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Translator: TranslationChicken

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Editor: TranslationChicken

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Previous Part 1/4: https://translationchicken.com/2017/02/26/rezero-arc-4-chapter-18-parent-and-child-part-14/

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{He’s that guy’s child, after all}

They were the magical words which the young Subaru once embraced with pride, and once would have injected Subaru’s heart full of vitality.
Since when, he did not know, they had turned into a curse.

[Subaru: Just going outside, wandering around town, it’ll be obvious. No matter where I go, where I look, I’d find lingering traces dad left behind……it’s only natural, I guess]

Subaru’s small and narrow world was precisely the same as the view from on top of his father’s back.
To Subaru, who aspired to reach the same heights as his father, no matter where he is, no matter where he looked in that narrow world, there was not a single place where he could not sense his father’s lingering scents.

Gradually, for Subaru, the world turned into a terrifying place.
At the same time, eating away at Subaru’s heart, was the painful self-awareness that he was only ordinary, and the sense of shame that made him want to hide that ordinariness from his parents and anyone who knew them.

Loved by everyone, relied upon by everyone, smiled at by everyone.
Yet that same Natsuki Kenichi’s son, Natsuki Subaru, was shriveling up squeamishly under everyone’s gazes, a sickly coward hugging his own head frightened by the vastness of the world, he could not bear to be thought of this way.

His own shortcomings must be nothing less than a humiliation for his father who proclaimed to love him, and perhaps, at some point, even that towering father would grow disappointed in him. That, above all, was what terrified Subaru the most.

In elementary and in middle school, Subaru single-mindedly made an effort to avoid drawing any attention to himself.
The classmates who had known him since the lower grades couldn’t wrap their heads around how docile Subaru had become――the children, at their impressionable age, failed to notice even a fragment of the darkness residing in their classmate’s heart, and as they each went about their lively days, they soon forgot about such trivial things.
Meanwhile, as he spent this time burying himself in anonymity, as he worked to cast off the shadows of his past, at home, Subaru skillfully continued to play the part of the unruly child.

At school almost as meek as a weed in the shade, as soon as he was home he would return to the wildness of his youth like he was a completely different person.
Coming home from school, with various accounts of his feats of heroism, he would soften the corners of his mother’s lips in midst of her housework, and put a smile on his father’s face when he returned exhausted from his work.

――All of these, had his parent noticed that they were lies? Even now, Subaru couldn’t be certain.

This way, throughout elementary and middle school, he spent the greater part of his life on painting and fortifying these lies, and constructing the fictional character of Natsuki Subaru.
Everyone had forgotten the various mischiefs of Subaru’s past, and knew him merely as an inconspicuous classmate whom they barely knew anything about beyond his name.
On top of the tinge of loneliness that accompanied this barren relationship with his peers, covering over Subaru heart was an even more intimate sense of dread. For to bear the surname, Natsuki, was to be constantly in awe of a certain force.

[Subaru: Now that I think about it, it really was a dark way to live. But doing this, I passed through elementary and middle school. Then putting that behind me, I became a high school student…..even though it’s a local school, probably because of the adjusted standard deviation score, almost none of my classmates got into the same one…..]

Having gotten into the habit of thinking only of retreating, with the sudden, drastic change of environment Subaru seized at his opportunity to move forward, and assembled together every fragment of courage that still remained in him.
Wrenching out the last bit of that courage, Subaru clenched his teeth and held up his head.

Advancing into the brand new environment of high school. Building unknown relationships with unfamiliar faces.
There, even if they judged him as Natsuki Subaru, no one would see him as “Natsuki Kenichi’s son”. In fact, in that place――he might even see the light of that starry sky he had lost, once more.

But the way he used that courage, decisively threw Subaru stumbling off that path.

[Subaru: Even I have to admit, that was one magnificent failure of a high school debut. But of course it was. You have a guy who hadn’t built any interpersonal relationships all throughout elementary and middle school, thrown into a place full of faces he doesn’t know, breathing roughly through his nose unable to shake off his tension……even an idiot could see how that’d turn out]

Unable to see something even an idiot could see, thinking about it now, Subaru realized he must have been even worse than an idiot.

Without going into too much detail, the result was already easy to imagine.
In terms of building interpersonal relationships, Subaru had no other role model except his father, so when the time came to build new relationships in an entirely new environment, his only frame of reference was his father.
――But the kind of jokes that might get him a smile or two while they were still children, when used on classmates in the middle of the psychological changes of the latter stages of puberty, became nothing short of toxic.

[Subaru: Poisonously toxic. Deadly toxic. I was like the kind of poisonous mushrooms with the little red and white dots on it, the ones that have “Highly toxic, you’ll die horribly if you eat it” written all over it kind of guy]

How is a guy like that supposed to fit in anywhere.
Setting out into a brand new environment, Subaru lost his footing on the very first step and fell straight to the bottom of the pit. Then, spending his time alone, becoming firmly established as that awkward, socially dense guy who can’t read the mood, he suddenly thought one morning,

――Ah, I don’t want to go to school today.

[Subaru: I remember that morning both mom and dad were out of the house. It felt like too much of a bother to get out of bed, so I slept way past the time when I should have gotten up…..and when I finally rushed myself out of bed, panicking, it was already noon, but when I was about get up and change]

Subaru noticed his heart, and his body, were awfully calm.
At school, while sitting alone in a seat by the window, pretending to be asleep, silently letting the time drift by, Subaru’s heart had always been tormented by anxiety and fear.
Not wanting to be in this place, from the moment he set foot in school he would start thinking about going back home. No, even from the moment he woke up, he would start spending his time thinking about when he’d finally return from school.

It was not that he was bullied. It was not that he was being shunned.
Only, Subaru himself had constructed a wall. He was afraid of embracing the hope of touching another’s kindness. And the thought of perhaps seeing the light of those stars again, filled him with unease.

If only he could pass a day without having to endure the agony of those hours. That sense of liberation, that sense of relief, drawn by the allure of that sense of powerlessness, little by little, Subaru’s steps drifted further and further away from school.

[Subaru: Skipping once a week became once every three days, then it’s just every other day…..until I stopped going altogether, even two months in a row]

There is no need to talk about the days that came after that.
No longer going to school, Subaru’s heart was filled with a sense of relief. It was a sense of liberation at being far away from the school where he had been forced to spend those agonizing hours, and, above all, now ruling over Subaru’s heart was a kind of acceptance, and surrender.

For no great reason, he had become the conceited, self-satisfied drop-out, Subaru.
Looking at this Subaru, no one would be thinking “He’s that guy’s child, after all” anymore, and above all――how disappointed his parents must be to see such a pathetic Subaru. Surely, then, even mom and dad would give up on “Loving” that Subaru.

If a son they had no love for was being considered trash, it probably wouldn’t mean anything to them.
But if a son they loved was being labeled as worthless, those two would surely feel angry. And saddened, too. If people saw them like that, they would pity them, even look down on them.
It would be better if Subaru had simply faded out of their lives.

Therefore, Natsuki Subaru――

[Subaru: “I don’t love you.” “I disown you.” “You are not……my son.” I wished, you’d just say that to me, and throw me away. I wished, you’d give up on me]

Half-expecting to see the stars that could no longer exist, faintly hoping, he gazed up at the sky.
The effeminate, pathetic Subaru, the stupid creature that did not deserve to be Natsuki Kenichi’s son, only wished to be set free.

――Even Subaru himself had not realized that this was the true content of his heart.

Facing his heart, exposing its interiors, for the first time, Subaru saw the ugliness of his own heart. The thought of himself, stupid and weak, unwilling to admit his faults and averting his eyes, then trying to push it all onto someone else to clean up his mess, it made him want to vomit.
Yet, in the end, the reason Subaru did not abandon himself, was because he was lent a hand by someone who would not abandon him.

{Rem, loves Subaru-kun}

Overlapping with the silver outlines in the back of his eyelids, was now an ethereal pale-blue radiance.
Like a soothing wind it blew into Subaru’s heart, sending a consoling warmth through Subaru’s frozen limbs.

{Let us start from here. From square one……no, from Zero!}

When Subaru was supposed to have come to an end, the girl, saying this, gave his back a push.
When Subaru could no longer go on, she lifted up his face, took his hand, wrapped her arm around his back, and gave his forehead a kiss, and bestowed him with courage.

Charmed forth by the silver radiance granting him heat, and pushed from behind him by the sky-blue warmth prompting him to walk forward, Natsuki Subaru, whose story was supposed to have come to an end, once again started off from Zero.
Because he realized this, because he remembered this, because he had decided to march forth from Zero――before Zero, he must now resolve the Minus of his past.

Next Part 3+4/4: https://translationchicken.com/2017/03/04/rezero-arc-4-chapter-18-parent-and-child-part-344/

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Rem T_T

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I’m off to bed now! I have work this afternoon!

I’ll be combining Part 3+4 this time since I really don’t want to split up this scene and dilute the impact. It’ll most likely be released Friday night, March 3rd!

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Next Part 3+4/4: https://translationchicken.com/2017/03/04/rezero-arc-4-chapter-18-parent-and-child-part-344/