Chapter sixteen- The Gift of the Sea

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"I'm fine," Gilgamesh growled through gritted teeth. "I won't..."

"You won't what, Gilgamesh?" Sinbad taunted. "Just give in already."

"You dare do this to a king?!" Gilgamesh gripped the arm of the chair so hard it broke beneath his hand. He growled once more, then caved, "Fine. No use in protecting such a vile woman anyway..."

"Go on," Sinbad urged, casting a smile at Ja'far. Ja'far sighed and turned to Archer.

"Caster's real name is Semiramis. Also known as the 'Queen of Heaven', or 'Queen of Babylon' -which is bullshit-." Gilgamesh began explaining. "She was born a brothel keeper in the city of Erech. That's where she met this idiot, Nimrod."

Sinbad raised an eyebrow at the name, "Nimrod?" An unprofessional and amused smile played at his lips.

Gilgamesh rolled his eyes, "Shut up and listen. She married Nimrod, and gained the name Semiramis -'gift of the sea'- to obscure the fact that she was an ex-harlot, everyone believing she came out of the sea and met Nimrod." The servant paused to chuckle, "After becoming royalty, she created a new religion, one where a dragon is the true ruler- not God. Nimrod allowed Semiramis to continue with her religion and cult, although he didn't agree with her in the slightest. It's said that Nimrod was a descendant of Noah, which explains his disdain for her religion. This created a rift between the two, which grew when Semiramis had a kid that wasn't his. Nimrod threatened to dethrone her and expose her past life, and Semiramis responded with a plan to overthrow him.

"Every new year, Nimrod and his people celebrated by taking several hallucinogenic drugs, as well as tearing apart a year-old ram -while still alive- and eating its flesh raw. It signified the passing of the past year, making room for the new one. That year, the tradition continued according to plan until the drugged party goers tore apart Nimrod instead, and Semiramis' illegitimate son became king.

"His name was Damu, and while he was still an infant Semiramis ruled as Queen for

several decades. To avoid having to kill her son on New Year's, Semiramis held an annual competition, where the winner would have the 'honor' of taking Damu's place in 'ascending to heaven to become a god'."

"That's horrible," Assassin wrinkled her nose and crossed her arms.

Gilgamesh huffed and continued, "Eventually, the military split into two camps against Semiramis. A war broke out, and the 'rebels' were so close to winning that she was forced to build several walls around Babylon to protect herself. This was when she had herself deified as the mother of the god Damu, and began to call herself the 'Queen of Heaven'. As Damu grew older and came of age, he demanded Semiramis allow him to be king. She refused of course, and saw his demands as a challenge to her rule. Semiramis then planned to have the same thing done to Damu as Nimrod. But Damu wasn't as dull as Nimrod- he caught on and killed her, and continued to kill anyone who defied his rule." Gilgamesh paused, signifying that he was finished speaking.

"Did you know her back then, Gilgamesh? Sinbad asked. He now had his chair turned towards the servant, and was leaning back in his seat, his expression unreadable.

"I knew of her, but I don't believe I ever met her." Gilgamesh sighed and leaned back in his chair.

"Any idea what her Noble Phantasm could be?" Ja'far asked Gilgamesh.

Gilgamesh shrugged, "That's none of my concern. You wanted Caster's story, you got it. That's all you're getting." He began dematerializing in a golden shimmer.

"It is of your concern," Sinbad said, making Gilgamesh pause. "Who knows if her Noble Phantasm is one that could best even you."

Gilgamesh chuckled, "Like I would fall at the hands of such filth. She may act like a queen, but she's merely a filthy whore who cheated her way to the crown." He continued to fade away, the last of his sentence fading along with him.

Once he was gone, Ja'far turned to Assassin, "You may go as well, Assassin. I need to talk to Sin privately."

Assassin nodded, "I'll go check the magic barriers then, seeing as though he's not going to." She gestured to where Gilgamesh had disappeared from.

"Alright," Ja'far nodded. After she left, he turned to Sinbad, "What were you thinking? Using one of your Command Seals like that?! You're so reckless!" He walked around the desk to stand in front of Sinbad, "When are you going to start taking being master seriously?!"

"Don't worry, Ja'far. I still have two left. Besides, you have several extra from past wars, don't you?" Sinbad spoke casually.

"I do, but they're not for either of us to use! I'm the overseer, I'm not supposed to be a master in the first place!" Ja'far was fuming. "I can't just give out extra Command Seals whenever I want!"

"Why not? No one's stopping you. I'm sure the others would agree it's for a good cause."

"Because...because..." Ja'far stopped and frowned.

Sinbad smiled, "See? It's fine. This is what we have to do to win the Grail. We can't let it fall into the wrong hands, can we?"

"No..." Ja'far sighed, reluctantly giving in.


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