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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Upon the advent of unforeseen 『Death』, Natsuki Subaru heard the sound of ■ cracking.
However, upon each instance of that inexorable sound, he thought.
That was certainly the proof of his progress not having come to a halt. That was, the footsteps of the approaching future.
No matter how small those steps were, no matter how trifling the path he had advanced upon was, he was certainly, walking and progressing.
The moment his consciousness was led to awakening, blue eyes of a characteristic pattern were reflected into his own. In front of his eyes, peeping at Subaru worriedly was Beatrice.
Beatrice’s hand was gently placed at Subaru’s cheek, and Subaru inhaled.
He had parted with Beatrice’s crying face not too long ago.
That consciousness’ switchover had not been carried out well. Just previously, though it could not be associated with something as extravagant as a parting, but she certainly had been in Subaru’s eyes.
Beatrice: “Is your consciousness firm, I suppose? It took time for you to wake up till now, it was worrying, in fact. It would be better to confirm you did not lose any memories accidentally, I suppose. To start with, Betty, do you recall who……”
Subaru: “Bea, trice……”
Beatrice: “ーー. It seems you do properly remember, in fact. Good boy good boy, I suppose.”
Saying that, Beatrice stretched the hand she had at Subaru’s cheek towards his head. At the same pace, she patted him with her tiny palm, and slowly, his consciousness caught up to reality.
Subaru: “Count, one huh……”
Beatrice tilted her head upon the whispering voice.
However, neither did she know what it meant, nor did he intend to explain it. She might not understand even if he were to explain, and he did not intend to make her understand either.
She was kind. Beatrice, was extremely kind.
That is why, what Subaru was testing out. If he were to tell her about that, it was a given that she would be absolutely against it. ーーThat was, something which Beatrice must be restricted from getting to know.
Beatrice: “So, how did it go, in fact? Was the purpose of reading the book fulfilled, I suppose?”
Subaru: “ーーYeah, about that.”
That is what Beatrice asked Subaru, who still had the book placed on his knees.
The moment immediately before the immediately previous momentーー the moment immediately before Subaru had disregarded his own physical state, Subaru had just been seeking a way to capture 『Reid Astrea』 and was just about to read his 『Book of the Dead』.
That had come to a standstill due to complicated reasons, and multitudes of situations got caught in between the interval such that that would feel as if it had been quite an old topicーー though that went only for Subaru, at maximum.
Things he ought to do, things he must do, they had all been decided.
That is whyーー,
Subaru: “Beatrice, it’ll be getting a bit confusing. ーーLend me, your strength.”
Beatrice: “ーー. That is a given, in fact. Betty is Subaru’s partner, I suppose.”
Promised Beatrice to Subaru, who had broken the ice without any explanations.
Her existence was, truly, very truly, reassuring for the ■.
ーーThe impact, jumped around freely in the aisle of the stone tower.
???: “Haha ~tsu! Hahaha ~tsu! You’re doing it, you’re quite doing it, you’re surely doing it, perhaps you’re doing it, you’ve been doing it, you’ve done it, because you’ve been doing it ~tsu! Gluttonous drinking ~tsu! Gluttony ~tsu!”
???: “Is there any time to be playing around? That is quite the pliability, isn’t it.”
Using the walls, ceilings of the aisle as a foothold, making free use of transforming tactics at will from next to next was the Sin Archbishop of 『Gluttony』, Ley Batenkaitos.
And the one rushing around at high speeds, was the one who had kept the inferior physical form of her body someplace else and was moving around nimbly, Ram.
Her petite frame fluttered about and danced, and the sounds of blows mercilessly blew away 『Gluttony’s』 body. At that point, rushing in as having been waiting for that wasーー,
Emilia: “ーーWroom and, boom!”
Wielding a large ice hammer in both of those hands, swinging it as if aiming for a home run was Emilia.
The damaging portion of the ice hammer, as large as a human’s trunk, turned into a strike with all of her might and made a firm hit onto Ley’s back. The small frame bounced and jumped along with a thunderous roar like a gum ball.
ーーNo, he bounced too far off.
Instantly kicking the ice hammer, he by himself had jumped ahead and killed the impact.
Ley: “Ahawaha~! You’re doing it doing it doing i~t! But but, that won’t do! That can’t defeat us!”
Emilia: “ーー~hk, he’s fast!”
At 『Gluttony』 displaying moves with a touch of acrobatics, Emilia made a frustrated expression on her cute face.
Past and present, east and west, chewing the experts of all kinds of master arts, demonstrating abilities that had, quite literally, become “every single kind of martial arts” was the Sin Archbishop of 『Gluttony』, Ley’s fighting strengthーー or perhaps, it should be called his opposing pressure. It had attained preeminence, a remarkable difference of unleashing optimal techniques of the highest peak each moment to the next.
Subaru: “If the 『Memories』, the efforts or the training, if they’re all being completely included, then……”
Though it was quite hateful, perhaps 『Gluttony』 did not even have a need to possess a consciousness such as one saying “let’s pull them out”. When noticed the body already moved, that was the kind of Authority it was, of pulling them out in all kinds of scenes.
ーーThe stolen 『Memories』 even included the experience points of the physical body.
That was also evident by Subaru not remembering how to use the whip he carried around at all. It seemed that whip had been Subaru’s main weapon before losing his memories, but the correct way to hold it and swinging it, he could remember none of it altogether.
In the first place, why did he choose something like a whip as his main weapon.
It must be easier to make better use out of than a sword or a lance, it must have been a shallow thought like that. Though there were no objections to that itselfーー,
Subaru: “I wish I would’ve thought of a counter plan, in case I lost my memories……!”
Of course, he was aware it was an absurd request, Subaru, however, still cursed it. By doing that, for single moment, he was able to forget his effeminate jealousy towards his disappeared 『Memories』.
The jealousy towards the disappeared 『Memories』 = 『Natsuki Subaru』.
Beatrice: “Subaru, asking again, in fact. Are you really alright, I suppose?”
At that sideward face of Subaru’s, Beatrice raised her voice.
At her question, who had been supporting Subaru’s body as he shrugged his shoulders, Subaru nodded with a “Yeah”,
Subaru: “Right now, the fight’s a struggle…… if that collapses, our way to victory will……”
Beatrice: “ーーBut, there is opposition in Subaru being taken away from here, in fact.”
Subaru: “But, it’s necessary. You understand, right, Beatrice……”
Beatrice: “That isーー”
Subaru: “Lend me, your strength. Once again…… I request you.”
While maintaining meticulous caution among the ceaseless shocks, trying not to have his voice tremble, Subaru blackmailed Beatrice with an unfair manner of speaking.
At those cruel words of request of Subaru’s, Beatrice closed her eyes, making a difficult expression.
Lend your strength, that was the flow of conversation they had also had in 『Taygeta』 library.
However, that time had been before Subaru had activated 『Cor Leonis』 as well, and Beatrice had not known that the situation of Pleiades Watchtower had deteriorated this much.
That is why, this was a heinous technique of Subaru’s which gripped onto Beatrice’s kindness.
Scrutinizing Subaru’s proposal with a difficult face was Beatrice.
The sudden deterioration of Subaru’s physical condition, and the recovery of Ram’s fighting strength which accompanied itーー the associativity between them was evident, and Ram, Beatrice, and even Emilia had noticed Subaru’s rash perseverance.
But still, everyone knew they could not tell him to stop.
ーーThat Subaru being burdened with his hardship was why the war front was being barely maintained.
Talk in name only, if Subaru was to unfasten 『Cor Leonis』 here while caring for himself, the first to follow would be the collapse of Ram, Emilia will get her 『Name』 eaten by 『Gluttony』, their cooperation will crumble down and they will be defeated.
And if 『Gluttony』 was rendered free, the power balance of the tower would fall into an unrecoverable state, ultimately everyone would die in defeat, and it would be game over.
Subaru: “……In the end, me being burdened is the best, the better option.”
Subaru, who could never really be of any help even when he was acting rash, was making strides in the fighting strength by taking over Ram’s inferior physical form. That was, an absolute requirement for capturing the tower.
Correctly speaking, even in the efficacy of 『Cor Leonis』, there lay a trap not easy to solve.
That was, consciously or subconsciously, Ram saving up her fighting strength.
With overwhelming sense and techniques beyond comprehension, Ram was in complete control of the place.
In spite of that, the reason why she had not overcome the opposition, was because Ram had imposed a limiter on her own fighting strength, for whom only a single step further was required. ーーThe reason for that was her faltering due to carefully considering Subaru’s status.
If Ram were to move to the fullest, it would impose an enormous burden onto Subaru.
Subaru would not be able to endure that. That possibility, was putting a halt on Ram’s hands and legs.
The truth is, something similar had occurred when he had gone around towards Julius and Reid.
It had been confirmed he was capable of taking over Ram’s inferior physical form through 『Cor Leonis』 itself, without having to meet up with herーー however, in a situation where Ram does not know of the interrelation between her own favourable state and Subaru’s state, Ram does not save on her fighting strength.
As a result, the backfire, lacking any regret, scorched only Subaru and did not lead to mutual harm.
It also meant the end for Ram’s time as standing unrivalled, the worst kind of mutual harm.
It was not possible to continue sprinting with the entire strength for long in a state of lacking oxygen. That was all there was to it.
Henceforth, drawing up Ram’s fighting strength through 『Cor Leonis』, in terms of results, Ram’s judgement to save onto her abilities was correct. Being balanced was the best.
However, that improvement of Ram’s combat power, 『Gluttony』 was narrowly following it with the limitless arts of war he had plundered. Emilia was compensating for the parts where he could not be pushed away, but still, 『Gluttony』 could not be distanced away from, continuing to eat away with an extraordinary ability to survive.
That is why, towards thatーー,
Enough to envelop the entire aisle, violet crystals materialised and were fired in a single action.
Acting in consent with Beatrice’s chant, who swung her small arm downwards, the concentrated attack of the magic called shadow magic, swooped down onto Ley, who had turned his back towards this side, with tremendous vigour.
Immediately afterwards, the boisterous dance of violet light swallowed the petite frame, engulfing the aisle with the sound of shattering glass.
Within the fluttering flakes of violet, dancing and falling, leaping away from the attack’s span were the two of Emilia and Ram. Evading the fire with instantaneous judgement, it was as expected of their physical ability to quickly avoid it.
On the other hand, having been in the same circumstance but only having delayed the part of him facing it with his back, Ley could not evade it easily the way Emilia and Ram had done.
It was a magic to be feared, which crystallised the struck targets, turning them into a brittle and transient existence and smashing them.
Minya, capable of fatally wounding even through light contact, if it were to be recklessly fired this much in such a confined range, it would be difficult for an enemy, even if it were to be a transient being, to cut through unhurt.
When the dance of the light which had been given rise to by the violet arrows came to a halt, the form of 『Gluttony』 who had taken enormous damage wasーー not there.
Emilia: “Eh!? Where did……”
Beatrice inhaled in astonishment, Emilia made a strained expression and looked around.
Within the chaos, the one to get a grasp on the situation the fastest truly had been Ram.
She put her hand on her own right eye, and with only her left eye open, turned back. Subaru knew there was something like a path connecting him and Ram through 『Cor Leonis』.
Ram, activated some type of a technique. Using that peculiar power, she understood where specifically the disappeared 『Gluttony』 was.
His whereabouts wereーー,
Ram shouted, widening her light crimson eyes.
At that moment, from her line of sight Subaru comprehended the arrival of a hazardous presence right behind them. That was aiming for the back of Subaruーー no, Beatrice.
With the interruption by Minya just now, did it intend to convey that it had polluted the battle.
At any rate, it was not vastly different from the transpiring happening.
Ley: “ーーMust say, if the one right now was to be continued consecutively, it’ll be getting tiresome, that’s why.”
Accompanying the sneering words, the dagger fastened to his arm flashed.
That was the strike by Ley, who had leapt through the space and escaped the concentrated attack of violet arrows. In line with the frequent usage of the 『Fist King』, the odd talent of the one who became the 『Leaper』ーー it could be named, short range warp.
According to what had been seen, it seemed as if there were certain limits to the distance, but still, the compatibility of the strange talent of jumping over space and the encircling attack was the worst.
Carrying no significance regarding the type of the surprise attack, in the end, anything aside from getting involved in the head-on match wasーー,
Thoughts and actions, ■ and body did not always coincide.
The moment initially after he pushed the small body away reflexively, a sharp sensation deeply gouged out his chest.
As if scratching scab with claws, the pain and impact was several thousand times that. He instantly regretted having received that with his chest. Though he regretted it, no other convenient shield had been present there.
Bewildered by the momentary judgement, he shuddered at the mere thought of Beatrice having been slashing down. So much so, that he thought it would be better for him to become a shield of flesh compared to that. It was painful, though it was painful, if it was merely pain, merely the wound on his body, they would last for only an instant. Not even an instant. But, it was much better than ■ being wounded.
Much better, than ■ dying.
The loud voice echoed within the tower, when he tried to turn back and see to whom it belonged, his knees snapped.
Strength faded away from his limbs, surprisingly easily. Pathetically fragile, he was unable to support his head. Even an infant could hold his head still, but what was this man, who had significantly aged, doing.
Such that even this frivolous talk wouldn’t come to mind, his consciousness fell into the sole of the deep, dark hole.
A vivid ache and sense of loss, scorched his brain.
Giving rise to a shriek, he endured his voice trying to fly out by grinding his teeth.
It was not as if he would feel any better if he were to let it out. It was not as if he would feel any better if he were to not let it out. However, there were people here who, if Subaru were to cry out now, would surely have their ■ shattered.
He could not allow that. Because he could not do so, stay silent and die. Natsuki Subaru.
Ley: “ーーHow nice, onii-san. So you will be going to the next one by doing tha~t?”
There echoed a voice overlooking Subaru, who had powerlessly crumbled down while continuing to resist his screaming.
He had endured his screaming. However, he could not possibly endure that mocking voice.
In a situation where his limbs had been rendered completely incapable of moving, he directed strength into his arm, and moved his finger.
And, with a single middle finger raised, his lips moved.
Subaru: “Die, idiot.”
After that, his consciousness came to a haltーー.
■ Count 2.
・ Having Emilia and Ram cooperate, aiming for an early settlement with Ley Batenkaitos, failure.
・ Timing is essential, for taking over Ram’s inferior physical form through 『Cor Leonis』.
・ ーーBeatrice’s surprise attack, is incompatible with 『Gluttony』.
ーーFiercely, the enshrouding clouds of sand were trying to enwrap the field of vision.
With his entire body swinging around at the sensation of violently swaying about, Subaru desperately clung on, trying not to be thrown off. Ahead of him, a pigtail was shaking about left and right.
???: “ーーWork hard, Sand Earthworm-chan!”
In accordance with Meili’s call, the Sand Earthworm trembled its large build and intensely hammered in and struck its face. Swallowed by that shock wave, gave rise to an immense loss in the troops of the advancing horde of Witch Beasts.
However, those lost troops were covered in the matter of a few seconds, trampling upon the scattered corpses of their own kind, the hordes of Witch Beasts continued to push in without halting their feet. ーーThe war situation, was unfavourable.
Under their eyesーー no, in all directions, advancing in were the innumerable Witch Beasts. With those as her opponents, Meili made free use of her preparations, which in no way could be stated to be sufficient, and was struggling fiercely.
Honestly speaking, Meili’s efforts, as she controlled the Witch Beast, were hard to notice by an outsider’s perspective. She ordered instructions to the Witch Beast, and obeying that, the fiendish monster rampaged about. There was no mystery in that if that alone was to be observed.
Meili: “Hah, hah ~hk.”
Looking at her shape, with sweat on her forehead and occasionally inhaling agonizingly, it could perhaps be understood at a single glance that it was a recognition too difficult to observe.
Meili: “Hah, fu~h…… enough, geez o-onii-san, treats people so rudely~.”
Wiping the sweat dripping down her chin by the back of her hand, Meili’s eyes, who had stated some harsh words, had become bloodshot.
It was not as if she had directly linked with the Witch Beasts, like Subaru’s 『Cor Leonis』, but to bend the atrocious Witch Beast’s instinct as per her own notions, an immense strength of will was needed.
For Subaru, who had read her book once and personally experienced her half death, the weight of that indemnification was clearly known. That is precisely why, it had been transmitted to him.
ーーThat Meili was seriously thinking of capturing the tower, along with Subaru and the rest.
Subaru: “ーー~hk “
Meili: “He~y, onii-san!? If you don’t grab on properly, you’ll die~, you kno~w!”
Subaru: “I-I know……!”
The moment immediately after he profoundly thought of those deep emotions, his body felt as if it was being carried away in the horizontal jolts and his posture crumbled. He had momentarily withstood his ground, but he was shouted at by Meili when she discovered that.
While complying with those words, Subaru calmed down, and clung to the protuberance of the large build.
ーーAt present, the figures of Subaru and Meili were on top of the large build of the Sand Earthworm.
Meili: “If instructions were to be given directly from a close distance, there is supposed to be a child which listens to what is said even within children who cannot learn anything, isn’t i~t.”
Subaru: “Like I said, I never thought, I’d get to have a Witch Beast ride……!”
Swishing through the air, with his body being jolted by the velocity of the Witch Beast’s body cutting through the atmosphere with a roar, Subaru skilfully moved around his body weight, stuck in admiration of Meili, who was managing the Witch Beast’s back.
This time as well, Meili’s battle with the hordes of Witch Beasts commenced from the balcony of the fourth layer.
Making use of several Sand Earthworms which had been prepared in advance, having the hordes of Witch Beasts advancing towards the watchtower suffer an attack, to block the invasion of the Witch Beasts into the tower was Meili’s role.
However, she quickly gave up on the attack from the balcony, jumping onto the back of the Sand Earthworm underneath, and then in one go, plunged into the Witch Beast, with vigour like that of a high wave, from the middle of its forehead.
At that heroic tactic of Meili’s, accompanying her as a bait was what Subaru’s current state was.
Meili: “Really, Witch Beast-chan’s all love onii-san, isn’t i~t.”
Subaru: “And that’s nothing to be happy about…… ~hk.”
Looking at the excited state of the Witch Beasts drawing near, Meili sighed as they were crushed by the Sand Earthworm. While agreeing with her comment, Subaru narrowed his eyes at the hurriedly approaching hordes of Witch Beasts.
Though the principle behind it was unknown, it was something he was aware of in terms of the result.
The Witch Beasts who surrounded the watchtower, strictly speaking, were not aiming for the watchtower, but had gathered aiming for Subaru who was inside of it. ーーThat was, evident from this situation as well.
The spearheads of the Witch Beasts were concentrating on the extreme towards the Sand Earthworm, which was giving a ride to Meili and Subaru.
Turning their legs around, which were supposed to have been facing towards the tower, hastily making way towards this side with unraveled fangs, were merely the instincts of Witch Beasts trying to kill a living being, nothing more.
Subaru: “It wasn’t as if I was half-convinced, but……”
Him having the physical constitution which attracted Witch Beasts, was a peculiarity Subaru, who had been in present-day Japan till yesterday, did not even need confirmation for as a real feeling. In the past, he had gnawed the pocky for the dog kept in the neighbourhood, but could that have been a symptom of the early stage of this physical constitution.
He was utterly unaware now. Though he was unawareーー,
Subaru: “It seems it’s no mistake that I am responsible for a large part of the five obstacles.”
The hordes of Witch Beasts advancing towards the watchtower, and the ones of 『Gluttony』 putting his approach towards the tower to test through Subaru’s 『Memories』, and Reid who took in that 『Gluttony』 and acquired substance, and Shaula who commenced aiming for Subaru by the virtue of her transformation, and the jet black shadow which swallowed the entirety of the watchtowerーー.
Looking back now, the thought of the responsibility for their origin seemingly truly coming down to Subaru could not prevented. Of course, inevitability was no possible part of it.
Subaru: “My mind, is getting depressed……”
However, if the Witch Beasts, Shaula, and the jet black shadow could be lured outside of the watchtower, there may possibly form a way to break out of the deadlock of the present circumstances.
Subaru: “……It is not forbidden to destroy the 『Trials』, huh.”
The fifth rule, behind capturing Pleiades Watchtower.
When he thought of the feelings of Shaula’s ■, who had hid that, he felt his chest ache, but the rule he had finally fished out of her mouth granted a new viewpoint towards the place known as the Pleiades Watchtower.
It was not as if his eyes had opened innovatively, by getting to know that rule.
However, granted with a scale he had never thought of, his way of looking at the world had expanded remarkably. Things which do not exist cannot be obtained. That was, the fundamental law of the world.
To pass over the 『Trial』 without finishing it, to act contrary to the established routine of the 『Trial』, that had been prohibited.
Without even getting involved in that, destroying the 『Trial』 itself had not been prohibited. What, could that mean.
What could itーー.
Li, trying to continue his words on, that is when Subaru witnessed it.
By changing the course of the Sand Earthworm, whether the terrain of the watchtower’s environs were usable or not, while attempting to confirm that, the objective came to a standstill.
Because an assailing corona, from overhead, had scattered away the thick trunk of the Sand Earthworm.
“ーーーー~hk ~hk ~hk.”
With more than eight meters blown off of the around ten meter wide waist, the Sand Earthworm shrieked, giving rise to its death wail.
The proceedingly lowering roar of the Witch Beast also resembled a howl, and Subaru, who had basked in that at close proximity, felt his vision dye white with its explosive intrusion into his eardrums.
On top of the Witch Beast, which had experienced that and was disseminating bluish-purple bodily fluids, having been unable to stop its body from getting blown off into a thousand scraps at both the front and back of its trunk, Subaru and Meili’s bodies were thrown down.
Meili: “Ghーー ~hk!”
Instantaneously stretching out his hand, he took Meili’s petite body within his arms.
Patting his shoulder and trying to call out to him was a byproduct of it. By reflexively leaning his body forward, he had been able to catch her falling body.
However, that had not been a drastic settlement. The Sand Earthworm’s large frame somersaulted, and not only Meili, but Subaru had also been thrown off.
Even if he were to pull her in, in the end, they would fall on top of the sand, a place surrounded completely by Witch Beasts.
If that happens, the two of them would become feed for the Witch Beasts while they attempt to reorganise themselves.
Clinging to the outer wall of the tower, with its tail stinger facing towards Subaru and the rest, the titanic scorpionーー Shaula, with her large build slipped into the twilight, she was distantly visible having made her appearance.
They were out of time.
Within the tower, someone broke the rule. In accordance with that, Shaula lost her self and transformed into the titanic scorpion and just as what she had reported about herself, she commenced attacking, aiming for Subaru.
That single bomb had scattered away the Sand Earthworm’s trunk, and mid air, towards Subaru and Meiliーー,
Meili: “Onii-sa…… ~hk.”
Hugging Meili tightly, who was within his arms and had raised a voice as that of a scream, Subaru did not let his eyes avert from the titanic scorpionーー no, Shaula. The red compound eyes, within the presence of night, emitted a distinct glow, and the line of sight unbeknownst to any course of action, clearly understood it was him upon looking at Subaru.
Light gathered at the tail stinger, and now once again, a corona was fired.
They would get vapourized away should they be struck by that. However, they must not get struck by that.
He wanted to avoid being killed by Shaula, regardless of how much that may abrade away his ■. If he were to bend away from that, he would surely become a miscreant this time.
However, a way to defend themselves while they were mid air was.
The moment the corona was fired, the Sand Earthworm writhing in agony thrusted itself above the line of fire. Was that the simply instinctive movement of the Sand Earthworm, or did Meili influence it in some way, he did not know.
However, the single blast Shaula had fired, had been avoided at the moment when it was supposed to vaporize Subaru away.
Subaru: “Gah, gugh.”
With vehement vigour, Subaru and the rest fell on top of the sand from their sands.
Meili, who was strongly embraced within Subaru’s arms, was perhaps safe. However, Subaru himself had not been safe. Unable to defend himself, he had gotten his head within the extensive sand.
A dull sound echoed, the joints of his bones, which must be avoided from getting smashed, had gotten broken.
At that instant, his field of vision was rendered completely black.
His nerves, which must be avoided from getting slashed, had gotten cut a thousand times.
Not only what was visible to his eyes, but sounds, sensations, anything and everything turned distant.
Merely his nose remained alive. It was baffling. The nose, which was not even expected to be capable of doing something useful normally. For some reason, till the very end of the end, he could sense scents.
The sweet, scent.
Within his arms, having been there till recently, that sweet scent.
Perhaps, yet remaining alive, that sceーー.
■ Count 7.
・ Escaping outside of the tower, the effectiveness of luring away the Witch Beasts.
・ The Witch Beasts’ aim is Subaru. The aim of the shadow and titanic scorpion as well, is perhaps the same.
・ ーーWith Natsuki Subaru alone, Meili cannot be protected.
Enduring the nausea welling up within him, Subaru glanced at the front once again.
Stepping firmly pouring immense strength in the legs, he somehow managed to have his body remain still. His anguish had not been eased. He was merely skilfully deceiving his anguish.
???: “Hiyah! Hiyayah! Eiyah!”
Crushing the bitterness of gastric juices in his teeth was Subaru, and in front of him, fiercely welding two ice swords was Emilia. Evading those attacks of Emilia’s calmly, with a deriding smile was the bitter enemy he was tired of looking at, Ley Batenkaitos.
Since the restart point of 『Return by Death』 had been set up to the moment immediately following the confrontation with Louis Arneb in the 『Book of the Dead』, Emilia and 『Gluttony’s』 encounter was inevitable.
At the point in time Subaru had 『Returned by Death』 to, the battle between Emilia and 『Gluttony』 had already commenced.
The simple way to change the situations, was to tamper with the match-making. However, activating 『Cor Leonis』 immediately after 『Returning by Death』, Subaru was able to see the positions of his comrades within the tower, and he naturally understood that this fight was unavoidable.
Henceforth, he did not have the situation of the tag team of Emilia and Ram fighting Ley change.
ーーHowever, something could be done about that in its own way.
Julius: “I know!”
At Subaru’s sharp call, in accordance with that, a single shadow stepped in.
That was, with a knight sword in his grip and running through the frozen aisle, Julius. Having his light purple hair flutter in the icy wind, he commenced his gallant piercing sprint from a lower posture.
Ley: “Haha ~tsu! Even the nameless knight-sama shall be partaking in the battle hu~h!”
Julius: “Unfortunately, if that was intended to be a provocation then that is quite weak. Subaru pricks at spots much more painful.”
Ley: “That, despite being comrades, what’s up with that?”
Brushing away the advancing piercing dash with his dagger, Julius and Ley exchanged words at close proximity. Even during that, sword strikes unfolded between the two, and special moves being exchanged opposite to the content of their conversation were being performed.
ーーHaving Julius accompany them to this place, was a type of a gamble.
When the five obstacles had attacked the watchtower for the first time, Subaru had Julius accompany them for going around this as well. At that time, Emilia had gotten her 『Name』 eaten, and her cooperation with Julius, who had been rendered unknowing to her battle style, had been shoddy, lacking in the ability to corner 『Gluttony』.
Subaru: “This time, nobody has forgotten Emilia-chan. On top of that……”
Emilia and Julius’ coordination, was soundly driving Ley into an inferior position. At that point, ahead of Subaru’s line of sight, was the shadow of a person kicking the ceiling and making a sudden descentーー Ram severely cut in between.
Of course, increasing her fighting strength through 『Cor Leonis』 was Subaru’s greatest duty. That had been practiced this time as well, and Ram advanced closer to Ley’s torso with unordinary body handling.
Ram: “Just, kindly take the exit already.”
Ley: “Ghu, egh.”
Cold words, and her palm, with equal sharpness, drove into Ley’s side. At the palm strike seemingly directly damaged the internal organs through the gaps in ribs, and a distinct rumble of pain spilled through Ley’s lips.
At the same pace, Ram’s knee assaulted the snapping body, and grabbing the hair of her opponent from the back of the head, and slammed it into the floor. On top of that, she consecutively swung down her heel into his face.
Merciless might, continuous attacks, those drove away Ley into certain defeat.
However, Ley had not been harmed and dealt with. The heel Ram swung down onto his face, having grabbed that slender ankle while lying down, he was glaring at Ram from below with a bloodstained evil countenance.
Ley: “Nee-sama, cau~ght……”
Ley: “ーーGah ~tsu!?”
Attempting to express a smile on his evil countenance was Ley, that body, from a directly horizontal attackーー by the ice hammer given shape to and swung by Emilia like a golf swing, got blown off.
It was a nice save, just when he was about to put his wickedness to work by grabbing Ram’s leg. At Ley, who went rolling, somersaulting, Emilia gallantly raised her eyebrows and pushed out her chest.
???: “……As merciless, as always, I suppose.”
Right beside him, Beatrice, while supporting his body, whispered at those actions of Emilia’s with admiration, amazement, and somewhat of pride.
The truth is, Subaru felt the same. She had a cute face, she could truly be relied upon.
Ram: “Emilia-sama, gratitude for the rescue.”
Emilia: “Mhm, it’s fine. Ram got grabbed because she’s moving around this much, after all. Julius as well, thank you for coming here.”
Julius: “Not at all, 『Gluttony』 is an opponent I am deeply connected to as well. Rather, my deepest apologies for exposing Emilia-sama and Miss Ram to danger. This was originally supposed to be a spot where I would tell you to kindly stand back, but……”
Ram: “With that as the opponent, there must be no room to be acting upon chivalry or gentlemanliness, isn’t it.”
Ram, while hugging her elbow, flatly intercepted Julius’ words. Even Julius could not refuse that. It seemed as if he felt ashamed of his feelings towards that itself.
There is a certain style to battle, there are certain rules to warriors.
However, adhering to that, and becoming too obsessed over pride, would result in large losses. ーーFor Julius, this was a difficult spot. However, there was no choice for him but to respond to it.
At the very least, with the Sin Archbishop of 『Gluttony』, an atrocious gang as the enemyーー,
Ley: “……A~h, you sure are doing it. To do this much with us as the opponent is quite something.”
Saying that, the aforementioned Sin Archbishop stood up while shaking his head.
Whether that was him resounding having received Emilia’s heroic blow from his shoulder, his right arm was still loosely handing down. Possibly, the shoulder bones had perhaps been fractured.
If that was true, then it could be said it was possibly fatal for the Authority of Ley Batenkaitos, of reconstructing battle styles through 『Memories』. No matter how proficient a battle style may be, it would be rendered meaningless if it was not exercised perfectly.
Subaru: “……Or instead, by substituting with the little sister, are you going to be switching the body and everything to the other?”
Ley: “ーー. Waha~n, we see, huh. Onii-san is aware of our 『Solar Eclipse』 and 『Lunar Eclipse』 is what that means. Well well, got seen through, isn’t it. But you kno~w.”
Putting an abrupt halt to his words, 『Gluttony』 stuck his tongue out as if mocking Subaru and the rest. Though Subaru furrowed his eyebrows to that gesture, the answer was provided immediately.
Ley: “ーーIn such a disadvantageous situation, i~s there any meaning for us to still continue fighting?”
Subaru: “ーー~hk! Not good!”
Obvious logic, Subaru shouted while cursing the shallowness of his own thought.
Hearing that call of Subaru’s, Emilia and the others also seemingly reached the same thought, but they were too late.
Lightly swinging his hand, Ley’s figure jumped over the space.
Using the odd talent of the 『Leaper』, he erased his form from the aisle.
Julius: “Stay on the lookout for the surroundings! We don’t know where he may appear from yet!”
Ram: “ーーIt is futile. That bunch, once they are allowed to get away, they escape. That must be why, they haven’t been caught even once yet, isn’t it.”
Rendering his form invisible was 『Gluttony』, Julius called for vigilance for that surprise attack, but Ram, while shaking her head left and right, probed into the situation with composure.
Subaru too, felt the same as Ram. Just as the words Ley had left, there lay not a single reason for him to continue fighting in such a disadvantageous situation.
Ley Batenkaitos, was a Sin Archbishop, not a warrior.
He did not possess the qualities of continuing to fight until the very end, or enjoying hard battles either. According to Louis’ statement, what they desired was the greatest life, the itinerary of optimum solutions.
ーーThe hazards of hard battles or defeat, those could not even be forgotten desires for them.
Emilia: “……Then, it’s over already?”
Dumbfounded, Emilia whispered while reducing the ice hammer she held in her hand to air.
In those words was, not the relief of the enemy having disappeared, but the disappointment having let a bitter enemy slip from their handsーー no, something differing furthermore, despondency.
The reply to that despondency, that wasーー,
Ram: “ーーJust, a little bit more and yet!”
Ram: “Just, a single step more, and the bunch who made Rem go through all that could have had been…… ~hk.”
Kneeling down, raising a high-pitched voice was Ram.
She powerfully struck her fist to the aisle’s floor, trembling her voice for 『Gluttony』, who had artfully succeeded in running away.
Everyone in this place was painfully aware, of the feelings of her regretful self.
The reason why Emilia prevaricated her words, why Julius hid his yellow eyes, why Beatrice, beside Subaru, lowered her shoulders, all of it collected upon that.
They did possess a sudden clue.
However, unlike relying on knowledge of the tower, enquiring 『Gluttony』 about the damage dealt by the Authority of 『Gluttony』 directly, it was a way that had been thought over with certainty.
To have that slip away from right in front of the eyes, it was obvious to feel despondency for that.
Subaru: “……With this, Ley has been repelled away, is that what it would mean?”
Understanding the feelings of Ram’s ■ sinking deep into lamentation, Subaru possessed a different kind of doubt.
Seeing the disadvantage of three against one, Ley decided to withdraw from this spot. However, speaking in terms of whether he had withdrawn completely as a threat to the watchtower, that was yet unclear.
Though Ram had informed Julius of the futility of looking out for a surprise attack, but that was something limited to only this place. Within the tower, dangerous 『Gluttony』 were wandering around, that situation yet remained unchanged.
If so, then it could not possibly be said that one of the five obstacles had been eliminated.
On the contrary, they had left an opponent about whom they had no idea where he may clash in from, to take care of himself, that was all there was to it.
Subaru: “ーー~hk, should the guy who escaped be ran after, or should another problem be looked after. At any right, right now……”
???: “ーーThe thing known as a situation, is all about the opponent where one should be movin’ around without thinkin’ anythin’.”
Suddenly, the moment he was giving consideration to the possibility of not making a move, he felt his hair rise at the voice which originated from behind. When everyone turned back instantly, slow footsteps approached from ahead of the aisle.
Its owner, as if simply taking a walk without halting a single step, that was not something the aforementioned bunch would do.
For some reason.
???: “I’m takin’ a walk around my garden, yet why should I be worryin’ about other fellas?”
Boldly, without feeling shy for a single thing, the manーー the figure of Reid who descended down from the second layer, at that, Subaru felt the situation deteriorate further.
Keeping the issue of Reid for later, he had hastened Ley Batenkaitos’ subjugation, but in terms of results, Ley had escaped, and obstructing Reid’s revival had completely failedーー,
Emilia: “Since when, has this tower become your garden?”
Reid: “Heyhey, don’t go around havin’ misunderstandin’s, fiercely frizzlin’. Let me tell ya, when I said garden I wasn’t refferin’ to this gloomy tower. You, ain’t it obvious I’d be callin’ the whole world as my garden.”
Julius: “……If the man who became legend by a single swing of sword says that, then that comment must not be a trifling matter.”
At the arrival of Reid, who was not supposed to be able to leave the second layer, Emilia and Julius fired their own respective astonishment and words. The response to that was extremely typical of Reid, that could be said straightforwardly.
For this warrior who surpassed all human intellect, the idea of thinking over his footstepsーー no, not just footsteps. The thought of taking other people into consideration, was completely unbalanced.
Ram: “ーーWhy, have you descended down here? You were not supposed to be able to leave that floor, isn’t that so, trial taker.”
Reid: “Talkin’ to women knelt down and sunken ain’t to my likin’. If ya want me to answer then try requestin’. I don’t think strong-hearted women’re bad. Though I don’t think weak-hearted women’re bad either.”
Ram: “Is that so. ーーSuch a sleazebag.”
Without expecting a direct response, Ram promptly halted her response to Reid.
The next instant, Ram, who had kicked the floor with enough force to burst it open, rushed towards the opposing Reid’s bottom in a straight line, and turning into pink whirlwind, leapt towards the 『Sword Saint』 standing bolt upright.
At the same pace, making the best use of her petite build, a high speed rotating kick was fired from her heel towards Reid’s head. Without any exaggeration, a kick strike with enough force to mow down his head.
It was stark kick which, if it landed a direct hit, would blow off his head physically, if not that then at the very least, his consciousness.
Of course, the respective recoil would flow into Subaru from Ram, and pain like a strike of lightning would bolt through his body.
Subaru: “Ghu, ghu~u~u~ ~hk.”
It is said that when an artery explodes, it pains to an inconceivable level. Right now, it could be boasted that what was running through Subaru’s entire body was something close to that.
Ram’s attack which had been unleashed to this extent, the fruits it bore wereーー,
Reid: “Not bad. But, that’s all it’s got. Had it been Trisha she would’ve broken the floor with a single blow, ya know.”
Reid: “Don’t lump me together with somethin’ like monsters. There’s a limit to how low my worth can be, ya know.”
Intercepting the kicking leg, he had the impact flow into the ground.
Having been witnessed earlier, physical attack killingーー that made the floor and walls of the aisle develop cracks, however, the damage to Reid himself had been blocked perfectly.
And, towards Ram’s abdomen, who had halted movementーー,
Reid: “Here, try endurin’ this, you.”
Spinning and turning around his body once, Reid’s bulky and sturdy leg sprang up. At the same pace, the sole of his foot captured Ram’s body, and swept it right upwards energetically.
With the air within her lungs squeezed out, Ram’s lips, as she widened her eyes, vomited a large amount of blood out. While bathing in that without dodging it, Reid narrowed his eye unconcealed by the eyepatch and distorted his lips.
However, immediately opening up his narrowed eye again, he spilled out “Wha~t?” with his voice.
Ram: “It was successful, wasn’t it.”
At that instant, Ram grasped the leg caved into her abdomen, and using her entire body, settled the joint of her knee. With an attitude as if unaffected by the impact of the strike which pierced into her abdomen. Seeing that, Reid carved a puzzled expressionーー,
Reid: “ーーWhat. Ya’re behind this too eh, young fish.”
With a damp voice, he told Subaru, who gnashed his molars at the anguish like a bowling ball had been thrown into the pit of his stomach.
Emilia: “ーー~hk, no! Don’t get any closer to Subaru!”
Immediately afterward, observing hazardous emotions levitating across Reid’s blue eyes, Emilia stepped ahead. However, at her advance, Reid swung his arm in annoyance, purloining the ice sword driven into him and mercilessly struck Emilia’s shoulder with its handle, and energetically kicked her fallen self.
Emilia: “Ah ~hk!”
Reid: “Ya’re in my way.”
Receiving the kick, Emilia got physically blown away. Much frighteningly, Reid did that with the leg whose knee was supposed to be captured in grip.
In other words, while continuing to have Ram cling to his leg, he had kicked and sent Emilia flying. In the end, no matter how much strength Ram may pour in, it could not do anything to Reid’s knee.
Ram: “Kgh, his limits know no end!”
Julius: “ーーPrepare yourself!”
Casting aside the advantage of locking him, Ram, like a chess piece, and Julius drew near him alongside.
However, the result of the attacks of the two was just as miserable.
His kick, his hand being used like a sword, respectively shot down Ram and Julius who were supposed to be at the pinnacle as warriors. Ram had her neck struck, Julius had his leg broken, all of them rendered incapable of standing.
And, in the aisle where comrades had fallen, Reid approached further, having literally eliminated the obstacles in his way. In front of his eyes, was merely the groggy Subaru, who had taken up Emilia and others’ damage, and Beatrice, who had spread both of her arms wide as if shielding that Subaru.
Subaru: “Bea…… it’s no use……”
Beatrice: “It doesn’t matter if it’s no use or if it’s absurd, in fact. This is Subaru’s property protection…… in that case, it is a special field of Betty’s, Subaru’s partner, as well, I suppose.”
Beatrice’s voice of acting strong, right now, echoed far too vainly.
Even when trying to respond to that strong spirit of Beatrice’s, Subaru’s hands, legs, made no reaction to the fighting spirit. What Subaru had taken up was only damage, which seemingly rendered the actions of his comrades futile.
Three of them were merely conscious, that was the fruit their willpower bore.
Beatrice: “Reid, why are you aiming for Betty and the others…… for Subaru, in fact?”
Reid: “Because it’s in the middle of the 『Trial』, sayin’ that’d be a pretty outdated response. My original plan aside, that actually goes for that pretty one……”
Beatrice: “So what, I suppose.”
Reid: “By meetin’ that one firsthand, my mind changed. It’s disgustin’, so I’ll erase him.”
A judgement grounded on peculiar sensitivity, conversation could not work against such an opponent.
At the same time, with the possibility of him turning over his view wiped out, Beatrice gnashed her pretty molars and glanced at Subaru behind, who had crumbled down and rendered immobile.
The reason why she took a tiny breath, was because she resolved her preparedness to fight and protect Subaru.
He wanted to tell her, to run away. However, what spilled out of Subaru’s lips was merely a hoarse breath.
Reid: “There’s no need for ya to go outta your way and rush to your death ya know, kid.”
Beatrice: “Unfortunately enough, living as if dead is utterly unwelcome at this point.”
Reid: “Hu~h, that so. Then, there ain’t any choice.”
With his name bearing the expression of a hero and a legend, he would not hurt a girl child.
Believing such thoughts are as though illusions, the glint in Reid’s eye remained firm. It seemed to be sentencing as if the one standing in his path was not but an infant.
Henceforth, without expecting any benevolence of ■, Beatrice was the first one to use all her might.
Beatrice: “Ul Minya.”
The emerging countless violet arrows submerged the aisle entirely, and completely blocked off any paths for Reid to escape through.
To fatally wound with the slightest contact was the special trait of Minya’s, fathoming that with a single glance, without flinching whatsoever, Reid curved his lips.
Beatrice: “Natsuki Subaru’s Great Spirit, Beatrice.”
Reid: “Good goin’. ーー『Stick Swinger』, Reid Astrea.”
With the mutual exchange of names, the atmosphere froze. Beatrice, with the violet crystals spread out in the air, and Reid, having picked up Julius’ knight sword that had fallen at his feet, prepared themselves.
Until the very end of the end, Subaru was unable to voice anything.
However, he kept his eyes open, he never closed them for even an instant.
His own decisions and choices, from their results, he had been unable to avert his eyes.
He had been unable to avert themーー.
■ Count 15.
・ 『Gluttony』 deserts, upon observing the situation to be visibly unfavourable.
・ Neglected Reid, ultimately comes to kill Subaru with absolute certainty.
・ ーーNever again, will he let someone die before his own self.
Subaru: “Beatrice ~hk.”
???: “Wah!? W-What happened, I suppose!? Subaru!? Subaru!?”
The moment he opened his eyes, he hugged the young girl before him with no forethought.
Astonished by the sudden action, the young girlーー Beatrice, stiffened her petite body.
It was his reunion with her, who had persisted with tragic preparedness until the previous moment. It turned into relief within his chest, along with unbearable guilt and breathed a painful wind into his ■.
He was grateful, he was able to meet her again.
Along with that, he felt apologetic for having her go through all of that.
Subaru: “ーーNo, it’s nothing. I do remember. You are Beatrice, I am Natsuki Subaru. You and I, are each other’s partners, now onwards too, please take care of me, please have fun with me, very good.”
Beatrice: “V-Very good, in fact……”
Beatrice, perplexed, raised her thumb at Subaru’s rhythmic words.
It was an expression that must not be existing in this different world, so it must be the result of Subaru poisoning her with it. Patting that head of hers, Subaru took in a deep inhale, and exhaled shortly.
Following that he switched over his consciousness, believing he must grasp the situationーー,
Beatrice: “Calm down, I suppose, Subaru.”
Beatrice: “Properly tell what happened, in fact. Did something happen inside the book, I suppose? Were Reid’s memories displayed? Betty aside, what about Emilia and everyone? Confirm whether you remember them, in fact. Properly recall, all things precious, I suppose.”
Subaru: “T-That’s…… yeah, hm, that’s right.”
Holding both of Subaru’s cheeks in her hands, Beatrice brought that to attention.
Hearing those words of her, in front of her hurried self he fell into slight reflection. It was a phenomenon might happen to someone who was looping often.
For an individual piling up loops, the fresh taste of a happening eventually fades away.
With that, experience points gained with people for whom that happening is for the first time and react accordingly slips off, and suddenly people start to appear as not being peopleーー,
Subaru: “……I never thought, I’d be in that position.”
In those kinds of works, the mind and body falls into that state due to trials run tens, hundreds or times even more than that.
Compared to that, for Subaru it wasーー merely, the fifteenth time.
To stop thinking of people as people in merely fifteen times, perhaps it could be said his ■ was turning harsher.
Subaru: “Am I an idiot. No, I am an idiot.”
Casting away the weak, brittle, pathetic nature of his own ■, Subaru braced his mind.
He had only, died fifteen times yet, that is all. Without having made any progress, he had merely exhausted his life in indolence. How come did his such self, hold any right to proclaim he was exhausted.
Such a thing did not exist for him. It did not.
Stand up, raise your face, clench your fists, Natsuki Subaru.
There’s nobody else except you. Except you.
ーーHad it been 『Natsuki Subaru』, such failures never would have.
Beatrice: “ーーFrom the very beginning, Subaru has never been some superman capable of doing everything, in fact.”
Suddenly, Beatrice told Subaru, who had been repeatedly wondering to himself.
Subaru inhaled at that comment, and widened his eyes. Gazing into those black eyes of Subaru’s straightforwardly, Beatrice shook her head left and right, conceiving grief in her blue eyes.
Beatrice: “It can be said countless times, I suppose. Subaru is no such superman who can do anything, in fact. Always frantic about what lies in front, gets hurt for everyone’s sake…… even enduring pain is not something he is good at, he is a normal boy, I suppose.”
Subaru: “T-That’s not, possible. That’s not. After all, it should be like that……”
Beatrice: “It should be like that?”
Subaru: “It should be like that, only then can this……”
He firmly gripped to the pit of his stomach, gritting his molars, thinking back to the wounds of his arm, to the wounds within his body, to his arm which had grown slightly sturdier, to everyone who relied upon Subaru, to Emilia, to Beatrice, to Ram, to Julius, to Echidna, to Meili, to Shaula.
His guts were rumbling such that it was irritating.
They were rashly pushing away, more than the moment of being on the verge of death, but perhaps Subaru’s ■.
???: “So you have returned, Natsuki-kun…… Did something, happen?”
???: “Geez onii-sa~n, just when I thought you’ve worried everyone, it’s because of tha~t? No fighting with Beatrice-chan now onwa~rds.”
Disputing with Subaru and Beatriceーー no, it was nothing so stern.
However, looking at the state of the two facing him, they were Meili and Echidna returning from their patrolling of the library. Neither could he look at the faces of those two straightforwardly.
Echidna: “Beatrice, did something happen to Natsuki-kun? Was the impact, indeed, too much?”
Beatrice: “……It’s not as if that’s not true, in fact. But, Betty and the rest’s proper thought was far too lacking for Subaru, who had to experience that misery, I suppose.”
Echidna: “That is……”
Echidna furrowed her eyebrows at Beatrice, who turned her gaze downwards after staring at Subaru. However, she immediately pulled her chin in, as if having judged the circumstances,
Echidna: “Shaula, who had jumped out, and Julius, who went after her, have not returned. I am also worried about Emilia-san and Ram-san who went to see Rem-san. I would like to join up with at least either of them, but……”
Beatrice: “……Echidna and Meili, head to the balcony, in fact. Betty will head to the Green Room and search for Emilia, I suppose. Stay sufficiently careful.”
Meili: “That’s okay bu~t, what’s onii-san going to do~?”
At Beatrice’s brisk instruction, Echidna and Meili’s lines of sight turned towards Subaru.
At those gazes, naturally, Subaru wanted to say he would accompany Beatrice but,
Beatrice: “ーーSubaru, will quietly stay here, I suppose.”
Subaru: “Wha……! Don’t say stupid stuff, Beatrice! I’m alright! My senses may certainly have had dulled down after returning from the book but, they’ll immediately be in their place……!”
Informed by the standing Beatrice, Subaru reflexively snarled at those words. At the same pace, he poured strength into his legs in order to stand at the same level as them.
He poured strength into his legs butーー,
Beatrice: “Be in their place and, what happened, in fact?”
At Beatrice’s question, Subaru looked down onto his legs in astonishment. Even if he tried to pour strength somehow, especially into his knees, he was unable to retain balance.
No matter what he did, his posture crumbled, and he was unable to stand up.
Beatrice: “It’s a matter of course, I suppose. Subaru is always, working too hard, in fact.”
Subaru: “No, wait, please wait! Everything somehow working out when I’m at this level, that’s……”
Subaru: “That’s, not possible. I am……”
Shaking his head left and right in refusal, no matter how many times he tried, the result remained unchanged.
Even though he possessed no pain, no anguish, no fatigue, his will did not get conveyed to his limbs. And whilst he remained occupied with that, Beatrice ultimately took a single step in the direction of the staircase.
Beatrice: “ーーSubaru, Betty and the rest will cover whatever remains lacking, I suppose. That is why, you don’t have to think of doing anything and everything all alone, in fact, after all”
Beatrice: “After all, that is Natsuki Subaru, I suppose.”
Leaving behind a smile for Subaru, who widened his eyes in astonishment, Beatrice dashed. As if equalling her energy, Echidna and Meili also turned their backs towards Subaru,
Echidna: “Natsuki-kun, I have expectations from you. That you still might be able to give one last push.”
Meili: “I think it’s fine if you rest. But, it was onii-san who said some pretty grand stuff to me so~, work hard on that a bit more.”
Saying all they had to say, the figures of the three disappeared from the library, leaving Subaru behind, whom they had all spoken to.
If they were to take the staircase from the third layer, the three will clash with Julius, who must be making his way back around this timing. Or perhaps, at the same pace, Julius would not come and drag out Subaru, he had embraced that expectation as wellーー,
Subaru: “No way, he’d come…… if Beatrice, says all that.”
He respected that.
Much less, the Subaru’s after returning from the 『Book of the Dead』 had been seen by the two of Echidna and Meili. There was no way their kind selves, would not trace that.
However, that solicitude came at the cost of life. Even though, he did not want to see someone among his comrades die before him.
Subaru: “All because, I’m so weak…… because I’m losing my spirit, at just this level, why.”
Had it been the true 『Natsuki Subaru』, he must not have halted his feet by just this. His rage towards his own worthless self, gave rise to warmth in Subaru’s chest.
However, alongside that, a separate feeling was also gushing forth.
That was, the words Beatrice had left behind.
‘ーーFrom the very beginning, Subaru has never been some superman capable of doing everything, in fact.’
‘It can be said countless times, I suppose. Subaru is no such superman who can do anything, in fact. Always frantic about what lies in front, gets hurt for everyone’s sake…… even enduring pain is not something he is good at, he is a normal boy, I suppose.’
What Beatrice had recited, the image of the 『Natsuki Subaru』 not present here.
Despite hearing that, Subaru was unable to believe that. It was difficult to believe in. After all, in accordance with that, that would truly mean he was just a normal human, isn’t it.
Subaru: “Something, must have happened. That must have changed you, isn’t it, 『Natsuki Subaru』……”
Something like, an extravagant meeting with someone.
Something like, attaining an unbelievable power.
Something like, experiencing something his current self couldn’t even imagine.
Because something must have happened which had allowed him to grow out of being the hopeless Natsuki Subaru, that 『Natsuki Subaru』 must have won the faith of everyone in his life in a different world.
Subaru: “It has to be like that……”
Without change, beating his legs, Subaru rolled up the sleeves of his clothes. Over there, a sarcoma with its origins not within Subaru’s memories had engraved a pattern.
Personally experiencing as if taking responsibility for that seeming curse over his body, the root perhaps still remained unchanged. That was not possible.
That is why, 『Natsuki Subaru』 wasーー,
Subaru: “『Natsuki Subaru』, I summon you……”
Suddenly, what he had mouthed was the genesis of the suspicion he harboured for this world’s “Natsuki Subaru”.
The message for the existence absent here he had, upon times, engraved upon his arm, upon times, written and composed as if it were a curse in his room.
Seemingly thinking, as if hexing someone who had stolen away the role which originally belonged to him.
Subaru: “If, you really are within me, then…… come out now……!”
Gripping his arms powerfully, with such strength that his bones would grate, Subaru called for 『Natsuki Subaru』 who was withinーー no, who was not present here.
The existence who could achieve ideals which Subaru, who was present here, could never attain. He asked 『Natsuki Subaru』 to come out, if he was here.
Subaru: “Come, come, come……! Show yourself, 『Natsuki Subaru』!!”
His arms had been lacking, so he latched to his neck with his hands. Of course, the deed of strangling oneself with his own hands, neither was it easy, nor could it be properly done.
In the first place, something as convenient as 『Natsuki Subaru』 showing his face when his life was in a predicament would never occur. Had that been the trigger, Subaru would have drawn him close twenty times now.
Just how many times 『Natsuki Subaru』 would have shown his face through that.
Subaru: “Shit, shit, shit…..! I am! I can’t, do it! You’re needed for this, 『Natsuki Subaru』!”
Seizing the grasp on his trembling knees, Subaru powerfully struck the floor with his fist. Though his fist pained at the floor of the library with unknown material properties, it could not possibly equal the sense of hopelessness tormenting his chest.
He wanted to save them. He truly, wanted to save everyone.
Nobody was in the wrong. Nobody would mutually hurt each other. He knew that. He could believe, without any wavering, that he could save, he could love everything.
Even though he wanted to save his beloved everyone, he did not possess the power to save them.
Subaru: “Precisely now, is when you are needed, isn’t it…… and yet, why is it me. My weak, cowardly self, cannot save…… and yet.”
Even now, his legs could not move.
Due to that, he ended up making Beatrice, Echidna, Meili, those who had not been there, Emilia, Ram, Julius, Shaula, face their point of death.
Because Subaru had not been able to do anything, they, who had been destined to die, could not be saved.
Subaru: “……『Cor Leonis』.”
Whispering weakly, Subaru activated his own Authority, in order to be wounded.
The power of the 『Little King』 that dwelled within him, immediately reported the positions of his comrades within the tower. On top of that, the reality of them heading to face their own end, of the tower heading to its demise.
Distant, having unrolled a violent battle, that light was Emilia. This time, Ram, who was supposed to stay by her side, her light was slightly distanced awayーー two separate lights, Patrasche, and Rem. She was accompanying them.
In the balcony, Shaula was struggling fiercely, and perhaps Meili had joined together there with her. Julius and Echidna seem to be moving together, and Beatrice, acting independently, was heading towards Emilia and the others is what he comprehended.
The flow was precisely as Beatrice’s instructions, and Subaru’s knowledge of the situation.
At the same pace, the current circumstance headed towards failure as wellーー.
With his mind directed by such negative thoughts, Subaru picked up a curious sense of discomfort.
As he turned his head towards his hindーー Subaru took an extensive look of the enormous library, filled with countless 『Books of the Dead』, 『Taygeta』.
It was an odd sensation.
Unmistakably, it was a sensation he was feeling for the first time. After all, ever since he grew conscious of his Authority of 『Cor Leonis』, he had been activating it at this spot after 『Returning by Death』.
Each time after that, Subaru headed for his comrades below, changing the cards he played repeatedly, running about for the sake of changing the situation, and used and exhausted his own life.
That is why, activating the Authority in 『Taygeta』 was a matter of course for him.
However, after what Beatrice told him, stopping his feet here, a single step distant from the core and getting to overlook the situations within the tower, might have been the origin of this.
Thanks to that, what could this have been,
Subaru: “ーーThis, response is.”
Faintly, he could feel it, so dim that it felt as if it was about to disappear.
That was, distant from his comrades within the tower, however when compared to being felt with certainty, it was a distant, frail sensationーー but, a sensation that was certainly present there.
Pushing himself and having his trembling legs move, Subaru advanced tardily like a caterpillar. After that, he quickly had his body lean onto the bookshelf, and elevated his upper body with all his might.
Somehow leaning his body weight on the bookshelf, he stood up. And, he stretched his hand out to the frail light about to disappear, and grasped it.
That grasped light, a single 『Book of the Dead』, drawing that outーー,
He gulped down a single inhale.
A single book, with just the title upon its black binding, a book terribly dull and dry.
However, it possessed profound meaning for Subaru.
Subaru: “ーーNatsuki Subaru.”
ーーThere present was, the 『Book of the Dead』 not supposed to be there.