406 Chapter 368

"And you have the thing I told you to keep on yourself at all times?" I looked at my adorable little fox.

"Uh huh." She held up the Talisman I specially prepared for her. It was based on the original design, and similar to the one I gave the kids back in Soul Society. Though, this one was significantly more powerful.

This one held a full powered attack of mine using my Authority inside of it. It took some time and effort, but I managed to seal away that in the form of a Talisman by bleeding a lot of my Divinity into it.

But, for my Daughter, it was all worth it.

I gave her a quick head pat, taking that moment to also check the hair ornament I got her back in Remnant awhile ago. A secondary line of defense because I'm paranoid and a worry wart.

"And you're going to be good for your Grandma Lucretia?" I asked, teasing her.

"I'll be good." She puffed up. "…and we'll play after, right?"

"Of course, I just need to have a boring grown-up talk with Grandpa Zelretch. So you get to go have ice cream with Grandma Lucretia. Afterwards, we're going to spend the whole day together." I reassured her.

Her ears twitched in excitement and there was a big grin on her face.

So cute.

"Don't worry, I'll take good care of her." Lucretia put a hand on my shoulder, walking forward to greet Kunou. "And you little lady are going to get a treat. We're going to my favorite little ice cream parlor."

This was not the first time Kunou met Lucretia thankfully and she liked the older woman so it wasn't awkward in the slightest.

"You good? Don't need me to go threaten anyone to make everything smooth?" I asked.

"Oh don't worry." Lucretia giggled a little. "Everyone here knows better than to mess with me."

Here meaning the Clock Tower. They were going to walk to a little place just outside the 'walls' so to speak.

Which was why I was being so protective, probably. I didn't trust 99.9% of the people here, and for good reason.

"Thank you, Lucretia, this means a lot."

"Oh dear, it's no trouble. I absolutely adore Kunou and I don't mind watching her at all." Lucretia smiled happily. "Go talk to Zelly, I'll make sure Kunou's appetite is ruined and comes back bulging with Ice Cream."

"Joy." I deadpanned.

She giggled again patting my shoulder. "Are you ready to go, Kunou? Give your Daddy a goodbye?"

"Bye, Daddy." Kunou reached her arms out and I enthusiastically accepted the hug. "Love you." She whispered.

"I love you too, my little fox." I gave her a quick kiss on the forehead. "Have fun."

Lucretia nodded at me and I gave her one last silent thank you before they headed out the door.

She was right.

Lucretia had been here for how long now? There was no way Gramps would let the people here not know who she was and that she wasn't to be fucked with.

I didn't know how Yasaka did it for so many years, especially alone. Letting Kunou out of her sight, even doing it with someone I trusted nearly made me be overwhelmed with anxiety and worry.

Walking through a couple rooms, I found Gramps' office door ajar and gave it a light knock, announcing myself. He glanced over to me and I walked inside, sitting in the empty chair as I usually did.

"How's Kunou?" He asked, not glancing up from the papers he was looking over.

"Good." I smiled. "Maybe a tiny bit bummed that she has to wait a little bit before we can spend our day together, but otherwise she's happy. And thank you again – you and Lucretia. This is important and I didn't want to put it off, but I also wanted to spend time with Kunou and it's difficult juggling everything sometimes."

"That's what family is for." He looked up, giving a gentle smile. "I'm sure Yasaka is enjoying the break too."

"I could imagine." I loved Kunou but she could be a little hellion. "They're all having some girl time since, well, they have a new sister. And I'm sure Izzy is enjoying all the new attention."

"Oh that finally happened huh?"

"Please not you too." I sighed, slumping in my chair. "Did you have a bet as well?"

"…I may or may not have." He coughed into his fist. "….who won?"

"Jinn." I groaned.

"Drat, I was sure It was going to take someone sitting you both down to point out the obvious."

"If I wasn't spending the day with Kunou, I would be raiding your liquor right now." I let out a long breath.

And it was especially true after the relentless teasing the girls gave me over the name that Roman apparently actually legalized back on Remnant. I admit I was skeptical that he actually put it all through correctly, but Jinn confirmed it.

According to the Kingdom of Vale Remnant, I am legally known as Watermelon Torchwick.

[And it's never going to get old.]

There was the fact that Jinn went to Remnant, and I didn't have the chance to ask her about that. Certain things took precedent in that ensuing conversation there and I took the quickest out I could.

"So what's the word on that world-line? It's making me anxious not being able to just hop back over to check on everyone." I decided to get right to the important part.

"Here, take a look." I flipped through a few pages, pulling one out and handing it to me. It was full of calculations, enough that I was thrown off trying to figure out what he was doing. "What do you think?"

"It's definitely paper." I nodded to myself.

"Don't be a smart ass." He snorted. "Tell me what you think."

"I'm missing context so these equations mean nearly nothing to me."

"I was trying to begin the basis for simulating that world-line and I ran into a big wall."

I grunted, looking it back over from the top. I grabbed a pen off his desk and ticked off a couple parts to help me work through it. "To be honest, I'm drawing a blank here. If you didn't tell me what you were doing, I would think this was gibberish. And even now, it doesn't really make sense. Am I missing something?"

"No, it's like that for me too." He stood up, moving to a shelf and looking through several things before grabbing a small notebook and tossed it onto his desk. "Those are more observations I made. This is a unique situation and I find myself confused just as much as you are. I believe I understand what's going on but it's still something I'm not one hundred percent sure of. And since there is an entity powerful and knowledgeable enough to notice me if I tried to reach my hand over there, I can't do much to verify."

I skimmed what he wrote to get the basics of what he was thinking right now. "All other possibilities were cut off then. Is that what you're saying?" I flipped a page.

"That's one aspect, yes."

"No wonder the calculations looked weird. Instead of a branching tree of possibilities, that world-line is just…..a straight line with no deviation. It makes sense, but it's not something I've ever actually seen before."

"I've seen similar situations, a result of my status. However, the cause of this particular instance is new to me. I've never seen one so thoroughly….man made, if the term is applicable. I've seen people or entities cause something that resembles this status, but nothing has come close to the intricacy."

"These beacons you mentioned, they're singularities, aren't they?"

"Yes, I was able to detect Seven more singularities similar to the one you experienced that prop up this distorted reality. I was even able to take a peek at your Chaldea, however, it was difficult due to the energy fields that CHALDEAS puts off, which I am to assume is also covering them from the eyes of the one you encountered."

"That links up with what we already know, but confirmation is always good." I hummed, closing his notebook. "What's the game plan?"

"I…don't have one as of yet. I'm doing my best to remain undetected, which makes my efforts very slow. Give me….a week, two at the latest and I think I can give you a method to secure a path back inside without detection."

"I can wait that long. How's Chaldea doing?"

"The details escape me, for obvious reasons. However, they appear to be preparing for the next singularity."

"And do you have any information on that?" I questioned.

"It should take place in France – specifically New Orleans during the 100 year war."

"Oh." I blinked in surprise.

"Something wrong?'

"No, it's just….I'll probably be meeting someone I didn't think I would ever see again." I missed Jeanne, I missed her a lot, she was someone who so easily accepted everything about me even if it was against the beliefs she subscribed to. She was a pivotal part of this piece of history, so there was a very good chance I would see her, or a different version of her. I'm very much hoping I didn't have a repeat scenario like with Artoria…

No, I refused to have a repeat. I'll do what I have to.

"Keep in mind, this isn't a green light for you to fight the entity again. And to be honest, I'm confident that you won't have the same easy path to my old teacher's workshop outside of time and space. That was perhaps a mistake on the Demon's part, one that was rectified the moment you were dispelled."

"I know, I know." I sighed, running a hand through my hair. "I don't plan on just jumping right back into a fight with it. I need more time anyways, I have some new things I need to get up to a certain level with before I even harbor that idea. For now, I just want an opportunity to check back in and make sure everyone's doing good."

The singularities were obviously created by the Demon, so there's probably a path to take if they're retraced that will lead back to him.

"Good, because I'll need you to gather data for me on this next excursion. I'm only confident in sending you undetected, so don't get any ideas. Once I get more information, I believe I can bypass the Demon and allow others to join you."

"I'll probably need all the help I can get."

"Well, that's something to consider later." He clapped his hands. "On to a lighter topic, have you thought about the social gathering I told you about previously?"

"Ah…the thing with all the scions and what-not? To be honest, it hasn't been a priority for me to give much thought about."

"That's to be expected with everything you've been worrying about. You also have new things you've gained as well?"

"Yeah, Scáthach is going to help me train the new stuff I got. Once I get to a point where I'm content with it, I'll show you everything." I nodded.

"I look forward to seeing what you have to show. That wasn't a world I paid any meaningful attention to." He rubbed his beard. "Have you given thought on who you wish to attend with you to the 'party'?"

I hummed to myself, giving it a quick thought. "This sounds bad, but I think all of my options are….unwise. I mean, out of my girls, who delve into Magic and has the know-how to keep up with the people there, especially when they're going to be trying to outdo one another?"

"Scáthach, Jinn, or Yasaka perhaps?"

"Yasaka's magical knowledge basically equates to knowing how to punch over it." I tapped my finger on the desk. "Scáthach, well, she wouldn't put up with any nonsense, nor would I want to force her to. And Jinn…I don't want Jinn to be forced to be around those types. You know how they would act with a 'phantasmal' walking around, especially with the insinuations on what she is."

I would do unspeakable things if it meant protecting Jinn's happiness.

"All valid points. Well, give it some thought. It's not the end of the world if you go alone. Nor do you even have to go. Some people have simply been bothering me about you making an appearance once it became known you were my grandson."

"No, I'll go, I really don't mind." It sounded like it meant a bit to the old man so I would definitely do this for him. "I….might have another option I didn't bring up."


"I was planning on going to Remnant to have a chat with Salem about…everything. It might be something she'd be interested in. If she doesn't kick me out of her castle that is." I made her that promise and I intended to fulfill it.

"I'll let you be the judge of that." He said simply.

It'll also give me a good chance to practice my new stuff on actual targets. Lots of Grimm over there that could be blown up with my new Kidō.

I stretched my arms, opening the notebook again. "Alright, since I'm here and Kunou is going to be a little while still, let's just sort out this nonsense, get it out of the way. Let me get caught up to where you're at."

"I could use your input on a few things anyways. Tell me when you get to page fourteen, there's something specific there that I'm unsure about and could use another perspective."

"Well, let's knock this out then." I hummed, circling a few things.

A little bit of work, then spending the rest of the day with my daughter before going to see Salem. And not only that, but there's the possibility I'll see Jeanne again soon.

So much to do and so little time.


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