(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/
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――Petra was on the dining table, lined up alongside the tableware.
The white tablecloth had been dyed dark red with Petra at its center. Some time had already passed, and the spilled blood had begun to turn a hue of black, which only served to darken the macabre sight.
With faltering, unsteady steps, Subaru slowly approached the table.
Laying there in the center was Petra. A tearful expression of agony and horror had congealed on her lovely face, and her eyes were open as if searching for something at the very end. Blood was still leaking from the corner of her half-open lips, and the fatal wound was of course a deep gash opened in her waist.
The maid’s dress that had adorned her so sweetly and fairy-like when she spun in front of Subaru―― was cut open from the chest to the lower abdomen, while the spilled blood and intestines further lightened the young-girl’s body.
Something rose up in the depths of his throat. Not to vomit, but to sob.
He felt a searing heat in the back of his eyes, and before it could overflow, he reached out his hand to Petra’s face. Her expression remained twisted and frozen in fear. The least he could do was to close her eyes, and then, like he had done before, Subaru took off his jacket and placed it over her body.
Just how many times had he failed to save her, and resorted to this superficial atonement?
How many times had he known this would happen and still let this child die?
And how many times would this girl have to suffer for nothing more than her fondness of him?
[Subaru: I’m sorry…… I’m sorry, I’m sorry…… Petra……]
Even his muttered apology felt hollow.
With no one to protect her, she encountered the hideous murderer here, and was mercilessly killed whilst calling Subaru’s name.
His heart might shatter from grief. And his body might burst into flames.
If hatred could kill a person, Subaru could have killed Elsa a million times before his hatred ran out.
Such was the depth of the sin she had committed. And he will make her realize it, no matter what.
[Subaru: For that, I can’t let this loop just end like this……]
[Beatrice: This loop……?]
[Subaru: Talking to myself. I don’t want to leave Petra like this…… but there’s nothing we can do right now. Let’s go find Rem first. We’ll take her and leave the Mansion. You still can’t use Door Crossing?]
[Beatrice: For that, we’ll need to pass through the Forbidden Library. I’m guessing the door is currently held open, I suppose]
[Subaru: ――Is that how it is…]
The way to shut down Door Crossing is quite simple.
First, open all the doors in the Mansion to eliminate as many options as possible. Then, simply leave the door to the Forbidden Library open, and thus prevent any other potential doors from linking to it.
Even if a stick was left behind to keep the door from closing, Beatrice would not be able to summon the Library to her.
[Subaru: Do you know where the Forbidden Library is connected to right now?]
[Beatrice: Of course. ――Right now it’s in the West Wing, a guest room on the third floor, I suppose]
If the door was in the West Wing, there was still some distance between there and the dining room in the Main Building. But since the door was open, that would mean Elsa had already left the Forbidden Library.
With that murderer’s nose, it wouldn’t take long before she found Subaru.
There was no time.
[Subaru: We don’t have time to panic right now. Either way, let’s hurry up and find Rem……]
Wiping away the tears seeping from his eyes with the back of his hand, Subaru looked to the direction of his destination. Rem would be sleeping in her room in the maid’s quarters of the East Wing. If Elsa started her search in the West Wing, then she shouldn’t have gotten there yet.
But that was only in regards to Elsa,
[Subaru: There’s a good chance that Frederica is there……]
Knowing how much Rem’s well-being meant to Subaru, Frederica would have figured that Subaru would go to her after slipping away from Elsa. In that case, it was very likely that she had gotten there first.
Watching Subaru holding his chin in thought, Beatrice narrowed her eyes.
[Beatrice: This has been bothering me. ……Are you suspecting that maid, I suppose?]
[Subaru: ……I don’t want to suspect her, but…]
Subaru answered Beatrice’s question with a feeble nod.
Elsa’s attack on Roswaal’s Mansion―― was probably due to Frederica’s betrayal. Of that, Subaru was half convinced.
This was the third time Subaru encountered Elsa in Roswaal’s Mansion.
The last two encounters had been on the sixth and fourth day, both after a few days had passed since his departure. However, this time, he had returned after only two days, and yet there she was again.
Each and every time, Elsa appeared as if she was waiting for Subaru’s return. As for how she managed to do this, Subaru could only suspect the existence of an informant.
[Subaru: The same day I return to the Mansion, Elsa is led inside… I had thought that a trip to the mountain cabin would be a part of it, but……]
Subaru had suspected from the start that Elsa was hiding in the mountain cabin and was led inside by Frederica. So this time, when he got back, he asked her if she would be “heading to the cabin in the mountains”.
But he didn’t notice anything suspicious about Frederica’s answer or demeanor, and so he put it off for the moment, deciding that he was overthinking it.
[Subaru: But there’s more than one way she could’ve done it…… and it’s not like I can read her mind. I might have been duped and haven’t realized it]
Subaru had thought that he had concealed his suspicion from her. But instead, she must have sensed his wariness and acted with extra caution.
That was Subaru’s mistake, and the result was this girl’s life being taken from her for a second time.
Petra’s death was entirely Subaru’s fault, for having failed to take her away from here. In fact, it was no different than if Subaru had killed her himself.
[Subaru: But… Petra looked up to you……!]
“Big sister Frederica”, he could remember Petra calling her tutor.
Didn’t it hurt her to know that Petra, who so adored her, was killed at the hand of that murderer?
What was she thinking when she took part in this?
[Subaru: More than anything… is the way she disabled Beatrice’s Door Crossing. Honestly, I was surprised how she managed to break it like it was child’s play]
[Beatrice: ……Betty didn’t think it could be so easily broken either. It’s not a method one could think of just off the top of one’s head, I suppose]
[Subaru: Given enough time, I might have thought of it too…… but that’s the problem, time. She couldn’t have come up with it unless she knew about you and the mechanisms behind Door Crossing beforehand. There was no way Elsa could’ve thought of it then and there. So she must have learned it from someone on the inside]
[Beatrice: You seem to be well acquainted with that crazy woman. Where did you meet, I suppose?]
[Subaru: She kinda cut my belly open in the Capital. ……Right, it was the first wound you treated me for, remember?]
Thinking back on it, Elsa was the reason Subaru got to enter Roswaal’s Mansion in the first place. [Ah], Beatrice nodded as if having understood.
In any case, this was no time for reminiscences.
[Subaru: Anyway, we have to get to Rem. If Frederica’s there…… can I count on your help?]
[Beatrice: You don’t even have the backbone to protect the girl you love yourself, I suppose? To be placed foremost in such a man’s heart… I shudder just thinking about it]
[Subaru: If feelings can knock whales from the sky I’ll knock down as many as you want, but the world isn’t so kind to me, you know]
Despite her disdainful remark, Beatrice seemed to have accepted his request. Even this bickering was probably out of Beatrice’s consideration for Subaru. Most likely, she did this to take his mind off of Petra.
Unlike Subaru, who had been oblivious to Beatrice’s sorrow and even now could not offer her a single solution, Beatrice was far more clever. And that was why he was always relying on her.
[Subaru: Let’s go]
[Beatrice: Mm, alright, I suppose]
Naturally, Beatrice held out her hand, and was hoisted up into Subaru’s arms without objections. Lifting up the light little girl, Subaru started running as he did before.
Bounding for the East Wing, Subaru tried his best to silence his steps, even though he knew that it was probably pointless. It didn’t appear as though Elsa had come through here as he darted up the stairs to the second floor, and then the third. Timidly popping his head into the hallway, he checked for any shadows around the destined room――
Spotting a figure outside the room, Subaru quickly ducked back his head.
Seeing Beatrice quietly looking up at him in his arms, Subaru nodded, and stuck out his head once again―― there seemed to be a tall person leaning against the door.
Even from afar, there was no mistaking the golden hair and the maid’s uniform.
It was Frederica. Just as he thought, she was standing outside Rem’s bedroom, waiting for Subaru’s arrival.
[Subaru: What do we do……? Pretend nothing’s happened and say hello? If she hasn’t met up with Elsa yet, she might not know we’re on to her……]
[Beatrice: If your prediction is correct, then the moment that maid invited the enemy into the Mansion, she’d already had no reason to care about our feelings. Besides, when you last parted with that maid, you were entering the Forbidden Library, I suppose. The moment you stepped out, you already have no more excuses]
[Subaru: In that case, we’ll just have to break through from the front]
Frederica’s weapon of choice―― was what looked to be a pair of clawed gauntlets. From both her bearing and the fact that she was Garfiel’s older sister, even if Subaru hadn’t personally seen her in action, he could imagine how powerful she must be. Their chances of victory from a frontal assault was almost non-existent.
[Subaru: I’ll release Shamac right away, and if we manage to surprise her, can you hit her with some ranged magic attacks……? Even if we can’t fight her, we’re good as long as we can get her to retreat……]
[Beatrice: That’s way too lenient for a traitor, I suppose. You can’t face an opponent who’s out to kill you without having the same resolve yourself]
Listening to Beatrice remark coldly, though he knew that she was right, Subaru was still reluctant to follow her advice. Even knowing that the person in question was a traitor, it was still someone who had once treated him as a friend. For as long as Subaru could remember those times, it would never be such a clear-cut matter.
Even if, purely in terms of consequence, Frederica was deeply responsible for Petra’s death.
[Subaru: Beatrice. I’ll block her line of sight with Shamac. I’ll count on you to maybe lightly shoot her with something]
[Beatrice: ――You realize things could go badly if we go too easy on her, I suppose?]
[Subaru: There are just some things I still want to ask her. Don’t overthink it]
“Isn’t it a bit late for that?”, Beatrice’s expression seemed to say, but, seeing Subaru lower his head, she sighed through her nostrils and said nothing.
Reminding himself not to impose on her, Subaru took a deep breath, and opened and closed his palms. His body was still somewhat fatigued, but he should still be able to manage one more Shamac――
[Subaru: Hold it together, body of mine. ――SHAMAC!]
Dashing into the hallway, before Frederica could turn around, black smoke shot out from Subaru’s outstretched palm.
Without fail, it filled the space between Subaru and Frederica just as it had done in the Library. But, along the way, feeling his head grow heavy from the excess loss of mana, Subaru fell to his knees and collapsed to the floor.
Stepping out beside him, Beatrice held her hands in front of her as she advanced. Chanting something under her breath, a hollow hole warped from the atmosphere, from which emerged a spear shrouded in pale purple flame.
Its burning tip causing the atmosphere to tremble, the amethyst spear levitated into the air. ――Ignoring Subaru’s protest that the magic was clearly lethal, Beatrice fired the spear into the shadow――
[Beatrice: …..something’s off]
Beatrice tilted her head, muttering.
Subaru didn’t understand her reaction, but the spear came to a halt mid air, and with a turn of her outstretched finger, Beatrice made the spear swipe left and right.
With this simple movement, the darkness from Subaru’s Shamac was dispelled. That was merely because, being a Dark Magic user herself, Beatrice’s influence was far greater than Subaru’s.
Seeing the fruit of his exhausting efforts so easily brushed away, Subaru looked on stupidly. But that sentiment soon fell away.
When he realized the reason Beatrice had halted her attack.
With the shadows clearing from the hallway, Subaru advanced straight towards Frederica.
Dragging along his exhausted, mana-deprived body, at the speed of a turtle’s crawl, Subaru made his way to her feet. There was no more need for caution. For she made no reaction to his approach. None at all.
――She would never react to anything again.
Frederica had died, standing guard in front of Rem’s room.
Her stomach was pierced by a Kukri-knife, nailing her to the door. On her lifelessly dangling arms were her gauntlets. As evidence that it was a hard-fought battle, her clothes were riddled with cuts.
Frederica’s body was already cold, and her expression indicated that her soul had long departed. Her stiffened face spoke of bitterness and regret, and Subaru could tell that she had defended the door with her life.
In other words, Frederica had fought to the end so that the attacker would not enter this room.
She would have no reason to do this if she was the one who led the culprit here.
[Subaru: I completely doubted you…… when you…]
Covering his face with his palm, Subaru did his best to take in the reality before his eyes.
Frederica died with blade wounds littering her body. Now that he had seen her like this, how could he say that she was an informant and a traitor?
Was this the fruit of his distrust? He was so eager to accuse her, when in fact, he just wanted an excuse to lessen his own guilt.
He had to admit it.
[Subaru: ――I was wrong…… wasn’t I]
Frederica was not a traitor.
She fought to the death, guarding Rem until the end. Judging from the coldness of her body, she probably died before Petra in the dining room.
She would have had no time to lead Elsa to the Forbidden Library.
A gaping blankness took over his skull.
Uncoiling his scrambled thoughts, the first thing that came to mind was that lovely, sleeping girl inside the room which Frederica had been guarding.
Frederica’s stiffening body had grown heavy, and prying her from the door was heavy work. Subaru had to exercise his utmost caution in order to avoid harming her any further. Though his fingers were as impatient as his heart.
But, like a betrayal of Subaru’s considerations,
[???: ――Finally found you]
At the end of the hallway, a black shadow slipped into view.
Elsa stooped low with her french braid swinging, holding her palm against the floor, watching them with eyes wet with rapacious murder. Her gaze ran up and down his body, petrifying Subaru in place. Not letting this opening escape her, Elsa’s shadow shot through the hallway.
That soundless advance was none other than the approach of “Death”.
[Beatrice: You’d be making a huge mistake if you think we’ll go down so easily]
But there was someone who blocked Elsa’s advance.
Beatrice lightly lifted up her hands to where her amethyst spear was waiting, with its aim locked on Elsa.
The spear that had been held from its purpose screeched in exalted glee at a new target for its destruction.
[Elsa: That’s quite a dangerous toy for someone so small]
[Beatrice: Whether it’s a children’s toy or not, your body can be the test of that]
Elsa smiled in the face of this diabolical magic. And, as if to wipe that smile from her face, Beatrice’s amethyst spear shot out.
The spear’s velocity far surpassed that of the icicles Subaru had seen Emilia fire. Although there was only one, it lined up directly with Elsa’s trajectory as she dashed forward with the same momentum―― but, bending down with her chest nearly sliding along the floor, Elsa evaded the strike.
[Elsa: Too bad. Your aim and speed still needs some work]
Feeling the weapon graze past the back of her head, Elsa muttered without a trace of fear as she turned her underhanded Kukri-knife towards Beatrice.
The blade’s dull gleam approached Beatrice’s body, threatening to cleave her tiny figure in two――
[Beatrice: You’re the one who hasn’t thought this through, Human]
Just before it could happen, Beatrice clenched her open palm, and the amethyst spear swelled. Continuing down its course after having missed its target, the spear bulged at the end of the hallway and burst like a ruptured balloon behind the halting Elsa.
The exploded spear’s splinters turned into smaller spears, surrounding Elsa from all directions.
Though they were called smaller spears, they were each no bigger than Subaru’s index finger. Their countless multitudes flooded the space, all their tips pointing at Elsa.
[Beatrice: This shall be your punishment for trespassing into Betty’s Forbidden Library, I suppose. ――Drawn and quartered, would be a fitting end]
Proclaiming this merciless sentence, she fired the amethyst spears.
-=Chapter 62 End=-
This part was longer than usual!
I will be a bit busy with my studies for the next couple of days, it’s the last thing I’ll need to finish before I graduate.
After that, I will be flying out on a trip from the beginning of February to early March. There might be 4 or 5 days in the second week of February before I can get my internet set up, but I’ll try to have a part ready at the end of it. ❤
It’s been a while since I posted the thank wall… it’s gotten so big now >_<
But truly, truly thank you everyone. I can’t express how much encouragement you guys have given me, and I promise I won’t stop until the very end. ❤
So, thank you Palmer L, Jesse O, Robert T M, Marek V, AnonymousBenefactor, Luc W, James Q, Sakumbi, Cyle H, Spencer N, Skyler O, Luke C, Sune S, Clarke J, Sid A, Son Wukong, Raf H, David S, Vadym, Dohmeh, Dleep, Jackson W, Luis P, Eric L, Edgar, Joseph G, Mike B, Anthony E, Daegor, Mohit A, Anthony C, Robert B, Paul M W, Morten O, Mathieu F, Terry F, Erlend S N, Nelson B, Ahn M D V, Peganuss, Jun P, Andrew B, Nope, Dustin V F, Alexander, John W, Hesse A, Ibot, Demetr, Darakent, Ben H, Silicia V, Michal Z, AncientAirs, Rafael B C L, Fernando M, Cameron C, Petr H, Robbie L, xuatz, Piotr H, Sid K, Sergio B, Anonymous, Haizykas, Jack O, Skyver, Phrust, Grayson G, Roxas F, Maksom K, Kristen K, John L, Brenton G, Zane C, Robert O, Bacon, King H, Pergzedref V, Khailz, Jonathan B, NJRoss, Will, John B, Daniel H, Alora T, Ashley H, Lolfoollor, T.J. S, Aqua Dragon, Mark K, Ben S, Devon C, The Drunken Otaku, Quinn C, Daniel B, Zarko B. Edsel R, Aiman Z, Shippolover, and Shahril A, Saleem R! SandyBoi! Xtreme! Tim! Tanner W! Payman G! Morrthal! Dark Marauder! Rune D! Nicholas W! Beidh! Gabriel U P, Guillaume C! Patrascu L! Brian G! Cristan C, Ellie L, Wesley S, Patark, Nair, Eric TSJ, Abdulsalam, Prokchopsandwiches, Lethringtin, Tayer B, Jake S, Frank G, Boon C, Glenn S, Kynan B, Aaron K, Jey, Demon God, Noah A, Kristen K, Stephen B, Daniel P, Jeremy C, Juan DG, Stephen R, Andrew B, Willie O, Micael D, Noucho, Hunter, Adrian M, Brahnda E, Alon B! Jay M! Danilov I!
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And thank you everyone coming here to read. From the bottom of my heart, thank you ❤
Also let me know if you find typos >_<
Chapter 63 Live Draft: