(Thank You Roanz, Kizarat, Nero, Vimal, Chris, Soriosh, H-X, Baegislash, Aaron for helping me with proofreading on the Live Draft! <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/218/
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[Emilia: Calmed down now?]
[Subaru: Ah, y-yeah……um, sorry. Don’t know what’s gotten into me]
Their embrace went on until Subaru stopped trembling.
Emilia’s question at the end made Subaru apologize with his face all red. Hearing this, Emilia shook her head with [That’s ok],
[Emilia: It’s good. Recently I’ve been feeling like I’m always relying on Subaru. If you show me your weak side once in a while too…… I’ll feel a little more relieved]
[Subaru: I got no counter to that…… but I’d rather not show this side to Emilia if I can help it]
[Emilia: Why’s that?]
[Subaru: Because I only want Emilia-tan to see my strong and flashy side. I don’t want you to know what a weak, pathetic, hopeless guy I actually am]
[Emilia: Even if I see a little of Subaru’s weak side, I won’t think of you like that, you know?]
Emilia’s words were gentle, but Subaru’s pride did not allow him to accept them.
“She’s not like that”, or “she’ll be disappointed to see that kind of weakness” weren’t at the heart of the problem.
It was simply Subaru’s――a boy’s matter.
[Subaru: Not hiding their weaknesses, always exposing their true selves to others……I’m not too fond of those tear-jerking types]
[Emilia: Tear-jerking…… types?]
[Subaru: It’s a thing from back home. So I only want to show Emilia-tan my strong side. That’s a man’s conviction, you know]
As the unnutritious topic swept away the awkwardness from moments ago, Subaru smiled wryly at Emilia, who was tilting her head. But soon, his expression became rigid once more,
[Subaru: So then… I wanted to ask about the Trial……]
Hearing Subaru’s timid question, Emilia paused a beat before nodding in reply.
Seeing her reaction, for a moment, Subaru was almost caught off guard. Because her reaction to the word “Trial” was different from all the times before.
Most likely, it was because, after waking up, just when she was about to be stricken by the impact of having failed the Trial―― Subaru’s unintentionally pathetic sideshow got in the way.
Their embrace was brief, but it had given Emilia time to recover from the shock of her failure. That was probably part of the reason why she could remain so calm right now.
[Subaru: Never thought my wimpiness would come in handy……]
[Emilia: But, Subaru, why are you here? I thought I was the only one who could come in here……]
[Subaru: No, I……]
Before he could give her the honest answer, Subaru cut himself off.
And then, he began to think. ――Just what would be the right answer here?
Truth is, he could easily tell her that he received the Qualification and passed the Trial. But Subaru got the feeling that if he did this, Emilia would only blame herself for failing the Trial and feel a sense of inferiority towards him.
Then inferiority would turn into anxiety, and Emilia would be trapped between the pain of guilt and self-loathing. If that happens, her present ability to remain calm would all mean nothing.
If there was a chance for Emilia to face the Trials in a different way, then Subaru should respect that possibility.
Although, whether Emilia could overcome her “Past” in the end was a different question.
――It’s worth a try, Subaru decided.
[Subaru: I got worried when Emilia-tan didn’t come out and couldn’t help it. At first I managed to stay conscious……but once I got here, it was like what happened during the day all over again]
[Emilia: I see…… sorry I made you worry]
[Subaru: Nah, actually, come to think of it, I plopped right down after I ran in as well, so I guess the people outside must be worried to death right now]
Not hearing a peep after watching Subaru run inside must be making the others just as anxious. Realizing this, Emilia turned up her face with an [Ah],
[Emilia: A-anyway if we don’t get back to everyone soon……they’ll get really worried about Subaru too, right?]
[Subaru: My life or death or whatever doesn’t matter that much, but we better get the message out that Emilia-tan’s safe otherwise some bad things could happen]
[Emilia: ……how could you say that]
Hearing Subaru’s exaggeration, Emilia shot him a reproachful gaze. Being looked at like that, Subaru said [Sorry], lightly shrugging, as the two of them began walking out of the Tomb.
On the way, Subaru continued, [So then],
[Subaru: Can you tell me about it? The um, about the Trial]
[Emilia: ……Sorry. I.. seem to have failed it]
[Subaru: Is that right……mn, guess I kinda figured it out from your reaction]
Emilia looked away, apologizing, and, seeing her like this, Subaru pretended to have just found out.
Although it stuck him with pangs of guilt, he only shook his head and stifled back his indecision,
[Subaru: So does that mean…… it’s over now?]
[Emilia: I don’t think we can say that yet…… You’re allowed to challenge as many times as you want. I don’t know why, but I just know that. Well…]
Echidona had explicitly revealed the nature of the Trials. But while Subaru already knew this, Emilia seemed to only be subconsciously aware of it.
Emilia’s words trailed off towards the end, and, after a brief hesitation,
[Emilia: Nevermind, it’s nothing. I guess it’s done for today, I’ll try again tomorrow]
[Subaru: Are you sure? If it’s too much, it’ll be alright to wait a few days……that way we can find more patterns and countermeasures to raise our chances]
[Emilia: Thank you……but, I know that won’t solve the problem. I know it won’t]
[Subaru: ……You might feel better if you talk about it… not that I actually know what I’m talking about]
He took a glance at Emilia as he spoke, and saw her lift up her eyes to meet his gaze, with her lips quivering. But just as her tangled emotions were on the brink of pouring out, Emilia closed her eyes, as if abandoning the idea,
[Emilia: ――I’m sorry. I… can’t let Subaru see what I’m feeling right now]
[Subaru: No matter which part of Emilia-tan I see, I’ll never dislike Emilia-tan because of it, you know]
[Emilia: It’s not that I’m afraid of what Subaru will think. No, maybe a little……but I’m afraid of something more than that]
Emilia became silent. But even so, Subaru could see that the strength within her violet pupils had not wavered, confirming that his prodding was successful.
As long as he keeps supporting her like this, Emilia will eventually give in and reveal her weakness to him. But those were not the kinds of thoughts he should be thinking.
Acting like he knows everything, playing Emilia’s heart in the palm of his hand, such a revolting self made him want to vomit. ――Even though, knowing that it was necessary, there shouldn’t be any reason to feel this way.
Pressing down his self-loathing as he continued his steps forward, what pulled him back to reality was the dazzling light of the moon, along with a voice calling to the girl beside him.
The pale blue moonlight shining into the Tomb’s entrance, accompanied by a cool, refreshing wind, greeted them as they stepped out of the Tomb. Looking down, he could see relieved expressions appearing on the faces of the party waiting for Emilia’s return.
It looked like the first to call out to Emilia was Ram. After confirming that Emilia was safe, Ram breathed a rare sigh of relief before turning to Subaru, standing beside Emilia,
[Ram: And Barusu, good work]
[Subaru: OOooohhh…… I didn’t expect you to say something nice like that, I’m surprised. What’s with the admirable attitude, it’s not like you at all?]
[Ram: If you occasionally perform a good task, I will compliment you like this. At least you brought Emilia-sama back safely, so I will give you the appropriate evaluation. Roswaal-sama would be pleased too]
Although being able to report to her master seemed to be her primary reason for feeling relieved, it was still a fresh new joy for Subaru to receive such a straightforward compliment from her. While smiling like an idiot, Subaru nonchalantly drifted his gaze to the person next to Ram――the golden-haired youth among the welcoming party, standing a bit farther away.
Garfiel, who had been leaning against the trunk of a tree, uncrossed his arms and walked over with leisurely steps. Subaru couldn’t sense anything suspicious about his attitude or movements, but then again, Garfiel could close their distance in an instant if he wanted to.
Coming out of the Tomb after Returning by Death twice in a row, there was more than enough reason to be worried. Although he couldn’t gauge the current strength of his own “Stench”, just the thought of it made Subaru put up his maximum caution.
Then, when Garfiel arrived in front of the stiffened Subaru, the first thing out of his mouth was,
[Garfiel: Was wonderin’ what’d happen when y’ran in like an idiot there. Good t’see y’back safe. All that time I was thinkin’ “Gafugaron nuts don’t fall from winds”, but sure kept me on edge]
[Subaru: Ow! Oy, st-, ow! Hurts!]
Saying that with a smile, Garfiel violently and repeatedly slapped Subaru on his shoulder.
Under those bone-numbing impacts, for a moment, Subaru thought “Is Garfiel attempting an accidental assassination!?”, but, seeing the way he was flashing his teeth smiling, Subaru just couldn’t sense that kind of malice from him.
It really just looked like he was welcoming their safe return. Facing yet another unexpected reaction, Subaru couldn’t hide his disbelief any longer,
[Garfiel: Hah? What. Y’want me t’pat ya on the head for a job well done as well?]
[Subaru: If it’s Emilia then it’s one thing, but who’d want to be patted by you? No, I mean……]
Subaru was just about to ask why everything was turned on its head, but stopped himself when he realized that there was no need to poke the bear on purpose. Regardless of what Garfiel’s true feelings were, it was fortunate he wasn’t in the mood to attack on sight.
In any case, Subaru was starting to get an idea of which conditions make Garfiel bare his fangs. If he could just sidestep the worst conditions that make Garfiel turn hostile no-questions-asked, he should be fine.
[Subaru: You know, it’s kind of a headache trying to decide how to deal with you]
[Garfiel: The hell’s that supposed to mean, oy?]
[Subaru: It’s a thing from back home. Anyways, let’s get back before going into the details. I want to let Emilia get some rest first. We can discuss the plan after that as well]
No one objected to Subaru’s proposal.
Emilia apologized to everyone with [I’m sorry], then Ram took her by the hand and led the party back towards the Sanctuary――opting to settle down in Lewes’ house once again.
Emilia didn’t fall to pieces. And Garfiel remained friendly despite Subaru’s Return by Death.
Facing conditions entirely different from before, Subaru’s mind scrambled to find of the best course of action, as well as how best to approach “Death” from here on.
There were too many things he needed to know, too many he needed to test.
Just how many sacrifices will he have to make in order to grasp the best possible future in the end?
Setting about his calculations, Subaru didn’t notice how he neglected to enter his own life into the equation.
Nor did he notice the way Lewes was staring at him from behind.
And walked on without ever noticing.
-=Chapter 52 End=-
The chapter was done last night but I decided to edit it again this morning. I really hope you guys on the Live Drafts also read the final versions >_<
I’ll get started on Chapter 53 as soon as I get it set up.
Chapter 53 Live Draft: