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Translated By :
- Ice (/u/Ice_Occultism)
- Graced (/u/Gracedharperd)
Proofread By :
- Ice ( /u/Ice_Occultism)
- Graced (/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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Arc 5 – “Stars What Make History”
Chapter 76 – “Fruits of The Battle for Pristella 3”
The Sin Archbishop of “Wrath”. A bandaged monster who claimed to be the wife of the madman, “Sloth”.
Sirius Romanee-Conti had her entire body tied up with the chains that had been her own weapon, and she was locked up in a room of the shelter without being able to move about.
Sirius: “I was bored because no one came, nor would they come close. But, they went to call you, my dear. Thank you, I’m sorry? Thanks to everyone, it seems like we can have a happy reunion…. Even though it seems like there’s some nuisances as well.”
On having seen Subaru enter the room, Sirius’s voice called out in greeting. However, the final part of her words were filled with an intense anger towards Emilia and Beatrice.
As always, it seemed like Sirius was mistaking Subaru as a body that was possessed by Petelgeuse, or something like that. Of course, it was just what she wanted to believe.
Whilst overwhelmed by the monster’s powerful gaze that radiated with madness, in which she had clearly lost her marbles, Subaru shrugged his shoulders so to mask that, and said,
Subaru: “You’re quite composed for one who’s captured. I don’t know if Priscilla thought to try and capture you on some whim of her’s, but we definitely won’t be releasing you safely.”
Sirius: “Even if you say that, they can’t get rid of me either so easily, right? Thank you. I know you care about my wellbeing. But, I’m sorry? You took the trouble to worry, but that makes no sense to me. It’s like that, isn’t it?”
With this peculiar thought, Sirius interpreted Subaru’s threat as a positive. The monster kept its quiet posture on the chair, and only let its slightly cracked voice quiver,
Sirius: “So long as there’s “Love” to think of others and want others in everyone’s hearts, no one can deny me. It’s the same even for that prideful girl.”
Subaru: “……Your authority shouldn’t have worked with Priscilla and Liliana. It’s not like there’s no one capable of hurting you.”
Sirius: “But that isn’t you. Whatever doesn’t come from you yourself, no matter what it is, ultimately makes no sense to me. Thank you, I’m sorry?”
He gritted his teeth at Sirius, who had relaxed her bandaged lips into a smile. It seemed like a conversation had been established, but in reality, there was no mutual understanding between them.
The resolute values within Sirius didn’t accept even a modicum of external stimuli. The more it struck him, the more the stricken Subaru got hurt.
Beatrice: “Subaru, it’s pointless, in fact. It’s meaningless to expect human emotion like introspection or empathy from such people, I suppose. These guys are nothing but malevolent, in fact.”
Sirius: “……Spirit in the form of a girl, don’t you get closer to my precious Petelgeuse.”
When Beatrice pulled Subaru’s sleeve, who was clenching his teeth, Sirius bluntly began to take a sullen attitude. Beatrice snorted her small nose to the words of that monster, and tugged Subaru’s arm even closer to her.
Beatrice: “That’s too bad for you, I suppose. But Betty belongs to Subaru, I was needed here, and here I am, I suppose. Don’t you call Subaru by that disgusting name, in fact. You don’t even know the true meaning of holding that name.”
Sirius: “Don’t get carried away, little brat. That person’s side is the place which I snuggle up to in heart and flesh. Don’t you dare point your mistaken, arbitrary devotion to that person. I’ll set your backside on fire, burn the inside of your belly to cinders, and turn you into fertiliser for the Od Lagna.”
Emilia: “Both of you, don’t get worked up and start fighting. It’ll make me angry too.”
When the stormy atmosphere was created by Sirius and Beatrice, the intervening Emilia’s gaze became sharp. He was in a situation where he was surrounded by three women, being pulled by his arm, but Subaru didn’t have the liberty to joke about it right now.
Such was the strong feeling of oppression he felt in his soul by being next to Sirius. He wasn’t sure if it was caused by the authority that monster possessed.
Subaru: “Emilia, Beatrice, step back. Perhaps she’ll just talk with me. Although, regardless if there’s someone here or not….. It’s doubtful if it’ll happen.”
Subaru: “Please. ――This is an unexpected chance to speak with the Witch Cult.”
If it wasn’t for this situation, he wouldn’t have had the opportunity to sit down and talk with the Witch Cult.
Emilia let out a sigh at Subaru’s request, and both she and Beatrice exchanged glances with each other; they took a step back so as not to interfere with his conversation with Sirius.
Then, Subaru, who’d been entrusted with this situation, turned to face the bound monster once again.
Subaru: “As you wish, I will speak with you. So, you’ve been making your chains to creak since a while ago, stop moving. If you slip free from your bindings, we’ll be forced to beat you down.”
Sirius: “You too have your standpoint. I understand that. It’s fine. These chains won’t come loose or break so easily. Thank you.”
The captive Sirius was delighted with Subaru’s attitude, who had tried to converse with her.
It didn’t imply that Emilia and Beatrice’s figures were out of sight, but it seemed like she’d completely expelled them from her notice.
Sirius: “So, what should we talk about? Because of your relation with me, there’s hardly anything to say between us….. We can just exchange “Love”, don’t you think? Just kidding, I’m sorry?”
Subaru: “Your purpose….. Yes, your purpose. The purpose behind why all of you Sin Archbishops attacked this city at the same time. You don’t need crap like the book or the artificial spirit. At least, we know quite well that all of your purposes weren’t really to steal them.”
Sirius: “It’s a misunderstanding that we didn’t really intend to. Though, it’s certainly true that I personally didn’t want them. I don’t know about the other guys, but I was just following the Gospel’s description.”
Subaru: “The Gospel…. That again? It was the same with Petelgeuse as well. Why do all of you follow that strange book? Petelgeuse followed it as well.”
And as a result, he lost his life.
The Gospel’s description showed the path of the future that an owner must follow―― Even knowing such circumstances, it wasn’t omnipotent, that much was clear if he thought about the final moments of that lunatic.
Subaru knew that the path of the future which could be seen was not absolute.
Yet even so,
Subaru: “Why does the Witch Cult follow exactly what the book says? Is it because that book will help with the resurrection of the “Witch”……. Of your beloved “Witch of Envy” ? ”
Sirius: “――Please don’t misunderstand, darling.”
Sirius’ emotions of joy suddenly disappeared from her voice on hearing Subaru’s accusatory voice.
Whilst the monster looked into Subaru’s eyes with her glittering eyes, on her face which was wrapped in bandages, she twisted her lips so to bare her yellowed teeth.
And then, she spoke.
Sirius: “You’re the only one I love. The only one. I don’t care about the “Witch”. Everything, are just necessary things to get to you.”
Sirius: “The other Sin Archbishops are similar. All of them have worthless, insignificant, repulsive desires, and merely cling to their authorities. For me, my only reason is “love”, and for my beloved dear, it’s different. I’m sorry? It’s different in every way.”
――The Witch Cult’s purpose was the resurrection of the “Witch of Envy”.
Subaru had believed without any doubt that it was so, considering Petelgeuse Romanee-Conti’s behaviour and utterances, and in addition, the creed and acts of barbarism he’d heard about the Witch Cult up until now.
However, that principle―― The very reason for the existence of the group known as the Witch Cult had been shaken here.
Of course, Subaru had also met Regulus Corneas, and they’d exchanged words too.
As soon as he thought about whether that conceited, egocentric man, who’d looked down on everything besides himself, was going to idolise the “Witch”, his sense of incongruity became stronger.
Now that he mentioned it, it was obvious. The more he thought about, the more he could come to a better conclusion. But, if it was like this, then what purpose did the Witch Cult have in existing?
Subaru: “Then, why the hell are you all in the Witch Cult…..”
Sirius: “Because you’re in it”
Sirius: “That is my sole reason. I’m here to exchange my “love” with you. I don’t know about the others. If we become one, I think you’d understand.”
Becoming one, in brief, probably meant melding their hearts with each other with the power of her authority.
But that wasn’t understanding, it was forced conformity. It wasn’t possible to call forcing a heart against its will by binding it to the same emotions a way of understanding each other, let alone becoming one.
Subaru: “What are the purposes of the other Sin Archbishops? What is the ultimate goal of the Witch Cult?”
Sirius: “Well, who knows? I’m sorry. Regrettably it’s something that doesn’t interest me.”
Subaru: “In general, where does the Witch Cult meet? Is there anyone who leads it?”
Sirius: “……No. Especially with such established routine. You know it too.”
Whilst still putting on a crazed smile underneath her bandages, Sirius avoided Subaru’s question. No, she probably didn’t even intend to dodge it.
The monster was going to sincerely answer in a monster-like way to her husband, “Petelgeuse’s” questions. Due to her behaviour so far, there seemed to be no doubt that Sirius had an abbertant devotion towards Petelgeuse, on top of her dependance.
In other words, just like the monster had stated, she really didn’t know anything.
Sirius: “――Even so, after all, it’s like that?”
Sirius grumbled that out whilst looking at the pensieve Subaru from below.
Subaru reacted a little slowly to the frigidness of those words. The monster took advantage of the momentary gap that was born from it.
The small chair creaked as it tilted, and Sirius face drew close to Subaru’s visage. Her bloodshot eyes stared at Subaru, who’d held his breath reflexively, from close up.
Sirius tilted her chair, still bound up to her ankles, and balanced herself up using only her toes which hung barely free. Her body fell forward with an injection of momentum so to lean against Subaru.
Sirius: “I’d thought something was strange ever since the time we reunited back at the clocktower, but I was so sure. The passion of that day is nowhere to be found in your eyes. ――My dear, are you being swallowed?”
Sirius: “You’re being eaten up by a soul, by a body which was supposed to be a temporary abode, and you’ve ended up unable to move about….. Really, you’re such a useless person without me.”
Sirius’ long tongue suspiciously licked Subaru’s cheek as she breathed out a fevered sigh. Feeling the rough tip of her tongue on his skin, every single hair on Subaru’s body stood on end.
A growing sense of discomfort erupted within his chest, and the back of his eyes became dyed in deep red. It was crazy to think that this phenomenon had simply been caused from her vile action.
It was crazy to think, but he didn’t feel like he could consider anything else. And then――,
Emilia: “ICE BRAND ARTS!”
Sirius: “Gh―― Fhhh”
The blow of an ice hammer came swooping diagonally and hit Sirius’ body, who had been clinging to Subaru, and launched her to the back wall along with her chair.
The sound of an impact was raised, and Sirius, who had received this icy blow defenceless to stop it, fell down. Dust blew up across the narrow room, and bits from the ceiling came pattering down.
Subaru: “Oh, oh……?”
Standing next to Subaru, who had ended up falling on his knees, Emilia dematerialised the ice hammer she’d created. Subaru, who’d been slow to notice that it’d been Emilia who’d let lose that blow without any forewarning, let out a long sigh.
He really couldn’t comprehend what had happened during this moment.
Beatrice: “Subaru’s such a big idiot, I suppose.”
Subaru: “――tch. Beako?”
Amidst the impact and the parched sound, Subaru blinked, noticing that his cheek had been slapped. The one who’d struck his cheek was Beatrice, who’d nestled up close to him. She looked at Emilia out of the corner of her eyes, and said,
Beatrice: “If Emilia hadn’t interrupted that now, Betty would have done the same, in fact. You were too careless around someone like that, I suppose. In the worst case, she could have ripped your throat apart with her teeth, in fact.”
Subaru became aware of his own carelessness thanks to Beatrice’s words. It wasn’t an exaggeration or something he could laugh at. In reality, Sirius had licked Subaru’s cheek with her tongue.
Putting to one side the repulsiveness of that action, if that tongue had been a fang, and if instead of his cheek, it had been his neck, Subaru wouldn’t have been able to stop it.
Emilia: “Don’t try anything strange. I’m a little scatterbrained, so I can’t hold myself back very well. The next one will surely be a reaaaaally painful blow.”
Emilia declared that she didn’t intend to go easy, whilst keeping her guard up against the collapsed Sirius.
Sirius was completely bound, such that she wasn’t able to move about―― The excessive precautions they’d ended up taking against this opponent who was kept as a prisoner in this state was proof of the monster’s fiendish being.
It seemed like he’d forgotten about that in front of the threat of its authority, however, this Sin Archbishop of “Wrath” stood out from the rest, even in looking at its combat strength alone. At a first glance, one would think that the strongest in the Witch Cult was Regulus the “Invincible”, but in reality, since “Greed” relied entirely on his authority, his threat had been low.
A strength that didn’t depend on an authority, along with the threat of an authority―― In this sense, the other Sin Archbishops were way tougher than Regulus
Beatrice: “Subaru, you should have already known this, I suppose. You won’t get anywhere, even if you talk to this person, in fact. She’s not the type that you can have a proper conversation with. I don’t know what she knows, but even if you wish to get something out of her, you aren’t going to be able to have a sane conversation to find out what she knows, I suppose.”
Subaru: “If it’s impossible to converse with her….”
Beatrice: “Pose the queries to her body, what I mean is torture, in fact. Though that isn’t something which Subaru should do, I suppose. It’s something which the Kingdom does sometimes after having caught someone, in fact.”
Beatrice tugged at Subaru’s arm so to get him to stand up as she expressed that cruel point of view.
Torture, Subaru felt an undescrible feeling of uneasiness in regards to that word. Along with death and brutality, they weren’t words which were heard or spoken in his everyday life.
Although he didn’t know the reality of it, with how much such gruesome things were practised, if they were within reach of their imagination, he understood it. Along with the anguish of the people who were exposed to that.
Subaru: “I don’t think it’s what they deserve.”
Subaru’s mentality wasn’t so naive to believe that human nature was fundamentally good.
He didn’t think that everything had to end up with “Death” when it came to settling a battle; the thought of wanting to finish things up without killing as much as possible had always been in his nature. That was a moral value which he’d brought in from his original world, and that in itself was a naivety which Subaru couldn’t detach himself from.
――But, even so, there’d always been a conclusion that had stepped past the boundaries of those morals.
He would have preferred to finish things up without killing if he could. In the end, that thought meant that he would have to kill his opponents that necessitated it.
That had applied to both of the Sin Archbishops, Petelgeuse and Regulus. And it would be no different when it came to the other Sin Archbishops, Sirius, Capella and Alphard of “Gluttony” as well.
He felt hatred, and a lust for revenge. But in yet a different part to that, there was an intent that had determined that those guys were people he would have to kill.
Subaru: “I’ll be excusing myself from talking with you anymore. When we separate here, I probably won’t get another opportunity to talk with you. I don’t think that’s a pity, nor commiserable. But, hurry up and spit out what you have to say, and then you can rest in peace…… That’d always be helpful.”
Telling someone to “Die” right to their face had brought him a difficulty breathing.
Subaru said merely that, and made a motion to leave the room since there was nothing else left anymore. As Beatrice had mentioned, if they wanted to try and get information on the Witch Cult from Sirius, they had no other way but to pose the questions to her body to get more out of her. That was a different task, one which Subaru could not do.
When Subaru showed his intention to leave, both Emilia and Beatrice’s faces broke into relief. Both of them had been against entering the room from the start. It was a regrettable situation in that they’d just been put in a foul mood without gaining any results. However, thinking about it in a positive light, it had become clear to them that the way those guys thought was incomprehensible; it seemed they should be content with that.
There was no telling what would have happened if he’d gotten close.
Subaru and the others made their way to the entrance without bothering to lift Sirius back up, who still lay toppled over thanks to Emilia’s blow. It definitely wasn’t a laudable attitude, but, with that――.
Subaru: “……Wait up”
Subaru stopped in his tracks due to an unpleasant sensation that grated against his skull just when they were about to reach the entrance. Then, he looked down at Sirius who was lying on the floor. The source of that unpleasantness came from over there, from the collapsed Sirius.
The monster was lying on her side, breathing crudely from her nose whilst pressing her face against the cold floor. Her breathing was so awfully ear piercing that it had drawn his attention to her.
――Just before leaving the room, he’d realised that she was humming.
Subaru: “Stop that song, what are you trying to do?”
She was out of tune, her pitch and rhythm were both in a state of chaos. This dissonance didn’t come to a stop there. It was nothing else but a declaration of Sirius’ intent in regards to Subaru’s words.
In other words, a refusal, a rejection.
Subaru: “I told you to stop! This song is grating through my head!”
Sirius: “――. I’m sorry? Ah, but songs sure are great, aren’t they? They taught me that songs are wonderful. That’s why I wanted to try and sing all of a sudden.”
Sirius should have heard the song when she squared off against Priscilla and Liliana. He had no idea how her song had sealed her authority during their fight.
In the midst of battle, the monster hadn’t hated the song, and she’d learnt something of it. However, the monster’s understanding of the song definitely was of different strokes to the feelings which Liliana had put into hers.
Her’s was something more eerie, and distorted.
Subaru: “Don’t compare her song with yours. Yours is different, it’s something else.”
Sirius: “――I could say the same about you. You’re different. You’ve changed. You’re definitely different from that person whom I love. Even if you’re the same, you’re different.”
Sirius: “Petelgeuse is inside you. Soul and soul will melt together, flesh and flesh will become one, and like that, that beloved person will surface, though, it will take some time. What I ought to do is help that. To see that person waking up, by your side.”
Still collapsed on the floor, Sirius twisted her neck and looked up at Subaru.
An endless swirling storm of emotions surged up in her crazened eyes. Anger, joy, sorrow, and a longing that she couldn’t conceal, all continued to swirl in Sirius’ eyes.
Sirius: “I’ll drag that person out from inside of you. ――Thank you, I’m sorry? Please, until that day comes, take care of your mind and body.”
Sirius certainly understood that Subaru and Petelgeuse were different things.
She should have understood that, but yet the monster hid under a convenient fantasy, i.e. overwriting him. Petelgeuse, who slept inside of Subaru, would someday come out to greet him, she’d said.
There’s no such thing. That would be impossible.
It was likely true that Petelgeuse’s Witch Factor that he’d taken in was inside him. However, there’s no way that safeguarded Petelgeuse’s spirit. From where did this monster find these similarities between Petelgeuse and him to have repeated such bullshit?
――Or was it that Subaru and that lunatic had some similar parts when seen from the outside?
Sirius: “One last thing, I’m going to give you some advice so that you don’t end up doing something unnecessary.”
Subaru: “……Advice? You, to me?”
Sirius: “Yes, so that I don’t lose my beloved darling. ――Be careful around “Gluttony”. “Bizarre Eating”, “Gourmet” and “Satiation” will eventually try to snatch you away. If that happens before he wakes up, no one will end up being able to remember my darling.”
From the place he’d least expected, “Wrath” had mentioned the name “Gluttony” and given him information on them. Although, the content itself wasn’t anything unusual, it was just information which he already knew, but――No.
Subaru: “Wait. “Gourmet”, and who else?”
Sirius: ““Gourmet”, “Bizarre Eating” and “Satiation”. Being eaten and taken in without anyone noticing what was lost is an act of barbarity against “Love” which must melt together, blend together, and become as one. If you get the chance, please kill “Gluttony”. Since they’re a bother.”
She revealed that about the Sin Archbishops who were in the same position as her, and what’s more, she’d indifferently wished for their death. It was great that in this case there was a fatal discrepancy in the relations between the top brass in the Witch Cult.
The issue was what Sirius had said about “Gluttony”――no, about the “Gluttonies”.
Subaru: “I totally thought that the “Gluttony” which Otto came across was the “Gluttony” who was in the control tower, since they’d been prowling about like “Lust”, but…..”
What if that wasn’t the case, and it was just one of the “Gluttonies” from the two additional ones. What if all of the three “Gluttonies” were lurking in the city, and it hadn’t been just that one.
And what if the “Gluttony” in charge of their control tower had continued to protect its post.
Subaru: “――Tch. Shit, I need to make sure…..!”
Subaru clasped his head in dismay at his own stupidity, he kicked the floor and headed towards the entrance. Now was not the time to continue talking with Sirius.
Subaru had to make sure with his own eyes the safety of everyone who had participated in the battle to defend the city.
He had to make sure that no one had disappeared due to their names being devoured by “Gluttony”.
Subaru: “EMILIA! BEATRICE! Go straight back to the shelter we were at before. I’ve gotta make sure of something.”
Emilia: “Subaru? I don’t know what’s blown into you, but calm down……”
Subaru: “WHEN THIS IS OVER! I’ll calm down all you want. I’ll calm down, so please let me do what it takes for me to calm down. It’s something urgent.”
Subaru hurriedly replied that to Emilia who had touched his shoulder. Emilia gulped seeing Subaru’s behaviour, and then nodded saying “I understand.”
Beatrice, who from the start hadn’t intended to interject in Subaru’s behaviour, looked shocked. Subaru had already forgotten about Sirius, and had hurriedly jumped out of the room.
Emilia: “Wait up, Subaru. I’m coming too.”
And so, Emilia hurried after him, and both of their footsteps moved away at a quick pace.
As she listened to them, Beatrice turned her head back when she was at the door, and looked at Sirius, who was still face flat to the floor, and then pointed her palm at the monster.
Beatrice: “To tell you the truth, it’s not like I don’t think turning you into smithereens here would be proper, I suppose.”
Sirius: “――So, why don’t you do so? Spirit Whore. It’ll be most welcome for me if it speeds up that person’s awakening.”
Beatrice let out a sigh at the provocative Sirius’ manner of speech, and then lowered her palm. The little girl held the hem of her dress with the hand she’d lowered, and her eyes became filled with strong emotion,
Beatrice: “If you make Subaru sad, Betty will definitely kill you, in fact.”
Sirius: “Of course. My beloved Petelgeuse’s resurrection should just be welcomed by emotions of joy.”
It was uncertain how much she understood, or if she was done here or not, but regardless of that, the doddering conversation ended, and Beatrice left the room, closing the door behind her.
Just before she did, Sirius’s distorted hums slipped into Beatrice’s eardrums.
A harassment and severity of sound that grated against your sense of hearing with its distorted rhythm like trampling the concept of music underneath it. A completely new kind of music that planted unpleasant feelings in others―― It was the “Music of Resentment”.
The door was closed, and the Music of Resentment was cut off.
But, no matter where she was, that distorted rhythm remained in her ears. Beatrice chased after Subaru and Emilia at an adagio pace whilst tasting that unpleasant sensation.
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After leaving Sirius’ prison, Subaru rushed over to Al who was waiting in the corridor. Al, who’d been on standby, his Blue Dragon Sword held in his hand, was taken by surprise by Subaru’s threatening attitude who’d stormed his way over.
Al: “Hey, Bro. I heard a super loud noise, you didn’t kill her, right? Punching and kicking also counts as prisoner abuse, so they ain’t things you can really praise.”
Subaru: “I didn’t kill her, afterwards I’ll give you a proper explanation about the prisoner abuse, more importantly, I need to check something. Al, no one died where you were, right?”
Al: “――? Well, if you’re asking about the whole city, I don’t know. But at least, me, the cat eared sis― bro, and the miss with the Kararagi accent are all fine. I thought you already knew?”
Subaru: “I know, but…. Aah, shit. I won’t get anywhere this way!”
It was natural that it had been an inconclusive answer.
Following with Subaru’s concerns, if there had been someone who’d ended up as a victim of “Gluttony”, that person would have disappeared from other’s memories, like Rem. In that situation, asking “Is there not a person you don’t remember?” made no sense.
The easiest way would be to tell Al and Emilia everyone’s names, one by one.
That was scary, that was terrifying.
Although it wasn’t the time to cower, it would be terrifying to hear it from someone’s mouth. It would be much more reassuring to go back to the shelter and check the safety of everyone with his own eyes.
Subaru: “I’ll go back to the shelter. Please don’t take your eyes off until Reinhard comes back for whatever reason.”
Al: “Alright then, but….. Well, no. I won’t ask the details. Gives me the chills.”
Shaking his hand, Al didn’t question Subaru’s true intention behind his behaviour. Subaru went back through the passageway whilst avoiding considering, rather, thinking unnecessarily about problematic things, and left the shelter.
Looking at Priscilla from the corner of his eye, who seemed bored as ever, “That’s the second one,”’ he counted.
Priscilla: “Hah. Commoners sure are of small caliber, hence why your hearts get perturbed by such trivial things, it’s such a big issue. If you’re going hither and thither, at least focus your attention like you’re sightseeing as much as you can.”
Subaru: “That you haven’t changed doesn’t relieve me one bit. See you later.”
Not having time to stop, Subaru quickly passed by in front of Priscilla. It was a manner, or rather, a disrespect which could have fouled Priscilla’s mood, but she didn’t say anything about it and only muttered “How boring.” whilst fanning her skin.
Emilia: “So Subaru, what do you want to do? What is it that you have to make sure of?”
Returning back to the shelter full of the injured, Emilia called out to Subaru who was restlessly looking around. To her call, Subaru hesitated for a moment on whether to ask for her help.
Thinking about Rem’s case, Emilia didn’t have any resistance in regards to “Gluttony’s” meals. Subaru hadn’t forgotten the shock when he’d learnt about the loss of Rem’s name from her mouth.
He’d resigned himself to the possibility of that wound reopening once more, and he’d the courage to explain the situation to Emilia. Because this was an unconscious blade which Emilia couldn’t take into account.
Till now, Subaru had confirmed the names of several of his companions who’d fought in the defence.
Beatrice and Anastasia first. Then Garfiel and Mimi were added to that, then Wilhelm and Otto, Liliana and Kiritaka too.
Felt’s being was confirmed too from Otto’s words. According to the girls’ story, Reinhard and Ferris should also be fine. And Priscilla and Al whom he’d been with just a little while ago.
In other words, it wasn’t yet possible to check the safety of――,
???: “――Subaru, it seems we met up safely.”
A refreshing voice called out to Subaru, whose thoughts were spinning around rapidly, from his side. When he turned around, there was a red haired young man who had raised his arm in greeting to him; it was Reinhard.
It had been only a few hours that he’d met up safely with him, who after Regulus’ defeat should have gone around to provide reinforcement to the other camps. Nevertheless, now that he was looking around for his acquaintances, he felt honest relief in being able to see his face.
Reinhard: “It’s a relief that both Emilia-sama and Beatrice-sama also reunited safely.”
Emilia: “Thank you, Reinhard. You should have been running around the city, right? Thank goodness you’re alright. Yeah, truly.”
Reinhard: “No, it’s no big deal. Besides, even without me, everyone fulfilled their roles steadfastly. My modest power was only a little bit useful.”
Reinhard replied politely back to Emilia, and then looked at Subaru. Reinhard narrowed his sky-blue eyes, and as if seeing through to the depths of Subaru’s heart, he said,
Reinhard: “So, Subaru, did something happen? Right now, you look like you’re flustered.”
Subaru: “Right now I want to check if something happened. ――Reinhard, have you met with Felt? Felt, and the others….. Well, Larkins and the others, that is.”
The trio of Ton Chin Kan, now that it had come to this―― They also belonged in the framework of comrades. He’d heard from Otto that Felt was fine, he’d also heard that her servants were fine, but that didn’t mean he’d mentioned the names of the three servants and confirmed them. He wasn’t able to feel relieved.
To the desperation of Subaru’s question, Reinhard gently placed his hand on his chin, and said,
Reinhard: “Yeah, they’re fine. Felt-sama, those three, Larkins, Gaston and Camberly are all safe and sound. Larkins and Gaston have injuries, but they aren’t so serious enough to worry. In regards to Felt-sama having acted independently, I think she will have to reflect on this later, don’t you?”
Subaru: “There seems to be a pretty big chance that our Internal Affairs Officer was saved thanks to Felt, so do take that into account, I beseech for a lenient punishment….. Anyways, there wasn’t anything else in addition?”
Reinhard: “Anything else?”
Subaru: “Anything else….. No, sorry. It wouldn’t really be a specific question. So umm, after we separated, did anything happen? Any problems, or anything that worried you.”
Even if he thought about it again, he still didn’t have a specific question to ask; Subaru felt miserable. However, Reinhard didn’t laugh at it, instead he quietly mulled it over and shook his head.
Reinhard: “No, my apologies, but nothing is coming to mind. Nothing particularly problematic happened after I left you and Emilia-sama. That I think.”
Subaru: “I… see. My bad. It isn’t that. Well, erm…… Yeah, there’s a lot I’d like to talk to you about, so when you can, won’t you gather along with Felt too? I’d like to consult with the people involved about what happened now, and what comes after. May I leave that to you?”
Reinhard: “――. Sure, since it’s a request from you. Right now, I’d just asked Felt-sama to stay quietly in the standby area once again, so it’ll probably sound sarcastic to her, though.”
Subaru: “……Yikes that’s bad. Afterwards I’ll apologise as well, so for now, I’ll rely on you.”
Giving a wry smile at Subaru’s words, Reinhard looked around his surroundings a little, and then quickly left the place. When he jumped out to the outside of the shelter, you could barely see his figure which was leaping over buildings in one bound; he would soon meet back up with Felt, it seemed.
The problem was,
Emilia: “Subaru, Ferris is here. You want to hear his story, right?”
Subaru: “Hmm, ah. Yeah, I also wanted to talk to Ferris.”
Called by Emilia, he looked at where she was pointing at. There, he was able to find the figure of Ferris, who was restlessly letting his gaze wander to and fro in a corner of the shelter.
The cat-eared healing arts user was staggering about, and his complexion looked awful. Most likely, it was the result of his healing voyage that he’d been taken on by Reinhard. By freely using his healing magic, it seemed like he’d sustained a considerable burden. Even so, he was walking around looking for his next patient without resting――or it didn’t seem like that.
Ferris, who was looking around his surroundings, noticed Subaru and Emilia, and raised his voice up. He hastily tottered over to them, and caught ahold of Subaru’s scruff of his neck as if he was going to collapse.
Propping his light body up, Subaru called out to him with an “Hey?” And then,
Ferris: “Tell me…..”
Ferris: “THE SIN ARCHBISHOP! THEY WERE CAUGHT, RIGHT? I’M GOING TO MAKE THEM SPIT OUT EVERYTHING THEY KNOW, I’M GOING TO FIND OUT HOW TO TREAT CRUSCH-SAMA! SO, TELL ME WHERE THEY ARE.….!”
Subaru was paralysed by Ferris’ gaze which glared at his right in front of his wide-open eyes. Ferris’ fury was like that of a raging fire, he was only concerned for the wellbeing of his beloved mistress. And if it was to save her, he was prepared to show no mercy to those who know how to make that possible.
Subaru: “Fe-Ferris, calm down. I understand your feelings, but the result won’t come even if you hurry to do it. For now, let’s talk…..”
Ferris: “DON’T SAY WHAT’S CONVENIENT! YOU UNDERSTAND MY FEELINGS? THERE’S NO WAY YOU DO UNDERSTAND THEM IT SEEMS!? WHILST YOU SPEAK SO CALMLY, YOU KNOW HOW MUCH CRUSCH-SAMA IS SUFFERING….. IF YOU’D UNDERSTOOD, YOU WOULDN’T BE ABLE TO REMAIN CALM! STOP BEING SO IRRESPONSIBLE!”
Having been jabbed in the chest, and a finger pointed at him, Subaru kept his mouth shut.
Having been attacked by irrational comments, Subaru couldn’t even reply back. Crusch’s condition hadn’t changed, she was still infested with Capella of “Lust”’s blood. But more than anything, Subaru felt relieved by Ferris’ comments just now, realising that he hadn’t forgotten Crusch.
That black corrosion had also set itself into place in Subaru’s right leg and the palm that he’d touched Crusch with.
But there was no way that would bring relief to Ferris’ heart.
Ferris: “I have to save Crusch-sama. I can and will do everything that is necessary for that. If I have to torture the Sin Archbishop, I will do that too. I know how to cure people. That’s why, even if I break them, I can heal them. That’s why, that’s why……”
???: “Ferris. ――That’s enough already.”
Subaru couldn’t say anything to Ferris who was burning in frustration. And then, the one who’d called him from behind him to stop, was the wisened swordsman who couldn’t stand to see this situation.
Wilhelm called out to the knight who served the same mistress as him with a voice which was devoid of all emotions.
Wilhelm: “I fully understand how you feel. But, this behaviour is nothing more than an insult to Crusch-sama, more so than anyone else. First calm yourself. Do things after you calm yourself.”
Ferris: “You’re saying you understand how I feel like as consolation…..!”
Wilhelm: “――I understand.”
Wilhelm forcibly stopped him in his tracks with a low tone of voice when Ferris had tried to flare up at him. And then, Wilhelm looked at the jacket which had the ashes wrapped within it, which he’d hugged against his chest.
Ferris immediately bit his lips, his face guessing immediately who it was that slept there.
Ferris: “It’s…… not fair. It’s not fair, it’snotfairit’snotfairit’snotfair. Old man Wil…..!”
Wilhelm: “I know. It is poor of me to impose on your generosity and kindness. Forcing that on you, who opposes the pain of others more than anyone else. You should blame this old man.”
Ferris held back his tears and hung his head down. Wilhelm embraced his head and nodded at Subaru.
It looked like it meant that he would take over. Ferris too would have to face the conference later in place of Crusch again when he calmed down.
It would be necessary to discuss the handling of Sirius then. But for now, what they should do is exchange words so that they know each other’s conditions.
Wilhelm’s serene eyes communicated that to Subaru. There was a pitifulness that depended on that, Subaru bowed his head and left the place.
Subaru: “Wilhelm-san, must want to cry too.”
Why did everything go wrong?
There was no way to have achieved joy for everyone, acquaintances and strangers. How much did Subaru have to fight, strive and try in some way to choose the best option, to arrive at that outcome―― It was something that he did not know.
He had recently confirmed the safety of Reinhard and Felt, and also Ferris and Crusch. The ones that remained missing were Julius and Ricardo who had gone to recover the control tower of “Gluttony”. In addition to that, Priscilla’s page, Schult, and although an unpleasant person, Heinkel.
Speaking of which, Julius’ younger brother, Joshua, ever since the problem started, he’d always b――.
Just when he was thinking that, Subaru saw the shadow of someone watching the shelter from the outside.
He wore well-tailored white garb, and had a slender knight sword holstered at his waist. A handsome, and tall profile, along with lustrous purple hair that was almost flashy―― There was no way to mistake him.
It was Julius. Right now, the guy he wanted to check the safety of, was here.
Subaru: “Hey, Juli――”
He quickly lifted his hand up and raised his voice to try and greet Julius who had let half of his body peek through. But, when Julius noticed that Subaru’s eyes were looking at him, he quickly turned around and left. He tried to leave the shelter at a fast pace.
Faced with Julius’ unexpected behaviour, Subaru let out a stunned voice.
That reaction was completely unexpected. His opinions had been divided in respect to whether Julius would have obediently replied to his voice, but even so, he would have never imagined this reaction.
It wasn’t an obedient answer or sarcasm, he simply ignored him.
Subaru: “Is that bastard kidding me?”
Having spouted out all the irritation that had been boiling within so far, Subaru chased after him.
It wasn’t that he was worried. It wasn’t that he was worried, but he was looking for him to confirm his safety, he shouldn’t have had that attitude.
What was he up to? He had to catch him and find out. It was necessary to mention that this was not the time to joke around.
Emilia: “Hey, Subaru? What’s going on?”
Subaru: “That pretentious bastard Julius was there and ignored me just now. I’m going to go get him!”
Leaving behind Emilia’s voice of surprise, Subaru ran and chased after Julius. After he jumped out of the shelter’s entrance, he saw his back which was about to disappearer beyond the street. They were clearly movements to avoid the gaze of the public. However, if he wasn’t running, it’d be easy to catch up with him.
Subaru: “If you’re okay, just hurry up and say you’re okay…”
As if he was condemned, Subaru ran to the corner of the street. With one walking swiftly and the other running, the distance inevitably shortened. As soon as he turned around, he was able to see his back, and Subaru raised his voice.
Subaru: “Hey, you bastard! You, why the hell are you running around when everyone’s so busy? If you don’t show your face you’ll cause concern. No, it’s a general opinion.”
Upon hearing Subaru’s violent voice, Julius stopped. Julius turned his face only, and calmly gazed at Subaru with his yellow eyes.
Subaru frowned at the silent glance, but Julius did not change his posture,
Julius: “――My apologies. I was looking for someone, but it looks like that person wasn’t inside. I’d like to make my way to another shelter. If you’ll excuse me.”
Subaru: “Wait wait wait wait, what are you saying? What you’re looking for, surely has to be Anastasia-san, right? If so, I was in that shelter. You just didn’t realise it because you were impatient. It’s not like you.”
He called out to the back of him as he tried to leave after he left behind merely words of courtesy. Then, Julius showed a dramatic reaction to Subaru’s words.
He made his shoulders spin and turned around with a surprised face.
Subaru: “E, eh eh? What’s up?”
Subaru reflexively reacted with a shrill voice. It seemed obvious why..
Julius’ expression, as he turned, was tinged by an astonishment he had never seen before. No, astonishment wasn’t the only thing in his expression. What was there was a gleam as if he had been clinging onto something.
Faced with that emotion that didn’t suit Julius at all, Subaru didn’t know how to respond. As he saw Subaru like that, Julius gulped and with an expression of anguish,
Julius: “……Subaru. You, are referring to me?”
Subaru: “What kind of question is that? You don’t have a personality unimposing enough to forget you in just a few hours. “Finest Knight”, Julius Euculius-san, what nonsense are you..”
Shrugging his shoulders, Subaru responded as if making fun of Julius. And in the midst of that exchange, he stopped talking when he realized his own stupidity.
Beatrice: “Subaru! Don’t run off on your own!”
Subaru, whose throat had frozen, and Julius opposite him.
Both Emilia and Beatrice had come chasing him and joined the scene of the two facing each other in the street. When they saw the two looking at each other in silence, their large eyes flickered,
Emilia: “Well… You’re in the middle of something, right?”
As she noticed the strange atmosphere and tension, Emilia anxiously tilted her head.
Subaru felt a bad presentiment at her reaction, especially from her gaze which was looking at Julius.
Thus, Subaru pointed to Julius,
Subaru: “……Yes, that’s right, but it’s not that. Emilia-tan. Beako you too, well…”
Emilia & Beatrice: “――?”
Emilia and Beatrice raised question marks at Subaru’s awkward words.
He had to do something, probably a definitive question. Subaru swallowed his saliva, and took a glance at Julius.
Before Subaru’s gaze, Julius prepared himself and lifted his terribly hollow face,
Subaru: “I found Julius. So, I can take him to the conference, right?”
Upon asking, Beatrice gazed at Julius.
Then, Emilia spoke doubtfully in a low voice,
Emilia: “Julius-san, is he an acquaintance of Subaru?”
And, as if to repeat the nightmare of before, she said that.
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