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Translator: TranslationChicken

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Editor: TranslationChicken

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Previous Part 1/3: https://translationchicken.com/2017/01/28/rezero-arc-4-chapter-15-qualifications-and-trials-part-13/

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[Otto: Hey I can see inside as well, so then what’ll happen if I come in with you? Can we pillage the Witch of Greed’s Tomb now?]

[Subaru: All I know is that there’s an evil wizard whose whole body got split open when he tried to go in and he’s still recovering from his wounds. What’ll happen to you though, I’m too not sure]

[Otto: Isn’t that incredibly scary!?]

Listening to Otto getting frightened behind him, Subaru confirmed once more that he had achieved his objective. Although he should be able to venture deeper inside like this, there was a chance that Otto might want to follow in behind him, so Subaru had to abandon that idea for now.
Either way, all that Subaru wanted to do was to confirm that he was qualified for the Trials, and to verify that the words Echidona said to him within the dream could be believed.
In any case, if he could step into the Tomb, then the knowledge and conditions Echidona had given him, along with the payment she extracted, must all have been real. And the same, then, would go for all those Witches that Subaru had met inside that daydream.

[Subaru: If that’s true, then 400 years ago, those “GOING-MY-WAY” Witches would’ve been going HYA-HA all over the place, wouldn’t they. What must that have been like, at the end of that century…… good thing I got transported into this Age, I guess]

Just the thought of an age wrought by chaos by the Witches of Sin and the Witch of Envy, makes the present Age seem pretty reasonable in comparison. Although the atrocities of the Sin Archbishops would offset this somewhat.
Still, what a pain in the ass those Witches must have been, every last one of them.

[Subaru: Anyways, all the preparations on my end are O-K. Now it’s just waiting for nightfall, and seeing how Emilia-tan’s Trials turn out. Then let’s maintain a high degree of flexibility, and be ready to adapt to the situation]

Although it sounded nice, that pretty much meant he had no plans whatsoever. Saying that, Subaru looked back at the Tomb’s entrance once more as he left.
Returning to a worried-looking Otto, Subaru untied the rope around his waist and left it next to the entrance.

[Subaru: It might come in handy again, besides, maybe I’ll need it tonight, so I’ll hide it here for now. And sorry for dragging you along, Otto]

[Otto: No, that’s alright, as long as you came back safe…… but more importantly, aren’t we going back empty-handed? You went in the Tomb but didn’t bring anything back, what did you even go in for?]

[Subaru: I’m having a really hard time figuring out which part of what you just said I should take seriously, but maybe I’ll just take that as your artistic style. I’m not religious or anything, but grave robbing is still not something I’d do you know?]

It’s not easy to understand why Japan, being an otherwise the irreligious country, manages to revere eight million gods without actually believing in any single one in particular. One could even say it’s the homebase of the hodgepodge-approach when it comes to religion. Or, it might be just as accurate to call it a collection of cowards being overly-wary of ghosts just in case they actually exist.

[Otto: Of course all that was just joking around. But if that was all, you didn’t really need me here, did you? Why’d you bring me along?]

[Subaru: Actually, it was somewhat of a gamble whether I could go in or not. So whether it was getting confused at seeing me falling on my face, or getting traumatized for life after witnessing my body exploding, it’d be best if the victim of that was you……]

[Otto: What kind of selection criteria is that!? And I got more than just a little hunch that was by the process of elimination!]

[Subaru: Dummy, you were the first person that came to mind when I thought about who to trouble. Don’t make me say it out loud, it’s embarrassing]

[Otto: Any human being should be embarrassed to make that kind of decision!]

Hearing Subaru’s shamelessly dished-out explanation, Otto’s high-pitched retort echoed outwards. Throughout the forest in the morning, reverberating against the ruins, and lingering there, like a regretful conversation with itself. Usually, one would expect the only audience, besides the people present, to be the insects and the animals hidden within the trees, but――

[???: Already so loud so early in the morning, oy. Makin’ a racket right above where a Witch’s sleepin, it’s like “Yohororoi only crows in th’morning”, y’know]

[Subaru: Such a pain in the ass, that Yohororoi. I’ll give him a talking-to next time I see him]

Saying this, turning his gaze away from Tomb’s entrance, Subaru saw, coming from the forest beside him, the one who had cut into their conversation―― scratching his short, golden hair, baring his white fangs, it was Garfiel.
And roughly rubbing away the sweat on his forehead,

[Garfiel: I’ll say this first, runnin’ into ya was a coincidence. Every morning I do a run around the outskirts of the Sanctuary so I just found you guys here. Don’t gimme that leery look]

[Subaru: It’s not that I’m being wary. Besides, we didn’t say anything we can’t let other people overhear. Right Otto? Totally, nothing that we can’t let other people overhear]

To that feint, or whatever Garfiel’s words were supposed to be, Subaru shurgged, and proceeded to violently pat Otto on the shoulder. As if utterly confused at being slapped around, Otto let out a [Uuuehh?]

[Otto: E-eehh, yeah that’s right, nothing especially troublesome or suspicious or anything like that? Just a little rehearsal for grave-robbing later, just a little rehearsal, that sort of thing!]

[Subaru: Amazing, Otto. I’ve never seen a man dig his own grave this happily right in front of another grave before]

Seeing the high spirited Otto suddenly looking like he had no idea what he was saying, Subaru quickly cut him off and stole a glance at Garfiel’s reaction. But, judging from Garfiel’s expression, it seemed like Otto’s confession-of-sorts had completely went in one ear and came out the other.

[Garfiel: What is it, comeon, I won’t snitch or get angry or anything. Long as you aren’t breaking stuff or doing something that’s bad for the Sanctuary, I won’t have to do anything]

[Subaru: Is that, so. Then I sincerely thank you for that guarantee. It’s too bad even if I want to fight it out I don’t think I stand any chance of winning]

[Garfiel: Eesh, I already feel sorry for ya before even fightin ya…… kinda wanna say that, but nevermind. It’s the same thing whatever opponent I’m lookin at. I am the strongest, after all]

His eyes beaming, Garfiel said this full of self-satisfaction.
In reality, after having seen first-hand what he was capable of, only an idiot would raise an objection here. But, because he knew Reinhardt, whose existence was of an entirely different dimension, he still had the urge to say a word or two about it.

But swallowing back what he had wanted to say, Subaru slightly raised his hand with a [Al~~right then],

[Subaru: It should be about time Emilia-tan woke up now, I want to keep her company for her morning studies so I was just thinking of heading back. You’re in the middle of your morning run too, right? So let’s just……]

[Garfiel: You’re heading to the Cathedral, huh. Then I’ll accompany ya]

As Subaru was hurriedly trying to say goodbyes and go their separate ways, he was cut off by Garfiel’s unexpected proposal. Surprised, Subaru was just about to refuse with a [Naaah], when,

[Garfiel: Frankly, you should listen to my advice. Besides, you shouldn’t be wanderin around the Sanctuary with just you two guys in the first place. There’s no knowin what could happen]

[Subaru: ――? What does that mean. That’s an odd way to put it. You made it sound as if it’s dangerous here]

[Garfiel: That’s why I’m tellin ya, isn’t it]

Seeing Subaru looking confused as if not understanding his words, Garfiel clacked his teeth with [What’m I gonna do with ya], and then, drawing near, he continued in a lowered voice,

[Garfiel: Pisses me off to be talking about family troubles, but the residents of the Sanctuary are not all in the same basket]

[Subaru: What’s, that supposed to mean?]

[Garfiel: If we follow the village-chief granny’s plan, it’d be taking Roswaal and the humans as hostages and forcing Emilia-sama to take the Trials and break the Witch’s contract or somethn like that. But in reality, only about half the guys are on board with the old hag’s plan……and then there’s also a bunch who aren’t]

Coming to this point, Garfiel lowered his tone even further.

[Garfiel: For the guys who want to stay holed up in this Sanctuary, you guys being here is a bit of a nuisance. To prevent Emilia-sama form takin the Trials, who knows what kind of trouble they’ll stir up]

[Subaru: Unless you mean…… there’s a chance they’ll be turning their fangs on Otto and me?]

[Garfiel: There’s a chance they’ll even use violence on Emilia-sama, I think. Well, it’s like “Even the snorting becomes rough in front of th’hole” y’know? But long as I’m with ya, I won’t let them do anything to bother ya]

Even though Garfiel said this lightly, Subaru was starting to worry about leaving Emilia behind.
Or rather, he was hating himself for not having thought of this possibility earlier.

There was a rift within their mutual understanding between the residents of the Sanctuary headed by Garfiel, and the villagers of Arlam. In that case, why wouldn’t there be internal factions within each of the camps as well?
It’s not like every single one of them would have just raised their hands in agreement with the Sanctuary’s plans. The situation would never progress as one expects them to. Subaru himself was all too aware of that fact.

[Subaru: I have to get back right away…….!]

[Garfiel: Aah? I scared ya too much didn’I? There’s no need to be panickin, those guys won’t fight among themselves in broad daylight, besides isn’t Emilia-sama in the Cathedral? Who’s gonna do that kind of thing with all those humans runnin around? If they wanna get ya, it’ll be picking off someone like this noisy lil’bro here who keeps straying from th’herd]

[Subaru: Mmu…… That, makes sense. If they go against the will of the majority outright they’ll only be worsening their own position, won’t they, so they won’t do anything rashly yet]

His agitation calming down a just little, Subaru breathed a sigh of relief and tried to bring his heart rate under control.
Then, suddenly noticing something, he raised his brows once more.

[Subaru: Unless, you thought it’d be dangerous for me and Otto to come out alone, so you came along with us?]

[Garfiel: …….Aah?]

Seeing Subaru bending his neck asking this, Garfiel was stumped a moment before he could react. Then, he quickly turned his back so Subaru couldn’t see his expression.

[Garfiel: There’s no way it’s like that. Coincidence. Told ya it was a coincidence!]

[Subaru: See, Otto? That’s the proper example of Tsundere. Yesterday on our first meeting we got to see the fiery and magnificent Tsun, and now, isn’t the embarrassed and adorable Dere just as captivating?]

[Otto: Enn~~, actually, having personally gotten a taste of the Tsun on my forehead yesterday, it’s still a little hard to accept, but surprisingly somehow I get the feeling he isn’t a very bad person, I can’t deny that it feels as if my manly heart is being deceived]

[Subaru: Uwa, you’re really easy to trick you know]

[Otto: I’ve been set up!!!]

As Otto’s ludicrous wail resounded through the forest in the morning, the frightened birds spread their wings and took to the sky.
The noisy Otto on the one hand, and the really hard-to-hate Garfiel on the other. Being together with these two like this, for the first time since coming to this parallel world, Subaru felt like he’s acquired some bad companions he could actually be with as equals, in the trues sense of the word.

[Subaru: Well, I’m pretty easy as well]

And, relaxing his cheeks, Subaru ever so slightly smiled.

※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※

Awaiting the coming of night, standing in front of the entrance of the Tomb, Subaru now felt a dark wind upon his skin that was very different from the crisp wind of the morning.

[Emilia: Now that it’s night, it really does feel like a Tomb. It’s even more ominous than yesterday]

Staring at the tomb’s entrance as she said this, her silver hair swaying in the wind, it was Emilia. Playing with the end of her three-stranded braid, she stole a glance at Subaru,

[Emilia: Do you think it’s, ok to go in now?]

[Subaru: If they had stuck a sign on the entrance that said “We Open at 7-o’Clock” then it’d be easier to tell, but looks like they didn’t do that… If the Trials just start roughly around nightfall, once it’s dark all around that should be a good enough range I think]

[Emilia: Yeah. Alright, I’ll go in then]

With a light sigh, even as she was saying this, Emilia still seemed unable to make up her mind. At her side, waiting for her to gather up her courage, Subaru turned back his head to look behind him.
There were four other people besides Subaru who came to send Emilia into the Trials. There was Garfiel and Lewes of the Sanctuary-team, there was Roswaal’s representative, Ram, and then, there’s the not-quite-sure-why-he’s-here, Otto. But then, if we add him to Emilia and Subaru of the Emilia faction, they would be considered the largest faction here.

[Subaru: But on the other hand, if we count the whole Sanctuary, then we’re easily the smallest faction here. Come to think of it, life could be getting a lot harder from now on]

[Emilia: What are you mumbling about? It’s reeeaally getting to me]

[Subaru: Oh I’m just talking to myself. Emilia-tan you just focus on getting ready for what’s ahead. Although, to be honest, since I wasn’t able to find out about the contents of the Trials it’s getting me really worried……]

[Emilia: Not knowing the contents, it’s the same for anyone who challenged the Trials so far, right? I shouldn’t be sneaky and start cheating when it’s my turn. Even with the same conditions, I’ll try my best]

Seeing Emilia tightening her little fist, pumping herself up, Subaru quickly held up a hand in front of his eyes like he’s shielding it from a radiant light. Now, the way he was trying to get a Witch to help him cheat right off the bat was really coming off as sneaky in comparison.
Because, compared to himself, how pure and noble Emilia is.

[Subaru: E・M・K !(Emilia・Major・Knighto)! It’s too much!]

[Emilia: Oh, it’s been awhile since I heard Subaru say that]

Starting with a small giggle, Emilia’s expression broke down as she heard Subaru’s old catchphrase. Seeing her smile, Subaru decided that the joke was still worth keeping around after all, and nodded,

[Subaru: Anyway, I don’t know what kind of things are in there, but if you sense any kind of danger just cry out. If you call my name, I will fly right over to your side]

[Emilia: If you come in, won’t you go PA-TAN right away?]

[Subaru: It’s been awhile since I heard someone call it going PA-TAN……](*Pa-Tan is the sound of falling over)

Seeing Emilia pouting up her lips, just as Subaru started objecting and scratching his face, [But], Emilia continued,

[Emilia: Thank you for worrying about me. Puck still hasn’t shown his face at all, so I am reeeaally getting worried. And I feel like I’m completely relying on Subaru now]

[Subaru: Then you can rest your ultra-dummy weight against me, you know. Emilia-tan is light as a feather, and if I don’t touch you from time to time to make sure you’re still there I’ll get really worried]

[Emilia: But somehow I get the feeling that wiggly thing you’re doing with your fingers is really gross]

Seeing Subaru endlessly wiggling his fingers, Emilia smiled wryly. And, with her nervousness unraveling, she did a little stretch that made herself seem a little taller.

[Emilia: Somehow, I feel like my shoulders have gotten a little lighter. Ever since the first time we met, that was what Subaru had been aiming for, wasn’t it?]

[Subaru: If I had that kind of first-rate THERAPEUTIC abilities, I wouldn’t be the kind of lonely boy who spends his time learning origami to such mastery as to be able to make “Rindougurumas”]

He took a certain pride in having reached the extremes of that art that flows out of ones fingertips. Although, there was really no one he could show it to other than his parents.

Listening to Subaru’s drab remarks about his past, Emilia adorably tilted her head a little to show her non-understanding. But seeing her alright now, and so completely cute, Subaru crossed his arms and nodded.
And with that expression of not-understanding still on her face, Emilia turned toward the Tomb.

[Emilia: ――This time, I’m really going. So pray for my safe return]

[Subaru: I’ll be praying until the Buddha’s ears bleed]

Sending her off with these words, he watched Emilia’s back vanishing into the Tomb. Then, beginning from the entrance, one by one the lights lit up, just as it did for Subaru when he entered in the morning.

And just like this, Emilia’s footsteps trailed on, into the depths of the Tomb. It seemed that the Trials would be taking place deep within that corridor. Even further than what Subaru could have seen in the morning when he strained his eyes trying to see the end.

[Lewes: Worry’s written all over your face, kiddo]

Then, walking up beside Subaru, who had worry all over his eyes, it was a little girl――or the full grown adult living inside what looked like one: Lewes, who called out to him. Unbefitting of her cute and childish features, what was adorning her face was a somehow aged and ancient smile,

[Lewes: It’ll be alright, there’s no need to worry. The Trials, or whatever exaggerated name you call it, is not life-threatening or anything]

[Subaru: You know about the contents of the Trials, then?]

[Lewes: I have taken part in it myself. Being half-blood and qualified, it was only natural. Although in the end, I did not pass…… see, I’m still well and kicking about]

Lewes did a little hop on the spot to show that she was still healthy. And seeing her trying to use that almost adorable gesture to wipe away his anxiety, from deep within his heart, Subaru appreciated her consideration, and,

[Subaru: Then, is that how you got to become a Loli on the outside and an acceleratedly-aged Granny on the inside? If Emilia-tan becomes loli Emilia-tan it’ll be really cute too, but would Emilia-tan really like that?]

[Lewes: I must have been stupid to have taken you seriously enough to not expect a reply like that. You know, Su-bo, you’re just like Gar-bo, and don’t know how to respect your elders at all]

[Subaru: What gave you that idea? Actually, I feel much better now. I made you worried about me there, sorry about that]

Seeing Subaru lowering his head, Lewes sighed shaking her head [Why didn’t you just say that in the first place], and pretended to wipe away non-existent tears with her long, wrist-less sleeves.
Waiting, and watching all this from the side, Garfiel crossed his arms with a grossed-out expression, then quietly turned, to gaze at the Tomb. Surprisingly, Otto and Ram seem to have struck up a conversation about something, and seem to have established a certain degree of friendly understanding.
For Subaru, who had very little experience in friendly conversation with Ram, witnessing this sight was actually an extremely big deal.

“I’ll need to do something about this. I better ask Otto to teach me the specific techniques of talking to Ram without setting her off.” Subaru quietly swore to himself in his heart, before turning his attention to the Tomb once again.
Without realizing it, he had found himself with his hands in front of his waist, rubbing his thumb against each other as if he was praying.

It was painful, not to be able to do anything but wait. Compared to being left behind and waiting like this, it would have been easier if he just took the Trial himself.
But just as this conceited notion flashed across his mind, along with it, a change came about before him.

[――――!]

Seeing this change, in the same moment everyone present gasped.
Repeatedly blinking, like a conditioned response adjusting to the darkness after losing the only source light, in any case,

[Subaru: The Tomb’s lights went out!?]

[Lewes: While the Trials are still ongoing the lights should stay on……]

[Subaru: You mean they’re not supposed to go out!?]

Looking toward Lewes who was supposed to know everything, even her wise little eyes seemed confused at this. It was more than enough to tell him that the situation wasn’t within their expectations.
Whether it was Garfiel, unfolding his arms and running over, Ram, who was furrowing her brows, or the panicking Otto, it seemed no one had any advice to offer.
In that case,

[Lewes: Su-bo!? You don’t have the Qualification, it won’t let you in……]

[Subaru: I’ve been paying good attention to the lectures, so I got the Qualifications too, you know. ――Now let me have look inside. No matter how Emilia-tan is, I’ll pull her out!]

He will not stand by and wait.
The same moment when Subaru fearlessly stepped into the entrance, the lights of the corridor lit up once more just like when Emilia had entered.
Sensing Lewes and Garfiel gasping behind him, before they could say anything to stop him, Subaru had already dashed into the Tomb.

The corridor was still filled with dust, and a single breath was enough to bring discomfort to the lungs.
His echoing footsteps striking loudly upon the floor, Subaru charged into the depth of the corridor―― into the depths of the Tomb.

[Subaru: Damnit, I messed up. Why did I keep myself back like some trump card until something went wrong, I should have just went in together with Emilia…..aaaaaaAA]

With regret pouring out of his lips, Subaru ran.
Then, suddenly, as he saw the light reaching the end of the corridor, he had arrived inside a small room.

Sliding to halt his steps, Subaru looked around the little chamber. While it could be called a room, it was more like a grotesque rectangular space with four corners carved out. Without any furnishing, there was only a single door adorned by cyan-white lamps.
――And, on the floor in front of that door, was a silver haired girl lying there.

[Subaru: ――Emilia!!]

Crying out, Subaru dashed over to her fallen body.
Holding up her delicate form in his arms, no matter what, he will take her out of here――

{――First, you must face your past}

The next moment, a sensation of something whispering beside his ear struck his consciousness.
What could that voice be, there was no time for that thought.

Falling on his knees, unable to move, Subaru’s body collapsed like a doll. Rolling onto the floor from the momentum, he sprawled out upon the ground at Emilia’s side.
Then, lying beside the unconscious Emilia, Subaru’s consciousness too, was dragged into oblivion――.

※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※

――Beginning to wake from his slumber, Subaru sucked in the breath as if sticking his head out of the surface of the water. It was that sensation of emerging out of an ocean of sleep, yearning for reality like a body yearning for air――

[???: GUMMMMMOOOOOーーーーーーNINGU, SON!!]

[Subaru: WaaAAHMMURABI HO-TEN!!] (*”Code of Hammurabi” >_<)

This poetic morning greeting struck him with an all-destructive impact.
Tasting the pain of a weight pressing down on him and squeezing all the air out of his gut, Subaru’s just-woken-up body jumped itself out of bed along with all of that weight, before descending into a vicious bout of coughing.

[???: Oyoyoy, what’s this what’s this. It’s only the usual DIVING-PRESS-of-love to wake you up. Your carelessness is BURNING this time!]

[Subaru: Gahk, ehk, what did you expect…… from a sleeping opponent……come on]

What on earth has happened, he lifted up his face with tears in his eyes. And there, the person standing in front of Subaru’s half-stuck out body turned around his head,

[Dad: What’s that now. You look like you’ve just seen your middle-aged dad fully-naked first thing in the morning, you!]

That man, saying this while striking out a POSE, was Subaru’s middle-aged father half-naked in the morning――Natsuki Kenichi, heartily laughing, blessing his son out of his slumber.

-=Chapter 15 End=-

Ctlza4RUsAEt7m1.jpg
Image from @Rezero_Official twitter

Next Chapter: https://translationchicken.com/2017/02/10/rezero-arc-4-chapter-16-a-morning-in-the-natsuki-household/
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OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOooooooooooooooo

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I’m releasing Part 2 and 3 together since I couldn’t find a satisfying place to split them. 

For the next two days I’ll have work again, I’ll try to pop in the live draft to get some progress done though!

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Chapter 16 Live Draft: https://www.patreon.com/posts/re-zero-arc-4-16-7970872

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Next Chapter: https://translationchicken.com/2017/02/10/rezero-arc-4-chapter-16-a-morning-in-the-natsuki-household/