Fate/Zero:Act 5 Part 4
At the scene of the collapsed Fuyuki Hyatt hotel, the rescue team was working frantically throughout the night.
After the effect of Kiritsugu’s magecraft was lost, the evacuation personnels discovered that there were still two VIPs in the building when it collapsed.
Because they were on the top floor of the hotel when the incident happened, rescue workers lost all hopes at finding them alive. Still, their bodies had to be found before they threw in the towel completely. Under the daylight-bright mobilite, rescue workers quickly cleared the rubbles at the scene using excavators.
At the dawn of the following day, the rescue team that toiled throughout the night was exhausted. At this moment, something strange happened.
“You said you found something strange?”
This was followed by the prompt arrival of the chief of the rescue team to the scene. According to the workers, they found a silver sphere of about 3 meters in diameter amongst the rubble. No matter how they examine it, it did not look like part of the building materials at all. Out of nowhere, it had just appeared suddenly in the midst of the rubbles.
“……Is this from the building? One of the decorations of the revolving restaurant on the top floor?”
“Even if that is the case, this thing is perfectly undamaged. Isn’t that weird?”
At closer observation, its surface did indeed have no signs of damage at all. Reflecting bright light just like a mirror, it looks like it had just been polished.
“Why…does it look like mercury?”
The bewildered chief declared his thoughts as he laid his hands on the surface of the sphere.
At the first contact, surprisingly the sphere sank inwards.
As the astonished chief looked at it in further scrutiny, he realized that he did not press inwards- he had merely touched it.
Not noticing anything strange, the nearby rescue workers wore a puzzled expression and looked at their astounded-looking chief.
“Did anything happen?”
“……we have to remove this thing from this place.”
“…Use the truck to transport it away. Hurry.”
Suddenly, the chief became unusually composed. In a calm voice he instructed the workers to work swiftly.
Though the workers were still slightly baffled, they knew that the object of unknown origins before their eyes should be removed from the scene immediately. So they promptly heaved the silver sphere up to the shelves in the truck.
“Huh? Where’s the chief?”
A member abruptly noticed that the chief, who was just overseeing them seconds ago, had disappeared. And from behind the backs of the busy rescue workers, the sound of an engine starting could be heard.
At the driver’s seat of the truck, slowly driving the truck away from the scene, is the expressionless chief of rescue workers. But when the rescue workers noticed this, it was already too late. The truck which carried the silver sphere had vanished among the streets in the dawn light.
Five hours later, at the outskirts of the city, a police patrol discovered the lost truck, with the chief still sitting at the driver’s seat, unconscious. However, the truck which transported the silver sphere on its shelves was now only left with an empty husk.
“…Excuse me? Is this Mackenzie’s house?”
“Yeah. This is the name of the owner of this house.”
“……Then, who is…..Sir King of Conquerors Alexander…?”
“I am he.”
“……Ah, ah. Err… I see. Ah, haha……ah. Then can you sign over here?”
“Thank you very much. So-sorry for disturbing.”
“Hmm. No problem at all.”
At the second-floor bedroom of Glen Mackenzie’s house he was so accustomed to staying as if it is his own house, Waver Velvet woke up from his dreams.
The sun had fully risen. Treating the day as a holiday, he lay idly on the bed, refusing to get up. So it shouldn’t hurt if I lie about like this, right?
Everything that had happened until now was just like a dream. That unequalled, tragic death match and destruction.
But the engraved Command Seals on the back of his left hand reminded Waver that this wasn’t a dream.
As Rider’s Master, Waver had witnessed the fierce battle between the five Servants yesterday night - this is an undeniable fact.
At that moment, for the first time in his life, this youth entered into the battlefield; for the first time, weaving in between life and death.
Trepidation, horror; he had never felt them so strongly before.
However, what was left in his heart at this moment……wasn’t fear-related emotions. Instead, impulses full of delight and excitement surged up in his heart.
Waver did not have any accomplishment yesterday night- every action was decided by Alexander, alone. As a Master he had only stood beside his Servant, witnessing everything from the side. Worse still, he fainted at the climax of the battle, rendering him unable to catch the final result of the fight.
Nevertheless, Waver still felt that it was a very meaningful battle. The things and values he obtained from it, looks like only he understood them.
“…not daring enough to even show up before me, coward; you are not fit to be my opponent at all…”
These words were used to insult Lancer’s Master. Lord El-Melloi, someone Waver hated and feared, was laughed at by Rider as a coward.
But the valor Rider held with pride was merely rash idiocy in Waver’s eyes. If he had been the one who planned the battle strategy, he would let his Servant cross swords in the battlefield, whilst as a Master, he would hide himself behind the curtain to observe the progress of the combat- which is the same tactic as Kayneth. This is what is called as proper battle tactics.
“…the man who is most befitting to be my Master must be a valiant one who charges into the battlefield together with me…”
Of course Waver wasn’t the type of person who can charge into the enemy beside Rider. Hiding beside the bridge, he was actually so terrified that he scrambled into the chariot, wanting to escape immediately. However, this reaction had been mistaken as an act of valor.
Nonetheless, at this time these things needed not to be pursued further.
No matter what his reasons were, Waver could still clearly remember the feeling of Rider’s hand on his shoulder - so broad, so strong.
“Yes. This type of person IS my Master.” Rider had really said that to him.
Compared to Lord El-Melloi- the prodigy, famous lecturer, someone to whom Waver cannot hold a candle at one time, Waver was way superior then.
His value was finally approved- come to think of it, this was the first time someone acknowledged his ability.
Although praises and slanders are but meaningless things, for this youth who had never been praised by anyone before, being praised by someone else was really exhilarating.
That is why Waver was on seventh heaven right now. No matter how he tried, he could not contain his excitement.
Although his Servant did not treat him with the courtesy demanded by a Master and had always called Waver by his first name, yet, no matter how disrespectful this obstinate was, Waver should at least feel grateful towards him now. After all, Rider was the first one to value him.
Tortured by his complicated thoughts, Waver stuffed his head under the covers. From today onwards, what type of attitude should he employ when he treats that giant Servant of his?
At this moment, suddenly Waver realized that the usual snores beside his ears in the mornings were absent.
Waver lifted his head from the covers and found out that, Rider who usually sleeps on the bed, was not there. For someone who abhorred spiritual form, he would not simply cancel his physical form and revert to spiritual form without any good reason. Besides, even if he had dematerialized, as his Servant, it is impossible for Waver not to feel any of his presence at all. So there is only one possibility- Rider was not in the house.
Waver started to think calmly. He had overslept this morning, so it was not unusual for Rider to rise earlier than him.
However, the problem at hand is that Rider was not within the house, which meant that Rider went to other places alone without Waver’s permission-
From the stairs of the corridor, footsteps could be heard coming up the stairs.
From these heavy footsteps, Waver could tell that it was Rider, thus feeling slightly relieved. However, recognizing the meaning of such heavy footsteps, Waver paled immediately.
“Oh, so you are awake, eh? Kiddo.”
Rider’s voice was accompanied by his huge torso which appeared at the door. And regarding the thick suit of armor he was wearing… Though Waver had gotten used to the weird occurrences, he still found it to be an alien and unimaginable thing. If this extremely strange sight were to be seen by the Mackenzie couple, he feared that the hypnosis he casted on them would be nullified very quickly.
Therefore, Waver had, with some difficulty, managed to convince the Servant who downright refused to dematerialize, to stay at the first floor and not moving around as he liked… Of course, that was the case, until this morning.
“……You…went downstairs dressed like this?”
“Don’t be scared, okay? The old couple of this house had left early in the morning. So there are only two of us now. I went downstairs to receive the express delivery package.”
Looks like Rider also knew to try his best not to be seen by the Mackenzie couple. Waver, who got slightly relieved at this, suddenly noticed something amiss. Nervously, he examined Rider from head to toe.
In the hands of the giant was a small package with the express delivery label on it.
“……So you went to the main entrance in this costume?”
“I have no choice what. We cannot send the delivery man away without showing any gratitude, right?”
It was already too late.
But luckily he was not noticed by anyone staying nearby, only by the postman who comes occasionally to deliver parcels. In spite of that, it was very likely for the word to spread from the postman, saying something like there was a warrior in Greek armor in this house. All he could do was to pray that people would treat his words as a prank.
“Say, this isn’t even your parcel, so you don’t have to express your gratitude, right?”
“Huh? No. It is my parcel.”
Showing off, Rider let Waver see the parcel- “Fuyuki Town Miyami District, 228 Mackenzie Residence. To the King of Conquerors Alexander”. This preposterous content was openly displayed on the post receipt. On the Distributor column, the words “Specializing in Selling Character Goods: Animan Bar Nanbo Shop”.
“What is this? Rider, explain.”
“I am just trying out this mail-order thingy. There were quite a lot of products which caught my attention on the advertisement section of ‘World Military Monthly’.”
When he thought of it, Waver finally understood why Rider further requested for a postcard when he asked Waver to buy military magazines and recording tapes. At that time, Waver hadn’t the faintest idea what the postcard was for… No, it should be that Waver had not even considered it.
“I said, where on earth did you learn mail-order from?”
Although Heroic Spirits can obtain knowledge from the Holy Grail, it would not have been to the extent of learning how to use mail-order. Waver was very reluctant to believe these were all true.
“Huh? This type of trifle, didn’t they explain it clearly at the back of the magazine and the recording tapes? Just look at it for a while and you’ll understand.”
“When did you see those advertisements……huh? Where did you get the money for the mail-order?”
“Don’t worry. I have already paid in full.”
Laughing cheerfully, Rider returned Waver’s wallet to him. Apparently, he had taken his Master’s wallet without permission while he was sleeping.
This man is so naïve that he had even wanted to buy an invisible bomber; no one would know what expensive merchandise he had purchased this time. Appalled, Waver took out his wallet and checked the sum of money inside, whilst holding back his tears.
After checking, he realized that the number of 10 000 yen notes inside remained unchanged; just that a few thousand yen notes were missing. Waver heaved a huge sigh of relief. Because he had collapsed in relief, Waver’s fury at Rider for taking his wallet without permission had diminished.
This teenager was not even aware of his helplessness: Is he considered lucky or unlucky?
As for Rider, he was beside Waver, humming a tone while opening the parcel happily.
He shouted in joy after opening it.
“Not bad! Not bad! I like it very much. The real product looks even nicer than the one in the photographs.”
Rider removed an XL sized T-shirt from the parcel. No matter how Waver looked at it, it looked just like another cheapskate product. At the front part of the shirt, an eye-catching logo was imprinted on top of the world map - "The Admiral’s Great Tactics". It looked like one of those products from the games segment published in on the front page of the special edition of the magazine.
“It is really not bad. After I noticed Saber yesterday night, I had a sudden inspiration too. If I wear contemporary styled clothes when I go to the streets, you wouldn’t mind, right?”
Waver’s Heroic Spirit abhorred spiritual form and strongly preferred his physical form. Although Waver had headaches over this matter, the silver lining was that at least Rider did not think of going for window shopping in the streets. Now he is in deep trouble. Waver was angry to the extent of wanting to curse Saber (who gave Rider such an idea) and her Master to death.
Meanwhile, Rider had tried on his new shirt and was displaying various poses, drawing simple happiness from it.
“Wahaha! Just like what I wanted- the effect of having the whole world on my chest. Haha! Really makes me feel happy.”
“……ah, ahh. Yeah, yeah.”
What if he continued to cover his head and sleep over it? If he did so, he would banish the view of this elated Rider, wearing a T-shirt from his sight; and to escape back to gentle sleep. Currently, this is the best idea Waver could think of. When he gets up again next time, the world would be a better place, right?
Such a tempting notion had to be abandoned as Waver thought of what Rider would do next.
“……Hey Rider, wait. I said, wait!”
Noticing that Rider was about swagger out of the house, the nervous Waver stopped him immediately.
“Where are you going?”
“Do you have to ask that? To the streets, of course. To show those peasants the new look of the almighty King of Conquerors.”
To wear only a T-shirt amidst the cold wind in November was already abnormal enough. To top it off, his valiant body was only covered in a T-shirt, nothing else.
“At least wear trousers before you go out!”
“Huh? That thing that causes you to stumble? Oh yeah. Come to think of it, everyone in this country wears that thing.”
Looking slightly troubled, the brown giant who did not even wear underpants held his forehead with his fist, whilst asking Waver seriously:
“Do I really have to wear that?”
“That is a must.”
Although he had not washed his face yet, Waver’s sleepiness had gone up in a puff of smoke.
This inconsiderate, ignorant-to-common-sense muscular idiot who’s as lacking in manners as a gorilla… Once Waver thought of the countless allowances he had made for him, he could not help but to get angry.
“Let me get this clear. I will not go to the streets to get super big-sized pants just for you. I’ll definitely not go.”
“What didya say?”
With an exaggerated look, Rider stared at Waver. But Waver would not give in this time - he had set his determination with an iron-hard will.
“Hey punk, are you going against my majestic achievements?”
“Your majestic achievements and your trousers are two completely irrelevant things! Before you go out to enjoy yourself, show me what you can! Kill at least one of the opponents’ Servants!”
“Eh? You are quite an impatient fellow. You can engage a Servant in a combat anytime you want, you know.”
“So do it now! Kill at least one of them! If you do that, I’ll buy you trousers or anything you want.”
Showing a sudden solemn look, Rider became silent.
“……Oh I see. Understood. For now, as long as I present you the decapitated head of the enemy, you swear that you would get me a pair of trousers?”
At Rider who gave in with such surprising alacrity, Waver felt very helpless instead.
“……So you really want to go to the street in this T-shirt only?”
“Ain’t the King of Knights doing the same? As the King of Conquerors, how can I be lagging behind her? And no matter what, I like the design of this shirt very much. It fits well with the conqueror outfit.”
This idiot without any tastes was praised down the generations as a hero; is this a dry joke from the historians from the past? Waver’s train of thoughts subconsciously flew past time and space and returned to the distant past.
At this exact moment, boom! An ear splitting explosion reverberated into Waver’s ears.
No, to be specific, it was not a sound, but a hearing stimulus. It directly attacked Waver’s sensitive nerves of a magus - in other words, a magecraft impulse.
“What was that? ......At the east.”
As a Servant Alexander could also felt the stimulus clearly.
From the open curtains, one could see a layer of cloud dispersing in the clear sky. Although the pattern of the cloud looked like those clouds formed by fireworks, the twinkling glow did not look like normal fireworks smoke at all.
Despite the fact that Waver could see the smoke clearly, because it was formed due to magecraft, people besides magi could not see it. The same goes to the noise. To a normal person, it was but a sound of normal fireworks.
“That position…is where Fuyuki church is, right?”
As one of the Masters participating in the Holy Grail War, Waver had at least some basic knowledge. So he understood the meaning behind the signal immediately.
As the supervisor of the war, the Holy Church would send that signaling fire every time it has something crucial to inform the Masters. This is the most appropriate means to inform the Masters, as the Holy Church would not have the faintest idea where they would be.
“Is it something related to us?”
Waver struggled to find the best answer to Rider’s question.
“Cannot say that it is totally unrelated to us. How should I put it……”
In fact, Waver did not announce to the Holy Church his identity as a Master.
As long as he has a Servant on the grounds on Fuyuki city, naturally his position as a Master is established. So there was no need at all to do things under the Church’s thumb - Waver decided. After all, he had obtained the holy relic through unscrupulous means. If he did anymore extraneous things, would he land himself into deep trouble?
However, it would be safe if he ignored the convention called by the Fuyuki Church. A meeting for all the Masters called by the supervising Holy Church, what emergency could it be? Normally it would be due to amendments to the rules, addition of extra conditions… Besides, it might also announce new information next.
This information might be the key point to the battles henceforth. From the current situation, it would be more beneficial if he listened to the supervisor’s suggestions. And if they were some regulations which restrict him, when the time comes, all he had to do is just to ignore them.
“Rider, we’ll discuss about the trousers some other time. I have some other things to prepare right now.”
“What are you so afraid of? It is hard to get such a nice weather for strolling.”
Throwing the disappointed Rider aside, Waver started doing his preparations.
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