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/181/
THE EVERLASTING COVENANT
Chapter 15 [Qualifications And Trials]
――On the morning of the next day, trodding on grass still adorned by the morning’s dew, Subaru was looking up toward the entrance of the ruins he had visited the day before.
Yesterday, having been restricted by time, he didn’t get a chance to take a good look at the exteriors. But looking at it now, it all actually seemed to have been surprisingly well maintained.
Although the callously sprawling ivy had spread to cover the entire exterior of the entrance, the plants surrounding the Tomb have been neatly attended to, and he could discern on the Tomb itself signs of restorations of broken walls that had deteriorated over the ages.
[Subaru: Not really sure what kind of relationship those guys here have with the Tomb]
Touching his hand to the walls that were showing strange colors under the light of the Sun, Subaru mumbled this under his breath.
He thought back to the conversation with Garfiel and Lewes in the previous night inside the room in which Roswaal was confined. They all wanted Emilia to take the Trials, and hoped, as a result, she would be able to liberate them from their imprisonment within the Sanctuary.
[Subaru: Judging from what they said, for Garfiel and the others, the Witch is just something of a nuisance, isn’t it? So why are they maintaining the Tomb like it’s so important to them……]
[Otto: Maybe it’s the opposite. The Tomb is the reason that the people here are all bound to this land, right? So until someone passes the Trials, they mustn’t allow the Tomb to get damaged. Since if demolishing the Tomb would set them free, Garfiel would have already done it a long time ago, wouldn’t he?]
The one who followed up on Subaru’s deductions was Otto, who was wandering behind him, looking all around the Tomb.
Early in the morning, Otto, who had been sleeping inside the dragon carriage just as he declared he would, got woken up and was bullied by Subaru into coming along to the Tomb on a scouting mission. Naturally, Otto grumbled about it at first, but…
[Otto: Then again, it’s rare to get a chance to visit something like the Tomb of the Witch of Greed….. maybe coming along would be worth it after all. There’s no knowing whether we’ll find some treasure belonging to the Witch of Greed along the way. We could make a fortune!]
[Subaru: If you go around announcing that you’re selling some Witch-related stuff, won’t the over-obsessive guys from the Witch Cult come hunt you down? Sorry I woke you up, that was my bad, gees, but don’t go broadcasting it and bring a sea of flames here]
Saying this, trying to save the merchant-souled Otto from himself, Subaru turned back to the Tomb once again. Silence fell all around, and the only sounds remaining, filtering through the trees, were the chirping of insects, and the rustling of leaves caressed by the wind.
A crisp air was flowing through the Sanctuary in the dawn, it was perfect for a morning stroll.
[Otto: Say, we didn’t come out here just to breathe the air and go right back, right? If you wanted to enjoy a stroll in the morning, you’d probably have brought Emilia-sama instead of me]
[Subaru: Surprisingly, Emilia-tan’s no-good in the mornings. Even though Emilia-tan being groggy after just waking up is dangerously adorable…… it’ll have to wait until everything’s settled down. She’s probably still stressed out after the conversations yesterday, I’ll let her sleep for a little longer]
[Otto: So, you’ve got the men together for your skullduggery while the Princess is asleep. You, sir, are a wicked one]
Sensing Otto gleefully squinting his eyes at him, Subaru only shrugged. But still, Otto’s reading was dead-on. The truth is, it was in order to do something he wouldn’t want Emilia to see, that Subaru came to the Tomb.
[Otto: Then, what are we doing? I’m not too confident with my magic abilities, but if it’s using Wind and Water magic to stifle the sound of footsteps or to suddenly hide myself in a flash…… ah, and I can also transfer my footsteps to a completely different location]
[Subaru: Your magic, sounds like it’s incredibly useful for cat burglars, doesn’t it?]
[Otto: Well, people usually take it the wrong way. But I wouldn’t use it for stealing. I have no qualms about using it to listen-in on conversations, though]
Seeing Otto bragging this with eyes narrowed and his white teeth all showing, Subaru sighed.
Then, lifting up a finger in front of the high-spirited Otto, Subaru pointed it toward the Tomb.
[Subaru: I want to take a look inside the Tomb for a bit. If my predictions are correct, the lights inside the Tomb will send me blessings for my future endeavors. If I’m wrong, then I’ll probably keel over and won’t get up, in that case, if you’ll be so good as to pull me out…]
[Otto: What kind of person would just say “Alright, I got it” after listening to that explanation!? Keeling over and won’t get up, what’s that supposed to mean, please stop right there, I’m getting scared now!]
In reaction to Subaru’s super-important announcement, Otto started wailing. But hearing Otto’s complaint, Subaru looked over as if watching an unreasonable child, and,
[Subaru: Listen up, this is the Tomb of the Witch of Greed. Simply put, if you set one foot inside the place without the Witch’s permission your consciousness will be snatched right out with its roots. I got done-in like that yesterday. So this place is dangerous, don’t you be going in there]
[Otto: If it didn’t work out yesterday, Natsuki-san shouldn’t be going in either, right? If you know you’re going to keel over why do you still want to go in, it’ll only make a mess of things, let’s not do that. Besides, if it really ends up that way how will I get Natsuki-san out?]
[Subaru: Always questions, questions, coming out one after another…… If you keep believing there will be an answer to everything, you’ll be getting into a spoiled mentality, you know]
[Otto: Please stop trying to gloss things over with sophistries just because it’s too bothersome to explain!]
Having been completely seen through, Subaru smacked his tongue and scowled. Seeing how in the short time they’ve known each other Otto has already grasped all the tricks in dealing with him, Subaru shook his head dejectedly,
[Subaru: Here, I borrowed some rope from the dragon carriage. I’ll tie this around my waist, so if I collapse inside, you can gently, calmly, lovingly pull me out]
[Otto: No matter how gently, calmly, lovingly I pull you, you’ll still be getting mud and cuts all over I think]
[Subaru: Well I can’t be picky considering the circumstances. Just think of it as repaying a favor]
[Otto: You’re the one who owes me a favor, right!?]
While Otto was raising his objection and putting on his grumbling-face, Subaru had already tied the rope around his own waist and handed him the other end. Unwillingly accepting it, Otto carefully inspected the loop around Subaru’s waist, and yanked on it just to be sure it was safe.
However much he might be complaining, he was still a conscientious person.
[Subaru: Despite being a merchant, you seem really easy to fool…… is it really alright for a guy like you to be doing business?]
[Otto: You know, you seem to have completely forgotten how I’m literally holding your life in my hands right now]
As Subaru looked at him with a motherly gaze, Otto squinted his eyes, tugged on the rope and grumbled.
With a wry smile, Subaru gave him a slight bow on the spot, and in the same breath he turned round about, toward the entrance of the Tomb.
A foul, earthy air was quietly flowing from the Tomb. The morning light of the sun, like the twilight of yesterday’s, lit only several meters into the entrance before vanishing entirely. The other end of the tunnel was shrouded in absolute dark, and nothing seemed to have changed from the path that had collapsed the moment he set his foot inside.
[Subaru: Well, it wouldn’t actually collapse anyway, I’d just go splat on the first step, so that’d actually make it easier to pull me out, I guess]
[Otto: Natsuki-san, you can go in whenever you’re ready, just give me a signal when you’re going in]
[Subaru: Alright, I’m going in!]
Subaru had no hesitations in making that decision.
In the worst case, he’d faint and get called by the Witch to another tea party. Although he wasn’t especially looking forward to getting his arm ripped off, punched into healing, and drinking body fluids again――
[Subaru: But compared to all the brink-of-life-and-death stuff so far, it’s not all that baaaa――d!]
Declaring this, Subaru nimbly jumped-off into the entrance of the Tomb.
The threshold――or whatever that might be called, crossing over that boundary between the sunlight and the shadow of the Tomb, Subaru gingerly opened his eyes.
Whereas yesterday, his first step had been met instantly by the torment of that weightless sensation――
[Subaru: The ground is solid. I didn’t fall in]
It’s an improvement from yesterday, and while it was subtle, it was nonetheless a reassuring change. Taking a deep breath, he took another step. And with his second step into the Tomb, Subaru’s body was completely swallowed by the shadows of the ruins.
To Otto, waiting outside, Subaru’s figure must have become obscured or perhaps even lost to sight altogether.
[Otto: Natsuki-san, are you alright? If you’re going to faint, please give me a signal like “I’m gonna faint!” while you’re fainting]
[Subaru: That’s a bit difficult isn’t it… And I wouldn’t want to admit it if I’m going to faint, I’d probably shout something like “I don’t wanna faint!”]
[Otto: What’s with the unnecessary pride in a situation like this!]
Along with their usual exchange, they took some small comfort in confirming each other’s positions through their voices. And, reassured by that sense of relief, Subaru took a third step, and then a fourth.
The next moment, the scene spread out at once in front of Subaru’s eyes.
Rather, in an instant, the shadow was banished from the ruins, and its interiors bared itself for the intruder’s eyes to see.
Upon the walls on both sides of the corridor, at about the height of Subaru’s shoulders, lined up in equal and even intervals, the lamps lit up, and with faint, swerving luminescence, lighted the path.
It was a corridor constructed of the same material as the exterior walls, about the width of Subaru’s outstretched arms, or two people walking side by side. The height was such that he might bump his head if he jumped. Or, if that giant balding old man was here, there would probably be sparks flying from his scalp scraping against the ceiling as he walked if he doesn’t bend down.
[Otto: ……There’s light coming from inside. Is that some kind of condition being met?]
[Subaru: This is a welcoming for someone who’s qualified to take the Trials of the night, or so they say…… I thought in the worst case I might’ve been just spacing out and daydreaming all of this]
Once again trying to make sure that what he saw was real, Subaru held up his palms and stared at them. Then, touching himself on the forehead, Subaru recalled the sensation of the touch he had received from her fingertip within the dream.
[Subaru: Looks like I’ve received your souvenir from the tea party all well and good. Even though you pretty much charged me a price for it without my permission… I wasn’t planning on telling anyone for the time being anyway]
Happy Lunar New Year! This year is the year of the… ahem… Chickens :3
It’s been a while since I updated the giant wallblock
Thank you so, so much Robert T M, Luke C, James Q, Cyle H, Spencer N, CLarke J, Sid A, Luis P, Sonwukong, Raf H, David S, Daegor, Mohit A, Anthony C, Robert B, Paul M W, Morten O, Mathiew F, Terry F, Marek W, Erlend S N, Nelson B, Anh M D V, Michal Z, Peganuss, Jun P, Andrew B, Nope, Dustin V F, Alexander, John W, Jesse A, Thong N, Ben R, Bacon, Petr H, Robbie L, Xuatz, Ristelle, Piotr H, Dohmeh, Tyler Y, Sid K, John L, King H, Pergzedref V, Kailz, Jonathan B, NJRoss, WIll, John B, Andrew, Daniel H, Alora T, Ashley H, Lolfoolor, TJ Scott, Aqua Dragon, Mark K, Ben S, Devon Cooper, Ryan S, Quinn C, Daniel B, Zarko B, Edsel R, Aiman Z, Shippolover, Matthew K, Shahril A!!!
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Thank you!! You’re all so incredible!! >_<
And thank you everyone coming back to read, thank you <3!