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/191/
THE EVERLASTING COVENANT
Chapter 25 [The Ice Forest]
[Garfiel: Lookin’ like yer gonna cry ain’t gonna change a thing. I’ve already made up my mind. And once I do I don’t budge. It’d be like “Donmorakin gettin’ stuck when y’push him”]
Watching Subaru’ eyes open wide with astonishment, Garfiel continued.
The condition he spoke of――hearing it, threw Subaru’s heart into a state of shock and disarray. Because,
[Subaru: Of all people, why are you the one saying this……?]
[Garfiel: Huh? ‘Sit so surprisin’ I disagree? Just how naive are ya? All we did was talk a couple times, I’d be pretty pissed if y’think y’understand me]
At Subaru’s words, Garfiel twisted the corners of his lips with displeasure, and Subaru did the same in return.
After all, what Garfiel had just rejected was based on something that Garfiel had suggested in the first place.
In the previous world, when Garfiel could no longer stand watching Emilia getting worn down from challenging the Trials over and over, he tossed up the idea that Subaru should take the Trials in her place. Subaru, who had obstinately believed that Emilia must be the one to overcome the Trials, was shaken to his core, and, after seeing sense in that idea, he had adopted it for himself. But now,
[Subaru: I’ve got all kinds of emotions swirling inside that I can’t keep down but…… I’ll forget them for now. But more importantly, why are you against it? Increasing the chances of liberating the Sanctuary can’t possibly be bad for you?]
[Garfiel: Well, so yer sayin’ if I’m fully on board with Granny’s plans, then I should know yer idea’s more efficient, that it? —But still, I just absolutely don’t like it]
[Subaru: Why are you saying that like some snot-nosed brat……!]
Crossing his arms, Garfiel turned his face away. There was no logic to what he was saying, and the fact that he was going purely on his feelings only complicated the conversation even further.
From their interactions up to now, Subaru understood that Garfiel was emotional―― or, more accurately, that his priorities are primarily based on what he feels like at the moment. If appealing to common-sense was useless, then Subaru didn’t know what else he could do would be effective.
Since there was no point in talking to Garfiel, who had no intention of agreeing with him, Subaru called to the elderly woman in the body of a young girl who had been quietly watching their exchange. But seeing Subaru turn to her, Lewes only waved through her long sleeves that hid her hands underneath,
[Lewes: When Gar-bo’s like this, there’s nothing I can say to make him budge. It’s unfortunate, but no matter how hard you try, there’s nothing in the Sanctuary that can force him to listen. Does Su-bo want to try?]
[Subaru: I don’t have the kind of suicidal tendencies that’ll make me want to challenge a guy who can throw a dragon carriage…… Damnit, what’s with you guys?]
She wasn’t approving of Garfiel’s words, but since she didn’t actively rebuke him, it probably meant that deep down she agreed with him. Chances are, Lewes also believed that Emilia should be the one to overcome the Trials. He didn’t know how much she respected Roswaal, but it seemed safe to assume that Lewes agreed with Roswaal on the most fundamental parts.
Nevertheless, Subaru couldn’t help but wonder what would happen if Garfiel was on his side.
Calling him with a worried voice, Emilia looked up at Subaru who seemed to be overwhelmed by feelings he couldn’t explain. Reflecting the side of Subaru’s face within her violet eyes,
[Emilia: I-I’ll try my best, so it’s fine, you don’t have to push yourself. It was a bit…… yeah, just a bit sudden, so I was surprised, but now that I know what is going to happen……]
[Subaru: No, Emilia-tan, you’re the one who shouldn’t push yourself. I’ll convince this stubborn bastard somehow. And once I do that, the Trials……]
[Emilia: Subaru y――]
Emilia seemed like she was about to give in to Garfiel’s words. Seeing her rally herself from her weakness, Subaru started churning in his head to think of some way to make them see reason. But, just as Subaru’s mental preparation was getting underway, Emilia,
[Emilia: Subaru…… even you, don’t believe I can do it?]
[Emilia: I-I know I let you see my useless side, so now you’re thinking that…… you can’t leave the Trials to me, so instead]
[Subaru: You’re wrong. It’s not like that]
[Emilia: Well, I know you’re worried, Subaru. Subaru passed the Trial while I didn’t even come close…… I don’t even have the resolve to face…… the Trial, and my Past]
Even though Subaru was denying it, Emilia shook her head from side to side, refusing to accept his denial.
Negative emotions surfaced in her eyes, and her lips shivered as her face went pale. From her unsettled speech, Subaru knew this was because she was recalling the Trial and the so-called Past.
――In other words, she was at a point where she could very easily crumble.
[Subaru: You don’t have to think about it――!]
[Emilia: But unless I face it I’ll never overcome the Trials! Yes, that’s right…… I have to overcome the Trials, I have to overcome my Past….. or I will never become King. And the villagers and the people of the Sanctuary will never be able to leave……]
Taking her by the shoulders, Subaru desperately called out to her, but Emilia shook her head and did not seem to hear him. Or rather, the more he tried to stop her, the more obstinate her will seemed to become,
[Emilia: I can’t let you babysit me forever, Subaru. I can’t. Just not long ago, Subaru got hurt so badly because of me…… I, don’t want to make you carry my burden anym……]
[Subaru: It’s fine that way. This might be a bad way of putting it, but you’re already helping me as much as I’m helping you. It’s all about putting the right materials to the right uses, right? I’m the one who has better the affinity when it comes to Trials. That’s all there is to it, and nothing else. It just seems like something I can do, and something I can actually do faster. I don’t find things I’m good at very often. There’ll be plenty of opportunities for Emilia-tan to do your best later on]
[Emilia: Isn’t this one of those huge opportunities now? If I always look away from unpleasant things, and keep running away…… then what will I become?]
――If only he could’ve screamed “What’s wrong about running away.”
If running away from things you don’t like, shying your eyes away from painful things, and turning your back to difficulties could allow you to live in peace, then that’s not such a bad way to live. Subaru himself had lived this way, trying to distance himself from hardships to the best of his ability.
So he knew―― that even though it’s a cowardly way to live, there was no reason to condemn it.
But still, now. Right now, when Subaru should have understood and approved of the weakness facing up against Emilia’s stubborn heart――
Why couldn’t he utter a single word of what he was thinking?
In front of Subaru’s silence, Emilia closed her eyes and turned down her face. His hands that were still on her shoulders could feel her body temperature rising as if she was having a fever, but Subaru didn’t know what he could do.
And, watching their exchange,
[Garfiel: Hah. Yer free to fight it out as y’like, but listenin’ from the side, sounds to me like Emilia-sama’s got’a point? Fact is, the Trial’s been prepared to be challenged by Emilia-sama. Suddenly stickin’ yerself in’s just……]
[Subaru: You shut up! You…… you don’t know anything yet……!]
Subaru exploded at Garfiel, who made it sound so easy without realizing what kind of feeling that was going through him. Faced with Subaru’s rage, a dangerous aura began to emanate from Garfiel.
But once again, Subaru ignored his threat and glared at him fearlessly.
[Subaru: Do you have any idea what will happen if you keep pushing this on her? Do you think I can just calmly watch as she gets hurt, worn down, and falls apart? ……What would I be if I…]
[Garfiel: ……I don’t get where you’re coming up with this stuff all of’a sudden]
[Subaru: You’re thinking in terms of conditions and merits, but did you think about Emilia herself even once? I know if she overcomes the Trials, the payoff will be huge. But, you’re not counting the wounds she’ll get or the tears she’ll shed to get there…… or what she herself wants]
In the previous world, even though he had seen, closer than anyone, how thin Emilia had been worn, how weakened she had become, Subaru never uttered a word to stop her.
If it’s her, if it’s Emilia, then she will be able to do it. They had cornered her, pushed her beyond her limits, and only then had they realized it. There was no point trying to explain this feeling to someone who had not experienced it.
That was the curse of Return by Death that stabbed at Subaru this moment.
His situation was that only he knew the truth of what happened in the last world. Since neither his knowledge nor his words would suffice, the only thing he could do was to speak from emotions,
[Emilia: What…… do you know, Subaru?]
Feeling a tug on his sleeve, Subaru lifted up his head and saw Emilia’s eyes opened wide, staring at him. Emotions were swirling within her violet pupils, which were drowned in surging tear drops that would fall and disappear.
With tiny movements, Emilia shook her head from side to side, muttering [No, no……] as if rejecting something.
[Emilia: Do you know? Subaru, do y……do you know… about my Past?]
I’m at work right now, let me know if you spot any typos!