**********Note from Translation Chicken**********
Start reading here after Episode 25!
After almost two years since releasing this first chapter, I finally came back to revise it, and it’s still as close to my heart as back then.
If you’re new here, welcome!! ❤
I do read all of the comments, though I might not always reply.
If you catch any typos while reading please let me know!
All rights belong to the original author, Nagatsuki Tappei. This is a translation of the free Japanese Web Novel into English.
Japanese Web Novel Source: http://ncode.syosetu.com/n2267be/164/
Re:Zero Arc 3 Interlude II [Let’s Eat]
――In the swaying dragon carriage, Rem was only thinking of him.
Suddenly hearing someone calling her name, Rem softly lifted her face and narrowed her eyes against the bright radiance of the sun.
She gazed at the entourage of dragon carriages ahead. Inside them, were the wounded soldiers of the battle with the White Whale.
All in all, only their most urgent wounds had been treated and more than a few of them were still seriously injured. Yet, despite their pain, the corners of their lips revealed only the sense of accomplishment for having fulfilled a long-cherished dream. After carrying this dream for so many years, to see it finally realized meant more to them than injury or death. Having achieved what they set out to do, they now ride towards the Capital on their triumphant return.
Taking all this into her sight, Rem hated herself for not being able to hold back the pain inside her heart.
[Crusch: You look anxious, Rem. Are you still worrying about him?]
Glancing towards the voice, it was Crusch sitting beside her.
Wrapped in light bandages, it was commendable how Rem revealed no signs of the seriousness of her injuries, but it was impossible to conceal her depleted stamina. The fact that they rode in a carriage was also because Crusch didn’t feel comfortable letting Rem ride a ground dragon alone in this condition. So she resolved to accompany her, at least until the Capital is within their sights.
Sensing Rem’s unsettled look, Crusch casually shrugged.
[Crusch: Compared to this…]
She shook her head,
[Crusch: He has Wilhelm, Ferris, the elites of the expedition, and Ricardo’s mercenary company, all there to assist him. Besides, Anastasia must have predicted this turn of events. Even if the adversary’s strength is a concern, I don’t think there is any reason they would lose]
[Rem: Even so, I still can’t help but selfishly worry]
[Crusch: Still can’t remove the source of anxiety, huh… When the obstacle is within you, it would be possible to improve yourself until it is overcome. But when it’s about other people, it does become quite difficult…… Ah, I am quite terrible at comforting people after all, my apologies]
Seeing Rem sink deeper into her worries, Crusch realized she had misspoken and lowered her eyes. But seeing the always cold and formal Crusch suddenly so out of character, Rem couldn’t help but curl the corners of her lips into a smile.
[Crusch: Mn, that’s good]
Seeing this, Crusch nodded contently,
[Crusch: Natsuki Subaru said it before, “a smile suits Rem better, doesn’t it?”. Even though it sounded like it came out of nowhere, it wasn’t an entirely stupid thing to say]
[Rem: Crusch-sama… you know when you smile, you give off a completely different impression. You’re usually stern, yet once you smile you become……]
[Crusch: People do say that. I can’t say I’m not angry about it. I guess just because I don’t smile for no reason in front of people, I’m becoming rather unlovable…]
Rem wasn’t sure whether to take that as a joke, but seeing Crusch’s gentle smile, her lips opened into a smile as well. Courageous and proud, to Rem, who had always been lacking confidence, Crusch was an ideal woman. But of course, in Rem’s heart, the highest honor was reserved for none other than her older sister, Ram.
[Crusch: Ahead of their path is the Witch Cult…… Even though it was more or less expected considering Emilia’s identity, until we know more about them, caution is necessary. Natsuki Subaru realizes this, but surely Lord Mathers has a plan as well?]
[Rem: The depths of my master’s mind, Rem couldn’t possibly know. Even if you ask me I wouldn’t be able to say]
[Crusch: That’s harsh. Now that we’re allies after all, a little information slipping around wouldn’t be too bad]
Perhaps it was meant to distract Rem from sinking into negative thoughts again. Indeed, it was thanks to Crusch that Rem wasn’t left alone with her worries.
Besides, Crusch made a good point. A man such as Roswaal L. Mathers must have had a grand plan for all this. Surely Subaru’s actions were all furthering his master’s goals, while also at the same time recovering his lost reputation.
Or actually, with the slaying of the White Whale, his reputation had already far surpassed what it was before.
――“Hero, Natsuki Subaru”
To Rem, whose heart and future he had saved, this assessment is only a matter of course, and considering the bright future he has yet to create, it is also more than justified.
And then, to be at the side of that radiant hero, a place he could occasionally turn to to make sure that she was there: if only that place could hold her existence, then there is nothing else in the world Rem would wish for. With this alone, she would be content.
When Subaru appears in her mind, Rem’s heart is always full of turmoil.
It becomes warm, and perhaps calm. Yet somehow it also becomes full of pain, of anxiety, of longing and worry.
To give her heart at once so much happiness and so much suffering, only Subaru could do this to her.
With a smile carved upon her lips, Rem’s thoughts turned to her future: her and Subaru’s future.
Stealing a glance at the side of Rem’s face, Crusch exhaled a sigh of relief. Caressing the scabbard of her knight-sword with her fingers, her eyes stared in silence into the road ahead―― her thoughts were of the long path to the Capital.
Crusch squinted her eyes, the same instant Rem heard a noise and raised her head.
What Crusch’s eyes captured was something off about the dragon carriage up ahead. The noise Rem heard came from the same direction. In fact, both clues were leading to the same conclusion.
In Crusch’s eyes, the dragon carriage “disintegrated”. In Rem’s ears, the prelude to “collapse” echoed like the sound of raindrops.
A mist of blood sprayed out. The image of the dragon carriage in front of them all of a sudden transformed into a pitiful blur.
The ground dragon, the carriage, and all of the wounded inside were completely uprooted, and then shattered mercilessly by overwhelming devastation.
[Crusch: ――! Enemy attack!]
Her astonished throat delayed only an instant, before Crusch bellowed out the rally call. With Crusch at the helm, the surrounding dragon carriages sensed the crisis and prepared for battle.
Rem, pushing away all sensations of injury and exhaustion and with her morningstar in hand, stood up at once―― on the other side of the blood mist was the upright shadow of a man.
Who is that man, now burning into her sight, standing in the middle of the road?
Without weapon, without armor, without fear. Without compassion or malice or intent――!
[Crusch: ――Crush over him!!]
Crusch’s command came roaring from atop the driver’s platform. Hearing the command, the knight-driver snapped the reins in acknowledgment. With a cry, the ground dragon led the carriage charging―― with surging momentum capable of shredding any victim coming into contact.
Without deviation from the mark, it was a head-on collision into the upright figure. The man showed no intention of moving. And just like that, the two objects touched, the slender body about to be ripped to shreds by the–
With this cry, Rem picked up Crusch by the waist and flew off the side of the carriage. There was no time to reach for the driver, Rem landed biting her lip, thinking this.
And then, right after――
[Man: Agh really? Don’t do that. I didn’t even do anything and someone wants to crush me to death. Really, that isn’t what people should be doing. I don’t think so]
He spoke with the relaxed demeanor of a man leisurely walking in a park, or basking in the sun or some such situation.
If it weren’t for the shattered debris of what used to be the dragon carriage, Rem would not have found this scene to be so bizarrely horrifying.
No matter how you look at it, the man doesn’t seem anything out of the ordinary.
His body was slender, and his neat white hair was neither long nor short, nor particularly odd. His black clothes were neither flamboyant nor shabby, and his face was not eye-catching at all. He looked so very ordinary that perhaps no matter where you put him he would not seem out of place, and if you met him on the street you’d forget him within 10 seconds.
But the fact is, upon coming into contact with this man, the ground dragon was ripped in two, its feet still in mid-stride, and then, along with the driver and carriage, shattered into countless indiscernible pieces.
The most frightening part is, though Rem never looked away, all she saw was this man merely “standing there”.
Not doing anything, just by standing there the man survived collision with a charging dragon carriage, and still stood there as if it were nothing.
[Crusch: Thank you, Rem, for saving me. But… it seems the situation hasn’t improved]
Still being carried in Rem’s arms, Crusch thanked her, stood back up, and in the same instant drew her knight-sword from its sheath. For the driver who followed her order and was shattered into a thousand pieces as a result, Crusch grieved his death in her heart and narrowed her eyes,
[Crusch: To so cruelly murder my subjects, do not think this will end so easily…… Who are you?]
With her naked blade gleaming with the intent to kill, she threw these words at the man. Taking in these words, the man touched his chin and began nodding as if he understood.
[Man: Ah I see I see right right, you don’t know about me. But I know about you. The whole Capital…… actually, the whole country is talking about you. You are a candidate to be the next King, after all. Even I, so out of touch with the world, can imagine what a great burden……]
[Crusch: Idle talk ends now. ――Answer my question, or the next time I shall slay you]
[Man: That’s really extreme! But then you wouldn’t be able to run a country otherwise. Yet this sentiment, I really don’t understand it one bit… This desire to wear the crown, and take up all those responsibilities, how can anyone understand it? Ah, ah, even though I don’t understand, I won’t disagree with you. I’m not so arrogant as that, not one bit. Unlike you…]
Not paying any attention to Crusch’s demand, the man just kept on and on.
[Crusch: ――As I said, that was the last chance]
As Crusch coldly pronounced these words, her arm swung out a blade-of-wind.
Crusch’s wind-magic combined with swordsmanship unleashes an invisible slash―― Renowned as the “Hundred-Men-Cut”, it is a powerful ultra-long-range slash that can sever a man’s body without him even knowing where, or who, it came from.
Back then, when the Mabeast “Great Rabbit” appeared in the plains of the Karsten county, she slew all the Mabeasts under the Great Rabbit’s command in her first ever battle, and it was that time onward Count Crusch Karsten earned the name “Hundred-Men-Cut”.
Even the White Whale’s adamant skin was opened by this blade, as it played no small part in bringing down that colossal Mabeast. Compared to the White Whale, this small, frail body could not possibly withstand……
[Man: ……attacking someone while they’re talking, just where are your manners?]
Head tilted, as if flaunting how his body took no damage, the man just stood there.
His existence was utterly unaffected by a slash that could rend even the White Whale’s armor. The man’s body―― no, even his clothes were unscathed.
He did not defend the attack. Rather, it was something wholly different and unknown.
Crusch could not help but hold her breath, and Rem froze in place, after witnessing something so far outside the realm of understanding. In front of them, the man sighed for the first time.
[Man: You know…] he went on with a tone lowered by displeasure,
[Man: I was talking. Wasn’t I talking just now? And then you interrupted me. Isn’t that a bit impolite? Don’t you think that was wrong? I have the right to speak… even though I don’t really want to have to point this out, but to not interrupt people when they’re speaking… isn’t that just common social decency? You’re free to listen or not listen I won’t bother you about that, but just what are you trying to do by not letting me talk?]
As he ranted, the man occasionally stomped the ground with a displeased expression on his face. And just like this, he pointed his finger at the two in front of him, both now eerily speechless.
[Man: And now you’re quiet, what is this? You’re listening. You were listening, right? Wasn’t I asking you something? Then give me some kind of reply, it should be like that, right? You won’t even do that, don’t even want to. Ah, ah, freedom. That’s your freedom. You see me ranting and you want to kill me, then when I ask you a question, you ignore me like I’m the wind. So it’s like that, is it? Well you’re free to do that. Alright, let’s just say it’s like that. But then, what is that supposed to mean?]
Seeing the two standing silently in front of him bracing for an attack, he tilted his head and stared at them with his sharp eyes, and then, with a smothered voice,
[Man: You’re disregarding my Right――one of my only few possessions, right?]
Just as a chill ran up Rem’s back, the man took a step forward. His drooping arm lifted, sweeping up a small gust of wind.
Then, on the same line as the motion of his arm―― the earth, the air, and the world parted in two.
Round and round and round, Crusch’s severed left shoulder flew into the air.
Still grasping onto the sheath of a knight-sword, the arm dropped down in a spray of blood. Crusch, blown off her feet by the impact, fell to the ground, convulsing in pain and mass loss of blood.
Stunned for few seconds, Rem rushed to the side of the fallen Crusch. She placed her hands on Crusch’s wound and with the small final remnant of her Mana, applied all her power to stop the bleeding.
Crusch’s shoulder flowed bright crimson, the flesh, bones, nerves and arteries were all perfectly severed. A clean and masterful attack, Rem sighed with a rather inappropriate admiration.
[Crusch: Ferris…… oh… you?]
Under Rem’s healing hands, Crusch looked on with unfocused eyes, muttering indiscernibly, and, with her remaining right arm, grasped tightly onto Rem’s knee. Proof that she still possessed the strength to live.
===This is 50% of the chapter so far, took me 14 hours just to get this far… hopefully my speed can pick up later on. Second half should be ready tomorrow===
Part 2/2 is done, read it here!