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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: JAPANESE WEB NOVEL SOURCE
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Subaru’s fingers wrapped around the slender, white neck. As Subaru tightened his hold using all of his strength and felt their neck bones creaking underneath his palms, he felt like something was quite out of place―― like it was a girl’s slender neck.
Ram was being straddled, and her neck was being strangled by someone with all their might. A groan escaped from her lips. Her noble features were warped in agony, and drool could be seen dribbling down from the corner of her rosy lips. Her red tongue danced from side to side searching for freedom inside of her mouth. She thrashed her arms and legs about, desperately resisting him.
Subaru couldn’t possibly put up a fight against Ram if she put up a serious resistance. She had managed to strike Garfiel down for a bit back at the『Sanctuary』by herself, and even if she hadn’t, she was a woman that should be well acquainted with the art of self-defence. It would be reasonable to assume that she should possess multiple ways to restrain him and deal with a situation of this ilk where she was seized from above by a man like this.
However, that would boil down to whether she could at least get one of her limbs free or not.
Subaru set free the dark emotions within his chest as he strangled her neck with a Creak-creak. The dark, invisible sediment took shape and helped keep Ram’s arms and legs firmly pinned down now. With her limbs pinned down, Ram was unable to struggle about effectively. Her breath would soon stop so long as he continued to put his strength into strangling her neck.
Ram, too, would have regretted her reckless remarks from earlier if she stopped breathing. Subaru would be able to make her pay with her life for having wounded his heart with her misdirected callous remarks, and for her ungrounded thoughtless remarks which had been spurned by her selfishness, and for having spoken light of Rem, for thinking he never cared for her.
Subaru:「It’s you who’s at fault. It’s you, you, you!」
Ram was detestable. Ram was detestable. Ram was detestable.
All of those little things that piled up poured out one after the other. He put his hatred into the fingers which were strangling her neck; his nails dug into her pale skin, and blood trickled down.
Ram turned her eyes full of hate at Subaru who was breathing heavily and relishing the touch of hot blood at the end of his fingernails.
What was with that inflexibility in her light pink irises that gazed at him while the light of her life was about to be snuffed out? It’s as if they were complaining saying: “I won’t truly die by having my life taken.”
He decided that he would gouge out her eyes after he strangled her to death.
Subaru:「Gonna rip you apart piece by piece, bitch……You, when I think of you looking at me with that face which is a spitting image of Rem’s, it makes me wanna hurl.」
Subaru:「Ohh? What is it, I can’t hear you. If you got something to say, then say it clearly――」
Ram wheezed something out that overlapped with the last syllable of Subaru’s abusive tirade. For a split second, Subaru narrowed his eyes to the echo of that sound. Then the sand beneath Subaru, who was pushing Ram down, exploded and both of their bodies were blown away.
Subaru was showered in sand by the sudden blast which got inside of his mouth and eyes. He toppled down towards the back to the taste of sand and pain. Ram too had been caught up in the explosion, and her small body had taken the brunt of it as she tumbled away from him.
Bearing cuts from the explosion, the blood Ram spilled had spattered across the sand. However, Ram had escaped from Subaru’s clutch. That was the fact of the matter.
Subaru:「Ram! You used fucking magic…..!」
Ram:「I had enough time…. To take a gasped breath. That’s all I need… to be able to, chant…..gh」
Ram picked herself up from her knees, her breathing was in a feeble state. She had barely managed to chant out her『Fula』wind magic whilst her neck was being strangled. Unable to afford to miss, and unable to aim accurately, she had instead aimed underneath her. As a result, she had dragged both herself and Subaru into the blast and escaped from danger――.
As soon as he came to that realisation, Subaru turned his hand to the back of his waist and pulled out his whip. At the same time, Ram pulled out a short wand from her bosom, letting her fighting spirit well out showing that she was prepared for battle.
Ram as a magician had the capacity to deliver one strong blow, but even Subaru wouldn’t be bested when it came to the speed which he could attack at. The swift nature of the whip was one that was favoured even by the big guns of this world.
He should crack his whip straight at her unperturbed looking face so to make it one that he’d never have to see again.
Subaru:「Even if you start crying and apologising, it’s far too late!」
Ram:「That’s my line. There’s no value in letting an uncaring sex freak like you Barusu meet Rem. Turn to pieces and wither upon the sand.」
Subaru:「Whatever you say!」
Subaru’s resolve in dealing with Ram, who had softly let her murderous intentions flare up, stiffened as well. Making use of the light of the lantern which had dropped down between them, both Ram and Subaru continued to glare at each other, moving around each other in a circle as they slowly tried to get within striking distance.
And just as the lid was about to be blown off on them slaughtering each other―― Just a few seconds before that happened.
???:「――Alrigh’, that’s enough!」
Subaru & Ram:「――!?」
The sound of violent applause echoed throughout, and both Subaru and Ram’s faces jerked up on hearing its withered timbre. The one who had interrupted them, Anastasia, was looking down on them from dragonback.
She glared at the two who had been on the verge of trying to kill each other in turn, still sat alone on top of Patrasche.
Anastasia:「That’s enough. I don’t think it’s acceptable that yer both glaring at each other with such angry looks on yer faces despite us all bein’ on the same side. There oughta be limits no matter where ya are.」
Subaru:「Limits? AAH, OF COURSE THERE’S LIMITS. AND THE ONE WHO STEPPED OVER THEM AND SAID SOMETHING THAT SHE NEVER SHOULD’VE IS THAT GIRL THERE, ISN’T IT!? THAT’S WHY I’M MAKING HER PAY FOR IT!」
Anastasia:「Ugh, since I ain’t getting through to you, what about you, Ram-san?」
Anastasia looked on in shock at Subaru as he jabbed his finger at Ram, and spoke with spittle flying out of his mouth. She had turned her flow of talk towards Ram, but the response she received from the pink haired girl wasn’t all that different from Subaru’s.
Ram still warily kept the tip of her wand pointed at Subaru, keeping herself on guard for battle.
Ram:「What a foolish question. It’s Barusu’s attitude that’s intolerable….. I’m rather at the limits of my patience. If all he cares about is himself, then why don’t we go and drop him in the pitch black darkness alone just like he wants.」
Subaru:「I HAVE NO WORDS FOR THIS BULLSHIT, FUCK OFF!」
Anastasia:「No good from her too, huh? Jeez, why. ‘T seems like I’ve got too much on my shoulders…..」
Seeing Ram’s attitude, whose anger remained unrelenting, Subaru’s anger also showed no signs of disappearing. Anastasia shrugged her shoulders with a gesture that indicated she’d given up on the two of them, who continued to exchange sharp looks of murderous intent.
Looking at her from the corner of his eye, Subaru began to feel irritated at Anastasia as well.
In the first place, why was Anastasia alone making a face that looked just like she was an outsider?
He wondered who the hell it had been that was behind everything that had happened. He wondered who the hell it was that had first told him to travel to the Augria Sand Dunes and aim for the Sage’s Watchtower.
Who the hell did they think they were leaving everything to others despite unmistakably having the strongest incentive for setting out to the Watchtower?
And on top of that, they were sitting alone, even now, looking down from the top of his Patrasche――
Subaru:「HEY, YOU. WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU PREACHING TO ME FROM UP ABOVE. GET DOWN. 」
Anastasia:「……Huh, it’s come to that?」
Subaru:「Get on the same level as me before you run your mouth with your arrogance. I’ll hear what you have to say after that. I ain’t gonna let you run your mouth at me unless you can do that!」
He swung his whip down, scattering sand up with a woosh. His whip caused skin to split open if it hit its target; even by looking at it, his whip was a weapon designed to inflict cruel wounds. It probably wouldn’t matter if he hurt her host body regardless of whether Eridna was inside of it.
As a matter of fact, Anastasia complied with Subaru’s orders and slowly climbed down from Patrasche’s back. Right after she landed gingerly onto the sand, she cocked her head and asked:「Now what?」
Anastasia:「There, I got down too, but…… Natsuki-kun, what is it that ya want ta do?」
Subaru:「That should be obvious. I’ll let that idiot take back what she said before and if she doesn’t want to, then there’ll be just one thing left to do.」
If Ram changed her attitude and apologised from the depths of her heart, taking back everything she had said up until now, then Subaru would consider taking into account the extenuating circumstances.
However, Ram’s reaction, who’d heard what he’d said, was something that was easy enough to understand.
Anastasia:「Well, that’s what Natsuki-kun’s sayin’, but, what do ya think of it, Ram-sam?」
Ram:「That’s out of the question. You’re leaping to conclusions, for I have nothing that should be taken back. I’m having a hard time understanding what on earth I’d be saying differently.」
Ram snorted, declaring that with an attitude that looked like she was making a fool out of them from the depths of her heart.
That was her answer. Thus, with that, she had forever lost her chance to be forgiven.
Subaru:「You heard her. Back off. I’m gonna make it so that there’s only one face which is the same as Rem’s in this world.」
Subaru:「AAH, HEY? You got nothing to say?」
Ram:「I’m talking to myself here, but idiocy is a contagious thing when speaking with idiots. That’s why I am not say anything.」
A vein bulged across his forehead, Subaru’s remaining patience got closer and closer to its limit. In that state, Subaru gathered his strength and tried to get to where Ram was (straight ahead of him) so he could tear her limb from limb. Anastasia rushed out spreading out her hands in front of Subaru.
Anastasia:「Whoawhoawhoa! Hey, calm down! You’re jumping to conclusions again.」
Subaru:「Get out of my way! Do you want me to pummel the life out of you first!?」
Anastasia:「Ya left this to me. Remember? Hey, Ram-san, just a sec’…..」
Holding Subaru back, who was trying to step forward, Anastasia turned towards Ram. The taciturn Ram glared at Subaru, before reluctantly moving her gaze slightly towards Anastasia.
However, it didn’t seem likely that she would change her opinion. In fact, the look in her eyes betrayed that she had no intention to do so. It seemed like she had stepped towards Anastasia just out of obligation.
Anastasia:「Look, Ram-san. I get that ‘cause the air’s bad ‘n such, various feelings end up gettin’ frayed, but……」
Ram:「Such talk doesn’t matter right now, don’t you think? More than that, go say it to that idio――」
Anastasia:「――Alrigh’. It doesn’ matter, jeez」
Giving off a fidgety impression, Ram tried to end her conversation with Anastasia as well. For the first time, she had moved her face away from Subaru and looked dead on at Anastasia.
The reason was because she’d felt a sudden impact. The impact which had pierced into her body, more precisely, the left part of her chest was―― Was due to the thick knife which Anastasia held in her hand.
Anastasia:「I had ta eyeball a decision of which of ya would be useful. Can ya forgive me?」
She twisted her knife and pulled it out from the wound. Ram looked down at the fatal wound that had been birthed on the left side of her chest as blood tricked out from the corner of her lips. Then, she looked up at Anastasia, who had raised her hand up with a smile on her face, and collapsed in front of her.
Ram feebly fell down onto the sand. The blood that gushed out of her continued to be soaked up by the parched sand.
Subaru looked at the scene with his own eyes, at a loss at what had occurred. His palm which he held his whip with trembled and his molars creaked in anger.
Subaru:「WHY DID YOU…..!」
Anastasia:「Since ya were goin’ about it slowly Natsuki-kun, didn’t it seem like ya’d have ended up killin’ each other if Ram-san’s vigilance couldn’ be loosened? What would I do if both of ya got injured, or both of ya died? I can’t escape from this place all alone, y’know?」
Anastasia cocked her head at the angered Subaru, her face showing no ill will. Her words made logical sense, but what could he, who was crushed by logic, do about this fury of his? His urge that he should have attacked Ram was still uncontrollable, and his rage was still bottled up.
Anastasia:「Or…. Are ya feelin’ like takin’ out yer annoyance on me?」
Anastasia:「Don’t ya think it’s stupid to get seized up by yer current rage and lose sight of the goal? I think that’s enough of gettin’ rid of companions for the time bein’.」
Anastasia’s words continued to quench his fury as if she was slowly pouring water on them. It was certainly as she said; continuing to get rid of the thinking minds which had come this far was foolish. Moreover, Anastasia = Eridna was their guide for their journey to the Pleiades Watchtower. It was dubious whether her knowledge had come in use, but casting her aside would be regrettable.
She was different from Ram. The latter’s words only made him sick to the stomach and had no use to him. Anastasia was a piece that would be bothersome to lose; yes, that’s how it was.
Subaru:「……Alright, I’ll get on board with your persuasion for now.」
Anastasia:「Mhm, that’s great with me. No, thank goodness. What a relief」
Making a show of patting her chest in relief, Anastasia smiled from ear to ear. And then, she stepped through the sand, giving off a perilous impression, and came towards Subaru, proffering her hand out.
Perhaps she wanted them to shake hands?
Anastasia:「A reconciliation; a handshake, ta show that from here on out, we’ll treat each other well, won’t we?」
Subaru faltered for a moment in thought as he looked at the hand she had offered out to him, her face showed no traces of maliciousness. Anastasia’s true feelings―― Or rather, right now it was Eridna’s true feelings. He didn’t truly know what she was scheming. He was neither comfortable or optimistic enough to think that everything she’d spoken was the truth.
To start with, Anastasia had killed Ram with the knife that she’d kept concealed, whilst she expressed the same smile as she was showing now. Indeed, with a knife that she had kept concealed.
The thick knife she was holding looked like it could cut all the way to the bone depending how it was handled. Since it had been put in their survival kit along with their lanterns, the kind of utility of an item that was presumed to be for survival was pretty high. However, she had kept it concealed all this time, and had used it in self-defence at her time of need. ――No, it may not have been self defence.
Anastasia:「Ya ain’t takin’ my hand?」
The hand she had offered out, her right one, was empty. However, her left hand was still holding the knife, even now. The range at which he’d be able to shake her hand was also the range at which the knife would be able to reach him. At least one of his hands would be occupied if he took her hand. He didn’t even need to consider which out of his whip and her knife would be more effective at this distance. Taking her hand: wasn’t that in itself a trap?
――Shouldn’t he kill her before he was killed?
Subaru:「Don’t worry, it’s nothing.」
Subaru gave a weak smile and reached out for Anastasia’s right hand. The moment in which she lowered her guard completely would be his chance, after they took each other’s hand.
He once again invoked his『Unseen Hand』, and the black hand slowly fixed its sights onto Anastasia’s slender neck. He wouldn’t make the same mistake as he had with Ram. Next, he would make the black palm mercilessly crush her throat. He would teach a lesson to the woman who had kept belittling him ever since she had managed to secure the upperhand with her knife.
Although, even if he wanted to show her, this palm wasn’t visible――.
(TL Note: I lost a bit of the nuance in translating 目にものを見せてやる as “to teach a lesson”. Literally it reads “To show it to her eyes” which is why the part after that paragraph references “wanting to show her”, more or less.)
Then, Subaru slowly took her outstretched hand with his own whilst he put the fingers of his black hand around Anastasia’s neck. The touch of slender fingers; Anastasia’s smile’s grew deeper. And at the same time, Subaru’s lips broke into a sad smile too.
Right here. Thus, he believed.
He would use the strength of his demonic hand before Anastasia could finish speaking and raise her knife. He would grasp her slender neck with his black fingers, and crush her neckbones in an instant――.
――Just before that happened however, a blade of wind came streaming in and cut Anastasia’s body in two from behind.
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He felt like he’d hallucinated that a wind had blown, straight after that.
A spray of red gushed out right in front of his eyes, a daft voice let out an「Eh?」and Anastasia’s body was cut in two across the middle.
A heapload of blood was strewn out onto the white sand. Steaming shit and warm guts mingled in with the cold air, leaving behind a putrid smell to hang over the inside of the cave.
Pink small and large intestines, along with many other internal organs that still showed faint traces of activity rolled onto the sand. The sand itself had turned into a showcase of organs, in which the items on display were the raw ingredients that made up a young girl.
Seeing the spectacle in front of him, Subaru cast his gaze down to his own hand. What he saw there was Anastasia’s upper body swinging about; she was still firmly grasping Subaru’s right hand with hers. She opened her eyes and speechlessly looked up at Subaru.
Behind her, the lower part of her body which had been cut at the waist, was flopping about. Her legs were convulsing like a marionette, and pee was pouring out everywhere as her muscles had relaxed.
Subaru let out a scream at Anastasia’s horrific condition. He immediately tried to shake her arm away, however she was holding on with inordinate strength. Unable to shake her off, Subaru just swung the now half in weight Anastasia about. More blood spewed out of her as she was swung about, and the intestine that still connected the upper half of her body with her lower jolted about, scattering body fluids everywhere and emitting a foul odour.
Subaru:「Hah, LET GO! LET GOOOOOOO!」
Anastasia:「NOOOOO! I DON’T WANT TO DIE…..!」
Subaru:「YOU’RE ALREADY DEAD! CAN’T YOU GRASP THAT YOU’RE BEYOND SAVING!?」
(TL Note: “Anastasia”, i.e. Eridna has been using うち exclusively as her personal pronoun. However where I’ve marked in bold here, she emphasised it by saying ウチ. There is a Q&A by Tappei where someone asks if the possession was undone, and he answers cryptically with: “If you try paying attention to the way she refers to herself, perhaps the riddle will be solved.” In fact, Eridna cannot pronounce ウチ properly, and always uses うち – so this implies in this moment, that this could be Anastasia. Previously I’d interpreted this as dropping the act, but now, due to other things later on, I am more so convinced that in this moment it’s Anastasia now. Note: Still not confirmed.)
Her vivid laments were far more clear than imagined, leading Subaru to scream in return. The upper and lower half of her body had now separated and so much blood and guts had flooded out. It was wrong for her not to have died immediately. It was also wrong for her to still keep grasping his hand. It was all so ridiculous.
Anastasia:「NO, NOOO! I WON’T, I ABSOLUTELY WOOON’T……hk」
Subaru:「EVEN IF YOU SAY THAT NOW, I CAN’T DO ANYTH―……GHAA!?」
The upper half of Anastasia clung to his arm, and pain shot through Subaru’s shoulder as he tried to throw her off. Anastasia was still holding the knife in her left hand, and had thrust it into Subaru’s body in an attempt to hold on to him.
The sharp blade easily pierced through Subaru’s left shoulder, and cracked his collarbone beneath it. Bleeding and scorching pain caused Subaru to scream.
Subaru:「GHAAAAAAAAA――!? FUCKING IDIOT, HURRY UP AND DIEEE!!」
Subaru fiercely grabbed Anastasia by the face and forcefully tore off her body. With great difficulty, he held the girl who had shouted something out whilst in tears, and threw her away.
From the start, Anastasia’s body had been quite petite. And now that she had become half, and with all the blood she had lost, she felt as light as a feather.
Subaru:「Haaah, haaah, haaaaa……..!」
(TL Note: Panting/Gasping SFX)
Without taking any notice of that, Subaru put his hand on his wounded right shoulder. His sight flickered in pain, and his heartbeat accelerated like it was going to explode. However, it wasn’t a life-threatening wound.
Subaru sluggishly reached into his thoughts whilst besieged by an unchanged sickening tension.
The blow that had killed Anastasia before was――.
A shadow swayed up in front of Subaru, who had fallen onto his backside and was gasping in pain.
A slender girl with blood covering half of her body came into view from the dim light of the lantern which was half-buried in sand―― Ram.
Since she had been stabbed in the chest by Anastasia’s knife, he’d taken her for dead. Yet, the girl still breathed. And keeping ahold of her tenacity, she had killed Anastasia with her magic.
Subaru:「……This fucking idiot. If you’re gonna die, then fucking die on your own.」
Subaru declared that with annoyance in his voice as he looked up at the staggering Ram. It wasn’t as if Ram wasn’t covered in wounds. Anastasia’s attack had been fatal for sure. The bleeding from the wound in her chest hadn’t stopped, and even now, blood was endlessly soiling her skirt all the way down to its hem. It looked like she’d soon die due to blood loss.
However, before that happened, she could take Subaru with her.
Subaru looked around his surroundings, trying to find his arme de guerre, his whip. However, even if he located it, his right arm which he used to wield it was injured from the shoulder. He couldn’t wield it with his left arm like he did with his right.
Then, he had just one choice left.
His trump card, which he’d already relied on many times in this short period of time. Once again, Subaru’s brain throbbed in burning pain the moment he tried to unleash the strength of his invisible black palm. An agony like his skull was being bored through by a drill exploded within him.
Subaru:「GHA! AAH!? GHHHUGH!?」
Puke trickled out from the corner of Subaru’s mouth due to the agony that visited him in waves.
In exchange for trying to use his trump card past its limits, his consciousness was broken up by the hellish banquet that had woken up inside his skull, starting from his cranial nerves. The pain of his right shoulder and such wasn’t even comparable to this.
Whittling at his brain and skull, the sense of loss froze Subaru’s will like it was gnawing at his soul.
Speaking nothing of the resistance he offered with his crappy whip, Subaru, who was writhing in agony, was prime prey. The dying Ram moved her body fuelled only by hatred and slowly made her way towards Subaru, raising her bloodstained wand.
Subaru:「AAAAAH! GHAAAA! OOOOAAAAAAH!?」
Subaru rolled over to where Anastasia lay in her pool of blood, still holding his head. Looking down at him, Ram’s lips stirred, and she began to chant her spell. And then――
She completed her chant, and the blade of wind which she created hewed Subaru down. But before that came to be, the sound of something hard being chewed echoed out across the cold cave of sand.
That horrible grating sound continued, and it changed into the sound of flesh and water being chewed.
That he would die, that he would be hewn down; Subaru had been convinced of that. However, the『Death』that should have come to him didn’t come at all. Finally, Subaru (who had been breathing heavily and rolling around)’s headache and feeling of loss slowly started to subside.
Subaru:「AH, HAH, ah, AH?」
He covered his face with his left hand and briskly shook his head which was drenched in cold sweat. Though a dull ache remained, the sharp blade-like agony had faded. Taking deep breaths, he lifted himself up using the strength of his entire soul. Subaru wiped his moistened cheeks whilst he foolishly took the time to raise only his upper body.
He noticed that his palm was covered in bright red, the source of which came from his own eyes―― It seemed like he had shed tears of blood.
A lot of blood dripped from his nose as well; the lower half of his face was probably in a horrific state. There was likely no doubt that the drilling pain which pierced directly to his brain was in recompense for his『Unseen Hand.』It was a familiar story. The feedback from having used his special superpower had come.
Briskly wiping his face with his sleeve, Subaru looked around his surroundings. He had no idea how much time he’d spent in agony. Nevertheless, he had hardly even thought it possible that he had it in himself to spend his time like that.
Something had happened, and with that he had been――.
Subaru’s jet black Earth Dragon nestled up beside him as he sat in blank amazement. Crouched down on the sand, she heard Subaru’s call and shook her long tail, indicating that she was in good health.
Subaru:「So you were uninjured? Hmm, let me think…..」
Just now, he recalled what had happened before. He recalled the scene in which Anastasia had been cut in two by Ram, and the latter aiming down at him. Subaru should have been ripped to shreds by Ram’s doing.
Subaru:「And yet, why….. Did Ram…?」
Perhaps she had used up all her strength and collapsed?
Though it was a really convenient development, Ram had been bearing fatal wounds. It wouldn’t be farfetched to think that she’d collapsed.
Subaru:「Is that lucky, or unlucky..….」
He didn’t want to say that he was lucky since she had been no less than almost dead. However, if he thought about it, he still couldn’t say he was unlucky since he ought to have been dead if things had gone south.
In any case, now wasn’t the time to go on about these things. Given that everyone who had gotten in his way was gone, he had to get out of this place as soon as he could and make his way to the Watchtower.
Subaru:「Patrasche…..Sorry, let me hop on.」
Subaru called out to her and touched her back, but the Earth Dragon didn’t obey his instructions. On the contrary, Patrasche, who had crouched down, still didn’t make any move to show her face to him.
She was sitting next to him on the sand, looking rather at peace, merely breathing heavily over and over.
Subaru:「Hey, Patrasche. Are you listening? HEY.」
His irritation slowly started to increase. It was a spiral of negative emotions which built up at supersonic speed, similar to those which he had felt against Ram and Anastasia. He felt like he wanted to teach the unresponsive Earth Dragon her place.
Subaru:「HEY, PATRASCHE, YOU, LOOK OVER HERE! HEY! 」
Subaru:「BASTARD, LISTEN TO WHAT I’VE BEEN SAYING FROM THE START…….」
Patrasche lifted her head up at Subaru, who had raised his voice and furiously slapped her back. He realised that she was trying to come face to face with him to try and express her words, breathing heavily out of her nose.
Patrasche’s mouth looked far from normal and was dyed in red.
That crimson colour was one that he had become used to seeing already in this short period of time. That colour coated parts of Subaru’s body as well, and still streamed down from his right shoulder even now. The foul smell which drifted around the area lay thick in it, along with that of piss and shit; there was no mistaking it.
However, he hadn’t wanted to notice something, he shouldn’t have noticed it.
『Pink Hair』innumerably entwined itself between the fangs that lined Patrasche’s mouth, who had now turned his way.
On the other side of the crouched Patrasche’s large body, Ram, whom he had lost sight of, fell down to the ground. Though the body of the girl fell, he couldn’t tell whether she was lying face up or face down. Checking that would be easy to tell if he looked at her head, but it was precisely because of that which he couldn’t. He couldn’t assess that because everything above her neck was chewed and its original shape was lost.
Ram’s skull had been crushed by vicious fangs and her brain juice had spilled out leaving her dead. Just like Anastasia who’d had her guts spilled out before dying, Ram had had the contents of her skull spilled out.
And, the one who’d done that, Patrasche, was staring intently at Subaru now.
Her yellow eyes which resembled that of a reptile were sharply and cruelly tinged with madness.
The last thing he saw was her maw opening up millimetres from his eyes.
All that Natsuki Subaru heard was the sound of his own body being chewed up all the way until just before he slipped out of consciousness. Even after his head was crushed and his ears stopped working, the sound continued.
He almost ended up laughing, wondering where he was hearing the sound from. However, he had no mouth to laugh with, no life that he could merely laugh at, and nothing which he could laugh at.
He was chewed up by his companion, and died.
(TL Note: Though I have not translated it, Tappei left a note after the chapter warning readers about how what he depicted in this chapter may be intense. He recommended that readers who lost themselves to their own power of imagination should skim over the chapter. Then he said “I went ahead and wrote it in the afterword”, referring to that warning. So I believe he was being sarcastic/witty there. Because readers would already have read the chapter to get there.)