Fate Stay Night, Saber, etc belong to TYPE-MOON. Please refrain from suing me outright. Thank you.
Author's note: After a brief hiatus, I'm back in the world of fanfiction-writing. While some bit still need to be tweaked for grammar and so on, most of the stuff on here are in their final forms. I would really like to thank 'Mac, a friend of mine for proofreading and helping me fix structure errors. Yuurei, for being my "editor"/plot stabber, and the numerous legends in which I draw my ideas from. Along with everyone else who reads my story. Thank you. Without you, this wouldn't be here.
Fate Stay Night: Precept of Destiny. Prologue, Part I.
The night was young, and the moon was shining. Amid the soft glow of an ancient city long past, a certain young ruler reclined in his lavishly decorated throne room, silently brooding. At first glance, he appeared to be a young man of no more then twenty years who wore an outrageously ornate and well-crafted suit of auric plate armor. A closer inspection unveiled something else. His flashing, rubicund eyes told of victories against unimaginable foes, of valiant, but merciless charges in an age past; of power, glory, and all that came as the ruler of the legendary city of Uruk. Instead of wearing the mask of arrogance as he was accustomed to wearing, he seemed much more compassionate, magnanimous, even. With a sigh, he rose from his bejeweled throne.
The idea of defeat was rather new to Gilgamesh, as he paced about his throne room, silently mulling over his recent loss in the last battle by a mere Saber-classed servant and an upstart young magus who didn't even knew his own feelings. Gilgamesh was someone who loved victory and knew how to obtain it, and as such, he abhorred losing, even when realizing that he was fighting for a wrong cause. Remembering the doubts he had during the Fifth Grail War, he quickly shrugged that uncertainty away.
I, Gilgamesh, lord of Uruk, son of Nisun, savior of my people, wielder of the sacred flames… Wrong? Impossible, I cannot be mistaken. She cannot be right. She was simply lucky that one time.
But was she? A nagging little voice spoke softly to him. You thought Kotomine was right. The voice continued. Recall him, and his selfish motives. Is that what you wanted? Face it. It was fate. It was fate that caused you to lose.
"Fate… The term is familiar, yet at the same time foreign to me…" he mused, thinking back to that conclusive encounter. "I know of the meaning, or so I thought…"
"What is fate? Why does fate happen? What did she have…that I did not? Where did I err-"
Gilgamesh's thoughts were interrupted as he heard a loud rumble behind him. His throne room was circular, and there were several small but adorned doorways leading away from his throne. With a start, he turned around and realized that the Gate of Babylon, his own personal Noble Phantasm was activated and was humming, completely devoid of his command!
This isn't right… he thought. Ever since the Fifth Grail War, and the complete destruction of the Holy Grail itself, the treasures were sealed away. He knew, because he did the sealing himself…
Slightly irked, Gilgamesh faced the amethyst glow. The monarch was tired of bloodshed, of being summoned at one's beck and call, and used as a servant, and slaughtering mindlessly as well as committing countless atrocious deeds… Sighing, Gilgamesh rubbed his temples, willed it to close, and closed his eyes.
This must be a dream. I'll pinch myself, and when I open my eyes, the Gate will be closed, I will not be pacing like an idiot, and I can return to my civil affairs tomorrow morning. I was napping again when I should be judging and I knew I shouldn't have had those roasted almonds and dates for a midnight snack…
The humming and the lavender glow continued.
Gilgamesh opened his eyes, which immediately widened in surprise. Contrary to the immediate closure, the Gate did not as much as even pause, but continued to expand, until it reached its full size. The lavender glow was suddenly replaced by a smothering amaranth light.
He blinked. Something was definitely out of balance. Instead of displaying thousands of Noble Phantasms that he collected, he saw that here and there, powerful weapons were missing. Those that remained seemed to be afflicted by some negative glow, as their radiance faded away one by one. Gilgamesh felt a moment of dread, as if a familiar presence lurked by. The air sickened him, and he sensed something.
It feels like that day…when I was tainted...
Brushing the thought away, the lord of Uruk instinctively concentrated and called to his own weapon. It made him feel better to stand with a weapon in his hands.
Come, my blade. Uruk have need of you once more.
Instead of feeling the familiar weight of the three feet long leaf-blade in his hands, he felt nothing. Enuma Elish had refused his call.
Startled, Gilgamesh attempted the invocation again. He saw the honed golden blade, the long, elegant tips of the weapon, and the finely etched cuneiform writings along the blade along his mind's eye.
"When in the
height heaven was not named,
And the earth beneath did not yet bear a name,
And the primeval Apsu, who begat them,
And chaos, Tiamut, the mother of them both
Their waters were mingled together,
And no field was formed, no marsh was to be seen;
When of the gods none had been called into being,
And none bore a name, and no destinies were ordained;
Then were created the gods in the midst of heaven…
Come forth. Enuma Elish. And show the wrath of Eu!"
Still nothing. The supernatural light turned darker, and took shape in familiar black ooze. The sight sent a chill down Gilgamesh's spine, and involuntarily, he took a step back.
Impossible. Someone sealed my weapon, and is accessing my treasures! He reasoned.Such a thing cannot be happening! The one thing that was capable of carrying out a deed like this was destroyed! The Grail have ceased to-
The light suddenly vanished, and darkness reigned. The ooze took a more definite, albeit shadowy humanoid shape. The humming grew louder, and became a buzzing sound. Above the relentless buzzing, the shadow howled. It was a ghastly, eerie cry of challenge.
Gilgamesh was no coward, but he did know that engaging an enemy without a weapon or access to his Noble Phantasms equated suicide. Being the wise, opportunistic, and battle-hardened warrior he wisely turned tail and fled. In a slightly dazed and borderline panicking state, he rushed down the winding staircase, away from his room and off the Ziggurat.
The Grail have returned! But how? How? Was she not successful? How typical. Leaving a woman to do a man's work. If it was me, I would have taken that thing out in no time flat. Not that I wanted to destroy it, but maybe there was no other way…
As he approached the bottom, Gilgamesh heard voices…voices of pain and screams of pure terror. He rapidly dashed down the last few flights of stairs.
"I am never, ever, ever having the royal architects design my palace in that ridiculous pyramid fashion again. 128 flights of stairs to the top…no wonder my servants and subjects seemed reluctant to come visit me.
Gilgamesh hastened out of the entrance; what he saw made his heart sank a few inches.
Uruk, the city of Seven Sages, his beloved city was aflame. What was the epitome of civilization was now on the brink of collapse. Wild, unnatural black flames rampaged through the streets. Everywhere he looked he saw the fearful faces of his subjects, who attempted to salvage their belongings or searched for loved ones. By the time he passed the town square, most of the northern wall has been obliterated and the market district was completely ruined. The flames now licked the eastern and southern walls and even as he stood for a moment to evaluate the extent of the damage, the builds in the temple district burst into flames.
"My lord! What shall we do?"
Gilgamesh wheeled around and saw a regiment of his soldiers, already armed and prepared for whatever threat was near. His heart swelled in pride for a moment, and he began to feel like his old self, the one that was in control. His commander, Assur gave a slight bow and nodded.
"Guards!" he shouted. "See to the people, and make sure they stay safe! Find my Magi, and order them to enchant your weapons and see if they can't figure out what the hell is going on. You, Assur, you take Nimrud's unit and move them towards the civilians. Get a bucket chain set up and try to put out the fires. And you, Akkad. Take your men and see if you can find out more information."
The soldiers hurried to their tasks. Assur, however, hesitated. His king was acting strange. Well. Stranger then usual.
"My lord? Where are you going? Are you not going to fight the fires with us?"
Gilgamesh gave a reassuring nod. "I have unfinished business to take care of at the Royal Library. Eu's blessings upon you."
Assur, evidently relieved, turned back and confidently shouted orders at his men, and they scurried off towards their destinations.
Gilgamesh sighed deeply. If only he shared the confidence of his subordinates…
Now is not the time. I must move.
Feh. I know it was too easy to get rid of that thing. Luckily, I have prepared for such an event.
Gilgamesh abruptly turned and ran up a set of flights, where he knew it would take him to the royal library. He prepared a sort of an "emergency overload button", as he learned from the humans in the future just for this occasion. Such spells were hard to craft and even harder to design. This one was no exception. As he passed through the library, he eventually reached a tablet hanging on a seemingly blank wall. Gilgamesh gently tapped the tablet twice, and recited a long string of syllables. The wall immediately faded away, and the ruler of Uruk passed through.
He looked around. The room was filled with tablets. One large clay tablet and countless smaller clay tablets, all gently orbiting around a small purple orb. Each of the tablets were inscribed with a different motif and symbol, and some had images carved on them as well. Gilgamesh stepped into the room and whispered a phrase, the purple orb disappeared and a chromatic glow surrounded him, momentarily putting his mind at ease.
Excellent. The command spell hasn't been tainted. This is good. And the ward spell's still in place after all these years. Much better then what I anticipated.
Gilgamesh closed his eyes, and took in a deep breath. He began murmuring in a spidery, arcane tone. The writings on the smaller tablet glowed and patterns began to appear as they organized themselves into arrangements. Suddenly, a deep black mist surrounded the small secret chamber. The prismatic barrier immediately flared up as the shadow began pounding on the shield.
So. The old grail bugger won't go, eh? Well. Let's see how he enjoys facing more heroes. Good thing that ward spell's powerful stuff.
The larger tablet levitated and began drawing the smaller tablets closer. Gilgamesh's tone is now harsher, more insistent, while the glimmering barrier faded bit by bit under the relentless assault of the mist.
This will work.
As his chant rose to a crescendo, the tablets began spinning in a wilder circle around the larger one. Then, as one, they collectively melded into the larger tablet. The larger tablet then exploded in a shower of light, and a thousand vivid lights were dispersed in all directions, out of the chamber, and into the world.
At this time, the shadows broke through. The colorful light shone once more, and disappeared. They bared their shadowy fangs at him.
Gilgamesh laughed. A bitter, disdainful laugh, the laugh of a man that faced death head on yet knowing that victory will come through.
"Fool. If you were only a bit faster…" he thought, and turned around to face his adversary. Pulling out a small, ornate marble like object, Gilgamesh smirked.
Beeeeeeettrrrraaaaayyyyyyeeeeeeeerrr….. Beeeeegggg forrrrr meeercy…..yoouurrr time….hasss come…..! The shadows called to him.
"Yes. Perhaps my vows have been broken…."
The shadows reared up, and poised to strike.
"…Yes, perhaps it is I who will fall here today…"
The shadows screeched and dived at him.
"… but an evil, twisted, and utterly corrupted thing, the likes of you…will never see me on my knees!"
A blinding flash filled the room, followed by a large explosion. When the dust cleared, Gilgamesh was gone.
Across time, in another land, a lady knight was writing tirelessly under the dim light of a few lit candles. The room was sparsely decorated, with a bed, a few chairs for visitors, and a sturdy writing desk. There was a gleaming sword which hung above the writing desk on a plaque, but otherwise, the room lacked decorations of any sort. The lady knight was just dressed as modestly as her lodgings were. She wore a long sleeved white tunic with a simple crest along the hem.
Bedievere fiddled with her hair, sighed and looked back to her diary. She was tired, but determined to keep going. She wanted to finish this entry.
…and everything doth appear to be going well. Lancelot and the rest of the Questing Knights art doing the best they can to patch the kingdom back together. It hath been, of course, no easy task with our liege's passing. Rumors saith that Merlin hath returned, and tis also helping with the harvest. It is good that such joyful tidings art being circulated. After the battle of Camlann methinks everyone tis glad for a break.
….it goes without saying, that we all doth miss our liege, Arthuria. She hath passed away but a few month ago, yet it hath felt so much longer. Like years. As we gather at the round table, it hath felt empty. Without her amiable voice, her quiet and disciplined demeanor, nothing hath felt proper. As we walked the halls of Camelot, it was gloomy, less pleasant. More then one knight hath commented that it feels unbearable without her. They speak truthfully. All of us hath missed her and still doth miss her. And more than once, I hath been pressed for details about the last moments of Camlann…
I hath been there, thou knowest? I hath been with her when she passed away.
…I couldst remember it like it was yesterday. Leaving her under a tree, I hath been about to go and search for reinforcements when suddenly I hath heard her mumble my name. She hath told me that she saw a dream for a while, and she asketh me if the dream mayn't continue.
"Shall I see the same dream again?"
How could I saith no? I seem to be cold, almost heartless in battle, but tis because I art practical. I knoweth that one canst not afford to be merciful or offer kind words on a battlefield, and yet…
How couldst I hath said no?
"I believe that if thine wish is strong enough …yea. Yea, my liege."
Arthuria hath smiled at me then, a deep, relieved smile. Whatever she was dreaming about, I dost hope with all my heart that the dream shall find her again.
"Bediviere. Take mine blade, cross this forest, over that bloodstained hill, and there tis a clear, tranquil lake …returneth Excalibur to the Lady of the Lake. Go now. Taketh this as mine last request..."
I hath nodded numbly, knowing that she hath only perhaps some hours, nay, even minutes left to live. I hath rode like never before, and the howling wind didst cut into my skin. Whereupon I hath reached the lake, I hath carefully lowered Excalibur into the water, thinking that it wouldst sink.
However, Excalibur levitated towards the center of the lake, wherefrom a feminine hand tooketh the pommel.
"Here then, Excalibur shall rest. Until it tis required again."
Excalibur flashed once more, and then it hath disappeared underneath the lake.
When I hath returned to Arthuria's side, I knoweth that she couldst not fight it much longer. I was actually not surprised at her resilience. One look at her bright green eyes, and anyone will understand. In her eyes, there was an unquenchable fire, a fire of …something. She was not afraid to die, was never afraid of death. Arthuria had a core of inner strength that one seldom sees.
"Yea, My liege?"
"Hast thou return'd my sword to the Lady of the Lake?"
"Yea, my liege."
"Good. Be proud of thyself. Thou hast done what I requested. Thank thee."
Bediviere bit her lips. That memory was almost too painful to recall. She closed her eyes, and exhaled, then continued to write.
A still silence hath fell in that forest on that fateful day. Sunshine softly shined upon her regal face. A mild breeze blew through, and her melancholy gaze rested upon me. She seemeth then somehow regretful…about something.
"Bediviere…" she struggled.
"My slumber this time … mayhap be a bit long…"
Through a haze of tears, I hath attempted to reply. But no response wouldst come to mine lips. Arthuria gently closed her eyes.
"Dost thou, my liege…" I hath asked, quietly.
"Behold the continuation of thy dream?"
Arthuria's lips didst curve, and her face hath seemed to be lit up in a smile, as if she hath heard mine inquiry.
She was gone
The funeral ceremony was a gloomy one, as we could not even locate, much less bury the body of our beloved sovereign. It was hard to explain, but Arthuria seem'd to hath …vanished. It was like a miracle of sorts. The name of Arthuria have already turned into several legends, some about her being alive somewhere and well, and some about how she await'd in Avalon, and such. I honestly don't know what to believe now. She was just…gone.
Lately, strange events
hath been occurring. Creatures of legend
art seen. Dragons, griffons, unicorns were sighted. Weapons that were long lost
were found. Heroes of lore have returned…times were surely unordinary.
What was stranger was
that a completely cloaked individual visit'd me about a few eves ago. Though my
visitor was cover'd head to toe with thick, dark blue shawls, I knew that the
voice was a woman.
It wasn't the visit that was surprising though, it was of what she told me and what she gave me.
"Behold. Bediviere. Finest
of the loyal knights. Here be Excalibur. And thou shalt be its keeper, until
the rightful owner of the blade cometh, and claimth the duty once more.
She handed me Excalibur.
I felt the slight hum of the blade, the
perfect balance, and knew she was not jestin
As I stood there, dumbfolded and quite shocked, the visitor disappeared. Since then, I hath follow'd her instructions and hung the blade up in my chambers. It was a good reminder of the joyful times past. At first, it would glow when one touches it, but tonight, it hath been glowing nonstop. If this keeps up I fear I needeth to obtain Merlin's assistance…
Bediviere closed her diary. She needed sleep, and writing isn't helping her tonight at all. Whereas she used to find solace in writing, tonight, she felt different. Excalibur's relentless glow wasn't helping the situation. Frustrated, she stood up, took the sword down, and shouted at it.
"Why are you acting like this? Do you have something to tell me?"
"Bediviere."Bediviere froze. That voice. It was so familiar to her that she thought she'd never hear it again. That gentle yet firm tone. It could belong to no other, yet she is…
Bediviere. Thank you. Thou hath remained loyal and kept my blade for me.
Bediviere turned around. It is now, that she saw her visitor
for the first time. Clad simply in an unadorned blue dress with an empty
sheath, green eyes dancing, her visitor gave Bediviere a smile
She immediately kneeled and handed the sword over without question. It was more of an automated movement then anything else. Shock, joy, dread, doubt, all of these feelings ran through her at the same time.
Arthuria took Excalibur, and placed it in her sheath. She turned around.
"My-my liege! But how?" Bediviere rose. There were so many things to ask, and so many things to tell her beloved liege. But to her horror, Arthuria was disappearing. Her king was dematerializing!
"I will explain. For now, just wait… and have faith in me…" Came a light whisper, the response somewhere in the morning air as the first rays of sunrise obliterated the darkness.
Bediviere nodded, and looked at the rising sun. She could
almost hear an echo in the background. Smiling, she went back inside and
resumed her daily work. Today seemed much brighter and cheerful.
"have faith in me…"