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Translated by :
- Ringo, /u/Ringo_17
Fan Art Created by :
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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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The volitant tail stinger which came flying towards them shattered the stone aisle, causing an eruption of smoke as the destruction spread rampantly.
Feeling the spectacle seemingly in slow motion, Subaru witnessed a petite young girl in a dress jump into the core of the vortex of the terrible destruction unfolding before his eyes.
With her vertically rolled hair fluttering, jumping into the destruction head on had been Beatrice.
Courageーー no, foolhardiness. Though a matter of course, the petite young girl’s build was fragile, it had much less capacity to withstand the tail stinger’s blow than the stone monument. Should she even try to act as a shield, the young girl, with her stature, would not be able to obstruct any strike above Subaru’s chest.
In other words, it was naught but an impulsive action, naught but a death futile.
Just as how the sobbing Subaru, with his face stained with nasal mucus, had grasped Echidna’s sleeve.
Just as how he had ultimately called out Julius’ name, who had been scorched in the flames of deeds.
Just as how he had tried to slam Ram’s head into the wall, and had not abided by the illusionary young girl’s advice.
Beatrice too, had overlooked the『Impossible』, and tried to receive and halt the tail stingerーー,
Beatrice: “ーー『Incomplete EMT』in fact!”
At that instant, Beatrice, who had appeared forth, grasped Subaru’s hand and held her empty hand aloft ahead.
At the same pace with the young girl’s shout, something invisible to the eyes similar to energy flowed out of Subaru’s body. Before Subaru, whose head was tottering, the tail stinger’s blow was blocked by a seeming light screen which had been activated in front of Beatrice’s pointing palm.
The shockwave, which gave one the impression of this being the last thing one gets to see was blocked by the defensive wall which had Beatrice’s palm as its centre and it unrolled the damage onto the environs, seemingly avoiding Subaru and the others.
The launched tail stinger did not end with a single blow, and rained upon them continuously. However, all of it was blocked by the shield which had taken the form of the young girl named Beatrice, and led the damage onto their rear.
The terrible shock wave blew violently, one of the scattered fragments of the aisle grazed Subaru’s cheek.
The noise became further distant, in the situation where his field of vision became white and as he squinted his eyes due to the pain of his cheek, Subaru had his glance robbed by Beatrice’s back.
The titanic scorpion which had been visible for a single instant, if this was indeed that scorpion’s tail stinger which had rained incessantly upon them then it was a matter of course that it was a mortar which could effortlessly turn a human body to dust.
Having that be shielded by a young girl with such a small build, gave Subaru the chance to pick up his life.
An instant before, he had been thinking of what unimaginable hell must he endure, having continued to wish for salvation from god.
Subaru had no room to be cursing his own misfortune, and close to his awareness, an existence separate from Beatrice or the scorpion had been present in the corner of his field of vision.
That was Echidna, who had been dragged into this attack and exposed to the same damage.
She had once declared acting separately and tried to part ways with Subaru and Beatrice, but immediately preceding the commencement of the attack she had been restrained by Subaru, and thus dragged into this situation.
Fortunately, she had also been in the location which Beatrice was protecting so the tail stinger’s damage had been obstructed by the light screen and did not reach through. However, that was all.
What Beatrice had blocked was merely the direct damage that had been rained upon them by the tail stinger.
She had not been able to defend against the secondary damage that the tail stinger brought with itself.
In other wordsーー,
Echidna: “ーーWo, ah!”
Raising her voice faintly, Echidna lost her balance and collapsed backwards. Though she stepped back in order to support her body, there was no floor to support her legs.
Shattered by the tail stinger’s attack, the aisle crumbled halfway. As a result, the structure of the tower’s aisle was damaged and due to the collapse of the floor, ceiling and walls, Echidna lost space to step on. Upon being abandoned into an unknown space, death due to falling would be inescapable.
Instinctively comprehending that fear, a sense of impending crisis levitated in Echidna’s eyes.
Subaru instantaneously stepped ahead and grasped Echidna’s hand, preventing her from falling to death.
Beatrice had grasped his right hand, while he grasped Echidna’s with his left hand.
Thanks to Reid’s coercive surgery his shoulder was still in, the pain was deep-rooted, his shoulder may get dislocated if overused. Without handing the responsibility over to Beatrice, who was busy desperately catching the tail stinger, Subaru braced his legs as he gnashed his molars and had no choice but to muster the entirety of his strength in order to restrain Echidna’s body weight.
Subaru: “Gh, ya~a~a~a~……!”
Regardless of her small stature, Echidna possessed the weight of a human. Lifting up a human is not an easy task to begin with. Much less with a single hand, much less by a wounded person, much less with the other person being uncooperative due to this crisisーー even upon being pulled, the danger of falling had not been reduced.
Though that was something which was well understood even if not given any thought. Why, he braved this risk.
Echidna: “……Don’t do something which, will make me surmise something about you.”
Subaru: “Like, I care……! It was just instantaneous……!”
Echidna: “That response…… does seem fitting of Natsuki-kun, as well!”
Overlapping the exhausted soliloquy, he refuted Echidna’s remarks, whom he had saved reflexively. Though unshapely she turned her body around and with the support of Subaru’s arm, somehow laid foot upon the crumbled floor.
Somehow supporting her actions until the very end, Subaru looked down onto his arm.
ーーLetters engraved as wounds, patterns of black speckles covering it which he did know happened when, painful and fierce white scars all over his body remained which had been carved by his own volition.
Subaru: “It, moves better than, what’s in the limits…… of my memories?”
His arm’s functioning being better than what he remembered, or the countless scratches on them. His physique, which had become slightly stronger, narrowly managed to save Echidna from falling to death.
Though his body was too defective and limited for the execution of the『Book of the Dead』plan.
Echidna: “Somehow I managed, to get back up……! Beatrice! How’re things on your end!?”
Beatrice: “About to, hit the limit, I suppose! About time……”
Putting her unfitting emotions somewhere else, Echidna, having climbed up, called out to Beatrice with a grim expression. At her call, Beatrice stiffened her lovely cheeks and responded and at the very next instantーー,
The scorpion, which must have unleashed a rapid-fire of the tail stinger, clung to the ceiling and pointed its enormous pincers towards them while letting out a cry.
With the seemingly scything down pincers closing in, Subaru had his thoughts slowly washed away.
According to his ordinary knowledge, when speaking of a scorpion rises a strong image of a venomous stinger but the truth is, over the thousands of species of scorpions venomous species were only a few dozen in number. In that case, what would be the weapon of a scorpion which hunts without venom. ーーOf course, those pincers would be its weapon.
Sharpness, or perhaps it should be called cutting strength instead. It may seem less hazardous when compared to a venomous stinger, but should the scorpion be this large its killing ability anyhow cannot be made light of.
That was also made clear through the spectacle of the walls or floor of the tower, which had managed to barely hold their structure, being minced like tofu being cut with a knife.
Beatrice evaded the spectacle, seemingly a symbol of destruction and massacre, by jumping and rebounding with an unbelievable leapーー no, by flying unnaturally, as if abusing the laws of inertia.
It was a queer sensation, of seemingly escaping the effect of gravity with Beatrice at the centre. Beatrice grabbed the lower back of Subaru and Echidna’s clothes, taking a large distance away from the scorpion’s attack.
And with the new distance in between, Echidna prepared the fingers of her right hand in the direction of the scorpion’s face.
Echidna: “El Jiwaldーー!”
White lines of heat were fired from each of her five fingers respectively, the five beams mowed down the aisle like the claws of a giant and scorched the face, right pincer and shell of the scorpion clinging to the ceiling.
Perhaps due to being unable to endure that strength and damage, the scorpion vehemently waved about its tail stinger and right pincer, and whilst slipping into the dust which erupted due to the aisle’s destruction, retreated to the rear.
Echidna: “Jiwald! Jiwald! Jiwa~ld!”
Subaru: “Wait! Calm down, Echidna! It ran away! That thing ran away! It ran away!”
While the scorpion drew back into the plume of smoke, Subaru bound Echidna’s arms back, who all the more refused to halt her attack.
Even after that Echidna continued struggling for some time, desperately glaring towards the other side of the plume of smoke, finally relaxing her body and entrusted her body weight onto Subaru.
Echidna: “Hah, hah, hah…… d-did it, do it?”
Subaru: “……Not, totally. It probably ran away.”
Subaru shook his head horizontally before Echidna, who was short of breath and in an unbelievable condition. The plume of smoke was yet to clear away, but it gave the impression that the scorpion’s corpse was not present there.
In fact, even right now he was trembling with the fear of the tail stinger’s counterattack from the other side of the plume.
Subaru: “But, isn’t that…… eh? That one just now was……”
Beatrice: “A Witch Beast, in fact. A boorish fellow, which suddenly appeared onto this fourth layer. The tremors in the lower floors, and the Witch Beast of the fourth layer. On top of that, the abnormalities in the upper layers.”
Subaru: “Up, down, inside…… are there problems happening everywhere?”
Subaru changed his expression and turned around upon Beatrice’s report, as she made a serious face.
Certainly, Julius was continuing the battle in the lower floors, and the existence of that scorpionーー that Witch Beast had become clear. It was also convincing to believe that the abnormalities in the upper floors were happening due to Reid’s descent.
Echidna: “……Though it seems you do not realise, that one of those problems is you.”
As if trying the very basis of Subaru’s thoughts, Echidna stood alone, having distanced herself from Subaru’s chest. She wiped the sweat off her forehead, gazing at Subaru with vigilance she found impossible to eliminate.
In her pale cerulean eyes was vigilance, suspicion, along with anxiety, perplexity.
Echidna: “Just what…… what, are you? Where do you stand, what do you want?”
Subaru: “I, don’t know the details. I said, didn’t I. I don’t know what occurred, and what’s happening either, the same as you. After all, I……”
Subaru’s muttered weakly in response to Echidna’s question, unable to respond with nothing but the same former perplexity. The one to claim the last one was Beatrice, who had been lost in thoughts with a serious expression.
ーーAmnesia, Subaru had opened his heart to subjects regarding that only before the two of Emilia and Ram. In other words, Beatrice and the others are aware of the cage as well as Subaru’s excuses.
And despite knowing, this was the attitude Beatrice possessed.
Echidna too, thought as she nearly ran out of words.
Echidna: “How did you, escape from the cage?”
Subaru: “……When I took notice, I was lying outside with a broken shoulder.”
Though he answered straightforwardly and honestly, he did not expect to be believed. However, overlapping lies with lies leading to gradual deterioration is what the current situation was.
Though his self had even prayed to god with a dripping nose to award him with punishment, but there was no longer any point in keeping up appearances and pretences.
With that mental state Subaru responded to Echidna without any falsehood, making her hesitate to say something for a brief period. But, after that she immediately closed her eyes, and resumed without looking at Subaru.
Echidna: “……Why, did you save me, just now?”
Echidna: “Had you not offered your hand, I would have unmistakably died. Taking Ana’s body with me, it surely would have been a death terribly filled with regrets.”
As if other human affairs, the question distanced him away by a single step.
However, the reason she dared to do that was the same as the reason why she abstained from looking at Subaru’s face, eyes. Namely, a last resort to ensure she did not err her judgement due to her emotions.
With Echidna’s such judgement before him, Subaru pondered. Why had his self, offered his hand to Echidna. ーーWas it because Julius, had entrusted him in the end.
Did those words, make Subaru offer his hand.
Subaru: “……It was instantaneous, I don’t know.”
However, shaking his head left and right, Subaru denied that notion.
Certainly, Subaru had thought back to Julius’ words and moved in order to prevent Echidna from acting separately once. But when her life was actually in danger, the reason why his body moved was not due to such deliberate thinking.
He did not know, why had his self made such a move.
Subaru: “It’s not like everything needs a reason, you know? It was sudden. Everything, was sudden. That’s why, I……”
Prepared to despair, Subaru expressed the emotions within him whilst faltering. He thought that he would undoubtedly receive a cold response by Echidna, having made her hear thisーー,
Echidna: “ーー. That might be, the true nature of the human known as yourself.”
So spilled out Echidna, relaxing her shoulders having stiffened herself up before his eyes. Upon hearing that Subaru stared in amazement, eaten by the dumbfoundedness.
Subaru stood in mute amazement, as Echidna shrugged her shoulders upon his gaze,
Echidna: “It is inevitable that we would want to quarrel here. It would also be foolish to remain here for long, and accept the Witch Beast’s second attack. Let’s move. I want to unite with Julius.”
Subaru: “Ah, eh……”
Beatrice: “Agreed, in fact. For now, let’s get away from this place, I suppose.”
Echidna and Beatrice indifferently determined their plan, leaving out Subaru, who was at sea. Echidna ascertained the area behind Subaru and Beatrice, and Beatrice tightly grabbed Subaru’s hand.
Upon that tiny sensation he looked towards the young girl, as Beatrice, with a deep nod,
Beatrice: “Do you not remember, taking Betty outside as well?”
Subaru: “……I’m, sorry. I don’t know, what you’re, talking about.”
Beatrice: “ーーIt’s fine, in fact.”
Hearing the terribly transient emotions of loneliness mixed in Beatrice’s voice, Subaru felt as if he had committed the most dreadful crime in this world.
But, Beatrice shook her head left and right before Subaru, who was bleached with a fear of unknown nature. And concealing her self’s lonesome feelings, carved a daring smile upon her lips.
Beatrice: “Even if Subaru has forgotten, it is still present within Betty’s heart. It is impossible for what Subaru engraved into Betty’s heart, to fade away at all, I suppose. That’s why, it’s fine for now, in fact.”
Beatrice: “Even if Subaru forgets, Betty will never forget. Betty will always remember. And, Betty will also make Subaru remember, I suppose. For that, Betty will do whatever she can, in fact.”
That had been a response far too dazzling for Natsuki Subaru, who was standing here all alone.
Just how many predicaments had she overcome, how many times had she tempered her heart into steel, to make a girl this young wield such will.
He could be saved, and upon that sensation Subaru held his breath. Spontaneously, a sensation welling up deep within his eyes tried to kill Subaru, as he braved letting that warmth overflow.
Beatrice supported that strenuous effort of Subaru’s, by gripping to his hand without saying a thing.
By merely gripping his hand, it proved to be his support.
Echidna: “It does not seem to be possible to tread the path Natsuki-kun came from due the Witch Beast’s attack just now. Though undeniably dangerous, it seems there is no choice but to utilise the side of the aisle which remains alright, where the Witch Beast retracted to, and move.”
Beatrice: “Echidna, you too……”
Echidna: “Talking about forgiving, not forgiving, doubting, not doubting is unsuitable for this place. Regardless, the suspicions I have cannot be cleared. However, the situation does not allow for that. Creating an order of priorities is an indispensable ability in business. I witnessed that, right by Ana’s side.”
That is why, no more arguments were to be had in this place.
That must be Echidna’s conclusion. Subaru also avoided objecting to Echidna’s judgement, who had made compromises and possessed feelings of rejection, and decided to abide by the judgement of the two.
There was no change in his feeling of wanting to run away even now. However, he wanted to believe that if he crouched down and had his hands on his head, a scene further befitting of pleading for would await him rather than simply offering his prayers to god.
Behind him, the aisle Subaru came running from was in a terrible state. Receiving the attack by the scorpion’s tail stinger as if a catastrophe, most of it had been converted into piles of debris and wreckage and did not seem like it could be used, just as what Echidna had said.
What Beatrice’s magical safeguard had protected was only her own and the other two’s lives. Even if they try to go towards Emilia and the others, who were moving separately, or Julius who was fighting in the fifth layer, they had no choice but to advance upon that side of the aisle which the scorpion had retreated towards.
Ahead of jumping over the hole due to which Echidna nearly fell to her death, after clearing up the smoke in the part of the aisle her white lines of heat had grilled, a reason for Subaru to spontaneously groan fell over there.
ーーIt was that Witch Beast’s tail, which had perhaps fallen off from its roots.
Echidna: “I see, it means there was no counterattack. Its means of attacking splintered off, which is a bit of good news, I guess.”
Beatrice: “That’s what it seems, I suppose…… Don’t fall off the floor, in fact. It’s time to jump over, I suppose.”
Beatrice and Echidna nodded to each other as they looked at the fallen tail, which even had the stinger attached. By appearance it was overwhelmingly grotesque, but the Witch Beast had certainly lost its means of long ranged attacks with this.
Of course, the circumstance in the lower floors was that countless centaurs clad in flames were surging forth. Just because the danger of that one Witch Beast had diminished it could not possibly be said that the hazards present within the entire tower had reduced.
Subaru lightly jumped over the hole while continuing to hold Beatrice. Beatrice’s body was light, far too light for any comparison. The fruits of an year’s worth of labour which Subaru felt in his own body which were nowhere to be found in his memoriesーー her lightness was seemingly irrespective of that.
Keeping that in the back of his mind, Subaru turned his eyes once again towards the fallen tail which lied ahead of the hole on the aisle.
The tail had launched a rapid fire of the tail stinger as if a catastrophe, but its structure was completely different from the scorpion’s biological features which Subaru was aware of, to an extent that it could be called a separate article entirely. Though a matter of course, the venom stinger of a scorpion which Subaru knew could not be used for things like shooting, and probably couldn’t be regenerated either.
Above all, evident from the aisle’s destroyed condition, it had not been firing the tail stinger as an object. ーーIt had been firing power which resembled a stinger in form.
Basically, it could alternatively be said that just like Beatrice’s light screen and Echidna’s white lines of heat, what the scorpion was firing was something akin to magical stingers.
Naturally, since it had been utilised as a stinger it would no longer be able to invoke it after having lost its tail, that is what he wanted to believeーー,
Thinking that far, Subaru embraced unease.
He had noticed it after observing the fallen tail. That fallen tail had been cut off nearly from what was its root, but the wound’s mouth appeared as something unusual.
Had it been burned off by Echidna’s lines of heat, regardless of cutting strength, there should have been scorch marks remaining on the wound. As a matter of fact, the surrounding part of the aisle which had been struck as well also had such burn marks.
However, there were no traces of that on the scorpion’s fallen tail, but instead had an awfully clean cross-sectionーー,
Subaru noticed, something was strange. Far too late.
The tail fallen on the floor which he had kept at the edge of his field of vision, quaked with a start.
ーーAn instant later, a light burst open.
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ーーThere exists a mechanism, named autotomy.
A phenomenon primarily witnessed among arthropods and lizards, is often called things like “lizard’s tail” and refers to the action of cutting off a part of one’s own body for escaping from foreign enemies.
This action is also seen among pincers of crabs, and in other words, the Witch Beast shaped as a scorpion had perhaps done something similar.
In the case of a lizard practicing autotomy upon its own tail, the detached portion of the tail moves around for a while and serves the purpose of distracting the enemy while the real deal escapes.
Of course, the tail possesses no such consciousness and only acts reflexively but it is an example of a species which practices autotomy being capable of such reflex action.
Then, would this not be possible as well.
Once the prey gets close to the detached tail, it would explode and spread damage, a duty like that of a『Land Mine』, and also granting the ability to do so to the amputated part.
Subaru: “U~gh, gh, u~gh……”
He wailed. Whilst spilling out a wail from his throat, slowly and steadily, Subaru dragged his feet.
As for why he was dragging them, it was not because of fatigue. The problem was physical. With a large and deep tear in the flesh of his left leg, and in a situation where he continuously bled from that wound he had no choice but to move that way.
And, what Subaru was dragging, was not his body alone.
???: “……Enough, now. Leave me, and go.”
So pronounced Echidna, having lost all of her strength, as she was dragged along by Subaru who was dragging his feet.
Subaru took both of her armpits in his arms, pulling her from behind and anyhow leaving the scene. Once the scene of the explosion is left, that Witch Beast shall return.
ーーThe scorpion Witch Beast, which left the explosion as a parting gift, responsible for ripping Subaru and the others to shreds.
Subaru: “ーーShit, shit, shit, shit!”
He was negligent. He let his guard down. His mind, had been completely submerged in lukewarm water.
Just an instant before, there had been words which Beatrice told him, there had been somewhat of a softening in Echidna’s attitude, resulting in a gap within his heart, and that is thoroughly why they were the way they were now.
He was so pathetic, so pathetic, so pathetic from the bottom of his heart, that he teared up.
Why, despite being made to stand before such crises, yet his self displayed no growth. Displayed no change. Troubles, trials, hardships, are they not chances to grow provided by god.
However, if hardships could consist of only being beaten up, bleeding out and having bones broken, having the soul shattered and the life robbed, then just what do humans suffer for.
Echidna: “Natsuki, -kun…… this, is, enough……”
Subaru: “It’s not enough! Not a single thing, is enough!”
Echidna: “……Beatrice, rather than, me, right?”
Closing her eyes, Echidna whispered with difficulty. Responding to her words with a yell, Subaru halted his breath upon the words she followed up with.
Echidna’s words, though sad, were sound. Should Subaru be asked who was more valuable to him between Beatrice and Echidna, though sad, Subaru shall choose Beatrice.
The worth of lives may be equal, but the worth of humans is not equal. There exists a sequential order when it comes to relationships. In a scene of choosing, that order would probably be followed.
ーーHowever, Beatrice wasn’t here. She was not there. She was no longer anywhere.
The moment the tail left by the scorpion Witch Beast exploded, Subaru pulled Beatrice towards himself in fear. How fortunate would it have been, had he been able to protect her body and everything just like that.
However, Subaru’s actions were tragically slow, and his wish could not be fulfilled.
The tail of the Witch Beast, from which the light exploded and countless stingers were scattered throughout its environs. Though Subaru had not been exposed to that explosion from close proximity either, the reason why he survived despite being fatally injured is to Beatrice’s credit entirely.
The moment Subaru hugged and pulled her, she tried to shield Subaru’s body and vitals. As a result of which, was exposed to the concentrated lightーー,
Echidna: “……I, see. That child, is truly, like that.”
It seemed that even Echidna’s imagination got an idea of the words he had been unable to continue. Subaru could not possibly refute her husky, sighing voice.
Subaru, bleeding and wailing in agony, had been unable to even exchange a final few words with the young girl, who had seemingly melted away. ーーHowever, merely her final expression, he did possess in his memories.
Eyes seemingly relieved, seemingly loving and cherishing Subaru.
That far too convenient expression for Subaru, had been Beatrice’s end.
And if that’s so, then『Natsuki Subaru』, who made her disappearing self make that expression, should vanish from this world without leaving the slightest trace behind.
And due to the process of elimination after Beatrice’s disappearance, Subaru escaped by dragging Echidna with him, who had still been breathing.
As if for atonement, as if for redemption, or perhaps in an effort to be rightfully punished by the offender.
And Subaru’s such actions, were restrained by the feebly breathing Echidna. Telling him that it would be pointless for him to do this, she, who had been so enthused about returning Anastasia’s body.
That too was a matter of course. ーーBoth of her legs had been blown off from the roots.
At this point, she had almost stopped bleeding.
Pulling the body he felt to be lighter than even Beatrice’s, in a state where she had not received any immediate medical attention, what kind of a future must be awaiting her.
Subaru: “Ugh, ah ~hk!”
When such thoughts filled his mind, Subaru stumbled upon the debris, and collapsed at that very spot. At the same time, Echidna, whom he was dragging along, was also thrown down onto the aisle and she toppled over.
Momentarily, merely the wails of two people, seemingly cursing the entire world, echoed through the aisle.
Echidna: “It hurts…… ah, it really, hurts. The human body, truly, hurts……”
Subaru: “M-My bad…… sorry, sorry…… no, rather than that, I……”
Echidna: “Don’t apologize, sincerely, Natsuki-kun. Also…… I, no longer have any face to show Ana…… This pain, is my sole, repayment to Ana.”
Subaru: “Re, payment……?”
Remaining collapsed on the ground, Echidna assented, unable to even move her body, as Subaru shook his eyes, unable to comprehend the words she had spoken.
Just what, did repayment mean. Looking at Subaru’s puzzled expression, Echidna said “After all, isn’t that so?” by loosely opening her mouth slightly.
Echidna: “If I, return this body to Ana now…… she would have to taste, this doomed pain, and the fear of death…… That would be, hell. I should be the one, to taste it alone.”
Subaru: “Ah, ugh……”
Echidna: “Unable to return this body to Ana for her sake, and unable to assist Julius…… It is fitting, for me to fall, into hell like this.”
He could understand that emotions of self-derision and self-reproach were vehemently scorching Echidna’s heart.
Even Subaru was able to grasp that Echidna’s lifeless eyes, after having recited this, had commenced counting down to her gradually approaching『Death』.
Without having done a single thing, the powerless, insouciant, incompetent oneself.
With those regrets, Echidna shall die. ーーShe shall die, leaving Subaru behind.
Subaru: “Wai…… ~hk.”
Echidna: “Please don’t, think about making it……. easy, okay? I am, yeah, fine like this……”
Echidna’s fading life force, dreading it, Subaru raised his voice first. However, her words suddenly bestowed a new choice upon Subaru, who had been unable to do anything.
ーーHe shall, make it easy. His actions, at this point, were far too slow to call it a comforting death, yet, assisting her by shortening the time of suffering and hastening her『Death』was something even he was capable of.
Subaru forced his agonizing body to stand up before Echidna’s sidelong glance, as she breathed lightly, faintly, and he picked up a broken piece of the crumbled aisle, confirming its weight.
Of a size which could be grabbed with a palm, about the size of a fist at maximum. However, even this could surely serve as a weapon for taking away the life of a young girl on the verge of death.
Keeping the piece of rubble in his hand, Subaru called Echidna’s name and got on his knees beside her, and denied her condition.
Not a response, she did not even open her eyelids. But, it could be understood from her expression that she was not unconscious, having faintly stiffened her cheeks and pursed her lips.
She perhaps no longer had any willpower left to even stop him.
Should Subaru raise the piece of rubble overhead and swing it down energetically, her life would be taken easily.
Meili:『Smashing someone’s head with a stone, even I haven’t done something like thi~s.』
So heard Subaru, the echoing sweet voice of the young girl within his mind as he held the piece of rubble in his hand. However, this action was not for the sake of reading the『Book of the Dead』.
That may happen in terms of results, but as of this moment, Subaru did not have that in mind whatsoever.
He was being, a suicide assistant. A suicide assistant, for the sake of making someone’s parting, who was already on the verge of dying, as comfortable as possible.
If someone had the right to take away that life, then surely this moment alone was sincerelyーー.
This was the sole opportunity of atonement for Subaru, who happened to be present here, for Natsuki Subaru, who no longer was capable of doing anything.
It was the sole opportunity, and yetーー.
His hand, trembled. The depths of his eyelids called out to agony, his throat forgot respiration and ossified.
Raise it overhead, swing it down. An exceedingly easy action. The present Subaru, was unable to do that. His body would not move, as if he had forgotten how to move his body.
Spilling out a husky sigh, the piece of rubble fell to the aisle’s floor, giving rise to a report.
Conceding defeat to that report and his powerless knees, Subaru crumbled down at that spot.
Subaru: “……No way.”
Can’t you even do something so simple, Natsuki Subaru.
Swinging down a weapon for the sake of making it easy for someone who was suffering and heading towards death, are you not capable of even that deceit.
Atonement of mere words, guilt which was merely an expedient, if that’s wrong then how would you explain this plight.
Subaru: “I, am……”
Echidna: “For helping, with suicide, you…… can’t even, clasp a stone……”
Raising her thin eyelids, powerless pale cerulean eyes looked at Subaru, who was knelt down, and whispered. Thinking that weak voice, akin to a sigh, had put Subaru’s weakness to blame, he halted breathing.
However, as Subaru drew back his body, Echidna unsuitably loosened her lips,
Echidna: “……Forgive me, for doubting you.”
As she lost her breath, she apologized.
Echidna, apologized to him. She apologized, for having doubted Natsuki Subaru.
ーーAnd before he could ascertain her true intent, she died.
Killing Meili and hiding her corpse, acting without saying that he had lost his memories, continuously piling up nothing but others’ doubts, escaping out of the ice cage he had been trapped in, unable to fulfill the wish entrusted onto him, protected by the young girl who tried to save his heart, and finally, unable to stain his hands with blood for the sake of the dying young girl, as Subaru knelt down in his own disgrace, Echidna apologized to him and died.
He wanted to die.
He wanted to forget everything that had happened just now, and die.
He wanted the people all over the world to point their fingers towards Natsuki Subaru, saying that he deserved to die, and be sentenced to death penalty. Natsuki Subaru despaired upon oneself, that he had committed a sin befitting of that.
※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※
Despair, feasted upon and eroded away Natsuki Subaru’s heart.
He could not move. He had no right to move. Nothing good would happen even if he moved.
It had been proved. Natsuki Subaru had proved his own incompetenceーー no, calling it incompetence would be rather cute. Instead of that, furthermore, Natsuki Subaru had proved that he was a jinx, a pest, an angel of death.
Should despair nest into one’s chest, kill one’s heart, what gets eaten to ruin even before one’s life is one’s soul.
If that happens, then no longer would it remain possible to stand up. No longer, would it be possible to fight against anyone. Should he realise that he himself was the genuine source of anguish without being able to defy it whatsoever, it was a natural consequence.
I want to disappear. I want to vanish.
Should’ve decided much earlier. Before things turned to this, in this different world. Should have known, must have known before coming to a place like this different world.
Why, do you trouble other people’s hearts by simply existing.
There’s no way you could ever have the right to solely occupy a part of others’ hearts, no matter how small it may be. You filthy wall stain. You, an existence like the dust accumulated in the corner of a room, like the maggots which swarm over a pile of pure garbage, like a scar which never disappears located in an eye-catching spot.
Natsuki Subaru, why won’t you die.
Even after dying, all that awaits is redoing? Who decided that. Who made sure, that it would continue eternally. If once isn’t enough, then die ten times, die a hundred times
Die until you disappear.
Die until you vanish from anyone and everyone’s memories, until you’re no longer able to affect anything at all, until your name, your existence, your vestiges no longer remain in the hearts of anyone.
ーーI love you.
Shut up. Disappear. Erase me.
ーーI love you, I love you, I love you.
Keep quiet. Don’t talk to me. Don’t get in my way of disappearing. I want to disappear, just disappear.
ーーI love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you.
I want to die. I want to disappear. I want to be smashed to pieces. I don’t want to leave a single trace. I want to become something which never existed. I want to erase my existence. I want to disappear from history. I want to disappear from memories. I want to disappear from remembrances. I want to disappear even for the girl who said she won’t forget. I’m worthless. I’m meaningless. I won’t leave anything behind. I don’t have anything worthy of leaving behind. All, anything, everything, disappear, vanish away from this world.
ーーI love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you.
As despair ruled over his heart, the world surrounding him and everything else was concealed by the black shadow, the hollow confession of love was poured onto him ceaselessly as it drew near in order to bestow punishment upon the garbage which took the form of a crouched human.
Should he be swallowed within it, would he finally disappear.
Would he sink within nihility far greater than death. Would he really be abandoned within a convenient place, like a dark space which no eyes could ever reach.
If I can die there, then, I willーー.
Natsuki Subaru, headed towards the despair which seemingly painted out everythingーー,
???: “ーーThat’s as far as you go.”
ーーA voice, chimed.
A voice, akin to a silver bell, denying the end of this world, chimed.