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ーーLet’s search and see if there’s Reid’s book in the library of『Taygeta』.
That was what Subaru suggested as a necessity for capturing the tower as well as capturing their immediate problem, the second layer.
While sitting in a circle, everyone made a puzzled expression upon hearing that.
Emilia: “His book……? Are you serious?”
Subaru looked at Emilia as she gave her reaction. Feeling a sense of bliss due to her cuteness and lovable nature, Subaru then turned to everyone saying “Listen”.
Subaru: “Searching for Reid’s book, I think that is the quickest and easiest way for capturing the second layer. Don’t you all think so as well?”
Emilia: “I asked this earlier too, but why? I’m not against searching for the book. But I just don’t know why we should search for Reid’s book. Besides……”
Julius: “ーーFirst of all, would Reid Astrea’s book truly even be in that library.”
Hearing Subaru’s suggestion Emilia tilted her head, and Julius conveyed the latter half of her words.
Subject to everyone’s gaze now, Julius looked upwards with his eyes and eyelashes which had an affinity with each other. As if glancing at the second layer which was perhaps above the ceiling.
Julius: “Though indeed hard to believe, the hero who engraved his name in history, Reid Astrea takes the name of the『Trial』upon himself and is awaiting our challenge in the second layer. There is no reason to doubt that he is a personage who existed four hundred years ago, and still is that very same person…… but now, there is room to question his death in my mind.”
Subaru: “Seeing how lively he is, did he really even die? I guess my supposition may have been wrong considering this point……”
The truth was that Subaru merely recognised the fact that he is a dead person from several hundreds of years ago after hearing about it from Emilia from the rest.
Should he have been met unknowing of his respective circumstances, it would be truly hard to believe that Reid was a dead person. First of all, he had too much life in him. He’s a far too energetic dead person.
Subaru: “Regardless, I think things are at a level that we need not ponder over this point much. It’s inconceivable that he’d live for several hundreds of years, and he should be dead. Am I right, Beatrice?”
Beatrice: “Despite everything, Betty has lived for four hundred years, in fact.”
Emilia: “Around a hundred years for me, I guess?”
Echidna: “Same here, I suppose if my birth would be considered then it would make around four hundred years. Though the time I was conscious for was short.”
Shaula: “Me too! Me too, Master-sama! I’ve been waiting here in vain for four hundred years! I was so lonely! I demand a hug for those four hundred years!”
Subaru: “So many characters who’ve lived long!? Even Emilia-chan!?”
His objective was to seek agreement but unknowingly brought objection, whilst he had his jaw hanging.
He never thought that over half of his party members would be characters who’ve lived for long. The party’s average age jumped up so much it wasn’t even a joke.
Especially when it came to Beatrice to Emilia, he was unable to shut his hanging jaw.
He merely thought that he had to come to terms with it.
Subaru: “I-Is that so, Emilia-chan is a half elf…… I’m also convinced she’s an unparalleled beauty. The rule goes that half elves are pretty and live long, after all.”
Emilia: “Um, mhm, yes…… Subaru, even without memories, you aren’t scared of half elves?”
Subaru: “When you ask about being scared, then I’m scared of that cuteness. It’s seriously lethal. If I look at you when I’m half asleep and have my guard down then my eyes might go blind. To be honest I’m having to blink frequently even now.”
Emilia: “……Geez, stupid.”
Scolded by the slightly pouting Emilia, Subaru got lost in thoughts of this ambience feeling nice, but braced himself up to make sure he didn’t make such a foolish misunderstanding.
Emilia was extremely kind, one could easily get the careless impression that she had feelings for Subaru. His beating heart, swayed away. Well, it was fine if it was beating at least.
Subaru: “Ha~…… at such spots, you have a sense of relief like I’ve returned to my parents’ home, Beatrice.”
Beatrice: “That feels somewhat unacceptable, I suppose…… but well, since you’re patting Betty’s head, you’ll be let off the hook this time, in fact.”
After being thrown into disarray by Emilia, his heartbeats calmed down upon caressing Beatrice. It seemed that Beatrice’s mood had also been restored so it served both ends.
And, upon the derailing of the conversation, Echidna said “Would you mind if I say something” and raised her hand.
Echidna: “It’s not like I don’t understand Julius’ worry, but I want to earnestly endorse the supposition that Reid is a dead person. Though it’s simply the impression I got when I got in contact with him personally.”
Subaru: “And the reason for that would be?”
Echidna: “First, just as what Natsuki-kun had said, I cannot conceive that Reid Astrea belongs to a species which lives for long. He is a person who goes beyond norms in multiple ways, but he is still a human. Second, his personality.”
Emilia: “Personality? Like his rea~lly energetic nature?”
Echidna: “Energetic to an extent which is rather unheard of. I cannot imagine that the possessor of such a hearty and lively personality would quietly seclude himself in the tower for four hundred years. The fact that he hadn’t even met her…… Shaula, would mean that he always remained in that one room of the second layer. It’s very hard to believe. It’s my arbitrary impression, but he would probably leave in three days.”
In response to Echidna’s views, Subaru responded with a voice filled with acceptance and reconciliation.
Emilia and the others also thought back to Reid’s bustling attitude. They all seemed to be convinced by the credibility of Echidna’s views.
Observing them all, Echidna turned her pale cerulean gaze towards Julius.
Echidna: “So, that is the impression I have, Julius, do you agree?”
Julius: “It is impossible to not agree. Certainly, considering Reid Astrea’s real impression, it does not seem like he would stay at the same place for such a long time. The reason behind that is because the tower’s『Trials』and his present self have strings of conditions attached to them…… is that how we should consider it.”
Subaru: “The tower and him, have strings of conditions attached, huh.”
Hearing Echidna and Julius’ conversation, he recalled the denouement of the previous loop.
Within the tower caught in the flames of great chaos and mayhem, Reid was walking around freely and boasted about going outside. Without any diffidence he had descended from the second layer down to the fourth layer and even pushed the back of Subaru’s head.
To Subaru it did not seem like his freedom was constrained whatsoever.
The truth was that had he not possessed the last bit of reluctance, he would have unmistakably left the tower full of life with his legs at the very same pace. ーーThe reason why, he did not do so.
Julius: “ーー? What is it, do you need something from me?”
Julius: “Heh. I believe I also have eyes, a nose, ears and lips on my face, but is there any strangeness in that?”
Subaru: “Ah, unlike Emilia-chan’s they aren’t cute at all so they’ve failed the screening. Regardless……”
The conversation had drifted far too distant from the main issue at hand, with that notion Subaru turned his gaze away from Julius.
And once again returned the topic to “Reid’s book”.
Subaru: “Well then, now that we’ve all agreed that Reid’s a lively dead then let’s go back to what I first said. 『Taygeta』has『Books of the Dead』, am I right?”
Ram: “That is the understanding as of now. Memories of the dead flow into the reader’s head…… Barusu and Julius have confirmed that much. Though unfortunately, it seems you lost memories of that as well.”
Subaru: “I said I’m sorry, don’t hold it against me. ーーAnd, that is where the focus of this conversation lies.”
Subaru pointed his finger towards Ram. Perhaps finding that gesture unpleasant, Ram twisted his finger, making Subaru taste ache and scream “Ga~a~h!”.
Right beside their exchange, Beatrice raised a soft voice saying “Ah”.
Beatrice: “So that is what it is, I suppose!”
Emilia: “Beatrice, did you get what Subaru wants to say?”
Beatrice: “Yes, in fact. So that is what it is, I suppose. ーーIn other words, it means utilising Reid’s『Book of the Dead』as an essential point for capturing Reid, in fact.”
Caressing his twisted finger, Subaru affirmed Beatrice’s words with a pained expression.
Hearing that explanation, Emilia rounded her amethyst eyes and whispered “Is that so~”.
ーーUtilising the『Book of the Dead』, and capturing the dead himself.
To summarize, not only was the『Book of the Dead』a record of one’s lifetime, but also elaborately recorded why that person had died, a “capture guidebook”.
And should it be put in Subaru’s words, who was a veteran player having already died four timesーー the cause of death isn’t something which can be evaded easily.
Subaru: “That’s why if we read his『Book of the Dead』we’ll get to know of the cause of his death. That would serve as a great means of capturing. The『Books of the Dead』may be, in a roundabout way, for that purpose alone, you know?”
Echidna: “That is…… something I didn’t notice. But now that you mention it, certainly. They’ve gone out of their way to deploy a dead person as the trial taker. It wouldn’t be odd if that was the aim.”
Subaru: “Well, you don’t have to accept it that readily……”
Subaru rounded his eyes and gave a bitter smile as response to Echidna, who commended him far greater than what he had anticipated.
Regardless, the situation was such that they could either find a way to capture, or become able to define a bypass to evade it entirely.
Subaru: “Ah, this is something I’m saying with personal conviction…… not my present self who doesn’t have memories, but my self who had memories also tried to test this way of capturing as well, I think.”
Beatrice: “……That is convincing, I suppose. There’s no way Subaru wouldn’t test such a byroad, in fact.”
Ram: “That being a road toward evil, not a road toward righteousness. Certainly seems like something Barusu would do. Ram is also convinced.”
Emilia: “Mhm, yeah. Things inequitable, that’s something Subaru’s rea~lly good at.”
Subaru: “Who says inequitable in this day and age……”
He distorted his cheeks in response to the unblurred assessment of『Natsuki Subaru』, and Emilia suddenly had eyes twinkling as a reaction. Subaru was surprised by her reaction, but Emilia immediately afterwards touched her cheek with her finger.
Emilia: “Ugh, this won’t do this won’t do. Subaru is the one who has it rough the most, after all. I have to get myself together……”
Ram: “Emilia-sama, your feelings are understandable, but your cheeks are flushed red.”
Taking Emilia’s hand, Ram directed her attention towards what was happening with her.
Emilia or Beatrice upon times had been giving overly sensitive reactions since a while ago, and the reason behind that was perhaps because of the vestiges of『Natsuki Subaru』they could feel.
He truly felt guilty and apologetic. He wanted to return『Natsuki Subaru』to Emilia and the others as soon as possible.
Regardless, in accordance with Emilia and the rest’s impression as well, it was highly probable that the Subaru who was there until yesterday had arrived at a point of utilising the『Book of the Dead』as a means of capturing.
Hearing Subaru’s thoughts, Meili then said “Ah” with her hand on her mouth.
Meili: “……This reminds me, last night I saw onii-san in『Taygeta』with lot of books scattered arou~nd. I wonder if that’s what it was fo~r.”
Julius: “Last night, Subaru was in『Taygeta』? Hmm……”
Subaru: “By the way, did you get to see what book I was reading?”
Meili: “U~m…… I don’t know that mu~ch. Really sorry~.”
Meili closed her eyes as she remained sitting on Shaula’s lap and getting her head caressed.
Waving his hand gesturing “Don’t worry about it”, Subaru referred to『My』memories which were not his own, and arrived at the same conclusion.
Amongst the memories of Meili he had confirmed with the『Book of the Dead』, despite seeing Subaru with multiple books scattered around him he had been unable to see the specifics of that point onward.
That is why he had not been disappointed much by the answer to his question. However, at the point when he was in the library of『Taygeta』it was certain that there was some sort of abnormality in『Natsuki Subaru』.
Before he scattered the books around, or perhaps shortly after thatーー,
Julius: “What are the chances of that act itself having some connection with the loss of memories?”
Echidna: “A lot of them were scattered around, huh…… Something like reading the『Book of the Dead』beyond the maximum possible limit filled up the entire place for storing memories and they overflowed out, that won’t be possible, right?”
Subaru: “I want to think that it shouldn’t be possible, but I can’t say it isn’t possible. Anyhow, I have amnesia!”
Julius and Echidna sighed at the same time before Subaru, who had puffed up his chest and raised a single finger.
They had come to a standstill when it came to discussing his memory loss, but Subaru did not doubt that the cause of his memory loss was in the book.
That is why, he thought of avoiding letting anyone else read Reid’s『Book of the Dead』should they actually find it.
If someone had to read it, then it must be Subaru, who already had his memories disappear once, it wouldn’t be of much consequence should they disappear againーー no, by now, Subaru also had too many memories he could not let disappear.
The events of the previous loop, the events prior to the previous loop.
Along with that, the things he had committed to his heart in these surroundings, or the promise with Ram, and what he pledged to Meili.
What’s this, already hands full of stuff which mustn’t be forgotten despite merely being here for a few days and repeating four times.
This is why, memories were valuable, priceless, and difficult to part ways with. ーーThey must not be forgotten.
Subaru: “Uh, ah, I’m alright I’m alright, I’m alright. Erm, ahem.”
Upon Emilia’s call, Subaru awoke from his silence and regained his composure.
Then glanced at everyone’s faces,
Subaru: “With all that being said, I propose heading to『Taygeta』. That guy, hero of the past or the legendary so-and-so or whatever, will be handing down his achievements in his life hereafter. Instead there’ll also be any failures or weaknesses he left behind, and we’ll straightforwardly attack those points as a fame tax.”
Ram: “You sure are confident, speaking of something you’ve heard someplace else.”
Subaru: “Hehe, it’s cause I never thougsht there’d be a chance to realistically use a way for capturing this tower. If the opponent can be traced down to his roots then even the cause of his death and what he treasures can be ascertained. This is what you truly call a modern day knowledge cheat……!”
Emilia and Beatrice tilted their heads hearing Subaru’s words, who had his fists clenched with strength.
That was mere persiflage so he did not get into its details, but it was unmistakable that Reid Astrea, in this world, was a personage famous enough to have his name etched into history.
Echidna: “So in other words, that guy’s cause of defeat is a fame tax…… that’s quite novel for a weakness, isn’t it?”
Ram: “ーー. Barusu’s aim is understood. Ram is convinced as well. Though Ram certainly has some anxiety about it.”
Echidna: “It’s worth trying, huh. My oh my. Simply thinking about how difficult it will be to find a single book out of an amount of books that vast makes me feel heavy.”
Ignoring Subaru’s frivolous comments, Ram and Echidna raised their hips. Emilia, Beatrice, Meili and Shaula followed shortly afterwards.
Subaru also got on his knees and stood up, and then glanced at Julius, who was lagging behind.
Subaru: “What happened? Are you against it?”
Julius: “……No, there’s no other breakthrough solution either. Also considering that the proposal was initiated by you, I shall recognise its validity.”
Subaru: “But, there’s still something on your mind?”
Julius: “ーー. That would be, a problem of my own. I want you to disregard it.”
Shaking his head left and right, Julius stood up at that spot.
Since it was impossible to disregard it even when told to do so, Subaru only got more concernedーー,
Subaru: “I’ll disregard it, for now. ーーBy the way, with the exception of the『Book of the Dead』, just how famous is Reid? Feels like it’d be at a crazy level.”
Julius: “Seems like that was quite a strong memory. For memories that were spilled in bits and pieces, seems like some are left…… Reid Astrea, is one of the three heroes who defeated the『Witch』who existed in the past.”
Subaru: “The『Sage』Shaula, the『Divine Dragon』Volcanica, the『Sword Saint』Reid……”
Shaula: “『Sage』refers to Master-sama, not me.”
Subaru: “Going by your logic, I’m also several hundreds of years old? I’ve lived a time way too shocking between leaving the convenience store and waking up in the morning……”
Rather than simply taking Shaula’s speech with a grain of salt, Subaru ignored it after tasting the flavour of only a small percentage of what she had to say, Subaru dug deeper into the legend of Reid whereby he was spoken of as one of the three heroes.
With respect to that topic, Emilia and the others’ glances were directed towards Julius.
Julius accepted their gazes, and whilst touching his bangs,
Julius: “Certainly, there’s no time to recite the legend Reid Astrea etched into posterity in all parts of the world. Speaking of things he was famous for…… the fight where he slayed a hundred dragons, or his battle achievement of six thousand undefeated victories recorded in the arena of the Gladiator Island. An existence called to be a fierce god, and the victor of drinking competitions, such varieties are also there.”
Subaru: “All of that sounds so stupid, but after having met the real deal……”
Julius: “It feels that they’ve not been exaggerated. After knowing that strength, unhesitatingly he would…… no.”
Julius: “Within what I’m aware of, all anecdotes regarding him retell his achievements and such. His personality, or records of humanly failures and defeats, there are no memories of things like those.”
Touching his bangs, that was how Julius brought the display of information to a finish.
Hearing what he said made Subaru slightly tremble, due to the fact that he had no records of defeat. It would be fine if there were no such records left, it surely cannot be that he was simply never defeated.
Subaru shuddered, thinking that him being undefeated for his entire life was a relevant possibility.
Subaru: “Oh, we’re here.”
Whilst they were conversing, they arrived at the room which had the staircase connecting to『Taygeta』.
Further up would be the library filled with『Books of the Dead』, and the third layer『Taygeta』shall welcome them.
Subaru: “ーーRam, would you mind guiding everyone for a bit? There’s something I want to talk about with Julius.”
Ram: “With Julius?”
Ram furrowed her eyebrows in response to Subaru, who had halted his feet.
Julius was also surprised to hear those words, but for the moment he did not object to it. Seeing them Ram straitened her light crimson eyes and sighed, looking back into Subaru’s black eyes.
A sigh which revealed grief, or perhaps, understanding,
Ram: “Kindly make sure you make it quick. It’ll get completely out of hand if Ram and the others also lose memories like Barusu upon reaching there.”
Subaru: “Don’t say such scary stuff. Though if amnesiac Ram becomes more meek and elegant, it’ll sure be a sight to see.”
Ram: “Ram does not, intend to forget, anything more.”
Subaru: “……You’re right. Please make sure you don’t get close to any weird book if you spot one.”
With that exchange done, Ram was the first one to start climbing the staircase.
For the moment he did not worry about misjudgments should it be left to her. Amongst all of these party members, he assessed Ram to be utmost worthy of such trust.
Subaru: “Meili, be lady-like. Hold hands with Emilia-chan or something at least.”
Meili: “That, is really upsetti~ng. You don’t have to treat me like a burden like thi~s. Naked onee-san already has grabbed my hand, even though I don’t want to grab he~r’s.”
Pouting, with one of her hands taken by Shaula and the other by Emilia, Meili was taken to『Taygeta』. Behind her was Beatrice, and last in line was Echidna, who looked back upon stepping onto the staircase.
Echidna: “Please do be gentle.”
Leaving those words behind, Echidna headed to the upper layer.
Subaru scratched his head whilst viewing her back. It seemed that Echidna had probably seen through the reason why Subaru had Julius remain here.
And with the departure of all the females, the only ones left standing before the staircase were the two of Subaru and Julius,
Julius: “So, what did you want to talk about? You’ve gone out of your way to keep Emilia-sama and the others at a distance, can I believe that it is something very important?”
Subaru: “Something very important…… well, I guess so. Probably.”
Julius: “What an unclear way of speaking.”
Subaru: “It’s the kind of thing difficult to speak clearly.”
Subaru scratched his black hair in front of Julius, who had his back turned to the staircase.
The reason why he had Julius stop here was to confirm certain things. This also included what all he had been concerned about in the earlier conversation as wellーー,
Subaru: “Just wait. I’m organising my mind right now.”
Subaru pondered, pulling the thread of the problem which was tangled greater than expected.
He had left the search for the book onto Emilia and the others and had told Julius to stop here. The main focus of it being, of course,『Reid Astrea』.
Along with that, floating in Subaru’s mind was the previous loop, one of the acts of this great battle royale.
ーーHaving gained freedom, Reid battles Julius one-on-one, choosing that to be the reason for his final bit of reluctance.
Despite there being countless obstructions in the situation, that had been a scene truly deserving being called a one-on-one battle. However, the difference in their actual ability, perhaps including this aspect of being a psychological issue too, was absolute.
On top of that, he head heard that Julius had already fought, suffered and swallowed defeat at the hands of Reid once.
Adding that to the situation, Reid held some sort of attachment towards Julius.
Whether that was towards the person named Julius, he couldn’t help but feel that was the key to deciphering Reid. ーーHowever, the problem was how to utilize it.
Subaru: “Ah, what do you think about Reid? Do you like him?”
Julius: “ーー. What significance does that question hold, I wonder.”
Subaru: “Well, I just tried making the atmosphere less serious. The real one needs to be said just a bit differently. ーーWhat I really mean is whether you have the intent to win against Reid.”
What Subaru said with one eye closed, made Julius widen his yellow eyes. Witnessing vehement turmoil levitate in those eyes, Subaru took a short exhale.
He felt this to be both expected, and unexpected.
Subaru: “Disregarding stuff I’m not self-aware of myself…… this is a situation where cowering away in fright is not allowed, you know. They say the habit of losing starts becoming difficult to get rid of.”
Julius: “Subaru, you’re……”
Subaru: “Wicked, eh. The truth is that even I, after taking time and doing some stuff, do think that your daunted heart must be made to stand up again. I do think so, but we don’t have such time. You get it, right?”
Receiving Subaru’s question, Julius stiffened his cheeks and halted his breath.
Subaru and Julius interpreted the implication of the words “There’s no time” differently, yet he did possess identical unrest.
And surely, this was something the Subaru who was there until yesterday, was unable to do. Speaking the words which had to be conveyed to this wounded man who did not realise the restlessness of his own heart, and making him realise.
Perhaps, Natsuki Subaru was doing what『Natsuki Subaru』couldn’t.
Believing that this would be a certain strike, for breaking through the deadlock of this obstructive situationーー,
Subaru: “I’ll say it clearly, Julius. If you ask why, then that’s cause right now, I am invincible.”
Julius: “Invincible, huh…… that is, quite a large thing to say.”
Subaru: “I can say big stuff cause I’ve got no ties of obligations. I can’t stand seeing you all curled up after you’ve looked at me in the eye, looked at Echidna in the eye, and have spoken about Reid. I’ve got a nature where I influence others so I can’t really say for the others, but I’ll just close my eyes and say it clearly.”
Julius: “ーーI shall listen.”
Inhaling, adjusting his seated posture, Julius glared towards Subaru.
Accepting that earnest gaze, Subaru resumed.
Subaru: “That is that, this is this.”
Julius gave a dumbfounded response to Subaru’s confident declaration.
With that Julius before him, Subaru opened his arms wide and,
Subaru: “I know it got awkward since you were looking at me. The me until yesterday probably was responsible for doing something to you. What that me who was there until yesterday did will not disappear from this world, but it has indeed disappeared from my mind.”
Julius: “I, suppose so. That is correct. However, I am……”
Subaru: “Hear it till the end. Since I’m in that state, there’s a need for us to establish our relationship from scratch. At the very least, that goes for the relationship with my present self. Forget about the me who was there until yesterday for now.”
With the tides of conversation taking a rather violent turn, Julius yet remained unable to recover from drowning in his earlier unease.
A terribly overbearing logic. He had not managed to fully convey what he wanted to whatsoever.
The truth was that Subaru was borrowing the strength of Emilia, Beatrice, Julius and the restーー whom had been influenced by『Natsuki Subaru』, those being his achievements.
However, right now he shall borrow merely the positive aspects of that influence, and discard the negative ones.
Subaru: “In our party, you’re the strongest. That’s why, it’ll be you who will be clashing with Reid. Even if we find the capture book all well and good, the fighting will still be on you.”
Of course, he had also considered Reid’s attachment, the opponent’s desire to have a one-on-one battle with Julius.
However, Subaru did not intend to surrender this spot. Even if he ignored the fact that Emilia had already secured victory, Ram, Shaula, Echidna, Meili, Beatrice, out of everyone Subaru knew, surely nobody would be willing to surrender before that scene.
Subaru: “I understand you’re scared. I also understand you’re perplexed. I deeply apologize on behalf of the me who was there until yesterday. ーーConsider all of that, switch over, and fight.”
Julius: “……I have, already lost to him, twice.”
Subaru: “I know. But, next time, win.”
The number of defeats was greater by one from what he had known.
However, in this circumstance, it was unrelated and of little significance.
Subaru: “Our calculations will eventually be that you will have to win. I thought of various match ups in my mind, but before having the girls do their best, we, the men, will have to do our best, or it’ll be a disgrace to knighthood.”
Julius: “ーーDisgrace. My current self, bringing disgrace to knighthood, huh.”
Before Subaru, who had his fist clenched out, Julius closed his eyes and whispered with a soft tone, lowering his head.
Astonished, astrayed, wounded, defeated, and now finally by means of a logic akin to violently being grabbed by the collars, Julius was trifled by Subaru’s words.
That was something which made him change his elegant expression, into one far unlike what Subaru had expectedーー,
Julius: “Just as how Miss Ram had stated, I’ve started to doubt whether you’ve truly lost memories. Or perhaps instead, are you pretending to not have memories in order to stop me from abandoning the sword out of fear?”
Subaru: “I’d go so far, even making Emilia-chan’s smiling face dull? You retard, I’d never do something so roundabout. Besides, above all, even without me doing that you’d still not let go of the sword and fight for everyone, won’t you.”
Julius: “That is…… contradicting. You’re truly trying to put strain on my frightened heart right now, huh.”
Subaru: “No. That’s wrong. What you lack isn’t courage. You’ve got courage properly packed up in here. ーーWhat you lack is the determination to win. The spirit of rivalry, competitiveness.”
Subaru got closer, having his clenched out fist touched Julius’ chest.
Receiving his words and his fist, Julius inhaled.
Subaru’s words possessed no lies.
In the earlier loop, despite being driven into a corner against the Witch Beasts and Reid, Julius did not let go of his sword, did not lose to despair, and conveyed the words “I’m leaving that to you” to Subaru.
And should the other side of those words be seen, they couldn’t mean anything else but “Leave this to me”.
Under those circumstances, Julius had certainly said.
ーーTo leave Reid Astrea, up to him.
And witnessing him say so had been the end.
That is whyーー,
Subaru: “……I have not seen, the settlement. Neither my memories of everything until yesterday. That is why, I’ve not been acquainted to you, losing to Reid, even once.”
Julius, Julius Juukulius, had not lost.
This knight, this man, had not lost even once, in front of Natsuki Subaru.
That is why, no matter what anyone may say, Natsuki Subaru shall not surrender the settlement.
He shall persist expecting Julius Juukulius, to defeat Reid Astrea.
Subaru: “I will leave Reid Astrea, up to you. Defeat that utmost troublesome enemy. In exchange, I will…… try my hand, using my own ways, at everything else.”
Subaru: “Can’t you hear me, Julius. Answer your friend’s expectations.”
Earlier was to put the weight of expectations on him, now was to forcefully drive hope into him.
Subaru’s fist prodded Julius’ chest once again.
That single gesture, and Julius touched his chest.
Continuing to have his hand touch his chest, Julius stepped back, and took a deep breath.
A deep, deep, deep, deep breath, and,
Julius: “……How come can you, having lost memories of everything until yesterday, are able to expect that much from me?”
Subaru: “That’s…… the kind of image I had. Kind of like my impression. Like your looks, the way you talk, the way you behave, what you wield, what you wear, the way you eat, the way you walk, it’s the art of synthesising from all that kind of stuff.”
Subaru replied without alluding to the previous loop, making him clench his chest in ache.
Without even planning to, both Subaru and Julius faced each other whilst touching their chests. At the same pace, Julius corrected his posture whilst still having his hand at his chest, and slowly raised his hips.
With elegant, beautiful, natural conduct, seemingly something a knight in some story would do.
Julius: “Impression, huh.”
Subaru: “Y-Yeah. It’s the way you appear. Your everything, makes me expect this much.”
Julius: “Is that so…… My appearance, made you think that way, isn’t it.”
The tone of Julius’ voice changed, whilst he remained to have his head lowered.
Until then, Julius’ tone of voice gave the impression of being touched someplace difficult to touch, but now, though extremely slight, strength returned to it, softness lodged abode, warmth budded into it once again, that was the impression it gave.
Julius: “Forgotten by the world, forgotten by you, the only one who remembered me, failing to ascertain my master’s existence, it became unclear where my self was. However, despite being in that state ーーeverything I have fostered until now, has not disappeared. That is what I’d like to say, at least.”
Subaru: “Not so wise or collected, but that’s what the nuance is.”
Julius accepted Subaru’s shoddy and convoluted words in a wise, polished form.
Subaru had thought that he hadn’t been able to convey everything he wanted to just a moment ago. However, he felt that the listener had selected something close to the everything he wanted to convey.
Subaru: “Well, it was kind of like a conversation on notions, I guess you could call it a psychological discussion, but it felt like the psychological problem was serious, so was I correct?”
Julius: “Heh. Why would you become timid with regards to that? Weren’t you supposed to be invincible, I wonder?”
Subaru: “Well, even if Mario picks up a star, if he falls into a hole he still dies, you know……”
Though Julius furrowed his eyebrows hearing the illogical metaphor, he did not press further.
It seemed like that was something also associated to『Natsuki Subaru』, and that it was an understood notion to ignore his meaningless persiflage, so it felt unquestionably strange.
Subaru: “Have you become a bit forward-looking now?”
Julius: “Well, I wonder. Ultimately, your words were of destitute concreteness and were more of psychological discussion, and, it’s not as if all of the various things which happened to me have changed dramatically.”
Pausing his words there, Julius narrowed his eyes whilst looking at Subaru.
And, suddenly loosening his lips,
Julius: “ーーThat is that, this is this.”
With unbefitting words, he concluded this exchange.