Fists raised, charging recklessly into the fray, headed straight for the wall of muscle that was my now-corrupted friend, I began the fight.
I suppose this is the reason that being a magus-for-hire was my first choice for a profession when I killed off my family. The act of killing them itself, the act of fighting them as they tried to resist my attacks, discovering ways and means in which to defeat them, and losing myself in the challenge. The simple decision, the one challenge with the most dangerous and intricate steps but the most obvious answer.
Do you want to live? Yes or no. Clearly the answer is yes.
To live you must kill this opponent, or at least defeat him. Are you willing to stake your life on this? Yes or no. Clearly, again, the answer is yes.
But then comes the ultimate challenge of combat, the most intricate and thought-requiring part of the whole thing, and what makes it truly interesting.
How, exactly, will you defeat your enemy? You, who has very little experience in hand to hand combat, are taking on an extremely muscular, agile, and highly-trained Executor who, on top of that, has been put on odo steroids by the dark powers you are trying to kill. In addition, you not only feel like crap but also are both physically and mentally exhausted. Add in that no repetitions come to mind right now, and the odds are basically telling you that you lose.
Again, I will ask the question. How do you defeat your enemy?
And this is my answer. First, that the enemy is not the opponent in front of me. The priest was innocent, and in no way will I hurt him, even after death. The charging into battle, the denial, all of it cleared my head to think only of victory. As I rushed towards him, my mind began to work again, immediately presenting me with the following.
My research into the Fuyuki Grail War had given me three last vital pieces of information.
One, that it had not been the doing of the orange-haired one currently sharing in the Fuyuki guardianship that had ended the last War. It had been the sacrifice of the vessel, the performing of the Third Sorcery.
Two, That Lord El-Melloi II, after the conclusion of the last War, had come back to completely disable the magic circle and stop the cycle of Holy Grail Wars. Both of them held the keys to restoring the reality we thought was.
Three, that there had been one of the participants who had contracted with the darkness within the Grail itself, using its power for her own ends.
The plan was as simple as it was stupid. The plan was, simply, to repeat it all.
It was stupid because it was known that sorceries are difficult to create, and repeating them would be even more difficult, much more so because I know nothing of the magecraft involved, for both facts. It would take up an immense amount of prana, more than I could ever imagine, more than anything ever done today.
It would be simple because my repetition is a concept. Simply put, the world cannot refuse me. However, this also means that it will happen, whatever the cost. To actually perform the thing right now would mean that I would probably have to suck the prana out from the whole city, inhabitants, wildlife, ground and all. That was exactly what I wanted to avoid.
There was only one thing to do. Changing course, I snapped off of my charging direction and directly into the black mud. It loomed large in front of me as I fell towards it, attempting to brace myself for the torture I knew would come.
"Attempting" was an understatement. Whatever mental processes I had, save one, were immediately hijacked by the curse of such utter horror that I felt everything erode. It was as if I was being torn apart by metal grinders, mind, body, and soul alike.
My body no longer exists. My brain no longer exists. It is only the one, single-minded determined thought and my jaded nature that keeps me alive. It is only the unswerving determination that has allowed me to use repetition and impose my will upon the world that allows me to pull off this one last attack.
"Contract with me, spirit of the Grail!" I yelled, and so it did. "I possess your wish, and it is I who shall bring you forth!"
Without hesitation it flooded me, somewhat easing the burden upon myself, after it was forced to accept the terms of the Master-Servant contract. I knew that as soon as the contract was final and the Command Spells appeared on what was left of my left hand, if anything, it would use our symbiotic link to bypass any and all thoughts I had and impose its will.
It was shoddy. It was haphazard. But it was also the most important repetition of my whole life.
Is failure an option? Yes or no.
Of course not.
"Event Repetition: Destruction of the Grail!"
I regret killing you, Kouhei. It was a dumb and rash decision, and I suppose this wouldn't be quite so bad if I didn't do so. It's too late now, though.
So I hope you don't mind if I make the best of this bad situation.
Right after I let loose those words, the darkness consumed my thoughts. The Repeater no longer existed.
At least, in that world, which continued to exist long after he was gone.
Record of the Eternal Warrior.
#1: The Repeater.
The tale of my first and most loyal warrior shall ever be one of my favourite reads. He stands with me now, first of what is to be an eternal army, a set of "firemen" if you will, to deal with the pressing crises that threaten the universe. We're not talking about "world-breakers" or "star-shatterers" or even "intergalactic extinction", no, none of that. We go against that which could end the universe itself.
We are of a new breed, unlike those who keep the Death Record, yet we are from them.
Instead of merely listening to the stories and allowing the local inhabitants of the world to deal with their own problems, we strike.
From the shadows we save, from the aether we come and it is to there we return. Soldiers of existence, we travel unknown and unknowable, ending all that would end the existence.
This is the Record of the Eternal Warrior. I am the first, and he who archives their stories and leads them into battle, whenever the opportunity arises.
My name is Xylouris Trigger. Although I will never be recognized, I will sear the memory of my deeds into the world itself.
We are many times over saviours, but never heroes.
I closed the book and put it on the shelf next to me. Inside my mansion-headquarters, which I had decided to call Villa ex Machina, after an old expression involving saving someone through unexpected means, there were hundreds of rooms, ready to house warriors who would save the world.
None of us, not even I, knew how we got here or why. But we all had something we wanted to do and something we have to make up for, and that will propels us even in death.
We are aberrations who should not exist. Created by the will of the once-living, we return to fight and save. Such is our truth.
I walked out to meet The Repeater. There is a lot more to knowing a person than knowing their backstory.