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command seals + servant contracts: through the powers of the holy grail, kirei obtained command seals. these command seals are used to control servants that are contracted into his care. in later series, it is seen that kirei can enter into a contract with two servants, however at this point he only has a contract with the servant gilgamesh. contracts are extremely hard to uphold outside of the holy grail war, taking a high amount of mana from the user that is difficult to sustain. he knows it is essentially useless to use any of his command seals on gilgamesh and instead uses them on himself to gain more power and speed to where he could potentially defeat low level servants in the assassin or caster classes. due to the holy grail's bestowal of seals as well as the seals his father gave him, kirei has command seals that cover both of his arms.
magecraft: born with magic circuits despite being "normal" in genes, kirei is considered a magus. still a beginner level due to the late training and death of this teacher tokiomi, kirei has only studied alchemy, spiritual evocation, summoning, divination, and spiritual healing. all of these are at a basic and very rudimentary level, the only one that is not the case is spiritual healing. in this instance, kirei is above par in this - considered to be 'bishop' level which is rare even among naturally born magus. spiritual healing is healing through the soul/using spiritual energy. through this kirei can also extract command seals from other people and add them to his own collection of seals.
baptism rite: as a member of the holy church, the baptism rite is the only magic allowed to be taught by church. it's basically an exorcism or a 'purification of a soul'. this is a simple stanza that begins working almost immediately after it is finished and affects things that are considered unholy such as dead apostles, etc.
bajiquan: a form of martial arts that kirei has adapted to become a fusion of magecraft and bajiquan. bajiquan causes damage to the inside of the body rather than the outside, often giving the appearance that the opponent is alright despite suffering severe internal injuries. bajiquan utilizes the hands and elbows as the main weapons, but ultimate the whole body is used. due to this style of fighting and kirei's adaption with magecraft, it's almost as if he can 'hear moves'. even without being able to see, he can anticipate the attacker's direction of attack based off of the angle of the previous block. of course, this isn't perfect and he will still get hit if he cannot see.
black keys: these are roughly meter long rapiers with a short hilt. they're common weapons that are used as projectiles by holy church executors. the blades are formed by magic, so only the hilts need to be carried, making them easily concealable and transportable. kirei often carries several hilts at all times, the total number is unknown, but enough to last him through a particularly long/tough fight. however he can only wield four black keys per hand at one time.
angra mainyu: the black mud from holy grail that followed the link between gilgamesh and kirei to repair his fatal wounds. angra mainyu has essentially become a life source for kirei - a substitute heart since his was shot. sometimes referred to as 'black corruption' by other characters in the series. due to his own corruption, kirei can interact with the mud with no negative consequences. he cannot control angra mainyu unless a connection with the grail is established, so this is mainly just an ability keeping him alive right now. he is still able to be killed however.
it was when you were ten that your training to be an executor paid off, you were finally chosen to be one of the holy church's famed executors. it wasn't just something that your father had groomed you for, it was something you wanted. you wanted to play a hand at deciding the fate's of others. there was something strangely poetic, even beautiful about it. and that's when you realize that you're different.
you were named to be beautiful, your father has an ideal of beautiful things in the world. his ideals are not the same as yours. you struggle with yourself to be the type of beautiful he wants. it's not something that can easily be overcome and you realize that quickly. taking to punishing yourself for being a sinner by nature instead. it started with physical pain. cutting the skin from your body, dislocating bones, anything that you could do to repent for your inherent sinful nature. you needed to live up to the image that your father had created so that you could love him. you met his expectations, but you still didn't love him.
when that doesn't work you turn towards mental punishment. the truest form of punishment that can be obtained, you don't want to admit that you have a twisted satisfaction towards this punishment that you're doling out on yourself. except you do and that only means you have to punish yourself more. you fasted and you tried to be a man of god like your father, for you were told that god forgives everything so he should forgive a man like you. except no matter how hard you prayed or fasted or followed the law or the word of god, nothing changed. you were still the same immoral teenager.
despite all this inner turmoil and suffering, you excelled in school. you even graduated two years early and decided to enter the seminary when you were old enough. twenty two years old and you still felt like your whole life was a mistake. you weren't normal, you didn't think you could ever achieve normal no matter how hard you tried. you were even baptized as a full executor who could move independently without needing the church's order and you still felt that something wasn't right.
you didn't know what you wanted to do, but you needed something to make your life normal, to give it some semblance of a regular life. you thought you might find that in a wife and a family and you sought to have one of your own. that's when you met her, claudia, though you didn't love her. you don't think you were ever capable of loving her. but you knew that she loved you and to this day, you still hold the idea that she was one of the few people who truly accepted you and loved you for all your sins. there's a small part in your mind that tells you that you chose claudia because she was sick, terminally ill and only had a few years to live and that you wouldn't have to carry on the farce for too long.
even the birth of your own daughter didn't quench the demons that lived inside you, the emptiness still just as apparent as it was before. you knew it wasn't fair to bring a child into this world that would never experience love, at least not from you and not after her mother died. thankfully claudia's family took caren and raised her and you were free of that duty. there was no way you'd have been able to raise a child after knowing that you wished that it had been you to cause your own wife's suffering and death rather than her sickness. it didn't help that you left no time for yourself to grieve, for there was nothing to grieve outside of your perverted thoughts. not even a day after her funeral, you went back to your job as an executor for the holy church as if nothing had happened over the two years that you'd been together.
you can see now that you are truly a twisted man.
it's a few months of quietly hating yourself and continuing your role as an executor when you obtain command seals. it was a surprise because you don't have magical circuits, you shouldn't be able to form a contract with a servant. your father transfers you from the holy church to the magi's association under the care of tohsaka tokiomi. he was tasked to train you for the holy grail war and in return you were to be his pawn to help him obtain the grail. that's why you were to summon the assassin class, the heroic spirit with many faces.
the training was hard, you don't take to it like you did with the executor training. it's almost laughable how his young daughter can have a better understanding of magic than you do, but she was born with circuits so you suppose that she has a leg up on you. for some reason, little rin disliked you and you're sure that it's because as a child she could sense the wrongness within your body and mind. you don't try to endear yourself to her, there's no point. she's merely a distraction in comparison to her father and the holy grail war. you're a pawn to be used by tokiomi and you hate that.
it's not long however before you realize your proficiency with spiritual healing. it's amusing to you, honestly. the man with such a broken soul is good at some thing beneficial such as healing. it still takes you a while to learn, but by the time the grail war starts, you're far past proficient - even rin claimed that you were one of the most advanced in that area of magic and she never praised you. you surpass what tokiomi can teach you about the subject and begin to learn and study it on your own, testing it on people you pass on the street and finding alternative 'healing' techniques. for it's not just healing that you can do, but certain things pertaining to the spirit, you can at least decently accomplish. sure, it's a finicky subject but you've never really been one to give up on things. especially not something that could help bring joy into your life.
it's nearing the start of the holy grail war and tokiomi is finally summoning his heroic spirit. you're surprised by who answers the call - a man of gold and wealth and this aura that you couldn't even begin to describe. all at one you think he's too flashy and yet you can't help but keep looking at him. gilgamesh. king of heroes. you think you've heard of him before, but you know that you're only fooling yourself. it doesn't take you long to become interested in the man. of course you'd find interest in someone who could so easily obtain joy through indulgence, two things that you've never felt before in your life. you're ashamed to admit that there's a spark of jealousy within your heart at the sight of the gilded king.
however it's not just you who takes an interest in him, but he takes an interest in you as well. he claims to know your true self and he acknowledges the darkness within you. it's unsettling that he can see what everyone else has struggled to see the entire time you've been alive. you try to ignore his taunting, his jabs to push you to your breaking point. you have a purpose here and that's not to entertain him. you're to support tokiomi on his quest for the grail, 'sacrificing' assassin at the beginning to let the other grail contenders think that there's one less of them.
you're meant to play the defeated man, sitting at the church which is a designated safe zone for all the grail participants, yet you still have assassin at your side. tokiomi had only killed one of the many faces that assassin could wear. it doesn't take long before your hand is forced to reveal that assassin is still alive, that you're still a pawn in this war. that makes you a target for the person who is slowly eliminating grail contenders one at a time. you're curious who that could be, someone who kills so easily and doesn't seem to bat an eye.
emiya kiritsugu. you pursue him because you think he is like you. there are many parallels between the two of you. an interesting childhood, a family that you don't truly love, a thirst for chaos and you think that he has it figured out. you want to rack his brain for answers, the answers you've so desperately wanted for so long. only as the holy grail war wages on, you realize that kiritsugu is nothing like you. it's still only gilgamesh that seems to understand you. and he tempts you, he tries to get you to embrace your darker side and it's not until you realize that tokiomi is weak that you strike a deal with the archer servant.
you find your father dying in the church - it has to be kiritsugu - and you are finally released from his idea of beauty. you feel as if a weight has been lifted from your chest and you can finally breathe again. it's here where you devise a plan to kill tokiomi and take gilgamesh as your own servant, assassin having truly been defeated by rider not too long ago. you father had given you the last remaining command seals, more than enough that they littered your entire arm in the red marks. however, it's more than just a plan to kill tokiomi, it's a plan to come into your own being, into your own self. the self that you've been denying for so long and finally you're beginning to embrace it with the help of the king of heroes.
you meet with tokiomi, the picture of ease and you know you look the same as always despite the darkness swirling faster inside you than it ever has before. he gives you the azoth sword as a gift for your help and you give him a smile as you take it, before stabbing him through the back as he leaves. it seals the deal with archer whose contract with you is now complete. and it's the first of many steps to obtain the grail for yourself. you meet with matou kariya and tell him that now is his chance to extract vengeance on tokiomi - whose already dead body lay sitting in the pews of the church where you'd found your father earlier.
it's a ploy to enjoy matou's suffering when he arrives at the church to rind tokiomi already dead and winds up running into tokiomi's wife as well. she misunderstands the situation and blames matou which sends him into a blind rage before he kills her and all you can do is smile and look down upon the little story you had created.
it's not long before it's just three contestants left. kiritsugu and saber and that boy with rider. you're surprised that someone as weak as that boy lasted for so long, but he's quickly wiped out of the competition for the grail and it's the final fight between saber and archer. you do not doubt your servant, but you don't know everything about saber and that makes you unsure if you can win. you still don't know what you would want from the holy grail if you were to win, but you can't let kiritsugu have it.
for the first time you use your command seals, not on gilgamesh, but yourself. it makes you stronger, faster and you know you can take on kiritsugu. at least until he begins to use magic of his own, enhancing his speed and strength until you're evenly matched. it's like fighting tooth and nail and you can only hope that gilgamesh is faring better than you are. that's when it happens, you're one second too late in anticipating kiritsugu's moves and he shoots you. it's a fatal wound, you can feel the blood beating in your chest as your shredded heart tries to keep you alive.
you're not sure what happens next. you see kiritsugu walking away from you, probably to check on saber and archer's fight and to take the grail for himself and you feel your world slowly going black.
you think, for once, everything doesn't feel so empty.
merlin knows gil as gil was a master for him in grand order so they're going to meet through him at the very least. he's not a servant but he's aware of how the whole contract thing works so they can talk shop, so to speak, from time to time. he'd be interested to pick his brains to see what he does as a mage even though he'll be smug as shit about it. he is the great kingmaker after all. he seems like he'd be a bore to tease so he probably won't try that for too long.
this ended up being bad lol over all his feelings are relatively neutral/good about this corrupt priest man. i see some nice conversations they could have.