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Art Source :
- Anime, modified by Furuta
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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As the white world peeled away, the coloured world which lied beyond, at the other side, got rebuilt.
God’s enormous, rough and overwhelming paintbrush added colours to the world.
It seemed as if he watched the world being painted with colours from the confined colourless space, an exotic feeling.
He had heard the legend of God creating the world in seven days, but it did not necessarily seem like God assembled the building blocks of the world in seven days, it rather felt as if God had painted it out on the colourless canvas.
ーーOd Lagna’s cradle. Or, the『Hall of Memories』.
From a seemingly different dimension, Natsuki Subaru’s existence was being extracted away from.
Being separated away from that space unfamiliar to the former world, the fragments of his consciousness gradually tied up, and bit by bit, his self was being reformedーー,
At that voice, Subaru opened his eyes, as he was struck with his thirst.
With blurred vision, as he blinked over and over again in this world, he realised that his back and hips felt something hard and cold. He was perhaps lying against a wall somewhere.
Immediately after that, he noticed the signs of the existence in front of his eyes.
In front of Subaru was a grief-stricken girl with a peculiar pattern in her eyesーー it was Beatrice, with a fancy dress and a cute appearance.
Subaru realised that he had returned from the 『Hall of Memories』 to the former world, to the watchtower, to despair and concern.
Beatrice: “How’s your consciousness? Is it alright, I suppose? We should confirm that you didn’t accidentally lose your memories, in fact. For starters, do you know Betty?”
Blinking her eyes, Beatrice touched Subaru’s face and chest in the intense surroundings.
She knew that it wasn’t something she could confirm by touching him, but to someone worried, it served as a reassurance. With his cheek being touched, Subaru answered in that mood, and said “I’m fine, I’ll be alright.”
Subaru: “No problems at all. I do remember. My memories are safe, you…… Beatrice, I haven’t forgotten about you. Of course, that goes for everyone else as well.”
Beatrice: “……We~ll, you’ll get praise for calling Betty by her name for the first name, in fact.”
Beatrice, who had touched Subaru’s cheeks, let out a sigh of relief and relaxed her eyes as she saw him call her name. At her reaction, Subaru also loosened his lips, and stroked her head without any hesitation.
Taking in a deep breath, as he felt Beatrice accept his palm with narrowed her eyes, Subaru reaffirmed his memories, their safety.
Although he had asserted that “I remember” to Beatrice, it was difficult for him to find enough confidence for that.
The encounter he had had just previously, the Sin Archbishop of 『Gluttony』, Louis Arneb.
She was unquestionably a monster who had eaten countless 『Names』 and 『Memories』, but it was unknown how her ability to eat those memories was actually used.
It was not certain whether actually biting was needed, or just to declare 『Eating』, or a more complex procedure. ーーThe more powerful the conditions and restrictions, the more complex the requirements, the greater the power is promised into those hands. He wanted to have an idea.
That aside, Subaru did not know if those conditions could be satisfied in the『Hall of Memories』in the first place. The truth was, physical contact, biting the arm, or licking. If they were the conditions, then he was totally done for.
Therefore, it was indeed possible for his memories to disappear without even her presenceーー,
Subaru: “ーーIt’s probably fine. The promises and love, are all still within my chest.”
His heartbeats rise when he thinks of Emilia, and feels the desire to pat Beatrice when he worries about her. It was proof that all doubts had disappeared within Subaru, and he wished for the safety of his friends.
He doesn’t need to proceed alone, at the very least, he wouldn’t experience those horrors again that way.
???: “ーーNatsuki-kun, have you come back?”
A voice stroked Subaru’s eardrums, who was reaffirming the presence of his memories in his mind.
Raising his face, he saw Echidna with her purple hair fluttering, as he put Beatrice aside. Subaru noticed that she had arrived late after making some compromises.
Subaru: “…….Emilia-chan, and the others are?”
Echidna: “Good, it appears you haven’t lost the ability to look around. Do you remember what you had been doing just before this?”
Echidna, with a look which seemed to convey that she were looking at someone pitiful, looked at Subaru, who looked back innocently, as he understood the meaning hidden behind her wordsーー that a few of his comrades were missing.
Neither was it something cute like they were hiding behind the bookshelves in the archive in wait to surprise him. Touching the thick black binding on his knee, Subaru exhaled.
Right now, the only members who were present here, wereーー,
Subaru: “Beatrice and Echidna, and Meili……?”
Meili: “Onii-san, so you’re finally up? You overslept so~ much, I was feeling lonely.”
Subaru: “Oversleep, huh……”
At Meili’s negative words, Subaru slammed his palm on his head.
Somehow managing to calm himself down, Subaru now tried to figure out what had come up.
In this room, he could not see Emilia, Ram, Julius or Shaula.
There were only three people here along with Subaru, that being said, all four of them were non-combatants. The situation were plenty strange, but what was more strange wasーー,
Subaru: “It can’t be that I had just opened the book, isn’t that right? How much time was I unconscious for?”
Beatrice: “ーー. About an hour, I suppose. Till now, the books had been finished in a few seconds, so we were concerned if something happened to Subaru, in fact.”
Subaru: “One hour……”
Thanks to Beatrice’s answer, Subaru figured out the time lag between the『Hall of Memories』and reality wasn’t large.
The challenge he faced now really was different from what happened when he read 『Book of the Dead』normally. That『Hall of Memories』really did exist somewhere, and the time he spent there seemed to be authentic as well.
He encountered Louis, opened his heart to Louis, got licked, strangled her throat and resisted 『Natsuki Subaru』ーーand, refused her with gentle yet harsh words.
It would be safe to say that Subaru hadn’t been seeing such a convenient dream all that time. However, it was undeniable that the limited time he passed there did indeed pass.
Subaru: “Why are Emilia-chan and the others, not with you?”
Echidna: “While you were, quite literally, immersed in that book, some abnormalities came up here, you see. The four not present here are going around, dealing with those.”
Echidna: “The first one to notice the abnormalities was Shaula. It might be said that it was expected of the one who holds the position of defending this watch tower, no?”
Although her tone was calm, the content of her words wasn’t so settling. Echidna responded to Subaru with a voice that repressed her feelings.
She pointed to the entrance of the room, the staircase which led to downstairs,
Echidna: “Shaula said that something was approaching the tower from the outside. After that, she was lightning fast. In order to confirm the reason behind the abnormalities, and to stop them, she headed out without losing any time.”
Meili: “The cool onii-san then went after he~r. In that time, the silver-haired onee-san and the maid onee-san went to take the sleeping younger sister, I think.”
Subaru: “So after that, we four were left in this place, huh. ーーTo be honest, though it makes me feel lonely, it was the correct answer. Especially in this situation, we don’t want to be in an unfamiliar place.”
Responding to Echidna and Meili’s report, Subaru sighed out his words in this situation of utter confusion.
Subaru is thankful to Shaula, who noticed something concerning and Julius, who followed her, and Emilia and Ram for their actions as well.
If the body of the blue-haired girl, Rem, could be safeguarded, then he could crush all his worries one by one.
ーーBefore the emergency that could happen any second from now.
Echidna: “ーーThat reaction, Natsuki-kun, are you aware of something?”
Out of nowhere, Echidna asks a question seeing Subaru’s subtle expressions. Targeted by that mindful gaze, Subaru tried to respond that very second, as he shook his head.
There was no need for him to mix-up or complicate. He could go ahead with bothersome words if only he wanted to have his comrades’ heads’ ache.
Subaru: “I’ll tell you what happened from the conclusion. ーーThe plan of reading Reid’s book and seeing through his past failed. I couldn’t see his past, so nothing much could be made for that.”
Beatrice: “You could not see his past, I suppose? What in the world does that mean, in fact?”
Subaru: “Something got in the way. ーーThe Sin Archbishop, of 『Gluttony』.”
Though he had got those words several times till now, he finally conveyed them fully.
Hearing the words that came from Subaru’s mouth, Beatrice blinks her eyes in astonishment. Though Subaru had heard of the words Sin Archbishop for the first time by Louis, though it perhaps wasn’t the same for them.
Echidna: “Though it’s frankly unbelievable to some extent, the Sin Archbishop of『Gluttony』is in the book…… In this situation, it would be uncertain to say that it was literally in the book, but let’s say it was in it and?”
Echidna furrows her eyebrows, as she pondered with a difficult face. In her eyes, more than doubt, was uneasiness. Even so, her uneasiness was still directed to Subaru.
It was increasingly obvious that her anxiousness had more to it than just the issue of Subaru’s memories.
Subaru: “Though Beatrice had said the same earlier, I didn’t lose my memories…… It’s the truth. I haven’t forgotten the faces of my friends, and my love for Patrasche is still genuine.”
Meili: “I don’t know why Dragon-chan’s name was mentioned there tho~ugh……”
Puffing up her cheeks, Meili made a face filled with anger at Subaru’s words.
Her anger was fitting. The truth was, Subaru had already lost his memories once. The presence or absence of his memories was ambivalent , and without any subjective symptoms, nothing could be proved.
ーーHowever, at this moment, Subaru could say with full confidence that that wasn’t the case.
Subaru: “I’m really glad to see you’re so worried for me, but I haven’t forgotten anything. I can assure you.”
Echidna: “Though I am very doubtful of that assurance…… But if you have such confidence, then there must be some ground to it, no?”
Subaru: “ーーBecause I, who was completely doomed to fall before『Gluttony』, was saved by Rem, you see.”
The only one to follow the name that was mentioned till it’s very echo, was Beatrice.
That’s why, unlike Echidna and Meili who did not make an extreme expression, Beatrice took the form of complete surprise.
To Beatrice, who was in such a shape, Subaru nodded. ーーNo matter what kind of a memory it was, the reason Subaru did not get them robbed away from him by Louis, was only because of her existence.
In that place, the girl that encouraged and made Subaru stand up, who had started to break into fragments.
Her existence could not allow such a gap for 『Gluttony』, was what he truly believed.
Beatrice: “Subaru, give a detailed explanation, I suppose. That too……”
Looking directly into Subaru’s black eyes, Beatrice asked for a detailed explanation. However, by the ending of the little girl’s words, a deathly quakeーー shook the tower.
Though it was obvious that the bookshelves would shake, the shaking of the tower itself was obviously unnatural. This was probably because of the emergency that Shaula went to take care of.
Henceforth, Beatrice, blinking just once.
Beatrice: “As briefly as possible, in fact.”
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Subaru: “ーーWhen I dove into the『Book of the Dead』, I was brought to, not Reid’s past, but a place which was white and had nothing. That was where『Gluttony』…… the girl Sin Archbishop, Louis was present. According to that Louis, that place was something like Od Lagna’s cradle, the『Hall of Memories』, basically.”
Inside the tower, with continued tremors that could faintly be heard as soles of feet, Subaru began to explain what he had seen in the 『Book of the Dead』.
The reality of his encounter with the girl in the white space knows as the『Hall of Memories』. The interposition of a supernatural existence possessing overwhelming strength, Od Lagna.
Though they were just a bunch of words and phenomena of unknown meaning to Subaru, they should prove to be important information to those who have both common sense and a right mind in this world.
As Subaru explained, Beatrice deeply muttered “Od Lagna……”.
Subaru: “Louis said it was a mechanism to keep the world from breaking. Do you have any idea?”
Beatrice: “Even Betty isn’t well-knowledgeable regarding that, I suppose. But at least that it is said to be the world’s core point…… where all the mana returns to, is known, in fact.”
Turning her neck sideways, Beatrice voiced out her doubt. Putting her finger on her sliding down drills, she continued to fidget with her hair.
Beatrice: “All mana returns there, subsequently circulating…… In other words, Od Lagna is an existence heavily tied to the death and regeneration of spirits. That’s why, it wouldn’t be correct to say Betty and the others of her kind are unrelated to it.”
Echidna: “However, we are special because of our origins. Not because of the fact that our existence is tied to Od Lagna. Taking that into consideration, I wonder if we can actually maintain an objective view at Od Lagna, unlike normal spirits.”
Subaru: “Unlike normal spirits, you say…… Is that so. So the reason why you lived for so long is because of that.”
Echidna took over Beatrice’s words, which caught Subaru’s attention.
Though the topic itself was deviating, it seemed true that Beatrice and Echidna had lived hundreds of years.
The reason for the longevity of their lives was perhaps their origin, not just because they were spirits.
Subaru: “If you ask me, Beatrice’s cuteness makes her seem more like a fairy than a spirit.”
Beatrice: “……That, Subaru said that once before too, I suppose. Subaru’s level of ignorance is unknown, but here, fairy is not a compliment, in fact. That’s why, we~ll, Betty honestly can’t feel either happy or insulted, so it’s just weird, I suppose.”
Subaru: “Uh, is that so. I was pretty rude, then.”
Indeed, in places home to fantasy, fairies have the image to have had immensely harmed humans.
If the same thought applied to this world as well, then it was natural that calling someone a fairy won’t be considered a compliment.
Subaru: “Sorry. I meant, that you are cute enough to be chowed down upon.”
Beatrice: “The feeling of wanting to eat being complementary to cuteness is worrying, in fact!”
Subaru: “Huh, is that so? Isn’t it like you just want to gulp down something cute?”
Meili: “That reminds me, bad animal-chan’s carefully put their babies in their mouth, and the~n kill them or something.”
By Meili’s unnecessary remark, Beatrice trembled with fear.
Regardless, the topic had deviated from the original. What was crucial here wasーー,
Echidna: “ーーThat, cradle of Od Lagna. Is that the location of the『Hall of Memories』?”
Subaru: “It is where the soul is filtered, and all that is what it was described to be, you know?”
Echidna: “Filtering the soul…… Meaning filtering and cleansing it? If we think that Od Lagna’s role was just mana circulation, then this isn’t even funny.”
Echidna’s opinion was fully agreed upon by Subaru.
Subaru, who had seen that place himself, could not laugh at it simply thinking it was just an exaggeration of some sort.
Each of the deads’ soul arrived at the『Hall of Memories』and gets circulated.
Then, the soul was washed away of it’s dirt like memories and experiences, stained on it by the living of that life, becoming like a completely cleansed platter, and started a new life again.
Subaru: “I think I have a good explanation for all this. The system of reusing the soul of a dead person…… the『Memory』that gets cleansed over there, becomes a book in this library.”
Echidna: “So it’s not that it disappeared somewhere, because of the fact that the dead are still remembered in this world. Looking at these bookshelves, there really is no writer mentioned either.”
These bookshelves, banished from the world, recorded everything that arrived at the 『Hall of Memories』.
In other words, the 『Hall of Memories』 was place for compilation for making the『Books of the Dead』. From there, any memory that arrived was compiled into the form of a book and stored in these shelves as a 『Book of the Dead』.
And, 『Gluttony』 was obstructing that through its evil acts, stealing away the memory and history of people from where they are originally supposed to be.
ーーThat exactly was the identity of the power of『Gluttony』.
Subaru: “If that’s true, then the soul filtration that Od Lagna is supposed to do, is being done by them arbitrarily. With that, they gulp down the stolen『Memory』into their stomach, and literally eat the『Life』of others.”
When that was put into words, it became clear how inestimable that would be.
Louis had adamantly declared that it was the『trial and error for achieving happiness』. She said that she would continue to eat and swallow lives till she found a life appropriate for herself.
It was the same as continually attempting to win a lottery till you ultimately strike the victory.
As a result of having the ability to play boundlessly, Louis chose the way of robbing others and find happiness for herself for those brothers of her’s. ーーTo Subaru, that was dreadful.
Not Louis’ judgement. It was that her idea was not something special or out-of-the-box.
Anyone would choose to play boundlessly if they got the chance to.
That’s why, the actions of Louis Arneb, were just an extreme version of human desiresーー,
Beatrice: “Even if that’s the case, you can’t continue going for the win if you know others will be sacrificed in doing that, I suppose.”
Beatrice: “Knowing that there will be sacrifices, but still continuing to play the lottery, is the not the way a sane person would think, in fact. That’s why, something like sympathy doesn’t exist for a Sin Archbishop, I suppose.”
Reading Subaru’s idea, Beatrice said so with a voice sweet to the ears.
No sympathy could exist for someone so cruel. Beatrice was well aware of Subaru’s thoughts, and only said the words which Subaru himself was unable to say.
Yes, there was indeed no room for sympathy.
They themselves may not have had been to blame if they stood in different positions than now. Even so, a person who took the very first step in the wrong direction, continues to deviate further from the original path as he further proceeds.
No matter who it is, they must get the fruit for their actions.
Meili: “But, it’s pretty strange. Why did the book of a known person connect to that whatever pla~ce?”
Subaru: “That’s…… because the soul of a dead person is recycled at the『Hall of Memories』, and from there the book is linked like wholesale…… No, what a useless explanation.”
Subaru was unable to clearly clarify Meili’s doubts.
Why did Reid’s『Book of the Dead』connect to the『Hall of Memories』?
At the very least, Subaru, before losing his memories, was supposed to have had read 『Books of the Dead』 once. He had also heard of Julius reading one at the timing, and he had already experienced reading Meili’s book in a former loop.
But, in those experiences, there was no instance of someone being thrown into that dimension.
Then, should it be considered that Louis purposefully intervened?
Subaru: “But, it didn’t seem like『Gluttony』intended to summon me. Even to her, it felt like my appearance was unexpected…… Reid’s『Book of the Dead』is not supposed to have had done it either.”
Beatrice: “ーーThere is just one hypothesis, in fact.”
In front of Subaru, who was drowned in his thoughts, said Beatrice, with a finger raised.
Looking at her fingertip, Subaru said “Hypothesis?” in an attempt to encourage her to continue.
Subaru: “Tell us. What possibilities are there?”
Beatrice: “The 『Books of the Dead』 of the archive records the memories that get stripped away from souls in the 『Hall of Memories』, I suppose. The normal mechanism is to read them in the form of a book……. But, what do you think will happen if that record will be used for other purposes, in fact?”
Subaru: “Using the memories of the dead in a way other than the 『Books of the Dead』? But, how is that possible if it’s not using them for the『Book of the Dead』……”
Echidna: “ーーAh, I see, is that so. Intelligent indeed, Beatrice.”
Subaru furrowed his eyebrows at Beatrice’s words. However, Echidna interjected with her words, seemingly understanding. Not just that, following up Echidna, even Meili put her fingers on her mouth, and said.
Meili: “Could it mean that?”
Subaru: “Wait wait, don’t make a face as if you understand. You’re such a loser. It’s good that you have found a new part of yourself and all, but showing that you don’t understand what you don’t understand is a must for kids.”
Receiving Subaru’s words while pressing her fingers, Meili confirmed Beatrice’s words. At that, Beatrice let out a sigh,
Beatrice: “Meili’s idea is correct, I suppose…… Reid is, like that.”
Subaru: “Well um, that means?”
Echidna: “Reid’s past could not be referred to through his 『Book of the Dead』. That is because there is no record of Reid Astrea actually in it. Reid’s record right now is being used differently, ーーIn order to reproduce Reid Astrea for taking the trial.”
Hearing the explanation of the grumbling Echidna, Subaru finally came to understood.
Subaru: “Along with that, it also explains how I got my memories eaten by Louis yesterday at the 『Hall of Memories』.”
The Subaru of yesterday had undoubtedly concluded to the same strategy as the current Subaru. In result of trying to read Reid’s book in the library, he landed up in that world of white.
The truth was, Louis herself had said that this was her second meeting with Subaru since last night. When they first came in contact, she robbed away Subaru’s memories, and tried to finish off the leftovers when they met the second time.
Subaru: “But, if you take that into consideration, then Reid’s book can never be used to capture him huh…… Or, instead, it could send you straight to the dangerous 『Gluttony』.”
Echidna: “I suppose so. That being said, though it was indeed unexpected, the one to be held responsible for making Natsuki-kun lose his memories could be stated as just fortune. Taking memories away was not a function of the tower….. Because they didn’t wish for creating a trap that led straight to『Gluttony』from the very beginning.”
Subaru: “That’s, we~ll, um, I guess so.”
Whether the creator of this tower wanted to move the trap to a point where it leads to an instant death or not, was unknown. This was perhaps only a matter of accident that it turned out like this.
If that wasn’t the case, then the person who planned this tower out possessed a catastrophic way of thinking and a hellish personality.
Though Subaru has no memories of it but, the way Shaula addresses him as master, and talks to Subaru like he is that very same person, there existed a possibility even more disturbingly scary than that.
Subaru: “With Reid reproduced, his book was “blank” and contained nothing. That’s why that『Book of the Dead』linked directly to that part of the Od Lagna…… am I right?”
Beatrice: “For now, that is the only hypothesis we have, I suppose. Why one of 『Gluttony』 was hidden in there is still a mystery. But, the one thing that can be said is……”
The series of inexplicable events that happened around Reid’s 『Book of the Dead』.
There was one hypothesis around that. Naturally, questions whose answers weren’t found still remain unanswered. However, unfortunately, Subaru and the others did not have the time to ponder over that question.
The proof of that wasーー,
???: “ーーEchidna! Is everyone alright!?”
Rushing up the stairs, a solitary knight arrived in this archive of『Taygeta』. Echidna quickly turned her head backwards, and focused her eyes on that person.
Echidna: “Julius, you seem in quite the hurry, don’t you?”
Julius: “Things we did not expect to happen have come up. As fast as possible, I’d like to hear everyone’s thoughts on them…… Mh.”
It was Julius, as he came up, answering Echidna’s question.
He had stiffened his cheeks, sensing the tension and cautious atmosphere, but seeing Subaru lying down, his two yellow eyes slightly twitched.
Julius: “So you have woken up, Subaru. That is indeed very fortunate. Do you know who I am?”
Subaru: “I guess so, first comes your worry. Um, you are……?”
Julius: “ーーSo it really is.”
Subaru: “I’m lying! I’m joking! You are Julius Juukulius! What really is with that serious face of yours! I came back properly!”
Julius: “Hmph. I was also joking. I wish you would get cured of your childishness. ーーNow I’ll be telling you something which isn’t so laughable.”
Subaru made a difficult to comprehend face, making agreeing with him even more difficult. Smiling at Subaru’s reaction, Julius subsequently tightened his facial expressions without any delay.
Just as he had said, what he was going to report was no laughing material.
Julius: “While I would like to hear Subaru’s report back from the『Book of the Dead』, but this is an emergency. ーーThe reason behind the abnormalities that Miss Shaula sensed have been confirmed.”
Subaru: “I can’t see that Shaula anywhere though……”
Julius: “She is dealing with the threat from the outer wall of the tower at this very moment. However, just by herself, she is not enough,.”
Subaru intensely gazes at Julius at his words. Receiving that gaze, and with an apologetic expression of “I’m sorry” in his eyes, Julius sighed and said,
Julius: “You all also must have had experienced those slight earthquakes. Those were, footsteps.”
Subaru and the others twisted their expressions at those words, and seeing them, Julius pulled his chin in, and pausing for a second, continued.
Julius: “ーーThe Demon beasts that resided in various places in the Augria Sand Dunes are charging towards the tower all at once. Although Miss Shaula is fighting them back, it is only a matter of time before they manage to break through inside.”