「_____, ______, ____」
(Ilya, Rider, Saber... his mind is falling apart, and so he has forgotten their names. The only name he remembers is Sakura's.)
My consciousness vanishes.
Just 100 meters are turning into a road that I'll take an eternity to cross.
「_____, ______, ____」
It's just a matter of time before the cavern crashes down.
The ceiling collapsing rock by rock. The barren wasteland that was the floor turns into a an accumulation of rubble.
「_____, ______, ____」
My numbed ankles.
All I feel by moving my knees is pain.
I'll stop breathing if I relax. So, deciding to pierce my throat with a knife, I breathe a little.
I'm surely suffering so much because a human being cannot move without oxygen.
But, maybe, as I'm now, my will may allow me to move without even breathing. Maybe, I'd stop moving if I were filled with ai-
「_____, ______, ____」
Hundreds of swords grow from the interior of my body.
Like an inevitable impaling death sentence.
My body is made of swords.
But I already knew that.
It's just as _____ said.
Once I traced, a time bomb would go off.
But that was inevitable.
「_____, ______, ____」
...My legs are heavy.
...I don't even know what I'm doing.
My heart feels as if it were going to tear from the pain, the weight and the emptiness.
But I just have to hold on a little longer.
Once I finish with that, everything will end.
There's no one who can stop me.
There's no one left to stop me.
A shadow moves.
In front of that mountainous crater called the Great Grial, lies ______, lit by the dark crimson flame.
「...Kotomine Kirei. 」
[b「Who else if not? It seems that you have managed to survive, Emiya Shirou. 」[/b]
Says that man with a powerful voice filled with intent.
In this lifeless world, that man stands in front of my objective, as if it were all preordained.
「...Where do you think you're going? It's a little late to show up. 」
I don't even ask how he survived.
That man's body is already dead.
A body devoid of Od.
And where his heart should be, there's only a black hole.
...An extinguishing flame, like an upside down sand clock, exactly like myself.
I don't even feel the beat of his heart.
That man's time is coming to an end.
It's not speculation, it's certainty.
Kotomine Kirei, no matter what happens, will die in a few minutes.
「Don't ask what you already know. I have only one objective: to let that curse be born. 」
「What the fuck are you talking about? You don't have the ability to do that. That thing won't even listen to you. 」
「Of course. I can't control it nor do I intent to do so. I have told you before.
What I'll do is bless that which will be born. In this moment, that's exactly what I intend to do. Then, isn't it natural for me to protect this curse from those who would prevent its birth? 」
「...Have you gone mad, Kotomine? What's this nonsense you are spewing with your body as it is? Even if you managed to...」
「Same goes for you. We both lost our sanity some time ago. Once we complete our objectives, we'll both share the same fate. Even if you destroy it or even if I protect it. No matter who triumphs, none of us will live to obtain the fruits of our actions. You came here knowing that, at the end that's what would happen? As things are, it's already a meaningless conflict. From the very moment we both accepted to form part of it, none of us could have been considered sane. 」
...Kotomine isn't wrong.
As long as he's here, I can't even try my last projection. Tracing takes precious time.
Once I leave this overture, Kotomine will crush my skull before I even have time to create Saber's sword.
「Why? Why do you go so far to protect it? Once that thing is free, you'll gain nothing. Then, why? 」
Why, why does he force himself to the gates of death only to embrace that "all the evil in the world"?
「I have no reason. It's simply what gives me pleasure. Emiya Shirou. Just as you experience pleasure with the happiness of other people, I feel happiness with the suffering of others. 」
「And I ask you, why do you insist in killing this curse? Isn't it arrogant to judge something before it's even born? Isn't it an act of love to help its conception?」
「What makes you have such a skewed logic? That thing has already killed thousands of people. I can't leave it just like that. 」
「Really? Then let me ask you something: What is good? What is evil? Do you think killing a person is the ultimate act of evil? 」
...Kotomine knows I can't answer that.
After everything I've done, I can't judge what's good or what's evil.
When I decided to save Sakura above everyone else, I abandoned the justice in which Emiya Shirou used to believe.
「...It's alright. For starters, that?s a question without an answer. Human beings are that kind of creature. We use a fluctuating truth in place of the complex definite answer. We've never had any kind connection with truth. Man possesses both the choice to do good and the choice to do evil, but what's done applies only to the individual. All things are born from nothingness, so that which hasn't been born yet is free of all sin. I'm sure you think the same way I do. 」
「...Correct. A baby is free of sin, even if it's a demon. 」
「Yes. Once born, it will walk towards good or evil on basis of that which it has learned. According to an ancient scripture, in this, man is superior to angels.
Why? Because, despite knowing what's evil, there exist those who don't embrace evil. Angels, however, are born knowing only good. That is why, a human that lives being fair even though possessing the ability to do evil, is superior to the angels which know only good and nothing else. 」
「...Yes. A person that is sickeningly evil surprisingly can show lapses of benevolence. On the other hand, a saint that has saved many lives, can have the sudden impulse of imposing evil and murder. This paradox, the compatible presence between the intention of good and evil is what makes us, humans, what we are. Living is a sin and the punishment comes along with existence. Life is virtuous and life is evil. Then...」
「One can't even ask oneself that something about to be born is guilty.
There's nothing without a purpose; no one is born evil.
At the moment of birth, there's no one who should be punished. 」
This is the answer that the priest called Kotomine has given me.
Really... forgive "all the evil in the world", enemy of all human beings, just because of that?
「And for that you intend to forgive it? That thing exists only to exterminate mankind. If we know beforehand that its birth will bring the death of human beings, it isn't a matter of what's good or evil, as far as we are concerned!」
「Of course. Its existence is pure evil. After all, it was created for that. It's very different to human beings. It's a god of absolute evil, created and tied to the very existence of humanity.
But, even if its actions are evil, none of us can even imagine what they mean for it. 」
What? ...what does Angra Manyu think of its own existence?
「Correct. "All the evil in the world" faces its actions as "evil", or does it laugh at them as acts of "good"? That is something that we cannot even conceive. 」
「If its mind is similar to that of a human being, doubting its own existence, then it will consider them evil. If, on the other hand, that being doesn't have even the faintest doubt about itself, then it will consider its actions "good". After all, man wishes so. If there's no doubt about its own function, then said function cannot be considered evil. 」
「Yes. It's an incomplete creation from birth. Something that has never loved any human. That creature can show me the meaning of that kind of birth, the meaning of existence behind a being without meaning. 」
「Once nothing is left, once everything is gone, can that sole remaining existence forgive itself? I wish the answer to that same question. Is it a sin that, a creature isolated from the world continues to live the way it is? To find an answer to that question, I killed your father and helped you save Matou Sakura. I'm incapable of producing an answer on my own. That is why I wished the creation of something that could give me that answer once and for all. 」
「...That's my objective, Emiya Shirou. A wish of the same kind but at the same time opposite to yours, you, who does not possess any kind of selfish want. 」
...I can't understand him.
What that man wants, what that man seeks is too alien to me.
...That is why, there's only one thing I understand.
To get what he wants, he made Sakura suffer.
「You used Sakura... You used Sakura for that?! 」
With all my inner hatred, I focused my vanished field of vision on the priest.
「Yes, for all of this, I killed many people. But it's too late to go back.
I already told you before. This is how I live. I exist only to free myself of all these doubts.
It's something I can't change, even if I face death.」 that corpse answered straight, without even wavering his sight.
Words of pride.
He said that as if it were obvious he doesn't regret anything he has done, as if he considered he isn't wrong.
「...I get it. 」
Then, I understood.
I can't coexist with that man. From the first time I saw him, I felt revulsion towards him, incapable of understanding why.
...Now I understand.
I don't want to admit it, but in a certain way, I am like Kotomine Kirei.
In desperation, I tried to show hostility towards him, pretended to deny it, pretended not to realize it until the very end.
He said we are similar.
Now I understand why.
We both consider ourselves sinners.
To free us from those chains, we just dedicated ourselves to opposite ways of life.
...Filled with the feeling of being damned, we believed following such a way of life will allow us to redeem our sins, continuing the path towards unreachable salvation.
「...So, you won't get out of my way. 」
If he's truly like me, he won't.
That priest won't try to change his wishes because his death is near.
...Yeah. He doesn't defend his beliefs because this is the last time he'll be able to.
This is his way of life.
Till now, he hasn't lived any other way but this.
That is why, even if he died in a minute, he won't know any other correct way to live.
「...Hmph. If I'm honest, this could have been a way to release all my anger.
But I don't think that's possible, since when I came here, I came knowing so. 」
He starts to move towards me.
None of us has much time left.
That is why I'll finish this as fast as possible.
Before dying, we'll finish the other's existence.
「...I envy you. No matter how hard I tried to get something, after obtaining it, I couldn't enjoy it. No matter the morality I followed, countless spheres of sediments flowed between my fingers.」
"That for which you feel happiness..."
「And now, I'll focus on eliminating that frustration. 」
"...is all but happiness for me."
...Yes. This man, who could never have anything no matter how much he tried, is empty.
No matter how much he searched, he couldn't find happiness.
All he gained was a life loaded with death.
Then, how can I take away from him the only thing he has found?
「...Really. Sorry for making you waste your valuable time, Kotomine. 」
I breathed again.
Sending air to my lungs, I prepared my body for combat.
「Don't worry, I'm not the only one who has little time left.」
There was hidden energy inside Kotomine's body.
This won't be a battle of thaumaturgy or sorcery.
Our bodies are already dead.
The only thing we can do against each other is end this matter with our bare fists.
What's left isn't technique or strategy. This is a man to man fight to crush the only thing we have left: our own lives.
He'll kill me to see his wish granted.
I'll defeat him and crush his wish with my own hands.
Our lives are at the limit.
Before my time comes, I'll defeat him and exterminate that shadow forever.