Laying Rem down on the bed, Subaru pulled the quilts up over her chest. The beating of her heart, and the rise and fall of her chest as she breathed, gave testament to the fact that she still lives. Until the day her eyes open again, he wondered just how much time she would spend here.
[Subaru: I guess that’ll depend on how hard I try, huh]
Turning his feelings into a new vow, Subaru gently brushed away Rem’s hair resting on her brow, and then, he turned around to face Emilia, who had been standing silently behind him.
[Subaru: Sorry for making you wait. Frederica and I ended up talking about all sorts of things, and I wound up with some serious build-up of lactic acid in my biceps]
[Emilia: It’s wonderful if you were sidetracked in conversation. What were you and Frederica talking about?]
[Subaru: I started by asking some questions relating to rehabilitating the shut-in little girl. How long has she been shut-in, when did it start, how she treated people after it happened… they’re all closely related to her recovery]
[Emilia: Hmmm, I see. Subaru, you’re really informed when it comes to shut-ins. It’s amazing]
[Subaru: Emilia-tan, I’m sure you didn’t mean it but… your words sometimes cut me to my core. Just like right now]
It was a bit disconcerting how genuinely she seemed to be praising him. Emilia, her expression purely innocent, tilted her head and looked at Subaru, who was frowning. He replied with a wry smile, and shrugged his shoulders.
[Emilia: So, you weren’t able to get Beatrice to tell you anything, then?]
[Subaru: Her mouth is shut firm and she doesn’t budge. By the way, I know I’ve asked this a lot already but …where’s Puck?]
[Emilia: —No luck, there’s still no response. This happens once in a while, but the timing is reeealy horrible this time. Geez, this is really distressing]
Reaching into her shirt, Emilia pulled out the green crystal stone. Fit in a pendant, the stone was faintly glowing. Within, a bewitching light swirled where the Great Spirit resided. It was the link that sealed the contract between Emilia and Puck, and Subaru, having seen his materialized form going in and out of that crystal almost daily, knew this as well. Only, as one could deduce from their conversation, there has been no hint of him within the crystal stone these past few days. He was gone ——It was hard to believe, but he wasn’t responding to their calls.
[Subaru: This, happens sometimes? But, that’s got to be really exasperating for you]
[Emilia: Whenever I really, really need Puck’s help, he always comes. So, I don’t think he’s not watching… I’ve asked him about what he does when he’s not around, but he’s never told me]
Hearing Emilia’s apologetic words, Subaru scratched his head, saying, [That’s…]. He couldn’t hide his disappointment at the fact that Puck, who was aware of everything, would choose to remain silent. With this, all the important figures he could have relied upon for help with his doubts, had all gone silent at once.
[Subaru: Puck and Beako, both quit talking to me at the same time. …This blows]
[Emilia: I know……Hey, Subaru, what should we do?]
Subaru, resting his hand on his forehead, was in deep thought when Emilia asked him for his decision.
He cast down his eyes at her call. Seeing the reliance and trust that dwelt within her gaze, he despised himself for feeling so happy at a time such as this. Realizing that she was relying on him, out of that trapped, stifling feeling, he understood what he must do.
[Subaru: Since the two who might actually know something suddenly went quiet, we really don’t have a choice but to move on. …Although, even if we find that guy, whether he’ll tell us anything is another matter…]
[Emilia: You mean Roswaal, right?]
[Subaru: Yeah, it’s about time he spilled his guts and told us everything that’s been going on, I think]
Seeing Emilia’s grasp of the situation, Subaru nodded his head. Since she recognized his train of thought, she was probably thinking the same thing as well.
Emilia placed a hand over her chest, and seemed relieved that their opinions aligned.
[Emilia: I’m so glad, that Subaru agrees with me. I was wondering what I would do if you object to my proposals like Roswaal and Ram always do]
[Subaru: I might disagree depending on the details, but overall, I’m a hundred-percent behind Emilia-tan, you know? Even if I disagree with you, it’ll always be because of my love for Emilia-tan, I hope you can believe me]
[Emilia: Love… —Subaru, you reeeally know how to pick the opportunity to flirt]
Subaru’s irresponsible pick-up line took Emilia by surprise, and she quickly turned her face away. Subaru’s cheeks were reddening slightly as well as he clenched his fists, while Emilia, still refusing to look at him, said,
[Emilia: Then, I have a proposal for you, Subaru, since you’re always on my side]
[Subaru: Alright, let’s hear it, whatever you want]
Subaru placed a hand to his chest in respectful subservience. Seeing this, Emilia closed one of her eyes saying “Since you said it so nicely”, pursing up her lips and looking back at him.
Then, taking a moment to let out a deep breath, Emilia stared directly into Subaru’s dark pupils.
[Emilia: There are things we need to talk about with Roswaal, and we also have to know what happened with the villagers, right? That’s why, I want to go to the “Sanctuary”]
It was the name of a place he had heard countless times at the Roswaal Mansion. Subaru had unfortunately never been able to find out where it was, but the evacuees led by Ram had headed there to avoid the Witch Cult. At the very least, now that the sect of the Witch Cult led by Betelgeuse had been annihilated, the threat level at the “Sanctuary” should be no more than that of the mansion.
[Emilia: I’ve been told it’s a place I’d need to visit sometime anyway, so I think this is the perfect time. I’ve decided that this time, I’ll finally talk with Roswaal about everything]
[Subaru: W, wa, wai, wait a minute! You aren’t thinking of leaving me behind are you!?]
Holding his hand up in front of him at Emilia’s enthusiastic words, Subaru put a damper on her decisive declaration. But even so, Subaru had to say it.
[Subaru: Emilia-tan, I know you’re getting pumped, and I’m in agreement, but you can’t just leave me behind. I know I’m weak and dimwitted, but I’d hate it if I couldn’t try my best by your side. I know it’s selfish, but please understand!]
Hearing Subaru’s ardent, relentless words, Emilia’s eyes widened.
But they were unmistakably his true thoughts. Subaru was going to stay with Emilia. If he wasn’t with her, he couldn’t protect her. He couldn’t do anything for her. There was no pretense to his feelings, it was simply that his existence was necessary to help her. It had nothing to do with him wanting something in return, it was simply what he wanted to do.
Emilia’s expression still showed her astonishment at the forcefulness of Subaru’s words. Deciding that now would be the best time to throw her off balance, he continued.
[Subaru: It’s no use if you try and stop me. I’m going with you. I’ve no intention of getting left behind. Whether it’s the “Sanctuary” or Roswaal we’re going to face, nothing will stand in the way of my burning love for——]
[Emilia: There’s no way I’d leave you behind. Come with me]
[Subaru: I don’t want to get left behind, no no NO! —wait, what did you say?]
Subaru, still half-way down on the floor and about ready to grovel and plead, asked Emilia this question.
Seeing his display, Emilia placed a hand against her lips, her face reddening ever so slightly.
[Emilia: Like I said, come with me. I’d be too anxious if it was just me]
[Subaru: Eh, Emilia-tan……]
[Emilia: Subaru, I’m counting on you. I don’t think you’re weak, or dimwitted. I, need your strength]
The impact those words had on Subaru went beyond description. His mouth agape, Emilia’s face clouded over with uncertainty at his stillness. Lifting up her hand, as though struggling over whether to reach out and touch him or not,
[Emilia: Ah, uhm, wh, what’s the matter? Did I say something strange again?]
[Subaru: The switch to my motivation is in your hands. Whether it’s on or off, depends on just a word from you. I can’t take it]
Covering his face in his hands, Subaru spoke teasingly to Emilia. [Eh? Eh?? What do you mean?], unable to read the intention behind his words, Emilia fumbled for a reply. Seeing her so confused, he almost wanted to rub it in her face. After all Subaru had just went though at her hands, he’s savoring every last bit of it.
[Frederica: —It sounds like you’ve come to an agreement]
Their exchange, which must have looked like two people flirting, was tragically interrupted by a knock on the door followed by Frederica’s entrance.
Emilia wasn’t surprised by her arrival, but Subaru, trying hard to conceal the thumping of his heart, couldn’t help but glare at her. Even though Frederica must have easily seen through Subaru’s feelings, not a hint of it appeared in her calm, but still vicious-looking expression.
[Frederica: I have no objections about the two of you heading to the “Sanctuary”. However, preparations will take about two days]
[Subaru: By preparations, does that mean you’re coming with us?]
[Frederica: Not at all. As I still have duties here, I will be unable to accompany you. I will instead give the directions to the “Sanctuary” to the ground dragon you brought back with you]
[Subaru: You mean Patrasche?]
Subaru widened his eyes at the unexpected proposition. His response received a [Why, yes] from Frederica, who continued as though it were obvious.
[Frederica: Ground dragons are very clever creatures. If you instruct them properly, they can understand which roads to take well enough that a guide is unnecessary. Since she seems especially clever, I don’t think it will be an issue]
[Subaru: Patrasche, you just keep on getting more and more valuable! Really, just what triggered this turn of events?]
[Frederica: More importantly, there are several things I must tell you two]
Subaru tilted his head trying to understand his partner, but Frederica ignored his question, straightening her muscled body, she looked at both of them,
[Frederica: If you are headed for the “Sanctuary”, there are several things I would like you to remember. Especially Emilia, I would like you to be careful of the issue of your birth and appearance]
[Emilia: ——Yes, I’ve prepared myself. After all, I’ve heard it’s a place with some complicated issues]
At Frederica’s dire warnings, Emilia tightened her jaw, the look in her eyes carried her strength of will. To show he respected her decision, Subaru moved to stand beside her.
[Subaru: Honestly, I don’t know anything about that place except that it’s called the “Sanctuary”……but my supreme goal is to support Emilia-tan. So I’ll listen to whatever you have to say]
[Frederica: Actually, I sense a very refreshingly pure, ulterior motive there]
Exasperation and admiration flashed through Frederica’s eyes at the same time, then, blinking once, she pushed down her sentiment, and held up a finger.
[Frederica: In that case, let me tell you about the “Sanctuary”. But before that, there is one thing I need you to remember]
[Subaru: Need us…]
[Emilia: …To remember?]
Subaru and Emilia’s heads tilted at the same time. Seeing this, Frederica nodded with a [Yes], dropping her voice ever so slightly.
[Frederica: ——Beware of someone named Garfiel. Within the Sanctuary, you two must be very careful, of coming into contact with that man]
-=Chapter 4 End=-
Tynkerd is down with a cold and I’m still catching up my assignments. But after October 25th we should be back to full speed!
Here’s Son Wukong’s livesteam reading of Chapter 4! The live reaction for Chapter 5 should be next Sunday, so come and chat! I’ll try to come to these streams as long as I have time!