I sing of arms and of a woman:
servant of Themis, handmaiden of Nemesis,
from whose hand the justice of the gods
was dealt. Hear me, O Muse! Let thine ears
embrace the voice of my supplication.
As I drink from the waters of the Kastalian Spring,
assist me in the great labour of this history
that all the unborn ages may know of the terrible battle
that rent the sea and sky, and brought order
to a world mired in chaos.
. . .
And so we come at last to the Battle of the 30th
of the Seventh War of Saimoe. On the sands
of the arena, wet with the blood of the many
who have perished in the tides of war,
there faced each other two warriors whom
the gods have favoured to endure until now.
There stood Nagisa, Dread Queen of Darkness:
the Accursed, the Deceiver, the Temptress,
whose battle-axe had despatched many a brave soul
to the deepest bowels of Hades.
There too stood Kagami: She Who Arises in Might,
her sword forged in the fires of justice, her loins
girt with the cloth of righteousness, her shield
graven with the names of those whose shades
now call out to her for vengeance.
To her did Nagisa present a false smile of innocence,
and extend the treacherous hand of her friendship,
and offer a box of freshly-made dango,
saying: “Why dost thou stand before me an enemy
when together we might rule the world?
Can there be no peace between us?”
And Kagami, in reply, did raise the sword of justice
to her face, and pronounce these terrible words:
“Thou speakest of peace, yet from thy hands
the earth has known nothing but strife and misery.
Many have fallen to thy wiles, and false promises,
and so condemned themselves to thy tyranny; yet never
shall I be counted among their number.
In the name of Tamaki, for whom I now seek
the rest of a rightful retribution, I speak upon thee
the self-same curse that Dido of Carthage
inflicted upon the treacherous Aeneas:
‘I pray that we stand opposed, shore against shore,
sea against sea and sword against sword. Let there be war
between the nations and between their sons forever.'”
And so the two did join battle beneath the
star-spangled firmament; and through the morning,
when rosy-fingered Dawn anointed the world
with the golden ambrosia of her embrace.
Blow after blow, each refused to yield
to the other’s attacks; yet from the beginning
Kagami, lit from within with the fire of Nemesis,
did hold the advantage, as set forth in the hourly chronicles.
And as Nyx arose to wrap the earth
in the ashen pall of night, Nagisa, in desperation,
did summon forth from the utter depths of Dangoland
her army of dango warriors. Their tiny round bodies
rolled forth across the dusty ground, and squeaking
“Dai kazoku! Dai kazoku!” did throw themselves
upon Kagami, and threaten to smother her
in a blanket of oversweetened mochiko.
Yet she prevailed, and at the hour of midnight
landed the 1,122nd blow, which far surpassed
the 922 inflicted by her opponent, who now
lay helpless upon the ground.
Yet from Nagisa, defiant to the end, came no plea
for mercy; and as she awaited the kiss of Hades
her broken lips parted, and breathed forth these words:
“Thou hast won the day, Kagami of Hiiragi,
yet thou shall lose the war. For I call upon vengeful Hera
to bear witness to my final curse:
Behold, tomorrow thy sister will perish, and thou shall know
the bitter pain of loss. Yet I pray that she prevails, for then
the twins shall face each other as enemies, and thou
shall taste the bitterness of slaying thine own blood,
or falling to the sword of thy kinswoman.”
And with a final shudder, Nagisa did scream out the word
“Tomoya!”, and fell silent, and dissolved into a cloud
of golden orbs, which were borne swiftly away on the wings of Notus
to rest amongst the innumerable stars.