(Thank you Austin, Danny, Daisuke 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/249/
THE EVERLASTING COVENANT
Chapter 81 [Light]
After receiving that pep talk from Otto and Patrasche, Subaru’s heart was temporarily brought back from the depths of the abyss.
Quite frankly, there was a lot about the events inside the Dream Citadel that he still hadn’t swallowed down, but nevertheless, he must chew them and turn them into strength.
[Subaru: Well… won’t be getting any help from Echidona anymore……]
The Witch of Greed Echidona had put up a friendly facade as she observed Subaru’s struggles. But after their final exchange, he was now convinced that that wasn’t all of it, and that Witches are creatures who never stray from their principles.
This was made painfully clear by the other five Witches―― Sekhmet, Daphne, Camilla, Typhon, and Minerva. In Subaru’s eyes, they certainly weren’t evil beings. But by no means would he call them virtuous.
This was true even for Minerva, whose very creed was to heal others. The way she rushed with self-abandon to heal him, despite losing her arm and legs, was more horrific than noble.
As for the final Witch, Satella―― he would much rather not think about her for now.
His feelings for Satella, those incomprehensible emotions surging inside him: he instinctively knew that seeking their answers now, when he was so pressed for time, would be dangerous.
And those final words they exchanged at their parting. The last he saw of Satella―― just remembering her in that moment sent the insides of his chest into a frenzy, as if his heart would tear itself out.
And so, Subaru consciously avoided thinking about Satella, and instead directed his thoughts to other matters. That is, the last bit of advice Echidona had given him, and the question of whether he should take Satella at her word.
[Subaru: Be kinder to myself… it’s easy to say, but……]
From meeting Satella, and through the experience of the First and Second Trials, Subaru was made aware of the fact that those he wished to save from death would also grieve over his. ――And that, in his heart of hearts, he didn’t want to die.
But then, what could he do? Nothing had changed the fact that he had no other weapon at his disposal.
The multitudes of problems waiting to be solved hadn’t gone away. In fact, the number of people he could rely on to help him had only decreased.
Though his heart had slightly gotten back on his feet, everything else had only degraded rather than improved.
[Subaru: Rely on the people who care about me…… how am I supposed to do that……]
Just be honest and ask them for help. That’s probably what she meant.
But the one forbidding him from telling others was none other than Satella―― or, judging from the flow of the conversation, the one forbidding any mention of Return by Death was probably the persona of the Witch of Envy. Perhaps, Satella had different ideas than her alternate personality. And, in that final whisper――
[Subaru: ――Ugh, I already said this isn’t the time to be thinking about this]
Noticing that his thoughts were once again drifting towards Satella, Subaru stepped on the brakes.
What he needed to do was find to concrete plans to solve his problems.
[Subaru: Garfiel is… afraid of the outside world…… huh]
That was Echidona’s last piece of advice, and possibly the information needed to break through this situation.
Garfiel had practically confessed that he had taken the first Trial, and Echidona’s words had confirmed it.
The question was, what did he see in his past that made him afraid of the outside world?
The trauma of not being able to follow Frederica out of the Sanctuary to live in Roswaal’s Mansion couldn’t be unrelated to this.
But Subaru doubted Garfiel would divulge it freely if he asked him upfront.
[Subaru: Which means I’ll have to get it out of someone who knows…… Frederica or Lewes-san were both pretty tight-lipped about it……]
If Frederica’s words could be believed, then she was unable to follow Garfiel into the Tomb, and consequently, she would not be in a position to know the contents of the Trial. Lewes, on the other hand, or at least the Lewes clone who ran in to drag him out, had taken the Trial. There was a good chance that she might know the details of Garfiel’s Trial.
[Subaru: As much as I hate to do it…… the most reliable plan would be getting the Command Authority from the Lewes Meyer crystal and ordering her to tell me]
Not even the leader of the clones and the representative of the Sanctuary, Lewes, could disobey an order from the one holding the Command Authority. Even if it went against her wishes, he could force her to do it.
And more than just information, it would also mean obtaining the support of twenty-odd accomplices. At least, that was how he tried to convince himself.
The image of the Sanctuary in flames, overrun by a horde of white rabbits, rose in his mind. As well as the wretched memory of ordering the Lewes-clones to protect him as he ran.
I must get to Emilia’s side. With that as his justification, Subaru mindlessly gave his order as he sprinted, wound-ridden, into the Tomb.
He had never regretted or reflected on his actions after the fact, but now that he looked back on it with a clear head, the callousness of his deed horrified him.
Especially now that he realized that it was out of his own pathetic desire not to die.
Was there a more arrogant, more shameless way he could have sent those girls to their deaths? Even though he insisted that he didn’t want to, he couldn’t trust himself anymore.
[Subaru: My head’s a mess…… I’m going too far into the negatives, damn it. My brain’s gonna explode if I keep thinking like this. Let’s go one by one, and eliminate the things that I can eliminate]
Questions and answers, untangle the problems. Start clearing them one at a time and then connect all the answered questions into a bigger solution.
Approach the problems so that it leads to a positive outcome. First,
[Subaru: Since I’ve passed the First Trial, I should be the one to liberate the Sanctuary. There’s no need to put any more burdens on Emilia. Or rather, since any more pressure would break her state of mind, that has to be avoided at all costs]
He could remember Emilia sweetly drawing closer in the snow-covered Sanctuary.
It was obviously the result of her mind breaking as she repeatedly challenged the Trial. Nothing good can come from making her face the Trials anymore.
[Subaru: Clearing the Trials will be my problem…… which brings us to the Second Trial. I managed to survive it, but…… does that mean I passed?]
The presents that were not to be―― just as the name suggests, are worlds that would have been if a different choice had been made. The Second Trial was precisely to experience such Parallel Worlds.
To anyone other than Subaru, it might simply have been an exploration of alternate paths that the world could have taken. But, to Subaru alone, the Trial truly bared its fangs.
Subaru was shown the continuations of the worlds in which he had failed.
Facing him was a myriad of regrets, consequences, and grief-stricken laments for his “Death”.
Taking them into his eyes and soaking them into his skin, Subaru’s heart was shattered to pieces.
Even now, recalling it sent chills coursing through his body and assaulted his limbs with inescapable numbness.
And, just when he was swallowed by the shrieking of his own heart, he was summoned to the Citadel of Dreams―― so now the question is, did he pass the Trial or not?
It doesn’t look like he passed.
I still get the feels when Subaru thinks about Satella… >_<
Chapter 81 Live Draft: