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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:
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The next morning, a bleary-eyed Subaru stood in the sunlit courtyard. Feeling the hard gravel and sand through his shoes, he took a deep breath of the cool morning air.
Emilia directed a smile at the pleased Subaru as he gave a relaxed, “Mmm!”.
Emilia: “What is it? Subaru seems happy today, did something nice happen?”
Subaru: “Many nice things happened. An important event happened last night, Emilia’s charming braid was an unexpected treat, and the baths were spacious and comfortable.”
Emilia: “Ah, I can say the same. I also took a very comfortable bath yesterday. The bathhouse in the Roswaal mansion is great, but the bath surrounded by stones here is so fresh.”
Last night, the beauty of Emilia’s melodiously flowing silver hair, as the braid Subaru had made was unraveled, had been breathtaking. Although her usual long straight hair also showed her frosty, snow-like beauty, seeing an unusual hairstyle on her had its own sense of privilege.
The conclusion really was that, no matter what, a cute girl would always be cute.
With that in mind, Subaru turned his attention back to the present as Emilia spoke again.
Although indoors, the bath went as far as it could to resemble an open-air bath, and the decorations evoked a natural image of the outdoors. Cobblestone covered the ledges along the bath’s wall. If it had been made of marble instead, the bath would have lost much of its uniqueness.
Emilia: “Since I saw this type of bath for the first time, I ended up having a lot of fun frolicking with Crusch-san and Felt-chan.”
Subaru: “That’s a prime fanservice scene from a gyaru game.  It’s a CG that’s absolutely necessary to collect.”
Emilia: “C… G?”
Subaru: “It’s nothing, I was just teasing you. You seem happy, and most importantly, did you enjoy it?”
Emilia: “Mhm, very.”
Emilia, whose happiness was shared with Subaru, also seemed joyful at a glance. This feeling alleviated the initial anxiety and suspicion that had accompanied both master and servant on their trip to Pristella. The issue was——
Subaru: “Those two over there have such unhappy, gloomy looking faces.”
Beatrice: “…It’s nothing, in fact.”
Otto: “Please don’t mind me… hic. I just had a little, hic, too much to drink.”
Standing where Subaru was pointing was a loli sporting twin-drills and a frosty expression on her face, and a man whose usually elegant features were pale.
Needless to say, these two were Beatrice and Otto. After some careful consideration, Subaru decided to say hello to the almost transparent Otto.
Subaru: “Otto. You were a no-show at dinner yesterday, where did you go?”
Otto: “Like I said when we parted ways, hic, it’s rare for me to have a chance to come to Pristella, and while, hic, we’re here, I wanted to establish some connections.”
Subaru: “What’s up with you? You’re even more drunk than you were when we first met.”
Otto: “…? My memory might be messed up, but, hic, my first meeting with Natsuki-san didn’t seem to involve alcohol…”
Subaru: “Well, it’s your own memory, so think what you will.”
Otto, who was reproached for an unknown reason, wore a helpless expression, although Subaru’s comments were all moot.
From Subaru’s perspective, he had numerous first meetings with Otto, but the first one had been with a frustrated Otto in a tavern, who had been as equally pale as the current one. Shortly afterwards, however, Subaru Returned from Death. Therefore, from Otto’s point of view, their first meeting had been the embarrassing one in which Subaru had been responsible for saving him from the Witch Cult.
Of course, it was futile to argue, since both would be wrong.
Subaru: “Don’t do things that would give Beako bad habits. Well, I can understand that you were in a rush to help our faction.”
Otto: “I did this all of my own volition—— Even though I have no idea why I did this to myself.”
Otto, whose head seemed to be feeling rather heavy, was unable to respond to Subaru. After a moment he looked up at the courtyard, changing the course of the conversation with an “Actually…”,
Otto: “What happened to Garfiel? It is unusual that he is not up at this time. Isn’t it convention for him to get up earlier than anyone so he can find the highest mountain to howl from?”
Subaru: “There’s probably not anywhere high up here, but that isn’t why he’s not here. Though, that would be his own juvenile secret. Please be gentle with him the next time you meet.”
Otto: “To someone who has no idea whatsoever as to what happened, aren’t those words too misleading…!? Ahh, my head still hurts.”
Subaru: “You’re certainly self-destructive.”
Watching a nigh-comatose Otto collapse onto the floor, Subaru smiled. He then turned around and looked at Beatrice, who had been silent since the beginning of their exchange.
Subaru: “So, what’s up, Beako? Yesterday, you were so lively, but now you’re all gloomy. That’s so not cute.”
Beatrice: “Don’t just assume things, I suppose. I’m not feeling gloomy, in fact. Betty just suddenly remembered a few things, which she has to carefully scrutinize, I suppose.”
Subaru: “What’s the matter? If you have any trouble, spit it out. If it’s something dangerous, you might not know how to handle it.”
Surprised at what Beatrice had said, Subaru narrowed his eyes slightly and gave a gesture indicating his readiness. Emilia also nodded as if she were listening carefully.
Beatrice bit her lips, revealing a rare hesitation, before choosing her words with a pompous air.
Beatrice: “It started yesterday, after Subaru abandoned me to play with Garfiel, in fact.”
Subaru: “A questionable interpretation, but go on.”
Beatrice: “Betty had gone to look for Emilia to kill time with, I suppose. On the way to her room, I ran into an employee, who I made a little bit of small talk with, in fact.”
Subaru: “Beako… making small talk…!?”
Learning that Beatrice’s ability to communicate had somewhat improved left Subaru speechless. He turned to Emilia, shocked, and she gave an eager nod.
Incredible! The notion of Beatrice initiating conversations with strangers was entirely unexpected. Maybe the freshness of travel had let Beatrice experience an unexpected growth. After returning home, he needed to update the Beako Growth Diary with this development as soon as possible.
The diary, which recorded Beako’s daily growth in detail, had already reached three volumes. Thanks to this journey, he could add a new page.
Unaware that her daily activities were being recorded, Beatrice found Subaru and Emilia’s attention annoying, and reacted with a dissatisfied “You’re exaggerating, I suppose!”.
Beatrice: “I’ll keep talking, in fact. When the waiter saw Betty, he said he had news and put on a very mysterious expression, I suppose. He told me, «At night, something scary will haunt this hotel», in fact.”
Beatrice: “Honestly, when Betty heard she hesitated to tell anyone so as not to create unnecessary confusion, I suppose. Although, I still decided to do some preparation last night as a precaution, in fact…”
Beatrice’s voice rose as she became worked up, and she did not notice how Subaru had fallen silent. Then, she dropped her voice to a whisper, as ceremoniously as if she were spreading a little-known secret.
Beatrice: “In the middle of the night, Betty heard something strange, I suppose. I didn’t want to wake up Subaru, who had a stupid expression on his face as he slept, so I quietly left our sleeping quarters alone to investigate, in fact.”
Subaru: “You shouldn’t stare at someone else’s sleeping face, it’s creepy.”
Beatrice: “O-of course I didn’t stare, I suppose! I just gave a glance, as a lady’s etiquette dictates, in fact!”
She might not have looked at the sleeping Subaru at all, but it was so cute that Subaru put the matter aside for time being. Beako took Subaru’s acquiescence as a sign to continue, and her mysterious expression reappeared.
Beatrice: “Betty noticed an unusual presence hovering near the hotel, so I tracked it, I suppose. After a while, I finally found its source on the front porch…”
Subaru: “You found it?”
Beatrice: “Well, there was a dangerous pale face slowly emerging from the darkness, I suppose. It seemed to be dangerous to Betty at a first look, so she confronted it, in fact.”
Beatrice’s petite forehead shone faintly with sweat, as if she were fully immersed in the grim situation she had been involved in last night. Although Subaru did not understand how a Spirit’s sweat glands worked, it made the atmosphere rather tense, so he chose to not comment on it.
Beatrice: “Shortly after, probably due to its fear of Betty’s power, the figure slowly melted back into the darkness, I suppose. After repeatedly confirming that there would be no trouble later, Betty returned to the room, in fact. Then I stepped over the idiotically sleeping Subaru to return to the futon, I suppose.”
Subaru: “Don’t peep on someone sleeping, it’s indecent.”
Beatrice: “I only confirmed that you were okay, I suppose! Absolutely no such thing like touching your forehead or eyebrows happened, in fact!”
This was certainly a self-admission, but because it was so cute, Subaru again neglected to mention it.
All in all, that seemed to be the end of Beatrice’s horror story. Subaru held his chin and nodded slightly as he began to consider what she had said.
In a Japanese-style inn, a ghost story had occurred.
As a matter of fact, after living in this other world for a year, Subaru had come to realize that such ghost stories were not widespread here. That was most likely because spirits were already well-known as invisible beings. If the existence of invisible beings was acknowledged, there was no need for such things like ghost stories
Even so, that kind of weird rumor still existed here, and that the hotel had even inherited a story about Japanese-style spirits was really rather incredible.
Subaru heartily admired this phenomenon, as he took a conclusive breath.
Subaru: “So, what happened last night, Otto?”
Otto: “Ah, I remember now. As I lay on the porch, still on the verge of vomiting, I noticed that Beatrice-chan was staring at me, but I was unable to speak at the time. Finally, I couldn’t hold back and went to vomit in the bushes, and once I’d come back, she’d vanished.”
Subaru: “That would be it, then.”
Beatrice: “…How is this, how is it possible, in fact?”
It was almost too much for Beatrice to handle.
It was, at this point, incredibly obvious that the true face of the so-called specter was actually a drunk Otto, and she had no idea what to say.
What she had been certain she had seen was relentlessly rejected, and Beatrice looked as if her ability to reason had vanished. Subaru stroked her as though comforting her, but in his heart, he concluded that Beatrice was bad at sleeping in unfamiliar surroundings.
The waiter, who described the specter to Beatrice, had surely seen that Beatrice had the unusual aura of someone who was gullible, and would take any kind of prank too seriously.
Her red face, full of remorse and dissatisfaction, was so adorable that Subaru gave it the highest level of praise.
Felt: “Yo, everyone’s gathered here already.”
Then, a light female voice cut into the crowd of laughter.
Looking to the source of the sound, Subaru spotted a figure in the corridor―― a girl shaking out her short, golden hair, Felt. She had replaced the yukata with her usual light attire, swinging her slender arms with ease. Although she had grown to be a touch more feminine, she looked like she was still firmly rooted as a girl from the streets.
Subaru: “Morning. You’re dressed so casually, I can just feel Reinhard’s lament.”
Felt: “Don’t preach me about it. That guy annoys me with it so much, and even Rom-jii is on his side. It’s such a bother.”
Voicing her dissatisfaction, an impatient Felt leapt from the corridor and landed beside Otto, who was promptly ignored. She then turned towards Subaru and crooked her head to ask,
Felt: “Having said that, there’s a thing that I’ve been curious about.”
Subaru: “What is it?”
Felt: “Ah, that is to say, why have you all been doing this weird dance together?”
Felt wore a curious expression as she watched Subaru’s strange dance―— his everyday habit of morning radio gymnastics.
Whether before starting a long journey, or taking a few steps on the road, everyone would start their morning with radio calisthenics. This scene had long appeared every morning in not only the Roswaal mansion, but across the entirety of the Mathers territories.
Subaru: “Oh, it’s just the secret to health and longevity. Performed by everyone, from the children to the elderly, the age of the popular «radio calisthenics » of healthiness will reign. After Emilia-tan becomes the Monarch, our radio gymnastics will become a government-mandated morning activity!”
Emilia: “Yeah, I’d be happy if everyone could do it together.”
Felt: “That’s… I can’t help but feel that if such a thing becomes reality, your reputation as a Monarch’ll be ruined…”
Scrutinizing their movement, Felt muttered her cynical thoughts.
It was saddening to see, but sooner or later, even those who had not wanted to follow along were drawn into it after realizing the benefits of this easily performed activity. The popularity of this movement after it has spread to the various villages was indeed high.
Subaru: “Beako and Otto were also reluctant from the very beginning, but now they even participate despite having suffered through a lonely night of fear of ghosts, or a morning of a hangover!”
Beatrice: “Betty was dragged into this by Subaru, in fact.”
Otto: “I obviously just wanted to sleep off my headache, but then I heard the claps and saw the dancing…”
Beatrice: “Even if I’ve become sick of this, I’m addicted.”
Otto: “Utterly fascinating.”
Beatrice and Otto gave a somewhat weak explanation, while Subaru and Emilia stood proud. Felt scratched her white neck as she pondered the two distinctly different sets of responses.
Felt: “Indeed, I often hear of popular, strange activities happening in onee-chan’s vicinity. Strange dances, hollowed-out pumpkins, women carefully baking food for their beloved as a gift. Events like that…”
Subaru: “Although now they’re only unique occurrences in the border territories, I know that one day it will be turned into a project popular across the nation. Considering this, we could try using Anastasia-san in our schemes.”
Valentine’s Day would revolutionize the snack industry, and the markets would broaden. If the topic of large economical shift came up, Anastasia would immediately find a way to capitalize on it. If it wasn’t too late to do that, Subaru considered trying to catch Anastasia in her free time to discuss those opportunities with her.
Felt: “Has onii-chan always given off that kind of feeling?”
Emilia: “Well, Subaru has always been that way. It seems like he’s teasing, but he really wants to improve things, even if he always pretends to be fooling around.”
Felt: “Yeah but, you don’t even know if he’s joking or not until the dust settles…”
Emilia’s answer slightly frightened Felt.
Occasionally this kind of thing would happen due to Emilia’s mental age. Sometimes it would be hard to tell which one was younger or older, and Felt was no exception to that.
Felt, who struggled and crawled her way up in slums, had her unique way of living, too.
Emilia: “Why is Felt-chan all alone, isn’t Reinhard worried when you’re not together?”
Felt: “I’m not some kid who needs to be taken care of, and besides, that guy’s just annoying when he’s near me, so I just told him to go off somewhere, since onee-chan and everyone else would be here. It’s so annoying, as soon as anything happens that bastard arrives in the blink of an eye.”
Emilia: “Right. Then I feel at ease.”
Emilia carelessly chuckled at Felt’s complaint. Receiving a response which did not match her expectations, Felt gave an anxious sigh and began playing roughly with her blonde hair, revealing her irritation.
Emilia: “Felt-chan, you have such beautiful hair, you shouldn’t play with it so crudely. I’ve been taught by Subaru and Frederica-san to respect hair.”
Felt: “Damn, you’re so bossy… Let me mind my own hair, and didn’t I say to stop adding «chan» to my name? It gives me goosebumps!”
Emilia: “Even if you say so, I can’t drop this habit all at once. I’ll try my best, but if I can’t hold back, I’ll be very sorry. Is that fine?”
Felt: “It’s not fine in the slightest!”
Because Emilia did not hold any maliciousness, Felt could only give a low, cat-like growl to vent her irritation. On a surface level, people hearing their conversation would smile, as it looked like a happy exchange between best friends.
Subaru: “Well, our radio calisthenics are done, so feel free to go to bed. Or you could take a bath, they’re nice and refreshing.”
Otto: “I have already taken a bath… but, sadly, the smell of liquor did not seem to wash away.”
Subaru: “Before Garfiel shows up to yell at you, you’d best hurry up and wash it away. In my hometown, there’s a saying that any issue can be solved with a few hot baths.”
Otto: “It would be a catastrophe if he saw me like this… since you gave me your advice, I’ll follow it while I still have my life…”
Subaru lifted the depressed Otto to his feet and gave his weak shoulder a pat. Otto sighed, still despondent, as Subaru gazed up at the sky.
A sky full of smiles. Thin clouds hung in the early morning sky, reflecting the calm weather. Just as Subaru came to note this,
???: “――Good morning, citizens of Pristella.”
A loud sound seemingly appeared out of thin air, echoing in everyone’s ears, surprising the unprepared Subaru.
It was no illusion; as Subaru looked around in panic, he saw Emilia, Felt, and Beatrice also glancing around, alarmed.
Subaru: “Hey, what’s this? It’s a really loud voice.”
Felt: “It’s not some kind of fantasy, it’s just a loud voice in the streets…”
Felt whispered softly to herself, while Subaru also made his own commentary, while suspecting that it was not unrelated to magic.
Speaking of magic that could send sound to an entire group of people, Subaru recalled the spell that made it possible to share one’s consciousness, Nect, that Julius had used before to connect everyone’s consciousness. However, it was simply a way of connecting people mentally within a limited range, and could not deliver sound directly to the ears.
Pondering this, Subaru thought that he had found a suitable answer. That was,
Subaru: “Something like a loudspeaker?”
Felt and Subaru had provided similar comments on the phenomenon, talking about a loud voice.
Resounding from the sky, the noise was loud enough that the entire city was probably able to hear it, in a very similar way to announcements made from a loudspeaker.
The only problem was that, in this world, there had no been any sign of such a scientific and technological development so far.
Otto: “Ah, you didn’t know? This broadcast functions with the help of a Mana-powered instrument in Pristella’s Metropolitan Government Hall.”
Subaru: “Mana… so it’s magic!”
Otto answered Subaru’s question, nodding as if to say, “Yes”.
Otto: “What I heard yesterday, when I was drinking with a great variety of people, was that every morning the City Hall would use a magical device to deliver an announcement to the citizens of Pristella.”
Subaru: “Huh, that’s such a strange daily routine.”
Otto: “Information that needs to be conveyed to all of the city’s areas can be heard immediately and conveniently. In the event of an emergency, evacuations or directions can be given easily. In order to keep such a stressful time from being too chaotic, doing this every morning allows the citizens to get used the speaker.”
Subaru: “Oh… I wouldn’t have thought of that.”
Using a magical device to prepare for emergencies.
Small villages were trouble enough, but if an accident took place in the city, handling it would quickly devolve into pandemonium. It was never a waste to come up with pre-emptive countermeasures to deal with such problems in advance.
It was unusual and fairly innovative for someone to take the time to ensure that the citizens would be well-prepared for it.
Subaru: “It looks like a pretty smart guy is responsible for this, maybe the Mayor?”
Otto: “No, it seems that it was Kiritaka-san who provided the magical device in the first place, and came up with the habit of using it for broadcasts. So it is only natural that he is involved in the management of the city.”
His admiration was suddenly interrupted by that impact.
Kiritaka had most likely been the one who’d yelled “Don’t touch my Liliana!” yesterday. Scenes of the negotiation flashed through Subaru’s mind. The screaming. The flash of the magical stone. The elegant man who had cried for Liliana afterward.
Subaru: “No, no.”
Beatrice: “No way, in fact.”
Emilia: “That seems a little…”
At Subaru, Beatrice, and Emilia’s perfect synchronization, Otto smiled wryly.
Otto: “I thought that you would reply like that, but the person in charge of the broadcast is in fact Kiritaka-san. Listen, isn’t that voice familiar?”
Kiritaka: “This is a magical device which can transmit my voice throughout the entire city. If I startled anyone unfamiliar with this, I offer my apologies. You’re very lucky to be hearing this broadcast today.”
Subaru: “Who’s that?”
Despite Otto’s follow-up, Subaru still had difficulty associating this voice with his impression of Kiritaka. He was so serious that it did not sound like a lolicon at all.
Subaru: “No, wait. Clind-san also doesn’t seem like a degenerate… could it be that lolicons are clever at disguising themselves? Lolicons with high social status are terrifying.”
Subaru again recalled the omnipotent butler. He had overwhelming intelligence and ability, but it was mixed with that kind of helpless inclination. Although it wouldn’t be quite right to call Clind a representative of all lolicons, it wasn’t impossible that there would be case of a high-class lolicon who resembled him.
Subaru: “Well, this Kiritaka guy is still very suspicious, and impressions from voices aren’t the most reliable…”
Kiritaka: “And to those who are listening, allow me to deliver, filled with my feelings… no! Filled with your feelings, a world of blessings! The morning has finally come… This is the Songstress Liliana, please be sure to listen!”
Liliana: “Ah, it’s me.”
In the midst of the mess, the man in Subaru’s memories and the man making the broadcast finally aligned.
This bother had decided to plague Subaru even in the early morning. He heard the shuffling sound of people changing locations, and then a slight cough which seemed to contain a smile.
Liliana: “Weeeell, hello everybody, this is Liliana, who was just introduced. Doing this every morning makes me feel the weight of expectation, but I still want to do my best to sing and play to create joy. Please oblige me.”
Subaru immediately recognized Liliana’s characteristic way of speaking, and felt as if he could see her odd behavior even through the magical device.
Curiously, unlike Kiritaka’s voice, which intermittently faded through the magical device, not a trace of Liliana’s voice was lost.
Subaru did not know if there was such a concept as an affinity for magical devices, but if there were any such blessings, those would suit the girl whose voice was loved by the Goddess of Song, so she would be able to sing clearly through the static.
Liliana: “Well, I’m eager to sing. Please listen—— The Sword Demon’s Love Song, Act Two!”
Liliana inhaled gently as she prepared her instrument before playing it.
The song’s title stole Subaru’s attention from Liliana’s speech. If the song was indeed the tale of what he thought it was, then——
The song about to be played was the touching tragic love story about a woman, and a demon who lived by the sword.
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The Songstress Liliana’s act of terrorism ended with her song, and Subaru returned to the living room for an early breakfast.
To be honest, the existence of the Sword Demon’s Love Song had struck Subaru like an unexpected bolt of lightning.
He should have realized long ago. No matter in which world, at any time, any heroic deeds that had been accomplished would be preserved for future generations. They could be documented in a number of ways, such as in writing or paintings.
It was not inconceivable that the heroine who had ended a civil war and the Sword Demon who took that heroine as his wife were immortalized in song.
Of course, even if Subaru had been aware of this possibility, he could not have done anything regarding what had happened this morning. He had not even known about the magical device, and he could not have known to tell Liliana to think about her actions.
Now, he could only curse the Songstress who had chosen her song at the most inopportune time without any regard for the situation.
His already poor impression of the Songstress had somehow plummeted even further at her inexplicably poorly timed enthusiasm. Liliana was an idiot, Kiritaka was a fool.
Subaru: “Has Wilhelm-san… come here yet?”
The earliest to arrive in the living room were the previous occupants of the courtyard, with the exception of Felt, who had parted with them after leaving. She would probably come later together with Reinhard.
Thinking of the song he had just heard, recalling Wilhelm’s thoughts on his wife and grandson, and picturing the old man’s smile, Subaru was unable to suppress the feelings that sprung up in his chest.
As for the words to say upon seeing him, Subaru had no idea how to find them. Even so, as long as there was communication, Subaru would be glad. Still, he seriously hoped that Wilhelm had somehow missed the song.
Subaru: “That group of overly-serious people, it’s impossible that all of them would be sleeping in on the same day.”
The three main members of Crusch’s faction, and even Ferris, worked and rested on a balanced schedule. Even having lived with them only a few days, Subaru was well-aware of this.
On a journey to an unfamiliar place, they would probably be nervous and maintain their schedule even more rigorously, so it was impossible that they would have missed the broadcast.
Emilia: “Subaru, you look awful, what’s wrong?”
Emilia leveled her gaze at Subaru, who sat on a cushion, rapidly tapping his feet in anxiety.
After the broadcast had ended, Subaru had immediately proposed that their faction should go to the tearoom. After confirming that the tearoom was empty, he claimed its undisturbed peace.
Emilia and the others simply savored the tragic lyrics of the Sword Demon’s Love Song and indulged in Liliana’s voice. They were unaware that the Sword Demon recorded in song was Wilhelm, or of any of the origins of the Sword Demon.
Therefore, it was no wonder that they could not empathize with Subaru’s anxiety.
Even more frightening was that Liliana’s song had captured even Subaru.
Subaru, who had been plagued with a sense of trepidation upon hearing the song’s title, could not bring himself to leave the courtyard while listening to it. Or, rather, that kind of thought did not even surface at the time.
Liliana’s singing must have contained magic. Because of this, even after recovering, Subaru could not shake off a sense of anxiety when thinking of that hasty brunette.
Subaru: “…It’s nothing. Nothing, nothing, just, I’m a little hungry… You see, even though the inn’s food is delicious, isn’t it a little lacking in quantity? My body wants me to pilfer snacks so I can eat them and grow.”
Emilia: “Subaru, I don’t believe you.”
Although she was usually easily deceived, Emilia saw right through Subaru’s bluff at this critical moment. Was he so easy to read? Subaru’s confidence vanished.
Otto: “Really, Natsuki-san. Although I do not know what you are anxious about, we are discussing our plans for the afternoon. You should be paying attention.”
Subaru: “This afternoon’s plan, oh yeah, the second negotiation with Kiritaka. Hmm… Could we take Liliana hostage so we can exchange her with the magic stone we want?”
Otto: “Why in the world would you propose such a forceful plan!?”
Otto, amazed by Subaru’s words, raised his voice as his face adopted a gloomy expression. Seeing that, Subaru tilted his head with an “Eh”. Perhaps it was due to his still-burning anger towards Liliana, but it probably wouldn’t serve to raise the plan’s success rate.
Otto: “In any case, this afternoon, we’ll be attempting negotiations with Kiritaka-san again, and the one we should try to win the trust of is that member of the Scales of the White Dragon, who is the most likely person able to persuade Kiritaka-san.
Subaru: “Scales of the White Dragon, that’s such a cool name. Was he at the meeting yesterday?”
Otto: “Yes, the Scales of the White Dragon is a well-known mercenary group in this area. Although they were established a long time ago, they were recently hired as a private force by Kiritaka-san. That man was their representative.”
Subaru: “Of the people who were there… Ah, he’s probably the best person to talk to.”
While he had not been there to observe the room the negotiation had taken place in, Subaru had a vague recollection of the presence of a middle-aged man in white before the magic stone’s light engulfed him.
Compared to Kiritaka, who was mad for Liliana, who was often in a state of madness herself, Subaru was certainly eager to talk to someone more rational than the two.
Otto: “Judging by this morning’s broadcast, Kiritaka-san’s anger should have calmed down somewhat, and he should be willing to listen to us. However, if Natsuki-san is going to be present, then he will be significantly less reasonable, most likely.”
Subaru: “I know my scary eyes put people off the first time they see me, but I didn’t expect such an aggressive reaction. That kinda hurt.”
Emilia: “It’s okay, Subaru. I don’t dislike those fierce-looking eyes. My Mother also had very fierce eyes, but she was such a gentle person.”
Beatrice: “Subaru’s face isn’t that bad, in fact… Actually, I was mistaken, I suppose.”
Subaru: “No comfort is preferable, actually. Don’t make me face the truth.”
Subtle bore the gentle and stern words of the two women, before urging Otto to continue. Otto went on saying, “So,”
Otto: “During today’s negotiations, I think Natsuki-san should not accompany us. Is that okay?”
Subaru: “No matter what, I don’t have a choice but to agree, but if you succeed, then what’s the point of me being here?”
Otto: “Between having just Natsuki-san come for nothing, and having all of us come for nothing, we should choose the smaller loss of just Natsuki-san, who only runs around playing with Beatrice-chan.”
Beatrice: “I feel like you’re underestimating Betty, in fact! It’s annoying, I suppose!”
Beatrice’s anger was dismissed, and their plan of action was finalized for the time being. Nevertheless, Subaru had also considered what Otto was likely thinking.
Subaru: “Then this afternoon I’ll go with Emilia-tan to take a walk with Beako.”
Emilia: “Ehh? I won’t be going to see Kiritaka-san with Otto-kun?”
Otto: “They have surely anticipated that we would come to negotiate again, and if we were to take Emilia-sama, we would be making a sudden, unannounced visit, and we will fail just as we did yesterday… Natsuki-san, I am glad you realize this, but I cannot help but think that you’re up to something.”
Otto glared at Subaru, who responded with an innocent whistle.
He had told Otto about meeting Liliana yesterday, but he had neglected to mention where they had met. And Kiritaka had most likely predicted that the Emilia Camp would be looking to negotiate again.
Now, what would Kiritaka do with Liliana if he did not want her to meet Subaru and the others? The clue was Liliana’s actions on the previous day.
Subaru: “I found a nice park, and I’d like Emilia-tan to come with me. We could take stroll with Beatrice holding our hands between us.”
Emilia: “Wow, that sounds like fun. But I wonder if it’s okay for us to relax like that. Well, Otto-kun?”
Otto: “I can’t refuse if you stare at me with such expecting eyes. Well, Natsuki-san and Emilia-sama both cannot attend due to a variety of circumstances, so I will visit the other party with Garfiel. Please do not cause any trouble.”
In affirmation of Otto’s words, Emilia and Subaru nodded earnestly. But Subaru also stuck his tongue out at Otto’s back as an apology.
Liliana would almost certainly not be present at the Muse Chamber of Commerce today. In that case, Subaru could only assume that she would go to the same park as yesterday. If she were not to be found there, Subaru would accept that there was nothing he could do, but he still wished to establish a relationship with her if he could.
If Kiritaka truly loved Liliana from the bottom of his heart, there was quite a large possibility that he would agree to a direct request from her.
Of course, he wasn’t just thinking of using Liliana. If he abused her good intentions, Emilia would oppose it, and Subaru’s own conscience wouldn’t let him walk free. Thus, Subaru decided to tell Liliana his story without any reservations.
Subaru hoped that the result would be honest, even if it strayed from the heroic biography that she had been expecting and ended up disappointing her.
Immortalized in history as a hero, in song. Just the thought gave Subaru goosebumps, but if he had to add fuel to the fire, he wanted to leave an honest impression. At the very least, his audience would be disillusioned about Subaru’s famed heroic deeds upon learning of his miserable mistakes along the way.
Anastasia: “——Good morning. You’re all up early.”
Just as Emilia’s faction decided on their internal and external plans of action, the door of the tearoom was opened, revealing the figure of Anastasia. Today’s Anastasia wore her usual fox scarf coupled with a kimono.
It was indeed a surprise to suddenly see a kimono, and Subaru was excited. Emilia’s eyes gleamed for a different reason; she was delighted to see the unusual clothing. Anastasia gazed at them with pride.
Anastasia: “Very nice, very nice. I’m glad to be shockin’ people so early in the morning.”
Emilia: “Anastasia-san, that dress is so beautiful. Is that what you were talking about yesterday?”
Anastasia: “Yep. This is the kimono I mentioned at the bath yesterday. Although it looks a lot like a yukata, it takes a lotta preparation to wear.”
Anastasia turned delightedly, showing off her blue-dyed clothing, which was charmingly patterned with floating, scattered petals. He never ceased to be amazed at Kararagi’s ability to recreate the Japanese style. And what he had thought to be nearly-certain, now turned out to be certain.
——Kararagi clearly shared much with the Japanese culture Subaru was familiar with.
Subaru: “That type of clothing, has it been handed down from generation to generation?”
Anastasia: “Well, you’re quite knowledgeable, Natsuki-kun. This type of clothin’ did seem to be more common at the time of Hoshin. Though, that method of production was temporarily lost, and only in the past decade or so did craftsmen start bein’ able to reproduce them.”
Subaru: “Hoshin’s era.”
This mysterious man, Hoshin of the Wastelands, appeared once again. Now, Subaru had no choice but to suspect that Hoshin, like Subaru and Al, had been summoned. However, unlike Subaru and Al, Hoshin had been from four-hundred years ago.
Subaru: “The priority is figuring the current situation out, but afterward I might want to take a good look at this Hoshin…”
On the matter of his summoning, Subaru did not intend to start digging for knowledge at this point.
He did not know anything about the mechanism of summoning, nor did he know the purpose of the summoner. However, this call was one-sided, only attracting him to this place. There was no such convenience that would allow him to go back home.
On this matter, just considering it would be like fishing for the moon in a puddle. There was no solution. What Subaru wanted to know was what predecessors he had had, what kind of footprints they had left in this world, and where they had ended up. Nothing more.
Reinhard: “Good morning, Subaru. Did you sleep well last night? You were a great help in reminding Felt-sama to return to her room this morning.”
Felt: “How annoying. It wasn’t my intention to go back there.”
After Anastasia, Reinhard strode into the tearoom with Felt in tow. He deposited her on a cushion, giving no indication of whether he had heard the song that morning or not.
He certainly must have known that the Sword Demon’s Love Song was referring to his own grandfather.
Reinhard: “Anastasia-sama, you look more beautiful with each passing morning. I had been a little concerned about your modesty, but now it seems unfounded.”
Anastasia: “Hehehe, this is my treasured possession. I can’t go into Pristella without preparin’ myself. On that note, I still to have to show off to Julius.”
After that, Julius also joined them, and Anastasia showed off her garb to her Knight. After she had received her due flattery, Anastasia tilted her head at him.
Anastasia: “Didn’t Mimi and the others join you?”
Julius: “Ricardo said he had something to do and went out to the city last night, but Mimi and her brothers… they seem to be following Garfiel of the Emilia Camp.”
Emilia: “They’re following Garfiel?”
Emilia looked up upon hearing the name of one of her servants. Julius nodded.
Julius: “Mimi found Garfiel leaving the inn, and immediately gave chase. Then Hetaro went after her, and Tivey, who cleans up their messes, said that he would handle it, so they all left Joshua.”
Anastasia descended upon Joshua with her hands on her hips, the latter hiding behind the tall Julius. The handsome young man bowed his head to his wrathful master as he stepped forward timidly, looking extremely pale and concerned.
Joshua: “I am deeply, extremely sorry… I desperately tried to stop them, but Mimi and Hetaro were not listening at all. Tivey said to please leave everything to him.”
Anastasia: “Well, if Tivey’s there, they shouldn’t cause any problems. Let’s put it aside, we’re the hosts, but we’re makin’ quite a spectacle of ourselves in front of our guests.
Patiently patting the ashamed Joshua’s shoulders in a sign of forgiveness, Anastasia turned to face everyone present with a gracious smile. She shook her supple hair, her fingers playing with her scarf.
Anastasia: “As you’ve just witnessed, this embarrassin’ fiasco is happenin’, I hope ya’ll excuse it… Our adorable deputy captain, seemingly distracted by her first love, is having a hard time fightin’ her impulses.”
Mimi was obsessed with Garfiel and wanted to cling to his side, everyone present could see this. Everyone, with two exceptions. Emilia had tilted her head in confusion, and Joshua issued a sigh of “So that’s what it was”.
Subaru: “By the way, Felt, I didn’t see that Tonchinkan trio at all. Are they all staying here?”
Felt: “You mean Gaston and the others? Well, having them living here would be a waste and a joke, and they’re so unused to places like this that they’d feel awkward. They’re living somewhere cheaper in the city, but…”
As she answered Subaru’s question, Felt grinned, showing her teeth.
Felt: “Hey, that Tonchinkan nickname ain’t so bad, since their names are Gaston, Larkins, and Camberly. It’s not confusing at all, and they don’t seem to mind it.”
Subaru: “I also think it’s a great nickname, I want to praise the me from a year ago. When I first heard their real names, I thought a miracle had happened.”
Tonchinkan were called Tonchinkan, cheers to his past self who hadn’t made them Anpontan. And it seeming that he was somehow pleased with that, cheers to the future of Tonchinkan, who he would continue to call primarily Tonchinkan from this moment onwards.
Crusch: “——We are late, it looks like we are the last ones here.”
Finally arriving in the tearoom was Crusch’s faction. Today, she had worked her long green hair up, and fitting of her new self, wore a gorgeous ladylike-like floral hairpin.
She took a brief walk into the room, followed by Ferris and Wilhelm, who was, as always, solemnly dressed, his back upright. Looking at the old man’s posture, Subaru couldn’t help but shake his shoulders. He swallowed, trying to steal a glance at the old man’s face, and Wilhelm caught Subaru’s gaze.
He showed a faint smile, giving a slight bow. Witnessing this action, Subaru received the message contained in the earlier smile: “You have nothing to worry about”.
Subaru’s heart began to beat faster, until he saw Ferris, sitting at Crusch’s side, winking and giving a peace sign.
——No worries, we’ve taken care of it.
That was the message Subaru received from Ferris. Perhaps he had noticed Subaru’s attention. He ceased making his gestures and began to cling to Crusch’s side as he always did.
Subaru was conscious of what it was like to be useless and was afraid of appearing nosy.
Crusch and Ferris certainly knew more than Subaru about the connection between Wilhelm and those songs. They were more sensitive and had greater proximity with Wilhelm. That was natural, because they were his companions. Subaru did not need his worries.
Subaru: “Better to say that it is our negligence that we couldn’t help Garfiel.”
This was not to say that he should not care about others. Rather, it is better to first do something for your own faction, which would leave you free to help others.
However, the turbulent depression in Garfiel’s body was something that could only be overcome by Garfiel’s own efforts, so that line of thought would solve nothing.
Anastasia: “Well, there’s still a few people who haven’t shown up, but in all likelihood, they won’t be comin’.”
Clapping her hands, Anastasia declared so. Although the number of occupants was less than that of last night’s attendees, the number was still impressive. After all, among what happened last night, eating itself had also been very exciting.
What to put on this morning—— with a short pause of anticipation, Anastasia smiled and said,
Anastasia: “Bring it in.”
At her orders, an employee of the inn opened the door, and, immediately afterward, a large heated block of iron was carried in by staff.
Anastasia: “Today’s treat is the traditional Kararagi breakfast—— the daisukiyaki pancake!”
Anastasia rolled her sleeves up slightly, raising her voice.
In front of a silent crowd, the inn’s staff coated the iron with a layer of oil and carried in an assortment of ingredients one by one into the room.
The daisukiyaki pancake—— from the name, the iron plate, and the assortment of ingredients, Subaru saw something incredibly familiar. Something called,
Subaru: “A Japanese… okonomiyaki…!?” 
As something that had been passed down as daisukiyaki, the Japanese okonomiyaki pancake arrived on stage.
※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※
Emilia: “Subaru, Subaru, look at my masterpiece!”
Beatrice: “Subaru, this is the best pancake made by Betty, I suppose. You can have it, in fact.”
Emilia smiled earnestly, and Beako’s face was a little flushed. Each placed their best pancake in front of him, each one a daisukiyaki that had failed to become a daisukiyaki. To Subaru, they were just charred blocks of black charcoal. The two, however, were completely unaware of their lack of skill, and Subaru did not disdainfully throw away their feelings.
Subaru: “Try it yourself before you recommend it to others.”
With this sensible suggestion, Subaru held back a look of pain as the two obediently started on their pancakes, and turned his attention to the other factions.
Reinhard: “Finished, Felt-sama.”
Felt: “Oh, it’s good, make me some more. I’m always grateful for your skill in cooking and making delicious sweets.”
Reinhard: “If you count on me for anything else, I’ll be living up to my honor as a Knight.”
This was Felt’s faction. Reinhard made perfect pancakes at an impossible pace, and Felt gobbled them up just as fast. Hidden somewhere in Felt’s slim figure was King of Stomachs. Or she was just gluttonous. Either way, she ate far more than her share.
All in all, Reinhard had yet to eat, while Felt had already polished off ten.
Incidentally, Emilia’s faction was faring awfully as mentioned earlier. As had just been demonstrated, Emilia and Beatrice had not pulled their weight, and the only successful members were Otto and Subaru.
Otto: “Look, Emilia-sama and Beatrice-chan. I cooked them properly. Oh, eat this… Ah! Emilia-sama! Self-reflection is good, but don’t eat them raw! Beatrice-chan, that’s too much sauce!”
Much thanks to Otto, who acted like a father, stomachaches could be avoided for a while.
Of the other factions, the person that stood out the most was Anastasia. This was the surprise breakfast that she had planned herself. She had both deep confidence, in herself, and love, for the daisukiyaki.
Anastasia: “Watch carefully! This is the real daisukiyaki!”
She flipped the pancakes neatly and smoothly, and put beautifully-made pancakes onto Julius’s plate.
Julius: “I am unworthy of eating Anastasia-sama’s food, but I think they would be better if they were cooked for a shorter amount of time. Of course, I do not mean to bother Anastasia-sama.”
Anastasia: “Yeah, yeah, they need to be less charred. Even though Julius’s a man, he speaks like a tender maiden.”
Unlike Subaru, who redirected his offerings and told the people who had presented him with a gift to reflect on themselves, Julius not only ate the slightly-burnt pancakes, but kept a straight face and gave Anastasia pointers to improve.
That person was a role model as a Knight. Subaru absolutely did not want to imitate him, and lacked the ability to do so anyway.
Sitting at their side, eating sticky raw pancakes, was Joshua, looking pitiful. His monocle seemed to be fogging over, preventing him from seeing properly, and he desperately tried to hide his struggle. He would feel mortified if Subaru, who he hated, noticed this embarrassing spectacle, so Subaru did not call out to him.
After seeing the difference in elegance between the brothers, Subaru could only conclude that the most stable faction was Crusch’s.
Ferris: “Oh, Crusch-sama, Ferri-chan made really beautiful pancakes, take a look!”
Crusch: “Hmm, you certainly have, but I will not be defeated.”
Like a passionate competition between two women, Crusch and Ferris conversed. Their confidence was supported by their results―― the pancakes they had made were perfect. Ferris had even added cat ears to his.
Ferris: “Please enjoy my daisukiyaki, they’re filled with Ferri-chan’s love. Crusch-sama, open wide!”
Crusch: “Hey, hey… That, um…”
Although, the happy scene did feel a little off-putting. That may have been because Subaru knew they were man and woman, or because he knew that Crusch’s temperament had changed after her memory loss.
Anyway, master and servant appeared to have no problems. The last member of their faction, sitting next to the peach-colored space, and focusing on his own pancake, was Wilhelm.
Wilhelm, who had been trying to turn the dough over, closed his eyes and sighed. It seemed that his pancake had been torn apart after Wilhelm had left it on the iron for too long, causing it to stick.
He had unexpectedly seen Wilhelm’s clumsy side.
Subaru: “I feel like I saw something I shouldn’t have, but in that case…”
Feeling that he should help Wilhelm, Subaru climbed to his feet, then sat back down, reconsidering. He then nodded to Wilhelm,
Hearing his name, Wilhelm lifted his head. Noticing that Subaru had seen his clumsiness, his brow furrowed in shame.
Subaru gave him an encouraging nod, and gently pointed to his neighbor with his jaw.
Wilhelm, who understood his meaning, swallowed quietly.
Moving to the place indicated by Subaru, Wilhelm took a seat next to Reinhard. He obediently followed each of Felt’s instructions, producing pancakes without halt and failing to notice the exchange between Subaru and Wilhelm.
Although, Subaru had already communicated everything he wanted to say to Wilhelm.
Consternation, confusion, hesitation, doubt, all wavered in Wilhelm’s eyes. He took a long time to reach a decision. Finally,
Reinhard froze as Wilhelm forced himself to call his grandson’s name.
His spatula hovered in midair as his hands stopped moving, and Felt plated the pancake with a perfect catch.
That act was inelegant, but Reinhard took no notice of it.
The red-haired youth faced Wilhelm with wide eyes. Wilhelm met his gaze head on, without so much as drawing a breath.
Abruptly, silence fell.
Not just between the two, but also between the people around them who had noticed. The entire room stilled, and the only remaining sounds were those of daisukiyaki burning on an iron plate.
Time seemed to stagnate as everyone held their collective breaths.
Wilhelm: “I, um, that is…”
Reinhard: “What is it, oji-sama?”
Wilhelm: “I… I am not so good at this, so, you, if you know any kind of trick to make it easier, could… you teach it me?”
Those were Wilhelm’s clumsy, stuttering words.
Only Crusch, Ferris, and Subaru widened their eyes, understanding what kind of resolve Wilhelm had needed to choke those words out. Wilhelm himself seem to sag with exhaustion after posing the question.
Wordlessly, Reinhard swallowed as he considered how to answer. His fair features stilled as an unfamiliar emotion washed over his blue eyes.
Reinhard closed his eyes and buried that emotion into a soft sigh. Then,
Reinhard: “Yes, I understand, oji-sama.”
The corners of his mouth turned up as he closed his eyes. That expression could only be described as a smile.
It was not the reassuring smile he usually wore to give others a sense of security. This may have been the only time anyone had seen the young man named Reinhard step out of his role as the Sword Saint, and show a genuine smile.
Wilhelm’s dumbstruck expression slowly reclaimed its composure. He lowered his face, closing his eyes as if he were enduring something. He probably had difficulty processing that feeling immediately.
However, the real genuine feeling was there. Once delivered, it only needed to be accepted.
The long divide between the two, grandfather and grandson, could only be offset by a corresponding amount of time.
Subaru, seeing such a possibility play out in front of him, clenched his fist with a plethora of emotions.
From the bottom of his heart, he wanted to greet Wilhelm with joy. And,
???: “—―It will not be so easy, Honored Father.  Don’t think your relationship will be fixed with just that.”
Suddenly, a red-haired figure threw open the sliding door of the tearoom.
The face of the red-haired man who had spoken those words carried so much malice that everyone froze on the spot, forgetting the flow of time.
 – Means “ギャルゲー” (Gal game, for more info see here). I can’t find a suitable expression for this in English, so I’ll leave it in Romaji.
 – In the types of games being described, refers to a cutscene or image.
 – Punny. The surname of Kiritaka, who is very obviously infatuated with Liliana, is Muse, and in Chapter 7 it is stated that his nickname “refers to a Goddess of Song in his [Subaru’s] world’s mythology”.
 – A Japanese-style pancake containing various ingredients in wheat-flour-based batter. For more information, see here.
 – The names seem to compose a pun of sorts. The name “okonomiyaki” (お好み焼き) is derived from the expressions “okonomi” (お好み), meaning “how/what you like”, and “yaki” (焼き), meaning “cooked”. The made-up name “daisukiyaki”, despite being written in Katakana (ダイスキヤキ), if one was to write it in Hiragana, it would be composed of the expressions “daisuki” (大好き), meaning “loveable/very likeable, and “yaki” (same as above).
 – “Oyagi-dono”, very respectful way to address one’s father (親父殿). Since it’s less common, I’m keeping it in English.