Fate/Zero:Act 5 Part 1

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Act 5.

Further removed to the west than Miyama town of Fuyuki, the winding state highway stretched westwards with its back towards the city's lights. Meanwhile, an undeveloped piece of forest waited for visitors further up the road. Continuing beyond even the prefectural border, the state highway silently meandered on.

Although there were two lanes on the road, no crossing cars can be seen even with the sparse street lights. The state highway in the dead of night seemed to fade from memory and into the silence.

In such a silent night, a silver beast flew by.

Mercedes-Benz 300SL Coupe. The flowing, elegant, streamlined body with a scent of antiquity resembled a noble lady, while the roaring of the Inline-6 SOHC engine was like that of a fierce beast's. And behind the steering wheel of the classic sedan recklessly going beyond 100 kilometers per hour - were unexpectedly the slender wrists of a young lady.

"Hey hey, this goes pretty fast, doesn't it?"

Irisviel, who held the steering wheel and whose face was full of pleased smiles, said. Sitting in the passenger's seat, Saber's face was full of nervousness, and she barely managed to squeeze out a stiff smile and a nod.

"In-Indeed, unexpectedly, this is...some rather... skillful... driving..."

"Right? I had special training, even though it may not look like it."

That being said, based on the unfamiliar way she dealt with the gears, she's far from being a proficient driver.

"Among all the toys Kiritsugu brought to the Einzbern castle, I favor this one the most. I was always just running circles in the castle grounds, and today is the first time for me to drive in such a wide space. It's wonderful!"

"A toy, huh..."

There won't be any objections to call something like a skateboard or bicycle a toy. But for a machine with a speed of over 100 kilometers per hour on a serpentine road, it is a mismatch of classes. People would never call things that can put their lives in danger with the smallest mistakes as toys in ordinary situations.

Although it is a classic sedan made more than forty years ago, it possesses a 2996cc. M198 engine and its maximum speed is 260 kilometers per hour. Irisviel's reckless roam, compared to the car's potential ability, is merely a beginning prelude.

Apparently, Emiya Kiritsugu had specially prepared this car in the Einzbern castle earlier on, so Irisviel and Saber can have transportation apart from walking once they enter Fuyuki.

For over half a month, this car had been parked in the hotel's underground parkade. Now they are driving their precious car towards the Einzberns' castle residence.

"Hmm. Wait a minute, Irisviel. Haven't you been driving on the right side until just a moment ago?"

"Ah, that's right."

Irisviel nodded casually as if it was a very small mistake, and the car gave a jerk and moved onto the cruising lane.

Irisviel had never been outside of the Einzbern castle ever since she was born; for her, it is obviously her first time driving on a highway. Saber has been paying attention to her line of sight since they took off. Obviously Irisviel does not know anything about street signs. Although driving on the left is written in the law, it appears Irisviel doesn't even know this.

At least she could understand a little of what traffic lights mean, but that only went as far as considering slowing down when she saw the red light.. Although right now it is midnight with little traffic, it would be a miracle for them to be able to safely arrive at their destination.

"...Do we still have a long way to go to reach the Einzbern castle in this land?"

"I heard it will only take one hour to reach by car. When we get close, we should be able to see it..."

Saber did not stop wishing for this dangerous journey to be over, even if only a second sooner. It is already very fortunate that no cars are coming towards them on the midnight highway, but the fact that the winding road still posed a great danger filled Saber's blood with adrenaline, as if it were right before a battle. As a Servant, she possesses extraordinary reflexes and strength, and can immediately carry Irisviel outside the car to escape if danger presents. However, this legendary sports car worth ten million yen would then be reduced to an unrecognizable pile of scrap iron. That doesn't fit with Saber's frugal economics.

"...Wouldn't it have been better to hire a chauffeur?"

"Of course not. That would be borin- no, that would be too dangerous. After all, once we enter Fuyuki city, we can be attacked by other Masters at any time. You're the one who doesn't want to see innocent people being dragged into this, Saber."

"That is true..."

Just which one is more dangerous on this mountainous road: being attacked by other Masters, or Irisviel's driving skills? - Saber was half-seriously considering this question when a cold wave reached her senses like the edge of a blade.

"Stop the car!"

"Aye?"

Not understanding Saber's sudden warning, the unmindful Irisviel asked dumbly.

Saber didn't have time to explain to her. She forcefully stretched her torso across the driver's seat, took hold of the steering wheel with one hand, and slammed her left foot tip-first on the brakes.

The reason Saber could immediately make decisions, enabling her to control this rampaging machine, is her skill of Riding as a Servant. She can completely understand the control of all ridden equipment both known and unknown to her.

Fortunately the car maintained a straight path during the sharp brake, and did not spin furiously.

The tires of the Mercedes skidded on the asphalt, emitting clouds of white smoke. As the car's uncontrollable slide continued, Saber once again confirmed the feeling that set her nerves on edge.

Without a doubt, it was definitely the scent of a Servant. Speak of the devil, indeed.

"Saber, that's-"

Irisviel fell silent. A figure of strange appearance emerged on the far stretch of the road lit by the Mercedes' headlights.

The tall figure before them, as though not even considering the danger of the speeding car, stood unperturbed in the middle of the road.

A luxurious robe of ancient design; sanguineous scarlet patterns adorned the pitch-black fabric. Those abnormally big eyes easily remind one of nocturnal animals. Even if one were to ignore these bizarre points, no ordinary passerby would appear in such a place at this time.

The car's momentum was overcome by the wheels' friction and the Mercedes finally stopped. There was barely ten meters between the car and the figure in front of it.

"... Saber?"

Saber quickly analyzed the current situation, then said to Irisviel.

"Get off the car as soon as I do. But don't go too far."

If the opponent is a Servant, a car with its steel frame would be as fragile as a mere cardboard box. If they were to remain in the car they would have been defenseless. After all, it's better to shift to a better defense position.

Saber opened the gull-wing door and stepped into the frigid night. Mixed with the smell coming from the trees rustled by the night wind was the acrid stench of burnt tire.

The figure in front of her eyes was different from the five she's seen before. If it's a Servant she hasn't met yet, it would be Caster, or perhaps Assassin... so Saber thought.

Although Saber and Irisviel, who didn't know about the ruse that occurred in the Tōsaka residence the other night, could not eliminate the possibility of Assassin, this Servant who was neither running away nor in hiding but standing proudly in front of them doesn't seem to be Assassin. Using the process of elimination, there's only one conclusion - the figure in front of them is Caster.

However...

Is the expression on his face really the expression of a warrior about to do battle?

The confused King of Knights surveyed the opponent's countenance once again.

He was smiling, which in itself is understandable. For a warrior to be filled with joy upon facing their decided place of death is decidedly not uncommon. But that was not Caster's expression. It was as though they were long-lost brothers finally reuniting, a face shining so purely with delight it was almost piddling...

Before the unnerved Saber could challenge his identity, Caster betrayed her estimations and acted.

Caster bowed his head deferentially, knelt down on the asphalt road like a courtier being presented before a king.

"I've been waiting, your majesty the holy maiden."

"Huh...?"

Saber was getting more and more lost with the situation. Although she was once a king and accepted the genuflection of countless lords and heroes, she had no memories for this man in front of her eyes. This man was not one of her former subjects of Camelot.

Firstly, the title 'holy maiden' is very strange. When she governed Britain as King Arthur, she never exposed the fact that she is in truth a woman even at the end.

Irisviel, who got off the Mercedes after a while, hid behind Saber, who was full of nervous guard, and silently observed Caster.

"Saber, do you know this person?"

"No, I don't have any impression of him -"

As if he had heard Saber and Irisviel's murmurs, Caster lifted up his head and said:

"... Oh, oh, how can you say that? Don't you remember me?"

In reply to his ever more exaggerated words, Saber was astonished.

"Whatever you may say, this is the first time I've met you - I don't know where you have gone wrong, but... maybe you've got the wrong person?"

"Oh oh, wuwuwu..."

Caster began to sob as if he was very sad, and his hands were clawing his hair. His extremely happy expression up till now changed completely, his strange, greasy complexion twisted by dismay and dejection like a caricature. Just based on this, it can be seen that he is a dangerous man whose emotions change at a whim.

"It's me! I am your forever most royal servant Gilles de Rais! I've always prayed for your resurrection, always waited for the miraculous day when I can meet you again. I came here to the ends of time for that purpose, Jeanne!"

When Irisviel heard the man's words, she caught her breath.

"Gilles de Rais...?"

This is already the second Servant to declare his real name in front of them. Although his purpose is unknown, the name is indeed the renowned title given to Caster in the current world.

But for Saber, once his origin became clear, doubt simply hardened into denial.

"I don't know your name, nor do I know of this Jeanne."

Sighing half with shock after Saber's declaration, Caster let out even more scattered wheezings.

"What... could it be, that you've forgotten? Who you were in mortal life?!"

Saber was getting annoyed with this situation in which she couldn't get her point clear, so she regarded Caster grimly and said:

"Since you've already declared your name, then according to the knights' decorum I'll tell you my true name too. I am Artoria, the rightful child of Uther Pendragon, and the king of Britain."

Caster, lost for words, stared in blank amazement at this girl in front of him, who puffed her chest and proudly declared her name. And then-

"Oh! Oh! Oh waaaaaa!!"

Caster began a fit of weeping which was almost a shriek, while unsightly hammering his fists on the ground.

"How painful, how tragic is this! Not only did she lose her memories, even her mind is this befuddled... you... you! God, why are you so cruel to this lovely maiden of mine?"

"What are you talking about? To start with, I'm not -"

"Jeanne, I understand why you won't admit it. You, who originally was more devoted to God and believed in Him deeper than anyone else, was instead discarded by God. When you were sentenced as a witch and executed God did not give you any help or salvation. It is not without reason that you're now acting in this way."

Saber suddenly felt a repulsive feeling completely different from fear. It was as if every single hair in her body was standing on their ends.

The man in front of her didn't hear Saber's words at all, and never wanted to hear them in the first place. He had come to a conclusion based on his own delusions regarding Saber, and he has no doubts toward this conclusion. Under the control of this train of thoughts, none of Saber's words can go into Caster's head.

"Wake up! Jeanne! You don't need to be bewildered by the likes of God! You are the holy maiden of Orleans, the savior of France, Jeanne d'Arc!"

"That's enough! This is unsightly!"

Saber shouted, no longer showing confusion or restraint and openly displaying her disgust towards the kneeling Caster.

"I am Saber, and you are Caster, a Heroic Spirit. We are both Servants who fight for the Grail. The reason we met here is nothing more, and nothing less."

"... Saber, there's no point in saying anything to this man."

Behind the agitated King of Knights, Irisviel rebuked her.

As Saber - that is, Artoria - is an incomplete Heroic Spirit, she would not possess the knowledge that surpasses time and space one gains when one has reached the Throne of Heroes. Therefore, she is not aware of that tale tainted by insanity, the legend of "Bluebeard", Baron Gilles de Rais.

Gilles de Rais rose to the position of general as a savior and hero of France, but he turned his back on glory when he indulged in the immorality and lust of black magic. The 'monstre sacré' who eventually slaughtered hundreds of youths...

Gilles' descent into madness occured about the same time as the final fate of the valiant Jeanne d'Arc, who he fought beside. Thus, there are many legends that have connected the two. The deep-rooted delusion that the Heroic Spirit called forth by the Grail, Gilles de Rais, is seeing now can be nothing but madness. It's impossible to know just how much similarity exists between Saber Artoria and Joan of Arc, but the two of them must be very similar indeed. No matter what, Gilles - Caster already firmly believes Saber to be that person he's always thought of, and did not allow any doubt to be present.

"Jeanne, please stop referring to yourself as Saber, or to me as Caster. We will soon be free from the bound of this shackle called Servant. The Holy Grail War is about to be over!"

"That's just your own wishful thinking."

This time it was Irisviel who answered in place of Saber, who was already too angry to speak.

"Hey, General de Rais, since you said the war is already over, what about the Grail?"

"It's so obvious; the omnipotent Grail, that wish-granting machine is already in my hands!"

Caster, full of satisfied smiles, said proudly.

"My only wish was that the holy maiden Jeanne d'Arc would be resurrected, and now this wish had already been fulfilled! Without even the need to compete with anyone, my wish had already become reality! The Grail has already chosen me – Gilles – without even fighting at all!"

Ding! A shrill sound reverberated. The asphalt before Caster's eyes split perfectly into two.

It was Saber's invisible sword. Although Caster couldn't see it, he could feel the aura of the sharp blade right on the tip of his nose.

"If you continue to ridicule all the wishes of us Heroic Spirits - I will cut you down without mercy, Caster."

While her words were free of emotions, Saber's voice itself was as cold as a blade.

"Come, stand up. Knights can't attack someone who's kneeling on the ground. If you're also a soldier, then you can keep your cunning arguments to yourself, and obtain the Grail with straightforward warfare. Let me, Saber, be your first opponent!"

The mad flame in Caster's eyes disappeared.

His face, which was twisted with excitement, also gradually returned to its calm. Caster lifted his head up to look at Saber; the formidable will harbored within his gaze did not change the slightest.

It was a look of silent resolution. He had merely changed his determination into an even firmer belief.

"It seems just words won't be enough... Is your heart still sealed, Jeanne?"

Caster's gloomy voice no longer contained the lament just then.

"Then I am very sorry. It seems there's a need to use enforced therapy on you. Whatever it may be – I will definitely complete all the preparations for you next time."

The long black robe floated backwards abruptly, creating a very big distance between him and Saber. Caster, standing up again, was almost a different person from the figure kneeling on the ground sobbing just then. A great air of majestic command that seemed to be able to stain the entire earth red with blood emitted from his person... not only Heroic Spirits, but even tyrants will feel the oppressing tension of fear.

The man in front of her is undoubtedly not an easy enemy – Saber, who stood in front of Caster, knew this from her instincts without a doubt.

"I swear to you, Jeanne. The next time we meet, I will definitely... save your soul from the curse of God."

"Save your words. Leave if you do not have the will to command a sword."

To Saber's cold reply, Caster silently removed his material form and disappeared into the night.

Letting out a long sigh, Saber also removed her battle tension. Irisviel collapsed onto the fender of the Mercedes, exhausted.

"Confronting such a senseless opponent... was rather tiresome."

"Right. However, I'm going to chop him up before he opens his mouth next time – I'm going to throw up if someone like that stayed a minute longer."

Although Caster has already left, Saber still said that indignantly.

"You regret how he escaped so easily?"

"Uh huh. I was just about to make him pay for his behavior of speaking absolute nonsense here - is what I want to say."

For a brief moment meekness covered her anger, as Saber reluctantly furrowed her brows.

"But in all honesty, it might be that Caster's retreat is a good piece of luck for tonight's me."

"Aye? Really?"

Hearing Saber say such discontented words, Irisviel was very surprised.

For an opponent so skilled in thaumaturgical battle as Servant Caster, his bane would be Servant Saber, who has the strongest magic resistance. If the duo actually started fighting, Saber should achieve victory with an overwhelming advantage.

But Saber, with an expression that even she doesn't completely understand, shook her head with a bitter smile.

"That Caster... was a bit different. Or he's not quite the same compared with other magi. Although I can't be sure either... but it felt too dangerous for me to fight him in this condition of having my left hand sealed."

Saber's sixth sense was also strengthened to a degree due to her class's specialty, almost to the level of precognition. If even she felt uneasy about the enemy, Irisviel also had to reevaluate Caster.

"In any case, Lancer should be first..."

"Yes. But it's extremely fortunate that Lancer is also a noble warrior, not escaping or hiding himself away. He's also looking forward to our duel."

Although they are each other's enemies, Saber was sympathetic to Lancer's spirit. But even so, this did not erase Irisviel's tinge of unease. After all, no matter how the Servant is full of the spirit of chivalry, it's hard to say how much of that holds true for the Master.

And the King of Knights, who was put on the shackle of being a Servant, is she still fighting with the reputation of the sword...? When she thought of this, Irisviel couldn't help herself but feel sad.


Unknown to Irisviel, Saber, or even Caster who retreated first, the entire process of this chance meeting between them was under the surveillance of pursuers.

In the dense forest connected to the state highway, the pursuers wearing the ghastly skull masks concealed themselves on the treetops swallowed by the darkness, and surveyed all that just happened with a vigilant eye.

Not just melting into the shadows; the pursuers who cut all of their scents to evade Saber's senses seemed to be shadows themselves. No one else can achieve this apart from Assassin. Looks like Assassin, according to Kotomine Kirei's command, followed Saber and Irisviel from the warehouses to here.

Assassin, who was originally just given the mark of Irisviel, Einzbern's Master, obtained an unexpected gain. The last Servant who didn't even show himself in the melee of the warehouse district, Caster, was finally discovered by Assassin.

Although the scent of Caster, who departed in spiritual form, is quickly fading, Assassin's sharp spiritual sense can still detect it. Right now it is the best time for pursuit.

"Of course, that is not a task for you."

A voice suddenly sounded behind Assassin. A vague outline hazily emerged from the dim forest – it is, unexpectedly, another skull mask.

The second Assassin differed from the previous Assassin only in body shape, while the mask they wore and the black cloak attire were identical. Meanwhile, both differed from the Assassin who reconnoitered in the warehouse district in body shape and build. Although they are Servants of the same class, they are all clearly, unmistakably different individuals.

"Then what about giving it to you?"

"Yes. You only need to keep following Saber and her Master... By the way, did Master Kirei see the situation here?"

"No, master Kirei did not share perceptions with me."

The Assassin who initially tailed Irisviel shook his head. Looks like it was another Assassin who reconnoitered in the warehouse district just then.

The second Assassin smacked his lips when he heard this reply.

"Just to be on the safe side, we should still report to master Kirei the things that happened here..."

"Give that job to me."

A third voice followed. It's nothing to be surprised about now; another white skull mask appeared in the darkness.

This time, it was a child-like Assassin with a shrill voice and short stature. Perhaps no one knows just how many Assassins gathered here.

The monstrous sound of the engine of the Mercedez once again resounded in the night sky, and it sped away roaring in the state highway. Maybe Irisviel and Saber hastily took the road again.

At the same time the three shadows nodded to each other, and also disappeared like a whirlwind in the vast night.


※※※※※


In the darkness as thick as blood, only one solitary candle flicked. The dim candlelight reflected Uryū Ryūnosuke's handsome face.

Scarlet blood completely smeared these fingers too delicate for a man. In front of the man, who sat beside a long table, three rows of raw meat that reflected bright red were placed.

They were intestines. On the long table were human intestines.

Ryūnosuke stared intently at the intestines in front of him, then picked up a tuning fork with his left hand and hit it on the edge of the table. Ding. The tuning fork emitted a clear sound.

Before the clear sound of the tuning completely disappeared, he quickly poked everywhere on the intestines with his right hand.

At that time –

Ahhh...

Haaa...

A seemingly agonizing sound suddenly came out of the darkness.

Ryūnosuke listened carefully to the sound emitted, and nodded satisfactorily after he compared it with the residue echo of the tuning fork.

"Very good, so here it's ‘mi'."

As he spoke, he marked a point on the intestines with a pin. Many similar marks of musical notes have already been made on the incessantly quivering intestine.

The intestines seemed to be still alive. To be correct, it seems the owner of the intestines was still alive.

On the crucifix on top of the long table, a girl who was sobbing incessantly with pain was tied up. A horizontal cut was made on her abdomen, and the innards that were dragged out were being fondled with in Ryūnosuke's hand.

Even Bluebeard praised Ryūnosuke for his idea of making a living human into a pipe organ to play lamenting music. To make the girl picked as the material not die from massive blood loss or infections, Bluebeard placed a few healing and rejuvenation spells on her body, and specially made some adjustments to prevent the pain from numbing her brain.

Ryūnosuke had always been frustrated with the fact that the human body stops its life-like activities as soon as it encounters a slightly extreme stimulation.

But now, with the help of thaumaturgy, all these previous hurdles were solved easily. Now, Ryūnosuke can flutter his wings of perception freely, improvising at will.

"Very good, so one more time. 'Do re mi~'"

Ryūnosuke hummed as he pressed down on the intestine keyboard. But the sound of agony that accompanied his movement was very unharmonious with his own tune.

"... Hm?"

The tuner smeared with blood furrowed his brows and tilted his head, and once again pressed down on the place he just fine tuned with the tuning fork. However, the sound made by the girl tied on the crucifix was completely different from the marked noted.

Upon careful reflection, although the stimulation happens in the same place it doesn't guarantee that the moaning made would be the same. This human instrument is flawed in its basic conceptual design.

"Huh... what a failure."

Ryūnosuke sighed unhappily and scratched his head.

After the human canopy he tried hard to design yesterday, this human instrument also ended in failure. If this frustration keeps going on, even Ryūnosuke would lose confidence.

But just then, Ryūnosuke suddenly remembered what Bluebeard said to him in consolation after his failure at making the canopy yesterday.

"No matter what, the idea is the most important. Even though the final result is not as satisfactory as imagined, the act of challenging it already matters a lot by itself."

Ryūnosuke was inspired by the words of the exalted fiend. For a youth who was never understood by anyone, who created art alone, the encouragement of these words held great meaning.

Hard work is needed. Ryūnosuke once again picked up his spirits. It won't do to be afraid of failure. Failure is the mother of success; a long journey begins from the ground beneath his feet.

After all, he has to think progressively. It's too early to discard the making of this human instrument. If he can find the root of the problem, he might be able to find some solution.

And, sounds aside, the expression of pain the girl had when he fondled with the intestine taken out of her body was also extraordinarily alluring. To discard such a precious expression would more or less be a waste.

The air, full of the stench of blood, suddenly felt heavy. The density of prana floating in the air became even thicker. All this signaled the owner of this thaumaturgical workshop has returned.

"Ah, welcome back, Sir."

Appearing gradually in the candle light, Bluebeard, Servant Caster, didn't even give Ryūnosuke a glance. The emotionless face, compared with the singing and dancing expression of joy when he left, was a complete one-hundred-eighty-degree turn.

Looks like something unpleasant happened while he was out. Although Ryūnosuke was a bit worried, he still couldn't wait to report the fruits of his research to him.

"Sir, I'm very sorry. As you said, the instrument didn't work. But I– "

"–not enough."

"Aye?"

Ryūnosuke haven't figured out what the sentence suddenly uttered by Bluebeard meant. Caster left the shocked Ryūnosuke at the side, stretched out a hand from inside the black robe, and placed it on the gasping girl tied on the crucifix like the claw of an eagle.

"It's definitely not enough! This degree!"

"Ah, yeah. I figured that out too... Huh?"

Ryūnosuke's sentence stopped halfway through. Caster's spider-like fingers gradually increased in force; the girl's head was squashed to pieces in his hand as if it was a fruit.

"T-This..."

Ryūnosuke wasn't very unhappy with Bluebeard's attitude towards him. He understood that right now he was in an emotionally agitated state, and was completely ignorant of Ryūnosuke's existence.

"Oh you abominable God, even now you still bind Jeanne's soul and are unwilling to let her go! These blasphemous sacrifices are not yet enough!"

There were no light of reason in Bluebeard's eyes, who was roaring with spit flying from his mouth. Although Ryūnosuke didn't know what happened, the Jeanne he spoke of must be the armored girl they saw in the crystal ball.

Probably trauma caused by emotional problems with his ex.

Ryūnosuke began to pity him. Although they haven't spent a long time together, Ryūnosuke knew this odd-looking fiend in front of him is in fact extremely simple in his emotions.

"I must let her know that in this world the so-called God is only a hollow myth. Things like save the entire world are only boasting lies. The prayers of the silent lamb will never be passed on to Heaven!"

"Hum, yes. I understand, Sir."

Chiming along, Ryūnosuke obviously had no idea what Bluebeard's words meant, and he had no intention of trying to find it out; he thinks it's very vulgar to barge in on other people's emotional problems.

"Just blaspheming God is not enough! We must also prove to the world the powerlessness of God's authority and the hypocrisy of God's love! We need to prove God does not have the ability to carry out judgment! No matter how much evil you've committed you will not suffer God's punishment. Isn't it so, Ryūnosuke?"

"Ah, stuff like God are just boring old tricks that stupid people believe in. Sir, you're so much cooler compared to that fake God."

"Then, let us blaspheme God even more vigorously! We will pile the sacrifices of blasphemy as high as mountains, and place this scene in front of her."

Toward Bluebeard's declaration, Ryūnosuke contemplated it a little.

"Um, that means... from now on it's quantity over quality?"

"Yes, exactly! You're indeed Ryūnosuke! You understood my meaning very well."

When he saw that Ryūnosuke completely understood what he meant, Bluebeard immediately had a face full of smiles and clapped the other's shoulder. Ryūnosuke got used to his extreme change of temperament ages ago.

Only that, to the change of methods he spoke of before, Ryūnosuke has absolutely no interest in.

"Ryūnosuke, how many children are still locked in the cells?"

"... There are still eleven of them alive. Three died when I just played a little with them."

"Very good. Start with those eleven; make them sacrifices as soon as possible. When we're finished with them, we'll capture other children as replacement before tomorrow morning."

"That's... a bit of a pity."

After all, mass slaughter doesn't fit Ryūnosuke's taste. At maximum, he enjoys the art of killing, and isn't a killing machine. Such acts that did not savor the feeling of the kill, but merely piled corpses into mountains, were not much different from wars or natural disasters. It is a waste of lives. Only by slaughtering people one by one can you experience the wonders of life.

Bluebeard perceived Ryūnosuke's discontent; therefore, with his face full of angelic smiles, he spoke to Ryūnosuke like someone reasoning with a naughty child.

"Say, Ryūnosuke, this isn't the time to be stingy. Every life in this world is our property. Therefore you need to have the right kind of attitude and a heart as generous as a king. Feel free to waste. Please do remember your wealth is never going to run out. Only then, are you fit to be called my Master."

"Like a king?"

Yes. Ryūnosuke is very rich.

Ryūnosuke is not even remotely interested in things like currency. For him, the only thing with expendable value is human life. Also he, who obtained Bluebeard's help, won't be persecuted by the law no matter how he kills people. He is free to kill whenever, wherever, and using whatever method. Only that, these powers were granted to him by Bluebeard.

If one can do anything he desires and waste in whatever ways he likes with everything in this world, it's effectively the same as owning all these things. Even the Pope and the President won't be able to compare with him. Uryū Ryūnosuke is currently the richest man in the world.

"But I still think we should plan a bit on how we use it."

"Ryūnosuke, you've been poisoned too deeply by this capitalist society. Living in this era, it's inevitable for you have such thoughts. But you need to know that for nobles, waste is a virtue. Someone who possesses wealth has a duty to exhibit his wealth to the world. Only by doing that can you show the brilliance of wealth and make it more meaningful."

"Hum..."

Bluebeard's few words completely convinced Ryūnosuke. This master of death and destruction once again received new inspiration.

Anyways, like what Bluebeard said, just concentrate on getting rid of those kids tonight. Maybe he can find some new ways to play in the short time period. Ryūnosuke became more excited as he thought about this.

But even so –

Although he accepted Bluebeard's point, Ryūnosuke could not forget the figure of the girl who had been used as the human instrument.

Her face, that had been squashed by Bluebeard and which was no longer visible – was originally quite cute.



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