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Corrupted Love

Chapter Text

Gilgamesh came to take Saber to Emiya's house, Arturia suffered a defeat and the king kidnapped her in front of her companions. Without waiting, Gilgamesh takes Arturia in front of the remains of the Grail of the 4th War. Weak after her defeat, she can not free herself from Gilgamesh and finds herself plowed into the dark mud of the Grail against her will. Immediately, corruption and curses attack her body, her vulnerable will. Darkness attacks her conscience and her heart becomes dark.

(For those who do not know this end : https://youtu.be/uY0ucEdDQpY?t=369)

-

« I'll show you my love until I grow tired of you, woman. Until then, let us enjoy the pains and joys of life as we please. »

These are the last words of Gilgamesh before she is totally in the mud, unconscious, lost in nothingness.

It was dark, there was nothing. The feeling of swimming in a vacuum and sinking little by little into the unknown depths of this strange ocean. Arturia was a light among the darkness, floating little by little, farther and farther into the darkness. Alone in this big space.

She allowed her body to be carried by an invisible current, the misty mind, lost in her consciousness. She did not know what was going on around her. All she really was aware of was that she had suffered a defeat. Lost ... against ... whom? She couldn't remember. All she knew was that she had lost and she was floating in the strange void.

She opened her eyes with difficulty ... The first thing she saw was a big halo of light, far above her, shining like an eclipse, illuminating the night. She realized at that moment that it was the Holy Grail, dominating the place and she was within it.

She remembers her purpose, her desire, her vow to obtain the Holy Grail. She then began to move, swimming against the current to rise to the surface, to obtain the Holy Grail. She held out her hand, hopeful, aware that he was right there, not far from her.

Drawing on her last strength, she tries to return to the treasure she was looking for.

"Do not touch that object ..." suddenly said a voice in the distance.

But she does not listen, she was full of dreams and envy. She wanted to fulfill her wish.

« It’s the Holy Grail... » Saber answered, happy to see it. « I must... I must using... I must using that for... »

She could not finish her sentence, concentrating on her swimming toward the surface as she descended deeper and deeper into the darkness.

« I told you... Do not touch that object... » Repeated the voice in the darkness.

A pale hand from nowhere grabbed Arturia's shoulder to hold her gently, preventing Arturia from moving forward. The King of Knights, surprised, became angry and turned furiously towards the person behind her.

« Just Who you are ? Why are you getting in my way ?! »

Facing herself, she took a moment to realize who was there in front of her. Arturia was shocked, they were both identical and different. Both were floating in this void, face to face.

« Who ? You ask ? » her double answered with a small confident smile. Her arms move out to Arturia. « Somthing like that... Just see and you can know, right ? »

Her double smiles at her, watching her with her golden eyes, empty, as if they had lost their humanity.

Arturia saw herself. They resembled each other perfectly, but her double with the hair and skin paler than his. And her double was dressed in black.

« you... you can't be... »

Arturia was terrified by what she saw. To see herself was disturbing and strange. But she was no stranger to her. She knew her double, she had already seen... she knew her origin ... Camlan.

« I'm what you are. I am you and you are me, Arturia. I am Arturia Pendragon. »

She was right, she was indeed her. She was her reflection, her dark side that she never wanted to confess.

« No... back from where you come from ! » Answered Arturia, wanting to get away from her double.

Her reflection gently mocked her, smiling at her with sympathy.

« I come from you. I have always been présent. I am the King of Knight ! The king who should have ruled his country with determination and power. I am your black feelings... Your true desire. »

Arturia was more and more terrified that she was really in front of herself. It was her darkest feelings, her feelings that she had always repressed for living with chasteter. Her double is what she most expressed when she died in Camlan.

She could not accept it ... she ... she refused to admit that she had ever felt such a thing.

Her double approached her, caressing her cheek with gentleness and protection.

« Don't Worry, it will be okay. You're tired of always fighting. I will fight for you. I will protect you. I will protect your light. You will be my light in my darkness. You will not disappear. »

Arturia shivered at the touch of her double. She was scared, afraid of what she was capable of doing.

« No ! I can't... I can't give in... If I give in, I'll... Everything that I am will cease to exist. »

The King of Knights begins to shed tears of anguish. She did not want ... she could not. Arturia was so exhausted to have fought bravely for her ideals ... but she could not give in, not now.

« Huuuuuuush... »

Her reflection approaching her, she wiped her tears and came to hug her gently.

« Everything you built will not go away. On the contrary, I well be your sword. I will be the one who will save you. Sleep Arturia. Let me do. Rest in me... »

Arturia was crying more. If she had been stronger, her reflection would never have existed ... she would never have needed to exist.

« No... no, I must not... » Clenching her fingers on the body of her reflection.

Her double smiled warmly before coming to put her forehead against her.

« Enough, it’s time to rest. Sleep inside of me. »

Arturia's face twisted in frustration. She was angry, but she felt so weak. The tears continue to flow in front of her impotence.

« Close your eyes ... »

His eyelids become heavier. Her weak will was unbearable. She could not fight against herself. She finally closed her eyes, crying in the arms of her reflection.

Her reflection hugged her warmly as if she were a child and stroked her hair.

Arturia’s body began to glow, turning her being into particles and merged with her other self.

The reflection placed her hands on her chest, still smiling warmly and closed her eyes to feel Arturia's presence in her.

« You didn't disappear. You are me and I am you. You will be my guide and I will show you the way!. We are Arturia Pendragon, the King of Knights. »

The reflection opened eyes and looked towards the surface. The halo of light was still present, much smaller than last time.

The new Arturia resumed a neutral expression. With determination she headed towards the surface.. to escape the dark prison.

Chapter Text

Gilgamesh was standing before the dark matter of the Grail. The filthy mud whose colors and the texture was particularly repugnant to him. He crossed his arms and, he waited for the corruption and the curse of the Grail to do his work on Saber. He did not know what state his future wife will be, but he was certain that she could not resist corruption as he had in the past. He knew he was the only one in the world able to withstand such power.

He was at the old theater, which was now in ruins as a result of the 4th Holy Grail War. The remains of the previous summoning rested at the very bottom and had been closed off from the public ever since. The roof was for the most part on the brink of collapse. It was a miracle in itself that it did not give way in the last ten years. Despite its poor state, the building still stood tall.

The black mud began to show odd signs of turbulence, clearly revealing that something was about to emerge. A satisfied smile appeared on Gilgamesh's face, he was finally going to see the result of his work.

The tip of a black blade emerged from the mud. Unlike the usual Sword of Victory, a dark and demonic aura emanated from it. The Golden King observed it with unease, perceiving the red symbols adorning the weapon. But before he could comprehend the motion of the strange sword breaking out of the muck, it striked down furiously in his direction, all of the dark energy oozing from it surged against him. Like the strike of a whip, a burning fire cutting all in its path, immolating everything getting in contact with it.

Gilgamesh stepped aside just in time, not yet realizing that he had just evaded a fatal blow. A sense of déjà-vu crossed his mind, the remembrance of a purifying light able to destroy even the most sturdy of fortresses. But this one, in contrary, was defiled, a curse followed by darkness.

The King of Heroes had leapt several meters to the side. He blinked in quick succession, still surprised and furious to be attacked in this way. The havoc caused by this assault was astounding. Cut in half, the ceiling and the front of the building were now letting the rising sunlight inside, which drew a path to the black mud. Bearing the stigmata of the blow they had sustained, the stone and the wood were getting gnawed by the purplish aura that kept on burning them.

The Golden King, who was watching the carnage, saw motion in the corner of his eye and diverted his vigilance. Something light was getting out of the black mass. Turning his head to see it, he noticed the presence of a naked woman, standing proudly on both her legs. This vision was of true beauty and this body could belong to none other than Arturia herself.

She was standing up, straight, completely inexpressive, holding firmly a black sword with a crimson pattern, which infernal energy was fading away. Her body was all but naked, bathing in the morning glow, showing how much different she seemed. Falling on her shoulders and chest, rippling on her skin, her untied hair was paler than before... but what caught Gilgamesh’s interest, in this magnificent vision, were her golden eyes, seemingly void of any humanity.

The King of Heroes faced her, continuing to observe with an appreciative and satisfied look. He knew that the influence of the Grail on Saber would transform her, he was unaware of the true consequences that it had on the young woman, what was certain was that she was here, with a real body, emitting an aura akin to his own when he had obtained it.

He was going to reach out to her when she began to move in order to get away. She did not pay the King of Heroes any heed and instinctively headed towards the opening she created a moment ago as if she was guided by the morning light.

« Well, well...where do you think you are going, Saber? Do not think that I will let your attack upon me go unpunished… », he said, as he began to walk towards her.

But his words seemed to fall upon deaf ears, as if he was not even there. Frustration began to get a hold of Gilgamesh. Eyebrows furrowed, he approached her at an intimidating pace. He was certainly not going to let a woman put him aside, especially if she was destined to be his wife.

« Ignoring your King is punishable by death, bow before me, Saber ! »

When he was close enough to grab her arm, the dark blade again produced a purplish and black energy. Arturia finally set her golden eyes upon him, her ice cold gaze looked at the man as if he was nothing. She brandished her weapon, then put enough momentum into it to fling the demonic energy towards the King.

Gilgamesh saw this coming and barely had the time to open his Gate of Babylon before she struck horizontally him with her sword. The black power, in a lesser concentration after the first strike, violently collided with Gilgamesh And split the wall behind him in half.

The King of Heroes protected himself with a weapon to parry the blow. But the shockwave pushed him backward, making him slide dangerously under the now feeble structure of the building.

The dark energy disappeared, the roof collapsed on him.

Using her sword did not stop Arturia however. She kept on walking, returning her attention forward. She easily walked upon the rubbles, ignoring the roof falling down on Gilgamesh due to her attack. The King of Knights stepped forward towards the exit she had created, which peered into the outside world.

A cold breeze caressed her naked body, which made her shiver in return. The feeling reminded her of her new condition. The young woman looked down to observe herself, her flesh was born anew. Focusing her mana, she materialized a part of her clothes... a graceful black dress, boots with heels and a jacket on her shoulders. After she dematerialized her blade, a black ribbon appeared in her hand instead.

Arturia returned to her walk in a direction she chose randomly, her hands beginning to groom her hair. She ventured outside of the domain quickly rejoining the streets of Fuyuki, her gaze fixed upon the horizon.

-

Gilgamesh suddenly extricated himself from the rubbles that fell upon him. He was seething with anger.

« How dare she ?! I am the king of all that exists… If I must subjugate her through pain, so be it ! »

After he took a moment to finish getting rid of the stones, he stood up, dusting himself in a swift motion to recover his splendor.

He took a look at his surroundings, searching for Arturia, and found that she was not there anymore. He reached the outside through the same way she had went through a moment before, hoping to run into her before she got lost in Fuyuki, but to no avail.

Gilgamesh had an angered grin. He did not know in which direction she could have gone and running left and right to find her was out of the question.

The King of Heroes removed his golden armor to return to a more modern outfit, wearing a white shirt, a jacket and a black jean.

« Alright Saber… Know that I will find you again and I will finish what I started. You are mine until your last breath… »

A sadistic smile showed upon his face, frustrated as he was by his failure.

Chapter Text

The doors of the church opened wide and Gilgamesh stepped in irreverently, disrespectful even, bringing the daylight inside this dark place.

The exhaustion from this night was taking its toll : the attempts were useless, the results disappointing... Frustration was still here. A crooked smile spread across his displeased face.

He walked to the nearest wooden bench at his disposal and flopped on it in order to ease his aching limbs. Having a real body had its benefits...but also its drawbacks. Regrets for not being a spirit crossed his thoughts, but were swiftly brushed off by the vision of the blonde head which weighed on his mind. His lost Belle he barely even seized.

Relaxing on the uncomfortable bench, his head leaned back accompanied by a weary sigh. His carmine eyes staring at the roof with disinterest, even if it was covered in splendid religious paintings. The cogs of his thoughts were grinding at high speed, leaving him no room to empty his mind.

Scenes from the last hours were haunting him and he couldn’t stop himself from analyzing each and every single details to get different conclusions from them.

But the result was obvious : He did not anticipate the effects of the Grail.

His chest began to quiver has he was silently laughing. His hand gently settled on his face, letting the rest of his blonde hair falling backward.

Suddenly, he laughed hysterically, letting his contrariety out and the irony of the situation speak out.

He was fooled beautifully, vanquished by his own longing, he had lost control over the situation. Still...everything had taken quite an interesting path. So interesting that he was feeling excitement from the challenge ahead and impatience... all that he could adore.

He laughed so much that his abdomen hurt for a moment and he let out a contented sigh as he settled down, running his hand across his face one last time before letting it slide to the bench.

« If I was still in my old era, I would say the gods were still daring to make me their plaything... » He commented.

He threw his other arm in the air, briefly opening his hand. A halo of golden light loomed above it, slowly letting a cup of gold filled with wine which he gently grabbed. The light faded when he pulled the cup down to his chest.

The King of Heroes straightened up his head and admired the liquid inside, making it twirl inside it’s vessel. The red of the wine was contrasting with the golden metal, and the daylight accentuated their colors through reflections of the light.

Gilgamesh crossed his legs and put his free arm behind the back of the bench, resting his face in the palm of his hand.

« Saber… No… I shall call you by your real name in due time.» He smiled at this thought. « Whatever your future actions may be, I am looking forward to what the Grail has made of you»

He gloated at this thought and a sarcastic grin crept upon his face until he decided to take a sip of his delicious nectar.

The gloomy silence of the church was soothing and, despite the discomfort of the place, Gilgamesh always liked to spend some time in there, sometimes talking with Kirei about diverse subjects that revealed the true facets of the Priest. It was ironic to see how much this man of God was in truth an envoy from the depths of hell.

Finally, his thoughts were emptying and serene, reveling in the fruity and sweet taste in his mouth. The presence of familiar mana entering the scene caught his attention, however.

« You're alone? » Resounded the deep voice that the Golden King recognized immediately.

Slightly opening his eyes, the King of heroes looked upon the man standing not far from him, still clad in the spiritual set he was usually in, showing a cold and calculating look as their gaze crossed.

The blond blinked, drinking one last gulp before answering to the priest with a disdainful smile.

« The opposite should come before long.» He replied briefly, with a slightly arrogant and confident tone.

The dark-haired man tilted his head to the side, curious, stepping closer.

« Oh? Your actions of tonight, will they have repercussions on this war, Gilgamesh? Should I be expecting complications from Her?.» Asked the man with black eyes, speaking of Arturia.

His disdained smile changed into an amused one upon hearing the question that he found somewhat stupid.

«All I can say is, Kotomine, that you can cross Saber off the list of the Servants.»

Closing his eyes, the priest slightly lowered his head.

« I see.»

He then began to walk towards the church’s doors, still wide open, upon the path of light the Sun was offering him.

« The war now only count six servants. The elimination of the competitors finally begins.»

He grabbed the handles of the doors, pulling them in a loud creaking, under the watchful gaze of Gilgamesh.

« What are you going to do now… Emiya Shirou » The priest expressed his thoughts out loud before the doors closed on him under the sound of metal and wood.

Chapter Text

Who was she?

The surprised but mostly incredulous looks were focused on her, drawn to her presence and unusual attire she was admirably sporting. Curiosity, worry and especially dread were experienced by everyone she came across. All stood clear of her path, surrounded as she was by a wicked aura.

A goth?

A lady on her left, keeping her child close to her, watched her carefully. She didn't know what to feel about this little blonde woman clad in black. She wasn't hostile by any means, however she knew she had to be wary of her. Furthermore, she couldn't help but find her both graceful and attractive. The mother soon took her child by the hand to step up the pace.

A cosplayer?

But what was most unsettling for them were her golden eyes. Her irises without a semblance of life. When one of them caught her gaze, they looked away, trying to get out of her sight as quickly as possible. Still, she wasn't interested in them...they were non-existent.

Was she even human?

A simple cat, basking lazily in the sun, suddenly raised its head up, its irises narrowing when it caught sight of her. Getting up with a start, it hissed and growled in her direction, its fur raised on its back, before swiftly fleeing away as to get as far as possible from her.

Yet still, she gave them no mind.

-

Arturia kept on walking. Her steps echoed in the streets as if she was in a vast empty room, alone in a dark space.

She avoided the crowded places, calmly progressing forward, following a red line she alone could see. Moreover, she wasn't really aware of what was around her, like she was confined in a soundproof bubble.

The working of her thoughts was chaotic. Multiple things crossed her mind; tonight's events, Gilgamesh's revelations, the faces of Rin and Shirou before disappearing, the time spent in the mud, her resolve sheltered in her heart... But mostly memories appearing like flashes like she was struck by a whip. Informations imprinted in her with red hot iron, puzzling wounds of unknown origin, a pain still sharp. It was giving her a headache.

Infinite and sterile landscapes.

A desert?

Lifeless and ruined cities.

The aftermath of a war?

Battles for survival.

Famine?

The sun scorching the earth and the flesh, hunger, thirst... Death

Extinction...

Visions of horror that weren't disturbing to her in the slightest, but she knew they were dangerous. Informations she didn't know the meaning of yet and what to do with them. A dream? A vision? Another reality? Something the Grail offered to her before her awakening.

Her thoughts were troubled. It was neither impossible to analyze her situation in her current state, nor decide what she would do. She had to wait for the flow of her mind to ease up...

Her face was still perfectly inexpressive despite her terrible headache as she simply kept on walking in silence. She still hadn't said a single word. All of a sudden, she realized she arrived at a crossroad she knew.

Two paths stood before her. One could lead her to the school of her old master and the unexplored corners of Fuyuki...the other led to Emya's estate she was forced to leave last night.

Taking in consideration her options, she knew at this moment that her choice would be final. Her golden gaze swept across the two streets in front of her.

Yet her choice did not make her wait for long.

Looking towards the estate, she blinked, watching it with what surely could have doubt. But she turned her back on it, giving up on her old refuge without an ounce of regret.

-

Finally, she ended up on the beach...a shore she had been to ten years ago.

Iris...

The memories of the white haired woman made her heart ache, she missed her immensely and some of the Fourth War's events washed over mind, taking over the chaotic thoughts previously swarming her.

Her rancor against Kiritsugu, the surprising yet humiliating marriage proposal of Archer, her eternal friendship with Irisviel, the dishonorable suicide forced upon a knight, her guilt regarding Lancelot, the harshness of Iskandar during their reign, the horrible Caster... The result of this absurd war she had lost...

The Great-Britain she would never save...

The sound of the waves, wind and seagulls ruled the scene. The salted wind made her hair and dress move in a dance of its own making.

The afternoon had went on and the sun was still high the sky... How many hours went by since she had this body ?

Finally paying attention to it, she realized her body felt weak having walked for so long. She noted that her body wasn't tough, her legs requiring a bit of rest. Arturia felt like she was a newborn.

In the corner of her eye, she found a little wall she could sit on. As she approached, her vile aura made the seagulls that were there a moment ago flee in a panic. She sat down in silence, laying her sight upon the seas and the sky's reflections on the dancing sea.

The scenery was soothing and its sounds were like a lullaby allowing her to appease her thoughts and think clearly again.

The Grail had offered her a vision ? Gilgamesh's revelations about his intentions and the real nature of the Grail before her captured encouraged her to revise her option. Furthermore, now possessing a real body gave her new perspectives ; the King of Knights could live in the present.

The possibilities offered to her were numerous. Yet her memories and new knowledge reduced her choices...especially her convictions.

It was true that she could leave Fuyuki, begin a new life with this body. But the actions of Gilgamesh would then be an obstacle. She could decide to stop the King of Heroes, killing him and destroy the Grail again. But the vision was preoccupying, she ignored if the origin was the King's work or a prediction of a fixed fate. Finally, she could as well decide to end her life, returning alone on the hill of Camlann... But what more could it bring except waiting eternally for death ?

No, if she was in this situation it was because she had to do something. Her vow to save Great-Britain was now impossible, the past inaccessible. Only the present and future mattered now. She had to act...

Staying seated in silence, looking at the landscape, she did not enjoy its beauty. Her gaze was blurred by the darkness of her thought. In an inner struggle with herself, she spent long minutes motionless, only blinking from time to time. She was putting some order back into her mind and analyzing all her options to choose the best outcome.

A spark of ingenuity transpired in her eyes, widening her eyelid before closing them firmly.

« Caster... » She said, speaking for the first time since she had this body.

She opened her eyes and laid them upon the mountain on which stood Fuyuki's Temple, recalling a conversation she had with Shirou and Rin the past day.