(Thank you Aaron, Roanz, Kizarat, Zazorok, Nair, Thomas 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/224/
THE EVERLASTING COVENANT
Chapter 58 [Grandma]
Coming out of the remote residence alongside Lewes and Pico, Subaru noticed a sliver of dawn beginning to creep onto the eastern sky, and felt sleepy for the first time that night.
[Subaru: Woah, the sun’ll be up soon…… a whole lot’s happened tonight, huh]
It didn’t feel like it, but the night had begun with Emilia’s first Trial, followed by Subaru’s intervention, a Return by Death, an after-Trial meeting, a run-in with Garfiel, and, after that, him uncovering a secret facility before spending the rest of the night learning the Sanctuary’s secrets from Lewes.
This dense use of time and the hyper-speed developments had left him dazed and out of breath. And, unlike his mind, he couldn’t quite hide the toll on his body, which had been running non-stop until now. One could say that the subtle imbalance of mental and physical fatigue was just one of the downsides of Return by Death.
[Subaru: Honestly, I kinda wanna go back to the Cathedral and sleep till noon……]
[Lewes: No one would mind if you do. I plan on taking a nice long rest as well after I pass things on to the next Lewes]
[Subaru: While I sort of envy the kind of shift-rotations you have, I’m running out of time, so there’s no helping it…]
Six days―― or actually, only five, since a day had already passed. And considering that he’d have to spend a whole day’s travel time to get to and from the Mansion, there was really only three days he could use.
Wasting a precious half of a day sleeping wasn’t something he could afford, but, while Echidona already knew that Subaru could see the future, he was still hesitant about whether he should tell Lewes.
[Subaru: It might make the Witch of Envy show up, so better not just yet……]
Sweat popped up on his forehead the moment the shadowy, Sanctuary-devouring Witch flashed across his mind.
Somehow he just knew that the devastation was a result of him running his mouth in Echidona’s Citadel. Spilling forbidden knowledge out of reach of the Witch’s constraints, he had invited her wrath as well as everything that followed.
So, he’d consider it lucky if the Witch only dealt him the usual punishment in the real world, where she could directly lay her hands on him――
[Subaru: I do wanna try, but out of concern for other people’s lives… better not]
Deciding this in a deflated mumble, Subaru looked down at the dopey-looking Pico, standing there holding his left hand. On the receiving end of his gaze, as if in anticipation of another command, the girl’s round eyes grew even rounder.
It seems that Subaru’s first command had made her more aware of the transfer of command-authority. And now, Pico was like a baby bird looking up to its parent.
[Lewes: So, what does Su-bo plan to do next?]
[Subaru: Probably get back to the Mansion for now. There’s someone there I need to get some answers from…… and I’ll see Frederica while I’m at it. There’s a whole bunch of things she could clear up for me]
[Lewes: Frederica, huh……]
Mentioning the name of the hulking maid who popped into his mind, he saw a furrow in Lewes’ brows, as if there was some significance in hearing Subaru mention this name. After all, it wasn’t like Lewes to react this way.
[Subaru: Did that remind you of something? About Frederica?]
[Lewes: ……No, it’s nothing important]
[Subaru: Lewes-san, I’d rather not use my command authority if possible… I really don’t want to have to order Lewes-san to tell me]
Subaru shrinked up his shoulders, imploring her to tell him. But, underneath the words, his eyes sharpened as if clearly saying, “I’ll use it if I have to”. Seeing this, Lewes let out a sigh.
[Lewes: It was just that, ever since Frederica left, little by little, it feels like the Sanctuary’s gears have been slipping out of place]
[Subaru: Slipping out of place?]
[Lewes: The way it was, though I’m not sure if you could call it healthy…… hm, whether it was the residents, the Lewes Meyer replicants, or Gar-bo, none of them were as on edge as they are now]
[Lewes: You know, Su-bo, I have great expectations of you]
As Subaru fell silent, Lewes looked up and said this.
“Expectations”. He felt a tug on his chest as he heard it. Because the word reminded him of――
[Lewes: For the longest time, the Sanctuary had been awkwardly serving a purpose which it had already lost. That obstinance is now creating holes all over. That’s why I have great expectations of you, Su-bo]
[Subaru: What, could I……]
[Lewes: The Witch’s obsession, the reasons for the Sanctuary’s continued existence, and Lewes Meyer’s wish. I look forward to seeing you bring about a conclusion that fulfills everyone’s hopes in the end]
A far-too-heavy burden of bearing everyone’s expectations on his shoulders.
Subaru had the urge to immediately say “Can’t do it”. But, sensing Lewes’ solemn gaze,
The words just stuck in his throat.
[Lewes: This is good. For now… it’s good enough]
Seeing Subaru’s hesitation and reluctance, as if understanding it all, Lewes nodded her head.
Her appearance was no older than a child’s, but it was in moments like this that Subaru understood that she possessed qualities befitting her age.
[Lewes: It seems, my time is almost up]
Leaving these words with a tinge of regret, Lewes’ body began to glow with a faint light.
It reminded him of a spirit on the verge of vanishing, he thought, as he reached out his fingers to her, but,
[Lewes: Don’t worry. I’m not returning to mana just yet. I’m just going to sleep for a while until I save up the expended mana again. There will be a Lewes to replace me soon]
[Subaru: But… even if your face and voice are all the same, you won’t be the same, right?]
[Lewes: I suppose you’re right. The looks and tone and personality are meant to be similar…… but we’re still different people. So, only this old self chatting with Su-bo right now is actually me. Does that make you feel lonely?]
[Subaru: It’s not whether I feel lonely or not. Lewes-san…… Lewes-san don’t you feel sad? Aren’t you upset that there are four people taking turns pretending to be Lewes Meyer? Don’t you ever wonder where your own life……]
Caught mid-sentence, Subaru realized just how cruel his questions were.
Even if Lewes herself thought this way, even if she truly suffered and grieved over her circumstances, Subaru knew full well that there was nothing he could do about it.
He had no grasp of arcane principles, detailed knowledge of mana, or even the most superficial understanding of magical algorithms. So what was the point of reaching out to these unreachable regrets?
Lewes seemed to understand his conflicting thoughts. She gave him a faint smile as her pink hair swayed in the wind, tinted by the colors of dawn.
[Lewes: What do you think, Su-bo?]
[Lewes: The answer to that question… is just another one of the things I will eagerly expect from you]
Leaving this behind, like a thin haze, Lewes’ body melted into the morning light.
No different from a scattering mist, impossible to believe even with the warning beforehand, it was like a scene pulled straight from a dream. A living person simply vanished into the dawn.
Although she told him that she wouldn’t cease to exist, he found it hard to take her at her word.
But, in that same instant, the shape of another person appeared where Lewes had vanished. Whether it was stature or appearance, every last detail was identical to the Lewes who disappeared.
She shook her head once and looked up at Subaru,
[Lewes: I shouldn’t think I need to reintroduce myself, Su-bo. The previous “me” has filled me in all about you]
As if to clear up Subaru’s doubts, with that, the new Lewes updated their mutual understanding. And, at the very end, the girl tilted her head,
[Lewes: So, Su-bo…… what will you do first?]
[Subaru: Ah, right……]
He lifted his head.
Watching the light of dawn erode away the night’s sky, his thoughts slipped to the time that had passed, as well as the time that still remained to him.
Then his eyes dropped to Lewes and Pico, and,
[Subaru: First thing is to get out of the Sanctuary. I’ll need some help from Lewes-sans for that]
And just like this, Subaru submitted his request.
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Sorry I was so vague and got you guys wishing me happy birthday all week… >_< my birthday’s actually tomorrow ❤
I cannot begin to express how happy I am to have you guys with me. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. ❤
As always let me know if you see any typos!
Chapter 58 Live Draft: