(Thank you Aaron, Axl, Alex, Matthew, Jason, Roanz for helping me with the editing on the LiveDraft!! <3)
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/202/
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――Subaru’s mind had actually already reached an answer about where this unfamiliar space was.
In the first place, there was barely a single room in Roswaal’s Mansion where Subaru hadn’t set foot in, and he even had free access to the Forbidden Library in a sense―― so all that was left was the door which he had only touched twice, but never got to see the other side of. That is, the door inside the “Escape Passage”.
The first time, he was hindered by a spirit with gray fur, and the second time, he was chased away by a murdering maniac. So Subaru was never able to pass beyond that point.
And that was why, despite harboring a certain sense of distrust towards whatever was waiting beyond this room, he did not have any doubts that it would be a part of Roswaal’s Mansion, but,
[Subaru: Where is…… this?]
Stumped, he muttered this question stupidly at no one in particular.
Beyond the opened door, what panned out directly in front of Subaru was a cold, dark underground passage―― or not. Rather, it was a luscious green forest in the midst of vibrant nature, and what was even stranger, was that,
[Subaru: It’s, morning……?]
Gazing up towards the sky through the gaps between the trees, he saw the rising sun. Seeing the height of the sun, and the sensation of the morning wind blowing against his skin, Subaru’s mind was further racked by doubt.
By the time Subaru returned to the Mansion, it was already right before dusk. Counting the time spent in his conversation with Frederica, along with Elsa’s attack, Subaru would have been wounded just before midnight―― which would mean that, at this point, half a day had already passed.
[Subaru: While I was unconscious……!?]
As soon as he bit down on his tongue to commit suicide, Subaru fell unconscious. When he woke again, his wounds had been healed and he was so preoccupied with his failure to kill himself that he had forgotten to consider how much time had passed. Just how long had Subaru spent unconscious in the Library?
He remembered Beatrice calling it “A Place Detached From The Passage Of Time”. And while Subaru wasn’t sure just how literal that was meant to be,
[Subaru: If the savepoint gets overwritten because of this……!]
That would be an unthinkable situation.
Before his worst fear comes to pass and the state of reality is overwritten, he must immediately end his own life. And yet, another feeling was asserting its existence in direct conflict with this anxiety. That feeling was screaming:
――You must find out where this place is.
He didn’t know what would be the purpose of doing so. Considering all that had happened so far, and the malicious nature of Return By Death, he knew he should kill himself now.
But there was a horrifying calmness within Subaru that insisted this, despite fully understanding the circumstances he found himself in.
[Subaru: ――Kh, damnit!]
Kicking his foot into the ground and sending spit flying, Subaru sprinted into the forest ahead of him. Dashing through the gaps between the trees, his conversation with Petra in the escape tunnel surfaced in his mind.
The escape passage leads deep into the mountains behind the Mansion to a small cabin, where one might pick up emergency supplies and the like.
If that information can be relied on, then this should be that cabin in the mountains just now, and he would be running through the back mountains which he had already trekked though so many times before. But,
[Subaru: Was that the cabin? Where were the supply bags? And, in the first place…… looking like it’s been abandoned for ages, what kind of disaster relief infrastructure is that…… !?]
That strange place that Subaru saw contained more than enough evidence to support his sense of foreboding. There were too few similarities that actually matched Petra’s description. More importantly, if Frederica and Rem had been periodically maintaining it, there would be no explanation for the horrendous state of disrepair. This was something Subaru could say with confidence, knowing the work ethics of those two maids.
Passing through the forest, there was now another question, which would be the lack of a slope. The cabin was supposed to be in the mountains, but was it built somewhere without the slightest change in elevation for a hundred meters or more? Losing track of where he was, Subaru was racked by frustration for failing to see what he was trying to see.
Then, when his frustration and doubt had reached their limits, they were quickly and unexpectedly shattered.
Where the trees opened up, suddenly clearing his line of sight, Subaru skidded to a stop. The pavement, if it could still be called pavement in spite of the ragged condition it was in, was evidence that there were people frequently passing through here. And, more importantly, the rows of houses visible in the distance further indicated that there were people living on this land.
Taking this into his eyes, Subaru’s thoughts were taken hostage by shock in the truest sense of the phrase.
Because the scenery he saw was――
[Subaru: The, S-Sanctuary!?]
The place he had bid farewell to only half a day ago, and which by his estimation would require a whole day to return to.
He lifted his right hand in accordance with his horror. His fingers were still missing. Lost. Return by Death had not been activated. And yet, he was now standing in a place he did not belong.
[Subaru: Why…… am I here? Was it… Door Crossing……?]
There could be no other answer.
After being kicked out of the Mansion’s Forbidden Library by Beatrice, Subaru had been sent to a corner of the Sanctuary through Door Crossing. But how did this happen?
[Subaru: Is distance…… irrelevant? Yes, that one time I got transported from the Mansion to an animal stall in the village, but……]
Thinking in terms of distance, even that was still within permissible range. But considering the distance from the Mansion to the Sanctuary, this kind of long distance transportation was, to put it simply, beyond imagination and common sense.
Yet, considering the overabundance of supernatural powers he had witnessed so far, Subaru didn’t have much choice except to scratch his head and swallow it down.
[Subaru: Screw it! If I’m back in the Sanctuary then……ROSWAAL!!]
Sprint forth to that clown’s location and make him spit out every single one of his intentions.
Roswaal had always treated Beatrice cordially at the Mansion. That sorcerer must certainly know her origins and how she came to possess a Gospel.
If he knows but tries to toy with the ignorant Subaru, that will be fine as well. Even if he has to punch his nose in, burn him, rip him apart, and bite out his throat, he’d do it until that clown spills everything.
At this moment, completely forgetting the need to kill himself, Subaru started to run. His thoughts dyed red with the pure color of rage, he dashed to the edge of the forest, to the residence where Roswaal would be sleeping.
Transforming into an incarnation of Wrath, Subaru sped through the Sanctuary, forgetting his exhaustion and agony, drawn only towards his destination.
Kicking the door open with the same momentum, Subaru pushed into the house, baring his teeth,
[Subaru: ROSWAAL! SHOW YOUR FACE! THERE’S A MOUNTAIN OF THINGS I WANNA ASK YOU!]
Plunging forward violently in a way that would normally earn him a scolding from a maid, Subaru barked out his demands. Hearing no reply coming from the room, Subaru stomped forward with deafening steps and wrung the final door open,
[Subaru: No more playing dumb and no more lies. Start spilling everything you’ve been hiding and……]
As he was about to go on, Subaru’s voice trailed off.
Because, not only was the target of his condensed dissatisfaction absent, there was no one in the room to listen.
Gone. This fact only sent more boiling rage churning through Subaru’s mind. Kicking the bed as hard as he could, the pain on his toes only escalated his anger further as he stormed out of the house.
In that case, Roswaal must be at Lewes’ house―― meeting with Emilia, or perhaps discussing something with Lewes and Garfiel. Either way, becoming so active the moment Subaru was out of the picture, he certainly had the audacity. His timing to get up and running was so perfect, one might even suspect whether he had been faking it all this time.
As soon as suspicion was set on its course, negativity spiraled without interruption. With this completely dominating his thoughts, Subaru glared with sharpened eyes into the Sanctuary―― and, once again, realized too late.
It was early morning. As far as Subaru knew, that should be when the residents of the Sanctuary would begin preparing breakfast and washing themselves. Now that the refugees were gone, there was no need to cook mass meals, but each of the families would still need to cook.
They should, but there were no signs of such daily activities in sight. Rather, even before that,
[Subaru: It’s not just Roswaal…… where did everyone else go?]
Looking left and right, there was not a single person in sight.
Come to think of it, from the moment he left the forest and returned to the Sanctuary, he couldn’t recall having run into, or seen anyone on the way.
Even if he considered how there weren’t that many residents in the Sanctuary, to not bump into a single person in the dead center of the village was too improbable to ignore.
[Subaru: There’s no way……]
Shaking his head and trying to cast aside the nauseating sense of foreboding, Subaru knocked on the door of the nearest residence. He knocked, but confirming that there was no reply, he opened the door and peeked inside. ――No one.
In this house, there were supposed to be two beast-eared sisters living here.
One after another, Subaru looked inside every recognizable house, and every time his hope was betrayed, his disappointment mounted.
Everyone was missing, and there was no one here. The people of the Sanctuary had simply vanished.
[Subaru: Somebody! Anybody!? Where’d you all go!?]
The nauseating premonition accumulated.
He felt an anxiety and an inexplicable sense of loss.
During his showdown with the Witch Cult, the tragic memories of the Arlam village that welcomed Subaru, who had returned too late, resurfaced―― contorted, overlapping corpses, and innumerable faces of death in anguish and despair. Familiar faces drained of color, and Petra who would never move again.
With terror coursing up Subaru’s back, the endless unease pushed him into a dash. A sound like a shriek escaped from his throat as he sped towards one singular place.
A one-of-a-kind building at the edge of the Sanctuary, a symbol of respect towards the matriarch of the village, and a place now lent to a single girl for her to place her bed.
Sprinting in while calling the name of the lovely girl, Subaru scanned the room.
A silver-haired girl with sleepy eyes looking back at Subaru, blinking several times with a surprised expression, saying [Good morning, Subaru] with a smile that made his chest ache――
In the place where she should be looking back at him, there was no one at all.
Running over to the bed, he touched his fingers to the disheveled sheets. There was no warmth, and whoever slept here had already left for a considerable amount of time.
Having made sure of this, Subaru dashed out of the house and directed his legs towards the final place he could go. The only place that could grant him an answer to this absurd, unreasonable senselessness.
Out of breath. Tasting blood in the back of his throat, Subaru arrived at the very end of the Sanctuary, at the Tomb in which the Witch of Greed, Echidona, was sleeping.
There was no Garfiel, sitting in the middle of the road, obstructing him. Nor was he in front of the Tomb, waiting for him. Was that a blessing, or would he rather have been blocked just so he could see a familiar face――?
[Subaru: No…… how could I even face him……]
As the one who couldn’t save his only sister, how could he bring himself to see him as though nothing had happened?
The relief Subaru felt at his absence, in spite of the unbearable anxiety of being unable to find anyone, and the way he was glossing over his own weakness, was truly grotesque.
Shaking his head to cast off such sentiments, Subaru stepped towards the Tomb before anything could interfere.
It was not time to initiate the Trial, but perhaps some action would be taken on the Witch’s side. Hoping this, and clinging to this hope, Subaru sought the Witch who might give answers to his questions――
[Subaru: ――Kh, hhu]
The moment he stepped forward, Subaru received a feeling as though something had passed through his body.
He slowly looked down. Under his chest, and above his lower abdomen, in the dead center of his torso―― there was a round, gaping hole the size of a fist.
Reaching out his hand, he tried to cover over the hole. A loud noise accompanied the massive volume of blood exploding out from the gap. Despite stuffing his palm over the opening, the hole penetrated all the way through his body and was still open on the back side. Unable to plug both sides at once, and having lost so much blood, his body could not even maintain its current posture and toppled to the ground.
――No, pain. Can’t, understand. What, happened?
Death. Dying. Going to die. At least, it’s certain that death was coming.
How, why, why here? Elsa? She tracked him this far? The distance between the Mansion and the Sanctuary… Beatrice, impossible. Gospel? Her, why? Rem… Who was it. Dying. Scared. What. Who. Emilia. Witch. Witch. Witc――
His vision began to haze. The end was approaching.
His anticipated death came in an unanticipated form. Subaru felt no relief that he was finally dying. Only, just briefly, he was afraid of death.
Even if he claimed to have resolved to die, death came to him in a different way than he had envisioned. His heart was thrown into disarray, his pathetic desire for life screamed, while his soul refused to be peeled away from this world―― yet, “Death” was slowly eroding Subaru,
His own powerlessness streaming down his useless cheeks, Subaru’s heart stopped beating.
His long-awaited death having arrived in this unexpected form, his lifeless face contorted in anguish and horror. The wretchedness of this death would be disputed by no one.
With that sound, he was chewed.
-=Chapter 36 End=-
A special thank you to Aaron, Axl, Alex, Matthew, Jason, Roanz for helping me on the Live Draft!!! (And everyone who’s helped me with the previous chapters)!! The chapter has become so much better with your help!!! ❤ ❤ ❤
This month I’ve been sorting out some things in my life. I usually don’t like to mention them, but don’t worry, everything is fine… and all you guys’ wonderful support have cheered me up more than you an imagine. Thank you ❤
Chapter 37 Live Draft: