(A/N: I changed the rating of the novel to no one under 17 allowed. I heard that helps lessen the number of trigger words for the shadowbanning of comments. Let's see.)
The sound of metal colliding against metal was predominant within their earshot. Mordred and Vlad moved around destroying the Helter Skelters that were approaching them. Saber cut them down to pieces with her lightning-coated sword in a very aggressive manner while Berserker shifted through the shadows and ended their 'lives' with a single quick and elegant thrust on the core located in their metallic heads. When the numbers increased, he impaled them with blood stakes emerging from the ground.
Not far from them, Medea, Mash, and Carmilla were taking care of the Automata that also decided to show up once they were far enough from their hideout. The former group was composed of heavy hitters, while the rest focused more on high damage to weak targets.
Fujimaru had Caster test some of her attack magic on one of the robots, and while it was destroyed, it took more effort than the one necessary. That confirmed his initial suspicions, that they had some form of magic resistance.
He didn't know how he got that suspicion to begin with but he was thankful for it all the same. Still, thinking logically, the black-haired youth found it made sense for it to be that way. Automata were thin and filled with all kinds of bladed weapons that were honestly scary and out of a horror movie, while Helter Skelters were extremely bulky and moved relatively slowly.
Ironically enough, Assassin was more versed in harming things of flesh and blood, so the Automata, despite possessing neither, were better suited for her than a robust machine. Her long nails and weak magical attacks were enough to make quick work of them.
Unfortunately, their numbers were nothing to scoff at. It was as if they were near a factory that kept mass producing them as soon as they were defeated. Not only that, but Carmilla, while surprisingly agile in her movements, didn't posses the greatest endurance out of them all. She was not meant for long fights, and that was beginning to show.
It was the reason why he asked Mash to cover for her. The Automata's movements were incredibly fast. When they attacked, their mechanical arms seemed to blur, so he knew the moment Assassin got tired, she would have high chances of getting hurt.
His self-proclaimed Kohai seemed reluctant to leave his side, but thankfully, he managed to convince her in the end. Medea, being the ranged combatant of this party could stay close to him while destroying their enemies with ease, and if worse came to worst and they found themselves trapped, she could teleport him to a safe area.
It could be said that in this scenario, Caster was more helpful in the defensive aspect. It took less than fifteen seconds to plan the strategy from the moment their enemies appeared, although he knew it could have been faster. Still, he was extremely glad about the teachings he got from El-Melloi II. It was thanks to him that he was able to come up with a plan relatively quickly.
His past self would have either frozen, unable to process the situation, or have given sloppy and simple commands like "attack them" or "go after them."
It might have ended well because at the end of the day, they were Servants, and their powers went beyond the norm. However, the chance of them suffering some wounds, as minor as they might be, or wasting additional and precious time to defeat them as well.
If he were to be honest, seeing his hard work bear fruit filled him with a sense of accomplishment. The feeling of growing up after a setback was a pleasant one. Even so, he wouldn't let that get to his head. There were even greater trials awaiting for him; higher mountains to surpass, as well as seeing how well he would do against other Servants.
Fortunately, when they got to a certain point, the Automata and Helter Skelters stopped coming, so they could do a clean swipe and finally defeat them, allowing the Master to finally relax and bring his thoughts back to reality.
"Good work, everyone." Just then, Romani's figure appeared through Mash's wristwatch to congratulate them as usual. However, contrary to the jovial mood he used to have when doing this in the past, he now seemed more troubled than anything.
"Is everything all right?" Noticing the oddity, Fujimaru decided to question the Doctor on it. The said man simply sighed while rubbing his temple before informing them of the events happening on the other side.
"The truth is; things got more complicated than we thought. It is better if you know about it as soon as possible." After saying that, Romani began to retell the events that transpired with Seth and Asterios. About how lightning could trigger the mist to act as a summoning call, about how that happened to him, the mysterious Servant that appeared, his actions and mysterious abilities.
"Wait a minute! That Servant managed to wound him just like that?!" The shock was evident in the youth's facial expression and voice. To do that in a seemingly easy way was not what he was expecting.
"Yes... As I said; that Servant seems to be able to pierce defenses, so there was not much the two could do. Though, there is something that is bugging me. Seth mentioned how Berserker got in front of him to block the attack. By all means he should have been the one that got injured, but that was not the case. Something is telling me there is more to it, yet for now we can only speculate." He didn't like it either. The Egyptian God was arguably their strongest card. To have an incognita in the equation capable of hurting him without any trouble was, for the sake of redundancy, troubling.
The black-haired man was able to heal and shrug the damage off, yes, but that didn't mean it was any less worrying. He just hoped they could find some light to disperse the metaphorical fog inside their minds at the moment.
"Forget about that. I've been using my sword all the time and not a single stupid furry weirdo has appeared. You sure it wasn't some hocus pocus that guy pulled outta his ass?" Some disgusted glances were sent her way for her crude words, but she shrugged them off, already accustomed to similar stares.
Romani coughed awkwardly. This was certainly a new experience. Hopefully Mash wouldn't learn to say those words. He would be terrified if that were to happen. 'Is this what parents feel like when their child eventually gets rebellious? It's so sad...'
Leaving aside the sudden image of a Mash Alter acting as a delinquent, he decided to offer some answers-slash-theories he had regarding her query. "There could be many explanations as to why. The first one being that the summoning only occurs on certain areas, and you just simply were lucky enough to never fight in one of them. The second one is that your lightning was not potent enough to cause the triggering. As for the other ones, it require a bit more of investigation."
"Tch. Somehow I feel insulted." Mordred would have bitten her thumb if she didn't have armor protecting it. "No matter. I bet it's just because I haven't used my Noble Phantasm yet. If I did I would have summoned some badass Servant to kick everyone's ass. They would also recognize me as the rightful King and would sing tales of my exploits and all that crap."
'Sure thing...' Her proclamation only received either awkward or flat stares in return. Ignoring her delusions, Vlad decided to confirm something with the orange-haired man.
"You mentioned that God was attacked and wounded. What are his plans now? Surely he does not plan to come back, does he?" Berserker knew he was not someone that would quit at the first bump in the road, but he still wanted to make sure. If he returned to their base now, then that would delay their job a great deal.
Thankfully, Romani appeased his worries. "Not at all. He said he was going to continue going ahead as planned. However, he told me to say to you that you should be careful. Despite being a bit far from your current location, distance is not much of a problem for Servants like you are. The chances of you running into them is quite high."
Vlad slowly nodded at that. He wasn't one to approach unknown enemies with fear, but with caution. He payed more attention to the dagger than the sword. After all, they, by themselves, were a one man army.
"Please keep us updated then, Doctor." Mash's request was met with an eye smile and an affirmative hum. After that, and with his job done, Romani cut off the connection to better monitor the situation.
"There ya go. Now that's out of the way, let's keep going. If we stand here for too much time we'll get swarmed again." For once, everyone was in total agreement with her. They still needed to cover more terrain, and hopefully find an enemy Servant they could defeat, or at least get more information of the overall situation.
Their job was far from over...
"Ah... A job well done. Well done indeed. A success it will be, it will be..." The mysterious man was practically dancing in elation in his secret chamber, uncaring for the corpses dried of blood in his vicinity.
The one who cared, though, was the other Servant in the room. A blond-haired man wearing a white and gold armor with intricated designs. Going by the sword resting on the wall next to him, he seemed to be a Saber Class.
He was closing his nostrils with his fingers to avoid having to whistand the horrible stench. His face was scrunched up in disgust. "So his mission will be a success, then? That weakling is more useful than I thought."
"Mhm! Mhm! My abilities are not to be doubted! Everyone has their role in my grand plan, and they will fulfill it, wether they like it or not." His jovial tone contrasted with the gloominess of their surroundings, but the armored man could not care less about it.
"I hope your "Grand Plan" requires me to go on the hunt. I am getting tired of just sitting here watching your horrible face every day. Why summon me in the first place if you will not let me fight?" Displeasure was practically oozing from him. To a warrior, being left on the sidelines was the worst thing that could happen.
"Everything in due time. Yes, in due time. Tell me, don't you want to face strong opponents? Then you should be patient. Yes, yes. Patience is key!" He shot his arms into the air to emphasize his words, although Saber didn't seem convinced.
"Those are the big fishes. In the meantime, there are some... appetizers I could taste. The sister of my step-son and the one who shares parts of my legend are good examples. If you so despretaly do not want me to face those two Gods until the time is right, you could let me fight them instead." His proposition was met with silence, prompting him to look at the corner of the room were a small, white altar rested.
There were two small pillars at its side; chains coiled around them and went to the center of the pillar, holding a black and yellow greatsword in mid-air as if trying to restraining it from breaking free.
"Don't you want to win?" Again, he was met with silence. Noticing this, Saber began to walk to the weapon, leaving his own sword resting on the wall. "If you give this to me, then I shall trample upon all our enemies and bring us victory."
As he closed in, he extended his hand to reach for it. "With it, not even full-fledged Gods will stand a chance..." Just as he was about to grasp it between his fingers, his shoulder was caught in a firm grasp.
As he turned his head around, he was met with a pair of shining red-eyes that held unspeakable madness and anger within them. "You will NOT touch it. NEVER!"
The blond-haired man watched as his pristine white armor was slowly turning black and showing signs of breaking. Acting fast, he swated the arm away, taking a few steps back.
His own sword suddenly appeared in his hand, shining with power. "Careful now. You do not want me to get angry."
Berserker ignored the threat under his Servant's calm words. All his good mood had disappeared in an instant after his blasphemous actions. "Do not forget. Your life belongs to me. You are just a pawn meant to set the stage. If you want to have a chance at life again, you better be careful of not defying me."
For that brief momently only, the madness had left the prophet. Something Saber took as a sign to let go of his animosity. "Whatever. I shall not discuss this any further. Just don't make me wait too long. I can get quite... vindictive."
He didn't wait for an answer. The blond-haired man simply dematerialized his sword and proceeded to exit the room, not caring for the corpses beneath his feet.
Once alone, the Sorcerer kneeled in front of the altar while positioning his forehead against the ground. "I am sorry. So sorry. Sorry. Sorry. Sorry. Sorry. It was not my intention, not at all. They will not tarnish you. No, no, no! Your sacredness will be the bait for them to come. You only belong to them. Be patient, your time will come. Your light will shine. Your anger will be felt. Your flames will burn. Yes... Yes. Yes. Yes. I know of your preferences. But they are not ready yet, not yet. They need to let go. Once they do, their hands will wield you as you deserve."
At his words, the sword, as if alive, started vibrating, making the chains holding it to rattle. Taking this as a good omen, the man rose up and happily from the ground, his mood once again changing for the better.
'Just a few more days... Just a few more... Chaos will spread... And when that time comes, everything will fall....'