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Translated by :
- Ice_Occultism, /u/Ice_Occultism
- Jaerek, /u/Jaerek
- Furuta, /u/Gracedharperd
- Shifty, /u/Shiftyfish87
- Furuta, /u/Gracedharperd
- Tournament, /u/Tournament1122
Fan Art Created by :
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Important preamble: Not to detract from the reading experience, but there are some important nuances in this chapter you have to be aware of which are hard to do in English. Putting a preamble makes me avoid putting in tons of footnotes. As you have seen last Chapter, reading Meili’s book caused Subaru to sort of take in her personality. She has a distinct style of speaking, using this form to refer to herself: わたし (Watashi), whereas Subaru tends to use 俺 (Ore). The way I have chosen to represent this is by using italics to represent when Meili interjects in his thoughts. So any passages in italics should correspond to Meili’s voice inside Subaru’s head. In addition, I preserve the self-referencing word (I/myself/my/etc.) in the Japanese quotation marks. Also, WordPress doesn’t let me, but the Title of the Chapter is said using Meili’s pronoun, so should be in italics. With that said I hope you enjoy the chapter!
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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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A dark, dark, dark, dark, dark, dark, dark place.
In the back of his head, the back, back, back, back, back, back, back.
Myself, I, I, who, you, you, Natsuki Subaru, Meili Portroute.
Natsuki Kenichi, Elsa Granhiert, Natsuki Naoko, Petra Leyte, Emilia, Shaula, Beatrice, Frederica Baumann, Anastasia Hoshin, Garfiel Tinsel, Julius Juukulius, Otto Suwen, Ram, the blue hair, who is, I am, you are,『I』am, myself is, the others are, I, you, you, me―
―Myself,『I』… Natsuki Subaru. Myself,『I』… Natsuki Subaru.
―Who,『I』… Meili Portroute. Who,『I』… Meili Portroute.
These thoughts spin round and round and round in his mind, blurring the lines between what is reality and what isn’t. They are fused together as one, blending as one, becoming entwined as one, feeling affection as one, hating as one, suffering as one, loving as one, desiring as one, killing as one, wishing as one, destroying as one, threatening as one, understanding as one, crying as one, laughing as one, not understanding as one.
“You can only be yourself. Others can only be themselves.” There’s no room for compromise, no compromise out of pity, no chance to engender a compromise, no being considerate to each other; there’s nothing, nothing at all in the end.
Shaking his head back and forth, he exerts himself in trying to extract the thorn of the so called『Other Person』from inside himself with utmost effort. Emilia and Beatrice both gently hoist him up by his shoulders, and prop the struggling boy up from his left and right. Whilst feeling traces of the two’s worries on their cheeks, the boy ― the individual that should be called Natsuki Subaru is trying to determine the boundary between his own self and others. He is struggling trying to regain himself.
A swirl of thoughts clouds him, the correct answer disappears due to the whirl of emotions which were melting together inside him. His lungs were convulsing; if he were to feel his throat now, he would realise that his breathing had become painful. From within his neck, he was experiencing a severe difficulty in his breathing that had come to life just now. A fear that he would suffocate was slowly attacking him. The sensation of impending『Death』once again revives within him, the feeling of wanting to vomit surfaces inside him and causes tears to stream out of his eyes.
Whilst confronted by this horrible feeling, Subaru slowly and carefully tries to excludes things which would don’t define him from within him, struggling to establish his own personal identity. First person pronouns, second person pronouns, memory, recollections, impressions, feelings… identify which belong to the other person, and distinguish between them.
Just like that, if he sifts through what is not his and removes the stuff that got blended together, he will go back to as he was. Otherwise, this state where they are fused and blended together will never peel off. It was himself, and the little girl who had been killed by his own『Hands』that were mixed together into a hodgepodge of―
Echidna: 「―Natsuki-kun, what on earth did you see? Are you able to tell us?」
Subaru:「Uh, ah? 」
A voice had called out from in front of Subaru, as he was immersed by his current identity crisis. He looks at her. Right in front of him, at the same level he was crouched at, a person with pale, turquoise eyes is squinting at him: Anastasia ― No, now it’s Echidna, right? In any case, it’s that girl. Despite Subaru having such recognition, Echidna’s eyes remain quite serious, and she continues to speak.
Echidna:「I sympathise that you are in a tough spot. But, the current situation we are all in is quite grave. If you are able to, we need information as soon as possible. That way we don’t make any mistakes when dealing with this.」
Emilia:「Wait, Echidna… Just now, Subaru experienced something terrible…」
Echidna:「Of course, I know that. I also appreciate that his recklessness was something he did for us, you know… That is why we ought to have a duty in responding quickly to his judgement.」
Subaru can only let out a hoarse breath, as Echidna’s assertions pierce through Emilia who had tried to defend him. Whilst talking, Echidna’s gaze for a moment turned towards the fallen book on the floor behind him. Taking a look at the thick black binding of the book, Echidna continued her speech with a: 「Because,」
Echidna:「The little girl who accompanied us is missing. Furthermore, we found a book which seemed to match with the little girl’s name in this library that records the memories of the dead… This situation is serious. We can not afford to be treading water here.」
Emilia:「That’s… Yeah, but…」
Emilia can’t find a rebuttal against Echidna’s low, insisting tone of voice. In fact, Echidna’s complaint was justified. In this messed-up situation, the only one to possess such vital information is Subaru. Taking everyone’s feelings into consideration, it can be said that everyone here has no time to spare to calm down. As she knows that, Echidna is prepared to be blamed, so with a steeled heart, she raised her questions at Subaru.
At hearing her resolve, Subaru grits his teeth again and places his hand against his throat. With all his strength, fighting against the feeling that he can’t breathe, he shut his eyes and―
Echidna:「Let me try asking again, Natsuki-kun. What did you see inside the bo―」
Subaru:「―I saw… Meili’s… memories…」
Subaru responds with perfect honesty to Echidna’s questions without attempting to deceive her. Just as he said that, next to her, Emilia held her breath, and in front of him, Echidna closed her eyes. Next to them, Beatrice, Julius and Ram each respectively have expressions of worry and grief floating across their faces.
『The Book of the Dead』had shown Subaru Meili’s memories. There isn’t a single person here who wouldn’t be able to understand what that meant.
Could there have been a mistake and the memories in Meili’s book had been laid out there by some error? How easy would it have been to comfort oneself by clinging onto such futile hope. However, in this place, he isn’t alone in not wanting to surrender himself to this deception and escaping towards the more comfortable option. Especially for the girls right next to Subaru whose cheeks had stiffened in distress trying to bear this.
Beatrice:「Calm down, Subaru, in fact. Calm down, and focus on regaining yourself, I suppose.」
Beatrice:「It’s okay, in fact. Right now, you can rely on Betty, I suppose… This isn’t just your fault Subaru, in fact. Don’t beat yourself up, I suppose.」
Beatrice had stood up and hugged Subaru’s head as he breathed unsteadily. The little girl was gently stroking his black hair with her hands. Whilst checking on Subaru’s wellbeing, which was scattered into thousands of little pieces, he notes the irony in it
Beatrice had so benevolently said that it wasn’t Subaru’s fault. But, this was no one’s fault but『Natsuki Subaru’s』who had committed this crime. Not knowing this fact, Beatrice was speaking gently to him and treating him kindly; it was so absurd that it was almost comical, yet harrowing.
Julius:「―Miss Ram, what do you think?」
As Beatrice and Subaru had been giving this exchange, Julius, with a serious look etched on his face had turned towards Ram and tried to get her input on the matter. Compared to the others, the complexion of those two had not paled in shock to the same extent. Following Meili’s memories, it’s known that these two had been the most wary about her. At least, Meili had felt that both Ram and Julius had never lacked in vigilance towards her, as she had once been an assassin. Conversely, she had certainly taken note of Emilia and Echidna’s carelessness towards her.
Julius:「If you believe the words that Subaru just spoke, Miss Meili has already…」
Ram:「There’s no way Barusu would be skillful or cold-hearted enough to conjure up a lie in this situation…I’m certain that the book is Meili’s. To make sure, we could have someone else check it?」
Holding her slender arms, Ram glares down at the book that was still lying on the floor. Following that speech, Julius frowned in thought and said:
Julius:「―If I were to…」
Ram:「Would there even be any leeway for you, since you’d be reading one these books for a second time? So to speak, what if doing it a second time you end up in the same state as Barusu. Of course, we could also presume that it has only resounded to this degree in Barusu due to him being immature and inexperienced…」
Ram:「But unfortunately, when it comes to your mindset now, whether it can be said to be more stable than Barusu’s, Ram hasn’t evaluated it as being any better.」
Standing up stiffly, Julius held his breath as he heard Ram’s words, who had narrowed her light-pink eyes. However, he quickly shook his head and said:「That’s reasonable…」
Julius:「…It’s bitter, but, I have no basis to reject the words of Miss Ram. Yesterday, when I acted in this predicament so selfishly and arbitrarily without consulting anyone… I’m definitely not qualified to do this at all.」
Echidna:「I am sorry, but I also agree.」
Echidna raised her hand up and barged her way into the conversation after hearing Julius’ self-deprecating words. And, whilst fiddling with her white scarf which was wrapped around the base of her neck, she said:
Echidna:「However, the basis of my argument is not about the state of mind which Julius is in. Purely, I am only stating my opposition to this from looking at the state Natsuki-kun is in and saying that it’s too dangerous to try this!」
Ram:「It’s pretty much a fact that it’s dangerous. It’s quite obvious that this situation is pretty messed up.」
Julius:「Indeed. Since the last time, it seems that the influence from reading the book has come out more strongly. The only question is whether this is down to reading the book more than once or whether it’s due to the specific book you read.」
Ram:「Maybe it’s both the number of times you read it, and who the book belongs to?」
As Ram and Julius wrack their brains, Echidna nods at the two saying:「Aah,」
Echidna:「Simply put, could there be a mechanism where your burden increases the more books you read? …Or, perhaps, could it be that it warps your mind due to seeing the memories of a person that was close to you? I think the possibilities are divided into two.」
Ram:「A person close to you, huh?」
Echidna had raised her fingers up, and to her conjecture, Ram turned towards Subaru. Whilst seeing her glaring at him, Subaru desperately tried not to scream from where he was, his face pressed against the middle of Beatrice’s delicate chest.
Most likely, Echidna’s guesses were correct. The reason why Subaru’s heart had suffered so much damage was due to her latter guess ― the cause of this burden was likely because he had looked at the memories of someone he was quite well acquainted with.
People involved in closer relationships ― Those fresh records of『Life』bring a greater impact.
It’s natural that people are more interested in closer companions than people they have more distant relationships with. Subaru also wished this as a fact. As a matter of fact, Subaru… and Meili’s minds had almost merged together and he was coming to grips with that he wanted to know her.
As a result, Subaru had come to face the unfathomable emptiness in the depth of『Oneself.』That young girl had been carrying this feeling of emptiness for all of her life―
Emilia:「―Anyways, we can’t sit still without doing anything. Let’s go and search for Meili.」
A strong feeling of silence echoed across the room. It had been Emilia who had looked up firmly with both of her hands placed upon her chest and said this. Emilia had gained everyone’s attentions in the library, Subaru widened his eyes at her words.
― Search, searching… what the heck. What is the meaning of this?
― Meili, she, damn but『I』am already dead.
― Even though they never even cared about her before she died.
Emilia:「Even if we find her, it’s probably too late. If only we had been together with that girl, but probably we couldn’t have. But, at the very least, we need to find her body.」
Emilia:「So, no one at all knows where that little girl could have wandered off to? First of all, we shall find her… And after that, we will see what we can do. Let’s go search for her.」
Emilia’s words weren’t concrete, they were far off from being reliable and wise. What was the point of this? The insistence of the『Me』inside Subaru remained unchanging. Moreover, it should have argued that it was a useful way of using time, if it was being a realist.
However, no one in this place opposed Emilia’s suggestion. There wasn’t a single person who’d flatly deny her and say that was erring.
Therefore, what followed Emilia’s proposal was a realistic discussion on how to go about searching for Meili. She announced that they would split into groups to search for her.
Emilia:「We have no choice but to change our plan for today. We need to split up and search for her.」
Ram:「Before we do that…Ram will go and check to see if Rem is safe. Before I went out to call for Emilia-sama, Barusu and everyone else, I was with her in the spirit’s room… I will go back now, once again.」
Julius:「That’s okay Miss Ram. …Subaru, it seems like a cruel thing to ask, but I want to make sure. Did you also happen to see Miss Meili’s last moments in her『Book of the Dead』?」
Subaru hesitated to answer Julius’ carefully worded inquiry. The answer to that question on whether he had seen Meili’s last moments is a Yes. Subaru had experienced the very moment in which Meili’s 『Life』 had been snuffed out. Her neck had been strangled, her consciousness had slipped away as she was being choked, her thoughts had been filled with hatred and despair, and then it had stopped abruptly ― it must have been in that very moment that her life had ceased.
It was Natsuki Subaru who had experienced this and had been complicit in hiding the girl’s corpse. Natsuki Subaru is helping the man who killed『me.』The Natsuki Subaru who knows『me』, was helping none other than『Natsuki Subaru』, the most detestable in this world.
Echidna:「―Natsuki-kun, I want you to answer. Did you see her last moments? Where is she now? Did you see what on earth caused her death?」
Echidna had kept hounding Subaru with questions to as he remained speechless. It felt like the emotions in her words indicated that she was feeling suspicious on her pretty countenance. Her words made him feel on edge. His heartbeat quickens, his back starts to sweat. He fears that Beatrice, by his side, could notice this.
―In fact, Subaru wonders if everyone knows that he had some involvement in Meili’s death.
Subaru wonders if they already know and are feigning ignorance in order to draw out a confession from him by cornering him with devious tricks. These crazy ideas cross his mind. But, each time these ideas had come to his mind, the look in their eyes denied these thoughts as being plausible.
Emilia, Beatrice, Echidna and Julius’ eyes had turned towards Subaru. His hands stained with blood, his thoughts scuzzy, Subaru is only struggling to frantically protect himself. He possesses such an ugly, rotten heart; that’s what it seems like. Then, better yet, listen to『my』desires―
Subaru:「―I didn’t see up until the point where she died. There’s no doubt though that she’s inside the tower though.」
Subaru bit down firmly the temptations brought by『her.』Dangerous feelings are sprouting up deep down inside of him ― she was trying to convince Subaru to confess to his crime. That was the sweet curse left behind by Meili Portroute.
These thoughts are certainly newly born within Subaru. They want Emilia and the others to find Meili’s dead body. Find her, mourn her, repent for what had happened, make him feel sorrow; the thoughts inside of him want to relieve the emotions coiled within his heart.
He was getting to the point where he too no longer knew who out of Natsuki Subaru,『Myself』, and『Natsuki Subaru』desired what.
Echidna:「… Do you have any strength left to read the book again?」
Echidna had thrown out a suggestion at him which you could call completely ruthless, as he struggled to decide on what he wanted. For a second, Subaru tried to reply with a「If you say I have to do it」, but before he could, Beatrice had snapped at her. While still hugging Subaru’s head, Beatrice’s round eyes sharpened.
Beatrice:「What name does Betty have to shout out, in fact…! In any case, I won’t let that happen, I suppose. Past this, I oppose it, for both emotional and other reasons, in fact.」
Echidna:「Given the risks of being joined together as one, I would never have seriously recommended it. I wanted to make sure he was prepared just in case, that’s all. Y’know, It wasn’t my intention to make him do it even if he insisted.」
Beatrice:「…let’s pray that was what you were really thinking, I suppose.」
Beatrice speaks angrily over his shoulder to Echidna who was hastily taking back her words. Immediately after this exchange, it was Emilia and Julius simultaneously who broke the awkward silence that the two had left behind.
Emilia:「Stop this now! I also don’t agree with making Subaru do more reckless things. I also don’t want us to be forever discussing this here. …we need to start moving quickly.」
Julius:「I completely agree with Emilia-sama. ―In these circumstances, we can assume it’s very likely that an accident befell Miss Meili. Something may have happened like slipping off the balcony or off the stairs, or she could have gone outside the tower…」
Shaula:「―That’s not what haappened.」
Out of nowhere, Shaula who hadn’t participated in the conversation until then, had interjected to deny the concerns that Julius had blurted out. She had picked up Meili’s『Book of the Dead』that had fell down underneath the woman’s feet. Whilst picking it up by its spine, she was shaking it from left to right.
Shaula:「Beeecause, if Chibiko Number 2 had gone outside the tower, I would definitely have turned into a killing machine! What I mean by that is that no one went outy-side~」
Emilia:「You sure are quick to touch the book that we hesitate to touch, for some reason.」
Shaula:「Leaving it out on the floor makes me feel kinda anxious. Like, what if someone thinks that it’s disrespectful towards the library…I don’t actually want to be a presence kill-’em-all, you know?」
(Note: Shaula says something in Engrish here which makes absolutely no sense. Doesn’t even seem to be a reference.)
Whilst saying this, Shaula was throwing the『Book of the Dead』around her hands as if she was juggling it. Her attitude seemed to be one born out of fear of disrespecting the library, however, it felt more unscrupulous in effect than anything. Julius scowled at her attitude.
Julius:「Miss Shaula, I would like for you to stop messing about with the book. You’re…」
Shaula:「You guys think that my heart isn’t filled with grief or something like thaaat? I’m not sure I said such a thing. For sure Chibiko Number 2 clung to me quite often. I also didn’t dislike Number 2, but… ultimately, except for Master, I don’t give a fig about anyone elseee!」
Looking quite indifferent, Shaula smiled and disregarded Julius’ words. He couldn’t catch a glimpse of any evil intent in what she had said. It was undoubtedly what Shaula really felt, at least, that’s how Subaru perceived it.
In brief, she’s a person who also finds it hard to comprehend certain emotions within her heart, compared to ordinary people. ―Actually, no. Ever since he came to this place Subaru, has only had a limited amount of contact with them; it’s no wonder he isn’t able to comprehend their true feelings.
He wonders what complex emotions could be hiding on the other side of the mask of her smiling face.
Though, that was just something he’d came to realise all too well now, after assimilating『my』life.
Emilia:「―Let’s split up, we’ll look for Meili. Subaru, you stay here with Beatrice.」
In between Subaru’s self-condemnation and the awkward atmosphere left behind by Shaula, Emilia raised her voice and cuts in with a few words to urge them all into action. Subaru’s heart panged with shame at hearing the girl’s instructions. They want to find『me』―
Emilia:「Beatrice, I’m leaving Subaru to you, ok? I’m going to go look around where Reid is.」
Beatrice:「Very well, in fact. ―Emilia and everybody else, Be careful, I suppose.」
Exchanging these words, and placing him under Beatrice’s care, Emilia and Beatrice sort out everyone’s roles, praying for some stroke of luck in this situation. Emilia took Ram, Echidna and Julius with her, and went back into the tower to search for Meili. As he sees them disappearing out of the library, Subaru can’t find any words to see them off―
Beatrice:「―Well then, I guess you aren’t thinking about going with them, in fact.」
After seeing off the search party, she had been left behind next to Subaru. Whilst glaring at Shaula, Beatrice had bluntly said this. At receiving Beatrice’s scathing glance, Shaula replied in an exaggerated tone:「Buuuuuuut」
Shaula:「You gotta remember my role here is just as Stars-Keeper, nooo? So, given that I’ve taken that title, my body and soul belong to Master… so if Master was to wish for it, I would follow his requests with all I haaave.」
Beatrice:「If that’s the case, then you must also go and search for Meili, I suppose. Don’t just dawdle here.」
Shaula:「Hm, reaaally, is that so?」
Shaula had craned her neck and looked towards Subaru with a look on her face that looked almost coquettish. Looking over Beatrice’s head, she questions Subaru about it directly. There’s something bewitching about her appearance ― rather than the usual nonchalant appearance on her face, for the first time her facial expression showed signs of something else other than the usual youthful demeanour she has.
Subaru’s heart once again leapt at seeing the charm in her face, it was as if he had been surprise attacked. He reflexively raised his face up and looked back into Shaula’s black irises, in which he couldn’t read anything from. Face-to-face with Subaru, Shaula’s lips relax, and showing no traces of malintention she holds the『Book of the Dead』in front of her ample breasts.
Shaula:「If Master wished me to do so, I would even knock down the moooon. That’s why I want to hear it from Master, not from the half-witch, or from Chibiko Number 1 or from the pretty boy.」
Shaula:「Master, what should I dooo? Do you want me to look for Chibiko Number Twooo? Or…?」
Shaula trailed off her words, choosing not to say anything past that point. However, while looking for Subaru’s decision and while she held the『Book of the Dead』by her breasts, Shaula refrained herself from saying any more. Subaru reflected but couldn’t come up with anything to say to her unwavering attitude.
Where was the right answer deep down in himself?
His conflicted emotions towards what Emilia and the others had suggested were proof of Natsuki Subaru’s current contradictory existence.
―Meili Portroute… her life, which by no means could be said to have been long.
By having read the contents within her『Book of the Dead』, it had snatched away at him as it liked, as if digesting parts of him; blasphemously chewed, swallowed, and digested with an invisible stomach. 『Natsuki Subaru』had fully savoured the life of『me』in twice the meaning of it.
As a result, the mixed consciousnesses of Natsuki Subaru and『Natsuki Subaru』were divided into something which half resembled schizophrenia, having also now taken in the little girl.
― Subaru wants to conceal the manner in which Meili had『died.』
― Subaru wishes them to find Meili’s dead body that he himself had hid.
― Subaru hates『Natsuki Subaru』who killed『me.』
And thus, contradicting wishes were born inside of Subaru, spurring him in trying to make their desires come true.
Subaru:「―Shaula, go and search for Meili. Please go and help Emilia and everyone else.」
Before he could even notice it, Subaru was issuing out something like an order regarding what to do about Meili. Receiving his instructions, Shaula raised her eyebrows and straightened her body into a salute.
Shaula:「Roger that! If that’s what Master wishes, I will do whateeever you desire!」
Winking at him, whilst giving him a loving salute, Shaula held out the book towards Subaru. He received from her the book which felt like a black weight in that moment; Shaula stuck out her tongue at Subaru whose face had scrunched up into a frown. She looked somewhat mischievous, just like she was getting her own back; she turned away from Subaru and she jumped down the library stairs with one giant leap. He sees her swaying black hair gradually disappearing from his sights. Feeling as if he had been released from a great tension, Subaru let out a sigh of relief.
Subaru:「Such strange things…」
― The falsely accused Natsuki Subaru, who doesn’t want to divulge his participation in the crime, or let them find her dead body.
―『I』, the victim, wish for them to find my body and clear the anger and regret from myself.
―『Natsuki Subaru』, the perpetrator, who murders people and piles up acts of wickedness one after the other.
All of these thoughts exist alongside each other in one body; all of them loom over and try to press Natsuki Subaru into selecting one of their choices. If he truly only cared about his own skin, he would have shut his mouth regarding Meili’s life and death; he would have worked his brain harder to falsify the contents that he had seen within the『Book of the Dead.』
In fact, he couldn’t really have done that, Subaru wouldn’t really have the intelligence to do such an act, but more than that, he felt hostility towards『Natsuki Subaru』and emphasised towards『My』own regrets ― there was anger towards himself, in letting such a wicked being do as it pleases.
It’s true that last time, and the time before that, and even before that, that someone had been behind Subaru dying. But even that seems like as if it’s a plot set up by『Natsuki Subaru』lurking inside of Subaru. It seems likely that it’s a trap setup to make Subaru act rashly and hate the others.
After all, what he had thought before reading the『Book of the Dead』was right, wasn’t it. Emilia, Meili and everyone else, not one of them was truly evil… the only one who is evil is Natsuki Subaru, isn’t it.
Beatrice:「Subaru, it’s not good for you to be languishing in thought, in fact. It’d be better if you let go of that book, I suppose.」
Just noticing her, Beatrice was kneeling right beside him, looking at him with a look of concern in her eyes. Right in front of him, she was giving him a look of concern ― It resurfaced in his mind that Emilia had looked at him in the exact same way. A sense of discomfort takes hold of Subaru’s heart.
The emotions that Beatrice was letting off ― they weren’t directed towards Natsuki Subaru himself, rather, they were directed at『Natsuki Subaru.』It seems like such a terribly dishonest thing to do in having received this himself after having hidden the fact that he’d lost his memory, and on top of that, having kept his silence about the true nature of『Natsuki Subaru.』
Shouldn’t he tell them? Before he knew it, it had been the current Natsuki Subaru who had snatched Meili’s『Life』from her. If that’s what was going to happen, then, before that danger is once again turned towards Emilia, Beatrice and the others―
Subaru:「…Why are you so kind to me?」
Beatrice:「―. Wait, that’s such a sudden question, in fact. What’s the matter, I suppose.」
As a final word on this matter, if he is to crack the meaning behind these relationships that he had borrowed, maybe he needs to hear what had happened before becoming like so ― their real opinion. He needs to know the real meaning of why Emilia, Beatrice and everyone else have such so much faith and are always turning towards『Natsuki Subaru.』
The moment he had tried to put some deep thought into it, a feeling of hesitation arises inside of Subaru’s heart. That which『I』 had turned towards Elsa. Emilia and the others, who in this world treat Natsuki Subaru as someone close to them, that which they turn towards『 Natsuki Subaru.』
A gemstone that only Natsuki Subaru could have, that only he could gaze upon. The traces, the lingering scent, the remnants, the warmth that should have been there, why was it that only Natsuki Subaru was exposed to it in such proximity?
Why, such a man…
Why, such a cruel human being…
Why, a man with such a cruel smile…
Why, this man involved in the death of Elsa…
Why, this man who laughed as he murdered Meili…
Why, this man who tried to conceal『My』death…
Why, is such a man, this man, this man — so loved?
I want to know. I don’t know. I want to know. I don’t know. Only me, only Subaru, only『I』do not know the reason. I don’t know. I don’t understand. It’s all so one-sided.
If I ask, will I understand? If I ask, will I be able to call it into question? Can you tell me?
Did you think it was genuine? The smile I expressed… the smile I showed was a fake… there was emptiness in my heart. That’s because everyone wears masks, even you, Natsuki Subaru. Even despite you not having wanted to show it to your mother and father outside the house.
If there’s a way to know the truth, then where is it. What do they all really think of me, what are their true feelings, why do they all believe in『Natsuki Subaru』?
『I』can give that to you ― A way to know about this.
A voice resonating in his mind cruelly seduces him. And he realises that the solution to the problem that had dominated his thoughts for so long was close by.
Hadn’t there been up until now a way to know the answer to this resting in between his arms?
Staring at the silent Subaru, Beatrice narrowed her eyes with uneasiness. Without returning her gaze, Subaru simply looked down between his arms.
― A black, heavy tome, it seemed like it was offering a gruesome welcome to his curiosity.
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