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Thread: Fate/Apocrypha Vol. 2 + 3 (no spoilers)

  1. #1641
    O Beast of CaerbannogAAAAARRGH!!? castor212's Avatar
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    Please blame all delay to vaccine shot, Final Fantasy XIII-2, and soon Tales of Arise



    Volume 3, Act 4, Part 1



    "The hell is this?"

    Achilles' spear did not pierce so much as shot forward. The continuous assault was effectively a machine gun's barrage.

    They had been going at it for 3 minutes now. For 180 seconds, Achilles had been overpowering Shirou, his current Master. Not competing against him; overwhelming him.

    Shirou had been able to counter some Achiless' attacks at the beginning, but that soon ended. Achilles saw through those easily, and then threw in three deadly blows of his own. The throat, solar plexus, and heart—Shirou barely avoided the spear thrusted at his 3 vital points.

    He should not have been able to. A miracle, a divine blessing, luck; such were the only cliché words that one can possibly use to describe what was happening.

    Smacking his lips, Achilles kicked away the recklessly rushing Shirou and make for some distance between them, launching another strike as he did so. Confirming that Shirou was about to lose his footing, Achilles aimed at another vital point—that Shirou once again dodged.

    He was overwhelming him. Shirou was not a match against Achilles; that much was a fact.

    Yet he just would not go down. He did not kneel. He was not giving up.

    "Look, we're just sparring here. You don't need to be that stubborn."

    Despite telling the truth, the force behind Achilles' spear, too, was not decreasing at all.

    —Yes. Achilles felt that, should he go easy on Shirou, he would lose something important to him.

    Achilles was, without a doubt, stronger.

    Shirou Kotomine was, without a doubt, weaker.

    As far as Achilles was concerned, Shirou was at best at the level of an ordinary fighter. If they fight, Achilles would be the winner 10 times out of 10. Whether he takes his time with him or not, the gap between the two was just that vast.

    Yet—even against such impossible odds, Shirou opposed Achilles all the same.

    "…Nah. Not that. Could it be, you—"

    Finally, Achilles recognized Shirou's eyes. Those eyes—they were not looking at Achilles at all. Not even as an opponent. The boy's looking even beyond that.

    His gaze contained neither fear nor joy even when fighting against a famed Heroic Spirit. Merely the desire to walk over an obstacle in his way.

    Achilles was beyond angry or humiliated. He was just dumbfounded.

    "..Wait."

    He lowered down his spear, signaling Shirou to stop.

    "Ah. …We are done, then?"

    "…Nice words from someone still panting for breath. Say, Master. Why were you fighting me again?"

    Shirou tilted his head confusedly at the question.

    "Well… weren't you bored?"

    "Sure, but you yourself get nothing out of it."

    "As a matter of fact, I do. See, I am hoping that I can somehow earn your respect if I show you how serious I am, without giving up."

    He smiled thinly. Not one filled with curse and contempt, like a king would give a hero. Not one of trust, given from one hero to another.

    That was the smile of a saint. Calmly accepting everything as they are, yet never giving in to despair.

    Most likely, he was not kidding. Shirou truly fought against Achilles just to earn his respect.

    —And worst of all.

    Somehow, such a frank honesty had left a deep impression to Achilles.

    Thinking back, Achilles had fought under under wise rulers and despots alike before… but he had never pledged loyalty to a saint.

    "…Not quite respect, but. You've definitely piqued my curiosity."

    Those words seemed to bring Shirou relief. Gone was the smile of the saint, replaced by that of a youth.

    "Thank you. That was quite a relief; seems all of this was worth the effort."

    "One last question, though."

    Suddenly, Achilles was no longer holding the practice spear, but his real one—his favored ashwood and bronze spear.

    He gripped it straight, and Semiramis immediately looked wary. Whatever question Achilles was about to ask, the killings intent behind it was unmistakable. Should Shirou's answer to it be a lie… or if it was an answer the hero could not accept, Achilles would most likely pierce his heart right away.

    However, Shirou simply lightly gestured at Semiramis to stand down.

    "Yes?"

    "My Master, Amakusa Shirou Tokisada. …Did you not hate them?"

    "Hm. Hate who, exactly?"

    "Obviously, the one who killed you… and your followers."

    Achilles, via books within Shakespeare's library, had found out of the details about the origin, as well as the end, of Amakusa Shirou Tokisada.

    And of the thirty seven thousands people who had idolized the boy, and had died for him on a hellish battlefield—how much hatred and despair had that brought forth?

    "….Let me ask you this in return, then; would you have hated them?"

    "Damn straight I would've. Sure, you can say soldiers winning or losing is just how things are; still doesn't change the fact that an enemy's enemy. You'd hate enemies who killed your men, saint or not. To not even mention that you were furious enough, outrageously, to make a stand for them. …So if you say you don't feel any hate? That'd be a lie, alright."

    Achilles words was correct. It was… and thus, it brought forth a "poison".

    Should Shirou say he doesn't feel any hate, that'd be a lie. But should he admit that he does… then his claim of saving all of humanity would be the lie instead. And should he try to brush the matter off by claiming it as a matter of the past, thus posing no problem—should he try to pass the matter off lightly, well… Achilles would immediately pierce him with his spear.

    For such a man would not be saving humanity. He would simply save those who happen to be living in the present, here and now, and no more. To save humanity, in a literal sense—that would mean saving them entirely, no matter the place, no matter the time. Each and everyone of them.

    "—Once, I did hate them."

    Shirou, in front of him, did not waver his gaze.

    On them, there weren't a trace of madness, or the arrogance of the strong. His gaze were as transparent as they had always been.

    "Gods, men… I hated them all. Of course I did, Rider. Yes; once, I hated humanity. Not because I was killed. Not because those who followed me were slaughtered. No. I hated humanity itself for accepting it as part of history. Part of the system. I hated humanity, who continued growing by making the strong and the weak devouring each other, wasting life again and again."

    The self devouring snake that, rather than perfecting itself, would rather further into malignancy. A monster that continues growing by devouring its own tail. That is humanity.

    A life of a person is such a shining, precious thing, yet it is treated less than trash.

    What was considered important was to choose correctly. Beyond that, the decision became exceedingly simple.

    Out of ten, abandon one and choose the other nine—not even such a tragic option was considered correct. As long as one eventually becomes ten… as long as it's not zero… that was the whole point.

    Humanity would continue to multiply. Humanity would continue to grow. No matter how many grains of sand spilled and fell over, humanity was fated to eventually triumph.

    An individual's prayer… a single grief… fell only on deaf ears.

    "And so, I threw it away, Rider. I cut down my hatred towards humanity, in order to save them. Thus, I no longer hate them. I will save everyone in the world, no matter who they are. No matter what happens."

    What followed Shirou's words was only silence.

    Then, eventually, Achilles loosened his grip on his spear, as it returned to spiritual form and disappeared. And gone with it the tension in the air as well.

    "Hmm. Well, I guess I'll give that a passing mark."

    "—Get off your high horse, boy."

    Contrary to Achilles' complacent smile, Semiramis was glaring at him sharply. Once again tension rose in the air, and Shirou had to play the part in toning it down.

    "Well, Rider, now that we had staved off your boredom—I shall excuse myself and go check up on Caster in his study."

    Shirou said as he bowed and departed. Semiramis sent him off while still glaring at Achilles, barely containing her hostility.

    "Got business with me, empress?"

    "As a matter of fact, I do, you imbecile. Your query just now was unmistakably filled with killing intent, and—"

    "Obviously. He became my Master with no preamble, just like that, and I pretty much was clueless about the whole thing happening. If I am to serve him, than I've got to confirm some things."

    With a boisterous laugh, Rider picked up and rotated the practice spear. Upon seeing that, Semiramis laughed scornfully at him.

    "Hmph. Then you accepted him as your Master, after all that?"

    "Sure. I'm fine with it. It doesn't change what I am to do, either way. I still have the full intention on showing my pride of a Heroic Spirit."

    "What a boorish man you are."

    "Yes, yes, empress. Say what you want. Now that you're no longer all tense and strained, unlike when Master and I were having our talk, you sure can open your mouth, eh?"

    "Wha…!"

    Semiramis dismayed, parts of her eternally composed manner seemingly falling behind.

    "Let me guess; you think carelessly obstructing an earnest conversation between a Master and a Servant would've been a dishonor on his part, yet you were dead set on killing me even at the risk of falling into disgrace with him, should the need arise."

    "You—you bumbling buffoon…!"

    Perhaps out of embarrassment, Semiramis was no longer even facing Achilles. One could almost even see the flush of red rising on her cheeks. Upon seeing that, Rider—who had been one hundred percent convinced he struck center—simply let out another loud laugh.

    "Ah, the queen of ant, ever the mistress of scheme ceaselessly pursuing power. Yet unexpectedly even one such as her has her own sweet side. Heheh."

    Without hesitation, Semiramis fired a light bullet. Albeit in taunting, it was still powerful enough to gouge out the solid floor.

    But Achilles was not renowned as the world's fastest hero for nothing. He easily sidestepped the incoming projectile and nimbly moved away from Semiramis.

    "Well, keep getting along with our Master, then!"

    He then disappeared, seemingly returning to spirit form. Semiramis could force him out of it, if need be, as long as he was still within the Hanging Gardens. But it'd be a pointless endeavor.

    "…How irksome."

    Semiramis, upon saying that, immediately realized. There was no need for her to be angry to begin with. Being recognized as a sincere Servant would be beneficial for her.

    Shirou and Semiramis had contracted each other as a Master and a Servant. Yet their relationship is less that of a lord and retainer, and more that of an alliance supported by common interest.

    Shirou desired a way to transport the Greater Grail, and Semiramis desired to reign over the world as its empress. Up until now, neither of them had any reason to betray the other. Until Shirou had completely brought down the other Masters of Red faction, she had not been able to afford any form of betrayal.

    Now, however… From now on, it was a different story. While Shirou might be halfway towards his goal, he still required the Hanging Gardens in order to achieve his wish of saving humanity. She had an assurance that he would not betray her.

    On the other hand—the Greater Grail was a well that produced nearly inexhaustible amount of prana simply just by existing. Simply tampering with the Grail, even slightly, would possibly allow her to make use of the prana swirling within.

    Should Semiramis do exactly that, combined with the Hanging Gardens… there would be none capable of even matching her. Yes; Shirou, the Master, needed Semiramis, the Servant. Semiramis, on the other hand, did not need Shirou.

    "…Perhaps I am a fool myself."

    She did away with her fleeting thoughts. There was no merit in betraying Shirou currently. Neither of their interest conflicted with each other. The empress consented as such.

    The woman who ceaselessly pursued wealth and rank; who had betrayed others upon having what belonged to her stolen away.

    The boy who had brought about anger and despair upon having what belonged to him stolen away. Naturally, either had very different ways of life, and there was no need to question which was more correct.



    "Then, when our interests finally clash with each other… When our profiting from each other results only in equal harm… What would I do, I wonder?"



    For now, she had no answer. Semiramis sighed, and then began making her way towards the throne room. The throne which none were sitting upon. Be it the famed hero, or that buffoon of a scholar, or her Master.

    She was the sole empress, the one and true power here—yet even that felt terribly empty.
    Quote Originally Posted by mewarmo990 View Post
    you don't need to think about it that hard
    Quote Originally Posted by castor212 View Post
    I dont get it
    Quote Originally Posted by mewarmo990 View Post
    nothing makes sense

  2. #1642
    Thank goodness that you didn't drop it!
    And thanks again for the translation.

  3. #1643
    Translators Banzai! Castor Banzai!

  4. #1644
    Cats are awesome RCM9698's Avatar
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    Thanks for continuing the translation! I heard the final volume of Apo is really good.

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