he would ‘need’ an official Empress at his side to manage the affairs of the Court. He would also need to appoint Ministers in the future, most of which would be the various leaders of his Orders. Though these were matters that might not be important for several years, as the Island of Avalon was currently isolated from the ‘real’ world, it was still important to begin laying the foundation now.

Knowing what Vahn was asking her, Artoria closed her eyes for several seconds, seriously considering the matter before opening her eyes and answering, “I failed in my capacity as a King…I also fear that Mordred may try to lay claim to the Throne in the future if my own status was elevated too highly. With Lady Fenrir being your companion from the previous world, I believe it is only right she takes on the status of your Empress. If you wish to bestow me a Court Rank equivalent to a Queen or a Dutchess, I will proudly bear that title alongside the status of your Knight Commander…”

As it wasn’t all that uncommon for an Emperor to have multiple Queens as ‘Imperial Consorts’, Artoria figured that it was a title suitable to her previous status. This way, Mordred would have no legitimate claim to the throne since she would not be a ‘main’ member of the Imperial Family. If she raised Mordred properly, the latter might set her sights on simply becoming the Knight Commander as, for reasons she wasn’t fully aware, Mordred seemed primarily focused on overcoming her own rank and status as a means of proving her worth. Though she lacked the capacity of a ‘King’, Artoria felt that Mordred would be suited to the role of leading her own Order of Knights in the future…hopefully in something other than a rebellion this time.

After ruminating over Artoria’s words for a few minutes, Vahn ultimately shook his head before saying, “I will give you the status of Queen-Empress-Consort, granting you nearly equal status to myself without the sovereignty to govern. If Mordred goes through another rebellious phase, I’ll make sure to discipline her properly without letting things get out of hand. Since we’ve already placed a seal on her, I’d rather she have some kind of goal to strive towards instead of feeling like she is being denied the chance to reach her full potential. Don’t worry, Artoria, I’m confident in my ability to be a good father…you just focus on being the parental figure she needed you to be…”

(A/N: Alternate Titles: ‘Holey Mordred Batman…!’,’Those Innates though…’,’Merlin and Vahn are both doting parents xD’,’Da Queen…Empress-Consort!’)

(A/N: Though it would have been more ‘technically correct’ to grant Artoria the title of King-Empress-Consort, as those would be the official titles she held, I figured it would just complicate things if Vahn were to introduce her as such. Also, for those that are confused, Lakshmibai, Nobu, and Scáthach would also fall into a similar category if they entered a permanant relationship with Vahn. As they are all Kings/Queens in their own right, their official status would be Queen-Consort or Imperial Consort depending on the amount of authority Vahn wanted to grant them. As for his actual Empress, she would obviously have the highest status, though there would likely be a suffix attached to the title like ‘Sage Empress’ to match Vahn’s status xD…s*** be complicated, yo.)

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