(Thank you Austin, Brototype, Kam, Glavos, Nir Ta 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/252/
THE EVERLASTING COVENANT
Chapter 84 [Denied x Denied x Denied]
――Crumbling, crumbling, the ground was crumbling beneath his feet.
Losing sight of the footing that by all means should be there, Subaru felt like he was falling from someplace high.
In reality, Subaru was only standing there frozen in the middle of the room, staring with wide-open eyes.
The fact that he nevertheless felt this was simply owing to the shock of Roswaal’s confession.
[Subaru: A place… beyond my reach……?]
[Roswaal: You already have the answer, don’t you? When two important things are simultaneously faced with peril, one would be forced to choose. Choose which one is more important, and which to cast aside. Only this way, by relinquishing everything except the one most precious to you, will you become the perfect being that you were chosen to be]
[Subaru: What kind of bullshit is that!!? The perfect being!? All I see is a stupid, wound-ridden asshole stuck alone in the middle of a wind-swept wasteland!]
[Roswaal: And yet you may still stow the one most precious to you in a place abound in lusciousness, where its purity and beauty is untouched. Compared to your own injuries, this is more important, isn’t it?]
Roswaal, somewhat regaining his composure, asked this question, but Subaru did not reply.
It was not that he was persuaded, nor at a loss as to what to say.
But simply that his erupting emotions were so great in volume that they could no longer be formed into words.
――There was never a time he had felt so overwhelmed beyond speech.
Was the tragedy at the Mansion just the result of this senseless obedience to this incomprehensible logic and this arbitrarily prophesying Gospel?
Frederica, Petra, and Beatrice, did they die for such a selfish reason?
Perfecting Subaru’s existence―― was it for such a ludicrous goal that those girls lost their lives, betrayed by the master they trusted?
[Subaru: Roswaal…… are you really… actually… insane……?]
[Roswaal: ……So it would seem. I have been for a long time. Ever since four hundred years ago when I was enchanted by those eyes, I have always been insane]
[Subaru: Four, hundre……d?]
Unable to swallow down the words that had just been thrown at him, Subaru only parroted it back at Roswaal with his face contorted by confusion.
Again, it was four hundred years ago―― but it was far too unnatural to hear it from Roswaal’s lips. He couldn’t possibly know what happened four hundred years ago. Yet, the way he said it almost sounded as if he had existed all the way from four hundred years ago until now――
[Roswaal: Natsuki Subaru-kun]
While Subaru’s eyes wavered in bewilderment, a nearby voice called to him.
Looking towards it, it was Roswaal, who had stood up from his bed. Seeing his tall figure standing within reach of his exhaled breaths made Subaru step back with a gasp―― but he was caught by his collar, unable to escape. Being pulled closer so that their foreheads were touching,
[Roswaal: You have judged me insane. Which I wholeheartedly agree. Without a doubt, I am insane. I am without sanity. Since a very long time ago, my heart was claimed from me]
[Subaru: Ah, hha……]
[Roswaal: But why aren’t yo~~u? You should be like me, no, even more insane than me. Without it, you do not stand a chance. Because the place you strive for is far higher than mine. For this lonely road that no one can ever understand, what you need is not a human heart. But one of strong, unfailing steel―― am I wrong?]
[Subaru: Aa, gh……st, stop it!]
One by one the words seeped into his mind as Roswaal’s voice drew him towards the depths of the abyss. Subaru shook his head, trying to dispel that sensation, shoving Roswaal’s chest away.
Jabbing a finger at his lanky body as he stepped back, unable to hide the shaking of his voice, Subaru bluffed,
[Subaru: Whatever happens, no matter what, your plans had already gone down the drain the moment I lost my qualifications! Those traps you laid for the Mansion, all of it’s just pointless, meaningless sacrifice! If you understand that, then put a stop to this stupidity now!]
[Roswaal: I refuse. ――Seeing your insufficient resolve, I am all the more convinced of its necessity. There is no need for you to be human. I will corner you, wound you, force you to become so dependent on Emilia-sama that you shed and lose your humanity. At the same time, I will make sure that Emilia-sama is plunged into hopeless love and dependence for your very existence. With you two engulfed by that mutual reliance, I shall choose the course for your drowning selves. That is the one and only way that I shall realize my goal]
[Subaru: Wh…at’s the point in any of that……!? No matter how much you whittle me down that’s not going to get my qualifications back! You can break every bone trying to do it and you’ll still have nothing to show for it!]
[Roswaal: You should know best whether that is what you truly believe]
Subaru’s screams were met by Roswaal’s frozen voice.
The single, heavy thud in his chest was only because he grasped the meaning of Roswaal’s words. It’s quite simple, really.
Just as he figured―― if he truly, truly repented and asked for Echidona’s help, she would offer him her hand again. If he was ever genuinely, hopelessly lost and was content with merely moving forward, this option would still be available to him.
And for that,
[Roswaal: If it means having you return to her, Echidona will be happy to reinstate your qualifications. Considering how she is, that is only natural. I still know at least that much]
[Roswaal: Don’t be conceited, Natsuki Subaru. You are not the o~~nly one who understands Echidona]
Spoken in a tone completely unlike Roswaal, it was filled to the brim with hatred and malice.
Struck by the intensity of its loathing, Subaru’s body froze. And it was only when he digested the meaning of those words that Subaru realized what Roswaal’s goal may be.
[Subaru: The reason you’re so obsessed with liberating the Sanctuary is…… because that’s Echidona’s wish?]
[Subaru: She designed it so that the Tomb’s Trials would lead to the liberation of the Sanctuary…… and completing this would serve as some kind of offering to her memory, is that what you feel?]
[Roswaal: ……In life, Echidona had always wondered how this place would meet its end after her death. To that end, she left the Tomb’s mechanisms behind, and in there, she housed her soul. But for all of four hundred years, the ending she desired has not visited this place]
In the four hundred years since the Sanctuary’s Barrier was erected, not once had it been broken.
Echidona’s wish of witnessing its end never came to pass. Could Roswaal’s desire be showing Echidona that end so as to give her soul repose?
The idea itself wasn’t beyond Subaru’s understanding. While he never believed in ghosts back in his old world, in this world, Subaru had interacted with Echidona and the other Witches.
It did occur to him during the time he spent with them that if they had left regrets in this world, perhaps he would have liked to help fulfill them, if only out of gratitude.
But to live entirely for that purpose while disregarding the lives of everyone else would be preposterous.
[Subaru: That’s not the same thing at all. Roswaal, we can find other ways to give Echidona’s soul repose. I promise, I will make sure of it. ――So call off the attack on the Mansion]
[Roswaal: I refuse. I will fulfill my desires and Echidona’s wish. I will do what is necessary. I will ruin all those I need to, I will wound you, and I will bloody my hands if need be]
[Subaru: Stop dragging other people into your own self-satisfaction! If there’s something you want to tell her, pull her out and tell her yourself! Instead of making sacrifices of someone trying to create a future, some child who still has her future, and some girl who’s shutting herself in because she’s stopped believing in the future!]
There was no need for Frederica, Petra, and Beatrice to be sacrificed for this plan.
And there was no way he could accept Roswaal’s self-indulgent reasoning, especially when it completely disregarded the lives of those girls and was designed only to wound Subaru.
[Roswaal: I refuse. The only offer I will hear is “I will do as Roswaal intended”. All else I will reject. Their sacrifice is necessary]
[Subaru: Fuck off. I’ll have no problem exposing everything that you’re planning and all the consequences that’ll entail]
[Roswaal: Or rather, you ought to think before you act. What would be the point of doing such a thing? Making my misdeeds public will not change a single thing about the situation the Sanctuary is wrapped up in. Emilia-sama will lose her backer for the Royal Selection, and the relationship between the residents and the refugees will only deteriorate. How do you think Emilia-sama will do in the Trials with a malice-laden bomb at her back? How many times have you already seen Emilia-sama crumble?]
[Subaru: Wh-when Garfiel learns that Frederica…… that his sister is to be sacrificed in your plan, there’s no way he’ll just……]
[Roswaal: If that’s where you’re placing your hopes, then you are truly blind. Garfiel will never rush out of the Sanctuary to Frederica’s aid. Just the phantom threat of what might happen to the Sanctuary while he is away will paralyze him with fear: such is the pathetic, foolish existence that is Garfiel. Narrow-sighted, stubborn, relying on nothing but brute strength. Even with that half-witted head, he could see what could befall the Sanctuary without him. And so, you can never use him to your advantage. ――Because that child is far too desperately concerned with protecting the weak and brittle in this world]
A desperate child, a description that jabbed at Subaru’s chest.
It was the same evaluation the Witches had given to the self-sacrificing Subaru at the tea party. It would seem that Roswaal felt the same about Garfiel.
Unaware of this, or perhaps knowing full-well, Garfiel nevertheless wholeheartedly persevered for his goals.
[Roswaal: Garfiel will not side with you. And I have no intention of halting my plans. All you need to do is let your heart be withered, polished, and perfected. Nothing else is necessary. Accept this, Natsuki Subaru. ――Accept that the deaths of anyone besides Emilia-sama mean nothing]
[Subaru: Shut up! I! I’ll never become like that! I’ll never……. I’ll never think like you, I’ll never be like you! That’s just not how humans think!]
[Subaru: I’m human. No matter what kind of random, incomprehensible power I’m given, no matter how much pain and suffering I endure, it’ll never change that. ――I’m human. I’ll always be human]
Declaring this to the silent Roswaal, Subaru backed off from his towering body. A flicker of complicated emotion briefly flashed across Roswaal’s solemn expression, but he immediately shrugged.
[Roswaal: We~~ll, no matter. So long as you have infinite chances, it is all the same to me. This time, I will give up on trying to convince you fo~~r now. I’ll be leaving it to the next me]
[Subaru: It didn’t work this time…… same with the next time and the time after that, I’ll never accept your proposals. I will never become like you]
[Roswaal: Leave the room now. This life no longer has any meaning to me]
Returning to his bed and withdrawing into his sheets, Roswaal left Subaru with these words and drew his attention away. He closed his eyes as if to sleep, literally shutting off any further conversation.
Seeing this, Subaru opened his mouth, but no words came.
Instead, without breaking the silence, he merely left the room, feeling defeated.
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Please let me know if you catch any typos! ❤
Chapter 84 Live Draft: