Arc 5 – Chapter 18, “A Time for Song and Dance”

 

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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/

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.
  • Art Source

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Subaru finished his simultaneously important and trivial conversation with Julius and left the Water Plumage Pavilion with Emilia and Beatrice.

Emilia: “In the courtyard, you were chatting in a friendly way with Julius for once. What were you talking about?”

Subaru: “First of all, thinking that I was being friendly with that guy was a mistake, but what do you think we were talking about?”

Emilia: “Where should we go play next time?’ Something like that.”

Subaru: “Are we school friends!?”

Even if Emilia’s casual assumption about their relationship was right, even assuming that Julius and Subaru went to the same school, they would be in entirely different social groups. Schools, just like society, ran on a hierarchy.

In a sense, didn’t something similar to a division between classes exist universally?

Subaru: “Whether in this world or another world, those hardships are the same…”

Emilia: “Hey, hey, what did you talk about?”

Subaru: “I was anxious to ask about those hostile recent events. What exactly happened earlier? What preceded that? What’s going to happen next? Those kinds of topics.”

Emilia: “Isn’t that being friendly?”

Emilia tilted her head in question. Subaru followed suit with a sigh.

Looking at only their trivial words at the end of their conversation, maybe they did look like friends. But it was himself and Julius, so that wasn’t possible. He wasn’t a friend, he was something infinitely more annoying.

Although it was impossible to say exactly what that was.

Subaru: “Well, he’s definitely not a friend. There’s no doubt about it.”

Emilia: “Honestly…”

Emilia turned around to look to Beatrice, who wordlessly sighed in response. Subaru felt somewhat annoyed by the air of mutual understanding between the two.

In any case, his conversation with Julius in the courtyard had concerned Reinhardt, Wilhelm, and their relationship with Heinkel Astrea.

So if he truthfully conveyed the contents of their conversation to Emilia then Subaru would feel rather guilty.

In addition to hesitating to reveal the private affairs of the Astrea family, Subaru didn’t want to cause unnecessary stress for Emilia.

After all, this was a helpless, tricky situation.

The history of the Astrea family wasn’t something that outsiders could easily approach.

Julius had been involved in the history himself and, acknowledging Subaru’s concern, had relayed everything to him.

—And still, Subaru felt a nauseous itch in his stomach.

Emilia: “So, Subaru. Although it’s a pleasure to take a walk like this, what are you planning?”

Subaru: “——”

While Subaru wrestled with his inner anxiety, Emilia suddenly smiled and uttered such a remark.

Subaru, taken by surprise, was momentarily lost for words. He hurriedly blinked and shrugged.

Subaru: “That’s harsh to hear, Emilia-tan. I just had a pure wish to wander the beautiful Watergate City with Emilia-tan. At most, I have only a trace of a temptation to lure you too close to a fountain and appreciate your appearance when soaked with water.”

Emilia: “Huu~, Subaru, to say such a thing. You really are a stubborn person. Even I know that something so trivial isn’t your real intent.”

Beatrice: “……”

Emilia raised her pouting cheeks, and Subaru pressed an uncomfortable hand to his forehead. He looked to Beatrice for aid, however, the young girl walking between Emilia and Subaru gazed up at Subaru with the same expression Emilia wore.

Without any support, Subaru quickly raised his hands in surrender.

Subaru: “Okay, I surrender. I’m sorry. I won’t splash Emilia-tan.”

Emilia: “Su-ba-ru.”

When his name was called out in anger, Subaru dropped his raised hands and surrendered for real this time.

Emilia: “Subaru, you naughty.”

Subaru: “You saw through me, Emilia-tan. Although, I was your mentor, so I should be rewarded… right, right, I’ll be serious now.”

Emilia: “Honestly.”

In response to Emilia, who’d raised her hand in an “I’ll hit you” gesture, Subaru could only smile.

Subaru: “I wasn’t trying to hide anything, I just wanted to give you a little surprise. Right now, we’re headed to Pristella’s city park, where yesterday I had unexpectedly met the Songstress.”

Emilia: “Wow, Songstress-san? Um, then, will she be there today?”

Subaru: “Your shining eyes are adorable. Yeah, I have the famed Songstress’s contact information. Although I have faith in Otto’s ability to negotiate, I also have faith that his bad luck will probably cost us this opportunity. So this is insurance.”

Emilia: “I see. And if we’re on good terms with Songstress-san, then asking Kiritaka-san to trade us the ore would be like a personal favor.”

Subaru: “That’s it. Well done.”

Subaru gestured his arms over his head in the shape of a circle. Emilia was so innocent.

In fact, although the transaction would hardly be as simple and straightforward as Emilia had said, there was no need to point out her mistake.

Emilia was only purely looking forward to getting along with Liliana. Subaru could handle all of the other stuff in secret.

Subaru: “I can’t help but feel that the likes of Emilia-tan and Liliana will have some kind of a chemical reaction…”

Emilia: “Chemical reaction?”

Subaru: “From the looks of it, I think Emilia-tan and Liliana will get along well.”

Emilia: “Will we? Haha, I hope so.”

Although somewhat apologetic to Emilia, who was just looking forward to meeting, Subaru had already been somewhat beset by the fatigue that would surely follow any meeting with Liliana.

Even while hoping that Liliana would be in the park to fulfill his goals, Subaru prayed that he wouldn’t have to see her again.

Of course, if she wasn’t there, the afternoon would just be a date with Emilia — although he wanted to avoid that, Subaru couldn’t deny that he would enjoy it.

Subaru: “Emilia-tan, don’t you want to go water cruising with me? I think that’d be fun, and it would strengthen our bonds.”

Emilia: “I’m not sure what cruising is, but I think Subaru would get seasick if we did. That would tire you out, so we should avoid it.”

Beatrice: “Not to mention, the park is right in front of us, in fact. Now isn’t the time to give up, I suppose.”

Beatrice pulled on an uncomfortable Subaru’s wrist, and led him onwards as she continued to walk forward.

They arrived at the destination without any hesitation, and Subaru gave up any resistance after seeing the entrance to the park.

The fountain located at the center or city’s park showed an unexpected spectacle. The audience gathered in the park was larger than yesterday’s.

Subaru: “Since we came here earlier, I was prepared for the possibility that Liliana wouldn’t be here…”

Seeing the crowd gathered, however, that thought turned out to be just a mere worry.

Today’s performance seemed upbeat, with both rallies and applause from fanatical listeners, an atmosphere which dominated the park.

Subaru: “Clapping and yelling?”

Beatrice: “Today looks quite a bit more lively than yesterday, in fact.”

Met with the same confusion as Subaru, Beatrice titled her head to the side.

Although it had been delivered by this morning’s magic device, Liliana’s singing typically peacefully, quietly drew its audience away from reality. It was precisely because of that nature that the presence of this frenzied crowd seemed off.

The expected situation had been mixed with something unexpected.

Emilia: “Everyone seems to be enjoying themselves. She really deserves to be Songstress-san.”

Although Emilia was eager to push through the hustle and bustle to have a good look, Subaru had a bad feeling about the entire situation.

As they approached the front of the crowded audience, Subaru began to feel an uneasy sense of regret.

Subaru: “——”

However, he couldn’t quite vocalize that feeling, and so Subaru had no excuse to stop.

Not to mention that Emilia was looking forward to the seeing the commotion for herself. After all, Subaru could not betray those amethyst eyes which sparkled with expectation.

Soon after, the fanaticism of the masses turned into a thunderous round of applause as they continued to push through the crowd.

That is to say, the cause of that commotion was coming to an end. The place where the crowd’s excited sight was concentrated became visible.

There,

Liliana: “That was a really amazing dance! After seeing this extraordinary dance I started to lose myself!”

Priscilla: “Not at all, your performance and singing were what captured mine attention so completely. Just as it deserved to. It has been a long time since I’ve seen such a display of skill.”

There, talking and shaking hands tightly with each other, were the Songstress and a woman of crimson.

Subaru’s intuition had been right.

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Today, Subaru again bore witness to an audience shedding tears to Liliana’s playing and singing.

If something today were different from yesterday, it would be the presence of Priscilla, who stood beside Liliana, also being showered with “your dance was too powerful”, “so touching”, “I’ll definitely come again”. The recipient of all this generous praise, Priscilla, fanned herself and spread her arms wide in response.

After that rough interaction with their fans, the only people left were Subaru, Emilia, and Beatrice. Noticing their obtrusively idleness, Liliana’s twintails bounced once more.

Liliana: “Oh, hey! If it isn’t Natsuki-sama and Emilia-sama! And Natsuki-sama’s little girl-sama! What are you all up to?”

Beatrice: “I wouldn’t know who this girl-sama is, I suppose. Subaru, explain it to me, in fact.”

Subaru: “Why don’t we let the one who came up with the name explain it? Here, I’ll give you some tasty candy, so behave.”

Beatrice: “You won’t mmm… fool me like this, I suppose mmm….”

Setting aside Beatrice, who was busy sucking on the sweet in the mouth, Subaru turned to Liliana, whose twin ponytails bounced eagerly like dog tails. Although Emilia exaggeratedly widened her eyes in response, Liliana’s presentation of her odd behavior was only just beginning.

Subaru: “Although it’s only been a day, here you are, staging another grand performance. Were you kicked out by Kiritaka again?”

Liliana: “Eeeh! Well~, that would be right. The one who loved me gave me such an earnest plea, so I complied. Isn’t that the mark of an excellent woman? I think it is.”

Subaru: “So, even after being booted out, you thought that holding a performance would be perfectly fine…”

Liliana straightened her thin chest and stroked a nonexistent moustache. Next to her, Priscilla stood with arms crossed across her ample chest. Catching sight of Subaru, she snorted at him with contempt.

Priscilla: “What have you been doing? Even if you were taken in by mine allure, resting your gaze upon me like that is incredibly rude. Men who are obsessed with mine beauty are at most allowed to inhale my scent to fuel their sweet dreams.”

Subaru: “I didn’t see your dance, but even if I had I wouldn’t have been too excited. I only like delicate type girls like Emilia-tan, so your alluring body doesn’t do much for me.”

Priscilla: “Preferring a half-witch over me is a mark of utter helplessness. Of course, I am not so narrow minded as to accept strange tastes. Moreover, if you can not understand true beauty, then your gaze can only be dismissed as hopelessly short-sighted.”

Subaru sensed a certain futility in attempting to argue with her.

Their values were too different. Subaru couldn’t direct common sense at Priscilla, who genuinely believed that the world itself belonged to her.

Anyway,

Emilia: “An amazing dance’, that is to say, Priscilla was dancing?”

Priscilla: “Feel regret that you missed it. Dancing is not something I do lightly. That is to say, the this artist’s song had something to offer.”

Priscilla presented Liliana to the stunned Emilia.

Subaru was shocked by her answer, while Liliana rolled her eyes at him. Ignoring Liliana, who began to pretend she was blowing bubbles, Subaru stared straight at Priscilla.

Subaru: “You danced for people? That’s completely unexpected.”

Priscilla: “Then, how would you regard the frenzy of that crowd of fools just now? Although that artist’s song did have magic in it, without the presence of mine dance, the audience would have merely fallen into a stupor and become puppets who could only listen. Although that could be said to be a form of enjoyment, I am not fond of it. Fools will remain fools, and the ignorant will remain ignorant. Why not have color added to both mine and their day?”

Subaru: “…in other words, fools indulging in foolishness will be happier?”

Priscilla: “Ho. You’re obviously a commoner, but you’re quite adept at comprehension.”

Feeling grateful at Priscilla’s praise would be impossible.

Not to mention that Priscilla showed no sign that she’d remembered that she’d completely forgotten about his existence in the inn. He’d just settle for being fine with Priscilla remembering about Emilia.

Liliana: “But, but, Priscilla-sama and Emilia-sama. So many exciting people are assembled here, I really appreciate it.”

Liliana had withstood the sinister atmosphere and offered that reaction.

She had picked up on the rivalry between the two and had designated herself as the mediator, rather than the awkward Subaru doing so. Maybe her odd quirks and airheadedness were just a mask.

Liliana: “Ehehe. Was my song so beautiful? Honestly, that just embarrasses me. Hehehehe.”

Subaru: “Nope, this is her real nature.”

Liliana was blinded by her own praise and fell into a fidgeting embarrassment. Subaru realized he’d overestimated her and slumped his shoulders disappointedly. Then, he suddenly noticed that there was no one around Priscilla.

Subaru: “Are you alone? No Al, or that damn bastard, or the cute butler?”

Priscilla: “I allowed Schultz to go for a walk, but he seems to have gotten lost. He tries very hard, but is a good for nothing at everything he does, that’s the cute kind of child he is. Since Al’s constant nagging is annoying, I sent him out to look for Schultz. As for the damn bastard, I am unsure. Perhaps he’s at a tavern somewhere.”

Subaru: “So ‘damn bastard’ is actually a common language between us…”

Subaru was thrown off by the unexpectedly serious reply. It seemed that Heinkel was poorly received even by his own faction.

Although he fully understood why Heinkel was treated that way, why had Priscilla bothered to invite sometime like that to her faction?

Subaru: “She’d definitely say something like ‘because having him nearby would interesting’, though…”

Priscilla: “You seem to understand quite well. Well, I collected him for some rather small reasons. Those who approach me and attempt to market themselves will be welcomed so long as I can find them a purpose for mine amusement. If they become an obstacle, they can be discarded at any time. That man is, at best, this kind of person.”

Subaru: “No, how do I say this… he doesn’t seem like he’d live up to your expectations in any way whatsoever.”

It seemed as if it was precisely because her expectations had not been met that Priscilla had flown into a violent rage. But perhaps Priscilla had even already long forgotten that event.

Subaru: “But don’t you feel like this is dangerous? At this point in time, I’d never let Emilia-tan go out alone.”

Priscilla: “Mine attendants are absent, and were I to be in danger, then I would be at a disadvantage. Such a line of thought is only fitting for those who can only gaze at mine back.”

Subaru: “Ah, is that it?”

That was quite a disdainful judgment of Al’s capabilities. However, after seeing Priscilla in action, that perspective was understandable.

At the earlier meal, the ability that Priscilla had demonstrated was superior to humankind. Subaru: “Speaking of which, I’ve also been kicked in the jaw before.”

During the loops that had happened in the capitol, Subaru had once displeased Priscilla enough to have been kicked in the face. His body had flown so high it had hit the ceiling, and he’d landed in the adjacent room.

That severe pain had felt like a broken jaw.

Subaru: “So, you threw Al aside and came to see Liliana?”

Priscilla: “This mere urban landscape has done well to soothe mine boredom. Unlike the narrow structure of the capitol, the city has many a place worth viewing. As I explored, a lovely river of song flowed to me.”

Liliana: “Yeah~, at first when the dancing created a frenzy I really had no clue what would happen. Sometimes there are people who recklessly join my performance and change the mood. Although most of the time my song hits them and they change their minds.”

Subaru: “You really don’t act like the Songstress should at all…”

To just invade a song like that was too bold of a move.

And, indeed, it was rather a shock that Priscilla had joined in with a dance. That the audience had been so taken with it meant that her dancing was on par with the song itself.

Priscilla: “Although it would be a stretch to say you could win hearts and minds like I can, there is in fact a certain value in your voice. How about it? Come to mine side. Let mine influence give you status, and allow me to offer you the honor of playing for mine mansion.”

Liliana: “——”

In other words, Priscilla rather appreciated Liliana’s song and gave her an unreasonable demand. Although the idea painted Liliana as Priscilla’s personal musician, darker implications behind Priscilla’s words were present as well.

If her anger at being unable to win Liliana reached the same level as her appreciation for Liliana’s music, what would she do? It was that terrible implication.

Then, Liliana replied,

Liliana: “Thank you very much! That’s such an uplifting evaluation, and it makes me really happy! But! but! but! Please allow me to refuse…”

She didn’t know about Priscilla’s terrible anger, nor was she capable of reading the mood.

With that horrifying ignorance, she rejected Priscilla’s proposal with casual enthusiasm. Priscilla: “Ho, you refuse. Why?”

Sure enough, Priscilla’s voice lowered, and her gaze darkened.

Shivering. Subaru, who was completely unrelated to the situation between them, felt a blade of cold brush his back.

In one sentence, the atmosphere was about to turn deadly.

In her own world, free of tension, Liliana stroked the box which held her instrument.

Liliana: “I am Liliana, a traveling bard. Although it is true that I am being asked to stay in the city like this, I am a traveler who will return to wandering with the wind sooner or later. Not bound by the land, not bound by others, that is how I serve my profession — such a way of survival that has long been decided.”

Priscilla: “Therefore mine invitation was refused.”

Liliana: “Whether my mother, or her mother, or her mother’s mother, my family has always walked that path. We are all people who have chosen to forsake everything that is material so we may live on through song in the hearts of others. No one can capture the wind, just as no one can stop a song. Therefore,”

Priscilla: “——”

Liliana: “Although I am very happy about your invitation, please allow me to refuse. After all, even I can not know where my song will travel, because every decision has been entrusted to the wind.”

Lifting her instrument, speaking proudly, Liliana’s expression bore no trace of hesitation.

Her usual tricky expression was gone, as was her deliberately affected atmosphere that existed to provokes the nerves of others.

There was just a bard — the Songstress who wanted to preserve her stories in song.

After listening to Liliana’s reply, Priscilla held one hand aloft and closed one eye. With her other eye, she trained a scorching crimson gaze at Liliana.

Then, at Liliana’s unwavering expression, Priscilla suddenly gave a sigh.

Priscilla: “— Excellent. That determination is also pleasing. I will allow it. The vulgar one here seems to have been I.”

Liliana: “No, no, not at all. I am very, deeply sorry.”

Toward Priscilla, whose mouth was on the verge of blooming into a smile, Liliana offered a heartfelt response.

Really, the interaction between the two left Subaru dumbstruck. Squinting at his frozen expression, Priscilla frowned as if displeased.

Priscilla: “What is it, commoner? You seem bothered.”

Subaru: “It’s really nothing other than shock. I thought you were going to bisect Liliana after she rejected you and I started to shiver…”

Priscilla: “That’s a rather ridiculous worry.”

No such thing would happen, was what Priscilla’s “hmph” indicated.

However, before she had heard Liliana’s reasoning, Priscilla had no doubt intended to kill her. Before that decision had been consciously reached, however, Liliana’s opportune words had the balance to tilt in a lucky direction. At least, that was how Subaru saw it.

Emilia: “But, I was also a little surprised. Since Priscilla-san seems like a ‘I’ll take whatever I want’ kind of person.”

The landmine that Subaru had taken pains to avoid was unexpectedly triggered by Emilia.

Emilia bluntly blurted out her impression of Priscilla. Subaru involuntarily straightened his back and spun around to face Priscilla. But, Priscilla merely closed her eyes, and,

Priscilla: “What foolish words, half-witch. How could your clouded eyes ever judge mine character? There is a limit how many impolite insults I will stand for.”

Beatrice: “What an unforgivable girl, in fact. If you have time to muse on the helplessness of others, then you should reflect on yourself and your own demeanor, I suppose. Betty thinks that would be more meaningful to both parties, in fact.

Emilia: “Beatrice…”

As she listened to Priscilla’s relentless derision, Beatrice gripped the confused Emilia’s hand. Priscilla, however, raised her eyebrows, looking at Beatrice as if noticing her for the first time.

Priscilla: “Such a little girl dares to speak like that. Mine magnanimity is not determined by age. If you hold the incorrect notion that your youth will spare you mine wrath, you’d best change your attitude right now.”

Beatrice: “Your meddling really is unnecessary, I suppose. Watch who you call little girl, in fact. Taking Betty’s appearance at face value cost you dearly.”

A flame burst into existence between Priscilla and Beatrice.

The two girls dressed in elaborate dresses both looked to be terribly angry.

Although Subaru never doubted for a second that Beatrice would win, he knew that these conflicts were inevitable when the royal candidates met. This was just the type of relationship they had.

Subaru: “Don’t be so stubborn, Beako. Priscilla’s just volatile like this, and arguing with her is pointless.”

Beatrice: “Subaru, do not stop Betty, in fact. Aren’t you angry that Emilia is being belittled, I suppose? Show me your masculinity, in fact.”

Subaru: “Could you not say such terrible things!? Not to mention…”

Subaru was shocked that Beatrice, who rarely showed concern toward people who weren’t him, was angry for Emilia’s sake.

Even Emilia, the recipient of that concern, was surprised.

Emilia: “Beatrice, I’m fine.”

Moving Beatrice’s hand out of the way, Emilia gently touched the girl’s head. For a second, a tearful expression appeared on Beatrice’s face.

But it only lasted for a moment. Beatrice adopted her usual expression as she turned back to Priscilla.

Beatrice: “Be grateful that you’ve been spared, I suppose.”

Priscilla: “That’s how you should feel. Thank your own cute face.”

Both Beatrice and Priscilla snorted slightly.

Although at the end Priscilla had ended up praising Beatrice’s appearance, the infuriated Beatrice was completely unaware. Anyway, ‘I’ll let you go because you’re cute’ — that was an odd explanation. Subaru didn’t understand at all.

Subaru: “You really are an irrational woman…”

Priscilla: “Of course. Are you so proud that you believe yourself capable of seeing through any woman, let alone I?”

Subaru: “Are you saying it’s my fault…? What really started this incident was you telling Liliana ‘I want you’.”

Priscilla’s reasoning for allowing Liliana to escape the palm of her hand remained a mystery. Subaru directed a curious gaze at her. Unexpectedly, Priscilla covered her mouth with her fan.

Priscilla: “Everything in this world is already mine. As such, there is no necessity to hold all that is beautiful and lofty in mine palm. Those things just need to exist. As long as they continue to exist, then there is no problem.”

Subaru: “……”

Priscilla: “This world is already mine courtyard, that is to say, where a songbird sings is unimportant. Placing her into the cage? Vulgar. Guarding her from an outside enemy’s hands? Vulgar. In fact, those are all rather troublesome actions.”

Priscilla’s views drove any of Subaru’s presumptions into the ground. Her alienation from even alienation left Subaru speechless.

That wasn’t to say that Subaru couldn’t understand what she was saying. However, what she saw was just too different from what Subaru saw.

Therefore, Subaru would never understand her for as long as he lived.

Frankly, he thought it was horrible. But maybe it could be seen in another light. This terrible feeling, perhaps, might also inspire admiration or longing in others. Maybe that was exactly why Al chose to follow Priscilla.

Liliana: “Hey, hey, hey! Now that everyone’s calmed down, let me serve as an ambassador and show off goodwill as I show off my voice! Yeah, I’ll do just that!”

In this way, slicing through the atmosphere, Liliana abruptly made her own proposal. She took her lute-lyre and played a quick chord on its strings, before concentrating on swaying her own body along.

Liliana: “Only this time, Priscilla-sama doesn’t need to join in with a dance, just enjoying the song is fine. I will open fire with the full passion of the Songstress! Please listen carefully!”

Priscilla: “Ho?”

Liliana’s words brought an expression of interest to Priscilla’s face.

Liliana: “Emilia-sama seemed to have first arrived as my first song ended. I hope that instead of seeing me as a singer whose selling point is her cuteness, you’ll come to see me as poet who has earned a little bit of money with performance skill.”

Emilia: “Wow, really?”

Liliana: “Although I’m not the most qualified of musicians, I hope you’ll be satisfied.”

Regardless of Liliana’s assertion, Emilia was undoubtedly interested in her performance and singing. That was why Emilia, who had been taken in by their previous interaction, looked forward to Liliana’s proposal.

Taking note of the subtle sense of distance between Emilia and Priscilla, Liliana appeared to enter a state of preparation. She discreetly waved Subaru over and said in a quiet voice,

Liliana: “Natsuki-sama, Natsuki-sama. Although this is just my personal opinion, are Emilia-sama and Priscilla-sama on poor terms?

Subaru: “That’s hardly a matter of opinion, it’s obvious from their exchanges. Besides, Priscilla doesn’t get along with anyone, of course there’s tension with Emilia.”

Liliana: “This is huge!”

Liliana seemed shocked, and her hair jumped like an alert dog’s tail. Were her nerves linked to her hair? He really wanted to reach out and grab it.

Liliana: “So, so, let me come here and cut that tension away, and unite the two in a world of charm and song. Ah! Just now, did your imagination just annoyingly turn somewhere dangerous when I said ‘cut’? That’s no good!”

Subaru: “It’s exhausting when you say both inspiring and uninspiring things in one sentence, so don’t do that anymore.”

Subaru marveled at Liliana, who seemed like a madman, yet was capable of caring for others. Sweeping away the bad air with a song, something simple and straightforward.

Both were companions in shared interest to Liliana’s singing. Even Priscilla wouldn’t act cynically toward Emilia as she listened to the Songstress she so admired.

Liliana: “After the song ends and they chat again, shouldn’t we prepare food and drinks for them? Indulging in sweet snacks will certainly create a mood that will close the distance between them, don’t you think so?”

Subaru: “No, I don’t think so.”

Liliana: “After the song ends and they chat again, shouldn’t we prepare food and drinks for them? Indulging in sweet snacks will certainly create a mood that will close the distance between them, don’t you think so?”

Subaru: “Is this a parody where I can’t advance unless I say yes?”

Liliana presented that false choice with the same inflection and tone, and Subaru had no choice but to give up and choose “yes”. Liliana’s expression suddenly became open again.

The high degree of difficulty in communication between the human species and the Liliana species had yet to be considered properly.

Subaru: “Alright, I’ll buy some snacks while Liliana sings. Emilia-tan, I’ll be right back, so don’t argue with anyone and wait here quietly, okay?”

Emilia: “Really. You don’t need to worry so much, and besides it wouldn’t happen anyway. I don’t want to fight with Priscilla-san.”

Subaru had cautioned Emilia just to be sure, but she wore a large smile. Although he didn’t doubt Emilia, even if she does not initiate an argument, the presence of Priscilla made the likelihood of one rather high.

Subaru: “Beatrice. If something happens with Emilia-tan, I’ll leave it up to you.”

Beatrice: “I know, in fact. That girl, if she tries to talk again, I’ll turn her into ash, I suppose.”

Subaru: “You won’t argue either, right?”

Committing that task to Beatrice, who was much more volatile than Emilia, Subaru prepared to leave the park. But, before that,

Subaru: “Priscilla, is there anything you won’t eat?”

Priscilla: “How unexpected. A commoner like you is actually showing consideration. Well, in that case, prepare something interesting. If you find something boring, I’ll lift you up by your head and slam you down again.”

Subaru: “Guessing what you’d like would be like playing rock-paper-scissors, why’d you have to impose that cruel condition!?”

Subaru thought about giving her the first delicacy he could find. Priscilla being Priscilla frowned at his answer.

Priscilla: “Rock, paper… scissors?” She tilted her head to the side.

Since she’d once forgotten Subaru, maybe she’d forgotten the condition she’d imposed. Already,

Subaru had no idea what to say. She truly was impossible to deal with in every sense of the word.

Emilia: “Subaru, be careful.”

Beatrice: “If anything happens, call for Betty, in fact.”

Sent off by Emilia and Beatrice’s gazes, Subaru waved his hand. Afterwards, he waved his hand and winked at Liliana as if flirting, then ran from the park.

Soon afterwards, Liliana’s light melody came.

Hearing it, Subaru thought of returning to the park as soon as possible. If he didn’t join her solo at all, it wouldn’t work. He injected more power into his running stride.

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It had been ten minutes since Subaru left the park.

Subaru: “I’m so worthless, really.”

After leaving the store, Subaru looked at the contents of his bag and sighed.

In order to procure proper desserts, the errand boy Subaru went for the first suitable store he found and completed his shopping as soon as possible. Although he was intrigued by Pristella’s famous delicacy, a rare product called Gina Jelly, he didn’t have the courage to bring it back to Priscilla.

Although phrasing it as fearing the of deterioration the relationship between the two factions sounded nice, what Subaru in fact feared was Priscilla herself.

Subaru: “But, I wonder if this tastes the same as Unagi Jelly. Although I do feel ashamed about lacking the courage to confirm it for myself, I don’t quite hate myself.”

Subaru whistled at his complicated self-examination, running along the road to the park at a brisk pace.

He’d counted the ten minutes since he’d left, and there had been no change in his contract link with Beatrice.

Even so, his masculine pride bid him to return as soon as possible, but,

Subaru: “Gah, sorry.”

Turning quickly around a corner, he nearly collided with someone. Although he’d hurriedly avoided them, Subaru turned his head to make sure.

Subaru: “Sorry. I don’t think I hit you, but are you good?”

???: “Hey, brother. Are you apologizing? Then you should show me more sincerity!”

The man who Subaru had almost collided with replied in a rough voice, his expression changing as he saw Subaru.

At the same time, Subaru himself was also stunned.

Subaru: “Whoa, is it Chin? You were even hired by Felt, why are you still doing the same foolish things?”

Larkins: “You’re so damn annoying! I’ve told you that it’s not Chin! And what are you even doing here!?”

The man who angrily spat those words was yesterday’s messenger who’d made a mess of delivering his message. According to what Felt had said, he had supposedly been instructed to spend the night at another hotel in the city.

Subaru: “You’re all alone, and not with Ton and Kan? That’s really curious.”

Larkins: “Curious or whatever, what do you even know about me? There’s nothing between us, so why do you keep trying to start something? You’re so annoying, goddamn move already.”

Subaru: “You’re so cold, even though we have a relationship of life and death.”

Larkins: “I don’t remember that kind of thing!?”

Larkins, who was unfamiliar with Subaru, made an irritated face as he tried to avoid him.

Even Subaru himself had trouble understanding why he felt such a kinship. Perhaps the sensors in Subaru’s heart treated Tonchinkan as mortal associates.

So many of the people in this world were ridiculously strong, so facing them would have Subaru breathe a sigh of relief.

Even though they’d obviously once killed him. He was really getting bolder.

Larkins: “Anyway! Don’t bother me! I’m working right now!”

Subaru: “The you who used to screw around and mess with people is now doing proper work… I’m so happy for you.”

Larkins: “Who is this!”

As Subaru pretended to weep, Larkins escaped from him and headed for the crowd. Having received a cold reaction, Subaru scratched his head in self-reflection.

If you had the bad habit of not taking the initiative to talk to people, there would also be a lingering sense of distance.

Watching Larkins disappear into the sea of people, Subaru turned toward the park again. And then his feet suddenly stopped.

Subaru: “Hmm?”

Subaru turns his head and begins to feel suspicious.

Before his eyes, in that subtle moment, is the reason that Subaru stopped — there were people who had stopped.

The crowd that Larkins had headed toward were all frozen in their tracks, and Subaru inadvertently followed suit. Larkins curled his lip and pushed his way out of the crowd.

Larkins: “This guy, that guy, and this guy too! What’re you all looking at!?”

Filled with irritated insults, Larkins also aligned his gaze with the gaze of the masses, which pointed above the roof of a towering building.

An exceptionally tall building, inlaid with a mosaic of crystal engravings, a building that held a bell. In any metropolis or town, this building would be taken for granted. Each city or town would have several of these clock towers.

In the city of Pristella, there were also a number of clock towers scattered about. The clock tower here was merely one of many.

However,

???: “— Gosh, honestly. Please excuse me, I’m very sorry.”

There, a figure stood, staring out from the open window of the clock tower, dangerously close to its edge.

The figure’s attire drew the attention of everyone nearby, and its voice trembled as if bathing in the weight of all that attention.

???: “Thank you. I really only need just a little bit of it, so please let me borrow your time.”

It spoke words of apology, but, compared to genuine words of regret, its words felt far more self-righteous, as if prioritizing its own intentions.

That shivering voice broke, sharply. Listening to it was painful on the ears, and there was a fierce, desperate need to remove that discomfort immediately.

The reason for that strange feeling could perhaps be traced to that figure’s off-putting appearance.

— The figure’s head was entirely wrapped in bandages, leaving only its dazzling eyes uncovered. Its body was wrapped tightly with a black jacket, and both wrists were captured by a long chain, the ends of which dragged on ground, swaying both left and right as their owner paced the tower.

It offered the masses a strange gesture — a smile, perhaps, but the bandages concealed and distorted its mouth too much for the expression to be comforting.

???: “My apologies, I’m the Witch Cult’s Sin Archbishop of Wrath.”

After saying that terrible title, the figure reported its name.

???: “— I am called Sirius Romanee-Conti.”

With malice, she smiled.

 

2 thoughts on “Arc 5 – Chapter 18, “A Time for Song and Dance””

  1. Wait, Wrath is related to Betelgeuse, or do they all just adopt the name(which I would assume is then Pandora’s)

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