(Thank you Roanz, Aaron, Alex, Jason, Jeffry for helping me with proofreading and editing in 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/205/
THE EVERLASTING COVENANT
Chapter 39 [Friendt]
[Otto: What, what’s with that bewildered face like you just saw something mind-bogglingly unbelievable at the end of a dream and now your brain’s melting]
[Subaru: ……That’s, an exaggerated way of putting it but there’s no need to correct anything so let’s just say it’s something like that]
Otto sighed, resting both his hands on his hips, and Subaru, turning his wrists confirming that his hands were free, dropped onto the floor looking back up at Otto.
After all, having been tied up for over three days, just moving his body made it creak and ache. Since it was so difficult to turn over in that tied up position, he had only been periodically flipped at mealtimes. But, it was more than just a problem with blood circulation, as he was starting to notice other defects. Namely,
[Subaru: Otto, this might just be because I just took the blindfold off, but…… my right eye’s not seeing too well. Or, rather than not well… it’s more like it can’t see at all. What’s up with that?]
[Otto: What is up with it… if you ask me, I’m a bit hesitant to say as well…… I could put it more elegantly and sugarcoat it… or I could put it bluntly and say exactly what it is. Which would you prefer?]
[Subaru: Sugarcoat it so I don’t get shocked and tell me bluntly so I know what’s actually happening]
[Otto: That’s awfully greedy…… Uhhh, on the starboard-side of Natsuki-san’s auspicious visage, your vision had been inevitably shrouded in darkness, forever closed to light…]
[Subaru: Uh. I wasn’t asking for something that edgy but I think I get the point]
Hearing Otto’s dressed-up description of Subaru’s malaise, Subaru held out his hand and stopped the explanation halfway through. Then, putting his extended hand on his right eye, he carefully felt around to confirm it.
――The right side of his vision had felt as though it had been completely cut off, and no image was coming through. And once he touched it, Subaru understood why this organ was slacking on its job.
Or, rather than slacking, it was more like it had packed its bags and went home. Because all that was left where his right eye used to be, was an empty hole.
[Subaru: I thought…… he said I was healed]
[Otto: The bleeding was stopped and the broken bones were pieced together. But healing magic depends on the healer, and it isn’t omnipotent. ……Bringing dead parts back to life would be a bit…]
Otto mumbled, looking at Subaru with sympathy. Seeing that look, Subaru slackened his lips powerlessly and muttered [No helping it, I guess],
[Subaru: People usually die when their heads get crushed. So I think I’m ok with just losing one eye…… but if both my eyes died I think I’ll probably lose the will to live]
[Otto: That’s pretty optimistic… you aren’t going into despair, are you? Please don’t, I don’t know if we can go on without you, Natsuki-san]
For someone who had just lost an important organ like the right eye, Subaru was awfully calm, in a way that even surprised himself. Maybe the shock just hadn’t kicked in yet, or perhaps it was because, unlike losing the greater part of an arm during Elsa’s attack, this one wasn’t accompanied by gore and pain.
Even though Garfiel lied, it was still mostly true. He had halted the blood, sealed the wounds, and stopped the pain. It’d be expecting too much to think healing magic can heal anything, and he did save Subaru from an otherwise fatal wound just like he said he did.
[Subaru: Was he… upholding some kind of principle or what? I just can’t understand him, that guy]
He struck Subaru down when he was attacking Roswaal, but afterwards also healed him. And then he thought to imprison Subaru until the end of the Trials to guarantee Emilia’s cooperation.
He healed him so he wouldn’t die, and even took up the role of caretaker to see it through to the end. Though he loathed the Witch’s stench drifting from Subaru’s body, it didn’t stop him from coming back here. And even though he didn’t stop coming, he hadn’t asked Subaru a single vital question.
It was almost as though he knew Subaru wouldn’t say anything, or as if he already knew everything he needed to know, and so had no interest in what Subaru had to say.
[Subaru: If he does know, does that mean he has a Gospel……? How come everyone is…… or actually, seeing this is the Witch’s Experimental Ground, maybe it’s only natural]
If every key person possesses a book that tells the future and acts in accordance with its instructions, then shouldn’t this world progress in a way that’s much simpler for Subaru?
With everyone who is anyone working toward the same outcome, marching towards the same HAPPY END, for once, couldn’t things just play out in a single cozy path?
If there was truly a way to know the future, then it should have saved Subaru a long time ago from having to manually die and repeat and feel his way forward, shouldn’t it?
[Subaru: ……Complaining isn’t going to move things forward at all, and no one’s gonna come help me, damnit]
[Otto: That’s a depressing thing to say, Natsuki-san. Well, I can’t blame you, considering what you just went through…… but I am a bit offended by that “no one’s gonna help me” part. What did you think I’m doing here?]
Overhearing Subaru mutterings, Otto offered this sympathetic comment before rejecting what Subaru’s said at the end.
Seeing Otto’s smug-looking expression up close, Subaru’s face looked blank for a moment,
[Subaru: Ah, come to think of it, what are you doing here? I mean, really, for the last three or four days I’ve had time to think about loads of things, and I’m not exaggerating, but you were basically the only person who never crossed my mind]
[Otto: You’re unbelievable, you know that!! To think I’d still be surprised you’d say something like that at this point!!]
[Subaru: Honestly though, I’m the one surprised at how your existence just vanished from my head. The moment I saw you I wasn’t even sure if you were Otto or the appa-seller-uncle, you know]
[Otto: Who’s the appa-seller-uncle!?]
[Subaru: He was kind of a starting point for me. We could also call him MR.SAVEPOINT]
To date, in terms of Return by Death respawn points, Kadomon was probably the one who showed up the most.
Joking around as he remembered that scar-faced uncle, Subaru put an end to the sense of loss for his right eye and set his mind to analyze the abrupt change in the situation.
First, he better get some answers from Otto. And find out his true intentions.
[Subaru: Jokes and all that aside…… there’re some things I wanna to ask you]
[Otto: Well, that’s only to be expected. I’m also pretty interested to know what Natsuki-san did to get locked up in here]
[Subaru: ――? You mean, all this wasn’t on Roswaal’s orders?]
According to Garfiel, Subaru was supposed to be imprisoned for his act of violence against Roswaal. At the same time, his imprisonment was to be used as leverage to compel Emilia to take the Trials. But,
[Otto: I don’t know how much the Margrave is involved in all this. All I know is that right now a terrible rift is dividing the Sanctuary]
[Subaru: A rift? What do you mean?]
[Otto: It’s exactly what it sounds like. There’s Lewes-sama’s faction, which wants to free the refugees from the village along with Natsuki-san, and there’s the other faction firmly opposed to that. Ever since Natsuki-san got imprisoned by Garfiel, the debate has really gotten out of hand]
Otto gave a brief summary of what happened over the last few days with an exhausted expression on his face.
Just as Subaru feared, the friction between the refugees and the Sanctuary’s residents deepened, and the mounting displeasure had exploded into small-scaled conflicts. It seemed that the originally small cracks within the Sanctuary had split its population into factions, and the Sanctuary was now in a fractured state.
Swallowing a deep breath at the frightening situation, Subaru followed with [But],
[Subaru: Why did this happen so suddenly? From what I’ve seen…… I mean, I expected…]
In the first world, Subaru was here for over five days without seeing any of this kind of factionalism. In fact, Subaru’s proposal to release the refugees passed easily, and on the morning of the sixth day the agreement was realized.
But this time, the situation was deteriorating way too quickly. Seeing Subaru make this judgement, Otto shook his head and raised a finger, [Well, you see],
[Otto: It wasn’t sudden at all. In fact, Natsuki-san is one of the main reasons this happened, so if even you think it’s sudden then we’re really in trouble]
[Subaru: I’m… one of the reasons?]
[Otto: I don’t know what kind of relationship Natsuki-san has with the villagers of Arlam……but it must be a good one. Ever since you got attacked by Garfiel and went missing, the atmosphere in the Sanctuary has become the worst it’s ever been]
[Otto: To the villagers, Ram-san and the Margrave are in a position where they’d hesitate to voice their concerns to, but because they trust you, that makes you the ideal channel to pass their voices to the top. I’m not saying it’s the only reason, but I think it’s clear how furious everyone is]
Listening to Otto’s explanation, Subaru opened his mouth without uttering a word.
Certainly, when it comes to the differences in the situation in the Sanctuary between this loop and the previous one, Subaru’s well-being was definitely one of them. But Subaru never once imagined that his presence would have this kind of effect on the Arlam villagers’ feelings, much less trigger a rift inside the Sanctuary.
Suspiciously squinting his left eye at Otto, Subaru tried to check if he was joking or exaggerating, but Otto just furrowed his brows without showing any notable reaction in particular. In other words, he was probably being serious. Then, the only point of contention would be whether there was something wrong with Otto’s observational skills, but,
[Subaru: I don’t wanna bother piling up arguments to get the answer to that one, so]
[Otto: Why do I get the feeling I’m being treated improperly somehow. Ah, nevermind. Anyway, Natsuki-san, the reason I came here is related to that rift]
[Subaru: Related to the rift…… so, since things got messed up without me, you’re saying it’ll all return to normal once I go back? Well that’s just, kinda, expecting too much of me and putting way too much PRESSURE on me you know and……]
Bogged down by his own overly low self-esteem, Subaru still couldn’t take Otto’s words seriously. The truth is, even if Subaru had a powerful influence on calming the villager’s hearts, now that everything had already exploded, he doubted there was anything he could do.
In fact, if Subaru showed up now, missing a right eye, he’ll probably just be pouring oil onto the fire.
Seeing Subaru shaking his head with a difficult expression, Otto rejected his denial all over again with [No no],
[Otto: Of course I don’t think Natsuki-san has that kind of influence. That’d just be way too optimistic, you know]
[Subaru: We agree there so I won’t protest, but you didn’t have to be so blunt about it. ……So then, why’re you getting me out?]
[Otto: I’m sure both the refugees and the residents of the Sanctuary want to avoid a large-scale conflict. So that’s why, I’ve been wondering if Natsuki-san would be willing to play a part in the escape from the Sanctuary]
***The title of this chapter should be “Eugene”, which was meant to be a near homonym of “Yujin”, meaning friend. But since the title of the next chapter is “Accomplice”, I went with preserving the meaning of “Friend” instead.
I’m currently on the road to Alberta, so I’ll be out of Wifi for the most part. We drove through 4 hours of smog from all the forest fires yesterday but it’s almost all clear after we hit Kelowna.
Part 2/2 will be a bit longer than Part 1/2, but I’ll split it here since there’s no better place to cut it after this point.
I’ll try finish Part 2/2 today and release it tomorrow!
Chapter 39 Live Draft: