Arc 7, Chapter 74 – “Idra Missanga”

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The sound of footsteps, the sound of steadily approaching footsteps, paralyzed Subaru’s heart.

It was absolutely necessary to prevent the massacre brought about by the arrival of Todd and Arakiya from the Imperial Capital.

Frantically, earnestly, for the sake of brushing aside the malice and absurdity that befell him, he struggled with all of his might. He struggled and struggled, he continued to struggle, however, the worst case scenario had occurred.

The restart point continued to move forward, having made Death its starting line.

This time, what Subaru feared the most was not Death itself. Rather, he feared that upon meeting his Death and returning, reality would become absolute.

——That a life he could not save had carried over, was what he feared the most.

That, the inescapable Death of someone, gradually drawing closer, was what he feared the most.

Subaru: [AAAHHHHHHHHHH——!!!!]

At the scene before him, the collapsed and bloody form of Weitz, Subaru’s throat shrieked.

Screaming as he tried to run away, the fingers protruding from the sleeve grabbed him, and forbade his movement. Grabbing him was Tanza, the girl whose gentle eyes were filled with tears, as she shook her head desperately at Subaru.

This too, he had seen. He had already seen. Looking, he looked at it, it was something he knew the sight of.

The same scene, the scene he had witnessed just a minute ago, he observed it once more.

???: [————GWOGOBO!!]

Immediately after, there was a hideous, ear-splitting screech, and the passage was crushed along with Weitz’s collapsed body, which as it was, would fall through the floor down the side of the island’s mountain.

That debris, falling down together with the large body of the gray frog, engulfed Weitz, and he vanished from sight.

Subaru: [No, nonoNOOOOOO——!!]

Tanza: [Schwartz-Sama!?]

Frantically waving his arms about, Subaru shook off Tanza’s hand. Abandoning the voice of the shocked young girl behind him, Subaru sprinted towards where Weitz was falling.

If he rushed right now, he could pick up the falling man, block up the wounds the man bore on his eye and left arm, wrap bandages around him in the healing room, if he could just give everything treatment then surely, surely, surely——,

Subaru: [Not yet——]

Todd: [You sure are weaker than I thought.]

To save Weitz, he sprinted with reckless abandon.

Subaru was met head-on by something swinging to mow him down. Only after a hard, heavy sound emanated as his field of vision began rapidly spinning did he realize it had been the blade of an axe, dirtied by a dark red.

In Subaru’s field of vision, rapidly spinning as it ascended up high, he saw the body of a child, clumsily sprinting. Seeing it pitch forward and collapse, he understood it had been his own headless body.

In that case, where had his head gone? More importantly, Weitz, he must, must, mustmustmust.

× × ×

Spinning round and round, then abruptly being fixed to one spot, Subaru’s brain was thrown about.

With a vigor akin to a ferociously revolving camera coming to an abrupt standstill, his semicircular canals that were not actually moving gave him a disorderly sensation.

With the surging nausea and confusion, that from there he must save Weitz, that this wasn’t the time to stop his legs, that impatience was——,

Weitz: [It was the first time…]

Then at Subaru, whose vision had returned, the bloody form of Weitz muttered so.

One second later, the form of Weitz crumbled, an immense quantity of blood flowing from his left arm and right eye.

Weitz: [Anyone, has said, that they believed me…]

Subaru: [AHHHHHHHHH——!!!!]

The reality that could not be undone, had crushingly trampled upon the soul of Natsuki Subaru.

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Slowly but surely, the tremors of ruin were creeping near.

The massacre commenced, and Subaru, without preventing it, began to run.

However, starting with the restart point having moved ten seconds forward, the reduction of the grace period felt as if it was being shaved off, distancing from a miracle, erasing all hope from Subaru’s heart.

Sneaking into Gustav’s office, he learned the truth of the massacre through cooperating with Hiain.

Many times, they were discovered before Todd and Arakiya’s conversation with Gustav could reach its crux, mistakes piled up, repeating through Trial & Error so that next time—— it had become irreversible.

The restart point, it had moved forth to when he was hiding with Hiain in the office.

Subaru: [————]

Since that moment, Subaru had been hearing the grand voice of ruin laughing from within his heart.

Hanging over Subaru, while he heard the heartbeat of the frightened Hiain, probably beating more violently than that had been Subaru’s heart.

Unable to stop the massacre, what would he do if the restart point had moved past that?

If the point of restart had made this a place of no return, filled with despair, Natsuki Subaru wondered just what in the world he could do.

And then——,

Arakiya: [Slosh——]

Along with that unfeeling voice, Gustav’s head had been blown off, that was when Subaru knew.

He absolutely must not die anymore. Dying, and returning to before, if that was after Gustav had been killed, that his life could no longer be saved, would become absolute.

If he made anybody’s Death absolute, then that was already the same as Subaru killing them himself.

Letting a world that could not be saved become absolute, no matter whose hands had brought about that Death, Natsuki Subaru would be the murderer.

That was why, he was desperate in order to not die.

Even if Gustav died, even if Old Man Null died, even if the Gladiators died, even if the guards died, even if anyone died, he was resisting desperately in order not to die.

If Subaru died, they who had been killed would die for real.

Though he understood it was an unreasonable notion, Subaru could not do anything but struggle like that.

If Subaru did not die, there remained a possibility that he could finish things without letting his dead comrades die. If he did that, he could finish it without them really dying, that was why——.

If he does not die for the rest of eternity in this way, he could finish things without anyone dying, such a fantasy it was.

Such a fantasy, it had been nothing more than a fantasy, the life of Subaru, who had uncouthly died, was proof of that.

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How many times had he welcomed Death already?

???: [Disappearing right in front of me, what’s your plan?]

???: [Schwa——]

A voice that was about to call his name was cut short in front of Subaru, who was slumped over on his knees.

The axe, swung devoid of mercy, hacked into Hiain’s body, taking his life with it, causing him to clatter loudly onto the floor, eyes wide open.

Flowing blood gushed out, spreading onto the floor, mixing with the blood from Idra’s body, who’d fallen earlier.

Idra, whose head had been split open, had been killed before Hiain.

Subaru had failed to save him from Todd’s first attack. Idra had been killed first, then Hiain, and finally Subaru was left alone once again.

And all that was after Tanza had already been thrown by Todd, and fallen out of the hole in the wall.

The world had already been rewound to the point where the screams of a falling Tanza could be heard.

Weitz, his arm and face injured, swallowed by the collapsing passage along with the frog Witchbeast, along with Tanza, thrown out while trying to protect Subaru, were “locked” into a reality that could not be changed.

And then——,

Todd: [What’s actually happening here?]

Subaru, who was slumped over on the spot, his knees stained with their flowing blood, was posed a question by Todd carrying his axe atop his shoulder.

Subaru’s numb brain received a jolt, telling him the words that would follow.

The question from Todd, which he had been asked so many times already, was——.

Subaru: [You, are you really the child of His Excellency the Emperor?]

Todd: […Quit predicting what people are about to say.]

Todd let out that mutter with a tone of voice that indicated displeasure in response to Subaru, who still had his head hung down.

He did not know how he actually felt about being beaten to the punch, but to Subaru, it did not feel like things were precarious to the point Todd would instantly become enraged and try to kill him.

Not that he was trying to create a sense of danger, that had just left his mouth in a fit of panic.

But if Todd’s pace were disturbed even slightly——,

Subaru: [If you don’t want to die, stay put.]

Saying this, Subaru pulled out a black orb from his pocket—— the curse tool that had been placed in Gustav’s body. He held it out as to display it to Todd.

The black orb, having wiped clean of blood, and possessing a texture and feel akin to that of a glass ball, was far heavier than a golf ball.

What it was made of, and what material it was made of, knowledge of that did not really matter.

The important thing to remember was that it concealed a very great and cruel power.

If this was truly the key needed to activate the curse rule, that which Todd desired, then he could use it.

It could possibly, supposedly be a second chance for him to be listened to.

Subaru: [This, it seems, is what you need for the curse rule. If you don’t want to die…]

Todd: [——. Hey you, what you’ve got there is…]

Subaru: [——I’m the one! Who’s doing the talking! Right now!! I said “if you don’t want to die”, you heard me damn well, didn’t you!?]

Subaru barked as he waved his hand with the curse tool, spittle flying.

There was no room in his head, crammed with regret and despair, and no leeway for him to examine Todd’s every word. Intense anger welled up in him as he just commanded him to do as told.

Todd: [Good grief, I got you, I got you.]

Seeing Subaru’s anger, Todd let out a small sigh and raised his hands, lowering his axe.

Subaru was astonished to see Todd following his instructions so readily. His reaction made Todd raise an eyebrow.

Todd: [You’re a weird one. Aren’t you the one who told me to do this?]

Subaru: [W-well… It’s not so simple…]

Unable to argue back with Todd, Subaru’s eyes darted around, clearly flustered, as he strongly rued his own foolishness.

Using being Emperor’s illegitimate son had been mistaken, he should have just used the curse tool as a shield from the start. He had been scared and impatient, so he had jumped to the easy option. And because of that, he had ruined everything.

Gustav, Old Man Null, Weitz and Tanza, all because of Subaru.

All because Subaru had not made proper use of his head——.

Todd: [By the way kid, you know how to use that?]

Subaru: [Huh…?]

As he condemned and rued his own foolishness, a voice interrupted his thoughts.

Due to that question cast by Todd, his hands raised, Subaru let out a hoarse voice and looked at the curse tool in his hand. As far as how to use it went, he did not know. It did not have an easy-to-understand switch or a mechanism that told him how to use it just by holding it.

Subaru: [——I guess.]

Todd immediately saw through the threat just by how much his gaze wavered.

Todd: [If you knew, you wouldn’t have done this, there’d be no need for threats.]

Subaru: [Ah.]

Immediately after, Todd kicked Subaru’s hand away with an upswing of his foot, his hands still raised.

Having kicked the hand which was holding out the curse tool, the black orb flew up directly overhead. Subaru reflexively followed it with his eyes; once again, he was acting foolishly.

Looking up was the same as offering your neck to the enemy.

Subaru: [————]

His gaze chased after the flying curse tool, until it was abruptly interrupted.

Just before the interruption, he thought he heard a thunk coming from his left side to his right, but he had no way or reason to know for sure what it was.

And he had no choice but to admit something.

——He was unable to conceive a way to stop Todd Fang.

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——A fool who had everything taken away from him, after playing the good guy and having been made fun of.

That was how the people around Idra Missanga, a man who had lost his family’s business, ended up on the street, and became a slave, evaluated him.

A small farming village in the northwestern part of the Empire was Idra’s home, the land where the Missanga family had kept the family mill business going for generations.
Idra had heard that the mill had been established in the generation of his grandfather’s grandfather, who had apparently been a very skilled person during his lifetime.

He had been entrusted by his lord to manage the waterwheel built along the river in the village and the mill that used it, and he was in charge of milling the entirety of the grains from the village.

The rewards were high, the labor was low, and Idra came from a privileged background in the eyes of those who had to rely on the Missanga family to mill the crops they produced.

However, neither Idra himself nor his family were using their business to have a life they could boast of.

There was no doubt that they were well-off compared to their neighbors. At the same time, however, they had also acted as members of the village, taking on roles that should normally be performed by the village head, such as paying taxes to the lord on behalf of the villagers in times of crop failure, or going directly to negotiate with the lord.

——Do business honestly, and strive to earn widespread trust and confidence.

This was the family motto and philosophy of the Missanga family as millers.

In the process of milling using a waterwheel, many would pocket some of the grain. Indeed, Idra, and his father, had been sternly told by their own parents, who were in charge of the family business, that the world looked harshly at millers, and that exactly was why it was important to be humble.

Because he had a role in which he could easily arouse suspicion, he had always kept an open mind when interacting with people.

Never monopolizing wealth, sharing joys and sorrows with those around them. Even if this was not the right way to live in the Vollachian Empire, which respected the strong, it had been honored as the correct way to live in the remote rural village that was out of reach of the iron and blood rule of the Imperial Capital.

Idra was also one of those who had grown up with its benefits since childhood.

So even after his seriously-ill father handed over the family business early on, he had tried to keep the tradition alive.

???: [It’s an honest and good life, isn’t it? I’m jealous.]

Envying Idra’s life, was a man who stopped by the village’s bar.

A man, exuding the atmosphere of a veteran soldier, had revealed his identity as a mercenary who had traveled across battlefields wielding a large sword.

Since people from the outside were rare, Idra shared drinks with him, listening to his various stories.

For Idra, who had not possessed much knowledge of the outside world, the world the man had spoken of was full of surprises.

Unlike rural villages where time passed slowly and peacefully, the world in which that man lived was dangerous, and cruel. But at the same time, it was filled with an unforgettable heat.

By that time already, Idra had held a vague yearning for it.

As a person born in the Vollachian Empire, he had wondered if any option other than him taking over the family business existed, a hope that he had not taken very seriously.

The life of a warrior who respected his own strength and faith, would never choose a lowly way of life.

Man: [Idra, you have a cousin. Actually, I’ve taken an interest in her…]

Idra became close with the man who visited the village every few months and drank with him each time.

And so, after several nights spent together, the man had confided that in Idra, donning a serious face. His younger cousin was still unmarried, and Idra was fond of that man as well.

So, without hesitation, Idra introduced him to his cousin, set the stage for the couple to bond, and celebrated the birth of their new family with drinks on the night of their nuptials.

A month later, that man conspired with his cousin to steal the family business of milling.

The man insisted that Idra’s cousin was also entitled to run the family business of the Missanga family, and spoke further lies, that Idra and his father, who had been working at the mill until now, had falsified the results of their milling to the villagers.

Of course, Idra asserted that that was not so, but the suspicion attached to the profession of a miller itself could not be dispelled, and the opinion of the village was split down the middle.

Before a settlement could be reached, his father, who had been very sick, died of his illness, and his mother, suffering from heartache, passed away, as if chasing after him.

Idra: [I’ve run out of patience. I will protect my household at all costs…!]

Mourning his parents, Idra decided to fight back, even cursing his own carelessness.

If his cousin and the man planned to do something nefarious, Idra would surely reclaim his rights. For this reason, Idra requested the presence of the villagers to bring the man to justice.

He believed that the trust that the Missanga family had developed through their honest business practices would bring justice.

However——,

Idra: [——Why, what in the world?]

No one showed up at the place that had been agreed upon, and on the contrary, preparations for an armed uprising were found in Idra’s home.

Abandoned and brought to an unwanted trial before their lord, Idra had desperately pleaded innocence, but none of the villagers defended him.

His cousin and the man orchestrated the whole thing.

The villagers chose the man who lied but contributed profits over the honest Idra.

There had not been even a single shred of hope to win.

Deprived of his family business and reduced to slavery, Idra was sent to the Island by slave traders.

A place for those who had nowhere else to go, a horrible Island where the only thing they had left, their lives, would be toyed with. Ginunhive.

In that place where fighting for his life was made a spectacle, Idra felt his heart fall in despair and his soul rotting away, and he decided to follow his despair.

Isn’t it enough already?

How can I still be motivated to work hard, when I worked so hard and was not rewarded?

What I believed was a lie. What I relied on was a mistake.

Everyone’s looking to take advantage of everyone else, trying to save only themselves.

If that was the case, then there was nothing wrong with him doing that as well.

Indeed, Idra was nothing.

It was only natural that no one would choose him.

He had no trained strength, nor any ability to be of any special use. Who would choose Idra?

Even Idra would not choose Idra.

And yet, who in the world would choose Idra, who was merely honest to a fault, that Idra——.

Subaru: [——You wanted to be a warrior, right, Idra?! If so, now’s your chance! Now is the time to do it!]

——The day for him to be rewarded for living an honest life, was not supposed to arrive.

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Idra: [————]

Feeling a throbbing, aching sensation in his head, Idra had become completely unable to move.

His tongue was numb, and as if his throat were blocked, he was unable to breathe. The sensation in his limbs was distant, he was assailed by a fear akin to that of his own body having been torn asunder.

Fear, he could no longer avoid facing it.

Considering what had happened just before, even back in his hometown, when nobody took his side, that cold sensation of the blood freezing throughout his body was a far cry from this fear.

Weitz was killed before his eyes, and the brave Tanza was thrown outside the passage.

As he watched, Idra simply stiffened, unable to do anything. It would be too ironic if that cowardice was the reason he had been able to outlive Weitz and Tanza.

Would these few seconds, maybe around ten, suit the humiliation that burned through his chest?

Unable to do anything, he watched as two people who could have done something died.

The despair and regret that this fact brought to Idra was even heavier than in the past, when the family business had fallen victim to his careless behavior.

Idra: [——Heh.]

Thinking that much, Idra laughed at his own inexperience in life.

Regardless of joyful experiences, he could not think of any painful ones, other than the downfall of his life when the family business was taken from him. ——He truly felt that he had been blessed and plentiful.

Perhaps it had been his way of living, that which had provoked the man who had stolen his livelihood away from him.

Even if that were the case, there was no way he could forgive that man for what he had done.

Idra: [————]

With excessively ragged breathing, his vision blurry, Idra checked his surroundings.

Just what had happened? Were the pains throughout his body and this lack of ability to comprehend related somehow? Was this even real to begin with?

That everyone on the Gladiator Island could be killed, that Schwartz was the illegitimate son of the Emperor, that Weitz and Tanza had both been killed, he wondered whether it was all a dream.

It was all a dream, and Idra still had the luxury of being bored with his privileged life——.

Todd: [You’ve sure done a bold thing, you know.]

Idra stiffened in horror, forgetting the pain in his body as he heard a cold voice.

The blood throughout his body felt frozen beyond a mere chill, and Idra slowly realized that the footsteps of the owner of the voice were approaching.

And then——,

Todd: [It’s better than standing still, but that’s what happens when you jump off without a plan.]

The man’s seemingly fed-up voice was not directed at Idra.

Because the voice had directed somewhere a short distance away from him, Idra took in his relief. Then, with a wistful glance, he looked to the place the voice had been directed.

And there——,

???: [——Ah, ugh.]

He saw the crawling form of a ragged, bloodied, black-haired boy.

Idra: [————]

The sight of the crawling boy and the fact that this was not the passage of the upper stratum he had seen a moment prior reminded Idra of what had happened before his consciousness went blank.

Weitz had been murdered, Tanza had been projected outside, Idra had yelled at the heinous man’s incomprehensible thinking, and just before his demise, Schwartz had moved in.

Ranting and raving, Schwartz had clung onto the waist of the frozen-still Idra and Hiain, and jumped through a hole in the wall opposite from where Tanza had been thrown down.

Via the holes in the wall created by the large bird plunging through, Tanza had fallen to somewhere else on the Island, and Schwartz had jumped in with Idra and the others into a hole on the side opposite to that—— still, the chances of them surviving had been slim.

They had been scraped by the wall and hated by the protrusions, then slammed to the ground from a great height, and left to die.

It had been a reckless and desperate escape, with a nine out of ten chance of dying, but it had been the only way for them to escape.

That he had been able to grab that one chance to save his life could be said to be a miracle. However, the miracles stopped there.

Neither the crawling Schwartz, nor the collapsed Idra could escape from the man who was chasing them.

They were unable to lay eyes on Hiain, either because he had not managed to fall onto the mountainside scaffold they were on, or probably because he was using his camouflage to hide and lurk.

Even in case he were hiding, Hiain’s courage could not be counted on.

He was by no means a bad guy, but he was not brave. Though he was subservient and cowardly, though he would get carried away, though he was attached to Schwartz, one could not expect more from him.

Even so, if there was any chance for him to get through this without dying, then he should hold his breath and hide.

If the miracle that Schwartz had so desperately grasped would keep Hiain alive, then that was fine.

At least that much should be repaid to Schwartz.

Idra: [————]

Suddenly, he had a thought.

Now that he had fallen from a great height and was in tatters, and now that that man was paying attention to Schwartz, maybe Idra, too, would be overlooked as having died.

He was a scary guy, but there was no way he would go around crushing the heads of all the corpses.

Depending on Idra’s condition, if he could make him think he was dead with a convincing performance, then he could possibly get through this without dying. Like this, he could survive, even if only by himself.

Idra: [————]

It was time to choose.

In order to survive, what would Idra Missanga sacrifice, what would he do?

In this cruel world, where the strong and cunning got whatever they so wished, just what kind of person would Idra Missanga choose to become?

If he was honest, then people would have faith in him; and foolishly, honestly believing that he would then be trusted, this man who had lost everything——.

Todd: [——One, two aaand three!]

He raised the axe; gripping it with both hands, he was about to swing it down onto the crawling boy’s head.

Holding his breath, shutting his eyes, he hid his face from just about everything.

——What in the world could be saved with that?

Idra: [N-NOOOOOOO——!!!!]

He forced his whole body to move, tearing it off from the ground it seemed to stick on to, and ran clumsily, spitting up a lot of blood.

He ran and threw himself onto the man’s back. He could not move his left hand, so he just used his right hand to grapple that body, desperately trying to bite it.

Todd: [I knew you were alive.]

A moment later, as if to mock Idra’s resolve, the man dropped the axe he had raised over his back. His empty hand immediately pulled out a knife, and turning around, in a flash, Idra’s right forearm was blown off at the elbow.

Since he worked the waterwheel as a miller, his unworn, thin arm, which had never known hard labor, flew away.

However——,

Idra: [——TAKE HIM AND GOOOOOOOO!!]

As scorching heat crawled up from the severed arm, Idra’s vision was stained a deep red. But for just that moment, forgetting the pain, Idra shouted with all of his might.

The man in front of him slightly raised his eyebrows at the volume of that voice, as Idra still vomited blood.

He probably did not understand the purpose behind Idra’s shout and actions.

And yet——,

Todd: [Tch.]

The man turned around with a click of his tongue, and threw the knife that had slashed Idra’s arm.

The man had thrown it behind him, aimed at Schwartz who was crawling on the ground—— no, he was no longer there. Escaping while carrying Schwartz, was the scenery, moving.

It was Hiain.

Having held his breath as he laid in hiding, Hiain had taken Schwartz on his back and escaped. Seeing that, Idra gritted his teeth and threw himself onto the man’s back.

Since he had lost his right arm, and could not move his left arm, he bit down and clung to the man’s clothes.

Idra: [Bft.]

He was struck in the chest by an elbow over his back, and his bent-over body was kicked to the ground. However, his left arm, which had been struck by the impact of the fall, began to move instead of being in severe pain. His dislocated shoulder had been popped back in.

And then adding to the series of miracles, the axe that the man had dropped lay next to his left arm.

Todd: [Did you not think that he had escaped?]

Not letting go of his knife and having lost his axe, the man tilted his head as he looked at Idra.

Even though he had lost his weapon, he did not look disadvantaged in the slightest. That was a matter of course. The blood Idra had shed, and the blood that he was shedding, was ceaseless.

It was a miracle that he was alive, and too many miracles had already happened.

Henceforth, Idra shook his head at the man’s question.

Idra: [No, I thought he had escaped. But, I also hoped.]

Todd: [————]

Idra: [I hoped he hadn’t escaped.]

A man who was just subservient and cowardly, who would easily get carried away, but was not a bad guy.

That it would be good as long as Hiain had not escaped, Idra had foolishly and honestly believed that.

After all, people did not change so easily.

He had tried to deceive and use the people around him by making them think he was a warrior, a lie that had been exposed quite quickly.

He had to be honest, and he had to be widely trusted and relied on.

Even if they pointed and laughed at him for being a good person.

Idra Missanga would become neither a warrior nor a fraud.

Brandishing the axe with his left hand, while shedding blood, Idra shouted.

Idra: [I am Idra Missanga! The son of a miller!!]

Todd: [Never heard of him.]

Now, mustering up the strength he possessed to the fullest extent, Idra lunged at the man who wore an apathetic face.

——He was glad that, thanks to Schwartz, he had not become a liar on that day.

Image

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Carried on a body that was running for its life, he had been taken from the jaws of death.

He was shaken violently, without concern for his wounds or safety, but that was only natural.

Subaru too was battered, but given the state of the other person’s body, this was not the time to be concerned about that.

Subaru: [Hi, a… Hia, in…]

Having been gripped around the waist painfully, Subaru dug his nails into the other person’s body. He was not even sure where he was clawing. The person he had clawed at already looked an utter mess.

It was not that they were all scraped up or anything, but the colors, the patterns, everything was all messed up.

As they mimicked every bit of the surrounding scenery nonstop, he could not even accurately gauge what was supposed to be correct. The figure, running on in such a state, abruptly lost their strength and fell forward.

Hiain: [Gahk!]

Of course, if they were to fall, Subaru would also follow suit.

Hurled in front of his collapsed companion, Subaru tumbled across the cold stone floor. Since he had been unable to catch his fall, it felt like the impact had broken his front tooth.

Without pause, he raised his oozing, aching face and looked back while sprawled on the ground.

And right there——,

Hiain: [Huu, huu…]

Literally barely breathing, Hiain lay collapsed on the ground.

Listlessly lying prone, Hiain had a large knife stuck deep in the middle of his back. Subaru had no idea when he had been stabbed.

Regardless of whether it had been when they were running away, or before that, or even prior to that, there was nothing he could do.

If Subaru were to die, he would come back to just before Idra’s head was smashed open.

Maybe it would be after it had already been smashed. ——No, he had jumped outside so that would not happen, so perhaps it would be before their fall, after their fall, or while they were in midair.

No matter how it was done, it was difficult for three people to fall in a way such that none of them would die, and, the first time they had succeeded, Todd had come.

Idra’s voice, and Hiain’s breathing, were so distant.

Before long, they would be in a place where nothing could reach them.

Hiain: [It’s… strange…]

Still collapsed, Hiain’s feeble voice made its way to Subaru’s ears as the latter tried to crawl to him.

The reason he sounded like he was talking while breaking the water’s surface with his head, was probably because his throat was rife with blood. He probably needed some kind of treatment, sort of like draining the blood, or something.

That was what he had to do. Even if he was not a doctor, he had to.

Hiain: [I once heard that… life’s like a… flower, ya pick the beautiful ones first…]

Subaru: [D-don’t talk… I’m coming now, right now…]

Hiain: [If that’s the case, it’s strange that someone with a fucked-up personality, like me’d die first… Ah.]

He crawled. He kept crawling.

So that he could pull Hiain up, who was drowning in his own blood on the ground.

And yet, he could not move his body forward, not even a little.

Hiain: [But…]

Since he could not keep going, he would not be able to get there.

Hiain: […It’ll be better, if I’m first, yeah?]

He was crawling slower than a turtle. Crawling too slow, with movements smaller than those of an ant.

He crawled and crawled, and by the time he finally got there, it was far too late.

Hiain’s color had returned to its original gray.

With a knife in his back, one arm broken, and blood running down his body, it would not have been strange if Hiain had succumbed on the way running here.

Maybe he had been running while dying. That must have been the case.

Everyone was already dead, with Subaru unable to help them.

Subaru had as good as killed them.

Since he had been unable to save everyone, it was as if he had killed them.

Subaru: [Guh!]

Was it blood, tears, or snot that was sullying his face?

He did not know which was which, what was what, who was who, what the answer was, anymore.

He just, he just, he just, he just, he just did not understand anything anymore.

???: [——Oh my, is that you, Basu, groaning there by any chance?]

Subaru: [————]

???: [Yeah, I knew it, Basu! Dear me, what an unexpected coincidence it is to meet you in a scene like this. Things’ve gotten quite lively, doesn’t it excite you?]

A lighthearted voice called out to Subaru, who lay there stunned, feeling like he had let go of everything.

He could not turn around to the place the voice had come from. Using all the strength in his body, he was going to pick himself up, somehow, and look the person who had uttered those stupid words in the eyes, and say somethi——.

???: [You don’t have to bother risking your life turning around.]

Subaru: [——Ah.]

???: [After all, this isn’t the place to overdo things, is it?]

And with that, they themselves circled around to Subaru’s front—— Cecilus looked into Subaru’s face as he spoke.

With the left half of his body scorched black, the Blue Lightning was smiling carefree.

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28 thoughts on “Arc 7, Chapter 74 – “Idra Missanga””

  1. Damnit… I’m so grateful for these frequent releases but I can’t help but want more. These cliffhangers are always so brutal.

    As soon as the backstory started mid confrontation my face hardened. I didn’t even want to finish it I knew where it was going… How the hell is Subaru going to recover from this. His luck was so abysmal this arc… The ironclad rules that allowed Subaru the freedom to save everyone he conceivably can is now working against him- Forcing his path, forcing linearity. It is trying to crush him to his core. Why? Is it really Satella? Whoever it is, what are they trying to force Subaru to become? I want answers

    1. It’s like Abel said at the start, you can’t save everyone, you have to eventually let go of people in order to get victory.
      This is what Subaru is having to learn, loss.

      Hopefully there’s no asspulls that makes all of this growth pointless.
      He’s really not experienced real loss yet due to his factor.

  2. As sad as this is and as little time as we got with those 3, this was nice. It was nice to just see 3 people with unfortunate luck essentially getting courage from Subaru of all people for simply believing in them. Even if it’s just for them to be sacrificed for his sake ultimately. Where normally it’s Subaru who gets the will to go through some horrible things through other’s words. Though I’m still a little bit pissed that the 3 people who were willing to die for Subaru weren’t recognised by Cor Leonis, not that it would really do much in that scenario considering the chaos, the candidates for it to be used on, the opponent, the nerfed RBD, and Shota-baru’s mental state.

    Who knows? Maybe a coward who can suddenly feel no pain might be able to surprise Todd as Subaru writhes in pain.

  3. Thanks! I was wondering when Ceci would show up. He seems the only one with the power to change things.

    My guess is he chased off Arakiya but probably couldn’t kill her.

  4. I think it’s weak to kill those 3 of or 4 if tanza is really dead.

    They could have easily done those backstories and let them join Subaru’s team, they are lacking members anyway…
    It’s such a cheap trick to get some Form of emotional drama…
    I hope Subaru can save their lives but I guess iam to naive here.
    Such a wasted opportunity for somebody else to die permanently, if he really wanted to he could have killed them of later in the story, for me this was to early.

  5. Arc 7 is such ass. So many deaths that they’ve become meaningless. That’s literally the opposite of what ReZero’s supposed to be about.

    1. I disagree. Permadeaths add stakes to the series and Subaru’s current condition and the malfunctioning of RbD spices up the story. Re:Zero isn’t a power fantasy where MC saves the day and everyone gets a happy ending. People die meaningless deaths and that’s reality. That’s why I love Re:Zero

  6. Christ, Subaru is just too cringeeeeee. Sometimes I just need to skip 20 paragraphs just to get to the part where he finally stops being such a pathetic jackass

  7. I know what Tappei is trying to do here but I’m sorry but I could not care fir Idra, Hain and even Weiz….all I want is for Subaru and even Tanza to make it out of this island and get back to the others. Others dying are just pathing the way for him and I don’t feell a thing for them lol.

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