Translated By :
- Ice (@LoremIpsumVerb)
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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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Subaru gave a reflexive grimace as he felt a sharp pain run through his finger.
He looked down and saw a drop of blood beading down from a shallow cut on the tip of his index finger. He’d been tidying up some documents scattered around on the desk, yet it seemed like he’d cut his finger on them.
Subaru: [Shit, I really messed up there. Guess this is the initiation I get for having underestimated the isekai paper making technology…]
???: [My, Subaru-kun, whaaaaat’s the matter? Did you cut your finger on some paper?]
Subaru: [I can tell what you’re thinking here, Roz-chi: “Oh, how miserable of youuuu, weaker even than paper.” I just screwed up a bit… Can’t you fix this up like it’s nothing?]
Subaru showed his aching finger to the owner of the mansion, Roswaal, as he posed his question.
Roswaal was facing his desk, in his office, having been busying himself with some paperwork. He placed his quill down, before then taking a look at the scratch on Subaru’s finger.
Roswaal: [Let me see. Oh my, it looks paaaainful. That said, ‘tis but a scratch. It should heal pretty quickly if you give it a lick. Oooor, should I lick it for you?]
Subaru: [No thank you. I’d just go ahead and stick it in Beako’s mouth or something, if I was going to get it licked by you, Roz-chi.]
Roswaal: [Haha, how amuuuuusing… It seems like you and Beatrice are getting along swimmingly, doesn’t it.]
Roswaal let go of Subaru’s finger and beamed at him while resting his elbows on the desk. Subaru tilted his head, saying “Is that so?” after hearing what he had to say.
The relationship Subaru and Beatrice had was a complex one, nigh impossible to express. Though putting it as such was an exaggeration, he hadn’t really been able to get much compromise from Beatrice.
Subaru: [It’s fun teasing her after all, and it’s me who’s actively doing the provoking, though I’m not too sure how she feels about it.]
Roswaal: [Oh no, no need to wooooorry about that. Beatrice is quite the forthright girl with these kinds of things after all. If she really felt like rejecting you, you probably wouldn’t be able to go in and out of the Forbidden Library either.]
Subaru: [I see…]
Roswaal: [Since aaaaafter all, she won’t allow me into the Forbidden Library currently.]
Subaru: [I see?]
Roswaal placed one of his hands to his chest as he said that with feigned indifference, before giving him a strained smile.
That said, Roswaal was just like Subaru in that it looked like he considered Beatrice as a teasable girl. That, and they’d also been acquainted with each other far longer than Subaru had.
Subaru: [So like, you’re misanalysing the sense of distance between you two and letting it fester, or something? Wouldn’t it have been better to apologise?]
Roswaal: [Well, you’re not too far off there. In regards to an apology… Just a little tooooo much time has ended up passing for both me and Beatrice.]
Subaru: [I don’t think it’s great to not give her an apology and blame time for that, but…]
Roswaal: [Hmmm, this keeps getting more and more painful to hear.]
Roswaal loosened his lips and picked up his quill again. Realising that was a sign for him to get back to work, Subaru once again took to organising the bookshelves with a shrug of his shoulders.
Luckily, it seemed like the blood from his cut finger had stopped.
Roswaal: [If your finger does actually hurt, you could get Rem or Beatrice to heal it up; otherwise, have the esteemed Great Spirit do it.]
Subaru: [Roz-chi, can’t you heal it? Are you being spartan?]
Roswaal: [Nooooo, not at all. ――You see, I can’t use healing magic.]
Subaru: [Is that so? And here I was thinking you were a versatile mage who can do just about anything.]
Subaru lifted his brows slightly at Roswaal’s unexpected confession.
He could burn forests, herds of Witchbeasts included, to nothing with hellfire. He could soar up to the skies like the wind. So as soon as Subaru had heard Roswaal held great renown as a mage, Subaru had been so sure Roswaal’d mastered every single kind of basic magic.
Yet Roswaal had shook his head at what Subaru had said.
Roswaal: [My apologies for not living up to your expectations, but you see, magic heavily depends on the aptitude one possesses from birth. I’ve been lucky enough to have been blessed with many talents for magic, but even that’s not sufficient to completely handle every single bit of magic that there is in the world.]
Subaru: [So, healing magic aside, got any others you can’t use?]
Roswaal: [Nope, I can pretty much use all the others.]
Subaru: [Seriously just the one flaw!?]
Roswaal only had one weakness, coming in stark contrast to his heavy preface.
That said, the fact of the matter was: his flaw meant he couldn’t use healing magic. And it felt to him like this was a surprisingly large flaw, one that would be difficult to make up for.
Subaru: [I reckon being unable to heal your wounds or not is a pretty big deal, like when you’re in the middle of a fight or whatever.]
Roswaal: [Oh? So that’s what you think as well, Subaru-kun?]
Subaru: [Well, I graduated from the kinds of power play where you can just win by selecting the “Fight” command, and ignoring the effects of buffs and debuffs, in elementary school. I’m the type who likes to compete with talented people by making full use of my resourcefulness, even though I lack talent, just like in those kinds of mangas.]
Roswaal: [It seems like you’re saying stuff that’s tough to figure out, but in fact, I haven’t even viewed it like so.]
They’d only known each other for a few weeks, yet it looked like Roswaal had seen through to the truth behind his chatter, causing Subaru to stick his tongue out at him with a scratch of his head.
Roswaal batted one of his eyes shut and winked at him with his blue one.
Roswaal: [It’s actually as you say, Subaru-kun. You could say having healing magic or not will change the battlefield, in a way. That’s why it’s such a valuable ability.]
Subaru: [Yeah? But Puck, Beako and Rem can use it, right?]
Roswaal: [The first two are speeeecial. And as for Rem… She’s got the disposition for it too I guess. After all, I’ve focused myself on helping her hone that talent for healing of hers.]
According to what Roswaal had said after, apparently the usefulness of healing magic was regarded so importantly, even in magic, a master-apprentice system was in place in specialised hospitals.
Rem could have learnt it there, but she’d said Roswaal had guided her teachings directly since she didn’t want to be separated from Ram.
Roswaal: [And so, come a time you get injured, there’s the fear that you’ll end up forgetting to grit and bear it, if you entrench yourself too deeply with healing magic, I suppooooooose.]
Subaru: [Well…So you mean you’d lose your tolerance for pain? I guess that would happen.]
Just like people raised up in sterile rooms did not gain any resistance against viruses and such, pain could well become fatal in a time where one cannot rely on healing magic, in the case where you’d immediately get rid of your pains with its use.
With that in mind, Subaru glanced at his injured finger.
Subaru: [I get it. This cut ain’t worth fussing about, I’ll grin and bear this pain as a lesson for myself.]
Roswaal: [It’s just a teeeeensy cut on your finger; aren’t you making a meaaaaal of it? It won’t really matter if you heal a cut like this, so why not get Rem to do it?]
Subaru: [Sounds like a sweet trap to lure people into slothfulness! …No thanks, I’m perfectly fine as I am. Got no issues.]
Roswaal’s words felt like they had a touch of banter in them, yet Subaru thought he had a point.
Subaru already knew from the two incidents that had happened at the Royal Capital and the Mansion that his life in another world wasn’t going to be easy. It was best to just not experience anything like unbearable pain.
Subaru: [I’ll be ready, for when the unavoidable comes.]
Roswaal: [It’s just a cut on your finger thouuuuuuugh.]
Roswaal gave Subaru a wry smile as the latter emphasised what he said by firmly raising his index finger up.
Nevertheless, Subaru’s enthusiasm proved to be in vain. As soon as he finished cleaning up the office, he met up with Rem and the others, and right after that, Rem noticed his cut and immediately healed it up.
???: [Come on, bite down on the brace or something. This is really gonna hurt.]
Todd straightened the fingers on Subaru’s left hand as he said that, before then applying a pungent medicine on his blotched fingers. After that, he nimbly put a splint around his fingers and wound some bandages around them. And with that, he finished patching him up.
Todd: [All’s that left is this potion to finish things up. It should ease your pain a bit.]
Todd passed a bottle over to Subaru, drenched in cold sweat, containing some medicine. It was filled with a thick, viscous, green liquid. However, there was nothing he could do about it if he was told it was medicine.
Subaru steeled himself and swigged it down.
Subaru: [Blargh! Gross! T-This heavy liquid is gonna get stuck in my throat…!]
Todd: [‘Tis a medicine that’s renown for being difficult to swallow after all. But I guarantee you, it will do the trick. It’s an asset that’s heavily used by the troops. It’ll speed up how quickly your wounds heal.]
Subaru gulped it down, holding the now empty bottle between his fingers as Todd flashed him a smile. Subaru lowered his head, saying “Sorry,” in response to Todd, as he wiped his mouth.
Subaru: [You let yourself share something so valuable to a weirdo like me.]
Todd: [No worries at all. In fact, if we were to leave you as you are, your fingers would rot away and fall off. Like, think of it as me having done a favour for a guy who’s been granted a Sword Wolf Dagger.]
Subaru lowered his brows at Todd’s good-natured, generous answer, before then chewing on his lip.
Todd, who appeared to be a soldier from the Vollachian Empire, was under the impression that Subaru was a noble, due to the knife he’d received in the forest. He’d been treated much better thanks to that, even if he was a prisoner of war.
However, it was precisely because of this that he felt sorry for deceiving him.
And in addition, a particular question had been weighing over Subaru’s mind.
Subaru: [But, yeah. In times like these, if we had Healing Magic at hand, we could heal my wounds in a jiffy.]
Subaru muttered that out, pretending to put it casually as he checked how his left hand was doing. Hearing that, Todd raised his eyebrows.
Todd: [Oh? Yet again with saying these extravagant things. Like, as if I’ve been able to lay my eyes on anything like that.]
Subaru: [――. So it’s just as I thought.]
Todd: [Guess so. It sure would be useful if wounds and illness could be healed the same as creating a breeze or fire or whatever. Even your left hand would be healed up lickety-split.]
Subaru cast his gaze down as Todd spoke in a solemn tone of voice with a shrug of his shoulders.
Both unease and relief rose inside of him simultaneously for hitting the nail on the head with his prediction.
Subaru and Roswaal had talked about how rare Healing Magic was, back when his plots were yet to be exposed, when he’d deemed him as just being an upbeat, clownish noble.
Roswaal had told him magic depended on one’s talent, as well as that Healing Magic users were precious.
Adding on to that information, medicinal herbs and potion bottles were lined together in the tent that the encampment had set up for healing. A host of medicinal tools, rather than magic, had been prepared there.
Todd, who’d told him he’d get him patched up, had resorted to the use of medicinal herbs and splints, rather than relying on anything magical. Thus, there were no doubts anymore.
Subaru: [Healing Magic is rare.]
Todd: [At the very least, it’s something I’ve never seen. From what I’ve heard, the Imperial Capital keeps mages who can use it close, within its bounds. Whatever the case, ‘tis but a tale of a faraway world for the average person.]
Todd: [I’m more surprised you said something like “Healing Magic”. Not like it’s an option for me y’know?]
In the first place, you wouldn’t even be able to come up with things unfamiliar to you; they wouldn’t even pop up at the edge of your thoughts.
That was just how unfamiliar Healing Magic was in the Empire ― At least, for Todd and his gang.
Subaru had been expecting him to answer like that, so he shook his head and said,
Subaru: [Well, as you can see, I’m actually a traveller. I’m travelling all over the place, so I have come across people who use Healing Magic.]
Todd: [I see, a traveller huh. I did think you were dressed weirdly, since the garb y’all are in doesn’t at all suit the heat around here.]
Todd looked at Subaru from head to toe as he stated that. Subaru was still dressed in the clothes they’d devised to ward off the sand back when they had passed through the sand sea to capture the Pleiades Watchtower.
The Augria Dunes had been contrary to his impressions of a desert since they hadn’t been hot; however, he’d ended up practically covering almost all of his skin to stave off the sand winds. That’s why one would have to say they weren’t quite dressed for the seasons, here in Vollachia, where the temperatures and the humidity were high.
Todd: [So you’re saying you came across some kind of Healing Artist when you were travelling and you were tainted by its convenience.]
Subaru: [What a terrible way of putting it! Even if it is actually convenient.]
In fact, Subaru had been indebted to Healing Magic a few times ― Or rather, quite a few times.
It would have been practically impossible to come back alive from the first hurdle, had it not been for Beatrice’s Healing Magic when he was first summoned into this other world.
If Beatrice hadn’t been there for him back then, Subaru would still be living life with his belly sliced open and his guts drooping out.
Subaru: [Like I ever want to go through the experience of tripping over my own guts again.]
Todd: [Healing Magic, huh.]
Subaru: […? Todd-san?]
As Subaru reflected on his somewhat uncommon experience, standing in front of him, Todd let out a quiet sigh. Subaru frowned at the change in atmosphere, yet Todd closed one of his eyes and said,
Todd: [Well, I reckon Healing Magic is rather cruel, I’m glad it’s not around where I’m at.]
Subaru: [Cruel… Why? Shouldn’t it be the opposite?]
Subaru showed how baffled he was by Todd’s point of view. To which, Todd, with one of his eyes still closed, continued with,
Todd: [Like, after all, your wounds healing up means you won’t die. They won’t pull you back to recuperate either. They’ll heal you up and force you to fight again, on and on. That’s what it means to have your wounds healed.]
Todd: [I can’t help but be terrified by it. Just how much must the guy who came up with the idea of Healing Magic in the first place have loved to fight? It just feels like we’re being shown that plain and clear.]
Subaru was unable to come up with a response after hearing Todd’s calm words.
He found it to be quite a biased way of thinking. In actuality, Healing Magic played a role not only on the battlefield, but also to save people from accidents or disease as part of daily life.
On the other side though, there was some truth to Todd’s way of thinking as well.
They would patch up those wounded on the battlefield and push them to fight anew. ――Subaru couldn’t deny his own feelings; he feared that he could not deny such an aspect did exist, after all.
Todd: [My bad, I went off-topic. I didn’t mean to make you furrow your brows like that.]
Todd said that to bring the mood back to normal, seeing how Subaru had sunk into silence. Subaru nodded back at him, and said, “It’s alright”, in response to those values that he himself hadn’t considered.
Todd then shifted his attention to the outside of the tent, in an effort to change the subject.
Todd: [But, if that’s the case, shouldn’t the lil’ missy inside the cell also be one of your travelling companions? But even then, why are you being snapped at so much?]
Subaru: […An unforeseen accident, I guess. We used to be pretty much on the same wavelength, but now things have gotten completely one-sided, due to one reason or another. I’d be grateful if you looked at the long term here.]
Todd: [It’s fine by me, but it seems rather tough for you… But, in that case…]
Todd didn’t probe too deep into the complex circumstances surrounding Subaru and Rem, instead, he glanced away while brushing his chin.
Todd was looking at Subaru’s right arm, which the latter was deliberately ignoring. And clinging to Subaru’s right arm since quite a while ago…
Was Louis, who said that blankly with a dopey look on her face.
She was still clinging to Subaru’s right arm, smiling away as if something was fun, while occasionally fiddling with his fingers, entwining her hair around them and doing whatever she pleased.
Todd: [You’re obviously not old enough for her to be y’all’s daughter, right? What is she to you?]
Subaru: [How many times do I have to say this, she’s just some stranger. Though I’m dead certain she isn’t a decent person.]
Todd: [You’re being harsh there… But the lil’ miss in her cell seems to care about this girl, no?]
Subaru: [That’s what’s so troublesome…]
Having had that pointed out by Todd once again, Subaru let out a sigh, feeling just how complicated the situation he was put in was.
Right now, Subaru’s feelings towards Rem were spinning around completely in vain. With her memories now gone, Rem’s cold attitude was mostly born out of Subaru’s disdain for Louis.
Nevertheless, Subaru could not accept Louis, even if he knew that was the cause.
It was a no-brainer. She was a Sin Archbishop, a person of pure evil. Someone he could by no means ever get on with.
Subaru: [How is this happening? What the hell are you scheming, what the hell do you want from me!?]
Louis: [Ooh? Aah, Awoh]
Louis merely gave him a frivolous smile, offering no answer to him in return.
Her behaviour was absolutely annoying. Of course, it’d spell trouble were she to act as unscrupulously as she had in the Hall of Memories, but it would probably keep things more clear for him, to view her as an enemy as much as he could.
It’d be a better situation compared to now, having her act like a baby or toddler, leaving only Subaru himself able to recognise her dangerous nature.
Todd: [Either way, she’s one of your travelling companions. No matter where it is you’re off to, y’all oughta work on improving your relationship a bit more.]
Subaru: [――. Who’s that advice for?] 
Todd: [Adv…? Well, it’s up to you how you take it.]
Todd stood up while cocking his head in confusion at the word he’d never heard before.
They were in the tent designated for healing right now, so the people there probably would rather they didn’t stay there too long chattering away. Subaru followed in Todd’s wake, Louis still clinging to his right hand.
Todd: [Anyways, now that you’re all patched up… Let’s get down to business, may I ask you to do something for me?]
Subaru: [Mhm, yeah. That way I’m not gonna be as guilty compared to being left with nothing to do. Let me know whatever you need. I’m ready for anything, so long as the task doesn’t involve eatin’ shoes.]
Todd: [Seems like Jamal really tried your patience… Okay, I getcha, I won’t let him behave like that. At least for now.]
What Todd had glanced over to as he thought about that was a group of black tents.
Subaru followed his gaze and looked over at those tents before asking him “What are these for?”
Todd: [They hold the stockpiles for our encampment. We’ve brought them here because we need them for one reason or another, but I suck at tidying ‘em up properly. So that’s where you come in, considering you pride yourself in keeping stuff neat and tidy.]
Subaru: […Did I ever even say that?]
Todd: [You didn’t? Still, I was hoping it was. And if it’s not, then you’ll still surely give it your all, out of gratitude for me helping you out.]
Subaru: […What a fantastic personality you have, Todd-san.]
Todd said something rather mean-spirited, all the while with a good-natured smile on his face. Subaru’s expression grew stiff at his words, before then eyeing up the group of black tents.
There were around twenty tents at a glance; if those were all filled with their stockpiles, and worse, if as Todd had said, they were in need of a tidy-up, then the going was going to get tough.
Subaru: [Doubt I’ll finish this in a day or two…]
Todd: [All’s good so long as you tidy ‘em up by the time the Dragon Carriage from the Supply Group turns up. Hahaha.]
That meant he had to hurry.
The difficulty level went up a bit once the injuries on his left hand were factored in, but there was nothing he could do about that.
Subaru: [This is so I can earn my bread for today, this is so I can go back to Emilia-tan along with Rem…]
Louis raised her voice beside Subaru as the latter firmly clenched his fist, ready to go and challenge the hard work. She was still dangling down from his right arm, eliciting a loathsome grimace from Subaru.
The Sin Archbishop was burdening Subaru’s mind and body, with the look on her face seemingly like she had no idea what was going on. With her craftiness still there, she was a formidable foe who gave the awfully strong impression she’d become hard to handle.
Subaru: [The rate at which I get involved with people I have no recollection of, kinda like with Shaula, is way too high…]
Louis: [Aah, Uuuh.]
Whether she understood him or not, Subaru made his way over to the black tents while pulling Louis along, with her seemingly in a good mood.
Unlike with Shaula, where they’d finally comprehended each other at the end, he could not get through to Louis in the first place. He made his way over all the while thinking how it would be impossible to comprehend each other.
Rem: [……So, you were tidying away the tent until dark.]
Sitting on the floor with her legs folded sideways, Rem greeted Subaru like that, who had returned after finishing a bout of strenuous work.
As Subaru lowered the corners of his eyebrows at her, Rem narrowed her eyes at his reaction,
Rem: [I’m not greeting you.]
Subaru: [Don’t read my mind…… But, they let you out of the prison, right?]
Rem: [――. The people here seemed like they didn’t bear any hostility towards me, at least.]
The reason she cast down her eyes was probably the meeting engagement that had occurred by the side of the river, which Subaru had heard of ― and the guilt that manifested from that unfavorable first meeting between Jamal’s squad and Rem.
Rem was generally unfriendly towards those she did not trust.
Her attitude towards Subaru had softened quite a bit after getting to know him, but her old characteristic was beginning to resurface as of now, since she lost her memories. He believed she was reflecting on it.
Subaru: [Though, well done for being able to self-reflect, Rem. That’s deserving of a hanamaru.] 
Rem: [……From whose perspective are you looking at me? Even if you compliment me, it means nothing to me. In the first place,]
Aiming a stinging retort at the smiling Subaru, Rem lifted her gaze up.
Although Subaru was lured into doing the same, all he saw was the cone-shaped, thin ceiling of the tent. He tilted his head, wondering what she was going on about. And then, Rem clicked her tongue in a soured mood,
Rem: [Why are you in the same tent as us? I don’t want to be asking for too much, but couldn’t they be more considerate……]
Subaru: [No, I think this is the incarnation of being considerate. I told Todd-san we’re companions going on the same journey, so if it’s…… owowowowowow!]
Rem: [Don’t just say things as you please!]
The moment he sat down next to her, Rem’s hand squeezed the area around his hip bone in an iron grip. She glared at him while he suffered from the creaking bones in his lower back.
However, a tiny silhouette barged in between them, stopping Rem’s actions with an “Ahh!”.
Rem: [Again, you……]
Leaning heavily against Rem’s hand, which was gripping onto Subaru’s waist, Louis used her whole body to raise her objections.
Rem, who indulged with Louis for some reason, let out a sigh of resignation at her efforts, and reluctantly broke off her punishment towards Subaru. She pulled Louis closer to her knees instead.
Like that, she placed Louis’s head on her legs, which she couldn’t move around too much, and gently caressed her body.
Rem: [……Why are you clicking your tongue this time? I don’t understand how you could be so cold-hearted, when she is attached to you like this.]
Rem’s reaction towards Subaru’s unsavory attitude wasn’t very good.
All he could do was observe each and every one of Louis’s movements, who was lying down on Rem’s lap, so he could protect Rem whenever Louis decided to show her true colors.
――Ordered by Todd, Subaru had begun cleaning up the interior of the black tent.
Just as he had initially thought, sorting out the inside of the tent wasn’t something that could be finished in a short time. Of course, part of the reason was Subaru’s left hand’s condition being far from perfect, but it was also because the rules on how to organize things didn’t seem to apply to the Vollachians, far more than he had expected. Adding to that――,
Subaru: [This one keeps interfering with every little bit of my work. I exerted all that effort tidying up their stuff, but she topples it over and scatters it around, one after another. Thanks to her, I’m not making any progress at all.]
Rem: [She doesn’t know anything, so it can’t be helped.]
Subaru: [You don’t know anything as well. But, you wouldn’t do anything like what she did. That’s all, thus it has been demonstrated! QED!] 
Rem: [You’re saying things that don’t make any sense at all, again!]
Knowing that the cause of Rem’s unwelcoming treatment towards Subaru was lying within Louis, how could he not act towards Louis with the same attitude?
He knew this was a unfavorable spiral of treating each other badly, but he couldn’t bring himself to get along with Louis, even if it was just on the surface. ――He simply could not stand her with every fiber of his being, and it was something he was unable to conceal.
Feeling greatly disheartened, Subaru sprawled down on the floor on his back.
The tent with only three people, Subaru, Rem, and Louis ― it was only for a few days, but Todd had distributed it to them as a place to stay.
Since his allies didn’t come back after entering the forest, Todd had smiled at Subaru’s group in the midst of setting up camp, saying they could use the ownerless tent as they liked.
Subaru: [No, it’s not a thing to smile at, but…]
Despite that, he highly appreciated that Todd had given them a spare tent.
Setting aside Subaru himself, he was worried about leaving Rem in a womanless camp. Todd told them they would be treated as guests, but it was unknown how far his word had spread.
Not to mention, Rem had already incurred Jamal’s displeasure.
If possible, Subaru wished she would stay by his side, so he could keep her within his sight while he busied himself with chores――,
Rem: [Don’t just keep sulking, and eat.]
Subaru was absorbed in his thoughts, lying flat on his back. What blocked his view was the skewer that Rem held out above his face.
When he sat up spontaneously, Rem turned away from him, shoving the skewer closer to him.
Subaru: [This is…?]
Rem: [They say it’s a meal. It was being distributed among the people in the camp, so I also went and received some…… Because, even if it’s just little by little, I need to practice my movements.]
She murmured, rubbing her leg with her free hand.
Neither of them knew when the condition of her legs would be back to normal, restored from their incapacitated state, but Rem herself was probably feeling more troubled and anxious over them than Subaru.
Surrounded by people she didn’t know in their encampment, not in possession of her memories, and standing in an uncertain position in this mess. Even if she wanted to take action to know about something, her legs were not free to act.
Rem: [……Can you just take it? My hand is becoming tired.]
Subaru: [I-I got it, I got it. Uhh, did you eat already?]
Rem: [Huh? Why would I eat first when the girl hasn’t eaten yet? There’s no way I can do something as selfish at that.]
Snapping at him, Rem drew the container made out of bones that was placed aside at the edge of the tent closer to her, removing the cloth that covered it and lifting the skewer to Louis’s mouth.
Spoiled by Rem, Louis gladly accepted her act of kindness, gnawing at the meat bit by bit like a chick pecking at food that was given by its parents.
Rem watched over Louis with a tender smile as she continued to peck at her meal.
Unable to tear his eyes away from the sight, Subaru munched at the skewer he had been given. With it seemingly being simply pierced through and cooked, he had no idea what kind of meat was used for it.
Anyway, it was stiff and bland, something that couldn’t exactly be described as tasty.
Subaru: [It’s matched pretty evenly with Emilia-tan and Beako’s cooking……]
Rem: [What are you muttering on ab…… ah,]
As Rem glanced over at Subaru, who stated his miscellaneous thoughts about the meal out loud, her eyes suddenly widened. Subaru frowned at her reaction, wondering what was going on.
Her blue eyes were locked onto Subaru’s face. If so, he speculated that the reason for her astonishment belonged to his face, but…
Subaru: [What’s wrong? Wait, don’t say anything sad like, “It’s the first time I looked at your face properly.”]
Rem: [That’s… not it, but…… uhm, your tears……]
Rem: [……Tears… are rolling down your face. Haven’t you realized?]
Subaru’s breath caught in his throat at Rem’s words, who so hesitantly begun to speak. After that, he slowly and timidly touched his own cheek, surprised by the warm droplet that met the tip of his fingers.
It was not a ridiculous lie made up by Rem, it was the truth.
Subaru: [Huh? I’m… crying?]
Rem: [Ye… yes, you’re crying. What’s the matter? Did the injuries on your fingers……?]
Using a hand to wipe away the tears that spilled over his cheeks, Subaru was confused by the waves of emotion churning within him. However, the cause of his tears wasn’t the pain from his broken fingers.
The cause was something more different. Maybe it was because of the calm, quiet moment that he was spending together with Rem.
The situation was far from being settled.
He was separated from Emilia and the others, didn’t know how to get in touch with them, in a land that would drag him through a terrible experience if his background was ever discovered, and he was also in a wretched state, lacking any sort of relationship with the amnesiac Rem. On top of that, he had a Sin Archbishop who was the embodiment of the evils in this world as company, and they were led by Natsuki Subaru, the person who had the complete set of ignorance, incompetence, impotence, and incautiousness.
A single reason for him to be optimistic did not exist. Not a single reason existed, but――,
Subaru: [……We’re talking and eating together, like this. That… made me happy.]
Subaru: [S-sorry, you don’t understand what I’m saying, right? I’m spouting nonsense again. It’s natural for you to think I’m being disgusting…… But, I’m being truthful.]
Giving up on pushing back his tears by shutting his eyes, they continued running down his face as he sniffed, gazing at Rem.
Subaru: [For such a long time, I’ve wanted to spend time with you like this again, peacefully.]
Placing the half-eaten skewer on his lap, Subaru practically squeezed the words out of his throat.
Wiping his flowing tears with a sleeve, the sound of him stifling his running nose echoed inside the silent tent.
For a while, all that was produced in the tent was the awkward noise, but――,
Rem: [……I don’t understand what you’re saying.]
Out of the blue, Rem spoke in a voice that sounded like a brief sigh.
Rubbing away his tears, Subaru held his breath. He also embraced the feeling of embarrassment, thinking Rem’s hardened, icy tone to be a just reaction.
A man she did not know, who had an unlikable scent drifting around him to boot, was bawling his eyes out in front of her. No one would look at him and not think of him as suspicious in that case.
He had damaged Rem’s trust yet again. This time, it was a fatal, irreparable…
Rem: [But, I don’t think I would laugh at you while you weep. I do find it…… eerie, but not to the point of it being disgusting.]
Subaru widened his eyes, lifting his face at the unexpected words.
In front of him, Rem caressed Louis’s head on her lap, her eyes continuing to be turned away from him, her lips trembling as if she was carefully choosing her words.
Rem: [……That’s all. Finish your meal quickly. I’m tired… for today.]
Rem said quickly with her eyes closed, and Subaru’s reaction was belayed as he was momentarily confused about what she was referring to. However, when he realized she had been talking about the half-eaten skewer on his lap, he hurriedly chomped down on it.
Subaru: [Ri-right. Yeah, it’s tasty. Salty and tasty.]
Rem: [It’s salty because of your tears…… My meal doesn’t feel delicious because of your body odour. It’s unfair.]
Subaru: [That’s…… uhh, I will think of a remedial plan, yes.]
Rem’s manner of speaking was chilly, and sharp.
Yet, she hadn’t told him to go away, nor had she told him she didn’t want to eat together. Then all that was left was for Subaru to come up with a different plan.
Otherwise, he wouldn’t be able to keep this leisurely time going.
Subaru: […But, if you’re going to talk about it being “unfair”, then I’ve got something I want to say too.]
Rem: [Something you want to say? What is it? If it’s about your finger…]
Subaru: [――About her. About that girl who’s sleeping all fine and dandy on your lap.]
Subaru jerked a finger at Louis and frowned as she enjoyed her lap pillow from Rem. Seeing that, Rem narrowed her eyes, as if she were saying “There you go again.”
However, Subaru was trying to convey a different point to what he had repeated up till now.
Subaru: [Rem, you keep mentioning my body odour… I don’t really like the way you’ve been putting it mind you, but she must smell like me too. Yet you’re ignoring that?]
The lingering scent of the Witch grew stronger each time he Returned by Death.
But, if that was something that came to having some affinity with the Witch ― in it being related to the Witch Factors ― then naturally the Sin Archbishop Louis should possess the same stench wafting off her.
Thinking back to Rem’s rage-filled reaction to those of the Witch Cult, that should have been a certainty…
Rem: […? What are you talking about? Don’t lump this girl together with you.]
Rem: [You know, she doesn’t smell anything like you. Please don’t act so desperate, spouting out such ridiculous things.]
However, the response Rem gave to Subaru’s previous words was rather unexpected.
He reflexively stared back at Rem, but he couldn’t see anything strange about her expression. She did not seem to be lying, nor did it seem like she was trying to deceive Subaru.
Meaning that she truly did not sense the lingering scent of the Witch, the miasma, from Louis.
Subaru: [It couldn’t be that she can mask her miasma, right? No way, but for what purpose?]
From all that he’d experienced until now, there’d only been a scarce few who could sense the miasma, otherwise known as the lingering scent of the Witch. Rem aside, who had reacted the most to it, a severely limited number of people had shown a reaction to it, such as Beatrice and Ryuzu.
And besides, he didn’t think that Witch Cultists even thought of concealing that sort of stuff.
Those people were Apostles of Treason who infringed on the world as if they owned the damn place. And yet… 
Rem: [Is that quite enough? If you’re done eating, I’d like to get ready for bed soon, since it looks like this girl wants to hit the hay too…]
Subaru: [Oh, Uhm… Well, are you for sure about what you said before?]
Rem: [How insolent.]
Rem flat out shut Subaru’s question down.
However, it looked like her attitude was proving all the more that what she was feeling was no lie.
Subaru: […You can’t sense any miasma from Louis?]
Subaru didn’t really know what significance that had.
Though, all he felt a horrible sensation, like something awfully eerie was going on, like something that would bode poorly for him.
Rem: [Sorry, but could you put your bowl away? I’ll prepare the beds.]
Subaru: [Oh, yeah, sure. Like, I’m not gonna get up to no good, so no need to worry.]
Rem: [――. That makes me all the more uneasy.]
With her saying that rather stiffly, Subaru dejectedly slinked out of the tent to put away the bowl housing the skewer he’d just finished eating.
Campfire lights were visible in the dead of the night, dotted around various places of the encampment. No one from Subaru’s group had been ordered to do so, but there would likely be some people keeping watch as the night went by.
Preparing for war was tough, albeit he only knew about this from manga and games.
Subaru: […I’d like to get away from here as soon as possible.]
Todd was a nice guy, but even so, it didn’t look like Subaru was ever going to get used to the atmosphere of the battlefield.
He needed to get out of here as soon as possible and find a way to meet back up with Emilia and the others.
That was what Subaru decided. And as he firmly clutched his bowl, he noticed something.
Subaru: […Huh, my fingers aren’t hurting. No way, did the medicine already do its trick?]
He’d clutched the bowl tightly with the fingers of his left hand without even realising. He looked down at them, surprised at how effective the medicine was.
They still felt uncomfortable. But the numbing heat he felt going through them served as proof that his left hand was starting to work properly.
Subaru: [He chatted so much crap about Healing Magic, but doesn’t medicine also more than do the trick…]
Subaru gave his left hand a small shake as he thought back on what Todd had said, before continuing on his way.
He had so many things that he needed to think about. Regarding Rem, Louis and himself.
Though there were so many, he would improve each one; one by one.
A lone silhouette watched Subaru as he left the tent and slowly walked off.
The man, who had an eyepatch covering one of his eyes, narrowed his remaining eye and let out a tch towards the back of the figure who was walking away all lackadaisical.
???: [He has the damn nerve to strut around like that. Such bullshit.]
Those words he muttered.
 – As indicated by the underline, Subaru said the word in Engrish.
 – はなまる (Hanamaru) = A simple drawing of a flower that gets awarded to students (mostly elementary schoolers) who did well on their tests. It also symbolizes “outstanding” and “success in exams”.
 – QED = An abbreviation of a Latin phrase, quod erat demonstrandum. It’s placed at the end of a proof or other papers relating to it to demonstrate that it’s done and over with, meaning “thus it has been demonstrated”.
 – The original says 大逆の使途たち which, at least to me, doesn’t make sense. It feels like this is a typo for 大逆の使徒たち, which means “Apostles of Treason”, since both are written as しと. Tappei probably selected the wrong word from his trusty IME.