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ALL RIGHTS BELONG TO TAPPEI NAGATSUKI, THE ORIGINAL AUTHOR OF RE:ZERO STARTING A LIFE IN A DIFFERENT WORLD FROM ZERO, THIS IS A TRANSLATION OF THE FREE JAPANESE WEB NOVEL INTO ENGLISH
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Translated by :
- Ice_Occultism, /u/Ice_Occultism
Fan Art Created by :
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… What do you mean when you say ‘Parallel World’.
Subaru felt as if his breath had been knocked out of him as he heard Echidna’s question, sinking into silence as a result.
During that time, everyone’s gazes turned towards him. Although the emotions varied across everyone’s faces, many of them showed tangible signs of doubt.
Everyone was treating the term “Parallel World” as something of an unknown.
In other words, that meant the Natsuki Subaru before losing his memories had never bothered to explain it to them.
[Emilia: Parallel World… Come to think of it, you used to say that before from time to time, didn’t you Subaru?]
[Ram: It does ring a bell. Though from the way he acts like on a daily basis, I’d not paid any attention to that kind of nonsense]
[Subaru: Putting Emilia-chan aside, it’s incredible how indifferent Ram acts towards me…]
She came as a stark contrast to Emilia, who was adorably immersed deep in thought, a finger of her brushed against her lip.
Ram had coldly snorted out a Ha in response to Subaru’s wry-faced remark. However, their initial surprise had been softened thanks to having left this one cushion behind.
The previous Subaru had never bothered to speak up about the “Parallel World”, not to Emilia or Ram, nor even to any of the others whom he’d supposedly adventured together with. He didn’t know for sure what that meant, but…
[Subaru: Were there some kind of restrictions to it? When I was thrown into to this world, was I sworn by a God or Goddess into not speaking about it, or the like… And first things first, what kind of mission am I here for?]
He cocked his head, however, not even the “M” of the mission he’d been entrusted with came to his mind.
Presumably, Subaru was summoned into this parallel world by someone working behind the scenes that had some expectation of him.
By Subaru’s reckoning currently, the likelihood of this someone being sort of like a “God” was very high.
This “God” or whatever that he didn’t remember had given him some kind of role and sent him to this parallel world. –Thinking about it, this was the sort of promise you’d find with these Parallel World thingamajigs.
So, if losing his memories was something that this “God” found inconvenient, he could hopefully expect some follow-up to improve his situation. Subaru wants to believe this “God” is not the cruel sort who would just throw him into this fantasy world without giving him some generous benefits.
[Subaru: …I’d better find out if it’s actually something I can’t touch on, huh]
Subaru licked his parched lips and searched for a response for this situation. He winked at Beatrice, who was looking at him with unease, having caught ear of his muttering. He decided that he would address the question that had been posed to him – about this “Parallel World”.
Even if by some chance speaking about it was forbidden by this “God” being, it was difficult to imagine there’d be some sort of drastic penalty that he couldn’t recover from where he touch on this taboo.
Surely, as soon as he would have spoke of the taboo, there wouldn’t be anything drastic that would happen, such as being assailed by unbearable pain.
With a little bit of anxiety, Subaru gently got his breathing under control.
[Subaru: Well about this “Parallel World” I spoke of, the word itself is written as from like “Different” and “World”… In other words, I mean that the place we’re in right now is in a separate world]
[Emilia: In a separate world, a “Parallel World”…]
[Subaru: Uh-huh. That’s why I say “Parallel world”, yet…]
Following Subaru’s explanation, Emilia mulled over what he’d said, rolling the words out on her tongue. She was not the only one who had reacted like this – the others in the room were also pondering over that word.
As it was from the pronunciation: “Isekai”, they’d received the word itself as something of an unknown.
(TL Note: I have been localising Isekai as Parallel World for this entire chapter, as that’s how it’s typically translated. However, in this case, I can’t really avoid writing it out in Japanese, so the above sentence makes sense. Just keep in mind for the whole chapter to be honest that Parallel World = Isekai.)
Though he’d presumed that from how low their comprehension of the word “Parallel World” was, apparently, it seemed like the idea of a different world wasn’t a common one in this world.
Coincident with that, Subaru slapped his body to check for any changes.
[Subaru: … Nothing seems to have happened to me.]
Putting it into words, Subaru ensured that nothing untoward had happened to him.
As far as he could tell right now, there were no signs of any abnormalities having occurred. There was neither pain nor numbness. Nor was there a strange voice sadly addressing him with “You’ve violated your instructions” or the people in his surroundings transforming into a flock of cranes, saying, “I did tell you to not to do that”.
He’d managed to deal with all the worries he’d had without any issues arising.
[Subaru: This isn’t what I expected…]
Certainly, he’d thought that he hadn’t talked about the Parallel World due to having some kind of reason; however, nothing really came to his mind, that’d be something that he’d get caught up in, when it came to this.
Subaru cocked his head to the side at the sensation of having parried that. Then, Julis raised his hand up and said: “Alright,”
[Julius: I now know what the word “Parallel World” means. I can take it as a term you yourself have coined, but there is a part of me that’s thinking about its implication. Why do you reference that Parallel World so often?]
[Subaru: Oh? Oh, oh, that’s right! Just explaining the meaning of the word “Parallel World” isn’t much of an explanation. Then um, in other words…]
[Julius: In other words?]
Following Julius’ questioning, Subaru realised he had cut his explanation short. And, clearing his throat he went on to say,
[Subaru: I come from this “Parallel World” thing. I wasn’t born and raised in this world, I’m some alien who got mixed up into this world halfway through. –That’s why for me this place is a “Parallel World.]
Indeed now he had clearly explained his position and circumstances.
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I am someone who came to this world from a parallel world. Nice to meet you.
Roughly speaking, this is what Subaru had told them.
It was easy to imagine Emilia and the others to have been shaken by that bold confession. After all, it must have been a bombshell to them, since they didn’t know Parallel Worlds existed.
It really was no surprise that all the common sense they had up till now had been thrown out of wack, along with the shock they felt along with it, like their world had been turned upside-down.
After finishing his confession, Subaru took note of their concerns, and cursed his own heedlessness.
If he had made Emilia and Beatrice feel as if they’d been engulfed by a maelstrom of confusion – if he had made them do something like grieve, then he was responsible for having brought that about.
How would he comfort such beautiful girls if they were to break down into tears? He had no experience with this.
So, with a few seconds passing, feeling these anxieties, he glanced his eyes towards them.
Subaru had imagined that he would find them looking pale, blood drained from their visage, with confusion etched on their faces. However…,
[Emilia: … Uh, so you mean you’re from beyond the Great Cascade?]
[Subaru: Eh? The Great Cascade?]
Subaru’s eyes widened at Emilia, who had timidly asked this question whilst frowning in though.
They were words he hadn’t come across before – “Cascade”, he thought must have been a waterfall or something, but this great cascade must be a big version of one. Perhaps he could think of it as a huge waterfall.
…Actually, no, what sort of connection did this big waterfall have with the parallel world in the first place.
(TL Note: 瀑布 is a less common way of referring to waterfall, so Subaru muses it must be a 滝 (I used cascade vs. waterfall to represent it).
[Subaru: No, definitely not. Nothing to do with waterfalls. I’m talking about a world that’s completely different from this place and what your common knowledge is and stuff…]
[Ram: So, then you’re from beyond the Great Waterfall. How do they call it in your hometown, Barusu… Actually, no, I guess it’s probably the other way around given that it’s your hometown. The countries here surrounded by the Great Waterfall would be a “Parallel World”. Your wild behaviour makes sense to me now as well]
[Echidna: That’s right. That must be the reason why I couldn’t find anything no matter how much I investigated Natsuki-kun’s origins – because he is from beyond the Great Cascade.]
[Subaru: Well, hey, hey, how are you all so quickly convinced with that!?]
It wasn’t just Emilia who had agreed with this conclusion – even Ram and Echidna, who both appeared to be quite intelligent, had agreed with it.
For Subaru, their levels of belief towards this mysterious waterfall were nigh incomprehensible.
The thought that there was a parallel world beyond a great cascade – on the other side of a waterfall – where the heck was this tunneled wonderland?
[Beatrice: You may have no idea about it considering you’ve forgotten so much, in fact. But regarding the Great Cascade… It’s at the far reaches of the world, and there are a few stories left behind from people coming from beyond it, I suppose.]
[Subaru: I do quite like the sound of that… at the far reaches of the world.]
[Beatrice: The Great Waterfall is said to be impossible to cross over, with the exception of dragons. It’s the border between here and there. There’s no one who knows what is on the other side of it….So, on the rare occasion that someone crosses over from that world, no one holds any basis to deny the words they spoke as lies or falsehoods, I suppose.]
(TL Note: Could also be “the dragon” instead of “dragons”. Japanese doesn’t distinguish between that.)
Beatrice explained it for him, on the basis of the assent of the people listening in, who were showing their acceptance for it.
The contents were iffy, there were some things that were difficult to imagine for Subaru with him not being an expert in the circumstances of this world. However, thinking about the term “Great Cascade” and its present explanation now–
[Subaru: So this place feels like a floating continent, something like you can’t cross over to another continent without a dragon?]
[Subaru: Quit with those horribly disgruntled sighs there. You’re gonna hurt my feelings.]
Ram looked at Subaru, who’d been trying to justify it best as he could, with a sense of staggering disappointment.
However, the others also seemed to be regarding Subaru’s talk the same way, pretty much. In the end, his floating continent theory was likely incorrect.
[Subaru: If I’m off-base, then I’m off-base, I get it.… But I was sorta hoping to have a great Eureka moment riding on dragonback, if say my theory now had been correct.]
[Meili: If you keep talking about it like that, Onii-san’s adorable Earth Dragon is gonna start sulking, isn’t sh~e]
[Subaru: Ah, yeah. That black Earth Dragon is mine right. Let me have a ride on her later.]
[Shaula: I’m gonna be as weeell! I’m gonna be sulking too! Master, I think you should take better care of meeee, and appreciate me better and loooove me more~. Now that you have lost your memories, let our relationship restaaaart! From zerooooo!]
[Subaru: You’re noisy, and damn clingy! Also, don’t be so quick to poke fun at me losing my memories like you’re talking about someone else!]
Shaula noisily joined in the conversation, with Meili sitting clutching her own knees.
Though Shaula had intruded rather brusquely and said that, that was something which Subaru now was actually really grateful for—— of course, fretting too much about it was tough.
From there, Subaru shifts his attention with a glance towards his surroundings.
In his original world, though depending on the situation, Subaru had a reputation for not being able to read the mood from the people in his surroundings. However, no matter how unsuited he was at it, if the emotions were strong enough, then they could be easily read or seen.
Not just Emilia and Beatrice, but also Ram, Julius, Anastasia (i.e. Echidna) – their expressions were all showing worry towards Subaru.
For better or for worse, before losing his memories, Subaru would have been doing pretty well with the ladies. How enviable. How he would like to be told what kind of magic he’d used.
Even if they did, he didn’t at all believe he could put it into practise now.
[Subaru: Anyways, to sum up everything that’s been said…, at the edge of this world there’s a waterfall called the “Great Cascade” and occasionally people come from beyond it. And so you’re saying I’m one of them as well.]
[Emilia: From what I’ve heard from you, I can only assume that’s the case… No?]
Subaru exchanged looks with the wondering Emilia, his arms were crossed by his side as he painstakingly hmmed.
To be precise, it was not Subaru’s intended course of action to run counter to the general understanding which everyone had of the world. Nonetheless, even if Subaru thought that the ‘Parallel World’ and the ‘Great Cascade” were unrelated, he knew that he wouldn’t make any progress in this situation if he continued to talk about it.
[Subaru: To make a long story short, it is.]
Within this world there was no concept of “Parallel Worlds”.
He didn’t know whether this “Beyond the Great Cascade”, as Emilia and the others recognised it, suggested the existence of another world, or the world Subaru was in. In actuality, there may be other continent-like stuff across from the waterfall, and from there, there may be records left behind, of a figure like Columbus who made it there, taking him as a “weirdo”.
If so, he could safely say that a correct understanding of “Parallel World” for them was already a lost cause.
[Subaru: By the way, did I never mention anything about the Parallel World, back when I had my memories?]
[Emilia: Thinking back to then, once in a while you’d make some mention the word “Parallel world”… but this is the first time we have really talked properly about it.]
[Beatrice: Betty agrees with Emilia, in fact.]
The others affirmed the answer to his question with gestures whereas Emilia and Beatrice with words.
The prior Subaru hadn’t spoken to them about the “Parellel World”. Perhaps, he’d deemed that they wouldn’t make heads or tails out of it, if he’d spoken about it like he had now.
[Subaru: … I guess because I had been stopping myself from talking about it, huh]
[Subaru: Huh. Uh, no, nothing. Hey, if I’m not the only so-called Parallel Worlder there’s been then do you know anyone else? A person from the other side of the Great Cascade, or castaway – whichever.]
Perhaps there were a lot of people drifting in from different worlds; maybe there was a community of sorts where such people gathered. However, Subaru’s hopes were denied by a shake of the head from Julius.
[Julius: Sorry, the existence of a castaway, as you call it, is very rare. Most people who claim they are from beyond the Great Cascade are lying. What they say are generally pipe dreams or fabrications, some of them set their sights on trying to extort people out of money whereas others are simply trying to influence people of their fanciful beliefs.]
[Subaru: Oh, well, yeah I can see that happening…]
As much as you would like to believe such stories, the majority were the works of fiction or embellished rumours, given that there was no way to make sure. Once ones imagination/creation was set loose with these dreamy stories or ennui tales, they became a breeding grounds of reverie.
Even if people, like Subaru, who were genuinely from another world existed, their existence would be buried under countless falsehoods.
[Echidna: Honestly, my interest in the Great Cascade is never-ending, but it seems it really has no relevance to our current situation. It would be a good idea to simply end this with establishing that Natsuki-kun’s unknown home-town, and the knowledge he has, have been settled.]
Echidna had broken what had been an awkward silence that had been forming. Originally she had been the one asking Subaru about it. Although there were still parts unfamiliar to her and she was most likely unsatisfied, Subaru welcomed her ending the conversation there.
Besides, the more he talked about his original world, the more he would have to face the problems that he had left behind. That made his heart heavy, and ache.
By concentrating on the situation in front of him, he could try and distract himself from these feelings.
[Subaru: That’s it about me. I understand that you all care about me, and love me, but I feel like we aren’t going to make any progress talking about this leisurely. Why, first things first…]
He didn’t know what had directly caused his memory loss.
But, the place where the Subaru with his memories intact had supposedly last ventured – he wanted to check what had happened there.
[Beatrice: You will want to check the『Taygeta』library, I suppose.]
Subaru nodded at Beatrice who had beaten him to voicing out his thoughts out loud.
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So, with all that said and done, the group headed out towards the『Taygeta』library.
Subaru was feeling quite nervous about what would be awaiting him there; the way there wasn’t free of its troubles though.
That was because,
[Subaru: Um, Emilia-chan, why are you holding my hand so tightly?]
[Emilia: Eh? Well, it’s because I’m worried about leaving you by yourself, Subaru. I need to keep you in arm’s reach… So, I came to conclusion, given that, that it’d be good to hold hands from the get-go.]
[Subaru: I mean, I like the simple, quick nature of that conclusion, but like this, it’s way more embarrassing!]
Subaru lifted up his hand that was being held by Emilia, aware that his cheeks were getting flushed.
Her slender, cute fingers were gently holding his hand and he worried about whether his palms were sweating. In reply to Subaru’s words, Emilia raised her eyebrows in a huff and said “Jeez,”
[Emilia: Don’t be like that. Beatrice is also holding your hand, so it’s not just us two together!]
[Subaru: There’s a difference between holding the hands of a child, compared to one of a beautiful woman! There’s a big difference between them, like that when cold rain is falling again on this day too, or the difference between the heavens and earth, or night and day!]
[Emilia: I’m sorry, I don’t really get what you’re saying.]
Emilia spared Subaru no quarters, what with him having a record for losing his memories as a result of being left to his own devices, even with all the excuses he was spouting out. God damned you, memories. And me for having lost them.
[Beatrice: Now, that statement is unpardonable. But, it’s as Emilia says. Subaru ought to follow along obediently and be well cared for by Betty and Emilia, I suppose.]
[Subaru: Oh yeah? This is where we put Beatrice in the middle, and I and Emilia hold hands with you from both sides, young couple style! I’d be down for that, but wouldn’t that not be uncool?]
[Beatrice: Subaru isn’t Subaru unless he’s uncool, in fact]
[Subaru: What kind of assessment is that!?]
He ended up taking that scathing evaluation right to him from Beatrice as well, who was holding his other hand.
Julius, who was leading the way ahead, looked back towards Subaru a few times, and Echidna, who had been following right behind him would explain to them, one by one, what lay around each corner.
Ram was sharp-tongued whenever she spoke out; however, Subaru was the only one who knew that despite her outward appearance she was suffering inside. He wondered if he should talk to someone about her, but he doesn’t know who he could possibly talk to regarding what she was experiencing.
In a way, it was only Shaula and Meili, who were chatting together with each other at the back of the group, who were mentally soothing for Subaru right now.
[Subaru: Well, they’re not really going to be useful for anything…]
[Meili: … Somehow I don’t think you are being polite right now, Onii-san.]
[Shaula: Master’s mind is always like that. It would be a waste to dwell on it. You’d be shocked if you all peeked inside, it’s all pink anywaaays, makes me want to pull away. Pink braaain, Shaaaameless School~]
(TN: Shaula is making a reference to: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harenchi_Gakuen – as for what she means by this reference, no clue, since I haven’t watched it.)
[Subaru: Doubt we’d find either shame or schooling in you…]
[Shaula: Master’s doooing – my entire knowledge – Master’s doooing~]
Mere conversation with her made his head ache.
Whilst they had been exchanging these bouts of conversation, the party had gone up the stairs and arrived at the 『Taygeta』 library on the third floor. It was quite expansive, almost as if it transcended time and space.
[Subaru: So this place is『Taygeta』… There are quite a lot of books in here, just as I’d heard.]
Subaru breathed in awe as he looked around the『Taygeta』 library, marveling at the sheer number of books there.
Indeed this was a sight that was beyond anyone’s imagination.
Subaru was quite the avid reader (reading Light Novels, Manga, Strategy Guides, etc.), but he had never been surrounded by so many books. Naturally, compared to the National Diet Library or something, those would probably win out, however, they would only gain that due to the difference in space there was.
Either way, the meaning behind the picturesque scenery in front of him wasn’t just down to the sheer amount of stuff there…
[Subaru: If『The Books of the Dead』are here… then wouldn’t that mean that there are as many books here as people who have died? If it has been recording nonstop since the time of the Homo Sapiens, then there literally must be an overwhelming amount of records here.]
Subaru didn’t know the scale of this world, but if the records of the dead were books, then the quantity of books would be immeasurable. Even if he tried to find a book, such as one with the name of a deceased person he knew, he would not be able to physically find it.
[Subaru: In a modern day library, a lookup function is indispensable… but here?]
[Beatrice: Um, I don’t know what you mean by lookup function or whatever, I suppose. However, there is no one else more similar to a librarian here than Betty. Got no choice but to start checking, I suppose.]
[Subaru: This is like looking for a 100 Yen coin in the middle of a desert…]
Warily, Subaru placed his hand on the spine of a book.
Pulling the tome from the bookshelf, it easily fit into his hand, and he didn’t feel like it was anything special when he looked at it. It was just a plain old book. There was no design to it on the cover, other than its title. In all, it could be mundanely described as being a very plain book. When it came to the issues he had with it…
[Subaru: Damn it! I can’t read the title.]
The title was written in illegible squiggly characters.
From what he had heard from Emilia and the others the title of the book was meant to be the name of someone who had died. If the dead was someone you shared some connection with, then apparently you could read over their memories in life; However, Subaru could not even comprehend what the letters meant in the first place. With his memories now at jeopardy, he doubted that having such connection would even make sense.
[Subaru: Well… this may be difficult…]
Subaru who had been lost in thought, looked around in surprise at hearing Emilia abrupt shout. In an instant, the book he had picked up was wrenched from his grasp by Emilia. She stepped back from him, holding the book to her chest.
[Subaru: Huh…, Emilia-chan?]
[Emilia: Don’t be so careless! Subaru, do you understand? You must have lost your memories here, you get that right?]
[Subaru: No, wow, that’s overblowing it…]
Emilia said that as her complexion changed; to that Subaru gave a scratch of his cheek, accompanied by a strained smile. However, it seemed that only Subaru was taking the situation lightly.
[Beatrice: Subaru, listen to Emilia – refrain yourself from acting so impulsively, I suppose.]
[Julius: I agree. You should be careful and refrain yourself from performing such a rash action.]
Both Beatrice and Julius had beseeched caution from Subaru. His throat had seized up, unable to reply to either of them.
It wasn’t animosity that welled up in his heart, but rather shame from his awkwardness. Certainly he may have been acting a little too carelessly.
[Shaula: Pfffft! Master is getting aaangry! You look so sad! Butbut, I don’t mind even if Master’s actin’ like a pitiable naughty kid!]
[Subaru: Shut up! Don’t poke fun at people who are reflecting on themselves!]
[Echidna: Alright already. It’d be a bother to be interrupted like that again. In truth, Natsuki-kun’s actions were a little rash, but… We’ve also already established that.]
With her hand covering her mouth Shaula was laughing away at Subaru’s mistake. Echidna had forced herself between Subaru and Shaula as the former snapped at the latter.
Then, whilst gently stroking her scarf she said:
[Echidna: Natsuki-kun, you were unable to read the title of the book, is that right?]
[Subaru: …? Oh, yeah, that’s right.]
[Echidna: What you can see here is that losing your memory as he has will interfere with your cognitive abilities such as your literacy skills. That is why he was speaking of parallel worlds…]
[Beatrice: Sorry, but Subaru began to study the alphabet when he arrived at Roswaal’s mansion.]
Echidna, who had tried to speak confidently about it was left dumbfounded by Beatrice’s retort. Not paying any regard to Echidna’s lack of response, Beatrice crossed her small arms.
[Beatrice: Subaru could not read or write the I-Alphabet until he came to the mansion, I suppose. The elder sister of the two sisters, who served as his instructor, should know about that too, in fact.]
[Ram: Yes, it is exactly as Beatrice-sama says. From the start, Barusu couldn’t read or write, so I dedicated myself to teach him… it seems my efforts were wasted, seeing him in this current state.]
[Subaru: Sorry! I wasn’t aware there was such an episode!]
Subaru raised his voice in apology in reply to Ram’s resentful complaint. Taking a sidelong glance at the occurring exchange, Echidna cleared her throat.
[Echidna: Ahem, it seems I was way off the mark. You can forget what I said.]
[Julius: No, it’s not as off the mark as you may think. At least we have discovered that Subaru’s memories were lost after coming to Lugnica.]
[Ram: In other words, Barusu is just useless baggage that doesn’t serve any purpose in this library.]
Ram scathingly added to Julius’ confirmation – Subaru remained silent as he didn’t want to stir up any more trouble upon himself. However it was Julius who spoke with a short nod, saying “Miss Ram’s words are correct,”
[Julius: Her manner of saying it aside, that’s how it is. In any case, we can’t let Subaru relive what happened the night before. We should be the ones to look for clues in here.]
[Echidna: Yes, that would be safer.]
[Ram: I don’t have any objections. Are Emilia-sama and Beatrice-sama okay with it?]
Beatrice nodded back towards Ram, saying: “I understand, I suppose.” Emilia turned towards Subaru, looking at him with quite a serious expression in her eyes.
[Emilia: Subaru, please wait here without doing anything rash… The memories you lost, me and the others… we will find them.]
[Subaru: Oh, okay, okay, understood. It feels annoying not being able to do anything, but I believe in Emilia-chan and everyone else! I will wait here quietly.]
[Emilia: Can you really wait here quietly? You won’t wander off as you please?]
[Subaru: I don’t need reminding! I’ll be fine! I am not a 5 year old kid, I can wait here quietly – I can promise it if you want.]
[Emilia: So maybe you’re not going to be quiet after all…]
[Subaru: What do you mean!?]
Granted he had brought out that promise to make her feel peace of mind, however it had ended up in only sowing more mistrust. Looking around his surroundings he saw that, Julius and Echidna aside, Beatrice and Ram were merely shrugging their shoulders in reply as if to say That’s how it is. In any case…,
[Emilia: Subaru is going to quietly wait here at the front, okay?]
In response to Emilia’s sincere appeal, Subaru decided that he would reluctantly wait for them at the front of the Library. He sat down hugging his knees watching over the party who had begun to split into two separate groups to search the Library. In one group were Emilia, Beatrice and Ram. In the other there was Julius and Echidna. Looking on with an air of confusion, it seemed that Emilia and Echidna respectively were leading these uneven teams.
[Meili: Teaming up to search must be sorta like insurance so they don’t end up like Onii-san. After all, Onii-san’s strong point is that he attracts trouble.]
[Subaru: I may have no memories… Having no memories is an issue, so obviously I cannot even answer back to that… No, I don’t want an assassin of all people, to tell me this.]
[Meili: Because I am totally concerned about trifling matters like that…]
[Subaru: I don’t think you can call that a trifling matter!? In the first place…]
She had clicked her tongue at Subaru, interrupting his train of thought. He turned to face her. The voice had come from far away from the bookshelves, next to the wall which Subaru had been standing at. Meili was standing there with a coquettish expression on her face not at all appropriate for her age. Her braided hair was arranged so that it dangled down to her shoulders. “What?” she asked him, cocking her head to one side.
[Subaru: I thought you had joined the search… are you not going to?]
[Meili: Yeah, I won’t join it, after all, I am not really a proper companion of Onii-san and Onee-san’s friends.]
[Subaru: Not really a proper companion…]
[Meili: I told you so, didn’t I? I’m an assassin… well, as I failed my mission it’s more like former assassin. Originally, I was sent here just to help out, not bothered about anything more.]
[Subaru: In other words, I get the feeling like this was your bail condition… Whether a former one or whatever, ’tis quite the drastic decision to take to adventure along with an assassin among your compatriots.]
[Meili: – Yeah, that’s exactly right! I suppose there really is something wrong with them.]
Meili giggled and placed her hand on her mouth as she said this. Subaru snorted at her attitude and–
[Subaru: I get why Meili wouldn’t go with them; what about you?]
[Shaula: Huh, meee~? I cannot read and write anything, so I am of no use whatsoeveeerrr. I’m with Master, so the books’ contents are all gi-bbe-rish to uuuussss.]
Shaula was leaning against the wall, on the opposite side from Meili, laughing as she responded. She proceeded to move over and pulled Subaru by his left arm towards her voluptuous body.
Such a soft, warm feeling… instinctively, he untangled himself from her.
[Shaula: Whaaa, Master is such a meeeeany~]
[Subaru: I’m not a meany, stop that! It’s improper for a girl to have done that… such things should be reserved only for the guy you like… No, don’t do that because even a guy you like would be turned off if you came at him like that so abruptly. You’re doing yourself absolutely no good by behaving like this.]
[Shaula: Pfffft. Talking about a girl’s sense of dignity again? Master seriously never changessss.]
(TL note: The way Shaula said “Master seriously never changes” is, in its original form, “お師様、マジ変わんない”, read “oshi-sama maji kawannai”, which sounds very similar to Subaru’s own “Emilia-tan maji X” (EMX) pattern.)
Shaula pouted at Subaru as she protested against his attitude. However, hearing her words had made Subaru look down in embarrassment.
[Subaru: You think I haven’t changed as well?]
Subaru blurted this out to Shaula almost instinctively. He had heard this phrase several times over the course of the few hours he had been awake. It had seemed like a salvation to him to hear this… but also at the same time, a curse.
――He could be pleased that he had not changed, or he could lament that he had not changed.
[Shaula: Hmm, I’m not so sure.]
Nevertheless, despite such turmoil brewing inside Subaru, Shaula had said that so readily. He was, as expected, astonished at her reply. Perhaps it had been a mistake to have let her hear some of his more delicate worries.
[Subaru: You… No, it was idiotic of me to have asked you that.]
[Shaula: Gha-. Master is not an idiot! When you say it like that, I’m gonna get angry, Master or not! My Master is a wonderful person. I want you to be confident in yourself!]
[Subaru: I really don’t understand your position in all of this.]
She would point and laugh at a depressed Subaru, and then get angry when Subaru mocked himself. The only thing that stayed consistent was the topic related to him.
Hearing Subaru’s question, Shaula pushed her ample-sized chest forward and smiled with her hands on her hips.
[Shaula: Whether you’re changed or not, Master is still Master, so I don’t really give a toss! So long as you do as you please Master, I will always follow you.]
[Subaru: …Even if it results in crazy stuff?]
[Shaula: Well! Even if we end up in strange situations, I can always pry things open by force! Master may have forgotten, but that is the relationship between Master and meeee!]
All of her candid words, everything Shaula had said, showing nary a trace of duplicity, or anything like that, struck him they had, many times over, causing Subaru to give a faint gulp.
He turned his face away, so that Shaula wouldn’t be able to see it.
Seeing Meili looking at him there, he turned his face away back to the opposite side again.
[Shaula: Master, what’s wrong?]
[Subaru: …Gha, jeez!]
Subaru couldn’t escape to the left of him, or to the right. He could only kneel down, and look down at the floor holding his head in his arms so nobody would see his face now.
Subaru got the sensation that Meili and Shaula were looking at each other with him curled up in between them.
They wouldn’t understand… no, he doesn’t want them to understand.
He felt like he’d been saved by those vapid, vacuous, gap-filled words. He felt like “You needn’t get worked up” showed through more eloquently in her attitude than in her words.
[Meili: Onii-san, you’re strange.]
[Shaula: Master was strange from the very beginning, but I love him for that too!]
Subaru had nothing he could say in response to the exchange of those girls, that went way over what he could comprehend.
He merely felt like the feelings of tension rushing through his mind had eased off, if only a tad.
It was a few minutes before Emilia and the others came back sans results that Subaru somehow warded off his impulses and stood up.
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- TN: It’s hard to convey the meaning of when he tries to explain what the word isekai means in English due to language limitation. I will try to explain it: in this sentence essentially Subaru takes the word “isekai” and splits it up into “異なる” (to differ, pronounced kotonaru) and “世界” (world, pronounced sekai). In Japanese the cast don’t know what the word isekai actually means. The closest thing I could think of doing is making them confused what a Parallel World was, that also keeps consistent with Chicken’s translation of the word. Realising this makes the exchange make a bit more sense compared to the English.
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