(Thank you Austin, Brototype, Brandon, Socite, Zenith, Anni, Xinzhong 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/254/
THE EVERLASTING COVENANT
Chapter 86 [Against All Odds]
Subaru was so stunned by what had just happened that he all but forgot about the pain of being punched.
Toppled across the ground, he looked up to find Otto glaring at him. On that usually pathetic, dead-pan, definitely-not-intensely-emotional face, there was a definite, blazing fury in his eyes.
Otto Suwen’s eyes were looking down on Subaru, full of rage.
[Otto: You don’t know what to do, and your head’s all messed up]
[Otto: When you’re in a place where you need help, when the strength of your own arms and mind aren’t nearly enough, all you do is frantically scramble around accomplishing nothing but wasting time, isn’t it?]
Saying this to the silent Subaru, step by step, Otto drew closer.
On his hands and knees, paralyzed on the ground and feeling the heat swelling on his left cheek, all Subaru could do was stare at Otto.
[Otto: Your silence means you aren’t denying it, then. At least in our world, getting yourself trapped is about the lowest you can go. ――You hear me?]
Otto reached his hand to the speechless Subaru and hoisted him up by the collar,
[Otto: If you hear me, say something!]
A sharp, solid impact rammed into Subaru’s forehead, sending sparks flying.
Feeling the world spinning before his eyes, Subaru realized that he had taken a headbutt from Otto. Then again, another headbutt sent him flying backwards.
With his forehead and cheekbone aching, Subaru was shoved stumbling backwards. Naturally, no one could be expected to just sit there and take it――
[Subaru: The hell’re you doing……!?]
[Otto: Oh, so you were conscious when I beat you just now? I was pretty sure I was roughing up someone asleep, you know]
[Subaru: What’re y――!?]
Tearing up from the second headbutt straight to the nose, Subaru lashed back in rage, trying to grab Otto. But Otto slipped aside from Subaru’s reaching arms and violently swept out his legs from under him, sending him tumbling to the ground.
[Otto: Just when your head’s getting some blood-flow, you’ve left your footing unattended. Isn’t that’s just like you, Natsuki-san, pathetic]
[Subaru: Oh…… you think!?]
Springing to his feet, Subaru threw the fistful of dirt he had grabbed on the way down straight at Otto’s face. But, having read his movements, Otto guarded his face with his arm and quickly closed in before Subaru could react. Just like that, in the time it took to gulp, Otto had place one hand on the back of Subaru’s collar and the other on his waist and tossed him.
Slamming back-first into the ground, Subaru bounced off of the impact, choking from the pain.
Even though the ground was thick with dead leaves where he landed, that didn’t absorb half of the shock.
Gasping, with numbness running all the way to the ends of his limbs, Subaru couldn’t get up again.
[Otto: Resorting to dirty tricks as usual, Natsuki-san? Too bad they don’t work on me once I see them coming]
[Subaru: …….Ghh, khha]
[Otto: See, Natsuki-san? This is what your strength amounts to. You’ll never reach the level of the Knights or Roswaal-sama, nevermind Garfiel. Even against me, you end up like this]
Watching Subaru desperately sucking oxygen into his convulsing lungs, Otto shook his head with exasperation as he prodded him with these words.
Walking over to the helpless Subaru’s side, Otto drew his face closer,
[Otto: Picking fights with the White Whale and the Witch Cult was stupid. You’re weak, and you wouldn’t have lasted a second in a straight-up fight. Surely, you understand this]
[Otto: So, were you going to compensate for your lack of strength with wits? From what I’ve seen, there is a bit of cleverness about you…… but certainly no above-average judgement or decision-making abilities. Even your common sense is lacking]
Not sure what Otto was trying to say, irritation began showing through Subaru’s ragged breaths.
By now, the convulsions of his lungs, the shock of being thrown, and the pain on his forehead and cheek had somewhat faded. In their place, what accompanied his returning calm was only confusion regarding the true intention behind Otto’s words.
Looking down into Subaru’s black, non-understanding eyes, Otto continued,
[Otto: Both your strength and wits are lacking, and if there’s anything else that can compensate…… well, there really isn’t anything. You’re small, your reach is short, you’re the kind of person that can be found anywhere. You are just a commonplace nobody, and yet you’re aiming for these disproportionately great things]
[Subaru: What…’re you…… even trying to say?]
[Otto: You know that you’re powerless and weak, so what’s the backup plan you came up with? It’s to corner yourself even further, whittling yourself down trying to pull something out of nothing…… I finally understand how Patrasche-chan feels]
Hearing the name of his ground dragon, Subaru’s eyes widened in surprise.
Patrasche. The black ground dragon who got herself injured to save a master who didn’t even know why she would do such a thing for him, who had taught him so much and to whom he owed so much―― who was so utterly wasted on Subaru,
Now Otto was saying that he understood how she felt.
While Subaru lay there, blinking, Otto stuck his fingers through his grey hair, and, with thorns in his voice, [So, you see], he continued,
[Otto: It’s fine to show off in front of the girl you have a crush on. That’s a necessary vanity, and I’ll respect that. I suppose it’s inevitable that you’ll be boasting things that are way out of your calibre. So I’ll be willing to overlook that]
That would be Emilia. And the way Subaru acts in front of Emilia.
[Otto: And I’ll forgive you for showing off in front of the girl who has a crush on you. Again, that’s necessary. When love’s involved, I believe the one on the receiving end carries a certain responsibility too. So it’s important to be putting on airs when you’re around someone who loves you, and I can forgive you for that]
That would be Rem. Once, Subaru had told Otto the exact same thing. That he wanted to show off in front of Rem, because she was a girl who loved him.
[Otto: But, that’s where you stop]
With this, Otto stuck his face even closer.
Subaru shrunk up his shoulders in anticipation of another headbutt, but Otto went on, practically snarling,
[Otto: You know that you’re lacking. You know that you’re insufficient. You want to show off to the girl you like. And you want to be something that the girl who likes you could be proud of]
[Otto: So, to make up for the parts that you don’t want those girls to see, shouldn’t you be enlisting some help from others? ――Say, from a friend?]
Pulling his face away, Otto said the last part holding his palm to his own chest.
(The amazing fan art is by @Mebaru!!)
Otto is on his way to becoming bestgirl…
Please let me know if you spot any typos! ❤
Chapter 86 Live Draft: