Chapter 635: Contract

After Eva had finished replenishing her energy, Vahn also helped Terra recover while they talked about the ‘egg’ in greater detail. Eva was a little embarrassed and had even tried to apologize at first but Vahn just waved away her concerns since he would have given in if Terra asked him regardless. Now that he had more time to think about it, Vahn had noticed a few peculiarities in the egg, including the fact that there were small runes on each scale. Presently, the golden runes only covered part of the egg so Vahn was certain she would need ‘more’ energy. He deduced that it was already fertilized but would likely benefit from a greater concentration of energy so he tried channeling his source energy into it with [Hands of Nirvana] and [Yggdrasil’s Blessing].

Surprisingly, his source energy couldn’t penetrate through the scales surrounding the egg and it instead caused the runes to glow a bit brighter as they ‘resisted’ the infusion. Vahn suspected he could overpower the barrier but decided against it since it since he didn’t really want to ‘experiment’ using his own child. For some reason, it seemed like the egg only accepted the energy that had been converted by Terra’s womb after it absorbed his semen. It probably had something to do with laws he had yet to understand so Vahn just decided to ‘help’ nourish the egg while Terra carried it in her womb. Fortunately, if it was necessary, Vahn was confident he could ‘help’ her indefinitely but had instead realized he could infuse more energy into his semen instead, causing Terra to pass out as a result but completing the runes on the egg after an hour-long session of love-making.

Walking out from Terra’s nest, Vahn wiped the sweat from his brow as the blushing Eva refused to make eye contact with him, instead, nursing the tea that had long cooled. She had concealed her presence, but Vahn knew that Eva had been ‘watching’ them the entire time based on her behavior. Vahn just walked over and picked her body up unceremoniously before sitting her in his lap, causing her to fluster a bit but offering no real complaints as she turned her body and straddled his hips. With a serious expression on her face, somewhat diminished by her blush, Eva said, ” It’s good that you were decisive on this matter, Vahn. I was worried that Terra might ‘break’ if she kept producing those infertile eggs…”

Though it wasn’t too bad at first, Terra had gotten to the point where it would take nearly an entire day for her to calm down after she produced an egg. She would even smash things after teleporting far away from their base, something Eva had witnessed by observing her through the void. When the time for Vahn’s arrival was coming around, she had been the one to approach Terra and convince her to sleep with Vahn since Eva had been very worried for her. They had grown very close over the last eight years and Terra was almost like a big sister to her now, even though she was still respectful when they were researching and practicing magic together. Terra’s presence alone brought her a lot of comfort and Eva hated seeing her crying and thrashing about in frustration all alone…

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Vahn held Eva close and ran his fingers through her long blond hair, so long that it actually went beyond the seat of the chair when they were sitting down. With a calm smile on his face, Vahn said, “I may not be the most capable father, but I believe all the women around me would make great mothers. I will always do my best to support them so, if Terra wanted a child, I don’t have any problems with that whatsoever. You too, Eva, one day…after we get married…” Without waiting for her response, Vahn gave Eva a very light peck on the lips until the small vampire reciprocated his actions far more passionately.

After separating, Eva looked very lovingly into Vahn’s eyes and seemed to recall something as she placed her finger against his lips and said, “There is another kind of magic we haven’t discussed yet. I already told Terra about it but she said it should be a ‘secret’ magic that I only shared with you and refused to learn it completely…you see, not only are there different classifications for Mages, but there is also a ‘structure’ that has existed for around a thousand years. Not everyone has the opportunity to learn magic at a young age, whilst others simply don’t have the mental capacity to understand more complex magic. To make up for this, Ancient Mages created a form of magic referred to as [Pactio] or ‘contract’ magic. This allows what we call a Magister Magi to transfer and share magic power with other people, referred to as Minister Magi…”

Seeing Vahn’s surprise, Eva playfully traced her finger around his bottom lip before saying, “That isn’t the only thing, either, as the [Pactio] actually grants all kinds of abilities to the Minister Magi. It allows them to increase their physical capabilities faster, grants them a magical barrier against physical attacks, and also bestows upon them a unique artifact that reflects their personality and capabilities. I’ve learned a lot about the ‘reality’ you come from, Vahn, so I believe this magic is the best suited to your situation. You can use it to enhance the capabilities of all your little girls…” At this point, Eva lifted her body to match gazes with Vahn before gently kissing his lips a few times.

Once she was ‘satisfied’, Eva pulled away but continued to hold his face as she squinted her eyes and said, “The most useful function, which I’m sure you’ll appreciate the most, is the fact that you can not only telepathically communicate with anyone you’ve performed a [Pactio] with, but you can even summon the girls to you through the link you establish. They can’t teleport you to them, unless of course their artifact allows such things, but it will allow you to move around more freely without having to constantly have them follow along…ufufufu~.” Eva also knew about the Dungeon in Vahn’s world, to a great amount of detail, and she expected he would be better suited to the [Pactio] than any other magic she could teach him.

Vahn was, admittedly, very ecstatic when he heard Eva’s words and, combined with the fact she was currently teasing him, he felt ‘triggered’ to take action so he quickly snatched up the playful vampire and vanished towards their castle. Eva’s laughter rang like a bell that caused Terra, who was still currently unconscious, to begin laughing as she muttered, “Eva…enjoy…ufufufu…” Afterward, Terra curled up into a fetal position using her own flexible wings to coil around her body, almost as if she were creating a caccoon to protect the presence in her abdomen. Though it wasn’t nearly as strong as the connection she felt to her Master, Terra felt a powerful urge to protect the vibrant bundle of life…

For the remainder of the three day period, Eva trained Vahn in the practical use of magic since he was able to form most spell circles and wards from memory. The only thing he really needed was a proper understanding of the phenomenon he created while improving his ability to cast spells quickly. Though he was able to ‘download’ the information from books, this didn’t mean Vahn ‘knew’ what was inside and it didn’t mean he had an intuitive understanding of the contents. He still needed to read and comprehend things, study, and practice if he wanted to be a capable Mage, especially since he also needed to filter his own energy through several magic circles just to use magic.

During their downtime, Eva had Vahn spoil her a bit while also teaching him how to form the ward to create a pactio, as it had to be drawn on the ground using specialized chalk to function. It was very complex, but Vahn was easily able to replicate it since his Dexterity was inordinately high and his memory was nearly perfect. The important part was to simply practice creating the circle over and over since it required the entire thing to be structured within a period of fifteen seconds if he wanted to form a ‘permanant’ pactio. Eva had taught him in greater detail about the aspects related to a pactio, including the fact there were several different kinds and that there were actually ‘restrictions’ in place to prevent exploitation.

Though a [Pactio] was neutral magic, it was also heavily regulated by the ‘laws’ of the world since it could bestow great power at almost no cost. Even Preasia could become very powerful just by having a [Pactio] with a powerful Mage, especially someone like Vahn who made use of source energy to fuel the bond. An example of one major restriction was the fact that ‘age’ was actually taken into consideration and could negatively impact the Magister Magi if they tried to ‘force’ someone into a [Pactio]. If the person was too young, the type of [Pactio] that would be formed was known as a ‘Probationary Pactio’ and it put heavy restrictions on the caster depending on the circumstances. This accounted for things like the emotional bond between the two involved during the [Pactio] as well as the difference in their ages respective to variables such as race, mental development, and even emotional stability.

Typically, for a [Pactio] to be permanant, without any major restrictions, the people had to genuinely care about each other, not be related by blood, and, ‘ideally’, similar in age. Though there were ‘exceptions’, such as when two immortals formed a [Pactio], any Magister trying to form a [Pactio] with someone much younger with them would usually have restrictions placed on their actual soul. Such things included making it functionally ‘impossible’ to make a move on the other person unless they wished to experience a tremendous backlash. Though there were ways around this, trying to exploit it typically caused more harm than good so even ‘evil’ Mages followed the rules. After all, tempting troubled children was simply too easy in some circumstances so the ‘laws’ governing the [Pactio] protected them while punishing anyone that tried to exploit those younger than them…

Inversely, however, there weren’t any major restrictions for younger people trying to form [Pactio]s with older people, specifically with the younger person being the Magister. Since it was only possible for the ‘stronger’ of the two to initiate the [Pactio], this meant that a talented and young Magister could easily enter contracts with people much older than themselves, without any negative consequences for themselves or the Ministra. It was a bit of a loophole, but Mages that developed enough magical power to perform [Pactio]s with entities much older than them were typically very mature and thus the ‘laws’ were far more lenient.

After drawing the ward for what felt like the ten-thousandth time, Vahn asked, “Eva, I’m guessing its impossible for you to form a [Pactio] with me…?” Eva had been dangling her feet at the side while she watched Vahn draw the ward, immediately answering, “Indeed, as I’m just a memory fragment and [Pactio]s link together two souls. You could ask Terra, but I think she would outright refuse and instead insist that you become stronger so she can become your Ministra…ufufufu~.” If she could, Eva would willingly enter a [Pactio] to protect Vahn, even though part of her also wished he could become stronger and allow her to follow him instead. Unfortunately, as she often lamented, she wasn’t ‘real’ and there were several restrictions in place that she already struggled to work around.

Vahn nodded his head in understanding before bursting out laughing a few seconds later, drawing a curious gaze from Eva until he explained, “I imagine Fenrir would want to enter a [Pactio] as the Magister and then we could both call each other ‘Master’…” Realizing what Vahn was saying, Eva also released a peal of bell-like laughter as she covered her mouth and said, “Indeed, it certainly seems like something that girl would do. She is simultaneously the most devoted to you but also of the mind that she wants to protect and care for you, even if she had to do so herself.” Vahn had a large grin on his face for a moment until he realized something that could prove very useful in the future.

As she was paying close attention to him, Eva tilted her head slightly and asked, “I recognize that look…what are you thinking right now, Vahn~?” Turning his eyes to Eva, Vahn explained, “I was wondering if it would actually be possible to form a [Pactio] with one of the goddesses. Their souls are far more powerful than normal and I imagine their Divine energy would have a similar effect as-” Eva began shaking her head before Vahn even finished, saying, “Remember, there are restrictions in the [Pactio] that make it far more difficult for such instances to occur. Even making a [Pactio] with my real self would require you to become very strong and our ages are far closer than the difference between you and one of your goddesses. Didn’t you say that the youngest one was around 390 million years old?”

Realizing Eva’s words were true, Vahn released a small sigh but still intended to try it in the future since there was no way of knowing how such things worked in different records. Depending on the circumstances, [Pactio] itself may not even function since the ‘laws’ are fundamentally different. Fortunately, he would be able to emulate [Pactio] and get around such restrictions, but this wouldn’t apply to the goddesses. It was likely that the only people able to use [Pactio] in the future would be himself, his subordinates, and his descendants. This was yet another thing that would set them apart from the rest of the world but Vahn didn’t mind since they were already ‘destroying’ the established balance and increasing the future tier of the world itself. It was just another reason why he needed to become stronger and impose proper regulations to prevent things from getting out of hand, at least for a while…

After his last training session came to an end, Vahn went to check up on Terra with Eva following close behind. Terra had been ‘hibernating’ ever since the runes had appeared on her egg, slowly pulling the natural elemental energy from the environment into her body. She wasn’t in any danger at all and would likely wake up in a few months according to observational estimates. Since she didn’t have to eat, Terra wasn’t in any danger of starving and was simply ‘defending’ the egg in her womb while nourishing it further. Vahn speculated he could help speed up the process by setting out a variety of energy-rich materials but Eva had done one better by saying she would set up a giant spell formation to allow Terra to pull energy in from greater distances. She had plenty of time for such things so Vahn just left her with the requested materials before spending the rest of his time in the orb tending to the lovable little vampire princess.

Waking up in the real world, Vahn took a bit of time to collect himself as Fenrir looked up at him with concern in her scarlet eyes. He simply smiled in return, freeing his arm from Tione to stroke her head while inspecting the changes in his own Status. Though he had no current way to measure his ‘magical power’, which was fundamentally different than his Magic parameter, Vahn knew it existed and Sis told him there were functions in the system that should allow him to display it in the future. Even so, Vahn could tell that he was undergoing rapid changes and, though he had only been in the orb three times so far, he was quickly ‘breaking’ free from the restrictions of the Falna and becoming much stronger…

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[[Stats]]

Name: [Vahn Mason]

Age: 15

Race: Human, *sealed*

Parameter: [Danmachi: 1-4]

-Level: 4(+)

-Power: 2746+(I28)->(G228)

-Endurance: 3325+(I69)->(E407)

-Dexterity: 2746+(I31)->(F355)

-Agility: 2859+(I19)->(G212)

-Magic: 6297+(G275)->(SSS1492)

Total:17,974+(422)->(2694)

Soul Tier: 3 (Lord Soul)

[Karma]: 9,561->13,418

[OP]: 5,628,058->14,007,815

[Valis]: 643,884,901->3,901,832,592

Skills: [Will of the Emperor:SSS], [Rakshasa Body:E], [Keeper of the Akashic Tome:B], [Eyes of Truth: B],[Bow Mastery:S], [Stealth:A], [Chainbreaker:S], [Heart of the Eternal Flame:SS], [Prometheus:A], [Call of the Reaper:A],[Yggdrasil’s Favor:S], [Veil of the Traveler: S], [Featherfoot:A], [Hands of Nirvana:S], [Metallurgy:B], [Fist Strike:A], [Friend of Spirits:A]

Magic: [Thria*Mimos:B], [Shundo:B], [Cantus Bellax:B](new), [Mellodia Bellax:H], [Sagitta Magica:H](new), [Pactio:G](new)

Development Skills: [Wound Transfer:S], [Well of Spirit:I->D], [Swordsman:A], [Master Smith:H], [Mixing:C], [Mentor:A], [Petting:A], [Mage:C->B] [Mellodia Bellax]

Rank: H

Use: Advanced form of [Cantus Bellax] that greatly enhances Agility and perception.

Chant: (-)

[Pactio]

Rank: G (Realm)

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Use: Allows the user to establish a contract, becoming a Magister, with a second party, becoming a Ministra, sharing energy to enhance the Ministra’s parameters. This spell binds the second party to the first and compels them to protect the contractor, even at the cost of their own life.

Chant: (-)

Secondary Chant(activate): Activate the contract (-)! Attendant of (-), (-)!

Tertiary Chant(summon): I summon forth, attendant(s) of (-), (-)

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Vahn already knew that he had successfully learned [Pactio], as he had learned it immediately after forming the ward the first time, but it still brought a smile to his face seeing it. He had been worried about helping the girls grow stronger without having access to ‘flame seeds’ and this was the ideal solution. Though he needed to improve his use of the skill further, to avoid forming ‘mistake’ pactios, Vahn knew it wouldn’t be long before each of the girls were able to become his Ministra. According to Eva, this would actually increase his own magic power further since the girls would be ‘siphoning’ his energy when they used their artifacts and fought for him. Though this would burden most Mages, Vahn shouldn’t have too many problems since he had an Innate like [Will of the Emperor] to help him cope with any potential mental strain.

With a large smile on his face, Vahn leaned forward and surprised Fenrir by giving her a short kiss that he himself hadn’t really planned. Feeling her fidget around, Vahn stifled a chuckle before pulling away and saying, “Let’s go, it’s time for us to get ready. I’ll be relying on you to protect as many people as possible, Fenrir…prove to everyone that you’re not simply a ‘monster’, but an incredible girl that can protect her friends…” Fenrir’s tail began to ‘flop’ around while the other girls began to stir awake very quickly, as it was nearly time for them to depart anyway. With a large grin on her face, Fenrir began to nuzzle against her Master’s chest as she muttered, “Fenrir is the strongest now, so Fenrir will protect everyone…”

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