Disclaimer: I don't own Fate or anything related to the series.
Like always, thank you to Blind_Seer0 for editing this chapter. It was a lot.
Fate/Grand Order: Ring of Promise
Chapter 9: The Time of Revelation has Come Part 5
Mash ran out of the tunnel system and into the fog filled London night. She looked around, but the streets were empty, no sight of the man they were chasing. "Where is he?" she asked.
"Give me a second," said Mordred, his arms still full with Ritsuka. He stuck his nose up into the air and started to sniff. After a moment, his smile broadened. "Got the bastard. Follow me."
Mash nodded and the pair took off through the streets. As they went, she realized that they were headed towards Buckingham Palace. It was on the top of her list of places to visit, but this was definitely not how she'd wanted to do so. Soon through the fog Mash made out flashes of lightning.
"Is that him?" asked Ritsuka.
"Probably," said Mordred, slowing down. He placed Ritsuka on the ground, helping to steady them. Once that was done, he summoned his sword to his hand. "Ready for this?"
Mash and Ritsuka nodded. Makeda and the other were counting on them to stop this Servant. And to return and help them. They had to make this quick.
"Let's go," said Ritsuka.
Mordred and Mash dashed around the corner and saw the man looking up into the sky, back to them.
"Hey bastard!" yelled Mordred, charging forward.
The man turned to face them and held out a hand. Blue lightning shot from his fingers towards Mordred. The knight was unable to dodge, and the lightning hit him dead on. He was flung backwards, impacting a building.
"Mordred!" yelled Mash. That drew the man's attention, and he aimed his hand at her as well. As the energy lanced out, she was just able to get her barrier up. "Lord Chaldeas!"
The lightning struck her barrier and was halted, although Mash could feel the strain that attack had on her. It was unbelievably powerful.
"Mash," said a familiar voice in her ear. "Can you hear me?"
"Doctor," said Mash, feeling happy to hear his voice. It had been so long since she had last talked to him. "I can hear you."
"Good, the connection is holding. We're running a scan on the Servant in front of you for any signs of weakness. Just hold out a little longer."
"Roger." She braced herself and held her ground, just like she'd done a hundred times before.
But the man's lightning didn't seem to be running out. A constant stream that seemed to be only getting more powerful as it went on. But that couldn't be right, could it? If that wasn't enough, as he fired lightning, he steadily rose into the sky, soon getting out of her reach.
After a minute of holding the barrier up, sweat running down her forehead, Mash heard the Doctor again. "Scan complete. Spirit Origin, Nikola Tesla, a modern figure whose gone into legend. Somehow, it seems Zolgen combined his Spirit Origin with that of the Demonic Fog. All the energy it's been absorbing from people, it's now putting into him. An infinite supply of energy."
Mash grit her teeth, lightning sparking around her. "What do I do then?"
"Hold for backup," said Roman.
Before Mash could ask for clarification, a red blur shot up from the street. Mordred, sword in hand leapt into the air. Tesla noticed him and shifted the stream of his attack. The lightning once again clawed at Mordred. It struck him and sent him back to the ground, creating a crater in the ground.
Mash tried to move to his side but found lightning hurling at her again. She didn't have time to get her barrier up, instead just relying on her shield. A small bit of the energy from the attack rushed into her, shocking her painfully. She grit her teeth, trying to step towards Mordred. If she could reach him and cover him, then they could regroup and take this Servant down.
Except Tesla clearly had other plans. Without saying a word, the lightning intensified, causing Mash's muscles to seize up. She was unable to move another inch, her body frozen. While her shield was blocking most of the lightning, small bits still licked at her, shocking her. She could feel herself dying.
"Mash," said Doctor Roman. His voice snapped her back to reality. A bastion of hope. "Listen carefully to me. You need to extend a barrier over both you and Mordred.
She could see the distance between them, still much too far. "I can't. My Noble Phantasm doesn't reach over there. I'm not strong enough to do that."
"But the spirit inside of you should be," said Roman. "Wake him up."
"But…" said Mash, hesitating. "I can't…I don't know his…"
"Yes, you do," said Roman, his voice gentle. "You've known for a while. Just say his name and ask to borrow his strength."
"Wh-what if I'm not worthy?" asked Mash.
"You are. Now, just say it."
"Sir Galahad," said Mash, the words sending a chill through her body. They felt so right, and as they ran over her, she felt her body energized, the pain from the lightning numbing slightly. A whisper answered her call. Barely audible in her mind over the crackling thunder and lightning around her. But with the words, she now knew what to do. "Thank you."
Mash planted her shield and shouted to the heavens. "True Name, unveiling. I shall rise to the Siege Perilous. The place that cures all wounds and dissolves all hatred, our home, sits here! Manifest, Lord Camelot!"
Shining white walls manifested in the air around Mash, shooting up from the ground to surround and protect her. The lightning stream was interrupted by the walls, giving her respite. Tesla frowned, twisted a dial on his arm and the intensity of his lightning increased. But still, the walls of Mash's barrier rose strong and undamaged into the sky. A castle formed in the air, walls, and towers; a fortress made for knights.
"Hey asshole!" yelled a voice. Mash looked up and saw on one of the towers that had risen into the sky above where Tesla floated was Mordred. He had one hand gripping a spectral flag tightly. Once he was high enough, he leapt off the tower, gripping his sword with both hands. Tesla tried to change the course of his lightning, but he was too slow. Mordred's sword cut into him, a deep wound that fountained blood.
Then in the next instant, there was an explosion of lightning. Mordred and Tesla were both plummeting down to earth. She realized Mordred wasn't righting himself quick enough to avoid hitting the ground. Mash dropped her castle barrier and ran towards them. She leapt up into the air as high as she could. At the apex of her path, she reached out and caught Mordred. They flipped end over end once before landing hard, but safely to the ground. As she helped the Knight stand, he nodded to her.
"Thanks." He looked past her to where Tesla had fell. "Hope that bastard is dead. We've got better things to do."
The pair walked over to the man, his body already fading into golden motes of light. His body was a mess, his Spirit Core clearly destroyed. But Mash was surprised to see a smile on his face. "Ah, to have soared through the sky and been brought down by a bolt of lightning. A strangely poetic end."
"Why did you want to end humanity?" asked Mash.
A laugh. "Did I ever say that was my goal or intention before you attacked?"
Mash realized he hadn't. "No, you didn't. I'm sorry, we just assumed…"
"You assumed right," said Tesla, coughing up a wad of blood. "That was in fact my goal. To ignite this demonic fog was what I had been summoned to do, and what I wanted to do."
"But why?" asked Mash, confused by this man. He seemed so gentle now that he wasn't shooting lightning at them.
"Because of my dream. To end suffering and bring about a world of light. To advance humanity beyond all that currently surrounds us. The physical and the emotional. We can be so much more, and in this I saw a chance to fulfill that dream." Another laugh. "Clarity has come in my final moments though. Where before my death was a decay of mind and body, now I am strong. It does do my heart good to see that there are moral defenders of humanity who question their assumptions and actions. That means that maybe in the end, this wasn't an incorrect path?"
Before any more could be said, Tesla disappeared completely, his body fading into the dark fog. Doctor Roman's voice chimed in through her earpiece. "Servant signal gone. He's been defeated. Good job."
"Thank you," said Mash. "How's Caster doing?"
A pause. "They're all holding in there."
"That's good to hear. We'll head back right now." She was anxious to get back into the fight. Something about the Grand Caster just didn't feel right to her.
A growl from next to her. She looked and realized it was Mordred, looking on edge. "Something's not right," he said, looking around.
Mash did the same but couldn't see anything. Something did feel wrong though now that he mentioned it. Something different in the air…
"Fog density is increasing," said Roman, sounding concerned. "Around the Tower of London. All of the demonic fog in the city is converging on that one area."
Mash looked up and saw dense clouds of purple fog right above the tower. It looked like one large roiling storm cloud, ready to consume London. As she had that thought, flashes of lightning and the crack of thunder pealed out from the demonic cloud.
"We've got an energy buildup,' said Roman. "This reading…it's another Servant. A very powerful one. Prepare yourselves!"
Mash tightened her grip on her shield, Mordred doing the same for his sword as they faced the tower. "What type of Servant do you think they are?" she asked the knight.
"Probably the worst type," replied Mordred. "Nothing good is going to come from that cloud or tower."
Strangely, underneath the crack of thunder, Mash made out the cawing of ravens. The growling from Mordred intensified. Then, from the thick cloud came a strange figure. It took Mash a moment, but she realized they were a knight covered in dark armor from head to toe and riding a horse. In their hand was a large, wicked looking lance.
"Analyzing the Servant now," said Doctor Roman. "They are…"
"This signal is similar to that of the Saber Servant Mash and Ritsuka encountered in Singularity F," said a tech. "Except many magnitudes stronger."
Roman thought about that for a moment, looking at the readings. The Spirit Origin looked similar but warped slightly. It was probably safe to conclude that this was in fact a version of King Arthur. He tapped on the communicator to relay the information to Mash, but while doing so Mordred started to yell. And then he just, leapt into the air in a burst of red lightning.
No one was able to respond fast enough as the Servant in the sky turned and looked to Mordred. They made no movement, but a powerful bolt of lightning shot down from the demonic storm cloud and struck Mordred, driving him into the ground.
"I see that Londinium has become dirty and polluted," said the dark knight, her voice booming over the city clearly. "Then, as it's ruler, I, the Storm King, leader of the Wild Hunt, will do what is necessary to restore order."
"Not if I fuckin' smash you into the ground first," yelled Mordred, standing shakily.
"Ah, Mordred," said the Storm King. "I should have known that where there was disobedience and corruption, you would be there."
The feed showed as the Storm King's gaze shifted to Mash. "Galahad. This is not where I expected to meet you again. My loyal knight, will you be serving by my side, or with that of your treacherous friend?"
It was without hesitation that Mash replied. "I stand with Mordred in defense of this city. Of humanity."
"I see. You were always close. Odd considering your dispositions. But no matter. Then you too will need to be purged." At her words lightning started to build up around her lance and in the clouds surrounding her. Roman watched as dozens of bolts of lightning rained down on the street that Mash and Mordred were standing on. Mash got her shield up but was still clearly tired from her previous fights. Most of the lightning was stopped by her shield, but even then, her vital signs wavered dangerously with every strike.
"Sir," said a tech. "It looks like this Servant is drawing in and drawing power from the Demonic Fog." She sent the data to his monitor.
"So," said Da Vinci, leaning over and studying the data. "As the city proper clears of fog, she gets stronger." She pointed to a part of the screen that showed a model of the movement of the Fog. "The Demonic Fog is still being created by Angrobda. That means in the cavern and tunnel system there will still be a high density. Then it will flow out and slowly join the cloud above Buckingham Palace. That means their best hope would be a shutdown of Angrobda and assistance by the Caster team."
Roman looked to the images coming through SHEBA from Makeda's eyes. The three Casters were hard pressed to stay alive, even with their powerful combination fighting. And he knew that the Fake Grand Caster was playing around with them. "We can see what's happening in the Cavern, but communication into there would still be tricky. And so would them destroying the machine. I don't think we can count on them."
"Then what can we count on?" asked Da Vinci. Roman wasn't sure of the answer.
"Doctor," said another tech. "With the fog dispersing in the city, we've been able to expand our sensors. We actually have movement a few blocks away from the battle."
"Really?" asked Roman. "Send that to me please." The tech did so, and Roman studied it. Two dots indicating two people. A few blocks away, but out on the streets. The only people outside of Chaldea to do so. He clicked on them and their data appeared next to them. His eyes widened. "Quick, get me in communication to these two now. They may be just who we need to turn things around."
After several long minutes the lightning storm relented, leaving a burnt and blasted street. Mash took a moment to catch her breath, her arms sore and the scent of burnt flesh reaching her. She didn't want to think where the smell was coming from. There was movement to her right and she saw a soot covered Mordred shakily standing. He looked like he was about to collapse at any moment. She felt the same, but forced her body to move to his side.
"Bastard," said Mordred, looking up at the Storm King. "Come down here and fight me!"
"Why should I do that?" asked the Storm King, floating in the spot she had been summoned next to the Tower of London. Above her was the swirling, ever expanding cloud of Demonic Fog. "You are traitors, and I will never lower myself to the same ground as you. You will only face swift justice, a purging of your evil stains on this city."
"Damn it," muttered Mordred. "If only I could get close… Hey Shieldy, think you can block that lightning?"
She shook her head. "I don't think so. It's so spread out and my mana is almost gone. Is there any way to get up there?" she asked.
"I could try running up the tower, but there's nothing to say she won't shoot me down or just move before I do so." A growl of frustration. "And I bet if I just try to blast her out of the sky she'll dodge as well. Llamrei is too fast and smart for her own good."
Mash thought that made the situation sound grim. Only one solution occurred to her. "What if I act as a distraction?"
A laugh. "You? You're clearly about to collapse. Don't even think of something so stupid. I should be the distraction."
His words were so absurd that Mash found herself laughing as well. "Your legs are shaking. You can barely move either."
"We're both a mess," said Mordred. "Damn it, no better ideas? She'll only continue toying with us for a bit longer.
As if summoned by his words, a voice crackled through Mash's communicator. "Help is on the way," said Doctor Roman, his voice reassuring. "Just hold out for a few more minutes."
"Hey," said Mordred. "It's Caster's Master. Did that guy finally decide to act? And what the hell does he have planned?"
Mash shook her, a smile growing on her face. "I don't know, but we can trust him."
"I hope you're right," said Mordred. He pointed to the sky and Mash looked where he did. The storm had grown to cover all of London, and she could feel energy building up right above them. "She's about to attack again."
The Storm King's voice boomed over the city. "Have you finally made your peace?" she asked. "I gave you some time, has it been squandered, or are you ready to die honorably like knights?"
Mordred held his hand up, a certain finger held out to the Storm King. "How's this for graceful?"
"Disrespectful." She didn't say anything else as she brought her free hand up and then knifed it down through the air. Dozens of bolts of lightning rained down towards them.
"Dodge them!" said a voice in Mash's head. Energy filled her and she realized she was hearing Ritsuka's voice through a Command Seal order. She hoped her Senpai had gotten themselves safe as she followed the order. Right, right, left, forward, left, back, right. Mash dodged each bolt that came her way, if only barely.
Sparing a moment to look, she saw Mordred doing a more brute force strategy. Red lightning surrounded him as he dodged to the side, came up from a roll and cut a bolt of lightning in half and then leap back to dodge a third bolt. The lightning around him wavered for a moment, but Mash was soon forced to look away and continue focus on her own safety.
After an eternity of dodging the barrage of lightning, it finally stopped. It could not have come soon enough either, as her body felt about to give out. Energy flooded her, a second Command Seal that eased the pain in her body but did little to replenish her full supply of energy. She was running out, and Mordred's heavy breathing under his helmet made her think he was as well. She hoped the assistance Doctor Roman had promised her came soon.
"A valiant effort," said the Storm King, sounding amused. "I guess that is to be expected of two knights who once served me. The cream of the crop. But my generosity and good will has now been used up." She frowned. She raised her hand into the air and held it up, electricity building in the cloud above her. "This will end it. Act like honorable knights and face your death with everything you have."
"Aw shit," said Mordred, stumbling over to Mash. "She's done holding back."
"You wouldn't be able to absorb lightning, would you?" asked Mash, panting. "You're a lightning-based Servant, right?"
He shook his head and laughed. "I can output it with the best, but I'm not a freakin' lightning rod. That shit will kill me. And probably not leave a corpse either. We need to dodge that."
Mash nodded, about to agree before a voice reached out to her once more. "Don't dodge it!" said Doctor Roman, his voice urgent. "Please, trust me and stay right there. Help is about to arrive."
"Is he crazy?" asked Mordred, sounding baffled.
Mash wanted to agree with Mordred, but she also knew that Doctor Roman would never put them in danger without a plan. She shook her head. "I don't think so. I trust him, and I think we should do as he says."
"Fine," said Mordred. "Time's up either way."
There was a deafening crack of thunder and a single, gigantic bolt of lightning shot from the demonic storm cloud towards them. With how large it was, and how tired they were, they were beyond the point of dodging. Mash held her shield before her and Mordred has his sword out. Like either weapon could help them, but what else were they supposed to do besides pray?
A white blur leapt in front of the pair and held their arms to the sky. Mash only had a moment to realize that she recognized the form before the lightning crashed down on them.
At least, that's what should have happened. Instead, Mash watched as the lightning funneled down to a point and hit only the newcomer. Blinding white light surrounded them, hiding them from Mash's view. Only for a moment though, as the blinding white lightning was tinged by flashed of green electricity. The person inside the lightning was illuminated and Mash could finally make out who it was.
"Adam?" said Mash. "What are you doing here? That's dangerous!"
"She's being a badass," said Mordred, sounding impressed.
"Uh," replied Adam. Her face was strained as the lightning kept funneling into her, the green electricity around her building up more and more. Some of it sparked outwards and struck the ground between Mash and Mordred, creating a small gash in the stone. She held out one hand towards them. "Mor-dred," she said, her voice shaky. "Take…hand."
"You don't need to ask me twice," said Mordred, rushing to her side. He reached out without hesitation and took her hand. As soon as he did, the green lightning started to rush through and around him. He stood on edge, as if woken suddenly with jolt of caffeine.
"Holy shit," he said. His helmet broke apart and nestled once more on his back. His eyes were alight with excitement, a smile on his face. The smile turned vicious as he brought out his sword, green electricity running up and down the blade. "This is just what I need to teach my shitty old man a lesson."
"Ugh," nodded, Adam, a smile growing on her face as well, despite the continuing flow of lightning into her.
Never letting go of Adam's hand Mordred pointed his blade at the Storm King, massive amounts of electrified mana running through him to the blade. "I hope you're ready for this, Father!"
The Storm King waved her hand and the lightning halted, the last bits of it being absorbed into Adam. She looked down at them, her gaze cold. She pointed her lance at Mordred, a fearsome amount of energy starting to build up in it as the segments started to rotate. "That is an interesting ally you have there. An unholy creature of meat and metal. I am not surprised that you have kept company, and been so friendly with, one such as that. You are truly a magnet for the worst elements of this city. But I must wonder, will she be able to protect you from this?"
"Ugh, ugh," said Adam, their hands never separating. The electricity transferring between them. "Ungh."
Mordred laughed. "Damn straight! Just like Adam said, we're not protecting no one, just wiping you from the face of the planet."
"So be it," replied the Storm King coldly. "Holy Lance, weigh anchor. Pierce, the thirteen fangs. Rhongomyniad!" As she spoke a blast of fearsome dark energy shot out towards them and Mash felt herself frozen with fear. Even at her strongest she wasn't sure she could stop that attack. How were Mordred and Adam so calm?
"You forget," said Mordred. He pointed his sword at her. "That lance has killed me before, and I won't let it happen again! If your bloodstained lance will reach towards me, then I will repel it with this sword. Reborn in lightning; Clarent, Blood Tree!"
At Mordred's words a massive blast of red lightning shot out of his sword. It struck the dark energy of Rhongomyniad and halted. A sonic boomed radiated out from the impact, shattering all of the windows nearby and raining glass down on them. No one flinched, focusing instead on their battle. Both sustained attacks struggled at an impasse, neither able to gain ground. Mordred and Adam, holding tightly onto each other, electricity flowing between them and into Clarent. The Storm King held her lance tightly, her knees digging into the armored flank of Llamrei as she floated high in the air. Mash wracked her brain, looking around for a way to help, but unsure of how to do so. She had never wished for a long-ranged weapon before, but now she wish she had something, anything, to help with.
Adam reached out with her free hand and grabbed the hilt of Clarent. The pair stood there for a moment, staring into each other's eyes, before glaring at the Storm King. Green lightning started to run from Adam and up the sword, mingling with Mordred's red.
"Raaaaagh!" yelled the pair in unison. Green lightning shot up the center of the red blast. When it struck the energy of Rhongomyniad it branched outward like branches from a giant tree. The lightning arced upwards towards the Storm King from all angles.
With a scowl, the Storm king readjusted her aim, her attack moving slightly to the right and taking out the weak branches on that side. That opened a spot for her horse to move her to safety as the green branches of lightning arced past her. Mash watched as their last chance to hit the Storm King faded as she moved to fly right next to the Tower of London. But then…what was that up there?
Laughter filled the air, somehow carrying over the deafening lightning. A dark form leapt off the Tower of London and struck the side of Llamrei. The horse let out a cry of fear and pain that was cut off by her death. All three figures started to fall towards the ground. The energy from Rhongomyniad faded with the Storm King unable to properly brace herself and sustain it. With nothing to fight against the energy from Mordred's Noble Phantasm shot into the air, fading away as well when he gave up on the attack.
"Who was that?" asked Mash, glancing over to Mordred and Adam.
"Ughn," said Adam, sounding worried.
"No time!" said Mordred. Him and Adam finally separated as he ran towards Mash. "Launch me over there!"
"Wha-," Surprised and reacting on instinct, Mash held her shield at the ready Mordred jumped at her, flipping through the air so that his feet were facing towards her. Mash felt energy fill her from Ritsuka's final Command Seal. She braced herself, caught Mordred on her shield and then did as he had asked. She thrust her shield towards the falling figures and the knight went flying towards them like a missile. The Storm King was unable to respond as Mordred shot past her, grabbing the other figure in his arms. The pair rolled on the ground for a distance before finally stopping, in relative safety.
Meanwhile, the Storm King managed to right herself and land on her feet. Llamrei struck the ground hard next to her and broke apart into golden motes of light, her form broken completely. The Storm king rose, unharmed and faced Mordred as he stood. "That was a clever ploy," she said, pointing her lance at him. Energy started to build up around it again. "But tricks like that will never defeat me. Draw your sword and fall once more to my lance."
Mordred stood and faced her. He was smiling, his hands held up, revealing no weapon. He laughed. "Guess again."
There was the crack of thunder and Mash turned in time to see Adam throwing Clarent. The Storm King tried to move out of the way, but Mordred and the other figure rushed her, grabbing her arms and keeping her rooted to the spot. Clarent struck her through the chest, a burst of green and red lightning shooting out and vaporizing her in an instant. Mordred and the other man were knocked to either side of where she had been. Clarent clattered to the ground, electricity sparking once more around it before fading completely.
Mash and Adam both ran over towards the pair as they stood. As they got closer, Mash realized who it was with Mordred. "Jekyll?" she asked.
"Nope," replied Jekyll, a lopsided grin on his face. Mash realized that his glasses were gone, and his usually well-kept clothes and hair disheveled. "No Jekyll here. Just Hyde."
"You the trump card he was telling me about?" asked Mordred, picking up Clarent and studying Hyde. "The one he said he never planned to use?"
Hyde shrugged. In his hands he held a blood covered knife. "He doesn't like acknowledging I exist. But he couldn't get up there without me, so he took a drink and is napping for a while."
Mordred held out a hand to Hyde, smiling at him. "Thank you for the assist."
"No problem," said Hyde, taking his hand. Mash tried to shout a warning as Hyde tried to pull Mordred in and stab him with his knife. He was unprepared as Mordred held his ground and pulled him in instead. Mordred's forehead struck Hyde's and the man was instantly knocked out. Mordred caught him before he fell.
"Jekyll told me you'd try that," he said. He looked over to the surprised Adam and Mash. He flashed them a smile. "Hey, it's fine. He also told me to do that. When he wakes up he should be fine. You got a jolt left for him?"
"Ugh," said Adam with a nod. She tapped Jekyll on the shoulder and a small line of green electricity transferred between them. Jekyll woke up with a gasp. He looked around, concern on his face.
"Did we win?" he asked.
"Of course, we did," said Mordred, helping him stand and letting go. "You really messed up that horse. The surprise on my old man's face was priceless!"
Mordred energetically slapped Jekyll on the back and it was all the man could do not to fall flat on his face. He glared at the Heroic Spirit. "Hey, don't hit me so hard. Transforming like takes a lot out of me."
"I mean it." He straightened, trying to tidy his clothes as well. "How was Hyde? Did he…try anything?"
"Tried to stab me with a knife. I headbutted him."
Jekyll scowled. "No wonder my head is pounding. I said to knock him out, not concuss me."
"You should've been clearer then," replied Mordred, scowling as well. "You said to knock you out, how did you expect me to do so?"
"Not by giving me a concussion!"
"Unh!" said Adam, stepping between the pair. "Uhn."
"Fine," said Mordred. "If you insist."
Mash heard a noise and turned to see Ritsuka running towards them. When they got close, they slowed, panting from their sprint. "Is everyone okay?" asked the Master. There were nods all around. They let out a sigh of relief. "That's good."
"Are you okay, Senpai?" asked Mash, looking over them for injuries.
They shook their head. "No, I'm fine." Their expression turned crestfallen. "Just annoyed that I couldn't do anything to help."
"Didn't help my ass," said Mordred with a scowl. He pointed to Ritsuka's hand, where all three Command Seals had faded briefly. "You used those, right? Seems like you did enough to me."
Mash nodded. "Mordred's right. I could feel the power from the Command Seals allowing me to hold out through that entire fight. Without them, I might have died."
"And so, would the rest of us," said Mordred. He pointed to Jekyll. "If nothing else, this guy would've gone splat. It was only because of Mash being around to help that I got to him in time."
"I for one am thankful for that," said a pale faced Jekyll. "Hyde doesn't really think about personal safety much when he's trying to kill someone…"
"Thanks everyone," said Ritsuka. "I'm just glad to be able to help."
"Hey," said Mordred, his expression turning serious. "How are those Casters doing?"
Mash's heart fell. In the excitement of battle, she had almost forgotten about the danger Makeda was in. Summoned by Mordred's voice, Doctor Roman's hologram appeared in front of the group. His expression was grim. "Good job defeating the Storm King everyone," he said. "The only threat to deal with in this Singularity is Angrobda and the Holy Grail powering it. If you can collect that we can end this nightmare for London."
"Doctor," said Mash, locking eyes with him. "How is Caster doing?"
A pause. "She's holding on for now. But it's all they can do to survive. They need your help as soon as possible."
Mordred started to stretch. "I guess that settles where we're going next. Back to that cavern to kick the big boss's butt. Sounds good to me."
Mash and Ritsuka nodded. Jekyll raised his hands. "I'm glad that I was able to help due to Chaldea's distress message, but this is where I need to call it. I can barely walk. Sorry."
Mordred laughed. "Didn't expect you to join us anyways. You've done more than enough. Get back home properly now. We'll finish this." He held out his fist and Jekyll punched it as hard as he could. Mordred didn't flinch, but instead gained a broad smile. Jekyll winced in pain, waving his hand back and forth, clearly regretting his choice. Mordred reached out and pulled him into a tight hug. "Thanks for that. I'll take it right to the other guy. Take care."
Jekyll returned the hug. "You as well. I'm glad that you were my partner in all of this. There is no other Heroic Spirit I would've wanted to work with."
The pair broke apart and Mordred pointed at himself with his thumb. "Of course there isn't. There's no other Heroic Spirit out there as awesome as me, after all."
"Uhn," said Adam, tugging on Mordred's arm.
He turned to face her, his expression a complicated mix of emotions. "Yeah, me too. But I need you to bring this guy back home safely. Plus, you're a regular human. That means you've got a life ahead of you. I'm just a hero with nothing else going for him."
Adam shook her head. "Ugh, ugh, uhn!"
Mordred smiled and laughed at that. "You're right. Sorry, I take it back. How about I kick this guy's ass then I'll come back to join you for some tea. Maybe get some cake when the stores open up again."
Adam smiled at that. Jekyll laughed. "It sounds like you're promising her a date."
Mordred and Adam both blushed bright red at that. The knight rounded on his friend, glaring at him. "It's-it's not a date! It's just a thank you for everything she's done to help, that's all!" He turned back to Adam, looking flustered. "Come on, tell him it's not a da-,"
Mordred's words were cut off as Adam reached out, pulled him in close and kissed him. The pair broke off after a stunned moment in which no one spoke. They were both as red as could be. Adam spoke quietly. "It's-a-date."
"Yeah," said Mordred, stunned. "I guess it will be…"
"Uh," said Ritsuka. "I hate to interrupt this, but we really should be going. Do you want to catch up?"
Mordred rounded on them. "No!" he yelled. "Let's get going!" Without giving warning he scooped Ritsuka up in his arms and started to run back towards the cavern, the Master yelling in surprise.
Mash gave a small bow to an amused Adam and Jekyll. "Thank you, for everything."
"Same," said Jekyll. "Good luck. You've got this."
"Ugh," said Adam, reaching out and taking her hand. A shock ran through her, and Mash felt refreshed. Green electricity flashed around her for a moment before fading.
Mash turned and ran after Mordred. She quickly caught up; Adam's lightning having restored her energy if not to full to the point that she could move properly again. She wouldn't let the gift go to waste.
"So," said Ritsuka from Mordred's arms. "You called Adam Cywyllog before when you were covering up her identity. Where did you get that name from?"
"What makes you think I got it from somewhere?" asked Mordred. "Maybe I just made it up on the spot."
The name had sounded familiar to Mash before, and now that she heard it again, she heard a young man's voice whispering in her mind. At his words, her mind finally connected the dots, realizing what had been bothering her about the name before. She gasped in realization. "Cywyllog was a saint from Welsh mythology," said Mash. She glanced over to the knight. "Some myths say she was your wife."
"Wait," said Ritsuka. "You named her after your wife?"
"She wasn't my wife," said Mordred defensively. "She was just a girl I knew…"
"Whose name you immediately went to to hide the identity of a cute girl you had a crush on," replied Ritsuka.
"Drop it or I drop you," said Mordred, his face beet red as they dashed through the London streets.
"Loud and clear," said Ritsuka.
The area around Makeda exploded. She landed in a crouch, sword at the ready. Next to her, breathing loudly, were Andersen and Shakespeare. All three of them were badly injured, covered all over in cuts and bruises. The Fake Grand Caster floated in front of them, no such injuries visible on him. His robes weren't ever dirtied.
"Submit," said the Fake Grand Caster. "None of you are warriors. Accept the inevitable."
Makeda smiled and gestured at her allies. "It is because we are not warriors that we can resist you like this. We're just a few story tellers acting out a tale of resistance."
"And what a grand tale it will be," said Shakespeare, smiling broadly. "The legendary Queen of Sheba picking up a sword for the first time in her life to fight against the Grand Caster, the man who has caused the Incineration of Humanity. There is no greater tale than this!"
Andersen smirked. "You forgot the twist," he said, pointing to the Fake Grand Caster. "I don't know who that is yet, but it's clear from this progression that he isn't the real King Solomon. I think that makes this story even more tragic."
"That it does," agreed Shakespeare.
Makeda laughed in disbelief. "You figured it out? When?"
"While we were fighting." Andersen shrugged. "It really wasn't too hard to do once I had all the pieces. You knew before you ever fought him, didn't you?"
She nodded. "Of course I did."
"Useless banter," said the Fake Solomon. Makeda still did not want to think of his true name. Even doing so could cause him to go berserk and unleash his true powers. They were not ready for that. "I knew that your sight was keen, but that you could know that even before you met me is an intriguing development. Could it be that the reason that you appeared in this Singularity of all places was because you knew that I would be here? A vision maybe?"
Makeda didn't respond to his bait. They were reaching the conclusion; each step would need to be taken with care. Instead, she continued to address the authors. "While I knew the twist, I will still need your help to write the end of this tale. Will you help me?"
They both nodded. "But of course!" said Shakespeare. He gestured grandly. "The world is a stage and we are the players upon it. Until the bitter end I will experience this drama to see how it will unfold."
"I'm here until the end as well," said Andersen, "but only to make sure that you don't write a cliched, boring ending. It's a matter of professional pride."
"Do you think ignoring me will save you?" asked the Fake Solomon. He raised his hands in the air, magical energy building up around them. "I have wasted enough time on you. Your allies have defeated both Servants that Zolgen had summoned to destroy this era. It is time for me to end this and bring about the destruction of this era myself. I will kill you jabbering fools and dig the answers I seek from your Spirit Cores."
Makeda's ears twitched as static reached them. She made out faintly the familiar voice of Da Vinci coming in intermittently. "Help…way…" That was the signal she had been waiting for. And the time was perfect.
"You should have finished us off sooner," said Makeda.
The Fake's eyes narrowed; the familiar face of her lover twisted. "You bluff. You have brought to bare all that you are capable of. I know that well."
"Not as well as you think," replied Makeda. "You assumed that you knew all the mysteries and answers of this world, but what makes something a true riddle is the ever changing and evolving nature it contains. So, here is a riddle for you, what is the fourth Enigma?"
"What nonsense do you speak of?" asked the Fake.
Makeda smiled. "The answer is the Fourth Enigma, Arba, the surging Earth!"
From behind the Fake Solomon there was the heavy shifting of dirt and stone, the crushing of metal and a loud explosion. He turned in time to see the ground beneath Angrobda opening up, swallowing and then crushing the machine. The Demonic Fog that it had been coughing out ceased, the air visibly clearing with the absence of new fog being made. And sitting on top of the remains was a small four horned, white furred creature. An orange dalet on her forehead and a lock of braided hair running down one side of her head. In her gloved hands she held a Holy Grail.
"Impossible," said the Fake Solomon, turning back to Makeda. "I was there for their creation. You only have three Enigmas."
Andersen shook his head. "Like she said, you just don't get riddles. Maybe you're not as smart as you thought?"
The Fake Solomon's face twisted in anger as it finally managed to find an emotion to hold on to. Andersen's spite reflected back from him, creating a horrid, inhuman visage. It had been what she had been avoiding, but the time for that was past. This was the final hurdle she needed to overcome before her vision was prevented. Just a little bit more…
"He does not seem amused by your words," said Shakespeare.
"it's just some constructive criticism," said Andersen, shrugging. He smirked. "Not that I like hearing any of that stuff either."
"Dodge!" yelled Makeda, leaping backward. The authors jumped out of the way to opposite sides as the Fake Solomon shot a powerful magical bolt at her. Makeda parried with her sword, successfully protecting herself from the attack. Mana surrounded the Fake Solomon, so powerful that it was visible as a black and red aura. It lifted him up into the air as the ground started to shake.
"For that human insolence you will now die," yelled the Fake Solomon. The ground around them shook and the world exploded, engulfing Makeda.
Mash and the others ran through the tunnels below London. The fog was still thick here, but they didn't let it slow them down. They had somewhere to be and people who needed them. As they got near the end, the ground shook violently. They stopped for a moment, looking around for the cause. Doctor Roman's voice reached out to them. "Angrobda has been destroyed. Makeda's Engima has the Grail."
"Good for her," said Mordred, sounding honestly impressed. He let Ritsuka down from his arms. "We're almost there. Mash and I had better go ahead, clearing the path."
Mash and Ritsuka exchanged glances. Her Senpai nodded. "Go," they said. "I'll catch up. Help them."
"Thank you," said Mash, immediately continuing to run down the tunnel, Mordred next to her.
The pair exited the tunnels and into the cavern. As they did, another explosion ran through the area. Mash gasped at what she saw. Dozens of black tentacles with jewel like red eyes running up and down them. They stuck out of the ground like stakes. And on the tips of them she couldn't believe what she saw.
"No way," said Mordred, also speechless. "That's insane."
"Mr. Shakespeare…Mr. Andersen…," said Mash. Both writers were impaled, their bodies hanging limply.
"You are too late," said the Grand Caster, glaring at them. "It is just you two now. The grail will be returned to me, and the destruction of this city assured."
"Not if I've got anything to say about it!" said Mordred, swinging his sword. "Clarent, Blood Tree!"
Once more a green and red blast of lightning shot out of his sword, sections branching out as the main trunk headed towards the Grand Caster. Tentacles were speared and destroyed, being vaporized on contact. As the blast approached the Grand Caster, he waved his hand and a powerful magical shield appeared in front of him. Mordred's attack struck the shield and failed, breaking apart on impact. The shield faded and the Grand Caster stood, untouched.
"A wasted effort," he said, pointing a finger at Mordred. A powerful magical bolt shot out and struck Mordred before he could dodge, sending him flying into the wall, then collapsing to the ground.
"Mordred!" yelled Mash.
"Run," said Mordred, his voice weak. "Run at him and kick his ass…"
She nodded, holding her shield at the ready and facing the Grand Caster.
"Young Demi-Servant," he said, looking at her. "Mash Kyrielight, Shielder Class Demi-Servant. Created by Chaldea to be a weapon. You are the only one I currently judge to be untainted and thus able to be spared the Incineration of Humanity. Lev Lainur might have been overzealous in trying to kill you. Come with me and I will spare these fools for now. This will allow them to die at the end of the year with the rest of humanity. A fair proposal, is it not?"
Mash couldn't believe what she was hearing. The offer was insane, there was no way she could agree to it. But, when she thought of Mordred, Adam, Jekyll and the rest of London desperately trying to survive. Of Ritsuka and the rest of Chaldea, and the chance she could give them to live if she just went with him now. If she stopped fighting, the time they would have to prevent the Incineration of Humanity might be invaluable. And all it would take was her going willingly with a monster. Was this what she had been created and fated for all along?
"Do not think of it," said a strained voice. Suddenly in a burst of wind appeared Makeda. She was next to the Grand Caster, a well-crafted sword in hand. She stabbed at him with the sword, the point headed right at his heart. But it was stopped as a thick tentacle appeared between them, forcing the blade to a halt just mere inches from piercing him.
"If it is like that, then perish," said the Grand Caster. Mash could only watch as another tentacle burst out of the ground, stabbing Makeda through the heart.
"No!" yelled Mash, running across the cavern to her as fast as she could. She watched as Makeda tensed then went limp, her arms letting go of the sword and falling to her side. Her head hung down, her hair covering her face, her ears and tail drooping. In an instant Mash had covered the distance between them and was reached out for something, anything she could use. Her hands fell on the hilt of Makeda's sword.
"It is useless," said the Grand Caster. "That will never work."
His words were proven wrong as the sword glowed and destroyed the tentacle entrapping it and leaving nothing between her and him. His eyes were wide in surprise and he was unable to respond as with a powerful cry Mash swung the sword at him. The sword cut through the Grand Caster, his body breaking apart in dark purple motes. As it did, so did all his tentacles, depositing the bodies of the three Casters to the ground. The sword was shattered as well in the process, and Mash threw the pieces to the side as she turned and knelt by Makeda.
"And alas," said the gasping voice of Mr. Shakespeare. "Our little play comes to an end. It was not the Queen of Sheba who was our true heroine, but her will and love, passed along in her blade. It was the daughter, carrying the blade of her mother, who managed to banish the evil darkening their family for the time being." He coughed, his body breaking apart into golden motes. "What do you think?"
"I hate it," said Mr. Andersen, also disappearing. "It's poetic, but I still feel unsatisfied. Maybe for once we should have tried to write a genuinely happy ending? But that is not really in either of our natures, is it?" And as he spoke those words both their bodies disappeared, leaving Mash alone with Makeda.
"Makeda," said Mash, gently grabbing her body. "Please, say something."
"Mash," said a voice. She looked at Makeda for a moment, her bloody chest and closed eyes, and hoped that it was her speaking. But she realized it wasn't. It was Doctor Roman. "Mash, please report."
"Doctor," said Mash, tears coming to her eyes. "It's Makeda. She's…"
"Still alive," said Doctor Roman. "I still have my Command Seals. I've used the final one to stabilize her, and we can see her vitals through our equipment. Her condition isn't good though. Please, collect the Grail and we can get you back here immediately."
"Understood!" said Mash, gently lowering Makeda to the ground. She stood and looked around the ruined cavern for any sign of the Holy Grail. She saw Mordred and Ritsuka running over to her, but no Grail in their direction.
She heard a small squeak behind her and turned to see one of Makeda's Enigmas standing there, the Holy Grail held tightly in her hands. She wasn't one of the three Mash recognized, but now wasn't the time to question her fortune. She reached out and took the Grail. "Thank you."
As she took the Grail, the world around them started to break down, the Singularity finally being corrected. Ritsuka and Mordred finally made it to her side but looked down in distress at Makeda. "Mash," said Ritsuka. "Makeda, is she…"
"Critical condition," said Mash. She handed the Grail to Ritsuka. "We need to get her back to Chaldea."
"Guess that leaves no time for goodbyes" said Mordred, looking at her. He held out a fist. "It was good fighting besides you."
Mash fist bumped Mordred, tears in her eyes. "Thank you, for everything. I'm sorry you won't be able to get that date with Adam."
He blushed and looked away. "It'll be fine. I'll figure something out. It's nothing for you to worry about though." They were both silent for a moment before he continued, looking at Makeda. "Good luck helping her. She wasn't that bad, after all. Tell her that for me."
"I will," said Mash, nodding. She knelt down and picked up Makeda gently in her arms. She looked to Ritsuka and the pair nodded. "Doctor, please, take us home to Chaldea."
Author's Note: And now we're done with London. A lot has happened, I'm going to miss these characters. Mordred, Jekyll, Hyde, Fran, Andersen, and Shakespeare are all a lot of fun to write. One day I might get to my planned complete rewrite of London without Chaldea (I like them but removing them would allow me to expand things in a unique way). And in that I would finally get to write Tamamo and Kintoki. They're kind of tacked on to the original London Singularity to help pad things out and give more Servants for Solomon to curb stomp. They were cut in this to help streamline the story and because Makeda, Adam and Jekyll fill their role. And also the origin of Cywyllog's name came to light. Congratulations to anyone who knows that very obscure factoid! (I only know because I have an illustrated Arthurian Legends Encyclopedia I picked up at a used bookstore.)