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/194/
THE EVERLASTING COVENANT
Chapter 28 [A Conversation Over Tea]
Feeling the first light of dawn burning onto his eyelids, Subaru sat himself up in the darkness.
It seemed he had fallen asleep while thinking. But since he sank into the sea of thought so late in the night, he had only managed two or three hours of sleep.
[Subaru: This would’ve been unthinkable back in the old world. Sunrises are supposed to be when I fall asleep, you know]
Saying this while giving his body a few turns, Subaru took a quick look around at the others who were beginning to wake in the Cathedral. When they noticed Subaru’s gaze upon them, one by one they waved at him, and he did the same in return. Then, standing up, he headed for the Cathedral’s door.
The crisp morning air greeted him as he went outside, where it seemed the residents of the Sanctuary and some of the refugees were working together to prepare breakfast.
[Woman: Aya, you’re already up, Subaru-sama]
[Subaru: He-yo, good morning. Another fresh morning today?]
[Woman: Sure is. The wind’s a bit chilly though…… looks like you managed to get a good night’s sleep as well, Subaru-sama]
With a smile, the woman with a familiar face called out to him and touched a finger to her cheek. Seeing this, Subaru touched his cheek in the same spot and felt something sticky there―― and noticed there was a trail of saliva drooling down the side of his face.
[Subaru: Wah, no, embarrassing!]
Why was it that short periods of sleep make people wake up even sloppier, anyway? Like when you wake up looking abnormally messy after only a little nap, there must be some kind of rule to this.
Chuckling, and watching Subaru ponder about this unproductive question, another woman―― with short dog-ears on her head, offered him a wet towel. Subaru briefly thanked her, and quickly took the towel and wiped up his mouth.
“Off now?” he looked at them, and both women affirmed that it was. Subaru borrowed the towel so he could wash his face by the pond, and waved them good-day.
Watching the both of them as he left, within the interaction between them he didn’t see a single trace of unease or misunderstanding. There was only natural communication between members of two different races.
Over the past few days―― which, if you include the time rewound by Return by Death, would have been a week, there had been no noticeable conflicts between the refugees and the residents of the Sanctuary.
The refugees were in high spirits, and although he’d hate to admit it, the fact that their Lord Roswaal remained with them must have brought them a considerable sense of reassurance. In reality, the villagers’ faith in Subaru, who ate and slept with them, also played no small part in this. But Subaru, with his low evaluation of his own influence, didn’t take this into account.
Quite contrary to the ominous atmosphere of this place, the residents of the Sanctuary, beginning with the beast-eared woman just now, had grown more and more talkative. At the very least, Subaru felt that it was to the point where the divide between human and half-bloods no longer existed anywhere beyond their thoughts.
[Subaru: The only real thing dividing them was the Barrier, wasn’t it…… I don’t know what might’ve been going through the mind of whoever put up that thing, but that was a pretty asshole thing to do]
If Garfiel’s words could be believed, this place would be the Experimental Grounds of the Witch of Greed. In that case, the one who erected the Barrier to prevent the half-bloods from escaping might have been the Witch herself.
[Subaru: Echidona……huh. At the end of the day, I still can’t figure out what that Witch is up to]
White-haired and white-skined, a monochrome girl wrapped in something of a funerary dress.
Lost her life 400 years ago, yet still bound to the present world, not unlike a ghost. Contrary to her proclamation of not interfering with the real world, she had met with Subaru within the Trial grounds and offered her detailed commentary on his actions.
Then, she hid all the memories inside Subaru’s mind relating to herself, only to allow it to be remembered again through some careless coincidence―― none of it made any sense.
Perhaps, there was some profound reason behind it, he thought.
[Subaru: Or if she just enjoys screwing with people to see what happens, then there’s seriously nothing I can do. Come to think of it, what are you supposed to think of a lady who makes people she just met drink her bodily fluids for no reason, anyway……]
Unpleasant memories of drinking Dona-Tea resurfaced in his mind. But since it was something that was supposed to have happened in the Spiritual world, he really wanted to believe that his actual body hadn’t really absorbed any of the Dona bits.
Anyways, regardless of her intentions, the Sanctuary remained surrounded by the Barrier, and its inhabitants remained trapped within it.
[Subaru: When it comes down to it, the greatest obstacle at the moment is…… Garfiel, isn’t it]
Whether it was to negotiate with Echidona directly or to personally challenge the Trials, the bottleneck was how to deal with Garfiel, whose hostility towards Subaru had jumped up.
If the change in his opinion of Subaru was truly due to the Witch’s stench―― the side-effect of Return by Death, then improving Garfiel’s attitude towards him could prove a near-impossible task.
Whether it was the Wolgarms, or the battle against the White Whale, Subaru had managed to turn the stench to his advantage and create breakthroughs in the situation, but,
[Subaru: I can make it smell stinkier, but I don’t know how to make it go away……. Don’t imagine deodorants would do anything to it. Actually, what am I saying. Stinky or not stinky, what am I, garbage?]
At least, there was a way to intentionally intensify his stench by telling someone about Return by Death. And judging from everything that had happened so far, the intensified odor doesn’t seem to last forever.
It seems, just like any ordinary smell, it will gradually fade over time. But on the other hand, it would also mean that there was no other method to make it go away.
[Subaru: I definitely can’t count on Garfiel’s attitude softening. And though I’d rather not think about it…… if I mess up and Return by Death again…..]
If he dies again, and starts over inside the Tomb, the lingering scent clinging onto Subaru now will be compounded over again with the stench of the Witch. If that happens, it would be terrifying to imagine what Garfiel’s reaction will be.
Facing the worst possible case of losing his life, by starting over, Subaru could alter the result.
And salvage everything―― yet, in spite of Subaru’s greed, the fact is, he hadn’t managed to fulfill everything. And there were still things he could not bring back.
But even so, given the opportunity to do it all over again, Subaru intends to use it to choose a better future than the world that came before. It’s difficult to appreciate a thing like Return by Death, but without that ability, he would have had to continue on through one of those countless abysmal futures.
[Subaru: Even if I can repeat it indefinitely…… with every return my relationships will worsen. The difficulty will increase along with the number of times I respawn…… that’s a first, alright]
At this point, it was still possible to establish rational communication with Garfiel. But next time, when the stench is compounded over again, he couldn’t be certain whether he will still be granted an opportunity to speak.
At least, recalling the memory of Rem stealing away his life with her morning star when she could no longer trust him as a result of the stench still left him a lonely sense of emptiness on the left side of his body.
Remembering those he left in the Mansion―― especially remembering the sleeping Rem, the next thought that came into Subaru’s mind was the assassin in black. The reappearance of that happy murderer with her lethal blade, who currently tops the high-score chart of this world for the Subaru-Kill-Count.
Incidentally, also sharing first place was the gray cat-shaped spirit, while the whole flock of people sharing second-place with the kill-count of one was just too many to keep track of.
[Subaru: Now that I think about it, it’s kinda like an inverted kill-counter. Or I guess a “getting-killed-counter” would be more appropriate here? ……Anyways, I need to find a countermeasure against Elsa. If it comes down to a brawl there’s no way I can win, so the only practical fighting strength we have would be a pick between Roswaal or Garfiel]
Roswaal, even with his magical abilities, was still hindered by his injuries. So in the end, the best solution would still be to convert Garfiel into an ally.
And in order to have Garfiel fight off Elsa when she attacks the Mansion, Subaru must break the Barrier surrounding the Sanctuary. And so, the most important steps would be,
[Subaru: Pass through the Trials and liberate the Sanctuary before the attack on the Mansion, reconcile with Garfiel and bring him to the Mansion to repel Elsa to get to the HAPPY END…… or something like that?]
Saying it over to himself, Subaru saw the mutually-contradictory problem and furrowed his brows.
In order to make peace with Garfiel, he must liberate the Sanctuary.
And in order to liberate the Sanctuary, he must get past Garfiel so he could challenge the Trials.
Neither of these conflicting points can be satisfied without the other.
Perhaps there was still the possibility of resolving this through words, but looking back on their conversations last night and his experience of their interactions up to now, the slimness of that possibility made him want to clutch at his head.
For better or for worse, interactions with Garfiel are straight-forward, but it also means that once he’s set his mind on something, it would be very difficult to change it again.
Therefore, if there was any chance left for Subaru, it would be,
[Subaru: Aim for an opportunity to sneak into the Tomb and get in touch with Echidona, or sneak into the Tomb at the time to challenge the Trials, and break through the remainder of the Trials]
Finishing up washing his face at the pond, Subaru arrived at this conclusion, and turned his steps towards a direction quite different from the cooking grounds.
Wiping his face with the squeezed-dry towel, he set his destination toward a sparsely populated end of the Sanctuary. Heading there, passing a small hill, and continuing down a single road――
[Subaru: ……right, I was expecting too much with my opportunism, wasn’t I]
In the middle of the clearly visible path leading straight to the Tomb, seated in the same posture as the previous night, Garfiel was waiting.
――Head to the Tomb first thing in the morning and sneak past Garfiel when he isn’t looking.
He thought he’d pull a free one first thing in the morning, but looks like that’s been instantly foiled.
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If you guys missed the note, I have finally decided to take leave from my job and translate full time.
I have already notified my boss, and she was kind enough to help me out on such a short notice. I still need to cover my position for a few days next week, but after that, I should be able to speed up progress and release regularly.
Once again, I can’t express my thanks enough.
So, thank you so so much Palmer L, Jesse O, Robert T M, Marek V, AnonymousBenefactor, Luc W, James Q, Sakumbi, Cyle H, Spencer N, Skyler O, Luke C, Sune S, Clarke J, Sid A, Son Wukong, Raf H, David S, Vadym, Dohmeh, Dleep, Jackson W, Luis P, Daegor, Mohit A, Anthony C, Robert B, Paul M W, Morten O, Mathieu F, Terry F, Erlend S N, Nelson B, Ahn M D V, Peganuss, Jun P, Andrew B, Nope, Dustin V F, Alexander, John W, Hesse A, Ibot, Demetr, Darakent, Ben H, Silicia V, Michal Z, AncientAirs, Fernando M, Cameron C, Petr H, Robbie L, xuatz, Piotr H, Sid K, Haizykas, Jack O, Skyver, Phrust, Grayson G, Roxas F, Maksom K, Kristen K, John L, Brenton G, Zane C, Robert O, Bacon, King H, Pergzedref V, Khailz, Jonathan B, NJRoss, Will, John B, Daniel H, Alora T, Ashley H, Lolfoollor, T.J. S, Aqua Dragon, Mark K, Ben S, Devon C, The Drunken Otaku, Quinn C, Daniel B, Zarko B. Edsel R, Aiman Z, Shippolover, and Shahril A, Saleem R!
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 A! Piotr S! Hoan B! Jun P again! Marwand D! Ashley A! Khai P! Jason B! Luc W! Bob D! Jose R! Michael G! Julia D! Maksym P! Piotr S! Matthew E! Adran M!!!
And thank you everyone for coming here to read and leaving your wonderful comments.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you
(And please help me find my typos >_<)