PHILIA VON EINZBERNApartment, Innere Stadt, Vienna
Lugal-e ud me-lám-bi nir-ğál.
Every line of the poem was known to her. The epic that told the tale of Ninurta's exploits, of the great Assyrian hero-king's victory over the terrible demon Asag. The warrior with unparalleled strength and might from a time when the Age of the Gods had still yet to end. That was the Heroic Spirit she determined would possess one of the highest probabilities of bringing about success in this aberrant Heaven's Feel ritual. And the catalyst she had acquired to summon him was the tablet sat on the altar before her, a fragment of a clay tablet found in the ruins of Nineveh. It was a tiny thing, almost unidentifiable amongst mere rubble.
You, Antelope of Heaven, must trample the Mountains beneath your hooves, Ninurta, Lord, son of Enlil ...
Yet one difference was present in the fragment. Cuneiform script had been marked into its surface, and the Akkadian words that it had preserved on its surface for many millennia was immediately recognisable.
Lugal-e ud me-lám-bi nir-ğál.
Once, in ancient ages, the complete fragment had told the tale of Ninurta in its entirety.
The original owner of the catalyst had claimed that it was one of the oldest fragments to have been discovered in Mesopotamia. However, whether or not it truly hailed from the Age of the Gods was unknown to both of them. There was a risk to its use as a catalyst for the summoning ritual, but Philia had not been given a suitable timeframe to prepare one that possessed a greater probability of success. Thus, she considered the risk to be acceptable.
Even if the great Ninurta failed to manifest, the possibility of another Servant related to the catalyst appearing was still incredibly high, simply based on the age of the artefact. Her contingencies for such an occurrence were not entirely foolproof, however, so her goal of summoning the hero-king was still the most optimal.
The clock ticked quietly in the darkness of her apartment.
It was time to begin the ritual.
In the pale moonlight, Philia von Einzbern engraved her circle. She admired her handiwork, checking for mistakes that would reduce the success rate of her summoning. There were none. She moved onto the next step.
Ye first, O silver, O iron.
O stone of the foundation, O Archduke of the Contract.
Hear me in the name of our great teacher, the Archmagus Schweinorg.
Let the descending winds be as a wall.
Let the gates in all directions be shut, rising above the crown, and let the three-forked roads to the Kingdom revolve.
Red liquid flowed rapidly through the grooves in the floor. The powerful lifeblood of an Einzbern homunculus, drawn from her own veins over the course of a week, filled the carving full, taking on the form of the summoning circle. Philia watched impassively as it completed itself. She moved onto the next step.
Shut. Shut. Shut. Shut. Shut.
Five perfections for each repetition.
And now, let the filled sigils be annihilated in my stead!
Philia von Einzbern was no longer an individual. Her circuits, her very body itself, had become nothing more than an extension of the ritual. She had returned to her origin, a mere tool for the completion of the summoning. The mana in the air was absorbed into the tool, transforming into the od that would fuel the circle within that which had once been nerves.
The tool can be damaged. But the tool does not comprehend pain. It has no need to comprehend pain.
It will not be stopped by its slow self-destruction.
Even as it degraded from the inside, it would continue. The mana drawn from the atmosphere shall be converted into the fuel for the circle, the engine that drives the summoning of the Heroic Spirit. Once enough has been collected, it will move onto the next step.
Let thy body rest under my dominion, let my fate rest in thy blade.
If thou submitteth to the call of the Holy Grail, and if thou wilt obey this mind, this reason, then thou shalt respond.
The circle begins to respond.
The summoning is nigh.
I make my oath here.
I am that person who is become the virtue of all Heaven.
I am that person who is covered with the evil of all Hades.
Thou seven heavens, clad in a trinity of words,
come past thy restraining rings, and be thou the hands that protect the balance-!
From the Throne, the hero arrives.