In that deep oblivion that comes from unnatural unconsciousness, there was a small wet sensation on Ritsuka’s face.
…Is something licking my cheek again…?
Ritsuka’s head moved slightly to get some distance from the tongue, which seemed to elicit the faint cries of “Fou Fou” from the creature, as though it was determined not to let Ritsuka keep sleeping.
…I don’t remember having this kind of alarm clock…
“Senpai. Please wake up, Senpai,” came a gentle, hesitant voice.
…Is this a dream about a childhood friend? I don’t remember having such a manga like life…
The gentle voice seemed to talk to itself a little before saying, a bit more forcefully, “Master, please wake up. You must wake up, or be killed.”
“NO YANDERES,” shouted Ritsuka as he sat bolt upright, fear and adrenaline knocking the sleep out of him like a homerun at a Yomiuri Giants baseball game to find Mash on her knees staring at him.
“Oh, thank goodness you’re awake now, Senpai,” said Mash, relief coloring her voice even as her face remained tense and worried. “I’m so glad you’re okay.”
“You’d better have been kidding about that ‘killing me’ part, Mash.”
Even as the words came out of Ritsuka’s mouth, the thought, Wait, wasn’t Mash trapped under that rubble, appeared in his mind.
“Ah, that came out wrong. I was trying to say that it’s dangerous here and-”
The strange cry accompanied the approach of a rattling skeleton wearing a filthy rag as a loincloth, and holding a chipped up saber for a weapon, it’s bony feet slightly disturbed some of the shattered concrete on the ground.
“Ah, it must have heard your shouting, Master!”
“How could it hear my shouting if it doesn’t have any ears?!”
“…Linguistic communication seems impossible.”
“Did you just ignore my tsukkomi?”
“Identifying life-form as hostile.”
“Well of course it’s-”
Mash had stood up while Ritsuka was still freaking out about a fantasy monster having appeared in the lack of flesh right in front of him, and held out her arm. In her outstretched hand a great lump of metal took form from thin air. It was a large, flat, round disk with an even larger cross fashioned overtop. It looked heavy enough that two men using all their combined strength would be needed to lift it, let alone move it. And Mash was holding it in a single hand. Mash hesitated for a moment, and seemed to tremble slightly before moving in front of Ritsuka, and intercepting a sword slash on her shield. Then… she just froze up.
“Mash,” called Ritsuka, asking if the girl was okay but not able to find the words.
Mash blocked another attack from the skeleton, and then just stayed there, her shield pressed against the jagged saber that was pressing forward, trying to make a hole in her defense to attack though.
Putting aside the disturbing feeling that he was in someplace he didn’t know. Putting aside Mash’s strange outfit that was like a one piece swimsuit with the belly cut out combined with a cos-play plated metal miniskirt. Putting aside the fact that Mash turned out to be the type who looked slimmer in clothes and actually had a large chest and a tight waist. Putting aside the fact that a fantasy monster was trying to kill Ritsuka, Mash, and probably Fou, as well as the fact that Fou was even with them at that moment; there was no way Mash was going to win like that!
“Push that thing back, Mash, and then hit him with your shield!”
Mash trembled slightly, as though struck with electricity, and said, “Yes, Master!”
Mash put force into her legs, shifted her shield a little, and pushed up. The skeleton’s sword was knocked upwards, and then Mash used that hole in it’s defense and pushed her own shield forward like she was giving it a right straight. The ridiculously large shield struck the skeleton in the rib cage with enough force to knock it back a few meters, but it didn’t knock the creature off its feet.
“Finish it, Mash!”
Mash gave a somewhat cute war cry as she jumped into the air and gave a flying right hook with her shield directly into the head and upper body of the skeleton, flattening the thing into the ground and pulverizing the bones of it’s upper body. There was no way it was going to be getting up from that.
Mash gave a relieved sigh and turned back to Ritsuka with a refreshed smile on her face, saying “I had my worries, but we made it somehow. Are you hurt, Senpai?”
Passion had forced Ritsuka up onto one knee, but Mash’s finisher had knocked the composure out of him.
“Mash, you’re that powerful?”
Mash looked bashful while her eyes started searching the ground.
“…No, in combat training I always had to stay after class. I couldn’t even do a pull-up. The reason I was able to fight like that just now-”
“Right, I finally got through! Hello,” came the blue holographic figure from the metal watch bracelet that was on Ritsuka’s left wrist. The thing had come with the uniform, but Ritsuka had never thought it was a Star Trek quality gadget.
* * * * *
“This is Chaldea Command! Do you read me,” called Dr. Roman into the display panel in the backup control center under the main facilities. It was truly a room filled with emergency equipment with less than half the functionality the primary control room had, but at the moment it was the only location where he could communicate with the people who’d somehow been Rayshifted. Truthfully, Dr. Roman wasn’t expecting to be able to get in contact with anyone considering what had happened-
“This is Mash Kyrielight, a member of A Team. At this time, I’ve completed the shift to Singularity F.”
Dr. Roman felt the wind knocked out of him in relief. The Rayshift had succeeded, and more than that it was Mash who was safe on the other side.
“My sole companion is Fujimaru Ritsuka. Both our minds and bodies are intact. Rayshift compatibility, Master compatibility both satisfactory. Please register Fujimaru as an official researcher”
“…So Gudao also got dragged into the Rayshift, huh?”
“Gudao?” asked Mash’s voice through the connection. Dr. Roman started fiddling with the controls to point the data intake feed towards where Mash most likely was based on the sound output levels..
“I’m impressed you two didn’t ‘lose your existence.’ I’m really glad. Ah, but Mash,” hesitated Dr. Roman when he’d gotten Mash on the communication screen. “What’s up with that outfit? It’s shameless! I didn’t raise you to dress like that!”
“Is that really the part you should be focusing on right now,” came Gudao’s reply over the speakers. Mash folded her hands over her chest, and it seemed her cheeks had flushed a bit as she lightly back talked to Dr. Roman.
“I transformed into this. I couldn’t protect Senpai wearing Chaldea’s uniform.”
With another instant reply, Dr. Roman heard Gudao ask, “Wait, you were wearing something like that under yours clothes?”
“No, that’s not it!”
“Then what is it, Mash,” called Dr. Roman through the microphone. “Did you hit your head or some-”
“Dr. Roman, please be quiet! Please check my condition. I think you’ll understand the situation better if you do.”
Confused, Dr. Roman did that by pulling up the biometrics information and moving it overtop the technical diagnostics window he’d been using before to keep a monitor on the back up generators. After looking at the information, he couldn’t help but call out in complete shock.
“Physical strength, Magical Circuits, everything’s been improved to the point- Mash, it’s like you’re no longer human but a-”
“Yes, I’m a Servant.”