Chapter 1114: My Beautiful Father

For what felt like several long months, experienced the phenomenon of being surrounded by a warm pressure, the only distinct sounds coming from the two heartbeats and the subtle echoes of bodily functions. However, though it was far less clear, there was a persistent muffled sound that constantly droned on for hours at a time, each word ingrained deeply into the heart and mind of the infant he was observing from a third-person perspective. These words contained hatred, promises, and bloody conviction towards the child’s father, the one true King, Arthur. The owner of the voice was none other than the child’s mother, possessing a hatred so fervent that, when Artoria was given the means to produce an heir, she bewitched her own kin to steal the seeds of life for nothing more than petty revenge and overwhelming jealousy…

Though Mordred wasn’t even able to understand what her mother, Morgan le Fay, was saying, the words were still deeply ingrained into her body like a curse. Thus, before she was even born, the seed of, not only her father’s downfall, but her own had already been planted. To emphasize this further, from the very moment of her birth, Mordred’s body was soaked in enchanted snake venom to greatly enhance her strength and physique, at the cost of reducing her life to only a fraction of what it should have been. By the time seven days had passed, she had grown from a mere infant to a young woman, her body shaped to her Mother to be an almost perfect replica of her father’s.

During this seven day process, Mordred experienced a painful burning sensation in her mind that, no matter how she cried out, never ebbed in the slightest. Knowledge and memories were being forced into her rapidly developing mind, many relating to the most terrible aspects of humanity. Before she even knew how to think for herself, Mordred witnessed humans fighting against each other over petty disputes, terrible crimes of both greed and passion, torture and murder to a sickening degree, and, worst of all, the unwillingness of others to act against great evil for nothing more than their own desire to avoid trouble. She saw how they embraced the mundane and wasted away during times of prosperity, putting on a pretense of civility and ‘humanity’ yet, the moment poverty reared its head, humans become extremely self-centered and would commit horrible atrocities against each other to gain small advantages. Instead of uniting together to overcome their struggles, they would become less than beasts by stealing, killing, and ‘worse’. Yet, when things once against transitioned in the direction of prosperity, they would pretend to be righteous once again, blaming the times and situation for how they had acted as if it were someone else’s problem…

Seeing the way in which human’s lived, while being aware that her own foundation was that of a human, Mordred’s developing mind began to greatly resent them. It wasn’t until, when things got especially bad, the first ray of light appeared within her cold and dreary world. She witnessed, on the edge of ruin, humans banding together, hope and expectation clearly visible in their eyes as they looked toward a platform upon which a sword and a stone rested. At first, a tall and sharp-eyed man had tried to release the sword from its purchase, earning a dreary sigh from the crowd in response to his failure. The fact some besmirched him for even trying caused Mordred to feel a seething rage, at least until the next person came up to the platform. Unlike the tall man, it would have been more accurate to call the second person nothing more than a fair and youthful boy. It looked like he didn’t have even the smallest amount of power contained within his thin body but, with each and every step the young boy took towards the sword, anticipation began to build within the crowd. Then, even though it seemed to defy all logic, the young boy pulled the sword free before raising it high into the sky. The grey clouds overhead parted to reveal rays of sunshine, bringing warmth to the cold and cruel world as everyone shouted, “All hail King Arthur! Long live the King!”

Starting from the moment King Arthur liberated the sword from the stone, the visions forced into Mordred’s mind became filled with warmth. She saw how the previously divided humans would band together under the direction of their King, accomplishing feats they would never have even strived for on their own. Instead of living as individuals, everyone began to work together towards a shared goal, slowly ushering in an era of prosperity under their combined efforts. Instead of stagnating and simply reacting to whatever life threw at them, blaming the ‘times’ for how they acted, they began looking towards a brighter future. Though they were unable to envision it themselves, they trusted their King to guide them in the right direction with unwavering determination and foresight they themselves lacked.

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Mordred watched as King Arthur slowly brought his country back from the brink of ruin, tirelessly endeavoring for his people without complaint, no matter how bad things got for him. He devoted his everything to his subjects and, even against seemingly insurmountable odds, claimed an endless string of victories in order to ensure greater prosperity for the Kingdom. However, as their prosperity was secured, the nature of humanity reared its ugly head once again. Their expectations for the King steadily grew and, even though they were more prosperous than ever before, those that sought to take advantage of the situation crawled out of the woodworks like termites that threatened the very foundation of the Kingdom. Even this wasn’t enough to deter the King, however, as he continued to tirelessly endeavor to improve the public order and guide the people back to the proper path…

It was with thoughts of wanting to help this great and noble King that Mordred first opened her eyes to the world, not as an infant, but as a young lady on the cusp of becoming a woman. However, she would quickly learn that it was not the fate of a woman that awaited her as, with a crazed light in her muted silver eyes, Mordred’s mother, Morgan le Fay, stated, “My precious Mordred…my son…” From that day forward, Mordred was given another crash-course education directly from his mother. She had him shadow her around everywhere, allowing Mordred to experience the cruelties of the world directly. When Mordred saw things like this, the rage that had been embedded deep within his heart and mind would immediately break free from its restraints. Over the first three years of his life, the number of criminal scum that had died at Modred’s hands numbered in the thousands. He gradually built up his proficiency in live combat, making a name for himself as a ‘hero’ that fought against the tyranny of those who would oppress others…

However, what made Mordred even more famous was the suit of armor and the helmet his mother had forced him to wear, explaining that he was to never remove it in the presence of another. As there was always a powerful compulsion within each of Morgan’s words, something that caused great turmoil in Mordred’s heart, he was forced to obey. It had only taken him a few months to understand that his own mother was one of the despicable people that he would normally kill but, no matter how much rage disdain he held towards her, Mordred was never able to raise his hand against his own mother. Like this, tales of a silver-armored hero who never revealed their face began to spread all throughout the land. When asked why he never removed his helmet, Mordred used the excuse that his mother had given him, claiming that the armor bore a powerful curse that even the most powerful Magi within the Kingdom could not remove…

After a little more than three and a half years, Mordred found himself in the fabled land of the great King Arthur himself, the Castle City Camelot. He could see the massive Ivory Castle in the distance, filling him with great pride and expectation as, according to his mother, the Knights of the Round Table, the Kingdom’s greatest military force, had been asking around about him. Though some had taken to calling him a mass murderer in recent months, it seemed that the Knights of the Round Table had an appreciation for his strength. As a result, Mordred attended a military parade on the eve of yet another successful campaign by King Arthur and his Knights.

With high-quality weapons and armor being things that even Knights struggled to afford, Mordred stood out from the rabble gathered to welcome their King’s triumphant return. It wasn’t long before he had been approached by a robust man with a stern face and deep purple hair. At his side, a rather petite young woman who had tomboyish traits and an innocent glow in her green eyes asked if Mordred was the Knight rumored to roam the lands and help the innocent. Though this wasn’t the truth, as Mordred only fought for himself and his desire to purge the leeches that clung to the underbelly of society, he still nodded his head in response to the question. His mother had already taught him everything he needed to say and do before bringing him to the capital. She had even chosen the spot where he was to wait, drawing the attention of Lancelot and his esquire, Gareth.

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Following the confirmation of Mordred’s identity, he was given the chance to display his abilities in a spar against Lancelot himself. The two fought for nearly a full hour before the fight was brought to an end by none other than Arthur himself. When Mordred finally saw the King he had respected dearly his entire life, it was almost as if he had become one of the peasants standing beneath the platform on the day Arthur loosed the sword from the stone. The moment Arthur gave him the chance to become a member of his Round Table, Mordred did not hesitate to bend the knee, feeling as if his life could be given greater purpose if he followed this ‘perfect King’. Though he would never lump himself together with the disreputable humans that lived lives no more fulfilling than cattle, Mordred believed he could also move towards a better future under his King’s guidance…

It wasn’t long before Mordred began to distinguish himself in actual battles, tearing through scores of enemies with the force of a natural disaster. This terrified most of the common soldiers but, with their own power not all that dissimilar to Mordred’s, the Knight of the Round Table did not hide their appreciation for his power. Though he was eventually relegated to the role of a ‘Guerilla Knight’, tasked with hitting the enemy’s flanks and harassing their encampments, Mordred happily accepted his duty since it brought even greater prestige to his King. From the time he had pledged his fealty to Arthur, Mordred’s mentality had changed greatly compared to the past. So as not to tarnish his King’s honor, he endeavored to improve his disposition and fit in better with the common soldiers. Though he would quickly lose his temper whenever someone slandered his King, often with deadly consequences for the offender, nobody complained as he was just executing people for the crime of Lèse-majesté, ‘wronging the King’s dignity’.

For more than a year and a half, Mordred dutifully served as a member of the Knights of the Round Table, greatly increasing his fame as a result of his battle prowess and his natural charisma. From the moment Mordred made an effort to get closer with the other soldiers, his popularity skyrocketed as, even though his actions were sometimes extreme, there were few as outgoing as Mordred within the King’s army. He even turned the tide of battle several times by going against his standing orders and arriving to aid troops who were on the verge of collapsing under the enemy’s forces. Though these actions were only motivated by his desire to ease his King’s burden, as the latter blamed himself for each fallen soldier, public opinion painted Mordred as a selfless hero of the people, a rumor made stronger by his past exploits traveling around the country and eliminating ‘evil’ at its roots…

When Mordred’s popularity was at its peak, it was then that his mother finally revealed to him the truth that he had always known deep in his heart. Though he had spent nearly his entire life wearing a suit of armor, there were times when Mordred had to clean and relieve himself. He had seen his own reflection in a mirror, one so similar to his King’s that it was almost uncanny. When his Mother revealed that he was actually the son of King Arthur and the rightful heir to the Kingdom, Mordred felt an unbelievable sense of pride well up inside his chest. Since there were rumors circulating that the King had failed to produce an heir, making him unworthy of his position, Mordred felt like he would be able to bury such slanderous claims by coming forward and revealing the truth.

Shortly after learning the truth, Mordred requested a private audience with his father, something rarely granted even to the King’s closest aides. It was then, after bending the knee for what felt like the thousandth time, that Mordred finally removed his helmet. To his exuberance, the King didn’t even seem surprised by the fact that Mordred shared his face. However, these feelings of joy didn’t last for long as, after revealing his identity the only question Arthur asked of him was the name of his mother. Since he had not been forbidden to speak of such things, Mordred felt it was his duty to be truthful to his King and Father, declaring Morgan le Fay to be his mother. This immediately caused the King’s expression to darken as, though it wasn’t well-known to the public, Morgan was his sister, sharing both parents with each other. As this wasn’t the first time he had been plagued by Morgan’s meddlesome ways, Arthur didn’t lash out at Mordred, nor did he blame him for being a pawn in the treachery of another. However, regardless of whether or not Mordred was his actual son, Arthur denied him any right of succession, claiming he was unsuitable to become a King.

Feeling as if his entire world had come crashing down, Mordred, for the first time in his life, ended up spending the entire evening thrashing his small estate and crying tears of rage and frustration. He couldn’t believe that his father had refused to acknowledge him, especially after everything he had done to protect his reputation and win glory for him on the battlefield. He suddenly felt that his position as the twelfth seat of the Knights of the Round Table, something that had been a mark of pride for him in the past, was a great smear on his pride. Though the rankings were not determined by strength, the higher seated members were given greater prestige and authority compared to the other members. Since Gareth, the King’s niece, a person Mordred could easily defeat in battle, was ranked as the 7th seat, it felt like he had been betrayed and used as nothing more than a tool. The lack of surprise on Arthur’s face now made it ‘apparent’ that he had already known the truth but allowed Mordred to serve him just so he could make use of his power…

From the moment he was denied his father’s acknowledgment, Mordred became a bitter and silent person. Though he still carried out his duties, his change in disposition had a big impact on the morale of the soldiers that had come to rely on his boisterous and courageous nature. They still followed him into battle without fear and hesitation, but it was clear to everyone that ‘something’ drastic had changed. Soon after, as if to validate these fears, a great chasm formed within the Knights of the Round Table as it was revealed to the public that Queen Guinevere, Arthur’s wife, and his most trusted Knight, Sir Lancelot, had a forbidden tryst. In accordance with the Kingdom’s laws, Guinevere was tried and found guilty for the heinous crime of adultery. She was set to be publically hanged while Artoria was still away on a campaign, a matter he learned about far too late to directly intervene with.

When the day of the execution came, there were several Knights of the Round Table standing witness, including those who opposed the hanging of their Queen while the King was away. This included Gareth who, in protest of what was occurring, had forgone bringing her weapons and armor to the event. Most people didn’t even know she was a girl but, as if such things never mattered to her, Gareth stood as solemn witness, compelled to due so as a result of her duty. The only thing she was rewarded for her honor and loyalty was having Lancelot, the person Gareth respected more than anyone else, even more than her King-Uncle, arrived in a crazed fit as he attempted to rescue Queen Guinevere from her fate. Without any hesitation at all, regardless of the fact that Gareth made no attempt to defend herself, Lancelot unceremoniously crushed the young girl’s head amidst the shocked cries of the crowd. Gareth had been one of the most beloved of the Knights of the Round Table so seeing such a young and innocent girl slaughtered by her own teacher shook the entire crowd to its core.

Following the death of Gareth, Sir Lancelot and Sir Agravain, the very Knight of the Round Table who had exposed the tryst and rushed the trial, became locked in a long and arduous battle. During this battle, Sir Lancelot, purported to be even more skilled than King Arthur himself, fought like a crazed beast to protect the Queen’s life. By the time Arthur arrived, nearly three days later, three Knight’s loyal to the Crown had lost their lives at Lancelot’s hands. Accompanying them to the afterlife were hundreds of soldiers that had tried to capture the mad Knight who, even with Queen Guinevere begging him to calm his rage, continued to strike down anyone who attempted to approach the Queen. It was almost as if he had been inflicted with a curse of madness as, regardless of how close they had been to him previously, Lancelot brutally slaughtered friends and kin alike…

When Arthur saw what had become of his most ‘loyal’ Knight, a rare pained expression could be seen on his face. Mordred remembered seeing this look at the time and sneering beneath his helmet, believing Arthur had wrought this tragedy upon himself. What happened after that, however, caused Mordred to nearly have a mental breakdown as, after Lancelot was finally apprehended and imprisoned, Arthur later pardoned him completely. Even after he had killed three other members of the Round Table, including Arthur’s own kin…even though he had been sleeping with Arthur’s own Queen behind his back, seemingly for several years, Arthur surprised the entire Kingdom by granting Lancelot a pardon.

As a result of Arthur’s decision, the Knights of the Round Table were split into two and, as a result of his behavior leading up to Lancelot’s betrayal, many believed Mordred had foreseen this outcome. With his mother manipulating information behind the scenes in Mordred’s favor, he became the de facto leader of his own growing faction, all while still performing his duties as a loyal Knight in the service of King Arthur. When Lancelot fled shortly after his pardon, unable to continue serving as a Knight after having betrayed his King, Arthur denied the cries of one of his few remaining Knights, Gawain, to pursue the traitorous ingrate who had killed their kin. This inaction by Arthur only created an even greater wedge in the Knights of the Round Table, to the point that civil unrest broke out into actual war a few months later.

During this inner turmoil, the Saxxon armies managed to get a foothold in the Kingdom’s territory, razing and pillaging on their conquest inland. Arthur was forced to meet his enemies in battle, leaving Camelot in a severely weakened state that allowed Mordred to break into the armory of Camelot and stealing Clarent, the sword of succession and Kingship. With Clarent in hand, Mordred became even more powerful while his Charisma was also considerably bolstered. Around this time, he also revealed to the people that he was the rightful heir to the throne, revealing his face to the public and claiming he would strike down Arthur to claim his birthright. Though he did this for entirely selfish reasons, and simply wanted people to know why he acted as he did, the repute Mordred had built up caused many to gather at his side. He didn’t understand why so many would turn against the King that was, even now, fighting for their prosperity but, after witnessing the ‘true nature’ of mankind from a young age, Mordred simply didn’t care.

Finding himself suddenly surrounded by thousands of soldiers that believed they were fighting for a better future against a King that had failed them, Mordred carried Clarent into battle against his Father on the fields of Camlann. After surprising Arthur’s forces after a long and tiresome battle to repel the Saxon invaders, Mordred’s forces quickly overwhelmed her father’s. However, with some members of the Knights of the Round Table still loyal to the King, this was only a small victory as the tides of battle quickly shifted in Arthur’s favor. He had never known defeat on any battlefield so, after several hours of gruesome and gory battle, both armies had been reduced to only a fraction of their initial numbers. Toward the end, Mordred had slaughtered nearly six-hundred soldiers on her own. He had even seriously injuring Gawain, elder brother to the brutally murdered Gareth, in single combat before moving on to face a battle-weary Arthur.

Seeing the calm expression on his father’s face, even after several grueling hours of battle, Mordred removed his helmet as he held up Clarent, shouting that he was there to claim his birthright. In response to this, Arthur simply shook his head before angling the Holy Spear, Rhongomyniad towards Mordred. Before Mordred even knew what was happening, a painful and hot feeling ran through his entire body as a beam of light pierced his abdomen. In the next moment, Arthur appeared right in front of him, skewering Mordred along the same trajectory as the beam of light. This caused Mordred to vomit up a mouthful of blood, marring Artoria’s almost expressionless face as the latter plainly stated, “Not once did I despise you. There was only one reason I would not give you the throne…you simply lacked the capacity to be a King…”

With those parting words, Arthur pulled Rhongomyniad free from Mordred’s abdomen, causing intense pain and an incredible amount of blood to pour out over the already blood-saturated ground. Mordred lost all feeling in his legs, falling to his knees before his King one last time as the latter turned his back, eyes looking for the next enemy as if the final moments of his son meant nothing to him. As darkness began to encroach on his vision, Mordred muttered, “Father…” with a tear-stained face. This seemed to catch Arthur’s attention as he turned to look back at Mordred just as the latter felt an intense rush of power that caused his body to regain its strength for a brief moment.

Without guiding his own actions, Mordred and Arthur both observed in shock as the former ran his Clarent through the latter’s abdomen. Since the Holy Scabbard, Avalon, had been stolen from Arthur during the battle on the border, his purported invulnerability was no longer in effect. Mordred’s last moments before fading into blackness was pulling his sword free from Arthur’s abdomen before watching his father drop to the ground. Then, for the first time in his life, Mordred saw Arthur turn his face toward the sky as tears began to pour down from his eyes. At this moment, a flash of blue light seemed to replace the darkness in his vision before, moments later, Mordred began to experience a long dream…just as his first life had begun with witnessing a series of memories, so too did Mordred’s second life…this time, however, he saw a dream of hope instead of despair…

Around the time when Mordred likely started dreaming about his past life, Vahn’s eyes opened back in the real world. His body felt strangely cold, even though he had Fenrir and Circe warming his body from both sides. Though the latter still restained her chastity, she had still been very proactive during the hours preceding their sleep. Now, much like Fenrir, she was curled up against his body without a single piece of clothing covering her soft and surprisingly hot body. Because of this, the chill Vahn had been feeling was slowly melted away as he hugged the two girls against his body. As Fenrir had awoken around the same time as him, she made Vahn feel even better by gently licking around his neck and jawline. This helped Vahn relax considerably as he ruminated over the ‘dream’ he had just witnessed.

Though it wasn’t beyond his expectations, Mordred’s life was still a shocking series of events to witness, even from the perspective of an observer. She had been manipulated by Morgan until the very end, even losing control over her own body at the very end, forced to stab the person she had wanted nothing more than acknowledgment from. Vahn had felt the anguish in Mordred’s heart as her sword pierced through Artoria’s abdomen, especially when she saw the latter fall to her knees. It made the cold melancholy she felt upon seeing Gareth’s death seem negligible in comparison. She had actually been rather fond of the young female Knight, at least until Morgan’s curse twisted Mordred’s mind to resent everyone Artoria. If she had taken action, it wouldn’t have been difficult for Mordred to save Gareth’s life, something he knew she deeply regretted in her heart in the months leading up to her rebellion…

Remembering the face of Artoria’s niece as her own beloved mentor grasped her head in his hands, Vahn felt slightly nauseous. Even when Lancelot had begun to put pressure into his hands, Gareth had smiled with tears in her eyes, fully believing in the person she trusted more than anyone else in the entire world. The only thing she was awarded for her loyalty was the grissly sight of her face being deformed into mush as her brain and eyes were squeezed from her skull like a child kneading mashed potatoes. Though Vahn had seen a lot of terrible things, the look of betrayal in Gareth’s eyes at the very end was deeply ingrained into, not just his mind, but Mordred’s. Now, Vahn felt like he ‘needed’ to summon Gareth in the future while any intention he had of calling upon Lancelot, even though he knew the man was under someone else’s control, was set aside almost indefinitely…

For the rest of the night, Vahn ruminated on how he could help Mordred find happiness as, even with their current actions, he wasn’t quite sure it would be enough. She had gone through far more than he expected and, though her kill count wasn’t nearly as high as his, Vahn knew she had a lot of blood on her hands. Though it would be best if she could put these things behind her, Vahn knew that such things would eventually come to haunt Mordred as she grew happier. The more ‘human’ she became, the more her past actions would weigh heavily on her heart. To avoid prevent this, Vahn knew he would need to take a far more proactive role in Mordred’s life. Since he also needed to do the same for Illya, Vahn knew his greatest challenge in the future wasn’t Angra Mainyu, but helping ensure these damaged and traumatized girls were able to find happiness…

(A/N: Alternate Titles: ‘Morgan is a c***’,’Poor Gareth…Lancelot is also a c***…!’,’RIP Angra Mainyu, get relegated kid’)

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