Arc 8, Chapter 18 – “Reunions Are But a Moment”

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Her long pink hair fluttering, a young girl clad in black floated in the air.

The young girl of slightly elongated ears narrowed her slim eyes, that outward appearance serving as proof of her elven descent, a race loathed in this world.

However, those external features were, strictly speaking, a misperception.

The reason being that, upon pursuing the history of the young girl, the most peculiar fact about her would not be the elven part, but rather the way in which she had been born.

Using the elf, Ryuzu Meyer, as a model, a certain technique established in the Sanctuary had been used to produce replicants―― Constructed using mechanisms similar to the Artificial Spirits, each one was a brand new life.

Among the many such replicants produced, there was one evaluated as being the greatest failure.

That had betrayed the intentions of the Witch who had devised the technique and utilized the mechanisms, resulting in a large number of victims, and it was engraved into the history of the Kingdom as a major catastrophe.

――The artificial monster created as a result of Echidna, the Witch of Greed, failing to replicate her own existence; that was Sphinx.

Roswaal: [――――]

At the sight of the “enemy” floating in the night sky above him, Roswaal gasped.

The unexpected encounter with an enemy that should not exist brought no small shock to his psyche. ――No, let it be recognized without any pretenses.

It had been an utterly crushing blow, quite capable of causing Roswaal’s heart to fissure.

This was a reunion that should not have been possible.

Regarding the monster overhead, the one who was most cognizant of its existence was Roswaal. Indeed, he had actually faced Sphinx when she was wreaking havoc in the Demi-Human War.

Back then, the monster’s life should have been crushed by the fist of that generation’s Roswaal.

And yet――,

Sphinx: [Absence of four limbs, negative. Regarding memory, intact up to just prior. My form is… anchored in an unintended state. Self-awareness is troublesome, is it not? Countermeasures: Required.]

While stretching out her arms in mid-air, Sphinx muttered in a quiet voice.

Her golden irises and pale skin drained of color were unmistakably those of the undead, but she also possessed a stronger sense of self than any of the undead that Roswaal and the others had encountered thus far.

The presence of memories and sense of self from their lifetime; deciphering the degree to which that element varied between undead individuals was the reason why Roswaal and the others had come here―― But it was a mistake.

A mistake that spanned around forty years, at that.

Sphinx’s survival was a major blow to Roswaal, but what he lamented even more, was that Beatrice and Garfiel were also present here.

He should never have allowed them to meet.

Regardless of Sphinx’s true identity, for the “enemy” to have that appearance, an appearance which both Beatrice and Garfiel had emotional attachments to; he should have never, never allowed them to meet.

Hiding that regret behind a blink of his eyes, Roswaal clad his heart in armor, and without taking his gaze off Sphinx――,

Roswaal: [――Garfiel, you must not rush ahead.]

Garfiel: [――Beatrice, get behind me.]

Beatrice: [――Roswaal, calm down, in fact.]

All three simultaneously raised their voices towards another, and a moment of silence ensued.

If each of them had called out to the one they thought would be the most emotional, then all of them must have dealt with the initial shock and were now thinking ahead.

The exploration of the perceptions from Beatrice and Garfiel were postponed.

Mizelda: [Not only can it speak, it has a different air about it. That undead is special, right?]

Unlike Roswaal and the others, Mizelda, who had no reason to stiffen, narrowed her eyes.

Drawing back his chin at her words, before Beatrice or Garfiel could hurl some words at Sphinx, Roswaal opened his mouth.

Roswaal: [I find it hard to believe, but have you been surviving as an undead ever since the Demi-Human War?]

Sphinx: [I sense a slight discrepancy in that phrasing. If the term “undead” is adequate, would the term “surviving” not be unsuitable?]

Roswaal: [I see. You have no intention of answering the question. ――As always, you tend to get on people’s nerves.]

Sphinx: [The form of your question was improper; I merely pointed it out.]

It was a reply that was nothing short of vexing, and yet, Sphinx’s expression showed no change.

From the very beginning, the girl was a monster without any semblance of emotion, so by becoming one of the undead, she had also lost what could be called the warmth of a heart. To be precise, it could be described as the coldness of a lifeless body.

But, the moment she took on that undead body, the sense of unease that Roswaal felt was unbearable.

This was employing the same mechanisms as the technique of producing replicants devised by the Witch of Greed, Echidna, as well as the Artificial Spirits, whose bodies were constructed using mana.

There were also the improvements that had been made to the Sacrament of the Immortal King, which he and Beatrice had hastily deciphered earlier.

Clearly, this monster had become an existence more dangerous than ever before.

Garfiel: [Bastard, what the hell are ya even, oi?]

Perhaps frustrated upon seeing the lack of progress in Roswaal’s exchange, Garfiel interjected.

The boy, his sharp canines clattering, and emerald-green eyes brimming with indignation,

Garfiel: [I know there’s others who look ‘n speak like Nanna. But ya see, I know everyone who’s got Nanna’s face by name, ‘n exactly where they’re at.]

Sphinx: [――――]

Garfiel: [So what the fuck are ya?]

Garfiel was talking about Ryuzu, the grandmother he loved dearly, and the replicants, who had the same manner of birth as her but lacked a sense of self due to not being assigned a role.

Even those replicants had been given names, and the Ryuzus who lived independently were now in charge of their education, hoping that one day they could be entrusted with carrying out duties for the Camp.

Anyhow, it seemed that through Garfiel’s intuition, he had discerned that Sphinx was not one of those, but rather, another that had been born in the same manner.

To Garfiel, she was no different from a blasphemous existence that tarnished his family. In response to the question from the fervent boy, Sphinx silently lowered her eyes, and,

Sphinx: [Since a short time ago, it seems the atmospheric mana has been disturbed by you two.]

Garfiel: [――Tch!]

She had completely ignored Garfiel’s presence.

As if the question had never even been asked, Sphinx’s gaze turned to Roswaal and Beatrice. At that fact, Garfiel’s throat clenched, and the intensity of the anger in his eyes grew.

Understanding Garfiel’s anger, Roswaal closed one eye. With only his yellow eye, he glared at Sphinx, torn between cursing at her and provoking her.

Beatrice: [There is a vague idea as to who you might be, I suppose.]

Roswaal: [Beatrice.]

Beatrice: [Be quiet, in fact, Roswaal. That thing came out while Betty was secluding herself in the Forbidden Library, so your silence about the matter will be overlooked for now, I suppose. But――]

Having been beaten to the punch by Beatrice as he was still choosing his words, Roswaal sighed.

She seemed to have discovered the reason why Roswaal had not disclosed the existence of Sphinx. Given that, Roswaal’s ineptitude would surely catch up with him later.

However, right now――,

Beatrice: [This time, you will not be able to get away, in fact.]

Raising her hand, Beatrice fixed her gaze on Sphinx with her round eyes. Meeting the strong determination in Beatrice’s eyes head-on, Sphinx nodded.

The monster, directing her hand towards Beatrice,

Sphinx: [I, too, have recognized the threat. Elimination: Required.]

With that, in the moment where words that should never have been spoken were voiced, the emotion in both Beatrice’s and Sphinx’s eyes slightly intensified――,

Roswaal: [――Please die.]

Faster than anyone, the inferno of the magic unleashed by Roswaal signaled the commencement of the battle.

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Stopping in the corridor of the coupled dragon carriage, Subaru glanced out the window with a sudden uneasiness.

The dim night sky stretched across the Empire’s plains, and praying for the safety of the little girl who had been sent there yonder, he placed his hand over his chest, and felt the faint beating of his heart.

Emilia: [Subaru, are you alright?]

And, noticing that state of Subaru’s, Emilia called out to him from beside.

Emilia narrowed her beautiful amethyst eyes as she gazed at him, and Subaru raised his hands saying, “Yeah, I’m okay”.

The discussions between the Emilia Camp, the leaders of the Vollachian Empire, and the Kararagi emissaries had come to a close, and experts were now exchanging ideas within numerical areas, such as calculating military potential and securing logistics.

He could be useful if a strategic breakthrough was required, but when it came to the pragmatic management of such a large number of people, Subaru could not help but feel that he lacked in ability.

Subaru: [Even in the Pleiades Battalion, that was left to Gustav-san and Idra…]

Emilia: [Yeah, I also know how Subaru feels. Honestly, I would like to be useful in these kinds of discussions… But I’d only be holding Otto-kun back.]

Subaru: [Rather, there’s gotta be something wrong with Ram and Otto who’ll stay back there and participate in such an intense discussion. Nee-sama aside, I think that guy’s lost the ability to feel fear.]

Emilia: [Geez, no matter how you put it, you’re exaggerating. Otto-kun is working reaaally hard for us.]

Emilia puffed up her cheeks at Subaru’s evaluation of the Camp’s all too-reliable internal affairs officer.

In this calm setting, as he faced Emilia, the joy of having been able to reunite with her, and the fact that she was still just as perfect for him as always, made his heart restless.

Seeing her every morning made his heart flutter, but after such a long time, the impact was tremendous.

Subaru: [How I wish I could fill my heart with praise for Emilia-tan’s adorableness today, but…]

Emilia: [Beatrice and Roswaal, you’re worried about them, right?]

Subaru: [Beako might be working herself too hard for my sake.]

When she correctly guessed why he had looked out the window into the sky beyond, Subaru gave a wry smile.

Though he had said it jokingly, it was no surprise that he had been greatly concerned. In reality, Beatrice had indeed departed with heavy breathing for Subaru’s sake.

Cooperation with Roswaal, with whom she had complicated feelings, was another of his worries.

Beatrice and Roswaal, who had been brought up in the conversation, had left the coupled dragon carriage and converged with a group performing a tactical delay on the enemy forces, and were conducting inspection of them.

That inspection was, precisely speaking, to ascertain the characteristics of the undead.

Subaru: [As a matter of fact, they’ll see if the zombies are being resurrected using the Sacrament of the Immortal King that we’ve heard so much about, or if it’s actually using magic…?]

Emilia: [Vollachia seems to have fewer magic users than Lugunica, so I’m sure there are things that only the well-versed Beatrice and Roswaal would notice. If they can explain what they find to Abel and his group, I think it’ll help.]

Upon having said that, Emilia tilted her head slightly,

Emilia: [Honestly, I wish I could have been helpful too… But, I’m not really knowledgeable in magic. I always just use it while going “Hiyaah!” after all…]

Subaru: [That’s because Emilia-tan is more of an intuitive person, you know. Your needs are different from those of the bookworm Beako or the otaku-type Roswaal. There are scenes where you really shine, so it’ll be alright. In fact, in my eyes, you’re always shining like the evening star!]

Emilia: [Sorry, I’ve got no idea what you’re talking about.]

He had tried to encourage Emilia, who was frustrated at not being able to help Beatrice and Roswaal, but his words came up short.

Nevertheless, it was fortuitous that Emilia and he were able to share their concerns in this way and not burden themselves with them.

To begin with, Beatrice and Roswaal were not the only ones Subaru was concerned about. He was worried about Garfiel, as well as everyone else from the Pleiades Battalion, who were all fighting in the same place.

Among the members of the battalion, only Tanza had remained on the coupled dragon carriages, while the rest of the members had temporarily disembarked and arranged to join the tactical delay force.

The members of the battalion were his comrades, who up until now, had all become one to overcome fierce battles.

Including Cecilus, who for some reason had still not converged with them no matter how much time had passed; Subaru trusted all of them.

Subaru: [But even so, worrying is worrying~! Please, everyone, don’t be too reckless or get too carried away…]

And so Subaru put his hands together in prayer.

???: [――Subaru, Emilia-sama, so this is where you were.]

Emilia: [Ah, Julius.]

The door that separated the aisle was opened, and Emilia raised her eyebrows at the handsome man who appeared from the other side of the door. Just as she had called, there appeared Julius, wearing a Knight’s sword over his traditional Japanese outfit.

After doing a small bow, he went right up to Subaru and Emilia, who were standing along the corridor, and then relaxed his lips, which had been somewhat stiff just a few moments prior,

Julius: [Back there, I was unable to exchange many words with you.]

Subaru: [Uh… yeah. I caused you, Anastasia-san, and Echidna all to worry. Really, thank you for coming all the way out here to find me.]

Julius: [――. How surprising.]

As soon as Subaru sincerely expressed gratitude to Julius and Anastasia for their efforts, Julius raised his eyebrows slightly in earnest, and,

Julius: [To think that you would so honestly express your gratitude. Perhaps it is because you are younger in age, and your stubbornness has been lessened in a way that is appropriate to your appearance?]

Subaru: [Shut it! There might be harm in that, but I’d at least say thank you even if I hadn’t shrunk! Just where do you think we even are? It’s hell!]

Emilia: [It’s Vollachia, not hell, right? Putting it like that is inconsiderate towards Abel and the others from the Empire.]

Subaru: [Oh, really? The majority of why I feel like this country is hell is because of the way that guy does things, so don’t I have the right to offend him?]

Of course, he thought that Abel had his own perspective, and it was not difficult to imagine that he went through trial and error trying to manage the Empire effectively in his own way. But, since the result of that was the agony that Subaru had experienced, he should have the right to say at least this much.

Emilia seemed at a loss as to what to say to Subaru’s complaints, and she must have felt, in no small part, that she could not deny what Subaru had to say.

Julius, on the other hand, while stroking the scar around his eye with his finger in response to Subaru’s scathing remarks,

Julius: […I thought this during the meeting earlier, but Subaru, what is your relationship with His Excellency the Emperor Vincent? Your language just now, it was far too excessive.]

Subaru: [If you say that was disrespectful, you’d faint if you found out what I did to that guy. I’ll say this now, but I’m not acting out because I have special privileges as a kid. In fact, the reason I’m like this is because that guy wasn’t able to keep the reins on that old man.]

Julius: [I am too fearful to even imagine. Emilia-sama, have you any details about what happened?]

Emilia: [Yeah. You’re talking about how Subaru and Abel are reaaally a lot closer than expected, right? At first I was worried if the two of them would get along… but honestly, Subaru makes friends very quickly.]

Subaru: [Friends, hmmm…]

With regret for Emilia, who boasted as if it were her own accomplishment, Subaru was subtly pondering where to place Abel’s presence among his relationships.

At the very least, despite the fact that they had beat each other up while spilling their hearts, it was not as if they were a couple of delinquents who fought each other in a riverbed and immediately warmed up to each other.

Julius: [――. Subaru, have you decided on whether you think of me as your friend?]

Subaru: [Huh? Well, that’s, um, I guess so? I used to think it was questionable, but for the time being, we crossed the Sand Sea together, so we’re good, I think? I think we’re good.]

Julius: [I see, that is a relief. This is the second-best thing to hear after the report that you, Emilia-sama, and the others were all safe.]

With an exaggerated joke, Julius’s doubts were resolved for the time being.

However, that was only the start of things considering Subaru’s current situation, which at a glance was obvious to anyone. Subaru’s biggest problem had not yet been solved.

Julius: [Subaru, about your body…]

Subaru: [The old shinobi did it to me. You should also give it a try. I’d like to see it.]

Julius: [I will refrain. I do not really want to face my younger self. Rather, someone like Anastasia-sama or Emilia-sama would have been quite adorable when they were children.]

Subaru: [Emilia-tan’s younger self! Oh yeah! Why didn’t I think of that!]

Emila: [Me? Hmmm, I don’t know. I saw my younger self in the Sanctuary, and I think the current Subaru and Beatrice are cuter.]

Emilia, who did not rate herself highly, would say as much, but there was no way that could be true.

Since the grown-up Emilia was this beautiful, she must have been a beautiful little girl even when she was young. That was, she might have been evenly matched with Beatrice――.

Julius: [Nevertheless, hearing you speak like that, I am relieved. It seems the path to returning you to normal has already been set.]

With Julius’s words, Emilia also nodded, saying “That’s right”.

Being taller than Subaru, she placed her hand on his shoulder from behind and,

Emilia: [The old man who made Subaru tiny also seems to be one of Abel’s allies. Right now he’s out there fighting the “zombees“, so when he comes back, we’ll have to ask him to return Subaru back to normal. And then…]

Subaru: [Ahhh, actually, there’s something I need to tell you about that.]

Emilia: [――?]

Feeling slightly uncomfortable, Subaru glanced back at Emilia, who was standing directly behind him. Emilia, who was resting her hand on Subaru’s shoulder, widened her eyes at his words.

Julius, who was facing him, also furrowed his brows. Subaru, while scratching his own cheek with a finger, said,

Subaru: [I plan on not returning to my original size even after Olbart-san returns. I think it’ll be more convenient to stay in this small form for the time being.]

Emilia: [Eh!? Why? Ah, could it be because a child’s body needs less food to eat? If that’s the case, I can share my side dishes with you…]

Subaru: [Your concern is incredibly cute, but it’s not that.]

Shaking his head, Subaru gently dismissed Emilia’s assumption. In response to Subaru’s reply, Julius wore a serious expression, narrowing his yellow eyes,

Julius: [It is you after all. So it must be something you think is necessary…]

Subaru: [Ah. I haven’t introduced them to you or Anastasia-san, but I became comrades with some people from Vollachia, the members of the Pleiades Battalion.]

Julius: [Pleiades…]

Because of the existence of the Pleiades Watchtower, Julius was alert to the sound of its name. However, not wanting to interrupt, he disregarded the doubt and urged Subaru to continue.

Nodding to that concern, Subaru continued.

Subaru: [When the members of the Battalion, I don’t know all the details, but when all of us, including me, unite our feelings as one, we become incredibly strong. It’s not just emotional strength or anything.]

Julius: [――. Emilia-sama?]

Emilia: [Hm, that seems to be true. That girl called Tanza-chan and Subaru’s other friends are all reaaally strong and fight very hard.]

Subaru: [And, I’ve been lying to all those friends. ――The lie that I am the Emperor’s son.]

Even with Emilia’s affirmation, the words that followed had Julius staring in astonishment. Emilia, also taken aback, placed a hand over her mouth which had gasped out an “Ah”.

Emilia: [That reminds me, you did say that you introduced yourself like that… Um, but, Vollachia is not where you were born, right Subaru?]

Subaru: [Ahh, of course not. My hometown isn’t like this hell. It’s more harmonious, all love and peace.]

Julius: […Even in the Fortified City, I heard talk of a black-haired Crown Prince. When I heard “black hair”, I did somewhat think of you.]

Subaru: [Just so you know, Abel’s the one who came up with it, so please direct your complaints over there. Anyway, it’s important that everyone in the Battalion believes in it. That’s why…]

When departing from the Gladiator Island, Subaru made his companions, who he had persuaded to go with him, believe that he was the son of the Vollachian Emperor.

Today, the foundation of the Pleiades Battalion’s unity rested heavily upon that lie. He was not going to leave things like this forever, Subaru had not wanted to continue lying to them.

For, when the unprecedented Great Disaster that was shaking the Vollachian Empire was resolved, Subaru would return to his normal size and, together with Emilia and Rem and the rest of the Camp, they would make a triumphant return to the Kingdom of Lugunica.

And if Subaru and the others were to finish this battle with an overwhelming victory, the Pleiades Battalion’s assistance was surely needed.

Subaru: [That’s why I can’t go back yet. I have to be the Natsuki Schwartz who everyone in the battalion believes in. At least until this battle to take back the Empire is over.]

Emilia: [Subaru…]

Tightly clenching the small fists that he had become accustomed to seeing, Subaru clearly stated his decision.

Until declaring as such to Emilia and Julius like this, Subaru had also been unsure of what to do.

It was a matter of course, but his larger form was more his body than his smaller form. He had a strong desire to get back to his original body, to hold Beatrice in his arms lightly, and to talk with Emilia at the same eye level.

But, that yearning of Subaru’s could not be compared to what was truly necessary.

Julius: [――. Truly, regardless of where you are or what form you take, you remain the same.]

Hearing Subaru’s resolve, Julius spoke as he let out a small exhale. He brushed his bangs back with his hand, and looking at Subaru with a look of equal parts wonder and understanding,

Julius: [You force the most difficult and unexpected decisions to be made. Be that for yourself or someone else.]

Subaru: […It isn’t such an admirable resolve. “I want to be a child for a while longer”, that’s the kind of determination you’d hear in a Showa-era song.]

Told such by Julius as he faced him, Subaru replied feeling somewhat embarrassed. Then, a hand was gently placed on Subaru’s head, he turned his head and found his gaze meeting a pair of amethyst eyes.

Emilia lowered the ends of her eyebrows and looked affectionately at Subaru.

Emilia: [You’re going to get me worried again by doing that, Subaru.]

Subaru: [Uh, I don’t really have an excuse for that. No, I really want to return to my normal body and flirt with Emilia, you know? But…]

Emilia: [I know. You’ve thought about it a lot, and chose what you thought was the best option, right? I also feel the same as Julius, that’s just who you are.]

A flustered Subaru moved his hands up and down, and Emilia smiled at him as he panicked. She placed her hand on Subaru’s head and this time, poked Subaru’s nose with her finger, continuing, “But you know,”

Emilia: [No matter how small you are, I know that you will still be you. Even if you don’t revert from being tiny, I’ll reaaally keep waiting for you until you grow big again.]

Subaru: [All the same, I’d also like to avoid being unable to go back to normal, but… Huh, what did you just…?]

Emilia: [――?]

With a gentle manner and tone of voice, it made Subaru’s eyes blink as he felt like he had been told something incredible. But, the person who had said that to him, perhaps not understanding the meaning of Subaru’s reaction, tilted her head curiously with a face that was completely innocent.

No, even just tilting her head to the side made him embarrassed. She had an incredible temptress inside of her.

Emilia: [――――]

Feeling the red color involuntarily rising in his cheeks, Subaru looked to Julius for help. However, he shrugged his shoulders at Subaru’s gaze and heartlessly brushed aside the latter’s dependence.

He cursed at the unreliable Julius in his mind, thinking that maybe they were not friends after all, and looked around regretting his earlier judgment――,

???: [Huh?]

And, just as a girl entered the corridor from one of the cabins, his gaze collided head-on with hers, as she stared directly at him.

△▼△▼△▼△

???: [Huh?]

Yes, it was a girl with blue hair and light blue eyes who had called out to Subaru and the others―― and as soon as Subaru saw her, his face lit up.

Subaru: [Rem, great. I wanted to talk to you too.]

When Rem showed up, Subaru’s mind was whisked away from the events that had just taken place.

Subaru, who had lost consciousness after the trouble in the Capital with Emilia, Beatrice, and others, had not had the time to talk with Rem.

After the confrontation with Abel and telling Katya what needed to be said, Subaru left her in Rem’s hands and went straight to discussions.

That discussion had come to a close, and then they finally met again.

Subaru: [Well, what about Katya-san? Has she calmed down?]

Rem: [――. Because the circumstances are what they are, that won’t happen so easily. However, she has now tired out herself crying and has fallen asleep, so her brother is looking after her by her side.]

Subaru: [I see. Oh, yeah. I’m sorry to entrust you with such a difficult role.]

Rem: […I did it because I wanted to do it. Um, by the way…]

Responding to Subaru in front of her, Rem’s tone of voice lowered slightly. Subaru tilted his head and wondered what was going on.

But before Rem could speak a word――,

Julius: [――Miss Rem, you are awake!]

Yes, Julius, surprised by Rem’s presence, was quicker to speak up.

His eyes widened, and his voice burst with honest surprise and joy, and Subaru nodded with a “That’s right!”.

Subaru: [My bad. I should have told you, Anastasia-san, and Echidna. Rem woke up after we got separated from everyone else. But…]

Julius: [I have no recollection of Miss Rem. So her circumstances are the same as mine?]

Subaru: [Not only that, but she’s in a hybrid situation similar to Crusch-san.]

Julius: […Then, she has no memories?]

At Subaru’s explanation, Julius’s shapely brow furrowed.

He quickly realized that it was not a situation to rejoice openly, and seemed to be at a loss as to what to say. But once he closed his eyelids, upon opening them, he regained his fearless expression,

Julius: [Miss Rem, I apologize for the unexpected manner in which I addressed you. I am Julius Juukulius… and I am a Knight in the service of a certain person and a friend of Subaru.]

Rem: [You are his, friend…]

Subaru: [The emphasis on that makes me want to protest, but yes. He’s one of them. One of the people who helped me a lot when you wouldn’t wake up, Rem.]

Rem: [That is――]

Rem raised her eyebrows in surprise when she was told of his relationship with Julius, who bowed graciously. Taking a moment to pause in surprise, Rem also bowed her head in response.

Rem: [Thank you for your concern. I can’t say I’m at full strength yet, but for the time being, I am able to stand and walk on my own feet just fine.]

Julius: [That makes it all the better. For yourself and for everyone around you who was thinking of you.]

Rem: [――Yes.]

It was tempting for Subaru to swear at him, as usual, for his carefree and thoughtful way of speaking, but in front of Rem, who had put her hand on her chest and nodded softly, it was impossible to say such a reproachful thing.

Anyway, he was glad to be able to tell Julius that Rem was now awake. Later, he would have to tell Anastasia and the others.

Subaru: [But I’m really glad that Anastasia-san and the others came to the Empire so that I could see Rem like this. You guys were also worried about us.]

Julius: [Yes. Anastasia-sama was also deeply concerned. Although Miss Rem will not remember it, as someone who traveled with her, I am truly pleased.]

Emilia: [Yeah, I think so, too. It’s all thanks to Subaru’s hard work.]

So said a smiling Emilia, patting Subaru’s head once more.

Because of the height difference, it was easy for her to pet him, but being petted like this over and over again made him feel like a child, and it was very frustrating.

It felt very good, but his manly heart did not want to allow Emilia to treat him like a child.

Subaru: [E-Emilia-tan, don’t dote on me so much.]

Emilia: [I think you’re cute, but I’m not trying to be overly affectionate, you know? I do think Subaru is splendid. As expected of my Knight.]

Rem: [Hah?]

Emilia: [What?]

And, just as Emilia was petting Subaru’s head like that, there was a sharp voice unexpectedly released, and Emilia’s hand stopped.

Emilia’s eyes widened, and she saw Rem facing her across from Subaru.

It was Rem, with her pale blue eyes, who stared at Emilia’s hand placed on Subaru’s head.

Emilia: [Rem? Is everything okay?]

Rem: [No, there’s something I’m a little confused about. Emilia-san, can I check something?]

Emilia: [Check something? Yeah, go ahead and shoot…]

Subaru: [Who even says, “go ahead and shoot” these days…]

With one side placing her hand on his head, and the other having her hand placed on his head, Subaru and Emilia tilted their heads in unison at Rem’s words.

Rem looked at Subaru and Emilia alternately with a suspicious look,

Rem: […What kind of relationship do you two have?]

Emilia: [Subaru and I?]

Subaru: [Emilia-tan and I?]

Subaru and Emilia exchanged looks at each other in response to Rem’s question.

Indeed, as it stood, Rem had just reunited with everyone in the Emilia Camp, and although he was told that an understanding of her relationship with Ram had been reached, beyond that, there were no further details yet.

If that were true, maybe they should do this where everyone was present――,

Subaru: [Right. To put it simply, Emilia-tan is the top of our Camp, the future Monarch of a country called the Kingdom of Lugunica.]

Emilia: [I’m still working on becoming one, so I’m a Candidate. And so, Subaru is my number one ally, my Knight.]

Rem: [Your number one ally…]

Subaru: [Yeah, I’m doing everything I can to make my Emilia-tan’s dream come true.]

Emilia: [Yes, he’s doing his best. Although I’m not his, Subaru is mine.]

Subaru’s proud words were answered by Emilia’s bashful response. Thereupon Rem, having heard their answer, put her hand on her forehead.

Then, after she pondered it for a while,

Rem: [Excuse me. This is confusing, is it me?]

Julius: [――. No, I do not think it is you, Miss Rem. Though that is coming from a third party’s perspective.]

Rem: [Thank you for that…]

For some reason, Julius answered Rem in such a manner, the latter seeming like she was troubled by something.

It was not clear why Julius, who was an outsider to the Camp, seemed to have such an understanding attitude when not only Subaru, but also Emilia, did not understand Rem’s confusion.

Emilia: [Maybe I just said way too much about Lugunica to the current Rem…]

Subaru: [I’ve told her bits and pieces of it here and there beforehand… Perhaps, Priscilla may have told her some unnecessary things in Guaral…]

Julius: [Wait. Why is Priscilla-sama’s name being mentioned here? I find it hard to believe, but is Priscilla-sama also here in the Vollachian Empire?]

Rem: [Um, would it be alright if we dealt with my confusion first?]

In seeking to resolve the questions that had been raised before, new questions had emerged, so they were on the brink of going around in circles.

For the moment, there was a struggle to decide on the priority of questions, with the feeling that there were too many topics that needed to be properly discussed with Julius and Anastasia and the others.

The first and foremost priority, though, should have been to clear up Rem’s confusion, but――,

Subaru: [――――]

As he and Emilia were trying to find a solution to Rem’s confusion, Subaru’s attention was suddenly drawn to something that passed slightly out of the corner of his eye.

It was something outside the window, descending from the night sky to the field in a flash.

Emilia: [Subaru?]

As Subaru’s eyes widened involuntarily, Emilia’s questioning voice called out to him. Putting off responding to her, Subaru rushed to the window and peeked outside.

Normally, Subaru would never ignore Emilia’s call. However, right now, rather than responding to it, he gave priority to confirming the glimpse of what he just saw.

His eyes strained at the landscape as it passed by, and he re-focused his vision on the thing that had descended from the night sky.

That was――,

Subaru: [――What are they doing here?]

A person who should not be here; pulling it out from the fringes of his memory, Subaru blinked his eyes repeatedly, and would vocalize that name.

The person present there who was supposed to be living a peaceful life in the Kingdom of Lugunica――,

Subaru: [――Ryuzu-san?]

???: [――――]

There was probably no way she could have heard Subaru’s whisper.

Despite the distance and volume of his voice, which should have been impossible to hear, Subaru’s eyes met those of the small figure heading towards him, and he instinctively sensed that they had both perceived each other.

With her eyes still locked with Subaru’s, the small figure moved its lips and said something.

Subaru leaned forward to try and hear what it was――,

Subaru: [――Ah.]

――Immediately following, a white light rained down upon the coupled dragon carriages, engulfing Natsuki Subaru and most of the occupants onboard, utterly blowing them away.

30 thoughts on “Arc 8, Chapter 18 – “Reunions Are But a Moment””

  1. Thanks for the translation!!! Great chapter. Love the interactions between the characters and Sphinx technique mystery is interesting for me. Can come up with some of the theories to wrap my head around it and it’s fun to speculate alongside the community. Phase 2 is going strong so far, Arc 8 doesn’t miss.

  2. There is no struggle too vast, no odds too overwhelming, for even should we fail – should we fall – we will know that we have lived.”

  3. Holy shit, she KNOWS subaru. Is she after his authority of greed?

    Great chapter as always, thanks for the translation!

    1. She might understand that he an apostle of greed for undergoing the trial and needs to kill him before he can speak out any orders.

  4. Dammit Emilia can you go one chapter without being soo cute! Gosh she’s replacing Rem place while she’s still stuck in “Amnesia” state.

    Also seems like the whole cross dressing deal last arc, Subaru is gonna remain as a kid for a lot longer.

    Small Emilia is truly the best! Have more confidence girl!

    Right seems we’re off the races with the Return by death. How’re gonna get everyone outta of this one Subaru…

    1. “Yes, he’s doing his best. Although I’m not his, Subaru is mine” ah yes a perfectly healthy relationship totally not manipulative at all emilia tan, joke aside emilia need to change not only is her character development non existence since arc 4
      Her relationship with subaru is downright toxic, subaru do everything for emilia to the point that she have taken him for granted
      there no “love” in emilia relationship with subaru, which should be fine right?.. no
      Because she is trying to keep him to herself
      But not ONCE has she tried to do something about subaru feeling for her it just subaru showering her with love over over over over
      Infact for someone who should be worry about him the most, emilia hasn’t show her emotion in their reunion execpt”oh that subaru? he cute” while he was dying, i can already see the reply saying “she alreadly said she know who she will love” but can you believe in it? In the end it all just word without action, she also see only the good side of subaru which is one of the reason for her becoming toxic for examples
      -His self harm? Dont know
      -Nightmare? Haha you still bothered by that?
      -His past? No need only i get to tell him my own past without listening to his
      She herself become insensitive to subaru suffering
      In short
      1.her innocent being the cause of subaru many suffering and yet subaru will take the consequences for her
      2.not answering his feeling properly leaving room for future N– her innocence also cause her to not know that it will hurt subaru(this one is unlikely to happen as a main plot but will probably be flirty dialouge with other characters)
      3.not trying to keep their relationship cause she think subaru will always be there for her
      4.her not answering subaru while also being heavily reliance on him(this one i think is borderline manipulative)
      5.she only see subaru in a her ideal view

      so yeah she is the reason i read the novel
      But she is pretty bad right now, tappei need to stop being bias and make her grow up as a person and understand how much suffering she bring to subaru with her flaws
      The innocence joke isn’t funny no more.

      1. i know it weird to say this after writing a whole essay about it but, don’t take this seriously btw
        it a rant so i wrote it quite unfairly to her, since i only mention her bad side that doesn’t mean she doesn’t have her good side.

        although i still stand by it that emilia should change no bias and all.

        1. Utter fucking drivel you’re spewing, but that is par for the course on this website. Yeah Emilia doesnt care, nevermind that she mounted a rescue mission into a hostile nation for Subaru. Clown

      2. Well even then she was willing to keep her trust in subaru and love him even if she was exposed to his pathetic side, proved by arc 6 ch 54, that much is enough.

      3. “Although I’m not his, Subaru is mine” – I feel like you get the meaning backwards.

        When you tell that “Someone is mine” – it means that you love him/her and want him for yourself. Basically, Emilia says that she has deep feelings (I’m not talking about love specifically) exclusive to Subaru, while Subaru have strong feelings not only for Emilia.

  5. Subaru: [Ah. I haven’t introduced them to you or Anastasia-san, but I became comrades with some people from Vollachia, the members of the Pleiades Battalion.]

    “Some people.” LOL I can’t wait to see the look on their faces when/if they are introduced to them all.

  6. Thanks for the TL, it’s been a while since Subaru died, the last I remember was at Guninhive? Looking forward to more, the death spices things up, let him cook!

  7. In the previous chapter, they mentioned that Roswal cast a white light spell far and wide and in this chapter they are banished by a white light? Maybe Rosewall is the one who drove them away

  8. maybe my memory is lacking but isn’t this the most blatant Emilia has ever been in her feelings towards Subaru…like by far?

    thanks for the translation!

    1. Emilia feeling for Subaru is getting rather strong arc 6 she showed signs of jealousy arc 5 is when she started to look at him in such a way when they say she look at him with a look that doesn’t show parental emotions but something rather complicated and she stated both arc 5 and 7 to others who take a interest in her like regulas and segement ”I already Decided Who To Fall In Love With” Plus When Subaru makes a joke about marriage she look at him and blushed with a small refute by saying “geez no messing around” She getting there she show signs in arc 8 just now she looks at Subaru affectionately and even though Emilia cares for everyone that warm felling everything about Subaru gives her delight and only him can make her feel that way arc 7 explained that

    2. she is forcinly trying to fall in love with him since she feels too indebted. to be honest nothing is sure at this point, all the hints can easily mean something else, especially with puck not being around. so i think we will get a DEFINITE answer for the meaning of her actions when puck comes back

      1. Forcefully? If it was forceful, then by now she should have been lusting after him after all this time.
        She genuinely cares about him and her feelings are growing stronger, if you think this is forceful and she doesnt look at him like that at all by her own, i wonder if you even read ANYTHING at all after the anime.

  9. JFC, hope this kiddy Subaru shit ends and circumstances force a change. Such a shitty reason to stay a kid, holds no water with the actual emperor in the same encampment. A lie bound to collapse. Meanwhile, only one guy supposedly capable of fixing it is around and if he’s lost, the solution is lost. At the same time, Subaru’s memory and thinking capability are diminished. And above all, it’s a fucking dumb piece of plot. Shit needs to end.

    Then, we have Beako expressing she won’t leave Subaru. Immediately does so with Roswal, while Emilia and Subaru stay behind feeling out-of-place since they can’t do anything atm, nevermind they could have just gone with Beako and Roswal and been fighting.

    1. his thinking capability isnt worse at all, in fact hes actually buffed since his mental state has changed and can do a lot more than what he would do before with his confidence in himself the highest the entire series, going away with most of his hesitation. plus he can be transported more easily. the downsides? he is as prone to emotion as a seven year old and opponents he wouldve normally had a chance against now overwhelm him, not like there was much of them in the series anyways. and you made 0 sense with your lie “argument”, proving you are merely a baiting soyboy that i unfortunately cant believe is actually this ret*rded

    2. How is it not a good reason? You gave no points about that at all.
      Is trust not important between the battalion? Do you even know how cor leonis works?

  10. Eles tão se movendo até agora certo ? Ou tão esperando o pessoal que tá lutando na colina parado…
    O modo sem malícia da Emília tan com o Subaru é muito fofo kkkkk
    A Rem com ciúmes da Emília tan muito adorável ><!
    A Emília falar que ela não é do Subaru, mas o Subaru é dela…me deixa confusamente feliz kkkk
    Finalmente derrotar a Sphynx ? não sabia que foi a Echidna que criou esse mutante…mas sinto que o mentor de tudo isso não é a Sphynx ainda.
    Obrigado pelo capítulo!

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