Fate/Zero:Act 11 Part 1
From the rooftop of the centre building of Shinto which was far away, Sola was observing the figure of the giant sea monster which was swallowed by a blinding white light and gradually disappeared, in the night fog at the other side.
Her vision was already obscured in that fog, moreover from such a distance away, she could not follow up the progress of the fight with her naked eyes. She did not prepare any familiar which could be immediately used for scouting purposes in this situation, so she had no choice but to gaze at the riverbank at which the giant sea monster and fighter jets were dancing wildly, whilst worrying over it.
Anyway, the battle had apparently completed its first stage, but the Command Seals on her right hand was still there. That would mean that Lancer was still remaining in battle in good health.
Although she was being hit by strong gusts of wind which raged at the high windswept place, Sola was relieved for now. Lancer would probably bring good news back soon. If his victory was shared with other Servants, Masters apart from Sola would also receive the incentive of additional Command Seals, but that was something trivial. Now, she was happy at merely regaining the three strokes of the Command Seals binding her to her Servant.
If the noise of the blowing wind was absent, Sola would probably sense the presence of an attacker stealing up to her back unnoticed from the stairs earlier. Preoccupied with the battlefield at the other side, she let her guard down. But for the lady who did not even have the knowledge of self-defense, much less combat training, there is no way she could not be blamed.
Suddenly she tripped. Even after she ended up on the concrete floor with her face up, she did not even have the time to grasp what had happened. She reflexively held out her right hand to seek help, but it was grabbed by someone roughly. Nevertheless, that person obviously did not have the slightest intention of helping Sola, who had fallen. Instead, a blow of excruciating pain struck her wrist.
From the surface of her fine and slender wrist, like a broken tap, fresh blood gushed forth… Sola stared attentively in disbelief.
Her right hand was not there.
With a single blow, it was cut off cleanly. The fingers and nails which she prided in and never fail to take care, and also the Command Seals which were more valuable than anything else, disappeared altogether from Sola’s right arm.
Above the pain and the chill of losing her blood, the all the more desperate sense of loss dyed Sola’s thinking pitch black.
“Aa, aaaa, aaaaahhhhhh! AAAAAAHHHH!!”
Whilst letting out a deranged scream, Sola crawled about on the floor, trying to find the whereabouts of her disappeared right hand.
No! It’ll be troublesome if I don’t have THAT. I can’t call Diarmuid. I won’t be cared for by Diarmuid.
Worse come to worst, she would spend all the strokes and command him to “Love me!”, and that should be able to bind him. That’s why she was troubled at her right hand. Whatever the case, even at the price of her life, she would retrieve those Command Seals……
Nevertheless, no matter how much she searched on the cold concrete floor, apart from her splattered blood, there was nothing else ― After that, the tips of a pair of boots which were indifferent-looking and not moving, could be seen.
In the midst of her blurring vision due to heavy losses of blood, still prostrate on the floor, Sola looked up and saw an unfamiliar black-haired lady. Not even displaying any emotion, much less pity, that lady expressionlessly looked down at Sola, who was going to faint.
With her remaining left hand, she grabbed the lady’s boots, clinging onto it – after which she lost consciousness.
Without any lingering affection, Hisau Maiya tossed away the female magus’ right hand which she severed with all her might using a survival knife. Using proper methods, the engraved Command Seals left on her left wrist could probably be recovered, but because Maiya did not have such technique at this time, it was completely valueless.
Maiya quickly tied the right wrist to prevent further loss of blood, after which she lifted the unconscious target onto her shoulder, and with her other empty hand, rang up Emiya Kiritsugu with her mobile phone.
- What’s wrong, Maiya?”
“I have secured Sola Nuada-Re Sophia-Ri at Shinto. The Command Seals were cut off with her right hand, but her condition is not critical.”
“Okay. Leave that place quickly. Lancer would probably return soon.”
After getting the bare minimum conversation over with and cutting off the phone call, Maiya dashed down the stairs quickly and reached the lower floor. In the homunculus rib bone which was transplanted by means of Irisviel’s hands, there was still a dull pain since it had yet to familiarize itself with her body, but as for her movements, there was no problem at all. Thanks to that, just like before she was injured, Maiya trailed Lancer and his new Master, and managed to grab the golden opportunity of capturing Sola during Lancer’s absence.
Sure enough, Kiritsugu’s conjecture was right, but as before, he still viewed Kayneth who had lost his rights as Master, as the target he should annihilate. Kiritsugu’s policy is to be cautious against the ones who were chosen as Masters, even if they were to lose their Command Seals.
His real intention for ordering Maiya to capture Sola alive should be to question her about Kayneth’s hiding place. The interrogation would certainly be a cruel experience for Sola, but even if it were the case, there would be no sympathy or mercy from Maiya.
In the situation of men fighting against men, cruelty was not something uncommon. Even Maiya herself understood that simple fact as it is, much less Kiritsugu.
The tranquility of late night accompanying the night streets of Shinto seemed so far away, as ambulance and patrol cars traveled to and fro continually. To those people who rushed about whilst flashing their emergency lights, they would probably not understand what situation had forced them to rush about in the dead of the night, nor the entire picture of the situation. Perhaps they would not understand it even during tomorrow or henceforth.
The shadow of a tall man in the clothing of a priest walking alone on the footpath late at night, would sufficiently be a target of questioning as a suspicious person under normal circumstances, but tonight they were virtually worked to death due to receipt of successive requests for help and instructions for blockades, so there is no way they have the time to even be concerned about an ordinary pedestrian. Amongst the patrol cars which passed Kotomine Kirei countless times, not even one paid any attention to him.
For Kirei who was silently hurrying back to Fuyuki Church, caught in a deep thought within his mind, he did not spare any thoughts at all for the chaos of the city from which the remains of the mayhem had yet to subside.
Always faithful to the instructions, obedient to the responsibilities, strict with his ethics. Kirei had strived that hard until today. His conducts were always above the need to be doubted.
Which is exactly why – this was the first time he had the perplexity of not being able to surmise the meaning behind his actions.
Originally, Kirei would rush to Tōsaka Tokiomi’s fights with the intention of providing backup for his teacher – but the moment he saw that Tokiomi’s opponent was Matō Kariya, Kirei chose not to join him as reinforcements, but merely to hide in the shades; an action tantamount to sabotage.
It was certainly true that he knew the difference in strength between Tokiomi and Kariya, and that the situation rendered things like assistance meaningless in the first place. So even if he was to only stand beside the fight as a spectator, one could say that his decision was in line with his principles.
Nevertheless, his actions after that, were a complete deviation from his duty,
The instant Tokiomi caused Kariya to fall from the rooftop of the apartment, as if recognizing it as a complete victory, he did not even check his enemy’s corpse. Though half-shocked by his teacher’s audacity, Kirei went to look for Kariya’s body as a follow-up…… When he saw that figure prostrate on the back alley not long after, Kariya was still breathing.
Naturally, if he was the hound of the Tōsaka camp, delivering the final blow swiftly was an obvious duty. In spite of that, the thing going to and from Kirei’s mind then, was the contents of the conversation he had with Archer this morning.
If Kotomine Kirei wants to understand himself, not just Emiya Kiritsugu – no, prioritizing over Kiritsugu, he should observe Matō Kariya’s fate – that was the advice given to him.
Generally, that was an unpleasant conversation. A joke not deserving his time to be listened to.
But still, with Tokiomi and Kariya’s showdown before him, what on earth had caused Kirei to choose the action of standing beside as a spectator? There was no need for him to stay there if he had decided that assistance was unnecessary. Wasn’t it more meaningful for him to seek the other Masters?
And then, the instant the flames Tokiomi created caught Kariya…… The thing which was on his mind, wasn’t it the feeling of dejection?
When he suddenly noticed what he was doing, Kirei had already begun administering first-aid curative magecraft onto Kariya’s body. Carrying Kariya, whose condition had become stable despite in a deep sleep due to his actions, he left the battlefield, and left him in front of the Matō residence whilst stealthily concealing himself from public gaze – That happened about 15 minutes ago.
The carvings of the Command Seals were still on Kariya’s hand. Kirei did not watch the battle at the Mion River until the end, but no matter how much injury was inflicted, Berserker was apparently still alive.
Whilst covering the long distance from Miyama Town to the outskirts of Shinto at a slow pace, during that journey which passed through Fuyuki City, Kirei was still distressed over the self-question from which no answer came out – Why the heck had he done such a thing?
This was completely different from his buying and storing up wines of which the taste he knew not. That was not an action completely deprived of benefits. Until now, Kirei had also done secret things without Tokiomi’s permission, and also giving false reports repeatedly at times, but those were not something which could directly obstruct Tokiomi. His hope of a confrontation with Emiya Kiritsugu and Tokiomi’s possession of the Holy Grail – those were not conflicting things.
Notwithstanding that, his prolonging the life of Matō Kariya who had been prowling after Tokiomi as a nemesis, had unmistakably turned him into Tokiomi’s foe. An act of treason with no excuses allowed. In the state of not even having a definite purpose, he had perpetrated something preposterous. Tonight, Kirei had clearly crossed the line of being a loyal servant of Tokiomi.
Although he was conscious of the gravity of his action, why did Kirei not have a tinge of regret within his heart, but instead inexplicable exhilaration?
Archer – had he been tricked by that King of Heroes heroic spirit?
Compared to his walking feet, his mind was extremely worn out.
Suddenly, Kirei had a rare notion of wanting to talk to his father Risei. While he is honest to Kirei in all aspects, he is a father who would never be able to understand Kirei’s worries. Nevertheless, come to think of it, didn’t Kirei not have a heart to heart talk with his father before?
Even if he would end up making his father deeply disappointed, if he would just speak out his mind without any fear – while his relationship with his father would definitely change, won’t that provide something completely new to Kirei?
With this vague anticipation in his heart, shelving his worry for the time being, Kirei continued walking into the night.
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