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/188/
THE EVERLASTING COVENANT
Chapter 22 [Weakness]
――Subaru woke in the darkness and slowly sat himself up.
Pulling aside the thin blanket covering over his body, he did a light stretch while taking care not to make any noise. Pressing back a yawn and turning his neck about, he could hear a multitude of snoring around him.
Although he had been sleeping in a corner of a crowd of sleepers scattered all over the floor, Subaru appeared to be the only one who was awake. It was only natural―― the sky was still dark outside the great window of the Cathedral, and it was not yet the hour for the Sun to show its face.
Even though he couldn’t tell the time without the convenience of a clock, it was clearly still middle of the night, and not an hour suitable for human activity. Usually, he’d keep sleeping even after the sun came up, but,
[Subaru: I went to bed too early and now I couldn’t fall asleep, huh……. makes me miss the days when I get to slack off whenever I have time]
Roughly scratching his head, Subaru folded his blanket, and quietly pulled himself out of bed.
The masses of people sleeping around him――were the refugees from Arlam village, currently confined along with Roswaal within the Sanctuary.
Subaru had given up his place in the small residence allotted to him, and decided to pass the night here in their company. The reason, was not so complicated.
Inside the Cathedral, the people had given Subaru a spot in the corner behind the front wall. It was probably because they were looking out for him, that they gave him in such a comfortable spot. On the other hand, if there was just one downside, it would’ve probably been the fact that all the children were also bunched around him.
But then again, the children liked Subaru, so naturally they came snuggling next to him, and while the adults remained in a state of confinement, he thought it would be best to lighten the burden of the children as much as possible. So he had no complaints once he thought about it that way.
[Subaru: It really isn’t like me to be thinking about these kinds of things, is it]
He couldn’t help but smile at himself bitterly for becoming so considerate all of a sudden. After all, life’s no fun if you get too hung up about such complicated things.
Being careful not to wake the children, who were noisily sleeping in full-force, Subaru passed through the mire of sleeping villagers instead on his way out of the Cathedral―― A damp wind came greeting him as he went out; the lukewarm air was neither warm nor cold, and only managed to add to his discomfort-index.
Looking up, the thick clouds that had lined up in the sky had covered over the pleasing radiance of the previous night’s stars. The layers upon layers of clouds moved rapidly along with the wind. He wasn’t sure if the weather would turn, but it was unlikely that it would be a clear day ahead.
[Subaru: Come to think of it, I haven’t encountered a drop of rain since I got here. Going by what everyone said, I would imagine there’s something like seasons here]
He seemed to remember hearing at some point that the seasons here were split into “Red-Sun, Blue-Sun, Yellow-Sun, and Green-Sun”, each matching a magical element type.
If these were like the seasons of the original world, perhaps there would be a “rainy season” somewhere in there as well. The temperatures were neither too hot nor too cold right now, and the feeling of the wind precisely matched his impression of the days that preceded the summer rains.
[Subaru: During the rainy seasons, it’s always a headache that the laundry wouldn’t dry. The ten-thousand-year futon is in a precarious situation to begin with, if it doesn’t get dried in the sun on the occasional holiday we’ll be in trouble……but then again, every day was a holiday for me]
Basically, since he was always on the futon, there was no chance to actually dry the futon. Occasionally, his mother would run out of patience and roll Subaru off the futon and snatch it from him, and then offer it up to the fragrant rays of Mr.Sun-sama, as was the Natsuki-family way.
Reminiscing on those nostalgic days, Subaru loosened up the different parts of his body with the usual radio-calisthenics. The great Cathedral, true to its name, was an enormous building covering over a huge plot of land, and even with the sleepers all strewn about the floor, there was still enough room for each person to stretch their limbs. Blankets had been distributed to everyone as well, so there were no complaints in that regard.
If there was anything he was dissatisfied with, it would have been a question of luxury, as having to sleep on the hard floor had been putting pressure on several points in his body.
[Subaru: I miss my old flattened futon, or the fluffy bed in the mansion. But it’s only my fourth or fifth day, just imagine what the other people must feel about having to sleep like this all this time]
Even though everyone acted like they were in high spirits in front of Subaru, it was undeniable that their faces were growing more burdened with each passing day. At mealtimes and the likes, Subaru would fool around and rouse up their smiling faces, but other than that, everyone rarely spoke, most likely because of the stress.
After an evacuation they didn’t wish for, they had become imprisoned in their place of refuge. The
Lord to whom they had originally directed their discontent was already wounded on their behalf, and so, more than discontent about their present situation, the sentiment among the villagers’ was closer to anxiety regarding their future.
Since Subaru was technically a part of the Lord’s faction, it wouldn’t have come as a surprise if the villagers blamed him for their plight, but――
[Subaru: They didn’t even blame me like I expected. It’s really a failure on the leadership’s part to have to depend on the good sensibility of its people like this]
The truth is, the main reason the villagers didn’t turn on Subaru was because they still felt a strong sense of gratitude and indebtedness toward him.
It’s just that Subaru himself didn’t think so highly of his own achievements, so he was still under the impression that the refugees were just simple-minded.
[Subaru: I can’t get used to living off of everyone’s good graces like this]
――Subaru and the others have already entered their sixth day since they arrived at the Sanctuary.
The refugees had arrived almost a week before Subaru did, so they have actually already spent nearly two weeks in captivity.
They have already heard from Subaru how the people who evacuated to the Capital had returned safely, so there wasn’t too much worry about their separated family members, but having nothing to do for two weeks was beginning to take a mental toll.
Moreover, it was only a matter of time before the sympathy generated by Roswaal’s yolo-self-destruct-battle-plan wore off.
When that time comes, the villagers and the locals would be on a course set to collide, and that was something he mustn’t allow, if he wished to obtain the support of both sides.
[Subaru: In fact, I’m stuck. What should I do……]
[???: ――That’s far’nough right there, not another step, yeah?]
While he was shaking his head worrying, he was stopped mid-step by a shout.
Subaru froze in his posture with one foot off the ground, and looked around by turning his eyes with his head still halfway through a headshake. Within his field of vision, there was nothing but trees in the vast darkness that shrouded over the forest.
Wandering not far from the vicinity of the Cathedral, the one Subaru found was,
[Garfiel: Takin’ a stroll so early in th’morning? Can’t tell if y’got a nice hobby or if you’re just in a laid-back mood. Feels like “Mujigemujige gettin’ lost between the red and green berries” here]
Muttering another one of his usual idioms that didn’t sound familiar at all, above Subaru’s head――the golden haired youth leapt off of a branch, and flew down.
All short hair standing on end, Garfiel landed on all four limbs upon the grass without making a sound, and closed one of his eyes as he looked up at Subaru,
[Garfiel: You don’t look too surprised. Then where’s the fun in scaring ya?]
[Subaru: I might have been scared if I didn’t think I’d run into you, but I had a feeling I’d find you if I wandered around here. Didn’t expect you to come from up in the trees though]
[Garfiel: You were lookin’ for me?]
Looking skeptical, Garfiel stood up, facing against Subaru who was a half a head taller than he was. Subaru straightened up his chest rather pointlessly, and replied [Uh-huh],
[Subaru: I thought it was too early and the chances wouldn’t be very good, but I’m glad I bumped into you…… Just curious though, why did you want to scare me?]
[Garfiel: It’s no big deal. Ahead from here, that side of the forest’s my huntin’ ground. If you get y’rself lost in there I might end up crunchin’ on your neck, that’s all]
[Subaru: Don’t just say that like it’s no big deal! That was totally a big deal!]
Shocked by how casually Garfiel let that frightening information slip, Subaru’s indignant protest resounded outwards…
…ripping through the silence of the forest in between the dawn and the dark of night, sending the sleeping birds and beasts scurrying in retreat.
[Garfiel: ……Tch. Oy, you just scared’em all away, what’m I gonna eat now?]
[Subaru: They’re a bunch cowards. If you eat wimpy guys like that you’ll only absorb their weakness anyway. ――is one way to think about it, so how about we just magnanimously let that slide this time]
[Garfiel: Or how ‘bout I make all the meat disappear from your plate from this day onwards to make up for it]
[Subaru: I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to! Please forgive me! Today I’ll go fishing with Otto down by the river and make it up to you!]
There wasn’t much for a merchant to do in these last few days, so Otto took up fishing, and had been heading to the river every day. Unfortunately, all his customers were about 5 centimeters long, so he had pretty much been giving away free bait for nothing, which seemed just like something Otto would do.
Hearing Otto’s name come up, Garfiel smirked up the corner of his mouth and bared his fangs,
[Garfiel: Hah, that lil’bro’s got such abysmal luck it doesn’t even make sense. Not like his head’s dumb or anything. But he’s just like how “Even the sky bewails how sensitive Denzen’s to the rain”, yeah?]
[Subaru: Well I say he’s a UNIQUE-CHARACTER that’s here to liven up the mood, something that should be a part of every household, and pretty good for bouncing jokes off of. He’s also saved my ass quite a few times…… but he’s mostly for livening up the mood, though]
If Otto was around to hear that, he would probably be protesting with tears in his eyes about the merciless review he got.
Listening to these not-exactly-flattering compliments, Garfiel scratched his ear with a finger, muttering [Livenin’ up the mood huh……],
[Garfiel: Then, how’s the livenin’ up workin’ out for ya?]
[Subaru: What d’you mean?]
[Garfiel: Don’t play dumb. It’s pretty obvious th’fellas in Cathedral’re almost at their limits. Don’t need me to tell ya this, but you and the lil’bro can’t keep’em distracted forever]
[Subaru: You got me where it hurts there…you know, you’re surprisingly observant sometimes]
Garfiel had caught on to Subaru’s concerns precisely. Receiving this unexpected compliment from Subaru, Garfiel crunched up his nose,
[Garfiel: Caus’of all kinds of reasons, I got to be the one who gets to see those Cathedral guys the most. After all, the other guys includin’ the granny barely would even show their face. Naturally, this’s how it turned out]
[Subaru: To think you’re actually the guy preparing the meals for us. The first time I saw that I thought there was something wrong with my eyes for a second]
[Garfiel: If you want the food to taste the way you want it, you gotta have t’do it yourself. Anyway, I’m not talkin’ about that]
Taking a step forward, Garfiel raised up a single finger in front of Subaru’s face,
[Garfiel: The hostage fellas’re close to their limit. ――How long are you gonna keep up this pointless struggle for?]
[Subaru: Pointless struggle… I don’t know what you mean……]
[Garfiel: Hah. Y’got some guts t’say that. What else you gonna call it besides pointless strugglin’? ――You’ve already been stuck in the same place for three goddamn days]
I’m feeling better now :3
Once again, thank you all so, so, so much!
And especially especially thank you Palmer L, Jesse O, Robert T M, Luke C, James Q, Cyle H, Spencer N, CLarke J, Sune S, 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! AncientAirs! Robert O! Zane C! Brenton G! Sakumbi! Vadym!!
Jonathan K, Saranyu P, Jonathan B! And Kirt T and Stephen S! and Alberto G! and Jeffrey N! And Jonty J! MattErnest A! Justin F and Oleg Z! And Michael M, and Bentley M, and Micolo C!Zachary K! Marcel O!! Luis R! Guillaume C! Krzysztof C! Martijn T! Sergeev D! Julien/Terence T! Blake L! Macaulay K, Daniel K! Martin S, Vincent M, Brian D, Tim K, Julian H! Flavio T! Lennart W! Mohammed M! William W! David M! Mark M! Dawid K! Otto B! Steve B! Jason B! Alexandre M!! Chris B! Jun P! Philip H! Laurence T! David L! Samir O! Miguel S! Nabil D! Samir O! Mikey Z! Jonathan K! Ayan S! Shane A! Julia H! Ivan M! Dallas H! Luka K! Piotr S! Azhar S! Andreas B! Ashton C! Senschuan L! Nicholas T! Robert R! Maurizzio G! Izzat W! Azar S! Johnathan S! litewin! Miguel L!!! Muhammad NM! Alejandro M! Michael D! Khai P, Natansh P, Young T! Piotr S! Hoan B! Jun P again! Marwand D! Ashley A! Khai P! Young T A! Jason B!! and the anonymous guys!
There is really no way I could thank you enough, except try to keep translating as best as I could, for as long as you guys are coming with me! ❤