Arc 5, Chapter 20 – “Shared Empathy”

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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:

Translated by:

  • Nanashi-tan
  • Phantaminum

Proofread by:

  • Phantaminum
  • SSCaide

Art Source:

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Squatting on the ground, breathing heavily, Subaru finally endured 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 television. There was nothing like a loss of the sense 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: [――]

Subaru clenched his teeth and finally climbed to his feet.

He shook his head and looked around. The park was full of bright sunshine, a place of relaxation with fountains and green lawns, and a colorful spread of flowerbeds.

Subaru was presently surrounded by four beautiful girls―― Emilia, Beatrice, Liliana, and Priscilla. He had 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: [What do you mean!? 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 in secret about something.]

Subaru: [That happened just now? I got it, thanks… thank you.]

Just saying those words of gratitude, he felt an unspeakable sense of disgust.

Subaru could not help but raise a hand to cover his mouth. Seeing him in this state, Emilia made a puzzled frown.

Emilia had not done anything wrong. Needless to say, his appreciation was not bitter. However, it evoked the incomparable malice in 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 would return 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 prepared.

In that forest a year ago, in Sanctuary, during the Trials, 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, but even Subaru himself had no clue what had happened. He had clearly experienced it himself, but he could not understand any of it.

Subaru had not even realized how abnormal that situation had been. And not only Subaru. Everyone present had been afflicted with the same madness as him. They had 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, welcoming him to his death.

What exactly had triggered all of that? And how exactly had he died without even realizing the reason?

He had not been able to recognize an agent for his death and, even now, he could not find one. Or, perhaps, it had been in front of him all along, and he had failed to see it as a threat. But he could not trust anything he had felt. Although he had registered the abnormality of the situation after his death, until that very moment, he had not been able to think clearly.

How had he died, in the end?

Were there any explosives attached to the falling boy’s body? They could have exploded upon his impact with the ground, blowing up the surroundings. In fact, that was almost exactly like the memory of this instant 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 had been in at the time prevented him from being able to comprehend that memory at all.

If Subaru had truly been in a state of madness, then it would be virtually impossible to unravel the insane memories of his death.

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 someone as clueless as Emilia had seen through Liliana’s brazenness. Through their dialogue, Subaru remembered his current situation.

At this point in time, Subaru was supposed to take advantage of Liliana’s song to go run an errand and buy reconciliation sweets. And shortly after buying something, he had met the monster called Wrath.

——There were less than fifteen minutes before that nightmare of a speech would begin.

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 extremely short.

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, would not 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 simply not go. Sirius would not target Subaru.

Pure, indiscriminate malice. And Subaru just happened to be just there.

Therefore, even if Subaru were not present, that square would still be Sirius’s crime scene. The speech unrelated to Subaru’s presence would happen regardless, and everyone there would be affected.

At the very least, no matter how that turned out, that falling child was 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. Lusbel was not guilty of anything. That poor child 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 cowardly as to think only of themselves and not attempt to rescue him?

Subaru: [Beako and I…]

——Will go together, Subaru hesitated to declare.

Beatrice: [What is it, 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 was not for a sentimental reason like not wanting Beatrice to fight.

Of course, saying that reason had not flashed through his mind at all wouldn’t be true, but that was not Subaru’s key reason.

——That would be Emilia. Or rather, leaving Emilia here.

Subaru: [————]

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 Sin Archbishop of Wrath was present. He had no clue if she was working with any other cultists, because their status was completely unknown.

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.

Leaving someone out of his sight, where the Witch Cult’s devilish hands would be able to reach for was far too dangerous.

Deep in his heart, turbid fear plagued Subaru.

Then, would he take Emilia to where Wrath was? 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 could not let Emilia near the Witch Cult. The reasons could not even be questioned. It just had to be like that.

Subaru: [Beatrice and I…]

Beatrice: [And what, Subaru?]

Subaru: [We’ll eat the same sweets, is that fine?]

Beatrice: […?]

Beatrice frowned as she heard Subaru. She probably suspected that he had been thinking something else entirely. Subaru nodded at Liliana, who seemed completely lost, 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 listening to Liliana’s song.]

Emilia: [Got it. But is it okay if I don’t go with you?]

Subaru: [That’s fine, just 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. He put his lips to her ear.

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 prepared. If I call you, then you can assume it’s a pretty bad situation.]

Subaru gently pinched the slightly displeased Beatrice’s nose, then waved and took off. He sprinted without looking back, even feeling the eyes of the four people who saw him off on his back.

Running down the road, he reached the square in less than five minutes.

However, he had departed a little late. In this strained situation, with very little time, 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 had arrived. Before, he had focused on the tower without a chance to observe the surrounding area, but, at least for the moment, no conspicuous, black-clad strangers were anywhere to be seen.

Then, was it alright to think that 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 into that hazy state of mind again.]

Since the origin of that anomalous area[1] was unclear, once it captured him again, he had no idea if he could retain his sanity. Thus, Subaru assumed that it would become impossible to recognize the anomaly as anomalous, due to the frightening power within that brainwashing space.

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 it causes too much of a ruckus, Sirius may act preemptively.]

He could ask the victims who should not be involved in the situation to take refuge. But how would he accomplish that? After all, if Sirius’s speech did not have any particular target, then the location would not be limited to this square.

If there were no audience here, she would 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 was planning to appear here.

It was very similar to the battle to subjugate Petelgeuse. No matter what, the Witch Cult could not 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 until the root cause was eliminated.

He had realized that far too late.

Had he reached that conclusion quicker, Subaru would not even have come to this place alone. No, returning to this square had been the wrong choice, in the first place. Had he at least returned to the inn, he could have turned 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!]

Finding an answer, Subaru glanced at the bottom of the clocktower—— the white-colored tower from which that abominable speech had been professed. He noticed a small window at the bottom of the tower, 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 had yet to enter, Lusbel himself might be bound in there, awaiting rescue.

So, Subaru glanced cautiously to his left and right and approached the bottom of the clocktower. He quietly moved the inconspicuous iron gate in the alley to the side, opened it, and slipped inside.

The inside of the clocktower was dark beyond compare, its frigid air filled with dust.

The entire tower was entirely silent. Unlike clocktowers from his world, this one had no gears. The passage of time was tracked using the glow of a magic crystal. Its color would change naturally, reflecting the slight changes of atmospheric Mana over time.

——Therefore, the only sound that would ever be heard inside the tower had to be made by someone else.

???: […Mmgrr!]

???: [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 are such a good kid.]

An unpleasant voice echoed. Terrified childish whimpers of fear echoed.

Sobbing sounds came echoing 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: [——]

Subaru became convinced that it 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 had been crafted from stone. With care, he could silence his steps, especially since the enemy should be focused on the child in her arms.

Subaru steeled himself 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 was high enough that Subaru needed to crane his head to see the top, there was nothing of note on the journey up. A large pillar sat in the center of the tower, and the spiral staircase encircled it, along the wall of the building.

The voice of a demon and the voice of a hero came from the end of those stairs. One single window faced the outside of the tower—— presumably to give people access to adjust and check the spellstones installed on the clocktower. The sound came from the space just before that window.

It gave off a comparable feeling to an attic.

Subaru stealthily peered out from under the stairs, and saw that there were indeed two stray figures exchanging words that interrupted that silent darkness.

There was no one else. It was safe to say that horror stories with Witch Cultists lurking in the shadows had been avoided.

——Then, all that was left was for Subaru to look for an opening, and strike the first blow.

Subaru: [——]

Capturing her alive would not be a possibility.

Although that was what he wanted to do, the degree of difficulty would be too high. Not to mention that as long as she was alive, who knew what kind of tricks she could pull?

Subaru crouched down and put his hand on a handle. He grabbed hold of what was held by his waist, and yanked 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 some archeologists in some of his world’s most famous movies had been known to carry them while exploring ruins. [2] This one in particular had a longer range and was more difficult to manipulate than the one held by that archeologist from the movies. But in the past year, under Clind’s tutelage, Subaru’s skill had vastly improved.

Among all kinds of weapons, Subaru had chosen the whip as his main weapon.

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[3], 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 had 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 to attack from mid-range.

Subaru: [——]

The distance from the end of the stairs to the creepy figure was about four meters. That was also the limit of Subaru’s range. To make sure his strike would connect, he must take one step. No, it should be okay to take only half a step before stepping in and swinging the whip.

In any case, the ability to kill in one-shot was not to be expected of a whip. To try and do just that, other factors needed to be relied upon.

In this situation devoid of factors other than natural ones, one could only use height.

——In that case, there was no choice but to strike from a distance.

Subaru: [————]

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 did not detect him lurking behind. 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 cleaved through that air, biting toward its target’s unprotected back, trying to entangle that wicked figure’s neck and pull it down into the abyss.


Sirius: [Why are you so angry?]

The silhouette whose back was facing him replied in a distracted voice.

Immediately thereafter, the shadow 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 a silver snake had soared through the sky to intercept a flying snake.

For a second, Subaru was stunned by that sight, but recovered and moved his arm diagonally, determining 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 had deflected Subaru’s blow, the whip bit into part of the chain’s locks, dragging Sirius to the ground as Subaru yanked on it.

Subaru: [H-ha!]

Facing the 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 because of his body mass.

Sirius: [Gah!]

Sirius gave a soft cry, and, after thudding onto ground, tumbled through the window, just as Subaru had planned. Much more than ten meters spanned their location to the ground floor―― there was at least one child that would be crushed like fruit, had it fallen from this height.

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 Lusbel must have tasted, being forced to hold that chain against his neck, quite literally strangling himself. Even now, traces of terror were still engraved in his face.

Once aware of that maliciousness, Subaru felt 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 a deal with the devil. And, even experiencing what he had, Lusbel was more worried about his friend than about himself.

Even though his legs were trembling, even though his teeth were chattering, even though his vision was being blurred by tears, even though he was no longer capable of forming coherent sentences.

Subaru: [It’s okay. 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 was the Finest of Knights. The Kingdom’s leading healer, and various other people that could destroy a small city.

Therefore, there was no need for any fear. No evil forces could run rampant. Yeah. Exactly. Fear was completely unnecessary. There was no need for it at all. And, so,

Subaru: [So… My legs, stop, shaking!!]

In front of Lusbel, whose eyes had become unfocused with fear, Subaru desperately beat his unresponsive legs and yelled.

His voice, laced with grief, unexpectedly echoed, compounding 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: [—―Guu…]

Lusbel vomited yellow, with a sound like the bursting of a bubble. His body started to cramp up as he exhaled, collapsing in a pool of his own vomit. Subaru wanted to help him up, but then he too felt as if his own organs were being twisted inside him. Subaru also succumbed to the discomfort of his internal organs, and he spewed out the contents in the stomach, feeling as if he had been thrown into flight.

The daisukiyaki[4] he had 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, eyes turning in their sockets, his body was still shivering non-stop. Not from cold. An invisible hand was twisting his stomach, his internal organs being shuffled around. 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 repeated shallow breath led to the bursting of a yellow bubble.

Most people would not 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 oneself. 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: [Guh, ah, hk…]

Sirius: [Please feel it as your heart desires. Let me witness your heart’s contents. 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: [You two gentle souls will feel together Lusbel-kun’s fear. You shall feel Lusbel-kun’s fear, and, through that, Lusbel-kun’s feelings will pass to you. Lusbel-kun, through your fear, feels what you shall feel again from him. Your fears once again felt, and Lusbel-kun’s own fear is compounded. Your compounded fears, felt by Lusbel-kun, shall 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 shall again be passed to your true fear. The true fear that you feel, and a second and a third fear born through Lusbel-kun, will lead to 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 non-sense. 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 be presented as a symbol of terror for Subaru, today. Feeling one pain means feeling the pain that he would feel the next time. That would make Subaru feel continuous, endless, infinite fear. So refusing to blink would not do. But, if he blinked, the world would fall into darkness for an instant. In that dark moment where nothing could be seen, he would not 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, that so-called fear had always been the feeling of weakness that began to plague a creature upon feeling a threat to its life. Being able to have this emotion was synonymous with being a lifeform. 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 is because Love is just painful. However, it is precisely because love exists that we can survive. This is really very difficult. Then, I shall fetch Tina-chan to help me. Lusbel-kun has worked hard.]

Being numb to the value of life meant violating an inherent ability to survive. 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. Of course, that kind of thing was just an assumption devoid 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, was it not? Subaru certainly thought so. Lusbel, in front of him, began to convulse as his eyes rolled back in his head. The light of that young boy’s life was about to be extinguished.

That was sad and regrettable. However, Subaru could not be discouraged. He would struggle and fight to the end, wasn’t that what he had 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, Natsuki-sama? Indulging in sweet snacks will certainly create a mood that will close the distance between them, don’t you think so?]

Immediately after blinking, the world flipped upside down, and Subaru collapsed as soon as he heard the fresh sound. A girl’s awkward face approached, and caught his fall as he collided fiercely with her forehead.

Liliana: [Gah!?]

Subaru: [Huh?]

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 the 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 the other person, 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 metaphorical blow, and collapsed again.

Priscilla: [What a ridiculous farce. Commoners are not allowed to treat my songbird in such a manner. This shall not happen again.]

Perhaps refusing to condone the violence being imposed on Liliana, Priscilla issued a complaint about Subaru’s behavior.

Subaru gave her a vague nod, confirmed his location, once again, and――

Subaru: […Disgusting.]

A second reset had not changed his evaluation of that monster at all.

Translation notes:

[1] – Literally, the word for “space/room” (空間). Subaru most likely thinks that this power he faced has a range.

[2] – Indiana Jones reference.

[3] – Literally “way of the sword” (剣道), a modern Japanese martial art descended from swordsmanship. For more information, see here.

[4] – The Japanese-style pancake from Chapters 15 and 16.

45 thoughts on “Arc 5, Chapter 20 – “Shared Empathy””

  1. Anyone else wondering why Subaru didn’t try to throw Siriel through the window? I mean, come on. Even if they survived the fall, they wouldn’t be able to use their authority in the middle of the air, giving valuable seconds to free the child.

    1. But he did, as it says here: “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.”

  2. If I had to guess, when Sirius links emotions, if one dies, they all die. I think the kid died causing Subaru to die.

    1. Ya hit the mark. Her authority is just like Minerva’s. They can transfer emotions to others in a way.

  3. Instesd of being stupid subaru should have summoned reinhard by using larkins. He did know he is going to come across him soon, searching a bit around should or waiting and the provius position would make him meet larkins and then would have the cheat master on his side

    1. He only find Larkins a few minutes before Sirius’ assault. Moreover, Larkis signaling while yes, itwould draw Reinhart, but Reinhart and Subaru high morality wouldnt allow them to use the crowd, especially with the boy as a hostage.

      1. He’s not being stupid at all by questioning why Subaru wouldn’t call Reinhardt.

        Seriously in this instance Subaru did the dumbest thing he could have done in trying to fight the archbishop by himself

        1. Barusu didn’t ask Larkins to call Reinhardt -cuz the Sin Archbishop of Wrath had gathered a pool of commoners around the clock tower. If Reinhardt were to use his powers in vicinity of so many innocent lives, they’d be in harm’s way. That’s the conclusion Barusu arrived at . . .

    2. Well. Yes, pretty dumb and foolhardy to try geting score on archbishob alone wthout a plan and without knowing abilities of the enemy. Probably wanted to test his new whip tricks. Realy dissapointing loop. Like he wanted to die as a hero AGAIN. Well, he is going to learn someday (probably not). Still trying to be the first to die. Most annoing part is about “Emilia need to be protected at cost of my safty” statment. Great job lad! Now she is without her knight to protect her from the cult. Knighted fool.

  4. I think subaru should carry instant death pills with him just in case of something happening that would tortute/trap him , feels little annoying that he is not playng his death cards to the fullest yet

    1. As someone who was involved in a traffic accident which should have killed me (my left lung and liver were pierced but the glass shards, i had a fractured skull and broken pelvis, left arm and thigh), being in a near death experience SUCKS. Even for a mere second before i passed out, i still have nightmare about that, and the pain still feel very real. Luckily i inherited my gramps badass gene and i live.

    2. D-dude, did you even read Arc 4???
      That entire arc showed Subaru becoming increasingly more suicidal as he throws his life away, believing it to be unimportant due to Return by Death and his trauma around it. It took a shit-ton of time and pain for him to finally realize that he DESERVES to live too. And he does. Just because he has Return by Death doesn’t mean his suffering is irrelevant. It took him so long and so much hardship to learn that lesson, and doing anything like Suicide Pills would completely erase that character development. Not to mention, are you even considering the psychological effects of that at all? Subaru is already heavily traumatized, and death is not something so easy to get over. In fact, if he took the route you just suggested, he would probably break under the psychological pressure.
      Sorry, I just get really pissed when people say shit like that. Y’all are clearly too used to the OP anime protags who never make the wrong choice, are always selfless to a fault, and never deal with the psychological or physical impact of those choices. As if Subaru wasn’t already risking his life enough :/

      1. Couldn’t agree more, message of the wjole arc 4 is “use your abilities right, but respect life. Rely more on your friends and subordinates, you can’t do it alone”

      2. Well put. I will confess that the tension that came with Subaru trying to avoid death and unfortunately failing and restarting a loop was a big draw for me to the anime when I watched season 1. But Arc 4 radically changed that for me when I realized that him utilizing his RBD as a staple weapon was me rooting for him to continuously get traumatized. Though I still have a lot of dislike for Satella, that message at the Tea Party telling him caring about himself more was something so unique and important that it genuinely surprised me and changed my perception of Subaru. The development from Arc 4 really made Subaru grow on me, and I was genuinely proud of him for saving both Beako and the Sanctuary without dying after that tea party. I’m now truly rooting for him to use RBD as little as possible.

      3. yeah. The Greed IF explained in that part. Subaru doesn’t even stay a human losing the evaluation of life. To cling to life is an intuitive feeling of a person. It is there, inside us from our birth. Subaru is also a human. Dying like that caused his thinking to be damaged. that’s why he couldn’t think of any plan. Don’t judge his character as fiction. Tappei put human emotion in this.

      4. I agree too if he had started taking suicide pills he would have become a psychopath and his brain would not work like a normal human anymore and he would have started liking the feeling of death and seeing other’s dying in front of him would have become a pleasure for barusu

    3. I can see the idea but Subaru resolved to die as little as possible in his conversations with Satella in Arc 4, so I doubt he’d just be able to use his cards like that.

  5. i guess he is disgusted by his own action how proceed the situation. well i think that too, didn’t he learned anything from arc4. well its been a year. i hope he do the right thing on next chapter

  6. Emilia: “What’s wrong, Subaru? You suddenly headbutted Liliana.

    *Everybody liked that*

  7. I’m ssuming that Sirius’ authority links both emotions and bodies so that damage transfers to everyone who’s linked(the kid was about to die, while subaru wasn’t, but they still both died). it would explain what killed him in his first death.

  8. Ok you guys realize how fucking bad this is, right? Remember, Regulus is also here, after Emilia to be one of his wives. Specifically Emilia. So now Subaru has to take care of Sirius and when and if he does that, what about Regulus?

    1. Read upper comments, Sirius connects souls and bodies, as you can see that she is alwyas talking about “human relationships and bonds”

  9. he should’ve called beatrice in the clock tower. Good to see he can actually fight now though without running in and getting his nose broken

  10. Oh my god – that part with the fear bouncing back and forth and multiplying in intensity was rough. That scene reminded me of the worst panic attacks that I have had. In the middle of an all out extreme panic attack that’s exactly what it is like. Any action, even breathing, is terrifying and unbearable. But not taking an action is just as unbearable and terrifying. And there is an absolute certainty that this terrible awful unbearable feeling will persist for all of eternity. In my panic attacks, I have the darkest thoughts that even if I were to die – this awful unbearable feeling would still persist. Sometimes even thoughts like – death might be the only escape from this, but even that is no guarantee. The worst one I ever had (and the first one, which actually sparked off all the rest) was because I had ingested a powerful psychedelic substance and so that panic attack lasted for twelve straight hours. That was over 6 years ago and I still have that trauma within me. It was my first time ever taking a psychedelic and we messed up the dosage by a factor of ten. So instead of taking 16mg we had taken 160mg. I remember just screaming, just lying on the ground screaming, shaking, freaking out, panicking and wanting to knock myself unconscious to escape that feeling. That’s what Subaru just experienced.

    1. Holy shit, I remember the first time I get drunk in grade 8, I drunk a whole bottle of Rum and slipped off the roof of my house. I remember falling and falling over and over like it would last forever. I landed in a garden though so I only snapped my left arm in half but the fear, blood and pain made me shake, scream and throw up continuously for 15 minutes before I managed to shove my elbow bones back into my arm and slightly stop the bleeding. From there, since it was 3AM I just threw up constantly to the point where I almost died from drowning in my own vomit. I eventually ran out of food to throw up so I just continued to shake with fear since I could feel my head getting lighter and my world was blacking out. I survived though because a neighbour came out after 4 hours of me screaming and crying.

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