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/176/
THE EVERLASTING COVENANT
Chapter 10 [The Incarnation Of The Thirst For Knowledge]
――Since they left the house where Roswaal was recovering, about 15 minutes had passed.
[Garfiel: We’re here. It’s called the graveyard but it’s jus’ a lame ol’ grave]
Saying this, Garfiel jerked up his chin to point at an old ruin on the verge of the Sanctuary. Constructed from an assembly of stones, the architectural style was primitive, and quite far from the impression of anything magical.
It is unknown just how many years had passed since it had been built, but from the cracks that littered the face of its walls, and the remarkable density of the sprawling ivy, it must have been something from over a century ago.
The entrance of the ruin was in line with the forest, and most of the building was engulfed into the trees, making it impossible to guess the true size of the structure at a glance. If this was the burial place of the “Witch of Greed”, then perhaps it could be thought of similarly to a great pyramid of the original world.
[Subaru: A powerful person wanting to sleep in a large tomb; this is the same for all Ages, and in all Worlds, huh……]
Touching his chin and ruminating on these thoughts, Subaru tilted his head to the grand scale of the building.
Being someone who lives in the moment, Subaru wasn’t all that interested in what people would think of him after his death. But then again, the fact that he wasn’t an important enough person to leave any real trace in history, probably contributed to the development of this view.
[Emilia: It’s good that we got to the grave, but what are we supposed to do here?]
Standing next to Subaru, Emilia looked up at the ruins, and asked Garfiel this question with a puzzled face. Subaru had the same question as well, and directed his gaze onto the back of the blonde youth guiding them here. In response to this, Garfiel clacked his canine teeth as he looked back,
[Garfiel: You can hear the details from that bastard Roswaal after you get back. So fer now, what I want Emilia-sama to do is just to get inside]
[Emilia: All I have to do is go inside? Don’t I have to do something once I’m inside?]
[Garfiel: Now the Sun’s still up. Even if ya get deep inside the Tomb, the “Trials” won’t start. Ya got no preparations or anything, and first you gotta check out whether you have the qualifications] (“Trials” 試練 is the same word used by Petelgeuse in Arc 3. Some anime subtitles may have translated it as “Ordeals”)
[Subaru: Wa wa wait, wait a second! You’re jumping all over the place. Trials or preparations or qualification, there’s no explanations at all!]
Cutting in front of Garfiel, who might decide to forcefully push Emilia inside, Subaru called out to his responsibility to explain. But Garfiel only showed the irritated face he had already shown so many times in this last hour, and wrinkling up his nose,
[Garfiel: Yeah who cares, what’s the problem? Go in, and afterwards when you get back to Roswaal you’d understand everything. If ya make me explain all that stuff, I’ll make mess of it and ya’ won’t understand a thing]
[Subaru: It’s like you’re forcing us to sign a contract without reading its contents here, there’s no way in hell we’re going to do something like that. If you’re bad at organizing words, then just answer my questions one by one properly]
[Garfiel: Uugh…… yeah, whatever. I’m stuck with ya til sunset, so make it short]
Slightly spreading out his arms, it seems Garfiel swallowed his proposal. Relieved that they were finally able to get some discussion going, Subaru wondered what he should ask first ––So then,
[Subaru: This is the “Graveyard”….. meaning the grave of the “Witch of Greed”, is that right?]
[Garfiel: That’s what I heard. Actually, I got no idea whose bones’re buried here. This place is the grave of the Witch of Greed, ‘least that’s what the guys at the village told me]
The rather half-assed reply gave Subaru the feeling that something was out of place, but he gulped down this sense of incongruity for now. Then, picking up on some words from his earlier remarks….
Two terms that seemed to be of particular importance were “Trials” and “Qualification”.
[Subaru: The “Trials” that will start inside the Tomb, what is that? I have to admit… from my experience over these past few weeks, I don’t have a positive impression of that word at all]
[Garfiel: Calm down, being tested and all that, I don’t like it either. So, ah, the about the “Trials”……I don’t know any details]
[Garfiel: Don’t get angry, I’m not playin’ aroun’ here. Just, I know it happens inside the Tomb. And those who can’t clear those “Trials”, won’t be released from the impasse of the trial grounds]
[Garfiel: The ones who possesses “Qualification”. Guys who’re qualified can’t get out of the trial grounds. Long as the “Trials” aren’t completed, the Witch’s desire to possess will not let go]
It was a flimsy answer, but Garfiel didn’t seem to be distorting the topic on purpose. Having digested the contents as best he could, he had said exactly what he understood. But still, if his statements didn’t answer anything on-point, it’s probably because his own understanding was vague in the first place.
However, connecting up the fragmented answers from just now, Subaru managed to form some kind of an understanding of the current situation in his mind. So, the answer he got from combining the scattered pieces was,
[Subaru: Only those who are qualified may enter the tomb, and if a person with qualification cannot clear the Trials, they cannot get out of the Sanctuary…… is it like that?]
[Garfiel: Ah……? Somethin’ like that…… I guess?]
[Subaru: I thought I digested a lot but still it’s still pretty useless……]
Twisting his neck, Garfiel, who probably still didn’t understand, gave back this unreliable reply. Reserving his attitude for now, Subaru turned to Emilia beside him. Taking in Subaru’s gaze, Emilia voiced her conclusion on the matter, which was
[Emilia: Earlier, when I entered the Sanctuary, my consciousness suddenly died out…… was that, what this is?]
[Subaru: That was the barrier, and when she passed across the range she fainted? Well, Otto and I were all good and healthy……]
[Garfiel: That’s probably cuz you got no qualification]
Just as Subaru understood the answer to the reason behind Emilia’s sudden collapse, Garfiel interrupted, pointing one finger at Subaru, and at Emilia with another,
[Garfiel: Emilia-sama, bein’ a Half-Elf, has the qualification. But, Subaru, bein’ a straigh’ up pure-blooded human, doesn’t have the qualification. So y’can go in and out freely. But, y’can’t take the Trials]
[Subaru: Wait wait hold on. So then, considering those lines, is it something like this?]
Holding his breath, Subaru organized his thoughts. Then, recalling their conversation on his first meeting with Garfiel, and as he guided them to the Sanctuary, Subaru noticed it.
[Subaru: The ones who can take the Trials are Half-Elves…… or, half-bloods between humans and demi-humans. So that means the people living in the Sanctuary are all like that?]
[Garfiel ––Aah, I didn’t mention this yet did I]
Listening to Subaru’s answer, Garfiel nodded looking satisfied, and blinked.
In the next moment, opening his eyes, his pupils had turned gold, and thin like those of a carnivorous beast. The tips of his canine teeth grew, and the nails of his raised claws sharpened like blades.
An illusion of his small body getting larger –– rather, it was no illusion. His short blonde hair had grown so much that it covered his back, and the same golden hair grew on his exposed arms and legs, covering up everything.
[Garfiel: I also got a whole lot o’ those blood left in me. “Atavism” ‘s my specialty]
[Subaru: ……Woooow. Can I snuggle in it?]
Racking his brains searching for a way to hold back his excitement, Subaru stuffed his hands into his armpits to conceal the shaking of his fingers. But that request had to be canceled seeing Garfiel had already returned to his original shape. Having witnessed Garfiel’s shapeshift with her own eyes, Emilia gasped in her breath, and took a step forward,
[Emilia: So, after all, this village is a gathering of demi-human species……]
[Garfiel: More accurately speakin’, it’s a collection of mix-bloods between human and demi-humans. For th’love of it, all sorts of races o’ people like that’re gathered here. I’d say that Roswaal bastard has a “Demi-Human Fetish” or something]
[Emilia: So that’s why Roswaal said something like that. That for me, this place is……]
Saying so, Emilia placed her hand on her lips and sank deep into thought.
For Subaru on the other side, this information wasn’t very light to take in either. In any case, this meant that the people of this place, even though the details may vary, all had this one thing in common with Emilia. Emilia’s past, of being shunned, and rejected, perhaps they could understand that pain,
To her, perhaps that may just be licking old wounds. But, if there were others who could support her in this way, what would she feel about that?
He knew her scars, and wanted to caress them, but Subaru, never having experienced the same pain, could not possibly know how to heal them without opening them up instead. All this, had haunted his mind.
[Subaru: That’s an unexpected flow of things, but I understand the circumstances of the village and the qualification now. So then…… the problem is with the Trials. You said you don’t know the contents, but at least know that is going to happen after sunset, right?]
[Garfiel: Yeah, that’s the thing. I don’t know the specifics either. Only that you’re here to check if ya qualify, at least. If you came here at night, the Trials would start, and that’d be the real deal]
Pointing to the ruins with his thumb, and nudging to Emilia with his chin, Garfiel revealed their current purpose. Nodding to what he had just heard, Subaru gazed up with his mouth open, at the Tomb which was waiting.
Tangled in dense, festering ivy, the thin darkness of the sickly air beckoned, waiting for them. The term “Trials” only served to deepen this solemn impression, elevating it in his thoughts to something more than an expedition into an old ruin.
And, more than anything, that he might possibly be sending Emilia into a place of danger –– this fact, was unbearable to Natsuki Subaru.
[Subaru: Sorry, Ram. Looks like I’ll be going against your warning a lot sooner than I thought]
[Garfiel: Y’said somethin’?]
[Subaru: Suddenly getting Emilia-tan to venture inside gives me so much anxiety it breaks my heart. So first, for scouting and sacrificing purposes… shouldn’t Garfiel rush in first?]
Lifting up a finger, Subaru made his suggestion. Garfiel looked blank for a second, and then gave a broad smile and once again slapped his laps while making a dry sound with his throat, and,
[Garfiel: Isn’t that normally the place where ya say “I’ll go!” to show off?]
[Subaru: I do want to say it, and I do want to show off quite a bit, but if something happens to me, the probability of me surviving is way too small, so I think you’re more suitable for that. Seeing you can crush the ground with a stomp, you can probably come back alive pretty easily. You’re the strongest, after all]
[Garfiel: Uh? W, well, I am the strongest. Don’t know ‘bout the Trials or anything, but no matter what kind danger falls out, I’d be like “Penipeni never yields” and all that!]
What exactly he was holding on to was unclear, but Garfiel was in a good mood, rubbing himself under the nose, and there was no need to pour cold water on that, so Subaru didn’t say anything. But then, that good mood quickly evaporated, and Garfiel went on [But then]
[Garfiel: T‘bad I can’t go in. ‘S cause of my contract or somethin’]
[Garfiel: Yeah, it’s annoying as hell. Besides, shouldn’t be me doin’ this]
Kicking the soil with his foot, Garfiel declared this with a click of his tongue. He didn’t seem to be joking around or anything, so apparently it was a fact that he could not enter. As to what would happen if he violated the agreement–– that was not a question he could ask in front of Emilia, considering how important promises were to her.
Anyways, now that the situation was blocked in every direction. Letting Emilia go alone was out of the question, but the Garfiel-scouting-plan was dead. Then, in that case, there was only one choice remaining.
[Subaru: I’ll go look for Otto so can you wait for a bit?]
[Emilia: Within the time you do something like that, the sun would go down––It’s alright. I will go in]
Just as Subaru was trying to get another sacrifice, it was gently rejected by Emilia. As if her mind was now prepared, she glared at the entrance of the Tomb, while lights of vigilance gleamed within her violet pupils, wary of what might arise inside.
She too, judging from the sound of “Trials” and “The Tomb of a Witch”, must have guessed what unsettling things might be taking place within.
Carrying the same concerns and anxieties as she did, yet to lack even the strength to hold her hand, wouldn’t that be far too pathetic.
[Subaru: Ok just a bit inside…… no, just near the entrance, but I’ll just go in a little bit and check, how’s that……?]
I’m late for work!! I have an exam on Monday so I’ll need a bit of time to study, but I’ll continue working on Part 2/3 tomorrow :3
Hope you like it!
Chapter 10 Live Draft:
The incredible fan art in the thumbnail is by InaedaKei!