(Thank you Aaron, Austin, Roanz, White Rice, Brototype, Federico, Julian, Jeffry, James, Pekka, aisuke, HX, 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/246/
Looking down at Echidona’s white fingers, then looking up at her awaiting face, Subaru’s breath froze.
Those were the same words he had just rejected.
Back when Subaru first learned of Echidona’s true nature, he had been terrified by that morbid curiosity driving her.
But, what about now? Now that some time had passed for him to quietly reflect on her words, how about it?
Treating his life as expendable, attempting every form of trial and error, using brute force to break through the obstacles standing in his path. Between accepting Echidona’s counsel, fighting on at the cost of his heart―― and declining her help, resolving to struggle alone, what difference is there?
It was out of a stubborn impulse of the moment, a knee-jerk revulsion at her attitude, that Subaru had rejected her.
But if he truly had the resolve to abandon everything and use himself as the sacrifice, if he could just overlook Echidona’s nature, then why shouldn’t he use her just as she had proposed?
Refusing her out of self-righteous morality only to continue down the exact same path―― what point is there in this obstinance?
He should take that hand.
If he had the resolve to swallow all the pain and suffering, and fight on without fear of getting hurt, then he should take that hand.
[Subaru: I’m… afraid of getting hurt]
[Subaru: I hate pain and suffering and grief. I don’t want to go through those awful experiences, and I don’t want to see others suffer those terrible fates. ――I don’t, want to die]
[Subaru: And so, your hand that presupposes sacrifice―― I can’t take it anymore]
Even Subaru wasn’t sure what he could do by himself.
But it seems that he could no longer choose the path that Echidona had pointed out.
He had realized that he didn’t want to die.
He had learned that, even as he thought that death was his only contribution, there were those who would accept him even if he didn’t die.
Natsuki Subaru wasn’t “A man whose only value is death”.
The people who grieved for him weren’t doing so because they saw value in Subaru’s death.
But then, just what did they see in him that made them grieve for him?
[Subaru: I still don’t know what they saw. ――But, I intend to find out. I get the feeling that once I find out what it is, I’ll be able to repay everyone in a way other than death]
[Echidona: ……But that is a path of thorns, Natsuki Subaru. Using “Death” as your tool to cut open the way, wearing yourself down to proceed along that road: that would no doubt be the shortest path, albeit a treacherous one. The only thing you’d need to offer is your heart. But, refusing this, intending to keep both your heart and the future of those you love is far too difficult a task, and above all――]
Here, Echidona paused for a breath.
Then, with the most resplendent smile he had ever seen on her face,
[Echidona: ――that’s Greed, isn’t it]
Affirming his desires, the Witch of Greed received Subaru’s decision with a contented expression.
Alas, having been rejected, this Witch was still happily smiling. It’s not something Subaru could understand at all, but,
[Subaru: The truth is that you’ve already saved me countless times. ……Even if, deep down, you were thinking of me as some kind of lab animal… that’s still the truth]
By being there, Echidona had been a support for his heart, and helped him through those difficult times.
And so, for granting him that reprieve to keep hold of his heart, he was indeed grateful to her.
[Echidona: ――That foolish, pitiful Garfiel is scared of the outside world]
[Echidona: What that child saw in the First Trial has always been binding him. If you are to break through this situation yourself, you will need to undo that curse]
[Echidona: The other Witches have all done something nice for you, so if I don’t give you something as well, what’ll you think of me? I wouldn’t want you to think that “All the Witches are good people at heart, except that meanie Echidona”. I am a girl, after all, and I am rather fond of you]
Quickly saying this, Echidona lightly poked Subaru in the chest.
Pushed back a step by the momentum, when Subaru looked up again, Echidona had already turned her face away. With her white hair swaying, the Witch of Greed stepped away from Subaru.
The other Witches too, were quietly watching Subaru.
[Subaru: ……I just can’t understand you guys at all]
[Subaru: You guys drive me crazy, messing with my head like that, and I’m still kinda pissed about what you said. All that time I kept thinking “Stop talking over my head about things I don’t understand!”, I seriously can’t stand you guys…]
That was the truth.
The Witches all had their own unyielding ideals that were beyond what Subaru―― or any normal person could comprehend.
And so, Subaru couldn’t understand them, or agree with their actions.
But just like his feelings towards Echidona, understanding and gratitude were separate things.
[Subaru: Thank you… for letting me die. Thank you… for not letting me die. And thank you, for letting me hear those important voices. ――For these, thank you]
He bowed his head to each of the Witches in turn, deriving some small pleasure from the way they each swallowed their breaths.
Then, Subaru turned around, and walked forward.
Ahead of him, was the girl still kneeling on the grass―― Satella.
She looked up at his approach, holding her breath as though her throat had froze.
Seeing her frightened, sitting there like a small, little girl, Subaru lost his words.
Why was it that, when faced with someone he had thought abhorrent, his heart was filled with warmth?
What were those emotions he was harboring inside him for someone he had never touched before?
Subaru had received far too many unanswerable questions since he got here.
Still without a single answer, choosing only to continue struggling, Subaru extended his hand to the Witch on the ground.
She looked at his offered hand, lost and uncertain.
[Subaru: I…… don’t know who you are. I don’t know why you’re telling me that you love me, or what you meant…… when you said that I had saved you]
[Subaru: But, the Return by Death you’ve given me has saved me, that’s a fact. It was all thanks to it, that I’ve managed to get this far. That’s the truth]
[Subaru: Return by Death is not the only option…… right?]
[Subaru: I shouldn’t rely on it entirely, I should love myself a little more…… that’s what you said, right?]
[Subaru: I won’t pretend there’s an easy solution. ――But you… the one who gave me Return by Death… don’t want me to die. I know that for certain now]
[Subaru: Like you said, I’ll try to…… be a little kinder to myself. And cherish myself. I have no idea what’ll happen if I start doing that… but that’s okay]
[Satella: ……Will you be alright?]
[Subaru: Yeah…… compared to dying, that’s nothing]
In answer to Satella’s worried voice, Subaru did his best to manage a weak smile.
As if relieved to see his expression, Satella took hold of Subaru’s hand.
Instantly, the sound of the world breaking fell upon Subaru’s eardrums.
The blue sky and the green grassfields began to fade in color as Natsuki Subaru was being released from the Citadel of Dreams.
[Subaru: ――I’m leaving… then?]
He could no longer remember how, or why, he came here.
What would he do first when he gets outside? For reasons inside his heart, even that was unclear.
[Satella: Don’t… struggle on alone. Do it alongside the people who care about you……]
[Satella: The people who don’t want you to die, the people who don’t want to let you die, fight alongside them. ……Even if that’s not enough, don’t forget that you’re afraid to die]
[Satella: Don’t forget… that there are people who would grieve your death――]
The world was cracking into pieces.
Satella’s voice was growing distant. A fact that tore at Subaru’s heart.
The palm in his hand was frightfully hot.
But he mustn’t let it go, he felt.
He couldn’t form the words to call to her.
He couldn’t make the sounds to call her name. “Satella”, that name mustn’t escape his lips. His desire to reject her was fighting with his desire to accept her.
The sky was falling. The earth was breaking. Light flooded through until his surroundings was no longer the Citadel of Dreams.
The other Witches had disappeared, leaving only Subaru and Satella in this world.
All was fading. And starting anew.
――Subaru only went on watching Satella in front of him, unable to say a thing.
Suddenly, the veil of darkness fell.
The impenetrable shadow his subconscious rejection insisted was obstructing his view was dispelled.
And, when he saw the face behind it, Subaru’s breathing ceased.
Before the unbreathing Subaru, Satella’s silver hair was swaying, while tears were falling from the edges of her narrowing, amethyst eyes――
[Satella: And one day―― you must come, and kill me]
The world was wiped away, and even the girl before his eyes had vanished.
[Subaru: I… will――]
Only, clenching tight onto the certain, lingering warmth on his palm,
[Subaru: ――definitely save you]
He said to that vanished, beloved girl.
-=Chapter 79 End=-
(The amazing fan art is by @FYY!)
Oh my god oh my god oh my god
I love this part so much… >_<
Let me know if you find any typos! ❤
Arc 4 Interlude II (Chapter 79.5) Live Draft: