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/241/
THE EVERLASTING COVENANT
Chapter 74 [The Witch’s Plan And Proposal]
Panting from asphyxiation, Subaru belatedly noticed that his hands were on a green grassfield.
From the ground where his limbs landed rose the thick scent of grass scraping across his nostrils. Like that of a meadow bathed in sunlight after the rain, the choking fragrance of nature gently wrapped all around him.
He turned his head, and saw Echidona straight before him.
She was, as always, on the small hillock in the middle of the plains, seated in a chair at the table, awaiting her tea party’s guest―― for Subaru.
As always. ――Yes, just as always.
[Echidona: I’m sure there are all sorts things you want to say and ask me…… but first, how about taking a seat and having a cup of tea?]
[Subaru: ……If you, consider what you just did to me, do you think I’d just cordially sit in that chair… and go along with your tea party?]
[Echidona: I do. Compared to losing yourself to instinct and senseless rage, you are the kind who’s more likely to dress yourself in rational, cold calculation. Now, rather than distancing yourself from me, there are far more benefits in holding a profitable conversation…… isn’t that what you’ve concluded in your heart?]
Faced with Subaru’s suppressed fury, Echidona’s carefree bearing remained unfazed.
Calling down to him from above, as if mocking Subaru’s all-too-obvious bluff, the words struck true while Subaru could neither affirm nor deny them.
Except, the thing that she had trampled over was not so cheap that he’d concede so easily.
[Subaru: Echidona…… just tell me you didn’t mean to]
[Subaru: Just now…… that trick with the Witch of Lust, tell me you didn’t mean for it to happen. Tell me, that you made a mistake, go on say it]
[Subaru: Say it was unavoidable. Say you didn’t anticipate it, that it shouldn’t have gone down that way. Say it. If you just tell me that…… I won’t blame you for it]
What Echidona said was right.
If Subaru wanted to proceed, he would need her knowledge and help.
But, the unforgivable was still unforgivable. Echidona had used the Witch of Lust to trespass into a precious and inviolable place inside Subaru―― his “Sanctuary”. That much was certain.
And so, for Subaru, this was the necessary requirement before he could forgive Echidona and hold a meaningful conversation with her,
[Echidona: …….and I was wondering what you’d say]
In that moment, she must have understood Subaru’s inner weakness and obstinance.
Spilling that inadvertent mutter, Echidona turned her gaze toward Subaru, who was biting his lips, waiting for her reply. She leisurely fiddled her white hair, and,
[Echidona: Then, as you wish, that was just the Witch of Lust running amok. I tried to stop her, but she wouldn’t listen. Taking advantage of the Trial, she tried to seduce you by unveiling the part of you that you least wanted to be touched, and with it, drown you]
[Echidona: It came close, but you still managed to escape her spell through your own strength. Then, having failed her seduction, when Camilla let down her guard I took back control and summoned you to my Citadel. You could say that it was by a stroke of luck that we could now meet here, face to face]
[Echidona: ……Now, suppose I told you all that, would you be satisfied?]
Swiftly, Echidona lined up everything Subaru had wanted to hear, only to betray her own words in the end.
Without a saying a thing, Subaru looked upwards, as if to put Echidona out of his gaze.
[Subaru: ……What were you trying to do, goading on a Witch like that]
[Echidona: Camilla didn’t tell you? What she did was to save you, after the Trial had all but abraded away your heart]
[Subaru: That… that couldn’t have been the Witch of Lust’s intention. If what she said was true, then that was only my selfish weakness wanting to hear Rem say those things to me. The Witch of Lust had no reason to be kind to me. ……Those were your instructions, weren’t they]
[Echidona: So you’ve already deduced this much even when so little was said…… in that case, I suppose there’s no point making excuses]
Casually, Echidona discarded the act with a shrug. Then, she brought her tea cup to her lips, and tiled it with a sip,
[Echidona: It’s as you suspected, sending Camilla to you and having her pretend to be the girl in your heart were all by my instructions. Though, the imperfect outcome and the fact that it was seen through is more of a problem on Camilla’ end than mine]
[Subaru: ……why… would you do that?]
[Echidona: Hearing it straight-out is probably going to make you angry. ――It was the most efficient method, and the one most likely to succeed]
Without apology, Echidona went on as Subaru’s expression vanished.
[Echidona: Even I didn’t expect you to get so hung up on the Second Trial. Above all, the fact that its contents hit you this hard was, in all honesty, something I couldn’t have imagined until I saw it with my own eyes]
[Echidona: Oh my, I do wish you’d overlook me peeping in on your Trial? I’m sure I’ve already told you after the first Trial, that these are Trials set up by a Witch? Even if the product is a bit mean-spirited, I still wouldn’t like to have this and that said about me]
[Subaru: ……Get on with it]
[Echidona: Anyway, while watching you face the Trial from the sidelines, I had a thought. ――If you went on challenging the Trial like this, you’d be worn to the core before long……]
That wasn’t an exaggeration. In fact, it wasn’t far from the truth.
Subaru wasn’t so aloof to what was happening to him that he’d try to refute her here.
The Second Trial―― the presents that were not to be―― and the scenes, events, and tragedies he was forced to witness were more than enough to shatter his hubris, stubbornness, and delusions.
[Echidona: And so I intervened. Even though, being worn to the core is also a result in itself, I like to experiment with everything through trial and error. My curiosity is insatiable, and strives endlessly to produce conclusions. To satisfy my insatiable Greed, I seek out any and all outcomes. ――The one in which challenging the Trial breaks you is no exception]
[Subaru: So then why did you intervene? If me breaking is just another outcome you seek, you could’ve just left me there. If the result was that was all I amounted to after all… you would’ve been satisfied too, wouldn’t you?]
[Echidona: I did have a mind to just accept it as another result…… I did, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t do something to produce the result I wanted]
Hounded by Subaru’s questioning, Echidona dropped her tone as she replied.
Hearing this, for the first time today, Subaru furrowed his brows for a reason other than rage.
Carefully scrutinizing her words and forming the semblance of a meaning, if he wasn’t mistaken, then,
[Subaru: It was to reject the outcome where I’d be worn to nothing…… that’s why you set up that situation. Is that what you’re saying?]
[Echidona: ……And as a result, I trespassed onto a territory that was precious to you, I have no excuses for that. So if you want to shower me with insults, I will resignedly accept them. Your anger is justified, and it was wrong of me to be so inconsiderate. That’s all there is to it]
Setting her cup on the table, Echidona gazed straight down towards Subaru at the foot of the hill.
Completely devoid of the playful caprice of before, the Witch of Greed now faced him with the entirety of her sincerity.
Her attitude, her stance, and her words all overwhelmed him.
All of a sudden, the rage and distrust towards Echidona that were occupying his chest only moments ago now seemed horrifically egotistical and selfish.
The truth is―― unable to forget her hand in what happened earlier, Subaru was still reluctant to accept Echidona’s help, but then, what would his heart become without it?
Laying on the cold floor of the Tomb, his heart, shattered, crushed to dust, left in a darkness without the faintest light, and there, erased to nothing. It wasn’t hard to imagine.
He couldn’t go as far as to thank her. But nor did he feel that she deserved his rage and abuse. ――That much, was his emotional compromise.
Standing up without a word, Subaru patted off the grass on his clothing and made his way up the hill.
Seated in her chair, a flicker of pain flashed through Echidona’s eyes as she watched Subaru’s approach. What would he say to her once he got here? It seemed that not even this centuries-old Witch could tell.
The Incarnation of the Thirst for Knowledge. The Witch of Greed. To see such an adversary’s expression twinge at his approach still gave Subaru’s heart some small relief.
In front of Echidona’s soft cry of surprise, Subaru pulled out a chair and sat down opposite her.
Though he had no intention of bringing that tea cup to his lips, this was his way of show his willingness to talk. While Echidona looked on with a hint of unease, Subaru rested his cheek in his hand and turned his face away,
[Subaru: I’m not in the mood for tea. ……But I would like to have that profitable conversation with you]
Swallowing down his unbearable emotions, Subaru summoned up the magnanimity to reply.
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Now I’m waking up at midnight and going to bed at noon. I think I’m getting used to living like this… T_T
Please let me know if you see any typos!! ❤
Chapter 74 Live Draft: