Fullmetal Alchemist, Vol. 27 (Fullmetal Alchemist #27), Hiromu Arakawa, Akira Watanabe


Olivier, Mustang, Riza, Sig and the chimeras arrive on the surface. Greed informs them that Father is on a rampage above and tells all injured parties to stay behind while the fighters go on ahead to back up the Elric brothers. Olivier insists on leading her troops, but a radio message explains that Father has used his power to obliterate half of Central Command. One of the soldiers asks the injured Major General to watch the battle from a safe place. Mustang tells Greed that he still can use his alchemy but requires Riza to aid him. Lan Fan wants to protect her prince and also to take the Philosopher's Stone back to Xing.

As the surface surrounded with debris and dust, May finds Al's armoured body is in damage condition after shielding her from Father's attack. Ed also realises his automail arm is badly damaged and notices Izumi is injured as well. But Izumi remarks that she is still alive because Hohenheim shielded her with his body at the last moment. Ed calls out to him, but as Hohenheim opens his eyes, Father appears behind him and throws him aside. Father attempts to draw out their souls into a Philosopher's Stone but interrupted by Briggs soldiers, pouring out from Central command with fires from rifles, rockets and machine guns. The alchemists take the chance to get to safety. Father is unharmed by the attack, and Mustang tries to clap his hands together to initiate the transmutation with the help of Riza. They all continue to attack Father with the purpose to exhaust the Homunculus' energy supply.

Suddenly, Greed bursts from the cloud of dust and punches right to Father's face. As Father takes hold of Greed's hand, he tells Greed that he is delivering a Philosopher's Stone to him as he needed for his energy. However, Greed knew Father would drop his guard to absorb a Stone so that he plans to drain his energy instead. Ed tries to attack, but his automail arm is crashed by Father. Ed refuses to give up and launches a kick towards Father. But when Father blocks a kick from Ed with his arm instead of using his energy, Hohenheim realises that the Homunculus has finally reached his limit. He can no longer contain God within his body. A massive burst of energy throws everyone from his body as God trying to escape from Father.

Father is desperate for a soul to make into a Philosopher's Stone and notices Ed is nearby. As Father coming nearer, Ed attempts to run, but his left arm has been pinned by some twisted rebar. Al begs May for her help, explaining that Ed had sacrificed his own right arm to retrieve Al's soul, and the reverse should be possible. May objects Al's plan to sacrifice himself but insists that there is no time and asks her to forge a path to his brother for him. Ignoring the cries of his brother, Al claps his hands together to activate the circle and performs the transmutation.

Inside the Gate, Al reaches out and takes the human Al's hand; as the armour disintegrates away, the soul and body are finally reunited. As Ed's flesh-and-blood arm has appeared on his shoulder, he is angry with his brother's recklessness and claps his two hands together to initiate a transmutation. The Homunculus's body experiences severe harm after weapons pummelling to his body. Everyone cheers Ed on, and Ling tells Greed that he always wishes to have a whole world of friends that encourages him, as Ed has. Ed knocks Father to the ground with a furious punch and interested to see how far the Homunculus can go.

As Father sucks it up, rises to his feet and lunges for Greed's Philosopher's Stone, Ling grabs hold of Greed inside their shared body, refusing to let him go. However, Father's pull is stronger, and if Greed continues to struggle, Ling's soul will be pulled into Father as well. When Ling mentions that he needs Greed's power to become Emperor of Xing, Greed agrees to accept the partner but knocks him away at the last second, allowing himself to be pulled by his father. He tells Ling that Lan Fan holds the Philosopher's Stone that she took from Bradley's pocket. Greed summons Lan Fan to his side, and she cuts off Father's arm while Father is absorbing Greed's carbon transformation power. While Father howls at his own son's betrayal, his entire body slowly becomes brittle charcoal via Greed's power. Father's whole body begins to crumble. Before Greed fades away, he remembers Ed and Ling treated him with respect and asserted that friends are connected by an unbreakable bond that exists within their souls. Then, he bids farewell to his dearest friends and departs from the mortal coil.

Taking the opportunity, Ed punches a large hole through Father's crumbling abdomen, and all the remaining Xerxesian souls pour out and rise into the sky. As father slowly disappears inside himself, he screams why God has rejected him and Truth responds that he failed because he did not believe in himself. Truth points out that the Homunculus only keeps stealing something powerful and thought it would make him great, but the Homunculus never grows with it. Father responds that he wanted to become the perfect being and acquire all of the world's knowledge with pure desire, and demands the name of the one who is speaking to him. Truth responses that he is the world, the universe, God, the truth, the one, the all and also Father himself. Then, black hands emerge from the Gate and pull the Homunculus inside, ignoring his objections being returned to his confinement. The Gate slams shut, and Father is gone.

In the real world, everyone is sad with Al's lifeless armour. Ling offers Ed the Philosopher's Stone to get Al's back, but he replies that he promised themselves not to use the Stone to restore their bodies. Hohenheim offers up his life for Al as he wishes their happiness and also the last fatherly thing that he can do at the current state. But Ed refuses to sacrifice one life for another and rejects his proposal. Ed tries to think about a solution. Looking around at all the people who have supported him, Ed grabs a stick and draws a huge Human Transmutation Circle and telling them that this will be his final transmutation.

Appearing in front of his own Gate, Ed is asked by Truth what he will exchange for his brother, and Ed responds that he will sacrifice his own Gate. The Truth informs Ed that without his Gate, he will no longer be able to use alchemy and fall to the level of an ordinary human. Ed responds that he has always been just a regular person; even without alchemy, he still has all his friends. Truth smiles and replies that is the correct answer and Ed has beaten him. The Truth proclaims that Ed may take the entire Al's body and Ed deconstructs his own Gate. The Truth points Al's Gate to him. Ed greets Al and helps him to walk through the Gate, returning home together.

Back in the physical world, Al opens his eyes and sees his brother, his father, and all his friends and allies surrounding him. Al receives a tearful hug from May and also taking his father's hand, revealing that it has been quite some time he can sense such warm sensation through his body.

A message is broadcast from Radio Capital, claiming that the country's simultaneous collapse was due to an alchemical experiment initiated by Central Command. A joint force led by Colonel Mustang and General Armstrong has halted the plan. Meanwhile, Hohenheim kneels before Trisha's grave at Resembool and states that meeting her and the kids had made him has a full life and now it's the time to let go. Pinako is surprised to see him and rushes to greet him, but stops when she observes that he has finally passed away with a happy expression on his face.

Meanwhile, Dr Marcoh reveals that he still has a Philosopher's Stone which Mustang can use it to cure for his eyesight. In exchange for that, Dr Marcoh requests him to repay the Ishbalan people and let them return to their holy land. Scar and Miles will work together for the Ishbal reconstruction so that they can rebuild the Ishbalan culture and also their religion.

Ling informs May that Yao clan would be the new rulers of Xing, but he promises to May that the emperor will protect Chang clan and all others as well. Then, they say goodbyes to the Elrics and return to Xing with Lan Fan and also to bury Fu.

Two years pass peacefully, and at Bradley's mansion, Mrs Bradley greets the new Fuhrer, Grumman. He tells Mrs Bradley that his job is made so much easier by having Mustang in the east and Armstrong working in the north. Selim is growing into a kindhearted boy, but Grumman reminds her that they will take action if they notice Selim begins to behave strangely.

After paying a visit to the Hughes, Al proposes to travel to Xing with his escorts Jerso and Zampano, as he intends to learn the purification arts. Ed will be going to the west to find out the alchemy world so that they can combine their knowledge to help as many people as possible.

Rating: ★★★★★ (5/5)

Other Sources

Previous volume:  Fullmetal Alchemist, Vol. 26 (Fullmetal Alchemist #26).
More reviews can be found on Goodreads: Fullmetal Alchemist, Vol. 27 (Fullmetal Alchemist #27) by Hiromu Arakawa and Akira Watanabe.

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