Note from TranslationChicken:

I said a while ago that I intend to translate Tappei-sama’s latest chapters once he resumes writing the WN again. It hadn’t been possible before, when he resumed in February, due to my life schedules. But with this mind-blowing chapter released today, I can’t wait on it any longer.

So I have made a decision today which I’ve been considering for a very long time. I will take leave from my work and translate full-time. I cannot begin to express my gratitude for the support you guys are giving me which have made this choice even possible. Thank you. Truly, thank you.

My primary goal is still to translate Arc 4 and I will only translate the new chapters when they come out, using extra time I have. But this is very, very exciting. It will be possible to participate in the latest theories in real time.

After I finish this chapter, I’ll get Arc 4 Chapter 28 done this week!

***WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS BEYOND THIS POINT***

***WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS BEYOND THIS POINT***

***WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS BEYOND THIS POINT***

***WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS BEYOND THIS POINT***

***WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS BEYOND THIS POINT***

***WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS BEYOND THIS POINT***

***WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS BEYOND THIS POINT***

***WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS BEYOND THIS POINT***

***WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS BEYOND THIS POINT***

***WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS BEYOND THIS POINT***

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Translator: TranslationChicken

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Editor: TranslationChicken

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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/441/

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ARC 6

THE CORRIDOR OF MEMORIES

 Chapter 33 [■■■・■■■]

Left behind by a myriad of fluttering feathers, abyss descended on the balcony in the night.

Fearless birds spread their wings and took to flight into the murky night sky.
One could almost say that falling from that lonely sky would have been easier than remaining in this place.
If only that were true, Subaru would have wholeheartedly embraced that notion―― at least, aside from this suffocating situation, that would have been the next-worst thing.

[――――]

The location was the Watchtower, on a balcony hidden by the night.
Julius stood there, blocking the doorway, with doubt carved into his handsome features and rigid cheeks. In front of his line of sight, were Subaru and Echidona, who had been secretly conversing in the night――to Julius, she would have been Anastasia, since they looked exactly alike.

[Julius: ――what you said just now, what did you mean?]

In that tense, congealing space, Julius repeated this over and over.
The bewildered content of his words was no different from the moment before, but his voice sounded weaker with every repetition, like proof of the of the depth of his sorrow.

――When, did you start listening to the conversation?

[――――]

Faced with Julius’ question, Subaru forced his halted thoughts to move, and landed on this question. When did he start listening, that’s the most important thing.
The content of that conversation with Echidona=Anastasia just now, was definitely not something he should have been allowed to hear before he had been prepared. For in this Watchtower-expedition, the secrets kept by Subaru and Echidona were simply far too deep.

Things ranging from Artificial Spirits, Witch of Greed, Authority of Gluttony, and their various implications…
Subaru had hidden them all from Julius, having judged that they would only complicate things, and bring him nothing but suffering.
More than anything, was the fact that Anastasia’s spirit was sleeping, and that right now, the one inhabiting her body was the Artificial Spirit of Echidona.
In other words――

[Anastasia: ――Ah~, come on, Natsuki-kun, stop looking like that]

[Subaru: ……Huh?]

Suddenly, lightly poking the stiff Subaru in the chest with her finger, Echidona put on a charming smile.
Her tone and attitude were so perfectly like Anastasia’s, that for a moment, Subaru bulged his eyes in stupefaction and could not be entirely certain what was happening.
Leaving Subaru behind, as if dancing, Echidona did a turn on the spot, and,

[Anastasia: I’m sorry, Julius. But it’s not like we’re leaving you out of the loop, you know. I just thought I’d talk with Natsuki-kun about some of the important things that’ll be happening after we leave the Pleiades Watchtower, that’s all]

[――――]

[Anastasia: We had to leave the green room since Rem and the baby ground dragon were there, you know? It’s not like we’re afraid of any special secret leaking out, but I was just in the mood for something extra secretive. So we moved around…… and this just happened to be only suitable place we could find. That’s all]

Clapping her hands together in front of her chest, Echidona slightly tilted her head as if to say [Forgive me?]
That adorable gesture appeared to be just the kind of thing Anastasia would think of. But, unlike the one trying to distract away from the vital part of the story, Anastasia would never sink as low as this.
As if trying to cover up an unfavorable scene after the other person had already seen it, the words only came across as barren and superficial―― actually, one might as well replace the “as if” with “certainly” there.

It was a very undesirable situation. Having been caught off-guard, Echidona probably shared Subaru’s opinion. The only difference was that she just happened to be quicker than Subaru in taking action.
And then――

[Julius: ――You are not Anastasia-sama, are you]

[――――]

[Julius: Echidona, I want you to tell me. Even when it’s already come to this point, the fact that you are still trying to hide it from me, tells me you probably weren’t a bad person before you died]

Through a faint glimmer of hesitation, Julius asked Echidona to her face. Hearing this, Echidona muttered [Why that’s just……], and for a moment, appeared to be preparing to refute him, but,

[Julius: Echidona]

Once again, Julius stopped her with his call. And, just like this, she turned Anastasia’s face toward Subaru with an indescribable emotion stirring within those light onion-green eyes.
But at this point, even Subaru couldn’t think of a way to salvage this.

[Subaru: Julius, where do you want us to begin?]

[Julius: ……From Anastasia-sama’s body]

In response to Subaru’s question, Julius replied in a choked voice.
That much was more than enough to discern his disturbed emotional state. But even so, it must be said, that only a man like Julius would have been able to remain calm at a time like this, even if only on the surface.
Or perhaps, it may simply have gone too far beyond his limits, and too far beyond what emotions can convey.

[Echidona: Ever since the battle with the Witch Cult in Priestella city, Ana’s spirit has been sleeping deep inside her body. So, right now, the one moving her body isn’t Ana herself. But I, playing her role in her stead, until today]

Echidona probably thought it was no longer possible to go on pretending.
Plainly, without any set-up, she simply spoke as if laying out the facts.

In the middle of defending Priestella against the Witch Cult, Echidona took Anastasia’s place, and dueled with the Witch-Cultists―― After that, Anastasia’s spirit had been asleep ever since.
They had hidden this from Julius and Ricardo, and all the members of the Iron-Fang before they set out for the Pleiades Watchtower.
――This fact, was only shared between Subaru and Echidona.

[Julius: Why, would you only share this information with Subaru?]

[Echidona: He was not under the influence of the Sin-Archbishop’s Authority, and so he was the only person outside the chaos of the situation. Besides, I, an Artificial Spirits of the same roots as Beatrice, have sealed a contract with a Spirits-Arts user as well. I must confess this was not my original intention. Only……]

[Julius: ――. Only?]

[Echidona: Only…… he saw through my act as Ana, so I had no choice but to tell him]

Hearing this explanation of why only Subaru came to know that it was Echidona inside Anastasia’s body, Julius’ eyes began to tremble beyond control.
Of course. Because Subaru saw through Echidona’s performance――

[Julius: Someone who barely knows her, something even a stranger should notice… I call myself her Knight and I didn’t even notice it……]

[Subaru: Stop, you dumbass! You can’t say that!]

[Julius: ――――]

[Subaru: Your situation…… you were just in a bad situation! There was a huge thing that just happened to you, tying you down! And it wasn’t just you, there’s Ricardo and Mimi as well, wasn’t there? I only noticed because…… anyway it just happened by chance!]

Listening to Julius mocking himself with those words, Subaru tried to put a stop to his self-injury. However, in his failure of his duty as a Knight, there were no words that could console him.

In reality, just what could Julius have done? Was he really to blame for this?

The Lord he devoted his loyalty to, his comrades with whom he swore his oath, his fellow Knights that have always been his companions, and all the many, many more, everything he had accumulated up to now in his life as a Knight, had collapsed like a wall of sand. How can he stand before them again?
Stalwart. Elegant. A Knight. How could he ever be called that again.
If being a Knight meant never permitting oneself to succumb to one’s pain like a common human being, then being a Knight was a curse for Julius Euculius.

[Julius: It is the duty of a Knight to eliminate chance, and be certain at all times]

[Subaru: ――! Then a Knight is…… nothing but a troublesome title isn’t it……]

[Julius: Take back those words, and do not say them to me again. I…… right now I, I’m afraid I’ve lost some part of myself……]

Subaru’s consoling rationalization simply bounced off in the face of Julius’ Knightly convictions. Watching as Subaru fell speechless from the emotions clogging up his throat, Julius shook his head.

[Julius: Let’s get back on topic. ――Echidona, what is your intention?]

[Echidona: ……To return this body to Ana. That, is the reason I brought you all to the Pleiades Watchtower, even more importantly than the victims of Gluttony and Lust]

[Julius: In other words, you mean to say you never wanted this. And you have no way to restore Anastasia-sama…… even if I slay you]

Placing his hand on the Knight’s sword at his waist, Julius narrowed his eyes and threw her this perilous question.
Receiving this, Echidona cast down her eyes, and gently touched her own chest.

[Echidona: That I am an evil spirit, and have taken over Ana’s body for that reason…… I cannot give you any evidence to refute that speculation. So, if you are convinced that I am lying to you, even if you choose to destroy me, I cannot stop you]

But, at the end of her last syllable, Echidona continued after pausing only a beat.

[Echidona: But in that case, any possibility of restoring the consciousness of Ana’s empty shell will be extinguished by your hand…… In the worst case, it will become difficult to even preserve her life, and there is a chance that she will die]

Echidona cut down Julius’ suggestion, and laid out her thoughts. Then, having said this, she softly lifted up her hands,

[Echidona: Of course, this is only a nonsense possibility I had no choice but to come up with because I want to live. Even I, cannot say for sure whether my death would be the solution. If I must die so that Ana could live, I feel like I would be alright with that. Though I really don’t want to die]

[Julius: And why, would you be willing to do that for Anastasia-sama?]

[Echidona: The relationship between Ana and I are not complete. Therefore, perhaps it would not be right for a common spirit to take a Spirits Arts user’s rightful place……]

Cutting off her words there, Echidona looked at Julius and Subaru in turn.
It seemed almost as though she was admiring the odd-looking pair who shared a bond quite different than that of a Spirit and a Spirits Arts user.

[Echidona: I like Ana. And I have been at her side ever since she was a young child. So I do not wish to abandon her, and I want her to be happy. ――That, is my reason]

[Julius: ――――]

[Echidona: Julius, I did not reveal this fact to you because it would have only lead to unnecessary confusion. Ana herself had wanted to keep my existence secret, if possible. In fact, she was the reason I had remained hidden all the way until what happened in Priestella. It was all thanks to that child]

Even back in Priestella, Julius would have been quite shocked if Anastasia announced that Echidona had been hiding inside her all that time.
Subaru, who had prioritized retrieving Emilia above all else, could not possibly imagine what storm must be churning within Julius’ chest at that moment.

Only, in such a short span of time, what his Lord had kept hidden―― as well as the secret pertaining to the fundamentals of Anastasia herself, were all revealed to him at a time when they should not have been revealed. Just how much must all of this be weighing on Julius?

[Julius: ……I can understand your relationship with Anastasia-sama. It is difficult to believe everything. But, I have no choice but to believe you. At least, in that it would be thoughtless to do anything to you right now]

[Echidona: Oh, is that so? I am glad you chose rationally, Julius. I’m sure Ana would be glad as well]

[Julius: ――――]

Letting go of the hilt of his Knight’s sword, Julius did not respond to Echidona’s words, and only remained in silence.
But he was far from having understood it, and it left him a sense of shame to think about it. Yet, in the blink of a moment, Julius cast this out of his mind, and,

[Julius: I just want to confirm this. Anastasia-sama’s Od is the price for your ability to continue to manifest yourself…… so naturally, the more you strain yourself, the heavier the burden on Anastasia-sama’s body will be. Is that correct?]

[Echidona: Correct. That’s the right way to understand it. If I eat well, sleep well, get some moderate exercise…… take a generally healthy approach to life, it’d be just enough to counteract the toll on Ana’s Od]

[Julius: If that’s the case…… then why did you pull that stunt on the second level?]

Just as Echidona was slightly recovering herself, lightheartedly joking in between her words, Julius struck her with this unexpected question.
Considering what happened on the second level, it’s only understandable that he would point this out――

[Julius: During my fight with the second-level examiner, Reid Astrea, Anastasia-sama…… using Anastasia-sama’s body… you casted magic… to assist me]

It was at the time of the first clash between Julius and Reid.
Faced with the overwhelming power of Reid’s swordsmanship, when Julius was helpless and on the verge of defeat, Echidona casted her enormous magical power toward Reid.
Far from being a decisive strike, instead, the load on Anastasia’s body went over her limit, and she fainted. But the problem was not the result.
It was why did she do it. Just that.

[Julius: The burden of that act on Anastasia-sama’s body could not have been light. After saying so much, your actions are still conflicting with your claims. So why?]

[Subaru: That’s……]

What Julius pointed out was also what Subaru had been wondering.
Back there, Echidona acted when Julius had been beaten, and carrying an expression as though he was prepared to die. There seemed to be a lie somewhere, yet it didn’t feel like it was precalculated.
It must be pure speculation. But could Echidona have chosen to help Julius simply because, living inside Anastasia, they had already spent so much time together―― could it be something as simple as that?

However, to Subaru’s doubts, and to Julius’ question, Echidona only replied [I’m sorry], and deeply bowed on the spot,

[Echidona: Even I feel like a failure there. How should I say this, to a bystander, it might just seem embarrassing, but I made that decision from a strategic point of view]

[Julius: A strategic decision?]

[Echidona: At the time, I had no idea whether the examiner of the second level had intent to kill. If I did not do it, we might have lost the fighting power of Julius. Of course, I wanted to avoid it, for Ana. Besides, Reid Astrea had his back turned…… and so it seemed a perfect opportunity, in my eyes. But not only did it fail, I‘ve caused you trouble]

Apologizing, and adding one more at the end for good measure, Echidona slowly raised up her body.
There were no contradictions within her explanation. While it was true that to a bystander, it would have looked like foolish behavior, Subaru couldn’t find any basis to refute her reasoning. Emotional ones aside.

Could such a story really be swallowed so easily?
But, before Subaru could pursue the point any further,

[Julius: ――Alright. But please be careful not to do anything rash in the future. Not for anyone else, only for Anastasia-sama]

[Echidona: Understood]

[Subaru: Wha-!?]

Julius gestured that he had understood and accepted, and nodded back at Echidona. Watching their exchange, Subaru kicked at the floor as if he wasn’t sure if they were joking.

[Subaru: How can you be convinced by that……]

[Julius: Subaru, I am convinced. Echidona will refrain from doing anything rash in the future. What else is there to say? ――This is a matter between Anastasia-sama and Echidona, and between Anastasia-sama and myself]

[Subaru: ――――]

[Julius: It seems you have been caught up in this by some strange mistake. But, this is an internal matter within the Anastasia camp. This is not your pain to bear]

Listening to Julius trying to distance him from the problem, Subaru clenched the back of his jaw.
It’s not as if Subaru was carrying this pain because he one-sidedly wanted to.

[Subaru: I, whether or not I take this upon myself is my own business isn’t it!]

[Julius: So you can take this upon yourself, yet deny me the right to face my own problems? ……I don’t seem to recall you ever telling me about Anastasia-sama and Echidona]

[Subaru: ――gh]

[Julius: Sorry. I shouldn’t have said it. ……But it is the truth]

Wrenching this out in a choked voice, Julius turned his eyes away.
Within that voice, that stubbornness, Subaru finally noticed it.

Julius had not remained calm at all.
Far from hiding the tempest raging in his heart, he could not even keep it from seeping through to the surface.

Having lost his own existence, even the one thing that remained to him, his loyalty to his Lord, was a lie, and their promise to tell each other every concern had been broken.
Even so, the man named Julius was not supposed to be subject to emotions.

[Julius: I don’t intend to argue. For Anastasia-sama, we must find a way to deal with this situation as soon as possible. Echidona, I hope I can count on your sincere cooperation]

[Echidona: ……Of course. Since you have already found out, I suppose there is no reason for me to continue playing Ana anymore. Well, if you can tolerate me in the form of Ana, that is]

[Julius: That is fine. I must restore Anastasia-sama to the way she was, and looking at this form will remind me of what I must do]

Hearing of his intention to hurt himself to strengthen his resolve, Echidona put on a sad expression. But Julius had already turned up to the sky, without seeing her face.
As if noticing for the very first time that the night sky from atop the balcony was untouched by the Miasma, he squinted his eyes under the radiance of the stars.

[Julius: There is no reason to stay here for long. Let’s go back inside. As for Anastasia-sama’s body and Echidona…… let’s tell Emilia-sama and the others tomorrow]

[Echidona: Ohoh, alright. I will prepare for it as well]

Saying this, Julius gently took Echidona’s hand and began to walk. Surely, it was exactly the same as what he had always done for Anastasia.
Whatever was inside, his loyalty to Anastasia will not change. ――Even if she was sleeping deep within her body, even if she had forgotten Julius.

[Subaru: Julius!]

Feeling something painful at the sight of his figure, Subaru shouted out to him.
Having been abandoned by memories while he still remembered everything about the others, having nothing left except to struggle, desperately relying on that sentiment―― Having been there himself, he understood that pain.
Even if he was forgotten, he cannot forget. That thought alone gave him the impulse to move.

[Julius: ――――]

Julius halted his steps, and, still holding onto Echidona, did not turn around.
The fact that his back remained perfectly straight, in spite of all the turmoil within his heart, was just totally frustrating.

[Subaru: You… isn’t there something you want to say to me]

Regarding Echidona, regarding Anastasia’s body, he had kept it all from him.
Tonight, he had promised to take over for spending time in the green room, but Subaru broke that promise, and secretly met with Echidona on the balcony.

He could make excuses. There were reasons. It’s not that he meant to……
But, regardless of what he meant, or whatever his reasons, or excuses, his heart could not pull free.

So why won’t you raise your voice to shout at me? Swear at me, and just let out your rage?

Subaru couldn’t be sure whether it was his own sense of guilt, or whether Julius truly thought this.
Surely, Julius wouldn’t.
Raise his voice, or spit out abuses――

[Julius: ――There is]

[Subaru: ――――]

[Julius: I understand. Why you thought you should hide this truth from me. You meant no harm. It was only out of concern and consideration. I agree with your apprehensions. If we switched places, I would have kept my silence as well]

[Subaru: ――――]

[Julius: ――But, even so]

Looking up to the sky. With a voice as if wrenching it out.

[Julius: Whether it is myself, or Anastasia-sama, or you, I don’t want to be thought of as someone unworthy of being a Knight]

※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※

Next Part 2/2: https://translationchicken.com/2017/05/25/rezero-arc-6-chapter-33-%E2%96%A0%E2%96%A0%E2%96%A0%E3%83%BB%E2%96%A0%E2%96%A0%E2%96%A0-part-22/

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This is Part 1/2 of the chapter, the thing that everyone is going insane about is in Part 2/2, which I hope to finish tomorrow!

So far, I have to say I am loving this so much!!!! >_<

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I am translating Part 2 of the chapter right now in the Live Draft:
https://www.patreon.com/posts/warning-major-re-11308936

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One note is that I have very little context when translating this chapter since I have not read Arc 6. In order to avoid mistakes, I’ve read the wiki spoilers for Arc 6 and the very end of Arc 5 during my final edit to double check, but if you see anything that is inconsistent with the previous plot please let me know as soon as possible, thanks! ❤

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Next Part 2/2: https://translationchicken.com/2017/05/25/rezero-arc-6-chapter-33-%E2%96%A0%E2%96%A0%E2%96%A0%E3%83%BB%E2%96%A0%E2%96%A0%E2%96%A0-part-22/