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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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ーーBlack, murky, distant, dense, deep, weighty, bitter darkness was what was present.
Coarsely, like all things negative of this world were being blended into a heterogeneous mixture, he felt such cumbrous, choking darkness thickly coiling upon his entire body.
His face, his body, his limbs, his supposed skin were all corrupted by that darkness, and oozily it soaked into his blood, and accompanying that was a sense of discomfort as if calling upon his thirst.
Imaginable or not, it felt as if all leftover parts of his body were covered with scabs.
His skin became taut, and the feeling of it not even feeling like the skin of a human upon touch reversed, for the fingers that would touch the scabs were covered with scabs themselves, and he lost understanding of the form of his true『Self』.
ーーNo, what he truly couldn’t understand, was not merely his outward appearance.
Something further in the interior, as if his essence.
Otherwise what should likely be named as his『Soul』.
Losing its form, the state of his own『Soul』, at the end of the repetition of this sheerly hopeless straying, he felt as if fingers were coming into view from those fragments.
As his reaction to those appearing fingers was covered in scabs as aforementioned, rendered futile, perhaps it could be said to be merely uneasiness and something greater, repugnance. As if they things someone could possibly grasp.
Was the『Self』he seeked, truly present ahead.
Before he was pulled in, the moment he had reached here, didn’t a completely new self of his take shape.
Though it was queer imagination, it was not something completely implausible. The truth is, the happenings within his body gave a sudden sense of abruptness inclined towards that, and brought about impracticality.
Grasping that as his own affair, accepting the trial which posed in front of him, he seeked the spectacle which lay ahead of overcoming it. ーーFor just that, just how much time had he devoted.
That is why, he felt a heavy sense of uneasiness.
Should he really go ahead of this point. Was the place in which he would be received, accepted, seeked, truly there.
Entrustment, forgiveness, faith, wishing, his『Self』which had engaged in all those, was it truly present there.
『ーーI love you.』
ーーSuch incomparable uneasiness, was melted by the voice which felt as if it was leading the way, and fading away.
ーーWhite, bright, tall, precious, beautiful, sweet, light was what he faced.
And that soul was, Natsuki Subaru wasーー.
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Upon that moment, Natsuki Subaru revived and reawakened his consciousness from the deepest of slumbers.
A weak sigh spilled out of his mouth at first.
It was his own voice, though husky and lacking life. But with this, he understood he had not been rendered mentally to a point where he would no longer be able to even speak.
This made for a single step forward. As for the rest, he must confirm that he had not been reset to a person with entirely an different sense of valuesーー,
???: “ーーAre you awake, Subaru?”
The chime of a silver bell had been observing Subaru’s ear and forehead from the side, immediately close to him.
A chime refreshing, kind, peaceful and loveable.
The voice he had heard just a few moments ago whilst in a terrible condition.
His heart bounced upon hearing it now. With his chest hurting him, Subaru slowly turned sideward.
ーーWhat awaited there was an amethyst glimmer, with eyes dyed in concern.
Subaru: “……Emi, lia?”
Emilia: “Yeah, that’s right. Subaru, are you okay? Can you get up? Are you able to speak properly?”
With her name called to her, the possessor of the amethyst eyesーー Emilia wet her lips and tilted her head. Beautiful long silver hair flowed down her white shoulders. It seemed like the glow of the moon was swimming gracefully within light, her heroic beauty scorched Subaru’s heart.
ーーFrankly speaking, there stood a girl too beautiful to think that she was of this world.
The moment he grew conscious of that, Subaru’s blood flow rejuvenated with great vigour.
His face grew warmer, his face became redder, as he darted his eyes in all directions, rendered unable to raise his voice. Blushing so intensely that his ears nearly started hurting, he spilled out a voice saying “Ahaha, ahaha……”
Surprised by his antics, Emilia furrowed her finely-shaped eyebrows. Even the slightest of her gestures seemed like a work of art painted with extreme detail by the artist.
Witnessing this from a distance where they could feel each other’s breaths, Subaru suffered with a rapid increase of heart rate.
What’s this. Just what was this.
Is this real. Isn’t this a mirage or an illusion. Speaking of mirages in the middle of a desert, that would be an oasisーー in other words, what you see at that moment is what you desire the most.
Then in accordance with that rule, this definitely should be a mirage. What an extravagant illusionーー,
Emilia: “A-Are you okay, Subaru? Something’s wrong after all. You were collapsed, after all.”
Emilia: “See, you just said bah!”
Subaru was caught up in a vortex of confusion, as the reversed palm on his forehead trembled.
Upon witnessing that, Emilia blinked her twinkling eyes to confirm Subaru’s possible injuries, as Subaru was denied his “Emilia illusion” whilst he tasted seriousness like that of the scholar who disproved the Ptolemaic theory.
However, he certainly did feel the sensation of contact. Reality affirmed her existence.
And not only did it affirm that Emilia truly existed, but also that his self was Natsuki Subaru.
And above allーー,
???: “ーーWhat’s with this conversing while ignoring Betty, stop it, I suppose. Geez, it isn’t just Emilia who’s worried, in fact.”
Opposite to Emilia, a young voice, seemingly displead, echoed and turned around.
He leapt towards the turned figure, who belonged to a young girl with puffed up cheeks.
Beatrice: “That’s quite the low voice, I suppose…… as if you can’t believe Betty is here, your expression speaks the same, in fact.”
Accepting the faint call, Beatrice relaxed her furrowed eyebrows. Though her words were harsh, her voice had a tint of concern and relief.
The relief for Subaru waking up, and the concern for Subaru collapsing. Giving that impression, Beatrice’s attitudeーー no, her entire existence jolted Subaru’s heart.
In other wordsーー,
Grabbing Beatrice’s figure, Subaru immediately pulled her light body towards his chest. Light. Her body was truly light.
Unable to resist upon his sudden action, Beatrice was completely engulfed within Subaru’s arms as her eyes encircled. Atop the emerald bed covered with vines and creepers, with all his strength Subaru confirmed her existence.
Subaru: “Beatrice, Beatrice, Beatri~ce!”
Beatrice: “W-W-W-What, I suppose!? What happened, in fact!? This is too sudden!”
Subaru: “You, you…… you really, have such a calming face! Cuteness that’s seemingly welcoming someone back to his parents’ home. I’ll fall for you.”
Beatrice: “What, that better not be a compliment, in fact!?”
Hugging her and viewing Beatrice’s face, Subaru said earnestly. Becoming redder due to his actions and words, Beatrice put her palm on Subaru’s face with strength.
As the young girl’s tiny fingers touched his cheek and ear, whilst tasting cute pain, Subaru truly felt the existence of the young girl named Beatrice with certainty.
Emilia: “Geez! Subaru, don’t start fooling around immediately after waking up! We don’t even know why you collapsed, yet……”
Feeling slightly left out, so spoke Emilia sharply towards Subaru, who was busy hugging Beatrice.
Concerned for Subaru’s body, Emilia tried to grab his shoulder, but then stopped.
Emilia, tinted with more of concern than rage. The emotions blended within her voice changed into a single shade of worry. Her eyes, painted with surprise, were looking at Subaru whom she had tried to grasp.
The shoulder of Subaru, who was faintly trembling, and crying.
Subaru: “……Uhm, kh.”
Beatrice: “Subaru? Subaru, what happened, I suppose? Betty is right here, in fact. It’s alright, it’s alright, I suppose. You don’t have to cry, in fact.”
Noticing Subaru’s state, who let out a faint wail from his throat and wept, Beatrice erased the colour of chaos from her face entirely and caressed Subaru’s cheek, which was stained with tears.
His faintly trembling hands, were trying to release Beatrice’s young, petite body. Beatrice understood, that anxiety and fear was the cause of that.
Henceforth, Beatrice gently called out to his heart.
That he doesn’t have to cry. That he is alright. That she is right there.
Emilia: “Stop crying, Subaru. You don’t have to rush. Slowly, take a deep breath, calm down. Beatrice and I, are both right here with you.”
Just like Beatrice, Emilia consoled Subaru on top of the bed.
Her hand, which had earlier halted in hesitation, now touched Subaru’s shoulder, Emilia’s voice, like the chime of a silver bell, respected Subaru’s actions and determinations.
The two’s existences and ways did not change.
The sublime two did not change, even within a world where everything had been brought to ruin, where everything had been lost irrecoverably, they still gave precedence to others, to Subaru instead of themselves even whilst they stood at the door of death.
Having confirmed that, having recognised that, this time for sure, he shall work to push through.
Natsuki Subaru, in order to regain everything as『Natsuki Subaru』ーー,
Subaru: “I’ve, returned.”
A crying voice accompanied with a disheveled attitude, though he had been in other situations which could not have been more pathetic, more disgraceful.
ーーNatsuki Subaru commenced a new loop in order to rescue everything.
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Subaru: “And so, it seems that I actually lost my memories in the library of『Taygeta』. I get that this may not mesh well for everyone in a lot of ways and thus quite a problem, but please understand.”
On the breakfast table, Subaru courteously bowed his head down before all of his comrades, who were sitting in a circle.
Such explosive words of Subaru’s triggered all kinds of reactions amongst everyone. Even so, the most prominent of them was confusion, mayhem or grief had seemingly been postponed to later.
Emilia: “Everyone is rea~lly worried for Subaru. But, Subaru is utmost worried for us so……”
Ram: “……Emilia-sama may say so, but.”
By Subaru’s side, Emilia followed up with a concerned yet understanding expression.
However, Emilia’s words were viewed sceptically by Ram. She folded her own arms and glared at Subaru with her light crimson eyes,
Ram: “Ram doesn’t see that Barusu is the one who’s utmost worried. Rather, Barusu, what is this farce.”
Subaru: “It’s not a farce. I’m speaking my heart out about my concern and the truth rea~lly honestly. My chest is about to burst from the idea of being stubborn and not telling about it, considering the tragedy that brings.”
Ram’s glare became increasingly suspicious upon Subaru’s response, as he answered with a grim expression.
Emilia made a hurried response to the two’s severe exchange, having heard the situation moments beforehand in the Green Room. Upon hearing about his『Amnesia』, Emilia and Beatrice were astonished but accepted it with concern for Subaru’s safetyーー the sequence followed the footsteps of what had happened previously this time as well, and he had asked her to provide backup to him whilst he opened his heart out.
ーーRetiring from that previously horrible environment, Natsuki Subaru now broke into an entirely new environment.
Should it be said in a stylish manner, he had determined his resolve to start life in the different world from zero once again, but of course the actual circumstance was nothing so wonderful.
It’s good that he has resolved, but at that moment wherein he wished for『Death』, it’s possible that could’ve been the end for him.
Without that happening to him, and now having gotten a chance to commence again thanks to『Return by Death』like this, in all honesty, the relief and gratitude he felt now was insuppressible. ーーHowever, he had no intention to rely on it.
The power of『Return by Death』which resided within Subaru’s body, was an immense power which distorted fate itself.
Though『Death』being its trigger was rough on Subaru, the user, but should it be considered compensation for distorting fate then this would be nothing less than appropriate.
A form of compensationーー yes, Subaru thought of『Death』as naught but a form of compensation.
It’s natural that a power so great would need to be compensated in some form. Of course, Subaru assumed that that was naturally the case with his『Return by Death』as well.
A limit on the frequency, or perhaps a need to sacrifice something upon recovering.
Subaru did not believe that the goddess of fate would indulge him so much as to grant him an infinite number of trials. The only experience he had of being loved by someone would only be loved by his parents, that would be the only case he could say so confidently.
But in that case, the trials and errors for acquiring the knowledge of the limit of『Return by Death』ーー piling up『Deaths』by his own choice would not be what he would normally choose for. It would not be strange whatsoever if this was his last chance.
And if it followed the pattern of sacrificing something, what’s common is to give up on a valuable existence or cherished remembrances.
Unfortunately, for the amnesiac Subaru the only valuable existences he had except for his family in the world he was formerly in, were only Emilia and the others who are also with him in the tower.
And when he thought that farーー,
Subaru: “No way, the disappearance of my memories better not be a compensation for『Return by Death』.”
Though frightening to even think of, it was fairly possible. Sacrificing memories as compensation for『Return by Death』. Quite a vicious idea, but『Return by Death』itself was not a good act to engage in in the first place.
What was utmost frightening was that there was no way to confirm if this was the case or not.
The truth is, the relationship between Subaru’s amnesia and『Return by Death』was completely unknown. For the moment, having realised his『Amnesia』, Subaru, who had already died four times, had not affirmed his memory loss within his sphere of what all he could gain a grasp on.
His memories after his start of waking up in the tower while on the way back from the convenience store were vividーー,
Ram: “Hey, are you listening, Barusu.”
Ram’s voice, sharp like a blade, brought Subaru back to reality, after him having gotten completely lost in his thoughts. Upon her gaze, Subaru spilled out a voice from his throat saying “Wh……”,
Subaru: “Yeah, I’m listening. I know I surprised you. This is way too sudden and I understand that you won’t believe it, but……”
Beatrice: “Subaru has no reason to say such a duplicitous lie, in fact. Ram must also be holding at least that much trust in Subaru’s plans, I suppose.”
Beatrice responded to Ram in Subaru’s stead, while he was busy choosing his words. Having heard the situation back in the Green Room, she was entirely on Subaru’s side as she now sat beside him.
Beatrice: “What Emilia said isn’t wholly false either, in fact. Having lost his memories, the one who’s the most worried is Subaru, I suppose. That’s why he was even crying like a little kid, in fact.”
Subaru: “Talking about that episode makes it so much more embarrassing.”
Subaru pushed a grin upon the unexpected revelation, and made the reason behind his tears to be “this”.
It actually was due to the fact that he had『Returned by Death』, that he was able to reunite with them, that he had been granted a chance to redo. Those tears had many factors to them, but tears are ultimately tears.
It’s meaningless to investigate the reason behind a man’s tears.
Regardless, his gratitude to Beatrice as she now sided with him was insuppressible.
Just like Emilia, Beatrice had been confused at first upon hearing him in the Green Room, but not only did she less more time than Emilia to digest what he said, she promised to support him with wiseness and sensibility unbefitting her appearance.
ーーReminded of the transient relief he had shown her, and the words “taking outside” which Beatrice had said at the very end last time, Subaru felt agony like his heart was being strangled by chains.
Just, what did『Natsuki Subaru』do to Beatrice.
He felt guilty relying on her faith despite not being aware of that. But he must accept it as a matter of course, he admonished himself.
Subaru: “To be honest, it would be a bit unreasonable to reject the theory of me having no reason to lie so directly about having lost my memories, but I want you to just digest that.”
Ram: “Digest that, you say……”
Subaru: “On top of that, let’s talk about something constructive. Luckily, my present self is facing forward. I’d give a large welcome to talking about advancing forward…… but if you have something to say, then I’ll properly listen to it.”
Under the cover of Beatrice’s comments, Subaru said so and bowed his head once again. In order to follow up with Subaru, Emilia also bowed her head saying “Please, trust him”.
Witnessing Emilia, Beatrice and Subaru’s meek attitudes, even Ram was unable to pronounce words of rebuttal. Although, even if they make an angry response, it would only be natural and reasonable.
Of course, it wasn’t just Ram who was impacted by Subaru’s avouched『Amnesia』. Just because she made the most striking reaction, the reactions of the people besides Ramーー Echidna, Julius and Shaula’s reaction also aligned with what Subaru had already experienced twice.
In all honesty, his reunion with Emilia and Beatrice alone had been quite something, but the moment he saw and reunited with everyone present altogether in this place, Subaru’s heart received a fierce jolt.
Julius, whom he had left on the lower floor along with Reid. Echidna, who had gotten both of her legs blown off and lost her life while apologising for doubting Subaru. Shaula, who did not show her form amidst all of that mayhem and chaos. And finally, Ram, who directed the utmost powerful suspicion towards Subaru, and did not meet him again thereafter.
Everyone, everyone was here. He had been granted an opportunity to exchange words with everyone once again.
And above all, the one whom Subaru had been the most conscious of in this placeーー,
Meili: “Neverthele~ss, onii-san is truly such a troubled perso~n.”
Meili: “Wha~t’s with that reaction. Making a face like you’ve met a dead person, isn’t it te~rribly rude?”
So recited the young girl, not too surprised by what Subaru had said.
With her dark blue hair tied into a braid, the young killer wearing a stylish black outfitーー Meili.
Meili Portroute, was certainly there, moving and talking.
Meili: “Oh? You remember my name, don’t you~…… in fact, I don’t know what’s different about onii-san compared to normal circumstances, so what did you forge~t?”
Subaru: “ーー. Yeah, it’s a bit complicated. Right now it may seem like I’m having no difficulty when conversing, but once you start digging deeper it becomes a mess. In other words, it’s what they call episodic memory loss, I remember names of stuff quite well, but remembrances with people are all very uncertain.”
Meili: “……Are you referring to, for example, what happened yesterda~y?”
Subaru: “ーーThat’s right.”
Meili straitened her eyes, as her voice became faintly deeper. Subaru hesitated only for a second upon her question, but responded without falling to the pressure.
He perhaps could’ve talked his way out with a rough excuse, but he did not do that. He had decided to not do that. ーーSubaru shall remain honest with them as long as possible.
Julius: “ーーForgot about yesterday, huh. That’s, that’s, well.”
Hearing Subaru’s response, as if having received a shock greater than simply his claims about『Amnesia』in a certain sense, whispered Julius accompanied solely by Echidna, somewhat suspiciously.
However, putting their reactions aside,
Shaula: “Master-sama, did you lose memories again? How many times will you forget about me until you’re satisfied. I’m Maicching~.”
Pushing in her voluptuous breasts, Shaula said so whilst making a sour expression.
Shaula’s silly comments followed the same style as last time, but after coming this far, her comments left a strong impression of having an inexcusably odd ambience.
Subaru: “Delving deep into your nonsense also feels weird, but did this Master-sama of yours really keep throwing memories around like this?”
Shaula: “ーー? Yeah, he kept throwing ’em around quite a lot. When he woke up in the morning and I greeted him, he said “Who’re you, again? I don’t remember you. I don’t know you” and treated me like a woman the really old-fashioned way.”
Subaru: “Hmm, if it’s at that level, then it’s difficult to determine if it was just a bad joke or what.”
Though only an assumption, but if Subaru got closer to Shaula and in ordinary life hereafter, that kind of a frivolous exchange seems really possible.
However Subaru was aware that there existed a self of his who lost his memories and concealed that from Emilia and the others, and chose not to speak of him losing his memories. Deceiving that he had lost his memories under the cover of pretending it to be a bad joke would also be a move that existed.
Though by his own perspective, that would be deathly difficult. And since he had indeed died four times, this wouldn’t be a joke either.
Echidna: “The aforementioned amnesia is understood. I wouldn’t say it’s something that won’t take any time to fully accept…… but if there are things like traps which are capable of possibly triggering this phenomenon, then it seems it would be better to act while keeping that in consideration.”
Subaru: “The place with the highest possibility as the crime scene is the library of『Taygeta』, where Emilia-chan found me collapsed. It seems like the place with the most history too.”
Echidna commenced the discussion with a serious expression, and Subaru nodded in agreement. However, in the midst of it, Emilia’s lonesome mumble left quite an impression.
Previously she had shown reactions with this expression in the middle of conversing with Subaru several times as well. In the end, the reason for it yet remained unclear.
Was he perhaps overlooking something fatal. ーーThat was, frightening.
Subaru: “ーーAnyway, everyone, sorry for surprising you all. I think it’s pointless to tell you all to suddenly accept it and continue on at the same pace. Let’s take a break for now. In that time I’ll go draw water with Ram or something.”
Putting forward that suggestion, Subaru stood up. Ram raised her eyebrows upon what he said, whilst Emilia and Beatrice looked at Subaru anxiously.
However, nodding to the two’s look, Subaru turned his black eyes towards Ram,
Subaru: “Let’s go, Ram. ーーYou were just making a face as if calling me to fetch water with you.”
Averting her gaze, Ram whispered in response to Subaru’s invitation.
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Ram: “So, what was the meaning of that farce earlier? Now that you’ve taken Ram out like this, you intend to talk about it now, right?”
With a bucket in her hand, Ram and Subaru headed to the water well away from the place of assembly. And once judging that they had taken sufficient distance from Emilia and the others, Ram fired her question.
Her not accepting Subaru’s claims regarding『Amnesia』whatsoever is something which happened each round. She was not being simply stubborn or being sceptical of the evidence, but she had a further important reason behind it.
ーーThe existence of Rem. Ram’s beloved younger sister, who remained asleep.
In concern for her, Ram was unable to accept Subaru’s『Amnesia』.
That was why she persistently denied Subaru’s『Amnesia』. He didn’t know any particulars. But surely, Subaru had some sort of a connection with Rem when she was awake.
And that had been an immense support for Ram, for her existence as the elder sister.
That is whyーー,
Ram: “Kindly stop entrusting too many important roles on Emilia-sama or Beatrice-sama. Beatrice-sama aside, it would be far too heavy a burden for Emilia-sama. That is why it would be appreciated if you involve Ram now. The details are……”
Subaru: “ーーRam, it’s true that I’ve lost my memories. Neither is it a lie, nor a plan.”
Ram tried to be relied upon, clinging onto that fine thread, however, Subaru must deny her.
Ram’s words were interrupted by Subaru’s straightforward remark, and she narrowed her eyes. Levitating within her light crimson eyes was confusion, fearーー and rage.
Rage which could scorch and burn Subaru’s soul. And the reason for its existence, were her suspicions for Natsuki Subaru.
Subaru: “I’ve lost my memories. I have a grasp on the names and relationships of everyone within the tower, but I can’t remember a single thing aside from that. That’s also true.”
Ram: “Kindly stop.”
Subaru: “I did talk to Emilia and Beatrice earlier, but I conveyed them the same thing. I have nothing else to convey. Right now, my hands are all empty.”
Ram: “Kindly stop, Barusu. If you say anything more than that……”
Subaru: “I know that we came to this tower, to regain a lot of things which were robbed away from us. That we’re in the midst of the『Trial』too. That’s all. My intention, is……”
Ram: “Barusu, if you say anything more than this.”
Subaru: “About Rem too, I have”
Subaru heartbreakingly conveyed to Ram, that he had forgotten.
Denoting that she denied it, that she didn’t want to listen to Subaru’s words with her attitude, and upon hearing Subaru’s apology, Ram grabbed Subaru as an expression of her rage.
With his collars grasped, his back was thrown onto the wall. With unbelievable physical strength stemming from her build, Ram pinned Subaru and glared at him from a close distance.
He understood that the fire within her light crimson eyes was trying to scorch Subaru and Ram herself.
The instant this fire scorches Subaruーー no, scorches Ram, the tragedy will be repeated.
Ram: “What’s your intention? Saying such a, such a stupid lie!”
Subaru: “It’s not, a lie……. For me, lying to you is……”
Ram: “So you’re saying you’ve not lied? Then what should be done according to you? That Ram, should trust you? That Barusu, forgot Rem…… something, so ridiculous!”
Further sharpening her eyes, Ram scowled at Subaru from a distance so close their lips could touch each other. Finally Subaru noticed, that fire was not so much made up of rage as much as it was made of tears.
Her conflict went far deeper than what Subaru could ever imagine.
Subaru finally managed to grasp that, after repeating four times. How prudent does one have to be, to think it was possible to understand the emotions, the wounds others harboured in their chest.
Subaru came to realise this after repeating the same foul play four times, whilst Emilia and the others realised at once, which seemed dazzling to him.
Unable to merely be scorched by that dazzle, Subaruーー,
Subaru: “ーーI will, get Rem back for sure.”
Glaring back into the light crimson eyes, Subaru poured strength into his throat and conveyed clearly.
Upon hearing that, Ram’s eyes widened once again in surprise, but her rage concealed that.
Ram: “How can you talk…… about getting her back or whatever, Barusu, you forgot about Rem, didn’t you!”
Subaru: “But still, I’ll get her back. Rem, my memories, the goal behind coming to this tower, accomplishing and regaining everything without leaving a single thing, we’ll all go back together. ーーIt’s a matter of course, that I’d guarantee at least that.”
Subaru: “It is, a matter of course…… when you think of, everything which happened in this tower.”
He was finding it difficult to breathe. Yet, Subaru distorted his cheeks for a different reason. Ram raised her eyebrows upon Subaru’s reaction, and slightly relaxed her hands which had grabbed his collars.
Now, Subaru grabbed hold of her hands and pulled them apart. At the same pace, their bodies switched positions.
Ram: “ーーFilthy. Kindly let go.”
Having gotten pinned to the wall now after their positions switched, Ram declared before Subaru whilst she shared glares with him.
However, though powerless, Subaru did not flinch away from saying the words he intended to speak.
Subaru: “Ram. I’m going to definitely get back both my memories, and Rem. For that, please lend me your strength.”
Subaru: “I need everyone’s strength. The『Natsuki Subaru』who was there until yesterday, whom you all knew, may not have said something so pathetic. But, for my present self……”
Julius commended to him, Beatrice trusted him, Echidna forgave him, Emilia wished for him.
And perhaps『Natsuki Subaru』, whom everyone held expectations for, may have changed this stalemated situation by himself.
However, the present Natsuki Subaru was not capable of that. And the people within this tower, were far too loving for him to throw a tantrum and give up, saying that he couldn’t do anything.
Subaru: “I know you won’t believe or forgive me for forgetting Rem. But, please keep that rage of yours for later. In exchange for that, I promise you.”
Subaru: “I will carry through, no matter what. I’ll eat it all up, no matter how many tries it takes. If, I break this promise, if I give up in front of you, then feel free to do whatever you’d like to me, burn me, scorch me, anything.”
Ram’s eyes widened, and the flame of rage within them weakened. What appeared instead of rage now, was an emotion which she had kept concealed until now.
Whilst witnessing that, Subaru pulled back his head and continued with his straightforward approach with herーー and continued his words from the same distance as when their glances had entangled when he had been trapped in the cage of ice.
Subaru: “That is, my resolve.”
Ram: “……Why would you go that far. If Barusu has truly forgotten, then you shouldn’t think of getting Rem back this much.”
Ram: “Once you forget, it all turns into a void. It becomes a gaping vacuum, and the feelings for what used to be there all disappear. All vanish. Love, hatred, warmth, loneliness, everything.”
Ram’s quiet tone was feigned over by her cold attitude.
Those terribly experienced words, perhaps spoke of the void she had experienced herself. That is why, she found Subaru’s resolve to be difficult to trust.
She believed that it was impossible to possess such a strong desire when embraced by that void.
Subaru: “The truth is, that’s true. My memories are blank, and the feelings which my self, who was there until yesterday, felt for Rem have all slipped out of my hand, but……”
Ram: “Then, why?”
Subaru: “But, I know that you cherish Rem and desperately want to get her back.”
He had seen Ram’s form struggling, desperately wishing for regaining her beloved younger sister, Rem.
By witnessing a wish and love so strong with his own eyes, Subaru had been overwhelmed. And the desperate Ram was one of the people Subaru wished to be saved as wellーー,
Subaru: “Right now, the reason I want to get Rem back is for『Natsuki Subaru』, and you.”
Subaru: “That’s why, I’m counting on you for when I give up. Do whatever you’d like to with my head, that is my atonement, my self who made you cry.”
Ram: “Ram never cried, don’t fool around.”
Subaru: “That hu~rt ~hk!?”
Receiving a tight slap on the side of his face, Subaru crumbled on that very spot.
Slapped on the cheek which had gotten flushed, Subaru looked at Ram as if he was looking at something unbelievable.
Subaru: “Y-You…… I was, just now, saying something, pretty brave……”
Ram: “Getting all energetic on your own accord, what do you mean by saying something brave? First things first, Barusu making a promise is laughable itself. Quite impressive how you yourself proposed what is the last thing that can be trusted in this world.”
Subaru: “I said the same to Emilia-chan, but how many promises did the me until yesterday break!?”
Ram: “Was there even a single promise that was kept?”
Subaru: “That bad of a level!?”
Vilified by the voice which had gotten colder, Subaru re-evaluated『Natsuki Subaru』. All other things good or bad aside, but it seemed breaking promises was a common occurrence.
First of all, the greatest obligation for keeping promises was to make efforts for the same.
Protecting promises even when not being watched by anyone, and that was why humans often put themselves to a disadvantage on their own volition. If not, it served as a proof of one possessing a deficient spirit.
Subaru: “I guess, someone like『Natsuki Subaru』wasn’t a half-decent guy after all……”
Ram: “Yes, that would be right. It seemed like you misunderstood, but the Barusu until yesterday wasn’t a capable man who could manage everything by himself either. Rather, he was a simpleton and his speciality was that whenever he tried to manage something by himself, he would only enlarge the damage in the end. Ram also got caught up in a lot of the trouble.”
Subaru: “Are you serious. Why did you bring a guy like that to the tower……”
Ram: “He butted in. Along with that, he was a man of mere words and lip service. Skillful at its own way, and looked forward to chores being entrusted upon him. Also, he was also good at dandling Emilia-sama and Beatrice-sama, isn’t it. After that……”
Sitting cross-legged on the ground, Subaru felt far too uncomfortable.
He was being scolded about himself, even though it wasn’t even about himself. Being told much about『Natsuki Subaru』by Emilia and the rest also felt agonising in quite a complicated manner, and Ram firing words and speaking ill of『Natsuki Subaru』like this also felt, well, complicated.
Subaru became serious, determining to hear it to the end this time,
Subaru: “What else? Short legs, bad at remembering things, had an unhealthy diet, stubborn?”
Ram: “He had short legs, he was bad at remembering, he had an unhealthy diet, he was stubborn.”
Subaru: “I suppose so~.”
Ram: “ーーAlong with that, he cherished Rem.”
Suddenly, her tone changed, and colours were painted into Ram’s cold voice.
If the warmth of voice was to have a colourーー it would be a tender soft crimson.
Rem, her affection for her younger sister in her voice, and reminded of『Natsuki Subaru』who used to be by her younger sister’s side, she showed a glimpse of tender love, which shall never disappear.
Such that Subaru hallucinated, that soft crimson was the colour of kindness.
Ram: “Barusu. ーーDid you truly forget Rem?”
Ram’s eyes were reflecting Subaru, and she never averted them. Truly respectable.
In this kind of a scene, made to hear the words he did not want to hear, Subaru would probably avert his eyes. Yet she, Ram, didn’t try to avert her gaze even once.
Ram: “Barusu. ーーYou will really remember Rem again, right?”
Subaru: “Yeah, I’ll remember her again. And not just Rem, but everything else too.”
Ram: “It won’t be the worst even if you don’t remember everything else. Kindly remember just Rem again.”
Subaru: “Don’t be absurd. Let me remember everything again……”
Ram: “Saying it once again. Kindly remember just Rem again, even if you need to die for it.”
Subaru: “Yeah, I swear. ーーEven if I die, I will remember everything again.”
Remember everything again even if he has to die, quite literally.
What did『Natsuki Subaru』see, hear, feel, establish to come this far in this different world. ーーNatsuki Subaru shall recover all of it.
Ram: “……Alright. You’re free to go this time.”
Upon hearing his response, the intimidating air surrounding Ram suddenly disappeared.
Sensing that, Subaru asked “Are you sure?” Whilst remaining on the floor.
Subaru: “I know I requested this, but are you really fine with just this?”
Ram: “You’re a man, aren’t you. Kindly accept it head-on. Barusu’s resolve has been heard. And on top of that, you even said that anything could be done to you, burn you, scorch you, whittle you, gouge you in case you give up. If you found it difficult to hear that, then Ram’s motherly affectionate heart will suspect you.”
Subaru: “I don’t remember anything about whittling and gouging though……”
Ram: “Did you say something?”
Subaru: “I did not.”
Shaking his head, Subaru responded to Ram politely.
It would perhaps be amusing that when he shall not be able to rely on any god, then perhaps he should resign himself to this motherly affection for casting judgement upon him.
Ram: “Stand up, Barusu. Ram won’t allow you to give up or kneel down.”
Subaru: “Don’t group sitting on the floor together with them…… here.”
Standing up, Subaru brushed off his behind and faced Ram.
Ram, with her back resting on the wall and arms folded after adjusting her dishevelled clothes, had already gone back to her normal stateーー and Ram glared at Subaru, suggesting to him that this was her “normal state”.
Ram: “……Did you tell Emilia-sama and Beatrice-sama the same thing?”
Subaru: “Those two…… seemed like they didn’t even consider me giving up as a possibility, that’s why.”
Ram: “That’s so. ーーThe fault is them being infected with Barusu.”
Subaru: “That’s why, I won’t request those two. Nor Julius or Echidna, emotionally you see.”
Also perhaps, when it came to Emilia and Beatrice, Julius and Echidna.
He believed he had heard their thoughts during the events that happened last time.
That is why, he shall confirm the remaining answer ahead of now.
Subaru: “But, you know…… Going by what you said, it seems the me until yesterday wasn’t too impressive of a guy either.”
Ram: “For Ram, your worth changes immensely depending on whether you have the memories of Rem or not. Kindly watch what you ask.”
With a cold declaration, Ram turned her back towards Subaru and started walking.
The two weren’t really supposed to have the time to stop their feet whilst fetching water, but they did not want to worry Emilia and the others unnecessarily if they returned empty-handed.
Subaru held the bucket in his hand, whilst Ram stood beside him.
Subaru: “I was……『Natsuki Subaru』was here for certain, right?”
With a faint voice, Subaru directed his question towards Ram’s side profile.
This was more of an anxious cry than seeking confirmation. Naught more than words unsuitable immediately after pledging to not give up.
He knew it won’t be strange for Ram to reprimand him, as he stood with his tongue dry.
Ram: “ーーTruly a fool.”
However, without doing anything of such sort and without halting her feet, Ram disparaged Subaru in seeming affection,
Ram: “Right now, it has just momentarily become invisible. It just feels like it’s lost due to being under the depth of a variety of things which had been accumulated. Like flowers buried under the cold snow, once the season of snowmelt arrives they shall be visible once again. ーーSurely, that’s all there is to it.”
Yes, Subaru could not show his current expression to Ram, who was hiding her own.
Immediately after acting so boldly, he could never show her an expression this pathetic.
That is why, Ram’s way, as she remained quiet without even attempting to look at him, at this moment, truly seemed like a mother’s affection to Subaru.
※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※
The situation had largely changedーー or so he wanted to think, but the changes were not so great.
This was not the first time Subaru had opened his heart out after losing his memories, and the impact everyone felt is also a spectacle he had witnessed.
But should he change his heart’s stance, everyone’s point of view shall also respectively change.
Last time, Subaru much distrusted Emilia and the others and that was due to several factors such as their actions, attitudes and words. Firmly believing that they had all been plotting something.
However, upon doing away with those misgivings, he realised that their actions, attitudes and words were all in concern for him, and he rebuked himself.
In other words, they restrained themselves to make sure Subaru was not made to feel anxious.
Suspecting their actions was a problem entirely on Subaru’s part.
Subaru: “Let’s do it, properly. Do it properly, Natsuki Subaru……”
Telling himself so, Subaru glanced at his palm.
The cause of the disappearance of Subaru’s memories was highly likely to be in『Taygeta』. Though walking through the『Trial』was also important, investigating the cause behind this amnesia was also urgent business.
There was no guarantee that it may not eventually develop into a ridiculous situation where everyone forgot each other and greeted each other saying “Hello, who might you be” upon seeing each other.
And the truth was, he very much had the flexibility to proceed with it all slowly.
Subaru: “Last time, and the time before that too, everything in the tower was a total mess.”
Last to last time, Subaru had successively discovered the『Dead Bodies』of Emilia and the othersーー no, of everyone except Emilia and Beatrice.
Last time was different, he got to witness the『Deaths』of his comrades with his own eyes, and his heart fell into desolation and ruin.
However, all of those abnormalities were disasters which should occur within the tower not so far into the future.
As one who was aware of the damage these disasters cause, Subaru must try to stop them from happening.
For that purpose, he shall dedicate all the strength he possessed. ーーThat’s why, first, Subaru will.
A faint breath was present behind Subaru, who was standing at a great height.
A moderate level of attempt to conceal existence, sensing it was possible if one was conscious of it. Perceiving the foul play thanks to the knowledge he possessed beforehand, he turned his body around just on the verge.
Subaru: “Woops, that was dangerous. ーーDon’t fall down instead of me.”
Striking the two hands stretched out, his opponent’s body pitched forward, Subaru instantaneously grasped the stretched out hand to make sure nobody fell.
That body was light. Lightness befitting the appearance of the young girlーー yes, calling her a young girl would be adequate.
Subaru: “Alright, let’s talk. ーーI’ll have you take responsibility, for killing me.”
Saying so, Subaru smiled at the young girl whose elbow he had graspedーー Meili, commencing the climax of this mystery of catching the criminal who pushed him off twice in the past.