(Thank you Austin, Brototype, Dre eam, White Rice, Roanz, Daisuke, Lucky 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/251/
Before his eyes, Roswaal’s body sank into the bed, frozen rigid. Both his mismatched eyes were now wide open, staring at Subaru, while his lips faintly quivered.
His usual self-assured attitude, that detached, all-knowing air, and that incorporeal queerness――had all peeled away.
[Roswaal: What… could it mean……]
[Subaru: What could it? ……It means what it means]
Called by that faltering voice, Subaru unwittingly answered in a shaken voice of his own.
Pressured by a voice that sounded nothing like the Roswaal he knew, Subaru swallowed his saliva to slightly moisten his parched throat,
[Subaru: Echidona… she disqualified me. Forget the command authority over the replicants, even stepping into the Tomb sends my head reeling. ……I’m in the same boat as you now, can’t go in even if I try]
[Roswaal: Why, did…… no… how could this be…… You, taking the Trials of the Tomb…… otherwise, the Sanctuary’s liberation… and her wish……]
Holding a hand to his lips, Roswaal let out this hollow mutter with a look of disbelief.
Seeing this unexpectedly intense reaction, Subaru was at a loss for words as he realized that his revelation went further than exacting revenge. Not just in this series of loops, but from the day they met, this was the first time Subaru had ever seen Roswaal panic. Just which part of his words could have shocked him to this degree?
However, Subaru only swallowed a breath, and,
[Subaru: In your Gospel… does it say that I will overcome the Trials?]
[Subaru: I know that if things don’t follow the Gospel’s writ, you’ll be ready to give up on everything. But if you’ve decided that breaking through the Trials is my job…… that won’t be happening now]
Like how his victory over the First Trial carried over, and how the Witches seem to share his memories across Return by Deaths, the Citadel of the Witch of Greed lies beyond the rules of this world.
Even if he Returned by Death, the memories of their exchanges in the Citadel would not fade. That was why he felt saved in that place, and why he held more than a little fondness for Echidona. ――And that was why, he knew.
That even if he died and returned to the Tomb, his qualifications would not be restored.
He would need Echidona’s permission to regain them, but to receive Echidona’s permission, he would need to enter the Tomb, yet to enter the Tomb, he would need the qualifications.
――In short, Subaru had completely lost any means of challenging the Trials.
[Roswaal: Is there… a way you could regain the qualifications……]
[Subaru: If there is one, you’d know better than me. If you’re saying you don’t know, then how could I know]
While answering Roswaal’s faint whisper, internally, Subaru noticed a possibility.
Chances were, Echidona would be watching Subaru’s struggles this very moment from inside the Tomb. As if sulking after Subaru rejected her hand, she must be waiting to see what he could do by taking Satella’s.
If that path winds up riddled with failures, and at last he relents and comes back crying to the Witch he had rejected, perhaps Echidona would offer him her hand once more.
――But, if he took Echidona’s hand then, it would mean throwing away every word he had said to Satella, as well as every feeling his heart harbored at this moment.
He would have delivered Emilia to the optimal future in the end.
Even if it was only that, it’d have been better than scattering into a thousand pieces halfway.
[Roswaal: If you rewind the world, can you return to a time before your qualifications were revoked……?]
[Subaru: You seem to be misunderstanding something, my power isn’t omnipotent. It’s not like I can just return whenever I want with no price to be paid…… besides, the point I go back to will be too late. If I return, it’ll be after it’s been revoked. I still won’t be able to enter the Tomb]
[Roswaal: I, see……]
Roswaal’s voice as he replied was weak, and his visage seemed to have aged all in a single moment.
Roswaal had always carried a certain youthfulness about him such that it was almost impossible to discern his age. But now, with his shoulders drooping, even that was gone.
It was the anguished expression of a man who had clung to a delusion for a long, long time, only to be thwarted by something beyond his reach.
Beneath the clown’s makeup, for the first time, Subaru managed to feel that Roswaal was something of a fellow human.
But this fact did not solve anything, no matter how much Roswaal might wish otherwise.
[Subaru: I’m just as lost as you are, Roswaal. But if we work together and talk this over, I’m sure we could come up with a solution]
[Subaru: It might be pretty hard to get things the way your Gospel described, but the writ doesn’t have to be the end of everything. As long as it largely matches…… maybe you don’t agree, but if we just find some way around it……]
[Roswaal: ……not enough]
Subaru tried to find some kind of compromise and make Roswaal concede. But, with eyes so hollow that he might as well not have heard a single word Subaru was saying, Roswaal murmured something. Inadvertently opening his mouth as he heard this, Subaru took a step forward.
What did Roswaal say just now? Did he mishear him?
And, inching closer, Roswaal’s whisper slid into his ears.
[Roswaal: ――All the ways I tried to corner you, were they still not enough?]
[Roswaal: I don’t know the circumstances, but if Echidona went back on her decision, you and her must have had a befitting exchange. I was supposed to have steeled your resolve to challenge the Trials before such a rift could have opened between you…… I didn’t succeed]
[Roswaal: If I had cornered you further…… made you realize that if you tried to reach for everything, you will lose what’s most important to you…… then this wouldn’t……]
[Subaru: Wait, Roswaal. Wait]
What was he trying to say? Though Subaru had the feeling that it would be something decisive and he absolutely needed to hear it, for some reason he was hesitating.
Because, if he kept listening, he would no longer be able to stand here.
He was sure of it.
Or rather, he had already suspected something along these lines for a very long time.
Yet those confounding suspicions never materialized because Subaru was stuck on the idea that Roswaal would have no reason to do this, as well as the thin but present trust that he had in him.
But the words Roswaal was about to say would sever that once and for all.
Before this happens, he must say something. But no matter how hard he searched inside him, Subaru could not find the words, while time passed on,
[Roswaal: Summoning you and Emilia to the Sanctuary, knowing Garfiel’s disposition…]
[Roswaal: Forcing Emilia-sama to challenge the Trials, knowing its horrors, so that her wounds would spur you to action……]
[Subaru: Wait, please wait. Wa――]
[Roswaal: Showing you that you will inevitably lose those you cherish in a place beyond your reach, and by doing so, perfect you…… all of that, all of that was still not enough]
――with this, Roswaal had just confessed to pulling the trigger on the tragedies in the Mansion.
-=Chapter 83 End=-
Let me know if you find any typos ❤
Chapter 84 Live Draft: