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The Rise and Fall

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He had laid in darkness for so long that the light is starting to hurt his eyes. Mordred, first of his name, the rightful King of the Britons, rises from the box, flexing his muscles experimentally. Eyes adjusting to the light, Mordred finally sees the scene before him. It isn’t much to behold, just an empty building, save for a complicated contraption and a man before him with an aura that reminds him of a red serpent.  

“Well, well, well.” Mordred tilts his head curiously at the mortal standing before him. Something seemed… off. And then he remembers the rumors, the whispers, of the coming battle between order and chaos, and he knows exactly who that man is—or rather, who is possessing him. “It isn’t every day that one rises from the dead.”

The man smiles. “I suppose not, Mordred.”

“Ah, so you do know who you dragged back from hell.” Mordred smirks, magic once again burning at his fingertips. “Then you should know that it is common practice to kneel before your king, but I suppose we can spare those pleasantries.”

“You suppose,” the man remarks dryly.

“After all,” Mordred continues, tapping his nose knowingly, “it isn’t every day that you meet a God, certainly not a God of Destruction and Chaos.”

“So you’ve heard of me.” The man looks pleasantly surprised at that news. “How shocking.” 

“Hell is deep, Mr. Lord of Chaos.” Mordred smirks. “Seven circles to be precise. Word gets around.”

“Then you should know why I called you back to the living.”

“Chaos and destruction—you don’t even have to ask. Consider it done.” Mordred waves his hand, clothing himself in familiar armor, black as midnight and stronger than steel. The kind that was and still is fit for a king. “This world is still corrupt as it was when Camelot fell, and I will cleanse it once again.”

After all, it is his duty, and he’s already chosen his side.

“I should hope so—or else, you would have been a wasteful investment.” The man’s lips twitch. “And that would be terrible.”

“Ah, well, I’ve never been one to disappoint. Except for that one time.” Mordred cracks his knuckles, rolling his shoulders back and stretching. “Before I get to business, quick question—is Galahad still around?”

“Unfortunately.” The possessed mortal’s lips pursue, as if remembering the last time the man tangled with the knight. Mordred can hardly blame him—after all, he too remembers the last time he had the fortune of clashing with the Grail Knight of Virtue himself. It involved Mordred losing his head entirely.

Mordred’s grin widens, heart racing in anticipation. He has been waiting centuries for this opportunity, and this is the kind of thing that gossamer-light dreams are made of. “Then it seems I have an old friend to greet.”

“May I ask why the interest in a shell of an old man?” the man asks, eyebrows raising, but Mordred can barely hear the God. Not that he cares. He has another chance to make things right, and that alone is enough. It has to be enough before he gets sent back to the Hell that he came from.

Mordred can feel the gears already turning, the plan already forming. He wants a rematch against Galahad with the same furious white rage the Incorruptible had the last time they had met. History tends to repeat itself, after all, and Mordred would like nothing better than to break the cycle before it has even begun.

“Let’s just say I have business with him.” Mordred says at last before turning on his heel and vanishing with a snap.