Fate/Zero:Act 16 Part 10
— A vortex started up.
Sin, the evil in this world, circulated and multiplied and chained and changed as it whirled into a vortex.
Gluttony lust greed depression wrath sloth hypocrisy pride envy, over and over again encroaching and sprouting, whirling into the vortex.
The crime of rebellion the crime of intimidation the crime of adultery the crime of destruction the seven cardinal sins the crime of coercion the crime of theft the crime of desertion the crime of slander the crime of arson the crime of insulting the crime of disrespect the crime of sowing discord the crime of abduction the crime of bribery the crime of abortion the crime of assisting suicide the crime of gambling the crime of abandoning a corpse the crime of mobbing the crime of abandonment the crime of bearing false witness the crime of possessing stolen goods the crime of kidnapping the crime of violence, all crimes should be assessed and sentenced to capital punishment or severe punishment refuse and deny all hatred kill kill kill it is absolutely forbidden kill kill kill he will absolutely not agree kill kill kill very good just like that kill kill kill right that’s right kill kill kill promise kill kill kill but no but no what kill kill kill ah it is really boring to have only this one thought——
The vortex of sound that was the curse was circling. There existed something here that should not exist; from within the barrage of denying curses, a voice cried out, ‘yes!”
Impossible. Affirmations and correctness did not exist within this cursed vortex of hatred. Because everything had determined that everything was ugly and hateful so this word could not appear here—
—But that voice announced again clearly, ‘that is right.’
That is right. The world was originally already like this. Since the truth has been put before your eyes, then why do you sigh? Why are you surprised?
The voice of the curse asked.
What was right?
Who was there to acknowledge it? Who was there to permit it? And who was to bear the burden of sin?
Facing the bombshell tossed from the darkness— in reply, a resounding and concrete sneer.
A foolish question. That goes without asking.
The King will acknowledge it; the King will permit it. The King will bear the burden of the entire world.
The mud asked, what is a king?
But at the same time that it asked the question, it realized that it had contradicted itself.
In this place that strictly did not allow the existence of ‘entities’, the mud had admitted that there was someone else within it. Some strange foreign object, that could not exist, had appeared here.
That was — King — a presence that was an absolute controller, as well as one that had no equal.
His name was — King of Heroes, Gilgamesh.
"That is I!”
Along with flying droplets, the black mud cracked and dispersed away. The foreign object that it could not digest even with having mobilized all its hatred appeared from within the black mud.
Within the burning ruins, he once again stood upon the ground.
The perfect, Golden-proportioned body was no longer the spirit form that it had taken during its time as a Servant, but a true flesh body. The black mud that denied all life crystallized the impurity within itself and then abandoned it, but the result had been that a certain Heroic Spirit had realized his wish of obtaining a corporeal body and returning to this world.
Even standing in the exact middle of a burning hell, the majesty emanating from the body of the king made the surrounding flames afraid to come close. Gilgamesh generously bared his naked body that was like a statue, at the same time sneering impatiently.
"—People would actually treat that sort of thing as a wish-granting machine and fight to the death for it. This time, the entertainment has really been frustrating.”
But it was not bad like this either—touching the new flesh body that he had accidentally received, the King of Heroes felt immensely satisfied.
“Is it Heaven’s will that lets me descend like a sovereign upon this time to unite the world again … Humph, the previous tribulations were really silly. But that’s okay too; dissatisfaction is dissatisfaction, I’ll just accept reality.
Even though he felt it to be very troublesome, he could not refuse to meet battle since this was the challenge issued to him by the gods. Gilgamesh began to laugh wryly again at his status as the King of Heroes.
Passing through the deep darkness, Kotomine Kirei regained consciousness.
He felt the hot air first of all. Then, he smelt the scent of burning human fat. He opened his eyes to look around at the surroundings; the blazing inferno before his eyes seemed to be grilling the sky.
"This place is…”
He had thought that he had touched that mud and entered the inner world of the Grail again. But as he saw the naked man at his side, he immediately denied this possibility.
"Gilgamesh… what happened?”
"You really are a troublesome man. It took me a lot of effort to dig you out from under the rubble.”
Kirei diligently operated his dazed brain and began to think, intending to understand how the entire event had happened. His last memory was of the Municipal Hall’s large props storage space; he had been kneeling on the ground, and had been shot from behind and killed by Kiritsugu. – No matter how he thought about it, he should have lost his life instantly.
He tore open the vestments at his chest, checking the spot that should have been shot through.
Suddenly, the image of the black mud surfaced before his eyes.
An illusion. There was no scar on his chest. He pressed his hand atop his heart to check.
"...Did you perform healing on me? Gilgamesh.”
"That… ah. You did look dead, but you and I are linked by the contract. I got this flesh body because of that mud, so maybe there is also some reason that you are alive again.”
The black mud that in the end had been unable to corrode Archer completely — had followed the path of the prana supply that had formerly linked Archer to his Master, and arrived at Kotomine Kirei’s physical body, becoming the source of a life-force supply that could substitute for a heart. Only thus had Kirei revived.
In other words, now Kirei relied on the prana provided by “Angra Mainyu” in order to live.
"All the Servants have been eliminated; I am the only one left. Do you know what this mean? Kirei.”
Kirei, whose mind had still not completely sobered, looked intently into Gilgamesh’s red eyes.
"It is we who have obtained the Grail, so you only need to open your eyes wide and watch. If the Grail can really make the victor’s wish come true, then this scene before you — Kotomine Kirei, it is exactly what you desire.”
A crimson hell. The tortured screams that the wind carried to his ears. Dancing tongues of flame. Kirei stared blankly at this scene.
"This is… my wish?”
Exactly. If this thing that was filling the emptiness in his heart at this moment could be called ‘satisfaction’.
"Destruction and sighs… can make me happy?”
Exactly. If the emotion that roiled within his heart at this moment could be called ‘joy’.
At this moment, Kotomine Kirei finally understood the true form of his own soul.
The collapse of everything was so beautiful.
People who were tormented were so lovable.
Tortured screams by his ears were so satisfying.
Burnt corpses were so laughable.
Unable to control the emotion that had reached boiling point, Kirei laughed hopelessly.
What kind of sin was this? What a cruel demon he was.
A world like this, cast aside by God, could actually be filled with vivid joy.
"What am I? Hahaha, what am I?!”
Even the feeling of hopelessness that tugged at his heart was so sweet. Kirei’s body trembled from his manic laughter. He could feel everything from his fingertips to the top of his head, clearly and distinctly.
Ahah, now I am alive —
I truly exist, right here —
For the first time he was aware of, and for the first time he truly felt, the fetters between him and the world.
"Why so twisted? Why so filthy? Am I really the descendant of Kotomine Risei? Hahahaha, impossible! Impossible! What is this?! Could my father really have sired a dog?!”
From a place that was completely opposite to his own faith, Kirei had found the truth. This ironic end was actually so satisfying.
He had circled so many winding roads. Had he been dreaming all along?
He had praised the preciousness of kindness, sang hymns to the beauty of holiness. Kirei had wasted twenty-odd years of his life precisely because he believed utterly in this sort of truth. He had never realized that his nature was completely contrary to this sort of truth.
The priest clutched his stomach, exhausted and breathing rapidly from his laughter; Gilgamesh asked in a calm voice.
"No, not enough. Just this is not enough.”
Kirei wiped away the tears from his maniacal laughter, and shook his head.
"True — I have finally found my answer in this life that is full of question marks. This is a very great improvement. However, this doesn’t solve any problems. I only bypassed the process and method of solving the question to arrive directly at the answer. Just like that, how will you have me acknowledge it, and even then what is there for me to acknowledge?”
If God is the Creator of All Things, then to all souls, ‘happiness’ is truth.
But now, there truly existed a soul that had turned its back on morality and yet obtained happiness. Kirei had also only just begun to believe that this soul was no one else but himself.
In that case, the definition of good and evil, as well as the very existence of truth, had created a contradiction. This contradiction could not be overlooked.
"Within the equation from which this strange answer is derived, there should exist a reason that is simple and easily understood. No, there is definitely one. Then what exactly is it… I must clarify it, I must find it. Even if it takes my whole life, I want to understand.”
After having had enough of laughing insanely, a smile remained on his mournful face as if it was the residue of his previous manic laughter. Perhaps from today on, he would always keep this expression. The leisurely smile that meant that he had accepted the truth of himself and the world, and was able to honestly face everything. Facing Kotomine Kirei’s completely new bearing, Gilgamesh nodded and said.
"You really don’t feel fed up… That’s alright too. I, Gilgamesh, will see how you will carry through your fearless faith in the pursuit of your way.”
Kirei looked around at the surroundings again, savoring the exquisitely beautiful scenery that the Grail had brought to him.
The quantity of the black mud that had caused the entire block to go up in flames should be nothing compared to the quantity which remained in the Great Grail. When that mud was all released, what kind of hellish picture would unfold before his eyes?
Yes — its existence was like Kirei’s own; they were both things that ran contrary to ethics. Now that Kirei thought about it, there had already been anticipation in his heart from the time that he had seen that dream world. If that kind of ‘thing’ was really born and proved its existence, then perhaps it could even derive some other explanation that was unrelated to morals and ethics.
"Angra, Mainyu —“
Thinking somewhat anxiously, Kirei spat out this name.
He must find it again; he must witness it again with his own eyes, its birth, and the value of its existence.
— Suddenly, Kirei discovered that another silhouette had appeared on the other side of the wavering tongues of flames.
His cloak, fanned out by the hot air, was tattered in many places. It was stained black in many places. That person walked as unsteadily as a sleepwalker, and wandered on the burning street.
He was Emiya Kiritsugu. The details were not clear but judging from his current appearance, it seemed he had lost Saber and had luckily survived the big fire.
What did not match with the steps that had no majesty left was the terrifying manner with which he surveyed the surroundings, like that of the vengeful dead who wailed as they wandered in burning hell. He was clearly looking for something, and in order to find it he was not afraid to even die within the sea of flame.
Could it be that he had discovered that he had not been able to kill Kirei, and so pursued him here —
Just as he was thinking this, their eyes met. Kirei unflinchingly received his empty gaze.
"Then I shall meet battle—“
Although the injury to his right hand and left leg were still the same, at this moment Kirei did not think that he would lose. He remembered again the dissatisfaction when the outcome of the previous battle had been decided. He would not let the matter drop until he taught the other man a lesson.
But things did not progress as Kirei had expected. It was as if Kirei was transparent in Kiritsugu’s eyes; as if nothing had happened, Kiritsugu moved his gaze away and continued to size up the surroundings, leaving aimlessly and without a destination.
All his fighting spirit had been drenched in a bucket of cold water; coming back to himself, Kirei discovered that there was an unspeakable gloominess in his heart.
“Nn? What is it, Kirei?”
It looked as if Gilgamesh had not noticed Kiritsugu’s form at all. Kirei silently shook his head, and considered it his answer to the King of Heroes.
Emiya Kiritsugu’s expression was clearly very strange. His once sharp gaze had vanished; his eyes just now were like empty caves, devoid of expression. The distracted impression he gave — he would not have recognized even things that were right before his eyes. Therefore, perhaps he had not even noticed Kirei watching him.
That man had become a walking corpse; it was not worth treating him as an enemy any more. Kiritsugu, who had wanted to save others but instead brought about disaster, was the loser in the true meaning of the word. He must be searching for survivors that could give him some comfort. It was really just absolute foolishness. In his current state, he would very quickly vanish in this sea of fire. There was no need to think about it anymore; this person no longer held any meaning for Kirei now.
Kirei explained to himself thus in his heart; at the same time, he cast aside the gloominess in his heart.
Even if he had really become a walking zombie, even if he was only a corpse.
Even then, Emiya Kiritsugu had actually ignored Kotomine Kirei and walked away on his own. This fact made him feel utterly humiliated.
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