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/179/
THE EVERLASTING COVENANT
Chapter 13 [Roswaal’s Intentions]
The first thing Subaru felt when he woke up was someone’s fingertip against his forehead.
[Subaru: Judging from the delicate softness and the really considerate contact, it’s: Emilia-tan’s!]
[Emilia: ――Even though you got it right, I got a reeeeaally spooky feeling about it, maybe it’s just my imagination]
Opening his eyes, Subaru’s field of vision was covered by the palm which was touching him. Through the gaps between her fingers, Subaru got a peek at a fragment of her beautiful face, and he loosened his lips, smiling.
[Subaru: Well, because only Emilia-tan would go to the trouble of taking care of me at a time like this, so I got the feeling it was you. It’s not like anyone could actually tell who it is just by the touch of a fingertip, you know?]
[Emilia: Oh, I see. I guess feel a bit relieved now…… your body, can you sit up on your own?]
[Subaru: One way or another…… yeah, I’m fine]
Answering with a joke as he woke, Subaru sat himself up from the bed. Briefly looking around at his surroundings, he found himself in an unfamiliar building.
The bedding he had been lying on was crudely made, and couldn’t compare at all with the beds of Roswaal’s Mansion that he had gotten so used to. In any case, Subaru tried to remember what had happened before he lost consciousness.
[Subaru: Up to where did reality end, and from where did the vision begin……]
The Tomb ―― setting one foot in that place, and immediately being swept into a state of falling: that was the last thing he remembered about real world. Then after that, his meeting with the girl playing-innocent inside the Tomb――with the “Witch of Greed”, if a Witch’s words could be believed, would have all happened inside her dreams.
It was all too vague. Frustrated by his indecisive memories, Subaru held a hand to his forehead and looked toward Emilia. Beside the bed, seated in a chair, she seemed to be quietly waiting for Subaru to sort out his thoughts. Seeing her there, Subaru began with [Well then……],
[Subaru: There are loads of things I want to ask and and talk to you about…… but, first there’s something I have to say]
[Emilia: En, what is it?]
Tilting her head a little, Emilia waited adorably, listening. ――but, her eyes weren’t smiling.
Under the light gleaming from her clear, violet pupils, Subaru shrank his shoulders,
[Subaru: I’m sorry I made you worry again. I got a bit too carried away there]
Having thought that he should, at the very least, be able to clear the path ahead of Emilia, he had somewhat overestimated his ability.
And the situation, as it turns out, was that on the first step he took he fell on his face.
Receiving Subaru’s apology, Emilia let out a little sigh through her lips.
[Emilia: You know. I was really really worried. The moment you went in, you let out a shriek and passed out]
[Subaru: Putting the shriek aside for now… I passed out?]
[Emilia: The white of your eyes were turned up, and you wouldn’t stop convulsing. We really didn’t know what to do. There weren’t any wounds and it didn’t look like there had been any strange magic cast you……]
Seeing Emilia hesitating with her words, Subaru got an idea of what an embarrassing display he had made.
So that’s what happened… Apparently, immediately after he stepped into the Tomb, when the floor collapsed――or by the time he sensed himself falling, he had already been summoned into the Witch of Greed’s dreams.
And in reality, Subaru fell asleep the moment he walked in, and basically gave Emilia an uncalled-for amount of worry while she looked on, unable to do anything.
Scouting ahead for dangers for the sake of Emilia―― his determination back then was now looking really stupid at this point.
Thinking that, Subaru scowled up his face in self loathing, when,
[Garfiel: ――Oh? Hey, he’s awake isn’he? Lookin’ pretty good there, oy]
Saying this, pushing open the creaking door, the blond youth―― Garfiel walked in.
Taking a passing glance at Subaru on the bed, he then turned his gaze toward Emilia.
[Garfiel: Told ya didn’I? Nothin’ wrong with his body, see?]
[Emilia: ……But still, I still couldn’t help but get worried. Not knowing why and seeing him suddenly collapsing like that. Even though I’ve kind of gotten used to it by now, getting used to something like that really isn’t a good thing, is it?]
[Garfiel: Hah, c’mon, toughen up a bit. Panicking and getting all teary-faced as soon as y’saw this little buddy go down…. Like “yer face’s more blue than Aomiguro” as they say]
Listening to Garfiel’s thoroughly boorish retort, Emilia pouted up her lips as her face turned bright red.
And as soon as he brought that last part up, Emilia jumped up from her chair with a squeal.
[Emilia: I-I wasn’t teary-faced! I was worried and panicking, sure, but I wasn’t……]
[Garfiel: A-ah, rightright. It’s a secret, a secret. Sorry sorry. But, it’s not that bad… There’s no need to hide it or anything]
[Emilia: It is that bad. I’m really worried that……. if he heard I was going to cry…….]
Trailing off in the middle of her rebuttal, Emilia sneaked a side-glance at Subaru.
Up to now, Subaru had been silently observing their conversation. In front of her gaze, what would the speechless Subaru say――
[Subaru: Hn? Ah, it’s good, keep going. Please, please, eheheh. Is that so, ehhh, is that so. Emilia-tan was so worried about me that she was crying… is that so, eheheh]
[Emilia: ……somehow, I got a feeling Subaru would react like that]
Emilia slumped down her shoulders dejectedly. In front of her, Subaru was still breathing heavily with enlarged nostrils. To know that the girl he has a crush on had been worried about him from the bottom of her heart, even if this was indiscreet, he couldn’t hold in his glee.
Seeing Subaru’s immodest indulgence and Emilia’s reaction, on the side, Garfiel let out a [Ohhh so that’s how it is] and then, with deep feeling, muttered,
[Garfiel: This time’s my bad. Yikes, it’s pretty rare. To see me ownin’ up to my mistakes so straightforwardly, ain’t it?]
And, in self-reflection, Garfiel admitted something he’s not all too proud of.
※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※
[If properly trained, even dogs can exercise enough self-restraint to not eat before being given permission]
Chilling, it was a voice instilled with such sharpness that one might be cut in half if one were to touch it.
Echoing out slowly, there was a pause between each word, but the space in between was filled with such dreadfulness that no room for objection was permitted from the other end.
[That is to say, following an instruction the way even a dog is capable of, should have been the least you could do]
*Kuts* *kuts*, were the high pitched sound of footsteps striking the wooden floor.
The rhythm of the steps were constant, walking left and right, back and forth in front of him.
The evenness of the gaps between them reflected the calmness of the footsteps’ owner’s mind, all the while knowing full well that they were mercilessly chipping away at the mental composure of the other person.
The voice and the footsteps, and those eyes devoid of emotion, all shot toward Subaru――
[Ram: A creature that can’t abide by instructions that even a dog can abide by, what do you even call such a thing? Barusu, do you know?]
[Subaru: I’m so sorry I didn’t follow your advice――!!]
Toward the small girl standing opposite him, Subaru fell to his knees on the spot and bent his head all the way down as he cried out in apology.
However, against the wailing from the bottom of Subaru’s soul, girl only slightly tilted her head.
[Ram: “I’m so sorry”, did you hear me asking for an apology? Not only did you not hear the question, it seems you didn’t hear anything at all so far. I think Ram’s advice didn’t even enter your ears in the first place, because it’s not like it was something you couldn’t have understood]
[Subaru: Can you please not use such a roundabout way to express your distaste!? I repent, I totally know I was wrong, but it feels like my heart is getting crushed! A straightforward scolding would’ve been easier on me!]
[Ram: It’d be better if you died]
[Subaru: Too straightforward!!]
Receiving the girl――Ram’s merciless rebuke, Subaru hugged his head on the floor. But actually, considering his conduct, he could only receive all her abuse with resignation.
He had flat out gone against her especially delivered warning, and caused trouble for everyone around him as a result.
[Roswaal: Tha~~t’s alright. Ram should forgi~ve him there. A~~fter all, Emilia-sama must have already given him the exact same lecture, no? Going over it again wo~n’t do much good, except making Subaru-kun’s masochist tendencies exci~ted]
[Subaru: I don’t have masochist tendencies. Stepping on landmines just happens to be my natural instinct!]
It was just him not being able to read the mood very well, he was thinking.
Seeing Subaru puffing up his chest boastfully, Ram gave up in the bottom of her heart as she let out a deep sigh, and then, without a word, she turned her back to him, to face toward Roswaal.
And Roswaal, shifting his body to face everyone waiting silently by his side as he lay on the bed, continued, [Well~ then],
[Roswaal: Fir~~st of all, that you all came back safe is the most important thing. These stumbles before the Trials had sent all kinds of pla~ns into disarray. Even though Subaru-kun’s action was a nothing but a simple blu~nder]
Having been tossed an all-too-meaningful smile, Subaru crossed his arms and made a small snort. And, as if with a reproachful attitude, Emilia, who was standing beside him, pinched Subaru under his ribs.
[Subaru: Ow. Hurts, Emilia-tan]
[Emilia: Even though I always defend you, today it’s Subaru who’s been bad…… If I had known that Ram had said something like that I would have…]
….stopped Subaru from going first, as if trying to continue like this, Emilia’s words trailed off. Smiling wryly back at her, Subaru muttered [That’s why I couldn’t tell you…] in his heart. If she knew about this warning beforehand, Emilia would never have allowed Subaru to take on such a dangerous task.
But on the other hand, if it weren’t for Ram’s warning, Subaru wouldn’t have made up his mind about trying to clear the way for Emilia in the first place. So then…
[Subaru: Your advice didn’t make anyone happy, Ram]
[Ram: Saying all of this was because of Ram, only a dog would do that…… No, I should change that to lower than a dog, otherwise it would be insulting to dogs]
Seeing Subaru trying to pass off responsibility, Ram shot back with a look of ultimate contempt. He couldn’t help but admire the maid’s undissipating venomous attitude. And, at the same time, the other side probably held a similar opinion of Subaru as well.
Leaving the two’s irrelevant sparring aside, Roswaal rearranged his legs on the bed, and,
[Roswaal: By the way, Emilia-sama…… How did you like the Tomb?]
[Emilia: ……With what happened to Subaru, I didn’t get a chance look around. But, there was a terrible stench in the air and I felt this unpleasant stinging feeling on my skin]
Emilia furrowed her brows as she put her impression of the Tomb into words.
Basically, bad impressions took up most of her overall appraisal of the place. And hearing this unreservedly negative appraisal, Roswaal let out an [Is that so…], and slighty smiled.
Then, his mismatched eyes set upon a corner of the room―― toward Garfiel, who had been observing their conversation, leaning against a wall.
[Roswaal: Garfiel. Has the Qualification been confirmed?]
At the word Qualification, Subaru raised his brows, and looked toward Garfiel.
The blonde youth roughly scratched his short hair, and revealed his sharp canine fangs.
[Garfiel: I didn’go further than the front of th’entrance but……the lights in the Tomb turned on alright. Emilia-sama’s got the “Qualification”, there’s no doubt ’bout that]
[Subaru: Lights in the Tomb?]
Hearing something he hadn’t heard of before, Subaru tilted his head as Garfiel flapped his hand around irritatedly.
[Garfiel: There’s a bunch of candle-things in the Tomb. While the Sun’s up, if a guy with Qualification walks into the Tomb, some stuff in there’ll make the fires light up. A guy who gets this welcome without any problems will be qualified to take that night’s Trials]
[Roswaal: Conversely, if someone without Qualification forces his way into the Tomb, it would be ju~st like what happened to Subaru and myse~lf]
Finishing off Garfiel’s words for him, Roswaal spread out his arms. It was to show off his body, which was still painfully wrapped in blood soaked bandages. ――That is, to show off the punishment for forcing one’s way into the Tomb.
[Subaru: I feel like the severity of the punishment is pretty different between what you got and what I got… Compared to just going in like me, what you did must’ve been quite a lot worse, right?]
[Roswaal: Worse, su~ch as what?]
[Subaru: Illegally peeing beside the entrance or something. That’ll really piss off the Tomb manager]
[Roswaal: If that were the ca~se, Subaru would have fallen ri~ght where my puddle had be~en, it se~ems]
His sarcasm being countered by another sarcastic reply, Subaru showed a disgusted face as he quickly patted himself off all over his clothes. Seeing Subaru’s reaction, Roswaal relaxed his cheeks, and said [Bu~t], shaking his head,
[Roswaal: The fact that we suffered different damages despite being similarly rejected……I~’m impressed you noticed it. It’s true, my i~njuries are quite a lot greater than Subaru’s. But, the reason is very simple]
[Emilia: ……Mana …Gate rampage]
Roswaal’s words were interrupted by this answer.
Turning to the voice, it was Emilia, who had been covering her lips with her fingers. She was thinking with downcast eyes, and playing with the tips of her silver hair.
[Emilia: When I entered the Tomb, I felt a reeeaally unpleasant air about the place. It felt like my Gate was being interfered with or something. Maybe because I met the requirements, it decided to let me go……but if it’s someone who doesn’t meet the requirement, the interference would bare its fangs]
There was a change in the certainty of her words, and little by little, her tone became imbued with strength. Emilia lifted up her face, and those violet pupils took in Roswaal’s pitiful form.
[Emilia: The interference strikes at its targets through their gates……Which means, the greater the number of gates the person has, the greater the interference they will receive]
[Roswaal: Perfect answer. Wi~th someone like myself……that I didn’t blow up is a mi~~racle]
Casually saying something scary again, Roswaal flashed a glance at Subaru with a single eye, and said [It’s a good thing you have no talent], rather annoyingly.
[Subaru: So basically, magic users or any talented people would almost die from that. But all I got was loss of consciousness, so it’s a good thing that I’m so totally inept as a magic user, huh…]
[Emilia: T-that’s true but……describing yourself like that, doesn’t it sting a little?]
[Subaru: I’ve gotten pretty used to knowing that there are things I can’t do and things I can’t reach. It’s alright, I’ll just use the things only I can do to show my love for Emilia-tan. For now, how about we start with some rustic love whisperings?]
[Emilia: After the Royal Selection’s finished and everything’s settled down, maybe I’ll consider it]
[Subaru: At least 3 years later!?]
Even then there’s no guarantee whether she will listen…
At the cruel Emilia, Subaru shriveled his shoulders. Then, with a [But,] he continued,
[Subaru: Putting the qualifications and whatnot aside, a space that kills magic users… I don’t know who’s behind it, but it sounds like pretty asshole thing to do… don’t know how else to describe it]
[Roswaal: Considering it has been managed by generations of the Mathers family, the one who assembled the ma~gical mechanism must have been one of my a~~ncestors]
[Subaru: Ah, that’s not good…… is it. But then, wait… then doesn’t that mean you’re a way-too-accurate impression of your ancestors? Like it’s reincarnating through Ros-chi’s family-line or something]
What if when one generation dies, the next generation gets possessed by the asshole consciousness of its predecessor, and so on and so on like a puppet family-line…
Just the thought of it was too frightening, and Subaru quickly shook his head to put it out of his mind. But hearing Subaru’s words, Roswaal laughed as if having heard quite a joke,
[Roswaal: There are families who researched that kind of ma~gic, a~lthough, they have been defeated, and extinguished lo~ng ago…… And also, while you could call it a “space that kills mages”, there is a more accurate name for it]
[Subaru: Which… is?]
[Roswaal: Simply put ――that place is filled with the Witch’s Miasma. A nightmarish environment, that passes Mana through the trespasser’s Gate, and drives him to madness. That, is what is ca~lled Miasma]
I’m late for work now! The Live Draft will continue Friday, Dec 3oth :3