Arc 5 – Chapter 28, “A Meeting Covered in Wounds”

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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: “Wait, let’s calm down. First, can we sort through what we know?”

Ferris’s words had pushed the limit of what Subaru could handle right now.

Ferris and Ricardo nodded at Subaru’s raised hand as they considered the new information that had been broadcasted.

Subaru: “Moving anywhere… will be pretty difficult with so many injured.”

Ferris: “Well, the most severe wounds have already been stabilized, and there shouldn’t be any more people showing up, but still.”

With a sense of professionalism, Ferris gave his diagnosis. Subaru took a moment to examine the conditions of the field hospital.

Minimal lighting, and a ground of cold stone making ground. From the unique feel of its air, Subaru judged the place to be underground — almost like the parking lot of a large department store.

Subaru: “Are we still in Pristella?”

Ferris: “It’s one of Pristella’s shelters. The broadcast this morning mentioned it, remember? In Pristella, if an issue with the waterways ever occurred, the water damage would be troublesome, so there are shelters all over the city. This is one of the shelters on First Street.”

Ricardo: “The square where I found bro is close to here. After a rough start, we managed to bring bro and the other refugees to safety!”

Following Ferris, Ricardo gave his proclamation as he pounded loudly on his thick breastplate. Ferris glared intently at Ricardo, who took several moments to stop.

Ferris: “It’s lucky that Ferri-chan was also here, with so many people wounded. This dog-faced mister wouldn’t have been able to handle any of the treatment.”

Ricardo: “Yep! Now I don’t need to have any regrets! Hahaha!”

Ricardo’s usual attitude and his laugh were refreshing, even if they were out of place for this somber hospital. If one person kept a positive attitude, everyone could maintain hope.

Ferris: “So, what happened to Subaru-kyun?”

Subaru: “Ah, right. There were two archbishops in the square, Greed and Wrath. The one who destroyed my foot was Greed, who abducted Emilia… however, the one who caused the injury on everyone else was Wrath.”

Ferris: “How did that happen?”

Subaru: “The authority of Wrath is… It’s a little difficult to explain, but if anyone is injured, she has the power to transmit the injury to other people.”

He chose his words carefully, attempting to give a simple explanation of her power. Ricardo had his head tilted, and Ferris’s complexion changed as he realized the implications of her ability.

He looked to the wounded and looked at the strap of the right foot.

Ferris: “So… that’s the reason why Subaru-kyun and everyone else had such a similar injury. I had a bad feeling already, but…”

Subaru: “Ah…”

Absurd emotions often accompanied a distorted character. However, with Sirius, this absurdity was also physiological in nature.

Subaru had still more to say.

Subaru: “And Greed’s also very troublesome.”

Ferris: “Ah~… Ferri-chan’s already tired as is, I don’t have the energy to hear about more troublesome things.”

Subaru: “Sorry, I don’t think that’s possible. —That damned Greed, he can invalidate any attack. Whether being bathed in fire, hit by a whip, or directly punched, all damage is null.”

The unconscious Emilia, in Regulus’s arms, was defenseless. Even bathed in Sirius’s flames, Regulus had flawlessly defended both himself and Emilia. That had resulted in a display of his unmanageable power.

This would prove to be an incredibly tiresome situation.

Ferris: “A guy who can pass on injuries, and a guy who’s invincible… Ah, you have to be kidding me.”

Subaru: “That other archbishop… Petelgeuse’s Unseen Hand was quite powerful, but this guy’s on a completely different level.”

That said, Petelgeuse’s ability had ended up not being effective on Subaru. Considering that ineffectiveness, Subaru had thought of him as a simple lunatic rather than a Sin Archbishop.

Thus, this would be his first formal battle with the Witch Cult.

Subaru: “And the archbishop who just introduced herself, Lust… her abilities are probably just as troublesome.”

Ferris: “Worst of all… There are probably five archbishops here.”

Subaru: “Five…!?”

Ferris uttered a hypothesis which was terrifying beyond Subaru’s wildest imagination. What had happened, to give him such an idea?

Ferris sighed and straightened his finger at the subdued Subaru.

Ferris: “Listen. Think of the broadcast, of what Lust said. This city has four water gates, right?”

Subaru: “Ah, right, they’d seized them, which means that they could be planning to sink the city… so, that’s a very dangerous situation….”

Ferris: “And there’s the possibility of an archbishop occupying each… Already, there are three archbishops gathered in one place, which is completely unprecedented. So the worst of worst situation comes to mind… there are even more archbishops here.”

Subaru: “Four… tch.”

Speaking the number out loud, Subaru finally understood what Ferris wanted to say.

There were four water gates, north, south, east, and west, which ran the city of Pristella. Occupying all of them implied,

Subaru: “So it could be that each tower has an archbishop guarding it? In that case, that should make four archbishops…”

Ferris: “Subaru-kyun, consider what just happened. —The broadcast just now used a magic which only exists in the City Hall. The enemy must also occupy the central hub of the city, meaning that they’ve captured five strongholds.”

Subaru: “—hk”

That even more hopeless speculation left Subaru breathless.

Like Ferris said, the City Hall must have been taken to give that broadcast. In addition to Lust, who occupied it, there must be two other archbishops.

The only fathomable explanation for that would be a coordinated attack from the Witch Cult.

Subaru: “Aside from the square I was in, has there been any other commotion? Have there been any other attacks?”

Ferris: “——”

If this were an offense by the Witch Cult, it would be difficult to imagine that they would only target a single location. Subaru could only pray that his worst fears of Casualties wouldn’t become a reality.

Absentmindedly, Ferris cast his gaze downward, falling silent. Ricardo gave a cough, a set of sharp teeth visible on the beastman’s large face.

Ricardo: “Honestly, the only situation we know is our own. We don’t even know where the other shelters are, so it’s in our best interest to stay here.”

Subaru: “Why? Shouldn’t we look for our allies so that we can collaborate? Aren’t you worried about them… that’s right!”

As he spoke, Ricardo gestured with his hands, and Subaru hurriedly looked up at Ferris.

In this shelter of wounded people, it was odd that Ferris and Ricardo were the only people Subaru knew. Especially when Ferris when here.

Subaru: “Where are Crusch-san and Wilhelm-san? It’s unusual for you three to be separated. Are they in another shelter?”

Ferris: “…You’re asking a difficult question, Subaru-kyun. The only ones you know here are Ferri-chan and the mister, and as you can see—”

Ferris replied with a sense of unease, and Subaru felt a deep anxiety rise within himself. Then, a gentle voice relieved that intense atmosphere.

Suddenly hearing that voice, Subaru looked up and around, unable to locate its owner.

???: “I’m sorry. I seem to have been worrying you, Ferris-chan. It’s good to see you, Subaru-sama.”

Ferris: “Crusch-sama is such a meanie.”

Subaru: “Wha? Huh?”

Ferris, who was conversing with his invisible master, reached into his dress. Subaru watched with round eyes as he pulled out a familiar object.

Subaru: “Wait, this is…”

Ferris: “That’s right. It’s loot from a year ago. We used them too, remember?” Ferris replied, revealing a hand mirror in his grip.

At first glance, the mirror lacked any defining characteristic, but rather than show a reflection, its face reflected a green-haired beauty with a gentle face — without a doubt, that was Crusch.

The magic device known as a Conversation Mirror was more or less this world’s version of a cell phone, which lets it owners speak through paired mirrors. A year ago, they had played a role in the battle with the Witch Cult, and they had been brought to this city as well.

Crusch, opposite the mirror, frowned slightly before the silent Subaru.

Crusch: “Ferris. Subaru-sama seems a little troubled. Did you hide this from him? ”

Ferris: “Syorry about that. But, but, I didn’t think our next call would be so soon, so I didn’t think it was that important to tell him yet.”

Subaru: “W-Wait. Give me a moment. Thanks to the Conversation Mirrors, you’re in contact with Crusch, who’s at another shelter, is that right?”

Crusch: “Indeed.”

As master and knight talked, Subaru took a moment to sort through his confusion. The Conversation Mirror explained Ferris’s calmness about his missing master.

Tentatively, to confirm Crusch’s safety with his own eyes, Subaru took the mirror from Ferris.

Subaru: “Thank goodness… is difficult to say right now with what’s happening, but we’re lucky that we could get in touch. Crusch-san, are you hurt at all?”

Crusch: “No, thanks for your concern. Fortunately, I managed to find a shelter in time, without suffering any injury. I heard that Subaru-sama received a serious wound and had to be carried in. How are you doing?”

Subaru: “I can’t say anything like, ‘I’m completely fine’, but it’s good enough. I’ll do something. I’ll move as soon as the wound is bandaged… Ferris, don’t look at me like that.”

As Subaru announced his intent, he felt Ferris’s harsh glare stabbing into him. However, although he was being ungrateful, Subaru couldn’t sit by and do nothing. Breaking the deadlock they were in was of the utmost urgency.

He couldn’t lie around obediently, waiting for conditions to deteriorate.

Subaru: “We’ll talk about this later… Crusch-san, how’s the situation in your shelter? Did anyone else make it there?”

Crusch: “Yes. There are several others with me…”

Julius: “I’m also here, Subaru. Fortunately, everyone who was in the hotel made it here.”

From somewhere behind Crusch, an elegant voice joined the conversation.

The moment he heard it, Subaru froze briefly before giving a sharp shake of his head. He didn’t want to be a fool who didn’t realize how encouraging that voice was.

Subaru: “Your presence there is kinda reassuring, Julius.”

Julius: “I heard you ended up being carried into your shelter, unconscious. Since you’ve climbed back up with your usual liveliness, it seems that my worries were baseless… Is it true that Emilia- sama was abducted?”

Subaru: “…It’s true. Sorry. I’m so useless.”

Julius: “You were facing two archbishops. I’m not so awful a man as to blame you for a lack of strength. Anastasia-sama and Crusch-sama are both here, as well as a few members of the Iron Fang. Ah, two of Felt-sama’s followers are here too.”

He quickly confirmed Emilia’s status, without holding Subaru accountable.

Although the kindness from the other side of the mirror was touching, it amplified Subaru’s feelings of guilt. While listening to his words, Subaru confirmed the presence of a wounded man in the refuge.

Subaru: “Right, you should tell Felt’s guys that their friend is here. He’s wounded, but alive.”

Julius: “I see, that’s good to hear. I’ll be sure to pass it on. They’re trying to act brave, but they’re obviously worried. —Well then, Subaru.”

After Ton and Kan had been informed of Larkins’s safety, Julius lowered his voice, changing the atmosphere of their conversation.

Julius: “What do we do?”

Subaru: “…I haven’t a clue why you’re asking me that.”

Julius: “As Sloth had shown, you seem to have a knack for dealing with the Witch Cult. Maybe you could pull something unexpected and solve this dilemma?”

Subaru: “What kind of nonsense is that? Sorry to disappoint, but I’m not some kind of Witch Cult expert.”

Julius: “That’s regrettable. Now, about Emilia-sama. There is no doubt that your heart is the most anxious. What do you want to do?”

Subaru’s reply obviously hadn’t answered Julius’s expectations, but he wasn’t discouraged. He understood that thinking of Subaru as some miraculous archbishop slayer would be too much to look for.

Rather, the latter half of his sentence held his true question.

Subaru: “…Emilia was taken by Greed. He only spouts his own selfish beliefs and doesn’t accept any disagreements. I don’t want to leave Emilia with him for even a second.”

Julius: “That is to say, to rescue Emilia from Greed is your responsibility.”

Subaru: “Of course… did you just say responsibility?”

Julius spoke in a subdued tone as he showed Subaru an open palm, with five fingers outstretched.

Julius: “Listen, Subaru. Ferris should have clarified that there are likely five archbishops at each of Pristella’s key sites. Taking into account the status of each enemy, the division of the battle is a very important issue.”

Subaru: “… No matter from where, they can sink the Watergate City.”

Julius: “That’s right. The condition for defeating the archbishops is to attack each of those places at the same time. In the meantime, we have to reestablish contact with our forces, who are scattered across the city… you understand our situation, right?”

Although unable to get in touch with comrades in various places, Julius had put forth a plan of coordinated attack. Originally, the magic of the city was responsible for maintaining contact with those places.

However, when the city hall had fallen, everyone had been separated and had sought refuge in different shelters. In order to judge the state of the others shelters, action needed to be taken.

Ferris: “By the way, Wil-jii confirmed that there’s a mob wandering the city. They seem to have lost their senses and are acting like cultists.”

Subaru: “…That would be that bastard Sirius’s authority… Damn, this is looking more and more desperate by the second.”

Hearing Ferris’s annoying piece of information, Subaru scratched his face in agitation as more bad news came to light. At the very least, there must be a way of getting in touch with all the existing combat forces—

Subaru: “I don’t know where Otto and Garfiel are, and Emilia’s been kidnapped by Greed. What a mess…”

Julius: “Joshua and Deputy Chief of the Iron Fang are both missing, as are Wilhelm-sama, Felt-sama, and Reinhardt. Priscilla-sama, too…”

Subaru: “I don’t know where Al and that garbage man are, but Priscilla should have been in the city park before the commotion started. I don’t know what happened to her after that… damn it, Liliana should be with her too.”

Priscilla wasn’t normal in any sense of the word, and Liliana was also honestly very strange. Subaru didn’t want either of them to be hurt.

Taking into account Priscilla’s proclaimed luck and that Songstress’s character, Subaru could only hope that they would be fine.

Patrasche had also been in the Water Plumage Pavilion. She was smart enough to avoid attention, so worrying about her would be needless.

Constant sources of worry plagued Subaru, and he felt that launching five simultaneous attacks was outside of the realm of possibility.

No matter how it was said, it would be impossible. There weren’t enough combatants to attack five locations, not to mention that they would be facing archbishops. The only thing most people could bring to such a fight was hope.

Subaru: “… Wait. Why do we have to go after all give places at the same time?”

Julius: “What do you mean? It’s as we’ve already said. The Witch Cult can do tremendous damage from anywhere they occupy. Seizing one place would leave them with the rest…”

Subaru: “It’s not like that though, right? I understand that we need to seize all four towers eventually. But why at the same time?”

Julius: “Once they discover that they’ve been sabotaged in one location, it’s a matter of course that the other archbishops would commence with their plans, no? That must be why they launched such a coordinated attack.”

Julius gave a clear response to Subaru’s doubts.

While listening to his words, Subaru pondered their accuracy. Of course, Julius’s logic was clear and sound. But the opponents they faced weren’t normal ones.

In that square, Regulus and Sirius had fought lethally.

Regulus hadn’t been serious, and so he hadn’t done much harm, but Sirius had definitely been intending to kill him. Regulus should have been able to defeat her in minutes.

Those guys, could they really have worked together to capture the city?

Subaru: “… Do they have any real sense of cooperation. Of course, they said that they’d collaborated to seize the watergates, but can they keep in organized contact every step of the way? That’s what I’m thinking.”

Julius: “On what basis?”

Subaru: “In the square I was at, two of the archbishops were trying to kill each other. They only stopped because they were given new instructions from the Gospel. If they hadn’t, one would probably have killed the other.”

Julius: “So they can’t coordinate properly…?”

Julius still appeared faintly uncertain at Subaru’s reply. Subaru understood his concern, however.

Subaru: “Is there anyone with access to the outside?”

Julius: “A couple members of the Iron Fang are scouting with an eye on the towers… what are you thinking?”

Subaru: “Although this could just be conjecture, isn’t the simplest way of communication just casting magic signals in the air? In such a complex city, verbal communications is troublesome. At the very least, it would take a long time without a Conversation Mirror.”

Julius: “The likelihood that the Witch Cult brought any such mirrors is low. My spirits would doubtlessly have detected them already. —Right, that’s it.”

They reached the same conclusions simultaneously. Subaru spoke first with an “ah”.

Subaru: “So they routinely make easily understood communications. If some type of commotion doesn’t arise, or they fail to notice it, they don’t act. And so, that reduces our need to disperse our combat forces.”

Julius: “… The only problem with this proposal is that one place is different from all the others.”

Subaru: “—The City Hall. The building that can inform the other towers of the attack. So we’d have to start with that one.”

The initial concentration of combat would be focused on the city’s central office. They would have to go there and defeat the Archbishop of Lust with their current force, and destroy the other towers one by one afterward.

Even then, it would be a test of speed, but the risk would be much lower than that of attacking all five locations at once. Subaru thought so, believed so.

Julius: “——”

On the other side of the mirror, Julius fell into a thoughtful silence.

Subaru’s proposal was based on the poor relationship between Regulus and Sirius, optimistically assuming that The Witch Cult was a Mess of Messes.

Of course, if the gospel had given a command like Kill Everyone in Pristella, that hope would be fundamentally subverted.

If he’d known this was going to happen, he should have attempted to ask for the content of the Gospel back then—

???: “—My deepest apologies for being late, can everyone hear me?”

In the middle of a heavy silence, another voice suddenly joined the conversation.

The weather-beaten, aged voice which Subaru so looked up to was more reliable than anything else in the present situation.

The face of a white-haired old man was reflected in the Conversation Mirror.

Subaru: “Wilhelm-san! You’re okay!”

Ferris: “Wil-jii! Thank goodness. You didn’t get in touch, it made people worry!”

Ferris also heard a familiar voice. At their welcome, Wilhelm opened his eyes and nodded.

Wilhelm: “My apologies, I was caught up in some trouble and couldn’t find a calm place. Now, finally, some citizens and I have arrived at a shelter. Subaru-dono and Ferris, seeing your safety gives me peace. And Crusch-sama?”

Crusch: “I’m fine. Wilhelm, I’m so glad you’re safe.”

Wilhelm: “Don’t worry about me… it was due to my powerlessness that I wasn’t at your side in this situation. Please allow me to trouble you to wait quietly. I will find you.”

Subaru: “Amazing, this feeling of relief isn’t normal…”

As Crusch and Wilhelm spoke through the mirror, Subaru, finding that the dialogue between master and subordinate held an overwhelming sense of security, sighed with admiration for Wilhelm.

Then, happy for his safety, Subaru ruminated his conversation with Julius as he attempted to organize a summary for Wilhelm.

However,

???: “There are several things to be said, but this is the most urgent.”

At that moment, Wilhelm vanished from the mirror, replaced by a beastman; a kitten wearing a monocle.

This was the Deputy Chief of the Iron Fang, Tivey, who seemed to have joined forces with Wilhelm. His expression was unusually anxious.

Ricardo: “Hey! If it isn’t Tivey! Your safety is better than than anything else.”

Tivey: “You too, Chief… but, we’re not fine right now. Is my sister with you right now?”

Ricardo: “Mimi? I haven’t seen her, did something happen?”

At Tivey’s feeble voice, Ricardo squinted into the mirror, where someone had replaced Tivey.

Hetaro: “Chief! Sister! Sister was…!”

Ricardo: “Hetaro? Why are you in such a panic?”

The one who had flown into view was Tivey’s identical brother, Hetaro. Flying out with tears is, and Tibi (looks) like the brother of Darkarot. He was usually a mellow youth, but, right now, his face was distorted with grief.

Tears filled his round eyes, and his voice shook as he gazed into the mirror.

Hetaro: “O-Our Divine Protection of Trisection activated, from my sister! H-Her wound was so serious, and sister, she… hk!”

Tivey: “Brother, calm down… It’s like he said. When sister was wounded, the wound also reached me and brother, so…”

Ricardo: “—Understood. Wait there, I’ll find Mimi immediately. Don’t cry, just wait.”

In a voice lower than Subaru had ever heard from him, Ricardo spoke into the mirror.

In that smooth sound, Subaru felt a pressure unlike any he’d felt before, and he stepped back, trembling.

The beastman’s eyes were full of anger, and his open mouth revealed a row of sharp canine teeth. He drew his blade, his large muscles tense.

He almost appeared to be searching for the missing girl in that very moment.

Anastasia: “—Wait, Ricardo. I can’t allow such an arbitrary action.”

The voice which stopped Ricardo from charging out came from another mirror. Ricardo turned back to face Anastasia, who’d claimed the mirror.

He frowned, lifting his blade at his employer.

Ricardo: “Don’t stop me, lady. I don’t want to kid with you right now.”

Anastasia: “Surely, Ricardo, our long bond would have you realize that I’m not kidding around. Don’t make me say it again. Right now, unauthorized actions cannot be allowed. Even for Mimi’s sake.”

Ricardo: “ARE YOU ASKING ME TO ABANDON MIMI !!?”

Opening his mouth, the rage expelled from Ricardo’s mouth shook the air of the shelter.

That intensity was no laughing matter. Subaru stumbled several steps backward, away from the beast who emanated rage. Ricardo fixed his gaze on Anastasia.

Through the mirror, she met it unflinchingly.

Anastasia: “You should understand, Ricardo. We’ve entered unforeseen circumstances. You are my most important weapon. I cannot let you leave without permission.”

Ricardo: “You dare say this? Who do you think you’re talking to, Ana-bo… tch!”

Anastasia: “You, of course. Don’t you forget, dog monster.”

The two spoke names only old acquaintances would recognize. His skin tingling with electricity, Subaru searched for a place to interject.

He wanted to support Ricardo. But he could also understand Anastasia’s sound opinion.

And he was an outside. Anastasia, someone who wasn’t, who held a close relationship with them, chose to prioritize the safety of the city over Mimi.

Subaru realized that there was nothing for him to interrupt. Ricardo, too, should understand.

Subaru: “——”

In this way, time trickled on.

If Ricardo forced his exit, the injured Subaru and non-combatants couldn’t stop him. Anastasia, who looked coolly into his eyes from across the magic mirror — only she could do anything.

However, Ricardo suddenly turned his head away from the mirror’s gaze.

Subaru: “Wait, Ricardo!”

Anastasia: “—Stop, don’t rush to make a conclusion.”

Seeing Ricardo’s movement, Anastasia spoke. Ricardo gave a silent response. He turned back and sniffed at the entrance to the shelter.

Ricardo: “Something’s close by. What is this… the scent of blood?”

Subaru: “The scent of blood…?”

Among so many wounds, he seemed to be able to detect a fresh scent.

Alert, Ricardo held his blade to the entrance of the shelter. Subaru and Ferris swallowed, watching Ricardo’s judgment.

????: “—hk!”

Heavy footsteps cast a shadow over the refuge of the shelter.

In that moment, the patients in the shelter, intimidated by the insolence of the intruder, held their collective breath. It was none other that Subaru who broke that silence.

Standing there was a familiar short, blond figure.

Subaru: “Garfiel!?”

A sweaty, panting Garfiel.

Suddenly noticing Subaru, he ran over with a strange wobble in his step. Then, Subaru noticed. Why Garfiel’s movements were so shaky.

Garfiel: “——”

Everyone was lost for words as Garfiel reached Subaru. There, he bowed his head and sank to his knees, kneeling.

Garfiel: “Sorry, captain… hk! My amazin’ self, is… worthless…! Incompetent… hk!”

After saying so, Garfiel raised a pained cry.

Lying in his bloodied arms was the figure of a dying Mimi.

 

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