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In the loops after the slaying of the White Whale, Subaru had only spoken to Beatrice once in the Forbidden Library.
The purpose of that conversation was to convince her to escape from the Witch Cult, but she refused, and in the end, the girl was left in the mansion all alone.
While he could no longer remember everything they had discussed, looking back, there was one fact that he could not miss.
Beatrice, at that point in time, had asked him about Rem, who was supposed to have returned with him.
By that time, the handwritten letter had already turned blank when it reached the Mansion.
In other words, the conversation took place after Rem had been attacked by the Sin Archbishops, and Beatrice, who had never seemed to care much about Rem up to that point, had suddenly asked about her——
[Subaru: Answer me. Do you remember Rem who used to live in this mansion?]
He wanted her to remember, she must remember, thinking this, Subaru’s voice distorted toward the end.
The depths of his memories confirmed this, and his ever weakening heart, so close to sinking, to drowning, yearning to be revived, would not deny this…
Beatrice silently stared at Subaru.
Within her pupils, there was neither feeling nor emotion. What she was thinking was impossible to read.
Normally, she was a girl whose emotions are easy to understand, but at this moment, Subaru could not pick up anything at all. His teeth itched, it was as if time stood still, and Subaru’s heart was burning down to ashes.
Why don’t you say anything.
You either remember, or you don’t, it’s not a difficult question to answer…
…Of course, there was only one answer he wanted to hear. That Beatrice remembers Rem, and that she would laugh at the sheer stupidity of his question.
Memories eaten, name swallowed, removed from the world, what a stupid notion that is.
Let her feel as he feels, let her feel that same indignation at the cruel outrageousness of this World. Or, even if they could just share the common reality of her existence, perhaps they would find the solution together, and that would be enough.
So, tell me you know her.
Like Emilia, like Crusch, like Wilhelm, like all the others, Rem—— don’t tell me you have forgotten her.
Wanting to hear her answer. Dreading to hear her answer. Agitation, contradiction, his emotions wrenched and twisted.
Then, to Subaru’s faltering, convulsing heart, Beatrice spoke
[Beatrice: ——I don’t want to answer]
She turned her gaze away from Subaru, answering neither yes or no.
Losing his breath with a “Ha”, for an instant, Subaru’s mind stopped. Then bewilderedly flinging his arms in the air
[Subaru: Wa, wait. What do you mean you don’t want to answer? Doesn’t that question only have the answers YES or NO?]
[Beatrice: I don’t know what you mean by ‘/yes/’or ‘/nō/’ I suppose. And my answer will never change. I don’t want to answer]
[Subaru: I’M SAYING THAT ISN’T AN ANSWER!]
Swinging his arms down, Subaru stepped forward furiously.
The girl sitting on the stepladder did not even glance at his intense gesture, and only firmly closed her lips. Seeing her obstinate attitude, flames engulfed his chest, impossible to stop.
[Subaru: Those are not the words I want to hear from you!]
[Beatrice: Why does Betty have to answer in words you want to hear I suppose? ……Stop making a fuss. The Library will get disordered I suppose]
Subaru stormed toward Beatrice.
The face that did not even want to look at him, Subaru wanted to force it around and ask her face to face how could she say something so heartless. But,
The moment he was about to touch her, Beatrice looked at Subaru.
And then, in that instant, her eyes filled with waves of emotion, Subaru’s hand stopped. Because it was as if she——
[Beatrice: That question of yours, are words querying about someone eaten by ‘Gluttony’]
[Subaru: ——! So, you……]
[Beatrice: This sort of thing, if one is familiar with the Authority of Gluttony, is not difficult to deduce I suppose. Roswaal too, and Nii-cha, and Shaula would all know this as well]
An unexpected name flying out, Subaru’s throat clogged up.
Roswaal knowing the Authority of Gluttony —— does that mean there might be a chance that he remembers Rem? No but before that,
[Subaru: How much do you guys know about the Witch’s Cult? Even Roswaal should have known, that once Emilia’s identity as a Half-Elf was known to the public, the Witch Cult would start taking action. Yet, if I didn’t do anything, the Mansion and the village would all have been destroyed. What is going on?]
[Subaru: There is no way he didn’t plan anything, that was what Rem and Crusch-san told me. Yet, it looks to me like he didn’t prepare for anything at all, because if he did, how could it have end up so catastrophically…]
[Beatrice: Betty doesn’t know how much Roswaal has thought about it I suppose. But…… I don’t think Roswaal would have thought nothing on it]
Listening to Beatrice’s statement, Subaru narrowed his brows, trying to pick out some indication of Roswaal’s preparations at work during the battle against Betelgeuse. Yet, no matter how much Subaru searched through his memories, he couldn’t find anything of the sort.
[Subaru: Is it a misconception? Or are we overestimating his capabilities? If Roswaal did something, then why was I faced with so much trouble……]
[Beatrice: If you don’t know, then no one could possibly know]
Her sigh carried a color of disappointment, Beatrice seemed to have given up on his lack of understanding. Even though he was displeased by her attitude, Subaru noticed the conversation had strayed off the topic.
[Subaru: Wait, compared to that, if you know something about the Witch Cult, tell me everything. About the Sin Archbishops, about ‘Gluttony’, there’s a mountain of things I want to ask you…… and this too]
One after another, Subaru wanted to ask Beatrice everything.
Subaru put his hand into his jacket, and took out a book with black binding.
The book, dirtied with black-ish blood on the cover and partially on the inside, was the loot he received after a fierce battle against a formidable opponent, several days ago.
[Subaru: I know this thing is a really important and deep part of the Witch Cult… I can’t read what’s inside, but as the guardian of the Forbidden Library you might know something……]
[Beatrice: ——A Gospel]
Looking at the book in Subaru’s hands, Beatrice’s eyes opened wide.
Her peach-colored lips trembled, staring at the Gospel with a frozen gaze.
The illegible words written on the cover — she skimmed over them, and with an incredulous expression,
[Beatrice: Why do you, of all people, have……]
[Subaru: I plundered it, but it’s not that I actually wanted it, you know. Like I said, the Witch Cult had the mansion surrounded. So I took it off of their leader. The owner……. doesn’t exist in this world anymore]
[Beatrice: Took it…….but, that]
Beatrice’s voice quivered, as she reached out her hands for the Gospel held by Subaru.
Though he hesitated, seeing Beatrice’s small fingers trembling, Subaru slowly placed the Gospel in her hands. Receiving the book, as if checking, she traced her finger over the mysterious letters on the front cover, and
[Beatrice: Its owner…… died, you said, I suppose?]
[Subaru: ……Yeah. He’s dead. He got engulfed by the carriage wheels and …… I killed him]
All things considered, Betelgeuse wasn’t directly killed by Subaru.
But still, everything from the reason, the circumstances, to the events leading up to the reality of his demise, were all inevitable extensions of Subaru’s actions.
Subaru wanted to kill Betelgeuse, for if he didn’t take that man’s life in a duel to the death, in his Soul, he would never be able to forgive himself.
Therefore, Subaru had no reservations about his intention to murder Betelgeuse.
But even without reservations, it could not be said that dirtying his hands did not leave him with any regrets. He could not pretend it didn’t affect him, nor would his heart lie for him on this matter.
The fact that he killed Betelgeuse, and had once been killed by Betelgeuse as well, he will never be able to forget.
For as long as he lives, he will be carrying the life he took from that man——but these sentiments did not come out of Subaru’s mouth.
Betelgeuse was an existence that deserved to die, and Subaru, believing this, murdered him.
But, to all these thoughts carried within his words, Beatrice did not show any reaction.
She only quietly murmured [I see……], keeping her eyes dropped down at the Gospel in her hands,
[Beatrice: So even you went leaving Betty, huh, Juice……]
[Subaru: ——? Who is that?]
[Beatrice: There is no need for you to know. What happened to the ‘Witch Gene’, if you have killed ‘Sloth’ I suppose?]
[Subaru: Witch, gene……?]
At Beatrice’s question, Subaru wrinkled his brows and tilted his head.
Seeing this gesture from Subaru, Beatrice’s expression was one of bafflement, and she narrowed her eyes as if trying to read Subaru’s emotions from his expression. But, searching, her gaze could not find what it was looking for.
Subaru clicked his tongue in agitation,
[Subaru: Tch, don’t use professional terminologies on a guy who doesn’t know anything about the situation, come on. What is that, ‘Witch Gene’? Ugh sounds wonderful already]
[Beatrice: You don’t know……? Wait, seriously? Then, for what reason did you kill ‘Sloth’ I suppose? I don’t understand]
[Subaru: I was just getting rid of falling sparks! What are you trying to tell me!]
The conversation that just doesn’t seem to mesh is straining Subaru’s patience, but unlike Subaru, who was trying to force the pace, Beatrice is getting closer and closer to a complete silence. Placing the back of her hand against her lips, as if in deep thought, she only continued gazing at the front cover of the book,
[Beatrice: I, don’t know. ……This is beyond Betty’s ability to decide]
[Subaru: What are you trying to decide alone ——hey]
Shaking her head, Beatrice threw the Gospel at Subaru.
Quickly catching the thrown book, Subaru breathed a small sigh of relief and,
[Subaru: What are you doing all of a sudden. I’m not saying it’s dangerous, but it is still an eerie book. Handle it more carefully!]
[Beatrice: ——You should hold onto it, I suppose. What would the Witch Gene choose, or not choose… Either way, a decision will be forced. When that time comes, if it helps you in your decision, Juice would be able to pass on peacefully too, I suppose]
[Subaru: What do you mean a beverage passing on! You’re……!]
Nothing at all, Subaru understood none of it as he clung to the incomprehensible words. But, before Subaru could say anything, there was a strange feeling forming behind him.
——There was the sound of space being bent by an unnatural force. Subaru instinctively understood, though he didn’t know why he knew this,
[Subaru: Are you going to kick me out? I haven’t been able ask you anything yet…… You want me to leave with just this, seriously!?]
[Beatrice: The answers you want to hear, and the words you want to hear — why must Betty say them I suppose? Selfish…… Stop being Prideful]
[Subaru: Pri……! ——Just tell me, I want to know! I won’t ask for any more! So, please…]
[Beatrice: ——Betty is…]
All the hair of his back stood on end —— for they were being physically drawn backwards by a force pulling Subaru’s entire body back.
Space was distorting —— only when he turned his head to look behind him, he saw that the door which was supposed to be shut, had been opened, and he knew that the space of absolute darkness shall soon engulf him.
No wind was blowing, nor were his legs or arms being grabbed by anything.
Only, there was an indescribable pressure all over his body from the front, and a gravitational force invisible to naked eyes from the rear, as if embracing him, pulling him away.
—Absolute and forceful, it was the true form of Door Crossing.
[Subaru: Beako…… Beatrice!]
[Beatrice: What is trying to get out is your body, and your soul]
[Subaru: What are you—]
[Beatrice: Your heart doesn’t want to hear the true answers, because of your weakness your gaze avoids reality, and your selfish mind does not want to look at your own Sins. All this, distances your body further from this Forbidden Library]
[Beatrice: Betty is not… a convenient tool for you]
[Beatrice: What you want to hear, when you want to hear it, in words you want to hear, in the way you want to hear it…… I am not a convenient existence, like that]
As these words wrenched through Beatrice’s lips, Subaru could not pronounce another syllable.
They penetrated deep, and pierced the mark, and completely unprepared, Subaru was mauled by those word into speechless astonishment.
Then, as void emerged, Subaru’s body’s resistance collapsed, and
This way, as if being sucked into the door behind him, Subaru’s body was pulled toward the Door Crossing.
If he goes through, he would be kicked out of the Library. At the last moment, Subaru grabbed the edge of the door, and as his other half was about to swing out, he stomped onto the other end.
Panting, clenching his teeth tightly, he looked up—— in front, there was a girl with an expression full of sorrow.
[Beatrice: If you have something you want to know, ask Roswaal. ——Nii-cha or Betty, won’t say anything to you]
[Subaru: ……Why are you, almost crying]
At Subaru’s final query, Beatrice cast down her eyes, and did not respond.
At last, the girl extended her fingertips and wrapped them around Subaru’s fingers on the door——and took them off.
Sucked in. Thrown off. Locked out.
To the door, from the Forbidden Library —— by the heart of a girl named Beatrice.
Sliding through, the door vomited him out and sent him flying into the hallway.
In front of his eyes, the door that threw him out closed up violently, seeing this Subaru extended out his hand to the flap, but it was too late.
[Subaru: That Drill Loli……]
The other side of the door was not the Forbidden Library, only another unused guest room.
He looked around at the Mansion, but couldn’t feel the sixth-sense which connects him to the Forbidden Library.
——Today, he can’t meet her anymore.
This realization fell on Subaru’s heart.
What he wanted to hear, what he wanted to know, rather than that, he was only turned round and round by the girl’s mystifying words, and kicked out before gaining anything.
[Subaru: What the hell! If you know something, then cough it up, you stingy brat! You mopey shut-in-hikikomori! Which son of the Natsuki-family do you think you are?]
Subaru kicked at the door which up until a few moments ago had been connected to the Forbidden Library, and let out a long sigh.
Shaking his head, he tried to forget the image in his mind — The last thing he saw at the time of their parting, Beatrice’s expression, would not leave him.
But, surely she was…
[Subaru: With a face almost crying like that, stop shutting yourself in all alone, stupid]
Thinking it was his fault that she had that expression on her face, and having accomplished nothing, he could not blame her at all.
Sorry this took so long guys, hopefully none of you died from withdrawal in the meantime!
I didn’t want to release this until it was good enough, but still I can’t be sure if this is the best I could have done. My brain is still foggy from the flu so I really can’t tell if everything works well or not.
Thank you so much guys for bearing with me when I couldn’t release for a couple days!