(Thank you Roanz, Loris for helping with the proofreading! <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/212/
THE EVERLASTING COVENANT
Chapter 46 [Locusts]
Seeing the smile that was directed at him, for the very first time, Subaru genuinely thought that Echidona was pretty cute.
In her softened, smiling lips, there was no irony or calculation, but only a pure expression of good will towards Subaru.
There was no doubt that she was attractive, and to be treated so warmly by a girl like that should be enough to open the hearts of any boy alive.
Though of course, the most important space inside Subaru’s heart was occupied by two other girls already.
[Subaru: Still, there really was some heart flutter going on there……]
[Echidona: Did you say something?]
[Subaru: Even if I have talent for flirting with Witches I still got loads of problems you know. And having someone I don’t even remember flirting with attached to me……Ah, but then, if you six Witches can give me some help outside without causing too much trouble I’d be pretty happy with that]
Turning his face away and trying to change the subject, Subaru muttered this convenient pipe dream.
While he had only witnessed a part of what Typhon and Minerva could do, that part alone should already be more than enough to have the damage-dealer and healer roles covered.
Although, one moment getting his arm lopped off and the other getting beaten into health was still something to think about.
[Echidona: Unfortunately, regardless of what I was when I was alive, I cannot interfere with the real world after death. So, inviting you into my dream is already quite an exception]
[Subaru: I know I know. I just thought I should try anyway. Honestly, just having you to listen to me is already more than enough of a salvation for me]
At the very least, having finally let go of the secret he had been holding inside for so long, he was feeling a little further away from mental collapse. On top of that, he had managed to clear up some of his suspicions about the Witch of Envy as well.
As for the parts that were still mysteries, he decided not to think about them for now.
[Subaru: Can I ask some other questions about Return by Death?]
[Echidona: I could only answer with speculations from the extent of my knowledge. If you are fine with that, then sure]
Resuming a pretentious air, Echidona said this as a preface.
The expression on her face was almost reminiscent of some big-shot figure, but deep down, she must be thoroughly enjoying these questions and answers seeing she was impatiently tapping her feet on the grass in anticipation of Subaru’s words while fiddling her fingers in her own hair.
For someone who was supposed to be the Incarnation of the Thirst for Knowledge, she was really quite predictable. Is it really alright for someone like that to be a Witch? Subaru thought in a corner of his head.
[Subaru: Occasionally when I Return by Death, the place where I revive at would be changed. So far, there’s been…… six places, I think? I’ve been revived at different location and their respective times. So… I want to know about the conditions for the SAVEPOINTS to change]
[Echidona: “Save points”…… you mean the change in the places where you revive?]
[Subaru: Basically, once it changes, I can’t go back to the previous point. If two days ago was a savepoint, then once it changes to yesterday I can’t go back to the day before anymore. Do you know what’s the mechanism behind this?]
To Subaru, this question was just as vital as the limit on the number of returns, if not more so.
The changes in the savepoints――was an unknown aspect of Return by Death for which Subaru couldn’t find a single relevant condition.
[Subaru: I can die and come back…… but it’s not like I intend to naively go around thinking I can die as much I want. But while I don’t intend to…… when it’s the only thing I can rely on, I’ll rely on it without hesitation. But…]
What would Subaru do when he falls into a situation which even his death couldn’t salvage?
The image of the unconscious Rem lying in her bed flickered across Subaru’s mind.
After parting at the end of the battle with the White Whale, she was supposed to join him again once he had defeated Petelgeuse, and yet, Subaru couldn’t save her even through Return by Death.
He could never forget the instant he thrust a knife into his own throat at the sleeping girl’s side.
Even now, he couldn’t believe that he had had the will to act on that short-circuited impulse to take his own life, crushed by despair. Or, perhaps, it was precisely because he had lost the will to go on that he took his own life.
With blood leaking from the hole in his throat, in pain and suffocation, Subaru died.
And when he opened his eyes, he found himself returned to only a few minutes before he pierced his throat.
He had never hated a savepoint update as much as he did then.
If it meant not losing Rem, Subaru would have challenged the White Whale and the madman as many times as he must.
No matter how many times he would have to die, how many times he would be crushed, he would have challenged again.
[Echidona: The circumstances of those “save point” changes, could you tell me in a little more detail?]
[Subaru: Ah, aah…… right. I’ll start with the first savepoint then…]
Recalling the memories of what he was being asked, Subaru gave a brief explanation of each of his Return by Deaths, along with the times and places he returned to.
That is to say, the majority of the experience of his life in the Parallel World up to now.
Even though it was the shortened version, getting through the story of the eventful two months still took up what felt like an hour.
[Subaru: So now, it’s inside the Tomb…… fixed right after the end of the first Trial. Going by what you said earlier, this time was the same as well]
[Subaru: Did that give you anything? One time, I was pretty convinced of a crazy theory that old uncles are savepoints, you know]
For whatever reason, Kadomon, the scar faced uncle in the fruit shop in the Capital, was twice selected to be Subaru’s savepoint in this world.
But then again, one could count it as being twice in front of Rem as well.
[Subaru: I get the feeling that whether it’s people, things or time, none of it has anything to do with the savepoint changes. In terms of time, the number of days in between are all over the place, and in terms of people or events I can’t see anything in common at all. The conditions are just totally obscure]
[Echidona: Indeed, I don’t see any consistency in the conditions you mentioned either. In that case, perhaps it is necessary for us to approach it from a different angle]
[Subaru: A different angle?]
[Echidona: What is the reason you returned to where you did…… might not be a question that would lead us to the answer. Instead, why don’t we consider a reason why it would be moved forward?]
[Subaru: Why it would be moved forward……?]
[Echidona: The “save point”, instead of a “Place of Return”, could alternatively be considered a “Wall of Return”. Until it can be moved forward, you would always be pulled back to that wall through “Death”. You could also think of it as the bottom of a pit]
Subaru furrowed his brows at Echidona’s words, and began to think on their meaning.
A wall, or a pit. By returning to the respawn point through Return by Death, Subaru had managed to change situations that would otherwise have been impossible to break through. Rather, without Return by Death, he would not have surmounted anything, and those situations would have ended as they were.
So, the locations of the Return by Death savepoints changed with the situation.
In other words,
[Subaru: Return by Death shifts when I change something that I couldn’t change before……?]
[Echidona: In this case, Return by Death is merely a means to an end. As for what intention is behind this means, we would have to consider the being responsible for its existence]
[Subaru: The being responsible……]
Echidona nodded, seeing that Subaru had lost his words, as her lips bent into a resentful frown,
[Echidona: The Witch of Envy. The Witch who gifted you with Return by Death did so in hopes that you would change the circumstances which could only be overcome through “Death”. When you succeed in overcoming those circumstances, the “save point” will change]
[Subaru: B, but then…… that, doesn’t make sen……se. Because, then…… what about Rem? I failed to save her, didn’t I? If Return by Death is a force to change the circumstances, then why did I return to a time where I couldn’t save Rem……]
By overwriting the savepoint, it was Return by Death itself that had denied him the chance to save Rem.
It was precisely because of this, that Subaru so urgently need to know if the update to the savepoint could be reverted.
But, to Subaru’s question, Echidona continued with [Unfortunately],
[Echidona: This person “Rem” you speak of, is probably not someone who is within the Witch of Envy’s considerations]
[Echidona: What the Witch of Envy desires is for you to escape from the confounding fates of inescapable dead ends. Return by Death is only a means to fulfill that purpose, and whatever fate anyone else suffers is beyond the scope of that intention. Wishing to use that power to save anyone else, is nothing more than your own personal desires. It has nothing to do with the Witch]
[Echidona: So, let me make this clear]
In front of Subaru who was stunned into silence, Echidona reiterated her words.
With a feeble gaze in his eyes, Subaru looked up at the Witch of white. And, Echidona closed her eyes only once, as if bearing the pain, before her black pupils pierced into Subaru’s,
[Echidona: As long as you fail to break through the obstacles standing in your path and die without changing the future, your soul will surely be returned to my Tomb. But if you allowed far too many sacrifices, and yet managed to change the future……]
[Subaru: ――Then I’ll never get a chance to regain what’s been sacrificed]
(The amazing fan art is by @r_ashrrr!)
Chapter 46 Live Draft: