Chapter 1124: Compromise : Memory

In seemingly no time at all, Vahn found himself standing atop the bluish-black platform, surrounded by an endless expanse of darkness that was only broken by the massive sphere representing the Throne of Heroes. Before he even moved toward it, Vahn turned his head skyward and said, “I would like to discuss the terms of a deal.” Even though this space wasn’t directly connected to the Root, Vahn had correctly inferred that it was connected directly to the Administrative systems that helped govern the experimental environment. This allowed Akasha to appear without too many difficulties, something that was made easier for her now that she ‘expected’ to be called. As a result, Vahn once again found himself face-to-face with the emotionless alien woman who promptly asked, “What are your terms?”

Though he knew it should be possible to bait them with other items purchased from the system, Vahn didn’t want sink a bunch of his OP right now. Instead, he plainly stated, “I wanted to inquire about what it would take to either secure more of those [Divine Energy Cube]s or make the system I used for summoning more efficient. Waiting three years between each summon makes it functionally useless in preparing for what is to come.” Even though this wasn’t entirely the case, as each Heroic Spirit he summoned had the potential of giving him an extreme advantage, Vahn knew he wasn’t exactly using it like that just yet. If he really wanted to exploit the system, he could summon several versions of Gilgamesh from different timelines. There had to be a handful Gilgamesh that weren’t absolute jerks like the one from his own timeline, even if they did somehow end up being female…

In response to Vahn’s inquiry, Akasha seemed strangely prepared for the question as she appeared right in front of Vahn faster than he could perceive. Then, with an absolutely straight face, she said, “I will exchange a single [Divine Energy Cube] for a direct sample of your semen. The data provided by Alaya has been less than satisfactory to my superiors so I will take one for myself. Is this agreeable?” With a face that made it very clear she was going to bite him the moment he gave his permission, Vahn produced a wry smile as he answered, “I was hoping for a more permanant or reliable means to manage the system or to supplement my own energy reserves. Though I do not mind giving you a ‘sample’, it inconveniences-“

Almost as soon as Vahn said he didn’t mind giving a sample, one of Akasha’s hands grabbed the side of his neck while her other palm rested on his ribs. Then, without allowing him to continue footing around the issue, she bit into his neck while allowing her surprisingly hot body to press against his. Vahn felt an almost overwhelming heat pass into him but, immediately following that, his body just as quickly filtered it out as Akasha practically emptied the special sack he had made for Alaya’s consumption. When she got what she wanted, Akasha released his body from her vice-like grip before pulling out another one of the translucent golden cubes and handing it over to Vahn. With his brow twitching, Vahn tossed the [Divine Energy Cube] into his Inventory while resisting the urge to grind his teeth.

After a few seconds had passed, Akasha produced a rare frown as, even though her own analytical functions were infinitely more powerful than Alaya’s, she was unable to fully analyze the mysterious energy in Vahn’s blood and semen. The one thing they were able to confirm was that Alaya’s sensors weren’t faulty so, other than taking master samples for future observation, they wouldn’t have to go directly to Vahn to continue analyzing his body. With this in mind, Akasha plainly stated, “have not been given permission to modify your current system to make things easier for you. From now on, I will be taking master samples in exchange for one [Divine Energy Cube] each time you enter this place. These are the terms I have been authorized to put forth.”

Though it was even more annoying than when he had to deal with Alaya, as she at least ‘listened’ to him, Vahn still nodded his head in agreement. He had already given up ‘samples’ to Alaya with the expectation that they would be analyzing it from the start. Giving up ‘master samples’ in exchange for what would amount to around ten extra Heroic Spirits wasn’t a bad trade from his perspective. This would save him around twenty-billion OP, more than ten times his current reserves, while also allowing him to get a better understanding of Akasha and her superiors. The thing about exchanges like this was that it set a precedent for future exchanges and allowed him to leverage things in his favor if handled properly.

With Akasha sinking into the floor after the deal had been struck, Vahn made his way over to the stone pillars while doing his best to ignore the fact he was ‘selling himself’ for benefits. Since he was getting legendary heroes in exchange, Vahn didn’t think the conditions were all that unfavorable to him. With his peculiar ‘luck’, it meant he would also potentially gain a new lover or, at the very least, a powerful ally. This would greatly increase the power of his Empire and make his future endeavors easier, all while making Avalon and the people he wanted to protect safer.

With that in mind, Vahn began sorting through the filters on the stone displays, selecting the Uesugi Kenshin from his own timeline before hovering over the list of skills on the right. He was intending to give her the [Transmigrator] skill, especially after noticing that Kenshin qualified for several different Servant Classes, but pulling her from the time just prior to her death might not be the best idea. She was forty-nine when she died, not that it really mattered, and had been plagued by various health issues in the months leading up to her death. Nobunaga had also revealed that Kenshin had been on a final campaign against her, intending to lay Nobunaga low at the very end of her life. It wasn’t very likely she carried any resentment for having failed to achieve her final conquest but Vahn couldn’t help thinking about it for a few minutes before ultimately just summoning her anyways.

After making his selection, Vahn reappeared back in the outside world as the summoning formation below his feet glowed with vibrant blue light. This light actually took on a liquid form that quickly coalesced into the figure of a woman with one of the most peculiar hairstyles Vahn had ever seen. At a glance, it seemed like the underside of her hair was almost pitch black while the outside was solid white, lacking any hue. The only thing that broke up this white were three strands of black, creating three diamond shapes, one located in the center of her bangs while the other two were part of the long fringe bangs framing her face. Since her hair was rather long, extending nearly to her feet, it was easily her most noticeable treat, even drawing attention away from her rather mature and well-developed body.

As she had ‘just died’ back in her own world, Kenshin immediately collapsed as her feet grazed the floor of the summoning platform. She was only wearing a thin kimono so Vahn could feel the warmth of her paradoxically soft yet firm body as he caught her in his arms. At the same time, he was able to tell that her body actually had no lingering injuries or illnesses, just like how Mordred’s had been healed completely during her own summoning. This inspection also allowed Vahn to more or less understand the internal structure of Kenshin’s body completely, creating a ‘perfect’ template of her figure within his mind. She was surprisingly tall at 170cm, well over the average height of most Japanese women, and had fair skin to go with her peculiar white and black hair. As for her three sizes, she had moderately developed breasts that were around 88cm while her waist and hips were 56 and 84cm respectively. Overall, she was another rare beauty with an even rarer constitution as her internal mana was entirely neutral while a subtle feeling of Divinity radiated from the core around her navel…

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[Status]

Name: [Uesugi Kenshin]

Age: 49

Race: Human, God(sealed)

Strength: 29C

Endurance: 25C

Agility: 48A

Magical Power: 18D+

Good Luck: 35B+

Soul Tier: 4 (Divine Soul)

Circuit Quality: 41A++

Noble Phantasm: (Biten-Hassō Kuruma Gakari no Jin:B)

Origin: War, Divine, Fate

Skills: [Bishamonten’s Favorite Child:Innate:A], [Blessing of Heaven:Innate:A], [Pride of the Untouchable:Innate:A], [Maiden of the Battlefield:Innate:A], [Master of Arms:SS], [Divinity:C]

Magic: (-)

Magecraft: (-)

[Master of Arms]

Rank: SS

Use: A skill representing the user’s ability to use all forms of weaponry with proficiency equal to the skill’s rank. At this rank, merely touching a weapon for the first time would grant the user the same familiarity of someone that had been using it their entire life.

[Divinity]

Rank: C

Use: Denotes the rating of the user’s Divinity. Grants a variety of benefits against any entity without Divinity but greatly reduces resistance to all Anti-Divine weapons and skills.

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Though he had already noticed it before summoning her, Kenshin’s parameters actually weren’t all that high for someone purported to be ‘unbeatable’ in battle. Though her lowest parameter was still eighteen times higher than an average person, it didn’t seem like she would be a match for Scáthach unless her Innates were a lot stronger than he thought. He had to admit that having four Innates, all at A-Rank, was actually kind of scary. However, the most eye-opening skill was her [Master of Arms] as he was simply unable to obtain any information about her Innates. Vahn could imagine how she would be a true monster in combat if every weapon she picked up could be used with a proficiency nearing the peak of the Record. The SS-Rank denoted it might as well be a Tier 5 skill, even though she was only Tier 4. Against the Heroes of her time, who would have been around Tier 2 or 3, she had an absolute advantage that easily justified why none had been able to best her…

Knowing that Kenshin was experiencing the memory link, Vahn carried her body up the long flight of stairs before carrying her to a nearby unused room and laying her in a bed he brought out from his Inventory. It wasn’t possible to take someone that was unconscious into a Sub-Space Orb so he had to wait for her to wake up naturally. With that in mind, though she may not have been the ‘best’ choice to watch over the sleeping Kenshin, Vahn went to grab Nobunaga so that she could inform him when Kenshin awoke. To prevent things from going south, he also instructed Sis to include his memories from this world, including the fact that Nobunaga was going to be one of her allies, not an enemy. The last thing he needed was Kenshin attacking Nobunaga just after awakening, even though the latter didn’t seem all that worried about it happening…

After entering into the Sub-Space Projection Orb, Vahn decided to forge some equipment for Kenshin since she didn’t seem to possess the ability to produce weapons from thin air and hadn’t come equipped with anything. One of the downsides to using the [Transmigrator] perk was that it only summoned the Heroic Spirit in their physical form at the time of death. If they didn’t have their most powerful weapons and armor on them at the time, they would be bereft of them after being summoned. Though it was possible to pull them from a point in history where they were their strongest, this would have potentially devastating consequences since it would potentially alter the flow of history in a manner not all that dissimilar to using a [Page of the Akashic Tome].

Since Artoria was lacking one of her most powerful items, the scabbard known as [Avalon], Vahn had put a lot of thought into whether or not he should try to recover it. Though this idea was nipped in the bud when he discovered it was Morgan le Fay who stole it from her, it didn’t prevent Vahn from thinking about the potential consequences of summoning an earlier version of certain historical figures. This included things like potentially summoning Gareth before she had been betrayed by Sir Lancelot, meaning she would have never experienced her unbelievably tragic fate. At the same time, he could even summon Lancelot before he began his tryst with Guinevere, or even Guinevere herself. The only limit of the Throne of Heroes seemed to be that it could only summon one version of a person from each timeline, meaning he couldn’t summon an earlier version of Artoria who was still in possession of Avalon and hadn’t become jaded with being a King…

These were the thoughts going through Vahn’s mind as he entered into a Space-Time Orb and began forging alongside his Memory Fragment. Though it was impossible to stack the effects of a Sub-Space and Space-Time Orb, as they were both linked to the original flow of time, that didn’t stop Vahn from exploiting the 50:1 time dilation while his body experienced the 7:1 flow of the Sub-Space Projection Orb. He didn’t exploit it too much, as it would unnecessarily increase his stress, but it was useful for times like this where he wanted to take care of several things simultaneously. Thus, after forging a few different B-Rank weapons that could serve as temporary armaments for Kenshin’s training, Vahn retired to the small cabin attached to his Memory Fragment’s workshop and allowed the memory link with Kenshin to affect him.

The first thing Vahn saw when viewing Kenshin’s memories was a young girl, around six or seven years old, standing in front of a mirror. She had clear black eyes and short black hair that was neatly tied into a bun held together by two small golden ornaments. This wouldn’t have been all that strange a sight but, as the girl was standing with her kimono open as she inspected her own body, Vahn felt more than a little awkward since he couldn’t turn away. Just as he was thinking about why this was an important memory for Kenshin, the latter muttered, “From now on, I am no longer a woman…” Following this, she used a ceremonial blade to completely shave off her own hair, cutting her scalp a few times due to her inexperience. After this, Kenshin tightly bound her chest and hips before wearing a men’s fundoshi with a front-facing cloth.

As he watched her memories continue to play out, it became clear that Vahn was witnessing a time before Kenshin had assumed her identity as many referred to her as Nagao Kagetora. She had come to stay at the Rinsen-ji Temple after her father died in battle and her older brother, Nagao Harukage, seized power. The resultant struggle had resulted in the death of another one of her brothers, Nagao Kageyasu, while Kenshin had only escaped due to her father’s vassals sneaking her away. This lead to Kenshin developing a sense of powerlessness as a woman, leading to the scene of her taking on the identity of a man to study Zen and Martial Arts within the temple.

Unlike the undefeatable warrior she would become later in life, Kenshin started off much weaker than the other disciples due to her relatively privileged upbringing as the only daughter of Nagao Tamekage, a reputable warrior serving under the Yamanouchi branch of the Uesugi Clan. As a result, she was often beaten up by the other disciples during spars and was criticized by the other children for her small frame and delicate features. This, however, changed very quickly as Kenshin worked several times harder than normal to overcome her former weakness, aspiring to be an even greater warrior than her father had been. By the time she was nine years old, she was already an ‘official’ disciple of the temple, setting a precedent that her peers were unable to match as even much older disciples were unable to defeat her.

With a few more years of training, bringing her to fourteen years of age, Kenshin had become a Junior Master at the temple without equal. The only thing that prevented from rising higher was the fact that, regardless of if she identified as a man, the Elders of the temple were very aware that she was a woman. Though she kept her breasts and body wrapped, it was clear for all to see that Kenshin was a female, especially after she hit puberty. Many of the male disciples were a little ‘too interested’ in her, detracting from their focus and complicating the affairs of the temple as Kenshin’s beauty only developed further. Thus, in an effort to be rid of her, the Elders contacted the vassals of the Nagao family to convince them to take Kenshin back now that she had reached marriageable age.

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Since Echigo, the province managed by her older brother, had been in dire straits due to his poor health and various policy failures, it wasn’t long before Kenshin was contacted by Usami Sadamitsu and several other acquaintances of her father. She was eventually convinced to confront her brother so that her father’s legacy wasn’t dragged through the mud as their people continued to suffer. Thus, by the age of fifteen, Kenshin had been placed in joint-command of an army and given the task of defending Tochio Castle from rebels. She was able to successfully drive back the rebels and, by the time she was nineteen, Kenshin had taken control of the Nagao clan from her brother Harukage.

This seemed to be a turning point in Kenshin’s legend as, though she lacked the formal education required to be a proper administrator, Kenshin was able to understand the character of other people and intuit whether or not their intentions were pure. By placing several capable vassals in charge of managing the province, all while leading her own forces around to enforce order, made Kenshin into a regional hero due to her tireless efforts to bring prosperity to her people. Though she faced a few issues as a result of her gender, this never stopped Kenshin from doing her best, even as she was pressured by the Elders of the Nagao Clan to marry herself into another family to secure an alliance.

Ignoring the ‘advice’ of others, as she had become a warrior who refused to simply marry herself off to become nothing more than a housewife raising another man’s children, Kenshin continued to lead her people until eventually exiling the Elders for their incessant demands. Around this time, when Kenshin had just turned twenty-two, she was asked to provide refuge to her nominal lord, Uesugi Norimasa after he was forced to flee after a failed campaign. Since this would put her entire province in danger, Kenshin only agreed to shelter Norimasa if he would agree to several of her terms. As she was tired of being treated as a woman without say or status, Kenshin had Norimasa adopt her as his son and heir, as his own child had died in battle. She also managed to secure the official title of Lord of Echigo and the post of Kantō Kanrei, making her an official deputy to the Shōgun.

With official status, Kenshin’s rise could no longer be halted as she continued to build her prestige upon the battlefield while entrusting the affairs of Echigo to her vassals. Her name had been changed to Uesugi Kagetora and, for a time, the biggest trouble she faced was whether or not the sword or the spear was the superior weapon to take into battle. She had an uncommon proficiency with all weapons but, of the myriad tools of war, Kenshin had a fondness for the two weapons consider the ‘kings’ in their respective uses. Even though guns were becoming more common on the battlefield, she had no interest in such things as they were awkward and clunky. They were also nearly impossible to aim, to the point that Kenshin would walk through battlefields with no fear of even being grazed by her enemy’s rounds. This fearlessness made her seem like a goddess to her vassals as, according to some of the rumors going around at the time, bullets would literally curve away from her as she sipped wine from atop her horse.

Around the time when she was beginning to wage war against the Hōjō Clan, her adoptive father’s enemies, Kenshin was praying in the mountains near her estate when she happened across an unexpected sight. There was a white tiger than was more than ten meters in length battling against the inhuman figure of a woman with eight arms, each wielding a different weapon. Without leaving any gaps in her assault, she was pressuring the much larger tiger until it was eventually forced to flee for fear of losing its life. To her surprise, the woman turned to look at her with a face not all that dissimilar to her own, smiling as she introduced herself as the Goddess Bishamonten. Kenshin spent the afternoon conversing with the lively goddess, asking for her opinion on the issue that she had been struggling with for years. In response to her inquiry, Bishamonten simply laughed before answering, “Why not use both?”

From that point onward, though she had awoken atop the mountain as if waking from a fever dream, Kenshin had become a devout believer of Bishamonten. As if a reward for her devotion, Kenshin noticed her hair had gained an otherworldly appearance while her previously black eyes had become gold. This caused her already fervent vassals to begin worshipping her as the Avatar of Bishamonten while also assigning her the moniker of ‘God of War’. Though her enemies tried to use this as a means of insulting her as a fanatic, it became very apparent on the various battlefields that Kenshin frequented that it wasn’t far from the truth. She had already been peerless in battle before but, after adopting a style that used both the sword and the spear, the only fate that awaited most of her opponents was a swift end.

In this manner, Kenshin waged several successful campaigns, winning glory on several fronts while her only real rivals were Takeda Shingen and Oda Nobunaga. She engaged the two in several large-scale battles, winning each engagement but ultimately failing to stop their expanse and conquest. Her focus had always been on protecting her people and ensuring they could prosper, even if she herself was a warrior by nature. It was frustrating but Kenshin could only do her best fighting on several fronts, racing from battlefield to battlefield to prevent the lines from collapsing. Then, much like her elder brother and even her father, Kenshin began to be plagued by health issues during the Spring and Summer seasons. This never stopped her from appearing on the battlefield, however, clashing against Takeda Shingen in several climactic battles over a twenty-one year period.

At this point in her memories, Kenshin’s life became somewhat of a blur as most of her waking moments were spent training fervently, racing between battlefields, or recovering in her bed. Some still pressured her to leave behind an heir but, refusing to abandon the battlefield just to waste what remained of her vitality trying to bear a child was not the end Kenshin desired. Though it was a bit selfish of her as a Daimyo, she was first and foremost a warrior before she was a leader or a woman. The only incidents that affected her during these years were the death of Takeda Shingen, something that had caused her to fall into depression for several months, and the secret meeting she had with Oda Nobunaga in the pursuit of peace.

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Though Vahn had assumed ‘something’ had happened between the two, he could only watch on in silence as Nobunaga played with Kenshin’s body after the two got drunk together. It seemed to be a pretty meaningful memory for Kenshin as, unlike the ‘blur’ of other memories, he got to watch the several hour-long session between the two women in crystal clear quality. This ultimately failed to establish peaceful relations between the two but it did lead to a small ceasefire of sorts as Nobunaga avoided antagonizing Kenshin for a few hours. It wasn’t until Kenshin herself routed some of the ‘Demon King’s’ forces that the entered into open conflict once again, something that persisted until Kenshin’s ultimate end.

At the age of forty-nine, wracked with pain that made even small movements difficult for her, Kenshin died within her bed before a gathering of more than five-thousand weeping followers, smiling tiredly as she stated, “Even a life-long prosperity is but one cup of sake; A life of forty-nine years is passed in a dream; I know not what life is, nor death. Year in year out-all but a dream. Both Heaven and Hell are left behind; I stand in the moonlit dawn, Free from clouds of attachment…” With these parting words, Kenshin closed her eyes to the world but, just as darkness began to claim her thoughts, a series of memories not her own began to play within her mind…

(A/N: Alternate Titles: ‘Akasha aggro af’,’Why not both~?’,’No wonder Nobunaga wanted to summon Kenshin xD…’)

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