(Thank you Aaron, Chris, Yan, Roanz, Rodolfo, Kizarat, Vimal, Nair, Ben, Bagel, Ahbahl, Sir Fox, Nero, Relax Gaming 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/223/
[Subaru: Implanting personalities…… is that really possible?]
Implanting an empty vessel with simulated personality so that it could fulfill a role.
Not unlike giving a computer artificial intelligence so that it behaves like a human―― which was still no more than a figment of the imagination in Subaru’s world.
To this, Lewes nodded.
[Lewes: No doubt, it was not an easy task. It was only possible because I was a soulless and empty vessel. And even then, I could only perform some rudimentary tasks during the experimental stage]
“I sure got off to a rough start”, her smile seemed to be saying.
[Lewes: Being given a role when you have no memories is certainly a strange feeling. The days would pass slowly, and yet things moved with incredible momentum. In time, even I grew to be perplexed by its mysteries]
[Subaru: ……So what happened to the rest of the replicants? I haven’t seen any in the Sanctuary other than Pico and Lewes-san]
[Lewes: Other than the four of us fulfilling the role of Lewes, the others are scattered in various locations throughout the Sanctuary. They act like eyes watching for intruders, and serve as relays. Interestingly, we replicants can relay our thoughts with one another]
Garfiel had once mentioned the “Eyes” of the Sanctuary. If he was referring to the Lewes-replicants keeping watch around the Sanctuary, then that would explain how he managed to see through the villagers’ evacuation so quickly. And, arriving on that thought,
[Subaru: W-wait hold on, you just said something I can’t let slide… What do you mean the four of us filling the role of Lewes?]
[Lewes: Hmm, that. It’s simple. Continually manifesting an entire body can be a tremendous burden on a replicant. This body will fade if my mana runs out. And, unlike spirits, I doubt I can re-materialize if I disappear completely. There may be a way to do it, but I don’t know of it]
Disappearing and reforming with memories intact, Subaru remembered the spirit whom he had seen do this many times before. Although, since Puck had somewhere to “go home to” every time he disappeared, strictly speaking, he wasn’t really disappearing. But since this wasn’t the case with the Leweses, disappearing from the depletion of mana would mean death for that individual.
[Lewes: Each one of us cannot stay active for very long. Once our bodies reach their limits and could no longer move, it would take about three days to replenish the lost mana. In the meantime, we need to make sure nothing inconvenient happens due to the absence of Lewes Meyer]
[Subaru: So, there are four Lewes-sans…]
[Lewes: We take turns being Lewes Meyer for one day, every four days. Outside of that, I’d be the same as the other vessels. ……An empty cask wearing the facade of Lewes Meyer. That might be a way to describe it]
Listening to Lewes’ somewhat cynical remarks, for a moment, Subaru didn’t know what to say.
Anything he could possibly say would come across as empty and frivolous here. Even knowing that silence would mean affirming Lewes’ cynicism, no words came to his lips.
[Lewes: Don’t feel bad, Su-bo. Me and the other replicants have each accepted our purpose. Same as the first Lewes Meyer]
[Subaru: The first…… That’s right, I wanted to ask about that too]
[Subaru: I can see why Lewes-san and the other Lewes replicants would obey the Witch and protect the Sanctuary. But why did the girl Lewes Meyer help the Witch?]
A girl encased in a crystal, having all of eternity stolen from her.
Judging by the conversation so far, there didn’t seem to have been any attempts to fill the empty vessels with Lewes Meyer herself. So Lewes Meyer had sacrificed herself for the experiment, choosing for the residence of her soul to be forever sealed within a crystal.
In exchange, her body would continuously be reborn outside. Though, for her soul, her decision was akin to suicide.
Why would a little girl make such a decision?
Or perhaps the Witch haphazardly threw her on the experiment table without her consent?
While Subaru wished that it wasn’t the latter, he still asked this question,
[Subaru: What was Lewes Meyer thinking when she chose to participate in the experiment?]
[Lewes: ……Lewes Meyer offered the Witch a condition, and the Witch accepted, so she participated in the experiment. That’s what I heard. There’s no need to worry, she wasn’t forced]
[Subaru: A condition…… can you tell me what it was?]
[Lewes: Even if you hear it, I doubt you would understand it]
Hearing this, Subaru just wordlessly stared back at her. Seeing eyes like those of a stubborn child, Lewes frowned and exhaled a deep sigh.
[Lewes: Lewes Meyer’s condition to the Witch was the Sanctuary’s continued existence]
[Subaru: The Sanctuary’s…… continued existence?]
[Lewes: Lewes Meyer wished for the state of the Sanctuary, which the Witch created as her experimental grounds, to continue to be preserved. Of course, since the Witch needed the Sanctuary to continue her experiments, she gladly accepted. Even now, after the Witch’s death, her promise to Lewes Meyer is kept. With our own hands, we see to it that the contract is fulfilled]
[Subaru: No, but that’s…… the order’s all backwards]
Echidona was the one who needed the Sanctuary for her experiments, and Lewes Meyer was the one gathered in the Sanctuary for those experiments. Why would a little girl placed on an experiment table ask the Witch for the Sanctuary’s continued existence? The arrangement made no sense at all.
[Lewes: Even if it meant being used for experiments…… it is still much cosier than a land in which they are persecuted. Don’t you think so?]
[Subaru: ……That just sounds a bit too far beyond saving]
[Lewes: And yet, she found salvation here. So Lewes Meyer offered herself for the experiment. Whether or not it achieved anything in the end, you can be the judge of that after seeing this girl and myself]
Lewes took a sip of her thoroughly cold tea. Subaru didn’t say a word in reply.
Even as the topic of her circumstances came to an end, Pico showed no reaction at his side. Only, she was still silently holding onto his sleeve.
[Subaru: Why’s she so attached to me? I thought there’s nothing inside, and at first she was treating me like I don’t even exist]
[Lewes: It’s because Su-bo touched Lewes Meyer’s crystal. The command authority has been written to you]
[Subaru: Command authority……?]
Subaru furrowed his brows at the appearance of the new term.
And seeing this, Lewes nodded and held up a single finger with [Right],
[Lewes: Go ahead, try giving her an order. Oh, but nothing indecent now. She looks exactly like me, after all]
[Subaru: Even if you don’t say that, I’m not interested in Loli body-types okay!? I only have a healthy attraction to girls my age! ……Pico, rub my shoulders a little]
Giving Lewes a pout, Subaru turned to Pico beside him. At the sound of his voice, the little girl looked up and affirmed his command with a nod. She climbed onto the bed, circled behind his back, and,
[Subaru: Ooh, oohoooh, feels nice feels nice……auh? Wai-wait, Pico-san? That’s a bit too forceful? Scale it back scale it back …… Aoww, no no, Pico-san, scale it baaaaaack!!]
[Lewes: She may know the concept of shoulder rubs, but the strength to put into it is still an unknown. This kind of thing can happen if we don’t take care to teach her properly]
[Subaru: W-why’d you tell me to try then!?]
Squirming himself free of Pico’s shoulder-rub, Subaru ordered her back to her original position before giving his creaking shoulders a few turns. With the horror of Pico’s bone-crushing grip still fresh in his mind, Subaru tilted his head with [But, I mean],
[Subaru: If just touching it transfers the command authority to me, isn’t the security a bit too lax? What if it’d been some malicious Loli-con?]
[Lewes: It’s nearly impossible to stumble into that place by accident, and the command authority doesn’t transfer so easily. At the very least, you would have to be accepted as an apostle of Greed]
Listening to Lewes say this followed by a sip of tea, Subaru already couldn’t count how many times he had been stumped in this conversation. Crossing his arms, he timidly let out an [Uhh…],
[Subaru: Excuse me. I don’t remember becoming an apostle of Greed or anything]
[Lewes: Someone who has gained Echidona’s approval is qualified to be an apostle. Did you receive anything while inside the Tomb? Given something, a gift, or took anything into your body?]
[Subaru: In the Tomb……]
Recalling his meeting with Echidona in her Citadel of dreams, Subaru tried to remember if there was some kind of solemn bestowment like what Lewes was talking about. But his search came up empty.
If Echidona had granted him anything, it would’ve been some knowledge, some relief, and some terrifying experiences. And also,
[Subaru: ……It couldn’t have been the Dona-tea, right?]
[Lewes: Hmm, Dona-tea?]
[Subaru: Echidona said it’s her body fluids which she cleverly dressed up as tea and gave to me, I wound up drinking it twice……]
[Lewes: No kidding, that’s definitely it]
[Subaru: What did that bastard make me drink!!??]
Seeing Subaru suddenly jump up in anger, Lewes chided him with [Now, now]. But, seeing that Subaru had no intention of cooling down,
[Lewes: Be that as it may, it is the reason we got to where we are. So it’s not all bad, is it?]
[Subaru: It just pisses me off to have something put into me without me knowing! What the hell did she do to me? Apostle of Greed or whatever, I’ve already got my plates full with Witches as it is, don’t go shoveling more on. Those damn Witches are all the same……]
Whether it was unknowingly sealing a Return by Death contract with the Witch of Envy, or being one-sidedly declared an apostle of Greed, it’s like the Witches just don’t give a damn about other people.
[Lewes: Anyways, thanks to that, Su-bo has been given the command authority over the Lewes replicants in the Sanctuary. You can even order me to obey you]
[Subaru: It even works on you, Lewes-san?]
[Lewes: While my willpower is stronger than the girl with no will of her own, ultimately, I cannot defy it. So, that must make a young boy like you very happy, no?]
[Subaru: I already said I’m not a Loli-con……]
Even if she throws him a seductive gaze, he won’t react or anything.
Peeking at Lewes’ delightful smile through the corners of his eyes, Subaru could feel the Sanctuary’s mysteries beginning to clear.
A hidden facility deep within the forest. Lewes Meyer sealed inside, and a system which replicates her body. The destruction that would take place six days from now, along with the problems that comes with it.
And then, there was something that could not be left out now that they were on the topic of the facility’s existence――
[Subaru: Lewes-san, sorry it’s so sudden, but…… there’s something I need your help with]
[Lewes: What. If it’s something dirty then you can go ask those pure ‘n innocent ones instead of me]
[Subaru: Can you stop with that already!]
Shoving aside Lewes’ jabs at the fact that he was going through puberty, Subaru stood up, stretched out his spine, and tilted back his head towards the ceiling.
[Subaru: This command authority… there’s at least one other guy who’s got it, right?]
[Subaru: There’re quite a few things I want to ask him, but there’s just something else that’s been bothering me]
Two people surfaced in his mind.
One, whom he had seen issuing orders to the twenty-odd Lewes replicants―― the great tiger-guardian of the Sanctuary, Garfiel.
And the other, was,
[Subaru: Why did her Door Crossing send me into the facility… It might be time to get the answer to that……]
It was about time he properly questioned that girl with cream-colored curls, Subaru decided.
-=Chapter 57 End=-
❤ you guys!!
Let me know if you find any typos!
Chapter 58 Live Draft: