Part 370: Zouken's end
Music: Whirlpool of Fate 2
The fire blazes up as if to connect the heaven and the earth.
The flickering fire illuminates the dark cave,
and singes the surrounding dome.
But this can't be a proper enshrinement.
It's said to connect to the sky, but the heavens are still underground.
And the shining light isn't red, but black.
The air's impure, the wind's stagnant, and the drops of water on the walls are colored like poison.
The underground kingdom that's said to be the dragon's lair actually looks like the dragon's stomach.
No human would come here.
The only ones to come and honor this alien world are serpents fleeing from the light.
A white skull coughs in this alien world.
The one tinted by dark red light is the one who lost his Master, the Servant Assassin.
"This is the end. I cannot maintain my body without a supply of magical energy."
The white skull creeps across the wall.
A girl stands before him.
Swathed in a black curse, she blankly stares at the oncoming figure.
"Yes. Glad you could make it back, Assassin."
And the call reaches him.
The voice of the old magus echoes through the empty chamber.
The old man who was killed by Kotomine Kirei still lives in this underground kingdom.
The one killed in the forest was just a collection of worms.
The main body of the old magus, the host that contains his soul, is sleeping in the safest place on earth.
Even the priest's holy words cannot kill him unless the main body is destroyed.
"But having my limbs destroyed got me. I cannot make magical energy to send to you. And it is too much of a bother to go find a new body above ground.
Hm, this will burden her, but it is about time. Sakura, make a contract with Assassin. You need a new bodyguard now that Berserker is defeated."
The voice echoes.
The girl clad in black curseMatou Sakura doesn't answer.
Ignoring the one who has absolute control over her, she looks off blankly into space.
"Sakura. I will ask you one more time. Are you going to defy me?"
The girl has never disobeyed this voice.
It's not fear, but submission to his absolute controlling power.
The girl does fear the old man.
Moreover, the girl cannot disobey him.
Because her heart is
"Hold, magus. Perhaps there is no intelligence left in her. She has such a great power within her; it's not something a weak girl can withstand."
His irritation disappears.
A gentle silence.
The sounds of worms crawling fills the hell lit by black flame.
"Thenyou will take the girl as planned?"
"Do not put it like that. It is not as planned. It cannot be helped. Matou Sakura's mind disappeared. So there is nothing left that can control the monster.
So although I know it is brutal, I must take over my empty granddaughter."
Coming from the girl's throat.
Rising from her throat is the old man's laughter.
"Then please hurry. My body is disappearing. I will disappear unless I am quickly supplied with magical energy."
"Very well. I shall start.
My, this is disappointing, Sakura. You raised it to that degree. I wanted to give you the glory of obtaining the Holy Grail, but it cannot be helped.
If you must curse someone, curse yourself. The ritual did not succeed in time because you let Ilyasviel go."
A gritting sound.
A worm squirms to swap her head.
It isn't visible.
There are no worms on the girl's body.
It's not on the outside
It's a distorted thought that creeps up from her heart.
Worm-user, Matou Zouken.
His main body, the host of his rotting soul, is a false nerve hidden within Matou Sakura's heart.
"Hah, her body hasn't changed yet, but I am not one to complain. I shall now take your flesh as my own.
Farewell, Sakura. You've endured more than I expected from an experiment. You have done well to please me !"
A sound of writhing blood vessels.
Matou Zouken's spirit orders his main body to eat the girl's brain.
Video The Darkness Within (mirror)
"There's no need for that, Grandfather. I'm fine."
"Oh. I thought it had consumed you, but you still persist? Hm. Sakura. The circumstances have changed, and I can no longer maintain Assassin.
It will burden you, but form a contract with him."
The old magus gives her an order.
But the girl shakes her head in refusal.
"What? What do you mean?"
"I told you already, Grandfather. There's no need for that."
An ice-cold voice.
At that instant.
A vast darkness swallows the white skull on the wall.
" Fufu. Oh, I wondered what sort of face you had, but you had none to begin with.
You didn't hide your face, but wore the mask to make people think a face lay beneath it. Such a disappointment."
"You lost your face and name, but you still wanted eternity? But how unfortunate. If you seek eternity, you should've sought to live forever like my grandfather.
The Holy Grail can't go back into the past and regain your name."
"Disappear, old man of the mountain. You're nothing but an assassin. You can't become the one and only Hassan."
Even his death cry is swallowed by the shadow.
The white skulled assassin is swallowed by the girl's shadow.
"Guhare you insane!? What are you doing, fool !?"
His panic is akin to fury.
Is he surprised, oris he frightened?
In response to the old man's scream, the girl smiles.
"He attacked Senpai twice.
That's why I killed him. I'm the only one allowed to hurt him."
"And Grandfather. You don't need to be protected by him anymore. So we have to give him leave."
She sticks her finger into her heart and pulls out a worm that was deep within her nerves.
Music: Church on the Hill
How do you describe the fear, the terror?
She gouged her heart and tore her nerves, but still smiles.
"WWhat, what are you doing, Sakura"
The worm wriggles.
The girl stares with empty eyes at her grandfather, what used to be her grandfather, what seems to have been her grandfather.
"Oh. It was easier than I expected. I thought you would be bigger."
No. Actually, Matou Zouken's true body wasn't this small.
The old magus switched his main body when he planted himself in her heart.
To inhabit her heart, he had to be smaller than a heart.
In retrospect, his strange preference was his downfall.
She sees through his plan.
No, this outcome was inevitable.
The old magus didn't even try to hide his intentions, and the girl didn't disobey him.
So there was no problem.
She was just a piece of flesh that the old magus would eventually take over.
Until she betrayed him.
"HHold on, hold on, hold on, hold on !!
No, no, Sakura ! Possessing you is my last resort. I shall entrust you with the gate as long as you are still conscious. All I want is for the Matou bloodline to prosper.
All I want is for you to win and obtain everything !"
"All the better, then. I don't need your help anymore. I can open the gate by myself."
The impossible occurs.
The old magus only made one mistake.
"! Wait, wait, please, Sakura !
This has all been for you !
And this is how you repay me"
It must've been tiring to crawl about underground for two hundred years, right?
You can disappear now."
The girl stares at the blood on her hand,
And laughs like an empty puppet.