※※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※
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
※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※
Translated by :
- Ice_Occultism, /u/Ice_Occultism
- Furuta, /u/GracedHarperd
- Review, /u/ReviewR524
Fan Art Created by :
- Note to anyone reading this, it’s in the process of retranslation, this was one of my first ever TLs and it’s very poor quality, so I am trying to fix a lot of it.View Here
※※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※
The search of the third floor library, 『Taygeta』had ended with absolutely no results.
[Emilia: I am so sorry… We tried reaaally hard to look for clues…]
Emilia bowed her head in apology towards Subaru after bringing him those fruitless results. Subaru politely accepted the apology; but in all honestly, he wasn’t that disappointed.
Of course, it certainly would have been for the best if he could have regained his memories here. Nevertheless, he was lacking in awareness in having lost his memories in the first place, so Subaru did not feel overly emotional that the search party had yielded unsuccessful results.
[Shaula: …? Master, what’s up~?]
[Subaru: Huh, Oh… it’s nothing.]
Shaula glanced towards Subaru, cocking her head at him with a happy-go-lucky expression on her face. Subaru shrugged his shoulders, feeling a bit uneasy at the sight of her and her long, jet-black braided hair swinging about.
There was no ill-will, malice, or even any profound meaning to her.
In the end, it meant she wasn’t really thinking about anything, but her attitude being like this appeared as a relief to Subaru right now.
At least it was better than seeing the others always looking at him like he’s always done something, constantly worrying over him, and watching over every single step of his.
[Julius: Apparently, there doesn’t seem to be a pattern to how the books are arranged. It would have been too much to ask to have found them lined up ordered by their titles or in chronological order. And on the flipside, books which we would have found yesterday on one bookshelf cannot be found today on the same one.]
[Subaru: So yet another troublesome and unfriendly library, huh.]
Subaru wrinkled his nose at Julius’ remarks.
Not only did the library boast an overwhelming collection of books, but the books happened to move around scrambling themselves on their own accord, giving him absolutely no hope as a library-user.
Even if there happened to be the book they needed, they would never find it.
[Subaru: Why can’t we just pull out each book one by one and stack them onto the floor? There ain’t no end bookshelf at the back, since the bookshelves all go around the room in a circle, but say we pick a starting point and go through them one by one, surely we’ll find something somewhere?]
[Echidna: In my opinion, it’d be wiser to not. Probably doing that would be prohibited by the tower’s rules. It would probably be considered as disrespecting the library.]
Echidna, cocking her head to the side, dismissed Subaru’s suggestion. Beatrice crossed her arms and agreed with Echidna with a curt “I suppose”.
[Beatrice: Betty being an experienced librarian could never overlook leaving a book on the floor. You cannot show such disrespect to books like that, I suppose.]
[Ram: Beatrice-sama, I feel like you often left a large amount of books stacked up on the floor.]
[Beatrice: Those were the ones that instructed me how to correctly arrange the library in fact!]
Ram narrowed her pale crimson eyes at Beatrice’s awkward excuse, though she didn’t bother to reply back to her. She merely let out a deep sigh, to which Beatrice’s expression turned to one of shock.
Alongside this librarian-talk, Subaru butted in and said: “Prohibited?” with a puzzled expression on his face.
[Subaru: I am sorry – it looks like this is something I’ve not heard of again… what is prohibited?]
[Emilia: Oh, I am sorry; it looks like I didn’t explain it properly.]
Emilia raises one of her fingers in answer to Subaru.
[Emilia: In actual fact, there’s a bunch of rules that we can’t break in the tower. Like, such as: don’t leave this tower until we finish its『Trials』, don’t do anything bad to the library, don’t damage the tower, those kinds of rules.]
[Subaru: I see. Who would have guessed that putting books on the floor in this library was a bad thing… By the way, who judges whether we’ve broken any rules?]
[Shaula: Oh, that’s where I come in! Me, the Stars-Keeper, shall! Meaning, if a rule violation happens, I’ll kinda end up freaking out ‘n I’ll become a cold-blooded killing machine! That’s why I’d prefer if you did your best not to!]
[Subaru: You…? A cold-blooded killing machine…?]
Subaru could only laugh dubiously at Shaula who’d cheerfully lifted her hands up whilst making this proclamation.
No matter how much you believed Shaula’s frivolous speech, he thought it unlikely that she could ever transform into a cold-blooded killing machine. In the first place, how much damage could she really do with the slender arms of a woman? Even that should not apply in a magical fantasy world.
In fact, Subaru had heard that Shaula was not his or Emilia’s ally, but rather was the Stars-Keeper – Warden – of this Pleiades watchtower.
She held a different position compared to how Meili had found herself here. Supposedly, she was here to aid in advancing the『Trials』inside this tower. Yet he had no such impression of her actually doing this.
[Subaru: If you seriously hold such an important position, you’re going to have to let us off the hook for the sake of our friendship.]
[Shaula: Oh, you are such a baaaad guy! Master is quite dirty! But, I can’t get enough of that sliiightly wicked side of yours! There’s tons and tons of stuff I’d like to hear from you, were it one of your wishes Master, but that is irrelevant to my will! Give up on that hope and show good sportsmanship – act fair and square and give it your all!]
[Subaru: You’re no use!]
(TL Note: The way Shaula said Master is quite dirty is: お師様マジダーティーッス！(oshi-sama maji daatii), which you know, sounds very similar to Subaru’s own EMT or EM? pattern. Coincidence? Possibly.)
His strategy of trying to bring her to his side ended with unexpected failure as her supervisory authority wasn’t enough.
At the same time, he had to keep Shaula’s forehead away with his finger as she kept trying to bring her face close to his in the middle of the conversation, forcing her charming face back. And while doing that, Subaru let out a feeble sigh.
[Emilia: …It really kinda seems like Subaru and Shaula are both really good friends.]
Emilia whispered this just after Subaru had finished talking with Shaula.
Hearing Emilia whisper it to him, Subaru turned to face her and awkwardly stammered a “No, no, no, that isn’t so!” to her.
His attempt to lighten the mood of the situation was not working; Subaru immediately stopped when he saw Emilia’s expression, her eyes downcast.
Emilia was not smiling. Merely, her eyes, framed by her long lashes, were cast down, and wavering within her amethyst eyes, was a seeming sense of loneliness.
Subaru’s face sunk at seeing her expression – immediately noticing his reaction, Emilia frantically waved her hands back and forth at him in denial.
[Emilia: Oh, no, it’s reaaaally good that you’re both friends! Such a gloomy face does not suit you, Subaru… yeah, it’s okay.]
Feigning a smile, Emilia somehow blurted those words out to herself.
[Subaru: Ah, Emilia-chan, you know, I…]
Subaru holds his head as he struggled to find anything he could say to say to Emilia.
He felt like he would be saying the wrong thing no matter what he said.
Likely the only way he could find a correct answer would be amidst his vanished memories. He was in a nightmarish situation where all the options that were presented were probably false answers.
Under these circumstances, saying anything to the sad girl sitting in front of him would be –
[?: Hey, so what are we going to do now?]
A soft voice broke the awkward silence. It had been Meili who had asked this from where she sat on Taygeta’s floor, resting her chin in her hands. She looked up at the adults in the room from her seated position and spoke,
[Meili: We can’t find any leads to recovering Onii-san’s memories here. It’s a shame, not that I particularly care, but I wonder what we should do next… are we still trying to find clues on how he lost his memory? Or…?]
Meili cut her words off there; instead turns her face upwards and pointed at the ceiling with her right hand, smiling quite provocatively.
[Meili: Let’s go upstairs? Let’s postpone finding Onii-san’s memory for a short while.]
[Echidna: …Yes, that seems like something to consider as well.]
Having heard Meili’s suggestion, it was Echidna who had responded with a thoughtful look on her face. Emilia’s eyes widened at hearing her agreement.
[Emilia: Wait… I feel the same sense of wanting to hasten… but I can’t leave Subaru like he is.]
[Echidna: I understand your view. It would be certainly preferable for me, Julius and everyone to return Natsuki-kun’s memory… However, we can’t ignore the current situation either. Natsuki-kun’s memories ceasing to exist may be linked to the tower’s『Trial』.]
[Emilia: Subaru’s memories are linked to the『Trial』?]
It wasn’t just Emilia who had reacted like this; the others had all turned their heads in surprise towards Echidna as she said this. Realising she had the attention of everyone, Echidna closed one of her eyes and said: “May I?”
[Echidna: There is no doubt that common sense barely applies when it comes to this tower, however, it would be foolish to think what happened to Natsuki-kun is unrelated to the tower. That’s why we all went to Taygeta in the first place – to put it broadly, we’re thinking that his memories were taken from him by the tower.]
[Subaru: I think that sounds chuuni ‘n cool, that memories can be stolen by the tower. If it wasn’t me who was experiencing this I would be excited to hear more of the story… but, to begin with, Taygeta’s『Trial』is complete – isn’t it strange to try and pull out my memories from here?]
[Echidna: Yeah. Therefore I think that your memories weren’t stolen because of the『Trial』, but rather because you must have broken one of the rules. Even if the『Trial』of Taygeta is over, the functions of the entire tower haven’t been carried out. It’s just like taking out a book or disrespecting the library.]
Echidna had explained her reasoning and Subaru was left to puzzle it over in his mind. In conclusion, Echidna’s reasoning alluded to this:
[Subaru: So you’re saying yesterday I must have broken one of the rules of this place and bam, my head went kerplow. To be honest, trying to search for loopholes sounds like something I would do. I am not able to make any objection to her reasoning.]
[Emilia: But, wouldn’t that have made Shaula angry?]
Echidna had nodded at Subaru acknowledging his conclusion; however Emilia had butted in and pointed towards Shaula, clearly remembering their previous interaction.
[Emilia: If he had violated any rules, won’t that have made Shaula angry? It should be a completely different story to what we are experiencing here with his memories.]
[Ram: That’s right. I understand the possibility that Barusu foolishly broke the rules, but Shaula has not bared her fangs yet at Ram or any of you. What do you make of that?]
Ram glares at Shaula with her pale, red eyes. Beholding her gaze, Shaula leapt up with an “Eeep”, and hid behind Subaru.
[Ram: No way would you have seriously abandoned your role because of Barusu?]
[Julius: That is very optimistic of you to say for sure. However, as Miss Shaula said some time ago, she’s barely aware of her being the one who actually carries out the punishments in the tower.]
Shrugging his shoulders, Julius stands next to Echidna and supports her opinion.
[Julius: If we are presented with the four things which are prohibited, and you break one, the given penalty may not be equal for us. Miss Shaula could turn into our enemy and in some cases attack us, for example desecrating the Library in some way could result in having your memories stolen…]
Julius cut his words off there and promptly turned his yellow eyes towards Subaru.
There were some really complex emotions swimming inside Julius’ eyes which Subaru could not distinguish. Julius continued his speech with: “Although,”
[Julius: We do not have any time or actual proof to test whether this guess is correct.]
[Ram: There is a way to check. If it’s truly just losing your memories, then we can just sacrifice the 4 or 5 hours of memory that Barusu has had since he’s been awake. That ensures that the damage will be minimal.]
[Subaru: Stop using people’s memories as guinea pigs! Memories still shape that person! Even if it’s only 4 or 5 hours, I am still myself! I’m not a bad Natsuki Subaru!]
[Ram: I was joking.]
Subaru’s entire body shivered at Ram’s blunt remark which she had said behind his back. Whether it had been a joke or not, Subaru had no clue. It was likely it was, dare he say that her lofty attitude was probably just a façade. It is in her nature that she does not want to show any weakness to people, after all could it be related to what had happened a short while ago. In the end, it wouldn’t surprise him if she just wished to erase her embarrassment from the time when Subaru had seen her frail side.
Anyways, other than whether Echidna and Julius’ reasoning are correct or not, one possibility was worth considering. Regarding his memory loss, that…
[Subaru: To put things plainly… both of your opinions, regardless of whether they have a nugget of truth within it, maybe we’re all grasping at straws here, in that I am against. Even if we’re like sorta just floundering around, I don’t really get the feeling that the memories I lost are gonna be found ya know.]
[Emilia: Does what you’re thinking have any basis at all?]
[Subaru: Just a hunch. Besides, if this is really part of the tower’s『Trial』then maybe if we clear ’em I’ll get my memories back, right?]
Subaru wagged his finger left and right as Emilia and the others exchanged looks in response to his words.
However, they hadn’t reacted negatively to his thoughts. Rather, there was a trace of hope beginning to appear on their faces.
Firmly, placing her palm on her chest, Emilia began to rapidly nod.
[Emilia: Yes, that’s right! If Subaru’s memory has been slurped up by the tower, then surely they may be returned after completing its『Trial』]
[Subaru: The expression you used, “being sucked up”, I get quite the super-cute feeling from it, but that’s the spirit, that’s the spirit!]
[Emilia: Mhm, that’s the spirit!]
Subaru smiled in relief at Emilia as she had jumped up and made a cute triumphant pose. Beatrice, who had been looking on, shook her head in exasperation,
[Beatrice: Jeez… I really don’t understand which one of you is the one being encouraged, in fact.]
So she let that out like that.
Certainly, with this, their positions were opposites– However, Subaru thought that was fine.
After all, he had found some hope in this situation, and some of the vigour had returned to Emilia’s eyes. For that, Subaru had felt quite a great sense of relief.
Such a gloomy face did not suit a young lady like her. Besides, she had been worrying about Subaru from the depths of her heart. ‘Twas quite painful to think that he’d been the reason behind making her look so gloomy.
[Subaru: And I was the one who showed such a move on a woman way out of my league…]
[Beatrice: I have no idea what he is saying – for now we will adjourn finding Subaru’s memory, I suppose. So if we are to complete the tower’s 『Trial』, we should do as Meili suggested and go upstairs.]
[Subaru: Upstairs. So you said we are on the third floor now, so the next floor up is the second.]
As he said that, Subaru looked around the library. A room that he’d surveyed more than plenty, even when he hadn’t actually walked around it.
A room with nothing in it except bookshelves. Meaning there were no stairs that led up.
[Subaru: Where is the staircase that leads to the second floor?]
[Julius: It’s located on the fourth floor – there’s a staircase there that leads up to the second floor from there…]
Emilia sneaked a look towards Julius with a concerned look on her face. Seeing her, Julius knitted his eyebrows and said “Worry not,”
[Julius: I will not act rashly without consulting any of you like yesterday. It is as I promised at breakfast. However, even if I hadn’t…]
[Ram: Reid, the first『Sword Saint』, is a very tough opponent. Now then, what do you suppose we should do?]
Julius and Ram exchanged bitter looks. It wasn’t just those two that seemed to share this feeling, but everyone around him had a similar look on their faces. That is, other than Shaula, who had grimaced like she’d put something in her mouth, that wasn’t just bitter, but poisonous.
[Subaru: Ah, sorry. What do you mean, Reid?]
As usual, it was Natsuki Subaru that had been left behind in this situation.
※※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※
The first『Sword Saint』, Reid Astrea.
That was the name of the man who guarded the second floor of the Pleiades watchtower as its examiner.
In the first place, the title of『Sword Saint』was something Subaru had heard for his first time. However, when he had heard that he was of the first generation of this lineage, he got the premonition that this man could be likened to a powerful fictional character from his knowledge of these subcultures. His prediction was quite accurate, in fact these『Sword Saints』or whatever were extremely powerful people, and such.
It seemed that yesterday, the party that had challenged Reid had experienced the difference in strength between them, rather like the difference between an adult and a child. Amongst them, it was only Emilia who had achieved some sort of victory through both skill and luck…
[Subaru: The problem is that I’ve lost my memory and I can’t even do anything useful…]
At the breakfast table where everyone had been trying to distract themselves from their uneasiness, he had tried to think of a novel idea to clear the tower with a bang. As far as he knew the『Trial』on the second floor seemed to require pure strength. In this situation, there was no place at all for his guile or knowledge of the modern world.
[Subaru: I guess scattering some flour about and attacking him with a dust explosion or something like that ain’t gonna cut it…]
His strongest signature ability: “Dust Explosion” – he would need to fine-tune quite a large amount of flour to activate it. In the first place, Subaru imagined there wouldn’t be an abundant amount of flour lying around in this place where food was scarce.
In fact, it was unknown to him whether there was any flour at all here.
[Subaru: Hm, then I hope I can activate the secret cheat ability that I must have gotten from being summoned into this world.]
Subaru punched the wall next to him with his palm, yelling out a “HA!” in an attempt to see if he could activate it. There was no shockwave emitted from his palm, nor had the stone wall he had punched shattered into little pieces. The only thing he felt was the roughness against his palm, and a somewhat hollow pang in his heart.
Unfortunately, the secret cheat ability that had been given to Subaru seemed to not be related to great physical strength. In a last attempt, Subaru places his hands on the wall and kicks it with all his might. All that resulted was that he left a footprint on the place he had kicked the wall – as well as a stubbed toe.
[Subaru: Well it must be magic! Beatrice, tell me how to use some magic.]
[Beatrice: Magic… Subaru can never use that ever again.]
[Subaru: Ever again!? Why!? Did I dabble into a forbidden spell or something!?]
[Beatrice: You used too much beginner’s magic despite being told not to use it and it broke your gate, I suppose. That’s why you will never be able to use magic again, in fact.]
[Subaru: It broke from using beginner’s magic!? So lame!]
Subaru had the urge to cry out to the heavens, having heard that he indeed had possessed magical powers, but could not use them anymore to live life as a mage – and worst of all it had been him casting beginner’s magic that had destroyed his magical gate. Regardless of his loss of memories, Natsuki Subaru’s life in a different world had started from the very bottom.
[Subaru: Guess at least my saving grace is that I’ve been blessed with people.]
Clenching his hand into a fist, and then unclenching it, Subaru felt these emotions along with a profound sigh.
Even if it was rather one sided, it was relieving that there were people here who knew him. Without them, he would have been alone in this unknown world without any special abilities. To be honest, he did not think he was skillful enough to survive without any support. So, finding himself here was a salvation… even if it had made someone’s face sink.
Gulping, Subaru bent and stretched on the spot. He had checked the condition of his body, of his magic, and whether he had any special abilities.
They were in some impromptu free-time before they went up to the second floor. Whilst Emilia and the others were making the arrangements to to challenge the walls of the second floor, Subaru was busying himself in checking whether his body had been endowed with any special abilities.
After punching and kicking the wall, after being indignant about being told that his magical ability had ran dry, after running around the tower’s insides, after thinking on how to test for special powers from various directions, Subaru had realised one thing, and that was –
[Subaru: That maybe, I haven’t received anything…]
After sprinting through the hallway, whilst slightly out of breath, Subaru had accepted this fact. He felt like he possessed more physical strength than he did before. Even when he kicked the wall he felt as if he was far more agile than he remembered. However, it was not to be confused for special powers – rather it would be more accurate to say that it’s the same consequence of the scars on his body, and his grotesque looking arm. That is to say, it was probably due to what had happened during the year which Subaru could not remember.
The only ability he possessed was the one where he was just an ordinary person who could not even respond to his parent’s expectations. An ability on the levels that an ordinary person would have attained after suitable amount of endeavour.
He couldn’t feel the grace of special abilities granted to him by a so-called “God” there.
[Subaru: At first, I’d tried to do some transformation poses…]
He had tried Super Senshi poses, then Kamen Rider poses, Pretty Cure poses, and even Sailor Senshi poses – but they had all been ineffective.
Meaning that, in the end, he was a Parallel World Visitor who’d been thrown in here with nary a thing.
[Subaru: After all of that… my only hope is that my powers awaken when I am in trouble… fuck.]
Scratching his head, Subaru bit down the seed of anxiety that was starting to grow in his heart. In front of Emilia and the others, he would have steeled himself and pretended that everything was okay. However, when looking at the situation anew, there was nothing but anxiety regarding Subaru’s position.
His memory was gone. There was no longer any doubt about it. There was too much evidence pointing towards it. And to be honest, he really wanted to believe it. He couldn’t not believe it and continue to stay in this place. He wanted to stay here. Here in this world, only here right now. So, he wanted some powers to do that.
[Subaru: In the end, I have to depend on the bonds I have made with the people I don’t remember. Makes me wanna cry.]
Natsuki Subaru, who was always mooching off stuff, did not have any changes to him, even in this parallel world. The more Emilia and the others showed how earnestly they were worried about Subaru, the more Subaru cursed himself for being blessed with his borrowed position.
[Subaru: It’s not like when I go to the second floor I’mma be able to do anything there…]
That was why, in his heart, he had refused to be left behind.
After they had explained to him about the guardian of the second floor, Reid Astrea, they had argued whether to bring Subaru along to the『Trial』. It had been Emilia who was the most concerned about bringing him along. Others were a bit reluctant but had not protested as strongly as Emilia. Subaru on the other hand wished to accompany them. It seemed that they had thought that he would be unlikely to be of much help to them in conquering the second floor. They also mentioned that Reid Astrea’s temperament would be harmful towards him. Therefore, although if it had kept like that, Subaru was going to be left behind, he had –
[Subaru: – Still, I had insisted on going with them.]
The reason why they had tried to leave Subaru behind was because they were worried about him.
Being treated so gently with concern always on their mind felt delightfully poisonous to him. If he had been the Natsuki Subaru with his memories intact, he was sure that he would have accompanied them and that there would never have been such a discussion on whether he was coming or not.
It would be unlikely that his amnesia would influence his abilities. In other words, except for the lack of knowledge, Subaru had thought he would be able to fight just like before he had lost his memories. Hence, he had tried one way or another to prove it to them, but in the end he hadn’t gotten any results.
[Subaru: Although I asked Beatrice to leave me alone, from here on out the going’s going to get tough.]
In seeing that Subaru was about to be left behind, he recalls Beatrice’s sullen face. However, he had still asked her to leave him be after he had tried to ascertain whether his secret cheat ability was something physical, magical or skill based. After she had left, Subaru had tried out the transformation poses. After all, it would have been extremely embarrassing to test these poses in front of another person. Beatrice of course had been quite unyielding and Subaru recalled how he had argued back and forth with her…
[Beatrice: When I leave you alone, you’re gonna end up losing your memories, nothing good will come of it! Betty will not move from here even with a lever, I suppose!]
[Subaru: I am glad you feel that way, I’m totally grateful, but I’m about to do some stuff that I can’t show to anyone!]
[Beatrice: Between Betty and Subaru, we don’t need such distance!]
[Subaru: No, I will be getting naked to put on my makeup by the moonlight!]
He had tried to break through to her with a brute-force approach, zealously appealing her to leave the room. Eventually, seeing how nothing was working, they had managed to sort out things, with Beatrice receiving his strong, strong appeal, that he wouldn’t do anything unnecessary, and would without fail, join back up with her.
[Subaru: Although it doesn’t ring a bell, I was told I was her contractor, on that point, it seemed like it was going well with Beatrice. Doesn’t sound like me… was that actually really me?]
Grimacing a little, Subaru pulled out the whip that had been holstered at his waist. He tried to hit the tip of it against the wall, but instead only succeeded in hitting his own leg.
[Subaru: Oww…! I guess my body doesn’t remember how to use it… or, maybe I didn’t master how to use it before I lost my memory…?]
Having hit his own shin, Subaru’s eyes began to tear up in pain as he rubbed it.
In the first place, why had he chosen a whip as his weapon of choice? It was not a sword, or a gun… was he trying to be cool and unique picking a whip as his weapon?
[Subaru: If I’d been able to use it, then I guess it must mean that it’s not just the stuff inside of my head that’s gone missing?]
If his current reasoning was indeed correct, what was left for him, here?
He had lost his memories, made those he was supposed to accompany worry, lost everything he had worked towards, and became useless. Ultimately, with only history having been etched onto his body, and merely the outer shell was set in place.
Guess he was just like papier-mâché.
With a short sigh, Subaru got up. Those words that were floating in his brain were so silly that he wanted to guffaw at them.
What are you going to do now, you papier-mâché…
When wasn’t Natsuki Subaru a papier-mâché?
[Subaru: Ah, I give up, I give up. I’m an idiot. Maybe I’m just unmotivating myself…]
Subaru brought his fist to his forehead in frustration and sighed again, bending over to pick up the fallen whip. He did not understand how to put it back to how it was – struggling a bit he finally managed to somehow put it back on his waist.
As he did so, there he saw a blister on the palm of his hand―― one that was different from those he got from swinging a kendo sword, one that made him feel the year that had gone by. For some reason, he traced it with his tongue. It felt tough. It felt bitter.
[Subaru: I wish I’d kept a diary for this occasion. This is no use.]
Subaru started to walk away from the scene, fuming at his past self in irrational anger. He couldn’t confirm the presence of any secret cheat abilities, but in a sense he could say the fact he couldn’t was a trove of information. With this in mind, he concluded that he shouldn’t rely on something that did not exist. In a way it was a little bit positive but way more of a negative.
[Subaru: Well, this is not the right way…]
Subaru had gone the wrong way and found himself on another floor. In front of him was the large spiral staircase that leads to the lower floors of the tower. He had heard that the tower was made up of six floors. To go up from the sixth floor to the fourth floor, one would have to climb up the stairs which went up for probably over 100s of metres high.
[Subaru: Thinking about it, the way this tower is structured is peculiar… it’s like being in a fantasy world story now.]
It was a world where foliage can treat your injuries just by being within. Besides, in his original world, there had been some buildings which had seemed to be beyond human understanding. Pyramids were one example of such a phenomenon. If you think about it, then maybe there was not much of a difference between this tower and the pyramids.
[Subaru: I’m looking for things in common between this world and my original world, did the past ‘me’ do this too?]
Subaru began to feel ridiculous at having referred to himself as the “past me”.
He felt as if he has slowly been going crazy ever since he’d lost his memories. In essence, there hadn’t been a Subaru ‘before’ or a Subaru ‘after’ losing his memories. The past and the present too, his-self was all one continuum. So, here too, Natsuki Subaru was –
[Subaru: – Oh?]
Subaru shook his head as if he was trying to shake off the thoughts that had clouded his mind – he let out a small sigh. It was truly a nonchalant sigh.
He had let it out completely unintentionally, in spite of having received something much more unexpected. It was no more, and no less than that.
However, at the same time he had let out that sigh, he had felt a slight push on his back.
And as he let out that sigh which was tantamount to no more than that, the world was flipped upside down.
His feet were off the ground – no, not just his feet… his whole body was. His whole body was overwhelmed by a feeling of weightlessness, he was falling down mid-air, losing sight of what was up or down.
Engulfed by the sensation of weightlessness, Natsuki Subaru continues to fall.
The sound of the wind whistled through his eardrums. He didn’t get it. He didn’t get anything. Right now, Subaru was falling. He was falling. Spinning round and round in mid-air as he falls down head-first.
Falling, falling, falling – as he falls his thoughts caught up to him – still falling.
[Subaru: Waaait, wait, wait, wait–]
The world was spinning around his eyes. His limbs were flailing in mid-air. He does not know how many seconds had elapsed, but finally Subaru understood what had happened.
Falling, he was falling. He was going to crash. He would hit the ground after falling down from above. He was swallowed by darkness as he fell past the spiral staircase. As he looked around desperately to all of his sides, Subaru could only see the tower’s stone walls flowing past him. No, the walls were not flowing past him. It was Subaru’s field of vision that was inverted as he fell down head-first – so it was in fact him who was sweeping past them. The sensation of tumbling down caused him to retch, chunks of vomit flying out from him.
Subaru couldn’t even breathe, his throat was clogged with vomit. His nose stung, tears of pain were streaming out of him and his organs felt like they were all in the wrong place. His whole body felt like a chaotic mess. His face, clothes, and surely the floor would have ended up flecked with vomit.
Emilia would be shocked. Beatrice would get angry at him. Ram would just coldly stare at him. Julius would give him a tired sigh. Echidna would shrug her shoulders. Meili would laugh. Shaula would point at him.
With such a feeling of frustration, Subaru had completely lost track of his own reality. Even if I search everywhere, I cannot find it. It’s not up in the sky. It’s not within me. Where did it go? Where is it? As well as his memory, Subaru had also lost himself.
Natsuki Subaru fainted just as that acrid mutter escaped from him. His consciousness halted, his thoughts were becoming fuzzy, and then–
And then ––––
And then ––––––––
And then ––––––––––––––––
And then ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
※※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※※
[? … Subaru! Hey, Subaru, are you okay?]
As he woke up, the first thing he heard was her chiming, silver bell voice. He could feel her breath near his face and her fingers on his arm. Sensing this, Subaru roused himself into consciousness, and slowly opened his eyes. In front of him was a frighteningly good-looking fairy of the moon.
[Subaru: Is this Emilia-chan…?]
[Emilia: Oh, Subaru, thank goodness. You woke up. I was really worried about you.]
Hearing Subaru speak, Emilia stroked her chest with a relieved look on her face. Subaru looked around the room in shock.
He was in a room that was completely covered in ivy, even the bed he was lying in was woven from ivy. The beautiful girl next to him, Emilia, was gently patting her chest in relief. And right next to her stood a drill loli.
[Beatrice: Emilia, if you continue to be so gentle to him, Subaru will not reflect on his actions, I suppose. If you don’t act tougher on him, he won’t understand just how much he worried everyone.]
[Emilia: That’s right, though Beatrice why do you say it like that? Subaru was missing, so we hurried to find him… when we did, he was collapsed, and you were about to cry…]
[Beatrice: It would be nice if you didn’t say the unneeded, I suppose!]
Beatrice turned away from them, her face turning red in anger. Subaru who was watching this exchange looked on in confusion.
[Subaru: Eh? What? Was it a dream?]
At hearing Subaru say that, both Emilia and Beatrice turned towards him.