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Translated By :
- Ringo (/u/Ringo_17)
Art Source :
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ALL RIGHTS BELONG TO TAPPEI NAGATSUKI, THE ORIGINAL AUTHOR OF RE:ZERO STARTING A LIFE IN A DIFFERENT WORLD FROM ZERO, THIS IS A TRANSLATION OF THE FREE JAPANESE WEB NOVEL INTO ENGLISH
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ーーGulping down those words he had heard, he required several seconds to chew their implication.
Subaru: “Reid is, Roy Alphard……?”
Upon the report betraying his expectations, Subaru’s thoughts were disturbed into a shape unlike the anguish he had taken over.
The pain and suffering he had arbitrarily taken from his comrades, due to that negativity his mind was working slowly but this was a situation where even that couldn’t be used as scapegoat.
Taking some time for the moment with his brain seemingly melting out of his ears, he found his thoughts to be endless.
In front of him, the majestic figure standing boldly about whom this revelation had been made, the red-haired swordsman, unmistakably the existence who was the biggest nuisance in this Pleiades Watchtower, Reid Astrea, all whilst staring at him Subaru whispered.
Julius, who had readied his knight sword on his side, his expression possessed no signs of falsehood whilst he focused his eyes on Reid.
He was not a person with the personality to make such unfunny jokes in a gambling room where it was all a matter of life and death in the first place. That was the commentary on Julius by Subaru, who had once forgotten everything, and abiding by that notion the one in question remained fully serious.
Because it meant that Julius’ remarks, who possessed that conviction, were certain truth.
Subaru: “If Reid, is『Gluttony』, then that means……”
Reid was one of the obstacles that existed in the watchtower, however, stood at an ambiguous position when it came to demarcation as an ally or enemy.
But if his existence were to explicitly be one of those who were distinctly the enemies, thenーー,
Subaru: “So that’s why, you were…… again and again, so persistently……?”
Reid: “ーーHey, jus’ wait, you. That’s a pretty borin’ misunderstandin’, ya know.”
Reid: “It ain’t a joke, you. Hey, you. You. You, sayin’ that I’m takin’ the form of that unrelated idiot, don’t go ’bout trustin’ that borin’ conclusion, you.”
Hearing Subaru’s trembling voice, Reid distorted his cheeks with seemingly painful displeasure.
Subaru was unable to comprehend, the meaning of that reaction.
ーーThe Sin Archbishop of『Gluttony』, Roy Alphard was manifesting in the form of Reid.
Subaru, who had just previously seen the transformations of Louis Arneb, had reached that extremely respectable conclusion. The Authority of『Gluttony』of extorting the shape, form and combat power of the opponent, the result of which was the Reid before them.
However, Reid’s mood turned worse quite frankly at that conclusion.
The cause of that seemed to be, instead of the behaviour of a coward hiding his true identity without knowing when to give, something much more simple like the displeasure of a child upon being teased.
The real meaning of that wasーー,
Reid: “Ain’t it obvious that I’d be me. Because that’ll never change, I’m standin’ here. Do ya disagree? You, are ya sayin’ I’m wrong?”
Touching the eyepatch on his left eye whilst baring his sharp fangs, Reid declared towards Subaru.
Receiving that, Subaru inhaled and furrowed his eyebrows, reading deeply into his words.
And noticing a certain possibility, he took a short breath.
Subaru: “It can’t be, Julius……”
Julius: “Ah, likely, what you are imagining is correct.”
While keeping his line of sight maintained towards Reid, Julius pulled in his jaw upon Subaru’s hoarse voice. The good-looking man rubbed his cheek stained by his own blood with his shoulder and whilst continuing to erase that bloodstain,
Julius: “My wording earlier, was at fault. Let me correct it. ーーHe, in front of our eyes, that flesh body belongs to Roy Alphard. However, that spirit is different.”
Julius: “Roy Alphard, ate the『Memories』of Reid Astrea, and had the control over his own spirit stolen by those『Memories』. Henceforth he, without any restrictions, descended from the second layer and is now here.”
Subaru found himself dumbfounded in response to Julius affirming the absurd possibility he had thought of.
Subaru wondered how something like that was even possibleーー no, each one aside from Subaru, Emilia, Beatrice, and even Ram, all of them widened their eyes together.
Certainly, everything’s reasoning was logical with Julius’ explanation.
Originally, as the trial taker of the『Trial』in Pleiades Watchtower, Reid Astrea was not supposed to be able to leave the second layer, but he started wandering about in the tower making an expression as if he owned the whole place, the reality behind that.
In the worlds he had continued to repeatedly witness, Subaru had been confused in the mayhem which brought the end of the tower, within those, he himself had not been able to attain freedom but had taken advantage of the actions of『Gluttony』and had acquired freedom.
Yes, that’s right. With that, all of the baffling situations surrounding Reid made sense.
ーーHowever, he was unable to shut his hanging jaw for this exceeded norms far too much.
Beatrice: “Got dragged along by the『Memories』and lost sight of the true self, is what it would mean, I suppose.”
Ram: “Simply put, it must mean that the one with the stronger self won and remained. ーーIn terms of self principles, one chased away the other.”
Though a bit late compared to Subaru, Beatrice and Ram arrived at the same conclusion.
An unstructured way of speaking, but Ram’s words expressed the truth with frankness.
Subaru: “But, I have a doubt too……”
That was, why the eaten Reid’s existence had not disappeared from everyone’s memories.
Till now, the ones who had fallen victim to『Gluttony』aside from Subaru, Rem and Julius, had their existences erased from the memories of all people, is how it seemed.
The truth is, in the previous loop, the existence of Emilia disappearing from the memories of Ram and the rest was something Subaru could attest to. If so, then the same thing not happening to Reid was,
Julius: “Principally, what『Gluttony』had eaten was not Reid’s 『Name』 but at most his『Memories』, is what that would mean. It is not possible to eat both the『Name』and『Memories』of a dead person. That is what Roy Alphard had asserted.”
Subaru: “ーー~hk! Did you witness the scene of Reid getting eaten!?”
Sensing Subaru’s doubt, Julius responded with a single eye open. He answered with a short “Yes”, looking at the crumbled wall he himself had passed through,
Julius: “When I went to the second layer in accordance with your instructions, you see. Timely enough, that was when Roy Alphard and Reid were having negotiations. Negotiation, to label it as that would be suspicious in itself, though.”
Subaru: “What’s suspicious, about that?”
Julius: “Because Reid was making no effort for resistance. ーーPerhaps『Gluttony』, for some reason, may have been subjected to the『Trial』. That is why he, the trial taker, was unable to attack the opponent.”
Reid: “Hah! You, that’s ’bout half correct n’ half incorrect.”
Upon Julius stating that conjecture, none other than Reid called a halt to it. While crackling his thick neck bones, he had his nails touch the pit of his stomach,
Reid: “Certainly, no way they were gonna be participants for the『Trial』, but had I thought of doin’ it then I would’ve done it, ya know? If I did that then I won’t be here right now, ain’t that so?”
Julius: “You have attained the opponent’s self. Are you, saying that you already possessed confidence in that?”
Reid: “Jus’ actin’ as if focusin’ on only the strong parts’s somethin’ I won’t allow. Placin’ everythin’ one’s side has n’ gamblin’ it all’s what’s interestin’. Though, that was somethin’ that midget didn’t understand.”
Regardless of the truth of him having obtained that physical body, whatever may have been the interests of『Gluttony』who had been affected by that sequence of events, Reid declared pertaining to Roy with terrible indifference, whom he had confronted.
Merely, the fact is that the reality in front of their eyes was the truth. ーーThe self of Roy Alphard, had been painted out by the monster known as Reid Astrea.
Reid: “If you wanna eat n’ taste me then ya gotta have the stomach large enough to fit me in. He didn’t have that. That’s why, I bit and tore apart the stomach. That’s all there’s to it.”
Subaru: “That’s all, there’s to it, you say……”
Aside from his bearing nausea and the sense of abrasion of his mind and body, Subaru felt his head starting to hurt.
In other words, if what happened in Reid’s body was to be said straightforwardly then,
Subaru: “Revived…… Resurrected from the dead, is that what this is about?”
Julius: “In terms of results, you could say that. Above all, a situation where it is possible to meddle with the『Memories』of a dead person, and the existence who wielded that ability being encountered for the first time and then subsequently arriving into existence, it is a series of events akin to miracles.”
A life who was supposed to have vanished four hundred years ago, to witness the moment of it being resurrected like this, Julius might have stated it to be the embodiment of an ironical miracle regardless of his intent to call it that way.
Although, he did not intend to state the reality of his resurrection alongside that as wellーー,
Emilia: “Um, can I ask one thing?”
Abruptly, when all of the happenings were being arranged into order, the one to raise her voice like that was Emilia.
Hereafter the encounter with Reid, Emilia had kept her mouth shut so that the topic of discussion may not get diverted. Seeing the discussion reach a point where it could halt she turned her amethyst eyes towards Reid.
Emilia: “You have…… Reid has been revived, right? With that you’ve become able to leave that place, that’s something I rea~lly congratulate you for.”
Reid: “Ah, thanks. With this I can teach ya all sorts of stuff at a proper place, fiercely frizzlin’. Let’s have drinks tonight, you. Aside from that…… ah, heyhey we’ll do stuff as I teach ya.”
Emilia: “ーー? Are you inviting me to go out with you? But, I have only gone to a “dayte” with Puck and Subaru, so, I’m sorry. Also”
Though it would make for an exchange Subaru would never want to miss out on, getting caught on by Emilia’s comment on her date was something Subaru currently had no time to spare for.
Keeping those innermost thoughts of Subaru’s for some other occasion, Emilia repositioned Subaru’s body she was carrying on her shoulders,
Emilia: “Even though you have become free, can’t you stop being in our way? In case you don’t know, we are rea~lly busy right now……”
Reid: “Don’tcha make me say it, fiercely frizzlin’. I more or less’ve got grasp on what’s happenin’ here. After all, the tiny brat of this body was unusually well-informed, I hate it. ーーAh, I really don’t like it.”
As if throwing up, Reid annoyingly gripped to his guts.
It seemed as not merely resurrection but Reid also had the ability to read the memories of Roy Alphardーー in other words, he apparently even had the power to catch a glimpse of an edge of the Authority of『Gluttony』.
Above all, it seemed as if it was something he aesthetically found strongly, terribly repulsive,
Reid: “He didn’t have a standpoint of his own, that’s why he got himself involved in such stupid shit. He’s an irredeemable kid. Though he ended up disappearin’ ’cause he was doin’ it without knowin’ his position, it’s gotta be a natural reward.”
Subaru: “……Why talk about only this place, if you’re free then how about you go conquer the world and the vast oceans? I rea~lly feel like you’re just delaying the problem, if that’s the case”
Reid: “You, don’tcha start preparin’ to run away. As it is, a situation where ya’re bein’ carried on the shoulders of a woman, it’s so pathetic it’d be better to die. Do ya wanna be coated with embarrassment?”
Subaru’s venture to avoid battle and having the situation ameliorate ended with a failure.
Perhaps, even the ones other than Subaru may have failed to understand what he had proposed just now as well. In the end, even if Reid were to gain freedom, he intended to respect his role as the trial taker.
Otherwise, not being particular about his title of the trial taker he simply would not allow for an opponent, whom he had decided to cross swords with, to escape.
At any rate,
Emilia: “ーーIs that so. If you won’t move aside then there’s no choice.”
With a long sigh congested with nuance of it being unfortunate, the reply sufficiently suggested Emilia’s decision to attack Reid.
Emilia: “I’m sorry.”
Those words were directed, not at the confronting Reid, but at Subaru who was atop her shoulders, and he was a second late for noticing that.
Because after a single second, Subaru’s body had been brought down from Emilia’s shoulders and gently handed over to Beatrice, who was beside them.
ーーIn but an instant, crossing the aisle with the speed as that of a bullet, Emilia slammed an ice sword into Reid.
The atmosphere gave rise to a high-pitched sound, yielding forth frost and the beautiful yet cruel blade of ice fluttered through the aisle as it was enshrouded in the erupted smoke. In any case, the attack with no hesitation whatsoever aiming for a fatal woundーー once Emilia had decided to act upon, there was no faltering in her then. That was something clearly understood after all of the battles till now.
Emilia: “ーーHa ~hk!”
The slash attack Subaru’s eyes finally caught up to, the strike which was almost like an ambush, Reid easily received it using his arm outside of the breast pocket of his casual dress with the chopsticks he was holding in his hand.
This was not the first time seeing Reid wield chopsticks as his special weapon. However, it was not something which could be gotten used to even after seeing it on multiple occasions. Abnormalities were abnormalities, there lay change in that recognition.
Subaru: “He……! Emilia-chan!”
Beatrice: “S-Subaru! Don’t push yourself, in fact! Stay put, I suppose!”
Subaru shouted at Reid’s abnormal swordsmanship, feeling perturbed about Emilia’s safety. Appealing to Subaru to take care of himself was Beatrice, whom Emilia had suddenly forgone and entrusted his body to.
Being supported by her petite frame while kneeling down onto the aisle, Subaru pushed his eyes open.
Meanwhile, Emilia renewed her arms which had been smashed, or rather, slashed by the chopsticks and continued the performance of her swords dance like a fairy within sparkling diamond dust.
Easily brushing that away, Reid laughed with a “Haha ~hk!” like a shark,
Reid: “Hah! Jus’ as expected, ya got it quickly, fiercely frizzlin’! But, you, don’tcha know? Your『Trial』is already over, ya know?”
Emilia: “If that’s so! Then pass everyone else too!”
Reid: “Heyhey, the hell kind of reasonin’ makes ya say that aye. I ain’t got any reason to be doin’ that.”
Emilia: “I request you!”
Reid: “There ain’t anythin’ cute in beggin’ like that. For now, take off yer clothes, you.”
Though she had been making a serious expression, Emilia’s entreaty did not wield anything to Reid’s ears.
Identical to the first strike, Reid warded it away, chased it away the subsequent strikes using vivid techniques of chopsticks, barely conceivable. Subaru was unable to close his mouth hanging open before that abnormal swordsmanship.
Of course, Reid’s irrefutable mastery was not something unknown.
However, even Emilia had not drawn a step back against even the enemies of『Gluttony』and the titanic scorpion, when compared to such a variety of warriors she had shown overwhelming capacity. At the very least, even a hundred of Subaru would not be able to oppose Emilia. ーーFor Reid, that was, quite literally, a child’s play.
Emilia’s offence and defence jaded the spirit of it being a do-or-die situation, was naught but the play of an unskilled child for Reid.
Subsequently, Emilia, after a mere few exchanges, was unable to reach through and experienced defeat. The difference in their ability was so immense that even the untrained eyes could identify that.
Ram: “ーーThe reason to abstain from using full force? That should be quite simple.”
Ram: “Because you, will face an unsightly defeat here at the hands of Ram and the others.”
Interrupting the battlefield with a petite frame pronounced Ram, positioned behind Reid.
ーーAnd caught hold of that back of Reid’s.
That alone was more than worthy of admiring, but Ram’s fearsomeness was not the end of it.
Emilia attacked without any relent against the opponent Reid Astrea. Ram matched the timing with her, who had left her battle style upon her senses, with godly intuition.
Precisely this which Subaru had not been able to read at all, was Emilia’s initial surprise attackーー movements that suggested the question whether he had really managed to read them, and the truth was that they were movements which gave the impression of possibly already having gotten read.
The very next instant, Ram’s unleashed fist stabbed into the side of Reid’s casual dress.
At the moment of the impact, with the sound of the flesh and bones creaking, Ram’s white fist’s piercing strength penetrated through Reid’s internal organs and the aisle was split open by the bottom of Reid’s feet, who continued standing his ground.
Subaru: “It reached through…… ~hk!?”
Looking at that, Subaru thoughtlessly hugged Beatrice tightly.
He wanted to cheer, but he was unable to voice anything further. Instead of that, he felt his body heat up as if his blood was boiling. Because that was, as far as Subaru knew, the first time Reid had taken damage without it even being a matter of super luck.
Ram: “Ha, a~a~a~ーー!”
The unimaginably powerful fists fired from her slender arms were hammered into Reid as if a storm. Reid received that with his defenseless lower body, and retreated.
It was not as if he lacked all defense. Even for blocking Ram’s attacks, his two chopsticks were being used to block Emilia’s fierce attack, so he merely lacked the defense to direct there.
Henceforth, pressurised by the might of her tremendous fisting, Reid’s body was greatly pushed back.
And whilst his figure was blown off, Emilia threw the twin swords she had created with both of her hands and the sword slashes drew an arc which was then cleared away by Reid’s chopsticks’ slash, subsequently he collapsed onto the aisle, lying spread-eagled.
Subaru: “Did they, do it……?”
Seeing the form of Reid collapsed, lying flat on the aisle, Subaru lightly whispered in astonishment, with widened eyes.
Blocking Emilia’s surprise attack had been a final desperate tactic of his, and the one other than that, Ram’s attacks was what he had gotten a taste of. Every blow had wielded enough power to make his bones creak.
Emilia’s difficult fighting was a matter of course, but perhaps misjudging Ram’s combat power had been Reid’s cause of defeat.
As an effect of『Cor Leonis』, having been able to move without any hindrances, Ram’s ability had been enough to mow down the opponent’s consciousness before Reid could get seriousーー,
Subaru: “ーー~hk! Right now you can quickly tie him down and render him unable to battle! Emilia-chan! Constrict him with ice……”
For a moment his thoughts had come to a halt without confirming their victory, but he was unable to overlook that extremely valuable situation. Panicking, Subaru instructed Emilia to constrict Reid.
At the same pace, he tried to call out to Ram, who had been making strenuous effortsーー,
Beatrice: “……Subaru, when did, your health come back?”
Suddenly, so asked Beatrice, who had been supporting his body.
Receiving that doubt, Subaru tardily came to notice the truth of him standing on his legs and giving instructions to Emilia. ーーThe agony which was eating into him as if a curse, had disappeared.
Ram: “ーーKa, fugh”
The moment immediately after he judged what that must mean, Ram’s body shivered, trembling violently.
Ram’s upper body, who had turned her back towards this side, jolted and she collapsed down to her knees, unable to support her body.
Unable to even stretch out her hand, Ram collapsed seemingly like a puppet whose threads had been slashed away. The one to jump at Ram’s collapsing body was Julius, who had been awaiting an interval to plunge into the battle.
Supporting Ram’s wholly exhausted body, Julius confirmed her condition with his expression frozen. The reason for that was Ram’s complexion, and the crimson of thick blood which dyed her clothes.
Massive amounts of blood was flowing from the wound in Ram’s abdomen whose bleeding she had stopped. Though it was true that the lost blood brought serious danger to her life, that alone was not the issue.
The greatest problem was linked with the healing of Subaru’s condition.
In other wordsーー,
Subaru: “The effect of『Cor Leonis』, has been cut off……”
???: “ーーA~h, so it finally got cut aye. You, don’t be doin’ borin’ shit. Aren’tcha jus’ hidin’ behind a woman. Ya’re a disgrace for a young fish, you.”
In front of Subaru, who had been rendered speechless, the collapsed Reid swung and stationed both of his feet and vigorously stood up. Reid lightly patted and swept his back, and swung his arms in circles from his shoulders whilst gripping onto the chopsticks.
His attitude which felt as if he hadn’t taken any of the damage Ram had inflicted on him, though that alone made his body shudder, what made Subaru uneasy were his words immediately afterwards.
ーーReid said, that it got cut. Just, what was he referring to.
Reid: “Playin’ ’round like that’ll always be borin’. First of all, somethin’ like feelin’ no pain or ache even when the guts’re all torn up, are ya makin’ fun of me, you.”
Subaru: “Wo, ah……”
Reid: “If ya say ya wanna do it with perfection, then ya gotta stand what ya receive too. But, this one’s done for. You, this one’s done for, ya know. You, can’t ya see. This woman, was gonna die even before it got cut.”
Intimidated by Reid’s low pitched words, Subaru turned his line of sight towards Ram, who was in Julius’ arms. Receiving that gaze, Julius lightly pulled in his chin.
Julius: “His words are correct. Miss Ram’s wounds are no trivial matter. Even now, she is on the verge of death.”
Julius: “The reason why the bleeding is not stopping, is perhaps because of the usage of a chemical which hinders the clotting of blood. Other than that must be the recoil of her pushing herself which is present on her body.”
Each and every word of Julius’ analysis attempted to carve a painful fissure onto Subaru’s chest.
He, failed. ーーSubaru’s『Cor Leonis』overlapped with his complacent failure.
Taking over Ram’s inferior physical form, he had created a circumstance under which she could fight.
Though that was not a mistaken judgement, he ignored the injuries she had takenーー no, having Rem herself ignore those is what had been a mistake.
If Subaru was to take over the pain and anguish of injuries, she would not be able to be conscious of the wounds’ seriousness. If Ram were to conduct herself in a way suggesting she was unharmed, Emilia would not come to notice anything either.
Julius: “A magic similar to『Nect』of sharing sensations, a bit different from that, or perhaps something entirely unlike. Something much more different, had been put to use. And, you said that you had cut it.”
Reid: “I’m good at cuttin’ invisible stuff, ya see. Well, the trick’s intuition. With that, a bit of time got used up. Took a pretty grand hit.”
Reid exaggerated the reason he had bathed in Ram’s storm-like fists. However, returning to the original topic, the truth was that he could more or less not feel any of the damage he had taken.
The trick behind that too, was pronounced from Julius’ mouth. Whilst keeping Ram in his embrace, Julius gently turned his gaze backwardsーー facing the aisle which had been fissured by the close combat.
Julius: “You let all of Miss Ram’s attacks escape onto the floor with the bottom of your feet, huh.”
Reid: “It’s a technique which a woman friend of mine, Trisha used to be good at, ya see.”
Reid laughed with a “Kaha” as he firmly stomped on the aisle.
Hearing the conversation of the two, Subaru, whilst continuing to shiver, glanced at the crevices of the aisle. The endless wounds born onto the aisle were the proof of Reid having directed Ram’s attacks onto the aisle.
It was perhaps some technique to direct the impact of blows towards someplace else. ーーIt could be said that it was the culmination of martial arts.
The truth is, when Ram’s initial blow had struck, Subaru too had witnessed the aisle tremendously fissure with his own eyes. That also applied to all subsequent consecutive strikes.
Both this and that, everything wasーー,
Subaru: “To slash down the connection between me, and Ram……? In the first place, how did that even……”
Reid: “I jus’ said. I slash down what I wanna slash down, live where I wanna live, and sleep with women I wanna sleep with. ーーI slashed down that borin’ game, all while hummin’.”
Leading a carefree life, was Reid.
Cutting things which could not be seen. Otherwise, cutting connections which do not physically exist. Was the capability of doing so, the true ability of the existence named the『Sword Saint』.
Emilia: “But, when I struck you from above with a lot of strength, you had been in pain……!”
Reid: “Back then the situation was different ya know, fiercely frizzlin’. Right now I’m here to enjoy the fightin’ more than the『Trial』. If it’s a fight then ya gotta be more serious than the『Trial』, ya know. Do ya disagree, you.”
Slashing and repelling away Emilia’s response, Reid snorted his nose and prepared his chopsticks. Adjusting the stance of his chopsticks as if he was ordinarily commencing a meal, and pointing their ends towards Julius, Reid’s blue eyes gleamed with a blaze.
Reid: “That’s how it is. Ya got what I’m sayin’, aye, you. You. Hey you.”
Julius: “ーーTo settle this, with the sword. That is your intention, correct?”
Reid: “Yeah, that’s right. Let me tell ya, I’ll allow any damn thin’ aside from swords too, ya know? Whether ya wanna throw magic at me or clash with me, it ain’t any problem. If you wanna win against me……”
Quite boldly, Reid gestured with a finger touching his chest, and pointed towards his heart.
In other words, that was the only way to bring an end to his life, that is what his expression indicated.
That was the evidence that Subaru’s card of waging war had been correctーー,
Julius: “Why, must you be fixated over myself?”
Reid: “A~h? I’m bein’ fixated over you? Gimme a break. Bastards of jus’ mere words with nice faces’re the race I hate the most, ain’t that so. On top of that, why’d I gotta be fixated?”
Reid: “ーーYou’re the one who’d have a reason to be fixated over me. If I draw back from here, do ya really think that’d be fine?”
Reid’s response to Julius’ question could not be described as one that was clear.
He himself, belonged to a race of those types who did deem worth in conveying all things as words. Furthermore, a large part of his response had been occupied by something similar to sensation, it was difficult to comprehend.
However, for those who did understand that, merely had the answer which was limited to that wasーー,
Reid: “ーーTch. A troublesome one ended up comin’ here.”
Before that answer could be chewed, what preceded was Reid clicking his tongue in discontent.
And, the cause behind the click of his tongue, revealed its figure from the interior of the aisle Subaru and the others had crossed throughーー no, in the form of a corona, it pounced upon them.
Immediately before the corona could evaporate away Subaru, Emilia’s ice sword separated and distanced away the two from each other. As a note of shattering of ice echoed, the repelled light stabbed through the aisle. ーーAn extremely long tail stinger, disappeared as if having frayed.
That was namely, the baptism by the guardian of the『Sage’s』watchtowerーー,
Red compound eyes emerged from the interior of the aisle, possessing multiple legs, the titanic scorpion revealed its form. Jet black shell and fiendishly large pincers, its figure was both ominous and healthy.
However, the form of Ley, who had been left behind to battle that titanic scorpion, was nowhere around it. Although the titanic scorpion had no traces of blood on itself, if he had faced defeat at the hands of the titanic scorpion and had fallen then it was all good, but,
Subaru: “Reid and Shaula, at the same time……”
Caught between the two formidable enemies, in the midst of the situation where they could not take any inadvertent action, Beatrice called out to Subaru with a trembling voice.
Looking back towards that Beatrice, he noticed her pale expression. Beatrice’s expression was painted with fear, and he tightly hugged it with his chest.
Somehow or the other, he searched for words in an attempt to clear away the unrest in her heart,
Subaru: “Beatrice, it’s alright. At any rate, we haven’t managed to find a plan yet, but it’s alright. Recovery is still……”
Beatrice: “That’s not it, I suppose, that’s not it, in fact! ーーIt’s coming, I suppose!”
Subaru: “It’s coming?”
As he heard Beatrice’s concerns, who had widened her eyes and changed her expression, he glanced at the titanic scorpion once again.
Reid was here, and Shaula was on the other side, this was the very meaning of threat. In a situation where such terrifying ones had gathered, what was going to come nowーー,
Subaru: “It can’t be.”
Reid: “I jus’ said, didn’t I. That a troublesome one ended up comin’ here.”
The thought which had passed by Subaru’s mind, as if affirming it, Reid pronounced.
That tone of speaking was serious, as if it were having trouble digesting this situation.
ーーThe subsequent instant, an impact reached their feet in the form of a parlous earthquake, jolting Pleiades Watchtower.
Without exaggerating, when Subaru felt the impact reach his body, heaven and earth got overturned for him.
Subaru was blown off without even the use of a technique. ーーIn the field of vision of that Subaru, the residents of the fantasy world were each displaying astonishing movements respectively.
Midair, Emilia kicked the foothold she had created with ice and repelled away the consecutively fired tail stringers by the titanic scorpion seemingly advancing towards her comradesーー no, towards Subaru.
In the world which was tilting diagonally, Julius seemingly dashed on the wall and closed in on Reid, and commenced with an elite sword slash with his knight sword.
And, Beatrice jumped towards Subaru, who had tightly held onto Ram and kept her close to himself,
The moment she chanted that, Subaru felt himself envelope within the feeling of suspension, different from that of the impact. Released from the force of gravity, the feeling as if he had been thrown into a world without gravity.
The effect was not as little as simply having restored heaven and earth for him.
Each one respectively, was acting at their very best with whatever each one of them respectively could doーー,
As if sneering at those very best of actions, multitudinous volumes of the jet black shadow swallowed the tower in its entirety.
Dreadful pressure echoed, and the watchtower, which boasted strength enough to make it difficult to believe that it was mere stone, got completely crushed. That was the tyranny of the shadow, which was not originally supposed to possess mass.
The arrival of the impact, which could no longer be named as a single destructive happening but rather was closer to a natural disaster, easily swallowed, chewed even those who possessed extraordinary abilities enough to be called superhumans in this world.
Going up against the titanic scorpion, making free use of magic and her physical abilities and putting up a brave fight, Emilia, as well.
Swinging the knight sword, and charging towards the legend who was entertained by his self, Julius, as well.
Protecting Subaru, and using magic with her small body, Beatrice, as well.
In the juncture where they twinkled aglow, the stretching shadow entwined and they turned invisible.
Without sound, without reverberation, the forms of Emilia and the others vanished.
What name should be given to what had occurred to their bodies in the matter of an instant, Subaru was unable to find any pertinent words within himself.
Merely, there existed something he could clearly say.
“ーーI have failed.”
『ーーI love you.』
At the same time, he accepted reality, and was whispered words of dusky love.
Whilst being whispered into his ears, or otherwise, whilst kissing him, or otherwise, whilst embracing his entire body, or otherwise, whilst caressing his soul, frighteningly direct, words with the soul of love.
He immediately understood. The greatest problem amongst the five obstacles.
The shadow which swallowed everything had arrived, whether it was possible to deal with it at all, even that notion alone was questionable.
This was his third time seeing that shadow, and each time he encountered it, Subaru’s life had been lost.
This time was no exception, now that the shadow had arrived and reached throughーー,
Reid: “ーーYou, the hell ya doin’ thinkin’ ’bout sleepin’, hey.”
At that moment, the jet black shadow which enclosed Subaru, was mowed down by a flash that had been swung.
Subaru: “ーーYou’ve got to be joking.”
Reid: “Widen yer eyes n’ see. What’s the joke, you. You, do ya have yer eyes open. Open yer eyes n’ take a good look, you. What’s the joke ’bout me.”
Saying that whilst casually swinging the knight sword, and having slashed away the shadow was Reid. He wielded in his hands, not chopsticks, but a knight swordーー which belonged to Julius, and exhaled through his nose.
It was truly ironic that the sword which had lost its owner, was displaying more ability in the hands of the『Sword Saint』than its owner, but there was no time present to be having such thoughts.
That was because Subaru, who had been standing upright, had his torso kicked by Reid.
Subaru: “Ghu, egh.”
Inside the narrow aisle, his suspended body was unable to hit even the ceiling or the walls.
The structure of the watchtower had already been destroyed, and he no longer was able to determine where the ceiling was or where the walls were. What was present in Subaru’s environs was the endlessly black sky, endlessly black sole, endlessly black world.
Anything and everything, became incomprehensible. ーーNo, there was slightly moving heat, within his arms.
The warm body of the unconscious, fainted Ram asserted her existence.
Directing strength in his molars, biting and tearing into his own lips, he directed life into himself.
At this moment, when anything and everything was being painted black, by giving up on comprehending the situation, wasn’t Subaru simply entrusting his body to the end.
In front of this life trying its best to live at this moment, that was unforgivable.
Subaru: “ーーStill, something.”
Though the situation was in this state, there yet must be something he could attain.
Till now, Subaru had been swallowed by this jet black evil influence and had lost his life twice. However, those two occasions had been abrupt, and he must have had no time left to do this.
What he had attained through this, was Ram who was asserting her fragile life, andーー,
The kick he had received by Reid, who was within the same shadow as Subaru, wearing a ferocious smile.
Of course, he was not grateful for that.
It hurt as if the pit of his stomach had been gouged out, and in the first place, the reason why they had lacked time till the shadow swallowed the watchtower was because of Reid’s unnecessary interruption.
Subaru: “You will, get crushed too. ーーBy the『Greatest Knight』, I know of.”
Reid: “That’s, you, keep actin’ cool as how you’re till the very end, young fish.”
Looking downward, Reid set his aim on Subaru with a backhand grip to the knight sword. There was distance between them, but from Reid’s perspective, distance of a few metres must be as good as nonexistent.
And, below Reid, who had established Subaru as his enemy, the vivacious jet black shadow yet continued advancing closer. Something like that wasn’t even deemed to be anything by Reid’s sword spirit.
Though he was unaware of it, at this moment, Subaru may just be witnessing it.
A long time ago, said to have happened four hundred years ago, the legendary acts of the『Witch』and the『Sword Saint』.
However, something like that was meagre as the absurd destruction and violence, namely『Death』drew close to Subaruーー.
Subaru: “At least”
‘Even if just a second longer, I want you to stay alive.’
Enshrouded by that wish, Subaru tightly embraced Ram’s body, in his arms.
The next moment, a torrent of light, unbelievably stemming from a sword, swallowed Subaruーー,
※※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※
ーーEach time he vanished, each time he redid, each time he made a wish, he was faced with vicissitude.
Countless times, repeating, repeating, he continued to pile up ends which are supposed to happen only once.
Suddenly, he thought.
Always, having someone by his side in the moments of end, may be something to feel happy for.
Should never being alone in the moments of end, grant him the strength to stand.
However, alongside, he also thought of this.
About why, always, Natsuki Subaru was unable to rescue that someone whom he nestled close to, in the moments of end.
※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※
Clouds of sand, were rising up to extremely high skies which they were never supposed to reach.
Pleiades Watchtower’s balcony, several metres above ground, underneath where present were the advancing hordes of Witch Beasts, commencing with their attack to bring down the watchtower.
Holding them back, with her own ability to control Witch Beasts was Meili, making strenuous efforts.
Julius was above, heading for Reid on the second layer.
And, Subaru and the others must make haste and dash to Emilia and the others, who must be clashing with Ley Batenkaitosーー,
???: “Master-sama? Are you alright?”
In accordance with Subaru’s summons, she tilted her neck, with her long, black braid swaying about.
As she pronounced that question, in her expression, in her eyes, sentiments such as those of impatience or irritation could not be felt. Of course, no light of cunningness planning to deceive them could be perceived either.
Whether that was her camouflage or her true intents, there was no definite answer to that, howeverーー,
???: “Master-sama, are you listening? People other than master-sama or me seem to have gotten involved in troublesome stuff but…… is there something I can do for Master-sama?”
Subaru: “Ah, is that so…… Something you can do for me, huh.”
???: “Yup. If it’s Master-sama’s request, then into fire, into water, even into large explosions, I can energetically FLYWAY into ’em!”
Energetically, possessing no malice, the personality with her arms stretched wide whilst saying that, Shaula.
Staring at that carefree smile, Subaru turned back and inhaled.
He made his return. To this moment, he was made to return.
There were no changes in what he was supposed to do. There existed people he must save, people he must defeat.
That is why, without losing his way, in order to settle what all he was supposed to do, Subaru undertook a necessary ceremony.
Subaru: “Shaula, will you listen to anything I tell you to do?”
Shaula: “Course of of! If it’s Master-sama’s request then I’ll listen to anything! If it’s master-sama’s demand then I’ll even listen to something which may be a bit extreme. Ah, ah, ah, could it be Master-sama, finally reached the limit of holding back in front of my DYNAMITE BODY? That’s why you kept away all others and it’s just the two of us now? Ah, you you you! Geez Master-samaーー”
Twisting and turning, with her cheeks sandwiched in her hands, Shaula blushed at Subaru’s words.
However, Subaru did not pay heed to such words of her’s, and stared at her face with a serious face.
Subaru: “ーーIf I tell you to die, will you die?”