※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※
Translated by :
Proofread by :
Fan Art Source :
※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※
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
※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※
—The Authority of [Greed] associated with its star’s name, the true face of its [Invincibility].
The names of the stars that Subaru knew, aligned with the names of the Archbishops.
The etymology of Betelgeuse, [Orion’s Hand] was quite fitting with the madman Petelgeuse Romanee-Conti’s [Unseen Hand].
Therefore, Subaru believed that the stars’ sobriquets were closely related to the authorities of their Archbishops.
And [Greed]’s Archbishop was named Regulus Corneas. The “Regulus” that was his name had the Latin origin of “Leo”, which meant [Small King], as well as— [Lion’s Heart].
Although he had once scoffed at the idea, Subaru realized that this notion was not meaningless and pursued this train of thought, thus arriving at a hypothesis.
In the first place, how is a [King] defined?
The Kingdom of Lugunica was currently in the middle of the royal election, each candidate striving to show their [Kingship]. Although each vision of [Kingship] would, sooner or later, come to light, Subaru wanted to bring up the topic of [King] here, in this situation where it took a more general meaning.
This so proclaimed [King], was a kingdom’s representative, who stood at its top.
Loosening the definition, a nation could be made of anything, but a single individual could become no nation.
The [King] symbolizing the country existed from the [Citizens] within it.
Following this line of thought, bearing the name of [Small King], Regulus Corneas, would probably also correspondingly have [Citizens] who could grant him the title of [King].
Subaru: “Then, the ones who make Regulus king, where are this [Small Kingdom]’s [Citizens]?”
He didn’t even have to think about it.
Without bringing any cultists, they’d attacked the city of Pristella.
Although this was a group of independently acting, offputting, malicious devils, the only one of them to bring unnecessary numbers had been Regulus.
Why would he need to do so?
Although, knowing Regulus, the possibility that he was merely flaunting his greed was not nonexistent, but if not, if he were acting out of necessity—
Subaru: “In order for Regulus to be a [Small King], he needed to bring his collective [Citizenship] of wives. Although whether or not the distance has some relation is unknown, it looks like that due to this restriction, even if there were fifty wives, Regulus would still need to bring them.”
Was the condition of this [Invincibility] based on number of wives? Or distance from the wives?
If Regulus’s identity as a [Small King] was conditional, the scope of what [Greed] could reach would potentially be affected by such limits.
In short, Regulus’s wives were in no way irrelevant to his [Invincibility].
Subaru: “But, this isn’t quite enough to reveal to me the secret to his trick.”
What Subaru had understood with his reasoning, was only [Small King]’s part.
His other name, [Lion’s Heart], had yet to be explained, as did the overwhelming power, both offensive and defensive, that accompanied his [Invincibility], as well as the fact that his surroundings had no effect on him, all remained mysteries.
If he’d merely had a strengthened body, it wouldn’t have been impossible for Reinhardt to have break through; However, Regulus’s [Invincibility] clearly surpassed such a resistance.
Subaru: “It can’t be a super-strong barrier. All the measures to stop an [Invincible] enemy have been tried already. On top of that, he definitely lacks a heartbeat and body temperature. Then—”
The name of [Lion’s Heart] opened a thought, and the last piece of the puzzle fell in place.
Regulus’s Authority of [Greed] was not [Invincibility].
The true face of the murderer’s overwhelming power was [Stillness of an Object’s Time].
Already supplied, already appraised, without holes.
The words that Regulus always wore at his lips of distorted self-satisfaction, were about how he was a man satisfied with his ideal existence, but at the same time made no attempt to hide the nature of his ability.
Subaru: “The time of his body is frozen, so forget attacks; even the water won’t wet him. The time of the sand he he throws is frozen, so it doesn’t bounce off, it goes straight through.”
Among the superpowers known in manga, there was a similar one of [Space Break].
This power, as its literal name suggested, caused a break with space itself, cutting something off from its surroundings, regardless of whatever may try to affect it; Regulus’s existence itself acted thus, on some level.
The Regulus Corneas who could cut himself off from the flow of time, could be said to be the distortion of space itself.
Indeed, he’d said, the dimension was different— [Invincibility] was but a side effect of [Stillness of an Object’s Time].
What was to say—
Subaru: “—The secret technique of freezing time’s your true ability!”
Regulus: “You say so proudly all you like, I’ll have no comment! Are you that type? Who wishfully believing that you know something, so everyone around you should find out as well? Even pride should be measured, show me a little self-awareness, you little brat!”
Subaru’s back was pressed against a stone wall, hiding his figure as he yelled, and Regulus rushed at him with ridicule.
Breaking through walls, cutting through the canal, literally crossing directly in a march of devastation— as a result of this, Regulus caught up with Subaru.
Right now, Subaru met all of this alone. That said, in truth this was not the exciting match the word [combat] implied.
Regulus: “Darting back and forth irritates me to death, you. Not running away, makes you truly a man, did you think I’d say so? You and I can’t compare at all. Though you clearly gawked as I sent the Sword Saint flying, you can’t even understand something like this? No matter how you look at it, isn’t this just looking down on me!?”
Subaru: “When it’s someone you hate, whatever they do, right or wrong, is always irritating. If I ran, I’d only run into a future so hard it’d kill me. In addition… this choice is the right answer, should be it.”
Regulus: “Right answer my ass. Whether it’s personnel selection or strategy, allofallof it! It can only amount to a result that’s twisted to death, isn’t that right? If you wanted to continue the fight, wouldn’t it have been much better for that flowering maiden to stay? An adulterer like you, is there anything you can do aside from touching someone else’s wife?
Subaru: “What you’re chattering at me is actually pretty harsh.”
Though it were as Regulus’s bitter words bound him, Subaru wasn’t anxious in the slightest.
Not anxious, not irritated; even his disgust had been watered out, as he relied on only his smart mouth to control the situation.
Now, Subaru had lured Regulus a distance away from the church, separated from Emilia, facing off with the murderer alone.
Facing off, saying so seemed a touch inaccurate. Since Subaru was just trying to hide himself, he maintained his taunting demeanor, striving merely to buy time.
If Regulus noticed this, and made a destructive attack that would rend the space from top to bottom, Subaru’s plans would be shattered in an instant. However, Subaru was sure that Regulus would never do so.
In this short period of time, with the hostile nature of their interactions, he’d very accurately seen through Regulus’s character.
In short, Regulus was scum.
This simple statement could in no way explain all of Regulus’s problems.
More precisely, Regulus was someone who valued himself most highly, and would certainly never be capable of ignoring the existence of others.
To be frank, calling him the incarnation of desire for approval and desire to show off would be no exaggeration.
Claiming that he has no desire and no demands with sophisticated words, treating his existence as one which had already achieved perfection, Regulus seemed unable to continue living without proclaiming his own value to others.
Repress the feelings of others, imposing his own values onto them, using intimidation and violence to forcefully instate himself as a supreme authority.
This attitude was not how he treated just his brides, but how he treated the entire world.
Therefore, in a certain sense, Regulus truly was attentive and serious to whatever he faced.
His battle with Reinhardt served as perfect proof.
If Regulus had the notion of doing so, he could have completely invalidated Reinhardt’s attacks with his [invincibility], and gone on to kill the somewhat troublesome Subaru and Emilia.
Despite this, he was deliberately eager to accept Reinhardt’s attacks directly, and thus was unable to put this acute plan into action.
Although, this was not to say that Regulus valued any high-handedness of spirit.
Rather, this decidedly further proved the nature that he’d supposedly cast aside.
—This man, Regulus, without using all his power to make everything succumb, could not stop.
Therefore, not crushing the meddlesome Reinhardt or just ignoring the provoking Subaru, were not decisions he could make in battle.
Assured by the premise that he could be neither injured or defeated, he needed to force his opponents to completely surrender, and leave their spirits defeated and broken— a man who knew only this way of battle.
Such a repulsive nature was truly unsightly to behold.
The why of this notion was that, assuredly everyone with no exception, would to some extent hold the same feelings. Even Subaru himself was aware of such ugliness in his own nature.
Precisely because he forced people to gaze into this ugliness, was why the existence of Regulus was so hateful.
However, this exact reason was what allowed a faint glimpse at a tiny chance of victory.
Subaru: “Your secret method of freezing time, fine ignore it, but what about the first part? Was my speculation really completely off? If you would, even if it’s just a rough idea, I hope you can can outline it for me.”
Regulus: “Why would I have to answer the question? It’s nonsensical and not obliged of me. A matter of disclosing my own secrets, isn’t even about rights anymore. To what extent are you planning to look down on me. You fucker, are you incapable of understanding without having your bones ground to dust!?”
Falling for Subaru’s provocation, Regulus stomped hard at the ground.
The tips of his feet pierced the stone road, as easily as if it were made of pudding. The direction of the ammunition it released could be only tracked by sound, randomly destroying the area near Subaru’s hiding place.
Long before the bullets could find him, Subaru, who’d read Regulus’s movements, fled from the wall. During his escape, he also toppled the stone pillars standing at the ends of the street.
And thus, the rope tied to the stone pillar came untied, and a series of slight sounds echoed.
Overtop the head of Regulus, who’d looked up to see what had happened, countless shards of ice flew down. With Emilia’s help, the street had been turned into minefield of carefully lain traps.
Of course, the place where Regulus had been directly struck was unscathed, but—
Regulus: “This kind of thing! Is nothing but the desperate exhaustion of limited ability!”
Regulus, without attempt to dodge the falling ice, spread his arms in order to accept it with his entire body.
Of course, without hope of piercing his [invincibility], the shards of ice shattered into fragments, scattering to disperse into mana particles. Including the parts that had failed to touch his body, as if to show off, Regulus stomped through all the scattered bits of ice, destroying them utterly.
Regulus: “What’s this supposed to be? If your long rambling theory from just now was correct, couldn’t you yourself think of how meaninglessness this attack is? Looking at it this way, isn’t it that that girl’s attacks are much more effective. Winding back and forth, just what do you intend to do!”
Subaru: “What I intend by winding back and forth like this, if I answer your question, you should correspondingly answer mine. These be our exchange conditions is what should be, no?”
Regulus: “And exchange between me and you, what is this but sheer wild arrogance!”
Subaru pulled back quickly at a large angle, putting distance between Regulus.
Refusing to let him go, Regulus chased Subaru persistently, gently bending his knees and leaping in one motion. Moving forward with that explosive propulsion, in an instant the distance between the two shrank.
Like this, the fingertips of death reached Subaru— nearly, before Regulus lost its foothold.
Subaru: “Though this was truly outside my expectations, but the weaknesses of you who only knows force on force is practically just pathetic.”
The classic pitfall trap, was also reliant on Emilia’s magic to dig into the ground, a primitive mechanic which used a layer of ice covered with soil.
However, a veteran of hundreds of battles who should have seen through such a simple trap, Regulus in fact completely fell for it. Although ironic, this also served as evidence that Regulus couldn’t do anything but enforce victories with brute force.
Properly and uprightly, using his cheat ability to directly crush his opponent with brute force.
Capable of nothing aside from this, evidently a man who would consider no other battle tactics.
Subaru: “Different from through your power, whatever it takes to defeat you, we’ll do. Repeating such a thing, it’s getting hard to even tell who the antagonist is anymore.”
Taking a shortcut to reach the church first, fighting for every last second to turn this area into a minefield of traps.
Although Emilia had refused to leave Subaru until the last second, with her guileless nature, she could never use these dirty tactics. Chosen for suitability, was this distribution of labor.
In the time that Regulus had yet to climb out of the hole, Subaru surreptitiously glanced down at his right foot. Even after the strenuous parkour of his escape, it was still in excellent condition. Both when it had been turned to bloody ribbons and when it had been enveloped in this mysterious black material, had become something he could never forget.
Perhaps this was the influence of the [Dragon’s Blood], which felt almost as if the blood were speaking to Subaru.
This arrogant false [King] that is your enemy, show him the prestige of the Dragon Kingdom.
Subaru: “In this case, I’ll be asking you for more help. Though I’ll be owing you lots.”
Regulus: “Your whining on, it irritates me to death!”
The ground erupted with fragments of stone steps and lumps of soil, scattering with force.
Backed by Regulus’s power, they further caused fierce damage to the streets. Despite this devastation, Subaru was not within its destructive reach.
Having flown out from the ground, Regulus, eyes widened with hate, glowered at Subaru, who’d put distance between them again. Very deliberately, Subaru raised his middle finger at Regulus.
Subaru: “Seems that someone once said ‘desperate exhaustion of limited ability’, may I ask who said this, again? Though it’s often said that [treating others as a mirror can lead to understanding of victory and defeat], but shouldn’t you take a long hard look at the mirror first?”
Regulus: “Messing, messing with me, to such an extent, you…!”
After politely having his flaws pointed out, Regulus revealed a look of ferocity.
More than likely, his homicidal feelings toward Subaru had already easily reached a breaking point, and the flames of hatred had consumed his murderous unchanging body.
Regulus seemingly hadn’t noticed at all, that this was all more or less within the scope of Subaru’s expectations.
Because, without sharpening his murderous intent, his loose and messy rough attacks were ineffective, was a point hadn’t been realized by Regulus for even the slightest of moments.
Subaru: “Though that’s the case, I can’t afford to take this lightly.”
Wiping sweat from his neck, Subaru, with a flippant grin, readied himself for death.
What he couldn’t let Regulus see, was that his intent was only to buy time. And even if that were to been seen though, he absolutely could not see the reasoning behind it.
This was the condition for victory of this battle, the task that Subaru, who’d sent Emilia away, needed to accomplish.
This was what he and Emilia had sworn to each other, that they would fulfill their respective duties no matter what.
Subaru: “Leaving it to you, Emilia. —Be sure to bring out the wives’ heartfelt feelings.”
※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※
When Emilia arrived at the church, the brides were still where they’d been left.
Emilia: “Excellent, everyone’s still exactly—”
Looking at the faraway wives in attendance, Emilia blurted her feelings.
However, she was struck silent, as the positions of the wives in attendance had remained quite literally unchanged.
If Emilia’s memory served her correctly— they hadn’t moved even the slightest bit since she’d escaped from the church.
Emilia: “Just because Regulus, gave an order to keep still…?”
He had no power of binding, was what Emilia understood from what she’d already been told by Subaru the truth of [Greed]’s authority.
Although he’d stressed repeatedly, “this is just a hypothesis”, Emilia had full faith in his answer.
In order to defeat that murderer, what Subaru and Emilia had to accomplish no matter what had yet to be done.
Emilia: “Everyone, all stayed… then, the first issue isn’t a problem.”
The most frightening possibility was that the wives had separated into hiding, or had fled the church in a panic.
Before the point of no return, they would have to take a last resort. The plan that Subaru had so gravely proposed, Emilia wanted to avoid if at all possible.
Emilia: “Everyone, I beg leave to speak to you.”
There was no time.
Although there was guarantee they’d even listen, Emilia had to overcome this obstacle now.
184: “—Husband-sama, how is he?”
In the half-destroyed church, standing in the middle facing Emilia, the to respond to her, was a blonde-haired woman— 184.
Unlike the other silent wives seated in neat rows, only she sat at the front near the collapsed altar.
Having helped Emilia change, offering her advice, with eyes as cold as when she spoke of the despair her future would hold, 184 questioned the returning Emilia in a voice without inflection.
Emilia: “Regulus is outside… Sorry. We’re still engaged in battle. I couldn’t strike him down.”
184: “That’s so. … Isn’t it.”
The corners of 184’s mouth rose almost imperceptibly.
Such a tiny smile, as if she didn’t know why it was there. In addition, Emilia understood that this smile conveyed neither joy nor sadness, but something resembling ridicule.
Because, a smile like this which existed to bring harm unto others, Emilia had encountered many times in the past.
Emilia: “Such a cold smile. I don’t think it suits you. This expression.”
184: “… My apologies. Because Husband-sama forbids smiles, I allowed you to see an undignified expression.”
Emilia: “Please don’t apologize. What I meant, wasn’t this.”
At 184’s self-deprecating words, Emilia shook her head.
Inside her chest, heat began to concentrate somewhere that wasn’t her heart. It’s just as Subaru said, those words kept rising to the surface of her mind.
Intense to the point of discomfort was a fierce feeling, swelling unbearably in her heart.
Closing her eyes, suppressing the turbulent emotion, Emilia glanced back and forth around the church before she spoke.
Emilia: “We’re planning to take down Regulus. To do so, we need everyone’s help.”
Emilia: “I don’t know what treatment you’ve suffered at Regulus’s hand up until now, but even I who was only briefly in contact with him, can see that Regulus is wrong.”
Having been taken by him while unconscious, he had asked for her hand in marriage as soon as she’d woken up. Then, she’d immediately been overwhelmed by the wedding ceremony, and had been told of Regulus’s ideas on marriage and the way he treated his wives.
This was a far cry from the happy marriages that Emilia had been told of.
Emilia: “I don’t want to lose to Regulus. I understand that in battle, success or failure is irrelevant to right and wrong. But right now, right here, I don’t want to lose to Regulus. If I lose… certainly, that which is important will be trampled upon.”
184: “That which is important… huh.”
184: “If you don’t want to be without life, you should have obeyed Husband-sama from the start, or you should have tried to flee without regard for anything else. Both were possible. Clearly, that would have been best for you.”
With a dark gaze, 184 answered Emilia.
184: “What happened to the the Sword Saint and that knight of yours accompanying you earlier? They met Husband-sama’s counterattack, and fell in battle. And thus, you alone fled here.”
Emilia: “No. Whether Subaru or Reinhardt, both of them are still engaged with Regulus. My return, they trust in and await for.”
184: “What could you accomplish by returning? And then, saying that you need our help and such… I don’t understand what you mean.”
Emilia: “Do you truly not understand what I mean?”
Faced with Emilia’s interrogation, 184 raised her eyebrow wordlessly.
This natural reaction, didn’t seem forced in the slightest. Although she’d slackened once she’d given up, since the very beginning, 184 had no intention to deceive Emilia which weighed down her words.
In other words, she truly had no idea.
—That Regulus’s [Heart] had been entrusted to his wives, her included.
Emilia: “And everyone else? Everyone, are you truly okay with this? Having wanted do anything at all, having wanted someone else to do something, is there no one who still thinks this way?”
184: “Please stop. I will listen to you. If you have questions, please ask me. My answer is the answer of the collective.”
Facing Emilia who tried to take a read of those around her, with stiff words, 184 interjected.
Stubborn, or maybe brave— Emilia recalled how for her sake, she’d even questioned Regulus, at risk of her own life.
Although that had indeed been a form of altruism—
Emilia: “What matters is, I have a sense of an attitude of having abandoned your own life.”
Emilia: “You were in fact the most important, you just didn’t realize, is that right?”
Recalling that at the start of all this, 184 had been the one to speak with Emilia.
Not merely because Regulus had ordered her to take charge of Emilia. In Emilia’s place, she’d offered her opinions to Regulus, stood on behalf of other brides, and right now intended to accept the words hurled at all of them.
This kind of posturing placed her as Regulus’s confidant— opportunistically manipulating Emilia and the brides, the suspicion of that rose.
Emilia: “But, I don’t think that’s the case. You aren’t Regulus’s [Heart]. I’d like to believe this.”
Emilia had been saved numerous times by 184.
Not sheltering her in a way that was visible to the naked eye, nor taking her hands to guide her.
Instead, in the face of incomprehensible malice, making sure that she would be prepared to proceed on.
Someone so concerned about others—
Emilia: “Being the true bride of someone like that, I can’t picture it.”
184: “… Perhaps it was because I wanted you to believe that, that I spoke to you, you know.”
Emilia: “That’s so. I, my head isn’t all that good, so if you were trying to fool me, I may have been deceived instantly. But,”
Emilia didn’t know whether or not she a gaze with which to regard others.
Currently, Emilia’s comrades stood by her not are not because Emilia had chosen and expected for them to eventually be her comrades.
It had been because all of Emilia’s comrades, had chosen her.
But toward being chosen, she’d never thought anything like “aren’t I amazing”.
Rather, she’d always felt uneasy, afraid of having to live up to expectations.
However, she wanted to respond to expectations bestowed upon her, and wanted herself to be able to respond to expectations. Always, she’d prayed thus.
Emilia: “I want to believe in you. This is, a choice I made.”
Emilia: “Why, are you standing up for the silent crowd? Why, despite the surrender in your eyes, would you still help me? Why, are you—”
184: “All questions.”
Interrupting Emilia’s question, 184 shook her head.
Then, for the first time since Emilia had arrived here, she raised her face.
Frozen feelings on a stiff expression.
Such dry eyes, and closed lips.
This sense of sorrow, took the woman’s already beautiful face to another level.
However, what she was thinking was.
184: “Please leave as soon as you can. If Husband-sama sees us, we’ll all die.”
Emilia: “Listen to me—”
184: “I have no reason to respond to these questions. You’re, no longer Husband-sama’s wife. Not like us.”
Emilia: “—I’m a half-elf.”
Faced with Emilia’s confession, the woman was struck silent.
Realizing that she’d done something unexpected, Emilia gave a faint smile. On the other hand, the woman finally understood the meaning of Emilia’s confession.
She understood that standing in front of her eyes, was a silver-haired half-devil.
184: “Silver haired… half-elf…”
Emilia: “In truth, up until now, you and I have been different. Different situations, different origins, different even in our most basic qualities. But, I don’t think anything like ‘Everything about us is different, thus we’re without connection’ because of this.”
Emilia: “The things you and I see, are surely the same. When you’re sad, you’ll want to cry, when you meet something you can’t solve, you’ll be angry, when you encounter something happy, you’ll laugh with joy. That’s the same, right?”
184: “What exactly, are you trying to say?”
Emilia, who had been talking in a rush, drew a sigh from 184.
At the question, Emilia found herself confused. What exactly she wanted to say, if she wanted to say it, she herself couldn’t figure it out.
This went to show that she was turning too emotional, but that made her forget the topic and go off track. She should learn from Subaru, and say what she wanted to more directly—
Emilia: “That is, I…”
There were things she wanted to know. There were things she wanted to inquire about.
Things about Regulus’s [Heart]. Things about standing up and taking the lead role of the wives. With her utterly defeated expression, having protected the nearly defeated Emilia.
All of this together, she hoped that she would be told of by her.
And one more thing, that she needed to know first.
Emilia: “Your name, could you tell it to me?”
Emilia: “My name is Emilia, just Emilia. Although with circumstances different from yours, surely sharing similarities with you, a half-elf.”
Emilia: “If we can see the same things, feel the same things, share the same hopes… Certainly, talking won’t be without meaning.”
Once upon a time, she’d introduced herself like this before.
When her heart had been ridden with unease, when she’d been convinced that she had no one to rely on, when she felt as if endless floods were swallowing her.
Back then, she’d been taken in by the same words.
—Even until today, she thought.
Then, she’d been truly happy.
The boy who she’d never met before recognizing her existence, had made her very happy.
When rejection had been about to come, suddenly being tossed words like those, she’d hopelessly fallen.
Once again, she had to borrow Subaru’s strength.
Left and right, she was borrowing, and then desperate piecing it together.
But it was enough.
184: “Don’t, kid around… Why is it, until now…”
Before Emilia, 184— the woman held her head, shaking it as she screamed with all her might.
That expression was filled with agony, that voice with resentment, and those eyes with the feelings of gazing upon what she loathed.
This was, since the beginning, the first genuine emotion that Emilia had wrought from her—
184: “Why after all that, are you suddenly saying something like we can be human again!”
As if to release the flow of long repressed emotion, she wailed.
184: “Not that not being human matters, being a doll is just fine. That man, is satisfied if we only act as obedient dolls. If we’re played with like dolls, our lives will remain safe and sound. Only because we could believe this, did we last until today… that’s the case, so!”
Materializing the strength of her feelings, she clashed with Emilia.
An outsider who knew nothing, what could they know about people like her, desperately struggling to even stay alive.
184: “What do you even know about us!”
Emilia: “I know that you’re incredibly kind.”
184: “What do you even know about us!”
Emilia: “I also know just how hard you worked to endure.”
184: “What do you, even know, about us…!”
Emilia: “I know, that you’re all crying out to be saved.”
Hearing Emilia’s words, the woman raised her face, as if suddenly bouncing back.
With widened, round eyes, with struggling, faintly moving lips.
Even a single word, she could not utter.
Because, up until now, if any of them had said it, their hearts would surely have given out.
The despair known as help, and the seeking of hope known as rescue, were as one.
Holding such hopes, until now, hadn’t been allowed. In order to keep their minds from giving in, those thoughts were suppressed in their hearts.
And the result of this, with even the simplest of cries for help sealed deep within their hearts, were they.
Emilia: “I want to be saved; all of you are saying so. So I will save you. I’ll free you from Regulus’s hands. And to that end—”
Emilia: “Please lend me your strength. Please help help the ones who for me, and you… those who are even now, still engaged in battle.
She lowered her head.
With sincerity, having stated her hopes, Emilia lowered her head.
She stared straight at the ground.
Her heartbeat leapt painfully, and faintly, barely detectable atmosphere surrounding her felt as if it were a hurricane.
She held up her body now on the verge of crumbling, clenching her teeth to steel her heart.
Feeling afraid, was not only her.
Because, certainly for so much longer that she didn’t even know, they had lived with a nightmare that they could not wake from.
184: “… Please, wait just a moment.”
Toward Emilia, who had been keeping her head down, the woman spoke, biting her lip.
Then with a deep breath, she cast her gaze away from Emilia. There were the gathered wordless wives, who observed the progressing dialogue.
184: “I have a question, that I’d like to ask. One that until now, I have yet to have asked anyone.”
The woman paused for a moment, and the wives soundlessly wore frigid expressions.
Emilia also could not form a single sentence, and like this waited for the result.
In the sea of gazes which could stop breaths, the woman who had always stood up as the leader of the wives, spoke.
184: “Is there anyone, who likes that man?”
The question that the woman gently tilting her head posed, spread throughout the church.
The content shocked Emilia, and the brides who had remained silent, only cast their gazes around at each other. Confusion accompanied the faint emotion that rose in their minds.
Like a ripple, it spread.
Wife: “… Hate him.”
The one who spoke this, was neither Emilia nor the woman acted as the wives’ representative. It was one of the wives seated in the rows, a woman with short hair.
Those words which had barely been squeezed out, shocked not merely Emilia.
“I also, hate him.” “I hate him too.” “I’ve always hated him.” “I hate him, I really hate him.” “What a weirdo.” “Messed up in the head.” “Has he even liked anyone before?” “Only himself.” “I don’t know how many times I’ve turned him down in my head.” “I want to cry.” “But I can’t.” “Hate him.” “He should just die.” “Hate him more than anything.” “Hatehatehate, truly hate him.” “His gaze is hateful.” “The way he emphasizes words is hateful.” “The way he walks is hateful.” “His character is hateful.” “Unlovable by nature.” “I hate him more than yesterday.” “I’ll hate him more tomorrow.” “Disgusting.” “Perverted.” “The brain of a child.” “Even a child would be better.” “Even a dragon would be better.” “No one could be a good match for him.” “Physiologically unacceptable.” “Hatehatehate.” “He makes me want to vomit.” “I don’t know how many times I’ve thought about beating him to death.” “The worst.” “Worse than the worst.” “Being near him nauseates me.” “His touch makes me feel like I’m rotting.” “My heart died.” “My family’s enemy.” “How could I like him if he forcibly kidnapped me?” “Is such unrepentant malice even possible?” “It hurts so much I want to die.” “He’s long winded and pompous, every time I talk to him I want to die a bit more.” “I hope his intestines rot.” “Give my lover back.” “I want to go home, I want to go home…” “Screw rescuing us, just murder him instead.” “Scum bastard.” “Truly hateful, I’ll hate him forever!” “A woman who would ever like him doesn’t exist, does she?” “Nor a man.” “No human would ever like him.”
As if a dam had broken, the wives poured out the words that had been suppressed in their hearts until now.
The overflowing words were resentment and disgust that had festered for too long in their hearts, stuffed with years of hatred and suffering, certainly not feelings that could bring joy.
—Even so, their expressions as they spat those words out became joyous and clear.
184: “Such unanimous opinions, which have never once been spoken before.”
Emilia: “You, too, was there anything you wanted to say?”
184: “Ah, there is.”
After hearing the wives’ admissions, the woman turned around to face Emilia.
Caressing her long blonde hair, then with a face full of smiles— casting aside the order that forbade smiling, for the first time she revealed her beautiful smile.
184: “The kind of man, is the most hated. —Please by all means, help us.”
Like this, with a faint smile, the divorce statement was signed.