Warning: The previous chapter underwent some serious editing, especially toward the end. I strongly advise people who saw the first version go back to reread it.

Disclaimer: I still own neither Blazblue nor Type-Moon.

With the distortion in reality caused by the monochrome blade coming to an end along with its target, the flame consumed itself and vanished from Archer's hands.

As for the victor, whatever satisfaction she felt was overcome by the sudden weariness that fell over her as she lowered down toward the ground and banished her armor.
To fight Lancer and Rider back-to-back was too much. She really wanted to do nothing more right now than to relax and kill everyone.


The incongruous thought caused her to straighten out as if someone had cracked a whip next to her ear..

Ah, but that was right after all. Everyone sinned, killed and stole, everyone deserved to die.


This was a joke, right? She could feel nothing but anger at how blatantly her thoughts were being intruded upon.

It wasn't a scalpel – going through a child's throat – but more of a sledgehamemr – shattering a father's skull – being applied to her thoughts. It was much less overwhelming than the last time, but it was still unmistakeable.

"Urgh. This is…Ouroboros' fangs?"

But the snake was still writhing inside the hotel…growing…

Everyone should die.

Without mercy or sadness or despair, without malice or hatred or joy. Killing so that they were killed.

The conduit for the feeling was not only the air, but a vanishing link similar to the one she had shared with her master– who would die, burning and screaming as his flesh melted.

As she was reached out to silence the source of the foreign thoughts, she gasped as something fell upon her shoulders.

The pressure that could normally have been overcome felt like the weight of the world to her tired body and her legs gave out as she kneeled on the floor, unable to stand.

Something was coming; something that she mustn't hear right now, something that she shouldn't see at this time.

No…not right now. She didn't want to receive someone else's opinion. This world, she wanted to see herself!

Destroy the world for giving birth to the curse.
Kill the people for wishing for the curse.
Curse and give birth to the curse..

The curse is

The girl hid herself as the world turned black.

Waver had seen it, but he didn't understand what had actually happened.

The sword used by Archer had defeated Rider, that much he knew even though the lightning had prevented him from seeing the end clearly.

However, his incomprehension came from what had occurred after the Servant had returned to the ground.

Because at that moment, a darkness had begun to emerge from the Hyatt hotel.

No, not darkness. A light blacker than the night's shadows was what spilled into the streets, swallowing ground and Servant alike.

From his higher and relatively safe vantage point, he could only watch as the magical energy – for it could be nothing else – spread around the hotel.

What was that? Some kind of magecraft that he had never heard of?

And what did it mean for the Holy Grail? He had lost, but the winner at least should have received their reward. Rider would have wanted it that way.

The thought that someone had undone all of their effort caused his fists to clench in anger.

Burnt and broken, the body of Kayneth El-Melloi collapsed through the wall into the room containing the Holy Grail's vessel. Even at a glance, Kiritsugu could tell that it was over for the man; concentional healing magecraft wouldn't be able to repair the damage in time. Not that anyone present had any intention of helping him in the first place.

Shaking from head to toe, the aristocrat barely managed to raise his head toward the people that had killed him.
The hatred in his bloodshot green eyes burned so brightly that Kiritsugu doubted he could even make the difference between the two of them.

His lips moved, but the only sound they could produce was a death rattle. In that state, even an exemplary magus like him could not use magecraft.

But the painful rasp that came from his throat that was enough.

The hatred that he felt as his glory was stained with mud, the rage that boiled inside him as he failed to seize his prize and the despair as death closed in. The gathering of emotions at the time of death became nourishment, and what feasted on it was the serpent that had nested in his body.

What rose from the corpse-to-be was no longer a chain, but snake that bore its fangs at those who would receive that curse.

Reacting with instincts born of wandering countless battlefields, Emiya Kiritsugu deftly rolled out of the way of the springing snake. Tohsaka Tokiomi, who had put his all into his previous acts of magecraft, received it fully and collapsed like a puppet whose strings had been cut as his chest was pierced by the snake's fangs.
And yet without finishing it's gruesome work, the snake vanished back into the body of Kayneth El-Melloi.

Incredulous, Kiritsugu prepared himself for a second attack that never came. With the return of his weapon, Kayneth collapsed completely, his eyes dull and unfocused.

Having expanded the last of his life, Lord El-Melloi passed away.

However, his death in no way dimished the imprint that his final moments had left. Hatred, malice, those feelings would linger long after their origin had vanished, and if they were strong enough they would go so far as to influence the physical world. In time, that imprint would call to its kin and gather, becoming stronger, each new feeling bringing with it greater suffering to those left behind .

The original form of a curse, as old as humanity itself.

In response to those feelings, the Lesser Grail that had been dormant in the room began to awaken.
Not as the omnipotent wish-granting device, but as the recipient that had once gathered the feelings of a world.

As though it was boiling, the corpse of Kayneth El-Melloi began to melt into a black substance from which countless snakes emerged, growing and spinning madly around their source and the Holy Grail's vessel.

It was a completely unexpected event for Kiristugu Emiya, such that he paid no heed to the pained gasps of Tokiomi.

Evidently, something had changed in a manner that he had never seen before; it didn't matter if it was a function of the mysterious weapon or some final magecraft of El-Melloi, all that mattered was that he had to find a way to stop it before it reached completion.
Even if he couldn't recognize the process, the utter malice that came from the swirling black snakes was enough to convince him of that.

But what could he do? Bullets wouldn't affect such a thing, he was out of grenades and his body had already endured severe strain from the repeated use of Time Alter.
Even more worrying, he could no longer feel the link with Archer; if he were to remove his gloves, he suspected the Command Seals would have faded. This wasn't merely a setback anymore, it seemed the Holy Grail ritual itself had been affected. The mere thought of it made his teeth grind against each others.

In the mere moments that he spent contemplating his situation, the maelstrom of hatred grew further. The swirl of the black snakes obscured his view of the rest of the room, and he could feel a growing power as a black fog began to spread from it.


He may not be fully understand what was happening, but he knew danger when he saw it. It was unfortunate, but he would have to retreat and find a way to deal with it from the outside.

As if sensing his intent, the black mist expanded in all directions, rapidly filling the hallways. Yet the curse that swallowed the building's top floors in seconds could not reach Emiya Kiritsugu and Tohsaka Tokiomi.

The cause was a cross-like hilt that planted itself in the ground before them, and a weak voice that nonetheless resonated with fervor.

"Be merciful. Spare us, O Lord.
Be merciful. Graciously hear us, O Lord.
From all evils, deliver us."

The priest that appeared at that time had no more right to be alive than the corpse that had been devoured by the snakes. His clothes were torn all over and blood flowed freely from multiple wounds to his torso, the flesh on his arms appeared to have been ripped off at points and his left leg dragged uselessly on the floor.
And yet the priest did not halt his prayers, nor did he drop the suitcase that he had dragged all the way.

"From Your wrath, deliver us.
From the snares of the devil, deliver us…"

The holy words seemed puny in front of the black wave that was spread by the snakes. What use was prayer against a curse such that it became visible?
Was it because of the priest's unwavering spirit or a particularity of his status? Whatever the case, the evil that had infected the city could not break through the words of the Executor and merely raged uselessly against the limitation marked by the Key of Providence.

But the thing that Kiritsugu focused on was not the power of the chant, nor the near-miracle of the priest's endurance. Rather, he focused on the case that the priest set down between them.
He recognized it quite well, as it was part of the special equipment that he had prepared in advance for the Holy Grail War that Assassin had deprived him of. More precisely, it contained some of the powerful explosives that he had prepared to destroy the very hotel that they were standing in.

He could easily guess as to why Kotomine Kirei had carried it this far. "If we cannot win the present battle, then we must at least prevent others from doing so by destroying the Lesser Grail.", that was the kind of thinking that could be expected from the magus families that planned through generations.

More importantly, it meant that they now had a way to stop the onslaught.

However, in order to be certain of success, it would be necessary for the explosives to be close to the target. Kiritsugu, who had experienced the defensive power of the snakes when they were still a chain, understood this immediately.

A single look at the praying priest was sufficient to know why he had let go of the explosives; even a man of his determination couldn't hope to avoid the snakes' bites while in his state. As well, he could not cease his fervent chanting or they would be struck by black mist at once.

Tokiomi, for his part, appeared to still be blind to the world. Whatever had happened to him was unaffected by the holy words and besides he lacked the ability for movements as swift as they required to begin with.

The only one who could stop this, the only one who could act, was Kiritsugu himself.

A voice inside his heart cried out at the thought of destroying the Grail, but he silenced it mercilessly. This was how he had always led his life. If it hadn't already, the curse would spread to the town outside and to the people that lived there. In order to stop the disaster that would affect hundreds or thousands, only Kiritsugu's life was required.
The calculation that had dictated his every action until now had turned against him, that was all it was.

The only regret he felt was for the ones that he would fail by following that path.

Irisviel, I am sorry. I could not honor your sacrifice.

But you will not be alone.

Reaching down, he opened the case and retrieved the trigger that was inside. A quick inspection revealed that the explosive was properly prepared.

Next to him the chanting was temporarily interrupted by a pained gasp as Kirei fell on his knees, but it started again with even greater vigor. For a brief moment as he glanced to make sure all was well, he allowed himself to admire the training that the man must have undergone.
When his eyes crossed those of his former enemy turned ally, he found himself unable to comprehend the sheer intensity with which the priest observed his movements.

But it made no difference, his choice had already been made.

Rising to his feet, he held on tight to the detonator that would end everything and walked to the edge of the circle protected by the priest.

Past that point, just out of reach, lied the swarm that protected the Holy Grail.

"Time Alter."

In his mind's eye, the young girl's smile turned to tears as her father turned his back on her for the last time.

"Triple Accel."

As he began his life's final charge he felt the muscles in his legs scream out, but his mind refused to acknowledge the pain.
What he had already abandoned by taking that first step was a thousand times more painful.

As one, dozens of snakes rose and fell on the fool who fed himself to the curse.

He dashed to the left, kicking off of the first to reach him to jump above the next. The sound of crushed muscles told him he wouldn't be able to take another step.
With his intact right leg, he used the snake that tried to bite him from behind to propel himself forward.

When he struck the ground and destroyed his left shoulder, he knew more than felt that half a dozen snakes had bitten his legs.

It didn't matter.

Just slightly out of reach lied the source of the danger that threatened the world.

With his one remaining arm, he threw his precious cargo toward it even as he pressed the button that would seal the end.

Emiya Kiritsugu faded into light.