Fate/Zero:Act 8 Part 3
―Eventually, they somehow did it.
The interior of the sewer Waver discovered, was indeed the haunts of non-humans. Possessing countless tentacles, the innumerable aquatic monsters stayed there as if crowding together in the narrow tunnel, lying in wait to strangle any pitiful trespasser to death.
Naturally, although he was shown such a disgusting scene, for Alexander, the King of Conquerors, there was no other remedy apart from one.
The trampling rampage of Gordius Wheel • Wheel of Heaven's Authority in the sewer was just like a lightning-clad excavator. The body fluids and pieces of flesh of the monsters which was ran down, trampled and scorched, thickly filled the inside of the tunnel like a fog. Together on the carriage, it was as if Waver could not see his surroundings.
Riding alongside Rider at the coachman's box, if the protection field were not covering them, he would surely become not able to breathe, and would probably suffocate due to the splashing of blood from overflowing demons. In spite of that, the more he protected his breathing organs with magecraft shields, the more he had to block his sense of smell. If not, he would probably faint from the excessively heavy stench of intestines.
He thought they would be welcomed with some intricate and mysterious defense...but this time, the nest Caster established had nothing but an enormous number of familiars positioned there; besides that, magecraft disguises or traps were completely absent. Compared with the standard of magi, this was neither a workshop nor anything else. It was just an ordinary “siege” used to position their army, to strengthen their defence.
Defence like this which only relied on the number of the small fries, was not a suitable prey for Servants furnished with Anti-Army Noble Phantasms. Therefore, for Rider, this was but a resistance-less turn of events, an anticlimax.
“Hey boy, you said “attacking the magus' workshop”, but it's just this childish thing?”
“......No, this is weird. This time, the Caster is probably not a proper magus.”
“Aah? What d'ya mean by that?”
“For example, in the legends during his lifetime, be it summoning demons, or possessing grimoires or that sort, with just that anecdote being passed down, and that person himself is not really a magus, contrary to what he is famous for, even if he were to be appear as Caster, won't that ability be something limited?”
After being made to shun his body senses for about a few minutes due to the shrieks of the creatures which were being ran down, Waver now raised his voice undauntedly against the sounds of the clamorous massacre, as he related at great length that carefree analysis, to the extent of his nerves getting numb.
“Generally, if this is the real workshop, such a defenseless discharging of thrash would be strange. If he were a decent magus, such a blunder is impossible.”
“Huuuh, so that's it? ......Hmm? Are we about to reach the end?”
The wall of flesh of the pulverized creatures which were trying in vain to block their path, had thinned down before they realized. Before long, there was no more tentacle left; and the chariot was released from the blood spray, springing into a wide space. Just like before, the surrounding was in pitch darkness, without even a ray of light. There was no flow of air as well, but they could no longer feel the oppressive feeling like when they were in that narrow, confined space.
“―Fuuun, unfortunately, Caster's not around...”
Probably, there was no problem for a Servant's eyesight even within this complete darkness. Rider coughed absent-mindedly. He had said that in a strangely low tone, probably because of his disappointment at letting the enemy escape, but at this time, Waver did not realize as well.
“A water tank? Or what is it? Here......”
He had wanted a hand light, but if by any chance they would end up in a place where there were troops lying in ambush within this darkness, it would be something which informs them their direct position. It would be great if he could enhance his vision with his magecraft skills and see through the darkness.
“......Aah, boy. I think it's better for you not to look.”
It was rare for Rider to be this frank. At his excuse which was as if there was something stuck in between his teeth, obviously Waver would become astonished.
“What are you talking about!? If Caster is not here, we have to at least find out some clue as to where he is!!”
“That's probably true but, oh well. Boy, that guy is too much for you.”
Becoming serious of the turn of events which were meant to be, Waver jumped down from the driver's seat of the chariot and stood on the floor, and activated his night vision skill. Instantly, his field of vision opened up like a fog clearing up, and the spectacle ahead of him which was masked by the darkness earlier, opened up as well.
Until the moment he tried to understand the situation around him, he had forgotten how he blocked the odor which had been hanging in the air of the sewer, even until here. He had been thinking all this while that the splashing sound of the water when he jumped onto the floor, was merely because of the sewage water.
Waver Velvet is a magus. He prepared his heart for the every type of mystery whose reasoning were outside his ethics.
He knew that the ritual he was participating in now was one with unparalleled brutal murders, and thus, did not spare any sweet feeling towards them. If he had not conceptualize himself seeing dead bodies piling up, he would not have any tinge of hope of staying in this fight.
Because of that, Waver resolved to never be shaken, whatever the “death” which might spring out surprisingly into his sight. Because this Fuyuki is the battleground, it is natural to see dead bodies.
Even if their numbers were enormous, even if they were to be mutilated till losing their entire human appearance―in the end, corpses are still but corpses. He would frown at such goriness and atrocity, but there was nothing he could not tolerate.
He had been thinking about this. Until this very instant.
The limits of Waver's imagination were that corpses were but remains of human bodies in the end; nothing but the result of their destruction. However, the scene before his very eyes now, surpassed his previous thought completely.
As an illustration, that place was just like a variety shop.
There were furniture. There were clothes as well. Musical instruments; cutlery. Various items uses of which were not understood at all; they probably were just pictures or artworks. The enthusiasm of the creator devoting himself completely into designing them diligently, and his profligate sense of fun could be perceived.
Unmistakably, the craftsman who made these ceaselessly loved his raw materials, and the manufacturing process itself.
They understood that there was someone who violently discovered pleasures. That might be the person who committed those murders. But the things in this blood-stained space were not corpses.
There wasn't a single “destroyed remains” here. Everything was a new creation; an art. Their lives as “human beings”, their carcass as “human beings” were completely discarded meaninglessly during the process of the art―that was the entirety of the slaughter at that place.
Murders which were done creatively to amuse himself; this behavior which created art by means of death, had far exceeded the maximum level Waver's mind could possibly take. Above simple emotions like horror and disgust, at such a graphically realistic and alarming shock, Waver could not even stand straight. Before he realized, he was already on the bloodstained floor on both his hands and knees, regurgitating all the contents of his stomach.
Rider descended from his chariot. Standing beside Waver, he sighed deeply.
“That's why, eh...I've asked you to stop, but...”
At the gigantic Servant's coughing murmur―within his demoralized heart, the last bit of self-dignity was scattered into fire sparks.
His intense outburst of fury had no reason or logic whatsoever. Kneeling here, his weakness was detestable. Of all times, for this weakness to be revealed in front of his Servant was an utterly mortifying humiliation.
“Son of a bitch! Treating me as an idiot! Dammit!!”
“Now's not the time to get into temper. Idiot.”
Rider spat that out with a sigh, and yet, for some reason, he was not amazed, nor did he reproach Waver. Instead, his voice could be heard in a quiet, admonishing tone.
“It's okay, that's all for now. If there is someone who would not twitch and eyebrow even after being shown such a thing, I'll go and bash him.
Rather, I praise your decision, boy. The plan of bringing Caster and his Master down first is true indeed. Now I see, every second such people exist is disgusting.”
Although he was commended by Rider, Waver could not be honestly glad at all. The reason he set Caster as his target was to get the supplementary Command Spell shown by the supervisor as a reward. Obviously, he did not tell Rider that. That's because there would be no reason for a Servant to rejoice in the unnecessary increase of the Command Spells which bind them.
Among those words Rider said to Waver, none of them bear malice. And yet, Waver strongly loathed that towering Servant.
He did not show even the respectful attitude Servants normally have towards their Masters. On the contrary, he kept having this behavior of treating Waver as an idiot. If that was all, then it's still all right. But, the thing which is most unforgivable was that- despite his rare attempts to praise Waver, at such moments, he had such irrelevant misunderstanding towards him.
“What are you hitting me for!? Idiot! Aren't you standing there unconcerned!? Am I not the only one who's ashamed!?”
Even though he was vomiting heavily until tears came out, with a furious voice, he snapped at Rider with all his might. At that, in an extremely troubled manner, Rider's mouth formed a “へ” shape.
“For me, now's not the time to brace your emotions. That's because my Master's about to be killed.”
Not even having the free time to doubt what he heard, Rider's next move was executed with lightning speed.
He threw the Sword of Cypriot he removed from the sheath at his waist overhead, which gave off bright sparks in the empty space.
After that, riding on ahead with a bird-of-prey-like agility despite his big size, with the sword which returned to him, he took a swift slash.
The sound of meat being ripped apart and getting wet. A scream of agony and splatter of crimson red blood.
With utter disbelief, Waver was staring at the black-clothed corpse which had fallen over.
When on earth did that attacker steal up behind Waver? And then, since when did Rider sense that presence? As for the thing Rider's sword knocked off just now, it was something the shadow clothed in black aimed and threw at him- a Dark dagger. With the throw of that dagger, Rider was able to finally ascertain the exact position of the enemy. Within the instant he did not expect, this bloodstained water tank had already become a battlefield.
However, above everything else, the thing which stared bewilderedly at Waver was a white skull mask of the dark shadow which fell due to Rider's decapitation.
“Assassin......It can't be...”
It was an impossible mystery. That's because Waver had seen the defeat and annihilation of Assassin himself through the eyes of his familiar.
“Now's not the time to be shocked, boy.”
With his sword in readied, Rider quietly warned him. As if confronting the guy who was shielding Waver, in the darkness, two more white skull masks appeared.
“Wh-Wh-Wh-Why!? ......Why are there four Assassins!?”
“No matter what it is, it's not the issue now.”
Facing such an obviously abnormal situation, Rider's attitude was still very composed.
No matter how fishy the course of events was, to him, the situation right now was his only concern.
“There is one thing which can definitely be said of this- Those who thought that THESE GUYS had died, have been deceived...”
Anyhow, Rider who was protecting Waver now, was not shaken at all. Perceiving that situation, the two Assassins clicked their tongues within their hearts regretfully.
In reality, to them, this turn of events was a completely inexcusable fiasco.
Apart from the two which were dispatched out, among the Assassins which were deployed to observe Caster and his master, Ryuunosuke, there were still three left outside the workshop, watching them all the time- these three people.
If possible, they had wanted to take the opportunity of Caster's absence to steal into the workshop to investigate the place. But since they did not know what was inside Caster's base, they had no choice but to be cautious. However, witnessing how Rider and his master who had appeared, foolishly attacking it head on from the front, the three of them decided that it was a great chance. Secretly pursuing them from the opening Rider made, they planned to find out the status of the defense of the workshop, if the situation permitted it.
Even so, Rider managed to reach the interior of the workshop without any trouble. So unexpectedly, the Assassins managed to penetrate Caster's base too. One of the Assassins who was satisfied with this unexpected turn of events became greedily obsessed. With the extremely defenseless Rider's Master ahead of them, he could not resist straying from their duty.
Obviously, it was a clear deviation from their Master, Kirei's instructions. Despite that, if they could successfully eliminate Rider here, they would probably not be reprimanded. To the Assassins, the situation was that attractive.
Eventually, the three agreed upon an extreme gamble. In the end, it was a superb failure.
Although the remaining two Assassins prudently discerned Rider's next move, they cast an asking glance at each other. Should they continue their two-on-one battle against Rider here......
Without much contemplation, both of them had only one answer. Ever since the moment they lost their surprise attack, their chance of victory was already lost. Visually measuring the difference in strength between them and Rider, they had absolutely no chance of winning. They resented it, but retreating here and facing Kirei's wrath would be many times better than being slain here.
As soon as they mutually understood each other, both Assassins turned into spiritual form swiftly, and their figures disappeared from Rider's sight.
“No,” Rider admonished Waver who had started to feel relieved.
“Although two had died, there are still two left. If this trend continues, we don't know how many more Assassins would come forth. This is a bad place. A terrain those guys like. We have to retreat immediately.”
Still not sheathing the sword, Rider hit Waver's chin, and pointed towards the chariot.
“Boy, get back to my chariot! Once we start off, the enemy won't have any chance to strike.”
“This place......should we leave it as it is?”
Pointing at the workshop which he was still timid to directly look at until now, Waver asked that in a gloomy voice.
“Although we might know something if we investigate further......give it up! For the time being, we'll just wreck this place whatever we can. Who knows if it might end up frustrating Caster's plans?”
With his attitude changing suddenly from just now when he trampled on the opposing demons outside the workshop, Rider was now more cautious. Although some part of him still wanted to advance on the grotesque-looking demonic beasts recklessly, the assassins' shadows which had drew near them without them noticing, had probably made him felt quite seriously threatened.
“Are there any survivors...”
Waver said that in a dim voice. After surveying the surrounding deliberately with a glance which penetrated the darkness, Rider shook his head with a bitter face.
“There are some of them who are still breathing, but......in that condition, it would be more merciful to kill them off.”
Waver did not feel brave enough to ask what Rider had seen within the dark.
Both of them boarded the driver's seat of the chariot again. Rider took up the reins, and the raging bulls bellowed angrily, sending lightning in the darkness.
“Sorry for the cramped space, but there's something I really count on you, Children of Zeus. Burn this place down to ashes!!”
Together with Rider's yell, the heavenly oxen stomped their hoofs, savagely going around the workshop which was stained with blood as if depicting a “円” (Yen) character. Once being trampled on by the hoofs which scorched even the air, the only thing left was utter destruction. The nightmarish handicrafts Caster and Ryuunosuke treasured so much were swept cleanly without any trace in the blink of an eye. Moreover, the chariot went about like this for two or three times, and nothing was left in the interior of the spacious water tank apart from the heavy stench of burned fat.
Surveying the aftermath of the sheer destruction, Waver's expression was still gloomy. Something like this would not bring about any solution at all. Having this miserable thought, the apprentice magus' heart squirmed.
With his big hand, Rider grimly gave Waver a gentle rub at his head.
“Wrecking his base like this, even if Caster escapes, he can't hide anywhere at all. After this, he might come out staggering, confused. Singing requiem for that guy doesn't sound too far-fetched, does it?”
“Wa- Got it! -Stop that!”
At that humiliating treatment which intentionally emphasized on his short stature, Waver cast away his sad look and became exasperated. While laughing boldly, Rider pulled at his bridle, and they sped back to the sewer.
Dashing out of that narrow tunnel into the river surface of the Mion river under the night sky took only a little time. Savouring the clean, chilly air outside as if it had been a long time, the relieved feeling finally calmed Waver's nerves down.
“Oh my, what a stinky place that was. Tonight, I want to have a grand booze to get these feelings off my chest!”
“......Let me get this straight first. I won't accompany you in drinking.”
Or rather, he couldn't drink. Every time, even by merely sitting beside Rider watching him drink sake, Waver would feel sick at the strong odor of alcohol.
“Hmph, I'm not even expecting this chick-like you to accompany me! Aaaahhh~ Boring! Isn't there any river bank where I can get happily drunk? ......Oooh, that's it!”
Pomp!! Rider clapped his hands together knowingly.
Waver had absolutely no idea what that meant, but he had a really bad feeling about it.
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