ALL RIGHTS BELONG TO TAPPEI NAGATSUKI, THE ORIGINAL AUTHOR OF RE:ZERO, THIS IS A TRANSLATION OF THE FREE JAPANESE WEB NOVEL INTO ENGLISH
JAPANESE WEB NOVEL SOURCE: HTTP://NCODE.SYOSETU.COM/N2267BE/172/
THE EVERLASTING COVENANT
Chapter 6 [Along The Road To The Sanctuary]
[Frederica: I will not be able to accompany you, so please take care during your journey. Also, if you would, please tell the Master that Frederica is watching over the estate]
It was the morning of departure, and the dragon carriage was parked outside the front of the mansion. Coming to see them off, with these words, Frederica bent the small of her back in a bow.
Her form in her bow was so beautifully refined, that anyone receiving it would be intimidated into naturally straightening their backs.
In any case, receiving this, Subaru and Emilia met each other’s gaze.
[Emilia: I am the one who should be sorry, I know how hectic things are right now… Roswaal is absent, and I really should be the one acting in his stead, yet……]
[Subaru: Anyway, Emilia and I are clueless when it comes to caring for the mansion. Even if I can handle routine tasks, everyone could see how much of an amateur I am when numbers are involved. I tried throwing Otto into all that to sort it out, but it’s like sprinkling water on hot coals]
Looking at the results over the past two days, Subaru could only smile wryly at how futile their efforts had been.
He and Otto wandered aimlessly through the cluttered office, and the only thing they learned was that “it’s impossible without any explanation from the one responsible” …That one statement pretty much summed up the extent of their progress.
Frederica seemed to have a rough idea, but it would take time to cover the discrepancy after her months of absence. Actually, thinking of how much work was involved in just maintaining the mansion, it wouldn’t have been right to increase her workload even further.
Emilia had attentively taken care of some of the simple tasks, but aside from that, she had no choice but to plug her ears to the rest of it, even though she knew they would start piling up.
[Subaru: It’s like that feeling when you put off doing your summer holiday’s homework, and then the next thing you know, it’s the first day of the new semester. But I was never the kind of guy who doesn’t hand in his homework, though]
[Emilia: I don’t really understand, but isn’t that a good thing? Right now, I feel the complete opposite, and my chest reeealy hurts. It’s not that I feel guilty, but I know it’s not good to leave everything neglected like this]
[Subaru: It’s not actually our fault, that’s how I would rationalize it, but it’s hard for Emilia-tan, isn’t it? Well, I totally understand how unpleasant it feels to just watch things go from bad to worse…]
It was vexing, to have to neglect things that really shouldn’t be put off. But while he could sympathize with Emilia’s sense of guilt, it was also true that there was not much he could do to help.
In the end, he was insufficient, so the only thing to do is to call someone more competent:
[Otto: The ground dragons are all ready to go. Even though it’s only been a few days since they exerted themselves, Natsuki-san’s Patrasche looks like she’s chafing at the bit to get going]
[Subaru: She’s a good hard-working girl, isn’t she? Her previous owner must have had an impressive character, unlike her current one… You think she can guide us there? It’d be horrible to get lost on the way and end up stranded]
The one who broke into their conversation was the man sitting in the driver’s platform of the dragon carriage, conversing with the two ground dragons, Patrasche and Furufu ―― Otto.
Since the Divine Protection of “Anima Whispering” only applied to Otto, to a bystander, he just looked like he had a screw loose in his head while he was talking to the ground dragons, but Subaru didn’t remark on it.
Not noticing that Subaru was sending him a heart-warming look, Otto only responded to his question with a straightforward [uh-huh], nodding.
[Otto: Frederica’s directions were good, and there doesn’t seem to be any problems. I’m sure we can make the trip in under half a day]
[Subaru: I see, I see……But, were you really planning on coming too?]
[Otto: Of course I am coming!!]
After Otto’s gave his seal of approval on Patrasche’s directions, Subaru nodded and moved on to his next question, to which Otto stomped noisily on the wooden platform, bulging his eyes.
[Otto: After all, this will be my first meeting with the Margrave. Sure, I was the one who asked you to introduce me, but imagining the kind of introduction you’d give if I wasn’t there……It’s too frightening, I can’t just leave it to you!]
[Subaru: Oy oy, I’ll get all flustered if you keep trusting me so much]
[Otto: Yeah, though we’ve only known each other for a short while, I already trust you 120% ——I can be certain that Natsuki-san will alway do exactly what I don’t want you to do!]
Subaru twisted his lips at these words, and Emilia, who had been listening silently up to now, let out a sudden burst of laughter.
The two men turned to the source of the laughter at the same time, and Emilia timidly raised up her hand,
[Emilia: Really, you two are such good friends. Whenever I see you together, you’re always bickering so affectionately, it makes me kinda jealous]
[Subaru: If you want, I’ll be affectionate toward Emilia-tan too, only I’ll be flirting instead of bickering. I’ll move Emilia-tan’s bickering time to Otto’s timeslot, and replace it with the affectionate time from Otto’s timeslot]
[Otto: If you do that, there won’t be anything between us except insults and fist fights!?]
Subaru was pretty confident in his skill with words and insults, but if it comes to fighting Otto in a melee, he’s not entirely sure he could come out on top. Otto looks pretty genteel, but Subaru knew personally how strong he was.
In a previous loop, after a harsh exchange, Otto had thrown him off a carriage. Knowing that his opponent wasn’t just a pushover, Subaru figured his chances were pretty slim if they ever ended up head-to-head.
[Subaru: Thinking about it like that, my combat abilities are crazy low. I knew that already, but it’s still depressing]
Like previously mentioned, Subaru would lose to Otto, and it goes without saying that he couldn’t beat Emilia, who knows magic. He had already been demolished by Frederica, and there was no need to mention the sleeping Rem or the shut-in Beatrice. In that case, the only one Subaru had a chance against in the mansion was——
[Subaru: Come to think of it, the only one I’ve got a chance of beating is Petra, and I don’t see her around. What gives?]
[Emilia: I’m scared to ask… but how did your train of thought shift to who you can beat? Anyway Petra has been in the mansion……oh, here she comes]
A bit astounded by Subaru’s futile efforts to gain victory by process of elimination, Emilia looked toward the mansion, her purple eyes faintly flickering. Being affected, and looking toward the same direction, he saw the form of a girl swinging her sleeves in her brand-new maid’s uniform as she ran up to where they stood.
[Petra: Wait, wait a minute. Suba-, Subaru-sama……!]
[Subaru: You don’t need to rush, I wouldn’t do something so heartless as leaving all of a sudden, only Otto would do something like that. Right, Otto?]
[Otto: Don’t you remember what you just said three seconds ago!?]
Smiling at the out-of-breath girl, who was resting her hands on her knees, Subaru pulled Otto into the conversation with some light-hearted teasing as he waited for the girl to catch her breath. Then, wiping her brow softly, Petra looked up.
Her flushed cheeks and her big, round eyes looked adorable. She let out a long breath, releasing her fatigue, and shifted her angelic face into a smile.
[Petra: I wanted to give you this before you leave. Please take it with you]
With that, she held out her hand, revealing a simple handkerchief that seemed nothing out of the ordinary.
The edges of the white cloth were laced with a golden-color, and the tips of his fingers told him it was made with meticulous workmanship. Receiving it, he turned it over to look at the other side.
[Subaru: It’s……embroidered. Oh, it’s really good]
Sewn into the surface of the white cloth, was an embroidery that was most likely hand-stitched by Petra herself. It was done with grey, pink and black colored threads, and the design was something Subaru was very well acquainted with. Just then, Emilia, who had been peeking over his shoulder, let out a small laugh [Aha].
[Emilia: It’s the same Puck you drew, Subaru. Oh wow, it’s really well done]
[Subaru: My disfigured Puck, yeah this is really well done. There mustn’t have been much time to study it either]
[Petra: I got the stamps after doing the Radeeo Calisthenics every morning]
Forgetting to speak politely, Petra pulled something out from around her neck. It was the stamp card Subaru had made and given out to the village children. ——Every morning when they participated in the radio calisthenics, he had stamped their cards with an image he’d engraved onto a sweet potato, in place of a real stamp.
She held in her hand the most recent stamp, the disfigured Puck’s “Gloomy Monday”. She must have worked hard, pricking her fingers as she sewed in the design.
[Subaru: It really is well done. As a Sewing Master, I can’t afford to lose here]
[Petra: Will you take it……Ah, no. Would you please take it?]
[Subaru: It’s actually, “Would you please accept this”. ——Of course, I’ll gladly accept it. It seems a shame to use it for wiping blood, sweat or tears, so I’ll just keep it close as a good luck charm]
Carefully folding the handkerchief, Subaru tenderly, and with great care, put it into his chest pocket before looking back towards Petra. Then, as gently as he could——he looked to the vicious, narrowed eyes and the sharpened fangs filling up the diabolical smile that was currently pointed at Petra. Hearing his words, Petra placed both her hands on her blushing face and looked away.
[Petra: I shall await your safe return. Oh, and big sister and the noisy guy too]
[Emila: It kinda seems like I’m just an extra…]
[Otto: Wait, wasn’t my assessment a little too harsh!?]
Emilia and Otto responded to Petra’s words in turn, a wry smile making its way onto their faces. Subaru couldn’t help but find himself smiling, as Petra seemed to think nothing of the dense pressure emanating from Frederica behind her.
He had no doubt that the moment they leave, Petra will be set upon Frederica’s harsh education. Petra, live strong!
[Subaru: Well then, while it’s hard to leave you all, we should be on our way]
[Emilia: If we spend too much time talking here, it’d have been meaningless to try to leave so early]
Subaru interjected, putting an end to the vibrant conversation, before hopping up into the cargo space of the dragon carriage. After that, he held out his hand,
[Subaru: If you would, Emilia-tan. Into my arms]
[Emilia: I’m sure it would be pleasant to see the scenery from the driver’s platform once in awhile?]
[Subaru: Ahh, heartless! E · M · K (Emilia-tan Major Koakuma*)! ——Oh, wah!] *little-devil
Being treated so cruelly, Subaru was almost about to withdraw his hand, when it was pulled so forcefully that he nearly fell out of the carriage as Emilia passed casually beside him.
Her silver hair brushed against his nose as she went by, until she landed inside the dragon carriage with a tiny sound. Softly sitting down across from Subaru, she tilted her head looking at him,
[Emilia: Something wrong?]
[Subaru: Nope—, nothing—?]
With these words, Subaru loudly stomped his way over to where she was, and plunked himself down beside her. Considering the inside of the carriage was very spacious, Emilia smiled at Subaru’s cramped use of it.
Otto, watching their exchange, grumbled [I can’t stand being associated with you] as he sat down in the driver’s seat, gripping the reins and looking up at the road ahead.
[Otto: Alright then, we’re off. Take care not to bite your tongues please]
[Subaru: Right back at you, don’t shake the carriage too much. And if you’re going to suddenly apply the brakes ——please use the signal we talked about before. Without that, it’ll be hard for me to time when to push Emilia-tan down]
[Emilia: You’re thinking of something like that?]
[Otto: I! I never heard that devilish plot in my life! Wait, when did I get turned into an accomplice!?]
Emilia turned a gaze of near-disdain upon both Subaru and Otto, and didn’t seem to acknowledge Otto’s outcry at the false accusation. Thinking Otto’s wailing at the injustice of it all suited himself well, as though that had nothing to do with him, Subaru lifted up his hand,
[Subaru: Alright. Destination: “Sanctuary”. Let’s be off——!]
[Otto: Who are you to say that!?]
Seeing Otto sulking in the driver’s seat, Subaru replied [You aren’t good at getting hyped, are you] complainingly, before sticking his head out the window to look at the two who were here see to them off,
[Subaru: Okay now, we’re leaving the place in your care. Also……I’m counting on you… to take good care of Rem]
[Frederica: Please, leave it to me. In return, I leave Emilia-sama and the Master in your hands]
[Petra: Take care, and come back safe]
Subaru’s voice held none of its usual playfulness, and as they prepared to depart, Frederica and Petra bowed in farewell.
After that stupidly formal exchange, this time, Subaru decisively ——well, unfortunately, not without some hesitation, severed his thoughts from the mansion.
[Subaru: Oy, we haven’t left yet Otto? You’re slo—w]
[Otto: I can’t understand this treatment!!]
This exchange blowing away the rest of the tension, they set off for the Sanctuary.
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[Frederica: It seems I’m going to have to teach you to speak more politely, and bow properly again]
[Petra: I’m so sorry. It’s just……I wanted to be cosseted, if only a little]
Petra quickly lowered her head, her gesture nearly perfectly imitating Frederica’s teaching. She was a fast learner, and could take things in quickly, and was certainly a student worth teaching.
The exchange from a moment ago was understandable given her age, so there was no reason to scold her over such a minor thing.
[Frederica: I know that you have been close with Subaru-sama and Emilia-sama these past few days. Still, it is not good to forget that your relationship is that of servant and employer]
[Petra: ——Yes ‘mam. I am deeply sorry]
The girl was conscious of the fact that her behavior had been selfish.
She could have behaved exactly as she had been taught, and seen Subaru and the rest off properly, but she had instead intentionally separated herself from her duties as a servant, and chose to see Subaru and the others off as just a simple girl… there must have been a reason for it, and perhaps the reason was small, but it was one she was unable to part with.
[Frederica: There is no propriety in discussing this further. Instead, as penance for what you did, you will be hand-copying extra texts this afternoon]
[Petra: Uuhh……Will the number of topics increase?]
[Frederica: You should have been prepared for at least that much. Then again, if you had already calculated this would be your punishment to make up for your actions, then I am quite looking forward to your future as my student]
Saying that, Frederica clapped her hands with a [Now then], continuing,
[Frederica: Even if Emilia-sama and the rest are out for now, Beatrice-sama is still in the mansion. We can’t afford to become lax with meals and cleaning. If we don’t finish quickly, there won’t be enough time for studies. So Petra, hurry up and finish your tasks]
[Petra: Yes, ‘mam. I’ll go finish them in no time!]
Watching the young girl run off, her clothes flapping, Frederica’s mouth softened ever so slightly, revealing her fangs. With a practiced motion, she covered the smile with her hand, and looked towards the direction where the no longer visible dragon carriage had gone ——towards Emilia and the rest who had departed from the mansion.
[Frederica: It is as you said it would be, Master. Whether they can overcome the “Sanctuary” or not, is up to Emilia-sama and Subaru-sama now]
Closing her eyes, she let the gentle wind wash over her.
[Frederica: Will Emilia-sama be able to overcome it? Bound with the Witch’s blood, that inescapable impasse that is the garden of paradise——]
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(Art from: @ on: https://twitter.com/rb_crr/status/791993022254751744)
Sorry guys! Revising an entire long chapter together is extremely exhausting, and I need to go soon, so I focused on getting Part 1/2 ready first so that it’s not delayed any longer!
I will try to finish and release Part 2/2 before work tomorrow! :3