Machine Translated By:
- Cirdan Lunae
Japanese to English Checking By:
※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※
???: [――Are you going to see him, Abel-san?]
Stopping at the call from his side, Vincent turned around.
Multiple carriages were coupled to one another, treated as a single long dragon carriage, which allowed the Divine Protection of the multiple ground dragons to be applied to its entirety―― Vincent batted one eye shut, upon witnessing a familiar blue-haired girl standing at the juncture he had crossed over.
Thinking back, it had been a long time since he had last exchanged words with her in this way.
Vincent: [Have the uninvited guests from the Kingdom achieved their purpose?]
Blue-Haired Girl: [Their purpose is not me, but…]
Vincent: [Cease. Do not take up my time with nonsense that even you do not fully believe. Time is precious. Especially under the current circumstances. As you understand.]
Blue-Haired Girl: [――――]
At the sound of Vincent’s sharp voice, the girl lowered her head with eyes downcast.
However, she quickly raised it again, adopting Vincent’s notion of time being limited,
Blue-Haired Girl: [Are you going to see him, Abel-san?]
And, she piled that very same inquiry onto him once more.
Vincent: [I am not Abel. I, am Vincent Vollachia.]
To that question, Vincent replied without changing his expression.
Abel was a temporary name, which he had utilized for his own convenience during his escape and nothing more. He had taken it from Abellux, his family name from the time before his ascension to Emperor, a name he held no particular attachment to.
But, his displeasure towards being called that was stronger, right now.
Vincent: [――. It has been reported that that thing is awake. I must confront him.]
Pushing aside his displeasure, Vincent answered the girl’s inquiry.
Whatever she thought, it would not alter Vincent’s decision. He did not think she had such thoughts or intentions to begin with.
Protected, displaced, distressed, and after a long period of time, she would come to a natural conclusion.
Like many others, she was merely a single ordinary person.
Ergo, Vincent attempted to cut that dialogue short.
Blue-Haired Girl: [He is not your enemy, Abel-san.]
Upon receiving a reply from the girl he had expected to remain silent and downcast, a reply with contents contrary to his expectations, Vincent furrowed his brow.
The girl thus glared at Vincent, her pale-blue eyes containing a definite purpose.
There was a light that, as of their parting, had not dwelled in them; timidly yet boldly it penetrated Vincent, as if trying to intimidate him.
Vincent: [――. I am Vincent Vollachia. There shall not be a third time.]
Blue-Haired Girl: [I am sorry. But I do not have my memories, so I do not know much about His Excellency, Emperor Vincent. So there is nothing I can say to Him.]
Blue-Haired Girl: [He is not your enemy, Abel-san.]
Without once averting her gaze, the girl yet again emphasized so.
Vincent had a good understanding of her based on the abilities she possessed: she was the reins with which to control Natsuki Subaru, and a valuable user of healing magic.
Supposing that she had taken that self-assured stance against Vincent while being aware of her own position, he would be compelled to do nothing but dub her as possessing considerable mettle. Yet, that did not seem to be the case.
Vincent: [You, what did you say your name was?]
Blue-Haired Girl: [――It’s Rem. At least now I can definitively answer that.]
Vincent: [The girl who has no memories, making such a declaration?]
Rem: [It’s strange. Even though my heart and my mind don’t remember, there are things that your surroundings can teach you. I know that I’m Rem, thanks to someone who kept telling me that all this time.]
Whether it was gratitude or exasperation, the girl―― Rem herself did not comprehend which of the two her way of speaking was conveying.
However, understanding that it was not connected to disgust or other loathsome negative thoughts, Vincent concluded that there was no need for further conversation.
Turning his back, he proceeded to walk away. And as he did so,
Vincent: [Rem, never again let mine time be so needlessly squandered. At your next act of disrespect, I shall lop off your head.]
Leaving her with those words, he ended his conversation with Rem.
Vincent: [How eloquently shall you speak, Natsuki Subaru? ――O Stargazer of the Dragon Kingdom.]
While acutely sensing the hostility being directed towards him, Subaru stood face to face with the man.
In retrospect, his relationship with this man could be summed up with the word “enigmatic”.
At their first meeting, he had been a suspicious masked man camping out in a forest. On that occasion, he had been frantically searching for Rem and Louis, whom he had lost sight of; hence why he had not been desperate to probe deeper into that matter, but the man was far from just being a suspicious person.
The next time they met, it had occurred inside a cage in the Shudraqian village; Subaru could hardly explain why the man had acted so self-important despite his status as a prisoner. He would rather that there had been some means of escape, because after that he was made to take part in the Lifeblood Ritual, in which he had acted without a plan.
Thereafter, his help in retrieving Rem notwithstanding, he had come to part with Subaru on one occasion; however, he had known that Subaru’s group would have no option but to return. Not informing them of those circumstances had been a show of his underhandedness.
Immediately after, he had fully cooperated with Subaru’s plan to capture the Fortress City of Guaral; as the dancers that went by Natsumi Schwartz, Bianca, and Flora, they entered the enemy’s stronghold together.
There were doubts regarding his unusual relationship with Priscilla; and after, in the Demon City, he was courted by Yorna; and without hesitation, he declared that Louis should not be allowed to live; thus was their relationship upon parting ways.
And even then, once Subaru had escaped from the Gladiator Island, and once he heard of the situation enveloping the Empire at large, he had held full conviction that said situation had been instigated by that man, the Emperor who had been ousted from his throne.
Abandoning the Imperial Capital of Lupugana, he had taken command of the great number of people making their retreat, of the great number of people evacuating the Imperial Capital. And once more, leading the people of the Empire as the one at their apex, the one regarded as the wisest Emperor――.
Subaru: [It’s an honor to have Vincent Vollachia-san come and visit me. You arrived at just the right time; can you peel me an appa?]
Vincent: [Do not play games with me. In the first place, I am not one to do the likes of peeling fruit. Where are the appas, even?]
Subaru: [Where are…?]
At the question of the man who had set foot into the sleeping quarters, approaching him, Subaru’s gaze turned to the side.
Even in another world, it was standard practice for fruit to be brought when visiting someone injured or ill; it was perhaps a bit of a cliché in situations of the sort. For that reason, there was a basket of appas next to his bed.
Naturally, his conversational partner should have been able to see it as well.
Subaru: [In that basket of fruits there. The red ones, don’t they look delicious or what?]
Vincent: [Fool, are you duping me? Appas are fruits of white color.]
Subaru: [Well, they’re white inside once you’ve peeled them, but… Wait, this conversation, I think I recall having this very exchange, stored way, way back in the recesses of my memories.]
His memories of it were rather faint, but he had the feeling he’d once had the same conversation quite some time prior.
The details of whom he had been talking to at the time could not be recalled, but he did have the memory of getting the same impression he was getting now, that those of nobility had reached an extreme to this point.
Subaru: [I guess there are things you don’t know either. How unexpected.]
With that not-at-all-tense preface to their first mutual exchange of words in a while, feeling like they had not started off badly, Subaru stated so.
At Subaru’s words, the man―― Abel, extended a hand to the basket, and split an appa in half with the knife left there. Naturally, a cross-section of its white insides was exposed.
Laying eyes upon that undeniable result, did he have the mind to admit what was actually factual in their previous exchange? Abel put down the knife, and, leaving the fruit split in half in the basket, turned to Subaru.
Moistening those sable eyes of his still, was unmistakable hostility.
Subaru: [No way, you’re mad at me for embarrassing you about the color of an appa…? You’re the one who’s called me something weird just now.]
Vincent: [Stargazer of the Dragon Kingdom, it was.]
Subaru: [That was it.]
One more time being made aware of how he had been referred to, Subaru frowned, as he had no idea what he was on about.
That term was not one he had no recollection of. If he was not mistaken, from what he had heard, it was something like a term that referred to the fortune tellers that accompanied the Emperor closely, in the Empire.
Very much like the Dragon History Stone, the Kingdom of Lugunica’s tablet of prophecies, they were an existence that spoke of the future.
Subaru: [No, feels like you spoke of it in a way even worse than that… You put it like it’s like peeping into the near future.]
Vincent: [I recognize it as such, without a doubt. That is how I perceive those things.]
Subaru: [If that’s the case, you spoke of me as if I’m a peeping tom just now, are you aware of that?]
If times had not changed, by regular standards, wouldn’t he have the right to cut Abel down for the affront? Or, to put it into modern terms Subaru was aware of, he was prepared to fight for defamation of character in a civil court.
However, faced with Subaru’s reply, Abel’s countenance did not waver in the slightest. Those black eyes of his, the same color as Subaru’s own, but distinct in their depth, told Subaru that he had no intent to play along.
Of course, Subaru did not intend to mess about either――,
Vincent: [You, just how much have you grasped?]
Subaru: [How much have I grasped, about the current situation? If that’s what you mean, I wasn’t told many of the details. Emilia and everyone were all worried about me right after I woke up… But I know we’re in the middle of evacuating.]
Subaru: [The civil war has stopped for the time being, everyone’s fleeing from the Imperial Capital right now… Though you’d think it would be hella chaotic, it doesn’t seem like it’s turned into a huge uproar.]
The dragon carriages moved unceasingly, the night view outside the window shifted at a slow pace, but with the Divine Protection of Wind Evasion shielding them from the vibration and the howling of the wind, all was quiet.
One would think the very quietude in the passenger cars of the dragon carriages as being quite loud, but that the dragon carriages had not halted their march even once was evidence that no major troubles had popped up.
And that was in spite of the fact that a considerable number of people, most likely in the hundreds of thousands, were being transported.
Subaru: [The Nine Divine Generals and whatnot probably served as a unifying force, but that alone wouldn’t be enough. As I thought, you’re quite the big deal, man.]
Subaru: [Honestly, when I heard the story of you being betrayed by your right-hand man and retainer, being ousted from the throne, I really wondered if it’d be fine to have you back as Emperor, but, it turned out to be the right option.]
Leadership and charisma, those were the so-called qualities of those standing above others.
These qualities were not simply the result of outstanding ability, and they could probably be acquired through blood, sweat, and tears, but the people who had these traits from birth were not few in number.
The royals of each country, the heads of many an organization, were such cases.
In that sense, Abel, who’d had something to fall back on in times of emergency, still held the potential to be followed, to be looked up to by those around him.
Subaru: [It annoys me that rather than being on the fence about it, I was leaning more towards believing it. But I was right, you are the Emperor…]
Vincent: [――Is that as per your expectations as well?]
A quiet voice, however, it had certainly been laced with emotion. As it seemed way out of left field, Subaru’s brain refused to comprehend it.
As a result, Subaru did not dodge the hand that thus was extended, his forehead being pushed down onto the bed, his body following suit. And, before he could raise an objection as to what the hell was going on, he perceived the sensation of something sharp against his throat.
Which he immediately realized to be the tip of the paring knife with which the appa had just been split.
He had made that realization, yet he knew not the intent behind it. He knew not the meaning of Abel clasping that knife, and turning it towards Subaru in that manner, directing his hostility at him―― Nay, directing his hatred, the same hatred his voice was rife with.
From near proximity, within breathing distance of one another, Subaru and Abel shared mutual glares.
If Subaru were to carelessly raise his voice in a call for help at this juncture, Abel would not hesitate in slitting Subaru’s throat with the knife.
But conversely, that Abel was not doing so at once was because he had no reason to.
Subaru: [What, do you want… Hk.]
Vincent: [That ought to be mine question; what are your plans? To what extent exactly have you seen the current course of events unfold? Is everything up to this point in accordance with the picture you have painted?]
Subaru: [I told you already…! I told you, I don’t know what you’re talking about. What am I scheming…?]
Vincent: [――Why, did you leave me behind, and not Chisha?]
In comparison to the blade at his throat, the tone of his voice cut by far and away more deeply. It silenced Subaru, and Abel’s hand shook, trembling while gripping the knife.
As Abel gritted his teeth, as he glowered at Subaru from point-blank range, having asserted so.
That was not something Subaru was able to comprehend immediately.
Vincent: [Vincent Vollachia.]
Vincent: [I, am no Abel. I am none other than the Seventy-Seventh Emperor of the Vollachian Empire, Vincent Vollachia. ――That, is the course you have desired, is it not?]
Declaring such as if he were wringing the words out of himself, Abel―― Nay, Vincent, gave his name with a hint of annoyance.
Not quite understanding the meaning of that attitude of his, an attitude as if he were cursing himself for giving his name as such, Subaru knitted his brows. Because, of course he would.
Subaru: [You… went to war so you could reclaim that name, and that crown, didn’t you…!?]
Vincent: [Incorrect. I was striving to fulfill my duty as Emperor. The Covenant with the People of Shudraq, the fall of the Fortress City, the negotiations with Yorna Mishigure, and the provocation of civil war were all for that purpose.]
Subaru: [Your duty, as Emperor…?]
Vincent: [While on the throne, Vincent Vollachia will be killed. With that as the starting point, the Great Disaster will attempt to destroy the Empire, the means to oppose it being left behind by Vincent Vollachia. That, is my duty.]
As Vincent enumerated the particulars of his undertaking to him for the first time, Subaru exhaled a hoarse breath.
That expression, “Great Disaster”, was one unfamiliar to Subaru’s ears, but what astonished Subaru even more than that was the very way Vincent had recited it all.
Per his words, upon the demise of Vincent Vollachia, the Great Disaster would commence.
Then, he had also stated that he would leave behind the means with which to oppose that Great Disaster.
Rather than searching for those means, he would leave them behind.
From how he had spoken, it was just as if――.
Subaru: [The way you spoke… It’s kinda like you knew you were going to die…]
While firmly sensing the cold tip of death trained on the neck, Subaru muttered.
With Death perhaps creeping closer to Subaru, before him, Vincent’s sable eyes wavered with uncertainty. The vast expanse that laid beyond their jet-black coloration, he had a hunch on its true identity.
‘Twas resignation, adorned with the will to resist.
Vincent: [Indeed. I have made mine demise a part of my plans. I left behind plans to ensure that the Vollachian Empire would not fall to ruin, even with mine passing.]
And thus, none other than Vincent himself confirmed his intuition as correct; the very next instant, Subaru’s mind was stained red, and his emotions burst out.
Subaru: [YOU BASTARD, STOP GODDAMN SCREWING AROUND!]
Teeth bared and eyes flaring up in anger, Subaru gave Vincent―― No, the cowardly bastard before him the death stare, bellowing out. There was a flash of acute pain at his neck, but that could be postponed until much, much later.
Right here and now, it was much more important to just beat the living shit out of this wimp wearing a self-righteous face.
Subaru: [After manipulating so many people, after making them cross so many dangerous bridges, after making them take so many unnecessary detours with you, you planned to die at the end of it all? Don’t joke around!]
Vincent: [As if I would do anything such as jest. Everything you have spoken of was done because it was the road that needed to be taken. At its terminus was to be mine death, a matter the importance of which cannot possibly be compared to the survival of the Empire, which hangs in the balance.]
Subaru: [That’s not it! What I’m saying is, why is it that the first thing you do is give up on your own life? Some huge disaster? Don’t know anything about it! Wouldn’t it be better to just stay alive and face it yourself!?]
Vincent: [Do you lot not know any better but to chatter nonsense? While I live, the Great Disaster shan’t come. That is the premise of this plan. It cannot be overturned――]
Subaru: [Who the hell decided it can’t be overturned? You’ve got a good head on you, so whether it be the Great Disaster or anything else, you could just deceive it and lure it out, and then…]
Vincent: [――Yet it was you Stargazers, who declared that it could never be overturned!]
Vincent, stifling his emotions, had been replying to a Subaru prattling on and on with sentimentality. But the former’s emotions had come to this point, and now exploded before Subaru’s eyes.
Just how unexpected had that violent outburst been from the standpoint of Vincent? Had he himself not seized the blade of the knife thrust towards Subaru with his opposite hand, who knew where the tip of the knife would have stabbed; such had been the torrent of emotions.
In drips, blood trickled from Vincent’s left hand, having seized the tip of the blade, staining the white sheets here and there.
However, neither Subaru nor Vincent paid any mind to the falling droplets of blood, instead focusing their attention towards each other’s eyes, towards the very essence of the other’s being beyond said eyes.
Yet again, Vincent had dubbed Subaru a Stargazer.
Therein laid the unmistakable reason as to why Vincent Vollachia hated, harbored hostility towards Natsuki Subaru, even going as far as to train a knife at him.
It was precisely because he happened to understand it, that those doubts could not be resolved.
Subaru: [The Stargazers… declared…]
Vincent: [――. The Stargazers hear the voices of the Observers from the heavens above, that exist beyond the framework. They speak of events that may occur in the far future, conferring us with the possibility of minimizing the damage. Still, that is but a matter of the scale of said damage. Not of how to prevent it from happening beforehand.]
In a disgusted voice, yet attempting to stifle any emotion as much as possible, Vincent began to speak.
Subaru was reminded of one thing amidst the contents of his speech. If the Stargazers were truly able to foretell the future, from his experience, actually being able to change it would be no easy feat.
Whether it ought to be called the power of fate or the natural flow of time, it would stick to a predetermined path as much as possible; those who attempted to avoid impending tragedies would be brought to their knees.
The Stargazers’ precognitions, they were akin to what Subaru knew from experience.
For example, were Subaru to Return by Death due to a natural catastrophe, even if he could urge everyone to take refuge in preparation, he would be unable to stop the natural catastrophe itself.
Whether that would prevent the destruction of houses and buildings, or even prevent the loss of human lives entirely, he would not know until he had a go at it, but he held no doubts that it would be difficult.
Vincent: [Many times in the past, the Stargazers have precluded correctly that perils would befall the Empire. Those crises were dealt with to the fullest extent possible, but some things could not be saved. Therefore, plans are necessary.]
Vincent: [Plans with which to keep the damage at a minimum, and lessen those lost to as close to zero as possible.]
――Calamities awaited in the future, doings could be done so that a greater number of people would be able to overcome them. Doings could be done so that a greater number of people would not be left behind.
If Vincent Vollachia had toiled, sparing no effort, for the sake of making that come to pass.
Vincent: [It was you, Stargazers, who whispered of mine death. How dare you, with that mouth, utter that my death must be defied? Are you toying with me… with me!?] 
Subaru: [W-wait, wait a sec! For quite some time now, I’m not a Stargazer or anything like…]
Vincent: [――You see things that have yet to happen. Cease your deception, Natsuki Subaru.]
With those scant words, Subaru tasted the feeling of having his heart, within his chest, being stopped.
In the process of spewing out the recesses of his very own heart, the mask of Emperor had fallen away, and visible on the other side was not the face of Vincent Vollachia, but rather the face of a man rife with defects who went by the name of Abel.
And finally, once the man looked at him directly, once the man declared those words, Subaru finally comprehended.
Vincent―― Nay, Abel, had dubbed him a Stargazer, and Subaru had understood the reason for that.
Abel, had perceived Subaru’s Return by Death.
In precise terms, he had not perceived Subaru’s Return by Death, rather, the fact that via the loss of his life, Subaru had gone back in time, that Subaru had brought back information from the future―― he had perceived that Subaru held the means to know what laid ahead.
So then, he had comprehended that it was akin to the foresight abilities that Abel knew to be held by the Stargazers.
If he gave it some thought, it was quite natural that a mistake like this would possibly occur.
Because of course it would. Subaru himself, in his pursuit for understanding and comprehension, had found in Abel’s exposition about the Stargazers something in common with his own Return by Death.
Armed with the knowledge of the precedent represented by the Stargazers, if Subaru were to attain results beyond the capabilities he was possessed of, it was no surprise that he would draw a connection―― No, that he would identify him as one in the same.
Abel’s insight was a reliable one. His acumen would certainly scrutinize all things.
With that insight of his, he had immediately grasped that Subaru had not survived all the situations he had come across in the Empire through his unripe abilities and sheer fortune.
That was why, that was certainly why.
Subaru: [So, that’s why you always tried to listen to my advice?]
If Abel interpreted Subaru’s advice as a proposal that came as the result of selecting the most optimal move via seeing the future, then no matter how idiotic the proposal may have sounded to the ears, he would be unable to flat out discard it.
The refusal of allowing the Shudraqian village to go up in flames, the crossdressing performed with the purpose of capturing the Fortress City, the voyage to the Demon City of Chaosflame, the negotiations with Yorna, all of those had been so.
Abel had always explored the possibility of actualizing Subaru’s proposals, earnestly scrutinizing them.
In this manner, Abel had attempted to drag Subaru, who he thought to be a Stargazer, into the struggle for the Empire’s survival, employing him as a pawn on the board. ――After he himself was lost, Subaru would be another one of the means of opposition.
Vincent: […You, left me behind, not Chisha.]
Vincent: [Natsuki Subaru, you are a banal human being.]
In a form different from the one just prior, the timbre of that voice was devoid of sentiment.
There was no attempt to repress emotions. If there indeed was such an attempt, those very real emotions would still be eked out, able to be heard in their venture to appeal outwards.
Yet nothing was heard. They were not being repressed, those emotions had died.
And with that tone of voice killed of emotions, Abel let loose words bereft of hue towards Subaru.
Vincent: [A naïve, green, immature human being, holding on to plenty of bitterness. Neither do you possess virtue worthy of mention, nor do you possess viciousness worthy of mention. With neither of these, you would have accomplished nothing, and died an ordinary man.]
Subaru’s characterization, spoken so matter-of-factly, left absolutely no room for retort.
As per Abel’s pertinent judgment, Subaru could not become anyone special. Even immersed in the lack of maturity of his body and mind, with his spirit returned to the days when he had believed himself to be a child prodigy, he also knew what he would eventually be in the future to come, a half-baked human being.
Vincent: [You have been bestowed with an opportunity to surpass banal, ordinary men. By making perfect use of it, you have survived till this day. You have not been banal, you have not been an ordinary person, you have no strong disposition toward either virtue or viciousness.]
Vincent: [You… are a banal human being… If so, why.]
Firmly, potently, Abel tightly gritted his teeth, looking at Subaru.
He cast away his expression, his nobleness and his graciousness, his composure and his self-confidence and everything entirely, baring the true face visible behind the mask of Emperor that had been stripped away, his voice quivering.
And with that quivering voice as it had been, with that trembling voice as it was, he exclaimed.
Vincent: [Why, why did you leave me behind, Natsuki Subaru!]
Vincent: [You have no bond to this Empire, nor any obligations. You could have been content with protecting the many you have come to know till this day, and nothing more. For what reason did you save me? For what reason did you think to try and save me, a man who does not get along with you…!]
Vincent: [Why… Hk.]
Due to his extreme emotions, his hoarse voice conveyed just how monumental was Abel’s desire to pose that inquiry of “Why”.
With more and more strength he grasped the blade of the knife, digging even deeper into his hand; more and more intense grew the flow of blood, so painful to gaze at that Subaru instantaneously attempted to release Abel’s grip on the knife and staunch the hemorrhage.
Vincent: [Do not touch me!]
His hand was violently swatted away, and instantaneously becoming aware of pain in the hand he had outstretched, Subaru produced a grimace.
Upon taking a look, Subaru saw that the knife within the hand of that strikingly-different Abel had slashed his own hand, and drop-by-drop blood was trickling from it as well.
In the space between the two confronting one another, the sheets became increasingly sullied by their blood, blood that went on dripping away without efforts to stop it.
And thus, in that manner, paying no heed to the blood flowing out of them, to the soiled sheets and floor,
Vincent: […Just now, when you reached out your hand to lend help, you did it again. That is what is most baffling, and what is most incompatible with me, in your way of being.]
Vincent: [Every so often you leave it all to the emotions you feel at the moment, punting to the wayside all beliefs and ideas you have felt until then. You do not follow what you have decided upon, easily reversing whatever course you have concluded that you ought to be taking. You are unable to categorize what ought be saved or not, reaching out your hand indiscriminately.]
His blood oozing out, faced with the glaring Abel’s insight and words, Subaru gulped down a breath.
Even the pain of the bleeding wound grew distant, with Subaru’s thoughts freezing over. Because what Abel had stated just now, held the exact same meaning as what had tormented Subaru on a recent occasion.
Todd: [――But you were willing to choose whether to save Katya or not, right?]
Before he had regained consciousness, before he had even lost it, those had been the words hurled towards him.
That he and Natsuki Subaru were incompatible in every sense possible, that Natsuki Subaru was a monster that he could never understand, such was the blade of words that Todd Fang had trained upon him, decisively forcing their separation against Subaru’s will.
He too, though not drawing that conclusion about Subaru owing to Return by Death or owing to a status as a Stargazer, had seen through Subaru’s peculiarities, and defined him as such; perhaps it was through his power of observation, honed through his life as a werewolf.
Todd: [You’re too damn inconsistent! Your eyes say that you’re willing to die at any moment, you’re willing to put other people’s lives on a scale selfishly, but when it comes to this, you’re desperate to resist. It’s creepy!]
Todd’s chilly gaze, his voice devoid of heat, overlapped with those of Abel before him.
Abel’s gaze, Abel’s voice possessed the fervor of rage; nonetheless, the two still overlapped. The reason for that, undoubtedly, was that both were attempting to part with Subaru.
A preface for ousting Natsuki Subaru, rejecting he whose way of being was incompatible with theirs, from their world.
Todd: [Lack of self-awareness is a bad trait. You’re choosing between lives. Who to save, who to let die, you’re deciding as you please. You show favor towards those who butter you up, but don’t care about those who don’t. Me, I wouldn’t hesitate to butter anyone up, but…]
Todd: [How could I go along with someone who decides who lives or dies based on his own fickle whims?]
Thus, what had driven Todd to commit the heinous acts he had committed, as per his words, had been Subaru’s way of thinking and behavior.
Of course, Subaru had not just accepted it without questioning, and did not consider himself to be at fault. It was what he had always done and thought to be correct, in his own Subaru way. But were he to so easily change his ways, Subaru would be unable to show his face to the companions who had followed him, who had placed their faith in him till this day.
At the same time, however, there was a truth he could not repudiate completely.
――Subaru was choosing who to let live and who to let die, as he had indeed stated.
Through the Authority of Return by Death, Subaru had transfigured the fates of those precious to him.
Those who had no choice but to lose their lives, those who had no choice but to hurt him, those who had no choice but to struggle for what was dear to them, those who had no choice but to deprive themselves of the opportunity to reach a mutual understanding. He had distorted their fates, and kept them alive.
Through the decisions and actions Subaru had taken, assuredly, the number of people around Subaru who had been robbed of their lives or become sorrowful had diminished.
However, Natsuki Subaru had not been capable of saving every single person, either.
Whether he went without saving them, or without being able to save them, though those differed on whether he did it proactively or reactively, his decision had been thus. And so, without him turning back the clock, the onward march of reality imposed itself as immovable.
It was not as though he had destroyed all of his “enemies”.
But, it was not that he had saved all of his “enemies”, either. Just how had Subaru come to decide which to save, and which not to save?
That that was possibly due to Subaru’s personal likes and dislikes, was Todd’s fear.
Vincent: [No, that is not so, Natsuki Subaru. It is not even up to your like or dislike towards others.]
Shaking his head, Abel’s words restrained Subaru, the latter having been made aware of the unbridgeable gap between himself and Todd once more.
With Subaru holding his breath and raising his face, Abel so relayed.
Vincent: [Were you to determine who to save and who not to save based on your subjective preferences of people’s characters, that I would be able to understand. But, you save even those you loathe. Such as me.]
Subaru: [It’s not…]
Like that, so he wished to assert, yet Subaru’s words did not continue.
Whether Subaru hated Abel enough to abandon him at the eleventh hour was something he would only understand were he to do some deep introspection, but it was true that he had reached out his hand to someone he loathed.
He had been unable to reach. In spite of that, Subaru had attempted to reach out to Todd as well.
Finishing things without letting go. Their conflict notwithstanding, Louis had remained alongside Subaru till this day.
Having been told that he reached out to those who he loathed, that was exactly what he had been doing.
Vincent: [――Take your people from the Kingdom, and leave Vollachia.]
As Subaru reflected upon his prior deeds, aghast, those unforeseen words struck him.
Slowly raising his eyes, he came to lay them upon Abel, who had returned the knife his hand had been holding to the basket of fruits, that wrathful hue erased from his countenance, weaving words in tandem with what had been his facial expression until then.
He, towards a Subaru astonished at the change in demeanor and at the content of the words thrown at him, resumed.
Vincent: [From this point onwards, the Empire shall be plunged into battle against the Great Disaster. The board is different from the one I was attempting to arrange, but alas, a way through remains. Therein you are not required.]
Vincent: [I have heard enough nonsense. Whatever your intentions may be, what you have already done must be considered definite. Questioning the merits of your reasoning for that, would be an act akin to futility of the utmost extremes.]
Those were not so much words directed towards Subaru, as they were words directed towards his own self.
The exchange in which he had gotten emotional with Subaru, and the exchange in which he had bared all his emotions; Abel was about to unilaterally terminate the exchange that encompassed the entirety of both that had taken place here.
It had not been a behavior too uncharacteristic for him.
A topic mentioned both when things had gotten emotional, and when the emotions had died, the name “Chisha” was one Subaru had gotten an idea about.
Judging from how he had voiced it all, Chisha had apparently lost his life amidst the siege of the Imperial Capital; why Subaru had not saved him, to ask such a thing must have been Abel’s true intentions.
Attempting to cover up those intentions, Abel would try to pretend that such things had never, ever truly happened.
Vincent: [Make preparations to return to your country. All necessary arrangements will be made for you to cross the border. Everything after that will be the Empire’s problem―― mine problem.]
Thus, changing his way of referring to himself, and restraining all of his conduct as Abel, were signs of the resolution he had arrived at, to move forth as Emperor Vincent Vollachia.
And just how meaningful, just how heavy were the things he had been entrusted with, and if those had been the reasons for his decision, were all things Subaru could not possibly understand.
Natsuki Subaru could not understand Vincent Vollachia.
Likewise, Vincent Vollachia could not understand Natsuki Subaru.
And with that, this fruitless period was coming to an end, with naught more than both shedding the others’ blood――.
Todd: [You’re a monster. Much more so than that zombie.]
That understanding one another was impossible, that the gap could not be bridged, that a separation was unavoidable; both had reached such a conclusion on their own, both had arbitrarily decided such things on their own, and both had ended things like that all on their own.
Don’t you regret that it had to end the way it did, you goddamn idiots.
Subaru: [Hey, Abel.]
Turning his back, his conduct indicating that the conversation had drawn to a close, the Emperor advanced towards the door. The slender back making its departure was called out to, and the Emperor, taking a calm, short breath, halted his steps.
And as he was, the Emperor, with eyes devoid of heat, turned his countenance over his shoulder, and,
Vincent: [Do understand. I am Vincent Vollachia, any man that goes by Abel is――]
Subaru: [――Shut the hell up. Let’s see you grit those teeth!]
Making use of the bouncy springs of the bed and blasting off, Subaru at last charged towards that face.
At that profile, the profile of one deciding to end things all on his own, the pompous profile of one who had the nerve to selfishly tell him to hurry up and leave, that odious profile of one intending to take absolutely everything and anything upon himself; either way, already unable to stop himself from getting incredibly angry, irritated, and pissed off, Subaru drove his small, blood-soaked fist into that profile. Something he had been wanting to do for a long, long time.
 Now as the Emperor, Vincent retakes his use of “余” as a pronoun, as seen in Arc 7 Chapter 107. However here, his mask as an Emperor crumbles, and returns to using “俺” as a pronoun, much like he did before ascending to the seat of Emperor, and after getting ousted, which is noted here with italics (further uses will also be noted in the same fashion).