Arc 5 – Chapter 22, “A Casual Response”

 

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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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Could this be called aerial warfare?

Reinhardt had leapt toward Sirius, knocking his opponent from the tower and sending her flying through the sky.

Sirius: “Hahaha! Ah, how impressive you are!”

As the heroic figure flew toward her, she raised her voice, ecstatic, and waved her arms about. Accompanying that motion was the piercing whine of her chain unraveling from her wrist.

That fully extended chain could now be used as a whip, although its merit as a weapon was based more in intimidating appearance and violent sound than convenience. Someone who chose to wield such a weapon was clearly out of touch with common sense.

That iron snake had undoubtedly tasted the blood of more than just a few people, and, at this moment, was partaking in a routine hunt, attempting to crush its prey with its iron jaws, the whistling wind it created resembling applause.

But even that blunt snake, who could approach the speed of sound, was clueless.

— In this world, there existed a human existence that exists in the same sense as that of Sirius that departed from its usual course.

Reinhardt: “A chain, how troublesome.”

Hearing the sound of the chain entering the fight, the Sword Saint frowned and gave a troubled mutter.

In the midst of such an intense battle, he seemed be giving the slight grievance that better suited the atmosphere of a brief break between classes.

Sirius: “Hahaha!”

Sirius, on the verge of panting, revealed her passionate smile to the spectators.

Surely, that was inevitable. However, the reasoning behind Sirius’s delight was mysterious. Whether it was because of desperation, or whether she was genuinely happy, one face was clear to all the spectators.

This was a situation that only Sirius would have laughed in.

Reinhardt: “——”

Sirius flew upwards, and Reinhardt pursued her from below.

With Reinhardt as her target, Sirius delivered a quick, precise blow. Even facing that oncoming chain, Reinhardt didn’t reach for the sword hanging at his waist.

If his words from long before were true, it wasn’t that he didn’t intent to draw his sword, it was that he couldn’t. Reinhardt’s legendary sword would only allow itself to face worthy opponents.

In that case, he was condemned to be unarmed while fighting that horrible freak. Even Reinhardt, who Subaru had the utmost trust in, would have to undergo a bitter struggle — perhaps he would even fail to live up to Subaru’s expectation, in a show of human weakness.

If so, then that trust would soon be broken.

Aiming her second strike at Reinhardt’s, a high-pitched voice spoke up.

Shock waves and sparks danced at the scene. To Subaru and the other spectators, lightning seemed to flash through the sky.

The ability to accomplish that kind of witchcraft was precisely the proof that Reinhardt transcended the boundaries of human skill.

Reinhardt met the chain head on, lifting a slender leg to defend against it.

That attack was so surprising that it would have elicited a laugh. After that impact, Reinhardt turned attention to wrapping his foot with the chain, moving it to suit his own will.

The movement itself was nothing too special. Reinhardt had met the approaching chain with his right leg, and wound it around his foot in a makeshift weapon, using it to open an immediate follow up.

In only a moment, he’d easily alternated between offensive and defensive.

Needless to say, not everyone could keep up with the fight. Only the handful of people with combat training could follow those rapid, continuous attacks.

In that moment of understanding, there was an impulse to laugh. Subaru gave a long sigh and relaxed his shoulders. Fortunately, Reinhardt was a comrade, so those thoughts were unnecessary. If he were the enemy, then Subaru’s shoulders, knees, and bladder would have all given out.

Sirius: “Haha, hahaha! AHAHA, HAHAHAHA!!”

Sirius laughed loudly, her right arm spinning wildly like a tornado.

Since her left arm had been captured by Reinhardt, she could only resort to using the right one. However, although the whistling snake tore through the sky, flying from every direction, it was blocked by the chain on Reinhardt’s right foot, creating a high-pitched whine and a shower of sparks.

Every spark dancing in the blue sky, was accompanied by a metallic instrument whose sound permeated the square, in a whirling performance of red and yellow.

A strike, another blow, but during that period, Reinhardt had further closed the distance between himself and Sirius. Soon, after exchanging an array of blows, he’d reached her.

Sirius: “How unexpected! You’ve actually reached this point! Amazing!”

Reinhardt: “You’re very adept. I find it a shame that you’ve committed yourself to evil.”

In those moments, the two exchanged words the way they did attacks.

Reinhardt quickly pulls back his right leg and thrusts his left hand with aligned fingers. Sirius greeted it with a powerful swing of her arm, the undulating chain diving at Reinhardt with exposed fangs.

Although that chain was made of steel, Reinhardt had used his own hand as a blade and cleaved it in two.

In the past, Subaru had witnessed the perfect splitting of disposable wooden chopsticks — a party trick. If Reinhardt were to partake in those performances, he could split a steel blade like paper. He was the very portrait of beautiful swordplay.

The severed portion of the chain was propelled by the attack’s momentum into the clocktower,

the violent collision shattering one of the building’s walls. The sight of smoke and the rubble crashing into the square shook Subaru out of his trance.

He’d been completely fascinated.

Reinhardt and Sirius’s fight, no, Reinhardt’s fight, had entranced him. Whether envy or fear caused fascination was another matter entirely.

Subaru: “Leaving her to Reinhardt is fine. Then, I…!”

He couldn’t continue to dawdle here, blindly ogling the fight and waiting for an outcome.

Subaru squeezed through a gap in the crowd, running to the opening of the tower. Lusbel, who had been scheduled to be part of Sirius’s speech, had probably been abandoned in the clock tower when he responded to Reinhardt’s inability to withdraw.

Saving him would ease Subaru’s worries.

Just in case, so that if Sirius got away from Reinhardt, Lusbel’s safety would be guaranteed. Subaru climbed anxiously up the spiral staircase, again tasting that dark, damp air.

The tower was much brighter than it had been fifteen minutes ago, thanks to the light flooding in from the walls that had been broken by Sirius’s chain.

After safely ascending the spiral staircase, Subaru found the bound Lusbel on the top floor. He’d been left face down on the ground, where his tears had pooled into a puddle. The child’s sobs touched Subaru deeply.

Subaru: “Lusbel! You’re safe now, don’t worry!”

Subaru tenderly took the chained Lusbel into his arms.

He ignored the warm torrent of tears as he returned Lusbel’s desperate, terrified gaze with his own reassuring one.

Lusbel: “Mmm!”

Subaru: “It’s alright, I’m on your side. And as for that monster, a reliable hero is fighting her right now. So, let’s take this time to get you out of here.”

Lusbel: “Mmm.”

Subaru spoke with the utmost sincerity. Gradually, the struggling Lusbel’s body lost its strength, and he faced Subaru with a tearful but clear expression.

After Subaru nodded in response to that inquiring gaze, Lusbel began sobbing anew, for a different reason than before.

Subaru: “Wait a second. Let me get this off of you.”

After gently touching crying boy’s head, Subaru started cautiously working on the chain.

From the shoulders to ankles, the chain was wound tightly, and he was also gagged with it. Subaru took care to avoid hurting the child as he unraveled it.

Subaru: “Well, I got it off. Can you stand up? If not, I can carry you.”

Lusbel: “D-Don’t worry, it’s… thank you… hk.”

Lusbel rose unsteadily to his feet, shaking his stiff legs, offering his gratitude. Although his face was stained with tears, he was still a strong child. Subaru patted his head again.

Then, as he pondered the intense battle taking place near the tower,

Subaru: “Staying here might actually be safer, but we should probably get out just in case. Can you walk? Are you hurt anywhere?”

Lusbel: “My right hand, just a little bit…”

Lusbel frowned and obediently presented his wound to Subaru.

On his outstretched right hand was a sharp laceration that had clearly been made by a snake-like weapon. Seeing the blood oozing from the wound, Subaru contorted his face in discomfort.

Subaru: “Bastard, tying up such a small child, and even doing this to him.”

Lusbel: “No, no. This just suddenly… suddenly hurting when I was tied up.”

Subaru: “Suddenly?”

While he had been tied up, Subaru registered distractedly.

At least, Subaru shouldn’t have hurt him in the process of unraveling the chain. His movements had been cautious, and if Lusbel had suffered so serious an injury, Subaru would have noticed.

— A terrible, ominous apprehension rose in Subaru’s heart.

Subaru: “…at any rate, we can’t stay here. Let’s go.”

Subaru took Lusbel’s uninjured left hand and led him to the bottom of the spiral staircase, to the exit of the tower.

When Subaru returned to the square, he heard,

Crowd: “—Kill her! Kill her! Kill her! Kill her!”

The mob had plunged into a frenzy, eagerly awaiting the execution of that captured freak, calling for vindication.

Eyes filled with bloodlust, mouths twisted in snarls, howling for murder.

Endless abhorrence of evil. Incredulous aversion to the unnatural. Wanting to be rid of the presence of an enemy who wasn’t physiologically acceptable. This emotion was one of murderous intent.

And what was this called?

— This was known as Wrath.

Crowd: “—Kill her! Kill her! Kill her! Kill her!”

A crowd of complete strangers stood side by side as comrades, moving toward the same goal.

Crowd: “—Kill her! Kill her! Kill her! Kill her!”

Their very hearts united in that moment, facing the spirits of good and evil.

Crowd: “—Kill her! Kill her! Kill her! Kill her!”

Choosing to be united, pushing that limit, that was—

Crowd: “—Kill her! Kill her! Kill her! Kill her!”

Sirius: “Joining feelings into one… this is surely Love, correct? Well, there is no doubt that this is a scene only Love could achieve, don’t you agree?”

Rather than devising a scheme, Sirius murmured in her usual voice.

Sirius had been pressed to the side of the tower by the hero. The surrounding crowd eagerly cheered for the death of the unnatural person, and knowing that their Sword Saint had the power to kill the abomination.

The desperate Sirius seemed to have lost even the chain has on her left hand. If both hands were unarmed, she had no way to defend against Reinhardt’s knife-like hand.

This was clearly a dead end — however, Sirius wore her usual placid smile.

Reinhardt: “Are there any last words you want to say?”

Sirius: “Thank you. Then, allow me to offer you an piece advice. The other archbishops may not be as docile as me, so if you want to ask their last words, you might suffer for it.”

Reinhardt: “— I will keep that in mind.”

In the face of Reinhardt’s warm kindness, Sirius spoke a calm statement. Reinhardt nodded in compliance and stepped forward, ready to execute her with the blade that was his hand.

Crowd: “—Kill her! Kill her! Kill her! Kill her!”

As the voice of the crowd grew in intensity, Sirius’s fate had been sealed. This was obvious, so why?

Standing at the entrance of the broken tower, Subaru felt a throbbing chill threatening to break his heart.

Why? What did that mean? He desperately wanted to speak, but his mouth couldn’t move. Once he began to speak, Subaru knew what he would say.

Subaru certainly would join the loud cries of “kill her!”

Sirius: “We know each other. Mutual humility. Mutual recognition. We forgive each other. That’s exactly the correct form that Love should take.”

Ignoring the subdued Subaru, Sirius continued to preach her rhetoric.

At first glance, she seemed to make sense, but, taking into account that Sirius was saying so, that proposition and the atmosphere itself turned unpleasant.

Reinhardt: “——”

Reinhardt seemed to have made the same judgment as Subaru.

There was no longer any meaning in letting Sirius speak, so Reinhardt moved forward. However, just before Reinhardt reached her, Sirius smiled and held her arms into the air.

Immediately, accompanied by a crackling sound, chains were ejected from the cuffs of her coat. Those chains were fired through her sleeves, and then wrapped around the tower as Sirius began to fly once more.

She intended to escape — but just before she could, Reinhardt stomped on the ground. Shock waves spread upward, like an explosion.

His hand struck at her in a smooth, upward motion. In that moment, Sirius’s life would end.

Crowd: “—Kill her! Kill her! Kill her! Kill her!”

And that result, will be prompted by the crowd’s cry.

Subaru’s heart spiked with fear. Driven by a sudden impulse,

Subaru: “REINHARD!!”

He yelled the hero’s name, but, falling under the sway of the crowd,

Subaru: “—KILL HER!!”

Reinhardt slashed.

A clean line swept neatly from Sirius’s left shoulder to her right flank.

That exquisite cut was so sharp that there was a delay of several seconds before Sirius’s body could react. Finally, the blood in her body noticed the wound, and her body collapsed as blood began to spray.

Sirius: “… Ah, this gentle world.”

Her internal organs spilling out, Sirius’s body was cleft in half.

Her upper body continued soaring upward, pouring blood and intestines through the air, while her lower body, left in place, became a fountain, sprinkling blood through the square.

This was hell come to earth.

No one could bear to look straight at that horror. However, no one looked away. No one could look away.

Reinhardt: “…it can’t be.”

After landing, Reinhardt uttered a stunned mutter.

Subaru saw that his blue eyes were shaking with grief, a desperate shadow enveloping his fair, handsome face.

— And then Subaru could see no more.

Subaru: “——”

Subaru, and the rest of the crowd, lay scattered in the square that had turned into a pool of blood. From their left shoulders to their right sides, everyone had been clearly bisected.

Subaru: “——”

Blood and viscera spilling out, Subaru’s consciousness didn’t have time to understand what was happening before he was pulled into the embrace of death. Just before that happened, he felt something else.

A boy’s left hand, holding on to his own, whose owner had also been cleaved enough, squeezed tightly, looking to Subaru for salvation.

He seemed to have felt that somewhere before.

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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?”

Subaru: “——ghk!”

Beatrice: “Ow! Ow, that hurts! It hurts in fact, SUBARU!!”

Blinking rapidly, Subaru was surprised by what he just heard.

The sudden switch in consciousness had him clinging to Beatrice’s hand with the same vice grip that he’d been making before his Return by Death.

Beatrice tearfully kicked Subaru’s leg after suffering from that sudden atrocity, who recoiled in pain and loosened his grip on her hand.

Liliana: “W-W-W-Why did you do that? Why would you attack Beatrice-sama’s lovely hands so suddenly? You’re going to ruin then… but it’s okay, I… I-I’ll kiss them and make it better for you, ha… haha.”

Beatrice: “It’s alright, I suppose! That’s quite gross, in fact!”

Beatrice flushed with panic as Liliana grabbed her hand. She ducked behind Subaru. Even if he had injured her hand, her trust in her partner had not diminished.

Emilia: “Subaru, are you alright? Just now, you suddenly turned pale…”

Subaru: “E-Emilia-tan…”

A concerned Emilia had joined his side, reaching a hand to his forehead. Subaru saw himself reflected in her amethyst eyes and breathed a sigh.

He’d come back.

He patted his shoulders and chest, which had been nearly bisected. His abdomen was cut, and his head had been smashed. Although Subaru was confident in his experience with deaths, this had been his first real beheading. Taking precedence over pain was a sense of astonishment and loss, the knowledge of his Death tugging at Subaru’s spirit. This was a death that Subaru, who was commonly subjected to them, could accept.

Subaru: “Why, can’t I find a simple conclusion…”

Once again catching up with the memories he’d inherited memory, this Death taught him the reality of Sirius’s power.

Although he hadn’t registered much pain, the sense of loss and shock hit Subaru one after the other. His partial understanding of the phenomenon grew.

That is, this time, the cause of death —

Subaru: “Disgusting…”

Needless to say, he had long understood.

Subaru was beheaded and killed this time exactly the same way that Sirius was. In other words, to put it bluntly, Subaru went through the same deathmatch as Sirius. Looking back thirty minutes before the first reincarnation, Subaru only saw Lusbel’s death in joy and then he died. The previously unknown cause of death had now been identified.

— Sirius could transfer Deaths if anyone died in her vicinity.

Not just brainwashing with emotional changes. Even changes that occurred in the body could be shared. It wasn’t merely brainwashing, but bodywashing. Or could it be called soulwashing?

In other words, killing her meant killing all of the people in that square.

Subaru: “What to do?”

Defeating Sirius using brute force could be achieved by calling Reinhardt.

Only, that would come at the price of the life of everyone in that square. In that case, the result would be no different from Sirius’s intended atrocities.

Summoning Reinhardt was nothing more than a concise and easy-to-understand solution at first glance, but it was, in actuality, the wrong answer. In this case, what could he do?

Subaru: “Call Reinhardt, and tell him to take her alive…?”

That was unlikely, but perhaps not impossible.

Since Reinhardt was capable of killing Sirius, he should also be capable of detaining her. The problem was that if she were caught alive, there would be no way to end her spiritual control.

Subaru had come in contact with Sirius and Lusbel, and had gone mad and died. If that insidious, insane infection were to be repeated, then capturing Sirius would be fruitless.

If she were killed, the everyone would be buried with her.

If she were caught, there was a possibility that she’d spread her contagion.

Just existing made her a threat to others, she was this kind of bomb-like existence. She truly deserved her title of Sin Archbishop.

Subaru: “What else?”

Unable to find a breakthrough, Subaru found himself in a dilemma.

If Reinhardt were called, he would surely be able to kill or restrain Sirius. Was that okay, ignoring the possibility of falling into madness?

Subaru: “——”

Time was passing even as Subaru pondered.

Seeing the silent Subaru, those around him all appeared uneasy. Whether to keep them from worrying or to keep them in the dark, Subaru had to offset that impression.

He hurriedly changed the expression on his face and announced,

Subaru: “Ah, right. That is… yes, I suddenly felt like I’d puke up the grilled meat from this morning. My chest was a bit uncomfortable.”

Liliana: “Ah, I see, I see. I, too, often feel nauseous, which is accompanied by a lot of gas…”

Subaru: “Stop right there. No matter how you act, you’re still a girl.”

Subaru interrupted Liliana’s jokes with a smile and turned towards Emilia. Seeing that, Emilia lowered her gaze.

Emilia: “I’ll believe Subaru since he says so, but… this is a special case, okay?”

Subaru: “Mm, thanks… then, I’ll go buy desserts, as Liliana suggested. Emilia-tan, please continue to enjoy the song.”

Thanks to Emilia’s kindness, Subaru was able to make an announcement after his wavering. Then, holding Beatrice’s hand again,”

Subaru: “Beako. Come shopping with me. Let’s take a walk and banter like we always do.”

Beatrice: “What are you suddenly — Mm. I understand, in fact.”

Beatrice cast aside her usual attitude when she saw Subaru’s face. To put it more appropriately, she accepted his offer after noticing his pleading expression.

Subaru took a confused Beatrice’s hand and ran from the park for the fourth time.

This time, rather than leaving Beatrice behind, he’d bring his reliable partner with him. Even though he had yet to reach any kind of breakthrough.

Priscilla: “—Hmm.”

— Staring at the retreating figures of Subaru and Beatrice, the red-clad woman watched the duo with a thoughtful expression.

 

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