Minor Revisions: TranslationChicken
The rampant conversation in the living room was coming to an end just as Frederica returned from preparing the guest room.
[Otto: I was thinking, I’d like to check on how things are in the village nearby. Since I’m holding onto the certificates for the other merchants regarding the purchasing of their cargo, I can, to an extent, take care of distributing things to the village. Though I’ll get the Margrave to pay for the costs later, of course]
After saying this, as if the fatigue from the long trip did not affect him at all, Otto hustled off towards the village.
No matter how much he showed the face of a calculative merchant, his proposal was, as 60% of the evacuees had not yet returned, nothing short of aid and support for the still nonfunctional Arlam village.
Watching Otto hide all this behind a money-hungry demeanor, Subaru was forced to quickly cover up his sense of gratitude by pretending to spit on the ground.
[Frederica: I have prepared a room in the servants quarters as instructed. …Strangely, there was only one room that appeared to have been thoroughly cleaned]
[Subaru: Thoroughly cleaned…… The innermost room on the second floor?]
[Frederica: —Yes, that’s right. Only that room seemed clean, as if everything had been thrown out except the bed… Do you, know something about it?]
As Frederica spoke of the room she had just prepared, Subaru struggled hard to keep his grief from emerging in his eyes.
The room she talked about——the innermost room on the Mansion’s second floor in the eastern wing, was the room Rem had used. Hearing the explanation that everything in the room must have been tidied up, Subaru deeply felt the overwhelming power of “Gluttony”‘s Authority: the eradication of existence.
[Subaru: ……No. I just had a hunch; there’s no real meaning behind it]
Frederica, who saw the truth behind Subaru’s words, didn’t say a thing.
She too, seemed to possess an extraordinarily excellent disposition as a maid.
Most likely, Rem and Frederica were the two who had kept Roswaal’s overly-spacious mansion functioning… Ram doesn’t count.
Going around back of the Mansion, a soft snorting sound greeted Subaru as he headed towards the dragon carriage.
Looking at where the carriage was parked, he saw an unfamiliar building that looked like a storehouse——most likely it was the place used to shelter dragon carriages, like a garage.
He saw the building, and Patrasche stabled in the adjacent barn.
The ground dragon with jet black skin let out a valiant cry, extending her neck out towards the approaching Subaru in a gesture of tenderness.
Placing a fingertip against the approaching nostrils, he tickled the rough skin.
[Subaru: Sorry I never thanked you properly, Patrasche. A lot of things happened, and I know it’s late, but, I’m counting on you from here on out too, partner]
In answer to Subaru’s words, Patrasch licked the palm of his hand with her rough tongue. Looking at their friendly exchange, Frederica tilted her head.
[Frederica: She really cherishes you. One look, and anyone could tell she is a competent ground dragon, yet to see how tamed she is…it’s astounding]
[Subaru: I haven’t done anything close to taming her? If normal ground dragons are difficult to pet and hug, then I guess it’s just because Patrasche has a deeper emotional capacity than the others. Or, maybe I’m just so incapable, she can’t leave me be]
It’s not like Subaru was being humble, it was simply the only way he could appraise Patrasche’s lovableness.
Within just 3, 4 days from meeting her, how many times had he had his life saved by this softhearted ground dragon.
Conversely, Subaru hadn’t done anything for her in return yet. He couldn’t help but think his meeting with this ground dragon was nothing short of a blessing.
As though understanding Subaru’s self-assessment, Patrasche extended her head, which was licking Subaru’s hands, and rubbed her muzzle against the inattentive Subaru’s cheek. Surprised at the sudden offensive, Subaru smiled wryly at the raspy sensation on his face.
[Frederica: I, think I understood what kind of person Subaru-sama is. —You, have your own hardships]
Instead of Subaru, who had his hands full with Patrasche, Frederica’s words and kind gaze were directed at Patrasche, who was frolicking with him.
Patrasche stopped her movements for a moment at the deep emotion behind Frederica’s words, looking at her with the pupils of a reptile, before resuming her toying of Subaru.
In that moment, the women somehow understood each other, and Subaru was completely unaware.
[Subaru: Sorry for making you wait, Rem. I’m sure it was cramped and dark, right? I’m gonna carry you to your room now, okay?]
After spending some time playing with Patrasche, he headed for where the dragon carriage was parked——in other words, to where Rem had been left sleeping.
There was no change, Rem was still in a deep sleep. She didn’t raise any objections.
Sulking at being left behind, her head turned away, cheeks puffed out…saying “Subaru-kun is so mean!”, or laughing at Subaru’s apology—none of it will happen.
[Frederica: —I heard about it earlier, but still I am surprised]
From behind Subaru, who was immersed in nostalgia, Frederica, who saw Rem for the first time, was unable to hide her surprise. When Subaru tilted his head at Frederica’s surprised response, she quietly shook her head.
[Frederica: Nothing. It is just, her face looks very similar to the Ram I know. The only difference I see is the color of the hair… twins, as you said]
[Subaru: I’m sure it must be hard to believe, what with losing your memories and all, but I’m glad you believed me. It would make me glad if you remembered her, without thinking it was some kind of cruel joke]
Nodding at the reason for Frederica’s surprise, Subaru stretched his palm out to touch Rem’s cheek.
Somehow, he felt no warmth nor coldness. There was no doubt all her life-functions were active, but there was nothing left living within her.
Confirming what he had already checked countless times, Subaru again received an incurable wound to the depths of his heart. Even knowing this, he still could not help but check.
[Frederica: Subaru-sama. It would be fine for me to carry…]
[Subaru: I want to do it. Please let me. I want to be the one that takes Rem to the Mansion… to her room. Sorry I’m being selfish]
[Frederica: Not at all, it’s really touching. Your eyes look like those of a murderer, but you are kind, I see]
[Subaru: I also have a heart that gets damaged from such casual dissing!]
Responding to Frederica’s words, Subaru wrapped Rem up in his arms. He has carried her several times now to move her, but even so he was reminded of how light she was.
It was with this body she had stood in front of him, fighting hard to protect his useless self. The more he dwelt on this, the more his feelings of just how precious she is swelled up.
[Subaru: I’ll wake you, as soon as I can. So, please, scold me angrily for feeling the softness of your body with these fingertips of mine]
[Frederica: It was such a good line, until you had to go and ruin it.]
Subaru exited the dragon carriage, leaving Frederica’s disgruntled words behind him.
He nodded a quick goodbye to Patrasche, who had poked her head out of the stables. Subaru then entered the mansion, led by Frederica.
Led to the Eastern Maid’s room——The bedroom, the room that once was Rem’s.
[Frederica: You talked, with Beatrice-sama]
The statement was thrown out abruptly, as they walked.
Subaru, who had been carefully going up the stairs, looked up at Frederica’s back.
She narrowed the pupils of her sharp eyes, and looked back down at Subaru with a gaze that held only intimidation. Although, Subaru understood it was only a misunderstanding, as he had the same kind of eyes, with more white area than was usual.
Coming to the correct assumption that his silence was affirmation at her question, Frederica said,
[Frederica: Is she doing well? I ask because, since my return to the Mansion, I have yet to see her face]
[Subaru: I already told Emilia-tan, but she was doing ok…I guess. Though, I couldn’t talk to her as much as I normally do, since she was in a worse mood than usual]
[Frederica: Is……that so]
As though anxious, her expression at Subaru’s answer was not a bright one.
Seeing that look, Subaru couldn’t help but wonder about something. It was about what the role of the girl named Beatrice actually was, in the Mansion.
Up until now, Subaru had not dug deep into her position or background.
The girl, in the Mansion of Margrave Roswaal, stayed in a mysterious magical space, the Forbidden Library, and was treated by Rem and Ram as both guest and nobility.
Then again, she seems to childishly adore Puck, a spirit contracted to Emilia, a candidate for the Royal Election, as though he were an older brother. Also, the way she behaved towards Subaru seemed appropriate for her age, though her actions during their last encounter——they were all mysteries.
[Subaru: Umm, Frederica, you’ve been working in the Mansion for a while?]
[Frederica: Oh, are you interested? Emilia-sama, the girl in your arms……and Beatrice-sama…you seem to have a lot of interests]
[Subaru: Stop mixing Beako in so smoothly, I’m not interested in young kids. You can see that both my hands are filled with Emilia-tan and Rem, right? Frederica is…Honestly, it’s only been a short time, but you’re not my type]
[Frederica: Oh, I’m hated]
[Subaru: It’s no good, you trying to yank my chain feels just like what one of Roswaal’s maids would do. Oh, and it’s only an issue of personal preference; I don’t hate you or anything]
Frederica’s eyes danced, and she laughed at Subaru’s comeback, while covering her mouth with its cruel-looking fangs.
[Frederica: I’m not much concerned. You, also seem to be a worrywart]
[Subaru: It’s because I hurt you when we first met. You laughed it off, but it still hurt a bit, didn’t it?]
At Subaru’s words, Frederica’s eyes flickered with an expression of surprise this time. The smile wiped from her face, she stared at him. The gold in her eyes sparkling, she slid her gaze to meet his, and Subaru was met with the sensation that she was trying to look through him.
Slowly letting out a small sigh, Frederica said,
[Frederica: It is not very often that someone sees into my heart. I would appreciate it, if you refrained from doing so]
[Subaru: I just tried to put back together what I’d trampled over. Besides, I’m one to talk, what with my eyes being just as fierce looking……well, for me it’s the whole family though]
Since both his parents had naturally fierce expressions, their son had it too.
During dinner, they all wore the same expressions as they squirted out mayonnaise from their own personal tubes, and it probably looked as though they were performing some Black Magic around the dining table.
Frowning as he saw his own memories objectively, Frederica deepened her sigh even further.
[Frederica: You are not a discomforting guy, just really strange. I think I understand why Emilia-sama behaves the way she does]
[Subaru: Emilia-tan, what?]
[Frederica: It is nothing. This time, Emilia-sama would truly be upset with me. What will you do once you know how long I have worked here?]
Shaking her head, Frederica shifted the topic back.
Even though he couldn’t make sense of those words, Subaru too returned to the original topic.
[Subaru: So the thing is, I wanted to talk about Beako… Beatrice. If you worked here as a maid for a long time, then I wanted to ask how long she’s been living in the Mansion]
He hadn’t voiced it as a question or anything, but from Subaru’s estimation, Frederica was several years older——Around 23 or 24. Even if she was a veteran maid of ten years, and since Beatrice was around twelve now by all accounts, all he had to do was count back and he could come up with an estimate.
But, at Subaru’s question, Frederica shook her head.
[Frederica: I am sorry, but I do not know. Beatrice-sama has shut herself up in the Library a long time, since before I started working in this Mansion]
[Subaru: Ah, well I guess it can’t be helped. Your background as a maid doesn’t necessarily mean it directly correlates with how long you’ve worked in Ros-chi’s Mansion. So you came to the mansion as an expert maid then…]
[Frederica: No, that is not the case, Subaru-sama]
Frederica interrupted Subaru, who felt his conclusion had been denied by a rather plausible reason.
As Subaru furrowed his brows, she straightened her back, and complemented by her vicious countenance and a noticeable concern, she said,
[Frederica: The only place I have worked at as a Maid, is here at the Master’s mansion. And when I was first taken in as a servant, I was 12 years old. That was over 10 years ago]
[Subaru: ……Wait, isn’t that weird? Because, calculating back since then, that would mean Beako has been shut-up in that moldy room from when she was a toddler]
[Frederica: Don’t you, already know?]
As though criticizing Subaru’s stubbornness, Frederica shook her head.
With her attitude confirming a doubt he had held within his heart, Subaru understood what he had tried to avoid thinking about too deeply.
In other words, the girl in the library—
[Subaru: Her appearance hasn’t changed. …… I guess she really isn’t human then]
[Frederica: Since the beginning of the Mathers Family, the librarian who took an oath to continue watching over the Forbidden Library——that is who she is, the Great Spirit Beatrice-sama]
Unable to detect a lie in her words, Subaru was left with no choice but to accept them.
The true identity of the girl he had interacted with until now, was an existence that belonged to a completely different dimension.
[Subaru: Great Spirit… that title is the same as Puck’s, but she looks really different and all]
[Frederica: It relates to the absence of a contract and the oath……… no, this is more than I should say. Please forget it]
[Subaru: Impossible, totally impossible]
How many times had Subaru’s ignorance caused him to be dragged around by what other people knew but wouldn’t share.
Frederica did not care about Subaru’s scornful glare, and tightened her lips; it seems she had no intention of touching the subject again. At her attitude and behavior, Subaru sighed, recognizing that he would be unable to pursue talking about Beatrice.
Remembering their talk had continued on while their legs had ceased moving,
[Frederica: Forgive me, Subaru-sama. My tongue was a little too loose. I was just glad someone appeared that cares about Beatrice-sama. Please, forgive me]
[Subaru: It’s okay, but my arms are at their limit]
His upper arms shaking, Subaru looked up at Frederica with a stiff expression on his face.
He was acting strong because “it’s a light light body” and “anything’s possible with love”, but things like his arm strength, muscle stamina, and so on, ignored those lines, attacking him in force.
[Frederica: Oh, oh]
[Subaru: So, step away, please!]
Subaru swore to himself he would never do something as foolish as setting Rem down on the floor, or handing her to Frederica; then brushed past her and her offer to switch, heading to the guest room with hurried steps.
The sounds of soft footfalls running echoed from behind; it seemed Frederica was following behind him. Reflecting on the horrible way he had ended their talk, he arrived in front of Rem’s room.
[Emilia: —You really, took your time]
Emilia said, her expression showing how monotonous her wait for Subaru had been.
(Art from ゆぞうに on Twitter: https://twitter.com/yuzouni)
This section was edited by Tynkerd! I helped with a few confusing passages on the way and revised a bit in the beginning, but otherwise I made very little changes.
I have to prepare for an exam today so I have to run now! Tynkerd did an amazing job editing this section!! Give him your love!!