(Thank you Roanz, Kizarat, Chris, Ahbahl, Fox, Bagel, Vimal, Lucky, Relaxing Gaming, Rodolfo 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/225/
THE EVERLASTING COVENANT
Chapter 59 [Sweet Pastries And Unsweet Stories]
[Frederica: ……It seems you’ve returned earlier than I thought]
Standing in the opened doorway with keen, widened eyes, the tall maid welcomed Subaru’s return in a soft whisper.
[Subaru: Yeah, we ran into a situation so I had to come back. It’s only been two…… no, three days, right? Sorry I couldn’t give you a heads up about coming back so soon, but can I come in now?]
Panting heavily on Patrasche’s back, Subaru answered with the fatigue of half a day’s travel behind him. Seeing Subaru still joking around in spite of his disheveled appearance, the maid―― Frederica placed a hand over her lips to cover the fangs showing through her smile,
[Frederica: Certainly. It would be an affront to my duty as the Master’s servant to fail to provide a guest with the utmost hospitality. I will take the ground dragon to the stable, Subaru-sama, please come in. Petra will attend to your needs]
[Subaru: Oh you don’t have to…… no I mean, thanks please]
Hopping down from Patrasche, his knees gave way at the landing. Though he managed to stave off falling by hanging onto the reins, it seems that he was more exhausted than he thought.
It was only natural―― having rushed all the way from the Sanctuary without rest, after being awake all night, no less.
Despite the Divine Protection of Wind Evasion and Patrasche’s care not to add to the burden of her rider, the six hours’ journey had taken its toll on Subaru.
Noticing that his body had endured more than he realized, Subaru quickly took Frederica up on her offer. Handing the reins to Frederica, he patted the worried Patrasche on the back,
[Subaru: It’s alright, I’ll be fine. You’re the one I should thank for putting up with me all this way. It’s time to head to the stable and get a nice brushing, ok?]
Unlike horses, ground dragons’ bodies aren’t coated in fur, but they still seem to enjoy having their rigid scales cleaned with a brush. Patrasche was no exception, and excitedly nudged Subaru with her snout at his promise. Being frontally assaulted like this, Subaru let out an [Uwa!] and slinked back.
[Frederica: My my, you sure are enthusiastic about this. Come with me, Patrasche-chan. I’ll make you a brand new bed of straw]
[Subaru: I’ll leave her with you, then. ――Hey, Frederica]
Leading Patrasche by her reins, Frederica was walking her to the stable when Subaru called from behind. Stopping in her steps, Frederica looked back.
With her long, golden hair swaying, her vicious-looking features nonetheless carried a certain tenderness about them. Subaru gave the bones in his neck a crack, and,
[Subaru: ――Do you have any plans to head to the cabin in the mountains today?]
[Frederica: ……? No, I don’t, is something the matter?]
Hearing Subaru’s quiet question, Frederica replied in an incredulous tone. Taking note of the way she answered, of her expression, and her gaze, Subaru shook his head with [No],
[Subaru: If not, then nevermind. Also, sorry to ask this, but, once you’re done with Patrasche, can you head back inside as soon as possible? There’re quite a few things about the Sanctuary I need to talk to you about]
[Frederica: I understand. I will come back right away]
Leaving him with an impeccable bow, Frederica led Patrasche away.
Watching her from the steps of the Mansion, Subaru stretched his body on the spot and lifted his gaze―― at the Mansion in its unchanged majesty. This was the earliest he had ever returned to it.
The latest was the sixth night, and the earliest was the fourth.
One way or another, the blade that heralds the end would come.
But before that――
[Subaru: Before that end comes, I’ll find the way to stop it]
There had been too many sacrifices in this loop.
But even as he grieves for the world that will be lost, Subaru must strive to acquire something of equal value in return.
For Garfiel’s wails, and for Emilia’s unseen sorrow,
Natsuki Subaru had been granted the resolve to continue the fight, and turn his eyes away from the pain.
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[Petra: Waa! You’re back so soon!]
The first words that welcomed Subaru as he entered the Mansion was Petra’s adorably beaming greeting.
Though the literal content of her words were more or less the same as Frederica’s, the amount of affection instilled within them were of an entirely different weight-class.
[Petra: You look tired, are you alright? I mean, would you be feeling alright? I can prepare the bath right away, if you would like to…… what’s wrong?]
[Subaru: No no, I just felt totally healed when I saw Petra. Come to think of it, you’re the only one I could say exactly what comes to mind to without having to worry about anything]
Getting her polite and casual forms all mixed up, Petra excitedly circled around Subaru.
Subaru reached out his hand and patted her on her chestnut-colored hair, and she made a delighted squeal that was just way too adorable. Indeed, it was healing in the truest sense of the word.
Yet, almost simultaneously, the events of his last visit to the Mansion flashed across his mind, along with Petra’s gruesome fate in the end.
[Subaru: Petra, it’s a bit sudden, but…… can you listen to a request of mine?]
[Petra: ……? Mn. Okay. I’ll do anything Subaru-sama asks of me, no matter what]
[Subaru: T’haha, that’s reassuring. Alright. It’s something important. Frederica will be back soon as well, so let’s talk in the lounge. Can you get some tea ready?]
[Petra: Big sister Frederica will be there too?]
[Subaru: Yeah. It’ll be determining what happens from here on, and it’s not unrelated to Petra, either. So I want you there as well]
[Petra: Not unrelated, to me……?]
Covering her lips, Petra looked like she was sinking into thought. Then, as if suddenly realizing something, her face jumped up, blushing,
[Petra: So, it’s about something super important involving me and Subaru-sama?]
[Subaru: Ummm, I guess you could say that? It’s definitely important for both Petra and for me. Either way, it’s not something we can decide just between ourselves]
[Petra: But, the feelings of the people involved are really important, right?]
[Subaru: Feelings? The feelings? Feelings are…… well, also pretty important? It’s true that it won’t work if everyone’s on different frequencies, so…… yeah that too, I guess?]
Seeing Subaru nodding to her questions, Petra’s face lit up as she did a spin on the spot. Then, running into the Mansion almost dancing,
[Petra: Right away! I’ll be back right away! Don’t you run away!]
[Subaru: I’m not running anywhere… Petra, if you go too fast you’ll trip]
Watching Petra fly up the stairs, aiming straight for the maid’s room, Subaru suddenly remembered something and called out to her from behind, [Petra!],
[Subaru: Petra, thanks for the handkerchief. It was probably not in the way you intended, but, it really helped]
[Petra: Really? I helped Subaru?]
[Subaru: Yeah, saved my life…… well, not exactly, but feels like that]
Subaru pulled out the white embroidered handkerchief that Petra had given him as a gift.
It was the weapon he used to kill himself in the previous loop at the end of his showdown with the Witch of Envy, moments before he could be swallowed. That particular functionality was no doubt Echidona’s doing, but it still began with Petra’s feelings for him.
Come to think of it, if Echidona’s will had stayed in effect, the handkerchief might still be a weapon even now. Maybe it could activate when the same conditions are met, when Subaru’s life is in danger, or when some magical incantation injects it with mana. Granted, the last one would be a bit too hard for Subaru.
[Subaru: Still, it’s all thanks to you. I have to repay you for this gift somehow]
[Petra: Then, a dayt! One dayt!]
[Subaru: Um, did you hear that from Emilia?]
A first date with Emilia in Arlam village was Subaru’s reward for quelling the Wolgarms in the forest.
Back then, the perceptive villagers and children had decided to leave Subaru and Emilia to themselves, and it seems Petra still remembered it.
[Subaru: Understood. Then allow me to be your escort. It would be my honor and privilege to be the partner of Petra’s first date]
[Petra: You promise!]
[Subaru: Yeah, promise]
Happily holding up her hand with a blooming smile, Petra bounded into the hallway.
Watching the back of her tiny figure disappear into the hall, Subaru’s thoughts drifted to what her future might hold. A lovely girl with a bright future ahead of her. In five, no, three years time, she would have grown into a beautiful girl.
By that time, she would have probably forgotten about her feelings for him. But the fact that such a girl chose him as her first date still filled Subaru with a sinful sense of satisfaction. So,
[Subaru: I’ll be sure to make good on that promise, Petra]
She won’t remember the promise they exchanged in this collapsing world.
But Subaru will always carry the fact of its passing.
When he has finally chosen the perfect future, he will make that promise to her again.
With the lingering thought of Petra’s smile in his mind, Subaru directed his steps to the lounge.
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Let me know if you find any typos ❤
Chapter 59 Live Draft: