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A Nascent Kaleidoscope.

An experiment gone wrong, or possibly right? A Nascent Kaleidoscope opens his eyes. A reincarnated Zelretch story. Previous Fate-series knowledge recommended. A Fate/DxD/Multi Crossover. In Light of the horrendous new update, know that I do cross post on Fan Fiction dot Net. *** My patreon if you want to support me: Patron.com/AStoryForOne Discord -- https://discord.gg/JbwkdNDt7F

AStoryForOne · Anime & Comics
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536 Chs

Chapter 402

Jinn POV

"Personal Potion's for a Person's Preferences…." I shook my head at the title and put it in a pile to the side. In my experience, the alliteration just meant the book was sub par and needed something to grab attention.

'Frash'un's Fires', that could be interesting. A quick skim of the first few pages carried a much more serious tone than the previous one.

'A History of Spells and their uses.' I perked up reading the title. "Urag! I'm taking a Book home to copy!" I hollered across the library. There was no one studying or anything in here at the moment, so it was fine.

"What book?" His head peeked around a bookcase.

"A History of Spells and their uses." I replied.

"Edition?"

"Um…" I quickly turned it over to check. "First Edition."

"I found another one of those yesterday, we should already have the three, just keep it." He waved it off, going back to whatever it is he was doing.

"Neat." I hugged the book happily.

"What was that about?" Medea snuck up on me.

I nearly jumped. "How are you so sneaky!?"

"Ufufufu."

"Hug?"

"Of course, dear." Medea held out her arms and I happily hugged her.

Hugs are nice.

"Have you been taking books home?" She asked me, moving towards one of the nearby tables.

I joined her, sliding into the opposite chair. "I mostly just take one home to copy and bring it back. I'm in charge of Wilhelm's library and all that stuff, so I like to keep growing it."

"Do you all consider anything over three 'excessive'? Personally, I could barely make an argument for two. But your lover is a hoarder if I've ever seen one, is it just something you took from him?"

"Oh Wilhelm is definitely a hoarder. You should see some of the stuff I've had to sort and organize back home. And that's not even getting into what he keeps in his Ring."

"What's the strangest thing he keeps there?" Medea leaned in.

"The strangest?" I tapped my chin. "Probably the random Troll Head."

"Just….a random dismembered Troll Head?" Medea blinked.

"Yup." I giggled.

"Men." She shook her head. "I swear, my hubby is the same way. If I don't get after him he'll not throw anything away because he swears he'll find a use for it down the road. It was like pulling teeth trying to get him to buy new clothes now that we have more money."

"Why don't you just make new ones?"

"Eh, he's not much into what I do for styles. Hubby just wants something plain and functional." Medea rolled her eyes. "It makes him happy, so I'm not going to argue. He looks good in anything, so it's not a hill I'm going to die on."

"True, you do make much more elegant designs." I agreed. "Maybe I should get something new made." I looked down at my blue dress. "I don't actually have many clothes; this was just something that was made with me, so It's always been there when I needed it. Beyond some sexy stuff, or some Bikinis….I don't really have many outfits." Clothes shopping was never something that overly piqued my interest though. And if it weren't for going out, or people other than Wilhelm or my sisters coming and going from the house, I would stay naked the entire time. "By the way, I've never seen you with a ponytail before, it looks good."

"That is a travesty, and we'll have to fix it." She let out a long sigh, touching on her hair as I mentioned it. "Does it look bad?" She asked, almost shyly.

"Why would you ever think it looks bad?"

"Maybe I'm being silly. It's just…..I haven't done this since I was a girl. I was feeling a tad self-conscious."

I quickly took a hair tie and pulled my own hair back into a Ponytail. "Now we match!"

"Gah! You're just so adorable!" Medea reached over the table, pulling me into another hug. "If you weren't already taken, I would have adopted you."

"Can't breathe!" I squeaked out, her grip was really tight.

"You don't breathe." She snorted. "You made that clear when you started talking about things I don't want to hear that you get up to with that brat."

I blew her a raspberry.

"I don't understand how you can be so pure and sincere, and yet be such a lewd and lascivious woman."

"Why not? I like sex, and I like Wilhelm. Why would I care about that being known?" When you know the total sum of depravity that happened on Remnant, I guess certain social norms seemed silly.

"You would fit well with my people." She snorted again, falling back into her seat.

"I could do without your Gods, thank you."

"Believe me, I feel the same way. Even Hecate screwed me over on more than one occasion and she was my Teacher's Teacher. Even in the end, I think only Hestia still answered my prayers. Maybe it was out of pity, but my hearth was always a bit warmer when I wasn't feeling too well."

"I would give you another hug, but I fear for my life."

"You cheeky brat." She giggled, reaching over to pinch my cheek.

'I'm technically older than you."

"Uh huh."

"I am!" I puffed up indignantly, but ignored her attempts at intentionally getting a reaction out of me. "How have you been, Medea? I haven't seen you around since you made the clothes for Wilhelm's party."

"Oh. I've been doing well. Just bouncing around doing this or that. Actually, I just got out of a nice lecture with the Archmage and a few others."

"A lecture, really? I'm surprised you still go to classes. I would have thought you would have been an expert in all the stuff here by now."

"Eh, I've been taking it slow." She waved her hand flippantly. "But you're mostly right. The Magic at this College isn't particularly difficult when you get down to it. But mostly I've been focusing my effort on the more….native aspects of what there is to learn here. Specifically, the lecture I just mentioned, it was a bit abrupt, but we discussed the nature of Soul Gems."

"Oh? Anything interesting?"

"Funny you should mention that." She looked rather proud of herself. "You know that project I was working on for the brat?"

"Mmm, those wands." I nodded.

"Right, well, I hit a bit of a snag and I was discussing it with the Archmage. On a side note, it's surprising I could meet someone I consider a peer here."

"He is a brilliant man. I've talked to him at length about Magic and all that and he keeps up easily."

"Right, so, ran into a little logistics problem. Thought I could just brute force through it, make enough, it wouldn't be a big deal and all that. But it was harder to shatter and use the pieces of a Soul Stone than I initially thought. The amount we would need to get would just be too absurd."

"Understandable." I nodded along.

"And when I was talking to the Archmage, he brought up the thought about what happens when the Soul is supposed to return if it's used up in another world. Obviously, we already accounted for this, but his question brought up a back and forth about some random things, then finally we got to a rather interesting thought. What if we simply remove the Soul before shattering it."

"Wouldn't that depower the Soul Stone? The whole idea is that the Soul is a battery for whatever you want to use the Soul Stone for."

"That's what I originally thought too. I admit I hadn't put much research into the subject beyond figuring out if they were as nasty as their name implies. Which they weren't, otherwise I wouldn't be working with them. But I digress, basically we found a method to remove the soul beforehand, and it had an interesting effect."

"Do tell."

"I spare you the technicals, I have them written down so you can look at them later."

"I appreciate it."

She smiled and continued. "We basically supercharged the Soul Stone, squeezing out the Soul Juice then forcibly sent the Soul on its way. This method technically drains away at the Souls 'vitality', for lack of a better word. However, it does recover in time, before it recycles through the natural order. And frankly, it enters the cycle faster than if it would be returned after it's used through the 'original' method."

"And what benefits are there to this 'method' you discovered?" Well, if there was no actual harm done, then I had nothing bad to say about her choice in wording.

"For simpler souls, like that of a squirrel or something, there's hardly a difference. But if you use something bigger, like say a Troll. Well, you can get a lot more juice out of it than the 'original' method."

"I see where you're going with this then. That means that with a more powerful Soul, you can fracture the Soul Gem into smaller pieces and still retain the same 'power' so to speak. Less effort overall."

"Precisely. The ritual was a bit annoying to get right, but the Archmage was helpful. We tested it on a Troll, which is why I used them as an example. And I'd say that with a Single Troll's Soul, we can create anywhere from 400 to 600 of those things."

Oh wow, that's some good progress. "Impressive. That will cut down on time significantly. Not to mention that Trolls are an invasive species and hostile to every other living being in its territory."

"That was just a singular test, to prove the theory. But anything sufficiently strong would do."

"What about that other super secret project you're working on?"

"That.." She raised a finger up. "Is my little secret for now. You can see it when I'm done."

"Noooo! You can't tease me with it and not show me. Medea~"

"Go shopping with me and maybe I'll give you a hint." She smirked.

"I'm willing to make this sacrifice."

"You cheeky brat." She pulled on my cheek again.

[***]

Wilhelm POV

I admit that Excalibur being held up, level with my neck did not instill a sense of comfort.

I think she was waiting for me to react, possibly violently to her sudden appearance and 'threat'. I could see, very faintly, the marks of confusion as I didn't move to her provocation.

No, I just stared at her.

Frankly, I had no idea what game she was playing, but I wasn't going to participate.

And I think she realized that because she took a step forward and gripped her sword with both hands, staring at me with an angry frown.

Guessing her thoughts was impossible. But it seemed like she was fighting with herself about something and couldn't make up her mind.

Suddenly, she swung at me. Not as fast as she could have, and honestly, it felt slow. No, she intentionally gave me time to react, but I still didn't.

Her blade rested against my neck.

Once more, her brow furrowed in annoyance.

"I'm not going to fight you." I stated, meeting her gaze.

That only served to elicit further disapproval as her frown twisted back into a scowl. "Defend yourself!"

"I refuse."

"You cannot refuse!" She scoffed.

"Then cut me down." I held my arms open, welcoming her.

Her arm shook and she let out a shout of anger, withdrawing her blade. "Why are you so … so….!?" She growled, seemingly unable to find the correct words.

"….why are you trying to fight me?"

Her head snapped back towards me and again, she just looked furious for some reason. "Because you are a fool!"

"That explains everything." I deadpanned.

"If you are hurt then you will have no choice but to stay back." She declared. "If I must remove a leg, then I will. Avalon will heal you in time."

That was….equal parts morbid and sweet, kind of.

"Artoria, are you worried about me?" I asked.

"Do not speak in a familiar tone to me." She growled, pointedly not answering my question. "Now, defend yourself!"

"Wouldn't it be antithetical to your desire if I defended myself?" I raised an eyebrow.

"Be quiet!"

"…..kind of cute, honestly –"

She moved fast, much faster than before, but still, I didn't feel like I was in any actual danger. Her blade was in the same spot again, even if it now pricked my skin and drew blood.

"I have killed for far less insults than what you speak."

"What makes you think it's an insult?"

"…..what else could such words possibly be?" She huffed angrily. "You should be grateful that merely a leg is all the recompose I will take."

I sighed, pushing away her sword with my finger. She was being stubborn, and refused to budge. "Artoria." I looked at her and she just hardened her expression. Instead, I grabbed her blade firmly. "Artoria." I said more firmly.

"I told you not to – " She jerked her blade free, and my blood splashed along its edge. She was silent as she stared at my palm that now had a rather deep cut into it, I could even see the bone. "….heal yourself." She spoke softly.

Ow.

Wow, that edge just went right through my skin. I've always made it a point not to be slashed by Artoria's sword, but damn if it wasn't a clean cut.

"Heal yourself." Artoria repeated, raising her voice.

"Wasn't this what you wanted?" I held my palm up for her to see. It certainly hurt, I wouldn't deny that. But it was far from some kind of debilitating wound. Avalon would have healed it up in moments, but I was intentionally holding that back. Which…was an odd feeling, sort of like holding my breath.

"I demand that you heal yourself!" She shouted.

I was taken back by her show of emotion. She very quickly regained her composure but for a brief moment she looked rather distraught.

Before I could react, however, she glowed, her armor was dismissed. She wore a striking black dress, a far contrast to my Artoria's own attire beneath her armor, but I barely had time to focus on that. Rather, she grabbed hold of the hem of her dress as if she was about to rip it off, her thought process obvious at this point.

"Stop." I grabbed her hand. "Look, it's not a big deal, it's healing up." I showed her as I allowed Avalon to begin mending the minor wound.

She scoffed, jerking her hand out of my grasp and taking a few steps away.

Well, things certainly turned awkward again.

I walked over to the big rock from before and plopped my butt right onto it.

The other Artoria stared at me for a few moments out of the corner of her eye. I thought she may just up and walk away, Astralizing and being done with it. Instead, she sort of walked so that she gave me a wide berth and then, as if measuring the distance, also sat down on the other side of the rock.

….again, it was kind of cute.

It wasn't a particularly large rock, enough to sit a few people. I could lean over and touch her from where I was sitting, which just made it all the more cute that she was acting this way.

"That's a nice dress, black looks good on you." I decided to break the awkward Silence.

"Stop speaking nonsense." She shot back sharply.

"I wasn't –"

"I am not the one you know." She cut me off. "Do not treat me as if I am."

Oh, was I doing that?

"I'm sorry if I was projecting my own Artoria onto you, that wasn't what I intended. You are your own person, and I didn't want you to feel otherwise." I sincerely apologize.

She looked me over for a moment before turning her head away again. "Good."

Great, I really didn't know what to say now. And I felt like she was expecting something from me and I had no idea what.

"Do you still want to cut my leg off?"

I couldn't quite see her face, but for some reason, I was imagining her puffing up like my Artoria did when I explicitly poke her the right way.

"Such action would be futile since you possess Avalon." She was dismissed.

"I could take Avalon out –"

"Absolutely not." She hissed, squashing that train of thought immediately. "If I discover that you handed Avalon over to someone else, I will kill them and force it back into you in a way that is much less pleasant!" She threatened.

"I'm not weak." I responded.

"It does not matter."

"I even beat you, if you would recall."

"Shut up." She huffed. "…..I allowed you victory."

"Uh huh. Was that what you call 'allowing me victory?"

"Yes. We also called it pity."

"Oh, Artoria has some jokes, does she?"

"I do not jest. If you require a laugh, simply seek out that Knight you brought with you." She crossed her arms.

"Ouch." I winced. "I almost feel bad for Lancelot now."

"I suppose someone must." She snorted.

"Do you hate him?" I asked.

"There is no hate." She responded rather quickly. "Hate is reserved for those that have wronged me. It was inevitable, I was a Tyrant, my end was already written in the stars. Regardless of how I tried to prologue it, I was doomed to failure. There is no purpose in hating those who only played their roles as they were fated to."

"Artoria –"

"Do not pity me." She rasped. "…..I would ask you not to, please." She said with a whisper.

"You're a stronger person than I am." I don't know if I would be able to simply let go of everything if I were in her shoes.

"Do not make fun of me."

"I wasn't."

"….I do not suffer fools and liars." She glared my way.

"Am I a fool then?" I asked.

"Yes." She shot back without skipping a beat.

"Okay, maybe I'll give you that. But am I a liar?"

"Yes." She said again.

"And that, I dispute. When have I lied?"

She looked off to the side. "Your words to the Saintess." She pushed up off the rock. "No one wishes for my happiness." Her words carried even as she astralized.

And I now know what it felt like for someone to carve out pieces of my heart.

[***]

A/N Just dropped 3 chapters on p.a.t.r.e.o.n. , they're now up to 8 chapters ahead.

So if you want to read 8 chapters ahead or support me, visit my p.a.t.r.e.o.n.c.o.m / astoryforone