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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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――There was a woman, all by herself.
This woman worried about everything; about each and every struggling person in the world.
Nothing in this small world was hidden from her view. To her, everything, everyone, was a child who needed protection.
Such a fragile world, with such fragile people, would be so easy to subjugate.
But the woman sought not to control this world. Instead, she sought to shelter it from harm.
And thus, her wretched war of trial and error began. But protecting and advising and saving the entire world proved to be too heavy a burden, for the woman’s lonely hands could not reach everyone.
Although she could see every solution, she lacked a way to solve every problem.
For the first time, the woman cursed her own inadequacy.
Even if she saw a calamity, she was short on helping hands.
Even if she was immersed in a building crisis, she could do nothing to prevent it. She could never do enough.
She could reach what was in front of her, but she couldn’t cross an impossible distance. She could deal with pressing affairs, but she couldn’t turn back the unforgiving wheel of time.
There was so much beyond her reach.
Her supposed power had not granted her wish. Her arrogant wisdom lit no path to hope.
And thus, even as she cast warding spells, the woman fell into despair. Submerged by an endless sea of regret, each sorrowful wail she could not prevent shattered her broken heart afresh.
Finally, the woman understood.
I can’t. There’s no way. It’s impossible.
This exorbitant, lofty wish was unattainable, especially for one lonesome woman.
She knew. She realized. She understood. Her wish was impossible. But. Even so…
If her own vigilant hands weren’t enough, she would find more. Simply by not being alone, by finding others who shared her wish, she could reach everyone.
Her mind felt cleansed. The once hazy path had finally become clear.
Her wish could finally reach her once inexorable lament, those once inevitable tragedies.
She joins forces with the instigator, bequeaths the battlefield to the Heavenly Sword, makes a deal with the Dragon and pushes forward towards her greatest wish.
Surely, she could fulfill it. Surely, it would come. The promised denouement of her great wish.
No matter what, at any cost, soon, maybe tomorrow. It was, of course, on its way—.
“Saved. They’ll all be saved. The way to save them, I can see it. —The path to salvation.”
Even if there were a price to pay in blood, she needed to prevail, for leaving her struggle unfinished would render it meaningless.
Even if her instigator were to break their vow, even if her Heavenly Sword’s smiles were to vanish forever, even if her dragon were to levant to faraway skies, she could not surrender.
Even if her first allies left her side, she lost her way, for the once lonesome woman was no longer alone.
“There’s a truth here. Ah, I need it. —This sacred knowledge.”
She walks a road paved with corpses, designating countless lives as sacrifices, all for the sake of grasping her greatest aspiration.
One day, with a sufficient amount of knowledge, her hands could reach each and every tear.
For the first time, she truly believed that she could reach it.
So, consumed by that sacred wish, the woman struggled through excruciating despair.
The [Witch of Greed] bled avarice in the wake of her yearning.
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Emilia: “――Julius has to properly rest here, until all of his wounds heal! This is the most absolute of the most absolute!”
Practically throwing a very worn-down Julius into the green room, Emilia scolded him. She had gone to meet them and had heaved a sigh of relief when she saw Subaru, with Julius supported by his shoulder, coming down the long stairs connecting the 2nd Floor『Electra』and the 4th Floor.
To be able to switch between emotions quickly was indeed a virtue, and they were thankful she did not pry into the matter further. It was a clever move, as there was no reason to prepare an excuse if one did not ask for reasons. Even if, in truth, she had a mountain of things to ask――,
Emilia: “――Even if I don’t, I’m sure Subaru will ask all the important questions anyway. So, I’m going to have you rest properly, and everything can come after. Right?”
Subaru: “……Ahー, yeah, pretty much. There’s nothing I can say against that, and I don’t plan on going against Emilia-tan’s opinions. Get some sleep.”
Subaru put Julius down on a bed of ivy near the entrance of the green room. Beside him, both hands on her waist, Emilia proudly puffed air through her nostrils. That too was a cute gesture.
After hearing what the two had to say, Julius brushed over his bangs and sighed.
Julius: “Naturally. I am already but putting a burden on you and Emilia-sama. Even after all this, I can no longer act with such shamelessness. I will follow.”
Subaru: “Man just a simple ‘Got it’ would be enough here……”
Emilia: “That’s right! There’s no need for that formality stuff. You’re injured, so it’s just a matter of you staying put until your injuries are healed! It’s completely fine to be a burden. We’re friends, after all.”
Emilia: “Patrasche, I’m leaving Julius in your care. If there’s anything wrong, just cry out loud. We’ll come running, okay?”
Slashing away Julius’ roundabout way of showing gratitude, Emilia called out to the corner of the room, beyond the ashamed Julius―― Where Patrasche was healing her own wounds.
The headcount of the green room increased to three people and one animal―― The unconscious duo of Rem and Anastasia, and the wounded duo of Julius and Patrasche. Because of how the green room had a limit on how many people could remain present at a time, Subaru and Emilia could not remain to keep an eye on them.
Thus, it was better for one of the injured members to keep an eye on everyone else. Normally, that job would go to Julius, however.
Julius: “To have Emilia-sama insist this much, I have no face to show. I will quietly do as told.”
Subaru: “Its kinda tough to get back trust once you’ve lost it. So in that respect, it’s kinda hard to get past Patrasche, who’s always kinda scoring full points for trust. If there’s any funny business going on, it’s fine to not hold back and bite him, Patrasche.”
She snorted as a sign of accepting Subaru and Emilia’s words―― Or at least, it could be taken as such.
The best girl of the Emilia camp, their own『Understanding Lady』Patrasche, seemed to feel a sort of responsibility towards Julius for letting him leave alone just now.
Her eyes shone with a strong will, as if to say that there won’t be a next time.
Subaru: “Look, look. Even Patrasche is going『Thou shall not pass the next time』.”
Emilia: “You know what, it’s very strange but you’re right. She does look like she’s saying that.”
Subaru: “But, according to our bilingual Head Internal Affairs Official, more or less, the nuance is right. But, since she’s a lady, she might end her sentences with a 『Desu wa』, ya know?”
Sometimes, whenever Otto translated for her using his『Divine Protection of Soul Language』, Subaru almost always found Patrasche’s high level of tolerance towards his actions to be astonishing. Recently, he felt that even without Otto’s presence, the two could communicate what was on their minds. But whenever that fact was brought up, Patrasche would beat him with her tail. Indeed, the mind of a woman is complex.
In any case,
Julius: “I will quietly allow my wounds to heal here. Recuperating while being surrounded by such beautiful girls in a serene environment is a luxury one can rarely afford after all.”
Subaru: “I’ll let ya know beforehand, all the girls here except for Anastasia belong to me.”
Subaru pointed out, starting with the bedridden Rem, then Patrasche, then to Emilia who was right beside him, in a retort to Julius’ impudent statement.
Upon hearing that, Emilia’s cheeks puffed up and,
Emilia: “I’m not Subaru’s yet….. But I did give it some thought, and since Subaru is my Knight, wouldn’t that just make him mine?”
Subaru: “That makes me really happy but also really embarrassed!”
Emilia put her finger to her lips while Subaru gave a celebratory dance, but after all that, he looked back towards Julius.
It would take time for him to overcome his anguish. But, at the very least, he ought to have the heart to take the first step up that long hill.
Subaru: “Well, anywho, while you’re resting, you might wanna hold your head and roll around while thinking over the stuff that just happened, but don’t forget that Patrasche’s watching.”
Julius: “You may be at ease. I will not display such shamelessness.―― It would be very inelegant of me.”
Subaru: “….Feels like you’re already getting better.”
With the answer being very like him, Subaru’s cheeks loosened with a soft smile.
He bore two defeats, where he could not accomplish a single thing.
That fact should have brought him intolerable humiliation and helplessness, but he seemed to have come past that first wave of emotions.
Subaru felt glad to have not let him be alone on that long stairway.
If it could give him even the tiniest bit of salvation, it would mean that Subaru had truly learnt something from his time of being publicly humiliated at the castle from that time.
Subaru: “――Patrasche, I’ll leave this in your hands.”
At the very end, Subaru gave his beloved dragon a reminder, before both he and Emilia exited the room.
Upon their departure, Patrasche got up and took a seat nearer to Julius, in a position to better keep him under her watch. Seeing that, Julius put on a bitter smile.
Indeed, Patrasche was a wise dragon, faithful to her instructions.
Considering her spirit, and Julius’ mental condition in mind, it was safe to assume that the members of the Green Room would be okay.
Emilia: “….Should I freeze the door just in case?”
Subaru: “I’m always pretty amazed by Emilia-tan’s imagination, but let’s leave that as a last resort thing, yeah? Don’t wanna anger the spirit in that room either.”
Emilia: “Nn, you’re right. Fufu, I just wanted to see what you’d say. I was just joking.”
Cutely sticking out her tongue, Emilia apologized. Seeing that, Subaru pursed his lips, deciding not to tell her that he’ll keep that as a possible option.
――Worst case scenario, he would consider keeping Julius put with force.
In that case, the best person to stop Julius would still be Emilia, speaking both from her position, and from a power perspective. Fortunately, because Julius’ mental state was stabilizing, Subaru felt relieved that there was no need to take such measures.
Subaru: “Anywho, let’s leave the matters of the Green Room to its resident spirit. From what I saw, Patrasche’s wounds seemed to be healing really nicely, so Julius will get back up soon too.”
Emilia: “Un, that’s right. Julius’ injuries…. They weren’t as bad as they looked. I think he’ll be back to full health in no time. Reid made it like that, I guess.”
Subaru: “….Good at going easy, huh. Can’t really let Julius hear that stuff, eh.”
Subaru agreed to how Emilia worded her guess while scratching his head.
While having absolute mastery over chopsticks sounded like a bad joke, to be able to play around in such a way with someone strong as Julius, Reid’s battle prowess needed no explanation.
The first generation『Sword Saint』, the man who defeated the『Witch of Envy』alongside the Sage and the Dragon―― In the face of such a legendary man, one had no choice but to nod their heads and accept things as they were.
But whether his personality was befitting someone bearing the title of『Legendary Hero』was a different matter entirely.
Subaru: “For now, our first topic would be……”
Ram: “――To find a way to clear that pesky 2nd『Trial』or whatever, before Knight Julius’ wounds heal, right?”
And, cutting into their conversation with a cold voice was Ram. She stood with her back leaning against the wall of the hallway.
Caught out by the limitations of the Green Room, she had been waiting outside for the two to return. Having his innermost concerns spilled by her, Subaru rubbed his cheeks.
Subaru: “Is my face really of the variety that gives away everything I’m thinking so accurately?”
Ram: “I just put together whatever worries were on your face. Right now, the things Barusu would be worried about are all inside of that room. That’s all there was to it.”
Subaru: “Hell, that’s not even close. I’m worried about everyone, obviously including Emilia-tan and Beako, but I’m also concerned about you, dearest sister. It ain’t limited to the people occupying that room.”
Ram ridiculed his thumbs-up with a snort.
Subaru looked on, lips pursed in a pout, as Ram began walking away with her back to him. Emilia covered her mouth as she giggled right beside him and,
Emilia: “It’s okay. Ram just got a little flustered. She’s just not really honest.”
Subaru: “I feel like you’re really biased here, but if Emilia-tan says it, well.”
Watching her from the side, Subaru turned and cracked his neck, before chasing after Ram. Ram was headed towards one of the smaller rooms of the 4th Floor.
Upon stepping inside of that room,
Beatrice: “……You’re late, I suppose. Kept us waiting for too long, in fact. Julius is doing fine, I suppose?”
Her voice came from the dead centre of the room, where she was sitting. Looking straight up at Subaru and Emilia, she showered light abuse, with a bit of a worry for Julius mixed in. Subaru bitterly smiled at that dishonest attitude of hers.
Subaru: “Don’t worry. Seems that worst is past him for now. He’s got a pointlessly strong sense of responsibility, so he’ll be reflecting on what he did, I’m sure…… Well, he won’t be causing any problems anytime soon.”
Beatrice: “If Subaru say so, I’ll take those words at face value, in fact. That way, our problems can be narrowed down further, I suppose.”
After discerning Julius’ condition, Beatrice pulled in her chin. Nodding at her words, Subaru moved his eyes over the room.
The small room was one of the many on the 4th Floor of the Watchtower, and it was also one that held all of the group’s hand luggage. They all sat down in a circle, with Subaru and Beatrice facing Emilia and Ram respectively. With that――,
Subaru: “I need you to tell me more about that guy, Shaula.”
Shaula: “Uhii, Master’s looking really sscary! But, but, I don’t hate it when he’s tough on me like that either. It’s a love-hate thing.”
Ram: “As she says, Master. Disgusting.”
Subaru: “I object!”
Wrapping her arms around her voluptuously feminine body, Shaula squirmed with Meili sat atop her lap. Ram took her crazy behavior too literally, but to Subaru, those false charges were too much to take.
Subaru: “First of all, I’d like to thank everyone for helping with looking for Julius. Even if we don’t want it, the guy will likely come around later to apologize himself, so for now, he’s fine.”
Emilia: “It’s fine. I told Julius too, but I’m just glad we found him safe and sound. I’m sure everyone else feels the same way, right?”
Ram: “I would prefer to not have my opinion be the same as Emilia-sama’s.”
Subaru: “Eh!? Say what now!?”
Subaru had tried to lead the conversation forward, but it quickly seemed that there was a difference of opinion between Ram and Emilia.
Ram pointed a finger towards a surprised Emilia and started,
Ram: “Please listen carefully. As far as I have been reported, the 2nd『Trial』needs to be overcome by everyone present in the tower. And yet, Knight Julius took matters into his own hands without consulting any of us and made a second attempt by himself…… If there was a single misstep here, it could have broken down the cooperative relationship we have built between the Anastasia-sama’s faction and ours.”
Emilia: “Because, from his actions alone, all of us could’ve been disqualified?”
Ram: “If that were the case, our entire journey would have been for nothing. It is also uncertain whether the 2nd Floor examiner would even let us go safely…… That includes that fake Sage over there.”
Ram’s eyes took a glance at Shaula while she was explaining everything to Emilia. Perhaps she had not considered to be a topic of conversation, so she pointed to herself and asked,
Shaula: “Me? Does fake Sage mean me? That’ss really unthinkable, calling me that! I’ve never called myself a Sage! The only name I give is the only one Master gave me, and that’s Shaula! I’m devoted to my one and only Master!”
Subaru: “Stop looking at me and saying that! …I won’t deny what you’re saying.”
Putting the excessive things aside, considering what could be the worst case scenario, Ram’s assumptions could not be put to rest. Julius’ actions put everyone at risk.
Even if he had not completely grasped the gist of the 2nd『Trial』,―― Or rather, because he had a complete understanding of the situation, that his actions were even more careless.
Ram: “That it was unlike the Knight Julius, is something I, who barely knows the man, cannot say. But, taking even『Gluttony』into account, I thought of him as a person who would not do such things.”
Subaru: “Well, I do agree with that… But my line of thinking’s a bit different than that, since I know the guy. I chalk it up to being Manly Measles.”
Subaru: “Should I have said chicken pox instead?”
In any case, it had the nuance of『A disease everyone had caught at least once in their lives』.
As such, measles or chickenpox could easily be compared with Julius’ actions and would be more easy to digest, but getting them when one is an adult can have serious consequences.
Especially as it can be fatal when it appears.
Subaru: “That it wasn’t fatal this time… Let’s just be happy with that and let him off.”
Ram: “――I just don’t want to be pulled back by others.”
She looked away from Subaru and whispered.
Seeing her cheeks stiffen, Subaru raised his eyebrows.
Beatrice: “The elder of the sisters hasn’t been feeling too well ever since she came to the tower, in fact. Maybe the fatigue of a long journey has finally caught up to her, or maybe the horn therapy is not working as well for her, I suppose.”
Subaru: “Or maybe, there’s something else that’s bothering her…. Heck, that’s probably it.”
Sitting right next to him with hands held, Subaru and Beatrice whispered to one another.
To take out her frustrations of Julius’ actions and irritation of being unable to see a way to clear the trial, on Subaru and Shaula, was very far from Ram’s usual behavior.
It was likely that the source of that frustration came from looking at the method of saving Rem in the face, yet being unable to reach for it.
Of course, it would be wrong to say that the fatigue or the injured horns pointed out by Beatrice were unrelated to that.
Both mind and body were unwell.
All of those were the likely factors working behind Ram’s outburst.
Meili: “We~ell, do you guys just wanna fight here~? Or would you guys want to get the convo moving~? If you don’t decide soon, I’m not gonna be taking part, ya know~.”
In an instant, Meili put a stop on the worsening condition of the place.
Snuggling beside Shaula, fingers playing with her braids, she lazily scanned everyone present in the room,
Meili: “Please stop fighting if you can, kay~? I don’t like it, getting hurt or being afraid~”
Subaru: “You… No, you’re right. That bystander position of yours saves us a lot.”
Meili: “Is that so~? Ufufu, then please be grateful, kay~?”
In the face of his gratitude, Meili smiled innocently like the young girl she was.
However, that smile of hers also had a bewitching allure to it, subtly describing her dangerous nature.
Even in the face of that smile, Subaru offered his gratitude to her. Thinking back, it was also Meili who had suggested retreating from the『Trial』from before.
Having someone as a companion who was able to tell when to retreat depending on the situation was a big plus.
Subaru: “Keep it up, alright? It’s important to look at things with composure.”
Meili: “You’re really feeling good, huh~. Even if you say things like that, my job’s done when we get out of the desert, right~? I’m not good for anything else anyway~.”
Subaru: “Not how I see it, though? Having more heads thinking helps a lot, and combined with us getting out of the desert alive, while in the tower, we all gotta share our lot with each other. Just think that you’re outta luck and get depended on by me.”
Amazed by Subaru’s outright declaration of imposing on her, she let out a long sigh and,
Meili: “……I’m starting to get why Petra-chan doesn’t feel at ease with you~.”
Subaru: “――? Petra’s what now?”
Meili: “It’s no~thing. That aside, don’t you wanna ask the naked Onee-san some stuff~?”
Turning her face away, Meili stood up and began shoving Shaula’s back. Probably not because of the strength of her tiny arms, but Shaula cheerfully came forward and took a seat right in front of him and slightly bowed down her head.
Shaula: “I may be sslightly inexperienced, but I leave myself in your care.”
Subaru: “That’s a very admirable attitude you have there. Well, now moving on to the matter of wedding gifts…. Ouch! Ouch! Ouch! Emilia-tan!? Beako!? Why are you two pinching both of my sides!?”
Emilia: “No reason.”
Beatrice: “It’s nothing, in fact.”
Even if they said it had no reason, they both wanted to do something more than just pinch his sides, but hesitated to escalate things further.
Anyway, Subaru coughed to get everything back on track, then approached Shaula again,
Subaru: “The guy from above is unmistakably Reid Astrea. The man himself admitted it so. So, I ask you, a living witness from that time, to enlighten us. What kind of guy was he?”
Shaula: “Human trash.”
Subaru: “I heard you the first time, and heck, I even saw it in action.”
Twisting her lips, she displayed an expression unbecoming of a lady as beautiful as her as she reminisced about her deceased ‘friend’. Putting aside that that same deceased ‘friend’ was sitting around in the same building, just on the floor above, the memories she had of him seemed to definitely be not pleasant.
Well, she did faint at the very sight of him, mouth bubbling and all. So that came as no surprise.
Subaru: “We gotta get past him, no matter what. I’d love to get even a single hint on how to get past the 2nd Floor’s『Trial』.”
Ram: “So please tell us anything and everything about him. The『Sword Saint』Reid’s personality, habits, relationships, likes, dislikes, weaknesses. That’s right, we want to know his weakness. Talk.”
Shaula: “Woah you’re coming onto me really fasst! If I knew what his weakness was, I’d be stabbing back at him! In other words, he doesn’t have a weaknesss!”
Ram: “Tch, useless.”
Shaula: “You little girl, acting like you’re hotter stuff than Master……”
Maybe she did have pride as a『Sage』, but she seemed to take offense to Ram’s high and mighty attitude.
Subaru: “The hell you doing, hiding? You’re definitely stronger than her.”
Shaula: “It’s not about who’s strong or who’s weak. Somehow, my instincts are telling me to do thiss. Maybe, it’s Master who’s scared. That scared feeling’s getting to me, because we’re one mind one body.”
Subaru: “Don’t blame your lack of nerves on me.”
Unable to calm down because of feeling something soft press against his back, Subaru grabbed Shaula’s neck and pulled her unwilling body back to where it was.
And thus, the Q&A session resumed but――,
Emilia: “Umm… In the end, Shaula doesn’t know much about the『Trial』, right?”
Shaula: “It’s not that I don’t know. I jusst know it’s not time to tell everything yet. I think everything’s gonna be revealed when the tower is conquered.
Emilia: “Is that how it is…. I feel reeally excited.”
Subaru: “Don’t play around with the naive Emilia.”
Ram: “Even if you don’t know the『Sword Saint』’s weaknesses, he has habits, right? If he has a fighting pattern, for example, we might be able to come up with a way to fight against it.”
Shaula: “Habitss, huh. Ah, that’s right, whenever I tried to kill him for sexual harassment, he had the nerve to scratch his ass while defending hisself! Isn’t that a pattern?”
Emilia: “He’s just jibing at you, huh….”
Beatrice: “In the first place, the condition for clearing the『Trial』is vague, I suppose. There is no doubt Emilia was acknowledged, there must be another condition…. The fulfilment of which gains acknowledgement as well, in fact.”
Shaula: “I think he’s weak to pretty girlss. I guess if a pretty girl passes by, it might help.”
Subaru: “That means, Julius and I’ll have to be left behind, huh…. That’s a pretty tough condition.”
Beatrice: “S-Subaru might be able to get by, if he tries his best, like by blinding him, definitely, that way, I think he might maybe really get through, I suppose….!”
Subaru: “You’re so damn cute, you.”
And, amidst the many unnecessary and unhelpful questions and answers, Subaru caught up Beatrice in a hug and was presently patting her head.
Whilst in his arms, letting herself be spoiled by him,
Beatrice: “In any case, Emilia just happened to succeed, in fact. A simple coincidence. That man just happened to let his guard down, and she just happened to have been able to hit him, I suppose.”
Subaru: “And how do you suppose that happened?”
Beatrice: “If Emilia was looking to kill, that man would have not gotten hit, in fact. Thus, it was that man’s carelessness, which led to Emilia’s victory, I suppose.”
Emilia: “Huh? Just now, was I praised?”
Beatrice: “I did praise you, in fact.”
Emilia: “Ah, just like I thought. Fufu, thank you. It makes me reeally happy.”
Emilia rejoiced at Beatrice’s compliment, while Subaru began stroking her head even more.
It was a rather messed up situation, but still there was something to laugh and be happy about.
Subaru: “Man, anyway, it’s pretty cool to think that your ability to counter depends on the amount of intent to kill. The reality of it is like that, huh. How serious you are about it, that.”
Ram: “……you should put it the other way around. Just as Barusu says, you won’t understand how serious an enemy is, but it’s best to not let them get serious.”
Subaru: “You shouldn’t make them get serious?”
Picking up on her mutterings, Subaru frowned at Ram. Upon questioning her, she fell into deep thought for a while before answering,
Ram: “That’s right. Emilia-sama was acknowledged because she forced the conditions out of him and met them…… The condition for clearing this Trial is quite the hurdle, isn’t it.”
Subaru: “I feel the same about the fuzzy details of the conditions. The examiner’s disposition here’s coming out well.”
Ram: “That is why, I believe it is best to entertain the examiner, and while doing so, present conditions which could be used for the Trial. On top of that, one has to defeat the examiner to advance to the 2nd Floor.”
Taking in Ram’s words, Subaru felt he understood it a bit better.
Emilia had proposed the condition of『Without moving a single step』, then through a hefty load of effort coupled with a tiny sprinkle of luck, she had grasped her win―― Factoring in Reid’s carelessness, it was a victory with the most loose conditions. To gain victory through physical prowess, should be considered to be impossible after this.
Subaru: “Even if I go with that, it’s not like he’d agree to fight me in a match of rock-paper-scissors, huh….”
Emilia: “Umm, so we’ve got to find a condition that’ll convince Reid to accept them, and then do our best… Just as I thought, this『Trial』is a really hard exam you’ve got to really think about, huh.”
Subaru: “Rather than being hard, I’d say this is a different kind of harassment compared to the 3rd Floor’s one.”
The first was the test of wisdom (of an otherworldly kind), and after that came the test of strength(on the level of the world’s strongest), was contrary to their conclusions, so there must be something else that is the main topic of this『Trial』。
In other words, while the 2nd Floor’s『Trial』was different from the 3rd Floor’s, it was indisputable fact that the nature of these two Trials showed the depth of the wickedness of the Watchtower’s creator, the elusive『Sage』.
All that was left was――,
Shaula: “――Issn’t fine and all this way. Just take it easy. No need to be going in such a hurry.”
Subaru: “Even if you put it that way, ya know.”
Shaula looked over everyone busy with their own thoughts, then while sitting cross-legged, leaning left to right, she spoke in a casual way. In response, Subaru and others frowned at her, but she took it all in stride while indulging in the fun feeling that showed on her sparkling eyes,
Shaula: “I’m hoping Master and everyone else just stays here for ever and ever and eveeer. I’ve been waiting for Master to come back home for hundreds of years, so.”
Shaula: “You guys can take as long as you want, as long as you like, to clear the『Trials』. I’ll be watching over you always. ――No matter how many days, years, or even hundreds of years it takes.”
Those were words that could not be laughed away, because of the weight they carried.
In that light tone and soft smile, she gave to everyone―― No, to Subaru alone, for whom she bore a heavy, heavy love, the weight of hundreds of years.
The weight of being told by the『Sage』to live in the Watchtower, and to protect it.
Shaula had said.
It was forbidden to leave the Tower without finishing the『Trials』. And if that were violated, then she would, even if it were her beloved Master, the current target of her affections, Subaru, she would show no mercy.
Even if they proclaim words of love, even if they maintain an amicable relationship, that did not mean they would be allies.
The Stars Keeper of the Pleiades Watchtower, Shaula, was yet but another――,
Shaula: “――It’s fine to just stay here and have fun with me!”
――As one realized from her smile, obstacle for the ones who wished to clear the Trials.