Rating : T
Characters : Sola and Keyneth
Genre : Angst (suicide involved)
Preview : There is no taste bitterer than vengeance. There is no pain greater than the death of loved one. In one day, Kayneth had experience them both.
A Fate/Zero fanfiction. Took place after Lancer’s death in Vol.3. Provided that Kiritsugu had kept his promise and spared Kayneth and Sola’s lives, instead of having ordered Maiya to gun the pair down.
That Master had kept his promise. Kayneth and his beloved Sola’s lives had been spared in exchange for a total retreat from Heaven’s Feel : use up all the Command Seals and let the Servant finish himself. In short, Kayneth had traded his Servant Lancer, Diarmuid’s life for his and Sola’s lives. One life for two; the cost was high yet fair enough. Even if there had been a second chance, Kayneth would not have done otherwise.
His heart was cold and free of any guilts, regrets or judgments. The magus believed unshakingly that he had done the right thing.
Even when the bond between Masters and Servants are ultimately strong, even when Diarmuid had sworn allegiance to Kayneth upon his pride of a noble knight, never will Kayneth have any trust in his Servant. Allegiance, pride or honor is just flowery words to blind the fools. Maybe he is the most cynical of all cynics. Maybe he just cannot sympathize with a knight’s heart. To a person whose practicality has almost become cruelty as Kayneth, all Servants in general are nothing but tools to serve Masters, to assist them in their honorable quest to obtaining the Holy Grail; therefore Servants need not to have any senses of self-respect or complaints about their Masters’ orders. Thus, forcing the Servant to finish himself with a Command Spell is not murder but a necessary sacrifice to save his Master’s life. As a knight, Diarmuid himself should have found honor in such an act.
In a third person’s point of view, exchanging Diarmuid’s life for theirs was not the only option Kayneth had had at that moment Instead of having agreed to Saber’s Master’s conditions, Kayneth could have used his last Command Spell to order Diarmuid to abandon his fight with Saber to come to the storage and destroy Saber’s Master. Is it not another usage of the Command Seals, to make impossibilities possible, besides being the chains to bind the Servants ? No matter how mighty Saber was, without a Master to supply her with prana, she would soon perish. That was like killing two birds with one stone, a plan that could not have been any better. Yet, what troubled Kayneth’s heart was once the last Command Seal disappeared, he would lose his last reign over his Servant. Had he trusted Diarmuid, he would not have needed a Command Seal to control him. But to a skeptical Kayneth, having lost the last Command Seal to depend entirely on something as vague as Diarmuid’s loyalty would be equal to suicide. No one or nothing could guarantee that Diarmuid would not betray him. After all, the one who supplied Diarmuid’s prana was actually Sola, his fiancée, not Kayneth. Even if Kayneth were to die, Diarmuid would just have to make a new contract with Sola and continue the war.
The fear that one day Diarmuid would betray him and take Sola away have been constantly wrenching Kayneth’s heart with jealousy since the day he realized Sola’s fiery stare at the handsome Servant. In those eyes of her at that moment, Kayneth felt inferior to the valiant Heroic Spirit, as if he were a dying candlelight placed in front of the shining sun. Having learnt so well the dark past of the hero, Kayneth has let his prejudice against Diarmuid cloud his judgments. To begin with, Diarmuid was a betrayal who had enchanted and stolen his lord’s bride and history could be repeated. Kayneth’s fear got greater and greater as he had witnessed Sola’s utmost determination in committing adultery with the Servant, having gone so far as robbing her fiancé ‘s Command Seals.
But now, his fear had ceased. “It’s all over”, whispered Kayneth as he caressed Sola’s cheek, his dearest woman who was laying in his embrace, her full breasts heaving rhythmically with her every breath. Sola’s unreasonable infatuation with Diarmuid would fade away with Diarmuid’s death, their war had ended and they were fortunate enough to keep their lives. Kayneth’s heart began to dance joyfully as he thought about going back to his hometown and having a happy family. Soon after having been deprived of his Master’s rights did Kayneth realize that his power, his pride, his title… all paled in comparison with his deep love for Sola and his ultimate desire to share his life with her. As long as he could be with Sola, he would not mind how lowly and shameful of a man he had to become.
Blinking a few times for her eyes to get used of the light in the room, Sola finally awoke from her coma. Her memories were still blurry due to the impact of having been attacked and abducted. Half way in shifting her position to that of sitting, Sola gasped in shock as she found herself in an embrace of someone she expected least. Kayneth greeted her with a weary yet loving and thoughtful smile.
“ You have awakened. “
“ Where am I ? Why am I here ? I was ambushed and… “
“ Everything has finished. “ Kayneth’s arms tightened around her frame. “ Let’s go back to England. “
“ Why ? The Heaven’s Feels… The Holy Grail… “
“ There’s no need for the Holy Grail to perform miracles. One has happened right here : we’re still alive. “
“ My hand…” So panic she was when she found out one of her limbs was missing, yet the real subject of her terror was the two holy marks that bound her and her beloved man. “I need the Commands Seals to control Diarmuid. “
Just how intimate had her relationship with the Servant advanced that she called him by his real name, not his class ? Jealousy began to painfully sting his heart like a sharp needle. He bit back his anger and tried to explain to her in a calm manner.
“ I said, to us, the war has ended. Lancer has died. “
Lancer has died. Three simple words that made up a simple sentence, each was a heartless foot that trampled her heart so mercilessly that she could not breathe, her face turned deadly purple.
“ It…can’t be. You…You’re lying ! “ With a horse voice, she insistently and desperately denied what her ears had heard.
“ Have you not realized the cord that supplies his prana was severed ? “ Coldly, Kayneth pointed the inevitable truth. No matter how uncomfortable he felt when having to crush her hope like that, only the truth could open her eyes to the reality. “Besides, the Command Seals have completely vanished. Neither you nor me possess them. “ His right hand raised slightly to show her his gloveless, smooth skin that bore no traces of the holy marks.
Sola’s heart sank in deep despair as she was aware of how harsh and true his words were.
“ That Master of Saber -In a emotionless tone he continued- agreed to spare our lives under one condition : destroy Lancer and retreat from the war. “
“ You… murdered him ? “
“ That should not be called murder, Sola. All Heroic Spirits are dead from the beginning. To ‘die’ in this war only means to lose their materialized body and return to the Throne of Heroes. Even if they win, once the Grail is obtained, they will vanish eventually. “
“ Even the miraculous Holy Grail cannot keep him in this world ? “ Sola replied bitterly.
“ Is that the reason you took my Command Seals ? “ His restraint was already at its limit, the older man was not able to maintain his composure any longer. “ To wish for him to stay in this world ? ‘
“ Yes ! ” Sola roared painfully in a voice choked with tears and agony. There was no pain greater than the one that was tormenting her right now : The pain of losing the man she was willing to exchange everything for he to smile at her; the pain of having realized her wish had slipped through her fingers. It was love that had melted her icy heart. It was also love that broke her fragile heart into thousands pieces.
“ Get ahold of yourself Sola-Ui Nuada-Re Sophia-Ri ! Nothing can change the fact that you are my wife. Our marriage is a covenant between two families that you, as member of one family, must not forsake for a temporary affection for a dead man. “
“ To hell with that covenant ! To hell with that arranged marriage ! If you care so much about that shameful pride, marry someone who shares the same thought as you. I will never love someone so pitiful and cowardly like you, Kayneth ! Never in hell ! Just thinking about touching you makes me want to vomit ! “
Violence is the least method Kayneth thinks of when dealing with people. Never did he think that he would hit a woman, let alone Sola, the woman that he loves more than anything in his life. Still, her insults were too much for a man to take. Is that really what she thinks about me ! Am I that disgusting to her ? The thoughts burnt his heart, further fueled his resentment. Instinctively, he raised his hand which contained all his physical strength.
“ Kill me if you want. It won’t change the fact that I hate you, despise you, loathe you. “
His hand stopped abruptly when it was only 2 cm away from her face. What halted him was not Sola’s curses but the veil of blood and tears that covered her face. Her beauty distorted, her eyes bled, her hair tangled and her nails clutched her palms so fiercely that they pierced her skin, droplets of blood stained the ground. The Sola that had enchanted his heart with one mere glance was no more; in front of him knelt a vengeful spirit whose only regret was that she was unable to tear him apart and drink his blood at this very moment.
“ What I did was the only option available at that time. You were held captive and I lost the ability to fight. Had I not agreed, even if Lancer had won, we would have both been killed. “ His tone was soft and low, as if the proud magus was begging for her belief.
Nevertheless, his efforts were harshly washed away with her bloodshot eyes and her resentful glare. “ Deny it all you want. It’s jealousy that drove you mad, drove you to murder him. “
“ Should I not be jealous, Sola ? When my wife harbors feelings for another man beside her husband ? When my disability could not even draw a drop of tear from her and his death brings her to the verge of insanity ? Curse me, loathe me but I won’t regret what I have done. “
His solemn proclaim struck the most sensitive part of her deeply, rendered her speechless. Sola could not help but admitting the undeniable truth in his words. No matter how she feels about him, hates him or discounts him, she cannot defy his devoted love to her. He loves her and it is not wrong for him to be jealous, even when that jealousy induced him to send his rival to death. So, is it her fault to offer her heart to Diarmuid rather than reply to Kayneth’s love ? Is it wrong to love someone or not to love someone ? Is it wrong to hate the man who loves her deeply for he had killed the man she loves just as deeply ? In the end, what is wrong and what is right ?
Her silence reflected her inner turmoil. No matter how hard she searched, the answer seemed always out of reach. It tired a barely recovered Sola, turning her heart wrenching cries into quiet sobs. Eyeing her from not afar, Kayneth’s rage had died without his notice. What was left in his mind was the sorrow at his love’s melancholic state. Wheeling his chair next to her, the man offered her a white handkerchief.
“ You have thought… my love to Diarmuid is just because of his love charm, is it true ? “ Strangely, Sola pointed out an unexpected question which surely gave Kayneth a burden whether he answered or not.
“ It’s alright. I’ll forgive you. As soon as we return to England, let’s forget everything that happened here. We’ll live happily as husband and wife. “
“ Out !! “ Tossed away the thin cloth, Sola shouted. “ Leave me alone ! “
“ Sola !! “
“ Leave me alone !! “ With her remaining hand, Sola shot an energy ball at Kayneth. Although her power was far inferior to Kayneth’s, his condition now could only allow him to dodge the shot.
“ I’ll leave right away. “
The door behind Sola closed as the disabled magus leave the room. As he had stepped outside, Sola stood up and locked only entrance to this room.
Two days had passed and Kayneth had been waiting faithfully outside the door. What Sola needs is time, time to heal her mental wound; no matter how fatal it is, slowly yet surely, time will mend it. What Sola needs is time, time to erase the short but dreadful events she has experienced in this eastern city of Fuyuki. What she needs is time, time to calm herself down and realize how immature and foolish her feelings toward a Heroic Spirit, an entity that has transcended out of mortal plane, is. What Sola needs is time, which Kayneth will generously give her.
Ever since he had stepped in this city, Kayneth had made some gravely mistakes, so gravely that the cost placed on his shoulders were almost unbearable. Still, no faults could compare with this one in fatality. He was too haughty in his own theories that he had translated Sola’s mind totally wrong : What Sola is time, but time to think of a way to exact her vengeance on Kayneth.
The third day of her self-isolation, much to Kayneth’s relief, the door that sealed her room was unlocked. His heart pounded wildly in his chest as he entered the room, having fully conceived that Sola had thought thoroughly enough to comprehend her position.
Like a calloused hand brutally squeezing his heart, his heartbeats terminated, his body felt rigid and chilled as if he was abruptly dumped into an icy river as soon as his eyes caught sights of the scene behind the door. In a pool of her own blood lied the beautiful fiancée of Lord Kayneth El-Melloi Archibald, a small but sharp knife persistently stuck in her left bosom, where the core of her life resided. Its edge severed the muscular organ, warm blood oozing from severed arteries painted her white blouse sickly red, contrary to her face which now turned paler than the dim neon light. The remaining hand of hers clutched the grip tightly, as if to ensure the knife stay still until her soul left its vessel. It was undoubted that Sola-Ui Nuada-Re Sophia-Ri had plundered her own life.
To her financé who was paralyzed by the sheer terror of the sight Sola’s last words leaked from her full, blood-coated lips.
“ Fuh… your ridiculous generosity… is what I cannot stand. You said you loved me, right ? The anguish of losing the loved one, its taste is extremely unpleasant. As I have already tasted it. “
The last word died at her lips, along with her breathing, Sola-Ui Nuada-Re Sophia-Ri had bid farewell to the living word. Even in her last moment, Sola’s words still possessed their unique harshness which she often used when scolding Kayneth, each word was not less sharp than the knife that tore her heart. Though she could no longer hear him or answer him, Kayneth wanted to voice the questions that were trampling his last thread of sanity. Do you despise me so much that you have to torment me like that ? Do you despise me so much that you have to destroy yourself to pain my heart ? Do you despise me so much that you choose death over life with me ?
His eyes were hollow and dry, the magus could no longer shed tears. Instead, he shed blood. Banging his fists continuously at the steel frame of his wheelchair, betting on a slight hope that physical pain could soften his indescribale mental wound, his blood mixed in the pool of Sola’s blood that was starting to dry.
His tears had drained and soon, his blood would share the same fate.
Yet, before it happened, his body had already been devoid of soul.
There is no taste bitterer than vengeance.
There is no pain greater than the death of loved one.
In one day, Kayneth had experience them both.