(Thank you Kizarat, Rodolfo, Roanz, Aaron, Mohamad, Vimal, Kam, Nair, Fox, 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/228/
THE EVERLASTING COVENANT
Chapter 62 [The Tragedy At Roswaal’s Mansion]
Seeing the woman standing in the doorway, a shiver ran through Subaru’s entire body.
Even for Subaru, who had experienced so many bouts of desperation and death since his arrival in the Parallel World, this was an existence that inspired a strange kind of dread.
Donning a black feathered cloak, the dynamic curvatures of her body were packaged in jet-black attire. The same color as Subaru’s, her black hair, which was such a rarity in this world, was woven into a french braid. The far corners of her eyes were angled downwards, while a seductive smile adorned her almost gentle expression.
If it weren’t for the blood-drenched blades casually dangling from her hands, she might have been mistaken for a lady straight out of a portrait―― instead of this murdering monster that was Subaru’s worst nightmare. His first-killer. The Bowel Hunter: Elsa Granhiert.
[Subaru: How are…… you here!?]
[Elsa: ――Oh my, I was wondering where I had smelled that smell before? How has your body been faring since we last parted? Have you been taking good care of your bowels for me?]
As if having just noticed the tongue-tied Subaru’s presence, Elsa lifted her brows and slightly tilted her head.
Just from her answer to his question, it was already clear that no conversation could be had between them. Taking care of one’s bowels isn’t something normal people would consider suggesting. Hearing her make such a request like it was a matter of course left no doubt in his mind that this woman before his eyes was a lunatic.
What’s more, she was a lunatic of a completely different breed than Petelgeuse Romanee-Conti.
Feeling all the muscles in his body contracting, Subaru strained his nerves watching Elsa’s every movement.
But the combat strength of this madwoman was such that she had taken a blow from the Sword Saint, Reinhardt, and lived. No matter how much Subaru sharpened his nerves, chances were she could take him down before he’d even have time to react.
[Beatrice: ――Who gave you permission to be here, I suppose]
Suddenly, a voice came from behind Subaru, addressing Elsa.
The one who asked this impassive question was Beatrice. She remained as before, facing against Subaru, except all traces of her tears had vanished from her face.
Hearing the girl’s question, Elsa brushed her hand through her long, dark hair.
[Elsa: It wasn’t locked or anything, all I did was open the door and come in? If you’re having such an important conversation, you shouldn’t forget to lock next time]
[Beatrice: That’s not what I meant. This is Betty’s Forbidden Library, and you have entered without my permission…… aside from this man, not many others could do this, I suppose. How did you manage this]
[Elsa: Ah, that’s simple]
As Beatrice tossed a glance towards Door Crossing’s other exception, Subaru, Elsa nodded as if having understood her question. Then, she gestured to the opened doorway,
[Elsa: Your spatial-isolation magic…… uses doors as its medium, right? A door-linking spell that connects closed doors with other closed doors?]
[Beatrice: Yes. The Forbidden Library is potentially connected to any door in the Mansion. Unless Betty permits it, it should be impossible to find it, I suppose. So how did you……]
[Elsa: Then it’s easy. Seeing how it uses closed doors as the medium…… if I just opened every door, that would eliminate all the other possibilities, right?]
Elsa spelled out her straightforward solution to Beatrice’s Door Crossing.
Indeed it was just as she said. Beatrice’s Door Crossing was a spatial transition magic that linked closed doors with one another. That is, it could not link to doors that were already open. Since there was a finite number of doors in the Mansion, once all the other doors were opened, the last one remaining could only lead to the Forbidden Library. But, in order to do this,
[Subaru: You’d have to open every door in the Mansion…… and no one tried to stop you……?]
But the moment he spoke, Subaru realized the full extent of his stupidity.
Or rather, that he had been averting his eyes from the truth that he didn’t want to see.
[Subaru: On… your knife…… whose blood is that?]
The blades of Elsa’s Kukri-knives were coated in congealing blood. Judging from the droplets still dripping from their tips, one might imagine that they had only just sliced open their prey. That, combined with his existing assumptions, gave Subaru more than enough reason to imagine the worst.
Watching the color drain from Subaru’s lips, Elsa traced her finger over the side of her blade, and then licked her bloodied finger clean.
[Elsa: I wonder whose it is?]
[Elsa: I’ll give you a hint. She’s dressed as a maid]
There were three people in the Mansion. They were all dressed as maids. Or no, Rem would be sleeping in her nightgown. So she’s out as a candidate. That leaves only two.
[Elsa: Hint number two. Her hair wasn’t long]
Petra’s hair was shoulder-length. Frederica’s hair was long.
――Subaru’s throat inhaled in preparation for the scream that was to come.
[Elsa: Hint number three―― “Subaru, Subaru!” she cried as she died]
Baring his teeth as he lowered his stance, Subaru charged towards Elsa head on.
Elsa casually straightened her limbs to meet his charge, pointing the tip of her right-hand blade at the oncoming Subaru’s eye――
[Subaru: Like anyone’s gonna charge a monster like you from the front!]
Elsa groaned as if taken by surprise.
In front of her, Subaru lowered his body, scraping his hand against the floor before swinging it in an upwards arc. Caught in the trajectory of his arm, a stack of Gospel pages went up fluttering.
In an instant, tens of white pages blocked Elsa’s view of Subaru. Immediately drawing in a breath, Subaru concentrated every ounce of his mana into the center of his stomach, and,
A plume of black smoke billowed out, completely obscuring the space between Elsa and Subaru.
Though it paled in comparison to the Shamac he used against Julius, he knew from experience that it would be effective against Elsa. Unlike last time, when he completely expelled all the mana inside his body, this time, it only left a general sense of fatigue, an indication that he was getting better at utilizing his mana.
Quickly turning around, Subaru grabbed the on-looking Beatrice by the arm. Though for a moment, she made an effort to resist, she didn’t manage to escape Subaru’s grip.
Forcefully pulling her almost weightless body, Subaru embraced the small girl into his arms and launched himself back into the Shamac.
――Confusion. Deprived of vision, sound, sensation, and left with only darkness.
The feeling of his footfalls had become Subaru’s everything, the entirety of his world.
In the span between one foot left the ground and his other foot landed, Subaru was completely abandoned by the world. His left foot lands. He was linked to the world. His left foot leaves. He was alone. His right foot lands. He was linked. He was alone. He was linked. He was alone. He felt something struggling in his arms. But he didn’t let go. He mustn’t leave her alone. He was linked. He was linked. He was linked.
The next instant, as if popping his head out of a water’s surface, the darkness abruptly fell away.
In his clearing vision, Subaru found himself in the Mansion’s hallway. The red carpet lining the halls could only mean that they’ve dashed out of the Library.
They have bypassed Elsa at the door and escaped.
[Subaru: Knew that would work――!]
He knew that when hit with Shamac from the front, the battle-hardened Elsa would try to shoot Subaru through the smokescreen thinking that he would be running away. By going against her expectation and running towards her, Subaru passed right by Elsa through the door she had left open.
[Subaru: Kinda wanna say “Nailed it!”, but……]
This was no time to congratulate himself.
She didn’t know how long Shamac would last, but as soon as Elsa realizes that Subaru isn’t in front of her, she will immediately turn back in pursuit.
Roughly kicking the door shut behind him, Door Crossing’s link was severed. But, depending on Beatrice, Subaru couldn’t be sure if the Forbidden Library was still connected to his immediate surroundings.
[Subaru: Beatrice! Link the door to different room in the house……]
[Beatrice: I was going to even without you telling me, I suppose. Also, close some doors around us, that’ll buy us some time]
[Subaru: Shit, that’s right!]
Answering the disdainful words of the girl in his arms, Subaru scrambled to shut the closest doors around him. While closing each door he peeked inside, but found nothing of note.
He didn’t know how much of Elsa’s words could be believed, but――
[Subaru: What to do… what to do what to do what to do what to do what to do――]
The questions were endless.
Why was Elsa here now? Out of all the loops, this was the earliest she had appeared in the Mansion. It was the sixth day, then the fourth, and now the second―― no matter when, Elsa always attacked on the same day Subaru arrived at the Mansion.
He had already suspected this before. But now, after hearing Elsa’s statements in the Library, that suspicion was turned into conviction.
But if that was the case, then why――
[Subaru: Why not wait one more day…… or just wait a few more hours!]
That night, Petra would have been brought back to the village.
Subaru was already half-resigned to the fact that Elsa would attack the Mansion. The sight of Petra’s lifeless corpse remained seared into the back of his eyes. So this time he was resolved to place her far away from the carnage. Yet, even so, evil arrived sooner than his countermeasures could be carried out, and the girl could not escape her fate.
[Subaru: It’s not over yet. There’s no need to give up now. Even if she has some overpowered setup, there’s still a chance. There has to be. How can I lose hope now……!]
[Beatrice: It’s not so much hope as it is reluctance to let go, I suppose……]
[Subaru: Shut up! Just be quiet and let me carry you! That lunatic wants to kill you too, you know. She’s the kind of pervert who’ll open your belly with her knife and get turned on by seeing what’s inside!]
[Beatrice: Wanting to see a spirit’s intestines… that’s just bad taste]
While Subaru muttered in agreement under his breath, Beatrice suddenly slipped out of his arms and landed herself on the hallway floor. She lightly patted off her dress, and,
[Beatrice: So, what do you plan to do now, I suppose?]
[Subaru: It’s not about what I’m planning. The priority is to check if Petra and Rem are safe. And then…… either way, we’ll escape the Mansion together. Unless, you want to try and fight her?]
[Beatrice: ……If that thing came to kill Betty, if I just don’t resist, then I’ll get my wish…]
[Subaru: I knew you’d say that, that’s why I dragged you out… If you still won’t give up that thought, I’ll just have to carry you out of here. So which will it be?]
Looking down at Beatrice who was almost half his height, Subaru pressured her to choose. That said, he wasn’t really offering her a choice. Even if she decided to stay behind, he would still drag her out by force.
As if having picked up on Subaru’s intention, Beatrice exhaled a sigh,
[Beatrice: Even if I can’t choose the place of my death, I should at least choose who kills me, I suppose]
[Subaru: How about we discuss that once we’re settled down somewhere safe. Let’s go!]
Seeing that Beatrice was willing to follow him, Subaru took her by the hand and started running. Trailing behind him in her cumbersome dress, Beatrice struggled to keep up with her short little steps. They didn’t go ten paces before,
[Subaru: Aaaah, come on! I’m picking you up!]
He pulled her up by the wrist and took her into his arms once more.
Beatrice was a lot lighter than she looked. He didn’t know if this was because she was a spirit, or if it was just because of her stunted growth.
[Beatrice: ……let go, I suppose]
[Subaru: If we go at your speed she’ll catch us straight away! It’s faster if I just carry you! Besides――]
Even as Beatrice voiced her rejection in his arms, her hands gripped onto the front of Subaru’s jacket as if seeking something to rely on. Noticing this, Subaru fell silent, and neither affirmed nor denied nor commented on the matter.
This is enough, he thought at the time.
[Subaru: Anyway, before Elsa shows up…… we better find Petra and Rem!]
[Beatrice: I thought there’s one more maid in the Mansion]
[Subaru: Frederica…… it’s better if we don’t meet just now… I think…]
Subaru’s last words trailed away as he shook the blond-haired maid out of his mind. Beatrice furrowed her brows at his reaction, but didn’t say anything in the end.
Right now, he wanted to avoid meeting Frederica. Once he had confirmed that the other two girls were safe, he would go find her, and ask her then.
If what Subaru imagined was true, then he was sure of it――
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(Damn Subaru’s Loli-snatching powers are too good…)
Let me know if you find any typos! ❤
Chapter 62 Live Draft: