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All rights belong to Tappei Nagatsuki, the original author of the Re:Zero series. This is an English translation of the free web novel which is available at:
This is not a professional translation. Some mistakes, both grammatical and logical, are inevitable. Also, be advised that translators have a predisposition for personal preference and the names and terminology may differ at times from what was used in the anime or is used in the fandom at large. Think of these documents as an extremely
detailed “summary” (even though they basically include everything).
- Credit to Discount Anon or u/Nanashi-tan.
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Negotiations between Emilia and Kiritaka Muse had proceeded unexpectedly smoothly.
Kiritaka, as a businessman, had likely been trying not to show favor to a single royal election candidate. However, Emilia had approached him directly, meaning that this meeting was a rather major event for him.
Of course, Emilia, who was taking casual sips of the complimentary tea, had not been thinking of her actions in such a way. Garfiel, who was growly steadily addicted to the accompanying desserts, had also not been considering the political ramifications of their actions.
It could be said that, in the reception room of Muse Company, the only one who could read Kiritaka was Otto.
Kiritaka: “I understand that you have come a long way. Please excuse me for being unable to meet you at your convenience. Although I understand that it is disrespectful, due to my position, it is unwise for me to travel freely… in addition, I have become quite attached to this place.”
Otto: “Not at all, that’s a very reasonable way to think. We’re the ones who should be sorry for intruding in your busy schedule.”
Kiritaka: “I will treat whatever you need from me with the utmost priority and care.”
While exchanging polite greetings, Otto scrutinized the man facing him. The famed Kiritaka Muse was well known even beyond Pristella. His behavior revealed a majestic and stylish image.
He was still fairly young, probably somewhere between twenty-five and thirty. His tall, thin body was clad in finely made clothes, and his pale golden hair was meticulously combed to the back of his head. His rather uncomfortable looking ornaments showed fine taste, and his introverted and concise nature revealed that he was probably highly educated.
Otto, as Emilia Camp’s Head of Internal Affairs, alongside Roswaal, had unknowingly accumulated a rather impressive amount of experience in negotiations. So he immediately judged Kiritaka’s attitude to be almost unmatchable.
Speaking frankly, Emilia was incredibly fortunate to have Otto with her.
If Otto had let Emilia face Kiritaka alone, she would surely be swayed by his skilled rhetoric, and would have ended up overspending on expensive but ultimately useless things.
From the past year, this was the impression Otto had drawn of Emilia.
Kiritaka: “May I inquire as to what you need from me? According to Anastasia-san’s messenger, what you want is stocked by our company.”
Otto: “It may be too soon to say so. Actually…”
Interrupting Kiritaka, who had begun to address the main topic, Otto looked to Emilia.
Emilia was content to leave the negotiations to Otto. Garfiel, similarly, maintained his usual attitude, eating desserts while fixing a sharp gaze on one corner of the room, staring at a leisurely looking figure who was dressed from head to toe in white.
In Kiritaka’s words, the man in white was present to protect the staff from excessively assertive visitors. ‘Recently, the world has not been in a peaceful state, so I hope that he can join us.’
Otto knew of the man in white.
It was said that Pristella’s Muse Company had a mercenary force known as the Scales of the White Dragon, a group which was well-known even in Lugunica. This man was probably one of its members.
Rumors claimed that their group was one that operated locally, but, a few years ago, they formed close ties with Muse Company. If those rumors were true, then Kiritaka was the one who had formed an allegiance with them.
Otto: “We have a special request. That is, we are looking for a rare type of stone, even by Muse Company’s standards. We are searching for colorless magic ore with outstanding purity. I hope that this is something we can buy from you.”
Keeping in mind his evaluation that Kiritaka was not someone he could afford to be careless around, Otto stated his request. Playing around with vague terms would be meaningless. After all, Kiritaka had more than likely seen through the true reason for their visit as soon as it had been prepared.
And Kiritaka also understood that he could not refuse a direct request from Emilia.
Kiritaka: “I see. We do indeed stock magic ore… and we do indeed have some magic ore with a higher grade of quality than those stocked by regular merchants. Emilia-sama, no matter how much colorless ore you want, we are also willing to prepare…”
Otto: “Kiritaka-san. Please be straightforward with us. We have made our request; colorless magic ore of the highest purity. That is all we need.”
Kiritaka: “…this is rather discourteous.”
Kiritaka was not simply lacking in straightforwardness. He was merely using a negotiation technique. Despite perfectly understanding Otto’s intentions, he casually dropped the names of other goods that he believed would appeal to Emilia. To him, the goods had been marked as sold long before the negotiation had even started. The only remaining question was the matter of the price.
Otto: “We are indeed requesting something that may be troublesome for you, so to satisfy the price, we have prepared something that you will find beneficial. Mining rights to magic ore in Elior Forest, part of the Mathers territory which is supporting Emilia-sama.”
Kiritaka: “Please do not turn this into the kind of fraud that muddles prices. We are the only formal company that trades raw magical ore, so we cannot consider this proposal. In our line of work, credit is everything to us. I’m sure you would understand, Otto-sama?”
Otto gave a silent sigh. It seemed that Kiritaka knew of his origins.
The Suwen family’s business was nowhere nearly as famous as the Muse family’s, but it was hardly unknown. The main players supporting each of the candidates were sure to be heavily investigated along with the candidates themselves.
That said, many questions were left unanswered by these investigations, such as Emilia’s own origins. Her mysterious background did not win her too many favors.
Garfiel had lived in Sanctuary his whole life, and Emilia had spent a century frozen in Elior Forest. Both the Lolimancer and his contract spirit were of unknown origin.
Thus, Otto, whose identity had easily been discovered, would certainly have it used against him frequently.
Kiritaka: “Otto-sama? Your complexion seems to have changed. Are you okay?”
Otto: “Of course, please don’t worry about me. I just thought of something disconcerting and it made me a little uncomfortable, that’s all.”
Shaking his head at Kiritaka’s words, Otto decided to save that unproductive line of thought for later. Once again, he urged that Kiritaka provide a straight answer to his question. Kiritaka took on a meditative attitude.
Kiritaka: “Of course, we won’t refuse to let go of our commodities no matter how much you plead, and of course we are going to follow Emilia-sama’s request.”
Kiritaka: “However, the magical ore you are requesting is special. In truth, on the occasion when I was first sent to Muse Company in Pristella, the president—that is, my father—gave it to me as a gift. Rather than treating it as a commodity, I prefer to think of its sentimental value.”
Regardless of whether the story was true or false, Kiritaka had made a cunning move. Hearing Kiritaka’s words, Otto bit his lip.
As Kiritaka had said, the extremely rare magic ore they were requesting was more than a mere trading commodity. Taking into account the magnitude of Muse Company’s transactions, this was too good of an opportunity not to seek an extra profit.
So how could the additional value be compensated? Not with commodities, but with sentiment. Since the ore was important that meant it needed to be exchanged for something important.
Emilia: “I see… I didn’t realize it was something so important to you.”
Emilia’s expression reflected that Kiritaka’s story seemed to have touched her deeply. Otto could only conclude that Kiritaka wasn’t cut out to be an actor, considering how guilty he looked.
It takes both action and effort to get your desired result. Otto thought this to himself as he cleared his throat.
Otto: “I appreciate your kindness. Even so, we still hope to find what we came here for.”
Kiritaka: “I understand. I am a merchant who sells magical ore, and I know that it is better to have it shine in the hands of someone who needs it than to have it sit as a decoration at my home. I am willing to give it to you. There are only a few conditions.”
Otto: “—Conditions. Let me hear them.”
Having established that there would be an additional price tag, Kiritaka commenced the real negotiation. After Otto agreed to hear them, Kiritaka held up three fingers.
What unreasonable conditions would there be? Even thinking about them gave Otto a light stomach pain.
Kiritaka: “First of all. Muse Company knew that Emilia-sama was seeking this very magical stone. However, in order to keep it out of the hands of malicious people, we have hidden our possession of it. I hope you understand this.”
Otto: “…that is only natural. That you tell us this without attempting to hide anything removes all of my suspicion.”
At first, Kiritaka had denied any past knowledge of the affairs of Emilia Camp. But in order to bring this deal to a successful conclusion, he gave up this knowledge.
Kiritaka: “Then the second one. After the deal has been signed on the line, I want to inform Hoshin Company of our transaction and confirm its legitimacy.”
Otto: “I understand… that is no problem.”
It seemed there was also a deal between Muse Company and Hoshin Company. It seemed to be intended to semi-publically reveal that Emilia owed Anastasia a debt.
Although it was slightly uncomfortable, it was a legitimate request, so Otto could not refuse.
So far, none of the requests would be considered deal-breakers. So, the third request—as soon as he said it, Kiritaka’s true intentions would become clear.
Otto held back a sigh as Kiritaka waved the third finger in front of him.
Kiritaka: “Third. —Avoid all contact with the Songstress named Liliana who is currently residing in this city.”
Hearing a name suddenly appear of nowhere, Otto froze.
Of course, Emilia and Garfiel, who were accompanying him, had the same reaction—no, nevermind, those two had remained unchanged since the negotiations started. Emilia sipped her tea and Garfiel stared at the figure in white. Although they had left all the negotiations to Otto, seeing their blatant lack of participation irked him.
Otto: “I’m sorry, but I think I may have misheard you. Did you just say to avoid contact with the Songstress…?”
Kiritaka: “No, there was no misunderstanding there. These conditions are all we ask. If you have any questions, please ask them, and please consider the deal carefully…”
Otto: “If you don’t mind, can I ask for the reason? At this point, I can’t recall our deal having anything to do with the Songstress.”
Kiritaka: “…it’s not something that necessarily needs to be said. Can you agree to that promise?”
His tone sinking, for the first time Kiritaka exposed his emotional side. Otto, who could not understand the condition, was lost on what to do.
Put simply, the third request passed the horizons of his imagination. Accepting posed no future obstacles to Emilia, although she may regret not being able to meet the Songstress she had discussed with Anastasia, it was hardly important enough to scrap this deal for.
That they had so effortlessly come to an agreement was surprising.
Otto had not dared to expect that negotiations could have gone so smoothly (although Kiritaka could, at this point, still change his mind). Subaru, who’d been lost halfway, would be here soon, and would certainly turn that matter into something troublesome. Before he arrived, Otto wanted to tie the deal up.
Otto: “Emilia-sama, is this alright with you?”
Emilia: “Mm. I’m a little disappointed, but I guess it can’t be helped.”
Having earned a confirmation from Emilia, Otto agreed to the deal. Kiritaka was satisfied to accept this commitment, and the most stressful part of the negotiation came to an end. Now, they could discuss the actual monetary price, and maybe pick up a few small items.
Kiritaka: “There are a few other quality goods that you may be interested in… would you like to see?”
Kiritaka stood to retrieve a wooden chest from a shelf. The chest, having been placed on the table, emitted a glow as it opened, dazzling Otto and Emilia.
Inside of it were all sorts of magical stones, carefully arranged on cushions, the most radiant of which was the colorless, transparent one.
This was the colorless stone that Emilia had been pursuing. Kiritaka: “Would you like to inspect it?”
At Kiritaka’s words, Emilia raised her head.
She nodded, then stretched her nervous fingers toward the stone. But, at that moment,
Man in White: “Young Master.”
Simultaneously, the two guards called to their respective master. They turned to look at each other, and then to face their surprised master.
Garfiel: “Ths’a two loud’n annoyin’ somethin’ comin’.”
Man in White: “There seems to be the sound of footsteps coming from downstairs. Allow me to go investigate.”
He strode soundlessly toward the door as Garfiel tensed his body. The sound of the disturbances drew closer, until they seemed to be right in front of the door—
???: “You two are so rude, always arguing like that! Shush! Emilia-tan is inside, doing serious negotiations…”
The voice was an incredibly familiar one. As this thought was shared by three people in the room, the man in white opened the door of the reception room, revealing a familiar scary face. With a petite girl on either side of him, this man, Subaru, was truly worthy of the title of Lolimancer.
Hearing Emilia’s call, a pale Subaru finally noticed the presence of everyone else. At that moment, Otto wanted to complain, but he decided to observe everyone else’s reactions first and held back.
And so, Subaru held up his hands and smiled weakly. Subaru: “A-ah… Emilia-tan. What a coincidence.”
Emilia: “A coincidence? Why were you being so loud…. Uh, Kiritaka-san?” Hearing Emilia’s surprise, Otto’s own reaction was also delayed.
Kiritaka reached a hand into the wooden chest of magic stones and glared at Subaru with a gaze bordering on frantic. He clutched a blue pure magical stone, and,
Kiritaka: “Do-, do, do, do, do, DON’T TOUCH MY LILIANA!!”
Accompanying his frantic cry was a thrown magical stone. Without anyone to stop him, the stone arched toward Subaru and knocked his body away in a blue explosion.
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Man in White: “My apologies for that embarrassing spectacle. The Young Master is usually calm, but if matters involve Liliana-san, he quickly flies into a rage… I will try to calm him down, but, for today, let’s end negotiations here.”
After the commotion died down, the the middle-aged man in white acted as the mediator who had to calm down both sides. He bowed his head with an apology.
Kiritaka’s frantic voice could still be heard from the closed door behind him. That scene was unsuitable for outsiders, so the members of Emilia Camp had been ushered out of the room.
Liliana: “Kiritaka-san is really troublesome, even taking away my chance to speak to Emilia-sama and Subaru-sama! Ugh, I’m so annoyed, ugh!”
Liliana’s anger, on the other hand, was also endless. Speaking in an angry huff, she announced that she’d come up with a new song titled The Avant-Garde Master of Life and Death, causing Beatrice to furrow her brow.
Man in White: “Liliana-chan, please forgive the Young Master.”
Liliana: “……………………………………I understand.”
Although it took a long of time to understand, Liliana had finally been talked down. Subaru’s interference had rendered a smooth sailing negotiation utterly fruitless.
Subaru: “In other words, Liliana is a rabid fangirl, and is obsessed with us. Kiritaka knew and wanted to keep us from stealing her. That was the point of the third condition?”
Otto: “And just as I was about to have the deal tied down, Natsuki-san had to come ruin everything. I finally understand now. Does having you around do any good for anyone!?”
Subaru: “I acknowledge that this was my fault, but who would have thought that after getting seasick things would turn out like this… that’s hardly something I had any control over.”
Otto could not hide his dissatisfaction at the result of the negotiations.
Subaru spoke lightly, but he was also hardly satisfied, having taken a blow from Kiritaka’s magical stone, and realizing that negotiations tomorrow would be incredibly difficult based on Kiritaka’s angry tone.
Emilia: “Ora, ora, please don’t be so angry, Otto-kun. Subaru didn’t do this on purpose, these things just happen sometimes.”
Subaru: “That’s right. Keep going, Emilia-tan.”
Emilia: “Subaru, I also have something to say to you. You shouldn’t have been so loud with Liliana-san today. We were the guests there, so we definitely troubled them a lot.”
Subaru: “Yes, I’m sorry.”
Subaru bowed his head in an apology, and Emilia nodded a ‘very good’. Otto gave a helpless sigh as he watched his master’s hopeless attitude.
Otto: “Anyway, today’s negotiations have ended here, so we should be getting back to the Water Plumage Pavilion…. however, I have something to attend to first. So, I’ll meet back with everyone later.”
Subaru: “Something to attend to?”
At his unexpected words, everyone turned to Otto, who gestured in the general direction of Muse Company’s headquarters.
Otto: “We’ve gone out of our way to come to the faraway Pristella, so I’d like to take the time to improve relationships here. Although, as for today, it is only necessary for me to go. There may come a day when Emilia-sama may need to come. If that ever happens, I’ll have to trouble you, Emilia-sama.”
Emilia: “Yeah, I understand. But, why am I not needed today?”
Otto: “If you show up unannounced, they may be unable to sufficiently welcome you. We need to be considerate about where you go.”
Emilia: “Yes. I understand. I’ll keep it in mind.”
After hearing the Emilia’s reply, Otto gave a “Please go home promptly”, as if speaking to a group of children, then disappeared into the depths of 2nd Street. As for Garfiel, although he wanted to accompany Otto, he was rejected with “Please prioritize Emilia-sama”.
Emilia: “So, Subaru, what were you talking about with Liliana-san?”
Subaru: “Oh? Is Emilia-tan concerned about me talking to other girls? I wonder. I’m glad to see this subtle change.”
Emilia: “No. Don’t worry, I just want to see what kind of a person the Songstress is. It’s okay even if you misunderstand, though.”
Subaru: “Is it better for me to misunderstand, here!?”
Emilia, as always, naturally and mercilessly cut into Subaru’s heart. But, in any case, she gave Subaru a reason to chat with her, so he began to recount his earlier experience.
Subaru: “At first, when we encountered her in the park, I thought her song was super powerful. It was an astounding performance, even as the Songstress. Right, Beako?”
Beatrice: “I won’t deny this point, in fact. I don’t deny it, I suppose. ”
Emilia: “Beatrice looks so distressed, what happened?”
Subaru: “—Talent in one area comes at the price of competence in others. Liliana perfectly showcased the meaning of that.”
Subaru could fully understand Beatrice’s distress. Liliana poured her heart and soul into music, and became a rather pitiful girl.
Subaru: “In short, rather than striving to be an extremely talented person in one area, you should strive to be a mildly successful person all around.”
Garfiel: “Ooh, th’s pretty philsophical, Captain. Sayin’ her singin’d make people think that, mus’ve been amazin’.”
Subaru: “I won’t deny it. Speaking of which, meeting Liliana was worth coming up with that conclusion.”
Everyone decided to return to the inn by foot. If they were to take the waterways again then Subaru would become seasick again which would mean leaving him behind.
Emilia: “Like Otto-kun said, it wasn’t easy for us to come here, so I want to take a walk and appreciate these beautiful streets.”
Rather than having Subaru feel guilty that they were walking for his benefit, Emilia phrased her reasoning as a cute request. Subaru had no complaints, and Garfiel and Beatrice did not object.
Subaru: “If I hadn’t been able to accompany Emilia-tan back to the inn, I would have gone mad with worry.”
Beatrice: “You don’t need to worry, in fact. If we get into trouble then Betty will place her left hand on a wall, I suppose.”
Subaru: “I think I’ve already told you about the defects of that method.”
Garfiel: “Y’two don’t need t’worry, you’ve got my amazin’ self’s nose. Whether’s the smell’f the inn or th’smell’f that midget devil, my amazin’ self remembers it.”
Noticing that Garfiel used Mimi’s scent as an example, Subaru unconsciously gave a malicious chuckle. The little kitten’s reaction to Garfiel, though surprising and puzzling, was probably nothing other than goodwill. Plus, they were of similar age. Subaru thought they made a rather good match.
Incidentally, Garfiel was still the same, wanting to dedicate himself to Ram. And Ram just regarded Garfiel as a little brother, nothing more.
Subaru: “In any case, Garfiel. You’re my little bro, so as a big brother I’m praying for your success in love.”
Garfiel: “Ahh? Wh’ya j’say some’all touchy-feely, Captain? Well, y’makin’ m’feel sick.”
Subaru wore an expression of ‘I understand’ as he patted Garfiel on the shoulder. Garfiel cocked his head and laughed, exposing his sharp-toothed grin. Subaru hoped from the bottom of his heart that the kind, well-intentioned Garfiel would find happiness.
Emilia: “This is really a nice city. Everything seems so fresh and the people here look so happy. I can’t help but feel excited.”
Their surroundings seemed to delight Emilia, and, seeing her expression, Subaru felt happy as well. She did have a point, though. The architecture in the city must have taken a great effort to design, and everything functional seemed to serve as artwork. The icing on the cake was, of course, Pristella’s beautiful waterways which doubled as transportation.
Subaru: “Although the city was built like this, the origins of the design are unknown.”
Emilia: “Apparently its construction pushed the limits of technology at the time, because it had something to do with keeping dangerous beasts trapped inside the city. But that doesn’t change its beauty, right?”
Emilia stopped at a bridge overlooking the waterway and smiled.
Subaru, overtaken by the mood, nodded as if to declare, “Yeah”.
For whatever reason, Subaru had arrived here, at this point. The results that he’d earned, and the results he was reaching for, as long as they could be reached, nothing else mattered.
Because the most important part of anything was not the beginning, but the end.
Subaru: “That’s what you said, Mom.”
Subaru: “You mean, if the results’re good then everything’s okay?”
Emilia: “Just now, what did you say?”
Subaru: “I just remembered the magical words that the woman I respect most in the world said to me.”
The days of those memories were long gone, but even so, Subaru had gained so much courage from them.
It would be impossible to forget them, because the lesson he’d learned from them was something that could not be forgotten. Natsuki Subaru, today, lived with those memories inside him.
Seeing Subaru and Emilia’s shared laughter, Garfiel and Beatrice waited on the side.
Those two were occupied in their own world, and no one could interrupt them. Even Beatrice recognized this point.
Beatrice: “He has such a foolish expression on that face of his, in fact.”
Garfiel: “When’s a man share’n sucha good mood w’the woman he like, s’course he’ll act that way. My amazin’ self’s relieved. Looks’f the Captain’s a man.”
Beatrice: “I wonder what that means, I suppose.”
Garfiel: “No, ‘s j’sthat th’Captain surrounds’m self with girls too small’n too many men… Suppose’n he weren’t s’close w’Emilia-sama, sa’misunderstandin’ might happen.”
Beatrice: “Subaru is a masculine man, in fact! He’s both a man and a pervert, I suppose! He’s always willing to randomly touch Betty and Petra, I suppose!”
Garfiel: “Ths’not really nice way’t vouch fer’m, ya?”
The two talked at length about Subaru’s preferences, and about his reputation of touching girls younger than him. Subaru and Emilia, satisfied with their view of the city of water, did not even hear the irrational dialogue taking place behind them.
Emilia: “Well then, it’s about time to go back. Plus, I kinda want to admire the inn again. Its shape was soooo odd but interesting.”
Subaru: “Wafu-style architecture. I also want to see it again, although for different, less charitable reasons than Emilia-tan.”(Wafu is ワフー)
Emilia: “Is that so? Haha, then, we should hurry.”
Emilia withdrew her hand from the railing, and took a few steps backward with an an excited smile. Because she was feeling a bit impatient, she didn’t take the time to confirm that there was no one behind her.
She backed right into a man with a hood who had passing them by. She stumbled slightly, and the man reached out to steady her.
Emilia: “I-I’m sorry. I, I wasn’t looking behind me…”
Subaru: “Sorry from me too. This child, she’s so troublesome. I’ll be sure to scold her.”
A flustered Emilia apologized to the man wearing in the hood. Subaru joined her side and bowed his head to the man. He took care not to call Emilia’s name, taking the precaution of keeping people from realizing who she was and causing a commotion in the streets. Of course, the hood that Emilia wore was one that hindered recognition.
So, if they made only slight contact with someone, it wouldn’t develop into a huge problem. This time included.
???: “This time, I was the careless one. After all, I was a little distracted by you.” Subaru: “Distracted?”
???: “The miss that I just bumped into has the silver hair of a beautiful girl, doesn’t she. A girl I once wanted to marry had that same hair. Remembering that hair, I didn’t avoid you in time.”
His remark should have seemed urgent, but his voice sounded rather slow and intoxicated.
Judging from his voice, the man, dressed in a long robe of the man sounded fairly young. Hearing him mention marriage, Subaru froze, and immediately judged him as a man who he didn’t want near Emilia.
Subaru: “Well, we can consider this a fault from both parties. Since we’ve conveyed our apologies, we can both move on now.”
Emilia: “Wait, Subaru. That was a kind of an insincere and apathetic apology…”
Subaru: “That’s fine, no?” Emilia: “——”
Subaru wanted Emilia to leave, and Emilia herself seemed lost for words. Seeing their behavior, the man in the hood slowly shook his head.
???: “I don’t mind. I don’t place any anger or blame on you. If you want to leave, feel free to leave. If we are to meet again, fate will provide us with another opportunity.”
Subaru: “Ahh, that’s very true. Well then, maybe fate will guide us to a future meeting.”
Accepting the man’s poetic farewell, Subaru responded similarly and left with Emilia’s hand in his. Subaru stole a quick glance at her. In that moment, for reasons unknown to him, Emilia wore a meaningful expression as she glanced over her shoulder at the man they’d just left.
Subaru: “Sure, my attitude wasn’t great, but I wanted protect my Emilia-tan and get her away from that strange guy.”
Emilia: “Hm? Ah, right. I genuinely didn’t think Subaru’s attitude was very nice, since it was my mistake, but, that wasn’t what I was thinking about…”
Stopping here, Emilia’s eyes reflected her confusion. However, with a meditative expression and quivering lips, she continued,
Emilia: “That person just now, I feel like I’ve met him before… that’s how I felt, but, since his face was hidden, I couldn’t be sure…”
Subaru: “Someone Emilia-tan knows? Well, I should probably know them as well.”
Emilia: “Mm… but, I don’t know. Who was he?”
Probably because it was still bothering her, Emilia turned around once more. But the figure had disappeared, and she had no idea where he’d gone.
Garfiel: “Yo, Captain. Why’re y’lookin’ s’nervous clingin’ t’Emilia-sama’s hand? Was ya afraid th’someone gonna steal her?”
Seeing Subaru and Emilia emerging from the bridge, Garfiel approached them, and Subaru stuck his tongue out at him.
Subaru: “Idiot, this is no time for games. If there’s some strange guy hanging around, you have to show up to help. If it’s an opponent that I can’t handle then Emilia-tan would be in danger.”
Garfiel: “Suppose’f that happened, then you’d protect’r with ya life. Th’s w’makes th’Captain a man.”
Subaru: “If I acted as a shield then maybe I could take one hit. Then if the enemy kept going, we’d be in trouble. I have no confidence in my endurance. Both physically and mentally.”
Hearing Subaru’s humble evaluation of himself, Garfiel laughed. He doubtlessly believed that Subaru was just humble, but, to Subaru, it was indeed a proper evaluation. It was perhaps better to say that Garfiel overestimated Subaru.
Garfiel: “No cause’t worry. If my amazin’ self think’s’th some bastard’s tryin’ t’attack ya, they’ll be sent flyin’, s’no doubt about’t. ‘Sides, th’guy did’n move like h’knew how t’fight. Was jus’n regular guy, one’wh did’n know no martial arts.”
Subaru: “You can tell that?”
Garfiel: “Jus’by lookin’. C’n also tell’th Captain likes’t swing swords ’round. My amazin’ self could tell ‘soon as y’moved yer wrists.”
Subaru: “Really? That sounds like some kind of magic trick.”
Subaru had never told Garfiel of his high school experience with kendo. Subaru had already realized that his so called skill would be of no use in this world. But his exercise bore traces, which the knowledgeable practitioners of this world could apparently see.
Subaru: “Having said that, are you still worried, Emilia-tan?”
Subaru put this thoughts to one side and spoke to Emilia, who was still gazing around, before giving up with a shake of her head.
Emilia: “Mm, it’s okay. Sorry to trouble you. Let’s go back.”
Subaru: “Well, when we get back, make sure to hug Mimi for a while to make you feel better. Oops, I’ll be hugging you though, Beako, so there’s no need to be worried.”
Beatrice: “Betty hasn’t said anything yet, I suppose!”
Hearing Beatrice’s complaints and Subaru’s proud expression, Emilia laughed. Then, covering her mouth, she replied,
Emilia: “That’s true, holding Mimi does seem to be very comforting. I’ll be sure to do that.”
As Emilia spoke, she checked her surroundings once again, then dropped her uneasy gaze in exchange for a smile.
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???: “—I see. Now I understand the meaning.”
A man spoke into the cuff of his coat, the man in the hood from earlier. Recalling the girl he’d just come in contact with, his mouth curled into a smile, a smile that gave of a miserable feeling.
???: “I went out of my way to come here. If it had been for nothing then I couldn’t let it go as if nothing had happened. Since this is a special reward, this is another matter.”
The words themselves were mild, but the voice which had announced them was feverishly sticky. It was as though the feeling had been cooked in a sticky pot, and then had been left out under the sun and the moon. The feeling held that kind of unpleasantness.
???: “I will never let go of anything I own, and I want what I own to be perfectly suited for me. Since I am perfect, I have to be continually satisfied. So, feeling a vacancy would, of course, be unsatisfying.”
The man spoke as he raised his head. At that moment, his hood fell, revealing white hair. With the wind swaying his white hair, the slightly unhappy man announced,
???: “I must make her my 79th wife, to satisfy that vacancy.”
In the city of water, the white haired devil spoke in a voice full of derision.
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