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Thread: Detective Mordred & Co.

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    Oh god, I see where this is going... Draconic's Avatar
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    Post Detective Mordred & Co.

    Detective Mordred & Co.
    (A Symphony in Saberface)



    It was a lovely day in Camelot, which only made the fact that she had to go back to the sunless halls of Chaldea that much less appealing.

    And as much as she would never admit it, she still liked Camelot. Even if it was run by that holier than thou Lion King.

    "Oh well, back to the grind."

    It was something of a backwards statement, considering that the grind was home and work was when she got to have fun. But Mordred had to admit, it could be worse. For instance, she never had to clean the halls.

    Of course, that was about to change.

    It started when she got on the elevator. Smelling something metallic as the doors opened, she looked down at the floor.

    "Why is there a dead guy here?" she grumbled aloud. "There's not supposedto be a dead guy here. There wasn't a dead guy here yesterday. Why is there one now? Uh oh, this isn't gonna be a permanent fixture is it?"

    Come to think of it, there was a trail of dried blood leading up to the elevator… she should have expected this before she got on. Maybe she should let someone know about this?

    "Nah… someone else can do that," she waved the thought off.

    Then she found the other corpse.

    It was the second of many more that she would come to find over the coming days. It wasn't a human corpse either. Laying before her as she got out of the elevator in a horrific puddle of its own innards, an expression of sheer terror eternally etched onto its face…

    …was a seagull.

    Gosh, all that buildup for that? Well, that's just disappointing! Someone should file a complaint to the nincompoop who wrote that paragraph.

    Mordred was a bit suspicious now, but she still decided that she could let it slide. It could still be a coincidence. Also, it was a goddamn seagull. She could honestly ask herself 'who the hell cares?' and just as honestly give the answer 'literally friggin' no one.'

    The following day however, she was forced to change her mind when the stiffened body of a soldier from Orléans slid from a net on the ceiling and bashed her in the head.

    "What the hell is all this?"

    To be fair, it was just a common soldier. One of many the Servants of Chaldea took down on a regular basis. But that didn't matter. The important thing was that Mordred was getting annoyed. So she decided to take this issue to someone who was likely to know what was going on.

    She found him prowling the halls and muttering some sort of gibberish to himself, as he so often did.

    "Hey, Gilles, I found some guy's corpse in the elevator."

    "Do you know who this 'guy' is?" the deranged sorcerer answered, his head tilting slightly to the side. "Would you like my assistance returning it to them?"

    Mordred's eye twitched, one corner of her mouth curling upward dangerously.

    "That is not what I mean and you damn well know it."

    "I'm sorry…" he gesticulated, his tone positively mournful, "I simply made an assumption based on what I would do if I had a corpse."

    "Yeah, this is my fault, I should have expected this," Mordred fixed Caster with a half-lidded glare, "You're clearly not gonna be any help."

    She stalked off. Then, feeling his gaze still on her, she turned around.

    "And stop staring at me with your bulgy lizard-eyes!"

    Leaving the now melancholic psychopath behind her, she decided that even if she couldn't do anything herself—or be bothered to—she'd at least seek out a person with authority to inform of the situation. She didn't know who was doing this, so she expected that she could just find someone who was suited to fixing this problem, and be on her merry way.

    Coming across Jeanne Alter with her cross-class of Ruler/Avenger, and as such being a figure of some authority, Mordred figured she would be as good a person to tell as any.

    "Hey, I found a dead guy in the elevator—"

    "Did you?" said Jeanne. "Well cry me a river! I found a dead manticore in my room and I'm having enough difficulty getting it out without splattering guts everywhere or getting cut by its stinger and melting like the Wicked Witch of the West!"

    Mordred chuckled.

    "Heh, I have a few things to say about that. First, gosh, I'm almost sorry to hear about that. Sounds like a bit of a pickle.

    "Second, don't think I missed the not-so-subtle contextual allusion there, it's not bad."

    A thought struck her.

    "And third: Do you want to help me find the numbskull who's doing this?"

    "Not particularly."

    The two women heard someone humming a jaunty tune that sounded suspiciously like La Marseilles. Gilles walked by carrying the brutally mutilated corpse of a young boy.

    "Dammit to hell, fine! Let's find out who's doing this, if only so that I can put that necrophiliac pedophile back on his leash."

    "Oh, my dear Jeanne! I'm so sorry that I sullied thine eyes with such a ghastly sight. I assure you—"

    "Please, don't explain yourself to me, Gilles de Rais. I don't want to hear it."

    "Very well, my lady."

    Letting Gilles go about his awful business, the two girls went back to Mordred's room. They needed a place to come up with a plan, and if what Jeanne said had any truth to it whatsoever, her lodgings were off the table.

    Sitting down on the corner of her bed, Mordred rubbed her eyes with her thumb and forefinger.

    "I guess this is the part where we decide to… I dunno… do something about all this?" suggested Mordred, albeit uncertainly.

    "Ugh…I suppose," said Jeanne, imagining what her sickeningly wholesome counterpart would say about her decision.

    "I knew you were a good person under all that anger. I'm so proud of you, sister!"

    "Oh, God help me!" she moaned, holding her head in her hands.

    "What's got you all agitated?" Mordred pressed, narrowing her eyes.

    "Nothing worth talking about," Jeanne deflected. "Let's just do what we came here to do."

    Mordred shrugged, but didn't feel motivated to pursue the subject. She just had to finish this one chore and then she could come back here and take a nap until it was time to go out and fight some more.

    "I suggest we prowl the building searching for any suspicious people," said Jeanne.

    "Won't work," Mordred dismissed immediately.

    "What? Why not? You didn't even think about it!"

    "I didn't have to. We've got murderers, assassins and depraved maniacs here up to our ears. If we're looking for suspicious characters, we'll end up gathering at least a third of all the people here. And since it'd probably be one of them anyway, that doesn't really narrow our list of suspects down."

    Jeanne rolled her eyes, but conceded that Mordred had a point.

    "So, if you're so clever, what do you have in mind?"

    "We should look at some of the bodies and see if we can't find any clues on them."

    "Oh. Wonderful. Gilles' idea of a fun Saturday afternoon."

    "Never said this would be fun."

    Jeanne didn't care about having fun. Well, she supposed she might, but not in this context. She just didn't want to do something that her creepy henchman was better suited to.

    "Stop looking at me like that!" Mordred complained, "If you have a better idea, then speak up. But I'm just being productive here."

    "Yeah, yeah, I know."

    Mordred stood up.

    "So, shall we get started?"

    "What? Now?"

    "No, on Christmas—Yes, now! When else were you expecting?!"

    And so the girls set out to find the 'murderer'/vandal. All they had were their weapons and their wits. And the only fact they had to go on was this: Today was going to be a very long day.

    They could tell.

    On the other hand…

    "Okay, you know what, I've already had more than enough of this for one day. Mordred said, changing her mind at the drop of a hat. "Let's just agree to start tomorrow morning."

    If Jeanne had agreed any faster, she probably would have broken the sound barrier.

    So, today would be okay. No more boring than usual at least. Tomorrow however would've positively mind-numbing.

    That aside…

    "Erm… Saber," the Avenger said, enunciating her words slowly, "You wouldn't be averse to letting me camp out in your room, would you? What with the conditions in mine being less than favorable, to put it lightly."

    "Eh? No way! Get out!" Mordred snapped, then before Avenger could even retort, she grinned, "Nah, I'm kidding. You can crash here, just don't expect me to share the bed."

    They both agreed that this was a reasonable arrangement. They just hoped that they would get a good night's rest, because without that, they were definitely gonna die tomorrow.

    * * * * *

    The following morning, Mordred and Jeanne Alter headed into the halls.

    "Where do you want to start?" asked Mordred.

    "That depends: Are you just going to dismiss my proposal without even thinking about it again?"

    Quite possibly.

    Out loud, that translated to, "No, what do you take me for?"

    "Well then, I'd say lets drop by the cafeteria, circle around through the halls to one of the common rooms and then go upstairs and hit the entrance hall."

    That idea… actually wasn't half bad. Huh, go figure.

    "Well, full disclosure, I actually was going to dismiss your idea without thinking about it, but I've gotta say, that actually sounds like a pretty good starting point."

    Jeanne didn't say anything, too busy wondering whether Mordred was insulting or complementing her, and giving her a sour look regardless of which it was.

    "In that case, whenever you're ready…" Jeanne grumbled.

    "Okay then, onward! To glory! And revenge for making us put in overtime for no extra credit!"

    They started their trek to the cafeteria.

    "You know something? I almost felt inspired by that. Almost. Don't feel bad. It'd take a lot more than anyone here is capable of to properly inspire me."

    Mordred shrugged. "Wasn't really looking for approval to be honest, but thanks anyway."

    * * * * *

    The cafeteria was empty when they arrived there. Or so it appeared…

    "Hello? Anyone in here?" Mordred called.

    Jeanne merely stalked along the aisles, silent but for her footfalls. If there was someone hiding in here, she would find them.

    A few minutes of this yielded results similar to those of someone looking for penguins in Antarctica. Because, as they all knew, Antarctica did not exist, and technically speaking, neither did penguins.

    "Seems strange that not even one person is here…" she muttered to herself. No Servants, nor any of Chaldea's human faculty.

    It was abandoned.

    Eerie.

    "Are we the only two people here not on assignment?" Jeanne wondered aloud.

    "'Course not!" answered a startlingly cheery voice. "You aren't nearly that special."

    Jeanne, for her part, was not startled at all however, and having disappointed Kiyohime by not jumping out of her skin, she proceeded to aggravate her further by ignoring her completely.

    "Ooh, look, someone just left a good half of their steak just sitting here," Mordred said, abruptly derailing all present trains of thought. "Well, it's mine now."

    She sat herself down on the bench and spent a good ten minutes enjoying someone's surprisingly tasty leftovers. It was probably cooked by that nameless Archer.

    Kiyohime, fuming, strode away, leaving the two blonde Servants to their own devices. Leaving the cafeteria, she (elegantly) stormed down the hall, turned a corner at a three way intersection, and…

    "Huh…" she said to herself staring at the morose sight before her. "Well, that's no good."

    After a moment's thought, she decided that she probably had to tell the two Servants she's just run into about what she had found. Or one of them at least.

    "Um, Saber? There's something I think you need to see."

    "What is it?" Mordred asked, licking some sauce off the now empty plate.

    "I think that it's better that you see it for yourself rather than being told. It… might be something of a nasty shock, mind you."

    Mordred didn't want to put her pseudo investigation on hold, but this was a Berserker, one of the scariest for that matter, showing actual tact, so Kiyohime probably had in fact discovered something they might find troubling.

    Well, either that or it was just that the Berserker was asking for it and wanted to be impaled. That may have just been wishful thinking on their part though.

    They followed Kiyohime to the intersection and she directed them around the corner before apologizing to Mordred for a reason she didn't understand and changing her destination to one that was cleaned on the way there.

    The Knight of Treachery looked down the hall. There was certainly a body there, at the end, but…

    No…

    No!

    It couldn't be!

    "Oh my god, dad!" Mordred howled, running to Arturia's side. She lay there, her eyes dim and glazed over.

    There was a lot of blood. Too much. Avenger was sensitive enough to at least keep a respectful distance. For a moment, she played upon a feeble hope that she might still be okay, checking the other Servant's pulse.

    There was nothing.

    Mordred turned to her fairweather companion.

    "Okay, full disclosure. Err… again. I was honestly hoping that I could just get you invested and be on my way, but now…" she gritted her teeth, her eyes feeling as though they were trembling in their sockets. "Now this is personal!"

    "Mordred!" Saber Arturia rushed into the room. "I heard you scream, is something—oh, I… I see."

    Saber of Red looked up at her 'father' and gaped.

    "What?— but… but you're—" she stammered, looking from her father, to the body, and back. It was still there, no less gruesome than before, but Arturia Pendragon, the Blue Saber was nevertheless standing tall beside it.

    "Shall we assume that this is not one of ours? Or perhaps simply a freshly summoned but… unfortunate… new Servant?"

    "I-I… I guess?"

    Arturia looked down at 'herself' and frowned in distaste. Then she turned to Mordred, her expression softening as she offered her a hand up.

    "I confess, I'm surprised that you were even perturbed when you thought I had passed," she said pulling her 'son' to 'his' feet.

    "D-Don't get the wrong idea!" Mordred snapped, looking away, taking a sharp, shuddering breath in. "It's…it's not like I care… or anything."

    "Duly noted," Arturia smiled. "You were simply distraught by the thought that had I been slain, at least by any hand other than your own, you would never have the chance to prove yourself."

    "Y-Yeah. Exactly."

    Saber looked at the two other women, appearing to examine them for a moment.

    "The two of you seem like a curious team, if I may say so. What has brought the two of you together today?"

    Jeanne Alter looked at Mordred, who nodded.

    "Well, the truth is that we happen to be looking for clues as to who the person who did this might be. There have been a lot of corpses turning up around Chaldea over the past few days. Monsters, people, even Servants as this incident has shown us."

    "This is not the first?" Arturia asked.

    "You seriously haven't seen any others yet?" Avenger scoffed, "Where the hell have you been for the past three days?"

    "On assignment, Avenger. I only just returned."

    "Oh… um, my apologies then."

    Arturia merely sighed, barely resisting the urge to roll her eyes. However, she found herself nodding.

    "You say you are hunting the miscreant who did this?" she mused. "That is indeed a worthwhile pursuit. Manners aside, I wish you luck on your endeavor.

    "On second thought, would you mind terribly if I joined the two of you. It could not hurt to have an extra pair of hands, could it?"

    Mordred wanted to deny her. She didn't want her father's help in this matter. If she didn't do this on her own, it would be pointless. However, another part of her wanted to keep Arturia around for a while, just to make sure the other Saber stayed safe. That part proved itself to be strongest.

    "Alright… fine you can come along with us. Just don't forget that I'm in charge right now."

    "By all means. Show me your resourcefulness," the Blue Saber agreed, much to Mordred's surprise. "Lead on."

    She did.

    After some searching however, nothing came up. Mordred found herself growing increasingly frustrated as she found an ever increasing supply of nothing.

    However, she wasn't going to quit. She had just roped a responsible person into this and she couldn't fail now. Not in front of two other people… and especially not in front of dad.

    She was going to crack this case open like a big, violent walnut.

    * * * * *

    "Steady… steady…" Mordred chanted, her tone not nearly as smooth as she'd have preferred. Then again, she was holding part of a manticore with a very uncooperative tail. And was in a particularly foul mood.

    The rest of the previous afternoon had passed fruitlessly. Not surprising considering that none of the three Servants had the vaguest experience in being detectives. Or even pretending to be detectives. After a few hours, Mordred got the admittedly decent idea to go back and check the wounds on the other Arturia's corpse, but when they returned to the murder scene, it appeared that someone had dragged the body off somewhere. Jeanne Alter swore that if Gilles had taken it she would take up fighting in the Lord's name again if only so that she could call down divine judgement upon his deranged ass.

    She had spent the night in Mordred's room again. She brought a tankard this time. To their credit, they both stayed sober, but it was mostly because they were bored half to death from hunting for clues, and collapsed from exhaustion before they could get through more than a single mug each.

    The following morning, Jeanne Alter had gotten Arturia, Mordred and her 'sisters' to help drag the manticore corpse out of her dorm. And that's where they were now.

    "Pull out the manticore, I said. It'd be easy, I said," Mordred berated herself. Well you know what? She, Mordred, prodigal son of King Arthur, bastard child, rebellious teenager, was a fucking dimwit! If that stinger cut her, she could only blame herself—if she even had time before the violent toxins melted into a viscous puddle of goo—and it'd serve her right for volunteering!

    They moved the giant monster a few more inches out the door, the tail swinging around limply. Mordred had suggested cutting it off, but attempting to saw the stinger off wouldn't have gotten through the thick tail vertebrates, and after a very close shave, Mordred determined that trying to slash through it in one swing would propel it in the direction of the attacker, so that was out too. The only option they had was to drag the whole thing out.

    "Steady… easy there… easy, easy, hold-on-caref—shit!" Mordred shrieked. She felt something scrape along her arm, and she squealed in pure dread. "No, no, no, not yet, I don't wanna die! I still wanted to do so many things once the world got restored! I wanted to eat fried fish out of a newspaper! And learn what that Star Wars thing is! And kill you," she pointed at Arturia.

    "One of those things is not like the other," Jeanne giggled, already used to Mordred's patricidal and seemingly empty diatribe.

    "I had enough of death the first time! Wait, if I cut off my arm, maybe—"

    "For crap's sake, calm down you hyperactive kid!" Avenger growled, "it didn't break the skin. You're fine."

    "Fine?! Then explain why my arm feels like it's burning!"

    "Because you've got corrosive venom on the outside and it's probably going to eat through a few layers of skin before stopping."

    "Ack, get it off! Get it the hell off of me!"

    Jeanne Alter raked her hand through her hair in frustration.

    "Is she always like this?!" she asked Arturia, who just shook her head.

    "I blame you. I still feel a buzz from that booze from last night," Mordred complained.

    Meanwhile, Jeanne Alter Lily took out an exaggeratedly long scroll from a pouch at her side, writing down Avenger's name.

    Mordred caught a glimpse of the header and had to smother herself with her hand to keep from laughing uncontrollably.

    Naughty List it read.

    Then the manticore toxin burned through another lair of skin.

    "For craps's sake, get me a bucket of water, you sadistic jerks!"

    "Mikon? Oh, fine, but you owe me."

    Well, that voice and patent-pending-all-purpose-exclamation/magic word didn't belong to one of the people she'd been talking to.

    Moments later, a large bucket of water materialized next to her.

    "Umm, thank you, Tamano," she said hesitantly. Please let it be the cat please let it be the cat please let it be the cat—blue robes, shit. "Well, it was nice knowing me."

    That said, it was pointless to let the acid continue burning through her arm and submerged it in the bucket. She could only hope that when there came a time that a Tamamo called upon her to do them a favor, it wouldn't be too painful.

    Eh, who was she kidding, she'd be fine, probably. Erszèbet was the only person who ever really needed to fear for her wellbeing around the fox Caster.

    "What have you guys been up to? I've seen you walking all over the building looking grim. Are you doing something fun?"

    Mordred ground her teeth together. Damn fox had to ask about the thing that was bothering her, didn't she? Whoever was killing things and dumping their bloody corpses into Chaldea, she was going to have them drawn and quartered for the humiliation she suffered yesterday. She took a deep breath and faked a lackadaisical smirk.

    "Well you see…"

    * * * * *

    A few more days passed however with no further incidents. This of course only made Mordred increasingly high-strung and after about a week, she was liable to jump at anything, to the point that even the sound of Shielder's voice could startle her.

    After a month of no incidents, Mordred was a bit less stressed out and just plain angry.

    How dare some messy killer make her look bad in front of the King?!

    …er…not that she cared what the King thought.

    Still, it made no sense! She had searched Chaldea from top to bottom looking for this guy. Where the hell could he have been hiding?!

    It would probably have helped if she had known who she was looking for.

    Much to her chagrin, they were gearing up for the climactic battle with Goetia before she ever had the chance to get revenge. She was furious that she was going to end up going back to the Throne of Heroes without getting this score settled. As it turned out though, she never had anything to worry about. Chaldea evidently still needed Servants around even after the world was restored. In the end, not much changed.

    She got a Blu-Ray of Star Wars at her first opportunity. That had been a very fun evening, and had some interesting side effects, but it was a story for another time.

    By this point, she had mostly forgotten the incident with the corpses, having just gotten off the emotional roller coaster that was the battle against Goetia, but evidently, something wasn't content to let this whole thing settle: A few months down the road, Mordred got an aggravating surprise.

    * * * * *

    She was on a team with Arturia and Jeanne Alter, giving her a feeling of familiarity throughout the assignment. Curiously, there were a lot of corpses laying everywhere in the singularity. Corpses of things that would probably have attacked them. However the group pressed forward paying them no mind.

    That may have been a mistake.

    They'd had an easy time of it on this mission and Mordred allowed that to make her feel complacent. That hadn't been smart of her.

    "Got any plans for later, Jeanne?"

    "I was thinking about going on a shopping spree in L.A.… you up for that?"

    "Sure. Can I stop over on the opposite coast after the fact though? I want to head over to D.C. There's something I need to do there."

    "Well, as long as you don't take too long."

    Mordred smirked dangerously. "Oh, I promise, they'll never see me coming."

    Unfortunately for the both of them, and the American people, though perhaps not their president, their plans would need to be postponed.

    It started again shortly after they got back to headquarters…

    * * * * *

    Nobunaga was having a positively marvelous day. She carefully closed the door to one of the common rooms as she left to go fetch some different guns.

    "Hey there, Demon Archer," Mordred waved casually.

    "Shitber!—Saber!" Nobunaga stammered, hastily correcting herself and slamming herself back up against the door. "Saber… you're looking… nice…? Would you like some… rice? —I haven't got any rice…" another hasty correction. "How are you?"

    "I'm… fine…?" Mordred answered hesitantly.

    "Great…! Did your…eyes…lose… weight…?"

    It went without saying that her acting would have gotten her kicked out of a school for the dramatic arts. But Mordred wouldn't even have had to be particularly observant to tell that something was up.

    "Is everything alright, Nobunaga?"

    "I'm fine!" she squawked, "Did you see that new…brine…?" Avenger strode over to the Archer–who was now smiling like a mildly frightened idiot–and got right to the point, glaring at the other Servant.

    "What's in that common room?"

    "What is, 'common room?' " Nobunaga stuttered, reaching out towards the Avenger, "Did you get new… arms?"

    "Out of my way," Jeanne Alter snarled, shoving the Demon Archer aside, closely followed by Mordred, Arturia, and the now moaning Nobunaga.

    "Nooooooo…" she whined.

    The three companions were greeted with a corpse laying on the ground that had been mutilated so horrifically that Mordred nearly screamed. And then she really did scream when two more fell from the ceiling. And for a moment another scream joined her own:

    "Aaaaaiiieee—that is a nice painting! Let's just…admire it…from all the way over here—" Even as Nobunaga said this, Mordred watched another corpse slide out from behind the painting, leaving a bloody streak against the wall. "…so nice…"

    "What are all these dead bodies doing here?" Mordred asked.

    "Honestly? Not much," said Nobunaga.

    "That is not what I meant."

    "If they do anything, I'll be sure to let you know."

    "Oh, for the love of— you're going to start expl—!"

    "Rice!"

    The next thing Mordred knew, a bowl of perfectly steamed rice had been turned over onto her face. She blinked, then ferociously swiped the grains off her face. And out of her hair.

    "I want answers!"

    "Okay… I lied," said Nobunaga. "I do have rice."

    "About the bodies!"

    "That I can't explain. I dunno who left them all here, I'm just usin' 'em for kicks. Checking how many different ways I can make a person fall apart with my guns. Personally, I don't really care who left them there, they're gonna be fun."

    She allowed herself a few seconds of maniacal laughter. Damn, it definitely had therapeutic benefits.

    "I don't think you could possibly have said anything that sounds creepier than that," Mordred deadpanned.

    "I like touching dead little boys."

    "I stand corrected. I just had to say it didn't I…?" Mordred snarled, even as she took a closer look at the corpses.

    "Hey, you tempted me. I take no responsibility for misfortune that befalls you thanks to your own irresponsible actions."

    "Okay, great. Another waste of time. Avenger, dad, let's get outta here."

    She stormed out and back into Chaldea's hallways. Before Arturia left however, there was something that she had to know…

    She took a deep breath.

    "Would you…"

    Nobunaga stared at her, a quizzical expression on her face. Arturia took another deep breath.

    "You would not happen to have any more rice left?"

    "Honestly? No. But for the low price of thirty saint quartz, I may be able to procure—aaand she's gone, I knew I shouldn't have tried to get quartz…"

    * * * * *

    "Did you notice?" Mordred asked Avenger.

    "Notice what?"

    "About the bodies," Mordred rolled her eyes.

    "Well… umm…" Jeanne hummed thoughtfully.

    "They were all Chaldea staff members." Arturia answered first. "Noncombatants. Merely lab technicians and engineers."

    Mordred grinned.

    "Well, yes, obviously, but what else?"

    "They were riddled with bullet wounds," Avenger noted.

    "And…?" Mordred continued prompting her companions.

    Neither of the other Servants could think of what the Saber of Red was trying to get at, and that being the case, they didn't say anything.

    Mordred sighed, masking her quiet glee at being the only one of them to have noticed the most important detail.

    "The bullet holes weren't important, Jeanne. They didn't die from being shot.

    "The thing that those bodies all had in common was that they had all been stabbed. Not with a knife or a dagger, but with something big," she made Clarent materialize in her hand. "Something like this, or Balmung, or Arondight."

    "I see. This could very well be of significance," Arturia nodded.

    "So, you think that they had all been killed with a sword?" asked Jeanne.

    "Yes, and a big one. But this fact leads to another conclusion," Mordred grinned, riding he wave of her hype. "A member of the staff probably hasn't run off with someone's Noble Phantasm. If that were the case, we'd have heard about it hours ago. Therefore, I can only assume that these people were killed by a Servant. We can cross the other staff off the list of suspects."

    "Oh. Great, that just leaves ten, eleven, everyone except for twenty people—"

    "Avenger," Arturia raised an eyebrow, "I feel as though it may have escaped your attention that Chaldea has been hiring new hands."

    "Wait, what? When did this happen?!"

    Much to both of their embarrassment, Arturia found herself explaining to Jeanne Alter how it was prudent to take on new people considering the losses that the organization had sustained at the beginning of the disaster alone, ignoring all those who fell along the way. Now that there was a world outside Chaldea, they could finally hire new employees to replace the ones who were either lacking in ability. Or vital signs.

    "So there's actually a significant population of regular humans here…"

    "There always was. Twenty people is more than enough to be considered a full community, albeit a small one. Now there are just a lot more of 'em."

    "So how much does that narrow down our suspects?" Jeanne asked as the three of them continued stalking the halls.

    "By at least half at this point. Waitaminute…" Mordred cut herself off. "What if this is the same guy who was killing things and leaving them everywhere from before the world came back?"

    Jeanne Alter and Arturia looked at one another.

    "That… cannot be ruled out."

    "It does sound possible, however unlikely."

    "We never caught the asshole and he's clearly a master in the tedious art of stealth, so it's entirely possible that he was just waiting for the right moment to pick up where he left off."

    It was an unsettling thought. It had been months! How could a murderer have hidden in their midst for so long?! Especially considering the whole To Catch a Thief principle. There were plenty of murderers who were investigating those deaths themselves, as Mordred had discovered after she had stopped for a time. No one had found anything.

    She led the two other women back to her room. Then she opened the door and nearly yelped in fright.

    On the other side, was the gaping maw of a dragon, ready to swallow them or spew fire.

    Or not. She quickly realized she could see her bed through the hole at the back of its mouth.

    "Someone beheaded a dragon just to squeeze the severed head through your door for a prank?" Jeanne leered. "What a waste of time. Also they were at least smart not to have tried to hurt any of my lovely darlings."

    Kill one of Jeanne Alter's dragons? That could go down as the dumbest thing to do Mordred had heard in months.

    Mordred drew her sword and proceeded to hack the head into pieces and chuck them out the door.

    "What a pain! I refuse to let this happen anymore!" the Knight of Treachery snarled, "Follow me people: We are finding this jackass, and we are finding them today!"

    * * * * *

    To make an incredibly long story short, they didn't find anything that day. This was due to a combination of

    a. Having to get Gilles out of a broom cupboard to prevent him from turning it into his workshop, or as Mordred put it, his Evil Pedo Lair.

    b. Arturia getting hungry. And

    c. Being chased around the facility for six hours by a small but very angry lizard.

    The important thing was that they accomplished nothing. Or rather, almost nothing. There was a very quick lizard that wasn't very quick anymore. Also, it was bleeding something terrible, but no one cared, it was a lizard.

    It didn't take very long before they discovered the next victim.

    The three women stared at the boy in a now bloody staff-issued labcoat.

    "Do you know who that is?" asked Jeanne Alter.

    "I think his name is Muniel," Arturia noted.

    "Oh, right, him. He's the guy in charge of the coffins. You know, the cryostasis pods that the other Master candidates are recovering in? Or… waiting to be sent to doctors?

    "Anyway, he's no good at his job… was no good at his job, I mean."

    "Uh… hey."

    "Why do you say that?" asked Jeanne.

    "Well, the world is back now, but did he call for the medics? D'uhh, nope!"

    "H-Hey guys?"

    "Who's that talking?" asked Avenger.

    "Oh, don't pay any attention to him, he's dead."

    "I'm feeling a lot better actually!" Muniel piped up.

    Without missing a beat, Mordred put Clarent through his gut. ("OW!")

    "And now you're not," Mordred answered without any enthusiasm.

    "What the fuck is wrong with you?!" Averager shrieked.

    "You're not fooling anyone," Mordred growled, ignoring the other woman. "The first stab wound was going through your liver. A lot of blood vessels pass through the liver. You've already bled out, you're just not aware yet."

    "You are horrible!" Avenger continued berating the Knight of Treachery.

    "Yeah… I know…" Muniel answered Mordred, "but… but if you wouldn't mind, could you get me my picture of Astolfo though?"

    "And there you go, he shows his true colors."

    "Eh?"

    "The only reason this guy does anything is if he thinks it'll impress Astolfo. He's crushing hard. Or rather, was. Before he died."

    "I'm not dead yet!"

    "You will be soon enough. Now be quiet, the grownups are talking.

    "As for why I'm not helping? It's because he's the one who got Astolfo into Agartha."

    "Mordred, correct me if I am mistaken, but did Astolfo not save everyone's lives there?" asked Arturia.

    "Yes he did, but that doesn't erase this man's guilt."

    "…Elaborate, if you would."

    "I guess you didn't see how he got Astolfo into Agartha."

    "Just tell us already!" Jeanne growled.

    "He put Astolfo into one of the cryostasis pods. In other words, he dumped one of the nearly dead Master candidates, who he has been shamelessly neglecting, onto the floor and shoved Astolfo inside."

    "Wait, seriously?!"

    "Umm…"

    "So… he sacrificed a real person's life for a bunch of spirits and an adorable Kouhai?"

    "And Master Ritsuka. But the fact remains that there probably would have been another solution that didn't involve Astolfo. They just didn't need to find it."

    "Yeah, I don't care about this guy anymore. He's dumb," Avenger decided.

    "Also, Muniel, you… you did know Astolfo was a man, right?" Mordred asked.

    For a moment Muniel looked surprised, then…

    "Well… nobody's perfect."

    Mordred blinked. Then she just stared, feeling rather dumbfounded.

    "That was not the reaction I was expecting," she squinted.

    Suddenly, Muniel died.

    "Oh. Well, I suppose we're done here. He was slashed with a large weapon too though. Keep note of that."

    "What just happened?" Jeanne asked Arturia.

    "I'm not entirely sure myself."

    * * * * *

    The next body belonged to a familiar entity. She was wearing a white track suit, with a matching baseball cap and black gym shorts.

    "Isn't this Mysterious Heroine Z?" asked Jeanne.

    "Yeah, it is," Mordred said apathetically. However that wasn't what she was paying attention to: what she noticed was that the wound piercing the poor Servant's chest was still bleeding.

    It was fresh.

    Which meant…

    "The killer is still close by!" Jeanne whispered excitedly. "Should we split up?"

    "No. This crook proved a while back that he could take down the King of Knights. We stay together. Besides, haven't either of you seen a horror movie? The moment someone says 'let's split up,' the bad guy starts picking the characters off one by—"

    "Look out!" Jeanne shouted, shoving Mordred out of the way with a well timed swipe of her flag, batting her aside just in time to prevent a sword from plunging into Mordred's head.

    Mordred quickly leaped to her feet and drew Clarent, looking at her would-be murderer.

    The girl was wearing a red track suit and shorts, with a white scarf covering the lower half of her face, and a baseball cap slightly obscuring her eyes.

    "Finally!" Mordred's threw her arms into the air as she stormed over to the unfamiliar girl. But as she came within a few feet of the culprit, she suddenly stopped. This feeling… what was it? Why did this girl seem so familiar? It wasn't because she looked like Mysterious Heroine X, it was something else… but what?!

    "Who the he hell are you?" she demanded.

    The girl's lips twitched upward for a moment.

    "Who indeed…?" a dark chuckle escaped the young woman's lips.

    "Answer me! Trust me, that's what you want to do, 'cause if you don't, I start removing body parts."

    "Really? Hmm… well then, I suppose that I don't have much of a choice. Congratulations! After months of scampering around Chaldea like a bunch of idiotic rats, you've finally found the person you're looking for: I am the one who kills without mercy or regard to identity. I am the betrayer and the thief. I am Unnamable Villainess Y!"

    Mordred drew Clarent, levelling the sword at the other girl.

    "Good to know," she said. "And in a minute you won't need a name anyway, so everything works out."

    She lunged at the other girl.

    Unnamable Villainess Y caught her strike with a blade of her own. And suddenly Mordred realized exactly why the girl seemed so familiar. It looked like it had been pulled out of a cyberpunk story, and what should have been steel was glowing like a violet laser… but she was far too intimately familiar with the sword that the girl was wielding. It could only have been one blade.

    And she was holding it at this very moment

    Clarent…

    Two nearly identical swords locked in place, neither giving way for the other.

    Mordred's eyes widened even as her pupils shrank into pinpoints.

    "You… you're… you're me?! Actually me?!" she hissed, pushing against her lookalike's blade with her own.

    "You give yourself far more credit than you deserve. I'm not just you: You see, I'm your better half. I'm what you're meant to be!" U.V.Y. hopped back a pace, throwing Mordred's balance off, and making her stagger forward. The killer attempted to bring her sword down on her skull, but the Knight of Treachery batted it aside with a ferocious swipe. "You've gone soft. You see King Arthur every goddamn day, but you've not even tried to kill him!"

    Mordred snarled and brought her sword up in another upward arc, but the Laser Clarent caught its original and knocked it away smoothly. This time however, Mordred didn't stagger. She didn't give her double even one moment of respite before charging and clashing swords again.

    "Priorities! Who cares if I surpass the King if there's no world to acknowledge me?!"

    "You already saved the damn world, it already exists again! Don't you dare try to avoid the issue."

    Mordred rolled out of the way of a flurry of slashes and leaped back a few paces, putting some distance between herself and her lookalike.

    "I'm not avoiding the issue! It just wasn't important, and it still isn't! I have more important things to worry about now! Like my standing among the rest of the Saber class Servants, as well as the other Knights. It's not like I can hide from them. Now that the world is back, Chaldea's stopped changing shape. There's no way for me to avoid people I don't like, so it's better not to make a huge fuss!"

    "More excuses!"

    The glowing copy of Clarent fell upon Mordred, as though to punctuate her opponent's snarl. She caught the blade with her own easily enough, but nevertheless, she was losing ground. And that was unacceptable in this scenario.

    She pushed back with all her might and then sidestepped the next attack instead of blocking it, using the precious moments that gave her to close in on her lookalike.

    "I don't need excuses," she growled, thrusting her sword forward only to have it brushed aside at the last moment, "Why should I even have to answer to you, copycat!"

    The girl snarled behind her scarf.

    "If anything, you're the imitation. I'm what you're supposed to be. But you're content sitting around with those inferior knights and watching Star Wars."

    Mordred raised her blade back over her head and swiped down, her double stumbling backwards from the force of the blow.

    "Fine. You know what? You're right…" she snarled, "I have stopped trying to surpass my father. Happy now?! I'll never give up my rivalry with King Arthur, but we've fought alongside one another here enough times that I can't help but respect him again. I decided that I didn't need to kill him if I could stand on equal footing. But honestly, I've done far more than that! I've been testing my skills a lot since I arrived."

    She shifted her stance and after the briefest of pauses, she rushed at her doppelgänger, swinging her sword upwards with intense ferocity.

    "Mordred's ability speaks for itself, Assassin," said Arturia. "I'm afraid there's nothing she can learn by battling me to a draw again. However, you seem to be a fresh challenge. I'm not entirely certain whether she should fight you to the death…"

    "Oh, you'd better believe it's to the death!" roared the red knight, slashing wildly, "This scum humiliated me for months, and then left a decaying dragon's head in my doorway! There's no way in hell that I'm letting this inferior copy get away!"

    As though looking for another way to provoke her, U.V.Y. made as though to run off.

    "…however," continued Arturia, "I'm more than confident that my son is strong enough to do something as simple as conquering herself."

    The Assassin froze.

    "Wait, what?!"

    Arturia smirked, and Unnamable Villainess Y suddenly realized the magnitude of her error.

    Mordred had been startled as well, but she was the first to react.

    Her double had frozen up for only a moment, but it was enough. This wasn't fair! But how could she have expected that father would acknowledge her?! She felt the pain bloom in her side as Clarent stabbed clear through her abdomen.

    "Cheap shot…" she groaned, before toppling over.

    "Hey, it worked, didn't it?" Mordred grinned. "Thanks for the compliment… er… I mean, recognition, father. It means a lot."

    Arturia just nodded.

    "And that's how I found out that Chiron does not in fact have a massive throbbing horse cock."

    Mordred snorted as she tried to suppress a fit of giggles as she heard a voice from around the corner.

    "Mikon~… all I asked was whether you knew where Altera went, how did this happen?!"

    "Would you like to hear about the time I rode—"

    "No! I don't wanna!"

    The next moment, a very agitated Tamamo-no-Mae charged around the corner.

    "Saber! Help me! I'm cashing in that favor!"

    Mordred groaned.

    "Now? I'm kind of busy, so if you'll excuse me, I need to go dispose of this dead body."

    "It'll disappear in five minutes anyway! Hurry! Please!"

    "What's got you so worked up anyway? I thought you were a pervert too."

    "There are certain lines that must be crossed by neither man nor beast. She has crossed all of them!"

    "It can't be that bad—"

    "Massive… throbbing… horse cock."

    "Okay, I'll admit you have a point."

    "Oh, there you are, Caster," said Medb, her tone deceptively pleasant, "I was wondering why you ran off."

    "Ahhh… sorry Rider," Mordred said, her faux apology sounding surprisingly genuine. I just remembered that Tamamo and I had plans to do this… uh… thing… in a few minutes, and we really need to go."

    Medb looked at the small group of other Servants.

    "What kind of 'thing?' "

    "You know… a thing. A thing about stuff. Anyway-we've-gotta-hurry-really-nice-talking-to-ya-gotta-go-now-BYE!"

    Mordred punctuated the last bit by taking off like the Road Runner.

    "Your problem now," she whispered as she scrambled past Avenger.

    The three remaining servants looked at one another.

    "Are you using that corpse—?" Medb asked.

    Jeanne Alter immediately felt like she hadn't slept in years, but nonetheless responded in the affirmative before the Rider had even finished speaking.

    "So, this time next week, Arturia?" She asked.

    "Well that sounds delightful. I'll let Mordred know."

    "Just make sure that Gilles doesn't hear. It's been nice not dealing with him for a while."

    The Saber stared blankly back at her.

    "He's right behind me, isn't he?"

    "Yes, he is."

    And he was.

    Elsewhere, Mordred and Tamamo had escaped into the elevator when they discovered something rather strange.

    Mordred heard a tiny splishing noise as she stepped inside and noticed something red beneath her. She was almost afraid to look down.

    "You don't suppose that's grenadine, do you?"

    "Are you blind?" yapped the fox girl, "There is obviously a dead human in here with us."

    "Any idea who might have killed him?" Mordred asked.

    "Well, there's a message scrawled in blood on the floor there."

    Mordred followed the Caster's gaze until it came to rest on a single line of text, written in blood.

    J'ai été assassiné par Gilles de Rais.

    "God damn him…" Mordred snarled. "God damn him to hell."

    "Well that was easy," Tamamo giggled.

    Fin


    Author's Note: As you can probably tell, I had some difficulty pacing this fic. I hope it was still readable though.

    Aside from that, the entire Nobunaga segment was heavily adapted from a comedy sketch on YouTube. Several of those lines are not my property.
    Last edited by Draconic; December 29th, 2017 at 04:57 PM.
    Stop trying to eat me!

    I joined two years too late...
    Quote Originally Posted by Hymn of Ragnarok View Post
    That makes me think of Rin as a loan shark.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hymn of Ragnarok View Post
    Admittedly, she'd probably be the hottest loan shark you'll ever meet. She'd probably make you smile as she sucked you dry.


    Oh dear, that doesn't sound like yuri at all.
    Quote Originally Posted by Techlet View Post
    Not with that attitude.

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    死徒 Dead Apostle zhead's Avatar
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    Well, I had a laugh.
    Good stuff, my man.
    ... Does anyone remember this thread: http://forums.nrvnqsr.com/showthread...-input-welcome ?

    So, according to D&D's alignment check, I'm a True Neutral. Huh.

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