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A Love Song for EMT
This is an edited Machine Translation, This is expected to have a quality dip in accuracy, therefore, if you read this story you must take it into consideration.
Original Translation by Goldkills ― Complete
――It all started in the afternoon, after Subaru had finished his chores at the mansion.
???: [Hey, Subaru, can I ask you a favor?]
At the sudden sound like a ringing silver bell, Subaru turned around with a baked pastry in his mouth.
At the entrance of the dining room, a beautiful girl dressed in white called out to Subaru. A half-elf with long, silver hair that shimmers like moonlight, eyes that are purple and dark blue like jewels, and a beautiful face that defies the bounds of humanity her name is Emilia.
Emilia: [Oh, are you still in the middle of your work by any chance? Am I interrupting anything?]
Subaru: [No, I’m taking a break. I don’t think there’s any place where it’s official etiquette to work while eating sweets.]
After swallowing a half-eaten snack, Subaru smiled at the worried-looking girl. Emilia was relieved to hear his reply, and Subaru raised his eyebrows when he saw something unusual in her arms.
It’s still fresh in Subaru’s mind, one of the instruments in this other world――
???: [It’s a lyulyre, right. Thought it was in the storage room of the mansion, covered in dust and dirt.]
The one who added to Subaru’s reaction was a girl in a maid uniform who was taking a break in the same room. A woman with short blue hair and wearing a revealing modified maid uniform,… Subaru’s colleague and super maid, Rem, who serves as the head maid of the mansion.
Rem is an all-round housekeeper and takes care of all the duties in the mansion. The baked goods that Subaru were eating were also made by Rem, and she and Subaru were currently enjoying a cup of tea during a break from work.
Subaru: [If Liliana didn’t leave it behind, does that mean it’s that dusty lyulyre?]
Emilia: [Even Liliana wouldn’t forget her precious tools… probably”
Subaru: [You can see your trust in Liliana in the depth of your reply.]
Emilia: [Don’t tease me… Because of what happened to Liliana, it seems that Roswaal was taking care of it on a whim. So I thought I’d ask you to play a song for a change from studying.]
Subaru: [That’s why you asked for me. That’s very thoughtful for a guy like Roz-Chi]
Accepting the lyulyre, Subaru lightly plucked the strings of the instrument. A light sound was produced in the room, and it seemed that the instrument had been well taken care of.
The lyulyre is a wooden stringed instrument, similar to the guitar of Subaru’s original world. It is slightly smaller in size, but once someone gets the hang of it, there is not much difference in the scales it can play.
Rem: [Subaru-kun, can you play the lyulyre?]
Rem widened her eyes at Subaru, who was checking the sound in a familiar atmosphere.
Subaru: [Oh, yeah, I can play. It’s basically the same as the acoustic I had at home. Liliana gave me a little training, and I can play most of my local folk songs.]
Subaru: [It’s short for acoustic guitar. Well, just think of it as a local folk instrument.]
In response to Rem, who tilted her head, Subaru remembered the tan girl who had trained him so hard.
Liliana, that’s the young girl who was a guest at the Roswaal mansion just a few days ago, the minstrel poet. Due to her making her living by singing, her singing voice and performance skills were excellent. The women of the mansion, and even Subaru, were secretly fans of her.
However, contrary to her prodigious musical talent, she was a girl whose personality was completely paper-thin.
Anyway, the situation surrounding Liliana was settled, and the mansion returned to its normal routine.
A few days later, Emilia’s admiration and curiosity for music has not been lost. When she asks Subaru for a song during the break, she is crazy about it.
Rem: [So, Subaru-kun, can you also play the song that Liliana-sama was singing?]
Subaru: [I don’t want to play the same song, because it will be compared to her singing the same thing. Also, even if I can play it, it’s very difficult to perform it. Mainly because of my singing voice.]
Rem: [But Subaru-kun is amazing. Rem really can’t even imagine skills that are not useful for the work of the mansion!]
Subaru: [Heh heh, not so much… Huh? That’s not quite right, is it? That’s not a compliment, is it?]
Rem, who had been in a posture of admiration with her hands clasped together, looks mystified at the unconscious venom. It was cute and cuddly, but it seemed so genuine that it pierced Subaru’s heart. It’s just that the two girls have high expectations of him. Subaru wanted to show them his good side.
Subaru: [Well, The “Sword Demon Love song”… is a tough one, so we’ll go with a 70s folk medley.]
Subaru: [It’s not “Eh”. This song is also a classic.]
Chuckling at the disgruntled voice, Subaru strums his fingers on the lyulyre to get a rhythm going. Emilia and Rem sat down on the sofa together and began to clap modestly along with the music.
Subaru: [The sound is more upbeat than on an acoustic guitar, but please use your imagination to compensate for that.]
While making his preliminary remarks, Subaru flipped through the music sheet in his memory and began to play the strings of the lyulyre.
With the excess of time away from school and the days passing by aimlessly, Natsuki Subaru hated himself for being stagnant and spent his time learning various skills. ――Practicing the guitar was one of them.
Subaru didn’t know what to make of those useless years, but they have come full circle and brought joy to two beautiful girls.
Folk songs of the 70’s were often rather sad love songs, reflecting the times and trends of the time. Even without lyrics, the ephemeral atmosphere of the song is evident in its tune. Subaru could see a hint of melancholy or sadness in the eyes and expressions of the two girls as they listened to the performance. Subaru’s reaction to the performance was frustrating, and it was painful to watch his face…
Subaru: [Secret technique! tooth guitar…adadadada!]
Emilia: [Su, Subaru! Dreadful! What a stupid thing to do!]
Rem: [Subaru-kun? Oh, why did you do something so stupid!]
Subaru: [You don’t have to say it all together…Oh Ow!, Ouch AH!]
As Subaru tried to liven up the mood of the song with a performance, his lips and teeth were severely damaged by the strength of the newly re-strung strings.
The “Tooth Guitar,” a magical technique of playing sounds with the teeth, is a superb skill that only the best guitarists have mastered. Naturally, there was no way Subaru, a third-rate guitarist, could do it. The result was bloodshed and disaster.
Rem: [Yes, please calm down, Subaru-kun, if you don’t it will be painful.]
Subaru: [Ah, Ouch… It hurts! I’m healed! Yeah, that hurt. Thanks.]
Holding her hand over Subaru’s writhing face, Rem activates a healing spell with a pale light.
Subaru was grateful as the wounds that had been cut open by the strings closed up with a distant feeling of pain. Emilia, who had her hands on her hips, made an angry face at the sight of Subaru.
Emilia: [I was reaaally surprised at what you did. It was so sudden I didn’t know what to do. Don’t make me worry about something weird like that again.]
Subaru: [Sorry, sorry. No, I’ve done it myself, but I thought the song selection wasn’t good. It’s not that 70’s folk music is bad, it’s just my fault for choosing songs that don’t fit the mood.]
If Subaru was going to play a song, it’s more appropriate to play a song that can comfortably entertain the two people in the audience. Folk songs should be used more to bring you closer to the girl you are interested in.
Subaru: [So, I’ll save that song for another time. Wait for me, Emilia-tan.]
Emilia: [――? I don’t know what I’m supposed to wait for, but I get it… So, is the performance over? Is that all the music that you can play?]
Subaru was relieved when he was implicitly asked to play more.
Regardless of the song selection, it seems that Subaru’s performance met Emilia’s expectations. Rem also seemed to agree with Emilia, but she did not interrupt their conversation.
As for Subaru, He wants to meet the expectations of these two as much as possible, as Subaru gets excited as much as it is expected, even if he can’t.
Subaru: [But all I’ve practiced is 70’s folk, that’s it! Why didn’t I practice more hip, pop songs back then…?]
Rem: [Are you troubled, Subaru-kun? If that’s the case, surely you can find something in Liliana-sama’s music.]
When Subaru cursed himself for his past actions, Rem raised her hand as if she had a good idea. It was very funny to see Rem’s cute and cuddly scheme hiding in that impatient offer.
Surprisingly, it was Rem who was most interested in Liliana’s songs. Rem, who has a deep knowledge of poetry, folklore, and songs passed down from generation to generation, probably wanted to pretend to be making a suggestion and have Subaru sing.
Even Subaru was fascinated by all of Liliana’s songs, but――
Subaru: [I’m not good enough to copy someone’s music or compare myself to Liliana. Would a simple non-folk song like, “I Stepped on the Cat” work?]
Emilia: [Subaru, you owe me a proper apology for that…]
Subaru: [Don’t look so sad. I’m so depressed! It was a mistake! I didn’t step on it on purpose, or rather, that’s what the song is called! I’ll tell the person who stepped on it later!]
The traditional piano performance piece was in danger of being put into storage due to its title.
Emilia, who had been looking accusingly at Subaru as he apologized flatly, sighed sadly. Then she clapped her hands and gently loosened her lips with a mischievous look.
Emilia: [Well, play one of Liliana’s songs and It will forget about it. I’m not going to laugh even if you mess up, so please don’t be nervous. Okay?]
Rem: [Emilia-sama is right, Subaru-kun. No matter how bad you are, no matter how terrible you are, no matter how much you fail, Rem will never laugh at you. Don’t worry, you’ll fail. It’s okay. Rem will comfort the crying Subaru-kun.]
Subaru: [You don’t have to worry about me all the time, I won’t cry!]
Subaru’s shoulders slumped due to there being no way out.
They even worried about Subaru crying because he had just complained. It seemed like playing by ear was unavoidable.
Some of the songs that Liliana played, Subaru learned from her. He guessed there’s nothing he could do. Even so, Subaru’s performance skills were poor and self-taught. It was the result of staring at his father’s guitar and music sheets, and trying to keep up with his father’s playing, Subaru’s eyes grinning from behind the paper door.
Subaru: [Don’t laugh at me if I’m really bad at this. I won’t cry either.]
With this precaution, Subaru prepared to play the lyulyre once again. Then he tilted his head lightly and winked at Emilia in a slightly pretentious manner.
Subaru: [By the way, …do you have any requests for songs, miss?]
Emilia: [Oh, then I want that song! You know――]
She was in a good mood as Subaru took over the performance, and Emilia happily clasped her hands together. Then she closed her eyes and cleared her throat faintly, as if remembering something.
Emilia: [La, la, la, la, la, la――]
With a short breath in, and breath out from Emilia’s lips, sounded a voice like a silver bell formed into song.
Subaru and Rem were unexpectedly struck by the enchanting tone of her beautiful voice.
Originally, Emilia’s voice has a magical quality that captures the hearts of those who hear it and shakes their souls. It was for personal reasons that Subaru’s heart trembled whenever she spoke to him, but the magic of her beautiful voice could be felt by more than just Subaru.
Through the membrane of the eardrum, it enters the bloodstream of the body, and the soul leaps and moves with the unbearable emotions that come up. Just hearing her singing voice you could feel the innocence in the air.
The singing was supposed to be for the purpose of introducing the song, but Emilia’s singing did not stop.
Neither Subaru nor Rem have the means to stop it. They just continued to listen to the magic of the song performed by her beautiful voice in silence until the end.
Eventually, the song came to an end, and Emilia exhaled deeply after finishing the song.
Then, for the first time, Emilia realized that she had forgotten herself and was absorbed in the song. With her white cheeks dyed in embarrassment, Emilia looked at Subaru and the others in a panic.
Emilia: [Sor, sorry. I just felt Reaaally good while I was singing…]
Subaru: […That’s okay, I could see that. You like singing.]
Emilia: [I don’t know. I’m not really familiar with singing, but yeah. Maybe I like it.]
Putting her hand over her mouth, Emilia nodded with a somewhat embarrassed look on her face.
The words “Maybe I like it” were released as a sigh. If it were a normal Subaru, he would have planned to ask her again, but this time he didn’t think so.
This was not unrelated to the presence of Rem, who was sitting next to Subaru, gently pulling on his sleeve.
Subaru: [I know]
Rem’s pale blue eyes look as if they want to say something. Subaru nodded, anticipating the emotions that resided there.
Rem called Subaru’s name and he nodded his head briefly. That’s all it took for the two of them to understand each other’s intentions. This is a common feeling for those who have heard Emilia’s singing voice.
You have to act. It is the greatest weapon Subaru has learned in this mansion.
After being tossed around by several layers of fate, Subaru came to understand this. Choices and actions are the only way to change an unreasonable world. ――So Subaru takes on it again.
When Emilia’s cheeks were still red, Subaru closed his eyes for once and said
Subaru: [Umm, Emilia-tan… I don’t really know what to say.]
Emilia: [――? Eh?]
With a hand in her own silver hair, Emilia tilted her head at Subaru, who was choosing his words.
The Purple and Dark Blue eyes that look at Subaru have a trust that is different from that of Rem. Subaru’s heart tightened by this emotion. However, he suppressed his sentimentality and stepped in.
Subaru: [Emilia-tan, you are…]
???: [――What sounds like a bird’s dying scream? What kind of tomfoolery are you playing during your break, Barusu?]
In the middle of his words, the door was opened and all of Subaru’s resolve was shattered by the arrogant tone.
The girl who stepped into the room was a girl with peach-colored hair and light pink eyes, Ram, the older twin sister of Rem, who has the same appearance as Rem except for the color of her hair and eyes and the size of her breasts.
Ram looked around the room with a sour look in her eyes and looked at the three people standing there in turn, then meditated thoughtfully, for exactly five seconds――
Ram: [Unusually, Ram wonders if we could just pretend that didn’t happen.]
Subaru: [It’s great that you were able to grasp the situation in an instant, but you ruined it, Nee-sama!]
Subaru’s scream exploded as Ram abruptly interrupted the scene and got right to the point.
――Emilia, who has a beautiful voice like an angel, is a tone-deaf person who has always deviated from the ordinary.
That was all that could be said, but Subaru was struck by a shock that went beyond that. Has there ever been such a tragedy in recent years?
Subaru was not the only one who was shocked by the fact that she had a beautiful voice and was tone-deaf. Rem was also disappointed and saddened by the fact.
For Rem, too, Emilia’s devastating vocal performance was a shock.
Who could have predicted that Emilia’s beautiful voice, like the sound of bells, would turn out to be such a cacophony?
Subaru: [God, what has this girl done? How cruel can you be…!?]
Emilia: [Please don’t talk to me like that! Oh, no! No! I’m so embarrassed! I’m so embarrassed!]
Emilia, who is a little bit redder than others, even to her pointed ears, presses her head against the sofa.
Hearing Emilia’s singing voice, which was out of tune, Ram came all the way here to complain. At first, Emilia had questioned Ram’s statement, but thanks to Subaru’s painful excuses and carefully made explanations, she now knew exactly what had happened.
As a result of her accurate grasp, Emilia slumped down on the couch with a sulky look on her face.
Emilia: [To, to begin with, I think Subaru and the others are overreacting. It’s true that I’ve never had the chance to sing before, and I’ve never even been taught how to sing…, but it’s still a little weird you’re all trying to make fun of me, I won’t let you make a fool of me so easily.]
Emilia, on her knees, speaks quickly. It is a childlike attitude that denies facts that are hard to admit and tries to reject reality with reluctance.
Looking at Emilia, Subaru spoke to sincerity as if to say to her.
Subaru: [I know what it feels like to be unbelievable and suspicious. But this is different. I’ve lied to you many times…, to be honest, and I’ve been mean to you just to see Emilia-tan turned red when When I tease you.]
Emilia: [Oh, yeah!? I don’t know about that! Did I get teased? I mean, when?]
Subaru: [Now is not the time to talk about that! Don’t distract from the problem!]
Emilia: [Yeah,…it is something that’s hard to explain…]
Subaru accidentally slipped up, but Emilia, who was fooled by the momentum, was not happy. However, Subaru pushed aside her frustration and held out his hands.
Subaru: [This time it’s true. I swear there won’t be a single lie.]
With a sincere voice, a serious gaze, and real words, Subaru conveyed what needs to be said.
Subaru: [――You are the victim of God’s mischief.]
Emilia: [You can’t tell me that!]
Subaru: [I can’t believe this is happening! Why is Emilia-tan so tone-deaf? She has such a cute and beautiful voice, but if she sings like that, no one will be happy! If it’s someone else’s fault, it’s God’s fault! Or, it’s her parents’ fault for leaving her like this!]
Emilia has a sullen face to Subaru who shakes his fist and emphasizes.
Despite her enthusiasm for singing, Emilia seemed to be just like everyone else, probably because she herself was unaware of her tone-deafness.
This is a characteristic of “Sensory Tone-deafness” which is considered to be particularly difficult to correct. Unlike “Motor Tone-deafness” which is a problem in the throat, it is extremely difficult to correct because the person is not aware of it.
In other words, in order to defeat this difficult enemy, the cooperation of family members is essential.
Subaru: [Puck, come here!]
Snapping his fingers, Subaru calls out the name of Emilia’s family and the person responsible for this problem.
Subaru doesn’t have the right to summon Puck as a spirit, but his contractor, Emilia, gives in to his urge and calls out to her chest, the green crystal stone that shines there. Then――
Puck: [I jumped out at the call nya nya nya nyan]
Particles of pale light overflowed from the sparkling crystal, and the light formed the spirit of a small cat.
The spirit Puck, which made a silly appearance, landed on Emilia’s left shoulder and was grooming himself while hugging his long tail.
Puck: [What’s up? What are you doing here? I was supposed to be off all day today.]
Subaru: [Why are you talking like a busy industry guy? Besides, weren’t you listening to what was going on outside in the stone?]
Puck: [I told you, I was supposed to be off. I’ve been sleeping.]
Subaru: [You’re really spending the holidays like a working dad…]
The actual working hours are nine o’clock to five o’clock, and the cute little cat has not stopped being an office worker. Regardless of how the little cat spends his days off, Subaru explained the process so far with light gestures.
Eventually, after listening to Subaru’s story, Puck nodded and looked at the side of Emilia’s face.
Puck: [I see. ――Subaru says so, but is Lia really a tone-deaf person?]
Emilia: [I don’t mean to be… I think Subaru is just exaggerating a bit. I’m singing fine. I’m not playing around.]
Subaru: [The one who was playing around…is…!]
Emilia looked sulky, and Subaru, kneeling, tapped the floor repeatedly, biting his lips. Comparing their faces, Puck stroked his own pink nose.
Puck: [I’m going to have to ask you once, anyway. Lia, please.]
Emilia: […I don’t want you laughing at me anymore.]
Puck: [No, I won’t do that. Even if the whole world laughs at you, I’m the only one who won’t laugh at you.]
Subaru: [Super cool for nothing.]
Emilia let out a gasp and closed her eyes at Puck’s rather passionate answer. Then she hummed a rhythm, trying to find the right moment to start singing.
However, she was already humming out of rhythm. Regardless of that, the song began.
After overcoming the previous song, her singing voice this time was fuller and in good shape. Emilia seemed to be aware of this, and her face looked radiant as she finished the song.
Emilia: [What do you think?]
With a pleasantly singing face, Emilia asked Puck confidently. Puck washed his face at her words, with a “Yeah, I guess so”.
Puck: [I’ve always been confident in the way I raised Lia. She grew up to be the cutest girl in the world, and I truly believe she’s a good, smart girl.]
Emilia: [Um… so? Oh no, that’s so embarrassing…]
Emilia smiled shyly at the sudden praise. “But”, Puck added at the end of these words of praise.
Puck: [I’ve never regretted my lack of attention more than I did today.]
Puck: [I’m sorry, Lia. I couldn’t be the world’s best father to the world’s cutest little girl. That’s the only thing I’m really sorry about.]
Immediately after saying that, Puck lost his strength and rolled off Emilia’s shoulder. The spirit tumbled from her slender shoulders, and Subaru, who had quickly reached out to catch the spirit’s body and caught it.
In the palm of Subaru’s hand, Puck looked up at him with a weak movement of his neck.
Puck: [Sorry, Subaru…It’s all my fault. I didn’t do enough…]
Subaru: [Okay! That’s enough, Puck. It’s not anybody’s fault. Because, because you regretted it so much! We’re all in this together. Right?]
Puck: [Fufu… Those words alone are enough to save me. ――I feel very sleepy right now.]
The light went out of Puck’s eyes, and his body lost its strength. The outline of his body blurred, and the spirit began to disperse as particles of light. Wanting to stop him from disappearing, Subaru struggled to keep his voice down.
Subaru: [No, no, no! Puck! Puck!]
Puck: [Thank you for everything…]
The spirit disappearing in Subaru’s palm in the face of his lamentation… the tragedy of the one beside him.
Emilia: [I don’t know anymore! Subaru and Puck, you idiots! Idiots! Um, idiots!]
Emilia, who was completely bent out of shape by the teasing, ran out of the dining hall.
Puck: [――We overdid it.]
Face to face, Subaru and Puck were very sorry for their prank and ran off in a panic after the fleeing Emilia.
Subaru: [There are three main causes of tone-deafness. “I can’t understand the notes”, “I can’t Sing the notes”, “I can’t follow the rhythm“. If we can crush these problems one by one, we can theoretically eradicate any kind of tone-deafness. In other words, Emilia-tan’s tone-deafness is something that can be cured!]
Puck: [Nya, nyan, But――!]
When Subaru raised his fist in the air and gave a powerful speech, Puck gave the expected response.
The theory that Subaru had just proposed was based on what he had seen on TV before. He didn’t know how credible it was, but it’s better than embarking on a treatment for tone-deafness without a clue.
Pitch, throat, and rhythm ――if these are the main causes of tone-deafness, it is easy to find a solution.
Subaru: [First, let’s break down Emilia-tan’s problem in a simple way. Based on my impressions of Emilia-tan’s singing, there are two reasons for her tone-deafness, her pitch and rhythm. Aside from the pitch, Her voice was good, and her face was cute and cuddly.]
Puck: [Subaru, Subaru, you’re getting sidetracked.]
Subaru: [No, it’ s not. Well, it’s not that her face isn’t pretty, but her voice is. So there are two problems that need to be solved: pitch and rhythm. Now, repeat!]
Puck: [Pitch and rhythm!]
Puck follows Subaru’s lead, and the two are eager to solve the tone-deafness problem. However, beside these two people――
Emilia, sulking on the floor with her knees to her chest, was not at all positive about their conversation.
It was fine until Subaru caught Emilia who ran away, but her sulking was not all bad. The fact that her ears still twitched showed she’s listening to the conversation is honest and endearing, though.
Subaru: [If she enjoyed Liliana’s song, then Emilia-tan’s ears can hear whether the song is good or bad. If you find yourself in a situation where someone else’s song is OK, but your own song is NG, maybe your mind is unconsciously complementing your own song. Let’s fix that.]
Puck: [Easy for you to say, but how can you do it?]
Subaru: [Generally speaking, you can listen to the correct song hundreds of times, or you can hum the song all the time to get the pitch… It’s rather easy to realize that you are tone-deaf. First of all.]
In response to Puck’s question, Subaru is about to start the first phase of the Emilia tone-deafness correction plan.
However, it was at the moment when Subaru was about to take out his secret weapon.
???: [――If you’ve been keeping quiet until now, how can you do what you please here so freely, I suppose.]
A terribly grumpy voice interrupted him, and Subaru shook his head in dismay. Then, he turns to the person who has dampened his enthusiasm and sighs into their smug face.
Subaru: [Don’t be like that… Everyone is trying to be positive, so don’t imitate it like pouring water. Read the air Don’t just read a book, read the air.]
???: [It’s a complaint that irritates me more when it’s said by you than by anyone else, In fact. I mean, seriously, what does that even mean, I suppose. Why do you do it in Betty’s library, In fact.]
The girl in the middle of the room, sitting on a stool, clicks her tongue as she closes her book with a loud bang.
She is a girl with a fluttery dress, gorgeous long curled drill-like hair, and the appearance like a doll. She is Beatrice, the librarian of this library and a resident of the mansion.
As one could see, she and Subaru are like cats and dogs, and Subaru wants to be friends with her, but she is a girl who is worth teasing, so he can’t help but be provocative in his dealings with her, which is a source of her annoyance.
Subaru: [What can we do? There are no soundproofed music rooms in this house, and what if Emilia-tan’s song leaks outside if she sings in another room? If word gets out that Emilia-tan is tone-deaf, it might even effect the Royal Selection.]
Emilia: [Is my singing that bad?]
She was told that she would be at a disadvantage in the Royal Selection, and as expected, Emilia could not remain unresponsive. At this point, Beatrice gives Emilia a cold look.
Beatrice: [What the girl’s future holds is none of Betty’s business, In fact. Besides, it doesn’t explain why there’s such a ruckus in this Forbidden Library, I suppose.]
Subaru: [Beako, you know what I’m talking about. In a normal room, your voice would leak out. But there’s no need to worry about that in this Forbidden Library. After all, this room is spatially isolated from the rest. No matter how many lessons you do, no one will bother you!]
Beatrice: [Betty says it’s the most annoying thing ever, In fact!
Standing up and Jumping off her stool Beatrice grabs the hem of her dress and yells at Subaru with a red face.
Beatrice’s anger was justified and she had a good point. However, it is also true that the Forbidden Library is needed for the lesson. So Subaru uses his trump card against Beatrice.
Puck: [Betty…, are we really that much of a distraction? Do you want us to leave…?]
Puck, with his moist round eyes and his tail tucked in, looks up at Beatrice.
The little mischievous cat’s appeal was a perfect coordination without needing to say anything beforehand. As soon as Beatrice lost her previous vigor, she began to look uncomfortable.
Beatrice: [I don’t think there’s a single thing wrong with Nii-Cha, I suppose! But the Forbidden Library is…]
Puck: [Yes. I know how much Betty loves this room. But it’s also true that I need Betty’s help with this. So please, help me.]
Beatrice’s heart is in turmoil as Puck, whom she adores as her brother, begs her to do something. She’s a girl who can’t say no to a request from Puck for any reason. The odds were stacked against her.
Subaru: [I win.]
Beatrice: [And it’s the only way, I suppose. It’s okay, In fact. If Nii-Cha asks, I can’t refuse, I suppose.]
Beatrice, oblivious to Subaru’s mumbling with a wicked look on his face, accepts the situation without hesitation with a very predictable response. Subaru was worried that she would be tricked by a bad man in the future.
But now they have all the conditions. Subaru and Puck nodded at each other, and Puck jumped into Subaru’s palm and gave him a dynamic high five.
Thus, Emilia’s lesson begins in the Forbidden Library, where she has safely obtained permission from its master――
Subaru: [It may be a hard and painful road. But let’s not be discouraged and do our best!]
Emilia: [I’ve never asked to be cured of my tone-deafness… Well, maybe I’m a bit of a lousy singer, but I’ve never asked to be cured of that…]
Each of the three was motivated in a different way that left the others involved behind.
Subaru: [So, I’d like to start the lesson in earnest… Emilia-tan, how long will you keep sulking? This is a very important story, okay?]
Emilia: [I hate Subaru and I hate Puck. Because they exaggerate even if my singing is a bit lousy.]
Subaru: [You don’t hear many people today who say lousy. Also how stubborn are you?]
Emilia: [I don’t know.]
Because of the teasing in the previous exchange, Emilia, the person involved, was not taking it seriously enough.
It’s not just about the sound, it’s about the person who wants to fix the problem. So, first of all, Subaru has to get Emilia to face herself seriously.
Subaru: [So why are you so stubborn when it comes to singing when you’re usually so straightforward?]
Emilia: [Because it’s embarrassing. Subaru and Liliana are both good singers, and I don’t want to believe that I’m the only one who doesn’t know anything and is tone-deaf.]
Subaru: [Oh no, cute, cute resistance. But that’s not good enough to stop me…]
The cheeks of Emilia’s face as she turned away from Subaru were red, and the momentum of Emilia’s resistance was weakening. However, seeing that it was still not enough to make a decisive blow, Subaru cracked the bones in his neck and…
Subaru: […To make them aware of their tone-deafness. The best way to do this is to listen to your own singing objectively. In fact, it would be a great idea if you could record it, but unfortunately we don’t have such a convenient item here.]
So Subaru will give up on relying on civilization’s tools and try more primitive methods.
Emilia: [Is that a… bucket?]
Emilia rolls her eyes when she sees the tool Subaru has in his hand. To her amazement, what she sees is unmistakably a metal bucket.
Subaru: [Our guest this time, Bucket-san. This special instructor is going to teach Emilia-tan how she is tone-deaf. It’s been washed, so there’s no hygienic problem. Don’t worry.]
Puck: [How can you use that bucket? Can I go in?]
Subaru: [It’s good for your cat appeal that you want to get into tight spaces. It’s easy to use. Just put this on Emilia-tan’s head and have her sing.]
Beatrice: [Pupu, ha, In fact.]
Emilia was surprised by Subaru’s assertion, and Beatrice gushed unintentionally.
Emilia: [Um…, sorry, I guess my ears are a little off. What am I going to do with that bucket?]
Subaru: [Put it on. You’re going to wear it and sing. You’re gonna be a bucket heroine.]
Emilia: [You idiot, Subaru! To think I was going to listen to you seriously!]
When Subaru offered her the bucket with a smile, an angry Emilia tried to run away again. However, Subaru hurriedly grabbed Emilia’s arm.
Subaru: [Wait, wait a minute No, I’m not kidding! If you sing with this on, your voice will bounce back inside and you’ll hear yourself! I am not kidding!]
Beatrice: [All you usually do is lie, I suppose. He’s like the little Boy with a Falo in “Hoshin of the Wilderness”, In fact.]
Subaru: [I hear you talking about the Boy crying wolf. you hampering loli! Shut up for a second!]
Subaru silenced Beatrice, who interrupted him, Subaru explained himself to Emilia, who looked at him with suspicion.
This may be the first time Emilia has given Subaru such a suspicious look since the first day he was summoned, when Subaru called her by the name of the witch she was using as an alias.
A single bucket can wreak havoc, but Subaru is desperate to convey his sincerity anyway.
Subaru: [You’ll know your singing ability when you hear yourself sing! You’ll know I’m not lying but if you think you’ve been tricked try and sing, you’ll know!]
Emilia: [You think you tricked me, but you’re trying to trick me! I won’t be tricked again!]
Subaru: [If you’re so paranoid, whose fault is it that…]
Emilia: [Yesterday, you made me eat mayonnaise that did not come out right, just to see if I’d be fooled! I’m angry because I remembered that.]
Subaru: [Shit, that was me! Yesterday’s me being stupid! But today I’m different, I’m here for you!]
Emilia feels like Subaru is trying to pull her into a bad path, but Subaru is trying to push her over the edge, and the good natured Emilia is eventually pushed to the breaking point.
Emilia looked at the bucket that was handed to her and held it above her head――
Emilia: […You won’t laugh?]
Subaru: [No laughing, no laughing, I won’t laugh.]
Emilia: [Absolutely, positively?]
Subaru: [No matter who laughs at you, I won’t laugh at you.]
Puck: [Isn’t that a line of dialogue that Was said earlier in this situation?]
Puck asked on his shoulder, but the serious-looking Subaru ignored him. It’s all about getting Emilia to wear the bucket. Subaru spared Puck any decisive words for now.
Perhaps emboldened by these powerful words, Emilia put on the bucket with a determined look on her face.
The bucket is so large that it hides Emilia’s face. ――This is the birth of a bucket heroine.
Subaru: [I don’t know what to think. I should have known, but it hurts my heart to look at Emilia-tan right now.]
Puck: [Don’t worry, Lia. Lia is the cutest little thing in the world, even when she’s wearing a bucket.]
Subaru is racked with guilt, and Puck has no lack of affection for Emilia in any form.
Subaru felt defeated by the depth of his affection, but Subaru somehow knew that Emilia, whose face he couldn’t see through the bucket, was not pleased by the compliment Puck had just given her.
Beatrice: [Pufu…, I suppose.]
Beatrice, who was hiding her face with a book she had lifted up, Even with the book you could clearly see that she was laughing out loud.
While being exposed to such a public, Emilia turned her bucketed face towards Subaru in a healthy manner.
Emilia: [Can I just sing like this? It is reaaally cramped in here… wow such an amazing voice.]
Subaru: [It’s not often you get to hear your own voice objectively. Keep it up, and try to sing in a tone with the intention of enjoying your own singing voice. I’ll even join you if you want.]
Subaru bought some covering fire with the lyulyre, but Emilia shook her bucketed head. It was very surrealistic picture, but Subaru thought Emilia probably looked dignified in the bucket.
Emilia: [Don’t worry. I’ll try it on my own first.]
Subaru: [Really? Just let me know if you feel uneasy. I’ll, uh, do my best.]
Subaru didn’t know how much help a third-rate guitarist’s skills would be against Emilia’s tone-deafness. In response to Subaru’s words, the bucket-headed Emilia pulled her chin back. And…
Emilia: [La, la, la, la, la, la…]
Without Subaru’s support, Emilia hummed a rhythm and then began to sing.
It sounded muffled through the bucket, but there was no dramatic change in the song. In other words, she was tone-deaf, but if her eyes were as clear as they appeared, Emilia herself would have heard the song as well.
Puck: [Oh, terrible]
Beatrice: [Really terrible, In fact.]
Puck sighs sadly, and Subaru nods his head once again. In addition, Beatrice, who has demonstrated her tolerance for Liliana’s music, is frowning in displeasure.
Musicality is an irresistible force, and it’s not Emilia’s fault that she’s being blamed, but――
The song abruptly ended in front of Subaru and the others who were listening to the pitiful song.
In the end, the singing was cut short by a faint voice, and Emilia lifted the bucket she was wearing as the three of them looked at her suspiciously.
The silver hair that had been wrapped around her overflowed, and Emilia graduated to bucket hair. And――
Emilia: […Please, leave me alone.]
After saying that, a girl who was aware of her tone-deafness walked away from the Forbidden Library feeling sad and lonely.
Subaru: [――No, you can’t just walk away! You’ve been running away all day!]
As soon as he came back to himself, Subaru followed in a panic.
Subaru: [Emilia-tan is going to take a look at what’s wrong with her and learn to become a better girl! At first, Overcome the inability to get the pitch right! OK!?]
Emilia: [Oh, oh kay.]
――Emilia had once run away, but since she was brought back with a tearful face, since then she had been obedient to Subaru’s guidance. It must have been very hard for her to be aware of her own tone-deafness.
She may not be very energetic, but she seems to be burning with motivation for her lessons.
Subaru: [The best way to overcome tone-deafness is to listen to one song at a time and memorize the correct pitch, or wear a bucket and correct yourself, as you did earlier. Humming all the time is also good.]
Emilia: [But even with the right pitch, Liliana’s gone…]
Subaru: [It’s not like Liliana is the only one in the world who can sing in the right pitch, you know? Well, Beako can, too. Oi, sing a little.]
Beatrice: [What? Why should Betty do that for you, I suppose?]
Beatrice recoiled at the sudden talk, and Subaru shrugged, “Oi, Oi”.
Subaru: [If this is where the lessons are going to be held anyway, it’ll go faster if you help out. If we don’t finish, we’ll just keep coming back here for more and more.]
Beatrice: [Mugigi… But that doesn’t mean I want to be ordered around by you, In fact.]
Subaru: [Yes, yes, you mean that? The lady thinks she’s a critic and has a lot to say, but she can’t do anything herself. OK, I get it. Continue reading in the corner of the room.]
Beatrice: [Who’s all talk, I suppose! You’ve got to be kidding me, In fact! Okay, I’ll do it, I suppose!]
Beatrice responds to Subaru’s provocations in textbook fashion. Her ease of being manipulated also makes Subaru anxious about the future, but for now, this ease is reassuring.
The little girl then stepped forward and jabbed her finger forcefully at Emilia.
Beatrice: [I’ll teach you what’s wrong, In fact… The true essence of music!]
Subaru: [That’s a bit of an exaggeration.]
Emilia: [Yes, Sensei. I understand. I’ll do my best… Good luck.]
Subaru: [So honest!]
At this rate, Subaru is determined to work together as a team to get the lessons right.
Subaru: [In order to develop a sense of rhythm, I recommend that you create a certain rhythm for yourself by moving your body while singing. Just clap your hands or tap your feet, and try it with the notes.]
Puck: [Okay, Lia, clap your hands together. Come on, nyan-tsu, nyan-tsu…]
Emilia: [Nya, nyan-tsu, nyan-tsu…]
Subaru clapped his hands and explained, and Puck, who mimicked him, instructed Emilia. Emilia hurriedly obeyed, watching the applause that didn’t sound with his paws.
Emilia: [Nyan-tsu… Ouch!]
Beatrice: [There, now you will start singing with this, I suppose. I’ll discipline you until you can do it, In fact.]
Putting the bucket over Emilia’s head as she clapped her hands, Beatrice said ruthlessly.
In the Forbidden Library, there is a girl with a bucket on her head, a little girl who looks at her with a keen eye, and a small cat that flies around cheerfully… An unusual sight from the outside.
Subaru: [It’s like a nightmare, it doesn’t feel real… but if I had a dream like this, I’d go to the hospital.]
Anyway, theoretically, Emilia’s tone-deafness should start to improve with this lesson. The two of them and the animal seem to be concentrating, and Subaru is going to solve one other problem here.
Subaru: [Excuse me. I’m going to go shoot the pheasant.]
Beatrice: [What do you mean by going to shoot the pheasant, I suppose.]
Subaru: [It’s the toilet. Don’t make me say it. It’s embarrassing.]
After irritating Beatrice, Subaru left the room, leaving Emilia and the others behind. As he left, Subaru thought Emilia’s profile looked uneasy, but he couldn’t tell because of the bucket on her head.
When you leave the Forbidden Library, the “Door Crossing” is triggered. A space transfer that connects to any door in the mansion, the exit of which this time is set right next to Roswaal’s office.
Subaru: [That loli, Don’t try to help me!]
It was thoughtful of Subaru because Beatrice knew what he was going to do, using the bathroom as an excuse. After giving Beatrice a hateful look, Subaru knocked on the door of the office.
Subaru: [Roz-Chi, it’s me, is it okay if I interrupt?]
???: [――Suuure. I’ve been wanting to hear what is going on for a whiiile now.]
With the permission of the owner of the room, Subaru proudly entered the office. In his spacious office, sitting at his black ebony desk is the owner of the mansion, a strange eccentric man… Roswaal L Mathers.
Roswaal, who is also Subaru’s employer, is staring at Subaru with different colored eyes.
Roswaal: [It looooks like you’ve started something interesting involving Emilia-sama.]
Subaru: [It’s not that I’m getting involved, it’s just that this time it was Emilia who started it. I know you have a lot to say, but just for today, please tolerate me.]
Roswaal: [With the Royal Selection just around the corner, do you expect me to overlook a situation where you are caught up in trivial matters?]
Although Roswaal is hitting him where it hurts, his expression is quite amusing. There is a sense that he is waiting with open arms to see what kind of counterargument Subaru will make.
He’s a master with bad taste, Subaru thought with a sigh.
Subaru: [It may seem like a waste of time, but isn’t relaxation is important for everything? We’ve all sensed that she’s been overly persistent, especially lately.]
On the first day after Subaru was summoned, there was the theft incident in the royal capital. This was followed by the disturbance of Witch beasts outside the mansion, and then the incident with Liliana the other day. Although Emilia was a party to all of these incidents, she was unable to directly resolve them by confronting the root of the problem.
From Subaru’s standpoint, he should never have approached such dangers on his own, but even so, she may have been acutely aware of his lack of power.
Subaru thought the reaction to this is linked to Emilia’s overwhelming schedule these days. She never hesitates to overreach herself for the alcohol of someone else. The fact that Emilia relied on Subaru during her short break was proof of her trust in him. If that was the case, he was glad.
Roswaal: [As for my persuasion, I want you to try yooour best.]
Subaru: [When she learns to breathe through her abdomen while practicing singing, her voice will become clearer and she will have an advantage in her speeches! When cured of her tone-deafness, her self-confidence will increase and her expression will become brighter! And as the beauty of her singing voice becomes known to the world, the double bind of being a king and a diva will be striking for Emilia-tan…!]
Roswaal: [Ah, yes, yes, I understaaand. I’ll allow a little breather.]
Roswaal raises the white flag in response to Subaru’s convincing sales pitch. However, it is not that he was struck by Subaru’s persuasion, but rather his own consideration for Emilia’s recent behavior.
Subaru: [It was Roz-Chi who first gave Emilia-tan the lyulyre in the first place. I don’t know how much of this is on the palm of your hand, but it’s going to work out just as you hoped.]
Roswaal: [It’s a lot of trouble when you’re in my position. There’s also Emilia-sama’s character. It would be niiice if you could ask her to take a break and accept it honestly. Do you think she’ll listen to me?]
Subaru: [I don’t think so. I can see her nodding her head and then working extra hard where she can’t be seen.]
Roswaal was dazzled by her, and that’s probably why he wanted to support her.
Regardless of Roswaal’s intentions, he is also in a position to support Emilia. If that’s the case, then his intentions for today must have been mutual, even if his intentions were different.
Roswaal: [Eeeven so, Emilia-sama’s singing…, is that horrible?]
Subaru: [It’s terrible. Her voice is so clean and beautiful, but it’s a miracle in reverse.]
Roswaal: [Again, arrren’t you overreacting?]
Subaru: [It’s as if they took all the high-end ingredients that everyone envied and cooked them on a griddle until they were black.]
Roswaal: [It’s a waste.]
Subaru: [Oh, It’s a waste.]
That much was the cruel truth that could not be hidden by compassion. They nodded to each other sullenly, and Subaru raised his hand to Roswaal, [Okay, then”.
Subaru: [I just came out of the toilet, so if I take too long, they might be suspicious that it’s the big one.]
Roswaal: [As for that suspicion, it’s been long enough, so it’s probably too laaate. Anyway, please take care of Emilia-sama.]
Subaru: [Sure. I’ll let Emilia be Emilia-tan for a little while longer.]
Roswaal: [Well, well,… Hahaha, That’s a nice waaay to put it.]
Roswaal laughed out loud at the Subaru way of saying things.
Renewing their mutual understanding, Subaru leaves the office with his implicit consent.
Subaru: [Now, even if I go back, do you think the location of Beako’s room… has changed?]
For now, opening the door of the next room, should have connected to the Forbidden Library. Normally, the location of the Forbidden Library changes, and what spreads out there is a library full of stacks of books and papers, but…
Subaru: [Oh, lucky, I went straight in.]
Fortunately, the “Door Crossing” has not changed, and Subaru was able to reach the Forbidden Library again without difficulty.
Subaru: [I’m home. Well, the toilet was really crowded and had a line…]
While making appropriate excuses, Subaru entered the Forbidden Library and looked at the three people standing in the library. There were Emilia, Beatrice, and Puck, just like when he left――
Emilia: [No! Forgive me for that! Please, don’t do that!]
Beatrice: [I can’t take it anymore, I suppose! You don’t even know what music is, In fact! I’ll make you sing outside with your bucket head on right now, I suppose! The only thing you’re missing is a sense of urgency, In fact!]
Puck: [Betty, Betty. If you don’t like Lia so much, I will feel sorry for you. stop it, she’s cute even if she’s tone-deaf.]
Beatrice: [Nii-Cha spoils her too much, I suppose! That’s why she’s getting upset, In fact!]
Beatrice, who rolled up her sleeves and enthusiastically pulled Emilia’s waist, who was still wearing the bucket, to the ground. The bucket clad Emilia clung to a bookshelf, and Puck spun around them, clapping his hands.
In the short time that Subaru had been out of the room, he wondered how many shouting matches there had been in the short time.
Subaru can kind of imagine it, but only with a sigh.
In any case――
Subaru: [This is a game I started to help Emilia-tan relax, but I wonder if it’s really helping her take a break from being herself. That’s why I’m worried it’s going to fall apart.]
Subaru was slightly worried that the promise he had made to Roswaal would be immediately wasted, and he joined the three noisy students in their lesson.
Subaru: [So, Emilia-tan, do you feel like your special training is working? Do you think you can do a little bit better?]
Emilia: [Leave it to me. Puck and Beatrice have been training me hard and I’ve been reborn. Maybe,… reborn is an overstatement, but I’m getting better.]
Subaru: [Oh, my confidence swelled and wilted at…!]
Emilia, whose face had become uncovered after overcoming the rigorous training, puffed out her chest in response to Subaru’s question.
At her feet lay the bucket she had fought with, its polished exterior seeming to watch over her student as she was about to reveal her achievements.
Puck: [But can practicing like that really cure tone-deafness?]
Beatrice: [If only that much training could cure that nightmare of tone-deafness, I suppose.]
Subaru: [Oi, you two outfielders! Don’t discourage her by saying unnecessary things! Results will come soon!]
Subaru silenced the two who were sneaking around talking in private, leaving Emilia to practice her vocalizations.
Emilia, who was concentrating in the middle of the Forbidden Library, didn’t notice it and looked at Subaru.
Emilia: […mm, mm, mm! Yes! Yes, Subaru, please.]
Subaru: [Leave it to me, Emilia-tan. And no matter what happens, don’t cry.]
Beatrice: [That’s the one thing I don’t believe the most, In fact!]
Taking Emilia’s signal, Subaru gently holds up the lyulyre. As Subaru plucked the strings in a light rhythm, he heard a slow and gentle tune of the “Sword Demon Love Song”. To be honest, compared to Liliana, Subaru was afraid to even play it, but…
Subaru: [It would be a pity if I were the only one playing it safe when Emilia-tan is trying her best.]
Besides, if Emilia were to be humiliated, Subaru could also share the humiliation by joining her downfall. Subaru was thinking about following her since before she even started, but her tone-deafness is that intense.
Therefore, Subaru has high expectations for the moment when Emilia will show off the results of this special training――
Emilia: [――La, la, la, la, la, la, la.]
As the song began, Emilia’s voice sung like a bell ringing from her lips. ――Subaru, who had been anticipating a catastrophe, held his breath, and Puck and Beatrice’s eyes widened.
The beginning of the song, the grasp of the melody, the pitch, and the rhythm of the song were perfect.
Closing her eyes and letting her heart flutter, Emilia surrenders her feelings to the song.
Follow the rhythm as practiced, grasp the notes as told, and sing the song as taught.
It was the voice of an angel with a magical quality that makes people fall in love with it, as if created by the sound of a silver bell.
Emilia said that she had never been taught to sing. In fact, she didn’t even know the basics of how to sing, and her singing was a painful experience.
However, Emilia, with her honest and pure nature, threw herself into practicing earnestly in order to conquer her tone-deafness. Her engrossing power is like that of a sponge absorbing water――
Nearly falling for her singing voice, Subaru quickly concentrated on the performance.
Emilia’s song had a magical quality to it, and Subaru’s performance only fell behind it. Nevertheless, not to be left behind, Subaru desperately played the strings to keep up with the song.
Emilia: [――. Thank you very much.]
Eventually, Subaru’s time of selfless concentration on the performance was over, and Emilia’s bow brought him back to his senses.
After finishing the song, Emilia looked up and waited with anxious eyes for Subaru and the others’ evaluation. Emilia was not aware of her tone-deafness. She must not be aware of her current singing voice either.
Emilia: [Is, is it still bad? I know, if it was this easy to fix, I wouldn’t have had any trouble…]
The fact that Subaru and the others were too surprised to move was enough to make it seem bad.
So Subaru shook his head, chased away the shock, and ran over to Emilia.
Subaru: [No, no, no! Emilia-tan, you’re amazing! Where was it before when it sounded like a Danmatsuma!?]
Emilia: [What is a Danmatsuma!?]
Emilia is surprised by the evaluation that she doesn’t recognize, but she tilts her head at the expression on Subaru’s face.
Emilia: [Could it be that,… it has been fixed a bit?]
Subaru: [It’s more than a bit. It’s perfect, perfect, perfect! This is what I’ve been waiting to hear!]
Puck: [Yes, yes, that was very good, Lia. That’s what makes you the cutest little Lia in the world.]
The flying puck took advantage of Subaru’s praise of Emilia’s reservedness. Emilia rolls her eyes at the little cat that landed on her shoulder and at Subaru’s words.
Her face still looked like she couldn’t believe it, but――
Beatrice: [――Nii-Cha’s right, I suppose. It wasn’t so bad, In fact.]
Beatrice: [But don’t get carried away, I suppose You still need to practice, In fact. You’re not as good as that minstrel girl who can do nothing but sing, I suppose.]
Beatrice also praised Emilia’s singing voice as she lifted Liliana up and discounted her at the same time. At these words, Emilia put her hand over her mouth with a look of realization finally dawning on her face.
Emilia: [――I’m so happy. I’m not a tone deaf person anymore. I don’t have to wear this anymore.]
Subaru: [Oh! I feel like you have accomplished so much! I’m talking about tone-deafness!]
Puck: [Come on, come on, she is not tone deaf anymore, she’s ex-tone-deaf. You have to be precise.]
Subaru and Puck nodded to Emilia, who was in tears as the atmosphere became very emotional. Beatrice took a deep sigh at the sight of the three of them, with Emilia taking in deep labored breaths.
Beatrice: [Anyway, we’re done here, In fact You can leave the library now, I suppose.]
Emilia: [Oh, I’m sorry. But it’s thanks to you, also. Thank you for saving me.]
Beatrice: [Not that I had any choice but to do it for Nii-Cha, In fact. Besides, the song still had some weaknesses, I suppose. Like hm hm h-m hm hmm at the beginning of the song, In fact.]
Beatrice, who was in a posture to chase them away from the library, pointed out the corrections to Emilia’s song as if it were a final parting gift. At that moment, the air in the Forbidden Library froze at her humming.
Subaru, Emilia, and Puck turned to Beatrice and her cheeks stiffened.
Beatrice: […Wha, What is it, I suppose. With the strange face.]
Subaru: [Beako, what was that? Wasn’t it the beginning of the “Sword Demon Love Song”, right?]
Beatrice: [What else does it sound like, In fact. It’s nothing else, I suppose.]
Unapologetically, Beatrice said this without any doubts. With her thinly-veiled attitude, Subaru understood. Then she turned to Emilia and the others behind her.
Emilia: [Yeah. It’s okay, Subaru. I know.]
Emilia nodded in response to his call. At this moment, the minds of Subaru and Emilia had become one. No longer silent, Emilia gingerly picked it up from the floor and walked over to Beatrice.
Beatrice: […What’s it going on, In fact?]
She asks Emilia a question, which is answered not by her, but by Subaru.
Subaru: [It’s obvious…, you’re going to become bucket heroine number two.]
Pointing to the bucket in Emilia’s hand, Subaru said emphatically.
――The little girl who was so proudly saying that she was the true essence of music was as tone-deaf as an angel.
Subaru: [You’re not even aware you’re tone-deaf! What’s going on in this mansion? Can only people with such a bad sense of pitch have a cute voice, you’re ruining it! What evil did you do in your previous life!]
Beatrice: [Betty is tone-deaf. That’s not true, I suppose! That’s a ridiculous accusation, In fact! It’s too insidious to do it back to me just because you’re into that girl, I suppose!]
Emilia: [Beatrice, it’s okay! I’ve made good progress thanks to Bucket Sensei. You’ll get better if you sing with a bucket on! Here, put it on! Put it on… Oh, it’s cute!]
Beatrice: [Kya, In fact! Wah, I suppose! I’ll never do that, In fact!]
As they ran around, the three of them fought over who would wear the bucket and who would not. Floating above them, Puck cleans his face, laughing.
Puck: Hmmm, this is the essence of music… it is still a long way to make it “sound” “easy”?]
And so on in a pretentious manner, this summed up the day that the lyulyre had been its starting point.
Ram is Order
This is an edited Machine Translation, This is expected to have a quality dip in accuracy, therefore, if you read this story you must take it into consideration.
Original Translation by Goldkills ― Complete
――It was in a deep, deep forest.
In the dim light surrounding them, the smell of grass and dirt was muffled beneath their feet.
The darkness, which made it impossible to see more than a few meters ahead, was the result of the sunlight being filtered by the overgrown branches and trees overhead. In the deep green, Subaru carefully trod the soil with fumbling hands.
Once lost in the darkness, even the passage of time can seem somewhat ambiguous.
Although he prepared at dawn and entered the forest early in the morning, the sun has already set and night had fallen in the outside world.
???: [Weell, don’t worry about that. You see, I’m still materialized just fine like this.]
As Subaru’s fatigue increased, so did his anxiety. However, every time such a feeling of weakness creeps in, a sullen voice scolds Subaru’s heart.
Chuckling at the sullen voice and its message, Subaru looked up at his partner above his head.
Subaru: [I know you’re not too keen on staying up past your regular hours, Dad. Just don’t forget to launch a flare that tells them where I am before you run out of power and head back home.]
???: [Hey, hey, do I look like the kind of careless guy who would forget such an important responsibility? Lia asked me to do this for her. So I’m going to do my job.]
Responding to Subaru with a rueful smile was the little cat Spirit – Puck – drifting above his head.
Spirit touched his whiskers in a serious manner, and then continued, “Anyway”
Puck: [It’s sure not easy to find.]
Subaru: [Uh, yeah. It’s about the time we’re gonna be getting into real trouble, the countdown is ticking.]
Puck: [Hmmm, you’re being so headstrong. You’re a boy after all.]
Subaru stuck his tongue out in frustration when Puck noticed his bluff, and even with Puck there, Subaru couldn’t shake the uneasiness of moving through the dark forest.
The reason that things turned out this way was――
Subaru: [Ram… if I die from this, I’m going to haunt you.]
Subaru clicks his tongue at the seemingly unchanging scenery, and utters the name of his companion who has wandered off. It is the name of the last of the three who entered the forest, the last of this unusual combination.
For Subaru, joining up with the arrogant and pompous pink-haired girl ――Ram is now a matter of urgency.
Puck: [It’s a superstition that the souls of the dead become hollows, but most of the time hollows stay where they died.]
Subaru: [You’re talking about something like localized ghosts. Right?]
Puck: [I’d laugh if you got lost in the woods, turned into a hollow, and then had to remain in the woods forever.]
Subaru: [That would be crappy!]
The exchange of banter and frivolity lightens the uneasy mood a bit. Grateful for Spirit’s concern as he floats by, Subaru wipes the sweat from his forehead and continues to push forward.
In the dark, silent, filled forest, the relief of not being alone is a welcome relief.
So he thought.
――Right now, he has to find the girl who is all alone in the forest as soon as possible.
The events date back to midday the day before Subaru and company entered the forest.
Subaru: [Hah, it’s so peaceful…]
Leaning his upper body lazily against the dining room table, Subaru felt at ease.
His clothes, a servant’s uniform consisting of black colors, hardly seemed to flatter him. Nevertheless, the initial feeling of being “dressed in uniform” faded, and his appearance has become a little more presentable.
At least that’s what he thought in his self-assessment, when he checked his reflection in the mirror every morning.
???: [Subaru, you are in a reaaally nice mood today. Did something good happen?]
Seated next to Subaru, tilting her head slightly, is Emilia, with her silver hair in a braid. Emilia’s beautiful silver hair is styled differently, showing off her loveliness in a different way each day.
Subaru: [If I had to say that something good is happening, I would say that Emilia-tan is still cute today, because Emilia-tan is like blessed rain, always giving me fresh joy.]
Emilia: [Do I seem that gloomy to you?]
Subaru: [You’re making it feel like it’s the rainy season now!]
When it came to the airheaded Emilia, it was not easy to make flirtatious advances. However, knowing this, Subaru could talk casually without any embarrassment.
Subaru: [This feeling of not being taken seriously is becoming a constant habit… No, of course I want to be taken seriously, but that’s the complex and esoteric male heart…!]
Emilia: [You began to worry about yourself again, boys are so difficult… Oh, this tea tastes so yummy.]
While Subaru agonizes over his unresolved feelings, Emilia puts the cup in her hand to her lips and smiles softly at the taste of it.
Afternoon tea at the Roswaal mansion ――it had become a bit of a tradition to gather in the dining room in the early afternoon to rest the mind and body in this way.
The servants have finished their work, and it is time for Emilia to take a break from her studies. Those who have free time naturally go to the dining room to spend a small respite together. This has been a custom that has somehow taken root since Subaru came to the mansion.
Of course, the work is done on a first-come, first-served basis, so there is rarely a chance for everyone in the mansion to be together. The only ones who receive a prize for perfect attendance are Subaru, who finishes his work just because he wants to see Emilia, and Emilia, who takes a break at this time as part of her daily routine.
It is difficult to get everyone to attend a tea time. Today is no exception.
Subaru: [Rem and Roschi are busy, so that can’t be helped, and Beako is not good at keeping company.]
Subaru makes a begrudging face at the little girl who never shows up, especially when there is no work to be done. At Subaru’s disappointed look, Emilia put her hand over her mouth and laughed a little.
Emilia: [Subaru, you’re really close to Beatrice, you’re always so concerned about her.]
Subaru: [I feel like saying we are really close is a bit of a misnomer. It’s true that I care about her, but another way to say it is… like a piece of squid stuck in your back teeth?]
Emilia became increasingly amused to hear this, an observation that would likely cause another argument if Beatrice herself were to hear it, and Subaru smiled with a relaxed look on his face.
and they were enjoying their private tea party.
???: [――You look like you are very much enjoying yourselves.]
The voice that suddenly interrupted in the dining room was somewhat harsh and frigid. It was the voice of the girl standing at the entrance of the dining hall, with the double doors opened.
The girl gave Subaru a piercing, emotionless stare, and then sent a wistful glance toward Subtaru’s relaxed face.
Ram: [Ram was busy preparing tea cakes, but instead of helping to prepare them, you left to enjoy that lewd indulgence… Barusu must have become quite the important person.]
Subaru: [Wait, Just because I was having a fun chat with Emilia-tan, I’m being treated like a lecher? In the first place, it was you, nee-sama who said she would take care of the tea preparations, so it’s not my fault, right?]
Ram: [Ram did not appreciate the fact that Barusu was enjoying himself behind Ram’s back.]
Subaru: [You’re just a tyrant…!]
Subaru’s eyes widen at the unreasonableness of the situation, and the girl ――Ram snorts with a look that lacks the slightest bit of charm.
Ram: [Ram is just adding an unbiased eye to the equation, in assessing how well Barusu is doing his job.]
Subaru: [Well then, you don’t have to add unnecessary perspectives to be fair to me. You should judge me more as I am.]
Ram: [If you were to remove all the prejudice from your current assessment, you would have to be served tea cakes on the floor, Barusu.]
Subaru: [Why is it that you being unbiased makes my assessment worse!]
Subaru could not hide his horror at the look in Ram’s serious eyes.
Notwithstanding Subaru’s dissatisfaction, Ram put the plate of baked goods she had brought on the table. Meanwhile, Subaru filled an empty cup with tea and prepared Ram’s serving on the other side of the table.
Emilia laughed a little as the two of them got ready for their tea time.
Subaru: [What’s the matter, Emilia-tan? You have such a cute look on your face.]
Emilia: [It’s because, even though you two are angrily bickering, you two are in perfect sync. It was a little funny to watch.]
Subaru: [Don’t be so blunt, it hurts when you say it like that!]
Ram looked deeply disgusted, while Subaru clutched his chest and raised his voice.
Subaru: [But, Emilia-tan has a point. After all, it is nee-sama who works with me the most in the mansion. We divide the chores between us every day, so it’s only natural that we get along a little better. Wouldn’t you say?]
Subaru: [At least try to understand the context of the conversation!]
As usual, Subaru is still clueless. In that, he should only be admired for his perseverance.
Anyway, Subaru’s position in Roswaal’s mansion is approximately like this.
Swept away by Emilia, bitten by Beatrice, and scorned by Ram, only Rem is overly affectionate to him. It’s an environment he was blessed with, Subaru thought.
Subaru: [But still, it’s refreshing to see Ram baking pastries, it’s not unusual for Rem to make them for us, but I didn’t think nee-sama was capable of making anything other than steamed potatoes.]
Ram: [Don’t talk nonsense, Barusu. As you know already know. ――Ram’s specialty is steamed potatoes, Ram does not even know how to make baked goods.]
Subaru: [What are you making your younger sister do, so that she’s too busy to show up for tea?]
Subaru balks when he is told that she relied on her younger sister without saying as much. The baked sweets in his mouth were sweet with pity as he was reminded of Rem’s unfortunate absence from tea time.
Subaru: [But seriously, the food situation in the mansion really depends entirely on Rem, doesn’t it? I know it’s not nee-sama’s way to open up, but with regards to the cooking, I can’t say anything about anyone else.]
In his former world, Subaru was an undisputed loser. He didn’t go to school, he didn’t do any housework, and he was a rising star in the world of losers who was only unusually good at sewing and bedmaking.
Because of these circumstances, Subaru turned his attention to Emilia to change the subject. Then, Emilia, who was enjoying a baked sweet, covered her mouth and,
Emilia: [Me? Hehe, Subaru may think I can’t do it, but I can actually cook. I did it when I lived alone… with Puck for a long time. So more or less, It’s a cinch for me to do that.]
Subaru: [Who says It’s a cinch anymore… It’s a reasonable answer, but knowing Emilia-tan, makes it seems less plausible.]
This was due to Emilia’s aura of being an incapable girl who looks like a capable woman.
In the weeks shared at the mansion, his impression of Emilia has changed drastically since their first meeting. The initially strong atmosphere of a brilliant woman has fizzled out to childishness and naturalness glimpsed on a daily basis. Still, her honest, kind, and straightforward personality has not changed. It can be assured that this is what is good about her.
However, it was also true that she seemed to be an “unfortunate beautiful girl”. The other day, it was revealed that she is tone-deaf, and it seems as if there are still more hidden things to be found within her.
Emilia’s cheeks puffed out in disapproval at Subaru’s anxious look.
Emilia: [Mmm, you look like you don’t believe me. Hmph, I get it. If you doubt me so much, I’ll make Subaru eat my food next time. It’s going to be a reaaally big surprise, so be ready for it.]
Subaru: [What? I didn’t shoot for it, but the home-cooked meal flag was triggered? Am I going to die?]
Subaru is sorrowful that when developments come in his favor, he is inclined to suspect a shakeup.
In fact, ever since coming to this world, Subaru couldn’t deny the impression of good and bad events offsetting each other. Most of the time, the bad events precede the good events, so it is instantly unsettling when the good events occur first.
What will happen this time if the good events are offset by the bad? After all, is it possible that Emilia’s cooking skills are so catastrophic that she will die the moment she eats it?
Emilia: [Subaru, you are looking into the distance, are you alright? Does your stomach hurt?]
Subaru: [No, I’ll be fine. Even if it burns my stomach, I’m going to finish Emilia-tan’s food. Trust me.]
Emilia: [Subaru, at least believe in me a little bit!]
His ridiculous imaginings made Emilia sulk, and at this point, Ram’s usual chasing shot would follow ――but it never came.
Emilia: [Um, Ram-san? What’s wrong?]
When Ram turned around with a shrug of the shoulders, she stared at the tea silently. Then he took a sip, moistening her lips with the tea as if to make sure, and looked to Subaru.
The look sent chills down Subaru’s spine. The sharpness of the ever-sharp gaze is even stronger.
Emilia: [Er, Ram-san, what happened…?]
Ram: [Barusu, from where in the tea cabinet did you pull this tea from?]
Subaru: [Tea? Oh, you mean tea leaves! That’s the one, the one that was hidden in the back of the tea cabinet. This is the one that’s totally expensive and secretly… ah-hot, hot, hot, hot, hot!]
Emilia: [Kya, Subaru!]
The results of Subaru’s treasure hunt, were showered over him after his report.
Subaru, soaked from the head with hot tea, rolled around on the floor, and Emilia hurriedly doused Subaru with the contents of a pitcher of water. Subaru, drenched with tea and water, collapsed on the floor in a spectacle, and Emilia suddenly glared at Ram for behaving so violently.
Emilia: [What are you doing, Ram? You’re getting Subaru, your clothes, and the floor dirty!]
Subaru: [Don’t just worry about getting dirty, worry about the burns!]
Emilia’s admonishment and Subaru’s shout missed the mark. But Ram did not respond to either of them, Subaru and Emilia looked at each other.
Emilia: [Umm, Ram-san you’re upset? What…]
Ram: [How dare you, Barusu.]
There was anger in Ram’s choked voice, and a tremor of emotion that she was unable to contain.
So Subaru could do nothing, not even to retort, “You did it!”, he again turned to face Emilia, both equally bewildered.
Apparently, the situation was not over with just a punishment for using the treasured tea leaves without permission.
The secret tea leaves ――the perception was correct, but the problem was the reason why the tea leaves were kept secret. Taste, quality, price, or none of the above, the reason was the benefits of the tea.
Ram: [That tea has a property that helps the circulation of mana in the body. It helps with old wounds.]
Subaru: [Old wounds…]
Ram: [It is for the horn.]
Subaru: [Ah, ah… I see. For your horn wound…]
Subaru felt more upset by Ram’s frank and unassuming response.
The sisters’ Ram and Rem were born into the demi-human Oni tribe. Their appearance does not differ from that of the human race, except for the fact that they grow white horns on their foreheads when their emotions are heightened. However, Ram seems to have lost her oni horn, and calls herself hornless.
Subaru did not know the details of how she lost her horn, but Subaru could tell that it was a rather sensitive topic. Therefore, when Subaru was told that the tea leaves he had used without permission had medicinal value for treating her old wounds, he couldn’t help but be overcome with a sense of guilt.
Subaru: [Where do you get those tea leaves? It’s totally my fault this time. I’ll pay for it, that is whenever I get paid…]
Ram: [Sorry to disappoint you. There’s no such thing as a tea with medicinal properties for a horn wound. It’s a special tea made by Ram, with many different ingredients with medicinal properties and flavors according to personal taste.]
Subaru: [Ugh, seriously?… By the way, how bad would it be for you without it…?]
Ram: [Nothing serious, it is just going to be lots of sleepless nights from now on.]
Subaru: [I’m so sorry!]
Since it was more important than he originally thought, Subaru had no choice but to prostrate himself and apologize. He had done something that was the very essence of human history, causing a major problem in a light-hearted manner.
This blunder, undoing it will be no small feat.
Subaru: [So, where do you get the ingredients for that original blend?]
Unable to be irresponsible, Subaru cut to the chase, sitting upright on the floor. Looking down at Subaru, Ram, crossed her arms, and smiled thinly. For some reason, that smile gave Subaru chills.
Ram: [So, you’re willing to help gather the ingredients?]
Subaru: [Well, it’s my fault… but, um, nee-sama, why the scary looking eyes?]
Ram: [Do not worry. It will not take very much time. Everything can be collected in the vicinity of the mansion.]
For some reason, the word “collected” that the smiling Ram uttered sounded like “captured” to Subaru, instead of “collected”. Subaru hoped it was just in his imagination.
In the end, the decision was made to leave the next day to gather the ingredients for the special tea leaves.
As urgent as it sounded, Ram’s physical body grows more burdened with each passing day. That was why they had to hurry. Fortunately, the materials for the tea leaves were available in the forests around the mansion, meaning that it was a one-day hike.
Emilia: [Actually, it would be for the best if Rem was able to join you…]
Subaru: [Well, It can’t be helped. If no one did Rem’s job for a day, everything in the mansion would grind to a halt. It’s called having the right person in the right place. I wonder if I’m the right person and the mountain is the right place.]
Early in the morning, before dawn, four figures are gathered in the entrance hall of the mansion. They are Subaru and Ram, who are about to leave for the mountains, and Emilia and Rem, who are seeing them off.
As mentioned previously, Emilia and Rem were unable to accompany them due to unavoidable circumstances at the mansion. Therefore, since last night, Rem had not stopped worrying and was still frequently cautioning Ram.
Rem: [Nee-sama, Nee-sama. Please be very careful with Subaru-Kun in the mountains. Also, Subaru-Kun, don’t carelessly touch any suspicious leaves, you might get a rash. Also, be careful of slipping when you step on the moss on the rocks. Even if you fall, don’t cry there is a charm to stop that…]
Subaru: [I’ll grin and bear it! I won’t cry if I fall! Hey, don’t worry that much about me!]
Ram: [Okay, Okay, Understood, Rem, if Barusu cries, Ram should spit on his knee, right?]
Subaru: [I don’t want you to spit on my wounds in such a disgusting way!]
As expected of the overprotective Rem, whose worry had overtaken her, Ram’s replies were rather curt toward the end of the conversation. Besides this exchange, Emilia, still looking sleepy, covered her mouth with her hand, yawning.
Emilia: [If Ram is there, everything will be fine, but don’t be unreasonable or reckless. You shouldn’t see any Witchbeasts because of the wards, but watch out for the weather and the bugs. If you get stung, you might have swelling.]
Subaru: [Don’t worry, Emilia-tan will gently rub my swelling if that happens. And, this will help, but are you sure that I can borrow Puck?]
Emilia usually wears the pendant that is now around Subaru’s neck. The green crystal shining brightly is a symbol of the spirit Puck, who is in contract with Emilia.
Emilia gave Subaru this insurance policy out of concern for the two of them going into the mountains.
Emilia: [I asked him to go with you last night Subaru, so you won’t have to worry about it. Besides, Puck will only interrupt my studies if he stays at the mansion; I’ll feel much better having him by your side.]
Subaru: [Well, well, I’ll take your word for it and borrow your little pet cat for a bit.]
With a wry smile, he flicks the pendant with his finger. The Spirit sleeping inside is supposed to come out on its own when it is time to wake up. In the mountain, Subaru should be able to count on its power.
Emilia: [I don’t think it will happen, but Puck will let me know if anything happens on the mountain. I’ll know where it is right away, and I’m sure Rem will come running to you, so don’t worry about it.]
Subaru: [I’d be careful about calling a rescue team after getting lost climbing a mountain because I would have a guilty conscience about it.]
Thankful for Emilia’s concern, Subaru tapped the floor with the toe of his familiar sneakers. He was dressed in his jersey, taking into account the mountain hiking he would be doing, and with a bag on his back to carry the materials he had gathered, Subaru the backpacker was ready to go.
Ram: [Barusu, you ready? It is about time to leave.]
Subaru: [Yeah, yeah, as you wish, nee-sama.]
Responding to Ram, who approached him in her usual tone, Subaru turned back to Emilia and the others one more time.
Subaru: [Well, I’m off… I know it’s a pain in the ass for Rem, but it’s just for one day.]
Rem: [Yes. There is lunch packed in your pack, so please eat it with nee-sama on the way.]
Emilia: [What’s more, there’s one that I made for you, too. Guess which one of them is mine.]
Subaru and Ram departed for the mountains amidst the morning fog, with Rem and Emilia, both of whom were in a subtly panicked mood, looking worried to the last minute.
Subaru: [So, for the tea ingredients… what do you say you needed?]
They left the mansion and turned neatly off the road to the familiar village of Arlam. As they walked into the mountain road instead of the village road, Subaru asked Ram, who was going in front of him.
To his question, Ram held up four fingers without looking back.
Ram: [Four ingredients are needed in total. First, Milizia flowers. These are in the flower field that Barusu used to woo Emilia-sama.]
Subaru: [How, how, how do you know that?]
Ram: [The flowers come later because they have a definite location. The second is the Valoe mushroom, which grows in the forest, attached only to the roots of certain trees. They are dried and ground into a powder. By the way, it is poisonous.]
Subaru: [It’s poisonous! Is it safe?]
Ram: [Not a problem, instead they give immunity to it. The third ingredient is the tricky part. There is a red fruit that grows only at the top of the Bokuyang tree, and you need to get the seed of it.]
Subaru: [Good. Something’s finally giving us some ingredients that are going to be decently difficult to find.]
Ram: [The Bokuyang tree is an unusually tall tree, and the fruit, except for the seeds, is so poisonous that it will melt your fingers off if you touch it with your bare hands, you will need to be careful of that too.]
Subaru: [It’s poison again! Are you the type of person who needs to eat poison to live?]
Ram: [There is a fine line between poison and medicine, it’s just that medicinal effects can become poison if too much is taken. Ram forgot to mention that Milizia flowers are not poisonous. They are an insectivorous flower.]
Subaru: [The beautiful memories of me and Emilia-tan are now tainted by insectivorous flowers!]
Or rather, Subaru shuddered to think that he was tasting tea leaves that were composed of seventy-five percent of such things and tasted delicious. The medicinal effects for the horn wound is nice, but is there any adverse effects on the ordinary human body?
Subaru: [And what does it do to me?]
Ram: [That is what Barusu will be certifying over the next full day.]
Subaru: [Ugh! I was an unwitting lab experiment!]
Ram: [It was a joke. The medicinal effects happen immediately after you drink it. If it were harmful, you would have died during the night.]
Subaru: [This isn’t a joke! Are you sure it’s okay?
Opening his mouth, Subaru gestures as if to spit it out, but the tea he drank the day before has long since been digested. Praying that nothing will happen to him, Subaru returns his attention to the topic of ingredients and
Subaru: [And what about the last one? I don’t have a good feeling about it at all.]
Ram: [The last one is… well. Ram will keep it a secret until we find the real thing. It’s a punishment from Ram.]
Subaru: [What could be a greater punishment than drinking poison?]
Ram: [It was Barusu who drank it without permission, and it could be said that you poisoned Emilia-sama.]
Subaru’s sarcasm was met with a reply of sarcasm, causing him to go silent.
The fourth ingredient to which Ram, who has mentioned only poisonous substances up to this point, was being kept a secret. The last one is either an ordinary ingredient that was unassuming, or a horrifying object that one cannot even speak of.
If it’s a choice between the two, Subaru didn’t want to know. His only wish is that it will be the former.
Subaru: [Anyway, going into the woods with you reminds me of when we went looking for Rem.]
Ram: [Barusu, you mean when you were rudely bitten by a dog and Roswaal-sama brilliantly saved you in a spectacular manner.]
Subaru: [I’m sure it’s a splendid memory for you in all of its ugliness, but we won’t run into any Witchbeasts today, right? I’m telling you, All I have for my equipment is an item bag and Shooting star”
The Shooting star is Subaru’s favorite kitchen knife, which he named exclusively by himself. Many vegetables have fallen prey to the Shooting star, but it has never been useful as a weapon.
It would be better to unceremoniously run away than to fight a Witchbeast with it.
Ram: [Don’t worry, no one is counting on you, Barusu to fight anything. Ram doesn’t want to be scolded by Rem later… Why should Ram be offended?]
Subaru: [No, um, sorry. Uh, but yeah! The Wolgarm in the forest were wiped out by Roswaal, right? So why should we be concerned about Witchbeasts?]
Ram: [The Wolgarm is not the only Witchbeast in the forest. Rather, now that the Wolgarm that used to occupy the forest are gone. Now because of that, it is the time that other Witchbeasts will be fighting over the open territory. There shouldn’t be anything as dangerous as a Wolgarm, but even then if Barusu encounters one, all that will remain is bones.]
Subaru: [I don’t want to get involved with Witch Beasts any time soon, you don’t have to tell me. I’m not going to get involved with a Witch Beast. Well, if I live a quiet life, I’ll probably won’t ever run into one.]
Ram: [Not sure about that. Somehow, Ram doesn’t think that barusu’s wish will come true.]
Subaru: [Why is that?]
Ram: [Woman’s intuition.]
Why is the sound of “woman’s intuition” so convincing when it is merely a sudden thought?
Feeling something that doesn’t add up, Subaru turned his head to ask another budding question.
Subaru: [I was wondering, what’s the difference between a Witch Beast and a normal animal?]
???: [――It’s just that, the very fundamentals of their existence are completely different.]
It was not Ram who answered that question. Rather, it was from the pendant shining brightly around Subaru’s neck ――the overflowing particles of light from the pyroxene forming a small cat, and a Spirit manifests itself.
Puck, the palm-sized little cat, floats in front of Subaru’s eyes, suddenly stretching his body out.
Puck: [The difference in appearance is whether or not they have horns on their heads. Not all animals with horns are Witch Beasts, so I’m not saying that’s the only difference. You should remember that.]
Subaru: [Thanks for the explanation. But, you’re up earlier than usual.]
Puck: [Lia has asked me to be strong. If I’m in an energy-saving state, I should be able to stay out later than usual. Leave it to me to keep things lively.]
Subaru: [That’s definitely not the job Emilia-tan entrusted you with.]
Puck made a befitting remark, puffing his chest out, while the kitten remained on Subaru’s shoulder, wagging his tail and poking him in the cheek with his paw pads.
Ram: [Great Spirit-sama, apologies for making the effort to come all the way out here.]
Puck: [No, it’s fine. Sometimes Lia needs to stretch her wings where her father can’t see her.]
Subaru: [Being a concerning gentleman. And Ram using an honorific for Puck. That’s surprising.]
Ram: [That’s just a front.]
Puck: [The honesty and straightforwardness of it, I don’t dislike it.]
The straightforward Ram, the tolerant Puck, and the smiling Subaru. When thought about it calmly, this is a very rare three-way combination. This is a combination that has never been achieved even in the mansion.
Subaru: [I hope it doesn’t turn into a group of three fools… I’m sure Emilia tan told you what we’re doing today, right? Please do your best.]
Puck: [Yeah, don’t worry. When it rains, don’t hesitate to hold me up to shelter yourself from the wet weather.]
Subaru: [You know, that’s a really limited use with your size, we’re going to get soaked.]
Subaru sighed, picturing nothing more than a wet cat on his head.
Subaru: [Ram, it is starting to look like a full-blown animal trail here, do you have any idea where the ingredients we are looking for are?]
Ram: [That’s a foolish question; how many times do you think Ram has been in the mountains to gather the ingredients?]
Subaru: [I was worried that you might have Rem do that job, too, given your daily work ethic. By the way, you know, a map or something like that so I can find what we’re looking for…]
Ram: [First draw a map in your mind. That’s where you start.]
Subaru: [In other words, it’s based on experience, right, Senpai?]
One of the ingredients was being kept a secret from Subaru, relying on Ram’s memory to tell him where it is, and with him being useless in combat and even in knowledge. Why was Subaru even brought along?
Subaru: [Being a luggage carrier and crowd pleaser…?]
Puck: [Oh, I can’t lose to you in pleasing the crowd. Hmmm, let’s see who’s better.]
Puck said this in a carefree tone to Subaru, who was struggling with his role in this situation, regardless of his responsibility. Subaru tilted his head and squashed Spirit on his shoulder.
Subaru: [Oh, that feels good. That’s it.]
Puck: [Nyan, Nyan, Nyan]
The feel of the fur on his cheeks felt good, and Subaru continued walking along the unfamiliar mountain path for a while, listening to Puck’s cries.
Ram sighed in dismay at such a tension-free pair, unaware that she was sighing.
Thereafter, the adventures of the foolish trio were repeatedly beset by innumerable troubles.
Subaru inadvertently touched a plant that caused his skin to break out in a rash, Subaru also inadvertently got his foot caught in the moss on the rocky ground and fell on his butt, Subaru then inadvertently cut his hand with Shooting star when he was trying to cut out the mushroom they needed, and Subaru inadvertently cut his arm with the bark of the Bokuyang tree. He finally accidentally slipped and fell when he tried to climb to the top of the Bokuyang Tree, and after an eight-sided, six-armed spectacle of activity, Subaru was now on the verge of tears.
Without Rem’s charm, he might have been crying with pain and pettiness by now.
Subaru: [That’s Rem, for you. I never expected you could give advice with this much anticipation of the future…]
Ram: [Ram cannot help but be disappointed by the fact that you have stepped over all of Rem’s concerns. How can you so aptly ignore what you were told to watch out for?]
Subaru: [Wait, you’re not listening to me! I didn’t ignore their advice in the first place. I tried my best, but it wasn’t enough! Please don’t judge me only by the results, but also by the process!]
Ram: [It’s all about results.]
Subaru: [Yeah, I’m sorry.]
Subaru, totally soiled, is receiving first aid treatment from Puck for his scraped and skinned skin injuries. It was a surprising revelation, as Subaru had not expected Puck to be able to use healing magic.
Puck: [I’m the one who taught Lia the Spirit arts, remember? Well, I don’t have much aptitude for healing magic, so I can’t heal serious wounds like Betty. It’s only enough to make you a little better.]
Subaru: [My bad. You had to use MP, even though you have a time limit.]
Puck: [I’ll be fine. It’s Subaru that will suffer if I disappear early, and you only get what you deserve.]
Subaru: [I’m starting to think that you weren’t going to force yourself to stick around.]
With scrapes on his knees and elbows healed, Subaru gives a grateful high-five to the furball dancing in mid-air.
Ram, looking at the scene beside them, was sitting by a stream that was too meager to be called a mountain stream. Although she could not drink the water, it was a fine place to take a break.
It was now a little after noon, and Ram suggested they have lunch here because of the location and because they were feeling hungry. Following her suggestion, Subaru was treated for his wounds.
Subaru: [It’s been difficult on the road, but we’ve managed to get some of the ingredients without too much trouble. I managed to get the mushrooms and seeds, and we know where the flowers are. This is surprisingly easier than expected]
Ram: [As Ram said, there is no danger. And Barusu has just made it difficult along the way on his own.]
Subaru: [Grrr, I got no excuse for that…!]
With the string of blunders so far, there is no room to argue with Ram’s venomous tongue. After soaking his right hand in a clear stream of water to wash the rash, Subaru finally got his jersey clean and in an acceptable condition.
After washing Shooting star that he used to collect mushrooms in the river, Subaru took a breather――
Subaru: [Now that we’re finally here, I’ll have to mark this river down.]
While glancing at the river, Subaru took a piece of thick paper and a crayon-like drawing utensil out of his bag. He began to draw on the paper. The crayons were only one color, but the resulting pictures were quite skillful. He did not forget to add annotations in Japanese here and there.
Ram: [You have been doing that ever since we entered the mountains, what game are you playing?]
Subaru: [It’s not a game! It’s something that’s properly worthwhile!]
While fishing through the lunch packages, Subaru countered Ram’s glance toward his hands. Subaru then shoved the picture he had just drawn in her face.
Subaru: [Look, it’s mapping. When you cut through uncharted territory, people make maps. If you know where everything is, you won’t have trouble later, you know?]
Ram: [It’s a little crude. But what’s the use of that map? If we run out of ingredients, Ram will just have to go back out later. Even Rem would understand if she went out here after being told where to find them.]
When Ram questions the importance of the map’s existence, Subaru scoffs and rolls it up. She is right, though it may be unnecessary for Ram, accustomed to gathering the ingredients.
Subaru: [But, you know, if…]
Ram: [But what?]
Subaru: [If the tea leaves run out again and Ram gets so sick that she is bedridden. And just then, Rem is out on an errand and Roswaal is away too. There is no one to rely on! If I had this, I could gather all the ingredients needed.]
It is really only a means to an end in the unlikely event that there is nothing else that could be done.
Subaru: [And if this map is useful for that kind of insurance and peace of mind, and that’s all that matters.]
If there was no for it, that would be fine. But if it ever proves useful, then they would be thankful for his decision to have made the map.
Lifesaving tools, for example, are made with the hope that they will never have to be used. There is a contradiction between such a sense of purpose and philosophy with regard to them.
Subaru’s answer made Ram look a little incredulous, and she fell silent. Subaru scratched his head at her unusual reaction.
Depending on how it sounded, it seemed that it was a very embarrassing thing to say.
Subaru: [W, well anyway, with this thing, I feel like I could somehow make it back alive if I accidentally get lost, or something like that! Lives are what is important, so I’m willing to take on some hardships.]
Subaru quickly spoke to change the subject to hide his embarrassment, placing the rolled-up map in his back pocket. He would have to clean up the map, including the part written in Japanese, when he returned to the mansion. It was the first time for him to make a realistic map, but the result should suffice.
Modesty, being careful, and being clever, were the strengths of Natsuki Subaru, even if he was unaware of them.
Subaru: [Come on, let’s eat some food. If we don’t hurry, my belly and back will stick together!]
Ram: [――Very well, yes, let us do that.]
Subaru claps his hands together to reset the air, and Ram nods her head in agreement to Subaru’s suggestion. Then she opens the lunch bag, pauses for a moment in thoughtful silence, and
Ram: [Unusually, Barusu’s concern struck a chord, so let us reward him for it.]
Subaru: [Oh, what’s with that pretense? It makes me feel uncomfortable, and frankly, I have a bad feeling about it, so I’ll have to say no.]
Ram: [Oh my, Ram is suddenly feeling a pain where the horn was. Ram may even have a fever.]
Subaru: [Don’t hold my conscience hostage! All right, come on! Give me anything!]
Ram: [No need to be so excited. Ram thought you might like a big package since you’re here.]
At Subaru’s indecisiveness, Ram showed Subaru a rice ball in her left hand. It was about the size of a child’s fist, and Subaru was relieved to see it.
Subaru: [Holy crap. Don’t scare me because I’ll think something’s wrong and freak out. That’s not even an unusual size, it’s more like a normal size.]
Ram: [Right. Then take it.]
Then, as Subaru was just feeling relief, Ram thrust the real weapon hidden away in her right hand.
Seeing that the wrapped package was as big as a child’s head, Subaru was immensely impressed by its size.
Ram: [By the way, it’s a bit misshapen, so it is definitely handmade by Emilia-sama.]
Subaru: [I kinda knew that! Shit, that is what “there’s one that I made for you” was! You had zero intention of hiding it! You had zero intention of hiding it!]
Though Subaru had imagined a picture of Emilia and Rem together preparing the dish, the reality may have been different. If this is the result of them cooking together, he is dreading the next opportunity for her to show off her homemade cooking skills.
Subaru looks at Puck with a ray of hope. However, Spirit shakes his head at that look.
Puck: [Lia is cute. I think all is forgiven for that.]
Subaru: [Damn it, I know that feeling!]
As Puck looked into the distance, Subaru, with a resigned look in his eyes, was ready to face reality.
Whatever the case may be, there is no way that a mere riceball can taste any different due to the difference in the hand that made it. Just to be sure, he ate one of Rem’s riceballs first and tasted Rem’s thoughtfulness before challenging Emilia’s.
Subaru: [――it’s heavy.]
The mass on Subaru’s lap is overwhelming, so much so that it negates any concept of a normal riceball in Subaru.
Gulping, he put his hand on the wrapping. And then, trying to get a glimpse of it――
Subaru: [More wrapping paper under the wrapping paper?]
Peeling off the wrapper with great enthusiasm, finding that there is a further layer of wrapping paper to protect it. Perhaps it was made too large to hold its shape with a single sheet of wrapping paper. As a countermeasure, several layers of wrappers must have been used to hold the huge mass together.
It was the kind of thing that would be used to seal off a powerful demon with multiple layers of wards.
Subaru: [No, what kind of thing is this?]
Dismayed at his own thinking, Subaru peels off the wrapping paper to verify what’s inside. Impatiently, he peels off one sheet after another――
Subaru, Ram, and Puck: [――Ah]
The voices of the three, Ram and Puck included, watched with bated breath.
As soon as he tried to peel off the sticky wrapper, the misbalanced rice ball tumbled from Subaru’s lap. Rolling eccentrically, it bounced on the ground and then tumbled away.
Subaru: [Wait, wait, wait!]
Subaru rushed to his feet and chased after the rolling rice ball. The situation is just like the famous old tale, “Omusubi kororin“. It was all too similar.
Just before the rice ball was about to accelerate down the slope, Subaru’s fingertips caught the wrapper as he leapt for it. Relieved. ――The next moment.
Suddenly, Subaru’s foot shot out and his body swam through the air. Looking down, he saw that there was a steeply angled slope below his feet, and the word “slide” came coming to mind.
Hearing Ram’s impassioned shout, Subaru rolled headlong down the steep slope with a rice ball clutched to his chest.
Fortunately, the grass and trees were thick and the ground was soft――.
――The story now finally returns to the journey duo of Subaru and Puck from earlier.
Subaru: [I thought I was a goner the moment I rolled over, though…]
Puck: [I was thinking that too. But I’m glad you didn’t die. Also, I was able to communicate with the pink-haired girl.]
Subaru: [Thanks to you being able to fly, you saved the day. You could lift me up and fly… right?]
Puck: [I think Subaru’s hair will just get pulled out.]
Subaru: [Why would you fly while grabbing my hair? There are other ways to fly!]
While engaging in such banter, Subaru and Puck strive to meet up with Ram.
Subaru and Ram discussed a rendezvous point; but Ram insisted on heading down the hillside, but Subaru, having rolled down the hill, dismissed the idea as too risky.
Subaru: [If we follow the slope around, we should be able to meet up with her. I just don’t want her to do something dangerous.]
Puck: [I’ve communicated things to her copying what you said. Would you like to hear the reply?]
Puck: [Wow, you’re good.]
Puck clapped his hands in admiration as Subaru imitated Ram’s mockery of him. The kitten then tilted his head toward the exasperated Subaru and said, “By the way”.
Puck: [Did you get to eat the food that Leah cooked for you?]
Subaru: [Since the contents of the wrapper were safe and sound. And unlike its appearance, the contents were delicious without any issues. The seasoning was also very special, as it was made by Emilia’s hand…]
Puck: [I’ll join you in making the next one. Are you confident you can make it right?]
Subaru: [Isn’t the joke that the onigiri with all the hairs mixed in is yours?]
The conversation continues to be pointless, but this is another example of Puck’s concern for Subaru’s well-being.
Two hours passed after they had decided on the place to meet up with Ram and started walking, following the slope ――but the forest is getting deeper and darker.
The policy might have been wrong. Such a poor imagination attracts a negative cycle.
Puck: [――Subaru, stop.]
Just after a long breath of exhaustion, Puck on his shoulder tugged at Subaru’s ear.
Subaru’s breath catches in his throat at the sensation, and he immediately tenses himself up. Suddenly, an unpleasant sound hits Subaru’s eardrums. The sound is physiologically repulsive, it is a sound that is a threat to living creatures.
The source of the sound then slowly emerged from the bushes in front of Subaru.
It has a green body with slimy wet scales and a mouth lined with sharp fangs that make a menacing sound as if it were slurping blood. Most notable, however, were two pairs of red eyes that shone in the darkness.
A two-headed snake ――a snake with two heads and one body ――glared at Subaru. From the heads of the snake sprouted short, white horns.
Subaru: […A Witchbeast, or something that looks a lot like a snake”
Puck: [Interesting take, but that’s a Witchbeast. It’s a two-headed snake. It’s rather ferocious and poisonous.]
Subaru: [I know it’s a two-headed snake… but isn’t the image I had of a two-headed snake is a bit different?]
The Witchbeast before them is not the same as an extended torso with two separate heads. It has a simpler structure, but rather two snakes connected by the tail end. It was indeed two-headed so there was no lie in the name.
Subaru: [This makes it more of a back-and-forth snake than a two-headed snake. Where does it crap from?]
Puck: [Basically, Witchbeasts don’t poop because it absorbs what it eats by turning it into mana.]
Subaru: [They’re like idols. Are they fighting against the whole food chain?]
Although it appears to maintain a relaxed attitude, Subaru’s instincts raise the loudest alarm in the face of the two-headed snake.
The distance between them was ten meters, and the two-headed snake was two meters long. so it could probably close in on them in a single breath.
Subaru: [I didn’t hear you say it, but is today a Puck can fight day?]
Puck: [Hmhm, I can handle that Witchbeast. The only drawback is that I don’t have Lia’s assistance, so I won’t be able to talk to you after I kill it.]
Subaru: [There is no replacing life, please, Sensei]
Puck: [It can’t be helped. Well, then, I’ll live up to your expectations… huh]
As he spoke, the color of the two-headed serpent’s body and eyes shifted. The Witchbeast’s body instantly contorted, and it tried to pounce on Subaru…
The next moment, a blast of Wind passed by and sliced the body of the two-headed snake into round slices.
The two-headed serpent died before the awestruck Subaru, without a single sound of its own. Subaru caught a glimpse of Puck as the Witchbeast’s last breath of blue-green blood spurted out. The little cat shook its head. Whereupon.
???: [Ram’s woman’s intuition was right after all.]
Ram was the first to sarcastically remark after exiting the bush from which the Witchbeast had popped out from. Joining them for the first time in several hours, Ram saved the day with her wand in her hand.
Subaru: [Haa, thank you for saving us, Ram.]
Ram: [Did the map help you with your mountain hiking?]
Subaru: [Well the joy of reunion is short-lived, but it’s nice that nee-sama never misses with the spice of her tongue.]
Subaru snorts in relief, and Ram, putting away her wand, approaches the corpse of the two-headed snake. Ram then takes a closer inspection of the Witchbeast’s corpse.
Subaru: [Oh, oi, what are you doing?]
Ram: [It is obvious. You have served your purpose in entering the forest. Good work, Barusu, the plan worked.]
As she said this, Ram cut open the body of the dissected two-headed snake with a knife, right in the center of the front and back heads, and removed some kind of white crystal from it.
Ram: [This is a pure mana crystal that Witchbeasts can produce in their body. It is bigger than expected.]
Subaru: [You mean that’s the fourth ingredient? From inside of a venomous snake, that is worse than I imagined.]
Subaru was disappointed to find that the worst of his predictions had come true, which explains why Ram kept quiet… Subaru would have been more suspicious if he had known that Witchbeast was involved――
Subaru: [Ha! Now I know the real reason I was brought here! You were going to take advantage of my tendency to attract Witchbeasts and use me to attract venomous snakes, weren’t you?]
Ram: [You are catching on unusually fast. Thanks to that, the search for the Witchbeast, which would normally take several days, was completed in less than half a day. Ram will praise you for being so helpful.]
As expected, Subaru was filled with anger at Ram’s unapologetic attitude.
Subaru and Ram have a personal connection, having entered the forest of Witchbeasts together to rescue Rem. Naturally, Ram knew Subaru’s disposition and the danger it posed. But if it was forced to cross the wards in order to use Subaru as a means to attract Witchbeasts, it was tantamount to an act of betrayal――
Subaru: [No, wait? How did it get past the wards in the first place?]
Subaru realizes that the preconditions are wrong and turns and looks at Puck. A Spirit is a Spirit, no matter how laid-back he may be. How is it possible that this little cat is unaware of the wards?
Puck: [Hmm, did you notice that? Subaru, well.]
Ram: [Great Spirit-sama.]
Puck began to respond to Subaru’s suspicions, but Ram interrupted him by calling out. Subaru felt uneasy about the exchange, but Ram did not respond any further and turned to walk away.
But suddenly, her feet wobble.
Subaru: [Oi, Ram!]
Subaru quickly grabbed Ram’s unsteady arm and supported her body as she collapsed, and was surprised to feel that her body was unusually hot. Subaru was surprised to see that her forehead and nape of the neck were also drenched in sweat.
Subaru: [It’s just like when she used too much mana back during the Wolgarm fight! Hey, Ram!]
Ram: [No big deal. Take your hands off…]
Subaru did not listen and picked Ram up in his arms as he had done before. She was as light as ever. However, Ram’s body continued to grow feverishly hot.
Subaru: [Shut up and become like luggage! Oi, Puck, throw that stuff in my bag too! Then lead us to Bokuyang tree. The map will help… you know the way, right!]
Puck: [So my evil plan was discovered. Aye aye, I’ll get it…]
Holding a reluctant-looking Ram in his arms, Subaru started running after Puck, who flew in front of him. If Subaru ran without paying attention to his surroundings, his legs and shoulders would be injured by snagging branches and shrubs.
Subaru ran with several cuts on his skin. Running without any regard will do that to anyone.
So it is no surprise that there were several red marks on Ram’s white skin within his arms.
Puck: [I mean, she never intended to use Subaru as bait in the first place. All she had to do was to let Subaru walk a little bit near the wards and lure out the appropriate Witchbeast. But Subaru went after the riceball and went beyond the wards all by himself, so everything went wrong.]
Subaru and the others arrived back at the mansion at dinner time, just as they had declared in the morning.
Needless to say, however, when the three of them returned home, looking like wrecks, they did not start the dinner in a peaceful manner.
Puck: [She must have been looking hard for Subaru with her ” clairvoyance ” until she found them. Probably that’s why she was so exhausted. She would never admit it, though.]
Subaru: [You’re you, why were you helping Ram?]
Puck: [I guess it was because she asked me to. And even though I was helping her, it was only to protect you, Subaru in a pinch. It was an extension of Lia’s request. Well, Lia’s riceball got you in trouble, so I’m sorry about all that.]
The spirit, who had worked hard to navigate for us past his regular hours, explained the truth of the matter and disappeared.
Night has long since fallen outside the windows, and after working overtime, The spirit is sure to oversleep tomorrow, and Subaru really wants to fall into bed right now, but unfortunately, the nearest bed was already occupied by a sleeping guest, so that hope will likely not come true.
Subaru: [If you don’t complain at least once, you’re not going to be able to stomach it.]
Saying this, Subaru scratched his head beside the sleeping Ram on his bed.
Subaru brought back the unconscious Ram, and the mansion was in turmoil. Rem’s panic was particularly intense, and it was a rare situation in which Emilia was the more dependable one.
She treated the abrasions on Ram’s body, wiped down her body, dressed her, and took her to her bed, where Subaru, while being debriefed, explained the circumstances while covering up for Emilia’s riceball, and then handed over the recovered ingredients to Rem. The tea should have been made by now.
Subaru has been told to get some rest too, but he is here instead of going to bed. At least when Ram wakes up, he should confront her with these mixed feelings.
Subaru: […Just so you know, I have Rem’s permission.]
Ram, who opened her eyelids slightly, said this to Subaru, who was standing by the bed, as the first thing she said. Subaru smiled at her typical expression and then tapped his chest.
Subaru: [As you can see, I returned us safely to the mansion. I also gave Rem the ingredients I had collected. By the way, my map was a huge help in getting back to the mansion. You can never be too prepared, right?]
In fact, the effectiveness of Subaru’s simple map was extraordinary.
Puck lead Subaru and Ram to the distinctive Bokuyang tree, and from there he was able to follow the map back to the mansion almost directly. Without the map, they might have spent the night in the forest by now.
Subaru: [Well, if that had happened, Rem would have come running at Puck’s news… If you’ve learned your lesson from this, admit that the map was useful. Also, trust your companions. Don’t just use them as bait.]
Ram: […That way was the most efficient method. If you want to complain, do it.]
Subaru: [My not complaining is my complaint. That seems to work better for nee-sama right now.]
Ram’s cheeks slightly stiffened as he looked at Subaru with her head on the pillow. Subaru smiled at her reaction and felt relieved to know that the situation had been resolved.
Subaru: [Puck told me most of what happened. I was mad, but I’m not going to talk about it.]
Ram: [Spirits are supposed to be righteous and tight-lipped, but after now knowing the Great Spirit-sama, it is very unlikely. Ram will ever rely on him again.]
“Don’t say too many bad things, because he acted like a tourist helped us out… I’m about to go and call Rem. I gotta tell her you’re up.]
Subaru stood up, shrugging his shoulders at Ram, speaking out of bitterness toward Puck.
Ram: [Hold on, Barusu. Ram needs a favor… No, an order.]
Subaru: [Don’t rephrase it in a way that diminishes my motivation. What do you want me to do?]
Ram: [In the back of the desk drawer, there is a white package. Take it out and go make a pot of tea. It’s for two people, Ram and Barusu.]
Following Ram’s instructions, he opens the drawer and discovers a white package tucked away in the back. It is a package of tea leaves. And what’s inside――
Subaru: [Oi, this is your special tea…]
Ram: [Of course, one should keep a reserve supply of medicine, just in case. Go on.]
Subaru went to the kitchen, wondering what all his hard work had been for today. There he boiled water and prepared the tea. Thinking back, most of the work in the mansion is Rem’s domain, but tea is the only thing he learned from Ram. Ram has always been very particular about tea.
Subaru: [Hey, I’m back, miss. It’s the snake liver tea you ordered.]
Ram: [Not made with snake liver. It was the intestines of a dog.]
Subaru: [Not much of a difference.]
Despite the warm aroma, the ingredients are cruel: Subaru poured tea into two cups and handed one to Ram, now sitting up in bed, as Subaru also took his cup and sat down on a chair.
It’s a smell that’s intoxicating. It’s a smell you wouldn’t expect from powdered mushrooms, poisonous fruit seeds, insectivorous flowers, and Witchbeast calculi――
Subaru: [I don’t know why I brewed it, because when you know the ingredients, you instantly lose interest in drinking it… in the first place how is it tea when there are no leaves in it in the first place?]
Ram: [The ingredients collected are infused and flavored with Ram’s favorite tea leaves. It’s technically still considered tea, so no worries there.]
So saying, Ram tilts her cup without hesitation. Subaru, having no choice, does the same.
The heat and aroma pass over his tongue and floods his nose. The rich flavor of the tea leaves is so easy to drink that it is hard to believe that dog intestines and various poisons were mixed in here.
Subaru: [Maybe this is not so much because of the tea leaves, but because of my increased teaboy power?]
Ram: [Do not be a fool. You’re so bad at brewing that the flavor is definitely off. The temperature of the water you boiled is too hot, and the pouring method itself is not up to standard.]
Subaru’s high hopes are shot down by the scathing appraisal, with Subaru continuing to drink the tea with a reluctant look on his face. It is easy to drink, but he still does not like tea. His childish tongue is still the same as ever.
Subaru: [Ah, I want a cola. I wonder if there’s any way to make a carbonated drink somehow…]
Ram: [Never heard of that drink before. If you know how to make it, you can ask Rem to make it for you.]
Subaru: [Like with mayonnaise, the ingredients are sketchy. No, it’s more so than with mayonnaise.]
It took a lot of hard work to recreate the taste of mayonnaise, a flavor that brings back memories of his distant native land. Fresh eggs, good oil, vinegar, salt and pepper to taste, and patience.
After repeated trial and error with both Rem and Ram, mayonnaise was successfully recreated and is now stored in the kitchen of Roswaal’s mansion. It is no exaggeration to say that Subaru, a true mayonnaise lover, has brought mayonnaise to another world.
Subaru: [But I’m just a mere mayo lover. Unparalled otherworldly knowledge is just beyond my wildest dreams.]
Ram: [Again, more nonsense, but Ram understands that Barusu is useless for Barusu’s own wishes.]
Subaru: [I’m useless to myself is a tremendous phrase, and it’s accurate.]
Chuckling at Ram’s point. She was right, perhaps frustratingly so.
Ram’s eyes narrow at Subaru’s behavior. Then she tilts her cup again, moistens her tongue and lips, and then
Ram: [Ram does not know what the tastes of the people back in your homeland are, but it’s a great loss in life not knowing what tea tastes like.]
Subaru: [It’s not that I don’t know, it’s just that all I can taste is leaves.]
Ram: [If you are unable to enjoy tea, you are missing out on a great part of life.]
Subaru: [Tea is 100 percent of your life!]
Sighing at the surprise in his voice, Ram looked at Subaru with her pale red eyes and continued, “Yes”.
Ram: [Since Barusu is so pathetic… you can study with a cup of tea brewed by Ram.]
Declaring that she would make the tea herself, Ram quietly sipped from her cup. Subaru strangely felt his cheeks relax at her words.
Unsure as to why. To begin with, she never apologized to him for what she did today.
But for now, this felt right. This distance is comfortable, he thought.
There is a comfortable distance between them, with no arguments over differences, no apologies exchanged, or promises made to make up for them.
With this relationship, Subaru could look forward to the next opportunity to have a cup of tea, which he didn’t even like.
Subaru thought this to himself as the aroma of tea wafted through the air.
Original Translation by Remonwater― Complete
The hall is covered in tension.
They watched over the situation, nobody being able to take a breath. There were three people around the table in the center exchanging looks at each other. These three people were Subaru, who was sweating from the forehead, Beatrice, who had a wrinkled brow from her frowning, and then Puck, who quivered his ears, listening attentively.
Emilia and Rem had serious looks on their face as they watched over the situation with eyes, indicating that they were anxious and confused. However, Subaru had no composure to take care of their anxiety right now.
Subaru: [What’s with that pale face, Beako? If you strain yourself so much, you’d even make Hollows want to run away.]
Beatrice: [You really just said that, I suppose. I’m not straining myself, in fact. There’s no reason at all for Betty to get serious, I suppose. Look at yourself. Your nostrils are flaring, in fact.]
Puck: [Now now, let’s calm down you two. It’s only a game, you shouldn’t get so serious.]
Beatrice responded to Subaru’s provocation with a rageful smile that didn’t suit her childish face. Puck was the only one that stayed composed upon seeing the two rivaling each other with spirit while touching his whiskers, brushing the situation off as the usual.
Beatrice: [You’re not wrong, Nii-cha, in fact. …However, this is more of a match, rather than just a game, I suppose. We musn’t lose to the likes of humans, in fact.]
Puck: [Betty sure is an obstinate one. How about it, Subaru. If you can be the adult here this one time and give…]
Puck tried to calm those two down as an outsider. Subaru cut him off and continued to speak with a serious face as Puck tilted his face slightly to the side in doubt.
Subaru: [――If you’re gonna talk about giving in and not giving in, you should untense your tail first.]
Subaru: [If you can’t do that, then you’re no different than me and Beako. Don’t you think so?]
Puck: [Jeez, Subaru sure is a troubling one too…]
Puck folded his little arms and let out a sigh in response to Subaru’s low toned questioning. After that, the spirit that had an appearance of a cat looked straight through Subaru with his round eyes.
Puck: [――It seems like I also have to play against you guys with all I’ve got.]
An overwhelmingly intimidative wind blows against him. It seemed as if Subaru was going to bend backwards from the feeling of oppression. However, he frantically puts up with that wind, lets out a fearless laugh, and then looked at his two opponents.
Emilia: [Why has it comes to this…]
Inside of the devastating wind of that decision, Emilia whispers these words, seemingly with chagrin, as she watches over those 3 individuals.
Emilia puts her hand on her chest. Her blueish purple eyes were filled with gloom. To her side, Rem gently placed her hand onto Emilia’s slender shoulder. Rem shakes her head at Emilia, who looked over her shoulder.
Rem: [They cannot be stopped. We can no longer do anything but watch.]
Emilia: [Why is it like this. They were having that much fun up until a little while ago, and yet…]
Rem: [Because they have something they cannot give up――]
In response to Emilia sinking into sorrow, Rem grumbled weakly, seemingly doing so with a sigh. When Emilia opened her eyes wide in astonishment from hearing that sound, Rem let out a nod while gazing at the three individuals.
Rem: [Subaru-kun and the others surely have something they cannot give up. Thus, occasionally they have to be like that and collide with each other …perhaps.]
Emilia: [That’s why they collide with each other like that?]
Rem: [Rem believes so.]
With that, Rem did not look away from the three people with serious expressions at the table. Seeing Rem do that, Emilia also put her hands together to pray and closed her eyes.
She prays, [I pray that these three come to a conclusion without hurting anyone”.
As for who she was praying to, in this situation it would be――
Emilia: [――Please, Kokkuri-sama.]
Emilia calls out a name of an unfamiliar spirit and quietly offered her prayer.
They surround the table. The three individuals facing each other――those three spread the surrounded table with white paper. On it were several characters and digits, along with a single coin placed on it.
Those three individuals put hands and a tail on the coin and continued to glare at each other endlessly.
They included their prayers with faces that looked so serious that they would even disturb a descended god and――
――The story goes back to breakfast time that same day.
Subaru: [Just something that came to my mind, but how do people treat Ghosts here?]
Suddenly, Subaru asks this question at the place where they sat together after breakfast.
All the members of the mansion gathered together. Time for exchanging words was valuable at this one place. As of the other day, topics would generally be talked about at this time――topics being things like the matter of Rem being given a whole day off.
Today was no exception. Everyone looked at Subaru, who let out a meager question.
Ram: [Rem, Rem. Barusu said something again.]
Rem: [Nee-sama, Nee-sama. That’s something that makes him Subaru-kun.]
Beatrice: That is his specialty, I suppose. Clearly it’s just him being a burden with a troubling matter, in fact.]
Beatrice’s followed up with the interaction of the sisters, which was an interaction he was already completely familiar with, as she let out a sigh.
Roswaal: [Weeell, you’ve come up with something seeeemingly interesting again.]
This person sitting in the seat of highest honor opposes the group of girls’ reactions and clapped his hands cheerfully.
He had clown make-up and wore a striking outfit, along with a personality of tending to say eccentric remarks. He was an oddball who had a type of perception for everything, differing from the ordinary person. This was Roswaal L Mathers.
Roswaal: [Subaru-kun brings in a fresh topic everyday, so it doesn’t get borrring. Wearisome days prevent people from growing up. I’ve also been taught that stagnation is the most abominable offense out there.]
Subaru: [It’s not that big of a deal, but from now on give me some hope for my growth.]
Subaru said words that couldn’t be labeled as cynicism or his true thoughts and roughly looked over the people in the dining room.
Subaru: [So going back to my initial question, I’d like to talk about Ghosts. Well, to be honest, I’m a type of viewer that doesn’t really believe in them, so I’ve been set on ignoring the summer spirit specials.]
Subaru was not the type to be afraid of psychic phenomenons, though he did put aside his previous declaration.
With this, Subaru, who was unexpectedly a realist, was negative towards occult phenomenons. He could not believe in things without having real experiences of them. That was his theory. It was a pretty typical idea for young men of the present.
Subaru: [I believe in otherworldly things because I’ve also been summoned to another world. I also believe in kappas because I saw one when I was little. I saw a dark green-skinned man washing dishes by the side of a dirty river. That was a kappa.]
Emilia: [Umm, I don’t really get what Kappa is, but…well, what’s this ghost thing Subaru is talking about in the first place?]
Subaru’s observation, something that nobody believed because it happened when he was young, was a misfire even in this different world.
Subaru had his shoulders dropped, but the person who made a displeased face at him was Emilia, the person who sat in the seat next to him. She put one of her fingers on her face and tilts her head in a lovely manner.
Emilia: [I’ve never heard about ghosts, but….are they some type of sweet candy or something?]
Subaru: [Your anticipation for dessert came out bluntly, huh. However, you don’t know about Ghosts? Seriously? I think of them as spiritual type of things――well I wonder if that gives you an image.]
Emilia: [ghosts, Kappa, lotus root…are these words that only Subaru knows of again?]
Subaru: [Putting the first two things aside, the last one is definitely something I saw in a bento.]
The unfamiliar words caused Emilia to have a troubled face. Subaru judged that it seemed that she truly had clue about what those words meant and turned around to Rem.
Subaru: [Rem do you know what Ghosts are? They are beings that have translucent bodies, wear white clothes, and fly into the sky while having a triangular decoration attached to their heads]
Rem: [Nope, unfortunately Rem also doesn’t know about them. ….If Rem came across something like that, it would be scary.]
Ram: [Ram agrees with Rem. Strange flying creatures? Ha, and if you are sleepwalking, Ram will knock you down, Barusu.]
Subaru: [Lately I’ve been catching sight of that Roswaal-san flying into the air. What do you think of that?]
Ram: [He does something that an ordinary person can’t do at a moment’s notice, he is precious. Barusu, you show some respect too]
In response to Ram shamelessly honoring the Head, Subaru becomes weary and looked at Roswaal, the person in question. He lets out a shrug in response to his glance and
Roswaal: [That expectant look troubles me. Alllright, guess I can hold you next time and we can fly into the sky together. Would that satisfy yooou?]
Subaru: [I don’t understand anything you’re saying. You got that look in your eye.]
Roswaal: [I wasn’t serious. Moreover, Ghosts and spirits….those things aren’t talked about much in Lugnica. As far as I know, those words may have been used among Kararagi city-state people, perhaps. I’m also not very informed on the specifics of Ghosts, buuut I feel like I’ve heard about them several times.]
Emilia: [Huh, so they say it at Kararagi. Now that I think about it, Subaru is strangely informed on weird things. If that’s the case, then it wouldn’t be weird for you to be strangely informed on Kararagi too.]
Emilia nods many times with an enlightened expression at Roswaal, who shed some of his knowledge on the topic.
On one hand Subaru was happy about Emilia’s trust, but on the other he was bothered by how she treated his understanding as abnormal. However, Subaru put that aside for now and cocked his head in puzzlement at the lack of responses around him.
In his original world, the concept of ghosts was something that was universally common knowledge, not considering about whether people believed in them or not. The idea of ancestral spirits was something that was established long ago to an extent.
The deceased and the living, bonds and spirits――that concept of life and death――these felt like things that could not be separated.
Subaru: [Ah, could it be because spirits are here? Now that I think about it, the light of the spirit you can see at night at the garden is ghost-like. It’s damn ghost-like.]
Emilia: [――? You mean spirits are ghosts? I thought spirits were spirits.]
Roswaal: [No no, Emilia-sama. The Ghosts and spirits Subaru-kun is talking about are the same as these things called “Hollows”.]
With the sound of a click, Subaru felt the atmosphere freeze.
Emilia stiffens with a smile at Roswaal’s words. However, she was not the only one. Rem and Ram of course became firm, along with Beatrice who had an indifferent face, indicating that it was no concern of hers.
Subaru widens his eyes at the girls’ reactions and asks a question to Roswaal like that.
Subaru: [Ummm, what are Hollows?]
Roswaal: [They are said to be a passed away life’s thoughts and regrets left behind in the world for the living, unable to return to Od Laguna, continuing to drift abooout in the realm of the dead…]
Subaru: [Ah, that’s definitely a Ghost. I see. So they’re called Hollows, huh.]
However, contrary to the two men who understood this existence, the group of girls were greatly disturbed. Emilia’s expression was especially pale. She touched Subaru’s arm gently with her trembling fingers.
Emilia: [Th─the ghosts Subaru was talking about are Hollows…?]
Subaru: [Seems like they were. But I’ve come to understand it thanks to that, though it’s not like it’s a big deal or anything.]
Emilia: [You said it’s not a big deal, so why did you talk about Hollows? That’s weird. Surely it’s because…I got it. Subaru saw a Hollow. You saw one in the mansion. That’s why you suddenly became interested in Hollows. I don’t like this. Why did you talk about it like that? If I didn’t become aware of it, then I could’ve gone on without knowing about them. That’s cruel. Subaru-kun, you idiot. So cruel. Subaru is planning on dragging us into this because he’s scared himself――!]
Subaru: [Emilia-tan has quite the persecution complex.]
Emilia started to talk rapidly, violently shaking Subaru’s shoulder, being unable to hold back her emotions.
Subaru manages to let out a kind smile at Emilia while being surprised by the force from her shaking his shoulder.
Subaru: [It’ll be okay, calm down! Even if I were to get someone involved with damage from occult stuff, Emilia-tan would be the last one I’d involve. Beako would be the first sacrifice.]
Beatrice: [Why did you bring Betty up in that, I suppose!]
Emilia: [Really? Are you being seriously serious? You’ll make Beatrice your first sacrifice?]
Beatrice: [You too. What are you saying with your confusion, In fact!? Both of you want to get blown away, I suppose.]
Rem: [That is right. That is not convincing. The person that Subaru-kun should depend on first for this is Rem. Beatrice-sama should not be used for this!]
Beatrice: [Why must Betty be insulted like this, in fact!? This is shameless, I suppose!]
There was Emilia, becoming confused and speaking of choices that she’d normally be unable to speak of, and there was Beatrice, who wouldn’t be quiet. When the self-recommending Rem participated in this war, the discussion turned into complete chaos.
Under these circumstances of not knowing if that chaos would settle down, Emilia looks at Subaru with wet eyes.
Emilia: [Is Subaru going to inform us on Hollows? You’re gonna tell us about how you know tons of scary things about them. Like how you are with stars.]
Subaru: [That’s not true. At best, all I know of is stuff like Okiku-san’s Banchou sarayashiki, where she breaks plates and had remaining regrets, Oiwa-san, who flipped out in a grudge against her husband who betrayed her, or Miminashi Houichi, who had her ears torn off because she forgot to write on them.]
Roswaal: [Subaru-kuuun. Emilia-sama is going to faint, sooo let’s stop here.]
The frightened Emilia’s cuteness caused Subaru to unconsciously get carried away with his entertainment. He gets rebuked by Roswaal and gently tapped Emilia’s shoulder while having a wry smile.
Subaru: [Just kidding, just kidding. I’ve never seen Hollows in this mansion. The only mysterious experience I had was with Kokkuri, a once in a lifetime….scratch that, because Hollows are unrelated to it.]
Emilia: [Bu─but Subaru….weren’t things like Kappa and lotus root you talked about earlier?]
Subaru: [Kappa is a middle aged man who lives at a river with a unhealthy complexion, and lotus root is a vegetable.]
He bows his head at his childhood memories. Emilia was more precious than ever right now.
It was worth it for Emilia to try her best to calm down, as her chaos was now slowly settling down. Then the Emilia who somehow managed to calm down blushens and
Emilia: [Hey, I think Subaru has the wrong idea. I don’t get frightened by Hollows at all. It’s just that I’m a little bad at dealing with them.]
Subaru: [By a little you mean very?]
Emilia: [A little means a little! geeze, Subaru you idiot! You bully!]
Emilia was angry, but she was certainly not persuasive with her words. Still continuing to calm down the angry Emilia, Subaru turns around to face Rem and the others.
Subaru: [Come to think of it, your guys’ facial expressions have been stiff. Could it be…?]
Ram: [What do you mean by “Could it be”? If you don’t include the subject in that, then one can’t understand you. Barusu, a person poor at asking questions, has missed his chance through his own foolishness. This conversation is over.]
Subaru: [If you make such a blunt response like that, then you already know the subject!]
Ram clicked her tongue at Subaru’s reference, although she was three times more bitter than usual. Rem, who quietly went in front of her sister to protect her, shaked her head at Subaru.
Rem: [You’re wrong, Subaru-kun. Nee-sama doesn’t get frightened by Hollows. However, just having these circumstances being different than not having an attack land on someone after striking…Rem also feels the same way.]
Subaru: [You’re saying I have bad chemistry in battle!? You don’t have to talk with an assumption that I’d get knocked out!]
Rem: [It is Nee-sama’s and my duty to fight in order to protect people. Don’t worry, even if a Hollow were to appear, Rem will put myself on the line and protect Subaru-kun.]
Subaru: [It was just hypothetical talk, and yet the topic has come to this.]
It started out as a casual conversation, and yet it turned into a talk about readiness when faced with awfully serious moments. Unlike Emilia, who got scared from theoretical ideas, Rem and the others didn’t look cute with their awareness of how they were bad at dealing with ghosts.
Subaru: [Then Beako making a sullen face means that you’re scared too I guess. Are you able to go to the bathroom by yourself a night?]
Beatrice: [Enough, stop treating Betty like a young girl, in fact. There’s no reason for Betty to be afraid of something so ambiguous like a Hollow in the first place, I suppose.]
Subaru: [Then why are you pissed off? Something get caught in your teeth?]
Beatrice: [Don’t you anger Betty with something so stupid, in fact! …The reason why Betty is displeased towards Hollows is they encloud what is a really precious existence, I suppose.]
Subaru: [Really precious….ah! So that’s why…]
Subaru understood the source for Beatrice’s anger and nodded his head affirmatively.
Subaru: [Spirits and ghosts give a similar feeling after all, huh. I’ve come to understand your irritation too.]
Beatrice: [It’s infuriating that spirits as a whole should be undermined by something as dubious as Hollows, in fact.]
Beatrice folds her arms in displeasure with a face indicating that she damaged her self-respect.
Subaru also thought of this earlier, but mistaking spirits for Hollows was a case in point that made his hypothesis probable. Or rather, perhaps Subaru was the only one who reasoned that ghosts existed because spirits did.
Emilia: [――! Then Puck is a Hollow!? Noo! Even when I believed in you!]
Puck: [You call me, then here I am. Nya nya nya nya nyaaan! …What the. Lia, what’s wrong? You look like you’re about to cry. Who is the cause for this!? I’ll show them a piece of my mind!]
Emilia: [It’s your fault.]
Puck: [Damnittt. I’m an idiot! You okay now?]
Emilia was panicking once again, but the skit of the materialized Puck had unfolded. Emilia’s adeptness at using spirits was irrelevant. The differences between spirits and Hollows generally could not be understood, though Emilia was prone to getting extremely scared.
Subaru: [But it’s surprising how everyone is bad with Hollows, though it seems like the meaning of bad is different in this case.]
Roswaal: [The grasp of these Ghosts you’re talking about and the grasp of the Hollows that we know of may be different. At the very least, we are aware of how Hollows are existences that aren’t friendly with the living. Corpses moving on the battlefield, wicked thoughts that curse the living…there are many examples like that to show their unfriendliness.]
Subaru: [Moving corpses huh. Sorry for not taking the fact that this world has magic seriously at all.]
Subaru actually had real experiences with magic. He shivers at Roswaal’s examples and looks over the girl camp again with their anxious looking faces.
He saw no signs of the calm atmosphere during breakfast that had lasted about ten minutes. The reason for this was because of Subaru rashly bringing in the topic of Hollows, essentially breaking that calm atmosphere into mere fragments.
The atmosphere dissolves this way and the aftertaste was really bad. Thus――
Subaru: [――Alright, I have a proposal!]
Subaru kicks his chair, stands up, and thrusts his finger at the ceiling. This makes everyone open their eyes wide while Subaru spins around his held out arm.
Subaru: [Seems like there’s some misunderstandings, however I did not bring up Hollows to scare you all. Understand that first.]
Emilia: [Then what was the talk about Kiku-san from Banchou sarayashiki, Iwa-san, and Lotus root-san for?]
Subaru: [Hurry up and forgot about those things and the vegetable already. You got it all wrong. It’s fiction!]
Emilia makes a relieved expression upon hearing that it was fiction. It was possible to still doubt if it would be okay, but for now she had a stance of intending to hear him out, so he took this opportunity.
Beatrice: [It’s too late for that assessment, I suppose. The damage done by the Hollow talk is something that can no longer be resolved, in fact.]
Subaru: [I will replace that perception of yours that’s smeared with prejudice, Beako. ――through necromancy that is!]
Subaru raised a thumb at the scornful Beatrice, and then Emilia tilted her head at Subaru, who made his declaration with a loud voice. Emilia expresses a question mark at the unfamiliar word, making Subaru smile with distorted cheeks.
Subaru: [Yes, necromancy! At my home town it’s a written technique used to take down spirits, and by spirits I mean Ghost spirits! In other words, necromancy is a ritual to summon Hollows!]
Upon hearing Subaru’s astounding idea, everyone’s expression changed simultaneously.
Emilia: [Summoning Hollows? You can do that?]
Subaru: [There are loopholes and underhanded tricks for everything. Emilia-tan, how about you think of this one thing as challenging it after you felt deceived?]
Emilia: [If I think of it that way, then that would mean I was deceived until the end!]
Rem: [Is it really okay to do that? Nothing bad will happen?]
Rem takes place of the disturbed Emilia as she rapidly took a step forward and drew closer to Subaru.
Rem: [It is typical for people to think of Hollows as evil existences. Rem does not want to doubt Subaru-kun, but if by any chance something….]
Subaru: [Ho─hold up. The thing that people are scared of when it comes to Hollows and Ghosts is their unfamiliarity with their nature, right? If they get dragged out by necromancy, you’ll come to understand them and their scariness will be reduced by half.]
Rem: [Even if it’s reduced by half, scary things are scary!]
It wasn’t shown in Rem’s face, but in truth, she may have gotten relatively frightened.
She gets close to the trembling Emilia and was propped up by her shoulder, but it seemed that Emilia was pretending to comfort her, being covered in her own helplessness.
Beatrice: [Fufumm, you say some useful things sometimes too, I suppose.]
Subaru: [Now that’s some unexpected reinforcement. Are you in agreement with me, Beako?]
When Subaru becomes surprised from the very unexpected approval ballot, Beatrice snorted her nose with her arms crossed.
Beatrice: [Betty has a lot of things to say to Hollows now, in fact. If we summon those guys through necromancy, let’s give them a good one, I suppose.]
Beatrice was burning with ambition at the idea of necromancy with an expression full of hostility. Anyhow, it seemed like she wasn’t seriously against them either, so he gave a final look at Roswaal.
The decision was in Roswaal’s hands. He collectedly extended both of his hands in response to Subaru’s look and
Roswaal: [Souuunds good. Try and do it how you want to. To be honest, I’m also interested in the necromancy used to summon Hollows. I want to see this without fail, after allll.]
Subaru: [Now you’re talking! As expected of Ros-chi. You are reasonable!]
Subaru received the approval of the well understanding Head, as he became filled with delight seeing how Roswaal was understanding of his thoughts.
Subaru: [And with that, let’s set up the preparations for necromancy! What’s wrong? It’s not that hard to makes preparations for it. We just need a big, white paper, a feather pen, and a coin.]
Ram: [Those are very cheap. how dubious.]
Subaru: [The cheap simpleness is the gimmick of instant necromancy. Back at my home town, it exploded with popularity before and it was all the rage.]
Emilia: [So Hollows are played with at Subaru’s hometown, huh. You are reaaally brave….]
Subaru gives a vague smile at Emilia, who was giving him strange admiration, and left out the details on the matter. If he were to talk about the details of the necromancy that became popular, Emilia would be frightened again.
Anyhow, only minor effects of this necromancy appeared. Then there was also a rumor which said that the practice had become prohibited, as marks were left on a good amount of boys and girls’ hearts.
That ritual’s name was called thus at his hometown:
Subaru: [From here, the Roswaal mansion’s first “Kokkuri-san” shall now commence!]
――Kokkuri-san is something that exploded with popularity in Japan for a period of time. It is a kind of necromancy.
The influence of it was fierce. Even now, it is so popular that in one area it is even prohibited.
There is a theory that says Kokkuri parodizes the names of “foxes”, “dogs” and “tanuki”. People generally think that they are summoning low class animal spirits via ritual.
In Subaru’s world it is an outdated game, but it is still generally common knowledge, and it is at least well known for people to know about the flow of the ritual’s sequences, along with the tools one needs to prepare for it.
Subaru: [Simply speaking will not summon Kokkuri-san. This is because I need to make the preparations necessary to talk with Kokkuri-san.]
Rem: [So that’s why you have paper and a pen? Are you going to communicate with Kokkuri-san through writing….?]
Subaru was spreading white paper over the table when Rem, who had her morningstar in her hand, nervously asked this question.
Holding a weapon like this was something you wouldn’t normally see on an average day at the mansion. In other words, it seemed that today was preparation for extraordinary battle to Rem. She had all the preparations set to turn Kokkuri-san into small fragments.
Subaru: [It’s incredibly punishing to summon Kokkuri-san and knock them away… I’m sorry, but Kokkuri-san is invisible to the eye. I’m the one who uses the pen, not Kokkuri-san.]
Ram: [That’s an ugly “E” character. Feels like your daily studying hasn’t been taking its effect.]
Subaru: [Shut up, Nee-sama. If you can read it, then that’s all that matters.]
Subaru responds to the Ram out of wariness, whose abusive language was harsher than usual, and continued to write characters on the white paper while feeling discouraged. That was all of the E characters, in sequential order, to correspond with the hiragana in this world.
Subaru: [The last columns to prepare are the number column, the man column, and the woman column. And something that cannot be forgotten, the gate used to let Kokkuri-san go in and out.]
He methodically writes the “E” characters, the numbers 0 through 9, man and woman, and lastly the choices “yes” and “no” for preparation. Drawing “Torii” during that time would mean that everything would be ready.
Subaru: [Emilia-tan, lend me some money.]
Emilia: [Okay. Don’t waste it.]
Puck: [Kinda feels like something a man financially dependent on a woman would do.]
Subaru ignores the utterance from the scandalous Puck and put the gold coin Emilia gave to him on top of the Torii illustration. Then he nods at Rem and Emilia. The three people take their seats.
Subaru: [Before we begin, here are some important points to note. First off, the three of us will put our index fingers on the gold coin, but make sure you don’t take it off until it’s over. It wouldn’t be pretty if you did.]
Emilia: [O─ok. Got it. Don’t take off your finger huh. ….can I freeze it?]
Subaru: [It’s not about physically sticking to it. Let’s try doing it deliberately. Also, about the Hollow that will answer the questions we have for Kokkuri-san….they can be customarily loud. You will get scolded if you do not follow the sequence properly. Please follow my instructions in the way that they have been told.]
Rem: [Scolded…so that means that moment would be a good opportunity, huh. I feel like I understand what Subaru-kun is expecting of me.]
Subaru: [Feels like you don’t get it, so I’m gonna tell you that there is a standard prohibition on attacks.]
Emilia was serious with a pale face. Rem had fighting spirit dwelling in her light blue eyes. These things made Subaru feel anxious.
However, around them there was Beatrice, who was full of hostility, and Ram, whose aggressive attitude was getting worse. Roswaal and Puck were the same as always, but it would probably wouldn’t help keep his anxiety in check.
There was no reason for them to have this much willpower for carrying out the operation for Kokkuri-san in the first place, but――
Subaru: [A man’s adventurous spirit is beyond help, precisely because of how he gets fired up in stupid times like these…]
Beatrice: [Stop saying that stuff. Hurry up and get this started, in fact. Go quickly, I suppose.]
Subaru looks like a fool with his cynical attitude. He pulls himself together and reaches out to the coin with his finger. Emilia and Rem follow. Their fingers pile on top of each other on the coin.
They start to feel a slight tension. The ritual begins while they all hold their breath――.
Subaru: [――Kokkuri-san, Kokkuri-san. Please come forth. If you are there, please move towards “yes”.]
It was a magical chant. Subaru says the custom words for it with that type of enthusiasm.
Emilia and Rem felt power with their fingers caused by those words. However, there was no change with the coin. Subaru glares at the coin that didn’t give even a slight movement, wets his dry lips, and tries once again.
Subaru: [――Kokkuri-san, Kokkuri-san. Please come forth. If you are there, please move towards “yes”.]
He says those words once again, but there was still no change.
This naturally relaxes the atmosphere in the hall. The participants Emilia and Rem give out a sigh of relief, and they heard a sigh from the back that sounded unamused. Beatrice was surely in a bad mood from this result, just because of her high expectations. ――That’s what he thought immediately afterwards.
Emilia raises her voice in surprise. Rem widens her eyes and is at a loss for words. Subaru also held his breath.
They reacted like this because the coin they had their fingers on slowly moved towards yes.
Subaru: [P─please move back towards Torii.]
Subaru receives looks from those two as if they were appealing to him and clumsily remembered the next instruction. In response to the instruction, the coin moved from “yes” to the Torii position, making Subaru feel confident that the necromancy was a success.
The ghosts were doing deeds and there were influences on the participants’ subconscious, but for now they had accomplished the first step.
Subaru: [A─alright, so it moved down. Kokkuri-san should answer most of our questions with it like this. Anything you guys would like to ask?]
Emilia: [Su─subaru, you show us how it’s done first.]
Rem: [….Yes, we should go with that. Rem still can’t see the Hollows.]
Emilia didn’t hide her fright, while Rem had a misunderstanding about the ritual, as she thought it was to crush the ghosts.
Seeing as how they shut down their right to ask a question, after Subaru thought about it for a bit, he
Subaru: [――Kokkuri-san, question, is Emilia-tan afraid of Hollows?]
Emilia raised a criticising voice, but the coin had already moved. The gold coin slides onto the “yes” spot, and Emilia’s sentiments were made clear――though they were already obvious.
Subaru: [Thanks. Kokkuri-san, move back towards Torii.]
Subaru is satisfied with the result. When he requests for the Kokkuri to move back to its origin, he moves smoothly towards above the Torii illustration. This was the flow of sequences for Kokkuri-san.
Subaru: [So these are the basics of Kokkuri-san. Next we would do the question and answer session again so that we aren’t rude to Kokkuri-san…Emilia-tan, what’s up with that look?]
Emilia: [I─I’m telling you I’m not scared. I think the answer to that question was a mistake. Subaru must have moved his finger. I won’t be fooled.]
Kokkuri-san crushed Emilia’s cute willpower without mercy. Emilia, who let out a shriek, learned her place from his pointing out and let out a “Sorry…” with a faint voice.
Rem: [――Kokkuri-sama. Should we have meat or fish for today’s dinner?]
Immediately after that, Rem, who was watching the flow of the game up until now, threw a question at Kokkuri-san with astounding courage. The border of the E character slips away. Rem gives her thanks to Kokkuri-san, who gave an answer for today’s dinner, and then shifted her attention towards Subaru and the others.
Rem: [I believe Kokkuri-sama has credibility with his answer. We have no fish in the kitchen, so the dinner being a meat dish…. Rem is the only one who should know about that.]
Emilia: [Eh….Then isn’t this amazing?]
Emilia comprehends the intent behind Rem’s question and uses her free hand to touch her mouth, exposing her astonishment. She blinks her eyes and stared firmly at the coin. Then
Emilia: [Kokkuri-san is amazing. I was surprised.]
Kokkuri: [Not particularly.]
Emilia: [Sorry for doubting you. Moreover, you’ve even been talking to us reaaally politely.]
Kokkuri: [It is a common thing.]
Emilia: [Is that so? A common thing…but misunderstanding you is a very sorrowful thing to do, so I apologize. I’ll be careful.]
Kokkuri: [It is okay.]
Subaru: [Was Kokkuri-san really able to have such relaxed conversations!?]
Kokkuri-san’s behavior broke into a mess of pieces in response to Emilia, who reflected on her behavior.
When these things went down, the coin was sliding on the paper. The contrast between the pleasantness of the conversation and the impression given by the image gave quite the strange feeling.
Anyhow, it looked like Emilia had complete trust in Kokkuri-san, so her expression was different in comparison to how she was frightened by Hollow earlier. In some respects, Rem came face to face with the exchange of heart-warming foreign culture, so it seemed that her fighting spirit also settled down.
Rem: [Emilia-sama, can I talk to Kokkuri-sama too?]
Emilia: [Ah, sorry. Kokkuri-san, can Rem talk to you too?]
Subaru: [He’s suppose to answer with “Yes” there, not “Sure”!]
In regards to the ritual, Kokkuri-san was now a participant as a fourth viewpoint, rather than a guest of honor.
It differed quite a lot from what the image they had heard about from rumors, but perhaps the Kokkuri-san of this world was just like this. He was really different from Japan’s Kokkuri-san, who is hard to deal with, according to rumors.
Rem: [Is Subaru-kun satisfied everyday with Rem’s cooking?]
Kokkuri: [Sounds right.]
Rem: [Does Subaru-kun enjoy his work at the mansion? Is it tough for him?]
Kokkuri: [A pleasantly tired feeling.]
Rem: [Is Subaru-kun getting along well with Nee-sama?]
Kokkuri: [Indifferent towards the antagonizing hate.]
Rem: [Is Subaru-kun…]
Subaru: [Uh, Rem-san? Even if you don’t ask Kokkuri-san, I can at least answer that kind of stuff if you ask me directly, you know?]
Rem: [No, asking you directly is embarrassing, so….]
Subaru: [This method is indirect, but your questions sure aren’t!]
He didn’t understand Rem’s point about her embarrassment, but it seemed that she had befitting merit to associate with Kokkuri-san. Nevertheless, perhaps you could say that the first stage had been completed with the apparent satisfaction of Rem’s curiosity.
Subaru: [Alright then, it’s regretful, but let’s pray for his departure. ――Kokkuri-san, thank you. By all means, please go back home.]
Emilia: [Thank you. Let’s speak again sometime.]
Rem: [Rem prays that nothing bad happens along the way home and that you return safely.]
Subaru was particular about his formality, while Emilia and Rem entered a stance for an extreme farewell. They all bid their goodbyes, and the coin swiftly headed towards the Torii. And then, the feeling of oppression that vaguely drifted about in the hall vanishes, which made everyone understand that Kokkuri-san had gone home.
Subaru: [And that’s how it is. How was it? Kokkuri-san wasn’t a scary Hollow, right?]
Rem: [Yeah, that was surprising. Rem could not see him, and yet he really was there. Could it be that spirits are….but it didn’t seem like it…]
Roswaal: [Theeere was no mana interference from what I saw. It feels like I saw the amazingness of necromancy, though it was mysteriousss.]
Roswaal, the person who had been silent up until now, makes sure of the ritual’s ending as he nods his head in admiration. The leading person for magic applies his metaphorical seal of approval . Subaru was also proud of Kokkuri-san, as if it was something personal.
Puck: [Looks like it wasn’t a deed of a spirit. If it was a spirit, Lia and I would notice it. How’d you feel about it, Betty?]
Beatrice: [….Betty won’t acknowledge it, in fact. The existence of Hollows, in and of itself, is something blasphemous to spirits, I suppose.]
Beatrice responds to Puck’s questioning with a quite, indignant voice. That response causes Puck to widen his eyes, as Beatrice compromises at the table with her arm waving [bye-bye!].
Beatrice: [Betty will take your spot, in fact, younger sister. Betty will expose the bogus trickery that happened just now, I suppose.]
Emilia: [Wait Beatrice, what are you saying? There was no bogus trickery anywhere.]
Subaru: [You don’t really hear bogus nowadays, huh…putting that aside, do you doubt the Kokkuri-san that you saw? If so, then how do you explain what just happened earlier?]
Beatrice: [Listen up, you be quiet now, in fact. Or are you scared of Betty exposing the truth of the matter, I suppose? If you are, then I guess that can’t be helped either, in fact.]
Subaru: […I’m getting ticked off. Don’t start blubbering, Drill loli.]
Rem gives her seat up to Beatrice. Subaru also once again sinks into his chair. Beatrice sees this and then glares at Emilia.
Beatrice: [You too. Change places with Nii-cha, I suppose. There’s no way there are people that side with Kokkuri, in fact. The two of us, Betty and Nii-cha, will make these lies clear, I suppose.]
Subaru: [What suspicions do you have for the people that side with Kokkuri? Also how will Puck participate in this?]
Puck: [How about with my tail?]
Subaru: […Ah! I understand. That’s fine. Let’s do it with your tail.]
Puck, who came flying, floats above the table, and holds out his long tail as he puts it on the coin. Subaru and Beatrice also follow, and the arrangements to start were put in order, though they were awkward.
Subaru: [It’ll be fine, Emilia-tan. Look. I will protect Kokkuri-san――]
Emilia: [Okay, I believe you.]
Emilia puts her hands on her chest and gives a nod to Subaru with a gesture that seemed to be a prayer. He makes sure of it and then when he takes a deep breath, he directs his consciousness towards the Torii drawn on the paper.
Subaru: [――Kokkuri-san, Kokkuri-san. I apologize for continuing this, but if you are there, please move towards the “Yes” spo――that was fast.]
Kokkuri: [You call me too much.]
Subaru: [True. Of course you’d get mad. Being summoned immediately after returning would of course make you mad. My apologies.]
Subaru prostrates himself in response to the faint displeasure hinted in Kokkuri’s sentence. However, the two people who were having their first experience with Kokkuri-san widen their eyes in response to the slight surprise.
Puck: [At the very least, I am not moving. How about you, Betty?]
Beatrice: […Betty would not do such a shameless thing, I suppose. Yes, in fact. Even If they are there, we will just assume that they are there and will just blow them away, I suppose.]
Puck: [He’s speaking, Beako.]
Beatrice: [This is shameless, in fact!]
In any case, you could say that this was a win for the Kokkuri side against the beginning hostilities.
Kokkuri-san moved with a “Bring it on” and waited for a question. It seemed that his anger from being summoned in succession had been assuaged. While this happened, the coin slipped swiftly across the paper. Kokkuri-san truly was uncalm.
Subaru: [There. Go ahead and ask a question, Beako. Go fight him.]
Beatrice: [Betty will show people how you disappear, I suppose.]
Subaru: [Just how rude can you be at the start!? Expecting him to pop out without even having called him in response to being prompted to ask a question is just like the PC dolphin!]
Kokkuri: [Wonder what I should do~]
Subaru: [But wow Kokkuri-san, you are a major sadist towards Beako!]
Kokkuri-san enters a strong counter in response to Beako, who should have had challenged him first. Even Kokkuri-san saw through the reddened Beatrice’s natural groping.
Puck: [Alright, what does Lia think of me?]
Kokkuri: [Troublesome father.] Kokkuri: [Sometimes a mother.]
Puck: [Fufufu, this is amusing. Alright, what do I think of Lia?]
Kokkuri: [A cute, troublesome daughter.] Kokkuri: [Sometimes a mother.]
Subaru: [You two think of each other as a mother sometimes?]
Puck let out profound laughter, while Emilia frantically shook her head and denied it. This was also a parent-child relationship he didn’t understand, but it confirmed Kokkuri-san’s insight.
Beatrice: [Fufumm. If that’s the case, then tell me what Nii-chan thinks of Betty, I suppose.]
Beatrice: [――? Honorable, What is the meaning of this, in fact? He thinks Betty is honorable…?]
Kokkuri: [Say honorific.]
Beatrice: [Why has this guy only been awfully strict towards Betty, I suppose?]
Whether he had completely ruined her mood or pleased her, Kokkuri-san was skilled at hitting the right areas. Afterwards, he skillfully dodged Beatrice’s question too. This little girl was that furious, and yet she became completely dispirited.
Anyhow, it was unlikely for Beatrice to doubt Kokkuri-san’s existence now that she had argued with him until now. In some way, her goal had been accomplished. Thus, it was about the time to wish for Kokkuri-san to go back home and――
Rem: [Ah, Subaru-kun. Can Rem ask one last thing?]
Subaru: [Hm? Oh, Rem wants to ask something too?]
Subaru ponders about her actions, as Rem holds her hand up, responding to Subaru with a “Yes”. Standardly, only the participants would be able to ask Kokkuri-san questions. Perhaps this would anger Kokkuri-san.
Kokkuri: [Come to me.]
Subaru: [Kokkuri-san is a handsome man who is anything but angry. It’s fine, Rem. Go ask a question.]
Rem: [Then Rem will take up that offer. ――To tell you the truth, lately the amount of stored mayonnaise has been decreasing over night. What is the cause of that?]
That was the moment the unconcerned Rem threw in her question. The coin lodged with Kokkuri-san in it that had been sliding casually until now stops its movement. The coin that suspended on top of the Torii illustration shakes the situation of Subaru and the others having their fingers placed on it. It was more than a slight movement.
These three hold their breath and glare at each other as Emilia and the others become disturbed from the situation.
――Thus, the story was coming back to the beginning.
While putting all their strength into the coin they touched, the three cautiously peeped at each other’s attitude.
The cold sensation felt at their fingertips was an indication that it would face towards “correct” and would start to move. However, it was impossible this time for it to recite “correct”.
The Roswaal residence’s preserved mayonnaise was being revived in this world by Subaru and the others, who were mayonnaise lovers. It was being done through Rem’s everyday earnest inclusion of the produced flavor.
The quality was inferior compared to the type of quality back at Subaru’s original world, but it was an absolute must for his eating habits.
There were people who snuck bites of that mayonnaise every night. ――To be completely honest, that was Subaru’s doing. Occasionally he wouldn’t be able to hold himself back and would creep into the kitchen at midnight, snatching the mayonnaise. However, it was impossible for him to be found out.
Subaru: [Force is entering your shoulder, Beako. Puck you too; what’s up with the swelling of power with your tail?]
Beatrice: [You too. Your cheeks are stiffening. Even under normal circumstances your excessive smile is atrocious, I suppose. Kokkuri-san also is ugly, in fact.]
Puck: [Come on you two. We can still talk this out as of right now. Let’s stop this foolishness and have more constructivity, shall we? Look, we can even go out and have a picnic.]
They were restraining each other, but would still not loosen their power put into the coin.
Subaru was putting in power to avoid having the truth exposed, but they were desperate to destroy his obstruction. At this rate, he will become a criminal――
Emilia: [Ah, the coin….!]
Emilia was there watching over them. While trembling, she tried to watch the coin that started to move. However, the coin’s speed was slow. The movement was so dull that it seemed it would tear apart the paper lying underneath it. The “E” characters the gold coin slowly traced were “be”, “a”, and “to”. ――Of course, Subaru was moving it.
He put a false accusation on her before he was exposed, making the situation indefinite. He had no choice.
Subaru: [Ohhtoh, if we go by this flow, then the criminal appears to be….]
Beatrice: [Do─don’t play games, in fact! Take a closer look, I suppose…!]
When she spoke out to the shameless Subaru, the resisting Beatrice’s fingers shone vividly. Immediately after, the wind spirals the girl’s name in the middle, and Subaru notices the increase of strength on the coin.
Subaru: [You, no way…!]
Beatrice: [See, take a good look, in fact. This movement clearly shows your…]
Just like Beatrice said, the coin changed its course, turning the “ri” into “su”, following with “ba”. There was no doubt that she was using some sort of magic just for this purpose.
Emilia: [Be a to su ba?]
Emilia reads the E characters just like how they appeared and was bewildered. But, it would be problematic like this. If the name finishes in a straight line next, Subaru’s crime would be as clear as day.
Subaru: [But with this you’ve already burnt Kokkuri-san’s grey brain cells!]
Beatrice: [Th─this? No way, I suppose…!]
Just before it narrowly reached “ru”, somehow it slid over and hit “pa” and “tsu”. If it reached the straight line at this rate, the conclusion would be decided.
Emilia: [Be a to su ba pa?]
Subaru: [With this, next will I will show you Finishing Kokkuri!]
Puck: [I won’t allow it, Subaru! This is where I will show you, a person who showed negligence, Counter Kokkuri!]
Beatrice: [Betty will cooperate with Nii-cha, I suppose! With the two of us and the friends of Kokkuri, in fact!]
They take a stab at Subaru’s opportunity, who rushed the match, as Puck once again slips the coin towards “su”. Beatrice also backs up that force, as Subaru is cornered into fighting defensively.
At this rate, he will be defeated. ――This was the moment he thought that.
Kokkuri: [Cut it out.]
The coin that the three of them had put their strength into rotates at high speed, and then not only Subaru, but Beatrice and Puck too repel from the table. The coin that was released from their physical strength grows wild and traces characters to scold the three people who ridiculed him.
Kokkuri: [A child mourning at your unsightly quarrel is here.]
Subaru: [A─a mourning child…?]
Kokkuri: [E mi li a]
Subaru is surprised by Kokkuri-san’s answer and turns around. He saw Emilia standing there, who was watching the three of them with sorrowful eyes. She had her arms on her chest. Perhaps she was praying.
Kokkuri-san noticed how the three people who shoved their crimes into each other’s faces despaired.
Kokkuri: [Remember it.]
Kokkuri: [The loving heart.]
Kokkuri: [The kindness.]
Kokkuri: [The love.]
Emilia: [Ko─kokkuri-san. You…]
Kokkuri: [I am no longer needed.]
Kokkuri: [The rest is]
Kokkuri: [Your story.]
Subaru could not speak in response to Kokkuri-san’s concern. Kokkuri-san leaves those last words and then heads toward Torii. There was no time to stop him. The atmosphere changes.
Rem: […Looks like Kokkuri-sama went home.]
The feeling of his presence fades away. Rem puts the reality that everyone understood into words. When she touched the paper left behind on the table, she put her hand on the Torii and gold coin.
Rem: [Sorry. Rem said something unnecessary and angered Kokkuri-sama.]
Subaru: [N─no. Rem, it’s not your fault. It was my fault for bringing up Kokkuri rashly in the first place. It must’ve been a bother to Kokkuri-san too.]
He was surprised from Kokkuri-san’s excessive friendliness, but just from that, he had feelings of guilt.
Thus, there was only one way to show his regret.
Subaru: [Rem, about the mayonnaise…]
Rem: [Yes. In the end, we never found out who the criminal was, but….]
Subaru: [Um, that’s wrong. The criminal is…]
Subaru looked straight into Rem’s eyes and bowed in shame. Then――
Subaru: [I am the criminal.]
Puck: [I did it.]
Beatrice: [Betty was just too tempted, I suppose.]
The three of their voice’s overlap. Rem, who had confessed with them, widens her eyes. However, the people that were the most surprised were none other than those three. They exchange glances at each other’s faces and opened their mouths in dumbfoundment.
Emilia saw that situation, but she lastly pinches the gold coin and
Emilia: [Kokkuri-san, Kokkuri-san. Could it be that you knew everything?]
Then, she asked this question to the silent coin with a small smile on her face.
Ram: [――What a farce that was, Roswaal-sama.]
They decided to check the hall where the mayonnaise incident criminals were writing their earnest apologies later. Ram speaks out to the person walking in front of her, Roswaal. He then shakes his shoulder, laughs, and
Roswaal: [Waaasn’t it quite the enjoyable show? Subaru-kun is really amusing. I don’t get tired of him. Splendid. Just splendid.]
Ram: [Don’t warm up to Barusu that much. Even now he is doing something outrageous.]
Roswaal: [“That was just me having fun again”…if I said that, I wonder if you would get maaad.]
In response to the jolly Head’s words, Ram let out a slight sigh without objection.
From the beginning, Ram would never oppose Roswaal’s opinion. Pouring her whole soul into meeting the head’s wishes certainly was her loyalty. Thus――
Ram: [How did you move that coin?]
Roswaal: [Through the use of wind and earth magic. I scattered mana through wind, deceiving them, and guided the coin through local impact. It seemed that Beatrice and Great spirit-sama noticed it and then decided not to say anything.]
The shy Roswaal’s answer causes Ram to be reminded of the two people who seemed to be accomplices. These accomplices were the gleeful kitten, and the seemingly indifferent little girl who accompanied him.
Ram: [Putting that aside, Ram only had an uncomfortable feeling just about the last interaction. Great spirit-sama and Beatrice-sama were both digging their own graves.]
Roswaal: [It was an unexpected development after all. At any rate, the last thing was the only thing I didn’t understand as well.]
Roswaal: [I didn’t understand how not everything was our game. Also, there was no mana interference that last time. Well well, what did Subaru-kun call it. Hmmm.]
Roswaal winks at Ram, who took in his statement in dumbfoundment. Whether it had been his way of joking, or if he was seriously enjoying himself with the mystery, even Ram herself could not read between the lines.
It would be fine if it was all Roswaal’s trick. ――However, if by any chance it wasn’t…
Ram: [From now on, having that ritual at the mansion….let’s prohibit people from playing Kokkuri-san. Yes.]
She nods intensely and clearly make that decision in her heart.
Thus, the “Kokkuri-san” game that entered into this different world became taboo, just like in his previous world. Or at the very least, it would never be played again at the Roswaal residence.
Furthermore, the way it became summon “Angel-sama” instead was a whole different story.
Librarian Beatrice’s Reluctant Promise
Original Translation by PaperKaminari ― Complete
Holding her breath and opening the door, she checked both sides of the hallway. Straining her ears, she looked for sounds. She couldn’t sense anyone approaching. Lightly pumping her fist while saying, “okay,” the young girl ran out as she stepped onto the red carpet. While the soft carpet did mitigate some of the sound, it couldn’t also erase the young girl’s uncertainty. Currently, the young girl felt not only that her footsteps were an obstacle, but that her breathing itself was one. The rows of doors, the long way until the end of the hallway, she was wary of every little thing in this long passage. As she looked for a place to hide――、
Right after her gaze wandered while looking for a place to hide, a boy jumped out from the shadow of a vase in front of her. This child spread his hands to the sides of his face and opened his mouth wide while snot dripped from his nose.
Immediately she ground her molars, and suppressed the strength of the mana she was about to throw out. She nearly blew away the young boy right in front of her eyes. The girl was relieved by her own self-control and the boy’s dumb luck.
Girl: [Hmphya, I suppose!]
Her palm, having given up on releasing mana, instead was used to slap the side of the boy’s face as he made a silly expression. Watching the boy roll after giving a short scream, the girl pulled on her drills with a finger.
Girl: [Hmph! That’s what you get for surprising me, in fact. This isn’t a joke, I suppose!]
Boy: [Ah! Found her!]
Boy 2: [You’re right! She’s there! Lucas got done in!]
Boy 3: [But, even if Lucas got done in, we have Lucas the second and the third!]
Girl: [Urgh urgh, in fact]
The moment she celebrated her victory, a boisterous detached force came running from the other side of the hallway. Clicking her tongue at those voices, the girl touched the nearest door, and tried to “Cross” the world by habit when――、
Girl: [――From just this, I cannot not admit defeat, I suppose]
Withdrawing her hand, the girl shook her head, then ran to the other side of the hallway. She stepped on the belly of the boy she slapped on the way, making him raise a shameful voice. “Ahii” .
Lucas 1: [Go now, catch heeer!]
Lucas 2: [Go now, get heeer!]
Lucas 3: [Go now, Strip heeer!]
As she heard the voices of the companions of the boy she stepped on coming from the rear, the girl lined out a map of the mansion in her brain. Then, she frowned towards the children chasing her,
Girl: [I absolutely, will not bend to your whims, in fact]
Her determination bleeding into her voice, the girl——Beatrice——held onto her skirt as she ran with all her might.
???: [Hey Beako, isn’t your body going to break if you spend all your time locked up in here?]
Eyeing the great number of books crammed into the bookshelves, Subaru voiced such a question while sitting on the floor.
This was a room shrouded by an aged and grandiose atmosphere.
This spacious room had no windows, and the only source of light were magic lamps littered around the inside of the room. The white stones inside the glass cases fulfilled their role of illuminating dazzlingly and brightly.
However, even those lights couldn’t fully illuminate this cramped room lined with bookshelves.
Subaru: [If you keep reading books in a poorly lit room, your eyes will go bad. This room doesn’t even have windows, so there’s no ventilation either. Being in a room with bad air also isn’t good for your lungs]
Beatrice: [You’re a man concerned with every petty little detail, I suppose. What Betty is doing and where Betty is are up to her… First thing, the air inside the Forbidden Library is purified with Mana, so it is purer than pure, in fact]
Subaru: [For real? Damn, Mana is crazy. That’s why this room is so relaxing to be in? Man, I thought it strange. I was wondering why a room filled with Beako’s carbon monoxide was so nice to be in]
Beatrice: [I did not quite understand, but I do know that what you said was something disgusting, I suppose!]
Unable to bear this worthless conversation, the one who raised her voice was Beatrice, sitting on a stepladder.
Her face flushed red, and she stuck her finger out at Subaru, who was sitting boldly in the room.
Beatrice: [Every single day, why do you come out and poke your nose into Betty’s business, in fact! This is not a place you can just come in to sit and kill time in, I suppose. This is the sacrosanctum unnassailable “Forbidden Library”, in fact]
Subaru: [Even if it’s called the Forbidden Library, the name’s not got much weight to it if I can just waltz in, does it?]
Beatrice: [Betty doesn’t want you coming in, and yet you just manage to somehow waltz in on your own, I suppose!]
Beatrice, the same as always, exploded at Subaru, who tracked dirt into the room. Jumping from the step ladder as she did this, she haughtily raised her chin at Subaru, who was sitting cross-legged on the floor.
On the sides of her head, her luxurious ringlets bouncing like springs were captivating.
Beatrice: [No matter how much I use “Door Crossing”, you find it right away like it was obvious… You’re the first fellow, who has ever tracked this much dirt into the Forbidden Library, in fact]
Subaru: [Boing boing, boing boing]
Beatrice: [Now which part of Betty are you looking at, and what are you playing at, I suppose! Listen to what I’m saying, in fact!]
He quickly grabbed the partly-read book Beatrice threw due to how angry she was. Beatrice, her face flushing red once again, glared at Subaru with her big wide pupils. Seeing this as a small puppy yapping, Subaru gave a small chuckle.
Beatrice: [What are you laughing at… You’re a thoroughly irritating man, I suppose]
Subaru: [My bad, my bad. But, c’mon, don’t go throwing books after you’ve read them, put them back in their proper shelf. If you don’t bother cleaning, the floor will be buried before long]
Beatrice: [You’re a hundred years too early to be trying to lecture Betty the Librarian of the Forbidden Library on how to handle books, in fact]
Subaru: [Well I just witnessed this little librarian yeeting a book…]
Despite how much pride and awareness she had of herself as a librarian, her treatment towards books did not seem to be the kindest.
Taking the book Subaru presented her, Beatrice quickly put it into the bookshelf next to her. The books arranged there had bindings and titles all over the place; it was a completely arbitrarily done job.
Subaru: [Hey, what happened to your pride as a librarian? If you arbitrarily put them back like that, you’ll end up skipping a sequel and regret it. A long time ago, I had a pair of twins end up just a lone person that way]
Beatrice: [That advice seems to have an awfully personal feeling to it, but it is an unnecessary concern, I suppose. The Forbidden Library is a revolutionary place that does not need to conform to your common sense, in fact]
Subaru: [What do you mean?]
Beatrice: [If you return the books to the shelf, a mechanism will later return the book to it’s designated spot, I suppose]
Subaru: [The Forbidden Library is awesome, or more like spooky!]
It was too bad for the prideful Beatrice, but Subaru’s thoughts leaned more towards it being uncanny than awesome. Subaru was currently observing the shelf that Beatrice inserted the book into.
Subaru: [Eh, Seriously? The book just goes back on it’s own? That’s amazingly convenient, but seeing it happen feels nightmarish. Or more like, you don’t need a librarian at that point. Why are you here?]
Beatrice: [It seems like you can’t hold a conversation with Betty unless you put her down for every little thing, in fact…]
This time they were doubts without any ill intent, but Beatrice still took them as his usual jesting. The girl then moved from Subaru’s side and took out a book from the nearby bookshelf. There were many thick and lengthy books in the Forbidden Library, so there was a bit of danger in the manner in which she was doing it.
That said, for no reason in particular, he attempted to reach a hand out――、
Beatrice: [Unnecessary concern, I suppose]
As such, she gave her uncute response, making him laugh wryly.
Subaru: [Welp…Then, I guess I might as well leave for today]
Resting her hips atop the stepladder, Beatrice entered reading mode on the open book on her lap.
Once she was in this condition, her reactions would worsen during it. Subaru could also discern how to behave to not disturb her reading. This was the perfect timing to evacuate.
As Subaru headed towards the exit of the Forbidden Library, Beatrice didn’t direct a single word at him. Subaru, remembering something, turned around towards the girl who consistently treated him cruelly.
Subaru: [By the way, did you hear, Beako? I heard that tomorrow for two days, Roswaal and Ram will be leaving the mansion for a while]
Beatrice: […I heard, in fact. But, that has nothing to do with Betty, I suppose]
Even for something meant to be small talk, Beatrice was awfully curt. As if he couldn’t take that attitude after all, Subaru cranked his head like he was pondering,
Subaru: [You can’t really mean they have nothing to do with you. It’s the lord of the house and… Well, I can’t really find how to put it to words properly, but couldn’t you at least see him off? Roschi might even jump from joy y’know?]
Beatrice: [I cannot even imagine Roswaal jumping for joy, in fact. I will say this as many times, but Betty has nothing to do with that, I suppose. ——Something like saying farewell]
With her eyes cast down upon the book, Beatrice cut her words off there.
Silence immediately fell upon the Forbidden Library, and Subaru let his window for leaving the room go. The sound of page-turning stopped, and an uncomfortable atmosphere spread within the area.
What now, thought Subaru, back to his own statement.
It wasn’t like he thought that far with that statement. Simply, he was aware of the fact that he had said something nosy about Beatrice and Roswaal’s relationship. But even then——
[Subaru. ――Have a safe trip.]
Suddenly, Subaru’s heart was caught by a voice he recalled from the back of his mind.
Trying not to think about it, trying not to remember it, that voice which he had been strongly made aware of reverberated in his skull.
The parting which he had not been aware was a parting, the kind voice that had come from behind him. Subaru did not have a clue what to answer to that usual voice.
Subaru: [――Actually, you should show your face too when we see them off tomorrow]
Subaru’s whisper, which had broken the silence, made Beatrice, who had her eyes down towards the book, sigh.
Without lifting her face, simply raising her eyes towards Subaru, she shot a stiff glare at him.
Beatrice: [This is the third time, in fact. That has nothing to do with Betty, I suppose]
Subaru: [You’ve got nothing to lose or anything. It’s not like you have anything keeping you busy either, If you’re just going to be shutting yourself in your room anyways. Then, why not poke your head out a little and…]
Beatrice: [How insistent, in fact]
As Subaru was hounding her, Beatrice flatly cut him off.
Beatrice: [First of all, whenever Betty is free she is here, I suppose. Something like ‘anyways’ isn’t going to make me give in, in fact. If you really must insist, then why not drag me out by force, I suppose?]
Beatrice: [What’s more, within this room there exists no manner in which you could win against Betty, in fact]
There was a quiet but unflappable stubbornness within Beatrice’s words.
It was something that normally didn’t show in her indignant retorts to Subaru: a deep seated sleeping rage. Which threatened to become a great flame if awoken. Understanding that, Subaru raised a white flag.
Subaru: [I get it…. Sorry for speaking out of turn. G‘night]
As he meekly withdrew, the pressure Beatrice was releasing faded. When he exited the room as well, the girl said nothing.
Subaru: [Tch, she’s so damn obstinate]
The moment the door shut, he could somehow feel the space warp around it. When he attempted to open it again, the door, which had been connected to the Forbidden Library just a moment ago, now returned to its place as a connector to an empty guest room.
Beatrice’s “Door Crossing” was, a spatial magic which could connect the Forbidden Library to whichever door she liked within the mansion. Since the right to decide on the door was down to Beatrice, it made it extremely complicated to get in contact with her. Though for some reason, that particular idiosyncrasy did not apply to Subaru’s guesswork.
Subaru: [But really, what was up with Beako’s attitude just now…]
???: [――What’s this? Subaru, what are you doing around here?]
Feeling uneasy from that last exchange, Subaru, who was frowning, heard a voice call out to him from the side. Turning around, the one he saw coming down from the landing of the stairs was Emilia, who had her silver hair bunned up.
She approached Subaru, who was standing stock still in the hallway, and quizzically tilted her head with a slight smile.
Emilia: [This way is to my room, you know? If you wanted to greet me before bed, you just did it a while ago]
Subaru: [Aah, I was just passing by. Emilia-tan, fresh out of the bath? So cute]
Emilia: [Yeah yeah]
Emilia took on Subaru’s spontaneous praise with a completely habitual attitude.
In actuality, the wryly laughing Emilia’s cheeks and neckline were flushed and dyed in red, her long silver hair damp. Being under the same roof as the girl within his heart and seeing that side of her was the utmost blessing for a boy.
Emilia: [Subaru, you’re staring and breathing very hard, is something wrong? Do I, look weird?]
Subaru: [No, the weird one here would be me, actually. Emilia-tan’s loveliness is always making me lose my mind so… Wait, we’re digressing again. That’s not it, you look just fine]
Putting the jokes and nonsense to the side, Subaru moved his face closer to Emilia’s puzzled face. She smelled nice. But, that’s not the problem here.
Subaru: [It’s tempting to just continue to stand here and talk with Emilia-tan too but, I kinda need to ask something from you. It’s a little late right now, but could you lend me Puck?]
Pressing a finger against her cheek, Emilia’s eyes opened wide at the sudden request.
Emilia: [It’s already his bedtime, but I think he’ll come out if I call for him. But, what do you need from Puck… Ah, I get it. Sleeping alone is lonely after all]
Subaru: [If that’s what made you convinced then it’s like I’m incredibly pathetic isn’t it? That’s not it, I have something I want to discuss with Beako actually. If Emilia-tan could also join in it’d be a real help]
Emilia: [With Beatrice?]
Emilia’s eyes opened wider and wider, but all Subaru gave her was a devilish laugh.
That face was practically like the smile a naughty brat would make as he announced his prank.
Subaru: [I’m thinking of teaching a little thing or two to that shut-in.]
The next day, Subaru showed his face in the Forbidden Library once it was past noon.
Just as always, Beatrice, who was sitting on the step-ladder, didn’t welcome Subaru. On top of that whole thing last night, her hiding her face with the book today had a much more stubborn atmosphere to her than usual as well.
Subaru: [Yo, Beako. Rozchi and Ram set out already. You didn’t go see them off at all, so he cried so much his clown makeup fell off]
Beatrice: [In that case, it was worth it for Betty to not go see him off, in fact. ——If all you wanted was to come and talk about such meaningless things, then hurry out, I suppose]
Shooing away, like she was trying to wave off a bug with her hands, Beatrice waved her arm. Left with no angle of approach, he scratched his head. Subaru then nodded with an “Alright”,
Subaru: [Beako, let’s continue our conversation from yesterday for a bit. Ok? Alright, thank you]
Beatrice: [You just keep going like the self-centered guy you are, in fact! Don’t just do whatever you want, I suppose!]
Subaru: [Then that self-centeredness, I’ll just go ahead and exploit it to it’s limit. Let’s resume our talk about seeing them off. If saying farewell is too much then how about saying welcome back?]
Beatrice: [How about nothing, you have no room for argument, in fact. I dislike what I dislike, thus I refuse, I suppose. I don’t understand why you are so obsessed with that, in fact]
Subaru: [Why well, you see, because it’s something very important]
At Beatrice’s questioning, Subaru crossed his arms and nodded repeatedly.
Ever since they started this back and forth yesterday, Subaru had gone over these questions by himself. The conclusion he came to from that was a little hard to put into words.
Subaru: [It might be an exaggeration, but you must say the things you have to say when you have to say them. Otherwise you might end up regretting it. You also must have had moments where you thought ‘Oh no, I messed up!’]
Beatrice: […That has, never happened to Betty, I suppose]
Beatrice averted her gaze, half-heartedly denying Subaru’s words. From her attitude Subaru had earned a response, and now was the time to press on.
Subaru: [The fact you’ve never had that happen must be because you’re a shut-in! Can’t help you there!]
Beatrice: [That term, it is unusually irritating so stop it, in fact. It just feels like it’s unreasonably putting down Betty’s existence, I suppose]
Subaru: [Anger that strikes the bullseye is the proof of an awakening from the bottom of your heart]
Beatrice: [I keep telling you every time that I have no idea what your words mean, in fact!]
Subaru, who was pointing with his finger, had Beatrice making a fed up face at him. She stuck a finger into her own hair rolls, and bounced them up and down like a spring.
Beatrice: [Why don’t you hurry up, and tell me what it is you want to say, I suppose. Just quickly say what you want to say, and get lost from the Forbidden Library, in fact]
Subaru: [Beako, won’t you make a bet with me?]
Beatrice: [A bet…?]
Subaru: [Yes, a bet. Let’s have a little contest]
At the abrupt strange proposal, Beatrice, her face looking like she had no idea what she just got told, knitted her brows. She stared fixedly at Subaru, in a manner full of suspicion.
Beatrice: [A bet…? What are you talking about all of a sudden, I suppose. I have no reason to take that, in fact]
Subaru: [If you judge things on whether they’re necessary or unnecessary, you’ll become a boring adult. I don’t think becoming an adult with no chill like Roswaal is the best of ideas, either]
Beatrice: [I will concede that point to you, I suppose]
Their opinion aligned when it came to the currently absent lord of the mansion. Leaving beside Roswaal, whom he just used as a simple stepping stone to gain common understanding, Subaru raised a finger as he said “So that’s why”
Subaru: [To avoid becoming boring adults, let’s play and make a little bet between us. It’s our special right as kids, you and me, to be able to get away with playing with fire and have it be just a funny story later]
Beatrice: […No idea what that bet could be, but what does Betty gain from winning it, in fact?]
Subaru: [Shrewd one, aren’t ya. Can I take it that you’re feeling like participating if you’ve got interest in the prize?]
Beatrice, who was narrowing her eyes, didn’t say anything. Simply, the fact that she didn’t say any words of refusal was a gain. Towards her, Subaru stretched out his right hand. Beatrice’s face was suspicious, however——,
Subaru: [You’re called, jump out]
In accordance with Subaru’s call, a cheerful voice accompanied an overflowing light on his hand. The light soon shaped into the silhouette of a cat. Not a portable cat, mind you, but the cat spirit, Puck manifested right in front of Beatrice.
While the kitty cleaned its face, those round black pupils looked at her mischievously,
Puck: [It’s a request from Lia, and I also have an opinion about this, so I’ll cooperate… Subaru, you’ve got quite the rough handle on cats]
Subaru: [Having to ask a cat for help, and it turns out the cat’s actually really helpful, many such cases]
In terms of both actual strength and amicability, he ended up turning to Puck relatively a lot. This time as well, the foundation of this plan was based on Puck, and the effect was as could be observed――、
Beatrice: [Haaw…Niicha is so cute and fluffy today as well. You’re just so dreamy to Betty, I suppose]
As expected, Puck appearing on top of his hand was a K.O. for Beatrice. Her cheeks flushing, Subaru laughed bitterly at the sight of the girl gazing at the kitty with the eyes of a maiden.
Subaru: [Your patterns are so predictable it’s way too plain, or so I’d like to complain but, if you do win this bet, you will earn “The Right to fluff Puck for a day”. I’ve obtained the consent of both the actual person and their guardian]
Puck: [To correct you, I’m actually Lia’s guardian. Don’t get that part wrong]
His tail standing straight up, Puck reminded them of one important aspect. With that said, Beatrice nodded her head continuously at Subaru’s proposal.
Beatrice: [N-not too shabby of a recompense, in fact. It seems you have just a bit of the right idea, I suppose]
Subaru: [I’m incredibly concerned about whether you might get deceived by some bad men in the future]
Beatrice: [Did I hear some unnecessary concern just now, in fact?]
Subaru: [Just your imagination, gaslighting isn’t real. So, in the case that I win… It’ll be obligatory for you to give farewells and greetings. And not just to Roswaal, but everyone in the mansion, too]
At the conditions Subaru outlined, Beatrice’s expression suddenly changed.
Of course, from how the conversation had been going she must have imagined this. The color of surprise in the girl’s eyes was deep.
Subaru: [I don’t mean for this to apply to something like, going shopping at the village. But, similarly to the other day, at the very least show your face to say farewells and greetings with everybody else. There’s no need to go out of your way to have an unpleasant attitude right?]
Beatrice: […I really do not understand why you’re obsessing so much with that, I suppose]
Though she stared at Puck as if in thought, Beatrice seemed to resign herself right away. The girl gracefully went down to the ground from the stepladder, and walked forward towards Subaru.
Beatrice: [Let me hear the details of the bet, in fact]
Subaru: [Then, that means you’ll take the loss conditions?]
Beatrice: [That is if I lose, I suppose. Go on, tell me, in fact]
As if peeved by the fact she was going along with Subaru’s suggestion, Beatrice pursed her lips as if displeased. Before she changed her mind, Subaru turned only his head towards the door behind him.
Subaru: [The rules are simple, it’s Tag. ――No, Double Tag I guess?]
Beatrice: [Oni chase…? A game you split the roles of a person and an oni, and have the oni chase the person, I suppose]
Subaru: [That’s right, that’s exactly it. However, the rules are a little bit different this time. You’ll also be playing the role of the chased this time, while inside the mansion]
Subaru continued explaining with a “Basically”, as Beatrice had a question mark floating atop her head.
Subaru: [Right now, Emilia-tan is running around the mansion. The one you are tasked to chase down and catch, is the runner Emilia-tan. However, if you were simply chasing after Emilia-tan it wouldn’t be that fun. Wait no, if I had to do that, that’d actually be a blast]
Puck: [Subaru, Subaru, you’re digressing]
Subaru: [My bad. So then, You chase after the runner Emilia-tan, and you’ll also be running from someone trying to catch you. If you manage to catch Emilia-tan you will win. On the other hand however, if you get caught before catching Emilia-tan you will lose. ――That, is Double Tag]
With a slight adjustment from Puck, Subaru finished explaining the description of the contest. Beatrice, having heard that, scrunched up her brow and fiddled with her own ringlets.
Subaru: [The conditions are limited to just inside the mansion? What about the garden or outside the gate, in fact?]
Subaru: [The garden is fair game, but outside the gates is not. Also, “Door Crossing” and magic are both forbidden. Since teleporting in Tag would be way too overpowered, and you can’t go injuring people with Magic]
Beatrice: [Hmph, that’s too big a handicap for Betty, I suppose. Without magic, how will I catch her, in fact]
Subaru: [Why don’tcha use your head for that one? Try hiding in the shadows, or circling around her. Those same conditions apply to Emilia-tan, so the only thing that will decide victory is underhandedness!]
Beatrice: [If that explanation was meant to give me spirit, then something must be wrong with you, I suppose]
Though weary, Beatrice was also seriously thinking about this contest.
With “Door Crossing” sealed, and without magic either, Beatrice was no more than a simple little girl. Even with the same condition, Emilia had too much physical ability.
However, in a contest of underhandedness, Emilia was certainly the weakest one in the mansion. The reason was her being too honest, but even then, with these rules for Tag, Beatrice had enough chances.
Beatrice: [Fine, in fact. I am in, I suppose. ――, However, the younger of the twins is forbidden from participating, in fact]
Subaru: [You noticed?]
Beatrice: [It was obvious, I suppose. Even Betty can see that the physical strength of the Oni race is unbeatable without magic. I must have you allow me to properly draw that one line of precaution, I suppose]
Exposing Subaru’s craftiness, Beatrice felt proud in crushing that countermeasure of his.
If he denied this condition, Beatrice would reject the contest itself. In the first place, Beatrice’s argument was solid. Subaru had no choice but to stop Rem from participating.
Subaru: [I, will count to one hundred after you leave, then begin chasing you. Puck will remain in the Forbidden Library, so if you try to cheat using “Door Crossing” we will know immediately]
Beatrice: [Don’t look down on me, in fact. Something so shameless, is not something I would do, I suppose]
Confirming their conditions, Beatrice handed Puck to Subaru, who had the kitty he received transmit the fact that the bet was a success to Emilia.
Puck: [――Hm, alright. Lia is also raring to go it seems. She started running around the mansion]
Puck informed them that the conditions had been prepared with a face that made him look like he was about to yawn. In accordance with that, Subaru beckoned Beatrice, and the girl gallantly headed for the door with her skirt fluttering.
Beatrice: [I will end this quickly, so that I may enjoy my tryst with Niicha, in fact]
Whichever plan could she have made? Beatrice exited the Forbidden Library with a wave of her hand. Seeing her off, Subaru began to count numbers out loud.
Subaru: [Oooone, Twoooo, Threeee, Foooour, Fiiiive…]
Their literal “Oni Card” called Rem now out of the picture, it seemed Beatrice felt like she had won.
However――If she thought she’d beaten Subaru in underhandedness, unfortunately for her, she was also honest to the point that it’d be easier to count her from the weaker side.
The moment she exited “Door Crossing”, Beatrice confirmed she was standing in front of the dining hall.
Beatrice had the right to choose where it transfers to. The one who chose this exit point was herself. She had confidence as well, that for the alcohol of her plan, starting here was optimal.
Beatrice: [Well then, let’s go on start searching, and finish this up swiftly, I suppose]
Her indisposed attitude from before starting was nowhere to be seen. When it came down to the game itself, Beatrice was serious.
Immediately, she began her exploration of the mansion in search of her target: Emilia. However, right before that, she raised her head at the presence of a person. At the end of the hallway was a blue-haired girl.
A maid who originally was meant to be her strongest rival, the younger of the twins, Rem.
Rem: [Beatrice-sama, it seems you accepted the challenge]
Beatrice: [As you can see, in fact. But, I didn’t acknowledge your participation, I suppose. That man’s trickery doesn’t work on Betty, in fact. He should be heartbroken about his plans being foiled right about now, I suppose]
Rem: [Yes, as expected of Beatrice-sama, you have quite the discerning eye. It would seem you saw through everything Rem was instructed by Subaru to do]
Rem’s usual expression was mixed with a bit of despondency as she lowered her head. Previously, she wasn’t a girl who would show these kinds of expressions. Whose influence this was from, went without saying.
That was unpleasant, and as such, Beatrice snickered.
Beatrice: [If you’ve learned your lesson, you should stop taking that man’s help, in fact. It is pointless, I suppose]
Rem: [I see then. If Beatrice-sama wins this bet, then I will take it into consideration. But, I really do think Subaru-kun is amazing]
A smile surfacing to her face, Rem praised the foolish Subaru who had gotten his plans foiled. Remembering the sense of unease in her smiling posture, Beatrice raised her eyebrows. It was right after that.
Lucas 2: [Tadadaaa!]
Lucas 3: [Tadadadadaaa!]
Voices suddenly resounded across the mansion along with the sound of doors bursting open one after the other.
That surprise attack made Beatrice’s shoulders jump. She turned around, and the ones who came tumbling out of those open doors were several children she didn’t have any recollection of.
Beatrice: [W-who are they…?]
Rem: [They’re children who live in the nearby Arlam village. They’re very close with Subaru-kun, and readily agreed to cooperate with today as well. Subaru-kun is virtuous as always]
Beatrice: [It’s not the time to be saying that, in fact! Why would you just let human children into the mansion…]
Rem: [We received proper permission from Roswaal-sama before he left. The rooms which would pose an issue if entered have been closed off. As such, Beatrice-sama, please also be careful so as to not enter the third floor of the main wing, as well as the personal rooms, changing room, and treasury]
Rem smoothly appending warnings and precautions left Beatrice speechless. The children, finding the frozen Beatrice, immediately pointed their fingers at her.
Lucas: [That’s the girl Subaru talked about!]
Lucas 2: [The shut-in!]
Lucas 3: [Her dress is cute!]
Thus, confirming their prey, they advanced as a group towards Beatrice. Overwhelmed by their intensity, Beatrice ran to the opposite side of the hallway in a panic.
Rem: [By the way, those children are also an “It” for Beatrice-sama. Do your best running, so as to not get caught]
Being whispered that by Rem, who was running parallel to her, Beatrice’s face became beet red.
Beatrice: [He…! Was far more devious than Betty had imagined, I suppose!]
Without alluding to the number of “Its”that would be chasing Beatrice, he let her see him get frustrated at Rem being seen through, pretending that his cards had been taken away, then deployed the children.
With just how much drive had he engaged his guiles for such a trivial bet.
Lucas: [Go there!]
Lucas 2: [Catch her!]
Lucas 3: [Strip her bare!]
While running from the children who were loudly chasing after her, Beatrice continued to single mindedly lay insults on Subaru, who was looking at her with wide nostrils, within her head.
Beatrice: [That bastard will not get away with this, in fact!]
And after much of that, Beatrice’s “Double Tag” reached a fever pitch.
Emilia: : [Ah. It’s Beatrice. I gotta run!]
Beatrice: [I found you, I suppose! You’re not getting away, in fact!]
Finding Emilia in the west wing and chasing her, the difference in nimbleness and stride left her in the dust in the blink of an eye. However, her running was too honest, so if she just circled around her――
Lucas: [There she is!]
Lucas 2: [Found her!]
Lucas 3: [My wife!]
Beatrice: [Those kiddoes are here, I suppose! Just give it up already, in fact!]
However, obstructed by the children who came jumping from her flanks, Beatrice had to roll over and escape. If she over extended and got caught it’d all be for nothing. In addition, the stamina of those children knew no bounds. They were no geniuses, but in the purest of senses their energeticness was a menace, they were a formidable enemy.
Beatrice: [And the brats aren’t the only issue, I suppose…!]
The running Emilia, and the hindering children. Although they were unpredictable in nature, in Tag, they had a weakness called honesty. Rather the problem was…
Beatrice: [――That bastard has still not shown up even once, in fact]
The one who offered the bet, Subaru, had yet to come out from the Forbidden Library to tag Beatrice. Beatrice hadn’t caught sight of that wicked form of his even once.
After all, even Beatrice didn’t think she could handle Subaru as easily as the children. Besides losing to him in speed, his eccentric imaginings wouldn’t lose to the children, either.
With just the fact that he crossed her when explaining the rules, Beatrice’s wariness towards Subaru had reached unprecedented levels.
On one hand, she wanted him to come at her, but on the other hand, she didn’t want him to come at her.
The moment she thought like that, her mind had already finely lost, and Beatrice, who was concentrating to her utmost, did not realize that.
Going down the stairs in one jump, her skirt fluttered as she made contact with the ground. She firmly stepped onto the rug and broke into a sprint, crossing the passage from the west wing to return to the main wing. And,
Emilia: [No, I mustn’t!]
Emilia, who just happened to poke her head out of the room ahead, was noticed by Beatrice and began running away. Catching that dancing silver hair, Beatrice sped up, determined to not let her escape.
Beatrice: [You won’t escape anymore, I suppose! Peacefully surrender yourself, in fact!]
Emilia: [No! I’m having so much fun! I wanna play more! I’ll put in effort!]
Beatrice: [I’m telling you to not put any effort in, I suppose!]
Both of them ran while having their disparaging exchange. As they did so, the sound of their voices was picked up by the children, who appeared from further behind Beatrice.
Beatrice: [Couldn’t be more obnoxious, in fact!]
Oblivious of what Beatrice meant, the children fiercely pursued her.
With Emilia at the head, Beatrice in the middle, and the children chasing her tail, it could be anyone’s game.
In this crystallization of Double Tag, Emilia didn’t run upstairs, but down instead. She jumped all the way down the stairs from the second to first floor, heading not to the east wing, but to the very center of the mansion.
Beatrice: [That’s it, I suppose!]
If she turned just her head around, she’d see that the children at her rear were a fair distance away. The hunter Beatrice was just letting out a victory yell over her catching the rabbit before her eyes, before they caught up to her.
Emilia: [Ummm, errrr…]
Her eyes darting side to side as she looked around, Emilia thought about where she should run. As if to capitalize on that expression, Beatrice took a chance.
To lead Emilia towards that place, to where she had placed a trap in the center of the main wing――、
Beatrice: [Wait, in fact! I won’t let you escape to the dining hall, I suppose!]
Emilia: [――The dining hall!]
If there was any reason for Emilia’s defeat, that reason would indeed have to be that personality of hers.
At Beatrice’s yelling, Emilia reflexibly thought the dining hall was her means of escape. That honesty of hers made Beatrice, who took advantage of it, feel anxious.
That said, a game was a game. And so long as they were caught in a trap, a rabbit’s fate was decided.
Emilia: [Huh? This is――]
Throwing the dining hall door open, Emilia, who had jumped into the room, could be heard making a dismayed voice. The dining hall she jumped into was the room that was initially connected to the Forbidden Library with “Door Crossing”.
In other words, since she hadn’t refreshed “Door Crossing”, the door to the dining hall was still connected to the Forbidden Library. Aside from being cornered in the Forbidden Library, Emilia had truly stopped her feet at the unexpected sight.
Bringing down an unmoving prey in your own familiar territory, for a hunter, was a cinch――.
Beatrice: [It would seem, Beatrice was a step… ten steps ahead, in fact!!]
Confirming her victory, Beatrice made a sharp turn and jumped straight into the dining hall――into the Forbidden Library. Then her hand reached for the back of Emilia, who had stopped in surprise, and,
The arms that came from the side quickly nabbed Beatrice’s body.
Held by both arms from behind, Beatrice’s legs hung in the air. Turning around as if wondering what had happened, she locked eyes with the devilishly smiling Subaru.
Puck: [Match over~. Sorry but, as you can see, this is Subaru’s win, Betty]
Looking at Beatrice, who was being held up, Puck coldly announced that, sitting upon the stepladder.
Off to the side, Emilia had a slightly bitter smile, and the children who caught up began high-fiving each other right outside the room, leaving Beatrice dumbfounded.
Subaru: [I told you, didn’t I? Beatrice]
Adjusting his hold on the wordless Beatrice, Subaru looked at the girl face-to-face.
Subaru: [――That this was a contest of underhandedness. Did you think you could beat me?]
That smile irritating her, Beatrice drove her knee into Subaru’s solar plexus.
Subaru: [From the start, I could imagine you’d use the Forbidden Library to entrap Emilia-tan. After all, you have a bit of a habit of using “Door Crossing” to play with people]
Beatrice: [Grrrr, I suppose…]
Hearing the aftermatch brief, Beatrice growled in frustration. Finding satisfaction in that vexed face, Subaru rubbed his gouged solar plexus.
――Subaru’s strategy regarding Double Tag, was simple.
First, the trap set for the role of the “It” who would chase Beatrice. The plan was to let her become aware of Rem’s existence beforehand, then throw the reinforcements called children at Beatrice, who was in over her head.
With that measure in place, Beatrice’s leeway would be taken away, and with the plan to bait her using Emilia, they’d deal the decisive blow.
Subaru: [I told Emilia-tan your starting point and I had her run into the Forbidden Library at the so-called critical moment. All that was left was getting myself in position in the Forbidden Library. The moment the hunter is about to hunt their prey, is when the real opening appears]
Beatrice had no words of objection against the proud Subaru’s art of war. Since she’d completely danced on top of Subaru’s palm, she’d seem like a sore loser no matter what she said.
Hugging her knees on top of the stepladder, she was putting her all into glaring at Subaru.
Subaru: [But man, what a goof that was. What was that, what was it you said? That Beako was one step…ten steps ahead? Unfortunately for you, I was eleven steps ahead!]
Beatrice: [Cut it out, you’re getting quite in over your head, I suppose!]
Unable to take his boasting anymore, Beatrice’s rage exploded, blowing him away with a shockwave. Beatrice snorted at Subaru, who’d hit the wall and bounced.
Beatrice: [I acknowledge your underhandedness, but I have no obligation to endure ridicule, in fact. In the first place, Betty didn’t even want to join in on this bet, I suppose. That was…]
Subaru: [You want to pretend this contest you took part in didn’t happen, well isn’t that too good for you? Even Puck would get angry and saddened. He’d say “I don’t remember raising you like that”]
Beatrice: [You’re a really annoying guy, in fact…]
Beatrice, who was trying to throw the entire match out, clicked her tongue at Subaru’s impression. However, seeing that stubborn profile, Subaru sighed.
Subaru: [Well, if you absolutely must refuse, then I guess I won’t avoid reconsidering]
Beatrice: […How lucky I am, I suppose]
Subaru: [Since you’re being childish and all. I also feel a little like I thoroughly destroyed you too hard by going in fully prepared. You just danced so beautifully on the palm of my hand that I accidentally…]
Beatrice: [You too, haven’t been made to dance enough with Betty’s magic power, in fact?]
Being honest with his own feelings and communicating them a bit too honestly, Subaru made Beatrice discontent.
However, there was some honesty to his feelings there. Of course though, he didn’t think the bet itself was a mistake.
Subaru: [A part of it is that I can’t really force you, y’know? While I think I could also make you do it even if you’re unwilling, it’s kinda like forcing you to do it is a little different from my original intentions]
Beatrice: [You should have said that from the start, I suppose…. What you wanted to do, in fact]
Subaru: [Weeell, it’s a mystery even to me. But, I feel like I saw what I wanted to see today with the challenge as a pretext. ――Seeing you run around all energetically like that]
While sitting cross legged on the floor, Subaru laughed at Beatrice as she pouted.
Subaru: [You might have been reluctant, but I had fun. I think Emilia-tan and the kiddoes from the village did too. That’s not too bad as a compromise]
Beatrice: [Feels like Betty got all the short ends of every stick, I suppose]
Subaru: [That is that and this is this. Just think of it as a lost cause and give up]
After saying that to the sulking Beatrice, Subaru stood up and headed towards the door of the Forbidden Library.
They had thoroughly turned the mansion into a playground. As such, like he’d promised Roswaal, he had to return the mansion to how it was before, or else the scary scary scolding of Ram awaited him.
Just before exiting the room, Subaru turned to Beatrice.
She didn’t reply. However, Beatrice gave Subaru a glare so harsh it hurt.
Subaru: [Let’s play again sometime]
Neither affirmation nor denial, none of those actions occurred before Subaru closed the doors.
“Door Crossing” activated, and Subaru was transferred to the entrance to the dining hall. Both Emilia and Rem were standing right there as Subaru raised both of his hands with a dejected face.
Subaru: [Hey, good work there]
Rem: [Yes, Subaru-kun did good work as well]
Subaru: [Sorry for troubling you so much, Rem. Like having to deal with the kiddos and stuff, sorry I pushed that on to you. They’re annoying and won’t listen to anyone, right?]
Subaru: [That’s not the case at all. All of them were very nice and obedient, I gave them some fried snacks as gifts before returning them to the village, but they said they wanted to come again]
Rem: [So they treat you way different from me!?]
They acted completely insolent to Subaru, but meek with Rem it seemed. Next time, he’d need to cross examine while doing their daily radio calisthenics.
He also had to give them his gratitude for their cooperation as well.
Emilia: [So then, were you able to talk with Beatrice properly? She wasn’t mad?]
Subaru, who was making a sour face at the attitudes of the children, had Emilia tilt her neck at him in a puzzled manner as if wanting to know more. Her gaze, fixed on the dining hall doors, focused on the Forbidden Library beyond them.
Subaru: [For the time being, it seems like she admitted to the results of the match….but seems like the result of the bet is in a delicate spot. I also considered that kind of secondary as well]
Emilia: [Is that so? Then, what did you do the game of tag for?]
Subaru: [Well, that was to play. I thought to show that unhealthy shut-in little girl about the fun of running around with your all together with kids your age. In that sense, I think it went well]
Subaru, winking playfully, made Emilia make a bit of a surprised face. But, soon enough, she sighed in a dumbfounded manner and smiled.
Emilia: [Yes, that’s right. Beatrice surely also had fun. After all, I had toooons of fun]
Subaru: [That’s what’s most important… So then, all that’s left is to do the clean-up after the festivities]
Fascinated by Emilia’s smile, Subaru scratched his cheek, as if to hide his embarrassment. Doing so, Rem pulled lightly on Subaru’s sleeve.
Rem: [The clean-up is important, but first let’s have a short rest. Roswaal-sama and Nee-sama’s return is tomorrow night, after all. There is still plenty of time]
Emilia: [Right, Rem prepared some fried snacks. Let’s have a bit of tea time, and do the clean up after that. The truth is that I would also have liked to invite Beatrice though…]
Subaru: [Aaah, she’d probably, decline…I guess?]
Emilia: [In that case, I’ll have Puck bring her over. Then we’d be even]
Her fouled humor might get a little better if Puck entertained her. But It’s hard to think that Emilia’s proposal had that kind of selfish motive.
Rem: [So then, Subaru-kun, let’s go]
Emilia: [Yeah yeah, let’s go]
Subaru: [I get it I get it. We also shouldn’t cut corners from being in a rush and end up scolded by Ram]
The reason behind their somewhat high spirits was perhaps because this day was meaningful to them both. If that was the case, it was worth it for Subaru to have worked his guiles.
Subaru: [It’d be nice, if you could also think the same]
While thinking of the girl who wasn’t here, Subaru muttered that to himself. Then, the dining hall doors, which were letting out a sweet fragrance, gently opened.
By the time they finished the clean up after the game of tag, around a whole day had passed─when the master of the mansion’s return was close at hand.
Subaru: [Those brats, they did go at it relentlessly, didn’t they?]
Rem: [It’s good they did not break anything. Since we did gather everything that could be broken by the children in one place beforehand]
Emilia: [Ah, good work you two! I’m sorry I could only help you until halfway through]
Subaru, who was rolling his shoulders, and the smiling Rem next to him, had both come to the entrance hall. While doing so, Emilia, who was coming down from the stairs, reunited with the pair, joining them as they stood in the hall.
Subaru: [But even then, having even Emilia-tan coming to welcome him, just how blessed can Roschi get?]
Emilia: [Really? But, after hearing what Subaru said yesterday I thought that it’s something important to do. While I didn’t really think about it that hard before, I thought from now on I wanted to do it earnestly]
Subaru: [I-it’s not something you have to put that much effort and thought into, so do it in moderation ok?]
Gripping her fist, the awfully spirited Emilia gave a wry laugh. Her honest and serious side was too quickly affected by a little idealism.
It happened as they were having their usual exchange.
Suddenly, the sound of someone’s footsteps entered the ears of all three of them. They sounded small, and even somewhat hesitant, when the three of them realized their origin, their eyes went wide in surprise, and each of them laughed.
The person behind the footsteps approached the three of them without saying a word, then spilled out a defeated sigh.
Without touching on the reason at all, the three of them accepted the small silhouette as a fourth member.
No one said anything about the silhouette joining in. They all simply naturally understood that things were as they should be.
Time quietly passed. Eventually, the entrance doors opened up with talking voices――、
Thus, the three cheerful voices overlapped with a single more reserved voice, and greeted the lord of the manor.
Some Like it Cold
Original Translation by Remonwater ― Complete
――It was a very slight omen for change.
Rem: [Good morning, Subaru-kun.]
Subaru: [Ahfu, good morning. …Hey, Rem. It’s a bit cold today, don’t you think?]
Rem: [I think so. It might be a bit chilly this morning. As expected of Subaru-kun, such keen insight.]
Subaru: [Well anyone would at least recognize cold weather…]
Subaru hurriedly made the topic into a talk about the temperature with Rem, who he met at the corridor early in the morning in the Roswaal residence. It was still morning, but the air was a lot colder than before. Yesterday it was hot enough to bring out sweat, but there was quite the difference in temperature throughout the night.
Subaru closes the front of his uniform to combat that coldness, buttoning his shirt all the way up to its collar.
Subaru: [I don’t feel so concerned about my matter with the cold when I see your appearance, Rem. Do you not have any seasonal maid outfits? That outfit would be rough in this weather.]
Rem: [If we get fully into ice season, there are maid outfits for the cold season. The material is thick and there’s cotton stuffed in it, so it’s very warm.]
Rem responds like that while wearing her usual maid outfit with a smile. It had a design where her shoulders and legs were boldly exposed. The excessive skin shown that would normally be a joy to see was cold now.
By the way, ice season is a way to denote a season with cold weather that is similar to winter. On the contrary, it seemed that hot seasons were denoted as “fire seasons”, and that there were changes with how people referred the four seasons in this world.
Subaru: [However, shouldn’t you wear ice season clothes with this type of cold instead? If you have trouble proposing that change, then I’ll make the direct appeal to Ros-chi.]
Rem: [I’m happy about you worrying about me, but my Rem and Nee-sama are already used to it, so it’s fine. This is not something you need to bother Roswaal-sama for.]
Rem shook her head firmly in response to Subaru’s concern. He couldn’t understand her once again, but he held back on voicing his opinion.
Subaru: [Well, if you say so, Rem….by the way, where’s Nee-sama? Not with you this morning?]
Rem: [Nope. Nee-sama is sleeping in a bit, as it seems she doesn’t want to get out of bed with the morning being cold.]
Subaru: [Didn’t you just say you and Nee-sama were used to it!?]
Subaru imagines how Ram is being cozy in her bed by herself at this moment, and lets out a sigh as he feels an obligation to punish the older sister, who is spoiled with her younger sister’s mercy.
Subaru: [You don’t need this. It doesn’t matter if it’s cold or hot. I’m going to hammer the fact that there are no breaks for residential maids into Nee-sama’s head. Let’s go, Rem.]
Rem: [But Nee-sama is tired from her daily work, so sleeping in on the occasional cold day isn’t that….]
Subaru: [Let’s go, Rem!]
Rem: [Yes, if Subaru-kun says so!]
Rem’s has a change in heart within an instant, and she casually follows Subaru from behind, who starts walking with his arms waving. And in the end, he got stuck with doing work for this day while receiving resentful complaints from Ram, who was dragged out from her futon, being blown on by the cold breeze as well.
――And then came the day after he experienced the coldness of Ram’s attitude and the cold wind.
Subaru: [Afu….Not only am I sleepy, but it’s also the cold seas….oh, what the, Beako?]
Beatrice: [Yuck, I suppose.]
When Subaru woke up and exited the corridor, he came across a rare sight of a young lady wearing a dress, walking in the empty corridor――he happened to meet Beatrice.
This was a girl with magnificent drills that greatly stood out, who didn’t turn around even though she was the second person to walk around in the mansion sneakily――the first person obviously being the head of the mansion.
Subaru: [What are you doing up this early in the morning? There’s no way you stayed up all night, right? If you do nothing but stay up late, you’ll stop getting taller, plus your eyes will go bad if you read in the dark.]
Beatrice: [That’s an unusual and nosy warning, in fact. Betty’s height and eyesight have nothing to do with…. Betty doesn’t have time to mess around with you in the first place, I suppose. Now, go get lost, in fact.]
Subaru: [Fine fine. Putting that aside, isn’t today really cold? Yesterday was kinda cold too, but today is even colde….]
Beatrice: [You don’t get anything, I suppose! As said Betty is not going to play around with you, in fact!]
Subaru tries to compromise with the shouting girl, Beatrice, while shrugging his shoulders at the coldness that was more intense than yesterday. She gave him a nasty look, but Subaru did not pay attention to it, as he sniffs up mucus with his nose.
The reason for the tension in the atmosphere was because of the freezing cold wind that came blowing in every now and then. It even looked as if the leaves swaying with the wind, seen in the dim and cloudy view out the window, were in pain.
Subaru: [It’s easy to catch a cold when the seasons change, so be careful.]
Beatrice: [Hmm. It’s pointless to worry that much about Betty, I suppose. Betty is not weak enough to have you worry about me, In fact. Don’t get too full of yourself, I suppose.]
Subaru: [Worrying about you…or rather, taking care of you if you catch a cold sounds like a pain. I feel bad for Rem when I think about her not coming across your room easily and having the porridge she made become cold as a result. At least be admirable when you catch a cold. You sure aren’t a cute loli.]
Beatrice: [Why should Betty complain about the hypothetical outcome of a hypothetical story, I suppose!?]
Beatrice was blamed with his imaginations, and she angrily resents him for it. She quickly puffs up her face, turns towards Subaru, and swipes her hand as if she was shooing away an insect.
Beatrice: [Anyways, Betty is very busy, in fact. You go ahead and burn yourself out with the things you need to do while you risk your life, not caring about whether it’s cold or not cold, I suppose.]
Subaru: [That’s bull. Saying you’re busy when you’re someone who just reads books in her room….oh, that’s right.]
Beatrice: […. Betty is leaving, in fact.]
Subaru: [You should help out with the work at the mansion sometimes too. You’ll shrug off the cold if you move your body, and there will be less worry about getting a cold from insufficient exercise. It’s killing two birds with one stone, yeah!]
Subaru makes this suggestion with a smile as he holds onto the shoulder of the girl who sought to turn his back on him, Beatrice. In response, Beatrice turns around with a displeased look and says
Beatrice: [….Let go of me, I suppose. How many times do I have to tell you that Betty is busy? Don’t make me repeat myself, in fact.]
Subaru: [Okay okay, I get it I get it. I’ll talk to Roswaal so that you get the proper money for your portion of work, so help out with stuff such as weeding the garden like a kid.]
Beatrice: [Wh─wha!? I cannot believe you think that Betty is puffing up because of a reason like that, in fact! Also, listen to what I am saying, I suppose! Listen! Seriously, stop screwing around with Betty, in fact!]
Subaru picks up the girl with a reddening face, Beatrice, and took her away as he started to walk while she acts violently against him. She was resisting it, but today she surprisingly wasn’t using any magic to counterattack.
The insufficient part of her resistance was convenient for him, though that was a bit of a miracle.
Subaru: [Aaalright, time to run! Let’s knock out this coldness at full spirit!]
Beatrice: [Once you put me down, the first thing I’ll knock out is you, I suppose!]
Subaru shouts at Beatrice, who erupts in anger, and cheerfully ran over to the mansion’s corridor.
The sound of Beatrice’s screechy, angry voice continued to be heard throughout the mansion throughout the rest of the day.
――And then came the day after he played with around with Beatrice.
Roswaal: [Ooooh, look what we have here. You’re up early, Subaru-kun.]
Subaru: [Oh…ohh….it’s Ros-chi. Goo…good mor…good morning…]
There was no day that resembled a day off for an employee’s work. Subaru met the head of the mansion early in the morning at the corridor, Margrave Roswall L Mathers ――the owner of the Mathers’ estate.
As always, his face was applied with clown makeup. This eccentric noble was doing his usual patrolling today as well.
His heterochromatic eyes――Subaru receives a look from his blue and yellow eyes. Once he exchanged morning greetings with him while shivering, his cracking head and cheeks stiffen, and he looked out the window.
Roswaal tilts his head curiously at Subaru’s appearance.
Roswaal: [Doesn’t look like you’re in a very good mood this morning, huuuh. What happened?]
Subaru: [Nothing happened. It’s just that it’s cold!]
Subaru listens to him say something undeniable and breathed out foggy breath as he talked big.
It was cold, too cold. Subaru tramples on the bed in this cold that was extreme enough to to freeze his own mucus.
Subaru: [No matter how you look at it, this weather is too abnormal! I thought that it was just my imagination up until yesterday…but clearly that’s not the case today! The windows are frozen, and my breath is pure white!]
Subaru pointed his fingers at the frozen window. He had countless blankets wrapped around his body. He had his steward clothes on top of his night jersey. It was a style that completely insulted the style of royalties. Even when he was wearing these clothes, the chills were eating away Subaru’s life through the openings of them.
Subaru: [The hell is up with this!? Does the change in season really come at us with such sudden force? The temperature has been going down 10 degrees each day these past 2 days! Even a bear would freeze to death from not being in time for hibernation being attacked by the cold with this kind of force!]
Roswaal: [My oh my, you are weeaak. That is not the way to act, right? Keep yourself high in mind and body, and no matter how much the temperature drops, you’ll have a sense of normalcy…]
Subaru: [Don’t see myself being convinced with you wearing those fluffy clothes and fur, though.]
Roswaal talked about the force of will, but he appeared to be perfectly protected against the cold, so he wasn’t convincing. He wore layers of arctic clothes of thick fur, and they looked as if they would even allow him to bear the intense cold of snowy mountains.
Subaru: [At this rate the difference in protection against the cold is so great that it wouldn’t be unthinkable for it to be a reason for murder…*sniffle*]
Roswaal: [Seeing you sniffle with a sinister look like that certainly indicates that you’re just about at your limits. Seeeems, I overlooked the cold up until yesterday, but as expected, this is a biiit…]
Subaru: [Judging from the way you’re talking about it, do you know why it’s this cold? If so, then let’s do something about it. If the source of this is some sort of mabeast like “The Winter shogun”, then let’s exterminate it. Let’s do it ASAP too. Sensei, please *sniffle*]
Subaru instigates him to join in with his idea little by little, as Roswaal puts his hand on his chin. He was just about at his limit with his drooping mucus and his frozen train of thought. He was reaching the point where he’d be capable of causing a moral hazard by taking everyone else’s clothes off.
Roswaal: [Subaru-kun, are you peerhaaaps pretty bad with cold weather?]
Subaru: [I complain about winter being cold, summer being hot, spring making me sleepy, and about matsutake mushrooms being expensive in the fall. I’m the classic example of a weakling, *sniffle*.]
Roswaal: [Don’t know what matsutake mushrooms are, but I’m understanding that you are a young man with very short patience. If that’s so, then there’s nothing that can be done about it. We aren’t going to go complain.]
Roswaal waves his fur mantle and starts to walk as if to guide Subaru, who followed him. Subaru steps on the long fur carpet and squints to look out the clouded window.
Roswaal: [Interested in what’s out there?]
Subaru: [No, I’m not. I wasn’t raised in an area with a lot of snow, so I’m not well informed on this, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we were to have snow with it being just this cold. See, I’m worried about clearing the snow on the village’s fields, if we were to have snow that is.]
He’s been told that it’s almost time for the harvesting of the fields for the Arlam Village near the mansion.
Subaru, being someone who was intimate with the villagers, had made a promise with the children to help with the season’s harvest. Even without that promise, snow was not welcoming weather for it.
Roswaal: [Subaru-kun you….get along particularly well with children, huuuh.]
Subaru: [Just a coincidence. Besides, I’m not fond of those selfish, rash creatures called kids. However, they hug me, so it can’t be helped….]
Roswaal: [Yes yes, that’s what’s commonly known as being “Tsundere” back at Subaru-kun’s home town, riiiight.]
Subaru: [*sniffle*! Ahh, shit, my noseee! *sniffle**sniffle*! Oh shitt!]
Subaru uttered inconvenient words and sniffled to force a cover up. Roswaal overlooks that with suppressed laughter and traced the window with the finger of his held out hand.
Roswaal: [Well, have no worry; it is this cold, but it should nooot reach all the way to the village. Since after all, this chill is only around the area of the mansion.]
Subaru: [I can’t relax! What is up with that mysterious phenomenon? Do we just assume it’ll sort itself out!?]
Roswaal: [This cold won’t spread, since there are two girls who went around and dealt with it. I wooonder if they did it sneakily before they got caught by you yesterday.]
Subaru: […Talking about Beatrice and such?]
Roswaal’s words cause him to remember Beatrice’s strange behavior from yesterday. He didn’t know what she was doing since early morning, but perhaps she was decreasing the amount of damage from the chill.
If that was the truth, the person she was helping would be――
Roswaal: [I don’t need to explain who is the source for this cold, do Iiii?]
Roswaal, who was guiding him, stopped walking at the same time Subaru arrived at an answer.
Subaru was very familiar with the room of the Roswaal’s residence west wing’s top floor that was right before his eyes. This is because this was a place he’d visit once without fail during the day to see the room’s owner.
Roswaal: [Emilia-sama, sorry to intrude you this early in the morning. Can we come in for a biiiit?]
Emilia: [――!? Roswaal!? Uhh, uhh, hey wait! Wait!]
When Roswaal called out at the door, they heard rushing sounds from the room as a voice responded to them.
It was a silver bell like voice that Subaru knew even beyond the door, but it caused him to show that he felt very conspicuous disturbance and uneasiness. He felt uncomfortable. He also felt uncomfortable about the owner of the room being up at this time.
They spent several weeks under the same roof. She wasn’t very good at waking up.
Roswaal calls Subaru’s name, who was knitting his eyebrows, and pointed at the room’s doorknob. Surely he wasn’t asking him to open the door, was he? Subaru reaches out for the doorknob while having doubt in his mind.
Subaru: [It’s cold! What is up with this thing!? Emilia-tan, can we come in!?]
Emilia: [Eh!? What, Subaru’s here too!?]
Subaru: [I am here, but you didn’t pay attention to what I said. You have something else to say, don’t you!?]
Emilia: [Something to say…something to say? ….Good morning?]
Subaru: [How polite of you to greet….wait no! Ahh, dammit, I’m opening the door!]
The doorknob he felt was so chilled to the point that he thought that he was feeling ice. It was highly likely that there would be an even more intense chill within the room, considering how cold the doorknob was.
Subaru: [I’m coming in! If you are in the middle of changing your clothes, then thanks!]
Emilia: [Not “sorry”!?]
Subaru opens the door to the room, having both his concern and secret intentions come out at the same time. The door had a resistant that made a sound, which sounded as if it was coming off from the floor, and once that happened, the blocked cold wind came overflowing from the room.
Subaru: [No wayy! It’s coldd!! Whatt is the meaning of this!?]
Subaru shrieks at the cold wave that was beyond his expectations and looks inside the room with an astonished look in his eyes. Upon looking inside, he saw Emilia against the bed with both hands held out as she stood still.
Her face quickly blushes, and while she used the bed to hide that from Subaru he says
Subaru: [Emilia-tan, just what is…]
Emilia: [Yo─you can’t just do that! For you to enter without getting permission from the owner of the room first, that’s just rude….yes that’s reeaally rude, right? See, um, hey, do it again!]
Subaru: [And that’s what Emilia-tan says, but what does the owner of the mansion have to say about it?]
Roswaal: [I grant you permission to enteeer.]
Subaru pushes aside Emilia’s request with sophistry and stepped into the room.
The source of the cold wave was without a doubt the inside of this room. It’s identity was made clear from Roswaal’s evidence, Beatrice’s actions, and from Emilia’s childlike attitude of trying to cover up the mischief.
Subaru: [Where is Puck, the source of all this? I have a bone to pick with him, as someone who is a representative for those sensitive to cold.]
Emilia: [The source? What do you mean by source? He didn’t do any…er weelll, that’s not really right, but I don’t know.]
Puck: [――It’s fine, Lia. No matter what you do, it seems this is about the limit for hiding it, soo.]
She was bad at realizing it was time to give up and acted flustered, but what helped Emilia out of the situation, someone who couldn’t make tricky lies, was the resignation of none other than the perpetrator of the riot himself.
In response to that voice, Emilia ruffles her eyebrows, turns around at the bed, and puts her hands on her waist.
Emilia: [Jeez, Puck you idiot! I was so close to fooling them too….]
Puck: [Eh, it would’ve been impossible even after 100 years.]
Putting aside Emilia, who was unironically surprised, Subaru takes a peek at the bed behind her. The spirit who was behind the case for the cold wave was circling around on top of the blanket.
Subaru: [You really do seem like a cat when you do that.]
Puck: [Mmm, sorry for causing trouble.]
The grey furball moves himself around in response to being called out to, and his black, round eyes look at Subaru. The kitten that was small enough to hold on one’s hand, Puck, shrugs his shoulders, gives a wry smile at Emilia, and says
Puck: [Don’t get mad at Lia and Betty, okay? You two, think of this as something I did for myself.]
And that is how he covered up for his beloved daughter and younger sister with care.
Subaru: [“Magic” release period?]
Subaru puzzles over the unfamiliar word with a frown on his face.
He was at the Roswaal’s residence’s dining room, and all of them were gathered together. Everyone was surrounding Puck, who was on top of the table, including Ram, who was bad at getting up, and Beatrice, who tried to run away.
There was another source for the cold wave that was had these past few days, not just Puck. Just what had they found out here? What popped up into the conversation as an additional source was the start of the “Magic release period”, a strange vocabulary.
Subaru: [What is the magic release period? It’s not just a mating season?]
Puck: [I’m not an animal, and I don’t have something like a mating season. That’s rude.]
Subaru: [That comment worries me from all angles.]
Subaru turns to his surroundings with a bewildered face in response to Puck, who was washing his face with an exposed appearance of a cat. Once he did this, the person who raised her hand at his glance with a “yes” was Rem.
Rem was in a maid outfit for ice season, which she hadn’t used until yesterday. There was a lot less exposure in this outfit, but even then, looking at the legs exposed with the short skirt made him feel chilly. It was common for him to not understand the mentality of a girl wearing a skirt in winter, even when he crossed to this world.
Rem: [The magic release period is a phenomenon that happens periodically just for the existences that have strong magical power. Each of their od for the strength of their magical power――the od influences the attributes of one’s magical core, so it’s really limiting.]
Subaru: [Is od once again something that is different from mana and gate?]
As far as Subaru’s knowledge went, mana was the source for the magical power of this world. Gate is the organ that circulates mana inside and outside the body, and it seemed that gate had a direct relation to the quality of a sorcerer’s attributes.
Incidentally, Subaru’s attributes as a magic user were mediocre. To make matters worse, as of now, he’s been firmly told to not use magic because of how he allowed himself to use his gate unreasonably.
Subaru: [Judging from what Rem said, I’m guessing od is more important than mana and gate?]
[Ram:――That ignorance is enough to become a crime against Roswaal-sama, you being the employee that you are.]
And then Ram let out a blunt sigh at Subaru, who said something that showed his shallow understanding of magic. Ram was next to Rem, bundled up in even more thick clothes. She makes a scowling expression with her light pink eyes and says
Ram: [I’m questioning your common sense now that you’ve said that you don’t know about od. You’ve reached an extreme level of imprudent shallowness, Barusu.]
She always abused him with her words, but they were even sharper in this cold wave. Ram scolded Subaru with her look, holding onto her sister’s arm to keep herself warm while she breathed foggy breath.
However, unlike Rem, she had cute earmuffs on, so her look had no effect.
Subaru: [I’ve thought this since the day before yesterday, but Nee-sama is really bad with the cold, huh.]
Ram: [Weak points and strong points are entirely subjective matters. Ram does not live life while seeing things with a narrow outlook like that. Stop saying oblivious things, it’s stupid. Go die.]
Subaru: [The second half of your statement was piercing!]
Beatrice: [This is just the usual, but leaving this up to you guys wouldn’t really allow the conversation move forward, I suppose…]
The impatient girl, Beatrice, sees the exchange between Subaru, who didn’t forget to provoke her even in this cold, and Ram, who was displeased, and forces her way into the conversation. She wore her usual dress as she pointed her finger at Subaru.
Beatrice: [It can’t be helped, so Betty will give an explanation, in fact. od is the core of life….it’s a source of magical power that spirits, humans, witchbeasts, and any other type of life have within them, no doubt about it, I suppose. od is like a type of vessel for magical power, so it’s also an organ that saves up the mana taken in from a gate, in fact.]
Subaru: [Huh, huh, a vessel that stockpiles magic. Go ahead and continue.]
Beatrice: [The way you’re speaking is irritating, I suppose… Anyways, we’re dealing with a great amount of mana of outstanding od, in fact. However, there’s a limit to any type of vessel’s capacity, I suppose. And the mana that overflows because of the od meeting its limit….it’s necessary to disperse it before that happens, in fact.]
Subaru: [Bring it out before your stomach explodes inside, huh. ….So something like constipation?]
Beatrice: [Think about how you word it, I suppose!]
As Beatrice finishes her explanation, she resents Subaru, who interpreted what she said in his own way. However, he was now able to understand the details of the riot that happened thanks to her.
Subaru: [In other words, it’s this cold because of Puck letting out his saved up mana.]
Emilia: [….Yeah, that’s what it is. Sorry for not saying anything about it.]
The truth of the situation becomes clear. Emilia hung her head in despondence. Subaru sees Emilia’s behavior of taking responsibility for this pet cat’s actions as a guardian and gave a side glance to Puck, the war criminal. Then he says
Subaru: [That’s some bothersome reduction of constipation…is it something that’s done regularly?]
Puck: [About once a year. I let it out moderately when I lived with Lia in the forest. However, you guys may be having these reactions because of how I’ve been quiet about the matter ever since I came here. Tehehe]
Subaru: [Don’t you “tehehe” me!]
Subaru makes a face of astonishment at the cat that let out a shy laugh. After that, he folded his arms and continues.
Subaru: [Well, I won’t complain because it’s necessary for you to let out your magical power. But why did the effects of it suddenly get stronger these past three days? There are other ways to do it, aren’t there?]
Puck: [Hmmm, I was being careful about it’s effects and did it little by little since the start. However, considering how the amount of mana was greater than usual, and how I thought that nobody would say anything even when it got cold, I thought to myself “Hmm? I wonder if I can do it a little more? Alright, I can I can! Everyone is surprisingly simple to deal with!”…]
Subaru: [You are careless with your work!]
Just when he thought this was perhaps due to circumstances beyond his control, it was actually the result of simple negligence.
In any case, the peculiarity from sensing the temperature lower 10 degrees each day is something anyone would notice. Thinking about how this chilling cold was a result of Puck getting carried away with himself caused displeasure to grow.
Beatrice: [It is essential for a Great Spirit like Nii-cha to go through the magic release period, in fact. Out of consideration for Nii-cha’s cuteness and hairiness, put a stop to this meaningless noise, I suppose. *sniffle*]
Subaru: [You’re having the sniffles too! Or rather, I thought you’d be in a pickle too once this got found out, but you played a trick and put on a barrier to trap the coldness. Am I right? Tell me the truth!]
Beatrice: [*Bffft*. I have no clue what you’re talking about, in fact.]
Subaru: [You just blew your nose!]
The top of Beatrice’s nose became red, but she still continued to defend Puck. When Subaru became dumbfounded by the obstinate girl’s attitude, Emilia took his place and came into the conversation with a “Wait”.
Emilia: [You see, Puck and I have been reeaally thinking about the incident that happened. However, Puck should’ve been close to finishing his magic release period….right Puck?]
Puck: [Yeah. At the same pace, about two days would’ve been enough.]
Subaru: [We wouldn’t be prepared for that! If it got cold at this pace, Ram and I would fall over from freezing to death!]
Puck wasn’t being serious enough about the matter, considering how he was the one responsible for it. It seemed like Puck did not feel the coldness himself, and so he kind of felt like it was something they’d have to deal with themselves.
Subaru: [By the way, I wasn’t worried about Puck because he’s a spirit and has fur that combats the cold, but aren’t you cold with such thin colding, Emilia-tan? I want to see Emilia-tan with fluffy thick clothes.]
He showed his true motive with the last part of his words, but the first part was him seriously worrying about Emilia. Emilia was wearing the thin dress that she always wore, even in this cold.
In response to Subaru’s point, Emilia looked down with an increasingly apologetic look.
Emilia: [Well um, I am contracted with Puck, you know? Which is why the effects from receiving Puck’s magic are kept in control. So, that’s why um, I am umm, good with this cold…]
Emilia becomes more and more apologetic, and the assumptive girl looked as if she got smaller. She was acting self punishing a lot this time partly and seemingly because of how she felt guilty about how she was fine with the cold.
The pricks of her conscience would be scathing if she were the only one to avoid damage because her parent’s uproar.
Subaru: [Isn’t it a bit pitiful to cause this much trouble for your daughter? Let’s think of something to do about it.]
Puck: [I get it okay, I’m sorry. Even I think it would be nice if there was another method, but did you think of something? I’m fine with using all of my mana.]
Subaru: [How about you shoot some relevantly powerful magic into the sky?]
Puck: [In other words, you’re giving me “that”? The permission to cause destruction and destroy this wor――]
Subaru: [Not giving you that.]
Puck: [Just kidding~]
Be it a natural disaster or destroying the world, the exchange was aloof, even if it was a joke. Subaru had a feeling that he wouldn’t receive a satisfactory response if he tried to carelessly affirm it, so he held back on speaking rashly for a bit.
Ram: [But the problem with this cold is the hindrance it causes for work. The efficiency of my work has actually gone down remarkably these past three days.]
Subaru: [Well if you don’t get out of bed, then yeah I’d think your efficiency would drop. Is this magic release period only related to spirits? How about powerful magic users….like Ros-chi and Beako?]
If it included powerful magic users, then they shouldn’t be exceptions either. After he tried to take a stab at his interest, Roswaal shrugged his shoulders, and Beatrice was fixing her drills.
Roswaal: [In my case, I use my magical power daily and keep it in cheeeck. I have my everyday business to take care of, so my od is always fine.]
Subaru: [Why is it that in your everyday business Ram….ah, forget about it. I don’t want to know.]
In response to Roswaal’s side glance, Ram blushes and looks downward. If the suspiciously inappropriate relationship between the head of the mansion and the maid was close to what he thought it was, it would be vivid to him and he wouldn’t want to know about it.
Beatrice: [I do fine with my preservation of the Forbidden Library and “Door Crossing”, I suppose. Yes yes, and lately it’s been useful for blowing away a loud mouthed human, in fact.]
Subaru: [Yeah yeah, cute cute.]
Subaru brushes off her provocation, ignores the pouting girl, and looked at Emilia and Rem.
Subaru: [Then how about Emilia and the others? Mating season….er I mean magic release period, do you guys not have that?]
Rem: Only a limited number of individuals have qualifications powerful enough to cause a magic release period, so…]
Emilia: [Myself as well, as a magic user, the magical release period doesn’t really seem to be related to me….ah, but there were plenty of experiences through Puck. So I’m sorry for this incident. I regret it…]
Subaru: [Emilia-tan sure is joking a lot with her self-deprecation today!]
She had an honest and serious personality, but as for today, it was backfiring on her. This was the one time where Subaru would take the place of the calm faced little girl that they were holding as a criminal and would have no choice but to pitch in and help.
Subaru: [Alright, then I guess I’ve got no choice but to give it what I’ve got and look for a solution. First of all, when was the most recent time you used magic while feeling good about it?]
Puck: [If we’re talking about recently, then it might be when I used it to fight against that woman in black at the royal capital. I used enough to soak up all my mana.]
Subaru: [The motivation that just came to me is coming out because of the faded wound of my stomach!]
He had a memory of when he suffered damage from the “Bowel Hunter” and had gripping pain from the scar he received just a month ago. This was just to let out magical power, so it was impossible to energetically prepare a dangerous opponent like that.
Puck: [If that can’t count, then maybe it was at the forest when Roswaal came to see Lia. It’s embarrassing to admit it, but I do feel like it was very enjoyable.]
Roswaal: [Ahhh, that certainly was exciting. That miiight’ve been the first time in my life I experienced a magical battle of that scale, perhaaaps.]
Puck: [I did surprise you because it was sudden without an appointment. Hahaha]
Roswaal: [Well we seriously did clash with each other for the whole day and night, after aalll.]
They were casually laughing with each other, but contrary to the atmosphere, the truth was that it was very dangerous. If these two really did compete with each other like they said, it would be so catastrophic that you’d call it “Apocalypse Now”.
Subaru: [Actually, how did it really go, Emilia-tan?]
Emilia: [After that, I heard that the map had to be redrawn, but…]
Subaru: [Okay, that’s out too! I reject the strategy of writing a formidable enemy as a “friend”!]
Subaru: [Don’t give me that! Don’t change the topography because of a fight! Apologize to Inou Tadataka!]
Emilia: [I am sorryyy Tadataka-san. Am I fine now?]
Subaru gets her to apologize to the great man who created a map, and then gets worried from realizing how this was a more difficult challenge than he thought it’d be. He wanted Emilia to lend him knowledge if she could, being someone who had an abundance of experience, but
Emilia: [Puck didn’t really bother anyone when I was with him at the forest, and I didn’t really think the magic release period was that much of a problem. And so I was in a pickle…]
Subaru: [And then these few days are the result of worrying. I understand your feelings of wanting to do something yourself, Emilia-tan, but that’s when everyone else….that’s when it’s okay for you to rely on everyone, myself in particular.]
It didn’t feel bad to rely on someone. That was something that was even more relevant if it was Emilia. Next there would be Rem, sometimes Ram, then Beatrice and Puck, and it would be okay to add Roswaal to that list too. Then also the villagers, the children, and――wait, isn’t that surprisingly a lot of people?
It seemed that he had increased the amount of acquaintances he had in this world. If that was the case, he wanted to take care of those bonds.
Subaru: [If the world turned into ruins and a journey begins to defeat the Demon lord Puck, it would be troublesome….When it comes to peacefully making temporary measurements, we could…oh that’s right.]
Emilia: [――! Subaru, did you think of something weird again?]
Rem: [As expected of Subaru-kun. I am impressed.]
Subaru: [Those expectations are false starts!]
Subaru gives a wry smile at Emilia, who got her teeth into the matter, and Rem, who was making quick judgements. He walks up to the dining room’s window completely filled with clouds, rubs the window with his palm, and looks towards the mansion’s courtyard.
Subaru: [The coldness is restricted to this mansion because of Beako’s barrier, huh.]
Beatrice: [That’s right, I suppose. If the chill escapes to anywhere besides the building, then the garden trees and the flower beds would become pitiful, in fact. That’s why the barrier was kept to a moderate extent, I suppose.]
Subaru: [I see you show consideration for the garden. I’ll sincerely give you my props for that one. ….By the way, about the barrier, can you tamper with the barrier even now? If you can, then I have a request for you.]
Beatrice: [There’s nothing I can’t do, in fact. However, what do you want, I suppose?]
Subaru: [Fufufu, something that is interesting, fun, and crosses over the magic release period, of course.]
Subaru snaps his his fingers with one hand while having the other touching the window, and then points at the ceiling. Roswaal was the only one who had one of his eyes closed while chuckling, while everyone else responded to that gesture by opening their eyes wide.
While having Subaru’s figure reflecting in his yellow eye he says
Roswaal: [I won’t object something that seems interesting. I also had great interest in the spiritism from a few days ago, after aalll. And so, what do you have planned for this mansion and the Great spirit’s magic release period? I wonder.]
Subaru: [I’ll write out the formulation of the plan and I’ll read the project. Back at Hokkaido of my hometown…. Well it’s around my home town in a broad sense, but it’s a festival of that hometown. Let’s squander the rest of Puck’s mana in a grand way.]
What came to Subaru’s mind was a snowscape festival that has only been seen on TV. It was a grand festival held in white snow countries, and borrowing the name from its pioneers he would call it――
Subaru: [The first annual holding ―― of the chiki chiki Roswaal mansion’s snow festival!]
He had a decisive look with his thumb put up and his teeth sparkling. Everyone responds to Subaru’s announcement by holding their breath.
Emilia: [Chiki chiki snow festival…]
Emilia heard that name, says it again, and then tilted her head.
Emilia: [Do we need…that chiki chiki part?]
――She let just the adoption of that part pass by her, and then he would begin to work out the details for the snow festival.
And with this and that, the plan suddenly headed towards implementation, progression is made――
Subaru: [Alright, it’s begun. The first snow festival! Everyone, do you all want to go to New York――!?]
Voices of approval raised sparsely in response to Subaru’s spirit, who was leading a meeting in front of the public.
Subaru wasn’t having much results with their spirit, but he didn’t mind it, as he gazed at the scenery before him. To Subaru and the people he had on board with his plan, the first thing to take care of was making the festival have a fun atmosphere.
Currently, Subaru and the others viewed the Roswaal residence’s front garden that became a snowy landscape, and on it there was a great number of people. To be specific, the people that were gathered were mainly the residents of the Arlam Village.
The villagers had ice season clothes to protect themselves against the unreasonable cold, but they had something more than displeasure against the coldness on their facial expressions. Something was standing out vaguely.
Festival――it was because the unspirited people had roughly no reaction to that one word.
Puck: [Nevertheless, for this to be a snow festival…Subaru’s ideas surprise me as always.]
And then the one who made his appearance was Puck, who came out from being rolled up in Subaru’s scarf. The one who used his remaining mana to create this landscape gazes at the festivals participants and caresses his whiskers.
Subaru: [In regards to not using up resources wastefully, you cannot make light of modern people who lived through the days of gluttony. At any rate, if you can’t hide it, you might as well have a party.]
Puck: [I didn’t think this would become a party. Humans complain about it getting colder, and yet they don’t complain about the snow. It sure is hard to understand how you guys think.]
Subaru: [It is like a natural calamity, but humans do have this habit of getting excited at snow and typhoons.]
Puck: [Hmm, yeah that is confusing.]
Even when Puck heard Subaru’s explanation, he tilted his head in confusion.
Humans were beings that wanted to do stupid things every now and then, although a paranormal being like him may not have understood it. They get scared of natural menaces, but occasionally they are able to turn them into fun. They truly were inconsistent creatures.
[Villager: Subaru-sama, go on!]
Subaru: [Oops, right right. Sorry!]
And then a villager called out to Subaru, who had been talking with Puck. Incidentally, they shouldn’t be able to see Puck, so it looked as if Subaru was talking to himself for a long time. However, they did not talk about it, which showed how the villagers understood Subaru to a high extent.
Subaru: [Anyhow, I’ll explain the rules. To put it briefly, you all have this mansion’s front garden! Use the snow and ice here. The idea of this snow festival is to compete against each other with your creative personalities and creative powers in an artistic festival! There’s also a wonderful gift prepared, so by all means, aim for victory!]
The villagers who acted as participants got extremely excited from hearing a single word about a wonderful gift. It was a festival organized by the feudal lord Roswaal. It was natural for them to have their expectations rise for a gift.
Subaru: [Alright, then you all have until the end of fire time! Ready, Start!]
Subaru: [Oh, by Start I mean start! Start, start!]
They followed Subaru’s command and the snow festival starts, although there was a questionable misstep.
Each of the villagers cooperated and went to work, but they required a good amount of concentration power and skillful fingers to create a snow sculpture. He looked forward to seeing what type of artistic masterpieces they’d come up with.
Subaru: [Will it be marvelous? I wonder if it’ll be marvelous.]
Subaru gazes at the villagers, who took the challenge of creating a snow sculpture with seriousness, and he jumps off the snow platform, appearing to be satisfied.
From this point on, a few hours would have to pass for the performance show to finish. While he waited, he headed towards the other part of the snow festival where one more experiment with the remaining mana was being held.
There were the long-awaited snow and ice. It would be a shame if the party ended on a simple note.
Subaru: [How’s the work going over here?]
Young man: [Ahh, Subaru-sama. Looks like you’ve had success too. We are doing well here as well.]
The person that responded to Subaru’s greeting and turned around was this young man of the young people group of the village. He sweated from his forehead and was breaking ice. Similarly, there were group members here and there working by putting ice onto carts.
Subaru: [Nevertheless, it looks like they’re enjoying themselves, playing in the snow over there. Don’t you think you got the short end of the stick?]
Young man: [No we didn’t. This is also for the alcohol of the village. Also, the Margrave said that it seemed that the fire season is going to be hot this year, so I wanted to show my thanks for this proposal.]
The head of the young people group laughs while wiping the sweat off his hair in a crew cut, not even having a care for the breeze. Subaru nods at his response, and is relieved from knowing how his plan didn’t end up being a forceful one.
In every direction, he saw young men breaking ice, working hard for the snow festival. They saw this as an honorable duty to take up, as they prepared the ice for fire season and for the village’s ice house.
They simply could not miss out on preserving food and ice to cool themselves against the heat during hot weather season. In this world where there wasn’t a technique to make ice, the ice house was very important.
Subaru just happened to remember being told about that, being someone who went in and out of the village frequently.
Subaru: [But heavy labor is heavy labor. Even when it really would be advisable for myself to help too….]
Young man: [That’s not the case at all, because we are helping Subaru-sama. If we spend any more time at this rate, we’ll be hit divine punishment. Moreover, you also showed us something good.]
Subaru: [Something good? Did something really happen?]
Subaru did not have an occasion come to mind. He tilts his head and the head of the young people group looks away in response. When he sought to follow his eyes, he saw Rem and Ram running around the front garden in a hurry. They were engaged in managing the snow festival, and the ice season maid appearance’s freshness looked as cute as ever.
Young man: [Just from seeing that appearance, you feel moved. Isn’t that so, Subaru-sama?]
Subaru: [….Ahh, that might be true. If it really is okay to, then I’m glad.]
The group members give deep nods in response to the satisfied leader’s words. If that was their way of showing a consensus, then Subaru understood that it was a firm handshake between him and the leader.
Subaru makes sure of their spirit, and once again returns to the meeting place for the snow festival. As one expected, Subaru also didn’t know much about the snow, but if he went around and gave advice moderately――
Child: [Ah, it’s Subaru!]
Child: [There he is, it’s Subaru!]
Child: [Have a taste of white terrawr!]
Subaru: [Ohh, you guys sure are lively even when it’s cold!]
The people who met Subaru, who returned to the meeting place, were kids simply bursting with high spirits. They made steam come out from their hot bodies and were running around enthusiastically, oh so enthusiastically.
Child: [Wahahaaa, snowww!]
Child: [Jyahahaaa, snowww!]
Child: [Bahahaa, snowww!]
They slip on the snow, sprawl on it, and then rolled around. These kids were fully enjoying the snowscape. They transformed into captives of the snow, but Subaru did not laugh, as he remembers their childish minds. He simply gave a deep nod.
Subaru: [But someday you’ll realize it. You’ll realize the truth that you guys were the ones playing in the snow and…]
Petra: [Ah, looks like Subaru doesn’t have anything to dooo. Hey, hey look! I made this with snow!]
The girl that stepped up to Subaru, who was showing shallowness while being pretentious, simply chops away his current state. This was the beautiful girl of the village whose future they were looking most forward to, Petra.
Petra had a rabbit made of snow placed on her hand.
Subaru: [Ohhh, it’s a snow rabbit! They make mountain hares here too!?]
Petra: [Ehehehh, cute, isn’t it? Did it come out well?]
Subaru: [It did it did! Alright alright, then I have something even more wonderful arranged. Watch this.]
Subaru finds leaves and pebbles in a place nearby as Petra tilts her head. When he put it on the mountain hare she made, just like that, the arrangements for its eyes and ears were done.
Petra sees this and her expression quickly becomes bright.
Petra: [Wow, amazing! Subaru that’s amazing! It became a rabbit! A rabbit!]
Subaru: [Heheeem. Right? If you get that happy, then my spirits will rise too! Alrightt, then let’s make it more powerful! Let’s not only put on eyes and ears, but a tail and wings too. Also, a missile, a function for transformation assembly, a cockpit, and caterpillar treads too…]
Petra: [Ah, hey wait, wait….]
The mountain hare was being remodeled within Subaru’s hand, as he did not hear Petra’s voice, who was trying to stop him. After a few minutes, it lost its initial look, and transformed only into a simple weapon to hurt people. He completed the [Aviation assault model great fire power war weapon Y U K I – U S A G I”.
Naturally, this put the young girl in a very bad mood.
Subaru: [Yeahhh, a woman’s heart is as fickle as autumn weather….a girl’s mood is hard to understand. *spit*]
Subaru spits out the snowball that hit his face, and saw Petra off, who became more distant. It seemed that the tickling boy heart could not match the little girl’s tastes.
Subaru: [I guess Petra is more of a real robot type of girl, rather than a super robot type of girl.]
Child: [Hmmm, I feel like you’re wrong either way.]
Subaru: [Nah, it’s too early to come to conclusions. Next time I’ll attack with the real robot route.]
The future where he’d once again get hit with a snowball by Petra is decided, and then Subaru looks around the exhibition hall with the snow sculptures that were starting to be finished. He saw many poor quality works, considering how it was their first time making snow sculptures, but even then, they were artistic masterpieces created through everyone combining their efforts. It was difficult to put a specific label on it.
Subaru: [But wouldn’t it be a shame to lean towards a realistic motif? Perhaps it’s because there’s no mascot characters. There’s a lot of castles and animals…oh, this looks pretty good!]
Child: [Ohh, thank you, Subaru-sama. This is my Wolgarm masterpiece!]
Subaru: [It’s like you’re implying I’ll forget about the incident after they pass just because of the cold! I’m not laughing!]
It was a snow sculpture of the witchbeasts that caused an unprecedented dilemma where they were chased away from the mansion and village just a few days ago. The source for his goosebumps wasn’t just the cold, as the fear and the tension from the incident were still fresh in his mind.
Subaru: [I do like the stress on impact, and I want to evaluate your efforts. However, you did not show enough consideration for the judge’s mental trauma. Thus, I give this seven points! I look forward to your next piece of work!]
When Subaru criticized the snow wolgarm, the male creator gave a bitter smile, as he said [8th in points, huh”. Seeing that interaction, Puck tickles the back of Subaru’s neck with his tail.
Subaru: [Afun, what is it?]
Puck: [It’s about your grading of this snow festival, but who are you doing this with Subaru?]
Subaru: [Me, Roswaal, and Muraosa as a masked judge are participating in the grading. If the judge’s face comes to light, people might try to buy their rank through bribing him, after all. I have an attitude of being determined to deny that type of dirty manipulation of ranks in this festival for the competition of art.]
Puck: [Seeing how you’re doing all that, I’m wondering if there are people who want the wonderful gift.]
Subaru: [It sure is a possibility. The present is a wonderful gift that is a one of a kind in this world.]
Whether it had a money type of value or not, the only thing rare about it was the handwriting. When Puck found out about how the wonderful gift would come from his pocket, he makes a surprised face with an [Oh, really?].
Puck: [It’s not Subaru’s concern, and yet you were really generous with this.]
Subaru: [Aren’t Emilia-tan and you the ones who are worried? Cooperation is something you’d do. Usually.]
The labor wasn’t that big of a deal. Subaru was enjoying the festival in itself. He did not even hesitant on making such promises for cooperation. When it came to debt, Subaru was the one who had far more.
Puck: [Hmmm….I do feel a lot of “that” about that side of you, Subaru.]
Subaru: [You are being too vague, so I don’t get what you’re saying. I can’t understand if you simply put it as “that”…]
Subaru reacts to Puck’s voice, who let out a chuckle, and then he suddenly stopped walking. When he did, the young ladies working at the front are noticed by Subaru, and then they happily clap their hands.
Rem: [Ah, Subaru-kun! Please take a look. It’s a sister collaboration snow sculpture made by Nee-sama and Rem!]
Subaru: [So Rem and Nee-sama aren’t helping, but participating instead. That’s surprising.]
The cheerful girl Rem points at their work that was directly nearby. To the side of the snow sculpture, there was Ram, who was wearing thicker clothes than the rest. She had her arms folded, looked at Subaru, and snorted her nose.
Ram: [Oh, Barusu. Looks like you were called over by our artistry and arrived defenselessly.]
Subaru: [Putting how you make it sound as if I’m willingly walking into disaster aside, I did come to see you guys. Why is Ram participating in this extremely cold festival? You even looked like you didn’t want to help.]
Ram: [Roswaal-sama gave Ram permission. Do you perhaps highly prefer Rem and the others to play outside of the mansion in the snow while only Ram acts lazy in bed?]
Subaru: [You are being unnecessarily aggressive, but you’re saying that you don’t like being left out, right?]
When Subaru becomes dejected from Ram’s perverseness, Rem gently stepped in front of her. Then she holds onto her sister’s hand, whose nose was red from the coldness, and says
Rem: [Rem forcefully invited Nee-sama. Nee-sama says that playing in the snow is childish, but Rem really wants to play with Nee-sama…]
Subaru: [Do you not feel guilty for making your sister say this much, Nee-sama?]
Ram: [Ram is superior for feeling Rem’s love so strongly. Be jealous.]
It was difficult to talk down a person started to have a defiant attitude. Subaru quickly gives up on breaking through farfetched arguments, and then looks at the sisters’ snow sculpture collaboration. The snow sculpture had a white cloth covering all of it and was the size of a life size human. Speaking of Rem’s skillfulness, it had quite the sense of an artistic masterpiece.
Subaru: [Rem and Ram, this is a masterpiece created through the concentration of your guys’ power, skill, and sisterly love.]
Rem: [Yes, Rem thinks Nee-sama’s instructions helped with my ineptness, and then this is perhaps the best result.]
Subaru: [Didn’t you just look at Nee-sama? The truth has come out! …so, what is the name of this work?]
Rem: [Yes. The name is “The wonderful Subawaal-sama statue”!]
Subaru: [I can see the end result just from the name!!]
Rem neglects Subaru’s shouting and removes the cloth that covered the snow sculpture. Once she did this, the exposed snow sculpture represented a single man. You could see how particular the details were in this gem.
They were fanatical about the details; the small parts were fairly polished. The results of this snow sculpture simply had the potential to overpower the other works. It was just that, if he had to point out just one fault about the snow sculpture, then it would be that it didn’t nail down a certain motif.
Rem: [Nee-sama wanted to make Roswaal-sama, while I wanted to make Subaru-kun, so our opinions differed.]
Ram: [It’s the conclusion that resulted from finding a meeting ground.]
Subaru: [It seems like you conceded, but you didn’t!]
The sisters talking about their secret story causes Subaru to have trouble evaluating the snow sculpture before him. It was beautiful how they dealt with a single work as sisters, but to think that those efforts resulted in a blasphemous type of snow sculpture…
The “Wonderful Subawaal-sama Statue” collaboration work looked like it was copying Roswaal at one glance, but you could also feel indications of Subaru’s looks on it. It had a model that drove his way of seeing things mad when trying to put it into words.
Roswaal: [Oh, what do we have hereee? Being gathered around a place like this, what are you all….oh, this is…]
Roswaal, who was going around the exhibition hall and grading works, meets up with Subaru and the others, who were in front of the Subaru-sama statue. He comes face to face with their snow sculpture, and then Roswaal shows a stiffened expression that was seldom seen. He loses the appearance of a smile from his mouth, is unable to make a comment, and looks around restlessly.
Ram: [Ah, Roswaal-sama…you’ve seen something embarrassing. However, take a good look please.]
Rem: [It is a collaboration between Rem and Nee-sama. The whole body is there, but please evaluate it without favoritism.]
Ram and Rem see that the marker was present, and then they sought for evaluation. Ram having an overflowing amount of self confidence was the usual, but Rem also had some self confidence, who was someone that spoke humbly.
You could see that they had expectations for a high score for their snow sculpture, but――
Roswaal: [Alright, sorry to break it to you, but it gets 5 points.]
Ram: [And thennn?]
Subaru: [That’s final! It is what you see! You’re praying for a rise from this!]
Ram: [That is ridiculous…!]
Ram looked at Roswaal with astonishment, but he shook his head and raised his right hand. He had four fingers raised, giving them even less points than the amount Subaru gave.
Incidentally, each judge had 10 points, so a perfect score would be a total of 30 points.
Roswaal: [The results weren’t bad, thouuugh. It kinda feels like these results are giving me the chills.]
Ram: [The concept shouldn’t have been wrong….just as Ram thought, Barusu was obstructive.]
Rem: [This can’t be right! Rem and Nee-sama negotiated our ideal visions, so it’s odd to be unsuccessful. Surely this is just because the times still haven’t caught up.]
Ram and Rem heard Roswaal’s brief review, and then the sisters rushed into discussing about it. However, if those were the things they reflected on, then it felt like their next work they’d finish would be indescribable again.
Subaru: [Or maybe it’s because we could only feel weird about them as people who have been used as the motif…]
Emilia: [Ah! Subaru, I found you! Beatrice and I also snuck into the competition. If you’d like, come see the snow sculpture….oh, wow. What is this? This snow sculpture gives off a reaaally weird feeling.]
Subaru: [Rightttt, I couldn’t be righttt.]
Emilia casually came by and also showed a strong reaction against the “Wonderful Subaru-sama Statue”.
This meant that mankind hadn’t arrived at the time where they’d catch up with that sense yet.
Anyhow, the first snow festival went on like that――and Petra was decided to be the winner. The winning work was the “Aviation assault model great fire power war weapon Y U K I – U S A G I”, which earned a total of 28 points.
It was a victory obtained by her in a way that was cunning with determination.
Emilia: [I think it’s weird how I received 9 points even when I tried that hard…]
Puck: [The event might’ve been a bit of a tough one for you and Betty. Look, how should I put it….it’s because your guys’ snow sculpture didn’t really have much artistic impression.]
Emilia and Puck exchange words at the front garden after the snow festival and the cleaning.
Emilia looked displeased as she stood in front of the Puck snow sculpture she made, pouting with her face. Next to it, there was Beatrice’s Puck sculpture that she made. They received 9 and 7 points, respectively――ever since the results of that grading, she wanted to guess the meaning of how she apparently left out details in regards to the portrayal.
Perhaps one should say that mankind wasn’t quite at the stage where they would be able to evaluate the avant garde snow sculpture.
Emilia: [But Subaru really only said weird things. He is well informed, huh. It shouldn’t have been possible to have a festival using snow, being near the great Elior forest, after all.]
Puck: [It was a festival that was possible because it was an area where snow is rarely seen. If we lived in an area where we had no room to enjoy snow, then he wouldn’t have come up with this festival.]
Emilia: [That’s right, I suppose….Yeah, maybe.]
Emilia gives a deep nod at Puck’s words while looking around at the remaining snow sculptures in this exhibition hall at night. Thanks to Subaru’s idea of having a snow festival as a solution for Puck’s magic release period, his od was in a stable condition. The intense chills these past few days would also completely settle down tomorrow.
Emilia: [But if that’s the case, then surely these snow sculptures will melt tomorrow too, huh. There’s so many of them too. It’s reaaally a shame.]
Puck: [That’s how snow works after all. It’s form does not last forever. That’s all. That’s all there is to it.]
Puck’s words cause Emilia to feel subtle uncomfort and didn’t point out anything. She just stops walking in the middle of looking around at the snow sculptures and looked up at the sky with shining stars.
The starry sky spreads all over up high, looking down at the snow sculptures in the air free of the cold.
Puck: [It’s too bad Lia, Beatrice, and the children of the mansion weren’t able to win.]
Emilia: [That girl’s mountain hare was well done, so it can’t be helped. Roswaal and the old man gave high praise for it. ….though it was weird how Subaru was quiet about it considering how he was in high spirits.]
Puck: [I have no comment for that. However, I wonder if she liked the wonderful gift.]
Emilia: [I wonder too. It was Subaru’s hometown’s….what was it called…corn potage? Something like that.]
The prize for winning the snow festival was a mysterious item that he had. It had never before seen letters and drawings lined up on it. The bag that had a strange feeling――it seemed that there was food inside, but it was a little weird.
Incidentally, at the same time Petra was eating the “Corn Potage Snack” at the village and was being taken aback by the deliciousness of it, but that was another story.
Emilia: [Maybe it would’ve been a good idea to consult Subaru from the beginning. If we did, it would’ve been settled without fretting about time like that.]
Puck: [That’s trueee. However, you can’t grow up as a child who leaves anything and everything up to someone. Even if you can’t manage it, try your best until you know it, okay?]
Emilia: [Yes~ I understand.]
Emilia giggles as Puck caresses his whiskers, letting out a “Good”. After that, they had a short moment of silence, then Emilia suddenly begins to speak.
Emilia: [Hey, do you remember what Subaru said at the end of the festival?]
Puck: [――When it becomes the magic release period next year, let’s have a snow festival again. I usually don’t like festivals, but if it’s that child, then they do feel like a party.]
Emilia: [I reaaally feel a little “that”….about that side of Subaru.]
Puck: [Yeah. I also feel “that” about it.]
If Subaru was here for this situation, he might’ve made a pout at being left behind by the two who were having a vague conversation. It was a conversation that could only be followed if he had known them for a long time and had a family like relationship.
Emilia: [Next year, huh. ….I’m not sure what the future has in store. I wonder what will happen.]
Puck: [It’ll be what Emilia wishes for. I think that would be nice if it turned out like that. Not considering if we’ll be able to do something like what Subaru said at that time, that is.]
Emilia: [Are you against snow festivals, Puck?]
Puck: [I’m not. I also had fun, and you looked like you were having fun too, after all. ….However, I don’t know if Subaru will be happy or not when I stay by your side until next year.]
Emilia held her breath quietly in response to Puck’s words.
She was in a serious situation and couldn’t make any rash judgements. Even the environment surrounding her would have sudden changes after a year.
Her heart was to blame for having Subaru――for dragging that kind boy into that vortex.
Puck: [His stomach’s wounds, the wounds caused by the witchbeasts biting him――that child’s remaining scars are the result of Lia’s actions. I know you haven’t forgotten about it, but you need to keep that in mind.]
Puck had an easygoing voice, and yet he was never just soft with his words when talking with Emilia.
Emilia nods, and Puck washes his own face in silence. After that, he gazes at the snow sculptures around Emilia and says
Puck: [But it would be nice if we have it again next year. Have a snow festival, I mean.]
Puck: [Being able to do it next year would mean me having too much mana to the point of having a magical release period, and nobody other than Subaru would be able to lead a festival.]
If they could have a snow festival next year too, then that would mean Emilia would spend another year safely and that Natsuki Subaru would stay at the mansion too.
Emilia: [Ye─yeah. ――Yeah, I think that’d be nice too.]
Emilia gives many nods at Puck’s unexpected words and a smile comes on her face. In response to Puck’s beloved daughter’s smile, he flips his whiskers in a seemingly satisfied manner and――he keeps the dangerous unease in his chest to himself.
Would they be able to have another snow festival next year? Would they protect the conditions needed from now for the year?
Would Emilia’s safety, Subaru’s safety――and on top of them, Puck’s own safety, and the other determining factors――
There were many big changes that came about in these several months. From now on, just how much of that――
Emilia: [Puck, what’s wrong?]
Emilia tilted her head at Puck’s look, who kept silent. In response to her, Puck immediately makes his ears stand with his usual manner and
Puck: [Mmm, it’s nothing. I was just thinking about how it will become hot as usual starting tomorrow.]
Emilia: [Ah, come to think of it, that is true. Subaru and Ram might start throwing complaints at each other again.]
Emilia worries about the next day as a matter of course without paying attention to Puck’s fear.
Puck responds to his honest, straightforward beloved daughter’s emotions by continuing to swing his tail while keeping his mouth shut.
――While the silence is kept to indicate something would happen in the year for next year’s snow festival.
Original Translation by Remonwater ― Complete
There is a multitude of unused facilities within the Roswaal L Mathers territory’s main mansion. It is located away from the city, but close to the mountain forest, and is a site that has a size comparable to a small castle, being made up of three different wings.
The main wing consists of principal facilities such as the dining hall, the parlor, and the large public bath, while the east wing has facilities such as the guest room used for visitors, and the private room for the mansion’s residents and maids. And lastly, there is the west wing that has many multipurpose facilities.
The west wing is used much less in comparison to the other wings. It would be enough to classify the facilities as multi-purposed, but to be exact, you could say that only facilities of disordered purposes were gathered at the west wing.
It had an uneventful dance hall, along with a warehouse containing unadorned paintings and other works of art. There were things such as books not valuable enough to be in Beatrice’s Forbidden Library; there was too much unused facilities.
Hence, although the west wing was included in the cleaning rotation, it was a completely unused building in regards to everyday life. There was a place in the west wing that people went in and out of the most, but it was just a storage room in the corridor that connected to the main wing, so it was understandable how it became deserted.
Subaru: [Therefore, it’s not really worth completely cleaning it up like this for 3 days…or wait, I wonder what kind of point of view that Nee-sama has on it.]
Subaru took off his uniform coat, and said these words with his sleeves tucked in while having the duster in his hand.
He sweeps away the floating dust with his hand with a frown on his face. It was apparent that the dust fluttering in the air would not go away, no matter how thorough he was with the cleaning. It really was quite the annoying opponent to deal with.
Subaru: [I really do wonder where dust goes and comes from. Nee-sama, what do you think?]
Ram: [What…? Stop saying stupid things. Move with your hands, not with your mouth. No matter what Barusu says, Roswaal-sama’s wishes shall be fulfilled perfectly. That is our job.]
Subaru: [Okay okay, I understand. Then I will do my….the hell!?]
Subaru raised a criticizing voice at the perpetrator who kicked his butt while he was making his admirably splendid speech. After taking a look, he saw Ram, the person who answered him coldly, on top of the wooden box at the corner of the room with her legs elegantly crossed.
Of course, she was there without a mop or dust cloth in her hand, yawning with her hand on her mouth, cleaning――
Subaru: [Just when I thought you were working without complaints, I see this! We’re a team that halves the work between us, aren’t we? If it’s quartered instead, we won’t be able to finish!]
Ram: [If you are unable to feel shame about your own incompetence, then you are done as a human….you are useless, Barusu.]
Subaru: [Can you take a good look at the current situation, then speak!? Look at it objectively. You think I’m the useless one?]
Ram: [Nothing will change if you’re missing a little help for something like cleaning an unused storage room.]
Subaru: [Whatever happened to the Ram that said she’d fulfill Roswaal-sama’s wishes perfectly?]
Ram sighed with feigned ignorance at Subaru widening his eyes, which he did because of the withdrawal of her previous refreshing marks.
The Roswaal residents’ routine duties were split between three people: Subaru, an employee, and the two sisters, Ram and Rem. However, 80% of the mansion’s functions were taken care of by Rem, while Subaru and Ram cooperated for the remaining 20%――they were taking care of it, but these were days of dire distress.
These two, who halved the labor between each other, were imposed with this work, but it was clear that they were feeling discouraged with cleaning and tidying up the unused storage room of the unused west wing.
Having the cleaning actually start was enough to completely kill Subaru and Ram’s motivation.
It was standard for the mansion’s cleaning to be done in rotation, cleaning the three wings one day at a time. Their motivation declined quicker because of how the west wing had cleaning three days prior, and because of how it wasn’t very dirty considering that.
Subaru: [However, there’s a reason behind what you say too. I’m using the duster, but I feel like the dust is just flying away and the feeling of achievement….achoo!]
Ram, who was skipping out on her work while sitting on top of a wooden box, saw Subaru sneeze from the dust with the duster in his hand. And to make matters worst, just as the collected dust flew into the air, the cusp of it invaded the shelves at the side. Subaru crouched and picks up the tool, whose use he did not understand, that fell on the floor, seemingly with annoyance.
Subaru: [Dirtying things myself and tidying things up by myself, bad things sure are happening one after another….oh?]
In the midst of picking up the tool that he dropped, Subaru found an incomprehensible joint on the floor. He traced the floor with his hand, and when he checked to see what it was, it seemed to be that there was a wooden cover for underfloor storage.
Subaru: [Ram, there is a hidden door here, but do you know what’s inside?]
Ram: [….Don’t know. Forget about it, Barusu. There’s a chance that insects will come flying out the moment you open it. If you’re gonna do it, then do so after Ram leave this room and lock it.]
Subaru: [Why lock the door? Also, it’s already too late.]
Subaru pulled the knob of the storage that he found and lifted the underfloor cover at once. Ram’s words gave him a bad image in his head, but his curiosity got the best of him.Immediately after that, Ram quickly got off the wooden box and rushed over to the room’s door. While giving a wry smile at Ram, who had preparations to run away efficiently, Subaru nervously peeked into the underfloor storage and――
And then Subaru widened his eyes and mouth in astonishment.
Roswaal: [――And thus, the things you discovered from the underfloor storage are miiine.]
Subaru bowed respectfully and respectfully pushed the wooden box in front of him onto the desk.]
The search of the west wing’s storage room――as a result of the search that caused him to forget about the initial goal, an unexpected treasure was discovered.
The person who received Subaru’s report, Subaru appearing to have his chest puffed up with pride, was the person sitting at the work desk, Roswaal. The daytime version of him as a feudal lord was busy with businesses he had to take care of, which contrasted with how he had an eccentric outfit, eccentric speech, and eccentric behavior.
However, when Subaru rudely cut into hist time, Roswaal was far from displeased and instead seemed to be happily letting out a loose smile.
Roswaal: [I seeee. Come to think of it, quite a while back, by chance I heard about a wine cellar somewhere in the villa. Under the floor of the west wing…to think that it was in a place like that.]
Inside the wooden box that was placed on the desk appeared to be an expensive bottle of alcohol stored together with wood chips.
Subaru heard him say wine cellar, but he was more puzzled about a different part of Roswaal’s statement.
Subaru: [Hm? Did you just say villa? But that alcohol was found under the mansion, you know?]
Roswaal: [Ahh, that’s easy to explain. This mansion is located here just to prepare for Emilia-sama’s king election, and it’s essentially my residence’s villa. The Mathers’ principal residence is more towards east. Well, the place we are in is also the Mathers’ mansion, so there’s not really much importance in distinguishing between the two.]
Subaru: [It’s a villa with it being this big? Then the principal residence must be….actually, I’m scared to know, so I won’t ask. Anyways, about that unexpected thing, that basement isn’t one of Roswaal’s preferences, huh.]
Roswaal: [I am currently the head of the family, but before that it was my father’s and my grandfather’s. Perhaaaps the basement’s wine cellar was my grandfather’s idea, or maybe it was a prank by my grandmother. I’ve been told that they were heavy drinkers.]
Subaru frowned at Roswaal, who smiled with his purple painted lips. It was quite the unrelated matter to Subaru, considering how he was talking about his own grandfather. Roswaal closes one of his eyes at Subaru’s doubt and
Roswaal: [My family has been short-lived for generations. I didn’t know my grandfather either. I didn’t have much time to spend with myyy mother and father.]
Subaru: [Ahh, my bad. I didn’t mean to pry…. But things like that do happen.]
He was apt to forget about his excessive workload at the mansion, but this place truly was a different world. The common knowledge on life expectancy in this world most likely differed a lot from the common knowledge on it at Subaru’s original world.
Things like the long living races and the magical existences could not simply be compared with modern medicine.
Subaru: [….Anyhow, I thought I’d at least report it and brought it, but what are you going to do about your grandfather’s leftover collection? A lot of it is still unused.]
Roswaal: [Hmm, good point. Keeping it in the basement like that as something like ground reinforcement would be wasteful, huh. ――By the way, Subaru-kun, how are you with alcohol? Are you the type that can drink however much he wants? Or are you perhaps someone who gets red just from the smell of it and says thing like “I don’t wanna go home tonight…”?]
Subaru: [That line I’ve heard about, something I’ve heard comes out at mixers, is said here too, huh. …Also, I’ve never really been an active drinker. Drinking is for after I turn 20.]
Roswaal: [20? My goodness, that takes some patience.]
Subaru replied to Roswaal while wrinkling his brows to frown at his doubt.
Subaru was actually being truthful. There wasn’t really any particular reason for Subaru to get his hands on alcohol when he was back at his original world as a minor. By the way, he also never went to a single mixer before.
Natsuki Subaru spent his days doing things completely unrelated to alcohol, tobacco, and women.
Roswaal: [My, that is surprising. Considering Subaru’s personality, I thought you’d definitely try to look cool and get your hands on things like alcohol and tobacco.]
Subaru: [I kinda get what you think of me, but unfortunately, you are wrong. Actually, there was a time when I tried putting one of the cigarettes my father forget to put out on my mouth once, but….]
Subaru: [The moment I did, my father returned, and I was hit plenty of times. To make matters worst, I was scolded by my mother, her fallaciously saying that I wouldn’t get taller….anyway, those hands were traumatizing.]
He may have learned about tobacco and alcohol if he had bad friends, but fortunately, Subaru had no bad friends, let alone any good friends. Thus, he had no opportunities.
Subaru: [Even if I were to try and stray off onto the wrong path, I couldn’t find any in the first place…huhuu, what a joke.]
Roswaal: [You are feeling nostalgic about that, but if that’s the case, you probably wouldn’t be very happy about being giveeen this as a reward.]
Subaru: [Ah, that’s true. There actually was a time where I was offered this alcohol before from this big old geezer and drank it, but I only thought about how it was burning my throat, stomach, and head. Or rather…]
Roswaal sought to award Subaru alcohol as if it was something natural. Subaru responded to this by pointing at the box.
Subaru: [Can someone of my age really drink this? I said this earlier, but I am still below 20 and am a minor. Im at that age where I can’t look at porn sites without a guardian, you know?]
Roswaal: [I don’t really geeet it, but I feel like you wouldn’t be able to look at them even if you had a guardian. Putting that aside, in Lugnica you’re OK to drink alcohol if you’re above 15.]
Subaru: [Ohh, that’s useful…]
Properly using Subaru’s own “OK”, Roswaal continues speaking with a “Moreover”.
Roswaal: [It’s the kingdom’s rule, but each region prefers to have their own territorial laws. In other words, the territorial laws around this vicinity are decided at my own discretion.]
Subaru: [Wow, that’s abuse of your authority. By those territorial laws, the judgement of my innocence and…actually, normally you’d be innocent by the king’s laws after you’re older than 15, but…]
Even though the law assured him, there was no change about his indifference towards the alcoholic gift.
It was natural because he didn’t know its taste and value. Having said that, treating it as an item he’d sell would be rude towards Roswaal, who was handing it over to him as a reward.
Subaru: [It’s even decorated with a ribbon. Should I put it at the end of the room…? Then after I turn 20 I can open it in commemoration, having the deep emotions in my chest walk me towards the future. Stuff like that.]
Roswaal: [That’s a far-sighted plan. Finishing work before you sleep, the time you eat after a hot bath….wouldn’t even be necessary to seek chances to drink alcohol too. It’s not prooocrastination.]
Subaru: [Unreasonably offering alcohol to someone who can’t drink seems to be called alcohol harassment. It might become an incident for a lawsuit, so be careful. Moreover, you say these things, but does Ros-chi drink?]
Roswaal: [I drank to some extent back then, but the times I do drink have been remarkably lower these past several years. Well, I’ll drink on occasions like banquets. Basically, I keep my limits in miiind.]
Roswaal shook his shrugged with his shoulders. He said that he only drank to a certain extent, but even with that attitude, an overwhelming aura came floating from him. He could not imagine what his drunk self would be like.
Subaru: [But, I’m kinda interested in how I would be with alcohol.]
He had no interest in it until now, but he suddenly became interested in his drinking limits because of how they were talking about alcohol the whole time.
Once it became like this, he wasn’t just curious about himself, he was also a bit curious about how much Emilia and Rem could drink as well.
However, if there was no occasion for it, he’d never be able to find――
Subaru: [That’s right, let’s have a banquet! Ros-chi, you said you drank alcohol on celebrations, right?]
Roswaal: [Hm? Yesss. I did certainly say that. I do drink enough to feel good if it’s for special gatheeerings. I am human, after all.]
Subaru: [Rightt! If it’s a gathering, then there’s nothing stopping you.]
Roswaal: [Huhuhu, sheesh. ――What are you planning with getting me drunk?]
Subaru: [That’s rude. You’re not who I’m aiming for, Ros-chi!]
He retorts Roswaal’s statement, him giving Subaru a meaningful look, and then Subaru clapped his hands. That expression made his face look bad――no, he did not have a face of an evil man; he just had scary eyes.
However, that was just the face Subaru had whenever he said something astounding, something that was also typical of him. Roswaal had a look that seemed to be a look of expectation in his eyes in response to Subaru’s expression.
Subaru spoke of his idea with magnificence, though he wasn’t sure if he could live up to his expectations.
Subaru: [If we prepare a celebratory gathering, then it would be okay to bring out the alcohol in the basement for a banquet, right?]
Roswaal: [――Indeed. Well it didn’t really seem to be a useful wine cellar after all. To some extent, I’m kind of entrusting the purpose of the remaaaining alcohol to you. Nevertheless…]
Subaru: [Nevertheless what?]
Roswaal: [Using a banquet as an excuse to see Emilia-sama and Rem become disorderly….Subaru-kun is planning something that’s pretty typical for a boooy.]
Subaru: [That wasn’t even my intention. Stop thinking like that could be my only intention!]
Roswaal: [No no no, I don’t mind it.]
Subaru: [I told you, that’s not it!]
He had no intention for that at all, but his ulterior motive grew a bit, and the plan of the banquet began.
Subaru: [And thus, a plan to hold a cherry blossom viewing party has been decided, so please actively participate!]
Emilia: [Cherry blossom viewing?]
As soon as the abrupt boy Subaru visited the room, Emilia tilted her head at him.
Today Emilia had her hair up in a ponytail and she wore a long skirt. She had her finger on her cherry blossom lips, but she wasn’t surprised by this sudden proposal.
She became used to Subaru’s sudden proposals. This was a reaction she had because of her guessing the situation.
Emilia: [I’ve never heard of cherry blossom viewing, but it sounds kinda fun. Viewing cherry blossoms, huh.]
Subaru: [Yes. Back at my hometown, these cherry blossoms would bloom into a pink color after ice season. At that time there would be boisterous merrymaking under the sakura trees….that’s what cherry blossom viewing is.]
Emilia: [Huh? But, I feel like that you wouldn’t be viewing many flowers…]
Subaru: [That’s the darkness of cherry blossom viewing caused by not being able to experience it too much. Well, it’s held to be boisterous after all.]
Subaru smiles wryly at his pokes at the essence of cherry blossom viewing and concludes the discussion on it.
In short, Subaru, who received a reward for discovering the wine cellar, gave this proposal, but holding a cherry blossom viewing to honor the mansion――this was what the banquet gathering was passed off as.
It wasn’t about Subaru wanting to drink; it was more about his interest in everyone else’s reactions to it.
He might’ve been particularly interested in seeing someone like Emilia make a complete 180, being sexy after drinking. If the situation turned into something like that, perhaps a dangerous charm would grow.
Subaru: [There will be things like alcohol and food as treats to enjoy the pretty cherry blossoms. That is the greatest goal of this cherry blossom viewing we’ll be having! It’s not because there will be alcohol and that I want to see Emilia-tan get messed up or anything, okay?]
Emilia: [Ah, I understand. Jeez, that’s not okay, Subaru.]
Subaru: [Eh!? What!? There’s no way you’ve found out my plan! Impossible!]
Emilia: [Children shouldn’t drink alcohol, or else they will stop getting taller.]
Subaru: [No way! The same reason my mom had!? Also, I’ll have you know that I’m not a child that breaks the kingdom’s laws! I’m 18 this year, after all! I have Roswaal’s permission! I am an adult! An adult!]
Emilia: [I don’t think an adult would make such a fuss like that. But, Subaru is 18, huh. That’s reaaally surprising…I thought you were younger.]
He was scolded for a reason he’s been told of sometime in the past, and then Emilia gives a bittersweet smile at Subaru, the noisy one. She probably added that one word precisely because she didn’t feel like his face was fitting for his age.
Subaru: [Foreigners do say that the Japanese seem to have childish faces. By the way, how old did you think I was?]
Emilia: [12…no, 13! About 13!]
Subaru: [Isn’t that younger than Felt!? Also, there’s wasn’t much of a difference even after you corrected yourself!]
Or more accurately, it wasn’t much different than the Arlam Village’s children’s judgement. The children tried asking Emilia what age they looked to her, but the conversation wouldn’t go anywhere, no matter how much time elapsed.
Subaru: [Phew, I’m tired. Also, you’ve been saying that I’m a child, but how about you, Emilia-tan? Can you drink alcohol? Are you the type that is okay with everything on the menu, from top to bottom?]
Emilia: [Sorry, I don’t really understand what you’re trying to say.]
He imagined Roswaal to be a heavy drinker, but he could not figure out how much Emilia would be able to drink. She could be an extreme heavyweight, and he could also imagine her to be an extreme lightweight.
Emilia mumbled an “Ummm” at Subaru, who narrowed his eyes to investigate and
Emilia: [You said that, but I’ve also never drank before. Ah, I’m also of drinking age. I’m not 13.]
Subaru: [I’m not wondering about that. If Emilia-tan was 13, I would be committing a crime.]
Emilia: [Why would that be?]
Subaru: [It’s because Emilia-tan is so cute that it makes me want to commit a crime.]
Emilia: [And guess what, it’s about alcohol, but Puck said, Don’t drink i~t.]
Subaru: [You heard me, but you’re going to ignore me!?]
Subaru was taken aback from Emilia’s new way of warding him off, but she had no reaction to that; instead, her neck pendant glowed, and a different voice came into the conversation.
Puck: [――That’s obvious. Alcohol is a drink for bad adults. Lia will always be my cute daughter, so you don’t need to get involved with stuff like that.]
The particles of the overflowing light from the pendant formed the shape of a kitten at the same time he said those overprotective words. The manifested kitten spirit sits on Emilia’s shoulders and pats her cheek with his paw.
Puck: [I won’t allow you to stray my child off onto the wrong path. I will drink every bit of the alcohol that is shown in front of Lia, after all. I will not hand Lia over, *shuu-shuu*]
Subaru: [Ah, so you want to participate and drink too, huh.]
Puck, who was shadow boxing, labeled himself as Emilia’s guardian, and yet it was just him really wanting to get his hands on alcohol. Anyways, it seemed like he approved of the cherry blossom viewing, so that was relieving.
Subaru: [Emilia-tan, how about you? Are you okay with Puck participating?]
Emilia: [Eh? Yeah, I’m fine with it. It seems like Puck doesn’t want me to drink alcohol, but I can enjoy myself too by eating delicious food while viewing flowers. But how about everyone else?]
Subaru: [Roswaal is OK with it, considering it was something I planned with him in the first place. So, if Ros-chi is okay with it, then Ram should be fine too. I need to ask Rem for things like preparing the food, so if I ask her as sincerely as possible, I’ll get her consent. I’ll be helping with the cooking too, so.]
At first, Subaru had rough fights with peeling vegetable skins, but thanks to him being a person of some dexterity, he had been helping with the cooking lately. His ambition was different from Ram, whose improvement of her steamed potatoes has been on a halt for many years. There was also the difference in levels of enthusiasm between him and the lecturer.
Emilia: [Rem sure does seem to reaaally enjoy herself whenever she cooks together with Subaru. I’ve got it! How about I help with the cooking too? Subaru did doubt my cooking skills before.]
Subaru: [Something like that did happen before. ….wait, I haven’t been open with my suspicions about that before.]
Emilia: [*Pout* You are stubborn. I made a delicious rice ball, didn’t I?]
Subaru: [The flavor was delicious. It’s just that I was kinda worried about how it looked.]
Previously, there was a time when Subaru had gone into the mountains to do an errand and the bento that Emilia made him hold――inside was a simple rice ball, but the shape was different from one and its size was strange. It was big enough to have a child’s head in it. Eating all of it would be enough to waste his stamina.
It wasn’t about the flavor; he hadn’t problems with amount of seasoning, but its size and shape. That is how Subaru evaluated Emilia’s cooking skills.
Emilia: [Hmph. If you say that much, then fine. I’ll definitely cause you to be dumbfounded when we cook for the cherry blossom viewing. And after that it will be too late to apologize, by the way.]
Subaru: [If we’re talking about being dumbfounded, then it’s already happened plenty! But well, I’ll look forward to it.]
Emilia had an angry face, while Subaru had a relaxed one. Emilia was dissatisfied, being someone who wanted to triumph over Subaru, but she was looking forward to the anticipated event, so it couldn’t be helped.
Emilia: [So when will the cherry blossom viewing be held?]
Subaru: [Even if I said “There’s no time like the present!”, we don’t have enough prepared for it today. However, if we don’t do it as fast as possible, the hype will die down, so talk to everyone, and it will be held the day after tomorrow.]
He wanted to make a specific schedule such that it wouldn’t conflict with the schedule of the mansion’s busiest person, Roswaal. They would hold the cherry blossom viewing on a day when he wouldn’t be away from the mansion for the night.
Subaru: [Guess it would be best to hold it at the forest’s flower garden right? Since it’s called cherry blossom viewing. It really would be awesome if cherry blossoms were there, but the season and the world are different, so.]
Puck: [Looking at a bunch of flowers while drinking alcohol….hmmm, that is elegant. Ah, but there’s something I’m worried about if we do hold it at the forest.]
Subaru: [Something you’re worried about?]
Subaru was lost in his thoughts deciding where the meeting place would be when Puck entered the conversation with his tail standing up. While washing his face with his hand, the kitten said “You see” at Subaru’s doubt as a preface to his next statement and
Puck: [If it’s held away from the mansion, Betty can’t participate. That child won’t leave the mansion, because that is her duty.]
Subaru: [Eh, Beako’s? I don’t really get it, but can’t she sneak away just for a little bit? Plus, the person in charge of the mansion approved of the cherry blossom viewing, you know?]
Puck: [Subaru, I get what you’re trying to say. But the reason Betty stays at the Forbidden Library isn’t necessarily because Roswal told her to. Thus, that child won’t leave the mansion.]
In response to Puck, him being awfully conclusive about the matter, Subaru explained his reasoning and then kept silent.
You could say that Subaru had a difficult type of relationship with Beatrice, who secluded herself in the Forbidden Library. However, he would feel guilty if he left her out and had the cherry blossom viewing. There was no doubt about that.
She was a dishonest little girl. If they had something like a cherry blossom viewing without her and she found out about it, she would obviously never let that go.
Subaru: [Ahhh, Beako is hard to deal with! …Wait, but didn’t she come all the way to the village to heal my injuries before? What was that about?]
Puck: [That was an exception among exceptions. I was the one that made the request, but I was surprised with how she listened.]
Perhaps Beatrice’s merciful heart was moved because it was a highly urgent situation. Whatever the reason may have been, the conditions were too different to label a situation between life and death as a game.
Emilia: [If Beatrice can’t go, then the cherry blossom viewing is off….right?]
Emilia looks down with seemingly regretful eyes at Subaru, who was silent and didn’t have any good ideas come to mind. He saw the lonesome look in her eyes, and then Subaru’s spirit got fired up, as he had to do something about it.
Beatrice wouldn’t leave the mansion. She could not see the flower garden if she didn’t leave the mansion. His original intention was to have a banquet, using cherry blossom viewing as an excuse to have one. It was important to accomplish the duties and prepare the place. These were the things he was thinking about.
Subaru: [――Alright, then let’s do this!]
Subaru came up with an idea to recover from this hopeless situation and clapped his hands loudly.
Subaru’s epiphanizing behavior caused Emilia’s bluish purple eyes to shine, as if they were glimmering with hope.
――After two days where this and that happened, the appointed day for the party immediately arrived.
After obtaining Emilia’s consent, the preparations for the party moved at a quick pace. This was because of Rem, the enthusiastic girl, put in major effort for Subaru’s idea that he was mostly responsible for.
Rem: [I cannot let Subaru-kun embarrass himself, so Rem will work at full power too.]
These were the strong words of Rem, who chopped up the fish and meat so fast that you couldn’t see her cute face.
Thanks to Rem cooperating without a hint of disagreement on her face, the parties preparations progressed smoothly, despite the increase in work. Subaru and Emilia helped with the cooking and the preparations for the hall too, but the extent of the effects they had will not be revealed in order to preserve their honor.
In any case, they were right before the start of the banquet. Subaru left the preparations for the hall up to Rem and the others, and headed over to a place to fulfill a role that only he could do.
This certain place was――
Subaru: [So yeah, the preparations are ready. If you come, everyone would be there.]
Beatrice: […As usual, as soon as you walk in, you don’t make sense, I suppose.]
Subaru moved freely throughout the mansion and found the Forbidden Library through his explosive intuition. Beatrice previously overreacted in all of her reactions, but lately she’s had a face of complete resignation. On one hand, he thought quietly to himself that he was glad about it, but on the other, he also felt unsatisfied. Thus, he threw away those feelings away for today.
Subaru gave a friendly tap to Beatrice’s shoulder, who was sitting on the usual stepladder. Then
Subaru: [I’m telling you to stop missing the point. Today is the day for everyone in the mansion to view cherry blossoms together. You’d probably complain if I told you in advance, so I made it a surprise just for you!]
Beatrice: [The first and second half of your statement contradict each other, in fact! Betty doesn’t really know what a cherry blossom viewing is, but whatever it is, but having to participate in such a foolish event…]
Subaru: [See? I thought you’d say that. A persuasion that should’ve taken two rounds has been settled in one instead. You were going to end up participating while complaining anyway, so stop wasting time and let’s go!]
Beatrice: [You are being bothersome, but it is understandable, So stop making that face, I suppose! You are irritating! Irritating, in fact! What do you know about Betty, I suppose!? To begin with….]
Beatrice shakes off Subaru’s hand, who was trying to bring her out, and she jumped off the ladder. And then surely she was glaring at Subaru with her light blue eyes.
Beatrice: [Be it cherry blossom viewing or some other event, Betty will not leave the mansion. Just do it with you and the others, I suppose. Betty will not go to any…]
Subaru: [I won’t allow it. Leaving you pouting at the mansion and going to the party? I’d feel unpleasant and there’s no way I’d be able to enjoy the party. Have fun and be a sacrifice for our alcohol. No buts.]
Beatrice: [Wh─who gave you the right to say such a thing, in fact!?]
Subaru: [Ah-ah-ah, can’t hear you~]
Subaru shut his ears in front of Beatrice and ignored her opinion as she yelled. That behavior caused Beatrice’s face to get redder and redder, but Subaru still continued to speak to that girl with an angry heart.
Subaru: [Puck told me that you have some complicated circumstances and that you can’t leave the mansion. Thus, I took those conditions into consideration and polished the plan. Hence, the preparations are already done, and all that’s left is for me to kidnap you.]
Subaru: [Honestly, I understand your feelings. Whatever type of fun event it is, going out for it just before it happens is troubling enough to kill. However, the truth is, if you do try and go out, you will have fun in one way or another. I’ll give you the first forceful push.]
There was no response from Beatrice, who had a sullen face. However, this was precisely because she answered with a sigh of resignation and a loose posture. Subaru lets out a slight smile, taps her shoulder, and then brings her out of the Forbidden Library.
And just like that, the two stood up, left the mansion’s corridor, and finally reached――
Subaru: [Come in come in. We are the final participants.]
Beatrice: [Good grief, just what are you planning, I suppose…]
He pushes the back of the girl with an unenthusiastic face, Beatrice, and opens the door in front of them. And then Subaru lets out a smile of satisfaction at the doubtful girl, whose eyes were filled with astonishment as she glanced to the side.
Subaru: [And thus, today is the party for deepening the friendship of all the mansion’s members….the Roswaal mansion’s first “Stargazing” party!]
Subaru jumps in front of the startled girl, Beatrice, and makes a grand declaration with his hands spread out.
This was the Roswaal residence’s west wing’s top floor――the forgotten dance hall. In this dance hall that had been decorated, something that hadn’t been done for a long time, a wind blew from the open terrace, caused by the quick footed dancers enjoying themselves. Food was lined up at the corner of the spacious room, but the amount was moderate because of how many participants there were. Instead, they were completely absorbed with the quality and its appearance.
Emilia: [――Ah, it’s Subaru and the others. Beatrice is with him too!]
The arrival of Subaru and the others gets noticed by Emilia, who came to the hall beforehand, and then she raised her voice at them. Everyone else responds to that voice, and Rem rushed over to them.
Rem: [Good work, Subaru-kun. Leaving Beatrice-sama up to Subaru-kun was the best idea after all. As expected of the person in charge of the mansion’s Beatrice.]
Subaru: [Heh, I’m embarrassed. Well, this is the least I could do as the best Beako worker.]
Beatrice: [Betty doesn’t recall you being the person in charge of me, nor you being my worker, in fact! This is extreme disgrace, I suppose!]
Beatrice was angry at the two cheerful individuals, but Subaru and Rem calmly ignored her. Beatrice quivered angrily at that treatment, but a small silhouette gently swooped down upon her shoulder.
Beatrice suddenly became cheerful upon seeing the furball that appeared right beside her face.
Puck: [Welcome Betty. I thought that you’d perhaps lack the willpower to go and wouldn’t come…but as expected, Subaru knows what makes you tick.]
Beatrice: [N─no way that’s true, in fact! Nii-cha will always be Betty’s number one, I suppose. Yeah. Yeah, that’s it, in fact. That’s definitely true, I suppose.]
Puck: [Ahaha, I’m happy. That would be nice if it really was true.]
For some reason Beatrice’s cheeks stiffened just for a second in response to Puck’s reply. However, Subaru took no note of their exchanges and listened cautiously to Rem’s explanation of the hall.
Rem: [The cooking and the setting of the table were done by Emilia-sama and Nee-sama. Subaru-kun also helped with the pre-cooking, enough so that there was less labor than usual.]
Subaru: [Is that so? But didn’t things like the hall decorations increase the amount of work? I’m really sorry about that. I’ll definitely make up for it somehow next time.]
Rem: [Don’t worry about it. In exchange, tonight I’ll have you let me see your sleeping face for longer than usual.]
Subaru: [Hm…? Didn’t you just say something kinda odd? Sleeping face?]
Rem: [Nope, I didn’t say anything odd~]
He felt like he heard something that he could not ignore, but the matter was avoided due to Rem’s cute smile. For now, Subaru headed towards the terrace to lead the stargazing party while he tilted his head.
Emilia: [Subaru, good work. You brought Beatrice over too. Good job, good job.]
Subaru had went to greet Emilia. She patted his head while smiling at this terrace exposed to the nightwind. The feeling from the touch of her white fingertips caused Subaru to narrow his eyes awkwardly.
Subaru: [Well, kinda seems like you’ve been satisfied like this. Kinda feels like I want to make you aware of how I am a man, not a kid, and you’re a woman, through a certain request. That’s the kind of dilemma I’m having.]
Emilia: [――? I know that Subaru is a young man and that I am a woman.]
Subaru: [Umm, you see, I want to take away the unnecessary part of that label so….]
Ram, the person who stood next to the terrace standing with Roswaal, gave a sharp glare at Subaru, who was giving in to his ulterior motive. It seemed like she was telling him “Hurry up and start” with her look and her tone, so Subaru gave a bitter smile.
Rem: [Subaru-kun, here you go.]
Subaru: [Oh, thanks.]
Rem acted as a waiter and presented a silver tray as if the timing was planned. There were glasses of alcohol on it. He took one and looked around him.
Emilia, Rem, and Roswaal and the others――everyone had a glass in their hands. Beatrice was next to Puck and was also holding a glass of juice while pouting.
Subaru: [Ehhh, I thank you all for participating in today’s “Stargazing Party” at the Roswaal residence. After this, we will work together for one cause, and that is to deepen friendship with this party. Well then, first I’d like to talk about the benefit of the essential part of this party. I will talk about the three three essentials of life――]
Emilia: [Hey, hey, Subaru. By any chance, is that talk going to be reaaally long?]
Subaru: [No, I was going to make a joke saying, “Aren’t they your stomach, your wallet, and your store of patience with your mother?” but….]
Subaru once again had that sharp look shoot through him. He dejectedly hands over the floor to the one who hosted the program――in other words, the mansion’s representative, Roswaal.
Roswaal, who had been laughing at those interactions, raises his glass slightly and
Roswaal: [Even if I have a long greeting, it’ll just have dampen everyone’s enthusiaaasm. Thus, I have one thing to say――The people who have gathered here like this are comrades, no matter what circumstances. There may be various hardships in the future, but we will join forces and overcome them. And so, let’s have a toast for today’s divine protection of the stars.]
Everyone tilted their glasses and overlapped with their voices in response to Roswaal’s speech, which was so normal that it was a letdown.
The bumping of their glasses makes a light sound, and then the banquet calmly began under the starlight of the night.
Well, that was how the stargazing party began enjoyably and calmly.
It was called a banquet and a gathering, but it wasn’t specifically to celebrate something. If there had to be label for it, perhaps it would be called the celebration of the settlement of the witchbeasts incident, along with the celebration of the recovery of the casualties that resulted from it.
The abundance of food set up on the table was a result of having more than the usual amount of passion being put into making it. Of course, it wasn’t as if Rem’s usual cooking was missing anything crucial, but there was a special flavor in it tonight.
He looked up at the stars and enjoyed a little bit of alcohol while banqueting on those dishes.
He wasn’t able to make the plan of viewing cherry blossoms under the full bloom cherry trees into a reality, but they had a whole view of the sky of the crisp and cold night from the terrace. Throughout the whole sky, he saw stars that glowed, a sight that fared with cherry trees.
The air was refreshing and perfectly clear. The open sky had not a single cloud. He was enjoying the stars, and yet all the best conditions were lined up. It was the best situation for stargazing alcohol. Subaru, too, was enthusiastic about being able to show off his extensive knowledge of the stars in honor of his name “Subaru”.
Emilia: [Hmmm? Wats wrong, Subaru? You sheem kwinda….aha, that’s a reeaally weird face. Also, it’s unfair uf you to have that much. Subaru is planning on making everyone have all the candy to themselves~]
Subaru: [I feel hurt from you saying I have a weird face, and plus I am not having a lot! Ahhh, jeez. Emilia-tan, you can’t do that. Look, see how much you spilled…]
The girl who came snuggling up to him, Emilia, had a happy smile with an embarrassed face. The boy who calmed her down, Subaru, makes a displeased expression with his lips and once again empties the glass with one gulp. The amber liquid fades his cherry blossom lips, he starts to feel a little sick, and then lets out a sigh of hot breath.
Emilia: [Oomyoo….alcohol is goood. It’s unfair that this stuff has been kept a secret from me until now. Everyone kept this hidden from me. Sneaky….sneaky? Yeah, that was sneaky~ huhuhu]
Subaru: [Ahh, damn, this girl’s cute!]
Emilia sat down on the terrace’s floor and was pouring more alcohol into her glass. Looking at the amount of empty alcohol bottles that had already been lined up, you could say that Emilia had quite the drinking capacity.
She wasn’t drunk enough to pass out, though considering that, it was pretty quick for the situation to turn into what it currently was.
Subaru: [Speaking of what I imagined, this would be it. Speaking of what I impression I had, this would be it. However, on top of being weak to alcohol, Emilia-tan also has bad drinking habits, huh…]
Based on what he saw from socializing with Emilia up until now, Subaru had thought that Emilia probably would only be either extremely tolerant with alcohol, or extremely weak with alcohol. The result, as you see――he was still happy with her cute but rambunctious relationship with alcohol, not causing trouble with things like her beginning to take off her clothes, or her beginning to vomit.
Though it was very worrying, considering how she wouldn’t listen to him if he suggested that she stop drinking.
Subaru: [If I could I’d stop her. I want to put her to sleep, and I’d even sing a lullaby to do so, but…]
Emilia was leaning on him with her amorous cheeks that made him dizzy. He had a reason for not stopping the situation. It was simply because he couldn’t move.
This is because――
Subaru: [Yes, what is it, Rem-san?]
Subaru: [That hurts you know, Rem-san.]
Subaru sits with his legs crossed at the terrace. Rem had her head placed on his lap. She had an ordinary unemotional expression, but her face was red enough to make him worried.
Rem used Subaru’s lap as a pillow, but her movement was slow and she had few requests. She was now just biting on Subaru’s thigh as if it was an afterthought. She wasn’t showing signs of a bad drunk.
But, he had doubts about if he could call it a drinking habit. Rem sure was drunk, but unlike Emilia, she didn’t have a single sip of alcohol.
Subaru: [To think that you got this dead drunk just from the smell of alcohol and not from the air and the atmosphere…But if that’s the case, then what happened with the alcohol used in things like the cooking? There was even times where Ros-chi poured wine.]
She also served glasses of alcohol at the start of the stargazing party. In response to Subaru’s doubt, the girl on his lap, Rem, moved only her head and looked up at him.
Rem: [Pleasee don’t make funs of me, Subaru-kun. Subaru-kun. Subaru-kun.]
Subaru: [The usual calling me three times, huh. Umm, what is the meaning of this?]
Rem: [I feel shtrained because I’m alwaysh doing important work. But, todayy is a fun gathering, sho I feel a bit relaxed. Soo, it’s yoouuur fault, Subaru-kun.]
She smiled with her whole face. However, the way she spoke was suspicious, and on top of that, she had inconsistent reasoning.
Moreover, at the middle of the conversation, she put her arms around Subaru’s back and was pushing her head against his stomach. It was a violent way of spoiling herself, but this girl was a complete drunk. While being surprised from this side of her, Subaru casually patted Rem’s head, and she purred in delight.
Subaru: [What are you, a cat!? You are an oni….or rather, with my knowledge I imagined onis to be tolerant of alcohol. But perhaps the history about that is inaccurate when it’s a different world.]
Ram: [Ram doesn’t know what you are comparing onis too, but it’s true that the oni clan is a race that is tolerant of alcohol. Ever since Ram was little, I also drank at the adult’s banquets.]
Once Subaru cocked his head in puzzlement at oni drinking capabilities, he heard Ram from behind responding to his doubt.
Subaru: [You really just admitted to underage drinking as if it was nothing, huh. I’m not trying to meddle with the Oni rules….but the expression you have and the way you’re speaking make me suspicious.]
Ram: [Of course. We train differently.]
When Subaru turned around, he saw Ram sitting on a chair elegantly tilting a glass. She was wearing maid garments, and yet she conducted herself with overflowing elegance as a female noble would show. This is what her constant behavior of unbreakable confidence and her constant remarkable dignity reminded him of.
That girl who acted like a female noble, Ram, glared at Rem holding onto Subaru with her arms and
Ram: [Rem seems to be enjoying the drinking party. How lovely.]
Subaru: [This is enjoyment…it looks like she’s extremely enjoying herself, but Rem being like this really is just the atmosphere. She hasn’t had a sip of alcohol, and yet this is how she is. Was Rem like this at the oni village banquets?]
Ram: [….Rem and I had complicated situations. Moreover, Ram didn’t want to get Rem involved in adult only gatherings.]
Ram responding while looking down caused Subaru to hesitate from asking more. He just heard about the sisters’ horns the other day. Asking about their hometown was taboo.
When he completely forgot about it and brought up the topic, he wanted to believe that his judgement was becoming cloudy because of the alcohol.
――He found it really hard to understand the situation around him, but in truth, Subaru also was drinking a lot of alcohol.
It would be nice if he got intoxicated and started to have a new side of himself, like Emilia and Rem, to be charmful, but sadly, Subaru was tolerant with alcohol.
He was not drunk and could still interpret his situations. He was quite amazed with his own genetics.
Subaru: [The flavor of alcohol wasn’t bad. ….That’s what I’ve learned, and I guess the fact that girls shouldn’t drink alcohol carelessly.]
Ram: [That, too, might be pushing it too far.]
He was shocked because of all the countless empty alcohol bottles that were around Ram, who said those words and tilted a alcohol cup. Things like her attitude, genetics, talent, and other random things all depicted her manner as an oni.
Subaru: [Ram is a heavy drinker, just like I thought. Which means that the others….Puck, wow.]
He turned his head towards the hall, saw Puck on the table, and then opened his eyes wide.
Puck boasted himself and had said “I won’t let Lia drink alcohol”, but it seemed that he completely forgot about that spirit and was immersed in a bowl of alcohol, enjoying his bath of alcohol.
At the front, he saw Roswaal give a alcohol cup to the person he was talking with; it was a spirit and the court magician being surprisingly friendly with each other. And then――,
Subaru: [Ah, I see. Beako, that rascal.]
Subaru searches around for a little silhouette, and looks at the girl beside the terrace. Beatrice sat on the railing of the empty terrace, her Drilled hair swaying along with the wind.
He saw her poignant expression, which was an expression indicative of loneliness, making Subaru let out a sigh.
Subaru: [Well, guess I’ll go mess with her for a bit. Emilia-tan, I’m sorry, but look after Rem.]
Emilia: [Hmmm? Ya, got it. Here here, Rem, come here~. Mmhuhu, Reaaally cute.]
He politely unwraps arms of the still eyed girl that she had around his back, Rem, and left her to Emilia. Emilia takes the unmoving girl, and hugs her happily as a reward. The two cute girls rubbed their cheeks against each other while Emilia gently rubbed Rem’s blue hair.
Subaru: […I want to take a picture of this.]
Ram: [Ram will burn it into memory.]
Ram let out a vigorous nod at Subaru, who didn’t want to let the situation pass by him. He left the rest up to Ram’s memory and headed towards the terrace, where Beatrice stood still.
She was certainly gazing at the starry sky. He leans against the railing next to her and smiles.
Subaru: [Don’t let it end with the two of us. You wouldn’t be able to bear being seen as a loner, don’t you think?]
Beatrice: [That would be an unreasonable insult, I suppose. Also, mind your own business, in fact. …You are the one who Betty to not drink alcohol in the first place, I suppose. What is Betty supposed to do, in fact?]
Subaru: [Becauuse, I did invite you, but when I imagine a girl like you drinking alcohol, then I couldn’t allow it. It’s painful imagining a girl that had the taste of alcohol slip into her memory drink in the Forbidden Library by herself. I don’t want to think about it.]
The purpose of this party was to have fun. There was no reason to make this girl commit crime. Or rather, this certainly was something Puck should have put an end to.
Subaru: [And yet, that cat is drinking heartily in an alcoholic bath. What kind of hedonist is this guy?]
Beatrice: [I won’t let you insult Nii-cha, I suppose. Moreover, Nii-cha’s behavior shows just how much he trusts Betty, in fact. So it’s not like I feel lone….]
Subaru: [Ah! Emilia-tan and Rem are closer than they were earlier. Wait…!]
Beatrice: [It is beyond rude for you to come this far and do things like talk with Betty inattentively, I suppose!]
Subaru: [Ahh! No, you’ve got it wrong! Emilia-tan and Rem were getting into this thing over there and I was feeling these good manlike feelings. It’s not like my heart’s been stolen, but I need a camera….!]
Beatrice: [You are not convincing nor consistent, in fact!]
On the other side of the terrace, Emilia was patting Rem’s body, while Rem purred with Emilia embracing her. On top of the situation being lovely, they were also being gay.
Subaru: [I’m so sad that I’m not over there…!]
Beatrice: [It’s fine, I suppose. Roswaal has taken Nii-cha away from me. It would be suiting for Betty to shiver in the nightwind all alone, in fact.]
Subaru: [My bad, my baddd. The host will get hurt if a pouting guest pierces through him like that with words. Jeez, guess I’ve got no choice.]
Subaru laughs at the girl who insulted him as unfaithful, and he jumps off the railing just like Beatrice did. However, just before he settled on the ground, he felt giddy from the alcohol and was about to fall.
Subaru: [Ohwa!? Sh─shit! I thought I was gonna become smashed tomato!]
Beatrice: [Can you not laugh at a talent like risking your life like that, I suppose? Even if you were to die like a smashed insect, it wouldn’t be that amusing, in fact.]
Subaru: [Don’t take responsibility for hospitality when I’m at the risk of life! That was really dangerous, huh.]
Subaru wipes off his cold sweat, and sat down next to the shocked girl, Beatrice. She wasn’t welcoming him, but she wasn’t running away either. This meant that Beatrice was okay with him sitting next to her.
Subaru: [Alright, then I will have a lovely talk with you, seeing how you’re lounging around. I actually wanted to use the starry sky as a way to talk about romantic topics and get lively with Emilia-tan, but the alcohol had an unparalleled amount of effect on her, so the plan has been setback.]
Beatrice: [Sounds like nothing but a schemer that has had his plans foiled, I suppose.]
Subaru: [Yes, that’s true. I know that’s true! But forget about that for now. And so, about the stars back at my hometown…over there, each of the stars have many anecdotes to go with their names.]
Subaru had these talks about stars, which people would certainly listen to, and it managed to make Beatrice interested and brought a smile to her face. Subaru holds his breath as she looks up at the stars throughout the sky while she showed enthusiasm like that.
When Subaru looked up at the starry sky, he was confused for a second, although this was something that happened every time.
――At any rate, the stars high up in the sky looked different from the heavenly bodies that Subaru knew well.
There was the Polaris star that stood out, shining brightly, and there was the Big Dipper that lined up near it. He did not know where the seasonal, awaited Summer triangle was. Neither did he know where the Winter Triangle, the Orion constellation, and the Cassiopeia constellation were either.
Ironically, he’d quickly know the answer if he looked up at the night sky. He’d understand that the stars in this world were in completely different locations compared to the stars in his world, based off their arrangement.
Beatrice: [….Looks like you forgot about them, in fact. If you have nothing to say, then I’m gonna go over there, I suppose.]
Subaru: [I didn’t forget about them. I was just puzzled because there are so many….first, look. The excessively glowing star over there is Polaris. Basically, if you get lost, rely on that star. That way is generally north.]
Beatrice: [Over there is the south, the exact opposite, in fact.]
Subaru: [Okay, then they’re the southern polar stars.]
Beatrice: [What do you mean “Okay then”, I suppose!? It sounds like you’re just improvising whatever’s suitable, in fact!]
In truth, Subaru really was saying whatever was suitable. However, he hid that fact behind a bold smile and continued talking. If he pulled out here at a scene like this, he would be defeated, though he didn’t know what the match was, probably due to the alcohol.
In response to Beatrice’s doubtful look, Subaru points at the southern polar stars and
Subaru: [Look for other stars using those southern polar stars as a starting point. Look a bit lower, do you see how the five stars line up to form an “M“? That is the Cassiopeia constellation.]
Beatrice: [I don’t know what an “Em” is, and it doesn’t look like anything, in fact.]
Subaru: [Don’t see it, feel it. Ah, if you don’t know what an M is, you can think of it is an anchor instead. The story behind Cassiopeia…well you see it’s a story about a prideful, loveable mother named Cassiopeia who displeased the people around her because of how she boasted about her daughter Andromeda too much. Something like that.]
Beatrice: [….The stories behind the stars sure do stink of humans, I suppose.]
Beatrice is amazed by Subaru’s stories. He relaxes his cheeks at that impression, which she let out with a sigh.
Subaru: [Riiightt? Back at my home town, people treat the stars like gods, but so many of those “gods” are only troublemakers. So they’re quite human! And that is what’s interesting about them.]
Beatrice: [Calling them gods is exaggeration, in fact. You sure did explain complex existences in a pretty egotistical way, I suppose.]
Subaru: [When you think of supernatural existences, you think they’re awesome. But, when you see a similar existence, a spirit, submerge himself in a alcohol bath without a care in the world, then that’s not convincing at all.]
Ahead of him, Subaru saw Roswaal pouring new alcohol into the empty alcohol bath that Puck was in.
Beatrice was also looking at the scene. While making an expected serious face, she said
Beatrice: [Nii-cha is a Great spirit that is unusual in every way, in fact. So uh, stop using Nii-cha’s composure as a standard for spirits, I suppose. Nii-cha is just super special, in fact.]
Subaru: [Thank you for managing a difficult followup. So, about the other stars….that’s right, okay! Let’s look for the one and only “Subaru”!]
In response to Subaru snapping his fingers and his teeth glistening, Beatrice perceived him as a pitiful thing, causing Subaru to hurriedly shake his head at her behavior.
Subaru: [Wait wait wait, don’t pity me! It’s different. Subaru is my name, but I am named after a star. “Subaru” is a star cluster that has many stars gathered together. So I’m suggesting that we should look for that.]
Beatrice: [Your parents have done a cruel thing to you, naming you after a twinkling star in the night sky like that, I suppose.]
Subaru: [Don’t look down upon it by implying it failed to live up to its name!]
He actually did care about it. It seemed like he was going to come in conflict with that complex, so Subaru pointed his finger at the sky while covering it up with a frivolous attitude.
Subaru: [You might not be interested, but stay with me for a little bit more. I thought I’d spout some drunk nonsense, so.]
Beatrice: [….Betty didn’t go as far as to say I wasn’t interested, in fact.]
Beatrice whispered those words quietly to Subaru, who was in high spirits. When he opened his eyes wide at that unexpected word, the little girl looked away slightly. Her cheeks were slightly red.
Subaru: [What is this what is this? You are a dishonest loli! It can’t be helped. It just can’t be helped! Alright, then I guess I’ll continue the super fun talk about the starry sky!]
Beatrice: [You are loud, I suppose. irritating, in fact.]
Subaru: [Yeah yeah, cute cute!]
Subaru’s attitude improved completely because of Beatrice’s attitude and started to talk a lot with a good mood. He looks up at the unfamiliar starry sky, and started to talk about an abundance of misdirected stories without stopping.
He kind of felt like the ease of his head was joining together with the ease of his heart.
Roswaal: [Oooh, had enough with your rendezvous with Subaru-kun?]
Roswaal says this, shakes his glass, and smiles at the girl who came back from the terrace, Beatrice. In response to the clown’s words, Beatrice gives a displeased looking frown.
Beatrice: [Keep your jokes to yourself, I suppose. Do you honestly think Betty is going to have a good time with that thing? That’s not funny, in fact.]
Roswaal: [Jeez you are not honest with youuurself. That part of you doesn’t chaaange.]
Beatrice: [That’s a given, I suppose. Of all of us, Nii-cha is the only one with more experience, in fact. Moreover….]
Beatrice glances at Ram, who sat facing Roswaal. Roswaal guesses the meaning of that look. When he gave an acknowledging gesture with his chin, Ram silently left her seat.
Ram drinks the glass of alcohol in her hand dry, bows, and then headed towards the terrace. Subaru, Emilia, and Ram were sound asleep, lying down peacefully.
Ram covers each of them with prepared blankets one at a time. She did it politely with Emilia, affectionately with Rem, and then with Subaru, she did in it a way so that his face was concealed.
Roswaal: [Girls not used to drinking are cute. Subaru-kun did appear to be fine, but it seems like he surprisingly hit his limmmit.]
Beatrice: [He collapsed as if he couldn’t take it anymore, I suppose. The way he walked and the way he talked were suspicious from the start….he’s always crazy, so it wasn’t hard to notice it, in fact.]
Roswaal: [In comparison, you supported him as if you understood how he became unable to move from his drunkenness. Did you see a difference between that and the usual Subaru-kun?….I wonder.]
Roswaal: [I’d like you to stop making that scary look with your eyes, since it’s just a mere joooke.]
Beatrice lets out a long, tired sigh at Roswaal, whose intention was to tease implicatively. This heavy, frail sigh was as long as the amount of time they’ve known each other.
Roswaal shrugs his shoulders in resignation at that gesture she made, which didn’t suit her childish appearance.
Roswaal: [Did you not enjoy this eeevening?]
Beatrice: [Did you think otherwise, I suppose? Boisterous partying like this….as someone who hates peace being disturbed, this is something this irritates Betty the most, in fact.]
Roswaal: [You sure about that? When I consider how you’ve been lately, I can’t honestly nod my head at that. You were just submitting to the silence of peace. The real you is…]
The sharp look and the sharp voice she gave Roswaal made him stop speaking in the middle of his sentence. Just then, an awkward atmosphere came floating in. However, that――
The third person that was left at that place, Puck, tilts his head in doubt while being in a bowl of alcohol.
Puck: [Betty, you didn’t really like this party?]
Beatrice: […That that’s not really true, I suppose. Just seeing Nii-cha enjoying himself is enough happiness for Betty, in fact. However, today Nii-cha reeks of liquor, so I won’t hug you, I suppose.]
Puck splashes inside of the bowl of alcohol and then sinks. He drinks all of the alcohol in the bowl in one gulp and drives away the smell of liquor from the body as he jumps out.
Puck: [How do I smell?]
Beatrice: [You still reek of liquor, in fact.]
Puck: [Then how about this?]
In response to Beatrice’s judgement, Puck’s body illuminates while he shakes his whiskers. The cat’s body reconstructs after that flicker of light, and then all of the effects from before were gone.
Roswaal: [Being able to go on without having a hangover, what a convenient natuuure.]
Puck: [In exchange, the alcohol I drank and the food I ate are gone, though. Looking it that way, the bodies of spirits aren’t very amusing.]
Puck winks at Roswaal’s straightforward impression and then climbs onto Beatrice’s shoulder. Puck brings himself close to her cheeks, his liquor smell being gone, and then Beatrice glares at Roswaal.
Roswaal: [Oh, that’s an angry face. What the heck happennned?]
Beatrice: [I just want to hear your real intention, I suppose. What was the point of all of this tonight, in fact?]
Roswaal: [It’s just like what I said before the toooast. Everyone here needs to work together for the problems in the future. ――For the alcohol of my dearest wish, these are the members. That’s what I’ve decided.]
Roswaal: [You should prepare yourself too. The time for fulfilling that long long contract is near. At the very least, I am prepared fooor it.]
Roswaal talks in a serious tone and heads towards the terrace with a glass in his hand. Roswaal had the sleeping boy and the others projected into his eyes beyond the world of blue amber.
Beatrice, knowing his dearest wish, did not affirm his decision, nor was she negative towards it. And then the reason Beatrice abandoned choosing one is because she had chosen to take up a vast amount of time.
Roswaal: [….No matter what happens, I am wishing for your success of the purpose of your existence. That is one of my few motives, as a person who only forms lies.]
Beatrice: [This is some boring sentimentality, I suppose. Are you saying that I should have sympathy for you, in fact?]
Roswaal: [Empathy. After all, You and I are unique accomplices in this world.]
Roswaal says those words and put up a fresh glass onto the table. The glass was filled with amber alcohol. The clown pushes the glass in front of the girl.
Beatrice: [What is this?]
Roswaal: [It’s yours. It would be cruel if you ended up not being able to drink a single drop of alcohol after you were invited to this banquet. Plus, the children who disagreed with you drinking seem to be sound asleep.]
Roswaal closes one of his eyes with an evil smile and offered the alcohol to Beatrice. Beatrice responds to those words by reaching for the glass. However, just before that, the wind blew.
The breeze that flew in from the terrace and filled the stillness of the night caused Beatrice to remember a conversation from before.
And then, she pushes the glass back and rejected the offer of alcohol.
Beatrice: [Betty will pass, I suppose.]
Roswaal: [Is this you being faithful to Subaru-kun? Once again, That is also surprisingly….]
Beatrice: [Don’t misunderstand, in fact. The reason why Betty won’t drink isn’t because I listened to what that boy said, I suppose…. It’s because mother told said not to a long time ago, in fact.]
Roswaal kept his silence as a response to Beatrice’s reply. Seeing how it had an instant effect on him, Beatrice pet Puck’s back with a face indicating that she was done with the matter.
She did have a night like this before. ――Under the night sky, Beatrice’s mother did not make a pleasant face at Beatrice tasting alcohol. She felt like there were also other voices that told her to stop.
Thus, the person that continued to stagnate in the Forbidden Library could not violate the words her mother said that day.
Beatrice: [That’s all there is to it, in fact. ――What he said has nothing to do with Betty, I suppose.]
Beatrice says this explanation and never tasted the alcohol.
The night of the banquet is nearly over.
The night of the banquet where the host learned about the taste of alcohol and the troubles with it, and where the girls’ drinking habits became completely exposed, slowly advances.
Only the starry sky looked down on that peaceful time in silence.
※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※
 Rem pronounces this phonetically あこぎ “akogi”
 猫ふんじゃった Neko funjatta (I Stepped on the Cat), is a simple piece of music also known as Flohwalzer or Flea Waltz.
 Both OK and NG are in the text as they appear written.
 Bit of a localization the line is 犬猿の仲 To wa ken’en no naka, It means A relationship between a dog and a monkey. The idiom is like cats and dogs in the west but in Japan it is dogs and monkeys.
 Emilia replies phonetically with おーけー “Ōkē”
 Shooting the Pheasant is a Japanese phrase for men in the woods to use the bathroom the female equivalent is to go pick flowers
 Although this is in Japanese, the word used 外野 “Gaiya” it is completely modern and directly refers to sports.
 In order to make the bit work the word is kept in Romaji (even though Ram used it before) it means death scream/cry or Lit. Demons end.
Subaru uses 梅雨 the word for the Japanese rainy season from early june to mid July.
 Some of the characters use 幽霊 and others use ユーレイ they are both said the same “Yūrei” this has been noted in the text with 幽霊 being capitalized as “Ghost/s” and ユーレイ being uncapitalized.
 Word pun: Emilia uses the word レンコン 蓮根 renkon, the word that she means to say is レイコン 霊魂 reikon meaning a supernatural spirit.
 The name Kokkuri-san is based on the onomatopoeia for nodding up and down and written based on the words Fox “Kitsune”, Dog “Inu”, and Tanuki, much like Ouija in the west it is used to contact spirits for more info see: here
 Torii are the traditional gates found at the entrance or within Shinto shrines.
 Although in Japanese the word is a modern term for the chemical.
 In japanese the game of tag is called 鬼ごっこ Onigokko, literally demon/orge game.
 Ino Tadataka was a Japanese surveyor and cartogarpher that is know for creating the first map of Japan using modern surveying techniques.
 Downtown no Gaki no Tsukai ya Arahende reference, one of the hosts Masatoshi Hamada will open many of the skits with this exact phrasing.
 The star cluster Pleiades also know as The Seven Sisters is named Subaru in Japanese 昴.
 The original text uses 百合 yuri, a genre of comics and novels normally containing homosexual females.