Arc 7, Chapter 64 – “Magic Words”

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This an edited Machine Translation, which has been checked by at least one Japanese-English Human Translator for quality. This is expected to have a quality dip in accuracy, therefore, if you read this chapter you must take into consideration the tradeoffs between speed and quality. A proper, higher-quality translation for this chapter is in the works by our team, so if you would prefer to wait for it, then feel free to check back at a later date, keeping an eye out on our social media for updates.

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——An abominable technique left behind by the Vicious Old Man Olbart Dunkelkenn.

By meddling with the Od of others, the Shinobi’s secret infantilization technique could remarkably reverse the growth of one’s body.

All living beings are nothing more than containers for that which comes into existence from nothingness, the Od. Depending on the shape of the Od, the size and form of the container will vary accordingly.

Therefore, all living creatures take on different appearances, and establish themselves as unique life forms.

If this theory was correct, that the body only served as a container for the Od, then by altering the shape of one’s Od, the form of its container could be altered freely.

By compressing one’s Od, then the body, serving as the container, could also be shrunk——.

???: [Well, ta tell ya the truth, I’m not sure how the Shinobi ancestors came up with those ideas. In the first place, not knowing the methods ta train yer body ta the brink of death, nor how ta ascertain that limit, must’ve been scary, huh?]

???: [And so, that’s what a Shinobi is. When the time of trying to become one comes, you’re on the path of Shura, not ta mention that the tale becomes one of constantly walking over a mountain of corpses, ya see.]

???: [There are lotsa techniques, but if ya don’t test them with yer own life, ya can’t leave them behind in a book of secrets ya know? My secret technique… is just one among several dozen, but even so it’s no exception.]

???: [But, it’s amusing that the direct result and the effects have deviated so much, ya know. I was sure they would just shrink ya know, but it goes as far as ta completely restore the brain ta its youthful state.]

???: [Unfortunately, I don’t really understand the logic either. Well, it’s cause the Od is forcibly tampered with. Just as yer body shrinks ta fit yer Od, yer mind would also probably shrink ta fit yer Od, right?]

???: [Well, it’s a technique I don’t use very often, cause I usually hafta kill the person I’m using it on, so I’ve never bothered ta find out the reason why. In fact, it’s easier ta kill someone if not only their body but also the contents of their head shrink, so it’s a perfect solution ya know?]

???: [Although, you’ll sometimes get guys who’ve already got some serious resolve in them, from the time they were kids! Ya can’t expect that trick ta work on those kinds of guys even if the stuff in their head’s shrunk. ——Ah, and]

???: [————]

???” […Oh, it’s nothing. Anyway, I’m fond of it since it’s one of the more amusing Shinobi techniques, ya know? It’s easier to deal with a weak enemy, isn’t it?]

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――Anger, anger simmered up in Subaru, scorching his soul.

There was fear. There was also tension. Furthermore, there was also uneasiness.

He thought that of all the negative emotions one could think of, he probably possessed them all.

But, all of those negative emotions burned away, without exception, burning though every carefully folded and wrapped thing until there was nothing left, his blazing anger surged up.

Lizard-Man: [Shit, damn it, why am I in this mess……?!]

Shut up, idiot. No one will listen to your whining.

Rust-Haired Man: [I told you. I used to be a soldier. I can use it better than you can.]

Shut up, idiot. That’s a lie and you’re just trying to show off, it’s been obvious for a long time already.

Weitz: [I told ya. I ain’t putting my life in someone else’s hands…]

Shut up, idiot. Like hell you can survive this alone. Look around yourself a little more.

――Yes, look around you, do so properly, at everything that you can put to use.

Subaru: [Weitz, take this! It aims for the one who has the sword!]

The moment he grabbed the sword, a roar reverberated through the gladiatorial arena as the black lion broke out into a ferocious charge.

He already knew that it was aiming for him―― No, at the prey that wielded the sword. So, grasping the sword he had pulled out, he tossed it towards Weitz, who was standing upright.

At the outset, Subaru ran ahead breaking out into a sprint, and the three members of his team froze in surprise.

Of the three who froze, the one to properly receive the sword that Subaru had thrown over, was the tattooed man―― Weitz, the only one to come to their senses in these last moments.

Weitza: [K-kid…!]

Seeing the spinning sword lodge itself underneath his foot, Weitz immediately grabbed it by the hilt.

However, he had properly listened to Subaru’s voice, so he quickly understood that rather than being the key to defeat the lion, the sword was more of a flag to change it’s target.

The problem was――,

Rust-Haired Man: [G-give me that sword! I’ll take that Gladiator Beast and…!]

Subsequently coming to his senses, the rust-haired man tried to snatch the sword Weitz had secured from the side.

His mind riddled by tension and fear, the rust-haired man’s judgement was beyond repair. If this continued and became a scuffle over the sword, the two of them would fall prey to the lion’s paws together.

For that reason, he had to prevent that before it could happen.

Subaru: [Hiain! Behind you!]

Hiain: [B-behind me…!?]

Just before the rust-haired man grabbed onto Weitz, Subaru called out the name of the unaware Lizard-man―― Hiain, convincing him that he was cornered by the imminent danger behind him.

Being the most timid among the three, he turned around in panic at Subaru’s voice to ascertain what was about to attack him.

But, there was nothing there. Subaru just wanted him to turn around.

With his body stiffening in fear, Hiain turned around and――,

Rust-Haired Man: [Guh!]

Instinctively extending his tail, Hiain struck the rust-haired man’s flank from the side. The rust-haired man was sent rolling at the unexpected obstruction, allowing Weitz to snatch away the sword.

Then, the Lion came flying to Weitz, who was properly standing on guard, having changed its target from Subaru to him.

Subaru: [Get down!]

Weitz: [Tch!]

Hearing Subaru’s voice, Weitz crouched down as the lion’s fangs bore down on the air right above him. Weitz’ tattooed face contorted into a grimace as he dove underneath the lion’s belly, releasing the sword before the next attack could come.

With a plop, the lightly thrown sword landed on Hiain’s chest, who instinctively grabbed it.

Hiain: [Huh]

Gladiator Beast: [――――AROOOO]

Hiain: [Ah, AHHHHHHHHHHH――hk!]

Naturally, the aim of the lion’s attack turned toward Hiain, who was reacting poorly.

As if he didn’t fully understand the situation, Hiain turned his back to the lion with the sword held in his arms, and with his surprisingly fast sprinting speed, he immediately distanced himself from the lion.

The lion relentlessly chased him down, and proceeded to unleash an onslaught.

Subaru: [While that’s happening, I’ll…!]

While Weitz and Hiain were somehow managing, Subaru ran alongside the wall of the gladiatorial arena. What lay ahead of his gaze was a small handle installed in the wall―― something akin to a lever.

At first glance, his eyes were drawn to the two swords, one large and one small, lodged in the ground of the gladiatorial arena, but upon closer inspection, he noticed that such a lever was inconspicuously installed on the wall.

Subaru: [If I pull this, what will happen!]

The lever was a little too high for the child Subaru, so he jumped up and pulled down the handle. Putting his weight on it, he forcibly lowered the lever, and a heavy sound reverberated.

Gears were interlocking, and the sensation of something beginning to rattle and move sent a tremor from under his feet. It was the sensation of something mechanical being put into operation directly beneath the gladiatorial arena.

With this, the situation had changed, and Subaru looked back at the circumstances of the gladiatorial arena,

Subaru: [U, Uwaaa――!]

The next moment, making a sound as it split the gladiatorial arena in two, an iron fence rose up from the ground.

It was a wall that had been raised and precisely divided the circular gladiatorial arena into two semicircles, and if they used it properly, it was possible to drive the lion away to the other side.

However――,

Gladiator Beast: [――――AROOOO]

This time, he failed because he drove the lion in the wrong direction.

The lion was on his side of the raised fence, so the fence only narrowed Subaru’s room to escape. With the hunting ground becoming smaller, it felt as if the lion’s body had doubled in size, and the remains of what used to be Hiain were caught in its blood-stained mouth.

Rust-Haired Man: [Gghhhh!]

Furthermore, at the lion’s feet was the rust-haired man who cried out in pain as he was lying down.

It seemed that he had been right above the fence when it was raised. Because of that, he was sent flying, and in a stroke of bad luck, fell on the side where the lion and Subaru were.

In contrast, an uninjured Weitz was dumbfounded on the other side of the fence.

Rust-Haired Man: [S-Sto…!]

Raising its paw overhead, it then trampled on the rust-haired man that had collapsed on the ground, mercilessly fracturing his head.

A sound similar to that of ice being smashed rang out, and the rust-haired man’s screams were cut off there. The lion, unable to climb over the fence behind it, turned its gaze towards Subaru.

The way it slightly stooped down made his skin crawl as it charged at him.

The sword was on the other side of the fence with Weitz, but it seemed that if the attack could not reach it, the lion did not consider it as dangerous.

That is why, it then ferociously charged at Subaru.

Weitz: [Schwartz!!]

Weitz called out. At these critical moments, Weitz called Subaru’s name every time.

Of course, that was only at the times where he didn’t die before him.

While also keeping that at the back of his memories――,

Subaru: [――Next!]

The Gladiator Beast’s sharp claws pierced Subaru’s chest as he howled that out.

In less than a second, together with the impact that felt like being struck by lightning, Subaru’s body was blown in half, and his consciousness went white――.

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Subaru: [Idra! The fence won’t hold any longer! How’s the sword over there?]

Idra: [I can’t pull it out! It’s too heavy! There’s no way I can move it!]

Suffering the powerful ramming attacks, the iron fence was being tremendously warped, and the lion was thrusting it’s body over to their side.

He had heard that even for humans, as long as their heads could pass through, they would be able to pass through most narrow spaces. Even though its form was considerably different, if it were the Gladiator Beast, with its feline face, it may be able to get through even more easily.

Behind Subaru, who was gnawing his molars in alarm, the rust-haired man―― Idra, was desperately trying to pull out the large sword lodged in the ground, but it would not move an inch.

The lever to raise the fence and the two swords of large and small. What he had found after thoroughly searching, were just those two types of gimmicks. The rest would be a true contest of ability.

Idra: [Boy! What should we do!?]

Subaru: [Don’t be frightened! You’re the heir of your noble father, aren’t you!?]

Idra: [――Hk, th-that’s right! I’m, not gonna chicken out!]

Panic ran through Idra’s voice, but Subaru’s words brought strength back into his eyes.

Idra was no soldier. He had drifted onto Gladiator Island like this because he became unable to repay his debts and was thus reduced to the status of a slave.

But, the reason behind his debt, was to protect the family business he inherited from his father.

Even though Idra was not a soldier, thinking that he didn’t want to be a man who would bring shame to his father were his true feelings.

Idra: [RHAAAAAAAA!!]

The untalented son of a miller, applying his weight, leaned to uproot the large sword. Subaru too, rushed to Idra’s side, and applied his weight to the large sword in a similar way.

The lion was coming at them from the other side of the fence, and behind it lay the corpses of Weitz and Hiain, both of whom had already been killed.

Now, there was hardly a chance of anything like winning. ――Even so, Idra did not abandon Subaru and run away. This was the first occurrence of that.

Gladiator Beast: [――――AROOOO!!]

Subaru: [Idra, it’s coming!]

Idra: [I know!]

There was a violent sound of the iron fence creaking, followed by the lion finally coming over to their side.

Even if the broken fence wounded the lion’s skin, which was covered with black fur, it did not show the least bit of pain. Rather, blaming the pain on them, its eagerness fired up as it charged at them.

Idra: [Ugh…… hk!]

Idra somehow managed to get the tip of the large sword out of the ground, and through sheer force carried it on his shoulder. Subaru put his hands on the tip of the sword from below, and used the principle of leverage to help Idra out a bit, who was trying to swing the sword.

If Subaru pushed up the tip of the sword from below, the sword should be a little lighter to swing.

If that sword hit the lion properly――,

Subaru: [GOOOOOO――!!]

Idra: [RHAAAAAA――!!!!]

Subaru and Idra joined forces to swing the sword at the lion’s face as it lunged at them.

The large sword, swung with the force of a shoulder throw above Idra’s shoulder, firmly aimed at the lion’s head with miraculous timing.

But――,

Idra: [――oh.]

The obvioust strike was mercilessly repelled by Gladiator Beast’s claws, and Subaru and Idra, who were hit with the same force of that ramming attack, were blown away at once.

Then, the two struggled mid-air as they slammed into the walls of the gladiatorial arena together, becoming one.

Idra: [Buh.]

Indistinguishable from each other, the blood from the two was spread out and stained the walls――.

Subaru: […Ne, xt]

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――Anger, anger simmered up in Subaru, scorching his soul.

Weitz: [I was desperate for food, so I stole… If I let them think I was a dangerous person, surprisingly, I could avoid deadly situations.]

Weitz said this as he stroked his skin, which was so filled with tattoos that there was no spot left uncovered.

It seemed like he was apologizing for giving a false impression, but Subaru thought it was proof that Weitz had opened up to him in his final moments.

Hiain: [You guys are also gonna use me as bait to escape anyway! I’m… I’m not gonna be used anymore! Like hell am I gonna be used!]

While abjectly avoiding eye contact, Hiain said this as if he were wailing.

He had the ability to run and hide by changing the color of his scales, it seems that was surely known even among his own people. He had said that he had always been given the most dangerous roles, and in the end, he wilfully became the decoy and got enslaved.

That timidity was instilled in him by his surroundings. Hiain was not at fault.

Idra: [The people I trusted deceived me, stole my family’s business away from me, and in the end, I became a slave. If living honestly only makes me look like a fool, at least I’ll be the last one standing…!]

Biting his lip in frustration and embarrassment, Idra sobbed those words out..

Unaccustomed to telling lies, he could not stick it through to the very end. In the first place, ever since he was brought to the Gladiator Island, he had been introducing himself as a soldier; It was a lie without much thought put into the consequences.

It would be exposed later, anyway. Sure enough, Subaru found out right away. Though it was the result of having cheated.

――Cooperating with a coward, a scaredy-cat, and a fraud, he would survive this Sparka.

Subaru: [Next…!] [Next time!] [Next!!] [Next time for sure!] [I’ll do it next…hk] [Next is…!] [I can do it next…!] [Next!] [Next is…] [――Definitely next] [Neeext――!!]

The contradictions of accumulating Deaths in order to survive were piling up on top of each other.

It hurts, it’s difficult, it’s scary, it’s tough, I want to stop, I want to cry, I want to shout, I want to howl, I want to grieve, I want to scream, I want to resign, I want to refuse, I want to lament, I want to give up, I will not give up.

He was nipping off the possibilities.

Out of those endless possibilities, crushing the paths which lead to dead ends, crushing them, crushing them crushing them crushing them.

He would twist his small body into the unknown path, ahead of the ones he was crushing.

Weitz would, Hiain would, Idra would die.

Of course, Subaru would die just as many times, but he still raised his head, and would move forward.

Cecilus: [Basu, is there anything you want me to tell your sleeping companion?]

Subaru: [――Next!!]

Natsuki Subaru yelled back at the inconsiderate voice, and though his entire body was bathed in Death from the assailing claws, Natsuki Subaru still refused to give up.

Because, because, because――,

Subaru: [I won’t lose]

――Because he didn’t feel like losing in the slightest.

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???: [Oh? Just now, were ya hesitating ta say something? Jeez, you’re a clever fella, aren’t ya?]

???: [Oh that, I told ya about the guy who was troublesome even when he got shrunk, didn’t I? Even if the mind shrinks, the effect will only be half as effective for those who got an unchanged resolve from before. Of course, guys like that’ll also get their body shrunk, so they’ll also become seriously easier ta kill, ya know.]

???: [――Although, let’s imagine here. Supposing there was a guy whose body and mind were instead both perfect from when they were little, what do ya think would happen if ya were ta apply this technique onta that guy?]

???: [Ahh, I know, I know. I also don’t think there’s a guy like that in the slightest, ya see. But ya know, I’m an incredibly pessimistic old man. I’ve always imagined the worst, so I can harass my opponents in the worst possible ways. Am I right?]

???: [That’s what I think is the worst possible scenario against this technique. When the guy gets more dangerous when shrunk, that’s really darn frightening.]

???: [It isn’t limited ta just me, but getting older means ya gotta give things up and compromise, ya see. What if those things were ta disappear from a guy like that?]

???: [――Scary as can be, right?]

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Subaru: [Next]

――That outcome, it was way too ironic.

The Vicious Old Man Olbart Dunkelkenn’s technique, and the harm of Infantilization it brought about, transformed Natsuki Subaru’s body into that of a child, and regressed what little intelligence he already had.

Gradually losing both his knowledge and memories, Subaru was reshaped into a weak and frail young boy.

Both the physical and the mental, taking away those threats was the purpose of that technique.

For the Shinobi, who would utilize all means possible to accomplish their objective, it could be said that secret art was a rather fitting secret technique.

The truth was, as his memories faded as if flaking away from him, the faces of those important to Subaru grew distant.

Thus, befitting of Natsuki Subaru’s outward appearance, he had returned to being a young child of around ten years old.

Around ten years old―― before, to the times when Natsuki Subaru was a “Child Prodigy”.

Subaru: [Next]

Before, Natsuki Subaru had been a “Child Prodigy”.

Actually, that he was an existence overflowing with talent to the point of being called a child prodigy, was not that important. The important thing was, it was none other than Subaru himself who possessed that level of self-esteem.

When Natsuki Subaru was a young child, he overflowed with confidence, and held no doubt in his belief that he could accomplish anything.

Drawing in the children around him, his belief that he could reach that starry sky was unceasing.

Subaru: [Next]

In accordance with his growth, his self-esteem wore down in the face of reality, and ended up being lost.

No matter what he did, his number one truth had been erased, and what remained under Subaru were not feelings of almightiness, but rather feelings of uneasiness and powerlessness, and those shining stars were concealed by an overcast sky.

Together with the growth of his stature, Natsuki Subaru had lost his confidence.

Subaru: [Next]

It was definitely on the day he was sent to another world, that was the moment Subaru‘s self-esteem was at its lowest.

After that, his encounters, his experiences, his conversations, and his actions, gradually wrapped Natsuki Subaru with new desires, and had also led him to the assessment that his own perseverance was not a bad thing.

And yet, he was still insufficient, and his heart still lamented so.

Subaru: [Next]

The things that Natsuki Subaru had gained through growth, the things he had lost with growth, had all vanished.

Together with their body turning younger, they would also regress mentally, so the person was supposed to become weaker. Physically, that was the case for Subaru. He became weak. ――However, what about mentally?

Subaru: [Next]

Before, Natsuki Subaru had been a “Child Prodigy”.

He never knew defeat, he never knew how to give up, even when his dreams did not come true, even when he did his best but couldn’t reach, even when he mourned his own inadequacy, even when he lamented a dead end, even when he sulkily withdrew, he never knew it.

From just being insensitive, to being flat out reckless, he firmly believed he could accomplish anything.

He recklessly believed he was the ruler at the center of the world, that was the kind of boy he was.

Then, those magic words that sustained Natsuki Subaru’s sense of self――,

[――After all, you’re definitely his kid]

The unlimited power pouring from those words freed the heart of the young Natsuki Subaru from its shackles.

More than it was scary, it was revolting. More than it was painful, it was vexing. More than he wanted to cry, he wanted to smile.

In a country he hated, joining forces with comrades he had little emotional attachment to, in order to return to the place where the girl he likes and his friends should be waiting for him, just what point was there in hesitating?

Therefore, this time, because he had been summoned to another world――,

Subaru: [Next]

――As the strongest existence, Natsuki Subaru will trample upon Ginunhive.

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Everyone: [――――]

Everyone was left speechless.

From the get-go, the gladiators were under strict orders from the island’s governor, Gustav Morello, to witness the battle of Sparka quietly.

That is why, it could be said that it was inevitable that some sort of odd silence would envelop the gladiatorial arena.

However, this time the silence and stillness were not simply because Gustav had proclaimed so.

Even if Gustav had not given those instructions, no one would have been able to say anything. That bloodcurdling scene had overwhelmed them to such an extent.

Subaru: [Weitz! Idra! Scatter to the left and right! Hiain, I know that you’re scared, but don’t run! Pick up the sword, draw its attention, and then throw it!]

Ferociously roaring, the Guiltilaw Gladiator Beast fiercely leapt around the gladiatorial arena.

Its horns broken off, the beast that had been trained for use in Sparka, had lost its bestial obstinancy, and in its place, the level of threat the humans known as gladiators posed had been thoroughly drilled into it.

That is why, it took the initiative to target opponents with weapons and eliminates them, since they were dangerous existences.

Only, since it had the bad habit of relentlessly following this devotion, one could imagine that the members of a Unit would be able to scatter its attention by passing the weapon between each other.

Although, it was not uncommon for Units to fail to recognize this at first sight, and consequently suffer total annihilation.

It could be said that when one was able to recognize this, a certain level of excellence was guaranteed.

But even so, the scene this time was extraordinary.

Cecilus: [Hahaha! Amazing, amazing! You’re really doing your best, aren’t you Basu!]

Among everyone who had lost their voice, there was only one boy clapping his hands, welcoming the sight before him with a warm reception.

His long blue hair tied behind his head, he was a person that had his charming face adorned with a smile. Seemingly showing indifference to Gustav’s commands, the boy cheered on the Unit that was fighting bravely in the gladiatorial arena.

Whether that cheering had any effect was unclear, but while dodging the Gladiator Beast’s onslaught by a hair’s breadth, the four men challenging the Sparka continued to fight desperately.

With no decisive blows, the progress of the death match was, to an extent, boring.

However, one point was that even if it seemed like they were going to die, they did not forfeit their lives, and the other point was they were being supported by the continuous voice of the young boy; these two points made it unthinkable that the death match was boring.

Following the boy’s directions, the three men that continued to move were also desperate.

That was only natural, but they had the freedom to ignore the boy’s instructions. However, the boy’s instructions had now saved their lives from the Gladiator Beast many times, so that freedom had been sealed.

Like that, with the young boy at their center, it was as if their Unit was a single living being with perfect coordination.

That which had become a solely defensive battle, was it caused by their hopeless gap in fighting power, or perhaps――.

Everyone: [――Just what, are you aiming for?]

In the hearts of all the gladiators overlooking the battle, the same burning anticipation began to dwell.

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――Anger, anger simmered up in Subaru, scorching his soul.

With Deaths piling up, and the pain and fear compounding with it, his arms, legs, and internal organs were all cowering. If he shut his eyes, on the back of his eyelids, the face, the fangs, and the inside of the mouth of the lion he had seen up close so many times would come to mind.

An unfathomable fear manifested. Though, while seething, together did it come. ――Anger did.

Those vexing thoughts, invigorating his cowering viscera and limbs, Natsuki Subaru opened his eyes.

Those attempts which he had already gotten sick of counting, were all for the sake of snatching even just one step closer to victory.

That he had not the slightest intention of losing, for the sake of proving that to himself.

Subaru: [Hiain! Throw the sword to Weitz, then head to Idra!]

Hiain: [Shit! I got no idea what’s happening!]

Furiously running on all fours over the ground, Hiain tossed the sword he was holding over to Weitz. As it was, he was accelerating himself to unite with Idra at the large sword.

Weitz narrowly caught the sword, which was whirling around and spinning in the air, and as Subaru tried to direct their next course of escape, his eyes widened in astonishment.

Gladiator Beast: [――――AROOOO]

The roaring lion, having chased the fleeing Hiain until just a moment ago, had its legs halted at the other half of the circular gladiatorial arena.

Meanwhile, rather than being positioned in the other half of the circle, they were all right before him.

Everyone was still alive, and on top of that, this was the first time they had gotten to such an ideal position.

Subaru: [Weitz, get ready! Idra and Hiain too!]

With vigour akin to blood hurling out of the throat, Subaru threw their roles at the three of them.

Though that may not have been enough to get everything across, Weitz readied his sword and faced the lion, and Idra and Hiain hurriedly jumped to the large sword.

Then Subaru, too, clumsily ran with all of his might, heading towards the wall.

Gladiator Beast: [――――AROOOO!!]

One step, two steps; During his frustratingly slow-feeling speed, the lion howled from behind them.

As it was, the lion kicked off the ground with an explosion-like force and charged toward Weitz, who had his sword at the ready.

Straight at him, with no pause, Weitz was holding his sword at the ready, but if he were to collide with that force, nothing would be able to stop it. One hit and he would die. He was well aware of this.

However, it was certain that only Weitz had the courage to face-off with the lion until the very last minute.

Weitz: [Uu, RAHHHHH――!]

The foul reeking mouth letting breaths escape, the mouth embellished with sword-like fangs, the mouth that masticated Subaru and the other three countless times, was charging right at the one readied with a sword, Weitz.

That was, right before it could take the life of Weitz――,

Subaru: [――GOOO!!]

The moment his fingertips were on it, Subaru used all of his light body weight to pull down the lever.

Immediately after, the sound of gears turning came from beneath their feet, and the iron fence that thrust upwards struck the lion’s face from directly below. Crashing into its jaw, the lion’s gaping mouth was forcibly shut.

The force of that charge slamming into the iron fence, Weitz, who had drawn the enemy until the very last second, with a “Woah!?” exclaimed his surprise at the shockwave and was blown away.

The iron fence was squashed by the impact, and the lion’s head emerged from the bent part of the fence. The lion, which had received a severe blow to the face, scraped the ground with its front paws, and after somehow having stood back up, it seemed to be trying to break through the fence.

――But, he wouldn’t let it do that.

Subaru: [Idra! Hiain!]

Hiain: [Uu, AHHHHHhh――hk!]

Idra: [RAAhhhh!!]

In place of Weitz, who had just been blown away, Idra and Hiain rushed over to the iron fence. Clasped in the hands of the two, was a very unwieldy large sword.

It was a weapon that not a single one of them could use properly, however, there was no rule that they must use it alone.

There was also no rule that they couldn’t use two people to lift it up and swing it down on an opponent that was unable to move.

Gladiator Beast: [――――AROOOO]

With all their might, the two-man large sword swing fell from directly overhead onto the lion’s neck, which was protruding from the iron fence. As the large sword pierced the beast’s thick neck, the lion’s shrieks echoed into the sky.

Blood spurted out, and as if rejecting death, the lion violently struggled.

Hiain: [Die, diediediediiiiiieeeeeee!!]

Idra: [Please let it end――!!]

Hiain and Idra applied their weight onto the large sword as they bawled, and the blade was buried deeper in its neck. If they continued and beheaded the lion, the moment of their long-awaited victory would come.

Over and over again, those claws and fangs killed him and killed him and killed him――.

Gladiator Beast: [――――AROOOO!]

Hiain: [Gah!?]

Subaru: [Guys!?]

They were just one step away, however, just like them, the lion didn’t want to die.

With the large sword lodged in its neck, the lion forcefully twisted its body and pulled his right paw to this side of the fence. That paw swept away the bodies of the two men grasping the large sword.

He saw Hiain and Idra violently tumbling along the ground, raising cries of pain.

There was no telling just how deep the wounds that they sustained were.

However, more so than rushing over to the two who had collapsed, jumping to that large sword was important.

Subaru: [As if I would let you go!]

Not wanting to let it get away after coming this far, Subaru jumped to the hilt of the large sword. But, he was too light. Taking the place of both Hiain and Idra’s body weight, the current Subaru was far too light.

The large sword dug a little deeper, but as if returning the favor, a paw swung back at him.

Just like the two before him, Subaru was also struck by its paw――,

Weitz: [Don’t think, I’ll just let you, you beast… hk!]

Its front paw was skewered into the ground by the downward swing of a sword.

The one who thrust the sword was the one who should have been blown away by the charge. With all of his might, Weitz, teeth clenched and face tattoos distorted, used the sword to pin the lion’s paw.

And then――,

Idra: [Lying down here, just how can I call myself a soldier!]

Hiain: [Just die already, you shithead!]

Having gotten back up, Hiain and Idra leapt onto the large sword Subaru was dangling from.

With the strength of three―― two and a half men, the large sword bore deeper into the lion’s neck. With Weitz also keeping the front paw firmly pinned down, the four members of the Unit joined forces to lop off the lion’s head.

Howling, the lion greatly writhed in pain, and the iron fence violently creaked.

No more chances would come around. He could not lose, he did not want to lose, he must not lose, gritting his teeth, Subaru desperately clung to the large sword.

And yet still――,

Gladiator Beast: [――――AROOOO]

Subaru: [UuAhhhh――hk!!]

Shaking its head with all its strength, the lion’s huge body swept Subaru and his comrades away.

Tearing away the bodies clinging to the large sword, the three of them―― no, including Weitz, all four of them sluggishly tumbled to the ground.

Quite literally, due to exhausting his desperate efforts, he had no strength left in his limbs.

Subaru: [I, have to get…]

He had to get up, he had to jump to that large sword once again and cut off its head.

Despite these thoughts, his body did not listen to what he was saying. It seemed that not only Subaru, but the other three were also in the same situation.

Even after all this, the lion was still the most vigorous of them.

Gladiator Beast: [――――AROOOO]

With the sword lodged about halfway into his neck, the lion groaned in a low voice.

Rather than weak, it was a voice that sounded like its stockpiled rage had reached its limit. Of course, it should have been effective, but it didn’t exhaust its strength.

Subaru: [Darn it… hk]

Even after trying, and trying and trying, and finally being just one step away from reaching it.

Still, he couldn’t reach it. Even though he used everything he could think of, and reached this far.

That is why, next time, I won’t lose.

Subaru: [Next, time…]

He would definitely arrive at this same place and scene more quickly, Subaru firmly vowed so.

Oblivious to his vow, the lion slipped through the iron fence, raising its unharmed paw towards Subaru and――,

???: [――Excuse me.]

The next moment, the lion’s thick neck was chopped in one swift motion.

Subaru: [Oh?]

Facing death, Subaru stared in wonder at the death of not him, but his opponent.

With its decapitated head falling to the ground with a thud, the lion’s body slowly fell sideways. Responsible for that was the large sword that had been deeply lodged in the lion’s neck.

Like a surprise attack, a small figure fell from the sky, and stepped on the large sword, pushing it in.

Because of that, the lion had been decapitated.

And, the one who did that was――,

???: […Um, why am I in such a place]

And, a face that usually showed little emotion, the girl―― Tanza, had an obvious worried expression.

At the girl, who had removed her kimono, and was clad only in hadajuban, Subaru let out a soft breath. [1]

He was unable to respond in any way. However, when Subaru turned his head and looked back, the three others also seemed to have narrowly survived without dying.

In other words――,

Gustav: [――That is enough! You have done well to survive Sparka! By my jurisdiction as the official, I accept you all as a members of the Gladiator Island!]

A loud, booming voice resounded from high above, and Gustav’s declaration marked the end of the fight.

Immediately, having quietly watched over the battle until now, the spectators―― no, the gladiators stood up and all at once raised their voices in praise of Subaru and his comrades’ victory.

???: [Well done!]

???: [That was a huge feat!]

???: [Ya sure got it in ya, little one!]

As the voices of the excited men rained down, Gustav crossed his four arms and said nothing.

Hearing the cheers of the crowd, Subaru threw himself to the ground with a thud. Tanza, approaching with trepidation, peeked down at Subaru’s face.

Tanza: [Pardon me, you are…]

Subaru: [Natsuki Schwartz]

Tanza: [Huh?]

Seeing the round eyes on Tanza’s surprised face become even more rounded, while lying down, Subaru let out a long, long breath, and continued.

Subaru: [First of all, I’m Natsuki Schwartz, so it’s nice to meet you. There’s a lot I wanna talk about, but…]

Tanza: [Yes, but?]

Subaru: […I want you to let me rest, just for a bit]

He felt bad for Tanza, who tilted her head, but Subaru had reached his limit.

Cutting the strained thread of tension, the heat that had been seething in his soul also fizzled out. Of course, his hate for this situation was still left smoldering within him.

Nevertheless, he had somehow managed to survive Sparka.

Subaru: [So please… let me sleep for a bit.]

With that, as if falling straight down into a pit, Subaru’s consciousness slipped away.

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FZVRaDyUcAAR2sn?format=jpg&name=large

△▼△▼△▼△

Gustav: [――――]

Looking down, Gustav narrowed his eyes at the boy who had lost consciousness while sprawled out on the gladiatorial arena below.

It could be said that it was an incredible battle with an unexpected outcome.

He would have never thought that the boy had such natural ability.

Cecilus: [Wellll, that was amazing, wasn’t it, Gustav-san. Picking Basu was bang on the money. It’s great that you kept him instead of throwing him away! Isn’t this a glorious achievement for me?!]

Gustav: […Segmunt.]

As Gustav was lost in his thoughts, Cecilus came over and relaxedly talked to him.

At the boy’s words, whose hands were crossed behind his head, Gustav rubbed his forehead and brow with his two right arms.

Gustav: [There was some truth in your proclamation. Is this what you had been anticipating?]

Cecilus: [I had my expectations, you know? I thought it would be nice if this happened and it did. It’s exactly the feeling where what you believe in is what saves you!]

Gustav: […Such an uncertain possibility, and you would stake your own life on that.]

Cecilus: [――? Yes, I did, so what?]

Tilting his head, Cecilus made a curious face.

It was an attitude as though he was wondering if he had said something strange.

If the two people who he had pulled up―― Schwartz and Tanza, could not be put to use, he would take responsibility for their lives, and pay with his own; he acted as if he had never even asserted that.

Cecilus: [Actually, it wasn’t a big deal, was it? It was a very generous offer from my perspective. I’m not the kind of person who would succumb to idleness in a place like this!]

Gustav: [I am unable to comprehend your logic in my capacity. And aside from that, what did you do in that final moment?]

Gustav questioned Cecilus, who had puffed up his thin chest in pride while smiling.

In that final moment, in the midst of the Sparka that he had even staked his life on, only once, and only for a short amount of time, did Cecilus disappear.

Given what happened after that, one could roughly imagine that――,

Gustav: [Did you go to wake the girl?]

Cecilus: [Oh dear, if you know the answer you don’t have to ask me. In the first place, since there are five people per Unit, if that girl didn’t wake up they would have to do it while lacking in people; it was Gustav-san who said that you know. That means that if she had instead woken up, she could join in anytime, right?]

With one eye closed, Cecilus looked up at Gustav, who had a difference in height, and gave an “Or”,

Cecilus: [Do you want to withdraw that now? Saying that this Sparka is found to be unjust.]

Gustav: [――. It is not unjust. His Excellency the Emperor will also be pleased with the birth of a magnificent gladiator.]

Cecilus: [Hahaa, it’s just my opinion, but it sounds like His Excellency the Emperor isn’t a decent person!]

Gustav: [Insults toward His Excellency the Emperor will not be tolerated. There will be no second time.]

Gustav commanded in a stern voice, as Cecilus shrugged his shoulders and backed down somewhat. Exhaling through his nose in that state, Gustav looked again at the gladiatorial arena.

Schwartz, the most meritorious, and three men were being carried out by the guards under Gustav’s command. In the healing room, they would receive treatment from the healers.

The young girl, seemingly aloof, also accompanied them for now.

Gustav: [Did everyone in the Unit survive, due to just one person?]

It was a conclusion that could not have been reached without everyone’s help, but it went without saying who had shown the greatest strength.

By not overlooking the weapons and mechanisms the gladiatorial arena had been prepared with, keeping an eye on his comrades in the same circumstances, and even observing the enemy’s movements whenever possible; they had crossed a fine thread.

As someone who had seen that final resolution――,

Cecilus: [You see? Don’t you just get the feeling that a grand tale’s gonna begin?]

Like that, Cecilus proudly asked for approval; while keeping a stern face, feeling that answering in any way would be annoying, Gustav silently crossed his four thick arms.

 

 

Translation note:

[1] Hadajuban(肌襦袢) is a piece of clothing worn under a Kimono https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kimono#Layering

39 thoughts on “Arc 7, Chapter 64 – “Magic Words””

  1. Finally caught up, after reading all available side stories I have come up with theory that Al Alec Hoshin as during great disaster chapter he scared like he already seen real thing & had seen satela & he is follower of pleidas (Subaru who is also flugel) & al only knows some things about Earth as he says he lacks some memories just like Hoshin
    Anyways thoughts…. i don’t know if it is being already speculated

    1. Basuru is definitely Flugel, but Al is definitely from another world. Al also has some kind of OP power like Barusu, probably related to when his life is in danger or something. Which makes me wonder how he lost his arm

  2. Subaru the child prodigy is truly frightening but Tappei putting 2 death loop back to back is really a sadic move.

  3. What a fantastic conclusion to the first round of spark!

    Yes this was exactly what I was talking about in the last chapter!

    Subaru is gonna be a sick mofo after this is done haha!

  4. That fight was intense. Kudos to kid Subaru’s resilience!
    I wonder if he could have done it as an adult..
    Also Tanza in the last moments showed she’s no weak pawn either.

  5. Man that was crazy, I’m starting to wonder if Emilia is gonna find Subaru before he gets turned back that would be funny af

  6. I have a theory…all of this only points towards Subaru actually having travelled back in time..and as such..he can only be Al himself. The reason why Al only has one arm..is probably because of the curse mark placed there. With it on, he cannot leave the island so Subaru would have to cut it off in order to leave.

    That is my theory..I mean he obviously went back in time and is at the place Al was supposed to be…I mean, what else could it be? Also explains the extremely similar powers both Al and Subaru have. No. This chapter showed that they are exactly the same. The way Subaru handled that situation and instructed anyone…it was identical to what Al just a while ago when they wrre fighting against Envy-Subaru. Literally identical.

    Hence, i say it now: Al and Subaru are the same person.

    1. well yeah but then child al and child subaru would have been the exact same, and they weren’t, so they can’t secretly be the same person.

    2. Al usa magia de terra na batalha contra Capela, enquanto Subaru usa magia de sombra… Seres humanos só podem usar um tipo de magia… Subaru pode ter voltado no tempo, mas ele definitivamente não é Al

    3. subaru did not travel back in time lol. Just think about it, Gustav said that the current emperor was the seventy seventh emperor Vincent Vollachia who should have abdicated the throne only 8 years ago from the current timeline. And Al came to the gladiator island more than a decade ago . How could Vincent still be the emperor back then?

      1. and think about how deer girl still has powers. i’m sure if they did travel she would lose her powers. maybe not though because clown guys pact stayed even after subaru died

      2. Thank you finally someone else gets it I don’t hate the Al is Subaru theory because there’s definitely a connection between them because they’re both from earth with connections to Satella with Authorities that revert death there’s a lot of similarities, but they are not exactly the same person. The confirmation bias for this theory literally makes people overlook the basic fact that Vincent Vollachia is emperor and Cecilius doesn’t know him which can never coexist without Olbart’s technique.

    4. are you ignoring the fact that we saw child Al? and he had long hair? and was nothing like subaru? and that their age doesnt match

    5. no this doesn’t work at like because for one the timing doesn’t add up also they’re authorities don’t add up because in the olbart death loop Basu states that what we believe is al’s authorities is “loveless” meaning that they are different in some way. ALLSO if we look to arc 5 al’s gate still works unlike subaru and even if subaru gets his gate up and running some how he can only use shadow type magic whereas al’s has earth type magic. so literally almost nothing adds up in the subaru = Al theory besides some close connections and similarities.

    6. Subaru became “prodigy child”, cause he forgot his fails being teen. So Cecil just forgot everything cause of the same technique of Olbart. It’s not past.

  7. Oh this I like. Shotabaru is entirely justified by this single chapter
    I think this is the only time I’ve ever seen the “gifted kid” syndrome get put to a positive use

  8. Al being Subaru is stupid and makes no sense. Why can’t they just be Isekai neighbours with some mild unspoken tension between them?

  9. Great chapter, filled with adrenaline and gladiatorial moment. BUT, there is one thing that bugs me.
    If Subaru was a “Child Prodigy” as in this chapter, then why on the castle, when fighting with Olbart, he had such a mental breakdown and even gave up a few times. And on this chapter he’s like a different character from previous version in Chaosflame.

    1. He was in an unfamiliar situation using an unfamiliar ability which is more cruel than RbD. Ofc he’s gonna go bonkers.

    2. Cause the process of forgetting continiues every second. He remembered his fails during Olbart fight. Now he don’t. Soon he will forget about Emilia and Rem.

  10. Aight so we’ve already established that Subaru didn’t travel back in time thanks to Gustav, which means Cecilus really has been infantilised.
    It makes sense since Cecilus mentality would cast a (rather big) doubt as to where his loyalty would go, hence Chisha Gold posing as the Emperor ordered him to be infantilised by Olbart (there’s no way he’d be caught off guard imo, and tricking him would come back at the fake emperor in the long term) and throwing him on that gladiator island is the most logical way to get that pawn off the board during the civil war (and there was probably more to that added since Cecilus doesn’t know how he landed there so it’s almost safe to assume his memory were tampered with).

    Now unless Satella really wants ‘SubaRigel’ to move on and finish his task within the empire (namely : destroy the empire by teaching them the meaning of true strengh, which resides imo in Yorna for now, and go on with his quest to reunite with her as a complete being -thanks to the side stories we know that an incomplete subaru without all the authorities means disaster at some point-), it’s a “omg what a coincidence !” moment that he’d be teleported there (Just like the fact that he had to find Flop and Medium out of every people in the empire).

    So here’s my theory to add to the pile (which is just that: a theory) : Mr Stargazer (or at least what gives him commands) foresaw that the empire would turn into a mess if current Abel stuck to his old ways, and accomplished the will of the stars to have him meet Subaru & friends which would teach him a lot about his empire and its flaws -and his own personnal flaws-. He had first to convince Vincent’s most fervant support, Chisha, and probably a few other accomplices to set that into motion and throw Abel in his current situation. There’s little chance that Stargazer actually knew how things would turn out, he just knew he had to.
    In the first place, even if we know a king/emperor’s first duty is to produce a heir, we also know that Abel would definitely do something about it, no feelings involved/needed. So either he can’t physically do it (i… doubt that) or this whole thing is an excuse (either a lie from the PM or a lie from Stargazer to have PM into his hand). Seeing how Stargazer reacts being called a scam, i’m currently thinking that’s his lie, since he apparently only cares about the result and will use any mean necessary.

    As for the 2nd stargazer, the one who died, she was supposed to take out Subaru before that “great disaster” could happen (or have him taken out since she wasn’t a warrior), but was removed from the game either by misfortune or (if the stars knows something about the flow of events *dot dot dot*) because that task wasn’t necessary anymore (probably: Subaru would grow/be in the right conditions that the great disaster would be stopped). We can alternatively assume the command being inherited as is by her sister was something planned, to have every pawns in the right condition.

    Al knows about the curse on Subaru and knows he needs to be ‘a hero’ and complete his task or the world will be inevitably destroyed (there’s no other way around since even Subaru dying of old age would trigger the WoE’s wrath if these 2 aren’t reunited). Knowing about Al’s “authority” we can assume that the scars on his face and the loss of his arms were necessary sacrifices he had to take in order to reach that point (seeing as he is ready to chop his own head off for others, if there was a way to avoid that he probably would have take it). He can’t be “aged Subaru” because these 2 are fundamentally different, but he could be “another Subaru”, or rather another part of Rigel from another world (which had a lot in common with Subaru’s world but there’s a lot of discrepancy). Maybe Subaru will have to take Al’s authority to ‘complete’ RbD, but that’s a wild shot. Ofc since Al’s face is never revealed we fall into the ol’ masked character trope, meaning he has the face of someone we already know (Unless the author really wants to mess up with us and it’s simply inferiority complex at its finest, but that’d be either a waste or a troll move). I’d say his face looks pretty similar to Subaru as “one’s Od reflects his appearance”, save for some differences.

    Now for Rem & Louis : it’s really too early to formulate solid ideas, but we know that Ram is able to sense Rem, but Rem can’t do the same, which is a big hint that proooobably point out that current Rem’s Od isn’t Rem’s Od (soul bond and all, Od connected… and we know Od and personality/memories=(+/-)soul are connected). now imagine that you’re a Louis Arneb that would have lost “Louis Arneb” (probably because 2nd Louis Arneb ate her other self) but still got all the other memories eaten. First face you see is Subaru, and one of your eaten “memory” suddenly yells with great strength “hey that’s the man i love !”, which would probably propel that personality at the front of all the other ones. I think Ram can actually feel Louis. Explaining why she wasn’t rushing to Rem in Guaral because she probably went her own way to find Louis in Chaosflame (again, wild guess, for all we know she was behind Otto and just wasn’t mentionned yet). Now we can be thankful Other Gluttony hasn’t been killed, because there’s a high chance that would transfer his memories to Louis and i bet we’d have a rampaging Reid Astrea again.

    Now another big question is Beatrice. Since Subaru’s Od has been tampered with, to the point that even Satella couldn’t track him, there’s a high chance she can’t find him anymore. (Honestly i thought Satella would be so pissed to have lost Subaru for even just a second that she’d take everything back to the point where Subaru would never get infantilised).
    At first i assumed Louis, having used the green room spirit to take physical form from Subaru’s Louis leftovers, was gobbling his mana to avoid his apoptosis, explaining why Subaru would die if she wasn’t near him for a long period (i doubt him dying without warning when he got out of the inn was the horned people’s doings, and O coincidence when he didn’t he had Louis around). He “probably” unwillingly made a pact with her when he accepted her as she defended the group from the horned people (Lolimancer !). Now in the current situation either :
    1-He’s a ticking bomb and must find a way to have his mana taken out.
    2-His current body/od repaired the gate or slowed down the explosive process to the point he can either use magic or just have some more time left to reunite with someone able to eat up his mana (if only he tried…*sigh*).

    Btw with all these deaths and the great disaster he must reek of the witch like the actual WoE now, i’m surprised the lake’s witchbeasts aren’t going crazy. Rem’s body will hate that, not even mentionning the others who posess that smell sense *shiver*.

  11. Why witch beast attack the person with sword ?aren’t they attractive the witch smell? It should go after subaru ???

      1. Horn is “remote” for witchbeast. That’s why beast in chapter is hornless. So probably someone hunted beast down, took his horn and brought beast to Arena, where beast just was in couple of fights and deducted who is more dangerous by experience.

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