Chapter 1123: Expectation

Though there were a few detriments, such as aging several times faster than people in the outside world, the number of benefits that came from using a Sub-Space Orb more than made up for it. Chief amongst these, at least in the present moment, was that Vahn’s cooldowns were affected by the flow of time just as much as his body itself was. As a result, he was earning seven times the amount of Daily Premium Gacha while the cooldown on his [Keeper of the Akashic Tome] was considerably reduced. The former hadn’t been all that important previously, as it often gave items that Vahn simply back to the system, but today proved to be an exception to the norm.

Like most other days, Vahn had decided to use his Premium Gacha while his body slept, as it gave him plenty of time to think and plan for the future. This time, however, when the giant wheel spun around, it spat out something that caused Vahn’s mind to completely blank as he looked at the violet orb that was covered in a slight rainbow hue. Since the rarity of items was based on the Record he was in, the fact he had gotten a Violet orb meant there was a good chance the item within was Tier 5 or higher. Thus, feeling like a giddy child that had just found a pile of presents, Vahn opened the orb with his mind, marveling at how it shook wildly before releasing a rainbow-hued explosion of light. Then, when it faded away, he looked with glimmering eyes at the description of his new prize…

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[Ethereal Queen’s Grace]Rank: SSS (Celestial Treasure)
Origin: Record of the Star Ocean (1-5)
Use: Allows the user to create a gateway by which the Ethereal Queen may be summoned. It is said that those who can win her favor will be without equal under the Heavens. **Use With Extreme Caution! The Ethereal Queen summoned is not a product of the system and cannot be regulated by system restrictions!***
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Vahn had been excited when he saw the rank of the small gold coin that was produced from the violet sphere but, after reading the use and attached warning, he couldn’t help releasing a heavy sigh within his mind. Immediately following this, Sis emphasized, (*I do not believe it is a good idea to use this item until you reach Tier 5 or encounter an enemy that you otherwise couldn’t defeat. She doesn’t seem to be a normal existence…*). For The Path to include a warning saying that the Ethereal Queen couldn’t be regulated by the system, it seemed like a ‘very’ bad idea to summon her without taking precautions. Since the description of an item’s usage were rarely exaggerated, the fact her grace could make someone without equal showed that she was not a simple being. At the same time, it revealed that you weren’t automatically guaranteed to receive her favor and, depending on the circumstances, could even become a victim if you managed to offend her…

Even without Sis’ reminder, Vahn had already determined that it wasn’t a good idea to summon a Tier 5 entity that was beyond his control. Fortunately, he could trace back the origin of the item to do a bit of research on the type of existence she was. This quickly proved that it was a very bad idea to summon her as, while there was a functionally infinite number of texts describing her, there was actually almost no information about the Ethereal Queen other than the fact she was the ‘strongest’. She was an existence the represented the absolute pinnacle of power, serving as the final challenge for anyone that desired to reach the peak themselves. Though he certainly desired such power, Vahn didn’t miss the implication that he would need to defeat the Ethereal Queen to gain it. If he already had the power to defeat her, there was virtually no reason to summon her other than to ‘prove’ that he was the strongest…at least within a Tier 5 Record.

At the very least, though the item seemed useless right now, Vahn could use it as a measuring stick of sorts before he entered into Eva’s Record. If he was able to defeat an existence that embodied the pinnacle of a Tier 5 Record, there was a good chance he would be able to defeat the Mage of the Beginning as well. Depending on the circumstances, he might even be able to gain another powerful ally, albeit one that would undoubtedly bring a lot of trouble as well. He didn’t imagine that a Queen who stood above all would be too fond of others, especially anyone close to the person she granted her ‘favor’ to. Though the word had any number of meanings, Vahn’s intuition warned him that the Ethereal Queen wasn’t simply looking for someone stronger than her without a reason…

After deciding to place the [Ethereal Queen’s Grace] in the very last slot of his Inventory, while also giving Sis the express order not to let him ‘accidentally’ use it, Vahn decided to get some rest. He had gotten a little too excited to win a jackpot gacha item only to have cold water poured on his head the moment he learned what it was capable of. At times, Vahn wondered if he should use all of his OP on gacha just to see if he might get an item that could prove useful in the future. This actually guaranteed that he would get greater value out of his OP than he otherwise would have, as the value of items often greatly exceeded the input, but it was just as likely he would end up with a bunch of relatively useless items, regardless of whether or not they were worth a fair amount of OP. As this was obviously a terrible idea, Vahn managed to rein in the urge whenever it presented itself…

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Without any major incidents occurring, Vahn was enjoying the relatively peaceful lifestyle he enjoyed while still doing his best in both his training and studies. His bonds with everyone were progressively growing stronger while Lakshmibai had actually developed in a peculiar, albeit expected, direction. During one of the moments when it was just the two of them, she had asked him to be a bit rougher than normal, as being treated gently all the time seemed to weigh heavily on her heart and mind. As a result, through her own insistence, Vahn ended up introducing Lakshmibai to a world he had only ever explored with Anubis, Loki, and a few times with Fenrir. Though things had only developed to the point that he tied up Lakshmibai’s arms to the headboard, she had a rather ‘extreme’ reaction that implied she would undoubtedly seek even greater stimulus in the future…

Inversely, Vahn’s relationship with Nobunaga had become relatively tame yet extremely intimate as, without Paracelsus to share his ‘burdens’ with, she was the next closest thing to a male friend that he had. They would often spend hours talking about their pasts as, even though they had seen each other’s memories, it wasn’t as if it showed them everything. Much like the [Heart’s Desire]s Vahn had viewed in the past, the memories shared through the memory link were only the more important moments in a person’s life. Because of this, Nobunaga could be considered Vahn’s closest friend and, even though he couldn’t get drunk, that didn’t prevent him from accompanying her until she was completely wasted. As for their sex life, it was a lot more lovey-dovey than most of Vahn’s other relationships as there were times when he and Nobunaga would just embrace each other in long kissing sessions without even having sex…

That was how Vahn was currently spending his time as, though she wasn’t drunk, Nobunaga was straddling his hips while wearing nothing but a pair of panties and a loose dress shirt as the two continued to just kiss and hold each other for more than twenty minutes. At the same time, Vahn took advantage of their positions to gently massage Nobunaga’s plump butt while periodically tracing the line between fabric and flesh to tease her. This would usually cause Nobunaga to bite his bottom lip or tongue in protest though, unlike the past, she made no actual attempt to stop him. Out of respect, however, Vahn knew not to take things too far as Nobunaga, regardless of how bold she could be at times, wasn’t actually all that interested in having sex. She certainly enjoyed teasing others but, the feeling of vulnerability she experienced with Vahn had made her rather passive in the bedroom when it was just the two of them.

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It was for this reason that Vahn had been tempted to use his [Divine Energy Cube] to summon a Heroic Spirit that Nobunaga was familiar with. Though he enjoyed the time they spent together, it was very apparent that she could use someone else to confide in other than him. She got along with everyone well enough, to the point of even becoming something of a big sister to Mordred, but Nobunaga also spent a fair amount of time drinking alone. Vahn felt that summoning one of her former vassals to serve as something of a companion to her would be better for Nobunaga in the long run. Though she would probably be happier when they started taking action in the outside world, it was a fact that Nobunaga would probably be sticking around for a few decades, if not longer. Having more people to talk to would be good for her mental wellness as, even though she didn’t seem to be in the danger of falling into depression, it was still a little troubling knowing that most of her recreational time was spent drinking alcohol and lounging about…

With that in mind, Vahn gave Nobunaga’s butt a firm squeeze, eliciting a subdued moan from the cool beauty that caused her eyelids to peel open in response. She knew Vahn well enough to know he wanted to say something so Nobunaga licked her lips clean before asking, “What is it? I’m not really in the mood to have sex right now…” Though she liked kissing and spending time together, Nobunaga would rather avoid having sex too often with Vahn as, immediately following that, she would need a few hours of rest that was often followed by a long period of reflection. She didn’t hate it, as that didn’t really seem possible when it came to him, but Nobunaga felt like she was beginning to lose her edge as Vahn’s care slowly caused her heart to desire the life of a simple housewife at times…

Vahn couldn’t help chuckling at Nobunaga’s remark, causing her brows to furrow slightly until he explained, “Relax. I was just thinking about whether or not to summon one of your vassals again. Since there is something I wanted to try, I’ve been thinking about using the system more often lately.” As he wanted to try and make another exchange with Akasha, one which would make the system much easier to use in the future, Vahn had been seriously considering the matter. Though now wasn’t a good time to summon someone like Gareth, that didn’t mean there weren’t other viable Heroic Spirits to call upon.

Merlin had proposed the idea of summoning people like Leonardo Da Vinci or Daedelus so that he could either innovate or restructure the surroundings to make them more suitable for the future inhabitants of Avalon. According to Merlin, Da Vinci had the highest possible ranking of the unfathomably rare skill, [Pioneer of the Stars]. This was a unique skill that allowed the user to turn the ‘impossible’ into ‘events that can be realized’. All those who had the skill were individuals who had brought about great changes in history, often serving at the catalyst for civilizations makings leaps and bounds in the progression of technological innovation.

Though Vahn agreed it was a good idea to summon someone with such a skill, he felt it was a little too early as he didn’t necessarily have the resources to allow them to reach their full potential. There was also the simple fact that such people often had very strong personalities as, regardless of what others told them was possible, they followed their ideals through to the point they had changed the course of history itself. Even someone as prodigious as Paracelsus, considered the ‘Father of Modern Alchemy’, lacked the [Pioneer of the Stars] skill. This was largely due to his pacifist nature, at least in Vahn’s opinion, but that didn’t diminish the fact that anyone possessing the skill would be very ‘difficult’ to deal with. Because of this, Vahn would rather summon someone that could help one of his most important allies achieve mental and emotional stability…

As this wasn’t the first time they had discussed the matter of summoning someone she was familiar with, Nobunaga gave a wry smile in response to Vahn’s words. She knew he was just worried about her, one of the very things that ‘troubled’ her heart over the last few months. Because of this, she was tempted to tease him about summoning her vassal, Mori Ranmaru, a boy she had been rather fond of in her past life. However, as Vahn would likely seriously consider the matter, Nobunaga decided to avoid that triggering that landmine as she answered, “If you really want to summon someone from my era, you should consider Uesugi Kenshin. That battle junkie might actually be able to put up a fight against the purple demon. She is a bit of an idiot, but that makes her fun to tease…”

Though Nobunaga had only met Kenshin a few times during her lifetime, the memories she had of the latter’s exploits on the battlefield were deeply carved into her mind. Even when she had gathered together more than 50,000 men, led by several of her best generals, Kenshin had routed her forces with only 30,000 strong, sustaining fewer than six thousand casualties in a battle that cost her more than twenty-thousand lives. Even if she hadn’t been the one leading the assault, the fact that Kenshin had won so decisively, going on to become a thorn in her side until the latter’s death from sickness, had earned Nobunaga’s respect and admiration. If she had the chance to have Kenshin on her side this time around, Nobunaga felt they could become ‘very’ good friends since the latter was an idiot when it came to everything but fighting…

Since Vahn had expected Nobunaga to ask him to summoner her younger brother or one of her children, he was slightly taken aback by the fact she wanted an ‘enemy’ instead. She had actually complained about Kenshin several times during their discussions so Vahn hadn’t expected that the first person to come to Nobunaga’s mind when summoning a future ally would be one of her greatest enemies. However, considering that Nobunaga hadn’t even resented the vassals that betrayed her in life, it made sense that she didn’t hold any hatred toward her enemies either. She had simply lived as they thought best, doing everything she could to ensure that her people were able to move towards a better future. Since Kenshin was rumored to have ‘never’ lost a battle, even again seemingly impossible odds, Vahn was also somewhat interested to meet someone that could potentially rival Scáthach…

Before moving forward with the decision, Vahn adopted a serious expression as he asked, “Do you not want to reconcile with your brother or any of your other vassals? You don’t have to think about what you think is ‘best’ for us, Nobunaga…it is important to me that you are able to be happy, even if-.” Knowing Vahn was about to say something very annoying, Nobunaga reached up with her hands and began pulling his cheeks with as much force as she could manage, saying, “Just go summon Kenshin you dumbass. Besides, more than anyone I have ever met, that woman could use a good f***. Maybe it’ll knock some sense into her if she gets ‘defeated’ in the bedroom, ufufufu~.”

Hearing Nobunaga’s words, Vahn stopped her from pulling his cheeks as he asked, “Kenshin is a woman? How is it that every powerful male figure in history somehow ends up actually being a woman? I swear, the next thing I know, someone is going to tell me that even people like Atilla the Hun and Genghis Kahn were actually females…” At this point, Vahn wouldn’t even be surprised if he summoned a female version of Gilgamesh that somehow turned out to also be a little girl. Though his reaction caused Nobunaga to cackle at his expense, Vahn was genuinely a little annoyed. From Nobunaga’s words, he could assume that there was ‘something’ about Kenshin that would invariably draw him to her, even if it was just a direct result of Nobunaga teasing the girl…

In response to Vahn’s ‘complaint’, Nobunaga eventually managed to calm down enough to answer, “It probably has something to do with the powers in the shadows wanting to suppress women or something. A lot of the oldest societies are Patriarchal in nature and it wasn’t even uncommon in my time for a man to take credit for a woman’s accomplishments. I even encountered a Father-Daughter duo where the father collected the bounties for the criminals his daughter had slain. I eventually had him executed after it was discovered…well, let’s not talk about such dark subjects. Just know that people can be pretty f***** up and it’s obvious to anyone that knows the true history of the world that a few entitled t**** have been changing things for their own benefit. Didn’t you say that old bastard in the Clock Tower was more than two-thousand years old? I can’t imagine he has been sitting on his ass doing nothing that entire time…hmm…”

Understanding Nobunaga’s point, Vahn could only lean back against the sofa as he released a tired sigh. He was very aware that history had been heavily censored in an attempt to ensure Magecraft would never propagate to the public. Those that currently held power went to extreme lengths to make sure there were no threats to their lasting rule over mankind. Even though things had reached a point where many thaumaturgical principles were being weakened by the progress of Science and Technology, so long as it didn’t hurt their own powerbase it didn’t matter to them how much the rest of the Magus Community suffered. This was made apparent by how many factions existed, both within the Mage’s Association and within each individual branch.

Since Vahn was intending to oppose these deeply rooted powers, he knew it would be necessary to have powerful allies on his side. Though it almost felt like a better idea to summon someone like Leonardo Da Vinci now, someone who Vahn knew was male based on the various portraits that had been published, he didn’t want to take a step back after asking for Nobunaga’s opinion. Having one more woman to worry about wouldn’t add all that much stress to his current lifestyle, especially with Nobunaga obviously intending to mess with Kenshin, so Vahn ultimately decided she would be the next person he summoned. Though he might have to treat her cancer, that wasn’t all that difficult with his current skills. Thus, after discussing the type of person Kenshin was for around half an hour, Vahn took Nobunaga with him to discuss the matter with the others before leaving the Sub-Space Projection Orb and sacrificing the [Divine Energy Cube] to the summoning system…

(A/N: Alternate Titles: ‘Get Prank’d boi’,’Vahn is about to learn the difference between good and bad civilization…?’,’Gaining an unbeatable ally for the low-low price of 2 billion OP and a few sexual favors (U w U)…Vahn’s pay-to-win lifestyle’)

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