Fate/Zero:Act 10 Part 3

From Baka-Tsuki
Jump to: navigation, search

-84:25:22[edit]

"That's... awesome! Totally awesome!"

Uryū Ryūnosuke was so overwhelmed with excitement that, heedless of his surroundings, he raised his voice to a strange shriek, his whole body shaking.

Although he was not alone with the crowd of onlookers now gathering at the riverside, none of them were concerned with Ryūnosuke's odd behavior. Every set of eyes were fixed on the otherworldly, impossible phenomenon unfolding before them.

On the river's surface, a giant rampaging monster. In the sky, sparks flew as a UFO clashed with a Self Defense Force fighter.

A spectacle never before seen that anyone would deride as hackneyed.

Serves you all right! Ryūnosuke cheered.

With their mouths agape, everyone present stared dumbly at the reality in front of their eyes. At their wit's end, the only thing they could do was watch as 'common sense', the worthless idol they had blindly worshiped and utterly believed in, loudly came crashing down.

How's that, you bastards? It's always been me on the losing side, until now. Frustrating, isn't it? Pathetic, eh?

None of you even imagined - didn't even try to imagine - how awesome and bizarre the world is outside the walls of common sense.

But me? Of course I know. I've expected it; hoped for it. That someday, I can see something tremendous. That's why I only ever do the abnormal, seeking out novelties every day, wandering in a frenzy.

And ― I've finally found it. The treasure chest I've been seeking for.

Yeah, God definitely exists. This extraordinary sight is my proof.

The one who snickeringly brought out such absurdities just to see the trembling expressions of his pitiful lambs was the great Trickster in His heaven. The God he had been seeking all along finally appeared; all the prepared jack-in-the-boxes, set up in this place and that, all opened at once and spouted flames.

This is a farewell to tedium. There is no longer a need to devote time and effort into murder. Even if it's left alone, tons of people are going to die. Crushed and ripped apart and smashed open and devoured and die and die and die endlessly. The color of a blondy's guts, the sensation of a black man's spleen, even those bowels that I haven't seen before; I can experience them one after another! Day by day, I'll be swept up in interesting things, right in the center of the world!

Continuously, ceaselessly!

“Aaaahhh! The Lord has come! The Lord has come!”

He raised his fists high in triumph, singing and springing and celebrating this victory of a lifetime. Ryūnosuke shouted encouragements to his comrade who had become the rampaging monster.

“Go for it, Sir Bluebeard! Destroy them! Slaughter them! This is God's own toy box!”

Just then, he was shoved hard by an unseen hand.

Falling painfully on his backside, he looked around, shocked. Nobody was near enough to touch Ryūnosuke. On the contrary, the people around him started to scream and back away when they saw him. It was as though he was one of the absurdities in the river and in the sky, appearing right before their eyes.

“What is it? Hey, what?"

Just as Ryūnosuke expectantly started asking the people around him where this new oddity was occurring, he casually put his hand to his stomach and felt something hot and slippery... and then, he started fixedly at his own hand, dyed crimson.

“Whoooa..."

Red. Pure, captivating red.

The glistening, vivid, fundamental color that he had always been seeking.

Ah, this is it ― Ryūnosuke instantly understood, a faint smile on his pale lips.

The color he was searching for all along. The thing he teared through all sorts of places to find but could never obtain, the true "red".

Lovingly, he embraced his abdomen, gushing with fresh blood.

“I see...... I never realized, huh......”

"The darkest place is under the candlestick" - those words were well said. He had never thought that what he was seeking could be hidden somewhere so near himself...

He was intoxicated, his skull completely filled by the surging analgesia. The second shot struck him in the center of the forehead.

Even though his entire head above the nose had been blown away without a trace, his lips still traced a smile of total bliss.


※※※※※


Got him ― confident, Emiya Kiritsugu, kneeling on one knee on the deck of the ship, lowered the muzzle of the Walther night vision sniper rifle.

He was about two hundred meters downstream from Caster's monster, close to the heart of the river at Fuyuki Bridge. Kiritsugu, who happened to have been staking out the harbor just as Caster appeared, promptly chose one of nearby empty yachts and commandeered it, arriving here.

Needless to say, it never crossed his mind to attack the monster Caster had become. Using the panic as cover, Kiritsugu's aim once again was to 'hunt' the Master.

The light amplification scope loses its efficiency as the number of particles in the air increased, making it useless in this fog; however, this was no trouble for the infrared scope, crucial for differentiating magi. Within the gathering crowd of onlookers, Kiritsugu searched for the thermal pattern characteristic of Magic Circuits. As a result, one of those individuals was gunned down.

Under these circumstances, anyone loitering near the riverside while keeping Magic Circuits active must be involved in the Holy Grail War.

The probability of his target being the Master of Caster was over sixty percent. For now, taking the shot was the right choice.

Incidentally, due to Kiritsugu's position, the two warring magi on top of the nearby high-rise apartment were in a blind spot, and spared from his gunshots.

"......This is bad."

Although that particular incident was resolved successfully, Kiritsugu's expression soured as he turned around and confirmed the situation.

No matter how favorably he looked at it, Saber and Rider's strenuous attempt to halt the sea monster was going poorly.

Even presuming that he had hit his target, it still requires a certain amount of time before the Servant, cut off from a prana supply, becomes unable to maintain its link to the modern era and disappear. If Caster reaches the bank and begins 'feeding' before this happens, that would be the end. Once it gains a new prana source, they would have no choice but to eliminate it physically.

And finally, the immortal, infinitely-regenerating monster is on the verge on pushing onto the shallow riverside.


※※※※※


Despite grinding her teeth in despair, Saber was neither frightened nor daunted, and continued to brandish her sword.

No matter how deep her slashes, the wound would be filled instantly without a trace. This was a fruitless effort ― no, if they could just slow the monster down even by a little this battle would have meaning. However, when the impending outcome is considered, this equates to no more than futile resistance.

If only she could use her left hand...

Although it was an unavoidable regret, Saber could not help but consider it. Even with the exceptionally powerful Noble Phantasms possessed by Rider and Archer, it will not be enough to fell this monster. No matter how large a force they use to trample it, it is meaningless if all its injuries can be regenerated from instantly. To defeat this horror, one must simply deliver a strike that covers it entirely, obliterating it down to the last scrap of flesh ― what is needed is not an Anti-Army, but an Anti-Fortress Noble Phantasm.

Excalibur could achieve this, but Saber could not use it now. The fatal secret technique which releases in a single blow an enormous surge of energy rivaling her entire prana supply; no matter the circumstance, for her to use it, she must swing the sword with both hands.

Naturally, it would risk Saber's pride for her to face Lancer now and complain to him at great length about this - impossible to even consider. The handicap of her left hand is her debt for vowing to settle her match with Lancer fairly. In the Einzbern forest, Lancer came of his own free will to 'serve as her left hand'; in the name of the King of Knights, she must repay him for his spirit.

"Hey, Saber! We'll accomplish nothing like this. Retreat for now!"

At Rider's voice coming from his chariot directly above her, Saber replied angrily.

"What nonsense are you speaking! If we do not stop it here ― "

"This is a stalemate! Just pull back. I have an idea!"

"..."

She was compelled. Delivering a blow with all her strength as a parting gift, Saber dashed across the river's surface in pursuit of Rider, and retreated to the riverside where Lancer and Irisviel were waiting. Saber kicked off from the water and leapt onto the river bank. At the same time, Rider's chariot landed, descending from empty space accompanied by lightning.

"Listen, all of you. No matter what steps we take after this, right now we have to buy some time."

Dispensing with greetings, Rider spoke urgently. Even the King of Conquerors did not maintain his easygoing composure this time.

"For the time being I'll drag that thing into Ionioi Hetairoi. Well, it'll probably be impossible to destroy it completely even with my elites. Confining it in my Reality Marble is the best I can do."

"What do we do after that?"

At Lancer's question,

"No idea."

Rider replied blankly. Nevertheless, from his grave expression, it is obvious that he was not joking.

Buying time to stave off an emergency ― even with the King of Conquerors' hidden technique, this was all that could be done.

"After taking in such a giant, I can maintain my bounded field of troops for a few minutes at most. During that time, by any means possible ― Heroic Spirits, find a strategy that will grant us victory. Boy, you stay here too."

As soon as he finished, Rider plucked Waver out of the charioteer's carriage.

"H-Hey?!"

"Once the bounded field is deployed, I will have no way of knowing the situation outside. Boy, if something happens, concentrate and call me. I'll dispatch a messenger to you."

"..."

Though they were allied right now, from Waver's perspective, having him and his own Servant go separate ways and leaving himself alone with two other Servants was extremely dangerous and reckless. However, nothing can be resolved if they all simply stood on guard against their allies' treachery.

Though his heart was quivering with fear, with a sullen look, the youth nodded.

"Saber, Lancer, the rest is up to you two."

"...Got it."

"...Understood."

Though the two had spoken in agreement, they were both extremely bitter. Everyone present understood that Rider's decision was simply an emergency reaction without an actual solution.

Nevertheless, it was as though he placed his full trust in the Heroic Spirits he had appraised. After gathering his resolve, Rider aimed the chariot at the savage giant monster, and charged - without distress on his face, without once looking back.


Back to Act 10, Part 2 Return to Main Page Forward to Act 10, Part 4