(Thank you Omair, Fairouz, Lee, Roanz, Sude, Unseen Feet, Dor, Aaron for your help on the Live Draft!)
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/207/
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After Subaru and Patrasche sped into the forest, the two were left facing each other without anything to stand between them.
Seeing Ram holding her wand readied and unflinching, Garfiel stuck a finger towards the forest where Subaru had vanished, and,
[Garfiel: Y’just had t’say those unnecessary things. Gonna be a pain in the ass chasin’ him now]
[Ram: You think I will let you leave?]
[Garfiel: Y’think y’can stop me? Be a huge mistake if y’think th’balance between us hasn’t changed since the old days. And don’t think I’ll go easy just because I like ya]
Cracking his knuckles, Garfiel threatened once more. But he knew full well that this was not a girl who could be intimidated. In fact, Ram didn’t seem affected at all. Garfiel roughly scratched at his spiky blond hair,
[Garfiel: Ram, what’re y’doin’? What’s th’point? If there’s a point I ain’t heard about it. Y’doin this on Roswaal’s orders?]
[Ram: ……Sorry, Garf. It is Ram’s own will to be here. It has nothing to do with Roswaal-sama’s orders. At least, I see no need to ask Roswaal-sama’s instructions at this point]
Hearing Ram say this resolutely, Garfiel, who was beginning to have the same doubts that Subaru had earlier, furrowed his brows with the exact same confusion at her answer.
Looking at her with an increasingly bitter expression,
[Garfiel: I don’t get it, Ram. I’m gettin’ it even less now that it ain’t on Roswaal’s orders, I can’t think of a single reason why y’be doin’ this]
[Ram: Do you really not understand…… why Ram is doing this, Garf?]
Asking calmly, Ram’s expression and tone were no different than usual. But, listening, Garfiel’s expression changed under her gaze.
Confusion. Doubt. Shock. And wrath.
Taking one step forward, Garfiel’s heel ravaged the ground beneath it. Gnawing his fangs in an expression of unbearable rage, he narrowed his eyes towards Ram,
[Garfiel: I don’t fuck’n believe it. You’d do somethin’ like this……]
[Ram: ――For Frederica, and for you, Garf]
[Garfiel: DON’T YOU BRING UP THE NAME OF THAT TRAITOR!!]
Roaring, Garfiel stamped down his foot sending the ground caving in, and, with a boom, the surface shattered beneath his foot.
Plumes of smoke billowed out as the nearby trees tilted from the force. The forest cowered in fear, and the air was silenced in terror of his rage.
Yet, in the face of that wrath, Ram’s expression remained cool and unfazed,
[Ram: Do you think anyone will agree with you when you throw tantrums like an obstinate child? Garf, how long are you going to keep running in circles in this narrow forest?]
[Garfiel: Don’t y’talk like y’know everything! You…… you n’Frederica, you who abandoned the Sanctuary what could y’know, ahh!?]
Ram’s words, like she was chiding a small child, did not reach the enraged Garfiel in the end. But unlike the way he stomped into the ground before, this time, he only kicked at the earth without force.
[Garfiel: For me? It’s for me? You…… that’s exactly what I can’t believe. Now it’s already come t’this, how dare y’tell me that……? ]
[Garfiel: Did I ask for yer sympathy? Don’t look down at me all high n’mighty. Me, Granny, or the others, we never asked for your pity]
Covering his face with his palm, his breathing ragged, Garfiel wrenched out these words.
A figure that seemed almost tragic, and slouching made its stature appear even smaller than it was.
Taking deep breath after deep breath, Garfiel took his hand off of his face, and,
[Garfiel: Enough. I ain’t listenin’ no more. Turn back to th’Sanctuary now. Do it and I’ll forget this. I still gotta go chase down that bastard]
[Ram: I refuse, Garf. If anyone should concede, it is you. Even if I go back, the approaching ruin is unavoidable. You understand this as well, don’t you?]
[Garfiel: Just go back. I ain’t askin’ again. Go back and stay there till the Trials’ over]
[Ram: No, I will not return or wait. Nothing can come from standing idle. By stagnating in this place, the only thing that will remain in your palms will be ashes of what you hoped to achieve. For something so weak and vague, why do y……]
[Garfiel: Even so! It’s a lot better than having nothing left!]
Cutting Ram off, Garfiel looked up and barked. Etched into his expression was at once rage, jealousy, and sorrow.
[Garfiel: Ruin? So what? Long as I’m here I’ll take care of’it. This time, all of it, I’ll take care of all of it……]
[Ram: Garf, haven’t I always told you? ――That’s nothing more than compensatory behavior]
In the face of Garfiel’s detonated emotions, Ram still responded with single-minded calmness.
In direct opposition and impossible to converge, neither were willing to concede, and no compromise was coming.
Perhaps realizing this, Garfiel looked down and closed his eyes,
[Garfiel: Go back, Ram. This is… my final request. With all the feelings I have ever expressed for you, please. So……]
[Ram: Then, Garf. ――Will you abandon everything except for Ram?]
To Garfiel’s final, grief-filled plea, Ram’s reply was concise and crisp. Although, carried within it was something excruciating that pressed on the hearts of anyone who heard it.
Standing opposite her, Garfiel’s expression stiffened and his lips trembled.
Seeing this, Ram lightly cast down her eyes,
[Ram: Choose Ram over all the things in this world, see only Ram, love only Ram, do everything only for Ram, be loved only by Ram, forgive only Ram, and devote your entire being to Ram―― can you do this?]
[Ram: Ram, can do this]
Placing a hand on her chest, Ram proclaimed to the stuttering Garfiel.
A quiet and unwavering will, alone filled her words as she lifted her face,
[Ram: ――Ram, can do this]
And that, was Ram’s final ultimatum to Garfiel.
Perhaps understanding this, for only an instant, all dominance vanished from Garfiel’s face. Only Ram was there to witness just what expression adorned his face in that instant.
Then, quickly shaking his head, and stowing all his exposed weakness deep within himself, he bared his fangs,
[Garfiel: I’ve always known… just how stubborn y’are]
[Ram: I could say the same to you. ――If I cannot truly be the most important thing to you, then Ram will not yield to you, Garf. Ram will not belong to anyone]
[Garfiel: Is that, so]
Facing each other, their gazes met.
Conclusions drawn, they acknowledged that neither would back down. Then, both, in a quiet voice,
[Ram: Goodbye, Garf]
[Garfiel: Farewell, Ram]
They exchanged these final words between them, full of affection.
――The forest trembled.
And a roar echoed out.
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[Subaru: Patrasche! Stop! I’m telling you to stop!]
Desperately pulling on the reins, Subaru frantically screamed to Patrasche as they galloped through the forest.
But the ground dragon had no intention of listening to her rider, and only single-mindedly sprinted along the rugged road, distancing them from the firing-line behind them.
Although Subaru had heard of panicked horses that would refuse to listen to their rider’s commands, this didn’t seem to be the case with Patrasche.
The ground dragon seemed no different from usual, and was consciously ignoring his commands.
In other words, she must have deemed Subaru’s commands unworthy of her obedience.
[Subaru: You are ignoring me… for my own good, aren’t you?]
While she would not listen to his commands, she did not simply throw her master off like she was pissed off, either. Every bit of Patrasche’s behavior had been overflowing with concern for Subaru, and Subaru, being tossed around on her back, was close to tears in gratitude and shame.
It was not simply because his ground dragon refused to obey him. He was disgusted with his own stupidity for failing to notice that even his ground dragon was worried about him.
And, alongside this, the matter that was still fueling Subaru’s self-despair in present continuous tense, was that,
[Subaru: But Ram’s in danger! I don’t want to believe that Garfiel will really do anything to hurt her…… but now…!]
Garfiel had made up his mind to kill Subaru. It was outside of his calculations that Ram would stand in his way, but now, just how would he rectify this miscalculation―― was too frightening to imagine.
Unable to save those at the Mansion, Subaru had already more or less come to terms with their sacrifice in this loop. But those terms did not include Ram. Completely unprepared to allow a further loss beyond his permitted range, it tore Subaru’s heart to pieces, resulting in this miserable state.
[Subaru: I hate……getting hurt too, but I can recover. So……!]
Pleading, his voice was almost crying. But Patrasche still ignored him.
With speed like the wind, the ground dragon did not slow down, and had no intention of listening to Subaru’s appeals. Ram and Garfiel were now far behind them. A tragedy unfolding in a place he could not reach.
The thought battered at Subaru’s heart. Why was his heart so weak, and why could it never be strong?
――And, this way, with his sights directed only into himself, repeating mistake after mistake, Subaru was bound to repeat the same failure.
Suddenly, his line of sight expanded as Patrasche broke through the tangled woods. Clinging tight onto her as they cleared the obstacled path, Subaru’s jaw dropped at the scene that opened before him.
[Otto: Wh-what happened, Natsuki-san? You’re back in such a hurry?]
The one who asked was Otto, looking just as stumped as Subaru.
It was the train of refugees that was supposed to have gone ahead. Somehow, Subaru had bumped right into the side of their column. He thought they had just been fleeing aimlessly through the forest, but Patrasche’s behavior certainly exceeded his expectations.
[Otto: I thought he didn’t let you leave? What happened to Garfiel?]
[Subaru: I-I don’t really know either…… but Ram and Patrasche……]
Trying to control his ragged breathing so he could speak to Otto, Subaru wiped the sweat from his brows with the back of his hand.
――In the next instant, an atrocious roar shook through the forest.
Throats frozen, eyes widened in shock, Subaru and Otto simultaneously startled and turned to the direction of the voice.
The thunderous roar shook the atmosphere and the hearts of men alike, and even the ground dragons showed signs of panic at its overwhelming force.
If there was a single creature unshaken by this scene, it was Patrasche, bearing Subaru on her back.
Thus, she was the first to judge the situation and react.
[Otto: Ah, Natsuki-san!?]
[Subaru: Hey, Patrasche!]
Immediately turning her head to the front of the line of carriages, Patrasche broke into a run. She headed towards the leading carriage―― and then further beyond that, sprinting without hesitation towards the Sanctuary’s exit, at end of the road ahead.
Leaving Otto’s call behind, Subaru felt the Divine Protection activate once again. He didn’t know the reason behind her action, but just as he was about to raise his voice to stop her,
An impact shook the ground, and Subaru heard a shriek coming from behind.
Involuntarily holding his breath and turning back his head, he gazed in the direction of Otto and the others.
In the left half of his vision, Subaru saw the scene that unraveled in the darkness of the forest.
Carriages sent flying. Ground dragons swallowed along in the impact, and passengers scattering into the air in screams and blood, dying the forest sky red.
Witnessing this devastation, Subaru saw, under the airborne carcasses of the dragon carriages, a beast.
――Its whole body covered in golden fur, a gigantic tiger emerged in Subaru’s sight.
-=Chapter 41 End=-
Ram…… ;-; I loved this part so much…
(The Garfiel in the thumbnail is from @HaruSabin‘s amazing fan art!)
I’ll use the rest of today to prepare for Chapter 42. I’ll post the Live Draft when I start translating!
Chapter 42 Live Draft: