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All rights belong to Tappei Nagatsuki, the original author of the Re:Zero series. This is an English translation of the free web novel which is available at:
This is not a professional translation. Some mistakes, both grammatical and logical, are inevitable. Also, be advised that translators have a predisposition for personal preference and the names and terminology may differ at times from what was used in the anime or is used in the fandom at large. Think of these documents as an extremely
detailed “summary” (even though they basically include everything).
- Credit to Discount Anon or u/Nanashi-tan.
- Art Source
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Squatting on the ground, breathing heavily, Subaru finally resisted the urge to collapse.
Emilia and Beatrice surrounded him, wearing looks of concern, and even Liliana seemed worried. Priscilla seemed faintly interested, cooling her face with her fan.
Bathed in their concerned voices and gazes, Subaru gradually reoriented himself.
Feeling like time was slowly accelerating back to normal, Subaru realized what the taste in his mouth was.
He was reminded of switching channels on a TV.
There was no sense of a loss of smell, taste, or sight, but his surroundings had suddenly disintegrated into powder, and transformed into something entirely different.
Subaru’s eyes, ears, nose, and skin had all adapted to the new world, but his consciousness could not forget the previous channel, so there was a sense of violation.
All he could do was ignore it, to chew, chew, chew, and swallow the sense of unease that came from switching channels until it was finally over.
Subaru clenched his teeth and finally climbed to his feet.
He shook his head and looked around. The park full of bright sunshine, fountains and green lawns, and a colorful spread of flowerbeds.
Subaru was presently surrounded by four beautiful girls — Emilia, Beatrice, Liliana, and Priscilla. He’d heard Liliana’s words twice now.
Emilia: “Are you alright, Subaru? Your complexion doesn’t look so good.”
Subaru: “…Emilia-tan. Just now, did Liliana say that she’d sing another song?”
Liliana: “Where do I even start!? I, Liliana, was ignored to such a degree that this situation shocked and hurt my heart! Compensation! I demand compensation!”
As she spoke, Liliana seized Subaru’s sleeves in a frenzy, declaring a lawsuit, only to be shaken off by Subaru. He ignored the indignant “hey!” the Songstresses issued and turned to Emilia, who seemed to pick up on Subaru’s seriousness.
Emilia: “Yes. Liliana said that she’d sing us another song that we missed. Then Subaru and Liliana started quietly chatting about something.”
Subaru: “That happened just now? I got it, thanks… thank you.”
Thank you. Just saying those words, he felt an unspeakable sense of disgust.
Subaru couldn’t help but raise a hand to cover mouth. Seeing him in this state, Emilia made a puzzled frown.
Emilia hadn’t done anything wrong. Needless to say, his appreciation wasn’t a bitter one. However, it evoked the painful memories of the previous world.
Subaru: “So, this means that I…”
Died, he finally realized, but he was unable to vocalize the word.
— Natsuki Subaru had died.
After he died, he returned again from the time he said goodbye to the world. Although he was relieved at his successful return, remorse also rose in his chest. Obviously, Subaru should have been so fully awake.
In that forest a year ago, in Sanctuary, during the Trial, Natsuki Subaru had resolutely rejected
Death, and the grievances that accompanied it.
But he had still died. And so easily, too. Without resistance, without a sense of defiance, without even awareness.
Why was that? The situation had obviously been abnormal, obviously this is a fact, but even Subaru himself had no clue what had happened. He’d clearly experienced it himself, but he couldn’t rationalize any of it.
Subaru hadn’t even realized how abnormal that situation had been. And it wasn’t only Subaru. Everyone present had been afflicted with the same madness as him.
They’d obviously seen the chained up, howling boy, but they had all frenziedly cheered for his solidarity. Not to mention the insane round of applause that had accompanied the child’s fall.
Exactly what had triggered all of that?
And when Subaru had witnessed all that, how exactly had he died?
He hadn’t been able to recognize an agent for his Death and, even now, he couldn’t find one. Or perhaps it had been in front of him all along, and he’d failed to see it as a threat.
But he couldn’t trust anything he’d felt then. Although he’d registered the abnormality of the situation after he’d died, until that very moment, he hadn’t been able to think clearly.
How had he died, in the end?
Were there any explosives attached to the boy’s body? They could have exploded upon his impact with the ground, taking everything with them. In fact, that was almost exactly like the memory of this death.
It was all very vague. His memory at the instant of his Death was greatly blurred by his madness at the time. Even if he were completely calm now, the state of mind he’d been in at the time prevented him from being able to rationalize that memory at all.
If Subaru had been in a state of madness then it would be virtually impossible to remember what had actually happened.
Emilia: “Are you really okay, Subaru? Even Liliana’s wearing such a bothered expression.”
Liliana: “I’m not doing anything so pointless. How Natsuki-sama thinks of me doesn’t make me sad at all, so please don’t get the wrong idea.”
Emilia: “See? It’s so obvious that it’s really bothering you.”
Even the clueless Emilia had seen through Liliana’s brazenness. Through their dialogue, Subaru remembered his current situation.
Subaru, at this point in time, was supposed to take advantage of Liliana’s song to go run an errand and buy reconciliation sweets. And shortly after buying something, he’d met the monster who was called Wrath.
— There were less than fifteen minutes before that nightmare of a speech would occur.
Subaru: “You’re kidding me…”
In his experience with Return by Death, never had the time between the save point and the death been so close together.
Time ranging from a few hours to a few days, that was what Return by Death had always given Subaru in the past. The time he had now was short, almost to the extreme.
In just fifteen short minutes, what could Subaru do?
But even while he puzzled over this, time flowed on.
In this situation, merely avoiding death would be incredibly simple. Subaru only needed to avoid the place where the speech would be delivered. That way, the cause of death, such as the possible bomb, wouldn’t affect him.
It was incredibly unlikely that a bomb affecting the entire city had been prepared.
So, if Subaru only wanted to live, he could just not go. Sirius wouldn’t appear near Subaru. There didn’t seem to be any specific target, and Subaru just happened to be there.
Therefore, even if Subaru weren’t present, that square would still be Sirius’s crime scene. The speech that was unrelated to Subaru’s presence would happen in its original location, and everyone there would be affected.
However, no matter how that turned out, that falling child would be doomed to die.
Subaru: “I have to stop it… damn, I have to…!”
Subaru scratched his head and arrived at a decision.
He couldn’t not save him. That child, Lusbel, was looking forward to a newborn brother or sister, and had taken his childhood sweetheart’s place on that tower. How could anyone be so shameless as to think only of themselves and not attempt to rescue him?
Subaru: “Beako and I…”
Will go together, Subaru hesitated to declare.
Beatrice: “And what, Subaru?”
Turning to face Subaru, Beatrice voiced a serious question.
Now that he knew a critical situation was imminent, bringing Beatrice with him was the obvious option to choose in terms of combat effectiveness.
If she were absent, Subaru’s combat strength would be cut in half. Even so, Subaru hesitated. It wasn’t for a sentimental reason like not wanting Beatrice to fight.
Of course, saying that that wasn’t a consideration at all wouldn’t be true, but it wasn’t Subaru’s key reason.
That would be Emilia. Or rather, leaving Emilia here.
The Witch Cult was in this very city.
Those fanatics — although he had yet to know whether or not that phrase should be plural, at least the Archbishop of Wrath was present. He had no clue as to whether or not she was working with any other cultists.
However, in a city where the Witch Cult was active, the notion of leaving Emilia alone with no one to protect her left lingering anxiety in Subaru.
Leaving someone important in a place beyond his reach was far too dangerous.
Someone beyond sight, the Witch Cult’s devilish hands would reach or those important people will reach out to the key terrorist.
Deep in his heart, turbid fear plagued Subaru.
And, taking Emilia to Wrath? That was out of the question. Having Emilia encounter the Witch Cult would undoubtedly lead to tragedy. Only that was certain.
Just recalling Petelgeuse made that clear. Subaru couldn’t let Emilia near the Witch Cult. That wasn’t a matter of why. That just was.
Subaru: “Beatrice and I…”
Beatrice: “And what, Subaru?”
Subaru: “We’ll eat the same dessert, is that fine?”
Beatrice frowned as she heard Subaru. She probably suspected that he had been thinking something else entirely. Subaru nodded at the lost looking Liliana and turned to Emilia.
Subaru: “I’ll go on a short trip to buy some sweet snacks, then I’ll be right back. Emilia-tan, just wait here while elegantly and steadily listen to Liliana’s song and be good.”
Emilia: “I got it. But don’t you want me to come?”
Subaru: “That’s fine, believe in me. I’ll protect you.”
At his words, Emilia blinked her wide eyes and nodded with a blush. Then, Subaru quietly beckoned Beatrice, who treated him with a suspicious gaze.”
Subaru: “Protect Emilia for me. If I need your strength, I’ll call you immediately.”
Beatrice: “…what did you encounter that you can’t even tell Betty about?”
Subaru: “Just be well prepared. If I come calling, regardless of whether or not you’re willing to face it, we’ll be in a pretty terrible situation.”
Subaru gently pinched the slightly displeased Beatrice’s nose, then waved and took off as he felt the eyes of four people on his back.
Running down the road, he reached the square in less than five minutes.
However, his departure time had been a little late. In this strained situation, the slightest difference in timing could be a matter of life and death.
Subaru: “Although this is the case, without shopping, I’ll have nearly ten minutes…”
Subaru slowed into a walk, and surveyed the square where he’d arrived.
Before, he’d focused on the tower and didn’t have a chance to observe the surrounding area, but, at least for now, no conspicuous, black clad strangers were anywhere to be seen.
Then, the sin archbishop was most probably acting alone.
Subaru: “The question is what to do next. Once that speech begins, I could very well be forced to fall into that hazy state of mind again.”
Since the origin of that anomalous space was unclear, once it captured him again, he had no idea if he could regain his senses. Thus, Subaru assumed that it would become be impossible to recognize the anomaly as anomalous due to the frightening power of the brainwashing.
Subaru: “Should I tell everyone to take refuge somewhere away from here? It’ll be like the situation with Petelgeuse… no, there’s not enough manpower, and if Sirius acts preemptively in the meantime, that would be self-defeating.”
He could ask the victims who shouldn’t be involved in the situation to take refuge. But how would be accomplish that? After all, if Sirius’s speech didn’t have any particular target, then she wouldn’t limit the location to this square.
If there were no audience here, she’d just go elsewhere. As a result, the incident would only unfold to a different set of victims.
Subaru: “In that case, the only way is to eliminate the culprit…!”
His primary advantage was knowing that Sirius planned to appear here.
This was very similar to the battle with Petelgeuse and his sect. No matter what, the Witch Cult couldn’t be allowed to run free. To prevent the evil cult from carrying out their crimes meant that the fundamental causes needed to be eliminated. Otherwise, tragedies would only repeat themselves.
He had realized far too late.
If he’d came to this conclusion immediately, Subaru would not have come alone. It was already too late to return to the park.
He wondered if it would be possible to return to the hotel, to turn to Wilhelm or Julius for help.
Subaru: “Wasting time on these thoughts is useless. I’m the only one here now. As soon as the speech starts, I have to be ready to act… no, the solution is actually much simpler!”
Subaru had noticed a small window at the bottom of the tower, which was presumably where Sirius had entered to give her speech from above.
In that case, she should already be in the tower, preparing for her speech that would be happening shortly. Even if she wasn’t, Lusbel himself might be bound in there, awaiting rescue.
So, Subaru glanced cautiously to his left and right, and quietly approached the inconspicuous iron gate, opened, and slipped inside the tower.
The inside of the clocktower was dark beyond compare, its frigid air filled with dust.
The entire tower was entirely silent. Unlike clock towers from his world, this one had no gears. The timekeeping mechanism was run entirely by magical stones, and those produced by the brilliance of the magic filling the atmosphere. That gradual change would be reflected in a change in the color of tower’s crystals.
— Therefore, the only sound that would ever be heard inside the tower would be made by someone else.
???: “No need to cry so noisily. Are you a good boy? You must be a strong child. Daddy Muslan and Mommy Ina, and your younger sibling too, they must be so proud of what a strong boy you are. You’re such a good kid.”
An unpleasant voice echoed. Terrified childish whimpers echoed.
A sound accompanied the sobbing from the top of the spiral staircase. It sounded like a grudge, a blessing, a hate, and a love.
It was distorted. It was twisted. It could never be said to be normal.
Subaru determined that this was indeed Sirius, inhaled deeply, then held his breath.
His heartbeat began to accelerate, his chest thudding as he ascended the steps. Fortunately, the stairs were stone. With care, he could silence his steps, especially since the enemy’s attention should be focused elsewhere.
Subaru prepared to call for Beatrice at a moment’s notice as he slowly climbed the stairs. The tension escalated as the sound coming from above grew louder and closer.
Although the tower itself is high enough that Subaru needed to crane his head to see the top, there wasn’t anything particularly notable on the journey up. A large pillar sat in the center of the tower, and the spiral staircase encircled it.
The voice of a demon and hero came from the end of those stairs. Only one single window faced the outside of the tower, presumably to give people access to adjust and check the engraved carvings on the magical stones. The sound came from the space before that window.
That feeling was comparable to an attic.
Subaru stealthily peered out from under the stairs and saw that there were indeed two stray figures interrupting that silent darkness.
There was no one else. No fodder cultists seemed to be present.
— Then, Subaru also needed to be prepared for her to attempt to displace his own soul.
Capturing her alive wouldn’t be a possibility.
Although that was what he’d wanted to do, the degree of difficulty would be too high. Not to mention that as long as she were alive, who knew what kind of tricks she could pull?
Subaru crouched down, and put his hand on his waist.
He grabs hold of what was supported by his belt and yanks it loose.
In his two handed grip was a weapon with an elongated, curved end, woven from special fibers.
The weapon was commonly known as a bullwhip, and archeologists in some of his world’s most famous movies had been known to carry them while exploring ruins.
Whips had a longer range and were more difficult to manipulate than movies had made them seem, but in the past year, under Clind’s tutelage, Subaru’s skill had vastly improved.
His reasoning for choosing the whip was simple.
Unlike swords, hammers, spears, and bows, the whip was incredibly versatile. More importantly, with weapons like the sword, Subaru’s potential improvement in just a few short years was incredibly limited.
Subaru already had a little familiarity with swordplay in kendo, and knew exactly how difficult it would be for him to reach any heights using that weapon.
Therefore, Subaru chose neither the spear nor the sword, but the whip. Originally, he’d always relied on his smarts, creativity, and trickery to win.
In that case, a weapon that played to his strengths would allow him to better exert his power. Whips would also allow him attack from a farther range.
Subaru inhaled gently and exhaled slowly. Then he held his breath again.
He stood up and continued to climb the stairs, clutching the whip with his right hand. The figure hidden in the shadows didn’t detect him. That gave him the upper hand.
Subaru took a half-step forward and flung his arm upward. With a sharp whistle, the tail of the whip flew toward its target.
This preemptive sideways attack, which sought to prioritize its curved, angled speed over power, seemed to mirror a move in badminton.
The head of the snake cut through that air, biting toward its target’s unprotected back, trying to down that wicked figure.
Sirius: “Why are you so angry?”
The silhouette whose back was facing him replied in a distracted voice.
Immediately thereafter, she swung her right hand at lightning speed to deflect the blow from Subaru’s whip, using the chains that hung around her arm.
It was as if one snake had soared through the sky to intercept another.
For a second, Subaru was stunned by that sight, but recovered and tilted his arm to the edge as he determined that the front of the whip had indeed made contact with its prey.
Sirius: “Oh, my?”
With a little giggle, the collapsed figure, Sirius, regained her balance and climbed to her feet.
Although the chain dangling from her right arm deflected Subaru’s blow, the whip bit into part of the chain’s locks, dragging Sirius to the ground as Subaru yanked.
Facing that struggling Sirius, Subaru further tightened his grip as he rushed toward that bandaged freak in a semicircle, ramming into her with a shoulder. Her body, which was lighter than expected, easily flew forward under his body mass.
Sirius: “Mn, Gah!”
Sirius gave a soft cry, and, after thudding onto ground, tumbled through the window, just as Subaru had planned. From here to the first floor was much more than ten meters high, a child who fell to the ground from here would be crushed.
Subaru: “Are you okay, Lusbel!?”
Subaru did not confirm Sirius’s impact, instead running to the other figure on the floor. That small body belonged to Lusbel, who held the ends of a chain in both hands, gazing up at Subaru with fear.
The chain in his hand was connected to the chain wrapping around his entire lower body, another expression of Sirius’s bad taste.
Subaru: “That guy…! Forcing you to tie yourself up…!”
Little by little, he realized the extent of the horror that Lusbel must have tasted, being forced to hold that chain against his neck. Even now traces of terror were still engraved in his face.
Once aware of that maliciousness, Subaru felt an uncontrollable anger. He immediately grabbed the boy’s shoulders, taking the chain from him.
Subaru: “Enough! You’ll be fine. You’ll never have to do such a thing again. Come with me!”
Lusbel: “But, if… I, I don’t follow, the terms of our agreement, then Tina… Tina will…!”
Lusbel replied, eyes watering and lips quivering.
Seeing him, Subaru’s throat became choked with emotion.
That child had, in an attempt to protect his childhood friend, agreed to the devil’s transaction. And, even experiencing what he had, Lusbel was more worried about his friend than he was about himself.
Even though his legs trembled, even though his teeth chattered, even though his vision was blurred by tears, even though he was no longer capable of forming coherent sentences.
Subaru: “No. In this city, there are… many… reliable people.”
His hoarse voice was unable to convey say what he wanted to say.
In order for the youth to feel at ease, he needed to speak comforting, authoritative words. The Sword Saint was in the city right now. As were the Knight of Knights, and the kingdom’s leading healing, and various people who could destroy a city.
Therefore, there was no need for any fear. No evil forces could rampant. Yeah. Exactly. Fear was completely unnecessary. There was no need for it at all. And, so,
Subaru: “So… legs, stop, shaking!!”
In front of Lusbel, whose eyes had become unfocused from fear, Subaru desperately beat his unresponsive legs and yelled.
His voice, laced with grief, unexpectedly echoed and compounded the fear residing in his chest. Subaru felt as if there were a sense of disgust, with an unidentified origin, entangling his entire body.
Lusbel: “— Guuhk”
Lusbel vomited with a sound like the bursting of a bubble. He started to spasm as he exhaled, collapsing in a pool of his own vomit. Subaru wanted to help him up, but then he too felt as if own organs were being twisted inside him, and he spewed out the contents in the stomach, feeling as if he’d been thrown into flight.
The Daisukiyaki he’d eaten in the morning had become unrecognizable, and the acrid, visceral smell of his gastric acids were overwhelming. Gulping, Subaru continued to retch vigorously, tasting only pain as his vomit threatened to drown him.
While he vomited and vomited, dizzily, tinnitus ringing in his ears, his was still shivering
non-stop. Not from cold. An invisible hand was twisting his stomach, his internal organs being knocked askew. Subaru was aware of its origin.
They were, undoubtedly,
Sirius: “— Your fear is but proof of your gentleness.”
Hearing the gentle voice coming from behind him, Subaru vomited again.
Almost drowning in the fluid overflowing from his stomach, Subaru collapsed onto the dirtied ground. He felt a touch of slimy liquid on his cheek. He was so close to the accumulation of filth on the ground that, every once in awhile, a short breath led to the bursting of a yellow bubble.
Most people wouldn’t be able to bear such a terrible sight, yet she gazed it at with a soft smile.
While Subaru and Lusbel looked at each other, desperately struggling to breathe in their own vomit, wracked by invisible tremors,
Sirius: “People are able to understand each other. People can become one. Gentleness does not exist for one’s self. It exists for others. Gentleness only shines because it exists for the sake of others. Only being gentle to yourself, that is selfishness! So, your gentleness, existing for the sake of others, is worthy of reverence! Ah, ah, this is Love!
Subaru: “Gu, ah, hk…”
Sirius: “Please feel comfortable. Let me witness. Feel, and let me witness your Love. Your endless tenderness. Your virtue that bid you to save Lusbel-kun!”
As she spoke, Sirius broke into a dance as she gazed at the two, both lying in a pool of vomit. She crossed her arms with one hand pointing to Subaru and the other to Lusbel, shaking her waist. As if dancing. As if offering a tribute.
Sirius: “Lusbel-kun’s fear, you two gentle souls will feel together. You’ll feel Lusbel-kun’s fear, and, through that, Lusbel-kun’s feelings will pass to you. Lusbel-kun, through your fear, feels what you will feel again from him. Your fears once again felt, and Lusbel-kun’s own fear is compounded. Your compounded fears, felt by Lusbel-kun, will in turn compound your own fear. That fear, mixed with Lusbel-kun’s fear, will become a brand new, fresh fear, and the freshness of Lusbel-kun’s fear will again passed to your true fear. The true fear that you feel, and the second fear born through Lusbel-kun, will lead to the his fear, and the next level of fear generated by Lusbel-kun’s heart will be added to your own new greatest level of fear…”
Something was whispering into his ear. That overwhelming momentum approached nonsense. Subaru had no time to try to comprehend those words. Why? Because for Subaru, everything passing through his hearing and his vision were terrifying. If breathing were terrifying, then blinking was terrifying. But not blinking was very painful and unbearable. Even that pain existed only to symbolize of terror Subaru. Feeling one pain means feeling the pain that he’d feel the next time. That would make Subaru feel a continuous, endless, infinite fear. So it wouldn’t do to refuse to blink. But, if he blinked, the world would fall into darkness for an instant. In that dark moment where nothing could be seen, he wouldn’t know what was happening. Although there might be nothing at all happening, he had no way of knowing for certain. Being unable to confirm anything was terrifying. If the unknown instinctively aroused fear, then to live was but an endless attempt to overcome the fear. In the end, the so-called fear had always been the feeling of weakness that began to plague a creature when it felt a threat to its life. Being able to have this emotion was synonymous with being a life form. The function of this horror was similar to pain. After all, creatures who left their instincts of danger behind could not survive. To numb your fear was to condemn yourself.
Sirius: “Oh my? You two look to be losing your minds. Loving and emotionally enriching people can sometimes be very fragile. Ah, that’s because Love is just painful. However, it is precisely because love exists that we can survive. This is really very difficult. Then, I’ll get Tina- chan to help me. Lusbel-kun has worked hard.”
Being numb to the value of life meant violating an inherent survival ability. In other words, fear was necessary. Therefore, there was absolutely nothing to be ashamed about even praising the performance of feeling so frightened, like right now now. Of course, that kind of thing was just an assumption without any meaning. But, conducting such thought experiments was the best method to resist an overwhelming, dominating fear in the hope of finding a victorious breakthrough, wasn’t it? Subaru certainly thought so. Lusbel, in front of him, began to convulse as his eyes rolled back in his head. The candlelight of that young boy’s life was about to be extinguished.
That was sad and regrettable. However, Subaru couldn’t be discouraged. He would struggle and fight to the end, wasn’t that what he had so vowed? Even in that terrible, toilsome, damaging trial last year. If not, why exactly did Subaru find it so sad and painful to survive, even so? Scary.
Very very scary. Terrifying. Everything was terrifying. Alive. Terrifying. Blinking. Terrifying. Breathing. Terrifying. Rancid. Terrifying. Disgusting. Terrifying. Scary. Scary. Scary. Scary. Scaryscaryscaryscaryscaryscaryscaryscaryscaryscaryscaryscary—
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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?”
The world immediately flipped upside down in the blink of an eye, and Subaru collapsed as soon as he heard the fresh sound. A girl’s awkward face caught his fall as he collided fiercely with her forehead.
A sharp voice cried out.
Subaru stumbled several steps backward from the sudden, piercing pain. Somewhere in front of him, a sound of something falling into grass was made. Subaru did not respond immediately as he was too busy rubbing his forehead.
Subaru: “W-What just…?”
Emilia: “What’s wrong, Subaru? You suddenly headbutted Liliana. That’s no good. If you don’t like, you should resolve your differences by talking it out.”
Beatrice: “That’s right, in fact. Before resorting to violence, we should give that uncouth looking girl ample warning that we want to send her flying, I suppose.”
Liliana: “Am I really so ugly!?”
Liliana leapt to her feet with an unexpected cry.
Upon hearing her words, Emilia and Beatrice exchanged glances without speaking. Liliana suffered another blow and collapsed again.
Priscilla: “What a ridiculous farce. Commoners are not allowed to treat mine songbird in such a manner. This will never happen again.”
Refusing to stand for the violence being imposed on Liliana, Priscilla issued a complaint about Subaru’s behavior.
Subaru gave her a perfunctory nod, confirmed his location, once again, and,
A second reset hadn’t changed his evaluation of that freak at all