Chapter 481:

Chapter 481:

Artoria Pendragon POV

This had been an interesting experience thus far.

The Grail, upon my summoning, provided me with the barest context for the culture I found myself in. Thankfully, I was not the center of attention, and I was content to stay quiet and observe as Wilhelm navigated the situation.

For better or worse.

The latter was far more likely.

For a being of this Goddess' caliber, she was very calm and soft when speaking. Despite the awkwardness of our entrance, and my own opinions on such schemes around us, she treated us well as guests.

Specifically, it felt as though she treated Wilhelm as an equal.

Perhaps one much younger and less experienced, understandably so, but an equal all the same.

And I believe this is the first time I have ever seen someone ask Wilhelm to cause trouble. I didn't know if I should laugh or prepare for the worst.

Wilhelm has always been a trouble magnet.

I love him dearly, but where he went, trouble will follow, by his hand or not. At least this time, it did not entail a being of the Goddess' caliber in conflict.

His last conflict with a God of such strength caused a commotion that was hard to manage. I could not fault him for the situation, and even respect his decision to intercede on behalf of Izanami. He liked to say he was not a good person, but he has a very specific sense of honor that I can sympathize with. And I cannot say I would not have acted the same if I were present.

Izanami was ... .reclusive and perhaps introverted. However, I considered her a friend and I enjoyed her company. I did not allow anyone to cause her problems in my presence.This essence is securely nested within the heart of Nøv€lß¡n★

However, that did not dismiss the situation that resulted from Wilhelm's actions.

It was the reason Scthach and I decided to come along.

We decided the two of us were the correct choice when meeting another being on the same level with unknown intentions.

Even so, this was a particularly strange situation.

The Goddess stood up from her seat and everyone in the room quieted down. A solemn reverence that they all carried. A single word, a simple gesture, and they would gladly die for her. I could see it the same way I could all the years ago with my own people.

"Everyone, I believe it's time to address the issue of our gathering." She turned, gesturing to us. "We welcome Guests from afar to preside over our discussions. We have Scathach, Hailing from Ireland far to the west. We have Artoria Pendragon from a neighboring country of England, and we have Wilhelm Schweinorg from our own neighbor, Japan." She introduced us to everyone. "The topic of this debate is whether to join with outsiders. You all know the contents, so I will not elaborate on that. I will listen to arguments and decide."

An interesting stance to take.

Even though a simple word of hers would settle any debates, she allowed them to argue for their own views.

I found myself agreeing with her position.

It would be easy to simply force her own opinion, perhaps she would do so in any other situation. However, this matter pertained to their own situation, thus she was allowing them some autonomy. This would soften the inevitable dissatisfaction of the 'losing side'.

It shows her care for her people by taking this measure.

It was easy to order and dictate. It was harder to listen to one's subjects and move their hearts in accordance with your desires.

Her opinion was, however, obvious from what she asked of Wilhelm.

It was easy to see the divide.

One side was looking at us with disdain and annoyance, mayhaps bordering hatred.

The other, indifference or even interest and curiosity.

"I Shi Ning will speak against it." A woman from one side stood up, the opposition.

The woman standing near Nuwa who spoke before looked at someone on the opposite side. As if rehearsed, she stood up as well.

"And I Xia Xiaohui will speak in support."

They were wearing identical garb as far as I could discern with little difference. Perhaps a uniform for those who practice within this palace?

It was hard to say and they both gave off a chilly atmosphere. Not merely the unspoken tension between them, as I akin it to a genuine coldness that permeated them both.

I do not know what methods they utilize, but I could guess it involved Coldness to some expect, perhaps Magic based on that?

No, they had Swords at their sides.

I was unsure of how they would fight and found myself curious.

"Why must we support some barbaric outsiders?" The one named Shi Ning coldly snorted with disdain.

"How ignorant, did you not even bother to read the parchments provided?" Xia Xiaohui countered. "If you can't even understand the most simplistic reasoning, why even stand up at all?" She harrumphed. "We lend aid, because aid is needed. We stand on the side of righteousness, and to protect the Mortal Realm."

"Equivocation." The other denied. "You try to muddle everyone's head with words such as Righteousness. What Righteousness? What 'protecting' of the Mortal Word? Is the Mortal World threatened? Is there some great Demon that is wreaking havoc that we are unaware of? Why does the Heavenly Courts not settle it? Why must we get involved?"

The one in favor smiled. "They are involved." She paused looking around. "The Heavenly Courts have even become involved in Mortal affairs for the first time in a millennia. They ally with outsiders, they combine resources and gather heroes. Does this not speak of the direness of the situation?"

"If the Heavenly Courts are involved, then we are unneeded."

"Are you saying that Nuwa's Palace is irrelevant?"

"You put words into my mouth." Another cold snort echoed out. "We are not the Golden Armored Soldiers of the Jade Emperor, we do not March Off into War. Why do you want to sacrifice our sisters for some conflict that does not encompass our borders?"

"Sacrifice? Do you believe our Sisters so weak?"

"Weak? Perhaps not. But I do not trust outsiders to not scheme and sacrifice our Sisters for their own gain!"

"So you want us to bury our heads in the sand like cowards!?"

"Cowards!? A Dragon is not a coward for ignoring the stirring of ants!"

"You believe that outside of this Palace are ants?"

"Hmph, Barbarians and Mortals. Why care for them? No one dares to cause trouble for The Goddess." She said dismissively.

"I see, so you believe the guests that the Goddess personally invited here are Barbarians and Ants?"

The one in opposition narrowed her eyes realizing the trap she walked into. "We Cultivators of Nuwa's Palace need not get involved. You do not use a rock to smash an Egg, why send our sisters?"

"Do you dare back up your words?"

"Why would I not!?

"Then let us settle it properly! You think that we are above them? Then I invite one of our Guests to fight any of our Sisters. Words are empty, let strength speak for us now. If what you said is true, then you should have no trouble defeating one of our barbaric guests without trouble."

"Y-you dare to disrupt the peace of The Goddess' Banquet, you "

"I approve." The Goddess interrupted. "My disciples have stayed within these halls for many years, they have become ignorant of the outside world. It is a good opportunity to broaden your horizons and to see what exists beyond our own borders."

The opposition frowned.

I believe it is obvious to everyone where the Goddess leaned at this point.

A verbal argument was never going to settle a matter such as this. The opposition stands aloof, considering of nothing outside of this place. They look down on us outsiders, and refuse to acknowledge us.

I was tempted to offer myself up to teach them a lesson, but I knew this battle belonged to Wilhelm.

Despite not outwardly showing much expression, I have known him enough to see the hidden excitement in his eyes.

I would not take that away from him, especially if it led to no trouble.

"Let the youngest fight." Goddess Nuwa stated. "Ling'er, where are you?"

"I am here, Goddess." A familiar voice sounded from the back of the opposition. The same woman who barred our path and insulted Wilhelm so blatantly.

"Wilhelm, would you be inclined to join her for a spar?" The Goddess Asked.

"This Young Master will accompany her." Wilhelm stood up.

I resisted the urge to palm my face.

Thankfully, the Goddess only found amusement in it.

The center of the hall was wide and open, and it was easy for them to spar without problems. However, even so, The Goddess moved her hand and a barrier was erected over them.

Wilhelm decided to take out his staff it seemed, focusing more on Magic.

"Do you believe this is a good idea?" I asked.

"Let him have his fun." Scthach replied. "He is young, he is allowed to play around like this."

For some reason, I was recalling the spars I had with Kay when we were younger. Despite Kay always losing the spar, he would make up reasons and argue that he actually in fact won due to some strange reasoning and yet, I could never beat him in an argument.

Wilhelm was giving me the same feeling right now.

I didn't.dislike seeing Wilhelm having fun like this. I was not against him finding trouble the majority of the time either. It would be very hypocritical of me to say that he should never get involved in matters with how often my own Knights found themselves in the strangest of situations.

No, in fact, it was a good contrast to how downtrodden he was from earlier. I really did not like seeing Wilhelm being sad for any reason, even if it was something as nonsensical as not finding trouble during his evening.

"He has far too many burdens for someone his age. Let him have his fun when it comes."

"Yes." I agreed.

"Come, I will allow you to have the first ten thousand moves!" Wilhelm declared.

And I found myself sighing in my heart.

I loved him dearly, but he needed a smack upside the head every now and then.

"Ignorant." The girl hissed, already getting upset and he barely started.

Scthach was smiling and giggling under her breath.

Was it him having fun or was it you?

Truly, you both are far too similar in certain aspects.

"You court death!" She drew her blade.

"Yes I did!" He said proudly.

The girl was confused and didn't get it and I could guess he was referring to Izanami in this situation because he was looking much too pleased with himself.

"Do they really not know Wilhelm? He should be rather famous at this point. And even so, does this girl not recognize she is outmatched?" I shook my head.

"Most of my Disciples do not care about the outside world. Even within the Immortal World, they are isolated, let alone the Mortal World. And as for measuring her opponents strength..she is far too used to using her own Cultivation as a method of measurement. She has never experienced someone who does not utilize the same system of power as her." The Goddess answered my question.

Ah, the reasoning does make sense.

She is hesitant due to the situation, and perhaps an instinctual regard for her opponent, but no threshold to measure Wilhelm's strength that she is familiar with.

Yes, they have grown up too isolated and being unable to measure her opponent properly will lead to her death if she is not careful.

The woman started off, propelling herself forward with a good speed, stabbing towards Wilhelm.

He of course erected a barrier as her sword clashed with it, unmoving.

"You have eyes, yet you are unable to recognize Mount Tai!" Wilhelm declared.

And.I have no idea what that meant but for some reason, the girl tensed up in what appeared to be a hint of anger.

"Blooming Lotus!" The Girl shouted, and ice gathered around her blade, forming sharp figures of flows. She slashed at him, they expanded outward, increasing the power behind her strike exponentially.

Wilhelm's shield shattered, but he didn't move.

"Zun Haal Viik." Wilhelm casually spoke. The Draconic Words recognizable to me at this point.

The Girl's sword when flying away.

Her eyes widened in surprise, but to her credit, she threw out a palm strike. "Lotus Blooms twice!"

Another Icy Lotus appeared within her palm and it exploded outward, enveloping the entire area.

"Feim zii Gron." Wilhelm's words were not loud, but still audible above everything.

He turned intangible and the attack simply passed him through.

"It is impressive." Scthach agreed.

"It does give off a dangerous feeling."

"Ah, an arrow crafted personally by Hou Yi." Nuwa replied. "It has the ability to contain Fire and suppress the Sun and kill Immortals. Unfortunately, half of its power is sealed without the Bow."

"You wouldn't happen to have the bow?" I asked.

Nuwa laughed. "If I had the bow, it would not be up here for anyone to take. And the Arrow would be retained by me."


That Bow would be on the level of the spear, easily.

There were more weapons, many powerful and wonderful ones. But.they were all inferior to my own. Even my worst sword was barely equaled by what I had glanced over so far.

"Wilhelm." Artoria called out to me and I followed.

Two swords sat side by side. At merely a glance, I could tell that these swords were of a high quality and on par with what I'm used to.

"Gan Jiang and Mo Ye." Nuwa introduced.

"The swords of love?" I vaguely recalled the story of the Blacksmith who's wife threw herself into the forge so he could complete the commission to the emperor and not be executed.

"The very same." Nuwa nodded.

I was tempted, they weregood swords.

"May I?" I asked.

"Go ahead."

I picked one of them up, and immediately, I realized that I had to hold the other one, otherwise it would reject me. I held both of them within my hands, feeling their weight. "They're good swords, but they're not for me."

I'm not much of a Dual wielder, and having to wield both of them simultaneously was a big downside to someone like me who switches between weapons depending on the situation.

There were certainly plenty of treasures I wanted, but there was only really one more that drew my attention.

It was a sword, or what remained of one.

I ran a finger along the hilt up to where the blade was shattered.

"Xuan Yuan." Nuwa introduced again. "The Sword of the Yellow Emperor." She spoke and there was an odd.nostalgic and loving tone in her words. I would almost liken it to a proud mother.

Even broken, I was tempted to take this.

A broken sword could always be reforged and even if it was a degree less than its original form, it would still be a sword worth wielding next to my other ones. I could only guess what it was originally like before it broke.

But, I decided against it.

"Let's see the second floor."

With another wave of her hand, another wall opened revealing what I assume was the second floor. It's funny, I'm pretty sure they were actually separate floors, but Nuwa probably couldn't be bothered to walk up and down whatever stairs existed, so she was doing this for us.

There are significantly more things on this 'floor'.

Also, I noticed the rows of scrolls and..were those Jade Slips?

Basically, what Cultivators used instead of books.

But there were many.

Nuwa seemed to noticed my gaze. "This is where we keep the majority of our techniques and Spells as well."

Makes sense.

Third floor was for the really spicy things. Second floor was more of the main storage while first floor was probably more of an introduction or less impressive stuff or important stuff.

The quality noticeably dipped, but that didn't curb my enthusiasm.

But there was a lot.

"Would it be improper of me to ask for a suggestion?" I wondered what she thought I might want.

Nuwa didn't look perturbed. "Do you practice Onmyoji?"

"Somewhat." I can't say It's ever been my main focus. "I know a few spells, but it's something I use when a sealing spell is needed. But most of what I know is.well, it can't really keep up with the opponents I fight these days."

Really, the spell I use most there is the Five Elements Mutual Generation to amplify my other stuff.

Nuwa tapped her chin in thought. "The third shelf, middle section, I think there may be some things there that will interest you. They are not exactly the same, but they have a similar history and origin so it would not be too difficult for you to learn."

Artoria and Scthach had wandered to the sides, looking at things, so I went to look at her suggestion.

Third Shelf, Middle section, there were scrolls, parchments, and Jade Slips littering it.

"Twelve Flood Dragons?" I muttered the name of one particular scroll and pushed it back. "Heavenly Cicada's Evening Song. One Dragon soaring the Heavens. Five Elements Sealing the Heavens. Fire Dragon's Fury"

I was starting to see a pattern here.

I know you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but, well.

I atleast took a look at the Five Elements Sealing the Heavens. It its basic it was similar to my Five Elements Mutual Generator at first glance, but instead of amplifying a spell, it instead reversed it to seal away the immaterial.

Interesting, but not something I particularly needed.

I glanced to the side to see Scthach join me out of curiosity. "Too Delicate." She pushed a scroll away. "Too flamboyant." She said to another. "Fancy and hollow. Interesting..but too complicated. Weak." She kept dismissing them. "Here, student, this one only requires that you sever your manhood, but it is rather interesting."

"I want to be petty and do it just to spite you."

"Hmph, as if I would ever allow you to take your cock away from me." My Scthach snorted with a laugh. She looking through several more until she stopped. "This one." She said,reading over it. "It fills a spot in your repertoire." She handed it to me unceremoniously.

I trusted her judgment and immediately began reading it.

Mountain Sealing Incantation.

A sealing spell? I skimmed it over. It wasn't too complicated at first glance either, and while it used principals I did not practice, I was sure I could substitute them for other things.

Well, color me intrigued.

"I'll hold onto this and see if we can't find anything better."

Scthach hummed and didn't respond, merely a nod as she continued to look through.

I went the opposite direction, finding some rather odd things thrown about on the shelves. Funny enough, I found a dusty tome on Western Magic.

Out of curiosity I flipped through it, it was rather basic, perhaps even intermediate at some points. Maybe I was being too harsh, it would suffice for someone to practice for a good portion of their life.

If they learned everything in it well enough, I could see a Magician becoming High Class in Strength, at the higher end of the spectrum.

Pushing it away, I noticed something peculiar.

A strange aura nearby, a few feet down. A thin layer of dust, and nearly hidden by other things. I pushed them to the side to reveal a rather thick rolled parchment made of unknown material, was strange.

As soon as I touched it, I realized it wasn't created by Mortal Hands.

There was power here, a significant power, but it was muteddepleted even.

There was nothing on it from the outside.

I unfurled it, and the first words written in an archaic text made my breathing nearly come to a stop. It was worn, barely eligible, but I could recognize the words and the feeling it gave didn't make me question its authenticity.

".why do you have this?" My voice wasn't particularly loud, but it was enough that Nuwa, who wasn't taking much of an interest, suddenly looked over.

"Oh, I forgot that was here. It was given to me for something that happened many years ago, but at that point, well, you can feel it yourself. Its purpose was fulfilled, and it lost all of its power, so it's just a decoration at this point." Nuwa replied nonchalantly.

"Student, what did you find?" Scthach was peering over my shoulder.

"Did you find something valuable?" Artoria asked.

"Can I take this?" I asked Nuwa.

"If you want that old thing, fine." She waved her hand dismissively. "I only kept it because of the sentimental aspect. It's not even worth putting on the top floor."

I took one last glance at the first words on it.

God's Investiture List.

I'm taking this, I don't know why, but I feel like it could be extremely useful in the future.

"Right, then I'll take this and the Mountain Sealing Incantation." I said.

"Hmm, good choice. That's a good spell, and if it's cultivated to its highest level, it's quite powerful." Nuwa Nodded. "Now, shall we take a look at the first floor?"

Scthach and Artoria didn't question me. I would explain more later when we had more time.

I nodded to her and she did the same thing as before, opening a path to the first floor from where we stood.

Once again, it opened up to a much wider area containing a wide array of miscellaneous objects. And about what you would expect. This floor, I wouldn't call it trash by any means, but this was probably where they stored everything they found that could be considered a 'treasure' that couldn't make it to higher floors.

The quality was about what the majority of the 'things' I kept as my own 'treasures' in my storage. Good enchanted swords that I found in Skyrim? That was basically the same quality as what could be found here.

It may have taken a long time to find something worth it in here. If it weren't for the fact that my eyes immediately landed on what I wanted.

It was Magic, in that, It was the variety I was familiar with.

I analyzed it from sight alone, its enchantments and engravings I could decipher with my eyes closed. Flight capabilities, enhanced durability. Offensive spells. Lots of more miscellaneous things for it to work, but I saw it all. Oh, the spellcraft was utter shit, but that could be fixed later.

I ran up and immediately hugged it. "It's beautiful."

".Wilhelm, are you serious?" Artoria asked me.

"I want it."

"There are.other things that may catch your eyes."

"Please, I want this."

".what are you going to even use it for?"

".I'll think of something." I pleaded. "Please let me have this, I want it."

Artoria let out a sigh. "If it truly makes you happy, then I will not object."

I happily hugged my new boat.

Rather, it was not just a boat.

It was a Pirate Ship. A.medium sized oneI didn't know the specific term or model of it. But it was like straight out of a movie. Sure, it was a bit damaged and weathered from the ages, but it even had a Jolly Roger!

A Flying Magical Pirate ship!

I took Sir Wiggles out, placing him on Artoria's head, much to her chagrin. "First Mate Sir Wiggles."

"This is what you chose?" Nuwa asked.

"Yes." I said happily.

Nuwa let out a laugh. "I didn't think this would ever get taken out of here. It appeared some centuries ago off the coast of China, causing some trouble for the Mortals. One of my Disciples at the time happened across them and took care of the people involved. I believe this ship is the source of the legends in the west.what was its name again.the Flying Dutchman?"

It took all of my self-control not to Squee.

Today was a good day.



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