Arc 6 – Chapter 44, “Medal of Blood”

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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

JAPANESE WEB NOVEL SOURCE.

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Translated by :

  • Ice_Occultism, /u/Ice_Occultism

Proofread by:

  • Furuta, /u/GracedHarperd
  • Ringo, /u/Ringo_17

Fan Art Created by :

PDF Link + Disclaimers:

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Within the stone room, Subaru was gazing down at his hands in shock at seeing the small girl who lay limp just beneath his eyes.

[Subaru: ………………………………]

He could not understand what had just happened. His wrists were wounded, his throat felt acrid, and his heart was racing. However those things did not seem to be linked with what had happened, in fact his memory was a complete blank, it was like a glitch had been born within his mind.

Apart from the physical evidence that remained, any traces of anyone had vanished. Only one thing was certain, only one thing –

– The light within the little girl’s eyes that lay in front of him had been extinguished.

[Subaru: … tch, it’s still too early to give up.]

One step at a time, each step he takes feels extremely heavy, as if his feet were glued to the floor.

He somehow manages to move his feet towards the little girl… Meili. He crouches down next to her.

[Subaru: …………………………]

Meili lay there motionless, in spread-eagled fashion with her mouth half-open. She had an expression that seemed like one of shock frozen on her face and her eyes seemed to be out of focus.

When he had first seen her, it had seemed like the girl had been taken by surprise. Seeing her figure now up close only strengthened this impression –

[Subaru: Mei, Meili… oy, Meili!]

He called that out. But there was no reaction.

Since his desperate appeal had not roused her, Subaru shakes her shoulders and tries to lightly slap her face in the hopes of seeing a response. But yet again, there was no response from her. Her eyelids which had remained open did not even blink.

[Subaru: Me…]

Stopping himself, Subaru took a deep breath and decides that he will try to resuscitate her using what he recalls. Putting his hands on her chest, he remembered learning about how to administer emergency chest compressions. He remembered that the heart’s position was about two fingers length away from the top of the stomach and that he would need to press down on her heart using all of his body weight. With this in mind, he started to push his palms down on her chest.

[Subaru: Haa… haaaaa…! Meili! Hey, Meili!]

[“…………………………..”]

[Subaru: Fuck.]

There was no reply. With a pale face, he feebly shook her body. Cursing the situation he was in, Subaru brought her head up and secured her airway in preparation for giving her mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. The process of CPR included administering both chest compressions and performing mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

[Subaru: What next. There’s something else. What is it, what is it, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, FUCK!]

Desperately clawing at his memory, Subaru searches for anything else that he could do. However, he had obtained this smattering of knowledge from watching TV; in the end it was only half-complete. The more desperately he tried to resuscitate her, the more Subaru’s arms succumbed to fatigue and the more it started to feel like a fruitless attempt.

Simply, in the end, he was repeating over and over again the actions of chest compressions, followed by mouth-to-mouth. He could not feel any trace of a heartbeat against his palms whilst he pressed down on her chest. He could not get any response from the girl’s body even when he was breathing air into her lungs. Continuing to administer CPR to the limit of his strength would –

[Subaru: Damn. It.]

Subaru fell back towards the ground, breathing in exhaustion and sweating profusely from his forehead.

[Subaru: Aaah… aah… fuck, fuuuck…!]

Clutching his fringe in frustration, Subaru could only swear. Meili had not shown any signs of breathing. His first impression had been correct. The light within this little girl’s eyes would never shine again.

… Meili had died.

Ruthlessly, fate had snatched away this young girl’s life so cruelly. Such an expression was mere consolation and was not suitable in this place. It hadn’t been fate that had killed her. She had been murdered by someone.

Meili’s neck was blemished by a series of bluish-black bruises.

[Subaru: …………………]

Holding his breath and filled with regret, Subaru looks towards his hands. Until now both of those hands had been used in an attempt to save Meili’s life – on his wrists, both his left wrist and his right wrist there were numerous amounts of scratches grooved into them as if done by fingernails. Quite entirely as if someone had scratched and clawed at them with all their might as if it was a life and death situation. He wasn’t so ignorant to not understand what it meant.

[Subaru: ……………………]

Subaru gets up and goes to fix Meili’s dishevelled appearance. He adjusts her clothing, crosses her arms across her chest, and closes her eyelids. And, whilst he was paying his respects to her corpse, he gently placed his hand against her thin neck.

Sensing a bad feeling about this, he traces his fingers against the bluish-black hues left on Meili’s neck.

[Subaru: … a perfect match.]

His faint muttering came without any strength or surprise, and it only reaffirmed this fact. The bruises left on Meili’s neck looked like they had been caused by fingers – and the shapes of those fingers matched exactly with Subaru’s fingers.

No longer would he doubt the facts here.

Meili had been strangled to death –

And the culprit was no other than –

[Subaru: ……u, gha]

As soon as he had accepted this fact, the feeling of wanting to vomit ran up his throat. He turned his face quickly and rolled to the side so he could avoid befouling Meili’s body. It had only been a short while in which Subaru’s breakfast had been in his stomach. Emptying his stomach’s contents onto the luxurious floor, he vomits until his stomach is completely empty.

[Subaru: I’m. really. done. puking.]

Wiping his mouth with his sleeve, he mocks himself. In fact he couldn’t remember how many times he had vomited now. This may have been the first time today, but yesterday it had been a terrible amount of times. He felt that as of now he wouldn’t be able to stomach any food anymore. Subaru felt like apologizing with all his heart to all the farmers around the country.

His mind would likely crack and break into little pieces if he wasn’t conscious of thinking such thoughts.

[Subaru: ………………]

There was a bunch of circumstantial evidence present. There had been two people in the room, and the bruises on Meili’s neck matched Subaru’s fingers. Subaru isn’t optimistic enough to believe that he could escape the blame in this situation.

He didn’t think someone had framed him.

You don’t need to add another person’s hands in this situation. If someone had framed him here, then this place transcended all known dimensions. If hands are needed to create this nightmare, then it is only two you need. Since Natuski Subaru possesses two hands, then surely that is enough?

[Subaru: … I don’t understand the meaning of this.]

Subaru lacked understanding in him to accept the facts in front of him. Inexplicable, baffling, incomplete, regardless of the term used to describe this scene, it would be impossible to reproduce it – he can only conclude that the crime was done by Natuski Subaru. However, Subaru did not hold such a memory within himself.

[Subaru: What happened, what happened? Remember. Remember, remember, remember…]

Walking around the room, Subaru tries to wrench open his memories. He had died, then woke up and seen Emilia, Beatrice and Patrasche. He had hid that he had lost his memories from them and then eaten breakfast. He had tried to interrogate Julius whilst Shaula secretly kept an eye on them. Then Meili came across saying she had something to say to Subaru.

[Subaru: Last night, she mentioned last night…]

Subaru frowns as he vaguely recalls Meili’s words. However, shortly after she had tried to talk about it, Subaru had slipped out of consciousness. The words she had said had shattered into a thousand pieces just like the thoughts that you can get whilst you are on the verge of falling asleep.

[Subaru: Last night, I was asked about last night. On that I am sure. Before I woke up or before I went to bed? Either way, she asked me… and then?]

From there, he doesn’t know anymore.

The only thing he can fathom about the contents of what Meili had asked Subaru was that it was related to his “Evening Excursion.”1

Emilia had told him that this morning Subaru had been found collapsed outside the Taygeta library. Subaru’s behaviour in the night before he had collapsed was completely unknown to him. At least now there was no doubt that the incident was related to his memory loss. And surely, Meili remembered what Subaru had forgotten; there happened to be some connection, on that there was no mistake –

[Subaru: She’s dead. And I strangled her…? Why did I do such a thing…?]

If he looked down at both of his hands, although not present in his memories, he felt that it revived a raw sensation in his palms. Both arms had squeezed her neck until her breath had stopped. There was evidence on his wrists that showed that Meili had desperately tried to resist. If he looked carefully, on Meili’s fingernails there was blood left in them, and the evidence of a fight. Very deep fingernail marks had been left there on his arms; he couldn’t help but feel like this had been the echo of deep-seated resentment that the little girl had left behind.

[Subaru: … ah?]

Subaru’s thinking had given reins to delusion – suddenly he let out a hoarse gasp. He had gasped as if he’d been taken aback by something. The cause was due to his arm. It was not the wounds at the vicinity of his wrist which he was staring at. He was looking at his right hand’s fingernails.

Just like Meili, his fingernails were jam-packed with blood and skin as if he had scratched someone.

[Subaru: ……………………]

With these baffling bloodstains in mind, Subaru turned to face Meili’s corpse again. Showing respect to her death, he had fixed up her dishevelled appearance. It wasn’t a great consolation, but except for her bluish-black bruises on her neck, the little girl’s corpse still looked cute just as she did when she was alive. At least there were no traces of any fingernail scars visible on her body. Subaru’s fingernails were unkempt and hideous, and there were no traces of such pitiful gouge-marks on her body.

Then the remains of skin and blood left stuffed inside his nails – wasn’t it from his intent to kill, what was it?

[Subaru: … no way.]

He looked down at the arm that had been hurting him; Subaru’s lips quiver as he gets a bad feeling about it. It is good to remember that from the elbow of his right arm, there was a grotesque black coloration to it. But it had been his left arm that was throbbing in pain.

Subaru starts to slowly roll up his sleeve, unrolling all the way up to the inside of his elbow, where the source of the pain was coming from. He feels the fabric trying to stick to his arm as dried blood peels off as he continues to unroll his sleeve. Taking a sharp breath, Subaru finishes unrolling his sleeves all the way to his shoulder. There he saw his own left arm bleeding quite a bit. Subaru took a very deep breath.

[Subaru: …………]

He scrapes away the dark-red blood that was dirtying his arm with his fingers, and gazed at the wound that had been bringing him this pain.

As he had imagined, there were scratches in his skin, as if it had been carved by his own right hand. From the inside of his elbow all the way to his upper arm, there was a wound which had been painfully carved into it. However, it was not merely just an ordinary wound.

There are characters.

Carved there on his flesh by fingernails are some crudely etched characters.

Engraved there, it said:

– “Natsuki Subaru was here.” 2

[Subaru: … ahh]

He felt trouble breathing from the moment he saw it. It was as if his breath had been knocked out of him. Subaru wiped the scar left on his left arm with his fingers to see if he had been mistaken. Over and over again. Once the flow of blood had stopped he rubbed the wound once more and confirmed it.

There was no other way of reading it. No matter how he looked at it, it was written as “Natuski Subaru was here.”

The handwriting was messy, written in Japanese, and said: Natsuki Subaru was here.

It was easy to understand. It was a very easy to understand self-assertion. It seems that the criminal left evidence at the scene of the crime as proof of his own crime. Leaving behind the name had clearly conveyed who had committed this crime. How kind of him, what ambition, oh how must he have craved being in the limelight –

[Subaru: You… you, what do you want!?]

In the face of such unacceptable facts, Subaru’s voice shook as he shouted out in grief. Shaking his left arm, and keeping it far away from him whilst turning his face away from it, his feet ended up getting tangled. He fell flat on his backside. Subaru’s left arm hit the floor and his teeth clattered together. Many, many times he banged his arm on the floor over and over again. He bit his lip as the pain in his bone resounded, blood starts to pool out of his mouth.

But even so, the reality of the situation will not change. The wounds on his arms will not disappear.

[Subaru: This wasn’t there! There was no such wound here!]

Shaking his head in refusal, Subaru cries out this appeal in the room where there only the motionless Meili lay. Subaru’s wound on his left arm must have occurred just after he slipped out of consciousness. The wound on his left arm had been newly created – he had never noticed it before. Someone had strangled Meili, and had scratched him as well – no, it wasn’t that.

No, no! That was absolutely wrong. It’s all wrong. Admit it. Understand it. He ought to know. It wasn’t someone else. It wasn’t performed by another being – this crime had been committed by Natsuki Subaru.

It wasn’t Subaru, it was “Natuski Subaru” who killed Meili and carved this medal in his arm to show off his achievement.

[Subaru: Cr…azy.]

Insane. Crazy. It seems he is going insane… is “Natsuki Subaru” the name of a monster that he just couldn’t comprehend.

[Subaru: ………………………]

This was not the first time Subaru had held great distrust of “Natsuki Subaru”.

“Natsuki Subaru” obviously repeats actions that make no sense, starting with his unusual behaviour of the night before which still hadn’t been answered.

When he had ended up questioning Julius, he had heard from him of Echidna’s misdeeds with him and how those actions had driven Julius into some sort of mental anguish… The Subaru that came back from the convenience store and the “Natsuki Subaru” here no longer resembled the same person. As if it was a counterfeit version of him. 3

Subaru was seriously convinced that his body possessed a completely different being inside it.

[Subaru: But, that’s not right…]

Although it annoys him to, if he pays close attention to the scar engraved on his left arm, he can’t deny his suspicion. His name was engraved on his arm. Of course, it was quite different from how he’d write it using a pen or a brush. However, there was a certain peculiarity within how the letters were written. Specifically, there was a certain habit that Subaru had when writing his calligraphy. Unless you were to deliberately copy them, it would be practically impossible for someone else to have coincidentally written it like this.

In other words, it was unmistakable that Subaru’s handwriting and “Natuski Subaru’s” handwriting had the same origin.

As soon as he had noticed that, the facts had become clear.

That is –

[Subaru: – when I lost my consciousness, “Natsuki Subaru” returned?]

And then that “Natuski Subaru” had had some form of argument with Meili and ended up killing her. He had then left that fact behind in his arm and all of this had been hidden in the confines of his consciousness. He doesn’t understand the real meaning behind doing such a thing.

[Subaru: Why are you using my body… why… my… no, what on earth am I? What are you planning to do!? Who are you, are you…]

Clutching his face, Subaru’s voice trembles as he mutters this. In this different world in which he has no allies. In this different world in which he doesn’t know who the enemy is. In this different world where he can’t tell between friend and foe. In the end, Subaru had removed even himself from the frame of innocence.

[Subaru: ………………]

He was staggering around, barely able to keep upright as the feeling of anxiety overwhelms his heart. Subaru tries to take long, deep breaths to ward off this overpowering feeling.

He can’t remain calm. His mind was in complete disarray. But, as it was currently, he didn’t want to be brandished about by whatever intentions “Natuski Subaru” had without knowing about them.

So –

[Subaru: – who are you?]

Whilst muttering words of hatred at the impossibility which was reflected in his arm, Subaru placed his left index fingernail against his right arm. He placed it right against the grotesque looking skin and started to scratch that into his arm.

Red blood droplets were oozing from his black skin. He thought that it was ironic that the blood that flowed from his black skin was red.

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  • [1] More like “Behaviour of the Evening” but “Evening Excursion” sounds snappier.
  • [2] Fun fact, this was carved into the Flugel tree in the anime, and also the words he wrote on the paper when he was studying at the mansion. Refer to this image: 
  • [3] The gist seems to be okay, but I feel like this part’s translation could be improved here.

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