Fate/Zero:Act 16 Part 11
Sometimes, a broken machine did not simply and silently give up functioning. On rare occasions, it could surprisingly continue working.
The fact that Kariya was able to crawl back to the Matō mansion in Miyama was one of these very rare examples.
In fact, Kariya’s physical body itself had been in a very dangerous state for the past few months. Had he not been driven forcibly by the prana that had been concentrated by the Crest Worms, he would not have been able to move. Moreover, in the condition that the Crest Worms had died under the heavy burden of Berserker’s rampage, Kariya should have only been able to quietly wait for death to come.
But even so, Kariya had stood up from the ground of the basement, and escaped the City Hall that was close to collapsing. Then he crossed the burning streets and walked the long night road that traversed Fuyuki City. This was a miracle fulfilled with no thanks to the Holy Grail.
However, right now Kariya could never realize how rare such cases were, and was also unable to give thanks for the pity that God had shown him.
He had long forgotten what time it was, and his mind had become muddled a long time ago. He couldn’t even recall properly how he had escaped tonight. The heavily damaged body could fall down any minute, and even his psyche had been eroded to its limits. Only the conviction of ‘save Sakura’ enabled Kariya to force himself to arrive here.
Standing before that familiar stairwell, full of a rancid and rotten stench, Kariya finally relaxed as he faced the mass of darkness below.
Sakura was locked beneath those stairs, deep in the darkness of the basement. A little bit more, just a little bit more to go.
Just like he had expected; no one hindered his movements. Zōken, who had been monitoring Kariya’s actions through the Crest Worms, must have thought that Kariya had died on the battlefield in Shinto a long time ago. For Kariya, who had lain in wait for an opportunity, this was a chance that couldn’t be missed. The Worms within Kariya had died; they were killed by Berserker. They had admitted defeat before Kariya; Kariya had defeated the Worms.
So this time – this time he must be able to rescue Sakura, who was imprisoned, and run away with her.
Kariya walked down the stairs. Although he couldn’t determine whether he was walking or crawling – or even just rolling down the stairs – he knew he was advancing downwards. The ruckus of the Worms sounded by his ears; they were angry for having an intruder. He must hurry, must finish his work before Zōken discovered it.
The young and small silhouette of a girl appeared deep within the darkness. Like always, Sakura had been violated and consumed by the Worms tonight. Her lost and empty gaze suddenly focused upon Kariya, who was approaching her.
“… Uncle …?”
“Sakura – I’m here to save you. It’s, alright – ”
He finally voiced this confession. He had waited far too long for this moment.
You don’t need to despair anymore, you don’t need to give anything up anymore. The nightmare had finished, and it won’t return.
He took off the handcuffs and shackles that tightly bound the young girl’s soft skin. Go, Sakura, go and take back the future that you should have.
Kariya took Sakura’s hand and left the worm storage room, then they silently and inconspicuously crossed the Miyama district at night. Aoi and Rin were waiting for them in the next town. The mother was finally reunited with her daughter in that memorable courtyard in the Zenjō mansion. Kariya would take all three of them to go travelling, to a place that no one knows about, a place where no one would disturb them. There, they would pass every day in happiness. Everyone would happily play games like they had once promised. Aoi watched her two daughters running in a field of flowers with a smile on her face. Sakura plucked clovers, and Rin wove them into garlands. They fought for the chance to place the garland on Kariya’s head while simultaneously saying they want to give the garland to ‘Daddy’ as a gift. Aoi, who wore two garlands, grasped Kariya’s hand tightly as she smiled. Ahh, thank you. Kariya laughed and cried at the same time, and took his beloved wife and daughters into a tight embrace. Daddy is so happy to have such a wife and such daughters. He was the happiest person in the world. Therefore, there was nothing to regret about. All this was worthy to risk his life for. There would be rewards for all the pain he had suffered, and all that he had wanted were all within his hands –
Sakura stared at the corpse of the man who had fallen before her in the icy-cold darkness of the worm storage. This man was muttering to himself even till the end, and a satisfied smile was on his face even as he died.
How odd. Why would this man return here? Why did he still want to live when he was in such a despicable state?
Although Sakura couldn’t understand why, she clearly knew why he was in anguish, and why he was dead.
– You must not disobey Grandfather.
Everyone in the Makiri house knew that, but why wouldn’t this man obey that rule? He was an adult, but he was helplessly stupid.
Why, why would this man choose such a meaningless death?
After a brief consideration – ahh, that was why. Sakura suddenly understood it.
This must be her lesson tonight.
A lesson to teach her what would happen to those who disobeyed Grandfather’s will. This man died here so Sakura could see a real example with her own eyes.
Yes, I understood, Grandfather.
The girl nodded obediently. She burned this scene deep into her memory while she stared, unmoving, at the corpse surrounded by worms which was gradually becoming smaller and smaller.
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