(Thank you Kam, Dumpster, Brototype, Danny89, Anni, Mohamad, Roanz, Sir Fox for helping me proofread 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/244/
It was by accepting Return by Death, using its characteristics to overcome his obstacles, enduring all varieties of hardships that Subaru had made it this far.
Tasting the despair of “Death” time and time again, letting it carve into his soul, turning it into his strength, Subaru got to where he was.
――And it was that same Natsuki Subaru’s wound-ridden path that made him this way.
[Subaru: The one taking on the wounds, the one suffering…! It’ll be me, all me, only me! If having me suffer is enough, then everything’ll turn out great, won’t it!? As long as I can hold it in, as long as I can bury the rage, the grief, everything, I won’t let despair touch anyone else no matter how painfully I have to die! From beginning to end, as long as I’m the only one who gets hurt, then it’s all fine, isn’t it!? What’s wrong with that!?]
Repeat with Return by Death, and, through trial and error, reach the optimal future. It was just as Echidona said. But rather than accept Echidona’s offer which would use that resolve to satisfy her own curiosity, he would continue to forge his path alone, just as he had always done.
Unlike Echidona, who would lure him into taking extra detours, if Subaru set his heart and mind to search for the optimal path, the number of retries would no doubt be less than if he went with her. It might very well be more times than he could count. But, even so, there was value in trying.
If at the other end of the bruise-laden Subaru’s outstretched arm was a future where no one else would be hurt, then,
[Subaru: I said you’re incomprehensible, that I’m sick of it, didn’t I? Yeah, sorry, my bad. There was not a shred of dishonesty in that feeling… but I should’ve thanked you. How did I forget? I actually forgot, how utterly ungrateful of me]
[Subaru: There is just one thing I have to thank you for. Thanks, for giving me Return by Death. It is all thanks to you. Without it, I wouldn’t be able to protect a single thing important to me. So I’ll be sure to keep relying on that power. So for that, and only that… I thank you]
He was prepared to go on through trial and error.
The option to flee from this fate had already been abolished a long time ago.
Ever since he said “Take my hand, and run away with me” and was rejected, the option to flee was gone.
He must fight on. For this was his oath, what she expected of him, and what she believed in him. Subaru will not run away, but keep on fighting.
Subaru was the man who would always stand back up. Otherwise, he would no longer be Rem’s hero.
[Subaru: That’s why… thank you for giving me this power. It’s thanks to you that this useless, worthless fool could turn those hopeless situ……]
Just as Subaru was going to pour out all the heat that had been pent up in his chest, Satella broke her silence with a murmur.
Hearing that single fragment, Subaru’s words dulled from their momentum. His face stiffened, waiting, begging to hear that whisper once more.
What did she say just now? It was like something he couldn’t bear to hear.
He held his breath, while Satella, after a brief silence, spoke again.
[Satella: ――Please… don’t cry. Don’t hurt. Don’t suffer. Don’t make… such a sad expression anymore]
Pleading, Satella whispered to Subaru.
Her words swept up violent tremors in his heart. Of rage, of shock, of a nondescript jumble of every emotion there is.
[Subaru: Y, you…… what d……]
Overwhelmed by the maelstrom of emotions, he didn’t know what to say.
Intense passion clogged up his throat as he merely opened and closed his mouth, staring at Satella.
Before the wavering Subaru, Satella continued with her sedition.
[Satella: And so, love…]
[Subaru: Is… is that what it comes down to? ……You want to twist my emotions until I finally love you? Is that what you……]
Satella interrupted Subaru’s trembling words.
Her expression remained invisible. But, somehow, he could almost sense through his skin how Satella was looking at him behind that veil of shadow.
――Satella, she was,
[Satella: ――Love yourself… a little more]
Surely, she was casting him a look of compassion――
※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※
It took some time for the meaning of those words to filter into his brain.
But once it did, a shapeless, tremoring wave of emotion instantly engulfed his heart.
[Subaru: The hell…… did you just say]
[Satella: ……Please… don’t hurt anymore. Be kinder to yourself]
[Subaru: You… were the one who gave me Return by Death… weren’t you? You gave me this power so I’d have a way to move forward…]
[Satella: ――I love you. So, please, love yourself as well, and protect yourself]
[Subaru: If I only value my own safety, if you take this method away from me! What’ll I have left!!?]
In rejection of Satella’s boundless whispers of love, Subaru screamed, pressing his hand against his chest,
[Subaru: You know it too, don’t you!? I’m completely powerless! No wits, no skill, I have no special powers at all! The only thing this good-for-nothing self has is the Return by Death you’ve given me! So isn’t my life the only thing I can offer!?]
[Satella: Don’t be sad]
[Subaru: I’ve already factored in all the pain, all the deaths I have to experience. I’ve accepted it, I’m fine with it! If I’m the only one who’ll have to suffer, then I’m fine with that!]
[Satella: Don’t suffer anymore]
[Subaru: Getting myself hurt more than anyone else, by going through more than anyone else, if I strive and struggle to protect everyone else, then I can make sure that no one besides me has to suffer! There’s nothing more that I want!]
[Satella: Please… don’t cry]
[Subaru: It doesn’t matter what happens to me, does it!? Like anyone would be bothered care what happens to a bastard like me! No matter how broken, how torn I become, as long as everyone reaches that future safely, then…… hk]
Because, if Subaru stops taking those wounds at the very front lines――
[Subaru: If we can welcome that future… without losing anyone… then…… gh]
――he might irrevocably lose someone somewhere unreachable again.
[Subaru: ……Rem is.. already gone]
[Subaru: If I were smarter, if I were stronger, if I wasn’t so concerned about my life, if I had put myself in the front…… I could’ve prevented it]
The loss and the despair from back then still binds Natsuki Subaru always.
And so, Subaru had resolved not to rely on anyone, but to carry his wounds, fighting on alone, believing this to be the most correct course.
[Subaru: I have to believe…… I have to believe that there’s always a way……]
That Return by Death could solve everything.
That as long as he uses it well, Subaru will not lose a single thing in the end.
If he didn’t believe, if he didn’t tell himself that taking those wounds was necessary, if he didn’t convince himself that this was the truth, how could he possibly confront that despair again?
[Subaru: I……! I don’t want to lose anyone the way I lost Rem again―― gh!]
Grabbing his head, Subaru shrieked as if to reject all other audible sound.
Before he knew it, he had crumpled to the ground. Forgetting even to distance himself from Satella, he retreated into his shell, curling up as he denied her sweet whispers.
Poison. Virulent poison. Satella’s very existence was a will-melting poison to Subaru.
Subaru’s heart, which he had sworn never to allow to falter, began to fracture.
Into that opened gap entered ice-cold despair, wrecking his heart with the reawakened grief of that day.
[Sekhmet: You aren’t a child anymore]
Suddenly, there came a muttered voice.
Seeing Subaru, wailing and crying, stubbornly insisting on his self-made conclusions and shaking his head in denial of all else, one of the Witches who had kept silent until now murmured.
[Sekhmet: Crying, bawling, throwing up a tantrum, taking everything onto yourself…… isn’t that, just like…]
[Sekhmet: ――a little child, left all alone?]
In a sad, pitying voice, Sekhmet remarked on the current Subaru.
The other silent Witches who had heard Sekhmet’s murmur did not refute it.
The Witch of Sloth’s words were all too accurate.
Because Subaru’s figure now was just that of a pitiful, frail, little child.
-=Chapter 77 End=-
I’m loving Satella now ;-;
This one was finished last night but I wanted to revise it a bit more…
Let me know if you catch any typos! ❤
I’ll get started on the next one now!
Chapter 78 Live Draft: