(Thank you Kizarat, Rodolfo, Roanz, Nair, Lucky, Julian, 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/227/
THE EVERLASTING COVENANT
Chapter 61 [A Scream From Four Hundred Years Ago]
Entranced by the sadness of her eyes, Subaru couldn’t bear to look away.
An emotion rose up in his chest, making him want to snicker and laugh at her words,
――What did you say just now?
He should have thrown her senseless words back at her.
He should have twisted his lips into a grin and cracked a joke like they always did.
But there was―― just a hunch, telling him that it wouldn’t work.
Why else wasn’t he laughing off the girl’s death-wish as some joke?
[Subaru: What did you…… say, just now?]
After a moment of hesitation and a brief lapse of silence, Subaru stuttered out this prepared line.
It would have been perfect if his lips were still smiling and his shoulders weren’t shuddering.
His cheeks grew stiff, and he was trembling all the way to the tips of his fingers, nevermind his shoulders.
It was as if the Natsuki Subaru reflected within Beatrice’s eyes was fixed in place, trapped within the confines of that world.
[Beatrice: As you wish, I will say it again, I suppose]
[Subaru: No, wait……]
[Beatrice: ――Betty wants to be ended by your hands]
[Subaru: STOP IT!!]
Screaming, Subaru shouted over Beatrice’s words.
It was almost comical how they’ve switched places from just moments before.
These were the same words Beatrice had shouted when Subaru relentlessly pushed his discoveries upon her.
And so, Subaru didn’t exactly have the right to complain when Beatrice did the same to him. Yet, even though he knew he had no right,
[Subaru: Do you… even realize… what you’ve just said……?]
[Beatrice: I should be asking you. Do you understand what I’ve just asked of you, I suppose?]
[Beatrice: I want you to be the one to bring about the end of this spirit, Beatrice. You will be “that person” who marks the end of the contract that, for four hundred years, has bound me]
“You should take that as a compliment”, she seemed to say with her strange, ironic smile.
It was a smile that seemed to be thirsting for something―― watching her, Subaru felt like twisted claws were tearing his chest from within.
Unable to bear it, he clutched his hand to his heart,
[Subaru: I don’t understand…… are you telling me you want to die?]
[Beatrice: Do I want to die? Strictly speaking, no, I suppose. Betty wishes for the contract to end. Betty wants to be released from this everlasting covenant]
[Subaru: If that means taking your life, how is that any different!!]
Stamping down his foot, Subaru screamed from his trembling lungs.
He was trampling on the scattered Gospel pages, but he didn’t care.
Jabbing out his finger, Subaru glared at Beatrice and barked.
[Subaru: Don’t talk about wanting to die like it’s some joke! Wanting to die or whatever…… I don’t care what you say to other people…… just don’t say it in front of me!]
Once you’re dead, you won’t come back to life.
Natsuki Subaru was the exception, and could start over even if he died. Only Subaru could throw away his life and still come out with something of value, and so only Subaru could justify suicide.
But that was not the case for Beatrice. Nor anyone else, for that matter.
Once life is lost, it can never be retrieved.
Knowing this, she still said it to Subaru’s face.
[Subaru: What do you mean you want it to end!? Do you realize how selfish that is!? Asking for an end…… trying to die, even if everyone else forgives you I won’t forgive you for it!]
[Beatrice: What an arrogant thing to say, I suppose. ――And just how much do you know about Betty?]
Nevertheless, Beatrice gave him this cold and unyielding reply.
She smoothed out her dress, stood up, and ran her fingers against the tips of her curls,
[Beatrice: Betty is the Keeper of Knowledge, and has been watching over the Forbidden Library for four hundred years. For four hundred years…… in accordance to the contract, Betty has waited here]
[Subaru: Four… hundred years……?]
That number again? Subaru wanted to click his tongue and furrow his brows.
Four hundred years ago was an age when the Witches ran rampant, a contemptible era which seems to have at least something to do with every long-living being he knew.
Beatrice, too, had lived through that age, and still lives on to this day.
[Beatrice: I sealed my contract with the Witch, and came to live with the similarly-contracted House of Mathers. From the beginning, I followed the Gospel’s instruction, and simply passed the days in silence, waiting for that time to come]
[Beatrice: But while I waited here, time in the outside world went on, I suppose. One by one, the heads of the House of Mathers, who shared in my obligations, died of old age and was succeeded by the next. I witnessed their transfers of power, yet Betty’s time flowed on, unchanging, I suppose]
And how painful must that time have been for Beatrice?
Her dispassionate tone only seemed to be a reflection of the abrasions left by the meaningless passage of time, driving a chill into Subaru’s heart as he listened.
[Beatrice: The destined coming of the promised day―― Betty didn’t know when it would come, or who “that person” would be, and I passed those days without knowing anything]
“But even so”, Beatrice shook her head,
[Beatrice: It never worried me, I suppose. After all, the Gospel was in Betty’s hands. As long as I place my faith in the Gospel that records the future, and wait for the coming day to appear on its white pages, then all will be well in the end. If I only waited, that time will surely come…… I went on believing that]
Looking down at the pages trampled under his feet, Subaru felt the cruelty of their pristine whiteness. As if sensing the meaning of Subaru’s gaze, Beatrice nodded.
In fact, before she knew it, the Gospel that was meant to be her beacon of hope, had――
[Beatrice: Every day, checking time after time, the instruction did not change…… until even the time spent checking was too painful]
[Beatrice: How many times I’ve dreamt of new words appearing on the page after the final entry, I suppose. Time and time again, I envisioned the day when that unknown “person” would come to visit Betty, when I would have finally fulfilled the role given to me]
[Beatrice: The House of Mathers is not without its visitors, I suppose. Many humans have visited Betty’s Forbidden Library, and many have touched the Forbidden Library’s door…… but each time, Betty’s heart would be betrayed]
And the one who opened the door was not “that person”.
So many times, she was disappointed, and so many times, her hopes were dashed. Over and over, her betrayed expectations must have worn down her heart until her eyes were buried in apathy.
Time and time again, Beatrice’s hopes came to nothing. And now, even that hope was lost. She could no longer endure the pain of being hoisted up within reach of her hopes, only to be cast to the ground once more.
It was only natural that her heart, which had endured so much, would begin to tear.
[Beatrice: It was during that time, that I realized…… or maybe, I had realized it long ago, I suppose]
[Subaru: Realized what?]
[Beatrice: The Gospel will never show Betty another instruction]
Beatrice folded her knees, and picked up the fallen cover of the Gospel. Emptied of its pages, the binding just seemed extraordinarily lonely.
Lifting it up, she traced her fingers over the cover, and began again, [Did you know, I suppose?],
[Beatrice: That the Gospel records its owner’s future? The less its owner deviates from the world’s memories, the clearer its details will be]
[Subaru: The world’s memories……?]
[Beatrice: The Memories of the World, I suppose. ――It knows not only the world that is now and that was past, but also the future that is to come. It is a forbidden book that draws necessary knowledge from the Book of Wisdom. Whereas the Gospel merely inherited a portion of its functionalities]
Echidona herself had called the Book of Wisdom the “Memories of the World”.
Indeed, there was no doubt that there existed some close connection between Echidona and Beatrice. There, Beatrice held up the black binding, as if to show it to Subaru,
[Beatrice: The false Gospels in the Witch Cultists’ possession operate on the same principle, I suppose. While their accuracy marks their only difference, their algorithms are based on this one’s]
[Subaru: ……How did this technology leak after Echidona’s death? Shouldn’t you and Roswaal have the only two existing Gospels?]
[Beatrice: Who knows. I don’t really care, I suppose. Whoever created these false copies, and whoever they are giving it to, it has nothing to do with Betty]
[Subaru: Then why did you bring up the Witch Cult?]
[Beatrice: Because there’s something I need to do with a Witch Cult Gospel, I suppose. Don’t go jumping to conclusions]
Unfazed by Subaru’s challenge, Beatrice replied calmly. Then, she asked him, [You have a Witch Cult Gospel yourself, I suppose?].
Let me know if you find any typos! ❤
Chapter 61 Live Draft: