Fate / Zero – 09

“Go fírinneach, mo chroí, ní féidir liom diabhal a thabhairt.”

I’m far more familiar with Gilgamesh, Alexander, and King Arthur than, say, Diarmuid Ua Duibhne. Heck, I can barely pronounce it. So it’s good to see a few glimpses of his life before he became a heroic spirit, in which his king’s daughter Grainne was betrothed to a the leader of his order, Fionn, but fell for him due to his love spot. Suffice it to say it didn’t work out so swell. Interestingly enough, the one dreaming of Lancer’s life is Kayneth.

“Oh BTW I DIDN’T sign the prenup.”

Kayneth…is in a bad way. His beloved fiancee Sola-Ui informs him that he’ll never use magic again, which means his time as Master of Lancer has ended. She wants to take over the “burden” of commanding Lancer so she can win the Holy Grail War for Kayneth and use it to grant the miracle of restoring him to the way he was.

Sola is threatening enough looming over the restrained Kayneth in a dark, dank, and not particularly sterile-looking makeshift hospital room. But when Kayneth bristles at her proposal, soon she’s breaking one of his fingers and threatening to amputate his command seal-bearing hand. Yikes.

“I won’t be passed around like a bottle of…Jameson?”

Dare I say, I kinda don’t hate this Sola-Ui? You’ve gotta respect her raw ambition. She was perhaps initially content to let Kayneth command Lancer while she simply provided the mana for his physical form. Now she wants Lancer…all of him. But she has to appeal to his indomitable sense of honor, and get him to overcome, or at least ignore, the regret he feels for how things went down in his life.

She does this by swearing to him that she is only seeking Lancer’s services, and the Holy Grail, for Kayneth’s sake. He grudgingly agrees, but something tells me he’s not entirely convinced she can be trusted. All I know is, Kayneth continues to have just the worst luck. I mean, sure, he’s an arrogant dick, and Sola-Ui is, shall we say, ethically flexible…but when people like Uryuu and Caster are skulking around, it tends to put things in perspective.

“Look, Kiritsugu loves ILYA very much. The rest of the kids in the world? Ehh…”

Kiritsugu is trying to win the War as quickly and efficiently as possible. That apparently means not wasting any time talking to his Servant or being anywhere near her, and it certainly means not stopping to save a few, or even a few dozen, children’s lives. The game is already stacked against him and he knows it.

No matter how much Saber may talk about the sacred rules of the Holy Grail War which are being stamped on, she’s not dealing with a knight. It’s not his job to serve any lord or abide by a code of chivalry, it’s to win and save the world…all of the world. And at the end of the day, Iri feels the same way. Even so, I could never imagine a Servant-Master relationship as dysfunctional as this one, to the point I worry it might come back to bite both in the future.

I must say I wasn’t expecting Rider to get his pants so soon, but this show is full of surprises. Rider also gets along smoothly and splendidly with Waver’s hypnotized fake grandparents. Even better, Waver impresses Rider by flexing his alchemical muscles in locating Caster’s lair, a neat little glimpse of the more science-y side of magic Waver is clearly more comfortable with.

Unfortunately, there is nothing comfortable or pleasant in the slightest about Waver and Rider’s trip to Caster’s underground base. Rider quickly ratchets down his jolliness at the first sight of the piles of maimed and bloody child corpses, and his warnings for Waver not to look go unheeded, resulting in Waver losing his lunch and probably a good deal of faith in humanity along with it.

“Tá mé ag suí i rud éigin fliuch.”

Waver and Rider also meet some of Kirei’s Assassins, something that was apparently not planned, because Kirei is very upset about Assassin not only being exposed as being still around (if not in the game) and having numerous separate forms.

Upon reporting this, Tokiomi tells Kirei to continue to stay calm, keep a low profile, and keep his Assassins’ eyes on Waver and Rider; no good can come of letting his emotions get the best of him. But I saw the beast that was unleashed when Iri and Maiya challenged him. This guy looks like a volcano waiting to burst, and Archer’s words about Tokiomi being a bore are still ringing in his head.

Everyone who fixed this War so the Toosakas would win are operating under the assumption that Kotomine Kirei can be trusted to play his part without any problems. But what if there was a problem with him? I’ll tell you what: it would make for more great drama. No one should have it easy in this war.

Author: braverade

Hannah Brave is a staff writer for RABUJOI.

3 thoughts on “Fate / Zero – 09”

  1. Yeah, because of the bond between Master and Servant, on occasion a Master will have a dream of their Servant’s life. I think the only example of this in UBW was Rin with Archer’s stuff. Another transition episode of sorts, but rest assured that what comes after this and the next episode is real real damn exciting. On an unrelated note, they had to cut a bit of Sola-Ui’s internal monologue from the light novel for time when it came to making it an anime.

    “That’s right, it didn’t matter even if it was a lie—Sola thought about her hidden heart again.

    If she could preserve her ties with this man now, no matter in what way, it didn’t matter. For this sake, no matter how despicable the lie was, she would say it. She would not let anyone rebuke her for that. That’s right, never- she would never allow anyone to hinder her. He is not a human, but a spiritual being temporarily visiting from another world. A transient miracle brought forth by the Holy Grail. Yet, Sola’s feelings did not change.

    If she were to think back, ever since she had reached the age of reasoning, her heart had frozen. For Sola who was given birth to a family of magecraft who already had a legitimate child, she was not brought up with the feelings of a woman. The magecraft’s blood which was refined repeatedly throughout generations. A lady whose worth was nothing but that.

    In other words, ever since the time the cry of the baby was heard, she had no other USAGE other than for the arranged marriage.

    She did not feel regretful. She did not even harbor questions. There was no leeway for her to choose. She obeyed the arranged marriage her parents agreed upon quite willingly. Her frozen soul did not feel any lament towards having to call the man she was utterly uninterested in, husband, for the rest of her life.

    However, it is different now.

    Before this, has she ever heatedly felt her heart throbbing so rapidly before?

    Sola-Ui Nuada-Re Sophia-Ri’s heart was no longer frozen. That is because she knew the warmth of her heart which was madly in love.”

    tl;dr she’s aware she’s under the effect of Diarmuid’s love spot but doesn’t give a damn because this is the first time she, a pawn born just to be used in arranged marriage, ever felt anything other than resignation, ever felt love

    It’s an interesting bit of nuance, though I can see why it was cut when she’s one of many characters.

    By the way, I forgot to ask this before, but what version of Zero are you watching? On the Blu-Ray there’s an additional scene with Illya and Kiritsugu back in Episode 2 where he says goodbye to her before departing for the Grail War and promises that he’ll come back and etc. Did you see that? (the other added scenes aren’t much worth mention)

    1. They only show the slightest bit of that in how Sola-Ui looks at Lancer – my first thought was “well, she’s not Saber, is she!” Glad for the elaboration on what was basically reduced to shorthand in the episode.

      I am streaming F/Z on Netflix, and there was a scene in ep 2 with Kiritsugu and Ilya looking for buds in the snow-covered grounds of the castle.

  2. Yeah, figured as much since you didn’t mention it. It’s a pity it’s only on Blu-Ray cause it’s a touching scene, but I can give you the LN’s transcript of it.

    The fair hunt for winter buds of wingnuts ended with Ilyasviel’s victory, ending a series of 3 consecutive defeats for the champion. Also, no field nut trees were found in the Einzbern forest.

    After the battle, the two casually walk back. Because they walked deep into the forest, the majesty of the Einzbern castle has become a silhouette in the haze.

    “The next time will be when you come back from Japan, Kiritsugu.”

    Having fulfilled her revenge, Ilyasviel looks up with a large smile at her father. Unable to look straight at her, Kiritsugu feigned serenity as best as he could.

    “Yes… Next time, daddy won’t lose.”

    “Uhuhu, if you don’t do better, we will soon be a hundred points apart, you know?”

    The smile of his beloved daughter was becoming too much of a burden for the man.

    Just how should he tell her? Until the end, maybe that will be the one thing he will think of.

    This is the worst struggle for Kiritsugu. But, by all means, he must win. For that purpose, he can’t afford to give up his life.

    So― the promise to his daughter to play again in the winter forest is only a small victory.

    Save everything. Abandon everything for that.

    To the man who swore to do that, love could only be a thorn.

    Whenever he loved someone, it was a curse to have to be ready to keep it hidden in his heart.

    This was the fate that burdened Emiya Kiritsugu in exchange for his ideal. Love was a torture that could not be healed.

    Then why―he was questioning himself when he looks at the frozen white sky and earth.

    Why did he love so much the one woman and the child he shares his blood with.

    “Kiritsugu, how long will your work with mother last? When will you be back?”

    Unaware of her father’s suffering, Ilyasviel asked with a lively voice.

    “Daddy will come back in a couple of weeks, probably. ―For mom, that should be, much longer, I think…”

    “Yeah. Mother told Ilya. That we will part forever.”

    Hearing her reply without a shadow on her face was the finishing blow for Kiritsugu. His knees lost the strength to push through the snow-covered path.

    His wife was ready. His daughter was prepared.

    For the truth was that Emiya Kiritsugu was snatching her mother away from this young girl.

    “Mother told me that even if we wouldn’t see each other anymore, she will always be by my side. I don’t have to be sad, she has been telling me, before going to bed. So Ilya will always be with mother.”

    “… I see…”

    At that point, Kiritsugu became aware of the blood dyeing his hands crimson red.

    He didn’t know how many people he had killed, how impure his arms were. For you to hold a child as a father, that is definitely unforgivable― he told himself.

    But wasn’t that warning the same as running away?

    This child will never be embraced by her mother ever again already. And if her father Kiritsugu abandons that duty as well… Who will be holding Ilyasviel again?

    “―Hey, Ilya.”

    Kiritsugu stopped his daughter walking beside him, dropped down and wrapped his arms around the girl.

    “… Kiritsugu?”

    In 8 years, every time he held that small body in his arms, Kiritsugu doubted his fatherhood, deep inside. Disgusted by his acting as a father, he could only scorn at himself for being unable to do otherwise.

    But this too is reaching an end. As this child’s only father, he must hold her in the warmth of his arms. Without running away, without lying.

    “Will you wait for me, Ilya? Can you stand to be alone until daddy comes back?”

    “Yes! I will bear it. I’ll wait for you with mother, Kiritsugu.”

    Memories of this day will probably fill Ilyasviel with joy until the end. Her cheerful voice holds no grief.

    “… Then daddy will promise you something too. I won’t make you wait. Daddy will definitely come back quickly.”

    Emiya Kiritsugu took on another heavy burden.

    Enduring the thorn that is love that pierced his whole body, he tightly embraced his child for an eternity.

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