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/240/
THE EVERLASTING COVENANT
Chapter 73 [Where Weakness Resides]
――How long had it been since he last heard that voice?
In reality, she hadn’t been sleeping for all that long.
At most a week: a conceivable time-span for going without seeing one’s friends or family. ――But Subaru could not think that way.
For Subaru, who was constantly shedding off his life and time, actual time-span meant nothing. According to his soul’s internal clock, a far longer span had passed since that voice had last struck upon his eardrums, and his heart.
[Rem: ――Wake up, Subaru-kun, I’d be happier if I could see your face]
The words rained down from above as he lay face-down on the ground.
The tender compassion and the heated affection contained within that voice swiftly filled Subaru’s chest with warmth, and instilled the parched, empty vessel of his heart with searing heat.
All this, from a single sentence whispered by that gentle voice.
――Just how much strength had she given him?
[Subaru: ……You’re kidding]
[Rem: No, this is not a joke]
[Subaru: You can’t be here]
[Rem: If you want, Subaru-kun, I will always be at your side]
[Subaru: Whenever there’s something important I must do… whenever I feel this way…… it’s like you’d always come to me…… but how could… something that convenient……]
[Rem: Well, I’ve always wanted to be the girl who’d just so conveniently happen to be at Subaru-kun’s side]
With his sobbing voice, he spilled that pathetic whimper.
But the voice that answered did not look down on him, nor think any less of him.
Knew, that Subaru was weak, helpless, so brittle that he could not live without something to cling to, always lacking confidence, and perpetually in doubt.
Nevertheless, this girl told this hopelessly-weak Subaru that she loved him.
[Rem: Yes. It’s Subaru-kun’s Rem]
He lifted his head.
Obscured by tears, the color blue filled into his eyes.
Roughly wiping his eyes with his dirtied sleeve, banishing his tears, he saw.
The form of the girl standing before him.
The form of his beloved Rem.
[Rem: Yes, Rem. The maid who’s always within arm’s reach when Subaru-kun wants her there]
[Subaru: y, ou……]
Slightly tilting her head, Rem replied in a playful tone.
Just before he could say something about her attitude, he felt the air calmly seep out of his lungs. With a thump, the heavy burden in his chest dropped to the ground.
His breathing eased, and the tiny self screaming in his skull disappeared.
Being so easily, so easily saved, Subaru was struck dumb.
He had thought himself hopeless and stuck, and yet, upon seeing this single girl standing before his eyes, he was so easily released.
[Subaru: You’re incredible, Rem……]
[Rem: Why thank you. Subaru-kun is amazing too]
Smiling as she spoke, their exchange was just as perfectly offbeat as it always was.
Feeling such happiness at this back and forth, everything he had tried to endure up to now suddenly turned to tears on the verge of falling.
While he was pinned to the ground, casting down his eyes, Rem kneeled down before him,
[Rem: Are you alright? Are you feeling worn out?]
[Subaru: Who… knows…… maybe I am… worn out…… but nothing… is finished yet]
In these never-ending, looping worlds, Subaru had been battered and torn without reaching a single answer. He was in no position to say he was worn out.
Not while everyone else suffered more. Not while everyone else was enduring more. Just why did everyone else have to suffer along with him? ――The answer was obvious.
[Subaru: It’s because I’m too weak]
[Subaru: Because I’m always lacking]
[Subaru: If only I’m stronger, smarter, and a less useless guy…… they wouldn’t have to suffer, grieve, or hurt like this…….]
If Subaru was strong enough to do everything on his own, then the task of consoling Emilia’s broken heart in the face of her past, easing the sorrow of Beatrice’s 400 years of solitude, saving Petra and Frederica from the murderer’s blade, defending the people of the Sanctuary from the Great Rabbit’s threat, and reaching an understanding with Garfiel who sought to expel the outsiders―― would all have fallen to him.
Everything, all of it, every last aspect, was Subaru’s fault.
And so, in order to overcome this balance sheet of his own weakness, Subaru had to scour his soul and start anew.
――Or so he thought, and yet,
[Subaru: I didn’t save anyone…… in the end… did I?]
[Subaru: If the worlds continued after my death, then how many… how many times… how many people…… have I left to die?]
[Subaru: How many times did I let you die? How many times do I need to…… kill you before it’s enough?]
Shuddering from a dread surging from the depths of his body, Subaru ravingly confessed his sins.
Expelling them from his lips, he only wanted instant sentencing for his crimes. Before he could crush his own heart to dust, he wanted someone, anyone, to carry out his punishment for him.
He wanted someone to yell at this colossal idiot who pledged not to make another mistake yet stumbled on his very first step while heading the wrong way, to smack this irredeemable fool flying.
――But Subaru’s plea for punishment was answered by a gentle, enveloping embrace.
[Subaru: re, m]
[Rem: It’s alright. Everything is alright, Subaru-kun]
[Subaru: But, noth…… nothing is…… alright…… is it]
Nothing. Subaru hadn’t succeeded in anything.
If Subaru slackened now, absolutely no one would be saved. Countless people would meet their end. Rem too, was someone Subaru absolutely must save.
Because only she had the right to chastise this inadequate, insufficient, hopelessly weak Natsuki Subaru.
[Subaru: You should be…… at me……!]
[Rem: ――I love you]
She pressed her forehead against his, and whispered those loving words.
I’m finally home!!
Sorry I needed a few days to rest, I was completely exhausted and sick and struggling with jet lag. I feel much better now aside from the fact that I’m sleeping during the day and waking up close to sunset…
I’ll finish this chapter over the next few days!
Chapter 73 Live Draft: