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/182/
THE EVERLASTING COVENANT
Chapter 16 [A Morning In The Natsuki Household]
“HA-HAHA”, listening to the deafening laugh, Subaru gave his head a light shake to cast away the last bit of his drowsiness. When it came to waking up naturally, he was always rather proud of being able to wake up in an instant, but being forced awake by an outside force was a different matter.
As though the blood still hadn’t returned to his brain, Subaru rubbed his eyelids that were slightly aching, then hazily looked around at his surroundings―― when his old familiar room flooded into his sight.
The shelves were packed full of mangas and light-novels, sloppily yanked-off jeans and jerseys were strewn all over the floor. The study-desk that hadn’t been used for its proper purpose in ages was piled up with half-read books, and there was the ancient Televideo-with-recording-functionality that was now exclusively used for gaming, whose very existence elicited sympathy from anyone who looked at it.
Lying on a futon that hadn’t been dried in the sun for ages, cracking the joints of his neck, for some reason, Subaru couldn’t help but feel a sense of incongruity in front of this familiar landscape. ――And just what could that rustling in his chest be?
[Dad: O~y oy, being ignored will even make an old guy like me wanna cry, you know? It’s a fresh and sunny morning, so get carried along by the mood and jump like ~DONG~ and you’re up!]
[Subaru: You mean welcome the morning feeling refreshed and invigorated after getting woken up by a diving-press? Stop it with the jokes, come on. It’s more like “I think I hear my bones making a noise now, I better go back to sleep and heal up”]
Turning down the attempt to wake him up, once again Subaru tugged himself back into the futon. Seeing Subar turning his back to him and leaving no room for negotiations, the one standing up beside the futon started making a displeased [W~H~A~T~I~S~T~H~I~S~~] noise,
[Dad: It’s the rebellious-stage! The rebellious-stage isn’t it!? I always knew this day will come, but I didn’t think it’d come this morning, I’m not prepared yet! Instead of preparing breakfast I should have prepared a good proper talk with my son! D~A~M~N~I~T, I hate to be so powerle……ss]
[Subaru: If you’re saying that, why’re you still grabbing onto my leg……Oy, wait, ow! OooowOWOWOW!]
[Dad: AL~~~RIGHT, I’ve decided to have a good talk you with all the way till tomorrow morning. First is body language! FIGURE-FOUR FIGURE-FOUR! There, it’s good for waking up the joints isn’t it!]
His legs being twisted into a figure-four leglock, Subaru flapped around to the other side while Kenichi dealt critical-damage to his knees and shins. And the louder Subaru wailed in agony, the more heartily Kenichi laughed, as though overwhelmed by the joys of life.
[Dad: OHO, what’s this what’s this. All grown up and exercising every day, aren’t you embarrassed to have such a hard time against a middle aged old man? Mwahahaha…… OW, wait, ow! Hurtshurtshurtshurts!]
[Subaru: Fool! Choosing to use the easily-countered four-figure leglock as your attack, dad must be getting old! Turning my body I’ll return the damage in equal force, taking vengeance on the one who got me in this figure-four leg……ow, wait, don’t flip don’t flip……Owow! OWOWOW!]
With arms and legs stretched out, the two grown men tangled each other up in their back and forth rumbling. Each time, the assailant and victim exchanged places to let out out their shrieks of agony, while their commotion sent books flopping off the desk and knocked the game-station falling to its side.
And just as their father and son brawl in the morning was going on in full force――
[???: ――Hold it a minute you two. Mom’s getting hungry you know, I kind of wanna eat breakfast]
Hearing the sound of the leisurely voice and the off-beat knocking flying into the room, their alternating attacks on each other’s joints halted in place.
Half crying from the pain, in the corner of Subaru’s murky vision, he saw the person standing in the doorway of the room――it was a woman with a certain absent-minded atmosphere about her, standing there with a vicious-looking gaze. While at first sight, the sharpness of her gaze might give off the impression that she was in a bad mood, in reality, after having known her for over 17 years, Subaru knew that she wasn’t actually thinking about anything in particular.
Just by their dangerous-looking eyes, it was be enough to tell that they were mother and son, for she was Subaru’s mother, Natsuki Naoko.
With mom showing up, Kenichi let out a [Oh crap!], and stuck out his tongue and jumped himself up,
[Dad: My bad my bad, I got too carried away with my intimate-time with Subaru. But you could’ve eaten first if you want]
[Mom: ――? But families eat together in the morning, how could I eat first? Isn’t it better when everyone eats together?]
Confused by Kenichi’s words, Naoko tilted her head with a question mark floating above her head. It’s not that she was mocking him or anything, it seemed more like she was just saying exactly what she was thinking.
Seeing his wife like that, Kenichi vigorously nodded his head,
[Dad: Aha, is that so. That’s the woman I married! Alright I understand. Breakfast tastes better when everyone’s eating together!]
[Mom: Breakfast lunch or dinner, I don’t think that really changes the taste, does it? It’s just when everyone eats together we can clean all the dishes in one go]
[Dad: Aw. You meant dishes. Sorry, I got myself all pumped up there]
Hearing that natural explanation, the face that looked like he had just said a really good line slumped down. Drooping his shoulders, Kenichi looked at Naoko with an incredulous expression, but Naoko only continued staring at Subaru, who was still lying there like that.
[Mom: You come to eat too, Subaru. I worked hard for Subaru’s breakfast this morning, after all]
And then, she gave him a faint and cheerful smile, in a way that only those closest to her could understand.
※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※
――Rubbing his sleepy eyes as he begrudgingly made his way down to the dining table on the first floor, Subaru’s hazy consciousness was suddenly awoken by the impact of a certain smell.
[Subaru: Mom… Even though you said you worked hard to make this for me……]
[Mom: En. Mom worked really hard for Subaru. I’ve been up and about preparing this since the morning]
“Fufu”, Naoko was proudly humphing from her nose for some reason. Unable to pick up any trace of a guilty conscience in that attitude, Subaru sighed.
Following behind Subaru’s sigh, coming back from the bathroom and taking a look at the dining table, Kenichi let out a sort of [Oh] with an exclamation mark on top of it.
[Dad: That’s cool, Subaru. You got a special-menu on your plate. It’s like a green forest]
[Subaru: Thanks for pointing that out. En, it really does feel like that……What’s, going on with this, exactly? How come only my plate has got a luxuriant pile of green peas plopped on it?]
Nodding at Kenichi’s observation, Subaru pointed to the pile――laid in front of his usual seat, beside the rest of the breakfast, the dish that had a certain eerie atmosphere floating about it. There was giant pile of green peas hoarded there like it was trying to avenge the death of its family members, and it was unclear whether it completely buried all other food underneath so that only peas were visible, or there wasn’t any other food on that plate in the first place. Just as a side-note, Subaru hated peas.
[Mom: Well, some time ago Subaru mentioned hating green peas, right? Mom thought it’s not good to be picky with your food. So, I took this opportunity to let you eat looots of it so you can overcome it]
[Subaru: So you just recalled a random memory from “some time ago” and decided to fix my bad habit huh. And what opportunity……it’s not a special day or anything, right?]
[Dad: Fufu, you’re still green, Subaru. Alright listen up, no matter what time it is, this day, and this moment of this day can only ever be experienced here and now. You may think that there will always be another day exactly like this one again, but by doing so you will have allowed countless “ONLY” moments to escape……]
[Subaru: That’s, enough for now]
Pushing Kenichi, who had casually danced himself into the conversation, aside, Subaru let out a deep, drawn out sigh, and got into his seat. Then, pushing the plate with the heap of peas away from himself,
[Subaru: Anyways, I appreciate the thought of especially preparing this for me, but I’ll pass on the peas. I don’t want to fill up my stomach with something I hate first thing in the morning]
[Mom: There you are with that again. Then, if there’s nothing left to eat in the world except green peas, what will you do. You’ll eat them then, won’t you]
[Subaru: In that kind of world, we’ll all die of nutritional imbalance pretty soon anyway, so it’s not like eating the peas would do much good. So I, will absolutely not eat it]
Replying to Naoko’s crummy argument with one of his own, Subaru folded his arms and pumped up his chest,
[Subaru: Even if Armageddon came down, I will absolutely not eat peas]
[Dad: Gees, you’ll lose out on life if you’re picky with food like this. Oh, mom, I’ll trade you the tomato in my salad, I don’t like’em so you eat’em for me]
[Subaru: That’s just my father……already contradicting the first half of his sentence with the second half]
Dad placed his reviled tomatoes into mom’s salad, and pilfered some of mom’s egg-pieces in return. Since it was their regular exchange, no one complained about this quiet understanding between husband and wife. Glancing to his side, Subaru turned to the rest of the breakfast besides the peas―― in front of the steaming miso soup, and the honey-toast with an extravagant amount of honey on it, Subaru clapped his hands together,
[Subaru: Come to think of it, why the East-West combination?]
[Mom: Mom had a bunch of kelp for the miso soup, and loves honey on bread]
That wasn’t really an answer. But, it was too much of a bother to point that out. Even if he does raise an objection here, he’ll probably only get Naoko tilting her head as a reply.
Subaru quietly said [Itadakimasu] as he brought the miso soup to his lips, and Kenichi and Naoko sat down into their respective seats as well――neatly opposite from Subaru’s.
The two also clapped their hands together with an [Itadakimasu], and then, with the same exact motion, they sipped at their miso soup. No one noticed it, but the three of them did it together in a perfectly synchronized pattern.
[Dad: Oooh, this miso soup……Mom, did your cooking get better while I wasn’t looking?]
[Mom: You noticed? Actually, yesterday I recorded a 3-minute cooking show, you know]
So, what about that.
Listening to Naoko’s out-of-tune reply to Kenichi’s all too convenient prompt, Subaru’s face started twitching. Judging from how Naoko always said things exactly as they are, when she said “recorded”, she probably did just that and only recorded it without actually watching it. And then, most likely, just left it there without ever watching it. In fact,
[Subaru: Considering what dad let slip earlier in the morning, the miso soup and toast was all made by dad, wasn’t it]
[Dad: Oyoy, sharp-eyes, my son. So you’ve noticed……the contradictions in the testimony and raised your OBJECTION! based on the evidence?]
[Subaru: Why are you still addicted to that ancient game in this day and age! Although yes, that was totally a classic!]
He must have taken the gameboy from Subaru’s table or something. It must have been great for killing time in between work… but just imagining the sight of a middle aged old man leaning in on a gameboy made Subaru’s back itch.
And, chewing on the sweet toast while saying this, Subaru went on with [By the way…]
[Subaru: What time is it now, dad, why are you still so scantily clad? Sure it’s almost getting warm soon, but no matter what, going around in just a running-shirt and long underpants is taking casual a bit too far, isn’t it]
[Dad: Aren’t you in your long underpants too? Besides, dad’s just like that you know, waking up early in the morning I got a TENSION so I went down to the yard for a dry-towel rub-down or something]
[Subaru: Dry-towel rub-down, isn’t that something that only helps when it’s cold out?] (* 乾布摩擦 is a “Japanese custom where one rubs a dry towel along the body to create warmth and friction, particularly in cold weather, to promote good health or ward off disease” -Wikipedia)
[Dad: That’s just a motivational problem! If you get too caught up with that kind of concerns before setting out, you’ll never get where you want to go. Come on, mom, back me up here]
[Mom: That’s right, Subaru. Since it’s not cold out, I used a really cold gaze to stare at your dad while he’s doing his rub-down, you know]
[Dad: That!? Honey, that wasn’t backing me up at all!?]
[Mom: Ehh……Wasn’t that backing you up? It was a really really cold stare you know]
[Dad: That’s not a back-up that’s a deathblow!?]
Seeing Kenichi swinging back and forth creaking his chair to demonstrate his displeasure, Naoko only made the off-beat comment [That’s going to get the dust flying, I’ll have to clean that up later].
Watching his parents like this, Subaru lowered his eyes and continued to eat his breakfast. Then, Subaru pushed the plate of green peas in front of Kenichi, and since Kenichi hated them too, he pushed it in front of Naoko, and Naoko pushed it back to Subaru again, completing the vicious cycle.
[Subaru: Looks like we’ve got a pattern where definitely nobody is going to eat these. What’re we gonna do, we got this huge pile of peas. Here, you eat these, mom, take responsibility]
[Mom: But, mom hates green peas…….]
[Subaru: Then what were you doing trying to get other people to overcome their pickiness!?]
[Mom: Ah, but don’t misunderstand. Mom doesn’t just hate green peas…….it’s little round things in general. It’s really gross to put them in my mouth]
[Subaru: What misunderstanding, that just made you sound less and less credible!]
Actually, he had never seen his mother put anything pea-shaped in her mouth before, so thinking this, he pushed the plate toward Kenichi this time.
[Subaru: Then, the wife’s responsibility is the husband’s to take, so dad you eat it]
[Dad: Don’t say something that sounds so lonely, Subaru. We’re a close and friendly family that’s really rare these days, right? That means if you and mom hate it, I hate it too]
[Subaru: It’s making nobody happy and is just a load of trouble, this green plate!]
They’re green peas that nobody wants to put in their mouths. At last, it was Kenichi who made the decision [We could mix it into pilaf as a last resort. We attack it with so much rice and meat that it disappears, heheheh!] with a mad-scientist look on his face.
If it was mixed it into something else, then Subaru would probably find it a bit more tolerable, but Naoko still maintains that gross things are still gross whatever they’re mixed into. So in the end, it was the two men who got stuck with eating the concoction.
[Subaru: I’m full]
[Dad: Oui, Osumatsu-san. Alright, wash your dishes really quick, time to get everything digested and get ready for the competitions at school, Subaru!] (*Osumatsu-san おそ松さん is a cartoon character, it sounds the same as お粗末さん “Mr.Coarse”)
[Subaru: I’m already tired of hearing these fluent patterns to push me back to school. In fact, I don’t remember being raised as the kind of brat who runs off as soon as he’s done eating]
Placing the dishes into the sink, Kenichi turned back and sparkled his teeth. But seeing this, Subaru shrugged and got up from the dining table. And leaving behind in a quiet voice, [I’ll sleep till noon], scratching at his head, he made his way toward his bedroom on the second floor――Then, his legs suddenly stopped.
[Subaru: Wha-, t’s……?]
Feeling a pain running through his temples, Subaru lightly pressed his head and closed his eyes. A dazzling light was flashing behind his closed eyelids. A scalding heat was burning deep inside his throat.
Something was wrong. Something strange was happening.
Looking back, Subaru saw his parents’ faces.
Kenichi’s lips were pouted up, disappointed at his invitation being turned down, and Naoko was wiping the dining table with a cloth, watching Subaru with a lonely look in her eyes.
Facing his father and mother’s gazes――noticing the emotions they carried, Subaru could no longer ignore the torture of the heat inside his chest. Feeling his face burning up, hastily turning his back so they could not see his expression, Subaru ran away――Rather, he ran into his own bedroom.
[Subaru: What is this? Why, why am I feeling like this?]
Holding his chest, Subaru was panting, surprised by the speed his own pulse. Dropping onto the futon like he was collapsing, he restlessly turned his eyes all around the room.
His room was the same as when woke up. Nor was it any different from the room where he fell asleep the night before. Just as it had always been, no change had befallen this room as it continued in its stagnation.
Like a perfect projection, of the stagnation of its master, Subaru.
Looking at the clock, it was 8am in the morning. School starts at 8:30, it takes about 20 minutes from his house on bike. It’s not impossible to get there in time.
Nevertheless, Subaru did not move to change, but only hugged his knees on top of the futon, still staring at the movements of the clock hand. Second by second, the second-hand ticked, until quietly, the minute-hand ticked its tenth――the deadline had passed.
――He could no longer make it to school today.
[Subaru: So there’s, nothing I can do. That’s right, there’s nothing I can do]
If there had been a little more time for him to gather his resolve, perhaps he would have went. But, reality had heartless imposed a time limit on Subaru.
Therefore, there was no longer a choice for him today. Yet even so,
[Subaru: ……Usually, I should have calmed down by now. What’s going on?]
His heartbeat wouldn’t settle, his ragged breathing showed no sign of steadying.
Confused by what was happening to his body, Subaru was frightened even by the sound of the his own teeth clacking.
――For Subaru, this time of every morning was the most terrifying time of the day.
[Subaru: Calm down, calm down……the time had passed. It’s alright to calm down now. It’s alright]
Pressing his shivering body, again and again Subaru told this to himself.
It was time that this harrowing daily ritual ended. Tomorrow morning, at the exact same time, he will be met with the exact same horror again, but at least he has overcome it for today.
No one was there to rush him, and no one was there to force him. The only person haunting him, drilling that anxiety into his heart, was no one but Subaru himself.
Whether or not to go to school――that choice alone was forcing this time of anguish upon Subaru.
Having refused to go, having been an absentee-truant for so long, unable to face up to his own weakness, now, it was only a matter of adding wrong on top of wrong.
Waiting for time to pass in the torture of his own self loathing and inferiority complex, until, confirming that the chance to go to school was already gone, he would be liberated for the remainder of the day to be spent in slothfulness.
Precisely because he had experienced this agony day after day, he knew more than anyone what the relief of the liberation felt like. Clinging onto his own weakness, he could do nothing but to continue to find excuses, however grotesque they may be.
Yet, granting absolutely all of that, the time should have already passed――
[Subaru: But why only today……]
His sense of guilt, of self loathing, his unease stuck tight onto him, refusing to disappear.
Unable to understand the source of that anxiety making him want to tear his chest open, not even his breathing can be relied on as he lay drenched in sickening sweat, writhing in agony on top of his futon.
All this time, branded into his mind, his parents’ faces as he left the dining table would not leave him.
The familiar expressions, the familiar conversations, the familiar bickerings, the familiar betrayal, the familiar Sloth ―― that’s how it should have been.
But only today, that same familiar routine, that had already happened so many times before, was tormenting his heart to no end.
――Thinking back, ever since the moment he woke up this morning, something had felt amiss.
His father Kenichi had always been thinking up all sorts of ingenious ways to harass Subaru out of sleep. After Subaru started refusing to go to school, even after he had become a failure in every sense of the word, his father did not change the way he treated him. Indeed, even the interactions this morning were the same as they had always been for the past 17 years―― then what could be so special about this morning, that something besides the Diving-Press should now be causing this pain inside his chest?
While his mother Naoko’s misdirected tenderness were almost always overwhelmingly ineffectual, she would always put Subaru first. With Subaru holed up in the house, the dedicated housewife Naoko naturally had plenty of time to spend with him. But even so, as if leaving it all to time, she continued to watch over Subaru from a distance with her constant and gentle gaze. ――In the dining areas, he would often notice that gaze without meaning to.
He could not understand why, even now, after the time to leave for school had already passed, the agitation was still burning in his body.
[Subaru: Something’s wrong. What’s going on? What’s happened? Surely yesterday was……]
Thinking back on what he did the day before, racking his brain to think of what could have happened between then and this morning―― a numbing sensation stopped him.
As though fiery sparks were flying from the depths of his eyes, each time, a scalding heat surged up, as if to reject Subaru’s attempt to touch that memory. Incredulous, Subaru tried once more to challenge the sea of memories――and once again he failed. No matter how he tried, the response was be the same.
Yesterday, or the day before, or even further before that, Subaru had passed the days without having done anything.
As for the pain in his chest this moment, this morning, he could not think of anything out of the ordinary that could explain it.
It must have been a coincidence, that he felt the guilt and pain more intensely today. Until today, he hadn’t truly paid attention to his parents’ faces, and that, overlapping with everything else, must have been why.
[Dad: ――Mi~nd if I come in, Subaru?]
And, as even that conclusion failed to ease Subaru’s sickness in the slightest, he heard a voice coming in from the other side of the door.
Turning his eyes to the door, he saw Kenichi peeping in with half his body before smoothly gliding himself into the room. With agile footwork almost reminiscent of the King of Pop, as he completed his glide――
[Subaru: If you come in before the other person answers, what’s the point of even knocking?]
[Dad: Oyoy, with the firm bond of father and son between us, there’s no reason to bicker about minor details like knocking, right? ……Oh wait, there is. That’s right, occasionally young men in puberty might want to do something that require holing themselves up in a room alone. OK I got it. I’ll come back in ten minutes or so]
[Subaru: Don’t just jump to random conclusions and then set aside realistic time-frame for them! It’s alright nothing’s going on!]
Shouting out the assurance that there was no need for that kind of consideration, although Subaru was snorting roughly, deep down he was relieved by the distraction. Hearing Subaru’s reply, Kenichi let out a [Really?] with a suspicious-looking expression, before turning around and doing a Moon-Walk right back into the room.
And, turning to face his son, who was staring up at him, right then and there he did a POSE with his finger pointing up toward the ceiling.
[Dad: Then, Subaru. Well it’s pretty self-evident I guess, but truth is I have a day-off today]
[Subaru: En, I already noticed. Still helping with housework this late on a Monday morning, even I would have noticed it. So, what about it]
[Dad: Well, don’t be so eager to rush to the ending. There are just, some things I wanted to talk about, so, this is an opportunity to talk about all of them, or something, isn’t it]
[Subaru: Talk about what? Like washing my own dishes after eating?]
[Dad: Well that too. Dad hates washing dishes you know. It’s fun doing the preparations and cooking so I like that lot, but after that I lose my motivation]
The already wobbling Kenichi crumbled. Seeing his usually overactive father like this, Subaru furrowed his brows, and couldn’t help but sense that his father was somehow hesitating about something.
Avoiding the main subject, joking around to buy enough time to gather up resolve in both of their hearts―― and not doing a very good job of it, Subaru had the exact same personality as well.
Of course, the resemblance was only natural.
The moment he thought this, the piercing pain struck Subaru’s head once again.
A pain like pins planting themselves into his temples, feeling as if the bones inside of his skull were being scraped, Subaru turned down his face to hide his agonized expression.
[Subaru: So, what is it? That my unmotivated dad wants to talk to me about]
[Dad: Oh, right. Subaru, is there a girl you like?]
[Subaru: ――I’m in highschool!!]
Prompting the conversation to cover up the pain, he overreacted to the question that was so stupid that it made him forget he was in pain in the first place.
Seeing Subaru lifting up his face angrily, Kenichi waved both his arms around [Ooo~OooOO~],
[Dad: With an overreaction like that, you might as well be admitting to having a girl you like, you know]
[Subaru: What’re you saying with that smug look on your face. Even if I am dumbstruck, lamenting, or sighing it still wouldn’t mean a thing]
And in reality, that wasn’t the case anyway.
Chasing girls was not the sort of thing Subaru was interested in right now. He didn’t have one, and he couldn’t get one even if he wanted to. That was what he firmly believed, at least.
[Dad: Whaaa, that’s no fun. Did you try the advice dad gave you when you were little? Girls are weak to situations involving promises that span years into the future, so if you kept getting potential girls to promise themselves to you ten years later, you’d be setting up the FLAGs in advance for your conquest routes once you’re in your teens]
[Subaru: Yeah and then I was naive enough to actually believe that, and really went around making pinky promises with girls all over the place, and now the whole region’s got a ban on pinky promises. Apparently because there were too many cases involving this scary-faced kid forcing little girls to swallow-a-thousand-needles!]
[Dad: ……Well, it’s a good thing you inherited that sweet mask from your dad. You got the short legs, your mom’s eyes, your dad’s TENSION, and your mom’s absent-mindedness, it’s like all the stat allocations when you came out of your mom’s belly got screwed up]
[Subaru: You should have told me that while I was still on the umbilical cord……]
Reminiscing together on those painful memories, the tension between the father and son eased a little. And, noticing that they’ve gotten sidetracked, with a [So?] Subaru returned to the topic,
[Subaru: What was it you wanted to talk about. After we’re done I still have the important mission of my second nap and my third nap to attend to, so please leave a message after the *BEEP* and quietly exit the room and go chat about it with mom]
[Dad: Don’t boot me out with that natural-flow now… Besides, your mom wouldn’t actually get it. My wife and your mom is the most un-observant lifeform in the world, you know. Although she’s super cute that way]
Listening to his father’s puppy-love remark, Subaru put on an annoyed-look on his face.
But seeing this, Kenichi let out an [Ennn~~], and then, looking upwards, swiping his nose like a mischievous little boy,
[Dad: You know what. The weather is really nice today―― why don’t we go outside for a nice heart-to-heart, between father and son]
-=Chapter 16 End=-
Thumbnail image from @Rezero_Official twitter
Woohoo, it’s finally done! I have work today as well, so I’ll continue translating Chapter 17 this Saturday!
Chapter 17 Live Draft: