Fullmetal Alchemist

Chapter 104: The Center of the World

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The Center of the World
Volume 26
Chapter number 104
Title The Center of the World
Japan Release Date February 10, 2010
U.S.A. Release Date September 20, 2011
Preceded by Chapter 103: For Whom?
Followed by Chapter 105: The Throne of God


As Wrath, grinning at Scar's new tattoo, marvels once more at human tenacity, down below, Edward tells Alphonse to look after the injured May while he himself deals with Pride. Taking offense at Fullmetal's low assessment of his threat level, Pride goes on the offensive with his shadows and asserts that the humans still live only because their usefulness has not yet ended before revealing another of his advantages - his size; since Edward has spent all his life fighting larger opponents, he has no experience fighting opponents who are smaller than himself. Though this presents Pride with a momentary opening, however, Edward counters by asserting that his experience fighting larger opponents has made him an expert on the combat tricks of small fighters. Predicting Pride's moves perfectly, Ed counters with a devastating headbutt which shatters a piece of Pride's already deteriorating visage.

Meanwhile, May attempts to heal her wounds with Alkahestry at the cost of leaving herself open to Father's attacks, but Alphonse arrives in time to shield her. He and Izumi begin a tandem attack on the shadowy figure, but to no avail. Unharmed, Father stretches out his black tendrils to each of the four Human Sacrifices and pulls them into a circle around him as he declares that the long-awaited moment has finally come.

On the surface, the solar eclipse is only seconds away and as the oblivious citizens of Amestris marvel at the sight, the captured General Clemin begins to panic, demanding that the Briggs soldiers guarding him take him to the center of the Nationwide Transmutation Circle, where they will be safe. As the moon completely obscures the sun and strange tremors grip the nation, Father exclaims with glee, asking his five captives if they have ever considered that the planet Earth might be viewed as a life form or system of consciousness capable of amassing universal knowledge on a much grander scale than any one human. He goes on to say that, if one were to open the Gate belonging to such a life system, the power one would gain would be unimaginable and remarks that his intention is to use the Five Sacrifices within his thrall to open that Gate and take that power for himself. However, at that moment, Greed suddenly appears at Father's side and, remarking that he has finally found the "center of the world", slashes at his father's body with his adamantine claws and declares that everything now belongs to him.

Unfortunately, even as a shadowy puddle on the ground, Father remarks that he retains the upper hand and had every expectation for Greed to appear at this stage, as Greed was once a part of himself. Father slithers over to his throne with the Sacrifices (including the released Van Hohenheim) positioned around him, where he declares - his fluid body reformed - that his current position was the center all along. Though Hohenheim makes a move to stop him, it is too late; Father slams his hand down on the miniature mock-up of the Five-Point Circle on his table, activating the gigantic array. As he does so, the eye of the Gate appears upon each of the Five Sacrifices and the black film surrounding the lair expands, rising like a tide to engulf all of Central Command and the surrounding area. Out of each Sacrifice's Gate, shadowy black hands erupt and clash with each other at the center of the circle, creating a buildup of alchemical energy which further expands the black mass on the surface. Laughing raucously, Father remarks that the energy given off by this clash will give him the power to open the planet's Gate and, in turn, lead to another, yet-unmentioned goal.

The Nationwide Transmutation Circle activates and as giant black tendrils emerge, all the people within Amestris' borders collapse where they stand, their souls pulled forcibly from their bodies. A pair of gargantuan Gate doors appear above Amestris and open as Father, his shadowy body magnified to titanic size, emerges from within and calls out to the heavenly circle created by the sun's corona around the moon - referring to it as "God". As Father's massive black tendrils reach up from the ground, a pair of Gates appear in the very firmament and open in front of the eclipse to reveal another Brobdingnagian eye within. The Gate of Heaven sends its own tendrils down toward the Gate of Earth and, taking hold of them, Father proclaims that he will drag God down to Earth and make it a part of himself. As he does so, a massive light breaks across the surface of the planet. As the Gate of Heaven reverts to an eclipse and the Gate of Earth falls silent once more, the entire country of Amestris is deathly silent with each and every one of its inhabitants laying lifeless. However, deep within the Homunculi's lair, the five Human Sacrifices - as well as Pride, Greed and May - stir.

As Roy comments on the unusual silence, Edward wonders aloud whether everyone on the surface was turned into a Philosopher's Stone and he is answered in the affirmative by a voice from the shadows. A human form emerges, transmuting robes and sandals seamlessly and without circulation as he remarks that he required a colossal amount of energy in order to contain God within himself and that the people of Amestris were converted into energy so as to power that containment; as such, the power of God and the lives of all the nation's humans reside inside his body. As Hohenheim reviles, Father states that he has succeeded in his goal and steps forward in his new body - a perfect, youthful human body that resembles Ed - to thank the Sacrifices for their help.

Chapter NotesEdit

  • Father's misdirection of Greed in regards to the location of the circle's true center is rather similar to the way he usurped control of the Nationwide Transmutation Circle in Xerxes.

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