Arc 8, Chapter 22 – “Want To Believe. Will Not Forgive.”


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???: [――Village Chief-kun, may I have a moment?]

As a voice called out to him from behind, Vincent Vollachia halted his step.

Before he even turned around, he knew who the owner of that voice was. Once he heard a voice, or laid eyes upon a person, he would never forget them. This was no exception; he immediately grasped that this was the blond, blue-eyed peddler―― Flop O’Connell.

Vincent: [Unfortunately, the survival of the Empire is currently in crisis. I have not the time for frivolous chatter with you.]

Though he had grasped it, Vincent would not engage any further than grasping it.

The oracle he had received a moment ago from the Stargazer, Ubilk, left him no choice but to discuss with Berstetz, Serena, and the rest of that lot regarding how they should handle it.

Groovy had been designated as a countermeasure against the enemy, but since there was a high chance he had lost his life, to formulate a plan that depended on him would be an act akin to the height of stupidity. On that point, putting his expectations in Natsuki Subaru, who was headed to persuade the other person who had been designated, was a foolish idea that was less objectionable.

In the first place, there was no chance that Vincent would be able to persuade that girl.

He would not even be able to come to a mutual understanding with her. Since the cards in Vincent’s hand could not be used on the young girl, it was logical to let Subaru deal with that side of the two lights.

Ergo, the only thing Vincent could do was continue scrutinizing the details for a realistic plan――,

Flop: [Woah there, you can’t know whether it’s frivolous chatter or not unless you talk and find out! No matter how clever Village Chief-kun is, I doubt you’d be able to tell what seeds of conversation I have before you water them!]

Vincent: [You…]

Speaking those words, Flop grabbed Vincent’s shoulder as the latter tried to resume his walk, preventing him from moving forward. Naught could that be called but a reckless action, the very pinnacle of imprudence.

Under different circumstances, it would have been a barbaric act that caused Flop to be beheaded on the spot.

Vincent: [Release me at once. If not, wish your life goodbye.]

Flop: [Of course, I’d also like to start talking with you right away. But, I want a suitable amount of time to have a proper discussion about this matter. We can’t be rushing things.]

Vincent: [I did not tell you to speak, but to release your grip…]

???: [Now, now, don’t say that, Abel-chin. Instead, you should talk about what big bro wants to tell you.]

Vincent: [――Hk!?]

As he looked back with his head and scowled at Flop, who still had his hand placed on Vincent’s shoulder, a voice had called out from in front of him; simultaneously, another reckless act had been performed, that of two hands grabbing him by his sides and lifting him up.

Having held her breath, and now giving a cheerful broad smile, the one who had done that was Medium O’Connell―― The sibling duo of Flop and Medium, had pincered Vincent with smiles from both front and rear.

Medium: [Abel-chin, you’ve been ignoring big bro this whole time, right? Big bro is so injured and worn-out that he always needs to lie down for even just a second longer, so don’t be mean and just listen to what he has to say~.]

Vincent: [Speak not of foolish things. To begin with, how long shall you continue to contact me with such a familiar attitude? Should the situation change, so shall individual positions. Things are no longer the same as they were in the Shudraqian Village and the Fortress City.]

Medium: [Well, Abel-chin may be acting like the Emperor, but I think it’s mistaken of you to make light of us! Big bro!]

Flop: [Got it, dear sister!]

The unreasonable sibling pair, did not lend their ears to Vincent’s words.

At the high-spirited call of his younger sister, Flop, responding in a similarly energetic manner, promptly opened the door to the adjacent passenger cabin; Medium then carried Vincent inside, and the door was closed.

After quickly confining the Emperor in a locked room, Medium finally released Vincent.

Vincent: [You two, are you aware that this is an act so barbaric that not only you, but all members of your household will be punished for?]

Flop: [Hahahaha, unfortunately for you, Village Chief-kun, our family purely consists of us two siblings. So, your objection isn’t really much of a threat.]

Medium: [Ah, but, big bro, what about everyone from the orphanage? Even if we aren’t related by blood, everyone who escaped is our family!]

Flop: [Hahahaha, now that you mention it! Village Chief-kun, please find it within yourself to forgive us!]

Vincent: [――Set me free immediately, and behave.]

No matter the situation, the conduct of the O’Connell siblings seemed invariant.

Medium had been shrunken and stretched, and Flop seemed to have been injured, but seeing the both of them like this was causing him to grow suspicious.

If one had their body shrunken and stretched, it would typically be a heavy burden on their mind, but Medium was far too lacking in awareness that her body had shrunk and then stretched back again.

He had heard that Flop had also suffered a grievous wound that brought him to the verge of death, but he too was full of life. ――No, his neck had a visible complexion, but it seemed he was concealing the color in his face using make-up.

Flop: [After all, it’s quite important for merchants to put on an act.]

Vincent: [――――]

Flop: [But, although it’s always been an ironclad rule of trade to barter for what you want, I’m unable to meet Village Chief-kun’s current demands. I don’t wanna put this off any longer.]

Vincent: [What are you saying…]

Flop: [I’ve been entrusted with a message. ――A message from the person who, in your place, had acted as Emperor.]

Having expected him to start speaking more nonsense, Vincent’s eyes slightly widened.

Going out of their way to confine the Emperor in an empty cabin, the O’Connell siblings were attempting to report something to Vincent. ――In this world, there was only one person who had held that position.

That was why――,

Flop: [You ought to hear his words, Village Chief-kun. ――No, Your Excellency the Emperor, Vincent Vollachia.]

Thus, when Flop displayed a serious expression for the first time, Vincent had chosen not to interrupt him with words.


――The Sin Archbishop of Gluttony, Louis Arneb.

When he spoke those words aloud, Subaru had heard a grating sound reverberate within his heart. While it was always within arm’s reach, he had always hesitated to take the lid off of that box of taboos. It was a Pandora’s box that could be opened at any time, so long as he was willing to do so.

Subaru: [――――]

Deciding this was not a conversation suitable for a corridor, they had relocated, moving to a spacious passenger cabin.

Abel’s thoughtful allowance for them to use this cabin if necessary was a rare display of consideration for the feelings of others. ――Though, since the resolution of this matter was of critical importance to the Empire, it might have been natural for him to give that thoughtful allowance.

Gathered in the cabin were Emilia, Beatrice, Otto, Garfiel, and Roswaal of the Emilia Camp, and in addition――,

???: [The Sin Archbishop of Gluttony… Really, it’s a connection that seems to pop up way, way too much.]

Elegantly touching her cheek, Anastasia quietly murmured so, and Julius was maintaining a solemn silence by her side. The participation of these two was also essential.

That was not merely because they had traveled a great distance to cross the border to assist Subaru and his friends, but because they too had suffered from the damage caused by Gluttony.

Subaru: [The person at the crux of the matter, Louis, she’s currently with Rem and some others. I think everyone except Anastasia-san and Julius should already know about Louis, but…]

Beatrice: [Of course, in fact… Frankly, it was an outrageous surprise at first, I suppose.]

Subaru: [That… was the case for me too.]

Beatrice’s wording of “surprise” was likely a generous understatement.

In fact, when Subaru had first realized that he had been transported with Louis, his sole intention had been to protect Rem, which caused him to adopt a rather aggressive stance. At first, this led to Rem being quite wary of him, perceiving him as someone who could not be trusted.

Subaru did not know under what circumstances Emilia and the others had met Louis, but it was not difficult to imagine that their initial contact would have been fraught with tension.

With that in mind, he wanted to express his gratitude that no one had resorted to extreme measures.

Subaru: [You all did well to hold yourselves back. I’m sure Otto and Garfiel were ready to erupt at any moment.]

Otto: [Indeed, Garfiel and I were of the opinion that we should either eliminate or restrain her. The fact that she was not subjected to either was due to Emilia-sama persuading everyone else.]

Subaru: [Emilia-tan did that…]

As one might expect, it seemed that Otto was at the forefront of the radical faction, but his views had apparently been tempered by Emilia, who was of the moderate faction.

As Subaru and the others turned their gazes to her, she gave a short nod, saying “Yes,”

Emilia: [Medium-chan was defending that child… Louis, with all her might. Considering how much those around her cherished her, I was scared of trying to decide anything and everything on the spot.]

Subaru: [I see, Medium-san did that…]

Hearing that Medium had defended Louis, Subaru felt a faint sense of relief.

Originally, Louis had grown quite attached to the cheerful and caring Medium. Still, the last time Subaru had witnessed that between the two was back in the Demon City of Chaosflame, when Medium had been afraid of Louis after her identity as a Sin Archbishop had been revealed.

If Medium had still defended Louis after that, there must have been some shift in her feelings that had taken place somewhere unbeknownst to Subaru. That made him happy.

Emilia: [That’s something I’ve also experienced. Having people say that I’m reaaally scary, that I seem like a Witch to everyone, and nobody around me would want to talk to me. So…]

Otto: [For Emilia-sama’s case, it is due to irrational prejudice against half-elves. However, with this girl, there is a difference. A clear distinction, resulting from none other than her own actions.]

Emilia: [Otto-kun…]

As Emilia explained why she stood by Louis in addition to Medium’s protection, Otto bluntly offered his stern comment. He did not hesitate to clarify his position as an ally of Emilia and, simultaneously, an adversary of Louis.

Indeed, their journey together so far had been nothing more than a deferment until the final conclusion.

Roswaal: [May I have a word?]

Into the tense atmosphere created by Otto’s declaration, Roswaal raised his hand casually.

As Subaru’s glance urged him to speak, Roswaal closed his blue eye, and,

Roswaal: [Ram, Anastasia-sama, and I joined later, after aaall~. We really don’t know how that girl, Louis, behaves… But, is there anything suspicious about her? Of course, Garfiel has been keeping his eyes, ears, and nose peeled on her, hasn’t he?]

Garfiel: [I wasn’t exactly peeled from head to toe like that. But, I gotta agree with Ottobro. That’s why, from the moment we met her till the big battle, I kept a close eye on her, but…]

Roswaal: [So, it turned out to be in vain. Theeen~, how can you definitively say that the girl is a dangerous Sin Archbishop?]

Otto: [Because of Beatrice-chan and I. We encountered a girl claiming to be Louis Arneb, the Sin Archbishop of Gluttony, in Pristella. I had my leg gouged in then, and it is not something I will forget.]

Roswaal, representing those who had less interaction with Louis, made a statement to which Garfiel and Otto expressed their respective views.

As Otto stroked his leg, it was a reminder of the injury that had caused him to be taken out of action for quite some time.

It made sense as to why Otto, in particular, was very cautious of Louis.

Julius: [My apologies for following the Margrave, but may I also speak?]

Once Roswaal’s question had been addressed, Julius quickly joined the conversation.

In this discussion about Gluttony, Julius, who had been making a difficult face from the beginning, glanced at an even more grim-looking Subaru out of the corner of his eye and said,

Julius: [First, I would like to confirm. Is it correct that the girl named Louis, who is currently riding in this dragon carriage, is indeed the same individual as Louis Arneb, the Sin Archbishop of Gluttony?]

Emilia: [――? What do you mean by that?]

Julius: [Emilia-sama and Lady Ram must be aware. In order to replicate the powers of those it devours, there were instances where Gluttony had changed its appearance to match that of its victim. In other words…]

Anastasia: [So, yer suggestin’ the possibility that the Louis we’re talkin’ ’bout ‘n the Sin Archbishop of Gluttony might not be the same person, but someone who was consumed by the other Archbishops?]

At Julius’s conjecture, Emilia and the others wore faces of surprise.

Indeed, considering the nature of Gluttony, it was not an improbable theory. If Gluttony could mimic the form of the person it consumed, it would make sense that the original, who had been consumed, would still exist somewhere.

If this was true, then the existence of this Louis could be separated from that of Gluttony.


Subaru: […No, that’s not likely. Louis, I believe, is reproducing the abilities of those she has devoured. It must be due to the Authority of Gluttony.]

Julius: [I see. My apologies for such misleading speculation.]

Julius closed his eyes and apologized as Subaru shook his head.

It was no fault of Julius. If his hypothesis were correct, Subaru would not be as troubled as he was right now. But, they could not resort to makeshift solutions created by tiptoeing around the issue.

What they needed was not just an answer, but an answer derived from a shared understanding of the truth.

Louis had been transported alongside Subaru to the Vollachian Empire; and yet, despite being treated so harshly by Subaru, she pushed herself time and again to help him, suffered injuries, and even put her life at risk.

It was her, Louis Arneb, the Sin Archbishop of Gluttony, who was the same person as the Louis that they all knew. To get everyone to acknowledge that she was an essential presence for the upcoming battle――,

Subaru: [――. First, let me explain what happened with me and Louis in the Empire after I was sent here with Rem, before any of you came across Louis.]

Everyone: [――――]

Silently, everyone directed their gazes towards him.

Under the scrutiny of his trusted comrades, Subaru unmistakably felt a sense of suffocation. It was as if a grading of exams or a verification of answers was about to begin.

It was a verification of whether Louis could truly be accepted by his comrades for who she was.

Emilia: [Subaru, there’s no need to rush.]

Emilia gently reassured Subaru, who was bracing himself for what was to come. Beatrice, by his side, gave his hand a gentle squeeze with a nod of affirmation.

Comforted by their consideration, Subaru took a deep breath and began to speak.

Subaru: [The very first thing we noticed was that we were next to a large forest far to the east――]


He had intended to speak plainly, choosing his words to convey the facts as succinctly as possible.

Still, the things he had to talk about sprang forth like a gushing spring, making him acutely aware that the days he had to recount were filled with significant moments, despite the brevity of the time in question.

To begin with, a tremendous amount of trouble had occurred in just a short period.

All of it comprised accidents that endangered the lives of Subaru, Rem, and their companions, and, naturally, Louis was inevitably involved in these.

Naturally. ――Yes, it was indeed natural.

After all, Louis had been with Subaru and the others the entire time, enduring Subaru’s hostility while receiving kindness from Rem, and she persevered without being discouraged by the harsh treatment from Subaru.


Subaru: [――Louis and I, collaborating with Yorna-san, managed to win our bet against Olbart-san. It was with a bit of cheating, though, as we changed the rules from hide-and-seek, to a game of tag.]

Everyone: [――――]

Subaru: [After that, something unimaginable happened at Chaosflame, as you may have heard. The people living there miraculously survived and we were able to join up with Abel and his rebels. I lost consciousness there and got separated… You guys probably know more about what happened with Louis after that, right?]

Emilia: [――. Yes. We met Abel and the others when they came back to the destroyed Guaral, which happened right after.]

As Emilia nodded in confirmation of Subaru’s statement, he finished his explanation and took a long breath.

Even though Subaru had intended not to take up too much time, in the end, the story lasted nearly an hour. He was grateful that during that time, his companions had mostly refrained from interrupting and listened intently.

Inevitably, Subaru had to tell the story from his own perspective, but he tried to be as detached as possible in narrating the events.

With that in mind――,

Subaru: [As I’ve told you, there wasn’t any suspicious behavior from Louis while she was with me. I believe you can hear the same story from Rem.]

Otto: [We are not really doubting that. If we truly thought her suspicious, there is no way Ram-san would have allowed her to stay near Rem-san.]

When it came to her family, and especially Rem, there was no need to mention the intensity of Ram’s scrutiny.

In fact, the primary reason she had overwhelmed Ley Batenkaitos of Gluttony at the Pleiades Watchtower was her profound objection to any interference with her relationship between Rem and herself.

Ram, who could go to such lengths for a sister she did not remember.

If she felt even the slightest hint of danger from Louis, it would have been unthinkable for her to leave Louis near Rem, who had just awakened.

Anastasia: […We’ve roughly grasped how tough it was for ya, Natsuki-kun.]

Anastasia, who had been silently listening until now, was massaging her brow with a finger, acknowledging the harshness of Subaru’s journey.

Even for a woman as wise as she, the sequence of events presented a volume of information that took time and effort to fully digest. Having somehow swallowed it all down, Anastasia removed her finger from her forehead and,

Anastasia: [I’m curious ‘bout what happened to ya, Natsuki-kun, after ya lost consciousness in the Demon City, but since that ain’t the main subject, let’s put it aside.]

Subaru: [Yeah, right now, what’s important is Louis. As I’ve said, Louis hasn’t shown her dangerous side to us so far. And there’s the prophecy of Ubilk, the Stargazer… that’s a factor too. So, in the upcoming battle, having Louis cooperate with us――]

Anastasia: [――The question’s ‘bout yer story, where’s the point of compromise that you’re gonna take?]

Just like that, her quiet interjection stopped Subaru’s train of thought.

Anastasia, having voiced her thoughts, gently traced her lips with the finger that had been massaging her brow. Her intellectually vibrant aqua eyes seized Subaru’s heart as she continued.

Anastasia: [I ain’t against yer idea of usin’ everythin’ at our disposal, Natsuki-kun. Even Meili-san, who helped us cross the Augria Sand Dunes, was originally an enemy. If we’re makin’ such distinctions, then the same applies to that girl.]

Subaru: [That’s, well, the same, right? Meili and Louis should be in the same position.]

Anastasia: [No, it ain’t the case. ――I’m sure everyone but ya, Natsuki-kun, would think so.]

Subaru: [――Hk.]

Confronted with that calm assertion, Subaru looked around at the others in surprise.

Anastasia’s words echoed in Subaru’s mind as he scanned everyone’s faces, hoping that someone would disagree.

However, not one of them met his expectations.

Subaru: [Everyone… Hk.]

Otto: [Since no one seems to be willing to say it, I will.]

Among the group, all wearing grave expressions, Otto raised his hand without changing his demeanor.

However, his unchanging demeanor did not denote a lack of emotional response, but was a mere reflection of his calmness, sustained since the start of the meeting.

Neither his gaze nor his voice were unconditionally supportive of Subaru.

Otto: [I agree with Anastasia-sama. The situation with her and Meili-chan is different. They are not in the same position.]

Subaru: [Otto!]

Otto: [I will take it upon myself to say what no one else seems to want to. ――It is because she is a Sin Archbishop.]

Otto answered Subaru, whose voice had inadvertently risen, with a calm tone.

Anticipating Subaru’s question, Otto’s response was as fitting as it could possibly be for the reason why none present could side with Subaru.

Beatrice: [Subaru, Betty wants to stand by Subaru, in fact. If Subaru says that girl… Louis, is a girl without evil intentions now, Betty can believe that too, I suppose. But…]

Roswaal: [The fact is, Gluttony’s victims include us. Not to mention, considering that the damage is not easily apparent, I wonder what the extent of the potential victims is, riiight~.]

Julius: [Though there is no way to confirm it… The bitter regret of those who lost themselves, forgotten by others, and could not return while having anybody to turn to, I cannot imagine how they must feel.]

Following up on the concerned Beatrice, Roswaal and Julius expressed their genuine opinions, as a person heavily linked to a victim, and as an actual victim of the Authority of Gluttony respectively.

Subaru: [――――]

Roswaal and Julius were correct, those who knew they had been affected were comparatively better off.

There must have been many victims who could do nothing but be truly wrought in despair, having lost their Names and or Memories, left without a place to return, unable to be saved.

And thus, the Sin Archbishop of Gluttony, who had created numerous victims――,

Emilia: [It’s not that everyone doesn’t believe it.]

Subaru: [Emilia…]

Emilia: [It’s not that… Rather, I think they won’t forgive her.]

Subaru’s explanation had not been lacking, nor had his feelings not get through to them.

Emilia’s words, with her eyebrows furrowed, shattered his heart as she explained that the real problem was not there.

Knowing about Louis’s time with Subaru, and knowing what happened after his absence, Emilia and the others knew the “current” Louis was not a threat to them.

Having understood that, the issue at hand was the actions of the “past” Louis.

Anastasia: [――The things you’ve done ain’t ever gonna disappear.]

Subaru: [――Hk.]

Quietly, Anastasia murmured those words.

A warning evoking despair, a warning that had once before frozen Natsuki Subaru, crushing him to pieces.

The fact that those words had been thrown at him only existed within himself. And once again, in a different turn of events, they were delivered from her mouth to Subaru’s ears.

Anastasia: [No matter how much Natsuki-kun tries to convince us that that child is harmless, it doesn’t even up the harm she did. In reality, the victims remain victims… It ain’t a superficial problem that can be brushed aside with pretenses for yer own benefit.]

Subaru: [――Hk.]

Anastasia: [First off, don’t’cha think that should come after gettin’ back all the Names n’ Memories that have been eaten so far? Even if ya try to proceed without them, wouldn’t Natsuki-kun also be dissatisfied with that?]

Anastasia’s sharp words sliced through the stiffened Subaru one after another.

All of their arguments were valid, but the one that caused the greatest pain was the final point―― that they could not even stand on the very foundation for deciding Louis’s fate, if the Memories and Names that had been taken were not returned.

That was the crucial premise leading to what Emilia had said, “They can’t forgive her.”

Roswaal: [Well, His Excellency the Emperor is aware of this prophecy Subaru-kun heard. Saying that we won’t let this girl, Louis, cooperate in the battle is just not realistic, is iiit~?]

Garfiel: [Huh? Whaddya wanna say? Speak clearly.]

Roswaal: [It’s troubling to have your irritation taken out on me, but… no matter how our discussion ends, the plan to involve the girl won’t change. The only thing left is how she will be treated afterwards.]

Subaru: [Treated…?]

His heart grew impatient with Roswaal, who still continued with his roundabout way of talking after being told to speak clearly. In response to Subaru’s earnest gaze, Roswaal shrugged his shoulders and spoke.

That was――,

Roswaal: [It’s a matter of what we can tell her to make her cooperaaate~. For instance―― we could promise her amnesty once we overcome this crisis threatening the Empire. And then, once everything’s done, the appropriate punishment for her crimes will be executed solemnly. This is the best way to handle it without any future problems.]

Garfiel: [――Hk, stop messin’ around!]

In response to Roswaal’s explanation of his wicked plan, Garfiel clicked his fangs and snapped at him. He glared fiercely at Roswaal, and,

Garfiel: [Even if they’re a villain, we don’t have to stoop to the same level! Danglin’ some bait that doesn’t even exist just to get her to help, no way I’ll approve of that!]

Roswaal: [Oh, really? You know, I think Otto-kun was thinking the same thing…]

Garfiel: [Don’t lump yerself in with Ottobro!]

Otto: [――. The Margrave is speaking for the majority.  Sin Archbishops should not be granted any amnesty. Or rather…]

There, Otto paused for a moment and gazed fixedly at Subaru.

As Subaru gulped under his gaze, he continued mercilessly.

Otto: [Natsuki-san, are you trying to create a precedent for Sin Archbishops being forgiven?]

Subaru: [――Hk, I don’t intend on doing anything like that. In this world, there are villains who mustn’t be forgiven. The Sin Archbishops of the Witch Cult are definitely among them.]

Petelgeuse, Regulus, the brothers Roy and Ley, Sirius, Capella; every Sin Archbishop Subaru had encountered up until now were all invariably far beyond redemption.

They were beings who would not hesitate to sacrifice others to satisfy their own desires.


Otto: [――Are you saying only Louis Arneb is different?]

Subaru: [That’s, well…]

Otto’s query attempted to lay bare the depths of Subaru’s heart.

Sin Archbishops should not be forgiven. Not just Otto, but everyone drew this line in the sand, something Subaru could clearly understand.

Yet the insistence on putting Louis in a separate category, as Otto put it, was indeed strange.

Subaru: [――――]

Under the scrutiny of everyone’s gazes, Subaru once again questioned himself.

What did Subaru want to do with Louis? They harbored great hatred for each other in the Hall of Memories, and Subaru chose not to save her as she suffered from the aftermath of Return by Death. He did not think that choice was a mistake. Even if he were to be placed in that situation once more, he would most likely make the same decision.

However, at the same time, he knew the Louis who had shared hardships with him in the Vollachian Empire.

The fact that he had witnessed her risk her life to save him and die for it multiple times was certainly engraved in his soul.

Somewhere along the way, Subaru’s vigilance had been melted away by Louis’s earnestness――,

Emilia: [How?]

Subaru: [――――]

Suddenly, a hushed question was posed to Subaru just as he was deep in thought.

As he opened his closed eyelids, he found himself looking directly into Emilia’s amethyst eyes. She narrowed her long-lashed eyes and repeated the same question once more.

That was――,

Emilia: [How did you come to think that way, Subaru?]

Subaru: [How, you ask…]

Emilia: [You reaaally couldn’t stand the Sin Archbishop of Gluttony, could you, Subaru? You thought you couldn’t forgive her. So, why now?]

Subaru: [That’s because… didn’t I already tell you? She… Louis, in this Empire with us…]

They had shared many hardships, and Louis had bravely tried to protect Subaru and Rem.

The events in the Empire had left their mark on Subaru, as much as or with even more intensity than the unforgivable enemy she had been thought to be in the Hall of Memories. That was why.

That was why Natsuki Subaru’s feelings towards Louis had changed.

Julius: [Subaru, let me once again convey a harsh truth to you.]

Julius said this in a low voice to Subaru, who had answered Emilia’s question falteringly.

The fact he prefaced his words as harsh made Subaru brace himself. As Subaru prepared himself for it, Julius traced the scar under his left eye with his finger and addressed him.

Julius: [Humanity in this world will not forgive the Sin Archbishop of Gluttony, the girl known as Louis Arneb. Whether it be the Kingdom or the Empire, you can say it is the consensus of the world.]

Subaru: [――――]

Julius: [Even if she were to flee to any corner of the world, there is no place where she would be pardoned. Acts of crime will be met with punishment. And, a Sin Archbishop is a criminal whose sins can only be atoned for with their life.]

There was no falsehood in that preamble of the harsh truth.

Julius decisively pronounced it in a clear, strong tone, leaving no room for misunderstanding.

There was no place in this world where Louis Arneb could live and be forgiven.

At those heavy words, Subaru was left unable to respond.


Julius: [I too, desire nothing but death for Sin Archbishops. Nothing but Death for the beings we consider enemies of the world. That is what I can say, with all my soul.]

Subaru: […Eh?]

Otto: [Julius Juukulius!!]

The person who had raised their voice sharply, glaring at Julius, was Otto.

Subaru, unable to comprehend the meaning behind those added words, was left aside with widened eyes as Otto and Julius stared at each other piercingly.

Julius’s gaze was filled with pain, while Otto’s was bitter, their eyes wounding each other.

Otto: [For you, an outsider, to say that is outrageously selfish…!]

Julius: [I am sorry, but I would like to correct your perception on this matter. I am also one of the parties involved. I am in a position to voice my opinion, so allow me to exercise that right.]

Otto: [――Hk!]

Gritting his teeth, Otto’s glare towards Julius grew sharper.

Despite knowing he was no match in terms of fighting strength, the intensity of his gaze did not even budge. Julius, too, closed one eye at that strength of Otto’s will and let out a small sigh.

Subaru: [Nothing but Death, for the Sin Archbishops…]

Beside the back-and-forth between the two, Subaru muttered while feeling as if a part of his brain had gone numb.

What Julius had tried to say, and why the perceptive Otto had snapped at him. Subaru had not noticed what had been hidden beyond the surface level of words.

Nothing but Death for the Sin Archbishops was desired. The world would not forgive Louis Arneb.

The Sin Archbishops, Louis Arneb, the world would not――.

Subaru: [――Ah.]

Beatrice: [Subaru, Betty will speak now, in fact.]

The moment he felt the sensation of a slight breeze blowing across the labyrinth of thoughts, Beatrice spoke up.

Looking up at Subaru with her round eyes of a distinctive pattern,

Beatrice: [Betty ran into the Sin Archbishop Louis back in Pristella, I suppose. After that, this time when we happened to meet in the Empire, this is what Betty thought about that girl’s state, in fact. ――It’s as if she’s a different person, I suppose.]

Subaru: [――――]

Beatrice: [That girl, she’s different from the Sin Archbishop Betty knows, in fact. How was it from Subaru’s perspective, I suppose? From the perspective of Subaru, who had directly spoken with the Sin Archbishop up close.]

Beatrice’s kind, yet inescapable words questioned him.

He understood what she meant. For Subaru, it was something he had refused to acknowledge because he did not want to acknowledge it.

That the current “Louis” and the Louis Arneb he had met in the Hall of Memories, seemed to be different people.

However, just as he had refuted Julius’s suspicion, “Louis” had been using her Authority. Just as Gluttony had used it, she was able to freely utilize the special abilities of her eaten victims.

“Louis” still possessed the Authority of Gluttony, but her mind alone had been born anew.

That was just like――,

Subaru: [Just like me, when I had lost my memories.]

If that was indeed so, had “Louis” been suffering this whole time?

Just like how back then, Subaru had chased after the phantom of “Natsuki Subaru”, troubled and distressed at being unable to trust anyone around him, had “Louis” also been seeking help?

Even if that was the case, “Louis” had still helped Subaru and Rem, and had made it through to this day.


Emilia: [――You know, I’ve been thinking about this the whole time. Once you do something bad, is it already too late to undo it?]

Subaru: [Emilia…]

Emilia: [You apologize, you atone, but even then if you’re told that it’s not enough, then sometimes you’d get fed up with apologizing and atonement, right? So, I’ve been thinking about a way to prevent that… but it’s not easy to find such a terrific solution. But…]

Subaru: [But?]

Emilia: [There’s just one, one method that might work. It’s a method that Subaru taught me.]

Emilia placed her hand against her chest, and she carefully chose words that could fully convey her emotions.

Hearing the words that she had spoken, Subaru searched his own heart. But, among the things Subaru had taught Emilia, as for something that could be applied to this moment, nothing came to mind.

To Subaru, who had no idea what to expect, Emilia, with her gentle gaze upon him,

Emilia: [It’s to think “I want that person to be happy” more than you think “I won’t forgive that person”.]

Subaru: [――――]

Emilia: [For lots and lots of the people around them to think “I want that person to be happy.” I think that in order for us to forgive that child, it’s necessary for her to make us think that way.]

Emilia’s words slowly and gently seeped into Subaru’s heart.

A method, to forgive bad people. A method, to forgive evil deeds. A means of salvation that might lay beyond apologizing and atonement, that was the earnestly thought-out answer that Emilia had given.

Whether she had learned that from something Subaru had done, or it was something he had once taught her, he had no idea.

But, it felt like those words had fallen firmly into Subaru’s heart with a thump.

Why was it that Subaru was so concerned for the sake of a Sin Archbishop, for the sake of “Louis”?

That was because “Louis” had done more for Subaru than what Louis had done to him.


Anastasia: [Once more, lemme ask ya the same thing.]

Hearing Emilia’s words and Subaru’s faint sigh, Anastasia had thus spoken.

While stroking Eridna, who was wrapped around her neck, she looked at Subaru and Emilia in turn, and spoke.

Anastasia: [――In yer story, jus’ what point of compromise d’ya intend on takin’?]

So she declared.


???: [Aau?]

As she cupped Louis’s face between her hands, who was looking at her curiously, Rem let out a long, deep sigh.

That reaction of Rem’s caused Louis’s face to look more and more puzzled as her cheeks remained cupped.

From the girl’s demeanor, Rem reflected that she must have caused her to worry.

Even though she reflected――,

Rem: [Haah…]

???: [That’s quite the sigh, Rem. Is something the matter?]

Rem: [Nee-sama…]

Just when she gave a big sigh, a gentle voice called out from beside her.

It was Ram, who had returned to their assigned passenger cabin, having prepared some tea. Behind her, she was accompanied by a girl with antlers―― Tanza, Rem recalled her name to be.

Noticing Rem’s gaze, Ram nodded and said, “Ah,”

Ram: [It seemed like she had nothing to do with the time on her hands, so Ram brought her along.]

Tanza: [It is not as if I have nothing to do…]

Ram: [Really? There was a look of dissatisfaction on your face when you were kept away from the rest of those loudmouths. Even the Empire has ideas like wanting to fight to protect women and children. Ram thought they would have been more foolish.]

Rem: [N-Nee-sama, that is a bit of an exaggeration…]

Rem’s cheeks stiffened slightly at her sister’s rather blunt statement.

It was still taking quite a bit of time to come to a thorough mutual understanding between herself and her sister, but even so, since the appeal from the root of her soul was honest, Rem could feel her heart stirring with every single move Ram made.

Regardless, Tanza looked discontent with the way Ram had put it.

Tanza: [It may be true that many of the people in the Battalion, especially Cecilus-sama, think about things in a simple manner, but among them are those who are as sharp-witted as the Governor.]

Rem: [I see. So, it was that sharp-witted Governor who told you to stay behind?]

Tanza: [――. No, it was Schwartz-sama who had told me to rest.]

Louis: [Uh.]

At Ram’s switch-up, the corners of Tanza’s mouth slightly stiffened as she replied. Immediately, Louis, whose cheeks were being cupped by Rem, moaned as the pressure of the hands grew stronger.

“Oh no!” thought Rem, as she apologized to Louis with an “I’m sorry”.

Rem: [So careless of me. Are you alright, Louis-chan?]

Louis: [Auu… Uau?]

Rem: […No, that has nothing to do with this.]

Louis: [Uu.]

Her cheeks still being sandwiched, Louis cast a doubtful gaze on Rem after hearing the latter’s answer.

Turning away from Louis’s gaze, her eyes met Ram’s, who had just been serving the tea. She placed a cup of warm, fragrant tea in front of Rem,

Ram: [Despite being a confidential dragon carriage of the Empire, it’s not as well-stocked with tea leaves as you’d expect. The flavor isn’t anything too notable, but it will keep your body warm.]

Rem: [T-thank you. I’ll take a sip now.]

Ram: [So? Did Barusu do something rude to you?]

Rem: [Ptooey.]

Finally releasing Louis’s cheeks, as soon as she put her mouth on the tea, she sputtered it out. As Rem quickly put down the cup, Louis tried to wipe her face with her own sleeve.

Rem: [I’m fine, I’m fine, Louis-chan… Um, what is it, Nee-sama?]

Ram: [Nothing at all. Barusu’s behavior is usually rude and inconsiderate. Even if it is guesswork, chances are high that it is the reason why Rem’s face looks so gloomy.]

Rem: [That’s also a bit of an exaggeration, no matter how you say it…]

In other words, it was just some guesswork off a hunch, so Rem breathed a sigh of relief as Louis wiped her face. But, that reaction was enough for the perceptive Ram to guess the reason for her sigh.

Sitting cross-legged just in front of her, Ram stared at Rem as she tilted her cup.

Under the pressure of that silence, Rem soon relented and confessed.

Rem: [Um, about Emilia-san…]

Ram: [Emilia-sama? Yes, Emilia-sama is also clueless and inconsiderate in some aspects, isn’t she? So is that why Rem’s face was so gloomy?]

Rem: [N-no, that’s not it! It’s just… I wanted to ask what the relationship between that person, the person called Natsuki Subaru, and Emilia-san is…]

As the tone of her voice fell, Rem succeeded in asking her question while keeping as calm as she could.

However, at this time, Rem did not realize that the very choice of topic was enough to make Ram’s light-crimson eyes narrow.

But, her astute-looking older sister quietly muttered, “I see,”

Ram: [Well, Ram ought to tear Barusu limb-from-limb. Let’s do that together later.]

Rem: [Nee-sama!?]

Ram: [Hehe, it will be a sisterly collaboration. I suppose Barusu can be useful sometimes.]

Her faintly smiling sister possessed enchanting beauty, but her remarks were extremely disturbing. And after hearing Ram’s remarks, it was Tanza who quite literally had a horn to pick. [1]

She took a sip of the tea that had been brewed for her too, and though she was surprised at the taste with a “Wow”,

Tanza: [Is that not a bit of an imprudent statement? Barusu… I suppose that is referring to Schwartz-sama. But, if you lay your hands on Schwartz-sama, I and the rest of the battalion will not show mercy.]

Ram: [That’s quite the courageous response… Tanza, how old are you?]

Tanza: [――? I will turn twelve this year.]

Ram: [That’s it. That explains it.]

Tanza: [Even though you have reached some comprehension, I am unable to understand.]

Rem approved of the dissatisfied Tanza’s view.

Why has Ram reached an understanding upon hearing Tanza’s age? To begin with, has Ram even answered Rem’s question yet?

Um, what kind of relationship does that girl Emilia have with Subaru?

Rem: […They were, awfully close.]

If she were then to be asked “So what?”, even Rem would be unable to reply with anything but “Ha?”, but Rem did have many thoughts about how close those two were.

Thus, Rem preferred to resolve this as soon as possible so she could focus on her own problems.

Rem’s problems, that was to say―― Anyway, it was Rem’s problem.

Rem: [That’s right. It’s just a trivial matter that needs to be taken care of quickly so that I can face the bigger issues. Nothing more, nothing less.]

???: [――Rem, you got a minute?]

Rem: [Ha!?]

With a loud jolt, Rem reflexively stood up on the spot. This caused Rem to unconsciously pick up Louis, who had been on her lap.

Rem lifted Louis up, who in her surprise let out an “Auu!”, and Rem yet again apologized to her, looking toward the door of the cabin, in the direction where she was called from,

Rem: [W-who is it?]

Ram: [Not just who, it’s Barusu, the one to be torn to pieces. ――It seems that their discussion is over.]

Rem: [Ah…]

At Ram’s words, as she gracefully tasted her tea, Rem let out a small sigh and hugged Louis. With an “Au?”, Louis twisted her head, and Rem closed her eyes as she buried the tip of her nose into her golden hair.

Just before, Rem had been present as of the launch of an attack on the coupled dragon carriages, but afterward, she had not joined the subsequent discussion, to which Abel had taken Subaru with a serious look on his face.

Of course, there was also the fact that she would not be useful even if she got mixed up in an important conversation, and there was also the small issue that she had ascertained earlier that was still bothering her.

However, the biggest reason was――,

Louis: [U?]

The reason was that she had an unpleasant apprehension about the one in her arms, Louis.

She did not fully know why, but Rem’s heart instinctively knew that she needed to be by Louis’s side. Thus, when she had shut herself in this cabin like this――,

Tanza: [――Schwartz-sama, come in.]

Subaru: [Ah, thanks… Wait, Tanza was here too?]

Tanza: [Yes, since Schwartz-sama conspired with everyone, and forced me to stay behind.]

Subaru: [Something about the way you put it makes me feel guilty…]

While Rem was flustered, Tanza instead welcomed the visitor into the room.

When Tanza hit him with some resentful complaints, the person who entered scratched his head in a troubled manner. Even though his stature had shrunk, the atmosphere of his troubled profile had not changed much.

That was probably because even if he were to grow somewhat taller, the childish look of his face would not disappear.

Rem: [Despite the mean looking eyes, he’s a strange person…]

Subaru: [Hey!? Just now, did someone say something bad about my eyes? I heard you, you know?]

Ram: [This is quite the considerable feat. To think that the complaints of the people of the Kingdom of Lugunica could be heard across the border.]

Subaru: [There’s no way the whole Kingdom is talking about my eyes! They’re making delightful conversation about dinner and plans for tomorrow and whatnot, I bet!]

Giving an exaggerated response to Ram’s teasing, Subaru strode into the room with a great deal of swagger.

For some reason Rem felt unable to look at Subaru, so she hid her face behind Louis, whom she was holding up with her arms, and did not face him directly.

Instead, Louis took her place and spoke an “Uau” to Subaru.

Subaru: [Yo, Louis, I also have some business with you. Would you happen to know where Rem is?]

Louis: [Aauu.]

Subaru: [I see, so you don’t know. Welp, I’m beat. Even though I had something important to tell her…]

Rem: [――. If it’s an important matter, please don’t joke around and get to the point.]

Subaru: [Whoa, Rem! So you were behind Louis!? I didn’t notice!]

Subaru forced an unnatural and exaggerated reaction when Rem interjected. But then again, his forced behavior seemed to have fooled Louis, as she shrugged her shoulders in disappointment that she could not hide Rem from him.

As she lowered Louis to the floor and stroked her head to comfort her, Rem narrowed her eyes.

Rem: […Perhaps, you’re overdoing things?]

Subaru: [――――]

Rem: [I think I’ve said it before. Please stop overdoing things and shouldering reckless burdens like that. After all, you’re not a hero who can do everything.]

Subaru’s attitude just before seemed to be some sort of brave front, so Rem quoted the same words that she had told him in the past.

Subaru’s eyes widened at those words, however, he immediately smirked and said,

Subaru: [Nah, surprisingly, I’m objectively viewed as Superman, so while I’m grateful for Rem’s opinion, I’ll just accept it as a cute voice.]

Rem: [Please don’t joke around.]

Subaru: [I’m not joking. ――Rem, I have something important to tell you about Louis.]

Straightening his posture, Subaru erased his smirk and said so straightforwardly.

Hearing that, Rem gulped, and in her place, Ram sighed at the exchange of the two, and,

Ram: [Barusu, shall Ram and Tanza excuse ourselves?]

Subaru: [Nah, it’s fine if Nee-sama and Tanza stay. Nee-sama can be the representative of the Big Sister Division, and Tanza can be the representative of the Loli Division.]

Ram: [You are saying Ram is superior to Frederica as an older sister. Naturally.]

Tanza: [Um, what do you mean by Lolly Division…?]

Requested to be present, Ram puffed out her chest and Tanza cocked her head.

Then, Rem gently pulled Louis closer as Subaru turned his gaze towards them again. Holding the back of Louis’s head to her chest, Rem fixed her eyes on Subaru.

And then――,

Subaru: [――Let’s resolve it. This lovely relationship between us, that we don’t really understand.]


Translation note

[1] – An attempt to maintain the pun 文字通り角を立てた, which means to aggravate a situation, but is also referencing Tanza’s literal horns. Thus it has been rendered as a play on the expression “bone to pick”.

42 thoughts on “Arc 8, Chapter 22 – “Want To Believe. Will Not Forgive.””

    1. she’s trying to help subaru, dude. Her words will break down his hero complex and make him realize that he doesn’t have to do everything.

        1. Sure, but that’s not the Subaru Rem knows. Rem with her current memories can’t trust Subaru like that – she can’t see him as a hero like she saw him before. Sure, he has done incredible things, but she also has seen just how vulnerable and weak he can be. She has seen him nearly die on numerous occasions.

    1. the hellll man who even invited you everyone knows ram is a min maxer that specializes in steamed potatoes and tea more than anyone else, to the point that they are the only things on her mind and therefore the only things she does right, and she does them better than anyone. man shut up

  1. Oh, how I want the next chapter! Rem has become a lot shyer than before, pre-amnesiac Rem was very bold in expressing her feelings towards everyone.

  2. Gotta agree with everyone here Subaru….there’s no forgiving a Archbishop of Sin! OFF WITH HER HEAAAD!

    Once the Kingdom battle is over that is.

    Now,let’s squash this beef Rem

    1. but I mean she is not really the Sin Archbishop is she? The real one is still stuck inside the Hall Of Memories after all

    2. one of the whole points of arc 6 is that memories is what makes you who you are. Now that louis is effectively not the sin archbishop of gluttony, there’s no reason for her to be punished. Perhaps she will help subaru defeat the rest of the sin archbishops, and will make people wish for her happiness as Emilia was talking about.

        1. more than that. her soul was broken down by satella and what was left of it fused with the healing spirit from the healing room as explained in the beginning of arc 7 (thats why louis can use powerful healing on herself) but her intelligence seems to about the one of a 3 year old so she hasnt done much with her incredible potential so far

          1. 30 seconds later i think she just lost all of her memories too with the exception of her love for subaru, raising her mental age in my head from 4 to 8

    3. uwah’s soul is fundementally different from louis’. in other words louis already died giving birth and uwah is her child with the healing room healing spirit

  3. Finally someone willing to call out Ram on her sh*t. Tanza just shot up through the ranks of favourite characters.

  4. Finalmente chegou esse momento…triste que a Louis serve como um ponto de descanso pra Rem…
    Eu queria que a Emília soubesse do Petelgeuse e contasse tmb sua história com ele pro Subaru…talvez no futuro isso aconteça…
    De qualquer jeito, como vão salvar o Louis , tô curioso.
    Obrigado pelo capítulo!

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