Disclaimer: Characters belong to their respectful owners
Fandom: Fate/Grand Order
Pairing(s): Siegfried x Karna
Genres: fanfiction, fluff, humor, genderbent
Characters: Siegfried, Karna, Arjuna, Jing Ke, original characters
“Key words: ‘you think’, Archer. Nausea isn’t equivalence of morning sickness.”
Rhys squinted his eyes and studied the mess of red and blue lines he had exposed and tried to modify so that the communication device was compatible with his charger. At the moment he was doing the opposite of what he had done a few hours earlier: he was putting the lines back where they belonged, hoping with anxiety bubbling in his chest that he hadn’t screwed up anything and broken the device for good. It was the only thing that connected him and Chaldea; he desperately needed it if the three of them still wanted to return home safe and sound.
Once everything was back in place, Rhys plugged the device in with trembling fingers. He considered it the ultimate blessing that Mr. Shou’s little dwelling had an outlet. Why and how a cottage alone in a bamboo forest had electricity supply was of little importance to him as long as he could charge his communication device. Maybe that was what the windmill-like contraptions in the yard were used for.
The LCD screen flared up together with a beep had Rhys’s heart nearly leap out of his chest. He screamed internally, not wanting to disturb Mr. Shou and Iori’s sleep when they had done him an enormous favor. They each had retired to their room at the back, leaving the full use of the living room to their new and strange guests. They needed the energy for tomorrow’s journey and Rhys would have followed their example if he hadn’t had to do something important first: charging his device and consulting with either Gilgamesh or Davinci, depending on his luck.
Never before had he found the grainy hologram of a certain Davinci-chan so lovely, so endearing. It brightened the small, dimly lit room.
“Never thought I’d say this,” Rhys began, “but so glad to see you, Davinci, instead of Gilgamesh.” A pause. “He’s not there, isn’t he?”
“No, he got into a quarrel with his younger selves and now Enkidu is trying to have them reconcile with each other, or at least not try to kill each other and reduce Chaldea into rubbles in the process.”
“Who had the brilliant idea of putting them in the same breathing space?” Rhys muttered.
“It’s beyond me,” Davinci replied. “Maybe they ran into each other. Good thing we still have Enkidu to get them in line. How are things on your side? I heard from Gilgamesh but I need to see with my own eyes to assess the situation.”
Rhys summoned Karna, who was outside the cottage, guarding it, via their mental connection. Karna’s slender frame instantly materialized beside Rhys, casting a shadow on the young mage’s face. Behind him was Siegfried. “You called, Master?” Karna asked.
“Yes, please come closer so Davinci can have a look.”
Karna wordlessly did as he was told.
Davinci’s hologram put on a monocle. “Hmm, it’s certainly bizarre but also extremely interesting. I’ve never seen anything like this before and I’d love to study it. If only I could Rayshift there myself. Also, what gorgeous figure! I’d love to draw it.”
Rhys scowled. Only a man who had traded his original body for a female one could say this was interesting. “Please keep your perverted side in check, Davinci.”
“You know I can’t help myself when I see beauty.”
Something crossed Rhys’s mind. “Wait, If Gilgamesh had told you then everyone in Chaldea might have already learned of this.”
A chill ran along Rhys’s spine, making him shiver despite the sweltering weather. He dreaded thinking about what if a certain first-rate Archer knew. He had a penchant for overreacting, that one, which was a major understatement.
Davinci pouted. “What did you take the King of Heroes for? A chatterbox? He only told me because it’s my duty to supervise the missions. Now, please tell me if you have checked the other pools and made any discoveries.”
“That sounds a lot like Gilgamesh’s advice. Those are dangerous so no, we didn’t check. Fortunately someone did and we were able to learn the results.”
“Ooh, tell me.” Her voice didn’t contain her skin-crawling gleefulness. It was probably a scientist’s terminal disease: to be curious about everything and eager to explore them despite how perilous they might be.
“Each pool turns the creature that falls in into something else, dogs, cats, pandas, etc., you name it. And provided you managed to find the proper pool, you can turn them back.”
“Hmm, define ‘proper’, please.”
“For example you threw a mouse in some pool and it turns into a cat. If you could find a mouse pool then problem solved.”
“Interesting,” Davinci hummed, stroking her chin. Probably a past habit when she still had a beard. “By that premise, if we find a male pool, Karna will return to normal?”
“Theoretically speaking. One tiny problem: there is no such pool in that area.”
There was a prolonged silence on the other line, which Rhys felt impatient to fill in as not to waste time. He needed rest as much as any normal human and now his eyes began to weigh down.
“There’s a solution to that, albeit temporary,” he said, standing up, not waiting for Davinci’s response. He left for a few seconds and came back with a kettle in hand. “Karna, do you mind?”
Karna shook his head and took the kettle. The palms of his hand glowed red and soon after, there was steam rising from its mouth. With his usual stoicism, he poured the water over himself. For the third time in the day, he got really wet.
OK, that sounds so wrong.
A soft gasping sound passed Davinci’s lips.
The steam cleared and the original Karna appeared. Almost at the same time, Davinci exclaimed, “Meravigliosa! Subarashii! Marvelous! This is definitely one of the rare miracles I’ve the chance to witness. Simply marvelous.”
Karna’s face was expressionless while Siegfried’s had soured. “He can only keep this form for a short while,” he said, and Rhys noted the annoyance in his tone. But he couldn’t blame Davinci though; from a scientist’s perspective, this unfortunate incident was a golden chance to study the unknown, and this, this was nothing sort of a miracle.
“When he’s dry, he’s back to being a woman.”
Davinci cleared her throat. “Well, it’s troublesome. Let’s see… “ Rhys heard the sound of keyboard. “It appears in the second Karna turned from woman to man, the magical reading pivoted, meaning a large amount of magical energy was involved. As far as I know, there’s one thing that has that much energy…”
“The Grail!” Both Rhys and Davinci said in unison.
“We speculated as much,” Rhys said. “It seems we came pretty close to it.”
“Any clue on where it is or whose hand it is in so far?”
“Yes, the man we met here provided us a clue, which we will set off to check tomorrow.”
“Now that’s the silver lining,” Davinci chuckled. “Anyway, we will be keeping contact tomorrow. Can your communication device hold up?”
“Probable. I’ll make sure to fully charge it.”
“The best of luck to your team.”
“Ah, Rhys, there’s something I need to say before goodbye.”
Davinci’s voice lowered, as if to confide a secret. “Gilgamesh only told me but I might have discussed with Foxy over lunch, you know, to figure out the cause…”
Rhys’s heart dropped. Foxy. Tamamo no Mae. Chaldea’s unofficial news hub. He was surprised a certain demigod Archer had not barged into the control room with his thunderous temper and his Agni Gandiva activated.
To be continued