Arc 5 – Chapter 5, “The Watergate City Pristella”

A5C5

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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:

http://ncode.syosetu.com/N2267BE/216

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 for the first five chapters document belongs to Summary Anon, who left behind only the following contact information:

ankaa.burner@gmail.com https://mega.nz/#F!VNdzDYYK!nK9fNU3LeprlZSbRAnlsRg

Credit for the rest is to Discount Anon or u/Nanashi-tan.

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—Upon their arrival, Subaru and the others are greeted by towering, grand walls. Subaru: “Yeah, this looks exactly like the prison I expected it to…”

Mutters Subaru as he pokes his head out of the carriage window, Otto at the reigns. Beatrice captures Subaru’s muttering, her head also out the window beneath Subaru.

Beatrice: “Joshua said it was a sightseeing spot, but Betty doubts that, in fact. It looks far more depressing than relaxing, I suppose.”

Subaru: “Agreed. I mean, I guess the bridge and gates and stuff are kinda cool.” Subaru nods in agreement to Beatrice and looks down.

Their carriage is travelling across the massive, stone Tigracy Bridge, which leads to the front gates of Pristella.

Subaru stretches slights and looks over to the horizon, where he sees sunlight glinting on the water. To him it looks like an ocean, but since oceans don’t exist in this world, it has to be a lake or a river.

Beatrice: “Pristella is a city built upon a lake, in fact. The land inside those walls becomes so flat that it forms a basin in the centre, I suppose. If you envision the city as an old trap, then of course you’d expect the centre to easily flood, in fact.”

Subaru: “You mean that thing ’bout it being a trap for some nasty witchbeast. Emilia mentioned that too. Is it actually true though?”

Beatrice: “This is my first time seeing this place, and I don’t know what the specific purpose of it was either, I suppose. But I suspect it is true, now that I’ve seen it, in fact.”

Beatrice’s bluish eyes gaze at the city’s gates beyond the bridge.

The walls keep her from peering inside, but she must be imagining what the city looks like. It’s unclear how precisely the books in the Forbidden Archive spoke of the world, but Beatrice’s extensive knowledge has helped on more than a few occasions.

Beatrice: “…Why are you stroking Betty’s head, I suppose.”

Subaru: “Because it’s there. I wanna spend all the time patting you that I’m able.”

Beatrice: “Utter nonsense, and patronising, undesired nonsense at that, in fact!”

Nevertheless Beatrice neglects to swat Subaru’s hand a way and he proceeds to pat her more while gazing past the bridge-railing, at the lake. The pristine waters give him a clear view to the bottom of the lake, with not a single piece of litter or pollution in sight.

If the whole lake is like this, it’s an example of incredible ethics.

Subaru: “Actually I didn’t notice any litter or illegally dumped industrial waste on the road either. Probably ’cause people don’t have much stuff but still it’s nice.”

Otto: “Pristella is particularly strict on littering since it has to preserve its landscape. There will be a simple border check once we enter the gates, please don’t get weirdly assertive and reject the binding paperwork they give you.”

Warns Otto, having caught Subaru’s muttering. Subaru tilts his head.

Subaru: “Paperwork?”

Emilia: “I think you’re usually exempted from it if you have a crest on your carriage when you’re going to the Capital, but absolutely everyone has to fill out paperwork to enter Pristella.”

Subaru nods, impressed, and more or less accepts it as a passport and customs check. But once again he tilts his head at the words ‘binding paperwork’.

Subaru: “Is it written on paper that makes you geass yourself? Like it does something to your od once you sign, and the second you break the terms your gate stops working or something…”

Emilia: “Eek, that’d be sooo scary… there shouldn’t be anything that forceful. The paperwork is just a statement that you won’t do anything bad. But it means your conscience will be keeping a close eye on you.”

Subaru: “…We’d have world peace if everyone were as strict on themselves as you, Emilia-tan.”

Subaru smiles wryly, aware of his own scummy personality, at Emilia’s idealism.

Either way, he understands that there is paperwork, and that it is not actually binding.

Otto: “There are nationals laws that must be upheld, but the Mayor and Lord who manage the city have rather extensive authority there. There are many things about Pristella that simply differ from national law. The paperwork will surely mention what they are, so please refrain from mocking it and actually read it.”

Garfiel: “’S a goddamn pain. How ’bout you read it n’ tell us what it said when yer done.”

Otto: “You’ll never mature with that attitude. It’s necessary for you to learn how to at least skim paperwork, what with your social position. You can’t just stockpile bizarre trivia from the books you like.”

Garfiel: “It ain’t b’zarre trivia, ‘s a man’s lust fer th’dramatic. Yeh, Captain?” Subaru: “You got it.”

Garfiel balances precariously on the carriage roof as he peeks his head over and down. Subaru nods firmly in reply, Otto sighs, and Emilia watches happily. Beatrice shakes her head in lamentation.

Beatrice: “You two children are just impossible, in fact.” Otto: “They are a nightmare to herd.”

Who could guess how Beatrice’s statement resounded with him.

Unfortunately for him, no one else in the carriage is capable of empathising with his grief and exhaustion.

—Patrasche roars, and everyone directs their attention to the front. The gates of Pristella stand directly before them.

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The border inspection ends with underwhelming ease.

Emilia and Otto were right. The paperwork described the terms they would have to follow to enter the city, and the rules by which they needed to abide once inside.

That said, every term was practically impossible to accidentally violate, so there’s no need to pay that much conscious attention to them.

All you have to do to enter the city is read the paper, sign your name, and get the officer’s approval. The officers did panic a little once Emilia introduced herself, but being that Anastasia passed through here too, they probably figure that something is going on.

Subaru: “Guess it is pretty big news to have two girls with the right to the Throne in one place.”

Emilia: “There wasn’t too much fuss, so I think Anastasia let them know beforehand. Or maybe it was Joshua-kun or Mimi-chan.”

Subaru: “Joshua feels possible if you ignore his clumsiness, but I seriously doubt it was Mimi.”

It doesn’t feel like the catgirl has that kind of sensibility.

But not because she’s selfish or anything. How to describe it?

Subaru: “’Cause she’s cute.”

Emilia: “Yes, because she’s cute.”

And it’s so mysteriously persuasive that it makes Emilia nod. Subaru crosses his arms, finding that no other word fits. Also for some reason Beatrice stomps on his foot.

Subaru kills his time by placating a displeased Beatrice, until Otto and Garfiel finally finish their drawn-out inspection and join the others beyond the gates.

Subaru: “Hey guys. What held you up?”

Otto: “Garfiel did. I’ve been constantly, constantly telling him to practice his writing, and still…”

Subaru: “Garfiel, you can’t write?”

Garfiel: “I can. ‘S just, eh, puttin’ it how you would yer’d call it avant garde or, eh, whatever.”

Meaning his handwriting is so horrendous that the officers couldn’t read it.

The officers must have offered to write for their illiterate client, but Garfiel’s pride would not allow it.

Subaru: “I won’t say anything against you, but you better study if you don’t want this to happen again. I know you write letters to Lewes-san, and those ones have to be legible.”

Garfiel: “Ha, now there’s a joke, Captain. Me n’ granny go way back. My nanna can read anythin’ my amazin’ self writes, even if it’s with my left hand.”

Subaru: “You aren’t thinking to improve at all are you.”

Says Subaru, sighing in exhaustion, to a proud Garfiel.

Garfiel’s grandmother Lewes is not living with him in Roswaal’s mansion. She and the twenty-four duplicates have been tasked with duties in various forests in Roswaal’s domain.

Emilia and Garfiel still hold the command right for the doubles, and their orders still reach the doubles from a distance. The team is trying to utilize this and have the girls serve as middlemen for communicating orders.

Subaru proposed the idea, and Lewes carries the responsibility for the work. Garfiel opposed it all at first, but generally agrees with it now.

And so Lewes and the doubles are living in Arlam Village. The plan is to go girl-by-girl, teaching them everything they need to know, and sending them to towns and villages once they’re ready.

Subaru: “It’s like a huge spy operation, which kinda makes it sound bad…”

But he loathes to simply leave them there, hanging around without any role or purpose. Perhaps Subaru’s guilt from discarding them in a previous loop is what spurred the idea.

Emilia: “Subaru? They finished the bag check for the carriage, let’s go?”

Emilia calls Subaru out of his reverie, and he hurriedly glances up. He gives a strained smile as she looks curiously on, and grabs Pastasche’s reigns.

As if sensing Subaru’s unease, the smart black dragon nuzzles her snout against the back of his neck. It mystifies Subaru how relaxing the rough sensation is.

Subaru: “…Thank you, for everything.”

Subaru replies to her silent compassion by stroking her hard scales. Patrasche responds with her snout, and Subaru finally tugs the reigns to set off for Pristella proper.

They exit the front gate to find a river flowing between the exterior gates and the city. They cross the stone bridge over the river, the inner gates open, and Pristella reveals itself.

Subaru: “Woah…”

Subaru sighs in admiration at the sight unfolding before him.

And he isn’t the only one reacting like this. Emilia and Beatrice, seated on either side of him, also express their wonder.

He must apologize for using the word ‘jail’ on this aquatic city.

When Subaru first heard about Pristella, he envisioned something like the old world’s Venice. He was correct to do so.

The city is circular, enclosed in turn by the circular walls.

Ignoring the fact that its size is that of a city, its shape is essentially that of a sports arena. The outer rim is the most elevated, elevation dropping the closer you get to the centre.

Dense rows of stone buildings line the tiers of the city, the most western-seeming architecture that Subaru has seen yet.

Large canals run through the town, with notably massive canals—rather, waterways—dividing the circular city into four even sections. Subaru sees several gondolas paddling on the water, and a tingle shoots down his spine at the thought: gondoliers.

The Blue City, The City of Water, The Watergate City Pristella. Each one rings true. The sight brings nothing but wonder.

Subaru: “Amazing…”

He says, and no one can deny him.

The guardsmen at the gates smile in satisfaction at the group’s astonishment. Most likely, everyone who passes through these gates reacts exactly the same way.

That reaction both fulfils the guardsmen’s office-bound obligations, and is the greatest of rewards to them. Definitely is. Right into their trap.

Garfiel: “Yeah, this’s stunnin’. So Otto wasn’t just spoutin’ bullcrap.”

Garfiel recovers from the shock first and rubs the tip of his nose. But his excitement has not faded, for his cheeks remain slightly red.

His masculine passion for the dramatic must have been set alight by this amazing place (which falls under the heading of ‘things that are gigantic’).

Otto: “I’ve always wished to visit this place, connected as it is to the God of Merchants, Hoshin, but this is stupendous. It was worth visiting regardless of Hoshin.”

Otto fidgets with his hands, looking incredibly emotional.

The mention of Hoshin reminds Subaru of the name: Hoshin of the Wastes.

Subaru: “Hoshin’s that guy. That one merchant guy from ages ago who made crazy riches from a burnt wasteland.”

Otto: “You’re a little off, but overall correct. Four hundred years ago, Hoshin travelled the yet- untamed lands of Kararagi unaided, transformed it into an economic infrastructure using solely his own wits, and made a fortune. The man is a paragon.”

Solely because it’s about a merchant, Otto’s eyes blaze with passion as he tells the story of Hoshin. If he built the foundations for one of the four great countries, the Kararagi City State, then Subaru can agree with the legend being passed down.

Subaru: “Anastasia calls herself Hoshin after him too.”

Otto: “It’s very bold of her. I doubt there is any way to more plainly state her enthusiasm and goals, but everyone alive is going to be sceptical. Though I do presently think she has achieved enough to warrant the name.”

Subaru: “If she’s seriously doing something to warrant the name, then… well, snagging Lugnica’s throne works. Just marching toward her goal.”

Sincerely impressed, Subaru manages to pry himself from the beautiful scenery.

He strokes Beatrice’s head and tugs Emilia’s sleeve to pull them away from the mesmerising city.

Subaru: “So, Anastasia’s waiting for us at the Seasylph Lodge. Dunno where it is, but considering who she is, doubt it’s someplace cheap.”

Emilia: “Mm, right. I think she told the gate officers about the visit too, so it’s going to be a nice

place. I think Otto-kun investigated more into that…”

Otto nods and hops onto the coachman’s platform. He jerks his chin, gesturing to the carriage.

Otto: “I’ve supposed the route, so allow me to lead. We won’t be able to rush since boats have higher priority than carriages in this town. Which I note because I suspect Natsuki-san still struggles with leisurely carriage rides.”

Subaru: “Oh yeah? If it was just Patrasche, I wouldn’t even have to say anything just stare at her in my trembling boots, and she’d have the carriage doing whatever I want. Right?”

Subaru boldly gazes at Patrasche and winks. Patrasche looks away. Somehow, it feels like she just sighed at him.

The unexpected reaction dejects Subaru. Emilia consolingly pats his back, while Beatrice takes his hand and files him into the carriage.

Garfiel: “N’ we’re off!”

Announces Garfiel from his new, dedicated perch on the carriage’s roof. Otto smiles wryly as he whips the reigns, and the carriage rolls into motion.

Their pace is truly slow, so sluggish that the drop in speed from the uphill inclines cannot feasibly explain it.

Subaru: “But going off what I’m seeing out the windows, there really aren’t many carriages.”

Emilia: “There aren’t. And look how all the roads wide enough for carriages aren’t straight, they’re windy, because the canals have higher priority than streets.”

Subaru: “Ah, you’re right.”

Emilia is right. Footpaths and carriage roads make winding detours around the canals, which cross through the city. It is inconvenient, but stops feeling that way once Subaru watches the canals alongside the carriage, and the gondolas passing by.

Subaru: “Carriages have the Windbreaker Blessing, but do boats have anything? Like a Blessing of No Capsizing, or a Seabreeze Blessing, something.”

Emilia: “I don’t really know, but I don’t think the boats themselves have blessings. But maybe the boatsmen have a Blessing of Lakes or Blessing of Ferrying.”

Beatrice: “Though this knowledge isn’t particularly widespread, water dragons have blessings, in fact. One that protects then from the effects of water, much like those of earth dragons, I suppose.”

Subaru: “Water dragons. Wouldn’t mind seeing one. And just one.”

Beatrice: “I’m sure there’s bound to be some in this city, in fact.”

Though she answers Subaru’s question, Beatrice’s reply is not proactive, what with her dislike of animals. Her strange awkwardness does not end merely with Patrasche, but apparently extends to water dragons.

Subaru: “I don’t think hugging, say, a liger’d be that unpleasant.”

Beatrice: “It doesn’t kill me not to touch animals, I suppose. Betty is cuter than them, in fact.”

Subaru: “Doubt fighting an animal in a match of cuteness’d go anywhere… actually you might lose a few points if you fought on the same terms?”

To Subaru’s eyes, even Patrasche looks a combination of cool and cute. But a different kind of cute to Emilia, Rem, and Beatrice’s cute of course.

Beatrice looks on suspiciously, while Emilia jumps excitedly on the word ‘liger’ and gazes at Subaru.

Emilia: “Me too! Do you think they’d let me touch them if I asked?”

Subaru: “You could’ve asked when Mimi was at the mansion. You get weirdly considerate about things like that.”

Emilia: “They’re their riding dogs, I can’t just do whatever I want with them. I’ve been missing the feeling of fur, since Puck hasn’t been around.”

It seems that even Emilia, who loves Puck like family, has been enchanted by his fur. Subaru agrees to ask about it and Emilia starts humming happily. While hideously tone-deaf.

Listening to her shoddy humming, Subaru puts his hand to his cheek and leans on his elbow as he gazes at the cityscape. He leans on the windowframe. Beatrice gazes out the window’s glass, kneeling on her seat. Subaru deliberates whether to tell her that it’s bad manners to do that, when,

Beatrice: “Oh, Subaru. Here’s your chance, in fact.”

Subaru: “Hm? Wh—woah!”

Subaru looks over to see a giant spray of water from the canal as a passing fish—or no, it’s not a fish. The creature has a long, serpentine body, alongside stubby but present limbs. It’s a water dragon. Its blue, slippery skin evokes images of snakes, but its head is clearly a dragon’s.

Sharp fangs crowd its mouth, and catfish whiskers extend from its snout. The earth dragon looks like a bipedal lizard, while the water dragon is more oriental. Subaru almost wants to call it Shenlong.

Subaru: “But it looks kinda stuck up, or unfriendly.”

Beatrice: “That’s what it looks like to humans, I suppose. Water dragons are much more bothersome to domesticate than earth dragons, in fact. You must raise it from hatchling to adult before it recognizes you as its master, I suppose.”

Subaru: “So they take time. Me and Patrasche bonded the second our eyes met.”

Beatrice: “It baffles me how she’s so attached to you, in fact.”

It baffles Subaru too.

Though she is originally from Crusch’s faction, she grew extremely attached to Subaru from the moment he picked her for the White Whale offensive. Subaru believes his choice back then, picking the highly assertive Patrasche, was the correct one.

There are so many times where he would have failed without her.

Subaru: “Hmpf. The visage of our Patrasche abounds in refinement far the superior.”

Emilia: “Subaru. How come you’re suddenly talking like Anne?”

A strange rebellion against the water dragon, dancing through the canal, overtakes Subaru. And though the dragon couldn’t have noticed his gaze, it turns to glance at him. The dragon pokes its head out of the water and screeches.For some reason Subaru hears the “Eyes off, interlopers,” loud and clear.

Subaru: “I think this asshole just insulted us. Which means it’s time for…”

Dragon: “—Ϡ!”

As revenge, Subaru decides to mimic the roars of the giant black witchbeast he saw when the mansion was burning down.

When a sharp, dignified roar cuts through to the water. Patrasche’s roar.

She perceived her master’s belligerence toward the dragon and got him revenge. Subaru doesn’t know what she meant with that bellow, but her voice and glare terrify the water dragon, which squeaks and slinks back underwater. Then it speeds up and carts its boat swiftly away. The boatsman panics at the sudden speed while Subaru watches on, dazed.

Subaru: “Wh-what just happened?”

Otto: “—Natsuki-san, please keep Patrasche-chan from doing anything too strange. I’d truly prefer that we didn’t make a scene so shortly after entering the city.”

Scolds Otto from the driver’s seat. Subaru waves at him dismissively and whistles through his fingers so that Patrasche can hear him. They can’t exactly communicate by whistling, but hopefully it lets her know that he’s grateful.

Subaru: “Water dragons are pretty cool, but Patrasche is the coolest.”

Beatrice: “…Ours is better than that undignified water dragon, in fact.”

Beatrice begrudgingly agrees with Subaru, perhaps because he spoke so happily.

While they cross a canal by bridge, Subaru thinks of the panoramic view of the city he saw from the gates.

Subaru: “Feels like these canals split the city into four or something.”

Emilia: “They do. The giant waterways in the middle of Pristella divide it into districts. Going clockwise from the main gates, they’re District One, District Two, District Three, and District Four.”

Subaru hums.

Subaru: “Pretty uncreative naming scheme. They could’ve gone for something more like East Blue. Don’t you agree?”

Garfiel: “That I do, Captain.”

Beatrice: “No one cares about your tastes, I suppose.”

Says Beatrice icily at the happy pair. Emilia smiles as she watches on and raises her finger, speaking as if she has read this in a book,

Emilia: “The numbered districts all have different stores and occupations, and the residential areas are concentrated in districts Two and Three, which are farthest from the gates. The Seasylph Lodge must have lots of visiting travellers, so it’ll be in District One.”

Subaru: “Which means we should be hitting it soon… or now.”

The slow carriage comes to a stop during their conversation. Apparently they’ve reached the inn. Otto loops around from the driver’s seat and into the carriage.

Otto: “We’ve arrived. I’ll speak with the employees to have Frufoo and Patrasche-chan moved to the stables, so feel free to… no, actually, please wait by the entrance.”

Subaru: “What changed your mind? Is it really that bad for us to go in first!?”

Otto: “It is. We don’t want you to encounter Anastasia-san, and for me to come back and find she’s hooked you.”

Subaru frowns at Otto’s lack of trust, but nobody can refute him considering their track record. They take their hand luggage and leave the carriage while an employee escorts Otto behind the establishment, out of sight.

Subaru watches them go, stretches, and finally directs his gaze to the Seasylph Lodge.

Subaru: “Now, just what kind of lodgings have we… we.”

Subaru’s jaw drops.Emilia puts her finger to her cheek, tilting her head.

Emilia: “The building looks sooo funny. I don’t think I’ve seen one like it.”

Garfiel and Beatrice share Emilia’s candid thoughts. But Subaru gets a different impression from the place. Of course he would. After all,

Subaru: “An inn? …This is a ryokan.”

Built of smooth wood, with sliding glass doors.

And hedges, and a gravel path from the gates to the entrance, and a tiled roof, leaving no room for doubt.

Right there in the middle of such a western city, and entirely out-of-place piece of architecture. This is the day that Natsuki Subaru meets the wafuu structure called the Seasylph Lodge.

???: “Look at the surprise on you. Was a good choice I made, hand-picking this hotel.” When a calm, cheerful voice cuts into his stupefaction.

Still stunned, Subaru slowly redirects his gaze—beyond the hedges, to where someone peers over at their group.

She has a white fur dress and an eye-catching fox scarf. The cold season has already gone, and the dress has fabric thin enough to call in season, but the scarf could be important since it’s exactly the same as ever.

A slight frame and long, wavy violet hair. A pleasant smile on her charming face, and an indecipherable glint her her aquamarine eyes.

No doubt about it. This is the one who invited them here. A direct, face-to-face welcome from Anastasia Hoshin. And,

Anastasia: “Been some time since I last seen you. Many thanks to you for coming all the way. Figures to me the journey’s worn you out. How says we spend time relaxing inside, then chat?”

Before Otto can return, she easily takes the lead.

—Everyone present can see so.

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