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Translated By :
Proofread By :
Art Source :
- Original Art, Modified by Furuta (/u/GracedHarperd)
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ALL RIGHTS BELONG TO TAPPEI NAGATSUKI, THE ORIGINAL AUTHOR OF RE:ZERO STARTING A LIFE IN A DIFFERENT WORLD FROM ZERO, THIS IS A TRANSLATION OF THE FREE JAPANESE WEB NOVEL INTO ENGLISH
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ーーA choice, an extremely cruel choice, was eating up Natsuki Subaru.
Out of nowhere, he heard a sound, as if something were burning at the back of his chest.
It was his own humanity, his trust in himself, his feelings for 『Natsuki Subaru』, something of that sort was burning away.
Natsuki Subaru was standing at a position which would affect 『Natsuki Subaru’s』 destiny, in front of the laughing girl he had pushed down.
His heartbeats were no longer audible. He was breathing heavily, but his lungs had perhaps failed. Even though this was a situation he must somehow work his way out of, he had no cold sweat on his forehead.
Certainly, that was because Natsuki Subaru’s body was currently in a place which was not a part of reality.
When he read the book, his body was not transferred, just his soul wasーー All that, thinking about it now while not complying with the situation, would that count as a desperate attempt to turn his face away from the situation?
And, Subaru’s mind was trying to obtain a temporary state of safety by escaping on to other thoughts.
However, neither time, nor space, nor the one he was confronting would allow this escape.
Louis: “We~ll, what will you be doing, onii-san?”
The girl below him raised her head, looking up to Subaru who was unable to make the choice, and said mockingly.
Looking directly into Subaru’s eyes, she flicked her tongue around to try and lick his eyeball,
Louis: “Pushing down a weak girl and then grabbing her throat. Don’t you feel a bit excited? Or perhaps, doing such things is a common experience for onii-san?”
Louis: “That made you shiver, huh, how nice. Rather, will you now be able to make such an extremely, extremely important choice?”
Tilting her head as she lay down, Louis kissed Subaru’s wrist. Her gestures and the implications of her subtle words reminded Subaru of a certain situation.
That was, the first scene filled with absolute cruelty that Subaru ever saw. ーーHowever, the appearance was exactly the opposite. It was not that which Subaru’s true self had seen with his own eyes, but what the girl which Subaru’s true self had become saw.
As he pushed her, with a truly evil form, he had strangled her throat.
Just like the current situation, when 『Natsuki Subaru』 had strangled Meiliーー.
ーーThe moment he realised this similarity, Subaru’s whole body and his cheeks stiffened.
Louis: “ーーReally, so something similar is indeed in your memories?”
Subaru: “Nons ~hk! “Nonsen……”
Louis: “We’re not saying nonse~nse. Rather, onii-san is the one not being so serious, no? Love yourself with more seriousness, commitment, honesty.”
Louis: “A~h, yes yes. Love yourself. See, love. ーーOnii-san must also love himself the way everyone around onii-san loved him.”
With a flirty tone, she slipped out those words.
What he had heard, was their understanding and sense of sympathy really deepening? Did she actually mean all this, did she really want to comfort him, or was she just mocking him?
Such thoughts were foolish. Louis Arneb’s way of action was deceptive.
Deceptive, deceptive it was.
Louis’ words, her words were like fallen leaves of trees, creating ripples on the surface of the water. If all of them were indeed arbitrary, twisted and deceptive, would it be possible to even reduce this delusion, rather than clearing it up completely?
No, above all, how dangerous would it be to use her words as the basic foundation?
Subaru: “If I…… do just like you say, things will become just like how you say, but, what proof do you have.”
Subaru: “Do you have the proof that if I have 『Natsuki Subaru』 come back, I’ll disappear……!”
Louis: “We don’t. We really don’t. We’re saying we don’t. As we don’t. We said we don’t. But we don’t. Even though we said we don’t. We told you we don’t. Although we don’t…… Will that comfort you?”
Louis: “We’re doomed to endlessly wonder about that, onii-san. After all, we cannot talk about things we don’t know. Whether if we, onii-chan or nii-sama die, what we ate will come back. ーーTo be honest, we have never returned what we have eaten before, so we don’t know. We mean, we ate it, you know.”
Saying that, Louis opened her mouth, revealing her canines and her red tongue and the beginning of her throat, which were completely unappealing to Subaru.
If it was to be considered that memories, the memories of someone, had gotten 『Eaten』, robbed away, then, there would be no actual physical traces left.
However, Subaru was able to feel the terrible heavy weight of the words 『Gotten Eaten』.
Louis: “What are you going to do, onii-san.”
Louis asked Subaru yet again.
During this interrogation, Subaru’s hands had not let go of Louis’ neck. Unable to fully apply strength in his arms, nor retract them away, Subaru had asked questions regarding his own existence.
Subaru: “Gh, hu…… ~hk.”
Death was scary. Horrifying.
The fear he tasted now, however, was different from the one Subaru had tasted four times so far, through 『Return by Death』.
The choice which currently crushed Subaru’s soul was “the value of his own self” being put on a scale.
『Death』 is supposed to be like that in the first place.
If you die, you’ll lose all consciousness and won’t be able to redo it.
Therefore, even if Subaru gets the chance to redo, he has no right to be picky and complain about other details.
Right now he had to make the choice of whether he would disappear or not, so he had no time to worry about such luxuries.
But, it was his own life.
Subaru’s heart had been placed in such a situation, that every second he is between the choice of extinguishing this fire or not, it suffered a crack.
In this parallel world, Subaru had died a total of four times. All of them within a short period of time.
Being thrown into a different world, meeting new people, and then the inevitable circumstances that slapped him which resulted in his death.
The total time he was conscious for was less than even two days.
It had been a short, short period of time. ーーHowever, other than the two days Natsuki Subaru had lived through in this parallel world, he had also lived for a good seventeen years back in his own world.
He had his father. He had his mother. Though there were only a few, he had friends too, and though there were several other subtle relationships, he had several people who would at least greet him back. Looking back now, he got along well with some in Elementary and Junior High schools, and he was well familiar with his neighbours.
Everything didn’t go the best. Subaru sucked at life.
However, as it did not go well, there had been a time of his life filled with trial, but he did not have enough exposure to properly learn the way to deal with life, as Subaru always avoided the big stage.
So, would he be throwing away those times and memories?
If 『Natsuki Subaru』 is returned, things that have happened will not change. But, thinking of those times now, his current self would surely disappear.
His self that swore to protect his commitment with Ram, pledged Meili to protect her, intended to carve forgiveness in Echidna’s heart, scolded Julius to not give up and fight, had full faith in Beatrice’s love, and Emiliaーー.
ーーHis self that fell in love with Emilia, would it disappear?
That realisation sent a crack down Subaru’s body, as he muttered that out.
A crack appeared on his cheek, spider web-like cracks were on both of his arms that held Louis’ neck. He felt no pain. No blood flowed out from those cracks. Strangely enough, there was plain darkness behind those cracks. Neither flesh nor bone, but only an unfathomable, unnatural darkness.
It was just as he had guessed, this wasn’t his true body.
Subaru’s body present here was not real. And as it was not real, his feelings reflected directly, resulting in the cracking and breaking of Subaru’s body.
As the crack spread, the surface of his body peeled and fell off.
That was surely 『Natsuki Subaru’s』 body, who had been deceiving everyone through the shell of Natsuki Subaru’s body.
As it fell off, it peeled away into the void.
Subaru: “No, no, no…… no~…… ~hk.”
Louis: “That’s right. It’s obvious.”
Shaking his head, he denied his fear of death which awaited himーー denied that fear of loss.
Why, must he lose. His self that just confessed his love.
Louis: “Yes yes. We understand. We completely understand. As we understand. We perfectly understand.”
Subaru: “Just, no….. ~hk.”
Louis: “It’s onii-san’s life. Why do you have to hand it over to others.”
Subaru: “I, to everyone…… with everyone, more……”
Want to stay together more with everyone.
He had fallen in love with them. He had completely fallen in love with them. Even though, in those two days he had been wrapped in suspicion, in doubt, and more than once, he had tried to kill them, and escape from them.
Subaru had fell in love with them. Now, he loved them.
If he stayed by their side, who cherished Subaru, he might start liking the self that he hated.
He thought that. With full honesty, he thought that.
Subaru’s life, which had always been drenched in negativity, sunlight, he had finally started to embrace it.
Why must he abandon all that.
All that wasーー,
Louis: “That’s right. That’s how it is. ーーWell, then what do you think should be done?”
Subaru: “……I, just as myself.”
Louis: “Yes, onii-san, just as onii-san. That’s correct. We take it without any second thoughts. It’s like musical chairs. Whoever sits on the empty chair, is the king.”
Louis: “You must leave some hope for the losing opponent you pushed away. You must accept it. Your existence. You must shout it out loud, that you are real! We~ll, isn’t that so!”
Beneath him, close enough to feel each other’s breaths, with her eyes twinkling brightly, shouted Louis.
As if she were bitingーー No, in reality, her neck crawled to Subaru’s wrist as she tried to carve a commandment onto it, inflicting fresh pain.
Looking into his dark black eyes, Louis Arneb screamed.
Louis: “Accept it! ーー『Natsuki Subaru』 is the person closest to onii-san!”
She shouted, in demand for him to establish that.
To stop doing something as foolish as giving up on his own life for others.
Why must he sacrifice his own life for the sake of others.
ーーThat too, for another his own alternate self, someone he won’t ever be able to meet, to make that someone meet those who he loved.
In order to give up the time he spent with them, those precious moments.
As if he would do something so foolish.
Louis: “No~w! Kill him! Let’s kill him! We’ll kill him! We’re killing him! Just kill him! If we kill him! We’ll end up killing him! We’ll really kill him! We will be killing him! If we just kill him! If we can just kill him!”
Subaru: “『Natsuki Subaru』……”
Louis: “Onii-san is, the one and only in this entire world, the irreplaceable Natsuki Subaru!”
One and only in the whole world, not a substitute for anyone, Natsuki Subaru.
Holding hands with Beatrice, exchanging insults with Ram, making Meili sulk, being shocked by Shaula’s openness, exchanging a smile or two with Echidna, trusting Julius to have his back, receiving Patrasche’s unbound love, and falling in love with Emilia, was what he had done.
With those being established, he would be handing it all over to 『Natsuki Subaru』.
At first, his judgement was blurred by various miscellaneous obstacles.
His spirit was having a direct influence on his body. His heartbeats, and the pain of breathing with his lungs could unmistakably be felt.
However, the strongest feeling was that of his uncontrollable tears.
Was that rage or despair, envy or jealousy, guilt or fear?
Subaru had no idea why, just why he had such strong emotions. He didn’t understand anything. However, through those obstacles of tears, there was one thing which Subaru could see.
Someone, overlooked Subaru and Louis.
Looking at the tear-stained Subaru, who had pinned Louis down and had his hands around her neck.
Subaru could only think of one person who could be that individual.
Subaru: “……Did you, get scared by me and come here, 『Natsuki Subaru?』”
The hazy figure said nothing.
A white, foggy figure overlooked Subaru, standing on the white floor, with the backdrop of the white world.
At that existence who had arrived here in a hurry, Subaru twisted his expression, and said.
Subaru: “I…… I don’t want to disappear. Don’t want to die. That’s why, I……”
Subaru: “I want to stay with everyone. I love everyone. That’s why, I……”
Subaru: “That’s why, I……”
As if it were an excuse, Subaru repeatedly whined.
It was same as the time when he clenched Louis’ neck. ーーNot wanting his own self to disappear, he arrived to that conclusion. That’s why, to the one who had appeared, he said all this.
After all, he is, 『Natsuki Subaru』 is, the one he is most familiar with.
So, Subaru is supposed to have that right.
Natsuki Subaru, by killing 『Natsuki Subaru』, bring an end to thisーー.
Sunatu: “That’s why, I am, not you! You and I are……!”
Different, is what he had tried to convey, to bring an end to any other possibilities.
Yes, he tried, at that moment.
Louis: “……Who, are you talking to, onii-san.”
Suddenly, with her eyes widened in seemingly denial, Louis interrupted in between.
Tilting her head, she looked in the same direction as Subaru, in an attempt to see that person. However, as she furrowed her eyebrows sharply and shook her sharp canines,
Louis: “ーーEven though there’s nobody, nobody there, who are you talking to, onii-san?”
Trembling with her sharp teeth, Louis said this with an astonished face.
Her face took the expression of being in denial, as if she had been frightened by something.
Louis: “This is, our place…… no obstructions are supposed to get in. In this place, talking with someone other than us…… just stop. Onii-san is our, our…… ~tsu!”
The hurt Louis let out those words, but Subaru’s consciousness did not get perturbed even slightly.
Subaru’s consciousness was fully focused on the one who undisputedly in front him. His vision had been blurred with tears, but he could see the outline of that shadow.
Someone, whose identity he had no clue of.
As the outline became more and more visibly clear, it seemed to be smiling at Subaru.
He shook his head, blinked strongly in order to see that smile with more clarityーー,
???: “Why, are you only choosing one?”
A question had been asked.
The voice of someone who shouldn’t be here, someone whose voice he had never heard.
A girl he had never seen smilingーー A blue-haired girl stood there and smiled.
That smiling girl, with her smile in place, said to the speechless Subaruーー,
???: “ーーStand up!!”
ーーThat was how she opened.
ーーShe screamed at Natsuki Subaru with the harshest voice in the world.
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???: “ーーStand up!!”
The voice struck Natsuki Subaru, making him tremble, making him crack, making him throb.
With no mercy or hesitation, the sheer fury accelerated Natsuki Subaru’s rate of cracking. ーーAs if bare sharp claws had busted into his mind.
???: “Stand up!”
The blue-haired girl, raised her voice as she faced Subaru.
Staring at Subaru, the girl shouted. Shouted. She shouted.
Lying on his knees, Natsuki Subaru cracked further, a depressed expression on his face.
???: “Stand up!!”
Filled with rage, she repeated.
Again and again, she struck Subaru’s heart mercilessly.
Why must he be struck with such words.
It was hurtful. It was painful. It ached. It was sad. It made his heart about to burst.
He had never felt such an overwhelmingly crushing force of decision that was cracking him away in his life, that too without getting an opportunity to prepare himself mentally. ーーWhich was why, he gave up on regretting it any further.
That’s why, at the very least, he arrived at a conclusion. That’s why, things aren’t fine anymore.
???: “Stand up!”
To Subaru’s stubborn heart, which too scared to face failure, the girl’s tone did not weaken at all. Firmly, with no intention of compromising, she repeated.
He had made a decision. He might as well affirm it. At least, he should show it wasn’t something to worry over. Won’t that be fine. He had suffered enough. Even so, for some reason, the girl, for Subaru was.
???: “Stand upーー!”
With no intention of forgiving Subaru for his decision, she further cracked and broke his heart.
???: “Stand upーー!”
Is she still… saying that.
Why is it, that this voice, this girl.
Even though it’s painful, it’s hurtful.
???: “Stand……! Stand! Stand! Stand up!”
Just who, is this girl?
Where in his memories was this girl?
He had never spoken with her. There were no such memories that Subaru had.
Who she was, what kind of a person she was, he didn’t have the slightest clue about her.
There was no reason for her to be here, that was the kind of relationship they had.
Even then, why was it that he felt this warmth in his chest.
Why, at the back of his chest, he felt slight fever coming up.
???: “Stand up, Natsuki Subaru! Stand up! ーーRem’s hero!!”
Hearing the teary voice of the girl who was not in his memories, as she called out to her hero, his heart trembled.
Subaru’s heart trembled at her laughably unbelievable words.
Cracking, cracking, his cracking accelerates.
It became visible that Natsuki Subaru will break away this shell of 『Natsuki Subaru』.
But what slept inside that shell now was barely any different than what had slept before.
ーーNo, if it were to really change, it would be from now.
Stand up was what she said, and with fear chewing up his heart, he now stood, just as she had wanted.
???: ”If you’ve managed to stand up then, please go. Go, and save, everything.”
Everything, what’s that. What does she mean, everything.
She said it way too bluntly. Just what the hell did everything mean.
???: “Everything is everything. Anything and everything. Everything, everyone, yourself, and your beloved others too!”
What’s up with that.
Is that, even possible to do? Does she actually think that’s doable?
By him, who couldn’t stand so many things, couldn’t even save his own self.
For those who loved Subaru, for those who cared for Subaru, for those who cherished Subaru, for those whose memories he did not want to lose.
Does she seriously believe that Subaru could do this alone?
???: “You can do it. After all”
After all, what.
Give me the strength, give me the answer. If you give it to me, if you say those words.
I truly hope, blue haired girl, through your words, I’llーー,
Rem: “ーーSubaru-kun is…… Rem’s hero.”
He felt something fall into his chest.
That black something, as if it had been purified by the voice of the girl’s seeming confession of love. ーーNo, it wasn’t a seeming confession of love. It was indeed, a confession of love.
His reasons to not let 『Natsuki Subaru』 return, increased.
At the same time, that was not the only thing that increased.
Purified by the girl’s words, that stagnant black glows brightly and changes its shape.
And, this was the moment, Natsuki Subaru felt the strongest pulse he ever had through his very core.
It pulsated. Everything of it, he left all of it behind.
Nevertheless, he wanted to reconsider, he wanted to let go of everything he was bound by, he did not want to let go of anything that was in his hand, he did not want to miss anything that came his way.
In response to that, his cowardly 『Greed』, bloomed into a force to fulfil his desires.
ーーThe agitated factor, now connected with his very existence.
Subaru: “Come, ーーCor Leonis.”
Within Subaru, the seeds of 『Greed』 germinate and bloom.
And, the figure that firmly stood in front of himーー.
At that moment, just the smile of that blue-haired girl, blessed him.
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Slowly looking up to the standing Subaru, Louis said.
He had pulled his hands away from her, as Louis sat up from the golden bed of her hair, as she looked on with confusion, blinking as if she were puzzled.
Louis: “What, happened. Look, continue what we were doing…… you’ll continue, right?”
Louis: “You’ll continue……”
At the word “continue”, Subaru licked his lips with his tongue.
Considering that he only existed in spirit currently, this movement could only serve to relax him a little, the way an utterly meaningless habit would.
However, this one small movement led him to a new discovery.
ーーHis mind was so sharp right now, that even he himself was surprised.
The incomprehensible confusion and panic he felt earlier, both of which were like calm waves, calm waves in the middle of the ocean.
That was whyーー,
Subaru: “You don’t have to say anything else. I’m getting nauseated by your twisted explanations.”
He was also able to now realise the truth behind this malice collected into the form of the girl, how she wanted to distort Subaru’s intentions and wishes for her own good.
When Subaru pointed that out, Louis shook her head, saying “No no no”.
Louis: “Nauseated…… how rude. All we did was to pro~perly offer advice to onii-san just the way we could……”
Subaru: “Doing that, and using such words to manipulate me, stop that too. It’s useless to try and disbalance me up like that. ーーThe current me, will not get disbalanced.”
At those words, Louis narrowed her eyes. She did not know what caused such changes in Subaru. Neither did she know what exactly had changed in him.
Simply, the 『Greed』 to not let go of anything, had reaffirmed Natsuki Subaru.
Subaru had already affirmed himself.
Rather than anything else, to the expectations of the girl who had screamed at him, in that moment.
Then, Subaru looked towards, not Louis’, but her direction.
There stood no girl which had faced and cast her merciless words towards Subaru. By the time Subaru stood up and took a step forward, she had already disappeared.
But, probably, it was fine that way.
Where she needed to be, was neither this place, nor in front of Subaru.
No, that wasn’t true either. It’s just that, the Subaru that should reunite with her, should be the Natsuki Subaru with his memories and feelings of her returned.
And, there was no reason to segregate that Natsuki Subaru and 『Natsuki Subaru』.
Subaru: “I was told so……. again and again.”
ーーHe realised that even without his memories, Subaru was Subaru.
Stubbornly believing that they should be distinguished, differentiated, segregated, was the burden of chained curses within Subaru.
But, what of that.
Subaru had settled to that thought now, this will surely guide him to a thread of hope.
He will hold the hands of everyone he cherished who have the tip of that thread, and will unquestionably guide Subaru onto the right path.
Subaru: “Put away your utensils, you food-thieving escaped fugitive. There’s no noodle soup for you here–“
She widened her eyes.
Striking her fingers together, Louis Arneb looked into Subaru’s eyes with her own eyes widened. And, looking at Subaru, all his expression had was a sense of rejecting.
As she moaned that out.
Her sigh had an emotion difficult to describe.
Louis raises her body, with shivering shoulders, and draws her knees on her round golden carpet.
And slowly, raised her rejected faceーー,
Louis: “ーーA~h, shit, shit, shit. One step, even though just one step was left.”
With a look filled with sheer hatred, Louis glared at Subaru and let out that seemingly cursing voice.
Louis: “Though just one step was left, huh. Though we will regret it, huh. Why, how, were you hurt, huh. ーーWho, broke onii-san, huh.”
A voice full of hatred, as if it came from someone who had been trapped and isolated into the depths of hell, who envied the life and paradise that living beings enjoyed on earth.
With that hateful voice, Louis continued.
Louis: “Even though, with just this one step, we would have had completely torn apart Natsuki Subaru and 『Natsuki Subaru』……!”
Subaru: “…… What’s up with that. Why are you acting like this.”
Louis: “ーーIsn’t that obvious that we wouldn’t eat the same person twice ~tsu!?”
Her strange voice cracked and smashed Subaru, as Louis said so as if she was spitting out blood.
At that spot, she straightens her limbs and stands with facial expressions that had changed completelyーー like that of a beast who had lost its humanity.
Louis: “We must have it different! We must have the 『Natsuki Subaru』 we ate once and the Natsuki Subaru that was left to eat to be different! For getting that taste, we wanted to separate them, but…… it was all fruitless! How laughable!”
Subaru: “…… It’s not laughable. Nothing you said was funny.”
Louis: “That? Is that so!? But, onii-san also hates us, no? Isn’t it fun to see the hated us so saddened? It must be feeling nice, no? Only onii-san…… only you could have had fulfilled us, who are fed up of eating…… For us 『Satiation』, only you could have had ~tsu!”
In front of Louis, who had bloodshot eyes, Subaru murmured “satiation”.
If he had heard her correctly, then her title was supposed to be 『Gluttony』. Why was she now, talking about 『Satiation』.
In front of the confused Subaru, Louis yelled towards the sky “First of all!”.
Louis: “Both Ley of 『Gourmet』! And Roy of 『Bizarre Eating』! Know absolutely nothing! From next to next, blindly stuffing themselves up like a bunch of idiots…… all that for us, who are trapped here and don’t have the freedom of choice? Don’t make us laugh, failed siblings ~tsu!”
Hugging her own golden hair, Louis spat out as her body continued to shiver.
Subaru did not understand the meaning behind her words. What she had said, Ley and Roy, were those perhaps someone’s names?
However, one thing that he learned through the existence of 『Gluttony』, and memories, wasーー,
Subaru: “Are you really fine with…… revealing the names of your partners who you eat things like memories with? Anyway, stealing away such things. Eating them away. Was it?”
Subaru was an example of someone who had his memories eaten, and lost sight of who he was.
Julius was an example of someone who had his name eaten, and had gotten forgotten by everyone around him.
And, Rem, who perhaps had both eaten and was forgotten by the entire world, and fell into an endless slumber.
That was all the work of 『Gluttony』, Louis, and the names of her partners she said earlierーー,
Subaru: “Why are you all doing this? What is your goal?”
Louis: “ーーTo be happy.”
Hearing that spontaneous answer, Subaru was rendered breathless.
Not looking at that reaction, Louis, seemingly due to her mental instability, gnawed her teeth.
Louis: “To be happy. What other goal can there be? The goal of living is to be happy, no? Or perhaps, did you think the hated us had twisted away from even that? Wrong. You’re wrong. As you’re wrong. You’re wrong anyway. Because you’re too wrong. We’re saying you’re wrong. Because we’re telling you you’re wrong! A~h, soul hurts…… ~tsu!”
Subaru: “What is the relation between the goal of being happy and stealing away other’s memories……”
Louis: “ーーOnii-san we~ll, have you ever thought that life is unfair?”
Subaru: “I have.”
Louis: “Awa ~tsu.”
Displaying her teeth, with her white hand on her back, Louis asked. Seeing Subaru instantaneously nod to her question, Louis muttered out a bitter “Of cou~rse”.
Pressing her hands on her thin chest, she continued to show her teeth.
Louis: “We have, too. Rather, life is unfairness itself. We can’t choose our birth, we can’t choose our parents, we can’t choose our surroundings, we can’t choose our future, we can’t choose anything at all. We’re just in such a system. We’re just sitting on such a belt conveyor.”
Louis: “ーーBut, what if, that wasn’t like that?”
Louis tilted in front of the silent Subaru.
Louis: “What if we could choose our birth? What if we could choose our parents? What if we could choose our surroundings? What if we could choose our future? What if everything was just like how we chose? ……Everyone would choose a better life, no? Are we wrong?”
Subaru: “That’s…… Maybe so, but.”
Subaru tries to figure out the relationship between that and the crimes committed by Louis and the others.
But, at Subaru’s words, Louis gnashed her teeth.
Louis: “ーーThat’s it.”
Subaru: “…… Ah?”
Louis: “If we choose our birth, if we choose our parents, if we choose our surroundings, if we choose our future, if everything is how we choose, everyone would choose for a better life. ーーThat’s why, we are taking time out, and are working hard, to find the best life for us.”
Louis: “Certainly, it is somewhere ~tsu! A life in which we live with our head held high, live like us! A future so bright, that we get to say that we were glad we got to live this way! Till the time we meet that fated life, we’ll eat, we’ll chew, we’ll sip, we’ll swallow, we’ll drink, gluttonous drinking ~tsu! Gluttony ~tsu!”
With absolutely no signs of hesitation, Louis Arneb shouted out her beautiful objectives.
From the bottom of her heart, she truly believed that her pursuit for happiness would only be able to grasp the best for her only through this method.
In her own life, Louis had not discovered any hopes or expectations.
For some reason, in the life of the girl named Louis Arneb, the beginning was unfavourable. Her starting point was wrong. ーーThat was why, she wanted to do something that she couldn’t.
Her birth, her parents, her surroundings, her future, her talents, she wanted to win all these blessing for her own self.
Those are exactly what the conditions are for maximising one’s enjoyment and happiness in life.
Subaru: “For that, you steal away people’s memories, and eat them……?”
Louis: “If we find the life we desire, we’ll affix that 『Name』 and 『Memory』 and live that life with our head held high. Unfortunately enough, till now everyone has been rejected…… There were some lives which were on a good line but, you know, we won’t be satisfied by just a few good experiences here and there.”
With her voice trembling feverishly, Louis gently slipped her finger through her patchy clothes and touches her body beneath, and that fancy gesture did not seem unfitting for her age.
If her, if 『Gluttony’s』 words were true, then she had eaten an uncountable number of people’s lives, and must have had acquired physical experiences of such extent which would not be possible to be experienced by a single person.
A seeker of satiation, who had trampled on men, women, children, the elderly, even the boundaries of different creatures and tribes, enjoyed all kinds of experiences that exist, and tasted them all.
It is just as what Louis herself had said.
She was tired. Of eating others’ lives.
For her, who kept eating, the 『Delicious Parts』 of normal people’s lives, all of them were common, repetitive, boring and old-fashioned substitutes.
However, just like some could be comprehended, there some parts of Louis’ mind that were incomprehensible.
Subaru: “Then why did such a picky eater like you, even use that pain in the ass method to have me? Something like not letting go of anything edible that you got, is that against your pride as a food fighter or something?”
Louis: “It’s not such a stupid reason. ーーBecause onii-san, is our fate.”
Subaru angrily and alertly glares at Louis, who had let out her true thoughts in idiotic honesty.
However, Louis’ eyes that looked at Subaru, their passion could not be refuted. She seriously loved Subaruーー not his personality, but his 『Life』.
As for why. That wasーー,
Louis: “Young and old, all kinds of humans, races, positions, standings, we have eaten anything and everything but, there is one thing, we are not familiar with. Do you know what it is?”
Subaru: “What could it be. I don’t know. Like, my good-for-nothing self’s sorrows or something.”
Louis: “ーーThe experience of 『Death』.”
As soon as he heard that, Subaru closed one eye and ceased all movement.
Staring at that Subaru, Louis lifted her thin arms and turns her palms towards him.
Louis: “No matter how many people’s memory we eat, it’s just impossible. The memory of 『Death』, we can never get our hands on just that. Because it is like that, no? Memories are the record of someone’s life when they were alive. That’s why, something like the memories of death don’t exist. ーーOnly onii-san, is the sole exception.”
The ability of 『Return by Death』 was loved, envied, and desired by Louis.
For a girl tired of all experiences in this world, there was only one boy who could provide her with a fresh experience.
Louis: “Hey hey, how does it feel like to die? It must be painful, no? It must be hurtful, no? It must be difficult, no? It must ache a lot? There would also be a moment it stops aching? Is what they say about it being a pleasant experience true? When you die, are you normally happy? Or, do you feel nothing anymore? Is it an easy victory? Hey hey, heyhey, heyheyhey!”
Subaru: “……If you have my memories of everything till yesterday, then, won’t you already know all that.”
Louis: “Just as a memory, yes. But, actually, that’s old, it’s not real! We wish for a more raw feeling. We can’t be satisfied by reclaiming old used ingredients. What can fill us is only something that is new, fresh, and something which nobody else knows ~tsu!”
That was why, following up with those words,
Louis: “A special memory that has not been experienced by anyone in this world! Not only that, the ability to just do things again by dying if you ever make a mistake! Even after finding the best life, there is always a possibility that a failure may ruin everything, no? But, in onii-san’s life, that’s not there! It’s fine, we’ll do it so that we’re not found out!”
Louis: “Neither Emilia would, nor Beatrice, nor Ram, nor Meili, nor Julius, nor Echidna, nor Shaula, nor Patrasche, nor Petra, nor Otto, nor Garfiel, nor Frederica, nor Lewes, nor Roswaal, nor Clind, nor Annerose, nor Felt, nor Reinhardt, nor Old Man Rom, nor Ton Chin Kan, nor Crusch, nor Felix, nor Wilhelm, nor Ricardo, nor Mimi, nor Hetaro, nor Tivey, nor Priscilla, nor Al, nor Schult, nor Kiritaka, nor Liliana, anyone and everyone anyone and everyone anyone and everyone! Deceiving them all, we will live happily!”
Louis pointed her hands towards him, and pretended to be acting cutely.
Louis: “That’s why, please. ーーLet us fill our stomach, and eat, onii-san’s life?”
Pitiably, she must have had unquestionably found this choice to be the most suitable from all the countless memories she had.
It was also the proof that, regardless what kind of ingredients may be available, they would all be put to waste if they aren’t cooked properly.
For the moment, there were no ingredients. For the moment, there was just a good dish, was one of Subaru’s favourite phrases.
He had never felt it this way.
Not valuing the experiences of countless, several, normal people.
Subaru had never met such a wasteful existence before.
Subaru: “ーーThis is the third time, isn’t it. My suffering, my death, my life, everything of it is all mine. Not a single bit of it is something you can just eat up!”
Subaru: “Starve to death, idiot. If you can choose only one way to die in your life, then that’s what I recommend to you. ーーThe most painful way, in this world.”
Gesturing his neck being scraped with his thumb, asserted Subaru.
At those words, Louis widened her eyes and then looked at her own hands. Then, with both her hands on her face and looking up towards the white sky, she moaned out a “A~a~a~a~h.”
Louis: “We’ve, failed. We’ve done it. We did it. We did do it. We ended up doing it. We have really done it. As we’ve done it. Because we’ve done it……. A~h, a~a~a~a~h.”
With shaking hands and shivering knees, Louis collapsed on the spot.
What was truly shocking was how serious her desire for Subaru was. The outcome of that seriousness were those words, and the way she lost all her spirit.
Even Subaru could not keep up the attitude of further damaging her.
Subaru: “I will not become how you wished. My name is Natsuki Subaru. It’s the name that Natsuki Kenichi And Natsuki Naoko gave me. ーーNothing else. I am me.”
Louis: “Even though it may get overwritten, and disappear?”
Subaru: “I’ll let you on some magic spells. ーーThat is that, this is this.”
He intended to fire those magic spells the same way Julius had fired at him.
If 『Natsuki Subaru』 was made to return, the current Subaru may disappear. However, he may not disappear as well. There may be ways to make sure he doesn’t get erased.
In this white place, he may find a way to compromise that.
Subaru: “I, who rises into others’ hearts, have no need to behave like I am a ray of sunlight to them. That’s my answer. Get a haircut, stupid.”
Throwing that dirty line, Subaru turned away from Louis.
He did not care about being vigilant to keep his gaze fixed at her, rather than that, he needed to find a way to exit this unknown dimension more importantly.
As soon as possible, return to Emilia and the others, and read Reid’s 『Book of the Dead』 again.
Firstly, why did Reid’s 『Book of the Dead』 lead into this placeーー,
Louis: “ーーA~h, enough. So there’s no choice but to leave the rest to onii-chan and nii-sama, hu~h.”
Behind Subaru, who was submerged in his thoughts, sighed Louis.
Hearing that, Subaru stopped and looked backwards. Louis lay on her golden hair, with her face covered by her palms, as she flapped her legs around.
Onii-chan and, nii-sama.
Louis had mentioned them quite a few times. If that’s just as how Subaru imagined, thenーー,
Subaru: “ーーLey and, Roy. 『Gourmet』 and 『Bizarre Eating』?”
Louis: “We cannot go out of this place. That’s why, unless onii-chan and nii-sama eat, we can’t choose what to eat either…… So, we requested them.”
Rethinking those negative thoughts, Subaru encouraged her to speak.
It felt as if it would take some time for Louis to say anything. Eventually, as if she traced Subaru’s frustration, Louis’ red lips trembled,
Louis: “Isn’t this the second time onii-san came here, since last night. ーーThat’s why, both onii-chan and nii-sama, either of them must have had noticed. About where, onii-san went.”
ーーHer words made it clear, those two threats now approached the 『Pleiades Watch Tower』.
Louis: “Both of them, were quite interested in onii-san. That’s a matter of course. ーーBecause onii-san has plenty of experiences, that they have never had before.”
Subaru: “Sh, it…..! You….. ~hk.”
Louis: “ーーA~h, how unfair.”
Knowing that truth, Louis muttered to Subaru, who had suddenly started to shiver.
Louis’ out-of-context mutters, Subaru understood the meaning behind them right away.
Subaru: “Is that, an exit!?”
Behind Subaru’s back, a crack opened up in the white space, with the other side visibly distorted.
Simply jumping out of this space was not possible, their obvious disagreement was what had caused this.
In response to his intentions, Subaru needed to return to that archive.
Louis: “You can’t do it. Onii-san can never do it. Even though we want you to do it.”
The existence of the exit, before that, Subaru was unsure about how to deal with Louis’ treatment.
Maybe all that about her not having any fighting strength, including when she had revealed her desires and her attitude of that time, and how she did resist her neck being crushed, were just as they looked, true.
Therefore, it was physically possible, for Subaru to deal with Louis at this place.
As he considered it, for just a single moment, her clouded gaze saw through his intention.
Louis: “Even if you are suspicious, even if you are despairing, whether it’s yourself, those around you, or those you hate, you can never kill them. You spineless coward. ーーEven though we were gentle with you.”
Subaru: “ーー. No, it’s fine to get cavities sometimes. Brush your teeth, stupid.”
Subaru raised his middle finger against Louis, who wore a horrible expression.
Subaru attempted to put his body into the crack without looking back at Louis or hearing any more of her cheap words. Just before that, he hesitated a bit, at just that moment.
He did not regret Louis. He fully believed that he doesn’t have to look back onto her face.
Subaru’s sole regret was only because of him parting ways, not with Louis, but the voice that made Subaru stand up.
At just that moment, appeared for motivating Natsuki Subaru, that girl.
With her memories and name robbed away from her, henceforth, called out to only Subaru at the end of her world.
Subaru: “It’s fine. ーーI remember, that promise.”
Natsuki Subaru will surely not forget about it.
Therefore, they will surely meet again.
ーーAs he thought that he would have had preferred her gentle voice, rather than her harsh one.
With such enthusiasm, and his desire to return back to his comrades, Subaru went through the crack.
※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※
Louis: “A~h, a~h, a~h, shit! Not even looking back, what a man ~tsu!”
Louis: “We’ll not let you go. We’ll not let you escape. No way, no way…… ~tsu!”
Louis: “Don’t think it ends with this, Natsuki Subaru…… ~tsu!”
Louis: “Your life, is o~o~o~ urs ~tsu!!”