Arc 6 – Chapter 48, “Murder Becomes a Habit”

yowaikomax

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Translated by :

  • Ringo, /u/Ringo_17
  • Jaerek, /u/Jaerek
  • Furuta, /u/Gracedharperd
  • Ice_Occultism, /u/Ice_Occultism

Proofread by:

  • Shifty, /u/Shiftyfish87
  • Frusty, /u/TheFrustratedMan
  • Nana

Fan Art Created by :

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Small Preamble: Refer to the previous chapter for the format I present Subaru thinking as Meili. In addition, you will see that something happens in the chapter that makes it more natural/easier to represent Meili’s interjections this time around!

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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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Subaru: 「――――」

Subaru was silent whilst he looked down at the black cover of the『Book of the Dead』which he held in between his arms.

Beatrice nestles closer to him, and feeling her worried and strange gaze, Subaru doesn’t dare to move.

Until now, what had dominated Natsuki Subaru’s mind were questions he’d ask himself without any particular answer, as if engaging in zen dialogue. 1 

The truth is, what had occupied Subaru’s mind were just shallow thoughts that could be discarded as just wasteful thinking.They were the laughable questions of a child.

Everyone, no matter who, always has an inner face which others would never see.

This was an obvious truth which everyone learned as they come of age. The expression of hatred behind a smile, the sorrow and tears behind their anger. It is human beings that can pretend that these emotions don’t exist, While hiding their true feelings.

It is impossible to fully understand the true wishes, the true desires, the true intentions, of human beings.

Brothers, sisters, parents, children, spouses, family members… you can never fully come to understand any of them. Friends, childhood friends, best friends, lovers… no matter how close your relationship becomes, by no means is it ever possible to uncover what is hidden deep inside them.

What they love. What they desire. What they prefer. Who they let their guard down around. Who they feel comfortable with. These problems of the mind and body were a totally separate issue to what he wanted.

Indeed, he knows that. But, still, he doesn’t want to abandon these thoughts just for the sake of it. He wants to know, he wants to understand it, he wants to hear it, he wants them to reveal everything. That is his arrogant, but desired wish. Even more so, when it involves both his own and the others lives hanging by a thread. Even if there is absolutely no way to do it.

No, there was supposed to be absolutely no way to do it.

He laughed at the thought of it, sure there was supposed to be absolutely no way to do such a thing. But, in this Taygeta library, Subaru ended up finding out how.

「――――」

Meili Portoute. By reading her『Book of the Dead』, Subaru saw through Meili’s life, understood what she thought and felt, and who she hated at the time of her demise.

Of course, his extremely short experience did not define Meili entirely. The time she had spent alive was too long to even accept all her individual events into his brain. Even if it had been a short life that she had lived, he could by no means have absorbed into him all of her memories.

Eagerly gnawing away at the key points, drinking them in with the intention of understanding Meili. Those were the kinds of painful feelings that the current Natsuki Subaru understood.

However, but, even so. By understanding the core fragments of the girl, Subaru now had a deeper understanding of Meili than ever before.

There was a person whomIcherished. Her life was stolen away from me, and, now alone, my heart continued to wander. Being with Subaru and the others, who were the ones responsible for that, I struggled to understand what exactly my purpose was. I went to the library to find herBook of the Dead, and I felt ashamed and in despair when I was discovered.

Subaru had found out everything he hadn’t known about Meili, without even intending to. He had discovered the girl’s innermost feelings and desires without even expecting it.

If this『Book of the Dead』truly did not lie, wasn’t it a way of unearthing the true natures of the others?

Subaru:「――――」

It was just that he wants to know, that’s the only thing he desires. The real intentions of Emilia, Beatrice, and the others in the tower is what he wishes to know. He wants to know why they put so much trust in『Natsuki Subaru.』

Why do they believe『Natsuki Subaru』who was responsible for killing『Me』? And now, what do they think of Subaru who desperately pretends to be『Natsuki Subaru』?

Intimacy is just camouflage, hatred is the reality, and feelings like anger, sadness and joy are temporary. Hostility and malice, aren’t those their true feelings?

I don’t know. I want to know. I want to trust them. I can’t trust them. Are Emilia and the others allies, or are they enemies; are they enemies who killed Subaru, or are they allies that want him to live? Do they love him, do they not love him? Do they hate him, do they not hate him?

―Won’t he obtain that answer by reading their『Book of the Dead』?

Beatrice: 「…Subaru, you really look terrible, in fact. If you are feeling uneasy here, it’d be better if we went somewhere else for you to rest, I suppose.」

Touching Subaru’s shoulder, who was immersed in thought, Beatrice gives her suggestion. Subaru was rendered breathless for a minute, being trapped by the gaze of her characteristic blue butterfly pattern in her eyes. Looking at it, the girl’s tiny, tiny palm rested on Subaru’s shoulder.

What would happen if he took her hand, grabbed her head and smashed it on the floor with all his strength?

Subaru:「How, small…」

Beatrice:「Wh… what are you suddenly starting to say in fact? This smallness is exactly the reason behind Betty’s loveliness, I suppose. Subaru has also said that in fact.」

Subaru reflexively relaxes his cheeks, as Beatrice sullenly blurts this out. Certainly, it could be said that Subaru was not at all in a normal state. Noticing the similarity between himself and『Natsuki Subaru』, he smiles bitterly.

Small. Truly, Beatrice was just, a small child. Her neck was thin and her bones fragile. The hand that rested on Subaru’s shoulder was small enough to be fully covered by his palm. If he put even a bit of strength into his arms whilst hugging her, it seems like her fragile body would break. If these thoughts are turned to actions, he should be able to easily kill her.

―If he kills her, if her life blinks out of existence, will her book appear in the library?

???:『Seems like it, doesn’t i~t.』

Subaru:「――――」

Suddenly, Subaru hears a voice from his subconscious, one which would be impossible to call his own. It is somewhat sweet, glossy enough to sound adult, but it was a strangely『familiar』voice. In that short period of time, the voice became familiar enough that he could call it his own.

The voice inside him was that of the dead little girl who mocks Natsuki Subaru’s intentions.

Subaru:「――――」

However, Subaru discards this event, concentrating on the matter in front of him. That is, whether the『Book of the Dead』could be realistically utilised.

If so, then how would he go about making this come true,

Beatrice:「Your face looks really pale, I suppose. Indeed, we should go somewhere else in fact. But before that…」

Subaru:「―ah」

Beatrice:「I must return that where it originally was, I suppose. It’s no good to mislead Betty in fact.」

Saying that, Beatrice takes the『Book of the Dead』from Subaru’s stiff hands. She holds it cautiously to ensure the book doesn’t open, and places it where there was an empty gap in the bookshelf; the place where it originally was.

Beatrice:「It’s easy to understand and remember where I positioned it, I suppose. However, it’s possible that the books in this library will just start moving on it’s own…」

Subaru:「A safety measure, huh… that’s, mhm, yeah, I suppose that’s right.」

Beatrice:「You ought to think that bringing it outside is pretty dangerous in fact. This is safer than throwing them out onto the floor because Shaula is worried about that, I suppose.」

Subaru:「I feel like being in this library is a once in a lifetime opportunity for me.」

Subaru dryly spits these words out as he replies to Beatrice.

In reality, even in the world which Subaru knows, it’s said that opportunities like coming across a book which has been published a number of years ago only come once. Just like coming across a second-hand bookstore whilst travelling, if he misses out on this opportunity, he may never find the book ever again. This speculation may also apply to this library.

Like usual, had he been overthinking this? No doubt that this thought is bothering him.

Either way, whilst warily looking at Beatrice’s back as she struggles to arrange the books, Subaru immerses himself deeper and deeper into his sea of thoughts.

Realistically, though, he needs to find a way to kill the girl. Although, Beatrice isn’t the only one he should think about. Every single one of the members who are inside the tower are in a position to becoming a target to Subaru’s plan involving the『Books of the Dead.』

Meili:『Is it really better for you to continue doubting its reliability? It feels to me like you want to kill… aah, Onii-san truly is warped. Tut-tut.』

The voice of the little girl interrupts Subaru from his thoughts, clicking her tongue at him.

The first thing thing he wants to say back to her is that he thinks that this is a necessary thought-experiment. By no means is Subaru a psychopath that is dominated by homicidal impulses, he isn’t controlled by such abnormal urges whereby he must take pleasure in deeds like that. But, right now, when he was thinking this through, this had been the only choice that had come to his mind. It seemed rational.

Meili:『Enough with the excuses… I wo~nder, can’t you just tell me what you’re going to do?』

―It would be very easy to get rid of Beatrice.

This is because Subaru can see her back… unprotected, defenceless, completely unguarded. It can be clearly stated that Beatrice’s life is precariously balanced by a thread which depends entirely on Subaru’s flawed reasoning. When that “rationality” surpasses reason, Subaru will very likely take the girl’s life quite easily. When it comes to Beatrice, the only options he has are to do or to not do. It seemed possible to entirely disregard the countless other possibilities that branched off as an alternative from his standpoint.   

Meili:『We~ll, what a~bout the half-witch Onee-san?』

The likes of Emilia would be even easier… an easy victory. Once, he had even seized her by the neck after he had woken up. In the past, she hadn’t shown any signs of resistance. As long as Subaru put all of his strength into his arms, he could easily break that fragile neck of hers. Certainly he can say that she has strength similar to that of a pro wrestler, but it means nothing unless she is prepared to use it. If in an instant, he strangles her neck with all his strength…

Meili:『Hee hee hee, it’s your speciality, e~h?』

―Ram, despite her sharp tongue, is in essence also merely a weak girl. It reminded Subaru about the time she cried while pressing her head against him. With her thin arms desperately embracing him, weak, she was just a girl after all. Echidna is also the same way. Come to think of it, they’re all weak girls. He really made the wrong selection of people if the mission was to cross the desert. As much as he would have liked to have more suitable people with him, there really just weren’t enough people to go around.

Therefore, even though Subaru could take advantage of that chance, the last obstacle in his way is a different story.

Subaru:「―Julius.」

The only man who is the same as Subaru, until even now this character which carries a sword in hand, is an obstacle that stood in his way. It’d be impossible for him to say that it would be a good idea to strike at him head-on ― you could also it’s a suicidal act to strike at Emilia head-on, but that’s a whole other story.

In any case, if he was to implement the『Book of the Dead』plan, he will be the biggest wall in his way. In other words, Julius is the one he should beat first.

Meili:『With the amount of time it takes to search for the books, however much time you have, it’s not going to be enough r~ight?』

According to the words of the girl, Subaru’s purpose isn’t simply “kill and be done with it”. Rather, killing is a necessity, a passing point that must be cleared — as his desires lay in front, on the side of the『Books of the Dead』obtained in exchange for death.

For that purpose, it is necessary to be certain. He had killed, he had failed, so he could not let it end like this. Beyond this, he has a goal.

Beatrice:「Subaru, the book is alright for the moment, in fact. Let’s get far away from here… like the Spirit’s Room or somewhere like that, I suppose. You should calm down there, in fact.」

Subaru:「Spirit’s… room…」

Beatrice, coming back, taking Subaru’s hand helps him to stand up; Subaru is reminded of the room with the spirit, and his restart point came to mind. That place is the green room, and at that place—

Subaru:「Patrasche…」

Beatrice:「…You’re saying that earth dragon’s name again… Jeez, there’s no point worrying about you, I suppose. I was the worrried one…I cant believe this, in fact.」

Subaru:「… So- sorry. I didn’t mean it like that.」

For a moment, the figure of the black earth dragon brushed his mind, and his lips softened. As Beatrice watched, Subaru hurriedly came back to his senses. However, even in this scene, Patrasche remains the only one who Subaru can put his trust in.

Actually, only Patrasche who ran the risk of death to defend Subaru, regardless of its true intentions or feelings, a being who remained by the side of Natsuki Subaru—

Meili:『Really? If she knew that Onii-san isn’t 『Natsuki Subaru』, I still wo~nder if he would do the same thing.』

Subaru:「――――」

Meili:『After all, on Onii-san’s side… there isn’t anyone, is there?』

Resonating in his mind is a smiling voice, mocking Subaru. Haunting him, an existence that differs from Natsuki Subaru tries to break his optimism.

It was a silly point, and he would’ve been better off laughing it away. However, at this moment, Subaru couldn’t afford that. His heart came to half-agree with the girl’s words.

If she knew that this subaru was a fake, he feared that she would also come to ignore him.

Beatrice:「Hey, Subaru, give me your hand, I suppose.」

Subaru:「A, aaa…」

His brain being toyed around by the girl’s voice, Subaru grits his teeth with emotions that were hard to accept.

Consequently, his vision started to shift out of focus. Holding out her hand, in an attempt to hold his, suddenly she made a face indicating that she had noticed something. Her gaze staring at Subaru’s wrist — she noticed it.

Beatrice:「There are scratches, in fact… and, so many…」

Rolling up the sleeve of Subaru’s right arm, Beatrice furrowed her eyebrows at the scratches, pathetic and painful to look at. Even if it seemed she did not notice the scratches deeply bored further up in his arm, just the forearm is enough.

Subaru:「――――」

At the moment, Beatrice does not know of Meili’s death. She therefore shouldn’t be able to immediately connect these scratches with Meili’s death. But, even discounting this, she should be wondering where on earth he got these scratches.

If Meili’s corpse is found, she will inevitably be suspicious.

Subaru:「――――」

His unprepared heart began beating like an alarm bell going off.

Before his eyes, laying her eyes upon his hand, Beatrice did not notice that expression of his. With instant action it would be possible to take care of Beatrice.

Meili:『What are you gonna doo? Shouldn’t you get started already?』

As if playing with his self-confidence, the voice urges Subaru to a decision. His temple throbbed from the blood circulating through it, along with his pounding heart. Continuing on from her last statement, Beatrice said:

Beatrice:「It seems you scratched your arm again. A bad habit, I suppose.」

Subaru:「……ah?」

Beatrice:「This isn’t good, in fact. If Emilia had noticed it, you will have made her worried, you should stop doing things like that, I suppose. Even Betty can’t overlook this when it’s this bad, in fact.」

Tracing Subaru’s scars with her fingers, Beatrice heartbrokenly withdrew her eyes. Following those remarks, Subaru was unable to move from the unexpected impact of her words.

It was almost as if Beatrice was familiar with the scratches that covered Subaru’s arm.

Even so, supposing the others notice the scratches on Subaru, it is still completely different from the horrible situation, for entirely different reasons — there’s no mistaking that this time the arm is scratched in self-mutilation. She had even said that she had concealed this from Emilia, which in itself was shocking.

Beatrice:「If you go to the room with the spirit, these wounds will be healed as well, I suppose. But still, because Betty cannot bear looking at it, Betty will heal it even if a little bit.」

As she says so, Beatrice wraps Subaru’s wrist with a pale light. The gentle sensation brings warmth, but the healing of the wound itself will probably be painful. Healing magic is what is being shown before his eyes.

Subaru:「――――」

At the same moment, any hostility that Subaru had for Beatrice inside was rapidly swept away. Along with this warmth, the humanity of Natsuki Subaru, which had ruptured along with the wounds on his wrist, certainly seemed to be restored as well.

Meili:『Boooring.』

The little girl grumbled In Subaru’s head, as if her hopes had been betrayed. Whilst listening to her directly in his skull, Subaru swallowed down the evil environment that had taken root in his head.

Certainly, it had been a choice. But, it had been nothing more than an option. There is no need for him to lead himself in the direction that longs for their『Book of the Dead. 』There are no preparations set in place, in short.

Subaru:「――――」

Inflicting harm on Beatrice right now is not a good idea. His preparations are not ready yet. Even if he takes the worst possible means, it must be done after thorough plans are made. As such, now, this place―

Beatrice:「Come now, let’s go, I suppose. Subaru. Betty will eventually talk about it to everyone afterwards, in fact.」

Subaru:「―Alright. Sorry to bother you, Beatrice.」

Beatrice:「Promise not to speak about this, I suppose.」

Although he did not know whether the concern of the girl before his eyes is genuine or not, Natsuki Subaru thought that he ought to listen to her.

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― Firstly, though this is unrelated, there exists a phrase.

Murder becomes a habit.

That is one of the phrases the famous detective, Hercule Poirot, left the world with.

Murder becomes a habit.

The meaning of this phrase doesn’t refer to a person who has killed a human being and then  suddenly wakes up with a preference for murdering people, who then repeats the crime to satisfy their cravings.

Murder becomes a habit.

It refers to someone who solved their problem once by murder, for them, whenever another problem arises, they will think about trying to break through the problem through murder again.

Murder becomes a habit.

By the time they start to consider that murder is not one of those options, the utmost important thing would have had already changed.

Murder becomes a habit.

The truth is, even if there was a single murderer who didn’t commit a crime by his own will, even if he dislikes the act, even if you see a glimpse of the memory of the one who had been harmed by such an action, that habit does not go.

Murder becomes a habit.

That habit… it does not go.

Murder becomes a habit.

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  • [1]A rough example of what a zen dialogue is can be found here.

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0 thoughts on “Arc 6 – Chapter 48, “Murder Becomes a Habit””

  1. I do recall that Subaru would scratch his arms here and there, but I didn’t think he would do so frequently that even Beatrice counts it as normal.

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